Why is Ozil Out of Form?

Three moths ago Mesut Ozil was a serious contender for Player of the Season, today he is a shadow of that player. Why?

Let’s look at the evidence (?). Pre- February Mesut was scoring goals, playing with freedom, setting up assists in almost every game, always had time and was without question the best player on the pitch – he was remarkably consistent.

But it all seems to have come to a halt.

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Today we see a Mesut who seems harried, he rarely smiles, rarely has time and space, his assists have plummeted – his last PL assist was back in February away at MU!

If you look at our poor run of form (unbeaten in 8 PL games) it starts when Mesut’s numbers dropped. This is no co-incidence because Ozil is essential to our method of attack. If we are to play the fast passing game then there has to be someone who can unlock the packed defences and it seems that Ozil is the only Gooner who has that ability. Stop Ozil and you stop Arsenal.

Is it that the opposition mark him more tightly? Are other teams more aware of his manner of play and instead of close marking him lay off and watch for the  off-ball runs Ozil is looking to pass to? I am no tactician nor do I look at how other teams are playing against, so cannot say.

Or perhaps Ozil is playing as well as ever but contributing in other ways.

What do you think?

written by Big Raddy

 

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192 Responses to Why is Ozil Out of Form?

  1. jeff wright says:

    Having slower than paint drying in the rain Giroud instead of Ronaldo to aim forward defence splitting passes at might be one reason,non.?

  2. njstone9 says:

    His assists have plummeted or Giroud/Walcott et al have all lost the ability to score?

    It’s only loss of form on Ozil’s part if he’s not providing the same quality of pass as before, and even then, he has to receive the ball in dangerous areas first.

  3. Shard says:

    A few factors possibly

    1.Losing Cazorla, meaning he can be marked out of games. He has been coming deeper to find space, though this has allowed Ramsey and Elneny to make forward runs.

    2. The whole team is out of form, so he can’t make the same contribution either.

    3. Disappointment at not winning the league.

    4. Fatigue.

    5. His body language might be misleading because he said he’s actually worked on changing it because of the way fans reacted to him earlier. But also, if he’s focusing more on such things, maybe it’s affected his form too.

  4. LB says:

    A genius playing with clubbed foot donkeys.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    Jeff/LB He was playing with the same donkeys earlier in the season 🙂

  6. chas says:

    BR

    I’m not sure his form has dropped.
    I’m with LB. 🙂

    All sorts of great stats on this page.
    Click on the boxes on the left and then click on the tabs on the right.

    http://www.squawka.com/players/mesut-ozil/stats#performance-score#arsenal-(current)#english-barclays-premier-league#8#season-2015/2016#165#all-matches#1-36#by-match

  7. RC78 says:

    I think it is more than that…
    -> AW has moved M.O up the pitch to play as a 9 1/2 in more “Bergkamp-esque” (9 1/2) role in February to get more goals from him.

    -> He is playing more up the pitch and trying to shoot more and score more. The problem is that playing him higher on the pitch affects his vision because he is seeing a lot less of the pitch and he cannot break defenses with his passes as easily. He needs to drop down the pitch again to play as a “10” because this is where he is best.

    -> Furthermore, Giroud, Walcott, Sanchez and Ramsey have been even more wasteful in front of goals since January…so that clearly affected his assists tally.

    -> Also – He had to modify his game a bit to accomodate Iwobi who racked a few goals and assists in that time.

    All and all, if we move him back to a 10 position and play him with Ramsey (on the right), Sanchez (who is back in good shape) and Wellbeck, I think that he can break KH14’s record before the season ends. I am hoping he does that against Villa in style with 4-5 assists.

    Now the question for next year is:
    Do we finally build the team around Ozil? I think we should and that means getting a better CB, DM, better LB, better RW/LW and a better ST/FW.

    CB – someone who can just score off set-pieces with his head. Pepe will be available, Cahill as well, Stones as well, Garay as well, Marquinhos and Varane maybe and they all are decent defenders with a good aerial challenge ability.

    LB – Monreal is solid but he does not contribute enough to our game in terms of assists and goals. We need more from our starting LB. A good LB add width and attacking threat to the game. Baines could do better than Monreal…There is a really good player called Gaya in Valencia who all be good to follow. Maxwell is also leaving PSG and although he is ageing, he is still very reliable.

    DM – We need someone disciplined here who could also break teams with runs from time to time. Javi Martinez would be perfect for us. Also good aerial ability.

    RW/LW – This is a must position for us as Walcott, Ox have disappointed in this position. Turan will be sold and he has a good working rate. Mahrez may be tempted to join a bigger team. I think though that we should go all out for Willian from Chelsea. Excellent player with great workrate that would fit in well for us.

    ST – I think Giroud will be sold for sure now. I think that we will keep Wellbeck and Walcott. We need an upgrade version though. Who could do better? Aubemayang, Lukaku, Kane are the names that come to my mind as they may be allowed to leave against a big cheque and they make good runs.

    Cech – Bellerin, PEPE, Koscielny, GAYA – Ramsey, J. MARTINEZ – Ozil – WILLIAN, AUBEMAYANG, Sanchez

    Ospina – COLEMAN, Chambers, Gabriel, Gibbs – El Neny, Coquelin, Wilshere – Ox, Wellbeck, Walcott

    + Iwobi

  8. Big Raddy says:

    Well …. clearly I am wrong 😀

    Shows how watching on TV prejudices the viewer.

  9. fatgingergooner says:

    So according to whoscored.com, Özil’s average rating in the 25 PL games upto and including Man U away was 7.82. Whilst he created chances at a rate of 4.44 per game.

    He then had a dip for 3 games against Swansea, Spurs and Everton where he averaged 6.64, and created chances at 2.66.

    Since then though he’s had 6 games where he’s been close to his best again and averaged 7.43 (pretty good to say his marks haven’t been helped by assists or goals), creating chances at 4.16 per game.

    Now stats aren’t everything, but I would say that these stats tie in pretty well with what I believe I’ve witnessed on the field. Özil has been outstanding this season but did suffer a small drop in form where we had some shaky results. Wether the results were because of that I’m not convinced. In the last 6 games he’s looked back to his best and is finishing the season strong. It’s fair to say his assists have dried up, but I’m not sure that’s his fault as he’s still creating the opportunities.

  10. njstone9 says:

    Didn’t Aubemayang laugh when asked about joining Arsenal?

    I expect we’ll either end up with an ageing Benzema, finally, or Lacazette. Remember him?

  11. fatgingergooner says:

    I’m thinking we might see Wenger pull one last rabbit out of his hat towards the end of the window.

  12. Ant says:

    Sorry BR but I still want to talk about last night! Hope you like this?

  13. RC78 says:

    – Benzema is staying at RM for sure
    – Lacazette will stay at Lyon one more season and he is not as good as Wellbeck yet
    – Griezzmann and Coman would be good French attacking additions to our squad but they won’t move

    – What do you make of Sturridge?

  14. Cullen says:

    I do not believe that Ozills form has dipped in the slightest, he has continuously produced critical chances in every match he has played however..

    1. Our strikers seem to be trying their hardest to become the next Torres story

    2 . A lack of off the ball movement and directness from our cm’s has caused Ozil to have to come up much higher up the pitch to receive the ball and start an attack, mid season he was picking it up between the CB and midfield from Santi and sliding through the mouth watering balls we all now he does with such elegance

    3. No one at Arsenal has an eye for goal( maybe Sanchez when he is on top form)

  15. njstone9 says:

    If Madrid move for Aubemayang, Benzema might become available. But I don’t really want us to buy him as he’s not a long term solution. Also it means several months of agony while we wait in ignorance.

    Sturridge is ok but doesn’t scream star quality. Would rather have Lukaku if we’re going for Premier League tried and tested.

  16. kelsey says:

    Firstly let me say that I like Ozil and wish we had 11 Ozil;s on the pitch with the way he reads the game and his intelligence with the ball, but like most of us he is human and what makes it worse is his whole demeanor is hard to figure out as he rarely shows his true expression.

    To get the best out of him he needs more better players on the field at the same time and then develop an understanding as he has already with Sanchez and to an extent with the young Bellerin.
    At Real madrid he baarely ever played more than 70 minutes and after a couple of seasons with us his stamina has improved.
    I am sure he has been affected by the loss of form of many of our players though some may argue that a few don’t have much form to start with 😉

  17. fatgingergooner says:

    I don’t really have an issue with Özil’s manner, in fact I quite like his moodiness! You don’t put in performances like he has this season if you are unhappy. He strikes me as a player who will celebrate winning goals, not equalisers or the 3rd goal in a 3-0 win. That’s how I’d like all the players to be.

  18. RC78 says:

    For Ozil to really shine you need:

    – A good DM-CM partnership behind him
    – Two good LB
    – Two good Wingers/FW
    – 1 good ST

    Ozil can see a pass before anyone but he needs people to make the runs out wide but also behind defenders. At the moment, only Bellerin, Sanchez and Wellbeck are doing it so it is not good enough for Ozil.

    You look at a plyer like Mahrez or Vardy – these guys are always moving, making runs. In our squad, it is only Sanchez and Bellerin.

    That’s why we desperately need a DM, LB, ST and one more FW.

    If you get runs from these guys, you create space and you give yourself a chance to actually create imbalance in the other team and chances to score goals even against defending teams.

    More DM options: Javi Martinez, Kanté, Schnederlin, L. Diarra (yes he is back at a very interesting level), L. Bender, X. Alonso

  19. fatgingergooner says:

    It would surprise me if Lewandowski was looking for a new challenge this summer as he’s been in Germany a long time now and Bayern are swapping coach again. I’m not saying we would get him, but I can dream.

    Benzema is younger than Cavani, so not sure he’s over the hill just yet, but that story has become a bit boring. Higuain is similar age to Benzema. Not sure Lacazette is good enough and I’d like Morata but again not totally convinced and Madrid will be selling to highest bidder if they get him back. Not totally sold on Lukaku as I think he’s a bit hit and miss. I like Sturridge but only if injury free which I’m not convinced of either! Then there’s the 35 year old Ibrahimovic on crazy money. Not for me. Basically I’m not sure about anyone apart from Suarez, Aguero, Dybala and Lewandowski, but can’t see us getting any of those!

    Then again if we signed any of the players I just mentioned I know I’d be very happy. Go figure!

  20. njstone9 says:

    Welbeck’s movement is pretty good. Maybe he’ll sort out his finishing and become the player we need. Maybe.

    I’ve still got this feeling Wenger is going to sign someone really good that no one expected him to go for. Someone we’re not even talking about. It’ll be a huge surprise like Ozil was.

    Hmm. I said at the start of the season we should get Harry Kane but zero chance of that now.

  21. fatgingergooner says:

    RC78,

    I agree that if we are to build around Özil we need players or tactics that fit better. The problem is, it’s very difficult to get rid of someone like Ramsey just because he might not compliment Özil aswell as somebody else. Same issue with Wilshere. So instead seems up trying to stick them all in the team and it doesn’t always work. That’s why I’d rather us push Özil wide but let him have a free role and build the team around a style of play rather than 1 player. You could easily have 2 out of Wilshere, Ramsey and Cazorla starting if they were disciplined and knew their roles better and had a solid DM behind/next to them.

  22. GoonerB says:

    Cheers Raddy. Got tied up at the weekend (not literally Terry) so I missed all the debating (just debating Terry, no prefixes of things that ships sails are attached to).

    I haven’t read all the comments of the last 58hrs Raddy but I do remember one where you stated that you hate it when Giroud gets blamed for everything.

    So what has happened to Ozil? Well, I blame Giroud 🙂

    Actually I don’t really blame Giroud as he is what he is and he can onkly provide what he can provid. Some players just have a natural limit to what they can do and it is down to the management and coaches to recognise this.

    Ozil himself has developed through a highly technical German youth system, away from here, and he is one of the products of arguably the best youth system in existence at that time.

    As such I think his skills are far better in evidence when playing as an advanced hub among skilled and mobile attackers that all look to get into space in dangerous areas so he can find them with a slide rule pass.

    His passing will be instinctive and on the spur of that moment at this level and often result in the term that he is 2 seconds ahead of everyone else. The moment a player like Ozil (at this level) has to stop and think even for a nano-second whether a certain pass is not on due to a lack of mobility of one of his attacking players then that moment is gone and the gaps are re-plugged.

    Ozil was having to get many assists (or pre-assists) from lofted balls into the box earlier this season. It works at times but it is a more basic and less technical way to open up a team and was always likely to dry up at some point because it relies on too many variable factors of fortunate circumstances.

    Things like the angle the cross is played from at the time, the pace on the ball, the formation of their defenders and our attackers at the time, and of course the fact that the ball takes longer to reach its target so it gives more time to the defenders to adjust.

    Contrast this with a constantly moving quick attack in all areas of the attack, pulling defenders around and creating constant spaces to exploit and play balls into and run onto, all happening in less than a second. I don’t think we can achieve this with Giroud as a striker and it doesn’t really fully compliment Ozil’s skills.

  23. RC78 says:

    I really think that we need to get rid of deadweights and make space for Top Players that can help us win the EPL and CL. We also need to cash in on players that have good value on the market but are running out of time…

    To be sold IMHO:
    – PiG, Jenkinson, Debuchy, BFG, Monreal
    – Flamini, Arteta, Rosicky, Hayden
    – Cazorla, Campbell, Gnabry,
    – Giroud, Sanogo

    Roughly = 100 Mln EUR coming in from these sales

    To be loaned out:
    – Zelalem, Bielik, Akpom, Martinez

    You are then left with: 17 players

    Cech, Ospina
    Bellerin, Chambers, Kos, Gabriel, Gibbs
    Coquelin, El Neny
    Ramsey, Wilshere
    Ox, Ozil, Sanchez, Iwobi
    Wellebeck, Walcott

    You need 5 more players minimum, ideally 6:
    1 CB, 1LB, 1RB, 1 DM, 1 RW/LW, 1 ST

    These 6 will cost you a minimum of 180-200 Mln EUR if you purchase top players so we need to spend 80-100 Mln from our own funds to build a strong team that can not only challenge for honours but actually secure them.

  24. RC78 says:

    FGG – this is also an option. Like Zidane in Madrid playing from the left and then roaming around but Zidane was a much more athletic player and had Makele behind him…

    Cazorla – Coquelin – El Neny
    Ozil
    Sanchez Wellbeck

    Also an option

  25. Big Raddy says:

    RC You would keep Walcott? He needs to get some confidence to continue his career and I don’t think he will get that at The Emirates. The jury has already made it’s decision.

    I can’t see AW buying 5 players. 2 perhaps

  26. Shard says:

    In terms of building the side. Our last few signings like Alexis, Welbeck, Elneny (and to some extent, Gabriel) suggest a move towards a quicker, more mobile and counter attacking style of play.

    Contrary to popular belief about Ozil needing ‘runners’, I think he needs a better ball distributor behind him. A second creative option. This is what Santi provided and his injury was the costliest of the lot this season. With Arteta out (and aging) as well, we had no one who could be an alternate creative threat. Alexis had to act more like a creator rather than play as a goalscorer and he’s not the best suited to that.

    Arteta and Santi are both going to be very difficult to replace. But a player like Xhaka is interesting for that reason. He COULD be an Arteta. As for the next Santi. Well, we still have him for next season hopefully, and I think Wilshere could grow into that kind of a role, if he applies himself (and stays fit)

    As for strikers. If Lewandowski is moving, we should be all over him. But otherwise, I think we’d be more likely to find a top class wing player and we can add a young striker.

    The rumours around Henrik Mkhitaryan of Dortmund are also very interesting. He can play on either wing, as a no 10, and maybe could also be Santi’s successor. He’s got the skills and the vision for it.

    Get Xhaka and him and I’d be less concerned about how great a striker we need to get.

    Also, we’re surely going to see a couple of the players out on loan get a chance in the squad. Toral’s done well at Birmingham, and Maitland-Niles at Ipswich. Will Wellington get a chance after all these years? His skillzz could offer us something different in breaking down the park the bus teams. Plus larger roles for Iwobi, and perhaps for Gnabry too (he’s looked good in the U21 games) and an introduction for Jeff and Bielik maybe?

    Depth should not be a problem next season, but we do need some upgrades in the first team.

  27. Shard says:

    RC

    That’s too many changes. Plus, when we’re losing Arteta, Rosicky and Flamini already, to add Per to that list would be a major loss of experience to the squad. Remember the criticisms made post Invincibles? Then we had financial issues that might have made it necessary to get rid of bigger contracts. We have no such issues right now. Keep Per, and definitely keep Monreal. Even if one or both of their playing time is reduced.

    I’d reluctantly agree with selling Jenkinson, but maybe he’ll get a chance. What do you think of Serge Aurier though? He was rumoured to be a target before he went to PSG, and I think Bellerin is the reason we went for Debuchy instead, but maybe we can buy another attacking Right Back and use him as an option further up the field at times.

    I absolutely would not sell Cazorla until we’ve found a successor and given him time to get used to playing with us.

    Giroud too, I’d keep in the squad. He’s a fighter, and a good option to change things up. Walcott, I would definitely sell now. He’s the first player in my 20 years of watching Arsenal that I actively want us to sell. He’s been terrible all year long, his technique is non existent and while I realise confidence is part of the issue, I think the major problem is that our set up isn’t meant for him any more. Exchange him and some cash for Mahrez and I’d be happy.

  28. RA says:

    Raddish,

    With reference to your opening statement;
    – “Three moths ago Mesut Ozil was a serious contender for Player of the Season, today he is a shadow of that player.”

    Maybe we need to get a better quality of moth? 🙂

  29. njstone9 says:

    For some reason I thought Mahrez was 27, but according to Wikipedia he’s only just turned 25.

    If we could prise him from Leicester and offload Walcott for a net spend of, say, 15m, that would be fantastic business.

    What if Leicester just refuse to sell though? Like Everton did last summer with Chelsea?

    Mahrez and Kante are widely predicted to leave but why should they? They’re champions and the only reason for them to leave would be money and if they forced a move, and/or if foreign clubs came in for them.

    I can see them both staying.

  30. Shard says:

    njstone9

    They might refuse to sell, especially since they’d be wanting to not get blown out in the CL, and the players might be happy to stay.

    But…. Leicester know they caught lightning in a bottle, and there is a chance both the club and the players will look to make the most of it when their value is highest. Mahrez and Kante could both earn a move to a bigger team, with more money and a more realistic chance of winning further titles. They might be keen to do so.

    Either way, we’ll see. It’s not like we should be focused only on those players. If they don’t move, or don’t move to us, look for other targets.

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    A brilliant player, Raddy, who suffered from Giroud being out of form, Alexis only just starting to perform to his level again recently and us lacking a second quality winger this season. On top of that, as others have said, the injury of Santi has robbed him of his partner in key passes crime.

    An intelligent and technically super gifted player, who always gives his all in a humble, sacrificing way, but with true joy of football and the vision of an eagle. Got to love him. 😍

  32. LBG says:

    Sorry Raddy, don’t believe Ozil’s form has dropped significantly.Reduced effective movement forward from all who play in front of him (esp Sanchez, Giroud, RAmsey, and even the fullbacks) plus more and more effective bus parking from opposition.
    The reduced success of him finding team mates with dynamic forward passes has also been self fulfilling in terms of confidence.I am also a firm believer in Santi as another dynamic passer and therefore “support” to Ozil’s form.

  33. Rasp says:

    Thanks Raddy,

    Like others, I see Ozil as a diamond encrusted perfectly engineered cog that requires a quality machine to inhabit. I think we are all agreed that failure to convert chances is the main reason for our drop in form since Xmas, and that obviously has a knock-on effect on the perception of Ozil’s performances.

    I really hope the Lewandowski rumour have merit because he scores more than 1 goal every 2 games and would be a considerable upgrade on our underperforming strike force. I’d keep Welby but wouldn’t be at all upset if Theo and Giroud moved on.

  34. Big Raddy says:

    Talking bolleaux initiates discussion. I ought to continue in this vein though Mrs Raddy says it already is the norm. 😦

  35. El Tel says:

    The one player we must not let go this season is Ozil.

    He is a superb player that would get into any other team in the World.

    I can’t understand those who question his work rate as he never stops moving. He is as athletic as Zidane all day long just not as powerful.

    Elneny has been our star the past month or so and he too can play a decent pass, but he plays through the centre which makes it harder to find a runner.

    Arsenal have lacked width. We have the same problem with FB’s who are poor crossers and rarely beat their opponent down the line.

    Earlier in the season the FB’s were contributing much more up top and in defence but recently they have lost discipline and the results have been poor.

    Sanchez has been playing much deeper apart from the past couple of games and He has created very little for a player of WC quality.

    In all that time Ozil has consistently played a 7/8 out of 10 and with the right movement around him will get even better.

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Raddy, you are ArsenalArsenal’s Ozil, sacrificing yourself for the greater good – the ultimate hippy! 😃

  37. RA says:

    A disappointment for me has been the clear and present lack of guile around the focal attacking point of the ream.

    This is going to bug some of you, but watching the first half of last night’s game I could not help but compare and contrast the Spuds tactical display when in full flow and our own.

    It hurts to say this, but the pace and energy in the Spuds’ team was really self-evident with movement around the ball carrier, which meant when they attacked, particularly from the wing, there was always 2, 3 sometimes 4 players in the Chavs box.

    When I watch Arsenal I am often dumbfounded that there is only 1 player available, or even none.
    Maybe it is me being silly or imagining that to be true, but time after time a commentator then says, Özil, Monreal, Belli-Button have the ball to cross – but there is no one in the box.

    The result is that the ball is played back and then across the pitch until it is lost in a tackle.

    Why is this?
    Poor quality players? Unfit players? Players who are too slow? Poor tactics? No tactics? Whatever it is, until it is remedied poor old Özil is never going to get those last two assists he needs, because Giro and co only get on the end of half chances, and scoring is like climbing a jelly mountain.

  38. kelsey says:

    Rady,that was my whole point earlier,when you state you may see AW buying two players not five though in actual fact we most probably need five, with those out of contract and at least two or three moving on, but if it’s his last season he might be reluctant to buy that quality that is needed and because so many other top teams need strengthening in all probability a premium will be asked.He does like a bargain 😉

  39. kelsey says:

    No its’s the system AW wants to play RA but unfortunately if you are modelled on Barca you have to have the players like Barca and we don’t.

  40. RA says:

    Oh, hello, Kelsey, hope you are well.

    I am surprised that you are speaking to a two-faced blogger. 😀

    In my opinion I think you are right actually.
    If it is obvious to a dunderhead like me, then Arsene must see it too. If he does not correct the lack of player targets in the box, then he must be content with it.

    Baffles me!

  41. PedroD GOONER says:

    Look, this arsenal team is not playing to their full potential. Mesut has been as good as ever. but his teammates have been ever disappointing. take a look at that great pass through he made with the inside of his foot for Alexis against Norwich, hat was the outcome? the Chilean couldn.t get better of the opposing defender. Giroud with his one dimensional run in play doesn’t suit the arsenal dream forward. Only Santi and Oezil, maybe Cech and Bellerin has been absolutely outstanding for us this season. others should wake up. I think Wenger should request for bigger guts and balls from these blokes. or just call on DIEGO SIMEONE to do the due.

  42. Bryan says:

    I think Ozil is a player you buy to put the icing on the cake of a good team, kind of a luxury player.
    I wouldn’t just say Ozil has been poor since Feb, I think you could aim that at most of the squad barring Iwobi & the unlucky Campbell, who has seemed to be our most consistent player, so Wenger won’t play him now ?????
    Think we should of got a couple of world class players before we signed Ozil but as we got the chance we took it (makes a change).
    Sadly Wenger decided not to bother trying to get anymore players at start of the year other than a world class keeper that came dirt cheap, that could of made all the difference.

    I think we need to offload Walcott now, I prefer Campbell as he gives us so much more.
    Also think it is essential we go out & buy a world class CB as other than Kos, the rest are average (Chambers has just got worse & Gabriel seems to make a costly mistake every game)
    I’m hoping Gabriel might be like Monreal & take a year & a half to come good but I doubt it.

    Personally I think there is something very wrong at Arsenal, we have not turned up for so many games this year, think it must come from Wenger.

  43. Fat Plumber says:

    If you don’t get the plumbing spot on, you’ll get leaks. Ozil has lost interest, along with Sanchez. They were probably promised so much when Wenger bought them but they were mugged. The EPL winning team didn’t materialize. Now they want out…. that is unless Wenger rebuilds and gets the players needed to compliment Ozil and Sanchez.

  44. Fat Plumber says:

  45. JM says:

    Ozil is looking to get his fellow players to involve more in the creativity (on making the final assists) and scoring goals. Sharing the responsibility of either making or scoring a goal with the rest (which most have not picked up).

    Just in the PL, he alone has more than triple (x3) the number of final assists (18) leading to goals than the next better individual(s) – Alexis, Bellerin & Giroud (at 5 assists apiece).

    Opponents have also been stopping a weapon which Arsenal (and Ozil) have been using regularly – “the through-ball at the oppositions defensive line into space for a team mate to run onto”.

    As such, the team might be better to mix up variations of attacking passes (through-ball, lofted pass, wall pass, side foot pass etc) in the attacking third, penalty and goal areas. Ozil also would require his team-mates to take up responsibilities with confidence to be the main player to either execute assists or score goals via different methods (e.g. take-on, middle-range shot, dead-ball situation etc) when he is being man-marked.

    PL form and numbers (rough guide) for attacking players since they are with Arsenal:

    Ozil (82 games, 15 goals, 34 assists, 4 yellows, 6969mins, 3 seasons)

    Rosicky (170 games, 19 goals, 13 assists, 22 yellows, 9913mins, 8 seasons) – technically active (he did not play in PL in 08/09 and in 15/16 … yet)

    Cazorla (120 games, 23 goals, 34 assists, 10 yellows, 1 red, 10099mins, 4 seasons)

    Ramsey (186 games, 28 goals, 31 assists, 23 yellows, 12210mins, 8 seasons)

    Wilshere (101 games, 6 goals, 14 assists, 20 yellows, 2 reds, 6812mins, 7 seasons) – technically active (he did not play in PL in 11/12)

    Oxlade-Chamberlain (100 games, 7 goals, 11 assists, 5 yellows, 4562mins, 5 seasons)

    Iwobi (12 games, 2 goals, 2 assists, 571mins, 1 season)

    Alexis (63 games, 28 goals, 13 assists, 5 yellows, 5217mins, 2 seasons)

    Giroud (133 games, 53 goals, 22 assists, 14 yellows, 2 reds, 9520mins, 4 seasons)

    Walcott (235 games, 55 goals, 47 assists, 5 yellows, 13638mins, 10 seasons)

    Welbeck (35 games, 8 goals, 7 assists, 4 yellows, 2219mins, 2 seasons)

    Campbell (22 games, 3 goals, 3 assists, 918mins, 1 1/2 seasons)

  46. Cheers Raddy.

    Yes, Ozil looks a bit startled these days. The awful realisation that beautiful football is not enough and that Theo Wallcot is above him in the Sunday Times rich list is a terrible thing to bear.

    Many years I had a similar experience. I woke up one morning and realised I was not a Homosexual. The anguish of coming out to my parents was a horrendous burden

    I plucked up the courage and came straight out with it “mum, dad, I have no interest in fashion or going to the gym”

    They took it badly. Mum pretending to ignore it and dad devestated that his dream of some one accompanying him to the opera was over.

    It took me many years to come to terms with not been into shiny shoes, but eventually I found the courage to be me. Walking hand in hand with my girlfriend down Bounds Green I would yell at the ignorant starers “Yeah, that’s right, stare away, ime straight and proud”

    Even now I get the looks. But it may be more to do with the girl ime with been 20 years younger and charging by the hour?

    Ozil will be alright. He just needs to come to terms with the reality that at the moment the team ain’t all that and that Theo Walcott has a very good eye for an investment

  47. Gööner In Exile says:

    For me it’s simple, Santi, whilst Ozils form has not necessarily dipped, the chances he created remained higher they began to get harder to generate the easy finishes, and that in making is because of losing Santi, Santi offers another option so defences had to be aware of him when he was on the pitch, and if he is in the right place space is created for others.

    takeaway that second option and we became easier to defend against, two can stand on Ozil, two can block route to danger, much harder to do that if ball can be shifted to someone like Santi and a new angle of attack opened.

  48. chas says:

    Santi and Super Tom are playing tonight for the u21s.

  49. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Is it showing anywhere?

  50. chas says:

    Not as far as I know

  51. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks.

    In that case I will watch the CL SF which should be a cracker

  52. chas says:

    The Champions League final is at the Millenium Stadium Cardiff next year.
    That would be a nice trip to make!

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    Thank you Erik

    I like Mesut very much and I would not flog him with the club footers 🙂

    However, it’s worth pointing out that his goalscoring is pathetic. Just six more PL goals than Ospina.

    Also worth pointing out that Ospina has only started 4 games AND he is a crap goalscorer.

    In short, Mesut needs to pass less and shoot more.

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas

    “The Champions League final is at the Millenium Stadium Cardiff next year.
    That would be a nice trip to make”

    What, nicer than Madrid or Lisbon? Just because they have a Witherspoons 🙂

  55. chas says:

    It was a pen, but glad he missed.

  56. chas says:

    Micky
    I have fond memories of Cardiff,
    I missed 2001, so have a 100% record. 🙂

  57. chas says:

    The beer is much better than that foreign muck, too.

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    Transplant

    Straight and proud. You are brave, so don’t fear the shiny shoes 🙂 🙂

  59. chas says:

    Well, 100% if you don’t count the League Cup in 2007.

  60. mickydidit89 says:

    Only the weak include losses in their memories 🙂

  61. mickydidit89 says:

    Going to go. Stream breaking

    Not enough broadband. There’s a war going on here. My son is trying to play some online game with his mates. Getting cross with me thinking its the football, whereas I know its my daughter who has just recorded a song and is trying to send it which being 1 million megabites will block the whole internet of north devon until July

    I’m off outside until things cool down

  62. Big Raddy says:

    2-1 to The Arsenal with 10 mins to go

  63. chas says:

    Yep, we are invincible every season.

  64. Big Raddy says:

    Feels dirty to be supporting Bayern but AM are such cheating bastardos

  65. chas says:

    Atletico have been poor.

  66. Big Raddy says:

    Greizman’s first touch.

  67. chas says:

    Haha, me saying they were rubbish!

  68. chas says:

  69. chas says:

  70. chas says:

    Haha, I’m a chuffing curse.

  71. Big Raddy says:

    If RM win tomorrow it will be a CL Final between the two least sporting teams in football.

    I know that AM are brilliant defenders etc etc and they are a “small” club but I detest both their tactics and their cheating.

  72. chas says:

    They’re a bit like Tottenham.

  73. chas says:

    Similar coat to Poxytino as well.

  74. fatgingergooner says:

    If this is the way modern football is going then God help us. Defending is a skill, but it’s a bloody boring one. 20% possession and nicking a goal on the counter seems to be the new thing. Yawn.

    Congrats to Atletico.

  75. Ant says:

    That 9.46pm slap from Simeone is so funny..especially the look on the scoreboard mans face.

  76. Ant says:

  77. chas says:

  78. chas says:

  79. Eddie says:

    Atletico madrid win again 🙂

  80. fatgingergooner says:

    I see transfer rumours have hit a new low. Tons of articles around about who Mourinho is going to sign. What’s he signing them for? To cut his grass!? 😄

  81. Eddie says:

    it’d be interesting to see if anybody will try to buy any of the Leicester players. Are any of them world class? Maybe Mehrez, the rest are fairly average, in my opinion. I think they are only strong as one unit, separate them from the rest and they will be flops

  82. kelsey says:

    Eddie Morning.

    Of course the big boys will try .leicester’s highest wage earner is on 80K mind you that buys you a few streets up there 😉

  83. Eddie says:

    hi kels – who do you think the big clubs will try to poach?

  84. chas says:

    Frank LebOeuf

  85. chas says:

    Eggwin van der Saar

  86. Gööner In Exile says:

    The current Leicester team reminds me a lot of our 89 team, lots of young try yards coupled with some experienced heads.

    The CL final and the League champions kind of makes a mockery of the high press is king idea!!

  87. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Gary Chickener

  88. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. And deadly boring to anyone who is not a fan. There was a reason wee became known as Boring Boring Arsenal

  89. Big Raddy says:

    Impossible to trust an animal that can look you straight in the eye. They know …

  90. njstone9 says:

    A few seasons ago Reading finished about 6th after being promoted. They were relegated the following season.

    Leicester are obviously a lot better than Reading were. The key for them will be coping if Vardy got a long term injury. It’s no good.

    I suppose it helps that defensively they were incredibly strong. Perhaps next season teams will have worked out better how to break them down.

  91. fatgingergooner says:

    Their best players are Schmeichel, Mahrez, Kante and Vardy, but i wouldn’t be bothered about signing any of them. I agree they are a unit and things have just clicked. It’s a once in a lifetime thing and fair play to them for doing what they’ve done. Next season they will do well to finish top 10.

  92. kelsey says:

    I think Kante will be the most sought after Eddie, who might be available.Obviously there will be a lot of interest in Vardy especially as he is slightly better than Sanogo,Chamack and Giroud 😉

  93. Big Raddy says:

    I am holding an A4 piece of paper.

    It says “Mat the 4th be with You”

  94. GoonerB says:

    Afternoon all and sundry. I suppose it is normal to look at players from teams that have been performing well and ask whether we should move from them. I often do this. It needs to be players we actually need though.

    I agree with all those that feel we need a new commanding CB in the summer. Who I am not sure. Purists don’t scout for CB’s 🙂

    If we are then looking at the Leicester key trio it would be easy to say we need all 3 but do we?

    Kante would be an excellent option but if we are getting Xhaka then we don’t need another DM on top of this.

    Mahrez looks class and I have felt we needed a left footed (goal-scoring) winger who likes to operate from the right. Campbell emerged this year. I am not sure he is a top option but a very useful 2nd choice. Iwobi is left footed but is he more suited to the centre, and is he enough of a goal threat coming in onto his left foot?

    We have 2 wild cards. Firstly Jack who I think could excel in the role and is developing a goal-scoring habit now. The other is Toral. He has had a very productive loan spell at Birmingham and I believe (correct me if I am wrong) that he is left footed and has operated from the right for them to excellent effect. He is technical and a physical unit as well. We may have internal options for this position and not need to go for Mahrez.

    On the left flank we have Sanchez. Welbeck is also an excellent option. I also feel it is quite possibly AOC’s best position and feel he could thrive there, and I like the look of Wellington as an option to bring more into 1st team consideration.

    Looking at our strikers then its mmmm. Arsene likes to state that he has 4 strikers in Giroud, Welbeck, Sanchez and Walcott. I beg to differ. Before Welbeck came back from injury Arsene had a few opportunities to play Sanchez or Walcott at striker and he never took it on any occasion. In fact I can’t recall him ever trying Sanchez there, and Walcott got some goes early season pre-injury but none since his return from injury.

    Reading between the lines this suggests that Arsene never saw Sanchez or Walcott as strikers. If Walcott has been binned as a striker option he may as well go because I think we have developed better options on the wings. Giroud may well go as well and I personally think this is the best option as I don’t think this type of player suits us and we need to freshen up the attack around players like Sanchez and Ozil.

    If Sanchez is also not a striker option then we would only be left with Danny as a senior striker option. Akpom I think needs more time and I don’t think his loan spell was productive enough to allow for 1st team consideration just yet.

    For me we will need 2 striker additions. One exceptional quality high priced one and one that can provide excellent back up at a decent price. I would be happy with any of Aubamayeng, Cavani or Lewandowski (possibly Ibra, but not totally sure).

    Vardy would have been a good 3rd option with one of them and Danny but will have an inflated price now. There is a player that I feel is similar to Vardy that I think is underrated, namely Shane Long. Decent pace, knows how to score on he ground and in the air, works his socks off and always leaves defenders knowing they were in a game, decent technique and good decision making and link up play.

    I would be happy with him and one big striker purchase to go with Danny.

  95. JM says:

    My personal attacking targets recruitment for the team would be:
    Dušan Tadić (Southampton & Serbia) and Chicharito (Bayer Leverkusen)

    Tadić in PL for Southampton:
    (63 games, 12 goals, 19 assists, 4 yellows, 4223mins, 2 seasons)
    – (ability to play well in various attacking positions: Left and right wings, attacking midfield, secondary striker etc)
    – (strengths in key passes, through balls, crossing & passing, long shots, holding onto the ball at tie areas – which mostly would suit Arsenal’s attacking platform)
    – (PL – proven, recently provided 3 assists in a single game vs Man City where Southampton won 4-2; had also dealt 3 assists in another PL game in 2014 vs Sunderland, a 8-0 win.)
    – (15/16 PL season numbers: 8 goals, 11 assists, 2132mins, 32apps, 23.69 actual games played) = 0.80 GA/app) – Good rating

    Chicharito (Javier Hernández)
    in Bundesliga for Leverkusen: (27 games, 17 goals, 2 assists, 6 yellows, 2084mins, 1 season)
    in La Liga for Real Madrid: (23 games, 7 goals, 7 goals, 2 yellows, 857mins, 1 season)
    in PL for Man. Utd: (103 games, 37 goals, 12 assists, 8 yellows, 4835mins, 4 seasons)
    – (currently Mexico’s NT top star player, 43 goals from 80 caps, only 3 goals behind Jared Borgetti’s 46 goals/89 caps)
    – (strengths in key passes, finishing and long shots; two-footed “goal-poacher” with movement off the ball, pace, and ability to find space inside the box)
    – (PL proven, 2 league titles with Man Utd in 10/11 & 12/13)
    – (Individual accolades includes: CONCACAF Player of the Year: 2015, CONCACAF Gold Cup Top Goalscorer: 2011, 3x Player of the Month awards in Bundesliga in his 1st season, Bundesliga Idol: 2015 etc)
    – (could have been Arsenal-bound for 15/16 season on 2 occasions. {1} Summer window – signed to Leverkusen on deadline date 31 Aug, Man Utd not wanting to let another player come to us after Welbeck in the previous season. {2} Winter windowi – has played 1 game for Man Utd prior his summer transfer and then played for Leverkusen; a player cannot play for more than two clubs in the same season – Article 5.3 of Fifa’s regulations)
    – (15/16 Bundesliga season numbers: (17 goals, 2 assists, 2084mins, 27apps, 23.16 actual games played) = 0.82 GA/app – Good rating

  96. JM says:


    Dušan Tadić – with Southampton

  97. JM says:


    Chicharito – with Bayer Leverkusen

  98. njstone9 says:

    I believe Wenger tried Sanchez as a central striker in his first few games before quickly moving him to the left wing. He hasn’t played as a central striker since then, as far as I know.

    Walcott had a few games in the centre interspersed with appearances on the wing, flattering to deceive.

  99. JM says:


    Chicharito – with Real Madrid

  100. JM says:


    Chicharito – with Man Utd.
    (scored many vs Chelsea)

  101. njstone9 says:

    No quotes at all. These rumour websites can basically make anything up and peddle it.

    Unless it starts getting reported in the broadsheets and the BBC, it’s usually not true.

    Most big Arsenal signings come out of the blue.

  102. Fat Plumber says:

    I say just make sure there’s not an air bubble in your pipe which causes a serious blockage…..

  103. Fat Plumber says:

    Ozil could be classed as our pipeline…. unfortunately, our stopcock isn’t working and that has led to the S bend being clogged.

  104. mickydidit89 says:

    Fatso

    It’s not the blockage you need to be worrying about, it’s the blowback

    Nasty

  105. mickydidit89 says:

    Didn’t watch much of Athletico, but I do not like that Simeone one bit

    Could be a good game tonight

  106. Gööner In Exile says:

    GB…..Akpom and Iwobi comparison is interesting. Whilst he may not have scored a hatful in Hull Akpom has often looked good playing for our first team and definitely possess an eye for goal.

    Surely any player benefits with those around him, I’d expect Akpom to do the same. Think if he has a good pre season he will be promoted and included with Theo going out, not sure if that’s the only business we will do up the top end.

  107. Big Raddy says:

    I agree. Don’t like the cut of Simeone’s jib. God forbid he comes to AFC.

    As you say, should be a good one tonight, much like last night (apart from the result)

  108. Big Raddy says:

    I can see us bidding for the S’ton chap, Mane´

  109. Fat Plumber says:

    Yes Big Raddy…………. he could be our water Mane.

  110. Big Raddy says:

    Nice work NB 😀

  111. GoonerB says:

    GIE, I would have no problem with promoting Akpom to one of our strikers next season. For me that would give us him and Danny as options so we still need a top striker to come in. I think this is where the major funds need to be spent.

    I know a lot of people also talk about Zelalem, but I feel Toral and Wellington look far more ready and look like they have the ability to be game changers more than Zelalem right now, who needs another season of regular football before hitting the first team. He also plays in a position we are well covered in, whereas Akpom will be more needed as a striker and Toral maybe as a right sided option.

  112. chas says:

    Is it bad to want Citeh to win if it means they’ll lose concentration for Sunday?

  113. Big Raddy says:

    Come on City. Would be great to have a PL finalist

  114. mickydidit89 says:

    Tricky one Chas and Erik

    Can’t stand either Madrid side, and I do like Pellegrini.
    Not watching as there.s Horizon about Antarctica at 8

  115. mickydidit89 says:

    Join you for the second half

  116. Big Raddy says:

    Hope MC play like that against us. They were very ordinary.

  117. chas says:

    Pure garbage. 🙂

  118. Big Raddy says:

    Refs got very shiny hair

  119. mickydidit89 says:

    A £63M sub
    Nice

    Hi Gents. Great news about the ref 🙂

  120. chas says:

    It’s going to be an ugly final.
    Should, by rights, be at Stamford Bridge. It’s always ugly there.

  121. mickydidit89 says:

    Velvet Underground with a viola. Will practice that! 🙂

  122. chas says:

    Kevin De Brain is the key, but he’s been pants.
    Cmon, De Brain. Liven up.

  123. chas says:

    I wish I’d known it was a viola!
    I suppose I could pretend.

  124. mickydidit89 says:

    Big fiddle. Better noise.

  125. mickydidit89 says:

    180 mins between these two, and one ‘effing goal. Utterly pathetic

  126. chas says:

    Might not even watch the final.

  127. Big Raddy says:

    What a boring game. MC not a single shot on target and RM showing very little apart from feigning injury and cheating.

    Dull

  128. Big Raddy says:

    Worry for us is that MC didn’t get out of first gear and will be fresh for the w/e.

  129. chas says:

    A game for the purists……………nah.

  130. mickydidit89 says:

    Nite chaps

  131. chas says:

    BR
    Looked like their season was over to me.
    Cmon you Reds.

    Ant and me are on the train, then in corporate.
    Seeing the season out in style.

  132. chas says:

    Without Silva, they are flatlining.

  133. JM says:

    All Spanish affair in both finals?

    CL: Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid

    EL: Sevilla FC vs Villarreal CF ?

  134. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    I fear that the AM and Leicester method of play will become the norm over the next few seasons.

    The purist prefers ticca-tacca

  135. kelsey says:

    Leicester: take nothing away from them but in defence with a journeyman lkie Huth, hoofing away shows that take the model of Stoke and sprinkle it with a number of classy players and a lethal striker and you are surprised with the resilence of the team and a season they and their supporters will never forget.

    Tippy tappy will never be successful unless you add at least 2 or 3 intelligent players to play alongside Sanchez and Ozil and a rejuvinated Ramsey. Am I right.?

  136. Eddie says:

    you are right Kelsey.

  137. chas says:

  138. chas says:

  139. fatgingergooner says:

    Just noticed that if we avoid defeat to City at the weekend it’s going to throw 4th spot wide open.

    United and West Ham would be 4/5 points behind but with 2 games in hand. The game in hand though is against each other which would pretty much make it a play off assuming they both win their other games.

    I’d love if Guardiola took over and City were in the Europa League, although that might make them stronger in the PL next season.

  140. fatgingergooner says:

    I don’t think this football will become the norm. Sport tends to throw up these obstacles now and again and teams figure it out so it moves on to something else. That’s why there have been all different styles that have won all over the world. It’s one of the reasons Wenger was successful, because he brought something unique to the PL, but now people moan it doesn’t work anymore! Maybe someone like Guardiola will come in and dominate with his brand of football, or Klopp’s energetic style will unlock these sides, or hopefully we go complete circle and Wenger’s ‘tippy tappy’ football will be the answer. Who knows?

  141. RA says:

    Good morning peeps it’s a lovely day! 🙂

  142. RA says:

    Hi GoonerB, 🙂

    Just as I was warming to your strange opinions, even if you are a Tonee Cottee looky-likey, according to Chas, as you were getting all sensible up you pop with something even Corky the Camel would not say.

    “I feel Toral and Wellington look far more ready (to play for Arsenal next season) and look like they have the ability to be game changers more than Zelalem”. ]

    That would be Toral, who is out of contract next month, and does not know if he will stay at Arsenal – and Wellington who is on loan to Bolton Wanderers, and rarely gets games, and has never played even 1 minute for Arsenal, and they are hardly ever been on TV, for more than a nano-second, so how could you have seen him play -but apparently they are better than Zellalem, who has won rave reviews at Glasgow Rangers in their promotion seasons, and has strutted his stuff on TV for all to see.

    Oh, and then there is Akpom, currently on loan, and not getting many games – and oddly is not even shown on the official AFC blog as an academy player, or as being ‘on loan’ either.

    Yep – you could be on to something – or you are on something! 😀

  143. chas says:

    Can you name 8.17, 8.19 and 8.20?

  144. chas says:

    No-one will get this one. 🙂

  145. chas says:

    So, climate change is a myth……

  146. fatgingergooner says:

    If God is in charge of the weather, then he’s a dick. Although I’ll let him off today because it’s sunny outside!

  147. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice one chas. I would love to shag one of those old fashioned birds. If Only I was a skilful long haired footballer who wanted ball to feet and couldn’t run? I would be well away

    I hope Atletico do Real. Simione reminds me of an Uncle back in Crete.The bloke would get into boozed up bar brawls and end up beating his opponent with a chair. The other bloke soiled himself, but Uncle always kept a clean sheet.

  148. GoonerB says:

    G’day all.

    RA, many thanks for engaging with me earlier. You are one of the last of a dying breed 🙂

    The youngsters ready to come through is an interesting one and perhaps a topic for a post. I think stats can give us some clues but other factors as well. Forgive me if my data is not absolutely accurate.

    I am not sure why Toral is on a short contract as I would have thought he was a player we would want to nail down. His loan spell at Birmingham this season shows 36 appearances and 8 goals. Not bad from midfield for a loan player of his age. The appearances would suggest that the manager thought highly of him as did the previous years stats at Brentford of 34 appearances and 3 goals.

    I also recall articles that suggest the manager and fans thought highly of him. He looks physically like he is already developed enough as well and can cover positions that we have need of. All this tends to make me feel he looks the most ready of all our young players.

    Zelalem in contrast looks like a bit more physical strength will be required at first team level. His loan of 20 appearances and 0 goals tends to not stand out. I also recall articles with views from Rangers fans that suggest he didn’t offer enough to be a regular first team player and wasn’t at that level yet. He is also competing in a position with a skill set we are already overloaded with. To me that sounds like he needs longer and needs to bide his time a bit.

    Akpom and Silva could be somewhere in between. I originally suggested Akpom wasn’t ready based on his loan at Hull and GIE said that it hadn’t been that bad and with better players he still could be ready. His 34 appearances suggest the manager thinks highly of him but his 3 goals within that tend to not. We are a team crying out for a striker scoring goals. It may be that he has developed other aspects of his game and if he can now couple that with his youth team scoring proficiency he may be able to come back as a 3rd choice.

    Silva is interesting. 22 appearances and 2 goals. Not sure what it means. His 2 prior loan spells in Spain saw 69 appearances over 2 seasons so mangers obviously feel he has something to offer. I feel he is worth a punt as he has had a few loans now with mixed results but his style of play with low centre of gravity and tight control could make him a key asset with the park the bus teams and again I feel he has skills we need and now enough experience that we should take a punt and see what happens.

  149. RA says:

    I think I agree with you @ 2:28 with pretty much everything there, GoonerB, my old Tonee C. 🙂

    Arsenal are clearly not falling over themselves to extend Toral’s contract, and it is possible that he will choose to leave and join another club – don’t forget when a contract expires it takes two to tango.

    He has regularly had good reports about his games for Brum, but with so many Academy kids reaching the magic age of 21 this year as every year, of course, the club (Arsenal) have to make some hard choices, and every year a lot of good kids are given the bum’s rush.

    Pity.

  150. Fat Plumber says:

  151. Fat Plumber says:

    Eddies polish plumber has just finished the job….

  152. chas says:

    I hope tonight’s footie is better than that garbage served up last night.

  153. chas says:

    Better than last night already.

  154. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning Chas

    Corporate on Sunday eh. Scope for some truly appalling behaviour as the expense of others 🙂

    So Pool scored three last night I see. Given the one goal in 180 mins between Citeh and Real, more points need to be added for goals scored.

  155. mickydidit89 says:

    Just went on to Sky to find out when our game is, and they have a headline of Spuds offering Kane 100k per week.

    Is that all? Tap up time surely

  156. Gööner In Exile says:

    Rasp that was from 2014….but for me this paragraph is key to understanding why the ball moves sideways.

    “Don’t believe what people say. Barça didn’t do tiki-taka! Don’t believe a word of it! In all team sports, the secret is to overload one side of the pitch so that the opponent must tilt its own defence to cope. You overload on one side and draw them in so that they leave the other side weak

    And when we’ve done all that, we attack and score from the other side. That’s why you have to pass the ball, but only if you’re doing it with a clear intention. It’s only to overload the opponent, to draw them in and then to hit them with the sucker punch. That’s what our game needs to be. Nothing to do with tiki-taka.”

    Our issue always appears to be the making them weak on the other side. Which can only be achieved by having threat with the ball no matter what side of the pitch we are on.

  157. That’s it Micky, the master plan solution ……. points for goals scored!!!! All goals or just nett win goals? 5-2 win gives you 3 pts for win and 3 for nett goals. I like it 😃

    Good morning

  158. mickydidit89 says:

    Brilliant Peaches

  159. chas says:

    I was thinking something similar what with cricket’s extra batting and bowling points.
    Maybe we could have an extra point for scoring 3 or more goals.
    Definitely no extra points for clean sheets. Who wants to see that? 🙂

  160. chas says:

    We’ll be on our best behaviour at the Etihad.
    After all, we’ll be ambassadors for the club.

  161. chas says:

    Who’s this?

  162. mickydidit89 says:

    Exactly my point Chas
    Cricket saw the light and started that night time limited overs slog fest and it’s a massive hit

    Ant ‘n Duck aka Arsenal Ambassadors. Yeah right 🙂

    Must go school

  163. TotalArsenal says:

    Sami Allerdici? 🙃

  164. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Is it an early picture of Giscard D’Estaing?

  165. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent point GiE, and that means we need quality on both wings and good balance. For a long time we were very lopsided to the left and struggled to switch the game. Maybe that’s why we saw Alsexis move to the right…

  166. Big Raddy says:

    TA. I like Sanchez on the right . With Welbeck left and a new striker we are good to go, especially as Ox can sub on both wings.

  167. chas says:

    Yep, correct – Giscard D’Estaing playing for Bolton in 1973

  168. chas says:

    I think we need a left-footer cutting in from the right wing.

  169. chas says:

    And a right-footer cutting in from the left wing.

  170. chas says:

    Who needs width to beat the bus?

  171. chas says:

    Whoops, killed it again. Soz.

  172. chas says:

    NEW POST (of sorts)

  173. TotalArsenal says:

    It’s the angry tortoise look that gave it away, Chas. 😀

  174. TotalArsenal says:

    That could work a treat, BR.

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