Give the new guys a try, Unai!

Hopefully most AAers are prepared to give Dick a real chance to get things right before they decry too much his tactics or methods.

I for one am looking for, amongst many other things, a change in attacking style. For many of the last five to ten years of the Wenger era we heard regularly from pundits and other “experts” the phrases……..

“typical Arsenal trying to walk the ball into the net”


“Arsenal – always trying to score the perfect goal”.

And as we know occasionally we managed to do just that!! Witness Jack W. against Norwich. But, for me, in the last two seasons we often seemed to do away with the “ball into the net” bit entirely!

Passing for passing sake drives me mad! If you receive the ball over a short distance as, say a midfielder, from a defender or fellow midfielder, it’s not compulsory to play it back to him, once, twice, three times. You are not playing that one touch game in a circle where you try to make twenty passes, or nutmeg one of the players in the middle, so you can then make a high pitched stupid noise in unison to ridicule him.

Instead you have a choice. Receive the ball on the half turn, sense where the nearest opponent is and sometimes “turn”, then get your head up and look for a pass forward with a sense of urgency. This is one of the reasons I loved Santi so much, and felt of all the players missed most in those two seasons, his was by far the most serious loss.

I nearly left the conversation on the site post Sunday’s game to the regulars, as I didn’t feel I could add much to the debate. But then, like some kind of soft drug addict, I was suckered in by two things.

Firstly, LB’s question to himself,Β  which player “is decisive and moves the ball forward quicker than most any other player?” (like Manshitty and to some extent, Totteringham, I thought)

………the answer he said, was Guendouzi.

Added to this I have my own question. Who does the same, and is also more accurate than both Ramsey or Xhaka?

……….and the answer for me, is Torreira.

Play them both and alongside each other.

The second trigger for me was the degree of praise offered by a number of respected regulars to both Xhaka and Ramsey for their Sunday performances. I have a follow up question to any and all, but especially the statisticians. Of the 162 total passes made by Ramsey and Xhaka on Sunday, how many had no influence whatsoever on the game whether successful or not?

Play the new generation Dick, as part of the new chapter for our Club, and see how it goes.

Written by LBG


47 Responses to Give the new guys a try, Unai!

  1. LB says:

    Happy to get in line for that, great read.

    We will see all the players we want to see very soon in the Europa and the Caribou cups.

  2. chas says:

    Cheers, LBG.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Guendouzi and Torreira at the base of Arsenal’s midfield, though I’d imagine that that selection wouldn’t exclude Rambo playing at the same time.

    In response to the stats question, perhaps the original graphic gave the answer……

    The first column was key passes, so Granit made 3 and Ramsey 4.
    So the answer is 7 of the 162. πŸ™‚

    p.s. the team as a whole made 13 key passes out of 635 total passes.
    so Xhaka and Ramsey made over half of those 13
    Torreira made one key pass – the assist for Laca’s goal!!!!!!!!

  3. MickyDidIt89 says:

    An LBG

    Wow, fantastic, thank you very much

    Very true about Santi, and totally on board with the Torr/Ouzi combo., and although not a new boy, I’d add a fit M-N into that midfield

  4. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    chas. 6.30 Inspirational. &.31 Very funny with the music.

    Now to read the post

  5. benlux says:

    Guendouzi should come off for Torreria ,Xhaka should stay because his static and can remain at the base of the midfield passing it around. Against Chelsea at halftime, if Guendouzi had come off instead of Xhaka , pretty sure we would have worn the match.
    The only player who can replace Xhaka in midfield is Eleneny

  6. LB says:


    It is surely only a question of when rather than if we get to see Xhaka playing along side Torriera.

    The interesting debate that is swirling around is whether that is the long term solution or whether Torriera and Guendouzi might reap better results.

  7. LBG says:

    Thanks Micky
    Agree absolutely with the AMN comment and believe we haven’t seen anything of his potential as an attacking, central midfield player. A combination of Jack at his best, allowing the ball across his body as a way of beating the marker; Santi in pure dribbling tricks; and if it’s not sacrilege, Gazza, in drive on the ball. As I read it again, much to live up to when he is fit!

  8. mickydidit89 says:

    Agree with LB that it’s “when rather than if” Granit laces up next to Lucas

    Also, and back to the pass stats, Granit provided the perfect corner/assist for the Mustafi sky rocket goal

  9. RC78 says:

    LB – totally agree about playing Guendouzi and Torreira together.

    We could fit Xhaka and Ramsey still in the team though if we played a 4-3-2-1 but it means parting away with Ozil/Miky or Auba and we know Auba is a defo starter but technically we could have:

    Ouzi, Xhaka, LT – Ramsey, Auba – Lacazette OR
    Ouzi, Xhaka, LT – Ramsey, Ozil – Auba

    We could also do away with Xhaka and play:
    Ramsey, Ouzi, LT – Ozil/Miky, Auba – Laca

  10. RC78 says:

    As for AMN, I totally agree that he should be given a big chance this year. Rumour has it that he is very good going forward and at one-on-one so I would be very keen to see him in the middle of the park.

    Imagine if by January we play: AMN, LT, Guendouzi

  11. RC78 says:

    And for me, Laca should be given more starts. The guy is wasteful but he is hungry and his link up play has always been good. Not the best 9 in the world, he is not quick nor lethal but he is hardworking and plays for the team and at this stage, that may just be what we need.

  12. RC78 says:

    In terms of key passes and according to, our best player so far is Ramsey followed by Miky, Laca, Xhaka

    In terms of defense, it seems Guendouzi leads the way and overall, the player that is rated highest is Mustafi

  13. RC78 says:

    I also think that Wellbeck is going to be supersub this year and will contribute to a good run in Cups

  14. chas says:

  15. RC78 says:

    At this stage of the season, I think that the following line-up purely based on availabilities and stats could be explored:

    Cech – Lichtensteiner, Mustafi, Holding, Monreal – Guendouzi, Xhaka, LT – Ramsey, Miky – Auba


    Cech – Lichtensteiner, Mustafi, Holding, Monreal – Guendouzi, LT – Miky, Ramsey, Auba – Laca

  16. Rasp says:

    Great read, and the current ‘big question’ thank you LBG

    You may recall that when we met up before the first game of the season, you went round all those present and asked for their preferred midfield pairing …. mine was Guendouzi and Torreira … and nothing I’ve seen since has changed that.

    I also agree on M-N. It is clear that if we play Torreira and Guendousi then we have to perm 2 out of three of Xhaka, Ramsey and Ozil

  17. LBG says:

    One out of three if AMN goes in.

  18. Rasp says:

    Yes … I don’t think UE is brave enough to take that step yet … I just hope we can keep hold of M-N. He’s a rare player in that he can play wingback on either side and any of the roles in midfield. He’s definitely one for the future … and with strong but calm temperament.

    I’d love to see him get fit again and leave his mark on Walker in a game …. it was Walker who deliberately ran into the back of him to cause the injury.

  19. fred1266 says:

  20. RC78 says:

    Henry said that AMN was really impressive offensively and on one on ones. It is nice to play these players on the wings or in the middle of the park.

    There are two players in Germany that may be worth a look: Dahoud from Dortmund and Max from Augsbourg. Both young midfielders that can press and also create. Can’t be more than 40 Mln

  21. GoonerB says:

    Afternoon chaps and chapesses. I have read back on some interesting analysis on the squad and team.

    Dick needs time, and for me it is becoming apparent that he has inherited a few problems more than anticipated with the squad from the previous managerial era. All the areas we often discussed like mentality, defensive organisation and understanding, squad balance e.t.c. will need to be addressed and will not magically resolve overnight.

    Looking purely at the defence the defenders we have are either good enough and just require more training ground work to improve them (from what had become a very poor professional standard in recent seasons), or key defensive areas are not of the required standard and will require upgrading.

    I have no problems with Dick sticking with the playing it out from the back, and parallels can be drawn with Guardiola and City where they experienced quite reasonable teething issues that needed both time and and transfer additions to sort out. We probably will tread that same pathway.

    I think Leno will progress to number 1 but Cech is still an important squad member so should be kept. The 2 defensive areas I am not certain about are LB and CD. Monreal is getting on and I am not certain whether Koli is a top grade replacement. The CB position may come good with training and time and we have a couple of good young ones who should develop, so we can wait and see how things are looking later in the season.

    Will come back and comment later for my tuppence worth on the midfield and attack when I have more time.

  22. LB says:

    Hi Chas

    A small favour? As I said yesterday, happy for my comment to be used as a post whenever you see fit, it’s obviously not time sensitive so anytime.
    But the thing is I forgot to keep a copy, can you put it is drafts or somewhere that I can get to it to give it a bit of a polish while I have time. Thanks.

  23. chas says:

    It’s already in there, LB, draft saved at 6 or 7 this morning, catchily titled, ‘LB’s comment” πŸ™‚

  24. chas says:

  25. RC78 says:

    Sell El Neny to Everton and get Idrissa Gueye and I tell you we are sorted with our midfield:

    Guendouzi (or Xhaka) – Gueye – LT
    ——-Ramsey, Auba—————

    Ramsey, Gueye, LT
    —–Miky/Ozil, Auba ——-

    He is the missing profile

  26. RC78 says:

    If we go for a 4-2-3-1:
    Gueye – Torreira
    Miky Ozil Auba

  27. chas says:


  28. LBG says:

    Interesting idea, Gueye. A right sided new Makalele. Since we already have the left sided version!
    Even if we sold Elneny, think the midfield debate would go into meltdown!

  29. LB says:

    Lacazzette’s goal really is a wow.

  30. RC78 says:

    Lacazette has a fine shot

  31. mickydidit89 says:

    Watching vids of Arsenal goals makes me feel good, which is why I like watching Arsenal score goals so much

    Simple fella……

  32. fred1266 says:

    Everton are pants even with gueye so don’t think he will make much of a difference

  33. chas says:

  34. chas says:

  35. mickydidit89 says:


    Genuine question. The D Attenborough tweet. Is it a fake address or doctored message?

  36. mickydidit89 says:


  37. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, just touched on the tweet selfie pic, it’s a parody account.

  38. LBG says:

    Chas 0626
    What is that?

  39. chas says:


  40. mickydidit89 says:


    It was the famous knackered UFO that crashed onto Chesil Beach in 1884

    Even I knew that one

  41. chas says:


    The caption said something like ‘Aliens invade’.
    I just liked it.
    It seems to represent the current state of the world!!!!!!!

  42. chas says:

    I’m liking the Chesil beach theory, though isn’t that a narrow bank of shingle? πŸ™‚

  43. chas says:

    Apparently the thing in the sky is the Death Star from Star Wars.
    Which someone has added to a photo of people and cars on a beach from a hundred years (?) ago.

  44. chas says:

    Found a similar photo which is dated 1904 and is at Daytona beach, though there are more horse drawn rather than engine powered vehicles in it.

  45. Big Raddy says:

    6.26 Marvellous pic. Disappointed to discover it is not genuine 😦

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