5 observations on the Arsenal decimation of Sunderland

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Well, a comfortable game, that turned uncomfortable… then it turned into a coma of comfort, like the sort of comfort you have on a Sunday after taking down a large Domino’s on a rampant hangover.

An important three points won, heading into the NLD. It wasn’t just the three points, it was taking them with ease that meant something. We took the lead through a lovely bit of 20 pass build-up play, Chamberlain used his explosive pace to ghost his full back, he turned in a Sanchez height cross that the Chilean nodded across goal. A real Arsenal of old spectacle.

The second half was a bit more dangerous, we let them back in with a bit of calamity defending from Mustafi, resulting in Petr Cech taking down Watmore ending in a Defoe converted penalty.

We didn’t cave in on ourselves, we launched a resurgence and it was great fun to watch. We need a bit of help though, that came from Giroud.

The Frenchman scored with his first touch, which came from a very dangerous low cross from the impressive Gibbs. His second came from an Ozil corner, the Germans first Premier League assist of the season would you believe? Giroud glanced his header over the keeper to make it three. It was great to have him back.

At that point, I’d have liked to have seen Sanchez taken off, he wasn’t, and he scored after a bit of a scramble in the box. So much for my insight there.

4-1. A decimation, 3 points and no injuries.

Things to think about:

Iwobi:

Not his finest game, he looked a bit heavy legged. You have to remember he’s only 20 years old and he’s showing all the signs of being a serious name for us this season. He’ll have bad games though, you have to accept that.

Ramsey:

The Welshman looked rusty, it was quite amusing his assist for Sanchez came from a duffed piece of skill. I’m interested to see how we use him this season. That all action hero role doesn’t really work for us, and he can’t play the same position he does for Wales. So where does he play? He’s in a weird situation, he’s not the best defensively, not the best attacking… but he has a bit of everything and more energy than most. I hope Wenger has a plan.

Girooooooooooud!:

Great to have him back in the team. The pundits were saying before the game, Sanchez can do anything Giroud can. I disagree, no one holds the ball up like the Frenchman and Sanchez can’t bully players in the same way… it was great to see him score from his first two touches. I also liked his beard. It’s like a piece of Tracey Emin art… ‘I grow the criticism and pain into my facial hair’… so modern.

Context:

A lot of fans are talking about title contention. I’m holding off there. We’re always in a situation at this point of the season where we convince ourselves, ‘this is different’, reality is we’ve had an extremely pleasurable run of late. Swansea, Boro, Burnley and the worst Sunderland team of all time. We should be winning these games. It shouldn’t be a treat. The tough games are going to come thick and fast now. This is when we see what Arsenal 2016/17 is made of.

But… it looks good, but remember, November is coming…

Depth:

Elneney had a super game today, Gibbs played really well and Chambo came up with the goods… AND our backup striker scored two goals. We have depth coming out of our ears. Finally.

Spurs:

They’re unbeaten so far this season (as of writing this), so we really do have a monster of a game coming up next week. We head there in great form, hopefully Theo and Santi are back for that game. A massive selection headache awaits… but I’ll take that over a lack of bodies and forced hands!

I am SO excited about this.

472 Responses to “5 observations on the Arsenal decimation of Sunderland”

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  1. grooveydaddy

    just for the record, that wenger/mourinho stat being thrown about doesn’t compute???

    he’s won 4/10 league games with United, and won 4/16 when he got sacked last year with the chavs.

    that’s 8/26, already 1 more then wenger’s won in the last 10

    8/26 is still pretty sh*t form, but where did this 40+ number come from??

  2. TT

    I don,t often agree with joe but he has highlighted a good point in his previous posts that the akb like tunny wallace and alexanderhenry try to avoid …….namely we have been down this road season after season and won fuck all of importance bar the forth is a trophy price.

    Have to say though that is was pleasing to see in what the manner we beat Sunderland 🙂

  3. tunnygriffboy

    The problem with Giroud is not necessarily his ability. It is the fact that he has been our only option, flogged to death and as a result becomes massively fatigued and his form totally falls off a cliff.

    what we have needed is what we have now. Options and a bit of depth upfront. Giroud then becomes a really important part of the squad. A fit fresh Giroud is a handful for any defender.

    He can be used as an impact sub like yesterday. Can be used effectively against tesms who park the bus and be used to give Alexis a rest.

    It’s only now we have the variety of forwards we’ve needed. Welbeck to return as well. Happy days

  4. Emiratesstroller

    vicky

    Giroud is a lot better than some posters suggest, but yes he is not the world class striker that we crave for.

    The problem is that there are very few currently floating around and none who are currently available.

    Also there are strikers who look like potential “world beaters” for one or two seasons and then vanish without a trace having often been sold for a grossly
    inflated price.

    At the moment Arsenal are relying on goalscoring options rather than dependence on one player. Personally I prefer that situation.

  5. tunnygriffboy

    TT

    There you go again throwing that term akb about. Read my posting history. I’m more than happy to criticise Wemger when I feel he deserves it. I’ll also give him praise when he does things well. I have no problem in doing either

    Atm we’re going pretty well

  6. HillWood

    Alexander
    Wenger sees them all week in training. It’s bordering on negligence he hasn’t tried this attack before.
    Your doubts are irrelevant

  7. Emiratesstroller

    Hill Wood

    Wenger has experimented in the past with both Sanchez and Walcott as a single striker, but far too often played them with limited pace on the wings.

    What I think has changed is that Arsenal can offer now more movement in team with Ozil playing well plus options of Walcott, Sanchez, Iwobi, Ox and now Giroud playing in offensive positions.

    We should not forget that we will have also both Welbeck and Lucas available
    from December as alternative options should players get injured or lose form.

  8. Batistuta

    To an extent Joe does have a point in that we’ve been down this road before, false hope at the start that this could be the year then all of a sudden,the wheels come off

    I’m guessing the optimism is coming from the perspective that we have a much deeper squad and with smart rotation, we could actually last the race this time around BUT its still Wenger so it’d be wise to just take it one game at a time, no overly excitement or extreme doom

  9. S.Asoa

    About Mourinho
    He has become mental so his judgement is clouded. During his tenure at Real Madrid , dealing with Galacticos he lost track of basics of trapping and accurate passing since Galacticos per se already come with these qualities. If you see Man U games, players are very poor in these basic skills .Wenger on the other hand spends time on these and ,besides PlanA leaves rest to Almighty God and the players to work out.
    Mourinho needs a year break and psychiatric treatment and will be successful again .
    Or
    He should read my post .

  10. somerandomperson

    “To an extent Joe does have a point in that we’ve been down this road before, false hope at the start that this could be the year then all of a sudden,the wheels come off”

    It does not really matter. If we are really worried about this then we may as well start following/supporting the team after January/May. It is very tiring hearing lets see in January lets see in May. Whoever wants to see in January and May just disappear and come back in January and again in May. Dont poison the blog now .

    P.S. It is not really aimed at you Batistuta. I am just tired of this line of tedious argument game after game after game. Trophies are important but the journey is as important as the end result.

  11. Ozrus

    Ruth is the biggest pussy on this blog. Shat his pants being asked a direct question yet again! Need a nappy change oh you mighty sociopathic contrarian? What a pathetic loser lol lol

  12. somerandomperson

    Also if Wenger wins title this season . It should be considered as one of his biggest achievements not necessarily Leicester level .

    PL now has almost all of the world’s top coaches/managers. Pep/Klopp/conte/Mourinho . Beating these managers to league title is what any manager can hope to achieve with Arsenal.

    Hopefully we can go 11-14 points clear of Man United after the match with them.

  13. Alexanderhenry

    somerandomperson

    Excellent point.

    Being a true football fan is about supporting your team throughout the season. If we lose then criticise where appropriate, if we win then celebrate it and give credit where it’s due.

    It’s absurd to just continue to knock the team when it’s doing well.

    I’m certainly not going to apologise for feeling optimistic about this season. We are top of the league and playing well. We have a stronger squad which provides us with more options tactically and less likelihood of an injury crisis.

    COYGS!

  14. Alexanderhenry

    Ozrus

    Asking redruth direct questions is quite revealing. He has a pathological inability to post anything positive about arsenal. I’ve been trying for a while but he’s wise to it.
    The only other people I’ve met who have this pathology are spurs fans, and not all of them are as anti arsenal as he is..

    The guy is like a case study.

  15. Batistuta

    somerandomperson

    I get your point really but i guess for some its happened way too many times for one to fall for it yet again and that’s been my position for years now

    But I’m more actively interested in the team this year simply because we’ve added to the squad and not continued with that “cohesion”,or the no cash to spend nonsense, i may have my doubts we’d actually win the league cus of the manager though i hope he does so he can fuck off into the sunset, but yea he’s made a lot of people more interested in watching the team this year

  16. Emiratesstroller

    AlexanderHenry

    We need to be optimistic this season, but we should not go overboard until we
    have completed November programme.

    It is difficult, and will tell us more about whether the current team/squad is equipped to win at top level. My view is that we need a minimum of 4 points from the games with Spurs and Man Utd to confirm that we are on track to challenge for the title.

  17. Alexanderhenry

    Emirates

    Agreed.

    To counter some of the dreadful negativity and axe grinding on here I’ve perhaps come across as over optimistic.

    My actual view on things is this. I still make city favourites but beyond them it’s a toss up between us, chelsea, liverpool and maybe spurs and man utd.

  18. Wallace

    srp

    “Trophies are important but the journey is as important as the end result.”

    my view also. slightly weird people having a pop at other posters for being pleased when we’re playing well and winning games.

  19. SuperSwede

    The squad depth is really exciting but the number of absentees yesterday was way too long for my likening.

    I think we got three really good goalkeepers and another one on loan. Check.

    I think we finally got both good enough full backs and centre backs to put up a solid defence throughout a full season. And that even w/o BFG and CC.

    In midfield we have so many options that Wilshere decided to leave to get much needed minutes. Good for him and good for Arsenal to have that depth. I think we all do have different favorite pairings but at least that’s give the pub debates som substance wouldn’t you say?

    The front line is also looking filled with talent and competence even if we all do miss that world class striker as the final piece of the puzzle. But both Sanchez and Giroud do a good enough job for me so I’m satisfied and finally Theo is able to show what his talent has promised all those years. Iwobi and the Ox adds different solutions on the opposite side until Sanchez is moved back out wide again.

    But the one thing that we don’t really have any long term cover for is the assist king. Short term sure, Santi can do the job in a couple of games. Some might call for Iwobi but that doesn’t cut it for me. Ramsey? Sure, but that would mean a totally different balance of the team, wouldn’t it? I for one saw Jack as the rotating partner to Özil and easing him in with an injury free 25 game season. That wasn’t to be and I now believe that Jack, if he comes back, rather will challenge to replace Santi next season. So what do we do if and when Özil get injured?

  20. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Wallace

    At the end of the day trophies are the only way of judging a team.

    If your looking at it in football principals …

    If you judge permenant qualification for champs league as the yard stick for measuring then your way off the mark …

  21. Bamford10

    Joe

    Except that we haven’t been down this particular road before. Wenger spent £90m this summer. He signed a quality CB (Mustafi) and CDM (Xhaka). We have a very solid defense and we do not bleed goals. An argument could be made that we have the best defense in the PL.

    To simply look at the point total and say we have been here before is simplistic and dumb.

    Are we going to win the title? Impossible to say.

    Do we look like we’re capable of contending? Yes, for the first time in some time.

    Can you guarantee we’ll be out of contention when it matters, as in years past? No.

    Make better arguments, please. Your contributions here are dull, simplistic and tedious.

  22. Bamford10

    Alexander

    No one gives a fuck about your optimism. It is/was your brainless contention that Wenger always spends what he is given that earned you well-deserved contempt.

  23. tunnygriffboy

    Alex

    Im enjoying watching the team this season more than I have in a long time. We’re playing some decent stuff.

    However I”m taking it game by game though and I’m ever the optimist. I wouldn’t get over excited even if we won our next two games. I’d be delighted but I’d still be wary because we have City and Everton to come in December, Everton being a midweek game away from home.

    If we can keep the squad more or less fit then we can be competitive in these games. I won’t start thinking about the title until we find where we are after the Christmas period.

    If we are to come close we need to keep most of the squad fit in particular the threr musketeers and the imp in midfield.

  24. Bamford10

    Of course the journey matters just as much as the destination. If we played gorgeous football all season, contended for the title until the final weekend and came up just a little short, all would be disappointed but none but the silliest would be moaning or calling for the manager’s head.

    The problem is that it has been ages since we actually played gorgeous football, and the manager has constantly made decisions that guarantee we won’t be in contention the final weekend.

    Dipshits here and elsewhere have tried to say otherwise — i.e., have tried to say we were playing beautiful football or that Wenger was making the best decisions possible — but they are/were wrong. We weren’t; he wasn’t.

  25. Bamford10

    Actually, I see a way to get rid of Joe (for those who dislike his contributions here). When did he say we would be out of contention? Whatever month it was, let’s make him wager that he will leave Le Grove for a year if we are still in contention at the end of that month.

    Joe?

  26. Bamford10

    Better attitude from the team re our current position in the table:

    “Giroud was delighted with the result, but insisted that with just 10 games gone, the season is still in its infancy.

    ‘We’ve only played a quarter of the league. It’s still the beginning of the league and I’m not the man who will speak too much because we are first.

    ‘We enjoy this position, obviously we want to finish first and win the league, but we know there is a long time to go. We’re in a good moment and we need to keep it up and be consistent.’ “

  27. Bamford10

    Dimitri Payet has created 30 goalscoring chances for his teammates this season, more than any other Premier League player. – Opta

  28. somerandomperson

    For any one following cricket . England lost the test match against Bangladesh. Last test was a close victory for Enland this one was 100+ run victory for Bangladesh.
    100/0 to 164 all out …

  29. tunnygriffboy

    Random

    Pathetic. I watched it. Inexcusable. India next. 5 nil loss on the cards ?

    Bamf

    I like your new found enthusiasm. I’m taking it one game at a time and seeing where we are post Christmas. We have Spurs and man u in November and City and Everton (midweek) in December. We also habe to play Wrst Ham , Palace and Stoke.

    Another key is keeping most of our squad fit and definitely the four musketeers

  30. Bamford10

    Tunny

    At moment we’re playing fairly well and have a solid defense. Wenger spent good money on a number of good players. He has also opted for mobility through the center — via Alexis — rather than Le Lamppost.

    Thus there is much to be pleased with, and little to grumble about.

    Would I prefer an even better CF? Yes. Is there still time for Wenger to fuck things up? Yes.

    But for the moment, the positives far outweigh the negatives.

  31. tunnygriffboy

    Bamf

    As you knoe I’m usually optimistic. However I’m not taking things for granted as we”ve beem here before usually form dipping coinciding with s crippling injury list

    We do though have much more quality depth in our squad this season. Ig we keep it fit then things could get interesting.

    Wasn’t it great to see Giroud used properly yesterday. Coming off the bench being a real handful and turnimg the game for us.

    Interesting to hear Wenger say he could play both Giroud and Alexis through tje middle in some games with Ozil playing wide. Would throw a few teams.

  32. Wallace

    RSPC Arsenal

    “At the end of the day trophies are the only way of judging a team.”

    yeah, but get your kicks where you can. 20 teams in the league, if you can only enjoy your football if your team wins the PL that’s not much fun to be shared around however many billions of fans wordwide.

  33. Redtruth

    Bamford

    £90m wasted if you ask me…
    Xhaka is more utility than a complete player and Perez can’t even displace Walcott….lol
    Mustafi has already made gaffes ..

  34. Alexanderhenry

    Let’s not forget wellbeck. He’ll be another option up front to add to giroud and sanchez.

    Also, it’s great to have ramsay back.

  35. LegendMax

    Bamford

    Good to be optimistic but there have been warning signs that the problems we faced in the past are still there like we saw in the Boro game. The team tho is stronger this year.

    I think we’ll challenge and stay in the race for longer this time around but won’t be champions. we probably lose it in the last 4 or 5 games. just my gut feeling. Hope I’m wrong.

    in the meantime, I’ll cheer the team on.

  36. Alexanderhenry

    Redruth

    ‘Those players are fringe players and not proven quality in laymen’s terms deadwood… ‘

    …In your terms mate, so one else’s .

  37. senior gooner

    DOES ANYONE WORRY THAT THERE IS NO NEWS OF A NEW CONTRACT FOR KOSCELNY? HE AND SANTI MUST HAVE CONTRACTS RENEWED NOW. DONT LETS HAVE A SITUATION LIKE PREVIOUS YEARSV WHEN KEEY PLAYERS ENDED UP ON A FREE, OF FOR A PITTANCE.

    Your Comment Here

  38. TT

    @tunny

    “TThere you go again throwing that term akb about. Read my posting history. I’m more than happy to criticise Wemger when I feel he deserves it. I’ll also give him praise when he does things well. I have no problem in doing eitherAtm we’re going pretty well”

    I rarely post here and definitely don’t through the term akb about. If you bothered to take your own advice and read the posts from the poster you are commenting on you would know this………………………

  39. Alexanderhenry

    senior gooner

    Fair point.
    The club is at a crossroads. After years of austerity arsenal fc have decided to spend some money at last.

    By acquiring better players they have improved the squad, but now they have to commit to keeping those players by paying them their market value wage, and also commit to improving the squad.

    If they don’t, our better players will leave. It’ll be ashley cole all over again.

  40. TT

    alexanderhenry I rarely agree with you but you are spot on when you say we have to pay the players their market value in wages. It wont be Chasley all over agin though imo as the clubs and agents have become much more sophisticated when it comes to tapping up players. This time there wont be any witnesses as it was with Cole.

  41. karim

    Balo goal number 6 in 5 games as Nice blast Nantes 4/1 and now have a 6 point advantage in front of Monaco and Paris.

    The new Leicester I’m telling you !!

  42. karim

    I know Tunny, it drives me mad too…
    Thank God Red is still there

    Have you seen Keyser pop in the other week, I was hoping he was on his way back too ?

  43. jwl

    karim & tunny

    I think some people dont post as much because Arsenal are winning, gooners have nothing to complain about at the moment and le grove is a complaining blog, or people have nothing to say because there are only so many times you can write Wenger is numpty who needs to retire.

  44. jwl

    American Football gag:

    The characters involved in the gag are Charlie Brown and Lucy van Pelt. Lucy tells Charlie Brown that she will hold a football while he kicks it. Charlie Brown usually refuses to kick it at first, not trusting Lucy. Lucy then says something to persuade Charlie Brown to trust her. Charlie Brown runs up to kick the ball, but at the very last second before he can kick it, Lucy removes the ball and Charlie Brown flies into the air, before falling down and hurting himself. ”

    http://peanuts.wikia.com/wiki/Football_gag

  45. jwl

    I use to read and watch Charlie Brown when I was child and there was some deep wisdom with football gag.

    I feel like Charlie Brown arguing with Lucy (Wenger) about whether to trust her not to move the ball again at last moment. I don’t believe Arsenal are going to win the league this year but I am hoping that we stay competitive until mid to late April this season instead of everything blowing up in January like usual. If we do win league this year it will be because of other teams incompetence, like Leicester last season.

  46. jwl

    Is Sanchez world class striker we have been desperate for since henry was sold?

    If Sanchez can score 25-30 league goals this year than Arsenal should have good season because our defenders are looking pretty good right now.

    However, past decade has been diabolical and I wonder if Wenger has ambition and desire to win league again before retiring.

  47. tunnygriffboy

    Karim

    Yeah. Thats a good idea. Be great to get a few back on. It’ll open up the discourse much more and stops individuals taking over the blog.

    Jwl

    See your point about it being a complaining blog but a lot of those posters although wanting Wenger out were pretty fair minded about the team and gave praise where it was due.

    Disappointed with Southampton today. They look tired to me. Is the EL taking it out of them ? Forster lets a goal in through his legs. He always has a worldie against us ! ! ! !

    So the top four all win comfortably over the weekend. Will these teams be in the top fourcome the end of the season ?

  48. Alexanderhenry

    jwl

    That’s right on there being fewer posters on here.
    In a way I understand. When things are going well there’s less to discuss.

  49. tunnygriffboy

    Jwl

    Wenger hasn’t had this depth of squad for years. We’ve had half tidy teams but it’s always fallen apart because we’ve had no quality to rotate, we get the inevitable injuries and it becomes a vicious circle.

    Let’s see how things pan out until after Christmas. We do have a plan B now and it could come down to how we do against the other big teams. Our bench if the squad remains fit could be vital.

    Lpool and Chelsea no CL. Think that will help them immensely as they have CL quality teams who will be fit and well rested.

  50. tunnygriffboy

    Alex

    There’s loads to discuss. It’s from a positive perspective though. Who to pick ? What combinations to play ? What rotation to make ? What formations we could use ?

    Imo it’s still interesting stuff. It could all go belly up in the next few weeks though atarting in Bulgaria on Tuesday then at the Emirates on Sunday. That’s the joy then anguish of being a gooner 🙂 🙂 🙂

  51. karim

    Not too worried about Ludogorets, I know an away game is a different story especially after such an easy home win but having watched them v psg at their ground, I think they won’t refuse to play and it will be to our benefit.

    Next Sunday on the contrary is crucial in that a lot of people, players included, will really start thinking they have a decent chance this year if they win.

    Thing is Spuds probably already believe in their title chances after what they did last season and their current unbeaten run.

    I think it can only be a great game, hope the crowd will be up for it but I know they will.

  52. tunnygriffboy

    Karim

    I think it’ll be really narky next Sunday. Spurs have commited more fouls than any team so far this season. Rose, Vertonhen and Wanyama are quite happy to boot people. Lamela and Alli are snide and leave their foot in. Chance to wind both of those up

    They will press us. Wll we press them like we did v Chelsea and lpool in the first half? Big game not just the derby but a top of table clash.

    Bhoth sides hwve CL games.

    I’m not hugely confident about Ludogrets. Small ground and not what we’re used to. As you say they’ll come at us with nothing to lose. We really need to be at it and ensure the win though I don’t expect a walk over.
    What team will he pick?

  53. Wenker-wanger

    Nice to see the ox and giroud fighting for their places. Arsenal players are motivating themselves and I am seeing a different attitude throughout. It has nothing to do with player-selecting no tactics Wenger, and that’s also a real positive,as these guys are seemingly a tightly knit bunch.

  54. karim

    There definitely is something fishy with Mkhytarian, who’s such a good player, can’t believe he gets that treatment from the special once ( nice one rspca ! )

  55. Wallace

    I think tomorrow night will be a tough game. I’d probably retain Gibbs and even consider giving Coq/Elneny another run out, although Xhaka could do with a game…Spuds on Sunday is definitely the main one, so maybe it’s a case of Wenger figuring out who he wants to start in that game, and then working back to tomrrow night’s game. wouldn’t be disappointyed if Giroud gets a start tomorrow night with Alexis on the bench. maybe –

    Ospina
    Bellerin – Mustafi – Koscielny – Gibbs
    Coquelin – Elneny
    Ox – Ozil – Iwobi
    Giroud

    and then for Spurs –

    Cech
    Bellerin – Mustafi – Koscielny – Gibbs
    Coquelin – Xhaka
    Walcott – Ozil – Iwobi
    Alexis

  56. Wallace

    it is great having all these options in midfield. haven’t even really considered the idea of Ramsey starting. I think at the moment most big games Wenger would probably like to go with Coq/Cazorla, but Spurs are such a big, physical side, and bearing in mind how they overpowered us last season, that I think there’s some likelihood he’ll bring Xhaka in at Cazorla’s expense.

  57. freddylekgunner

    Wallace I think we should try the Xhaka and Ramsey combo tomorrow and rest Coq for Spuds. I won’t mind resting Sanchez too and start Giroud too.

  58. Steveyg87

    “Wallace I think we should try the Xhaka and Ramsey combo tomorrow and rest Coq for Spuds. I won’t mind resting Sanchez too and start Giroud too.”

    Agreed, albiet for different reasons. Ramsey, in his few minutes on the pitch, has proven once again, that he is not prepared to simplify his game for the better good of the team, i cannot stress this enough, but the quicker we get shot of Ramsey, the better off Arsenal will be. Let him play the champions league game and bench him for the important games

  59. vicky

    If Ramsey starts against any of the big teams, you could write off 3 points even before the start of the game. The guy is not a CL team level player.

  60. Roaaary

    Regular posters don’t come here anymore as any rational football conversation is interrupted by people like Redtruth spouting bollox.

    It’s become very childish with some of the arguing.

    Re the spurs game….Im hoping we press them hard. They played us off the park last year by giving us no space and we were lucky. Let’s show them we have learned and pressure them from the 1st minute

  61. Wallace

    freddy

    the Xhaka/Ramsey combination looks interesting in theory. but like many others on here i’m not sure Ramsey’s got the discipline to play in a midifeld two. I think he’s more likely to get games covering Ozil further up the field, in a role similar to what he plays for Wales.

  62. Emiratesstroller

    Wallace

    Arsenal may not have the best players on the planet, but I do think that we have now perhaps the most balanced squad in the EPL.

    Other clubs may have better individual players, but there are weaknesses in most of our competitors teams/squads.

    Over last 3-4 seasons we have managed to improve most sectors of the squad
    albeit less dramatically than the likes of Man City and Man Utd who have thrown much more money at their squads than ourselves.

    We are now in a much better position to rotate our squad than in the past and
    whilst it may be controversial I would choose to do so tomorrow against Ludogorets. We saw first hand what were their strengths and weaknesses when they visited Emirates.

    They have a lot of skilful, quick and potentially dangerous forwards, but overall they do not know how to defend. For this reason I would choose Ospina,
    Jenkinson and Monreal as replacements for Cech, Bellerin [he needs a rest],
    and Gibbs.

    In midfield I would bring in Xhaka to play alongside Coquelin in Central Midfield. Xhaka has had a 3 game break and needs playing time.

    I would play Sanchez, Ozil, Giroud and Walcott in the offensive positions. Iwobi looked tired on Saturday and Ox if selected would also have played 3
    games in 8 days and that is too much.

    This is an important game, but so long as we don’t lose we will qualify for the
    next round of Champions League and I don’t expect us to lose.

    The most important game is on Sunday where we need to turn out our best team against Spurs and one that can break down their tight defence. We need
    to win that game to convince everyone including ourselves that we are serious
    title contenders.

  63. vicky

    Coq-Xhaka-Santi would be my preferred midfield combo against Spurs but Wenger would never bench Ozil which would result in to Santi being played in CM role which a physical side like Spurs would relish.

  64. Louis Almeida

    Pedro, I’m not one to try and police a blog but it is evident that the lack of posts is due to the constant trolling on this blog. Nobody should ever try and tell anyone how to think. All views should be welcome but the incessant splurge of posts from some is very off-putting and his harming your blog IMO. Or maybe I’m just wrong and people don’t wanna post when we win, which is a shame as I thought we all Arsenal to do well.

  65. freddylekgunner

    The Spuds game should be on Wenger’s mind and should rest atleast Sanchez and Coq. We should beat them as they are not in great from right now and to knock them off their little unbeaten run.

  66. freddylekgunner

    Louis if we’re in bad form watch here as Joe, Red,Steve and others of their ilks post more 100 negative comments per day.

  67. Louis Almeida

    freddylekgunner, I’m all for balance. I even would like for Wenger to leave but I just don’t shout it on here every day. It becomes tedious and boring. Sure he is flawed but he is still a decent manager himself. And I can see that the team has improved this season so hopefully it stands us in good stead. People are entitled to their views but the way some people post on here you wonder if they support Arsenal at all.

  68. freddylekgunner

    Agreed Louis and they’ve annoyed many decent posters. In other news did Mou purposely signed Mikhy so that he won’t come to us? The player has himself to blame though.

  69. Wallace

    Louis

    “Or maybe I’m just wrong and people don’t wanna post when we win, which is a shame as I thought we all Arsenal to do well.”

    yeah, there’s the trolling, but I think the above is also a factor. if we lose a few big games this month I’m sure posts will rocket. seems like a lot of people would rather have Wenger gone over the team doing well.

  70. Emiratesstroller

    Louis Almeida

    100% agree with what you say.

    It gets tedious reading RT’s negativity. I am all for constructive criticism, but attacking Wenger and the team even when we are playing well is not clever or
    productive.

    The fact is that Arsenal have played so far this season 15 games. We lost just
    one [the first where we were short of personnel and many others were unfit]
    and drawn three others. We have averaged over two goals per game and conceded less than one per game.

    No-one can or should criticise that performance level. Having said that we do
    need to be cautious about next four weeks in November where we have historically underperformed.

  71. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Wallace
    I think the reason for this is that people feel certain games are a given that we should win?

    It’s those given games where we drop that gets people boiled over .,.

    Good win Saturday now let’s keep it sensible a win agsinst the joint worse prem start team, let’s not go overboard ,,

    Spurs at home next big game no choking
    They will play a half fit Kane as he had a voodoo over our defence …

    Let’s stop that an get three points .

  72. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Louis

    To an extent you are right
    However there are certain games you expect to win

    The last two as examples .

    If you are a team that had spent 100m on signings you should be winning boro at home Sunderland away …
    Etc

  73. Louis Almeida

    RSPCArsenal, that’s too simplistic. As an Arsenal fan I expect to win every game. And if we go by amount spent then United and City should run away with the league. But as the cliché goes, football isn’t played on paper. You still have to turn up.

  74. Redtruth

    Wallace

    Define doing well..?

    Keeping the same manager for 20 years is not doing well.
    Leicester would not have had their dream title if they had not of sacked their previous manager…

  75. Redtruth

    In fact Leicester sacked their manager when they were on the rise and replaced him with a manager who was sacked from his previous post.

    Their is too much negativity and mistrust by fans surrounding Arsenal as a football club which is the reason why loser Wenger remains.

  76. Emiratesstroller

    R.S.P.C

    In theory you are right. We should have won both games, but in practice teams at the bottom of league are fighting for survival and you don’t always win those games.

    You have seen how Man Utd struggled against Burnley. They had more strikes on goal than in the history of EPL. Yet they failed to put ball in the net.

    Sometimes you play much better against top teams who believe they can beat you and want to play accordingly.

  77. Redtruth

    Arsenal earned their reputation as flat track bullies through given games.

    It’s also a given Barcelona always knock Arsenal out of the Champions league whenever they meet..

  78. naijagunner

    Just wait for a loss to Spurs next week and you would see the usual suspects spending their entire day here bashing the team .

    Redtruth you are just embarrassing yourself now and you aren’t even funny anymore.

    I said here before the season started that Pogba does not complete any puzzle at United and was a luxury signing at best, but Mourinho was lauded for wining the summer transfer market even though the likes of Klopp pointed out there was more to building a team than spending. I personally think Mourinho needs a long break from football, he does not look mentally alright

  79. naijagunner

    @ Louis

    If Ramsey cuts out the silly flicks and hunger for personal glory he will fit into any system as he has such a good engine and an eye for a pass

    Pogba on the other hand is a big disappointment to me as well because he was one of my favorite players in world football. You cannot always blame a system for looking anonymous on the pitch

  80. GoonerDave

    There are a small number of fans who want us to lose so that AW will leave at the end of the season.
    We often talk about fans being blinkered – but wanting the team to lose so that your point is proved right? That’s beyond blinkered. How could anyone claim to be an Arsenal fan and decide that his opinion being proved right is more important than Arsenal winning?
    These people are obviously bigger fans of themselves than of Arsenal.

  81. Louis Almeida

    Guys, you’re right in that Ramsey does silly things at times and he should simplify his game. But as Wenger’s quotes said yesterday, he is also someone who drives a team forward. I kind of wish you could combine him and Elneny together because what is one’s strength is another’s weakness. Elneny might be too disciplined whereas Ramsey sometimes isn’t at all but Ramsey is a matchwinner and has an x-factor about him which we need. I still Wenger will try him and Xhaka at some point.

  82. Bamford10

    Louis

    It has been ages since Ramsey was a “game-winner” for Arsenal. Mostly he just does silly, self-centered, Hollywood bullshit, with little to no end product. I have zero time for Ramsey until he proves his detractors wrong. Guy is more concerned with his bleach-blonde hair-do. Fucking wanker.

  83. Steveyg87

    “If Ramsey cuts out the silly flicks and hunger for personal glory he will fit into any system as he has such a good engine and an eye for a pass”

    If Ramsey had half a nut he would watch his games from the 13/14 season. Just came back from being left out of the team for a few games and resorted to doing the basics right. The result as we know was his fantastic season and the rewards were Barca knocking on his door. I’d be happy for him to have a great season just so he can piss off to Spain like he has suggested in a few interviews

  84. Steveyg87

    “It has been ages since Ramsey was a “game-winner” for Arsenal. Mostly he just does silly, self-centered, Hollywood bullshit, with little to no end product. I have zero time for Ramsey until he proves his detractors wrong. Guy is more concerned with his bleach-blonde hair-do. Fucking wanker.”

    Fuck yeah

  85. Louis Almeida

    Bournemouth lost at the weekend but Wilshere was amazing. Really has the burst of speed back in his game and good to see him playing continuously. Some of those dribbles were awesome.

  86. Bamford10

    Ramsey’s performances cannot be blamed on the system, ffs. He had his best performances from within this same system. He has no one to blame but himself.

  87. Bamford10

    Louis

    When was Ramsey last a “game winner” for Arsenal? I’m not saying he wasn’t at that level at certain points in the past, but it has been a long time since then.

    Pires

    Are you suggesting his bleached hair-do is NOT wankerish?

  88. Bamford10

    Pires

    The comparison is wack. Lampard was bigger, stronger, more dominating. He played far more simply through the center of the park, and he could absolutely destroy the ball from 25 yards out.

    Ramsey is a couple of good games and a clever trick here or there. Oh yes, and William Wallace-like output for ten minutes at a time when playing for Wales and wearing a look-at-me-everyone bleached hair-do.

    Complete wanker — till he proves otherwise.

  89. Louis Almeida

    Bamford10, well it’s been a while. He’s been injured quite a bit and deployed on the right because he didn’t have the perfect partner. None of Flamini and Coquelin were ideal for him. He needed someone who facilitated play for him so he could join the attack higher up. I believe buying Xhaka might’ve been a help for Ramsey as he is a much better version of Arteta (who Ramsey initially flourished beside).

    And while he was great in that position. It worked because we needed runners as the likes of Poldi and Giroud never ran in behind. A 4-3-3 would be better for him IMO but obviously there are more important personnel than him in the side.

  90. Redtruth

    Ramsey’s ‘fantastic’ 2013-14 season didn’t make one jot of difference to Arsenal when he injured himself in December as results were no different to when he was playing…

  91. vicky

    Pires7

    Sorry but Sturridge and Benteke examples are not relevant at all. Benteke is a very limited player who is heavily reliant on aerial crosses fed to him from wide positions to score. Top teams just don’t play that way. He was destined to fail at Liverpool irrespective of the system they played except 4-4-2 which is an outdated system these days.

    Sturridge is lazy and selfish which doesn’t suit Klopp’s style of high press and lot of movement across the pitch. So, it’s not so much about his formation per se but rather the style of the team.

    Hazard was excelling in the same Mourinho system 2 seasons ago. By all accounts it seems he had stopped playing for Mourinho. I bet he will again do well under Conte or even at Real if he goes there, simply because he’s a quality player.

    Even in general, formations are a bit over-rated. Very rarely will you find players especially midfielders and forward players exactly rooted to their positions prescribed on the paper. Most of the systems are very fluid where players themselves move from one formation to another depending on the movement of opposition players and match situations. I mean how much of a difference is there between a 4-1-4-1 system and 4-2-3-1 in a match situation ? Of course on paper both look starkly different but in real world you would often find a midfielder dropping deeper when a 4-1-4-1 becomes 4-2-3-1. I concede formations dictate the roles and responsibilities of a player to some extent but to pin a players’ below ordinary performances simply on formation is stretching it too far. That’s my view though. Even if I concede your point, Ramsey shouldn’t get a start in big matches this season as Wenger will continue to play the same formation which you think makes him ineffectual.

  92. GoonerDave

    Redtruth-
    Gone beyond proving a point? Obviously not – after all, the team is winning at the moment, the squad looks better than it has in years, yet some fans would prefer if Arsenal lost games.
    Wouldn’t an actual fan desperately hope to be proved wrong? Or at least, be healthily sceptical like so many here?
    If the man in charge of Arsenal Football Club is more important to you than the actual team, it is you who is obsessed with the man. And if your opinion being right is more important to you than winning, then you have lost your way as a fan.

  93. naijagunner

    Ramsey is a very important player for Arsenal regardless of his bleached blond hair.

    I for one hopes he comes back with a desire to prove a point, in that mood he can be unplayable at times

  94. Redtruth

    naija
    “I for one hopes he comes back with a desire to prove a point, in that mood he can be unplayable at times”

    naijgunner, you are just embarrassing yourself now and you aren’t even funny anymore.

  95. GoonerDave

    Red-
    To be perfectly honest, my initial post was directed at one or two here, but not you.
    But surely you can see the paradox in what you’re typing? The manager should leave regardless of results? Results should define what he does. Even if that means winning the league and leaving us as champions.
    Putting your own personal opinion ahead of the results of the team is ridiculous, egotistical and completely detached from the reality of being a supporter.

  96. London gunner

    Amazing how any criticism of the club gets immediately shouted down by the le grove police as shut up and get behind the team mantra.

    This blog used to be a critical alternative view/analysis of the Wenger regime now it’s just mindlesslyfollowing the party line.

    This blog has really lost plot. Memories are very short on here it was only last season we through away the league with Wengers mistakes and inactions.

    I think the more rationale/intelligent of us realise we aren’t winning the league this year.

    Wenger and arsenal will bottle it like we do every year

  97. Joe

    Gooner Dave.

    So we should just forget the last 12 seasons should we.

    Put all those results aside and just focus on the last 7/8 weeks should we.

    You akbs would love that. The man in
    Charge of Arsenal is more important to you than me or red not vice versa.

    The BEST thing for ARSENAL is for wenger to leave.

    That’s what you don’t get. A few results in oct don’t change what the fraud has done for the last 10-12. But akbs don’t remember all that. Don’t even remember last season

  98. Joe

    Regarding Ramsey

    Did someone really bring up his leg break as an excuse? Still?

    He is not even close to be a lampsrd.

    He was absolute shit when he got to play through the middle last season. So he’s crap because he’s played out wide is nonsense

    He has one blip of good form and the rest of the time he’s been bang average.

    And even bang average players can have a good game or two over the course of a season before you try to pull out a game where he stood out.

    Would he better under a different manager? The same with ox?

    Most likely

  99. Joe

    Ramsey is a very important player for Arsenal regardless of his bleached blond hair. I for one hopes he comes back with a desire to prove a point, in that mood he can be unplayable at times

    Haha. Red you’re wrong. Naija is funny

    Ramsey unplayable at times haha

  100. Joe

    Red

    They just want to prove a point. That wenger is still relevant and not a fraud.

    Their support of one man has blinded them completely.

    They want to keep wenger and give him chance after chance to prove a point and say they were right. That wenger is still a good manager. Give him deal after deal until he proves thier point.

    If they were true Arsenal supporters, they would have been calling for his head at least a half decade ago.

    It’s why they are so happy in oct. They think wenger has turned it around.

    In oct. Ha bring up facts that we are in exact same spot as last season before it went belly up and they get very angry

  101. naijagunner

    “Wenger and arsenal will bottle it like we do every year”

    Amazing insight …..you must be great at parties .

    You are moaning about criticism not being allowed on an Arsenal blog when the team Arsenal has only lost one league game in 2016 . But you will be the first to sing the praise of any opposition team or player who as much as strings two passes together

    LOL

  102. Joe

    Naija

    Should wenger have been sacked last season after being tied for 1st in oct with 22 points and being first in Jan then finishing the season 10 points back

    Simple yes or no will do

  103. GoonerDave

    Joe-
    In your tiny little little world, a true Arsenal fan cares more about the man in charge than they do about winning.
    In the real world, fans will take an ugly, scrappy win when we’ve been thoroughly outplayed, delighted to have stolen 3 points.
    You couldn’t possibly behave in real life like you do on here. Therefore, you have created a fake internet persona, and actually expect people to take you seriously. Its both laughable and pathetic, really.
    If you want to be taken seriously in the real world, you would have to stop playing a character. Or would you like to continue pretending that hardman Joe is a real person, mouthing off nonsense to people he doesn’t know in everyday life?

  104. Joe

    Gooner Dave

    Hit a nerve i see

    Because you know I’m right. Nice try in trying to deflect and posting some crap about a persona

    You know I’m right.

    You care more about wenger than
    Arsenal. It’s ok mate.

  105. freddylekgunner

    Joe I believe most posters here wants to see the back of Wenger, but that doesn’t stop them from enjoying Arsenal wins unlike you and Red.

  106. Joe

    Freddy

    Tom Wallace. Alex Henry. Naija. And many more don’t and would love to have wenger sign a new deal. They are the ones who have bored this site into a ghost town

  107. GoonerDave

    Tell you what, Joe. I’ll make it even simpler.
    It would be impossible to survive in the real world, if someone behaved as you do. So the character Joe is not a real person. You have created a fictional character.
    The opinions of fictional characters count for nothing in the real world.
    That is all.