Entertaining and Vital Arsenal Cup Win

I would not have been alone in having at least one eyebrow out of line after seeing the Team Sheet.

Liverpool were always going to field a strong side as they have no mid week European Games, and we all knew Arsene would have to make one or two changes. Talk about “who would be a Manager?”. Without doubt the biggest shock was the inclusion of Yaya Sanogo. I had thought Ollie would be rested, and this would have led to the inclusion of Nic, or the slim possibility of Lucas through the middle. When the Team was announced, all I could say about Yaya’s inclusion was that the Manager sees the Lads in training.

Poldi goal v Liverpool

This was a very big match indeed. We had to restore some belief and confidence, try and progress in this Tournament as well as leaving eleven men standing, fit and ready to meet the challenge coming from Bavaria in a few short days’ time.

I won’t dwell on the details of the game as you all saw it for yourselves. Certainly though, the returning Flamini helped to stabilize the defensive side of our midfield. The defence itself had a superb day with Fabianski producing a MOTM performance. The other two stand-in’s at the back, Jenks and Monreal, showed discipline and spirit.

Further up the field, Mesut was back to his best and orchestrated events in a way only he can with sublime timing and awareness.

For me, like many I suspect, Podolski is a total enigma. However, he is a goalscorer, and since the tragic loss of Theo and Aaron, these qualities are in short supply. He delivered.

Sanogo. Ok, I missed twenty minutes of the first half, and about ten of the second, but I really liked what I saw. Very impressive indeed, His performance highlighted the interchangeability of our squad, and this reflects on what is done on the training ground. It was very hard to believe that he had not played alongside Pod, Mesut and Ox on a regular basis.

Finally, The Ox. Always said he would be an Arsenal Great, and he will. Love everything about him, and his post match interview revealed his modest, mature and intelligent nature. A true professional with all the talent required to make it to the very top.

The Ox v Liverpool

A few short words on Liverpool. I really like the way they play the game. It was an enthralling and highly entertaining game, and it requires two teams to achieve this. Their “Three S’s Attack” is superbly mobile and fluid, and a joy to watch. I realize Suarez divides opinion, but as a footballer, he is terrific. I think we all know the Ox challenge was a clear penalty, but I think we also understand that had the victim been any other player, it would have been given. Never a clearer case of “What goes around”.

Overall, a memorable Cup game, a vital win for The Gunners, and we come away in great shape for Bayern. Back on track.

My MOTM: By a country mile, Arsene. That was some selection and tactical performance. Well played Sir.

Written by MickyDidIt89

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130 Responses to Entertaining and Vital Arsenal Cup Win

  1. Rasp says:

    Excellent ‘feelings’ Micky. My limited view of the game was the same as yours.

    My observations are:

    Excellent debut by Sanogo, if he can play like that consistently he will at least provide good cover for Ollie (on the pitch not in the hotel room :? )

    Flamini’s work rate, tackling and leadership was the ingredient we have been missing in midfield.

    Giving the Ox the freedom to use his pace was pivotal and boy didn’t he exploit it, he was my MotM …. Arsene was the ManagerOTM

    Fab2 was very good, made some key saves and was good in the air. his distribution is on the same level as SZ (they both could improve)

    The Pod worked really hard for his goal, the run and delivery of the pass by the Ox was exceptional, but just take a look at this clip and see how Podolski busts a gut running at full pelt to get into that shooting position – and then not boot it over the bar. He was worth his place in the side for that alone.

  2. RC78 says:

    I think that it is clear to see that the rest of our season will heavily depend on the form of Ox. He was our best player on the pitch offensively throughout the game and he adds this direct approach to our gage that has been missing since we lost Theo.

    The good news was that Sanogo was not completely useless and that Podolski scored again. Plus Flamini is back and you can tell he adds this steel to our midfield.

    The poor news is that Kos did have some lapses that could have costed us two goals, that Arteta is not at his best and that Monreal is really struglling.

    All and all, we scrape a win (thanks to a good game from Fabianski as well!) but we could have easily lost that one as well…

    CCL:

    > Our best line-up until Ramsey comes back:
    – Szecesny – Sagna, Per, Kos, Gibbs – Rosicky, Flamini, Wilshere – Ox, Podolski, Santi (he has been in better form than Ozil)

  3. RC78 says:

    Thanks for the post, by the way :-)

  4. Rasp says:

    Everyone in the media is bleating about the penalty that wasn’t and completely overlooking the fact that we fielded a team with 7 changes against the strongest pool side (except the keeper maybe) and were deserved winners.

  5. RC78 says:

    It was a penalty but at the end of the day, we have also suffered some ref mistakes so let us not make a fuss about it PLUS now Liverpool should feel ultra HAPPY because they ONLY have the EPL to play for and they can FULLY FOCUS on this with a lot of time in between games and a quite a massive squad as well so I am sure that Rodgers’ frustration will ease quickly…I think that the title can indeed (see J. Redknapp’s column on skysports) be decided at Anfield as they have to host Chelsea and City still and they are in full throttle so let us see…

    For us, let us just pray that our team will perform well in the next few weeks. If we are still in the EPL hunt by end of March, the EPL will really be in our grasp…We just have to negotiate this tough period until March…Come on Gunners!

  6. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning all, well done Micky, all the salient points covered, unlike Giroud’s :D

    I do think Captain Carthorse should have been sent off for two bookables, but the always fair and generous Howard Webb evened things up nicely.

    If we can take the same attitude into Wednesday’s game, all will be well.

  7. arnie says:

    Great stuff, Micky. Now, that is some “feelings”. I like the feel, correction, I am enjoying a warm glow!!!! Brilliant stuff. :D :D :D

    It was a big gamble, no matter how much Arsene would have seen on Sanogo in training. It was a big gamble to put him into the deep end and finding out what he can come up with. It paid off handsomely. Well done Arsene, well done Arsenal. :D

    Now, the key to the game, in my view, was the separation between the attack and defence lines, each focusing on the part that they play best. The reason this was successful was the superb performance that Flamster and Arteta produced, working tirelessly to bridge the gap.

    Upfront, Ozil lead the boys, with The Ox producing a gem of a performance (did we miss Theo?), and Poldi and Sanogo putting in very competent performances.

    The defence was compact and solid, no heroic saunters upfront (well, limited forays anyway). Yes, Kos made a couple of mistakes, but I thought Monreal was superb, Mert was perfect, Jenks very competent, and Fab was just fab!!!! Wow!!!!

    Most importantly, we are reminded again that we have a team, but more importantly a squad. A squad unified in spirit and cameraderie, a squad where people will fight everyone’s corner. Football is a team game, and we have a team. Not a collection of players worthy of inclusion in scum Owen’s Team of the PL, but a squad of players who believe in the “PROJECT”, and who fight for each other. If a player is somehow missing, someone else will fill in. It may take some time, but they will.

    On with the show. Bring on Bayern. They will be wetting their pants now! :D :D :D

  8. JanMan says:

    Great post Micky. It is typical of the British media to focus on was it a penalty was it not a penalty as opposed to the fantastic team performance that won us the game, especially when you look at the current fixtures we have. It was probably a penalty but Webb did not give it so end of story. Maybe if Suarez did not do a 9.5 triple salto he may have got the call! It really bothers me when pundits/press are looking for excuses as to why we won. Even Rodgers said the best team lost, what a sorry loser!

  9. JanMan says:

    Copied this from another blog page. It is classic!! An Arsenal fan really brings Mourinho down to earth.

  10. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi All,
    Sorry, really up to it with work.
    On the Pen/Media thing. For me it’s simply that the Red Top Media like a story, and bad news or conspiracies sell. It was a clear penalty, and if we’d been on the wrong end of that decision, we’d be screaming like banshees.
    Can you imagine all the “Howard Webb hates Arsenal” rubbish.
    As I said, had it not been Suarez, I’m sure he would have given it. Did you see the pic Chas put up early of the theatrical “fall”.

    JanMan
    I think your 9.5 is harsh. Look again, surely a 10 :-)

  11. arnie says:

    JanMan, lovely stuff. :D

  12. JanMan says:

    Micky :-)

  13. arnie says:

    Micky, JanMan: 10 only because he went face down. Surely he could have done a 10.5 and saved his face. :D

  14. Rasp says:

    Great clip of the Arsenal supporter destroying Moaninho with a lesson in Chelsea history :)

  15. RC78 says:

    How I wished that Suarez joined us last summer…He is the missing piece of Wenger’s puzzle…If we had such a player up front, I believe that we would be running away with the league already…Anyways, let us see what the summer brings.

    Talking about strikers, who would you like to see AW buy in the summer? Would you be keen on a RVP return?

  16. RC78 says:

    I think that a player like El Sharaawy or Jackson Martinez would be good additions up front and may be available in the summer.

    I think we do need pace on the wings as well so the signing of a player like Insigne or Meertens would be welcome as well…

  17. Rasp says:

    Hi RC78, BSR will be 31 at the start of next season and is reported to be on £230k a week at manure ….. I can’t see him being a serious option.

    You are right about Suarez – so our aim should be to get a player as close to Suarez’s style and ability as possible. Who is that player …. I have no idea!

    Just a word on Michael Owen. TWAT!
    He’s trying to carve a career as a pundit/commentator. Overlooking the fact that he has a boring voice, he’s not very bright and he handled the ball against us for the 2nd goal in the FA cup final (I’m not bitter about this :roll: ) He should take a leaf out of Gary Neville’s book and realise that his job is to be objective and impartial. Instead he is clearly in love with manure and the dippers – apparently no Arsenal player would get into his Prem league team … the man’s a joke, he should stick to rubbing down horses.

  18. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RC78

    I do agree Suarez is a great player, and I certainly used to think that he may have been the missing link (he may indeed be THE Missing Link :-) ), but I’m having doubts.

    He likes to play from deep, and I’m not sure that’s what we need. Also, I read somewhere (here?) that he doesn’t score against top defences. Don’t know.

    To answer your question, I have to admit to becoming unusually excited when someone mentioned Balotelli. I hadn’t realized he was only 23, and if managed and matured, could be one hell of a player.

    I also like someone with a stinking attitude :-)

  19. Sav from Australia says:

    Great summary of the match Micky. I just got to watch the match this evening and you sum it up perfectly.

    @RC78
    Who would want that traitor to return? Its not fantasy football mate, in real life people get pissed off when someone acts the way he does. I doubt there is a single genuine Arsenal supporter who would want him back. I don’t know if there is a striker coming in the summer, but I daresay that talk is for the interlull and not at this most exciting moment of the season.

  20. chas says:

    Cheers, Micky, good stuff.

    Yep, the Ox tackle was probably worth a pen.
    However, the dive for the first pen was ridiculous.
    Gerrard should have been sent off for one bad foul on Podolski and two on The Ox.
    We should have had a pen when Santi was fouled by Skeletor.

    https://twitter.com/FootbalIVines/status/435328484517629952

  21. chas says:
  22. chas says:
  23. arnie says:

    I think Webb, now part of the great and the good, Brazil and all that, genuinely tried to be impartial. Yes, he gave a soft penalty, and did not give two, one for Pool and the other for us. Big deal!!! :D

  24. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas

    Two fantastic clips. The Suarez one is simply brilliant.

    The Ozil pass perfection. A high speed Ox did not need to check his run and lose his speed advantage over the defender. Great goal, and a clinical finish from a “finisher”.

  25. arnie says:

    On the Poldi goal, three things. First, the pass from Ozil was just sublime. :D :D Second, the interception and assist from The Ox was, well, Theo-esque. :razz: Third, yes, Poldi’s goal was pretty fantastic, the hunger for the ball, for getting into position. But did you notice that just behind Poldi, Sanogo is taken out inside the box, I think by Skrtel.

  26. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That really was a great Pod goal, and only possible because of the speed of the Ox. No-one else in the team on the day could have got free to capitalize on the Mesut vision.

    Hard to see what Suarez has that Ox doesn’t, other than he gets the opportunity to have star billing at Pool. Ox will be better than him. Just a question of time.

  27. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think we sort of agree Arnie :-)

  28. arnie says:

    Yes, Micky. :razz:

  29. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Can’t decide which clip to keep watching

  30. Bryan says:

    That was the sort of game we would of normally lost so was a great result.
    Think we rode our luck a fair bit & we all know it was a penalty but then again Liverpool’s 1st goal last week was offside & who knows what would of happened if we hadn’t conceded so early.
    Most importantly was a massive win for confidence & hopefully we can put in a winning performance against Bayern next.

    Got to praise Fab as he played exceptionally well in goal & deserves credit.

  31. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ozil’s through ball is what The Arsenal Gentleman calls The Mesmertron

  32. Rasp says:

    Agreed that the Ox is already very good and has the potential to be a top top player – and Gnabry is not far behind him. It was important to see us using pace out wide again, Ozil needs runners.

    I know the boss has said that the Ox will be a central midfielder one day but surely we should capitalise on his pace on the flanks for the timebeing.

  33. Rasp says:

    Agger and Skyrtel were all over Sanogo. He didn’t win as many headers or control as many high balls as Giroud, but he passed the test with flying colours and showed that he cannot be bullied. I don’t think we could have hoped for any more from him in his first start.

  34. Bryan says:

    Yep, I thought it was an outstanding performance from Sanogo in his first full game, very impressive

  35. arnie says:

    It is nice assurance that we have young guys who value their Arsenal shirts and will be giving all they have. That is teh kind of spirit that makes a team, rather than a collection of self-centred individuals. We are very lucky! :D

  36. RC78 says:

    About RVP- I am not too sure of a return either so let us hope the Dutch forward does not come back but let us also hope that we get a high caliber forward in the summer. Balotelli is apparently an option but I am not sure about him…I stick with El Sharaawy and Jackson Martinez…

    On Poldi – he is our best finisher by a mile…I hope he gets more starts in the EPL. Plus he has the best shot of the team outside the box so that s an added threat.

    On Ox – well, his form will determine our season. Like many of us said, he is our most natural choice at right-wing at the moment so let us use his speed and skills there and let us hope he keeps his current form.

    On Ozil – great pass but boy does he annoy me! He needs to be more ambitious also with his shots! He should try his luck more from outside the box…

  37. RC78 says:

    On Yaya – he has the potential to fare well in the EPL. Let us see how he develops but at least he got himself in position although he had three embarassing misses of the ball…

  38. GunnerN5 says:

    Micky, I really enjoy your type of pre-match summation.
    Thank you.

  39. GunnerN5 says:

    A bit of fun –

    Do you recognize me – “I’m a clown (hee)”

  40. Rasp says:

    Michael Owen :P

  41. RC78 says:

    Let us hope that Owen comes to his senses…The truth is that no one sees us as a title contender and the past seasons explain this disbelief. However, shall we fail to land the EPL this year, all the pundits will go: “Told you so. Think squad. AW should have invested in a striker. We were right”. Now the only way to prove them wrong is go and land the EPL against all odds! We have a tough series of match after the CL return game, we need to be on in top form through that stretch to give ourselves a chance of winning the league. Totty, Chelski, Manshitty, Everton – gonna be tough! I hope we get Ramsey back

  42. kelsey says:

    Taken over my interim job then Micky :)

    As I said earlier Wenger surprised many with so many changes and making the players swear to remain celebate.

    No Nicci on the bench,surely he hasn’t dropped his pants again.

    Liverpool are a very good team and we showed so much more aggression than last week and one must praise all of them. Fighting for one’s place is no bad thing.

    The second goal,the cut back on the ground is our forte as opposed to endless high balls to nowhere.

    The Ox is only 20 and it’s possible he could play in any one of three positions.He has all the attributes to be one of our finest.

    Ozil got a lot of slack last week but he is a class act and showed it yesterday and if I was AW I would seriously consider keeping Fabianski and let the two Poles fight it out.

    I thought beforehand that Jenkinson,Monreal and Sanogo might be our weak link,but they all did a great job.

    The only thing I couldn’t undrstand was Santi coming on for Podolski. The guy had been ill and it was clear he wasn’t really fit and didn’t contribute anything of note.

    Penalty or not both gerard and Sterling were lucky to stay on the pitch.

    Want to know who we get in the semi’s :)

  43. GunnerN5 says:

    Trust you to be first Rasp – way too easy for a master like yourself.

  44. Rasp says:

    Sorry GN5, I should have added my own cryptic clue ….. “Whining Welsh Scouser Manc”

  45. Rasp says:

    I agree with Kelsey, we showed so much more energy and work rate. It just goes to show that those attributes count every bit as much as skill and artistry … combine the two and you get the Barca side of a couple of seasons ago

  46. GunnerN5 says:

    it will be Man City Kelsey – the FA don’t want us near their trophy. After all if we win again we will be tied with Man U at 11 each – and they wouldn’t like that, would they, so they will do everything they can to stop us getting to the final.?

  47. GunnerN5 says:

    For those interested here are the FA Cup wins by club and the last year in which they won the trophy.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………..

    Manchester United 11- 2004
    Arsenal 10- 2005
    Tottenham Hotspur 8- 1991
    Aston Villa 7- 1957
    Liverpool 7- 2006
    Blackburn Rovers 6- 1928
    Newcastle United 6- 1955
    Everton 5- 1995
    Wanderers 5- 1877
    West Bromwich 5- 1968
    Bolton Wanderers 4- 1958
    Chelsea 5- 2007
    Manchester City 4- 1969
    Sheffield United 4- 1925
    Wolverhampton 4- 1960
    Sheffield Wed 3- 1935
    West Ham United 3- 1980
    Bury 2- 1903
    Nottingham Forest 2- 1959
    Old Etonians 2- 1882
    Portsmouth 2- 2008
    Preston North End 2- 1938
    Sunderland 2- 1973
    Barnsley 1- 1912
    Blackburn Olympic 1- 1883
    Blackpool 1- 1953
    Bradford City 1- 1911
    Burnley 1- 1914
    Cardiff City 1- 1927
    Charlton Athletic 1- 1947
    Clapham Rovers 1- 1880
    Coventry City 1- 1987
    Derby County 1- 1946
    Huddersfield Town 1- 1922
    Ipswich Town 1- 1978
    Leeds United 1- 1972
    Notts County 1- 1894
    Old Carthusians 1- 1881
    Oxford University 1- 1873
    Royal Engineers 1- 1874
    Southampton 1- 1976
    Wimbledon 1- 1988

  48. arnie says:

    Brilliant, GN5. :D

  49. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GN5
    “Micky, I really enjoy your type of pre-match summation”

    Pre Match Post Match…..have you been infected by that Kelsey bloke? :-)

    I’m surprised to find you of all people in the conspiracy camp. If the FA are “fixers” then I’d bet they’d like a full on Arsenal City Final.

    So, Kelsey, tell us, who is it in the Semis?

  50. JanMan says:

    Kelsey. I am not so concerned with who we may play in the sem’s but I would like to know if you can provide this weeks Lotto numbers :-) :-)

  51. GunnerN5 says:

    Oops< I have two charts and I put up one that is a tad out of date – but it's close………….just like the Arsenal.

  52. GunnerN5 says:

    Micky, when you get to my age, you can hardly tell the difference between night and day let alone pre and post.

    Also I don’t believe in conspiracy theories – just a bit of fun with Kelsey…………..

  53. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bloody fair point JanMan.

    Come on down from on high Kelsey, and share something useful of your mystic powers.

  54. kelsey says:

    Not yet Micky as I need to see the numbers after we beat Everton. I have a fullproof system learnt over many many years on the roulette tables

  55. RC78 says:

    Everton at home is doable although they are a tricky and resilient side…To win cup games, you need grit and resilience and the ability to grind out a win…Basically you need 11 warriors from minute 1 to minute 94: you need hungry players on the field…

  56. RC78 says:

    Your Starting XI from the EPL so far?

    Szecesny – Ivanovic, Metersacker, Terry, Baines – Walcott, Yaya T, Ramsey, Hazard – Sturridge (or Aguero), Suarez

  57. Bayonne Jean says:

    GN5: City last won in 2011. No Wigan?

  58. Bayonne Jean says:

    And the oil scum in 2012….

  59. arnie says:

    Is Arteta available for Weds?

  60. jnyc says:

    Ox was great in preseason, we were very unlucky to lose him in the first match. This was going to be a breakout year for him. There is still time.
    The match could have easily gone either way. I don’t think we exhibited much control, we had some luck.
    Fab was great, he won’t be easy to replace. I hope we have a plan.

  61. Rasp says:

    arnie@ 3:11, Arteta is on a 1 match ban so misses Bayern

  62. RC78 says:

    I think Wenger might just take Viviano as a replacement for Fabianski…Shame about Fabianski because he had a good spell last year before his injuries. All and all, he will make another team happy if he stays injury free.

  63. arnie says:

    thanks Rasp. :D :D

  64. kelsey says:

    When we talk about recent players with log term injuries as opposed to injury prone players one has of course Diaby who I really think his career is over,Rosicky who surprised many by coming back so strong especially with age against him and of course 6/7 seasons of RVP sidelined and then having a devasting season with us before leaving and pretty much the same with United last season, one player who worries me is Walcott,now being 8 years at Arsaenal.

    He sustained a nasty shoulder injury then two seasons later yet another and it was diagnosed that it was an inheritant weakness in this time his other shoulder from his father and he had a plate inserted.Then he had surgery for abdominal problems and now his season is over with crucial knee ligament problems which can sometimes be career ending whilst with others given time can correct itself.
    For a guy of nearly 25 that is a lot to go through and he had the farce of being included in the World Cup when a kid, got left out in S Africa and will now miss out again if he was to get another chance he will be 29.
    I am worried that mentally that may effect him and he is sorely missed this season perhaps more than any other and one can’t just find a like for like replacement.
    My concern may well be misfounded but nevertheless a doubt remains.

  65. GunnerN5 says:

    Bayonne Jeane,

    I did mention in my 1:43 that I had put up the wrong chart. I was going to put up the correct one, but given that you have all the answers I’ll leave that up to you.

  66. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Kelsey, I think Walcott is a very level headed young man, he has shown both great dedication and resilience to come back from the many set-backs that you list. He reputedly turned down options that would have allowed him to return earlier from his present injury, in time to play in the World Cup, but decided to take the longer and harder route which offered the best long term prognosis.

    Walcott’s surgery was carried out by one of the best surgeons of his kind in the World, his rehab is being overseen by a great medical team at Arsenal, with no doubt, input from the England medics.

    Wenger won’t rush him back this season, but a gentle comeback in the pre-season games will see him fit to start the next campaign.

    I don’t think we need to worry unduly.

  67. GoonerB says:

    Afternoon all and thanks for the report Micky.

    I feel praise for Liverpool and Rogers is warrented. He is doing a great job there and they play some excellent attacking football. I think all of Sterling, Sturridge and Coutinho are excellent players but, even when not scoring, I feel it is Suarez that binds them all together as a dangerous unit. Take him out and they still have a potent attack but it wouldn’t be the same, and that might be the problem for Liverpool next year if say Madrid come in with a big bid and they lose him. They may end up with a big wad of cash but even then he will be nearly impossible to replace. He is a constant danger in any game and I would have loved him at us but sadly that will not happen now.

    On to us and it was a good result and good performance but you can still see we are missing an extra dimension in our attack. Hopefully this will be addressed in the summer. I said it earlier in the season that I like Ollie and feel he is worthy of being an Arsenal player but more as a second choice number 9 or when we want to change the set-up slightly from the bench. I feel we become more limited and stifled in our attack against many of the better sides due to the lack of pace or movement up top.

    I have wondered whether Wenger could mix it up a bit more with our tactical set-up and try something a bit different if things aren’t working out. It was great to see the Ox put in that performance and he is one of the most versatile amongst our players at the moment. Where many players lack in one department the Ox seems to have very few weaknesses, aside from his relative inexperience and further maturity as a player. He is pacy and with good body strength and has an eye for goal and is also pretty good off either foot.

    Going back to some suggestions I remember amongst AA regulars earlier this season about trying out the false number 9 set-up, I wonder whether this is something we could try with the Ox? I actually feel he could play the furthest forward role with any combination of 5 behind him. Where I feel the opposition can comfortably play a high line with Ollie which allows them to, in general, pressure our possession higher up the pitch, the Ox would give them a different problem and not allow them to push high up the pitch which would leave more space for Ozil, Cazorla, Wilshere, Rosicky e.t.c. to weave their majic. I think if Bayern are allowed to push their defence further up we will have less time and space to get our midfield firing and it could present a problem. If we play pace up top they would have to re-think it slightly. Just a thought.

  68. RC78 says:

    There is only one way to stop Bayern from playing and it is to press high so we need our two wingers and out main front man to press as much as possible. Our full backs and our two midfielders (not including holding midfielder) will need to be disciplined between pressing and holding positions. As a result and call me crazy but I think that we should play cautiously Wed and field a squad that can press and defend well Wed and get Bayern on the counter:

    Szecesny – Sagna, BFG, Kos, Gibbs – Ox, Rosicky, Flamini, Arteta, Wilshere – Giroud

    It is not sexy but I think thay we may be able to contain the Germans with this line up if we don’t make a defensive mistake. You have to deal with very offensive full backs and pacy wingers on the sides. If these guys are stopped, then the middle guyz will struggle because their team will not have its usual stretch. Dante is not the best defender and I think Giroud can really coz him trouble in the air. Let us play a compact game and hope for the best. If we go to Munich with a 1-1 draw, we give ourselves a good chance to go through…When we are approaching the last third of the game, we can introduce Ozil and Cazorla and even Podolski. Before that, let us keep a clean sheet and stop Bayern from playing. This is a Guardiola team, they do not like to be pressed high…Come on Gunners!

    Again, I would like to say that my preference would go for EPL victory and that I would have liked to rest Rosicky and Flamini for these games but oh well…when it comes down to it, u just want to win every game :-p

  69. Rasp says:

    Hi RC78, Arteta is suspended for the Bayern game.

  70. RA says:

    Hi GoonerB, :-)

    I have not seen you around too much lately, but bang — back you come with a first class Post length comment of excellent quality.

  71. evonne says:

    great post, not really touchy feely, but very entertaining. Thank you Mr DidIt. I knew you’d bang on about the Ox, but have every right to do so, he was great. His assist for Podolski’s goal just perfect. And he even managed to fool Webb that it wasn’t really a penalty! HE has won as the game and for that reason he is my MOtM. Ok, jointly with Fabianski.

    JanMan @11:32 – I am in love with that fan. Normally I hate men that talk a lot, but he is a gem. A must listen guys

  72. JanMan says:

    Thanks evonne, I thought the fan was brilliant and talked total common sense. I encourage everyone to view the video and then forward it to every Chelsea fan that they know :-)

  73. JanMan says:

    Kelsey made some very interesting points about Walcott. The poor guy has gone through some tremendous mental challenges. However, he is a very intelligent strong minded individual and I expect him to fully recover. The only thing that I would add is that I do not think we are missing him as much as suggested. I love the guys to bits but I think we adequately accommodating from him. The main thing he brings to the table is his pace but we have compensated with other players in other ways.

  74. chas says:

    Rasp,
    Is Arteta out for Wednesday’s game?

  75. kelsey says:

    yes, chas he is banned

  76. chas says:
  77. chas says:
  78. GoonerB says:

    Classy from Louise. You know when you see a true football fan because they always appreciate quality even when it has no bearing on their own loyalties. Well done Louise. I know Arsenal fans view him as sheer class personified but we do sometimes have rose tinted spectacles. However, in TH14’s case I have even had Spurs fans admit to me how great he was so the debate is ended.

    Cheers RA for your 5.57. I have building works at the moment so everything is a mad rush and very difficult. I trust I find you are well and hope to converse more in the near future.

    Still hoping for someone to pick up the thread about the false 9 and whether the Ox could do it. In my mind I have him in that position in a rather different and bold set-up for Bayern.

  79. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evening all, nice feelings Micky, I’m sure we are all happy to have won, even though it was a more hard fought than technical master class kind of victory.

    In fact Dippers at home was probably quite a good warm up for Bayern given their pace on the counter.

    We will have to be equally strong on Wednesday and looking to break with incision as we did yesterday.

    Ox is clearly the key to that as is Flamini, it’s a shame Arteta is not available as I would happily have gone into Wednesdays game with a similar midfield except Santi in place of Pod and Ollie up top.

    If I could choose the best position for Ox it would probably be central alongside Flamini or Arteta, as I think we lack pace from central midfield without The Welsh Messi, they are both quicker and seem to have more stamina than Jack.

    I wouldn’t be averse to a central three of Jack, Flamini and Ox with Santi and Ozil drifting wherever they are needed to inflict damage and Ox and Jack joining in when Flamini says they can.

  80. chas says:
  81. chas says:
  82. 26may1989 says:

    Hello there – apols for absence, work gone nuts, blah blah. Now till the end of March is looking terrible…..

    Top write-up, ohmickeyyouresofineyouresofineyoublowmymind. I’ve caught up on the highlights of the Liverpool game (couldn’t go to that one, just like I missed the United game). From what I could see, looked good for us. More than anything, we needed the win to kick off a recovery from our mini slide.

    Suarez getting two penalties? Nah – he just got the one that he shouldn’t have had, and missed out on the one he should. Looking at that first one, that is precisely the insidious type of dive that needs to be dealt with. Andy Gray was absolutely right to say of the second one “Anywhere else on the pitch and the foul gets given”. But that cuts both ways: with the first one, anywhere else on the pitch and Suarez wouldn’t fall when there’s a slight touch on his calf. It might have been via the ref’s incompetence, but justice done.

    Great to see TPIG2 do so well. I remember a couple of years ago, defending our trio of keepers (Szczesny, Fabianski and Mannone) as being overall the best goalkeeping unit around. Admittedly, none of them had ironed out errors but I still thought each of them was a decent keeper. And finally, my faith is borne out. Just a shame one of them has gone, and another has an expiring contract…..

    Also was good to see Sanogo’s debut go so well. That goes a long way to showing that we have a good understudy for Giroud (even assuming Bendtner does move on in the summer). We do need more in our attack but it’s not cover for Giroud, it’s someone with variety, invention and movement. Julian Draxler please.

    RC78’s a fan of Stephan el Shaarawy. He’s still young but from the very little I’ve seen, I haven’t been over-impressed. Plus el Shaarawy has pretty much had his season written off by injury, and has only played a handful of games, so who knows if he’s going to be able to recover. If we were to nab a Milanese, it would have to be Balotelli, even if he is a nutter.

  83. 12BET says:

    I hope you can also write a prediction on who will be the top 4 teams in the English Premier League 2013/14? :)

  84. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GoonerB

    I suggested Ox central, and I really laboured the point, but still managed only one and half votes :-(

    Naturally I’m with you, but we’re pretty much alone.

    The amazing thing about him is that he can play deep, middle, top and wide left or right.

  85. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Who’s that bloke picking up sprog at 9:39?

  86. arnie says:

    Motning Micky, motning all.

    Micky, I will be with you when Theo returns. :razz: Right now, we need The Ox’s overlaps on the right!!!! :D :D :D

  87. arnie says:

    where is Kelsey, where is Chas, where is Evonne? Motning crew dispersed. A pity. :sad:

  88. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arnie

    Even I would find it hard to argue about Ox’s value on the right in the absence of Theo. Evidence? The Podolski goal.

  89. arnie says:

    Yes, Micky, agreed. :D For laters, in the centre, how do we use his pace, though? That is why I suggested DM with runs down the centre.

  90. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hey Arnie

    I have a theory. Listen in. Before the Palace game, I remember Evonne saying her and Peaches were going out on a girls night, and she thought the behaviour was likely to be poor to bad. Ollie is then caught pants down same evening with some hot bird in his bed chamber. Any thoughts?

  91. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arnie
    Reckon Pod and Ox must start against Bayern as they both have goals in them. So the question is who starts next to Flamini.

    I suspect AW will go for Jack.

  92. MickyDidIt89 says:

    ……….Ollie
    Pod Ozil Ox
    ……Jack Art

  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry, Flam, not Art.

  94. arnie says:

    ha ha ha, Micky. :D Evonne and Peaches keeping very quiet of late has not escaped my notice. :razz:

  95. arnie says:

    I have been giving some thought to my starting line up for the pre-match tomorrow. I will drop Ollie for disciplinary reasons. Breaking curfew before a game is serious stuff. Apols, Evonne and Peaches. :razz: So I will go for

    ……….Pod
    TR7 Ozil Ox
    ……Jack Flam

  96. chas says:

    9.39 is just some random chap playing the fool in a food court that made me laugh.
    No wonder Giroud was exhausted.

  97. arnie says:

    Motning Chas.

    Have to rush now, back laters. :D :D

  98. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arnie

    I’d go with your line up, just don’t think Arsene will. He likes a big ‘un up top, and Ollie is the best of them.

    I just think he brings less to the side than a central Podolski would, both in terms of goals and assists. Ollie has 6 assists in the prem, and given everything goes through him, this is poor and doesn’t compensate for the lack of spped or clinical finishing. Mind you, don’t want to have a go at him, just explaining my line up thinking.

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Chas

    Loved the wrestling/Suarez vid :-)

  100. Gööner In Exile says:

    Someone has upset Jens

  101. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Talking of having a go at Arsene for his team selection, where’s LB :-)

    Still cheesed off site comedian Transplant has buggered off.

  102. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Seriously Exile
    A massive unit like Lens in a Fiat500!

  103. evonne says:

    naughty boys, very naughty. As much as Peaches finds Giroud terribly handsome, we have to resign ourselves to the fact that we only stand a realistic chance with Wayne, whom I find quiet attractive. Well, he has nice eyes and has 4 dogs

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wayne attractive!!! He wears his face inside out, and has butt hair on his head. Bet he doesn’t know whether to comb it, or wipe it.

  105. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh ROLF :-)

  106. evonne says:

    jeez, now that put me off my breakfast
    Like I said, he has nice blue eyes and I think they take hair from the back of the head to move it to the front, sort of

    he is also a better player than Giroud

  107. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh Evonne

    Yesterday, when I volunteered to do some “feelings” you said I didn’t have any.

    Well, that hurt

    (at least I think that’s the right response for someone who does have those things) :-)

    Impressed?

  108. dhakka09 says:

    Arsene Wenger is a person with principles. He will not go out and spend because people/media tell him to; he has a valuation and he sticks to it. Like a lone beacon of sanity in the increasingly insane world of Football, he has held his ground for many years.

    When his close-to-complete 2007-08 team failed at the last hurdle. It still pains me to see the Eduardo injury and to think what could’ve been if that day had played out differently. Similarly unlucky/incompetent-ref in CL vs Liverpool and other contentious decisions going against us in the league too didn’t help matters.

    Anyone who takes up the 8/9 trophy-less years to beat Arsene with a stick eschews the perspective of how those barren years shaped up. A modern brand-new stadium, reduced spending because of it, and yet, nearly pulled off a title-win with stringiest budget during all that. Some Arsenal fans may not realize it; for however much stubborn the man is (he drives me crazy at times), we’ll all miss him terribly once he is gone and while other managers may come in and do wonders at this club later, they’ll owe a huge chunk of their success to the man who has laid the foundations for future success of this great club.

    No one person is greater than the club but the one manager who comes the closest more than anyone else is Arsene Wenger. I am a grown 26 year old male who seldom sheds tears (the only movie that came close was King-Kong ending) but I know I’ll cry my eyes out the day he’ll leave the club :(

    So, cherish him while he is here, folks. There won’t be another him.

    Chapeau!

  109. LB says:

    I want one of those sliding cats

  110. dhakka09 says:

    Sorry for my out of the blue blabbering about Arsene. Was watching some old videos and the way Arsene was questioned/berated following Old Trafford 8-2 debacle and the way he had to defend his record as a manager to some random reporter got me all messed up inside yet again. Shouldn’t have put myself through that pain. It’s these times that I feel like I’m a sadist. Anyways, have a good day folks :)

  111. MickyDidIt89 says:

    LB

    We’ve got four cats, but no sliders. Gutted.

  112. evonne says:

    is there pug curling? mine only gets out of bed and comes downstairs when he can hear the toaster.

    dhakka, no man is a grown up at 26. A thought crossed my mind that EVENTUALLY Arsene will go to heaven and it worries me that I won’t be able to go to his funeral in France. Very grown up

  113. MickyDidIt89 says:

    d09

    If you really do blub in films, you ought to apply to Evonne. She loves your sort she does.

    I might have to at least pretend to take up blubbing :-)

  114. evonne says:

    micky!!!!!!!!!! you monster, how did you know??

  115. evonne says:

    Micky – did you try pig curling :)

  116. dhakka09 says:

    Thanx for bursting my grown-up bubble evonne. I’m now back to square up and will try to grow-up more :(
    Micky: I don’t blub. In fact, I’m one of the most non-blubbers while watching blubby movies; which makes my predicted tears at Arsene’s departure seem even more poignant (and dare I say it evonne, ahem… A bit grown-up like) ;)

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No chance, Evonne.

    One broke into the kitchen where we have a fairly slidey floor. I tried pushing, but because they weigh more than me, I was the one that was going backwards.

  118. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Damn d09, you’re so in with Evonne.

  119. evonne says:

    ROLF :) :) ;) and to think that I got up in a bad mood

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Off for the day.

  121. dhakka09 says:

    btw Micky: which two would you like to see start vs Bayern? out of Wilshere, Rosicky and the OX, and also why?

  122. Morning all

    We have a New Post ………………..

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