Arsene Wenger ponders doing the right thing with Mesut Ozil

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Had 4 flights cancelled since Thursday trying to make it out to St. Louis. Currently sitting in La Guardia, nursing a 5 hour delay. Depressing ain’t the word. Cold is. They’re flooding freezing air con at us.

Anyway, let’s talk Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

I’ve watched them a bit this season, it’s very difficult to make a true assessment of thier state because they’re so much better than the rest of the Bundesliga and they dominate. They do have weaknesses though, I think their centre backs, Alaba and Martinez, can be got at and Lahm is no spring chicken these days. Unreal players, but I think an aggressive, fast paced counter attack could be interesting. Schalke caused issues when they went at them straight through the middle.

Here’s where it gets interesting for Wednesday. For us to do that, in my opinion, we need to drop Ozil. Not only has his form and attitude been questionable over the past few weeks, I’m just not sure his game is suited to a ‘buckle-up-your-belts’ night in Munich.

In my opinion, we need composure, discipline and speed to have a chance out there.

My midfield would be Xhaka, Elneney and Chamberlain. Xhaka can pull the strings in the deep role, then he has two players flanking him who can do the running. Oxlade-Chamberlain is also more than capable of receiving deep and distributing at speed, as we’ve seen in his last 3 games. Add to that his ability to break lines with his explosive-ness over 10meters, well, you have a good option there.

I know a lot of people will pine for Coquelin. His aggressive pressing is a benefit and he reads the opposition well. However, against the big teams, he just doesn’t cut it. He’s weak in possession, he can’t come deep to receive the ball and he’s error prone. It feels like Bayern is the game you’d need him, reality is, if you can’t deal with the ball at your feet, you’re going to be meat to a team that are very good at stealing the ball and breaking a pace. Demonstrated this weekend when they beat Ingolstadt 2-0.

I have big worries about Bayern taking a speed machine to Nacho Monreal. Douglas Costa if he starts would roast our Spaniard. Anyone with pace tends to cause him problems.

My biggest worry is that Carlo will have seen how Everton, Watford, Bournemouth, Chelsea and even Swansea for 45mins caused us massive issues by pressing. We don’t have a coping method. Teams will let us play the ball out of defence, as soon as it hits midfield they hit hard and we crumble like Ian Wright’s whitepaper in body language analysis… if you have the speed in your team, you can be at our penalty box in 5 seconds, if you have the quality, you can bury us early.

That’s why I think having mobility and class in our midfield, combined with someone who can pick out accurate long balls, could be the answer.

My front three would be Perez, Sanchez and Welbeck. Theo Walcott can put in a good show occasionally, but he’s not next level for tekkers and I’m just not sure he has enough grit in the big games. Sure, he looked pretty cool picking a fight with two oafs from Hull…

Screen Shot 2017-02-12 at 6.27.09 PM

My dad in Cardiff being told he can’t go into a bar because he wearin’ club colours

… but does he have the stomach in the big games?

Perez has a great work ethic, he can pick a goal out from almost anywhere and I think he’s shown more than enough of late to say he can cut it against Bayern. It’ll also surprise them. Not to mention his CL record, he’s started 1 game, scored 3 and has 2 assists.

I’d go with WELBZ through the middle. Watching Sanchez drop deep and give us no one through the middle against most teams when he plays centrally is a little frustrating. Danny can act as a bully boy outlet and he’s a good guy to pick out with a long ball. I also think he’d thrive in a game like Bayern. I’m picturing winners against United in the FA Cup and Leicester in the 95th last year and I’m starting to dream like someone who hasn’t paid attention.

Anyway, current mood right now. Name it if you remember being there:

Screen Shot 2017-02-12 at 6.32.51 PM

I know how the story ends, but please, just be with me for a few more days… there’s plenty if time to whinge later in the week.

Right, there’s a dose of hope for you. Let me have it in the comments.


233 Responses to “Arsene Wenger ponders doing the right thing with Mesut Ozil”

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  1. GG


    The problem with that is xhaka is too slow and will be left exposed.

    We have no reason not to go all out with that speedy forward line.

    I think Ozil will start. Can’t see wenger benching him for such a big game

    Iwobi and ox can’t be trusted again a top side like Bayern. Thier MF will eat them

  2. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    An isa has more chance of improving than wenger beating the kraits ….
    An isa are dead now with interest rates shite

  3. GG

    10000 empty seats v hull. Supporters letting their feelings be known about how they feel.

    Speaks volumes that 10000 fans didn’t bother showing up with 13 matches left to play in the season

    It’s not like it was the last game of the seasons

    Thought we were still in the league?

  4. SUGA3

    I think with all the pace on my team sheet, we could get away with having Xhaka there. Not like the alternatives are lightning quick, Elneny is probably even slower and Coquelin needs a break, especially after that knock. Xhaka’s long balls are worth it too in the counterttacking game.

    AOC and Iwobi would at least harry the opposition at pace. Ozil? He could do with a start on the bench, this might spark him up a bit.

    I know, it would require a bit of discipline and precise instructions. That, and barking orders from the dugout and shit :mrgreen:

  5. Paulinho

    “I remember in Barcelona and that year we played Arsenal,” Guardiola said yesterday. “He left a massive impression when he came. A high, high level.!

    People forget how good he was in the second leg of that tie, and seems from Guardiola’s words, he means the second game as well.

    Off with ankle injury, guarantee it will come out after the game he has an ankle issue for weeks.

    He’s always been deluding himself about his previous injuries there being impact ones. I’ve seen him in games hobbling and touching his ankle supposedly weeks before these impact challenges.

  6. Paulinho

    Pedro – Didn’t watch much of it. From what I saw, he was playing number ten and as always there he doesn’t really know what to do off the ball. Game seems to pass him by.

  7. Leedsgunner

    I don’t know what happened there in my last post — I thought it was the one explaining Simeone’s approach! I’ll try again…

  8. Leedsgunner

    Nope.. for some reason it doesn’t work. It’s easily available on the Umaxit youtube channel — like I said — an excellent explnation… 🙂 I don’t know who would want to know about Lampard anyway…

    They do have a short video on Giroud which I thought was fair.

  9. Bamford10


    “Let me give you a clue ……look at the fixture list , that may help …”

    So not only does Pierre think it foolish to write us off against Bayern, he also sees us closing the gap with Chelsea and winning the PL.

    This guy is a real piece of work.

  10. Samir

    Team for Bayern please Wenger:


    But we all know he’ll sadly pick: Monreal, Coq, Iwobi instead of Gibbs Ox and Welbeck .

  11. PieAFC

    The team sheet will be predictable just like the score line.


    The away goal scored late in the second half. After being out played all game. Will give the Wenger lovers the away goal and hope, which will be rammed down everyone’s throats. Even after witnessing us being out fought, tactically and given a football lesson.


  12. Jeff

    Does it really matter whom he picks? Does anyone think it’s going to make the blindest bit of difference to the end result? We’re just going through the motions like we always do. Big hopeful dash during the group stages fighting with two shit teams and one good one, making it to the last sixteen and then getting dumped because we reach our usual limitation.

    There’s just no hope for us given the set up. No hope at all. Wenger is playing the waiting game (same as the fans who want change) but the only difference is he’s getting 8m for it and having the time of his life while we go through the usual cycle of emotions and then we start all over again as our thoughts turn to the summer window. We’re about to be served another dose of reality.

  13. GG

    So I take it you won’t be watching the game if you know what’s going to happen?

    I hate to watch Arsenal lose but I do like seeing wenger get embarrassed and look the fool again and squirm on the sidelines

  14. GG

    Read above Wellbechio

    We all know what’s going to happen Wellbechio.

    It’s happened for 6 seasons in a row.

    It happened at Chelsea a couple weeks ago.

    What do you think is going to happen? Make a predicton. Come on Wellbechio. Tell us what you think the final
    Score will be.

  15. Welbecchio

    That’s the beauty of football. You never know. We probably won’t but you can’t say for certain.

    Do you bet at all? If you do you should know you can’t predict fuck all in the grand scheme of things, a few games here or there but most of the time you’re left thinking how the fuck did that happen. This is football in general and not just restricted to the Arsenal.

  16. Welbecchio

    Play well and turn up could get a score draw but we’d be doing well to keep the gap at just 1 goal. I’d happily take a 2-1 back home and go for it there.

    Think it’ll 3-1 Bayern too strong all over the pitch if we’re not at it from start.

  17. Welbecchio

    What are making imaginary bets on the internet for you fucking lemon.

    Keep your Canadian dollars put it on over 2.5 goals

  18. GG

    Imaginary bets?

    Won’t put money where your big mouth is will you
    Typical. Big talker. Keyboard warrior.

    That’s all
    You ar

  19. Pierre

    “So not only does Pierre think it foolish to write us off against Bayern, he also sees us closing the gap with Chelsea and winning the PL.”

    Have you been watching too much jackanory……. Your making it up as you go along ……

  20. Bamford10


    Please tell us what you think Arsenal’s odds are of:
    (1) advancing past Bayern
    (2) winning the PL

    I would say they are 11/1 and 25/1, respectively.

    Which is to say, we have little to no chance of doing either.

    Please tell us what you think. Thanks.

  21. Brooklyn

    Just read the article, I disagree massively with this Perez has great work ethic belief….he has Ozil like work ethic and can’t play continuously at high intensity….if we dominate possession then he can be good substitute or replacement for Walcott in RW….but in end to end game or if we decide to play counter attack he doesn’t have intensity nor speed to be as dangerous as Walcott….We need better RW is my point and will go with Walcott if we have Sanchez playing through the middle….

  22. qna

    Pedro: “Perez has a great work ethic, he can pick a goal out from almost anywhere and I think he’s shown more than enough of late to say he can cut it against Bayern. It’ll also surprise them. ”

    The guy has 1 goal in 250 minutes of PL football. I am sure Bayern are quaking in their boots. A bit like when we surprised them with Sanogo.

    Pedro: “Not to mention his CL record, he’s started 1 game, scored 3 and has 2 assists.”

    You mean against FC Basel? Have you learned nothing from beating the Southamton reserves. Some games just have no relevance to others. The game against FC Basel tells us nothing about how Perez might perform against Bayern.

    “He scores when he wants, Lucas Perez, he scores when he wants” – on flat tracks against shit teams.

    Perez is bang average. He doesn’t hold a candle to Podolski who was not good enough either.

  23. China

    Calls for discipline then suggests xhaka in the starting lineup….

    Are you sure Pedro?

    I presume you meant positionally, in which case ok. But if he does his usual Roy Keane impression and hands away stupid cards and dangerous chances to the opponents then bye bye goes the match.

    Not that we are going to win this tie regardless but still…

  24. Welbecchio


    So now you’ve become a know it all bookmaker?

    Why don’t you just check a bookies site for a proper informed and educated price rather than one you’ve just plucked out of thin air? Anyone can do that.

    I’d say it’s 1/100 that your an idiot.

  25. Welbecchio


    That right China he’s advocating playing the guy with 4 years experience of German football against a German team. Get it now?

  26. China

    Welbechio ‘you never know’

    lol don’t you? Really? What about arsene does he know?

    Football is unpredictable but only to a certain degree

    We get surprise results and surprise scorelines but major shocks are rare as you’d expect

    Predicting the score line vs Bayern is really tough, but predicting that a vastly superior team all over the park with a better manager and a culture of elite pedigree will overcome a team that is inferior in every aspect, has a weak culture and a relentless history of losing to absolutely anyone, especially good teams at this stage of the tournament

    We might well win one match against Bayern but over two legs that’s an *extremely* long shot. And frankly if we do surprise the world and do it we’ll almost definitely get fucked by the next big club we face in the following round so who even really cares?

  27. China

    And before Leicester get brought up, they won their lottery last year by vastly over performing their own real level and all the other clubs simultaneously bent over for them.

    This year they’re likely to get relegated so it goes to show getting a freak run of success here doesn’t mean much when you’re punching above your weight. Sooner or later (sooner) you get cut back down to size just as we will if we fluke a win over Bayern

  28. Wallace


    “And frankly if we do surprise the world and do it we’ll almost definitely get fucked by the next big club we face in the following round so who even really cares?”

    that’s the spirit!

    in Spain I don’t know why they don’t just have Madrid play Barcelona every weekend. no one else is going to win it. would save a lot of hassle.

  29. Wallace

    Martial already unhappy with life under Mourinho and the Times reporting Rashford also stalling on signing a new contract due to frustrations over a lack of playing time.

  30. Redtruth

    “in Spain I don’t know why they don’t just have Madrid play Barcelona every weekend. no one else is going to win it. would save a lot of hassle.”

    Why not, most teams are just making up the numbers anyway.

  31. Black Hei

    “Talking of shocks shows how far we have come in 20 years under Wenger.”

    There is an irony in this statement. RT is bit loose in his anti-Wenger discipline today.

  32. Redtruth

    Interesting what line of direction Wenger would have taken had he not been given the Arsenal job
    Possibly working with drug addicts and the homeless or maybe plying his trade in Turkey.
    Your thoughts

  33. China

    Wallace I don’t wish to define my enjoyment of arsenal’s season based on the beating Bayern before getting fucked by another big team trophy

    It’s tacky as hell and resembles Spurs in being excited at the prospect

    And if we look at the Spanish league they literally are making up numbers outside of a few clubs. It means no more for us to beat Bayern then get knocked out then it would for Malaga to beat barca home and away in the league and come 10th.

    If you wanna be happy about one of results great go for it. But if the results are in the context or pretty piss poor mediocrity then forgive me not being excited by it

  34. China

    Big wins only mean shit if they’re en route to doing something special (or competing as a minimum)

    Do you really think Man U, Chelsea, Barca and co will look back on poor seasons where they won fuck all and be proud they managed to beat one serious team in a cup competition?

    It’s such small time thinking and it’s why Arsenal are so happy to aim for 4th. No fucks about competing just taking part is enough…

  35. Bankz

    PS… my record is 71. Any time you wanna try to beat it, you’re v welcome

    DM I can’t even believe these Legrovers allowed you beat my record. How on earth did you get 71?
    I will be waiting and lurking in the dark alleys ready to pounce on your record when you least expect.
    I miss Legrove but like I said, Wenger does my head in….he really needs to go so sanity can be restored to the club we all seem to love so much.

  36. Pierre

    “you don’t see us catching Chelsea? And you don’t see us beating Bayern? Please clarify.”

    Title 5%(20/1) chance and beating Bayern over 2 legs 25%(4/1) chance… the answer is no I don’t see us a catching Chelsea and with Bayern we have a slimchance , mainly because their form is not particularly great , that’s it.

    I have never said we will win the prem but I did think we could close the gap but the Watford result put paid to that …..

    Also GG( Joe) asked me yesterday for 5 good reasons why Wenger should stay as manager and I replied that I don’t think he should stay as manager , and that’s my stance on Wenger.

    My comments yesterday regarding the way the media, pundits and anti Wenger fans overreact to every dropped point from Arsenal stands . … Spurs, Liverpool , United , city and even Chelsea do not receive the same negative reporting and I know it’s because Wenger has been at Arsenal so long and makes the same mistakes every season , Groundhog Day blah blah blah ……. But let’s get it in perspective

  37. Redtruth

    Wenger’s path after having failed to secure the Arsenal post:

    I see Wenger winning a title with Fenerbahce and taking them to a Champions league Quarter-Final.

    Wenger then flirts with a few clubs before deciding on Kaiserslautern where he takes them to 8th position and a Domestic Cup Final which he loses.

    Having parted with Kaiserslautern by mutual consent he walks into the Iceland job signing a 4 year contract.

    Failing to qualify Iceland for a major tournament Wenger takes a 6 month break before joining Roma where he is promptly sacked after a string of bad results.

    Finally he decides he no longer feels in love with football and decides to join an accountancy firm where he is till this day.

  38. Wallace


    so you only want to be a fan if there are trophies guarenteed at the end of each season? otherwise what’s the point….does that sum up your approach?

  39. China

    If I wasn’t a fan I wouldn’t be wasting my time energy and emotion on being so utterly disappointed with Arsenal

    But then as far as I’m concerned the purpose of being a fan is wishing the best for your team. Varying degrees of mediocrity with or without the odd major result are still miles short of the club being as good as it can be. So whilst I’ll always support Arsenal I’ll continue to take very little joy from big results that don’t actually mean anything.

    That’s what it comes down to. If you win a big game but are still average… well done. Still average. Average will never excite me

    Being average and still over the moon at meaningless big wins is Spurs territory. Don’t be like them!!

  40. Mick Kartun

    Submissive and obedience is the real definition of a “true fans”.

    Red and China, why didn’t you all get wally and co persuasive voice?

    Be a “true fans” like them.

  41. Welbecchio

    China only appreciates a good win against a ‘big’ team if it ends with a trophy.

    What a supporter.

    Football is ups and downs I can’t see why people can’t enjoy positive results when they come along, in isolation or not.

  42. underrated Coq

    That’s right Wallace, that’s China’s approach. Its why he’s been sticking it out with a team that’s won only 2 cups in 13 years.

    Also I found your comment about Joe ironic. You’re just as big a C-word as he is, difference is he’s more crude and direct whereas you’re a snidey, condescending weasel.

  43. Welbecchio


    ‘That’s what it comes down to. If you win a big game but are still average… well done. Still average. Average will never excite me’

    So until we’re dominating domestically and in Europe you’re not interested?

    Glory boy. Another example of why other supporters laugh at Arsenal ‘fans’

  44. Bamford10


    I appreciate your response, but that’s not how probabilities work. We don’t have a 50% chance of winning the first leg against Bayern simply because those are the two possibilities, because those two possibilities are not equally likely. If your way of doing probabilities were correct, any and every team facing Bayern this Wednesday — including a u-9 girls team — would have an equal probability of beating Bayern. But they don’t, of course, because their probability of beating Bayern is based on their quality.

    The same goes for the PL: we don’t have a 5% chance simply because there are 20 teams in the competition. If that were the case, every team — from Chelsea to Sunderland — would have an equal chance of winning the title. This is not the case.

    Anyways, glad to see that you want Wenger to go. That’s one thing you’ve got right.

  45. Bamford10

    As for whether one should be up for our contest with Bayern, the problem is not that we are the underdog. If I were a Monaco supporter, for example, and we were about to face Bayern, I would be absolutely thrilled for the coming contest. Why? Because while I would know my side were underdogs, I would also know that we have an excellent manager who was putting together a smart tactical plan that would give us some chance of competing, a squad collectively intent on competing to the best of their ability, a team humming and in form.

    Do we have those things?

    No, we have Arsene Wenger, a manager who doesn’t do tactics, can’t prepare teams properly — and we have a team that knows they’re outclassed and under-prepared.

    And the same thing happens every year.

  46. Davey

    I think as stated before we will lose the 1st leg 2-1 or 3-1 with a late away goal every AKB will get an erection that we are still in the tie then get our pants pulled down 0-3 in the home leg as we fail to press the ball and start to go a little cavalier to make up the deficit. If a shit Hull team can have 51% possession then what will Munich do to us?

  47. Bamford10

    I don’t see us scoring in Munich. I see them winning 2-0 or 3-0. Or worse. Then they’ll come to London half-asleep, let us think we have a chance, we’ll manage a decent performance against a somnambulant Bayern and AKBs will say we were brilliant. It will all be for naught, and Bayern will advance.

    Another possibility is we completely fall apart tomorrow night in Munich and lose 6-0. Wenger is hounded out by masses of people the following day.

  48. Bamford10

    As previously stated here, Wilshere is crocked. Did we already sign a new deal with him? If so, that was very silly.

  49. Naveed Butt

    It looks like, this post is an excellent self defense strategy targeted against Wenger. If Arsenal wins, you can praise the squad and so on, but if they lose, you can easily say. “I told you so…”, because we all know that Wenger would never ever choose any squad anywhere near to this…

    Wenger will play safe, like he normally does with both Ozil and Walcott in the squad…

  50. gambon


    You forgot to say that we have a manager that is a nervous wreck on the touchline, that makes the players nervous insecure wrecks.

    We are like Frank Bruno fighting Mike Tyson…..beaten before we even begin.

  51. gambon

    “Title 5%(20/1) chance and beating Bayern over 2 legs 25%(4/1) chance….”

    Pierre, you know very little about statistics.

    20/1 does not equal 5%
    4/1 does not equal 25%

  52. Dream10

    Lucas Perez not in training this morning.
    But, Yaya Sanogo is back in light training.
    Tremendous boost.

    We’re gonna turn them over. 3-1 away victory with two from Giroud and a dipping 25 yard left footed volley from Frankie C. Hope you guys are ready!

  53. Alexanderhenry

    Despite everything, we have a chance tomorrow.

    No way are arsenal the favourites, but if the players show up they can cause bayern problems.
    This is a cup competition after all.

  54. Dream10

    Shame Jack picked up an ankle knock last night. 22 matches in a row free of injury. Happy for him. Apparently, his training load is lighter. Wonder how this translate if he’s not at Bournemouth next season

  55. Bamford10


    Question: does 3/1 equal 25%? Does 19/1 equal 5%? This is something I’ve been wondering about lately.

    I realize that 3/1 and 19/1 indicate what one needs to wager in order to win this or that, but don’t they also reflect a judgment regarding the probability of that outcome?

    For example, I’ve been thinking that 3/1 odds means that if these “horses” were to meet 4 times, the one would win 3 times, the other 1 time. Is this not right?

  56. gambon


    Yes 3/1 means anything over a 25% chance of winning is a good bet.

    If you were offered 3/1 on a 3 horse race where all are equal, its a no brainer.

  57. Dream10


    Wish PsG Barça would be more of a contest. Quality midfield and Cavani.
    Not sure if di Maria and Draxler can create enough. Can see Barça getting a penalty or a PSG red card.

  58. Leedsgunner

    So predictable AKBs lecturing us on how to be real fans like them.

    We’re so not worthy like them! 🙂

    Although I’m firmly in the Wenger Out camp — I have the good sense to acknowledge the times when the team gets it right and and I’ve even credited the manager accordingly.

    Can those who support Wenger do the same? If they can, I haven’t seen it. When it goes wrong — there’s always an excuse and a reason why it’s never Wenger’s fault.

    The club must never be criticised nor should the manager be blamed… according to these fans.

    Here’s a thought.

    A fan that refuses to point out the things the manager could do better or criticise the club no matter what is not a fan. They are a fanatic.

    There’s a big difference.

    I point out the things we could do better because I want the best for the Arsenal .

    In my opinion, those who refuse to criticise the manager and the club, even when it’s merited, do so because they want the best for Arsene.

  59. Welbecchio


    ‘The club must never be criticised nor should the manager be blamed… according to these fans’

    Not one person on the planet actually thinks like that. And if you believe that then you’re beyond help.

    It’s more the excessive nature of the criticism, the double standards that the club is judged on and the re writing of history that frustrates the more moderate supporter.

  60. Leedsgunner

    “It’s more the excessive nature of the criticism, the double standards that the club is judged on and the re writing of history that frustrates the more moderate supporter.”

    This is a fair point… and accepted.

    What irritates me is that Wenger escapes accountability with some fans… especially over longstanding problems that have dogged the club over many years.

    Not all the club’s problems are Wenger’s fault but those areas which are under his control don’t seem to be addressed… year after year. Why is that? Why is he not being held accountable?

    That’s what frustrates me.

    Thanks for answering in a measured way. I appreciate that.

    Sensible debate, even though we may disagree on the approach of the manager, is interesting… and that’s why I come to read Le Grove.

    I don’t agree with you on some things but I respect your right to air them.

    Wishing you the best.

  61. S Asoa

    Fed up of moron comments occupying a lot of space. My take is Velbechio is a paid troll hired by Wenger to create confusion in the ranks. Explains persistence with a large number of similar provocative posts. One gets such trolls in IT places like India.,paid by posts. Time Pedro acted.acted on .