So, Why Was Sanogo Even Playing?

I over heard this question no less than three times as I weaved my way through the throng of people drinking beer and chatting during the half time interval in an attempt to stretch my legs.

It was fairly easy to tell that had it not been for Koscielny’s equalising goal only some five minutes earlier these same people would have been asking the same question but with far greater ferocity.

Sanogo

They may have had a point: Arsenal played in the same frustrating way as they did last season against opposition who, as predictably as Sunday follows Saturday, were always going to park the bus and waste time whenever they possibly could. This is exactly what they did and I should add that part of Crystal Palace’s predictable plan would have been to try and nick a goal from a set piece and that again is also what they did.

The answer as to why Sanogo was playing was fairly obvious to me: our new system is simply not ready yet; the system I refer to is dependant on our new 40 million pound player named Alexis Sanchez.

Last season Wenger would have fielded pretty much the same team only with Sagna and Giroud. Sagna would have whipped in high crosses which Palace would have dealt with as easily as they did on Saturday when Debuchy sent in high crosses for Sanogo. The result being that Palace regained possession and we had to work harder than we needed in getting the ball back.

The other frustrating similarity to last season is that although we still have the players whose intricate passing is capable of producing the wonder goal that Jack Wilshere finished off against Norwich. This doesn’t happen enough and by that I mean that Barcelona do this on a weekly basis and so should we. We certainly didn’t look capable of producing such a goal against Palace and that, like last season, was down to Sanogo’s lack of close control which is equally as lacking as Giroud’s.

This brings me back to the new system I expect to see adopted in the coming weeks. In an attempt to explain I ask this: do you think that Ozil is going to be left out of that team? No, you do not. Now imagine Sanchez playing up front instead of Sanogo against Palace with Ozil on the right.

It this scenario it would have been totally pointless of Debuchy to send in high crosses; he would be forced to do something different. I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he can adapt quickly even through the brain washing he received at Newcastle to send in high crosses time after time must be deeply ingrained.

On a side note, did you ever ask yourself after noticing that Barcelona had just beaten some low league team 46 –nil or something equally ridiculous, why the opponents don’t park the bus and waste time in the same way as Palace did on Saturday? The answer is that their opponents do try — but they fail. The reason that Barcelona are able to find a way through is that everyone of their attack has exceptional close control. Well now for the first time since Henry, Bergkamp, and Pires played together — so do we.

The combination of Ramsey, Cazorla, Ozil and Sanchez is as good as any other in Europe when it comes to close control and super quick passing. They would have found a way past that tall lumbering Palace defence in no time. In fact this is the new system that I refer to and expect to be deployed with great effect against every team whose predictable game plan is to simply park the bus.

The unavailability of Ozil goes some way to explaining why Sanogo was playing but to me there is more: just look at the fixture list in March; we could have Capital One Cup games, FA Cup games, Champions League Games and EPL games. We will need Sanogo to feel part of the squad, up to speed, ready to go and the only way that that can happen is if he plays now, while he can, before the new system comes into force.

Many would have preferred Giroud on Saturday but just look how he tired towards the end of last season only having Bendtner as back up and therefore having to play so many games.

Wenger made a judgement call on Saturday that Sanogo would offer enough offensively to get a result while enabling him to take one step closer to justifiably being picked as a first team starter and he was right.

I hope this makes sense, if not I refer you to a comment made on this site after the game which sums this all up far more succinctly than I could:

“I don’t give a monkey’s “rectum” how we played, we got the three points.”

Written by LB

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168 Responses to So, Why Was Sanogo Even Playing?

  1. James says:

    I agree with what you are saying but I do not agree with you saying Giroud lack’s close control. Giroud is the final piece to the jigsaw he makes the goals again Norwich happen with his flicks ect…

  2. brdgunner says:

    I agree with you about getting Sanogo game time. I don’t think Giroud could have done much more than Sanogo did. Palace are particularity good at shutting shop, 2nd only to the Chavs, probably.

    I think the team will improve by the time we play Leicester and that we will start to see big and comfortable wins.

    The time wasting was as bad as I have seen, in a normal game, without such early and extensive time wasting, the goal would have come closer to the 80th min than the 90th.

    In addition, games liek that one are ideal for Arteta in the holding role. When you have so much possession you need a baller over a ball winner. However, for me, thats the position that will take us from contenders to winners.

  3. gooney says:

    Im sorry but you must be deluded. We only looked like scoring once sanogoal came off the pitch

  4. LB says:

    Thanks James

    As far as I am concerned, the Giroud flick that led to Wilshere slotting home the goal against Norwich is the exception that proves the rule.

    I expected Shard to be the first one to point that out to me. lol

  5. DanC says:

    How about Giroud was being saved for
    Tuesday night and the small matter of CL qualifier? Sanogo at home to CP was not a gamble, they defended well and were hard to break down.

  6. Rico says:

    Why the hell Sanogo is playing when he can’t run, slow in turning and weak in the air etc etc..?? Joel Campbell should be playing instead. Common on Wenger!!! Get a strong and big size proven striker!!! We don’t want all the goals coming from the defenders and midfielders just like last season.

  7. LB says:

    Brd

    I certainly agree about Arteta, I had him as man of the match on Saturday.

    The Spaniard is fine in situations when there is very little defending to do, the problems will come when we play teams who are capable of mounting waves of attack.

    Do you think that area needs strengthening?

  8. LB says:

    DanC

    Yep as I said at the end of the post

    “Wenger made a judgement call on Saturday that Sanogo would offer enough offensively to get a result”

    I certainly agree that Giroud will start tomorrow.

  9. LB says:

    Rico

    What would be your preferred team for tomorrow night?

  10. rico says:

    Sorry to intrude, please note that the ‘Rico’ above is not me… You may have a troll.

  11. Chielota says:

    You forgot to add that Sanogo was the only outfield starter that towered above 6′ to help defend corners and set pieces when we conceded them.

  12. kelsey says:

    I like this post LB but let’s remember last summer we were after Suarez who though not a traditional CF is world class and we finished up buying Ozil,who is also world class,but basically is an intelligent provider,not a goal scorer.

    When you only finish 7 points behind the champions and look at our worst goals scored for many a season a striker is what we need.One with pace who can beat the last man, and Giroud doesn’t offer that especially against the better teams.

    Others will argue that if all our endless amount of attacking midfielders upped their tally of goals scored that would compensate.

    It wouldn’t go amiss for us to shoot more often and accurately so that when a keeper spills the ball,as invariably happens,we have players rushing in to tap the ball in the net.

    We definitely are a team that plays the ball better on the ground, as game after game we see endless high crosses to no one.

    As far as Sanago is concerned he lacks the one basic quality of a striker he can’t control a ball when shooting and most finish as air shots.He is young and as I said yesterday he may prove to be exceptional but now IMO is not the time to “experiment”

  13. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning all, well done LB, you’ve given me food for thought.

    On close control, Giroud’s is excellent…but only when compared to that of Sanogo.

    It was telling that on the few occasions we looked like getting behind the Palace bus there was nobody making a run into the box.

  14. gooney says:

    Arteta MOTM? he had the easiest game of his life. 78% possession he hardly had to break his stride and had Ramsey and Wilshire either side of him for most of the game. Lets see how he gets on against the top sides away from home when they’re breaking on us.

  15. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I think we miss a trick when faced by teams playing like Palace and Stoke,

    instead of trying to pass them to death we need a player with pace and instructions to run with ball, at defenders with the object of getting into the box. Sooner or later one of the Orcs will panic and scythe down the runner and so give away a penalty.

    Obviously Walcott would be the ideal, but in his absence Oxlade-Chamberlain could be very effective in the role.

  16. rhyle says:

    Great read LB…couldn’t agree more that we seem to be transitioning to a quick pass / move team – and it clearly wasn’t ready at the weekend as the movement in the final third was so, so poor.

    We’re going to ruin Sanogo if we continue to put him in the first XI. Just. Not. Ready.

    One point I disagree with is on Cazorla…as much as I love him as a player, I’m not sure he’ll be suited to the new style…a lot of the time when the ball hit him on Saturday, he slowed it down and took the momentum out of the move. It could be argued this is due to a lack of movement in front of him, and sometimes that’s a fair point…but there was at least two moments in the second half against Palace where he had runners and took a second touch…poor.

    Agree also with your point on Giroud…for me, he is a very capable, very hard working man…a good salad 8/10 player. His touch is great for a big man…little flicks, deft touches…but my problem with hims is this: how many times do you see him take a first touch and THEN SCORE? I’d argue, although can’t be asked to provide any evidence for this(!) that a good 80% – 90% of his goals are first time shots, no touch, little flicks, headers, etc. For my money…he has a real gift for messing up fairly simple chances because his touch lets him down when it matters most.

  17. Lets not forget the CL qualifier we have on Tuesday. That was also probably part of the reason to give Giroud less playing time. AW admitted we wasn’t in top shape yet so playing 180 minutes in a span of 4 days without any decent ST cover probably wouldn’t be the best idea.

    Add to that a home game VS a side that will park the bus is a good game to give Sanogo some all important GT.

    Could have backfired, but didn’t. Alls well that ends well.

  18. mickydidit89 says:

    LB

    Terrific Monday conversation starter, and some very interesting thoughts.

    First up though

    brdgunner

    Talking of Arteta “a baller over a ball winner”
    A “baller” 🙂 Superb, never heard that before.

  19. LB says:

    Rhyle

    I think Cazorla had an uncharacteristically poor day at the office on Saturday. In my opinion he could just as easily be MOTM on the weekend. I would be surprise if he started tomorrow evening, not out of some kind of punishment but out of the need to rotate during this early block of games.

  20. Fishingboy says:

    As I watched the match on saturday, I thought after 15 minutes play, same Arsenal as last year, slow build up, lack of midfield movement, I was right. This Arsenal team gives any team ample time to recover defencesive positioning before Arsenal attack. Why when we have such players with pace do we not use them on the flanks to get behind the defence quicker than we do at present. Arsenal are too predictable, and most teams have worked our game plan, come on Mr Wenger let the dogs loose with a quicker and more positive approach.

  21. mickydidit89 says:

    LB

    I like your appreciation of reality as opposed to my more dreamy fantasy take on the game.

    What I mean is, you appreciate the lack of space when playing bus parkers. Whereas I’m always screaming for some wide speed, you are right that its pointless under those circs. and some guile is required.

    Therefore your Mesut, Santi, Aaron set up with Sanchez spearheading the attack is wonderfully sensible.

    On the Sanogo:Ollie issue, I’ll have another think. I’ll try and be more reasonable than I have been.

  22. LB says:

    Hi Micky

    Ozil and Sanchez

    “Filth, pure filth”

    Now that is my idea of poetry.

    lol

  23. mickydidit89 says:

    Blimey. Good memory LB 🙂

  24. Reuben Battuta says:

    Giroud only scores by chance not by creativity. Sanogo needs more first appearance but not agaisnt stronger opponents. We need aclinical striker when playing stronger teams. Bring Cavan and Etoo(one year) to provide depth(something that lacked making arsernals campaign crumble like a cookie last season)

  25. fatgingergooner says:

    The issue we had on Saturday was our inability to get behind their midfield. Having players ‘between the lines’ is key to unlocking stubborn defences as it pulls defenders away from their positions and creates space for the attackers to run into.

    When Sanogo plays he tries to stretch the field by playing on the shoulder of the last defender, this is great if you have an AM on the pitch, like Özil, as they have space to play in. However, on Saturday we had Wilshere and Ramsey on the field and neither of them were willing to play 10 yards further up the field which meant we had to keep playing the ball out wide.

    If Giroud is on the pitch then he likes to get the ball into feet which creates space in behind him for runners from midfield. This is perfect for when you have pace in midfield with the likes of Sanchez, Walcott and Ramsey able to feed off him with 3rd man runs, but not always so good for AM as he can sometimes take up their space.

    IMO, we would have been better served playing Giroud on Saturday as he would’ve dropped in deep or pulled defenders wide in order to get the ball to feet, thus allowing Ramsey and Sanchez to run in behind.

    In future, if we are going to play pace up front, then let it be Sanchez up top, Walcott right, and then Cazorla coming in from the left and Özil in the centre to feed the speedsters.

    If we are going to play Giroud then have pace out wide in Sanchez and Walcott and only 1 AM in Özil or Cazorla.

  26. fatgingergooner says:

    Sometimes all we miss is Rosicky, as he is always willing to get the ball, turn, and run forwards.

    Sounds obvious really but far too often we were running side to side on Saturday and not committing defenders.

    He’s also brilliant at speeding up our tempo as he looks for quick passes.

    He’s a great weapon to have against the ‘buses’ but never seems to get enough game time.

  27. The Cockie Monster says:

    Raddy did try and talk Didit out of trying to snow board down Wank Mountain. Was no snow not obvious enough ?.

  28. LB says:

    Good comments Slim

    I expect Rosicky to start tomorrow night.

  29. 5am says:

    A further reaching qn is why wasn’t the World Cup experienced star Joel Campbell playing ahead of Sanogo??

  30. fatgingergooner says:

    5am,

    I think you’ve answered your own question there! Let’s not forget Costa Rica did very well at the World Cup and were involved in some gruelling matches too. I would imagine Campbell is still to find full fitness just like many of our other WC performers.

    Personally, I think we might see him used more out wide than up front, but we shall see.

  31. RA says:

    Enjoyed that!

    I suppose that comment could be applied to the game, which ended with 3 points in the bag and is now consigned to history.
    Actually, I was referring to the match report, and the highest compliment I can pay it is that I thought at first I was reading a ‘Rocky Special’!

    Good stuff, LB.

    As always with the written word, it is possible, on occasion, to understand the intent of the author while entertaining an alternate view of the same detail.

    Let me explain. You made the comment – “The combination of Ramsey, Cazorla, Ozil and Sanchez is as good as any other in Europe when it comes to close control and super quick passing” – and that simply cannot be denied.

    But – for all their skills I am sometimes baffled by the inability of class players like those (Özil excepted) to pass the ball accurately when under no pressure. We are not talking 25 or 30 yard efforts, but short passes of maybe 5 or 10 yards, which, on Saturday, were too frequently lamely tapped to the opposition and led to their rare moves across the halfway line.

    How does one explain that phenomenon? I like to play chess, and have sometimes won games when an opponent has inexplicably presented me with a ‘gimme’.
    After the game I sometimes have asked why they did it, and the reply was that they were thinking 3, 4 or 5 moves ahead, and with that in mind, then forgot to get the first easy move right first.

    I suspect that might happen in football too, with the added problem that it is addictive and spreads to other players, who also just needlessly give the ball away.

    Anyway, it was the first game of the season after the players had a disjointed preseason together, because of the World Cup, and I am well satisfied with the result – of course, as you say, I would have been less sanguine if we had lost to that bunch of no-hopers! 🙂

  32. mickydidit89 says:

    What is appearing through comments so far, is the number of options and permutations available.

    Nice seeing Mozart and Joel mentioned.

  33. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all, Not very often i question a post but why ask the question.

    Granted Sanogo may not be the quality striker that we would all like, Yet, but Giroud didn’t exactly set the place on fire when he came on, Sanchez the gift from God player, was on all game and never looked like scoreing, Santi and Jack in my mind was very poor, i wouldn’t have been surprised had the question been asked about them.

    78% possession and Chzez hardly had a touch, but he let a goal in and almost gave one away why arn’t questions being asked about him.

    Now i know post writers are doing the write ups, to help us all, and this one as well as many has been written well, I just don’t get singling out a youngster who did no worse than senior players.

    Just my view

  34. babakrdaemi says:

    LB – CDM is the position that I fear the most.

    I know a better CF would make us stronger, but our formation is based on the three behind the striker, so if we don’t find a forward who can supplement that, then it means a change of tactic and formation. In addition, for variation we have Sanchez who is capable.

    CB, we need cover, but a body with experience is all we need, we have two strong CBs and Chambers is a good cover player for selected rest games.

    For the 1st 11, to compete with the best teams, we need a better CDM. I don’t know who, I don’t really follow football away from Arsenal. Especially abroad. However, someone like Matic would be perfect for us.

  35. RA says:

    Steve,

    The point of the Post was to give a platform to allow and encourage discussion of any number of points bloggers might want to put forward.

    Just like you have done.

    The author cannot be expected to cover every single possible combination of subjects, because no one would want to read the football equivalent of War and Peace, and there would be nothing left to say for the rest of the bloggers.

  36. RA says:

    Baba,

    Your view would be shared by any number of other Arsenal fans, but the person who has the most influence does not share your opinion as regards a CDM.

    He made it clear a little while ago that the Holding of Defensive Midfielder role is well covered by Arteta, Ramsey and Flamini and he does not see any need to buy anyone else.

    A Wenger bluff to fox the opposition? Maybe.
    But throwing my cap in the ring, I too believe that a physically strong, preferably tall and pacey Holding midfield player, yes, someone like Matic, would make a big difference to our EPL chances.

    Arteta did play well on Saturday against a non-attacking Palace, but he is ageing, his legs are not what they once were, and he is anyway a ‘converted’ CDM, without the physical attributes that are so necessary these days.

  37. stevepalmer1 says:

    RA i understand that and am not rubbishing the Author, i just feel that our youngsters are learning as they go ahead and at present not a lot for Sanogo to learn from.

    The guy scored 4 goals the other day, and if i speak the truth none of them was special but he still found the net. He was in the line up as he seems to be in form ,

    Apologies to JB if he should feel i am knocking him, that was not my intention.

  38. babakrdaemi says:

    Even if its not a traditional holding player, just someone capable of playing week-in week-out and that is determined to support the defence.

    I dont think its impossible to win without one. We only need to be more cautious in big games and we could win the league with last years squad. Its just going into big games, you know Arteta will be over run and too much responsibility is put on Ramsey.

  39. wally says:

    For me the biggest thing, apart from Sanogo, was the lack of movement up front. Yes santi put his foot on the ball to much but he had no options except sideways. Too much standing around. Against teams that are only interested in defending that 8 – 25 yard area in front of the goal we’re going to have to learn to play some better tikka-takk. Movement off the ball is what makes that stuff work and we don’t do that well enough. Better break out the Barca-BM tapes and watch how Pep teaches it.

    Let’s be kind and say simply that Sanogo is one for the future. Whether he’s two years away or two years from being two years away is unclear.

    As for our future ‘style’ I’d think that with all that pace (Alexi, Theo, Campbell) we would be better suited to playing on the counter. And that would require having a different kind of holding mf.

    But it’s only the results that count and Saturday was a start!

  40. chas says:

    Cheers, LB, what a smashing post.
    I’m loving the idea that the midgets with skill will have the capacity to get through the massed omnibus ranks.

    Thanks also for the monkey’s rectum indirect name check. I made that comment just as I got on the train after a swift pint at the Betjeman at St Pancras. I love it when we score in injury time against a team who has wasted time throughout the game. Almost makes you believe in some karmic justice. 🙂

    Steve
    Surely the question was asked because LB overheard it on three occasions at the halftime interval.

  41. chas says:

    I wish Wenger would try to think of a way of getting round the parked bus tactic instead of just hoofing the ball into the area to players who are standing around like statues.

    More bloody movement instead of Santi and Sanchez coming deep because they were so bored with having no touches, might work.
    Get in behind the full backs, push forward and at all costs, do everything quicker.

  42. chas says:

  43. chas says:

  44. chas says:

  45. chas says:

  46. Arsenalizer says:

    Capital One Cup in March? Where are you from? And we complained that we lacked pace due to the absence of Walcott last season, now you still want Ozil to play on the right. Crappy analysis.

  47. 2 reasons why Sanogo was playing…

    1) The commentator said (just before kick-off) that Giroud is on the bench because he’s not fully fit.

    2) Another other (obvious) reason is simply because Arsene didn’t buy an experienced striker in either the 2 previous windows, and is running out of time if he intends to buy before this present window closes.

    Incidentally, and unfortunately, he’s on record (just a couple of days ago) as stating that he won’t buy any more players in this window. He could be bluffing of course. And he admitted that the squad is “light” in a couple of areas. He didn’t elaborate on the “areas”, so we can all have a guess can’t we.
    I personally heard and saw this on ‘Sky News’ – sport section.

    So, if and when Giroud is unavailable, we have Sanogo (18 games and no goals to date I believe; correct me if I’m wrong), or Campbell (no premiership experience whatsoever) to fill the position of striker.

  48. Big Raddy says:

    LB. Thought provoking post and one which has elected an excellent debate to which I have little to add.

    Some great comments today.

    So ….. the world and his dog say that AFC need a DM and another CB yet today’s criticism is about our lack of penetration 😉

  49. Big Raddy says:

    Love the 12.16. video

  50. kingjamesone@yahoo.com says:

    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone, powered by Easyblaze

  51. LBG says:

    Thanks for the post LB. Caused much variety in debate this morning!
    Sanogo was playing because he is in need of games to judge whether AW’s belief in him as a genuine goalscorer is accurate – and Giroud is still showing signs of WC weariness/lack of fitness.
    Regretfully neither player was ever going to get any change out of that Palace defense and their “offensive” methods.
    The requirement was for much faster movement of both players and ball when we broke down any forward movement from them, and players being available in (admittedly limited) gaps between lines (ie between midfield and defence and, even more importantly between defence and goal line.
    I believe Sanchez should have played centrally immediately, and the Ox should have been on from the start to get behind their bus. We never needed a hatful of goals, once or twice early on would have changed the game completely.

  52. kelsey says:

    Actually in a purely simplistic answer,Sanogo was playing as we had no other option to lead the line as AW felt Giroud needed the rest with bigger fish to fry this coming week.

  53. LB says:

    Big Al

    Golden rule with Arsene and transfers: never believe a word he says.

    I fully expect to see one more signing. It will be a marquee name if he can pursued one, if not it will be a filler.

  54. LB says:

    You are of course completely right Kelsey but…………………….

  55. RC78 says:

    Sanogo is not the quality striker we all dream of BUT if AW sticks with him, it is certainly that the kid has some talent. At the moment, he is playing to allow OG to get some rest and to get fully fit. In France before his leg break, Sanogo was seen as the hottest young striker with Rivière and Lacazette so he cannot be all that bad…

    I am a bit surprised to see some ppl calling for more strikers in the squad. We have OG, Walcott, Sanchez, Campbell, Podolski and Sanogo who can play up front so while an experienced striker (an Etoo or a Klose) would not hurt, we are quite covered up front IMHO.

    I do agree with the comments about LB, CB and CDM though. Ideally, we get a left footed defensive midfielder that could play in the back. Mascherano fitted the bill but he is extending his stay with Barcelona…Not many around…Let us see

    As for our line-up, I think that OG is a starter no matter what…

    PIG – Deb, BFG, Kos, Gibbs – Ramsey, Arteta (ideally a recruit!) – Ozil – Walcott, Giroud, Sanchez

    We need Giroud not only because of his aerial abillity and his hard work on both ends of the pitch but also because of he adds something else to the team as we can play direct long ball footie with him. He also has good link-up play as his tally of assists is actually in the top 3 of our squad. He also polarizes at least one central defender and creates spaces for the likes or Ramsey and Walcott.

    Now, against smaller team and if he is out of form or shape, we can play Walcott up front and slot in Cazorla…

    As for Campbell, he will play either left wing or up front when he plays – just like Poldi. As a result, I really think we should cash in 10-12 Mln for Poldi and sell him to Galatasaray and reuse the money for a CDM…

  56. fatgingergooner says:

    For all the quality players we do have at Arsenal, it’s still a big concern that the spine of our side is currently:-

    Szczesny
    Mertersacker
    Arteta
    Giroud

    It just doesn’t compare favourably to other top class teams, teams who’s level we are now aspiring to be at.

    City:-

    Hart
    Kompany
    Yaya Toure
    Aguero

    Chelsea:-

    Cech
    Cahill
    Matic
    Diego Costa

    Madrid:-

    Casillas
    Ramos
    Kroos
    Benzema

    Bayern:-

    Neuer
    Boateng
    Schweinsteiger
    Lewandowski

    Barca:-

    Ter Stegen
    Pique
    Busquets
    Messi

  57. LB says:

    RA

    Thanks for stepping up, I had to pop out.

  58. LB says:

    LBG

    I think this is bang on the money.

    “Sanogo was playing because he is in need of games to judge whether AW’s belief in him as a genuine goalscorer is accurate.”

    If I had to answer my own question again that is how I would answer it.

  59. RA says:

    LB,

    On reflection, was the reason that you overheard the question, ‘So, why was Sanogo even playing?’ repeated 3 times because you said ‘speak up’ or was it because the person speaking was stuttering? 😀

    In fact, from the way you have presented it, it seems that the question was rhetorical and did not require an answer, along the lines – “Yeuk that is disgusting — which of you bastards farted”. 🙂

  60. LB says:

    Hahahaha was the person stuttering lol

  61. RC78 says:

    +1 to fatginger :-p

    I wrote a similar comment a few days ago stating that our starting XI is strong and our team is overall good BUT that we are still shy of being very good or great…

    My spine is slightly different than yours though but compared to that of Chelsea, City, Liverpool and Utd, it is a bit lighter indeed…Let us not even look at Barca, Real, Bayern or even my home team of PSG…

    PIG – Kos – Ramsey – OG vs Mignolet – Skrtl – Gerrard – Sturridge

    PIG – Kos – Ramsey – OG vs Sirigu – T.Silva – T.Motta – Ibrahimovic

    PIG – Kos – Ramsey – OG vs De Gea – Jones – Herrera – Rooney

  62. fatgingergooner says:

    You could take the GK and CB off the lists and still make the same point, we need a HM and a world class ST to be the very best.

  63. Shard says:

    LB

    You seem to have some weird fascination with me 🙂

    I agree with your post almost completely. Even the Giroud thing, even if I feel it is harsh on him because he does have exquisite touch sometimes, but usually, only his one touch flicks and passes are good. When it comes to controlling the ball for himself, he can mess it up.

    I think that is partly because he lacks the pace and trickery to ‘make his own shot’. So he panics, and tends to not be as comfortable being the normal kind of goalscoring forward that everyone expects us to have. However, I think he’s still improving. The Goal against West Ham (I think) last season where he controlled the long ball from Vermaelen and thumped it in with his wrong foot was brilliant.

    I still think Giroud, and by extension Sanogo, will be very important players for us this season (yes even Sanogo). Sanchez will offer us the variety, as you say.

    By the way, if Palace is the sort of game we’ll face most of the time (bus parking) and this is why we need a striker as people claim, does it also mean that we then don’t need Arteta’s replacement?

    I can’t believe people are complaining about a lack of penetration. First game back. Playing a tweaked system. Three debutants to work with. Players not completely match fit. And only Mesut freaking Ozil to still come back. Can I ask what they are smoking at the Emirates?

  64. fatgingergooner says:

    RC78,

    The reason I put Arteta and not Ramsey as the midfielder was to show the difference between ourselves and the other top teams when it comes to that HM position.

    HM and ST are the 2 areas where I feel we could make realistic signings and massively improve our squad. At the moment I have no problem with Giroud being our starter for another season, but if the opportunity is there to get a HM to replace Arteta then I see no reason not to take it.

  65. charlie says:

    “The combination of Ramsey, Cazorla, Ozil and Sanchez is as good as any other in Europe when it comes to close control and super quick passing.”

    I haven’t laugh as much in ages, thanks.

  66. RC78 says:

    The perfect end of the transfer season for us (if we qualify for CL knock-out stage):

    Arrivals:
    – 1 new CB, left-footed. I nominate Agger 🙂
    – 1 new HM. I nominate Bender or Khedira. Worse comes to worse: Tiote.
    – 1 experienced goal-poacher. I nominate Eto’o.

    Departures:
    – Loans: Hayden, Galindo, Olsson, Iwobi, Afobe, Zelalem (half-season for him)
    – Sale: Miquel, Coquelin, Diaby, Miyachi, Podolski

    Team A: PIG – Debs, BFG, Kos, Gibbs – Ramsey, Bender – Ozil – Walcott, Giroud, Sanchez

    Team B: Ospina – Bellerin (:-(), Chambers, Agger, Monreal (:-() – Rosicky, Arteta, Wilshere – Ox, Campbell, Cazorla

    + Macey, Flamini, Gnabry, Etoo, Sanogo

    Group of 27 players with a good mix of youth, experience, power and pace…

  67. LB
    Good discussion-provoking post, LB. Big thanks.

    One very pernickety point: though I agree with the ‘gist’ of your comment… “I fully expect to see one more signing”, I wouldn’t, personally, use the word “expect”.
    I could, however, say “I wouldn’t be surprised…”.

    See my original post …”stating that he won’t buy any more players in this window. He could be bluffing of course.”

  68. chas says:

    I don’t think Tiote is an upgrade on Frimpong, let alone anyone still at the club. 🙂

  69. chas says:

    Two man Santa, one man leaves…..

  70. At which other Premiership team could Sanogo start as the main striker? We have the capacity to be champions but we don’t need to have a laugh. The boy has two wrong feet and is not of the quality needed to lead the line.His body language shows that, and it is incredible to see the manager persist with training ground exercises on match day..Come on Wenger, You have a glut of excellent midfielders but a dearth of clinical finishers. What are you thinking? With the exception of the injury prone Walcott, who is gonna get the quantity of goals to win the points we need to be champions? As good as the signing of Alexis Sanchez is, I am afraid we will again be hindered by the absence of fire power. I hope to be wrong. I love Arsenal more than you.

  71. RockyLives says:

    Great Post LB – as evidenced by the excellent discussion it has prompted.

    Sanogo is young, AW clearly sees something in him and we should be patient. He has the potential to be another Adebayor, but hopefully without the tw*ttishness.

    I like your idea of us tikka-takka-ing our way through the massed ranks of Routemasters, but my line-up to do so is slightly different from yours: I would go with Ollie as the spearhead, Alexis on the left, Theo on the right and Ozil and Ramsey coming through the middle.

    Jack can fit in as well if we need to rest Ozil or Aaron (you didn’t mention Jack, LB… funny that 🙂 ).

    The reason I like Ollie as the spearhead is that I think his work at pulling defenders out of position and creating space for others is excellent and often under-appreciated. He made a big difference when he came on against Palace and undoubtedly helped us win the game. If Sanogo had stayed on I don’t think we’d have broken them down.

  72. Eddie says:

    LB – you are definitely not the singing fan. Had you been singing you wouldn’t notice half the stuff you mentioned in your post. I am not sure if your silence is a good or a bad thing – bad for the atmosphere, good for AAers, coz the result, ie the post above is terrific. I think you read Wenger very well.

    I will watch the game again, with your insight payng particular attention to Debuchy and ‘close ball control’

  73. Eddie says:

    that new Spanish chav is to start tonight, not sure I can watch him clad in blue

  74. RA says:

    Hi Rock my Socks, 🙂

    What is this I hear that you are too tired lugging your wallet around to write any piddling Posts?

    Not good enough dude – ditch the dollars and git writing, pronto!

  75. LB says:

    “I like your idea of us tikka-takka-ing our way through the massed ranks of Routemasters.”

    I bow my head in respect.

  76. LB says:

    OK, that’s enough respect.

    Giroud undoubtedly has a place but to make my point let me use a player who we all have a great deal of respect for: Mertasacker.

    Do you think that the BFG would prefer to face Giroud or Sanchez.

    There should only be one answer to that.

    The Palace defence are all tall and slow and are nowhere near as savvy as Per.

    Nah, it’s tikka-takka that the tall slow CBs have trouble dealing with the most and Sanchez is the man we have been waiting for. .

  77. Vintage Gooner says:

    Am I alone in wondering if future transfer activity this month depends upon our Besiktas result(s) because Wenger really would like a marquee signing and needs Champions League proper to attract them?

  78. RA says:

    Tony,

    Just a couple of things, or three. 🙂

    — “The boy has two wrong feet” you say, and you could be right.
    Apparently he is seeing a consultant tomorrow to have the feet swapped around and will emerge like a butterfly from the chysalis with ‘two right feet’ – well that is to say – not exactly two right feet, but one left foot and one right foot – both on the correct limb.

    There is still two weeks to go in the transfer market and for all we know AW might be sizing up a super-cooper new forward as we speak. (Arsene did rule out buying another striker – but you never know.)

    You say, “I love Arsenal more than you.” so, if that is in the singular, I am not sure quite who you are addressing – Wenger, the author, LB or whoever, and if it is in the plural – well the world is your oyster — but that is a bold and unprovable statement to make. You sure?

    I make many of these statements myself, tho usually in the privacy of my computer station – so I should know. 🙂

  79. Nurul Huda says:

    Was thinking if Sanogo should be played with Campbell because Sanogo seemed more comfortable with the lad than the others.

  80. RA says:

    Vintage G,

    I think you may have a point with regard to the successful qualification required against Besiktas,

    The first reason is, as you say, to be able to offer CL football which is now deemed de rigeur for any self respecting footballer – unless they are heavily laden down with obscene bucket loads of gold; and secondly, the £25m that comes with qualification to the CL would make a financially cautious man like Arsene more likely to spend some of it on a newbie before the window closes.

  81. RA says:

    LB,

    I suspect you are right.
    Certainly if Per was given the choice of facing an opposition with either Alexis or Giroud in their team, the pace of the former would cause him far more problems, and equally, the lack of pace of the latter would not.

    I hesitate to also add that what we saw to some degree on Saturday is the rather flaccid lack of penetration shown against a team using the 5 : 4 : 1 — park the broom cupboards — strategy, which no matter how hard we pressed, almost beat the tikki takki strategy we used.

    (Ooh, I hope the Eddie the Bear doesn’t read that)

    Sorry for going into so much technical detail! 😀

  82. RockyLives says:

    Hello Redders 🙂

    I shall indeed be writing Posts… just a bit too busy to commit to a regular time slot.

    I will, however, be sending in my usual drivel on an ad hoc basis.

    I trust all is well with you.

  83. RockyLives says:

    LB
    I think Per would hate to be up against Giroud AND Sanchez, which is what I’m proposing…

    Ollie drags our big Herman the German out of position, Alexis nips in and Donner und Blitzen! It’s ein goal!

  84. LB says:

    Rocky

    It looked like that was exactly what Wenger was trying to implement on Saturday when Sanogo went off and Giroud came on.

    Sanchez moved more centrally than he had all game. We have so many more options now.

  85. kelsey says:

    I think Vintage Gooner is right yet knowing AW he will look for a versatile left sided defender, but time will be tight.

    I am not in the camp of scoring more will improve us as much as I feel our defence is light and needs bolstering..

    Gibbs looks like being another Diaby and as LB said Pers is suitable for some games but not all.

    Whoever we buy will hopefully understand that rotation is the key this season as we have two or three players in the squad who maybe on their last season..

  86. RA says:

    You missed out a key moment in your strategy, Rocky.

    — “Ollie drags our big Herman the German out of position, Alexis nips in between his legs, mit grosse headroom to spare und Donner und Blitzen! It’s ein goal!”

    There is a need for accuracy in these discussions, 🙂

  87. RA says:

    Rock,

    I understand perfectly – busy shimzzy – with all that work and the bit on the side, which all tycoons must have, what time would any mogul have to write a regular master-piece?

    See if we care. 🙂

  88. kelsey says:

    ein Tor schiessen 😉

  89. RA says:

    Hi Kelsey,

    Hope you and the family are as well as can be.

    I think I totally agree with what you have written — if I could understand what the heck you meant!! 🙂

  90. RA says:

    Kelsey,

    Now you are jambollixing me in German – auf das tor sheissen?

  91. RA says:

    Shooting at goal? Who is shooting at goal?

  92. fatgingergooner says:

    People calling for us to sign a new striker before September need to answer one question, who is available that gives us more than Giroud!?

    I agree a world class forward is needed, but I don’t think there is anyone available at the moment who is a REALISTIC signing (considering we’ve spent £60m already) that would give us more than Giroud.

    That’s why I would be happy for us to stick with what we have up front for this season and concentrate on a CB and/or a HM. Manolas would improve the squad and is realistic, and if available, Khedira or Carvalho would definitely improve the squad.

    By next season we should then know a lot more about what, if anything, Campbell and Sanogo can bring to the squad, and also wether Sanchez can be a ST. That gives Wenger 12 months to find a world class ST if we still need one.

  93. RA says:

    Well, LB, between us and a few others we have kept the blog ticking along today.

    What is it with GIE? Just because he has 6 kids to look after and provide for, and Rasp is drinking elderberry wine, and Raddy is up to sexy sexy, doesn’t excuse them you know?

    Anyway it is time for me to say sayonara, hasta mañana, jusqu’ à demain. 🙂

  94. kelsey says:

    I would punt on Balottelli at around 12/14 million and loan Sanogo out. He does carry baggage but may just have a point to prove in the PL

    RA,

    That’s a first 🙂

  95. LB says:

    Have a good evening RA

  96. valentino says:

    I think this write up is brilliant. Seriously,anybody can say whatever they want,but to me,Giroud wastes more balls than his output.i mean,if Giroud uses 3 pases well,he must have wasted 13. Sanogo still troubles defenders more than Giroud. They both have problem with close control though.
    pls, we still need a defensive midfielder and a CB. I wonder why nobody is talking about the left back position.Gibbs is good,but what of monreal?. Anyways,Rome was not built in a day.Arsene,pls get the CDM and the CB.

  97. LB says:

    Certainly agree with all that Val, especially your comparisons with Sanogo and Giroud.

    Most people feel the same about Monreal but I think the reason why most peoples toys are still in the pram is because he looked good when he replaced Gibbs on Saturday and don’t forget that Flaimini can play LB if really needed. Think CL final season.

  98. fatgingergooner says:

    Gibbs is quickly turning into a sick note player. It’s the first game of the season for goodness sake!

    I know muscle injuries can happen to anyone at any time, but he seems to be fighting injury on a regular basis

    I remember when Song went Barca I read something about his medical and they graded the quality of his muscle as A. I had never heard of muscle grading before that, but I am starting to wonder how Gibbs and Diaby’s muscles would be graded!

  99. Very interesting post LB, thank you, Micky and I had just that conversation as we climbed the steps to the Ken Friar Bridge.

    I felt that either Ollie wasn’t fit yet or, and this I prefer, AW had a plan to use Sanogo in a slightly different way to Giroud which sadly didn’t come off.

    I don’t want Ollie to become a plan B, I think he’s too good for that and I don’t think Sanogo is ready to spearhead the attack. He may be good at putting the ball in the back of the net if he’s got loads of time and space but when we’re having to operate amongst many legs and bodies I don’t think he’s ready. Whereas, as Rocky just pointed out, Giroud does a great job of pulling defenders out of position to let some of the little’uns nip in and create havoc.

    I have a feeling it’s all going to be fine ohmmmm ohmmmmm 😉

  100. Eddie – absolutely agree with you about the chavs new spaniard, definitely can’t bear to watch him in chavvy blue. Do they wear Red for an away kit? 😉

  101. LB says:

    If I ever had to suffer watching my ex get remarried this is what I imagine it would feel like.

    This is going to hurt.

  102. Shard says:

    fgg

    Eh? I’ve never heard of muscle grading in terms of how injury prone they are. I mean if that were the case, Gibbs and Diaby would not be cleared to be high level athletes.

    I’ve also never heard of grading on the basis of letters. Although numbers 0 to 5 are used. But this is to gather range of motion and the strength against resistance.

    There are also two (strictly speaking 3) different types of muscles. Type 1 muscles are more endurance geared, while type 2 muscles give the more explosive power, but tire faster (the difference between a marathon runner and a bodybuilder)

    If there is another classification of muscle type/strength, I would like to learn about it. More likely though, this was just a Barca physio clearing Song’s medical, rating him as Grade 5 (100% normal mobility and strength) which Barca’s PR put out as ‘A Grade’.

  103. Eddie says:

    mind you Peaches, I can watch the dutch bloke now without any feelings whatsoever and I guess the same will apply to Cesc the Chav. I don’t believe he told Maurinho that he didn’t want to come back to Arsenal, that’s bullspoo. I actually believe that he wanted to come back but Wenger didn’t act on it for one reason or another

    I got over several husbands, I am sure I will get over Cesc too 🙂

  104. Rasp says:

    Apologies for my late arrival, I’ve updated all the stats widgets for this season. Excellent post LB ….. it all makes perfect sense to me.

  105. Big Raddy says:

    LB 7.39 well said. This is going to be painful

  106. Eddie says:

    there is no way Burnley can win it, there is no point of me getting excited, 1 all means nothing…..come on Burnley!!!!

  107. chas says:

    Isn’t there a grand prix that Fabregas ought to be attending?

  108. fatgingergooner says:

    Fabregas looking his usual world class self. What a shame we didn’t have a spare £30m knocking around!

    Schurle could be very useful for Chelsea this season too. Not convinced by the defence though.

  109. chas says:

  110. fatgingergooner says:

    If anything, our game and the Chelsea game show exactly why we didn’t buy Fabregas.

    We have Özil, Cazorla and Ramsey who can all play the beautiful through balls, yet we don’t have many players capable of actually making the runs to get on the end of them!

    That’s why signing Sanchez makes far more sense than if we’d have bought Fabregas.

    Doesn’t make it any easier to watch him play this well for Chelsea though does it!?

  111. mickydidit89 says:

    Evening all.

    Does Costa look any good?

  112. mickydidit89 says:

    Rasp

    Are you still here, as I’ve got a question for you, and I’ve been working on it since Saturday 🙂

  113. fatgingergooner says:

    Micky,

    He looks strong and works hard. Puts himself in decent positions too.

    I would take him over Giroud 😦

  114. fatgingergooner says:

    Micky,

    Schurle has impressed me tonight. Doesn’t seem to do much in the game but he’s one of those you will look at his stats at the end of the season and he will have 20 goals.

  115. chas says:

    Micky

    He looks shite. Spawny goal off a lucky rebound off the post, then booked for a ridiculous dive for a pen. 🙂

  116. mickydidit89 says:

    Don’t like the sound of either of those comments, FGG 🙂

  117. LB says:

    Yes, it was like watching my ex get remarried, although, I am consoled but the fact that his partner is a thick, ugly, tosser.

  118. chas says:

    “his partner”?

  119. mickydidit89 says:

    LB 🙂

  120. fatgingergooner says:

    Sorry Micky, I lost myself for a moment there!

    He’s a half-Spanish diving tw*t, Schurle’s sh*t, and Fabregas is a money grabbing judas wan*er!

    That better? 🙂

  121. fatgingergooner says:

    Mourinho is a boring bas*ard. They’ve played the second half at 70% and kept the full backs in their own half.

    People moan about the Emirates prices but at least we play football for 90 minutes and not just grind out results.

  122. LB says:

    Chas

    You try making that one work without sounding really gay. Lol

  123. mickydidit89 says:

    cHAS

    He’s referring to Chelsea methinks 🙂

  124. mickydidit89 says:

    And on a litre and half of Lambrusco 🙂

  125. chas says:

    Haha, I’m only in it for the laughs.

  126. mickydidit89 says:

    Mind you Chas can talk, what with his ubiquitous fluid intake 🙂

  127. chas says:

    That’s better, FGG.
    If you want to jizz over some footballers, make them ours.

  128. mickydidit89 says:

    FGG
    Much better

  129. chas says:

    There’s fluid everywhere!

  130. mickydidit89 says:

    That’s why you have plastic furniture and carpets to go with your plastic shirts :-0

  131. mickydidit89 says:

    And on that low note, I’ll say join you all in the motning.

    Great day’s entertainment. Cheers LB.

  132. chas says:

    Wipe-clean is the way to go.
    Ta-ta.

  133. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evening all.

    Long day at work and just finished (hopefully) the final coat of paint in the garage conversion.

    Ok decent conversation starter LB.

    I have a couple of questions that I don’t think anyone has answered.

    1) how exactly do you play quick football to break behind the opponent if 8 players didn’t even shift up the pitch? At most they sent three maybe four on in open play the wide boys and Chamakh if he had the energy. I don’t quite see how speeding up our game when we win back possession helps us break down two buses.

    2) if the opposition play a disciined double bus formation how do we think we can open it up? By rights they won’t care too much about runners they will care more about holding a zone and blocking the passes. Running at them with the ball doesn’t help as they (of well disciplined) will crowd out with two or three. There is no space to play between the lines because the double bus parks close together on the 18 yard box, you are not picking your way through 4 it’s through 8. The eighteen yard box is 36 yards wide, the key area is probably the 20 yards central, 8 players across that in a line leaves very little room to burst through.

    For me Sanogo didn’t play to our strengths, and with two firmly parked buses the only way to get through is give and go’s with two to three runners, Sanogo’s uneasiness in this role meant wide players were cutting inside to try and create space but instead ran into markers. Straight runs at goal (without the ball) picking up one twos off the big man are the way to break through the lines. Sanchez can do this as can Giroud, where Sanchez is going to be better is turning to receive the next one, but I do think Giroud does his best in this situation.

    The other area Sanchez can help us improve and make us more like Varca is the press. I don’t think Barca have any really different way to open up the defence but I think they make defences work harder by not giving them a moments respite, so even when they’ve lost possession they are back on it quickly because they don’t give the opponent time to clear their lines….in their pomp they would only have Pique and Puyol back and Busquets patrolling in front, after that they just picked up the hopeful clearance and returned it to the likes of Iniesta and Xavi to prove again. Spanish teams are not prepared to lump it, so the strategy works even better, remember when we played them in the Nou Camp, we couldn’t get out of our half because we kept trying to play through the press.

    This is what we have to do better, so we are not attacking opponents in their final third for 25 minutes of a 45 minute half but for 40 minutes. See how their concentration holds then.

  134. arnie says:

    thank you LB, lovely stuff, and thanks Kelsey for yesterday. 🙂 Sorry late to the party, hard times, but back to Scotland Thursday, so better times soon. 😛

    we won the first game of the season and got away without serious injury and with 3 points to show. So why the bickering? We played good enough to earn 3 points while preserving our legs, so well done to the good guys. 🙂 If they manage to do this every game of the season, I will be happy as a lark! 😛

    So why do I think Sanogo started? Well, simples, (a) give the boy some match time, (b) we were only playing CP and did not need all our (cannon)balls, and (c) we needed to preserve Ollie for Tuesday. I mean today. Same reason the Ox did not start.

    Challenging away game today. COYG. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  135. chas says:

  136. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning Arnie

    Match Day again. So good when you have a big squad, and the games roll in.

    ………Giroooo
    Ox……Santi…….Mozart
    …Flamini Ramsey

  137. mickydidit89 says:

  138. chas says:

    Too long in the pub dulls the senses.

  139. mickydidit89 says:

    Just looking at that geezers blue eyes, did you know that there’s a tribe in Northern Afghanistan who have blonde hair.

  140. mickydidit89 says:

    Arnie

    “If they manage to do this every game of the season, I will be happy as a lark!” Seriously?

    I agree we’re just getting going, Sanchez hasn’t found his feet, no Mesut or Theo, but honestly, get the three points first game I agree with, but play like that every game and I’m switching off. It was awful on the eye.

    However, I’m sure all will be well once we’re settled.

  141. fatgingergooner says:

    Anyone seen Brandao headbutting Thiago Motta after the PSG game? He waited for him in the tunnel, broke his nose, and then ran off like a little girl! Ha!

    Micky,

    I was moaning about the way Chelsea played 2nd half last night, and you’ve just commented about how you would switch off if we won every game like we did against CP.

    Do people think we shoot ourselves in the foot a little bit as a club by trying to play attractive football all the time? There is a time and place for it, but maybe sometimes we need to grind out results. Should we be having the conversation about how we were poor on Saturday, or should we be praising the lads for getting the job done and winning ugly?

  142. mickydidit89 says:

    FGG

    I’m not saying sexy high heels every game 🙂

  143. fatgingergooner says:

    What you choose to wear to games is not my business, Micky! 🙂

  144. fatgingergooner says:

    Could easily put 3 or 4 variations down of what I think our front 6 will be tonight, and that’s without Podolski, Özil, Walcott or Diaby!

    Strength in depth.

    Can’t say the same about the back 5 though! 🙂

  145. RA says:

    Oh, stop it Micky — reports of your attire are received via the grapevine after every game.

    Addicted to wolf-whistles? 🙂

  146. mickydidit89 says:

    Frankly RA, I was looking stunning on Saturday

    If you like that sort of thing 🙂

  147. fatgingergooner says:

    Maybe they’re for practical use RA?

    Do you sit behind someone tall, Micky!? 🙂

  148. mickydidit89 says:

    Actually I was sitting behind an hysterical Lebanese business looking man. Saville Row shirt and big watch, and I thought Mmmm, boring.

    Then the game began. He was sensational. Clearly been practicing his only two lines. Within 30 seconds of the start, he was bloody well going to use one of them. “Who’s a wanker in a black, who’s a wanker in a black”. The ref had done nothing at this point 🙂

    Then the other line. Palace fans sang for about 83 of the 90 minutes. During one short lull, he leant over and bellowed down at them “you don’t singing any more, you don’t singing any more”

  149. RA says:

    Micky, 😀 😀

  150. LB says:

    GIE

    To answer your questions.

    “1) how exactly do you play quick football to break behind the opponent if 8 players didn’t even shift up the pitch? At most they sent three maybe four on in open play the wide boys and Chamakh if he had the energy. I don’t quite see how speeding up our game when we win back possession helps us break down two buses.”

    I am trying to work out if you are suggesting that I somehow said that speeding up the game will help break down the two banks of four. I hope not because that certainly isn’t what I meant.

    The reference I make to speed is the super quick passing and the superb control of the likes of Messi, Xavi, Inesta and Fabregas who, with those very skills, found their way round two banks of four defenders on a regular basis.

    What I am suggesting now is that Ramsey, Cazorla, Ozil and Sanchez are as good as the Barcelona players I mention above and I fully expect Wenger to adopt that system for games in which the opposition predictably park the bus.

    By the way, thank you for the compliment that my post was a decent OK conversation starter.

  151. Eddie says:

    how did you know he was Lebanese? You must have engaged in his performance to get that info. in fact I am convinced that you didIt told him the disgusting referee chant

  152. mickydidit89 says:

    LB

    “Ok decent conversation starter LB.”

    Could’ve been worse LB:
    “That was a low to average quality conversation starter, LB”
    “You’re delusional and support Arsene not Arsenal”
    “I’m a friggin executive buddhist supporter, so f off”

    See. Silver linings and whatnot 🙂

  153. mickydidit89 says:

    Eddie
    Yes, I engaged the fella. He was an absolute delight and so enthusiastic.

  154. Eddie says:

    very disappointing that ‘we’ still didn’t work out how to shift the buses 😦 But if the answer was obvious I am sure the Boss would have worked it out by now. It is difficult to play a team that puts not very intelligent but very obedient gorillas outside the goal with strict orders to defend their territory. we know that the gorillas have all been well trained in intercepting high balls, wide passes and tripping closely controlled balls. The only way is to hope for them to make a mistake and like Wenger says we have to be patient and the opportunity will present itself. Sometimes, but not always

  155. Eddie says:

    I ROLFed at the ok conversation starter, very amusing 🙂

    Micky – I knew it!!! Do you know what happens to me – if I am at a bus stop with 50 other people waiting, and then a nutter joins the crowd, you can guarantee that the nut-nut will come and talk to me. Always. We send secret signals 🙂

  156. mickydidit89 says:

    Eddie

    We did work it out. We won. Ok, just 🙂

    However, as LB rightly points out, it will be easier once we have the precision of Mesut and a fully functioning Sanchez.

  157. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh well, no buses tonight, so it’ll be a breeze.

  158. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Let’s hope so …. our European tour depends upon a positive result

  159. great post. I think Sanongo will come good. giroud wasn’t fit enough to play 90minutes and I imagine he’ll be playing tonight.

    No one has used the “we would have lost that game last season” cliche

  160. mickydidit89 says:

    Life depends on it, Raddy 🙂

    Ahoi GM. Hope all good in the land of smiley faces, as my pervy mate who lives there keeps calling it.

  161. goonermichael says:

    Hi everyone by the way, It’s pouring down here. I don’t think I really saw proper rain til I got here.
    Funny you mention smiley faces. The pundits after the manc game all looked so happy that the mancs had lost. No idea what they were talking about though

  162. Eddie says:

    GM 🙂 you are greatly missed here! When are you coming back to sunny London?

  163. goonermichael says:

    I’m thinking of coming in October or November. Maybe for the Manu game

  164. Eddie says:

    oh, not for good though?
    Manu, easy peasey, choose a tougher game GM 🙂

  165. Morning all

    Football again, how lovely 🙂

    Raddy – I see you’re still in the post, could you publish yourself pretty please?

  166. goonermichael!!!! nice of you to pop in, don’t listen to Eddie, just come for any game 🙂

  167. Big Raddy says:

    New Post (sorry no pics – no time!) …..

  168. aizedlittlemozart says:

    late to the party, but my two pence before running over to the new post is that I thought sanogo was started solely (or foremost) to give OG some more rest ahead of tonight’s game. most complained about lack of rotation, well that was early rotation & 3 points in the bag. team’s still blending, tonight’s game should be easier (unless more buses are packed which I doubt). off to the new post!!!

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