Giroud Is The Key To Wengerball Mk 3

Few Arsenal players from the current squad are more discussed and debated than Olivier Giroud.

Our hunky Frenchman is something of an enigma.

og

To some he is a selfless workhorse giving his all for the team and making the most of (relatively) limited talents.

To others he is a top quality centre forward who will be a 20+ goals per season man in time.

And to his harshest critics he is no more than a stop-gap: the guy who’s filling in until we can buy a “proper” striker.

My own opinion of him has fluctuated but, just recently, I have had something of a revelation. I now believe that Olivier has possibly been the most significant factor in Arsenal’s success during 2013 and 2014.

Key to this theory is the concept – touched on occasionally in comments here on AA – that this Arsenal team is playing a different game to its predecessors.

Broadly speaking we have had three styles of play during the Arsene Wenger years (including the current approach).

Wengerball Mark 1 was the style that brought us such success in his early years at the club. We played a fast-breaking, highly technical form of 4-4-2, with a lot of height and power in the team. Arsene took on the formation that was then prevalent in the English league but improved on it through his choice of players (highly technical Continentals) and through his coaching, training and health methods. Mk 1 culminated with the Invincibles, the best team in Premier League history, and came to an end shortly afterwards.

Wengerball Mk 2 was a combination of necessity and enlightened thinking: the gradual switch to an Arsenal version of tiki-taka. Necessity – because the move to a new stadium meant we would have to go years without any real money to spend and would have to build a team around our one emerging superstar, Cesc Fabregas; enlightened thinking because from around 2006 tiki-taka started to become the dominant style in European and world football and Wenger was an “early adopter” of the new approach. In Mk 2 we swapped out the powerful athletes of the Mk 1 era for small, fast-moving players who were even more technical than their predecessors. The second era of Wengerball came closest to working in 2008 but, overall, cannot be deemed to have been a success. Our lack of spending power meant we could not surround Cesc with enough world class players and our version of tiki-taka too often resulted in playing the ball from side to side in front of packed defences without breaking through. Meanwhile we were regularly out-muscled by the physically bigger and stronger players of Manchester United and Chelsea.

So what is Wengerball Mk 3?

To me it’s a style that borrows much from tiki-taka, but with a Velcro-covered battering ram bolted to the front. Those masters of the tiki-taka game, Barcelona and the Spanish national side, invariably build their moves from the back with a focus on keeping possession. The striker  generally only comes into play at the pointy end of matters, as his slick-passing midfield colleagues tap-dance their way into the opposition penalty area.

Arsenal tried this approach but it would often break against our opponents’ defence like waves against a sea wall. When we had had enough of the sideways passing and tried to penetrate we often lost possession very quickly and found ourselves caught on the break.

But Olivier Giroud changed all that.

Suddenly we had someone up front who could retain the ball; who was not bundled off it by lumpen defenders; who could bring midfielders into play and who could give us a plan B if we wanted to try just crossing into the box or if we were under pressure.

It meant we could persevere with the tiki-taka elements of our midfield (triangles, changing position, give-and-go) but also have a much safer outlet when we wanted to play the ball forward.

And that’s the way we play today. Now when our midfielders play the ball into our striker they do so knowing that they will not be forced back on the defensive immediately, as was too often the case in the past.

Mk 3 gives us the flexibility to play from the back tiki-taka style, and also to occasionally put an early ball out of defence up to Giroud who can then hold it up until our other attackers and midfielders come into play.

Why do we have the best scoring midfield in the EPL? Because of Ollie.

I know many will argue with the idea that Giroud is the biggest factor in the revival of our fortunes. I can imagine some will say it’s down to our new-found defensive discipline.

But to me, that defensive discipline is also down to Ollie in large part. Apart from the actual defending he does (defending from the front when the opposition are playing out from the back and contributing massively to our defence at set pieces), Ollie’s hold-up play also allows the rest of our team to defend better.

In the pre-Ollie days, remember, we were punished on the break so often that it was like a recurring nightmare: all those games where we would lay siege to the opposition without seriously threatening their goal, then concede on their first attack.

Part of the reason was that we were losing possession too frequently when we attacked.

Now that happens less often and when it does happen our players are more likely to have had time to get back into position and to nullify the counter-attacks.

Wengerball Mk 3 is probably the only way of making a partly tiki-taka based game work effectively in the blood-and-thunder of the Premier League and it’s to Arsene Wenger’s great credit that he has figured out how to do it.

I’m even inclined to think that that’s what he had in mind when he signed Chamakh. As we know, the Moroccan did not turn out to be the man capable of playing that hold-up role and we also got side-tracked by Robin van Persie finally hitting a purple patch, but the way we now play is what Arsene has been working towards for a few years.

Olivier Giroud has finally made it possible.

RockyLives

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175 Responses to Giroud Is The Key To Wengerball Mk 3

  1. Morning all

    Fantastic Rocky, I love Giroud’s work. In Saturdays game he was often working out on the wing to allow Santi and Mesut the space to create magic in front of goal.

    We are very lucky that our manager is a genius.

    Off to choose some pics of our pin up …….. may be a while ;)

  2. Who did that??? Someone got there before me …………

  3. Rasp says:

    You’re too slow peaches :P

    Excellent analysis Rockster. I completely agree that Giroud is pivotal to the way we currently play and therefore very successful.

    It would be nice to have a different type of front man as an option but not to replace OG. The fact that we are looking at Draxler shows that AW wants more goals to come from midfield – the idea of a striker having to be the one to hit the net is outmoded (only the 4:4:2 swamp dwellers still cling to that old theory).

  4. double98 says:

    Rocky – Good piece – i think your right – RVPs sudden health posed a major problem for Wenger – he was in the wrong team and yet too good to not use.
    Like liverpool may have won titles without Michael Owen – but his 30 goals a season where impossible to drop.
    RVP stunted our growth – he was a all abpout Robin where Olivier is all about the team.

    Koscielny and Mertesacker Flamini / Arteta Giroud is a hell of a spine much stronger than
    Vermaelan and Koscielny Song RVP

    And the ancilliary players are much better than arshavin etc

  5. mike says:

    I agree if thats wengers plan and not just your interpretation. Im in the camp of, good player, works hard , has strengths, but the truth is he is limited

  6. arnie says:

    Motning all. Its Rocky-day!!!!! What fun!!!!

    Great stuff Rocky. Topical as well. Just glossed over it, now off to read carefully.

    But before that: great stuff today from the motning crew.

    Thank you Micky. My pleasure.

    WATA: Great stuff in the early hours. :D

    Chas: a special thanks, everything you posted this morning was brilliant!!!!! :D :D :D

  7. r.iris says:

    Imagine a CF with Ollies qualities and capable of scoring 25 yard screamers…… why did we miss out on Bony ?? achievable transfer fee and most likely a salary we would be happy to pay. Instead we are having to rely on Bendy. I have nothing against how he is performing now, but I remember very very well his statement that he would not play for us anymore, it irks we allowed the player to play agter making that kind of stmt against the club.

  8. jnyc says:

    Great as always Rocky.
    I like Olivier allot, I do recognize all that he does for us. But I still believe we need a better finisher who can run onto Ozils through balls.
    The shame is, Theo on the pitch is what we need the most. We could afford to use girouds strengths, , with walcotts speed , finishing and aggressiveness on the outside. Ronaldo style. I was actually loving all his attempts. We need a hungry goal attacker somewhere. What we have now with our great midfield is good enough, but Not optimal.
    On the bright side, lukas looked hungry when he came on, and I like that gnabry took some shots. I don’t want him to be shy. Another good thing is that Ramseys goals and attention made jack want to score more. I expect ozil to score more for us in the future also.

  9. gunplaysoccer says:

    Totally agree wit u peaple r so blind 2 see his attributes u v just said it all

  10. RC78 says:

    Excellent article and I agree with the analysis. I think that although we have not given up our tiki-taka and free-flowing attacking football, AW has made some clear changes since last February.

    – First of all, we have started to (AT LONG LAST!) defend as a block and this defensive solidity has allowed us to be more patient up front instead of rushing passes and shots.

    – Secondly, thanks to Giroud’s strength and technical skills, we are now indeed able to play a more direct style of football that allows us to mix things up as well. We are not only “placing attacks”, we are also able to go for long balls and pounce on second balls :-) His contribution on defensive and offensive set-pieces is also not to be overlooked as well as his constant pressing on defenders. He is our first defender and a true team player. At the beginning of the season, I told friends that he will hit around 20 goals in the EPL this year as he always does in his second season for a club and I maintain this despite the recent dip in his scoring form. Also, you have to give him credit for all his assists or for stretching defences with some slick passing (Santi’s first goal is due to Giroud’s one touch pass into Wilshere’s path to a great extent). If he ends the EPL year with close to 20 goals and cloase to 10 assists, he would have totally met any top clubs’ expectations for their main striker.

  11. We’ve had a typical target man for years. That Togo Fucker, NB52, RVP and now Giroud. People often overlook RVP’s physical presence but he was strong enough to hold the ball up and great in the air.
    HFB gives us something different his link up play is at times breath taking just look at some of his assists and he works so hard.

  12. LB says:

    The only other thing that was not mentioned is that Ozil is starting to understand how to play with him.

    Yes, we all remember the first pass from Ozil to Giroud which led to a very Ronaldoesque goal. And there, many of us thought lay the problem, Ozil was used to the speed and control of players like Ronaldo which Ollie simply doesn’t have.

    Not too long after, it seemed as though Ozil had gone of the boil, he hadn’t but that is another story, what has happened is that Ozil has redefined his role in the team and very importantly has learned to get the best out of himself by getting the most out of Giroud.

    Cazorla was rightly the man of the match on Saturday but if you were there not only would you have seen the best game that Flamini had played since his return and I am not talking about what was shown on camera I am talking about his superb positioning that is never picked up.

    Anyway if you were at the game on Saturday you would not have only seen a match winning display by Cazorla you would have seen for the first time Ozil’s new role.

    Absolutely everything went through him, everything and this is how things will continue in the future.

    Woops, superb post Rocky, excellent analysis.

  13. JanMan says:

    Great post Rocky. Very well thought out. I made a comment yesterday that I was fed up with posters banging on about Giroud and how we need a new striker. I am not saying we don’t need another striker but not necessarilly to replace Giroud. I have said before, he is what he is and he does what he does. Like him or not, he brings a different dimension to the team.

  14. chas says:

    Great stuff, Rocky.

    I wonder how we would have set up this season if the dippers had accepted the bid for Suarez? Suarez on the left wing? :)

    Big Ollie does seem to be the hub of our many midfield spokes. We missed him against Cardiff and not so much against the clueless spuds.

    Apparently Bendy and Sanogo are going to resume training this week, so we should be reasonably well stocked in the big, daft centre forward department. Now all we need is a guaranteed 35 goals a season striker. :)

  15. 26may1989 says:

    Now that is a fantastic analysis, Rocky, many thanks. What I love about it most is the sense that you articulate a number of things I (and no doubt others) have been thinking, without being able to reduce them to words.

    The set-up of the team is great: the spine that double98 describes is key, with good quality back-up. And the units built on top of that spine are excellent too, giving both cover and options. I can’t believe it when I hear someone like Ray Wilkins say that Arsenal have a great first 11 or 12 players but the problem is what comes after that. No, our problem is that we have a great and deep squad, but still need one or perhaps two jewels to go with it.

    jnyc is right, that Walcott’s absence is a real blow – the movement and incision he offers, mostly off the wing but as we saw against Spurs, also through the middle, would have given valuable options. Against the better sides, who will give us space while they try to attack us, playing the smaller striker (or a false nine formation) is a possibility. But in any game where we face banks of defenders, having Giroud up front and using him as a foil to bring in attacks from four or five players running from deeper gives us something we can use both to attack and defend.

    It’s all about systems, and Giroud has developed perfectly for this system, as have a number of other players. That process began to become obvious last season, but we’re really enjoying the benefits now. Not that I would say Giroud is a world-beater on his own, or that we are perfect. Giroud is an honest work-horse, that characterisation is both fair and complimentary. Perhaps Bendtner has been watching and is starting to get it, that it’s all about the team, not the player.

    We do still need some more attacking variety, but we can still achieve a lot with what we have already.

  16. RC78 says:

    Now let us focus on Giroud’s weaknesses:

    – For all his strengths, he lacks pace
    – His runs are not always well timed
    – For such a tall and strong guy, his aerial ability on offensive plays is not all that great
    – He has a tendency to get booked
    – He can get frustrated and drift out of matches when he does not manage to impose his strengths on defenders
    – His shot accuracy needs improvements and his finishing needs polishing
    – He needs to improve his right foot shot as well

    Despite all of that, he is still a quality striker but not in the league of Aguero, Suarez and other Lewandowski. The good news is that he is an avid and rapid learner and Wenger is doing a good job with him!

    Given his limits, I believe that finding a pacy right forward is critical during this transfer window. If we could manage to get Reuss (I know, almost impossible) or even Mirallas, it would add to our offensive potency :-)

  17. double98 says:

    This season – Olivier Giroud has competed in 101 aerial duels at a success rate of 54.21%

    Fellow tall man (both 6″4)Edin Dzecko has a success rate of 46.08%.

  18. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning AAers, nice one Rocky, it should start a few debates.

    RC78, your critique of Giroud sounds like it could have been written by almost any of my old teachers, all my school reports ended with the words “could do better”, and so could Giroud.

  19. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Peaches, any news on Friday’s news?

  20. 26may1989 says:

    LB, completely agree re Flamini.

  21. chas says:
  22. Haha chas I was just gonna put that up :lol:

  23. NG – I’ve just emailed you

  24. LB – completely agree about Flamini on Saturday.

  25. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “it would often break against our opponents’ defence like waves against a sea wall”

    Damn that’s a great line Rocky. Great read, thank you.

    I’m still thinking about this bit “Suddenly we had someone up front who could retain the ball; who was not bundled off it by lumpen defenders; who could bring midfielders into play and who could give us a plan B if we wanted to try just crossing into the box or if we were under pressure”

    The reason I’m struggling a little is that I’m wondering whether there is a Plan A, and if there is, not really sure that the difference between the two is significant enough to cause the opposition to have to re-think their strategy and cause them alternate problems.

  26. Big Raddy says:

    RL. May I politely disagree?

    I do not think OG is the man to take us to the title nor do I think he is the fulcrum of W3. He is a very good CF but we need better.

    A CF has to be able to create his own chances. OG can’t.

    Our MF’s have to score because Giroud needs it on plate. Yes, OG is excellent with his flicks and his unselfish off-the-ball movement but for me this is not enough. And yes, he is good at defending set plays, but I would prefer a lethal attacker who is crap defensively

    As Jnyc says the loss of Theo could have a fatal effect upon our title hopes. Put a fit RvP or even better Wrighty into the team and we would be nailed on champions.

    The argument that OG will score 20 goals this season is misleading. So would any PL striker in this superb Arsenal team, even I could hit double figures (well, maybe that is an exaggeration!)

    OG wouldn’t even get on the bench at CFC or MFC.

    That said, I really like the chap and wish him well.

  27. RA says:

    Rocky, your Posts never fail to inform and entertain, and this has been no exception. Many thanks my dear old fruit. :-)

    You have cleverly constructed and eloquently expressed a strong case for Giro which has highlighted his strengths, both in offense and defense, as well as being the out ball man and the big strong linkman where a high ball from the keeper or defenders is concerned.

    In short I agree with the sentiments as you have catalogued them.

    Is he the finished product or is there still room for improvement?
    Well you have already answered that with a clear ‘no’ and a ‘yes’ respectively, and once again I agree with you.

    In the first instance he has to engage in self improvement, perhaps with help from the coaching staff and with more experience.
    This is in respect of more ‘awareness’ of colleagues and choosing the best option available, either of where and when to pass or lay off the ball, as occasionally, in haste, he has unnecessarily given the ball away by passing without looking, and secondly, in being more selective in choosing his ‘angle of attack’ when making runs to receive the ball from the midfielders.

    There is also room for improvement in the support that Giro is getting from his team mates. He often cuts a heroically solitary figure as he hares off trying to close down the oppo keeper or defenders — often to very good effect, but this needs to be part of a concerted whole, with others needing to play their part in doing so too.

    And finally, we need to find a pacey winger with a trick or two and the ability to put in a killer cross (I know – I am always banging on about this) to replace Theo as this is our best season for years to win something, and we must grasp the moment and not dither or monkey about in recruiting a quality player, as the benefits will be huge when Giro is on the end of plenty of crosses, because the extra goals he will score will then win us the League.

  28. MickyDidIt89 says:

    All fair points Raddy.

    Real problem is that a player who could do everything Ollie does, as well as what Suarez does as well as the speed of Theo and and and…..would cost err, umm, well he hasn’t actually been invented.

    I am very happy for Ollie to be Plan A, or Plan B :-)

    (like the chap also, as you say, but I do wish he’d cut out that girly Mediterranean habit of having to go off the pitch everytime he’s faking an injury. As I said last season, it’ll cost us one day)

  29. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, siesta time.

  30. TwentyTwelve says:

    Excellent Rocky Monday, as usual! (Sorry if this is a duplicate mgs, everyone, but I think my original one got swallowed up by the spam guard.)

    Like others, I wish that Giroud is more clinical with the chances he gets, particularly because I don’t think he’s the type to create chances by himself. According to an article on EPLIndex, which came out a few weeks ago, about clear cut goals, roughly two thirds of Giroud’s goals are from clear cut opportunities. With that, plus the fact that he’s been able to convert only a third of his clear cut chances, one can see how he might improve offensively even if he doesn’t develop the skills to go one-on-one.

    By comparison, Suarez is a different type of player. Less than half of his goals are from clear cut chances. He’s also a bit more clinical, converting half of his chances.

    p.s. I see that BR is expressing some reservation about Giroud’s ability to create his own chances too.

  31. dandan says:

    Fine article Rocky thank you.
    Off subject, for those who were surprised at RA’s sudden departure from here to the States. Maybe there are some clues in this Para from Today’s Times :-)

    Last May, four months before footballer Gareth Bale’s world-record £85 million transfer to Real Madrid, Lizana also arrested the father of the player’s girlfriend in Barcelona. Martin Rhys-Jones, 49, who has been extradited to New York to face fraud and money laundering charges, came quietly.

  32. Rasp says:

    The ‘clinicity’ (I know its not a word, but it should be!) of a striker coupled with their ability to create a goal out of nothing is what adds the noughts to their value = Suarez £50m+

    Giroud is being used in the most effective manner for the team and to get the most out of his skill set.

    Could we do better? – yes, that’s why we tried to buy Suarez.

    Are we doing the best we can with the resources available? – definitely yes.

    Will it be enough to win us the title? ……….

  33. Big Raddy says:

    TT. We must hope Poldi comes good….

    I am joining Didit on the couch for a siesta (metaphorically not literally :-) )

  34. Rasp says:

    Hi TwentyTwelve … you got there before me … therefore I agree with you :P

  35. arnie says:

    Rocky: absolutely great stuff, lovely analysis, superbly argued and articulated. :D :D :D

    We have been discussing Giroud for a while, including yesterday, and I like everyone else have my own thoughts. But your fantastic post now provides me a way to articulate this, perhaps. So on with it.

    The elastic band and fulcrum idea is pretty fantastic, with Giroud holding up at the top end. Of course, the other end is important for the formation as well, and this to me is the DM position. Arteta/ Flamster at the moment, probably Rambo/Jack or Rambo/Gnabry in the future. I agree this is Wengerball Mark3, and this has worked well for a while now.

    However, I see a problem (why else would I be writing? :razz: ). There is a third one in the team who also has a natural instinct to hold the ball. Dare I say, this is Ozil. This is one of the areas where things get complicated and we lose pace, I think.

    The situation would not arise, if whenever Ozil received the ball, he looked for opportunities, and if none presented themselves, pass this to Ollie and try and find a space in and around the box. This does not happen.

    Now, Ozil is a master, and he has fantastic distribution skills. So either we have to do what I said earlier, or else? Well Ozil has to be the other fulcrum. The moment Giroud receives, he should distribute, failing which, pass back to Ozil and find some space.

    Bottomline. I think we have not yet resolved this issue about who should hold the ball. We need to do this. Giroud is fantastic in this role, but he has to be entrusted with this responsibility. This is a matter for Le Boss to resolve, and soon. :D :D :D

  36. arnie says:

    Now, about the idea of two strikers in the team. A holding striker playing slightly deeper (Giroud) and a scoring striker. Poldi can perhaps take the second role, or we can try and get a top scorer. Either of these works for me.

    But, I think this model makes good sense. :D :D :D

  37. TwentyTwelve says:

    Always happy we agree, Rasp. You are too kind though. You made good points, that at this moment, Suarez’s market value is much higher than Giroud’s, and that we are making the best of what we have.

  38. LB says:

    “Giroud is being used in the most effective manner for the team and to get the most out of his skill set.

    Could we do better? – yes, that’s why we tried to buy Suarez.

    Are we doing the best we can with the resources available? – definitely yes.”

    These three sentences sum it all up perfectly for me.

  39. arnie says:

    Point of difference. :razz: The best is an absolutely ideal that only exists as a concept, not in reality. So, yes, we can always to better. The important matter is that we do well with our available resources, and we always strive to do better!!!!! :D :D :D

  40. Rasp says:

    OK thanks arnie – I’ll try to do better :?

  41. arnie says:

    Rasp: :razz:

  42. arnie says:

    Some other news. SK is flying in and will be around for a week. If there are any major announcements, probably this is the time.

    The rumour-mills proclaim that there may be an announcement forthcoming: Arsene’s contract. :D :D

    Whither transfers???? :sad:

  43. GunnerN5 says:

    Rocky,

    A fine analysis of three different styles of play.

    While the result of our current style is proving to be successful I have my doubts about it being a preplanned strategy. To me it seems that it is a fortunate by-product of circumstances. As a strategy its on the weak side as our opposition will quickly find a counter strategy and then what is our plan “B”.

    My hope is that both Oxlaide and Serge cement places on the wings and we gain back some of the speed we have lost with Theo’s absence.

    Gaining 51 points after 22 games is our 2nd highest exceeded only once – in 2003/4 when we last won the EPL. Our game winning % of 72.7% is the highest on our entire history.

    Arsene richly deserves another EPL title before he retires and lets keep everything crossed that its this season.

  44. kelsey says:

    We all have different and diverse opinions and RL’s post will split the opinion of many on Girooud.

    As you know I am not convinced by him at all if we are looking at him as a CF in the sense of the old meaning.

    I agree with Raddy’s first paragraph and would add he lacks a yard of pace..

    As I said before in a tight game against one of the better teams if our only real chance to win a game fell to Giroud I wouldn’t bet he would convert and again his heading in attack is awful hardly ever is on target let alone makes a keeper save.
    He does bring a lot to the team but we really have a chance of the title this year and if no one comes in this window which is hardly likely let alone available hopefully he will contribute to the best of his ability and others will score.

    When Ozil played at RM he hardly ever completed a game usually played 70 minutes but he is a great intelligent player who has lifted the team to a degree and has a real footballing brain.
    I still think regardless what happens this season AW will be looking for a better CF in the summer.

  45. Vinay says:

    The thing with Oli G is he is not a typical forward who makes darting runs or dribbles past defenders and scores, He is more a back to the ball hold up striker who would have been ideal in a 4-4-2 or a 4-4-1-1, we play neither of these formations. Giroud is excellent in link up play and his defensive contributions are terrific yet i sense for our team we either need a midfielder latching on to his drop downs( ramsey to an extent has) or have poldi playing behind him to be able to make use of his link up play. Ozil/jack/Santi dont have the striker instinct needed to try to score hence i think Giroud will be most effective having Poldi playing behind him. When in an one on one situation i honestly dont think so he will score and for a striker thats the most important thing. I like Giroud a lot but his effectiveness is when he has a support striker or an attacking midfielder next to him.

  46. arnie says:

    Wenger, quoted in The Independent today:

    “Ideally if it’s possible we’d like another striker. I’ll give you my phone number, if you find an exceptional (player), you can call me over the weekend. Ideally, though we have not found anyone.

    “We are open to strengthening our squad if it’s possible. But as well we have Bendtner back in the squad on Monday. Sanogo is back in the squad on Monday week.

    “But for us, it’s important to know everybody can score. Ramsey is a goalscorer and he’s not playing at the moment. Arteta can get us a goal and he’s not playing. That’s very positive, I think.

    “That’s the best thing that can happen for us. If you depend on one player then you have to put him in cotton wool to keep him fit.”

  47. GunnerN5 says:

    On another point, improving our record against the top teams is vital if we are to become champions.

    Our all time EPL record against the 6 teams below us in the current table is –

    W107, D74, L67 for a points % of a mere 53.1%. It should also be noted that Man C and Chelsea have improved considerably in the past 10 seasons or so.

    If we fail to improve our record we will drop at least 8/9 points against them which will leave us little room for slip ups against the rest of the league.

  48. arnie says:

    ha ha ha ha. This is classic!!!!! In response to doubts about the authenticity of himself and his supporters, Beijing Red proudly posted this pic: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BeXnwZDIYAAwIfm.jpg:large

  49. arnie says:

    AA ers, be scared, be very scared:

    @FacelVegaHK500: @Moyes_Must_Go @AdamTynemouth92 So what if Arsenal win the league? You'll 'support' them instead?” YES— Beijing Red 4 Lyf (@Moyes_Must_Go) January 19, 2014

  50. arnie says:

    @haris88ahmed: And what, sir, are true Manc values?” FIGHTING, SINGING, LOYALTY AND SUPPORTING CLUB WITH BEST CHANCE OF GLORY— Beijing Red 4 Lyf (@Moyes_Must_Go) January 19, 2014

  51. LB says:

    Did Arsenal sign Wenger’s future successor today?

    Think about it?

    It’s not beyond the realms of possibility, is it?

  52. arnie says:

    LB: what do you mean? :D

  53. Norfolk Gooner says:

    LB, are you talking about Andries Jonker?

  54. arnie says:

    Jonker? No. Dont think so. But Arsene has been planning his departure, I think. Probably one year on, the process of transition will begin. This is my gut feeling.

  55. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Arsenal have appointed Dutch youth development expert Andries Jonker as the new head of the Club’s Academy. He’ll start 1st July and take over from Liam Brady who is retiring.

  56. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Arnie, nah! Arsene’s not thinking of leaving, Stan Kroenke is over here with a new £24 million four year contract for him to sign.

  57. LB says:

    The thought crossed my mind that the club could be thinking of this guy taking over in four years.

  58. LB says:

    Look at his CV on Wiki and you will see why such a thought crossed my mind.

  59. RockyLives says:

    Hello All and thanks for the comments.

    It is only with grave trepidation and a tin hat that I ever set foot on the perilous terrain known as “tactical bollix”.

    While watching Ollie at the weekend something clicked in my head: I thought that we may be being more successful with OG than we would have been had we signed Suarez.

    I know that sounds bonkers, but it’s like the George Graham era: when we had a good target man up front to hold up the ball and bring others into play (Alan Smith) we won league titles. When we replaced him with a far better goal scorer (Ian Wright) we stopped winning titles, although we remained a good cup team.

    With Suarez we might well have found ourselves struggling to pick our way through those packed defences; and we might have seen the ball coming back at us more frequently.

    Obviously all ifs and maybes and who knows… but those were my thoughts. Thankyou for not being too hard on me.

  60. arnie says:

    Norfolk: Yes, that is right. But it may well be his last. And knowing Arsene, it will be a long period of transition. Carefully planned. To that extent, LB may be right. But whether it is Jonker, I have doubts.

  61. RockyLives says:

    Gn5
    Interesting that you think AW may have stumbled across the current set-up.

    It crossed my mind too. I was going to put a line in the Post saying that Arsene had come up with the new system “either by luck or judgement” but I forgot.

  62. RockyLives says:

    LB
    We don’t always see the same Jack Wilshire, but I’m pleased that we saw the same Matthieu Flamini on Saturday :)

  63. RockyLives says:

    Wow – you’re right LB: super CV for our Mr Jonkers…

  64. RA says:

    arnie @ 1:54

    Not sure what you meant when you said ‘best’ is an absolute ideal that only exists as a concept’.

    If I said that ‘Bendtner is good, Poldi is better, but Giroud is best’, you may not agree, but you would certainly understand what is meant.

    Whereas a ‘concept’ is usually defined as a theoretical construct within a given theory. Although it could also mean an intuited object of thought within a theory.

    So it holds that the question;
    “Are we doing the best we can with the resources available?” which contains the adverb ‘best’, is not a theoretical concept but a straightforward comparator, which asks are we achieving the most successful outcome possible with the resources available to us?

    To which the answer has to be a resounding ‘yes’.

    Of course the sage may say: Go out and buy someone better still, and add him to the resources then available and he will become best. :-)

    English language — you have got to love it – and it helps pass the time while I am working out how much to sue DanDan for. :-)

  65. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I thought we had a certain Dutch footballing god lined up, but this one is not averse to flying, how about a Dutch duo to take over from Le Professeur in fopur years time?

  66. arnie says:

    Redders: Yes, that is best among available alternatives A, B and C. Saying this is the best we could do with available resources refers to an absolute best, without any stated alternatives. Or, am I talking bollix? :razz:

  67. LB says:

    Hi Rocky

    The funny thing was that before I had read a single comment on here about Flamini I had made a mental note of his superb positioning and how well he did all the little jobs he is responsible for.

    Do you know how long we signed him for?

  68. arnie says:

    The problem I have with stating an absolute best is that, this removes all aspiration or motivation to do better. Surely, dissatisfaction is an important component of progress! :sad:

  69. RA says:

    I think LB could well be right regarding Andries Jonker being a possible replacement for Mr Wenger.

    Arsenal and Arsene leave little to chance and, even if it is not set in stone, such an apprenticeship bringing young players through might be just the thing to land him the job.

  70. chas says:

    I’m not sure we are doing the best we can at the moment.
    Once we really hit form, you just watch. :)

  71. RA says:

    arnie,

    The question contained the conditional caveat “with the resources available’.

    My final paragraph indicated that did not preclude changing the conditional ‘resources available’ by going out and buying someone better. [there is that comparator again] :-)

    I am sure this is not the most interesting topic for you, and I have worked out how much I am going to sting DanDan for, so I suspect we should move on. :-)

  72. RockyLives says:

    I could see the Flamster being offered an extension this summer.

  73. Rasp says:

    I think the “better/best” debate stems from my comment at 1:07

    Personally I am an advocate of the Plain English campaign.

    Did I get my message across succinctly and with clarity? ……. was it my best effort or could I have done better :roll:

  74. dandan says:

    Maybe it is just the opportunity that Jonker will provide to strengthen the German presence within the club, now that the French connection is being milked by the likes of Newcastle the prices will rise. Perhaps Arsene see this as a way to bring a wave of young Germans into the academy backed up by Andries contacts and local knowledge.

  75. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    Do you talk to Geronimo when you’re out riding?

    And if so, is he now the smartest nag west of Kansas City?

  76. dandan says:

    RA. Sue says she is happier with an older man as there is no substitute for experience.

  77. arnie says:

    Redders, Rasp: :D

    This Jonkers speculation is starting to make better sense. Let us see. :D :D

  78. arnie says:

    Arsene, on Jonkers: “He has a big reputation in the game and was a key part of the team which developed the structures which are now producing such strong young players in Holland.

    “I look forward to working with him. I would also like to thank Liam for his work which has been outstanding over many years.”

  79. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Rocky, there’s only a medium chance of Redders talking to Geronimo. :D

  80. RA says:

    Rocky,

    I am not sure that you and GN5 are being fair to Arsene with regard to ‘stumbling’ to an effective solution, as it might simply reflect the way the man works and there is some history which indicates his philosophical to allow things to evolve. Evolution not revolution.

    God said in his biography that AW never tried to dictate tactics (bollix, or otherwise) to the team, because he believed the calibre of player he wanted to play for Arsenal should be capable of working out the tactical requirements for themselves on the pitch, and adapt them to the circumstances at hand.

    I suspect that what might lie at the bottom of out vastly improved and successful defensive tactics is that for years he held to the same theory for the defence as he did for the offense, but showed, eventually, his ability to modify his own methodology and unleashed Bouldie to bring external discipline to the way in which we set about defending — or else he held true to his philosophy of allowing the players to work it out for themselves and at last in Per and Kozzer he has two guys who have made that happen.

    I do not think Dennis makes mention of the defense in his book. :-)

  81. RA says:

    Rocky @ 4:03

    Wash your mouth out. What the Flamster gets up to in his spare time is his business. :-)

  82. RA says:

    Rasper,

    It was a good effort altho’ perhaps it could have been better, but I am not convinced it was your best effort. :-)

  83. RA says:

    DanDan,

    In that case Sue has got you off the hook. :-)

  84. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I’ve been thinking about the question of whether Wenger “stumbled” upon the new system, using Giroud as a back-to-goal striker.

    I think it must have been a pre-planned tactical change. After all Wenger must have known what he was getting with Olly, certainly not a Suarez or Aguerro, I think he saw in him the opportunity to have a plan B when the ticka tacka wasn’t working, now with the loss of Walcott and the injuries to Poldolski plan B has become plan A.

    What we need to do now is get Olly into the box more often and then hit him with either crosses or balls from deep that he can knock down to Ozil, Ramsey, Cazorla, Wilshere et al.

  85. Big Raddy says:

    Can’t see Jonkers as AFC manager. No experience of managing a club apart from short-term at BM.

    Seems a good signing though and his English will be better than Bould or Brady

  86. arnie says:

    Norfolk: Agreed. The problem, as I mentioned before, perhaps not with clarity, is that: Except for Rambo and Jack, none of our midfielders look to rush into the box and take up vacant spaces. This includes Ozil, Santi, Rosicky, Gnabry. Except during set pieces.

  87. arnie says:

    Raddy: A thought that has also crossed my mind though is that the next manager may be from Germany. But I think this will be a technical guy, a manager rather than a coach.

  88. RA says:

    Rocky,

    I talk to Geronimo all the time and I often get back to the yard a little hoarse.

    The fact is his ‘mom’ is my cousin and she had named him Heironymous, but that is so ridiculous I wouldn’t have it, and renamed him Geronimo.
    Just to confuse things most everyone calls him Big H.

    He knows all the trails around here and our conversation generally entails such intellectual snippets as ‘where the fcuk are you taking me now?’ – I leave it to you to work out who is asking whom. :-)

    The thing is he is very smart and has taught me a couple of things. For instance, it did not take him long to teach me that if I raised my voice to him, or questioned his lineage, he would just stop in his tracks and refuse to budge, until I apologised, nicely, for calling him a ‘boss eyed nag’ or the off spring of a donkey and a mule, and such like and so forth.

    He knows who is the boss — and it is not the greenhorn. :-)

  89. JanMan says:

    I really cannot believe that a man of Mr. Wenger’s ability and intelligence would simply “stumble” on to anything. That in my opinion is rather absurd! I believe Mr. Wenger knows exactly what he is doing.

  90. chas says:

    UKIP Shipping Forecast. (click play button)

  91. arnie says:

    Chas: :D

  92. LB says:

    Dandan

    Your suggestion is, of course, the most obvious and logical but where is the debate in that?

    All common sense suggests that Wenger would have been consulted on Jonker’s appointment so from the outset he is going to be thought of well.

    His brief is naturally to develop the next Arsenal youth team, a team that, if all turns out as hoped, will go on to replace the present team and if that happens who better to see it through than the man who developed it.

    Just a thought.

  93. Vinay says:

    An ideal opportunity was to have someone who Wenger thinks to be his successor, to come and take over the youth team.it doesnt look to be the case at the moment but you never know, what happened to Drajan Stojkovic????

  94. chas says:

    No, ta.

  95. TwentyTwelve says:

    Didn’t Bould also coach one of the youth teams, and with some success? I wonder if he entertains the thought of taking over for Wenger?

  96. arnie says:

    TT: There may a slight issue. A coach teaches technique, while a manager does strategy. Bould may well be good in strategic issues in the game, but I dont know. :D :D

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA

    Loving the Geronimo stories. However, I have been bracing myself for the worst possible scenario concerning this line: “The fact is his ‘mom’ is my cousin”

    I cannot think of a savory explanation :-)

  98. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arnie

    Still ROLFING my socks off over the Beijing Wiki entry :-)

  99. LB says:

    The professional cycling season starts today……….just thought I would let you know.

  100. 26may1989 says:

    Gracias LB. Don’t suppose you saw any of the Team Sky bods in training in Tenerife?

  101. Impressive post, Rocky.

  102. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The Post Surfing Beach BBQ Season began here yesterday. So we win.

    Just thought I’d let you know :-)

  103. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky’s post has had me cogitating.

    Which bits of his three Arsene sides do I like most, and how could they be merged into one. Then I had an awful thought. Is Maureen developing that side?

  104. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice one Rocky

    Giroud makes perfect sense. Hes big.

    Arsene has packed the midfield out with midgets so needs a battering ram up front to take bruises and bring the talented shrimps into play.

    Height is a very important factor when deciding the balance of a team. Indeed, its also important for police identity parades or watching football in the 1970s.

    I myself was once humiliated over a height issue. I had spun a web of deceit that involved how in my youth I had been an aspiring professional Wrestler that had defeated and unmasked Kendo Nagasaki

    For months I dined on this pretence, thus subsequently was both feared and loathed by all.

    One particular geezer took umbrage and perceived i was indulging in deceit. I heard through the grapevine that he was out to get me.

    My time came at a friends party, were this horrible spoiler of a glorious fib turned up with Rich the Titch, a notorious and very violent midget.

    Straight away Titch accused me of been a charlatan and challenged me to a “ruck”. I was terrified, but tried to brush away his attention by continuing to talk to a lady.

    Then, to the delight of all patrons, Titch assaulted me in a very nasty and violent way. The end result been that I was pinned to the floor as he indulged a few slaps whilst shouting “Unmask me then Baldy”

    Yes, I was humiliated. But one thing this episode taught me is that a small man can be just as effective as a larger one. Leaving me with no choice but to conclude that Arsene might just get away with playing a small guy up front after all.

  105. dhakka09 says:

    been away from the cauldron of AA for quite awhile, but the discussions here never fail to amuse and educate me. Thank you all for that.

    well written, thought-provoking post Rocky. I personally think of Giroud as a limited striker but with the potential to be as effective as Drogba was to Chelsea back in his haydays. Defensive solidity, a target man, many clean sheets; its hard not to draw parallels with Mou’s first Chelsea side and this Arsenal side. If we win title this season, it will be like that.

    The title this season is an age-old clash of mouthwatering offense vs miserly defense and guess what? we are, surprisingly, the latter side, a new experience for many Gooners including me :) May the best defense win over the best offense in the league ;)

  106. Big Raddy says:

    Dhakka. Always good to read your comments. As you say, may the best defence win the title!

    TMHT. Another masterpiece.

  107. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Transplant :-)
    Am I right in thinking you once had a run in with Mick McManus, or was it your Mother-in-Law. Can’t remember, which in itself, is hardly a surprise.

    d09,
    You’re so right to point out the role reversal. Who’d have thunk it. Us the Defenders against them the Attackers.

  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Blimey, makes you think, add a top goalscorer, and we’d have the best at both ends. The middle isn’t exactly shabby either.

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    By the way Raddy, you were snoring on the sofa this afternoon :-)

  110. GunnerN5 says:

    I see that “Dave from Germany” popped in.

  111. MickyDidIt89 says:

    What, Dave the angry Buddhist?
    Or was that Steve?
    Must go to Memory School. Wonder if the do a course

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mind you, could do Spelling for Beginners :-(

  113. evonne says:

    Rocky – tremendous post, you have almost convinced me, almost. There is nothing I disagree about, but i really don’t see Ollie exceptionally good at anything at all, other than his looks perhaps. He is good all arounder with no exceptional skills in any position. Sorry Rocky, but I don’t think it is Ollie who changed our performance, it is a different guy altogether.

    Thank you for the post, it is so reassuring to know that Mondays are Rocky :)

  114. Big Raddy says:

    steve the buddhist will be in Goa at a ayurvedic retreat

    who is Dave?

  115. chas says:

    His real name is Rodney.

  116. chas says:

    …..and he loves colonic irrigation.

  117. chas says:

    It’s impossible to stay angry with 4 pints of lukewarm coffee up your jacksie.

  118. Gooner in Exile says:

    Evening all, top quality postage from The Rockk.

    Obviously i agree with it all…..its that 2nd and 3rd option that Oli gives us.

    The one thing that would stop people moaning about his lack of pace would be for him to stop coming to the edge of the 18 yard box to make the wall for the pass out wide, and then having to sprint to where the cross is heading, if he just stayed on the 6 yard box he would score more……but he wouldn’t get any crosses to feed off, so wouldn’t. :D

    In short, the fact that he is more often than not closest to applying the finishing touch when he has set the move in motion and had midfielders move past him is testament to his work rate and footballing brain to get in the right positions.

  119. arnie says:

    One other thing that should stop people moaning about Ollie is playing in their mind the Jack goal. Yes that one. Ah, what interchange!!! :D :D

  120. RockyLives says:

    Thanks GiE

    You’ve probably already realized, but it was a comment of yours yesterday (I think) that was the inspiration for this one…

  121. RockyLives says:

    Mata to ManUre?

    I’m sure ManUre would love it, but I can’t see Mata opting for non-Champs League footy.

    With Theo out for the season, maybe we should move for him.

    Oh yeah, Maureen won’t sell him to a rival. But I suppose he would sell him to ManUre :)

  122. OMGArsenal says:

    Rocky…….I always have to agree with your analysis as it is incessantly intelligent and insightful. Giroud, as AW had observed when he bought him, provides us with the physicality and ability to hold up play, as well as the work rate needed to do this 90 minutes over 38 games. He is a beast and in tandem with Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Cazorla, Walcott, Rosicky and Poldi,offers us multiple options in the midfield and attack. He is not a typical striker, since his shooting and finishing are not well developed (like Suarez or RVP) but he draws so many defenders away from positions that our alternate scorers can find space and time to hit the net. That is complimented by our Wengerball rapid,one touch passing and rock-solid defending. People complain about his lack of pace and average technical skills BUT he doesn’t need to rely on those things, he has the positional sense and strength to open up opportunities for his teammates, as well as the courage to track back and defend when needed.

  123. RockyLives says:

    Thanks OMG
    That’s very well put and you won’t be surprised that I agree with every word :)

  124. Gööner In Exile says:

    Rocky I noticed some similar trains of thought :D

    Hadn’t thought about it terms of changes to the Wengerball though.

    I always remember a TA post where he said the team was more successful with Chamakh starting compared to BSR, the basis being Cham made room and chances for the midfield, I think he even showed we scored more goals as a team when Cham played compared to BSR.

    As you say in the post Giroud is stronger than Cham, but also a little more goal hungry.

  125. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Motning Exile,

    My terrible truth is I’d swap Brave for Ollie without thinking. Even if it’s true we are a better team with an Ollie/Cham, the football is far better to watch with a face-to-goal boy.

  126. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’m sort of back to my comment yesterday about Maureen.

    He says how easy it is to set a team up for an away draw, but to go away to a City or Chelsea and play exciting, winning football I guess is the dream.

  127. chas says:
  128. chas says:
  129. chas says:
  130. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Never saw The Stooges. First time Iggy in ’81’ish. Most memorable.

  131. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Disturbing.

    Unsurprisingly, I agree with Micky. 7.05 and with others who are saying we are doing the best with what we have

  132. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Last comment this morning on the striker thing. I think Arsene has probably got it spot in, when he says something like “you find me the player who is available, and let me know”.

    I’m no expert on these foreign Johnnies, but there can only be a handful of players who could play that role for us with the one-up-top. The more I think about, the less I think Suarez is that man. Rooney yes as he’s more of a team player, a good header, and a quality shooter.

    Players like Drogba are very rare.

  133. Big Raddy says:

    I saw Iggy, New York Dolls, Ramones etc etc. Hated them. Now, Yes at the Rainbow…… proper.

    All this talk of MC winning the quadruple is peeing me off. It presumes they will beat Sunderland in the LC Final.

  134. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Don’t tell me, Raddy, YES gig had guitar solos and even better, drum solos :-)

    What kind of literature do you read that says City will do a quad?

  135. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Actually, I have a terrible confession. I saw Genesis at the Rainbow in about ’76.

    I will regret this comment.

  136. chas says:

    I saw Genesis at Earls Court.
    I was pretty much a music virgin at the time.
    Still 1976/7 was when exciting music began really. That’s my excuse.

  137. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooo, Oooo, Ooo, I’ve got myself a new mantra.

    “Winning the league is easy. Doing it with stylish football is very very difficult. Utd have never done it. Chelsea have never done it. Arsenal always do it”.

    Brilliant huh?

  138. chas says:

    BR,
    Really jealous you saw the Ramones.

  139. Big Raddy says:

    I saw Genesis on that tour at The Leicester Odeon. Fantastic.

    My first wife knew nothing about music and for her first gig I took her to see Black Sabbath at Bristol. She never came with me to a concert again. Job done :-D

  140. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    Agree with everything @7:51.

    My excuse was a female, and yet I think anyone who uses a woman as an excuse for anything is pathetic :-)

  141. chas says:

    Apparently Maureen is selling Mata to the mancs because the chavs have already played them twice. £37m.

  142. Big Raddy says:

    chas. I saw all the new wave bands, though not many of the Englsih punk bands (e.g. UK Subs, Exploited etc), it was part of my job

  143. chas says:

    ‘Pathetic’ is my middle name.

  144. chas says:

    BR,
    Just a job for you. A dream for me. :)

  145. Big Raddy says:

    IMO using a wife as an excuse is one of her primary functions and not pathetic at all.

    Mata / MU can’t see it unless it is more brinksmanship from Jose

  146. Big Raddy says:

    It was a dream job for me, just some evenings were spent mainly in the free bar (which was another attraction of the job

  147. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy

    Had to ROLF at this one “using a wife as an excuse is one of her primary functions”

    Fair enough, so long as it’s never going to accompany her to a shop to choose something :-)

  148. arnie says:

    Motning all. Lovely discussion, motning crew.

    Why cant we play a back-to-goal boy together with a front-to-goal striker with their backs to each other? That will be the best of both types, is it not? :D

  149. evonne says:

    Micky – you’d swap your Ollie for BSR? How about swapping him for Suarez? I have a feeling that I had fallen out with a few AAers already, but I will stick to my guns and say it again – Giroud is good, but no more than that,

    Look at Suarez’ passing, crossing, pace not to mention finishing. Now that’s what I call a brilliant striker

  150. arnie says:

    I think we would do well with a striker who will find space within the box and convert anything that comes along. That kind of striker. Not a Suarez, but perhaps a Rooney, perhaps a Costa. Dont know much about Martinez.

  151. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah ha, Arnie und Evonne. Excellent.

    Evonne, I was in the Suarez camp, but have now decided that a Rooneyesque player would be better.

    Arnie. I’m just not a fan of the back-to-goal man in any form. They are simply not exciting to watch, although I do understand the making space thing, it’s just not my idea of fun.

  152. arnie says:

    Me thinks that striker could be Poldi. Why not? :D :D :D

  153. evonne says:

    Oh yeah, LB had me ROLFing yesterday. Most fans would give MoM to Santi, some would choose someone else like Jack :) But no, oh no, LB chose Flamini :) he really doesnt like lil Jack

  154. arnie says:

    Micky: hmmmm. Did you like Giroud’s work in The GOAL against Norwich. Not exciting? :D :D

  155. evonne says:

    Rooney is a great player too. I am not saying that certain players would be better for us, what I am saying is that Ollie is not a great striker. I don’t think he is ‘developing’ into anything, at his age he is a finished product. I wish we bought him some 5 years ago and let Wenger do his magic on him

  156. arnie says:

    The first Santi goal against Fulham was sort of similar. Again great work from Giroud.

    I think Giroud’s problem is not lack of style or guile, but lack of clinical finishing. This is why we may do well with a “fox in the box”. I am not saying we definitely need one, though. :D :D :D

  157. chas says:

    We now have 51 points after 22 games.

    In the 2001-2 season we had 41 points after 22 games and proceeded to pick up 46 points out of the remaining 48. Wow.

    Here are some other points totals after 22 games for other seasons.

    1997/8………..38
    2001/2………..41
    2002/3………..46
    2003/4………..52
    2004/5………..48
    2005/6………..37
    2006/7………..39
    2007/8………..51
    2008/9………..41
    2009/10………48
    2010/11………43
    2011/12………36
    2012/13………34

  158. arnie says:

    Evonne: :D We have got Micky thinking. :D :D :D

  159. LB says:

    Ahh, the beauty of blogs, morning Evonne.

    LB says:

    January 18, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    I thought Flamini was excellent today, didn’t notice any stray passes, that’s not to say there wasn’t any.

    Cazorla: now that is what I call an attacking midfield performance and deservedly picks up the MOTM award.

    Kos was also excellent but he didn’t do more than should have been expected of him.

  160. evonne says:

    Finally, Anelka charged by the FA

  161. evonne says:

    all right, all right LB, don’t get your knickers in a twist :)

  162. arnie says:

    All quiet on the transfer front. Which can only mean one of two things. Either a big fish being landed or …….. :D :D :D

  163. Morning all

    Just sorting TT’s results post ………….. a few probs with the graphics but I’ll be as quick as I can.

  164. arnie says:

    This is good fun. Diversity of opinion. Some of us hate Jack, some do not like Giroud, some would not have Flamster in the starting lineup, perhaps not Arteta as well. OK, nobody hates Ozil, but some feel he does not pull his weight sufficiently in the team. That is really brilliant for the site. :D :D :D

  165. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arnie

    “Did you like Giroud’s work in The GOAL against Norwich. Not exciting”

    Typical you to highlight the “Black Swan” event.

  166. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arnie
    That should end with a :-)

  167. New Post ………………….. phew ;)

  168. Big Raddy says:

    I have just realised what is lacking in Flamini and why I prefer Arteta …. Elegance.

    It is the artist vs artisan

  169. 26may1989 says:

    Swap Giroud for van Persie, Costa, Suarez or Rooney? I think you lot haven’t been reading Rocky’s post – whatever his perceived imperfections, the point about Giroud is he makes our system work. Obviously, Rooney and Suarez aren’t hold-up players, but even the taller van Persie and (from what I’ve seen) Costa aren’t that type of player.

    I’d love to get one of those strikers in (yes, I would be happy for the naughty Dutchman to return for his twilight years – not going to happen). But they would either play in place of one of the flank AMs or, where the game permitted, it would be a switch of tactics. For the most part, our game is built around having a quality hold-up player, and we have the best in the business for that role (at least, I can’t think of anyone better, can you?). And in refocused Bendtner (fingers crossed), we seem to have the perfect understudy, at least for the remainder of the season.

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