Bate Borisov impressively taken apart by the second stringers

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Much fun was had in Belarus yesterday as Arsene Wenger unleashed the kids and a bunch of the second stringers against Bate Borisov.

Theo Walcott POWERED the net. Jack Wilshere found some of that 2011 vibe. Olivier Giroud made the 100 club. Rob Holding scored his first for the club.

Everyone was happy.

Remember, this is a team that has decapitated some of Europe’s best (Bayern / Roma). I’d go as far to say that the game we played last night was possibly tougher than Barca away. So the result cannot be underestimated.

Sure, we witnessed some sloppy defending in the second half, but overall, it was a slick passing game that brought out one of the more interesting performances we’ve seen in Europe of late with a second team.

Jack Wilshere really was the star of the show. He had a  lot of space to play in and he took full advantage of it in the number ten role. His vision, range of passing, and bursts of pace were well received. The footwork and turn for the opener for Theo Walcott was exceptional. Reminded me of the deft skillz on show against Norwich the last time we were convinced Jack was back.

It was also great to see Giroud finally land his 100th goal, super cool penalty that sent the keeper the wrong way.

Theo Walcott also reminded us that he can score goals, you quickly forget he’s also a 100 clubber as well. Surprised we can’t get more from him, because in front of goal, he’s one of the best in our team. Needs more Nespresso bribery in my opinion.

It was also a solid run out for M-N, Reiss and Willock. Nketiah and McGuane also managed to make appearances. Wonderful to see some promising kids land their chances on a stage more impressive than the League Cup.

Right, that’s me done, see you tomorrow.

598 Responses to “Bate Borisov impressively taken apart by the second stringers”

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  1. Bamford10


    That is one of the stupidest fucking things that has ever been said on here. Yes I am an Arsenal fan, but I am also a fan of good football and good footballers. I am also a decent human being. If a good footballer gets injured, I hope it isn’t bad because, one, he is a good footballer and I’d like to continue watching him do what he does, and because two, he is as human being and I generally don’t wish ill upon other human beings.

    What a petty, small-minded dickhead you are. Seriously.

  2. Pierre

    Though city played superb yesterday, I do think they were fortunate the way the fixtures panned out this week.

    City had a home game in champions league on Tuesday whilst Chelsea were away to athletico Madrid on Wednesday, this obviously gives city an unfair advantage for such an important game.

    The Premier league should be more sensible in arranging the fixtures during European week, especially if 2 of the top sides are due to meet.. The game should have been played on a Sunday.

  3. Don


    I was 100% wrong on Morata. He’s totally surprised me. I’m not the sort that will try to talk my way out of that. I knew he had quality but didn’t think he’d get going if at all then certainly not the way he has.

    Well they are playing really well aren’t they? I still think that they will fall away and that spurs and u utited have the most complete first 11 in the league.
    I stick by that.
    Chelsea have lost too many key players
    Matic, Costa and Terry. The only thing that’s kept them up too is Morata’ goals. Without that they’re pretty pedestrian to me and have far too shallow a squad to compete and for the league let alone on all fronts.
    City are firing on all cylinders but that won’t last. They may prove me wrong and if they do I’ll put my hands up and admit I was wrong but they’re weak through the middle. Any injuries to key centre halves or cm and they become even weaker.
    Can their attacking talents compensate for that?? We will see. I’m not a fortune teller. I don’t pretend to be.

  4. Don

    And I never said Arsenal had a better team than city I said we had a better defence and cm. I still think we do. Sorry but fernando and Fernandinho don’t exactly strike fear into my heart

  5. Pierre

    So you and CA wish morata a speedy recovery from a little hamstring strain but when it comes to wilshire, ozil or any other Arsenal player that’s injured, I don’t hear a lot of goodwill towards them.

    The fact is, most arsenal fans, when we play spurs would prefer spurs to be without kane, Alli and erikson, Weather through injury or suspension.. That’s just the way it is for real fans who have been going to the game for years.
    As for the “decent human being”… Now that is “one of the most stupid things I’ve heard on here”.

  6. Pierre

    Have to agree regarding morata.. I thought he would struggle, but looks to have a very good all round game.

  7. Bamford10


    One, it’s “Wilshere”. For someone lecturing others on their commitment to the club they support, you think you might spell our players’ names correctly.

    Two, I quite like Jack Wilshere and have always expressed support for him. If you had more than a pea-brain, you might have noticed this.

    Three, I don’t like every player equally and I don’t approach the club brainlessly like some of you lot. I can enjoy watching other teams play good football; I can prefer other teams’ players to Arsenal players; I can dislike Arsenal players. That is, I’m not a mindless neanderthal.

    Oh, and it’s “whether,” not “weather”.

  8. Don

    One, it’s “Wilshere”. For someone lecturing others on their commitment to the club they support, you think you might spell our players’ names correctly


    Some of us have lives Bamford
    We have kids and wives and things so we don’t get the time to sit quietly in our prestine noise free apartment and perfectly punctuate our posts.
    We also don’t have the time to concoct fake stories of attending Harvard and playing soccer ball for them.

  9. Don

    And what bollocks

    Decent human being my arse
    You’re a rat that’s constantly on here antagonising people. How’s that decent?? Don’t come over all aloof. It’s clear what a liar you are.

    And who the hell wishes our rivals’ best players a speedy recovery
    Fuck that. We play Barca then I want Messi and Suarez gone.
    We play city and I want aguero and kompany gone
    Anything that gives us a better opportunity of gaining an advantage and I’m all for it. Apart from deliberately injuring a player. I draw the line there

  10. Stephan


    If a team has a better defense and Cm than another team, doesn’t that make that team better than the other?
    Fernandinho is better than xhaka please
    If Man city end up falling off, I’ll be very surprised.
    Man Utd and City look very strong and have showed they have the players to continue with that.
    Having good managers is as important as having a good team.
    Unfortunately we have just a good team

  11. Pierre

    Dodgy lasagne did us a favour a few years back when Spurs needed a win against West Ham to finish 4th….

    Bamford wouldn’t have liked that …not sporting enough for such a decent human being

  12. Don


    Not if they keep kompany fit.
    They’re attack is so good that it is capable of compensating for their defence though. Even if they lose aguero they’re just so strong in that area
    But if they lose kompany then they have a weak spine
    Ederson is unproven in the premier league too.
    It’s too early to really assess but I still think they’re very weak through the middle and teams will exploit that throughout the season
    Let’s see.
    I think we will battle them for 3rd and 4th place and I think spurs will come second to united.
    I still think that. City are looking impressive though and I could be wrong. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last.

  13. Cesc Appeal

    Wilshere is always injured and he has not done anything in about five years football wise, so unperturbed would probably be the way I describe my attitude to a Wilshere injury, like when you walk outside in England and it is raining, so frequent you pay it no mind.

    Ozil? You feel for any player when he is injured, but I don’t think Ozil actually is injured right now, and secondly, as a fan of Wenger you should rejoice, we all know when he has selection choices his brain gets all hot and smoky and he ends up fielding an unbalanced side, in fact it should be you rejoicing at Arsenal injuries of players like Ozil as a fan of Wenger because it is in those moments he seems to land on a balanced side.

    I don’t think Ozil is a good player, so it does not smart as much as seeing say, Sanchez injured, or Kozz injured, if Kolasinac got injured I would be gutted for him, in the same way if Gabriel at City got injured again I would be gutted as a football fan, or Hazard at Chelsea, or Lukaku at United.

    I know Arsenal are not winning the league, I don’t get much joy from them, I just want to watch good football across the league with full strength sides going against full strength sides, and the best players getting the chances to seize their opportunities.

    I don’t go in for this nasty, spiteful side of things that seems to be the preserve of pro-Wenger fans now, spiteful name calling to other teams, wanting misfortune for other teams, questioning Arsenal’s fans fan status. You crack on, you are as boring as an Arsenal season and as predictable as Wenger.

  14. Wallace

    “I don’t think Ozil is a good player”

    🙂 you can say many negative things about Ozil and not get much argument, but to doubt his overall quality is kinda dim.

  15. Wallace

    “Former Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso described Özil as “the kind of player you don’t find these days,” adding, “He understands the game, sees things, combines and thrives between the lines, unlocking teams.” José Mourinho, who coached Özil for a time at Real Madrid said, “Özil is unique. There is no copy of him – not even a bad copy.” Assistant coach of the Germany national football team Hans-Dieter Flick said, “We are proud to have him in our team. When he has the ball, you can feel the excitement and astonishment among the fans.” Former Netherlands and Milan forward Ruud Gullit described Özil as a “technically perfect” player who has “total control of the ball” and a “great imagination.” Former Germany teammate Phillip Lahm said of Özil “His vision is probably the best I have ever seen… He is a dream for strikers.”, while Mario Gómez called Özil “probably the most brilliant footballer we have or ever had”

    – wikipedia

  16. Jim Lahey

    @CA –

    Agree with you regarding Wilshere. We have been here over and over with him. Wilshere gets a run of games, people understand how little he brings to the team both defensively and offensively, then Wilshere is injured for a number of months and people forget his average performances and romance on that one night in Barca. If only we had him back fit again… then he comes back and we all remember how bang average he is… repeat the cycle.

    The guy played 27 games at Bournemouth last season and didn’t exactly impress. Yet we bring him back and give him yet another opportunity. Here is how it will go, he will get a few more games, get injured for a couple more months and then resign for another 5 years at Arsenal.

  17. TR7

    ^^ Not a single club has shown any interest in Ozil even when he is in the last year of his contract. Says more about the quality of the player than what Xabi and Lahm have said in the past.

  18. Don


    Who me?

    I agree with most of what you said there apart from wilshire and apart from being happy when our rival loses key personnel

  19. Frost

    Arsenal XI vs. Brighton: Čech; Holding, Mustafi, Monreal; Bellerín, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Iwobi, Alexis; Lacazette. #afc

    Wenger slowly but surely dropping Ozil. About time I’d say.

  20. Jim Lahey

    @Wallace –

    I don’t think Cesc was suggesting he is a bad footballer, he is a great footballer, just overall not a great player.

  21. Rambo Ramsey

    Yes, its pretty difficult to watch Jack Wilshere play as he is typically stuck in the hospital for most of the season.

  22. Don


    Yes we all know he’s been injured a lot but that doesn’t make him average as his displays this season have proved. He’s gifted. There’s a reason why he is spoken of so highly. People that understand how the game should be played

  23. Jim Lahey

    @Don –

    Are we talking Doncaster, Koln and BATE?

    Don I am not saying he is a bad footballer, because he isn’t. Wilshere is a talented footballer but what he has brought to the team over the last 7/8 years has been minimal. We all know he is as injury prone as a player can be, so why are we persisting with him?

  24. Dissenter

    “He’s (Wishere) had 3 motm awards this season from 2 and half games”

    Games against the greatest Doncaster Rovers and the mighty Bate Borisov.
    Cool it Don. Your Wilshere-fetish is embarrassing.
    We all know the way this story will end.
    He will play low caliber games, make a few passes that will rekindle your nostalgic romantic notions of that great night against Barca in 2011 then Wenger will give Wilshere a five year contract….only for him to break down again.
    We’ve seen this movie before.

  25. Dissenter

    I can see a situation where we give Cazorla and Wilshere contract extensions.
    That’s two midfield positions that are wasted for the next 2-3 seasons. The same time teams around us are signing proper players.
    Such is the life of a pragmatic gooner.
    I wish athe best for Wilshere. Let him go and do his magic at West Ham or whoever wants to take the risk. Let him leave on a free.
    His agents have spread the laughable rumors that Juventus and Real are interested in the great Jack Wishere.

  26. Dissenter

    Injuries apart.
    The 27 games Jack player last season for Bournemouth has him relegated to the bench at the business end of the season.
    Last season’s poor performance disqualifies him from having a contract extension.

  27. Cesc Appeal


    You can do your favourite and pull a quote from someone, I use my eyes as a football fan, Ozil is not a good player to me in that he is not useful, his skillset is heavy in one area and then totally lacking in all others. I can find plenty of quotes about the ‘coward’ Ozil etc if you want? But I am giving my opinion, not someone else’s, try it.

    Ozil is one of the least well rounded players I have ever seen, and therefore I describe him as not good in being not useful in a variety of situations.

    We could lose Ozil, not replace him and feel no ill effects. He is basically a high class on the eye Walcott, gutless, useless in tough situations, pads his stats when he chooses to and when the opposition suits.

    If that does not say it all, I don’t know what does.

  28. Don


    I’ve already told you
    I’m not Interested in conversing with you.


    We are persisting with him for the same reasons that we persisted with RvP
    That level of talent is worth persevering with. I’m obviously not the only one that believes this

  29. No1powerdaddy

    Premier League goals since start of 2014/15:
    Sergio Aguero 62
    Diego Costa 49
    Alexis Sanchez 46
    Romelu Lukaku 46

    Are you in this reality yet or still away with the fairies?

  30. useroz

    The Laca strike looks well …more striking for each replay…

    The 2, 3 yard passes are getting annoying; won’t work 9 of 10 times. Iwobi, ramsey the prime culprits.

  31. useroz

    …the moment ramsey tries sth more than 2, 3 yards….well off and out. Stick to 2, 3 yards or back passes…u r not good enough

  32. useroz

    Ffs it’s Nha we r playing. Left to right and left etc. The first forward move and fucked it up…

    No creativity and desire to go at it. Worse than the counter bha

  33. useroz

    Xhara either has balls of steel or doesn’t have a Brian to slide in there.

    Ramsey of all people ffs. Keep him in own box…

  34. Dissenter

    We are not good enough.
    Games that we should absolutely batter the opponent will be games that we barely eke out a win.

  35. Jasongms

    Such a difference in quality between what city produce and this shite Wenger spews out weekly, but hey as long as the junkies get their arsene fix its all good.

  36. useroz

    1 up and trying to keep it to 90 min?? Off the boil completely. Might as well play counter; better luck that way.

  37. Dissenter

    Wenger said in his pre-match conference that the squad felt ” like a different team” following the closure of the transfer window.
    I’m still seeing passive sideways passing, failure to press when we lose the ball and lack of clinical finishing.
    If Brighton manage a goal [which is possible] then panic sets in again.

    I suppose he can always blame the congested schedule.

  38. Elmo

    Xhaka is so painfully unremarkable. Not particularly good at anything except long passing when not under pressure, and evidently weak in many areas (distribution under pressure, mobility, positioning, tackling, close control etc).

    The only reason we are forced to persist with him is because we spent £40m on him and we don’t have proven alternatives because we have recruited so badly.

    Summer 2015 (no outfield signings) and Summer 2016 (Xhaka, Mustafi, Perez: one should be out, one wants out, one is already out) will go down as critical failings for the club, alongside the contracts debacle.

  39. Marko

    Wenger said in his pre-match conference that the squad felt ” like a different team” following the closure of the transfer window

    Been more fortunate than anything. Since the awful start to the season we’ve had laboured victories at home and a game against a lacklustre Chelsea that we SHOULD HAVE won. I personally see nothing to suggest that this team has improved much from last season in fact I see the midfield being worse and the defence being thinner with losing Gabriel and Chamberlain and not replacing them. And we basically substituted Sanchez’s goals for Lacazette’s so much as a muchness there

  40. useroz

    Hollywood Ramsey always tries to be hollywood. That’s a 1 in 100 event for the like of ramsey.

    Wilshere : wtf..
    Giroud: sachez thought it’s me there
    Wilshere : wally probably nicks it

  41. useroz

    That’s wot constructive feedback gets you. Iwobi watched a replay of the Laca post shaking shot…

    That’s more like it.

  42. raptora

    Game I’m watching is Alexis and Ramsey the only two trying to think something interesting. All the other players just give them the ball and wait for them to do something with it.

    Dunno what up with all the hate.

  43. S. Asoa

    Comprehensive research on Ozil. Am a admirer of his “when he plays “. But that has to do with his frustration to a larger extent.
    Wenger only provides him with a pig sty trough for his pearls.
    Frustrating, frustrating

  44. Samir

    Have to say I’m not impressed with Lacazette. Sure he is better than what we had before…But still not good enough to win big trophies with.

    Morata and Lukaku both look much better players overall. No wonder no big club had previously gone for the Frenchman.

  45. Samesong


    He worked hard today and if he had scored that early goal may have a had a different game he looked like he tired in the second half.

  46. useroz

    This is what u get when trying to ‘manage’ a game with only 2 up… and with a dodgy defence. Nearly 2 already courtesy of mustafi. Should’ve gone all and trash such opponents with 4 or 5

  47. Kay

    Anyone with a half working brain would understand that a team which is to be built around ozil needs a quality DCM and a quality ST.
    Lets stop blaming the quality of ozil.
    Its all on wenger. As simple as that.

  48. Elmo


    Right. There’s a reason the biggest clubs looked at him, but decided he wasn’t good enough. The primary expectation of your striker is scoring goals, but if you want to win the top leagues and CL, your CF needs to be able to stretch the defence, hold up the ball, get involved in the interplay, and hopefully also be strong in the air. At Lyon last season in several big games Lacazette would be subbed off because he couldn’t get into the game when the opposition were on top, and they needed someone who could hold up the ball.

    Aguero was frozen out by Guardiola as being too limited a player until he proved to him that there’s more to his game.

    Lacazette can become a top PL striker, but he needs to work on becoming a more useful player in a wider range of circumstances. He doesn’t have the physicality to bully the defence, or the blazing speed to stretch the opposition, so he needs to get better at running with the ball, getting involved in the interplay, and holding up the ball.

  49. Elmo

    Hahahaha! That BTSport trailer for the Watford v Arsenal game was amazing.

    A medley of talk radio and AFTV slagging of the manager, while Wenger is pictured slowly looking upwards and then coming out with one of his signature ‘mental strength’ type quotes.

  50. TR7

    I think Lacazzete has it in him to get involved with combination play. At times he looks out of steam and gets a bit too casual as well but I don’t see why he can’t improve. More worrisome for me is the very limited ability of Iwobi and Xhaka.

  51. Samesong

    Lacazette can become a top PL striker, but he needs to work on becoming a more useful player in a wider range of circumstances. He doesn’t have the physicality to bully the defence, or the blazing speed to stretch the opposition, so he needs to get better at running with the ball, getting involved in the interplay, and holding up the ball.

    Hit the nail on the head there.

  52. raptora

    Lacazette and Alexis have been incompatible so far. Most of the combinations they tried, failed. So they stopped passing to one another. Hopefully in time they will fix that but first signs are not good. Might as well think for playing Welbeck instead of Alexis. Still not sure what the best face of Arsenal is at the moment.

  53. Sanmi

    I’m seeing some useless comments here regarding lacazette. They were exactly the comments I saw on Morata on vital chelsea.. bottomline fans are a fickle bunch switching opinions on per match basis.

    If you don’t see what lacazette brings , well you have no clue. That’s a mobile finisher you have right there. Every single shot he took today except the on eke should have passed to sanchez could have gone in another day. And that’d be hattrick.

    Morata is a mobile and a hold up striker but not as clinical as lacazette.

    Lukaku isn’t clinical he’s just a morata with better built who loves the physical battle. They are all different strikers in my book but none of them including Kane is on the Aguero level of striking or even Van persie

  54. Sanmi

    To tell you his level of finishing, the shot he took that struck the post, lukaku and Morata won’t even dream of attempting it. He spotted the keeper and bang he let’s fly

  55. Bamford10

    Michael Owen says Arsenal won’t finish top four.

    Given that we are competing for that with City, Chelsea, United and Spurs, would you wager on us at the moment?

    I could possibly see us beating out Spurs because of their home form, but I don’t think we’re close to the other three.

    I’d say it’s a fight for fourth between us and Spurs.

    Great work, Arsene.

  56. jasongms

    Say what you will about the oil/petrodollar clubs, but without them, this league would be pony. Imagine having to watch Arsenal play weekly, oh wait :/

  57. Don

    Nothing against Ramsey
    Decent fella but he isn’t fit to start in a two man midfield for a top side.
    His passing is poor
    His defending is poor
    His positional awareness is diabolical
    All he offers are late runs and a pair of lungs
    We will never progress with him at the heart of the engine room
    We have been at our most disjointed whenever he plays
    He knocks the team out of Ruthin and he’s never in sync with his team mates

  58. Jim Lahey

    Sick of seeing Walcott come on for us, we’re effectively a man down once he steps onto the pitch. Why not give Willock or Nelson a run?

  59. Elmo


    The question is then what the striker is offering you when the team is struggling in a game. It may have been different in the old days, but I can’t think of many top teams nowadays who will choose to play with one forward through the centre who is just a pure poacher.

    Why is Lewandowski so good? He can do everything; he’s a 360 degree CF. Not every player can do that due to physical or talent limitations, so they have to find how they can best be of constant use.

    Right now, is Lacazette a constant nuisance to the opposition defence? No. If he can’t be that, or needs Welbz on the left fulfilling that role, then he needs to be very strong in other areas of his general play. The club have to look to make the most of him by instructing him how to be a more useful player in tight games where you need more than having a pure finisher scurrying about for 90 minutes hoping for a chance. With Sanchez leaving and big bucks spent on Lacazette, we need him to find that role.

  60. TR7

    Spurs will contest with City for the title, not with us for 4th. This Wembly thing is a hoax,lazy journalism by clueless pundits.

  61. Jim Lahey

    @Don –

    “His positional awareness is diabolical”

    Some of the worst I have ever seen. He has to be given licence to wander around, there is no way he is doing it on his own accord.

  62. Dissenter

    I thought Ramsey had a reasonable game. It was he and Alexis that were trying to carve out a hole in the Brighton defense. Everyone else just passed the ball casually and played like it was a testimonial match.

  63. Don


    Maybe he tries but he doesn’t pisses the skills to open up defences
    Essentially he’s a type of Freddie Ljunberg
    He works hard and gets in the end of things at times and that it.
    Obviously Freddie was way out of his league so I’m not comparing them like that

  64. Bamford10


    OK, then for you we’ll be competing for fourth against Chelsea or United. Who do you favor there? Us, or those teams?

  65. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘Spurs will contest with City for the title, not with us for 4th. This Wembly thing is a hoax,lazy journalism by clueless pundits.’

    Spuds 1:2 Chelsea
    Spuds 1:1 Burnley
    Spuds 0:0 Swansea

  66. TR7

    “Spuds 1:2 Chelsea
    Spuds 1:1 Burnley
    Spuds 0:0 Swansea”

    Yes, that’s the definition of lazy. Spurs don’t win a game in 3 matches and hey Spurs have a problem at Wembly. Spurs were the better team when they played against Chelsea and should have won. So if a team plays better than the defending champions at Wembly, I don’t see any specific reason to assume they will struggle at home. They have won their away games fair and square. So, why wouldn’t they win games at Wembley which at worst is an away ground for them and at best their second home.


    I think we won’t finish top 4. A team doesn’t finish top 4 with a midfield like the one we have.

  67. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘ So if a team plays better than the defending champions at Wembly, I don’t see any specific reason to assume they will struggle at home.’

    You don’t need to rack your brains in search of specific reasons, just acknowledge the results that are dancing in your face.

    Their supposed superiority over defending champions proved real helpful in matches that followed with Burnley and Swansea.

  68. TR7

    3 matches is too insignificant a sample to derive any meaningful conclusion out of it. It could as well be pure chance, a random probability.