Believe it or not …….

We’re a pretty calm lot here on Arsenal Arsenal, well some can be relied on to vent their feelings loudly, but largely the comments after the game were sensible.

There was some poor officiating which many felt helped Man City where really they didn’t need it. Milners dive for their penalty was a disgrace.

Defensively, we looked all over the place with limited connection between mid-field and the back four so that when City had the opportunity to break they pretty much had the run of the pitch. Flamini seems to have a dose of ‘Songitis’ at the moment, he needs to be reminded that one goal ‘doeth not a centre forward make’ and stick to his job.

A front six all wanting to be number 10’s was never going to work against the excellent attacking prowess that City had to offer and so we conceded pretty much every time they attacked and got a shot on target. Harrumph!!!!!!!!!

We lost Koscielny early on to a cut knee 🙂 which gave Vermaelen a chance to play. Would we have carried on leaking goals with Kozzer on the pitch? We’ll never know.

There were obviously some very tired legs out there but we should have been able to retain possession better than we did. Some of our lapses were suicidal and Wenger was right when he said that we made too many mistakes.

Clearly we don’t like travelling to Manchester but both teams will need to visit us and we’ll be able to get those six points back.

As the sun was shining when I woke up this morning I thought to look for the positives from this game. I’m not saying we should have won, Man City were awesome, but at times like this you have to find things to make you feel better ….. so here goes.

Theo was a breath of fresh air. Fantastic to have him back. I hope he’s been watching how Giroud could use a bit of help in the box and is ready to get into the spaces to score or assist. There have been games recently where we have been crying out for him to come on and unsettle defenses. I think he’s a very important player for us, hope he stays fit now.

We scored three goals at the Etihad, I read that that was more than they had conceded there all season, so well done boys. Actually, of course, we scored four but one was wrongly given offside, a great passage of play culminating in a header from Nik.

Koscielny’s injury isn’t as bad as was predicted but he will need to wear a plaster for a few days. I expect him back for the Chelsea game.

Speaking of the Chelsea game, all of our exhausted legs should be well rested by the time we play them. Nine days rest in December – Ozil will think he’s had a winter break.

We are still top of the league folks, the chasing pack also have their frailties but we need to be strong.

Can you think of any more positives? Let us know in the comments ……..

Written by peachesgooner

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129 Responses to Believe it or not …….

  1. matt says:

    We have better foundations than any other club in England. We have finished higher than any pundits predicted for years. We are a role model in a league that is financially doped, immoral, and increasingly boring at the top. We are hated by the press which is pretty much proof we are doing things right. We play the best football in the league on our day and its going to get better.

  2. Difficult game yesterday but we are still top and I feel by the time we play Chelsea in 8 days we will up and ready to beat Chelski

  3. Well done matt, thank you.

    Whilst no-one wants to see players ripping into each other it was good that Mertesacker was prepared to tell Ozil off for not going to applaud the travelling supporters.

    Hi sheep, how are you? Where’ve you been hiding?

  4. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good day AAers, the breech well stepped into by Peaches. A calmer post than I could have produced, I’m still seething over some suicidal defending.

    Far more worrying for me is the apparent falling out between the BFG and Ozil, Merts gave him an earful for the “assist” for one of City’s goals and also for not acknowledging the Arsenal fans at the end of the game.

    Still we are top of the league.

  5. Sheep Hagger says:

    Hi peaches I’ve been hiding in Swansea are u missing the Sheep ?

  6. Belfastgooner says:

    Thanks Peaches
    Very well balanced summary. I had dreaded this match once the scheduling was confirmed. It was always likely to leave us at a significant disadvantage before a ball was kicked.
    All this doom and gloom can be sorted by spanking Chelsea. 9 days is a long time to stew over that result with the constant harping of the ‘I told you so antiWenger’ mob annoying my happiness.
    I can’t understand why this lot don’t rally behind the team It’s easy to support the Arsenal when things are going well but we need everyone pulling in the same direction on Monday week.

  7. LB says:

    Excellent post.

    A calm, intelligent read.

    Mine would have been something akin to the girl in the Exorcist when her head was spinning around, vomiting green bile. But instead of saying unpleasant things about someone’s mother I would be saying them with the same ferocity about Wilshere.

  8. Belfastgooner says:

    Did anyone read the article in today’s Observer regarding how football club’s treat the lower paid workers. It’s just outrageous to contrast what the footballers get with the average workers. 13 years hard graft to equate to a week’s wages for our top paid players.
    With our history and tradition of doing things right we should be leading the way. I don’t know how to link the article with my limited skill set but definitely worth a read. Football is distorted and needs sorted..

  9. Rasp says:

    Thanks peaches, I agree we have to look for the positives.

    But (sorry 😦 ) I am beginning to wonder if Wilshere/Ramsey is a bit like Lampard/Gerrard – can they both be effective in the same team?
    Also, why wasn’t Jack subbed a lot earlier? I think it would have been a relief for him. It looked like an act of submission when he hit the floor and stayed down from the tackle that dispossessed him leading to the goal. He will be a great player for us but he needs to find his place in the team.

    OK, the positives: TV looks like he’s getting back to the quality we saw a few years ago. Hopefully we will be giving Sagna a new 2 year contract. It wasn’t a fluke that Theo was top scorer last season – he’s the best finisher we have IMO. Take out the bad calls and yesterday’s game could have been a draw (but we didn’t deserve it).

    Ozil and Giroud need a rest, maybe play them against the chavs and then bring back the Pod, Theo and give Gnabry and others a chance over the Christmas period.

  10. Aftetnoon(is that the correct pm version of “motning”?) all,

    Well done to Peachy for the thankless task of writing up our first big spanking of the season.

    Yes, I’m disappointed about yesterday but we found a team at the top of their attacking game and our defence/midfield decided to commit hari-kiri a few times to help them on their way.

    I hope the players are hurting as much as we are, and by the looks of the BFG/Özzy incident some of them are.

    Here’s to a response against another sugar daddy driven team in 8 days time when I will be watching from a beach bar in the Canary Islands. It certainly feels like a better place to be weather wise than a cloudy, wet, gloomy Blighty.

  11. RA says:

    We do not often have the pleasure of a Post from you, Peaches, but that post match is a pleasure to read and both sensible and accurate without unnecessary rancour. 🙂

  12. Vinod.P.K. says:

    Not only in this game, I find RB position is very weak.Sangna is not able to play at the level others are able to.Arsene Wenger is a man who rated defenders wrongly several times… He played DJOUROU. … GALLAS was his main defender several years..
    Now he is not playing MONREAL & VERMEALEN in the first eleven.
    So many of our defensive problems are starting from players not sure of themselves in the upper front and frantic clearing.

  13. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Welcome Vinod, Monreal started yesterday and Vermaelen will play at least until Koscielny is fit again, I think you are being harsh with your criticism of Sagna, he has played at the highest level for some years now and, in the opinion of many contributors to this site, is deserving of a new contract.

    Yesterday was not our finest hour as far as defending goes, but it’s unfair to put all of the blame on the back four, the rest of the team have a responsibility to defend as well.

  14. JanMan says:

    Just arrived back in Germany after a couple of weeks back in the States checking up on the USA side of the business, thankfully my son is still doing a good job there.
    Just caught a few streaming highlights of the game and the positive side is that we scored three goals away to city! Normally when you score three goals away from home you win the game 🙂
    I guess it would be easy to criticise individual players but what’s the point? You win or lose as a team and not as an individual? We could look at blaming officials and/or the short space of recovery time after the Napoli game but should we really be looking for excuses? We simply need to roll up our sleeves and accept that we got done by a better City side, whether we lost by the odd goal or a hat full, that’s all there is to it. What is important is how we react and the next game against Chelsea. The team has pleanty of time to rest, aches and pains should be gone and we move on. Three points next Monday night and once again things look bright!

  15. Gööner In Exile says:

    Peaches well done, measured piece.

    On the Ozil/BFG spat Ozil took to Facebook to apologise to the fans so I guess that’s done and dusted.

    On Kozzer my prediction is more than a week, Robben was ruled out for six weeks recently with a similar injury on the knee, his went down to the bone so I guess it depends how far Koscielny’s is.

    As for the game I said my piece yesterday too many errors punished, I don’t think there’s much Arsene could have done differently with the players on the pitch. And as others have said three goals away at City plus one ruled out for non offside is not bad going.

    But even though I think Atkinson is a poor ref we can’t blame him unless we also want to revisit Sunderland away and admit that could have been a different story if the same ref had allowed Altidore to continue rather than pulling back for a free kick. We were due a dodgy ref performance against us.

  16. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. Thanks.

    We should note that at 88mins it was 4-2. A beating but not a tonking. The last 15 we ran out of steam.

    Also, it was a definite handball and penalty which would have further reduced the deficit.

    I cannot agree that the wrong offsides should be discounted, nor the clear dive for their penalty.

    The best team won but we have reason for complaint. We move on and gear up for the Southern Oilers

  17. Bayonne Jean says:

    I think the most positive aspect was that there was no capitulation on the Arsenal’s part, and that Pellegrini realizes that his side happened to play at what could be close to their highest level (7 shots on target, 6 goals) yet they were still vulnerable, gave up three goals and could easily have been drawn or defeated on another day.

    Another positive was watching Na$ri get subbed out in near tears after he continually fluffed his lines trying to score a goal against his old team…

    On the down side, a more egregious obscene gesture than Wilshere’s was watching AW chatting all smiles with Na$ri in the tunnel before the match….
    Please….

    Pool spanking Spuds 0-2 at SFL. Just when you’d want them to manage a draw, they flame out. Tools…and Suarez is just ridiculous.

  18. Gööner In Exile says:

    Paulinho booking his Christmas holiday with that karate kid assault.

    Amazed Smith is trying to say it wasn’t bad, Paulinho bends his leg to make sure he gets contact.

  19. Big Raddy says:

    Is it that Lpool have imoroved orbthat Spurs are awful?

    Stupid question really.

  20. Bayonne Jean says:

    Steve Clark (wrongly) sacked at Baggies; wins at OT, should have won at the bridge apart from utterly dodgy penalty. Since that decision (which Mike Riley apologized for) it all falls apart; what exactly did he do wrong?

    If Clark out, will AVB be far behind?

  21. Big Raddy says:

    Bayonne. Hope not 🙂

    Suarez is quite good.

  22. Gööner In Exile says:

    Spuds spent £100m+ on assembling this pile of shite.

  23. Oh dear, third fire drill coming up at SHL – 0-5 hahaha

  24. fatgingergooner says:

    Spurs losing 5-0 at home to a Liverpool team with no Gerrard or Sturridge!

    Can’t see AVB lasting until January at this rate.

  25. evonne says:

    Great post Peaches, thank you! I know I can trust you to find positives under harshest conditions. Even if the world was to fall apart you would probably say that Spurs will never finish their stadium now 🙂

    No, I can find no positives from yesterday. Shitty were better, they deserves to win and I can see them winning the league. Their attacking prowess might be the best in the world.

    Spurs result doesn’t cheer me up, because it means that Pool is getting closer. Bad results all around and I am totally miserable.

    Suarez scored more goals than several PL teams, including Spurs

  26. Big Raddy says:

    Been on the Dear Mr Levy website ….. 😀

    Hugely entertaining

  27. dandan says:

    Evonne This will cheer you up. http://youtu.be/8OME9EwIzK0

  28. arnie says:

    Well done, Peaches, stepping into the breach at a late hour and producing a constructive assessment of a difficult day is no fun.

    There are a lot of positives, and we have been debating these since yesterday. Rather than go there, a couple of other points.

    1. Rotation/ replacement.

    Verms needs some playing time, and Nik I think deserves some as well. If Kozzer is not 100%, I would like to see Verms in CB and Sagna in RB. I think that is a better formation for us. Between Gibbs and Monreal I cannot decide. But I think both are more attack minded which can sometimes be a problem. We should be careful about this against the Chavs. After the Chavs game, I would like to see Nik starting some games, and Ramsey not starting all games.

    2. Personally I do not see a problem in Arsene persisting with Jack. If you are not playing well, you have to come out of it by continuing to play. Play it out, one might say.

    3. Similarly no problem with the spat between BFG and Ozil. A little bit of passion is good for the game.

  29. r0blucci says:

    The last time we had a streak of bad games we went on winning the next nine and drawing one.

    I’m sure the match against City would hurt the player as much as the match against Spurs at Lane last year and I’m sure now what needed to be done, just like last year.

    And I dont think City will win the league. I reckon it will be between Chelsea against us at the end.This is the third time Pellegrini manage a moneybag teams, and he failed to win anything with the other two.

  30. arnie says:

    Yes, we have had three indifferent games on the trot. My worry is not whether we will start getting good results, but whether we will recover in time for the Chavs game. We really need to do this.

    Otherwise, things are good. We will lose some games in the EPL, and it is better this loss comes against a team that is currently playing out of the skin of their teeth. Much better than the way we manufactured a loss against ManUre away. Even that was not a disaster, this certainly is not!!!!! 😀 😀

  31. r0blucci says:

    I dont know what to feel about the totts game. Its hillarious but LIverpool only two points behind us now.

  32. evonne says:

    dandan 🙂

    r0blucci – I nope you are bang on and City will lose momentum

    arnie – what are you on? I want some of that stuff 🙂

  33. arnie says:

    Evonne: What drugs am I on? Positives, taking the positives and moving on. Believe me, it is a fantastic journey.

    Tell me, were you not pleased with Theo’s performance? The passion demonstrated by BFG? The fighting spirit? Scoring 3 goals, should have been 4? It should really have been 4-5 to the good guys? Still a loss. But we came up against a really good side.

    Take the positives and move on. As Terry would have said, it is work in progress. And the good news is that the future is bright!!!!

    Cheer up, Evonne. We will not let negativity drown this space!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  34. arnie says:

    R0blucci: I think it will be a 4-horse race this year. Us, Shitty, Chavs and Pool. Of these, my feeling is Pool will drop out at some point. We are doing well so far, just have to keep on with the show!!!!!

  35. r0blucci says:

    The only negative from last night is that Ramsey looks like he forgot what he does best. I know he scored a lot of goals right now and also creating chances, but I like last season Ramsey more, keeping possession and protect the defense.

    Yesterday, Flamini came up against both Kolo and Fernandinho alone, not one moment I saw either Wilshere or Ramsey helped him.

    Thats why I hope BFG rage will help us find our defensive mojo again, just like last year.

  36. Well done Peaches, people like you deserve better than this from Arsenal Football Club. Your opening line speaks volumes.
    You are a ‘calm’ lot, which is no bad thing, but does no-one ever question the over-all strategy and management of such a massive operation? Are we to be sanitised and censored to the degree where nobody can question the ability of the manager? I mean did the man who bought us Thierry Henry really believe that Olivier Giroud could ever have the same quality or hit the same heights?
    Yes, the officiating was garbage yesterday, but we all know football is as bent as hell, so not much anyone can do about that.
    I’m really struggling to comprehend the significance of the Ozil signing when the rest of the squad is wafer-thin. In time, Carl Jenkinson might be a competent right-back, but at the moment he is nowhere near ready. I’ve never thought Arteta has the game to take Arsenal up a notch or two, and for me it was £10m wasted.
    I’ve nothing against him personally, and for seven years, he was a bit of a star at Everton. But Everton are below us, and the best Arteta had to offer had already been used up.Let’s be honest, he hasn’t taken us up a notch, he has helped maintain our status quo. And quite why Giroud is the club’s first choice striker baffles me. He works and puts a shift in, for sure, but technically he is poor, in comparison to both Henry and the left-footed Eduardo. I’d say City’s third-choice striker, Edin Dzeko is better than Giroud.
    Such is the thinness of our squad, we are only ever a couple of injuries away from a full-blown disaster, and the players we do have are run into the ground because of a lack of genuine options.
    The three most crucial years in the clubs recent history are 2005, 2006 and 2007. It’s those three years that saw Patrick Vieira, Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires, Sol Campbell and Thierry Henry leave, and they’ve never adequately been replaced.
    We’ve gone into recent seasons relying solely on the fitness of one player instead of adding some much needed depth. Cesc Fabregas is the perfect example. He was given far too much responsibility and he carried the whole weight of the stadium move and recent failings on his shoulders because so much was expected. He wasn’t provided with the required supporting cast. Just the other year it was Jack Wilshere we relied upon, which ended with him being injured for a long spell, and still looks to be struggling a little. To go into a season relying on boys to get you through the whole campaign is bordering on madness. A huge gamble that could back-fire at any time.
    If Arsenal seriously intend challenging Chelsea, Man City Bayern Munich etc. then signing a player of Mezut Ozil’s quality is undoubtedly the way to go, but to then just leave it at that doesn’t make sense. He’s gone from having players like Ronaldo, Benzema, Higuian, Di Maria, Alonso to a squad that has nowhere near that level of talent. A more significant statement of intent would have been to bring Ozil in alongside Higuian, which would have made Arsenal serious contenders. So the pertinent question is, why do we always go into a season so ill-prepared?
    A lot of games are lost through Arsenal being bullied and having to surrender because we lack physical presence. It has been an issue for a few years now, but why hasn’t it been addressed? It has nothing to do with limited resources, it’s purely down to the type of player the manager chooses to bring in.
    Some of what Arsene Wenger does is admirable, but a big part of me feels he and the BoD have held the club back. A big club who behave like scaredy-cats whenever they come up to a real examination of their character. A policy of sticking their toe in the big pool and deciding the water is a bit too rich for their palate, where others around them have dived right in and are reaping the benefits. Look no further than Bayern Munich – yes, who we beat at the Allianz Arena in a dead rubber!
    It’s an under-rated value, remaining calm when all around you are losing their heads, but we are football fans first and foremost, and deep down there are issues within our club that need dissecting with honest, heart-felt grown-up debate, and one of those issues has to be an assessment of whether or not Arsene Wenger is still taking the club forward. I know it’s a big ‘if’, but if Arsenal lose at home against Chelsea a week tomorrow, I personally don’t think he deserves a new contract.
    Anyway, I’ve rambled far too much so that’s me off.

  37. evonne says:

    all right Arnie, I suppose you are right. Forced smile. x

  38. arnie says:

    Well said, WATA. Unfortunately, we always seem to move from one game to another, and I think today is not the day to have this debate. Because we have to band together against the face of vitriol to move ahead to the next game, which is very crucial.

    But we should be having this debate, as you rightly say, “grown-up” debate. Being critical, but constructively critical. Generate points to move towards the future boldly. Today is not the day, though, in my view. Hopefully, when the moment arrives, we will still have preserved part of the hurt and healthy dissatisfaction to get into the debate passionately. I sincerely hope we can do that. 😀 😀

  39. r0blucci says:

    arnie,

    I have some doubts about City especially since this is Pellegrini first season in the premier league, and LIverpool depended heavily on Coutinho.

    Chelsea have Mourinho, and the reason we hate that man because he almost as cunning as the red nose. He knew how to win the premier league, even with average players. Thats why I reckon it will be between us and them.

    And we really need to buy a striker. I know Podolski and Walcott may do the job, but we are not gunning for fourth place right now. A champion team should have a better option. We have three strikers in each three season we won the league.

  40. arnie says:

    Evonne: 😀 😀 😀

  41. r0blucci says:

    WATA,

    I lost you at 10mil wasted.

  42. arnie says:

    Fair points, R0blucci. I hope you are right about City. On the striker issue, fair points again, and well made as well. Personally, I am not persuaded, well not yet. But I am listening.

    For me, the bigger issues are: (a) the gap between DM and MFs, and (b) lack of efficiency in using the wings. But, as I said, I am listening.

  43. arnie says:

    WATA: I lost your arguments in the details as well. 10mil wasted, but also other places. But I appreciate the passion. Let us have a constructive debate, at some point, perhaps not now. Not about perceived mistakes that are debatable anyway, but the ways forward!!!!

  44. 20/20Vision says:

    It was not ‘a level playing field’ ,City had two Euro trip recovery days ,Arsenal travelling Thursday and again on Friday THEN a 12.45pm kick off, its like a conspiracy!City let in 50% more goals yesterday than they had ALL season at home in the league with one BENTNER goal chalked off wrongly for “offside” and a clear clear penalty denied to Arsenal, there were many positives, keep the faith!!

  45. arnie says:

    20/20Vision: Well said. Onwards and upwards!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  46. LB says:

    Spuds……………..sometimes, you gotta luv em.

    Just when you think that things can’t get worse, spuds brighten the day with a hilarious result.

    100 mil………down the pan.

  47. r0blucci says:

    arnie,

    The gap between defence and MFs was not apparent on our ten games run last season. Thats why I said I love last season Ramsey more, because he offer more protection to the defence than he is this season. I know he scored more and create chances more, but I hope he doesnt turn into Song.

    The other alternative is to used Wilshere there instead of wasting him on the wing, but Wenger also used Ramsey on the wing last season to improve his close control, so, what do I know.

  48. Räsp says:

    Evening all, …. chas, I’m awaiting your assists nominations ….. unless anyone else can definitively tell me who got the assists for us yesterday?

  49. Gööner In Exile says:

    Will be hard to have a constructive/grown up debate when the only enjoyment some fans get from posting is when we lose. Rarely here to celebrate wins….but hey were football fans…we wouldn’t want to do that would we? We will just come on and say everything about the club is wrong because we lost a couple of games of football.

    Looked at the league table….were top still. Probably played as many top 6/7 sides as the other contenders, ergo we must have played same amount of lower teams.

    A football fan learns to take the rough with the smooth…..well if you haven’t I’m not sure you should still be watching football.

    The fact that Dzeko is on double what Giroud is to sit on the bench is lost on many fans.

    And while it’s fair to say players like Jenkinson is not the finished article it’s not fair to assess the state of our club on that basis unless the same rules are applied to every other club in the league, that would be a grown up debate. Give me the first choice and back up right backs at every PL club, then we can see where we sit….do the same at left back, do it in midfield, do it up front. Then let’s see how well or otherwise we are being managed.

    Oh and Higuain, who wanted to come to Arsenal, not surprising considering he could not shift Napoli past us into CL knockouts so now plays on Spursdays poor chap, but Madrid kept coming back asking for more money because they were raising funds for Bale, we walked away and fair enough.

    Want to look at mismanagement, look down the road to N17. Sold their star player, building a stadium (allegedly) but spent all the money on a load of signings, have a bright young manager….yep pretty sure one club in North London is getting it right.

  50. evonne says:

    Geez LB, have you no heart at all? this is supposed to be a season of good will

  51. arnie says:

    GiE: 😀 😀 😀 Love that!!!!!!

    R0blucci: Fair points. Personally, I was beginning to like the idea of Arteta/Flamster and Ramsey as DM. But it has not worked so well in the past couple of games. Perhaps Rambo had a blip, perhaps fatigue, perhaps Jack was the problem. I think this is work in progress. But as you rightly say: what do we know? 😀

  52. Gooner in Exile says:

    Rasp….

    Ozil for Theo’s first
    Ramsey for Theo’s second
    Not sure who crossed for BFG….Ozil?

  53. Gooner in Exile says:

    Arnie/Rob on the DM debate i think the issue comes when we need two….lets be honest most weeks we need one, because the opposition are more worried about us than them….hence they might leave a couple of fast break options sitting up front, one DM in this instance is going to be fine. The issue comes when teams like City will give far less respect to our attacking threat and try and impose their shape on us, so we possibly need two

    Personally i think the problems in DM were only exposed once City had a two goal cushion and were prepared to leave Yaya further up the pitch to win knockdowns off the back four.

    Also need to clarify on our defensive mistakes yesterday…they weren’t really made by defenders (except possibly the first goal) they were about gifting possession in silly areas.

  54. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks Peaches

    No need to look for positives, we are the positive.

    A year ago we had just been beaten by Totnumb, were facing champions league qualification immposibility, and Arsene Wenger was a fool who had at his disposal the worst Arsenal squad for near on 20 years.

    Roll forward twelve months later and we can dream again. Arsene and these group of players has shocked the football fraternity with some wonderful football and excellently consistent results

    We should be very proud of the current squad. One of the most difficult things in any walk of life is to be constantly called shit and then have the courage and ability to turn opinion around.

    Have we the depth and finnished quality of the City and Chelsea squads? Of course not. But we are working at it and given time we will get there.

    One thing is for sure. This current pool of players are fighters and will come out all guns blazing against Chelsea

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  55. arnie says:

    Gifting possession in any area of the pitch, but mots importantly “silly areas”, is a serious mistake. Much rather accurate back passes rather than gift possession. There are plenty of lessons for the Chavs game. Which is I think good news.

    GiE: On the DM issue for the Chavs game, would you rather play Arteta and Flamster as DM, and Rambo as MF, Jack reverts to the bench?

  56. arnie says:

    Terry: Love that!!!!! 😀 😀

  57. Gooner in Exile says:

    So PL Rightbacks, be honest this takes some digging as i don’t know who many of these players are on other squads but this website is a bit of fun to play with:

    http://formation-y.com/en/league/premier_league.html

    Arsenal:
    Sagna
    Jenkinson

    City:
    Zabaleta
    Richards

    United:
    Rafael
    Fabio

    Liverpool:
    Johnson
    Kelly

    Spuds:
    Walker
    Naughton

    Chavs:
    Ivanovic
    Azpuiicueta

    Everton:
    Coleman
    Hibbert
    Stones

    So okay not as good as City, Chelsea may be happier with Azpilicueta than Jenkinson, the rest? You decide.

  58. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just passing.

    Peaches, thank you. Nothing dramatic, just calm soothing silky words. Just what the Doctor ordered. Thanks.

    Thought I’d share my thought of the day. The Big German hit the roof yesterday (I know, not far to go. Very funny). Remember the last time he did it post Spuds away last term.

    Maybe being Sausaged is what sends this team on great unbeaten runs 🙂

    I’m taking an inflatable one next time I go to the Ems. Actually, on second thoughts…..

    Bye.

  59. Gooner in Exile says:

    Arnie…its a tough one, and i’m glad i’ve not got the choice. To some extent there is a bit too much talent at disposal.

    We need goals, but we also need ball retention, and we need to be solid with the likes of Ramires, Hazard, Mata potentially running at us.

    The biggest issue being the fullbacks cannot be relied upon to get forward with the wide threat they will face in the game.

    We also know Mourinho will park the bus and look to beat us on the counter, another reason why we should go out with the mindset that our fullbacks should not be joining in.

    So providing we get that message across and always leave a group of four back (centre backs one full back and one DM) I would just go with the one DM, preferably Flamini.

    Alongisde him i would be inclined to flood the midfield so would put TR7 and Ramsey in.

    Out wide i would put Santi and Theo, with Ozil to come off the bench later.

    Up front Giroud.

    Depending on how game goes would depend on how you would change it from there.

    Get a couple of goals up, put Arteta on for TR7 or Rambo.

    Looking for goals put Ozil on for Flamini and let TR7 and Rambo do the fetching and carrying.

  60. chas says:

    Thanks for completing a thankless task, peaches.
    Very good it is, too.

    As for poor officiating, this leg-snapper wasn’t even a yellow.

  61. arnie says:

    GiE: That is some food for thought. Let me mull over this…. 😀

  62. Big Raddy says:

    WATA. It is good to have balance on the site.

    Where I strongly disagree is your contention that AFC are unambitious. True OG is not world class but AW was castigated for offering “just” 40m for Suarez and refused to get into a wall pissing competition with Napoli over Higuiain. Same with MC and Jovetic.

    GIE. Looks as though there are few top class RB’s around. Clyne at S’ton looks a fine prospect but so is Jenks. People expect too much from a raw 21 y.o just out of the Championship.I am sure he will become a top top player

  63. arnie says:

    Wow, lovely, Chas!!!!! 😀

  64. It’s all about perspectives, Gooner In Exile. You celebrate little victories that only lead to us losing the over-all battle. There’s always the odd bonus thrown in, like the amazing result in Dortmund, and the comprehensive beating of Liverpool, but we never get over the line in the big games. I’ve got Arsenal finishing third, so essentially we’ve spent £42m on a world-class player to jump one place in the league and go out of the CL at the same stage we have for the last two years. Is that progress?
    Do you measure Arsenal against Tottenham? Because Arsenal’s history and infra-structure suggests they should be measured against the very best the game has to offer, and like us, Tottenham are miles from that standard.
    So Dzeko is on double Giroud’s wages, what is that, some sort of justification for not having the same quality available in our set up? We saved money because we didn’t want to buy quite the same quality of our rivals, those we are allegedly challenging for the title?
    Football fans always take the rough with the smooth, and are always largely accepting of a defeat, any side can be beat on any day. It is the nature of those defeats which are more important, and the unmistakable pattern that has emerged in most of Arsenal’s losses. Losses that could have easily been avoided if the glaring issue that the world noticed three years ago had been properly addressed.
    Arsene Wenger has never beaten Mourinho head-to-head, are you 100% confident he will break that duck next Monday? And if we can’t beat our rivals at home, where exactly are we at?

  65. r0blucci says:

    Arnie,

    For big games, I would like to use TR7, Ramsey and Arteta as our midfield three, because these three person rejuvenate us with their defensive discipline last season and Wenger like to use them for big games this season too. (Napoli. Dortmund, Liverpool)

    But since we have 4 big game on the trot, its difficult to use them on all games and I expect we gonna lose some.

  66. Thanks everyone for your kind words and joining in with finding some positives. I do think it was a real achievement to have scored three/four goals up there and that having Theo back was important.

    The Arteta/Flamini pairing that protects the back line and carries the ball forward has been so effective up until now, it’s a crucial part of our play and I hope they can return against Chelsea. However we do need to be able to rest Arteta more and more and I’d like to think that Jack is being groomed for that role.

  67. Gooner in Exile says:

    Can we make it the very the best the world has to offer who are not financially doped.

    The simple point is how are we supposed to sign Dzeko if City are prepared to pay Aguero £200k a week, Negredo £170k a week, and Dzeko £100k a week?

    How do we convince him to join us for £50k a week? Match time?

    Can you really not see how stupid that argument is?

    I know where we are at right now WATA….top of the fucking league….ENJOY IT!!!

  68. r0blucci says:

    Gie,

    Almost agree with you, but for me Arteta instead of Flamini. We need someone who can keep possession.

    Though when I think back, we need someone to kill Ramires, aka ‘the stamping guy’. Well, its difficult.

    For me personally the battle in midfield will depend a lot on Ramsey.

  69. arnie says:

    r0blucci: Nice. We should have won against Everton. The next one against Chavs is crucial, so perhaps the focus, strategically, was always there. Let us see what happens!!!!! 😀 😀

    Well done, Peaches, great stuff!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  70. Gööner In Exile says:

    I think your right Rob, Arteta probably provides more of a screen for Rambo as he is prepared to sit deep. Flamini likes to press the play and if Ramsey is on a mazy somewhere then he needs to respect that a little more as Peaches intimated in her fine match report.

  71. arnie says:

    GiE, Rob: Yes, that makes sense to me as well!!!!!

  72. Räsp says:

    GiE @ 8:19 thanks. Can anyone confirm that Ozil got the assist for the BFG’s goal pl;ease

  73. Räsp says:

    Oops, I’ve just found chas’ clips @ 8:50, it was Sagna who crossed for the BFG 😛

  74. Sorry I don’t get your point about Dzeko. So we’ll pay Walcott £100k a week, but not Dzeko?
    I am enjoying being top of the PL, just a little down-hearted that it’s coming to an end.
    Hi Big Raddy, I don’t think Liverpool would ever seriously consider selling us Suarez whatever the offer. I acknowledge Real Madrid started playing games and putting Higuian’s price up.
    Mario Gomez was on £40k a week at Bayern Munich between 2009-2013, and in 115 appearances scored 75 goals. He was available in the summer for £13m.

  75. arnie says:

    Rasp: It is Sagna. Please see Chas @ 8:50 pm

  76. arnie says:

    Rasp: 😛

  77. chas says:

    One positive from today is that at least you won’t get laughed at by spud fans tomorrow.

  78. LB says:

    Chas — At 8.50 explains the Mertasacker assist.

  79. LB says:

    Giroud and Gomez have a very similar playing styles, the main difference is that one is on an upward trajectory and the other is on the way down.

  80. chas says:

  81. chas says:

  82. Mario Gomez is 28 and a CL winner, whilst being far more clinical in front of goal than Giroud.

  83. r0blucci says:

    WATA,

    How many goals exactly does Gomez scored for Fiorentina this season then?

  84. Two goals in three games. Maybe injured? Does it really matter? Arsenal paid £12m for Giroud and has nowhere near the same pedigree. There’s nothing more infuriating than short-sighted fans.
    Olivier Giroud will never win a CL. Maybe Arsenal might have been a little closer to that dream had they bought someone of Gomez’s quality in, especially as he and Ozil play in the same German side.

  85. r0blucci says:

    ‘Arsenal paid £12m for Giroud and has nowhere near the same pedigree’

    The same pedigree that Anelka, Henry, VanPersie, and Eduardo had maybe?

  86. If you read my first comment, it clearly states that in relation to Thierry Henry and Eduardo, technically Giroud isn’t in that company. Anelka’s ability didn’t quite match his ego. RvP – traitor.
    But Giroud isn’t as good a footballer as him either.
    Thierry Henry had the pedigree, but skipped off to Barca to get his CL winners medal.

  87. Gooner in Exile says:

    Gomez was the single reason that Chavs won the CL, sorry he was…he missed so many chances in that final

  88. Gooner in Exile says:

    WATA sorry if we win the league this season….you will have been the short sighted fan…

  89. I’d rather have Gomez as an option than wantaway Bendtner or the absent Yaya Sanogo. All strikers have games where the ball doesn’t bounce for them, but he was part of a club that were hungry and determined enough to win the CL in England a year later.
    He is undisputed quality who would significantly have strengthened the Arsenal squad with our existing German contingent.

  90. WATA – this week is the perfect opportunity for you to send me a post about where you feel Arsenal are currently so that we can discuss it. There’s room for lots of posts this week as we don’t play until Sunday.

  91. Yes I will, Gooner In Exile, and I will happily accept being made to look foolish if Arsenal win the Premier Lge title. It will be worth it after a ten year wait.
    Personally I don’t think we have the necessary steel or physical presence to beat any of the top three home or away. In our last eight games against them we’ve drawn two and lost six.
    We will apply the hand-brake too many times because too often we have no faith in our ability to out-play the opposition, especially when it comes to Chelsea and the two Manchester’s. We have too many identi-kit midfield players who are often out-muscled and nullified.

  92. Aha, the lovely Peaches.
    I think people know my views, Peaches, and people take it all the wrong way and make out like I’ve insulted their very reason for being.
    Let’s just say I don’t think they’re falling considerably short of their huge potential. I definitely believe with complete conviction that with the right people in place Arsenal would be winning European Cups.
    But with Chelsea looming, I think some organic positivity is needed which can gather enough momentum to take into the game.

  93. *Sorry, typo – I think Arsenal as a club are falling considerably short of their huge potential.

  94. dhakka09 says:

    A very calm and composed post, peaches. Just what I needed to soothe my nerves.

    Big Raddy: whenever I feel down or Spuddies lose big, I never fail to visit dearmrlevy. The constant squabbling, delusion of grandiose and infighting is hilarious to watch/read (are you the Gooner-mole in comments wreaking havoc in their already fragile self-belief?) 😉

    arnie: bring some of those ‘positivity’ pills with you to US, will you? I’ll send you the address to ship ’em to 🙂

    peaches: Arteta retains and distributes the ball quite well but the lack of pace and physicality counts against him in big games imo. I prefer Flamster to start over him for game vs russian-oilers.

    TMHT: I have a feeling Emirates is on the verge of organizing its first giant-slaying/thrashing of the season this coming weekend 🙂

    Still Top of The League; COYRRG 😀

  95. chas says:

    I fancy Madrid, PSG or Athletico.
    We’ve played the other two recently enough.

  96. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ahoy Chas,

    Great pics.

    Time to read a few comments.

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Okedoke, up to speed.

    Chas, not sure about PSG. Nice City, very close, but PSG club and fans I loathe. So, although we’ve played Bayern recently, I’ve never been.
    Certainly, Madrid remains top of my list, and I’d rather beat Real than Athletico.

  98. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    Are you a PC or Apple operator?

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Spooky. Now you see LB, now you don’t.

  100. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    WATA. As I sad I respect your views but side with GIE. We excel in world of financial doping – us and Dortmund.

    The other route is the Everton way – loaning players from clubs who are looking for a team to develop their players and/or damage their opposition.

    Strange how Moaninho would loan Kukaku to EFC but not Ba to us.

  101. Big Raddy says:

    That is spooky. A time-warp continuum?

  102. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Raddy.
    The view I find hardest to digest is the “we never replaced” so and so.
    Invariably, this refers to the likes of Paddy, Henry and so on. My problem is, that is easier said than done.

    Of course Arsene would want to replace like for like, but, and it’s a big but, who do buy for nominal amounts of cash who will immediately become world class players? Replacing like-for-like in this quality bracket would require almost world record scale transfer fees, and wages, in each case.

  103. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Love that pic of the Spurs pine riders. Actually is Ekotto a registered Spurs player – better google it – no, what a waste of time.

    & QoS’s tweet. (where does she blog?).

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy

    On the Maureen loans. My feeling is that he’s acting within the laws of the game, and if the Lukako loan was to take points off rivals, then I have to say it’s a great tactical move on his part. Having said that, Maureen remains remains a twat.

  105. dhakka09 says:

    Micky: I read somewhere that statistically we are likely to get Bayern twice as much as any other group-toppers (30.8% chance of drawing BM and 17.3% each of getting any other 4 possibilities; Real, Barca, Athletico or PSG)

    I’d rather take PSG first (I feel they are mercurial at best and should not be that big of a task if we play to our potential) If PSG is off the table, my second choice would be Barcelona for no other reason than that there are few scores left to settle in Catalonia. Their stars rose after that fateful CL in 06, if we are the ones to blow out their flickering light of recent dominance once and for all, it would only be a fitting end to that tragic beginning for us 🙂

  106. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy

    Used to love the QoS : Gambon jousting on LeGrove.

  107. Big Raddy says:

    MUK. Agree entirely but can also see WATA’s point.

    Why, as fans, should we be concerned if AFC go into the red for a few years in order to buy the 2 or 3 players we need to make this a CL winning side?

    Had we paid the moollah YaYa and Aguero would be playing for us.

  108. Big Raddy says:

    Me too. Very amusing. LG was fun in the early days. I am still in touch with Pedro.

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    09 Bonjour,

    Agree with what you say about Barca, and certainly a nice place to visit, and as you say, a team worth beating.

    How does this statistically-more-likely to draw thing happen in a fair draw? Chas posted some Tweet the other day by someone clearly thinking it’s rigged, and he too said we’d get Bayern.

    What time is draw?

  110. Big Raddy says:

    D09. My you are waxing lyrical this morning. Been reading Keats?

    Not being in any way mathematical, how can it be that we are twice as likely to get BM?

  111. Big Raddy says:

    Dumb & Dumber on the site 😀

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy
    Never met Pedro, but it was a friend who first put me onto LeG site as they had a ticket exchange. I had never realized AFC blogs existed until then. By all accounts, a very nice bloke.

  113. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    If you read this could you put up that tweet that referred to the draw, but wait until later, so that it’s before us when the draw happens.

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy
    I think it’s simply historical probability stuff, that we have played Bayern more than the others. However, if the draw is fair, then it’s a 1 in 7

  115. Big Raddy says:

    That’s what I think but perhaps there are other parameters

  116. dhakka09 says:

    Micky and BR: I don’t have the slightest idea why those percentage figures are being touted. It’s something the so-called pundits were harping about and showing on a table while lounging lazy in sofas on an ESPN video. Thus, couldn’t say I got it from a reliable source 😉

    The draw is in 2 hour 15 mins, I think.

  117. evonne says:

    Raddy – why should we fans care if we go into red? Ask any Portsmouth fan.
    If we bought Aguero there wouldn’t be enough money for Koscielny, Cazorla or Per, and payrises for Theo, Jack and Rambo. Once you start overspending is quickly escalates to a downward spiral. Unless you are sitting on an greasy land of oil

  118. Big Raddy says:

    evonne. I am not suggesting we take that route BUT…. there is middle ground and AFC are hardly Pompey or Leeds.

    I guess what WATA is saying is that we are a football club and not a business. Glory first, profit second.

  119. dhakka09 says:

    Micky and BR:- Having studied the draw process and trying to come up with an explanation for the probability thing, I think I stumbled into why Bayern could be the one with twice the chance to be paired with us.

    If I understand correctly, they first pick a second placed team from the pot and then based on the nationality/group of that team, exclude same-nationality/same-group from group-topper pot, right?

    This is where things get interesting. Since, Germany has 2 teams that are going through as runners-up in group (only England have as many), they automatically be excluded against Bayern and Dortmund and also their own table topper. So, anytime a second placed team is picked ahead of us in draw, they have a 2/8 chance of being German and they’ll avoid both Dortmund and Bayern which reduces our pool of prospecting non-German pick.

    Hence, my half-cooked, utter-gobsmack theory of “german-team-second-phenomenumeology” is completed. I am expecting a Nobel prize in logical reasoning (is there one?) sometime next year 🙂

  120. evonne says:

    Raddy – ‘deluded’ is the buzzword of today 🙂 Some of us might be delusional about our prospects of winning the league, others about the boardrooms objectives.

  121. Big Raddy says:

    D09. Never has a Nobel prize been more deserved.

    evonne. Come on … you have to admit that glory comes ahead of profit. I do not give a monkey’s cuss about the BoD, they are enormously wealthy men trying to become wealthier.

    Nothing delusional about that, just the ugly side of human nature.

    As to winning the title. If we can repeat the first half of the season we will win it. Nothing delusional just mathematical 😀

  122. Räsp says:

    Morning all …….

    ….. New post ……

  123. arnie says:

    Motning, all. Nice discussion.

    Dhakka: You dont need the pill. You are an epitome of positive nervous energy!!! 😀 😀

    Good discussion, Raddy, Micky and Evonne. I am in the Evonne club. Another case to not forget is Rangers. This race to grab superstar idol “have-beens” is financially bonkers, morally bankrupt and completely lack of creativity.

    Ah well, Henry leaves, so what do you do, scout the world for a like for like replacement. We think we find one, pay a fat transfer fee and salary, and then find he is not doing the job. Put him in the bench and go scouting again. Where is the creativity in doing this? Even a dumbo (AVB) can do it. Where is the idea of building a team? Where is the idea that we are a club where players and fans participate in a journey? where players are not bought in to hurt opponents and warm benches and spoil the atmosphere by useless negativity.

    Having said all of this, I am happy to discuss and listen to WATA if he puts in a post. Nay, he says, everyone knows my position, so I am content to have a rant. A post is not about self-glorification, it is about putting forward some ideas so that everyone can put in their two pence bit and debate in a civil and constructive way.

  124. Gööner In Exile says:

    Here’s the thing since stadium debt refinance we have been a breakeven club, we have also used all if our transfer proceeds to reinvest.

    Take away CL football and it’s harder to strengthen without selling, do that repetitively for a few years and continue to spend (and pay eve more wages to keep players at the club) well it wouldn’t be hard to see us finding midtable obscurity.

    Plus Usmanov would not be as keen to invest.

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