Arsenal, you have to be able to kill your babies.

There is a really awful expression in the USA that even though I can’t stop myself agreeing with it I cringe whenever I hear it.

“You have to be able to kill your babies”

This is a round about way of answering GB.

“The big question now is do we need to offload a couple of our good players to allow for those to come in that have a different skill set and strengthen the key areas to re-balance us?”

I am guessing that this comment does not apply to Walcott or Oxlaide-Chamberlain as most wouldn’t shed a single tear if they left and were upgraded with someone who actually has some close control to get round the likes of Sunderlands buses, a Mahrez for example would do the trick.

No, I am guessing that this question is applies to someone we care about.

We have talked about Ramsey and how he is shoe horned into the team on the right wing because he is too important to leave on the bench. He is not as good as Ozil but he is an extremely important asset to the club hence the reason for shoehorning.

Shoehorn: to make space for a player in the team in a position that he would not usually play in. (from the dictionary according to LB)

Back to Ramsey: if we brought a naturally right sided attacker who was better than we have right now would we or the club care as much about Ramsey? Let me use an extreme example: if we brought Messi (who does predominately play on the right) would anyone care if part of the deal was to sell Ramsey, especially if we remember that ,although, the Welshman might be the second best number 10 we would still have the best in Ozil?

And we arrive at that awful expression: you have to be able to kill your babies.

Can you?



157 Responses to Arsenal, you have to be able to kill your babies.

  1. chas mobile says:

    Cheers, LB

    What happens if Mes gets injured?


  2. messinemesis says:

    …don’t forget Messi and his father will be going to jail soon for tax evasion…

  3. messinemesis says:

    You can kill your baby for all we care: we are not going to kill this our particular baby, Ramsey

  4. Jeremy O Dwyer says:

    I’ve swayed back and forth on Ramsey for the last few years. He can be great, he can be frustrating, but I wonder if the criticism when he is frustrating overlooks a lot of the other good work he does.

    As you say the position he wants hasn’t been available and he’s probably too good to play back up to Ozil. Maybe Arsene was hoping he could become a sort of Freddy Lungberg type out wide but Ramsey doesn’t seem to enjoy that position.

    Maybe with Xhaka behind him he’ll flourish in the centre. I hope so.

    I think, especially after the tournament he’s had, it’s worth persevering with Ramsey, and hopefully we can find a system that let’s us get the best out of a player that can be very very good.

  5. Eddie says:

    no, don’t kill Aaron. He is a great team player, with lots of experience and now taste for success. Apart from this – who have we got? Ozil, Wishere (always injured). Elneny (not proven yet), Santi (old), le Coq, Ox (going backwards). That is hardly a strong midfield, so unless you propose to bring in a massive improvement, you’d better leave Aaron alone. Or maybe move him to play through the middle?

  6. GunnerN5 says:


    When you continually play in the same position the whole game becomes instinctive and the less substitutions that are made the more fluid the team becomes. So I am most certainly an advocate for using players in their natural positions.

    With the amount of games a team has to play it’s almost a necessity to have two highly skilled players for each position, therefore there will always be frustrated players on the bench or not selected. So it becomes the managers task to attempt to keep them all happy.

    I would never sell a player with the skill set and desire shown by Ramsey, unless they make a transfer request, I would rather we solved the problem of the missing links in our squad.

  7. Rasp says:

    Hi GN5, LB wrote this post, I have added his name at the bottom.

    Thanks for the post LB. It sums up the single largest predicament AW faces. It is partly of his own making since he has recruited too many similar players who want to occupy the same position.

    I think that if we had a ‘Mahrez’ then the decision would be made for us and Ramsey would ask for a transfer as he is too good to sit on the bench (as you say). We could build a team around Ramsey in the same way we could around Ozil.

    We will see just how ruthless Arsene can be this season. Will he sell Theo (assuming there’s a buyer) and maybe The Ox? Will he buy a striker who can play anywhere across the front 3?

    Will he drop Ramsey for the more effective Cazorla when the opponents dictate that we must play Elneny and Xhaka?

    I can’t second guess this. I doubt he will buy a much needed central defender as defending has never been his priority.

  8. LB says:

    Good comment Rasp, thanks for entering into the spirit that the post was meant.

  9. Jeremy O Dwyer says:

    I think having two top class players for every position is easier said than done. The best players don’t want to be sitting around playing every second or third game or coming on as a sub with 20 minutes to go.

    Look at City. They can buy almost anyone they want but when Aguero gets injured even they don’t have a world class back up in that position.

    Similar at Barcelona. Who are the back ups to Suarez, Neymar and Messi? Even taking into account how good those players are, I think the drop off in quality of their back ups is probably significant.

    Hopefully Arsene can work some magic

  10. chas says:

    Feck, not much hope for Iwobi.

  11. GoonerB says:

    Thanks LB. This is a difficult subject for many of the reasons others have mentioned, mainly regarding Ramsey not wishing to sit on the bench. It wouldn’t be easy but it could probably still work if you considered an Ozil / Ramsey share of the number 10 position of maybe a 65% to 35% respectively.

    They are slightly different number 10’s anyway so different opponents will suit each one’s strengths. Ozil has the edge in creativity but Ramsey has the edge in goal threat.

    As Chas said yesterday we have played some good football with Ramsey to the side of Ozil but it seems only with a quicker more mobile striker in front of them, so we can’t rule out this as a possible option if AW gets that right. This would also further increase game time to each player.

    I don’t think that Ozil is looking to finish his career at Arsenal anyway so I see Ramsey as number 1 in the role in a couple of seasons.

    I actually see no issue with them rotating the position, but slightly in Ozils favour in game time, and maybe sometimes playing alongside each other in a system that suits it.

    On AOC I wouldn’t get rid of him. He is another that has been hit hard by injuries but also another player who I don’t feel has been in his best position. I see him more in the attacking left position / winger / wing forward. For me he should be the back up to Sanchez with an eye to him becoming first choice there in a couple of seasons. Again I am not sure Sanchez will finish the latter part of his best years with us.

  12. fatgingergooner says:

    Is there a rule that says you can’t have Ramsey and Γ–zil in the same team!?

    If we are a club that is unable/refuses to have 2 quality players for each position, as seems to be the case, then surely it makes sense to have 1 quality player in each position and fill the rest with youth and experience. Aslong as the formation has 2 number 10’s then what’s the problem with Ramsey and Γ–zil staying!

    Is there a saying that says you have to be able to kill your father!?

    Only joking. I’m fully behind Wenger this season and looking forward to the decisions he makes. The fact millions of Arsenal fans have differing opinions shows it’s not an easy job right now.

  13. mickydidit89 says:


    Great topic, so thank you for the post.
    Simply too busy yesterday, and there’s too much in your post to get stuck into briefly.

    I’ll get back once I’ve had the usual litre of coffee. If we don’t sign forwards, I will be promoting Theo. Yes. Worrying πŸ™‚

  14. mickydidit89 says:

    The Eden Project really is worth a trip to Cornwall just in itself

  15. Eddie says:

    chas re Iwobi – blimey, he is proper thick

  16. LBG says:

    Gooner B 7.47
    Agree almost 100% with your comments here. Pick and choose which No 10 you use and when you use them. Including during the same game.
    My only disagreement would be on AOC. I always described him as the “diamond” that could be honed to brilliance, particularly compared to my bΓͺte noir, TW, but I believe he lacks two things, desire and a concentrated mind. I am sorry to say, I feel he has had things too easy at Arsenal and needs to be tested in a “harsher” environment to see if he is truly international class.

  17. mickydidit89 says:


    I would agree with your Ox comments, as it was the conversation we had when I last saw you πŸ™‚

    Ox: loan. Time to wake up, shape up, or ship out.

  18. Eddie says:

    LBG – what is the harsher environment – N17 or Stoke?

  19. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, LB. Aaron

    First up, he would never be in my First XI in any situation. Unless. Unless we went back to the 80’s and played a 4-4-2.

    I simply don’t see his specialized skill. Not a winger. Not as good a creative as Mesut or Santi, but he is a superb squad player, which understandably is not what he would see himself as.

    So, to kill the baby?

    Yes, I’d swap him for a winger. The quad would be weaker without him, but the First XI stronger.

    Remember Maureen shipping out Mata. Importing Hazard, and winning the League.

  20. mickydidit89 says:

    LBG and Eddie

    If I were to interpret LBG’s harsher term, I’d say Ox needs regular games and to get that, it wouldn’t be a top six side for obvious reasons.

  21. Eddie says:

    I don’t understand you micky – regular games but not in top six? sitting on the bench is hardly regular play?

  22. Eddie says:




    now that I have your attention πŸ™‚ – I sent you an email that has nothing to do with football πŸ™‚

  23. mickydidit89 says:

    I mean a side outside the Ut’d, Pool’s and Spud’s of this world

  24. Eddie says:

    GiE – ok, I got the out of office response, sorry, I forgot you are on holidays. My question can wait

  25. Eddie says:

    oooh, ok

    No, actually it is not ok. Since when spuds are a top team?? don’t let Raddy see that comment

    Stoke. Hull. Sunderland?

  26. mickydidit89 says:

    You’re really trying to make me earn my corn this morning, Eddie πŸ™‚

  27. Eddie says:

    yes. I am having really bad times lately so I don’t see why others should have an easy ride.

  28. mickydidit89 says:

    Great answer πŸ™‚

  29. LB says:

    Can someone explain to me what is going on in the 6.57 comment with Iwobi. It is far too cryptic.

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice one London’s Brightest πŸ˜€

    The game constantly evolves and players need to as well or they become labelled as being shoe-horned in. Which traditional position other than CB and GK has not changed or become surplus to requirement in recent years?

    I would play with Ozil-Alexis-Rambo behind Ollie with Xhaka and Eleny or Coq behind them. Three number tens to interchange and show off their individual skills and the FBs providing the width. The future?

  31. LBG says:

    Eddie, fair interpretation from Micky of my views on AOC, but I would extend it further and in doing so perhaps open up another debate. People like Roy Keane have criticised modern players, including Arsenal’s, for too many selfie etc, etc. I think Alex needs a smaller, less ” comfortable” Club, with perhaps a bastard of a manager, to ask him straight out what he wants from his football career. He is still young and has much potential but is wasting it at the moment. Perhaps a ‘buy back clause should be in place.
    I feel over the last few years that this criticism has applied to more than one in the squad – Walcott, Gibbs even Chambers after his great start. Fire in their bellies or as Micky says “ship out”.

  32. GunnerN5 says:

    I’m not one to give up on players but I cannot see how these players will be anything more than future bench fillers and they should be sold to make room for the skills we need.

    Serge Gnabry, Theo Walcott, Calum Chambers
    Mathieu Debuchy, Carl Jenkinson and I would not be disappointed to see the Ox added to the list.

  33. GoonerB says:

    Good day to you all.

    T.A, not picking a fight here, but the team you mentioned with Ramsey, Ozil, and Sanchez behind Giroud is the same combination that, to my recollection, has proven not to work that well. Xhaka and Elneny behind is a new combination but I am not sure that will be enough to make the 3 mentioned work playing behind Giroud.

    Any team that plays a high line and focuses on marking Sanchez out of the game will thwart this. With Sanchez the only true pace player to threaten behind they just need to shut him out, and we have seen games where this happens and he gets very frustrated. The trio of Giroud, Ozil and Ramsey operate better when they are closer to the goal but invite a team to play the higher line knowing there is little danger from them in the space left behind.

    Giroud for me works when he is surrounded by pacier players who can get beyond him to threaten behind. These players will then exploit the high line and if they then drop deep that plays to Girouds strengths in getting him closer to the goal. If you want Ramsey and Ozil lining up alongside each other it has to be with the quicker striker for me. If the opposition play the high line Ramsey and Ozil can play the quick striker in and exploit it. If that team then drops deeper it invites Ozil and Ramsey closer to their goal.

    For me this is why Ozil and Ramsey together have worked fairly well with Walcott but not so much with Giroud.

  34. Shard says:

    Ramsey will be in the midfield starting spot next to Xhaka next season. There is no question of shipping him out. Wilshere would be more at risk of that than Ramsey.

    In general terms though, I do agree that we have to get used to the idea that to get someone good/great, or even someone who is a better fit, we might have to give someone else up who is also very good.

    It’s less prevalent in football, especially in the post Abramovich era where teams tend to stockpile talent, but you still see it. Madrid sold us Ozil because they needed room (and money) to fund a slight revamp. Munich sold Kroos and bought Xabi Alonso and Arturo Vidal to cover that loss. Bigger clubs do it.

    However, I don’t think Arsenal are quite at that stage yet. I don’t think we should be looking to lose our best players to go out and buy some lesser known players. Mahrez, despite being good, is still a one season wonder till now. And while we are stocked in midfield, Ramsey is ahead of the likes of Elneny, Wilshere, and probably also Cazorla now that we’ve signed an Arteta replacement in Xhaka. When Arsenal get to the stage that they can attract the Bales, Neymars etc of the world, then perhaps we can ‘kill our babies’.

  35. LBG says:

    Interesting Shard! Unless he is played in the Ozil spot ( instead of him!), I do not agree that RAmsey is ahead of Cazorla Elneny or even a fit Wilshere. This is the crux of the matter for me. RAmsey is not a holding midfielder or deep lying creative midfielder, despite his obvious engine.

  36. GunnerN5 says:

    The point is that we have an over abundance of skilled mid-fielders and are not as blessed in either attack or defense. In order to get the right balance in the team something has to change and that may well mean losing a few of of our favourite sons.

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers GB and agreed with a lot there πŸ˜€

    If we face a team playing a high line, which you know is seldom the case, my expected 2016-2017 team will not be as effective with slow Ollie. But when opponents park the bus, Alexis behind Giroud and Mesut and Rambo around them on the edges of the box will be very effective.

    Like most here, I would not mind to see Theo shipped out but I don’t expect Wenger to indulge us and you will get your wish re the sipped option.

    I have a feeling that Iwobi would be a great CF when facing teams that force a high line on us, but he needs time to develop of course.

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    * re the SPEED option…

  39. Shard says:


    Ramsey’s best season for us came in 13/14 and that was playing next to Mikel Arteta, who had the intelligence and the distribution to cover for Ramsey’s forward runs, which actually were very well timed.

    Cazorla adds the ability to keep possession and also pass from deep, and will be useful in certain situations. Elneny, from what little we’ve seen of him seems to be full of running like Ramsey, but more conservative, and there will be situations where that will be desired.

    If your definition of a midfielder is what those two bring, I will not argue. But Ramsey’s running, ability to present himself for a pass, and time his runs into and around the box have an important role to play too. I agree that he needs to also be more disciplined. He showed it at times last season, but went upfield recklessly at others. But I maintain that Ramsey will be first choice along with Xhaka next season, and that this will be a good thing overall.

    Wilshere meanwhile has a lot to prove. Firstly, fitness. But even after that, what his actual role is isn’t clear. He should be looking to be the next Cazorla, but I reckon he’ll be thinking he’s a goalscoring no.10.


    An over-abundance of midfielders? But still our season fell apart because of a lack of available midfielders. Surely it is better to err on the side of surplus? In any case, Xhaka (Coquelin), Ramsey (Elneny), Ozil (Cazorla/Wilshere) doesn’t seem like too many to me, given their roles, ages and injury history.

    Our problem stems from the fact that we don’t have great wing players. It is too early to write off the Ox, but he had a terrible season. Theo was pretty useless. Alexis had a tough campaign. Campbell is decent, but not seen as much more by the manager. This is what made Iwobi look like a revelation. But in truth, Iwobi has a lot of improving to do. His decision making was often poor.

    Rather than cut down on central midfielders, we should be looking to trade up on our wingers. Sell Theo if need be, add a player like Mahrez. Sell Ramsey to add Mahrez? No. Sell Wilshere for him? Maybe.

    Our possible choices on the wing include. Alexis, Theo, Ox, Campbell, Iwobi, Jeff, Gnabry. That’s a lot of players, of whom only 1 deserves a starting spot straight up, and he’s likely to miss a few games at the start of the season at least. Beyond that we’re relying on potential to be realised from the Ox, Iwobi, Gnabry and Jeff. And for Campbell to reach a level he isn’t expected to. That’s where we should trim the fat if at all. Not in CM.


    We double down on our strengths, and eliminate wing play entirely. Play a sort of half wingers with Ozil Ramsey Cazorla ahead of Xhaka and play Alexis with Giroud up top. (or play with 3 CBs and get the fullbacks up into a 5 man midfield) More radical solutions of course. And more improbable.

  40. Shard says:

    I’ll try and explain my stance a bit better.

    What (apart from finishing) are we lacking? When people complain about tippy tappy, they are complaining about a lack of verticality.

    Now just to be clear, I don’t want Arsenal to lose the ability to keep the ball and pass it around. Most of the teams we face will force us to do that anyway. I don’t want us to counter attack more. Just more efficiently when we do.

    Last season, once Cazorla went down, we lost a passer from deep. Ozil and Alexis were left to be passer/runner to each other, with no one else to join in (Until Iwobi came on towards the end)

    With Xhaka, we’ve added another passer from deep. We can have dribbling and passing next to him (Cazorla), keep ball/energy (Elneny), or a forward thrust runner/goal scorer (Ramsey) You can also have Coquelin come in to hold the fort in almost any combination of that midfield. I don’t see our midfield as bloated or all samey. I think it is diverse and balanced now.

    So, I think Ramsey gives us verticality. Another running option. Of course he needs to do this intelligently. But that is another issue. It’s more a case of concentration rather than ability. He’s done it in the past. He, on paper at least, now has the guys around him to support that again (Elneny can do this too, and if Coquelin’s passing improves, so can he)

    Adding an upgrade on the wing would ideally give us both a scoring and a creative threat there, making it the runner/passing hybrid that Alexis and Ozil are. If we do replace Giroud with a quicker option (runner), I could see us playing someone like Wilshere (passer/creator) out wide too. Ideally though, we get both a striker and a wide forward.

  41. GunnerN5 says:

    Shard here are Ray Parlour’s thoughts on how we need to strengthen or squad.

    He even feels that we do not have enough midfielders.

    By Simeon Gholam

    Last Updated: 09/07/16 2:37pm

    Ray Parlour sets out the positions he thinks Arsene Wenger needs to strengthen

    Arsenal great Ray Parlour believes Arsene Wenger must sign a top striker if the club are to push for the Premier League title this coming season.

    The Gunners were left short of attacking options last season as both Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott struggled for form at times, and Parlour says a high-quality addition is needed in that area at the Emirates Stadium.

    “Romelu Lukaku’s been mentioned,” Parlour told Sky Sports News HQ. “We’d love to see Antoine Griezmann at Arsenal. That’s the sort of quality they need.

    “With Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil around they will always create chances. Olivier Giroud has done well. He’s a good player but they need someone of the calibre of a Sergio Aguero or a Luis Suarez.
    Sky Sports channel changes

    “They missed out on Suarez a few years ago. He would have been perfect for them and could have helped them go on to win the league. If they can get someone of that ilk then they could go on to challenge for the title next season.

    “It’s not rocket science in terms of who they need. A striker needs to come in but Arsenal probably need three more players to come in and reinforce the spine of the team. If they can do that they can go on and win the title.”

    Parlour also believes that Arsenal could do with strengthening their defence and midfield as they aim to go one better than their second-place finish in 2015/16.

    “For me, bringing in another centre-half is key,” he said. “Per Mertesacker’s got that little bit older and Gabriel’s not really settled in yet. Maybe he can get better once he’s more used to the demands of the Premier League but certainly they need another one in there.

    “They could also do with another midfielder. They’ve lost Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini and although none of them played on a regular basis last season, you need a big squad of players.

    “Granit Xhaka, who they’ve brought in from Borussia Monchengladbach, is a good player. He had a good Euro 2016. He’s efficient and good on the ball so he’ll fit in well at the Emirates. However, they still could do with maybe one more in there.

    “I think they’ve got a very good squad. The age of the squad is very good and with the likes of Aaron Ramsey, who has had a good Euro 2016, Sanchez, Ozil and Jack Wilshere, they’ve got a good group of players. Hopefully, Wilshere can stay fit and have an impact this season.”

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Great comment Shard. We definitely have options in the double DM pivot and Rambo’s verticality- easy tiger – is a weapon. Yet with Xhaka we can be more direct, as he can ping the ball quickly from deep to the wing backs or mid wingers, giving Alexis, Ozil or indeed Rambo time and space to make a difference where it matters most. And Elneny is there to bridge the gaps and aid Xhaka to defend our mIdfield..

    Happy to see Aaron play as our nr1 b2b player though. All very exciting.

  43. Eddie says:

    micky – forget about sending ox to hull, disgusting place with thousands naked pervs kissing each other’s arses! BTW, is it where Raddy was last week?

  44. LBG says:

    Well Shard, you make your point forcibly and with interesting analysis.
    However, I believe I will dispute a number of points. Ramsey’s successful season came at a point that opposition had not worked out that a four/five set up in front of us negated his runs . They had even worked it out before the end of that season.
    “Dynamic” passing ie defence splitting, not from deep, but from edge of forward third comes from two people in our squad, Cazorla and Wilshere! Certainly Xhaka seems to be able to hit a long accurate pass to thoughtful runners. We are short on thoughtful runners; even RAmsey has not shown this recently,for
    us anyway!
    Thus my conclusion – we need faster forward passes as one method of attack, mixed with close one touch one twos on the edge of the box. We need a Fox in the box who will snap up half chances (Vardy would have done for me). And finally we need a quick tricky wide man who takes on the full back on both the outside (and inside) to get crosses into the box for Giroud, whenever he is faced with a one on one! Not much then….

  45. Shard says:

    “we need faster forward passes as one method of attack, mixed with close one touch one twos on the edge of the box. We need a Fox in the box who will snap up half chances (Vardy would have done for me). And finally we need a quick tricky wide man who takes on the full back on both the outside (and inside) to get crosses into the box for Giroud, whenever he is faced with a one on one!”

    All agreed with LBG.

    I think you underrate Ramsey’s ability to find the final pass, and play those one-twos.

    I’m just happy to have the options in midfield.


    All slightly different and suited to different situations.

    Now if we can add a wide forward like you said (who can also score a few goals please) and an alternative to Giroud, then we’re set.

    Not related to what you said, but I also see this idea constantly stated that Arsenal NEED a new CB. Parlour said it too. I don’t agree. It would be a nice to have perhaps if we can find someone who is good at defending, quick, and can also play out from the back (essentially a faster Per) but it doesn’t seem essential to me. A backup to Bellerin might be more important.

  46. Eddie says:

    Shard is back. With vengeance. Lovely.
    Nonsense about not needing another CB, our defence is reliant on Koscielny and aging Cech, You cannot have a leaky defence if you are a serious title contender.

    And. 5 different midfield combos and Xhaka in 3 of them. Excuse moi, but we haven’t got a foggiest how Granit will fit with the rest of the squad

    I am very reluctant to take you on, dear shard, but it had to be said – you are wrong.Don’t bother responding, I am off the bed πŸ™‚ Doing a Farage/B Johnson trick here

  47. Shard says:


    I can only assume you are reluctant to take me on out of a (rare) sense of mercy πŸ™‚

  48. Eddie says:

    yeah right πŸ™‚ I have witnessed you taking very knowledgeable Gunners apart. I cannot say I didn’t enjoy it, but it is a slightly different matter if you are going to rip me to shreds or shrads πŸ™‚

  49. GoonerB says:

    Brilliant points from everyone today. Out of interest the player that I feel is the most adept in our squad at quick 1-2’s and moving onto the ball at pace in tight situations is Jack.

    He has an adaptable skill set. He can be the box to box DM but also offers something in the last third that many of our other players don’t. If he finally stays fit where should he be played? Definitely not where Hodgson played him. I always fancied trying him to the right of Ozil for a bit, exactly where Ramsey has often played.

  50. LB says:

    Poor old Granit, thinks he has been bought in to play in the midfield, little does he know that he will be playing in central defence quicker than he can say Swiss Army Knife.

    He will have a few games in the middle, of course, Arsene always give them a go in the position they hoped to play before moving them to where he wants then to play.

  51. GΓΆΓΆner In Exile says:

    Interesting LB,

    I think we may see a slightly different formation next season, the reason Theo made way for Ramsey and then Iwobi in my view was the ability of others to roam, which works well with Ozil’s style.

    I would like to see us go to more of a 3-3-3-1, or 3-4-2-1 I think the PL requires one up top to occupy centre backs and the floating two or three behind can stretch and pull defences.

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    GB, a fully fit Jack, almost an oxymoron, will certainly play. All digits crossed it’ll happen this season.

    GiE, LB, there is indeed a libero in Xhaka, a Koeman or even Der Kaizer, and I can see him being deployed in the centre of the defence in a 3-5-2. But I don’t think Arsene will go with such a formation in theory. Xhaka will sit back and stay with the CBs which will allow the FB(s) to join the attack constantly, leaving us with three at the back a lot of the time.

  53. Eddie says:

    TA – Β£10 JW won’t last till xmas

    GiE – and who is the -1 in your formations? Sanchez? Ollie? X?

    I really hope that no matter what formation AW will buy a proven, prolific, premiership ready (PPP πŸ™‚ ) striker and a big defender.

  54. Shard says:

    Nobody seems to mind players being ‘played out of position’ when it is Pep and Bayern doing it. In fact, Pep is considered a genius for doing this.

    Lahm played at both full back positions, and as DM.
    Alaba plays as DM, box to box CM, LB, and most recently at CB.
    Javi Martinez played at both DM and CB
    Gotze played AM, RW, CF.
    Muller plays across the front three
    Vidal plays as DM, CM, AM, and even on the wing occasionally.

    Pep constantly changes formations, and expects his players to adapt to various roles. This is because players aren’t meant to be tied to a position, rather their roles are based on their attributes and the needs of the team. If some players can’t adapt despite being coached and given chances then more likely it is the players’ fault, not the manager’s. Unless of course you want Messi to play in goal. (or in gaol πŸ˜› ) Their attributes must be a fit for the role that has been asked of them. Which, frankly, it almost always is. It shouldn’t matter whether Theo plays left wing, right wing or striker. He has the attributes for it as they aren’t so different. He just didn’t mentally adapt. And that’s his fault.

  55. GΓΆΓΆner In Exile says:

    Shard what it comes down to is a football brain, and I know Hansen has since said he regrets his comments about Theo but the players you mention are able to adapt because they have the vision in their mind of what all players on the pitch should do, not just their own position.

    I think it comes down to how aware you are as a player and whether you are a head up type of player or a head down player.

    Santi and Arteta are probably prime examples of this in recent seasons. Both were more up pitch players when they arrived at Arsenal, Arteta went straight in to the HM role and made it his own. Santi has played out wide, in the No 10 and now in the box to box continuity man. It hasn’t really felt like he has been out of position in that time.

  56. Shard says:


    Exactly. The obsession with a player’s position precludes what part of their attributes are best suited to the team’s current needs. If a player isn’t playing well in a certain role, he should be removed from it, but being played out of position shouldn’t be used as an excuse. He’s supposed to be there to help the team in whatever manner he can, and unless the role is totally alien to him and his abilities, it shouldn’t be blamed on the manager.

    PS. Arteta changed his position twice. He was the AM at Everton. Played as CM next to Song in his first season, and then as the HM next to Ramsey in his second. A total team player.

  57. Eddie says:

    I think that strict rule of assigning players to positions helps strategic planning, it probably looks better on paper/PC than in reality.

    in the meantime our chase of Morata has failed, halleluiah. His stats are worse than Ollies fcol! What is that Wenger thinking of?

  58. wally says:

    We have no runners save walcott (not that he could beat anyone one on one anyways) and he’s not getting on the field anytime soon. Sanchez maybe, Iwobi maybe. On wilshere i’m from missouri. He’s played so little in the last three years he’s more like Gump’s box of chocolates. I’d sell ramsey and wilshere and even someone else for Pogba. He reminds us of Viera doesn’t he. Someone who can really boss the field for the next 10 years.
    No striker to be bot this year unless it’s some kid from SA, another one for the future, maybe. So we’re left with only one centre forward. I think, like henry, that giroud would do better playing with another forward.
    I only see another defender coming in.
    And yes he needs to be honest about what he’s got and be willing to cull the herd more often. But i doubt he ever will. He’s about developing players and that means time and as we’ve seen once he decides that they’re capable he never gives up on them. What was that song? Tomorrow, tomorrow…..

  59. Ant says:

  60. mickydidit89 says:

    Anyone watching tennis final?

    Can’t imagine why they let that bloody Sturgeon creature into the royal box

  61. mickydidit89 says:

    Ooo tie break
    Bit like pens

  62. mickydidit89 says:

    Well played Murray
    Massive achievement

    Have we signed a bloody forward yet?????

  63. chas says:

    Super professional tie-breaks.


  64. chas says:

    Do you think Sanchez has enjoyed his two years at The Arse?

    His world profile seems to have shot up from his Barca days.

    Or maybe I just didn’t pay attention before. πŸ™‚

  65. chas says:

  66. chas says:

  67. chas says:

  68. chas says:

    no poncy stubble and shades either……….

  69. chas says:

  70. Shard says:

    Gooners Lewis Hamilton and Andy Murray both won today.

    Now for Kos and Giroud.

  71. chas says:

  72. chas says:

  73. chas says:

    Sorry, Shard, didn’t see you there for a moment.
    How’s it going?

  74. chas says:

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    “Really hope the French police do a controlled explosion on David Guetta later”

    ha ha ha

    This is a frenzied burst of activity Chas πŸ™‚

  76. mickydidit89 says:

    Took family to see Manic Street Preachers last night.

    As we speak, my wife is dying our daughters’ hair pink

    I consider the outcome of a little rock ‘n roll a success πŸ™‚

  77. chas says:

    I was considering pink a week or two back.

  78. mickydidit89 says:

    For the first time in my life, I’m going to support the French, so I bloody well hope they appreciate it

  79. chas says:

    Sorry, not meant to be frenzied.

    I just have little bursts on t’internet and sometimes share the randomness on here.
    I’m pleased that most ignore me ‘dragging the site down’. πŸ˜†

  80. chas says:

    Giroud’s been dropped

  81. mickydidit89 says:

    Then I shall support them a little bit harder πŸ™‚

  82. chas says:

    “France not won trophy since Euro 2000”

    As if that was really bad……

  83. chas says:

    Maybe they”ll come back hungrier if they lose?

  84. chas says:

  85. mickydidit89 says:

    It’s a shame Portugal have the horrible Ronaldo and Pepe as otherwise I’d want them to win

    Is it possible for an immature chap to overcome such obstacles in just two short hours?

  86. mickydidit89 says:

    Just did. Come on Portugal. Lovely country, lovely people πŸ™‚

  87. mickydidit89 says:

    Cannot wait for that Theresa May bloke to get over to France and grab Francois Holland by the nuts and squeeze πŸ™‚

  88. Eddie says:

    don’t be silly micky, Maurinho is Portuguese!

  89. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh God, Eddie, there is another nasty truth.
    Still, lovely people πŸ™‚

  90. mickydidit89 says:

    Portugal has produced some genuinely top drawer explorers if that helps

  91. Eddie says:

    “Portugal has produced some genuinely top drawer explorers if that helps” – why would it help? All that the explorers brought with them was death and misery to the indigenous people. Have you ever read what Columbus and his brother did in America? Fooking psychos. Ok, Italian, but explorers

    Come on Frenchies!!

  92. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh Eddie
    That is a very good point and you’re making this so hard for me.
    I really want to support the Portugese. Can you help me?

  93. mickydidit89 says:

    David Guetta!!!!!!
    I thought Chas was kidding

  94. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks Chas
    Love sardines. Portugal it is then πŸ™‚

  95. Eddie says:

    micky – ok, Nani is Portuguese πŸ™‚

  96. mickydidit89 says:

    Have Portugal ever won anything. In the time of Eusabio?

  97. chas says:


  98. mickydidit89 says:

    Rubbish game so far. No goals. Nothing

  99. chas says:

    Should get some strikers on

  100. Eddie says:

    now you have me thinking…if there were no explorers, there would be red Indians roaming the great planes, no George Bush, no Dallas killings, no Woody Allen, no aids, maybe no slavery. Damn those bloody nosey bastards the great explorers

  101. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha ha Chas
    Blank page. Be honest, did you delete their runners up to Greece?

  102. chas says:

    No red indians without explorers. Que?

  103. chas says:

    I fully agree that there would be no aids without explorers, though. πŸ™‚

  104. mickydidit89 says:

    Watch it Eddie, I’m planning on being an explorer one day πŸ™‚

  105. mickydidit89 says:

    Not that kind of explorer you sicko πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  106. chas says:

    Looks like you’ve blown a seal

  107. Eddie says:

    oh no, I do feel for him. Great, great player

  108. chas says:

    Great player, but tosser of the highest order also, probably like many of the great explorers.

  109. Eddie says:

    you are just silly chas. There would be more red Indians, Aztecs instead of drunk Mexicans. Aids as the illness, yes I think it was man made in USA.

  110. chas says:

    Hmmmmmm…..I’m silly.

  111. chas says:

    I never realised red indians were Mexicans.
    Learn something every day, you do.

  112. Eddie says:

    what did you think they were? Spanish?

  113. Has Pogba got Sissoko’s shirt on!

    I know which one looks like a Β£100m player so far!

  114. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas and Eddie
    Is there a blog site for people like us, or quite possibly, AA is the only one πŸ™‚

  115. chas says:

    Nah, I thought they always lived there.
    Indigenous like.

  116. chas says:

    Even the commentators are getting confused between them. πŸ™‚

  117. fatgingergooner says:

    No doubt Arsenal fans on Twitter are begging Wenger to sign him. He’s been unbelievable so far.

  118. Eddie says:

    micky – I’d imagine there are, but not necessarily on the loose

  119. mickydidit89 says:

    Still no goals

  120. chas says:

    Just found this – can’t believe I’ve been so misled.

  121. chas says:

  122. chas says:

  123. Eddie says:

    chas – what about Cuba then? Did you think black people were indigenous πŸ™‚ you doughnut πŸ™‚

  124. chas says:

  125. mickydidit89 says:

    All indigenous people explored at some point, or else we’d all be still hanging around the first swamp where we dragged ourselves out of the primordial soup, or if you like The Garden of Eden, better known as Bexhill on Sea

  126. mickydidit89 says:

    Half time

  127. chas says:

    You’ve got me there.

  128. chas says:

    Sissoko would be great as long as he played with a firework up his jacksie in every game.

  129. chas says:

  130. LB says:

    Having one foot in the cycling world I can’t help but wonder if he has taken a little something to help his performance.

    I mean, he is a lazy arsed bastard for Newcastle most of the time.

  131. chas says:

    How’s Cav getting on?

  132. Eddie says:

    micky – nay, there would have been some natural spread and movement of people, but Africans would be in Africa, red Indians in Americas, Aborigines in Australia and Eastern Europeans in Eastern Europe πŸ™‚

    joking of course, but for all the good the explorers did they left a bloody trail wherever they went.

  133. mickydidit89 says:

    Fair point Eddie, although, mankind in general is a bloody menace

    God, I hope this game doesn’t go beyond the 90, I’m tired and will give it a swerve

  134. LBG says:

    Bacary Signs still brilliant in the air, esp for his size.
    Generally a piss poor game to end an average tournament. Roll on the excing stuff!

  135. Eddie says:

    your Renato is too tired to continue, micky. Remember when you were eyeing him? forget it, he ain’t fit for purpose

  136. fatgingergooner says:

    Would you sign Sissoko based on tonight?

  137. mickydidit89 says:

    Do people who like the technical aspect of the game actually get aroused in any way by this rubbish?

    Entertaining it is not

  138. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, night people

  139. LB says:


    There are four jerseys up for grabs in the tour de France and right now the Brits have got Froome in yellow, Cav in green and Adam Yates in White.

    There have been 9 stages so far and the Brits have won 5 of them.

    If you want to watch something good have a look at Friday night’s highlights on ITV4.

  140. JM says:

    1984: France
    1988: Netherlands
    1992: Denmark*
    1996: Germany
    2000: France
    2004: Greece*
    2008: Spain
    2012: Spain
    2016: Portugal*

    *Unlikely winners in the course of respective editions.

  141. Red Arnie says:

    sorry, hv knot bin ear. now, unwelcome distractions are out of the way, so on with it then! πŸ™‚

    Have We Bought Anyone Worthwhile Yet? πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  142. Red Arnie says:

    Chas. loved your sitar from June 23. πŸ™‚

  143. Eddie says:

    I am surprised maurinho and John Terry were not in France to celebrate. Awful result.

  144. LB says:

    New post, I had to get rid that awful title.

  145. click here says:

    stop getting older

    Arsenal, you have to be able to kill your babies. |

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