Are We Witnessing Arsene’s Epiphany?

I was angry about the way we played in Anderlecht game. To give away a 3 goal lead by committing too many to attack and then to lose all defensive cohesion and shape when still in front at 3:2 was irresponsible and amateur.

I was apoplectic 5 days later when we managed to take the lead in a close game against Swansea and once again put attack before defence and threw away the 3 points. Had we learnt nothing from the Anderlecht game?

A week later we outplayed United everywhere on the pitch except where it mattered. I just felt that his dream had finally lost its way completely. We had played some beautiful football yet as in many times before we had been undone by the simplest of counters – another sucker punch.

All that I had read from quotes from former players and those who had worked with Arsene was that he was an attacking manager and did not put great emphasis on preparing his teams to play against the strengths and weaknesses of a particular opposition.

Like many, I had accepted that he would not change. Pragmatism did not feature in his vocabulary. It was his way only.

But then came the Dortmund game. From my elevated position I could see the shape of the team and it was immediately obvious that the structure was solid. Arteta is an important cog and will be missed but even without him, it was clear that the players were defending as a team and taking responsibility. It didn’t always have to be pretty, but it was effective.

The away game at West Brom followed. We were good to watch in the first half but our clever possession was not matched by clinical finishing. We missed the Ox’s incisive runs but still held our shape well as a team. In the second half, we scored what RockyLives described as ‘an un-Arsenal type goal’ and I later observed was the sort of goal we conceded more often than scored. We had delivered the sucker punch. We held onto that one goal lead, 3 points in the bank … job done. Yes we continued to probe forward but there were always sufficient numbers held back to defend properly.

So had anything changed or was everything down to the players selected?

Reports from some players surfaced about practicing defensive strategies before the game; does this herald a change in approach? GoonerInExile commented that “Flamster was rarely seen further than ten yards in front of the back four”

There was another difference. The manager who had spent the majority of the previous season cuddling himself on the bench with angst written all over his face was prowling his technical area and communicating with his players. Could it be that he had instigated a different system and was standing there making sure that they adhered to his instructions?

Like them or loathe them, Mourinho and Fergie play (played) as a 12th man for their teams. Their press conferences, the pressure they put on referees, the clever wind ups of opposing managers, their larger than life presence on the touchline all communicate a message to the players – I’m here fighting for you guys!

Now I know Arsene is far more cultured than to stoop to the levels of the aforementioned, but maybe we are seeing him fight back against the growing criticism from supporters and the media ………. and maybe he has changed his approach to the attack/defence balance. If this is true you could argue that the pressure he was under is what prompted the change … self preservation if you like. Personally I don’t care. I like what I see and as confidence grows we can express ourselves more on the pitch as long as we remember the basics of defending.

Has he had an epiphany? Has he changed ‘his way’ in order to provide a more solid defence? Does he believe that is the right thing to do, or is he just employing different tactics in the short term until the pressure is off? ……… Only time will tell.

A note on the banner…..

The banner incident is a disgrace and reflects badly on all Arsenal supporters. I’m ashamed and embarrassed by those who chose to display it. If I could phone Arsene up and apologise to him on behalf of all Arsenal supporters I would.

Written by DeVilles Advocaat

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310 Responses to Are We Witnessing Arsene’s Epiphany?

  1. The banners were wrong. Speak to arsenal legends and they will say what he has done for arsenal football is simply amazing. I like what I see maybe it is the return of koscielny but against WBA we looked good as unit. Arsene has what 2 or 3 years till his contract is done and his goal is to adhere to that. Keown did a great job overcoming our defensive frailties maybe Steve bould is speaking his mind now and asserting some well needed structure

  2. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow, great post DeVilles Advocaat.

    Firstly, I didn’t see the game, so read with interest post game comments on here, and you highlighted two. Also, very interested to read your comments on the very un-Arsenelike prowling of the technical area which I hadn’t heard, and equally the comments about defensive practice.

    Obviously there are questions over how much the WBA team set up was planned rather than forced (injuries). I agree with LB’s comment on Santi’s preferred and more effective role, and will be fascinating to see how we line up at home on Wednesday.

    Is there to be more than one approach? It is often said that Arsene sets up his side irrespective of the opposition, but I simply don’t know whether that’s true. What I don’t like is pegs in the wrong holes, and if we at least establish one or more set up’s with the personnel interchangeable as and when rotation/injuries necessitate, I think that would be the biggest single step forwards.

    Thanks for a great post.

  3. Good post De Ville

    It’s good to see AW getting animated on the touchline. Often, when TV cameras focus on him in the dug out, usually he has his head in his hands. It can;t be good for the players if they are looking for guidance from the manager during a match, and when they look to him they see him sitting there, head down and hands over his face.

    But it’s probably just TV editing and the bastards only show images of him looking desperate and stressed. 🙂

  4. eoin2211 says:

    Who gives you the right to represent all Arsenal fans? Just because arsenal manage to beat Dortmund (who are seriously struggling) and West Brom ( Possibly the worst team in the league) doesn’t excuse Wenger’s glaring flaws. I’ve no doubt Arsenal will get Champion’s league football, however, I would rather them come fifth if they had a coherent game plan and adapted tactics to suit the actual players at the club. If ye want to continue going on about the past then go support Liverpool. Every manager/player deserves criticism when they under perform. It has been a long time since Wenger has performed well. You know what makes the club look bad? Selling its captain to United, allowing Fabregas to go to Chelsea, having only 2 first choice centerbacks etc……..

  5. ha ha a coherent game plan and adapted tactics to be able to come fifth………. that is really logical eoin2211…….

  6. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Eoin

    It seems the author is saying that perhaps changes are afoot, and that is good for Arsenal.

  7. arnie says:

    Lovely post and the snowflakes as well. Thank you, DeVille’s Advocaat and/ alias Rasp. 🙂 Puts us right in the mood. 🙂 🙂 However, the motning batner is becoming a bit repititive. We need new ideas, AAers.

    The real un-Arsene thing will be to play different styles against different teams. The other things are tinkering on the margins. Arsene builds his teams from the midfield, forwards and backwards. This is a different organisation from the numpties. That has not changed IMO.

    What changed against WBA I think is the fulcrum at the back. This was earlier with BFG. But because BFG had become too mobile this was not working well. I thought this was now moved upwards to Flamster. And it seemed to work.

    Whether this will work against other teams I do not know. But against Soton we will find out. COYG. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  8. Rasp says:

    Hi eoin, if I may speak for the author …. his use of the word “I” should convey the message that he is speaking for himself and giving a personal opinion – not presuming to represent all Arsenal fans as you claim.

  9. Rasp says:

    arnie … I don’t know what you’re talking about 😆

  10. We all knew that anyway Rasp 🙂

  11. The Cockie Monster says:

    Nice one Cruella !.

    I hope he sees it !. If he has, it`s taken him approaching twenty years to realize that his Achilles heal is not looking at another teams weaknesses ( and our own ) or their strengths and just may be playing a team and tactics to suit an individual opponent, not let us just attack Chelsea like we would do Burnley !.
    An example manager wise is Guardiola, who looks at a teams weakness and plays players who can exploit it to the good of his team .
    I have had a bug bear for years now in that, why the fcuk do coaches sit so low at the touch line, when they would get a far greater view up in the stands and see what the fcuk is either going wrong or right !. Quite a few Rugby coaches do it and are in contact with another coach on the bench, but then again just like video replays etc`, Rugby is more advanced ! .
    I have been up in the stands like most of us and know for a fact I can see things that need changing better than Wenger can from his weaker position !.
    A mate of mine has been to the last two games said that he thinks something has been said in the dressing room ( whether by Wenger or players ) as the players seem to have upped their game ( in a more aggressive work rate style ) in the last two matches, which sort of confirms/ties in with your post. It would be interesting to know whether someone like chas has noticed it or is it just opinion ?.

    Like the snow or is it dandruff falling from Transplants hairy back ?. If so, he needs …..Head, Shoulders and Back Shampoo !.

  12. Rasp says:

    OK NB, I just wanted bloggers to read the words for what they are and not let their interpretation be coloured by any preconceived ideas of the writer’s motivation 😛

  13. Rasp ha ha

    This is what happens when you post a comment and then edit it, I replied to something you had said to arnie… but then you edited it and my comment is seen differently 🙂 just saying.

  14. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arnie
    Re the morning banter.
    Here’s an idea. Stop all that late night drinking, set your alarm and come and help raise the tone. Sickened is what I am 🙂
    Tomorrow’s topic: Thomas More’s Utopia, and no slacking on the homework. Early night for you Pal 🙂

  15. arnie says:

    Micky. The problem is: it is now winter in Botland, days are really short. first light only at 9AM, dark by 3PM. Really hard for me to get up early. 😦

  16. Arnie

    The only way to influence change is to do it yourself… you suggest how the motning batner can change, if it’s good then I’m sure people will follow. 🙂

  17. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “The only way to influence change is to do it yourself”
    Top comment

  18. eoin2211 says:

    Northbank I mean the team is a shambles tactically. They stumble to results every so often. Arsenal have no real game plan…. I didn’t say to come fifth. My point was I would rather a team that plays together in a way that actually optimises performance that comes fifth would be better then a stumbling team that flukes into 4th….

  19. Rasp says:

    I’d hoped the post would have generated more discussion – but if I can add my tuppence worth re the morning club, it is basically really good, just one or two need to exercise a bit more self control 🙂

  20. Yes Rasp… Like Eddie 🙂

  21. The Cockie Monster says:

    I don’t know about that, `69er !……………I don’t think I would influence a sex change by doing it myself !……..If I was going to have it done I would want the best surgeon out there and make sure they were an Arsenal supporter as well, like Sex Transplants Ltd of Bounds Green !.

  22. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp
    I know that we early birds have sinned and strayed from the path of righteousness and, I for one, seek forgiveness. Eddie, on the other hand….

  23. The Cockie Monster says:

    “Eddie, on the other hand…..” ……………. has knuckle dusters !.

  24. eoin2211

    Your argument just doesn’t make sense. I know you’re a Disgruntled Gunner because I checked your blog, but to say you’d prefer 5th place with a team that plays together and optimises performance rather than a team that stumbles to 4th is bizarre. If the team that stumbles to 4th does better than the cohesive side that gets 5th, then surely the stumbling team is doing something better than the cohesive team.

  25. Cockie… as always 🙂

  26. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I asked the other day about GN5’s injury list. When it says return date Dec3 (ie Southampton) does this mean said returner will be 100% fit and ready that very day, or will resume training?

  27. Rasp says:

    eoin, I appreciate you are geeting stuff off your chest and having a rant about things in general unrelated to the article – may I assume your response to the post would simply have been … No?

  28. Great post DVA. I was very pleased to see that the changes made for last Wednesday’s game carried through to Saturday’s game against West Brom.

    I would hope the players are responding to some sort of kick up the behind and have taken on some new instructions which Arsene is now choosing to make sure they don’t forget. He should be prowling his area and if he’s unwell then send Bouldy out there to ball at the team.

    The less cavalier approach to attacking when we’re already in the lead must surely be the way forward unless we know we’re going to score 4+ every game lol

    It was great to have Koscielny back but I think it was more telling that Flamini held his position better which gave more protection to defending as a team.

    I’m looking forward to Wednesday, can’t go wrong with 1 nil to the Arsenal 🙂

  29. As to your question DVA ……… I think it might be too soon to say yes but I’m hoping that yes is the answer.

  30. eoin2211 says:

    Northbank no your missing my point:p Obviously a team that optimises performance would do better. Im trying to say that the team is seriously under performing:p A calibre of worse quality players that works together and achieved 5th would be more gratifying.

  31. Peaches, has Eddie been banished? 🙂

    Getting back to Rasps / DVA’s post. I think we are seeing a change in Wenger the Stubborn One, the last couple of games has shown that we can adapt to certain teams and their tactics. Wenger the Stubborn One is also, as mentioned, now more on the touchline and getting more involved. Let’s hope it continues.

  32. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Back to DVA’s question, and yes, time will tell, and perhaps one of the determining factors will be how he deploys his troops when all of Theo, Mesut and ultimately Jack are available.

    I still have this nagging fear that Arsene gets overcome with a desire to shoehorn in all his available creative at the same time, and this is what upsets the balance.

    Being deprived of Jack, Mesut, Theo and of course Mikel, may simply have forced his hand.

    Please remember that I saw nothing of Dortmund or WBA, so cannot comment on what DVA observes as more controlled team defending.

  33. eoin2211

    I’m sorry, but I can’t see how finishing 5th would be more gratifying than finishing 4th, no matter how much better the players worked together. I’d rather Wenger went for One-nil to the Arsenal every week rather than 80% possession , beautiful kicky about football , look at us we are so good at the tippy tappy, keepy the ball and losing 1-2. Sorry mate, but your thesis doesn’t do anything for me. 🙂

  34. Bonjour mes amis, les bons moments sont de retour.

    Well at least I hope they are about to return anyway. Yes I think the old leopard has at last changed a spot or two. There was certainly a more cohesive look to the defence over the last two games, a little less of the gung ho attacking for the sake of it, a little more of the defensive discipline that has been sadly lacking for seasons almost without number.

    Will it last? I certainly hope so!

    Much as I loved watching Wengerball, we had become too easy to read and therefore too easy to beat. Something had to change.

  35. RC78 says:

    I d like to make a comment:

    – Kos and Giroud are back in the squad and do they help the team defensively…We did not concede a goal…

  36. eoin2211 says:

    Northbank Your still not getting my point. Not once have I condoned tippy tappy football. Id rather a one nil win too. Having only 2 centerbacks essentially in your squad is hardly a basis for that. I don’t think Arsenal can even play tippy tappy stuff anymore, it’s all slowed down and lethargic. My point is they need to actually adapt some sot of coherent system.

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Norfolk

    Maybe Arsene is getting his old spots back!

    In other words, early Arsene sides were not the tippy tappy ones, rather sound defences, quick movers in the middle, and devastatingly quick and clinical front boys.

  38. RC78 says:

    I, also, liked the way Giroud-Wellbeck connected and I thought that Ramsey had a good game too.

  39. DanC says:

    Eoin

    Get a grip, we’re 12 games into the season and we’re seriously underperforming? We’v drawn more than we would of liked but its as always fine margins.

    We’re within touching distance of the teams above with potential to push until the end of the season, through to last 16 in Europe, the FA Cup starts in Jan, yet some people dismiss the season as a failure or not good enough already.

    Still a lot to play for.

    Where did you expect us to be at the start of the season and where did you predict us to finish?

  40. eoin2211

    I think they are trying to do that, it’s taking time, but from what I’ve seen recently, they are adapting to a coherent system.

  41. arnie says:

    ha ha ha. RC78. The French brigade strikes back! 😛

    Micky and NorthBank. Fair enough. Not that arnie is not making an effort. but he will try harder. 🙂 you have been warned! 🙂 😛

  42. RC78 – you may have opened my eyes to something there. Giroud could come deeper because he wasn’t the loan striker and we know he’s very strong so having him back may have also contributed to better defending as a team.

    Koscielny is really important to the team for his pace and energy. I think he’s our best centre-back so having him back probably added more confidence to our defence.

    Good point to make. Are you saying you don’t think Arsene changed the way we approached the game? 🙂

  43. arnie

    That’s what I like to hear……… fighting talk 🙂

  44. arnie says:

    Belated St Andrews Day wishes from Sconnie Botland! 🙂

    of course, Roman Catholics would be celebrating this today.

  45. St Andrews Day……As normal, glass of wine, some spicy sausage and praying to the football Gods that we will now start a good run of results.

  46. arnie says:

    Arnie participated in celebrations, but in Edinburgh, not in Dundee or St Andrews. 🙂

  47. arnie says:

    moderation ^&%&*&*?! 🙂

  48. arnie says:

    @11:39. The tall structures in the distance are St Rule’s Tower and the ruins of St Andrews Cathedral.

  49. The Cockie Monster says:

    What I like about the Scots is…….come into Cornwall and any other county or Country and you will be greeted with a …” Welcome ” sign !………drive into Scotland and you`re welcomed with a ……” Fcuk You Jimmy ! “, sign . hahaha

  50. Rasp says:

    I have no doubt the battling qualities of Sanchez and Welbeck are contributing to our defence higher up the pitch. We have definitely missed kozzer. The problem most season has been with our midfield. Too many players being drawn towards the ball with the result that when we lose possession we are vulnerable to the counter. The answer – make sure certain players know they must stay back to provide cover = Flamini not venturing forward.

  51. eoin2211 says:

    DanC Yes I would consider Arsenal to be under performing both on and off the pitch?
    Injuries don’t happen by accident.
    Players coming out unhappy docent happen by accident.
    Losses to an atrocious United team, beaten by Chelsea more then convincingly, and Swansea. A home draw with Hull not to mention some poor performances.
    Honestly I expected and I expect Arsenal to mount a title challenge? Gilberto Silva has still never been actually replaced, how embarrassing is that? Arsenal clearly need more then 2 centerbacks. Allowing Fabregas to go to Chelsea is shambolic.
    Arsenal are 13 points off the top after 13 games. I don’t see how that is touching distance……

  52. Rasp

    Flamini did that against WBA… he has clearly been given a message and orders to protect the back four. Kos being back though is a tremendous boost.

  53. arnie says:

    Rasp. Spot on. No disagreement. oh dear! 😛

  54. arnie says:

    NorthBank. Dollars? what exactly is that?

    or maybe

  55. Rasp says:

    Apparently Alex Salmond is the answer to Arsenal’s defensive conundrum 😦

  56. arnie says:

    Rasp. Dont let ’em get in. whatever the cost. is that what you’re saying, Rasp? 😛

  57. arnie says:

    Seriously though. Cannot wait for Weds. We will really find out what the new-found resilience of the good guys is about. At the back. 🙂

    And hopefully, better finishing up-front. I would not mind starting with Welbeck and Sanogo. Bring Giro and Poldi on as impact subs if we fail to score.

    And finally, better support from the stands. No banners, please.

    COYG. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  58. chas mobile says:

    Excellent post, DVLA.

    I hope you’re right about an epiphany of sorts.
    If we’d conceded to Dortmund in the first half, things might have been viewed differently.
    Also, do we think if the Baggies had equalised with ten minutes to go or had scored first, things may have turned out very differently?

    Perhaps when we next get into a sticky situation more will be revealed.

    As a side point, I have seen Wenger in his technical area for whole games before,especially away from home, hence the crude chants from the terraces. Often I seen this as trying to influence a ref making dodgy decisions. Do we think he was coaching on Saturday?

  59. chas mobile says:

    * I’ve seen

  60. arnie says:

    Wenger: “I started to manage a team at the top level in 1983. If I am completely useless tactically, I am a genius [because] I can hide it very well.

    “Look, in [each of] the last 15 years, we are qualified for the last 16 in the Champions League. Give me another club who has done that. I think we have shown extreme consistency and that’s all we can do.

    “We’ve had ups and downs in the league – yes, it’s true, but you only come back again when the spirit is strong and healthy and united inside the club.

    “And I think if you have shown such a consistency, it’s because we have that at the club. We have values and we respect them.

    “I can do my job. I do my job with total commitment, I would like people to live with me and see for seven days what kind of work we produce, and you will see that it is total commitment.

    “I do what I love, but I think I do it with honesty and total commitment.”

  61. arnie says:

  62. Rasp says:

    Hi chas, I know he was in his technical area on Saturday but couldn’t say whether he was coaching or not. I agree he has been out in the TA in the past but surprisingly didn’t budge from his seat during the Anderlecht game. I just think that he is showing solidarity with his team if he’s out there with them, and that can only be a good thing.

  63. Rasp says:

    arnie, I don’t think that list of quotes is particularly helpful. Its basically saying, I know what I’m doing and I don’t take anyone’s advice. What has frustrated a lot of supporters (me included) is our tendency to repeat the same mistakes – hence my wishful thinking that maybe he’s seeing it in a slightly different way now.

  64. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arsene: “I would like people to live with me and see for seven days”

    Cheers Boss, bloody love to, thank you. Spare room of course and no hanky panky.

  65. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    I am not going to repeat my thoughts on the game but let’s see despite being beaten yesterday how we perform against the Saints.

    Reports suggested that Gazidis was with AW at the training ground last Friday and there was a definite change in our tactics against WBA but a lot of our play was a hoof from defence to the three main attackers,leaving Santi to really drive the midfield,practically on his own.

    My main concern are that a number of players are just injury prone primarily,Walcott,Gibbs,Wiltshere and the ageing Arteta.

    Mertesacker has lost a yard and without kos looks extremely vunerable and has perhaps one more season.Flamini is another who will need to be replaced.

    Rosicky doesn’t get a look in and it appears Campbell and Podolski have been written off, yet Campbell had a bit of a premium on his head after the WC when he could have been sold,now he has a season and a half left on his contract.

    “we have had no offers for Podolski” we have been told.

    I think it is more about balance of experience (age) rather than formation.

  66. arnie says:

    whose advice, Rasp? this is what beats me.

    maybe, Bouldie’s, but how are we so sure Bouldie is not an adviser already. who else? maybe TH14 in course of time.

    but, you need certain credentials in the game and certain affinity to the club to advise someone who has already achieved quite a lot. not easy, IMO.

    why should someone who has already developed a distinct way of playing the game, and has been reasonably successful with that, be expected to change. based on advices that flow randomly from here, there and everywhere?

    I would expect the good guys to do things better and perhaps a bit more consistently. things that they already do better than most. and things that they already do consistently.

    like qualifying for CL knock out stages. how many yaers is it, now? not easy, IMO. 🙂

  67. arnie says:

    but I agree, it is frustrating for us fans. we see other clubs do things differently and have a whiff of fancy, maybe this will work better for us, or maybe that. but our club is already doing things better than most. and more consistently.

    where are the champions of Martinez hiding? or Klopp? being successful for a season or two is OK, being creative and successful over a long period of time is not that easy. 🙂

  68. Rasp says:

    Thanks arnie. Well I wouldn’t expect that IG would presume to give AW advice on football tactics but maybe he would discuss the way the media and fanbase are reacting to performances – who knows?

  69. GunnerN5 says:

    Micky,

    I’ve been busy packing for a house move so I missed your question.

    The title above the date column simply read “Return date”.

    I have no idea if that is a real or hopeful date.

  70. GunnerN5 says:

    Ladies and Gents, I’m far from a prude but I’ve always based my personal conduct on the “house rules” and I feel that we need be more respectful of AA’s site rules.

    If I want porn it’s easy to find but please don’t post it here – be more considerate…………

  71. Ivan: ” Arsene, can I have a little word in your shell like?”

    Arsene: “oui biensur Monsieur Gazadis”

    Ivan: “Well the thing is Arsene, the fans are getting a bit restless and they need to see you on the touchline, shouting instructions to the team.”

    Arsene: ” hah, putain de con, I see”

    Ivan: ” So perhaps at the next couple of games you could get off your arse and shout, I don’t care what you shout, Long Live the Republique in French as far as I give a shit”

    Arsene: ” Dacord mon ami, Vivre le Repulique I shall shout”

    Ivan: ” That’s the spirit Arsene, the fucking numpties paying £60 for a seat wont understand, but they’ll see you on the touchline with some passion”

    Arsene: ” You Engleesh, J’adore votre humoor, tres drole, vivre le republique, I like zis”

  72. RC78 says:

    Peaches – spot on 🙂 I do not think that we approached the game differently. I just think that with Kos and Giroud in the squad, we have more balance and strength defensively…

    When Kos is fit, he is Top 5 CB in the league as shown last year…

    And I am a big OG’s advocate as he has good workrate and he has a good link-up play. If I had to chose one striker, he would be my starter ahead of Wellbeck although Wellbeck’s workrate is also good. It is a personal choice really…

    I think we are just three-four players away from being real title contenders as I think that as a squad, we re getting there in terms of quality and quantity…

    Add 1 RB, 1CB,1 DM and ideally 1 LB…

    RB – Lichtensteiner
    CB – Garay or Miranda or Godin
    DM – Bender/Schnederlin/Javi Martinez or anyone that can break up plays and have the physicality to cope with the EPL. We need a tall physical guy there that is good with positioning, tackling, leading and ideally that can have a good range of passing.
    LB – De Sciglio

    If you get rid of surplus players, all of a sudden – we are looking great instead of just quite good 🙂

    PiG – Debs, Garay, Kos, Gibbs – Ox, Bender, Ramsey – Walcott, Giroud, Sanchez

    Ospina – Lich, Chambers, Per, De Sciglio – Cazorla, Arteta, Wilshere – Gnabry, Wellbeck, Campbell

    + Zelalem, Sanogo

    My only reserve concerns Podolski as I believe he is a good striker but truth be told, if we are not using him, let us sell him. Same with the Rosicky, Diaby, Flamini, Monreal of the club…And I think that if we get an offer of 30 Mln plus for Ozil, we should just offload him. I love the player but I think that he is just struggling with the pricetag…

  73. RC78 says:

    as for Jenkinson and Miyachi, also on my to be sold list…I would just add a buy-back clause for Jenkinson…

  74. RC78 says:

    oh and we have Afobe who is doing well at the moment and I think Chucks could be worth keeping as well…

  75. RC78 says:

    by the way guys, Man Utd are back in Top 4 hunt and so it Tottenham. I think that it s going to be a nervy finish to Top 4 again this year…I hope we clinch CL…Ideally as 3rd…

  76. arnie says:

    Allegedly:

  77. RC78 says:

    Ideally – we streghthen this winter…

  78. arnie says:

    Nice thoughts, RC78. 🙂

    Top drama, NorthBank. 😛

  79. The Cockie Monster says:

    Arnie…….is that the sequel to …Bend it like Beckham ?…………..Bent it like Beckham !.

  80. LB says:

    I wonder if the people who held that banner up are season ticket holders?

    Thinking about it, I suspect they are not, I am not trying to elevate season ticket holders to something better than those who do not have them, there are many on this site, I am sure, who would own one of them if it weren’t for the fact that as they live so far away, making weekly visits impractical if not impossible.

    No, what I mean is that season ticket holders get a choice at the beginning of every season as to whether they want to renew.
    It is like we get a chance to vote with our wallets as to whether we are happy as to what we expect.

    The people who hold up the banner, like many who come on here after we lose and leave a frustrated comment, use Wenger as an excuse for not attending the games anymore. Wenger is just their excuse for being crap fans.

    In all my visits to the blog Le Grove I have never read a comment from one of them who actually attended a game, forget the owners, they set that site up as a money making venture and don’t give me that nonsense that you have met them and oh how good a supporter they are.

    They are not good supporters, good supporters do not try and trash the good name of Arsenal for a chance to garner some self publicity and make a bit of money.

    Considering that I have been a season ticket holder every single year that Wenger has been our manager what else could I possibly be other than a Wenger supporter, what sense would it make to spend my hard earnt cash on a season ticket and then take to my seat and moan?

    I have had plenty of opportunities to decide not to renew as have the 50 odd thousand other season ticket holders; but we do, and you should notice that the size that number speaks volumes; the vast majority are still happy with what he is trying to do and remain loyal.

    Alexis Sanchez has been a revelation and Welbeck, in two years time, will be the best CF in the country. The board continue to resolutely back Wenger and they will make even more money available next season.

    On an aside: When was the last time we read that Wenger doesn’t like spending money? Funny how that perennial dig has now completely disappeared.

    As to whether I will renew next season — oh yes indeedy.

  81. RC78 says:

    I think that we should judge the team’s performance at the end of the season. I think that we should aim for

    – Top 4
    – Hold our trophy in the Cup
    – 1/4 final in CL

    If we do this, I think AW should definitely stay.

    Now on to next year – let us make sure we get the players we need and get rid of the surplus useless players and crack on to win a league.

    Upfront, we are among the best in the EPL. I think that we just need more quality in defense and defensive mid but other than that, we are good

  82. DanC says:

    Eoin

    I’ll say it again, we’re 12 games into the season, gain some perspective.

    ‘Injuries don’t happen by accident.’

    Giroud and Debuchy are just two examples of accidents.

    ‘Players coming out unhappy docent happen by accident.’

    What does this even mean? Players need to start taking responsibility for their own mistakes and moments of naivety.

    ‘Losses to an atrocious United team, beaten by Chelsea more then convincingly, and Swansea. A home draw with Hull not to mention some poor performances.’

    Fine margins in the above games and not once this season have we been outclassed or embarrassed apart from ossibly vs Dortmund away). Best performance of season vs Utd but couldn’t score, more than handled Chavs and a far from convincing defeat, Sig wonder goal, and Hull 2 chances 2 goals (1 foul on Flamini).

    ‘Honestly I expected and I expect Arsenal to mount a title challenge?’

    We all want a title challenge every year. We were firmly installed as 3rd favorites before the start of the season, for a good reason by the bookies and that was before the injuries struck. Now unless you’re more informed than the bookies I’d suggest you reign in your expectations in line with reality.

    ‘Gilberto Silva has still never been actually replaced, how embarrassing is that?’

    Song, Flamini and Arteta? Might not be to your or my desired standard but you make out we’re playing with 10 men.

    ‘Allowing Fabregas to go to Chelsea is shambolic.’

    Fuck the rentboy. He shouldn’t of forced his way out in the first place.

    ‘Arsenal are 13 points off the top after 13 games. I don’t see how that is touching distance……’

    Chelsea have had the best start in Premier League history, everyone is trailing at the minute. A couple more draws and a loss for them and it gets very interesting

  83. GunnerN5 says:

    LB,

    As a non attending (and very jealous) overseas TV supporter I applaud your comment @2:16.

    You show a great level of well reasoned support for our club and rightly criticize the likes of LG for it’s veiled support.

  84. GunnerN5 says:

    ‘Injuries don’t happen by accident.’

    Where is RA when we need him to give us his perspective on this comment by eoin2211

  85. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thanks GN5 and good luck with the move.

    Yip LB, it’s the money and self promotion.

  86. eoin2211 says:

    DanC To be honest I just can’t believe that type of attitude. This isn’t new, it’s been happening year after year.
    Injuries: Koschelny has had a recognised problem for months. Ozil turned up to an international squad injured unbeknown to Arsenal. It wasn’t some minor injury. That is not right! Wilshere is out regularly each season, as is Walcott. I don’t need to mention Diaby. Gibbs also has tendencies to pick up problems. Are you really telling me that consistent problems time and time again are simply accidents? And if so, why then aren’t there more then 2 centerbacks!?
    Chelsea dominated that match so I don’t see how you can say that Arsenal handled them. Sig wonder goal? What about the second goal? Is it not alarming that they’re seems to be a lot of wonder goals scored against Arsenal. Hull 2 chances? Its a bit of a problem that they can score the two chances!
    Arteta is in no way a defensive midfielder, Song although a good player was not a defensive minded player. That man is lazy, enjoys getting an assist to his name and in my opinion can’t be considered a defensive midfielder (I get the point your making about him but don’t agree). Flamini can hardly be relied on for a sustained run of games can he….
    Yes Fabregas is a grade a cunt, he’s still a fucking world class player.
    Your firstly saying that Arsenal won’t drop points between now and then? They’re dropping behind at a rate of a point a game? (I know they made ground this weekend,but you can see my point). Even with your idea of Chelsea losing and a couple of draws means Arsenal would still be 8 points behind

  87. DirtyEddie says:

    GN5 – hi! I noticed you urged Ladies and Gentlemen to stop posting porn. Peaches didn’t post any porn, so your comment reads ‘Eddie and Gentlemen’ 🙂

    I need to put you right sir – I hate porn, in any shape or form and was quiet upset for some time now to turn on the blog only to see somebody’s tits or arse staring at me. Any attempts to stop the 2 culprits and other 2 who were encouraging them failed miserably. But clearly my cunning plan to fight back worked! No more porn here! Too many people didn’t like the sight of male genitals.

    Micky – so how about naked yoga 🙂

  88. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Eddie
    I think your cunning plan has worked 🙂
    I won’t be encouraging any more filth. Promise. Disgusted is what I am.

  89. DirtyEddie says:

    He’s available again:

  90. Who’s that poor old bloke, Eddie? He looks as if he’s got more hair on his chin than on his head, is he running to the syrup shop? 😀

  91. Eddie and GN5,

    Hear! Hear!

    No more smut.

  92. DirtyEddie says:

    NG – he is still the sexiest man on this planet 🙂

    Rasp – thanks for the post. Yeah, I noticed the change too and kept on counting players left defending and the numbers were growing. From 2 or 3 in early November (me furious), to 5-6 at the end of the month (me relieved). It was very obvious that we need to defend even a slender lead, and we didn’t. We noticed that and so did the opposition. I am sure part of the plan was to draw Arsenal away, let them attack with 8 men, then grab the ball and counter attack. Simple and very effective. But no more, lesson learnt and remembered.

    As to Wenger standing on the touchline – not sure how significant that is. In Poland we say “owner’s eye makes a horse fatter”, so perhaps making players remember that they are being watched is beneficial to the overall result? I don’t know. Perhaps Wnger simply has piles and couldn’t sit down

  93. DirtyEddie says:

    DanC – what a great riposte, congrats!

  94. Rasp says:

    Thanks DE, Arsene certainly has a nice pile in Totteridge – not sure where the other one is though 😛

  95. Eddie, OK I’ll concede my No 1 position in favour of your boy, 😀 But who would you rather have coaching at Arsenal, Thierry or Paddy V?

  96. Rasp says:

    I’m not making a big deal out of the fact that AW has spent the last 2 games in his technical area. He used to do it regularly going back a while, but over recent years, less often. I definitely see it as a good thing. Nothing to do with the old fashioned idea of a manager bursting a blood vessel screaming confusing orders at his players, more as a demonstration of his grit and determination which hopefully will rub off on the players.

  97. Rasp says:

    …. also you can see the game a lot better when standing. Anyone who has ever sat in the front 2 or 3 rows knows that you have a great view of the players close up and no idea what is happening on the other side of the pitch.

  98. Rasp, by sitting on the bench maybe he was able to be completely honest when saying “I didn’t see it” 😀

  99. That’s my lot for today.

    So as Uncle Mac used to say….Goodnight children, everywhere.

  100. Rasp says:

    Absolutely right NG 😛

    It’s the managers who claim to have seen stuff that are the fibbers – but Arsene is the one always beaten with that stick. If I were in the meeja, I’d definitely put the ‘didn’t see it’ quote in room 101 ….. never funny, boring and lacking imagination!

  101. Gööner In Exile says:

    RC78 pretty sure Chucks was released at end of last season, which was hugely disappointing to me because I had been impressed by what I had seen, I think Benik will sadly go the same way.

    Let’s face it if we are now spending in the £30m+ bracket for players some of our youngsters are going to have to be better than good to break through. Very few do and it is because of the club they are training at. An MK Dons fan gave me a glowing assessment of Afobe, so I asked Championship good or PL good, he said Championship, we need Champions League good.

    Now if the PL were less competitive, fans were more accommodating of a few dodgy results and not so intent and focussed on silverware we could blood a few more youngsters see have done in the past with the League cup.

    As for the main thread of the article, results colour our opinion, if we had lost both games I doubt Arsene being in the technical area would have had a blind bit of difference to the judgements and I sincerely doubt Ivan’s “visit” to the training ground would have been viewed as anything other than two evil men colluding.

    But hey two wins two clean sheets, step forward fans your criticism paid dividends…..but don’t wnyone dare suggest the fans can have a negative influence on the team by being silent and moaning.

    Please.

  102. Rasp says:

    That’s a rather aggressive put down GiE 😦 The main thrust of the article was that I had thought I had detected a small (not earth shattering) change of emphasis in our defensive play – and quoted your observation about Flamini. I also only mentioned AW’s presence in the technical area as an indication that he was out there fighting alongside his players in the face of some harsh criticism …. you see now why I posted the article under a pseudonym 😦

  103. GunnerN5 says:

    Eddie,

    There was no attempt made to suggest that you enjoyed porn. My futile attempt was aimed at stopping it – in any shape or form.

    But frankly posing an image of a penis is tantamount to waving a red cape in front of certain people of a bullish demeanor………..

  104. GunnerN5 says:

    Thierry Henry leaves New York Red Bulls
    …………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry has left New York Red Bulls after four-and-a-half years with the MLS club.

    The 37-year-old’s final match was a 2-2 draw on Saturday which meant the Red Bulls were beaten 4-3 on aggregate by New England Revolution in the Eastern Conference Championship play-off.

    “The decision has always been that I would leave after the duration of my contract,” Frenchman Henry said.

    “I’ll take the next few weeks to decide on the next chapter of my career.”

    Henry won the World Cup with France in 1998 and two Premier League titles with the Gunners, where he played between 1999 and 2007.

    He added the Champions League with Barcelona in 2009 and returned to Arsenal for four matches on loan in 2012, coming on as a substitute to score the winner against Leeds in the third round of the FA Cup.

    In an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe last month, Henry hinted at another return to the Emirates and said: “One thing is certain: I will stay in football, as a coach, a consultant or executive. We will see.

    “The second certainty is that I would love to see Arsenal win the Champions League. Whether that is from near or far does not depend on me, but it is sure I’d like to help. This is my club and, as a player, I was not able to give them the Champions League.”

  105. Eddie says:

    GN5 – trust me, they did not like it!! Went very quiet indeed 🙂
    So do you think that posting an image of a female genitalia is ok?

    One way or another it has stopped, hurray 🙂

    And here is one to pacify Peaches’ mum

  106. arnie says:

    Ah, I see. Gazidis called on Arsene to discuss what in what capacity Henry might be welcomed back to club. Or, not! 😛

    Arsene said there was no job vacancy at Arsenal at the moment, but we shall see. 😛

  107. arnie says:

    Unfortunately, Paddy has rubbed the Arsenal establishment the wrong side, I think. This is the point I tried to make in a comment on one of Rocky’s posts a while back. Unfortunate. 😦

  108. chas says:

    If there has been a perceived improvement in our defending in the last two games, maybe that has come partly from players listening to and executing instructions with more thought and purpose than before.

    A couple of seasons back when the players got together after a defeat to the spuds away springs to mind.

    Surely it hasn’t been part of Wenger’s tactics to say,
    ‘bomb forward when we’re 1 nil up away from home, get 7 players in front of the ball on the edge of the oppo’s area and leave the defence threadbare’
    or
    ‘Mertesacker when we’ve just conceded a spawny goal to an undeserving manc rabble, lamp up field like a wounded giraffe trying to play one-twos you’re incapable of executing, thus leaving us hideously exposed to a counter’.

    Obviously I’ve exaggerated for comic effect, but do we really believe Wenger is that stupid?
    Maybe we do.

  109. GunnerN5 says:

    Eddie,

    Beware of awakening the sleeping smut smearers…………………

  110. GiE – you’re right in that results colour our opinion. We’ve talked about a winning mentality and how a run of good results breeds confidence in our team. What can possibly be wrong with the manager standing up on the edge of his technical area? Surely it’s a positive thing? I don’t think anyone has said we won because he did that only that it was a positive sign.

    Another positive sign was the way the team didn’t all rush to join an attack in a gung-ho fashion, do you think that was a fluke or that they had practised playing like that?

    If Arsene takes the flak when we play badly he’s entitled to some credit when he changes a couple of things and we play well and win.

  111. Maybe you’re right chas, maybe the players were too thick for a few games to work it out for themselves and Arsene has worked hard at explaining the problem and helping them see the solution 😉

  112. GunnerN5 says:

    I’m afraid that our next manager after AW retires will be in for a torrid time as he will be constantly reminded of AW’s achievements – and his first critics will be the current ABW’s.

  113. Some of us can’t win can we, we’re not allowed to criticise if we lose or give credit when we win.

  114. Rasp says:

    I never heard anyone criticise Guardiola for spending his time in the technical area during games? 🙂

  115. arnie says:

    hmmm. I have been trying the past half hour to dissect DirtyEddie ‘s 3:57 pm. I have failed and need help. Cryptic is what it is. 😛

    “Ladies and Gentlemen”. well, I am stuck on the gentlemen bit. which gentlemen? all the ones who frequent AA. if not, and if it is a handful of rogues, can they be classed as gentlemen at all? Its all very confusing. 🙂

    And again, “2 culprits and other 2 who were encouraging”. who are they? we need names. am I one of them 4 by any chance. Micky immediately took ownership and claimed to be one the latter. very unhelpful, in my view. 😛

    we need facts. we need some light to shine through the haze. where is Redders when you need him? 😛

    Now, maybe just maybe, I have crossed the line, so off I go! 😛

  116. GunnerN5 says:

    Peaches,

    In my view it’s all down us not having a vocal leader. The idea of having 11 captains on the field strikes me as being simply preposterous.

    TA or PV would have been screaming at them to hold their shape and position.

  117. arnie says:

    oh dear, Peaches is in the house. run!!!!!! 😛

  118. Actually I went to the Anderlecht game with two Academy footballers and they were appalled at our defending. They said their coach would rip them apart if they gave away a three goal lead as happened in that game. Not only that, they said they would be so embarrassed to let their team-mates down.

    So, who fixed it? Arsene or the players themselves? Whichever it was they took a blooming long time to sort it out IMO

  119. GunnerN5 says:

    RA,

    When are you coming back out to play?

  120. chas says:

    Just as a point of interest, in the last two games did anyone notice the full backs playing any different to previously.

    I don’t think I did. Time to have a butcher’s at squawka. 🙂

    Flamini certainly played more like Arteta positionally.

  121. arnie says:

  122. GunnerN5 says:

    So, who fixed it? Arsene or the players themselves? Whichever it was they took a blooming long time to sort it out IMO.

    Lets hope that it was not one or the other but rather that they ALL came to a consensus as to what needed to be fixed.

  123. arnie says:

    No, GN5, IMO no consensus as yet. They have identified 10 different solutions, and have tried out 5 so far. They are going to try the other 5 in teh next 5 games. Then they will decide. 😛

    Now, who are the “they” I do not know. Arsene is one for sure, and then …. 😛

  124. Rasp says:

    Hi chas, by all means analyse the movement of the full backs, I look forward to your analysis 🙂 The point is it’s about how the team defend, it’s fine for the fullbacks to go bombing forward as long as others cover their backs – in my ever so humble opinion 😆

  125. chas says:

    Haha, I don’t think anyone has criticised Wenger for spending his time in the technical area during games.

  126. RIP Rack of the Day 🙂

  127. Rasp says:

    The most likely reason why AW spent more time standing was that he was trying something new (how Giroud and Welbeck would play together perhaps) and wanted to have a better view. I have never heard of a manager standing during a game as a negative before – so why is it perceived so with Arsene?

  128. chas says:

    Yeah, but we concede to Berahino’s header and the whole world and his wife would say our defending was shite and that we can’t hold on to a lead.

  129. Rasp says:

    You guys who go to games must remember singing Arsene Arsene give us a wave in the past – not easy to do that when you can’t see him 😀

  130. chas says:

    I don’t think it was perceived as negative by anybody, Rasp.

  131. ha ha RotD has moved from AA to GunnersoreArse on a free Transfer. 🙂

    I will own up to being one of the culprits but in mitigation I was led on by others, and in my defence, RotD existed here before I started. Your honor 🙂

    Back to serious football. The problem has often been the full backs getting forward as extra wingers. The gaps in defence occured when there was no liaison with midfielders to cover. That seemed to have been sorted in the last couple of games.

  132. arnie says:

    Likely, Rasp. Quite a few new variations are being tried out at the moment. And we have not seen the end of it, IMO. so, let us prepare to be surprised yet again. 🙂

    its all for the good. attempts to play better football. 🙂

    The seats in the dugout at Arsenal have soft cushions, I am told, but Gazidis conspired to plant a nail in Arsene’s seat! 😛

  133. arnie says:

    “The problem has often been the full backs getting forward as extra wingers.” Agreed, NorthBank. I dont see the point of this when we are ahead in the game.

  134. Rasp says:

    Well you need to read back chas.

    You will never completely stop the opposition creating chances. When the Berahino header hit the bar ( very bad luck 😆 ) we were all back defending, we hadn’t given them a opportunity on a plate

  135. chas says:

    Rasp
    And “sit down you, p^^dophile”, if you want to take it to that extreme.

  136. Rasp says:

    I don’t remember our fans singing that chas?

  137. chas says:

    Could you point it out to me because I’ve read back already.

  138. chas says:

    Obviously I was pointing out that Wenger has stood many times before away from home.

    Right off for some tea.

  139. Rasp says:

    I don’t want to chas because it is already getting too personal on here. I don’t have a beef with you. I think a man of Arsene’s gravitas is unlikely to be put off by the foul mouth of a few away fans. Beckham had to put up with years of fans singing about his wife – it didn’t affect his ability to do his job

  140. The thing to be learned from recent capitulations is to be able to defend a lead and to get everyone working together, from the forwards to the back four in defending well. I know many people criticise teams for parking the bus against us but I think it’s a legitimate tactic which we should use more often, especially if it means the difference between 3-0 and 3-3

  141. Rasp says:

    Thank you NB that’s about the 3rd time today you’ve summed up my thoughts perfectly – but it doesn’t earn you rack privileges 🙂

  142. You know what they say Rasp

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery 🙂

  143. The Racks have finished for me… I know when I’m beaten by a better woman ha ha

  144. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp

    Do behave. “but it doesn’t earn you rack privileges” is very, very funny but also provocative. We, the Morning Crew, are on the naughty step and we know it 🙂

  145. arnie says:

    shhhhh. 🙂

  146. Aha Mr DidIt, are you coming to the game on Wednesday?

  147. arnie says:

  148. Rasp says:

    I like a good rack as much as the next guy – without it my bike would keep falling off the roof of the car 😕

  149. Gonna need a post for tomorrow if anyone has time to write something, pretty please.

  150. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches
    Re the game. I’ve said no, but boy am I still trying. I am really up against it on a number of fronts at the moment, but so desperate to get to a game.

  151. Time for some of this….

  152. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’ve already turned down two freebies in Club for Wednesday, and that on top of seeing neither Dortmund or West Brom games (ok WBA was my choice) but things are not going well Arsenalistically speaking.

  153. Peaches

    Micky man is only saying that because he’s avoiding you, he doesn’t want to apologise in person 🙂

  154. MickyDidIt89 says:

    NB
    Bottom right hand drawer of my desk? Heaving with White Company Candles for just such occasions. My Wife ends up getting a grovelling one most weeks. Women have a Moth Gene, and I know it 🙂

    ie I’ve cracked that particular code 🙂

  155. Gööner In Exile says:

    Look I can’t remember GG being on the edge of the touch line for 90 minutes either, I remwbed singing Georgie give us a wave and this hand would emerge from the dugout and get a cheer.

    There were times against Dortmund he was sat down and I’m pretty sure there have been plenty of times where he has stood for the whole game to end up in a defeat.

    I’m just pointing out that it’s a fairly small thing and somehow it’s become the new thing to look out for. Two/three seasons back i remember some on here asking why Arsene doesn’t sit in the stands to get a better view of what’s going wrong, they’re some of the same people now asking why he isn’t on the touch line all game.

    If I come over as aggressive I apologise but some of the words used to describe players and the manager have been far from calm and measured have they? its why I’ve stepped away from commenting as much because I could have been far more aggressive in those moments than I have been this evening.

  156. arnie says:

    GiE. “its why I’ve stepped away from commenting as much”. eh? what the heck is going on? 😦

  157. arnie says:

    its only unlucky 13 down FFS. 😦 a long season to go! COYG. 🙂

  158. LB says:

    “Are We Witnessing Arsene’s Epiphany?”

    Too early to tell, I reckon, as we could be back where we were after Swansea if we lose on Wednesday but the signs are good, things were different on Saturday.

    Maybe the difference can be simply put down to having Giroud and Koscielny back but their return had a tangible effect for the good on the others. There seemed to be a sense of having the deserved right to win — call it confidence, call it arrogance either way that is how it should be when we are playing West Brom.

    We can try and spin the idea that Flamini held his position better than he has done in recent games but in my opinion it is still papering over the cracks.

    The idea, at the beginning of the season, was that between Arteta, Flamini and Diaby the holding midfield position would be covered. It made a great deal of sense to me then; but no longer, this is the next position in which big money should be spent.

    Will he? Won’t he? The only reason now for not pushing the boat out in the January transfer window is Chambers. It is so annoying on so many levels that Debuchy got injured, most selfishly for me is that we have not had an opportunity to see if Chambers can really play as the shield in front of the back four due to him being required at RB.

    Wenger obviously knows but I wish we could have had an opportunity for that same kind of sneak preview.

    Good post though Rasp.

  159. Eddie says:

    GiE – I have noticed your prolonged absences. Feck knows what is going on, but you are missed here by many. You have always been knowledgeable, passionate and forever positive. Many a times after a lost game I was looking forward to reading your calming words and somehow you had always managed to get a perspective on the worst defeats.

    Sometimes I post something contagious (well, not very PC) and wait for your reaction 🙂 And there is nothing, you are not even there 😦

    It is a crying shame that some of the best bloggers disappear because of different views and opinions. How is that possible???

  160. MickyDidIt89 says:

    LB

    So true about the Debuchy injury. Will we ever know whether Arsene would play him as a DM anyway, despite him saying he could play there, as since that statement he may have decided that CB is his role.
    Maybe we’ll discover the answer in Jan. and whether he goes for a DM or a CB.

  161. arnie says:

    Evonne. “Sometimes I post something contagious … and wait for your reaction” 😆

  162. arnie says:

    The Debuchy return may well be mid-Dec. 🙂

  163. What do you post Eddie…….. a flu germ?

  164. The Cockie Monster says:

    2-0 already to the U21`s….our captains Semi !.

    https://twitter.com/arsenal

  165. Cockie

    Would that be semi-colon or semi detached 🙂

  166. Eddie says:

    have I used a wrong long word? 🙂 I post something sexist or racist, or not very tolerant. Normally he would jump and kill me, I miss that

  167. chas says:

    Heat map of our full backs (Gibbs, Chambers) against Swansea on the left and (Monreal, Gibbs, Chambers) against WBA on the right.

    Of course this doesn’t tell you anything about timing, alternating or in actual fact, a darn thing. 🙂 (maybe a bit about average position)

  168. chas says:

    Flamini’s heat maps for Swansea on the left and WBA on the right do seem to point to a significant difference though.

  169. chas says:

    Haha, bloody heat map nonsense. 🙂

  170. Eddie says:

    greg – did you see the yoga pics this morning?

  171. chas says:

    Having looked at those full back maps again, maybe there is evidence that they had more influence in our own half of the field against WBA.

  172. chas says:

    No, I was warned off by my offensive photos, potential virus software.

    I am interested in any links to porn sites that GN5 can provide, though. 🙂

  173. Eddie

    You could post them again just for the benefit of Chas 🙂

  174. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Do you know, this is the first time I’ve ever seen something useful in a heat map. Twice!
    Kinda spoils it 🙂

  175. Gööner In Exile says:

    Chas it’s hard to tell with Arsenal, what end is ours?

  176. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Who’s left standing?
    Didit, Chas, Eddie and NB. This doesn’t bode well at all 😦

  177. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Exile
    That’s how I finally cracked it. There’s a miniscule red arrow below the pics

  178. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Look, during these difficult times, I don’t want to be rude, but did you see the fitness coach getting off the bench to celebrate in that vid.?

  179. Eddie says:

    nb – you must be fooking joking! Peaches has been ignoring me all day today 😦

  180. Chas
    That is an amazing goal

  181. chas says:

    Santi’s heat map against the Baggies

  182. arnie says:

    thank you, Chas. 🙂 for the heat maps, and for the vid. 🙂

    Evonne. Thank you for your admission of occasional transgressions bordering on sexism and racism. I found the attempts to take the moral high ground earlier today self-flagellating at the very least. 😛

  183. kelsey says:

    I am still here, just sitting back quietly.Still thinking about that photo and someone suggesting it was my hair.

    The real reason AW stands up is the ZIP .Even with a new coat he is still having trouble and in fact at one point in the game he put the coat on and left it unzipped.

    I think some of us are too sensitive on here, perhaps the better word is pasionate for many many reasons.

  184. MickyDidIt89 says:

    ha ha
    And on that happy note, it’s goodnight from him. Goodnight.
    See you in the morning 🙄

  185. chas says:

    GIE, we are kicking from right to left both times.

    If you click on the photo, you’ll see it better (on a PC, not sure about a phone.)

  186. arnie

    Self what? have you got your big words confused 🙂

  187. arnie says:

    Kelsey. “some of us are too sensitive on here”. Right, and on that note, good night all. 🙂

  188. Bye micky

    See you at the morning club for the Rackolism group meeting to discuss our addictions in a safe environment 🙂

  189. oh well

    I might as well go too

    bon soiree

  190. Gööner In Exile says:

    Eddie, difference of opinion is one thing……and I have always been happy to put my views up in the sure fire knowledge someone might disagree, and if they do well that’s why we are here. But when others take any comment that disagrees with their stance so personally it becomes very difficult to blog reasonably.

  191. arnie says:

    yes, NorthBank. hang my head in shame. 🙂

  192. chas says:

    Nearly as high as Danny!

  193. arnie says:

    the alarm is on. I will try to join in. 🙂

  194. Eddie says:

    arnie – what moral high ground?

  195. chas says:

    Rasp
    I think we can safely say that your post produced some interesting comments.

    ………well, certainly a shed load of them, anyway. 🙂

    Goodnight all. Have to go to bed early so that I’m fresh for bible-bashing in the morning. 🙂

  196. Gööner In Exile says:

    Reckon Flamsters map shows he had a more defined role, my guess is also more help as he wasn’t having to run around to chase balls and runners from all angles, a more telling map might be those of others on the pitch, but it’s difficult because I guess the heat is generated by touches, and it’s hard to know whether Santi and Rambo being closer to Flamster on Saturday actually led to Flamini having more important touches.

  197. The Cockie Monster says:

    U21`s are 3-0 up at half time !…….rumour has it that Wenger is there and is going to take over the coaching in the 2nd half !. First thing he`ll try and do is put Semi in the hole !…….right I`m off to William Hills to put money on a 3-3 draw !. hahaha

  198. Eddie says:

    arnie – no, I am neither sexist or racist, just bloody intolerant 🙂

  199. GunnerN5 says:

    I’m here and Chas even though I know (hope) you were joking I honestly don’t know any porn sites. But I know many unprintable jokes, at least unprintable on AA.

  200. GunnerN5 says:

    GIE, I run hot and cold on blogging. There are many times that I just cannot be bothered to give an opinion as I know the end result will be a circular discussion. But in the end I still find AA a very decent place to blog and I also find GunnersoreArse to be a very enjoyable, tolerant and welcoming site even though the pub is occasionally closed for day long siesta’s.

  201. GunnerN5 says:

    I arrive back and everybody leaves – typical!

    I’m off out again.

  202. Rasp says:

    LB @ 7:10, thank you, that’s a very fair assessment – no argument from me. I did ask the question in the post – “or was everything down to the players selected?”

    Thanks for getting back to me Gie. The point about AW spending time in the technical area wasn’t the main thrust of the post. I later said ……. “I’m not making a big deal out of the fact that AW has spent the last 2 games in his technical area. He used to do it regularly going back a while, but over recent years, less often. I definitely see it as a good thing. Nothing to do with the old fashioned idea of a manager bursting a blood vessel screaming confusing orders at his players, more as a demonstration of his grit and determination which hopefully will rub off on the players.”

    All in all I thought it was an upbeat post that conformed with the banner and simply asked the question – do you (anyone) think that AW has had a change of approach? Nothing disrespectful, no one lambasted. I find it hard to believe that even the most ardent AW supporter would like to see him tweak something once in a while.

  203. arnie says:

    Akpom hattrick. 4-0 to the young good guys. 🙂

  204. jnyc says:

    Amazing post and discussion today…. loved it. I picked us to finish second at least, but with ozil and debuchy injuries, along with the typical ones we expect, id say we were very unlucky, and now am predicting, not hoping , for 3rd.
    Best is yet to come.

  205. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all, Nice one Devil A
    Yep Arsene realised that he had to change tact, Leaving us open at the back with a Gung ho approach was bloody suicide, I have to say i was ready to string him up myself if he hadn’t bitten the bullet.

    All the teams are improving every season, to believe that we shouldn’t worry about any of them, and let them worry about us has been suicidal.

    Each team we play comes with different players and different systems and if you cannot adapt quick enough you will soon be 15 or 20 points behind the leaders, as i said suicidal tactics.

    I don’t agree with Banners, but i can understand how some peoples frustrations can overflow, Don’t think the worst is over though, because everything usually gets worse before it is sorted out. Doomer, maybe i am but even Arsene doesn’t change that Quick.

  206. Gööner In Exile says:

    I think if I was asked whether I want my Manager to behave like Martin O’Neill and Tony Pulis or Arsene Wenger and Pellegrini I’ll definitely take the later.

    That’s from a players perspective as well as a fans.

    Having played in grounds with 200 watchers (I wouldn’t go as far to call them fans) and under various managers with different styles, some shouty and some calm sit down types i’d definitely say their effect on the team during the 90 minutes was similar. Eventually you tune out from the shouty managers as you only catch 2 words in 10 and they were normally the ones Peaches Mum wouldn’t like to hear. How a manager thinks shouting when there are 30,000 plus in the ground is effective I’ll have no idea, I guess they know it doesn’t work either so they resort to crazy tactic sign language, I’d love to know for pro footballers how many actually know what their manages sign language mean.

    I listened to Football Weekly from last week and they were eulogising Pep, ok they didn’t win because of a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes, but they said the way they played with ten men was a new high in football. And it comes from hours on the training ground the ball in any given position and where Munich players should be, that’s why his teams including Barca can make sideways passes under pressure without looking up because they know their teammate will be there.

    At times recently Alexis has played similar blind passes, and lost possession I would guess we do very similar work on the training ground, because we play a lot of those kind of passes but unfortunately the teammates aren’t already there

  207. Rasp says:

    R.I.P. the NHS, I’m just entering my 3rd hour waiting in casualty, my daughter has a nasty burn and not even been assessed yet, zero communication from the staff 😦

  208. arnie says:

    very worried, Rasp. take care. 😦

  209. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    Hope your daughter isn’t badly scarred, and is ok.

  210. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Geology. That’s the answer.
    Perhaps there’s even a site out there somewhere with a daily rock 🙂

  211. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Plato thought Democracy was a waste of time, and so do I.

    Then again, that brainbox Thomas More wrote Utopia, Henry VIII got the shivers, and cut his head off.

  212. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh ok, I can try and skirt the important issues of the day, but you can’t avoid them forever.

    I still bloody hate The Beatles.

  213. chas says:

  214. chas says:

  215. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’m really struggling to write a post. Think tank empty.

    Anyone else out there penned something.

  216. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Superb advent calendar

  217. chas says:

    Peter and the test tube babies this Friday – haha.

    Beware bad language

  218. chas says:

  219. chas says:

    Couldn’t find any footage of Plato scoring.

  220. chas says:

  221. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    Is the only way to post a pic via twitter?

  222. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Good discussion yesterday.

    Micky. Mrs Raddy has sussed the fancy candles trick. Any other ideas for escape from the dog house??

  223. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Great stuff. Love the Xmas pic.

  224. chas says:

    Micky
    Just copy a link with .jpg at the end, paste it here and it’ll show.

  225. Big Raddy says:

    It works!!!

    Thanks chas.

  226. Shard says:

    I’ve been out for a few days and just read back through all of the posts and comments.

    Anyway.

    Apropos of nothing, here are two articles from elsewhere that I think people should read. As far as I’m concerned they show that Arsene was (and is) restricted by our finances, but also that we are making progress this season regardless of what it might seem at times. I will state again that I think Arsene Wenger, armed with more money than before, is the best manager we can have to bridge the gap.

    http://tomkinstimes.com/2014/11/why-liverpool-never-win-the-league/

    http://news.arseblog.com/2014/11/arsenals-offense-is-back-but-the-defense-is-slack-by-the-numbers/

  227. Shard says:

    PS

    I hope your daughter makes a quick and complete recovery Rasp.

  228. Good morning

    My name is Northbank and I’m a Rackoholic. This is my first time at Rackoholics Anonymous. It’s been 1 day 2 hours and 36 seconds since my last rackoftheday. I’m taking it one day at a time but it’s difficult already.

  229. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Big Wave season in Portugal

    This guy Cotton, from N Devon, narrowly failed to beat the 100ft odd world record last year on this wave

    http://www.aspworldtour.com/posts/84891/xxl-big-waves-nazare-photos-november-29

  230. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Can you give an update on your daughters health?

  231. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That’s good NB 🙂

    Morning Raddy and Morning Shard.

  232. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy
    Bloody tricky if the candles don’t work. You’ve met my missis and she’s hard as nails, and if the severity of the situation is beyond something smelly, it’s pretty much a lost cause.

    A last resort is to behave even more badly, and make her grateful for the original status quo. A high risk policy I know.

  233. chas says:

    Geology is the way forward

  234. Big Raddy says:

    Shard. The Liverpool link is excellent. Everyone should read it.

    Now for the other one ….

  235. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Holy Crapola Chas, that’s close to the mark. Seriously, we’re meant to be on our best behaviour, and remember there’s a rackoholic in the room. You’re making it very hard for him

  236. chas says:

    Mink Deville’s advocate

  237. chas says:

    I love a bit of sedimentary.

    Right, I’m off. TaRa.

  238. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. I believe when in a hopeless situation caused by my inability to understand the vagaries of the female mind the best course of action is that attack is the best form of defence.

    So your advice to behave even more badly is well met 😀

  239. arnie says:

    motning all.

    Mark? what mark? 😛 This motning, I give you the Arbroath cliffs.

    http://www.theshoppie.com/arbroath/forum/getfile.asp?file=20131124172323_gayletpotarbroath01.jpg&ref=492

  240. arnie says:

    aha, Chas gone salon. that boy has a good grooming. every morning. 😛

  241. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy

    It’s not such a silly position to adopt. They expect all that begging and blubbing nonsense, so when you turn the tables and blame them for absolutely everything including your appalling drunken, drug riddled behaviour in front of her mates, you tend to take the wind out of her sails.

    It has it’s risks, sure, but what was ever worth doing without risk?

  242. Is this possibly our new manager?

  243. arnie says:

    aha, things getting serious. ok, then, change of tack. some culture attack. 😛

  244. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bloody well hope not. Mr Me Me Me 🙂

  245. arnie says:

    I find the use of syrup and ketchup particularly illuminating.

  246. kelsey says:

    Morning all

    Sorry to hear about your daughter Rasp. Unfortunately my own daughter has been in and out of A & E several times this past year and if it’s a weekend it is nearly impossible to see a specialist consultant. On occasions she has waited over 6 hours,seen a doctor and then sent home with a referal letter to her NHS GP who invariably do nothing as they generally don’t like to give referals as the Practice would lose money.

    Burns is an entirely different issue, so kindly give us all an update.
    I think the service at NHS hospitals varies depending where you live.

  247. arnie says:

    likely not, NorthBank. More likely

    However, never a bad excuse for posting that pic. 😛

  248. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Have you tried this … it works for me.

    “You wanted to marry a passionate man not one of those chaps who wear a tie and work 9 to 5 etc etc. etc.

    You get the drift and I know you have the verbals to see it through 🙂

  249. Andreas Jonkers………. I say nothing 🙂

  250. Raddy

    But could micky have the verbals to say that as he walks out of the house in his tie going to his 9 to 5 job 🙂

  251. Rasp says:

    Morning all, thanks for the kind words. My daughter is home safe and sound and has a proper dressing, to keep the burn clean from infection.

    I’ve spent days waiting at casualty with my kids over the years, my 3 1/2 hour episode last night sounds tame compared to Kelsey’s experiences.

    There are always plenty if staff walking back and forth but a shortage of those who actually treat patients – it just looks like there is a lack of organisation and no attempt to communicate with those who are waiting and in pain.

    Worst of all are the witches at reception. There are 3 of them. It is not possible to detect that they are actually doing anything. They don’t look up from behind their glass screen but must be aware you are waiting.

    Eventually they acknowledge your presence by saying “we’ll be with you in a minute” but still don’t look up and continue to chat amongst themselves. Eventually they take your particulars and condemn you to an area of uncomfortable seating alongside numerous other victims all of whom look bewildered and resigned to their fate. 😦

    Even so, I support the NHS 🙂 We are lucky to have it although I am not sure the only answer is throwing money at it, the management seems to be very poor. It’s not only the patients that look unhappy, most of the staff also look to be in despair.

  252. arnie says:

    Raddy, this reminds me of tough times in the past. hmmm.

  253. Good to hear that she is ok Rasp… 🙂

  254. Eddie says:

    Raddy and Micky – you know what works in such situations – nothing. You might be forgiven eventually, but it will not be forgotten – ever. You will be reminded of your shenanigans periodically till you die. Serves you right

  255. Big Raddy says:

    NB. Of all the people I have met Didit is the least likely to fit that description

  256. arnie says:

    Thanks, Rasp, plenty of nightmare stories all round. 😦 I have had to go private a couple of times, including the recent one concerning Mrs.

    But one incident was symptomatic. Around midnight, I was trying to wash some stuff in the kitchen. There was a sharp knife in the sink that I had forgotten about. Big cut serious bleeding, started feeling dizzy, very scared, was alone as well, just took the car and rushed off to A&E.

    Was kept waiting 4 hrs, by which time the bleeding had almost stopped, but still there was a gaping wound. The doctor said 2 things; 1) why did you come to A&E? to waste our time and your energy? 2) would it not have been better to stay at home rather than take the risk of driving 8 miles when you were feeling dizzy?

    Seriously, I have never felt so down and rejected ever again in my life. 😦

  257. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. We know but being simple men we live in hope 😦

  258. Eddie says:

    Well done NB! Here is a man who knows how to melt a frozen heart 🙂 A small fluffy animal is always appreciated.

    Or self mutilation. My almost ex would always mysteriously hurt himself so I would feel sorry for him

  259. ha ha Raddy

    I’m sure, I couldn’t imagine a surfer in a tie 🙂

  260. Eddie says:

    Raddy – just one more tip for you – she is suffering too. Women HAVE to talk, so giving you a silent treatment is killing her too 🙂

  261. The health system is much better in France. I was doing some gardening a few years back, cutting a prickly hedge and a branch sprung back and caught me in the eye. It was bloody painful. But it was a Sunday. So I looked up a doctor who was available on a Sunday and phoned. He said come over immediately. He examined my eye and phoned a specialist a few miles away. They said they could see me straight away. When I got to the eye specialist clinic, I discovered that the doctor had come from home expressly to see me. The clinic was actually closed. On examination it was discovered that I had a scratch on my eyeball.

    But what service.

  262. Eddie says:

    see, men, I dispair. A scratch on the eye and he causes havoc in the whole country!! I had a deep scratch in the eye once. used drops, suffered silently and it heeled itself. |Every time I have my eyes checked they say ‘that’s a big scar’. See, I am a hero 🙂 Nothing a doctor can do for a scratch on the eye.

  263. Eddie

    I never said I wasn’t a wimp 🙂

  264. Bloody blimey

    Arnie is at it again with the sitar music 🙂 see what happens when there’s no RotD

  265. I got a tree seed stuck in my eye once, now that was really painful, it ripped a bit off my cornea and I had to wear no mascara for three months while it grew back. The no mascara was probably more painful for everyone else 😉

  266. arnie says:

    NorthBank. beautiful contemplative Bhairavi. peaceful bliss. early morning. 🙂

  267. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The answer lies somewhere between Raddy’s Attack Mode and Eddie’s Husband’s Fake Illness

  268. One of the good things about the French health system, if you are in hospital, they serve a glass of wine with your lunch and evening meal 🙂 I did ask for one with breakfast but they were not amused.

    I suffered a hernia a couple of years back, saw the local doctor, an appointment at the local clinic two days later and within a week the operation had been done. My brother had to wait 12 months for the same operation in the UK.

  269. Eddie says:

    what a great morning here 🙂 i wish I could stay….

    nb – I am desperately trying not to like you 🙂

    Fawlty Towers is one of my all times favourites

  270. arnie says:

    Micky. 🙂

  271. Eddie

    I’m sure at some stage I will give you a reason 🙂 I’m only a man after all

  272. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “I’m only a man after all”…oh god, hurl

    Stop dissing us chaps in a pathetic attempt to suck up to Eddie. I love Eddie as much as the next bloke, but crikey 🙂

  273. micky

    I was once the all time bastard with women, you know, the bad boy image, which the girls fall for all the time. But as I’ve aged I’ve had to change my technique to get the rewards. Sorry if you feel that it puts you in a bad light as another chap! 🙂

  274. arnie says:

    The Evonne-NorthBank duet! 😛

  275. MickyDidIt89 says:

    NB
    Not sure I’ve ever experienced “being in a good light”

  276. arnie says:

    Micky. Post ready? 😛

  277. Eddie, this will contribute to you disliking me: I love the Pavlov dog theory ha ha

  278. ha ha Arnie

    Is Eddie the one with the long hair, beard and bigger bongos 🙂

  279. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Is there anyone out there at AA Towers?
    ie Is there a post coming, and if not, is there someone about if I bother?

  280. kelsey says:

    NB

    The modern day Erroll Flynn, without the cash 🙂

  281. BangerBash says:

    Really you think that 2 wins over Mediocre sides AW has seen the light?

    Lulled into a false sense of security again by AW.

    a fresh approach is what’s required.

    Arsenal are 1 of the biggest and classiest clubs in the world, attracting a top manager should not be issue……

  282. Kelsey 🙂

    Money isn’t everything………. women do like the creative artistic type, even though skint. But I read a book about Erroll Flynn year back and I remember reading that he had quite a big physical attraction as well 🙂

  283. kelsey says:

    NB

    actually he died on the job, and that’s a fact 🙂

  284. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Quick conversation starter sent

  285. Kels

    Couldn’t think of a better way to go 🙂

  286. We have a New Post ………………….

  287. game safari says:

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    don’t notice this. You must continue your writing.
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