Steve Bould’s Yellow & Blue Army Obliterate Sorry Saints

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What an absolutely super day out at Southampton. You really cannot knock anybody for an all round excellent performance, both from a managerial perspective and from a player one.

Wenger, pushed into the stands actually tried something new… proper rotation. Not, let’s put rotate, but play the players who aren’t getting a game in the wrong position. No, full on rotation, players coming into roles they understood and sticking with a system we all know.

I’m going to do this quickly today, because I’m flying to Pittsburgh (any reccos of things to do would be eaten up), so here are 5 things I loved.


After two back to back long term injuries, I did worry he’d come back slow or timid. Neither concern were on show yesterday. He showed strength, control, fighting spirit and a productive edge. He even dropped a salt bae celebration that we could enjoy because we were winning.

Him rejoining at this point of the season is superb for rotation, it’s great tactically and it’s good for the team. I think people like playing with him and they thrive off his energy in that central role. Perfect cover if Sanchez needs a rest. Two fine goals capped a great day, the first coming after Perez turned a Maitland-Niles pass deftly into his path, he poked the ball over the keeper and it went in off the bar. The second came from a stunning Chambo ball from deep within our half, Welbz watched it over his shoulder, brought it down and clumped it between the keepers legs. Very good work.


Lucas Perez

The guy’s a machine. 15 games (7 starts), 6 goals and 5 assists. You can’t knock it. He might not be world class, but he is a very talented player. His no-look ball through to Welbeck was Ozil levels of deftness. He was also involved in Walcott’s first. He moves well, he brings people into the game and you’d trust him in front of goal. Surely he’s done enough to merit more a chance during the back end of the season?


You know I have my reservations about our reserve keeper, but it certainly says something about someone’s talent when you can have a bad game being the keeper for a team that wins 5-0. His decision making is off, he creates drama from the most basic of jobs and at a very base level, he’s not tall enough. I don’t understand why we persist.


Love the little Chilean, but really, why are we playing him in a game like Southampton in the early rounds of the FA Cup, when we’re smashing them? Seems a really silly risk to take for someone who is unbelievably crucial to our run in. Crazy bit is Wenger broke his 70m rule and gave him 30mins.

That aside, he comes on and drops two assists. Can’t knock that, can you?

Theo Walcott / Chambo

I bunched these two together because they both played for Southampton and they both get the same beasting online for being average. They also both had brilliant games. Theo looked very confident in front of goal, banging in a hattrick. Chamberlain played in the middle, he passed well, made good decisions and contributed with an epic 40 yard assist. He and Maitland-Niles looked solid together, I mean, sure it was a poor side, but having two players who could pass the ball, both very mobile, it was impressive and as someone pointed out in the comments, the second time we’ve seen Chambo play well there.

Other bits:

Solid game from the Jeff. I also thought Steve Bould looked very comfortable sitting on the bench, he must have been pleased. Wenger was also pretty amusing with his not so clandestine radio to the bench. Hilarious stuff.


A great win against a team that has bothered us immensely over the last few years. My one, ‘hold on’ moment in general is we should be beating a Southampton who rotated 10 names as well. All the wins we’re racking up this month are important, and they’re great, but keep sight of the bigger picture here… we should be winning these games.

Watford on Tuesday is massive, and then the really big one. Can we make Chelsea flap? Can we do the double over Conte? If we do… the Premier League is back on.


233 Responses to “Steve Bould’s Yellow & Blue Army Obliterate Sorry Saints”

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  1. Redtruth

    First rate performance in a second rate competition just doesn’t cut it for me.

    Embarrassing championing a performance in a competition which even lower sides find no interest…

  2. Wallace

    Egypt beat Morocco 1-0. now play Burkina Faso in the semis on Wednesday, so looking very tight for getting Elneny back for Chelsea.

  3. The Godfather

    When Arsenal win an fa cup round it’s suddenly a third rate competition … when they lose however it’s greeted as if they’ve been kicked out of the champions league final.

    It’s just unbelievable .

    Wenger gets no credit for wins by some but all the blame for losses LOL.


  4. leftsidesanch

    funny that someone here mentioned that Wenger would tout Welbeck as a new signing…and what do you know….

  5. qna

    Godfather: When Arsenal win an fa cup round it’s suddenly a third rate competition … when they lose however it’s greeted as if they’ve been kicked out of the champions league final.It’s just unbelievable .Wenger gets no credit for wins by some but all the blame for losses LOL.Smh

    When you just listen to a crowd and pick out the comments that suit your argument, then sure that sounds about right. Another person may hear the opposite. Like when we win the cup, its almost as good as winning the league and he is the worlds best manager in history. But when he gets kicked out to a shitty team, then its just as well so we can concentrate on other competitions.

    If you look at each poster, I doubt you will find much variation in their opinion. The FA cup is a third rate competition. Its nice to win it, but it really is a small clubs dream cup and a big clubs burden.

    The worlds best teams are those that consistently do well in the champions league. The EPL is a very competitive league now, with not much difference between the upper and lower teams. But the quality of the whole league is much lower than the top teams. I have little doubt that if you were to directly insert into the EPL the top 8 teams in the world – Madrid, Barca, Athletico, Juventus, Bayern, Dortmund, PSG and Monaco (this season) then all would comfortably fill out the top 8 positions in the EPL leaving Chelsea, Arsenal, City, United, Spurs and Liverpool competing to stay in the top half of the table.

    The thing about that list of top 8 teams is that some of them have more money than Arsenal, but others dont. So what excuse are you going to give Wenger. Let me guess, your excuse is that City and United are doing even worse. Well that’s one defence.

  6. tunnygriffboy

    Ox 6 goals 6 assists
    Lucas 6 goals 6 assists
    Ozil 9 goals 7 assists
    Giroud 10 goals 3 assists
    Walcott 14 goals 2 assists
    Alexis 17 goals 11 assists

    Iwobi/Giroud/Alexis v Watford. ******* Lucas has to be in with a shout as well. Chance to have a strong bench to make real use of if needed.

    Welbeck/Alexis/Walcott v Chelsea

    Anyone give Ox a game alongside Coquelin against Watford ?

  7. tunnygriffboy


    I don’t believe that you can say that those teams would automatically walk into the top 8 in the Epl. It’s too simplistic and too black and white.

    Are the great teams ? Yes and they tend to dominate their leagues.

    However you have to take in certain considerations when thinking about the Epl

    The strength of the bottom teams
    The constant physicality
    The intensity of every game
    Teams never give up
    Parking the bus and well organised defences
    Quality of players in all teams.
    No Christmas break

    These are just a few things and even they are simplistic

    Also how do the players in those sides suit the hurly burley of the PL?
    What squad depth do these sides have to cope with 3 domestic competitions andEEurope ?

    I’m not arguing against them being good teams but to say they’d occupy the top 8 places is too simplistic and does a disservice to teams that play in the Epl

  8. qna

    Tunny. We never have trouble scoring goals against the weak teams. We are flat track bullys so its no surprise that we have a few flat track bullies in our team.

    We have something like 5 points in 6 games against the top teams from Everton and above. That is when we need quality strikers. Lets see who can make a difference against Chelsea and Bayern.

  9. qna

    Tunny all of thosr teams are all much better than us. They all manage Europe and domestic competitions without difficulty.

    They could all comfortably handle Arsenal so why doubt that they would not be able to flat track bully the lower teams like we do. They have better quality players and better quality managers.

  10. tunnygriffboy


    They are good teams. However they play in leagues with less teams than ours. The intensity of their leagues are not the same as ours. The bottom half of their leagues are not as competitive as ours and they get games which they can coast in. It’s full on every week here.

    I’d say 3 of those teams are ahead of our top 6 the others much of a muchness.

    Worth noting that when the CL resumes the Epl teams would have played an extra 6 games since Christmas compared to the continental teams. You can’t over estimate the grind and number of fixtures played in England compared to the continent.

  11. tunnygriffboy


    Chelsea/Tottenham/City/Liverpool/man u all beat the lower sides. It’s a reason all those sides are at the top. You can’t help being flat track bullies if you are near the top.

  12. Emiratesstroller


    We beat Chelsea 3-0 and drew with both Man Utd and Spurs who are the current form teams so we are not exactly losing all our matches to top 6.

    Let’s judge Arsenal at the end of the season when we have completed all our fixtures.

    The three defeats sofar this season were not altogether unexpected. We put
    out a weakened and ill prepared side at start of season due to extended holidays following Euros and our defeats against Everton and Man City were the
    result of a very demanding and heavy fixture schedule.

    There are weaknesses in our squad and in particular in midfield, but so are
    in most of the other teams as we saw this weekend in FA Cup. Arsenal, Chelsea
    and Man Utd are perhaps the best equipped to cope.

  13. tunnygriffboy

    1 jan v Watford (h)
    4 feb Chelsea (a)
    11 Hull (h)
    15 feb Bayern (a)
    18 feb v fa cup

    Then have a fortnight rest before the Liverpool game as we due to play Southampton who are in efl cup final the weekend after the fa cup.

  14. qna

    Tunny: Chelsea/Tottenham/City/Liverpool/man u all beat the lower sides. It’s a reason all those sides are at the top. You can’t help being flat track bullies if you are near the top.

    Yeah, but the difference in the end (funnily enough) turns out to be how we play each other. This season, Everton stands out above the rest and its not surprising with their top quality CF and top manager. The mini-table between these top teams stands at:

    Team……………..GP W D L P
    Liverpool………. 7 4 3 0 15
    Chelsea…………..7 4 0 3 12
    Spurs……………….8 2 4 2 10
    Everton…………..7 2 3 2 9
    Man City………..8 2 2 4 8
    Man Utd…………7 1 4 2 7
    Arsenal…………..6 1 2 3 5

    Where are our brilliant goal scorers when we need them Tunny?

  15. Wallace


    “Tunny all of thosr teams are all much better than us.”


    pl 18
    w 8
    d 7
    l 3
    pts 31


    pl 20
    w 10
    d 6
    l 4
    pts 36


    pl 22
    w 14
    d 5
    l 3
    pts 47

  16. tunnygriffboy


    Are you blaming the goal scorers or defence ?

    Emirates made a fair point earlier

    Liverpool first game of the season was a right off. We were poor away at city and Everton despite taking the lead in both games. I could go into more detail but as Emirates said. Wait until end of the season. We are only just half way through.

  17. ughelligunner

    QNA, can you please explain why teams like liverpol cant beat bottom teams but can beat top teams and still tend to still finish below Arsenal?

    What are they called, top sides bullies?

  18. ughelligunner

    I dont care what we beat, so far we finish in a top place and maybe one day win the league.
    It’s only WOBs that bother about who we beat or who we dont beat. If we win the league beating only bottom sides, it will be a good thing.

  19. Louis Almeida

    Wenger happy with Welbeck contribution but unlikely to start him tomorrow as he doesn’t want t overload him immediately. “He is very sharp but we still have to be cautious with him. We still have to manage him well”

    Wenger on Ox: “His future is more central than on the flank. Naturally, he’s a guy who’s always comfortable being in the game.”

  20. Louis Almeida

    Everyone fit apart from Santi. Be interesting to see what notable omissions there are from the matchday squad with all the forwards.

  21. qna

    Emirates: We beat Chelsea 3-0 and drew with both Man Utd and Spurs who are the current form teams so we are not exactly losing all our matches to top 6.Let’s judge Arsenal at the end of the season when we have completed all our fixtures.

    In any given season there will be several clubs that separate themselves from the rest, these teams will be fighting for Europe, but invariably there will be one possibly two teams like Swansea or Everton that put together a pretty good team and they will get more than one significant result against one of the big 6 clubs. They actually put together a first 11 that is not too far away from that years champions, but due to reasons of squad depth and work load they cant manage a sustained campaign and drop too many points against the lower teams.

    In recent years its been a top 7 and bottom 13 and this is an informative way of dividing the teams into distinct groups. If you separate out Arsenal’s results against teams in the top 7, vs teams in the bottom 13, you can see that Arsenal averages around 1 point per game against the top teams and just over 2 points per game against the bottom teams. This is enough for top 4. The team that wins the league will have a similar average against the bottom team (usually inferior to ours though), but has a much stronger average against the top teams. This is the difference between winning the league and finishing top 4. In different seasons it is not the same team that wins the league, but due to being a consistent flat track bully, there is always one team that finishes in the top 4.

    Believe me or don’t, I don’t care. Verify it yourself, or not. But this has been consistent for several seasons. So why would I possibly wait until the end of the season to judge when the same thing has been happening year after year?

  22. ughelligunner

    Mind you, no top side score plenty goals against top teams. They all pad their goal stats against smaller teams, but as usual, only Arsenal fans think we only score against small teams while other teams dont. Pity the way we relegate our own team.

    Liverpool vs totenham 1:1, chelsea 2:1, man utd 1:1, Man city arsenal 4:3, everton 1:0

    please show me where they score any differnt to arsenal. Pity you WObs

  23. ughelligunner

    Man utd vs man city 1:2, arsenal 1:1, totenham 1:0, liverpool 1:1, chelsea 0:3, everton 3:0

    where are the goals against top side?

  24. tunnygriffboy


    The Epl is a totally different animal to all other leagues in Europe in terms of volume of games and sheer intensity especially when you throw in the two cup competitions.

    As the teams at the lower end of the league get stronger and stronger it becomes harder and harder for our sides in Europe. No resting players before or after European games, can’t afford to. No coasting through easy games before or after European games, league to strong. No help from fa to reschedule fixtures to Friday/Sunday to help the clubs in Europe


    You have an aversion to anything British in terms of league/cups/players. Does it cloud your judgement ? 🙂


    I’m fine with resting Welbeck tomorrow. We have enough options without him.Would ddefinitely play him v Chelsea with Alexis and Theo. Go at them with pace. Cahill will hate it.

  25. qna

    Ugheli: Mind you, no top side score plenty goals against top teams. They all pad their goal stats against smaller teams, but as usual, only Arsenal fans think we only score against small teams while other teams dont. Pity the way we relegate our own team.

    Its not about plenty of goals. Its about that winning goal or that equaliser away from home. All of this talk about how great our strike force is comes after beating Southampton’s second string team. One of my favourite pom sayings – you’re having a laugh.

  26. gambon

    Just to show how embarrassingly reactionary Arsene is, he’s bigging up Chamberlain as a central player again…..based on one game against Southamptons reserves.


    Just like Walcott was destined to be a central player for 10 years until he realised he was useless in the centre.

    The guy is a fantasist.

  27. tunnygriffboy


    Our team v Liverpool was unsatisfactory and our young cbs got exposed. Up until halftime we were the better side then couthino scored a worldie. 15 minutes in the second half we were ripped apart. We came back to score 3 times. Goals not a problem. Against city despite not playing well we took the lead. Didn’t deserve to win at the same time there were question marks about both their goals. At Everton we took the lead again but we looked knackered as the game went on. The ref bottled a clear penalty in the last minute. We also scored v man u and spurs

    Scoring goals hasn’t been a problem. Defending has. In the past we’ve been thumped by the top sides. I’m not happy we’ve lost games or with some of the performances but as Emirates says we need to see how the second half of the season goes.

    I think Welbeck if he stays fit will be an asset, I like what Lucas is doing when he plays. He’s a clever footballer.

    I’m not worried about our attack I worry about how we set up in certain games and how we leave our defence exposed. We get that right and I always fancy us to score.

  28. Cesc Appeal

    Please no Ramsey and Giroud tomorrow night, knowing that Arsenal are very, very unlikely to win the title is one thing, but at the very least we can watch some fast pace, attacking stuff, put the players out to do that, pretty please.

  29. Emiratesstroller


    People have very short memories.

    There have been seasons recently when we have performed quite well against top teams, but underperformed against those lower down the pecking order and then there have been seasons when the opposite has happened.

    Arsenal’s problems have been a lack of consistency at certain times of year which has cost us dear and of course Arsenal’s injuries combined with lack
    of resources in key positions has also to be factored in.

    This season our weakness is in midfield which has been traditionally the strongest area of team.

    At the moment we are quite short of resources with Cazorla out with longterm injury as well as Elneny and Xhaka both out as well.

    These problems always seem to materialise at key moments of season when we need the players most.

  30. qna

    Tunny: Our team v Liverpool was unsatisfactory and our young cbs got exposed.

    And who is to blame for our team being under prepared and under manned for yet another start to the season. Its the same story every season. If you cant recognise the problem then you are nothing more than an enabler. You are part of the problem. These are not one offs. These things are occurring every year.

    We have more than one problem, its not just

    a) the attack, or
    b) the defence, or
    c) the outdated and ineffective tactics and style of play, or
    d) the lack of preparation, or
    e) the lack of buying the necessary players for a campaign, or
    f) the poor allocation of wages that has us with unwanted players on our list that we cannot move on, or afford to keep the players we do want to keep.

    Its not any one of these problems. Its
    g) all of the above and more.

  31. tunnygriffboy


    Where in my post did I say it wasn’t Wengers fault ? I said it was totally unsatisfactory. I also said that we aren’t set up well enough defensively. Of course it’s the managers fault.

    I just think that ourcdefence, or should I say defensive set up, is more of an issue than our attack

    You call me part of the problem and an enabler. Read the post again and stop making assumptions on what you believe or want to believe I’ve written.

  32. tunnygriffboy


    I’ve no problem in leaving Welbeck out tomorrow. It’s sensible after what he’s been through. I want him raring to go against Chelsea

    Giroud will probably be ok v Watford who’ll sit deep. I want him on the bench v Chelsea with Welbeck/Alexis/Walcott as the front three

  33. qna

    Tunny. These so called top strikers like Welbeck, Perez and Walcott score against the weaker sides and you are one of the fans that will take that and say they are top quality. Look at their stats. Then they will go without scoring for 10 weeks and you dont understand why.

    For the amount of money we pay, these guys they should be a lot better than they are. To me any fan that enables that type of thinking is part of the problem. I have heard you say, and I completely agree with you, that you cant have 25 top quality players. I am not asking for that. But what we need is more top quality players and less high paid mediocre players. What we should be doing with the massive wages of Walcott, Giroud, Welbeck and Iwobi is splitting the difference. With those kind of wages we could have instead had two Griezemann/Lacazette/Reus level players. The other two squad players could have been young 18yo, 19yo prospects on 10-15k/wk. Break glass in case of emergency types. There is hardly any difference between the wages of Giroud and Alexis for fucks sake. Same goes between Theo and Ozil. Its ridiculous. How about the type of player we could have got in if we got rid of Arteta, Flamini and Rosicky in those last 2 or 3 years. Its just poor management. And seeing you write shit that suggests these types of players being on our list is anything but a tragedy shits me to tears.

  34. Louis Almeida

    Payet got treated like royalty at West Ham and that’s how he repays them. Good riddance tbh. At 30 there’s not much else he’s offering to a top club.

  35. qna

    edit from comment above:

    “and Iwobi” should have read and Perez. Dont know why but I am giving mixing this kid up all the time, the other day with Akpom and now with Perez. I cant explain it. Appologies.

  36. Cesc Appeal


    No Welbeck is fine, but I don’t want Giroud or Ramsey, they slow our play down so much which just feeds into a team that is happy for us to have the ball and knock it around aimlessly.

    Load the front three up with pace and craft, Perez, Sanchez, Ozil for me, and a middle ‘V’ with Coq deep and then Oxlade and Iwobi as No.8 types, at home against Watford, in the same was as Burnley, we really don’t have the need to has lots and lots of passers on the field, Coq can make sure we don’t have any ‘whoops’ moments, or try to anyway, other than that, attack, attack, attack.

    I know there’s a few people like me who have wanted to see Oxlade get a go centrally for a while, played well there against West Ham, and now against Saints, but not as part of a two man middle, we need to abandon that, simply is not working. If he works out great, if not we can sell him confident that we tried everything.

    Also will then feed into us going forward of accommodating Xhaka as a deep player with two CM’s either side.

    Having said all that, I fully expect 4-2-3-1, with Ramsey and Giroud, and then Ozil at CAM.

  37. WengerEagle


    Ability wise he’s still easily a top 10 BPL player IMO but yes, his attitude is obviously questionable.

    They overall got a decent deal though, made a 10 million pound profit on a player who’s heart was no longer in it and he gave their fans an amazing season of football.

  38. Louis Almeida

    Not sure why people are so big on comparing Bellerin’s first 40m speed to Usain Bolt’s 40m speed. Anybody who has watched Bolt run knows that he’s never been a good starter/always slow out of the blocks but between 50-80m his range pretty much sees him leave the rest of the field trailing. His technique isn’t even the greatest but you can’t legislate for that sort of natural power.

  39. WengerEagle

    Can’t understand how Perez doesn’t get more game time, he’s a very productive player whenever he’s on the pitch.

    Isn’t exactly a technician or anything and he’s not the quickest but he’s got a goalscorer’s nose for goal and often finds the right pass in the final third.

  40. Louis Almeida

    WengerEagle, for me he’s a good player but based on the fact your career highlight is a good year at West Ham, I think that speaks volumes.

  41. WengerEagle

    Bellerin is another one who doesn’t make the most of his freakish athleticism IMO.

    Wally did in his early days, he still does occasionally but I think he’s lost a couple of yards.

    Aubameyang is somebody that is great at making the most out of his pace.

  42. Louis Almeida

    WengerEagle, yes I agree with you on Perez. He’s hugely productive in terms of both goals and assists whenever he plays. Could make an argument for him taking Walcott’s position although the latter himself has 14 goals already. I guess the competition for places is healthy and good to see. For me the most important thing is going back to a mobile front line. We’re always much more dangerous with speed in the forward areas.

  43. Cesc Appeal


    He does have a nice turn of pace, but as you say not the fastest, seems to have a nice touch, good footballing brain as well and already seems to have an understanding with Welbeck, fingers crossed he’s one of those that can just strike up an accord with whoever.

    Personally I’d like to see:


    Bit of variety, much more thrust in the middle, that is a s**tload of pace and strength down your throat with Oxlade, Iwobi and Sanchez, craft out wide in Ozil, and then yet more attacking threat on the other flank in Perez, I would think about adopting a similar system for Chelsea, just removing Oxlade/Iwobi, putting Coq there and bringing Xhaka into the deep role, bring Welbeck in for Perez as well. So for Chelsea:


  44. Louis Almeida

    Preferred line-up tomorrow:


    Bellerin Mustafi Koscielny Monreal

    Oxlade Coquelin

    Walcott Özil Iwobi


    Predicted line-up:


    Gabriel Mustafi Koscielny Monreal

    Ramsey Coquelin

    Iwobi Özil Alexis


  45. WengerEagle


    Agreed but it’s not for lack of ability, it’s application and attitude that’s held him back since he was a youngster and it still plagues him.

    He’s not as extreme a case because he’s produced quality seasons for West Ham and Marseille/Lille but we’ve seen it all before with Quaresma, Taraabt, KPB, Zarate, Adriano, Ravel Morrison, list goes on.

    Talent wise he’s right up there, still by a distance created the most chances in the BPL this season despite people perceiving it as a poor campaign for him.

  46. Louis Almeida

    Cesc Appeal, Xhaka will have be onto his third suspension by the Chelsea game and will still have one more game to miss.

  47. Cesc Appeal


    Will he? I always get confused by the number of bans etc fr each type of offence, that is a sham, really annoying because likely you would have to leave Coq deep the and bring in Ramsey and watch our play slow to a crawl!


    I like that shape going forward though, lets Xhaka do what he’s meant to do, makes our middle strong adding another body, and gets Ozil’s weaknesses out of the centre and leaves him playing his Germany role.

  48. Louis Almeida

    Cesc Appeal, yes because it’s Xhaka’s second red of the season and extra game was added on top so he misses 4 league/cup games. Coquelin will have a lot of work to do as will Ransey and Ox who I’m presuming will both play many games centrally now until the return of others.

  49. R.S.P..C.Arsenal


    About mourinho


    I agree he is a right twat ..

    Met him once

    Shall bloke with a massive squRe head ..

  50. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah, but I don’t want to see Coq, Oxlade, Ozil at the three in a 4-2-3-1, I think it will work much better in a 4-3-3, 4-5-1 ‘V’ style with Coq, Oxlade and another, Ozil LM/RM.

  51. Jim Lahey

    Personally I’d like to see:


    That would actually be very interesting to see! Lots of power and pace in the middle!

    As everyone know I am not a Chamberlain fan, but maybe a spell in the centre would suit him! Couldn’t be worse than Ramsey!

  52. Bamford10

    For Chelsea I’d start as follows:


    I know people don’t want to see Ramsey, but he remains our most reliable CM option at the moment. I don’t trust Ox to do the required work on both sides of the ball, nor to make the right decisions on either side of the ball.

    If I switched to Cesc Appeal’s set-up, I’d go with this:


    Loooking at it again, I think I prefer this last XI.

    Bring Walcott on at 70 minutes, Giroud at 70 or 80.

  53. Jim Lahey

    Has anyone spoken in detail the reasoning behind Wenger’s reluctance/refusal to make tactical substitutions before 70 minutes?

    Are we the only team in the league that can’t make a change before then, or are there others?

  54. Cesc Appeal


    Do you not worry about Ozil centrally, I know everyone has different takes on this so I’m curious.

    I agree with you that Oxlade is not the safest option, Ramsey has been pretty uninspiring and seems to slow our game down, wanting five touches when one or two would do, but I do see what you mean about him being safety and energy, well, sort of safety.

    That is why for me, we need to chop and change that middle, Ramsey out, Wilshere out then maybe even Elneny with Caz signing on to accommodate two new CM’s with energy, strength and decent pace for a CM, one more well rounded and conservative, one who is a better carrier of the ball and has a greater tendency to attack.

    In my Arsenal, Ozil would have to make the LM/RM his or be sold.

  55. Bamford10

    Lots of people spreading the Allegri-to-replace-Wenger rumor on Twitter. Anyone have thoughts on the plausibility of this?

  56. Jim Lahey

    @Bamford –

    Could be a case of wishful thinking. Its odd that a lot of these players would sign new contracts if they thought Wenger would be leaving in the summer.

  57. Cesc Appeal

    I’m literally holding on to baseless optimism like a pro-Wenger fan when I hear replacement of Wenger rumours, not necessarily for that person per se, but just that we’re looking.

    Though deep down, I know he’s staying.

  58. Bamford10


    I’m with you on Ozil, except that in that V set-up I could see him working well — if he played it properly, i.e., as a CAM, not a second CF.

    I also like the idea of him picking the ball up in midfield positions with three runners in front of him.

  59. Jim Lahey

    @CA –

    It seems a little too perfect doesn’t it, Wenger going and Allegri taking his place. We are all waiting for 1) The Wenger contact extension, 2) Wenger to leave and be replaced with someone like Bould or Howe …

    Don’t think any of us really believe the club would be ambitious enough to bring in someone like Allegri.

  60. Bamford10

    The FAC does not become interesting / meaningful to me until (i) we play a top team or (ii) we reach the quarterfinal.

    Otherwise it’s one b-side against another b-side.

  61. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah, it really is difficult with Ozil, because as you say, his vision with three pacey attackers beyond, you want that, but then him in the engine room of the team, you don’t want that, you kind of see why Lowe shunts him out wide so often.

    Difficult one.


    Wenger is going to extend, the way the club is behaving, the contract extensions, the PR campaign, it is coming, The Mirror says its set up for the international break so the club can bury it, but I would guess it will be brought forward if, say, we beat Chelsea.

  62. Jim Lahey

    @CA –

    Its odd to think that about a decade ago (long fucking time…) I remember worrying about players like Vieira, Henry and Pires signing new deals and having my dad state that “The most important deal is the one Wenger signs” .. and now my dad can’t stand the man, he would honestly prefer if Bould took over at this point.

    To steal a quote from the movie The Dark Knight “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain”..

    Has any other quote been more fitting for Wenger?!

  63. tunnygriffboy


    Atm I’m getting pretty brassed off with you taking posts and then erroneously having a pop at me for things I’ve supposedly said. It’s full of assumptions that are totally wrong.

    You reckon I say that Walcott/Perez and Welbeck are top quality. Trawl through my post history and show me once where I’ve said that these are top quality ? I simply haven’t

    So by me not saying that these players are all crap and that I write shit because of this and its fans like me who don’t think it’s a tragedy we have these players shits me to tears.

    Thing is you once again make huge assumptions about what I think about players. Do you seriously think that I believe the squad is full of world class players ? That’s a ridiculous notion and shows that your view and rating of players is the right one. Surely people are allowed to have differing opinions.

    Fyi, I have never said some of the players you mention are top class. Nowhere ever have I mentioned the relative closeness of players salaries.

    Thing is you appear to see two types of players. World class or rubbish. There doesn’t appear to be any middle ground with you. We do need more WC players but the likes of Walcott/Lucas and Welbeck are certainly good enough to be in our squad and play for us.

    You hate any british player and see no redeeming feature in any of them. That’s a little bizarre. Also your constant ideas for transfers in and out are a little bit unrealistic for any number of reasons. It’s a little bit like football manager on the computer.

    I’ve a pretty good idea where we are as a squad and where we need to improve it. I am also aware of the managers and players limitations. Some players aren’t WC. Some can be very good or good. There is place in a squad for all of them. There are also players we have who should be let go.

    It’s just a shame you make false assumptions and then get abusive about it because you disagree about the usefulness of some players even if they aren’t WC

  64. tunnygriffboy

    Cmon boys Lucas, Walcott and Welbeck are shite. Bomb em out and we’ll easily get in Griezeman/Aubameyang and Lacazette. Piece of piss


    Joking aside, I agree with you re our midfield. Firstly I have to say we’ll be playing 4-2-3-1 with Coquelin and Ramsey as the two.

    However looking at Xhaka and Coquelin for that matter we could go for two midfielders ahead of them. I remember you saying about the Ox v West Ham he caused them loads of problems when he move to the centre.

    It could be a sort of 4-1-2-3 which turns into the dreaded 4-1-4-1 when we don’t have the ball 🙂 :). Xhaka could play just ahead of the back four stopping the oppo getting inbetween the lines with the bank of four ahead of him. It is a way of getting more dynamism into our game and we could use a variety of players ahead of the holding player depending on opposition.

    Problem is Wenger is stuck with his formation and wouldn’t fancy putting Ozil wide

    Lastly for Watford parking the bus I’d be ok for Giroud and it wouldn’t worry me but for the big games we have to use the best resources we have to really worry opponents defences and sadly that ain’t the Frenchman apart from plan B when needed for the last 20 mins