Theo or Giroud? Yet again!

Zagreb. Champions League. Away game in delightful Croatia. Winnable? Why not?

This is why we celebrate finishing in the Top 4 and yet there seems to be a bit of “so what” about this game. You know what I mean – I bet you are thinking “well, it is great to have an Arsenal game on the tele tonight, but win, lose or draw we are going out in the next round so does it really matter?” Come on …. you know you think that way!! Another viewpoint might be  – and we have already seen comments confirming this – that the game at the weekend is more important as such we should play a weakened team full of (quality) squad members.

And yet, as I said before, this is what we strive for – a mid-week night game against a League winning team (unbeaten in 42 games), so let’s celebrate and remember we could be playing on Spursday 🙂

I know nothing about Dynamo Zagreb. A little research shows the club have won the Croatian League 10 years running, that they have a 35k capacity ground, that they have produced some fine players including Corluka, Modric, Dejan Lovren, Mario Mandvukic and the much loved ex-AFC player and Crozillian, Eduardo. They managed just one point in the CL group stages last season with a minus 13 goal difference.

The players focus may be diverted by the fact that DZ’s manager and CEO are out on bail having been accused of embezzling €11m from the club and tax-man!

Eduardo is still in the squad and could play tonight.

On paper we should win this tie, DZ’s highest paid player earns less in a year than Ozil does in 3 weeks (true!) but it doesn’t work like that does it? Hard work, a partisan and passionate crowd and an opportunity to impress managers in the Big Leagues will drive the Zagreb players – we need to be careful.


What of our team? Who should play? Well, I have absolutely no idea. I cannot even say with any certainty that Cech will start ahead of Ospina (who is a fine deputy). Ramsey, BFG and Bellerin are out, I expect Kos and Gabriel to be our CB’s. Ozil and Sanchez could get 70 minutes but beyond them …… ???

Monreal or Gibbs? Gibbs has done nothing wrong and deserves a start, should it be here or at Stamford Bridge? Same goes for Debuchy, Arteta, Giroud, Oxlade-Chamberlain, even Flamini.

Perhaps AW will give Joel Campbell a run though  it would preclude him being sold to any club remaining in the CL in January. Given Theo’s start last Saturday and the expectation that he will play centrally at Stamford Bridge I believe Giroud will start tonight.

Here is my punt:


Debuchy    Gabriel    Koscielny    Gibbs

Ox   Coquelin   Cazorla


Giroud     Sanchez

Wouldn’t put LB’s sofa on it though.

We should win this game, we are better all over the pitch and we are good away from home.

I am 71% confident.


167 Responses to Theo or Giroud? Yet again!

  1. Ajinkya says:

    71% confident.. lol..

  2. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Raddy. It will be a tricky one to decide who to play and how to rotate with Saturday’s game also in mind. Despite their dodgy start I wonder if this is where the Chav’s have a slight advantage?

    Maureen’s sides have always been the masters of grinding out results with ok’ish performances in 2 games close together, whereas I feel we are more reliant upon sharp quality interplay to win games, and we traditionally suffer if slight fatigue kicks in and we play with less of our usual fluidity. Maybe this is not quite the case so much with us anymore, at least I hope not.

    As such I am going for a slightly cagey, controlled, disciplined tight win without all round exceptional play or going hell for leather. Save the 90 minutes of all out attacking utopia for Saturday.

    As to the title of your post Raddy, I cannot answer. I have been forbidden from ever commenting or making vague reference to that subject again 😦

    You will have to ask Micky my opinion from henceforth, being that he has an uncanny knack of stating the same beliefs and opinions as myself.

  3. RA says:

    Nice one, Randy, 🙂

    The Eduardo Carvalho you are referring to plays as a goal-keeper for Dinamo – and is not the ex-Arsenal player, Eduardo da Silva, I think you meant – he now plays for Shakhtar Donetsk – maybe. 🙂

  4. RA says:


    You are not really under any constraint – you obviously enjoy the subject – so go ahead and don’t bother your ass about boring to death everyone else, except Norfolk. 😀

    Anyway, Raddish is at fault for provoking a response from you – passive hippy aggression Micky calls it! 🙂

  5. The Cockie Monster says:

    Thanks Rads !

    I am of the opinion that this is similar to the COC……………no pressure as we aint going to win it !………………I`ll be more devastated if we only draw let alone lose to the Chavs on Saturday !.
    I know it`s all about the money with this league, but I`d prefer it to be back as a knockout competition where you get drawn against anybody .

    The Love In !

    Mourinho being groomed as the next Arsenal manager by Arsene !.

  6. RA says:

    Big Un,

    The team that you predict will not be on show tonight, in my opinion. because both the Chavs and ourselves will ‘rest’ key players tonight because of the derby on Saturday.

    I do not know how to break the news to GB, but I think Arsene will only have the short, speedy one on the bench tonight, as his pace may well be lethal against that Chav defence come the week-end 🙂

  7. RC78 says:

    Cech – Debuchy, Gabs, Kos, Gibbs – Coquelin, Arteta – Ox, Campbell, Sanchez – Giroud

    I would give Debs, Gibbs, Ox, Arteta, Campbell and Giroud a start as they need to be more match-fit and then I would start Sanchez in the mix as he needs to rediscover his finishing touch 🙂 Cazorla, Ozil and Walcott may come into the game, depending on how we fare…

    This is a game where we need to control the midfield and tempo. Dinamo is highly physical, tactical and technical and does not lose many games at home so let us give them something to think about by beefing up our mid (Coq, Arteta), adding pace, drive and engin on the flanks (Debs, Ox / Gibbs, Sanchez) and then strength for hold-up play with Giroud with a tricky player behind (Campbell).

    I am sure that if we put the game to bed early, Sanchez and Ox will be replaced early…


  8. RC78 says:

    and also Coquelin may be substituted by Flamster

  9. LB says:

    Good prematch BR.

    Interesting thoughts on the team selection, it gives the impression that Wenger might think of rotation.

    Hmmm, could be right, but he does have a tendency to keep playing his best team until it no longer is his best and only then he changes.

    My guess is the same as Saturday.

  10. RC78 says:

    Eduardo – Machado – Henriquez are good players at Dinamo by the way…

  11. Red Arnie says:

    lovely stuff, as ever, Raddy. 🙂

    “win, lose or draw we are going out in the next round so does it really matter”. eh? 🙂 surely, this is our year in the CL! 🙂 To be honest, we stand as much a chance in the CL as the EPL, right! 🙂 And CL takes preferance because we have never done it! 🙂

    Lineups? oh dear! Chavs on Saturday, so rotation is necessary.

    Ospina, perhaps? No real backups on CBs at the moment.

    How about de Booshy and Nachos?

    Rambo and Jack out? How about le Coq and Flamster starting, and then replace le Coq with Arteta depending on how it goes? Give Santi a rest.

    Upfront, Theo starting today to leave Giro on full flow for the weekend?

    TBH, the result in this game probably does not matter that much, so happy with a bit of a punt! 🙂 COYG. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  12. Eddie says:

    Thanks BR! At long last a proper PM 🙂

    Nope, I’m not the one who doesn’t care about tonight’s game or any other CL game. Nothing more important than winning the European cup. I know a team or two that won it playing poorly, so why not us?

    We win big tonight and are one step closer to fulfil my and Arsene’s dream. Dynamo Z are top of the table in Croatia, but there is no competition, that’s all.

    82% positive. Draw at the very worst.

  13. Red Arnie says:

    GoonerB. gagging order? 🙂 when? why? by whom? 🙂

  14. GoonerB says:

    Redders, your 10.42. I wouldn’t be disappointed, fully agree with your comment and am happy to see you reference he who shall not be named in such a positive way 🙂

    Would go with Ollie but with pace to either side. My preferred line-up would rest the players I feel are least replaceable at present, who for me are Coquelin and Sanchez and possibly Ozil. I would go with something slightly from left field as follows:

    Chambers, Gabriel, Kos, Monreal
    Debuchy, Arteta
    Ox, Cazorla, Gibbs

    A bit weird I know but it keeps a solid defence while giving Chambers some game time. keeps a solid CM pair and gives Debuchy (who apparently played holding midfielder for Lille) some game time. Gets the 2 footed Cazorla working closer to Ollie. Gets pace either side of him and gives Gibbs some playing time.

    It is a solid if slightly unspectacular line up but not without threat going forward. It rests key players and gives others who need it game time without overly compromising our shape and balance.

    The only danger is it plays most of our available defenders, but we could bring in from the youth ranks for the bench (any of them named in our CL squad?) as well as Flamini who can play FB. It could depend on if there are any significant problems with Merts and Bellerin. They are not listed on physio room as injuries. What is up with Rambo also?

    Despite all this AW will not go with anything like what I have suggested anyway….so come to think of it, why did I bother writing it? 🙂

  15. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all,
    Nice one Raddy
    Don’t forget they had an earthquake an hour after they trained yesterday so I predict 5.1 to the good guys last goal on the hour mark just before the posts fall

  16. GoonerB says:

    Arnie, He who shall not be named to start in place of Giroud so that he can be in full flow for the weekend! Love it, pure comedy genius Arnie 🙂

  17. chas says:

    Cheers, Big Radford.

    I think the ‘so what, it’s the Champions League again’ attitude that many of us have, is partly because we’ve been spoilt playing in it so consistently and partly due to the six game league format.
    Matchday 1 never decides who qualifies for the knockout rounds but it can be a bloody big help!

    No idea who will play.
    I actually like most of our players these days so I don’t get the eebie-jeebies when I hear Squillaci is partnering Stepanovs at centre back type feeling I may have done in the past. 🙂
    I suppose Chambers and Gabriel for the dippers game was the closest, but even then we hung on for a majestic clean sheet. 🙂

  18. Red Arnie says:

    GoonerB. What? Against Chavs, you would take the chance with someone who converts only 1 in 8 chances?

    Now, if he who shall not be named can improve this statistic to 1 in 2 chances tonight, or better still 2 in 3, that would be different. 🙂

  19. GoonerB says:

    Stats can be interpreted in so many different ways Arnie.

    For instance if we were to look at who has had the most chances and then ask why is it that they have had the most chances?

    Or what is a players goal ratio relative to minutes on the pitch, or possibly more importantly the ratio of goals per starts as a striker?

    Maybe we could look at it even more simplistically.What if we review, lets say, the last 5 games from the end of last season (including the cup final) and the first 6 from this season (including the community shield), and look at results (win ratios) relative to who we had starting up front.

    Maybe even more simply we could reflect on which games we all felt we played well in rather than looking disjointed and off the pace. I think a trend would emerge in this instance,not every game granted,but still enough of a trend to give pause for thought.

    Anyway, I better run away before I get scolded for breaking my gagging order even though no names were mentioned 🙂

  20. GoonerB says:

    OOhh no scolding yet..better mention that I am disappointed that the media are already piping up with reports that Arsenal fans want shot of Jack because of his injuries. Personally I feel so strongly about his talent that I will give him as long as it takes. Still lots of time to have 3-4 sterling seasons at THOF and I wouldn’t mind if AW tries re-inventing him as a right sided attacker (as his eye for goal seems to be developing) where he will be less prone to these late tackles that look more prominent in the CM area.

    Right, run away, run away.

  21. LB says:

    Can someone help?

    What am I missing? Why isn’t anyone suggesting that Bellerin will play tonight? Is he injured and I haven’t heard or something?

  22. GoonerB says:

    Sorry LB, Can’t help. I want the same answer, and also that of Ramsey and Merts. none are listed on physio room as injured.

  23. chas says:

    I haven’t watched the video but underneath it says Ramsey and Bellerin are out.
    I presume the BFG is still shaking from crashing his Mercedes.

  24. Red Arnie says:

    LB: I would personally like Bellerin to be rested for Saturday. But then, I am no Arsene Wenger! 🙂

    Oh dear! just saw Chas’ comment. 😦

  25. chas says:

    I just watched the prezzer and Wenger said that Bellerin and Ramsey ‘did not travel’.
    No explanation, certainly no talk of injury, though he did say that with our schedule over the next few weeks, the squad gives the chance for some players to ‘have a breather’.

  26. Gööner In Exile says:

    Nice Raddy, the whole feeling blasé vs feeling of satisfaction for qualifying is down to one thing only. The celebration/contentment tends to come from
    Which teams didn’t take our spot….Spuds/Dippers/ManUre in recent seasons as much as us actually qualifying.

    Then we tread a fairly non memorable well trodden path to the knockouts and draw an unbeatable (except last season).

    That said I do feel given the talk of players we might like to take a breather that we may as fans be starting to believe in our squad depth. We can maybe make the next round without our players being exhausted we can afford to rest a couple tonight and let them be fresh for Saturday.

  27. mickydidit89 says:

    Thank you Big

    Must win game for sure 😀
    Six points from Croats essential so Theo up top. I’m right aren’t I GB

  28. stevepalmer1 says:

    Always get the hump when we start saving players for another game, Bloody hell chelsea havent had a win this season and were worried about them. Champions league is what every premier league team strive to get in and you all want to save players to play Chelsea the mind boggles.

  29. Red Arnie says:

    Interesting, Steve. 🙂 I never thought I will ever say that we may strategically decide not to play our best team in a CL game. You know we all want us to do really well, for a change, in the CL. That is certainly for me the final frontier. One that we have not scaled, and would desparately love to do so. 🙂

    However, this is a very specific situation. All we want from this game is just a 1-0 to the Arsenal rather than a draw away. I would hope that this is not a loss. We are better than that.

    How likely is it that perhaps 2 points sacrificed here (at worst) bites us in qualification?

    On the flip side, not doing well against the Chavs will be quite a disaster. And will bring about negativity that will last us another life time. On balance, I would say some rest for our key players is perhaps preferable. 🙂

  30. stevepalmer1 says:

    Every transfer window Arnie i hear the fatal words of pundits commentators and supporters say that inclusion in Champions league is a must for most Players. Apparently Arn its the pinicle of some careers. Usually we have a handful of matches in it, and we save who must be our best players for a league game we have forty of.

    This game tonight is our first game, we should be showing the rest of the world we can kick butt, lose this one tonight and it makes us look bloody stupid. Capital one cup is also the same play reserves when a cup is up for grabs.

    Most players enjoy winning things we are on a roll, i bet Sanchez will want to play every game in every competition, and i bet Belerin would as well. These players have had 5 games some have not played that and there tired my life what would they do if they had to work 5 days a week.

  31. GoonerB says:

    Sorry Micky your 4.23, been off for a bit. Anyway I am not saying publicly if you are right or not, as I am not allowed you know, but instead will communicate to you through extra sensory perception……..did you get my answer?

    I agree with your above Arnie but would add that despite their strong start I see Citeh having a blip which means we can catch them. If we can catch them we can be title winners, what with Utd not looking so great and Chav’s start to the season. Also we can put the Chav’s 9 points behind us with a win and further dent their confidence.

    Despite probably needing a top level striker I feel we have the squad to succeed in a 38 EPL campaign but maybe not quite that extra Je ne sais quoi of quality for the ECL. That one final player that when you have the last 4 evenly matched top teams left they make the difference. As such the EPLis very realistic as a big prize but the ECL more of a lottery. I may have felt differently if we had a certain Luis Suarez plying his trade for us currently.

  32. GoonerB says:

    Steve I think the sports science these days is a bit more specific and it is the managers that look at it more than the players. I don’t think it is the players that cry off and just need to man up a bit. I do get your thought process as I think along those lines sometimes myself and I get the feeling you are old school when it comes to these things.

    I actually think the players could continue to play game after game if asked with no obvious problem. However, modern clubs probably have significant data analysis that shows that a players performance level drops by say 5% after a certain number of games in close proximity, and this happens without the player being aware of it or without them putting in what they consider their best effort.

    If this 5% drop happens to too many players at the same time the manager is likely aware that this is when you see those slightly off performances where every pass or ball is just a fraction away. This is likely more important for a team that sets up to play with a quick passing and movement style (like us) rather than a grind it out team.

  33. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening GB, thank you for your comment. Yes of course your right, i am old school.

    Having said that i also follow the news in the papers and i try to keep up with modern footballers. What i have noticed is that most modern players train for about 3 or 4 hours then play tennis squash or golf, those of course that play no other sport , seem to spend their spare time knocking up any young woman that drops her draws, wife or a friend with benefits. That is your modern footballer, tired of course they are who wouldnt be when you have expelled yourself all afternoon.

    A good Manager would do better keeping them at the club all day the same as most of the countries bosses do.

    Lets face it even our captain has trouble driving a car on the fast lane of a one way road without taking the barrier out, what is Wenger asking them to do in their 3 hours

  34. chas says:

  35. Big Raddy says:

    9 out of 11. I am happy with that!

  36. Big Raddy says:

    Right. I am in the lucky chair., drinking my lucky valpolicella, wearing the lucky clothes. What can go wrong ?

  37. Red Arnie says:

    GoonerB. nice comments. 🙂

    Steve. I am listening. 🙂

    well done Big (Crystals) Raddy. 🙂

    ta, Chas. 🙂


  38. Big Raddy says:

    Come on you Reds

  39. Rasp says:

    Why Ospina in goal?

  40. Big Raddy says:

    Why not? The man is a fine GK.

  41. Big Raddy says:

    This season we have hit the woodwork more than the net!!

    The luck has to change.

  42. Rasp says:

    He’s not our best GK, and this is the CL

  43. Big Raddy says:

    Bum. The luck is certainly not going our way tonight.

  44. Rasp says:

    That’s why we shouldn’t have Ospina in goal. I blame that tart Giroud for breaking our concentration

  45. Rasp says:

    Zagreb read our free manual on how to beat Arsenal. Allow us 65% meaningless possession and then hit us on the break. We are far too slow to get the ball forward

  46. Rasp says:

    Well done Giroud, bloody brilliantly, the man is a disgrace to the shirt

  47. Big Raddy says:

    Nothing to do with Ospina. Where the hell was Debuchy, who has had a poor half

    FFS. OG.

    Not gong well is it?

  48. fatgingergooner says:

    Well done Giroud. Could see that coming as soon as he got booked the first time.

  49. Rasp says:

    Ospina should have smothered that ball, he couldn’t make himself big because he’s not! A small goalkeeper and a slow immobile CF won’t win you a CL

  50. fatgingergooner says:


    Don’t think he will be wearing it much longer.

  51. Rasp says:

    I sincerely hope so FGG. He missed a fairly easy chance, got a yellow for acting like a spoilt kid and then a second because he was out if control

  52. fatgingergooner says:

    Hope Wenger moans at Giroud instead of the ref.

    Get Özil off and put Walcott on.

    Deb Gab Koz Gibbs
    Ox Arteta Cazorla Sanchez

  53. Adrian says:

    Giroud can feck right off. Done absolutely nothing in the short period he was on the pitch, falls down at the slightest of touches. And then the sending off. Feck off.

  54. Big Raddy says:

    Not the best of halves

    To be behind to such a poor team is dreadful but it is not just OG who has been shite, what about Debuchy, Ozil, Arteta, Sanchez, Santi and Ospina.

    The only players who have done a job are Gibbs, Ox, Kos and Gabriel who has been our best player

    Still think we will win but the I am an old hippy optimist 🙂

  55. Rasp says:

    Like thousands of other Gooners watching I predicted he would get sent off after the first yellow – shame Arsene didn’t see it !

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh dear
    Now Sanchez will do more miles than usual and be knackered for Chavs
    When will we take cl minnows seriously 😦
    Zagreb should = 6 points
    Come on Arsenal, lets turn it around

  57. Surely Theo has to come on at the start of the 2nd half

  58. Adrian says:

    Still fuming at Giroud there, it’s one thing to be in a terrible patch of form but at the very least don’t get sent off.

  59. Can’t believe it!!!!!! No changes. Come on Arsenal try to have a better second half please

  60. fatgingergooner says:


    At least the others were smart enough to stay on the pitch! 😄

    We were ok for 20 minutes but if we don’t score we seem to lose intensity. I’ve seen it so many times.

    Uphill battle now because they will just sit in and counter, which we all know is our downfall. Fingers crossed for a bit of individual magic to pull us out of the s***

  61. fatgingergooner says:

    Full backs will be key to how we deal with having 10 men

  62. ‘Individual magic’ that’s what we need.

  63. Rasp says:

    We’re better without Giroud – what does that tell you?

  64. Rasp says:

    Look what happens when we get the ball forward quickly, it may have been offside but it was close

  65. fatgingergooner says:


    Started very well 2nd half too.

    Hope Giroud is f**king proud of himself.

  66. Big Raddy says:

    Oh dear. We were playing well and looked as though we could get back in the game, then a goal totally against the run of play.

    Desperately disappointing

  67. Big Raddy says:

    This game has gone, time to take off Ozil and Sanchez ahead of Saturday

  68. fatgingergooner says:

    If Giroud thought the French fans were harsh then he’s going to get a shock tonight.

    Not exactly fair but it will happen.

  69. Big Raddy says:

    Clearly AW doesn’t agree with me 😀

  70. mickydidit89 says:

    Before I make my next comment about both Arsene and Eeyore, can I ask whether your Mum is reading? 🙂

  71. She’s playing scrabble ……. you’re safe

  72. mickydidit89 says:

    No, that’s not safe enough 🙂

  73. fatgingergooner says:

    Need an Arsenal goal for £118


    I’m blaming Giroud!

  74. mickydidit89 says:


  75. Rasp says:

    That’s what you get when you’ve got a mobile forward with pace

  76. Big Raddy says:

    Come on Boys.

    Theo on fire!

  77. Big Raddy says:

    And FGG pulls in 118 of her majesty’s finest

  78. Rasp says:

    At last we’re playing the ball forward quickly

  79. fatgingergooner says:

    Campbell has been excellent since coming on. I would be playing him in front of Giroud if he wants to play like that.

    Great goal by Theo.

  80. fatgingergooner says:


    Best goal I’ve ever seen 😄😄😄

  81. Big Raddy says:

    FGG. I think OG will be in the stiffs for the foreseeable future

  82. fatgingergooner says:


    January sales I reckon all though I did see Wenger moaning at the red at half time so maybe he will try and blame him instead of one of his own.

    Wouldn’t be the first time.

  83. Big Raddy says:

    Whatever happens in the game I think the ref has been awful.

  84. Big Raddy says:

    Terrible result after a poor performance.

    Can’t think of any positives.

  85. Rasp says:

    Well I hope Arsene has learned something from that game. Giroud brings nothing to our game, I’d sooner lose going for it with real attacking pace than pass the ball endlessly between the midfielders

  86. mickydidit89 says:

    I can think of a positive, Big, and it concerns team selection for the next CL game against Olympiacos 🙂

  87. chas says:

    ………Giroud not playing against Olympiakos

  88. chas says:


  89. Gööner In Exile says:

    Bollox…..only saw the second half, on that evidence of we had got a draw it would have been more than we deserved. We rushed far to much in my opinion and we’re playing each other into trouble when there was no need.

    Ho hum three wins and a draw is all that will be needed normally so we now need to beat them at home, Olympiakos home and away and hope to get a point out of one of the Munich games.

  90. Red Arnie says:

    shtum. ok, bye folks. back for the Chavs game. 😦

  91. chas says:

    I blame the ref.
    Did you see their first crazy foam free-kick – he counted out 12 yards?
    Giroud’s first booking the defender made a back for him – foul to us not a booking.

  92. chas says:

    There’s no point qualifying anyway, we get knocked out straight away in the knockout.

  93. fatgingergooner says:

    What was the question? Theo or Giroud?

    Hmmmm, tough one!

    Absolute stupidity from the Frenchman who has started this season like somebody sulking because they know their manager is trying to get another striker through the door.

    Thought we did ok in parts but with 10 men and a goal down it was always going to be tough.

    I think some of the officiating will give Wenger an excuse to stick by Giroud, which he will undoubtably do.

    What’s more frustrating is how this result will now have a knock on effect in our run of really tough games. Playing with 10 will have meant more work for some of our boys and confidence will be lost.

    No need to panic on CL progress yet though. 2nd in the group is the most realistic outcome and it’s still in our own hands.

  94. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, Ollie’s fault for getting sent off, but I’d lace up if Arsene selected me 🙂

  95. chas says:

    Get those plimsolls dubbined.

  96. mickydidit89 says:

    And on that low note, and what I suspect will be a massive dongle bill, I’ll sign off.
    I’ll “get” Arsene in the morning, that is if there’s not a bloody good cat vid to distract me.
    Night night sad guns

  97. mickydidit89 says:


  98. chas says:

    and it’s goodnight from me.

  99. GoonerB says:

    Night micky, night chas.

  100. fatgingergooner says:

    I actually agree that the first free kick was to us, and they actually scored from that, but Giroud should know better. Crying like a b**** at the ref isn’t going to help. The 2nd booking was nothing too but it’s his own fault for annoying the ref and being stupid.

    He’s been terrible recently and today’s game summed his season up so far. He needs to get his head down and get back on track. If he wants to be Arsenals star striker then he needs to act like one.

  101. 1979Gunner says:

    Pathetic. Underestimating CL opposition is criminal. Cocky English teams believing the ‘best league in the world” bullshit. And the last 2 blogs biggin up Gidoud????? Come on folks!!!!

  102. Evening all, I’ve just had a lovely meal in a lovely setting almost on the beach in a place with an unprounceable Welsh name. The sunset was spectacular.

    Then I get back to the cottage to find that Giroud as not only missed a couple of chances but has been sent off as well.

    At least Theo got us one back, so not all is lost.

    Wenger seems to have reverted to his old tricks, messing about with the defence and, what’s more, leaving Le Coq on the bench. Doesn’t he want to progress in the Champions?

    We’ll certainly be going back to that restaurant though, the food and ambiance was excellent.

  103. fatgingergooner says:

    Rotation can cause poor results.

    Not rotating can cause injuries.

    Sometimes it’s an impossible job.

    What isn’t impossible is putting your chances away and not moaning at the ref like a little brat.

  104. Red Arnie says:

    well, I have to eat my own words. Steve and LB, in hindsight, leaving Bellerin out was a mistake. 😦

    Leaving both Le Coq and Flamster out was also a mistake, but I was not anticipating that.

  105. wally says:

    Too many passengers tonite. Guys who were given an opportunity, OX, Arteta, Giroud, Gibbs seemed to treat the game like it was punishment. Not a good sign. Arteta is past it. Should have bot Schneiderlin and said goodbye. Giroud looks like a prima donna who’s pissed at being questioned. That’s dangerous. Ox is a one way player, just doesn’t come back consistently. Right now he’s strictly a late game sub when a goal is needed.

    Failure on Saturday could send this group spinning. And with everyone else playing like crap that would be a huge, huge waste

  106. Red Arnie says:

    I like Giroud’s game, but I have to say such attitude is shocking! 😦

  107. 1979Gunner says:

    Wally @ 11:13. Correct.

  108. fatgingergooner says:

    I never thought I’d say this but I actually thought Ramsey missing from the RW was a big loss tonight. I’m starting to see why AW plays him there. He has a coolness about him and he helps keep posession. I also think he’s one of the few players on Özil’s wavelength. I love Ox but he’s a bit of a headless chicken at times and often runs into blind alleys. Ramsey is more selective with what he does with the ball and his link up with Özil and Cazorla seems to help us get between the lines a lot better. Ox is too often running away from our ball players whereas Ramsey enjoys coming deep and getting involved.

    I think he’s more of a goal threat from a central position, but I would rather have him in the side than not, so I guess RW will have to do. Ox is still just an impact player at the moment and needs to be more consistent to warrant a starting place imo.

  109. Red Arnie says:

    FGG. Interesting views about Rambo. I have not liked his game this eason, but have to think about your views


    Disapointing, but in my view not worthy of an over reaction.

    We were unlucky. The Gods of misfortune determine we hit the post from a scramble whilst they score a fluke the first time they enter our box. Excuses? No, its true. Its like saying the demise of Keith Chegwins TV career is because hes a talentless pudding with a disturbed realisation he should be driving an Austin Metro? Of course not, the evil Noel Edmunds conspired against him.

    The referee was biased. This pitiful excuse of officialdom is so bent he would be ejected from a Gay Pride parade for display of outrageous behaviour. I predict the plonker will one day recieve a Peerage. When hes finally caught with a million Croatian Kuna his defense lawyer will plead not capable of attending court due to ill health. Apparently, abrasion of ones penis by the rubbing of countless Croatian Kuna can cause a nasty burn

    Oliver Giroud had a lovers tiff. Before games Giroud should really avoid disputes with the object of his affection, his foul mood effects his performance.. Next time hes faced with a mirror, some one should call a marriage counselor.

    We will bounce back by beating Chelsea.

  111. fatgingergooner says:

    Red Arnie,

    I have been pretty negative towards Rambo being a RW myself this season, but I’m starting to look at him as a midfielder on the wing rather than a RW. Wenger isn’t asking him to be the Ox or Theo, he’s asking him to be an AM player starting from the right. Ljungberg used to do this to perfection, as did Pires from the left. Neither of these players were pacey wingers, but they contributed massively regardless.

    If Rambo can learn to attack the box from the wing the way he does from central positions then he can be our new Ljungberg, and I will not complain about that!

  112. fatgingergooner says:

    Willian and Pedro out of Saturday’s game apparently. Won’t complain about that!

  113. Gööner In Exile says:

    Having a bit more of a think about the game and who started the problems start immediately from the back.

    As discussed before it’s been noticeable that Monreal tucks round more and Bellerin pushes on, last night we were pivoting the other way with Debuchy tucking in and Gibbs pushing on.

    Overall it goes back to what I think is Arsenes biggest fault, lack of rotation. As LB said earlier Arsene tends to pick what he thinks his best XI is until he finds a new best XI. But when faced with a bit of a pile up of games and knowing he needs to gives some a rest he then sticks a glut of changes in one game and we seem disjointed.

    I wish he would just rotate the players one or two at a time each game.

  114. Good moaning 🙂

    It’s great to have CL football back…… I’m over-the-moon 😀

  115. mickydidit89 says:

    “have a breather” eh Arsene?

    I’d be quick with the cat vine Chas 🙂

  116. mickydidit89 says:

    Easier to rotate vital players like Coq if you’ve bothered to go out and buy CL quality alternatives Arsene, you utter…..

    Cat vid? 🙂

  117. mickydidit89 says:

    puss puss puss

    and no NB 🙂

  118. Lets look on the bright side… against the Chavs on Saturday Monreal, Bellerin, le Coq and Walcott will all start and they will be up for winning… can’t read anything into the Chavs 4-0 against Maccabi… it was Maccabi.

  119. Need some pussy…..

  120. Morning micky

    The night hasn’t soothed your anger then………

    AW usually makes the annoying decision to change too many players later on in the group stage when we could top the group or finish second so I feel he disrespected Zagreb by doing it last night.

    Who really needed a little rest? Coquelin and Bellerin maybe? But if Arteta could play like Coquelin then surely he’d have been used more in that role? Debuchy should be excellent cover for Bellerin but last night forgot his job. Cech? The guy’s had virtually nothing to do for weeks.

    Ramsey? I thought the point of playing Ramsey even when nothing is going right for him was to play him back to form. Although he was very quiet against Stoke and one of the first down the tunnel so maybe he needed a rest mentally.

    Ox missed a chance to shine 😦

    I’d much rather we started with the big boys and made changes after an hour ……….. unless of course we’d bought proper players to cover our big boys.

  121. mickydidit89 says:


    Totally agree with you, and as for my anger, I was not overly vexed last night as it was so entirely predictable. The whole evening was bathed in Arsene’s arrogance.

    We’ll now heap pressure on to qualify 2nd from our group

  122. mickydidit89 says:

    Mmmmm, not bad piffed pussy

    School run. Bye

  123. mickydidit89 says:

    miffed 🙄

  124. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Come on chas. I need a distracting vid.

    As to the Ramsey discussion: AW has previous …. remember the Romford Pele? Now we have the Caerphilly Pele.

  125. Red Arnie says:

    hmmmmm. shtum.

    nice comment, Peaches.

  126. Red Arnie says:

    Micky. BT are barstewards personified. They took 3 weeks to activate the line rental in our new house. Because they couold not find an engineer to come round to our house. I thought this was done remotely by flicking on a switch.

    Then the engineer came and asked wifey what is it about TalkTalk that makes us so happy that we are not using BT Broadband.

    Since that day, TalkTalk Broadband is coming down every 2 hours.

    Just a coincidence? 😦

  127. Eddie says:

    I was on the plane last night. What the feck happened??!!

  128. Does anyone feel like writing a few words for an after match post today?

  129. mickydidit89 says:

    Red Arnie
    Saw you nice comment/pic the other day, but had it removed as I don’t like to mix business with pleasure, but thank you anyway.

    On BT. At last home we switched to Satellite Broadband, but thought we’d give BT a chance here as the download speed is better.

    New company coming for a quote on Tuesday.

  130. mickydidit89 says:

    Will do Peaches

  131. chas says:

    In the past didn’t we used to always blame players for shit performances. Now, it always seems to be the manager.

    Most people seemed to be reasonably confident that playing Debuchy and Gibbs wasn’t such a hideous plan before the game.
    Everyone has been clamouring for the Ox to start.
    Ospina for Cech – not a decision you’d expect to lose you the match.
    Arteta for Coquelin seemed to cause the most damage but I doubt many of us would have predicted that before the game.
    The subs were good when they came – perhaps you might say that Wenger should have subbed Giroud once he realised the big Frenchman had his head stuck up his own arse last night, but we’d be in trouble if we always subbed someone when they were booked.

    Didn’t most think the team picked was good enough to win?
    Aside from pulling Giroud off 🙂 , what else could Wenger have done once the game started?

    Apparently the team didn’t go over to the away fans last night. Too feckin embarrassed, I’d imagine.

    p.s. this isn’t meant to be absolving the manager of all responsibility, but just trying to add perspective, as always.

  132. RA says:

    Peaches @ 7:25,

    You have the Post right there!! 😀

  133. LB says:

    If you look at the comments before the game I think you will notice that most people were expecting and thereby wanting Arsene to rotate — he did.

    We lost.

    And now we are annoyed because he did rotate.

    Dammed if he does and

    Dammed if he doesn’t.

    It was always unlikely that we would win all our next four games, but for me, if we win on Saturday, all will be well with the world again.

  134. RA says:

    And if the Chas comment @ 8:14 was added Peaches – even more rounded.

    Job done! 🙂

  135. Red Arnie says:

    Thank you, Micky. Yes, I realised. That was a bit indiscreet. Sorry.

  136. chas says:

    Snap, LB. 🙂

  137. LB says:

    What did we learn last night

    We learnt how we have very quickly got used to Bellerin’s pace and sorely missed it when is was gone. This is set against a back drop of me still believing that Debouchy was the better defender.

    We learnt that Arteta’s days as an important Arsenal player are sadly over.

    We learnt……well you tell me…..

  138. Eddie says:

    Ok, I read the comments.
    The fault is with the ref, wenger, ollie and Cech

  139. chas says:

    Cech was shocking

  140. RA says:

    I agree, Chas, we need another goal-keeper to replace Cech – he did nothing on the bench to stop those goals! Disgraceful. 🙂

  141. Eddie says:

    Cech didn’t play? Why?

  142. RA says:

    Presumably whoever writes the post-match Post will mention the ludicrous selection of Arteteteta and Cazorla as our midfield defensive pairing – so I won’t mention it. 🙂

    One, and preferably both, of the players in those positions should be tall, strong, pacey and aggressive – exactly how Arsene would describe his aforementioned selections – the ones I am not mentioning.

  143. Rasp says:

    I didn’t think we picked the right team before the game …

    The list of mistakes ….

    6 changes …. too many. 3 of the back 5 changed

    Ospina for Cech …why??? there was no need for this, I’m pretty sure Cech would have at least come and punched the cross for the second goal.

    A CF who lacks pace and mobility the 2 most essential attributes of a modern striker. This is made worse by the fact that the likes of Ozil and Santi need runners for their passing game.

    Underestimating the opposition. This team went unbeaten for the whole of last season. It is a very good ‘team’ … we on the other hand looked like 10 individuals for a large part of the game before the subs were made.

    A slow build up style of football that is easy to defend against and makes us vulnerable to the swift counter attack.

    Zagreb had the standard game plan against us. Let us have all the possession we want in the middle third and punish us on the break.

    Arsene never learns ……

  144. Eddie says:

    Carling cup team, madness

  145. Rasp says:

    I could also add …..

    Two holding midfielders who lack pace and power …..

  146. mickydidit89 says:

    brief thing sent

  147. chas says:

    It wasn’t a Carling Cup team.


    on the result…
    It’s difficult because we had a lot of the ball and we had early chances. We were a bit unlucky tonight. I believe the first goal was offside and then afterwards the sending off was very harsh. We have to look at ourselves as well because the second goal killed our game. We are good enough to defend corners like that well. Apart from that we had a lot of the ball when it was 10 against 11. They were committed, they defended well and sometimes I felt that they stopped us from gaining an advantage without being punished by the referee, especially on counter-attacks where we had to play 10 against 11 in one half. We were not at our best but neither was the referee tonight.

    on Olivier Giroud’s sending off…
    The first yellow card was Giroud’s fault because he protested, even if there was no foul against him. After that he should have not protested to the referee. His second yellow card was completely unlucky to touch the guy. I do not understand the referee.
    on whether Giroud should have been more careful…
    I don’t think he saw the guy. It was completely accidental. It happened and I think at that moment it was not a second yellow. It has to be a foul on purpose and it was not on purpose. The referee should have given several yellows tonight based on that.

    on the Champions League…
    Mathematically we can qualify without any problem if we can produce our performances that we want at home. We have had problems starting in every competition this season. We were slow starting the Premier League and now the Champions League. I’m confident that we can put that right in the next five games.

    on three English clubs losing…
    It’s too early. It’s the first game. Let’s see where we stand after six games. It’s too early to get any conclusion. Tonight was a special circumstance. We had a lot of the ball, Zagreb gave absolutely everything and once we went 2-0 down it was a very difficult game with 10 against 11. Let’s see where we stand after six games. Then we can draw conclusions.

    on making changes to the side…
    You know that when you don’t win the game you have to look at yourself and think, ‘I didn’t get it right’. I personally don’t believe that the players who came in had a bad game. It just didn’t work. We know we have to do that again. We were maybe a bit unlucky and maybe lacked cohesion or some competition in some situations. I have to analyse that. It’s very difficult to give you a definite answer straight after the game.

    on David Ospina…
    Ospina is a very, very good goalkeeper and he has shown that again tonight. Cech has not played a full season so I am trying to give him some rest mentally because for goalkeepers it’s the same as outfield players.
    Copyright 2015 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source


  148. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all,
    I have cooled off a bit since last night, Of course as i predicted once i saw the line up, we lost. Its only champions League, its not really important, as we can’t win it anyway, finally Wenger has shown he is not interested in this competition b ecause it interferes with our league matches.

    Zegreb have carried on their good form and now their confidence has been boosted, never in their history have they won against an English team so again we will be written in the record books as being the first losers.

    Yes i was annoyed at our team selection, and i wondered why our players were suddenly worn out. I of course am a supporter of Mr Wenger and what he chooses must be for a reason as he knows his players best.

    Leaving certain players out from the start surprised me a bit, Players who probably have been MOTM in previous games are now not travelling or start on the bench. Right from the off the blend never really seemed gelled. Yes the normal misses happened but we are used to players missing easy chances, but players who have seen little play this year are picked to play Champions league, and in all honesty they looked like they wanted to impress but didn’t

    The Player who was missed the most was Coquelin, nothing looked safe at the back in my mind. I thought we had sorted our defence out and was looking solid only to let the one player who knits it all together out.

    Before Coquelin came back we were abysmal, we were like a headless Chicken running in all directions, he comes back and the jigsaw piece fits in nicely fierce tackling his winning of the ball and his distribution has been remarkable, the man loves to play, he wants to play, he needs to play, and he is left out to rest him, some players do not realise that they are Knackered and they need to be shown they are.

    Of course many players like Coquelin get confused, told they are being rested and then as soon as we are getting stuffed by a tuppence ha’penny team, they are asked to strap your boots on and get that tired body into the firing line.

    Of course the reasoning behind all these dreadful decisions is a league clash with the premier league champions who have started the season off badly, still without a win all season and are hovering on the relegation places, a team lacking in confidence and insider problems as well.

    That so called spent team played their first game in CL last night, and came out 4’0 winners a very comfortable winners who had a stroll, their confidence is buzzing 4 goals for a team unable to score a goal before now looking forward to a weekend clash with us.

    We on the other hand have had our arses kicked by a rubbish team, we still miss more chances than we score and the rested guys still had to travel and play, losing badly tires players confidence low also has a damming effect. Arsenal will go to Stanford bridge worried and so they should they were pittyfull last night, and we will struggle.

    We may as well kiss this season off, Champions league we cannot win and after five games in Premier league we are 5 points behind the leaders, we are short on players and now short of confidence a loss on the weekend will see a larger points gap with the leaders and we are finished.

    When will we realise that tired players come after a prolonged period of playing, and not after 5 games, winning games lifts everybody and makes players try harder. That game last night rested nobody it damaged the players the mood and the fitness, Yes they will turn up on the weekend a brand new strip will look great , the team will stick their chests out but inside they will be nervous while their opponents will relish kickstarting their season, and why because they no have belief thats why.

  149. mickydidit89 says:

    That cat vid at 8:17 changes everything 🙂
    My day is bright

  150. Eddie says:

    oh I don’t know, none of it makes much sense. I am fuming.

  151. fatgingergooner says:

    The rotation last night was not to rest players, it was to give some of the fringe players a chance, and as seems to happen quite often, they embarrassed themselves.

    It’s difficult to come into a game after hardly playing for weeks on end and produce a quality performance, but they should be doing better than what I saw last night.

    I agree that changing 6 is a bit much for a CL game, but I had no problem with the line up before the game apart from Arteta playing with Cazorla. Arteta should only be playing alongside Coquelin imo, but if that’s the case, then what’s the point in him?

    Ultimately the result last night falls on Giroud. I think the manager would’ve looked at his team sheet yesterday and thought we had more than enough to beat that team. Koscielny, Cazorla, Özil, Sanchez, Ox all started. It wasn’t a poor line up. If Giroud doesn’t act like an idiot then we probably get at least a point.

  152. chas says:

    Can we get Micky’s post up now, please?

  153. Rasp says:

    “We were unlucky” …. says it all ….. we need to employ a ‘luck coach’ because we do not train enough to be more lucky when we play ……. it would be funny if it wasn’t so ludicrous

  154. chas says:

  155. chas says:

  156. Just sorting the post

  157. New Post everyone …………………

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