Academy of Football. Moyes?

The Hammers. Blowing bubbles. The Academy. Bobby, Geoff and Martin. Trevor’s header at Wembley.

All a long time ago. Nothing remains of that West Ham. Now they are just another industrious, unimaginative team. Allardyce and Moyes. Pragmatism. Andy Carroll.


This doesn’t mean they cannot beat us, as they showed at the weekend such tactics can work. Any team under the harsh stare of Hawkeye Moyes will be difficult to beat especially if the opposition is not capable of winning a physical battle.

WHU have a player in their midst whom I detest. as does Debuchy – Arnautovic, who was the miscreant whose cowardly attack put Debuchy onto the treatment bench for months. Unfortunately this miscreant has talent and will be a threat to our defence.

They also have a fine GK in Adrian, and it is a mystery why WHU bought Hart. I expect him to be busy tonight.

Thinking of which, will BFG get another game? He was poor at S’ton, though not deserving of the insults from Goonerdom. Have they forgotten that this is our  Club Captain, a proper Arsenal man and a likely future manager? Or that BFG, only 6 months ago, led his team to the FAC victory? I detest the short-termism of some of our fans.

My Team


Holding    Koscielny    Monreal

Bellerin    Wilshire    Xhaka     Kolasinac


Lacazette    Sanchez

I have picked Wilshire but, given this is away fixture, would not be surprised to see wither Coquelin or Elneny with Xhaka pushed further forward into his natural position.

Our away form has been awful, it needs to change. We have to beat teams in the lower half of the table in order to maintain our challenge. A win a home and a draw is no longer good enough.

We have the players, we have the depth of squad, there can be no excuses. That said, away at WHU is always a difficult game, should be an interesting night


99 Responses to Academy of Football. Moyes?

  1. Red Arnie says:

    Thank you, Raddy. 🙂

    Are we playing again already? Oh dear! They come thick and fast at this time of the year, dont they!

    Should win. Must win?


  2. Red Arnie says:

    First? Good. 🙂

  3. Red Arnie says:

    Thank you Micky. 🙂 apols knot ear earlier. such is life!

  4. Red Arnie says:

    Will be in London on Saturday. But will miss the game. Work! Gutted!

  5. Red Arnie says:

    “I detest the short-termism of some of our fans.” I would like the sin-bin treatment of Mustafi, if it is indeed that, to continue as long as necessary to make him really hungry for the game.

    Poor passes from deep defence is indefensible!

  6. RC78 says:

    For this game – we need grit and we need aerial strength and we need a spark as well

    Here is my squad:
    Cech – Bellerin, BFG, Kos, Koli – Xhaka, Coquelin, Wilshere – Ramsey, Sanchez – Giroud

    This team will see us through this game with a win and we can then count on Ozil, Lacazette, Wellbeck and Walcott to bring in some pace, magic and danger int he box

    Forget the 3-4-3 away – it is not working

  7. RC78 says:

    WHU has quality players:
    Adrian – Arnautovic – Sakho – Caroll – Antonio – Fonte – Ayew – Zabaleta – Lanzini

    so let us know underestimate their squad

  8. RC78 says:

    We need more goals from Sanchez, especially away and we need more assists from Bellerin

    One player that is still costing us point is Xhaka but unfortunately, El Neny is not raising to the challenge to steal Xhaka’s position

  9. GunnerN5 says:

    Great PM Raddy, It’s a sensible 3:00 KO time today so I will indulge in a sandwich of black forest ham, old cheddar cheese and tomato with some Dijon mustard on fresh Italian bread – washed down with a bottle of Australian red. Oh and I will enjoy the game irrespective of the result.

  10. RC78 says:

    no ramsey 😦 ozil or El Neny then. El Neny can come in and we push Wilshere up or we play Ozil from the start

  11. Big Raddy says:

    RC. No doubt WHU have some very good players, but be honest, how many of teose players would get into our first team?

    IMO. None.

  12. mickydidit89 says:

    Hope you enjoy the game all.

    Let’s pray they make the fatal mistake of trying to play open, attractive, attacking football, as then we’ll thrash them

  13. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Enjoy your crypto party.

  14. Red Arnie says:

    “crypto party”? 🙂

  15. GoonerB says:

    Cheers Raddy. Just hoping for a good winning run, with convincing rather than nervy tight wins, to commence from tonight.

  16. mickydidit89 says:

    Erik arnie
    Yes crypto xmas do
    Just arrived
    Me Pete Ian The other bloke And Dillon
    Dillon is a quantum maths PhD
    No me neither 😀

  17. mickydidit89 says:

    Have never understood a single word he’s ever said. Still bloody love him and his spectacular sense of dress
    He’s in charge of security
    Want a hacker he’s your man
    Want an online guided tour of top secret pentagon access denied areas
    He’s your man
    Just killing time to get team news then I’ll go in for me tinsel and gravy meal

  18. mickydidit89 says:

    Bollocks 8pm ko
    Can someone post team at 8:01 chas 😀

  19. chas says:

    Cheers, BR
    Up The Arse

  20. Big Raddy says:

    Is this a 4-4-2 team? Is Maitland Niles a FB?

    OG makes sense against a team who will hit long balls and rely upon a set play goal.


  21. LB says:

    Is this MN’s first, first team start?

  22. Big Raddy says:

    I simply cannot understand why AW chooses Monreal to partner Kos at CB when we have 3 fit CB’s in the squad.

  23. Rasp says:

    Evening playmates ….. I like the changes …. we need 11 players giving their all

  24. Rasp says:

    Good start from our boys

  25. Big Raddy says:

    25 mins and not a save by either keeper.

    Come on.

  26. Big Raddy says:

    Every game against lesser opposition is the same. They PTB, we play intricate passes around the box that eventually get cleared. Opposition rely upon a breakaway or set plays.


    If we don’t score early the games are dull

  27. fatgingergooner says:

    Shame there aren’t trophies for pointless passing. Apathy has really set in.

    Bring back the boring boring Arsenal chant.

  28. Big Raddy says:

    Fortunately very few AA’ers are watching, even from the sofa

  29. fatgingergooner says:

    Does anyone care anymore BR? What are we playing for exactly? A run in the CL? Wow!

  30. Rasp says:

    We’d be dangerous if we could finish 😳

  31. Rasp says:

    Time for Lacaz surely … no one is playing off Giroud … if we’re going to play the long ball to Giroud, there has to be someone to play up there with him

  32. Rasp says:

    We must get the balk forward more quickly, we keep giving them time to organise their defence

  33. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Our attackers aren’t creating any space for the MF to pass to. Sanchez is way out of form.

  34. Rasp says:

    I agree about Sanchez …. really he should be the one to come off. Welbeck hasn’t found his shooting boots this season either

  35. Big Raddy says:

    At least we didn’t concede early 😀

  36. fatgingergooner says:

    Are we creating anything to finish? Did we have any real clear cut chances? Wilshere and Iwobi both had snapshots under pressure and that was about as close as we got. Lack of movement, slow build up, reluctance to play a difficult pass.

    I find it very odd when we work the ball into a good crossing position but then instead of crossing we pass the ball back to a more difficult crossing position and cross from there! What is the point?

    2 points and 2 goals from United (home), Southampton (away), West Ham (away).

  37. Gööner In Exile says:

    We’ll that was fun!

    Apart from yomping the ball to Giroud in the box for 90 minutes I don’t really see how else to approach a game where the opposition have no real attacking intent, yes it’s been the same way for years, yes it’s been the same question for years, but you can’t force the opposition to come up the pitch, although at home they should be more embarrassed not to.

    We have no real choice but to try and pass or blast our way through.

    Serious lack of running from deep though.

  38. GunnerN5 says:

    Well against the grain (nothing new of course) I enjoyed the play of Jack and Maitland Niles and I feel that we did as well as could be expected against a packed defense. They just beat Chelsea playing the same way.

  39. LB says:

    Wilshere played well, I wanted to see him with Lacaz in the hope that Jack might be the one capable of finding his runs.

  40. GunnerN5 says:

    I agree LB Jack is a finesse player like Alexandre while Giroud is more like an old fashioned center forward. The art of the packed defense is being mastered and even the very best offenses find them tough to penetrate.

  41. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, so I’m guessing they did not try to play open, attractive, attacking football

    Academy. Piffle.

  42. chas says:

    Switched off at half time and my life was so much better for the next hour than it might have been if I’d carried on.

  43. chas says:

    December 13th

  44. mickydidit89 says:

    Ahoy Chas

    Are all the Santas in this happy series, paedos?

    By the way, rather impressed by your decision to red card yourself at the 45 🙂

  45. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Neither GK made a save all night. Is that entertainment?

    Agree with GN5 that M-N and JW were the best players. How Hoddle could make Arnautovic MotM is a mystery.

  46. Gööner In Exile says:

    I let the wife have the TV for the first half to watch Peaky Blinders, kind of wished I’d let her watch something for the second half too.

    It was a very boring watch and even if we had managed to get a goal I don’t think my enjoyment of the match would have been lifted. I mean seriously what is the point of football if the only way you consider winning is to get a chance on the counter out of one of your clearances.

    Is it only us that can’t beat a packed defence, no, as rightly pointed out West Ham beat Chavs playing that way, Liverpool with all their attacking pace and high press couldn’t muster a goal last night either.

    I was relatively impressed by Jack last night, but he was probably hampered by being in that second midfielder role, he wasn’t playing one twos and moving forward round the box because he was minded that he was needed in defence if it broke down, which means he has been learning when watching from the sidelines. And in comparison to Rambo he wasn’t playing too high which was giving us the outlet to keep ball moving round and trying to shift their defence off balance. The problem came more from the wise men not finding either a cross or space to cut in.

    Maitland-Niles continues to impress.

  47. Chas says:

    Are all Santa’s paedos?
    Why else would you want some stranger’s kids to sit on your lap?

  48. mickydidit89 says:

    Look Lads, break it to me gently, will it be more of the same against Toon on Saturday?

    If yes, I still have time to get an Eastenders box set

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    Crikey, shouldn’t have done this but I just read the Arseblog match report.

    “From left to right to right to left and back again. For good measure try right to left to right to left and back the other way. Ally-ooop! If that doesn’t work, try it again”

    Then Danny on. Out wide. Then Laca on. Also out wide.

    Fat Sam time? 🙂

  50. mickydidit89 says:


    You said you had a big day yesterday, and haven’t surfaced since.

    Hope all ok

  51. Big Raddy says:

    Didit. I trust the crypto party went well and you have started some traditions. Maybe a bare breasted toast to Her Majesty or the classic putting out the bonfire with pee

  52. mickydidit89 says:


    Hard core crypto anarchists don’t party. Come on lad, get with the script

  53. RC78 says:

    The issue yesterday was with:

    – Sanchez not at his best
    – Ozil playing too deep compared to Giroud
    – The quality of our crosses

    Best Arsenal player was Wilshere. I think he would have won us the game if played higher up the pitch but good performance overall from JW.

  54. RC78 says:

    We controlled the game though and despite the Hernandez shot, WHU did not create anything dangerous.

    Our possession was sterile in the first half and I would have liked AW to bring in Wellbeck and Lacazette earlier.

  55. RC78 says:

    By the way, Xhaka’s passing does not have bite these last few weeks. His long ball passing is OK but his short passing is sloppy and ineffective.

  56. RC78 says:

    Who do you play in the next game?

    Cech – Bellerin, BFG, Kos, Koli – Ramsey, MONREAL, Wilhsere – Ozil, Sanchez – Lacazette


  57. RC78 says:

    Monreal has the most interceptions and tackles for our team in most games. I don’t understand why AW is not trying him as our DM. I am positive he can be our Kante

  58. GoonerB says:

    Monreal at DM might be a shout RC but I don’t expect it to happen. Arsene seems more intent in playing him (outside of his normal LB/LWB role) in a position that doesn’t suit rather than one that might.

    Over the last few years I feel feel Arsene has made strange decisions on playing positions that smack of someone trying to be too clever in an attempt to prove what a genius he is in finding a left field solution that no-one else thought of. I have a feeling this set in when he successfully converted Ashley and Thierry into world class players in a different role and I fear he is suffering from cleverdicktinkermanitis.

    PTB teams? Mmm. Yes it is boring anti football but can we just moan about this as one of our main reasons for being distinctly average the last few seasons? I think not.

    To say that there is no way around it just can’t be right as other top teams have shown they can deal with it. Sorry not picking on people but to just take 2 immediate examples of other top teams that have struggled with it is looking at isolated incidents to suit the argument that we cannot do anything about it and are therefore absolved of blame.

    You can pick a whole host of counter examples that prove things the other way. For example that very mean defence of Southampton that rarely concedes and that we really struggled against had 4 put past them by the mighty Leicester. There will be numerous other examples.

    It is fair to say that any top side can at times struggle against a PTB team, if you want to pick and choose your examples, but then I would say that no top team has struggled so regularly or for so long as Arsenal under Wenger has in the last 12 years without finding a solution.

    That solution is not to eradicate all struggles with these teams so that we have 100% record but to improve the statistical success against them in our favour. That statistical improvement converts to a number of valuable points over a season. We can blame players and other factors all we like but I feel this is just a way of not wanting to face the harsher truth. To be honest I don’t really want to face it either and would love to see us get right back to the top under Arsene, but it will just not happen despite all our wishes.

    Sorry to say it but pretty much most of our problems, in when we struggle where we shouldn’t, come down to coaching and tactics. Other coaches just work it out better. Arsene has been (and will be regarded in the future) as one of the great managers, but now, in his latter years, he is not a top shelf manager. Still pretty decent, but not one that has the capabilities to make a top club challenge at the top.

  59. GunnerN5 says:

    GB etal, another question is how would the other managers, who are considered better than Arsene, manage if they had to manage under the same restrictions as Arsene and had the same squad?

  60. GoonerB says:

    Which restrictions are you referring to GN5?

  61. GunnerN5 says:

    GB the same as AW has had to manage under including his limited budget.

  62. GoonerB says:

    Sorry GN5. Had written you a reply but it got swallowed. will have to come back to you later

  63. GunnerN5 says:

    No rush GB I was simply trying to level out the playing field and have others measured by the same conditions as AW has had to manage under. But I also realise that it’s very subjective and potentially not possible.

  64. chas says:

    I reckon it takes a genius level of backtracking to moan about shoe-horning and playing players out of position but then thinking that Monreal would be a good shout at DM. 😆

    Monreal is a left back who has played centre back. Why on earth can’t he play left side of a back three?

    By the way, Kante is 26, Monreal 31, maybe that crucial difference in age goes some way to nullifying his potential to become an effective DM. He just wouldn’t have the legs of the younger man. And don’t give me that Makelele bullshit either.

    Of course, I’ve no idea what I’m talking about as usual – just trying to add to the debate. 🙂

  65. GoonerB says:

    Easier to answer Chas first GN5, sorry. The Monreal at DM wasn’t my idea Chas. I only said it could be worth a shout for some of the reasons RC put forward.

    Not the most bizarre of suggestions to me, but you are right that he may not have the legs for it. I genuinely don’t know how much Nacho has in his little legs Chas before he runs out of gas, but judging by how much key-stone cop running about and desperate chasing back our back line have to do so regularly, maybe sitting in a disciplined role in front of the back line would turn out to be a breeze in the park for our little Mexican snack namesake.

    I think I would prefer him there than as one of our 2 CD’s in a traditional back 4. Hardly has any of the commanding CD qualities of Adams, Keown, Bould, or Campbell about him does he? Playing him there looks like professional shoe-horning of epic proportions without having to go back far at all.


    Cheers Raddy

    I thought we played quite well? It’s not our fault Moyes insists he will only make love to his wife if she breaks through his emotional defences. For her part, she insists on only making love if it’s not with him.

    Last night we had four players starting who have come through our youth ranks. Arsene and the club should be congratulated. How many other big clubs can boast that?

    Ok, we couldn’t break them down, but Moyes is a master of defensive and sexless organisation, so scoring a goal was almost impossible. Bad for us, good for Moyes wife.

    We have to be realistic, we are unlikely to win the league, but winning 3 cups and coming second is a strong possibility

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  67. GoonerB says:

    GN5, yes you are right it is very subjective and almost impossible to say if someone else could step into his shoes and do better, just as it is impossible to say whether Arsene could win the league if he was operating on a Man City budget. All subjective opinion.

    Also some managers have done or are doing very well with less resources than Arsene. There are some examples of teams doing better than us with less resources. Who is also to say that another manager operating with less couldn’t actually do more than Arsene is if he was placed on a level playing field.

    I find it interesting that when someone has in the past accused Wenger of not spending and being tight fisted with the money as if it is his own, that we say that is pure speculation. That is strictly speaking correct but it is also correct to the other way, that if we say that Arsene has (at least in the last few seasons) been operating on an enforced restricted financial level that this is also speculation. Do we actually know this?

    What actually is his budget and level of restriction anyway? I think it is fair to say that there are a few clubs that will spend to mental levels, but even then there is more to this than meets the eye. As a good example I feel that is the case where Guardiola and Man City are concerned, that it is not as simple as just taking a total expenditure figure and saying all the differences in the 2 teams current standings are down to this. I believe if you analyse it in more detail there is more to it than this simple total figure.

    I am not saying it has no bearing, just not as much as it is made out to be to explain absolutely and totally the differences between us and them. At any rate Arsene himself has often said that “x” pounds does not always equal “x” quality, and I do think that there are still numerous examples out there where you can have the same quality in 2 different players who come with 2 very different price tags.

    I think we have the resources to source those better value but still top quality players if we are smart enough and decisive enough. Arsene was once the master of this but I feel in recent times some of our purchases have been questionable and wrong options have been taken, all within the resources available.

    These restrictions that he is under do tend to make it sound like he is feeding off scraps and is actually doing a marvelous job of having us punch above our weight. I think this may have been true in the past, but now I don’t quite believe this, and personally I think we are punching below our weight with the squad we have. There may be a couple of players out of their depth and we require an upgrade in a few areas but I still think the squad is better (at least on paper, player to player) than it has performed for a while.

    This brings me to what I have always said, that most of our problems lie with intrinsic, repetitive, unaddressed faults that centre around the coaching of tactics, discipline, formations, team balance and mental and psychological preparation. In this I feel Arsene is found wanting and I always see 12-15 points a season more in the team (each season) that I feel have been squandered unnecessarily.

    Whether Arsene doesn’t have the managerial knowledge and capabilities to address these factors (which I don’t believe) or whether he chooses to overlook them because he doesn’t place great emphasis on their importance (which I more believe) is a matter of opinion. Either way I think we have consistent faults that could be solved but aren’t.

    This is why I would say that there are managers who on a level playing field with Arsene could do better, but I am far from certain that putting him on a level playing field with the mega spenders would bridge the gap. It will not be many as he hasn’t just become a bad manager and is still very decent, but if we are talking about the top shelf managers, as he once would have been considered, I feel he is in a second tier now. I do feel there are certain managers that could take this squad and add 12-15 points to us across a season.

    I don’t know who they all are GN5 (and it is just my opinion), but I feel there are a few that could retain our attacking style but dot the extra i’s and cross the extra t’s that Arsene doesn’t and would take us to a higher more competitive level with the squad we already have.

  68. GoonerB says:

    Looks like Nottingham. They love moving goal posts up there 🙂

  69. Chas says:

    As far as I remember ( which admittedly isn’t very far ), Monreal was drafted in as centre back when we had a CB injury crisis.

    The choices were either Monreal or blood an academy player. As we had Gibbs as a ready made replacement left back, Monreal was the sensible choice.
    Feck all to do with Venga experimenting with a left field solution so that he could be seen as a genius, more of a ‘needs must’.

  70. GunnerN5 says:


    That was a far more in depth response than I expected but I’m very happy that you took the trouble to be so explicit. Your reasoning is very sound and I do not have any argument.

    I do feel that we would have been more successful if he had not been faced with budget restrictions. He was put in a position where he had to sell his best players in order to expand his squad – but that is old hat and water under the bridge.

    Thank you so much for your response.

  71. fatgingergooner says:

    I think football has just become pretty dull. It’s now more about being organised and working hard without the ball more than it is about what you can do with it. City are actually the exception and it’s only the fact they can afford the very top quality players that has seen them able to break free of the boring, defensive, organised football that is swamping the PL. You only have to look at the recent managerial additions to the PL to see a total lack of flair or willingness to play expansive football:-


    How exciting! It’s ironic that Arsenal, a team that tries to play football, is the one who has growing amounts of empty seats and pissed off fans. I’d be gutted if I had to watch my team managed by some of these morons week in week out.

    Speaking of morons and boring managers, are the newspapers seriously trying to make me believe that Mourinho, a manager who is reluctant to have Mkhitaryan in his squad because he’s lazy, is licking his lips at the thought of signing Mesut Özil on the cheap? I don’t think so.

  72. chas says:

    Venga’s found the replacement for Sanchez

  73. chas says:

  74. chas says:

    December 14th

  75. chas says:

    December 15th

  76. mickydidit89 says:

    Ahoy Chas

    I think these Santa pics could be putting off dedicated slider fans


  77. mickydidit89 says:

    I think I may agree with FGG

    Problem is I don’t watch other teams to be able to judge, but that is a pretty dreadful looking list of managers.

    As for Arsenal, we’re a par club. Don’t know the net spend, gross spend, revenue or wages paid numbers, but guessing we should be 3rd or 4th, and we’re currently one point behind 4th, so on that front, things are about par.

    My problem is I don’t like par, or ok, or average and my biggest issue is simply too many of our games are boring and lack goals

  78. fatgingergooner says:

    I think the league table lies a little bit and we will finish top 4 by end of the season. We have played a lot of difficult fixtures including all the top 11 teams with 7 of those away from home. Our home form will determine our finish and at the moment it’s very good. If we can continue winning games at home then I think we will be ok in terms of PL position. I can’t promise the excitement will pick up though!

    I actually think the ridiculous amount of analysis programmes is killing the excitement aswell. It’s fun to talk about football, but I don’t need to hear the same point discussed by 12 different pundits on 4 different programmes with 25 different camera angles.

  79. GoonerB says:

    GN5, thanks for your response. I recognise that Arsene at a certain period had to sell/lose his best players, however I am referring to the last few seasons. I always felt he did an excellent job for a number of years after the move in keeping us near the top with limited resources and then deserved the chance to develop a top side again once he had financial access to better players.

    I certainly feel we have had that over the last few seasons even if not at the silly level of some clubs. You could almost say that the next phase started around the time that Ozil came. We have certainly added better players to the squad and when you look through it and recognise where many of our players are in international standings for me it points to a highly talented and top squad.

    Arsene hasn’t had 1 season to develop this team to a title challenging one. The problem is there has been no tangible change in our league performances across a season with the better players and the time to develop the team than when he was more hampered and restricted. We are seemingly undone by the same factors that we always have been so the addition of extra quality has not helped.

    I think maybe Arsene has a ceiling as a manager in the modern game and that he will struggle to develop a title challenging team regardless of whether he has more limited ability players or better ones because even with better ones the modern game requires other intrinsic coaching factors to be properly addressed and I don’t see much evidence that this happens. I think this club should be aiming higher than upper mediocre.

  80. GoonerB says:

    Chas, I can see the needs must argument with Monreal at CD. However the general consensus seemed to be that we needed at least 1 new top CD going into this season, some made it 2. None arrived so was playing Monreal at CB part of Wengers own making?

    He obviously has limited belief in Chambers and Holding and Per is in the final stages of his career and has long lay offs. Kos has a chronic injury they are trying to manage, Mustaffi hasn’t put in regular solid performances to date and he let Gabriel go.

    Also I was more referencing Wednesday with Monreal as one of our 2 CB’s. Where were Kos, Mustaffi, Per, Chambers, Holding? Genuine question not fight picking.

  81. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    I am off on manoevres for a week and will not be able to write the PM’s.

    Probably find some time to blog but no more.

  82. RC78 says:

    Monreal: 17 games in the EPL: stats per game
    2.4 tackles, 2.7 interceptions, 0.6 fouls, 3.4 clearance, 1.4 dribbled past, 0.3 block

    He is leading in tackles, interceptions and clearances

    Major improvement is needed on one on one situation as he gets dribbled past often (1.4 per game).

    Based on the above, I think AW should really test him at DM. He has got a decent passing range so let us see

    Cech – Bellerin, BFG, Kos, Koli – Ramsey, Monreal, Wilshere – Ozil, Sanchez – Lacazette – what do you say?

  83. RC78 says:

    I think AW tends to put soo much faith in some players like Xhaka or Iwobi. He needs to be a bit more ruthless and be a bit more cunning with his squad selection to mix things up a bit. We have some quality players but we may not put them in the best position – Ramsey is better as a 10, Wilshere is at his best as an 8, Giroud plays better with a striker behind him, Bellerin is omre comforatble in a a back 4…

    If we played:
    Cech – Bellerin, Mus, Kos, Koli – Monreal, Wilshere – Wellbeck, Ramsey, Sanchez – Giroud

    I can guarantee you that the goal return from Ramsey, Sanchez and Giroud would be a lot higher BUT you are giving away a bit of denfensive solidity and movement upfront

    AW needs to find a team and formation that is effective and efficient and that means that he also needs to adapt the system and game plan to the opponent at times. At the moment, we are just tominating posession without much bite vs so called weaker teams

  84. wally says:

    This discussion looks familiar doesn’t it. We had it last year, no? And the year before that and the year before that and…. It’s Groundhog Day, just come a bit earlier.
    We put it down to players, positions, formations…The number of excuses for wenger is fast approaching the total for prime numbers.
    Even without CL we can’t compete for the championship. How bad is that. The stench of ennui around this club is everywhere.
    The sooner they get these two new guys in and working and get wengers ass out the door the sooner the malaise will disappear. Maybe Sanelhi can get a proper manager like Enrique to come along.

  85. Aaron says:

    Uh, Wally, Wenger is a proper manager mate.

  86. fatgingergooner says:

    Wasn’t it Vermaelen who many deemed as good enough to play DM? In my mind, if you are drafting in CB’s and LB’s to play DM when all your DM’s are fit, then you have a problem.

    The issue is easily resolved, either Xhaka gets better or we sell him and get someone else. Alternatively we give someone like A M-N a chance in his normal position and see if he can do the job.

  87. Chas says:

    Amen to that, fgg.
    Last two games. DM has been the least of our problems.
    Scoring against a brick wall is the main hurdle to overcome.

  88. mickydidit89 says:

    3pm KO. Unusual.

    Talking of brick walls, do Newcastle construct such things?

    And I see Erik has gone on holiday again. Still, I’m sure he once claimed to be a socialist, and they do like their relaxed schedules 🙂

  89. fatgingergooner says:

    I’m expecting 5-0 at the weekend. We are due a ton of goals and Newcastle look primed to ship a few. Lacazette hat-trick.

    I actually don’t mind Xhaka. I just think this team needs to sort out the Sanchez/Özil situations and move on. We need to be moving forward with a clear plan of how we want to play and the players who can complement each other to execute that plan. I don’t feel like all the players are on the same wavelength and sometimes they have different ideas of how we should play. Hopefully it will correct itself as the second half of the season goes on. I still think we can get some positives out of this season if we win the EL and a domestic cup.

  90. mickydidit89 says:

    I’ll do a PM, unless anyone else is on it

  91. mickydidit89 says:


  92. mickydidit89 says:


    “I still think we can get some positives out of this season if we win the EL and a domestic cup”

    You call that SOME positives! That would be EPIC 🙂

    Aaaaaand…morning all

  93. chas says:


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