Who Needs Batman, Podolski Is Our Superhero

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West Ham United 1 – 3 Arsenal

1 – 0 Cole (46)
1 – 1 Walcott (68)
1 – 2 Walcott (71)
1 – 3 Podolski (79)

Arsène Wenger has no need to call Batman, he found his own superhero sitting a matter of feet away. Lukas Podolski emerged from the bench to spark the Arsenal attack into life and play a pivotal role as the three points took Arsenal back to the top of the table. But it was three points that took time to arrive; indeed, for twenty minutes they seemed to have slid down the Batpole into the clutches of Wenger’s nemesis, Dr Sam Allardyce, as Arsenal were sporadically indifferent in front of goal. And when they weren’t being indifferent, they were just being horrible.

Surprisingly, it was injury which forced Arsène’s hand in making changes as Aaron Ramsey’s thigh muscles strained meaning that cards had to be played. Prior to that, he seemed genuinely disinclined to make any amendment to the XI; perhaps he could not decide who to haul off such was the general average-ness of the performances. Only Mertesacker, Arteta and Cazorla produced performances of note for the right reasons. Olivier Giroud was intent on presenting a case for activity in the transfer market next month with his finishing, thankfully his work rate was exemplary to offer hope for the future.

He must have wished he had Theo Walcott’s luck. The England forward was largely anonymous before two quick-fire goals turned the game on its head. Arsenal’s profligacy seemed to bite them on the backside as Carlton Cole capitalised on slack goalkeeping from Wojciech Szczesny. The Pole was not the only one at fault; the original move which led to Nolan’s shot from the edge of the area had begun from an Arsenal counter which broke down through sloppy passing. The hosts had opportunities to increase their advantage; one might easily have become two or three. Then Walcott intervened, dribbling a shot past Adrian and within three minutes, reacting quickest as Podolski’s cross flicked off a defensive head into his path. A salmon-like leap into the ball’s new trajectory buried the chance. The German then curled the ball home for the match-settling goal following good work by Giroud.

In yesterday’s preview, I noted that the performance did not matter, the result did so it seems somewhat churlish to pick holes in the win. But as much as three points was desperately needed ahead of the trip to Newcastle, Arsenal will need to make more of their opportunities this coming Sunday. There was a hint of last Autumn’s desperate form in the manner chances were frittered; indeed some of the individual performances were of that ilk as, one assumes, tiredness crept in despite nine days rest.

There were those who rose above that; Mertesacker was dominant in the centre of the defence whilst Arteta underlined his importance to the side in forming a barrier to West Ham’s midfield. The most concern the home side caused came, unsurprisingly, from set-pieces as Allardyce’s charges reverted to Big Sam’s type, entirely unadventurous and drab. To some extent, Arsenal forced this from the East Enders as they became immersed in the patterns woven during the first forty-five minutes with Santi Cazorla at the heart of everything good from the visitors.

Arsène noted afterwards that the response to Cole’s goal provided evidence that the squad were title contenders. They are by virtue of their position in the Premier League and there is no denying that they are well-placed going into the New Year. Whether they stay there is another matter. The upcoming fixtures suggest that is an entirely plausible train of thought; the team has to deliver the points to substantiate it.

Post-match, the manager contradicted the evidence of his own eyes whilst talking up title chances,

For us we have another good game now on Sunday at Newcastle who are in full confidence as well so that will be another test. The team wants to do well and the character is great. The concentration is top. I believe we had a difficult period just now but honestly that was mainly down to the schedule we had. I think that the schedule was absolutely horrendous but we can show that in the future

Concentration was anything but top. If it was “top”, we may have a few problems. The misses in the first half, the goal conceded; none of them were as a result of “top” concentration. Arsenal reeled following the goal but they pulled themselves back into the game with Podolski pivotal to that. Wenger’s decision not to substitute anyone on Monday was surprising, the repeat of the pattern until the unfortunate Ramsey’s withdrawal was perhaps more so. This from a man who habitually began the cycle of replacements on the hour mark of games. The horrendous schedule forgotten with the impending visit to St James Park; perhaps two and half days between fixtures at this time of year is deemed to be quite a light workload.

Of course it wouldn’t be Arsenal if there was not a gripe about the referee. Dowd followed Dean’s path and shied away from making a key decision in not administering a second yellow to O’Brien. In the end, it had no influence on the game and given Arsenal’s form for the first hour, perhaps playing against ten men would have provided no advantage.

As it is, Arsenal sit atop the Premier League following their first win four attempts. It was much-needed to restore confidence and belief which had taken some blows in the recent run. I wonder if so many will be keen to point out what advantage the leaders on Boxing Day hold?

’til Tomorrow.

50 thoughts on “Who Needs Batman, Podolski Is Our Superhero

  1. As always YW, on the dot with your analysis. Giroud is going through a rather alarming dip in form, think the poor guy is jaded both physically and mentally. Have to thank “Mr.Consistent in patches” Theo for bringing us back into the game. The guy was having a poor game and then he pops up with 2 goals. Pod did what he almost always does, think his left foot is made of toughened steel, such power!! A decent performance, 3 points in the bag, still top of the league, not at all bad!!

  2. i don’t know what stats tell about cazorla’s position- wide or CAM. but personally, i’ve always felt he looks his best at the centre, where he can spray forward passes (the lofted ball to podolski was a trademark cazorla pass) and take shots from the edge of the box. he’s also arguably more nimble footed than ozil which allows him to skip away from congested areas in the middle.

    i think it’s a nice problem to have both ozil and cazorla. the former seems a bit jaded at the moment. so will the later start and the former left on the bench (so he can get at least some rest)? but generally, when both start, maybe cazorla can start at the centre with ozil on the left. when that does not work, they can interchange positions.

    as for giroud, the guy badly needs goals. i really sympathize with the him because he’s been working his ass off almost in every arsenal game. but the chances he misses makes you wonder if those misses could prove costly in a more difficult and challenging game.

  3. Arsenal needs a world class striker who focusses only on searching for & scoring goals not enjoying the gama as Olivier G. Iff ars is to lift a trophy.

  4. Win on Sunday and my belief will go up a notch. Everyone talks about ManC winning this easily, but if we continue winning ourselves, time will come when the players will themselves start to believe, then we will have an interesting season.

  5. I don’t remember , which surely means that I haven’t felt this way at this time of the year for many years.
    Finally reading Feverpitch.
    “Now You See Me” has been worth the 2 hours.

  6. Giroud is weak and not good enough for arsenal. He can work himself out but cant produce the performance to win title for arsenal. We need guine striker that can produce moments of brilliance for us. Poldi came and gave more shot on goal more than the toatl giroud gave. We miss poldi all these while

  7. Morning all, hope everyone’s nboxing day was a tad better than my own, my first attempt at eating french Pheasant ended badly for my stomach but Arsenal result provided a bit of a smiling point. Back top of the league, with Chelsea, Liverpool and City all snapping at our heels.

    Giroud’s form in front of goal has dipped, i thought he should have come off earlier yesterday but as noted his work rate was at his usual high level. My issue with Giroud is he’ll never be the world beater we need, the something from nothing striker like Pool have in Suarez! We need a more athletic striker imo, Jackson Martinez would be perfect, but at 34 million it could be a gamble.

    Overall, i still think DM and CF are two positions we need to strengthen with, i still think we’re getting bullied at times in the midfield and Arteta does this thing we’re he still think’s he’s a young buck and tries to take someone on and loses it. I like Mikel, but i think he should be a bench starter! Really missed out on Gustavo or Kondogbia i reckon. Toure does it for City, we need Diaby back obviously ;)!

    Ozil taking another slating over here in French and in Germany, i don’t get it, i thought he played really well? He’s never a stand out, he kind of flies under the radar and get’s himself into positions, i don’t know what else he could have done to help Giroud score with about 10 potential key passes to the Frenchman.

    Newcastle could be a weird one, they’re flying high right now but if the right Arsenal team turn up i don’t think it could be that difficult. Pardew very rarely get’s the better of us and i think Rosicky was due a start over Aaron anyway and we’ve got Jack and Kos back! Theo now has 4 goals in 3 appearances and he’s not been playing particularly well…I won’t argue with that, he usually does ok against Newcastle so let’s hope he keeps that going. Question is, does Pod start and if so, where? We ripped them to pieces at the Emirates last season with Theo up front and Pod out left, perhaps give it a go?

  8. Excellent write up.

    Maybe the need to win for confidence alone might have elicited the title ‘Never has so much been owed by so many to such a little’ or some such jingoistic tripe and onions.

    The difference was having three potential strikers on the field – Theo, Podo and Hey Jude. It looked like a the end a thesis on what we have been lacking of recent weeks. That and of course playing Cazorla in the correct position who totally transformed the center of the field and became the best player on the day.

    It was evident that with the return of his wide forwards it is time for AW to start looking at who first team is. He has been able to avoid dropping his midfielder from the team altogether, because of the injuries to Podo and Theo, but on their return he has to start looking at who his best team is.

    Before the beginning of the season you may have said it was Arteta Ozil Cazorla. in a 4 5 1 with Theo and Podo wide. But Ramsey’s form has been dynamite and Wilshere is the new Cesc so they cannot be dropped. Rosicky is the super-sub there to come on and chase the buggers to capitulation and Flamini is cover when you need dogged determination at the back.

    AW has had it easy with the wide injuries saga. Jack, Cazorla and Ramsey have played wide because, when asked nicely, they can, but lets see what he does now. Maybe Rambo’s injury lets him off a bit, but something has got to give – and I don’t mean thigh muscles.

    Don’t get me wrong. We have been rescued by having quality like Vermaelen on the bench – whether we miss Kos he had another good game, I am just interested to see whether AW will choose to be political, or field his best team.

    It seemed to me that yesterday’s highlighted that.

  9. The Giroud issue is purely down to the fact he plays every game and through injury too. Of course he’s going to tire. Now that Theo and pods are back the team has more goal threat and he may get chance to charge his batteries. The fact that every comment mentions his work rate tells you what a player he is. He also creates space and opportunities for everyone around him. Even on an off day.

    The overall negativity despite the fact were top on boxing day is god awful. Sorry yogi but i’m unimpressed today. I’m sure your glass is half empty. I hope not for long.

  10. I liked the Post, Yogi, thank you.

    MLF before you eat a french peasant you need to wash him well, marinate him for 24 hours, then brush him with garlic paste, wrap him in the tricolour, and then call him Giro before roasting him. 🙂

  11. HenryB

    Noted. But i think his family might have some issues with that.

    It’s quite odd that Theo is scoring, his first touch is still extremely worrying and i’m hoping his inability to take players on without getting the ball caught up in his feet is temporary..

  12. La pied de Mesut droit. (probabalment)

    I agree with everything you write, Ozil made so many early passes that should have been converted that he started to look a bit miffed with Hey-Jude. It could have just been one of those days, but being a main provider would have taken the pressure off his back. In all he is a top performer and in some ways AW has been pushing forward to be more Bergkampy, but his great stat is assists so I don’t know if his composure will ultimately match that.

    As for Hey-jude I would say he is extremely athletic, lack of that is not his problem in my opinion. The problem is purely finishing, or ‘in front of goal composure’ – like Torres he bottles having done all the hard work. He has an additional problem too, which is that he stops playing in the middle of the field when play is continuing around, usually because he has let himself down. That is minor, but can be costly.

    Suarrez is exceptional, he wants it, he works for it and when he gets the ball he is going to control it, beat his man and execute a blinder. Sometimes from nothing. This is not Giroud, he is a poacher and can only get the one or two things right. If he controls the ball, he might beat the man, but the shot does not bring the required net bulge. If he manages to get in the correct spot for the pass often the shot is wide or his feet tied.

    Killer instinct guides the best to know what is going to happen next and do whatever is needed to take advantage of that knowledge. He has a lot of the qualities, but it is his synapses that are not athletic enough. (at a guess)

  13. title of the post is a tad unfair on theo, but in any case its great to have both theo and podolsk back helping giroud..
    i love our 433 when we play with 3 strikers..just a pity we only have 3 strikers in the squad.. a situation id love to see addressed in the window

    good to see the bouncebackability.

  14. It’s quite odd that Theo is scoring, his first touch is still extremely worrying and i’m hoping his inability to take players on without getting the ball caught up in his feet is temporary

    lol..my good man thats theo all over..what you describe isnt something temporary its how hes always been but it isnt odd hes scoring because the boy can finish…he gets in the positions and his speed makes him difficult to mark and hes quite deadly but if your asking him to play wenger ball or take on several defenders its not happening..its not his game…doesnt need to be though..when youve got someone holding it up and other players picking out passes theo just needs to do what he does best…turn on the burners and finish…

  15. The Arsenal forward trio should be: Theo for his speed and finishing; Giroud for air, physical presence and finishing; and Podolski for efficiency, strong strike and finishing.
    Rosicky, Gnarby and maybe Bendtner to come in when needed and for rotation.

    Ramsey, Wilshere and Cazorla to rotate next to either Arteta or Flamini in the center .

    To be part of the Arsenal Whatsapp group for comments and debate, send a whatsapp msg “COYG” to 00 91 81 30 214681

    Thanks

  16. Sub standard performance, sorry els, but a positive result.

    That’s OK but we are not playing with the same intensity and positivity as we did before the Everton fixture. Can we replicate that form? I’d like to think so. We will see if it is the squad issue that will start to tell on us, I agree with AitG on this issue. Very sensible.

    Transfer window is almost upon us. Another top signing would be a huge lift. One can see why this might not happen though.

    Long term we do need another striker and an upgrade on Arteta/Flamini.

    This squad can answer it’s critics very simply. On the pitch, by getting results from week to week. Nothing else speaks so loud.

  17. Morning jj and bob and all.

    Merry day after boxing day all.

    Thank fuck for Theo , he saved christmas…and the sniper…..and the other Germans……

  18. bah humbug bob, dukey and friends..
    bob, i wonder if arsene is interested in fellow frenchman pogba for the midfield spot? that could wait until the summer though, midfield hasnt done too badly, even though diabys constant absence leaves us a man light in what looks a well stocked midfield…

    striker is a must, the suarez dream looks to be over….id just throw 25mil at dortmund and see if we can get our assortment of germanic/poles to do some tapping up..

    yesterday was a huge win..regardless of performance id take playing like crap and winning 3-1 everygame if i could..

  19. Agree with that JJ.

    That’s football.

    Pogba could be a very good signing. How much would they want? Striker, as has been asked already, who is realistic at this time. Great shame the Saurez business didn’t materialise.

    Duke, you just woke up?

  20. For the New Year I was thinking we could start a campaign to get Sepp Blatter elected to the Gypsie council because he is an unwanted incumbent allowed to hold a transient position by local interests and pays no tax, but had second thoughts about it.

    Being politically notcorrect solves nothing and may reduce me to his diminutive stature, the Romany people have been incorrectly persecuted for having the morals of Pikys which is evidently completely different.

    Nobody can say this about Sepp however so therefore please join the 2014 campaign to elect Joseph Blatter for:

    Pikey President of the World

    The official title would be ‘President of FIPA’
    (Federation International de Pikey Associations)

    It would involve fighting for all the Pikey Associations around the world and organizing a global event every four years. This Pikey Convention will be a truly global event, where massive amounts of money will be swindled out of business and unsuspecting tourists who will believe they are witnessing a grass roots spectacle of the (much maligned) Romany people and Gypsies generally and supporting a traditional cultural event.

    The great news is that he would not have to change country as Swiss banks and their cantons are the biggest Pikeys of the lot. Nor would have to change his current staff who are all highly trained corporate thieves of the worst order. In fact, I think that International football could even throw in the building if it means cleaning up their act.

    The first movement on the agenda will be to ban all elections, so the position will be for life!

    All stuffed, untraceable brown paper envelopes accepted for donations to the cause (first, but never say last) especially from Qatar and all other mineral rich nations (if it is Canada we will consider crack cocaine as an option, but will need to meet in your country and under the protection of municipal workers) we promise the highest bidder can hold the first World Pikey convention, WPC for short in the following communiques, addressed to the Arse in the Gamb, PO box 352, Serrekunda Market, The greater Banjul Area, Gambia

  21. Yogi:

    Awesome post as always. You are a true virtuoso of the football blogging world.

    I agree that the nature of the performance does not matter at all. Strong work by BFG and Arteta. I have been a huge fan of Flamini but in truth Arteta has been more effective in the recent games and certainly deserves the praise.

    Moe quoted an interesting stat yesterday. We took more shots in that game then any away game since Feb 2008 and more shots then any game since Blackpool in 2010. It just highlights your point about how poor our finishing was. That heavens for Theo. There are a lot of things which he does not do well but the reality is that he is the most likely player on the squad to score at any time in any game. Obviously it would be great if he played well consistently in every game but that’s not who he is. In truth, the bouts anonymity and inconsistency are unfortunate but we still need him. Somebody has to be the one to actually to actually finish our beautiful passing moves. All the technical quality in the world and work rate mean very little without that finishing touch.

    Hopefully Podolski will be given a chance to win the regular spot wide left. Last season Arsene felt we were most effective with Rosicky in the middle and Cazorla wide left and Podolski’s drop in form and stamina issues cost him his regular spot. Hopefully this season he will play well enough to keep his spot on the regular 11 because his finishing brings something that we need to the pitch.

  22. JonJon

    I agree, but this is the age that he needs to start coming into the player he was meant to be, he’s one of our highest earners and i think last season he showed in glimpses what he could do. Newcastle at home, he was unplayable that day, reading in the cup etc! I actually think a Costa type player brought in could make him better as the RW position is largely uncompetitive when he’s fit, Costa could play RW and CF if needed, but he’s no reason to leave Atheltico, joint top and in doing well in Champs league and he won’t take a risk moving with the WC this summer…

  23. Yogi I think your post is spot on!

    We looked a shell of the form that saw us top the table unfornately up to the point when Ramsey got injured(Arsene said he’s out for the festive period) and the re-introduction to the players and fans alike of Podolski seemed to inject energy into the team yesterday. He and Giroud was chasing the after the ball when we lost possession and you could see the other lads really wanting to get in on the act and that is what really sparked us to the 3 points.

    I know we keep talking about what would happen if Giroud went down(which I think we could manage with Podolski and Theo scoring goals) but what the hell would happen if we were to EVER LOSE MERT!!!! He bosses the back with a calm fierceness that seems to demand the best from not only the back 4 but everybody that is defending. He is such a brilliantly consistent defender that at times people take him for granted but he is obviously one of the best defenders in the EPL and Europe as a whole.

  24. @MLF

    I think Theo’s touch has grown by leaps and bounds. He will never have that incredible control of the ball but if you watch, his first touch is actually pretty good. When the ball is played to him or driven at him with those cross field passes, he stops them dead and his goal yesterday showed his close control. He collected it with his 1st touch, took a dribble or 2, cut inside and placed the ball. I think you are understating his touch. He doesn’t have to have the control of Santi, Mozart, Ozil and the lot because that’s not his role in the squad; his role is to make those dangerous runs to get behind the defense and receive the ball and finish. Even the pass that Ramsey played to him, he controlled it just shot way wide but the control of the shot was there.

  25. @Bob & JJ

    Morning mates!

    I agree with you on a upgrade for Arteta/Flamini and while Pogba would cost 40M, lets go get Gonalons or one of the Bender twins.

    Striker, I wouldn’t mind tempting Dortmund with 25M, whats the worst that could happen; they say no. I do like Jackson Martinez too.

  26. Santi was absolutely brilliant to watch in the 2nd half yesterday when he was played in a role that seems to suit him which is that Xavi, Scholes type position. He was constantly driving us forward and spraying passes to Theo and Podolski and you could see the joy on all 3 of their faces not to mention Ozil seemed to have a little more space to work. I wouldn’t mind seeing a midfield of Flamini or Arteta/Santi/Ozil. With Ozil and Santi so willing to help defend and while they might not make those tackles, they have such high futboling IQ’s that they play positional and read the game and intercept passes.

  27. I wouldn’t mind seeing against Newcastle:

    Sczny
    Sagna—Mert—Verm—Nacho—
    —–Flamini—-Jack—–
    ——–Santi——-
    Theo—-Giroud—–Podolski

  28. Interesting that as crap as our players are, we are still top of the table. Most clubs would love to have the issue, seems that isn’t good enough for us.

    Good summation Yogi of the game. I thought the partnership of Tv5 and Mertesacker was excellent, except for when they left O’Brien unmarked in the box with a free header. Arteta was indeed excellent yesterday and Cazorla came in to his own more as his position was moved inside. I remain unconvinced by the way Arsene approaches his substitutions, that said the injury to Ramsey yesterday was the best thing that could have happened it seems for us to go on and win that game.

  29. @C

    I think that line up looks pretty good as well. I’m not sure Arsene will start Podolski, there seems to be a reticence to use him but I think it would be a smart move.

  30. C

    Would you drop Ozil? Personally, i think he’s seriously underrated, when we break he’s the one of the only players who drives forward and doesn’t look for the sideways pass and breaking with pace is what we need to be doing against Newcastle, they’ll sit back and try and catch us on the counter so we should be inviting them into our half and out of all our midfielders, Ozil has the best and most accurate pass to split their defence.  

  31. I was impressed by how we came away with three points, historically it is a game we wouldve lost or drawn so the desire to win is there! Although giroud has been good for us, surely we can’t rely just on his ability to hold the ball up or his work rate! I am honestly frustrated with his lack of finishing in front of goal! With a midfield that looks like it might be tiring as the season progresses, I sometimes wonder if we can finally reach that illusive trophy! I hope the players coming back from injury will be our second wind! I’d hate to come knocking down Mr bendtner for goals again

  32. Not like you, MA.

    No one has called our players ‘crap’. They may not have played particularly well over the past couple of weeks but they are all excellent players.

    Squad weaknesses are something else.

  33. @MA

    I’m interested to see if he starts him and gives him 60 mins to work him back into match fitness during this stretch of matches especially with Ramsey now out.

  34. @MLF

    I agree, Ozil is underrated in his counter play and I’m not dropping him to the bench because of talent but because the lad needs a rest. I know he is one of those players that plays at his own pace but he truly does need a rest. I don’t think Newcastle will just sit back especially if they start Ben Afra, Cabaye, Remy, Sissohko and Goufran as they have been doing. Not to mention we don’t need to burn Ozil out now especially with the business end of the season such a crowded match of games against the top clubs.

  35. Miami:

    “Interesting that as crap as our players are, we are still top of the table. Most clubs would love to have the issue, seems that isn’t good enough for us.”

    I agree with Cbob. No one said we are crap but just like any team there are some areas that can be improved and it makes no sense to pretend it isn’t true. Most clubs are not Arsenal and they don’t have our ambitions or resources so we should hold ourselves to a much higher standard. You don’t get better by patting yourself on the back, you get better by identifying things that can be improved and fixing them. No?

  36. @Bill

    Outside the obvious need for another striker to spell or replace Giroud, what weaknesses do we have exactly? We have known Arsenal needed another striker, and one that is not being asked to play with his back to goal all the time. Beyond that we have a pretty damn good squad, yes, even at DM.

  37. This was a huge win for the guys. Walcott’s Daily Double. The guys didn’t quit and scored a come from behind win. This puts us back into first place. City is breathing down our necks so we have to get another striker. A good win for us now it’s on to Toons house. Newcastle is breathing fire so we have to be muito cuidado. Let’s hope City’s losses against the Eagles. I am not holding my breath but crazier things have happened at this time of the year.

  38. Miami:

    “Outside the obvious need for another striker to spell or replace Giroud, what weaknesses do we have exactly?”

    What other weaknesses has anyone mentioned and who called any of our players crap?

    Giroud was the worst offender yesterday but our finishing outside of Theo has not been great, and that can really hurt in the long term. Probably the only other major concern is we have not been able to win games against the top of table opponents for many years. The reality is that if we were forced to bet our childs college savings on which team would win the league this year, I suspect that many would not admit it but we wouldn’t pick Arsenal. That does not mean we don’t want us to win, but there are things that we can do better. I think we all want us to try to be the best team in Europe. We may never reach that goal because we will never be able to spend like Bayern Munich but there is no way we have any chance to reach that goal if we are satisfied with where we are. No? .

  39. Miami

    Striker, Def mid and a back up right back would be my choices, we are in deep deep kak if Bacary goes down long term. Jenks not ready yet. We lack a physical presence in mid filed. Arteta has been good but he was a creative player at Everton, he is being asked to play out of his natural position. Which brings me to my main concern,, we always seem to play players out of position. instead of putting out the best team Wenger seems to put out who he seems to think are the best 11 and stick them in what ever gap he can find for them. Carzola was a different player when he moved to his preferred central position. Ramsey last season, Wilshire this season, Bendner a few seasons back.. Id rather have Gnabry out right and Jack on the bench than Jack out right.
    As for substitutes,,, Im not even going to go there..

  40. Isn’t Jovetic’s career move to Manshitty a tragic one. A player with bags and bags of talent and should be taking the world by storm with his attacking talent now relegated to not even making the bench in most games.

  41. If we are going to get another striker we should do what it takes to get a world class striker that would be a difference maker. We could spend 15M and get a good player and that would add depth and it would help but it would not really change the team significantly. Just like Ozil, the only way to really improve the team is to go big on this one. This could be a real game changer for us. We are probably not going to find a hidden gem flying under the radar. Hopefully we will shopping next summer.

    Second on the list is some height and athleticism at DM. Arteta and Flamini are excellent but we can get out muscled in midfield. This one is probably a reasonable January purchase. I defer to C for the player scouting.

    A 4th CB would could play RB in an emergency would also be nice.

  42. Very happy Cazorla is starting to get in the mood, this is a key player that can make the difference when he’s at his best. Perfect timing for the rest of the season.

    Also happy for Podolski, he’s also one of the players with good options. He can cross, he can shoot, and I think when he’s fully fit, gives a better coverage for Gibbs on the left side.

    Not happy for Ramsey, Although he needs the rest. I hope it’s just a minor thing and he will take it as an excuse to rest few games ***Wink….Wink…. (something wrong with my left eye!)

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