Can Özil and Sanchez play effectively together?

Özil’s perceived lack of form, motivation and effectiveness in the team has been debated by fans and journos alike over the past months, weeks and days. Some have even questioned Wenger’s alleged favouritism in steadfastly retaining for Mesut a starting position despite his lack of impact on our game.

In this space, we have debated whether Özil is being played in his best position, or whether a central role would be better suited for him and the team. A view has also been expressed that maybe we have too many similar midfielders. With the arrival of Alexis, we have asked ourselves whether we have an embarrassment of talent in the midfield. Should Mesut and Santi therefore play in rotation.

And then the going got tough, with Özil singled out, I think somewhat unfairly, for lack of effort in a lacklustre performance away to Dortmund, Just then, as if to silence all critics and faithless doubters, the tough got going. With Alexis sidelined very late away to Villa, Mesut mesmerised us with a fantastic game. One goal, one assist, dominating the midfield and involved in everything that Arsenal did well on the night.

ozil goal v villa

Speaking on Match of the Day, Martin Keown said: ‘With Alexis Sanchez not playing, the team was dancing for his boots. Sanchez will obviously come back in at some point but Özil was magnificent in the central role today’. This then begs the question: Can Özil and Sanchez play effectively together?

Tactical bolleaux of this nature is not my forte. I know f*** all about tactics. Nevertheless, in a simple-minded way, I think the strengths of the two are very different and they can effectively do this together.


Early in the season, the team was being organised with Giroud as the front man. The option of Alexis as a striker was explored, but without great success. Perhaps, that would have settled matters with Mesut in the centre of the midfield. Then came Giroud’s injury and Welbeck arrived. With this, I think another dedicated front man is no longer essential.

Besides, I think Alexis would be a waste at the top. That way, we will lose his enormous skills in distribution. However, there is another attribute to Sanchez’s game that is different from what anyone else in the team can offer. Alexis is good in challenging for 50-50 balls in the midfield and can break up opposition play. In this role, he takes away 2 or 3 opposition players with him. This then leaves space for other players to operate with.

I think this is ideal for Özil. Mesut is brilliant when he has a bit of space to work with. If Alexis can wrest possession from the opponents, and Özil can then distribute to onrushing players, this will be just ideal.

It remains only for the good guys to forge this combination effectively. Whereas we now have a mildly potent attack, we will then have a powerhouse in attack.

What do you think, chums?


Written by arnie

114 Responses to Can Özil and Sanchez play effectively together?

  1. Amos says:

    If you look at Alexis’ pass completion stats in the games he has played with us his strengths are not in distribution. He has a number of great qualities but he has to get with the need not to give a ball away passing inaccurately. That should improve as he becomes familiar with his team mates and vice versa but against counter attacking sides he can be a bit of a liability. Welbeck on the other hand – especially given that he plays in tight areas – has wasted very little and seems in tune with the midfield already.

  2. Eddie says:

    amos – very good comment. both Mezut and Danny will improve and gel (I hate that expression) given time and will be deadly. With Theo’s imminent return we will be some power to reckoned with!!! Yeeaaah

  3. Big Raddy says:

    Ah that’s a relief. Eddie 😀

    Arnie. Good question and a fine starter for the day, thank you.

    Can they play together? We will find out.

    Another question would be “Why has Mr Wenger bought yet another player to sit behind the centre forward?”

    Another might be “How do flies stand upside down on a ceiling?”

  4. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Arnie, Sorry to be rude but I will go and read your post in a moment and comment. I am a bit late but wanted to wish Kelsey the best of luck this morning and am looking forwards to the bushy silver fox popping up again soon.

    Also I just wanted to pick up on Steves earlier comment (7.32 I think) about the media bias. You used Souness as an example Steve and rightly so, but from my Friday 5 things I hate rant I said the worst for me was the “former Liverpool legends” who always have something negative to say about Arsenal but, strangely enough, rarely say anything negative about Liverpool. I also said there were too many of them and I think they are collectively tainting the punditry world with sheer bias. My list of main culprits includes ; Thompson, Carragher, Redknapp, Lawrenson, Souness, Owen and the recently retired Hanson.

    Gary Neville is an excellent pundit who will criticise his old team and praise them when appropriate as he would any other team with no perceived bias. I noticed Carragher accused man Utd of mismanagement for not buying a CB. I will looking with interest to see if any on that above list say anything critical of Liverpool after this weekend. Maybe they already have and I have missed it.

    Sorry Arnie, off to read yours now. Mmm a post on tactics, you know how I hate those ones Arnie.

  5. GoonerEris says:

    Was going to make exactly the same point about Alexis’ passing accuracy. That is certainly not one of his strong points, as suggested in the article. He chases lost causes, wins back balls, tackles well and harries defenders/keepers, thus forcing them into errors/hasty decisions, but needs to improve his combination play with his new teammates.

  6. GoonerB says:

    Raddy, they hook themselves into the very small (unseen by the naked human eye without microscopic magnification) nooks and crannies that are on the walls and ceiling. i believe this is the case anyway. Still reading Arnie……

  7. Good post arnie and some relevant points. However, if you look at the heat maps for Ozil, the game against Dortmond showed that he hardly moved from a position on the right.

    Against Villa in contrast, he moved across the pitch from left to right and spent half of his time centrally. Perhaps BVB played against him in such a way as to keep him bogged down on the right wing, or perhaps he had a bad game but then put it together to have a good game against Villa.

  8. This shows Ozils movement against Villa

  9. This was his movement against Dortmond

  10. arnie says:

    Thanks chums. Enjoying the discussion.

    The heat maps are an enigma. I do not know what they represent beyond the obvious, the spread of body odour and heat generated from the arse. Does this, for example, represent movement without the ball.

    If so, how do you square this up with distance covered. For example, look at Ozil against Dortmund.

  11. arnie says:

    IMO, the two are very different kinds of players. Look at Alexis against Dortmund.

    Not a good game for us, but just to make the point about Alexis’ work rate and ability to run into opposition players and tackle. Ignore the commentary at the beginning, which is usual drivel.

  12. GoonerB says:

    Right then Arnie, excellent post. I agree with your point that we do have too many similar players for certain positions but i also agree that Alexis and Ozil are very different so for me do not overlap. It depends on what one considers to be Alexis’ best position and what is our best formation and line up.

    It is no secret that I prefer the 4-2-3-1 similar to the Bayern line up (or at least the one before Guardiola arrived, not sure if it is still the same). This system plays a holding DM with a box to box DM In front of these 2 is the number 10 who has a free role who plays behind the lone striker. To either side we have the 2 attacking wide players (like Robben and Ribbery) who are more wing-forwards or inside forwards than true hug the touchline wingers. This shifts our formation between the 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 dependent upon how the game is panning out.

    I personally see Ozil as the best number 10, especially if given the right players either side and ahead of him, and Sanchez as the left inside forward. He can run at players and has pace and goals in him. I also like it that he works back to defend the wide area in front of the FB. My other choices for the wide attacking roles are primarily AOC and Walcott. I am not keen when any of Ozil, Ramsey, or Santi play the wide attacking role as I just don’t think any of them have the right blend of pace and goals in equal measure. Santi is possibly a better option than the other 2.

    The sticking point for me in our squad is that I see the number 10 role as being the best position for Ozil, Cazorla and Ramsey so for me this is where we are overloaded. I think Jack is the best box to box DM we have and think the, seemingly forgotten, Thomas Rosicky is the best back up in this role. There is an argument for Ramsey but he doesn’t quite have the burst of pace and ball carrying ability through midfield that the other 2 do.

    For Me Arnie the question therefore is not whether Alexis and Ozil can play together, but is more about how to accomodate the trio of Ozil, Santi and Ramsey. I don’t think we look that fluid or penetrative when all 3 play together and I think something will give here at the end of the season.

  13. arnie says:

    And Ozil against Villa. Lovely skill and distribution when even a little bit of space is available. To be fair, he creates the space for himself.

  14. GoonerB says:

    Arnie I think Northbanks heat maps are telling. I like Ozil in the free role but if we play with those wing-forwards either side, who like to come in from wide, it gives Ozil free licence to decide when to position himself centrally and when to pull wide, rather than locking him down on the flanks which, for me, hinders him massively and exposes his one true weakness. I would hope to then see a fluid interchange of positions between these 3 much like we saw in the Napoli game.

  15. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning all,

    I haven’t read this mornings comments on yesterday’s post so apologies if this has already been said.

    What a weekend for Arsenal!.

    1) A goal blitz to see off Villa.

    2) Welbeck hits his first goal for Arsenal. Confidence booster.

    3) Ozil with hits first for the season. Confidence Booster.

    4) All our main rivals and Spuds drop points.

    5) Manure humiliated at Leicester.

    6) Liverpool outplayed by The Hammers.

    7) Everton beaten at home by Palace.

    8) Chavs unable to hold out against ten man City.

    9) Spuds lose at home to lowly West Brom.

    10) No new injuries for the Glorious Gunners.

  16. GoonerB says:

    I think the stats on Ozils distance covered against Dortmund just put to bed those that say he didn’t work hard. He may have looked ineffective or out of sorts but that is different from being accused of being lazy.

  17. Rasp says:

    Thanks, excellent post arnie. I think it is a more fundamental problem. We often field too many playmakers and the whole midfield becomes confused and crowded – we will often see 3 midfielders within 10 yards of one another getting nowhere and gaping holes elsewhere on the pitch that could be exploited.

    If we play only one playmaker and he has the central role then everything works. I agree with GB, of the many options we have, Ozil is our best central number 10 as he proved yesterday.

  18. Norfolk Gooner says:

    In answer to Arnie’s excellent and provocative question. Of course they can.

    With Ozil playing in the more central role and Alexis to his right, in place of Cazorla we’ll have an amazing combination.

  19. chas says:

    Cheers, arnie.
    In answer to your question, I’d undoubtedly say, a resounding ‘yes’. Exactly how, will become clear as we progress through the season.

    Here’s Wenger’s view…….
    “It is a debate as old as the world. Since we played football. When you look at the Brazil team in 1970 they had Tostao, Rivelino, Pele, Jairzinho, Gerson, Clodoaldo. They played all No 10 in their club. They didn’t know what to do. They put them all together and they won the World Cup in a convincing way.”

  20. chas says:

    Ozil v Everton

  21. chas says:

    Ozil v Leicester

  22. chas says:

    Ozil v Man City

  23. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Chas, which translated into tabloidese means “Arsenal to win World Cup”


  24. chas says:

    Looking at the progression of the heat maps, I’d say Ozil has been playing more across the line as we’ve gone through the premiership games.
    Perhaps, there’s been a plan all along?

  25. chas says:

    We’ve done it before. Why not again? 🙂

  26. chas says:

    Ah, the Squawka heat map for Ozil against Villa looks different to that double-ender thingy that NB69 put up earlier. 🙂

  27. Heat maps galore.. ha ha

    What it shows is that in the PL Ozil is working hard and moving across the pitch, but against Dortmond he was static. Doesn’t tell the whole story, ie: pass rate etc… but quite informative. Thanks Chas :-0

  28. RA says:

    Well done arnie. 🙂

    A very good Post and I am giving it some thought.

  29. chas says:

    As arnie says, they must have different ways of measuring B.O. and flatulence…….

  30. RA says:


    That is a very good question; ‘How do fly stand upside down on the ceiling?’

    Insects and some reptiles can do this because they have a huge number of small hairs on their feet – not cracks and crevises propounded by GoonerB Naughty, which sounds suspiciously pervy to me. 🙂

    Other good questions might be;
    — Why do they want to stand upside down on the ceiling? Or,
    — If they fly with their feet hanging down to the floor, at what stage do they flip around to land?
    — Did you know that flies only have two wings, but to help them they have two ‘nodes’ behind their wings called halteres.
    — Did you know I learned that at school, and went straight out and caught a fly or two, took off the halters and ,,,,, they could not fly.
    — How cruel is that? I was ashamed of myself for ages afterwards.

    Anything else your Maj? 😀

  31. RA says:


    Where would we be without your informative heat maps and vids? 🙂

    [Super stuff by the Ant and Duck combo on Saturday!] .

  32. RA

    We used to catch Bees, take out their sting with a book match holder, tie some cotton around them and let them fly around on the cotton whilst holding the other end of the cotton……… then they died. How cruel kids can be eh.

  33. RA says:

    Right, arnie, back to you as my brain is slightly more engaged now.

    First off, everyone has their own opinion on the question you ask, and the following is my current view until someone convinces me otherwise. 🙂

    Yes we do have a lot of latent No.10s, some better or more experienced than others – but they all have one thing in common — they are all physically similar – midgets, fairly quick (but not excessively so) and cannot tackle for toffee tho’ they are all skilful.

    I think, if I had a blank piece of paper and put the team names down, I would start with Özil at No.10. So there you have it.

    Why not Santi? In an interview in the summer, he said that he was aware that he had not played as well as he wanted last season and he hoped to be much better this. He has not been consistently better for me. So he loses out to Özil.

    Can Sanchez play with Mesut? Yes, simply because they are different and can complement each others styles.

    There is a proviso to that tho’. Sanchez is a bundle of energy and desperate to show he is the biz, and so he runs and runs and has been tremendous at tackling back and helping the sometimes non-existent midfield. There is a downside to that because his enthusiastic running can be disruptive as he is sometimes too busy helping others and not in position to do his own work.
    More discipline may be required.

    With Mesut we just need to accept that try as he might he will never be able to tackle, or consistently run back to help out in defense, and he should be allowed to get on and do his own thang!

    So we have one player (Sanchez) full of beans and endeavour, and another brilliantly skilful and a master of assists (Mesut) but not the most energetic player I have ever seen.

    They would complement each other brilliantly, as I said earlier, and adding Welly Welbeck to the mix, makes for a great trio.

    I know this will cause a headache for Arsene with the other million midfielders we have, and it will take some masterful man management to keep everyone sweet — so go to it Professor!! 🙂

  34. RA says:

    Hi NB,

    Not seen you around for a while. 🙂

    I am just about to pop over and see what you have to say on your blog. Better be good! 🙂

  35. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi arnie,

    A couple of seasons back I was stupid enough to be critical of the way Ramsey was playing – well we all know what a splendid player he has become so it was a personal eye opener for me and made me quit getting involved in areas that I knew little about. Player form comes and goes and only those close to the team can possibly know the best choices on either player combinations or tactics.

    AW has managed 681 PL games with a record of W394, D171, L116, it’s a superior record than any previous Arsenal manager, so I put my faith in him, not the critic’s or pundit’s.

    Ozil and Sanchez are two of the best players ever to pull on an Arsenal shirt and Arsene is our best ever manager so in my mind all the ingredients are in place for it to become a union that will be the envy pf the PL.

    Here’s some words by Ozil.


    Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil accepts he will always be an easy target for the critics but says he has nothing to prove to anyone.

    The Germany World Cup winner answered the growing doubters with an eye-catching display in Arsenal’s 3-0 victory at Aston Villa last Saturday.

    He swept in the opening goal and created the second for Danny Welbeck when deployed in a more central role by manager Arsene Wenger.

    The 25-year-old has continually found himself under scrutiny since becoming Arsenal’s £42million club record signing from Real Madrid on deadline day in September 2013.

    “I don’t play to prove anything to anybody, I play for Arsenal,” he said. “I have the feeling that I am criticised more, that happened to me in the Bundesliga and also at Real Madrid.

    “We have only just started the season and we have new players in key positions. The collective game, which is something I have a lot to do with, cannot then just work well from one day to the next.

    “Just 10 weeks ago I was elected to the team of the season in England (via an internet poll). I was a world champion then.

    “It was the summer break and after a few games of the new season everything is called into question again. This is strange, but I know what I can offer.”

    Ozil is likely to be one of several first-team players rested by Wenger for the Capital One Cup tie at home to Southampton on Tuesday evening but should again be the key man for Saturday’s north London derby against Tottenham at the Emirates.

    The cup tie could see a debut for Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina, who has yet to feature apart from on the bench after regaining fitness following a summer move from Nice.

    Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell may be another deployed against the Saints, along with fit-again midfielder Abou Diaby.

  36. RA says:


    It would be difficult for anyone to argue with an expert statistician like you, where facts are the key! 🙂

    I think you have been a little hard on yourself because of your views on Rambo at the time were accurate. As I recall, he was playing poorly for a number of reasons, and you were right as far as that goes.

    Equally, as time and tide shifts, Rambo got better and better, and you were not afraid to say so because form is transient whereas we all know class is permanent.

    Your attitude is spot on, because unlike those who deny they were ever critical of him, when that is not true, or have refused to accept that he would ever be any good, you moved with the clear and obvious improvement in his game.

    In fact I do not think that he is playing anywhere near his best so far this season, and I am not going to hold that against him, it’s football, and when he plays at his top form again I will rejoice in that too. 🙂


    Brilliant arnie, I congratulate you.

    Course they can play together. Both world class players who should benefit from each others touch.

    They both played for Clubs that neither of them was the big fish, so I dont see a problem.

    Sanchez is hungry. Coming from a background of poverty, they guy first wore shoes when he was 17 and when Barca paid him his first dollar, asked were the chicken was?

    Ozil, has nothing to prove. He knows he is class and his German temperament keeps him grounded and lacking fashion sense.

    When they both start clicking, its going to get very exciting

  38. GoonerB says:

    You learnt that about flies at school RA? Are you sure you just haven’t spent the last 3 hours or so since Raddy first posed the fly conundrum on Wikipedia?

  39. wally says:

    I see no reason why Sanchez and Oz can’t play together. Assuming Oz continues to play in the middle he’ll be closer to Sanchez who’ll make more runs for him or open more space for him or Welbeck.

    I’m very interested to see the three of them together on the field (middle, top, and right or left) at the same time. And then walcott returns! Or perhaps the three of them can take advantage of a poacher like podolski!

    I’m becoming enamoured of welbeck (and i wasn’t the biggest fan of his arrival). His movement across the frontline has opened things up for us and made us more dynamic (BD notwithstanding). The amount of aimless sideways passing has diminished greatly.

  40. RA says:

    If that is what you wish to believe, GoonerB Cheeky, you are welcome. 🙂

    Anyway, you have interrupted me in my counting of the hairs on the feet of Geckos, who can walk on glass windows — now where was I? Ah, yes, one billion and two; one billion and three ……!

    [Wikepedia for basic knowledge — are you being serious?] 🙂

  41. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi RA,

    I was dumb not to see the bigger picture, I made the stupid mistake of judging Ramsey based on his form at a time when he was playing poorly. I’ve always advocated that it’s a mistake to overreact to either short term form or results and yet I did just that!

    It taught me a lesson about being critical of things that I can only observe from afar and with only limited knowledge. Now I take a deep breath become I comment on individual results or player performance. At my age negativity has no place, I leave that to others…………….

    Here’s a (meaningless) stat for you – this is the 10th time that we have been unbeaten after 5 games in the PL – 9 of which have been since AW has been our manager.

  42. RA says:


    There you are – stats! – You are unbeatable!! 🙂

  43. Rasp says:

    Debuchy out for 3 months after surgery on his ankle 😦

  44. RA says:

    Where’s that GoonerB?

    My friend who is an obsessive and a mathematician gave me a poser half an hour ago, and I have searched and searched Wikipedia and cannot find the answer, so I need your help. 🙂

    He has a greenhouse and grows tomatoes, and he says he will give me some if I can answer the following question.

    — “I had a basket of tomatoes and gave half of them to Jim, my neighbour two houses down, plus half a pair of tomatoes.

    To my other neighbour Shirley, who lives next door to jim, I gave half of what I had left, plus a half a pair of tomatoes.

    And finally to the old girl who lives across the road, I gave half of what I had left, plus half a pair of tomatoes.

    Now that meant I ended up with no tomatoes left in my basket,
    So, how many did I start with?

    (He told me this level of question is normally set for 10 year olds, and bloody Wiki doesn’t have an answer.)

    Help needed, please, GB. 🙂

    [arnie – you can keep quiet] 😀

  45. Pat7 says:

    Great post again and enjoying the comments. Yes, they can def play together – i can’t wait for the seemless Wengerball to return.

    As i watched the match yesterday, a guy behind me commented that Man City played like Stoke to which I commented yes, they did the same to us, turning physical when they couldn’t get their own way a d tnat Milner and Fernandhino should have been off. The more i watched the more that seemed true.

    Then returning from town today Pellegrino was apparently saying that Chelsea were playing like a small team, like Stoke :-)) i thought Mirror, mirror!!

    Yes, a great weekend of results!

  46. Rasp says:

    Redders …. 14?

  47. arnie says:

    Provisional Squad to face Southampton: Ospina, Hayden, Bellerin, Chambers, Ajayi, Coquelin, Diaby, Rosicky, Zelalem, Podolski, Akpom, Szczesny, Gibbs, Arteta, Cazorla, Wilshere, Flamini, Campbell.

    Wenger: “On Tuesday night you might see Hector Bellerin, Francis Coquelin and Isaac Hayden. In the squad we have Chuba Akpom and Semi Ajayi as well. These are the players that are the closest.”

    On 18-year-old striker Akpom: “I’m happy that he has developed as a goalscorer, because when he was a younger kid, his problem was finishing.

    “That has gone now. He’s a very good finisher and he has now to learn the tactical side of his game. Then he will be ready, because he is a huge talent.

    On Isaac Hayden: “He’s a ball winner, he’s a good central defender and a good central midfielder.

    “Technically he was working on his game a bit, but now he is ready for that level.”


  48. Norfolk Gooner says:

    RA, when flies land on a ceiling do they do so out of a half roll or off the top of a loop?

  49. RA says:


    I was waiting for GB to consult his famous Wiki. 🙂

    You are clever enough to have worked it out.

    I bet you used Wiki. ……. NOT. 😀

  50. LB says:

    Well done Arnie for stepping up.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the two players you mention can play together. Ozil is a year ahead of Sanchez in his knowledge of how all things Arsenal work but I expect the Chilean to catch up fast.

  51. RA says:


    I guess it depends on whether they are drunk and disorderly … or not! 🙂

    The original subject and others like it came up when I was about 7 y.o. and it stuck in my memory because we were actually trying to figure out how Geckos could walk up or down glass and someone asked about mosquitoes (flies) and what made their ‘buzzing’ noise and how they did not fall off the ceiling.

    The fly/ceiling thing came up as a result, and although it does not seem too bad now, I was ashamed when I told my mum what I had done as an ‘ ‘experiment’ by removing the halteres. Oh, well.

  52. Rasp says:

    Redders, it was easy, I just worked backwards. If half of what was left, left 1, then it must have been 2 before the allocation. Add the one given away previously (=3) and double it = 6, then add one again (= 7) and double it and that gives you the number started with. Just a process of deduction, no wiki required.

  53. Rasp says:

    I think Alexis has all the attributes of a wide player (winger) – more so than Cazorla or Ozil and therefore should feature in a ‘best eleven’ which I imagine will would be formed of Alexis, Ozil and Theo as the 3 in a 4:2:3:1 with Welbeck as the ‘1’ up front.

  54. RA says:

    I was kidding Rasper in relation to a cheeky comment to me from the inestimable GoonerB earlier.

    It is both math and logic being brought to bear in solving a problem, and gives 10 year olds a bit of fun when math can seem to be too hard or boring to some of them.

    Your method is a logical application.

    Kids are shown that if you guess a number of tomatoes – say 10, and then apply the instruction you can narrow things down quickly.

    1/2(10) + 1 = [5 + 1] = 6, then 10 minus 6 = 4
    1/2 [4] + 1 = 3, then 10 – 4 – 3 = 3
    1/2 [3] + 1 = 21/2 —– so that doesn’t work – we need whole numbers.

    So, then they can try a higher number – say 16 – which won’t work as there are some left – too many.

    And therefore the answer lies between 10 and 16.

    Your adult way is quicker, of course, but the above method helps kids who don’t know where to start to solve the puzzle. (That’s what it is really – just a puzzle? Geometry? 🙂

  55. arnie says:

  56. arnie says:

    Enjoying the chatter, chums.

    BTW, motning banter today was nice. 🙂 And thanks Chas for reminding me I slept only 5 hours! 😛

    BTW, where is Micky?

  57. RA says:

    He is still trying to work out the tomato puzzle, arnie, and does not want to have a geometry puzzle as he will be up all night.

    (Did you ever teach math? I used to earn some spare cash when I was young — I probably wrecked good careers) 🙂

  58. Shard says:

    I’m too busy getting drunk right now, so haven’t read all the comments, but thanks for the post arnie. I think Ozil and Sanchez can not only play together, but are perfect for each other. We haven’t seen that yet this season, but we will.

    ALexis has shown himself to be adaptable to a variety of roles and I think that will be a bonus for us.

    RA’s use of the vernacular like ‘thang’. made me laugh.


    I agree with except for the fact that I think Ozil is not of German temperament, but is a temperamental Turk. He was fired up against Villa and I think he’ll step up whenever he needs to because I think he has a real desire to win.

    I was one of those saying that Ozil could perhaps do with a rest. BUt I am glad he played so well, and I never doubted his quality. Nor do I doubt Alexis’ quality. They are both going to be crucial in taking us to the next level.

  59. RA says:

    By ‘free role’ for Mesut, I would interpret that as being a No.10, in which case Charlie is agreeing with many of us! 😉

  60. Big Raddy says:

    Couldn’t do the tomato riddle.

    No surprise – logic is way over-rated.

    I am an artist 😀

  61. RA says:

    Hi Shard,

    Yet again we are in agreement — must be the beer!! 🙂

  62. RA says:

    Art, Music, Math – all are interconnected, and great artists are usually great mathematicians and vice versa.

    Form, pattern, rhythm are all math expressions. You are probably a genius Raddy. 🙂

  63. arnie says:

    Redders. I did teach maths to school children long time back. To earn my kip. I must have spoilt the lives of many of them as well. Just look at the numeracy skills in young people now, and you would know! 😛

  64. arnie says:

    Raddy. That reminds me of contemporary Scandinavian classical music. “Free form pling plong” is how a friend of mine used to describe it! 😛

  65. arnie says:

    I was trying Hans Abrahamsen a couple of days back. Did not quite give up, but was tempted. 🙂

  66. GoonerB says:

    Sorry RA, just finished work. I really should have let you know that I would be off air for a while after my cheeky jibe. I saw briefly your maths poser which I will now head home and look at in more detail. I will let you know how I got on. I will try and refrain from seeing if anyone else has answered it until such time as I am triumphant or give up.

  67. RA says:

    That’s OK, GoonerB Good, I am used to talking to myself! 😉

    Good luck with the tomatoes — there are clues from the Rasper who is rather good at these things, and especially tricky cross-words!!

  68. arnie says:

    Rasp. The Debuchy news is a disaster, but judging by the (lack of ) reaction, I guess it is already factored into our expectations. Come on Calum, come on Bellerin. COYG. 🙂

  69. Eddie says:

    arnie – thank you for the post! I am not a chum, but I am still going to stick my tuppence 🙂

    “Tactical bolleaux of this nature is not my forte. I know f*** all about tactics.” – ditto minus the foul language, but I remember how Fergie used players against one another so they would give their best competing for the starting spot. Like Ronaldo and Rooney after that penalty in World cup a few years ago. That worked out terribly well and I am sure Ozil and Sanchez will couple together nicely. Two is enough, three is a crowd and when Theo is finally back Wenger will have a real headache

  70. GoonerB says:

    Right RA. Not sure if you are still there but I am prepared to make a fool of myself. I haven’t checked any other comments e.g Rasp who may have had the answer.

    My first question was do the half pair of tomatoes come from the same basket. Assuming the answer to this is yes that all tomatoes came from the same basket I came up with the following answer based on half a pair of tomatoes equaling 1 tomatoe.

    I think he started with 14 and gave 8 (half +1) to first neighbour.. That left 6 which he gave 4 (half +1) to 2nd neighbour. That left 2 which he gave 2 (half +1) to last neighbour leaving 0.

    I will post this and go and check Rasps answer

  71. arnie says:

  72. arnie says:

    what fould language, Evonne? 😛

  73. GoonerB says:

    Weyhey. Got it right (actually I consulted my 7 year old daughter).

  74. arnie says:

    GoonerB. That is pretty brilliant for a seven year old. 🙂 She deserves a candy.

  75. Eddie says:

    arnie!! qui cum canibus concumbunt cum pulicibus surgent

  76. GoonerB says:

    Right, just putting my daughter to bed after which I am going to check up on fly trivia. Prepare to do battle RA.

  77. arnie says:

    Evonne. who are the dogs, then, and who is lieing down? 😛

    seriously though, if two’s company and three’s a crowd, what about Santi then? 😦

  78. Eddie says:

    oh, Santi as well, my favourite player! No idea arnie, not my job or in other words – not my zoo and not my monkeys 🙂

    you hang around with the likes of some AAers (not me) and you will swear, like they do (not me). No dogs.

  79. RA says:

    Good heavens, Eddie –latin yet?

    — “He who lies down with dogs, gets up with fleas.”

    Very good! 🙂

  80. arnie says:

    Arsenal U21 1-2 Newcastle U21

  81. GoonerB says:

    Damn. That pesky yanky doodle danky was right about flies. Its all about sticky feet and hairs. Got some other interesting trivia about them though. Right RA tomorrow its termites. Be warned I will be better prepared.

  82. RA says:

    Spot on GB, and your very clever daughter!! 🙂

    Rasp did it another way, but equally valid – just upside down! 🙂

  83. GoonerB says:

    Only because he rolled up his trousers to expose his hirsuite pins and smothered his feet in jam RA.

  84. RA says:

    Got to go — but I am ready for you tomorrow, GB, but I think your daughter is too smart for me!! 🙂


  85. RA says:

    You are right again, CB, Rasp and Terry, have both got hairy feet and hang down from the ceiling most nights!

    Really gone now. (How about Eddie with her Latin?) Brilliant.

  86. GoonerB says:

    Till then RA

  87. arnie says:

  88. Gööner In Exile says:

    Arnie very interesting bolleaux sir.

    I think the whole Alexis/Ozil problem was just Keown suggesting something off the top of his head that others have continued. It’s not like Alexis has been playing at the top of the midfield. What released Mesut into that position was the absence of Wilshere meaning Mesut got to start in the middle. Would be interesting to know whether Santi or Ox was starting before Alexis pulled out.

    I haven’t read all the comments but I am concerned about some of the early comments about Alexis pass completion stats. If my winger never gives the ball away he is not doing his job….pure and simple. He has become Denilson master of the sideways non threatening pass, because at least the fans won’t moan.

    I think we have discussed at length previously the problem of goals goals goals on TV, these round up highlight packages tend to show all the exquisitely perfect moves that lead to a goal, they don’t show the other ten failed attempts to get to the same result. So when watching our players in the final third it is the intention that is important rather than the end result.

    How many times do fans complain of sideways tippy tappy with no end result, surely we would rather a player takes a gamble than keeps the ball for possessions sake?

  89. Gööner In Exile says:

    Also another thing mentioned earlier was that Sanchez brings ball winning to the table as does Welbeck, if that ball then falls to Özil we are in a position to use Sanchez and Welbeck again.

    This is what Barcas press did so well, the most advanced players would press and harry the opposition into giving up possession, then Iniesta or Xavi would pick up the ball and kill the opposition with their next pass.

  90. arnie says:

    Top comments, GiE. 🙂

    About Jack, interesting that what you just said was mentioned this morning by the lady of the house in an email acknowledging the post. I thought about it during the day and got increasingly convinced. However, did not want to say so, lest …… 😛

    About Alexis winnning the ball and trying to pass forward. Top observation. However, personally I do not see Welbeck in that role. Not yet anyway. 🙂

  91. Gööner In Exile says:

    The lady of the house is very wise 😀

    Should say it’s not that I think Jack shouldn’t play with Mesut, could just as easily been Rambo who made way to release Özil in the middle.

    With Özil at the club Jack and Aaron have to accept their role will be a little deeper in the middle against tougher opposition. Horses for courses and all that jazz.

  92. Gööner In Exile says:

    What is it about football managers?!?

    Russell Slade has been doing fine work at the O’s. Cardiff have expressed an interest which the O’s have blocked, however now Slade has asked O’s for permission to speak to Cardiff…which they also blocked. Now I know he probably wants to chance his skills in the Championship….but why Cardiff?

    I get why out of work managers may take the job.

  93. chas says:

    Mo’ money.

  94. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Is it a game day? Should I be writing?

    Better check the AFC site …..

  95. RA says:

    Personal promotion, Exile? 🙂

  96. Big Raddy says:

    Mmmm. I should have known that shouldn’t I? 😡

  97. RA says:

    Yup, Raddish — get to it, baby! 🙂

  98. Eddie says:

    Raddy – easy job – I just checked Southampton;s best restaurants and there is a Chinese, indian, Mexican, Vietnamese and others called La Lupa and Coco Rio 🙂

  99. Eddie says:

    RA – Ozil has fleas 🙂

  100. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie I only do food for the away fixtures. I could of course do a restaurant review of the local eateries in Highbury. I have tried most of them!

    My current fave is the Piebury Grove – an “Ian Wright” with mushy peas is top ballast for the oncoming beer-fest.

    I know the Yilnaz is the AA home restaurant but sometimes I need a bit carbohydrates

  101. GoonerB says:

    No Chas and Micky show today. Tis a sad and dreary morning.

  102. GoonerB says:

    Morning all. I didn’t mean that the rest of you didn’t brighten up my day of course.

  103. Eddie says:

    Raddy – you must be the slimmest foodie I know 🙂 Next time you are in London I’ll give you a jar of best North London honey

  104. VCC says:

    Has any one got any news on Kelsey?

  105. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. As long as it is under 100ml I will be delighted to accept 😀 (I always travel with just hand luggage!)

  106. Eddie says:

    100ml? Raddy, I have more than 100lb to give away 🙂

  107. arnie says:

    Motning all. Yes, matchday!!!!!!

    Cannot wait to see Ospina play, surrounded by a band of kids. Personally, I would like 3 of our back 4 rested. Perhaps Bellerin and Chambers together with a couple of kids. I would also like to see Rosicky, Poldi and Campbell play. COYG. 🙂

  108. arnie says:

    and Diaby.

  109. Eddie says:

    listen arnie – I would love to see Thierry, Pires and Bergkamp play tonight, but it aint gonna happen,is it

  110. arnie says:

    No VCC, no news of Kelsey. If there is no news today, I will try to give a call tomorrow. Not sure I can get through.

  111. arnie says:

    Interesting, Evonne. So you think there is as much chance of seeing Rosicky, Poldi and Campbell play tonight as there is of Thierry, Pires and Bergkamp. hmmm.

  112. Morning

    Are we ready for a Raddy pre-match …………… I’ll just have a look in the cupboard …………

  113. New Post everyone ………………….

  114. awesome things to do in singapore

    Can Özil and Sanchez play effectively together? |

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