The dangers of the #Top4HighLife

by & filed under News Review.

‘NO Moura, less than two points’

Legend of Le Grove’s 1st comment… DM… had a first of his own yesterday as he welcomed a new baby girl into the world. Everyone raise a FIRST to him in the comments today to celebrate. Congrats, Thierryrina is a beaut of a name!

ONTO SERIOUS FOOTBALL STUFF 👇👇👇

How many articles did you read yesterday about the erosion of civil society because two dickheads ran onto football pitches? Our press LIVE for a moment in which they can condemn every living/breathing person and wrap it in a football narrative. Idiots are always a byproduct of something they don’t like. Social media, Brexit, porn, cats…

Dickheads have always been a part of modern culture and they always will be. Don’t try and make sense of it. Just let it be and make sure that if the person sitting next to you suggests running on the pitch, you demand they get naked or sit the fuck down. Do the same if the person next to you at work asks if you want a tea, see how that works out.

UNITED COLD TURKEY

As the joy subsides post-United, the stinging slap of reality has set in for some.

We’re back in prison, we’ve been locked in a cage with 3 other big boys, we’re now fighting it out in the #TopDog race, with a whole bunch of nasty weirdos looking to shank us along the way.

What I’m trying to say is this… let’s not get carried away thinking this race is done. Things have fallen into place very nicely over the past month. Spurs, Chelsea and United have all slipped in and out of ecstasy. Now we’re on high #Top4Life, but things could get testy very quickly.

I liken this moment to the Champions League semi-final when the club first gave us flags, we started waving them like lunatics, then CR7 stepped up and spoiled the party. Away form is our CR7 brooding over a free kick.

When you look at our easy run, you realise it’s actually not easy. It’s really hard. Our struggles have generally come on the road this season, and against the unsexy teams.

Everton, Watford, Leicester and Wolves are the big worry for us. They are Xherdan-Shaqiri-in-a-Borat-one-piece levels of sexy. They are tough, gritty, tiring games to play. This is where the weakness of our season has generally sat. BATE, Brighton, West Ham, Rennes are the games we should have won but didn’t

Is it a talent thing? No. I think it’s a focus thing.

Unai Emery has to take the same sort of attention to detail he had for Spurs/United and channel it into the games that aren’t as interesting. He has to keep the players interested. He has to make sure they feel the fire of importance. He has to make the end goal feel important to the players.

That could be super basic. Maybe a little reminder there’s serious money in it if we make top 4. It could be flashing the excitement of elite football next season. It could be the threat of getting booted out if the socks are not pulled up hard enough. Or it could just be the hit of adrenaline from United that carries us through.

Each game is now a Cup Final… but, before we turn the league into a cup, we have to deal with Rennes on Thursday.

We are more than capable of taking them down by two goals. The challenge is they are protecting a lead and as a counter-attacking team, what better position to be in than waiting for Arsenal to overextend themselves?

I’ve read some people say we should throw the game. I think that’s silly. Emery could really do with a cup win to bolster his rep going into the summer. It’d also be smart to keep both routes to the Champions League firmly open. I’d also personally like to see Emery give it some back to Ben Arfa for his premature gloating the other day.

The real work starts now. We have momentum with us. We have two routes to the promised land of Champions League football. We look like we’re firing on all cylinders.

Let’s make the run in something special!

492 Responses to “The dangers of the #Top4HighLife”

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  1. Words on a Blog

    Unai – the Game of Thrones metaphor might be a little over-blown -I never personally saw any dragons or beheadings- but GoT is as good a metaphor as any for the corporate world!

  2. salpardisenyc

    Excellent 45 that.

    Marko

    What happened to the guy who use to post intelligently about Wenger?
    Unai is capable of mistakes, they all are.

    If you’d like to insert “frozen out” for “ban” by all means.

    But lets not reinvent, Ozil and Ramsay were most definitely frozen out and now reintroduced. Unai took the long road in proving a point. Currently were a better side with them in it, so yes my gripes with Emery stem from his not utilizing whats at his disposal.

    For now were good, he’s corrected in right direction.

    But if Unai has us linked with a host of medicore dross this summer, i’m going in studs up.

  3. MidwestGun

    But if Unai has us linked with a host of medicore dross this summer, i’m going in studs up.
    __________
    Hahaha Or what we like to refer to on Le Grove as the Gambon.

  4. MidwestGun

    Chiellini is such a pest.. Got to love him… You want him on your side but hate to play him. This is why I have some love for Papa Sok. those type of CB’s always make a defense stronger.

    Game on now..

  5. Pedro

    London, it won’t affect it at all… unless people believe Stan will reach into the overdraft before prize money is handed out.

  6. MidwestGun

    Well in theory .. it attracts higher caliber players who want to sign for us.. and gives us more money to put towards transfers.. but it still remains to be seen what the new management setup will do.. Surely it wont be like Wenger… era.. were we dither and make excuses.. I hope.

  7. Victorious

    Dissenter

    True, City will be favourite over 2 legs against a good many of teams still in it but just think their lack of experience in the European stage has got to make Barça the team to beat

    Klopp also seems to be doing a good work on Pep recently by sussing out his game but don’t honestly think there’s a prospective fixture there

    Bayern are currently buzzing and I think the dippers will be dispatched by the Bavarians honourably.

  8. gambon

    Getting top 4 increases our budget, of course it does.

    All revenue streams dropped when we fell out of the CL

    Tv money is £20-30m down
    Commercial fell £10m
    Gate money fell by £5m

    That’s £35-45m

    Our financial year runs from June 1st so we spend based on our revenue for the coming 12m.

  9. Unai

    Pedro, for the most part I agree, you need ambition and a desire to succeed but that goes for every potential candidate for any of our positions, why is that a problem?

    Anyway, I’m cautiously optimistic about the future but I do understand why others aren’t, it’s been a tough few years.

  10. Nelson

    Technically, City players are superior to other teams. I like their passing. They seldom overhit a pass. If Auba and Laca can have their passing skill, they’ll score many more goals.

  11. Champagne Charlie

    Diego blew his load with that celebration in the first leg.

    Atletico fans goaded the wrong player with a game to play haha

  12. Marko

    It s the manager’s job to select a team that is going to win football matches and the fact is , the decision by Emery to marginalize Ramsey and Ozil for 3 months cost us dearly results wise .

    Hard to select Ozil when he calls in sick. Hard to start him when he’s playing so poorly. Ramsey I’ll admit should have played more but he’s leaving us so it’s understandable that we didn’t continue to start him.

  13. Marko

    Total bottle job by Simeone tonight. Went there tonight with zero attacking ambition and was just hoping to defend the lead.

  14. Sanmi

    To be honest, I’m not convinced about Simeone tactically.
    He’s exactly like mou, very clueless setting up a team to attack.
    Any allardarce, pulis can do what they do if they have Godin or Terry. With a Costa or Drogba. Just defend and load it to the big man.
    Juve wasn’t that great neither was CR7, but Simeone just set them up to defend when a single goal from them would have won it

  15. Sanmi

    City will murder them to be honest. No team can stop city except pool (due to familiarity). City will win by at least 2 goals against this juve

  16. Champagne Charlie

    Remember when a few on here were dredging up some twitter discord about Allegri after the first match?

    Back under your rocks, he’s HP.

  17. Marko

    If you’d like to insert “frozen out” for “ban” by all means. But lets not reinvent, Ozil and Ramsay were most definitely frozen out and now reintroduced.

    Frozen out makes more sense. One player is leaving us come the end of the season and the response to it seems fairly generic kinda reasonable when you see what’s happening to Rabiot at PSG. As for Ozil why the fuck wouldn’t you freeze out a player who’s been so poor this season and who’s been faking injuries. He’s unwanted. I would say the only reason they were allowed back in was because we’ve such a wank squad.

  18. Marko

    But if Unai has us linked with a host of medicore dross this summer, i’m going in studs up

    He doesn’t do the signings it’ll likely be Monchi doing that

  19. London gunner

    This is exactly why juventus bought ronaldo for cl football..

    Not saying he can grab them a cl but he is the most crunch time clutch player possible.

  20. Sanmi

    Emery on the other hand is very tactically adept but can’t manage sulking superstars. Arsenal is his best fit. Reasonable funds for almost superstars.

  21. Sanmi

    Calm down CR7 fans, he did not do anything today that a Lukaku can’t do. Not that he was superb. It was 2 headers and a pen

  22. Dissenter

    CC
    “Diego blew his load with that celebration in the first leg”
    That just got me laughing so had that I released a load of gas per rectum.

  23. WengerEagle

    Sanmi

    Its the fact that he steps up in crunch time in the CL KO stage time and time again, 66 goals now. Messi is next with 40 KO goals.

    Lukaku will do well to halve Messi’s total never mind CR7.

  24. Victorious

    Calm down CR7 fans, he did not do anything today that a Lukaku can’t do. Not that he was superb. It was 2 headers and a pen”

    This quite a disturbing comment.

  25. Champagne Charlie

    Sanmi serving some stupid exclusive to the good folks of Le Grove, keep on trucking brotha you’re dead right…..

    Lukaku is famed for his clutch hat tricks in the latter stages of the CL after all.

  26. salpardisenyc

    Sanmi

    Bernadeschi was the engine, insane performance but there’s no denying CR7 and his hat trick MOTM.

  27. London gunner

    City really do have an embarrassment of riches. There squad is sooo fucking stacked with quality. For god sakes gundogan even zvchenko are beasts and noone even talks about them.

  28. Victorious

    I know Messi has many fan boys but he’s not got the athleticism,mentality,physicality,fight and utter arrogance of Cr7, basically attributes of an elite talent.

    Actually rate Cr7 higher than Messi

  29. Dan Ahern

    Generally despise Ronaldo and look forward to him going to prison for rape but he’s indisputably elite in the CL.

    Messi is still king though, be real.

  30. London gunner

    Ronaldo is inspired by high tempo pressure moments in fact that’s when he excels he doesn’t have normal wiring up top.

    Just with that penalty or the one he took ij the cl final ge loves taking them he believes utterly in himself.

  31. Un Battle Angel

    What about city v Schalke?
    Fuck me they are cruising now.
    Gonna be some big big games in the next round

  32. Pierre

    Marko and receding seem to have a real problem with Ozil coming back into the side and proving Emery wrong for marginalizing him.

    One would have thought they would be pleased now Arsenal are back on track thanks to Ozil’s considerable influence on the team’s improving performances over the last 6 games.

    we are now watching an Arsenal team playing the Arsenal way and long may it continue…..no more headless chicken football .

    Emery has come to his senses just in time for The Arsenal to have a strong finish to The season…..better late than never.

    One gets the feeling that Marko and Receding will be eating a lot of humble pie regarding Ozil in the next couple of months.

  33. London gunner

    Victorious

    I actually disgaree that he is not athletic player (maybe not so much now)

    Guy imhas riddick levels of acceleration, best balance and agility in world football and is strong as fuck… yes Messi is strong he has that low center of gravity hard to shrug off the ball.

    He also has riddic levels of pgstical constitution hw rarely gets injured despite always playing.

    Messi is a combination of both god lije technique and physical prowess.

  34. Thomas

    @Sanmi

    Calm down CR7 fans, he did not do anything today that a Lukaku can’t do. Not that he was superb. It was 2 headers and a pen”

    ___

    Embarrassing comment really.

  35. London gunner

    Headers don’t count as goals?

    People don’t seem to understand wgy ronnie gets so many headers it beca7se he has the verticle leap of a chimpanese on steroids.

    Guy is a fucking machine

  36. Marko

    One would have thought they would be pleased now Arsenal are back on track thanks to Ozil’s considerable influence on the team’s improving performances over the last 6 games.

    Might want to look up the definition of considerable and influence

  37. HighburyLegend

    Juve turn back the situation in their favour…
    Ajax do the same vs Real…
    Manure as well – even if psg gave them the game lol

    Over to you Gunners!!

  38. Gbat

    Ozil hasn’t done much to shout about in the last 6 games. Or this season. Or last season. Or the season before. He’s got world class talent but he isn’t a world class player. A great performance every now and again isn’t enough.

  39. Receding Hairline

    Paulinho will tell you I’m an Ozil fanboy myself Pierre but he needed that treatment. Man has been mailing it in for two seasons now and you expected a manager with a difficult job to do as it is to tolerate sickies and coasting during games.

    He hasn’t done anything worth crowing about since he was brought back in by the way, still shirking taking responsibility hiding behind his chance creation stat, of the four allegedly created against united not one comes to mind. Tells you all you need to know about that stat

  40. Marko

    Özil bar a handful of games hasn’t contributed much this season. Pierre will have you believe he’s been instrumental but we know he hasn’t been. A handful of goals and 3 assists all season shows that

  41. Leedsgunner

    It ain’t over until the perfectly manicured CR7 steps off the pitch.

    Undoubtedly the greatest player in the history of the Champions League. What’s that now 25 goals against At. Madrid alone in this competition?

    Talk about a nemesis…

  42. Mick Kartun

    “I know Messi has many fan boys but he’s not got the athleticism,mentality,physicality,fight and utter arrogance of Cr7, basically attributes of an elite talent. Actually rate Cr7 higher than Messi.”

    Well, let the friday’s drawing be Juventus vs Barca in the CL QF, then we’ll see whose the best, Messi or Ronaldo.

  43. Tony

    ES/Bob N15
    Going off topic for a moment what are your thoughts on Sara’s Spencer whose been brought into the squad with Robson out with illness?

    Is he a real contender for Japan?

    How does he compare to Youngs, Care and Robson?

    The Scotland game will be very significant for England’s mental resilience and momentum in their build up to Japan, and also could win them the 6-Nations if Ireland do England a favour and beat the Welsh.

  44. Dark Hei

    “athleticism,mentality,physicality,fight and utter arrogance of Cr7, basically attributes of an elite talent. ”

    Cr7 is a rapist.

    And thanks to his legion of lawyers, he will never be proven guilty.

    They can’t even serve him his papers because he is so walled up.

  45. Moray

    I don’t understand. I thought it was a given that CR7 was not a “ladies’ man”. Now there are these sexual assault allegations from women dating back years. What did I miss?

  46. Moray

    On second thoughts, perhaps the abuse issue here is that he used them in ways God intended for clergymen to pleasure young boys…

  47. Emiratesstroller

    Tony

    I am not a great fan of Spencer. I think that his decision making is suspect.
    Wrigglesworth despite his age is a far better SH.

  48. Emiratesstroller

    Tony

    England will beat Scotland.

    The question is whether Wales can/will beat Ireland. If they do then of course
    they will win Champs. If not England will win it because their points difference
    is considerably better than both Wales and Ireland.

    England are the best team/squad despite their defeat by Wales in Cardiff. They need however to get back in team both Mako and Itoje. Also the SH position needs an upgrade on Youngs and Care.

  49. Graham62

    Let’s all agree that both CR7 and Messi are exceptional talents.

    Lyon will be cursing Ronaldo because we all know what tends to happen after one of these players turns it on the night before the other.

  50. Valentin

    I fancy Lyon to get a score-draw 2-2 and qualify on the away goal rule.
    Suarez is having an off season and Messi has not reached the high that he used to.
    Lyon midfield has a density that Barcelona does not have. With Barcelona Dembele injured and Messi not having one of his magical night, there is not a lot of goal scorer in that Barcelona team.

  51. Tony

    ES
    Agreed England will beat Scotland and we need Itoje and Mako back. Itoje is out of the 6 Nations with a knee problem.

    I like what little we saw of Robson; he seems to be a blend of Care & Youngs.

    Ireland are at Cardiff so will be tough but I think they should win by a narrow margin especially as Sexton did well against France and seems to be back to his best.

  52. Graham62

    Valentin

    To be honest, I would love Lyon to go through. I definitely think they’ll score but still think the Messi factor will edge it for Barca.

    2-1 or 3-2 Barcelona.

  53. London gunner

    Ronaldo never raaped that woman she qqs a model/glamour model who went back to his apartment in las vegas no less at night time… what to hold hands and quote poetry?

    She pbviouslt went for sex, ronaldo hit it once spurned so she called rape in order to get money/fame. There are women who use hooking up with fqmpus wealthy males as a meal ticket and this is a classic example.

    That’s not to say there aren’t true creeps our their like bill cospy ect

  54. Emiratesstroller

    I hope that Arsenal will select tomorrow a team similar to that,which played on Sunday. The one exception will be that Sokratis will not be able to play.

    I would play Xhaka, Ramsey and Ozil in midfield with both Aubameyang and
    Lacazette playing up front.

    Arsenal do not need to concern themselves with a weekend game as our next
    fixture is against Newcastle at home in two weeks time.

    Rennes will almost certainly put everyone behind the ball and try and hold
    onto the ball. So it is imperative that we play with width [Kolasinac and Maitland-Niles ] and craft [Ozil] to unlock the potency [Lacazette and Aubameyang] up front.

    Frankly the team should focus on scoring goals and not rely so much on defence, which we know is porous.

    I would put on the bench Cech,Torreira, Guendouzi, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Nkietah + 1 Defender.

  55. Samesong

    Pierre obsession with everything Ozil is just as disturbing as bob with his Wilshere comments. But I must say bob hardly mentions Wilshere anymore, guarantee you Pierre will mention OZIL name today more than twenty times. Like crackhead candy man. 😉

  56. Emiratesstroller

    Samesong

    Arsenal played well on Sunday with Ozil in the team.

    Whilst he is no longer the player who played for Real Madrid and Germany he
    is nevertheless someone who still offers creativity and meaningful passing game.

    Let’s be clear we are paying him £350 K pw to PLAY and not sit at home like a
    couch potato. This is absolutely the right game for him to be selected.

  57. Pierre

    Stroller
    “I hope that Arsenal will select tomorrow a team similar to that,which played on Sunday. The one exception will be that Sokratis will not be able to play.I would play Xhaka, Ramsey and Ozil in midfield with both Aubameyang and
    Lacazette playing up front.”

    The team selection for tomorrow night’s game is a bit of a conundrum for Emery.

    If Mhkitaryan is fit then he will be difficult to leave out , that would probably mean playing 4-2- 3-1 with Aubamayang,Mhkitaryan, Ozil and Mhkitaryan starting with Ramsey and Xhaka holding in midfield with a flat back 4.

    The conundrum is whether to play Kolasinac in a back 4 as he is a potent attacking force but defensively weak .
    If Emery plays wing backs ( as at the weekend) then he would have to leave out one of our 4 offensive players …

    I think I would prefer the 4-2-3-1 and allow Kolasinac a certain freedom to attack down the left as we need goals but there is definitely an argument for staying with the wing back system that worked so well at the weekend.

  58. gonsterous

    news going round that we have 40m summer budget if we don’t qualify for the CL. Goes to show we need to offload a lot of dross players to get a bit more dough.
    My list
    Mustafi
    Ozil (sorry pierre)
    mhiki
    Auba
    Kos
    elneny
    Licht
    Jenkinson

    Add to that, we lose cech and ramsey and welbz.
    The lot above can at least fetch us upward of 30m

    Promote some youth, get in a few good players and we may just look better as a team.

  59. Samesong

    Arsenal played well on Sunday with Ozil in the team.

    Emirates I said the same during game and after game on Sunday also.
    I am no Ozil hater.

    He need to play tomorrow also.

  60. Pierre

    The fear is that Emery will revert back to his favourites , Iwobi and Guendouzi who are good players but don’t take care of the ball well enough for my liking and tomorrow is a night for keeping the ball and being patient and putting pressure on their defence without being wasteful in possession..

  61. Thomas

    @Dark Hei

    ”Cr7 is a rapist.”

    ___

    Do you have any evidence of this claim? I thought it was innocent until proven guilty.

  62. Valentin

    @Graham,

    I would love Bayern to beat Liverpool and their absolutely horrible fans. However I suspect that Bayern will be eliminated on the away goal rule as I don’t see them stopping Liverpool from scoring again.
    I must admit that I have build a dislike of Klopp. He came and looked like a bit of fresh air with his bonhomie. However that has been revealed to be completely fake. When things don’t go his way, he behave like a spoiled prat: screaming, shouting, blaming everybody and everything (even the wind) for his mistake or misfortune.
    The manager goes hand in hand with the club and his fans, a classless arrogant bully with a persecution complex.

  63. Gbat

    Ozil needs to go in the summer. Talented player but he’s not right for the direction the club is going in. He sums up the Arsenal of recent years. Flashes of brilliance but inconsistent and weak.

  64. Dark Hei

    gonsterous

    I wonder how much money we need to bleed in order to sell the likes of Mustafi and Ozil.

    I think Arsenal’s transfer budget actually increases if you keep them at the club.

    Consider Ozil.

    He is at 350k a week. We loan him to say Juventus; they pay 150k and we pay 200k because thats about what they are willing to pay because his stock ain’t high nowadays.

    So we free up 150k in wages…….but that only works, if we are not looking for a replacement.

    But say, if we get Ever Benega as replacement. We will have to fork out a transfer fee, and use those 150k as wages to pay him.

    Unless we are looking at another freebie in the market. But nowadays, there is no such things as freebies with the high costs of free agents. See Ramsey. Which means we have to fork up beyond that 150k for a good freebie.

  65. Dark Hei

    Thomas

    That’s the catch. He will never go to trial. So he will never be proven innocent.

    Personally, I am with LG; CR kind of raped a broad (counter intuitive)

    But I don’t want to make light of the whole incident.

    Both side do have their points going for them.

  66. Pierre

    Dark Hei

    If a player is under contract , it is his choice whether to stay or leave whilst they are under contract whether it is Mhkitaryan, Kolasinac or Ramsey.

    The club has no say in the matter .

    Arsenal are not the only club who are in this situation

  67. qna

    Dark Hei. Why the hell would we replace Ozil with Banega, let alone pay part of Ozils salary to do it. You put a ridiculous hypothetical to show why it shouldn’t be done.

    We only let Ozil go if there is somebody willing to take on his salary. Otherwise he stays.

    Same with Real Madrid finding someone to take Bale if his wages really are £650k/wk.

  68. Emiratesstroller

    Pierre

    We played on Sunday three at back with Sokratis, Koscielny and Monreal. Obviously Sokratis needs to be replaced presumably with Mustafi.

    However, I would keep the team exactly the same as on Sunday apart from this change.

    I would not play in starting lineup Mkhitaryan. I would play Xhaka, Ramsey
    and Ozil with Maitland-Niles and Kolasinac playing as wing backs.

    This worked well on Sunday against Man Utd.

  69. Pierre

    It’s quite amusing how excited the former wenger obsessives are getting so excited about the race for the top 4 after years of them belittling our former manager for achieving this 18 years on the bounce whilst winning 9 trophies with 9 runners up in his 20 years at the club.I

    I have never got too excited about a top 4 finish but after 2 years of Europa league football I am missing the involvement and anticipation of champions league football.

    The obsessives will celebrate top 4 as if it is a trophy , it’s just a shame that it has taken them until now to recognise what a good job our previous manager was doing under difficult circumstances , and by that I mean having to compete with the financial muscle of United , city and Chelsea , media continually belittling his efforts and more importantly having a small percentage of the fan base intent on embarrassing the club with their pathetic protests .

    And now we have have those same fans who were so critical of Wenger achieving champions league football year in year out , regard top 4 as this fantastic achievement ……you couldn’t make it up.

  70. Pierre

    Stroller
    “Pierre, We played on Sunday three at back with Sokratis, Koscielny and Monreal.”

    I know , hence my comment “but there is definitely an argument for staying with the wing back system that worked so well at the weekend.”

    Difficult tactical decision for Emery tomorrow

  71. JDavey

    Be attacking tomorrow night and play all of laca, Auba, mesut and Rambo again. Can tear them a new one if we really want to, and with a long break after tomorrow night why not try and get it done early.

    Fancy 4-1 with laca and Auba getting a couple each.

  72. Valentin

    @Emirates,

    I would keep the same team with the exception of replacing Mhikitarian for Aubameyang.
    Playing a 3-4-2-1 should allow to play between the lines more. Rennes is a counter-attacking team with pace on the wing using a basic 4-4-1-1. Their defense will sit very deep negating Aubameyang main strength his pace.
    Mhikitarian is likely to cause them more problems with his clever movements. out team needs to have their shooting boots on as mid range shooting is an area we should exploit. Any rebounds should be Lacazette. Also if we are leading and Rennes needs a goal or two, then we can introduce Aubameyang and play on the counter-attack.

  73. Nelson

    ES

    Sunday’s formation is set up against a strong team. We let Manure have the procession and go for counter. Against Rennes, we don’t need 3 CB’s. Rennes will park the bus. We need more midfielders/attackers. We should just over power them

  74. gonsterous

    there aren’t many clubs in world football who can afford to give a player 650k a week. I think even messi is on lower than that. Messi is really the ultimate one club player. Good in a way but sad that we couldn’t see his talent in other leagues around the world. Maybe he’ll play for an Argentinean club in the future.

  75. Pierre

    Valentin
    By leaving Aubamayang out of the side it will negate Kolasinac ‘s most effective weapon , the ball across the six yard box for the tap in.
    Lacazette is not normally a player to make that run , Ozil and Mhkitaryan will look for the cut back.

    So if he plays a wing back system Aubamayang has to start.

  76. Valentin

    @Nelson,

    We need 3 at the back because otherwise on the counter-attack Rennes will have 3v3 and I do not trust Mustafi to make a mistake.
    Also with a back 4, one of our fullbacks will push up and likely to be caught upfield. A simple long ball bypassing the midfield and suddenly we have their striker Hunou, conductor Ben Arfa and one of the wingers directly against our two CBs and one of our fullback.
    3 at the back means that with only one wingback pushing up you have a 4v3 situation rather than a 3v3. Rennes 3rd goal came exactly from that sort of situation.

  77. gonsterous

    Graham62
    March 13, 2019
    10:54:51

    Who says we only have a £40m war chest?

    according to The mirror and John cross.

  78. Dissenter

    I thought John Cross used to have some knowledge of Arsenal’s operations because he’s a gooner and was devoted to Wenger.
    These days, it’s unlikely that he knows anything about our budget since the principal actors are new and foreign.
    John Cross doesn’t know anymore that anyone else here about our summer budget.

  79. Valentin

    @Pierre,

    I would say that Lacazette is more likely to score from a cross by Kolasinac than Aubameyang is. Against ManUtd, Lacazette was the one who missed the target after 4 minutes not Aubameyang.

    Aubameyang tend to hang toward the second post (which infuriate me as it is the least likely place to score) and Mhikitarian is better at arriving late in the box from the opposite side. In our defeat by Chelsea where Bellerin kept overlapping, our midfielders Mhikitarian and Iwobi were the ones who scored from cutback arriving late in the penalty box.

  80. Nelson

    Valentin

    You focus too much on their strength. If we have one more midfielder/attacker, we’ll keep more possession. Even if we lose the ball, we’ll press high and won’t give them time to make “good long pass”. That’s what I understood what Emeryball is about.

  81. gonsterous

    dissenter

    I don’t know, last season the news was that arsenal had 70m for the transfer market and it turned out to be true. I’m thinking it’s the same this year, only exception being, if we make it to the CL then it will increase.

  82. Valentin

    @Nelson,

    We used that approach on the away game and how did that go?
    Once Rennes realised that Monreal was pretty solid, they focussed their effort on our right with Mustafi. They then kept feeding diagonal pass to Sarr to run into from left to right behind our CBs. Sokratis got sent off on one of this run.
    Torreira was unable to cut the flow because he was afraid of leaving Ben Arfa on his own to directly run at our defense.

    Let’s play smart and not underestimate Rennes. They have a clear game plan and players perfect to execute it. Let’s play a system that negate their strength while showcasing ours.

  83. Bob N16

    Tony, from what I’ve seen of Spencer he is solid without being spectacular. Expect he’ll only play for 10 mins and it will not really matter! Would be v surprised if he makes it to Japan.

  84. Valentin

    @Nelson,

    Their game plan worked in that they sent Sokratis into panic mode. Yes the referee was a homer, but there is no guarantee that we will not have a referee who favour underdogs.

    I am pretty sure that playing the same system with the same players in the center of our defense will yield the same result.

    We can always switch later in the game and use Aubameyang as a speed merchant late in the game if we need to.

    We need to be still with a chance with 10 minutes left. If they score 2 goals before, then it become near impossible. They will just play with 11 men behind the ball and then Aubameyang pace is irrelevant.

  85. MidwestGun

    It’s quite amusing how excited the former wenger obsessives are getting so excited about the race for the top 4 after years of them belittling our former manager for achieving this 18 years on the bounce whilst winning 9 trophies with 9 runners up in his 20 years at the club.I
    _________
    Hahahah what amusing and ironic is that you have your head so far up Wengers’s azz that all you care about is his legacy..
    Newsflash- It’s Emery’s … FIRST season…. it’s something completely different for your goal to be 4th when you have been at the club for 15 – 20 years.. then when it’s your first… Also… hate to break it to you but it is Wenger that put us in the current situation with his God awful decisions over the past 5 years …

    Emery was brought in to stop the rot… Guess how.. by getting CL.. how to do you stop the rot.? Yes by more money… How do we get more money .?. yes qualifying for CL.. Your being a completely agenda driven moron… and it doesn’t become you.. Nobody is celebrating the possibility of 4th place trophy you idiot they are celebrating the possibility of change and improvement..

    Your the one obsessed by Wenger’s record clearly since you keep bringing it up..

  86. Bob N16

    Agree Midwest, context is everything. I think this season the challenge to finish top 4 is as tough as it has been. If Liverpool get through tonight that would mean half of the QF teams would be from the PL.

  87. MidwestGun

    Bob-
    It’s unreal how the man has warped the brain.. of many people who normally would be reasonable people .. I’m assuming.
    Football is an art … my azz… if it was an art they wouldn’t keep score.

  88. Bob N16

    I was an admirer of Wenger for all but the last 7 years. Such a shame he wasn’t removed when he wasn’t managing well. The minority who still supported him at the bitter end were unable to see reason- their support was cult like. Mind you I’ve got one very good friend who still wanted Wenger to continue but he’s a contrary s.o.b. !

  89. Graham62

    Pierre

    Why bring up Wenger?

    Sorry but the only obsessive on here is you.

    Obsessive about Ozil. Obsessive about statistics. Obsessive at defending Wenger and obsessive at trying to prove to those that were desperate for change, that life wasn’t as bad as they thought it was under our former manager.

    I never got too excited about top 4, mainly because I knew we weren’t capable of competing when it came to the crunch. The reason so many fans are excited is mainly because, for the first time for several years, we are at least showing genuine signs of rolling our sleeves up and battling it out.

    It makes me laugh when you highlight “what a good job our previous manager was doing under difficult circumstances”

    Oh boohoo, it must have been so tough for the man.

  90. Pierre

    I knew that would get you going mid West ..so predictable.

    Nearly as predictable as me defending Ozil…..thought I’d better get that in though it is amusing how Emery is pretty similar to wenger in that tactically he is found wanting but he just manages to pull a rabbit out the hat before the shit really does hit the fan.

    This season is basically a mirror image of wenger’s last 5 seasons except the football is not quite so good ….so much for change eh.

    Looks like Emery is going to have to rely on Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey to keep him in a job .
    The last 6 games have shown a massive improvement except for the cock up tactically by Emery v Rennes.

  91. Graham62

    Top 4 became a trophy under Wenger because he knew, as we all did, that winning the EPL or CL was out of his reach , or, to put it another way, he wasn’t good enough.

  92. Graham62

    Hypothetically speaking, where would we be now if Wenger had stayed?

    Exactly!!

    That’s called progress.

  93. Valentin

    @Pierre,

    Looks like Salgado has the same view than us on the Emery Özil relationship.

    https://www.fourfourtwo.com/news/michel-salgado-unai-emery-a-special-manager-he-cant-handle-big-egos

    Man management is the difference between competent manager and great one.
    Same reason why Benitez who is a competent manager and tactically very astute has never been able to manage a team of star players for long. His treatment of CR7 at Real Madrid was text book how to alienate your best players and lose the dressing room.

  94. Words on a Blog

    Pierre – you’re on much stronger ground when you talk tactics than when you use rhetoric and dodgy stats (correlation is not causation) to defend the reputations of Wenger and Ozil.

    When Ozil is selected and plays well, most people on here -even Ozil’s fiercest critics- are happy enough to acknowledge it

  95. Valentin

    @Graham,

    Do you really believe that we are going to win the league next season under Emery?
    Talking about delusional!

    With the financial advantage that ManCity, ManUtd have on the rest of the league, I can’t see anybody else winning the league for the next 3 years.
    Sure we may finish second a year, but the following year one of the juggernaut will just splash an extra 200 millions to reach back to the top.
    Of course if ManCity is banned from Champion’s league for a couple of years because of FFP and most of their players leave then that create an opening.

  96. MidwestGun

    Bob-
    I have a few very very good friends who live in London .. Arsenal fans obviously and they are incredibly reasonable smart people except when it comes to anytime you mention Wenger. They prefer to place all the blame on Gazidis and Kroenke.. whatever. Wish It was that simple. It’s sad because Wenger just hung on too long.. Had he left after the Fa Cup win in 2014. I think it might have changed my perception some , I would still think he should have done things different .. but he is the architect of our current situation.. no doubt. Pierre has no clue of that I have no doubt as well. You cant have a clue when you are so agenda driven you cant see reality..