STONE COLD FRIDAY: The Arsenal Sweet And Sour Routine

“Get rid of the deadwood”, we said. “The manager is also deadwood”, some screamed. Yet here we are, the January circus over, and there’s still that sense; a sense of the bitter taste lingering in the mouth long after the sweetness of the moment passes.

At the beginning of the season, who would have thunk that Arsenal would get rid of 8 players previously thought to be the core of the club? Gibbs, Gabriel, Le Coq, Perez, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud and Alexis. The club argues that we got 5 in return; Sead, Mavropanos, Lacazette, Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang. The 3 front line acquisitions will make most teams in Europe better, and Arsenal should be excited about that.

That’s all well and good until you think of the mediocrity of the season. You have to ask the question. With 14 games to go, how is it even possible that we have won only 3 away games this season? It even becomes more ironic when you think that we’re still in reach of the top 4, yet incapable of taking advantage of slip-ups by United, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea.

What does it say about our defence if you consider that in 6 weeks, Petr Cech’s pursuit of that elusive 200th Premier League clean sheet has become a punchline? Just like the penalty count, now at 16. I’m sure the clean sheet will come before the end of the season; not sure about him ever saving a penalty for Arsenal though.

Of Defensive Keystone Cops And Attacking Redemption

Scoring more goals than the opposition can’t ever be a philosophy to last you 38 games. MI6, the oldest spook shop in the world have a saying. You’ll never do the job right if your counter-intelligence – your defence team, isn’t as good as your spooks in the field – your offence team. The two elements of the team have to work in synch, counter-intelligence being your absolute defensive wall.

The enemy knows we’re shaky defensively; just ask the team that was propping up the Premier league table. Absorb the ticky-tacky pressure and launch a swift counter-attack. Ramsey and Xhaka don’t do counter-intel. Surely, this strategy from opposition can’t be a surprise now, can it? But what do we do? Same mediocrity different game. It’s tedious.

The fact is that a front line of Lacazette, Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan, anchored by Ozil and Li’l Jack can give any team in Europe a run for their money. That will only work if those behind them are organized and resolute. We can’t keep throwing Hail Mary’s every time wondering which Arsenal will turn up.

It’s way past the point where Wenger has to take responsibility of failing to plug the leaks and continuing the insanity of doing the same thing over and over again. Xhaka, Ramsey and Iwobi need to be benched and given the opportunity to contemplate their positions at Arsenal.

My sense is our strongest team for the rest of the season doesn’t include them. We have nothing to lose, and might as well focus on letting Elneny and Li’l Jack anchor the midfield. Just as Wilshere has cemented his place in the team, Elneny has a massive opportunity to make himself indispensable.

“This Arsenal Ain’t Big Enough For the Both Of Us”

You have to hand it to Ozil and his negotiating team. At his age, this is his last major contract and he has played it well. Of course, it caused a lot of grief, but if analysed, Ozil was the player Arsenal needed to keep more than Sanchez. That’s assuming that the German continues to be as influential as he has been in recent weeks.

Some would argue that he was playing well for a contract or a Bozeman, but that’s beside the point. If he plays at his best, he is worth the money, especially if Lacazette, Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang feed off his assists. Li’l Jack alongside him in midfield is an attacking plan B if the opposition police mark Ozil out of the game. Wilshere’s role here reminds me of the effectiveness of Santi Carzola when he played alongside Ozil.

Arsenal were only ever going to pay one mega contract, and at £300,000 a week, the German ends up being the second highest paid player in the Premier League. It’s a good deal for the club and says something about Ozil who has redeemed himself and projected all the contract negativity towards Alexis, rightfully or wrongfully. It’s a big year for him with Germany defending the World Cup, him getting married to his fiancé Amine and a good old fat pay cheque and a new season to look forward to.

Mind The Gap

At least we don’t get to wait long to find out if Wenger and the players are serious about redeeming themselves. Theo is back in town tomorrow evening. There’s just this feeling I have that he’s got a lot to prove and he’s going to give Monreal a run for his money. We know Theo can score. The question is how much belief Big Sam has given him, and how much of a spring in his step his brace against Leicester gave him. Theo has the added incentive of getting a call-up for the England World Cup squad.

I really can’t see us keeping a clean sheet. But that doesn’t worry me as much as another inept performance, especially in defence. For one, I hope Li’l Jack is over his illness and Xhaka, Iwobi and Ramsey are benched. Who am I kidding? This is Arsenal. If wishes were horses, I’m sure all of us would have a ranch by now. A lot of excitement going forward with the new signings; a lot of bitterness to come too.

Have a great weekend good people.

68 thoughts on “STONE COLD FRIDAY: The Arsenal Sweet And Sour Routine

  1. Apparently, Gary Neville seems to know something we don’t. Maybe at his last dinner with Wenger, the Arsenal manager poured his soul and let the pundit know that the 2 year contract thing was a ruse. He only was given one year and at the end of this season, Wenger will resign and take Lacazette with him. Wenger must have told him, otherwise, how would he actually know, enough to provide material for an entire article about Wenger’s plans.

  2. Is that the same Gary Neville that gave a ‘wanker’ sign to the Arsenal fans in the Clock End, then beckoned everybody on to the pitch for a punch up? Of course many Arsenal fans headed on to the pitch to oblige.

    He talks shit, always has, but I dearly hope he is right about Wenger!

  3. Interesting post but that of the quality you have to provide to stick around here.

    I completely agree with with, Iwobi, Ramsey and Xhaka should be names we see on the bench in the PL but on thr teamsheet against our first knockout round opponent in the Europa League, the shame is we know it won’t happen but it most certainly should. Elneny, I rate him because of what he brings and what he brings is exactly what we need in a DM: does the defensive work and covers for his midfield mates, recycles the ball quickly but should he see a dynamic pass he will make it but he also is a good reader of the game with a superb engine.

  4. So Aubameyang is facing a sickness test as is Jack according to Arsene.

    He also said Lacazette has to fight for his place, surely Arsene is mad, just play all 4 of them together. Arsene said about Lacazette:

    “I don’t reassure anybody.

    “It is a competitive sport and you must fight for your places,” he added.

    “You have to show them respect and they have to accept it is a competitive world.

    “It means we can play two up.

    “On the other hand, we lost three strikers – Walcott, Sanchez, Giroud.

    “You need at least two top strikers to play in the Premier League.”

  5. Well said, Isaac, and spoken from the heart in a way no fan could or would disagree with!!

    You will have to enlighten me as to your opening comment referring to Garlic Neville — what did he say, or what article were you referring to.

    [I lead a sheltered life, occasioned by refusing to twitter, or do the rumba – so I often miss things that others see or hear] — innocence comes at a price. 😀

  6. From his presser:

    on how difficult it was to quite the deal done for Aubameyang…
    It was difficult because of course Dortmund wanted a replacement. First we had to agree the transfer deal with them and then after that we had to wait for them to find somebody who could replace him. That was a little bit of a cryptic deal because Giroud went to Chelsea and Batshuayi went to Dortmund. That’s why it was very short in time and very tense until the end.

    on Aubameyang’s qualities…
    He’s a typical striker with great pace and a good ratio of games and goals scored. He has a good work rate as well and is a team player. We lost some goals because we lost Alexis, Giroud and Walcott who are all goalscorers. He will compensate on that front.

    on why it was vital to bring in Aubameyang…
    First of all I believe that the Premier League is a challenge for every big player today. It’s where everybody wants to play. Of course I’ve known him for a long time, he has played against Arsenal many times. He likes the way we play football and he needed a new challenge, certainly. We were the ones who could offer that to him.

    on Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang recreating their success at Dortmund…
    I hope so, yes. They are players who have played together, who know each other well and have had a successful period together. We are an offensive team and that’s why I hope they can recreate that perfect understanding they had at Dortmund.

    on if Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan, Ozil and Lacazette can play in same team at same time…
    It’s always possible. Will I do it? Maybe. I don’t know. But I think it’s possible, yes.

    on whether he has had to reassure Lacazette…
    I don’t reassure people because I think we are in a competitive world. We have all chosen a job that is about competition and you have to fight for your place. You have to show them respect, and that you rate the players but as well they have to accept that we live in a competitive world.

    on spending a club record on a striker twice in six months…
    Yes, but first of all what does that mean for you? It means that we can play two up [top], or one [up]. On the other hand you forget that we lose three strikers: Walcott, Sanchez and Giroud. So you should be in a position where you can understand why I brought at least one in.

    on whether one of Lacazette or Aubameyang will play out wide…
    It suggests you need at least two top strikers in the Premier League, because if one is injured then you have a problem.

  7. On the market and not getting a defender:

    Yes [I regret missing out on a defender], because our defensive numbers are not good enough,” said Wenger.

    “That’s where we needed some possible strengthening because we have to improve our defensive numbers.

    “If we want to go in the top four we have to improve our offensive and defensive numbers.”

    He added: “I believe we have to find an internal solution to our defensive problems. That’s everybody putting more effort in.

    “Overall, I’m happy with the way things went in the transfer market.”

  8. As Wavey said yesterday, there are people who are cults.

    And Neville can be a bit of a cult when he gets the wind in his sails — and I know I should not say this, or let my fingers dance the fandango over the keyboard, but I cannot stop them — Neville in his ubiquitous TV shows is by far the best of the pundits when it comes to analysing a team’s tactical nonsense, which is in a different league to the anodyne nonsense other pundits spout so as not to upset their mates on the pitch.

    [Carragher might be OK to — but I cannot understand a word he says, so he has to be given the benefit of any doubt. Altho he might be a cult too — but the lack of understanding lets him off that too.] 😀

  9. Thanx, C, and good morning,

    That is interesting from AW — altho it seems he was not asked;
    “why, if you could see the defense needed strengthening, did you not buy someone earlier in the window, until making a half-assed attempt to buy a cult like Evans at the last minute? Are the back room boys unable to multi-task, and negotiate for both an attacker and separately for a proper CB? If so, have you considered employing a woman negotiator, paid at the same rate as the males — I hear they are ace at multi-tasking?” 😀

  10. I agree about leaving those 3 out. Granit just needs a rest. Iwobi should go back to the U23’s to rediscover his spark. Ramsey can be the next one out the door for me. This new, sweeping forward Arsenal attack holds no place for a player who’s first instinct on receiving the ball is to to turn to face his own goal. Perhaps, with a settled midfield of Elneny and li’l Jack, there might be an improvement in our defensive group. However, I feel only a change of ‘keeper will achieve that. He’s great if the ball is within his reach, but he’s far too slow for this change of gear upwards formation. Excuses already for not playing Auba – he cost 60 million ffs, start him. If he’s ill take him off again.

    Finally, the final piece in the jigsaw will be a new Manager at the end of the season. Early on too. Start the planning for succession NOW! I’m sure Ivan, Sven and the new “not a DoF” can manage that!

  11. Incidentally, I do apologise for using bad language in my comments today, it is Wavey’s fault – he has introduced me to a new world of language — fortunately without any overt reference to sexual content. he is a good lad, really! 😀

  12. HenryB,

    Morning my friend,

    I would have thoroughly enjoyed Arsene’s response to that. Or if a reporter had the cojones, there could have been a back and forth like:

    Reporter: Will you give Chambers, Holding and Mavropanos to impress since Kos has been meh, Mustafi has been up and down and Mert has seemed to already retire?

    Arsene: Holding lacks confidence, Chambers needs to improve, but who is Mavropanos?

    Reporter: The CB that Arsenal signed early in the window….

    Arsene: I don’t know what you speak of

    Reporter: You referred to him as ‘that Greek lad or Greek boy’

    Arsene: Oh, him, yea sorry I didn’t recognize the name, sure he could be in contention
    😂

  13. C,

    I perhaps over-egged the lack of twitter knowledge a little.

    I do know how to access and read the runes therein, but I do not and have never, typed anything in that little comment box — but I do delight in occasionally perusing amusing sources such as ‘thedaily mash’ and I fell about reading a spoof Man Utd Chinese fan’s tweets some time ago, called Beijing Red.

    So many people risk getting upset with the personal acrominy Twitter imposes on fans — so I stay clear of the technological Wild West. 🙂

  14. Big Sam on defensively weak Arsenal:

    “It’s about being able to nullify the strengths of Arsenal and then, I’ve always felt, that defensively they are weak because of the amount of players they commit forward.

    “If we’re clever enough to not give the ball away and break out from when we win the ball back with some quality forward passes and forward runs, we can play well and get good counter-attacking movement going.”

  15. I have been summoned to explain why I have not finished my report, and to stop farting around blogging.

    bloody cheek. I told them I can multi-task, and to my knowledge I am pretty sure I am not a female, feminine woman – I think!! 😀

    See you later.

  16. HenryB,

    Yea, I had facebook when it first popped up because I was graduating high school and had friends going all over the country and world for college but I have since deleted and sworn off social media. I live it through my friends and random news clips I see.

    Social media, especially twitter lets you see the worst of people.

    Speaking of, I read an article this morning that Ian Wright is at it again about Ozil not deserving a contract.

  17. Can somebody please explain to me why most people have such a hatred for Ozil yet praisd Coutinho, Silva and others? Have people actually been paying attention, Coutinho has gone missing quite a bit not to mention, despite having better quality attacking players has donr fuck all….Silva has been brilliant but is also helped by having better quality players yet Ozil despite having attackers that wouldn’t make either bench has more assists and helped lift 3 FA Cups and if Giroud doesn’t go 15 straight matches without scoring would have not only destroyed the PL assist record but also have lifted the PL title for Arsenal.

  18. Yes Jonny, news for the hopeful: Santi is in the Europa squad. If we go past Ostersunds FC, then we may see him back in action.

  19. Great post Darius.

    I remember all the debates on this blog during the early Emirates era regarding the importance of team defense. There was a lot excitement surrounding the club during the early part of project youth and the Wengerball era and a lot of smart people bought into the Wengerian koolaid and really believed that ball possession and attacking threat would be adequate defense. I understand how fans desperately want to be optimistic and wear rose colored glasses but I honestly can’t understand how a manager who is clearly intelligent and has studied football history could actually think he could win when his strategic ethos placed team defense as an after thought. Even more amazing is that same manager is still here more then 10 years later and he is still desperately clinging to the idea that we are an attacking team even though anyone who watches us play knows we are not even very good at attacking. Even more damning is the fact that our team defense is worse then ever and we are on pace to concede more goals then any Arsenal team since before George Graham. How Arsene has survived this long is miraculous. Its truly a case of the inmates are running the asylum.

  20. We have been discussing the Ozil contract for a while and needless to say that team Ozil has done very well for their client. Getting a wage package that is probably the highest in the world for any player who does not score goals when it’s very clear that his days as the world’s best #10 are well behind him is nothing short of a world class job of negotiation. For a club that used to pride itself on intelligent use of resources and value for money this is probably going to be a historically bad decision in terms how much we end up spending over 3.5 years in terms dollars spent for each goal and each assist. Full credit to team Ozil for taking advantage of a club that had just lost Sanchez and did not want to lose another big reputation player on the free.

    I am very happy with getting PEA. However, My real concern is it looks like we are rebuilding this team for another couple years of Wengerball. On paper we have a technically gifted team who will probably lead the world in passes completed and ball possession. However, we have been trying to overwhelm the rest of the world with ball possession and lightweight technically gifted players who don’t score many goals and don’t like to play defense for the entire Emirates era and it has not worked. (See the comment at 1:46). These certainly look like Arsene driven moves because you would think that anyone not named Arsene would have learned a lesson after all of these years.

  21. Bill,

    How are we rebuilding this team for another couple of years of Wengerball? Aubameyang, Lacazette and Mhkitraryan are actual players that are more reminiscent of the way we played prior to Wengerball or when we were dynamic with Cesc, Nasri, Theo and RvP. I think the thing that you are doing is making assumptions on players that you really haven’t seen play. Mhkitaryan and Aubameyang have ALWAYS played in teams that pressed high, played fast and didn’t give a shit about possession. To be honest, Ozil has never played in a team like that until he came to Arsenal.

  22. Can’t believe I’m being cited for bad language. I simply shared my views on a couple of cults who used to play for the team. Pretty sure I got the spelling right.

  23. Arsetralian from yesterday

    “I think in this case we profited from Ozil contract

    We committed to massive wages because more expensive to buy a new player – too high for those clubs who thought they could pick up a $£€0 bargain”

    I would argue that we would not have needed to replace Ozil because we had already brought in Mkhitaryan who can play the same position and has similar skill set and is also on a very high wage. The only possible reason we would need both is we are gearing up for another 3 years of Wengerball. It really does seem like we have not learned anything from watching the last 14 years

  24. Lacazette has struggled and is currently on pace to score less then 14 league goals this season but at least he is represents somewhat of a threat to score. I would not be surprised if Arsene is reluctant to play both Lacazette and PEA at the same time and he plays Ozil and Mkhitaryan as our wide forwards. He has already hinted that Lacazette’s minutes are not secure.

  25. The way the signings and backroom staff are panning out I suspect our next manager will be a German, probably who has been around Dortmund.

  26. Wavey,

    It is, Theo the winger is what Arsene should be talking about, not Theo the striker.

    Have to say, I would actually have loved to keep Theo and sell Welbeck because Theo could come and play on the flanks in the Europa League and provide another goal threat while Welbeck is a hard worker

  27. Damn, guess we won’t be signing Song, Arsene said:

    “He is looking for a new club,” he said.

    “I allowed him to come in to work on his fitness.

    “Nothing more than that.”

    When asked if he Arsenal will be signing Song, the boss firmly stated: “No”.

  28. Can people PLEASE stop saying Ozil and Mhkitaryan are the same, they are different players who do different things.

    Ozil is the playmaker, the creative genius, the free player who strings the attack together. Mhkitaryan is the winger who can do a bit of everything, for Dortmund he was the Pires to Aubameyang’s Henry.

  29. Wavey,

    I think it very naughty that anyone could accuse you of being the instigator of bad language.

    I’m afraid you are going to have to point out the cult who said that, and give him a piece of your mind — not too much mind, or everyone else will want a piece.

    Actually, I think AW was right calling Theo a striker, he was always coming out for some reason — injury, or just being tired — probably a secret Union Leader — didn’t he threaten to play more often if he did not get a big pay rise! [Don’t tell C I said that] 😀

  30. Honestly, C, how can people mistake Mesut and Mkhit — well anyone except Bill of course — Özzie Özil wears a number 10 shirt, and the other one doesn’t. Duh.

    Incidentally, did I tell you that sometimes, well quite often really, you sound just like my Sports Master did when I was at school !!! 😀

  31. C,

    I think Song was not good enough for the big Spanish Onions, and it did not take long for him to realise he was singing his last swan song.

    Like Hleb and Cesc were not good enough either, and I suspect all three regretted their decisions to abandon the Gunners and wanted to come back.

    Good riddance says I. 🙂

  32. HenryB,

    well glad you can see the difference, it literally drives me crazy when midfielders get lumped together.

    That’s kind of funny actually given your a big lad and I would probably just let you get away with murder simply to not have to deal with you! 😉 Though it is good that I am learning you though 😉

  33. HenryB,

    Yup, I think at one point Hleb, Cesc and Song would have been but I think even Cesc in the Barca team he went into was good enough because that was at the height of Xavi and Inesta’s powers and as an attacker Cesc wasn’t quick enough for what they needed and it didn’t help that Villa, Messi and PEdro were deadly.

    They left, we moved on.

  34. I have never been a fan of Giroud and I am not sad to see him go. He did get blamed for a lot of things that were not his fault. A lot of us thought that his lack of pace was hurting our attack and slowing us down. However, he was dropped at the start of last season and since then I think most of us would agree that for much of thses last 2 seasons we have played the least effective slowest tempo attacking football of any Arsenal team in this decade.

  35. Again I am not trying to suggest I want Giroud back but his lack of pace at our CF position was certainly not the thing causing us to look sluggish and unimaginative and slowing down counterattack’s

  36. Yup,

    Mr Morrati was from brooklyn and came over to teach physics, and he was a little guy, but you did not mess with him — his special phrase was; “People! People, you had better have stopped talking before I stop talking or you will regret it !!” Everyone stopped talking – he did not shout, but he looked mean, and also looked like he had a shoulder holster like all Noo Yoik teachers (at least that’s what I told the British kids).

    Everyone liked him pretty soon., because he made us like physics the way he taught us, and we all got good grades. You have a lot to live up to, C. 😀

  37. Sports Master teaching physics, you may ask.

    Yeah, that’s what we said, but he knew nothing about cricket, rugby or football/soccer so he took on other subjects – physics and chemistry – he was probably an illegal immigrant!! 😀

  38. OK, back to football, and as I know nothing about tactics, strategies, and why Giro was so slow even Bill noticed I had better leave it to the experts on here.

    Bill I happen to agree with you about Giro’s lack of pace – and we all agree that he was totally one footed, his left peg was good, but that’s why he kept falling over when tackled on his right side, as I mentioned previously, and sadly that is also the explanation for his inability to get up any speed — now, if only he had two feet he could have run across the pitch like everyone else, instead of having to hop. LD

  39. HenryB,

    Sounds like I do have quite a bit to live up to. Sounds like I do share some of his qualities as I am not a shouter as I’m way to mellow for that but in a monotone voice I will most certainly let you know when enough is enough. I’m not necessarily a “short” person as I’m 6’1-6’2 but I’m a slender/athletic (180-183 lbs) built but I have broad shoulders and often times people ask me whether I am really tired or just got done finished smoking ‘weed’.

    People tend to like me because I seem to get along with most people, well except Bill when it comes to Ozil, Szczesny, midfielders, the way teams are built, etc. 😉

  40. HenryB,

    Yup or been quick enough to say get on the end of the ball Mhkitaryan played across the box when he was 2 yards away but Giroud is Giroud.

  41. Arsene tells Ozil to become a leader:

    “He has committed his future to the club. But we are in a period where we are in a tricky position on that front, with us trying to qualify for the Champions League,” he told reporters at Friday’s press conference.

    “We expect from him that he becomes the lead and takes responsibility to lead the team to success. It is [like a new signing] because many predicted he would not commit and not sign for us, and overall it is good news for us.

    “When you look at the transfer market today, the fact you can keep a player of that calibre is of course good news, and the fact he committed for a longer period shows as well he will have to lead the team.”

  42. Good evening all, very late to the party today. Thanks Darius for another great post. There’s nothing in it for me to disagree with so I’ll save my powder for another day.

  43. Evening all,

    Also been away for some days as work and sick children (chicken pox) been quite demanding. Dear lord, life was easier before children and an ex wife. Life must have been much easier for men before this women equality.

    Now we have to be a hybrid of mum&dad. Provide for them as well as house chores, cooking, cleaning , get the dog out, take them to school, meet with the teachers, get the dog out, bring them home from school, make dinner, read them bedtime stories and get the dog out for evening walk and try to put some work there in between.

    Yes, ofc one needs help but my aupair left after new year saying” I can’t take the cold, darkness and bolted back to Chile. Silly bunt.

    Are the women really clever or are they insane. Is this a reflection of a modern brave new world or is it all going tits up which sort of leads me to Arsenal (finally, you probably all say who managed to read through theses boring passages🙂).

    This transfer certainly didn’t go all tits up. Darn, what a window. This gives hope, we’re standing infront of change. This could very well be a new dawn.

  44. C:
    HenryB,

    Yup or been quick enough to say get on the end of the ball Mhkitaryan played across the box when he was 2 yards away but Giroud is Giroud.

    C

    We have been complaining about Giroud for years and I dont think that losing him really hurts us. Once we decide we don’t like someone then we see what we expect. However, the fact that our attack has not improved since he was dropped from the starting line up certainly is proof positive that he was not the only problem or even the biggest problem.

    C @ 4:51

    Debating our difference of opinions is part of what makes blogging fun. What else would we have to talk about?
    Blogger 1: Our team defense sucks.
    Blogger 2: I agree.

    Not much else you can say unless there is someone who disagrees. None of it is personel.

  45. C,

    Until he decides that we really do need to get in a defensive midfielder after all. He’ll suddenly come out with some comment about Song getting up to speed quickly and looking really good in training. Next thing you know, he’s signed an 18 month contract and we don’t get that holding midfielder we should really need to buy in the summer. Saves spending the dosh. Stan will be pleased.

  46. Bill,

    I agree, our play has been slow and labered but I still think that Giroud running like a 100 year old grad mother when he was first choice isn’t going to help either.

  47. Wavey,

    I think old Arsenal under Arsene might but again, I don’t think he is in control especially now with Sanllehi the last to join the fold and and it might be a situation to now where Arsene says: “Hey I want to sign Song to” , then one of Ivan, Mislintat, Sanllehi or the other new contract helper says, “O so you want Song, well no but we will find a player for the position that you are looking for.”

  48. Well done to our U18’s who beat Middlesbrough in the FA youth Cup winnnig 3-2 to progress to the quarter-finals.

  49. C,

    how genius of Chelsea to replace a younger, athletic and faster striker Batshuayi with an older, slow but handsome man Olivier Giroud

  50. C,

    Could see him spinning it in a month’s time. Especially if someone picks up an injury. Then Song will look great for a 3-4 games because he’ll be disciplined . All of a sudden the old habits will creep in and we’ll be back to where we started. Wenger loves to use what he has at hand and loves any chance to get his favourites back in. I was amazed that he didn’t snap Cesc up. There again, he wasn’t a free transfer. How many old boys has he signed up again now? I can think of three.

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