Ramsey and Wilshere. Together?

Chalk and Cheese. Lampard and Gerrard.

Bacon and Eggs. Sausages and Marmalade.

Some things do. Some things don’t.

If I am being completely honest with myself, then I must admit that had I been The Manager against Palace and Besiktas, we would have won both games. The reason is simple.

Right now, I cannot see any situation, or team set up, in which Ramsey and Wilshere can fit together.

It’s a kind of process of elimination. Back five. Minimum of one defensive midfielder. Three front boys and a play making No 10’ish . That leaves one slot.

Ok, you could argue, as Arsene appears to, that from the front three, at least one does not need to be some kind of goalscorer, or even speed merchant, and I can imagine him playing Mesut as a part of that threesome. You could also argue the case for two deeper defensive types of midfielder in the mould of Arteta and Flamini, but that in itself leaves the problem of where to play the undroppable Aaron.

I watched those two games and saw how an Arsenal midfield containing both Aaron and Jack nullified the creative talents of Santi, who found himself shunted out of position.

I believe Aaron and Jack only work in tandem in a 4-4-2. Kind of Vieira Petit style. This is not going to happen, so it’s an either or.

To be clear, I still have faith in Jack and believe it would not take much for him to rocket on up a few levels in the same way Aaron did, but for now, he’s fighting with Aaron for the same spot. Quality in depth is one way of looking at it.

What’s the answer?

Written by MickyDidIt89

146 Responses to Ramsey and Wilshere. Together?

  1. Ben says:

    Wait until Ramsey gets injured!

  2. Motning again, not one of the Knot Ear brigade today for a change.

    Good question Mr Mdi89 an done that has bugged me for a while.
    Other than agreeing that Santi should be more central if possible I don’t really know what the answer is,

    In a way Ben;s glib one liner has a grain of truth in it,as, sure as eggs is eggs, as the season progresses the pair of them won’t both be available on a regular process.

    Even if they are I hope Wenger realises he must rotate more this season as that led to the first choice XI burn out and only our luck with our centre backs not being injured much let us get away with it.

  3. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all,
    A bit of a conundrum Didit, But one that is easily answered. Midfielders by the bucket load. and no one player deserves an automatic start. Jack and Aaron are squad members, and also not on their game at the moment. Mesut will be back in the team very soon, and Jack Aaron and Santi have been piss poor. Selection depends on form not likeability, if you are not cutting it expect the worse.

    I know its early doors and if we are honest with ourselves not really the time to drop star names, but points make prizes and the odd points have often been the difference at the end of the season.

    I feel that we have had a full pre season, a tour and a competition and a silver plate competition thrown in as well, Players should be in full swing after all that’s what pre season is all about.

    I also feel that Arsene was wrong in giving our Germans extra time to recover as they know when the season starts and settling the squad should be sorted fast and results from the off are just as important as the last.

    Per Merts and the eagle eyed midfield General will be back as rusty as an old nail that should never be allowed to happen, a squad is a squad and when the season starts they should all be together.

    Champions League play offs, if we are not good enough to qualify outright we should at least have the full squad to pick from, what kind of proffesional outfit fields a depleted squad for a 30 million important game Besitkas or not £0 million is still 30 million.

    I am an Arsene Supporter, but in this instants i find his handling very lapse. Proffesionalism we have been known as but this is a very poor start.

    As for our 2 superstar midfielders. their performances have been very poor throw in Santi and the 3 of them should be horse whipped Poldi resting on a sunbed when he could have been helping us after all he only watched the world cup the same as us, how comes he’s knackered the same can be said for the other Germans,

    I thought Germans were made of stronger stuff than that but they are all spoilt rotten just like Aaron and Jack. Rant over and great Post 🙂

  4. The problem is not whether Ramsey and Wilshere can play together, but that of us having way too many similar players that we have to play them out of position. If our players are not fluid enough to play in a 4-3-3, 4-1-4-1, 4-2-3-1 that we usually employ, then we’ve got a problem. Our back 4 is pretty much settled, and we’ve got Arteta, Flamini, Le Coq, and any potential CDM we might buy to cover the one deep lying defensive midfield position in front of the back four. The problem is with the front three/four depending on how they line up. Ramsey is the only true box to box midfielder that we have, but then we have Jack, Ozil, Chamberlain, Rosicky, Cazorla, Gnabry, etc, all attacking midfielders who will rather prefer to play centrally rather than be shunted to the wings. This potentially leaves us quite narrow in our approach, but when they do interchange and apply some kind of discipline to realize playing ‘out of position’ is not necessarily a bad thing as long as you can be comfortable in the position, then we see them being quite deadly and unstoppable. I think we should stop looking at the midfield role as a so-called specialist role and expect players to be able to do a respectable job wherever they are deployed in the middle of the pack. That way you get rid of the issue of putting square pegs in round holes, and just have players that are equipped to fit into whatever role they’ve been employed to do.

  5. mickydidit89 says:

    Femi Hi

    Interesting that you bracket Jack with Ozil, Ox, Rosicky, Santi and Gnabry as that tells me you see Jack as one of the more advanced boys.

    Fair enough, but I would not play him ahead of any of those, which will seriously limit his playing time.

    That leaves him in competition for one of the box to boxers ie Diaby and Aaron.

    Ok, so here’s a spanner into my own works.

    I watched the short and mighty Masserano at the world cup, who was superb at mopping up ahead of the defence.

    Then I wondered about Jack 🙂

  6. mickydidit89 says:


    “Wait until Ramsey gets injured!

    Or, rotate and hope he avoids injury.

    Tiredness can cause problems, which is why Steve, I reckon ze Germans are having a well earned kip 🙂

  7. stevepalmer1 says:

    Love child, That is a good Comment.
    Professional players midfield or not should be able to find space after all there is a lot out there, All this played out of position nonsense gets my goat, if you are top footballers you find space, you are either trained as defensive or attacking and that said you defend your goal or attack theirs.

    Finding space is easy look for a space and move into it pass the ball to a player who is not marked by 2 defenders and move into space for him to pass back same at the back but you have an option of the pass back to keeper.

    Football is piss easy dont handball and use your feet, look for the goal and smash it in job done. Score a goal in every game and you know you are a proper striker, stop them and your a good defender fcuking easy.

  8. mickydidit89 says:

    You didn’t get laid last night, did you Steve 🙂

  9. fatgingergooner says:

    The rise of Ramsey could be exactly what Wilshere needs. If and when they play together then all the attention from the opposition will be on Ramsey, which should free up Wilshere to play with more freedom.

    If Wilshere can stay fit for the next 18 months, then I have no doubt he will be one of the best midfielders in the PL.

  10. stevepalmer1 says:

    Got it in one Didit 🙂

  11. mickydidit89 says:


    I remain a fan of Jack.

    He’s a Gooner, and most great sides have “one of their own” as the heartbeat of the team.

    I believe something as simple as moving the ball on faster would make all the difference

  12. @micky, i don’t see Jack as a box-to-box midfielder because I don’t think he’s got the stamina or the energy to perform that role. Neither can I see him as a deep lying defensive midfielder. That leaves him in the attacking role, competing with the guys I laid out in my previous post. If we were playing a traditional 4-4-2 that requires dedicated wingers, then I can understand the logic of players being out of position, but with our current position, players should just fit right in and make use of space like Steve said. Jack in my opinion is not competing with Ramsey because at the moment, Aaron is the only true engine of the team. Ozil is the one that Jack should be looking at and saying to himself, “I will play better that you will be benched”. Imagine if Jack can get back to the level he was when he was 18/19. That would just be outstanding.

  13. stevepalmer1 says:

    FGG, you know your football mate, i know that, but Jack is a crablike player, i have seen him since he arrived and he is still the player he was when he arrived crablike is the fairest way i can explain it not shot no heading ability runs down deadends and goes down like a hooker. Jack does not know what a box to box Midfielder is all about He rarely goes back to defend and rarely gets in their box.

    Now i know you look for the good in every player and Jack did show that he had a good touch, Jack is a leftfooted player who can’t shoot he has zero power and his right leg is only there to help him walk for fags. Jack has been an experiment that has never matrerialised, i hate to say it but he’s off the field activities has been more exciting than his onfield displays. I feel he gets in the way and at this moment in time if we sold him and recruited another Sanches we would see football we want to see. Just my view.

  14. mickydidit89 says:


    We have to remember it could be something tragically genetic, such as his stupid short stumpy bow legs 🙂

  15. fatgingergooner says:


    You’re entitled to your opinion, and you certainly gave it! Lol

    The thing is, I read thousands of comments like that about Aaron Ramsey a season or 2 after coming back from a year out with a leg break. People forget that Wilshere missed over a year of football with his ankle injury and it’s fair to say he’s never really recovered up until now. He’s had a full pre season for the first time in a long time and I believe he has all the attributes to be a world class midfielder IF he stays fit.

    We will see.

  16. chas says:

    What’s wrong with stumpy bow legs?

  17. chas says:


    You have different totals for goals and assists for 2013/4 in the widgets.
    Are the assists totals the ones from 2012/3?

  18. mickydidit89 says:


    Think how much taller he’d be if they were straight

    Oh, and you leave Rasp alone and concentrate on filth and heat maps

  19. stevepalmer1 says:

    Fair comment FGG, I see us as a team who has come out of the doldrums, Sanches Ozil Campbell Debuchey Chambers campbell all players who should move us forward. For me Sanchez and Chambers are top top players who i feel could and should make all the difference.

    Bringing in the likes of this kind of player makes me feel that once they have all settled, some of our weaknesses will be sorted, Sanchez for me looks exciting and i look forward to players like The ox working alongside him, Campbell i am not sure of but i feel with the Ox and Campbell that there could be exciting times ahead, I also feel that Should Wenger buy a holding Midfielder that we feel we need then Jack will be in a position that only moves him to the bench.

    I know i could be wrong and you right about Jack and as you say we will have to wait and see but just how long do we give Jack to show his brilliance.

  20. chas says:

    Micky, cheers for the post.
    Were chalk and cheese meant to go together? 🙂

    The Arsenal midfield is so fluid I’m not sure the assigning of particular roles is particularly appropriate. For instance, I’ve not seen Mesut really play in a number 10 role for us yet.
    I also think it would be rare for Wenger to pick two out and out wingers like Sanchez and Campbell or Sanchez and Walcott.

    So far this season I’m getting the impression that Monreal, Mertesacker, Arteta, Wilshere, Flamini, Giroud, Podolski, Coquelin, Miquel and Cazorla just aren’t good enough to be in the Arsenal squad.
    Leaves a pretty massive hole, when all’s said and done. 🙂

  21. mickydidit89 says:


    I think even Arsene said how important this season was for Jack.
    So as FGG says “we will see”

  22. chas says:


    I’m assists widget man and in that role am only trying to be helpful to Rasp.

    Are you manager of the site as well as manager of the Club, now? 🙂

  23. mickydidit89 says:

    “Were chalk and cheese meant to go together?”

    As well as Gerrard and Lampard for England. Which is why I put Chalk and Cheese next to Gerrard and Lampard : roll :

  24. LB says:

    Thanks Micky

    I can write for ever on this subject but it always tends to be a bit negative, so I will hold fire today.

    There is a positive and that is for the first time in umpteen seasons Wilshere was not caught in possession against Besitkas, well, not all the game that is.

    The first half he was his usual self: holding the ball for too long, inviting Turks to kick him up in the air and they duly obliged. No, it was the second half in which for the first time in an age he stopped falling into that unnecessary trap.

    We will see on the weekend if he is finally learning or whether the second half was just a blip.

  25. mickydidit89 says:

    Supreme Leader. It’s a destiny thing 🙂

  26. Blimey, for once I AM here and everyone;s ignoring me. 😦

    See if I care.

  27. chas says:

    Here’s Jack’s heat map from the Palace game.
    I think the bit which looks hotter than the rest just over the halfway line was when he sparked up a crafty fag when Wenger wasn’t watching.

    Right just need to look for some filth now. 🙂

  28. chas says:

    Ah, I see.
    I didn’t know sausages and marmalade went together, you see, not being a gourmand like your good self.

  29. chas says:


    Fire away. I’m not depressed enough yet. 🙂

  30. Shard says:

    To paraphrase Big Raddy, whatever the question, the answer is Cavani 🙂

  31. chas says:

    Do you think we’ll be in yellow tomorrow?

  32. mickydidit89 says:

    Hellooooo. How’s the guitar? 🙂

  33. mickydidit89 says:


    Smut and Heat Map

    All is well

  34. LB says:

    You don’t usually get drawn in the tactical stuff Chas but when you do your comments are always quite profound and your 11.14 is no exception.

    It really made me think, still am actually.


  35. RA says:

    Don’t worry, CharyB, these guys are amateurs (or is that ‘ammer chewers), but I will professionally ignore you!! 🙂

  36. fatgingergooner says:


    How long do we give him?

    My only answer to that is to remind everyone that he’s only 22! The fact he’s been around since 16 seems to go against him as people feel he should be at his best by now, but even if you take injuries out of the equation, he’s not going to hit his peak for about 3 or 4 more years!

  37. LB says:

    Your 11.29 is equally profound and for some reason is staying longer in the mind. lol

  38. RA says:

    Nice one uncle Micky. 🙂

    You made what I suppose you thought was a very profound statement, that if you were manager Arsenal would have won the games against Palace and Besiktas.

    As opposed to losing them seems the ‘going together’ comparison theme of the Post.

    But we did not lose them, and we came within a lick of paint of winning the drawn game when the Ox’s shot hit the post.

    Still, credit to you for trying to take some ,,, credit? 🙂

  39. fatgingergooner says:

    Just a couple of comments about Wilshere in the last few years:-

    “I wanted to say something about Jack Wilshere after he spoke this week about me giving him Paul Scholes’ number so he could speak to Paul about his comments on Sky a few months back. He’s a fantastic talent. The more I’ve worked with him with England, the more I like him as a person. He’s actually very similar to Paul Scholes in his nature. He’s got a fight about him. He’s got immense talent.”


    “But they still have a good team. You only have to look at Jack Wilshere who is an excellent player.
    “After he was out for so long, he is back now and showing his form.
    “In his position, he is one of the best players there is.”
    “It has a lot to do with his size,” he said.
    “Your typical English player is over six foot – I would say that with Jack Wilshere he has different movements.
    “He is dynamic, he has a good left foot and he has a good eye for his players around him. Those are his talents.”


    He told talkSPORT: “I always seem to upset people whenever I say anything. I don’t mean to, honestly!

    “I played against Jack at 17 and thought what a player we’ve got here. And I don’t feel he’s gone to the next level yet.

    “But you have to remember he’s had horrendous injury problems with his ankle and I’m sure the best is still to come from Jack. I hope so anyway because he’s an English midfield player and I want him to do well.


    ‘I remember two defenders, Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi, and one attacker, Raul, who was 19 at Real Madrid, but for personality and confidence on the pitch, he is the best young midfielder I have seen for his age.’


    ‘Wilshere is naturally a guy who is not scared of anything on the football pitch and that is usually the sign of a leader. He wants to win and shows you that.

    ‘If you are asking me if I will take the captaincy away from Vermaelen? No. But I think Jack will be captain of this club one day.


    “If he can keep up that level of performance he will soon justify all the expectations and hopes because he was very, very good,” said Hodgson.


    “Jack will be the next England captain in a few years, that’s not even a question,” Fabregas stated.

    “You don’t have to be a magician to know that he’s got the capacity to dribble, to pass, he will go on to become a top player of the future. There’s not even a question about that.”


    We all know he hasn’t fulfilled his potential yet, and some of these comments go back a little bit, but let’s not forget his age and injuries before writing him off entirely. If these guys think he’s going to be good enough, then that’ll do for me.

  40. RA says:


    I echo LB’s laudatory remark about you in his 11:14. 🙂

    The 11:29 speaks for itself.

  41. Motning Mr Mdi89 – annoyingly we have 2 consecutive away league games so I won;t be down for another pre match drink at the Kings Head like last Saturday. Can you remember why Raspers was in a whistle then ?

    Ha Ha Chas, thanks for the old youtube clip of my one, and only, instructional video.

    Redders, doing a professional job there. 🙂

  42. chas says:

    Cheers, boys, far too kind.

    By the way, the last thing I’m intending to do is stifle debate.
    It’s the lifeblood of the blog.

  43. RA says:


    I have previously disagreed with you regarding Jack’s natural position as I have always seen him as an attacking midfielder, and not as a defensive one.

    Now, I have moved somewhat towards your position, in that Jack thru his injuries, I suppose, is neither one thing or the other.

    Your analytical summary at 11:17 is spot on, and I agree with you.

    For reasons I do not understand, Jack seems to run (slowly) when he has the ball, and waits until the opposition player’s boot is within 5cms of his foot before releasing the ball, and inevitably, and much to his apparent anger, he gets clobbered as he does eventually release the ball.

    Sad to see the regression of such a talent, and for what it is worth, Paul Scholes was correct in saying that Jack’s game has not progressed since he was a kid.

  44. chas says:

    Ant and me are going to Goodison and Leicester’s new ground, neither of which I’ve been to before.


  45. Did you ever go to Filbert street Chas, didn’t it get sponsored by Walker’s Crisps at some point ?

  46. RA says:


    I like your comments and think you are right in a lot of what you say. 🙂

  47. RA says:


    I forgot to say that my opinion differs from yours as to the effect of playing Jack and Aaron together.
    Not because they have blended together particularly well, altho that might come with a few games under their belts, but with your contention that their partnership has forced Santi wide, which in turn has resulted in his poor performances.

    Cazorla has already publicly apologised to the fans for his poor form last season, and said he hopes to perform better this season — it’s just that he hasn’t, yet, and I suspect he has fallen victim to the in-depth analysis that all teams now do on opponents, and he has been worked out by them.

    I like Santi, and especially his cheeky grin, and his ability to score some very good goals, but overall he has been a disappointment, like Jack, for quite a while now.

  48. Did anyone see the report about average heights for Premier League squads? We come in at 5’9″ and the Chavs 6’1″.

    No wonder we get bullied by the “bigger” teams.

  49. stevepalmer1 says:

    FGG, I fully understand your comments, Obviously we have different views on Jack, but that can be said for all the players i suppose. Wenger will eventually make his mind up on whether Jack is to be included in his future plans, and it really doesn’t matter what you or i think, he will make the decision for us.

    I am no expert as you well know, but i know what i see, and know what i want to see. Jack for me is lacking in a few departments, but as long as that does not interfere with other players chances, I can take your view that Jack is still maturing, while Jack plays he keeps other players out Gnabry The Ox other youngsters who could and should develop with playing time.

    I give him one more season.

  50. aizedlittlemozart says:

    1st things 1st…Steve out!!
    okay, so you think the pairing of jack & Aaron is making santi play badly? i’d have to disagree with that. Santi’s poor form started last season & he only had good games in spurts. I actually liked the jack/Rambo pairing in d charity shield game & I also thought (as i’m sure most do) that santi had a great game that day. great comments today so far. i’ll also pick on the jack best position debate & say I think his best position is currently occupied by Rambo. that’s where he played in that phenomenal game against barca, that’s the position in which he won player of the season award, & that would be his position if not for his injuries & Ramsey’s form. he has lost some speed following his injuries but make no mistake about it, he will be back! that goal against Norwich shows me he still is the Jacky boy we all love to love. Don’t lose sight of that people. for this season, I say rotation is the key word.

  51. stevepalmer1 says:

    Off out, Laters

  52. arnie says:

    Brilliant question, Micky. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Well done, Sir. And great discussion all round.

    My own view is that Jack is a good talent who is yet to develop fully. Various reasons why his development has taken longer than we hoped. Let us not go there. Hopefully this will be his crucial year.

    Yes, if you look at him as CDM, it looks like either Rambo or Jack. Maybe that is OK, offers valuable rotation.

    But Jack can also play as a traditional MF and he can score. When he stays on his feet, that is, and this is rare. Therein lies the main problem.

    It is not so much the “stumpy bow legs” or the crablike position 😛 it is the fact that he holds on to the ball too long and then cries “foul” and shoots for the abyss the moment anyone comes close. If instead he passed on and found a vacant position, all will be perfect.

    So, yes, as CDM Aaron and Jack are in rotation. But they can be in the team together, as chack and cheese, Aaron DM and Jack MF together. We live in hope! 🙂

  53. arnie says:

    Steve. “a squad is a squad and when the season starts they should all be together”. Right. Agreed. Where is the stick! 😛

    Femi. Nice comments. 🙂 A few paragraph breaks will be perfect.

    Chas’ 11.29 was so profound that I actually went into the twitter tag. And here is what I found. 🙂

  54. arnie says:


  55. fatgingergooner says:

    Even though I’ve stuck up for Jack today, I’m not entirely convinced he and Rambo can play together in this current Arsenal system just yet.

    The only way I could see it working is if both of them improved the defensive side of their games and more importantly their connection on the pitch. If they could do that then we could potentially scrap the idea of a DM and play the 2 of them as box to box MF with an AM in front. This would only work though if they could learn to work as a pair ie if one goes forward, the other drops in, in the same way that Vieira and Petit used to do in a 4-4-2.

    Aaron has the engine to do this, but I’m not sure Jacks fitness is there just yet. If he can get a long run of games then i’m sure his match fitness would improve, and with the added game time, the connection between the 2 of them would also get stronger.

  56. gart66 says:

    When the team is fully fit Jack doesn’t belong in the first 11 and Ramsey might be a top 5 player in the Premier League….If you take needing to stroke his ego out of it play him against lesser opponents and in cup games.

  57. Shard says:

    What I’m interested in seeing is whether we’ll persist with the 4-3-3 throughout the season now that Ozil is back, or we’ll switch back to the 4-2-3-1.

    I must say, I think the 4-3-3 provides us better stability in midfield, although we need some work on the attacking end.

    If it is the 4-3-3, with Flamini holding behind 2 midfielders, I think Ramsey and Wilshere can play together. Wilshere has been getting better the last couple of matches I think.

    But if we’re playing 2 midfielders with a no.10, I don’t think Jack and Aaron can work. As of now at least.

  58. Loius Van Butthead feeling the pressure at Old Toilet already: “Two weeks ago I was the king of Manchester. Now I am the devil. It is the football world.”
    Ha ha ha.


    Thanks Micky

    For me Jack and Aaron are our present and future,

    I ask myself the question, has Jacks injuries permanently damaged his body so that he will not fulfil his potential?

    I dont think so, therefore believe he will be a great player.

    Maybe ime wrong, and putting to much faith in the kid. Lets see what happens in the next few matches

    Perhaps the realization that he has a doppelgänger has made him question his sanity. That can happen to a person, “Who am I?”, “Is my father really my brother?”

    I don’t know the full effects of finding out your a Clone, but I do a hop and jump just catching a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror, never mind finding out there’s another bastard out there as ugly as me.

    I do believe Jack may have bought into his hype, believing he is special, but he should out grow that. Besides, finding out there’s two of you should erode that illusion.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  60. arnie says:

    Terry. 🙂

    Shard. agreed. Yes, Jack is getting better, but he will probably get a run for another couple of games, including the Besiktas reverse leg. This is his chance! IMO.


    Hi arnie

    I agree with you about the unfairness regarding Islamaphobia. I treat every one the same, I know ever body is after my money.

    Just after the 7/7 bombings i was on a packed tube going down town to meet a client. At Manor House some young Asian looking chap got on the train with a medium sized ruck sack

    The atmosphere suddenly changed. Standing to my left was some girl who went visibly ashen, and opposite me was your typical middle aged suit peering over nervously, or he could have been perving the girl, it was hard to tell.

    At Finsbury Park some young guy with headphones got on and upon seeing the Asian chap tried to immediately get off, but failed.

    Everybody was terrified of this poor guy and he had done nothing wrong. As we closed in on Russell Square, the young girl was so distraught she actually stared crying, so I took my chance to console her by touching her arse.

    As the train started pulling up at the stop, the young Asian guy began removing his ruck sack, initiating a cry of “ohorrrr” from a Japanese tourist and making the young girl stagger,leaving me no choice to aid her by clasping her Bosom

    It was then that the young Asian guy skilfully pulled out of the rucksack a text book “The Fundamentals of Accountancy”, met with cries of “Thank God for Accountancy” and “aharrr” from the Japanese tourist

    I will never forget the unfairness of that incident.

  62. arnie says:

    Wilshere: “Everton did fantastically last season. They work[ed] so hard under Roberto Martinez and he’s a great manager. He wants to bring new ideas to the game and he’s played some young players, like Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku. They’re a good team and will be a strong force again this season.

    “You saw in the games last season that it was always tight. We drew 1-1 at home and then beat them in the FA Cup. They beat us away and that was a bad day for us but we want to go there this season and show the fans what we can do.

    “It’s a tough place to go – there’s no denying that. They’re always up for the game and play great football as well. It will be an interesting game.”

    Also, “Besiktas is definitely a season-defining game and it’s so early as well. I thought we put in a strong performance [in Turkey]. We didn’t get the win but we got a decent result. This one is going to be a tough one as well. They keep coming – we’ve got a great squad here now and hopefully we can show that.”

    Source. http://www.arsenal.com

  63. Mr Syrup,
    that’s the unfairness of it, i’m asian looking and immediately people assume I have anything to do with ISS, Boko Haram, Al-shabaab, Al-Qaeda(the list goes on), my heritage is nothing to do with it but thanks to the jehadis and their sympathisers I’ll get looked at as if I think it;s ok to dehumanise people who have a different religion to me by callling thme infidels..

    It’s similar to the idiotic thinking that you get when people point out acts of Islamic terror and they get called “racist”.

    I mean FFS Islam.is. not. a. race.


    I find the whole thing unfair Chary. To stereotype any body according to there race or religion is simply wrong.

    Every ones the same. Given half the chance they would all nick my money.

  65. Freedom of thought and conscience is what we should be looking at in the 21st century, not chasing thousands of people up a hill and committing genocidal acts, beheading, hanging and stoning to death because you don;t like what they believe in Mr Syrup.

  66. stevepalmer1 says:

    Right lets get things in perspective, many of you may feel i have a downer on our Jack, Now answer me these simple questions, how many shots have you seen come from our Jack.

    Now when i ask this i mean shots not placing a little chip i mean out and out shots. I don’t remember the last time Jack stung the hands of any keepers, not in the way that Poldi hits a shot.

    Midfielders i know, don’t need to be a shot machine’s i realise that, but it certainly helps with stats for goals. Jack’s stats must be bad for games played, i am no stats man, but i watch every game and i think jacks stats must be the worse.

    Now answer me this who see’s more turf out of the entire team. again i don’t know the answer to this question, but i certainly have seen Jack on his arse more than anybody else.

    I have read the post and ordinarily wouldn’t comment on single players, but this post has made me feel that who would i rather watch out on the pitch between say The Ox Gnabry Podolski Santi Mesut Sanchez Flamoney Rosiski Aaron Arteta i’m sure i missed a couple but i would have more faith in all of them before Jack.

    What does Jack bring to the team

    Does he make goals does he make inch perfect through balls can he take a corner does he head a ball has he got pace to outrun a defender i think that question answers itself.

    Jack is a smoker i like that as i smoke so i am not against everything he does.

    Everytime i see jack on the tele he looks puffed out even before we kick off ,so maybe not a fair assessment. Jack doesn’t give me confidence, when Jack, goes forward i wait for the crunch very seldom am i disappointed jack loves free kicks in fact i would say he earns more than anybody else.

    Have i left anything out, Yes He wears the kit well.

  67. Shard says:

    Terry Mancini

    You know you are a funny guy when you can make a point about something as serious as racism and still make people laugh at the same time. Brilliant. You’re a gem. (But am I saying that only with the ulterior motive o nicking your money?)

  68. stevepalmer1 says:

    Another gem Terry,
    My view is the same as its all ways been , stay out of their countries and let them live their own lives, and in kind maybe they will do the same.

  69. Eddie says:

    thanks Micky for your modest post. I am sure we would have won the last 2 games if you were the manager, but sadly you are lacking somehow in certain departments. Sexy French accent and immaculate suits just for starters.

    But never mind, keep on sending your letters to Arsene, no harm done, init

    I doubt very much that Jack will ever be as good as Aaron and it is good to have him as a second choice, but in all fairness he would probably be better off on loan elsewhere. Unless Wenger knows something we don’t know, ie some catalan cheats already snooping around Ramsey?

  70. arnie says:

    Steve. Every fan is different and we celebrate diversity.

    You say “who would i rather watch out on the pitch between say The Ox Gnabry Podolski Santi Mesut Sanchez Flamoney Rosiski Aaron Arteta i’m sure i missed a couple but i would have more faith in all of them before Jack”

    I say, if I were to do this all my life I would miss this, and the quality of my life would therefore be diminished:

  71. arnie says:

    Let me also say, the same goes for Giro.

    Most of us may not live to see Arsenal lift the CL trophy, or may have to wait a long time yet for the EPL. But thanks to Jack and Giro, we have had to opportunity to see that.

    Thank Dennis for that! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  72. Eddie says:

    My mate is a young muslim man travelling to work with a back pack. After 7/7 in London he was looked at with total distrust, could see people on the tube around him being nervous, was subjected to abuse etc. It got so bad that for some time he had to work from home. He was a really good guy and a Gunner, nothing evil about him, BUT he didn’t completely condemn the actions of the terrorists and sadly the same goes for many other muslims.

    Arnie – I have muslims in my immediate family, I know what I am talking about.

    As for Transplant abusing the petrifying situation to grop an innocent girl – that’s the worst act of terrorism I have heard of

  73. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening Arnie, Thank you for reminding me of that great team goal, I can remember it and can remember punching the air , You have again left me speechless. But 🙂

  74. arnie says:

    Evonne, sorry not the place to discuss this. But that also goes for so many IRA people, right? For that matter, also many other people with different political beliefs and associations. We use a different term for that, and not one associated with religion. 😦

  75. RA says:


    If your damned goats keep stirring it up, they will end up as kebabs.

    And you with them! 🙂


    hahaha, see what you mean Redders

    Honestly, I didnt mean to stir anything up and tend to steer clear of religion and politics. Just believe sterotyping is unfair, thats all.

    I have no grudges against any one, even those who insult me or dont see the joke.

    I have never groped any one in my life. Firstly, with my bulging gangly eyes, they would see me coming, and secondly, with my propensity to go out in public wearing just Y Fronts, ime the one more likely to feel an unwanted hand. hahaha

  77. arnie says:

    Terry. “Just believe sterotyping is unfair”. Likewise. 🙂

  78. Eddie says:

    transplant 🙂

    arnie – agree, wrong blog 🙂 I happened to have Irish catholics in my immediate family too and have to say that they never completely condemn the IRA. And before you ask – yes, I also have Jewish relatives 🙂 No Buddhists, yet

  79. Sorry Arnie, but you’re wrong to equate the IRA to today’s world wide jihadis but you’re right in that this is not the place to discuss this so I won’t.

  80. Big Raddy says:

    Of course they can play together – it is just a question of how well 🙂

    On the other subject, I am not discussing it either except to say……

    Chas’s 11.29 is by far the best comment of the day

  81. arnie says:

    Chary. I hold my views, but we can only discuss over a drink some time. Soon? 🙂

    For the record, I was born a Hindu, am an Agnostic, and I do not care a flying fig about religion. All I know is that the world is a worse place than what we have seen in the past. However, I will in all probability have a long life and so will everyone else on here.

    What matters for my well being is how Arsenal does tomorrow against Everton, and that has nothing to do with religion or politics or other such things. But one major reason I support Arsenal is because it is inclusive towards people of all races, age, sexuality, gender and faiths.

    Hence I do not like Islamophobia propagated on AA. Period. If this happens again, I may have to leave. Sad, but true. 😦

  82. Eddie says:

    Raddy – I didn’t even have to scroll up to 11:29!!! I knew instantly what ‘comment’ you meant!! I just bloody hope none of the players will turn up sporting a bra and a pair of G-strings, yellow or blue, or red and white

  83. chas says:

    Back to fitba……….

  84. arnie says:

    Brilliant stuff, Chas. 🙂

  85. chas says:


  86. Shard says:

    Sorry. Not getting involved in the whole politico-religious debate, but to use the term jihad for terrorism is also to give the terrorists legitimacy. It’s one of the things that drives me crazy about the English speaking media (and it’s caught on elsewhere). They are terrorists, not jihadists. Regardless of what they claim.

  87. Shard says:

    Anyway. Onto the football. I’m watching Bayern Munich v Wofsburg, but Bendtner is nowhere to be seen. Not fit enough to be involved yet apparently.

    Bayern are playing some of their World CUp winners but before people complain about it in relation to Arsenal, they should remember that the German League has 18 teams, and have a 6 week winter break.

    Olic scored a wonder goal for Wolfsburg to make it 2-1 to Bayern. Just over half an hour left.

  88. Shard says:


    From all my talks with not just my Muslim friends and acquaintances, but with some scholars of Islam, the concept of jihad is almost nothing to do with an uprising. It has been (mis)used as that for political purposes throughout history, but the idea of jihad is more a process of self improvement. (Fighting the evil within)

    Now I have not read the Quran so this information isn’t first hand. Even if I knew Arabic well enough to have read it, the interpretation would depend on the guy doing the interpreting, so it would still mean different things to different people in different contexts. Which is why it is open to being misused.

    But I’m not sure why Islam gets the bad name for terrorism and Judaism doesn’t, since both are misusing religion for political purposes. The same applies to Christians, Hindus etc in different parts of the world. There will always be people using religion for their own purposes. That doesn’t make them the real spokespersons for their religion, but by accepting their identification as jihadis/Islamists, they gain legitimacy. We should not accept them as the face of Islam any more than (to quote a notorious, though relatively benign example) we accept the Westboro Baptist Church as the real Christians.

  89. Shard says:

    Gee, thanks for deleting that LB.

    Anyway. That will be my last comment of that topic and its various offshoots.

  90. Shard says:

    Mandzukic with a tasty finish vs Real Madrid. Very early in the game as well.

  91. aizedlittlemozart says:

    wonder if we’ll see the same team formation tomorrow as we’ve had for our past two games. that would mean the flamster in for the injured arteta. ozil 2nd half maybe? will Joel get his chance? I think the nature of the match at 70mins will decide that but even with a positive result by that time, the boss could still decide to give run-outs to the less fit players. would love to see the Mozart (& not by 90minutes!!!). like I said earlier today, I like the jack-Rambo combo, offers great pressing potential, especially with alexis in d side.

  92. Shard says:


    I think we will see the same formation, mainly because, like you, I don’t think Ozil will start. I am sure Ox will start, probably instead of Santi. Which will make Micky very happy 🙂

    Sanogo or Giroud is the real question for me. Normally I would say Sanogo, and Giroud for Besiktas. But maybe Giroud needs to play his way back into form.

  93. aizedlittlemozart says:

    as per OG12, the question I have though is……..is giroud out of form? or fitness? he has scored 1 in 3 (competitive games, & i’ve included the charity shield obviously). I think sanogo should start if fit, be a handful for the opposition centre backs, nick a goal(or four) if he can, & OG can come in at the magic 70 to improve on whatever the jury decides he is lacking (form/fitness)

  94. aizedlittlemozart says:

    from looking at our training pictures you might be right about the ox starting tomorrow. I normally guess the starting team based on bib colour. interesting thing is that Big Per wore the same bib colour as Rambo, sanchez & the Ox! Per starting? also ryo was in training too

  95. Shard says:


    I think Giroud is definitely out of form. I also think that is (in part) because of a lack of fitness. If so, surely playing games is the only way to gain that fitness?

  96. Shard says:


    I think Per will start. I would hope so at least. Everton will be tough opposition and good as Chambers has been, I think Per will provide the organisation in defence that we’ll need.

    I think Ox will start because of the Wenger press conference. He didn’t say he would, but I got that feeling. I presume it will be for Santi, but could be for Wilshere as well. I would like to see Rosicky involved as well, mainly because we should rotate before the midweek game, but also because I like Rosicky and what he brings to the team. Based on your name, I’m sure you’ll agree 🙂

  97. aizedlittlemozart says:

    I most definitely agree with a (great)bit of Mozart shard.
    is there no amount of games over which form should be measured? Giroud’s barely played two games, had a good impact in the 1st & was poor in the second ( I still blame that pitch!). but whatever it is, I hope no player gets burned out so yes, I agree, ROTATION. so, a possible front three of ox/sir4goals/sanchez, Mozart pulling the strings, beautiful!!!!

  98. Shard says:

    Sir4goals 🙂

  99. Shard says:

    Juventus in for Lukas Podolski?

  100. aizedlittlemozart says:

    was having a discussion with a gooner friend earlier today. he’s a serious di Maria admirer & insists that if poldi should leave we must replace with di’Maria. i’m of the opinion that if LuLu leaves we already have his squad replacement in Joel.

    the dressing room would miss a huge character though

  101. Shard says:


    I really like Di Maria too, but my pick to replace Podolski would be Marco Reus.

    I really like Podolski though and I’d be perfectly happy if he stayed as well. Poldi is frustrating because he should be, and can be, better than he is. He still scores important goals and his crosses are very good. He also seems like he has a positive influence on the squad.

    But Reus as left sided attacker would improve Arsenal. Di Maria is a bit closer to being an upgrade on Cazorla rather than Podolski in my opinion, and would likely be very expensive.

  102. Big Raddy says:

    The weekend. And a game day

    No messing about on the water, no pouncing in front of a wall of mirrors, no playing with plants in someone else’s garden or helping clients avoid tax etc etc

    With luck we can be entertained by the Ant and Duck show.

    Now I have to get writing ….

  103. chas says:

    “pouncing” ?

    Ant’s driving so not much Ant and Duck unfortunately.

  104. RA says:


    Don’t upset Raddy. He has been chasing his shadow and his mirror reflection for years trying to pounce on the gorgeous critter grinning back at him!!

    Sweet really in a pervy sort of Terry way! 🙂

  105. Big Raddy says:

    FFS. 6.30 in the morning and someone picks up on my spelling ….

    RA. Thankfully I have a knack of finding others to pounce 😀

  106. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning all

    Day of The Ox has arrived 🙂

    Mmm, Raddy, no pouncing about on the water eh. This is going to be tight.

  107. mickydidit89 says:

    Beware Mrs Raddy. Big is clearly feeling frisky.

  108. mickydidit89 says:

    Thin transfer goss. news

    Marcotti (I would think reliable) says Costas Manolas finalising deal

    One flimsy Wanyama story, but worse news, only one rubbish Cavani “link”, but it is in the Daily Mail 🙂

  109. mickydidit89 says:

    5:30 KO. Great news.

  110. Eddie says:

    Malky McKay is finished

    “Big is clearly feeling frisky” 🙂

    Big game, we have a tendency to draw with Toffs

  111. mickydidit89 says:


    In the case of Raddy, I’ve decided to put the past behind us, forgive and forget, and take our relationship to the next level.

    Hence moving on to first name terms. Big, he is now.

  112. mickydidit89 says:

    As always, I think we’ll thrash them 🙂

    I envisage some freshness about the side. Ox and Joel would make my day.

  113. kelsey says:

    Morning all
    AA is a football blog but with usually an early morning bit of banter which is quite harmless but politics and religion shouldn’t be debated on there IMO.
    It’s not a very nice world we live in and the angst is spreading.

    I would just like to say that Malky Mackay knew exactly what he texted and unfortunately a lot of people think one thing privately but actually say the opposite publicly, and he being in the limelight it has been exposed.He doesn’t need counselling as I am 100% sure especially at his age he will never change.

    Right back today.

    Late Saturday night football is not one that we do very well generally especially away and Rambo will be a huge miss as he and he alone would be the most likely to score on players available and form..
    Everton have a formidable defence and I wouldn’t read too much in their opening game draw at Leicester.
    Will Pers play and Chambers be benched or will he keep the same team as the last game but with Flamini coming in for Arteta.I would like to see The Ox start but not sure for who.Hopefully Kos is fit as it was 50/50 that he would start in Turkey.I hope ant and dec bring us some good luck and of course pictures. I won’t be around much and will unfortunately miss the game.

    Not sure we will thrash them Micky, hope we can make it 7 straight PL wins on the bounce but my crystal ball has gone away for the Bank Holiday weekend. 🙂

  114. Eddie says:

    Very noble of you Micky, let’s hope that the hippy sings from the same song sheet

    I turned on the radio yesterday and instantly recognised The Voice. Wenger was saying about showing ambition to finish in top 4. HORRROR I thought he was talking about our ambitions!!! Stupid me, he was commenting on Everton’s chances, pheeew

  115. kelsey says:

    Oops my mistake, Ramsey does play so scrub all that bollix,but who will score if not him.

  116. See that Terry Hairtransplant man is on form as usual 🙂

    Religion and politics shouldn’t be mixed with football, I agree with Eddie, it’s a draw today.
    I’ve posted a match preview on my blog this morning, so if you fancy a laugh and to insult my lack of tactical knowledge, pop over… but remember, in my pub no politics, religion or talking with drunks… http://wp.me/p4FeF9-fB

  117. mickydidit89 says:

    Fair comment Crystals, although I shall continue to persecute angry Buddhists and hippies 🙂

    Why is Rambo out, surely only next CL game

  118. Eddie says:

    who indeed Kelsey?

    Baynes, Jagielka, Hibbert, McGeady – disgusting foursome, the less I see of them the better. Them and that Naismith geezer finished off with Lukaku make a nasty proposition. Tough, very tough game

    So naughty Mario going to Liverpool. Brendon Rogers seems to like trouble makers 🙂

  119. mickydidit89 says:


    I’m glad Balotelli is back in the Prem. Could be the buy of the window, but will be interesting to see.

  120. Eddie says:

    Thanks NorthBank but it’s Eddie that drags politics to this blog 😦 Arnie and Kelsey calm the waters after I raffled them a bit.
    Does anybody know about a good far right politics blog I could visit?

  121. mickydidit89 says:

    A “good” far right politics blog 🙂

  122. mickydidit89 says:


    Strikes me your weekly routine is moulded around recovering some kind of equilibrium of your anatomy following a match day.

    Order of play: meat, bread, pork pie, sausage roll, pastry, meat, bread, meat, beeeeeeeer….gym, gym, gym, gym, gym…., meat, bread, pork pie…….

  123. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all, big game today.
    Looking back on some of the comments i see i had missed one from our friend Aise,

    Now lets be clear about this Aise, I never stated at any time that Santi’s form had anything to do with Jack and Aaron. I see you don’t like what i have said and i will just have to live with that, but I mentioned Santi only in the terms that he has started badly in my opinion.

    Now if i speak the truth Santi has the ability to do wonderful things but in my opinion he is lightweight. Yes you see Santi running all over the place, but a tackler he is not. Santi is a small guy and on his day which i must say doesn’t come round often, he can be a game changer but i have to say he is like a fly who gets battered by a newspaper and is swatted all the time.

    The Premier league is a physical league some tough guys perform in this league and getting the best out of players is only by using what you are best at, Santi takes up space he doesn’t deliver the amount he should just like i think Jack does.

    Arsenal have been lightweight for several seasons, even our bigger defenders backoff and only challenge at the last minute, in fact we back off most of the time. How many Players do you see jump for a header but never intend to reach the ball, that is not challenging that is preservation.

    Arsenal football club is a team that does not play well when strong teams with tough players are playing, now we could say that we are a ball playing side but when pushed we can’t even pass the ball straight.

    Now i know everybody won’t like to hear me saying things like this about the club we all love but its true, and i would love to see some talented big guys come in.

    Wenger has a thing for midfielders buys loads of them but the trouble with Arsene is that he buys the same sort of player, for years now we have needed a big strong Fcuker in the centre and we are still waiting.

    We need a bit of steel down our spine Arteta and Flamoney do their best to give us backbone but both are getting on and yellows seem to follow them about.

    Getting back to Santi, yes he has played some good games the same as Jack but they are lightweight run down blind alleys with no power and they end up on the deck. Sorry you want me out Aise but i would still like them replaced with a bit of muscle.

  124. Eddie says:

    oxymoron 🙂

    I make no apologies for wanting to express my views, which are not always PC. if people have freedom to be like arnie, so how come Eddie cannot do the reverse? Enough or I will be arrested

  125. Eddie says:

    oi steve! you leave my Santi alone. how can you say he is lightweight?

  126. mickydidit89 says:

    Exceptions will always be made for you, Eddie, and your unique take on life 🙂

  127. mickydidit89 says:


    Agree with much of what you say.

    Teams are getting increasingly big and powerful, and it was no surprise to me that Argentina and Germany got to the WC Final.

    However, there’s always room within an eleven man team for the odd maestro, and played in his rightful position, Santi is one of those. 🙂

  128. kelsey says:


    A bit strong so early in the morning 🙂

    Santi isn’t world class but has set up and scored some very important goals and he is two footed.

    I could name at least five midgets in the team who will invariably will get tackled or shoved off the ball,but like it or not, that is the Wenger way though I tend to agree that he will never dramatically change.
    We are over loaded with skilful attacking midfielders but they all need to take the inititive a bit more and not set others up but actually score. Suarez isn’t a giant but he has the ability to do it as does Messi.
    it’s all about getting the right balance,fewer injuries ,rotate more and have a plan B and C if required.
    The big question is will AW do it. We will soon find out.

  129. Eddie says:

    Micky – one last question, I promise not to bring the subject up again and especially on match days 🙂 Could you ask your SAS mates if they think that the murderer of the American reporter will be identified? I am sure he will be, but as you know I failed the SAS secrecy tests, so I don’t know

  130. Eddie says:

    Santi IS world class!!!!

  131. stevepalmer1 says:

    Fair comment Micky, 🙂
    Sorry Eddie, In my opinion you can talk as much as you like about anything, the world has a lot of bad things happening, and shutting our eyes wont send them away, after all we love football but we should respect people.

  132. stevepalmer1 says:

    Sorry Kelsey,
    Didn’t mean to be heavy so early, 🙂
    I say a lot of rubbish i know that and i realise i get up some peoples noses, thats just me, I don’t mean to offend but i don’t like words said that i haven’t said, Knock my views by all means i expect that. 🙂

  133. aizedlittlemozart says:

    good morning all, match day huhn?

    & a good morning to you Steve. actually the “Steve out” was heavily tongue in cheek. after posting it & seeing someone advising Femi to practice paragraph insertion I realised I also had to do the same.

    the santi discussion that followed was a reaction to a part of the day’s post where didit suggested that playing jack & Rambo together was shunting santi out of position.

    So, as you can see,

    I have
    To insert
    (I think)

  134. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey Big

    9:34…..stick it up

    Champing at the bit to get outside, but so much better with a BR PM to think about

  135. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning Aize, i like the cut of your \jib mate 🙂

  136. mickydidit89 says:

    I shall look forward to reading it later. Have a great day all, and I’ll join you for the match.

    Have fun Ant ‘n Duck.

  137. aizedlittlemozart says:

    #aha Steve!

    so all’s well that ends well.

    you should have seen my jib rocking when the next comment was from you saying “off out…” 🙂

  138. aizedlittlemozart says:

    so, it appears poldi is not included in the squad that made the trip to Merseyside for the everton game. Signs?

  139. RA says:

    Or, just not fit?

  140. chas says:

    I wasn’t correcting your spelling, I was asking if you were accusing me of Terry-like grabbing of leotarded bodies.

  141. chas says:

    You nailed my weekly routine.
    I put on an average of 3 kilos on a weekend.
    They have to be shed somehow else I’ll end up like the puffing giant, buddha-wise.

  142. chas says:

    A flat-chested young lady read an article in a magazine that stated Dr. Bumbutu in Africa could enlarge your breasts without surgery. So she decided to go to Dr. Bumbutu to see if he could help her.

    Dr. Bumbutu advised her, ‘Every day after your shower, rub your chest and chant, ‘Scooby doobie doobies, I want bigger boobies!’

    She did this faithfully for several months, and to her utter amazement she grew a terrific D-cup rack!

    One morning she was running late, got on the bus, and in a panic realized she had forgotten her morning ritual. Frightened she might lose her lovely boobs if she didn’t recite the little rhyme, she stood right there in the middle aisle of the bus, closed her eyes and said, ‘Scooby doobie doobies, I want bigger boobies.’

    A guy sitting nearby looked at her and asked ‘ Are you a patient of Dr
    Yes I am.. How did you know?’

    He winked and whispered, ‘ Hickory dickory dock’…

  143. Sorry all, I’ve been being a grandma ………… I’ll sort the post now

  144. New Post …………………..

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