Arsenal Take Welcome Three Points From Bruising Encounter

mcvNewcastle United 0 – 1 Arsenal

0 – 1 Coloccini (52 o.g.)

Sent off: Mitrovic (16)

It’s a damning indictment of modern football that some found the sixteenth minute dismissal of Alexsandr Mitrovic both controversial and unwarranted. The Serb arrived on these shores with something of a firebrand reputation and being part of an XI which was sent onto the pitch with instructions to physically intimidate, seemed likeliest to fall foul of the officials. He wasn’t the first to trouble Andre Marriner’s notebook nor the last as Steve McClaren betrayed the expansive footballing legacy so beloved of the Gallowgate by transforming Newcastle into Stoke-lite. They were light of one man with seventy-five minutes to play and got the result their performance deserved.

Bizarrely, McClaren said after the game that whilst “the cards were all fouls but I think the ref has reacted too harshly, too rashly with every one of them.” It seems working for Mike Ashley drives any semblance of common sense out of managers. Does he genuinely believe that? I doubt it but with a squad which is showing little sign of improvement over the shambles of the previous season, he will have clung to whatever flotsam and jetsam strayed of his side’s performance. The odds though, of a Keegan-esque outburst have considerably shortened.

Arsenal will be content with the three points on an afternoon where performance didn’t matter. The looming international break  meant that three points was all that counted as the squad sought to end their indifferent start to the season with a win and more importantly, not let the gap to Manchester City grow beyond the five points which existed before kick-off. As events transpired, it turned out to be three points which capitalised on the failings of Chelsea and Liverpool, the latter’s defeat meant Arsenal leapfrogged them into fifth place.

Arsène shuffled the pack before kick-off, Olivier Giroud’s record against Newcastle counted for nought as Theo Walcott was preferred to the lead the line and with Mesut Özil out through what the manager described as a ‘minor’ knee injury, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came onto the flank with Aaron Ramsey pushed into a central role. Changes that nobody complained about, changes which created openings but the extent of Arsenal’s problems remains evident when the O.G. leading the scoring charts is down to the largesse of their opponents and not a French international.

Thierry Henry grated Giroud’s ego earlier in the year with the observation that the club couldn’t win the title with his compatriot leading the line. It seems that Giroud is hell-bent on proving him right, one goal this season is not a persuasive enough argument to prove Henry wrong. It’s one more than Theo Walcott has although nobody is sure how. Presented with a gilt-edged opportunity to open the floodgates when Tim Krull parried Alexis’ shot, the England international scooped his shot over the bar with an unguarded net beckoning. Ian Wright observed that Walcott, if this was always Wenger’s long-term plan, ought to have played centrally for the last five years, seemed to have a point. That Arsène noted afterwards that he continues to search for a new striker underlines that.

Faced with ten men, Arsenal unsurprisingly overwhelmed possession. Newcastle didn’t muster a shot on target in the ninety minutes and generally gave Laurent Koscielny the sort of return to the side that he of which he could only have dreamed. The other end of the pitch remains in sharp focus and the XI deserves some praise for not panicking having arrived at the interval without scoring. Damned by faint praise? Even though Newcastle packed the defensive third in a determined, some might say rearguard, action not to concede, Arsenal with title pretensions, should have scored more, there’s no doubt about it.

However, having dropped three points on the opening day with the fiasco against West Ham, Arsène will be happy with the points haul since and is probably those three behind where he thought they would be at this point of the season. When the Premier League recommences in a fortnight’s time, the fixtures become more exacting with Stoke and the trip to Zagreb the hors ahead of Chelsea and Tottenham before the month ends. It will need significant improvements up front to continue the form they now find themselves in. A point Arsène acknowledged,

We have offensive potential but you always want more and more goalscorers. We have not fired offensively, our finishing has not been clinical and we have to improve on that.

The internal solutions aren’t there at the moment but maybe, just maybe, they need ten days with the international squads to clear their heads, to brush away the cobwebs. It seems to me that this is the answer because Wenger, notoriously secretive about transfers at the best of times, offered little sign of new blood to change the situation,

We are open and we are in the transfer market. If we find an exceptional player in any sector, we will do it. At the moment I don’t know if something will happen or not.

A familiar refrain but let’s hope it is the game playing with the media he so enjoys. It might be a long September if it isn’t.

’til Tomorrow.

110 thoughts on “Arsenal Take Welcome Three Points From Bruising Encounter

  1. Are you kiddin me, “enuf protection”,….Im surprised the players can run at all, they’re wrapped in so much cotton wool, and with a paid-off ref for the day, you’ll be alright mate, don’t worry.

  2. With apologies to the poster who made this point a few days ago it does appear that with the influx of TV money the gap between the also rans and the top clubs is closing. Sadly though it doesn’t seem that we’re all moving up in quality, the big clubs (possibly bar City) seem to be standing still while the smaller ones are picking up better players. I’m sure the CL will demonstrate that at the highest level the PL clubs are in a bit of a trough these days which makes the claim that this is the greatest league in the world look a bit hollow.

    As for us we’re being linked once again with Cavani this morning. Someone else who hasn’t lived up to the hype in my opinion. With us still having to play Newcastle at home later in the season a decent alternative to Le Coq might be a better bet.

  3. Morning

    Clicked on BBC link and ended up on a Geordie website. Almost commented on one lad’s claim that Coquelin put his leg in the way of the challenge and that the penalty shout was not given because it wasn’t the defender’s fault that Bellerin was too quick. The lad claimed that therefore the foul would never have been a penalty as it wasn’t deliberate. Of course he knew that was the cause because he used to play football. I laughed and left the website realising I was in a foreign country.

    I’ve noticed lately that there seems to be a after match backlash to some comments made during the games, particularly when they criticise players. Two points; one: to me typing me criticism on here is an extension of what I would be saying down the pub, things like “he held on to that too long”, or “why the f*ck didn’t he shoot there” and two: criticising your own players is the age-old right of fans and it doesn’t make anybody a worse fan if they have moan about players. Hurling abuse around etc., is a different matter, but if my criticisms upset anybody don’t read my posts. I’m not going to change.
    And if anybody thought there was a “Ramsey hate” coming from me yesterday, there was no hate but I felt he slowed our play down and that he doesn’t see the movement of players around him as the ball carrier. I’ve always felt that Ramsey doesn’t do that role well, he is best suited to the role next to the CDM where he can start things up and then get into the area and be in the thick of it. Which means that realistically we should drop one of Santi or Ramsey when Ozil isn’t playing, but then who do you play in the number 10 role? Ramsey and Santi only seem to work together when one of them is playing in a wide position which also leaves us unbalanced.

  4. I find all this “was never a red card” stuff pretty stupid.

    All the guff about “not enough English players in the EPL” hurting the national team despite f-all since ’66 and very few foreigners in the intervening years, the real reason is the dissonance between how the game is ref’ed in England and elsewhere.

    Firstly, football is NOT a contact sport!!!!!!!

    It is a sport where SOME contact is tolerated.

    Boxing is a contact sport. Rugby is a contact sport.

    Football is not, and until the English “authorities”, media, and general fanbase begin to understand the difference, the England team will get nowhere.

    A further note on this, “maliciousness” is not the criteria for a red card.

    Recklessness is. If your actions endanger your opponent or yourself, then you should get a red card.

    The stupidity and sheer ignorance of the commentators and public just baffles me, but hey, there’s every other excuse in the book for England’s lack of success except a failure to adapt to playing to the rules observed by the rest of the world.

  5. So silly to be making comments so early into season regarding City.

    Strong start and others have faltered but we are only 4 games in and 5 points can change very quickly.

    You wont see the proper shape until 10 games in and likely 3 of the 4 perrenial hopefuls will be in and amongst top 4.

    We have lacked fluidity and seem tentative but at least we are carving out chances and shooting.

    Poor against ten men but we got the job done courtesy of our new striker Own Goal.

    Meanwhile United whom the pundits proclaimed to have had a strong start are level with us despite the accolades from their ex players.

    Chelsea whom everyone mention would strengthen this season are where?

    Liverpool (supposedly one of the more impressive defensive teams)got beat by West Ham by 3 goals at home

    Lets not mention Spurs who are contenders to us only in their demented heads apart of course from the fact that they have shown great ambition to start just a spot above relegation and 2 massive points in the bank.

    What are we complaining about?

    Yes improvements please but other teams have spent money and are hardly ahead of us. Perspective please.

  6. That said, there is a chance we may sign someone over next 48 ++ hours.

    It all depends on teams like RM and PSG. If they move pieces, something may come available albeit not clearly Benzema everyone keeps clamouring for. Plenty of noise for us to sign a striker but no names.

    My feeling is we may add either a wide attacker who can function up top in future or a central mid given Arteta and Flamini will eventually have to be replaced.

    As with Ozil, it may depend on players departin. Wenger had to wait for the Bale deal to finish. Plus waiting also meant any potential rivals in PL would have spent their wad early and not be in a position to compete for Ozil.

    If you think that was a last minute desperate move at 42.3m, you don’t know Wenger and well, you are frankly a bit obtuse.

    It isn;t a supermarket and we are not the only team to be able to pay those prices. We are certainly not the team that can pay the highest wages even with 200m in the bank (not all spending money).We are a self made club and have to watch our bottom line.

    BUT we have been not shy of spending on quality contrary to the average media pundits assinine assessments.

    Lets see if/how it unfolds.

  7. Santori

    2 things:

    1. Very similar things were said about Chelsea at the start last season.

    2. Our illustrious leader and players have been waxing lyrical about the need for a strong start themselves, so “perspective” is a little misguided IMO.

  8. Arsenal had so may shots at goal but only one went through a deflected defender’s leg. This aint good enough.
    Arsenal were once known for their passing all day but with no trophies won.The gunners always have a problem when teams park the bus because they have no variation in their attack .
    Next game is against Stoke ,another physical side.The gunners must know teams won’t give them time and space.Its up to Wenger to find a solution.
    On thing is for sure. All day passing aint going to work .There must be plan b if not planc c.

  9. Thanks and morning YW.

    As you say the result was good enough.
    Watched the game in a bar last night with a mate of mine from Newcastle.
    He’s not a big football fan but I’d told him that Newcastle were looking better this season. He was none too pleased afterwards 🙂
    Still, we drank way too much red wine and single malt so alls well that ends well.
    And at least we don’t support Toon.

  10. One win and Santori crawls out from his hidey hole and the preaching continues

    Three points and a theo start. Who would’ve thought?

    By the sounds of it though, glad I missed watching it whilst on family duties!! MOTD later and, for today, a bit of support for Swansea

  11. If you think that was a last minute desperate move at 42.3m, you don’t know Wenger and well, you are frankly a bit obtuse.

    Not this again?

    It was a last minute unnecessary panic buy. I won’t go through it again though. It’s pointless

    Don’t know Wenger? I’m quite sure that I’ve conversed more words with the man than you but it isn’t about that. It’s about reading the circumstances around it. Everything points to the complete opposite of what you’re saying. You’re bending history to fit with what you’re comfortable with. If it were a point of view, I’d accept it, but you’re making stuff up and ignoring key facts. It’s mental

  12. Morning Santori. While I do get your point that it’s early in the season it’s a bit cheeky to say in one breath that it’s silly to make comments about City (presumably you feel people are being to quick to praise them) and in the next you say how badly United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs are doing. If it’s to early to form a judgement on City then it’s too early to do the same on the other four that you mention surely? You need to be consistent.

    By all means keep peddling the ‘Ozil was a cunning plan’ malarky if you wish but I don’t think that many of are buying that one. You are right though that there are still clubs with money to spend which makes this last minutes stuff too much of a gamble for me, there’s no time for a plan B if your main target falls through one minute before the deadline. Regards a striker if a top one does become available (unlikely) I wouldn’t be surprised to see United snatch them from under our noses.

  13. Don’t bother replying to Santori, he dumps his comments here and then shoots off.

    He will also spin the story so it is all rosy even if we get relegated.

    That’s just how some people are.

  14. Andy @6.51
    You’re up bright and early today 🙂

    I’m curious how the PL clubs will do this season as well. City’s record in the CL is even worse than ours but all the PL clubs have badly as I remember for the last 2 years.
    Didn’t the narrative switch from the best league in the world to the ‘most exciting league in the world’ ?

  15. Morning all.

    Wavey and Mike SA, I agree with every word that you wrote.

    Santori, I disagree with almost everything that you wrote but each to his own.

    This is another season just to enjoy, as much as one can, the circus that is the EPL, I don’t foresee much glory for, or exaltation over, The Arsenal. Other teams never bother me much. If they do well, they probably deserve to, if they don’t, I enjoy that but it doesn’t make Arsenal any better.

    Always nice to see Rooney or maureen make prats of themselves but it doesn’t translate into more goals for us.. Not often anway.

  16. Morning YW watched the highlights hier soir courtesy of MOTD.

    Martin Keown highlighted an interesting point. He spoke and highlighted how the Arsenal players needed to fight,take leadership and protect each other more when subjected to such an onslaught of systematic fouling and over zealous tackling

    After being fouled none of the Arsenal players reacted by going to remonstrate with the ref. Or none went over to the player who committed the foul. He was not saying that they should be trying to get the player sent off but they were to show passion and intent and were not going to be A SOFT TOUCH. This in turn makes the Ref have to do something take action.

    Not sure If I have made my point clearly. Had a late night.

  17. Morning Brevity – yes, an early start for a Sunday, an early one for YW too to get a post up by around 06:15 (or 07:15 on the continent). Well played that man!

    You’re probably right although ‘most exciting league’ might have to become ‘most unpredictable’ which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I forecast that we will not be the only English side to not go past the last sixteen this year, in fact the only chance I give any of our teams would be based on a very favourable draw and even then most of them could probably cock it up like we did last season.

  18. If anyone actually believes Arsene spent 40 million plus as a last minete gamble they are definitely deluded!!Re the game..we huffed and puffed,scored then sat back so ground the result out…something we have been critized for not being able to do in the past.Newcastle could be playing now and they wouldn’t have scored.Our start hasn’t been great but hardly a disaster.Give Newcastle some credit they defended well as they did at Manchester recently.I do think yesterday showed how much we miss Ozil and as much as Theo tries he will not make a central striker…we looked much better when Giroud came on…

  19. Andy, a big part of the problem is that none of our teams are pampered like the Spanish and German sides. In Germany we’re talking Friday fixtures before CL ties, that month-long winter break, a domestic cup that is spread across the entire course of the season (not just the busy second half) and an 18-team league. In Spain, well there’s the gaping TV money discrepancy, which gives the best sides an easy ride most weeks, and that palpable sense of deference towards FCB and RM nationwide.

    I think City are very strong this season, and man for man they match up well against the very best. I think the biggest threat to them between now and February (when CL starts to matter) is wear and tear.

  20. Andy,

    Yes, a cracking effort from YW.

    It was certainly happily unpredictable yesterday. Palace are 2nd I think – who says we can’t win away at top sides 🙂
    Let’s hope Swansea do their bit to making it an even better weekend.

  21. Ras I found keowns summation curious. If the suggestion is that surrounding and haranguing the ref demonstrates we are tough it is one I profoundly disagree with. I thought we were very mature in the face of some incredibly cynical challenges.
    On the one hand we want players to behave responsibly on the other they are criticised when they do.
    The ref handled it well the red card was deserved and the bookings as well. If all refs took such an effective approach we will finally see football games decided by playing football and not mindless thuggery of Alan shearer school of thought

  22. Well at least we aren’t Geordie fans.
    Watching your team at home, go into its shell, hellbent in only defending is pretty abject.
    We controlled the game, didn’t create a whole lot,and when we did, we didn’t finish well.
    But I would rather be on our side

  23. I actually like the idea that more teams are challenging. If TV money is creating that environment, than great. Much better than having only 4 teams raffling the title.

  24. Rune breaker,
    Agree re the ref.
    Putting aside the glaring unawarded penalty, which I can only put down to his view being obscured,
    I thought he was bang on with his cards.
    They clearly came out with a plan to rattle us. It didn’t work.
    It actually cost them.

  25. It`s been a strange old start to the season with just 7 home wins in 40 EPL matches & plenty of odd results & performances everywhere. The quality of players signed in the lower half of the league has certainly improved so I reckon it`s likely to be similar for a good while yet.

    Obviously it puts our form into perspective but yet again makes me wonder how great a chance we`d have had with just those 2 top class signings the majority of supporters would have liked.

    Had we had Welbeck on a loan last season I think we may have bought another striker this summer.

    As for Steve McClaren`s comments yesterday , they were as ridiculous as his haircut.

  26. Thanks again YW.

    Mclaren blustered something about appealing the red card. Go and sit in the corner you ridiculous man. And don’t forget yer pointy hat.

    Thought Keown’s comments on MOTD were bang on. You can be disgusted at the, er, tactics employed by Newcastle but still believe the Arsenal are essentially a (to paraphrase MK) “soft touch” these days. And have been for years.

    Yesterday didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know. Still aren’t even close to “clicking” yet. Though no doubt it will happen soon. Familiar stuff. In itself, a welcome three points though.

    Let the trolley dash commence.

  27. @Brevity,
    Red wine followed by single malts quite put me off my pre-lunch Calvados and coffee.
    What it helped to do is obliterate the disgraceful start to yesterday’s game. The Newcastle manager AND the home crowd should be ashamed of their response to what was blatant GBH.

  28. Nicky,
    🙂
    Yes, McClaren is a clown, just not a very funny one. It was very satisfying that his neanderthal plan backfired in the way it did.

  29. Andy @6:51, no need for any apologies whatsover about the TV money comment. Was just an opinion and observation. No copyright infringement there!

    As for yesterday, what an anti-climax. Expect, no hope, that we turn up and rip the Toon to shreds, pepper the Gila with shots and come away with a convincing 3 or more goal advantage. But no, more pass, pass, pass, with a lack of movement up front.

    As for Walcott leading the line, I’m not sure whether to feel sorry for the lad. He is never going to be world class but could do a job when we are playing teams that attack us and give us that counter-attacking opportunity. I don’t think Newcastle where ever going to do that. Surely Arsene must have thought that too. In which case it would have been better to start with OG up front. Not that he should be our first choice CF either.

    Anyway, back to the decorating now. And no, I’m not watching the paint dry until an Arsenal player scores another goal. Although it feels like.

  30. I see that John Cross has written a book, ‘The inside story of Arsenal under Arsene Wenger’.

    You have a copy to review, YW?

  31. PW, I always think that every team looks quite strong at the start of every season, but what usually happens is that the less good teams start to get used to losing games by round 10 or so, and you have a better idea of which games are more easily winnable than others by then. Kind of like Hull, who looked very strong at the start of the season before everyone worked out that their signings weren’t actually any good.

    But this season I don’t know. Clearly some of business done this window will turn out to be crap, but many of the players who have shown up, even at smallish clubs, could easily play in the CL. It could take a long time for things to settle down, if they do at all.

    I wonder what’s behind the home thing too. I know that nearly every PL club has a pretty dodgy atmosphere these days – take West Ham fans booing last week. Might have something to do with, Dunno, could be a tactical thing – a lot of teams set up to counter.

  32. Last paragraph, whoops. The gist is I don’t rightly know. But for sure, home crowds seem quieter and less patient than ever.

  33. BK,

    Yes , teams are looking to counter & have probably had plenty of pre-season training sessions to work on `shape` etc but that`s probably nothing new.

    What seems to have improved is their ability on the break with nearly every side now has at least one player who could play CL.

  34. Neither of the ‘strikers’ are stepping up to the challenge, every match they are now heaping the pressure on AW to go shopping. The two of them are bowing under the pressure in front of goal when it matters. You can’t have two such players in a team, it gives you nothing to depend on. Both miss sitters, probably one should go and in Theo’s case I would say ‘wing it’ or adeus.

    Can’t understand why we are playing Sanchez on the left when he plays so well down the right.
    Yes it means we would not fit the Ox in.
    Buy players that fit into a team, not ones that you make fit into holes and then change everyone about to accommodate your best players out of position.
    The result; no finish.

  35. Ian Wright observed that Walcott, if this was always Wenger’s long-term plan, ought to have played centrally for the last five years, seemed to have a point.

    A point maybe but how much of a point? I’m not sure how much Henry played centrally before he joined as at a similar age as Theo is now but RvP was much older, 26 I think, before converting to the central striker role. It doesn’t look Theo’s role to me but it’s surprising that neither Henry or RvP were initially convinced it was a role they should play while Theo appears to believe it is.

  36. Filthy tactics from McClaren. Surprised more weren’t sent off. Amazed Colback didn’t get a card.

    That we played with Ox a centre forward for a period in the 2nd half tells you all you need about our goal scoring options.

  37. Just becuase a player wants to play in that position, it doesn’t mean that’s his best place. Theo is much better suited as a right-sided forward to me and can only really play as a CF in certain situations. That doesn’t sound much like a first choice striker who gets to play every game. The game yesterday was well set up for Walcott at 11 v 11, but they dropped a lot deeper when they went down to 10 men. Walcott would also have suited Ozil more as the German is better at spotting the clever runs and pinging a quick ball in, whereas Ramsey is more measured and the chance has usually gone. That said, Walcott had his chances yesterday and should have done better if he wanted to stake his claim.
    TBH neither striker is first choice in every game and that’s the problem. Other teams have a striker you would pick pretty much every game if he’s fit.

  38. John Cross is a bonafide egotwat – I cannot imagine his book will be of much worth but maybe he is a better writer than his clickbait wibblings in The Mirror suggest.

    I doubt it though.

    How ‘inside’ of a story can he of gleaned? He is hardly a popular figure.

  39. Are we going to see 45 Frank Lampard goals taken away and given as own goals now then?

    Anyway 3 points, another clean sheet. defence looks good. 3 good results in 4 games. its only city winning all their games that makes things look bad.

  40. Cheers,

    I had hoped from the start of the 2nd half, or at least from the time we scored the goal, that arsene would revert to a 4-4-2 or 4-1-3-2 and put 2 strikers in their box instead of tiki taking around with no purpose. Ramsey is not a number 10 and I felt a position swap with cazorla would have worked out much better. Put Giroud and Walcott, or even Ox, Campbell, as a duo of big aerial slow threat and small speedy runner. With one man up I thought it was a gamble worth taking..

    Did anyone else feel the same?

  41. Top stuff and good summation Yogi.

    I completely agree with Wavey, it is okay to praise players but speaking of them not playing well when it is clear for all to see isn’t allowed, that’s utter madness.

    I see people are slating the starting attacking trio for not producing, but to me that wasn’t the problem because prior to the sending off, we were playing futbol and playing at pace and you could see that the front 3 were going to cause problems and rhen the sending off put the onus on Santi and Ramsey and to be honest neither were the player that was needed because they couldn’t see let alone attwmpt to make the passes to Theo and Sanchez’s runs and they took too many touches which slowed down play.

    I think there were obviously 2 clear chances early that would have changed rhe match. The first being the simple pass that would have played Ox in that Ramsey got terribly terribly wrong; Ramsey slides Ox through and Ox has Theo for thr easy tap in. Then naturallt the penalty that was but wasn’t. I do think yesterday showed that while Santi and Ramsey are really good midfielders, they are more box-to-box and deep lying playmaker than players that can make that pass that will unlock even the most locked back 4.

    O yea and people will slate Theo for missing his opportunity but, and I’m not picking on Giroud just stating facts, don’t mention that Giroud waa in on goal and hit it straight at the GK.

  42. No Dukey – it’s not – it’s the manner of our performances.

    That can, and surely will, change but let’s not gloss over the facts and face them straight on instead.

  43. @Amos

    You do realize that over the past 5 years, RvP was here so he wasn’t going to play centrally but alao formed an absolutely brilliant partnership with RVP while playing on the right. Then Giroud was bought and Theo was played on the right and was class again. He then started to play centrally and then got iniured and was out for basically a full season and then was played there last season and scored goals in the middle of the season (I think he went something like 5 goals in 6 straight matches) and then wasn’t heard from again until his brilliant finish to the season.

  44. Jonny,

    exactly, were playing like shite. . and wenger is still fannying about with the lineup. and still getting results bar west spam. are we ever going to see walcott, giroud, sanchez and ozil on the same field at the same time. for the love of god wenger stop pissing about and just play them all. we will tear teams to shreds, its like going out with a playboy bunny and not getting to go home with it.

  45. This may end up annoying a few people on here, Wanyama was kept out of the Saints side following rumours over a move to the Spuds…..

  46. Andy

    I asked before whether or not we should bring in Wanyama and was shot down as it was questioned whether he was any better than Coquelin. I personally think he is, but JJ pointed out that he only has to be better than Flamini to improve us. A Prem experienced CDM who can battle it out with LeCoq for the spot has to make sense and the “quality” argument goes out of the window when you consider the alternative is Flamini (unless you’re Flamini’s mum).

  47. Watchint Southampton rip 10 man Norwich to pieces, can’t figure out how Southampton can still play at pace and fluidity and find Tadic and Mane making darting runs yet against Newcastle we couldn’t.

    Tend to agree with Dukey, Arsene needs to stop all this nonsense and if he wants to get the best out of thia team he needs to start Theo/Sanchez/Ozil and one of Ox or Giroud.

  48. Before Thursday I would have questioned why Wanyama would wants go to Spuds given that both were in Europa and Southampton are a much better team. Thursday’s piss poor performance blows that one out of the window though.

  49. I would take Wanyama, would have before he left Celtic, still would have now. He might be only be a bit better than Le Coq in somes eyes (i think his range of passing is better along with his ability on the ball even if it looks clumsy at times) him coming in will force Le Coq to improve and fight for his spot or become the number 2.

  50. I’m clearly not the arbiter of football ability, but Wanyama’s never looked more than a pretty good mid-table footballer to me. C, I’d say that Coquelin’s offers more than him in most respects apart from physical presence. Passing ability especially – I reckon Coq’s a more consistent passer, with a bit more vision too.

    Kingsley Coman’s gone to Bayern. Now he’s someone I’d have taken in a heartbeat.

  51. @Big Al

    I just saw that, Kingsley is a player we have discussed and both of us would take in a heartbeat. I do wonder though with his arrival does that mean that Gotze is on his way out or maybe Javi Martinez with Thiago dropping a bit deeper in midfield.

  52. C, was thinking that someone’s got to drop out. Ribery and Robben may suffer, but Gotze’s already on the bench too. Did you see their formation yesterday? It was like a 3-3-3-1, without CBs. I know he changes things around ever week, but Guardiola loves his AMs so I wonder if he’ll want as many as can get.

    On Kingsley Coman it sounds strange saying you’d want another youngster, but this guy is obscenely talented. The first time I saw him play it was a bit like seeing Vieira for AFC the first time, or Messi. Sometimes you just know. He’ll sink without trace now!

  53. Wavey, I think it will take an injury apocalypse for Flamini to get a game for us again. I think he’s made one start in 2015, and I’d even say Bielik’s (obv not the answer, but word is he’s starting to settle) ahead of him in the pecking order. Honestly, if I had the choice between Wanyama and nobody this window I’d hold fire and start looking working on a transfer for a WC mf for the winter or even next summer.

  54. The same applies to signing Charlie Austin, Berahino, Afobe, Callum Wilson or whoever else up front. What would the point be?

  55. So De Bruyne is confirmed. I’m not bothered especially but City show if you want a player (and Wolfsburg made it clear that they didn’t want to sell) then it can still be done.

  56. Dukey

    I’d have given it to Ox if his shot had been on target but I thought it was going well wide before Coloccini intervened.

  57. “How ‘inside’ of a story can he of gleaned?”

    Jonny, that’s disappointing from the grammar police!

  58. Bob

    Not yet, am sorting this week now we’re back in this depressing country, weather-wise. 40 degrees plus to barely a third of that? Jesus wept.

  59. Amos, Henry joined Arsenal and was converted to a central striker at Walcott’s age? I don’t think so.

  60. Al,

    By making do we will end up having to play Ramsey in that spot. I’ve seen us play with Ramsey/Cazorla as the deep pair but I just didn’t think it worked. Both of them wanted to get forward and there wasn’t any feel that at least one of them was aware that there was a defensive job to do as well. The alternative is Arteta, who is fine in a pinch but not sure if he does every game if Coquelin is injured or banned for a spell.

  61. Horse for courses, but I don’t think Wanyama is a make do. He is an experienced Prem player now who can battle with the top players. Imagine shutting up shop by having Coquelin and Wanyama on the pitch at the same time.

  62. @Big Al

    I think its Gotze, Ribery and Robben are sti favorites of Pep’s and effective players when fit.

    I did see that and it was strange and his love of ACM and wingers is exactly why I really think we should be really testing their resolve in holding on to Gotze and Martinez. Both would immediately walk into our team and make it better.

  63. @andy

    Here is the thing that makes the De Bruyne and Shitty more dangerous; De Bruyne has an extremely accurate cross/pass on him, especially from wide and works hard for the team so when Shitty play on the counter, having De Bruyne and Silva is going to make them even more effective and efficient.

    Sterling scoring a good goal yesterday doesn’t help either.

  64. @Big Al

    I agree completely about Kingsley though, he plays and looks like he belongs amongst class players. I watched a couple of his matches last season for Juve and he just has this fluidity and control of the match that for a lad so young is a joy to watch.

    I think his move does show that even big clubs don’t have a problem working with other top clubs.

  65. Wavey, here’s my rationale: Wanyama would add some depth, but I don’t think he’s better than Coquelin so wouldn’t get the nod ahead of him in my book, and definitely doesn’t start ahead of our box-to-box players. So how much closer to the top would we be?

    If we do a deal there I want it to be someone who without a doubt is going to start for us.

    As for Arteta, he’s not a long-term option, but he’s done a handy job when he’s come on, especially at Selhurst Park where it’s not a stretch to say he shut the game down against a good team. So depth-wise I feel relatively comfortable…for now. Even if I’ll happily concede that we can improve on Coquelin with a few mfs around Europe.

  66. I know I have banged on about Bellerin and Nacho but they really have been our best players.

    The one area that Bellerin needed to improve was his positioning and thus far he has been really good. Bellerin, at least for me thus far has put to bed any debate as to whether its Debuchy or Bellerin.

    Nacho has been the better LB for the better part of a year and half and its not even close. Arsene really does need to give him a new contract because I for one don’t want another Sagna situation.

  67. In 34 appearances in thr Bundesliga De Bruyne had 10 goals and 20 assists with Bost who runs really hot or cold. Imagine what he will do with a clinical Aguero.

  68. Wanyama isn’t better then Coq, and neither is Schneiderlin. So was it worth spending big on a player who isn’t any better then the Coq so would probably be a sub? Arteta is not a bad second choice cdm.

  69. C, yes it’s rare that you see a player as quick as Coman have his kind of dribbling technique but that awareness. He got a few games last season so I have to imagine he’s gone to Bayern to play for the first team. It could mean something interesting in the next day or two.

  70. All I have to really say about yesterday is Meh.
    Pretty much sums up everything Arsenal these days. Just Meh.
    I will disagree with most about Ramsey though. I thought he looked dangerous and got in some good positions and was probably out biggest goal threat for periods yesterday. Not his fault he dosent get the time in at the position and is shunted out wide most of the time.
    Theo missed a sitter but so did Giroud. I don’t think we looked more dangerous with Giroud it just looks like it as he is more involved in build up play but ineffective where it matters. Putting the ball in the back of the net.
    We have two average forwards when we could have one average forward and one fantastic right winger. I don’t understand why when your getting 15 + goals from your RW you would go and fuck about with it.

  71. Dukey
    Yes Shniederlin is better than Le Coq.
    I’m a Le Coq fan but He is not at the same level. If he has another season like the last half if last season perhaps then.
    But I guess it’s all about opinions.

  72. 1-1 and Ayew is proving to be a brilliant signing for Swansea who picked him up on a free.

    Monk juat changed his system to a 4312 and Manure are really struggling to deal with it.

  73. @Big Al

    Very true and he will only get better in that bayern side this year and back to Juve presumably last year. It will certainly be interesting days ahead with surely Bayern moving a player or two ans to be honest, this is exactly what Arsene was looking for.

  74. @Big Al

    That’s the 2nd one he hit like that, remember he hit one like that in the first half.

    In 2 years time, if Monk is still progressing like he is mangerially, I wouldn’t mind exploring him as a manager.

  75. @dukey

    The thing with Gomis was never talent, it was always him not quite taking the leap from above average to really really good striker and it was purely being more clinical.

  76. Swansea completely turned the game on its head.

    I know you naturally bias Arsenal players over others, so let’s just say we disagree. I am concerned that Arteta won’t be able to give us 90 mins, otherwise I would be happy with him as cover until we could bring a class player in. if we don’t get someone in this window I doubt we will in January unless it’s a loan deal as cover. Maybe that works, but why not do that now.

  77. Van Gaal has backed himself into a corner with this GK situation. Has clearly pushed De Gea out the club along wi th Valdes and Montero doesn’t look comfortable with the ball at his feet and honestly not that good a shot stopper.

  78. “I know you naturally bias Arsenal players over others…”

    Bit of a harsh assessment of my point of view there, Wavey! I do try to be even-handed. My horn’s barely worth tooting – as a pundit my record’s no better than anyone else’s – but in the past I’ve been down on players like Flamini and Andre Santos (before 12-13) when the consensus seemed to be that they were first-teamers.

    This is about Wanyama, and I don’t rate him that highly. I did like Schneiderlin, and there’s a few mfs around that I’d take in a heartbeat, a couple of which may be available.

  79. @Big Al

    He is a good players, I think Swansea are the perfect club for him, similar to Sigurdaon, I think a move to a bugger club might expose him a bit but at Swansea he fits them perfectly and they fit him perfectly.

  80. Say what you want about Fabianski, but he looks a good Keeper at Swansea.

    Bartley, yup former Arsenal prodigy, is man marking Fellanini no matter where he goes.

  81. Maybe that’s a bit harsh on you and no offence meant. I know obviously that you’re not going to question players who are clearly world class. I meant that I’ve seen in your comments that you naturally favour incumbent Arsenal players against others of a similar quality. We disgree on Wanyama, fair enough. You’ll probably ask me for examples now and I can’t really think of any off the top of my head, but it’s been my take over time.

    Very early days and I’m still very confident of ending up in top four, but Swansea seem to be the real deal. They appear even better than last year and signing Ayew has brought a good forward pairing back together. Gomis is in his early 30s so might go through a drought, or pick up an injury but they beat United without the blistering pace of Montero today.

  82. The problem Le coq has is he hasn’t scored any crackers. if he scores a couple of goals then people will rate him more.

  83. Chavs, Liverpool, and Manure losing and Spuds just irrelevant…. it’s been a decent weekend for Schadenfreude. Hopefully the goals will come soon.

    Alexis has a match against Paraguay September 5. Hopefully the change will rejuvenate and not attenuate!

  84. Harry @ 11,20 it was this that I was alluding to earlier in my post that the team had become a a soft touch. There are no leaders in the Team who stand up for each other.

  85. @Big Al

    The one thing I just noticed about Kingsley’s move to Bayern is that it is a 2 year loan deal not one.

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