Ghosts Of The Past As Arsenal Top The Table On Goals Scored

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West Bromwich Albion 1 – 1 Arsenal

1 – 0 Yacob (42)
1 – 1 Wilshere (63)

There wasn’t the drama of a last-minute goal; no iconic commentary moment or photo opportunity for these shirts but there is a familiar feeling about the moment. Arsenal are top of the table, locked on the same goal difference with second-placed Liverpool. The decisive factor once again is goals scored. The decisive goal from an Arsenal youth prodigy. Michael Thomas scored more frequently than Jack Wilshere but the latter’s first Premier League goal in nearly three years was no less welcome than any his predecessor contributed.

In hindsight a point is fair return for the performance at The Hawthorns. Arsenal might have won, could conceivably have lost had Nicolas Anelka taken chances which he used to score for fun. And in the midst of this, some officiating that left heads scratched and brains aching in their rationale. And some where the official got it right, no matter how much we want the opposite to be true. Poor officiating on its own is rarely the reason for a defeat but often held so. If Lee Mason’s decision not to award a penalty is considered influential on the outcome, so was Olivier Giroud’s failure to score no matter how good a save Boaz Myhill made. When we rely on a referee to hand us victory, it is a sign of a bits and pieces performance.

Post-match, Arsène viewed the result as a point gained rather than two lost. That gives more of an indicator of the game than anything else. Wilshere went from first half villain to second half hero and in some eyes remains the former no matter what he does. Persistent fouling by the home defence had little menace but a lot of pushing. Did Wilshere make the most of it on occasion? No doubt, all players do. Did that influence Lee Mason’s decision in not awarding a penalty? No because replays exonerated Mulumbu of any foul play. Should the earlier decision have been given? Yes, anywhere else on the pitch a tackle made after the ball has gone is deemed late and punished. The legacy of Anthony Taylor’s decision to pull play back on the opening day after a shot was made is clear for all to see; no longer are such phases of play punishable.

Like floorboards in an old house, the defence creaked yesterday under the strain of a pacey Albion attack. The cobwebs were shaken when Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny swapped positions after the former had been left trailing in the wake of first Berahino whose cross Anelka contrived to miscontrol, allowing Szczesny to make a timely intervention, and then by Anelka himself, the curled effort wide of the post. Ordinarily the former French international would be referred to as a ‘former Arsenal player’ which he is, of course but then I would need to add in his other clubs. It’s one way of filling a 900 word post, I suppose.

Before that, the hole had been found. A corner was partially cleared but the supply route was left wide open and from Amaltifano’s cross, the unmarked Yacob scored. It was a horribly goal to concede from the minute the ‘second phase’ was not closed down to the lack of marking of the goalscorer. The goal snuggled nicely into every stereotype about Arsenal’s weaknesses from set-pieces, stereotypes that fitfully turn out to be true. Nobody remembers the corners safely cleared or crosses properly dealt with but there is no forgetting the mistakes, no matter how much they may be glossed over.

That this was the opening goal was at once surprising and not so. Myhill and Szczesny had both made crucial saves prior to that, both would make equally important blocks afterwards. Finishing on the whole was wayward and having been awoken from their half-time slumber, Arsenal assumed the ascendancy in the game. The injured and it has to be said relatively ineffective Ramsey was replaced by Rosicky and his naturally sparky passing game added a previously missing dimension. Arsenal’s equaliser cannot be put down to that on its own, the industry from the creative Özil provided the building blocks. Rosicky and Giroud the mortar before Wilshere added the final flourish, albeit with a healthy deflection.

After that there remained one pivotal moment as Giroud burst through the defence, rounded Myhill only to find a gloved hand dispossessing him at the vital moment. A late winner denied to the visitors and in truth parity is not a bad result when looking at Albion’s confidence coming into the match; it was their third meeting with one of the top four sides from last season inside a fortnight and only a penalty shootout provided them with defeat. Their home form prior to that is as relevant to yesterday as the spurious comparisons with last season’s results in corresponding fixtures.

Last season is last season, for the most part it is consigned to history but it does have a two-fold relevance to this. First and foremost, it is the time when the recent good run of results began and secondly, it is the benchmark for this season as a measure of improvement come the final Premier League table in May. Beyond that, comparison is trite, meaningless; no-one has exactly the same results in terms of win, lose or draw as last season. And once you go down that route, why stop there? Why not pick holes in goals scored or conceded. It is a never-ending spiral of fault-finding.

As it is, Arsenal sit top of the League for another fortnight at least and there isn’t a better way to go into an international break.

’til Tomorrow.

74 thoughts on “Ghosts Of The Past As Arsenal Top The Table On Goals Scored

  1. I am struggling to relate the photos on top to the write up for the day…..or there isn’t any relationship, but just photos? or it is my naivety that’s to be sorted out?

  2. Big picture; we’re not going to play well every week! With the shear amount of games on top of injuries to key players there will be a good few games where we struggle to get our passing game going and spurn all goal scoring opportunities, what we need to learn is to grind out a result and that’s kind of what we did aainst a resilient West Brom. I was left somewhat frustrated by the highlights of MOTD, in that they highlighted that West Brom had the chances to go and win the match and should have, but they seemed to neglect the fact that Ozil set Giroud up for what should have been an easy volley (If that was Podolski, I think the net would have had to have been replaced) on top of Jack Wilshere putting in what has to be one of the best passes he’s made for us in an Arsenal shirt. So a draw was, IMO a fair result.

    We showed the desire to get back into the game and for all the stick I was giving Wilshere for having a bad game, I don’t think there was another player on that pitch that wanted the result as much as he did. This was the kind of game we’d have lost last season; I thought that it was a prime example of how badly we’re finally missing those players that are out injured, especially Carzola and his two equally talented feet and Sagna, if that wasn’t an added incentive to get his contract sorted I don’t know what can be, Jenks had potential, but he was terrible yesterday. Jack was forced into coming inside from wide left, as was Aaron from wide right. Ozil was starved of passing opportunities because he had no wide men to work with in the final third, everything going down the middle yet he still carved out a few chances for Giroud. All in all, it was a good result. Man U will drop points playing like they are, extremely lucky against a team we wiped the floor with, Chelsea were extremely lucky, no matter how confident Jose acts he knows they have problems and Spurs got humped good and proper. Liverpool seems our biggest rivals so far, but I maintain that their defence is looking extremely weak, if they were playing someone with decent strikers it would have been a different result. Our problem is we’ve got a squad that is missing three or four key players, we had Napoli mid-week that took a lot out of the legs and for all his good form we remain one dimensional with Giroud whilst Theo, Ox and Pod are out.

    But, we’re top of our domestic league and Champions league tables, players returning after the break and we’re still unbeaten since Villa and have an impressive record. We’re still taking points and keeping competitive. Well done lads, hope they stay safe over the international break!

  3. The picture is from the movie ‘The Lavender Hill Mob’ released in 1951. In which a once reliable employee organises a gold heist and robs his boss. It involved smuggling gold bullion out of England to France in the shape of Eiffel Tower paperweights.

    I think I understand now.

  4. It was a harsh reminder to Jenkinson that he still has a way to go before joining the big boys. I am left wondering though. Did we really have to go with both Arteta and Flamini? I wouldn’t have shifted Ramsey to the wing to accommodate Arteta in the middle, but that’s just me!

  5. In my opinion for what its worth when all fit (if ever that happens) then it will be Arteta who is left out.

    Great problem to have, should keep everyone on their toes to perform week in – week out

  6. Highbury

    I said the same yesterday, it worked against Napoli as the game was keeping possession against a team with a high line that counter but West Brom sit much deeper meaning we were reduced to sideways passing. I like Arteta, but i think he slows down the attack, if we’d had Ramsey and say Gnabry or Ryo out wide we’d have been able to counter quicker.

    Don’t think it was necessarily poor tactics as such, perhaps more defensive minded due to Broms form and trying to keep the ball so we’re not chasing with already tired legs.

  7. I think it’s also worth noting that with Zaha frozen out of the Man U set up and Ravel Morrison starting to come good….Both are avid gunners fans ;)!

  8. CFP,

    My thoughts exactly. I kept thinking that we needed to move the ball quicker and that does not happen with Arteta. Anyway, I will gladly take the draw.

  9. Lovely comparison with Michael Thomas YW. Though I’d be (very pleasantly) surprised if JW ever scores a goal so wonderfully, ecstatically, ear-splittingly welcome as MT’s at Anfield…

    Watching MOTD (I know…) I was interested in the analysis of JW on the left – that when he moves inside – which he nearly always does – his left-footedness means he shapes to play the ball square or back.
    Whereas on the right his shape is forward – examples are the Giroud through ball or, and indeed the goal. I’ve been wondering aloud for years (often on ACLF) if his best position might be on the “wrong” flank, a la Robert Pires? The need for goals and speed on at least one flank means Theo is pretty always going to be selected at the moment, but I think it’s still a better option than the left for JW.

  10. I feel Jenkinson is in a catch 22 situation. From Charlton to non league Eastbourne,back to Charlton and then to us.
    The kid is trying his best but with the reassurgence of Sagna who even Yogi said was most probably our best defender this season, it makes the gulf look bigger.Yes, it wasn’t his best game and in a perfect scenario he should only be played more sparingly,but we don’t have such luxuries.
    Of course the team effort mid week must have taken its toll and we played a well organised WBA side so a point shouldn’t be sniffed at. Kos needs to be careful,he got away yet again with a challenge which could easily have led to a penalty.

  11. On a positive note, I thought our Pole in goal was magnificent yesterday. He even got fingertips to the one he conceded which was remarkable to say the least.

    Rosicky really added a lot on introduction – I’d been crying out for him to be brought on as it was clear we needed something different. Such a lovely player to watch.

    No shame in a draw at WBA – I dare suggest that not many teams will take three points there this season.

  12. The fact that it left us with some relief suggests that the end result was about correct.

    Jack is having a lousy time, little except the goal went for him yesterday, not the decisions nor tackles, nor the run of the ball, he really looked like a guy under pressure trying too hard and getting himself tied into knots, his reactions to his various predicaments too were a bit embarrassing – like the grown up version of the talented kid in the U13s crying because nothing will go his way today. Credit to the manager for leaving him on, he may have held the belief that lady luck deserved to flash him more than a bit of a smile.

    It really seemed a shame to leave Rosicky on the bench for most of the game though, especially since his introduction really helped change the course of the match. AW must just feel that Jack needs to play through this period.

    Jenks has got to practice those clearing headers. He’s is a great player in the making, but has got to never forget the basics.

    Rejoice to be had in the result down the road, a good thrashing from their 2nd nearest rivals should knock their confidence more than our draw with an inform team. I didn’t realise they were 8th last season.

  13. It was a tough match which a freak goal would have given either side victory. I’m really looking forward to the return of Walcott. I believe that he and Ozil will really compliment each other. Walcott’s running gives Ozil more space to do his magic. And the league looks very open. Had we won I’d have got carried away and said we’d have it warped by April. Looking at the goal average I’d say mancity are our main threat. Another Ozil like buy in January would be very welcome.

  14. I think Wenger left Wilshere on if he took him off, say at half time, it would just serve to dampen his already battered spirit. Someone mentioned yesterday, he’s getting the same kind of stick in the media that Ramsey was getting and i’m sure he’s in the right company to learn how to take it on the chin. I think he needs to get his head down, work hard and get his place back in the team. Once Carzola is back, our first choice midfield picks itself; Carzola, Ozil, Ramsey, Flamini/Areta and Theo. Jack’s not an idiot, he’ll know that, it should spur him on to recapture his form from pre ankle injury!

    Big shout out to the once again under rated Flamini yesterday, i thoight he was quietly efficient once again! He takes the pressure of Mert and Kos, he’s been so effective for us!

  15. I’m not complaining a draw was a decent result if not the desired one. Wilshere’s goal was aided by a nice deflection but you get that sometimes and I was glad he was able to score finally. His over all game was poor, we cannot pretend that it wasn’t. He is being played out of position and probably is going to struggle to start once Ox and Podolski can resume their roles wide left.

    It was not our best game, but it was the kind of banana skin in past years that would have been us lose. We had our chances, but between errant finishing and solid keeping it didn’t happen.

    I want to give a shout out to the West Brom defense that were marshaled very well. You can see they were drilled to get 11 men behind the ball and thus defended in 3 banks which made breaking them down very difficult. Fair result for both sides.

  16. In separate news, Joel Campbell scored two and created an assist in Olympiacos win over the weekend. I believe his first goals since he began his season long loan.

    Ainsley Maitland-Niles (just turned 16 years) has begun training with the Arsenal first team. His start to the season has been impressive and his reward has been to allow him to start training with the big boys. He will not be featuring for the first team anytime soon, but it was a nice reward for a lad that joined hoping to get an Arsenal scholarship at the beginning of the season and now finds himself playing tippy tappy with Mesut Ozil.

  17. Delighted about the West Ham win, but did you see the unbelievable levels of bullshit on Match Of The Day 2 last night.

    Pundit: “Well, West Ham tried something totally new and it came off.”

    The clip they chose to highlight that? 9 West Ham players back defending. Totally new for Fat Sam that one. Then the Walrus tried to claim that if he was foreign everyone would be appreciating his tactical genius! Nope, you’d still be a useless fat twat.

    Fact is West Ham came up against a Spuds team who were knackered from a round-trip around the world a few days before. Good for us and West Ham, but fuck off Sam.

  18. @Yogi

    His shenanigans playing for Costa Rica caught the eye of FIFA who have now sanctioned the player. I have no news on what those sanctions were, but yes he blatantly cheated and got a fellow professional (US player – Besler) booked for a tackle that never happened. It was one of the worst things I have seen and it should have been punished severely. Cheating is cheating and should be punished whether on the pitch at the time or retroactively if missed.

  19. First thing I said when I heard the result (after “Hell Yeah!!!”) was I bet the Hammers scored all three late on.

  20. I don’t understand the current situation with players diving/cheating…There are so many cameras etc watching, how do they expect to actually get away with it..I mean look at Young’s dive’s a few weeks back, he MUST have known they were going to look at it and that he’d be tarnished as a diver…Same for Joel!

  21. @CFP

    To my mind the problem is that with no retroactive punishment the up side to cheating far outweighs the down. If the worst the player is going to get is a yellow card on the pitch, whilst the best a penalty or getting another professional sent off then they go for the latter. I realize that people don’t want to take control of the hands of the referee but simulation should be dealt with post match if not acted upon during the game. Just my opinion of course.

  22. Great post yogi.

    Didn’t see the game but sounds like it was a tough one. We are still on top of the league and it does not really change the big picture. Its been a great start to the season.

    Thanks again for your posts.

  23. Top post Yogi no doubt about it.

    I think a draw is never a bad thing when your not playing anywhere near your best and your missing 4-5 key players and the other team has some quality players and your playing away from home. I mean say we had one of Santi, Podolski or Theo on the flanks imagine how different things could have been because all 3 are match winners. I do think that once everyone is fit that Arsene will have to decide between Flamini and Arteta but not both. I think Ramsey is wondering “what do I have to do to be left in the middle”, to his credit though he put in a good shift.

    Jack is a polarizing figure for Arsenal and will be going forward. He will be scrutinized for every bad pass, rash challenge or temper tantrum that he throws and will be hailed for every brilliant pass and goal he scores. Part of it is because well he’s English and the other is that he has the talent and potential to be the best overall English midfielder of his generation. Just don’t forget Gooners that he is going through the same thing that Ramseywent through after not playing for basically a whole year!

  24. Good point in the end. We were not at the races, but still got a point against a very decent W Brom side. That is exactly the type of game we would have lost in the past.

  25. @CFP

    I have always rated Ravel Morrison and he never had on-field troubles, it was his off field antics that got him in trouble. The lad is a brilliant ACM who is fearless with a good touch. I remember Scholes saying that Pogba and Morrison together were going to keep Manure at the top for years to come, well Manure sold both and needed to keep both. O well cause I owuld have 1 or both.

    I don’t want Zaha personally, never have never will. Ox, Gnabry, Eisfeld and Ryo are all about his age and are all better more talented players.

  26. @Kenya

    I agree. Ozil and Theo are going to make each other so much better not to mention free up so much more space for Giroud, Podolski and whoever is in the midfield that day. Defenses are going to be absolutely scared shitless!

  27. We don’t need Morrison we have Ozil, Santi, Eisfeld, Ramsey, Jack, Mozart.

    Mozart’s lovely little flick for Jack’s goal was a little touch of magic that didn’t get noticed. I like Jonny, were calling for Mozart because it just seems that every time he steps on teh pitch something good is going to happen and he will help not only press all over the pitch but has a way of just dictating the pace of the match. I love watching him play I really do.

  28. C

    I wasn’t saying we should sign em, i was simply noting that they’re gunners!

    Ravels goal yesterday, yeah it was good but it’s being a tad over hyped…Ramsey’s vs Sunderland or Willans yesterday were equally as good if not better!

  29. @highbury

    I completely agree with you. Ramsey at this point and on current form is out Artetaing Arteta but he adds more with his insane work-rate and his attacking prowess while also being 2nd only behind Lucas Leiva(who I have always loved and whispering in Brazil is that he may take Gustavo’s place in the squad based on current form) in tackles won.

  30. C

    I think it was purely precautionary that Rosicky wasn’t starting since he is just back. As i said above, we went for the same tactics as against Napoli but West Brom sat deeper and their fullbacks were too disciplined to give us the space out wide forcing us central and taking Ramsey and Jack out the game. The set up to contain, keep possession and break didn’t work simply because after 15mins we look shattered, ball retention was pretty sub-standard for us and we had no pace to break. As seen by his arrival, when Rosicky came on we picked up but as I said yesterday, it was just one of those days for us. Passing wasn’t working in combination with the fact they’ve all played so many games recently, I think we did well with a point as they are an underrated team and will do well this season!

    To think, we’ve got Ox, Pod, Carzola and Sagna back soon…VERY interesting to see what our best team could be. Game yesterday was screaming for an OX or Theo type player!

  31. @CFP

    I know you weren’t I was just given my opinion but it is great that they are gunner!

    Yea it is but I think it was because of the way that he shredded the Spuds defense on a solo run not to mention the actual result of 3-0 thrashing that they handed the Spuds.

  32. MOZART IS SKIPPING THE WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I also thought that Sczny was very good yesterday and seems to be coming good on his talent and potential.

  33. @CFP

    I understand everything you are saying there and the simple point that I was making was that Mozart is the type of game changer that we needed in the match yesterday to almost balance everything out and he did exactly that once he came on. We looked more dynamic and our passes started to click a little better. The best part about it is that we now have players that can come on and make such a massive difference not only to lift the team but have such a positive influence on the players on the pitch.

    I agree Theo IMHO is going to be such a massive boost because teams wont be able to clog the middle of the pitch and when that happens look at!

  34. I agree, i think Rosicky is fantastic and fits our system perfectly.

    Great news he’s skipping the Internationals…Really good. I’m glad that Flamini doens’t get called up, we can rest him up! Arteta as well! I think by next season, Mikel will be a sub! I at his age i can’t see him holding down his spot when we’ve got players playing as they are. I think his influence is invaluable though!

    I wonder whats going through Verms mind, i thought he’d have started some matches by now! Odd how he went from being probably best defender to liability so quickly..

  35. C
    Rosicky is staying in London indeed, at the request of AFC. Is Ramsey doing the same? If so that would mean only Per, Oz, Kos, Giroud, JW, and Scz are “at risk”. Two games for 7 players would make it likely one will get hurt, but lets hope nothing bad happens.

  36. HALF TIME LEMONS

    Ozil and Giroud are biggest risks! Mert won’t start both games! He’ll only start one of them i imagine! Ozil is an instant starter however i think Lowe will rotate him with Kroos. Giroud probably an instant starter due to Benzemas lack of form! But again, he should know his limitations and he put in some shift on Sunday, i imagine he’ll be pretty knackered as well!

    Aaron seemed to be struggling, bad judgement on his part if he plays, but i think he’ll be bench at most!

  37. Once again the guys reverted to their old ways. A tie is okay but a win would have given us a two point lead after Spurs were defeated. West Brom beat Man U last week. The Baggies area tough out. A tie is better than a loss. Man City is plays great at home but on the road- who knows. Chelsea escaped with a 3-1 win. We need to win these matches.

  38. @CFP

    I know its great that Mozart is staying in London. I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t by the 2nd half of the season that Arteta’s role might start being diminished some, I think some of it will come down to the form of Ramsey and Jack.

    Verm for me was always a good defender who fought for Arsenal with everything in him. Mert and Kos are just a better fit not only to the system but together to bring balance to everything that we do. Verm will get matches no worries there but he is now are 3rd CB which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for club.

  39. @Half time lemons

    I think Ramsey will play both matches even though he shouldn’t because of him needing the rest and looking quite knackered and needing to be subbed off. Sczny actually isn’t the 1st choice for the Poles and I think Low will rotate his midfield especially since he will have decisions to make between Draxler and Goetze for the World Cup.

  40. CFP
    Yes I think that’s a right assessment. Germany only need a point to be sure of top place, whereas England and France will have to go all the way. Wales, like Czech, have nothing to play for…. So lets hope they leave Aaron out… even before injury he looked to be running on empty a bit yesterday.

    Like others I think Flamini AND Arteta might be too conservative in particular against teams looking to defend deep, and especially when there a bit of tiredness in the 4 in front of them. In fact OZ looked the freshest of all our players yesterday.

  41. HALF TIME LEMONS

    I agree, althought he never got the assist, Ozil won the ball back and completed a smashing pass to Giroud in lead up! Whole team looked tired, i think Flamini or Arteta in games like yesterday, both is a bit, well don’t think negative is the word but still. I’m surpirsed Mikel or Flamini never made way for Serge with final 20, but i suppose we had to try and make sure we never conceaded again!

  42. Just last week I said Jack would score some very important goals for us this season. At half time I thought he should have been substituted and was on his way to getting sent off in the second half. But, he turned it around and in the end was the player that made the difference.
    He may not be a goal scoring machine but his fire and passion will be the difference in big games when the decisions and chances are not going our way. Other players heads may drop but jack will never give in.
    To be honestly I would have taken a draw at half time, West Brom were flying and seemed to have us on the ropes. BUt we did well to come back and could have nicked it in the end.
    One complaint I do have. When you chasing a game like that and need to mix it up brining Bentner off the bench is just so deflating. We should have a better option than that if we really want to push for trophies. A top caliber player would not only give the team belief but put doubt in the opposition. Fuck me even brining Walcot on to play in the middle would have more effect.

  43. If there was ever a time when we should sweep in to Lyon and grab Gonalos, it would be now. Remi Garde fears for his job, the are a terrible side thus far in the season and just got dismantled 5-1 by Montepellier this past weekend.

  44. Also good to see both Djourou and Le Coq getting very positive reports on their loan spells. Both have been playing good from several reports that I have read.

  45. Very good!

    He is a DM/CM type but far from a bruiser even though he stand 6’2″ (1.87 m) he is a ball winner who is brilliant at breaking up play but also is a very good passer of the ball. He is a very good tackler and has a good futboling IQ. He is natural leader and midfield boss as he has been captain for even Lyon side he has played in since his youth days. HE started out as a AM but as he matured he begin to sit deeper. In a perfect world he would be brought in as a natural replacement for Flamini allowing either Jack or Ramsey to play beside him though he can push forward. Plus at just 24 year old he would grow with the likes of Jack, Ramsey, Ozil, Theo, Podolski, Giroud and Santi and that would be a brilliant side. He is generally around a 87-90% passer and is always among the league leaders in the individual defensive stats like tackles.

  46. @C

    I wouldn’t choose. AS much as I like Gonalons and we have previously discussed him at length, he is not currently an Arsenal player. If we were to lose one of Arteta or Flamini then I would understand a move but given we haven’t it is a mute point. I believe that both Flamini and Arteta are currently in the final two years of their respective deals. Of course in the case of Flamini, it was a reported 2 year deal.

  47. @MA

    That is a very political answer my friend but understandable nonetheless. I do enjoy Flamini and Arteta and while it is a mute point but also like you said they are in the final 2 years of their respective deals haha.

  48. @C

    Right now on form, I would pick Arteta and Flamini. As good as Gonalons is, he is not having a great season domestically. Yes, he is playing in a very poor team right now and that does not help his cause in the slightest. His form in European competition is better, though his team continue to struggle. I have no doubt he’d be better at Arsenal than Lyon. I would take him if there was a role for him, but at the moment in all honesty there is not.

    Striker remains the obvious need, we need one come January. I pray that it is not Benzema (at least on current form).

  49. heh i see Tottenham players are talking about “small games” in the PL. I think they lost their edge right there tbh.. there are no “small games” in the PL. Nobody with the attitude that there are “small games” in the PL will ever win the title.

    Im glad our players think every game is difficult this year. They should and they should give 110% in every game.

    Imagin if they thought they were going into a “small game”. The mentality would have lost them the game before it even started :S

  50. Something that I don’t think has been emphasized has been Arsene’s tactical genius in losing all his wingers while incorporating a new central figure offensively. Yes it doesn’t take a genius to put your best available players on the pitch at the same time. But when we are playing with no wingers and Jack, Mozart and Ramsey are playing on the wings and the structural freedom he has given them. It is quite genius what he has done. Allowing them to interchange and what it seems he is telling them to play narrow allowing the fullback to create the width that we would generally see form Theo, Podolski, Ox and to a certain extent Santi. Well done Arsene if this is what you meant to do until our wingers and Santi return.

  51. @MA

    You make some very valid points there no doubt about that. Lyon are just a terrible side and Remi Garde doesn’t seem to have answers for anything over the past 2 seasons. With that said I would take Gonalons but like you said Arteta and Flamini thus far are playing very well(even though Arteta is just coming back). It will be interesting to see what happens over the next 2 years. Personally I want Gonalons because he is such a talent as we have discussed and would be the perfect player for Arsenal.

    Striker is the main priority no doubt about it and Jackson Martinez is the man that I think we all universally want. I do think that Benzema is a player that needs a change of scenery because it has turned so toxic at Madrid for him.

  52. If i had to pick a replacement for Arteta, it’s got to be Gundogan. Pace, Passing and tackling..Technically a fantastic footballer!

    Also..Podolski is looking extremely fit right now, he’s been hitting the weights that lad.

    I’d take Jackson Martinez, Benzema to similar to Giroud and he’s also got an attitude i think could affect our dressing room

  53. @CFP

    Another good choice but Gonalons it is for me.

    Podolski does look like he is ready to take on all comers which serves well for us to bad the nets in the PL, CL and FA Cup are going to pay for it.

  54. I’m thinking Pod will return for perhaps the Chelsea cup game, if we have Ox and him available for Pool and Man U games i think we could show them just what we’re all about. Carzola as well, i mean we can technically have a bench with; Verm, Rosicky, Ox, Podolski, Arteta, Monreal….Youth back ups in Chuba, Gnabry and Zelalem if needed when he’s back as well. I think this is the season Ox needs to assert himself and i’m more than willing to sit back and watch

    Crazy

  55. @CFP

    All that and you didn’t mention Theo who will be the biggest recepient of the beautiful futbol that our midfield is playing not to mention the beautiful through balls that Ozil will play to him.

  56. A fully fit and motivated Podolski could very well be one of the best strikers in the PL and truly push Giroud for that central spot. Personally I think we would be at our Wengerball best with Podolski centrally and Theo on the right wing with Santi on the left Ozil behind Podolski with Ramsey and probably Flamini playing the pivots. The amount of pace finishing and attack would strike the fear of God in any PL defense.

  57. C

    Hope Ferdinand, Evra and Vidic are playing then. Combined they don’t have the pace of Theo

  58. C October 7, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Rambo Rozzer and Ozil’s movement as a roaming 3 infront of Arteta and Flamini against Napoli was fantastic. It didn’t work against West Brow for two reasons, West Brom set up to counter it and Wilshere not being Rosicky.

    Jack is a great young player with much to admire however he has absolutely no tactical or positional awareness hence his struggles in wide positions, his poor descision making, his incessant need to move inside, his aversion to stretching play or dovetailing when combining with other players.

    Ozil and Rosicky inately find space as they ghost around the pitch between the lines. Jack doesn’t and gives the ball away too often. The boss is investing a huge amount of our game time in Jacks education, the dividend will be worth it but he currently wouldn’t start for me ahead of any of our first team midfielders.

    His best position is in the middle alongside either Arteta or Flamini, but when everyone is fit he will be in direct competition with Ramsey and the incumbents for these places, but his positional immaturity make him the least likely. Cazorla Ozil and Theo would be the the most effective of the three ahead. Jack looks exactly like he should an exceptional 21 year old playing at the highest level, an amazing talent with much to learn.

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