A Commendable draw but if only we had a Striker

Many of us feared as we approached this match with trepidation could the team pick themselves up after a pretty poor week but more importantly would there be a commitment and desire to silence the growing number of critics.

What was to unfold literally was a game of two halves.

City were quicker to the ball and had us mostly pinned in our own half with most of their attacks aimed at our left side  and  at eighteen minutes the ineviatable happened when Silva bundled the ball over the line after a ricochet off our post and thoughts turned to another drubbing on the cards.

The second half was a completely different story and credit to the lads as they slowly regained composure and possession and it was no surprise when Flamini out of all people slammed in the equaliser with the best part of forty minutes to go. His first league goal since 2008 and didn’t he just enjoy it :)

The Home crowd were fantastic. Rosicky ran his socks off and even Podolski put in a shift but defending doesn’t come naturally to him – he could have won the game but at the end of the day we drew with honour but IMO it’s a game we could have won.

Toure and Kompany had been booked in the first half which may have played on their mind but we didn’t have the know how to try and make them commit a second foul, as they are undoubtedly the drive and defensive rock of man city.

Santi always plays better at Home and being two footed is wasted on the wing.

Szczesny concerns me. In the first few minutes he cleared a ball which was inches away of being met by a City player and that could have been one nil down. He flapped again in the second half and in the melee we may have conceded an own goal. He needs competition for his place.

I watched Giroud carefully and apart from one lay off he was completely useless. He can’t control a ball, beat a man, head on target, has no pace, and his long punt from the halfway line was embarrassing. He is the worst striker I have seen in an Arsenal shirt for years, despite his stats. I stress the point about him because at 1-1 a top quality striker would have got that vital goal and most probably won us the game. I know many will say he often gets no support but then I say change the system, or buy a clinical striker not an average hold up player.

All in all a great game to watch and in all reality we could definitely win the FA Cup and it’s a straight fight for forth between us and Everton.

I don’t expect you to agree with me with my observations, but if only a few of our walking wounded especially Ramsey and Koscielny could feature in our last three or four games that would bolster the team enormously and give us CL football yet again.

kelsey

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93 Responses to A Commendable draw but if only we had a Striker

  1. njstone9 says:

    About strikers:

    1. We’re missing a 23 goal a season striker in Walcott. Injured for nearly all the the season.

    2. Podolski. Missed half the season. Playing mainly as a sub at the moment.

    3. Transfer window. Which quality striker that was available could we have bought?

    4. Which strikers should we target in the summer? Do we go for one already in the Premier League who won’t need to adapt, or take a punt on a foreign league? NB. Suarez didn’t come good for 2 seasons.

  2. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thank you very much Kelsey for stepping up.

    Rightly you say it was a great game to watch. On the striker issue, it’s not Ollie’s fault he’s Ollie and he certainly puts in the effort, so as I said earlier, I’ll keep off his back.

    Clearly comments of mine indicate that a different type of striker would be more “Arsenal Style”, and as I’ve also said previously, we’ll never see the best of Mesut without a more mobile man up top.

    My biggest regret about yesterday (not winning aside) was that I think injuries deprived us of a genuinely epic footballing encounter.

  3. Thank you kelsey for your thoughts on what was a really good game of football.

    As the whistle went for the end of the first half I felt sorry for the players if they were going to have to sit in silence for ten minutes because they’d been through a battle. What they needed was an army of physios rubbing them down, checking them for any minor niggles because the second half was undoubtedly going to be more of the same.

    The crowd were fantastic, really didn’t stop singing and I felt like we were the twelfth man.

    City are a great side to watch, they ping the ball around just like us (when we’re all available) and I agree with Micky that it would have been an epic encounter if we had our best players.

    Flamini and Arteta were incredible yesterday, their levels of fitness are amazing, this was their third game in a week!!!!!

    I’ll go find some pics for the post.

  4. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. Thank you for the post.

    Your attitude toward OG has hardened over the season and I believe you fail to see his good points. I ask you this – did OG have a clear chance during the game?

    The man shoulders the responsibility for our attack especially when we have so little attacking support for him. He looks knackered to me both physically and mentally.

    OG is nowhere near the standard of IW8, TH14 or RvP and we desperately need a top quality striker to add to our squad BUT he is the best we have and has scored 5 times in his last 4 home games.

    As he seems incapable of making his own chances he needs decent ammunition, give OG a fit Ozil, Walcott and Ramsey – then let’s judge him.

  5. waiyuen leong says:

    The game plan to stay close in defence against teams that are quick to the ball to hold on to wait for counter attack where their midfield players are in the Arsenal penalty area. Arsenal can probably make the attack in the second half where their players should have slowed down especially their powerful midfielders. With that mode of play, Arsenal should play their usual style like the 1-1 draw against Man.City. All is not lost for Arsenal as they still have fighting chance with some games ahead of them Lastly, the most crucial game against Wigan for the FA Cup semi-final is a must “WIN” before entering into the final.

  6. peter tosh says:

    Akpom is our best natural striker!who is Geyrud/sanogo?

  7. Big Raddy says:

    Peter Tosh you may be right. We will see in the next few seasons ( by the way I loved your work in the Wailers) -

  8. dandan says:

    Hi Kelsey, Brave effort at short notice. Like BR i have observed your frustration increase. But why the constant negative vibes aimed at both certain players and staff which have grown as the season progresses. Surely we should acknowledge that our cruel injury list has put an undue workload on the squad you saw yesterday. Rather than criticise our medical staff for those out, how about some praise for actually keeping so many on the pitch when the physical abuse they take is plain for all to see for all but certain Ref’s.

    For me we showed again yesterday there is both a belief and a collectivity within the squad which given a bit of luck and some returnees will underwrite the improvements we have made this season.

    My fear is not of the teams ability because a couple of additions will cement our success for season’s to come.

    More i worry should we not win the cup this year that the negative vibes from a section of support, driven by a vindictive media will overwhelm the club, bring in a new manager and see the good work undone in the manner of Man Utd.

  9. Rasp says:

    Thanks Kelsey, once again I think you’ve got the tone of your report on the button.

    An excellent battling performance by our boys. 100% for effort – if we’d played with that level of commitment and defensive organisation all season we’d be 6 points clear at the top of the table.

    Like most, I think Giroud would make a good second choice (plan B option) striker. He lacks sharpness and that is a physical attribute he can’t acquire. Sometimes its painful watching him chase around as if he’s running through treacle with his head angled backwards in effort. He works really hard and when he’s surrounded by the best of our AM’s his little flicks and lay offs are an important element of our attack, but he’s been quite ineffectual lately when up front on his own against good CB’s.

  10. kelsey says:

    dandan

    that is not quite correct.

    Our keeper is a fine young prospect but is not playing well and in fact I have said it before he needs competition.He has been red carded a little too often for my liking and his distibustion especially kicking hasn’t improved.His handling also needs addressing.

    As far as Giroud is concerned my point was that in tight games when we have the ascendency a more clinical striker would score far more often than Ollie. If he is our first choice and Wenger wants to play wengerball,he’s not the man.I find him a very frustrating player to watch.Of course it is only an opinion as I see it..

    To the best of my knowledge I haven’t been critical of our staff.

    I find it interestig that the good points I mention are overlooked.

  11. Gabriel says:

    All my address since last year is that giorld has no ball control, no pace, he can’t dribble one on one, the worst of all his shouting ability is zero, sale him and buy two quality players,

  12. chas says:

    Cheers, kelsey.

    We certainly played much better in the second half and as LB said, Santi deserved MOTM for his second half performance.
    Giroud was called a ‘useless turd’ yesterday by Ant and mine’s least favourite Arsenal ‘supporter’.
    How they think moaning throughout the whole period up until we scored is going to help the team, is anyone’s guess.

    Chief moaner’s favourite ‘comedy’ line yesterday was “Szczesny’s on”, when the team were being pressed backwards and finding a pass was difficult.
    Other oft-repeated phrase are……
    Forward
    Wake Up
    Movement
    Unbelievable
    Make a change, Venga
    What’re you waiting for, Venga?
    C’mon, it’s only ……. (Insert any team name apart from a top six side)

    Whenever we score, I resent the fact that he can enjoy the moment, too. He just doesn’t deserve to.

  13. fatgingergooner says:

    Fair play to the lads for yesterday’s performance, they worked their socks off and actually played some decent stuff. What’s frustrating though is why have we had to wait until we’ve shot ourself in the foot against Chelsea and Swansea before showing some grit?

    Where was this at Stamford Bridge?

    As for Giroud, it was glaringly obvious to anyone watching the game yesterday (especially first half) that we lack pace. A quick striker pushes the defence deeper and creates space for us to work. Giroud isn’t that man.

    However, Giroud can still fit into this side if he has pace around him. If we had Theo one side and someone like Draxler the other, then he would be the perfect foil for our attacking midfielders to bounce the ball off. Giroud is very good at moving centre backs out of position, thus creating space for runners (Theo, Ramsey, Ozil).

    I believe the reason he has been ineffective over the last few months is because of the players he has around him, and in part because he’s shattered.

    Having said all that, we’d be top of the league if we had a quicker, more skillful finisher. Once again we are coming up short because of our lack of squad depth. No alternative striker and no pace in the squad once Theo is out. Our tactics cannot rely upon 1 fast player to be totally effective.

    Wenger has much to sort in the summer. Pace, striker, DM, right back? Centre back, goalkeeper.

  14. dandan says:

    HI Kelsey, My comment wasnt just of your article today and I think if you check back you will indeed find comments re our high rate of injuries, I am aware that you are a sincere and committed Arsenal fan but I do feel that in recent times the tone of many including your goodself has been one of disappointment with the honourable exception of Sagna.
    We are both aware that we are opposite poles and like a magnets with that problem attract comment whilst enjoying each others company.
    By the way Tony Attwood on “Untold Arsenal” today is not a million miles from where I sit and worth a read. :-)

  15. dandan says:

    Kelsey. wasn’t suggesting you are a Naysayer, purely that given you introduced me to Tony’s site you would enjoy it today after all he is a Peterborough lad, isn’t he. :-)

  16. chas says:

    kelsey

    I know you wrote that Flamini hadn’t scored in the League since 2008 just so that you could watch this goal against Cardiff again. So here goes………

    http://arsenalist.com/f/cardiff-city-vs-arsenal/gif-flamini-goal-with-assist-from-ozil-2-0.html

  17. Shard says:

    A game of two halves indeed. At halftime I would gladly have taken a draw. But at full time, I was a little disappointed we couldn’t win it. A win and would have considered ourselves back in the title race. As of now, because there are 3 teams above us, we can’t expect them all to slip up. City are favourites and I’d rather they won as opposed to Chelsea or Liverpool.

    I’m tired of the talk about ‘where’s the striker?’. Yes we know we need one, Wenger has known we need one, and the whole world says we need one. So what? Why play the game of if only?

    My bigger ‘if only’ is the dropped points at Swansea (the negativity didn’t help since it seemed like a lost cause) and Stoke. we’d be 5 points better off. If only the referee hadn’t cheated us off the 3 points on the opening day of the season. If only we’d gotten penalties vs Chelsea (at home), vs ManU, vs WBA, if only Ramsey and Walcott and Ozil weren’t injured etc etc..

    There is no point playing the if only game. We need a striker to add something to our squad. We need more pace. We need strength and height in midfield. Yes we do. But we’re still having a good season. We just need to give our all the rest of the way. Fans too. They were fantastic yesterday even when we were a goal behind.

  18. arnie says:

    Great stuff, Kelsey, the learned one. A special thanks for stepping in again. :-) This time, however, I have quite a few quibble with your report. It seems to me I saw the game somewhat differently.

    Three main points of disagreement.

    First, “at eighteen minutes the inevitable happened … and thoughts turned to another drubbing on the cards.” I think it was not inevitable and that Arsenal were playing a good game even in the first half. No matter wt the numpties in Sky would have us believe. We were pressing up without losing our shape in defence, not that much anyway. We were challenging for every lose ball in the midfield. And we were somewhat potent in attack and should/ could have had a goal before we fell behind.

    Second, about Giroud. In general I agree Ollie is not a finisher. But if he were not playing his holding role, at the right corner flag of all places, waiting for the players to arrive in droves, our goal may not have happened. Poldi I thought was great yesterday in the left winger role. Who said he cannot defend? He did well in driving back as well.

    Third, “if only a few of our walking wounded especially Ramsey and Koscielny could feature in our last three or four games that would bolster the team enormously and give us CL football yet again”. I think what yesterday showed to me again is that this team is very good, despite injuries and all that. They play well particularly when they take pride in wearing the shirt. If they play like yesterday, CL football will be there.

    Ex post, it has to be said Mr Wenger’s team selection was perfect, even if many of us at the moment thought otherwise. Let us keep faith in the good guys. COYG. :-) :-) :-)

  19. arnie says:

    White Bear: I am (more than) a tad diasappointed that you have blamed me for “framing” you, your words not mine. At the same time, you probably felt no ill in calling the likes of me “deluded”. Well well well. If wishing to see a post from someone who expects the good guys to be DEMOLISHED is anything other than a gentle rap and an expectation of more positive thoughts in the form of a post, we are probably from different planets. I can only say, I have learnt a lesson. :sad:

  20. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ” If only we had a striker” Does this address the problem?

    From the Metro ….”Arsenal have secured the signing of striker Josip Drmic, 21, from Nuremberg to bolster their frontline for next season. The Switzerland international, rated at £8m, has scored almost half of his team’s goals in the Bundesliga this season.”

    Now I’ll read Kelsey’s post and comment later.

  21. Rasp says:

    Troll alert …….

  22. arsenaljema says:

    We have written 100 plus articles how terrible our top striker is …it seems no one cares more especially arsenal manager wenger .I’m glad someone is seriously concerned . Exactlly giroud is the worst ever top striker , arsenal have had in years . The top man who can’t outran or by pass one defender , he doesn’t know ball control , always miscalculate with goal shootings , bad passes & bad headers . A player with no class , arsenal don’t deserve a top strikes like him in this modern football . Arsenal can’t even compare their top strikers with man u , chelsea , man city & liverpool . Arsenal missed points because of lack top quality striker .It happened against everton ,man u ,chelsea & man city all @ emirates stadium & very regrettable away games against man u & stoke city . I wonder why this should continue when arsenal have many unanswered problems in 9years with alot world class top strikers knocking @ emirates door .

  23. GunnerN5 says:

    Kelsey,

    Some of our performances this season have been very bemusing, to say the least and as RA pointed out with a bit more luck we could have been even closer to the top.

    I believe that singling out Giroud is a tad unfair, he is always played as the lone man up front which makes it pretty easy for defenses to nullify him – he had that one moment in the game where he almost turned it in from close quarters – with a bit of luck he could have been our hero.

    Man C are a cut above the quality teams in the league and I felt that yesterday’s game was a 50/50 encounter. If we were not missing our “magnificent seven” it would have been a different game and the league standings would tell a different story.

    Such are the trials and tribulations of the club and us supporters, being an Arsenal supporter has never been easy – has it?

    It was great listening to the home support yesterday – a rarity but none the less encouraging to hear.

    By the way the lack of cover for our roving fullbacks leaves us vulnerable in every game – I wonder how many goals have been scored against us on break aways?

  24. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning all, Well said Kelsey, I can find nothing to disagree with.

    On Giroud, I love his attitude but despair of him as our number one striker. If he is to play the “hold-up” role his first touch is not good enough and despite his size he can’t cope against good defenders in the air. His lack of composure in front of goal is proving costly as he wastes the few good chances provided for him. The biggest problem though is his lack of pace and general manoeuvrability.

    Giroud apart I thought we did pretty well yesterday, the attitude gradually improved after the first twenty-five minutes, by the end of the game we looked like a top four side again.

    If we can get something at Everton, the run in looks pretty good if not a doddle.

  25. Get us an address chas, of your “favourite” mate and I`ll be around in the Cortina with Chloroform, hollow tube and barbed-wire !.

  26. kelsey says:

    chas,

    sorry I meant at Home :)

  27. arnie says:

    one more big effort against Everton, and then we shall see. COYG. :-)

  28. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Fulham are having a right old go at Everton, they’ve had some good chances. Eleven shots so far although only two on target. Keep it up Cottagers. :D

  29. arnie says:

    Fulham 1-1 Everton – Ashkan Dejagah ha ha ha ha :-) :-) :-)

  30. arnie says:

    oh shit!!!!!!!! Everton 2-1

  31. Big Raddy says:

    Football can be so cruel. Fulham dominate and have two shots cleared off the line – the Everton score. Tough.

  32. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Fulham own goal by their ‘keeper gives the Toffees the lead but a screamer by Ashkan Dejagah gets them back on terms.

    C’mon Fulham!!!

  33. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I was caught out by that one, just like Fulham!

  34. Norfolk Gooner says:

    1 – 3 Now

  35. arnie says:

    come on, Agent Sherwood. We support you today, without high expectations of course! :-)

  36. GoonerB says:

    Thanks for the post match kelsey. I was proud of the boys yesterday. I actually thought that City were slightly better than us in the first half but we were the better in the second. I thought we were more dominant in the second than they had been in the first so I feel we probably deserved a victory overall, but I am not complaining. I knew they had that type of performance in them and had said I felt we had the beating of them. I have also said that I don’t believe Chelsea are a better team than us but just that we made it seem that way, which is why I was so frustrated and critical after that game.

    I can’t find fault with any player in red and white yesterday. For me Santi and Matty were the MOTM players but I am just giving it to Matty with what I believe to be his best performance for us in either of his stints at the club. It was a proper all action display. I was pleasantly shocked at how often he was up contributing to our attacking play but at the same time always seemed to be back covering his defensive duties. He was literally everywhere. The constant talking and geeing up of the others is very important to us and in spirit at least he was our El Capitano of the day. It is important we keep the experience of him, Sagna and Arteta at the club over the next couple of seasons and then add to the squad on top of this.

    Ollie put in a good shift for us but, like Rasp, I see him as an option from the bench in the biggest games and a starter against mid to lower table sides in a weekend game either before or after a big ECL game. Ollie always looks far more effective when he drops slightly deeper to receive the ball and other players look to get beyond him, and I believe he needs to play with 2 quick wing forwards either side of him, a bit like Bayern do with Ribbery and Robben, to bring out the best in him. We have some excellent midfield maestro’s who aren’t blessed with blistering speed but are exceptional at playing the slide rule passes in the space behind the defence and they need someone who can exploit that which isn’t Ollie.

    Still it would be nice to have 2 different ways of playing and being a 2nd choice number 9 at a club like Arsenal is no shame.

    I tend to agree with Shard’s general sentiment at 11.48. We have what we have currently so lets just do the best we can with it. This game shows that even with the injuries and without those couple of extra world class players we likely need that our best is actually pretty bloody good.

    “If only” everyone would just listen to you Shard.

  37. GoonerB says:

    I dont know arnie. Part of me thinks we will not catch liverpool now anyway so i plumping for a draw and both teams to drop 2 points.

  38. Good old totts 1 down already :)

  39. Everton sounded awesome, very crisp in front of goal, able to take their chances :(

  40. arnie says:

    GoonerB: never say no. :-) if we play like we did yesterday, we fans will be happy. we will take what comes. Pool have to start dropping points at some point, Shitty and Chavs have already started. :razz:

  41. arnie says:

    Kaboul scores a goal, unfortunately against his own team. :razz:

  42. Bayonne Jean says:

    Suarez again…..

  43. GoonerB says:

    I dont think we will catch all 3 above us arnie so it would be nice if totts were out of the cl running. Just everton to worry about. 3rd would be nice though to avoid a pre qualifier in a wc year.

  44. White Bear says:

    great stuff Kelsey, thank you! It feels good to know that we can rely on you to deliver a solid, honest report. I for one agree with you on both Szczesny and Giroud – both of them being the weakest links in the squad, when it should be the opposite – I’ve never known any great team without top goalie and lethal striker.

  45. RA says:

    Peaches,

    The first Everton goal was a fluke own goal, via a ricochet off the Fulham keeper,

    The second goal was offside – but allowed.

    The third goal was both offside – but allowed – and also was preceded by a handball by Everton’s Mirallas in the build up.

    Luck and rubbish officiating. So it goes.

  46. Rasp says:

    Oh well, a draw would have been nice, but we might as well see the totts get tonked now – I wonder if any team before has ever finished the prem in 6th with a minus GD?

  47. Thanks RA, shows how biased Stan Collymore is ……….. he told me we should be very afraid :(

  48. Big Raddy says:

    Seeing Matty score reminded me of just how costly Ramsey’s injury has been.

  49. GoonerB says:

    We will beat everton next week peaches. Good side and it will not be easy but i feel we will do it.

  50. RA says:

    Good Post, Kelsey and some valid points made.

    I think you have been very harsh on Giro. I know he can seem very careless with his first touch, but frankly he is so often found upfield on his own – and that is not tenable, however good the CF may be.

    His performances have not been helped by the absence through injury of two of our most creative players like Ozil, Jack who would otherwise give him assists, or Theo whose pace would create openings for him, or Aaron whose driving runs would allow Giro to benefit from the havoc he creates.

    Of course, I would like him to have the skills of Suarez or Aguerro, but we cannot fault him for not being those two.
    AW knew he wasn’t the most skilful when he bought him – he is what he is – and you cannot blame a sheep, bought for wool, if it cannot bark like a dog. Can you? :-)

  51. kelsey says:

    Thank you for all the comments some in agreement with me generally and others not.

    I would just like to point out that to me a review as opposed to a detailed report are observations about the lads who actually played.

    I and all of you know that IF is a big word :) and one can’t assume if others were available how the match would have panned out.
    I maybe harsh on Giroud but again I have for example been a great supporter of Santi and Sagna regardless how they play, as to me they are better all round footballers.

  52. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for the report Kelsey.

    I know you’d be bored with 100% agreement, so here goes… :)

    I was quite a harsh critic of Szcz last season, but this season I feel he has been very, very good and saved our bacon in many games. Until about two weeks ago he was talked of by many as the best ‘keeper in the league along with Cech. He had one or two nervy moments yesterday but the whole team has been nervous since the Chav result.

    And with Ollie, my view is pretty similar to RA’s. He is not a world class striker in the mould of TH14, BSR, Aguero or Suarez. But he is a decent centre forward who has been struggling since losing all his “support runners” through injury. As for being the worst striker in an Arsenal shirt for years, I prefer him to Chamakh or Adebarndoor – and apart from those two he’s up against RvP and TH14.

    Do we need a “world class” striker if we are to be potential champions next year? Of course. Does that mean OG is useless? Not at all – and I hope he stays as our “plan B”.

  53. RockyLives says:

    BR
    “The coracle has spoken” :)

  54. arnie says:

    Rocky and Redders: If 100% agreement is not quite satisfactory, let me agree 110% with you there. :-)

  55. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheers Kelsey.

    I really enjoyed yesterday. Next season ime convinced we will win the league.

    I sort of agree with every one else about Giroud. Hes a bit shit, but for some one whos a bit shit hes a very good team player.

    No one wants to have team mates that are total shit but we all like to play football with some one whos a bit shit. They know there limitations so work on becoming team players, thus making us look good. I like and respect Giroud for this

    Look, I dont like Dogs and they dont like me but its not because there shit. Its because they like to shit and when they see me coming give it the hard man act.

    But I fully understand many people love there dogs, so for them dog owners, they must be giving them the required work rate to keep them fit when going for walks

    Giroud gives Arsenal work rate.

  56. Adrian says:

    Liverpool’s form is really crazy right now, Suarez scoring once again showing what a good striker gives to the team. Im still at shock at their rapid rise in form, that’s 8 wins in a row for them.

    How the tables have turned. 2 months ago we were in contention for the title while Liverpool were apparently fighting for fourth…

  57. RA says:

    Kelsey, @ 5:30

    I do not often disagree with you, but I have to say the following is stretching my support;

    — “I and all of you know that IF is a big word ”

    It really isn’t, oh hairy one — it’s a teeny weeny word with only two letters! :-)

  58. Hello fellow gunners it’s been a long time hope everyone is ok.
    Question for you all if we don’t win the title who would u like to win it.
    For me it’s Liverpool.

  59. neamman says:

    I feel You were very unfair on OG. He would have benefited with a fit Theo to work with who could have taken some of the pressure off when playing together, or even given him a break occasionally. My anger is directed towards NicB who had the perfect opportunity since December to show us, or his future employers, what he can do. By stepping up he would have given OG the occasional rest mentally and physically. I have always been a huge NicB supporter who thought he never had a fair chance here being played out of position. I am very disappointed in him as he may be a good striker but he is not a good team man!!

  60. neamman says:

    SH @ 7.55
    I also prefer Liverpool to win if not us. As I said in a post yesterday I would like to see Gerrard’s loyalty rewarded.

  61. neamman says:

    SH if you read the last third of yesterdays posts you will see a full discussion on who our second choice is to win if we don’t. It seems the majority opinion is MC, a couple for Liverpool and no one for Chelsea.

  62. Gööner In Exile says:

    Well done Kelsey, I must say we see a different keeper in Szczesny, yes he may mishandle a few crosses, but we watch him every week, I doubt there are many keepers who show perfect hands every game. As I’ve said before what is important is that he keeps coming for them, in the dying minutes City put a free kick in to our box which Szczesny came and claimed confidently. As long as he tells his defenders his coming and as long as they cover when he does it’s a good system. The best keeper in the world is Neuer, I can’t think if many I’ve seen and would rather have in go for us. And the thing we must remember….it’s very difficult to convince a keeper to come sit on the bench or fight for his place, they like to know they are number one. The only club in recent times that have been blessed with two great keepers was Newcastle, Given and Harper. The only reason Harper stayed was because every day he got to go and train for the team he supported as a kid, but he could have been a star at any other PL club.

    Now as for Olli, I have no problem with him, he is what he is, he has shown on plenty of occasions that he can score goals and also shown his suitability for the back to goal role. If we want a different type of striker that’s fine but to label him the worst striker to wear an Arsenal shirt is unkind. City started with Dzeko, not sure I saw too much more from him.

  63. chas says:

  64. chas says:

  65. 26may1989 says:

    Hi there. Sorry for checking in late, been a hectic day, involving taking the little bloke to his under 8s rugby festival and multiple mothers’ day activities for the family’s various maternals.

    Well done, kelsey, for stepping up.

    I said yesterday that my expectations for the match were low. But the players absolutely stepped up. I have not a word of criticism for any one of them. To my eye, the first half was even stevens, and we just dominated them in the second half. In the context of the last few weeks, a draw against the most talented side in the country (with one of the best attacking lines in the world) was more than satisfactory. But having seen how well we played in the second half, and how tame City were, I feel disappointed that we didn’t grab all three points.

    As for the players, Santi, Rosicky, Sagna and Vermaelen were all absolutely superb. Not far behind them were Flamini, Arteta, Poldi, Gibbs, Merts, Ox and Giroud. Szczesny had a couple of moments with the ball, but his distribution was good yesterday and he made some excellent interventions with aerial stuff.

    I don’t really get the criticism of Giroud yesterday – he was completely isolated for chunks of the game. So shooting from 40 yards isn’t embarrassing, it’s doing what can be done when nothing else is on. I have never pretended to think Giroud is a striking god – he is an honest to goodness pro, with more than a little talent, but who is certainly not the answer to our attacking needs. And I don’t think Wenger thinks he is either – why else try to sign Suarez last summer? Of course we need more mobility, invention and variation up front, that’s obvious. But Giroud still deserves credit.

    We’re not going to win the league this year, but yesterday should serve as a platform for us to secure at the very least 4th place and the FA Cup – and I would not be surprised to see us finish higher than 4th yet.

  66. JM says:

    No 1:

    One that got away in 2012. (Mario Mandžukić, who had scored 20 goals in 56 appearances for Wolfsburg and was joint-top scorer in Euro 2012 with Croatia. Mandžukić, of course, joined Bayern Munchen and starred in their successful seasons since).
    Transfer fee: €13 million.

    He was believed to be one of our 1st choices then.

    One we bought in 2012. (Olivier Giroud).

    ==========================================

    No 2:

    Another one that got away in 2012. (Marco Reus, who had scored 37 goals in 99 appearances with Borussia Mönchengladbach, starred with Germany in Euro 2012 and whose role model is Arsenal and Czech international Tomáš Rosický. Reus, of course, re-joined Borussia Dortmund, and established himself into one of the most sought-after hybrid attacking midfielder/winger/forward in the world)
    Transfer fee: €17.1 million

    Another one we bought in 2012. (Lukas Podolski).

    ==========================================

    No 3:

    Comparing Szczęsny with Neuer is a bit unfair; since one is still establishing himself in his club/league and country, while the other is already an accomplished custodian at world class level.

    What then of Szczęsny in respect to other goalkeepers closer to his age, experience and status?

    (a) Thibaut Courtois (A.Madrid/Chelsea, Belgium)
    (b) Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany)
    (c) David de Gea (Manchester United, Spain)
    (d) Yann Sommer (FC Basel, Switzerland)

  67. Gööner In Exile says:

    JM, your point about Szczesny vs Neuer is correct, it was what I was trying to say, but failing.

  68. arnie says:

    moterning all.

    nice analysis, JM. You should be writing posts for us. Where I am puzzled is: when we were trying to get Suarez last summer, it was obviously a long shot. What was our Plan B? Surely not Sanogo. It appears to me we must have tried and failed to get another striker. Who it was does not matter so much. But failing to land someone was a big blow to our title credentials, ex post.

    Nevertheless, progress made, put in a big effort now, put gains in the bag, and move on. Onwards and upwards! :-)

  69. kelsey says:

    Morning all

    Well it seems that about 75% of you didn’t agree with my post match review despite me being postive about many aspects of our performance but obviously my take on Giroud in particular touched a nerve with many .

    I wasn’t meant to do the review and when Evonne declined I quickly put together my thoughts and as dandan says I don’t waiver and am consistent in my views and if proved wrong by the end of the season,,I would be delighted.

    With regards to Tony Attwood and Untold Arsenal i have spoken to him many times but not for a few years but his site is the most pro Arsenal and Wenger site I have ever come across. If we were to lose 9-0 he would find positives in the result but the main reason he runs his site is for revenue from the books he sells.
    I have never said I am anti Wenger but believe to an extent the game has changed dramatically and though still one of the best managers the PL has ever had, I feel he has too much control and would benefit from leaving certain aspects of the club to others and it would possibly also help to bring someone else in to share and discuss the responsibility of the players individually and first and foremost have a thorough investigation as to why we have so many injury prone players or long term injured players.
    You have all seen the table which we top with injuries and the physical presence of many of these players is quite different.

    Of course a fit Ramsey,Walcott,Kos, or even (don’t laugh) Diaby would have made a difference on Saturday. Ozil is not included as he will be a great for us,but next season. Wilshere has a part to play if he can finally overcome one injury after another.
    of course we have over achieved this season but yet again our next game “is a must win game”
    If anyone else would like to do the next review that is absolutely fine by me.
    I am not a technician, nor am I an expert on formations and who should be subbed and when,I just observe things as I see it as a simple supporter.

  70. White Bear says:

    Some people got the wrong end of the stick while discussing Giroud. Nobody can fault his work ethic, him commitment, good looks and self-belief. But what we can fault is his ability, or rather lack of it to score goals – his main job related objective. And that is criminal in my books.

    If any of us failed to deliver on the main objective in the workplace we would be fired, simple as that. He has failed us times and times again, and we still continue patting him on the back because he is such a hard worker. Nonsense.

  71. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. Your reports are excellent and provide a great basis for discussion.

  72. White Bear says:

    chas @7:02 – I am delighted that players are no longer allowed to play with just the boxer shorts on. Proper shorts look much better.

    Great photo of Rocky

  73. White Bear says:

    and as for Liverpool winning the league – I loved them singing to the tune of For he’s a jolly good fellow:
    you never gonna believe it, you never gonna believe it,
    you never gonna believe it – we gonna win the League!! :)
    Let them, at least they are not oilers

  74. Big Raddy says:

    White Bear. OG is 8th top scorer in the PL and 7th in assists. Add in his Cup goals and he can be seen to have had a good season – not the best but good, Will he ever be a lethal striker like Suarez? No.

  75. White Bear says:

    Raddy – and what is the goal difference between 1st and 8th? Clue – more than Giroud has scored.

  76. White Bear says:

    oh yeah, and Suarez missed first 5 games of the season.

  77. Big Raddy says:

    WB. I am not arguing that Suarez is the better player – he clearly is.

    What I am saying is that OG is not as bad as you think. And neither is TPIG :-D

  78. RA says:

    White Bear @ 8:34

    –“what is the goal difference between 1st and 8th? Clue – more than Giroud has scored.”

    And do you know what — it is less than the number of cups of coffee I had last week. :-)

    Now that settles it! He is guilty!

  79. RA says:

    Kelsey,

    You really do not need to explain your Posts. They are fine and encourage conversations afterwards.

    Neither is it important who agrees or disagrees with your views on certain matters – many people do agree with your views on other matters. :-)

  80. White Bear says:

    yes Raddy, and I remember ‘some’ bloggers arguing with me that Santos was ok too. Nope, I don’t take a dislike to some players without a good reason. Santos was crap, Giroud in not a striker and Szczesny will never be reliable.

  81. JM says:

    @arnie March 31, 2014 at 7:52 am

    What was our Plan B?

    Answer: There were actually two options, one external and one internal. Arsenal (and Arsene) had been looking at some established strikers from South America.

    There was his post-match press conference after the match against Southampton, sometime Novemeber last year. He raised an intriguing debate, as he diagnosed a continent-wide malaise in the forward position.

    Quoted:
    { Europe, Wenger argues, is no longer producing the elite strikers.

    ‘Yes, Europe still produces fantastic football players but if you look closely, we do not produce top strikers anymore. Very few’, Wenger said, ‘All the big strikers now come from South America. During the summer, Falcao went to Monaco, Cavani went to PSG, everybody wanted to sign Luis Suarez and Gonzalo Higuain went to Napoli for big money.’ }

    We were in for everyone of them until 3 were outbid by either wealthier clubs or getting higher signed-on fees and wages; and 1 remained with his club, which refused to bulge.

    There was also David Villa, but he chose to remain in Spain as his family are expecting his fourth child.
    Robert Lewandolski was never in our agenda, as he had already agreed to join Bayern Munchen (around the time Mario Gotze signed for them), when his contract expires this summer. Mario Gomez is a similar type of player as Giroud, so no go (as was Fernando Llorente, who joined Juventus).
    His compatriot, Miroslav Klose, was having issues with injury and age has slowed him down.
    Carlos Tevez was always looking abroad once he left Man. City.
    Diego Costa was locked down at A.Madrid, after they sold Falcao. So too was Jackson Martinez, after Porto released James Rodriguez & Joao Moutinho to Monaco (Besides, Porto has tied astronomical release clauses on their players, usually twice their market value).
    Wayne Rooney was never going to join us (due to his incrementing high wages).

    Internally, Theo Walcott is the second option at main striker/forward, with 3 of Özil, Cazorla, Rosicky, The Ox, Podolski lining up either behind or alongside him (in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1). That was before he got his ACL injury and had to sit out for the rest season.

    I wrote my one and only maiden headline post to ‘Arsenal Arsenal’ (addressed to Peaches) way back in Dec 2012. It could be in the archives somewhere.

  82. arnie says:

    Kelsey: you do a stellar job. we all love your posts. they are, as you say, positive an opinionated. So what if some do not agree with your views. Even better. Generates a lot of discussion. :-)

    nice analysis, JM. :-)

  83. White Bear says:

    JM – and what about Messi :)
    Surely there is a striker that we can afford and who is not averse to Arsenal

  84. Morning all

    Sorry to be late …………

    ………….We have a New Post ………………

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