London Colney leaking like a sieve: Ospina + Ozil upsetting players and staff

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St. Louis, to Atlanta, to JFK. Such bad times yesterday. The most healthy thing I could eat looked like the sort of thing you find sliding down the back of a supermarket bin when you’re hungry but they’re closed so you go rummaging. Not good.

Arsenal news ahead of the BIG GAME was kind of interesting. A lot of leaks and dissent if the journalists reporting are to be believed. First up, king of bafflement, John Cross, reckons a new strain of the disease has seeped through the walls of London Colney. The suspected perpetrator, David Ospina.

‘We understand the controversial decision has surprised other senior players in the squad, because Cech is one of the biggest and most experienced characters in the dressing room.’

‘With the Londoners struggling in the title race, Wenger is now putting his whole season in the buttery hands of their No2 keeper as Arsenal head to Germany for the first leg of their last-16 tie.’

I mean, it’s hardly a shocker, right? Wenger will always put perceived personal values or habits over the success of the team. We see that in the way he subs players, we see that in the way he prepares his side, we see it in the way he rotates. David Ospina is an ok keeper, but he’s too small, his technique is far from orthodox and regularly makes bad decisions.

I think it’s very risky that we’d play him and I think it’s telling there are multiple leaks in the press. When you’re going into a nightmare game, why would you even risk a rusty keeper? Maybe because Petr Cech is desperately out of form? Or maybe it’s because you’re the king and you know that no one has the right to question you. For me, the latter for sure, Wenger is complacent as f*ck. Ospina is a poor option at the best of times. Against Bayern? He’s a disaster in wait and a risk you don’t need to take. Petr Cech is the only player at our club who has won the CL. He should play.

The second person to break rank is Jens Lehmann. Now there’s a name who gives zero f*cks about upsetting the apple cart.

Arsenal should be favourites against Bayern simply on the law of averages”

“When two good sides play each another repeatedly it is very unlikely for one to win all the time”

“But when I look at the way Arsenal are playing right now, they are to my mind the outsiders once again.

“There is a big discrepancy between money and know how in the Premier League. The clubs don’t use their potential properly.

Preeeeeeach. Arsenal have been knocked out of the CL in the last 16 for 6 years in a row. We should have sneaked a lucky win at some point, but we just don’t have the tactical nous to make something happen. That’s Wenger’s stubbornness and the clubs weakness when it comes to the club forcing change on him. We’ll likely see the same happen again.

At best tomorrow, we’ll see an interesting starting 11. We won’t see a tactical masterclass, we’ll see a good shift of bodies playing the same way they always do. You’ll have to hope for us to rise up from the ashes and hope for them to have a stinker. Trouble is, you have to do that over two legs. A big ask.

Arsenal Comms Director, Sean ‘YOUR WORDS’ Spicer reckons low estimates of attendance were ‘way out’… The AST fired back in a modern way calling this ‘FAKE NEWS.’

“It’s obviously guess work using the naked eye but I could tell it was around 50,000 [against Hull] because I know what was recorded for previous games and could work out the equivalent. The club ought to stop hiding behind a fake attendance and start addressing the real reasons.”

Hopefully, it was just a bit of fan rotation. Barry and his pals from Barnet hit the redzone, rotating in new fans has been tough because of poor tech and the ball-ache of giving spoilt mates your plastic card, we had gaps as a result. My usual gauge for guessing attendance is around how many gaps you can seen in the front rows which is about as scientific as guessing the number of red skittles in a fishbowl at a really sh*t party. However you chop it, there were clearly a lot of gaps. Another shocking black mark on Wenger’s name. Still, doesn’t matter how hard to the dishonest PR department lie, Stan will be seeing those figures… shame the tickets will all be paid for. So it won’t matter.

Wenger continued the bafflement theme, this time on Ozil.

“I felt he was not completely confident technically,” “I completely agree with you. That’s a problem because you think he can deliver something special. It’s true that technically he did things [against Hull] that he is not used to doing. I don’t know. It can happen. I can’t think of a specific reason.”

I don’t think it’s surprising. I’ve consistently written about him being a half season wonder of a player.  Like clockwork, he falls away second stretch because he just isn’t a natural athlete, that’s backed up by stats if you looks at how his sprints per game decline as the season wears on, not just that, watch him. Here’s some VERIFIED NEWS, including the summer internationals, he’s played almost 38 times, clocking up nearly 3000 minutes. His form is dipping right on cue because this is the pattern of a man Jose M used to yank on 60mins.

The Daily Mail is running a story that reads like ANOTHER leak suggesting players are not happy at the German playing all the games.

‘Mesut Ozil finds himself under growing pressure after it emerged that factions in the Arsenal dressing room feel the German has received preferential treatment from manager Arsene Wenger.’

‘Some team-mates are also believed to be disappointed by Ozil’s level of application, particularly by his failure to challenge Ashley Williams at a defensive set-piece when Arsenal conceded late to lose at Everton in December.’

Miguel Delaney also had the same story.

‘That has fostered a few minor issues off the pitch, too, if nothing serious. There are some Arsenal players, and some staff members, who feel he too often “gets away” with sub-par performances.’

Even more damning for me is the following.

‘During Robin van Persie’s time as captain, players were encouraged to join friends and family in the players’ lounge after games and shake hands with all in the room.

‘This ritual has slowly fallen away and at times, Ozil has been seen at the door, clicking his fingers or signalling his entourage to shuffle out behind him.’

No Arteta at the club to uphold traditions this season? You can’t pin the blame of the above all on the German, you can on Wenger. Only average managers think the importance of a proper captain is overblown. Only average managers believe culture is something that happens by accident.  It’s not, it’s something you have to craft carefully. If Ozil is poncing around with an entourage, that’s something you can nip in the bud. If the team aren’t bonding, you nominate someone who can bring people together, or you buy in someone who can do that.

Anyway, that’s a sideline. Players think Ozil is undroppable and that’s what a lot of fans have suspected for a long time. It’d be a big statement for Wenger to drop him vs Bayern. I think it’d be called for and tactically astued (and surprising), but I have my suspicions Wenger won’t because he can’t do anything strategic. He likes his big names and that’s the way it is.

Thing you have to understand about leaks is they happen when the manager looks weak. These are purposeful, to let the fans know the backroom team and the players are aligned with fan frustrations. People at the club can’t stand the Wenger /  Stan love in too the same levels as you and I despair.These leaks are the most damning at the earliest point in a season I can remember.

Wenger should be a dead man walking and I think he might be. Blood has been spilt and the sharks are on alert. He looks ashen faced and I think he could quit.

Only thing saving Wenger could be a very good win in Munich. My question is this, do the players have it in them to save the boss? Or will they go all Chelsea for the run in?

We’ll see. More on Bayern tomorrow. x

P.S. Did you see the way Wilshere looked at Pep yesterday? Vom inducing, I was worried for a minute those ‘kiss me sweetly’ eyes would make their way up north in summer, but then he picked up an injury. Shocker. City move into 2nd.

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430 Responses to “London Colney leaking like a sieve: Ospina + Ozil upsetting players and staff”

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  1. China

    The difference is if the 3 10/10 resource teams each got 90 points and we came 4th on 85 I’d call it a good season for us and have nothing bad to say.

    All clubs will have good and bad years. Some years a 9/10 team should pull off a 10/10 year and others they will likely have a 6/10 year. That at least brings with it a sense of excitement and reason to be optimistic rather than eternally aiming for a steady 7/10 – which is still fundamentally shy of its 9/10 capabilities

  2. China

    In the season when Eduardo broke his leg we won nothing but had a fantastic year. We played stunning football every week. We thrashed teams left right and center and we competed with what was actually a super cheap squad with a load of youngsters

    Around that time Le grove was going spare about how terrible wenger was and I was here occasionally telling them to appreciate how imbalanced t was to slate wenger for that – especially so soon after our amazing prior success

    But in the end nothing improved and that was in fact the last time we had a genuinely good season. I think that was 08? That’s a long time ago now.

  3. China

    No it doesn’t sound ridiculous at all because the relativity of it all is bluntly obvious for anyone to see

    It’s not even much of an opinion that Arsenal are underperforming because that’s gone beyond any shadow of a doubt

    Who in their right mind thinks that in the last 5 years we have done as well as we should?

    Keep in mind how much we’ve spent, how much more we have to spend and the number of points we pick up with the players and infrastructure at our disposal

    Tell me hand on heart do you look at our last 5 years as the club doing roughly as well as it should realistically?


  4. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘there are 3 other teams in the country with 10/10 resources. who’s the 4th biggest club in Spain, Sevilla? how often do they win the league?’

    Really? that’s it? Just a shallow comparison between the two 4th biggest teams in their respective leagues with no thoughts given as to how much gap there is between the first and fourth big teams?

    this is pathetic, Wallace, even by your standards.

    Do Sevilla have a 60k stadium?
    Where do they stand in the list of teams with the highest revenues?
    Have they won their league 13 times?

  5. Wallace


    “It’s not even much of an opinion that Arsenal are underperforming because that’s gone beyond any shadow of a doubt.”

    we’re nor underperforming. if we were finishing 5th/6th or worse and not making it out of the group stages of the CL then we’d be underperforming. it’s been a long time since we’ve had a very good season, but we’re not underperforming.

  6. Wallace

    Rambo Ramsey

    “Really? that’s it? Just a shallow comparison between the two 4th biggest teams in their respective leagues with no thoughts given as to how much gap there is between the first and fourth big teams?

    this is pathetic, Wallace, even by your standards. ”

    sure, we’re a lot closer to the 3 sides above us than Sevilla are in Spain, but there’s still 3 sides above us, is my point.

    give a stats geek all the relevant data and ask him to predict the league table at the end of the year where do you think he has us finishing?

  7. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘we’re nor underperforming. if we were finishing 5th/6th or worse and not making it out of the group stages of the CL then we’d be underperforming.’

    what, Because you say so? btw Why is it ‘getting it out of the group stage’ and not ‘Making it past the round of 16’?

  8. loyika


    Whenever have Arsenal been a better footballing team than Bayern Munich!? Please go through our history and point out what period that was?

    Go missing!? The folly of most “Wenger Out”

    When Arsenal lose we are still all here, many fans still g to the stadium the next game, still tune in for the next match, still come on he blog regardless of if Arsenal win, lose or draw. Do you know why Little Man? BECAUSE WE SUPPORT ARSENAL FC (Not Arsenal FC when they are winning)

    And i don’t need to be Wallace’s bodyguard, as Wallace can defend himself.

    What i was addressing is your stupid assertion that he needs to hide regardless of results today or whenever!? Funny enough, I would also come out in support of you if someone else said something silly to you, why because you are a fellow Arsenal supporter (i believe)

    We go into the game today with the hope that the lads do well, if they let us down (as they have before in this fixture) then rip into them as much as you want (that would be fair and called for) But what is not fair is to not give them a chance (regardless of past games), we have actually won at Munich before (dead rubber game i agree).

    The key thing is to either blaze Bayern like PSG did Barca (Lol) and then see out the return fixture or have a game plan for the 2 legs.

    Lets hope the Team can get a result before bringing the Germanys over to Engurland. Right now that’s all we can do as fans, don’t you think?

  9. Romford Ozil Pele

    Not holding out much hope for tonight but at least let’s have it competitive going into the second leg. None of the big three are imperious this season but I don’t think we have the tactical nous to upset Bayern. Might be able to scare them on the break though. My team:

    Bellerin Mustafi Kos Monreal
    Ox Elneny
    Özil Welbeck Alexis

    And I actually mean Welbeck as a striker. Need someone who stretches the play like cavani did last night. Alexis at false 9 is good but against the best teams you need to run in behind to trouble them.

  10. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘sure, we’re a lot closer to the 3 sides above us than Sevilla are in Spain, but there’s still 3 sides above us, is my point.’

    Which are these sides? What is this superiority order based on? Is it revenue or is it wagebill? Has Arsenal ever been top dog in the English game, if not then how did we win those 13 titles?

    What happened last season then, when all these superior sides decided to take a back seat and let their poor cousin Arsenal taste glory but we still failed?

  11. AngeAusArsenal

    So Wallace if we are not underperforming does that mean we are performing at the level that you think is appropriate?
    If not then you must think we are over performing, no wonder you are happy with the status quo, by your logic our pathetic caputulations at the pointy end of the last 12 seasons have actually been successful seasons

  12. loyika

    @ Ramford

    We can’t all tell if any certain player will come good can we. Or a better way of putting it, some players might thrive in our system, and some might not.

    We have signed brilliant players that didnt cut it in our club (so have other big clubs) so won’t be the first and the last time that will happen (with or without Wenger)

    Vardy and Riyhad Mahrez refused to come this season, i don’t see anyone crying blood for them right now, do you? Does that men they are all of a suden shitty players? Far from it. Same way Benteke was brilliant at Villa but couldn’t hack it at Pool, or Lukaku was seen as not good enough by Jose but is a beast of a player for Everton… Kevin De Bruyne, i could go on and on.

  13. Romford Ozil Pele

    Welbecchio, he’s a sensational talent. Still irks me that we never signed him in 2014. You forget how young he is still. Already got 5 goals since joining in January and he always scores on the big stage. Look at his goals for Schalke and Wolfsburg in the CL and Germany in the Euros. Guedes and Draxler have really helped push PSG up another level. Plus they don’t have the slow zlatan slowing them down in Europe. Emery has brought proper structure.

  14. Romford Ozil Pele

    Loyika, This is Draxler not just any talent we’re talking about. He started for Germany in the Euros and has pedigree in Europe already. It’s not like we’re plucking someone from obscurity.

    Of course there’s risk in buying any player. But what’s the solution? Stick with pussies like Walcott who haven’t amounted to anything in the last decade.

    Vardy I was ok with at the time but glad we didn’t get him. Mahrez is still take. If you don’t take punts you’ll never know. Not like Draxler is a punt by the way. Generally speaking I’m quite happy with the squad save for 4/5 positions, its the manager I have issue with.

  15. Romford Ozil Pele

    Lucho has never been a great tactician. This Barca is too reliant on magic from the front three. Nowhere near as cohesive as a unit as Pep’s Barca was. This is why Pep’s work there was underrated. The front three don’t press in this Barca team so that in turn puts too much strain on the midfield which isn’t the most mobile already. PSG ran rings round it.

    It’s funny though. All that said, nobody has actually written Barca out of the tie because Messi could easily do a madness in the second leg. He’s an alien. But Barca have similar troubles to Arsenal, albeit on a much less scale. Why was Messi dropping so deep to collect possession last night?

  16. loyika

    @ Ramford

    Nice team, but i would put Theo ahead of Ozil right now (only reason that this suggestion would look silly is the fact that Theo usually can’t beat the 1st man in a dribble. Lol!!)

    Anyways only reason i would have included Theo is for his speed which would make Bayern Think. Theo, Welbz and Alexis… Speed Merchants (would only work though if those behind them were disciplined all game.. and yeah ox i am looking at you) Also sad for Lucas Perez, as i feel the lad has quite a lot to offer for these kind of games. Oh how we miss Santi (We should have made a cheeky bid for Payet)

  17. loyika

    @ Ramford

    I agree mate, Draxler is a talent we missed on, but i believe his injury record played a major part in our flip flopping on signing him (same way we are dilly dallying over Reus)

  18. Romford Ozil Pele

    Loyika, Theo is trash. We actually need to be able to progress the call upfield. Theo isn’t going to help us do that.

    People talk about putting in players with pace but if you don’t have the correct personnel to find them it’s never gonna work. Plus Theo is only really useful in the final third so it’s a pretty futile excercise.

    Ox is quite disciplined in CM. Played well against Bayern in that position a couple years ago.

    The people wanting to drop Özil are the worst. People moan about the manager’s tactical deficiencies then wonder why our best players aren’t producing in the biggest games. We don’t give them the platform to play their best stuff. The manager has already put them on a path to fail. Plus look at the big teams he’s scored or assisted again since he’s been here.

  19. Romford Ozil Pele

    Draxler is a huge miss. The only real saving grace is that there are a few other food playmakers and wide forwards out there. Would do all my shopping at Monaco this summer, manager included. Jardim, Mendy, Bakayoko, Lemar and Mbappe please

  20. Ishola70

    Aubameyang had a shocker last night for Dortmund. As well as the penalty miss which was like a pass back to the keeper in the middle of the goal he also missed two sitters the first one inside the first 10 minutes which was particularly bad in how he didn’t hit the target.

    Benfica just sat in deep playing like the away side two wide players dropping back most times and allowing the starting fullbacks to come across into the midle to defend if need be. Semedo looked strong at RB and the GK Ederson had a good match.

  21. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘give a stats geek all the relevant data and ask him to predict the league table at the end of the year where do you think he has us finishing?’

    What utter nonsense. By this logic, Manchester United should always win the PL because they are miles ahead of every other team in terms of their revenue and spending power.

    I wonder why Chelsea don’t just throw in the towel considering the might of United. Better yet, I wonder what strong coke them Leicester players, manager-the entire club-were on last season when they summoned the mental strength necessary to go all the way.

    The fact that you try to make out that there is some perfect correlation between statistical logic and sports is in itself completely embarrassing.

  22. Louis Almeida

    Benfica have lost most of their best players so for them to win without conceding is a major achievement but we rode our luck a bit last night. I still think we’ll lose in the return leg. Semedo is a great RB who’ll probably end up at Man United in the summer along with Lindelof. Unfortunately that’s all that happens here at Benfica. We’re a pawn for the best club. Zikovic is the one teams will start watching soon.

  23. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘The people wanting to drop Özil are the worst.’

    Ozil has been pants for over a month now, logic dictates he should not make the team just because he’s a big name player.

    I’d say its the rose-tinted Ozil fanboys that are the worst.

  24. Romford Ozil Pele

    lol dropping Özil for any of our other options is trash because none are us as good as him. And again, our manager has been throwing players under the bus by setting up the team wrong shambolically for ages so systematically picking on individuals isn’t gonna help. Add to that I don’t trust anyone in the team to play a better final ball than Özil.

  25. Cesc Appeal

    Playing Ozil is a gamble, if he has a good game, great, if he plays like he has been for a long, long time now, we’re playing with ten.

    If Perez is not available might be you would select him over Walcott, both had the tendency to leave us feeling as if we’re playing with ten.

    Big night for Ozil if he is selected, Arsenal fans are turning on him rapidly, if he lets us down in Munich as he did at Everton, City, United, Chelsea and in recent weeks against minnows at home, could be bad.

    Existing on his name at the moment, interesting to hear what Germans make of him as well on ArsenalFanTV yesterday, had someone from a new BvB YouTube channel on, sort of saying Germans feel Ozil was peak at Madrid, now he’s sort of dipped and has not lived up to his billing at Arsenal, he’s won German football of the year a lot, but he says they all tend to think of someone like Muller as their best player, Ozil is huge commercially though.

  26. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘lol dropping Özil for any of our other options is trash because none are us as good as him.’

    But you are suggesting we employ Ozil as part of the front three, a position he has rarely played for Arsenal?

  27. Romford Ozil Pele

    Özil hasn’t really let Arsenal down. He’s not playing that well at the moment, granted but it’s more systematic of our issues in midfield. When we’re not circulating the ball well through midfield of course he’s going to see less of it. It comes back to how the team is set up.

    His form for Germany is always good as it was for Madrid because he was playing in teams which are well balanced. He’s an easy scapegoat because of his body language and style. It’s nothing new though. At his price tag people wanted him to be our saviour and matchwinner which has never been him. What he is has always been the oil in the machine. But when the machine was broken to begin with the oil is redundant. There are much bigger problems at a Arsenal than Özil and I’ll always maintain that.

    Can’t be moaning about the way the manager sets up the team and then wonder why certain players don’t perform.

  28. grooveydaddy

    Fair enough saying we shouldn’t expect to win the league, given the spending power of Utd., City, and chelsea.

    I can and have accepted this.

    But on the flipside, I think it’s fair to say that we can and should do better than finishing on average of 14 pts behind the leaders every year.

  29. Romford Ozil Pele

    Rambo, he’s played it numerous times for Germany. Obviously it requires work at Arsenal because we’re entrenched in an unbalanced 4231 but it’s not a position which is alien to him. He has hindrances, sure. But outside of Messi, what player doesn’t? It was only in September that people were moaning about Hazard’s defensive deficiencies after we beat them 3-0 but Conte changed the formation round to better balance it and accentuate the strength of the player.

  30. Cesc Appeal


    No, that is an absolute cop out, for sure the players are let down by a lack of preparation, a lack of system, tactics and defined role, but that is the environment Ozil supposedly thrives in, freedom to do what he wants, his attitude stinks, he shirks physicality, shirks working back, the last couple of matches has moaned incessantly when he’s been arguably the worst player on the pitch.

    For sure the manager takes blame for not having a clue where he was going with the team once he included Ozil, but to try and say Ozil is doing fine it is everybody else, no, that is cop out, Ozil needs to pull his big boy pants on tonight and prove he’s worth even a minimal pay rise let alone £250 000 a week.

  31. Rambo Ramsey

    Chelsea aren’t exactly spending bucketloads these days, are they? What they are doing is (a)making good-value signings and (b) getting good deals on player sales, an area where Arsenal look like complete amateurs.

  32. Romford Ozil Pele

    CA, yeah I’m not sure about. A player should only really have freedom if it’s in within a structure. So yeah you could say allowing him so much freedom within a Wenger side that hasn’t a balanced CM is wrong. But again it’s instruction from the manager. If the manager thinks giving Özil too much freedom is harming the team then he shouldn’t allow it. Or he should make provisions. There’s an arguement that Wenger has mollycuddled Özil too much which I’d agree with. Karanka( Boro manager and Mourinho’s assistant at Madrid) said that Özil can get too comfortable and needs a kick up the backside once in a while.

    Yes he can play better but he is by far the least of our problems imo. We’ve been deficient in midfield even when he hasn’t played so it’s not really an arguement you can hold against him. There’s a lot of comparisons you can make. Ozil’s big game record for Arsenal is better than Alexis’ but this conveniently never gets brought up.

    If the arguement is that you want him to be more accountable then that raises another issue of Wenger’s management.

  33. Paulinho

    Ozil has shown the same flaws throughout his career.

    The day we signed him I said on here he was a liability and limited in a lot of ways and that’s exactly the way he has turned out. His level since he joined has stayed exactly the same, despite all the narratives that get churned each season that imply he’s evolved as a player. This season it was all about his goal scoring hunger, well that has predictably disappeared.

    Absolutely brilliant crosser/dead ball delivery, a nice off the ball movement against high lines, but completely overrated in every other aspect.

    Has never built the game, more a slick accessory.

  34. Paulinho

    Having said all that, Ozil played well last time we played Bayern in Munich. Looked sharp and up for it. Genuinely let down by rest of the team in that match.

  35. Ashley

    RedtruthFebruary 15, 2017 11:02:26
    Paying the highest ticket prices in football should give fans the entitlement and expectation to win the league every season.

    Bang fucking on !!!

  36. Bamford10


    I like that XI, but Ozil is a serious blind-spot for you: your appreciation for his game has clouded your judgment.

    Yes he is a great talent, but there is no question that he has let us down on many occasions and that he has mental and physical limitations that keep him from being a truly great player. No question.

  37. Dream10


    Ramsey has been in the XI in the matches we have gotten something against Bayern as well. Hope Sanchez releases ball the earlier. He can get away with in the PL because we’re better than most teams.

  38. Bamford10


    We have spent enough in the past 8 years in salaries and transfer fees to warrant at least one serious title challenge. That we are 2nd or 3rd in total salary spend or 2nd or 3rd in total transfer spend does not mean that winning the title or challenging for the title would be “over performing”. Clubs that are 2nd, 3rd or 4th in spending challenge for titles (or win titles) all of the time: look at Atletico and Dortmund.

    That Wenger has not even challenged for a title in a decade means he has underperformed. No question.

    When you look at his performance in Europe, his underperformance is even clear.

    On top of this: use your eyes. Look at our squad, look at our performances, look at our organization, look at our tactics. That we could be much better under a better manager is obvious.

  39. Red&White4life

    Ancelotti said that he has huge respect for what wenger has achieve…

    I don’t understand Carlo, you don’t manage in the PL, why do you want wenger to stay ?

  40. Dream10


    Özil has been off form recently. But I don’t think we can afford not to have him in the XI. He’s one of the few who can keep us in possession. In general, we’re not a smart team in Europe. Can’t have too many gung ho players in your side.

  41. Bamford10


    “win the league every season”

    Not quite, but certainly compete for the title every other season or so. Win the title every 4-5 years, certainly once in ten.

    How about not be a fucking joke? — That’s a reasonable expectation, no?

  42. Romford Ozil Pele

    Haha Bamford, I actually don’t think I am. I defend him from criticism which I think is a bit OTT. At no point ever, and you can look through every post I’ve made on him since he’s been here, have I said he’s the perfect the player.

    The issue has, and always will stem from people who think he should be something he’s not. He’s never been a #10 in the truest sense of the word. When people think of #10s they think of someone who’s an extension of the midfield, a dictator of play. It’s never been Özil and if you’ve watched him throughout his career, you’d know this. It’s nothing new as Paulinho has attested to. Calling him a slick accessory/spoiler/tinted windows on a car, whatever you want is probably fair. He’s not someone you build a team round and if you ask him I’m sure he’ll attest to that himself which is why if you play him #10 you need a strong double pivot which doesn’t stray too far from its position. So if you’re gonna play him there for Arsenal your best bet is an Elneny-Xhaka partnership which hides a lot his limitations.

    Özil is more a forward tbh. He doesn’t have the inclination to drop deep/or more he doesn’t want to which is why he enjoys playing with deep line breakers like Santi/Xhaka who can find him higher up. Because of our openness in a 4231, it makes sense to shift to a three man midfield where you can deploy Özil from the right so he can cut in onto his stronger foot and play through balls get a shot off etc. His best stuff always comes from the inside right channel anyway.

  43. Bamford10


    Agree that that Arsenal team with Eduardo played great football. If we still played that kind of football, there’d be a little less to complain about. 😉

  44. Paulinho

    Dream10 – Yep, looking at Sanchez again, looking at his game, and wondering how he can be effective tonight. Jack of all trades, master of none at the top level.

    As you said, Ramsey has showed his pedigree at the top level. Makes top level off the ball runs, and shows it against top sides, unlike a few of our more revered players who all become indistinguishable from each other when we hit adversity.

  45. Redtruth

    Judging tonight’s game objectively without any emotional baggage.
    I see Wenger’s charges (pansies) struggling to keep the ball resulting in kamikaze defending.

  46. Bamford10

    Sorry, Romford, but that’s not going to cut it. I HAVE been watching Ozil his whole career, or at least from 2010 on, and I don’t agree with that assessment.

    A few things: one, in 2010-12, he was being played like a traditional #10, i.e., he was playing in central midfield, contributing to central midfield play, much of the build-up play went through him, he spent a lot of time on the ball, pulling strings., etc. For whatever reason, he stopped playing this way and his game has faded.

    Two, if you say that he’s more a striker than a midfield #10, you have a new problem, namely he has little to no shot and is not a goal-scorer. Of all of his weaknesses — no battle, physically soft, mentally soft — his lack of a forceful shot and goal-scoring is the one that bothers me most. Look at Kevin DeBruyne: there’s a shot. If Ozil had that, you might legitimately talk about him as a striker. But he doesn’t.

    Essentially, he’s a “#10” who doesn’t contribute to midfield play and doesn’t contribute enough in the attacking third.

    Yes he is a talent, but he is far too limited a player for my liking, and no question Arsenal need more from a #10.

  47. Dream10

    Sarri of Napoli says the only decision he’s worried about tonight is whether to start three or four forwards. Thinks Real can beat any team through a couple of moments of brilliance. The guy is mad lol. His team’s recent results are backing up his bravado. Top coaching, improving players as well.

    Think Napoli will turn over Real tonight.

  48. Bamford10


    I agree Ozil should be in the XI tonight, but he should be played as a wide attacking player, not as the CAM in my opinion. He simply doesn’t give us enough through the center; playing him through the center means playing a two-man central midfield.

  49. Bamford10

    I would go with Romford’s XI, namely:


    Then bring on Giroud and Walcott in the 80th.

    But I bet Wenger starts Coquelin, Ramsey and Walcott.

  50. Paulinho

    Bamford – He still had a propensity to go missing in that period, when you wanted someone to get on the ball and get something going, he would be nowhere to be seen.

    Spain in semi-finals of 2010 world cup, Italy 2012 Euros, Dortmund tie for Madrid, as well as both games against United for the Spaniards. Not a squeak from him until United player got sent off at Old Trafford, and all of sudden he perked up when he got more space for their first goal.

  51. Wallace


    “We have spent enough in the past 8 years in salaries and transfer fees to warrant at least one serious title challenge.”

    definitely the last 2/3yrs. I cut him some slack between 2006-12 because it wasn’t a level playing field, but the last 3 seasons have been disappointing.

  52. S.Asoa


    ChinaFebruary 15, 2017 07:05:34
    Welbechio I am genuinely curious why you come here.Like it’s a blog primarily full of people who don’t support wenger and the number and severity of their disliking is always growing over time I dont know if you think you’re going to somehow convert people who are sick of him back to rimjobbing lord arsene but I’d hazard a guess that you’re not going to have any success with that

    To your perplexion Wellbechio is like a bright red panty peaking out in a funeral of black.
    Just seeking attention by being irritating different.

  53. Dream10


    I have wanted to him start on the right his whole time he’s been here. He can drift inside in the final third. He’s superb on the counter. Would be class if we could play three CMs who can move the ball (Xhaka,Cazorla/Chamberlain, Ramsey, Elneny & two more quality passers), along with a Cavani type and a left sided forward who combines a vertical threat with creativity (a healthy Reus type as oppose to a Sanchez who is a talent, but certainly not a pass and move type). But a new manager to improve positional play is key.

  54. Spanishdave

    We are very poor off the ball, many players hardly make runs and are very static. Ozil has few options when he has the ball and therefor looks poor.
    I think he wants out but who is in for him?
    Wenger has failed to build something around Ozil that’s how crap he is.

  55. Bamford10

    Bringing on Walcott and Giroud together in the 80th makes a lot of sense for a couple reasons. One, both pose problems for tired defender legs. Two, they work relatively well together in that Walcott can put in a decent cross and Giroud can flick balls in behind back fours for Walcott to get on to.

    When these two come on, you push Ozil wide on the opposite side — he too can put in a decent cross — and slide Alexis central. Like so:


  56. Wallace

    yeah, if Ramsey and/or Giroud start that will be incredibly deflating. hopefully the memory of the dire first 45mins against Watford will still be at the forefront of his memory.

    Welbeck, Alexis & Ozil looks the best front 3 for the game. and the Ox definitely has to start in CM.

  57. Redtruth

    “definitely the last 2/3yrs. I cut him some slack between 2006-12 because it wasn’t a level playing field, but the last 3 seasons have been disappointing.”

    And whose fault was that: WENGER
    He failed to invest in a title winning team in 2004 instead choosing to ignore Chelsea’s threat when a £30-40m overhaul would have been enough to see of Chelsea’s challenge….what a dick…

  58. Danish Gooner

    Fact is and this is not up for any discussion,we are a massively underachieving football club,Money wise we are more Then ok but trophy wise it is a mess,20 years in the cl and not a single trophy to show for it simply isnt good enough,13 years without a PL win is a catastrophe in itself and only one is responsible,Arsene Wenger,i could name another 10 statistics that would rile any Real fan,like No win away to Big clubs for 23 away games etc.

  59. Bamford10


    I think he could have done better in 2007-2013 as well, but at least you agree that the last three years have been disappointing. I’ve always thought you were a reasonable sort. 😉

  60. Romford Ozil Pele

    Bamford, you don’t have to agree with it but he’s never been an all action type of CAM, that’s the harsh truth. People loved him at Real Madrid because he played an exhiliarating counter style which Mourinho facilitated. Wenger doesn’t try to do that at Arsenal so it’s not a case of him stopping stuff.

    Yeah the goals issue is something which has been prevalent his whole career and that is something he can’t hide behind. Someone of his ability should score more goals.

    For what it’s worth I actually feel Özil can play in a midfield three too but I don’t think it’s something that will happen st Arsenal

  61. Biggles


    We’re the 7th biggest club in the world by revenue, and were last year as well. Any year we don’t make the quarter finals of the Champion’s League… we’ve under-performed. We’re the 3rd biggest club in Premier League by revenue, so any season we fail to make top 3… we’ve underperformed.

    That means although we performed on par over the last two seasons in the league (and these were years that the league was there for the taking), our failure to reach the quarter finals of the Champion’s League meant that we did indeed under-perform.

    The last time you could argue we actually performed to what was expected of us – and it still isn’t over achieving the way that Leicester or Atletico Madrid have – was 09-10 when we were 3rd and we did make the quarters.

    Wenger should have left after we lost the CL final back in ’06. He’d taken the team as far as he could and he couldn’t quite go the extra mile. He’d had 10 years, so it was a good run. At that point in his career, he could have gone to a bunch of other clubs and had another few years with a top club, made some money, maybe even won something somewhere else – not something he could likely do now. Here we are another 10 years later and we’re not even as good as we were.

  62. Romford Ozil Pele

    Lol Ospina is trash. Fantastic shot stopper but the umpa lumpa couldn’t command a penalty area if his life depended on it. It’s not saying much as I don’t think Cech is much better either tbh.

  63. Bamford10


    “I actually feel Özil can play in a midfield three too”

    I do too, but he would have to be told to do so, instructed to do so. I actually think he could grow into this role in the right conditions under the right manager, but Wenger is not that manager.

    Wenger plays him like a second striker, and that has left us not only with a weak two-man central midfield but a forward line that does not produce enough in the attacking third against better teams.

  64. Bamford10

    I do hope we put in a good performance tonight, but if we were to be dismantled or if the team were to fold in some way, it could put massive pressure on Wenger. I think his situation is more precarious than some imagine.

  65. Rambo Ramsey

    So Wallace, on one hand you claim Arsenal have not under performed but in the next post admit the last three seasons have been disappointments.

    Which one is it? Make your mind up, or are you another typical AKB making wishy- washy statements?

  66. Samesong

    What i was addressing is your stupid assertion that he needs to hide regardless of results today or whenever!?

    Whatever bellend!

  67. Samesong

    I didn’t say he needed to hide either I actually said will he be hiding as per usual when we lose.

    Learn how to read numpty.

  68. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘Yet you conveniently forget the multi-million pound loan farming system they operate.’

    Yes, another smart business strategy, not against the rules. Meanwhile over at Wengerland, we waste similar resources on Diabys, Joel Campbells and Sanogos.

    I bet the club have already lined up another bumper long term contract for wheelchair fagboy and he’ll spend most of that contract period in the hospital.

  69. Steveyg87

    “Yes, another smart business strategy, not against the rules. Meanwhile over at Wengerland, we waste similar resources on Diabys, Joel Campbells and Sanogos.”

    Wait, what? Joel Campbell? The lad is top

  70. Steveyg87

    Would love me some pace up front tonight


    Chambo did enough the weekend for another start tonight

    The rest of the team picks itself

    Pretty sure Wenger goes with Giroud tonight which will allow Bayern to play the high line with desperate defending the order of the day

  71. Dream10

    Journalist Matt Hughes says Ox will start instead of Walcott

    Fkhanage on twitter who seems to be ITK
    Says Welbeck will start

    Bellerin Mustafi Koscielny Monreal
    Coquelin Xhaka/Elneny
    Ox Özil Sanchez

    Realist in me says it’s Coquelin +1 in midfield. AW loves Frankie
    Want us to be bold and start Xhaka, Maitland-Niles though.

  72. Rambo Ramsey

    Steveyg87, what’s the point? He’s not being used, he’s not being sold for good value either. Watch, a couple years from now, he’ll be gone on free. That’s why I said, compared to Chelsea we are amateurs in making sales.

    Oscar to China for 50 million, was it? Can you ever see Arsenal doing such a deal?

  73. Rambo Ramsey

    Welbecchio, another strawman from you. Those were merely the first names that came to me.

    btw Are you really gonna pretend Arsenal have not used the loan system to buy/sell countless youngsters themselves?

  74. Dream10

    Rambo Ramsey

    Xhaka is probably our best hope of getting the ball into the final third to Ox, Sanchez, Ozil, Iwobi or Walcott. Xhaka, Coquelin the most likely

  75. Sir Chips

    Anyone with half a brain would know that Draxler would have been a superb addition to the squad. Outrageous if we didn’t try to move for him when he was available.

  76. Red&White4life

    “One a red card merchant”

    Anyway, qualification in the last 8 = new wenger’s contract announcement.
    Careful what you wish for lol

  77. Dream10


    That seems alright. Young Hector has been bang out of form for a while, so he’ll need protection, just like Monreal. A few bloggers/journalists have said that his ankle is still bothering him

  78. Rambo Ramsey

    Dream10, he may be but I fear another stupid challenge resulting in a redcard if he starts. The European referees are not as lenient as the PL English refs and as we all know too well, likes of Barca and Bayern get more favors than they should.

  79. TitsMcGee

    People also need to stop describing Leicester’s title as a “fluke”.


    It’s ironic because Wenger at one of the biggest clubs in the world hasn’t been able to “fluke” an EPL title in a decade and a half.

  80. Rambo Ramsey

    Welbecchio, first of all, I was more talking about the bigger signings, you know players who become part of the first team squads.

    It is there where Chelsea are making smart signings and in the cases where it doesn’t quite work out, they are quick to sell at a good price. Its not just Chelsea, other top sides are ruthless as well. At Arsenal, even if it becomes obvious that a player is not good enough, we persist with him up until the point he becomes a dead wood that we can’t sell.

    Second, your point about their ‘loan farming’ doesn’t destroy my argument you complete dumbass, it actually gives more evidence of their smart business strategies. As you yourself admit, they are running it at a profit.

  81. Wallace


    “So Wallace, on one hand you claim Arsenal have not under performed but in the next post admit the last three seasons have been disappointments. ”

    there’s always room for improvement. don’t think I’m contradicting myself there.

  82. Red&White4life

    Mesut said : “Bayern is less stronger this season”

    And of course, we, Arsenal, are stronger, right Mesut ?? lol

  83. Rambo Ramsey

    Welbecchio, what the eff is the point you are trying to make? You admit that the strategy is profitable overall but moan about the initial investment? huh?

    Which is better? Investing a premium for a talented kid knowing you’ll get the return. Or buying a donkey, no-hoper like Sanogo for free, paying a weekly salary for him for years, not getting a return both on the pitch and off it later during resale?

  84. Sir Chips

    Hello Red&White4life (lol)
    Anyone here do the bet365 in-play bet offer? They have it on again for the game tonight.
    Stake £50 pre-game for a risk free £50 in-play (money back if it doesn’t come in).
    A fool-proof method is to put £50 on over 0.5 goals before the game (cover it with a 0-0 with another bookie). You then have a free swing of £50 during the game.
    Currently looking at Robben first goal (returns £300) or Giroud last goal (returns £500)

  85. Wallace

    also, the salaries Chelsea pay these 30+ loaned out kids doesn’t show up on Chelsea’s accounts, but on the accounts of the club they’re loaned to. don’t ask me why.

  86. GG

    Highly controversial because wenger said so?

    It’s a brilliant business plan

    We can’t even get rid of Jenkinson or debuchy

    Pissed because chelsea is doinb something wenger can’t figure out.


    also, the salaries Chelsea pay these 30+ loaned out kids doesn’t show up on Chelsea’s accounts, but on the accounts of the club they’re loaned to. don’t ask me why.

    Chelsea just can’t forge numbers. Business do get audited you know? You do know accounting principles work? You can’t just move figures around as you wish.


    Even if they’re only paying 12 of the 38 players full salary they’re still hemorrhaging money. Its a farm system not just one or two players here or there.

    You’re making shit up. You have no idea whatsoever what chelsea is doing. Unless you have facts shut the fuck up about a topic you have no clue about

  87. GG

    They are talking of banning it

    Well it’s not banned. And Chelsea are smart to make it work for them

    we could do it to, but wenger isn’t smart enough to spend the over 200m in the bank and make it work for Arsenal.

    And wenger buys players like sanago…

  88. Sir Chips


    I don’t know if I could stomach losing £50 on the draw (or even an Arsenal win!).
    I guess you are covering that though by going BTTS as I don’t see Bayern not scoring.
    I’ve been on a bit of lucky streak picking scorers recently though with the 365 offer. Picked up £150 profit with Messi scoring during the group stages and then £425 profit with Mkhitaryan scoring for UTD before Christmas.
    I think there’s good value with Robben first goal at 5/1.

  89. gonsterous

    so out of another competition tonight, right ??
    don’t bother being optimistic as there’s just gonna be more heartbreak !

  90. Cesc Appeal


    I agree, seems a recurring problem at Arsenal that some players just sort of do what they want, their mistakes never get ironed out and they have a total lack of positional instruction, likely stems from Wenger’s hands off style of management.

    But my gripe with Ozil is that all players run into patches of poor form, that does not, however, excuse a poor attitude, saying that would be remedied if Wenger had the balls to drop him is valid, but again, I don’t think that can excuse a grown man, a professional footballer earning £140 000 a week, supposedly a world class talent from performing the way Ozil has in terms of application.

    If he turns up tonight, if he actually looks interested, if the criticisms have stung him, then great, the danger though is in a tough away game where we’re going to need every player doing duties on both sides of possession, if Ozil is Ozil, that is a big problem for us from the first whistle to the last.

    Also, no Giroud tonight, the BvB fan on ArsenalFanTV made a good point, Hummels and Martinez will play the strong man, aerial game all night long, put pace in there with them and you can trouble them because they move at a crawl, he also highlighted Oxlade as a player who can potentially break through the lines when Vidal goes up the pitch leaving Alonso who has the pace of Xhaka alone in the middle of the field.

    That should be the tactic, Oxlade, Sanchez, Welbeck and Walcott (unfortunately no Perez) as the attacking threat, very blunt, very physical, very direct, very pacey, then Xhaka and Elneny just to hold down the fort, with Oxlade required to do so as well, Bellerin and Gibbs to lock down Robben and Costa (or whichever pace option they go with).

    The objective tonight is not to be out of the UCL by the final whistle, but I do think we can cause Munich some issues if we’re smart and disciplined.

  91. GG

    For the lineup tonight , I think wenger will
    Be thinking whether he wants to risk xhaka and possibly getting a red card.

    He wasn’t very happy after the last red.

    May a coq/Elneny, Ozil MF?