Hull 0 London 4

TBS

Hull City 0 – 4 Arsenal

0 – 1 Giroud (41)
0 – 2 Giroud (71)
0 – 3 Walcott (77)
0 – 4 Walcott (88)

All good things must come to an end, bad things as well. Olivier Giroud ended his goal drought whilst Theo Walcott doubled his goal tally over the last sixteen games in eleven minutes, sending Arsenal into an FA Cup quarter-final this weekend with Watford.

Progress on that front, distress over injuries with Mertesacker, Gabriel and Ramsey all falling by the wayside. The former pair, according to Arsène, are not serious and expected to be fit for the weekend. The Welshman is more serious, a thigh injury, whilst reportedly, Nacho Monreal left the stadium limping having aggravated his calf injury by coming on as an emergency centre back.

Ending the night with Mathieu Flamini as emergency right back made little difference, Hull were limp in their approach to the game, not requiring Arsenal to get out of first gear all evening. For most of the first half, this replay had extra-time and penalties written all over it until Meyler arced the perfect pass into Olivier Giroud’s path and the Frenchman finished with some aplomb, belying any hint of a lack of confidence following his eleven-match barren spell.

A half-time lead that no-one could argue with in the sense that there was only ever one team going to win this tie, making you wonder how we even required a replay. Giroud’s goal was followed by a super effort from Kieran Gibbs, curling his shot onto the top of the bar and denying us a spectacular goal to talk about.

Giroud and Walcott finished the game off between them in the last twenty minutes and that is probably the most welcome aspect of the evening. You’re never quite sure if this is a blip on their part, willing to sink back into the non-descript form which has haunted them most of 2016, without warning.

Hopefully not but a brief interlude on Humberside is no genuine indication that anything better is on the cards. We can live in hope and a wretched few weeks needs a bright spot.

 

We got more than one. Ospina, not seriously in contention for a first team spot when Cech is fit, proved a capable deputy, saving well in the first half in a brief moment when Hull threatened but overall, he looked comfortable. Which is better than some of the times when he appears edgy.

Equally, Calum Chambers, untroubled on the right for once, looked more assured in the centre indicating that his long-term future really is as a central defender. There was some griping that we are down to the bare bones in defence with injuries but the outlook isn’t as bad as it seems.

Mertesacker and Gabriel should be fit for the weekend, if not Chambers will deputise for one of them. Koscielny, drawing inference from Arsène’s pre-match update, should be fit for Barcelona. We have the numbers and in most reasonable eyes, four centre backs is enough to go into a season with.

Crucially, the point at Tottenham and the manner of gaining it, has not been wasted. From the kick-off, we took control of the game and never relinquished it. Too often in the past, the first goal would have seen energy levels drop, inviting opponents back into the match and making the evening harder than it should have been.

The injuries suffered last night lend themselves to a stronger XI being fielded at the weekend than we might normally have expected. A central partnership of Coquelin and Elneny with Walcott on the right, Sanchez and Özil supporting either Giroud or Welbeck treats Watford with the due respect of being a Premier League side. Not so bad if Ramsey isn’t there in that sense.

Wenger made a fair point regarding the timing of the Watford match. Hull, had they won, were scheduled to play the quarter-final on Saturday yet we play on Sunday? As he observed,

We sell football and we give it to the media to dictate the timing because we take the money so I won’t complain at all. I would rather look from our side.

And from our side, the FA in common with football authorities took the money and sold the clubs short. Mind you, the Barcelona tie is all but over with Arsenal’s only realistic chance of progress being Barcelona not turning up, with the match then automatically awarded with a 3 – 0 result. The minute we step onto the pitch alongside the Catalans, it’s a damage limitation exercise.

Nonetheless, by then, we should be happy to have booked a Wembley return. With Chelsea and United facing tough ties, retaining the FA Cup for a third time, whilst not straightforward, is a real prospect. As the season has evolved, that will be no bad thing. Winning trophies is the bottom line in football. Yes, there are more prestigious but the FA Cup and a spot in the record books is a bright thought on which to start the day.

’til Tomorrow.

143 thoughts on “Hull 0 London 4

  1. Jonny says:

    Good stuff Yogi – that Sunday KO is annoying but then I don’t care about the Barca game and don’t think it is winnable.

  2. Jonny says:

    What is annoying is that AW will undoubtedly go for it anyway – I suppose in a way he has to but if we were to pick up more injuries…we will get trousered regardless IMO.

  3. andy1886 says:

    I’d be disappointed if Kos goes to Barca. What would be the point of risking him on a lost cause? Better that he has extra recovery time ahead of the Everton game which is far more important. I’m with Jonny, forget the CL this season, we’ve trousered the expected financial result so job done, let’s move on shall we?

  4. Pete the Thirst says:

    If M Wenger had sent a pumped team out in the first game against Hull there wouldn’t be debate about fixture congestion. The Barca game has sailed, concentrate on Watford & Everton.

  5. Wavey says:

    Morning

    Initial indications after the game were that Gabriel’s injury was hammy. I thought the recovery time got that was 7 – 10 days, or 3 – 4 weeks if you are an Arsenal player. Can’t see how he can be anywhere near got for Sunday. So that would leave us with Per and Calum in the middle of defence. My only issue there would be that Calum would have to line up on the left which isn’t his strongest side. I know some don’t agree, but I think defenders in particular have preferences and their lines of sight are impacted by being out of position.

    Comfortable overall last night without being much of a threat until the second goal went in, but hopefully this is the start of a run if goals for Giroud.

    I saw no problem with banner as the away fans keep the faith in travelling in numbers all over the place, so have the right to make their feelings known. They cheered the team on all game and the banner was a message to Wenger not the players. Wrighty needs to stop sitting on the fence. He moans enough in his newspaper column, but has a go at the paying fans when they do.

  6. C says:

    Much needed performance from the likes of Campbell, Elneny, Iwobi anx Chambers. Finally Theo and Giroud decide to score.

    Play a strong side to start against Watford and then once we put the match to bed bring off players.

  7. HenryB says:

    And if Wenger puts out a weakened team against Barça and they get stuffed 8:0 that would not do too much for team spirit or confidence going into the final games of the season.

    It is not a disgrace to lose to probably the best team in the world, and yet it is never easy trying to figure out what to do to avoid a potential disaster.

    Well, it is a bit late for this season, but for the future he might be a little more careful in buying class players in the summer transfer window, rather than relying on an ageing and frankly second tier group of players with only 2 or 3 top quality players in the squad.

  8. C says:

    Honestly, if Ramsey is injured, it doesn’t bother me at all because I think a partnership of Le Coq and Elneny with Ozil as our ACM is a midfield that could certainly see us back to our best. Elneny plays a style that suits Ozil because its simple pass and move but its intelligent pass and move while still moving the team forward quickly.

  9. HenryB says:

    Hi C,

    I have two observations to make about Theo and Giro.

    The firsts that they were both pretty poor last night other than their goals.

    But, secondly they both scored after having shots. Yay — Giro benefitted from the most bizarre ‘non-pass’ in the penalty area, towards goal by the Hull captain, and the new father put the ball away nicely, and he also got a fortunate deflection from Theo’s cross to also jab the ball home.

    Theo received a beauty of a pass from Campbell, steadied himself, opened his body up, and stroked the ball home. He them had a shot from the right that took a huge deflection and we were 4 up.

    Regardless of that, they did what many of us have been screaming for – they kicked the ball towards the goal without hitting Row Z, and skill and luck did the rest. Moral of the story? – stop faffing around in the penalty area and SHOOT

  10. Goonerton says:

    Very confusing emotions about everything that’s gone on with our club in the last few weeks. I really want change at the top like so many others but, that Banner left a really bad taste. I don’t know why as I thought I would be happy about somebody trying to let Wenger know what some of the fans are feeling but, I just didn’t like that banner one bit.

    It’s not the way we should conduct ourselves and as much as I hate the tactics Wenger employs sometimes but I have to admit I still love the man for what he has done I just don’t like what’s happening now.

    Last night we were labelled Flat Track Bullies by a particular pundit who’s views I respect. I didn’t know the exact meaning for this term and as my kids show me everyday, you are never too old to learn so I looked this term up and I wasn’t shocked to see that the term in the English Dictionary fitted us perfectly:

    “a sportsperson who dominates inferior opposition, but who cannot beat top-level opponents”.

    Regarding Giroud, I don’t think he ever suffers lack of confidence and if he did that would probably have been when he was a baby before he was being chased by every girl and their mother. He just goes through barren spells which I believe can be worked on in some aspects for instance what Ian Wright mentioned about how much time he spends outside the box. Again you ask if he is being coached on this issues but, due to the amount of times he does it that tells me he doesn’t just like when others make the same mistakes over and over.

    BFG, has really been pissing me off of late and he is totally to blame for allowing harry kane score that goal. I remember watching the ball rolling out and I was just about to turn away from the screen then heard commentator chatting about GOAL! I looked at the tv thinking how the fk did that happen. Then the replay made me sick as. Why didn’t he just put the ball and Ali into the stands? He is always fking up and we will always be making these fuck ups with him and the rest of the loyal crew who are utter useless weaklings.

    Chambers, should of been practising in the CB roll about 12 matches ago then maybe he would be ready and use to it by now. Wenger’s uncanny habit of fking around and playing ppl out of position is ever lasting. Chambers is NO RB or LB and it’s these little things that will always make us also rans.

    Gibbs, instead of Wenger rotating Nacho and Gibbs he totally flogs them to death until injury no matter how shit their form is. Other teams seem to rotate except us then all our players get injured. Look at well Iwobi plays and why isn’t he being rotated as he would be in any other side? It’s all Wengernomics.

  11. C says:

    @Henry

    I agree with you, both were poor and to be fair, both weren’t poor, they were shit but they did finally shoot on targer and score and that is massive.

    The thing is, nobody truly doubted if they had goals in them, they are just players who are really good at being really inconsistent. They are capable of going on a 7 match run scoring for fun but are just as capablr of going on an 11 match run were you have a better chance of scoring then they do.

    They scored and then couple that with Sanchez and Welbeck scoring and maybe just maybe this could be the springboard for a final push, though not sure my liver will be able to handle the massive let down I am setting myself up for.

  12. buckagh says:

    Sunday’s game against Watford is is a much more difficult prospect than lack lustre Hull last night. We need the stongest side podsible and a top level performance to win, this trophy is the most winnable for us. The Barca game is a dead rubber, Arsene will want to avoid an embarrassing scoreline and so do I. Winning the league is very unlikely, but hopefully I’m proved wrong. Regarding the banner people are entitled to their opinion, I would like to see a reaction from the players to it

  13. buckagh says:

    Over nine thousand tickets for Watford on Sunday?

  14. Bill says:

    Great review yogi.

    Really happy to get goals form Giroud and Walcott. Hull offered no attacking nous at all which made our job easy but I will take it.

  15. Phil says:

    Nice one YW.
    Good win over average opposition.
    But you can only beat who you play.
    The striker’s role is to score, so if OG and Theo both scored a brace, they more than did their jobs.
    A great number of strikers appear to go missing during a game, but then execute when necessary. That’s why they are there.

  16. Phil says:

    I have no trouble with anybody holding up a banner, but it’s about timing, as much as anything else.
    I realise they obviously lugged it up to Hull, so wanted to use it. But when you win 4-0, keep it unfurled. Bring it out the next time we get done over,say in Barcelona.

  17. C says:

    I have no problem with the banner, it was fans booing during the match or taking shots at the club or the players. They wanted change and exercised their right to speak their mind on a situation that gets spoken about EVERYWHERE. Sure it was terrible timing, but to be fair to them, nobody really knew what Arsenal show up. Would people be killing them if we had drawn and won on penalties or even of did even worst and loss?

  18. C` says:

    Just saw Yaya’s elbow, that was a pretty brutal elbow. He and Giroud got that related.

  19. Jonny says:

    Henry @10.47 – yup to all that. I actually thought Giroud had a poor game. Theo slightly better but not by much and I don’t think there is anything contradictory admitting that whilst they each bagged braces.

  20. C` says:

    Seeing reports that the PL has put a cap on away tickets.

  21. Jonny says:

    Goonerton – Regarding the banner – I am inclined to agree to an extent; it felt inappropriate for it’s timing but, whilst I didn’t like the banner, I don’t know what other ways fans can effectively display their feelings.

    After one of the recent games a few of the usual names were active on Twitter (and other places), actively trying to shut other people down for their moaning. Bit like Dukey on here. 😉

    When I pointed out that ‘fans have always bitched and always will’, I was informed that the correct time for that is at the end of the season.

    Last night, again, AW and other voices effectively said exactly the same thing. Including the ever vacillating Ian Wright who seems to spend half his time slagging off AW and the other half defending him ferociously.

    The problem with telling people to wait until the season ends before judging is that it’s a bit of a ruse.

    Assuming the season goes as expected (i.e. a disappointment) unless they’re prepared to take the drastic step of tearing up your season ticket, those hardcore fans (and the rest of us) have no voice whatsoever during the off-season. The fans who raised that banner have certainly not done so on a whim – they have arrived at their own personal breaking point over the direction their club has been taken and the contempt with which they are treated by the club they pour their heart, soul, time and money into.

    Banners like that don’t come cheap either BTW.

    I yield to no one in exalting the quality of our away fans – they give their all and they have paid more than anyone else to deserve to have their opinions heard. Everyone knows it is, at present, only a minority who feel that strongly (for now) BUT they do have every right to communicate the increasing frustration that exists among the Arsenal ranks. Even if it does seem unpalatable and ungrateful to many more.

    The point being, if it conveys added pressure on AW to appease the crowd – by perhaps being bolder in the transfer market come the summer – then that’s fine by me. If it says to the board and the rest of the world that we want changes then that’s good too. I just don’t know how else that kind of pressure can be ratcheted up other than in the time-honoured fashion of vocal and visual displays.

    In that respect, waiting until the end of the season is a cheap trick. AW never gets properly judged once the last whistle has been blown in May. Everyone just fucks off on their holidays until it blows over and then the whole horror of the inactive transfer window raises it’s head again. We all grumble and get our hopes up and the cycle repeats.

    I don’t like the banner – none of us want to see Wenger’s reign tarnished by acrimony – but it’s certainly not fair to blame those away fans for that.

    They have paid enough already.

  22. Jonny says:

    *their season ticket* not yours! 😀

  23. The Arse in Namib (AITG) says:

    With so many players just asking to come off for no apparent reason it looked like something was brewing. Although I would not expect that with Gabriel who is fighting for a place.

    Glad to be proved wrong about Flamini.
    While he was playing right back it is probably the only time since the beginning of the season that he did not put a foot wrong. No cheap jokes please about leaving him there…’right back in the dressing room.’

    Nothing was proven by the match. Hull’s Tactics were stop everything until they got a free kick or a break and scored, then close up again. If Arsenal scored first they were always going to be vulnerable to a hammering. That first goal did not come as a result of anything we did in build up play, it was just a really shit piece of defending which Giroud was not able to kick over the bar. Again please, no cheap jokes about him being able to convert other teams crosses so why does he not go play for one of them. Actually given our relationship with Hull and their possible promotion he would make a good addition to their …….

    The big question for me is if Ozil is being rested for Watford or Barca? Barca is a lost cause, but a big stage, Watford is a smaller stage and a big prize. My guess is that he will play Barca for sure. This is bad for two reasons, it weakens him for Watford and if we use too many forwards again, weakens us against Barca as we need to close the floodgates to restore some pride.

    In other words, we have to play a defensive field against Barca without one winger or without the number 10 position. Against Watford he would be useful.

    I like Gibbs and hope he gets some more opportunities to show us other tricks up his sleeves.

  24. consolsbob says:

    Agree with all that, Jonny.

    Except I have no problem with fans calling out Arsene publically. The power lies almost completely with him and the club, fans usually just put up with whatever they do. We have little choice

    Two fingers up seems a mild public response to what the club have been doing for years.

  25. Highbury says:

    Anyone agree that in Elneny, we have a Modric in the making?

  26. C` says:

    I do find it a bit funny that people are all up in arms about a couple of fans having a banner displaying their pleasure but when Arsene tells the fans to fuck off they don’t know shit and I’m always right, never wrong blah blah blah blah blah, that nobody really makes a fuss about that and actually most say he is right for saying it.

  27. Highbury says:

    Worth a word is Campbell. Surely, there can be no way he can be out of the starting 11 come the next game.

  28. C` says:

    @Highbury

    I really like the cut of Elneny. I actually am not as bothered by Ramsey’s injury because I’m intrigued to see how the midfield of Le Coq/Elney/Ozil gets on.

  29. silvergunner says:

    Jonny @ 1.32 completely agree.
    Interesting that Walcott said the old heads in the squad called am emergency meeting before the hull match he wouldn’t divulge specifics but interesting none the less.
    Wenger is living on borrowed time his position imo would become untenable should we fail to win the league at the expense of the spuds or fail to deliver a trophy.
    Hindsight is a mother @$$%er but heuse be kicking himself for failing to get a proper number 9 in either the summer or January. Meanwhile Aubameyang’s price has probably rocketed from £40m to £70-100m.

  30. C` says:

    @Highbury

    I agree about Campbell but Arsene will play Theo on the wing opposite of Sanchez and have Welbeck and Campbell as first choice subs at CF and winger respectively.

    Campbell just gets under appreciated but he is a player that just works in our team.

  31. silvergunner says:

    c only unappreciated by AW it seams most of us see him as playing at a higher standard than ox yet ox often played instead.

  32. Jonny says:

    What’s the position on Campbell’s present contract? Anyone know?

  33. C` says:

    @silver

    Well Arsene’s is the only one that matters. I would he is playing at a higher level than anyone who has played on the RW for us this season.

  34. C` says:

    @Jonny

    If I’m not mistaken, he signed a new contract last season before heading on loan but I will do some digging to make sure that is correct.

  35. C` says:

    Joel Campbell signed a new deal with Arsenal prior to his loan to Villarreal last season as Gabriel came in.

  36. silvergunner says:

    On the meeting
    Walcott said: “We are not going to lie – we know as a unit it has been tough and we all had a good chat amongst us behind closed doors, without even any of coaches or the manager knowing about anything.

    “I think it is important that as a team [to know] we have got it in us. We just have to produce it more often.

    “You had a sense of the Tottenham game especially, when you go down to ten men in a big game like that, the belief and the character was there.

    “The never-give-up spirit was there as well. In the derby matches, they could be the matches that turn your season and we may have turned the corner maybe.
    “We have quite a lot of experienced players in the dressing room. It came from Cech, Mikel, Per and Tomas. We have four good old heads there.

    “I’d like to keep what was said among ourselves but it was very important. We have had a reaction from it anyway.

    “The manager probably knows about it anyway – he’s got ears everywhere at the club. The manager respects the players’ privacy and what’s happening personally amongst us all.

    “It was a meeting to express how everyone was feeling basically and it worked.”

  37. HenryB says:

    I think Jonny summed things up perfectly in his 1:32.

    Personally I would probably have preferred the flag not to have been shown, but if it had not made the media hop around a bit to stir things up, most of us would just have accepted it for what it is – communicating a sense of frustration, and looking to the future.

    Look, whether the owners of football clubs, and especially Arsenal’s accept it or not, there is an unwritten charter between the club and the fans.

    It goes something like this;

    We, the fans, swear our undying love, support and allegiance to the club, and in exchange for a fair ticket price for entry to the ground to watch our team, we expect the club and whoever happens to own it, to invest in and produce a team, and a well administered club, for us to be proud of and to ensure its survival for the foreseeable generations to come.

    So, in recent times, we were led to believe that the club owners had to move from Highbury, our ancestral home for nearly 100 years, to nearby Ashworth Grove so that the doubling the size of the stadium, we could adjust to the demands of the new era, and in doing so the club would garner more match day funds to invest in a quality football team, and set in motion a virtuous cycle of success, which would generate appropriate sponsorship funds to keep us among the very best clubs in the world.

    All well and good.

    And, with some understandable reluctance, many fans accepted a significant increase in the cost of match tickets, on the understanding that, in accordance with the unwritten fans’ charter above, the club, and its manager, would invest this increased sponsorship and match day income, and do their very best to recruit the highly talented players that had been implied in the charter.

    See, that is where there has been a disconnect between the club and many of its long-suffering fans.

    We have moved away from our beloved Highbury; we accepted our new home in the somewhat soulless Emirates; we have paid the extortionate increase in the ticket prices to watch our team; and in fairness we have had a tremendous manager, during this evolving transitional era, who achieved early success, and then ………. and then, the promised transfer funds for matching our competitors in recruiting and paying the salaries of top quality players did not appear, as a consequence the trophies, essential to the sponsorship stage of the plan, did not meet expectations, and as a consequence the big trophies just did not materialise, much though the FA Cup successes took the edge off some of our disappointment.

    Life is a series of changes – and football is no different, and over the years the clubs in general have incrementally evolved since the early days of being a working mans’ social activity, to its current aspect as a professional, money making entertainment tool, and it will continue to evolve, however much some will resent that, but there is no turning back the tide of dissatisfaction, unless there is a major change in the manner in which Arsenal, represented by its present temporary owner and current manager, operate in the recruitment, protection, nourishment and facilitation of a quality, professional team, in accordance with the Fans’ Charter, and if not, then the outlook for all of us is bleak!

  38. HenryB says:

    I know — it’s Ashburton Grove — it was either the dog jogged my elbow or the bloody self correcting betrayed me!! 🙂

  39. buckagh says:

    Jonny @1:32
    Henry @3:46
    Great post’s

  40. Pete the Thirst says:

    The Banner has made a few appearances before. I recall it was in attendance when Arsenal beat Brighton in the FA Cup a few seasons back. It seems to appear when there is a decent result strangely.

    Nothing wrong with a Banner. The Emperor needs reminding that he is not a God.

  41. Jonny says:

    Good post Henry.

    @C – yeah I recalled that what I’m unsure of was for how long? His value must have jumped significantly.

    He is certainly as you say the best in that position during this season. In fact, in the second half of the season he’s been the best on either side of the central striker.

  42. andy1886 says:

    It will be interesting to see how many empty seats there are on Sunday. I see the game has been designated a category ‘B’ game, cheapest ticket is £36.50. With it being on the TV and the last minute nature of it’s scheduling I would have thought a discounted approach to ticketing would be wiser. I guess we shall see.

  43. Jonny says:

    How the fuck does Watford count as ‘category B’?

    I know they have done well this season but…

  44. Pete the Thirst says:

    @Andy Season ticket holders also have the chance to opt out of attending the game. I suspect there will be a lot of no-shows, although Watford have stated that they will bring 9,000 fans to the game so could be interesting.

  45. C` says:

    @Jonny

    Very true, unfortunately for whatever reason he is thought of less highly than Theo,
    Ox and Ramsey so because of that he gets dropped when they are fit. Its strange because he is the most dangerous and most influential yet not to mention offers the best defensively yet is thought of in the least regards.

  46. Orson Kaert says:

    Good evening, on today’s topic, The Banner.. everyone is entitled to an opinion and to express it if they wish. That said, they did look a bit stupid displaying the thing at the end of a match that we had won comfortably.

    Naturally the media jumped on the band wagon, they’re always glad of a Wenger bashing opportunity and this one was too good to miss.

    I do think that Wenger could do with a better public relations consultant, his utterances are often arrogant in the extreme. All part of his all knowing persona.

    I would also like to see him acknowledge the traveling supporters at the end of the game, maybe that would help get a few of them on his side.

    Still, we mustn’t be too critical eh?

  47. silvergunner says:

    c if he continues to play as he has been even Wenger will be hard pushed to keep omitting him.
    If only all our fowards had shown the same endeavour earlier this year things now wouldn’t be difficult.
    Wenger might “stumble” into another midfield combo to see out of the season, Elneny reminds me a little bit of Gilberto Silva.

  48. consolsbob says:

    Display it when we lose and get accused of opportunism.

  49. Bill says:

    Joel Campbell has done a good job but so Alexis is the LW and I assume Giroud will go back to CF at some point so who should be higher on the pecking order right now Welbeck or Campbell or Walcott. Walcott is notoriously hot and cold but he easily has the most upside if he is scoring goals.

    Campbell and Welbeck are pretty much the same player. Both are nice options but neither has been a consistent threat to score. Long term their ceilings are both limited to squad player unless one of them can figure out how to score more goals. IMO

  50. C` says:

    @Silver

    He might find it hard but doesn’t mean he won’t. I think the thing is that he has a greater influence on the whole of the match as opposed to the others that have played on the wing sans Sanchez. Yea Theo might be a better goal scorer and yea Ox might be more explosive running with the ball, Welbeck might offer more power and pace but Campbell does everything well. Not trying to make him out to be world class (so people reading this don’t think that) but when you watch him he does every facet of what you want from a winger well: track back, check; capable of playing on the counter and have enough pace to do so, check; be creative, check; offer a goal threat, check; technically good to very good and capable of beating his man both with the pass and dribble, check. O well

    I think its Elneny’s simplistic but effective style, kind of just goes about his business, keeps things ticking.

  51. C` says:

    @Bob

    Exactly, they were in a no win situation

  52. C` says:

    @Bill

    But don’t you also from a modern winger want the threat of creating? Would you not take 10 goals and 10 assists minimum? I disagree about Welbeck and Campbell being essentially the same player, they are very much different players.

  53. Bill says:

    C

    Campbell and Welbeck both do some good stuff on the ball and move well and both work hard and help defend but neither of them has demonstrated a consistent goal threat. Ultimately, a lack of goal scoring threat will be the factor that limits either of their ceiling unless one of them starts to score more often.

    Admittedly those are broad brush strokes but they sound quite similar to me

  54. andy1886 says:

    It’s going to be interesting next season with the the £30 cap on away tickets. That means for every PL game all the home supporters will without fail be paying more than every single away supporter who attends the same game. It’s difficult to see how they can justify that, are the away seats going to offer a poorer view, will the service be worse at the away section, the meat in the pies cheaper? (would the Scousers notice?).

    Hopefully it may be the first step in a reduction of all ticket prices. Stan must be devastated…..

  55. consolsbob says:

    Good points, andy.

    Especially about the scousers.

  56. andy1886 says:

    They say that the cap takes into account the extra cost of away travel. Surely the average United fan has less distance to travel when their side visits the Ems?

  57. C` says:

    @Bill

    How can we judge Campbell when he has only been given a run of what, 15 starts for the team and say that he isn’t a goal threat? I think they are different, Welbeck while certainly has technical ability, he relies much more on his pace and power plus is more CF than winger. Campbell is a winger, plain and simple who relies more on technique than pace and power. I do get that both need to show more of a goal threat but certainly different players because using your broad strokes most futbolers are the same.

  58. Bill says:

    You can break down the positive contributions from attacking players into 2 categories. 1) scoring 2) other.

    That is somewhat overly simplistic but it is accurate. All of the “other” contributions becomes almost meaningless without someone to score. The midfields job is to provide #2 and we have more then enough “other” from our midfield and even from the right wing and from Giroud sometimes. However we get almost no scoring from our midfield. We get plenty of “other” contributions from all over the pitch but we need our forwards to score more often if we are ever going to realize the upside in our team and that’s why players like Ox, Welbeck and Campbell should be limited to squad roles unless they can score more often.

  59. Bill says:

    C

    Welbeck Campbell and Ox are different players but what they have in common is the strong suit of each is providing “other” contributions and we have a team that is already full to the brim with facilitators.

  60. Bill says:

    C:

    Simplistic but accurate.

    Getting a discussion bogged down with minutiae is the time honored and usually successful way to divert the discussion away from the big picture issue when it does not favor your own point of view.

  61. C` says:

    @Bill

    Yes in your categories they fall in the other category. What ideally would you be looking for in a winger if you had to put it into stats. Because for instance, last night Campbell was dangerous and on of the best players on the pitch but didn’t score a goal.

  62. Bill says:

    C

    I would like to see low teens in goals from our right sided wide forward. We could get by with a “winger” or a “false winger” on one side if we had a CF who scored in the mid 20’s in league goals and was more consistent and we got Alexis back to mid to high teens in league goals. However until those 2 things both happen we need more of a scoring threat from the right

  63. C says:

    @Bill

    Campbell has whar 3 goals, 3 assists in 12-15 starts.

  64. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    I’m still curious whether our beloved author of this blog still believes Campbell is not good enough? Is he a free at the end of this season?

  65. Bill says:

    I am certainly not trying to make a case that other contributions are not important. It could be argued that Campbell has done the best at providing other contributions compared with the players who have played the RW position this season. Since none of them scores the logical player to use is the one who is best at providing other contributions. That seems like a no brainer.

    However, for this current squad to realize it’s true upside and break thru the ceiling we seem to have run into again this season we need more then other contributions from that position. Obviously the ideal situation would be to buy someone who can provide both scoring and other contributions. (Walcott gave us high teens in goals and double digit assists form the right wing in his best season). However, if forced to choose, I would definitely take a scorer at that position since the rest of the squad provides more then enough other contributions. IMO

  66. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    So you would like an estimated 49 goals in the EPL from just 3 players Bill? Assuming a 20 + 16 +13 return for OG, Alexis and the RW. That outside anyone else scoring. Hmm, nothing wrong with wishing I guess.

  67. Phil says:

    Very pleased that the players took it upon themselves to have a face to face chat.

  68. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    Anyone catch the nibblers comments about missing the competitiveness of the EPL. Seems Spain is to easy.

  69. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    Phil, they were probably just having a Tupperware party and didn’t went the truth to surface.

  70. MikeSA says:

    Campbell’s assist last night demonstrated why he is head and shoulders above the rest. It’s also not the first time we’ve seen that vision, quickness of thought, skill, and accuracy that players like Walcott, Ramsey, Wilshere, and (yes, even though I really rate him), Welbeck, simply don’t have.
    I’m sure many recall the superb control and footwork in the area for another assist a while back as well.
    Campbell has superb skill and control, and is capable of almost Ozil like passes at times, which none of the others even come close to.
    That Wenger plays his favoutites in front of him is borderline criminal negligence.
    Wenger’s arrogant dismissal of criticism and his absolutely despicable crap about once again “judging him at the end of the season” is EXACTLY why that banner needed to be seen and should continue being seen, it really is way past his time to go.
    Quite frankly he should be fired for that statement because this horseshit has been going on for far too long. I really have no respect left for him anymore, which is why I tend to not comment much any more.
    His arrogance and behaving like a complete arsehole is why he needs to fuck off asap.

  71. Bill says:

    Miami

    I can’t speak for Yogi but for me I think the jury is still out on Joel Campbell’s long term “good enoughness”.

    Based on what he has done this season, he certainly is worthy of a spot in the squad for the long term. However, it would probably take all of yours, mine and C’s fingers and toes to count the number of players that we have gotten really excited about after watching them for 10 – 12 games only to see their upward momentum end of even see them regress. Logic would argue that we should hope for the best and cross our fingers that C is right about him but at the same time we need to cover ourselves in case he isn’t. I hope that makes sense.

  72. Bill says:

    Miami @ 7:51

    We need that sort of output from our forwards since we get very little reliable contribution from the rest of the pitch.

    If we had mid 20″s from the CF and 16 -18 from Alexis or we had someone who could give us double digits from the midfield then we could afford to play a RW who does not score as much.

  73. Jonny says:

    FFS why are you all still banging on about Joel??
    This season he has been much better than the alternatives (who admittedly have not been very good) but even of the small sample size it is abundantly clear he has is capable of causing quality defences problems, excellent work rate and an eye for picking out some truly top draw passes.
    He’ll be 24 in June and is likely to continue his upward trajectory. Of course there are no guarantees with that but he deserves the starting berth for the rest of the season.
    Other than that? Well lets how the season goes. Eh?

  74. Bill says:

    As long as we continue to play a CF who gets us 15 league goals a season and goes thru these long dry spells we are going to be vulnerable to the barren patches that have caused us to be a half season team again.

    The way to help alleviate the problem would be to get a better CF or if that is not possible we need to diversify and increase our our goal scoring firepower in the rest of the squad. The one position that really stands out as a place we need to get more goals is the RW.

  75. Phil says:

    Well as long as it’s Tupperware and not a lingerie party.
    Mind you, what goes on in the dressing room, stays in the dressing room.

  76. Phil says:

    We got 2 goals last night from our RW, Bill.

  77. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    Bill, two things. The logical conclusion to giving players a chance is that some will make the grade, Giving none of them a chance will ensure that none will ever. It is simple math. I’m not just talking youth. The jury is still out on every player in the squad right now, from Cech through OG, though some will feel better about the probable verdict than others. Every player has limitations, Campbell is no different. What Campbell has done is played himself in to contention, that is all, but, that is also something.

  78. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    I’ll grab my coat, Jonny just put home the dunk.

  79. YW says:

    MA

    is Campbell good enough? For a first team place? No. Last night underlined his limitations, namely he is left-footed, singularly so, and prefers to play on the right. He is too one-footed to be a regular, easily nullified by forcing him inside. Arguably, his best form is exposing him!

    For me, he is a ‘sell’ in the summer.

  80. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    Fair enough Yogi, I assume your sell list is long in that case.

  81. MikeSA says:

    Gee YW, I can think of one or two fan favorites who answer to that description, Sanchez for instance?

  82. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    As an interesting aside, you know we work hard with kids to get them to be some what proficient with both feet but they almost always revert to one footed. Brain chemistry maybe.

  83. Bill says:

    Jonny

    No one is arguing that Joel does not deserve to start for the rest of this season as long as he maintains this form. However, even in his best form he is not scoring as many goals as we really need and there is hope that someone like Welbeck or even Walcott might find some better form in front of goal and really make a difference over a short period.

    The path of Joel’s career trajectory is not a given. How many times have we been misled by a run of form. Perhaps the best example is Ramsey in 13/14. Now matter how your slice it we need more scoring from that position and I am trying to make a case for why I think we need to buy a different type of player this summer.

  84. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    Mike, was thinking the same. The sell list is going to be long 🙂

  85. Phil says:

    Agree that Campbell is very one footed, but he does offer something different overall.
    I don’t think he should ultimately be starting 11, but I wouldn’t sell him. A good squad player, and as we play 50-60 games a year, a few of those are needed.

  86. Bill says:

    I don’t think Campbell is a sell this summer candidate. As Miami says, he has certainly played himself into contention and I think ultimately he could be a good squad player

  87. Bill says:

    Miami

    I don’t think we really need to sell anyone other then to let Flamini, Arteta and Rosicky. Campbell, Welbeck, Ox, Ramsey, Wilshere, Giroud, Walcott, Gibbs, Ospina Mert Elneny have the potential to give us a really strong bench and a reasonably deep squad.

    What we need are additions especially at CF and RW. IMO.

  88. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    Interesting questions in the summer, as there always are. Arteta, flamini and Rosicky should all be out. Ospina may follow suit with the return of Szcz. Jenkinson and Debuchy to be resolved. What is the future of OG and the Ox? Iwobe has been told he has a squad place next season, according to reports. What of Hayden, Akpom, Zelaem, Wellington, Total and Sanogo.

  89. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    Bill, I’m pretty sure they’ll need to subtract before they add and given the 3 names mentioned as out are in in the midfield it would be odd not to see an acquisition there. I know they got El in but the rate at which we lose players that area would be a huge concern. Not ageing a CF or RW by the way, though perhaps I have more modest aspirations towards their future contributions.

  90. C says:

    Aren’t most furbolers nowadays very one-footed though?

  91. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    I just can’t see a boycott for the FA Cup game Yogi. The direction the game has gone is not just on clubs or owners, but the inflated salaries of players and the mystery men making the deals. I remember ethics sessions as part of my business education, however, ethics and business really don’t work where the interest is purly money.

  92. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    Maybe you can be “too left footed”

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