Mixed Feelings ….. Arsenal v Liverpool

So Petr Cech has showed us we have have a world class keeper now. Happy with that. Again the footballing gods have betrayed us……a proper goal incorrectly ruled offside and Mignolet pulling out a couple of blinders (the only problem is so did Cech so that probably cancels itself out).

Well by my reckoning we should be at least 7 points from 9 after 3 games, and I say at least. So we sit on 4. It is easy to say that this is not so much a problem so early in the season with so many games left, but the EPL is so competitive these days that a top team like us, (capable of winning the EPL), could probably lose it in the first 5 games if they leave themselves too much to do. ย I believe playing catch up is now far harder to do and you will not see the likes of our overhaul of Utd in the 1997-1998 season again.

I believe playing catch up is now far harder to do and you will not see the likes of our In the last 2 seasons we have either finished as the winners in the first half or second half of the season but have not put 2 great halves of the season together and won the title. Consistency I guess is the order of the day. We could probably argue that injuries have played a large part historically, and I couldn’t disagree with that. Not quite having those extra 1-2 quality players in the right positions could also be an argument. I couldn’t disagree with that also.

However, despite all this, and my personal feeling we still require 1-2 key top players to be an absolute certainty as a top team, we still have a squad with the potential to beat any team out there and win the top prizes. So it is my assertion that we are not making the most of what we have available to us.

Boring I know to mention it again, but I still feel Arsene has a blind spot when it comes to favouring playing the types of players that he likes most as opposed to playing the best balanced side.

Don’t get me wrong, Liverpool are not a bad outfit, but are a side in transition with a lot of new players and are not ready for a serious title charge. We did play parts of the game in the ascendency with some good spells but the sheer quality of the players on the pitch tends to guarantee that at times. One of the serious title challenging teams will expose Liverpool this season and the fact that we didn’t do this, and also win the game, potentially doesn’t bode well.

In a more general sense I would say that I can’t think of a modern successful team that doesn’t have an abundance of pace and penetration from 2-3 sources in attack. In this game we really only had Sanchez as a true pacey attacking player from the start of the game. When we did introduce the extra pace players was it too late to have the time to influence the game

I said before the game that my biggest worry this season was not in who we did or didn’t recruit but in how we used the squad we had available to us to get the most balanced and fluid of teams. Others may see our problem areas as different of course and I always enjoy a different perspective, this is just the main problem as I see it

Walcott and AOC left on the bench for more slow but technical ball players? Were they introduced too late in the game? Were we just unlucky? Is it too early to make a judgement on us this season? Are bad habits resurfacing that will see us fall just short when we didn’t need to

A draw with Liverpool need not be a source of concern under normal circumstances, but for me there were possible worrying signs that we haven’t learnt from the past and that would be a shame for a team that I feel could win the EPL with what it currently has. Aside from the injuries this reminds me of the start of last season when we had a great team on paper but looked out of sorts. Arsene needs to sort it out quickly or we may end up the EPL champions for the 2nd half of the season again, and unless I am wrong they don’t give you a trophy for that.

Written by GoonerB

353 Responses to Mixed Feelings ….. Arsenal v Liverpool

  1. Malaysian gunner says:

    Chelsea played a similar passing game and were mauled by MC. Against Pool,the gunners were not given time and space compared to the corresponding fixture when they won 4-1.
    This time Sanchez was closely marked by two reds.To compound the problem the gunners engaged in a merry bout of endless passing in front of massed defences.They couldn’t make headway when the md is flooded.
    I think the gunners will not be able to win the epl let alone beat MC .I know its the 3rd game but somehow I’ve the feeling MC speed of attack will rip the gunners defence to pieces. I hope I’ m wrong.

  2. GoonerB says:

    Thanks GoonerB you pessimistic git.

    Sorry guys I don’t know what happened but some of the text in the third paragraph disappeared. It was supposed to read something like “you will not see the likes of our overhauling of Utd in AW’s first full season in charge again in the EPL”.

  3. GoonerB says:

    Cheers Malaysian.

    I concur with your points about Sanchez being closely marked. Was this because he was the only pacey player in our attack? Is it easier to mark out one pace player but more difficult if you have 3 to contend with? Can they all be closely marked?

    Do we have the available players in the squad to provide more pace and penetration in attack but just didn’t utilise them?

  4. Big Raddy says:

    GB. Fine piece of writing.

    I am not sure I agree that a team cannot claw back points given the improvement in the quality of the mid and lower table teams.

    Other than that I agree completely. The missing components are a Big Unit in midfield and a clinical finisher

  5. Thanks Gooner B

    As you say, the pace ie: the Ox was introduced too late. Wenger needs to give Oxlade more playing time. It was frustrating to watch our attack pass the ball around just outside the Pool penalty area only to lose possesion from a bad pass or a tackle. Very frustrating indeed. When the Ox came on, he got down the wing, got past Gomez and put dangerous crosses in to their box.

  6. Big Raddy says:

    If 2 or 3 players are marking Sanchez then it is hardly rocket science to quickly move the ball to the other wing. Didn’t happen yesterday.

    I guess this is a consequence of playing Ramsey on the right.

  7. GoonerB says:

    Agreed Raddy.

  8. Shard says:

    Seeing as that I’m probably going to be roped into writing something about my day out yesterday, I’m not sure how much of my thoughts I should share. ๐Ÿ™‚

    It may not have been a great result, certainly not what I was hoping for, but it was a great day for me regardless, getting to meet GIE, chas, ant and john, peaches and rasp.

    On the match, I felt we were the better team, but that a draw was probably not unfair. Still, I feelmdosappointed. It’s the first time that we haven’t won when I’ve been at the stadium. Not even a goal to celebrate.

    Oh and belated happy birthday to arnie. How’s the tooth?

  9. John says:

    Liverpool showed there’s not much difference between both teams, especially when Sturridge is back. A front 3 of Coutinho, Benteke, Sturridge would be frightening. A midfield 3 of Can, Henderson, Milner will be hard to get by and has quality. Clyne looks like probably the best right back in the league right now and Gomez was another great signing. City and Chelsea will finish 1st and 2nd. Liverpool will give Arsenal and United a good fight for the other 2 places.

  10. Rasp says:

    Apologies GoonerB, I don’t know how the missing sentence was left out – I’ve reinstated it ๐Ÿ™‚

    As for the game. I thought we were as lack lustre as we were at the start of last season. Sacrificing width by playing Ramsey out of position. For me, it would have been play either Ramsey or Cazorla and put The Ox wide right.

    We were too slow to get the ball forward. Our technical midfielders were all compressed as you can only do the intricate passing thing if you’re close together and this meant that the attacks were slow and the width of the pitch was not used.

    We do need a powerful midfield presence and a striker who doesn’t look like he’s running through treacle ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. GoonerB says:

    One point on Walcott, and I don’t want people to think I feel he is the answer as striker as I don’t really have that distinct feeling and still feel there are better options out there. It is more about looking at what we currently have and how fairly we assess him as a striker relative to our other strikers.

    It is a bit easy to say that he didn’t do much when he came on but that is a bit like assessing 2 business pitches and giving one lot an hour and the other 5 minutes.

    Walcott can only really be assessed statistically on games he has started as a striker. We had WBA and Aston Villa at the end of last season and Chelsea in the community shield. Walcott starts each and we win all of them, 2 of them with some aplomb.

    First game of the season, drop Walcott and we lose. Is it statistically relevant? I don’t know really.

    What are our stats for goals and wins per minute played as a striker for each of them?

    Even when Theo doesn’t look to be doing too much individually I personally feel the rest of the players in attack seem to look more effective playing behind him than our other strikers. It seems to me that they try and unlock and penetrate the defence in a different way (one more suited to their talents) with Theo up top. Then again it could all be in my imagination.

  12. fatgingergooner says:

    Playing Ramsey on the wing makes no sense to me. Do any other sides play central midfielders out wide when their wingers are fully fit and ready to go?

    Ox had a great pre season and looked as sharp as anyone (as he does each time he comes on) but the message Wenger is sending him at the moment is that he doesn’t trust him to do the job.

    The other problem with playing Ramsey wide is it just highlights the lack of pace. Giroud and ร–zil need pace around them to be at their best, otherwise it just becomes tippy tappy in front of an organised defence, much like lots of our play on the left yesterday. If Ox or Walcott had been on the opposite side then we would’ve had the option to switch and get them one on one with Gomez.

    Why not just play Ramsey in Cazorla’s position, which would also give us extra legs in midfield. I don’t see why Cazorla and Ramsey both have to start every game. It’s not like they are both on fire. Shoe-horning players into the team is poor management. Rotation is what’s needed for a long season and playing your players out of position just to get them in the team seems odd to me.

  13. fatgingergooner says:

    One point to add to that, when Welbeck is fit I think he will be first choice RW, because he gives us Sanchez workrate and has bags of pace. Maybe Wenger feels Ox doesn’t have the workrate and that’s why Ramsey starts. Problem with that is Ramsey doesn’t have the pace. Welbeck has both.

  14. Bryan says:

    Sad to say we will not be challenging for the major honours in my opinion 3rd or 4th again is the best we can ask for.
    I also don’t agree with you that Mignolet made any blinding saves, he made saves I would expect any keeper to make.
    No one could foresee that we would have to pair 2 CB’s that had never played together before & also have not had much game time & I do feel that would of handed Liverpool a massive boost.
    They did there best to help Liverpool as much as possible too.
    It is hard to take that we had a perfectly good goal disallowed so early in the game that might of made all the difference & spured us on to better things.
    But my biggest problem is that we have sat & watched while our rivals have spent untold money strengthening there squads while we have just brought in 1 player.
    That one player won us a point last night that there is no doubt but for me Wenger has let us down big time this year.
    If we had added another 2 players at the very least, yes we may of had a shot at the title.
    I love Wenger & what he has done for this club, we have added 2 top drawer players the last 2 years but this year we needed to go all out & show we really meant business.
    There is time left in the window I know but its all too little too late for me.
    I accept its not easy to get top notch players but if you don’t buy the ticket you don’t win the lottery.
    There certainly have been some top DM’s available that we missed out on.
    Also I am fed up of Wenger putting players in the wrong positions to fit them in the team & leaving players that are better suited to be played in those positions sitting on the bench & thrown on with 10 minutes to go.
    I think something is very wrong at Arsenal that they charge us the highest prices & continually let us down & treat us fans with contempt

  15. Shard says:

    Not specifically about yesterday, but as a general rule, i feel Ramsey plays wide because he can provide some solidity as well as a late runner. He’s good at finding space. Ramsey through the middle is good from an attacking sense, but defensively it creates problems because he gets caught on the ball much more than cazorla does.

    I think ramsey and arteta work because arteta can find ramsey and others to break through the midfield line. But coquelim can’t and that means we need more of a ball carrier in midifeld with him.

    If the ox would be a bit more aware of not dribbling in defensive areas, i’d say that at the moment, Ramsey should be starting on the bench.
    However, I did think that the ox should have been brought on earlier.Coquelin had a good game. Cazorla was good in defense too.

    But the attacking spark has been lacking so far this season. Odd really when the lyon pre season match. It’s like the last few pl games of last season rather than the games before and the fa cup final after. I’m not sure why this is.

  16. Rasp says:

    This is heartening … I thought Coquelin was superb but I also appreciated why he was subbed late on.


  17. Rasp says:

    And ….. in Paulista we have a very good CB who can comfortably slot in for either Merts or Kozzer …. Chambers will need a bit more time I think ….

  18. wally says:

    On balance probably a fair result.

    I’d agree with the comments about Ramsey. He plays too centrally and naturally comes for the ball. Unfortunately in the 2nd half we had no width on the right which made defending Sanchez easier.

    On the other hand he had the only goal of the game.

    I think you have to leave Cazorla central, pushing him outside reduces his effectiveness. Same with Ramsey. I would like to see more of the Ox. Like Sanchez he’s dynamic on the ball and creates problems.

    I’m not sure we’ve found our best XI yet. Or maybe it’s horses for courses? Ox wide might have relieved some of the pressure yesterday, but that’s just a guess.

    Still optimistic for this squad. Cech is coming. We’ll be ok, lots of footie to be played.

  19. ‘morning all, Watching the game late last night I thought Wenger just about got away with playing only Coquelin in front of the rooky pairing of Gabriel and Chambers. Even van Gaal played two defensive mids at the weekend, but Le Professeur stuck to just one. By doing so the area in front of the opposing teams penalty box gets even more crowded as Cazorla joins the passing fest and everybody starts bumping in to each other.

    Benteke caused a few problems, but never looked like scoring, just as our own “big lump” failed to do much of anything productive.

    Unless we can get an upgrade on Giroud, I can’t see us competing for the Premiership title.

  20. chas says:

    Cheers, GoonerB.

    I thought the wrongly disallowed goal was crucial.
    Then again, Coutinho hitting the bar instead of the roof of the net after 2m 18 seconds was fairly crucial, too.
    All in all, a reasonable point in a game of two halves.

    Superb to see Shard and the lovely Mrs Shard, AA royalty and the Norfolkian Menthol-Puffing Giant pre-match.
    What was all that gloom about rain stopping the FFB as a venue? Pfft. ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. PV4 says:

    I agree that the need for speed last night was obvious, and cannot see why there are times when AW just seems blinded by OG. Don’t get me wrong, I think that OG is a good player and at ยฃ12m he has no questions to answer. Not sure why we are linked with Cavani – an almost exact games/goals ratio at PSG as Olivier, but touted at ยฃ40m +!

    We don’t seem to value Ox or Theo as much. We should have played both last night as it was clear to see that their pace when introduced gave Liverpool’s defence a real headache.

    On Cech – so great to hear the detractors swallowing hard on their words. He showed last night why he will be worth 12 extra points.

  22. chas says:

  23. Malaysian gunner says:

    Agree with gunner 1969 about the gunners in the Pool penalty box.Why cant they go direct?Watch how CP beat AV ?
    The gunners were lucky when the attack broke down,Pool could not hit on the counter fast enough.
    This type of games reminds me of Wenger’s poor record against red faced and Chelsea.When the gunner attack broke down,Ronaldo/Roodny and Drogba latched on to the pass/passes to lash the ball home countless times.It had been going on for years.
    No wonder Wenger doesn’t learn from this humiliation.5 point s behind MC now..A loss against MC will mean the gulf will be wider.The gunners tactics are one dimensional and is easy to counter. So don’t be surprised Arsenal fall further behind. I jus pray I’m wrong,.

  24. GoonerB says:

    FGG, your 10.14 is spot on for me and Bryan and Wally your thoughts on who plays and where obviously largely tally with mine.

    Wally I agree when you say that you are not sure we have found our best 11 yet, or that Arsene doesn’t know his best 11. I have one major problem though that many of us were saying the same things this time last year and I have said that I think it is a problem to accommodate Cazorla, Ozil and Ramsey in the same team and it unbalances us as one of them has to operate as a wide player.

    If Arsene was still trying this formation last year to little effect and is now doing it again does that point toward a worrying inflexibility in his thinking.

    Bryan as you say there is still time to put this right but i don’t feel there is much time. Many of the fans and those on here may adhere to patience for another season if we don’t mount a challenge and look towards next season but will players like Sanchez?

    That is one thing that is conveniently forgotten. When a world class player like him comes to us it is normally because they have been sold a vision of a team looking to win major prizes. He himself said that he felt we underachieved last season so another one and our rivals will come knocking with the more genuine promises that they will add those last couple of bits to a side that can win the EPL that Arsenal seem, for one reason or another, to not be able to do.

    Start losing these types of players to other major clubs and we will have to start again and maybe be set back 2-3 years. It will also be harder to convince other players of their quality to join us because they will look at it and say “yeh but you have been saying this before to those other players before me so I am not sure I believe you”.

  25. fatgingergooner says:

    I thought Paul Easter and Coquelin were excellent yesterday and I think Chambers owes them both a pint. I think Paul Easter could go on to become the player we all thought Vermaelen was going to be.

    I like Giroud but we must find a world class ST to win the PL. Wenger hasn’t denied wanting one, but he has spoken about clubs not wanting to sell, which is a real problem. The best strikers are at the best clubs and on the most money, so how can we get them to sell? Cavani would be a risk but there is hardly anyone else available. Only other hope is that someone from within the club develops into a top class striker. Walcott, Akpom and Welbeck being the candidates, but that takes time.

  26. I think Wenger would profit from a spell sitting in the stand, he would get a different perspective and would be able to see how cluttered the left side of midfield/attack has become.

    Until the very late intruduction of Oxlade-Chamberlain we had nothing on the right beyond one or two incursions by Bellerin and even he tended to drift inside. No wonder Liverpuddle coud afford to put three defenders on Alexis.

  27. Rasp says:

    FGG, don’t forget Jeff RA. It’s way too early to get carried away over him, but I do think he’s a fantastic prospect. He’s big, strong, powerful, got a bag of tricks and knows where the goal is (and many more footballing clichรฉs ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    I’d liken him to Diaby, hopefully without the injuries. I expect we will see him in the CC cup and after that who knows?

  28. RC78 says:

    – West Ham won at the Emirates and lost two in a row…
    – Man City sits 5 points ahead of us (Won 2 away (everton and west brom and won vs Chelsea at home) – No goals conceded

    – Man Utd sit 3 points ahead of us (won at home to Tottenham, away at Villa and drew home vs Newcastle) – No goals conceded

    – Liverpool sit 3 points ahead of us (beat Stoke away, beat Bornemouth at home and drew at Arsenal) – No goals conceded

    – Chelsea is at the same level of points (drew at home to Swansea, lost at City and won at West Brom) – Plenty of goals conceded but scored a few as well…

    Let us be honest, the Top 4 battle really concerns the Big 4 + Liverpool and Tottenham…

    We are already behind 3 of our rivals and overall, we are not looking as potent as Chelsea and I trust Mourinho to tighten things up defensively by the time the transfer window is over…

    We should really have 7 points at least as we played West Ham and Liverpool at home and Crystal Palace away…I think 7 was the minimum but really we should have had 9 given what is coming up next…

    As for yesterday, we got done by the Referee and it had an impact on the game for sure but in the end, I am sure we will get a winning goal when off-side or be given a winning penalty this season and it will cancel this match out…

    Few things came out yesterday:

    – > Our Full Backs are not world class (said that before)
    – > We need another CB (said that before) because Chambers is still too tender and Gabriel still needs to adjust to the higher level and can only do it with BFG or Kos next to him or with someone that is a proven CB
    – > We need more steel in our Midfield, ideally at DM but we can do with a CM if he has the right engine and physical game that is needed in the EPL (Sissoko?)
    – > Cazorla is struggling this season
    – > Ozil needs to put in more efforts
    – > Sanchez has yet to hit form and we are already overusing him
    – > Giroud can say good-bye to the starting spot with this type of display

    -> Ox and Walcott need to start games – they are looking in shape…
    -> Cech has already made up for the Swansea game…

    No recruits:
    Cech – Bellerin, BFG, Kos, Monreal – Ox, Coq, Ramsey – Ozil – Walcott, Sanchez

    With recruits:
    Cech – Bellerin, GARAY, Kos, Monreal – Ox, BENDER, Ramsey – Ozil or Santi – Walcott, Sanchez

    Anyways – poor outing at the Emirates, especially in the first half

  29. RA says:

    Apologies but I seem to have been in a state of stasis and commented on t’other Post by mistake – so I have copied it here – altho some might say I should not have bothered. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Well done for the post-match Post, GB.

    I had mixed emotions about the game as it unfolded and the preamble also made me want to laugh as Brenda came out with his technical explanation of how Pool would beat us by โ€˜dominating the spaceโ€™ presumably by booking seats on the ill fated Virgin spaceship.
    What a plonker.

    The much awaited Monday night game against the Pool started off, for those of us watching on TV, in a blaze of colour with the wonderful green of the pitch highlighting the club colours of the players, and a discernible buzz of excited anticipation from both sets of fans.

    The Gooner part of that buzz soon turned to worried sounding gasps as it immediately became obvious that last seasonโ€™s much heralded youngster Calum Chambers showed he had not played much football in yonks, and despite trying to play with an artificial insouciance and without confidence in front of a capacity crowd, we instead saw evidence of his lack of pace, as well as his poor touch, passing and positioning which immediately unsettled the rest of the team as Benteke gave him โ€˜a right good seeing tooโ€™. that is the right phrase, I hope? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Calum’s misplaced passing out of defence, instead of giving the ball a great hoof, almost gave Pool two chances of opening the score โ€“ except our new man Cech pulled off a couple of stunning world class saves to rescue us.

    For spells the Arsenal attacking style clicked into top gear and some wonderfully intricate moves saw Rambo slot in a beautiful goal, but we could only groan as yet another poor offside decision favoured the Puddle and angered the Gunners when it was disallowed by a woeful Lino.

    Rambo has been criticised for playing on the right wing and hampering our pace in attack. So it must be my eye sight that is at fault because apart from seeing him score that wonderful disallowed goal with a darting run from the left, and helping out our dodgy defence, and then back up front making incisive passes to the forwards, on both left and right of the Pool defence (OK he does seem to wear heavy clogs at times and overhits the ball too often) the guy seemed to be everywhere.
    My advice to him would be to slow up, donโ€™t try and cover every blade of grass, and concentrate on one area of the game โ€“ that way you wonโ€™t be blamed for some things you did not do, and will get credit for the things you do do.

    Anyway the disallowing of Rambo’s goal seemed to switch off Arsenalโ€™s forward impetus and allowed Pool to get back to bullying Chambers, who really needs to go out on loan to get some game time and toughen up. [I felt quite sorry for him, actually).

    I will stop there โ€“ other than to say, it pees me off that all the pundits are saying LiverPiddle were so great and Arsenal were so poor, because the only team to score a valid/disallowed goal was Arsenal, and for all the chances they had in the first half, they did not score โ€“ did they? And they did not win the game โ€“ did they?

    Obviously Pool are serial chokers, and Brenda can stick his โ€˜jokeโ€™ about Ramboโ€™s shirt sleeve being offside, up his jaxi ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Malaysian gunner says:

    Redknapp said he cant see Arsenal winning the epl unless Arsenal buy 3 new guys. Well each analyst has his own view.
    Though I aint a coach I know speed is essential to scoring not trying to weave a way through a crowded defence.
    Arsenal are guilty of overplaying or overpassing. MC play a similar style but they have variation.That is why their speed killed off Chelsea.
    Unless Wenger starts winning and soon he could be under pressure.

  31. Rasp says:

    Hi RA, I think to be more accurate, ‘AW has been criticised for playing Rambo on the right’. The player just plays in whatever position the manager requires.

    No one can ever question Rambo’s work rate and commitment. Like Giroud, his pace is finite and he will never physically be able to turn himself into a speed merchant, but as you say, he has a fantastic engine and makes very good late runs.

    The trouble is that those attributes won’t help him get behind a defender and put a cross into the box when he’s played on the right – so understandably he tends to drift infield where he can function more effectively.

  32. GoonerB says:

    On the positive front I feel we have the basis of a squad that with a couple of additions and the correct balancing of the side can be the best in the EPL, and possibly even move onto the level of the other European giants. It is them that I feel we should be aiming at, the Barca’s, Bayerns, Madrids.

    As such I ask myself that if Ramsey were a player at any of those teams would he get any game time as an attacking wide player. I don’t feel he would be remotely considered in this role so why for us? He is good enough to play at these teams but not in that role.

    Conversely I look at AOC and feel that he would get playing time at these clubs as an attacking wide player so why is he overlooked at us in favour of Ramsey?

  33. Bryan says:

    With the players we have we should be doing better but to even contemplate on winning the league we need 3 more signings of high level.
    If we could find a captain for this team I think it would make a massive difference.
    I am even starting to feel that maybe a different manager could get better out of this team than Wenger is ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  34. RA says:


    You might be right – 12:55 – that it is Wenger who says which position each player takes.

    I do not think it changes my comments that Rambo is criticised for his lack of pace out wide – on here both FGG and GB have criticised him in that position — but that is not what I was referring to.

    My comment was about the fact that he hardly played ‘out wide’ so criticism of him for doing so is misplaced.

    You are certainly correct in saying that AW decides where and how players operate, and as I said he ‘scored’ from the left wing, he helps out in defence, he gets into the penalty area inter-play with Ozil, Monreal etc presumably on Wenger’s instructions – so criticising him for ‘playing out wide’ when that is only a small part of his game is……..?

  35. Rasp says:

    RA, I sat looking straight down at the right hand corner flag in the second half and I can assure you that we did not have one significant sortee down that flank until the introduction of Theo and The Ox

  36. GoonerB says:

    Good point RA, and I hadn’t thought about it that way, but that description of Ramsey means he is operating more as a free-roaming play maker maybe more akin to a number 10 role. I know AW doesn’t seem to like to pigeon hole players and we all want to see an expansive form of attacking football with players interchanging positions with great movement, but is their a fine line before it becomes haphazard and non-functional?

    Your assessment of Ramsey may be more correct in the strictest sense but that makes me question what were the roles of Ozil and Cazorla then if Ramsey is now our free-roaming play-maker. Which players give us the natural width and pace aside from Alexis? Ozil, Cazorla, Ramsey, Giroud? None of them would be my answer but that then leads to the question of do we actually need pace and width in our side or can you develop a top side without the need for this?

    If Ramsey was everywhere and none of him, Ozil, Cazorla and Giroud give us any real natural width or pace then I still think I arrive back at the same point that the team set-up was unbalanced.

  37. GoonerB says:

    RA, your brought forward 12.42 should have been the post IMO ๐Ÿ™‚

    I agree RA that it is nonsense to say that Liverpool were great. In fact I don’t think they look a great side at all and are still a massive work in progress with lots of new players yet to adapt to the EPL and their team-mates.

    Unfortunately that just makes me focus even more on how disjointed we seem to look in what I feel is a repeat of the start of last season. Personally I think any of the top 4 teams in Europe would have handed Liverpool a football lesson yesterday.

  38. John says:

    RA- Arsenal were at home and suppose to dominant Liverpool like last season and challenge for the league. Liverpool bringing the game to Arsenal and should’ve really had the game wrapped up by halftime. Liverpool deserved the credit in this match. They looked rock soiled and pass/attacked well too.

  39. Al says:

    Arsenal really missed out on Joe Gomez picking Liverpool. The kid looks a real talent and he’ll only get better. Can cover the whole back line too.

  40. RC78 says:

    I really think that we can sell Flamini and Cazorla as we have enough players in the midflield to provide cover…

    We can start with: Ox, Coquelin, Ramsey – Ozil –

    Our back-up being: Wilshere, Arteta, Rosicky

    But ideally we just buy Bender or Martinez or a DM or Wanyama or Sissoko as CM and then we really have cover…

    Our starting XI should be set-up in a real 4-3-1-2 where Ozil plays in the hole and he can be replaced there by Ramsey, Wilshere or Rosicky if needed in case of injury or poor form

    Ox and Ramsey have great engines and can play box-to-box and still be potent offensively. They actually have goals in them that can be scored outside and inside the box. Ox just needs to wise up when bringing the ball out of the defense…

    Cazorla is an excellent player but I am ready to sell him for above 20 Mln and get a tougher player in DM or CM…At the end of the day, Ramsey can play as CM and this is where he really thrives…Cazorla may be missed but if we get the steely player that we need, he will not be missed too badly…

  41. Malaysian gunner says:

    The epl is a demanding physical league. I am inclined to agree with Nevill e who said Wenger thinks having technical players can help you win the epl.
    We need monsters as well. Nevill e is right though Wenger may disagree.I am afraid when the season ends,Nevill e will be proven right. Then Arsenal will have another season to forget.

  42. RA says:


    You have proved my point — you saw that Rambo was not there – as he had not been substituted he was therefore somewhere else – hence those criticising him for ‘playing out wide’, when he was not there, or lacking pace on the wing, when he was…….. are making a strange point.

    Over the many years that we have both been blogging on here, other bloggers may come and go, but what seems changeless is my having to reassure you that I did not have you in mind when I was typing perfectly innocent opinions – and that is true of my comment today. ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. GoonerB says:

    Sorry John, as I said above I don’t think they look that great IMO and will be found out…however they could be made to look better by a team that is out of sorts and not functioning properly. A bit negative I know but it was more about us than them IMO.

  44. GoonerB says:

    RC, interesting that I see it slightly differently to you. For me I would expect us to have to repel some Pool attacks but I would then want us to be able to move the ball out from deep effectively when we have regained possession.

    The best scenario when this happens is that we can launch a dangerous counter-attack.

    The second best scenario is that we at least secure possession higher up the pitch thus relieving our defence and forcing Pool to drop deeper and face the music for a bit.

    The worst scenario is that we can’t or don’t bring the ball out properly by misplaced passes e.t.c which allows Pool to win back possession immediately when they can attack us again and again, almost like a siege type situation.

    The third scenario was unfortunately happening a lot yesterday but was also seen a lot last season so appears to have become an Achilles heel for us. Even a sub standard Spurs managed to do this to us at WHL when on paper we looked the significantly better side.

    This tends to happen IMO when the opposition can play a high line when they are in attack which means that when we win back possession they can compress the space and leave us less options to move it out. What dictates whether a team can play that high line? Normally the threat or lack of it to get in behind them or in other words pace.

    The movement and position of more advanced players would also be important so that the player trying to get the ball out from deep has more options so you don’t want too many players congesting in similar areas.

    This I feel is one of our great faults at present and even a year ago as well, and I don’t think another DM would solve this, even though I wouldn’t say no to one. I just think this player would face the same issue in this team of receiving the ball looking to bring or move it out and finding compressed space from their high line and congested Arsenal players with limited passing options, and would then just start misplacing passes like all the others.

  45. RA says:

    Hi GB,

    Now your comment @ 1:38 is getting to the meat of things – in my opinion – ๐Ÿ™‚

    When I heard Gary Neville on TV last night launching into his comment regarding Arsene being ‘arrogant’ it was bit like listening to myself.

    I have for a number of seasons been questioning AW’s choice of bringing in skilful Diddy Men to play in midfield and attack, rather than also introducing a mix of skilful bigger men to complement them.

    In fact, if you were to look at the youth team selections, you will see that we seem to adopt the same selection criteria there – and one of the most promising CBs at the moment is skilful 18 y.o. Pleguezuela a Spanish player from Barca, who is about 5’10”.

    Unless he changes the position he plays in – that kid will not make it at Arsenal, and so it goes on.

    Neville was right to say that Cazorla, Rosicky, Walcott, Ozil, etc, and also Flamini, Arteta, Rambo all come out of the same cornflake box, as they are physically so similar. Where are our new players who are the physical replacements for Petit, PV4, Gilberto, Pirez etc?

    So, I do not know why Rambo is or is not played on the wing, or the midfield – I cannot comprehend why AW can seriously think that Cazzor is a defensive midfielder, or why he has not really looked to the fairly near future and started to replace Per Mert, let alone to replace Chamakh with another limited CF like Giro, who I really like but is not the CF to help us win the Premiership, and why is Le Coq now seen as the only real DM we have (not that he was a DM before last January) – if he gets a red card – always a possibility – or a long term injury – what then? Arteta has had more injuries as he has become older, and his pace has inversely slowed as each season goes by- and he has always admitted he is not a real DM.

    Apologies for writing this somewhat disjointed response – various interruptions have occurred.

    Incidentally, your Post was excellent – I and the others all enjoyed it. ๐Ÿ˜€

  46. John says:

    GoonerB, but that’s just your opinion mate.
    Another opinion would be Liverpool now know how to defend and will only get better when the new players settle and Sturridge returns. Liverpool beat Stoke away which is never easy, and should’ve beaten Arsenal in the first half. They couldn’t have done much better this season so far. Clyne and Gomez have made an obvious big difference at the back.

  47. Bryan says:

    Can’t say Liverpool have impressed me overly, Its easy to attack a team that has a defence that keeps giving the ball straight back to them in dangerous areas, I actually think we made them look good.
    If Liverpool were that good they would of taken advantage & scored some goals.
    Everyone gets on poor OG’s back but Benteke, is no better & some pundits are saying what a great buy he is.
    Cech made a brilliant save from him but lets be honest, Benteke should of buried that chance

  48. Bryan says:

    John, Liverpool would of lost 2 games if the ref & linesmen had done there jobs properly ๐Ÿ˜‰

  49. RA says:


    I take it you are a Liverpool fan?

    As this is an Arsenal blog, it stands to reason you will hear somewhat Arsenal biased comments.

    Have you tried ’empireofthekop’ – you will like that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  50. GunnerN5 says:

    GB you write great articles, thank you.

    I haven’t had the time to read through all of the comments, but here are my thoughts on our season to date.

    Disappointment is my predominant feeling. Based on our pre-season results, the signing of Cech, the fact that we still had Alexis to come back and the potential of us adding more power to our offense and more steel in our defense I was looking forward to seeing a dominant team this season.

    Instead we have witnessed 3 very sputtering performances and in truth pretty much the same as last season. Possession only works in our favour if we create an end result and we clearly have no end result – endless tricky moves and passes in front of the defense makes for a very happy defense. When oh when will we move on from potential to actually creating a cohesive team of over achievers – never at this rate.

    Wishing and hoping that our “potential” turns out to be something special seems to have become a way of life for us Arsenal fans, when oh when will we see our club simply say fuck it we are going to take a risk and buy XYZ players.

    Are we doomed to waiting for “potential” to score a few goals or block a few shots or will we get off the pot and take a risk?

    Disappointed but still not completely disillusioned…………..

  51. RC78 says:

    GB – I think we have two major issues:

    1. Breaking opponent’s play early enough so that they do not become too dangerous

    2. Lack of ability to launch counter-attacks and diversify our play

    Again – I really think that our FBs are hurting us as well as the ability to set the tempo in midfield.

  52. GoonerB says:

    RA, I concur with you. It may be in my imagination but I think we have seen many disjointed performances over the last year with the Ozil, Cazorla, Ramsey, Giroud combination.

    The player who is the supposed wider player changes at time from Ramsey to Ozil and occasionally Cazorla. There may have been a few wins with this combination but from my recollection there are many, if not more, bad performances when AW opts for these combined players.

    I see it as a failed experiment but what is more disappointing is that it wasn’t working a year or so ago then we find form for the 2nd half of the season often with more pace and natural width, so it looks like we are developing and finding our best side, only to revert to the failed set-up again.

    I almost feel that as he is developing the side someone presses a button on Arsene that restores him to factory setting. It seems to me he just can’t help himself when it comes to techy tippy tappy CM’s and how many of them he can squeeze onto the pitch at the same time.

  53. GoonerB says:

    John, you may be correct and we will see as the season progresses but if Liverpool were to be more vulnerable it would be early on as the players adapt to each other and I still feel another side would have exposed them but we didn’t.

  54. Bryan says:

    3. Inability to buy players in the transfer window

  55. GoonerB says:

    GN5, thanks. I know you have been through many Arsenal eras and will be more patient and humble than most but in the modern age the top footballers aren’t.

    It is not just the fans, it is our top players that will question and look to move on if Arsene can’t deliver and that really would set us back. This for me is more dangerous than how the fans feel. I can see top clubs eyeing up Kos, Bellerin, Sanchez, Ozil, AOC by the end of this season if it doesn’t go well.

  56. GoonerB says:

    RC, the full-backs? Maybe you are right but I am not sure whether it is the main key problem area.

  57. GunnerN5 says:


    Along with my disappointment I’m also very frustrated I’m very concerned that we have left it far to late to buy the players we need – waiting for the perfect fit may never happen – but we still seem to be waiting.

    I really hope the “Arsene DOES know”

  58. Rasp says:

    I think our fullbacks are pretty good – certainly not a weak link in the side. It was unlucky to lose both first choice CBs before the game, no one is to blame for that, it is the shape (or lack of it) of the midfield that concerns me.

    I get the impression that AW works it all out during the season and sooner or later, finds a formula that works, and that may be somewhat removed from the way he had originally envisaged playing. But then he forgets all that over the summer and returns to his dream scenario in which we play amazing creative football and the opposition do nothing to counter it and allow it to happen ๐Ÿ˜†

  59. GunnerN5 says:

    Rasp – To infer that AW is a dreamer is way out of line – there can be no doubt that AW prefers to play an open game of football with crisp patterns and quick passes but he has not built the club we know and enjoy today based on dreams.

    I won’t resort to digging up facts about his achievements as they really stand up and speak for themselves.

    While I’m disappointed I still stand behind him and continue to hope that he really does “know”.

  60. GoonerB says:

    I feel the same with that last bit you said Rasp. I am not sure if I would describe Arsene as either arrogant or Naive as Neville said, although some of his observations hold true for me.

    I tend to feel he is too much of a romantic idealist who just can’t let it go, even though I think his knowledgeable football brain tells him otherwise. It takes a crisis point and the natives getting very restless before he relinquishes his dream each season and by then we are normally left with too much to do.

    To be honest there is nothing more exciting in football than a player that is prepared to run at the opposition IMO. I feel they are the real bums off the seats players so I am not sure why Arsene seems to find this keep ball so attractive.

    Van Gaal seems to be making the same keep ball mistake with lack of penetration at Old Toilet at present but Arsene has been in this league longer so should have a more realistic idea of what works best.

  61. Rasp says:

    Ah GN5, this is where we differ.

    I am convinced that AW is a football ‘romantic’ – a purist if you like, and I wouldn’t consider that to be a negative necessarily (certainly not an insult).

    There is no doubt that if all other managers tried to play football the Arsene way, we would have won many more trophies under his reign, but they don’t and the likes of Maureen have consistently negated our stylish approach because they know AW will not compromise his principles.

  62. Rasp says:

    Sorry GB, I just read your comment after I had posted mine – it seems we think alike on this subject ๐Ÿ˜›

  63. Bryan says:

    Why does Wenger seem to be the only person on the planet that does not seem to see, we need more quality players to make a decent challenge though?

    Everybody & there dogs are saying it but still he does nothing, I am sick to death with just playing for a CL place every year

  64. GunnerN5 says:

    GB & Rasp,

    Sounds as though you would both prefer us to play “direct” football
    more like the Man U of old. Lets face it that was glorious game winning football and Fergy’s results prove the point.

    However we have to face the facts that we do not have the same style of players that Fergy had (as AW chose a “keep” ball style) so all the wishing and hoping in the world will not change our reality over night.

    That’s why I continue to hope that Arsene knows better than us observers………

  65. GunnerN5 says:

    Rasp – with our current team you are going to be an unhappy man for many seasons to come.

  66. Bryan says:

    Arsene certainly knows how to get CL football every year but I think he has not realised that like it or not in this day & age football success comes if you throw money at it.

  67. Rasp says:

    Fair enough GN5.

    But every time AW dips into the transfer market he has the opportunity to bring in a player that may have other attributes to contrast with those already in the squad. For this reason, I’d like to see our next midfield acquisition (whenever it happens) as one who has power, authority and leadership qualities as well as technique and skill.

  68. Bryan says:

    Yes that is exactly what we need Rasp, especially leadership qualities

  69. GoonerB says:

    GN5 Here is a tricky one. Were Arsene’s original sides a blend of technique, possession, directness, but without resorting to long ball play? I think we can all agree they were entertaining and successful in equal measures.

    The more tippy tappy play we often see now, has that always been his style or has he changed his ideology to a different style of attacking play from his original blueprint?

    I have held the view that he changed during the early stadium move to try a different form of attacking play. The question is is it more effective, and further is it actually even more pleasing on the eye?

    I hope Arsene knows as well but his changing what looked like winning line-ups and looked to be working a few months back to something that wasn’t working a year ago worries me.

    Hopefully by this time next week we will have played a blinder at Newcastle and possibly have 1-2 new shiny toys and will wonder what all the fuss was about.

  70. RA says:

    Well, I see the pot is nicely stirring. Well done the mighty GB – that is what all blogs need to keep them fresh. ๐Ÿ™‚

    You see, I find myself right in the middle of the two main ‘factions’ with the luxury of saying I agree with both GN5 and Rasper/GoonerB a camel warmer.

    Wenger is a genius. Agreed.
    Wenger does buy an awful lot of diddy skilful players. Agreed.

    I have no problem with the open style of football we play, and as Gary N said, if he was a ‘neutral’ he would always want to watch the sort of football Arsenal play.
    He also said that Arsenal were the toughest team(s) he had played against in his professional career when they had the physically imposing AND skilful players we had in the early 2000s – the invincibles.

    Sort of squares the circle, and it is not new – I have been banging on about the Diddy Men syndrome for years! ๐Ÿ˜€

  71. Gรถรถner In Exile says:

    Afternoon all, just a quick question, we ended the game with pacy Theo against tiring legs and pacy Ox against a man on a booking.

    Only Ox made an impact of sorts but that was mainly because we were overloaded on the left and Dippers were leaving the right exposed.

    If we aren’t in the title race then neither are Chelsea….that’s just silly talk after three games.

    So let’s look at what we could do better, well for a start I think we were unbalanced and where we were missing width was on the right, however had BFG and/or Kos started I am not sure that would have been the case, Hector stayed back more than normal I assume to support the back two, Nacho and Coquelin.

    Nacho joins in when he has the opportunity too, but that is rarely required as we have Alexis operating on that flank, Hector was also kept honest by Liverpools wide men.

    The answer is to make the three attacking midfielders far more fluid, I have no problem starting a three of Rambo, Ozil and Alexis as long as they respond to each other’s movements, if Rambo comes in Ozil should go out and vice versa. The disallowed goal came from Rambo running in off the left wing…..so proves that the movement is not necessarily the problem.

    Liverpool came to defend and counter, we needed to cross a bit more regularly and shoot a bit more from distance last night, seemed like we went from everyone wanting to shoot all the time against West Ham to an over compensation and lack of shots last night.

  72. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp & Bryan (4.00). I agree and we should spend our whole budget on that man. To get outbid on Kondogbia was shabby work from our management – he looked ideal.

    There must be others.

  73. RA says:

    Again you ask a good question, GB, @ 4:29.

    I do not think the ‘old’ Arsenal teams played much tippy tappy football, which I think came as a result of our ‘new’ guys being skilful enough to play across the line looking for a way through, but not being fast enough to do so.

    What should not be overlooked by us bloggers is the reason that Neville said AW was being ‘arrogant’.
    I believe he used a slightly different meaning to what is usually understood when that word is used.

    ‘Arrogant’ is often meant to mean conceited or too self important, while I believe he actually meant it in the sense that AW had an exaggerated belief in his own team’s abilities and this makes him believe (there’s that word again) that other teams should fear us rather than Arsenal worry about them.

    And he is broadly correct – except that he has overlooked the fact that his teams have set the model for all modern teams, and it has been copied by pretty much everyone else – big, fearsome, skilful players married up with smaller, skilful players with specialist abilities as wingers, DMs and forwards.

    In other words Neville was saying Arsenal were being out-Arsenalled by others copying the Wenger template, whereas we have gone backwards not in the way we play, which is gorgeous to watch, but in the type of players we have bought.

    Too much of anything is not a good thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  74. Bryan says:

    Finding a player with good leadership is quite hard these days, I always thought Bastian Steinwateverhisnameis would of been the perfect man 3 or 4 years ago but then he was unobtainable, but well past his best now hence at Man U ;-).
    Kongogbia was definitely the DM we have been craving & yes missed opportunity ….again

  75. GiE, Lack of shots last night?

    We had nineteen, although only five were on target.

    Liverpuddle, fifteen with eight on target.

  76. GoonerB says:

    GIE with regards to my thoughts on Theo I would refer to my 10.05 comment. There seems to be a theory that as he is quick he is an impact sub. He is often given this 10-15 minute “rescue the game role” and if he doesn’t do anything brilliant then it reverts to “well he did nothing when he came on”.

    I could probably pick a 10-15 minute period in most games when Giroud and most other top strikers don’t do anything either, so does it matter which 15 minutes a player doesn’t do much in? Most regular strikers are judged over the 90 minutes they have to effect a game and unlock a defence.

    Maybe just because he is quick it doesn’t necessarily mean his best role is coming on late against tiring legs. Does that always follow? Otherwise how do we explain his recent inability to effect a game in the last 10-15 minutes but that we have won all the recent games where he started as striker.

    Your other point about Bellerin being more cautious to help out the inexperienced CB pairing is interesting and I hadn’t thought of that, and no-one can lay blame to us losing our 2 1st choice CB’s in these circumstances.

  77. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all, Just got in, and have not read through the comments, so i could be saying what you have already discussed, but here goes.

    A week and a day since we last played, and if i speak the truth i didn’t think we had any problems with injuries, then just before the game i see that our two centre backs are now injured and Gabriel and young Chambers have stepped up to the plate.

    You could have knocked me over with a feather, Gabriel who i think has had a couple of kicks this season and poor Callam not a game to his credit since last season. And who has he got to mark Benteki. Now from the start young Callam had his work cut out, he looked unsettled and was getting stick by every one comemtators enjoyed his few mistakes ans kept on telling us how poor he was, and how good Liverpool was.

    That pissed me right off, Chambers doing his best with hardly any support, who can blame the rest of the defence as who else wanted to mark Benteke. Yes Chambers had a mare but the lad stuck at it, he would have come of there with a few Benteke bruises but he still challenged and won his fair share of headers the lads got guts.

    He was put out to mark a player that can be physical, and as far as i was concerned done his best. Yes Wenger could have ordered player to have given him more support, but in the end the two centre backs did the job they was asked to do by keeping a clean sheet.

    Petre Cech got MOTM, not for me The Coq was briliant, without his tackles and tenacity this game could have been catastrophic he fought to the minute he came off. Cech did well, but what do you expect from a world class keeper, he did what he should have done in the first game, and as i remember Coq was shit hot in that game as well.

    It has to be said that the gap is widening at the top, and we have still not won at home, a good goal disallowed didnt help but the pundits and the Pool supporters didn’t mind did they,

    The liverpool pundit gives me arse ache listening to the pillock drives me mad , apart from that he has nothing to say that i want to here. Penalty no i dont think so, offside yes the mans an arsehole.

    We are struggling of that there is no doubt, we knew we needed players, as Oly just can’t the mustard The Coq is alone and needs help and now we have problems at centre back so i reckon 3 players. Should have had them in place by now we all know that, Arsene your a skinflint, get you arse in gear mate and get those players , and in future get them in from the start its not over till the fat lady sings but she’s warming up

  78. Eddie says:

    Thanks for the post GB! You made some excellent points and to be honest we probably all feel the same, a bit let down. Again. Another season, summer of hopes and the true reality of what it’s like to be an Arsenal fan.

    Frank Warren was speaking on the TalkShite radio today and he more or less said what you have, ie we are already 5 points behind City, we are still hoping to sign players who will have time to acclimatise, we haven’t got a leader like Frank McLintock, Tony Adams or Vieira. He wasn’t too complimentary about Wenger – acknowledged his great achievements and had a good moan about Arsene’s limitations.

    Don’t know about you, but I am so used to the same year after year September scenario, that I would probably feel uncomfortable if we were doing well at the beginning of a season

  79. Big Raddy says:

    The focus of my pre-match was the inconsistency of this team and last night was a perfect example.

    Have you ever seen two such different halves of dominance?

  80. RA says:


    1st Half:

    — Desperate and unnecessary defending gives Piddle a chance to score – and poor old Calum has a nightmare.

    — Arsenal have good goal ruled out – adds to pressure.

    2nd Half:

    — Arsenal say sod the defence – take Le Coq-a-Doodle off – and go all out to score. Piddle get little chance to attack Calum.

    — Arsenal should have scored at least one – Giro slips on his ass – or is kneed before going down.

    — Oxo runs riot with his dribbling and shooting. Puddle spend a desperate 30 mins defending.

    The real disparity between the two halves was the unfortunate hole in central defence caused by poor old Calum. [He will come good].

  81. Gรถรถner In Exile says:

    Ok I need to explain a couple of things, I wasn’t comparing Theo and Ollie, my point was that pace is not the only solution. When Ollie was on Liverpool played a relatively high line, when Theo came on they dropped ten yards. Makes sense really, Ollie can make you pay if he can bring others into play close to goal, he can’t do that as effectively if he is further away from the goal. Especially given the conditions last night Ollie was always going to struggle to do anything with a ball over the top as it skidded out of touch.

    As soon as Theo went on the Liverpool line dropped, because suddenly they would be exposed of they gave him ten yards to run into, so whichever way we started yesterday Liverpool would have done the same.

    On shooting I was talking more about the positions shots were taken from rather than the quantity. Against West Ham I felt we were forcing shots from distance into crowded areas, and overlooking passes. Last night I watched the first half attacks at close proximity, Liverpool fans next to me were screaming blue murder at their team to close is down, I could hear Mignolet telling his team to hold shape and line. So there was plenty of time to line up a shot or two, start doing that and then they have to become more aware of the threat and shut you down, leaving passing options for the little one twos.

    I would guess a lot of our attempts came late in the second half, but cannot guarantee it.

  82. Big Raddy says:


    1st Half:

    Dreadful passing of almost the whole team in the first half.

    The way L’pool were able to attack at will (and not just towards the unfortunate Chambers). Both Monreal and Bellerin went missing as attack after attack came down the wings and Benteke should have scored a couple from crosses.

    The inability of OG, Sanchez and Ozil to make any contribution.

    No cohesion whatsoever between Attack, MF & Defence

    2nd Half

    L’pool go into their shell. Who knows why?

    This allows our backline to gain some confidence. Calum has space to find a pass and relax into the game.

    Ozil and Sanchez combine with Monreal to bamboozle L’pool’s right side.

    Our shooting remains pants until Ox comes on.

    IMO OG should have stayed on allowing Ox to find him (Theo was anonymous)

    I think the disparity between the halves is more to do with an inexplicable reluctance of Rodgers to commit to attack after the break, allied to a more energetic and composed Arsenal.

  83. fatgingergooner says:

    If a powerful central midfielder is what we need, then would the 6 foot Lars Bender fit the bill? We’ve had bids rejected in the past and it’s been reported we sent scouts to watch him play last week.

    IMO we don’t need any more midfielders just yet. I think we have enough for this season, but with Arteta, Flamini and Rosicky likely to leave very soon we need to be proactive and line up a top drawer holding midfielder and box to box midfielder for next season.

    In fairness though that’s probably what we should’ve been doing for our CF position a year ago but here we are hoping for something in the last week of the window! Our priority should be a striker, just as it was when we had a ยฃ40m bid rejected for Suarez. Since then we signed Welbeck and Sanchez, but are either of those players a world class CF?

  84. RA says:

    OK, Raddy.

  85. Gรถรถner In Exile says:

    Ok so 4-4-2 Stats App says:

    1st half

    shots 3-11

    On target 1-5
    Off target 1-3
    Blocked 1-3

    2nd half
    Shots 16-4

    On 4-3
    Off 8-1
    Blocked 4-0

    Half of those shots came in last half of second half and none were blocked, which maybe proves my theory that we were making better opportunities for ourselves to shoot unopposed because we had taken a few pot shots and forced them to break ranks.

  86. Gรถรถner In Exile says:

    If anyone is really interested I recommend downloading the 442 Stats Zone App.

    Some really interesting stats from last night, I know in a “what I saw vs stats” arguments are futile but maybe some I’ll rethink their position on certain players performances when they look at the stats.

    For example Santi who apparently had a bit of a shocker last night was highest passer of the team, only 9 of 96 went astray, Ozil 15 of 90 went astray, Alexis 10 of 70.

    Also if you look at the halves and pass combinations it is clear why we had a much better second half.

  87. chas says:

    Poo on my finger

  88. GoonerB says:

    Good stats finding GIE. I know you weren’t making direct comparisons but there does seem to be a common theme that if Theo doesn’t do anything great in his end of game cameos that this justifies his not being a first choice from the start.

    It does sound like I am a true Theo fan but in reality I think we need something else that we don’t already have so this is not strictly true.

    I will stick my neck out though and say that I think Theo is probably a better bet with what we have currently have, and it is maybe slightly incorrect to decide what he can and can’t do and what his worth is based on these fleeting late appearances.

    It seems to me that when the Ox and Theo start we look a better outfit, look more fluid in attack and seem to be winning, so I just don’t quite get why AW suddenly decides to bench them.

    But I wasn’t aiming any criticism GIE ๐Ÿ™‚

  89. Big Raddy says:

    Chas. How and why?

  90. Eddie says:

    Raddy, why would you want to know such thing

  91. Red Arnie says:

    Lovely one, GoonerB. ๐Ÿ™‚

    A day for quiet contemplation, and plenty of Paracetamol to try and stay fit for the 3 days that Shard and his lady will be around. Chas @6:23pm captures my feelings rather precisely. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Well, a few points.

    1. 5 out of 6 points dropped at home does not make good reading. But only the beginning of the season.

    2. 2 points dropped at home to Pool is not that bad, provided we can win away. So, I will hold on to my judgment for the mo.

    3. Can Shitty continue in this form? No, at lest by the record of the last year.

    4. Positives to take: Cech, Le Coq, Paul Easter.

    5. Having said all of that, being unable to go behind the defenders is a worry. Being unable to feed Giro is a worry.

    Nuff said. COYG. ๐Ÿ™‚

  92. RA says:


    Have you ever heard my theory about having a debate of the deaf? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Your 6:30 p.m. — done to death — can you give it a break — please?

  93. RA says:


    Stats without context, eh? ๐Ÿ™‚

    You forgot to mention that 50% were in the pre-match keepy-uppy. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And in his missed passes Cazzor’s were all 2 metres out from an open goal. ๐Ÿ™‚

  94. Big Raddy says:

    Great atmosphere in Malmo.

    Heja Malmo

  95. GoonerB says:

    RA, no problems. All finished with that one as there will be no need to mention it anymore, because everyone will be playing ball and not going on about you know who being rubbish because he didn’t do 50 keepy uppies then beat each opposition player twice in one dribble before performing a Rabona into the top corner in a 45 second appearance. ๐Ÿ™‚

  96. GoonerB says:

    Hope you are feeling better Arnie and I hope you salvaged some good times from your birthday. I love your optimism Arnie so I will try my hardest to embrace it and push aside the horrible feeling of Deja Vu that has been plaguing me for about 24hrs.

  97. RA says:

    Eh? Speak up, GoonerB. ๐Ÿ™‚

  98. GoonerB says:

    The mystery of Chas’ poo finger deepens….

  99. GoonerB says:

    RA ๐Ÿ™‚

  100. Red Arnie says:

    GoonerB. ๐Ÿ™‚ yes, deja vu, but thats in the past now. water under the bridge. onwards and upwards. ๐Ÿ™‚

  101. Malaysian gunner says:

    Arsenal are now 5 point s behind MC. Lose the game against the blues and it will be a massive 8 at such an early stage.
    The problem is Wenger thinks his pretyy soccer with intricate build ups will win games.It has been proven time and again you need a blend of the various components ie physique,technique,etc to win.
    Ignore them at your peril .We all know Arsene knows best.
    But if he can’t start winning and winning asap,he could be under severe pressure and run out of excuses.

  102. fatgingergooner says:

    Spurs away! Cracking draw.

  103. 1979Gunner says:

    I posted on here this time last year asking why Arsene seems to let the season start as if Arsenal are ill prepared and before we know it we’re playing catch up. The season is slipping away so soon. Any strengthening of the squad should have been done and dusted by now. Ins and Outs. It cracks me up.

    That’s the bottom line.

  104. Gรถรถner In Exile says:

    I do love a bit of hindsight blogging, I would really like to know how many felt we were ill prepared having demolished Chavs in the Community Shield?

    Ok it was only 1-0 but they were never in the game.

    But three games in (and three up and down results later) apparently our weaknesses were clear as mud to all concerned.

    Now there was one big difference between pre season and yesterday, Alexis ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

  105. Gรถรถner In Exile says:

    RA I have no idea how far out Santis misplaced passes were, they were mainly up the other end of the pitch from where I was sitting

    GoonerB I am not the greatest Theo fan but I do recognise he has attributed that the team could benefit from. We’ve just extended his contract, if Arsene didn’t believe he had a use for him he would have sold him. Part of me wonders whether Arsene is making him stew a bit before saying “do you want to play right wing again?”.

    I’d hate to have to pick a team right now but I think it would be this:

    Hector…..BFG…. Kos…..Nacho

    Now last season I asked Arsene to play people in their natural positions and let them fight it out for the starting place, we have that in goal, and across the back 4, Paul Easter could take BFGs shirt if he continues performances like last night. Gibbs v Nacho, Debuchy v Hector.

    Defensive Midfield is a it of an issue although I think i’m happy with Coq and Arteta. I know many would like us to buy over the top of Coq but if his progress in the last calendar year continues we would be wasting money buying someone to sit on the bench.

    It is on the wings and the attacking midfield and link up midfielders could be better in terms of more defined roles.

    I’d like to see Santi/Rambo and Jack vie for that box to box position.

    Santi, Mesut, Rambo and Javk fight it out for the no 10.

    By my reckoning we need at least one widenan to help keep pushing every player across all the positions. Presently we have Theo, Ox and Alexis. I think Mesut could do a Pires like job and Ox could become a Ljungberg type. Neither were really that renowned for holding the touch line. But they did seem to have better football intelligence in terms of when to give width and when to go inside.

    I guess it helped that they had DB10 and Thierry to play with.

    And now I’ve said that I wonder whether we could shift to 4-4-2?

    Midfield of Ox, Rambo, Coq and Mesut
    Up front Giroud and Alexis?

  106. Malaysian gunner says:

    Wenger’s reaction to Neville’s criticism is typical of any boss who thinks he knows best.When Arsenal were conceding goals to set pieces and corners by the bucket load,he dismissed the jibes that he has 30 years coaching experience.
    The fm is an idealist and not pragmatic to know you need brawn as well as brains.The problem as Nevill put it is he has overloaded the team with technical players and not enough destroyers.
    That is why his record against MU and Chelsea is appalling. They know he likes to play possession football and hit him on the break.
    That was how Rooney and Drogba could score dozens of goals against Arsenal but not against Chelsea and MC.
    Myabe its early season blues. We will wait to see how the season ends.You can bet if Arsenal can’t get into challenging position by Xmas,he could be under intense pressure

  107. Arsenal away to Tottnumb in the Capital One Cup

  108. RA says:

    Morning Folks, ๐Ÿ™‚

    GIE, my comment re your stats was just a tease. Sorry I did not make that obvious. ๐Ÿ™‚

  109. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Very interesting comments yesterday.

    Great result for Malmo. Hope we do not draw them in the CL.

    And Spurs will put out a full first 11 against our reserves, then talk about bragging rights

  110. Gรถรถner In Exile says:

    Sorry RA I didn’t take offence, I always forget to put smileys on as the typed word fails to deliver the intonation which would have been clear I hadn’t taken offence.

    Maybe WordPress can become audio press would be far easier than having to remember to put smileys on.

  111. Gรถรถner In Exile says:

    Raddy at the start of the season I would have backed Arsrne to field quite a strong side in the COCup, especially as youngsters who got used in CL last season are being farmed out on loan in their droves and we have a pretty good second XI, although I’m not sure it’s good enough to beat Spuds 1st XI. I guess we shall see.

    But with injuries already taking their effect maybe he will revert to mixture of reserves and second XI

  112. RC78 says:

    – Our back-up team should not look too bad though given our bench

    – Why our FBs are a pb according to me?

    -> Bellerin is still naive defensively with his positioning and Gibbs can at times be caught out as well
    -> Debuchy is prone to making fouls and getting injured
    -> Monreal is turning out to be ok but can you compare him with Lahm? Alaba? Azpiculueta?Coleman? Baines?
    -> They do not provide enough threats offensively either through crosses, assists, shots or goals although Bellerin
    -> They do not give us enough width at times where we need it

    In today’s game, FBs are critical as they really provide big options on the flanks…Given our play and players, we need more from our FBs…
    – How many assists have our FBs recorded in the last 3 seasons?
    – How many goals have they recorded?
    – How many crosses have they made in average?
    – How many times did they make successful runs?

    I know that their primary job is to be good defensively (and they are not even that good defensivel IMHO) but they also have to bring this firepower to the table…

    It is the same with our CM and our N.10, they need to bring in more defensively but also more in terms of variety with their attacking displays (shots outside the box, different types of passing, runs inside the box…)

    All and all, we are actually 6 players away from a real winning side but if we get 2-3 by January, we will be a big threat. These 2 or three have to be a CB, DM and if you want a third one, get a forward like Meertens.

    Cech – Bellerin, GARAY, Kos, Monreal – Ox, BENDER, Ramsey – Ozil – Walcott, Sanchez

    Osp – Debs, BFG, Paulista, Gibbs – Wilshere, Coquelin, Arteta – Wellbeck, Giroud, Meertens

  113. RC78 says:

    Callejon could also do up front

  114. RA says:

    Hi Exile,

    I don’t suppose it will be a surprise to you, but I happen to agree with almost all your comments and I also particularly pay attention to your more ‘technical’ observations because like Neville on Sky you explain things in a way that makes something much clearer.

    I cannot believe I am always being nice about Gary Neville these days, but he is really good at his analysis and explanations.

    Carrragher is probably pretty good too but he speaks so fast and in an almost indecipherable accent that I cannot be sure! ๐Ÿ™‚

  115. GoonerB says:

    GIE your 11.34 yesterday on the potential need for a wide player. For me we seem to be missing a top left footed wide player who can play from the right. Someone who can attack down the line and get the ball in but can also cut in onto a dangerous left foot.

    If we didn’t get another striker and were to have Giroud as our main striker it is imperative for me that the players working off him are goal-scoring players that have pace, or at least a burst of pace.

    We have that on the left with Sanchez but maybe the right needs to be improved. If Ramsey is current top option (better than Ox and Walcott it would seem to Wenger?) it definitely needs looking at. I am assuming the left footed wide player we have (Campbell) is not deemed good enough.

    It seems Yarmolenko has turned us down according to media reports (obviously true then) which will have Redders shed a tear or 2. I think he would have been an excellent option and also I feel had the look of a wide player who could have potentially converted to the number 9 role.

    I agree about Ox in a Freddie type role. The Ox has a broad range of skills and is very adaptable (without loss of performance) to different roles, so I am relaxed about him playing 2-3 different roles still at this stage, and I don’t feel it will hamper him in any way to a more permanent position in the future. I think the Ox (and perhaps Theo are also options playing from the left flank in any absence of Alexis for any reason.

    I am not sure about Ozil in a Bobby type role though GIE. I have been pleased with his performances recently and have him in my first 11 but I think he is high quality in one role but less adaptable to others. I feel both he and the team would drop in performance levels if we moved his position. I still think if we get the attacking balance right around Ozil we will see the true world class player he is.

    My interesting pick for a different role, (and another player I feel is highly adaptable to the point I could say exactly the same as I did about the Ox 2 paragraphs above), is Wilshere. I was quietly impressed with a couple of cameos he had from the wide right position last season.

    For me he is far more suited there than Rambo. Jack can go past a defender and has that surge of pace. If he is developing a more dangerous left foot that the recent England games and WBA game last season indicated then he could be an excellent option as he can take on a player on the outside and become supplier or cut in onto his left foot. It would also solve a temporary headache in how we accommodate all our CM’s when fit.

    So I give you the new English Messi ๐Ÿ™‚

  116. GoonerB says:

    Hahaha Redders, that is why they never exported the 80’s comedy Bread and the soap Brookside to your homeland. Your compatriots would have thought them both some weird surreal type of Star-Trek show with some distant cousins of the Klingons.

  117. GoonerB says:

    Has anyone ever seen Lee Mack on accents? Very funny. Maybe one of our more computer savvy bloggers (yeh that’s you Chas) could put up some clips. I believe there is a Liverpoodlian, a Geordie, 2 Cockerknees and also an Australian and South African.

  118. GoonerB says:

    GIE, looking at what we have been saying it becomes apparent to me that we do have excellent options in our squad. 1-2 additions would be nice and maybe push us on a bit, but it still brings me back to the main point of my post yesterday, to us not using what we already have in the most effective manner

  119. GoonerB says:

    What are you all out sunbathing or something. Only I am allowed to disappear for indeterminate periods of time, not the rest of you.

  120. GoonerB says:

    Just going to see if I have ever done 5 in a row (6 with this one).

  121. GoonerB says:

    Just beaten my record, WOOOHOOO. See you later you miserable anti-social lot ๐Ÿ™‚

  122. RA says:

    Interesting comment @ 10:11 GB.

    You are trying to make some sense and rationalise how and where Arsene deploys our current crop of midfielders.

    Good luck with that! ๐Ÿ™‚

    We are where we are, as the wise man did not say, and this is where I think misunderstandings occur when I say I do not agree with some of your theories. You see, to me it is too obvious that we have a whole bunch of similar players in midfield, and given we usually play 4 : 4 : 1 : 1 or a variation on that, it pretty much covers everyone from midfield and attack, excluding Giro, and eventually when all the injured players are back there is going to be a lot of tears and tantrums.

    So, start with a clean sheet and flexibly address the midfield/forward positions leaving the defence as is for another conversation.

    Ask yourself who out of the current bunch is a shoe-in, and who are OK but not really quite good enough and should be replaced?

    I am open to suasion as I have not got fixed ideas on this, but I would think Le Coq is in – (he is the only DM we have got) – Ramsey, Oxo, Mesut, Sanchez, Welbeck, Wilshere.

    And — not trying to score points — that would mean letting go: Rosicky, Arteta, Flamini, Giro, Walcott.

    — Replace Arteta with a better DM. [ Kraszchin??? – ask Eddie] ๐Ÿ™‚
    — We do not need to replace Flamini or Rosicky.
    — Replace Giro and Walcott. Kokorin and Yarmolenko are hot topics at the moment.

    With some great kids coming through, Queen of Adelaide. median Zellalem, Gnabry etc we would then be well set up.

    In the current situation trying to fit a quart into a pint pot, with players who are either too similar or not good enough is a short sighted strategy, and we need to think outside the box.

    Simples! ๐Ÿ™‚

  123. RA says:

    GoonerB the Chicken,

    Runs when the Arsenal get tough!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  124. RA says:

    Bugger auto-correct – as if it could beat me – ๐Ÿ™‚

    median = Gedion

  125. GoonerB says:

    Thanks RA, I knew you would come and talk to me ๐Ÿ™‚

    Still here, just. Just trying to formulate a quick (impossible) reply before I do sail off for a bit.

  126. RA says:


    Let me help you out!

    Just say, “You are completely right, Oh Great RA, and thank you for stopping me being lonely, and committing the insufferable crime of having 7 unbroken comments in succession!”

    How’s that – a friend in need …….. ๐Ÿ˜€

  127. GoonerB says:

    Agree with many things in your 10.52 RA.

    A better DM than Arteta….agree but I am not as sure as others seem to be that it is an EPL title deciding recruitment.

    No need to replace Flamini or Rosicky if they go…agree.

    Keep options for the kids coming through…agree.

    Replace both Theo and Ollie?….not sure.

    I like the look of Yarmolenko and feel he would improve us, but the other one I did read about but don’t know much about. Could just be my scouting is poor, but the cynic in me says that if we don’t know much about him then there is not much to know, and he will not be an upgrade on what we have or what we have coming through, so it would be a futile exercise to replace Theo or ollie with him.

    I am not certain on Theo at all despite maybe giving that impression. I do however feel he can be a game changer and could play 3 potential positions in left or right wing / wing forward or striker. As such I feel he is useful in the squad.

    Ollie I have been a critic of, not because I don’t like him as I do recognise his worth, but I don’t feel he is really a 1st choice 9 at our level. There is no adaptability in roles with him, it is striker or nothing. I feel there is an option for it to work with Ollie but for me the 2 players to the side of him (not just 1) have to be goal-scoring wing forwards who will come in more as a 4-3-3 (allowing for overlapping width from FB’s) and can run onto his lay offs and get past him.

    This would mean ideally a right footer from the left and a left footer on the right (like the Ribbery and Robben of Bayern a few seasons back), although it is still ok with an AOC or Theo from the right IMO. This is possibly where the option of Wilshere could help, or a recruit like Yarmolenko to improve who plays off Ollie to our attacking right side.

    It is becoming obvious to me that the right upgrade in striker may not be available, despite the fans protestations and we will have to make the most of what we have, which if done right is pretty good and not beyond winning the title.

    If we don’t get that set up right when playing Ollie and have slower techy midfielders behind him (as I think happened on Monday) IMO it doesn’t work and we look disjointed. Quicker players like Theo are probably better with the slower techy players behind them.

  128. GoonerB says:

    Oh sorry, ignore my last comment, you are completely right RA ๐Ÿ™‚

  129. RA says:


    There is, as you say, the question of whether or not better players are available or affordable.

    My suggestion is not a be all/end all type of thing – and until the above caveat is met, there is no alternative but to remain with what we have at the moment.

    Anyway, there will be many other opinions as to who should go, and who should stay, but AW will have to start making those decisions in the near to middling future.

    The old tenet that a settled team is a successful team, or it the other way around, and so with all the players we have, we cannot keep chopping and changing to try and keep them all happy — and we had these players last season and we came up short – ipso facto some of them are not good enough. harsh but true. ๐Ÿ™‚

    There is nothing I would take exception to in your 11:41, and pace is lacking in the team at the moment, unless Oxo or Theo play – altho the fastest man at the club, Bellerin is now a fixture. ๐Ÿ˜€

  130. The Cockie Monster says:

    Although I would not say no to a Suarez/Aguero type striker I have long championed for us to have fast skilful wingers !……..maybe Arsene thinks he has the wing backs to do the same job, but not if Ramsey or Ozil are going to be played in wide positions.
    We have Theo, but he is not a typical winger as he hasn`t the capability to beat players by skill in tight positions and the only one who comes close but is sacrificed to keep Ozil, Cazorla, Ramsey and Alexis happy is the Ox !.
    Le Coq seems to be the only “average” player Arsene will not sacrifice for the Fantastic 4……….unless we are chasing a game !.
    Hey but don’t listen to me, I`m just a Van Driver !…………………………instead I`ve brought a mate of mine along to convince you we need proper width !.
    We need to stretch other teams and create spaces ourselves because, as explained by Johan Cruijff in his book Voetbal โ€œa football pitch length is 100 to 130 yards and its width is 50 to 100 yards; as you get closer and closer to goal, the length decreases as do spaces at your disposal. Suddenly you donโ€™t have any space left and you canโ€™t move any further. Where do you find those spaces you need to keep going? In the only part of the pitch that doesnโ€™t change, its widthโ€.
    It would give us another plan if the tippy tappy isn`t working…….a horses for courses bespoke approach to which ever team it will benefit us !.


    Nice GB

    Whats the big deal? Rodgers dominates space and gets a lucky draw?

    Last night I saw that big budget space movie “Interstellar”. Its about travelling through black holes and time travel. That Matthew Mcccoglooney geezer is stuck with this really fit bird for a whole day or 20 years, depending on how you interpret the film, and not once in the past, present, future, or in any dimension did he innocently trip thus accidently groping her to cushion his fall?

    Unrealistic rubbish. I buy all the inter dimensional time stuff, but not making a move on a such a luscious bird when the only other alternative is staring into empty space, a bit like having to infinitely look at Kenny Dalgleish, is just not on.

    Whats this got to do with football? Well after the game I wondered what would happen if Rodgers had been Mcccoglooney? Hard to believe I know. The only film Rodgers would fit in is one were the grainy visual makes it difficult to identify the suspect or contents of the ladies washing line.

    Rodgers after securing a lucky draw would have travelled the eon of time wearing a big grin, caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror, and then dominated the space by making love to himself. I have it on good authority that Rodgers is banned from all Hall of Mirrors

    The whole film would have been about how at the point of entering a black hole where mankind was about to learn of the nature of existence, Rodgers would have been pre occupied by a firm grip, forcing the on board Robots to apply a chain saw to remove Rodgers hand from his appendage.

    The mans a disgrace to humanity.


    Yes Cornwall. But Cruyf is a big admirer of Wenger and the way his teams play?

  133. RA says:


    You had hooked my interest there for a moment

    You quote Cruijff in his book Voetbal saying; โ€œa football pitch length is 100 to 130 yards and its width is 50 to 100 yards”

    OK so far – then you quote him saying; “Where do you find those spaces you need to keep going? In the only part of the pitch that doesnโ€™t change, its widthโ€.

    You were having me on! ๐Ÿ™‚

  134. RA says:


    Your description of Brenda’s narcissistic tendencies when in front of a mirror makes him sound a follower of Cockie-doodle-doo. ๐Ÿ™‚


    True Redders. Though Cornwall is easily startled. An unfamiliar rustle or clunk of a radiator pipe makes him take cover behind his sofa

    Rodgers on the other hand is unperturbed by distraction or the knocking on the bedroom door by his mother. He can only be stopped by force or Benteke missing a sitter

  136. The Cockie Monster says:

    To tell the truth gays !…………..I haven`t a fcuking clue what Cruft`s was on about and have just been out side to muck up the horses mess from the mรฉnage and believe me that was quite a lot width of shit to pick up and that`s without one of the horses standing behind me with a raging boner ……………..there was a lot of length and width therde so I was off quicker than Bellerin !.

  137. Talking of Benteke… after watching him the other night I think the only sitter he’ll put away this season is when a fit pole dancer sits on his lap and girates a bit. Coutinho on the other hand sic! looked quite handy!

  138. That should have been with a ‘y’… but you all knew that.

  139. GoonerB says:

    Hahaha Terry. I watched that same film and although I am not impartial to a bit of sci-fi I felt it tried too hard to be too clever with a load of Quantum Physics Mumbo Jumbo. Even Sheldon from the Big Bang and Stephen Hawking have needed counselling due to the psychological trauma of realising they did not understand it.

    As I went through the film I realised I didn’t have a fcuking clue what they were on about. Mchonaghy or whatever his name is stuck behind a book-case in another dimension spying on a young lady (his daughter I know)? I would take offence if I were you Terry as I thought you had the patent of hiding behind book-cases spying on young ladies and then explaining to the judge that it was all perfectly innocent as you arrived there from another dimension.

  140. The Cockie Monster says:

    We haven`t scored in 5 out of the last 6 home games ! ( not sure what Crufts admires about that ?……maybe it`s the Wenger Turn, similar to the Cruft Turn, but in bed with Gazidis naked whilst looking at the bank balance ! )……conclusion !….we need a new crowd as the regular crowd are a bunch of fcuking jinxes !. hahaha


    hahaha. The only i reason I watched it GB is that I am an admirer of no option sex.

    I keep having this recurring dream that I am stuck on a desert island with just a coconut and Felicity Kendall for company.

    My advances to Felicity are always rejected and when I finally ask why she says “I am waiting for Mr Right”

    Later on I then spot her have a candlelight dinner with the coconut.

  142. The Cockie Monster says:

    Not surprising, Stretch !……….the coconut has more hair !.

  143. The Cockie Monster says:

    And hiding behind a shrub on a sweltering desert island wearing a mac is creepy !.

  144. The Cockie Monster says:

    Not too mention the Coconut is into the arts, wine, music and philosophy and you have an illegal Filipino working inside your microwave oven !.


    hahaha all true Cornwall. The only thing is I was planning to make a move on the coconut myself

  146. Here was I all depressed, sitting watching the rain pour down while waiting for the ever elusive striker signing to happen, when along came the Terry and Cockie Show. A true shaft of sunlight on a miserable day.

    Thank you both of you.

  147. The Cockie Monster says:

    See what you mean Stretch……………..a double date with these two would be nice !.

  148. The Cockie Monster says:

    Even the Jehovah Witnesses refuse to come in for a drink around my house, why ?.


    Yes, strange people Jehovahs Cornwall

    Obsessed with the end of days and cheap suits, but no interest in sex, booze, or a fine tailor.

  150. ha ha ha Excellent from the comedy twins…. Stretch and Cornwall. Always brighten up a bleak day.

  151. GoonerB says:

    Cockie ๐Ÿ™‚ Terry ๐Ÿ™‚

    On a more serious note Terry I have another Greek mate called Spiros who has similar characteristics and perver…(sorry) habits.. to you and his experiences may help you if you are in trouble with the long arm of the law.

    Whenever he comes a cropper being caught behind a book-case, up a ladder at a first floor window, hiding under a bed e.t.c he claims he has a fool proof method to get himself off the hook by blaming it on his Sat Nav :

    “honests Mr yer Honours, I sets me Sats Nav for Mr Papodopolous dodgies cyrups and big droopy Greeks moustaches shop but itsa up the spout innit and takes me to the wrongs place”.

    He swears it works every time Terry, although come to think of it I haven’t seen him in 2 years now since he went off to his last hearing waving at me and smiling confidently saying “same defences as last times, sees you laters GoonerBees”.


    hahaha, sounds innocent to me GB. Poor bloke probably just forgot to update the Sat Nav. Ironic really. For now hes doing bird, the very things he enjoyed he now fears Been pressed against a book case, someone climbing up his ladder, and “Gone funny Big Bert” hiding under his bed.

  153. GoonerB says:

    Terry ๐Ÿ™‚ It sounds like gone funny big Bert is someone you may have personally encountered in your travels?

  154. Rasp says:

    Looks like we are not the only Arsenal website to identify the problem of trying to accommodate Cazorla and Ramsey in the midfield!


  155. Big Raddy says:

    If we sell Cazorla, Ramsey and Le Coq we can easily buy Pogba

    Job done

  156. RC78 says:

    Rasp – indeed…It is quite clear to see…hopefully AW will agree ๐Ÿ™‚

    Get a better DM and play him alongside Ramsey and bench Cazorla.

    Worse comes to worse, play Coquelin-Ramsey and then bench either Ozil or Cazorla

    Now somebody mentioned that Arteta would be our best option next to Coquelin as he has the ability to set the tempo, which is true…so then would we bench both Ramsey and Cazorla? This would be a bit too much, oder as the Germans would say?

  157. RC78 says:

    Kurzawa to PSG
    Coentrao to Monaco
    Krychowiak to stay in Sevilla and Benzema to stay in Madrid
    Illaramendi to Sociedad
    Lucas Silva and Denayer to Marseille
    Stones most likely to Chelsea

  158. Big Raddy says:

    which gives us….

    Ox Pogba Sanchez

    Theo OG/Welbz

    I am happy with that.

    Then we have Arteta, Flamini, Gnabry, Rosicky and Wilshere in case of injury

  159. Rasp says:

    Nice dream Raddy ๐Ÿ˜€

  160. Rasp says:

    I am increasingly of the opinion that we are not going to sign anyone before the deadline. If we do make a signing I think it will be a midfielder – let’s hope it is the right kind of midfielder …….

  161. Big Raddy says:

    I still dream of Draxler

  162. Rasp says:

    Draxler would be good, Lars Bender would be good (he’s more box to box than Sven) Pogba would be amazing.

  163. RA says:

    I know we have to take the NewNow rumours with a ton of salt, but all the rumour mongers seem to be reporting at the moment is how targeted players do not want to join us or have joined some other club.

    Sod them – if it is true.

  164. Rasp says:

    That’s the impression I get too Redders. I’m pretty sure AW was keen on Benzema, but that is not going to happen now. Unless we have a surprise Ozil-type signing up our sleeves, I think Cech will be our only business …… and I find that perplexing ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  165. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Of course it isn’t true.

    We are attractive because we pay high wages, have a fine squad, a top manager and above al,l the club is in London which is a city that excites everyone.

    IMO If a club offers more money and a higher signing on fee then so be it, but if MC or MU offer the same as we do 90% of players would come to us.

  166. RA says:

    I have not seen any link to Draxler for a couple of years, Rasper.

    Are you dreaming like Raddy, or did you hear something?

  167. RA says:

    London excites everyone, Raddy, is that why you buggered off to the continent? Still the lure of an exciting wife trumps any city. ๐Ÿ˜€

  168. RA says:

    I am perplexed too, Rasp, that with a week to go we seem to be farting around.

    That Polish DM bloke now wants to stay in Seville – can’t be the team, must be the weather.

    So why did we not go for my fave, Kondogbia or Shneiderlein, or Wanyama or well you know ……….. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  169. Rasp says:

    No Redders, I was following Raddy’s lead. You are correct, we haven’t been linked with Draxler this summer.

  170. Rasp says:

    I can only assume that AW sees Coq as being as good as Schneiderlin and Wanyama. Kondogbia would have been good though.

  171. RA says:


    In that case sod them – even if it true ๐Ÿ™‚


    I hate transfers, unless there into my bank account of course, but I would like to see us improve on what we do. We all know Arsene wont change his philosophy so the key must be to retain possession, especially when pressed, better,

    A proper replacement for Arteta would be my Choice, not a big lump. We like to keep the ball. Santi and Coq give it away to much.

    The way we play our best hope to defend is to keep the bloody ball.

    Also, the striker issue is over done. My reasoning on why we do not score enough goals over a season is again an inability to be patient and keep the ball.

  173. Rasp says:

    All of a sudden we are being linked to left backs and there is a story that maybe Nacho wants away?

  174. RA says:

    S/be true or not true

    Gor blimey, even the laptop hates me!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  175. Rasp says:

    Hi Terry mi ‘ol mate. I could not disagree more ๐Ÿ˜† I think our obsession with possession is part of the problem. What we want to do is shore up the defence and take more risks going forward IMO.

    I’d take lightning fast incisive attacks over slow build up intricate passing any day.


    I agree Redders, but its to late for that. Arsene wont change and with the training methods, personnel assembled, and culture developed at the club, he probably couldn’t change even if he wanted to. Not overnight anyway


    Or could he? How easy or quickly is it to develop a different style of play dependent on players availability etc?


    Fascinating. Could Arsene change even if he wanted to do?

  179. RA says:

    Steady on, Terry, are you hinting that our lovely manager can’t change and wears the same clothes everyday – like Cockie? ๐Ÿ˜€

  180. RA says:

    Well the good news is that the Transfer Window will be over next Tuesday — that’s a relief – and we can start wondering who we will get next January zzzzzzzzzz

  181. Rasp says:

    Have I morphed into Redders? ๐Ÿ™‚

  182. fatgingergooner says:

    The problem with Coquelin coming through is that its given Wenger time to mull over who he wants to replace Arteta and Flamini. He wont just buy for the sake of it so i guess we will wait until next summer and see if target number 1 (whoever that may be) is available. Didnt we have a bid for Javi Martinez rejected a year or so ago? Maybe hes waiting for him to get fully fit again?

    I think its the same up front. He wont just rush and buy anyone. He can now use the excuse that Walcott is a striker and he has enough forward players so that he can wait for target number 1 to become available. Not sure if Benzema situation will be any different next year though.


    Cornwalls clothes are so embedded into his skin its hard to tell Redders. I suspect the trousers are of the leather variety as worn by Phil lynott back in the early seventies but so decayed you can see Cornwalls leg hairs, and for the top you can just make out the Fila label of what I once believe was a 1980s tracksuit.

    Its basically a skin suit

  184. RA says:

    Terry, ๐Ÿ˜€

  185. You’ll have to read my blog during the International break about Wenger and spending and what he could achieve ๐Ÿ™‚

  186. Transplant and Cockie still going strong…. a right twin double ๐Ÿ™‚

  187. It’s all well and good saying London is an attractive place to live, but if I had the choice of living in the countryside just outside Madrid…. I’d choose Madrid and have a nice little place on the coast for when I’m injured.

  188. GoonerB says:

    I can’t really recall a situation where we have been out-muscled in any game in recent times. Maybe tactically out-manouvered but not out-muscled. Le Coq seems to hold his own even against bigger opponents. I would sacrifice size in the DM for someone who is quicker and more mobile providing they have some spikiness to them and are biting in the tackle. Remember the role was made famous by Makelele, all 5’7″ of him. Do we really need the beast that some want? I would also like someone who could play with rather than just instead of coquelin. As such I must say I like the look of Verrati at PSG.

  189. Big Raddy says:

    NB. You are not a single, fit, famous millionaire in your early 20’s.

    A voice of London or the Madrid countryside and he would choose the Spanish farmhouse??

    But RM or AFC, that is a different matter

  190. GB

    Haven’t we got Chambers who has been suggested could play at DM… if we really wanted to play a defensive game couldn’t he play alongside Le Big Coq?

  191. Raddy,
    I am single, I am fairly fit, I have some notoriety and fame here in Provence but I will not divulge my finacial status apart from with my accountant…. and that’s definately not Transplant because he would rob me blind ha ha

  192. GoonerB says:

    Depends NB. Chambers best role is probably not fully decided. CB or holding midfielder? I can only recall seeing him at holding midfield (I think) in the Chezzergate Southampton away loss last year. He has potential for both roles but is maybe a bit raw in both but then he will need game time.

    Some DM’s can play both the disciplined holding role and offer something going forwards so could play with or instead of Le Coq. I would put Verrati in this bracket with Vidal and possibly Bender.

    Chambers will likely only be another holding midfielder if he shows promise in the role so could arguably be a back up to Le Coq, but if played together I think it would be playing 2 holding midfielders with neither offering much going forward. I am not sure this would work for us.

    This would also only be a solution if firstly Le Coq is our first choice, which not all agree with, and secondly that Chambers is at a level where it doesn’t expose us.

  193. I suppose Pogba could be seen as the ideal… but that;s just a pipe dream. I have noticed recently that Coq au Vins passing seems to have improved. He put in a lovely long pass diagonally on Monday night… can’t remember who to but it was good. Perhaps he’s been working on that side to his game?

  194. GoonerB says:

    I am in the Le Coq is alright by me camp in case you were interested NB.

    Just seen a best and worst scenario draw for us for the CL. The worst was us in a group with Barca, Shaktar and Wolfsburg. Don’t like the look of that.

  195. The Cockie Monster says:

    Trouble with Transplant is that he makes out that he is Greek !, but he`s about as Greek as Demis Rousos is Twiggy`s twin brother !…………..he`s from Stepney and an Accountant, so that makes him a double dodgy bastard and well worn leather skin tight trousers are better than purple crushed velvet bell bottoms !……………cheeky fcuker !………anyway !, shell suits are the fashion down here, we have only just caught up !….what came after shell suits ?….I need to be ahead of the game on a Friday/Saturday night ! hahaha

    I`m with Rasp ( don’t take that literally, I`m not standing next to him with my knob in a fish tank ! )……….we wont buy fcuk all else !………..even though Gazidis said we have ยฃ70M to spend every year on transfer fees alone and we have ยฃ200M in the bank…..Arsene gets a huge bonus if we don’t spend the fcuking money, our bank account is so far in the black that it is swallowing up a black hole and Wenger is stuck in the event horizon looking at his reflection from Gazidis`s shiny slap head of his knob putting the black eye liner on Stevie Bould eyes whilst Kroenke`s symbiotic syrup slaps his arse !.
    Pogba is reported to be worth ยฃ70M…………..show the fcukers we mean business and offer ยฃ100M and a penny !.


    It would be a pleasure to rob you 69. I know that whilst you are painting some attractive bird you are thinking “Wow, after I finish painting ime going to sleep with her and from the money I get from the picture ime not going to give the tax man a penny hehehehe”. So basicaly i would be doing it for all the poor bastards who cant get there leg over and whos artistic talents extend to matchstick men and images of the sun with a smiley face.

    This makes me a Robin Hood like figure. With the small exception that I keep all the money for myself.

    If we could keep the ball when pressed or in tight situations then we wouldnt be discussing the need for new players.

    But we cant, so we are

  197. The Cockie Monster says:

    What`s the best one Go Boner ?


    Cornwall hahaha. I recommend growing the barnet a bit longer and wearing a suit with turn ups. This would give you the look we all aspire to and the vision all women seek. A kind of fusion of Vitas Garalitas and Don Johnson.

  199. GoonerB says:

    The best one what Cornwall?


    I have a feeling we will win the Champions League this year. We have the quality and experience to do it.

    We have been so unlucky the last few years its untrue. that will change this year

  201. GoonerB says:

    Terry, the magic mushrooms having a vintage year down your way? ๐Ÿ™‚

  202. The Cockie Monster says:

    The best group outcome………you showed the worst scenario !

  203. GoonerB says:

    Oh I see. It would be Eindhoven, Olympiacos and one of Malmo, Belgrade or some team called Astana.

  204. The Cockie Monster says:

    I`m in the Le Coq lovers group as well !……probably the best length of sliding tackle I`ve seen in yonks !.

  205. The Cockie Monster says:

    I had a pair of Don Johnson`s Miami Vice sunglasses from one of my first blags !…and a Bodie and Doyle Ford RS2000 !……quite the lady puller in them days !. hahaha


    I am very wary of mushrooms GB. They have the potential to posion you.

    After the ex wife tried to murder me by contaminating the sugar puffs with my Borneo hair solution, I now take extra precautions.

    This current women I am seeing. Every time she cooks for me I employ a food taster to make sure shes not turning me over. She thinks its paranoia but i know better.

    Just to make sure she doesnt try to stab me whilst in bed, he also sits in the corner of the bedroom whilst we make love

  207. The Cockie Monster says:

    I can vouch for Transplants story !……………not only do I sit in the corner but he makes me iron his crushed velvet trousers and keep his condoms warm at body temperature in my mouth whilst at the ready to pounce on the bitch at any sign of violence !.


    hahaha, quality Cornwall


    We miss Wilshere. I honestly believe his ankle problems have seriously hindered the teams progress.

    The boy is a special talent. He can do everything on the pitch and I reckon Wenger saw him as the lynchpin. Lets hope this latest ankle problem is the last.

  210. The Cockie Monster says:

    Do you mind Stretch !……stop blogging whilst making love !…………..it takes extreme concentration to iron crushed velvet !.

  211. Classic…. ๐Ÿ˜€

  212. GoonerB says:

    ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    How much does it take before he pounces on her Terry. I am thinking it only takes a loving stroke of your bonce while whispering your are my Adonis Terry with Julio Iglesias in the background before he is off his chair pinning her down from behind with a powerful pelvic thrust to immobilise the threat.

  213. GoonerB says:

    Agree about Wilshere Terry. What do you think about my idea of playing him from the right and turning him into the English Messi?

  214. The Cockie Monster says:

    Hey GB !……………the only involvement I get is when I have to sprinkle the “shake `n` vac and hoover his hairy back whilst he`s in deep penetration mode…………….although I`m not sure whether the moaning and groaning is lust or when the rollers jam up !.

  215. GoonerB says:



    hahaha, Cornwalls participation is vital GB. Not only does he leave my hairy back fit for a fussy German tourist, positioning his boat one inch from hers and yelping “ive just ironed his trousers” eliminates any thought of uncalled stabbing.

    Its also ruining my love life, but you cant have it all. hahaha

    Jack on the right? Why not. i have always considered him a Messi type player (weres LB). He has so much ability its untrue. Could be the saviour of Arsenal and England.

    Maybe the answer is to go with two holding midfielders allowing Sanchez and Jack to operate the flanks without as much defensive responsibility?

  217. fatgingergooner says:

    I don’t think Coquelin’s position is the issue, I think it’s the type of player we have next to him that needs looking at. We all love Cazorla, but we need someone like Pogba who can get around the field but is equally comfortable in attack and defence. You could argue cases for Ramsey and Wilshere doing the job, but I would love for it to be someone with a physical presence, and neither offer that.

    Based on what we have already at the club though (and not some ยฃ70m dream) I would give it to Ramsey and see how he does with it with Wilshere as option 2. Cazorla should rotate with ร–zil in the number 10 role. If Wenger stuck with that idea then at least it would simplify selection and allow players to concentrate on 1 position in the team.

  218. 1979Gunner says:

    GIE 25/8 @ 11:19
    If you’re accusing me of hindsight blogging you’ll see I mentioned I had posted ghe same opinion last year – even after signing Sanchez. This year we only signed Cech and winning the CS was totally irrelevant to me. 3 games in and 5 points behind I think I have a fair point. All our FBs would be squad players at the other top 4 clubs. As would Wellbeck, Giroud, Cazorla and ALL CHs. Throw in Ozil who must be exempt from being dropped and we have a decent squad. I’m not calling for, and never would call for Wenger’s head but I do think he needs to strengthen the squad.

  219. 1979Gunner says:

    And Coquelin is going to be destroyed if we don’t get the balance right. He has emerged as capable but he still needs to be nurtured and educated alongside a partner.

  220. fatgingergooner says:

    Hi 1979Gunner,

    Koscielny? Squad player? Surely not!?

  221. JM says:

    Randam mumblings ….

    In midfield:

    Our club would be looking at one “ฤฐvan Gazidis”, who signed an extension this summer, for the long term solution next summer (in the likely departures of Arteta, Flamini, Rosicky – end of contracts).

    Presently, should the opportunity present itself and we decide to go for an alternative 2nd-choice player, one “Arsene Wenger” might be pursued. His team qualified in the UCL as their domestic league champion. Might be the right time (and age) to return back to West Europe.


    In attack:

    A veteran forward with an eye-for-goal and goal+penalty area know-how could be pursued instead (while our youth & squad forwards develop), one such being “Stan Kroenke”, whose team has just qualified for the UCL.


    “ฤฐvan Gazidis”? with a ฤฐ, รผ, ฤŸ
    “Arsene Wenger”? in full = (A.L.A.L.W.)
    “Stan Kroenke”? with a รŸ

  222. Gรถรถner In Exile says:

    TMHT, I was thinking about Jack and the difference he would have made against Liverpool. The criticism of Jack is that he hangs on to the ball too long and so gets injured because he invites the tackle, but whereas we were quite static around the Liverpool box allowing them to hold their shape Jack would have taken the ball and run at the defence forcing them to break ranks to shut him down which in turn makes space for the 1-2’s.

  223. LB says:


    Jack on the right? Jack on any wing?

    I jest, he was greatly improved when he returned last season, I wrote then that he must have been learning from Ozil, Cazorla and Sanchez in training as he was releasing the ball much quicker and then there was his two blinding goals for England. This all bods well and injury luck permitting he could finally realise his potential this season.

  224. LB says:

    “Jack on the right to become our English Messi”, obviously said in good jest, carrying on in spirit of this idea, if Jack were a bit quicker over the ground he wouldn’t just be the our Messi he would be a our Maradona and the best yard stick to compare those two Argentinians is one of them was able to single highhandedly win the World Cup and the other wasn’t/hasn’t.

  225. LB says:

    What great pictures. I like how random they are. I can never guess what the day’s theme is going to be.


    Why not?

  226. LB says:


    Well, I would have guessed that one lol

  227. chas says:

    Sorry, LB.
    I’ll let you get back to football chat.

    Bow-legged Diego Messi. ๐Ÿ™‚

  228. chas says:

    I was chatting to Mr and Mrs Shard, describing Indian men cycling on old bicycles with feet in flip-flops, splayed out at a ten-to-two position.

    I was just wondering if I could find a photo to support my mental stereotype.
    p.s the Cuban woman was random. Was it the cigar which gave away her nationality?

  229. LB says:

    I think your pictures make for happier diversions than my ramblings about Wilshere.

  230. Here’s something fecking Indian… ha ha ha

  231. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    NB. A few years ago I was teaching English and sent that out to my students who loved it ๐Ÿ™‚

    chas. I wonder what it would be like to own an elephant, could you fit one in your back garden? Do you think it is legal in Britain?

    I would buy one but it would have a problem getting up to our apartment

  232. That last one coukld be an Arsenal midfielder… fits the height criteria.

  233. GoonerB says:

    Morning all, a quick check of the rumours and we are still imminently buying everyone with medicals in the next 48hrs.

    Great pictures Chas, I particularly like the first one of Terry relaxing with a cigar after his weekly visit to the sun bed shop.

  234. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    CL draw day ๐Ÿ™‚ I confidently predict we will get a difficult group ๐Ÿ˜•

  235. Big Raddy says:


    Much better to draw a strong group, see some exciting teams and go down in flames as opposed to wimping out in the quarters to average opposition like Monaco/Barca/Milan/Bayern – OK, a couple of those are OK teams!

  236. Rasp says:

    Not that I am trying to stir up any rumours, but I have seen some stats on here that have made OG look as good as the other potential striker targets.

    If you look at the stats for the clubs the players are with at the moment (I.e. Giroud Arsenal, Benzema Real etc) the goals per game are:

    Higuain 0.52
    Cavani 0.51
    Benzema 0.46
    Giroud 0.42

  237. Rasp says:

    Morning Raddy, I agree. If we want to win, we have to be good enough to beat the better teams – not hope for ‘easy draws’.

    All the top teams have a top striker (or 3) we don’t. How many big clubs have been looking to buy Giroud from Arsenal?

  238. ‘morning all, I see we’ve missed out on another world class striker.

    AC Milan have beaten us to the signature of Mario Balotelli.

    It’s rumoured that he suffered a knee injury when he bumped into his camouflaged Bentley on his way to London Colney for a medical.

  239. “The grass is always greener”….
    When we lose or even draw a game…
    Let’s buy anyone who is new and has a good game..
    Even if you’ve seen them play in a few highlights once..
    And when we have exhausted that list think again..
    Maybe the solution is a player currently injured..
    Oh yeah let’s remember.. Wiltshire and Welbeck are good players..
    I fancy Berbatov and that winger from Leicester who has had a few good games..
    I love it,

  240. Rasp says:

    Fat Sam … whoever you are?

    That is pathetic, sarcasm is not appreciated on this site – read ‘About AA’

    If you can’t be mature enough to tell the difference between sensible debate and knee jerk reactions then you are on the wrong site.

  241. RC78 says:

    My ideal group for the CL Draw: PSG – Arsenal – Olympiakos – Gent

    The worse draw for Arsenal: Barcelona – Arsenal – Roma – Wolfsburg

    Easiest draw: PSV – Arsenal – Olympiakos – Astana

  242. Rasp says:

    The discussion had veered towards striker options so just to clarify, I really like Welby as a player – his strike rate is 0.23 goals per game and Jack’s (who I am also a big fan of) is 0.06 goals per game

  243. RC78 says:

    No AFC transfer rumors these days…maybe a good sign? lol

  244. Rasp says:

    We can only hope RC ๐Ÿ™‚

  245. RC78 says:

    Rasp – I think we are more in need of a Winger/FW than a real ST.

    IMHO, Cavani, Higuain or Benzema would not do much better than Giroud although they have better finishing skills…they are too expensive and the ROI will not be great…

    If we get a real Winger/FW, then it would be an upgrade. We just need someone in the the front line that can create goals on his own and create chances. That means dribbling past opponents and running behind opponents – not so many options out there

  246. Rasp says:

    Hi RC, I think that if you have an old fashioned style CF who is a target man, it is essential to have wingers who can cross the ball. I certainly agree we need to use the width of the pitch more and get the ball forward more quickly so I’d be happy to see us sign a winger/CF as you describe …. isn’t that what Lacazette was supposed to be?

  247. GoonerB says:

    Rasp, I have always held the view that the stats are useful to a degree. What they don’t tell you is how certain strikers allow certain teams to play. As it is a team game a better all round functioning team can potentially be more important than pure numbers in goals scored, even though it doesn’t make this aspect irrelevant obviously.

    Looking at other factors beyond pure goals to games rate some strikers are better at receiving the ball back to goal and laying it off. Others are better at using mobility to move into spaces away from defenders and receiving more defence splitting passes on the ground and hold it up this way or run through onto goal.

    Which type of striker suits our style of play and the qualities of our more regular 1st team creative players better?

    Do we have the option of playing different players behind both these types of strikers so we can at times have the best of both worlds?

  248. Rasp says:

    Hi GB, lots of questions ….. any answers? ๐Ÿ˜†


    GIE, yes I agree. Jack is a the provoker, the antagonist. Always looking to open teams up with a one two or surge. We have missed him. Hes pretty good at provoking and antagonising Totnumb fans to. Which makes me love him even more.

    LB, thats the nicest things I have heard you say about Jack. Did you have a nice experience on the bike? Did a lovely female driver give way to you, so beginning a delightful love affair which you both know is wrong and destined to end in tears? Your spot on about jack picking things up from Sanchez and Ozil. Who wouldnt learn from players like them.

  250. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning guys,
    Been reading some of your comments, what strikers we need and where our weaknesses are, i could agree with most of what you say, but for all our faults, i am pretty sure you all feel that most of our players have their merits. Rasp has asked for answers boy i feel we all need them, but have you ever thought about our tactics for certain games.

    Now i for one would not criticise the Manager as i feel he is one of the best, but i do feel at times that we have players who are excelent skill wise but do not know how to break down a parked bus. Personally if you bang on the door long enough it becomes clear when nobody is home , and should you want to get in you may have to change your tactics and go round the back door.

    The players seem to keep on doing the same thing with no avail , I feel at times we do not have a locksmith in the side or a player who can actually work out a plan.

    Arsene himself as we know will leave the game till sixty or seventy minutes before he changes his tact, and he puts on Oxlaid or Theo who have time and time again come up empty, That is not a solution. Arsene seems to have run out if he ever was a tactical genius, but instead of always thinking we are two or three players short, i sometimes wonder if we are only one person short but that is on the tactical bench, Arsene needs a specialist but not on the pitch on the touchline plotting a plan.

  251. RC78 says:

    GB – you are right about getting the right CF/ST for our type of game

    If we had better FBs and less players that are interested in cutting in rather than hugging the ligne, then Giroud would be perfect because he is a good target and has this ability to do link-up plays with players.

    However, our FBs are not great and our wing players are all interested in cutting in towards the center of the pitch so in that case, you need to have a player like Suarez/Aguero that can drop back a little bit and create his own chances and create space for the wingers to cut it by attracting the defenders through the center…The problem is that there are very few players like Messi, Suarez and Aguero. One can argue that Tevez, Lewandowski, Mueller or even Griezmann could provide that central threat but not to the same level. None of them are available. So who is left on the market that can truly improve our team at CF/ST (someone who will score you 20 goals for sure) ? Jackson Martinez was an upgrade on OG but he chose Atletico so there you go, we have limited options at CF/ST.

    – Hence the need to check on players that can come in and score goals from the wing and also play in the center but above all, they can go past their players and create chances. My favorites would have been Pedro and Depay but again, they chose another destination…Now, I really think that a player like Mertens would add this dimension to our squad. Insigne, Callejon and Candreva might be more of a gamble but they they would create chances for sure. Aubemayang would definitely be a good purchase and so would Lacazette and Fekir but for the two Lyon players, chances to land them are extremely low and for Aubemayang, I am not sure that AW will make a move but he would be a great addition to our squad. Players like Iker Munian, Bolasie and Mane are second fiddle and would not be adding enough quality so there you go…Our choice is very limited and in the end, I am not sure AW wants to strengthen up front so the chances of seeing a Mertens or Aubemayang joining us are very little…If such players do not join us, it is better to leave the striking options as they are and just:

    – If we play OG, ask our wing players to ensure that they do bring in enough crosses and for Ozil and Ramsey to do more run inside the box to provide options for crosses
    – Play in a 4-3-1-2 and basically play with Walcott and Sanchez up front, which would mean that Ox and Ramsey play in midfield alongside a better DM

  252. RC78 says:

    and at DM/CM, why we did not position ourselves for Schnederlin is still a mystery? Biglia and Lucas (yest the guy from Liverpool) are available and Carrick might be tempted as well since his playing time at Man Utd will be more than reduced….Yet, Bender could still be the answer

  253. RC78 says:

    By the way – if we are serious at looking into a potential next Thierry Henry, Martial for Monaco is really sentational – great pace, good hold-up play and fantastic dribbling ability. His finishing needs some polishing but he is about 10 times better than Joel and Sanogo

  254. RA says:

    I really do not see what all the problems are with getting a decent striker.

    Just pop down to any Tube station dangle some money in front of the staff and you could sign up any number of fearsome strikers! ๐Ÿ™‚

  255. RC78 says:

    France will have quite a squad for EURO2016 at home with:

    Lloris – Debuchy, Mangala, Koscielny, Evra – Pogba, Schnederlin, Matuidi – Griezmann, Benzema, Fekir

    Mandanda – Sagna, Zouma, Varane, Tremoulinas – Sissoko, Kondogbia, Cabaye – Lacazette, Giroud, Valbuena

    + Ruffier

    and instead of Valbuena or Cabaye, you can have another striking option like Martial, Rรฉmy or Gomis…

    They will be tough to beat…but I think that Belgium might just pull a win as their squad is phenomenal…

  256. RC78 says:

    RA ๐Ÿ™‚

  257. RA says:

    Rasper, (if you are still around)

    Is there any news on how poor old Kelsey is getting on?

    I have been missing hearing the intimate footballing thoughts of our own Mystic Meg! ๐Ÿ™‚

    [If you are reading this Kelsey, I wish you well, and hope to see you back on here soon.]

  258. RC78 says:

    forgot Payet for France

  259. Bryan says:

    I can’t agree with the grass is green theory
    we were 12 points off top last year, every top team has strengthened dramatically & we have been left behind.
    I think we are kidding ourselves if we believe we can win the league with all we have got.

    Also think it somes us up, that people are saying 70M for Pogba is just a dream for us because yes we all know it would never happen for Arsenal.
    But we are the biggest London club & we could & should be able to do that especially as we have only spent 10M so far, but heyho 3rd or 4th it is, if we are lucky.

  260. According to AW today Mert will not be fit for the weekend and Kos is a doubt… having tests done today with his bac. Which means Paul Easter and Chambers against Newcastle. Oh dear I’ve come out in a cold sweat with memories of 4-4.

  261. chas says:

    Interesting breakdown of CL draw pots, including UEFA ranking, current Euro Club ranking and which pot the clubs ‘should’ have been in.


  262. Bryan says:

    I think its quite good that they have changed CL group draw a bit.
    I also wish they would change the order teams play each other, I’ve always thought it stupid that you 3rd & 4th match are against the same team home & away

  263. RC78 says:

    NB…Is there anyone on board with me NOW that we do need another CB? If we play with Chambers-Paulista, for sure, we will concede goals at St-James Park and I am not sure we will score enough back to earn a draw or a win

  264. Bryan says:

    Yes for sure, we do need another CB, I think Chambers needs to go on loan & get some game time.
    Think I would take a 4-4 draw at St. James Park if its the Chambers-Paulista combination again ๐Ÿ˜‰

  265. RC78 says:

    Weird rumors about Kokorin and Yarmolenko being touted to join the EPL…I am not a fan but in between the two, I d go for Yarmolenko

  266. Bryan says:

    I don’t know anything about them but am resigned to the fact we probably wont get anyone now, Just feel totally let down by Wenger this transfer window.

  267. RC, no I don’t think we need another centre-back, Chambers and Gabriel contributed towards a clean sheet in the Liverpuddle game, I don’t see why they shouldn’t do so against the Magpies, don’t forget Monreal played pretty well as as a stand in for Koscielny last season too.

    As a matter of interest, where would you look for a centre-back better than we already have who is not only available for sale but willing to move to a club where he will be, at best, third or fourth choice. The options aren’t that numerous. The Chavs seem willing to pay an enormous sum for a youngster who has played only about twenty-five Premiership games.

  268. GoonerB says:

    Rasp, I have always got tactical bollix answers, you know that. Always correct as well ๐Ÿ™‚ How we set up with what we have at present I may come back to ๐Ÿ™‚

    RC78, if we really want another Thierry Henry (wing forward to striker conversion) I would suggest the best player, the one that looks to be the most identical in most ways, is one you mentioned earlier. That being Aubemayeng. 6’2″, lightening quick, reasonable physical stature, good eye for goal that will only likely get better.

    If we bought him I wouldn’t be looking to keep him as a left winger / wing forward (Sanchez position with other options from Ox, Walcott, Gnabry after his loan period) but would immediately go for the Thierry conversion.

    I still think Zlatan looks impressive and with him you probably still get 2 good seasons. I know he is a slightly spikey character but his personality probably lends itself to him wanting an EPL title on his C.V. Arsene just needs to give his ego a little massage and sell it to him.

    He gives us that immediate extra quality we need now and allows us some breathing space to look at what we have in house as well without blocking one of our existing players route to 1st 11 striker. Giroud may step up to another level. Walcott, Welbeck or Akpom may develop into that top striker. If none of these 4 step up we are covered for 2 seasons and can re-assess the market.

    I would probably go further to ensure it happens and offer PSG ยฃ40m for him and Verrati. I wouldn’t worry about which player costs what as these 2 probably give us exactly what we need to win this title, and what price on that?

    In 2 years we get nothing back on Zlatan but still have a young ball playing DM that I think will go to the top and maybe will be worth ยฃ40m alone in 2 years on the open market. With ยฃ45-50m being touted for one player like Cavani alone the ยฃ40m for these 2 would represent good value for what it brings us immediately and in the future.

  269. mickydidit89 says:

    Data roaming on
    What time cal draw
    Barca or Madrid please
    Can draw go up on a new page please Rasp dearest
    It’s. Hard work scrolling down 250 comments when lying on a beach in the hot sunshine with a cool drink
    Thanks ๐Ÿ˜€

  270. GoonerB says:

    Agreed with you Norfolk with your 1.21. Chambers can’t be judged on one game and as you said it ended as a clean sheet anyway. I have seen him look more assured in the position before so he has great potential and even now is probably better than that performance.

    Ideally you want him dropping in with one other experienced CB’s but that option was removed with a double injury. Easter looks good but is still adapting himself to the league, country and language so wasn’t going to be a mentor and calm voice in his ear.

    Even a highly rated CB from overseas would need time to adapt so wouldn’t immediately take on the role of mentor alongside him. Give him some games with either Merts or Kos and let him develop. In the mean-time we just deal with it as best we can.

  271. Bryan says:

    I agree with you about Verratti & Ibra, that would be good business.
    Don’t agree about Chambers, for me the only reason we got away with 0-0 was down to Liverpool’s incompetence.
    I think he has been going backwards ever since those early encouraging games.
    Really think he needs to go on loan & learn to be a CB because I really don’t rate him as LB.

  272. Bryan says:

    or RB I should say deh lol

  273. Rasp says:

    Hi Redders, I have no contact with Kelsey, but I know others are trying to get in touch. I will pass on any news I get

  274. RC78 says:

    CB issue – I think that we should actually get someone to slot in for BFG, not for 3rd spot…The best available is probably Garay imho…Chambers is probably going to be a great defender but he still needs a lot of maturing and nurturing so at most, he should play in the Carling Cup as starter and potentially in the FA Cup as well…

    Forward – If we buy Aubemayang, indeed we shoud play him down in the middle but he does offer this width option as well but indeed, let us play him as C-FW from the start.

    PSG players – Ibra and Verratti will not join us. Ibra is going to finish the year with PSG and the probably do a quick stint at Milan and then Malmo before some Golden Years in the US. As for Verratti, he is very high demand and will only leave if a team like Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich go for him and they will not get him for less than 60 Mln EUR…In England, maybe CIty and Chelsea can afford him and eventually Utd if they win titiles again

  275. RC

    I don’t think we need another CB…. it’s just bad luck that we have Mert and Kos both out at the same time…. but that;s the Arsenal for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  276. Big Raddy says:

    Chambers is just 20 y.o., thrown into the team at short notice and still learning how to be a CB. He has one dodgy half of football and suddenly he is not good enough.

    What short memories people have; early last season he was being hailed as a fantastic signing by AW ( he even got a full England cap) I believe he still is and by the age of 25 will be one of the best ball-playing CB’s in the PL.

    Chambers and Paul Easter have a huge future at AFC

  277. For all those laying on the beach in hot sunshine with a cool drink if you use the WordPress app you can see the most recent comments rather than scrolling through the whole lot from the beginning. You can also read the post and scroll through all the comments too.

    Hard life ๐Ÿ™‚

  278. My twopenneth on CB’s ………… both Debuchy and Monreal can slot in at centre-back. It was just bad luck to be without Kos and Mert at the last minute.

    I feel we don’t need another one.

    I don’t understand why the boss has chosen to go with slow slow slow now that Theo and The Ox are fit. I’d much rather we terrified teams from the off than have the speed fiends sitting on the bench. But what do I know ……………..

  279. chas says:

    I bet Micky is a whizz with apps on his telephone device. ๐Ÿ™‚

  280. chas says:

    Just had a quick look – the app looks as though it’s for developers rather than just blog readers?

  281. Big Raddy says:

    I spoke with Micky yesterday and he said “hello” to all the AA’ers

    N.B. He has his children with him to sort out his tech problems ๐Ÿ˜€

  282. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Me too. It will not let me log onto the site and keeps rejecting my username and p’word – but then I am hardly tech-savvy

  283. chas says:

    Were you having a planning meeting on where you’d both like to go in the CL?

  284. chas says:

    I’ve just found an early photo of NB69 coming back from the offie.

  285. GoonerB says:

    Peaches, your 3.02. You obviously know an awful lot seeing as you agree with me ๐Ÿ™‚

  286. GoonerB says:


  287. GoonerB says:


  288. GoonerB says:


  289. GoonerB says:


  290. GoonerB says:

    Sorry, never had one of mine reach 300 before and I needed to massage my ego just in case Peaches selfishly popped up with that new post thingy ๐Ÿ™‚ I have very low self esteem you know ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  291. mickydidit89 says:

    Still looking for an “app”
    Absolutely no idea where to look but something to do while lying in hot sunshine by the sea with a cool drink โ˜€๏ธ

  292. Big Raddy says:

    Raining here ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    And App was crapp

  293. mickydidit89 says:

    Hope to join you for cl draw but may have no reception in a seafood restaurant by the sea watching the sun going down while sipping more cool drinks
    โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿฝ ๐Ÿ‘Œ ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿบ

  294. mickydidit89 says:

    Heya Red Erik
    Pack the toothbrush I have a good feeling

    Telephone off now. All apps down

  295. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi Folks,

    I spoke with Kelsey earlier today and he is now back home in the recovery stages of a very risky – but life saving operation. His recovery will be a very long process and while he occasionally reads the blog he is not up to participating.

    He is watching the games and like all of us he is very disappointed with our season to date. I’m sure that at some time down the road, when he is stronger, he will return to blogging and share his words of wisdom with us.

    In the meantime I will try to keep you up to date with his recovery progress.

  296. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. Thank you very much. Great to read that Kelsey has come through his operation.

  297. Thanks GN5, if you’re reading this Kelsey, all the best for your recovery.

  298. GunnerN5 says:

    No problem Raddy, he spoke highly of you during our conversation today.


    Kelsey. You will be back firing on all cylinders in no time.

    Though your realistic and forthright views can at times dampen my libido, I miss them.

    All the best mate.

  300. Big Raddy says:

    Mmm.. Munich. Not what I was hoping for.

    Typical MU luck drawing the weakest team

  301. Big Raddy says:

    Fancy a trip to Piraeus.

    Do you know any good restaurants TMHT?

  302. GoonerB – I’m sure I’ve agreed with you before ๐Ÿ˜‰

  303. mickydidit89 says:

    Cheers Big
    Not that exciting
    Couple of expensive goal scorers in next few days and we should qualify ok
    Back in couple of days


    I was there a couple of years back Raddy, but only stayed two days in Athens. A lot of good fish restaurants by the harbour. Theres one in particular, cant remember the name, which offers a discount if you catch your own produce, so bring diving mask and harpoon.

  305. Big Raddy says:

    TMHT. Only thing I might catch is crabs ๐Ÿ™‚

  306. Thank you GN5 for the update on kelsey. Wishing you well my friend xx

  307. Gรถรถner In Exile says:

    Thanks for letting us know about Kelsey GN5, we were chatting and wondering about him the other night with Shard and Chas.

    Good to hear he is recovery, Kelsey get well soon mate.

    As for CL draw…..reckon we will make it through, but 1st place will be a tough ask so let’s look at who we might face in the second round…..

    Barca, PSG or Madrid…..I’m not going to look anymore….

  308. Gรถรถner In Exile says:

    Actually gets a bit better, Atletico/Benfica, PSV, Juve/Sevilla ๐Ÿ˜‰ ,Zenit/Valencia

  309. Big Raddy says:

    BTW to those who think Olympiakos are an easy tie …. we have played 3 times and Piraeus and lost every time.

    Though we have won every game in London against them

    We played Zagreb in 2006/7 and won both ties.

    As to BM …. P6 W1 D2 L3

  310. RA says:

    Oooer, Raddy is down the bookies to bet against us!!!! Boo.

  311. RA says:

    Well done, GN5, that is good news about Kelsey, indeed. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Kelsey, your hair has been missed, and you can see from the terrible and poorly received 300+ comments Post from GoonerB-the-camel-kisser that we desperately need one of your Mystic pre-post-partum-review-did-not-watch-the-game Posts – tout de suite – get writing! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Great to hear you are now on the road to recovery my friend!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  312. VCC says:

    GN5…….cheers for up date on Kelsey. Please wish him well and a speedy and full recovery for me.

  313. The Cockie Monster says:

    Best of luck Kelsey and hope to hear about how much money we have in the bank soon !………………………………although I have this image in my mind of the operation involving a crazed Transplant, a scalpel and lots of hair being removed !.

  314. GoonerB says:

    Speedy recovery Kelsey. Redders is right you better get back soon with a post to save all the poor soles on here from mine ๐Ÿ™‚

  315. GunnerN5 says:


    What’s do you have wrong with your feet mine are just fine thank you and they don’t need saving….??

  316. Red Arnie says:

    well done, GN5, and well done Kelsey. Wish you quick recovery. ๐Ÿ™‚

  317. Champions league draw could have been worse, but not much.

    Top spot may be a bit difficult but I think we can get by as runners-up. At least we’re not in a group of death. Don’t forget we won at Bayern awhile ago, no reason why we can’t do it again. Is there? ๐Ÿ˜€

  318. fatgingergooner says:

    Great draw for CL. 2 exciting games against Bayern to test ourselves whilst also having a great chance to qualify. Also means we can’t get Bayern in the next round if we qualify. Thank god!

    On Chambers, we don’t need another CB. You can’t just buy new players everytime someone gets injured or has a poor game. 4 CB’s is more than enough for a season unless you have terrible luck, plus Debuchy and Monreal can slot in if needs be. Do I think we could sign better CB’s than we have? Yes, but when Paul Easter and Chambers have been at the club for one season then it’s unrealistic to think we will go and sign another. The next CB we sign will probably be Merts replacement.

  319. Lovely news about Kelsey… keep us updated or better still, kelsey start blogging soon.

    Fucking typical that Man U have to go threw qualifying and then get an easier group than us, fucking fixed I’d say… bastards.

    It’s 3am in the morning… just back from the bar and nobody to talk to …… bugger.

  320. Oh and chas…. love the photo of me with the two bottles of wine ha ha ah

  321. chas says:

    Cheers, NB69.
    It could just as easily have been me, ๐Ÿ™‚

  322. chas says:

  323. chas says:

    A little photo for Kelsey. Hope it cheers you up, mate.

  324. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Nice work! Sure to cheer kelsey up ๐Ÿ˜€

  325. Eddie says:

    chas – you need to try harder. Recovering from a life saving op Kels is unlikely to be thinking of sex. Post a photo of Benzema, Cavani AND Lewandowski attending medicals at the Ems and the boy might have a miraculous recovery.

    Benzema talks are allegedly still on. Lewandowski considered Arsenal move despite how his compatriots were treated there, but now Real after him. We have no chance

  326. Big Raddy says:

    I need a new toy.

    Get working Messrs Wenger and Law

  327. Eddie says:

    not bad ๐Ÿ™‚

  328. RC78 says:

    Guys – is Kelsey ok?

  329. RC78 says:

    GN5 – just saw your msg about Kelsey…Good to hear he is recovering and the op has been carried out successfully.

    Kelsey – if you are reading, sending you best wishes for a speedy recovery and hope that our boys will give you some joy in both the EPL and the CL! CY Kelsey!

  330. RC78 says:

    NB – typical Man Utd luck – I cannot stand them and I hate them even more now that they have LVG as their coach because he is to hateable!

  331. RC78 says:

    PSG confirms that they will not purchase new players…
    -Trapp, Aurier, Kurzawa and Di Maria joined PSG

    Some players are still likely to leave though:
    – Douchez or Sirigu, Lavezzi and Ongenda are likely to leave

  332. GoonerB says:

    Eddie if Real areafter Lewandowski that maybe puts us out of the picture for him but it probably pushes Benzema back down the pecking order so……

  333. RC78 says:

    Stambouli also joined and Van der Wiel might still leave

    Trapp, Sirigu/Douchez

    Aurier, Van des Wiel, T. Silva, D. Luiz, Marquinhos, Kimpebe, Maxwell, Kurzawa

    T. Motta, Verratti, Matuidi, Rabiot, Stambouli

    Di Maria, Pastore, Lucas, Lavezzi (?)

    Zlatan, Cavani, Augustin, Ongenda (?)

    Most likely set-up by Blanc in Ligue 1: Trapp – Aurier, TS, DL, Maxwell – Verratti, Motta, Matuidi – Pastore (or Cavani or Lucas), Zlatan, Di Maria

    My ideal set-up in Ligue 1: Trapp – Aurier, Marquinhos, TS, Maxwell – Matuidi, Verratti, Di Maria – Pastore – Cavani, Ibrahimovic

  334. Rasp says:

    Morning all, let me join with everyone else in wishing Kelsey A swift return to full health, and get yourself back on the blog as soon as you see fit ๐Ÿ™‚

  335. ha ha we think we have strange injury problems. Yoann Gourcuff went for a medical at Rennes and suffered an injury during the medical.

  336. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all, Just read the new’s about Kelsey, Glad to hear your on the mend mate, Take your time mate and recover fully before you start going mad. Blinding news mate.

  337. RA says:

    This is appalling – this misbegotten Post is heading for 350 comments – gadzooks!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  338. RA says:

    Oh, well I might as well do the deed. Here is 350.

  339. RC78 says:

    Idea for a post: How do you rate our fullbacks?

    The general perceived feeling on the forum is that we are doing fine on the full-back position as we have four reliable full-backs at our disposal:-Debuchy, Bellerin, Monreal and Gibbs.

    I tend to agree that are “good full backs” but I am not convinced that they can take our club to the next level as they still suffer from defensive lapses, do not create enough assists or goals and worse, do not bring enough width to our game at times when we are stuck with fruitless possession in the opponent’s half…You look at Ivanovic, Alves, Rafinha, Lahm, Alaba, Alba and even Baines, Coleman or Clyne (he still needs to confirm though) and you realize that our FBs are not doing enough for our team…

    What is your take on it?

  340. RA says:


    The way I look at our full backs is to compare the left back position when Ashley Cole played there for us and ask myself;
    – is Monreal as good as the now disliked Cole was? No.
    – is Gibbsy as good as Cole was? No.

    He won the Prem – will they? Not too sure about that.

    I ask myself a similar question about the right backs;

    – is Debouchy as good as Sagna was, or Clyne is (say)? No.
    – is Bellerin as good as Sagna was, or Clyne is now? No.

    Debouchy is OK but not top drawer and is ageing.
    Bellerin has the making of a really good FB, but is very inexperienced at the moment.

    So – in a perfect world, I would look to replace both Monreal and Gibbs with a world class FB.

    I would keep Belli – experience will come, but I would want another classy FB to give him competition.

    Raddy will tell you they are all wonderful – of course – but then he always does! ๐Ÿ˜€

  341. Rasp says:

    Taken at your word RC ๐Ÿ˜›

    ….. New post …….

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