Xhaka issues stem from Wenger confusion | Ominous Jack comments

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Arsenal are supporting Stonewalls Rainbow Laces campaign this weekend. The players will all rock out with fancy laces this weekend in support of the LGBT community.

I personally think this is a great cause. The people who complain that this sort of thing shouldn’t be part of football should ask themselves whether they carried the same view when FIFA said no to poppies recently. Both are incredibly important and neither should be sidelined. A sneaky peak at some of the very sad comments on Arsenal’s twitter page will tell you all you need to know about how much work needs to be done around the world to stop people bothering themselves about who people choose to love.

Both are incredibly important and neither should be sidelined. A sneaky peak at some of the very sad comments on Arsenal’s twitter page will tell you all you need to know about how much work needs to be done around the world to stop people bothering themselves about who people choose to love.

Anyway, a superb cause and a superb shift of avatar for Arsenal. I’m very proud to support such a progressive club, who work tirelessly across a whole range of issues, regardless of negativity that surrounds them.

Long may Arsenal and clubs alike continue to promote togetherness and positivity.

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ONTO FOOTBALL: Upsetting start to Saturday as Manchester City stole all three points off a Burnley that looked pretty mean in the last 10minutes. High balls into the box trying to cause pint-sized Claudio Bravo problems! City really not looking all they can be right now, old Pep is finding it tough in the Premier League, so it’s over to the rest of us to keep pace this weekend.

It doesn’t look like there’s much in the way of exciting football, well, outside Chelsea vs Spurs which will hopefully be excellent now Mr Conte has landed at the Bridge. It really is about time Spurs lost a game, they’ve been on a rocky unbeaten patch (LOL that this is a thing), worse than our own of late, but hopefully that disappointing £45m result in the week against Monaco will have knocked their confidence. Ideally though, we’d probably opt for a draw. What do you think?

Liverpool receive Sunderland at home, so it’s going to be difficult to see past an absolute tanking for David Moyes and his merry band of average men.

Sunday is more interesting, Arsenal vs Bournemouth has me a touch worried. We’re either going to deliver something a bit special, or we’re going to react badly to the fact fans and pundits are reacting badly to our stuttering performances. United face West Ham, which won’t be interesting, but based on form, you can only see that heading Jose’s way. Then there’s Koeman’s return to St Mary’s with Everton. I think I’ll have that on the box for sure.

Arsene Wenger dropped a whole bunch of confusion on Arsenal fans. We’ve been busy debating what the hell this Xhaka chap is supposed to be doing for us this season… and it appears that Arsene is also deeply confused. I mean, fresh off the back of me writing about his general confusion when it comes to what a midfielder is supposed to do, he dropped this

“He’s more a deep playmaker I think than a box-to-box player. He does not get into the final third of the opposition half a lot,”

“He is more a guy who has a fantastic pass to play through the lines. He gets the ball from the defenders and finds the high midfield.”

Say what boss, September 16th you said?

‘I personally prefer him as a box-to-box player’

Aside from the fact everyone has been saying Xhaka can play the role of a deeplying playmaker, Wenger sniped at fans…

“That is part of the job,”

“People want you to buy players but when you buy them we only pick 11 and not 22 and they feel sorry for the 11 who do not play. But you want them to compete and convince you that they can get in the team and it becomes obvious they have to play.”

Such a snooty tone. But basically, what he’s getting angry about here is that firstly, he’s bought a player he needed, secondly, that people are angry he’s not playing that player when his team is desperate for his presence. He’s annoyed we’re annoyed he’s not playing a player who could improve our fortunes.

HOW META IS THAT

Anyway, it seems that he’s seen the light and he’s not going to try and force him to play higher up the pitch.

“He’s more a deep playmaker I think than a box-to-box player. He does not get into the final third of the opposition half a lot,”

“He is more a guy who has a fantastic pass to play through the lines. He gets the ball from the defenders and finds the high midfield.”

I mean, it’s what most fans have been calling for all season, so hopefully this is step one in admitting that when you spend £35m on a deep-lying playmaker, you should perhaps think that their best position is there. Secondly, it might be tacit admittance that part of the problem we’re facing at the moment is Coquelin isn’t as dynamic as he’d have hoped… and that long-term, it’s better to have someone in his role who can both defend and distribute from deep.

A bit like that time everyone though Sanchez should play through the middle when we struggled with mobility, finishing and pace upfront. Took three years to see the light there.

Back to midfield. That is not to say that Coquelin isn’t a super useful player. Away from home, on a cold night in Munich, his presence in a double pivot is exactly what you need. But unpicking PSG at home when you need a win… well, he’s not going to work, or he’ll be like playing with 10men in posession.

Anyway, it looks like it’s clear why Xhaka hasn’t played. It’s nothing to do with not being ‘settled’, it’s because Wenger has been trying to mould him into something he’s not. Because let’s face it, Wenger very rarely does anything other than play his shiny new toys in all the games when they land.

I don’t expect we’ll see a radical change this weekend, it’ll likely be Coquelin and Ramsey again. But we have a League Cup game against Southampton where he might roll with something interesting. My gut feel is it’ll take an injury to Coquelin for Wenger to see the light, so we might not see the right pairing for a while. But it’ll come providing Rambo can keep fit for longer than three minutes.

Also worth mentioning that my friend and I were discussing whether Wenger saw Xhaka as a cheap version of Paul Pogba? He said this in September as well…

‘He has the engine, he has the power, he has the long pass. He likes to come deep and distribute the game, but he has the engine to have the impact with his runs’

Do you think he looked at his frame and maybe hoped he could replicate what the mercurial Frenchman did at Juve? Probably didn’t help that the Swiss rattled home a few screamers early on as well!

Finally, Wenger seems to be resigned to Jack possibly fancying the beaches in Bournemouth…

“I can assure you talks over a contract are always difficult. If he wants to go somewhere else you have to respect that,”

“My feeling is I want him back. He always said he is an Arsenal man.”

My feeling is Jack will only come back if Wenger moves on.

Right, that’s all I have time for.

SEE YOU IN THE COMMENTS

573 Responses to “Xhaka issues stem from Wenger confusion | Ominous Jack comments”

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  1. Jeff

    Confident,

    Mourinho is going off the rails. He can’t understand why it’s not working for him any more. He’s beginning to doubt his own abilities I think.

  2. Confidentgoner

    Things that don’t work in Arsenal

    1. Playing Ramsey on the wing

    2. Starting OX on the left wing

    3. Jenkinson on the right

    4. Put in your thoughts….

  3. Confidentgoner

    Things that don’t work in Arsenal. Wenger visits here , so you never know, he might pick a thing or two.

    1. Playing Ramsey on the wings

    2. Starting OX on the left wing

    3. Jenkinson on the right

    4. Put in your thoughts….

  4. Cesc Appeal

    Jeff

    I do agree, I think there’s an ingrained attitude in our squad that isn’t that great, no work ethic, bottle regularly and they don’t ever seem to seize the initiative, they can only ever seem to get themselves up when they are losing grip totally and approaching the rocks.

    I do think though that we’re not getting the best out of this bunch.

    More worrying as well Wenger doesn’t know what his team is, I don’t think he knows what his wide players are nailed on to be, I don’t think he knows what his central midfield is suppose to be, and I’m not convinced he thinks Sanchez is nailed on his number one ST. I don’t think that is down to everyone just being super players and it being impossible to choose either, I think it is because there’s a lot of ‘meh’ in the squad, decent players, not great though, no one aside from Sanchez really has a grip of their place in the starting eleven with both hands and has made it theirs, Ozil gets his because of his name, certainly not because of performances.

  5. tunnygriffboy

    That was a good game of football. Credit to Bournemouth they’re a neat side, play good football.

    Thought we were ok today. Elneny and Xhaka grew into the game and played well 2nd half. Xhaka needs games to get use to playing.

    Ox was ok, did some good things and messy things. Like it when he runs at players. Theo pops up with a goal. Ozil and Alexis were excellent.

    Referee pah !

  6. Dissenter

    Tunny,
    “Ox was ok, did some good things and messy things. Like it when he runs at players.”

    You realize that he’s in his fifth year at Arsenal, straight into the first team. This seas Wenger cleared he deck for him.

  7. Jeff

    Confident,

    Sanchez is a fantastic player but he’s not a striker. Look at it this way, if we were desperately searching for a top striker and Sanchez was on the market, would he necessarily be our first choice?

    Over the years in the PL, teams have been generally more successful with the type of striker who has a little bit of everything, presence, agility, strength and pace. Currently we have to choose whether to have Giroud or Walcott because one has pace and the other is good in the air. So we need two or three players in the squad to cover the functions of a striker – and that’s not really ideal.

    We need a Van Persie, Henry or Ronaldo type or in that mould. I know it’s wishful thinking but we’ve had 5 years to find one and we’ve failed.

  8. tunnygriffboy

    Dissenter

    Think Ox played today because it was Bournemouth and Wenger rotated his squad. Not sure he starts in the big games.

    We do need him to do more absolutely. Just thought he he wasn’t awful but carried the ball at opposition well at times but exasperated me in equal measure.

    Xhaka needs to grow into this team. Him and Elneny did well 2nd half. We started well, got rocked after the pen but were better 2nd half.

    Got to give Bournemouth credit as well. It was a good game.

  9. Jeff

    Cesc,

    I’d happily replace the manager with someone like say Simeone and give him a couple of years to see what he can do with this squad. I’d be confident that more can be had from them. But as things stand, if we are to win the PL with the present manager, we need more talent – in other words brute force. We’re never going to win anything by guile and tactics because these things are simply not in his locker.

  10. rollen

    kc
    November 27, 2016 14:16:11

    Canada = the empty apartment above the party. Trudeau is a Pinko.

    lol

    just moved to BC from London

    Standard of life here is unreal and people way nicer and fitter :]

  11. Pedro

    I ban you because you bully people with childish insults. It’s not your job to police opinion and I’ve warned you 400 times before.

  12. Cesc Appeal

    Jeff

    Yeah it would be interesting to see, I think he would be a big fan of Oxlade, Ramsey as well.

    For the sake of the club going forward, fingers crossed with Wenger gone next year, we need to get Sanchez to sign a deal, he’s our most important player, throw whatever money at him, it is absolutely vital. He was fantastic today, some of his passing was incredible, worked tirelessly as well, yelling at his teammates to pull their fingers out. Great performance.

  13. Jeff

    Cesc,

    Well, that’s the 64K question isn’t it? Will he go or won’t he? If I was to put money on it, I’d say he will be sign another contract – possibly another 2 years of not 3.

    By the way, who do you suppose Pedro has banned?

  14. Wallace

    after 13 games…

    1 – Chelsea 31pts
    2 – Liverpool 30pts
    3 – Man City 30pts
    4 – Arsenal 28pts
    5 – Spuds 24pts
    6 – Man Utd 20pts
    7 – Everton 19pts
    8 – Watford 18pts

  15. rollen

    Jeff
    November 27, 2016 18:34:59

    Jose will be gunning for top 4. Well, he always wanted to know what it was like to be Wenger, now he knows.

    That would be truth only if he had job for life like Wenger

  16. Southernpeople

    Rollen

    It seems he’s failing to do that! He needs few lectures from Wenger for top finish!

    I’m loving it; the specialist in winning is failing spectacularly. How much did he pay to strengthen an already star-studded team?

  17. Wenker-wanger

    Mourinho only works well when he is winning. Any situation where he needs to dig deep at a club, he can’t hack it. A bully prima donna mentality is not going to survive when the going gets tough. Chelsea in their pomp was an easy ride for him.
    Klopp . Benitez,krancic , Howe are all ahead of him nowadays. Wenger? No…

  18. reality check

    I think wenger as an ELITE LEVEL manager was finished years ago but in terms of who would i rather play for, Wenger or Jose. There’s no debate.

  19. Confidentgoner

    We released Vela and he is tearing Barcelona apart for Real Sociedad. Actually the second goal was a good goal but ref disallowed it.

  20. London gunner

    Yeah to not bring vela back for 4.5 million was plain dumb.

    Far better player than ox, welbeck or Perez.

    Granted last season he was shite. But he has been a very good player for three seasons in la liga before that and has been quality this season.

  21. Goonereris

    Stop this “loving up” on players who have left Arsenal. While they were here, we all know just how effective they were and perhaps, the reason(s) they had to go.

    Vela remains in Real Sociedad, a mid table team in Spain and hasn’t done much to show he would have bossed things at Arsenal. Perez was Deportivo’s best player last season; Welbeck over Vela, for me; Ox will be taken off us by a top 4 side, if we make him available. That’s for sure. The only reason he isn’t playing more regularly for Arsenal is positive: we have strength in depth.

  22. London gunner

    Gooneris

    Actually Vela has been terrific in la liga for awhile now.

    /
    Season before last he was one of the best wingers in possibly the strongest league in world football.

    Not to shabby. I’d suggest you maybe verse yourself better in football knowledge before commenting on things you know little about.

    It’s adds nothing for me, the blog or indeed the world. Just empty pointless and incorrect words.

  23. Joe

    Ox will be taken off us by a top 4 side, if we make him available. That’s for sure. The only reason he isn’t playing more regularly for Arsenal is positive: we have strength in depth.

    Hahahaha hahahaha

    Yeah that’s the reason he isn’t playing

    #akblogic
    #dekuded

  24. Joe

    Ox will be taken off us by a top 4 side, if we make him available. That’s for sure. The only reason he isn’t playing more regularly for Arsenal is positive: we have strength in depth.

    Hahahaha hahahaha

    Yeah that’s the reason he isn’t playing

    #akblogic
    #deluded

  25. Black Hei

    LG

    Vela is suited to La Liga. He had numerous chances in the EPL and he tanked badly when out on loan.

    Furthermore, the player himself said that he wanted to stay in La Liga; why bring him back when he does not have the motivation.

    Everyone knew that he was very talented but he just gets injured while playing for the EPL. He also struggled the season post Grizeman which was the windown to bring him in.

    That are lots of reasons not to bring Vela back. You can’t just justify things based on 1 match against Barca 3 seasons into the future. Otherwise, Wilshire should not be out on loan.

  26. Joe

    Black Hei

    Deep
    Down you know everything I say makes sense. You’re just afraid to admit after blindly following wenger for so long

    🙂

  27. Wallace

    that outside of the boot pass from Alexis in to Ozil towards the end of the game was top drawer. since he’s moved into the centre aspects of his game I didn’t even know existed have really come to the fore. he’s not quite at Suarez’s level, but he’s as close as you’ll find in this league.

  28. Leedsgunner

    Anyone else notice how Victor Moses at Chelsa has been transformed, “like a new signing” into a marauding wingback? I think that was what Wenger had in mind for Gibbs but the signal got lost between his ears.

    Worth a try with Oxlade? Just a thought?

  29. Wallace

    since the beginning of 2014/15 season –

    win percentage when Cazorla start – 65.5%
    win percentage when he’s out – 41%

  30. peanuts&monkeys

    This ‘team missing Cazorla’ is a false propaganda Wenger has circulated around. Cazorla has been out out of the team many times before. never during that phase has Arsenal drawn blanks on the SOT numbers as much.

    And FTM, why does your team of donkeys depend on a old war horse of 32 years. Why cant you get a substitute to Cazorla? Why not Yaya Toure? Why not??

  31. peanuts&monkeys

    Ramsey, Walcott, Oxlade and Welbeck,. They are simply not fit to be around in a team which is currently placed in top-5. These guys continually drag Arsenal behind from winning. There have to be a few superstar performers to make a team weith that dross quartet, win or remain at top-5. There have to be someone who is offsetting all the damage they are doing to Arsenal. Currently, its sanchez and Kos. How long will this continue. Can Arsenal BoD have the fucking balls to ask Wenger to sell at least two of these dirty four this winter?

  32. peanuts&monkeys

    Ramsey just does not shoot!! Why don’t you shoot, Ramsey? Must be because Wenger fines you when you shoot. Or, is it you just dont know how and when to shoot??? Play as the fans want you to play, Ramsey> Shoot shoot shott! Wenger’s over at Arsenal.

  33. Bamford10

    London

    I really like Vela as well. The biggest problem there, I think, is that he really has/had no interest in returning to Arsenal or England.

  34. Bamford10

    ‘Jose Mourinho is kidding himself if he believes Manchester United’s horror run is down to bad luck’ – The Mirror

  35. Bamford10

    Looks like Coutinho could be out until January. With Lallana and Sturridge already out with injury, Liverpool don’t look the team now they did a few weeks back. Could be a rough December for them.

  36. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal have not been playing particularly well this season, but the statistical facts are that we have lost just one game in all competitions [EPL,CL,LC].

    Watching yesterday’s game part of the problem with our performance level is Wenger’s inability to select a first choice midfield all season. For the umpteenth time we picked a completely different central midfield with Elneny and Xhaka playing. In earlier games we played Coquelin/Elneny and Coquelin/Ramsey.

    Uncertainty who plays in the engine room of team in absence of Cazorla has clearly impacted on overall performance. The lack of match fitness
    and confidence in Xhaka’s game in first half of yesterday’s game was clear to see, but I thought that in second half he began to improve and played quite well.

    What I do know is that when and if Cazorla returns hopefully as soon as
    possible Wenger should play him alongside Xhaka.

    However, my main concern at the moment is the left fullback position. It
    has been obvious for most of the season that it has been our achilles heel in defence and that most opposing teams have been targeting Monreal and/or Gibbs. That was the case once again yesterday and resulted in a
    penalty.

    Arsenal have in my view far too large a squad, which will ultimately cause
    selection problems, but there are still too many players on our books who
    are not good enough to play in team.

    Many of Europe’s elite clubs have now cut their squads to 22-24 players,
    but of course the overall quality is better than in our squad and they carry
    far fewer injury prone players than we do.

  37. Wallace

    Bamford

    Van Dijk & Wanyama have both adapted well to the PL. I think the doubts over them were due almost entirely to the poor quality of the league they were playing in.

  38. Wallace

    ES

    “Arsenal have in my view far too large a squad, which will ultimately cause
    selection problems, but there are still too many players on our books who
    are not good enough to play in team.

    Many of Europe’s elite clubs have now cut their squads to 22-24 players,
    but of course the overall quality is better than in our squad and they carry
    far fewer injury prone players than we do.”

    I count our first team squad at 24. and think it goes as deep as any of our rivals. hopefully see Lucas return in midweek, and Welbeck can’t be far off a return at this point.

  39. Emiratesstroller

    Wallace

    We have on our books 29 registered players if you include those who have been injured for part or all first half of season and I am not including the likes of Maitland-Niles or Macey.

    The current squad are:
    GK Cech/Ospina/Martinez [3]
    DF Bellerin/Mustafi/Koscielny/Monreal/Jenkinson/Debuchy/
    Mertesacker/Gabriel/Gibbs/Holding [10]
    MF Ozil/Cazorla/Xhaka/Coquelin/Ramsey/Elneny/Reine-Adelaide [7]
    FW Sanchez/Giroud/Walcott/Ox/Lucas/Welbeck/Iwobi/Sanogo/Akpom
    [9]

  40. Wallace

    “That brings his goal total for the season to 10, the first player to hit double figures so far, and once again we saw a team that looked more cohesive when he played up front. Further back I thought the midfield worked pretty well, particularly in the second half. Elneny was all energy and as tidy on the ball as ever, while Xhaka made 9/11 tackles, 14 ball recoveries, 3 interceptions and used the ball very smartly at times.

    We thought that perhaps the Sp*rs game was a breakthrough one for him, but he still ended up benched for the next two. Yesterday was another very positive display, and hopefully he can kick on from here, and maybe he’s convinced the manager a little further as to what he can bring to the team.”

    – arseblog

  41. Wallace

    ES

    okay, I was only counting 2 keepers and left out Jeff, Akpom & Sanogo as don’t really consider them first team contenders.

  42. Emiratesstroller

    Wallace

    I am confident that Xhaka can and will make the grade in our midfield provided that Wenger uses him in the correct way. What he must not do is turn him into a “hybrid” player as he has a habit to do with far too many members of the squad.

    As you know I am not a fan of Elneny. He may be okay playing against teams in
    the lower reaches of EPL, but not against top teams in EPL or CL.

  43. London gunner

    Yeah Sanchez is sensational course he hangs onto the ballot long, but no player is perfect. I’ve been watching Barcelona pls and Suarez is an awesome player but even he makes a fair few blunders.

    This sums up Sanchez

    Sanchez scored twice, hit the bar, could have been awarded a penalty and finished the game with 74 touches, the most he’s recorded in a Premier League match since the start of October.

    But Sanchez isn’t selfish. He came up with five key passes, too, creating more openings for his team-mates than any other player on the pitch.

  44. Red&White4ever

    “Eden Hazard says Manchester City and Liverpool are the main threats to Chelsea’s Premier League title chances. ”

    I wonder why he didn’t add Arsenal lol

  45. Dream10

    Sanchez has been unbelievable in the first third of the PL season. Among the three best players in the league so far (Costa, Coutinho the other two). We need his creativity as much as the goals, as Iwobi is still finding his feet. Definitely worth signing another creative player in January. Hard to find though. A Payet type would be class, Hope Lucas Perez and Welbeck get fit soon because in some we’ll need to start three forwards plus Ozil in some matches to get enough bodies in the box. Xhaka was top class in the second half yesterday. Mustafi has looked shaky in quite a few matches so far. However, he has made crucial interventions as well. Our system of leaving defenders on an island must be taken into account.

  46. Emiratesstroller

    Red&White4ever

    As I have said Arsenal have not been playing particularly well sofar this season
    but the stats tell you that we are difficult to beat having lost just one game in
    all competitions so far this season.

    I will judge Arsenal’s prospects after the Man City game. Personally I think that we are more or less on a level playing field with them and Liverpool despite what Hazard suggests.

  47. Steveyg87

    Ramsey playing #10 and shifting Ozil might just be Wengers saving grace. Ozil down the right with sanchez left and Ramsey playing behind Giroud might just be the future

  48. Steveyg87

    LB issue has to be addressed without a doubt come this summer, still think Wenger will be on the look out for a serious striker, you all know he’s gonna be here next season right

  49. Dream10

    Rambo

    When Ozil plays as the #10, it is crucial to have a vertical passer or two in the XI (Cazorla, Xhaka) to find him. He should not have to drop deep into the DM/CM areas. You want high up the pitch in the final third, so he can feed Walcott, Sanchez and Giroud. AW is also responsible as he hasn’t adapted the tactics to the personnel available. When the passers are missing, play him on the right. He was terrific in that position for Real.

  50. Red&White4ever

    Joke Monday : what’s the difference between Ozil and Diaby ??

    Diaby was earning too much money doing nothing.
    Ozil is earning too much money by doing nothing on the pitch lol

  51. Steveyg87

    Lastly, lets give credit where its due, Ox played his little heart out yesterday, might have something to do with the fact that he’s dating a popstar, but who knows? He’s never going to be the sharpest player on the field but we could do with some more of yesterdays vigour

  52. Wallace

    Steveyg

    “Ozil down the right with sanchez left and Ramsey playing behind Giroud might just be the future.”

    a dystopian future then 🙂

    our best centre forward is Alexis and he combines best with Ozil. Ramsey & Giroud make an excellent plan b team. neither should be making the first eleven these days though.

  53. Emiratesstroller

    Rambo Ramsey

    What that tells you is the importance of Cazorla to the team. Cazorla is now
    prone to injury and for that reason we need to find a player of similar ability
    to replace him in the engine room.

    Xhaka is in my view a player to complement Cazorla but not to replace him.
    Ramsey is not a replacement, because he lacks Cazorla’s skills, distribution and football brain.

    Personally I think that Wilshire could be a replacement, but only if his frailty [injuries] were sorted. The problem is that no-one can be confident that will happen.

  54. Wallace

    ““We have had to play eight more games than Liverpool and Chelsea because they are not in Europe. We can now take a week to prepare for our game against Chelsea, we are only a point off the top of the table and that is why I am so happy with the first half of the season.”

    – Guardiola

  55. Bamford10

    Wallace

    Except that we were much better yesterday with Giroud as the CF, Ramsey as the CAM, Ozil wide right and Alexis wide left.

  56. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal’s problems since the injury to Cazorla has been the lack of creativity
    in team apart from Ozil. When that happens opposing teams can and do focus on snuffing him out of games.

    On a number of occasions in midweek Ozil was closed down simply because
    there was absolutely no-one to pass the ball to.

    Personally I think that Ramsey is not a player we need. He may be energetic, but he is gung ho and far too often wasteful when in possession of the
    ball.

    A fit Wilshire is more akin to Cazorla and in my view a better player than Ramsey, but unfortunately his fitness and unreliability continues to be his
    problem.

  57. Emiratesstroller

    Wallace

    Arsenal are actually playing more games than Chelsea,Liverpool and Man City
    because we are still playing in midweek in both CL and League Cup.

    We have already played 20 games this season and that does not include the
    internationals that some of our players have also had to play in as well.

  58. Dream10

    Emirates

    Eddie Howe is protecting Wilshere by playing him as the third CM/#10. Cazorla plays deep for us and is often left exposed by our structure. He is able to keep it together through his superb technical ability and decision making. Jack is talented, but I don’t think he can consistently perform in that position. The right side of the midfield is his best bet at making our XI on a regular basis. He had a couple of quality performances there in 13-14.

  59. Wallace

    ES

    “Except that we were much better yesterday with Giroud as the CF, Ramsey as the CAM, Ozil wide right and Alexis wide left.”

    so for the last 15mins when Bournemouth were chasing the game?

    come on, man. Giroud coming on for the last 15mins looks an amazing centre forward. do you think Giroud’s an amazing centre forward?

  60. Emiratesstroller

    Dream 10

    I do not disagree with what you write, but the point I am making is that Wilshire is the only player on our books who might be remotely a replacement for Cazorla.

    As you quite rightly point out Cazorla is an outstanding all-round two footed player.

  61. Emiratesstroller

    Wallace

    I did not write what you have quoted nor did I comment on Giroud’s performance. I have always held the view that Giroud is an underrated player by
    most of critics on Le Grove and an asset to team/squad.

  62. Bamford10

    Wallace

    I said that, and no, I obviously don’t think Giroud is an amazing CF. I believe I’ve had to battle you in the past on the question of Giroud (with you defending him). My point is not that Giroud is great, but that the above set-up may be better all-around, as it gives us a stronger central midfield three while allowing both Ozil and Sanchez to attack from advanced positions.

    If Ox or Iwobi were playing better, you could keep Alexis as the CF as play one of them wide left. But they are not, which is why I think the below is our best set-up:

    _________Cech
    Bell__Must__Kosc__Monr
    _____Xhaka__Elneny
    ________Ramsey
    Ozil_____Giroud____Alexis

  63. Bamford10

    The more I think about it, the more this

    _________Cech
    Bell__Must__Kosc__Monr
    _____Xhaka__Elneny
    ________Ramsey
    Ozil_____Giroud____Alexis

    makes a great deal of sense. If we had a more mobile #9 through the center, our front three would be very, very dangerous. And while that central three (midfield) isn’t perfect, it’s not terrible.

  64. Wallace

    Bamford

    “_____Xhaka__Elneny
    ________Ramsey
    Ozil_____Giroud____Alexis”

    for someone who takes a keen interest in the athleticism of players the above looks distinctly underwhelming in that respect. that front 6 would be a shoo-in for slowest in the PL.

  65. Wallace

    lot of posters seem to be looking to 5th placed/just knocked out of Europe in November Spurs for ideas on how we improve. I’d rather look to Guardiola’s City or Klopp’s Liverpool.

  66. Bamford10

    Fine, Wallace, I’ll do your work for you. We could also do this:

    _____Xhaka__Elneny
    ________Ramsey
    Ozil_____Alexis_____Iwobi

    But Iwobi hasn’t looked great of late.

  67. Rambo Ramsey

    Wallace, you are one strange fella. You often make snidey remarks regarding people who talk about Spuds but you seem to have no problem in being a big Guardiola/ City fanboy, always effusive in your praise of that manager. What’s that about?

  68. Emiratesstroller

    Reverting back to my earlier comments that Arsenal’s current squad is too large I would suggest that if we recruited at the end of this season a couple of world class players and then offloaded perhaps 10 players in our squad or out on loan we could make a significant saving to our wage bill.

    To put it in perspective Arsenal have currently on their books 6 centre backs
    including Chambers who is out on loan to Middlesboro.

    If we were to offload Mertesacker and Chambers that would probably make
    a saving of something like £140K pw in wages, which is probably equivalent to what we need to pay extra to Ozil and Sanchez.

    We need a new central midfield to replace Cazorla in first team, although I would keep him in squad as backup since he would have at 32 limited resale
    value.

    A decision should be taken to offload either Ramsey or Wilshire, because frankly we do not need both on our books. The money, which either would
    fetch in transfer market would be more than sufficient to cover a new player
    both in fee and wages.

    When you factor in players like Debuchy, Jenkinson, Campbell, Sanogo and Akpom we should be able to make further savings in our wage bill, because
    none of these players have realistically a future at club.

  69. Rambo Ramsey

    Bamford, I don’t remember perfectly but did Wenger not try a similar iteration few seasons ago, only it was Wilshere instead of Ramsey that Ozil had to make way for that CAM role.

  70. Wallace

    Bamford

    right now…

    Elneny – Xhaka
    Walcott – Ozil – Iwobi
    Alexis

    if we were going to move Ozil right and stiffen up the middle I’d move Cazorla forward rather than Ramsey. just don’t think Ramsey’s good enough technically to play in such an important position for a top PL side.

  71. Wallace

    Rambo

    “You often make snidey remarks regarding people who talk about Spuds but you seem to have no problem in being a big Guardiola/ City fanboy, always effusive in your praise of that manager. What’s that about?”

    asking why I prefer a Guardiola side to Spurs….you sure you don’t want to rephrase that?

  72. Wallace

    I like Pochettino. excellent manager, and he’s made Spurs into a very hard side to beat. but I feel like he’s trying to (over)power his way to the title. if it was tennis Spurs would be the Orc pummeling his way to victory from the baseline. i’ve always been a Federer fanboy. skill over brute force.

  73. Alexanderhenry

    Wellbeck’s return – January apparently – will provide something different for us.
    He can play in a variety of forward positions and has both power and pace.

    I Feel he will have a part to play this season.

  74. Rambo Ramsey

    Fair enough Wallace. Probably came across bit rude there, my apologies. Guess some want the best bits of both system, the attacking flair and the solid midfield. With Arsenal, Its the midfield that remains more of a question mark which is why I think people talk up Spuds mid.

  75. vicky

    Ramsey as a CAM? People come up with strange suggestions here. I don’t believe Ramsey is good enough to start for us but even if he had to it should be as a box to box midfielder. Just because Ramsey is seen operating in the attacking third most of the time doesn’t mean he can hold the CAM position.

  76. Wallace

    Rambo

    “Guess some want the best bits of both system, the attacking flair and the solid midfield.”

    yeah, think that happens a lot. Spurs are very solid, but they’re also scoring a goal a game less than the 4 teams above them. the two things are linked.

  77. TopTopQualidee

    Here are my thoughts about the game yesterday.

    1. I really expected a more fluid and attractive performance from the team than what we put out. We had a big chance to make a statement yesterday and, bar a few standout performances, all me got was a meek and indifferent performance. Our fluidity right now is of big concern to me to be honest. Real question, can we still say right now that Arsenal FC plays good football? This is something I have been thinking about for a while and I would just love to see what others think.

    2. Cech saved us on a couple of occasions yesterday, most especially the Afobe attempt. I see many people commenting on the fact that he has failed to keep out any of the last 6 penalties he has faced, but I feel that is just trying to paint white black and totally ignoring grey.

    3. Our defence worries me lately. For one, right back is a very big concern for me. We seem not to have adequate cover for Bellerin and this is a big shame. What the hell are Debuchy and Jenko still doing at this club? I love his effort and I adore him for being an Arsenal fan but let us be honest here, Jenkinson is simply not a Premier League level player, not to talk of Arsenal class.
    Just putting this out there, but would it be a bad idea having Holding play at RB till Bellerin is back? I really like the lad and I feel he could do a far better job than Jenks or Gabriel (who always drives me into a fit whenever he’s anywhere near the ball).
    Also, is it just me who feels left back has to be our priority in the next transfer window(s)? Monreal has been on the wane lately and frankly, the less said about Gibbs, the better. Some really good, young LBs (Gaya, Rodriguez, Alaba? Shaw?) out there at the moment and I really would not want us to miss out on them

    4. As an aside, Mustafi is a brilliant player. Absolutely brill! But I think he goes in too tight on occasions. This might leave us totally exposed against better teams. He really should watch it.
    What though can you say about the absolute monster named Koscielny? This guy is fast becoming my favorite Arsenal player and I am not even ashamed to say I have a mancrush on him. Long may this continue!

    5. The biggest conundrum in our setup right now has to be the base midfield pairing. If you ask me, I think Arsene Wenger even at this point of the season doesnt know yet the pairings that work. This is a big part of our team play and the sooner we find a lasting solution, the better for us.

    ElNeny, to me is massively overrated by some Arsenal fans. His game is very basic. He does the simple things and nothing more. No passes in between the lines, just sideways and backward passes, and he seems massively slow aswell. He should be a squad filler and nothing more. He had a good game yesterday though.

    Xhaka is one big enigma for me. I can see why Wenger is quite loathe to starting him consistently in games. Very good player, nice left peg, but he has some limitations that need the perfect midfield partner to mask and honestly, ElNeny is simply not that partner.
    Xhaka had a great game yesterday. He took a while to get into the flow of the game but really controlled it all as soon as he was in the mix. I would pair him with either Ramsey or Coquelin tbh. Xhaka Cazorla isn’t something I would love to try out unless in games where we are expected to dominate.

    6. Ozil!!! I am at the stage where I am simply losing all apathy for this guy. The biggest enigma ever. You simply never know whether to love him or hate him. Had a chat with a mate of mine after the game and his assessment of Ozil was quite accurate. He said, Ozil is a very brilliant player. But his laziness totally eclipses his brilliance and this is a luxury a team like Arsenal, in a league as physical as the EPL, simply cannot afford. Doesn’t take away from the fact that he is an absolute ace of a player though.

    7. The flanks is another area of our game that needs attention. Watching Theo and Ox make their pathetic impressions at wing play is totally cringe worthy tbh. I look at our wing options and I feel we still need a pkayer that can make runs from wide into the box and give the defenders something to worry about. We simpky do not have that option at the moment and it is worrying. Where is our Hazard or Mane?

    8. Last but not least, Alexis Sanchez. What can you say about thus guy? His play might not be as fluid as we want, but he more than makes for it with sheer effort and absolute genius. Stop dithering Arsene and sign this guy up ASAP!!!

    We move onwards, and hopefully, upwards. Westham to come after Southampton and really that is a must win game. City and Chelsea play on the same weekend, Liverpool play away to Bournemouth without Coutinho and Lallana, so we quite simply have to win the Westham game.
    And just for the laughs, I hear Andy Carroll is almost fit. You just know he’ll come back for the annual Arsenal game and then go back on his sabbatical again. You just know!

  78. Steveyg87

    “Ramsey as a CAM? People come up with strange suggestions here. I don’t believe Ramsey is good enough to start for us but even if he had to it should be as a box to box midfielder. Just because Ramsey is seen operating in the attacking third most of the time doesn’t mean he can hold the CAM position.”

    Vicky, im very much in the same boat as you when it comes to Ramsey, but at the moment its very much a case of make do with what you have. To me, Ramsey should be nowhere near playing CM, he just doesnt have the discpline and legs, its evident that he is not going to shake off his little tricks. up front, behind giroud, he doesnt leave us as exposed when he eventually does lose the ball. I dont know man, but i think maybe we could be on to something. ozil has pace to burn on the flank and could interchange with ramsey, there will be games to mix it up

  79. raptora

    I liked Gabriel’s performance too. Fans don’t really trust him, including myself, but the lad is giving his absolute everything and had some good play yesterday too. When he is in the center of the defence he surely is a timebomb and a disaster waiting to happen everytime he touches the ball, but maybe on the flanks his eventual mistake/s wouldnt be that costly. He is quite fast too. That said he is nowhere near Bellerin in his quality of play but would probably be ahead of Jenks in my list. Carl could grow into the side but from what I’ve seen I liked the brazilian’s performance more.

    I am not on the same train as a lot of the guys saying we should move on Gibbs. I’d rather let go Nacho and get a first choice replacement but keep Gibbo in the team. He is a good lad, doesn’t moan, is always there when you need him, still has some room to grow on 27 yo and it’s as good as you can hope your second choice LB to be.

  80. raptora

    For me it’s worrying the way that we defend as a team or maybe I’m questioning the work of the DMFs but ultimately the work of Wenger. You guys remember the first goal that PSG scored 4-5 days ago? Motta with acres of space around him, has time to look up and make the best pass? Same thing happened yesterday atleast in couple of occasions in even larger scale. We had like 8 ppl behind the ball but their player who had the ball in a central position wasn’t pressed at all and left completely by himself to hold the ball and think whatever he wants to do with it. Obviously the skill lvl between PSG and B’mouth is different and probably that saved us but this is something that just cannot keep happening. We need to be way more active when defending. Not just stack in the penalty box and around it and wait for it… That’s a huge problem and is not a problem of the personnel cause the players in the situations were different, but of Wenger.

  81. Alexanderhenry

    Elneny is ok.
    He’s a composed, neat and tidy midfield player. He’s certainly not a liability and at £7 million, a decent purchase. He is a squad player and has been bought to compliment our other midfielders.

  82. TopTopQualidee

    Raptora

    Totally agree with you about the Gibbs – Montreal situation. The wiser thing to do right now would be to sell off Nacho and get a very capable replacement at LB. Someone good who is also on the young-ish side.

  83. Pierre

    The game on Sunday and arsenals performance ,especially in the first half , basically revolved around the refs decisions regarding the penalties….. The players , for a 20 minute period, allowed those decisions to affect their game and could easily have seen Arsenal trailing at half time.
    If you look at the rest of the game we were the better team and in control of the game. …. 1-15 minutes 1 -0 up in control and Sanchez denied a pen to go 2up…… 15 -35 min Bournemouth dominated and their penalty totally disrupted Arsenal and we were lucky to not concede again…….. 35-45 mins. Back in the game and creating chances …………. 2nd half Arsenal dominated from the off and always looked in control of the game once we went 2-1 ahead. Xhaka and elneny both had a very good 2nd half and the substitutions of giroud and Ramsey were perfect for the situation ……..
    What I have noticed is that over the last 10 years or so Arsenalt are very easily put off their game through either a ref decision or an injury . They never seem to learn how to manage the game if the unexpected happens . Is this a managerial problem or player problem . Maybe it is something they should look at in the future…..

  84. Joe

    What I have noticed is that over the last 10 years or so Arsenalt are very easily put off their game through either a ref decision or an injury . They never seem to learn how to manage the game if the unexpected happens . Is this a managerial problem or player problem . Maybe it is something they should look at in the future…..

    So if most of the players have changed over the last 10
    Seasons a few times and the manager is the only constant.

    What does that tell you about what the issue is???