Riverside Revolution? – Player Ratings

Match Thoughts

So three at the back is less than four at the back but as we generally play with the full backs over the halfway line, three is more than two. That’s the tactical bolleaux over with.

I’ll leave more in-depth analysis to the specialists.

The first half was pretty unmemorable with both Boro and Arsenal struggling to create many meaningful chances. The referee seemed hell bent on giving the home team free kicks anywhere in Arsenal’s half for the softest of challenges as if he realised Boro needed as many opportunities as possible  to lump the ball in the box.

The one cast-iron free-kick correctly awarded was for a foul on Xhaka at the edge of the ‘D’. Thankfully, Alexis had brought his up and over boots to the game and produced a magnificent dipper which the keeper would have struggled to have got anywhere near, even if he had been able to see the ball.

The second half started in customary ‘what are you smoking at half-time?’ fashion.

Boro equalised and looked capable of going ahead. Gradually we eased our way back into it and Mesut scored with his swinger from a fine chest lay-off from Ramsey. The last 20 minutes were reasonably comfortable and hanging on to the three points was exactly what was required.

The team looked genuinely pleased to have won after a difficult run of results and the new formation had been given its baptism.


Cech– Fairly solid, though a huge upgrade on Martinez, I’m not so sure ……7

Gabriel – Gabs likes defending and maybe the back three will suit him  ……7

Koscielny – So good to have him back though Negredo gave him the slip for the equaliser ……7

Holding – Hopefully will mature into an Arsenal great. Very accomplished….8

Oxlade-Chamberlain – The Ox looked more comfortable in a middle 4 than stuck out on the flank. Involved throughout  …..8

Xhaka – Looked composed against an admittedly poor Boro side. Always looks good when a destroying DM is not really required   …..7

Ramsey – A little ponderous in the first half but grew into the game as some match sharpness returned …….7

 Monreal – Maybe Nacho will enjoy playing a role further forward without having to worry about the huge gap he’s leaving behind him as in a 4-3-3…. 7

Ozil – Ran his heart out for team and scored a really crucial goal …..7

Sanchez – Peach of a free kick. Many wasted dinks and chips into the box but one helped to produce the winning goal, so keep it up Alexis…..7

Giroud – Fought manfully (mais oui), was unlucky not to win a pen for being manhandled but should have scored with an attempted curler from one of our few clear-cut chances. …..7


Match Thoughts from FGG

Don’t Juve play 3 CB’s under Allegri? Bit of conspiracy theory for you. Maybe this was nothing to do with what Wenger wanted and with the season practically over our new manager is now influencing things! 😄

Back to reality, I feel we need a ball playing CB to really make this formation work. Mustafi is decent but another is needed aswell. I’d also like to see a new LB, hopefully the lad that’s been linked is the answer. If not then why not go for Rodriguez who were linked with in the summer? His new manager is the guy who just left us and took Ljungberg with him. Could be an easy deal to sort out. Another question is how do Ramsey and Wilshere fit into this formation? It’s been an ongoing issue for a while and I don’t think this change makes it any clearer! Fabregas has found it tough to get in the Chelsea side.

Does this formation help or hinder Giroud? It gives us more crossing opportunities based on what we saw yesterday with Ox and Monreal getting chances to put it in the box, but at the same time there will be occasions where Özil and Sanchez get into narrower positions and are looking for a run in behind. Do we still need a better CF or could Welbs or Giroud thrive.

Finally, where does this change leave Walcott? If we are to switch permanently, how can you fit him in the team?


166 Responses to Riverside Revolution? – Player Ratings

  1. Forget about Wilshere too injury prone, Walcott hasn’t got Chamberlains skill.

  2. Wolfgang says:

    I want to see these guys perform consistently . Fits and starts is the sign of apoor team.
    Btw,one swallow does not a summer make so we all shdnt be carried away. There have been too many false dawns .

  3. mickydidit89 says:

    Up and Overs, Curlers and Swingers

    That’s what I call a masterful grasp of the technicalities of association football. Bravo and thanks Chas

    Thanks also FGG

    Can’t wait to get stuck in once I’m ahead of work

  4. chas says:

  5. Rasp says:

    Thanks chas, that’s a very fair assessment of the game and the players’ performances.

    The lack of confidence is only to be expected and that did reflect in our play. But as you say, the joy at the final whistle was palpable … especially from the apparent wantaway Sanchez. Monreal, was also a very happy boy.

    I agree it is too early to judge this system and there is no guarantee AW will stick with it, but like you, I thought Holding did well and I’d like to see us continue with the experiment. City will be several levels above boro’ but they have their problems too, so bring it on I say 🙂

  6. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Chas (and FGG’s thoughts). Chas you actually hit the nail on the head in succinct fashion when you state that 3 at the back is more than 2 with our FB’s over the half way line. Now for some more specialist in depth analysis 🙂

    I also agree with much of what FGG said with a couple of differences and twists.

    The way Arsene likes the FB’s to give advanced width means teams often break on us as a back 2. A back 3 allows one CD to move across to meet the danger with 2 CD’s still in place rather than 1.

    When defending a counter attack the holding midfielder and wing back on the other side need to be switched on to drop into uncovered defensive areas and watch for their runners from deep. That way we keep solid and it still allows us to keep at least 3 players in advanced positions so we can move the ball out again once we have successfully defended a situation.

    This still obviously requires some basic defensive duties to be performed correctly from crosses in open play and set pieces. Still much work to be done there and I feel a commanding CB is more required than a ball playing one. Any of our CB’s are capable enough of finding the players in front of them to move the ball out I feel and that is not our main issue.

    Having called for a switch to a back 3 I don’t want to sound like a spoilt never happy kind of dude but I still think it didn’t quite work last night, and would prefer to see it set up differently but still with a back 3. I think Chelsea have the players to suit a 3-4-3 but our players currently (summer recruitment’s not withstanding) I feel would suit more a 3-5-2.

    No-one did a bad job but looking at it critically Ollie didn’t feel right to me in the system, neither did Monreal, and on paper it means Ozil became the right sided player in the front 3, where I feel it is important to have a system that gives him a free role from central but going where he wants.

    Firstly Costa is more effective than Ollie as a lone striker. He brings everything to the table that Ollie has in physicality and goal-scoring but is more mobile and happy to work the wide channels. This allows him to move laterally and receive balls into those channels and hold it up, becoming more a link player at times, and thus allows the 2 wing forwards to angle in on goal. Ollie simply can’t give us this mobility and ability in the wide areas regularly or effectively so it doesn’t quite work for me.

    Ollie with another more mobile forward happy to work laterally and deeper (Alexis or Welbeck) could work but in reality I think we are better playing with 2 mobile CF’s who are both equally happy in the box, out wide and deeper (Alexis and Danny). Playing the 2 of them would allow for them to alternate and dovetail off each other becoming the main CF or the supply forward at different times. They can also provide that extra outlet for balls into advanced wide areas.

    Rather than them being attacking wide players that can go centrally I would have them as CF’s that can move wide, if that makes sense. Just changes the balance slightly on how and where they effect the game.

    In the 3-5-2 we can then have 3 CM’s. One would be a more disciplined HM (maybe Le Coq), one could be a complete free creative / ACM free of certain defensive duties (maybe Ozil) and the other someone in between in more a box to box role (Ramsey, Xhaka, Elneny, Cazorla, Wilshere).

    The other key is the wide players or wing backs. Bellerin is fine on the right and AOC looked pretty good, but on the left I don’t feel Monreal is right for either the 3-4-3 or 3-5-2. Gibbs I am not sure about.

    One option would be to play the Ox down the left with Bellerin right so we get 2 speed merchants both good in attack but who will both cover some defensive duties when needed. Not sure how the Ox will work on the left but I think he has the capabilities to make it work, and with the added stability of the back 3 with a HM and box to box DM in front, it means these 2 can play more in advanced wide positions than in deeper wide positions with us less exposed to the counter-attack.

    Just my tuppence worth 🙂

    off for a bit, see you later

  7. Very good read. The relief after that win was unbelievable. On to the Cup game at the weekend now, fingers crossed we pull it out of the bag!

  8. GunnerN5 says:

    Thanks Chas,

    I felt that Ozil, Sanchez and Ox ran the show and were worth an 8 Ramsey was not far behind and looks like he is getting back to his best level.

    The back 3 looked a tad awkward at first and a better team would have taken advantage of that in the opening 15 minutes so experimenting with it against Boro made good sense and I applaud AW for showing some flexibility. However it may not be the way to go on Sunday as Man C will be a different kettle of fish to contend with.

    On Sunday my son is traveling with me to be among a pub full of avid Gooners to watch the semi final – it’s about a 450 mile round trip but will be well worth it to spend a few hours among a group of old friends. Our old pub “The Mad Hatter” closed down so the guy’s took over another great pub that has happily assigned a large area for the exclusive use of Arsenal supporters on game day.

  9. Big Raddy says:

    Thank you Chas and FGG,

    Just seen the extended highlights and I enjoyed the game.

    Not sure the experiment worked and we looked worryingly uncertain on defensive crosses. That said, Downing’s cross was superb and almost impossible to defend against.

    I liked Holding’s assured performance, and both Ramsey and Ox played better than in recent games. Ramsey was chosen as MotM by the Danish pundits.

    Referee Taylor was, as always, poor. How some of the Boro miscreants stayed on the pitch is a mystery, and once again, a clear penalty (for us) was not given.

    I wonder why Coquelin was not given the Monreal role?

  10. Aaron says:

    As noted by other comments thanks to those above.

    One thing that nobody has truly mentioned was the pitch. Man, that was one slippery banana. (Both)

    It did not allow for quick movements on the front foot, and on the backfoot one mostly slipped and was left behind.

    This happened all game long. With the rain, it must have been treacherous to play on as a defender, especially one on an Arsenal side lacking in confidence, clean sheets and wins on the road.

    One mistake and one was left out to dry. No easy task playing yesterday.

    Will say this too, Downing was zipping in those crosses with pace and very good placement, can one say De Bruyne…..

    Oh, and Kompany will be back for $h*tty this weekend. grrrr.

    Go Gunners.

  11. fatgingergooner says:

    There is an issue with playing Sanchez as a striker and it’s that he loves to be on the ball and influence the game. Wenger mentioned this recently aswell so it’s still an issue we have. If we are going to play 3 at the back then this does limit Sanchez to the role he played yesterday as he’s certainly not a wing back and he doesn’t want to/Wenger doesn’t want him to play CF.

    If we can find a more mobile striker (Gabiadini looks quality for southampton) or Welbeck becomes reliable, and we get a mobile CM who can cover the ground and break up play (Gueye at Everton and Romeu at Southampton have excellent seasons) then I think Özil and Sanchez could both thrive in the formation as 2 AM’s with little defensive responsibility. It would allow them to use their energy in the right way and give them freedom to influence the game. It’s what they are paid for and it’s what we want them to do. I’d rather have Özil doing nothing in defence but making plenty of goals.

  12. Cheers lads.

    Frustration? Yes frustration. We badly needed that win. Arsene is frustrated with players performance, players are frustrated with themselves, fans are frustrated with everybody, and even worse, Totnumb Twats are not frustrated.

    Anyone not understanding the above, seek out a married man with a young family for an explanation.

    Bearing everything in mind, I don’t think 3 at the back particularly suits our current crop of players. However, I intend to start my own business mentoring and showing sexually frustrated men that playing a 352 formation will guarantee lots of scoring and an end to clean sheets.

  13. mickydidit89 says:

    I’d play Elneny instead of Ramsey against City and the two in front would be Ox and Mesut with Sanchez striker.
    Obviously Bell comes in for the promoted Ox.

    So there

    ………Mesut Ox
    Mon Xhak Elneny Bell
    …..Holding Kos Gab

  14. mickydidit89 says:

    Oooops, just read FGG’s comment about Sanchez the striker

    Yes, he does wander about, so a firm word beforehand with Arsene showing him a picture on his mobile of the Sanchez dogs and the words “we know where they live”

  15. Eddie says:

    thanks guys, nice summary of the game, I guess so anyway 🙂 I am afraid I switched off when Boro equilized. not sure why but I have completely lost belief in the team. A couple of seasons ago I would have watched till the cameramen switched off, now I am not too bothered. Probably because there is nothing to fight for anymore. I am a competitive animal and love a good fight, so as much as I admire the spirit in the team displayed yesterday, I find it difficult to join in.

    Ox worries me. I remember Nasri playing like he never did before the season he moved up north. Is Ox on a way out?

  16. mickydidit89 says:


    So log as The Ox doesn’t get the captains armband, he’s ok. Staying.

  17. mickydidit89 says:


    If the worst happens and we end up playing on Spursdays, a group of us chaps are taking up pilates. Interested?

  18. Eddie says:

    Transplant joins the pilates group I quit. I wouldn’t feel comfortable to do any bend overs

    Do you think Wenger will give him the armband to keep him? No no no, I’d rather he went.

  19. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh right, Eddie, and yet you’d be perfectly happy to do bend overs with Chas sitting in the back row wearing dark glasses?

  20. mickydidit89 says:

    No Eddie
    Captains armband and you’re a gonna

  21. Why not Micky. I often attend classes to wind up the other participants. On a cooking class I turned up with a Tesco ready made and demanded access to a microwave. I am also a member of a slimming group. You have to introduce yourself at those so when it was my turn I stood up and “Hello, I’m Terry and of normal weight”

    The Pilates sounds good. Been a failed Limbo dancer I intend to turn up and remain upright.

  22. mickydidit89 says:

    Uptight is how they like it

  23. Eddie says:

    no micky, I thought it was just you and I in the group 🙂

    if Ox doesn’t get the armband and stays, then he probably is genuinely good player rather than an arsehole I think he might be

  24. mickydidit89 says:

    Oooo I say Eddie. Am I allowed in the back row with shades on?

    I promise to stay on my mat for as long as possible

  25. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, must go. Music practice.

  26. Be careful Micky. I was once thrown out of a Zumba class after it was discovered I had a camera down my shorts.

    Why would Chamberlin leave Eddie? The young fool is at the greatest club in the world

  27. Big Raddy says:

    Music practice, Well played Didit. Slowly slowly catchee monkey

    AW rates Ox, let’s see him rewarded with a big contract.

  28. Big Raddy says:

    Terry. Zumba is for middle aged folk looking for love (or a quickie)

  29. Not in my case Raddy. There was a couple of other guys at the class but when I turned up the female instructor took one look at me and proclaimed “Not you”

    I got into a heated debate with her but was quickly ushered out after my Polaroid kept going off emanating unwanted flashes.

  30. Right, I’m off. Once started my innuendos know no bounds.

    Besides, I’ve got a keep fit class to go to. Laters

  31. GoonerB says:

    Terry’s 7.15 ROLF.

    On a more football related note and in reply to FGG earlier. I saw that mention by AW about Sanchez wanting to get on the ball more and not favouring the strikers role as well. That is why I felt the 3-5-2 could work. If he was the more free roaming or deeper of the front 2 we get the best of both worlds. He and Ozil would end up as free central players where they can hurt teams.

  32. chas says:

  33. chas says:

  34. mickydidit89 says:

    Where’s the Scottish woman’s bus? 🙂

    Aaaaaaand, good morning all

    Chas, is a banner being made or is that just for finals?

  35. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    8.44. Such grace for a big man.

    6.24. Love it. So surreal, particularly the chaps in the background

  36. mickydidit89 says:


    6:24 I was thinking a still from Life of Brian filming although I know it’s not

  37. chas says:

    I thought it was just for Finals but this is in a Reading Semi-Final album. 🙂

  38. mickydidit89 says:

    Is it Ant that makes them or a tteam effort?

  39. chas says:

    It’s Jon.

  40. chas says:

    The still is from the filming of Caligula apparently

  41. mickydidit89 says:

    oh ok, nice

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Wish I knew how to get photos from my Mac onto the site…

    Caligula – fine scene with a younger Helen Mirren

  43. Big Raddy says:

    What is the young lady with the pert behind in front of?

  44. chas says:

    On an Ipad, you hold down on the photo to get a menu.
    With a Mac, wouldn’t it be left click on the photo?

  45. chas says:

    Just googled

    Move your mouse over the image and Ctrl-click on the link.
    Select Copy image address from the option that displays

  46. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks chas. I will give it a try

  47. Big Raddy says:

    That didn’t work, did it 😦

  48. Eddie says:

    the disappointment on Vardy’s face says it all – he has ACTUALLY believed they could win the CL 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Fair plaiy to them though, they did extremely well

    Bayern out, good riddance.

  49. Eddie says:

    and what’s that with the general election in June?? Does T May hope the Conservatives should lose? I couldn’t blame her

  50. Big Raddy says:

    Morning Eddie,

    Because she knows the opposition is in complete disarray. Clever move but awful for the country (IMO)

  51. Eddie says:

    raddy – I cannot make head or tails of her decision, very strange.

    Raddy – being across the water you might not know what is happening in UK. There is something amazing going on and you as a therapist should be excited – mental health issues stop being a taboo. Royal princess joined in the campaign, there is going to be a subject in school on the topic, celebrities are opening up – I am sooooo pleased!!! lots of people will come out and seek help instead of living horror in their sick heads. I am very proud of Britain

  52. Eddie says:

    not princess, princes

  53. Big Raddy says:


  54. chas says:

    That’s an address on your Mac.
    It needs to be an address on the internet.
    i.e photobucket, twitter or even wordpress.

  55. Big Raddy says:

    Mmmm That didn’t work either.

    Eddie. That is good to hear.

  56. chas says:

    As BR says, the election decision is a no-brainer.
    There is no credible opposition at the moment so the government can’t lose and it will make it seem as though they have a mandate for all the crap to follow.

  57. mickydidit89 says:

    There’s a terrible sense of deja-vu about Erik’s attempt to interpret the Chas instructions

  58. Big Raddy says:

    Said it. I will find a Young Person and they can show me

  59. mickydidit89 says:


    If you don’t use facebook or twitter you’re buggered

  60. chas says:

    But the link must end in .jpg or .png.
    NOT w=675 or some such formatting shite.

    Is this familiar Micky? 😆

  61. chas says:

    BR uses WordPress and loads up photos.
    So, ner ner ner ner ner.

  62. mickydidit89 says:

    Yes, but I don’t see where you’re going

  63. chas says:

    In the Kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

  64. chas says:

    Click on Kelsey’s banner photo and you’ll see where it’s stored.

  65. mickydidit89 says:


    Still don’t understand, but make no mistake, I’d love Erik to be able to upload photos. Bet he’s got some stonkers.

    I mean, he’s got a grown up camera and shit

  66. chas says:

    I’m intrigued by what’s in photo /Users/phil/Pictures/P1060076.jpg

  67. chas says:

    If BR loads them into WordPress, he can reference them from there.

  68. mickydidit89 says:

    clicked on it, and hey presto, there’s his banner again


  69. Eddie says:

    /users/phil 🙂 🙂
    Raddy you are on a right track – the users/phil is on the hard drive of your computer. Now you need to get it floating on the internet. to do so you copy a photo from the hard drive and paste into a twitter or FB, Now your photo is on the web, you can copy it and paste on wordpress

  70. Big Raddy says:

    chas. That is exactly what I think. Anyone who isn’t full of money is in for a very tough ride as the Tories continue to divide and destroy the fabric of the country.

    NHS? Forget it. Lies about funding, Doctors and nurses desperate for help and leaving the NHS in swathes. (BTW Eddie …. the Prince can afford to pay for his treatment, where to the rest go?)

    Meanwhile the wealthy flourish on low tax rates and rising house prices .

    But that is enough of UK politics from an ex-pat hippy socialist

  71. Big Raddy says:

    chas. It is a photo of Charles De Gaulle’s bum.

  72. chas says:

    What does the address of the photo say at the top, Micky?

  73. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Tried the wordpress thing,( edited a comment and then tried to drag and drop).

    A Young Person is the only solution

  74. chas says:

    How big?

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha ha Erik’s given up and has reverted to the traditional method of describing his pictures with words 🙂 🙂

  76. chas says:

    I meant the Media section (just under Posts) in WP admin, then ‘Add new’.

  77. Eddie says:

    Raddy – I can tell you when the mentally ill go on NHS. I go to a horrid place where the doctor changes every year in May, a new one arrives usually from Africa or Greece/Turkey. Very good and very young doctors here to practice their English.
    I was moved on to a team that is supposed to help me with reaching goals. I told a young fat woman I have no goals deliberately so I cannot fail and despair. So she found me a goal – perhaps I could go to a gym and lose some weight. Bitch!! That made me feel 100% better

    I can honestly say that mental health on NHS is rubbish rubbish rubbish. Mind you I went privately too – the psychiatrist was madder than me. He used to play solitaire on his PC and was shouting through the door to wait a minute because he was busy 🙂

  78. chas says:

    So is the Pilates to help you firm up?

  79. Big Raddy says:

    Nope. Works in a way ….

    I give up. Words are better

  80. chas says:

    Have you seen Tony Soprano’s sessions with the shrink in The Sopranos. You’d love them.

  81. chas says:

    You forgot to chop off the formatting shite at the end so that the link ends in .jpg or .png.

  82. mickydidit89 says:

    My solution to despair over politicians, psychiatrists and everyone else for that matter is to understand that 99% of people are selfish good for nothing turds
    Very occasionally I’m pleasantly surprised

  83. chas says:

    i.e. paste the link, delete ?ssl=1&w=450 from the end and bingo.

  84. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. There his good and bad in all professions..

    When I was in training I was sent to offer therapy at a doctor’s clinic in order to get practical experience. The doctor would prescribe 6 sessions for a patient with me – a student! Goodness knows how much damage I could and probably did do.

    The system still exists.

  85. Big Raddy says:

    Get in ……

    Thanks chas

  86. chas says:

    I’d imagine a fair amount of the despair is over one’s own behaviour.

    So admitting that 99% of what you do is motivated by selfish, good for nothing reasons isn’t really going to help.

  87. Eddie says:

    ha ha ha, all very funny 🙂

    The solitaire shrink sent me to a private therapist. She was yet another arrogant fat young woman charging £200 per hour and was always fully booked. I told her about my problems and she suggested I imagine they are all clouds and simply drift away. I very nearly punched her on her fat head and walked off

    The best one was Dr Emanuel from Nigeria, really good doctor, but with poor stomach. He farted so much I couldn’t go to his stinking sessions

  88. Eddie says:

    well done Raddy and chas!!!! but raddy, why did you want to post this photo???

    chas – spot on. you should quit the qym and become a therapist 🙂

  89. mickydidit89 says:


    More pics please Erik

  90. chas says:

    You should write a book. 🙂
    Love the farting Nigerian and the thought of you punching Dolly Daydream’s fat head.

  91. mickydidit89 says:


    You’re good at spin 🙂

  92. chas says:

    Haha, Micky, I would be astonished if you’ve ever had one moment of self-doubt in your whole life.

    Apart from when you were off your tits of course. 😆

  93. Big Raddy says:

    Farting is one of the therapists most vital tools. It separates those who really want therapy from those who are selfish good for nothing turds 😀

  94. chas says:

    Looking forward to seeing a smorgasbord of proper photos now you’re up and running.
    Especially since you’ve “got a grown up camera and shit”. 🙂

    Must go, great fun chatting, cheers.

  95. mickydidit89 says:

    Excellent morning session

    Right, Theo through the middle anyone? 🙂

  96. mickydidit89 says:


    An excellent Chas and FGG footbally post. About 30 comments
    Utter morning rubbish. About 70 comments

    Just as it should be

  97. Big Raddy says:

    Great chatting this morning, back later

  98. RC78 says:

    1. Monreal and Gabriel shall not play for AFC….they are so weak
    2. 3-4-3 does not suit our squad, we have to play 3-5-2 if we play with a back 3
    3. Holding is showing promise
    4. AW said the back 3 was temporary
    5. Sanchez is a star – would be a huge loss
    6. Ox has the engine to play WB
    7. Kos and Ramsey need a bit of match sharpness
    8. Here is my 3-5-2:

    Cech – Mustafi, Kos, Holding – Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, El Neny, Ox – Giroud (Or Wellbeck), Sanchez

    Yes yes yes – Ozil is out of the squad because he can only give his full measure in a 4-4-2 or a 4-4-1-1. I love the player but to get the best out of him, you need a special system that requires certain type of players, which we do not have…

  99. RC78 says:

    By the way – am hoping that Le Pen does not win in France so that I can really make some comments about Theresa May and the decline of the UK a leading force in the global arena

  100. GoonerB says:

    Is footy talk safe now? 🙂

    Hi RC. I agree with most of your sentiments because I have advocated the 3-5-2 rather than the 3-4-3 myself.

    Looking at our wide players they aren’t wide players in the traditional sense. Our FB’s are part FB part wing back part winger. Our wingers are part winger part wing-forward. I think the 3-5-2 allows for 1 hybrid wide player on each flank that is a bit of all these and I would plump for the good engines and pace of Bellerin right and Ox left.

    The other beauty of the 3-5-2 with the players we have is that it accommodates more of the CM players that Arsene has been collecting and developing like they are going out of fashion. Where I therefore disagree with you is that I feel the 3-5-2 perfectly accommodates Ozil more so than any other system.

    With 2 CM’s deeper than him and 2 forwards and 2 wing backs to find ahead and to the side of him he ends up in his best creative position with fewer defensive responsibilities. He doesn’t quite score enough as the number 10 (or most advanced central player just behind the striker if you wish), so if Sanchez takes that role instead with Ozil in behind him but in front of another CM 2 it gives Ozil a complete free CM role to roam and influence the game where he wants.

  101. GoonerB says:

    RC, I really don’t know how Brexit will work out for the U.K. There seem to be so many pro’s and cons for both arguments that it is impossible to predict how the U.K will end up some years down the line. Even top economists can’t agree so what hope do we all have.

    Will we be weakened on the global stage with the EU block ending up a stronger world entity?

    Will we become a more powerful global entity while the EU fades and weakens itself?

    Will the EU be in some trouble instead of or as well as the UK and is forced into such wholesale changes that it is almost started again in a way that is more palatable to the people of the UK and other disenfranchised people of Europe therefore forming a new improved EU with the UK in it?

    I don’t think anyone can know where this one will go yet.

  102. RC78 says:

    The cost of Brexit is huge for the UK…

    First of all – in customs duties, which will impact the cost of goods so ultimately, the citizen/consumer loses…

    Secondly – you have to carry out a huge legal reform that will make a lot of Tory Law Firms very happy

    Thirdly – you will not get a deal as sweet as you have now and you will not get a deal like Norway/Switzerland so you are going to be worse off

    Fourth – leaving the EU also has a cost in terms of influencing global policy

    The problem is not the EU (although it does need a reform) – the problem is that our politicians blame the EU for national problems, which is not accurate or fair. All decisions are voted upon by our representatives in the EU so to say that “Brussels is imposing” is just factually wrong.

    If the UK welcomed hundreds of thousands of Poles and Lithuanians, it can only blame itself. Indeed, all Members (EXCEPT THE UK) applied the rule that prevents new EU-Members to come directly to work in “our” countries for a certain period of time (I think it is 5 years). So of course, you ended up with a “flood” of Central Europeans and Slavs (Baltic states) but you opened the gates willingly…That said – they heavily contribute to the local economy and taxes and it is proven that they contribute more than they take away from the UK system…

    Your NHS is not overstrateched because of immigration from the EU. It is overstretched because of Tory politics that have seen cuts in the budget and staff but also has seen access to some medical care move from public to private sector. If anything, EU citizens constitute a 1/3 of the NHS workforce – if they leave, would the UK citizens be able to fill in the gap (cleaning, nursing, doctos) in terms of competencies and will it cost less?

    Anyways – this is my 2cents…

    Glory to the Gunners and still not convinced that Ozil would do well in a 3-5-2 🙂

  103. Big Raddy says:

    GB & RC. Interesting. I agree about the wingback.

    If we go 3 at the back I think Walcott’s days are numbered as he is not a striker nor a wing back. As RC says. neither is Ozil. Nor is Iwobi but at least he is improving defensively. Monreal is not good enough to play the W/B role but may fit in as one of the 3 CB’s.

    Welbz or OG upfront with Sanchez flitting about behind. Could work

  104. Big Raddy says:

    RC. A fine and valuable 2 cents 😀

  105. Wait a minute 78? Have you been to Athens recently?

    Does anyone recall that old 1930s footage of some Gerry wheeling that 1000000000000 marks in a wheelbarrow only to find that when he got to the iceream van Mr Von Whippy had added a zero to the price? Well, Greece is nothing like that, they can’t afford the wheelbarrow.

    I was shocked at the poverty. Good upstanding Greeks can no longer afford a Mistress and Pork Souvlaki consumption has reduced by 30%. This in turn has angered Doctors who are making less money from cardiac arrests.

    The Germans run the show. They know Greece can’t pay back its debts but are strangling the country in order to control it. There also jealous because we know how to pull women and smash plates.

    Greece is a small country and has always been pushed about by the big powers but Britain does not want to be subordinate to the Germans. That’s there choice, and that choice should be respected.

  106. mickydidit89 says:

    Bang on Transplant.

    Have you gone mad?

    You rightly go on about the years of shoehorning and you want to move one of our most effective players, Mr Ox, out to the left wing!

    My view is that wherever a Santi would fit into whatever system we’re talking about, then that’s where The Ox should go.

  107. RC78 says:


    If it were not for the EU, Greece would have already defaulted and would be in an even bigger mess than let us say Zimbabwe in terms of inflation. It would have resulted in civil unrest.

    Through the European Central Bank and the European solidarity mechanism, Greece is not sinking to an abysmall depth and debt! As a creditor, I think that the ECB is in its right to demand guarantees from Greece.

    I am a big fan of Greece and admire not only the history but also the landscapes and culture (including amazing food) of this wonderful country but it has been managed poorly and the Greek citizens are suffering because of the laxism of their political elite. I hope that this situation would have been a big wake up call for the youth of Greece.

    IMHO – the EU should allow Members to pull-out of the EU for a few years to sort their finances out as per the EU standards. The EU could provide some help but I am not 100% sure that it is fair on the Dutch, Swedes or Germans to support failing government. HOWEVER – the EU has the solidarity principle at its core and this is proving to be a lifesaver again and again (Portugal, Ireland, Italy…).

  108. RC78 says:

    Micky – in my system, Cazorla replaces El Neny and yes, Ox to the left as WB 🙂

  109. 78, You know nothing of Souvlaki.

    Greece didn’t lie, the big global powers and financial institutions did it for them.

    Athens is full of beggars, people living rough, and some men can’t even afford to get a bird.

    You mention the youth of Greece. It’s been a wake up call for them all right. 50% are unemployed and loads are leaving the country to find work…..and probably a bird.

    What European solidarity? The whole thing is run by the Germans. The Euro suits them because it effectively devalues there currency. Greeces debt is great for them. They go round snapping up all the Greek assets on the cheap and effectively have the Greek government in there pocket. Merkel started the refugee trail without consorting with her European lackeys err “partners” and now Greece has become a dumping ground for these poor souls. And, she didn’t do it for humane reasons, it was because Germany has a demographic problem.

    Your notions on the European project bear no reality to what the Greek people are enduring 78. It’s not a recession, it’s a depression.

    But your a good lad, so I forgive you.

  110. And i’m not anti German, ive slept with a couple of German birds. One was really lovely and I even considered marrying her, but pulled out when she refused to give me an interest free loan.

  111. RC78 says:

    TM – I understand the tough situation in Greece and I really have a lot of compassion for the Greek people. I think it is a disgrace what happened there but I am not sure the situation is a result of the EU or of the EURO. The way it is handled may not be the best but what is there was no EU or EURO?

  112. GoonerB says:

    How could she refuse Terry? Did you not show her your wheelbarrow? Surely if you had she would have realised that you were a Greek man of some means and affluence and she could have used the wheelbarrow as collateral on your interest free loan.

    Just think how happily married you could have been now running around with lots of mini Mancinis all of you donned in Lederhosen singing Julie Andrews songs.

  113. mickydidit89 says:

    Sorry RC, but Transplant is right.

    The Troica conveniently bent the rules to allow the Greeks in. One aim, lend them money they couldn’t afford and then screw them.

    Many people continue to make a fortune out of Greek debt and misery. It’s disgusting and corrupt

  114. mickydidit89 says:

    GB, GB, GB, The Ox. Shoehorning? 🙂

  115. GoonerB says:

    Micky, I am mad, forget about the inference it may have happened recently. Anyway shoe-horning is a no for me but where the Ox is concerned I don’t feel a regular best position is yet established. There have been plenty of iffy games from the right flank as well so I am not sold it is his best position just yet.

    I do feel he has been played in too many positions in recent times without allowing him to settle and improve in one. However, I have also mentioned a few times that I feel his best role could be from the left if given some playing time there. I have seen him play there to good effect a few times and I like that he has a good shot off his right peg cutting in but could also take on defenders on the outside.

    One of his best early games was against Man Utd where he played Sanchez current role and he tore their full back a new one. The poor fellow didn’t know whether Ox was going outside or inside him. I see it as an option to be tried particularly as we have another good option on the right in Bellerin but no great option from the left. He could be a revelation there. Worth a try me thinks.

  116. Eddie says:

    Terry – same with Poland. Majority of the businesses there are owed now by the Germans. Very efficiently run indeed. This time they have learnt to take over Europe without firing a single shot. We are facing a humourless world

  117. chas mobile says:


  118. GoonerB says:

    I think Chas is the one who has gone mad Micky with that manic laugh comment 🙂

  119. chas says:

  120. Big Raddy says:

    Forgot how brilliant Tony S was.

  121. mickydidit89 says:


    That dog has style

    Thinking of Sopranos, we’ve signed up to Netflix. Now need a box set. Weirdly, four of settled into Breaking Bad, and all hated it. We never ALL agree on anything, and that on top of the fact I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t think it’s the swingers

  122. mickydidit89 says:


  123. Big Raddy says:

    Micky, You have met someone who doesn’t think BB is the swingers 😀

  124. mickydidit89 says:

    I did think you’d have liked my formation yesterday with Ox and Mesut behind Sanchez

    Mind you, while I like playing formations, I’ve a sneaky feeling AW will revert to a back four v City.

  125. mickydidit89 says:

    More Erik

  126. Rasp says:

    Micky … the first series of True Detective is good …. but not one to watch with the kids. I loved The Sopranos …. one of the few series where the last episode was really good

  127. GunnerN5 says:

    Bournemouth have confirmed Jack Wilshere will miss the rest of the season with a broken leg.

    The midfielder, who has been on a season-long loan from Arsenal, suffered a hairline fracture of his left fibula in the second half of Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

    Wilshere will now undergo further assessments. He suffered the injury after a collision with Harry Kane in the second half and left White Hart Lane on crutches and wearing a protective boot on his left foot.
    Champions League,Today, 14:45pm
    Barcelona v Juventus
    £10 Free Bet, No Deposit Needed

    He will miss the remaining five Premier League games of the season against Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Stoke City, Burnley and Leicester City.
    Oops! Remember you need to log in using your Sky iD to watch Premier League video
    Spurs 4-0 Bournemouth
    Spurs 4-0 Bournemouth

    Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe said it was a “big blow” to lose the midfielder.

    “We have loved working with him since he arrived at the club last August,” he said.

    “He has made a huge contribution to our season, both on and off the pitch.
    The Sunday Supplement panel discuss Jack Wilshere’s future and whether Bournemouth expected more from the midfielder.
    The Sunday Supplement panel discuss Jack Wilshere’s future and whether Bournemouth expected more from the midfielder.

    “We wish him a quick recovery and thank him for his effort and professionalism while he was with us.”

    The England international has made 27 league appearances for the Cherries this season after an injury-ravaged time at Arsenal.

    The spell on the sidelines comes at a bad time as he is due to enter contract talks with his parent club, with his current deal running until the end of the season.

  128. No problem at all 78, I respect your opinion. I actually voted to stay in. Arsene said it was a good idea.

    GB, True story. when I was kid I once made the terrible mistake of saying to my mum can’t you be more like Julie Andrews, sing me songs and stop beating me with a frying pan? She bought a bigger frying pan.

    Terrible news about Jack GN5. That could be the end of him?

  129. Big Raddy says:

    JW 😦 Horrible news .

    Why didn’t AW sign Ronaldo. 5 goals in two games vs BM. The man is possibly the best ever

  130. mickydidit89 says:

    Because of the hair products, Erik.

  131. Big Raddy says:

    Had to be a good reason

  132. Big Raddy says:

    Barca or Monaco? Tough decision

  133. mickydidit89 says:

    Just seen Monaco already 2 up, so Barca Juve

  134. mickydidit89 says:

    Juve looked tough at the back for all of the three minutes I caught

  135. Big Raddy says:

    Italy or Spain. Easy choice.

    France or Germany. Same.

  136. mickydidit89 says:

    Mmmm, not really France are they.
    I’d go for Dortmund and Juve

  137. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey Erik
    Don’t you think Dybala looks like a Subbuteo player

  138. chas says:

  139. chas says:

  140. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh God, shortly Erik will rock up and casually start uploading pics as well like it’s easy and normal

  141. mickydidit89 says:

    I could do my one trick of dotty the dog in car 🙂

  142. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey Chas

    That deer pic. My mate Wiff Waff is a forester and in his woods at the moment is a white stag (basically, a red deer with pigment mutation. Not an albino as it has brown not red eyes)

    Anyway, we’re there for a bbq Friday evening and I’m going out with my phone to try and take a pic.

  143. Eddie says:

    if united win the Europa cup only top 3 will play in CL
    looks like Thursday night footy whichever way we look at it

  144. Eddie says:

    Dybala has a polish name and a polish passport. Good lad 🙂

  145. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    6.44, Didit with the twins?

  146. Eddie says:

    raddy honestly 🙂

    Frenchie on the skate board is just like the ones Kyle Walker has. Lazy bastard NEVER walks them, it is always either a dog walker or his partner

  147. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. What do you expect. The man is Spurs.

    Can’t imagine Alexis getting a dog-walker

  148. Eddie says:

    good point raddy

  149. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post

  150. self help books in hindi

    Riverside Revolution?

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