Arsenal kids shine as January window looms (Thierry/Patrick, are you watching?)

by & filed under News Review.

AMN looking like he’s just realised he’s left his Facebook Messenger tab open with a jealous GF at home

Ok, so not much of a match review to drop here. Qarabag wasn’t much of a match for a very young Arsenal squad. Mesut Ozil single-handedly destroyed them with an assist for Lacazette who finished like a bloody king!

My only moan before we land on the good stuff is this: Why would you play Lacazette and Papa in a pointless game? We have so many major games coming up, that felt really sloppy. Especially considering Mustafi and Holding dropped from the last two games.

Arsenal dominated the evening with 67% of the ball. Just the mere presence of Laurent Koscielny reduced Qarabag to a pathetic 0 shots on target. It was great to see the old stalwart in the side, hopefully, he’s fit enough for the Southampton game at the weekend where suspensions/injuries are leaving us very light at the back. Monreal and Kos looking the most likely partnership (oh my).

It was great to see Eddie, Willock (who runs like Thierry), Saka, AMN, Gilmour and Medley all land runs outs under the bright lights of The Emirates.

Saka missed the chance to become our youngest scorer in Europe when he drove the ball into the face of their keeper Wagner. That said, he had a very impressive game for someone of 17. He’s very strong and direct. He was a real handful all night. The manager was very positive about him.

“We have the responsibility to give every young player chances, first to train with us and to be demanding with their performances.

“Saka played with a good performance, with a very big personality, his personality is very important for us to continue trying to go 1v1 and break lines with his quality.

“He played with a very big personality and sometimes with a very good performance. It’s very important for his confidence and for us also, because we can look at this player and see quality to help us.”

He had 11 successful take-ons yesterday and was fouled 5 times in the process! He also managed to land 3 shots on target, a little timid, but at least he was having a go. I love the way he opens his body up for shots, a little Thierry-ish. His confidence is something else, here’s hoping we see more of him in the future.

Mesut Ozil created 4 chances, he played well. I’m not sure I want to go too crazy about our best player having a good game in the Europa League, but it’s worth highlighting that he had a great attitude and didn’t shy away from the donkey work.

Also worth noting that Joe Willock racked up some numbers. He made 5 tackles, 6 ball recoveries and rocked an 89% pass completion rate, delivering the second most passes in the final third behind Mesut Ozil. Not bad going in my opinion, I really love his confidence on the ball, and, did I mention, he runs like Thierry?

Final shoutout goes to Eddie. He was unlucky not to land a couple of assists, but his hard work contributed to the first goal and his attitude was spot on. The energy he brings must be a nightmare if you’re an opposition defender, he dropped 5 tackles as well, I really, really want him to break into our first team.

The best thing about all these young talents is that you know the manager has a plan for them. These guys are going to max out at Arsenal, if they don’t, it’ll be because they’re not good enough. I think there should be some strategic loans in January, we need these players out on the pitch playing games. We have options as well. Germany is a very fertile ground to learn your trade, incredibly technical coaches and a good level to cut your teeth. Ligue 1 is up there with the best leagues in the world these days, and we have Thierry and Paddy out there… surely we’ll be leaning into them to help players like Smith-Rowe find the next level?

Per Mertesacker is going to make sure the players understand Arsenal values and how to be a proper professional, Emery will make sure they are trained properly. Could be a very fruitful few years. Sancho was a £9m player, now he’s worth x10 that. We need a few hits like that, long overdue in my opinion.

Right, that’s me done. 22 games unbeaten. Southampton next.

300 Responses to “Arsenal kids shine as January window looms (Thierry/Patrick, are you watching?)”

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  1. ddkingz

    Talking about Kdb…..

    Whom to all, is confirmed has an injury…..

    @pierre….

    What is this back spasm….. And how does it occur…
    Ozil is the first player, I’ve heard is having back spasm as an injury for over two years now…..

    Is it incurable… Or probably HIV/AIDS 2.0

  2. Joe

    Tell us what the point of your post was Pierre

    The whole comment section was about Ozil and his attributes and what he brings to the team

    We all know you have a huge hard on for Ozil

    Then you make the Messi comparison saying if he didn’t press (like Ozil doesn’t) what would be said.

    And then as usual you try to back track

  3. Joe

    Anyway

    If Ozil produced every match like
    Messi did I wouldn’t care if he took a shit on the 18 yard box while the rest of the team was pressing.

    But he doesn’t so he better work his ass off for the team until he does.

  4. Joe

    Pierre

    I dont. Because I knew exactly what you were doing.

    And you just proved it by your last comment

    You say light hearted but you wanted everyone to assume you were comparing Messi “type” to Ozil.

    Anyway.

    Wenger gone. Gazidis gone. Ozil keeps playing like he is, he’ll be gone, Vicky gone

    Draining the swamp!

  5. Pierre

    Actually the comment was aimed at Emery ,in a light hearted way, and would he change his philosophy if he had potentially the best player in the world coming through the academy …..was nothing to do with ozil…

    Not important anyway.

  6. Joe

    The thing is Pierre Ozil could be close to a Messi level type player. Probably just a level below. But for some reason doesn’t have the desire to do so.

    There in lies the problem.

  7. Pierre

    “The thing is Pierre Ozil could be close to a Messi level type player. ”

    No he couldn’t ..not in a million years.

  8. Marc

    “Is it incurable… Or probably HIV/AIDS 2.0”

    ddkingz – you are an ignorant cunt of epic proportions. You’ve already been banned on here once I just can’t wait for Pedro to do it again.

    Just to educate you a little on Arsenal history Tony Adams had back issues for years.

  9. London gunner

    Yeah Ozil couod never be Messi.

    Ozil at his best is more like griezmann level elite but not once in generation like Ron and mes

  10. Marko

    Just to educate you a little on Arsenal history Tony Adams had back issues for years.

    Really? Did it conveniently leave him out for a few days everytime we played some decent opposition or he wanted a little holiday? No?

  11. raptora

    The transfermarkt history of missed games by Ozil, that Marko posted, speaks so clearly though.

    Ozil has missed between 1 and 4 games while at Arsenal on 11 different occasions.

    He has missed a grand total of 0 games through injury in his 3 seasons in Real Madrid.

    It’s so fkin obvious that the guy considers our club, the one that we are ready to bleed for, he considers it a resort, a rest home, a daycare center. A place where he is privileged to hand pick when he wants to play. A place where he is privileged to hand pick the intensity with which he is willing to play.

    On top of that he got rewarded with a contract that, according to most sources, makes him the second highest paid player in the EPL.

    I mean, when you see Ozil’s soulless play, and the times that he decides to take a break through a phantom injury, he is basically laughing in front of each and every one of us’ faces.

    Truth be told, it’s not his fault he is a lazy, cunning mothafaka.
    It’s the people who shown him that doing what he does is enough. And they even thanked him for that for giving him a new contract.

    Wenger, Gazidis and all the brainless fans like Pierre – the pre-assist, the running stats, the chances created stat… Stroller with his never ending patience that you know “Ozil is the most gifted footballer we have”…………

  12. Marc

    Marko

    Wasn’t defending Ozil was having a go at ddkingz for comparing back issues with HIV.

    I think it’s becoming pretty obvious that the Ozil back problem is a smoke screen put up by the club and I expect to see Ozil moved on – probably in the summer.

  13. Champagne charlie

    Raptora

    He’s also older and you’re comparing La Liga to the Prem which is not exactly apples to apples as far as intensity/propensity for injury goes. Ozil might nurse his vag on occcasion, who knows, but piss through stats like that only serve to propagate an agenda.

    How many games on average does Ozil play per season for Arsenal? I’m asking, i’ve no idea. The ’sits out when he wants’ idea is a bit fanciful if you ask me.

  14. Moray

    “Per Mertesacker is going to make sure the players understand Arsenal values and how to be a proper professional”

    or else he will be telling them how to earn a giant’s pay packet while warming the bench and praying not to be picked to play.

  15. raptora

    Charlie,
    Transfermarkt hasn’t even registered thoroughly the games that he’s missed through illness.

    http://www.espn.co.uk/soccer/club/arsenal/359/blog/post/3613489/mesut-ozil-illness-history-arsenal-playmaker-missing-through-sickness-is-common

    What kind of a pro player gets sick 3 times a year?!
    Normal people get sick once a year or so. We’re talking of a person who is a trained athlete. He has people taking care of him, he’s following a strict food and health regime specially made for him by the best in the world.

    He’s taking the piss on us and some people think it’s rain.
    I trust that Emery and co would be different to Wenger and co.
    Emery publicly saying that he’s not brought Ozil because he would not fit the Bmouth game is a great sign.

  16. Bamford10

    Receding

    “That Ozil is still here on mammoth wages is not Ozil’s fault.”

    No, it’s not — it’s probably Wenger’s fault, actually — but you have to take his wages into account when assessing what he brings or doesn’t bring to the squad or when assessing whether we should keep him or sell him. Obviously. Given that many people here think he shouldn’t even be in the squad much less making £350k a week, it’s no surprise that many find his wages to be an outrage.

  17. Champagne charlie

    Marko

    I’m going to rule out lawyer as your profession..

    You realise you can post photos on Instagram about previous days right? I posted one yesterday about the time I was in Malayasia, and I was in London yesterday, not Malaysia. Mental how it works

  18. raptora

    I mean it all goes to the point that say Pierre thinks that Ramsey and Giroud have been the reason we haven’t been competitive.

    What about the 40m that we could have spend on someone else than Ozil? He’s been occupying a space that we could have had a real superstar instead. A Suarez, a Cesc. It’s undeniable that Ozil just hasn’t been a successful story at the Arsenal. Not even close.

    Is it Ramsey and Giroud’s fault that they are not world class talents? No.
    Is it Ozil’s fault for not showing his unquestionable talent on a regular basis and more often than not looks absolutely uninterested in playing football at all? Big, effin YES!

    How thick can you be to put the blame on Ramsey and Giroud for giving their all in every single game they’ve played, but not on mini-break-5-times-a-year Ozil?!

  19. Marko

    You realise you can post photos on Instagram about previous days right? I posted one yesterday about the time I was in Malayasia, and I was in London yesterday, not Malaysia. Mental how it works

    First off good for you very impressive? Secondly he or his mouth piece agent never came out to vehemently deny it which should tell you all you need to know about the incident. Also what’s wrong with you? Seriously what’s wrong with you? You see him in this instance get caught out pretty blatantly and you still feel the need to make an excuse for him. You’re some piece of work Charlie

  20. ddkingz

    Who the hell is this Marc of a man child…

    Please enlighten me more on the Tony Adams back spasm….

    Did he have the back spasm 4 months every season in his arsenal career … Missing important matches or selecting what matches to play…..

    I guess, if he did he won’t be regarded in such high esteem as he his now.. .

    Who the hell told you I was banned once….. Or did Pedro privately inbox you, that he binned me Once….

    I SMELL LIES EVERYWHERE…..
    fucking akb…

  21. ddkingz

    Giroud wasn’t world class, but he was hard working and resilient enough to fight for the arsenal Jersey….

    Truth be told…. No matter how much the wrong feelings towards Giroud and the pressure to prove he was a good striker for us… He always came out strong and prove his critics wrong….

    Giroud faced greater pressure than ozil and he was our one and only natural top 9 at the time…..

    I even prayed for Giroud to get injured just so wenger could get a better Suarez esque striker…. but no, the guy never gets injured… Same with xhaka..

  22. Guns of Brixton

    Gibbs Scored a winner for West Brom

    Always had a soft spot for that guy.

    Darren Moore doing a decent Job with the Brom.

  23. Cesc Appeal

    A lot of rumours around Arsenal looking at Under from Roma. Apparently we’ve had a bid rejected if you believe the stories. The links to him go back a few months now.

    Does anyone watch a lot of Roma who can shed any light on the player?

  24. Champagne charlie

    Marko

    What excuse was made for Ozil? I said Instagram pictures aren’t exactly the same as him being pap’d sneakily. He posted the fucking thing.

    Wenger also stated he was ill in the week and didn’t train. Does ill negate fucking off to Turkey to stay at the Ritz for a few days with the gf? Should he post a sad selfie and hashtag Kleenex to make it propa?

    Let’s all go along with your highly strung and well balanced view to state he did skip that game. He played against City the following weekend didn’t he? Is it unheard of that a big player laugh off a nothing game at home to a pub side? Ozil the first to do that in football is he?

    From what I see you’ve taken this apparent situation and used it to gain false insight into every little detail of his arsenal existence since. It’s basically your m.o. to chat speculation as fact. At least you’re not letting your juvenile dislike of a footballer cloud your judgement.. poor Marko, Ozil’s hurt your feelings by not showing pashun. 🙁

  25. Marko

    Wenger also stated he was ill in the week and didn’t train. Does ill negate fucking off to Turkey to stay at the Ritz for a few days with the gf? Should he post a sad selfie and hashtag Kleenex to make it propa?

    Too ill to train for the club paying his wages but well enough to go to Istanbul with the girlfriend. Bravo.

    Let’s all go along with your highly strung and well balanced view to state he did skip that game. He played against City the following weekend didn’t he? Is it unheard of that a big player laugh off a nothing game at home to a pub side? Ozil the first to do that in football is he?

    Point is that he clearly has done it alot and I seem to remember against City he was absolutely dogshite. Again not sure what you’re doing really defending the indefensible. Fans like you i swear

  26. TonyD

    I dangled the bait yesterday and Pierre took it hook line and sinker. Ran with it all day and night snapping at everyone.

    Boo hoo Tony said this and Tony said that.

    Funny that Pierre declined to answer my question:

    “Is it an age thing or are you just stupid Pierre?”

    Probably both in equal measures, but the question was obviously too tough for Pierre’s mental ability to process let alone answer.

    Never mind Pierre keep trolling if it makes you happy.

    As for the Ozil debate; Keown – Pierre’s go to guy for all things Ozil said this this morning in his ‘Tackle Keown” spot:

    Question
    “Did Mesut Ozil do enough last night to force his way back into the Arsenal team? Simon, Barnet”

    Keown’s Reply
    There was a response from Ozil in terms of his creativity last night. It is difficult for any player to apply themselves in a dead rubber like this with the ground half-empty but Ozil put in a professional performance.

    I thought he played too deep in the first half and got higher up the pitch after the break.

    At the moment, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan and Ramsey remain ahead of him in the pecking order.”

    So there we have it.

    Creative and professional with one assist and no goals in 86 minutes against a very poor team who could barely mount an attack let alone get a shot on goal all game.

    Iwobi, Mkhi and Ramsey are seen as better players than Ozil as keown’s pecking order states.

    Ozil can’t get motivated in a half empty stadium or turn it on against a pub side in a dead rubber game to turn on his sublime skills.

    How about this if Ozil gets to play 5 games in a row,(very doubtful) what about Le Grove giving their verdict with marks out of 10 for the following.

    Passion/Attitude
    Tackling
    Pressing
    Tracking back
    Off the ball work
    Dribbling past defenders
    Assists
    GOALS

    CC, Samurai, Butter knife, Grasshopper

    Your theatre background clearly shows on this blog.

    Your gist always is:

    Charlie
    “I never said that!”

    Le Grove
    Oh yes you did

    Charlie
    Oh no I didn’t

    Le Grove
    Oh yes you did

    or

    Charlie
    You have to see that my POV is right even when it’s blatantly wrong

    Le Grove

    Oh no we don’t

    Charlie
    Oh yes you do

    Rinse and repeat.

    Ah well some things never change here

  27. China1

    Regardless of what any of us think, most importantly it appears that emery isn’t convinced by him – so one way or another it seems unlikely that he has a long term future with us

  28. gonsterous

    Don’t see what ozil brings to this team. He and mhiki are fighting for the price of worst player of the season, or failing that, most disappearing act of the season.

  29. TonyD

    China/Gonsterous
    That’s the whole point Ozil doesn’t fit into Emery’s needs and system of play.

    Moreover, Ozil isn’t suited to the PL; he never has been.

    As many have stated including myself Ozil has talent and skills, but they are best utilized in a slower league where Ozil has space and time on the ball. The PL is far more physical and played at such pace where Ozil can’t compete or keep up.

    This is where Xhaka struggles, too and needs a minder to give him space, which wastes player resources.

    The difference between Xhaka and Ozil is Xhaka is now working harder to be a better player including tracking back and trying hard defensively, which is why fans have been more forgiving with his errors and support him more.

    Italy, China and MLS is a far better fit for Ozil.

    We need younger, fitter and more dynamically versatile CAMs/10s.

  30. Ivan

    TonyD – we need to snap Isco, he is unsettled atm and Real could cash in jan couse he dont play much atm.

    @ everyone else. This Ozil saga is getting a bit tedious. Things changed drastically with Emery on board.

    Ozil is benched, and this will be solved. His salary is blown out of proportion but we are to big of a club for him to be some serious hindrance, Emery is showing us that game after game.

    At least he is not on Sanchez money, and gave us more than Sanchez to ManU.

  31. TonyD

    Charlie boy
    Doesn’t matter what you do for a living it doesn’t make you any less of an argumentative, anal, myopic plonker with a superior attitude at times.

    Takes all sorts I guess Charlie.

    Just a shame you don’t put your obvious intelligence to more constructive use in this blog instead of being the alpha dog that has to use his scent to cover every other dogs’ scent.

  32. China1

    Yeah xhaka along with Bellerin and Mustafi have been success stories for emery

    All of them still have a big error in them but they used to have a few and their contributions otherwise are demonstrably better

    They all appear to have been working hard and listening to the guidance they’ve been given. I hope iwobi will also fall into this category and don’t doubt his hard work, but whether or not he’s really improved isn’t entirely obvious yet

    3 first teamers (+holding) improving is a great start tho

  33. Graham62

    Whatever team you manage, be it in Sport or Management, you should never allow one individual, no matter how talented, to dictate his own terms. It sets a precedence.

    Just because Ozil is a sublime and gifted individual, when it suits him, he must still show the same drive and work ethic as everyone else in that team.

    Ozil has always failed to do this. His mannerisms and body language alone let both himself and us, as fans, down. Emery is being slightly coy about things, which, I feel, is the best way to deal with things at present. We can speculate about things, but at the end of the day it is only Emery, and Ozil himself, who can sort this all out.

    There is no doubting that Ozil has done some great things for the team over these past five years. The statisticians amongst up will argue his creative abilities outweigh his other duties. Maybe under Wenger this applied(of course it did) but now we have a proper manager that expects far more from Ozil.He therefore has to adjust and RESPECT Emery’s wishes and methods.

    As I have highlighted time and again we can no longer afford to carry players. Take Ozil out of the equation, we may not have the occasional sublime moments in games, but we will certainly stand a far better chance of competing and giving it 100%.

    It’s up to Ozil.

    Adjust or go.

  34. Graham62

    Was there a Pantomime on here last night?

    “Oh yes he is.
    Oh no he isn’t!”

    What the fudge was going on?

    Did it involve Pierre?…………………Of course, silly me!

  35. Graham62

    TonyD

    Are you still awake?

    How’s life with you? Fudging freezing down here on the South coast.

    See you’ve had your daily chat with Mr Condescending Charlie.

  36. Graham62

    CC

    Your communication skills are definitely in need of an evaluation.

    Almost forget, do you remember our discussion last year regarding the commercial aspects of the club?

    Popped along to my mates Football academy last weekend. You’ll be pleased to know so many kids are now wearing Arsenal shirts with Torreira, Auba, Lacazette and Guendouzi on.

    Amazing what success and pride can do.

  37. Champagne charlie

    Tinyd

    If it wasn’t a concern then you wouldn’t coin some barb with every daily update post-Daily Mail flick through.

    Because you consider someone to be a certain way doesn’t make it so old boy. Thought you’d be wise to that at this point. You’re contentious for not actually being contentious on Le Grove, where the outlandish and over the top reign supreme more often than not.

    Oh morning Graham, can’t imagine why I treat you with any disdain..

  38. Graham62

    CC

    Not only me.

    It seems to be a standard procedure with you.

    Are your family and friends aware of this trait?

    Then again, do you have family and friends?

    Such a great attribute to have in life, to constantly talk down to people.

    Enjoy your day Charlie.

  39. Champagne charlie

    Graham

    Do I have family and friends? Lol no mate, what are those..

    “Such a great attribute to have in life, to constantly talk down to people.“

    For you to be able to make this assertion you’d have to know me outside of an internet blog. You don’t, so I’d counter by saying I find judgemental and perniciousness a greater character flaw than perceived arrogance in football.

    Yes, I obviously do remember last year where you decided Arsenal’s commercial appeal based solely on your solitary football camp experience where few Arsenal shirts were present. I remember saying that was a daft metric to make a genuine and serious assessment of a global brands reach.

    I maintain that, and I’m not at all surprised you’ve continued to make assessments based on such bogus criteria. It’s very much consistent with your surface-skimming analysis of many a topic on here.

  40. Champagne charlie

    Graham

    You never had a case to begin with, much like you don’t with the commercial POV of Arsenal.

    Feel free to open that idea up to the floor and see what other posters think of you reducing Arsenal’s entire commercial appeal to a playground in the middle of nowhere.

  41. Pierre

    TonyD
    “Funny that Pierre declined to answer my question:“Is it an age thing or are you just stupid Pierre?”

    It’s an age thing …….what’s your excuse….

    Tony, I don’t know if you realise but in the last 2 days , your comments have almost entirely consisted of quotes from Martin Keown on ozil which is fair enough , you obviously regard his opinion highly or you wouldn’t feel the need to continually quote him.

    This morning you posted a comment , and I quote

    “keown – Pierre’s go to guy for all things Ozil said this this morning in his ‘Tackle Keown” spot:”

    The question I need to ask you is ……is it an age thing or are you just stupid Tony?

  42. Graham62

    Ok Charlie, let’s open the floor.

    Why not give a few schools the opportunity to join in, just to make it more fun.

    What should the title be?

    How about – Do you think that between 2008-2018 Arsenal Football Clubs commercial appeal was negatively affected by the running of the club?

    Discuss.

  43. Champagne charlie

    Graham

    No, no, let’s not rebrand the dialogue.

    It’s a very clear one, should a definitive decision on Arsenal’s brand appeal be made based upon a singular school football day – and a head count of the shirts on display?

    That was what I scoffed at with your input. Nothing else. You summarised Arsenal’s entire commercial appeal based on one sports camp you were part of. I cited the reference of sponsorship deals, and paid partnerships etc and you were adamant we were shit because you saw no Arsenal tops at a sports camp.

  44. Mysticleaves

    “Secondly he or his mouth piece agent never came out to vehemently deny it which should tell you all you need to know about the incident. ”

    Thirdly, Arsenal never came out to retribute him for taking illness in order to leave the camp and go stay with his girlfriend in Turkey.

  45. useroz

    “Ozil can’t get motivated in a half empty stadium or turn it on against a pub side in a dead rubber game to turn on his sublime skills.”

    Ozil can’t get motivated in a full stadium either or turn it on against a top side in a critical game to turn on his sublime but rarely exhibited skills.

    Btw, his assist to Laca in the dead rubber shouldn’t have counted. The pass was deflected and happened to drop near Laca!

    Ozil is a must sell but in the too hard basket i’m afraid

  46. Dissenter

    Ozil is a perpetual sicknote.
    He’s the vistige of the Wenger era, a reminder of how brittle we became when Wenger was finished with us.
    Wenger used to call Ozil “perfect”, that’s encapsulates what Wenger stands for.
    Ozil is the last whiff of the Wenger stench. Enjoy him while it lasts.

  47. Graham62

    CC

    Ok,clever clogs, let’s do it your way, because that’s the only way……….Right?

    Now we can open it up to all early yearkids.

    Why did you stop wearing your Arsenal shirt? Was it –

    1. Because the club was rubbish and you were embarrassed?
    2. Because you didn’t want your friends to make fun and laugh at you?
    3. Because your Mum and Dad thought it was a waste of money?
    4. Because you were ashamed?
    5. All the above?

    and finally, do you all think that Arsenal FC were losing lots and lots of money because of this, just as they were in all other aspects(parts) of their business model?

    Draw pictures, where necessary, to show your workings.

    Coloured crayons provided.

  48. Mysticleaves

    Yea. Cesc.i am sure people here were adamant he won’t make it with us. Really has the potential (and the trust and stage now) to go on and be whatever he wants to be

  49. Mysticleaves

    The commentary Jorge Valdano did on Dembele’s two footedness was hilarious but that is generally how I feel.

    “He’s one-footed, the thing is, we don’t yet know which foot it is.”

    For almost six months of watching him at Dortmund I thought he was a right footer.

    Always really starting to convince now for barca so no how we are getting him. If barca don’t want you gone, you don’t go anywhere.

  50. Cesc Appeal

    Mystic

    The salt in the wounds is he is exactly what we need. A multipurpose forward player who drops into CAM but plays LM/RM and CF. Very fast, very strong, gets goals, good dribbler.

    F**k.

  51. Mysticleaves

    Cesc, let’s hope Nelson does that for us. Its seeming like both have similar profiles and styles. Fingers crossed.

    Graham
    I might be alone in this thought but I think 2/3 of the arsenal jerseys (and all other club jerseys) won by Arsenal fans (and indeed other fans) the world over arent original and therefore don’t count in measuring our commercials. Using the jerseys you see around to measure commercial success is flawed.

  52. Marko

    Doesn’t matter what you do for a living it doesn’t make you any less of an argumentative, anal, myopic plonker with a superior attitude at times.

    To be fair this seems right on the money

  53. Champagne charlie

    Graham

    Why are you dancing around the point? It’s not a kid issue, it’s an issue of how to judge a brands commercial strength/appeal.

    You’ve drawn a conclusion based on an isolated playground where you see no Arsenal tops. But you’re arguing against me because I have the apparent audacity to call that metric nonsense?

    I remember the argument clearly, you dismissed my mentioning of our sponsorship deals, social media offerings, and financials in general to offer anecdotal evidence of the clubs commercial appeal abroad. So don’t conflate the point by arbitrarily going off on a tangent about the reasoning behind whether kids wear or don’t wear an Arsenal shirt. Not relevant at all.

    You’re happy to judge our commercial appeal based off your one (now two) experiences on a school playground. Is that sensible? Answers on a postcard for any and all that care to weigh in

  54. Bob N16

    Graham, does it not go without saying that if we had won the league several times in the last ten years you would see more kids wearing Arsenal shirts? I think this was your point which was not really supported statistically by a ‘playground’ observation.

    Man City and Chelsea shirts are more prevalent than they were 10 years ago.

    Going on pre season tours to the far East and PL games being shown everywhere has added to our ‘brand’.

    Thankfully we are a vary well established club and we have support around the globe so with a return to CL and being higher up the table, we’ll sell a fee more shirts!

    Got back from three hours watching my sons playing footie on Hackney Marshes, just about getting back feelings in my toes!

  55. Marc

    Surely the only real measure of commercial strength is commercial revenue. Personally I couldn’t give a fuck about how many Arsenal shirts are being worn in god knows where – great if it’s bringing money in but you could have a crowd of 1,000 people all wearing Arsenal shirts and they are all 10 years old.

    As for the brand being weakened over the last 10 years – obviously there was some weakening but Adidas seem to think we’re on the up – they’re giving us a huge new shirt deal.

  56. Graham62

    CC

    Just a couple of things and then, as I’ve been pushed into doing some Xmas shopping, we’ll wrap it up.

    1. Not disputing your intelligence, but your not so hot at reading between the lines are you. You take everything so literally and don’t look at the crux of things. I get it though, that’s just you. You just like a good old argument and feel you’re always right.

    2. Our commercial appeal was affected massively in recent years by the mismanagement of the club. Correct? My own experiences highlight one specific aspect, but an important one. Whether it was kids, sponsors, potential purchases, as well as our oveeall business appeal, Arsenal Football Club was sliding down a slippery slope.

    My children’s shirt perceptions highlight this on a smaller and yet,imo, very significant scale.

    Wenger’s methods were costing us big time. Even children could see that. The fact you don’t see that, or feel it is important, is quite unbelievable. My take on things was based on visible evidence that we losing potential supporters of the club.

    @Mysticleaves.

    Not necessarily. If you notice many supporters(especially adults) either put their own name or players from past generations on their shirts. Kids tend to go with their current favourites.

    Children tend to be fickle. We were losing our appeal because we became an embarrassment. Hence, our commercial appeal was being affected, just as it was by the many thousands of supporters who gave up on their ST’s and attending matches.

    This was the gist of my original argument with CC. Unsurprisingly, he never bought into this.

    Cheers.

  57. Ivan

    Marc and Mystic – sry but you have pretty shallow comprehension of marketing. Not relevant if jersy is original or fake. Depending on market power there will be allways certain percentage of fake merchindise that doesent bring revenue and there will be certain percentage (original) that does.

    However, if there is rise of popularity it will equally rise revenue.

  58. Bamford10

    Graham

    Allow me to revise your question slightly: was Arsenal’s commercial appeal in the years 2008-2018 negatively affected by Arsene Wenger’s poor management of the team?

    Yes. A thousand times over, yes.

  59. Marc

    Ivan

    Never claimed to be an expert on marketing but I stand by my point. The easiest and most accurate way to measure our commercial strength is against commercial revenue.

  60. China1

    I think city have scored 3 goals from 3 Chances and 1 half chances

    Everton have scored 1 from about 3 chances and 5 half chances

    You don’t beat this city team with efficiency like that

  61. Pierre

    Useroz on Ozil’s “assist”
    “Btw, his assist to Laca in the dead rubber shouldn’t have counted. The pass was deflected and happened to drop near Laca!”

    Very well observed…even if it was slightly petty to mention it ..

  62. Mysticleaves

    Whether commercial appeal went down is not in question. It did. I am sure CC isn’t ignorant of that. I just disagreed with the metric.

    Don’t even know why this argument resurfaced again. We are doing everything right in every side of the game and will only get better.

    Onwards and upwards

  63. gambon

    The Adidas CEO as good as admitted Wenger leaving was a big part 9f why we agreed a £60m pa deal with them.

    We had become the most predictable, stagnant big club in Europe.

  64. jwl

    I first started supporting Arsenal in 1995 when I moved to London and got pub job near Highbury. I have never understood why Arsenal aren’t a more successful or well known team because they are biggest club in Europe’s largest, richest city.

    I would say Wenger definitely hurt Arsenal appeal in his last years because he surrounded himself with middling players who didn’t mind manager’s half assed approach to coaching.

    Having Giroud as our number one striker for so many seasons was ridiculous, L’oreal should have been demoted to number two when it was obvious that he was not world class striker like rvp. Wenger decision to not buy Suarez hurt Arsenal massively, things would have turned out differently for manager if he would have bought proper world class striker.

  65. Bamford10

    jwl

    “Having Giroud as our number one striker for so many seasons was ridiculous.”

    Absolutely. Giroud as the starter for three years was an outrage. Was never good enough to be the #1.

  66. Dissenter

    Adidas took a big chance on the Arsenal deal.
    There’s no way they would have made that deal had Wenger still been in charge. Why attach your brand to a club that’s smashed repeatedly 5-1 in the CL?.
    Like gambit stated, we had become sedate, boring Ann too predictably embarrassing at the end of Wenger’s stay.
    I don’t even think puma got a good reward on their endorsement deal.

  67. Jamie

    “Whether commercial appeal went down is not in question. It did. I am sure CC isn’t ignorant of that. I [he?]* just disagreed with the metric.”

    This sums it up nicely, imo.

    I like both posters, but CC seems to get a hard time on here. I disagree with him on plenty, but he always strikes me as being pretty measured in his responses. Silly metric (even as a microcosm), but totally fair point by Graham in the wider sense – commercial appeal probably dropped in the latter Wenger years.

    Tangent, does Mourinho lose his job tomorrow? A trashing might tip it. Fuck that guy.

  68. Dissenter

    “Speaking to CNBC about the deal, Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted said: “Last year was probably the worst season they had.

    “And we believe that, in the long term, there’s so much upside in Arsenal.

    “When we look upon the Arsenal brand, it’s such a stellar, global brand, that’s been underperforming the last couple years.”

  69. Pierre

    Jwl
    “Having Giroud as our number one striker for so many seasons was ridiculous, L’oreal should have been demoted to number two when it was obvious that he was not world class striker like rvp. Wenger decision to not buy Suarez hurt Arsenal massively, things would have turned out differently for manager if he would have bought proper world class striker.”

    My sentiments exactly plus,in my opinion, the continual use of Ramsey in a 2 man midfield ..

    Both positions have now thankfully been rectified with the purchases of Torriera and Guendouzi in midfield.and Lacazette and Aubamayang up top .

  70. Bamford10

    Pierre

    Except that your description of our midfield in those days — and your description of the problem therein — isn’t quite accurate, IMO.

    First, was it a “two-man midfield”? Sort of, but only because Wenger insisted on playing Ozil so far forward that he was more like a second forward than a third central midfielder.

    Deploying Ozil in this way had a number of implications for our midfield, but because Wenger didn’t have much time for tactics, he never really thought this through and he never clearly defined how the two CMs should play. It was left relatively vague and loose, like everything Wenger did, and as s result players played as they thought made sense. This led to all kinds of problems, many of which had nothing to do with Aaron Ramsey.

    In the end, the real problem was with Wenger’s set-up, his inability to give rational and coherent structure to the side, and his failure to clearly instruct his players on their role, positioning and responsibilities.

    The notion that the problem was Aaron Ramsey is simplistic and false.

  71. Graham62

    Marko

    CC understands where I’m coming from on this, as he did when I initially brought the subject up, but he would rather expand things to suit his rather blinkered outlook on life.

    My intention is never to get into an argument with anyone on here. Even with @ Pierre, where we tend to disagree on most things, there is an element of respect and tounge in cheek humour. The problem with Charlie is he obviously thrives on confrontation and disagreeing with people. It gives him a sense of well-being and achievement in life, but more significantly, it gives him a chance to act the big shot. A trait that winds me up no end.

    I also like some of CC’s posts, but he always has a tendency to promote an arrogant, superior than thou, attitude to many other posters, which, whatever way I look at it, comes across as being disrespectful and patronising.

    I could say “all to his own I suppose” but with regards people like CC, I will always question their motives, especially when it is so obvious that they love to promote their own knowledge and experiences whilst, at the same time, belittle others.

    That’s just me.

  72. China1

    Aaron was ‘a’ problem, not ‘the’ problem.

    Make no mistake, he was guilty of his share in our troubled midfield, as was ozil and even more so xhaka

    But as you said they were in a gormless system without instructions or strategy because of you know who so that mess was both predictable and to a partial extent avoidable

  73. Bob N16

    Graham, we all like to talk about Arsenal but most of us are ‘guilty’ of off loading our moods, personalities on here.

    Getting rid of angst is pretty harmless. I think if you post loads on here, you’re bound to give it and take it.

    I know what happens with me is that if I’m bored of someone’s point of view, I’ll either ignore it or depending on my mood get provoked by it. You, as I’m sure you’ll admit, post loads on here so should maybe you could either back off or accept that you’ll ‘provoke’ at times.

    You are a wind up sometimes, possibly not intentionally, but having been picked up by Tony I acknowledge that I shouldn’t get on your case in a mean way. Suck it up Graham!

  74. China1

    I find myself caring less and less about bombastic football this season

    I’ll be very pleased if we just get through the first half ok then nick a 70th minute torreira winner lol

    That’d be just fine by me! I’m praying spurs don’t win now and if we can find 3 points tomorrow by hook or crook then at least we’re putting distance between us and utd, leaning in on Liverpool or both

    I’d love them to draw tomorrow if we win.

    A spurs defeat and a Liverpool draw with an arsenal smash and grab would be a glorious weekend if it panned out

  75. Bob N16

    Still feel Ramsey has got to take some responsibility for not establishing a defined position for himself in 10 years.
    Still a ‘square peg in a round hole’ unless he’s allowed to roam in the last 25 mins.

  76. Marko

    First, was it a “two-man midfield”? Sort of, but only because Wenger insisted on playing Ozil so far forward that he was more like a second forward than a third central midfielder.

    It was a 4-2-3-1 so a two man midfield. You can’t really blame a CAM for what the two holding CM’s can’t or don’t do.

    In the end, the real problem was with Wenger’s set-up, his inability to give rational and coherent structure to the side, and his failure to clearly instruct his players on their role, positioning and responsibilities. The notion that the problem was Aaron Ramsey is simplistic and false.

    I partially agree with this because it certainly was his fault for the structure of the team and most importantly for putting together such a poor group of CM’s. I mean Ramsey and Xhaka in a midfield two protecting the back 4 with Elneny and Wilshere as back ups is shocking in all honesty. But in saying all that Ramsey isn’t absolved of any blame either. As a CM over the years he’s shown time and time again to be a bit clueless and when in a midfield two he had some responsibility which he continually shied away from. Blame Wenger for persisting with him and Xhaka for a good (poor) two seasons but blame Ramsey for not being better in that set up

  77. Bob N16

    I think you’ve summed things up pretty well Marko. In hindsight he may have benefited from finding a different club/ set-up, a couple of years ago.

    Now a new manager/ system doesn’t seem to suit him either!

  78. Marko

    his failure to clearly instruct his players on their role, positioning and responsibilities.

    This is the problem once Ramsey was on the teamsheet as one of the two holding midfielders it’s his job to know what that entails. The notion that he had to be walked through every single thing that was expected of him is a bit ridiculous. The idea that he HAD to be told to be switched on defensively all the time and that he DIDN’T need to be so gungho going forward all the time is a stretch

  79. Pierre

    Bamford
    “Except that your description of our midfield in those days — and your description of the problem therein — isn’t quite accurate, IMO.”

    Have a read of marko’s comments on Ramsey/wenger ..just about sums it up

  80. gambon

    Getting absolutely ridiculous how every team is just winning every game.

    I honestly think we’re going to score 80 points and come 5th.

  81. Dissenter

    gambon,
    “I honestly think we’re going to score 80 points and come 5th.”
    That streak wont hold though.
    I expect the burden of European games to break the pattern of last minute wins in the late winter. Us and Spuds have very thin squad so will probably battle for 4th place.

  82. gambon

    Spurs are shit and they’re on course for 87 fucking points.

    It’s just crazy. I’ve had enough of keeping my fingers crossed for 90 minutes for it all to go tits up in injury time.

  83. Champagne charlie

    Graham

    You’re trying to come across reasoned but that’s simply not the case in nearly all you’ve written today. How many times are you going to sit and profess this or that about me as a character (as if you know me), then claim I’m arrogant or superior? Pot, kettle much?

    I made a comment about how you arrived at a POV, you since took that to heart instead of debate the issue in question. I made little comment on how our commercial appeal stood and more how a person can sit and speak from such a daft position as if it was somehow sensible, never mind definitive.

    I’ve no interest in confrontation, I have an intolerance to illogical or misleading views and will counter where I see fit. Don’t like that? Debate your point. But that’s not what you do, you’ve just used every other sentence to claim what I’m like, or lack, as a character, made comment about friends and family etc. All pretty boring stuff, but you’re not alone there.

  84. Dissenter

    I think we will struggle to win at St Mary’s stadium tomorrow, probably with a dubious last minute goal.
    Before you lot laugh at Spuds, remember that we have to play an ultra-defensive and organized team like Burnley next week. We will be struggling to beat them as well.
    The premier league is really dire for all the nonsense about the “most exciting league” selling point.

  85. Cesc Appeal

    The thing that worries me tomorrow is the defence, like to be Lichtsteiner, Kozz, Monreal which may invite Southampton on. We really don’t want to give them any impetus early on or invite the crowd into the game.

    These kinds of games for a struggling team with a new manager against a top side but not an elite side are seen as turnaround games. A chance to get a result, try to get a foothold and stop the rot.

    No passengers at all and no stupidness early on.

  86. Tony

    I don’t envy your weather Graham especially what’s been forecast.

    Winter here now where we get sunny 25 to 34*C during the days and evenings and 12 to 21*C early mornings, which is a welcome cool 3 to 4 months.

    Can’t say I’m optimistic for a win tomorrow but equally feel we’ll stay unbeaten so maybe a draw.

    Tough few weeks ahead and then a crucial TW month that I feel will define the rest of the season for us.

    If we are inactive in the TW I can’t see us making CL next season.

  87. Graham62

    Bob N16

    Nothing to suck up.

    What CC is really highlighting is that he is intolerant to anyone that doesn’t follow the script, or, should I say, his script

    The way he comes across is evident to most other posters. You can say you’re not confrontational but the bottom line is if you consistently react by using patronising and arrogant rhetoric, you have to suffer the consequences. My mistake, as so manyothers have found on here, was to counter his so called argument.

    There was nothing illogical or “misleading” in what I said about the shirts. It was a clear fact that was evident to me and was based on my experiences. The fact that CC didn’t see this shows that he is infact what we all know him to be, a true Wenger advocate.

    No one on here is the master of ceremonies (except Pedro) but whenever CC posts it is usually to condemn and censure others for not following his line of thought.

    Rightly or wrongly, that’s how I see things.

  88. HighburyLegend

    “Southampton away. A fixture we have traditionally struggled in. But those were the Wenger days.”
    Yes but if Ozil plays, then I fail to see any logic in Emery’s plans for this game….

  89. Bob N16

    Graham, as soon as you used the ‘true Wenger advocate’ line, you lost any sympathy I had for your viewpoint. He argues his case in a valid way, whether you choose to agree with him or not.
    Sometimes you’re a little wishy, washy and to defend yourself by accusing someone else as being an akb, or words to that effect, suggests your argument is weak and you have to resort to name calling.
    CC will always have the better over you in a straight argument, I would suggest there’s no point exposing yourself but obviously crack on if you feel you have to!

  90. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Feel sorry for Fulham … Just ain’t getting that bounce at the moment…

    We should strike up something with them to get sessingon … Not Ryan but his bro Steve ….
    Or why not pick the pair like the Compton bros

  91. Bamford10

    By which I mean, he is arrogant, condescending, hostile and bullying. When he disagrees with someone, he generally resorts to insults — his favorite move being to insult the person’s intelligence. (See the “dimmer posters” jibe above, for example.) He is also not above trying to use a person’s nationality against them, especially if they happen to be North American. For example, he recently tried to dismiss a point I made re Aubameyang by suggesting that it was a typical “soccer-ball” comment of mine. His implication was obvious, which is funny, because I have several times suggested that he seems to have something against Americans talking about or involving themselves with English football — a suggestion to which he has responded violently and disingenuously. I say “disingenuously” — disingenuousness, btw, is another characteristic of his commentary here — because his response to my suggestion is always “how dare you call me a racist!” when I have done no such thing.

    Anyway, I could go on about the guy’s awfulness all day long, but I won’t.

    One of the more amusing aspects of the CC phenomenon is that he loves to criticize ME for things that he himself is far more guilty of, e.g., being arrogant, condescending, disagreeable, incapable of disagreeing with others amicably, etc.

    Anyway, I personally think the guy is awful, and I want you to know (as Marko also indicated above) that you are not alone in your opinion of him. Not at all.

  92. Pierre

    What we will be lacking tomorrow defensively is height ..we may be very vulnerable from corners and free kicks so it is vital that we have possession of the ball and control the game through midfield and not to give needless free kicks away in our half of the field …we have no one who can dominate in the air so our keeper needs to be brave and command his area.

    I would say a 4-3-3 system or 3-5 -2 may gives us more control of the game and it is important that we are on the front foot and attack and play the game in Southampton ‘s half not ours .

    Could be a few goals tomorrow .

  93. Champagne charlie

    Graham

    Again, 17th version of this, but you’re the one who’s made (and continues to make) personal/character based judgments and assertions. I’ve called a POV you have nonsense and stated exactly why, your counter has been to character assassinate offering exactly no defence of why you think it sensible to judge a football clubs commercial reach/health on a ONE TIME foray into a playground football camp and subsequent head count of Arsenal strips.

    Playing the popularity card is another deflective attempt of yours. There’s a good few who I’ve sparred with on here and they love an opportunity to stick their oar in. Exhibit A being Banford above with his 2 cents (can I say that, or is that another for the apparent anti-American sentiment I’m supposedly guilty of).

    He’s another using a similar playbook to yourself, pure character commentary because he’s a little chip on his shoulder – french frie in his case amirite dunkin? 🙂

    Both of you are a tad embarrassing to give out the assertions you do of me. Here’s one for you Banford, I am university educated from none other than the US. Loved every moment of it, was the best time in my life so far, and wish I could relive it. But yea, anti-American sentiment and shit because some nectarine on a blog can’t handle pub chat.

  94. Marc

    The link Akkimaniac has posted is symptomatic of what is wrong with Spud fans in a nut shell. Lineker boasting that the Poch has reached 100 PL wins 10 matches sooner than Wenger did. Nice stat what has he fucking won? Wenger did the double in his first full season – this is the Poch’s 4th and he’s about to feel the full weight of having to finance a new stadium assuming he doesn’t fuck off to Madrid or the Mancs.

    How does this guy get paid to host the BBC’s flagship football program?

  95. kc

    Good on Modric for calling out CR7 and Messi for not attending the Ballon d’Or ceremony. Classless douchebags can’t stand someone else won it for a change. Makes Modric’s win that much sweeter tho.

  96. Marko

    If Chelsea go for Pulisic and Hudson Odoi pushes for the exit I would be in there right away if I was Arsenal

    How about we go for Pulisic instead? I don’t see him meaning the kid has to leave though Willian and Pedro are getting on and Hazard could decide to go to Madrid at any moment. Nice dream though but the Roma lad is more likely Under. Apparently they are interested in Berardi to replace him

  97. Marko

    I wouldn’t be against Pavon but compared to the links to Havertz or Pepe it becomes underwelming. Compared to having Iwobi Mhiki and Ozil though he becomes attractive as fuck. An actual winger with ability to go past a man? Yup

  98. TonyD

    Bob N16
    I agree with your thinking re needless Wenger jibes these days being a waste of blog space.

    That said if Wenger gives an interview where his ego rises to the fore or he bleats on with his ‘poor me’ rhetoric or supercilious comments, then it’s understandable why posters here feel some form of anger and let fly.

    Wenger can be a master of trolling at times, which must have Pierre salivating in wonder updating his trolling techniques book.

    You’re completely right that many posters are often emotionally charged when posting, especially when a contentious issue is raised, such as the current Ozil debate.

    Most games finish late for me in my time zone where it normally takes an hour or so to wind down; win, lose or draw. So again it’s understandable posters vent during matches here (me included), as no doubt you do in the stadium.

    Difference is such venting here in left on record.

    Who knows what Charlie’s real persona is and who really cares?

    Charlie has mentioned the theatre a few times, so maybe he’s just in character here or on the fringes of the spectrum with bipolar or similar.

    Whatever he is his thought provoking posts make interesting reading whereas his looking-for-a-reaction from certain posters are really just futile jousts that no doubt fuel Charlie’s sarcastic and perhaps Machiavellian latent tendencies/demeanor.

    Anyway can’t wait for the game to start and, for all of the good things in life Thailand offers, I would love to be at games with my son, which is probably the only thing I miss from the UK.

  99. TonyD

    It’s being reported that Pavon has been struggling with hamstring injuries that affected his impact during his club’s Copa Libertadores campaign.

    With the amount of hamstring injuries in the PL one has to wonder about this kid’s muscle fitness.

    No doubt about his talent, though.

  100. China1

    Tony I was back in the UK last week and Bristol was relentlessly grey and rainy every single day haha

    My mum said they had a really nice long, dry summer this year but I don’t believe it. I barely even saw the sun last week lol

    Enjoy your Thai weather mate. Here in tianjin it would be a beautiful clear day if not for the murky pollution. Never mind

  101. TonyD

    China
    Shame about the pollution – hope you don’t have to go far to escape it.

    Bangkok is bad pollution wise (lived there for 4 years), but some MC brothers from Beijing say it’s far worse there.

    Very little pollution in the city I live in and it’s only a 40 minutes drive to be up in what the Thais call mountains but more like Lake district hills to us.

    Kudos to you for learning Chinese even if it’s out of necessity. My 10 year old son is learning Mandarin as his 3rd language. My 20 year old daughter is learning German as her 3rd because she wants to work in Germany after graduating but she’ll do work experience there as well.

    A good friend’s younger brother (Scottish) learnt Chinese to do his Masters in Beijing Uni and now is a translator where he earns a very decent income.

  102. Un na naai

    Man our youth prospects look so exciting

    With holding and Bellerin already first teamers and AMN and nelson looking like knocking on the door we have a lot of promise. LT is 22 and guendouzi is 19

    We have such potential in our squad
    Saka looks thebest of the lot

  103. Champagne charlie

    “Who knows what Charlie’s real persona is and who really cares? Charlie has mentioned the theatre a few times, so maybe he’s just in character here or on the fringes of the spectrum with bipolar or similar.“

    You seemingly, to what end idk. My career also seems to be a point of interest to you, even though you churn out the same “who even cares” rhetoric on that on.

    I couldn’t agree more, who cares about any of that fluff. Still, doesn’t stop you wildly swinging in the dark as and when you feel the urge to name drop me.

    Anyway….football today and that yea fam?

  104. Bob N16

    Alright Tony,

    Beautiful sunny morning in London Town after a horrid day yesterday, always a better day when there are blue skies to enjoy.

    Haven’t been to Thailand since 1988, went the first time in 1984. Stayed in a beachside hammock on Koh Samui for a while. Had to get a ferry to get to the island – so beautiful. Lovely people as well as a beautiful place although I’m sure there are loads of areas to avoid due to tourism. Worked briefly as a travel consultant in the City and was disgusted by the number of obvious sex tourists who boasted of their regular trips to the flesh spots.

    Like the idea of Zach Medley being given a chance in a back three.Looks really comfortable on the ball and would compliment Monreal and Koscielny well. Imagine it’s more likely that Lichsteiner will start. See Shane Long is fit, can’t remember why I should dislike hime exactly but feel sure he’s been a cheating w*nker against us before.

    3pts however will do!

  105. China1

    That’s cool Tony! Smart kiddos you have

    Regarding the pollution it varies a lot. In the sprint summer and autumn it’s normally no problem. In winter all the heating comes on and they coal burning plants have to turn it up a notch to meet demand. If the wind is strong it will be clear (luckily Tianjin is windy as hell) but if the wind drops out sporadically for a few days then the smog sets in.

    Usually it’s bearable but for a few days a year it can peak with visibility as low as 8m which is as bad as it sounds. I’ve been at the front of a junction unable to see the traffic lights across the street. Happens about 3-5 days per year. Thankfully that’s not the standard or I’d be out of here in no time

    Funnily enough I live across the road from one of the world’s tallest buildings (Tianjin CTF) and if you fly east out of the city you fly quite close over it. And on that one occasion the smog was settled really low in the atmosphere so it was like a grey-brown blanket hanging over the city, but the CTF tower was looking way out of the top and had blue skies lol. So I guess if I wanna get out I just need to wait til this building is finished and the hotel at the top is open, then head up there to escape haha

  106. China1

    Whoever said the top 4 race this season is ridiculous you’re right

    There have been no PL seasons where all the top teams bar 1 (Utd) just win basically every week. Every time we win I’m looking around for who we’ve closed the gap on or whatever but it just doesn’t happen unless the top 6 are playing each other.

    Very impressive shit from all the top 5, seriously. It’s literally true that we could finish in the high 70s for points and come 5th which is presumably unheard of and not even close to having happened before

    Leagues have been won with 78 points in less competitive eras and we might achieve that and be 15+ points back come the end. Madness. If we do hit 78 points and come 5th the consolation would be that at least it would’ve been a huge improvement and progress since last season – and if we won the EL then it doesn’t even matter too much