Epic transfer window ends: Au-bang-them-in arrives! + exclusive stats

by & filed under News Review.

auba2

Well, it’s over.

Our first epic transfer window.

We moved on players.

Arsenal fans need to cut away the emotion. Ignore your average player PTSD. We need to stop reimagining a glorious past where we lovingly looking on as Walcott fell over his shoelaces, smiled lovingly on as Giroud would go missing for 17 games and praised the good lord that Coquelin was able to make enough money to feed his family, buy 6 cars and a 12 bedroom house in Totteridge.

You need to accept those names were average and complicit in the mediocrity that had infected Arsenal in the post-Dein era.

We bought some great players.

Aubameyang is an exciting talent. He has the pace, charisma and goal tally that would indicate he could be a bit special for us. I’ve not been this excited about a player for years. He’s a bigger deal for me than Ozil, mainly because we were at least pretending to be an elite club when Ozil landed. We’re Europa League now and still attracting stars.

My one concern is this. When you look at his goal mix, he’s been quite heavily reliant on a Dembele like character to feed him goals. Last season, if you check out this link, his tap-ins were quite literally tap-ins. We’re talking 1 yarders. There was a LOT of goals like that.

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My football consulting company ran the numbers and it’s startling.

DU4rVx8XkAEzLkA

The swooping runs that you see on the mega highlight reels are few and far between. 65% of his goals come from very close range.

Put it this way, he’s more Ian Wright than he is Thierry Henry. He has incredible instinct, almost Trezeguet like in knowing where to be to sniff out a chance. He’s incredibly fast and his movement is good. However, he does need to play with supporting pace (Rest in peace, Theo). Auba will need a lot of love from Ozil and he’ll need Mikki to hit peak 2015 for his move to work out… otherwise, we won’t see the best of him until next season when we’ve brought in the right sort of talent to make it happen (Leon Bailey or Malcolm).

Our Greek defender is greatly exciting Wenger.

We did a great part-ex deal.

We ended the window only spending £7m.

That’s how a proper club should operate.

Nimble. Aggressive. Progressive. Like an optimum feminist.

Now we have to make it work on the pitch. We all know if the person conducting the orchestra is terrible, the music might not always sound great. My guess would be that if Wenger doesn’t kill it in the back half of the season, he’ll be out. The sad reality is the rumblings are that he’ll be staying regardless.

… but let’s try and enjoy the ride.

Also, let’s laugh at Sanchez, these stats courtesy of Bet 365 after a SHOCKING performance against Spurs last night.

  • 77% passes completed
  • 0 goals
  • 0 assists
  • 0 shots
  • 1 completed dribble
  • Dribbled past more than any player on the pitch
  • Dispossessed more than any Man Utd player
DU5afQsXUAAJoio

 

I don’t care if he scores a hattrick in the next game. I just take immense pleasure that he’s playing for a manager who managed to make Paul Pogba look average.

Olivier Giroud lost heavily as he boarded the ‘Zero Fucks Given’ farewell tour with Mr Conte.

However, Theo did warm up for an Arsenal special this weekend with 2 goals and a great performance.

We all know how that film ends.

Right, Matt and myself pulled together a podcast for your ears. Please enjoy responsibly!

Dropbox | iTunes

 

734 Responses to “Epic transfer window ends: Au-bang-them-in arrives! + exclusive stats”

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  1. Barking Arsene

    That statistic there basically tells you that if we were to have someone organise our current team I imagine we would be up with United etc.

    Not City as they are a level above everyone at this point, but I still don’t think our current set of players are as poor as they look.

    I mean it’s not even like we are a free flowing attacking force at the minute either so it’s all about defensive frailties.

  2. Bamford10

    Emirates

    I see your point re Ramsey, but at the moment I think we need to deploy Ozil and Mkhit as wide attacking players, which means we could use Ramsey as a CAM.

    As for next season, I guess that is a different matter. Ozil has been playing with more energy of late — to earn a contract? — so if he continues in this vein, I guess I can see him giving us what we need through the center.

    As for Mkhit, I am optimistic about him, but I still don’t think we know what we’re really going to get out of him.

  3. Brooklyn

    Bamford,
    Who cares they are two different players, they both play in double pivot for Arsenal, and Ramsey is terrible fit for that role….

    Ramsey is never a CAM. he is a CM with free role for Wales, where he uses his stamina and has decent ability to manipulate space and attack it…where he lacks technical ability of true CAM he works as high work rate CM with free role, who will press, and harry opponent just that he doesn’t need to be in good defensive position against opponents attacking transition….For that CAM role we have Miki, Ozil and Iwobi as 3rd choice…..

    Re: anybody can play sideways, Ramsey can’t …..next time onwards see when he drops deep, he rarely plays one touch pass, and when he does 90% of time the ball will take bubble even if the pass is just few metres away, or will play one touch pass couple meter either side of intended target…..against pressing team he tries to dribble and loses ball…..Never said Xhaka is best thing since sliced bread….but he is clearly better than Ramsey at that…

    I specifically mentioned Xhaka positioning, not his tackling…if Ramsey could position himself beside Xhaka then ..Wilshere and Ramsey can only dream about maintaining team defensive position like Xhaka does….what he does after that is another matter, like See Swansea’s goal, he diligently positioned himself in space vacated by Bellerin, but lost concentration(I agree he is poor tackler, and doesn’t use his frame well and has shit pace)…..

    If possible bin both Ramsey and Xhaka,, but with Miki, ozil, Auba, Laca, I think we will do better with two holding mids who can pass between lines for those ahead of them rather than box to box who will leave Xhaka(who is weak one on one) isolated…..

  4. Ughelligunner

    In his 2017 autobiography, Ozil wrote: “As far as preparation for matches or announcing the line-up are concerned, Arsene Wenger doesn’t particularly differ from my previous coaches.

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    What Mesut Ozil said about Arsene Wenger in his autobiography – and why it’s reason he re-signed

    The German playmaker penned a new deal worth £350,000-a-week ending speculation he would leave

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    Mesut Ozil put pen to paper on a new £350,000-a-week contract at Arsenal, putting months of speculation to bed.

    The deal will keep Ozil at the north London club until 2021, and see him become one of the highest paid players in the Premier League.

    Arsenal parted company with Alexis Sanchez early in the January transfer window, with the Chilean moving to Manchester United in a swap deal.

    Ozil was set to become a free agent in the summer, with both the Red Devils and Barcelona waiting to pounce when the German became available.

    Mesut Ozil put pen to paper on a new £350,000-a-week contract at Arsenal (Image: Reuters)
    But Ozil officially took himself off the market by committing his future to Arsenal.

    The former Real Madrid star revealed he “let his heart decide” his future, before signing on the dotted line, but it seems his relationship with boss Arsene Wenger may have played a big part.

    In his 2017 autobiography, Ozil wrote: “As far as preparation for matches or announcing the line-up are concerned, Arsene Wenger doesn’t particularly differ from my previous coaches.

    The new deal will keep Ozil at the north London club until 2021 (Image: Mesut Ozil/Twitter)
    “He won’t tell us the formation until the day of the game. But there are two things that mark him out.

    “First, I’ve never practised set pieces so frequently and intensively with any other manager before. It’s one of Wenger’s passions.

    “He places great importance on trying out free-kicks and corners. Again and again and again he gets us to practise all manner of variations.

    I have almost believed, Wenger doesn’t even coach. I thought they just smile and laugh I training.

  5. Ishola70

    lol what is the point of positioning yourself well defensively if you are poor in the actual execution.

    And apart from that I have to seriously question this statement that Xhaka has good defensive nous play.

    Games I have watched him he sells himself embarrasingly too often in vulnerable positions. That is not sound defensive positional play.

    Truth is the guy doesn’t have much of a clue when he doesn’t have the ball at his feet. That is the bottom line.

  6. Wallace

    Rambo

    “Wallace, Xhaka’s weakness is lack of pace, strength and mobility.”

    his weaknesses are a lack of defensive awareness, rash decision-making, and sometimes receiving the ball while all over the place with his body shape. another manager would be able to compensate for his mobility issues, although I don’t think it’s as much of a problem as many on here do. Xabi Alonso was no faster, he was just far more aware of what was going on around him at all times.

  7. Ughelligunner

    In his 2017 autobiography, Ozil wrote: “As far as preparation for matches or announcing the line-up are concerned, Arsene Wenger doesn’t particularly differ from my previous coaches.

    The new deal will keep Ozil at the north London club until 2021 (Image: Mesut Ozil/Twitter)
    “He won’t tell us the formation until the day of the game. But there are two things that mark him out.

    “First, I’ve never practised set pieces so frequently and intensively with any other manager before. It’s one of Wenger’s passions.

    “He places great importance on trying out free-kicks and corners. Again and again and again he gets us to practise all manner of variations.

    I almost believed Wenger doesn’t do any coaching, I thought the whole team just clown around in trainings.

    Sorry about the first post.

  8. Ughelligunner

    This is why they love him, except some very few arrogant ones like Adebayo.

    Getty Images)
    “If he happens to miss a player and see him for the first time on the ground, the personal greeting will take place there. In winter he even takes off his gloves before shaking hands

    “I actually think that every club should have a morning routine like this. I like it when people show respect for each

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/what-mesut-ozil-said-arsene-11957380

  9. HighburyLegend

    “He places great importance on trying out free-kicks and corners.”

    And we often see the result on the pitch.
    (lol)

  10. Ughelligunner

    Highbury legend, I know you won’t understand that much…

    But when you have it as a worldclass player, you have it.

    At Iwobi’s age, Ronaldo was already a worldclass player. You don’t need too much coaching and instructions to give a worldclass player.

    Hence pep is buying every worldclass young player he can spot. He didn’t he very the patience to manage Ihanacho… Lol

  11. Pierre

    This is not me defending arsenal’s inability to perform against lower ranked sides but this season, apart from city, there always seems like a poor performance is waiting round the corner for any of the other top 6 sides
    Man United against spurs were abysmal, really poor all over the pitch.. Spurs v Newport, again really poor and lucky to get out of there with a draw… Chelsea, Bournemouth 3-0.. Liverpool..bad results v West brom and Swansea.. And of course arsenal….. V forest, Swansea and Bournemouth,all in the the Last few weeks.

    Consequently, I think it is impossible to rule anyone out of finishing in champions league spot.

    The teams that progress further in the cup tournaments will find it difficult in the league, especially the champions league sides..
    The league could become secondary to some teams who want to focus on winning trophies.

    Personally, I would rather focus on the trophies and use the league for trying out fringe players.

  12. Ughelligunner

    After the world best under 17 player was casted off by Pep, (the same player who flourished under Pellegrini), I knew he will spend a lot to win at all cost.

    I just imagine Pep teaching Welbeck how to score without falling over, lol…. Or teaching Giroud how to beat a defender one on one…..

  13. Carts

    Dream 10

    ITs when Wenger sees how some players have fallen off is what seems to reinforce his delusion As to “why anyone would want to leave Arsenal”.

    Song and Nasri are good enough to still play. But if for some bizarre reason Wenger dares think they’re the answer in any short term capacity, he’ll need sectioning.

    lmao @ Cazorla getting a squad number for EL.

  14. WengerEagle

    The League Cup doesn’t matter, only reason Pep wants to win it is for the Quadruple and because he has the size of squad to play string sides in it.

    As for the EL, luckily for us Napoli likely will not be interested in winning it if it goes to the wire with Juventus in Serie A, Atletico Madrid, Dortmund and Lyon will all be tough ties against motivated sides though.

  15. HighburyLegend

    “The league could become secondary to some teams”

    The PL is already “secondary” for kim jong weng, since more than a decade now.

  16. Carts

    Bamford

    I couldn’t care less if Kolasinac played DM in the Bundesliga, it’s not even comparable level of football.

    It would be as disgusting as Ox playing CM against Chelsea

  17. Ughelligunner

    Wenger eagle, Pep second string sides had to use Penalties to qualify…. First against Wolvehampton and Leicester….. He had to use the full squad in his second leg against Bristol after surviving a scare in his first.

  18. Pierre

    Brooklyn
    If Ramsey played midfield for united, Chelsea or spurs the way he plays midfield for arsenal, jose, conte or Pochettino would sub him off within 20 minutes and tell him to come back when he has learnt how to play the role.

    Wenger is culpable in many ways for Ramsey’s deficiencies in midfield for allowing him to be so lacking in discipline in the role.

  19. WengerEagle

    Yeah why do people think that full-back/defenders that are robust and can pass are viable options in midfield?

    I still remember all of the calls for Vermaelen to be played in CDM.

    It’s an entirely different position with a different skillset required.

  20. Barking Arsene

    “But if for some bizarre reason Wenger dares think they’re the answer in any short term capacity, he’ll need sectioning.”

    You just know it could well happen. Wenger is seemingly in full strength banter mode now with Santi etc.

  21. Ughelligunner

    Bravo, Company, Mangala, Delph, Danilo, Fernando, Yaya, Benardo, Gundogan, are some of his second string, and they won’t survive against Burnley for example..

  22. WengerEagle

    Ughelli

    Why persist with a player that he sees in training on a daily basis and has concluded is not at the necessary level?

    That’s a trait that I associate with Wenger, being overly patient with players not at the sufficient standard, and it’s cost us dear.

    No proper gaffer wastes time nurturing players without the potential needed.

  23. raptora

    ——————–Cech————————
    Bellerin–—Kos—Mustafi–—Nacho
    ————Elneny—Jacky–—————
    ——————Ramsey———————
    Ozil————–AUBA————–Mikki

    Looks a decent lineup. Fk Xhaka. It’s beyond me how anyone can still be apologetic after all the fk ups he’s had in under a year and a half. Bad tackling, red cards, slow as a snail, absolutely horrendous when put under pressure, brain farts on the regular. Worst big money transfer Wenger has done in his 21 years tenure. His personal play vs Swansea was scandalous. Their first goal wasn’t even his biggest mistake. He literally refused to track back during their attacks. He just refused to do it. Elneny was making sprint after sprint trying to help, while Xhaka was strolling in their half not even trying to go back. Dumbest tackler, egocentric player I’ve seen put an Arsenal shirt on. He’s believed his own hype and caused problems off field as well, calling a woman “stupid white bitch” etc. I’ve lost my hopes for him long time ago. How can anyone believe that with attitude like his, he can do the job in another big team is absurd. I’d play Lee Cattermole ahead of this bloke.

  24. Rambo Ramsey

    Christ, I thought the Xabi Alonso comparisons would be put to rest after last season.

    Its like those Walcott-Henry comparisons because he’s fast and finishes like Henry 1/10 times.

  25. Mysticleaves

    Ugh

    Just imagine Wenger teaching Sterling to be better than Walcott. Or to get the productive Pep is getting from Sane. Lol.

    Just imagine Wenger favoring a pass out from back approach and then buying mobile and positionally aware midfielders lol

    Just imagine Wenger organizing a defence lol

  26. Ughelligunner

    Pierre, most of Arsenal players won’t survive the top 4, reason is, if you stop them from playing their natural way, they will falter. Take Wilshere for example, the 8 is where he does well, outside that, he lags.

    Ox can only be effective from the left, on the right, he is useless. At bigger clubs, they have better players playing at these positions, and therefore they won’t even make it to the bench.

  27. WrightIsGod

    Typical Wenger talking about money again.

    Well I’m moaning about his coaching not about the money he does or doesn’t spend.

    It’s like having a driving license. After a certain age you should get retested.

    Confiscate his badges ha.

  28. Pierre

    WE
    “The League Cup doesn’t matter, only reason Pep wants to win it is for the quadruple.”

    I think a club that has only won one trophy (the league cup, which apparently is not a trophy anymore) in the last 3 years are not really in a position to pick and choose.

    What if it all goes tits up in the league

    What if teams start damaging their players with no protection from refs.

    What if the fixture congestion is too much for the squad if they have an injury crisis.

    There’s a lot of “what ifs” there but stranger things have happened.

  29. Mysticleaves

    Ugh

    That we have Welbeck and Giroud and not Gabriel Jesus at Arsenal is on Wenger lol

    That we have Xhaka and not fernaninho or kante is on Wenger lol. After all he gives his go ahead for any deal lol

  30. Ughelligunner

    Mystic, they will all flourish under Wenger. Lol. Sterling and Sane were already national team players before coming to Pep. Lol. They both cost a total of 100m plus. Lol so, it isn’t as if they were unknowns. Sterling was carving defenses open when he played for poor Brendan Rovers.

    The pressure was on him when he came to man city because of the nature of his arrival. The English media were on his back for leaving Liverpool.

    Good players flourish under better environment. Nasri, Fabregas, Kleb all flourished. They came full of talent and flourished. It’s usually the average players that find it difficult to excel.

  31. raptora

    WE,
    So what is your plan? Cause Wenger can do this or play Iwobi cause he’s good defensively and put Mikki behind Auba with Ramsey on the bench. Or play Lacazette on the flank which is not going to end up well.

  32. Barking Arsene

    Only way I can see Mikki and Ozil behind Auba working is with a back three and Kolasinac/Bellerin as wing backs.

    Maybe Jack/Elmo in the middle as Jack can break and Elmo is disciplined, if unspectacular.

    Back three take your pick at the minute as none of them are playing particularly well.

  33. Ughelligunner

    Sane and Sterling weren’t bought at the age of 16. I know you would mention Walcott and ox. Lol

    Maybe you should also sight 16 years old pep has “bought” that flourished..

    P.S. Re Walcott and ox, I am yet to see any of the Southampton academy players that having left the club, except for Bale. (he stills struggles under Ronaldo ‘s image)

  34. WengerEagle

    raptora

    For the rest of the season, in an ideal world I’d like to see Ramsey and Jack partnered with Ozil or Miki in front and the other of the two out wide, Auba and Laca up top with the license to roam, defensively it’s still a mess unless Ramsey turns back the clock and is disciplined in holding his position.

    Just don’t see what Elneny offers us from an offensive or defensive standpoint, at least with an extra attacker we’re more potent going forward.

    I’d buy 2-3 CM’s in the summer before I do anything else.

  35. WengerEagle

    Pierre

    A lot of big ifs there, you’re really stretching on the league part as well.

    You really don’t think that they’re home and dry with the title at this stage? 15 points clear which is basically 16 because of their obscene GD.

  36. Mysticleaves

    Ugh: They came full of talent and flourished. It’s usually the average players that find it difficult to excel.

    Shot yourself in the leg there fella. So who’s fault that we have these average players? Money? Hahahaha. Or maybe Pep told Arsenal to buy Welbeck and Xhaka lol.

    Give Bellerin two years at man city you won’t recognize him anymore. Same for Mustafi, and Kola. Look how they doing under Wenger lol.

    Alli cost less than 10m but shits on all our midfielders lol. Erikson is doing pretty well guess how much he was signed for? Lol

    Tony Alderwerild shits on any defender we have now guess how much? Lol

    Kevin tripper better than bellerin currently lol guess how much? Oh and you would bite spurs hands off forVictor 12m Wanyama lol lol

  37. Carts

    Ugh

    “Lol, so true but…… Fans don’t want to know anymore.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/42916936

    “When you look at the five big leagues in Europe, in December we already knew four champions.”

    The inference I’ve drawn from this is that you seem to think Arsenal fans moaning – at the inevitability of City being champions – is futile?

    Am I right?

  38. Ughelligunner

    Wengereagle,
    “That’s a trait that I associate with Wenger, being overly patient with players not at the sufficient standard, and it’s cost us dear.”

    I agree….. No question

  39. Emiratesstroller

    I think that several here have missed the point I was making.

    We need a minimum of four possibly five central midfield players. I also suggested that Maitland-Niles who is a decent footballer and has excellent recovery is basically a midfield player who Wenger has opted to play as full back.

    My view is that Arsenal needs to buy one player as an upgrade in central midfield player and then it is down to offloading one of the players we have got
    currently on our books.

    Frankly it could be that we buy a new CM and play him next season alongside
    Maitland-Niles with Wilshire, Xhaka and Elneny as options to play these three
    on bench or as needs be in starting lineup.

    Basically the choice to be offloaded is probably between Xhaka, Ramsey and Wilshere. Ramsey will probably fetch most money in transfer market.

  40. LINP

    Just watched a few of Auba’s highlights. He ran so fast with the ball from box to box. From the entertainment’s point of view, we really should drop those slow procession plays. It is so boring and leads to nothing. It also offers so much space for the opponent to counter. I hope we’ll go for a direct attacking style a la Leicester City, while always keeping a compact defensive formation.

  41. Mysticleaves

    Wengereagle,
    “That’s a trait that I associate with Wenger, being overly patient with players not at the sufficient standard, and it’s cost us dear.”I agree….. No question

    Makes me then wonder why you were taking a swipe at Pep for doing the needful.

  42. WengerEagle

    What I do like about Aubameyang is that we’ll see a difference in games vs the likes of Liverpool and Man City and Spurs.

    No way they play those insanely high defenesive lines against Auba, there’s nobody better at exploiting them.

  43. Pierre

    WE
    I said, back in October that the league was over.. So yes, of course it’s probably 95% certain though I do think that if one of the chasing pack were within touching distance there would be a possibility of city stumbling as their fixture congestion is sure to catch up with them.

  44. Mysticleaves

    ES

    If we are serious about a rebuilding job we should be letting go two of Ramsey Wilshere and Xhaka. Xhaka is a must though so it’s between Wilshere and Ramsey

  45. Pierre

    Stroller
    “Frankly it could be that we buy a new CM and play him next season alongside”

    What I want to know is, who is this frankly who you keep bringing into the conversation.

    Maybe he could play in midfield.

  46. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘What I do like about Aubameyang is that we’ll see a difference in games vs the likes of Liverpool and Man City and Spurs.’

    That is, if we’re not already 2-0 down before we think about mounting first attack 😀

  47. Mysticleaves

    “I said, back in October that the league was over.. ”

    Lols. Shows where we are really. We didn’t even make it to December this time

  48. Pierre

    Mysticleaves
    Agreed.. But it’s no different for the other teams.

    Would be great to see a competitive title race again with us finally competing.

  49. Marko

    Personally, I would rather focus on the trophies and use the league for trying out fringe players.

    If we won the league cup but finished 10th you’d be delighted wouldn’t you Pierre

  50. WengerEagle

    Haha, right.

    Comes back to Wenger and those crunch fixtures, how can you forget one of the best midfield’s in Cesc, Flam, Hleb, Rosicky that the league has seen being given the run around by JS Park, Fletcher and Hargreaves.

    On paper we were superior to United over the years, certainly from 2001-2005 and in 2007-08, yet they went toe to toe with us and got the better of us on many occasions.

    Where Fergie always seemed to get an extra 10-15% out of his players, AW failed to transcend the talent on the table with his management.

    IOW, we underachieved in those years, espcecially 2001-2005 where we should have won the league 3 times in a row as United did in 2006-2009, they also won the UCL in 2008 which we should have done in 2004.

  51. Moray

    Reading those Ozil quotes…if he was so keen to remain at Arsenal playing for Wenger, it’s a real puzzle why he didn’t renew his contract until we offered him a 300% delta and until it was clear nobody else was in for him.

    Nevertheless, good to have the goggle eyed fuck back in the saddle.

  52. Moray

    Eagle, where Ferguson seemed to always find an extra 10-15% for his guys, Wenger has always managed to find 10-15% less. He is in many ways the anti-Fergie.

  53. WengerEagle

    Moray

    Agree, not sure how we didn’t win the UCL in 2004, never mind lose in the QF to an average Chelsea side pre-Abramovich.

    We had the best player in the world at the time in Henry and the likes of Pires, Vieira, Ljungberg in their prime. Top class defensive line in Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Cole and Edu to boot.

    And we literally threw away the league in 2002/03 in a way that Fergie only did in 2011/12 with Man City which he rectified the year after by winning it back.

  54. Barking Arsene

    “we underachieved in those years, espcecially 2001-2005 where we should have won the league 3 times in a row as United did in 2006-2009, they also won the UCL in 2008 which we should have done in 2004.”

    This.

    Even when Wenger was up there mixing it with the best, we still seemed to have a tendency to come up short at times. I just don’t think he had it in him to play the pragmatic football that delivers trophies consistently.

    As good as some of their football was, Fergie didn’t mind sending out a bunch of fired up average players to spoil the party and let his superstar players add that extra spark when they needed it.

    Wenger wanted (and probably still does) everyone to be an artist. When it worked it was spectacular, but high risk comes with its downsides.

    It showed up most when we would have a good run, lose and then fall apart as we rebuilt our confidence.

  55. Pierre

    Marko
    “If we won the league cup but finished 10th you’d be delighted wouldn’t you Pierre”

    Not really a sensible comment was it Mark as we are not going to finish 10th.

    However, if you was to ask me, would I rather finish 2nd with no trophies or 6th with a trophy or 2.. Then give me trophies all day long.

  56. WengerEagle

    BA

    Agree, he’s always struggled in Europe against the continental sides, even in his glory days.

    European football is great because it comes with the array of different styles of play and personnel, a real culture shock from BPL footy. Tactics are a huge part and we’ve seen this time and time again with sides advancing past more talented sides such as Chelsea and Inter Milan upsetting the great Barcelona teams, Atletico Madrid upsetting Barcelona and Bayern Munich, our 2006 run where we broke the record for clean sheets en route.

    Was ironic that the one season where AW demonstrated any sort of clue tactically was the year we progressed furthest, because despite having the 2nd best player on the planet in Henry who was red-hot, the 2006 side was not as good as the previous sides that exited at the QF stage to Chelsea, or in the second group phase with Leverkusen and Deportivo, Valencia and Ajax.

    Two group stage exits with Henry, Bergkamp, Pires, Vieira, Ljungberg, etc in their prime years with the exception of Dennis who was still deadly.

  57. Pierre

    Mark

    What would you rather, trophies or no trophies but finish a couple of places higher.
    And don’t say neither as you would rather win the league as that’s what we all want.

  58. Marko

    However, if you was to ask me, would I rather finish 2nd with no trophies or 6th with a trophy or 2.. Then give me trophies all day long.

    How about 8th and no trophies cause we put no emphasis on the league and played fringe players

  59. Redtruth

    “On paper we were superior to United over the years, certainly from 2001-2005 and in 2007-08, yet they went toe to toe with us and got the better of us on many occasions.”

    Not better than Chelsea.
    We finished a massive 12 points behind the Champions in 2005 and a HUGE 24 points behind the Champions in 2006….

    Arsenal were by far better than Man Utd in 1999 but choked against Leeds…….

    Arsenal finished 3rd in 2008

  60. Marko

    Pierre I don’t think that we’re winning the europa league and with all due respect how are we gonna attract players next year (hopefully with a new manager) with a league cup but no champions league? Honestly. How long you think before Auba starts acting up. It’s better for the club to be in the champions league as opposed to league cup winners. I mean we could always do both (doubtful) but it’s more in response to you saying focus on the cups and play fringe players in the league. Why not just forfeit games in the league so the lads are fresh for the europa league

  61. qna

    Pierre: What would you rather, trophies or no trophies but finish a couple of places higher.

    Apart from champions league, I only care about the league. Finishing a couple of places higher means nothing. But genuinely being in it is what I want. Give me back the days of that Clichy slip any day. That was the end of it. Haven’t been genuine contenders for a decade. If we happened to lose the league on the last 1 or 2 games of the year, I would be devestated but in an entirely different way than I am now. I would take that over an FA cup. Don’t even mention Carling cups or community shields to me. They mean nothing.

  62. 1886not1996

    Difference between pep and Ferguson Jose and Wenger is the first 3 get the best out of their players and dying for the cause.

    No one is dying for Wenger on the pitch. No one is playing for the “logo”.

    Pep is getting the best Out of Sterling etc where Wenger has made Laca regress.

    As for ugh’s point about wellbeck and giroud and what pep would do with them. He wouldn’t have bought wellbeck in the first place or sold him ASAP and wouldn’t have had giroud as his 1st choice for 3-4 years as Wenger did. Recognize the problem. Fix it. Either make him better ala Sterling or sell ala inheacho(sp?) who can’t get a sniff with leicester

  63. Barking Arsene

    WE

    I think therein lies the problem with Arsene – he has never really been as tactically astute as many have given him credit for.

    His sides have always essentially been sent out to play with unlimited freedom, which is great to watch but as you say, as soon as you are coming up against differing tactical systems, you will be found out.

    He very, very rarely puts a system in place and gets a result, but it’s just not his style and you aren’t going to be able to knock that out of him.

    As a result we are destined to be trapped in a mid 2000s Wengerball nostalgia experiment until he leaves.

    What I don’t think I’ll ever understand is why he switched from that Pat and Manu CM model. I know the MF you mentioned above was superb but it feels like that was the beginning of the “soft” Arsenal.

    Just get two absolute monsters at CM and let the magic elves do their thing up front.

  64. 1886not1996

    Pierre

    So you’d be happy winning league cup and finishing 30 plus points back of city

    Or rather fight for title to last day and no trophy

    Sorry a fight till the end of league campaign over league cup all day.

  65. Pierre

    Marko
    “Why not just forfeit games in the league so the lads are fresh for the europa league”

    You don’t realise how you have hit the nail in the head because that is what exactly is going to happen for the rest of the season for all the too 6.

    The teams in the champions league are going to rest players for the prem game prior to champions league matches.

    I said this 2 months ago….
    Wait and see.

  66. Barking Arsene

    Have to say although I love me a trophy, the priority should be the league. To me that is the best barometer of how good your side really is over the course of a season.

    I’d take a PROPER title challenge over an F.A Cup or League Cup for certain.

  67. 1886not1996

    We are not having a successful season whether we win the league cup or not

    Again, for top clubs the fa cup and league cup are an accessory after the fact of challenging for the league and or winning it and same with CL

    No big team or their fans would ever be happy with just fa cup or league cup ( or it’s equivalent in other leagues) and being a laughing stock in the league and Europe

    Unless you’re Pierre

  68. Dream10

    Alex Song training at Colney.
    Squad is a bit thin in midfield in terms of quality and numbers. Strong chance he gets a look in by the end of the month. He’s nothing special, but that’s our CM standard at the moment.

  69. Wallace

    Marko

    “and with all due respect how are we gonna attract players next year (hopefully with a new manager) with a league cup but no champions league? ”

    with all due respect we’ve just signed up Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan & Ozil. three big time players in the prime of their careers with no CL football.

  70. qna

    1886 nobody is dying for Jose but I take your point. At least with United you feel that if they did get the right manager in they would be world beaters again. I said it at the time when they signed Mourinho. He is past it. His tricks don’t work any more. I was happy because at least it would keep United down for as long as he was there plus a couple of years after him to rebuild.

    Conte has a screwed himself with the way he handled Costa. A guy that basically wins him the league as much as Hazard or Coutious and he shows him the door without a replacement. Think he has lost his players. At least he has lost them giving 100% for him.

    But the fact that Conte and Mourinho aren’t working out is not a reason to keep Wenger as many Arsenal fans have been spouting for 10 years. It is simply that managers will come and go. The next manager might only be with us for 2 or 3 years at best. And that is okay!!!! It’s not a bad thing. I can’t understand why so many Arsenal fans fear it.

    Stability is needed off field. On field our the stability Wenger provides makes us horribly stale.

  71. Barking Arsene

    “The teams in the champions league are going to rest players for the prem game prior to champions league matches. I said this 2 months ago….
    Wait and see.”

    Unfortunately for us they have been resting/rotating players during the group stages already, and yet we are still umpteen points back.

    We have cocked this season up big time. Two years ago I would have backed us 100% for a top four spot. Now we have dropped another level. 5/6th is the level we are playing at now.

  72. 1886not1996

    with all due respect we’ve just signed up Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan & Ozil. three big time players in the prime of their careers with no CL football.

    No other team in For aubu despite being on the market for a couple years now and a few teams desperate for a striker

    Mkhit? What choice did he have? Sit on the bench and rot at Man U? And he still didn’t even want to come. Had to think about it for a few days. Prime? He’s been shit for the last 2 years.

    Ozil? 350k a week. No one else in for him. If he was so inclined to stay, why wait so long to sign?

  73. 1886not1996

    Pierre

    Hope Wenger isn’t around for another 18. Because as soon as we get another manager we will challenge for the league right away.

  74. qna

    Dream10: Alex Song training at Colney.
    Squad is a bit thin in midfield in terms of quality and numbers. Strong chance he gets a look in by the end of the month. He’s nothing special, but that’s our CM standard at the moment.

    Seriously? I wonder how he goes these days. Seemed to be one of the many to go to shit when he left.

    It’s absolutely tragic that I am happy to hear the news. It’s laughable that he is my first choice DM right now given the options in our squad. It’s not a high bar for him to meet to push his way into our DM position.

  75. Pierre

    Jo.ey
    Well let’s hope you’re right because I get pissed off every season watching meaningless league games.

    That’s why I enjoy the cup competitions.

  76. Wallace

    Barking Arsene

    “Just get two absolute monsters at CM and let the magic elves do their thing up front.”

    only if they also possess the footballing ability of Vieira & Petit. otherwise I’d much prefer us trying to emulate what Pep’s doing at City, with the emphasis on brains & technique.

  77. Dream10

    qna

    Think he was released by Rubin Kazan last month. A couple of PL teams passed on signing in the last two windows. Wilshere enjoyed playing with him. With the state we’re in, it’s not far fetched that he will get games. Just like Flamini mark II

  78. 1886not1996

    QNA

    In all Fairness Jose did win the Europa and league cup double last year.

    Not so bad first year on the job. Still in CL and fa Cup this year.

    Conte. Yes think he blew it with the costa thing. But still walked the league in his first season.

  79. Barking Arsene

    “only if they also possess the footballing ability of Vieira & Petit. otherwise I’d much prefer us trying to emulate what Pep’s doing at City, with the emphasis on brains & technique.”

    I am basing this on the assumption that said monsters can indeed kick a ball lol!

  80. Dream10

    Wallace

    What are we thinking for an XI tmrw?
    Hope Iwobi doesn’t start.

    Cech
    Bellerín Mustafi Koscielny Monreal
    Wilshere Xhaka
    Ramsey Özil Mkhitaryan
    Lacazette

    What’s with this Mustafi on the left and Koscielny on the right nonsense?

  81. thank you and goodnight

    Song is and always will be shit. A DM’S role is to protect the back four and rarely to adventure too far up in oppositions half. Song was always neglecting his role and trying to play as a number 10.

  82. Wallace

    Joseph

    “Mkhit? What choice did he have? Sit on the bench and rot at Man U? And he still didn’t even want to come. Had to think about it for a few days. Prime? He’s been shit for the last 2 years. Ozil? 350k a week. No one else in for him. If he was so inclined to stay, why wait so long to sign?”

    I see you’re going with the glass half empty take…

  83. Wallace

    Joseph

    “In all Fairness Jose did win the Europa and league cup double last year. Not so bad first year on the job. Still in CL and fa Cup this year.”

    replace ‘Jose’ with ‘Wenger’ and…

  84. Wallace

    Dream10

    I’d leave Ozil on the right and play Mkhi centrally. Wilshere & Elneny behind him. sounds doubtful that Aubameyang will start, so probably Iwobi on the left, I guess. for now. hope Walcott doesn’t kill us.

  85. Mysticleaves

    J.oe: QNA In all Fairness Jose did win the Europa and league cup double last year. Not so bad first year on the job. Still in CL and fa Cup this year.

    Lol. Even though you know they won’t make it past the qf stage in the club. Fair season eh?

  86. Mysticleaves

    J.oe: QNA In all Fairness Jose did win the Europa and league cup double last year. Not so bad first year on the job. Still in CL and fa Cup this year.

    Lol. Even though you know they won’t make it past the qf stage in the C L. Fair season eh?

  87. Doublethink

    No one with a IQ above 80 can genuinely believe Wenger is better than Pep, I mean I guess they can but that belief isn’t based in reality. There is literally nothing evidence based that you can say that can support that view, it’s all conjecture and straw men.

  88. Elmo

    Pierre

    You’ve been pushing this line that City are champions elect and that after that it’s any three of five for the other CL places, as all the teams are as flawed as each other.

    The reality is there are four clubs chasing three places.

    We are effectively 12 points behind United with 13 games to play, and effectively 9 points off 4th with 13 games to play.

    It’s completely disingenuous to throw us in with the teams in 2nd to 5th,when they are clumped fairly close together points-wise, and we are quite a way back.

    Can we technically still finish 4th? Absolutely, but only in the case of a collapse from multiple other sides. The betting market gives us a 1 in 10 chance of achieving that.

    Right now there is a top 5, then us, then a group from 7th to 9th who are safe, then 11 sides in a relegation scrap.

  89. raptora

    So after two attacking players in, atm it still looks like Iwobi has place in our best team, no?

    If Mikki is to play behind Auba, where probably is his best position, and Ozil is to play on the right, it leaves Lacazette or Iwobi on the left. I sincerely hope Lacazette will never be used as a wing player, just because he has none of the attributes to be one.

    The other option is Mikki and Ozil to be our attacking players on the flank, and like WengerEagle said, that would leave our WB really exposed and naked, on both of the flanks.

    Third option is if we play both Auba and Lacazette through the middle and even then we still have to have people on the flanks. It would handicap us even more with Ozil and Mikki in the team.

    In the end we always go to the conclusion that we needed a real winger with pace and not Mikki, and that we don’t really have the balance in our squad to start with Auba and Lacazette.

    We’ll see what Wenger decides but I think he will be wondering about it for a very, very long time. And it will take try after try, after try, to luck and guess the right thing to do. Probably helped by an injury of one of the talked players.

  90. Ishola70

    thank you and goodnight:
    “Song is and always will be shit. A DM’S role is to protect the back four and rarely to adventure too far up in oppositions half. Song was always neglecting his role and trying to play as a number 10.”

    You mean Song is shit as a DM at Wenger’s Arsenal.

    The Russian club he played for he was disciplined in his position at DM because he was instructed to be so.

  91. raptora

    Mouninho didn’t like the work rate of Mikki and that’s why he stopped picking him. He got substituted at half time vs Huddersfield, when they were losing by 2 goals already, and 2 weeks later vs Chelsea away (another loss) was to be the last league game he started for them in 2 or 3 months time. The very last game he played for them as a starter was vs Southampton (0:0) draw at home and was the only time he started in 13 rounds of EPL.

    Hopefully he fits better in our team.

  92. Marko

    with all due respect we’ve just signed up Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan & Ozil. three big time players in the prime of their careers with no CL football.

    Yeah but they don’t expect us to continually finish outside of the champions league places. They won’t be sticking around for long if we do. I don’t know why you lemmings are arguing with me on this. The league is very important and how we fare in the league is massively important so the idea of focusing on the cups and playing our second string in the league is absolutely beyond dumb

  93. James wood

    Song -surely another massive backward move to even consider him.
    A bit like grabbing the last last lifejacket on the the Titanic when the water
    is so cold anyway..

  94. qna

    Xhaka is a bust
    Laccazette will be a bust
    Mustafi is a bust
    Kolasnic is a bust

    How much could we get for them to reinvest in the same positions. We need to replace many others too like Cech, Ospina, Elneny, Welbeck, Chambers but none of these will raise decent money.

    Sell sell sell

  95. Marko

    “In all Fairness Jose did win the Europa and league cup double last year. Not so bad first year on the job. Still in CL and fa Cup this year.”replace ‘Jose’ with ‘Wenger’ and…

    Difference between his first season and Wenger’s though. They are gradually improving we are gradually getting worse.

    Thing is had we addressed the defence and midfield this month I might have been confident of catching 4th but we’re so bad in those areas that game to game you don’t know what to expect

  96. Ishola70

    James wood
    !Song -surely another massive backward move to even consider him.”

    Said before it is irrelevant to even think about Song in the team and it is not about the player it is about the manager.

    If he was instructed to sit and break up opposition play he could do a job but Wenger will not request him to do that.

    Wenger is not interested in having sitting DMs in his side.

  97. qna

    I would fucking sell Ozil too now ;). Now that he is contracted we might get some decent money for him. Can do what we should have done 12 months ago :)

  98. Wallace

    Doublethink

    “Wallace
    You not think Mkhi’s more suited to play wide than Ozil?”

    maybe, but Ozil’s been playing so well recently I’d rather just leave well alone there. and don’t think one on each flank is a good idea.

  99. azed

    Wenger will not win Europa this year or the league cup.
    Sorry to burst your bubble

    Oh and this is not Wenger’s first year on the job either.

  100. Dissenter

    We need a mobile and athletic defensive to play Ozil and Myki together.

    I would take Leicester’s Wilfred Ndidi everyday over Xhaka.
    He’s young, still very raw but never stops running and making tackles. He’s like a fireman all over the field.

    We need to solve the Xhaka problem over the summer, a DMF that can’t track runners is no better than a log of wood.

  101. TR7

    Song could do no worse than Xhaka. The guy could actually tackle and win the ball unlike the Swiss. As for leaving his position and venturing forward,that must be on Wenger’s instruction. Anyways Elneny is better than them all and should start all our league games. Xhaka and Iwobi are awful, should be nowhere close to our starting 11.

  102. Wallace

    after shedding so many attackers would be good to see Nelson at least making the bench on a regular basis. the continued development of him & AM-N must surely have been a factor in some of this window’s sales.

  103. Micheal

    Does anyone see the irony in what the club has done ?

    Over the past year we have spent £100m+ on attackers like Lacazette and Auba. Today we are discussing how to fill the blindingly obvious hole in the team by re-signing Alex Song !!!!!

    You could not make it up.

  104. Carts

    Ugh

    “Lol, so true but…… Fans don’t want to know anymore.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/42916936

    “When you look at the five big leagues in Europe, in December we already knew four champions.”

    The inference I’ve drawn from this is that you seem to think Arsenal fans moaning – at the inevitability of City being champions – is futile?Am I right?

  105. Marko

    Reports apparently Raul Sanelli or whatever his name is has Jan Oblak as our number one target in the summer. It’d absolutely take a fortune to get him and the second he becomes available Real will probably try for him even though they never sell directly usually Theo Hernandez aside. Actually forget it it’s not going to happen. But if it did I’d become a true believer again

  106. Steveyg87

    ” Anyways Elneny is better than them all and should start all our league games. Xhaka and Iwobi are awful, should be nowhere close to our starting 11.”

    How is he better? The guy cant tackle for shit

  107. goonerboy

    It not the players in midfield- its the way we play- Xhaka is just the latest player in his position who gets massively exposed by an over stretched team- who are out of position and out of gas when the other team has the ball. -Wenger doesn’t play Xhaka as a DM as Song or Coquelin . The focus of every player under Wenger is attack- not how to deny space, how to prevent the other team from hurting you when they have the ball.
    Blaming the man with no support for making continual mistakes is not the answer- who ever Wenger plays in that role will fuck up. The problem is not the player it the manager who under values defending and defenders. and clearly does not coach the team how to defend without the ball.