Reflections on Sunderland and Anderlecht

We have been playing abysmal football this season so far, except against City for one half and against a very poor Galatasaray side.

These are the things I take from the last two games:

1. Chambers is much better as a Centre-Half and maybe as a HM. He is not quick enough or does not have enough physical abilities to play right back. Bellerin is really poor and we should loan him out.

2. Wilshere is having a very poor start of the season. This was his opportunity to shine and come back in contention in the starting XI but I think that he is now even behind Rosicky in the pecking order…

3. Giroud is sorely missed….

4. Walcott is even more sorely missed…

5. Arteta and Flamini cannot cut it as HM in the EPL.

6. Wellbeck is only motivated againt big teams. He needs a big stage to perform. When he does not, his first touch is worse than Sanogo’s…

7. When will AW manage to get the usual subs going? Podolski, Rosicky can bring in experience and Campbell his hunger…

8. Cazorla’s in the last three four games is worrisome…

9. Sanchez is probably thinking about leaving in the summer already…

10. We really need a HM/DM and a back-up RB (shall we call Jenkinson back?)

11. The EPL is over. Chelsea will snatch it.

12. The top 4 will be a race between City (probably 2nd), Man Utd, Arsenal and somehow Liverpool, Everton and Southampton.

13. Next game vs Burnley at Home. Let us show some character and play two up-front…Here is my suggested line-up

PiG – Chambers (:-(), PiG, Monreal (:-(), Gibbs – Oxlade, Arteta, Ramsey – Sanchez – Wellbeck, Campbell (or Poldi)

Written by RC78

144 Responses to Reflections on Sunderland and Anderlecht

  1. RockyLives says:

    why are there no comments?

  2. Only just published Rocky

  3. RockyLives says:

    I respect your right to express a viewpoint – and you clearly feel strongly about things, but this is not so much “glass half empty” as “glass has broken and I slipped on the milk and severed my femoral artery.”

    Get a grip man 🙂

  4. RockyLives says:

    Only just published! Are you working on Canadian time Peaches? 🙂

  5. RA says:

    Don’t be sarky, Rocket. 🙂

    [Refer to earlier comments for the mystery Sarky Man — it must have been you all along!] 🙂

    Oh, and Hi your majesty!

  6. RC78 says:

    RL – Sometimes, you just have to let it out of your system…lol

    I was at the Anderlecht game and I can tell you that I was almost weeping with the display of the team…It was beyond embarassing…

  7. RA

    That’s enough of your sarky comments…. read the rules of the blog 🙂

  8. RC78 says:

    Wilshere is so annoying…he just does not seem to be willing to put in the hard work

  9. RC78

    You’re a brave man/woman to post your views… don’t want to ruin my PC image here!

    I’m just about to have lunch but will get back later 🙂

  10. arnie says:

    absolutely fair enough, RC78. 🙂 There have been some shocking displays, and it hurts us fans. who was it who said you are only a true fan when you hurt that badly at the performance of your team.

    You retain a positive outlook for the future and that is good. The returns are crumbs at the moment, but we will get there. COYG. 🙂

  11. RockyLives says:

    Alright, I take the points in order:

    1. Bellerin: he’s a young player who’s made a promising start. Come on RC – you can’t start slaughtering him this early in his career.

    2. Wilshere is up and down. MOTM in several games and Least Valuable Player in others. He’s clearly been carrying knocks. Again, all players have dips in form – let’s not write him off. I assume you were in the “get rid of Ramsey, he’s rubbish” camp when he was having his post-leg-break dip…

    3. OG would certainly give us different options, but he’s also benefitting from the halo that comes with being not available. When he’s fit everyone wants to slag him off and say we still lack a ‘world class’ striker.

    4. Agreed – but what we really need is Walcott and Ozil.

    5. It’s no coincidence that our results have improved since Arteta came back. Flamini had a very good game against Sunderland. Can we improve in this area? Of course. Does that mean that what we’ve got is rubbish? No.

    6. Sorry RC, but that’s nonsense. Welbeck has been a big success this season and will get even better as the understanding within the team improves.

    7. No argument there. I would like to see some of the subs used more.

    8. He’s having a dip in form but he has also had some excellent games this season and he certainly needs to rediscover his shooting boots. On the plus side, he’s been getting into the sort of brilliant goalscoring positions that you really want an AM to get into. While he’s struggling with his finishing, do we slag him off or support him? I know my preference.

    9. Doesn’t deserve a response.

    10. Pointless discussion between transfer windows. Bellerin shows a lot of promise as a RB.

    11. Oh dear. I’m glad you weren’t at Dunkirk.

    12. Probably – but there is so much football still to play.

    13. Yes – we’ve had a couple of wins, bedding into the new tactics – so let’s rip it all up and start with a new formation!

    By the way RC, I reiterate that I fully support your right to express your views as strongly as you have – your comments are always respectful and consistent.

    But you’ve made some strong points and I felt they needed a strong rebuttal.


  12. RockyLives says:

    If I’m the Tsar of Sarky, then you are the Mullah of Mischief 🙂

  13. arnie says:

    About Giroud and Welbeck, I am in the RC78 camp. 🙂 But I will be patient with Welbeck right up until the point it is clear as to whether he is or not a 20-goal a season striker.

    For my taste at the moment: (a) too much of a Mancunian, and (b) first touch too poor. But we are glad he is there because Ollie is injured. 🙂

  14. RockyLives says:

    Darn it Arnie, you’re so reasonable 🙂

  15. Big Raddy says:

    Can I be the Baron of Baloney.

    Or the Deacon of Dross

    Or perhaps the Prime Minister of Positivity

    Any one will do …

  16. RockyLives says:

    Eddie: Empress of Eccentricity
    Chas: Professor of Positivity
    Kelsey: Caliph of Concern
    Micky: Maharajah of Mirth

    OK, I’ll stop…

  17. RockyLives says:

    BR: Duke of Decorum

  18. RC78 says:

    RL – it s alll about exchanging views and I glad that you took the time to respond point by point along some others.

    For Bellerin- I really think he is awful and I cannot help it 😦

    As for Ramsey, I actually was happy when he returned as I thought that he deserved another chance. Now it is true that I was fuming with his rubbish displays before he finally found his feet at our club.

    As for OG, he is not World Class but he is quite good at bringing others in the game thanks to his great l nk-up plays and he adds physical/aerial presence and hold-up play up front. Wellbeck is a very good signing but honestly, he needs to be more consitent on the pitch – especially with his first touch.

    I do not mind Arteta nor Flamini but they are just not good enough if we want to push for trophies…and this is where I want us to be…competing with the best and landing trophies.

    13 – We are much better with last year’s 4-2-1-3 but for some reason, AW decided to play 4-1-2-3, exposing Flamini/Arteta and also relying on their passing/drive forwards…We have seen the result…Going 4-3-1-2 will be ok vs Burnleys, Hulls, Anderlechts and others. We need to put in more offensive threats against those teams as they tend to just defend well and hope for a counter-attack or a set-piece…

  19. RockyLives says:

    Or… Prince of the Pre-match

  20. RockyLives says:

    Thanks RC

    Regarding the way we line up, I assume the new approach this season has to be something to do with the drubbings we took last season away at ‘Pool, the Chavs and Everton.

    I don’t know what AW is trying to achieve (tactical bollix not being my thing) but perhaps it’s to make us more robust in those sorts of games.

  21. Rasp says:

    Purveyor of pre-matchstral tension

  22. Shard says:

    Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition.

  23. Is being presumptuous against the blog rules?

  24. kelsey says:

    Kelsey: Caliph of Concern !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am a lot of things but not in the I.S., Rocky 🙂

  25. or pretentious even.. 🙂

  26. Shard says:


    Thanks for the post. I mostly disagree with you but often it’s just in the emphasis rather than sentiment.

    1. I agree that Chambers is better at CB and his lack of quickness has worried me at times when he plays RB, but that doesn’t mean he lacks the physical attributes to be able to play there. He doesn’t need to be super quick. He’ll improve and is a genuine option there. As is Bellerin, who has barely played but has not looked out of place so far.

    2. Wilshere has been poor this season with one or two exceptions. I don’t think he deserves to start right now. I can also see why we would play him even if I disagree with it.

    3. Yes.

    4. What Rocky said. Walcott and Ozil together (along with Alexis)

    5. They can and are cutting it, but we need an upgrade there.

    6. Pfft… Too small a sample size to make that assertion. A matter of lack of space against the smaller sides, and a lack of attacking coordination in the team. Welbeck has ben generally good so far, and by the way, he is also pressing without the ball along with Sanchez.

    7. I would love to see us rotate more, although I can understand the manager wanting to play a more settled team. In the context of the Sunderland game though, I was worried about the potential harm a substitute might cause as much as people complaining about the positive effects we didn’t get till late.

    8. Cazorla is weird. At times I think, ‘he’s a magician’, at others he’s been crap. Although I though he was showing signs of getting back to form vs Sunderland.

    9. As is Ozil, and Ramsey, and Wilshere, and Koscielny, and Szczesny, and anyone who has ever played well for us ever. (Shard – Sultan of Snide) 🙂

    10. We’ll revisit our needs when the transfer window opens.

    11. Sigh..

    12. Isn’t it always?

    13. Are you saying playing 2 up front shows character, or are they two seperate things? I want us to show even more character and belief, and hopefully be able to up our performance, but I don’t want to see a change in formation. We’re not desperate yet and I don’t think we’ll just play better through a change in formation.

  27. Shard says:

    Oy NB… Was that aimed at moi?

    The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.

    En garde!!

  28. Jämie says:

    Rocky, I disagree with most of what you say.

    1. Completely true about Bellerin. He’s only a kid. He doesn’t deserve to be slaughtered for not suddenly being Phillip Lahm.

    2. Disagree about Wilshere. We are now at a point where we should be challenging, not using the first team as a development academy. I read recently a post about the correlation btw his presence and the team performance, and apart from the City game, we’ve been shit with him on the pitch, and we generally start to play better once he’s off

    3&4. Agreed

    5. I wouldn’t exactly use the word ‘rubbish’, but name an EPL team that doesn’t have ONE DM better than our two. You cannot have the worst first choice player in a particular position in the league and expect to challenge.

    6-13. Mostly agree!

  29. omgarsenal says:

    Wow….are you watching the same team RC 78? We have definitely had some bad games but Bellerin is only 19 and is far from useless, in fact he is learning the trade and doing well so far. Wilshere is also just getting into his stride so give him time. Cazorla’s shooting accuracy is abysmal BUT he IS shooting and seems more energetic than I have seen him in a long time.
    Welbeck is adjusting to the 4-4-2/4-3-3 alternating tactics that Aw is employing and works very well with Sanchez imho.
    It is total rubbish to claim that Chelsea will seal the EPL this early in the season…..there are still 28 games to go plus CL and Cups….this degree of pessimism is unwarranted and unhelpful.
    Sanchez is here to stay and he’s confirmed this on two occasions, as has Ozil and Podolski.
    I would like to see Podolski and Rosicky a bit more often but don’t forget we have Sanogo,Giroud,Walcott, Ozil and Debuchy yet to return…..that’s half an EPL team, so cool your doom and gloom and get behind the team!

  30. Hold up Jamie

    Yesterday after my comment about Sanchez possibly wanting to leave you said something like

    “Sanchez leaving??
    Not in a million years. ”

    But now you’re agreeing with JC on his points 6-13… which includes point number nine:

    9. Sanchez is probably thinking about leaving in the summer already…

    Or do you agree ‘mostly’ with numbers 6-7-8 and 10-11-12-13

    I’m being a bit pedantic here 🙂 sorry

  31. Shard

    If you feel that it was aimed at you……… who am I to argue 🙂

  32. Big Raddy says:

    NB. The Prince of Pedantry 🙂

    RL: The Wizard of Words

    RA: The Titan of Tautology

  33. Eddie says:

    wow, that’s some post! No wonder there is such strong response. I am not going to answer all your points, because I agree with most, but like others feel that Bellerin and Welbeck don’t deserve criticism, not yet. They have just arrived, both young and relatively inexperienced, and at the same time playing better than the experienced team mates.

    and as for your team selection – two PiGs sounds good to me 🙂

  34. Eddie says:

    rocky – Empress sounds mature and fat, not sure I like that 🙂


    RC78, cheers for the post

    I think your taking it a bit to seriously mate, and, how can I put this nicely, your as negative and on edge as Sam Allydyce in a beauty contest.

    Have you ever tried Marijuana?

    The seasons only just started for Gods sake. In a few weeks time we will be on Chelseas tail and into the knock out stages of the Champions League

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  36. RA says:

    Damnation! I had to do things and missed an extended Rocky visit.

    How that lad manages to escape my verbal clutches I will never know! 🙂

    Have we found the Sarky Bastard yet? I do hope it was me! 😉

  37. Eddie says:

    marijuana!! you are so old school Terry. it is ganja man

  38. RA says:

    The Titan of Tautology? How very dare you, Big Daddy.

    All my comments are crafted gems that are exquisitely fashioned so there can be no misunderstanding of the message intended by the precise logic used in the statement.

    Verbose? Maybe. But accusations of tautological repetitions and needless repetition of tautological niceties are beyond the pale and pale into insignificance when compared to the neatly precise précis that this non tautological practitioner of circumlocution practises. 🙂

  39. RA says:

    Hi Terry darling, 🙂

    I did not see the game until I watched, with some trepidation, a recording last night.

    Rubbish football, I had heard. No creativity coming from the midfield. Clueless in front of goal.

    At first I watched from behind my girlfriend such was my angst, until she told me to leave her alone and watch the stupid match. [Umm, you may have guessed – no Arsenal fan is she – not a football fan either – but very sarcastic.]

    But wait – this was not what I had been warned to expect. Ok, it’s true that the game was leisurely, and it seemed Arsenal were playing a demonstration game – and so were Sunderland.

    Gentle, indeed serene passes across the midfield, loads of possession, and an amazing lack of urgency apart from the hero of the hour – step forward, Alexis Sanchez.

    There have been more engrossing games, and there has been more energy expended by Glic when reaching for his third pint, but it was never as bad as I was led to believe.

    Another example of expectations exceeding reality, mayhap? 🙂

    Are you feeling a little more chipper since your personal problem?

    As usual, it is great to see you! 🙂

  40. Well, well, well, provocative words RC78,

    I’ll take them in order.

    Chambers can play either full-back or centre-back. What evidence is there for him being a good holding mid-fielder?

    Bellerin, give him a chance!!!

    Wilshere, inconsistent, but works his guts out for the team.

    Giroud sorely missed? Yer ‘avin a larf!

    Walcott, now he is sorely missed.

    Arteta and Flamini aren’t that bad…played together.

    Welbeck I’m not sure he’s motivated by anything other than the wish to do well, as with Bellerin, give him a chance.

    I don’t think Wenger believes in subs.

    Cazorla hasn’t had a good game this season.

    Sanchez is staying.

    Yes we need a HM/DM, if we need a full-back, Jenkinson is not the answer.

    Chelsea wont snatch the EPL, they’ll walk it.

    The top four? We can make it.. If we sign the right players in January.

    Burnley is a must win game. Walcott must play.

  41. RA says:

    Rasper seems to have escaped a nomenclature, so let me see.

    The Whisp – er of Guitar.

    The Svengali of Strings

    The Boxer of Ears

    Oooer, I had better stop – more trouble looms for this blogger else.

    No – my name is not Else – its just a simple innocent adverb, doing its best to help me out.] 🙂

  42. Peaches/Rasp,

    Post e mailed.

  43. GoonerB says:

    RC78, well done for sticking your neck out. I have no problems with a post like this as I think it leads to lively debate and it gets people to put up opinions that can get you thinking. I have always agreed a lot with how you view things RC78 but obviously not everything.

    Point by point :

    1 Chambers IMO is pretty quick, (certainly no slower than say Ivanovich), and an able RFB. I would rather not see him play there permanently but more because I think it will be a waste of the rest of his attributes and I see him as a long-term 1st choice CB or HM. It is too early for me to say about Bellerin but he is playing through necessity so he may become more mature and settled with this playing time. I don’t think the RFB position is why we are not performing well anyway.

    2 Jack has been one of our more consistent players IMO. He always tries to get us moving forwards. I think one of our biggest problems so far this season has been our running (or lack of it) off the ball. Jack often takes 2 players out of the game in midfield and drives into space but then doesn’t have runners making good options for him. The result is that he decides to go it alone and try and take on another player. I really think our movement off the man with the ball has not been right this season, (but that is probably a post in itself 🙂 ).

    3 Giroud is no more or less missed than many other players IMO and I actually personally see Welbeck as the better option of the 2. We played some bad games last season where we looked ineffectual in an attacking sense with Giroud leading the line ( and were crying out for more pace) so I don’t think we would suddenly look miles better if it was him instead of Welbeck.

    4 Agreed re. walcott

    5 Agreed re. Arteta and Flamini. I would more put it that they are not HM’s at the highest level which the top end of the EPL requires. One of them as a back up to a better option is ok.

    6 Disagree for the reasons outlined in point 3.

    7 Not sure about the subs thing, fatigue e.t.c. I will go with the general consensus on that one, but again I would say that any mis-use of subs and rotation is not the main reason why we are not playing so well currently IMO.

    8 Cazorla…not sure again.. I personally see any problem with Santi being similar to any problem we may have with Ozil and Ramsey, but that is another point and a different explanation (and again probably another post in itself 🙂 ).

    9 I don’t believe Sanchez is thinking this yet. He may be a bit frustrated with performances around him but I feel he is made of sterner stuff and recognises that performances could easily change for the better. Also he is getting to be the star man at the moment, which he rarely got at Barca, so he must be drawing some happiness from that.

    10 Agree with the DM / HM requirement but not the right back. Debuchy is injured so when he is back I don’t think any transfer budget should be used in this area.

    11 I agree that I don’t think we will finish ahead of Chelsea. They are too strong to let us get 10 more points than them over the remainder of the season but yes mathematically it is possible.

    12 Agree. I still think we can do better than our customary 4th this year even if the title is not for this year.

    13 2 up front is an interesting possibility and I wouldn’t be adverse to trying it, but for me the big problem is that we need to be playing a number 10 that is creative and makes the team tick, but also poses a goal threat. DB10 had both attributes. I think this is one of our biggest problems at the moment that with our options we either have creativity or a goal threat but not both (again another post in itself 🙂 …. Marco Reus anyone?). Who would you play RC78 as the deeper striker in your line-up, and do we get both the creativity and goal-threat with that player?


    Cheers Redders

    A lot better my friend, thank you.

    When I get the chance I will post for you the eulogy to my dad. Not the one I did read, the one I should have read. hahaha

    Your quite right though. Ok, we werent Brazil 1982, but certain aspects of our game were pretty good.

    We were the only team out of the champions league sides to register a win, and apart form Sunderland’s drubbing at Saints, they aint been that bad.

    if we had been total crap and lost the last two then I could understand, but we didnt.

    I genuinely cant fathom the negativity. Sometimes I get the feeling some people just want to moan because it satisfies some form of psychological itch.

    Everyone to there own I guess.

  45. RC78 says:

    TM – there is a bit of truth about feeling better about ranting…But trust me, if you were at Anderlecht game, you would be close to feeling the same.

    As for Welbeck, he has always done well on the big stage but in smaller games, he has been subdued…He needs to put in the same shift game in game out. Is he better than Giroud? In some aspects, yes and in others, no. Ramsey will score more with Giroud in the squad but Welbeck add this depth and speed up front that Giroud cannot bring but Giroud will assist more…So in a way, they both bring in qualities and flaws and at this stage, I feel that in some games, a fit Giroud would have been better.

    As for Chambers- he was constantly overtaken vs Anderlecht and Anderlecht is no fast team…

    As for Wilshere – again, a great potential that is failing to materialize. He really needs to work his socks off and do the basic things right and also start making incisive offensive runs and clever passes…

    Cazorla – He had good games in a few ago but he is fading…He needs to stop worrying about scoring and getting into scoring position, he needs to be more effective with his passing as well.

    I have indeed been harsh in this post but I feel that we have accepted our position and lack of results as normal…We have invested well this year – we got Ospina, Chambers, Debuchy, Sanchez and Welbeck and I believe that they all add real quality and depth to the team but so far our results fail to show this investment. Individually, all recruits have done brilliantly but somehow as a team, we have regressed and this is worrying. Have we just become a line up of good individual players rather than a great team?

  46. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all,
    Not had a chance to read the comments yet, But RC78 i feel this post is a sprat to catch a mackerel. Most supporters don’t like to read negative posts and would feel they need to protect their club and team, i often feel like that myself, but on this occasion i found myself agreeing with a lot of what you said.

    I feel that the team, no change that to squad, is not performing to even half of their ability and its frustrating, Sanchez is working his socks off, and he must feel that he doesn’t trust anybody else, and i am not surprised, There is no doubt in my mind that we are considerably better than what we are watching, and surprisingly we are two points closer to the leader.

    Yes we have injuries but that shouldn’t affect quality professionals, but it is and they are looking two bob. I am trying to look positively and feel that playing like we are and still catching the leaders is strange but surely we will start to play and maybe close the gap even more.

    Lot of teams playing well and a few strange names up the top but they are trying, where we are just going through the motions. Things must start to improve as quality cannot play a whole season like Carthorses, I hope,

  47. RC78 says:

    Often, teams that win leagues or major trophies have to take tough decisions such as dropping popular players or changing systems…Maybe we need to think about that as well…

  48. RC78 says:

    + 1 sp1

  49. jnyc says:

    Miserable post, especially to suggest any of our boys will want to leave. I wont take the time to go point by point, but others have already.

    Are u in the arsenal hating media?, or a chelsea or spurs fan?. Im Disgusted with that talk of player feelings here or anywhere. And factually, theres nothing to it. All made up like the ozil story, which was shown to be ridiculous.
    I accept that youre unsatisfied with the overall quality, but Rockys right, get a grip.
    And Raddy had a great response to this kind of garbage yesterday. Also Tmht, goonerb, good job today.

    And, by the way, I agree with many criticisms of subs, including yours. But most of the rest is pretty over the top

    Just to reiterate, I despise Arsenal haters suggesting our boys are unhappy or want to leave.. so I dont need to hear it here from our supporters. if that really happens, we will know soon enough.

  50. LB says:


    Can you clarify something for me. Do you really expect that Sanchez will be looking for a way out this summer or is that just a thought that came to mind after the Anderlecht game which, as most would agree, was hardly one for the purists.

    And by the way I must compliment you on your post, you may not realise it but I think you have just established a new format.

  51. Big Raddy says:

    RC78. We change formation and systems throughout the game. The only given is that BFG only goes over the halfway line for corners.

    Sometimes we have the FB’s overlapping, sometimes Welbeck comes deep, Cazorla defends at the corner flag etc. It is a fluid system which all modern team plays.

    My preference is for the classic 4-4-2 which I expect we will play when Theo returns.

  52. Big Raddy says:

    jnyc. Easy. RC78 is a proper Gooner just like we all are. I may disagree with his opinions but I grant him the right to be wrong!


    RC78, no problem with your take on things mate, I just dont understand it

    Bit listen here my Belgique friend, if you think my attendence at the Anderlecht game would have turned me into some kind of doomer, you really dont know me.

    I never doom about Arsenal. Why? because supporting Arsenal is an honour and a privlege.

    However,total respect for giving your time to write a post. Good man.

  54. LB says:

    I have been reading the posts with interest recently and a couple of thoughts are just screaming in my mind.

    Isn’t it possible to think that we played absolutely shite against Anderlecht and yet be absolutely ecstatic that we ended up winning?

    Isn’t it possible to surmise from Sanchez’s body language at the end of the same game that he must be thinking WTF am I playing with here while at the same time imagine that he must be wondering how on earth did we get away with that one?

    Well, I do anyway.

  55. arnie says:

    LB, that is a top comment. 🙂 My thoughts as well. But I could never in this life have put them so beautifully and succintly into words. 🙂

  56. For the dog Lovers: at the end: “Cabbage? What cabbage?”

  57. LB

    Could well be!

  58. RC78 says:

    Just to say something: I am a true Gunners’ fan and I love the team but sometimes I get irritated…

    Let me share a story with you on my way to the Anderlecht game. By change, I get into a metro wagon with Gunners’ fans and they are chanting a horrible song about Arsene Wenger ruining the club and calling him something that rhymes with drench hunt in front of kids and ladies…Now, this is on our way to the game. Instead of singing the praises of our team and coach, they are bashing Wenger and going in with the wrong (already drunk!) attitude…Now this is very upsetting…

    I am just ranting about the fact that we played crap in the last two games and that there are some points that we need to consider:

    1. Shall we invest in a RB or in CB? Given Chambers’ performances, I would say a RB might be a better option…

    2. What shall we do with Wilshere? Does he deserve a starting berth?

    3. Would the team be better with Giroud in some games?

    4. Can Welbeck be effective against small teams?

    5. What about the level of our HM/DMs? Does it allow us to challenge for the EPL?


    I am very happy we scratched two unlikely wins but against a better opposition, we would have been totally exposed…

    Again, have we just become a line up of good individual players rather than a good team?

  59. GoonerB says:

    Can I just say in RC’s defence that he didn’t submit this as a post. He made a comment and as there was no post in the offing others nominated his comment to start a new debate / post. He was asked if he minded and obviously agreed.

    Also he is a jolly nice chap. RC residing in Belgium itself, (If you look back to his comments on the day of the Anderlecht game), he was offering to meet all and sundry from A.A, pick us up from the airport, put us up at his house, let us use his jacuzzi, provide enough Belgian beer to flood France,

    Wally, can I apologise but I typed my 4.51 then went back to look at other comments. It seems you and I were in agreement on JW and Giroud. Your comment at 3.21 about not enough players wanting the ball played to them is kind of what I was saying about our movement and running off the ball. As you said it first you can consider yourself officially plagiarised.

  60. stevepalmer1 says:

    RC78, you don’t have to convince anybody your a Gooner son, you know you are, and that should be good enough, anybody who comments regular on a site and finds the time to write a post then stay all day and answer, should be enough for all Gooners to follow,

    I can see that you are not happy with our play, any Gooner with any sense must realise that the displays we have witnessed is not good enough, and if they are still happy they know f–k all about football..

    This post is a blinder as it got supporters conversing, Many think they are the only true supporter we have, and try and protect the players or Manager, they must be thick if they feel that the displays we have seen is good enough as it certainly is not. Keep up the fine work mate

  61. kelsey says:

    Good diverse debate yet again.

    I won’t answer all the points but I have said the same as RC78 that we look like a line up of good individuals rather than a unit, on many occasions this season.
    I don’t know which position suits Chambers best,but I don’t think either he or AW expected him to play so much so early in the season and he has limited PL experience,but he will turn out to be a good buy..
    Thank God I didn’t say Sanchez would leave at the end of this season 🙂 He is the most exciting player we have bought for many a year and has all the attributes of being a top top player for us.

    Well done RC78 I know what it is like when one is a tad controversial or in my case apparently negative.:)

  62. arnie says:

    Many people feel that we do not change our style of game depending on the opposition. I think this is plain bollocks. Further, I think we do not have the bench strength to play the same game every match.

    If we had a stronger opposition, we would play a different game. Did we not do that against Shitty. Twice this season if I may say so. OK, we lost to Chavs away, but we did not disgrace ourselves.

    Horses for courses. That applies to us as much as any other club. Including the hoodlums managed by Moanin Maureen. 🙂

  63. arnie says:

    About our prospects in the League, I firmly believe we have a top 4 finish in our sights. Question is how much better can we do?

    My belief is that, with some reinforcements in January, we can do top 2 in the EPL and the CL trophy. I’m serious!

    Without reinforcements, but also without the bad luck with injuries, we can still do top 2 in the EPL this year. But CL is perhaps a step too far.

    But if we survive in the CL until then, perhaps we will make a push with new signing(s). Bedding time is still an issue though. COYG. 🙂

  64. arnie

    Come on mate……. you’ve been smoking something illegal…. Champions League?

  65. arnie says:

    Gnabry, eralier this week

  66. GoonerB says:

    I agree Arnie, we did not disgrace ourselves against either Chelsea or City, especially City. I feel we are 3 significant players (+ a few outgoings) away from being Chelsea’s equal squad wise. We will need t add a bit of extra tactical nous to that as well IMO. The slightly more worrying recently has been how disjointed we have looked going forwards. I don’t think this is due to lack of quality but that the passers and the movers are not in sync. I put it mre down to the movement off the ball. IMO we need to be running into positions which stretch the opposition more and into the channels more. This has always been our bread and butter so it would be worrying if this wasn’t corrected but I do feel that AW should be able to rectify this on the training ground.

  67. kelsey says:

    Just to throw a spanner in the works no one has discussed our Pole in goal.
    Personally I think he is still a long way from being a top keeper but has age on his side.
    His distribution isn’t great and has already had 4 red cards,club and country.He often takes risks which are unnecessary.
    He needs competition and when Ospina is finally fit I hope he can compete with Szsney rather than expect to be number two.

  68. arnie says:

    No, NorthBank, that is our style of game, that is what our personnel are really best suited for, that is what we are building up towards, that is our final horizon.

    We can do it this year, weed or no weed. 🙂

  69. arnie says:

    GoonerB. I am not good in this tactical bollix stuff, nevertheless. I think the reason we are poor this year going forward is that our first touch has been poor. Except Sanchez, but including Ozil and Santi. This is a disaster because we are always looking to do just 2 touches.

    Kelsey. About the Pole in goal, he is OK. He spent his holiday in teh summer watching too many videos of Herr Neuer, and he thinks it is his responsibility to cover up behind BFG. That is not his game, IMO, and he should stick to what he is good at. Anticipation and acrobatic saves. 🙂

  70. RA says:

    arnie, are you at the wacky baccy again. Too much of a connection with your students? 🙂

    And Norther should know! 🙂

    I walked into a pretty empty electrical shop early on Saturday morning, and grabbed what I needed and walked up to the checkout, and saw a guy with a bong (where is Illybongdani?) and I said ‘is that extra?’ and then realised the way he was holding the ‘bong’ was misleading and it was actually a misshaped water bottle.

    I explained what I thought I had seen – and he said ‘nah, too early, but we will be at xxxxxxxxx at 9 p.m. if you want to come along.’

    I didn’t – but how easy to get hooked up these days. 🙂

  71. RA says:


    arnie is definitely spaced out – he is obviously a Star Trek fan because he said, ‘that is our final horizon’.

  72. GoonerB says:

    You could be right Arnie. I have wanted to watch the Anderlecht game again and also I didn’t see Sunderland from start to finish. Sometimes you need to see again or see the whole game to get a truer picture so I am going from memories and brief impressions but I do feel that our movement is off. Not sharp enough if you like which in turn I feel could lead to the poor first touch you refer to.

    If a player has not made the right movement at the right time any ball intended for him to move onto will be a fraction ahead of him and so they are stretching to control the ball rather than taking it in mid-flow. I consider us a very similar team to Dortmund but I have always been impressed with how their players move into channels and space off the ball. The player with the ball often has 2-3 mobile options to play the ball to so they not only move the ball quickly but they do it in a penetrative fashion going forwards with players using space and channels between opposition players to pull them out of shape.

    I remember AW used to refer to it as green lights (players making themselves available to receive) and red lights (players not available to receive the ball). I feel our green lights are not so good at present and for me with a top team it is not just making yourself available but where and how you make yourself available.

  73. arnie says:

    Redders. Eagerly awaiting Dortmund at home! COYG. 🙂

  74. GoonerB says:

    BTW RA, did you see I made a comment near the end of the last post in reference to something you said. Ignoring you…pfff… I just normally prefer to stand back and admire your comments from afar.


    Been really honest, and I include myself in this, I think a lot of us are behaving a little bit like drama queens.

    Not the nice drama queen we all envison wearing leggings exposing a perfectly fit rear and magnificent pert boobs that we would all like to ravish. More the Leo Sayer type demanding to know were his martini is.

    The debate at times has become polarised between those who see problems and therfore branded as negative, and those who are see many positives, regarded by some as head in the sand types.

    Why has this happened? My own take is that AA has in the past been regarded as a very positive site and thus a lot of regulars have been shaken by the last weeks prevelance to criticise the team and manager.

    On a personal note, I hold no grudges and certainly do not regard myself as a better supporter just because I have an effigy of Wenger in the bedroom.

    I just happen to believe that the team and club are heading in the right direction, thats all. The mere fact that we are disapointed is that under Arsenes stewardship the club is now reaching a stage were we can genuinely compete.

    I couldnt give a toss about a few dodgy results or a month or twos loss of form. What matters is the foundations of the club. Will they be strong enough in the near future and beyond to take on the best in England and hopefully Europe? I think so.

    This leads me to my last point. Yes, when it comes to Arsene, i am biased and will not criticise. Again this is just me, and I do not regard others who do have a pop at the manager unworthy suppporters or something ridiculous like that.

    No, I am just so grateful to the man for setting such strong foundations for his succesors and future generations of supporters.

    That may make me an apologist, an ostrich, an Arsene worshiper, take your pick. But for me this is one area were it is personal and my choice, just as it is the choice of others to criticise.

  76. arnie says:

    Yes, that is right, GoonerB. I have been trying to watch closely. The first touch at the moment is just a bit too heavy, and this makes it easier for the opposition to hack it away.

    Typically, every defence starts off looking to mark our players 1 to 1. The moment the first touch is good, however, it draws one, sometimes two other players, creating space for the others. At the moment, Alexis is doing this, but every other green light has a heavy first touch. So the opportunity is immediately gone.

  77. GoonerB says:

    Terry, you of all people don’t need to justify yourself. Your faith is admirable. Further you are very respectful of others views and will always respond in the nicest way, even though I know you are sticking pins in little dolls muttering “take that you ungrateful spoilt little sh-t”. BTW how is the mini Tony Cottee one coming on. I thought I just felt a large prick in my delicate derriere so I am assuming you have finished it?

  78. arnie says:

    Terry. About the foundations moving forward, I think we are doing OK. How good ar bad the future will say, but we as a club have it in our thoughts. And that is what separates us from the numpties.

    Personally, I am also OK with “a few dodgy results or a month or twos loss of form”, so long as we somehow we keep on getting the results. I dont care how! A beautiful game cannot be played consistently. However, without results for a few games, we are simply out! That is just how competitive this bloody thing is.

  79. arnie says:

    OK, I pick an ostrich then! Fast on its feet, and capable of a powerful kick in the arse! 😛

  80. arnie

    Who are you calling a ‘numpty’?

    Transplant man said: “That may make me an apologist, an ostrich, an Arsene worshiper, take your pick.”

    How about bastard… a smug bastard 🙂


    hahaha, wouldnt do that to you GB. I did try that on an old boss of mine, sticking a pin on his forehead.

    The next day he went to sit down and landed on a staple extrapulator needing five stiches on his arse

    i thought, it cant be me, I went for his forehead, but then overhead some girl telling someone else “He deserved it, always got his head up his arse”. hahaha

    arnie, “Ostrich” it is my dear fellow


    Not so much of the smug 69. hahaha

  83. arnie says:

    NorthBank. The leading numpties are the swamp dwellers from N17, followed closely by the oilers and the Mancunians. 😛

  84. I love all Arsenal supporters, no matter what direction they come from, as long as it’s not from behind 🙂

  85. jnyc says:

    Yes, My reaction was a bit ott. I remember always enjoying RC comments in the past, and have agreed with many.
    Even if we had lost, I wouldnt have liked the comment about alexis, our guy wanting to leave. I see people have been spouting this lately.

    When we finally get some money to spend, and pick up superstars, they get savaged like ozil and whispered fabricated rumours they are unhappy from the media. See Ozil #mia san arsenal.

    Now we get alexis, who may be proving to be worth double what we paid in this market, and he gets different trash because he’s performing great and looking a genius buy.

    I said in the summer that he could be our suarez /aguero. And wben Arsene n ivan make a great buy, media and haters can only ignore his performance and hit Arsenal in a different manner by making it a negative story.
    I see a team thats a work in progress, unlucky with injuries, and muddling through while trying to keep a positive attitude. We arent far from the top except chelsea, we have had horrendous unlucky injuries like ozil giroud and debuchy, also a tough league schedule to start, all while bedding in sanchez and welbeck.
    I know arsene blew it by not replacing vermaelen, (our 3rd cb and 3rd lb) Im not denying problems exist.

    It ruins my mood all week when we drop points, but some doomers hurt my enjoyment when we get 3 points and a clean sheet.

  86. Big Raddy says:

    Oh and chew on this you glass is empty types ….

    We have lost once in the PL this season, only one team has done better. All the rest have lost 2 or more.

  87. Big Raddish… at the moment my glass in full…. hic!

  88. arnie says:

    Oh, come on jnyc. There will always be different views. We celebrate this diversity. How boring would it be if we all thought the same way.

    There are people on here who think in your way, which is brilliant. And there are people who think differently, which calls for a glass of wine! 🙂

  89. arnie says:

    ah, yes NorthBank your glass is already empty. That’s how quickly you go about your drinking! 😛

  90. Big Raddy says:

    NB. I just completed the delightful task of emptying a bottle of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc – the poor mans NZ Cloudy Bay.

    Unsurprisingly I am feeling mellow

  91. Me too Raddish….. very chilled 🙂

  92. arnie
    Get yourself a whisky 🙂 I’m refilling my glass at this very moment.

    Raddish, I’m not a wimp, no bottles for me, 10 litre box of basic Cotes de Rhone 🙂

  93. Anyway……… Wenger OUT 🙂

  94. arnie says:

    oh dear, I feel jealous now. OK, off out, gents and the ladies (in hiding).

    Raddy. I asked you yesterday, have you seen Babette’s Feast. Just saw it day before, and the best Danish film I have ever seen. Very nice. 🙂


    hahaha, no use talking to 69 about half full glasses Raddy.

    As the day goes on he gets more and more cut, increasing his avesrion to rear entry and anyone disagreeing with him.

    On Gunnersorearse he usually starts the day been really nice to me, asking about my day etc. By evening thes threatening me with talk of a fat mancunian performing a colonoscopy in a Manchester prison.

    He never remembers in the morning. hahaha

  96. arnie… change that to best and only Danish film you have ever seen 🙂

  97. Transplant
    You know you can be a right grass sometimes 🙂

  98. Big Raddy says:

    Mrs Raddy is giving me the glad eye (probably means I have to do the washing up which is unreasonable as I just cooked her chicken in mushroom sauce with trimmings)

    A demain

  99. Eddie says:

    Cloudy Bay was my fav, had to order it, not available in most off licences.,…

  100. arnie says:

    NorthBank. Apart from The Idiots, but its true I cannot remember any other. 😛 OK, single malt it is then.

  101. Rasp says:

    You lot don’t visit Room 101 very often do you …. 😕

  102. Eddie will join us arnie, but she’s got to run down to the off licence first 🙂

  103. Rasp

    Sounds like a Sci Fi film!

  104. Rasp says:

    😆 nb,

    Well couldn’t some of you be a bit more original and perhaps say chicken half cooked ……. or patio half laid ……. stockings half on …… anything but the glass thing – its been done to death 😛

  105. I didn’t start it Rasp 🙂

    How about Gun half cocked?

  106. Rasp says:

    The problem with that nb is you can’t tell who’s the positive and who’s the negative …… If I said my gun is half un-cocked ….. see what I mean? 😆

  107. RockyLives says:

    Great day’s comments – well done RC

    Just thinking about the comments about how well or badly we’re playing made me remember that, late yesterday, Chas put up a vid of Alexis’s contribution in the Sunderland game.

    I watched it right through and, apart from seeing how good Alexis was, I was struck by how good a lot of our attacking moves were. They didn’t come off in the end, but I really feel we’re just a few per cent away from clicking.

  108. Rasp

    A gun fully cocked 🙂


    I think some of our moves against Sunderland were excellent and there was a period in the second half, when they had 9 or 10 players back that we strung together a superb amount of passes. Didn’t get anywhere with it but showed promise 🙂

  109. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, I agree with the spirit of what you say, but I reckon we have far more potential than Arsene’s 99% assessment represents. I’d say that over 90 minutes in most games our performance averages closer to 75% – but I can appreciate why he would have chosen 99%.

    With the players we have we can get to 90%, with the right one or two additions, 100% and TMHT’s ghosts are in reach.

  110. Food calls… I’m off. Good discussion today.

  111. arnie says:

    oh dear, terrible headache! 😦 A Delicatessen Shopping Basket it is then! 🙂

  112. arnie says:

    Rasp @ 8:42. Precisely. 🙂

  113. RA says:

    Anyone else interested in Rasp’s Freudian slip last evening?

    –“chicken half cooked …. or patio half laid …. stockings half on …”

    Stockings half on? Does that mean one leg completed, or both legs halfway up — we need to know, and what the hell is he doing putting stockings on anyway?

    That boy is an enigma!! 🙂

  114. RA says:

    Acting on Rasp’s comment regarding Room 101, I read this gem;

    — “avoid any form of preemptive blogging, by which we mean a comment which is put up with the intention of invalidating an anticipated comment from other bloggers with whom they disagree.”

    I think that is anti-Kelsey, and should be banned and put in Room 101 — erm, if it was’nt already there, that is.

    He is the only one with a crystal ball who can predict future comments — isn’t he? Or are there more of you crystallites out there than we know about! 🙂

  115. arnie says:

    Motning all, motning Redders.

    I too went into Room 101 last night, several brilliant gems out there.

  116. GoonerB says:

    Morning RA, just so you know I am not ignoring you. Can’t stop, off to work

  117. RA says:

    Hi, arnie and GoonerB, 🙂

  118. RA says:

    That’s really Rockin’ arnie, gonna get the guys shaking’ their hips tonite – Oh, Yeah!! 🙂

  119. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    arnie . In the words of those masterful purveyors of poetry, the Swedish quartet ABBA

    Thank you for the Music

  120. arnie says:

    ha ha ha ha ha ha 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I was woken up early morning by some bad news from India. I am taking this opportunity to entertain everyone with some soulful and contemplative early morning Hindustani classical renditions. 🙂

  121. arnie says:

    motning Evonne, morning Raddy, motning GoonerB

  122. arnie says:

    all right, that is the final one, promise! 🙂

  123. Mooning all

    I’ve just had a glance into Room 101 and realise I should keep my WOB in my trousers.

    arnie, what no Ravi Shankar………… and that’s not cockney rhyming slang 🙂

  124. arnie says:

  125. arnie says:

    motning NorthBank. 🙂

    and now I am in moderation! 😛

  126. arnie says:

  127. arnie says:

    in moderation, again!!!!

  128. arnie says:

    personally, not a great fan of Ravi Shankar but do acknowledge his contributions to music. 🙂

  129. Big Raddy says:

    I liked the first one but sadly the law of diminishing returns took effect with each video

  130. RC78 says:

    Morning all – really enjoyed the heated and fun debate yesterday 🙂 I am sure we are all on the same side supporting our club and I am glad we all agreed to disagree at times 🙂 Have a great day and Arnie – hope it is not too bad the news from India…Cheers from beerland

  131. Big Raddy says:

    Not that I care about the Ballon D’Or but how can they not include Luis Suarez in the vote?

    The man had a fantastic PL season and was very good in the WC.

    Or did they ban him for his behavioural difficulties?

  132. Big Raddish………….. I’m sure he was good in WC! 🙂

    But he’s been judged for more than just his skills on the pitch. Someone with such a high profile should be more careful with his less than savoury behaviours.

  133. Big Raddy says:

    NB. Fair point

    Didn’t we have that vid the other day?

  134. Noy sure Raddy……….. was it the vid of them singing on top of a moving train. It’s one of my most favourite pieces of film music. From Inside Man. Brilliant

  135. Morning all

    We have a New Post ………………………

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