Open Thread: The Dawning of the Emirates Age

After a stumbling start against Villa that brought the worst out of frustrated Gooners, The Arsenal now have gone on to 4 straight victories (3 clean sheets), claimed a place in the group stages of the Champions League and pulled off a remarkable coup in the transfer market made even sweeter for being at Tottenham’s expense.

Surely this is the season for atonement a time to redress the balance of power, to challenge and boldly at that. Will this be the Arsenal that finally brings home the silverware and transforms our pricey spaceship into Fortress Emirates?

Have Arsene and Ivan finally delivered on the promise or do we still need more?



  1. While enthusiastically welcoming the eleventh hour signing of Ozil, a classy player with prospects of becoming an Arsenal game changer, it is worrisome that Arsenal fans who were of the well- considered view that Arsenal needed at least 4 very good players (one attacker, one defensive mid-fielder, one central defender and one good goal keeper) to be a competitive and title-chasing time, are now singing alleluia and dreaming of titles just because Arsene Wenger added one good player, who is a winger even when a winger was not touted topmost priority. The objective reality is that Arsenal is still deficient and lack sufficient capacity to be a comfortable top notcher in the Premier league. Fans have just accepted what they cannot change. Arsene Wenger’s tokenism cannot achieve miraculous results in a league that is attracting and recruiting seasoned and experienced professionals. A word is enough for the wise.

  2. But we have added a keeper – Viviano or whatever his name is. We have added a DM -Flamini. The striker position is now a worry with Pod out for several months. Hopefully Sanogo will come good or one of the youngsters that we keep hearing about – Akpom and Gnabry can fulfill some promise. And then again, as Retsub would say – we still have NB52! Centre back I thought we were going to be short but with Sagna able to fill in there, TV5 due back soon as well as Flamini’s versatility I think we are ok in numbers at the back. No doubt Giroud will get crocked and Wilshere too and then we will be in trouble again. But it is nice that there is some optimism at last. The negativity gets a bit wearying after a while. I know some will say it’s realism not negativity! Lets see how we go against the Black Cats!

  3. I agree Femi. it is great to finally see a world class player come to Arsenal. Ozil for sure will makes better, he is going to be a delight to watch along side Carzola.
    I still don’t think that it is good enough to challenge for the EPL or CL titles.
    The acquisition of Ozil should only be the beginning of a long term plan to bring Arsenal back up to the summit.
    Our fans are re energized , our players morals have been boosted , talented players all over the world could be looking Arsenal as attractive destination. Only if we keep improving the quality in this team in next transfer windows.
    You could be sure that Ozil did not come to Arsenal to be satisfied finishing 4th every year, he wants to win !

  4. There are always different way to interpret things. It’s true Ozil’s position is not the area we lacked, but his magnitude hits the bull’s eye. Arsenal has won greatest victory this summer in transfer market. This is one front of competition we continued to fail miserably so, it is a big change our players will not take lightly.

    Our season started with a disaster but we are able to recover quickly. As the thread mentioned, we have 3 out of 4 cleansheets even before Ozil’s arrival so our defense has been at least on the right track.

    To me, the so called dawning has started since the last part of last season when the lads showed their seemingly unseen mentality strength with comeback after cameback. We are now building on that so, as morale is high, don’t underestimate what we can do without additional stars ; D

  5. @Rang
    Agreed, but even though we don’t need additional stars we do need more quality players in the side for the sake of rotation as well as competition for places in the starting IX.

  6. The position required to upgrade a left winger with pace who can finish. What happens if Theo gets injured?
    Giroud has started well , we will see in next 2 months if he is good enough as our main striker. My opinion is that we eventually we’ll need to get a world class striker to complement Giroud.
    Flamini, the same the next few weeks will tell us if he has what it takes.
    Sanogo should be sent on loan so that he can plan regularly and improve and gain confidence. It is not good for a such young player to be sitting on the bench.

  7. While it may not be enough, it will hopefully send out a strong enough signal to other big players who are sitting on the fence with the logic that if Arsenal are good enough for Ozil it should be good enough for them too, which might materialise in the Jan window. You never know. I quite like the idea of Ryo making his debut, if he is.

  8. I think Chelsea is pathetic…….Eto benches Ba who wouldve obviously done better in my opinion.
    Just shows theres no need to be bringing in people just because you have the money. There was no Willian today and I just hope they gel, else they wouldve just proven to everyone why greed is not good.

    We did well today, t’was real good to see Ozil in an Arsenal shirt finally.

    Cheers guys to being top of the log

  9. I have always argued that the plan has been to consolidate our financial position, and once we get to the new sponsorship deals we can then make a real push. So far, with the signing of Ozil, it seems like I might have been right about that. However, that is just an indication at this stage. We definitely need more.

    AT the same time, we are not far off. Motm today, Ramsey. Deemed ‘deadwood’ by some one year ago. Wilshere is facing the same thing with his long injury lay-off, and already looked sharper today than he has done previously. Jenkinson is still raw, but he has some real talent. It is players like this that will form the future of Arsenal, improving year on year, while the likes of Cazorla and Ozil will add to the existing core.

    For our transfer business, I think the signing of Flamini, as well as Ozil, makes it a successful window. We’re a striker short, but this is exacerbated by the amount of injuries we’ve had early in the season. Today we had Arteta, Podolski, Ox, Rosicky, Cazorla, and Mertesacker out. 6 potential first team players. Vermaelen just came back today. Monreal only recently. And yet we’ve done quite well. Take 6 first team players out of even Chelsea’s fantastic squad, and they’ll suffer.

    There’s more to football than just the transfers, and our stability will be crucial in this regard. Keep the squad we have, add one or two players to it, and we’re really capable of winning the title. But it can’t just be anyone. We have to buy the right players. And that isn’t easy. However, Ozil’s signing should send a signal to other top players that Arsenal are a viable option, and hopefully that should make it easier to get them.

    And finally, today Arsenal get majorly lucky with a refereeing decision. Can’t say I’m happy about it, but it sure does make a pleasant change from the usual stuff.

  10. @FemiAJAYI – It just shows how naive you are about football in general. We beat Tottenham with TWO FREE SIGNINGS and yet you are here 2weeks after and spouting shit.
    Look, this OZIL type of signing is ALL WE NEED because the squad is not too short…its just the normal injury thing for us. January, we get a striker and that will surely be all. I think we are very okay and anyone who thinks otherwise is clearly not thinking straight.

    Walcott can play CF if Giroud is down and for me, this would be our best 11. Cazorla would easily slot into the midfield and also accommodate Flamini who may have to give way to WILSHERE at DM. This is cos Ramsey MUST be allowed to maintain his good run in the middle until Giroud is ready to come back in.

    So, why do we need a CB?
    Yaya Sanogo is there for now if anything happens to Walcott.
    We have loads of GOOD central and attacking midfielders now and they are all on form, Ramsey is peaking….so why do we need a DM? What is Flamini doing there?
    We just saw Vermaelen today and even if we didn’t see him, did we really expect the manager to bring in someone when Sagna is doing very well at the CB? If anything happens to any of the right backs, Flamini just goes in there till they come back.

    We have junior boys ready to step up, we lost some cos we could not guarantee they would immediately get into the first team and so what?

    Have a look at greedy Chelsea, selection headaches for the coach. I would take BA ten times over Eto who definitely has a reputation to protect, but this guy is 32 already. He cant be that pacy anymore.

    I had agreed with Wenger about the need to get only what we want and slated Kel even before Ozil came, but, even if we didnt get him, dont you think we would have won today?

    That aside, I think beating Spurs with our two free signings and City failing to win with all their so-called stars should put things into perspective here.
    If we can add people like Bender, good…..but not just anyone cos we also have talent and should not forget last seasons run-in very quickly which started by beating Bayern away by not only one unreplied goal……………………………………………….

  11. Shard – Even if that game became 2-2 at that point. I still think we would’ve won the game, we were looking very sharp……eventhough I have to admit Walcott badly needs some rest. But, once Wilshere and Ramsey become better passers, we will be knocking the EPL doors constantly and with ease.

  12. good to see ozil. it can be the dawning of a new age. a few more player are needed though. the squad is too thin to play for four possible trophies.

    but the start is good and they were impressive against black cats

  13. GB

    I agree that we still probably would have won the game. Still, you never know. Sunderland did put us under real pressure for a while. We responded well to it. Regardless, that decision did help us, and is the sort of decision we don’t normally get. I don’t want the referees favouring Arsenal either, but having been put through much worse, I’ll take it.

    However, the kicking of Wilshere continued today, and it baffles me that a league that is so protective of its English players (Rooney can get away with murder, as can Terry or Lampard etc) allows one of their best products to be kicked off the park in every game.

  14. Probably looking through rosé coloured glasses, but did anyone else think that the Altidorr versus Sagna incident was six of one half a dozen of the other?

  15. Bale has scored on his debut a not too simple goal. I love this guy and I wish he succeeds at Magreed.

  16. Retsub

    It certainly was that, and could have been called either way. Since the referee saw it as a foul by Sagna, we were lucky that he didn’t play an advantage.

    We did struggle a bit defensively today actually. No Mertesacker might explain it. He’s the organiser in defense.

  17. People completely under-estimate Mertesacker…..I guess we can see how prone we were to set pieces today.

  18. Great victory! What a class by Ozil. Looking forward to his partnership with Carzola.
    Ramsey has been a pleasant surprise so far,especially his finishing.. With so much ball possession with need midfielders who are willing to pull the trigger.

    Regarding Flamini, I have to admit that I was skeptical that he do the job, he is still has the high work rate , he will be a useful guard-dog in midfield. Only concern is that he is small and easily pushed off the ball , like today by Altidor , Kos conceded the penalty shortly .

    GB – Bale will get better training and playing with Ronaldo. Rooney improved by having a gifted player like Ronaldo at Manure .

  19. who cares about Bale? Great three points and we’re top! For now. Özil oozes class. From now on I shall refer to him as The Wizard.
    Two lovely goals from Ramsey. Flamini was solid and Wilshere looked better than he has for ages no doubt due to the influence of Öz I mean The Wizard!
    We looked a bit dodgy there for a while in the second half and Sunderland can feel hard done by over the Altidore goal. But we should have been three up before half time. Theo didn’t take his chances but on the plus side the chances were being created. Nice goal from Giroud. Would love to see him kick on and keep banging them in. His link up play is getting better too.
    I watched the first half of Manure v Palace. The ‘ure are dire. You can’t tell me we aren’t as good as them XI v XI. And the atmosphere at Old T was about as electric as the Emirates on a bad day!
    Lets not get carried away though. It was only a piss poor Sunderland and our injuries are getting ridiculous. How long is Cazorla out for?

  20. Wha What!!! Arsenal top of the pile???? Must say the players did well today cheers to them and glad for the fans they deserve it

  21. Having watched it again, I think the referee’s call wasn’t all that vital. I mean it is the sort of decision you’d expect to normally go against us (which it did still- just not as badly) but it wasn’t like Sunderland were robbed of a goal.

    The referee blew the whistle quite a bit before Altidore’s shot, and both Flamini and Koscielny heard it and were ambling back rather than racing back, and possibly Sagna slowed down too. So I’m not sure it would have been a goal even otherwise.. So now, I don’t think we were given the benefit of a goal being ruled out for the opposition. Still a little lucky perhaps, and our defense/midfield did struggle to contain Sunderland for a while.

  22. Really looking forward to this evening’s match.
    I think it depends on us. If we bring our “A” game they can’t beat us. Anything less though will make for a tussle especially on French soil.
    I notice Zenit is also playing this evening but Arshavin will be on the bench. That’s too bad I was hoping to see if he’s in any better form than he was with us.
    Anyway, COYG!

  23. Yep COYG on paper this is the easiest away game, so pretty important we get something from this. Unleash Flamini the beast on them

  24. Not having it all our way and being a little too sloppy to boot.
    If we are not mighty careful we will get burned. (31min)

  25. well at least we made it to the half but we were 2nd best no doubt.
    Theo could sure use a goal.

  26. I said it already, Chelsea are fucked…………………

    Its not a one off and Basel are not great or lucky….Chelsea are just fucked.

    Which player does Mourinho drop?

  27. GunnerBoss – loved the GODZILLA! But who cares about Chelski?
    Great result against Marseilles. I think we need to improve a lot from that performance against Napoli. I reckon Benitez will be his usual cautious self and play a counter attacking game so we need to make sure we are more careful in midfield and up front in turning over possession than we were last night. I didn’t see the whole game mind you. I tried several live stream sites which were all woeful and finally settled on a site with Russian commentary that beats listening to most English pundits hands down. They made much more sense and I don’t speak a word of Russki!
    Worried about Giroud who looked dead on his feet by the end and looks like he could have done with a breather but who have we got?

  28. It is good away win. Marseille does not have a lot of attacking threats so our defenders had an easy night. On the other our midfield was dominated, Valbuena ran rampant …the game against Napoli will be a good test for us , having to face a proper CF in Higuain.

  29. Saw the game last night and a win is a win BUT we rode our luck. We had to win this game because the others will most likely be harder, the start of the CL will really show how good this team is in the next month or two

  30. We will beat Dortmund and Napoli, our only problem is ourselves. If we believe, we can be a lot more persistent in the final third unlike Sunderland. If we can learn from Sunderland, we WILL top this group. If anyone beat Marseille home and away and win all their home matches, they will be on 15pts. We MUST atleast draw one away game in addition, if not both to show our superiority. The Ox is back, so is Vermaelen, Cazorla and Podolski will soon be back.

    Remember, our problems has been getting second and playing Barca and Bayern and going out……

    Now is the time to top the group and shove up all their(media) comments into their global asses……and make them eat their words.

    Everybody seems to think we are shit….can you imagine this? Heck, some kids dont even use Arsenal anymore in video games….but will use barca and madrid cos of Ronaldo and Messi. We NEED to start attracting the best once again and become succesfull with trophies, so the game ratings will make more kids take notice as well…..just my two cents…

    When did we last top the table? I think the EPL has been shit these few years…we used last years team to top the log? Amazing

    Cheers guys

  31. Cheers Kel

    Hey guys, I think we know of a certain new signing Mr Wenger got for free. He just came back from a leg break incident and is picking up some very amazing scoring form. With this form has come amazing results, but I hope it wont pose too many problems like it has done to Chelski already. What happens when Cazorla and Podolski become fit again?

    This is my take

    Aside Walcott and Giroud and the defense……

    I think we definitely need Cazorla, Ozil and Ramsey(on current form) in the middle….leaving only one midfield spot available for Podolski, the Ox, Wilshere, Arteta(when he is fit) and Flamini(who seems indespensable).

    So, we end up having four quality midfield guys on the bench plus Monreal and Jenkinson plus goalie and we have a freakin squad of mad men……not bad at all.

    So, who plays where and what do we play? I think we have to adapt our 4-3-3 to give us the ability to utilize at least four midfield players at once….just my take. What do you guys think?

  32. Gunner boss
    Keep the enthusiasm going it will get addictive. We suddenly have a number of indispensable midfielders. I really believe that Flamini will be just as important as Ozil, but no doubt he will be suspended soon.

  33. Lord this optimism is contagious! Arteta back in the mix this week which is great. I think he adds to our attacking options as I don’t think by nature he is a defensive midfield. At the moment my mid 3 would be Ramsey, Wilshere, Flamini and front three Theo, Giroud and Ozil. But these days the positions are so fluid and interchangeable that we have real options. If and when we get Podolski, Ox-C, Rosicky and Cazorla back then I think Wenger will have to run his own lottery to see who plays! Plus, how good has Gibbs been at left back? He has been fantastic this season and I hope he stays fit. His understanding with Ozil already looks great.
    I would also like to see Ryo get some more game time. Maybe against someone like Stoke that would be a good place to start.

  34. Terry

    Agree about Gibbs, if he can only stay fit. The guy who worries me a bit is Kos. Great player that he is, he can be a bit hot headed st times and is inclined to make rash challenges. Hope he manages to keep it together tomorrow. Hopefully Shawcross will get what he deserves

    Arsenal 3 .. O. Giroud, Ramsey, ozil

  35. Nice guys….

    Gibbs has been amazing… injuries……Monreal?

    I think Kos is looking over his shoulders too much(Vermaelen)…..Last season end he was impervious….but he seems to be giving away penalties. I they should work more on his reflexes…

    It is Wilshere who I fear for most cos when Cazorla is back, he might have to accept a DM position just to be a starter cos Ramsey is on fire right now.

  36. Yeh!!!! rite about ramsey BUT you have to earn your place and jack has not been doing that so push come to shove he should be benched

  37. The Stoke game confirms the Flamini signing. He was our best player I thought. We didn’t play well for large parts of the game but we got three points and we’re back on top. Need to play a lot better next week against a Swansea that have got their mojo back. But with Arteta back and others to come back soon we have options. Hopefully he will rest some key players this week in the League Cup as a few players looked like they could do with a rest. Gnabry was solid. Tracked back and defended well. And Stewart Robson is a prat!

  38. Really nice outing. Ramsey is absolutely unconscious.
    @Terry I tuned down the volume and listened to the commentary.
    Robson ruins games for me. Much worse than Macca.
    I should have a report up no later than tommorow afternoon here time.
    I will have to get Andy to post it so there may be some delay but I’m on it.
    Well, how long can we go on the trot?

  39. Great result, stoke are a difficult side to beat. Agree on Flamini and he can only get better. Gnabry looked interesting as well, just needs to unload the ball a little quicker.
    The only worrying thing was the amount of ball that Stoke had in the 2nd half. A better side will punish us.

    Jack still isn’t right, but he is being targeted for tough tackling, let’s hope he gets through this

  40. Another goal by Rambo and another victory. I think that Ramsey can become ” a Lampard like player ” for us if he continue play within himself . Great early season.

    Just a word of caution, we have not played a lot of good teams yet , Stoke had 65% of possession in the second!
    Hoping Theo’s injury is not serious , we lacked pace up front. Good game by the young Gnarby , he did well today.

  41. This may cause a mass debate, but as one of the few who had faith in Ramsey(and terry I think). I am a little disappointed to see some stick being pointed at wilshire.

    Before his long term injury Jack was on fire and with support he will get back to his best. There is no doubt he is being targeted by the opposition bully boys. Hopefully Flamini will act as his minder. If he is going to get back to his best he needs support, not abuse.

    I am amazed Rambo has comeback so we’ with support Jack will do similar.

  42. Good point Retsub. And yes I was one of the few voices speaking up for Ramsey. In some ways Wilshere’s injuries are more debilitating that Ramsey’s because the ankle is so much more complex anatomically speaking and important for so many aspects of the game – kicking, running, turning, stopping etc. I have been hesitant to say I told you so to all the people who were bagging Rambo, but if he keeps scoring and playing as he has done this season (and towards the end of last season) I will! But I am just so pleased for him because he works his socks off and seems a pretty level headed decent young man to boot. Wilshere definitely needs a rest and Wenger says he won’t play him in the League Cup game which is good. Plus Swansea who we play next aren’t the sort of team to target him as he seems to have been targeted by Stoke and Marseille. They’re far more likely to go for Ramsey as he’s from Cardiff!

  43. How we all doin fellas?
    Been unable to post lately for various reasons but its great to see the posts above and be top of the table, even if it is early in the season.
    Ramsey is playing great stuff, absolutely, but as good as he is now I still think any levelled constructive criticism of him at times last season was justified, of course any over the top stuff is not right but he had a run of maybe a dozen or so games last year where his pass/ tackle/ dribble completion was way below standard and you have to be consistant in this league but Wenger stuck with him, actually improved his contract, and look af him now. I think Flaminis presence is giving him a platform to be more decisive in his forward runs because he knows if it breaks down we have cover. Lampard had Makelele, Essien and Mikel types doing this so I think the comparison above is good.
    Gibbs for me is playing out of his skin and its no coincidence this is simce Monreals arrival. I like Monreal alot, but he cant get into the team, competition for places, how often have I been saying that it breeds success.
    Does anyone know when Cazorla will be back?

  44. Shambo
    Welcome back. Totally agree about Rambo, no doubt Wenger persisted when others would have given up. Credit to him for that, but on the flip side the team suffered.

    Agree on Gibbs, just hope he can stay fit

    Saw an interesting note today saying we got Ozil and Flamini for £21 million each,,, not bad at all

  45. So NickB is back in the fro, i saw this coming since the start of the summer.
    I still remember his piss poor touch against Barc that cost us the game and Arsenal fans are talking as if he is a really good player BUT got a raw deal
    NickB went out on loan and on all accounts totally pissed his pants
    I wish him all the best but my only surprise will be if he does any better than he really is..
    good luck today boys….

  46. I can fully understand the attitude towards Bendtner but to sum up his ability on one poor touch is a bit harsh Kel! I can recall RVPs piss weak attempt against Milan that would have brought us back level. But that’s not the point. We have him as back up for the time being and I hope he pulls his finger out and at least gives 100%. He looked well off the pace tonight but laid off a nice pass for our goal. The whole team looked disjointed but we got through with a fair amount of luck! I’ll take that. And does a win on penalties count as an 11th straight away win?

  47. @ terry

    ‘ one poor touch’ are u for real nickb has been average more than good so it’s not based on that particular game but overall the game again Barcelona just magnified it more. he went to Sunderland and they didn’t want him, he had the chance he played in his best position and still was poor. I remember one time someone saying on this very that nickb became a father so that why his performance was so poor, I laugh every time I remember that total excuse, and based on what I saw tonite no different.
    But the team won again which is good not a great performance but fight and that what u want to see
    One game at a time I guess

  48. Kel I also remember an NB hat trick, some goals for Denmark – the guy clearly has some ability. Application is another matter. But no point arguing over it. He is there. He is our our back up for Giroud, at least until January, when we sign Suarez/Lewandowski/Klose/Terry. So we might as well make the most of it. Hopefully he can score against Chelski in the next round and knock them out. I will forgive him many past sins if he does that! And he is better than Chamakh and Park (if that guy actually exists). As for the game, it was pretty forgettable apart from our goal and the way some of the young kids took their penalties. I like the cut of Akpom’s jib but he is only 17 so can’t expect too much of him. Nice to see TV and Arteta back too so there are plnty of good things to take from the game. Jenkinson played well too I thought.
    BTW – it wasn’t me who said that about NB and fatherhood. I think it was Andy actually. But I can see the point. The only time I ever got sent off in a football game was soon after the birth of my first child. I was so sleep deprived when someone fouled me I took a swing at him. I was really grouchy! Happy days!

  49. Flamini- DM, RB; Ozil- CM, LW; Viviano- GK; and Sagna- CB, RB.

    Does that satisfy what you think the squad needed, FemiAjayi? It never cease to amaze me that people who have never managed a football team at any level become experts at needs of a club like Arsenal.
    I would have called for a versatile defender that can slot in along the back-line for rotation.

    Ozil is just what the squad needed. Even other players have indicated that. All you need to do is root for the team this season!

  50. Great results today, Kop that RVP

    Huge game tonight. Did anyone see Ozil play with his chewing gum…. Sheer class

    COYG. 3 .. 1 to our boys prediction

  51. We need atleast three points from this one……

    I’m very sure Tottenham would’ve beaten Chelsea if not for the little managerial pride……..

  52. Wtf?

    We are playing amazing football……..

    I said it during halftime 3-0

    2-0 so far, one more to go

  53. We’ll have to say I didn’t like the last 10 minutes.

    That was like a game of chess for long periods until we scored. Swansea made pretty patterns but did very little with the ball.

    Interesting another team having more of the ball than us,,, a good sign winning like that

    Rambo mom again

  54. Will have to agree with you, Arteta was and is not supposed to be the first to be brought on. Jenkinson played midweek, yes, but that’ll be it….I think Monreal and Jenkinson should’ve come on before Arteta cos we had Wilshere, Flamini and Ramsey in front of the defense. I like it how we double up on the flanks while holding out….I think this is the best part of our game…both right backs, both left backs on, all six at the back. Happy to see them all…..

    I think we could lose or draw games cos the manager is trying to give game time to some who might not deserve it yet e.g I would’ve preferred Vermaelen to come in as the last sub….instead of Arteta coming on first. I think Flamini is doing an excellent, excellent job so far. Nice to see the young man give us our first goal, midweek he was very hesitant with his passing.

  55. Gunner boss agree totally on Flamini, he is just what the team needed. Think he could be the difference to this side

    Got to be honest, I would have taken gnabry off before he scored, he did look hesitant

  56. Ya Gunnerboss this was a great result and for the first time the Swans really gave us a good run for our money. I have noticed that we lacked a disciplined DM in the past and for Flamini has does that with applomb.Am actually fearing for Arteta because his relevance is becoming so minimal for sure.@ Restsub for Gnabry you are surely joking.This guy can realistically deputise for Walcott. He has skill and power to shake off oponents.In essence the boy can perform when called upon on the flanks and this can only help the squad strength.@Ramsey i must confess i had not watched previous aresnal games apart from highlights but Ramsey’s screamer was beautiful. But i still have reservations whether Ramsey could single handedly be a game changer like Bale.@Giroud am begining to get irritated with his wastefulness and he is not doing himself any good by missing such sitters and soon or later the fans will begin pilling criticism deservedly so.He needs to play better than yesterday by scoring. I have liked how the coach hurries to protect the lead in the dying minutes by throwing on defenders.This purely shows the desire from our coach to avoid lapses in concentration and fight for Top 4 as it is going to be tight towards the end as like it or not we shall run out of form but these early points will help us.

  57. delano

    Ramsey has already been match winner numerous times for us. Bale and Ramsey are different kinds of players, and as such a comparison is difficult to make, but come on. Ramsey had 7 tackles and 7 ball recoveries yesterday. A match winning goal, an assist, another key pass which Ozil should have scored from, and he covers so much ground. He’s arguably more influential to the course of a game than Bale who had a wonder season last year with some long range shots. Bale and Madrid lost their derby yesterday, by the by.

    I disagree about Giroud. That wasn’t a sitter, and his finishing this year has been very very good. He’s also always working hard, building play, defending corners, running back to win the ball etc. Giroud has been brilliant this season, and even if he wasn’t brilliant with his one chance today, that doesn’t take away from his contribution to the cause.

    Cazorla, Podolski, Rosicky, Ox, Sanogo all injured. At points in the season earlier, Vermaelen, Arteta, and Monreal were out. Could any other team in the league have coped with such injuries to their squad as well as we have? This is where having a settled team under Wenger is so important. We’ve always shown improvement when allowed to build on a side rather than having to rebuild. It won’t be easy to buy a top class striker in January, because I can’t think of that many that will be available and are likely to come, but hopefully, we can get one in, because our squad is looking very good once our injured players return.

    Napoli won’t be easy, and we have a tough group, but we should look to win at home. Especially because our schedule later goes something like Chelsea, Liverpool, Dortmund (away), and ManU (away). Points early in the CL group stage might give us a better chance to put out a competitive side against Chelsea in the League Cup.

  58. Shard,
    You took the words out of my mouth about ramsey in your response to Delano.
    You HAVE GOT to be watching a game either live or in its entirety to see the difference in Ramseys overall game from the last few seasons to the player he is now.
    I have been critical of his slowness of thought and dawdling in possession in our half in recent seasons but he has matured to the point that I can honestly say he looks like he has found his role in this team to an extent that he isnt a player just in form but who has found his level. I still think the Flamini effect cannot be undervalued in this department as I really believe he is giving Ramsey the freedom and the platform to influence games.
    Great point about our injuries, we have done unbelievably well in winning gams while the afore mentioned have been out and I think the difference has been that no one is dwelling on them, maybe this is because confidence is up or that any team that has Ozil/ Kos/ Wilshere is formidable and inspires confidence anyways I dont know, but there has been no moaning about injuries by the Coachimg staff or fans, or maybe weve just become so used to it that we dont bat an eyelid anymore.
    Bottom line yesterday is, we punished our rivals slip-ups, which is what you have to do to win this league, you have to be feared, and if you have teams chasing you while subconsciously they also fear that you wont have too many slip-ups then they put pressure on themselves, at the moment we are the team nobody wants to play, lets keep it that way.
    By the way, they havent seen Ozil/ Caz team up yet!

  59. shambo

    Cazorla and Ozil together will be fantastic. Walcott is valuable too because of his pace, and much improved finishing (although he’s yet to show it this season) Any idea when Theo is back?

    Wenger said Rosicky might be back in the squad on Tuesday. The next back he said would be Poldi. And Ox is still about 6 weeks away. Oh, I just remembered, he said around 5 weeks for Walcott. So hopefully, by the end of October, we’ll have most of our players back healthy. Still a lot of matches to go till then of course, and any more injuries might be debilitating, but what a prospect it is going to be to have Cazorla, Ozil, Theo, Podolski, Ox, Rosicky, Wilshere, Ramsey, Arteta and Flamini to chose from for our midfield 5. That’s not including Gnabry, Ryo, Eisfeld, and Zelalem among others from the youth. And maybe as a bonus, we’ll also get Diaby back.

    about the moaning about injuries, I think there are a few things at play. Some of our injuries were quite clearly the result of…let’s say.. over-exuberance of our opponents, and the lack of protection we received. Over the past season or so, that seems to have subsided, although Wilshere is still allowed to be rotationally kicked for some reason. Hence, the lack of ‘moaning’ about it.

    Secondly, the injuries did subside last year to a large extent, and as I recall, even before that. But they made a comeback with a vengeance in early season. As of now, I’d call that a coincidence, not a return to previous times.

    Thirdly, and this is where you are spot on about Flamini. A player who is prepared to crunch into the opposition is something that seems to be essential in England. I still feel it shouldn’t be so, but referees seem to allow players to be kicked and punish retaliation of any sort. If Flamini’s ‘I will blind you’ remark actually happened against Stoke, that would indicate that Arsenal now have someone to protect the team when the referee isn’t going to. It might result in a red card now and then, but it is well worth it.

  60. Shard,
    I think we had the worst disciplinary record nearly in Europe when we were winning leagues with Vieira, Parlour, Keown and co so your dead right theres nothin wrong with that at all.
    On the Flamini remark, I find it sad that it was made public by the Stoke players, alot is said in the heat of a match that cant be taken seriously, let alone literally in EVERY single game at EVERY single level, its a wind up and part of the game and frankly the way Stoke play and carry on it was a bit rich coming from them. Id love to hear some of the best stuff thats come out of Rooneys mouth when hes frothing all over himself abusing officials. If he did say it I think were all the better for it, weve missed that attitude for so long and noone gets to come to our patch any longer and bully us, the marker is down now.
    Just on Giroud, agree with all you said above, especially his defending at set pieces, but I am concerned about his sharpness in front of goal and while I do think he is valuable to us Im worried about us depending on him for goals if Im honest.

  61. We are doing well so far but the next few games will separate the men from the boys. We have a lot of central midfielders and no we lack pace up front. We can only get the most out of Ozil when players run beyond the ball, not just stand.
    Great points about Giroud, he has improved this year, workmates , scoring , defending, but is he good for a team that hopes to win the EPL or the CL? We will know in 5 or 6 games.

  62. shambo

    It can’t be left all on Giroud, I agree. For one thing, all that hard work he puts in for the team just means that he’s going to tire sooner, and even if it doesn’t result in injury, it can affect his sharpness in front of goal. However, goals from midfield are a good thing, and right now Ramsey is providing that. If Walcott, Cazorla and Podolski can repeat their exploits from last season, and build on them, then we might be ok on goal scoring. Especially if Ox, Wilshere, and Ozil can also step up and score a few.

    We will miss everything that Giroud brings to the table though when he’s not available, and though Bendtner isn’t the worst player in the world and seems to have gotten some sense back, I’d hope we get a striker in Jan. But who? Who is available? What sort of striker, what age, and what level of current ability are we looking for? I don’t know, but I don’t see Liverpool allowing Suarez to move to us, nor Rooney leaving ManU after the RVP sh**storm. Lewandowski looks like he’s on his way to Bayern. Llorente is too similar to Giroud, and has barely played for two seasons. Who else is there? My feeling is that we’ll look for a speedy finisher, but likely no one who we’ve really heard of, or who isn’t considered top drawer. Or, we wait till next summer to get a top level player. We’ll see. As of now, the team looks good. Napoli will be a good test for us.

  63. Giroud must do more than enough so as not to worry Wenger and us the fans about a striker .He had started well but am afraid Suarez will be a light years ahead of him in about 5 matches for Liverpool. To win the league we need a top scorer on our team this season. I dont know if that person is Ramsey or Giroud. I just hope Walcott recovers in time cause he seems a better finisher than Giroud.

  64. Gnarby really saved us against Swansea in the second half. He was the spark! When he came off , that’s when they scored . Putting Ozil on the wing at the of the game was a mistake. I hope we learned our lesson.

    Again Ramsey, I think that he has found his niche. A water carrier in midfield who can score goals. Add to this midfield Carzola and we have one of , if not the best midfield in the EPL.

    To find a winger , we need just to be a little more imaginative. I am quite sure that with 15 mil or 20 mil could get a great winger in Brazil or Argentina!

  65. @Gunfest you must be joking.Arsenal now has about two wingers on either side of the pitch. Gnabry/Walcott and we have Podolski and Ox,Miyachi and Carzola is sometimes played on the wings. What other wingers are you talking about here. Get a grip man.
    At Defensive midfield people forget we still have Diaby and Frimpong to come back.Of the two i only rate Frimpong to play there as he seems to have the discipline to play there in case Flamini is injured. Arteta must really sort himself elsewhere as i don’t see his long term future and age isn’t aiding him either. The only position to worry about is striking role as Giroud seems to be loosing his confidence. @ Napoli i think we should have more than enough to thump them. I remember they almost beat us in the Emirates cup but they were on the ropes towards the end and had there been extra time we could have ripped them apart although it ended 2-2.

  66. Delano,
    Dont be so quick to push Arteta out, hes been a very good signing for us and has done the club no dis-service whatsoever, he has to fight for his place like everyone now must do, if he responds and improves his level, brilliant, if he cant regain a place in the 11 but is happy to stay and fight, well thats just as good but we do not need to sell anyone just because we now have cover in certain areas because it wont always be that way and more importantly aplayer like Arteta who took a pay cut to join us, been played in an untried defensive position because the manager left us short and who like Iv said has never let us down does not deserve that treatment.
    Anyway hes not back fully fit and you could be calling for him to replace Flamini next week….the Flamini who is certain to accumalate 5 yellows and incur a ban if he is doing his job anyway right at all,.which he currently is.

  67. Shard,
    Iv done my homework on the striker issue, not just since your post but for years now but mostly since the RvP departure.
    Its such a tough market now as any goalscorer is gonna be 40m, anything else for any price at all is a risk because like you say we have goals in the team and it could mean having to change our formation and take a scoring/ creative midfielder out to put in a guy who may or may not contribute more, and even if the guy cost only half a mil its still potentially wasted money.
    I have a dozen names but heres who I think is the most suitable for our team balance/ formation/ style of play/ VALUE & availability.
    The man in question is Pato. To be honest I thought wed buy him from AC and get a great deal but it never happened. He is playing great stuff back in Brazil and Wenger was a fan. He would fit in perfect with the way we play and would be a great partner or alternate option for Giroud having played with the similar Ibrahimovic…P.s stop laughing about the Ibra/ Giroud comparison their styles are quite similar but theres certainly a class difference at this time alright!

  68. Shambo

    I haven’t seen Pato play for ages, and I think he had some injury problems, right? I have no idea why Milan sold him, and if it was just for money, why no one else in Europe took a punt on him. Or maybe he wanted to play in Brazil prior to the World Cup? I am however, reminded of Inter Milan’s Adriano. Likened to Ronaldo at one stage, I remember there were some rumours linking us with him back when he was at Inter, but he ended up moving to Brazil on loan, and not doing too well, apart from getting fat. He had some personal issues though, which Pato may not. But it seems like a strange move, and I’m not sure he’s the same player he was at Milan, although he is still only 24.

    Recent wildcard rumours say Balotelli might be available from Milan. Would you take him? I am unsure, mainly because I think our dressing room harmony has been crucial, and I don’t want anyone to destroy that.

    Who else figures in your dirty dozen? 🙂

  69. Shambo

    Agreeing far to much with you recently.. Worrying

    But you are dead right about Arteta. I don’t think anyone could argue Flamini is a better player than Arteta, he’s just very effective at what he does. Without. Arteta last season we would have been in deep doo doo and no doubt his time will come again

    The real test will be tomorrow night. It’s too important a game to make too many changes, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Arteta in the side. Gnabry has done well, but this could be one game to many for him

  70. Jeez men, Arsenal is freaking awesome

    I thimk we might win the UCL this season

    1 – 0 up already

  71. Absolutely awesome, it was that good.

    Only 3 concerns

    1. Is Rambo injured?

    2. Rosicky is half a yard off the pace

    3 don’t think they can repeat that

  72. I slept in missed the first two goals then had to dick around for five minutes until i could get a decent live feed. I think I missed the best bits! But we looked great in the first half and were never troubled in the second. Dortmund will be tougher. Napoli did not live up to the hype. Fantastic goal by Ozil and I thought Giroud’s link up play was outstanding. Nice to see Arteta and Rosicky back. Things looking good, touchwood, fingers crossed. Hope we can keep it going.

  73. The Turkish guys we beat earlier did not look the hype, now Napoli did not look the hype. This is when I clearly blame the media. The media does not know who we are unless they have a real Arsenal unbiased supporter who understands the strength of this team. For the fact that even I was willing to be patient with Wenger for signings say loads….but the media could never have picked that up…..Why? Because they have clearly underestimated our run-in last season. Everyone seems to forget we beat Bayern 2-0, now Napoli were supposed to give us a game or even beat us because they beat Dortmund.

    It is only when we beat Dortmund home and away that people will start taking notice. I wish the silly spuds were in the champs league to give the others a fright as well cos they are the only other team who are playing football in England at the moment.

    Amazing stuff from Arsenal, the most mature performance yet. We are taking this UCL this season, our form at the moment is incomprehensible. We will smash Barca or Bayern with this form. Let us just have a rested Walcott back, and I think it will be a crazy season cos WE WILL NOT LEAVE THAT EPL SUMMIT.

  74. Steady on there Gunnerboss! Too early to make that call. We have had too many false dawns in the last five or six years. But isn’t it great that all we are talking about right now is how well we are playing rather than how shit our defense is, or why our transfer business is down the crapper or arguing whether our manager had early onset dementia. I still think we have not fully overcome our vulnerabilities. Sterner tests still to come and all that. But I am loving how we are looking better each game. I can’t wait for Cazorla and Podolski to be fit again as I think they will lift another level playing with the Wizard in this side. Fingers crossed no injuries from tonight’s game and we can beat the Baggies who will be on a high from theire win at OT.

  75. I must admit i missed the first 30 minutes.But the build up play to the goals was scintillating.Napoli looked out of place and i still think it is only Swansea who have really played arsenal with purpose this season.My only problem is the lack of hunger for goals from Giroud. He relaxes once he scores a goal in a game with out passion to go for more. On Rosicky i feel he over stayed on the pitch and the sitter he missed angered me so much never mind the 2 goal cushion. I feel we can beat Dortmund even on both legs that is if we play with purpose and conviction like we did. I just can’t see us loosing in German as it is now our second home considering the recent successes we have had there. Actually is you look at Bayern and Dortmund we have won against them in German and lost against them in London.

  76. Shard,
    Ballotelli certainly wasnt in the dirty dozen, for exactly the reason you stated, but if im honest the more of him I see the more impressed I am and I think he could be worth the risk although hed be unlikely to return to England and his wage/ fee could prove the bigger risk.
    Heres the dozen or so players I thought could have improved us without stating the obvious or out of reach, and this is from 3 years ago up to now.
    Rossi/ Bojan…both secondary strikers but great in and around the box and would compliment Giroud…but both have gone off the boil for different reasons and may lack physicality for PL but wouldnt be found wanting technically.
    Shane Long/ agbonlahor, not an obvious choice but you cant ignore their pace and arial ability, probably wanting on the technical side but they could give us something different.
    Lisandro/ Vucinic/ Klose…were all available and could have been serious additions for us after Adebayour sale.
    Yilmaz/ Dzeko. Their qualities speak for themselves, basically their aerially and physically strong aswel as being quick along the ground and they want to score allthe time. I have no complaints on Dzeko though because Im nearly certain we wouldhave signed had Mancini stayed at City, Pellegrini had other plans though and we missed out.
    Ba. Should have been first signed from Newcastle when his release clause was made public. Chelsea signed him for 8m. Its no secret they refused to sell to us then once wed signed Ozil the genius but there was no reason whatsoever why he couldnt have been signed any of the 70 odd days before that and he a proven PL striker and asset to any team…we missed out there badly.
    Lukaku. Next big thing. Coukd Chelsea have been tempted with a big offer when he returned from loan at West Brom, you wont know unless you try I suppose.
    Benteke, I wasnt a fan but the guy rattles defenders and will only improve. Hed improve alot quicker at a bigger club though.
    Im not interested in the Higuain/ Suarez stories, partly because their finished now and partly because both were overpriced and involved unreasonable and unrealistic selling clubs.
    There is still a bit of moaning about missing out on Higuain but its worth noting that Madrid would never have sold us two of their highly rated players so had we got Hig, no Ozil. I know which one Id prefer.
    If I had a pick of all the strikers out there though Shard theres two that really stamd out for me that have Arsenal stamped all over them.
    Reus and Negredo.
    Negredo will never happen now but you never know what the future holds regarding Reus.
    What about you what strikers do you think could add something to our squad?
    By the way, last nights first have was something else.
    When you sign someone like Ozil, your getting what you paid for. How many players in the world right now could control that shot first time the way he did? Then he lays a peach of a pass right on Girouds stride for the second and nobody bats an eyelid because you expect that type of execution and weight of pass from him.
    As is Aaron Ramsey right now but he needs a rest soon.

  77. Delano,
    I have to agree mate, if there is one thing to pick on is the lack of ruthlessness to kill the game. Fair enough we were cruising but in games at that level and at 2-0 with 70 mins to go if you drop your intensity, concede for any reason then the opponents up their game and it can be difficult to pick it back up, weve seen it many times before and there kind of is an element of passiveness about Giroud once hes got his goal, he should be helping himself to as many goals as are on offer…just a small critique.

  78. BOY Arsenal were fantastic in the first half last night, am having wet dreams
    and starting to hope BUT still too early. Well done lads!!!!!! lets keep going and to the fans, i hope we get more and much more…

  79. On a next note Rosicky has been very influential and some people have been saying he should get an extension BUT if he love the club so much as he says why not retire form int football to preserve and prolong his career and he’s injury prone to boot.

  80. Maybe after the world cup Kel……definitely not now. We need him at the world cup.

    I also agree about our ruthlessness levels(Ozil scored yesterday, but missed a 1 on 1 in EPL). Then again, there is a long season ahead and these guys were conserving energy. This does not mean Giroud should not try to be more ruthless, but, I also think he has been told not to over exert himself knowing where we stand strikers-wise. Words may not be able to express how devastating an injury would affect the team balance right now and we need that balance to excel and improve for the titanic battles ahead.

    I love how a fresh Rosicky was unleashed right from the start, it made Wilshere play like crazy when he came on. Like i said earlier, just make the right signing and every other thing falls in place automatically….I dont think Wenger trys to motivate them anymore. They are already over-motivated to perform.

    But, sincerely, this team has been very united and started peaking from the Bayern game, but, lack of substantial personnel and that killer instinct made us grind out results and now the core of that inert ability to grind out results have remained. Add that to the manager happily bringing on extra fullbacks(which I love so much) to see out games and I think we have a devastating formula. Whenever we score first against any top team, I think they will be in for it.

    Again, I’ve seen Bayern play…..alongside Barca are our main rivals this season for UCL…Over two legs, I say we take a draw at home and beat them hands down away. This is why we should be carefull not to over exert and only do so when it matters in the key or big games. On a final note, Manure is bull shit….I wish RVP will see a period of us dominating the EPL crown for a few seasons and regret leaving. Nobody could come for Cazorla cos he just had a season and now, he will not want to leave cos we are going into the title winning period. We have to win everything possible these next few seasons to compensate for the past 8 yrs. WoW! It has really been that long

    Cheers guys

  81. So we all new the board wanted to give wenger a new contract even before now Because all they see is money and wenger has always delivered on that front. I must admit as well that the team has looked very good so far this season and wenger must take some credit BUT to award him a new contract on just this is not good enough at all , what has he done??? what have we achieved???? not one thing!!!!!! Wenger and the team has taken advantage of the current situation in the prem where the big clubs are really struggling for consistency BUT this form Arsenal have shown must amount to something in the end or else it would not be justified.
    I agree 100% with wenger for the first time when he says that its too early to start talking about the title so why offer him a new deal???
    Wenger always said in the past that he should be judge at the end of the season so why not reward him based on that very fact with his contract??? why rush to give him a new deal when FORM is the most fickle aspect of football????
    it can be hear today and gone tomorrow and takes ages to get back.
    just another concern that i have with the board and the way we do things we have a culture of rewarding someone for nothing and that has caused us in the past for sure. There have been rumors that wenger will leave BUT i knew that was/has always been rubbish, he has a perfect job at Arsenal why leave that for places where you will be fired in one season for finishing 4th??
    This is my view of course, wenger does not deserve a new contract UNTIL we come to end of the season and we reward him for what we actually accomplished and not jut some form now, we need to win something to justify these last 8 seasons and wengers stubborn thinking.

  82. I agree with you Kel, there is no rush to give him a new contract. Yes PSG reportedly would love to have Wenger. I for one do not think Wenger would want to manage a team owned by these fickle owners . Ancelotti had enough of them after 1 year .
    Wenger has the perfect job at Arsenal, the team makes profit and finishing 4 th is like winning a trophy for him.
    He is also one the highest paid manager in the world.

    It is not that Wenger is not a great coach , he is just a poor team manager. Many have commented that his tactics were that’s why we struggled to win on a consistent basis, I disagree, you give him the Chelsea, Mancity or united squad and he would win the EPL! I just don’t trust him , making the right managerial decisions on players.
    Just look at how much difference to our confidence adding a player like Ozil made to our squad! Just imagine how big an impact adding 2 more world class players would do to our squad.
    The team playing great football right now and winning even when we are not playing well. In about a month we will know if we are serious contenders for the title.

  83. If you were in his position and the board dangled that carrot in front of you, would you say no? Of course not. SO the issue is with the board not Wenger. Lets move on to the next game against the Baggies and keep this amazing run going. 2-1 with Bendtner coming off the bench and netting the winner! Now wouldn’t that be a kick?!

  84. Shambo

    I always liked Lisandro, and in fact was hoping we’d get him instead of Villa when that rumour was going around. Rossi and Bojan are also players I’ve considered, but as you say, they’ve gone off the boil. Yilmaz also seems a reasonable option. Ba is similar to Giroud, and this was the reason stated by Wenger. (I think another reason is that Ba has always, even in his wonder year at Newcastle, performed for half a season, and then quit trying. But Wenger won’t say that publicly) He was always a fallback option and not the first choice. Rightly so in my view. Shane Long, Agbonlahor, even Steven Fletcher. ALl in theory are decent options, but the lack of technical quality, and the fact that buying from England will almost certainly raise their prices to unrealistic levels, I don’t think it can happen. Michu is more likely.

    As far as I’m aware, Reus isn’t really a striker. I’m sure he can play there, but I think he’s more of a wide player. Lewandowski and Aubemeyang are the strikers there. However, Reus is a great footballer, and if there’s any chance of buying him, we should go for it. I mean for all we know, Podolski might actually be a real option at Striker, especially if we can add some more creativity and quality in Reus.

    The newish rumour, and someone I had thought of in the summer as well, is Jackson Martinez. I’ve never seen him play, but his stats look good. He’ll be expensive though, and coming from Portugal, a bit of a gamble. But he could be another realistic option.

  85. About the Napoli performance. I agree with GunnerBoss. Fenerbahce were to be our great test, the draw to avoid. Once we beat them, they were no great shakes. Then Spurs were meant to show us how poor we really are, but once we beat them, it was because Spurs needed time to gel (despite them ‘buying early’) Now Napoli were to be a great test, but oh they showed no quality. I think they were blown away by us in the first half an hour, and because we scored two goals, their plan of sitting back and hitting us on the counter had no chance of success. They looked more focused second half, but I loved our second half performance. It was not a lack of focus or intensity. It was Arsenal holding off an opponent and saying ‘prove you can beat us’. They couldn’t. Because we put in a mature, settled, professional performance. The combination of the attacking football with constant movement, and the approach of the second half, is what wins you titles. I loved it.

  86. And about Wenger’s contract, just because some of you doubt his ability doesn’t mean the board should. They don’t. He will get a new contract. Regardless of whether Arsenal win a trophy or not. Because a club’s or any organisation’s long term strategy cannot be aligned to what amounts to the vagaries of chance. A trophy does not have to accrue to show that the club is on the right track. So suck it up. It’s going to happen. 3 years sounds about right.

    And also consider this. Wenger can always be sacked if he really doesn’t do well. I mean a lot of you wanted him sacked before and his contract meant nothing. So why should a new contract make any difference to you?

  87. In response to Garety above, I say bullshit.

    We would’ve beaten Napoli anyways without Ozil. Did Ozil make us beat Besiktas or a solid Tottenham team intent on making us pay for pipping them to 4th last season?

    End of

  88. Gunner boss I agree. Ozil is undoubtably a great player, but we have some pretty decent players already

    Ramsey is totally on fire

    Giroud is playing out of his skin

    Flamini is giving heart and soul

    Gibbs is playing well and fit

    Merit and Kos have gone unnoticed because they are so efficient

    Sagna has his form back

    It goes on and on. Ozil is great but it’s a team game

  89. Wow, wow, wow. Stall the digger fellas.
    I thought that we were all on the same page regarding Wenger.
    Profit Margin was not the guage by which our success was to be measured,. this was the weapon we used so often to attack Wenger with when he gave answers that, to me at that time sounded like deflection from the on field and off field failings.
    By the same token, I dont ever recall saying he was failing us if we didnt acrue any silverware.
    We moved stadium, we lost our remaining invincibles, the jokers ( jack nicholson batman 1) arrived parading through the streets throwing out free money,etc etc, we know all this.
    Somewhere along the line something stalled on us, we were stagnating. We needed improvement. Alot of us were calling for calm, more of us were calling for the chequebook to come out, it didnt happen and the manager still said he would spend big on the right player whilst the bigwigs said there were significant funds available, but still we kept selling our best.
    But we wernt selling so we could profit short term, we were selling because these individuals wanted out,only cesc leaves with any morality, but what other way would you have it?????
    Forward to now.
    The manager has come good on his word of not being reluctant to not only spend big but absolutely smash our transfer record on a player that has reinvigorated our whole club. Even the manager for the first time in years has a spring in his step and is bouncing out of his seat rather than slumped, hiding behind his overcoat and throwing water bottles about the place.
    We are on the improve. We are an attractive proposition to anyone who should want to sign. We are playing good, fleetingly brilliant football, we are all on the same page again.
    The manager has tested us very close to our limits, yes, but you cannot say he didnt deliver on his word and while mistakes have been made I think he stayed through to the way the majority of us would like our club run and to his own ideals.
    Robin van Persie was offered a new contract, he was captain and he was adamant he wanted to leave us and the club who made him, who stuck by him through his off field troubles and his injuries. Yeah it was a sucker punch and wrong to sell to Utd but for Wenger Id say it felt worse that the player would turn his back on Arsenal and I for one,with the benefit of hindsight, can say I am proud that he has the guts to say ‘we want you here, but if you dont want to PLAY FOOTBALL FOR ARSENAL, you may go’.
    Roberto di Matteo won the CL for Chelsea got the sack. Silverware as Shard said is not affirmation of success.
    We are improving after a lull, thats what we asked for, thats what we are getting.
    We have suffered alot, but no-one moreso than Wenger who has been the whipping boy for journalists and tv “pundits” the last few years, the same media who deliberately set out to antagonise and provoke with ridiculously poor, dated and repetitive questions in press conferences and cliched, regurgitated propaganda on tv. But did the manager ever rise to it? Did he exit a press room prematurely because he needed to have the last word like Mourinho when he was under a mere fraction of the pressure we were going through at our club??
    Every day now, every game we play there is something satisfying to be taken that brings us closer each time to being able to reap the benefits from our time on the carousel of lull.
    You should allow yourself to enjoy these moments right now, and allow Arsene Wenger to enjoy them aswel, he has worked for them as much as we have longed for them.
    Right now I could not be happier with everything.
    All is well because we are all on the same page and trying to improve all the time.

  90. Shambo
    Have you ever considered writing as a career? In my opinion that is the best blog I have ever seen on here. It obviously helps that I agree with what you have written,. But more importantly it is very well thought out and presented

    If you were a player, after a dusplay like that, I would consider you for our midfield

    Very well done

  91. YYAaaaayyyyyy Shambo 🙂

    You took me by surprise there, but boy was that well written, and I think, from the heart. Which just makes me happier.

  92. Retsub/ Shard,
    Thanks lads, as always with my posts it was completely off the cuff and kinda just poured out, sometimes its unpuntuated, incomprehensible junk, but its great to hear when it makes sense! Ha.
    I was just reading Kels, whos passion I can relate to and often has opinions I agree with, recent posts and whilst I understand hes not being anti-Wenger per say but is moreso questioning the legitimacy of the grounds for offering him a new contract I realised I myself am not concerned as much about this as I was up to recently.
    Its not that my memory of all thats gone on before is being clouded by a short term early season run of form either because it has not. Im still quite aware of the poor judgement and mistakes that were made in the club at times and I can remember the dozens of not so nice blogs Iv posted here.
    But from what I read from Kel kind of had me wondering if there are still disgruntled fans who are maybe not enjoying the subtle improvements that we have been making recently as much as they should be.
    Fair enough the winning helps, but it hasnt been the most satisfying aspect of the early season.
    We have been convincing in all that we have done so far. In seasons past you just could not draw confidence from Arsenal, even some wins left bigger questions than answers, we used to have the capacity to go 3/4 games without a win, could we be beat or draw today, absolutely, yes. But do I feel we will be beat in our next game, no I dont, and whether thats misplaced confidence and we did actually go out and get beat again doesnt actually matter because my disposition has gone from wanting to vote no-confidence in anyone in an authoritive role at Arsenal to being over optimistic.
    And that, fundementally as a fan of any sport, is what drives you, what inspires you to imagine your team or athlete reaching the highest heights in their field. Optimism, when you can really believe it, is the next best process to realising the actual acheivement or winning the prize.
    You can have misplaced optimism and as a fan still really enjoy a whole season, otherwise their would be no Wigan fans, no Everton fans, etc, etc.
    This is what we lacked for the last few years because we couldnt even convince ourselves to subscribe to misplaced opitmism, what makes us better than a Wigan or Everton fan who can find more satisfaction in a single scrappy away victory than we could take from a whole season?
    We need to remember how to enjoy the small victories and steps foward as fans before we even deserve to win a major trophy, if we can do this it will make the success even sweeter.
    Now is the perfect time to start doing that.
    Im not a big social media person but the other evening I stumbled across something Andy had wrote on facebook that made me grin from ear to ear. It was random as hell and so simple, I think it was sonething like this- ‘ I love it when Matthieu Flamini kicks people’….to me, thats just refreshing to see as an Arsenal fan because for years we were spoilt with Bergkamps, Wrights, Henrys, Lundbergs, who were superstar personalities aswel as players and we had so many different aspects to draw on to keep us optimistic, do you remember the roar youd hear watching a game on tele when Vieira would clatter a player then dink the ball over the next onrushing opponent? These are the things you take away from those games.
    ‘Did you see what Vieira did to Ramon Vega today????’
    ‘Yeah shame we drew though’
    ‘….yeah, but he made absolute shite out of him!!!!”
    ‘I thought the Spuds were going to show us what was what today, Schez didnt even break sweat and were not even great at the back!!! Ha ha!’
    ‘Did you see Ozils first touch today for Girouds goal?’
    ‘Did you hear Flamini told one of the Stoke players hed blind him if he kicked Wilshere again, ha, the mans a legend!’
    ‘What about Ramseys form?, hes playing some stuff’
    ‘There are only a handful of players in the world who could have scored Ozils goal the way he did against Napoli, Im glad we have one!!!’
    ‘ Wait til we get Santi back in that midfield!’
    ‘Arteta looks hungry to get back in the team!’
    ‘Did you see our second goal away to Swansea today???..holy shit’
    Enjoy these moments, find the simple things to talk about and enjoy about the players, especially if its something like ‘I love it when Flamini kicks people’…winning silverware cant be done by every team, but we can take any amountof satisfaction out of things like this if you allow yourself to.

  93. I love it when Flamini kicks people…. Great line love it. I heard another one the other day that made me laugh. David Moyes spent 10 years trying to get Everton above United and now he has succeeded .

    As you have alluded to Shambo whatever your stance on Wenger we should be enjoying every moment of the current run. A sunny day in Birmingham is totally different to a rock hard December pitch up North or even a very muddy one. It will be interesting to see if the team can adapt accordingly. I am pretty confident that Flamini ca

  94. Great posts Shambo! You should submit an article for this blog along with Chard, you have talent.
    I would not speak for Kel, but I am enjoying this great form by Arsenal and victories, but my enthusiasm is just tempered but the experience of last 8 years. There was a year when we were 1 st of table in December, other years where we were title contenders until we collapsed in the frigid months of January, February.

    Do not underestimate the impact of adding a world class player like Ozil psychologically to this team. In recent years , teams did not fear arsenal, now when they look across the field and see Ozil, they have fear in their hearts!

    The other big impact was signing Flamini, we have been missing this element for a long time , it frees up players like Wilshere, Ramsey to create goals. Even Song although , he had strength , but he was not always discipline in his positioning.

    Having said all of that I think that we can still improve our depth in certain positions. Why I would not be in a hurry to extend Wenger, I want to make sure that there is a new vision at Arsenal . Where we do not just panic and buy to calm the fans , but that there is a strategy a long term project in place of continued improvement of the team.
    I agree , winning trophies is not a God given right to Arsenal, but if we strive and put the right pieces in place, we will not win trophies every year , but we will some trophies and we won’t have to scratch and claw to finish in the top 4. Ozil is a young man who is used to winning trophies or competing for trophies, he is a winner. I can assure you that he will not be happy just finishing 4th …if we want to keep him, let’s make sure that our club matches his ambition.
    We are on a great run, the team has not been this balanced in a long time. Let’s enjoy it. As I wrote before by mid November, we should know if we are real contenders for the title.

  95. I think the teams has done well so far this season and to be truthful i did not expect this they have been fantastic if that is a better word and the manager must take some credit and am enjoying it because some of my bodies have to keep quite when they see me BUT what i have a problem with is this contract situation for wenger who should NOT be given a new deal until the end of the season As Gunfest said we were here already and it amounted to nothing so as him am cautious BUT the team has been a breath of fresh air.
    wenger and his contract should wait, whats the rush?????

  96. In my opinion

    Jack should be subbed

    Ramsey back in the middle

    Jenks is a bit to predictable

    great save by Szs

  97. Ramsey took a knock in the first half. Logical that he got substituted. Without great wingers , we need Carzola back because of his ability to take on players and finish. When Ozil gets the ball and looks up, he needs to see players running behind the full backs.

  98. Arteta is the problem here. Plain and simple…

    We were doing very fine till we came back. Now, he and Flamini did well together against Napoli and we cannot be doing this every week….we limit our effectiveness when we play two defensive midfielders against opposition like West Brom. They beat manure, they are confident, but where will they end up May? We need to know what to do to win games tactically and I think Wenger got the tactics for this game completely wrong. Flamini cannot be running like Ramsey, he cannot be as efficient. Wenger has to understand we have similar players, but not every one has the same capabilities. Arteta just came back, he is probably tired already. If Wenger does not manage this team effectively, we might not win that EPL anymore. We cannot afford to be dropping points like this….we are champion material and I think we let ourselves down cos of who the manager chooses. Guaranteeing Arteta a starting role will make him complacent and Flamini who is the better player looking over his shoulder and trying to do more.

    I dont like this draw at all, but it is better than losing. Wenger has to let Flamini be the last DM and Arteta more forward if he wants to play Arteta at all. Arteta clearly is the most dispensible one here. We need him least and I think he is the slowest player on the pitch, after Mertesacker. WestBrom have very fast players and were very tight in the middle, so, the last thing we needed to do was put a clumsy Arteta in the middle. Rosicky should’ve come in for Arteta instead of Ransey and told to specifically help Flamini, he shouldve been the one taking the shots Flamini ended up taking and we know how good he is at shooting. We reduced our efficiency in my opinion and it is sad we were not able to continue our winning streak. We put the expectations there and we have clearly disappointed ourselves.

    What happened to Gnabry? Arteta has seemingly ended his run in the side. Too bad cos this is a game we needed speed, plenty of it.

    My team would be Flamini, Rosicky, Ramsey, Ozil, Wilshere, and Giroud…..Arteta could come in 2nd half for Rosicky. He should only start when we play less intense opposition or when he has rested properly or when we really need experience like in the UCL games. Wenger must juggle his tactics again, some players are untouchable, but, can we say Arteta should be a confirmed starter for us with the form we are on at the moment? My untouchables are Walcott, Ozil, Cazorla, Flamini and we can add Ramsey and Giroud on current form. These should be our first team when all are fit and considering current form.

  99. SHambo and Gunfest

    Agree with you both. We lacked width today (Walcott and especially Sagna were missed) and in the absence of width, we lacked the extra bit of creativity that Cazorla could have offered. The referee had a poor game, although it was poor for both sides, we could have had 2 penalties. Still, WBA played well, and looked dangerous on the counter. It was a fair(ish) point in the end and no real disaster.

    We were poor in the first half though, and only really picked up the pace when Rosicky came on. Wilshere had a mixed bag, but also came in for a lot of rough treatment with no protection, which sadly is becoming a norm, and we suffered more once Flamini was not allowed to be physical after his early booking.

  100. Shambo as usual…….Great one there mate

    I remember the days when I read Spanish Fry’s analysis, then I read what Shambo says in the comments…..Shambo’s posts often are real nice and well thought out.

    I really do enjoy reading his posts. Like I said earlier, I recommend him for some contributions to the blog as guest writer. Send a write-up to Andy or Lefty to add and edit and we have a sweet new post to talk about.

    Cheers guys

  101. Yes I didn’t not understand the omission of Gnarby who provides us with the best option on the wing in the absence of Theo and Ox.
    We started with 5 central midfielders today!
    Wilshere played on the wing but he has the kind pace best suited for the midfield where he can change speed and combine with other players. Despite his goal , he was not very effective.
    IMO Ramsey, should have been taken off at half time, we could see that his injury made him less effective . why take a risk with his knee so early in the season?

  102. I missed this game. 2am Monday morning a bridge too far for me! Sounds like we didn’t play well but fought back for a point which in the scheme of things may not be too bad. The last few seasons this could easily have been a morale sapping defeat so let’s hope the international break will be gentle on us and we come back ready to take 3 points from Norritch. And the Spuds losing to the Hammers was almost worth the other two points!

  103. Exactly Terry. Seeing the Spuds lose made definitely made up for it. But, are we noticing Chelski glide up silently?

    Point is….we should be picking up max points when shitty and spuds lose to mount more pressure on them and give ourselves some air

  104. I know it’s the inter lull but I feel the need to talk arsenal. With the midfield getting fitter, Wenger is going to have selection headaches.
    I think he made a mistake in the WBA game by pushing Ramsey out wide to accommodate Arteta. Arteta has been great, but Ramsey is on fire. Flamini isn’t in Artetas class as a footballer but he is exactly what the team needed

    My choice of midfielders. Would be Flamini and Ramsey with Cazorla And Ozil as the creative players. I guess if you play Ozil in the number 10 role it opens up another space in midfield


  105. I think we need another post!

    Agree the midfield should be Ramsey, Flamini and probably Wilshere with Ozil, Giroud and Rosicky our forward three – or could give Gnabry a run over Rosicky. Cazorla on the bench and save him for Dortmund next week. A big month coming up with the Dortmund games, Liverpool and mid table Manure ( I hope they stay there but I know they probably won’t).

    Norwich won’t be easy so I hope we are focused and get the three points to stay top.

  106. Believe me Retsub, you just beat me to that post. Shame I didn’t come on earlier. Anyways, like we so often forget the good sides to whatever negatives we post…..I certainly included until he plays better in that quote. I was also supportive of Wenger playing him more often to get him confident. I remember him trying flicks and long passes and missing everything…..I was laughing cos I knew Wenger wanted it that way and refused to bench him. I knew he was integral to Wengers plans, this is why he and Diaby always got to play whenever fit at the expense of Rosicky.
    With that out of the way, sometimes defending why a player like Rosicky who clearly merited his place in the side not starting ahead of Ramsey in past seasons just gets you so worked up. I’m very happy Rosicky is in the side and that the coach has renewed faith in him. Well, its also easy to forget I stuck to Giroud and had faith in him….

    1. I bet Dortmund are shitting in their expectant pants.
    2. Arsenal are winning a whole lot of new supporters worldwide, Ozil got us goggled a lot more and loads of people who tuned in to watch Ozil got surprised and some embarrased at what they saw.
    3. I bet more than 80percent of the critics are more than convinced about what they see now. It cant be flukes anymore and no one is really expecting Dortmund to be our true test…..its rather the opposite. They are now fearing we dont beat Dortmund cos that will causea stir and change the pattern of the coming market.
    4. Do we really need another striker? It would be very unfair to keep Giroud on the bench for any idiot, even Suarez.
    b) This will also change our pattern considerably considering a fit Walcott will never be kept on the bench. So, a no no for me…..Yaya Sanogo, Podolski, Walcott can fit in there the same way Sagna slots in at CB.

    Now, back to the team…..
    I’m very happy and impressed with how we play. Ramsey was crazy today, very happy he got his goal run going despite coming in for Flamini cos he did play deeper at first……but this is the problem with adapting……if ur not very disciplined, you forget what you came in to do. With Cazorla and Ozil, it will not be easy to play him behind Giroud, but, Wenger asks them to rotate very often and it is sweet to see them do favourably and take their chances. My oh my, what an assist from Giroud…..I mean, this guy was made for us. I love strikers who are not just deadly, but can assist loads too. Sad he didn’t get on the scoresheet, but his contribution today was faultless. Finally, I hope Rosicky starts against BvB cos we need his experience badly. Sweet sweet day, I really love this feeling. Can never think of falling sick when I’m this sweet in the tommy….every little thing tickles.

  107. @Restsub in deed am among those who said that and for a record we have not won anything yet.But i must confess the guy has really improved and seems to be enjoying his football.We shall get the respect when we thump Dortmund in Germany.
    The beauty of the win is that two of our fierce competitors lost.i mean a draw was like a loss to United. I hope Aston villa does us another good favour. Its just a boring moment for us bloggers that we have no negativity at all. Either ways i loved seeing Bendtner involved .I rate him highly over Chamakh.However its ashaming that our captain can’t play at the moment and i feel he could do a job in Defensive midfield just to accomodate him as his left shot is mercurical and he can as well attack and good at setpieces. I dedicate the win to Thomas Vermaleen.

  108. Those goals were the bomb! Wilshere’s the culmination of a brilliant team effort, Ramsey’s an individual classic. And kudos to Bendtner – he linked up well and it was great that we can bring Giroud off and not look worse off. I thought he was going to score with that shot. Damn I wish we would stop conceding goals though. Still our Achilles heel. We weren’t at our best for periods of the game but were at our absolute best for the goals. Can’t wait to see the highlights on a big screen as I was watching on a livestream (with French commentators!) on a screen the size of a playing card. Tough games to come though. By my reckoning we have only played one team (Spuds) that aare currently in the top half of the table so let’s not get carried away.

    And how about a new blog post guys?!

  109. Guys
    I,m not having a pop at anyone over Ramsey, just a bit of fun. I agree Wenger persevered too long when he was lacking confidence, but it is certainly paying premiums now.

    It’s interesting that in the past Arsenal have played teams off the park and lost. But against WBA and Norwich, for periods we were being outplayed. It appears we have a win mentality

  110. Nah Retsub, let’s milk it for all its worth. You and I were the only ones in the entire universe to see past the poor form and see Ramsey’s true talent! OK, there might have been one or two others but we were definitely in the minority. And fair play to you Retsub. I remember a comment you made not so long ago about Bendtner and how he may surprise us and I gave you some cheek. You may well turn out to be right when you were definitely Robinson Crusoe on that one!

    I just watched some highlights. Unfortunately the first goal they did not start the clip from where the move started deep in our half where Wilshere started it and then went on a lung busting run to get up the other end. I could watch that one and Ramsey’s over and over again. Can’t wait for the Dortmund game. On live free to air down under so big screen again. Yay for SBS!

  111. We are on a great run and scoring for fun and Santi is back! I have to admit I did not think Ramsey had the technical ability to play for a team like Arsenal. I am glad that I have been proven wrong.

    We might need a world class striker if Ramsey keep scoring goals at this rate and that Wenger finds a way to use Poldoski’s finishing qualities. The coming month we will face all of biggest rivals so far it is pleasure to watch.

    If Wilshere add some finishing to his game too, now we will be in business! Scoring midfielders take so much pressure of the strikers, it is an essential element to a winning side.

  112. GunnerBoss

    October 7, 2013 at 3:39

    This comment said a lot………..about Arteta and not letting Ramsey do a Flamini…….
    Seems they will all learn the hard way. Ramsey will never give the ball away like that again…..I think we tried too hard to win it and forget a draw is an excellent result.

    I still think we will beat them away……if we keep our heads down. We are a better away team, we do better away than at home. I think we will look at those conceeded goals again and remember Gibbs has a lot of work to do if that 2nd goal is not to be repeated. There’s nothing wrong with the Spaniard Lb and it would certainly be nice to see Monreal start…if he could bench Cazorla today and Ramsey the other day…I don’t see why Gibbs cannot be benched next game. Monreal is clearly better for me, a couple of good performances does not mean Gibbs is excellent. The mistakes all showed today against a team that makes quite few. The way we have been conceeding lately, the slight sloppiness of Arteta etc.
    We miss Flamini. Period. It is clear he is our most valuable player. Hats off to the boys and Cheers again to being at the summit of the EPL.

    Cheers guys

  113. Gunner boss I think you have mellowed, I agree with your summary. Cazorla made a big difference when he came on, but a draw would have been a good result

  114. How we all doin fellas?
    Great performance Saturday, great goals aswel.
    Tonight was a bit draining from a fans point of view, there was little to get excited about and I thought the tempo from us was seriously lacking, so much so that nobody in the team seemed to be even aware that we needed a lift and that someone had to grab the game by the scruff. Giroud tried in fairness.
    I thought the tactical approach made us look sloppy and shapeless. Rosicky and Wilshere were detached out wide and werent penetrating their backline at all, this left Giroud looking for 1-2s to feet which never came and then he wasnt in the box for crosses as a result.
    Rosicky really dissapointed me along with Sagna as they both conceded possesion too easily and both looked devoid of energy.
    Just my opinion.
    Arteta worked ok without the ball but I cant understand why he is so careful with his passing in our half that he doesnt try to get us moving forward swifter.
    To be a goalkeeper at a top team like Arsenal you are going to have to make saves at the right times in order for the team to get a result. Too often we concede when the opponent has only had three or four shots on target. Thats not good enough to be honest, at some stage Shezney is going to have to start making big saves. I dont think he made a save of any note tonight.
    Im not as worried about the result as I am about the performance and lack of drive tonight.
    We have to impose our game early in games like these at home and this must become the standard if we are to continue to improve.
    Dortmund are actually ten times better than that and it was a poor game for the CL.
    Lets get back on track with a result at the weekend and pick a team to do the job.

  115. Not the result we wanted but it’s not the end of the world either. There was no way Dortmund could keep up the intensity of their pressing for 90 minutes and as they got tired from about the hour mark I thought we were going to beat them. They caught us with a sucker punch with that second goal and we never got back into it after that. But fair play to them, they are a seriously good side with some great players. We were second best in the first half. Ozil was anonymous and they harried our midfield into plenty of errors. I think we really missed Flamini. Arteta did a good job but lacks a bit of pace. Ramsey stuffed up for their first goal and will learn (helpfully) from that. I think if Flamini had been playing Ramsey would not have found himself in that position for the goal. But that’s hypothetical. I do think he and Ozil and Cazorla were able to cause Dortmund some trouble in the second half as they tired ant the game was stretched. We might have had a goal when the ref pinged Mertesacker for a foul in the box that no one but he could see. Another word on Giroud. He worked his socks off and caused their defence some problems. If only he had that extra burst of speed and he would be some player! It makes the next two games vital. We need at least a draw in Germany and then I think we play Napoli again. This group was always going to be tight. We need some players back from injury soon as we are going to need them.

  116. The billing on Group of Death is now on. But i think the result would have been different if we had Walcott on that pitch. Am just so annoyed that despite all the good things Ramsey has done, he is stupidly becoming complacent.Flamini would have made the mature decision of just kicking the ball away. The only positive thing is from the coach who said if you can’t win a game then don’t loose it to a stupid avoidable counter attack.
    The only realistic points to get is now against Merseille. Napoli and Dortmund away are going to be difficult games and this makes the game in German a must win. We have beaten them before and if Walcott makes that team we stand a chance.Dortmund sit behind and we had to sit behind also just for the sake of a point or get them on the counter. Sagna was no where to be seen for the second goal. It’s just a bad feeling now and i dont know who to blame exactly.

  117. I think fatigue played a big part yesterday. That’s not an excuse, just an observation. Ramsey in particular seemed just that fraction off the pace.

    Cazorla made such a difference, and if he’d been fit enough to start we might have been better. Flamini’s absence also cost us, despite Arteta having a great game. Flamini might well have covered Sagna’s position for the second goal. Rosicky didn’t.

    The referee made a difference too, although nothing major. Still, when tired, those little things matter. And what of Cazorla’s shot. So close.

    Still, frustrating as it was to lose the game in that manner, I’m not deflated by it. We are good enough to beat Dortmund. But we need our injured players back quickly. We have a tough run coming up, and fatigue is becoming a problem now.

    Do we rest players versus Crystal Palace in the league, or Chelsea in the League Cup?

  118. Hey dudes,
    My apologies. I’ve been in Maine closing the summer house for the season.
    My dad is in his 80’s now and my sisters have kids and can’t take them out of school. So every year I have to go back home year to open and close the place.
    I have a piece in the works and hopefully I will have it up by Thursday.
    It’s Wed evening here now but first things first I’m going to take my two darling Labs to Aptos creek.
    Boy, it’s good to be home.
    BTW: Kinda big goof by the Ram. He’s been so good for us though I’m inclined to forgive and forget. We did have a point though and that would have put us in excellent position. Oh well better save it for the blog.
    It’s nice to see how you guys get on with it article or no. THAT”S dedication.

  119. Delano = one mistake and he is stupidly complacent ? seems a bit harsh to me.
    Lefty, my Maine Man – good to hear from you again! Look forward to a new post.

  120. A half fit Walcott should be able to cause trouble to Dortmund. I predict a draw in German to make it 7 points all. Add 6 more points for both Arsenal and Dortmund. Head to head Dortmund will head the group again which is disaster for us. We have paid the price all along for finishing second and this season looks the same old story.If i were Wenger i would sacrifice fluidity on superior teams with solidity. Vermaleen is suffering on the bench.He is a senior player and our captain.Why not play him in Defensive midfield role just to accommodate him. At center back he is wanting but he has different qualities we miss. He has a fierce left shot and is good for set pieces. He would be good at Defensive midfield role other than gambling with Arteta who naturally is not a defender. We must pray that Walcott just recovers at the weekend other wise we may loose the grip this November and our season will be dejavu again until in March as we fight for our dear trophy the top 4.Injured players must come back so as to keep the flame lighting.

  121. Welcome back Righty, sorry Lefty

    Delano I think you are getting a little carried away. Sure Rambo made a mistake but if they stopped the clock now he would probably be footballer of the year. What the Dortmund game told me was how much we missed Flamini. Rambo and Arteta have done really well as a defensive hub but, Rambo has proven he’s better further forward.

  122. Shard,
    Home game vs a managerless Palace???.. I would like to see rotation and preserve the big guns for Chelsea in the Cup because a side with Gnabry, Bentdner, Jenkinson, etc is far more likely to beat Palace than Chelsea and the weeks rest will do the others a favour.
    Gibbs needs a rest and Monreal needs gametime.
    Verm needs gametime and BFG, although solid all season could do with a breather, his attempt at defending for the first goal v dortmund was concerning because he simply didnt sense or try to dissarm the threat.
    Sagna needs a real threat to his position, otherwise it has to be a replacement. Harsh but hes the worst rb out of the top 7/8 teams in the PL. Hes neither great at attacking or defending and struggles to get back.
    Like you Im not too fussed bout the result wed night but we need to be quicker out of the blocks at home and dictate the tempo of the game.

  123. Lefty,
    Wow, Maine. Home of the amazing Stephen King. Let me know when you wanna visit Ireland and well house-swap for a holiday!!! Ha ha.

  124. Hey uze guys,
    I just finished the post and put the draft in at wordpress.
    Andy has to approve it and edit the pictures. (I guess at 55 I’m still too radical mon) Anyway it should be up in short order and thanks for your all being patients(HAHA)

  125. @ Shambo criticism on Sagna is real unfounded he made the assist for our equaliser.But may be thats why there is need to give Jenkins more game time because Jenkins is faster in sprints and gives us the physical presence on set pieces. Like in the past games Wenger should be throwing on defenders in the last 15 minutes. This saved us against the Totenham on slaught earlier on in the season

  126. Delano,
    Did you see the game?
    For the first 15mins he did nothing but lose possession under no pressure. When does he make a telling interception or clearance these days?
    Where was he for their second goal?
    His cross, the first Iv seen in ages that didnt hit the first man or completely overshoot the entire box, was good but isnt actually a direct assist as the defender and keeper connected first and fluffed their lines.
    One good cross doesnt make up for being inneffective or under par the rest of the time. Watch his performances closely, particularly when he hasnt got the ball and when he is crossing, its pretty average.
    He doesnt ever go by their lb to the byline to get a cross in ever,even Eboue could do this really well.
    Its just an observation but when you look at what Glen Johnson, Ivanovic, Zabalaeta/ Richards, Walker, Seamus Coleman, Rangel and others offer their team when counter attacking into the oppositions box.
    You have probably become used to watching him go by Walcott, miscontrol slightly and then pass back to Walcott or inside to Arteta and slow the attack down. But look at what Iv said in the next game vs a decent side and you will see he leaves a hell of a lot to be desired. Monreal would be better at rb.
    Im not having a pop at him for the sake of it but hes been under par for quite some time and long before the shocker at home to Utd last season aswel.

  127. I still think Gibbs is at fault for the second. Not defending Sagna or anything, coach should introduce Vermaelen in DM soon. That guy is too good for any bench……
    He is a superb player and Captain..not Arteta, so we should be trying him out in DM instead of Arteta for now. Plus he has loads of energy reserves and will quickly see and recognise a counter far more quickly than Arteta. Chelsea did that with the crazy haired brazillian defender and won European titles…..Instead of bringing him on as a defender to see out games, we have him already in midfield and bring on some others in midfield or attack to cause the opposition to think twice about attacking.
    Great irony, first game the Flamini and Arteta untrusted partnership was to be tested, Flamini went missing and Wenger was happy to start Wilshere ahead of Cazorla in a game we needed to go all out guns blazing from the start.
    Ramsey is the form man, Ozil and Cazorla are masters, Rosicky for inexpendable experience, Arteta because he seems to be the only DM. Giroud is striker. Why bring in Wilshere for Cazorla from the beginning against Dortmund when all other conditions seemed perfect. …its not like Cazorla was unavailable. Anyways, he will have to live with however his decisions pan out. Favouritism or no, it has worked for him before at the teams trophy expense, so, he cares more about development. Clearly.

  128. @Gunnerboss
    For once we agree.
    Although he has been much more alert this year defensively, That time he bombed off more than he could chew back.
    @Shambo Ireland I believe is a bit warmer than Maine but I think both places average over 160 days of some type of precipitation. Better the Devil you snow 😉
    BTW: I finished the post yesterday so we’re waiting for Andrew to publish it.
    If it isn’t up by the morning I will try to contact him again but that’s all I’m truly authorized to do.

  129. Really looking forward to this one., for anyone in England I understand the game is free to watch on bt sports. Shambo, not sure if this also includes Ireland,…

    Just hope Chamakh doesn’t come back to haunt us

    4 – 0. Arsenal

  130. Retsub,
    I run a pub and have BT, but not free and defo not cheap bro!!!
    Only caught the first half but I hear Shezny popped up with one of those match winning saves I was on about the other day,thats what Im talkin’ bout!
    Another three points, muchos gracias.

  131. Just listening to those twats on bt sports. Absolutely no doubt that Chamakh made first contact with Arteta yet they still debate if it was a red card or not

  132. Shambo

    You run a pub? Wow you are my hero will catch the next Ryan Air flight

    Szs did make a couple of very good saves and Nacho made a pretty impressive run in their box

    Another one of those days when they weren’t. At their best but took the points

  133. Great result with 10 men.Why is Arteta the last man covering on corner kick? The red card was very harsh..
    Hoping we rest some key players like Giroud, Ozil , Kos , Metz , during the mid week game, with an eye on our confrontation with Liverpool.

  134. Couldn’t watch this game> I was driving home from Sydney after going to watch the Sydney v Western Sydney derby. Forty thousand people watching a club soccer game in Oz! Never thought I would see that in my lifetime! Another three points which is all you can ask for as we go into a crunch time for the the season. Am worried about facing Liverpool with that cheating Uruguayan scumbag bang in form. We need to be on our game against him. Flamini out is not good news.

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