Arsenal League Cup shambles par the course, but welcomed

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via @t0wey (instagram)

via @t0wey (instagram)

I wrote this report having not watched the game, but then I rewatched and I didn’t need to change much.


Or, you’re in the pragmatist group that points to the fact we now have less games, and that’s a good thing all things considered.

Here are my thoughts.


It’s usually this point of the year we’re playing averagely and fans harp on about how many compeitions we’re in… then it all goes to shite. We drop out of the League Cup, fall to 4th in the league and finish 2nd in our CL group. All these things are happening again, so I can understand why the fans are in a, ‘we’ve been here before’ rut right now.

The League Cup is for the also-rans

Yep, it is. Put your, ‘but we should aim to win everything’ cap back in the box. We’re already at a massive disadvantage to Liverpool and Chelsea because of our CL commitments, the last thing we need is a whole bunch of additional games. The League Cup is about testing the strength of your backup players. It’s about injecting some freshness into bored legs. It’s about hoping you’ll see players fight hard for you.

Onto my next point…


I think the biggest beef Arsenal fans have here is that the players Wenger put out didn’t seem to want it that badly. It was almost an imposition on some players. Funny enough, players not fancying Southampton was a massive last year when certain players took offence at being sent to St Mary’s over Christmas. Same thing last night, except it was the indignity of playing the League Cup with the kids.

Huge anger directed towards Aaron Ramsey. In his defence, I don’t think #10 is his position and I think that he probably knows it’s a bit like Theo being given a bone as a lone striker. I mean, give him a run in the side, but don’t play him in a role that should be reserved for Iwobi when Ozil is absent. That’s car crash to start with.

Still can’t defend him against having a bad attitude on the pitch. But, like Jack Wilshere, you can sense the tension Rambo has with the manager. Always played out of position, which affects how fans judge performance, which affects how he performs. However, under Pep G, or any other of the new breed of managers, if you don’t play like there’s a gun to your head when you’re a pro, you need to be spanked with a wet stick and made to train in the river for 2 weeks.

Wenger isn’t the best at getting the most out of his players. He’s no Conte or Klopp, and that’s been an issue for years. Is it the makeup of his players? Is it the way he instructs? I don’t know, but it’s an issue. Fans should never leave a ground feeling like the players mailed it in. They did last night.

Set up

It’s hard to fathom why Wenger does the things he does. At home, against Southampton, why is he opting for Coquelin and Elneney (who had the shits?)? Coquelin plays well with only one player and that’s Santi. But why are we opting for such a dull midfield? Do we not have a super star in reserve we can play next to one of those two who could inject a bit of life into the game? Wenger really doesn’t think much when it comes to what exactly he’s setting up. I’d have dropped Iwobi into 10, Ramsey into 8 and played him next to Coq (or a fit Elneney), then stuck someone fast in Iwobi’s place. Some say that Ramsey prefers to play as a 10, my view is he’s not really suited to that role at Arsenal level, nor does he have any chance over the next 3 years in making that position his. So why not stick him in a position he can own?

Things to learn from Southampton

They have a production line of kids to die for. How do they do it? Are we anywhere near that level after investing heavily in our kids? Someone needs to take that blueprint and work out how we can replicate it. OR HIRE THEIR LEADER.

Also another point I bang on about all the time is rotation and how it can benefit the squad physically and mentally. Puel has used an unreal amount of players this season and it clearly pays dividends. Good form in all 3 competitions they’re in and a set of players all ready to hit the ground running when called upon.

Compared to our backup team? Night and day blud…


The season either slips into the same old, or it takes a turn for the better. We’ll see what happens at West Ham at the weekend. A massive game, especially after an embarrassing loss at home. Let’s pray the rested 11 put in a performance and let’s pray Wenger doesn’t panic and put Coquelin straight back in the midfield as an insurance policy.

Onwards and hopefully upwards!


251 Responses to “Arsenal League Cup shambles par the course, but welcomed”

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  1. Joe


    Fergie rotated scholes and Giggs.

    Wenger beasts santi like a rented mule. And Sanchez is going the same route. Expect a Sanchez injury in the near future

  2. Wallace


    from wiki….

    “On 22 October 2006, in the 2–0 victory over Liverpool, Scholes became the ninth United player to play in 500 matches, joining Bobby Charlton, Bill Foulkes and Ryan Giggs. Scholes experienced one of his finest seasons in 2006–07, and was included in the PFA Team of the Year, and was shortlisted for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year.[”

    he turned 32 in November of that season.. ,,

  3. Alexanderhenry


    ‘We’re already at a massive disadvantage to Liverpool and Chelsea because of our CL commitments, the last thing we need is a whole bunch of additional games.’

    Good point and overall that’s a sensible post.

    It’s the milk cup or whatever they call it these days. Who cares that we’ve been knocked out. Not me anyway.
    However, reading the posts last night, you would have thought we’d just lost 10-0 at home to spurs and been relegated as a result.
    There’s a strange kind of frenzied, bloodlust on here whenever we lose. Luckily that hasn’t been too often this season. It also goes strangely quiet when we win.

    I’m really not sure what kind of arsenal fans post on here sometimes.

  4. Joe

    I’m really not sure what kind of arsenal fans post on here sometimes.

    Coming from an arsene not Arsenal supporter.

    The irony

  5. Joe

    Luckily that hasn’t been too often this season. It also goes strangely quiet when we win.

    Yet still in 4th place. 2nd place in our CL group.

    Guess we ain’t winning much either

  6. Ofebs

    @ AlexanderHenry

    Many take offence when we lose because we see the same script that has played out for the last decade. It is deeply annoying.

    Santi is injured and may be out for at least 3 months, we knew this will happen. Do we have cover for him? No.

    The attitude of the players stink even when we win. The real reason for this is they are not playing for Arsene, deep down they don’t believe in him. They have concluded that he is a failure.

    Someone will take the league with this same group of players.

  7. Goonereris

    Ibrahim OVIE is 35 years old and hardly misses a game. Why is anyone suggesting Cazorla (who has hardly been called up by Spain this season) has been overplayed, as the reason for this recent injury? What bollocks!

    Maybe, we need the opinion of a medic here. When you have a problem with the archilles, as Cazorla did last season, chances are there may be a recurrence, depending on the severity. The club was advised to allow Santi rest it. After a month, same experts advised he needed a surgery. These things happen and the club has to find a solution around it, in his absence. There are no two players who are the same, so just quit asking why we didn’t buy a backup. Xhaka and Jack (out on loan to get back fitness) are the alternative to Santi; there are just so many very good players you can have in one team or you end up with a lot of unhappy players.

  8. tunnygriffboy

    So, Santi out for 3+ months ** sigh **


    Surely Xhaka has to play every game and get properly used to the pace of the league. He has to play with one other

    Elneny off to AFCON. That leaves us with Xhaka, Ramsey and Coquelin. Wtf ?

    Wilshere is on loan, he’d be useful now

    Do we buy in January ?

  9. tunnygriffboy

    Giroud with a groin problem now. It’s happening yet again. This ridiculous injury situation. He’s doubtful for the weekend when we really need him.

    Seriously p.ssed off.

  10. mysticleaves

    Lols. we now need Giroud? Considering the shit Arsenal fans have undersevedly showed him over the years i would stay injured if i were him. just to spite the moronic fans

  11. Arsenal not Arsene

    Mystic Giroud was forced down our throats to a point where he’s the only capable striker around. Not our fault is it? A perfect Wenger scenario of sticking with second rate players in this case striker, for so long. Giroud will never reach the caliber of rvp.

  12. Dream10


    Hope Giroud is available tmrw. The big man is needed. He has an excellent fitness record and is a quick healer.

    We definitely need to sign a CM. Interested to see if Eddie Howe plays Jack as a CM as the season goes on. He’s been protecting him by playing him higher up (where AW prefers him)

  13. tunnygriffboy


    Over the years Giroud has driven me bonkers

    At the same time I have appreciated what he has done with his ability and how hard he has worked to become the player he is. He can do some great things but can frustrate you in equal measure

    This season his role of coming off the bench ( we always said he’s a great plan B ) has worked really well and to be fair he’s been excellent. We do need him as that option when defeces are tired having to chase Alexis all afternoon. Giroud coming on means they suddenly have to switch how they’re playing as he gives them a completely new set of problems.

  14. Thank you and goodnight

    So serge gnabry has scored 5 in 11 appearances this season. Said it all along but watch this boy grow now he’s left Arsenal. Wenger destroys careers not makes them anymore

  15. Thank you and goodnight


    That’s your opinion. Over last 10 years how many of our youngsters have progressed under wenger? Bellerin maybe? Ramsey has regressed, theo,Gibbs,ox,wilshere, Jenkinson, chambers all bang average under wenger

  16. Thank you and goodnight


    I suppose you could argue and say ” well maybe they’re just not that good as first thought” if that’s the case then surely that’s on Wenger as it also proves he no longer has an eye for real talent anymore.

  17. Thank you and goodnight

    And yes we know other managers buy duds……but nowhere near as many as Wenger has and even if they do buy flops, it doesn’t take other managers 150 plus games to realise they’re shit. Sorry but wenger’s a has been

  18. Frank Mc

    “Sorry but wenger’s a has been”

    This has been the case for several seasons, being out thought tactically by more and more managers. This has to be his last season, it really does….

  19. Thank you and goodnight

    @Frank Mc

    Truly hope so mate, truly hope so. Thank you Mr Wenger for playing a massive part in our history but time to call it quits. The players and fans deserve better

  20. Emiratesstroller

    Reading through this thread I agree entirely with Pedro that this website is designed for ‘Arsenal Supporters’.

    A Supporter is ‘loyal’ to the club whatever the circumstances whether you
    are top or bottom of the league.

    However, that does not mean that you are watching games through ‘rose tinted glasses’ and never criticise management or players.

    I have been critical in recent times of Major Shareholder, Board, Manager,
    Coaching and even Medical Team and I think that is fully justified.

    The Major Shareholder treats Arsenal as an investment and little more.
    He visits the club only occasionally and there is not much evidence that
    he is particularly interested or knowledgable about football. There is also
    an overwhelming impression that the huge bank balance is kept to support his other business interests.

    The Board of Directors is ageing and appears to be a bunch of stooges with very little independent thought or input in the club’s affairs. They
    are there to rubber stamp decisions taken elsewhere.

    The manager has now been in the job for over 20 years and that is far too
    long in such a ‘high pressure job’. The club has certainly stagnated over the last 10 years under his stewardship and he appears to be ‘outthought
    by an increasing number of his colleagues at other clubs’

    The senior coaching team at the club is also stagnant. Apart from Shad Forsyth the fitness coach most have been at club 15-20 years. That is hardly an endorsement for new ideas.I ask the question why Wenger does not
    refresh his coaching team as has been suggested by many former players?

    The medical team does not have a great track record in recent years and
    when I read that the diagnosis of Cazorla took more than six weeks to reach conclusion that he needed operation I ask the question about their
    competence. How many other clubs would have delayed that decision for
    so long?This scenario appears to repeat itself too often.

  21. Frank Mc

    TYAG, the penny is definitely dropping amongst the fan base but the problem is in the Syrup’s eyes Wenger is doing just fine….. KA-CHING as money making machine rolls on!

  22. Frank Mc

    With Cazorla this season 2.4 points per game 75% win ratio

    Without Cazorla this season 1.8 points per game 40% win ratio
    from Twitter.

    Fucking worrying if true!

  23. Thank you and goodnight

    @Frank Mc

    Yep. As bad as Wenger is these days the worst thing to happen to AFC over the last 120 years is ,in my opinion, kroenke. That’s not excusing wenger, but kroenke is poison.

  24. tunnygriffboy


    I agree with much of your post as per usual

    We certainly need some young , dynamic forward thinking people to come on it. We also need football people there. Will Wenger go on it next year ?

    One thing Ferguson did was to bring in new coaches in to freshen things up. New voices often increase motivation.

    Not sure about Santi though. Perhaps they thought resting it would be the way forward. If I think rightly then he got a kick on it v Ludogrets. Maybe surgery was a last resort. Anyway we’re down to 4 CMs, 3 when Elneny goes to Africa in January. Another injury over Christmas could see us short in that area


    Those stats about Santi are right. Time to give Xhaka a good run in the side so he gets confident of the intensity of the matches and he adjusts his undoubted skills to the pace of the games. I’m sure he can.

    Elneny has to be more positive in his passing and Ramsey really does need to stand up and improve his attacking play. Critical period for the club over Christmas.

    Everyone. Gabriel RB on Saturday ?

  25. Frank Mc

    So Cazorla has to go to a Spanish medical team to get told he needs surgery, what have our medical team been up to while he’s been under their supervision????

    Genuine question.

  26. Thank you and goodnight

    @Frank Mc

    The club is stale and rotten from the owner down to the medical team etc. In every department we seem to be lagging behind the big clubs more and more each season.

  27. Wallace

    Frank Mc

    “So Cazorla has to go to a Spanish medical team to get told he needs surgery, what have our medical team been up to while he’s been under their supervision????”

    it’s rare for a player to stay at one club for any length of time. would imagine most of the top ones have a doc they trust and stick with throughout their careers. for example, a lot of the Bayern players carried on seeing Muller-Wohlfahrt after Guardiola had him replaced.

  28. Wallace

    think the Cazorla injury is probably bad news for Coquelin. his excellent understanding with the Spaniard meant that while Cazorla was the main man he was always going to have the advantage over the other CMs in the squad. would imagine that Xhaka will now be given the opportunity to take on that role, and while I think Coq can play with the Swiss, I think Elneny or Ramsey might make a better partner.

  29. ughelligunner

    Who brought to Cazorla to arsenal? I know after he is done with arsenal, it would be Wenger has never replaced cazorla. Smh. Players dont really need to be exactly like one another. Just have the right mix who would give his 100percent in every game and thats all.

    I never hear of Man utd fans crying that they didnt replace Rolnado. Only at Arsenal, do the fans use the managers own rod to beat him.

  30. ughelligunner

    Wallace, why go too far, lampard, Drogba all played everyday for years ending. Only at arsenal do they crucify wenger for using his own product he introduce to the fans to beat him. Well its all due to frustration over the years of unending trophy drought.

    Suarez, Messi, Ronaldo, etc, never rest for both club and country

  31. Thank you and goodnight


    It’s Arsene fans like you who are just as damaging to this club as Wenger himself. Always making excuses for him. How many more years of mediocrity will it take before even you say enough? Isn’t 12 years long enough?

  32. Frank Mc

    My point is why has it taken until yesterday (and after a prognosis from a Spanish medical team) that an injury sustained back in mid October needs an operation now??

  33. Emiratesstroller


    The situation at Man Utd under Fergie was different to Arsenal under Wenger.

    1. Fergie was winning major trophies right up to the point he retired. Wenger’s success rate whatever the circumstances in last 12 years is not
    remotely the same.

    2. Fergie was not by all accounts involved in the day to day coaching. He left that to others. What he was is a motivator and inspirational manager.
    Frankly I don’t see much evidence of that with Wenger today. The only
    justifications for hanging onto Wenger appears to be ‘stability’ and ‘fear of
    the unknown’.

    3. Leaving aside Arsenal’s injury track record the club makes far too many
    poor decisions on both treatment of players and more importantly their
    value to club and retention. We have held onto Rosicky, Diaby, Wilshire and other players ad infinitum. Now we learn there is a longterm problem with Sanogo. You have to ask questions about what is going on at club?

  34. Dream10

    For tomorrow’s XI, what are we thinking?

    Gabriel Mustafi Koscielny Monreal
    Xhaka Coquelin
    Walcott Ozil Iwobi

    imo Only spot up for contention is the left midfield one. With Gabriel starting, I can see Ramsey making the XI & then putting Walcott on the left

  35. ofebs

    Top teams lose great players but replace them with other great players. ManU lost Ronaldo but SAF kept hunting for great talent like Van Persie. Chelsea lost Drogba and got themselves another battering ram like Costa…

    Arsenal lose Van Persie and got Giroud… enough said.

  36. ughelligunner

    Tunny, and you think those new back room staff made things great? (Benitez changed his backed room staff at Liverpool and it started tanking) Man utd still played the same way, Never the less, they have changed things up for 5 years now and there is nothing to show for it.

    Me thinks fergie did great, but not that great. Half of his sqaud were britishlads who get easy decisions from referees. Divers lots of them. And lets not forget fegie’s influence with managers and referee’s. Also, he always introduces a worldclass player every year in his squad. Berbatov -32m as far back 2009s, Rooney 30m, fedinard…lets stop pls. People accuse Man city and chelsea for causing increasing in wages and cost, but Fergy had already started it since.

  37. tunnygriffboy


    Thats the team I’d pick. If at home would go for Ramsey not Coquelin. Gabriel has to be right back. Even AMN, Jenkinson can’t play again

    Only potential change for me would be Ox for Iwobi

    Hopefully Giroud is fit and we then have the option of him, Ramsey, Lucas and Iwobi/Ox on the bench.


    I know Ferguson wasn’t on the training pitch much but he did change his coaches and backroom staff quite regularly

  38. ughelligunner

    Tunny, fergie was busy making calls and meetings with his fellow british managers, fa top shots and choosing his preferable referees for matches during trainings

  39. Thank you and goodnight


    Who gives a rats arse about utds 2008 attack. Answer the question….when is enough, enough for you?

  40. Dream10


    AW said that Giroud won’t be fit for tomorrow in his press conference.
    Don’t mind Ramsey starting tmrw even though it’s an away match. He looked off the pace vs Southampton. I think AW will opt for Coquelin because West Ham have the tools to hurt us on the counter.
    I have to say that I have not been as impressed by Elneny as a few others on the blog have been. I know he keeps the ball well and has good stamina, but players go past a little too easy for my liking. If he starts tomorrow, then Ramsey should start wide to complement Xhaka & Mo in the centre

  41. steve

    So has the specialist in failure commented yet on Cazorlas injury which he himself has helped to cause?


    The akb cunts are even worse than Wenger.

  42. Wallace


    “If Elneny starts in a two CM set up, will he do enough to help Xhaka defensively?”

    i think so, they’re both smart, disciplined, positionally aware players. neither as good in a one on one as Coquelin, but if you’re taking up the right positions that shouldn’t really be a problem.

  43. Jim Lahey

    Santi out for 3 months… I am devastated!!

    We need to address this problem in Jan, it is no coincidence that our dip in form and general lack of creative play coincides with Santi being out of the team.

    Wenger is right, we won’t find another Cazorla, but we need someone as similar as possible, and currently there isn’t a player at the club that comes close.

  44. vicky

    As I said yesterday, sign Payet in January window. I don’t see anyone in current squad good enough to replace Santi. if he’s really out till March and we don’t replace him, I can see Tottenham gain ground on us for the 4th position.

  45. Jim Lahey

    @Tunny – Yeah Hector is a huge loss too, especially with Debuchy now on the treatment table again. Very worried about having Jenkinson in the first 11.

    @Vicky – Would love to see Payet in Jan. Can play in many positions and would give us that real creative spark that we are missing. Could you ever see West Ham selling though? (That felt weird to type! As if West Ham should be able to keep hold of him if a club like Arsenal came knocking!). We should have pressed hard for him last summer if we were thinking seriously about playing Sanchez up front.

  46. vicky


    Besides, Payet can hit the ground running as he has already been playing in this league. Even if Ozil goes missing ,which is often the case, we can rely on him to make things happen. Great in dead ball situations, can play CAM, CM , right wing. I think we can get him if we put in a solid offer. He is already close to 29 , he doesn’t have much time left to play for a top team and our offer could be his last big contract. Should ideally happen but knowing Wenger, he would keep experimenting with Ramsey, Xhaka and probably ruin our chances of mounting a title challenge.

  47. EN1AFC

    No Santi replacement in January. Classic Wenger.

    I don’t give a fuck if people think it’s an over-reaction but that could easily be our season up in smoke. It isn’t a coincidence it happened last season and again since he’s been out this season we’ve been poor.

  48. vicky

    RB Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuttl has confirmed that he has been contacted about potentially taking over as Arsenal manager when Arsene Wenger leaves.

    Reports earlier this week claimed officials from the Emirates had held informal talks with the Austrian as they assess their options on the off chance Wenger calls time on his Gunners reign when his contract ends in July.

    “It was a well-researched story,” Hasenhuttl told a press conference when quizzed on the story.

    “There was a lot of truth to it. I have heard of worse fates than succeeding the longest-serving manager in England. It’s not damaging my reputation, is it?”

    “We don’t have to put too much thought into it,” he added. “I have found my luck here.”

  49. Leedsgunner

    What happened last year when we had Santi out for months?

    Our title challenge faded and we drew too many games we should have won. Proof if we needed any that Wenger doesn’t change. Worse still, he doesn’t think he needs to change.

    Wenger reverting back to type because he knows he can.

    Whether he stays or goes is immaterial.. he has his millions for doing the bare bare minimum. We’re the ones paying the highest prices in the land for the privilege.

    We were told that we were moving into the Emirates Stadium to sign the best players… when in reality we are muddling along to fourth place with Wenger’s pet projects… waiting them to recover from injury after injury whilst our season goes down in mediocrity.

    I rather would have stayed at Highbury if all we were interested in was treading water in the EPL and making up the numbers of the Uefa Champion’s League.

    Two successive FA Cups as welcome as they were, was not worth giving up all that history and heritage to watch other teams win the EPL just because they have the drive, the plan and the ambition to win.

    Goodbye Mr. Wenger, please keep your word and leave the club if we come out of this season without a major trophy… ie. the EPL or the Champion’s League.

    Thank you.

  50. Wallace

    when we signed Xhaka I think most people on here assumed it would mean a significantly reduced role for Cazorla. not sure why that isn’t still the case.

  51. Jim Lahey

    “when we signed Xhaka I think most people on here assumed it would mean a significantly reduced role for Cazorla. not sure why that isn’t still the case.”

    I for one did not assume that, i figured they would play alongside each other, Xhaka and Cazorla are two very different players.

  52. Uwot?

    There’s your answer Jim.wenger”can’t/won’t/can’t be arsed to find a cazorla replacement.will look for “internal solutions”this from a manager who can’t/doesn’t do TACTICS lol!more of the same.year in year out.he has more lives than a cat when it comes to conning our fans.

  53. Wallace

    “Xhaka and Cazorla are two very different players.”

    no doubt, what I meant was Xhaka was pencilled in for the role of midfield general. they are both players who can dictate the play. sure they can play together, but I don’t see why Xhaka + one of Coq/Elneny/Ramsey can’t also become a very effective midfield combination. there isn’t just one way of doing it.

  54. Jacko

    Not sure Wenger actually ruled out buying a Cazorla replacement in the Sky interview but I think we all know how this one plays out.

    West Ham have been woeful at times this season but can’t say I am confident of anything more than a draw this weekend. Hammer’s fans will be rubbing their hands together at the thought of facing Jenkinson, they have first hand experience after all.

  55. Jim Lahey

    @Wallace – ” but I don’t see why Xhaka + one of Coq/Elneny/Ramsey can’t also become a very effective midfield combination. there isn’t just one way of doing it.”

    I hear what you are saying, but I am highly skeptical that any combination of those 4 players could make a champions League or Title winning midfield partnership.

    We all saw last year what happened to the team when Cazorla was injured, the wheels came off, same (albeit somewhat less spectacular) is happening again this year. The problem is none of those 4 players have Cazorla’s ability, vision or instinct on how the game is played.

    Its clear that the way we play, we need someone like Cazorla, its not working without him.

    I really like Coquelin, he is mobile, aggressive and reads the game well. However he isn’t a world class DM he can be very limited at times. Also just to say, people give him a tough time about his passing capabilities and for a DM they really are not bad. The guys job is to break up play not to create it.

    Elneny.. Much like Giroud, he is a player that is better than his price tag but not by much. Has a great engine and is a tidy passer of the ball but not much else.

    Ramsey, what is there left to say that already hasn’t been said about the guy. He has regressed beyond recognition of the player he was 3 seasons ago. And shoehorning him into positions he is uncomfortable playing isn’t going to help. I don’t trust him at all to play the CM role.

    We need a player like Cazorla, we need to bring that player in and not on the cheap.

  56. Red&White4life

    “Goodbye Mr. Wenger, please keep your word and leave the club if we come out of this season without a major trophy… Thank you.”
    Why are you looking at me ??

  57. Arsene's Nurse

    We are totally fucked now, Giroud has a groin strain and faces a late fitness test. I would have been OK with it if he was left out because we can always rely on another until I read Physioroom.

    Yaya Sanogo has a calf injury. Of all the players we miss it’s the man that plays football like a camel chasing a coconut down stairs. The £50m striker whose unorthodox awkwardness means he’s an unknown quantity and a bit of a handful could have given us that extra dimension and seen us through the Christmas period.

    Shame really, maybe next season eh?

  58. Wallace


    nice video. and yeah, Jenks still pretty basic.

    “Its clear that the way we play, we need someone like Cazorla, its not working without him. ”

    Cazorla is a big player for us. it’ll take a while to adjust to developing the play without him. but as others have pointed out, some tirelessly, there are drawbacks to having Cazorla in there. a midfield of Xhaka + one should be a lot more powerful, and defensively solid. there aren’t many sides would have the balls to play both Cazorla & Ozil in the same eleven. so we’ll lose some vision & magic, but hopefully make it up in other areas.

  59. Cesc Appeal

    Reassuring to hear the Red Bull manager’s comments this morning, hard to exactly decipher it, but at least it is leaning toward Wenger going at the end of the year instead of rumblings of Wenger getting an extension hitting headlines.

    Club needs a change in a big way, a managerial change would lead to coaching staff changes and potentially some additional infrastructure at the very top level in terms of a DoF etc.

    Injuries to Caz etc do not really matter, we all know how this goes, speculation as to potential success is a bit pointless when you know the team is fundamentally compromised with regards to attitude, mentality and behind the scenes stuff.

  60. China

    Lol at whoever suggested cazorla’s injury situation couldn’t have been from over playing him because other players in their 30s don’t get injured much

    Dude, every player is different and some players are clearly more prone to injury than others. Is this really news to you?

    When was the last time cazorla completed a good season relatively unscathed?

    When you have players who struggle to complete seasons pushing into their 30s, then you play them every game for a couple of months and are surprised when they break down you get what you deserve – seriously

  61. China

    Also of all the players to compare Santi with – ibra? You’re comparing a little guy with an absolute specimen in zlatan’ case

    Does it honestly surprise you that zlatan might have some physical advantages over Santi?

  62. Joe


    Wenger’s 2008 attack could have looked like : Ronaldo, Ibra and RVP

    According to his ” almost signed” list he’s so proud of

    Too bad he fucked those signings up

  63. Joe

    @Wallace – ” but I don’t see why Xhaka + one of Coq/Elneny/Ramsey can’t also become a very effective midfield combination. there isn’t just one way of doing it.”

    Because Ramsey and Elneny are average.

    And xhaka has been underwhelming

  64. Red&White4life

    “Wenger’s 2008 attack could have looked like : Ronaldo, Ibra and RVP”

    It was!! But only on “Fifa 08”.

  65. Wallace


    “Lol at whoever suggested cazorla’s injury situation couldn’t have been from over playing him because other players in their 30s don’t get injured much.”

    he played 10 games in 100 days. poor guy must have been absolutely shattered.

  66. Wallace

    Gabriel had friends in the Chapecoense squad and delivered a heartfelt message after Wednesday’s game against Southampton. Now Arsène Wenger must decide whether to play Gabriel at West Ham on Saturday.

    “I think [he will be able to play,” said the boss. “I will have a chat with him today [Friday].

    “If he is in the right frame of mind, he will play. He sent a very emotional message to the families of people involved in this crash, but he still played on Wednesday night and I think if he has recovered well physically and mentally I will play him.”

    phew! no Jenks…

  67. Wallace

    “For me it’s very bad news. You always know the date of the surgery but never the date where the player will play again.

    “I always try to put absolutely everything in place to avoid surgery because it creates anxiety and rehab. When you can avoid it, you have to avoid it. In this case, unfortunately we have come to that conclusion….

    “Santi himself wants to get out of that vicious circle of going out and coming in again. He just wants to cure it.

    “No [I don’t have regrets] because we always liaise with Santi’s people and he is treated the way we want him to be treated. It is always very sensitive. Bone inflammation, you never know how long it will last.”

    Despite Santi’s setback, this has so far been a calmer season on the injury front.

    “We have been very strong,” said Wenger. “Muscular injuries, we’ve had very few. They are accidental injuries down to the structure of your body or the repeated competition that you cannot do anything about. Santi Cazorla is purely accidental, it was a kick at the back of his foot.”


  68. tunnygriffboy

    Crikey, I hope young Jenkinson is in the team with 5 🙂


    I thought Xhaka was bought to be the/a deep lying play maker.

    He should have already been used a bit more to get up to speed with the league. Anyway now is the time to give him a run of games so he truly settles and shows what he can do. I think he could be a really good player for us and I look forward to him being confident in being given a run of games and imposing his own personality on the team. So far he’s been in and out, subbed here and there and hasn’t had a proper chance to do this

    It appears he’ll plat tomorrow as he wasn’t involved Wednesday.

  69. tunnygriffboy

    Things were slightly different when Santi got injured. You have to be fair. We had Arteta and Flamini to replace him for 2 months until a new to the league Elneny arrived mid January. We also had Bfg being shielded by Flamini

    We mustn’t forget Coquelin got crocked as well further reducing our midfield options. On top of that Alexis was out for 12 weeks as well.

    Am I being unfair or are we in a much better place to cope with Santi’s loss than last season ?

  70. Goonereris

    Thanks Wallace. Just read those comments on the site too. After the Ludogorets game, the story was (and we saw it) that Santi was kicked to cause an inflammation of a previously troubled Achilles. So much for being being injured from being overplayed because, as ‘China’ so eloquently puts it, Santi is probably a physically disadvantaged specimen. You couldn’t make this up.

  71. Goonereris

    China, “When was the last time cazorla completed a good season relatively unscathed?”.

    Cazorla isn’t what you’d refer to as injury prone, given the number of games he’s played since joining us in the 2012/2013 season. It reads something like:

    2012/2013 : 50 games (plus another 6 major games for Spain)
    2013/2014 : 46 games (plus 3 for Spain)
    2014/2015 : 57 total games played
    2015/2016 : 25 in all (the season he had his first bad injury.

  72. Wallace


    “Unbelievable from Gabriel. Great message even it’s heartbreaking to watch his video.”

    yeah, emotional stuff.

  73. Red&White4life

    “They are accidental injuries down to the structure of your body or the repeated competition that you cannot do anything about.”

    You cannot do anything, exepted more turnover, mr wenger.

  74. Joe

    Nico Roseberg just retired at the top after winning the F1 championship

    Fergie left on top.

    Wenger? Still hanging on 10 years too late

  75. Goonereris

    “They are accidental injuries down to the structure of your body or the repeated competition that you cannot do anything about.” You cannot do anything, exepted more turnover, mr wenger.

    What club doesn’t have injuries to key players, anyway? Coutinho is out for about 2 months because of a kick to his ankle, while Lalana has had his fair number of impact injuries. Agreed, Arsenal seems to suffer these things than most, but the difference this season is the fact that we have strength in depth, with squad players of near-equal quality generally than we used to have. Any surprises that we have had quite a good number of our goals and assists from the bench? We look forward.