Arsenal declare Hammer-time

by .

via @t0wey (instagram)

via @t0wey (instagram)

First game of December had me struck down with fear. November was tough in the head, December is tough on paper. West Ham have been pure banter this season, failing to adapt to rigors of having a big stadium and the manager failing to hit the heights of an above average season last term. But they did manage to draw against United, that said, they did also manage to make them look like a good football team.

I needn’t have worried, the pregame narrative of Arsenal lacking creative productivity were alleviated as we absolutely destroyed the east Londoners. Alexis Sanchez, Ozil, Coquelin and to be fair, Chamberlain… all had superb games that put Slaven Bilic’s head on the chopping board steaming into the holiday season.

Wenger opted for pace and power in the front three, choosing Chamberlain and Theo to flank Sanchez. Any concerns the Chilean had run out of energy were well and truly obliterated as he hustled and menaced West Hams back line. At times, he looked like he was trying to the do the job of the entire front three, switching in from right to left, dropping deep and making a nuisance. He’s banging in goals for fun, making a hattrick was impressive enough on its own, but to see him create 5 chances in the process shows you that he’s far more than the striker we didn’t expect him to be.

You have to give a shout out the Alex Chamberlain. Maligned by the fans as wasted talent, the young popstar dating sweetheart had a tough opener to the game. If he wasn’t falling over, he was putting too much on simple balls or shanking shots for throw-ins. He didn’t give up. He channeled his inner Adebayor, got his head down and made it happen. He contributed to the creation of 4 chances, he made 6 successful take-ons, he scored an absolute monster of a goal, cutting some space and rifling across goal and he landed an assist. A very good game. He needed that confidence boost and we needed him to have that, I sense that if we want to beat City, menacing their back three with a high press is our way in and he is going to be part of that.

Coquelin also proved his value in our midfield with a very positive, buzzy game. He made 12 ball recoveries, 5 tackles and a whopping 6 interceptions. He reminds me of one of those oxpeckers that buzz around elephants cleaning up. Non-stop doing the dirty work to free up the rest of the team to deal out carnage on a big tree or something similar that elephants do well.

Xhaka also had a good game, but I think there was so little to do for him because West Ham were so open to us doing what we liked, his role was slightly marginalised. He still clocked an impressive 90% pass completion rate and racked up the second most passes in the game (just behind Ozil). The range of passes on his pass map was impressive as well. Constantly trying to break the lines, always pushing the team forward.

Shout out to Gabriel at the back today. A quiet day for him, but he didn’t put a foot wrong, took a knock to the leg, then found himself wiped out again a bit later on. Good to see him getting a start. I also thought Nacho Monreal had a good game.

Bit of a shame we didn’t keep a clean sheet and a bit of a shame a keeper of Cech’s experience stopped for a whistle rather than defend the incoming shot. Shouldn’t he have been taking the ball hitting the bar a little more seriously?

What we learned today

The team clicked big time today. Our best performance since Chelsea. Very important considering it was a derby and very important considering the run we have coming up. I think it’s key to not run too far with the ‘we’ve turned a corner’ because West Ham look like a team in trouble and the manager looks like he’s lost the dressing room. Getting rolled by a number that large at home is not good and I think what’s worse for them is that sort of performance is par the course this season. However, you need to take a game like that, it was a beutiful thing and a perfect tonic to recent issues we’ve faced.

Teed up for Rotation

We have a mostly pointless game against Basel this week, it’s the perfect chances to send a League Cup team over there and not worry too much about PSG getting beaten by a pub team (even though Montpellier are beating them 3-0 as I type). I think Stoke will prove a tough game next weekend, but it’ll be far easier if we give our big names a week off and take advantage of early qualifying.

Dortmund rotated yesterday, putting in a beast of a performance. I think we saw with Chamberlain today that if you give players a bit of love, they’ll reward you. I think we should consider using the Stoke game to freshen players up for the big two games we have the following week against Everton, and then Manchester City. Both teams are beatable, and if we take three points off either, we’re in a good position if we keep the rest of the period respectable.

I really, really, really, hope Wenger doesn’t send a full team to Basel. Margins are fine in football, we need to give our first team the same advantage Conte and Klopp are getting at the moment, this is a great opportunity for us to do so.

Alexis Sanchez

The guy is on another level at the moment. He’s hitting Thierry in his pomp form. He scored one from range, one because he’s an opportunist and one where he dropped a step-over to chip… a move that was new to me. He’s playing with confidence, aggression and fight. Wenger and that fitness team need to keep him in good shape, don’t milk the cow dry before you need to and make sure he doesn’t flatline in the back half of the season like he did last year. He and Ozil are so, so, so important… but the great thing based on yesterday is other players are putting their hands up and want to be integral too.

Talking of fitness, we’ve seen Ozil fade in the back half of the last two seasons, I wonder if there’s a plan for his usual dip this season?

A superb win. We have 21 points that we’re playing for this festive period (Jan 3rd). I think 15 points would be very good and we’ve just landed out first 3 points. Onwards and upwards, DO NOT LET STOKE SPOIL THIS.

Have a great day.

250 Responses to “Arsenal declare Hammer-time”

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  1. MrT

    Seriously that Alexis third goal I just couldn’t understand. Though marginally offside but to call such beauty an offside would have been a crime against football humanity. :))

  2. Vote leave

    Wow

    Just caught the Chelsea game
    How lucky were they?
    Should have been 3-4 nil down with David Luiz sent off before half time

  3. James wood

    Yes a good enough period of play when the Waxwork Walcott went off.

    That Pansy header he attempted will haunt me all week.

    And that shuffly run of he’s — suggests to me all that is left for him is

    “COME DANCING”.

  4. Kingsley

    For an insatiable pessimist you surprise me. How can you be happy to settle for 15 points out of a possible 21? With Chelsea and Liverpool almost certain to grab 18 and above points we should be aiming for 19. Anything short is failure.

  5. lord snotty

    Impressed by yesterday’s demolition of a very poor team. We need Alexis and Ozil to stay fit, they need to be very carefully managed from now on. Where would we be without them. Rotation is the key I think. And have their contracts been sorted yet?

  6. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    You refer to the Borussia Dortmund game. I am sure that it would not have passed your notice that Reus scored a hatrick in that match. This was his second in consecutive games after a very long lay off through yet another injury.

    Arsenal have been after that player for a very long time. He is without doubt one of the most gifted players in Europe. Yet he is an ‘injury prone’ player.

    The question is should Arsenal pursue him this summer as potential icing on the cake and perhaps convince both Sanchez and Ozil of our long term ambition.

    My view is that despite yesterday’s performance against a relatively weak West Ham our priority next summer should be to bring in top quality left
    back and left wing in Alaba and Reus.

    These are two players who could turn Arsenal into genuine title winners at both Domestic and European levels and it would probably cost us less than a
    £100 million in transfer market to do so.

    On the evidence of recent performances I have still my doubts about both Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain. The former goes missing too often in games and the latter despite yesterday’s better performance has a lot to learn
    about composure and crossing/passing the ball accurately.

  7. Wallace

    for Basel I’d like to see something like…

    Ospina
    AMN – Gabriel – Holding – Gibbs
    Elneny – Ramsey
    Walcott – Iwobi – Lucas
    Giroud

    but as long as Alexis, Ozil & Koscielny don’t travel I’m not too bothered.

  8. ADKB

    “Do we need to sign anyone in January?”

    Much easier to answer: “Will Wenger sign anyone in January?” No, I don’t think so.

    3 delightful points in yesterday’s derby!

  9. Beau-nègre

    If the strayed son in the person of Cesc comes back home, what effect would that have on the team? Dimanche vivant à tous!

  10. grooveydaddy

    Pedro

    you say 15/21 would be a good return for this run of games

    chelsea’s next 5 games look pretty easy (although they go to Anfield just after New Year, I think???)

    dropping 6 pts could see them out of reach for us…

  11. Cesc Appeal

    The Xhaka, Coq base will likely see some time now in the league, which is fair, the side should be a meritocracy after all.

    Still not wholly convinced by a central options though, I see we’re chasing Leandro Paredes of Roma, young central midfield, so might have to get a look at him, I like the looks of Tolisso as well.

    Good display yesterday, Sanchez is completely our central man, our most important player by a long, long stretch, it doesn’t matter if he wants £200 000 a week, give it to him.

    This is the second game in a row as well I think we’ve looked better, and Ozil has looked better when a little tactical tweak saw him go wider in the middle of the game, happened against Bournemouth when Ramsey came on and it happened yesterday when Wenger put Oxlade in the centre and Ozil drifted onto the left flank, some great moves followed on the counter.

    I really think that is the way forward, not necessarily Oxlade, but that sort of shape.

    I could see a really strong counter team in a game like City in a couple of weeks sort of like:

    Xhaka, Coq
    Ramsey/Walcott, Oxlade, Ozil
    Sanchez

  12. bacaryisgod

    Ok-here’s my suggestions for a Purists Premier League XI. As you can imagine, Arsenal feature quite heavily. This is a team that might not be particularly sturdy, but beautiful to watch.

    GK. Lloris
    RB. Bellerin
    LB. Shaw
    CB. Stones
    CB. Koscielny
    CM. Cazorla
    CM. Coutinho
    WL. Hazard
    WR. Silva
    #10. Ozil
    CF. Alexis

    Closest Contenders: Payet, Erickson, Ibrahimovic

  13. Red&White4life

    “The team clicked big time today.”
    Pedro, please keeps in mind that it was “only” west ham…

    You, especially YOU, must know perfectly that there is a huge chance for Mesut , Sanchez and others to be totally transparent when we will play the “big games”.

    Yes it was a very good performance, but it was against a team which is a joke so far this season. We all know how that there is a huge chance to see our mental weakness coming back when we will travel to chelsea, liverpool or even in the CL’s last 16.
    Putting a bit of optimism in your posts is a very good thing, and we must enjoy this performance for sure, but personally I will always doubt that the lessons from the past had been learned…

    “I really, really, really, hope Wenger doesn’t send a full team to Basel. ”
    Arsène will probably consider that we still had a “small chance” to top the group, so you must expect to see some key players taking part of the trip.

  14. bacaryisgod

    Message to those who have mentioned acquiring a deep lying creative midfielder (Fabregas, Veratti, Paredes etc) in January…….

    For your health , please don’t waste any time even thinking who we might bring in. Unless we lose another 3-4 players long-term, Arsene is not even close to spending another penny to strengthen any position. It’s just not going to happen.

    To be honest, if all he does this January is extend Ozil and Alexis’s deals for another 3 years, then I’ll be fine.

    The squad is good enough to compete at the fine margins of a title race. Whether we win it won’t be down to the talent pool but in how the team’s mental strength holds up in key stretches in 2017. Can Arsene show tactical and selection flexibility if we start to stumble?

    Recent evidence suggests he can’t or won’t but then he’s never had a squad quite so deep as this one.

    Losing Santi was a big blow, but getting Welbeck back will be a boost for the team provided we don’t lose any more big name players in the coming weeks.

  15. Christian

    good win with a confident scoreline..I don’t care their league form or position,these are games arsenal throw away

  16. Marc

    Pedro mentioned West Ham’s form this season being so poor. A huge part of it is the move to a new stadium. If you look at clubs who have moved they all have a period where they struggle.

    It’s going to be highly amusing watching the Spud’s not only have a couple of poor seasons when they move but they have a season at Wembley before. So many teams will turn up there with it being the only appearance some of their players will ever get at Wembley and up the performance. I fully expect the Spud’s to have at least a couple of seasons of upper mid table mediocrity.

  17. Wallace

    Xhaka/Coq away and Xhaka/(Elneny or Ramsey) at home might be worth considering. not very conventional, but not totally out of leftfield.

    if Xhaka continues to develop well we could have 3 core players for the front 6 – Xhaka, Ozil & Alexis – and then 7/8 players competing for the 3 positions alongside them.

  18. Marc

    Bacary

    If and it’s a big if Wenger was to bring in another CM what does that mean for Ramsey?

    There have been rumours for a couple of years now about Spain why not offer Madrid Ramsey plus £20 – £25 million for Isco.

  19. bacaryisgod

    Looking at the next 5-6 gives for each team, here’s where the predictive range comes out with the season halfway through on Jan 2d (19 games for each team played).

    1. Chelsea (47)
    2. Liverpool (42)
    3. Arsenal (41)
    4. Man City (41)
    5. Tottenham (36)

  20. T

    I think it would be an understatement to say that Alexis attitude has done wonders to make ox and theo realize what they were lacking to fullfill their potential! Great workrate yesterday and entertaining to watch 🙂

  21. igbo Amadi-Obi

    I agree that Westham missed some of their better players, but we did beat all of Leicester 5-2 on their ground last season, as they worked to win the league. So credit to he team.

    I have read many Arsenal fans castigate those who criticised Jenko, because Wenger alluded to it being responsible for his loss of confidence. Pedro probably intends to visit that sometime, but I think the fact that Ox and Theo are doing well these days means that a player can react well to criticism from fans. The solution to those who don’t is not for us to quit criticizing them when they play poorly. It is for them to go elsewhere.

    Ozil got his rest. Let no one forget he got 2 weeks off while Alexis was playing for Chile in a bandaged leg. And got rested midweek. So he shouldn’t expect any more rest than is necessary. Victor Moses is working his socks off doing the job of a defender and a winger every weekend, and seems to be loving it. There’s just something about Ozil’s looks and carriage that makes you feel he needs some rest. Lol.

    And I think those who believe that Guardiola is the poster boy of modern management, like Pedro, need to think again. He’s getting found out after winning with exceptional players in weak leagues.

  22. karim

    Uli Hoeness spent 2 years in jail for tax evasion a couple of years ago.

    Jose Mourinho has already paid a 4 million euro fine in the past, so I see no reason why he wouldn’t suffer the same fate as the Bayern president if the allegations are true.

  23. Bamford10

    Igbo

    “He’s getting found out after winning with exceptional players in weak leagues.”

    Not at all. It’s more what Paulinho said yesterday: his teams master possession, but they are not efficient in the final third or defensively, and this weakness leads to losses / failures on occasion.

  24. Bamford10

    The next six PL matches — six matches in 24 days — will go a long way to determining whether we will actually be in contention in the new year. How will we fare?

    Stoke (Dec.10)
    Everton (Dec.13)
    City (Dec.18)
    WestBrom (Dec.26)
    Palace (Jan.1)
    Bournemouth (Jan.3)

  25. Cesc Appeal

    The back to back away games at Everton and City will be telling, though I do think City look very beatable if you get the formula right.

    Spurs nailed it and Chelsea executed it well in the second half. They should be struggling as well missing Aguero and Fernandinho who provides cover for that shaky defence, lots of pace, pure counter game charging headlong at Otamendi and Stones.

  26. Red&White4life

    “Uli Hoeness spent 2 years in jail”

    lol amazing naivety…
    His prison was a 5 stars hotel, wake the f*ck up lol

  27. Marc

    Cesc

    The strange thing about Arsenal is it’s less about the talent and more about the mental attitude we go into games with. If we go into the City game with the same intensity as the Chelsea match / ManU at home last season we can hurt them. Go in with the ManU away this season and we could get stuffed.

    As you say load the forward area with pace, Xhaka has to be in the team and don’t go gung ho and we can get a result.

    It’ll also be great to get Welbeck back into the squad for the new year.

  28. Vote leave

    Bamford

    He’s getting found out
    The prem is the litmus test.

    Winning with Bayern and Barca is far easier than winning our league

  29. gonsterous

    Arsenal declare hammer time.. hahahah has to go down as one of the worst title puns of all time.
    Anyway watching MoTD. Man city was on fire yesterday. Unlucky not to win but have we ever played with that type of intensity ??
    Chelsea got lucky there with some great finishing.

    Sanchez, what a player.. need to give him a new contract !!

  30. Bamford10

    “The prem is the litmus test.”

    No it’s not. What have PL teams done in recent years in the CL? Nothing. The best teams in the world are in other leagues, and the level of competition in those leagues is better than the lazy, out-of-date claim to the contrary.

  31. mysticleaves

    “these are two players who could turn Arsenal into genuine title winners at both Domestic and European levels”

    i dont believe. Replacing Wenger with a better modern thinking coach can do that for us with these players

  32. Bamford10

    Vote Leave

    Not to mention that Igbo’s “found out” remark implies that Guardiola is a bit of a zero, which is ridiculous. He is a fantastic manager, but his approach does have its limitations. This is what we have seen since his departure from Barcelona. He remains a great manager, however — something Arsene Wenger is not.

  33. mysticleaves

    Very good win by the boys yesterday, enjoyable to say the least.

    Ozil though, i thought he eaa good cos he scored. i need to see a heat map to confirm where he spent most of his time om the pitch but i think he was busy making runs into the box more often than he should have being controlling the game.

    Good on Oxlade yesterday, played well after a bad start.

    Coq also showed his artistic side a lil bit yesterday. was immense, so was Xhaka.

    can El Neny go to the AFCON now? this midfield didnt be played with going forward

  34. Vote leave

    Oh bamford bamford bamford

    The competition is higher
    Money is much more evenly distributed in the prem than spain and Germany
    Resulting in a more competitive league
    Resulting in a competetition that shows up the likes of pep

  35. mysticleaves

    Bamford

    Wenger was a great manager, so obviously remains great. However he ia past his best and should jog on.

    That LVG tanked at Man utd doesnt touch his greatness in the game

  36. Bamford10

    After 14 games, the PL top four have the following point totals:

    34
    31
    30
    30

    If Liverpool beat Bournemouth, those point totals will be as follows:

    34
    33
    31
    30

    In contrast, after 14 games in La Liga, the top four teams have the following totals:

    34
    28
    27
    25

    Looks like it’s harder to earn three points in La Liga than it is in the PL.

  37. Bamford10

    Mystic

    I disagree. Wenger had some great teams, but I don’t think that makes him a great manager. He is/was a good manager, but his teams have been decidedly inadequate for some ten years now, and this inadequacy is entirely down to his shortcomings. Sorry, not a great manager. His laissez-faire, old-school continental approach worked for a time when he had some fantastic players and leaders, but it hasn’t worked since, and he hasn’t adjusted.

  38. Vote leave

    Hahaha
    We aren’t talking top four in Spain we are talking top two.
    And Barcelona have dropped their standards this season so it really is only a one horse league this year

  39. Vote leave

    They would if they had to play In England every week
    You know
    Stoke on a wet Tuesday night and all that.
    You think Madrid would win the league?

  40. Bamford10

    Fantastic finish from Origi. I remember a time when dipshits here told me I was wrong to rate the Origi signing over the Sanogo one.

    I also remember when the some of the same dipshits said Klopp was making no impact at Liverpool.

  41. Bamford10

    Vote Leave

    They’d win the PL, easily. Your argument is nothing more than cliches, empty generalizations and outdated prejudices.

    Look at the point totals: it’s harder to earn points in La Liga.

  42. steve

    “Stoke on a wet Tuesday night and all that.”

    Oh that silly argument again. *yawn*

    “You think Madrid would win the league?”

    Real Madrid would definitely win the league.

  43. Marc

    I think that La Liga is more technical than the PL but he PL has a higher intensity. You can’t say Madrid aren’t a good team that’s ridiculous I do however think that it’s easier for Madrid to kill games off quickly.

    Of course with all things there are always exceptions.

  44. Mark S

    Couple of quick things from me….

    1. Alexis….what a beast. Apparently he almost didn’t play yesterday either? His warmup was cut short by the medical team, and he was late getting on the field during introductions.
    2. Good game by Coq. The only problem I had with him was his needless yellow card for kicking the ball out of play in the first half. The way he plays the game, he can’t be “wasting” stupid cars. I felt the card actually made him play more intelligent.
    3. I know there is some chatter about Payet coming to Arsenal. The free kick shows he has quality, and his attitude on the pitch shows that he wants to leave West Ham.
    4. Speaking of Bournemouth/Liverpool…Liverpool blitzing Bournemouth big time today, but that’s not it. Jack is out there again today…he hasn’t broken down. One of the things I’m really interested in seeing post-Wenger is how much are “injury issues” change.

  45. underrated Coq

    1. The level of the average PL team is higher than that of its Spanish counterpart, which is why top teams don’t coast to victories or championship wins. This is why top teams find it harder to win titles compared to other leagues.

    2. The level of the average top PL team is lower than that of its Spanish counterpart, which is why they are not able to dominate leagues the way the top Spanish sides do. This poor quality of top teams in England makes the other 15 sides look better than they actually are.

    Which do you think is nearer to the truth?

  46. Bamford10

    Underrated

    I’d say #1 is an old cliche that isn’t actually all that true anymore. I’d say #2 is partly true, in that the top teams in the PL aren’t as good as the top teams in Spain.

    The one thing I give to the PL is that its games are played at a higher pace than those of other leagues. This can cause teams and individual players problems. However, this does not make it the best league, the most competitive league or the most difficult league to win. IMO.

  47. Bamford10

    ‘Jamie Carragher has advised Jack Wilshere against signing a new Arsenal deal, warning the on-loan Bournemouth man he could go “back to square one” at the Emirates.’ – Sky Sports

  48. Bamford10

    ‘Alexis Sanchez can carry Arsenal to the title,’ says Owen Hargreaves. – @MirrorFootball

    I think that’s getting a little carried away.

  49. Cesc Appeal

    Marc

    I think if we prepare and actually set up with a specific game plan in mind for City we can thrash them, I’m not joking, I think if we play a solid centre and an explosive break away, if Sanchez is in this form we can annihilate them.

    They’re too slow and want too much time on the ball, if we’re on point, we can seriously hurt them.

  50. mysticleaves

    Bamford

    No one says Real Madrid will come over to prem. You said its apparently easier to pick points in La liga more than Epl.

    i just pointed out that the top team in the Epl dont go unbeaten against the top 4. but it happens in spain cos the top team is too seperated in terms of quality and money than the 3rd and 4th team.

  51. Paulinho

    I do think this is the poorest the spanish teams have been in a while in terms of collective combination play. Both Bale and Ronaldo are not really ‘between the lines’ players, and Barca without Iniesta are also lacking technical subtlety in transition.

  52. mysticleaves

    And RM and Barca wont win the league easily in the PL. They might win but it wont be easy. i cant see Chelsea, Man utd, Man city, Arsenal rolling over.

    In a knock out competition they could win the EPL teams but a league is way different. Thats why i prefer the League trophies to CLs

  53. Alexanderhenry

    To be fair it’s pep’s first season and it would be foolish to rule city out at this stage anyway.

    It’s also conte’s first season but the current Chelsea squad suits his style. He’s a perfect fit there.

  54. mysticleaves

    i still have city and chelsea as favorites. cos of conte and pep. absolutely mental coaches, tactically radical.

    i also thought we stood a better chance than Liverpool, i have being surprised at how they have streamed teans so far. Klopp seem to have sorted their inconsistency issues too.

    I just kind of think that Klopp isnt tactically radical as a Pep or Conte but is a great motivator and trainer

  55. Bamford10

    Mystic

    “I just pointed out that the top team in the Epl dont go unbeaten against the top 4.”

    Yeah, I know, and I’m saying Madrid could do this in the PL — indeed they’d be more likely to do this in the PL than in La Liga.

    Further, it’s rare that Barca or Madrid do this, as one usually beats the other or Atletico beats them.

  56. Bamford10

    “Then why is Pep floundering?”

    4 points from the top 14 games in is “floundering”? And City dominated yesterday’s game; they just got caught on the counter. Smart tactics and execution from Chelsea/Conte, but hardly “floundering” from Pep/City.

    You keep trying, though.

  57. Bamford10

    Before anyone talks about what this 3-3 Bournemouth-Liverpool game means about some of the discussion above, please note how weak Liverpool’s back four are.

    4-3, Bournemouth.

  58. Leedsgunner

    Liverpool lose to Bournemouth effectively cancelling out their win over us because of our victory over Bournemouth the other week.

    Thank you Bournemouth!

  59. Mark S

    That comeback by Bournemouth never happens in La Liga. The top teams in La Liga are better than the top teams in the Prem, but I would say teams 11-20 are better in the Prem than in La Liga.

  60. Vote leave

    Come on bamford

    You’re saying without a doubt
    La life is stronger
    Real or Barca would walk it every year?

    Really?

  61. Chika

    According to some posters logic, it’s wrong to celebrate when a goal is scored irrespective of what the present scoreline is. Your celebrations must wait till the end of the game when you know the eventual result….WTF

  62. BigCheese

    Klopp –

    1 – Can only play one way.

    2 – Spends absolutely no time of the defensive side of the game.

    3 – Breaks his players with his high energy style. Has no regard for the fitness of his players.

    4 – Refuses to rotate and relies heavily on a core of players.

    5 – Won something a while ago and got to a CL final once and got smashed.

    6 – Managed a great team in BVB but couldn’t keep them together and allowed his star players to go to a direct rival.

    He’s essentially Wenger with a beard.

  63. Wallace

    fairly sure Guardiola meant it when he said he was pleased with his side’s performance yesterday. ref sends Luiz off for the check on Aguero as he raced through, or City take any of the countless chances they created in the first hour – De Bruyne’s open goal especially – and they’d have run away with it. fair play to Chelsea for taking their chance so emphatically when it came, but they should have been 3-0/4-0 down by that point. .

  64. Bamford10

    Vote Leave

    No, I’m not saying that.

    Batistuta

    That was part of my argument with Vote Leave, who still (unsurprisingly) pointed to the Bournemouth win as proof of his case.

    It is nothing of the sort.

  65. Vote leave

    Wallace

    How many times have we outplayed Chelsea like that and lost by a lesser margin only for bamford and the rest to slate us
    But peps team were the better team
    Chelsea were lucky

    No. they were beaten because the manager didn’t get it right

    Just like arsenal

  66. Chika

    VL

    In football you savour every moment. Just don’t agree with fans who say we shouldn’t enjoy Arsenal wins cos their crystal ball tells them we’d surely implode eventually.

  67. Bamford10

    Vote Leave

    “How many times have we outplayed Chelsea like that and lost by a lesser margin?”

    Very rarely. City had many, many shots on goal and good chances, whereas the games you’re pointing to where we “outplayed” Chelsea are likely ones where we had more possession but created few if any chances. Sorry, but that’s not really “outplaying” another team, and it is thus a false analogy.

    I’m glad you concede, though, that Wenger has often gotten it wrong.

  68. Wallace

    vote leave

    “No. they were beaten because the manager didn’t get it right.”

    sorry, don’t agree. Guardiola didn’t miss the open goal from 4yds out, nor did he bottle the decision to send Luiz off. a manager can only influence so much. then it’s up to the players. the way they were carving Chelsea apart for the first hour suggests he got his tactics right. the players just weren’t efficeient enough in the execution. whereas Costa & Hazard were.

  69. Vote leave

    Man west world is so good
    Just loving the complexity and the layers
    Just wish had more than one season to watch

  70. Vote leave

    League cup final when drogba came on an scored twice
    Fa cup semi when he again scored a late goal and they won
    Both legs in champs league qf
    Charity shield
    And Jose’s first league game

    Just a few that spring to mind

  71. Bystander

    Vote leave

    BBC report
    Didier Drogba’s 84th-minute winner put Chelsea in the FA Cup final and kept alive interim manager Guus Hiddink’s hopes of an unlikely treble.
    Drogba struck at the end of a poor semi-final when he beat Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski to Frank Lampard’s long ball and rolled the ball home.
    The Gunners had taken an early lead through Theo Walcott’s deflected shot but had struggled to live with Chelsea from that moment.

    I thought you said we outplayed them!

  72. GunnerRam

    Yesterday in MOTD – Allan “Elbow in the Face” Shearer says Alexis is World Calls only if he helps Arsenal win the title.

    Last season – Alan Shearer declares Harry “Open Mouth” Kane as World Class..

  73. grooveydaddy

    speaking of goalies coming off their line, stekelenberg’s blunder gifted man u. a 1-0 lead going into half time…

  74. Vote leave

    By stander

    We did outplay them
    And no BBC report will tell me otherwise
    We outplayed them with kids
    I remember

  75. Bystander

    Vote leave

    The Guardian
    Arsenal’s supposed resurgence was put into perspective when they were faced down by more determined opponents and clobbered by a late Didier Drogba strike that took Chelsea to the FA Cup final. This was the first time in over 60 years that Chelsea had prevailed against Arsenal in the Cup, but the losers only had themselves to blame, and not just for passing up the chance to sign Drogba for £100,000 when he played for Le Mans. “He’s a winner, he never stops,” Arsène Wenger admitted.
    About as streetwise as the royal family and far too fair-minded for their own good, Arsenal failed to take advantage of the nervousness of Petr Cech, hardly testing him with a shot or a cross and never putting him under any pressure. Bolton showed them the way last Saturday, and Arsenal must have seen Liverpool turn the goalkeeper to jelly in the Champions League, yet Wenger’s side remained aloof and paid the price. Perhaps Wenger would never stoop to copying Bolton tactics, though ironically nervousness on the part of their own goalkeeper had a major bearing on the result. Lukasz Fabianski was at fault for both Chelsea goals.

  76. Wallace

    Vote leave

    “We outplayed them with kids
    I remember”

    I don’t recall the semi final, but I remember our kids giving a full strength Chelsea the run around for 40mins in the League Cup Final, before Drogba Drogba’d us. Traore, Senderos, Cesc, Denilson, a 12yr old Walcott….for 30mins we were glorious.

  77. Vote leave

    Wallace

    By stander obviously wasn’t an arsenal fan back then.

    I don’t care about the reports mate
    But go on Wikipedia
    It will tell you arsenal had 6 shots on target to chelseas 3
    2 of which they scored
    That means Cech mad 5 saves
    Any gooner that watched that game will remember we outplayed them before drogba beat us
    Like he always did back then

    Another johnny come lately know nothing

  78. Bystander

    Vote leave

    Sky Sports Match Stats: FA Cup Semi-Final 2009

    Shots on target: Arsenal 2 Chelsea 6
    Shots off target: Arsenal 2 Chrlsea 8
    Blocked shots: Arsenal 3 Chelsea 4
    Pass Success: Arsenal 78% Chelsea 79%
    Possession: Arsenal 48% Chrlsea 52%

  79. Wallace

    Jose Mourinho is nicely led into THE Marouane Fellaini question.

    Interviewer: “You sent him on to shore the game up. What did you make of the penalty?”

    Mourinho: “No comment.”

    🙂

  80. Wallace

    I think they have been playing a lot better recently, and I think he’s finally close to knowing his best eleven, but Utd are now so far back….if they finish any higher than 5th they’ll have had a storming Dec-May.

  81. WrightIsGod

    I’ve watched Man U a few times and I’ve been throughly bored on all occasions which begs the question….

    Which is worse Mourinho’s, Van Gaal’s or Moyes’ United. They all look the same to me except they progressively spent more than the one who proceeded…

  82. vicky

    Mourinho walks off from his press conference, riled up by the very first question. Funny thing is the question was an innocuous question – ” Jose,why is your team playing well but failing to finish the game”

  83. somerandomperson

    We are level with flying liverpool with europe commitments. We may actually be the only team who ends up with competing with Chelsea.

    Guardiola was always going to be found out. His teams play a risky game , he got away with it because he had a far superior team wherever he was. Even in Bayern in CL semifinals he got trounced 5-0 / 5-3 and then a narrow loss against Atletico.

    “Not at all. It’s more what Paulinho said yesterday: his teams master possession, but they are not efficient in the final third or defensively, and this weakness leads to losses / failures on occasion.”

    It is really funny , this is exactly what I would tell about Arsenal. Arsenal need numbers to either attack or defend and not efficient in either without numbers. Same thing Guardiola does with better players and loses.

    Man City were the biggest spenders this season some where close to 160m a bit more than Man U.

  84. vicky

    Factors which could derail Liverpool’s season –

    1. Mane off to AFCON in winter
    2. Coutinho already out for 6 weeks
    3. Klopp’s team drop off in second half of both a match and a season
    4. Shaky defense

  85. Marc

    Vicky

    Lallana was interviewed before the match and when the interviewer put forward the advantage of no European football he replied that Klopp has them playing their own 11 vs 11 matches midweek to mirror CL football.

    If this is really the case I can see Liverpool dropping off as the season goes on, they don’t have a huge squad and Klopp’s style of play will tire players. I can see a similar thing happening to the Spud’s.