Mesut, Santi, Sanchez. You sort it out

At one end of the scale you have a Manager like ‘Arry. He likes to change eleven players from one game to the next, and at the other end, you have Maureen, who will pretty much pick the same eleven, and play them in the same order.

At Arsenal, we really don’t know as Arsene has not had the luxury of choice this season due to injuries, but many of us armchair experts like nothing more than playing Manager, and I am the leader of this particular gang. I do “Best XI’s” all the time, and with our injury list seemingly easing, this is becoming increasingly difficult, and nowhere more challenging than the No10 role.

Now before all the real experts leap up and down saying we don’t play with one, and that we have stealth this and false that, it’s my post and my rules, so let’s not get bogged down with facts and details, ok.

So, for the sake of today’s little chit chat, I’m making some assumptions. Staggeringly, I’m opting for a Goalkeeper as well as four defenders. Also, in front of that lot, two defensivey types, and if you want to refer to one of them as a box-to-boxer, then rock on if that’s your bag.

Finally, we will play with at least one of Ollie and Danny, so that leaves, at best, three vacancies.

So, we need someone to orchestrate. Another thing I’ve factored into my thinking, is that we simply aren’t creating enough chances when we dominate possession, so we need the eye-of-the-needle-threading-passers very badly. Best of these are Mesut, Santi and Sanchez.

Over to you. One, two or all of them, and where?

Written by MickyDidIt89


190 Responses to Mesut, Santi, Sanchez. You sort it out

  1. Big Raddy says:

    Absolutely no idea.

    If I knew I could earn €6m a year

  2. arnie says:

    Nice one, Micky. 🙂

    No idea, if I had to choose I would be shitting in my pants. but since this is just a game, here goes.

    Two for me, one relatively fixed the other roaming. For the fixed one Mesut is our best option, and Santi a good buffer. For the roaming no 10, Alexis first best and Santi in rotation.

    But I suppose this is not good enough. So let us splash some money in January, big money, and get someone new. Anyone will do, just has to be expensive. Not that we need another one, but just to confuse people and show fans that we are ready to spend big money. 😛

  3. Reagon says:

    Santi Ozil Walcott

  4. steven unwin says:

    where is THEO going to fit in?

  5. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Your choice. I’d play him every time, hence the selection headache.

    I like the look of that, but we’ve seen what happens when Santi is stationed anywhere but central, he drifts into the middle denying us a left sided outlet

    Grow up and play the game.

    One fixed and the other roaming? This presents a massive problem for me as we end up too clogged in the middle and end up lacking width like the Santi situation above.

    The Santi Mesut Sanchez trio behind say Danny, would end up congested.

  6. ah shit…. tactical fantasy manager bollix 🙂

  7. Giroud up the middle, Ozil filling the hole, Santi, Welbz and Theo in a threesome from behind and Ramsey in the box 🙂

  8. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You’re taking the piss now NB 🙂

    I’m trying, for once in my life, to be serious and you stick six footballers into three slots. Bloody menace is what you are to the dedicated tactical bollocksers of this world 🙂

  9. ‘morning all, well done Micky, something for the tactical bollix squad to get their dentures into.

    So long as the back seven is as Micky sets it out, and they stick to their jobs, we can afford to play Ozil as the number 10 between Alexis and Cazorla with Giroud, when the p**t isn’t suspended, up front.

    With the present available players (injuries/suspensions) the best line-up I can see is:-







  10. Marcus says:

    My formation would be:

    szsczesny, Debuchy, Per, Kos, Gibbs, *A new DM*, Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez, Walcott & finally Giroud.

    That said, Ramsey, Per, Ozil, Theo, Giroud & Sanchez would need to be rotated frequently with Jack, Chambers, Santi, TR7, welbz and OX (not respectively).

    Rather than have a first 11, we would have a first 16 or 17.

    That way in this bunch of 17 no one player plays so much that they get injured or too little that they lose match fitness & hence form. I would like to see Wenger emulate fergie in this respect. Play everyone of this 17 enough so that they maintain peak form but not burn them out.

  11. VCC says:

    Nice one MickyD…………simples =


  12. “Now before all the real experts leap up and down saying we don’t play with one, and that we have stealth this and false that, it’s my post and my rules, so let’s not get bogged down with facts and details, ok.”

    ha ha I like your idea of serious Micky 🙂 I didn’t get bogged down with facts and details 🙂

  13. VCC says:

    Marcus 10:30…….you’d better clear off to another site buddy….your talking far too much sence for this site. 😉

  14. I like this idea of ‘simples’ playing………. would that be Sanogo? 🙂

  15. It won’t be Sanogo, nb, he’s going out on loan to some French outfit.

  16. NG

    Yes, a very good wine region… should make his legs even more wobbly 🙂

  17. Right I’m gonna get serious: My idea for this micky conundrum, would line up like this:

    ———————- chezzers——————–
    Bellerin——- boosh———-Kos———- Gibbo
    —————-chambers—–Coq au Vin————
    ————– Danny boy———————————
    ——————————— Muff Diver—————


  18. arnie says:

    NorthBank. “Yes, a very good wine region… should make his legs even more wobbly” In stitches. 😆

  19. arnie says:

    Ditto. NorthBank. Except for Danny Boy replaced with Ozil and sitting a bit deeper. 🙂

  20. arnie

    I’ve never been a great fan of Ozil……… can’t put my finger on it but he just doesn’t tick all the right boxes. BFG as well, never thought he was a first tean CB for a team in the EPL……. good at times but most of the time, weak and insignificant….. and he can’t jump 🙂

  21. VCC says:

    NB69…..agree on BFG, but in the right team Ozil would shine. imo. =






    mmmmmmm like some of that

  22. arnie says:

    what do I know, NorthBank. If they are good enough to win the World Cup, they are good enough for Arsenal. That is my simple minded thought.

    And who cares about the EPL anyway. Except that it provides qualification for CL. We have won the League many times in the past and will do so many times in the future. What matters is winning the CL and the World Clubs Cup. which, lest we forget, we have not done. yet.

    OK perhaps BFG is getting on a bit. But we need Ozil for that purpose. 🙂

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mesut is a really tricky one for me. We’ve never seen him given a proper run central, with players beside and in front with pace and brains, so it is so hard to judge.

    I know I’ve said that I think he’s off, but I would love to find a system that we get to see the best of him, and that must be in the No10 role, which means having players like Theo, Danny and Sanchez.

  24. VCC

    Then Ozil isn’t in the right team……… let him go back to Germany where he thinks he belongs 🙂

    Ramsey, Wilshere, Ox and Sanchez can do a better job. The only problem with my line up is RB…. all our current RB’s would be in the team, Bellerin, Chambers and Le boosh……… but as we have seen, the team is becoming a veritable ‘melange’ of adaptable players. Bellerin injured, chambers moves to RB and Flamini comes on as DM…. Boosh injured, Chambers moves to CB etc etc. I think AW’s thinking is adaptability to counter act the injury crises. We have enough cover for the wings with Santi, Theo, Podolski and Campbell……… plus if we keep Poldi.

  25. arnie……….. simples! 🙂

  26. arnie says:

    I think there are two games that we need to play. and different players are suitable for each of these. One, against the orcs in the EPL. and two, against true class in the CL.

    We need grafters for the first, and classy magicians for the second. 😛

  27. allancoram says:

    does poldi feuture in our squard come 2015. Id wish he plays regularly

  28. arnie says:

    Micky. For Germany, Ozil plays the fixed no 10 in tow with a mobile one. It for well enough to win a World Cup. And that is no mean feat! hmmm. 🙂

  29. Rasp says:

    Thanks Micky, we all love a TB post 🙂

    If you look at my ‘Analysis’ stats widget you will see that on average we have scored more and conceded fewer in the CL than the EPL.

    I think we need 3 best teams. One for the CL, one for the top 6 or 8 in the EPL and a third for the cloggers.

    Ozil is a definite for the CL and an ‘on the bench for the cloggers. Welby is a definite for all the EPL but maybe not for all CL games. Giroud is a tart who is celebrating the New Year in Paris 🙂

    I’m not going to give exact names but I agree we are spoilt for choice and if all were fit we would have some unhappy bunnies on the bench – just as well we always have injuries 😕

  30. arnie……… that is very simple, is it really that simple? You can have orc like teams who are very good on the counter, and you can have others who are true class but can park the bus and be orcs.

    It’s about adapting your game plan during a game…. it’s about observation and having the right tactics and players to bring on who can make the difference. Surely a team is mad up of both, grafters and magicians… but sometimes the grafters have to be magicians and the magicians have to be grafters. Ozil is possibly a magician, but no way is he a grafter.

  31. Rasp……… should TB be in room 101, because I don’t know what it means?

  32. Rasp says:

    Tactical Bollix!

  33. That’s better……. 🙂

  34. Rasp says:

    P.S. Podolski is doing the Offski

  35. Rasp says:

    According to Ray Parlour we have been watching Winston Reid for months. His contract expires at the end of the season and Wham may take as little as £4m for him. He’s only 23, 6ft 2in and has the potential to improve.

    It’s hardly the £30m defender I was hoping for but maybe the £100k wages saved by sending the Pod out on loan with a view to selling in the summer is a trade off?

  36. arnie says:

    Top comment, Rasp. Different teams work for different oppositions, different contexts. My EPL orcs and CL class was too simplistic. I like your 3 category one.

    Different personnel for each one. Micky cleverly tried to take the option away: “I do “Best XI’s” all the time”. But really it is a questions of different horses for different courses. 🙂

  37. RA says:


    This Post is far too serious and you should be ashamed of your gang.

    I am with the Northers Gang especially after the deeply offensive sexual innuendos in your 10:27 such as “you stick six footballers into three slots’.

    NB is pure and would never say such a thing!

    [Why does Evonne laugh so much at those sexist phallic images?] 🙂

  38. I hate to say this but the Chavs seem to be doing well with practically one team in all competitions. Against the orcs and against the more creative teams. Does that mean they have the grafters and the cloggers mixed in with the true class. 🙂
    I’m only playing the De Villes Advocat here!

  39. Rasp, I’m sure we’ve been watching all sorts of players, Reid included but I wasn’t particularly impressed by what I saw the other day, having said that, he could be a cheap(ish) option for January giving us time to see how he fits in before signing a proper one if necessary in the summer.

    Another option would be Toon’s Steven Taylor, Mike Ashley will sell any player if the price is right. so he could also be a January deal.

  40. RA says:

    Reid was rubbish on Sunday, Rasp. Me no want.

  41. [Why does Evonne laugh so much at those sexist phallic images?

    RA……….. Evonne has fond memories and has to laugh at what she now misses! 🙂

  42. We need to plunder Sotton again…… Clyne, Bertrand and Fonte, anyone of the three would do.

  43. NB, the Chavs have got a lot of decent all-rounders in their squad, they can all play decent football, they seem to avoid injury and they can all dive when the right opportunity presents itself.

    I was astonished to read that the ref apologised to Moanio for booking that Spanish git for diving. If he didn’t dive that time he has in the past and will do in the future, so where’s the problem? 😀

  44. RA says:


    The Chavs are a good team, there is no denying that.
    It just shows what spending big bucks over the years does for a club.

    Money buys you the best players for the first team, and improves the quality of the squad too.

    The third string to their bow is their tactic of buying promising youngsters and farming them out on loan so that they either sell them on at a good profit or bring them back into the first team, like Gen DeGaulle their new goalie.

  45. MickyDidIt89 says:


    I have to say that when I read your opening line of “If you look at my ‘Analysis’ stats widget”, my hear sank, as I thought, oh no, he’s coming over all heavy and facts and stuff, but that’s a great plan to have three set ups.

    Bingo, room for Jack and Aaron.

  46. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Okedoke, sunny day. Walk to the pub for lunch.

  47. RA says:


    Evonne’s perennial ‘almost ex-husband’ is 6′ 4″ and brandishes a fiercesome shillelagh, so care is needed. 🙂

  48. RA

    Money doesn’t always buy you the best…. Torres, Carroll, Falcao, to name just three. It’s about buying the right players, unfortunately, the Spanish git, Hazard and Costa have clicked, whereby Ozil, Sanchez and Welbeck haven’t……………. yet?

  49. I’ve just realised that I included Ozil in my best available line-up (10.28), of course he’s not ready yet so I’d move Cazorla into the centre and replace him with the Ox. That would help out with the overcrowding in the middle.

  50. arnie says:

    Redders. NB’s 10:23 was pure class, IMO. Ozil-esque!!!! 😛

  51. RA

    Scared isn’t in my vocabulary 🙂

  52. arnie says:

    C’mon NorthBank. “Ozil, Sanchez and …. ” oh dear. Apples and oranges, IMO. 😛 just being picky. 🙂

  53. NB, WHAT! Alexis hasn’t clicked? Cough! Splutter! Falls of chair in amazement.

  54. arnie says:

    Norfolk. NorthBank meant Danny, not Alexis. 😛

  55. RA says:


    NB’s 10:23 is an articulate expression of pure conjecture and his evident man love means there are more females available for the rest of us more lascivious individuals.

    The man should be given a Knighthood for moral rectitude.

  56. NG

    I’m talking about the money spent and the options that were available to buy…. Sanchez has clicked, because of all his hard work but he hasn’t as yet clicked with Ozil, our most expensive player…….. in answer to money buys quality 🙂 cough splutter spit 🙂

  57. RA says:


    I did not say that it was not possible to spend money inadvisably.

    If you consider the converse of what you said, it shows that Bale, Ronaldo, Aguero and many, many more are the result of clubs with money bettering their teams — no money — and you can only press your nose to the window and wish.

    We need positive thinking here Norther not just pick out the exceptions! 🙂

  58. RA says:


    There is nothing wrong with you picking your fruits. 🙂

  59. Alexis and Ozil have scarcely met on the pitch, just wait until Mesut gets properly fit and they get the chance to play together a few time, then you’ll see the quality.

  60. Sorry RA

    I’m up against a far superior adversary here, Bale, Ronaldo, Aguero were expensive buys, but bought with a plan in mind…. I still think Ozil was bought ‘inadvisably’…..

  61. Right, the sun’s melted the frost on the car, it’s time to head up to the coast for a brisk walk on the beach.

  62. NG

    That’s if he ever plays for us again……….. I think he is offski with Podolski and Sanogoski

  63. If the Chavs could do it with Mata, to enable getting different players that suit our game then why shouldn’t AW do it with Ozil. If he sold Mesut and got someone like Pogba or Caivailho, wouldn’t that be better?

  64. ah come on girls…. I was only playing the devilles advocat 🙂

  65. Too cold here to go to the bar…………. I’ll open another bottle of wine and wait 🙂

  66. Giroud gets new years day off and goes to the beach

  67. Big Raddy says:

    Okey Dokey. Here’s my punt….

    TPIG, Boosh, BFG, Kos, Gibbs

    Ramsey Arteta

    Theo Alexis Ozil


    Might be a big open but so what. We just score more than we concede. Though it is painful to drop Ox and Santi who have been excellent over the past few games.

  68. Big Raddy says:

    Marcus. Your team is very good. I agree with it completely

  69. arnie says:

    Raddy. Alexis central and Ozil left? Interesting. 🙂

  70. Ever since I published this post early this morning I’ve been vexed
    by this question ……….. I’ve hoovered and tidied my house and I still can’t decide on the best front 4.

    I agree with Rasp that it’s not a one size fits all but I still can’t choose.

    We haven’t seen Theo with Ozil or Sanchez. Sanchez is a workhorse and equally effective through the middle or on the wing whereas Santi is much better used through the middle.

    I’ll keep thinking ………… great post Micky

  71. …….. and The Ox has been pretty amazing these past few weeks so he must be included too. Aaaarrrggghhh

  72. IanRealGunner says:

    I saw the reports of Torres being purchased by AC Milan from the Chavs and then loaned straight out to Athletico (albeit with a player coming the other way). Is it just me or does this look a bit odd and potentially another of those dodgy FFP ruses (David Luis transfer fee as an example)??????

  73. arnie says:

    Ian. suspect so. such is life. 😦

  74. Rasp says:

    I understand why everyone is leaving Welby out of their first eleven – but we would really miss his work rate.

    I think Sanchez is the only ‘must have’ in the attacking formation = I’d play him in all the games and all types of games where we need our strongest side.

    I don’t know if this has been pointed out on here before, but Sanchez has either scored or supplied the assist for half of Arsenal’s goals this season.

  75. Rasp says:

    I now read that Welby is a doubt for the saints game as he has a hamstring strain – exactly the injury that you don’t want to risk exacerbating by playing on. It’s a shame as that game is exactly the type of game where he makes a difference for us. A start for Theo maybe?

  76. arnie says:

    Rasp. On Welbz, I agree. He will always be in my side against the Orcs. Hard work has a value, even if it is running circles between the centre backs and the GK.

    Alexis will be always in, our best combination of hard work and class. Second best in that category within the team is The Ox, and maybe I will play him as well. Either right wing, or if Theo is playing, more central.

    When we play Bayern or Barca, Ozil will be first choice. Always.

  77. Rasp says:

    Hi arnie, I’m in two minds about Ozil. He was poor in our away game against Dortmund (I don’t know if he was already carrying an injury) so I can’t be sure he’d produce the goods against hard working sides like Bayern or Barca.

  78. arnie says:

    Also, Welbz is one for the future. His shooting and first touch may improve in a year.

  79. Rasp says:

    Ozil needs runners to excel. The problem is that if the opposition is organised to press high up the pitch and track our runners, Ozil loses his outlet and can become ineffective and dare I say ‘disenchanted’ with the game. Give Ozil space and movement and he is up there with the very best.

  80. arnie says:

    Yes, Rasp. However, if we have a moment of magic, either Ozil or Alexis are most likely to be involved. We need to take that chance IMO. You only need one or two moments of brilliance in a game. 🙂

  81. arnie says:

    Ozil will never be that hard grafter who will be in the game for all the 90 mins. But he may just have his 5 mins, and it is that chance that makes or breaks.

  82. Rasp says:

    Hmmmm, not sure I agree arnie. For most games you need a full shift from all 11 players – no passengers. I can see how the man up top can be allowed a lot of latitude, but the midfield has to be solid and multifunctional IMO. We have many players who can produce a moment of magic. Ozil brings supreme passing skills and vision to the side, no doubt about it, but as NB said earlier, wouldn’t a strong commanding DM bring more to the team considering the options we have alongside Ozil?

  83. arnie says:

    We agree to disagree, Rasp. 😛 This is the chance that we need to take against the big sides that are hard to crack. This is precisely why he was in Low’s World Cup winner side. All great teams need that one person.

    You just rely on them to provide that one moment of magic in 90 mins. If his moments come at a lower frequency than that, one average. Now that is different. 😦

  84. Rasp says:

    OK arnie 😛

  85. RockyLives says:

    What a good Post and discussion.

    I have given much thought to the answer, which is as follows…

    Firstly, I’m afraid I have to break your rules Micky because I don’t want to go with two DM-y types. If Arteta’s fit that’s all we need.

    Then it goes like this:


    Which means – yes – no room for Ramsey, Ozil or Jack.

    Sorry chaps – you’ll have to wait for injuries/suspensions and take your chances then…

  86. RockyLives says:

    Oh dear, I’ve killed the blog 😦

  87. Rasp says:

    😀 Don’t worry Rocky, it happens to the best of us. I like your team although I would probably juggle Theo and the Ox dependent on form.

  88. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Rasp 🙂

    It’s a bit of an attacking line-up, so maybe not ideal against the “big” teams.

    I’m a big fan of Ozil so it was quite a tough decision to leave him out, but Santi is playing so well in the central attacking MF role that I don’t think he can be dropped. And neither he nor Mesut are at their best when played wide.

  89. jnyc says:

    I’ve been thinking that I love our aggressiveness and desire to take shots, even from outside the box since ozils been out. I think we over pass the ball with him. I only want to see him with theo and Alexis so we will not have more pass, less shooting.

    Santi especially has been going for goal, and I still believe that mesut needs to shoot a lot more himself to keep defenders honest. Just look at how many defenders get drawn to Alexis, opening space for other players. Ramsey will benefit also from this.

    He pulls defenses apart, and has been a direct influence on ox and santi. Not to mention that he has encouraged them to defend allot more.

  90. Rasp says:

    Good points Rocky. Form should be the deciding factor when players are so close in ability. As you say, other players will get their chance as part of squad rotation and the essential resting of key players.

  91. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Gosh, judging by the comments, that really was quite a good post 🙂

    Seriously though, it’s interesting how Mesut divides opinion. While I happen to think he’ll head to Germany, I would be really upset about it, as I really think a side built around him could be very special.

  92. Alex says:


    Ox, wilshere, giroud, arteta, poldi and santi rotating every other week or cup game. (Obv this is with a fully fit squad)

  93. Big Raddy says:

    It is untrue that Ozil doesn’t work hard. In almost every game played for us he has been clocked at running the furthest which shows how little we appreciate his work-rate.

    Our impression is that Ozil is a luxury player whereas he works as hard as Alexis. I can’t wait to see him return to the team. He is an automatic starter and IMO the team should be built around him.

  94. Alex says:

    Or if I’m dreaming


  95. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Another throw of the dice from me.

    Last season I really enjoyed watching Pool with their Sanchez spearheading the attack which produced buckets of goals.

    Back 5
    ….Art Flam
    Theo Sanchez Ox

    Still think we lack a great wide left player, and have done for years.

  96. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Game set and match to Alex 🙂
    Although I’m not 100% Cavalho is the man, but I love the cut of your jib nonetheless. I mean, Cavani 🙂

  97. LB says:

    Well this one really makes you think doesn’t it? Thanks Micky.

    If anyone had said to me this time last year that I would consider a starting line up without Ozil I would have said that they were mad and yet that is how I see things now, he would not make my starting line up.

    Sanchez has changed everything. We Brits like our players to chase back (take note Mesut); we love it when our forwards appear to want to give everything to the cause, watch any England game and you see it all the time but as we all know this bulldog spirit is usually a smokescreen that masks a lack a skill.

    No such concern with Alexis Sanchez, he has the skill and the work rate to make anyone of us proud that he chose to come to THOF.

  98. LB says:

    There was an interesting piece of confusion above: someone suggested that Sanchez hasn’t clicked? Rather than immediately view the comment as ridiculous, the idea made me think.

    Is the present or the past participle more suitable?

    Sanchez was almost certainly the best footballer in his school playground. It is so easy to imagine him slalomming past every other kid before scoring to make it 26-0. There is still a large element of this in his play and worse — he losses the ball just as much if not more than any other player on the field. I have noticed several times this season the reaction of other players, after he has lost the ball, frustratingly gesturing to him, asking: why didn’t you play it to me? This is not really meant as a criticism it relates more to the idea that there is still so much more upside to come from him.

  99. RA says:

    Raddy @ 4:24

    Totally agree! 🙂

  100. LB says:

    I think there is a confusion between running a lot, work rate, tracking back and closing down.

    Ozil may clock up the kilometres but he is not in the same league as Sanchez when is comes to defending from the front.

  101. MickyDidIt89 says:

    If I remember correctly, you were also a fan of Suarez last season.
    Do you see Sanchez playing that role for us?

  102. LB says:

    You get a very interesting comparison here between ex Real Madrid and ex Barcelona.

    The Catalans have come off the boil a bit now, new manager and all, but in Guadiola’s time has there ever been a better example of defending from the front? It is so clear how this mind set was passed onto Sanchez.

  103. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Fair point about Mesut, but, if we doubled up in front of the back four to relieve Mesut (read Coutinho) of defensive duties, could you see him supplying the inch perfect, defence splitting passes to the fast front three of say Theo, Ox and Sanchez (read Sterling, Sturridge and Suarez)?

  104. LB, I doubt that Alexis has even noticed the disaproving looks of his team-mates, he’s too busy chasing after the ball in an attempt to retrieve it. Perhaps that’s what those team-mates should be doing rather than standing around complaining.

  105. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Or Danny, Theo and Sanchez

  106. LB says:


    I have written so many times that I think Sanchez is a better player than Suarez and the only reason they let him go is because of the childish demand the Catalans have for new toys every season.

    Their loss our gain.

  107. Eddie says:

    I’d swap Mesut for Ramsey. Ok, Aaron has not hit the top form this season yet, but he is very capable to play up front.
    The problem with Sanchez is, as Eddie sees it, that all other teams are trying to stop (injure in some cases) him, and often succeed. It hurts me to watch how he is trying to break lose from 2 gorillas minding him all the time. So perhaps we should place Pants Down in the middle, with Ramsey and my Santi on each side and let Sanchez do what he wants hoping that he will really mess up the oppositions’ defences.

    I still think that Ramsey will be gone in the summer so my plan is rubbish

  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I agree Sanchez is better, but what I’m getting at, is could we use him in the same way Pool used Suarez?

  109. LB says:


    That is the only thing in my opinion that Ozil is better than Sanchez. Mesut can split a defence, against Manu we were crying out for passes for Welbeck to run onto. Sanchez is still just a bit too much his own man and slow to bring others into the game.

    Still, that said, Sanchez still shades it.

  110. chas says:

    Excellent post, Lord DidIt.

    I like the idea of three formations.

    So with a back 7……

    Champs League
    Sanchez Giroud Chamberlain

    Prem against teams that play football
    Walcott Welbeck Chamberlain

    Prem against Hoofers and Incompetents
    Chamberlain Giroud Welbeck

    All three formations are interchangeable depending on form and/or availability.
    Ramsey would take one of the double pivot spots giving us an extra man forward when needed.

    Oh dear, Ozil doesn’t get in the Prem team. Then again, if the stinky fish bet comes off he won’t be with us anyway.

    Chamberlain plays in every formation because he seems our most effective player at the mo (excluding Dirty Sanchez , of course)

    In all likelihood we’ll never have a fully fit squad so the many dilemmas won’t arise.

    Apologies if I’ve duplicated what’s already been said. 🙂

  111. LB says:

    Oh goodness yes.

    That was the hope at the beginning of the season. We are only ever going to get so far with Giroud up front and I thought that Sanchez would slot in as the CF with Ozil supplying him with pin point passes game and game out but Sanchez has been slower to adapt than people are prepared to admit.

    Although he did play CF against wham and that worked so it is all still to play for.

  112. RA says:


    What a fascinating question; ‘Is the present or the past participle more suitable?’ 🙂

    You do not really say what it is you are referring to, I guess, leaving us to work it out.

    Now the present participle does not necessarily relate to the present, and the suffix of the verb normally ends in ‘ing’, for example ‘ his scintillating pace was awesome’; while the past participle does not necessarily relate to the past, and the verb suffix usually ends in ‘ed’ or ‘en’, as in ‘his enthusiasm was not broken by the set back.’

    So, unless you were teasing us in the case of Alexis by referring to an adjectival phrase or the present and past tense of a verb, you have me beaten. 🙂

  113. Rasp says:

    I’m in complete agreement with LB re Ozil and chas re everything 😀

  114. LB says:

    I have resisted this up until now but I can’t stop myself.

    Where is Wilshire in all of your dream teams? 🙂

    I am off out, that was fun, later.

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ok LB. Same page 🙂

    Wow Chas, Ox in in every line up.

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    LB mentions Jack and then scarpers 🙂

    It was always going to end that way

  117. RA says:

    It seems that I am not totally on script with the majority of views today, as regards Özil, but that will not stop me making a declaration that as soon as he is fit, Mesut will be straight back into the team. 🙂

    I guess we will find out soon enough in the New Year.

  118. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Indeed RA, the New Year will reveal so much.

    With the transfer window, together with players returning from injury, it will be fascinating to see how Arsene’s strategy unfolds.

  119. chas says:

    As usual we’re all reacting to the present.
    A few weeks back Santi was heading for the dole queue, now he’s one of our best players since he’s hit some form.
    Jack will be back in the reckoning, too, but as his ankle looked pretty destroyed by McNair, it seems a waste of time including him in any discussion about this season.
    Once Mesut produces a few Mesmertrons, we’ll all be purring in his praise again.

  120. chas says:

    Jenks should be back next season, too (and he’s been Allardyced). 🙂

  121. Big Raddy says:

    Ozil is our best player. Repetition, repetition, repetition.

    OK he doesn’t tackle as well as Alexis (who is our second best player) but I can imagine AW’s thought process of the two combining. Add in Theo and OG and we have power, pace and finishing. We will be lethal!

    Can one surf in the dark? And if not, why not?

  122. RA says:

    Top comment, Chas. 🙂

    Having voiced my Mesut comment it will probably not go unnoticed that I did not indulge in team formats/tactics/personnel but that is because anything I might say in that respect would definitely belong in the ‘bollix’ category. 🙂

    My concern, as a big fan of the Corp at right back, is that Mr Wenger will not want him back, now that Bellerin has appeared on the scene, and done pretty well too as a replacement right back.

    I will be disappointed if we sell Jenks.

  123. RA says:

    That is the key, Raddy.

    Comparison of players who are so dissimilar, and play different roles is pointless — it is how they combine and complement each other within the team that will make or break our season.

    [I think we have been this way before when we got into the ‘who is or is not a ‘defensive’ or ‘attacking’ player’.

    The only one that should matter to is Arsene. 🙂

  124. Rasp says:

    Really Raddy…. Ozil better (in and Arsenal shirt) than Alexis? 🙂

    Did you see the stat I put up earlier about Alexis playing a part (scoring or supplying the assist) in half of our games this season – I can’t remember Ozil having such an impact. I agree he’s a brilliant player, but results count.

  125. Big Raddy says:

    Is Jenks as good as Bellerin? Will he Jenks be satisfied with riding the pine having had such success at WHU? Will we keep Debuchy? Will Bellerin stay if he is 3rd choice RB?

    Where does Chambers fit in? Is he an RB or a CB? Is he good enough in either position?

    Wadja think?

  126. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Exactly Results count. Points at NY 2013 vs 2014.

    Both players are wonderful. FWP (first world problems)

  127. Rasp says:

    I prefer Belleriin to Jenks

  128. RA says:


    I think Rasp is just being contrary. 🙂

    He agreed with LB that Sanchez has his ‘moments’ when the other guys in the team are not happy with him. And let’s face it – Alexis is brilliant and that is undoubtedly true of Mesut too.

    Who cares? It is not an ‘either/or’ choice, their roles are quite different. Both will be in any Arsenal team when fit.

    Bring it on. 🙂

  129. arnie says:

    Raddy. 🙂

    Agree with Chas generally except that I would retain Alexis against the orcs as well. We need someone in midfield to snatch the ball away from the opposition. 🙂 But I would also keep Chambo in all three cases. Rambo against the orcs and CL, but not against Premiership top teams.

    Finally, the priority for me is still the CL. That is our final frontier. We will not be respected as a proper giant team unless we have won it. And this is where Ozil is most crucial. With the combination of Alexis and Ozil, plus a fit Rambo, we can do it this year.

    Dont really know what Theo will really look like when he is back. I am scared to think about it. 😦

  130. chas says:

    Hmmm, just thinking about Mesut assisting Sanchez. 🙂

  131. chas says:

  132. LB says:


  133. What a brilliant discussion this post has produced…. Micky really didit 🙂

    Despite my thoughts about Ozil, it will still be good to have him back in the mix. But I doubt whether he’ll just stroll back into the first team.

  134. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Congrats. This post attracted the most hits on AA in December and the most visitors for a couple of months!

    Perhaps we should have some more tactical bollox on the site.

  135. LB says:


    Sorry, I only just saw your comment.

    It was clicked or clicking.

  136. arnie says:

    what a fantastic day’s blogging! thank you Micky. 🙂

  137. TotalArsenal says:

    ————- Flamini ————–
    ——- Ozil———– Super J—–
    Theo——–OG the Hub ———-Alexis


    Nice one Micky 🙂

  138. arnie says:


  139. arnie says:

    One of the best live performances of Indian classical that I have seen. The artistes, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia on the bamboo flute and Ustad Zakir Hussain on the tabla were both at the peak of their creative abilities at that time.

    Recorded 1993 at the most important music festival for this form of music, The Sawai Gandharva Festival in Pune.

    Enjoy at your risk. 😛

  140. MickyDidIt89 says:

    LB posted “FWP…Lol”

    Had to look it up, and for those who don’t know it’s Urban Slang Definition means “Friend With Privileges”.

    Ok, happy with that, but wow there were so many terms for a myriad of Best Friends.

  141. chas says:

    It was BR’s First World Problems if you did a ‘Find on Page’!

  142. MickyDidIt89 says:

    What’s a Find on Page?

  143. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Actually, who cares, let’s press on with some camouflaged smut 🙂

  144. chas says:

    Got any news for us Micky?

  145. MickyDidIt89 says:

    ha ha Chas, great pics 🙂

    News? I go look

  146. chas says:

  147. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow, great news Chas

    Amazingly this is from our top regional paper down here The Western Morning News, and they are always first with factual news!!

    Arsenal ready to smash transfer record in £76m triple capture

    Cavani, Cavalho and Perin

    They even include Youtube clips of them including this one of the French defender

  148. chas says:

    Disappointed his first name isn’t Reggie.

  149. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That’s such a rubbish clip of Perrin. Hardly selling him as a top flight defender. 🙂

  150. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Can’t we sign the commentator as well and him up to The Ems PA system

  151. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hey Chas, are you still about?

    Need some advice. Considering doing something about my dreadful fitness levels and smoking and shit. Any advice? Do I need to buy some plimsolls or what?

  152. MickyDidIt89 says:

  153. Olivier Girouds’ Heat map

  154. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I reckon we should offer Ollie as bait to PSG for Cavani. Thing is, and I just looked this up, Ibrahimovich is 33, so they’ll be looking for another large slow one.

  155. Giroud would be a large one but with no deep penetration skills 🙂
    The problem is micky, all the top players we a probably interested in will be cup tied for the CL………….

  156. MickyDidIt89 says:

    True NB, and nobody is more short termist than me, but I think we need to pretend to be more mature for a moment here, and think longer term.

  157. The new play-doh dispenser….. design fail

  158. I can always pretend to be more mature…. but I revert to type fairly quickly 🙂

  159. Micky

    You do notice that out of those top 10 Cavani goals, I think only one was since he joined PSG. I think he has lost his edge, not worth the money. Would be better spent on a defensive midfielder

  160. MickyDidIt89 says:

    He hates playing for PSG, stuck out wide on so on 🙂

    You can either shoot like that or you can’t. He can.

    Mind you, just between us, I don’t think there’s a cat in hells chance of Arsene going for him 😦

  161. MickyDidIt89 says:


    I hope you don’t mind me getting personal here (because I don’t) but I remember some sex obsessed jazz musician saying that once he got to a certain age and the “drive” tailed off, he felt an enormous sense of relief, because for the first time since he was about 15, he could concentrate on other things for more than about five minutes without interruption.

    You appear not to share his experience 🙂

  162. Micky

    I’m glad you addressed that ‘personal’ comment to Norfolk Gooner 🙂

  163. MickyDidIt89 says:


  164. I think if a man loses interest in the chase then he has lost interest in life. Just ask Arsene Wenger 🙂

  165. For some men nothing is written unless they write it themselves.. old arab proverb 🙂

  166. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think that’s a very fair comment, Mr N. Bank 🙂

  167. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I hope you don’t mind me getting personal again here (because I don’t) but why 1969?

  168. It was the first time I went on the Northbank with a group of mates and not my Dad or elder brother to control me 🙂 I was 15

  169. Eddie says:

    micky – the fact that chas can drink 20 pints in a day doesn’t mean he is fit. And you don’t need to buy anything, in fact you need to stop buying. At £9 a packet you will save £3,285 a year. Then you can buy a dog to walk, easy.

    Who is going to leave us in January?

  170. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh ok. Yeah, now I think about it, I would have had the same experience at the same age.

  171. But Eddie…. for Cjas that’s 20 pints of fruit flavoured cider 🙂 healthy drinking

  172. MickyDidIt89 says:


    You’re the one who’s always telling Chas how “fit” you think he is 🙂

    I was merely enquiring about appropriate footwear.

  173. ha ha, I can’t remember the last time I was ‘fit’ 🙂 probably about 9/10 years ago…. my philosophy is that no matter how much you abuse your body, if your time is up….. it’s up. Simples! right, time for my third glass of wine…. the elexir of life 🙂

  174. Micky
    Don’t get eddie onto the subject of appropriate footwear……… she’ll post another photo of her mauve DM’s 🙂

  175. Eddie says:

    micky – was I? I must have been fishing for a ticket 🙂
    DMs are the best footwear I ever bought. Funnily enough I had a friend visiting last night, she spotted the boots and got all excited – how great they are, she always wanted a pair. She is definitely not a lezzer

    BTW – I buy my ciggies in Poland, £25 for 200.

  176. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mmm Eddie
    I’m reconsidering my position on fags. For the first time in my long smoking life, I think the negatives are now outweighing the positives. Not a happy situation

  177. Rasp says:

    Great response to your post yesterday Micky 😛

    WordPress send us an annual summary of the blog’s performance over the last year with various stats.

    These are the top 5 contributors in comments ….

    1 arnie 5104 comments
    2 chas 4206 comments
    3 MickyDidIt89 3421 comments
    4 RA 2720 comments
    5 mickydidit89 2245 comments

    If you add the 2 variations of MDI, he takes top spot with 5,666 = an average of 15.5 a day

    Top bloke Micky, you are our No.1 blogger 😀

  178. Micky

    My Mum smoked all her life… at the end she was still smoking 20 a day and died a very healthy 89 years old. Goes back to my philosophy… no matter what you do, you have an expiry date stamped on your DNA the day you are born.

  179. Eddie says:

    no need to tell me micky, I hate the filthy habit yet cannot stop. Mind you at 4 a night is probably not bad, but still….

    So, who is going to say au revoir in Jan? Ozil?

  180. Raddy

    That total for Micky is worrying…. 5………. 666 🙂

    And the 15.5 a day is probably the fags he smokes

  181. sorry……. I misread Raddy for Rasp 🙂

  182. MickyDidIt89 says:


    The hits thing yesterday is simply down to the title surely.

    As for blog champion, do I need to reconsider getting a life 🙂

    Tell you what would be interesting, and that is how many words each blogger inked. I’d lose my title for sure.

  183. Eddie says:

    nb – same for my beloved Grandma, thank Dennis she smoked, otherwise she would live forever (at 95 she wanted to die). DNA does not take into account car accidents for example, so it is not true.

    phew rasp – I closed one eye reading those stats, glad it is arnie talking the most 🙂

  184. Rasp says:

    Thanks Micky, you are correct about the titles. In previous years I used to manipulate the titles to encourage more hits, but this year I haven’t and it has reflected in the stats. I never like to have misleading titles, but often a good post is not rewarded with the hits it deserves so I think I’ll try harder next term. 😛

  185. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “Arsene in sex scandal”

    Then a blank page.

    That would create most hits for sure.

  186. Morning all

    We have a New Post …………………………

  187. MickyDidIt89 says:

    An average of 15 a day.
    Easy. Get up early. One liners, and an ability to talk to yourself.

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