Arsene reshaping the midfield. An accident, or a gift for a brighter future?

by .

Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal). JGs Camping on the pitch promotion. Club Day. Arsenal Training Ground. London Colney, Herts, 23/4/14. Credit : Arsenal Football Club / David Price.

Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal). JGs Camping on the pitch promotion. Club Day. Arsenal Training Ground. London Colney, Herts, 23/4/14. Credit : Arsenal Football Club / David Price.

Wake up, look at news, cry a little inside, search ‘Arsenal news’… repeat.

Thanks for the peeps that sent me Pittsburgh references. There is literally nowhere in the world I go where a gooner can’t help me have a good beer and a cultural moment. God bless Arsenal.

Soooooo, Wenger messed himself in the prezzer when asked about a different formation, this time, about a 3-4-3.

‘We can play with three at the back, yes,’

‘We have Gabriel, we have Mertesacker, we have Holding, we have of course Koscielny and Mustafi. When needed we can do that.

‘But we are a team who are focused on an offensive game. Overall, we like always to go forward and have numbers in the middle of the park and up front.’

I do wonder what Wenger is thinking for the Chelsea game. Does he want to try and go toe-to-toe with Chelsea on our own terms and risk a mauling? Or does he have something up his sleeve? You’d have to imagine that there’s no chance he’ll spring a surprise, which is a worry. I’d imagine he’s still thinking about how we tanked them in the last game.

I’m thinking about how we are flustered under pressure from aggressive teams who can pass.

One question everyone is throwing about is the Chamberlain through the middle shout. He looked really good and not for the first time. He has the energy of Coquelin and Ramsey, but maybe a more controlled adventurism compared to the Welshman and certainly a chunk more composure than Coquelin. My main worry is Southampton were absolute codswallop (LOL), they didn’t have the quality we usually deal with and they didn’t press us. Are we overegging a performance against a poor side… or… did we see the future?

There’s been a lot talk about switching up the way we play. Opting for a more energetic midfield and front three. Questions about putting Ozil out wide left to take on the role he sometimes rocks for Germany, potentially pushing Perez out wide right and playing Sanchez through the middle. You’d have Coq anchoring the midfield. Iwobes playing next to Chambo. Pace, creativity and discipline.

My worry is Wenger won’t learn from Southampton, he’ll just revert to what he likes… and that’s Giroud through the middle. That’s a midfield that doesn’t really work. My issue is Giroud is fairly easy to deal with, he slows down our game and if your focal point can’t lead an aggressive press, the rest falls away. The best way to get a Chelsea is having a super mobile team and get at their back three.

Wenger dismissed the most boring transfer rumour of all time, no to Benzema.

“There is no need for us to buy any strikers.

“On our front, we have a big squad and don’t need to buy.

“I believe that numbers and quality wise we have what is required.”

Right, that’s all I have time for. OFF FOR A MEETING. See you on the other side. x

 

111 Responses to “Arsene reshaping the midfield. An accident, or a gift for a brighter future?”

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  1. Park Chu-young's left testicle

    “I believe that numbers and quality wise we have what is required.”

    To win the league or to secure fourth place?

  2. Leftsidesanch

    No need to tune into saturdays game, pretty sure he’ll pick the personnel that will fall right into Chelseas hand.

    If hes studying our win, we had pace, precision and aggression. Surely you go for that again?

  3. Leedsgunner

    The difference between Wenger and Conte is beautifully illustrated by how they respond to key defeats in the season.

    When we defeated Chelsea 3-0 Conte changed his system and studied why his team was so badly beaten. The result? He has completely changed his team’s fortunes He is leading the league.

    Wenger?

    His stock response to defeat is not to acknowledge it. He blames fatigue, bad luck, and tries to shuffle it under the carpet — all the while grinning inanely trying to tell anyone who will listen that the response is most important…

    Wenger only sings when he wins. When he loses, he blames others.

  4. Leedsgunner

    “My main worry is Southampton were absolute codswallop (LOL), they didn’t have the quality we usually deal with and they didn’t press us. Are we overegging a performance against a poor side…”

    That’s exactly what we saw.

    Fair dues to Chambo he took his chance but he would be found wanting against better sides.

    Come to think of it, whatever way one looks at this Chambo enigma Wenger comes out of it looking poorly. It’s not like Chambo is a fresh youngster playing in his first season for the club is he?

    If the Ox is really a CM, why has it taken Wenger so long to figure this out? I thought Wenger was supposed to be a developer of youth talent second to none?

    If Chambo turns out to be the dynamic CM we need to fill Santi’s shoes all well and good… and I will celebrate that as a fan but please — Wenger sit down. It’s more by luck rather than judgement that we’ve stumbled on to this solution.

  5. tunnygriffboy

    Cesc

    I’ve just done a bumper post iin response to your midfield suggestion on the other thread. B.gger

    Basically I agree but can’t see it being done. Anyhow aren’t you worried it’ll return into your favoured 4 -1-mess-1 🙂 🙂 🙂

  6. Cesc Appeal

    Tunny

    That would be a management problem, not a player or formation problem, there is nothing wrong with the 4-1-4-1 per se, though I don’t like a flat four behind the one, the problem is Wenger, he’s just a lazy manager, its just magnets on whiteboard in a changing room, no real thought or practice or positional training.

    Again, comes down to getting in a new manager, watching Guardiola vs Pochettino last week you saw the difference, both setting up to get at the other, both react to on field events and changing system.

    Whether its formation, whether its transfer market, tactics, whatever, Arsenal are boring, stable, decent level stagnation, no innovation, no ambition.

    Wenger could prove me wrong, but if Oxlade is in the centre all it will be is simply him next to Coq instead of Ramsey, Ozil at CAM, again, peg out, peg in, no real change.

  7. tunnygriffboy

    Cesc

    Thing is, and it’s hugely frustrating, but I believe we have a pretty good squad with a lot of variety player and age wise. Of course you could improve it in certain areas but as a starting point it’s good.

    Just think that with new management, ideas, philosophy and motivation you could get an extra 10/15% out of it even without additions and that’s all it would take.

    I can’t abuse Wenger because he’s done great things for the club. I’ve supported the club for eons and I’m grateful for the football he’s brought, the players he’s brought and we’ve seen, the trophies he’s won and the fact he’s helped the club to be one of the biggest in Europe set up for years to come. However there is now frustration with me and it’s time he moved gracefully on and handed over to someone young, progressive and ambitious. The club and playing staff are ready to kick on.

  8. Pierre

    Red&awhile
    ““Wenger only sings when he wins. When he loses, he blames others.”
    Amen to that”

    He must have been doing a lot of singing lately…….Amen to that

  9. Ishola70

    Pedro:

    “Are we overegging a performance against a poor side… or… did we see the future?”

    Yes to the first part. Arsenal reserves soundly beat Southampton reserves, Shame what the FA Cup is now and has been for many years now,

    Reminds me of the period when Arsenal were heavily promoting youth all those years back when wining a trophy even an FA Cup was off limits. Fans would wax lyrical over youth/reserve players participating in the League Cup.

    It’s good to see younger players now and again make an appearance for perhaps a glimpse into the future but to make too much stock of it is a bit folly.

  10. Ishola70

    Pedro:

    “My worry is Wenger won’t learn from Southampton”

    Wenger may have his faults but I would hope he wouldn’t take too much significance in regards to an FA Cup reserves fixture.

    If the thought is to change it up for the better in other higher standard matches then fair enough of course but have to have doubts that this should be bandied about because of how it looked against Southampton reserves

  11. tunnygriffboy

    Ishola

    I agree Southampton were not great. Still think Welbeck and Lucas linked up well and with Theo as well their pace and movement would have caused better sides a few problems.

    Ox bossed the game and the youngsters did very well as well but they’d need to be tested against better opposition before we can get a true reflection of where they’re at.

  12. Cesc Appeal

    It is a perfectly fair point to say Southampton were poor so we cannot draw conclusions.

    But how long have some on here and elsewhere been banging the drum that our set up is wrong?

    How many games have we had this season at home like Burnley, Bournemouth, Palace etc, those types of games were you could have been adventurous and tried some new approaches? We could have drawn conclusions from those types of games, but we never do, everything at Arsenal is bland and steady, flog the 4-2-3-1, Ozil as CAM even though the deficiencies are obvious, squeeze Ramsey in, even though the deficiencies are obvious, go with Giroud etc

    At least now it seems as if a heck of a lot of Arsenal fans are catching on to the idea our system needs changing to maximize what is a good group of players.

    It was only at the beginning of the season I was told by two posters on here my thoughts on our middle (going to a three, moving Ozil out of it) were ‘laughable,’ now look.

  13. raptora

    What I’d like to see is for long term lineup when Xhaka is back is:

    ———————Xhaka————————
    —————Coq———————————
    Walcott———Sanchez———Welbeck
    ———————–Perez————————

    Loads and loads of speed. Sanchez in there to dictate games like he usually does anyways. Super mobile and full with goalscorers front 4 that can change places, pass the ball fast, all can press and all can put the ball in. Looking at our season so far one of the riddles of the puzzle is that Alexis always drops a bit deeper to free up space for one of our attackers to go in.. and what happens? Mothereffin Ozil goes in and is incompetent infront of goal (bar Ludogorets lol). So with this setup we get to have Sanchez get more of the ball, more people that he can pass and go in for potentially a give-and-go, more quality finishers, more quality pressers, amazing speed and diversity, a tall player coming in (Welbeck), a fast player (Walcott), an intelligent fox in the box (Perez) and the all round wonder that Alexis is. All of them, bar probably Walcott, are good passers too so we don’t really lose on this aspect. At the same time we have two players that are entirely responsible for the defensive part of the game in Coq and Xhaka while our team doesn’t lose anything in neither pressing (Sanchez compared to Ozil) or attacking threat (Sanchez compared to Ozil). The team gets way faster and what is important, we get to have more players/finishers in the enemy box especially with Walcott you know that he will go in and leave the wing for Bellerin. Ozil, Ramsey and Giroud (aka the slowly three) can be used as subs.

  14. Louis Almeida

    “All of them, bar probably Walcott, are good passers too so we don’t really lose on this aspect.”

    You would struggle to break down any team at home with that above line-up. You may not like them but flinging pacey players alone on the pitch isn’t going to solve the problem. You need a balance of creativity and combination play in there too. That team would struggle. You need the likes of Cazorla, Iwobi and Ozil in there.

    The Ozil abuse is even getting too much these days. People want to call him lazy so much that they are becoming ignorant to all the things he’s actually good at. It’s a real shame.

  15. Ishola70

    Raptora you are obviously hoping Ozil doesn’t sign that new contract.

    Unfortunately at the moment it looks more likely that Ozil stays on and Sanchez legs it.

    Plenty will see what you are getting at with that formation but it is highly unlikely that it will be used as a first choice formation.

    If Ozil stays on no way Wenger drops him and Wenger sees Perez as maybe even fourth choice as the striker up top at the moment. Sanchez, Giroud and even Welbeck will get the nod over Perez to continually lead the frontline.

  16. Federer

    Giroud has no business even on the bench against Chelsea. By all means, Sanchez and Welby should start against Chelsea.

  17. Federer

    A front three of Sanchez – Walcot – Welbeck intermittently changing positions while Ozil – Iwobi – Coq manning the midfield with Coq sitting deep would cause Chelsea problems and at the same time neutralise their hard pressing game

  18. Ishola70

    Federer:
    “A front three of Sanchez – Walcot – Welbeck intermittently changing positions while Ozil – Iwobi – Coq manning the midfield with Coq sitting deep would cause Chelsea problems and at the same time neutralise their hard pressing game”

    Had to laugh at the term “manning” the midfield in relation to Ozil.

    As others have said he disappears in big matches when the heat is turned up especially away from home.

    He may have had a good match against Chelsea at home earlier in the season but you would expect an entirely different match to that earlier game in the season not to mention that Chelsea look a completely different side to that earlier team that faced Arsenal. Arsenal were good on the day but let’s be honest Chelsea were insipid that day.

    Fully expect Ozil to be a bystander again.

  19. Dissenter

    “My issue is Giroud is fairly easy to deal with, he slows down our game and if your focal point can’t lead an aggressive press, the rest falls away. The best way to get a Chelsea is having a super mobile team and get at their back three”

    Pedro,
    These are untrue though.
    Even when Alexis starts, he presses and no-one follows, we aren’t a pressing team.
    The chelsea back four are full of pace and running. We are not going to beat them with pace.

    I don’t understand these oft-repeated nonsense about Giroud. It just goes to prove that if you repeat a statement long enough it starts to pass as truth.
    Pressing is a team effort and has nothing to do with Giroud.
    Giroud offers a different way of playing that is unavailable when he’s missing. That’s the conundrum Wenger has to solve because we keep crossing the ball when he’s not playing and then stop crossing when he’s actually on the field.

    That said I expect that Alexis will start along with Welbeck and Walcott.

  20. Dissenter

    Oxlade is average with passing from the midfield.
    He’s a 1/10 without the ball on the midfield which just makes him a very poor midfielder.
    I also question his effort and above average player like Victor Moses is dong well because they find that extra 5% energy to save plays that other’s would have given up on; Oxlade lacks that mentality, it’s all flash and bling form him.

  21. gonsterous

    I think we’ll see sanchez and giroud back on the weekend with welbeck coming on in the second half. Wenger doesnt rate perez so he.might be left out or an unused sub. Ozil, Ramsey and coq pretty much write themselves in. Normal back 4 and cech in goal.
    Wengers 11

    Back 5
    Coq ramsey
    Ozil
    Wally gir. Sanchez..

    Conte knows this, lets see what he does!

  22. Federer

    Ishola
    We all know Wenger would start Ozil at #10. Either playing OM alone with CM/DM support or playing with a CAM.
    I believe we can get fired up for that game and put in a good shift.
    ie Ozil inclusive.

  23. Ishola70

    Ox is a winger. He is capable of good things (his cross to Giroud for the late equaliser at Old Trafford) but has no consistency at all . To think that he can all of a sudden become a top midfielder with his lack of consistency is stretching it. He doesn’t have the consistency for a top wide player let alone for the middle.

  24. Guns of Hackney

    Breaking.

    Arsenal sign Karim Benzema…

    Sorry, that was the story from 2009…2010…2011…2012…2013…2014…2015…2016.

    I reckon Arsene will get his man in 2022. Take that to the bank.

  25. Federer

    I think we would see more of Ox in the middle of the park. Wenger has become a specialist at stumbling on a player’s most comfortable position. The experiment with Ox would go on and on till both Walcot and Welbeck get injured.
    Otherwise, Ox would continue his cameo from the bench

  26. Pierre

    Isohola70
    “Ox is a winger. He is capable of good things (his cross to Giroud for the late equaliser at Old Trafford) but has no consistency at all . To think that he can all of a sudden become a top midfielder with his lack of consistency is stretching it. He doesn’t have the consistency for a top wide player let alone for the middle.”

    Are you trying to say that ox is inconsistent

  27. Up 4 grabs now

    Sorry guys but I don’t see what some of you see in Chamberlain.
    It was a weakened Southampton side and he had a good game.
    Not a world class game, not a ran the show from start to finish game, but a good game, bare minimum.
    Watch it again, and see how many times he also gave the ball away or made the wrong pass.
    1 good game, then 5 average or poor ones. Not good enough I’m afraid.

  28. Ishola70

    Pierre:
    Isohola70
    ”Are you trying to say that ox is inconsistent”

    Absolutely. I was pretty consistent with my Ox inconsistencies there.

  29. Pierre

    Will be good to go to the game tomorrow without the usual negativity in the stadium …lets hope we get the perfect scenario , Liverpool to beat Chelsea and The Arsenal to have a convincing win to take us into the weekend…

  30. raptora

    “The Ozil abuse is even getting too much these days. People want to call him lazy so much that they are becoming ignorant to all the things he’s actually good at. It’s a real shame.”

    Problem is that he just stopped delivering. Most of his assist nowadays come from corners or free kicks, or are headers by Giroud. It’s no wonder that people see Ozil being effective when the big frenchman on the field (part of why Ozil had that assist monster half of season last year) but that is also when we as a team look the worst. We look the best with pacey players like Alexis and Walcott on the pitch. Alexis drops deep anyways and starts to do the job that Ozil is supposed to be doing but one reason or another just isn’t. The Alexis pass for Kos that forced the penalty Burnley is just an example. The Chambo through balls or Perez’ smart passes. How many times lately has Ozil shown up in a big way like it. Not saying that the Southampton game should be considered a legit test but it can be taken as an example what we have been lacking and what we should try to replicate more often. Ozil has had 4 assists so far in the EPL. Four. It’s something like 3 from corners and 1 to Giroud if I’m not mistaken. That’s it. The side passes that he has been making have been anything else but not dangerous. He has been anything else but not dangerous bar Ludogorets. His moment of the season so far is that horrendous defending in the Everton corner. In the current form of the german I am surely against him resigning for us. Give this money to a proper player who is ready to give his all for this team and is a proper threat for the oppositions, that can actually go through an enemy once in a while or has any physical strength. Ozil is an ultra luxury player. That’s what he is. They couldn’t afford to have a luxury player at Madrid, where some of the teams are coming with their pants down, how are we to afford having him in our team?!

    No physicality, always hides when team is suffering, no leadership qualities, can’t go through a player, no pace, always grumpy, slows our game, won’t defend for the sake of it, not good at pressing, bad mentality, his end product just stopped coming… Should I keep going?

    In a year that we are scoring more than normal, out of the 50 goals in the EPL we’ve scored, he has 5 goals and 4 assists. Hardly impressive. On the other hand, in the two consecutive losses we had vs Everton and City he was probably the worst player on the pitch. Missing key open chances vs Everton to put the game to bed and then that defending of the corner, and in the lost to City he just wasn’t up to the task to fight for the so-so balls, keep them for us and restore our game. Instead he shied from all duels and never really tried to regain our possession but was busy gesturing to his teammates. I don’t want him in our team, sadly Wenga will renew his contract.

  31. Ishola70

    raptoraJanuary 30, 2017 17:22:58
    “ On the other hand, in the two consecutive losses we had vs Everton and City he was probably the worst player on the pitch.”

    He was particularly poor at Old Trafford. The Giroud late goal in that match for the draw might have made some forget how bad he was in that match. A complete passenger. No point in him being on the pitch and the point you made about Sanchez coming back deep and trying to do his job for him was perfectly illustrated in that game.

    Let’s hope Ozil surprises and actually turns up against Chelsea.

  32. Emiratesstroller

    When you select a team it should be “horses for course” and that should apply also to the tactics employed.

    Sadly Wenger has been never one to adopt such strategy. Our team and tactics
    are mostly fairly predictable and seem to take very little account to the opposition.

    As I pointed out yesterday Arsenal should adopt similar selections and tactics
    when playing against Chelsea in the home game. They worked and whilst the
    Chelsea formation may have changed their defence is not signifycantly different.

    A front line of Iwobi, Sanchez and Walcott tore them to shreds and whilst Cazorla will be missing I do think that Oxlade would be a better option than Ramsey in middle playing alongside Coquelin. If he is briefed correctly Ox can
    operate in similar fashion.

  33. T2T

    There has to be a lot of you who either just started reading about Arsenal/ Arsene Wenger or has a very short memory. Arsene has stated for years that he sees Ox’ future through the middle; it’s not something he has stumbled across.
    Preferred lineup against Chelsea with availability players:
    Cech
    Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal
    Coquelin, Ox
    Walcott, Özil, Sanchez
    Welbeck
    Subs: Ospina, Gabriel, Gibbs, Ramsey, Iwobi, Perez, Giroud

  34. Pierre

    Dissenter
    “The chelsea back four are full of pace and running. We are not going to beat them with pace.”

    We have convincingly beaten them with pace once this season ….it depends on Wenger . Will he play a front 4 of Sanchez, Walcott/welbeck , Iwobi /Perez and ozil or will he stick giroud in…… I would like him to be brave enough to leave giroud and Ramsey on the bench and give ox a go alongside coquelin in centre mid…… I don’t think Chelsea are as good as everyone thinks ….they are there for the taking if we have a real go at them and we don’t do the norm an freeze ….

  35. Emiratesstroller

    Pierre

    Chelsea played a conventional back 4 including Ivanovic, but otherwise the
    other members of their defence are exactly the same.

    Indeed reading the Chelsea report they changed their formation to a back three during this game and not as some assumed in the following game.

    Looking at the players who played against us at Emirates I would expect nine
    to be turning out against us with only Ivanovic and Fabregas missing.

  36. Do one gambon

    Red&awhile
    ““Wenger only sings when he wins. When he loses, he blames others.”

    Like every other manager then. They are all always full of excuses.

    Criticise Wenger when its warranted, sure, but some people just slate the guy for everything.

  37. Dissenter

    “Is jenkinson still at arsenal?????”
    Yes because we pay him way too much money. He didn’t agree terms with palace because they couldn’t match the Wenger-type wages.

  38. Do one gambon

    I mean I saw klopp (like him) moaning about too many fixtures being the reasons Liverpool are falling apart.. Mr 38 games + reserve cup + 2 fa cup ties is moaning about fixtures.

    Maureen flat out denied united lost 2-1 on the night last week. It was a draw because the pen shouldnt have been or something.

    They’re all full of shif, all of them.

    Job preservation .

  39. Ishola70

    He’s just been let go Ivanovic to Zenit St Petersburg on free.

    He was good in his prime and showed he was a strong and versatile defender but pace was never his forte even when he was at his best. Now with his advancing years he was as slow as a snail and really shouldn’t have even been lining up in a starting eleven in a serious side this season.

  40. BacaryisGod

    There’s no reason why Oxlade-Chamberlain can’t be a fantastic central midfield player but the key is to see him shine against top-flight Premier league opposition.

    His main areas of weakness in the past have been 1) final decision 2) not contributing enough goals or assists and 3) losing the ball under pressure.

    In central midfield, two out of the above three are far less relevant. He’ll simply not be in a position to make the important cross or shot and he won’t be expected to contribute too many goals or assists, although a few of each will be important.

    If he can play against top-class opponents like he did against Soton’s 2nd XI, spraying the ball around like Pirlo and controlling his space physically, then his combination of passing with the occasional burst forward dribbles and long-range shooting could be a real asset for us.

    He’s been in the league long enough. It really should be sink or swim in the central midfield position. Imagine Ox and Xhaka sitting behind Ozil, Walcott, Welbeck and Alexis. Maybe too attacking against teams like Chelsea but definitely a terrifying prospect for opponents.

  41. Wengaball

    “As others have said he disappears in big matches when the heat is turned up especially away from home.”

    Ha!

    Özil is a creator. He needs the team to have the ball to be able to things. When we don’t have possession of course he will ‘disappear.’ But it’s only because the whole team is being outplayed – or more accurately the rest of the team is not doing its job.

  42. WrightIsGod

    Giroud should never start when we are looking to begin the game on the front foot. He is best placed for us in the final 20 minutes when we are desperate, because it’s usually when we become more frantic and switch up our game. We start throwing crosses otherwise the majority of the time our game goes against Giroud. Still saying that his form does make it harder for Wenger to drop him.

    As for that Southampton game, great result but taken with a massive pinch of salt.

  43. Marc

    Wright

    Any balanced fan appreciates who we played against on Saturday, what fucks me off is the Spud’s are currently being hailed as a major force and struggled against Wycombe. If their reserves had beaten Southampton reserves by the margin we did the press would be talking about how deep their squad is.

  44. Leedsgunner

    Sutton Utd away… happy for them. Hopefully it will be televised so that they get even more money out of it.

    I would be tempted to play the same team we did on Saturday. Surely we would be strong enough to beat them even with our reserve side?! We better be! 🙂

  45. tunnygriffboy

    F me. Sutton United away on their artificial pitch. Banana skin 🙂 That is what thefa cup is about. Their tiny ground will be rocking

    All the big boys avoided each other . The quarter finals will be tasty. It’ll be tough to win it this season

  46. Marc

    Cesc

    Looking like all the major PL clubs should win their matches. The qtr finals are going to have some serious matches – should do the reputation of the cup some good.

  47. Federer

    My-o-my, I got my prediction spot on.
    Sutton Utd, yet another run out for the team that played against Southampton

  48. tunnygriffboy

    Cesc

    We play Bayern midweek then the fa cup. The following Saturday we were due to play Southampton but because they are in the league cup final we have a blank weekend

    It means therefore we’ll have a free fortnight between the fa cup tie and the Liverpool game. Two weeks to rest up, get players sorted and prepare thoroughly for the trip to Anfield. No excuse not to be prepared :). It’s our midwinter break 🙂

    That draw is the essence of the fa cup. The quarters could be brutal with the big guns avoiding each other this round

    Marc

    Totally with you re Spurs and Wycombe

  49. kel

    I can’t believe jenkinson is still with us a next dead wait just bleeding the club dry and offering very little in return. wenger is a idiota. what is wenger really doing offering these average players big wages????? I smell a next bednter

  50. Ishola70

    Leedsgunner:
    “Sutton Utd away… happy for them. Hopefully it will be televised so that they get even more money out of it.”

    Pure Chelsea Chav town is Sutton. Should be hoping for double digits. Humiliate them 😉

  51. BacaryisGod

    Kel

    Don’t worry about it-there’s dead weight at every club. Just be thankful he’s not playing.

    I like the overall look of our back line options. We have a clear starting 4 (Bellerin, Mustafi, Kozzer and Monreal) with 3 back-up CBs in Mert, Holding. Bellerin can be replaced by Gabriel, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Debuchy and even Coquelin while Gibbs is there to cover for Monreal.

    This might be the first transfer window in about 11 years where fans aren’t screaming in panic for new signings.

  52. Cesc Appeal

    Marc

    Yeah, should be a bloodbath in the quarters, no excuses for us not progressing, this is the game Sutton fans would have wanted though, a big team, get to have their moment.

    Tunny

    Yeah, means we can all out against Munich (haha) and then essentially get an enormous lay off period, put out a decent team at Sutton, but no need to risk our big players who will get a long, long rest period before Liverpool away, now if we arrive into that game under prepared and looking lethargic, Wenger need to be shot at pointblank range.

  53. Cesc Appeal

    ‘This might be the first transfer window in about 11 years where fans aren’t screaming in panic for new signings.’

    True, down to our decent squad in part, also down to the fact I think most fans big concern is Wenger leaving, or rather for about half the fan base (I would say more than that just some are not as vocal) wanting him to go.

    The fact his end is in sight means focus shifts to him as opposed to the squad, seems as well most everyone agrees this team are pretty decent but are maybe not being maximized.

  54. Emiratesstroller

    tunny

    Sutton’s plastic pitch might be considered a banana skin for most EPL teams, but interestingly Arsenal installed an artificial pitch at their training ground in 2015 so they are probably more likely to be used to it than many other league clubs.

    However, I wonder whether Sutton might opt to play this game at Emirates considering that their ground seats only 5,000.

  55. Samesong

    If the players go on in with they won the game already attitude Sutton will destroy us. They have nothing to lose. That would be one of the biggest cup embarrassments.

  56. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Stroller

    I was speaking with my dad an insuggested we will prob offer to host game.
    Plus tv
    A mother bits they could get 600,00 bags out of it

  57. jwl

    Third time trying to post this today, good article where talks about Invincibles and says Lehmann could get into arguments while looking in mirror:

    Guardian January 2017

    He’ll make a good quiz question one day: which Spaniard won the Africa Cup of Nations, an Olympic Gold and the Premier League? Need a clue? He was at the same club as Diego Maradona; shared a room with Samuel Eto’o …..

    Oh, , and he won the Premier League without losing a match.

    The answer is Laureano Bisan Etamé-Mayer, but you’ll know him better as just Lauren.

    Yet I’d choose Patrick Vieira. You’d see him training and think he wasn’t at his best but in games he was, week after week. Patrick was incredible, exactly what a captain should be. He stood up to everything but with ‘good manners’; aggressive but there was a classiness to it. If I could choose someone to play for Arsenal now, it would be him.

  58. jwl

    Cesc Appeal:

    Had the same reaction as you did yesterday when I first saw those two huge ‘cookie tables’, free booze and all the home baked cookies I could eat, one of better weddings I been to.

  59. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Pierre

    You have mire chances of winning the lotto jackpot than pool taking three points off Chelsea …
    Elvis coming back to play Las Vegas is shorter odds than that .

  60. freddylekgunner

    It’s funny how posters are focusing on the Chelsea game and ignoring tomorrow’s match. The Chelsea game could be meaningless without a win tomorrow.

  61. Leedsgunner

    For goodness sake I hope we see Perez play more in the games ahead. It would be a shame to have Welbeck injured again by rushing him too much.

    Against Sutton United I would like to see what Akpom and Edward Nketiah could do… perhaps have them on the bench? It would be a perfect game to blood them in surely? 🙂

  62. Downundergunner

    Firstly, Wenger hasnt just stumbled upon the OX being a CM. He has played in this position during his junior days, and he has said it plenty of times in the past that is his preferred position but obviously couldnt get a game there with all the other talent we had in CM.

    Secondly Walcott and Giroud should be nowhere near our starting 11 against Chelsea, they are both useless and have been over the last 3-5 years.. Hence the reason we keep finishing top 4 only.

    Need to Start Perez on the right, hes a much better player than walcott including his finishing and passing.. Welbz up front and Sanchez on the left.

    ………….Ozil……………….
    Perez…Welbz………Sanchez

    That is our best attacking 4 IMO with potetnially rotating Welbz with Iwobi.

    GIroud & Walcott are only impact players off the bench.

    Finally.. Coquellin should never start for us in the middle as he cant pass to save his life and is constantly out of position.. Need to Play Ox/Rambo/Santi next to Xhaxa as our CM pairing…

  63. Wallace

    “Arsene Wenger has claimed Arsenal’s current attacking resources are the strongest he has ever had at the club.

    Wenger has Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Lucas Perez and Danny Welbeck among his striking options and has rated the current crop ahead of members of the Gunners’ 2003/2004 squad.

    Sanchez has registered 15 league goals this season – the joint most in the division – while Giroud has scored five goals in his last six games.

    Asked if he now has the best attacking unit in his time at Arsenal, Wenger replied: “Yes. I think certainly numbers-wise and quality-wise together.

    “We had never had so many players who could perform and score goals. Certainly never.”

    – sky sports

  64. Wallace

    tonight I’d be torn between trying out a few things with a view to Chelsea at the weekend, and giving a few players the night off. would have no problem with Gabriel, Holding & Gibbs starting in defence, would even be considering Gabriel to start on Saturday given Bellerin’s recent dip in form, and would love to see the Ox get another go in CM. up top Lucas deserves another start, and would be okay with Giroud at #9 as long as Alexis starts there vs Chelsea.

  65. Wallace

    Elneny to miss the AFCON semi-final with a calf injury, Cuper says he might be okay for the final if they make it.

  66. China

    Trololol good luck fitting xhaka back into your side when his suspension is finished. It will be a matter of matches before he drops another penalty or red card. Have fun with that

  67. China

    We don’t have anyone in this attacking setup as good as bergkamp and not in the same universe as Henry. Sanchez is in the same league as pires and I’m afraid nothing more. Welbeck Perez Giroud are all like wiltord level.

    We have numbers but only a singular ‘special’ player in our front line. Our goals before came from two of the best strikers to ever play in Europe. Bobby pires and Freddy ljungberg. Bench with wiltord and Kanu. I’m sorry but you can have 50 strikers in the wiltord region of skill but that leant equate to better than having TH and DB. Not even a tiny bit close

  68. China

    The funniest part of that joke statement from arsene is he’s describing about 2 or three other post 03/04 squads as his best ever too!

    By his own reckoning our invincibles are like 3rd or 4th on his list of best ever squads.

    How the fuck does this guy make this shit up? Our invincibles would absolutely smash this team

  69. Frank Mc

    “Arsene Wenger has claimed Arsenal’s current attacking resources are the strongest he has ever had at the club.”

    He’s talking out of his arse, imo.

  70. Wallace

    we’ve got Alexis, Giroud, Walcott, Welbeck & Lucas all scoring at a good rate this season. we’ve never had so many players scoring so frequently before. I’d agree with him there.

  71. Emiratesstroller

    China

    The only forward in current team who would probably make the starting lineup of Invincibles team is Sanchez.

    Wiltord was a striker, but could not make that position in Arsenal’s Invincible team. Nevertheless he was a “World Cup Winner” with France so probably better than many of the forwards in the current squad.

  72. underrated Coq

    Someone ask Arsene why this amazing attacking unit fires blanks whenever faced up against half decent teams.

  73. Emiratesstroller

    Correction Wiltord was in French Team that won Euros and reached World
    Cup Final. He won also 92 caps for France at a time when they were probably
    the best international team.

    Also surprising he was Arsenal’s record signing until Arshavin arrived at club.
    He cost more than Messrs Henry, Bergkamp, Pires,Vieira and Ljungberg.

  74. Wallace

    “The attacking riches at the manager’s disposal have led him to suggest that he’s got more quality now than ever before, even in the Invincibles team. It’s something that might raise eyebrows, but it’s a reasonable point when he adds the context to it:

    I think certainly numbers-wise and quality-wise together. We’ve never had so many players who could perform and score goals – certainly never. Dennis and Thierry had the quality but that didn’t mean we had a large number of options to choose from.

    So you can see where he’s coming from when you look at what he’s got this season:

    Alexis Sanchez – 17 goals, 11 assists

    Theo Walcott – 14 goals, 2 assists

    Olivier Giroud – 10 goals, 3 assists

    Mesut Ozil – 9 goals, 7 assists

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6 goals, 6 assists

    Lucas Perez – 6 goals, 6 assists

    Alex Iwobi – 4 goals, 3 assists

    Danny Welbeck – 2 goals, 1 assist (1 start)”

    – arseblog

  75. Leedsgunner

    Why are we surprised that Wenger is saying this attack is his best ever? He says variations of it every year… it’s the footballing equivalent of the boy who cries wolf. No one believes him.

    Here is the thing, that 2003/4 squad which Wenger just dishonoured was one the most potent attacking forces of its time able to beat anyone… with a midfield and defence to match.

    Can anyone say the same about this present squad? If we were so potent why couldn’t we beat an inconsistent Everton side? Or what about losing to Man City?

    Whether Wenger knew this or not this was an incredibly stupid statement to make. It just opens his squad to scrutiny and ridicule next time they lose. This is not good management, it’s just empty posturing.

    What have we won in terms of the biggest prizes for Wenger to make such a grandiose statement? The EPL? The Champions League?

    Nope.

    I just hope the squad ignores Wenger and puts the hard work in…

    What a stupid thing to say.

  76. Welbecchio

    Come on Leeds. Try think about what he’s actually saying…

    The best players were in the 04 squad but collectively we,re scoring more than we ever have with all the front lads contributing.

    How many did Jeffers get again?

  77. OleGunner

    Wenger has said that of numerous squads that they are the best his ever had, best attack, best defence etc compared to the invincibles.

    It’s a load of hot air to give the players and fans more confidence.
    When we win a big trophy beyond FA cup he can start to blow smoke up our asses about having the best squad ever.