Could This Be Mertesacker’s Last Season As First Choice Centreback?

I like Per. He’s a great guy. He always leads the players around the pitch to applaud the supporters after games.

I never bought into the ‘he’s too slow’ argument because his reading of the game and his very effective partnership with Koscielny where they complimented one another’s play was really good for the first couple of seasons.

But lately (and without Koscielny by his side) he has worried me. He has been outshone by rookie stand-in CB’s in the shape of Monreal and Debuchy. He has not shown the on-pitch leadership I would expect from a player of his experience. A player of his stature should have been captain, but Arsene chose Arteta over an International footballer and world cup winner – why?

Chambers has come on the scene and everyone is tipping him as a future CB. But he’s only 19 and we have seen errors and too many cards creep into his game recently. That’s only to be expected from a young player. I know he is a star of the future but I don’t think he is ready to be a first choice CB at a club like Arsenal yet.

So what do you think. Can Mertesacker carry on as a first choice CB? Should Chambers replace him? … or should we be looking to recruit a top class CB in the summer?

For me it’s thanks but TTFN BFG.

A plea to Arsene … if you do buy another CB, please can he not be so nice ….. a mean b%$&^£d is what we need 😕

Rasp

 

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73 Responses to Could This Be Mertesacker’s Last Season As First Choice Centreback?

  1. wally says:

    Of course. There are no other choices are there. We could play Monreal or a junior.
    They’re all interchangeable so perhaps we could play Sanchez as our new cb. 😉

  2. arnie says:

    Nice one, Rasp. 🙂

    Well, we do not have a choice, do we? Chambers should be ready for the season after. What do we do next season. Get an ageing CB to ease Chambo in?

    So, BFG has to stay first choice next year with Chambo as the understudy. Not perfect, but I see no other option. 🙂

  3. Rasp says:

    Hi Arnie, we do have a choice. We don’t know that Koscielny is going to stay at the Arsenal – I have a hunch he could leave in the summer, he doesn’t look a happy bunny and Barca have been sniffing round him.

    Hummels (or similar) is an option and has all the requirements of a modern CB – mobile and quick as well as strong and intelligent. Chambers can be first choice in some games as a part of squad rotation as well as deputising at RB as far as I’m concerned, he’ll get plenty of opportunities ….. don’t forget this is Arsenal, the specialists in injuries 😦

  4. Big Raddy says:

    We will almost certainly buy a CB, so given Koscielny is first choice the answer has to be No.

    I like the big galloop though

  5. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. We haven’t seen Kos so why do you assume he is unhappy?

    ATM we are paying his considerable wages with the hope he will return in Jan. IMO he owes us both loyalty and a few million quid

  6. Rasp says:

    He said a few things in the summer Raddy that suggested he was open to a move. Arsene has been playing him knowing that he has an injury that is not going away – some players don’t like that kind of thing.

  7. Rasp says:

    The things kozzer said were similar to BSR’s outpourings. I was right about Song and I think kozzer could be of a similar mindset

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/10099697/Laurent-Koscielny-warns-he-could-leave-if-Arsenal-fail-to-make-big-buys-this-summer.html

  8. Rasp says:

    Cesc’s ‘hamstring injury’ kept him out of the side quite a bit in the time he was hoping to move on … could it be the same for kozzer’s Achilles?

  9. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all,
    There is always a choice, Transfer window coming up, Mertsacker has always been a weak link, No matter how we build Merts up he is still too slow, too clumsy, and a player who has got away with it so far from using experience.

    Mertsacker has never been a first choice for me, and in my mind now that Koshielney is injured, we now agree, and doubt TBFG

    We have a few players who stand in, but should only be used in emergencies, Arteta when he plays we say he is not good enough and when he’s injured we say we miss him, Arteta has been a great professional but it is time for replacement, Flamoni and Rosiski the same.

    Diaby why do we bother. If Arsenal want to progress, the transfer window is almost upon us, if we wait till the summer it is a cop out. Positions need improving and they need it now, if this widow goes past without addressing our weaknesses, a new leader is needed.

  10. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well played Rasp, thank you.

    Yes it’s time for an upgrade, but I will always like Per. He’s always been the one to lead the players on a lap to thank the fans no matter what the performance or result. Top Man. He’s also German, which means he’s loyal, and that brings me nicely onto your thoughts about Kos, who’s French…… 🙂

  11. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky, yes I mentioned his acknowledgement of the fans, and like you and Raddy, I really like him. I felt quite bad writing the post.

    There was a report that he’d said he found it hard to motivate himself after the WC (could just be press bollix) but whichever way you look at it, we can all see that his career has peaked.

  12. Rasp says:

    I remember being shocked when Manu paid £26m to Wham for Ferdinand. Cb’s just didn’t go for that kind of money. But what a shrewd buy that was … he gave them many years of excellent service. Hummels will be coveted by all the biggest clubs. I expect him to be the most expensive CB ever, if he chooses to move. It would be some statement if Arsenal paid £40m for a top CB.

  13. Big Raddy says:

    There are plenty of decent CB’s around. Hummels would be great but not at 40m. I would rather Vertonghen at @12m and spend the rest on a humungous, young DM.

    Perhaps we should have re-signed Kolo in summer

    As to him Kos asking for quality signings – unlike Cesc and BSR, he got them

  14. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Not so good for the Bank Statement though Rasp, anyway, defenders aren’t worth that much 🙂

    You’re a musician, so think of a Band. Lead Singer worth top dollar. Then lead guitarist, then bass and finally the drummer, who should sit at the back and shut up.

    Same for a football team.

    Strikers and wingers 50M
    AM’s 30M
    DM’s 20M
    Defenders whatever’s left 🙂

  15. Rasp says:

    I have inside info on Vertonghen Raddy and he is not a team player. He will leave the totts in the summer but would not be good for our dressing room.

    Do you think it is right that any player should tell the club who it should recruit. The ‘buy better players’ ploy used by BSR was just a means of justifying/explaining why he had already decided he wanted to go, not because he was thinking of the greater good of the Arsenal.

    I do think Hummels would be worth every penny of £40m

  16. Rasp says:

    Obviously we wouldn’t pay £40m unless that was the price, we’d try to get him at the best price possible. I’m just making the point that we should value a top CB as it could make a huge difference to our results.

  17. James says:

    It should be, but almost certainly won’t be. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Koscielny decided to leave in the summer, and I couldn’t blame him, unfortunately. I’m just surprised it’s an achilles injury he has, as his back must be in terrible shape with how much he’s carried our defence in recent seasons. We’ll most likely add a Tyrone Mings type who’ll make up the numbers but won’t improve our first team. We desperately need a Varane or Godin, even if it costs £30m+.

    Mertesacker has never been a good enough defender to be a starter for a team with any aspirations of winning titles. He looks comfortable and composed when under no pressure, but has terrible leadership and mentality given his experience, when put under any pressure. Showing respect to the fans and lecturing Ozil doesn’t change the fact he has no leadership qualities when the going gets tough.

    He can’t outrun anyone, and loses aerial battles far too frequently for a guy that’s 6 ft 6. Likeable, loyal guy and a decent enough squad member, but will always be a weak link as a starter. He should be 3rd/4th choice at best, and only if our other backup is a capable centre back, not a rookie like Calum Chambers.

  18. Rasp says:

    “On 22 July 2002, Ferdinand joined fellow Premier League side Manchester United on a five-year deal to become the most expensive British footballer in history at the time and the world’s most expensive defender for a second time” …… he paid them back many times. We should value defenders!

  19. poigmothoin says:

    Off topic, but an interesting article in the Telegraph about injuries.
    A link I suppose would be appropriate, but it’s not going to happen unless you want the whole article. 🙂

  20. arnie says:

    If Kos goes, we have to buy. I suppose either way BFG will probably retire in Arsenal. The question is, whether we should buy someone aged 24 or someone aged 28, or indeed another 20 year old.

    Of course, everyone would say 24 and already established. The question then is, where can we find such a defender? 🙂

  21. JM says:

    The transfer market for premium CBs has disgustingly inflated since “Sideshow Bob” went over to PSG for £50m.

    S.Ramos, V.Kompany, M.Hummels, J.Boateng, G.Piqué and others alike easily fetches >£50m, especially in a bidding war.

    Possibly some other defender who is more durable (not injury prone) to last the distance of the PL season, not too much minus in quality and around mid-20s (23 to 27 years old), with enough match experience ready to take over from the seniors in future and guide the younger prospects.

    With P.Mertesacker playing, our team has to negotiate cautiously between playing a deep defence (compact at the back, sacrificing attack) and a high line (offensive style, vulnerable to counter). Making wrong choices can be disastrous.

  22. Rasp says:

    poig, you can post a link by copying and pasting the address (http:// etc) at the top of the screen.

  23. Rasp says:

    I see we’ve just been linked with Winston Reid. He boasts Maori ancestry …. maybe we could perform the Haka before games 😆

  24. poigmothoin says:

    I was looking at their sharing offerings and was goosed, but that worked.

  25. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheers Rasp

    I know what you mean Rasp. To be honest ime a bit worried about Per. Has he got family problems or is something else? Has any one seen him entering a chemist?.

    I dont think hes past it, looks like a mental thing to me. He cant exactly lose pace can he? Bloody hell, if he goes any slower we will all end up back in 1970. I cant go through such trauma again, been forced to wear flares by your mum is one thing, but not up to 1997.

    I have a feeling your right about Kos. Not many players turn down Barca and he is there kind of defender. We have given him a bumper pay rise so perhaps he will stay, but the lure of attractive Catalonian women and witnessing the glittering Barcelona career of his friend Song, may prove to much.

  26. Rasp says:

    😆 Terry, priceless as always

  27. Vintage Gooner says:

    Very good post albeit I found it brimming for me with melancholy. I could not vote on a plain yes or no and indeed I am pleased that that you did not soften the negativity by offering ‘probably not’ for which I would have voted.

    On Per himself he always has been slow for which he has compensated by experience and thinking his game ahead. In addition over time he and Kos have learnt to work with each other so that Kos’ speed also compensates. His qualities in loyalty and leadership are in my view outstanding but when he is struggling then the latter becomes acutely more difficult. You can’t bawl other people out for not covering your own mistakes!

    But over time Per’s problems are bound to get worse and I think his decision to retire from International football reflected this truth. Arteta similarly is also approaching the point where his head will no longer sufficiently compensate for his failing pace.

    I think Arsene is fully aware of this but hoped desperately to get at least one more season out of both players. He certainly will want to replace both with similar ball players and not just the giant enforcers some call for. It should be appreciated just how much Arsenal rely on the initial foundations to their game both players provide with intelligent accurate passing from the back.

    Arsene also had purchased 5/6 players and is on record that you cannot effectively introduce as many into the team at once. Further the pre-season was adversely affected for Arsenal by the world cup and which Per has clearly stated that he found difficulties in getting back to his bread and butter world.

    But no luck with injuries and our problems grow!

  28. G’day all,

    Good question Rasp, I very quickly voted no.

    I’ve been thinking for a while that we need to buy not one centre-back but two.

    Using Monreal and Debuchy as stand-ins is a joke. Koscielny looks to me like he is going the way of Vermaelen, is it injuries? or just burn-out? Either way he just doesn’t look reliable any longer.

    We can’t really expect Merts to play every game for another season, I think he must be considering calling it a day, he’s got his World Cup medal and has had a couple of seasons on very good (Arsenal) money.

    Regardless of next season, we simply must buy a ready made, top quality centre-back in January, Koscielny can then be assessed during the second half of the season while the new guy settles in and Chambers gets a bit more experience.

    During the summer some hard choices must be made, players with long term injuries need to be moved out, Diaby and Rosicky for sure maybe Sanogo and if that includes Wilshire and Walcott, so be it.

    Signing some quality defenders will be a significant part of the plan but one other appointment will be absolutely vital, that of a defensive coach.

  29. I read the Telegraph item mentioned by Poig, It consists of a lot of stats and very little else, it certainly doesn’t offer any solutions.

    It looks just what it is, a fill-in for a slow news day.

  30. Big Raddy says:

    NG. I don’t see that there are any solutions. Most of the injures are impact injuries with only Arteta, Kos and Ramsey out with muscle problems.

    If our poll is anything to go by BFG has cause for concern

  31. stevepalmer1 says:

    Pretty obvious that Wenger has looked at the injury stats, and seen how many intentional fouls we get, without any Protection and realised that the longer a player stays in possession of the ball, the more likely he is to attract a tackle.

    Arsene would of course addressed this information, as he knows how pointless it would be to ask the FA for player protection.

    I have myself noticed how the Arsenal players do seem to pass quicker, which does seem to flummox the opposing players. Opposing teams have realised that, and are now adapting by being closer to the man they are marking, and race in as soon as a ball has been passed.

    Obviously the Arsenal players have been surprised, so compensate by passing quicker, but all that has done is result in the ball being given away.

    Arsenal are in a catch 22 situation, hold onto the ball a second longer and take a hit or end up giving it away. In contrast to this Arsenal have speeded up and tried to do the same, but have to many slow players to be successful, so end up like headless chickens.

    Players like Ramsey Wilshere Cazorla and Chamberlain who like to run at defences are getting caught and getting injured. Arsenals Player size comes into it, as many of our players are easily out muscled and knocked to the ground.

    Solutions to this problem are bigger stronger faster players who after collision would be able to inflict damage to the other player, but as we know Arsenal do not do physical.

    In a one to one Mertsacker was rolled over by Stirling one of the smallest players Liverpool have But Stirling showed that speed and guile won over the slow Mertsacker and left him in his wake.

    This is where a Tactical manager who would look at the opposing teams players and have a strategy to deal with them, obviously Wenger does not do his home work.

  32. Big Raddy says:

    Steve. I think that is unfair. AW has bought pace in defence to assist BFG. Both Kos and Chambers are fleet of foot.

    I cannot recall Sterling causing us any real problems.

    Regarding the injuries. Why don’t other clubs get similar injuries? they have players who run at defences. It can’t just be a question of size. Alexis is small, so is Cesc, Silva, Hazard, Mata, etc etc

  33. The Cockie Monster says:

    Interesting that Daily Telegraph piece !
    Just a couple of snippets !.

    “As well as the absolute injury numbers, Dinnery has also broken down his research to separate muscular injuries from the rest. There is a belief in the sports medicine profession that muscular, or what are termed soft-tissue injuries, are almost always preventable.

    It is why Wenger has been so particularly perturbed by the frequent absence this season of both Ramsey and Arteta to muscle problems. Impact-related ailments, of the sort suffered by Giroud and Wilshere, are more freakish and less controllable. Arsenal, though, have also had the most muscular injuries in the Premier League so far this season at 14. The comparative figures dating back over the seven previous seasons to 2007-8 also show that only Manchester United have had more.
    Some voices close to Arsenal have argued that fitness coach Tony Colbert and assistant Boro Primorac can be too willing to encourage Wenger to push the players.”

    I know the club are looking at this seriously, but one thing they cant see in front of their eyes is the manager in charge !. Arsenal NHS is a joke !. Will a change of management be a change in fortune not only on the pitch but off of it on Emergency Ward London Colney ? .
    My opinion is yes !.

  34. GunnerN5 says:

    For whatever reason our injuries always seem to be against our best players and keep them out for long periods. I have no idea of the causality other than to think our team may be overly muscular and therefore more susceptible to muscle injuries. However even with a full team I doubt that we have the credentials to snap up a major trophy – FA Cup maybe?

    The transfer window opens up in 8 days and AW has 31 days to strengthen the squad – but as long as we run around like blue arse fly’s we will get nowhere. A change in our tactics is essential or we risk ending up in Spurs territory – I hope that I’m wrong and that I haven’t joined the doomer ranks – but I just have an uneasy feeling. Or maybe I’ve been reading too many Arsenal Blogs and I’ve become unwittingly groomed.

  35. VCC says:

    TCM. 6:40…..he overplays his staff all the time. To the point of injury.

    It’s not a case of having no-one to use. Take the case of Podolski. He has on numerous occasions, had the opportunity to play him and give some one a rest, but stubbornly/?, refuses to opt for this. WHY?

  36. The Cockie Monster says:

    Hi Vic`s ! 😀

    Both Chavs and Soton have rotated less than us and are above us !.
    The ironic thing is that we have rotated through the necessity of having to do so because of injuries and had we no injuries and played a full strength team every week, we might well be in a higher position for not rotating !. Is that a paradox ?……where`s Redders when you need him !. hahaha

    “It has been noticeable this season that Chelsea and Southampton have largely avoided injuries and relied heavily on a smaller core of players. There are many conflicting theories. Research by one Premier League club – who have an excellent injury record – has concluded that the “over-playing” theory is largely a myth and that, with the right recovery, physical limits are more often reduced by mentality.”

    So it`s quite possibly more down to Wengers training methods than the lack of rotation and this is why I say maybe the board cant see the wood for the trees !…..seeing as Arsenal are akin to the NHS !……if the NHS was being run as bad on performances, then I`m sure there would be a management change !.

  37. The Cockie Monster says:

    Make of this what you will !……but if you have no experienced tactical leaders, then who can the lambs to the slaughter learn from ?.

    http://sabotagetimes.com/reportage/revealing-quote-from-arsenal-legend-questions-wengers-ability/

  38. The Cockie Monster says:

    Santa may be a bit late with the deliveries !.

  39. Gööner In Exile says:

    For those talking about overplaying please please please look at Chelsea for a second or two. These are their starters in PL

    Hazard 17
    Ivanovic 17
    Terry 17
    Cahill 17
    Fabregas 16
    Matic 16
    Courtois 16
    Oscar 14
    Azpuliceta 14
    Costa 14
    Willian 12

    So should assume that’s their 11 best players all playing over 10 games all appearing in over 3 games in CL. What about us?

    BFG 16
    Sanchez 15
    Szczesny 14
    Gibbs 13
    Flamini 13
    Cazorla 13
    Chambers 13
    Welbeck 13
    Ox 12
    Ramsey 11
    Monreal 10

    How many of them would be in your first choice team? Why do Arsenal players need rotating but Chavs don’t?

    Four others of our squad have started more than 5. Chavs? 0 not one other player has started more than 5 games. What’s that bring? Consistency.

    Has Sanchez got injured? No….why not? Because he looks after himself, when Theo was asked what the secret of Alexis was……his answer may surprise some people “no rest days” according to Theo Alexis isn’t interested in days off. Took two big blows against Toon, didn’t even have physio on.

    Now back to BFG, he had a fairly settled back 4 around him last year, apart from Bacarys absences he mainly played with Kozzer, Gibbs and Bacarys and Szczesny behind him.

    In front of him he had a fairly settled relationship with Arteta.

    Then as for the rest of the team yes it changed but it doesn’t really impact his role.

    Pace isn’t an issue, in a straight foot race is anyone backing Terry against the likes of Sterling? Reading the game is as important, BFG reads the game well, what he hasn’t got at the moment is any understanding with what the players around him are going to do or where they are going to run.

    A lot of people have looked at him for the goal against Liverpool, how many have looked at Givbs and asked why the f*** were you not busting a gut to get back on the post, if he had I would have backed him to clear it, he switched off.

  40. neamman says:

    I voted yes. I think we solve the DM issue, and it could be tactics as much as personnel, we take a lot of p[ressure off our defence.

  41. Gööner In Exile says:

    Does the following sum up the FA or what:

    Abonglahor’s red card overturned

    Aston Villa charged with failing to “ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion” following the incident.

    Erm surely the behaviour wouldn’t have happened if Mason had not sent off Abonglahor in the first place.

  42. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Great stuff.

    neamman. I agree and also voted Yes.

    GN5. Please stop reading other blogs. We have enough doomers in the ranks 🙂

  43. chas says:

  44. chas says:

  45. chas says:

  46. Big Raddy says:

    I got up at sparrow’s fart full of ideas to write the best and funniest football post on the internet this year (or ever for that matter),

    Had a quick look at what is in the loading bay and find we have posts aplenty.

    As they say over here For Helvede

  47. chas says:

    I vote for the funniest football post of the year.

  48. Rasp says:

    There’s always room for more Raddy 🙂 one of the posts has missed its deadline

  49. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cockie
    That was a blinding comment about Chavs and Southampton not rotating and being above us at 8:16

    Exile added some numbers further down.

    Right, more important things to discuss than football.

  50. VCC says:

    Big Raddy…..go for the funniest post. Cheer us all up. 🙂

  51. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp

    How can a post have missed it’s deadline in the last few days when nothing has happened? 🙂

    Oh bollocks, the big telly on offer at John Lewis has gone hasn’t it?

  52. Big Raddy says:

    Nope. Not in the mood now. All humour evaporated thanks to Mrs Raddy bad mood caused (she says) by the extensive work list I have given her to prepare for tonight’s celebration.

    Women ……

  53. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh Raddy, you didn’t go and give your woman equal rights did you?

    Hippies have so much to answer for 🙂

  54. Big Raddy says:

    Rex Harrison has it right. Great lyrics…

  55. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. You know better than that!!

  56. ha ha Raddy

    If a woman were more like a man………. it would be Transplant! Would you want that living with you?

  57. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah Raddy, I think I see where you went wrong this morning. You showed that vid to Mrs R didn’t you?

  58. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all,
    People wonder why we concede goals at set pieces, they cannot understand how a team that is leading 3.0 can concede the same amount of goals in what some times seems like seconds.

    Rabbits in the headlight syndrome, is what we have at Arsenal. Have you ever driven down a dark country road with Headlights on, only to see a Rabbit running away from the light, many’s the time where it happens so quick, before you know it you feel the bump under the wheel .

    Well we have the same thing at Arsenal, only we call it Zonal Marking. Imagine setting up for set plays, a corner perhaps, and our defenders are waiting for the other side to cross, where do they stand.

    Now of course that is a loaded question, because how do they know where the ball is going. So what would you do if you knew there was a threat from a tall centre forward, would you hold your ground or would you cover the tall centre forward, always remembering he is a tall player.

    The Rabbit of course, would try and run away from the headlights, as he knows where there is light there is Danger, well he would if he is lucky enough to have survived before hand.

    Also imagine 3 players in front of the defensive line ready to run as soon as the kick taker has made his signal of short or long, those oncoming players know where that ball is going before its been kicked, but the defensive players do not know what the signals mean so stay their ground.

    Zonal Marking is responsible for many goals conceded, like headlights responsible for mown down Rabbits..If that Rabbit knew to keep his head down until the light had passed many Rabbits would survive road kill , but sadly Rabbits don’t learn to good. and often end up in the kerbside.

    Man to man Marking has been around a long long time, the idea was that you are on hand when Danger threatens, Many’s the time a second marker is employed just in case he does slip through, but with Zonal he can run very much like the Rabbit, anywhere he wants.

    The Rabbit gets the blunt end of the stick, but with better awareness he could live a lot longer, with good marking we could concede less. Where’s the point of a Tall centre forward on one side of goal, and your tall defender marking an empty space on the other side. Is it the floodlight that blinds players, or are they just stuck in the beam..

  59. Why it’s not good to have more than one Santa

  60. MickyDidIt89 says:

  61. Big Raddy says:

    Steve. That doesn’t explain why we had the second best defensive record in the PL last season despite the hammering at Chavs, MC and L’pool.

    I hate to keep repeating the same old same old …. injuries which cause a lack of coherence. How can a defence become a “unit” when they hardly play together?

  62. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy
    It’s the best drunk Santa vid.
    Love his excuse to the pig “it’s my time of the year” 🙂

  63. Big Raddy says:

    Stuff to do, people to see

  64. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    Remember The Dickies?

  65. stevepalmer1 says:

    Raddy, i did see your comment from yesterday about how we brought in a bit of pace to our defence. A fair comment i thought,

    But when i thought about it, i find that we let our experienced CB leave and we buy a Kid who was never intended to play straight away. Chambers as you say has a bit more pace, but in all honesty lacked any experience for the positions he has been asked to play, not his fault as he has done as good as he could.

    When Mr Wenger stated that we will only buy players who are better, i naturally expected a player with experience. Debuchey was one such player, Sagna Leaving and Replacement Debuchey, Vermaelen Leaving and a raw Kid or Monreal Neither are captain material at present.

    Pace is well and good, but Experience is also important, you may get away with a new winger but Centre back and full back is a bit different.

    Of course for the future i agree possible great signings but for the here and now, experienced fast and skilful players please.

  66. Just been sorting out the music for a party tomorrow and came across this classic. Sums up my feelings about the Arsenal:

  67. Gööner In Exile says:

    Steve….our experienced centre back that left has managed 0 minutes of first team football at Barca.

    And I don’t think we can forget one of the main corner defending ploys is to stick big Ollie on the near post, I wonder whether he being off for the goal had an effect, as they showed on Sky Skrtel asked for a flatter delivery, it would not have been so appealing or as easy if there was a 6ft 2 man patrolling the near post. That’s also why Gibbs was off the post.

    Zonal marking and man to man marking are about equal when it comes to goals conceded from set plays. Stats have proven as much, the Invincibles used zonal, conceding 17 goals, it’s about the personnel.

    People have had a pop at BFG for ducking, what if he ducked because Chambers gave him a shout? Would that make sense?

  68. Morning all

    We have a New Post …….

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