Can Plan B work?

Morning all,

Yes still feeling pain, as I am sure many Gooners are but many’s the time we learn from heartaches such as these, and can only put it down to a lesson learnt.

The strategy used yesterday, only dawned on me this morning. At first I felt that the Tottenham pressure was the reason we were hemmed in all game, but the penny dropped when I realised that Ospina very seldomly rolled the ball out to start our attack instead deciding to hoof the ball down the field which nearly always resulted in Tottenham possession and another wave straight back at us.

I have to say that in the past the slow build up from the throw out has always niggled me a bit as we seem to take an age to get out of our own half, but yesterday showed me that it takes time to get your forward players in the positions that can offer you chances, and the slow build up also gives possession time which also frustrates opponents.

Ospina would not have done that off of his own back, so I would assume that this was a tactic that Arsene had worked out prior to the start. I imagine Wenger would have realised that Tottenham at home would do the pressing so start cautiously and see how the game was going before we venture too far up.

Tottenham came unstuck as they pushed, just how we have in the past and at that time had worked in our favour, but after the goal we retreated to our own half and the constant pressure made sure the only rest bite we had was when Ospina cleared long.

Of course with this kind of tactic you have to mix and match, sometimes a slow build up will instil a little bit of composure but how the game panned out, pressure was constant and defending took over more than being adventurous.

We held out well but with no fear factor from us Tottenham were able to press high up and the result was self explanatory. On the day perhaps we could have mixed and matched a bit more but a 2.1 loss was better than some of the high scores from last season..

Written by Steve Palmer

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80 Responses to Can Plan B work?

  1. mickydidit89 says:

    Great work Steve, thanks

    Earlier I said “Against City, we had Sanchez and Ox occupying the wide berths, as opposed to Mesut and Danny, neither of whom are wide boys.

    On top of that, the former two have infectious work rates.

    I only saw the first half, but couldn’t help thinking we may have been two up with those fellas”

    I’d like to add that I’m not convinced about this new Arsenal, less possession, stuff. In other words, I’m not sure the plan/tactic even exists.

    The addition of Coquelin has certainly made a difference, but the rest for me is down to personnel.

    Players like The Ox and Alexis will inevitably result in less possession because they are risk takers. They drive at the oppo. when they have the ball. Sometimes this ends well, sometimes not, but the “well” bit can and sometimes does, result in what we call a “goal”.

    Mesut keeps possession, and Danny, for me, is a striker not a wide boy, and as Ive always said is an either/or with Ollie.

    Of course our options were limited yesterday without the aforementioned duo.

  2. mickydidit89 says:

    Right, must go and chop some wood for the bbq and go buy the bangers

    I shall return

  3. Big Raddy says:

    Steve. Well done on having the crystals to think about whatever happened yesterday.

    I remain in lock-down mode. So much so that I am going to Bornholm (an island between Sweden and Poland) for a few days. It is blowing a gale here and we are going by ferry 😦 😦

  4. rhyle says:

    A tough read, Steve…but a good’un. Poor performance, no impetus from us going forward and, as you say, no fear factor, which gave them the confidence to come at us when they got nothing coming back the other way. Can’t believe that there are some out there criticising Ospina, who I thought kept us in it for large chunks of the game. Apparently “he’s been found out”…idiocy written by idiots. Surprisingly.

    Work Monday…thankfully I don’t work with any of ’em…

  5. stevepalmer1 says:

    Of course the headline on yesterdays post lifted my spirits, Alexis to start, As micky has said Sanchez has a work rate which is infectious he wants to play and if the stories i have been reading of him in training as, climbing walls while injured. and being asked to get down and only wants to reach the top, first suggests that he must still not be match fit.

    Sanchez for me has been the one player who has helped this side go forward, he seems to never give up and it must be very difficult for the Manager to leave him out.

    I don’t think i would be wrong in saying that since he picked up injury we have certainly missed him, although he is a player with a huge amount of confidence he also cannot do it all by himself.

    We do have a good mix of quality players and when all fit a good squad to mix and match, The start of the season saw us with world cup Players rested and others injured and our choice of players were all over the place, An FA cup to finish last season and a good win in the comunity shield to start this season had me salivating for the start.

    Injury and Resting had us struggling and it has to be said things got worse although Sanchez was a glowing example of things to come the amount out has lasted a long time.

    Sanchez is ready for a come back, Our back line seems a lot stronger Ramsey Santi Rosiski have found form Le Coq has blossemed and Theo ready to start, the injured are almost all out of the sick bay we have cover in all positions and the confidence is building, sure we took a knock yesterday but that has happened before and will probably happen again but we are now becoming a force. A few things are being ironed out but we are almost ready to let fly.

    The injuries have been a pain and also long injuries take a time to get match fit but all the same a bright future, a loss yesterday but still a lot to compete in and cups to be won COYRRG’s

  6. eldergooner says:

    Good post Steve and like you, still smarting.A good hammering for the red scum later to-day will help soothe me.
    I also thought Ospina had a good game yesterday and don’t think there were many opportunities for him to roll out the ball as they were camped in our third. I recall lots of back passes to him as the defenders were unable to play it up the park – and then he hoofed it as a last resort.
    It’s never good to be too critical of one of ours so I am going to “shut my mouth” regarding the two players I was disappointed with.
    As for lessons learnt – well, we’ll have to wait and see there. There have been many occasions over the last few seasons when the players tell us via social media about how they have to learn the lesson and not let it happen again – yawn !! Personally I wish they’d stay off social media commenting on what they are going to do (are you seeing this Mezut) and just do the job on the pitch – actions being louder than words – apparently

    “Up the hammers”

  7. Rasp says:

    Morning all, I saw very little of the game and cannot bring myself to watch any highlights. I’ve read a range of reviews and comments and this is my completely uneducated assessment ….

    They deserved to win.
    Once again we lost a game because our midfield failed to function
    We cannot cope with being pressed and lose all composure
    They looked the hungrier
    They won the 50/50s
    We lacked energy
    Their manager won the tactical battle

    Also, 0/10 for Arsenal.com – they said after the game that we didn’t deserve to lose

  8. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning Elder. I could have picked on a couple of players as well but Tottenham were very good hurts me to say that but they were relentless.

    We in all fairness had a very tough day, but we defended very well something we have not done in the past, Certain players were maybe not match fit but still i felt gave a good account of themselves. Danny Welbeck been out for a while no had a hot potato on his side of the field he did get the better of him for our goal but he also had to work hard and only natural that he started to run out of steam.

    Players will get fitter Mesut was hounded everytime he went near the ball he also is not match fit and Le Qoc also had a hard match. The players did what they were able and Tottenham were tough and physical something we are not known for, I did feel that the referee picked on us a bit and stopped play for what i considered minor tackles but that is no excuse. Tottenham on the day were good, we are not all fit and it showed but we will get better. The league that i had hoped for was a long shot anyway but its still not impossible and apart from that we still have a lot to play for . Top 4 will be all the more satisfying and maybe a decent cup final either CL or FA we will get fitter and we will get more choice of players. Wenger can rotate as this team is now used to new players coming and going that has always unbalanced us but not any more sit back and hang on to your chair things are hotting ujp

  9. Rasp says:

    For the muppets at arsenal.com, here are the match stats..

    …………………………. Tots ……..Arse
    Possession ………… 56% ……. 44%
    Shots …………………. 23 ……….. 7
    On target ……………. 8 ………… 3
    Corners …………….. 10 ………… 3
    Fouls ………………….. 8 ……….. 12

  10. Rasp says:

    I have no problem with the possession stats but as AW said after, we simply did not create enough chances going forward.

  11. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning Rasp, Arsenal.com can say what it likes Tottenham on the day deserved the win. we fought really hard but never imposed our game on them.

    I am as biassed as any supporter, but what i saw was an Arsenal side that battled but were not able to keep the lead we offered very little but still worked hard till the end.

  12. eldergooner says:

    Yeah Steve, no arguments there. Well summed up – but it still really hurts !!! I was also grasping at straws when hoping for the league but I’m still very hopeful of top 3 and still think we can get 2nd. I am also very hopeful re. the Champions League but let’s leave that there !!
    We were well and truly “done” yesterday and it’s throbbing like an aching tooth – still.
    When you think that our goal, while a sublime finish, actually came from a Giroud cock up, well, that probably says it all.
    No, we got what we deserved. Time I stopped chewing it, swallow it, and move on looking forward to a good performance on Tuesday night.

  13. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks for the post Steve

    i was at the game yesterday. A Totnumb “friend” got me a ticket in there West Upper.

    They played a simple style. Three fighters in the middle, pressing and harrasing our smaller light weight midfield. Once they won it they played simple, bringing there full backs into the game which enabled them to get forward.

    One thing they are very good at is pinning you in.Once we cleared it they either had picked up positions to pick up the loose ball, or there more physical lumps won the 50 50s. Dembele and Bentalab are so big and physical they could play centre back

    What went wrong for us? Another one of those days when Arsenes philosophy of playing technical players came unstuck. A midfield including Ramsey and Santi and the “dont like to get close” Ozil was just not up to it.

    I love Arsene, and can see with the recent aquistions of Chambers, Bilek etc he has a long term eye on putting it right without sacraficing our fluent attacking style.

    However, since 2005, we have seen these problems over and over again, and I admit it frustrates the f*uck out of me.

    Having to sit in there area and watch there fans take the piss dosnt help the mood, but one thing I do know. The practical approach employed by Spurs is right for them, but not for us. We are trying to build something special, something capable of winning titles and once we add a “consistent” physical balance to go with our undoubted class, we will get there.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  14. Rasp says:

    I agree with your observations about the midfield TMHT.

    If Sanchez had been fit and Kane out injured, the result may have been reversed, but that doesn’t mean we should see that as important. We’ve got a good squad of players and a team that only clicks in short spells.

    We are much better suited to European style games.

  15. Shard says:

    Thanks Steve.

    I disagree about Ospina rolling the ball out simply because there was no one free to roll the ball out to generally. At the same time, I think it is correct for questions to be raised of Ospina. He did well to stop some shots, and I attach no blame to him for the first goal either. But he very rarely held the ball cleanly and kept pushing it out into a dangerous area. This, though was not punished, also did not instill much confidence. It’s really the first time he’s been out under such pressure, and maybe it was just one of those days. But I don’t think he came through it very well.

    On Arsenal, it seems to be a worrying trend that we can’t play through a press. For a team that prides itself on passing the ball, we seemed to panic every time we received the ball and were closed down. For me the primary culprit was Ramsey, but that isn’t to say that others were great. The two goals we conceded were also down to individual mistakes, even if they were the result of concerted pressure.

    I think we psyched ourselves out a little bit by emphasising the defensive shape so much. We did keep the shape well. But we forgot that the game is about more than that. Maybe if we hadn’t scored in the first half, we’d have been more determined to get forward. As it is, we got stuck in our half just trying to hold on and do nothing else. Frankly, it was a little embarrassing. Especially because I don’t think Spurs played very well at all. Their pressing wasn’t great and they left us a lot of space in behind. We were just unable to exploit it.

  16. Shard says:

    Terry

    I want to understand what you mean by a physical presence. Maybe it’s something other than how I understand it. I think it had nothing to do with that. If anything, we lost because we couldn’t play to our technical level, and that wasn’t because we were muscled out of the game.

    As for the CL. Maybe we are more suited to that, but I don’t think it’s clear cut. Can we break down teams that sit back and deny us space in their end? I don’t think so. Not for teams at a high level, and not without making us vulnerable on the counter. Though the individual brilliance of Sanchez and Ozil will help with that. And as we’ve seen, we can’t live with a team that presses us. Arteta is vital to our build up play since he allows us to play through the lines, which allows Santi to play closer to the opponents goal. At the moment, Ramsey isn’t doing that, is running upfield himself, which forces Santi back.

  17. chas says:

    Cheers, Steve…

    I agree about the hoofing but don’t think it was all down to Ospina. There were plenty of BFG punts forward or straight off the pitch. Was it a team tactic?
    We seem to have come full circle from dominating possession and not creating a huge amount, to surrendering possession completely and being unable to string many passes together at all.
    We made the spuds look good yesterday by sitting far too deep and allowing their big units in the middle of the park far too much time.

    Ho-hum, on to Leicester.

  18. chas says:

    Visiting the sh*thole is always unpleasant but this person’s experience is beyond the pale….

    https://twitter.com/WeapzAFC

  19. chas says:

    WordPress is disappearing my comments first time, hence the extra full stops to stop the dreaded ‘duplicate comment detected’ nonsense.

  20. chas says:

    Would you give the ball back to Christiano? 🙂

  21. chas says:

  22. RockyLives says:

    A quick word about the Spuds…

    (Insert your own joke)

    They deserved the three points because we played well below par (particularly in ball retention in midfield).

    However, I wasn’t that impressed with them. Erikson would not get into our team and Kane is a just the flavour of the moment. He likes to score a lot of his goals by ghosting into the far post area – teams will wise up to it (it’s a shame we didn’t, yesterday) ands overall play is nothing special. Again, he would never get near the Arsenal first team.

    What the Spuds do have in their favour is that they are well drilled by Pocchetino and all his teams are famously fit, so they can keep going to the end. I could see him being snapped up by a big club some time soon.

    We can over-analyse that defeat or just put it down to a bad day at the office. I’ll choose the latter.

  23. wally says:

    Can’t complain. Effort was there.
    The difference for me was the engine room. Didn’t think Santi or Ramsey had a good game and with two new wide men the understanding wasn’t there. We lost possession far too easily, especially in the middle or in our half of the field.
    I think Giroud was dropping too deep which left us with no outlet once it came to to welbeck or ozil.
    it’s easy in retrospect to say we should have switched Santi out sooner. Whether that would have made a difference, who knows. It’s a stumble, but let’s pick up and keep going.

  24. wally says:

    On another note you have to commend Pochettino. He’s got that rabble organized and playing well. You’d like to see them take points off those above us but then that also hurts us. Sixes and nines.

  25. Gööner In Exile says:

    Can’t argue with much of that Steve.

    Although for me there wasn’t enough hoofing, or at least it wasn’t hoofed far enough or even into RowZ they were what I have come to call Arsenals Clearance cum Pass technique, we seem loathe to just put our foot through it entirely, even if it gives us a chance to move up the pitch twenty yards before they set about us again it’s worthwile.

    To be able to pass out of a press you need options, someone yesterday asserted that they allowed us to give it to Ramsey so that they could get the ball back easily from him, I disagree I think the reason Ramsey finds himself in possession so much in games like this is that he is one of the few that works for his teammates to give them a passing option, I don’t think his teammates did enough to repay him the favour and then he is trying to force a pass or being forced to hold it for too long.

    I do think although I’m not going to say yesterday’s was the fault of the ref you have to ask why Mason was not booked for a scissor tackle on Ozil (trailing leg at knee height) before Arsenal had Monreal and Welbeck booked for incidents where they made the slightest of body contact at half time Spuds led the foul count while we led the booking count.

    Now I think there is one very good reason for this, Spuds fans getting on Atkinsons back, and I really think we should learn from it.

    But also the stats lead to some other interesting things, apparently Spuds outfought us and we’re better at picking off our passing.

    Well tackles:
    Us 20/31
    Them 21/32

    Interceptions:
    Us 28
    Them 24

    The reason we struggled was because we allowed them to play in our half too much, look at their shots 23 made, 17 were outside the box, so we allowed them only 6 shots in the box but again that’s the problem we allowed them to force the issue we had to break down eventually.

    We had less possession and territory against City, City made far more tackles than Spuds, we made far more interceptions in the City game.

    But when we did get the ball against City we carried the ball much further and held it for longer not allowing City to dominate the ball in our half for prolonged period of times and upsetting the rhythm of their attacks far more than we managed to do to Spuds yesterday.

  26. chas says:

    GIE
    When you consider tackles and interceptions don’t you have to take into account how many passes were made by each team?
    They made 42% more successful passes than us. Shouldn’t our interceptions and tackles totals reflect this at least proportionately compared to theirs because we would have more opportunities to tackle and intercept?

    Passes
    spuds overall
    372 out 477 successful……….. 77%

    Arsenal overall
    261 out 373 successful……….. 70%

    spuds attacking third
    115 out 173 successful……….. 66.5%

    Arsenal attacking third
    78 out 124 successful…………. 63%

    Apologies if this is nonsense, stats always confuse me. 🙂

  27. Eddie says:

    chas @1:39 – priceless 🙂 that guy’s face says it all, very funny

  28. jnyc says:

    Nice of steve to post when nobody was probably in the mood to compose thoughts after yesterday.

    I agree with Rocky, as i usually do. Kane is hot. Eriksen wouldnt make our current bench. If there were a position of free kick taker, maybe.

    Arsenal fans must stop being so reactionary. The world of Arsenal did not fall apart.
    We have been in great form for a long stretch now.

    We played without our current most important player, Alexis.

    Spuds form has been equally great lately, they have zero players missing from injury.

    We were away to them and lost by one goal. Felt like it wasnt really that close.

    I think they overwhelmed us, and we can take a lesson from it for future against them or other teams. This is a game where our team should sit and study on video more than most.. our passing stats were unbelievably bad, we could never put anything together. We will bounce back.
    I thought our standouts deserved some credit. I think Nacho did us proud again, Arsene should make sure the Spain manager is aware of his play this year, he deserves recognition.
    Coquelin did his best again, he had our highest passing %, though still very low, and the goals we gave up didnt seem to me to be due to any fault of his.
    I disagree with some on bellerin, in that, he seemed to be playing all alone on the right for the whole first half, we were wide open on that side, im not sure whether welbz was at fault, maybe even le coq? Bellerin recovered and was able to hold it down luckily, , because if he had made one misstep or slip, someone would have been one on one with Ospina… it was a glaring problem early.

    Overall, just have to say, you cant win them all.

  29. Eddie says:

    Jenks and Song are doing well
    No love lost between them and the Dutchy

    yuk, that pig sherigsomething is there watching, spoilt the otherwise boring game for me

  30. stevepalmer1 says:

    Nice comment JNYC.
    Couldn’t find much to argue over that comment, Yes we lost and maybe the score was better than the performance, as you say we did offer very little but we were pretty resolute for most of the game,

    that game is over, but quite rightly you pointed out that they had been on top form, Kane has found his scoring form and sniffs out the ball well.

    Tottenham it has to be said, were as fit as hell, they chased every thing down and closed us up very quickly, Their Manager apparently is known for player fitness and credit should go to him.

    Our team used to be known for the same kind of fitness, but whether the injuries we have had has hindered that i can only guess.

    Tiredness hits when under pressure and the less pressure you receive gives added impetus, Tottenham worked hard pressed us and tormented us but even after 90 minutes we defended to the last seconds 2.1 i felt was flattering as i felt that they had hemmed us in well and we had no answer.

    I would like to believe that the important’s of the 3 points were what harmed us most, but deep down the defeat to them was much worse.

  31. Eddie says:

    Was it DidIt who wanted Falcao a couple of years ago? Bloody ell, just as well arsene knows better

  32. chas says:

    Spawny mancs for a change.

  33. chas says:

    DidIt wants everyone.
    He’s not particular. 🙂

  34. The Cockie Monster says:

    Only if they are £40M+ !
    It`s about the price tag !.

  35. The Cockie Monster says:

  36. The Cockie Monster says:

    This makes me think of Rasp popping in to see Eddie ! ( with card taking the place of the bunny ) ……..and me coming in afterwards !. hahaha

  37. Eddie says:

    Café Polski 🙂 I’ve never seen it before, on the telly, many times in real live.

    Rasp did not bring the Bunny Bunny last week, although it was missing. Perhaps tomorrow.

  38. arnie says:

    well done, Steve. 🙂 On a day when most Gooners would have found it difficult to think about football, you have given us some points to talk about.

    I agree with your assessment, generally. There is no shiny gloss that can be put on a performance like that. It may have been OK if this came against any other team. But against the Spuds, it is just shockingly inadequate. 😦

    Nevertheless, we are now in a 4 -team scramble for 3rd and 4th spot. So be it then. All to fight for! Hopefully the good guys will come out fighting. COYG.

  39. Eddie says:

    anybody watching the African CN final? What a joke 🙂 Two guys were headbutting each other, as they had nothing else to do and not even one yellow. What a boring, terrible game!!!

  40. chas says:

    I watched the first 15 then they gave out the stat that there’d only been 7 goals in total in the last 7 finals. That’s when I switched off.

  41. Eddie says:

    now he tells me! good night x

  42. ArseneAround? says:

    I think their 12th man the ref was a big factor in the result , he turned a blind eye to the coinchuckers provocative tactics and diving,gave them most the 50/50 decisions and denied us three clear penalties, did Levy throw money at him? Their one man team was present ours was being rested.

  43. arnie says:

    Chas. that story of the Arsenal fan was very sad. 😦

  44. Eddie says:

    even the penalties are a joke.

  45. arnie says:

    haven’t seen the game, but 9-8 on penalties looks like a cagey close game. perhaps better than rugby style violence in the name of football. 😦

  46. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Steve for taking up the mantle on a difficult post match report. I agree that the ref was awful but I really can’t go along with this being the main reason for yesterday.

    The performance is actually hurting me more than the loss as I think it points to a far bigger issue. I can accept a 2-1 loss if we have been a bit unlucky but, I hate to say it, we were largely dominated and Spurs fully deserved the win. We literally did what we so often accuse other sides of doing and parked the bus. We looked a mid to lower table side against a top of the table team and that for me is hurting and is more embarrassing than the actual loss.

    There have been so many mentions in the days running up to this game about how many Spurs players would get in the Arsenal side and I agreed with most that it was hardly any so we should have been the better side…. right? At the very least we should have been the better side that lost through bad luck and some dodgy refereeing calls….right? Wrong, we just looked utterly inferior, lost and bereft of ideas.

    The worrying thing is that for me we have a worrying trend recently of, not just losing, but being outplayed by teams who on paper are inferior to us on a player by player comparison.

    So if we had the far superior side and were still outplayed as easily as this what explains it? For me unfortunately the finger has to be pointed at the manager. He chooses the team, sets it up how he wants it and provides the tactical instructions. Almost from the moment we scored we started to lose the control of the game. The dynamics and balance were not right and it was there for all to see.

    Why then was nothing changed between the goal at 11 minutes to the 67th minute? When the change came I am sorry to say that Cazorla for Rosicky seemed a like for like. It didn’t for me change the dynamics and balance in any way, and further didn’t suggest to me of any recognition of a need to do so.

    I suppose this is why I have been cautious in becoming too optimistic on the back of our recent results. I had a bad feeling that another stinker was around the corner. I made a point on a couple of occasions last week that I was concerned that as we got more options coming back from injury that there was a possibility of not getting the right balance in the set-up. I believe this is what happened and I feel we also saw it earlier in the season.

    I still think Arsene just wants to get what he considers all his most technical players out there regardless of anything else. I think I commented even as early as last season that AW always tries to get Ozil, Ramsey and Cazorla on the pitch at the same time but I feel it doesn’t work and it leaves us unbalanced and weakened particularly in the threat from wide and pace aspects.

    This becomes more important when Giroud leads the line as, despite his attributes, he rarely gets the better of defenders in a straight foot race. Having another quick player close to him to work off and get past him would to me have been important. IMO it just invited them to play a high line and compress all the space in our end of the pitch so that they were more able to win it back in our half and we had no outlet to get the ball out and hold the possession while others joined in the transition from defence to attack.

    They were also able to bring there FB,s into almost permanently supporting the attack and must have felt like Christmas had come early that we didn’t seem to be the slightest bit interested in utilising the space the FB’s were leaving behind them or the space behind the CD’s due to the high line.

    Danny was our only pace player to start but is only just back from injury, so is likely still a bit short of his full pace and sharpness. Also, bar a couple of instances, he seemed to spend most of his time deeper and defending and did look rusty on the ball to me often losing possession.

    We have seen this before when we sacrifice pace for too many midfield technical players who prefer to operate centrally. I may of course have this all wrong but it just seems such an obvious thing that we often don’t look good with this set-up and with a lack of width and pace. I just feel it looks an easy thing to correct and we have the players to do it but just overlook the obvious.

    Maybe it is just me (and Micky I think) who sees it this way but unfortunately I do lay the blame fully at Arsene’s feet for this one. The players didn’t perform well for sure but we keep blaming individual players and talk about how the players let Arsene and the fans down. Is it not possible that a huge amount of blame is due to an unbalanced set-up, that provides a poor platform for our (superior to the opposition) players to perform to their best from?

    Anyway retiring now so I can pick up on any counter arguments tomorrow.

  47. RC78 says:

    I did not want to say it…but here I am: “I told you so”…The game was won by basically 5 players for Tottenham:

    Lloris – Rose – Mason – Dembele – Kane

    Eriken and Lamela were not great but the big difference was the work rate of Mason and that of Dembele…On a given day, Dembele is just outstanding in his work rate and he showed up against us and so did Mason. I think Kana was also great but I thought that Mason and Dembele were outstanding. Lloris kept the ball out of his net as well.

    Where does that leave us? Behind Spurts and Southampton! I would like to see my team have the saame fighting spirit that allows Southampton to snatch 3 points and Man Utd snatch 1!

    At the end of the day, when we play deep, we need our two workhorses – Ox and Sanchez. Otherwise, we have to double up the wings with 4 FBs because none of our other players can actually cover the wings properly…Play Chambers – Bellerin on the right and Monreal – Gibbs if needed, if you want to set up deep. Bellerin and Gibbs go pass players easily and they can cover the wings. Otherwise – set the team to play high with Walcott and Wellbeck from the start…

    Poor way to lose it to a better (on the day) Spurs team…

    Ospina has a good game – not great but good. Very disappointed by BFG and Ramsey though…as well as Cazorla

  48. mickydidit89 says:

    Love the Eddie/Cockie conversation about my transfer policies 🙂
    Bit like two….oh bless

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    RC78

    You’re making the massive assumption we choose to play deep 🙂

    Anyway, win about 3-0 on Tuesday, and we could end the night in 3rd!!

  50. mickydidit89 says:

    So Raddy’s gone on holiday, or what he calls, a retreat 🙄

    Really struggles with reality he does 🙂

  51. chas says:

    Being able to go on a week long retreat on an island sounds as though he has reality taped.

  52. Morning all

    GoonerB wrote a very long comment last night that I’ve taken off for a post. I’ll let him know.

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas
    Stop making excuses for Raddy
    He’s weak. End of story 🙂

  54. Eddie says:

    micky – you did have a queer crash on Falcao last year, no?

  55. chas says:

    Away for a weak.

  56. chas says:

    A queer crash sounds bloody painful

  57. Eddie says:

    that chas @7:39 – I really like the fuck off bit, but who is who there??

  58. chas says:

    It’s “Park Life”, not ‘f*ck off’. 🙂

  59. chas says:

    I find it really difficult to believe that GoonerB wrote a very long comment.
    Was it about cheese?

  60. GoonerB says:

    Not about cheese Chas but could be considered cheesy. Morning BTW.

  61. chas says:

    Ey up, GoonerB.

    Looks like we might not have to face ‘new manager syndrome’.

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/feb/08/nigel-pearson-sacked-leicester-james-mcarthur-incident

  62. mickydidit89 says:

    Eddie

    You do make me laugh

    Never once, in any life, did I ever suggest buying Falcao.

  63. mickydidit89 says:

    GB

    I did read your comment, and you are spot on about me, but I was waiting till after 9, now the New Post. I have both barrels cocked.

  64. Rasp says:

    Morning all, I have come to the conclusion that half the blokes who blog on here think they are god’s gift 😀

  65. mickydidit89 says:

    Rasp
    Oh God, you’ve been doing those cryptic puzzles haven’t you
    In other words….eh 🙂

  66. mickydidit89 says:

    Eddie
    It’s Cavani I had a queer crash on

  67. Eddie says:

    micky – sorry, but I do tend to blame you for everything 🙂 you are an easy target 🙂

    genuine advice needed – I am thinking about buying a Land Rover Defender, second hand, not to expensive, what is the most important buying such cars? Mileage?

  68. Eddie says:

    not Cavani, a couple of years ago one of us wanted Falcao.

    * not TOO expensive

  69. Rasp says:

    Morning Micky 😀 you had a crush on Cavani, I mentioned a while back that Falcao was (statistically) the most prolific striker out there, but once a player’s value goes into the stratosphere they become tainted in my eyes.

  70. Rasp says:

    It was me Eddie. BTW I haven’t got your Rabbit (™) 😕

  71. mickydidit89 says:

    Bit of an expert on Land Rovers Eddie, having had pretty much every model.

    My first advice would be only if you’re not doing many miles. Superb off road, crap on them, but still, you’ll look sensational in one while wearing those shiny red heels 🙂

    Avoid any rust, and preferably buy one that has been a townie car ie there will be no sign of mud underneath. Do you really need a Defender (long wheel base) over the shorter 90?
    100K miles is nothing.

  72. Eddie says:

    rasp – you will have it by tonight, see you later 🙂

    So, are you relieved we didn’t buy Falcao? He is spectacularly useless

  73. Rasp says:

    😀 Falcao’s statistics show him to be the deadliest striker around but the hype and pressure (and price tag) have taken over from the football and he’s getting on a bit.

    Don’t buy a Land Rover, its only necessary if you go driving down muddy fields. 😦
    They are heavy on fuel, heavy on steering and short on comfort. There are 4 x 4’s out there that would be better for you.

  74. Eddie says:

    really? but Defenders look cool, go well with DMs 🙂 see you later

  75. Rasp says:

    Morning all ……

    …. New post …..

  76. RC78 says:

    Cavani plays for PSG and we paid 64 Mln EUR for him. He has a decent goal scoring record but nothing great to beh onest. I would swap him for Sanchez or Ox any day as we do not get enough goals from our wingers/forward at PSG…

    That said, the guy misses some clear chances but he is a horse. He is just lost a lot of confidence, being played out on the left…But when he was given a chance to play as CF, he blew it.

    I think our (PSG) system does not suit him. He can only play in a 4-4-1-1 with a guy like Del Piero/Raul/Bergkamp or in a 4-2-3-1 with one player playing really close to him…

    Anyways – He is really good but over-hyped. I think he should go to Spain, Italy or play for Liverpool – he will link-up well with Sturridge and Sterling.

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