Should Arsene Tinker?

Many, if not all supporters are buzzing at this weekend’s result. Theo and Olly grabbing a goal each and Alexis Sanchez finally getting his first hat trick. The way goals have been for us lately, feels like when you are waiting ages for a bus, and then 3 come along together, only this time 5 come along in our away win against Leicester. 5-2 final score and Leicester’s record of no losses finally comes to an end.

Leicester played a very open game, much the same as we do, which I felt made for the best game to be played this season. Ranieri was very kind about Arsenal and particularly Alexis, in his after match interview. For a Manager who has his first season defeat at home as well, he said we were the better side.

Tuesday we play Olympiacos in our second game of The Champions League, this one at The Emirates, Arsene Wenger has hinted that Coquelin may be fit for this game, Giroud will not feature, as he sits a one match ban, for his sending off against Dynamo Zegreb in our first game, which will almost certainly place Theo as our front man.

Gabriel is available for this game, so if Arsene wants to rest a player, as he seems to do, he can. Of course we have a league game with Manchester United this weekend. United at present sit top of the table, so considering what he did against Zegreb when we had Chelsea as the follow game, and he may feel the same rule applies.

I for one, hope he picks his strongest side, as anything other than a win almost sees us out of this prestigious competition, and in all honesty we should be looking at full points for both games. Probably depends on where Arsene feels we stand most chance, and with us now finding a bit of form, only he knows the answer.

I have in the past been labeled an old school supporter. When I said that I am against fielding a weakened side for one game, to save players for another, I feel the same for Tuesdays game as well. I don’t believe it works, as it didn’t last time as we came off losers in both games. We need to ride our luck and rotate players for lesser games, if we must at all.

Winning our game against Tottenham at the Lane in our first round of the Capital one competition with ten changes, showed me that Arsene must have his priorities, I feel that this type of managing is risky, we got away with it on the night but it is a gamble. Yes, of course a squad of players are there for these type matches, but I do believe we lose the fluency we have with more than two changes.

Arsene of course has vast experience in all competitions and I sometimes wonder if he feels referees may favour certain clubs, as just recently, some very strange decisions have been made, some overturned, but still bans and points lost, I wonder if Arsene ever lets that cross his mind at all, as it certainly crosses mine.

Revelations from FIFA and stories also of EUFA have been brought up just recently. Nobody has been found guilty yet, but should revelations come out later, it would certainly start to explain some decisions on the field of play, I leave you to discuss.

Arsenal are now up to fourth in the league, 3 points behind the leaders, we can now field our best eleven that we have available. We have played six games in the league and we have seen the lead change hands, with City losing and Chavs drawing, we are clawing back points gradually. Many clubs are suffering injuries ourselves included, but many clubs will not be relishing meeting us in our present form, do we go for it or do we tinker. I believe we should pressurise all and sundry – what’s your view?

Steve Palmer

133 Responses to Should Arsene Tinker?

  1. Big Raddy says:

    Steve Thank you.

    Yes, I think we should tinker but do not expect many changes. More of which I will write about in the PM 😎

    One thing I am sure of is that we will not see the 6 changes we saw in Zagreb

  2. stevepalmer1 says:

    Thank you Raddy, hope your right mate.

  3. stevepalmer1 says:

    RA, thank you for your description on the last past, Made me feel a lot better, 🙂 What about my car 😦

  4. ‘Morning all,

    Food for thought in a fine post, thanks Steve.

    To tinker or not to tinker? Personally I say no to tinkering.

  5. stevepalmer1 says:

    Cheers NG, lets just go with the flow, were on a winning streak, lets see where it takes us. Players will get injured we know that others may show signs of tiredness, but while we keep winning and advancing, players will want to play. Merts game on Saturday, shows what happens when you are away from the action for just a short time, Rotation is the name of the game, but certain games we need the best we can muster.

    I know what people say about sports science and maybe they have a point, but you don’t win much by fielding weak sides. Rotation in every game will keep every body intouch and also allow the odd knock a games rest. Keep them low and often and we can compete with the best.

  6. Thanks steve…. you little tinker

    The CL is too important to tinker too much …. a tinker too far is a tinker too much. Giroud in for Theo maybe… Gabriel in for the BFG perhaps… but that;s all. We got a good rhythm going against Leicester…. lets keep it that way.

  7. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning NB, good blog of yours yesterday, and i agree with you.

  8. Cheers mate…. the boys can go into tomorrows game with confidence but not arrogance

  9. There’s no need to rest players to have them fresh for the United game, four days recovery time is ample.

    We play on billiard table pitches, not the old mud heaps, the season’s only just started so there shouldn’t be any fatigue build-up yet.

    Having said that, I’d want the pace and mobility of Gabriel, over Meets when facing United’s new young striker.

    Strongest side possible against the Greeks.

  10. fatgingergooner says:

    I think any changes will be more to do with avoiding any reaction from the Leicester game rather than resting players for the United game. We don’t play until late Sunday and then there is a break straight after that so fatigue shouldn’t be an issue. Plus, most of the first team missed the Spurs match.

    Possible changes:-

    Cech for Ospina – Ospina is our cup GK but I’m not sure that will stretch to the CL. I think Zagreb may have been a one-off in this comp.

    Monreal for Gibbs – Gibbs was decent against Spurs but just can’t seem to match Nacho’s consistency. Might get a game here though.

    Gabriel for Merts – Merts just coming back from illness so maybe 3 games in a week is a big ask.

    Coquelin or Arteta for Flamini – Flamini got injured against Leicester so someone needs to step in. I would go with Arteta for this and make sure Coq is fully fit for United game.

    Ox for Ramsey – Rambo was the only first team player to play at Spurs but didn’t travel to Zagreb. Has an engine on him so not sure he needs resting that often.

    My team:-

    Bellerin Gabriel Kos Monreal
    Cazorla Arteta Özil
    Ox Walcott Sanchez

    I’d be tempted to start Gibbs but 4 changes overall and 2 to the back 4 is too many imo. I suppose it will depend on how the squad are feeling after the Leicester game.

  11. Who has a suspension for the CL game?

  12. chas says:

    Cheers, Steve.

    I think we ought to pressurise all and sundry with minimal tinkering.
    Hope he gives Coq another game off to heal.

    Apart from being out of position for the first goal, I thought the BFG was majestic on Saturday. The tackle near the end was Bobby Moore-esque. 🙂

  13. ha ha I knew there was something wrong with me suggesting Ollie in for Theo 🙂

  14. stevepalmer1 says:

    Cheers lads, I have to say that i moan about changes, but when i see some of your predicted line ups, they sure don’t look bad, Perhaps we are using more players, and they seem to be a part of the team, not just a part in the squad.

  15. Rasp says:

    Thanks Steve, this is a tricky one.

    I’ve moaned about the number of changes we made against Zagreb, this should be a much easier game at home. I can’t see any point in resting Cech but I agree with chas that Coquelin should not play unless he is 100% recovered as we will need him on top form for the weekend

    Gibbs of Monreal makes sense and resting Theo would be good if it were not for Giroud’s suspension.

    I can see 2 – 3 changes possibly with a strong bench if needed.

  16. stevepalmer1 says:

    Thanks Rasp, Whether he starts Coq or not, i feel he will play a part in this game as i feel Wenger would want to know if he could break down against United. I do expect changes as i feel Wenger would not leave it untouched. I feel a strong bench will be available, whether he starts with our strongest and hope for a few goals then make changes, or the other way round, i still think he will tinker

  17. stevepalmer1 says:

    Campbell or iwobi whatever his name is could play up front, Wenger had mentioned them both just lately .

  18. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Steve and also a thanks to SirA yesterday.

    For me I would look at tinkering and rotating as being separate things….unless you are Terry or Cockie who do both at the same time as their eyes tend to rotate as they tinker…

    Rotating for me is a necessary component, if you want eventual success, of a top modern teams football season. Back up players need game time and match fitness so when called upon in unavoidable circumstances they fit seamlessly in with little deterioration in our performance levels. Your big game winning players need to be at their best for those big games and picking when to give them a breather is a skill.

    Tinkering for me is the unnecessary experimenting of different formations and players in alternative positions. For me I still feel that is this, and the resultant disjointed performance, that has hampered most at times this season and last.

    So I feel rotation is needed but when? These next 2 games are ones we want to win so I would go with strongest available for both then rotate again. Our run of fixtures would see AW do the following if it were down to me :

    Olympiacos (H) strongest 11
    Man Utd (H) strongest 11
    Watford (A) Rotate
    Munich (H) Strongest
    Everton (H) Strongest
    Shef Wed (A) Rotate

  19. Rasp says:

    Oh dear 😦 I’ve just read that Arteta is out with an injury.

  20. Rasp

    Flamini and Arteta are too old now… only needs a vigorous walk to strain something… us oldens know all about that, I get a pulled muscle if I try to toss a stir fry 🙂

  21. Soixante Neuf, are you finally admitting that you’re an old tosser? 😀

  22. stevepalmer1 says:

    GB, blinding comment, don’t like to say it, but that is my line of thinking as well, i have to say i agree with your suggestions on when and when to rotate as well. I am getting worried that Wenger might see that comment and see the sense of it.

    Rasp, never thought an Arteta Injury would worry me at this stage, but i now seem to be thinking differently.

  23. Rasp says:

    😆 NB69, I think that age has slowed Arteta and both he and Flamini are going to be more injury prone thanks to anno domini. Flamini showed he still has the drive and desire.

    They are quite different types of player, Flamini is closer to Coquelin. I could see that with a choice of either as back-up according to the demands of the game might have seemed adequate to Arsene – but not to me 😕

  24. ha ha NG

    I realised that a long, long time ago… but I still enjoy tossing 🙂 despite my age.

  25. fatgingergooner says:

    Guess Coquelin starts tomorrow then with Flamini and Arteta out injured. Hope he manages to stay fit for Sunday or we might see Chambo at HM!

    Suppose we shouldn’t be worrying about United just yet though. Need to make sure we beat Olympiacos.

  26. Vintage Gooner says:

    Firstly I agree completely with Gooner B and in particular his analysis of games for strongest sides and games which allow some rotation. I would not expect rotation to be more than 3/4 at most except for COC which should be a mix of experience and youth.

    Tuesday selection is however interesting. I would play Gabriel because he is well rested and should be completely match fit whilst Mert needs more game time but not in a must win game against Olympiakos. Both fullbacks should be our best Kos is automatic unless injured, and Cech should continue to develop rapport with what for him is a new back line.

    I certainly would not start Coq as Arsene is reported saying that he is only in full training today. The reported injury to Arteta is worrying but may best be resolved by playing Cazorla and Ramsey deep with Mesut Ozil pulling the strings and the Ox on the right.

    I feel Alexis and Theo are our best current starting pair up front and there needs to be special reason for picking Giroud (which is not possible Tuesday anyway).

    For next Sunday I think the return of the Coq is an imperative which would leave our perennial headache of Ramsey or Ox which I expect to be Ramsey although not completely ideal for player or team. Gabriel to stay at the back.and Giroud on the bench.

  27. Rasp says:

    FGG, it is by no means certain that Coquelin will be fit for tomorrow. Arsene was asked the question and responded “we will wait and see”

  28. fatgingergooner says:


    If that’s the case then I would agree with VG and play Ramsey and Cazorla in the middle against Olympiacos, although Chambers shouldn’t be ruled out if Rambo or Cazorla need a rest. Might not be a bad thing if Coquelin is rested until Sunday.

    If we play 8 or 9 of those who started Saturday then I’m 90% confident we will win the game.

  29. RA says:


    Rotation of players is absolutely necessary, not just to keep them fresh, but keeping players in the stiffs means that they do not perform too well when they are needed.

    By the way, what is the difference between rotating and swivelling?

    It brings to mind a song that Shard taught me, and it goes something like this.

    Walking through the woods one day
    Beneath the midday sun
    I was feeling bright and gay
    And thought I’d have some fun

    I put my finger in a woodpecker’s hole
    The woodpecker said
    Cor, bless my soul, take it out, take it out
    Take it out, remove it

    So, I took my finger from a woodpecker’s hole
    The woodpecker said, cor, bless my soul
    Put it back, put it back
    Put it back, my friend, replace it

    I put my finger in a woodpecker’s hole
    The woodpecker said, cor, bless my soul
    Turn it round, turn it round
    Turn it round, revolve/rotate and swivel it

    I put my finger in a woodpecker’s hole
    The woodpecker said, cor, bless my soul
    That’s ya lot, that’s ya lot
    That’s ya lot, AAer, you’ve ‘ad it

    OK Shard did not teach me that ………. it was rasp. 😀

  30. Rasp says:

    Yes I agree FGG. No more than 2-3 changes unless forced to do so. Ramsey has all the attributes to be a DM/box to box so he is the obvious candidate.

  31. RC78 says:

    I would field:

    Cech – Debuchy, BFG, Kos, Monreal – Ox, Ramsey, Cazorla – Cambell, Sanchez, Ozil

  32. RC78 says:

    Bellerin, Coquelin and Walcott need to be fit for Man Utd

    For the rest, I think we can play our usual team…

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    Really great read Steve
    If no Coq, Art or Flam for tomorrow then I wouldn’t bother with a DM and play another striker instead

    Ideally I suppose you’d aim to rotate one maybe two players each game however injuries always puts the lid on that thinking

  34. GunnerN5 says:

    Team news: Coquelin, Flamini and Arteta

    Arsène Wenger has revealed the latest team news ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League game against Olympiacos:

    on Coquelin returning to training…
    He has been back since yesterday and I will have to see how he responds to two days of training, but he looks alright.

    on Flamini and Arteta…
    Both have slight muscular problems, but I think Flamini has a scan today and Arteta certainly as well.

    on Gabriel back but no Giroud due to suspension…

    on whether Flamini or Arteta are serious injuries…
    No, they are not big injuries. It is a question of days.

    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

  35. I’m with Micky, no need for a ‘keeper play an extra striker. 😀

  36. mickydidit89 says:

    That’s the spirit Norfolk

    Look how much better we all feel having netted five times
    Oh and the two they got didn’t matter
    Well, other than simply adding to the entertInment 😄

    Ok so you’ll always get disgraceful fAns like ant n duck who don’t give a shit what happens on the pitch but hey 😀

  37. GoonerB says:

    How are you Micky, are you mending well? Can you still raise a pint glass?

  38. Herb'sArmy says:

    Well done, Stevo.

    Plenty to be happy about from Saturday’s performance at Leicester, that said their playing style suited ours perfectly, and defensively, Leicester are quite generous.
    The real acid-test comes on Sunday against free-spending revitalised Man Utd at The Emirates.
    This game will tell us whether or not Arsenal are genuine title-contenders.
    As for tomorrow, strongest possible XI. We’re not going to get much, if anything from Bayern, which makes the rest of the group matches doubly important.
    If I’m honest, I don’t care much for the CL.
    I adopt the same attitude as Arsenal, who cares who wins it, it’s not going to be us.

  39. mickydidit89 says:

    Yes good thanks GB
    Thank goodness it was the left hand
    Bugger obviously but I’ll heal
    Guess what, best surfing of the year this week
    Now that really does hurt

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh come off it Herb
    Wouldn’t you be excited as hell if we got through this group and got Madrid under the midweek lights at the ems

  41. RA says:

    Hi Herb,

    Not that I would cast aspersions on your “if I am honest…… ” remark, but you have frequently made a virtue out of berating Arsenal for not winning a major trophy since your namesake, Herb Chapman, was knee high to a grasshopper, and now you are gainsaying yourself. 🙂

    And to compound that by saying your claimed carefree attitude is the same as the attitude you also claim is Arsenal’s regarding their not caring ……. is somewhat tenuous at best.

    Sorry, Herb, I have always maintained that you have as much right to make your views known as the next man, but equally those who disagree with you have as much right to express that view.

    Don’t worry tho, Chas never agrees with anything I type, so he will be along at some stage to agree with you. 🙂

  42. Herb'sArmy says:

    Good to see you recovering Micky, as well as stoicly displaying your upbeat humour.
    You’ll be surfing with your lobsters in no time.

  43. RA says:

    Apologies for my oversight, Steve, but I have just realised that I did not thank you for your very interesting Post. So, I do so now. 🙂

  44. RA says:

    If Micky gets too cheeky with Eddie, he will be sleeping with the fishes, Herb. 🙂

  45. mickydidit89 says:

    Sleeping with the fishes 😀😀

    I am always very careful exactly how frisky I am around Eddie

  46. mickydidit89 says:

    Not stoic at all
    I find any hospital visit very sobering
    There was no room on the bone ward so i was put somewhere with people with serious stuff
    I’m lucky

  47. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi RA

    Arsene doesn’t always align Arsenal with the best chance of success, whether that be the PL or CL.
    When the CL group has been there for the taking, and moreso when qualification has been achieved, Arsene feels compelled to give senior players a rest, which dissipates any momentum thus surrendering the group, meaning our chances of reaching the QF virtually impossible, as the last five years testify.
    That is difficult to get excited about, so rather than look forward to Arsenal’s participation with ridiculous hope, I look at it like I do when England go into a World Cup. We’re there, but we won’t be there at the business end, when Cups and medals are being given.
    Emotion is far easier managed when there’s no expectation.

  48. mickydidit89 says:

    Got internet back and that is aassive boost as I’ll be able to watch game tomorrow

    How can typing with one finger as appears to two be ten times slower

  49. LB says:

    If we win the league this season, I think we will be able to point to the first game against Zagreb and the team that was chosen as evidence that the EPL was prioritised.

    The reason for this statement is that I cannot think of another CL game in which Wenger has chosen anything but his strongest side and I don’t mean once we have qualified, there are plenty of examples of that; I mean, the first game in the competition.

    If fact it is a challenge can anyone think of a game in which AW has chosen a weakened side in the CL rather than his strongest?

  50. Herb'sArmy says:

    People make their own luck, Micky.
    I feel lucky to have stumbled across this site and have the opportunity to cyber-chat with people like yourself.
    The cosmic universe gives us all our fair share of luck, it’s just knowing how to tap into its endless resource.

  51. LB says:

    Just saw the interview with AOC and AW on AFC player.
    Hmmmm, I was really impressed by the eloquence of AOC, I don’t know why but I didn’t expect it to be that good.

  52. mickydidit89 says:

    Arsene selected Ollie at home to Monte Carlo
    Does that count 😀

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    Cool statement Herb
    Love it

  54. LB says:


    Did I read you came off your bike? Over the handle bars?

    Painful, I do that on a regular basis but, touch wood, I haven’t suffered anything serious to date.

  55. mickydidit89 says:

    Shit a brick Herb
    Just had nasty thought. If Raddy reads that he’ll go bush for another week sniffing about the universe trying to tap into something or indeed anything

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    I call it a bike
    You probably would not
    But yes

  57. mickydidit89 says:

    Was there any debate during the Catalonian independence lead up about the possible fate of Barca?

  58. Herb'sArmy says:

    Haha Micky, perhaps Raddy can persuade Arsene to join him 🙂

  59. RA says:

    Now that I understand and agree with, Herb.

    I expect we all know from experience that looking forward to anything with huge anticipation makes any resultant disappointment even crueller.

    On the other hand, it is difficult for some, and certainly for me, not to look forward in hope towards the next game and forget the disappointments of the last game — they are history.

    The Arsenal players can do nothing about games that have gone, but they always have the opportunity to influence the future. That’s what I hope for – that’s what I cling to – that’s what I love. 🙂

    An example of this is the misery that the Spuds players must have felt when we knocked them out of the COC, and what did they do? they gave arguably the best team in the EPL a bloody nose in their very next game.

    And we are much better than them – roll on Olympiakos. 🙂

  60. stevepalmer1 says:

    You would have your hands on the handlebar LB Micky would have his over his shoulder clutching his surf board.

    Evening all, seems our Herb has mixed feelings, Dont worry Herb we will win something, don’t know what yet but Capital one is still on

  61. mickydidit89 says:

    Very true about Ox
    I saw an interview with him soon after he signed and knew then he had the intelligence and attitude to become very good
    Made a nine hour round trip on the back of it to see him in the cc against shrewsbury

  62. LB says:


    There was a bit of mischief making in the Madrid press about the fate of Messi and co if Catalonia became an independent state but the Catalans themselves are in denial about that one.

  63. RA says:


    After reading your comment about the Catalan ‘independence’ vote and making a sneaky bid for Messi, I was interested enough to look it up.

    Apparently they were only local elections to the Catalan parliament, and the Catalan politicians had tried to turn it into a popular demand for independence, as you said, but the Spanish government simply ruled it out, and said to them “on yer bikes”. 😀

  64. LB says:

    Blimey, I almost ashamed to say that I went to that game, it took me twenty five minutes to get there.

  65. mickydidit89 says:

    I bet LB 😀

  66. LB says:


    I have followed it for years. It is a pet subject. The independence parties said that if they get a majority in the local elections they would declare independence in 18 months; they did, the problem is that, number of votes wise, they did not get a majority, so had it been a referendum the independents would have lost.

    As for Madrid telling the Catalans to get on their bikes, that is a bit like Westminster telling the Scots that they can’t leave after they eventually vote for independence.

  67. RA says:

    I understand, LB, and it is not something that will go away, as there has been so much trouble over the years.

  68. kelsey says:

    Shite gold shirts or not the only thing stopping us winning the title (in one of the most open years in ages) will be understrength ,because of our history of injuries.

  69. mickydidit89 says:

    Look here Mr Loadsa Hair, at DM you may be right there but up top if, and its a big if, Arsene likes sees Danny as a CF we might be ok

  70. mickydidit89 says:

    Pop good

  71. mickydidit89 says:

    Or Oooo good even

  72. Red Arnie says:

    lovely post, Steve. 🙂 I agree with the tone and tenor of the post.

    Next 3 home games are very important. We should aim to win all three. And we can!

    Having said that. Dont mind Chambers in DM tomorrow. 🙂

  73. Red Arnie says:

    Sorry about yesterday, SirA. Great work. Sorry, knot ear. 😦

  74. Red Arnie says:

    Thats a thought! I vote for Danny as DM. 🙂

  75. Red Arnie says:

    oh no! he is also crocked! when is Danny back, BTW?

  76. Big Raddy says:

    Love Herb’s view of luck though disagree entirely. People do not make their own luck, it is thrust upon them.

    Certainly one can influence something which is possible to influence i.e. the fitter a player the more likely he is to be successful, but how do you influence things out of your control?

  77. Big Raddy says:

    Arnie. Danny is due back in 2018

  78. Red Arnie says:

    Raddy. 🙂

  79. GoonerB says:

    Evening all. Loved Redders poem earlier. Now if I could only understand what it meant I would love it even more, what with woodpeckers and all that 🙂

    I also saw something chucked in by Terry during the witching hours on the previous post. He must have been up doing a bit of mooning during the eclipse. I expect he thought there would be some type of pagan ceremony taking place to celebrate it, complete with a mass orgy of people dressed like goats. Anyway when I read his comment this morning I, as usual, thought I had been transported into a Lewis Carroll story and had to double check that the mushrooms I had yesterday really were of the shitake variety.

    May I ask who is attending tomorrow and is the FFB on the agenda?

  80. Gööner In Exile says:

    Would anyone complain if we tumbled out of CL in 3rd place and had a proper crack at the Europa?

    Steve to tinker or not is a pressing question, we changed ten after Chavs and beat Spuds the changed how many and beat Leicester…..we had worse results when we didn’t tinker 😉

  81. Red Arnie says:

    GoonerB. The poem was lamenting Redders’ misadventures in putting his hand in the wrong places. I think. 🙂

  82. Red Arnie says:

    GiE. I would! Spursday to be avoided at all costs! 🙂

  83. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Trouble with the Europa is the number of games and the huge distances to travel – so No. I would prefer to come 4th or better still get through the group stages

  84. LB says:

    I would mind if we dropped out of the CL. My wife wouldn’t understand, I made it absolutely clear it her long ago that there was never any football on Thursday and she could book what ever she wanted.

    On a slightly more serious note, I wouldn’t mind dropping out of the CL if we just focused on the EPL. It is more winnerable for us than it has been in over a decade.

    AND I WANT IT or I am going to scream, really loudly.

  85. Gööner In Exile says:

    Raddy we’d enter after group stage so 5 ties (incl final) rd of 32, rd of 16, quarter, semi, and final total 11 games only two more than we would need to win CL after group stages. But admittedly quite a few teams with many more consonants than we are use to.

    I think only LB has given a satisfactory reason for not targeting it so far 🙂

  86. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening Exile,
    You make good points about the changes, but when you look at it sensibly, I am sure you will work it out that the changes certainly didn’t help. 6 changes against Dynamo, and a loss, 5 changes for Chavs and a loss, although a better side out, but confusion to a certain degree then a ten man change and a win, not a good sign 10 changes so so a win in all honesty was not on the cards i would call that a fluke, The players with a win under their belt, then Play leicester. A win there as well but was you really expecting that.

    In my opinion far too many changes,

  87. Red Arnie says:

    yes, LB’s reasoning agrees with me as well. 🙂

  88. Herb'sArmy says:

    It doesn’t matter that Arsenal are irrelevant in the CL, the club accept that because for them it’s all about getting to the group stage so they can bank the windfall that comes with being part of the tournament.
    And Stan doesn’t have to feel guilty for taking money out of the club he’s put nothing into.

  89. stevepalmer1 says:

    What happened then Herb was Kroenke’s shares given to him.

  90. Herb'sArmy says:

    That’s not quite the same thing though Steve.
    It’s a bit like buying a lottery ticket knowing that regardless of the numbers you’re hitting the jackpot.

  91. stevepalmer1 says:

    I don’t think Stan saw a lottery win for the first 8 years Herb, hardly a lottery win there was there.
    Stan may not have been responsible for the stadium, but he has hung in there with out taking much out, Had he not brought shares and invested his money he probably would of got the same return he has taken out, After all he does own a bib chunk of the club

  92. Herb'sArmy says:

    He bought Arsenal to make money Steve.
    What do you mean ‘he has hung in there..’
    Of course he has, Arsenal have been making money for him since the day he arrived. He hasn’t put any of his own money into the club and so far he’s taken £6m out.
    As well as the TV money, all our corporate sponsorship money, competition money from the PL, and our match-day revenue (probably the highest in the football world at £3m), we are one of only four PL clubs who get the CL windfall, and we’ve enjoyed that particular advantage for nearly twenty years.
    The stadium debt is separate from the rest of the club finances because it is being paid at an agreed rate over twenty years.
    From the summer of 2006-2011 Arsene spent £180m on various players, the equivalent of £30m every summer.
    The point of that is that since Arsenal adopted the self-sustainable model, the £180m over that six year period is just some of the money the club made, so I doubt Stan had to wait eight years.
    I don’t think Arsenal are a club who worry too much about their financial health. I’d go as far as to say that the money the club makes now has far exceeded their own estimations and expectations.
    Next season, whoever finishes 20th in the PL will get £100m* so just imagine the amount of money Arsenal are making.
    It is the richest most in-demand League in the world, yet we’re miles away from winning the CL. It makes absolutely no sense.

    *Source – Sagars and Collymore ‘TalkSport’.

  93. Red Arnie says:

    Hi Herb. I seem to be missing you all the time. 🙂

    We have got used to qualifying for CL and reaching the knockout stages every year. But that is not a given. It needs to achieved. It is not a lottery ticket with a sure win number. IMO. 🙂

  94. Now don’t take this the wrong way and go off in a huff Herb, but do you ever have positive thought about Arsenal?

  95. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi Arnie, hope you’re well mate.

    Arnie, if you discount new-money City, of the World’s top ten wealthiest Football Club’s, Arsenal are fifth of the established clubs, and of the English clubs only Manchester United are above us.
    Of that top ten, Arsenal are the only club not to win the CL.
    For that to be so means there is something fundamentally flawed in the way Arsenal operate.
    Yes they’re great at making money, but that same skill/talent has not transferred itself onto the pitch.
    LB echoes our lament and desperately wants the PL title, I think without a strategic change we’ll be lucky to see that again in our life-time.
    CL qualification does have to be earned Arnie, but we have a significant advantage over the other 16 clubs, so in reality we are doing exactly what we should do, which is hardly an achievement.

  96. Herb'sArmy says:

    To be honest, Norfolk, not many since the stadium move.
    It’s like Arsenal have become a whole new brand/franchise.

  97. stevepalmer1 says:

    Herb we dont look as if we will agree on much, but its still good listening to supporters like you.
    Obviously trophies and titles mean a lot to you, if were not at the top you will always criticise, probably half of Arsenals support are the same so nothing new.

    But for people like me, Arsenal have been like a friend all through my life, the ups and downs of the team are some thing i have learned to live with. I have never expected my team to be the top team all the time and if i am honest, when i see some of the football we produce past and present i am still entertained.

    Of course i get upset when we get knocked out of cups and comps, but i have never felt it a right that my team should always win.
    Owners put their money into clubs when they buy in, and should a club earn money as Arsenal have i see nothing wrong with taking a bit out. Supporters scream for signings every window usually the ones who are desperate for success, I for one hope for new players but do not get too upset when we dont buy. When you say we dont compete and never look like winning, i disagree we have been top four for close on twenty years we have won cups and leagues we have seen an invincible season that not many before had seen and just recently two trophies a season, and still we are losers in your eyes.

    Personally i still find every game Arsenal play entertaining and exciting, win or lose i may moan but i would still pull all the stops out to watch our next game.

    I dont care how much we are worth and i also dont care how much we spend how much an owner takes out doesn;t interfere with me at all after all its his money.

    When i lose that feeling of supporting Arsenal, i would walk away and not worry about it at all, but that will never happen, Arsenal man and boy win or lose i will always support, that is what supporters do, its not our money its theirs. I’m off thank you all for your contributions

  98. Herb'sArmy says:

    You miss the ethos of my point, Steve.
    You have found a good solid Arsenal community here on AA who value your opinion and contribution as a whole. Your level of passion and the sense of enjoyment it brings you is not in doubt, and you represent many supporters views.
    I’m not going to rake up history (i.e. 1930’s), but clearly that has had a big influence on the identity of Arsenal, and though I wasn’t around to see it, as an Arsenal fan, it fills me with immense pride that my team, our team, dominated football during that period.
    The difference between then and now is not a pre-ordained right to win trophies, but the hunger character and ambition of the players the manager and the club.
    No-one demands trophies, Steve, that is just infantile and unrealistic. What we ask for is a desire to challenge.
    Some of those values instilled into that 1930’s team wouldn’t go amiss today. Teams feared us, now against certain clubs we have a visible inferiority issue that normally manifests in a heavy loss.
    We should be able to square-up and go the distance against anyone, including Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
    Maybe it’s because Arsenal have the most generous, evenly-balanced, fair-minded supporters in the world (much like yourself and many others here), that the urgency just isn’t there.
    I can’t think of any major club supporters who are as patient or as tolerant as Arsenal fans, and that is one of many reasons Arsenal haven’t felt the need to make the CL a priority.
    Football above all else is about ambition, just look at the Germans.

  99. Gööner In Exile says:

    Just had a look at the financials for the first time since the £200m bank figure was splashed across the back pages before the Chav game. Last season we made a £20m profit, £28m of that was made on the sale of players……which means we would have lost £8m if we hadn’t sold Vermaelen (and taken our option to resign Vela). Both were pretty much on paper numbers and not real. We then spent £100m on players.

    Biggest thing for me was the balance sheet….yes £200m in the bank, however also owed £273m to creditors, and had about £75m owed to us. Meaning we had about £50m useable money at end of the season. The wage cost just keeps on rising.

    We are still self sustaining and the board choose to spend our income as we make it, rather than committing funds now based on future profits.

  100. Gööner In Exile says:

    Steve I was only joking regarding our recent tinkering I suspect what we all mean by not rotating too much is that we would like to see 8/9 of what we consider our first team starters each match, that doesn’t necessarily mean we will only be making 2/3 changes but that amongst our starting XI there is a modicum of understanding.

    As others have said I would only change injuries tonight as we have a better gap and no travel between tonight and late Sunday.

  101. Rasp says:

    Morning all, it’s probably nonsense but they are saying that Wenger is going to play Ospina tonight. We shall have to wait and see, but the only possible justification I could see for that would be if Cech is injured or unable to play for some other reason.

  102. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning Rasp, does seem a strange one but I wonder if an agreement was made with Ospina that he would get a percentage of games when Cech arrived?

    In recent years a lack of a capable number 2 has been levelled at the clubs goalkeepers in that it prevents them staying at the top of their game without competition for places. (Not personally a position I subscribe to as I believe a confident goalkeeper not worrying that a mistake will cost him his place is preferable to one worrying that any indiscretion will lead to being dropped).

    However I think Cech was partly at fault for Vardys goals on Saturday, in both instances over protecting his near post (the second I give him a bit more grace because the defenders were at 6’s and 7’s in front of him.)

    However I don’t necessarily think it would be a bad thing to keep Ospina ticking over in the sticks as the last thing we want is an injury to Cech and Ospina coming in with zero first team game time. I seem to think Cech was used as cup goalkeeper for Chavs last season in both competitions so he is probably ok with it.

  103. Rasp says:

    Hi GiE, I know you are not Cech’s biggest fan, but I do think he is a clear level above Ospina. It also occurred to me that maybe we had made some contractual agreement with Ospina. I doubt Cech would have conceded both goals against Zagreb – he’d have probably come out and punched the second I suspect.

  104. Eddie says:

    so many good comments! The blog is alive again 🙂

    Agree with Rasp re Ospina being below par; Wenger should play Cech in CL, we really don’t want to mess up Mrs LB’s Thursday evenings.

    Herb and Steve – excellent discussion, thanks! I never dwell in the past, pointless exercise and although I understand Arsenal fans wanting the Arsenal of the 30s back, I don’t simply because I think it was a different ball game in those days. Arsenal were one of the wealthiest clubs in England and it helped to dominate the league. At the same time the thought of not winning the biggest trophies again fills me with despair

    LB – I actually think that we have more chance of winning the CL than EPL – less games, some teams (like Zagreb) pushovers and Barca without Messi weaken – we really could do it

  105. Red Arnie says:

    Motning all. Matchday. COYG. 🙂

    I see no harm in Ospina starting. In reality, we have two first choice keepers, by my book, and for us to leverage this strength, both need to have match sharpness. 🙂

  106. Eddie says:

    they can sharpen their skills during CC and training, thank you very much arnie. CL is not to be tinkered with

  107. Big Raddy says:

    PM will be a little late as I have been working – even hippies have to turn a buck

  108. Red Arnie says:

    Well, Evonne, as I said in my book, Ospina is as good as Cech. Not to play second fiddle. Credit where it is due. 🙂

  109. Rasp says:

    Hi Arnie, ask yourself this question – how many clubs would be clamouring to sign Ospina, and how many would want Cech?

    It’s like comparing Giroud to Aguero – you’d get the same result 🙂

  110. Good morning everyone

    It will be interesting to see what XI AW picks tonight…. it will say a lot about how he is treating the CL this season ie: seriously or group stage and then out in the first knock out round.

  111. Wenger saying today that he didn’t go for Martial because he thought Monaco wouldn’t sell. Bad move Arsene but then again… if he had bought him he would have probably loaned him out to West Brom. ha ha

  112. Eddie says:

    rasp – we will know by the end of the day how good is Ospina, lets hope he is REALLY good 🙂 This is an idea for a short post with a voting option – Ospina or Cech?

  113. Eddie… don’t need a post with a voting option…. Cech

  114. Red Arnie says:

    Rasp. Cech is more glamourous, what is important for me is who is more likely to make the crucial save. I am happy we splashed some money to get Cech. But is this an upgrade on Szcz and Ospina? The jury is out, for me. 🙂

    If most people judge value of a wine by the price label, that is their problem, not mine. 🙂

  115. Eddie says:

    Martial is only 19 and already a dad. I can smell trouble there

    Fantastic footballer though 😦

  116. Eddie says:

    nb – agree, but arnie and GiE don’t. Let them have a say 🙂

  117. Ah Eddie… these Frenchmen, they just like to make sure their yoghurt slingers are working properly :-D.

  118. Eddie says:


  119. That dampened the conversation…. so to speak 🙂

  120. Rasp says:

    Thanks Arnie. My jury is not out 😆 I see Cech as a better keeper than Ospina. Who knows how good Szczesny will become? – there is time for him to reach Cech’s level.

  121. kelsey says:


    I have not been overwhelmed with Cech but than again our defence has already been shuffled about quite a lot and the Chelsea of just a couple of easons back were far superior to us in defending.

    I don’t see that now and though I don’t blog much these days I get very little response on here.I mentioned our injury situation the other day with 3 long term injuries and I just cannot accept that we couldn’t strengthen in the Summer nor do I accept that we have so little money to spend.
    What I do know is that our player’s wage bill keeps going up yet so often they as a unit don’t look that motivated.

    This season could be wide open and not strengthening might just make the difference between a real challenge for the title or not.

    Thursday night football isn’t really an option IMO as it stretches the squad even more yet it isn’t a given that we will be runners up in our CL group.Early days I know but it’s a concern.

  122. Gööner In Exile says:

    I’m not saying Ospina is better or as good as Cech but I don’t think he is miles worse or that we should be too worried when he starts.

    I rate Cech but am waiting to be convinced he is as good as others appear to think he is… far I think he has been given a bit of an easy ride.

  123. Shard says:

    I usually don’t disagree with GIE, and he obviously knows about goalkeepers more than me, but I think Cech is a clear upgrade on Ospina. I like Ospina a lot, and like in his competition with Szcz, he might be a more consistent keeper. But that magic save, I doubt he has in his locker.

    On the CL, I wouldn’t want us to drop out, but if it comes to it, I wouldn’t mind playing the Europa. A new competition has its own excitement.

    Talking about Arsenal as a financially big club is true but overlooks the fact that this is also new money, and a lot of it is notional. Like the stadium. It’s initially been ‘worth’ more than it actually earns for us because we paid interest on it, and had to make a huge potential loss on our commercial deals. And this coincided with the growh of the oilers.

    But really, I think any English club would have to get very lucky to win the CL now. The style of play promoted there is very different to England. England has no winter break, has harsher squad rules, and with the new TV money, has much tougher domestic competition.

    A start has been made by allowing purchases directly from Brazil, as an example, as long as it is for over 10m pounds. This should theoretically mean Arsenal can sign a future Ronaldinho or Toure without worrying about a work permit, and by starting Friday kickoffs though that is more about Tv profits than helping CL clubs.

  124. Morning all, there are strong arguments on either side of the rotation debate but for me when it comes to the defensive unit, its a no brained.

    The defence has to operate as a single entity and this includes the ‘keeper. The defenders must have confidence in their colleagues, they must be familiar with the ‘keepers foibles, when he will come for a ball, when stay on his line etc.

    Constantly changing the line-up only serves to confuse the players and leads to mistakes. Obviously much can be done on the training ground but in the heat of the moment a misunderstanding can prove disastrous.

  125. Red Arnie says:

    Cech is our no 1 for the moment. Fair enough. But when Ospina is called upon to do his duties, I would like to see a GK who has had substantial match practise.

    Olympiakos at home is a good enough game for that.

    And, next year or the year after, I would like to see a gentle transition in no 1. Hopefully towards Ospina.

  126. Red Arnie says:

    Precisely, Norfolk. We need all our defenders and keepers to be in sync with each other. Hence each of them need match practise and in as many combinations as possible.

    This is early in the season. Now is the time.

  127. No Arnie, football is a team game. Teams are created by developing understandings. Not by a mix and match approach to team selection.

  128. Red Arnie says:

    Norfolk. 🙂 I think it is a squad game, everyone in the squad should be able to seamlessly fit in when required. That is but a minor point. 🙂

  129. Rasp says:

    Raddy forgot to tell you all 🙂 ….

    …. New post ……..

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