Where Gunners Dare

November 4, 2015

Permutations. It’s all about permutations and priorities.

BFG or Gabriel, Gibbs and/or Monreal, Flamini or Campbell, defend or attack, 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 or 4-3-3, expect to lose and play at 90% therefore keeping something back for Sunday, prioritise the PL over the CL?

Oh, how I wish we had taken some points from our first two games, if we had then this could be a game where our boys could attack and play our normal game, testing our wonderful flowing inventive football against the best in the world. As it is, I expect Arsenal to use the same tactics as in the home leg – defend and hope to hit on the break.

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Munich’s Finest

This being the case I would start Flamini alongside Coquelin and pack the midfield especially as the brilliant Bellerin is injured and Robben is fit. I doubt Muller will play so poorly again nor that Neuer repeats his Flapianski mistake, Bayern will be even better.

However, Mr Wenger has stated in his pre-match conference that Arsenal will attack from the start – could I be wrong or is this one of AW’s smokescreens? We shall see.

A forward line of Giroud, Sanchez and Campbell is potent especially with Ozil supplying the ammunition – we can score on the road as we have shown by scoring twice as many goals away from home in the PL as at the Emirates (7 home, 14 away – bet you didn’t know that!!)

I loved the result in the first leg but in all honesty I would have preferred us to try and match BM punch for punch. Playing the Chav way and parking the bus is effective and shows that our team has a Plan B and a Plan C but great teams play attacking football, which is why the Mourinho’s CL victories are so tainted.

BM are a brilliant side, already way ahead in the Bundesliga and are 2/5 on to win tonight; they have won all 7 home games this season. At the Emirates BM controlled possession and the tempo of the game but lost. My fear is that if Arsenal try to do the same tonight we will lose as well. A loss at BM and a draw in the Olympiacos/Zagreb would be OK.

In recent times it is rare that I go into a game thinking that a point would be a wonderful result but a draw in Munich would be fantastic, it may do nothing to help us get out of the group but fantastic nonetheless.

COYRRG


Some Good Advice for Jack Wilshere

November 3, 2015

Dear Jack,

Didit here. Big fan.

Thing is this Jack, you are not just a footballer to me. We share the same DNA. Gunners is what we are, and the blood is thick and the blood is strong.

So here’s the thing. While you’re away getting your legs better, I would really like you to review your attitude. Not a lot, but a little.

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With a little less Jack The Lad, and a slightly cooler, calmer head, you have everything to be an Arsenal Captain. Sure, you’re injury prone, but we know how you can resolve that quite easily. Sure, you’re a bit one footed, but then so was Chippy. Sure you’re short, but so is Messi.

Look, I know we talk about break through seasons all the time, and I also know the old captain chestnut keeps rearing its head, but a real opportunity is looming.

Great opportunities come along very rarely in life, and you need to be ready to pounce. The side is desperate for one of our own to take charge, and you are top of the list. Similarly, opportunities to cement a First XI spot appear all the time.

So take your time, get your bits sorted out properly, and come back The Man.

Arsenal need you.

Lots of love

Didit


Who is more likely to succeed: Oxlaide-Chamberlain or Joel Campbell?

November 2, 2015

A political hierarchy exists at Arsenal as it does at most clubs. Players with a greater potential long term value will get priority over those who may be as good but are not seen as being as big an asset in the future.

This has driven me to distraction on occasions. Many times I have thought that Walcott got picked over someone better suited, most infuriatingly during 2007/2008 season, the one in which Eduardo broke his leg. Theo was being selected for no other reason, as far as I am concerned, than the price we paid for him and his perceived future value to the club. Remember when everyone used to call out Theeeeoooo, Theeeeoooo, honestly, more often than not he was so ineffectual it was like playing with ten men. I remain convinced that Walcott’s continuous selection was the core reason we failed to win the league that season.

Being selected when better options are available also applies to Wilshere. At the beginning of last season Wilshere was being picked ahead of the outstanding Cazorla which made no sense to me. Looking ahead though, now that Santi has moved further back it is easier to see where Jack’s future lies, subject to injury, there will eventually be a straight swap. Wilshere will play deep midfield — not attacking midfield.

I digress, back to the point.

To a similar degree the same is true of Oxlaide-Chamberlain’s selection over Joel Campbell. The Ox is not obviously better but he has a far higher sell on value than Campbell does and so, in the past, has been chosen ahead of him; to be clear, I am not suggesting that the club have plans to sell OC but they wouldn’t want him to get too unhappy or he might start thinking about moving himself, this applies to an even greater extent with Ramsey who himself has been shoe horned into the right wing. Now, with Oxlaide-Chamberlain injured Wenger no longer has to inadvertently take future importance into consideration.

If you think about it, the last time we saw Campbell surrounded by decent players for a length of time was in the World Cup and he was impressive. Campbell’s goal against Swansea will do him the world of good; he should now be able to relax and give us a bit more of what we saw of him on that global platform.

As for who is most likely to succeed out of the two, I think the Ox may edge it, but Campbell could keep him out for most of this season if he continues scoring.

LB


Arsenal Peck Swans

November 1, 2015

Arsenal went to Swansea determined to keep their Premier League hopes alive, and yet filled with a certain tremulation at meeting a club who had outclassed and outplayed them twice last season.

As it turned out, one man who could not wait to get on to the pitch to show what he is made of was Joel ‘Gimme a chance ‘ Campbell, as he chomped at the bit to make his career at Arsenal lift off, rather than warm his ass on the bench.

Let us take a moment to consider the nature of the Arsenal, who are like a skilled electrician who on being called out to repair a complex machine with a fault can expertly disassemble the machine in a jiffy, and only to realise that, in a forgetful moment, he did not bring the  replacement part. Frustrating? Much!

Arsenal are undeniably capable of creating magic – and can ooze with class one moment, and in the next second carelessly give away the ball and allow the opposition the gift of an undeserved chance.

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Not yesterday! Giro scored the 2,000th goal of Wenger’s reign, by hiding behind Mert and then launching himself by using the captains’ elasticised shirt to deftly flick the ball into the net.

The second goal was an oddity, in that Flappy should have caught a high looping ball, but somehow managed to lose it and allowed Kozzer to shield it and cleverly toe-poke it into the net, leaving Swansea howling with rage. Boo-Hoo.

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And then our man Joel’s big moment came – a strong drive across the goal area by Özil reached him and controlling it smoothly he despatched the ball with aplomb into the net for the third, final and decisive goal.

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Referring back to our mythical electrician above, Arsenal played well within themselves, and perhaps mindful of the results of their recent games against the Swans, who had pecked up the three points previously, sometimes played silly passes, but twisted the beaks of the home team when it mattered, and had not forgotten what they had come to do.

In truth, Gomis should have blasted the Swans ahead when receiving a clever ball from Shelvey he dithered and let Hector complete a lung bursting sprint back into defence and smack the ball from his toe into touch for a corner. Determination, skill, pace from the Arsenal lad, and quite the opposite from the Swan’s centre forward — all the difference in the world, and spoke to Arsenal’s qualities and made the result inevitable.

An important result achieved – a great game – three points – thank you very much!

Ratings:

Cech – 8

Bellerin – 7

Mert – 6

Kozzer – 8

Monreal – 7

Le Coq – 6

Cazzor – 7

Mesut – MoTM – 8

Joel – 7

Alexis – 6

Girroo – 8.

Red Arse