Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Friday, December 12, 2014

Will Coquelin go straight into the starting 11?

By 1970’s Gooner

At last Wenger realised that he is short of defensive minded players!

Better late than never.

Chambers is suspended, Koscienly has a calf problem (which may be related to his Achilles), Monreal is injured and Arteta who could have played in midfield, thus allowing Flamini to switch to RB, is also out!


Is there a secret agreement that Jenkinson will stay at West Ham for the whole season (with no recall clause) with a view to making the deal permanent after that? Is this the reason that Arsenal didn't break the loan?
In any case all this means that Debuchy will almost certainly move to centre back alongside the BFG. I have no problem with that other than he is just come back from a 3 month layoff with only one competitive game under his belt!

Why oh why does Wenger take such big gambles by keeping his squad so short in defenders and too long on attackers?
The next question is who will play in central midfield with Flamini. Ramsey is out so Wenger has two options. He can play The Ox or indeed draft Coquelin in.

The Ox is more than capable of carrying that role and could play in a similar box to box fashion like Ramsey does and could well get the vote.

On the other hand Coquelin is not so good going forward but he is more solid defensively.

If The Ox is moved into Ramsey’s position then this will allow Wenger to play all three of his forward players. That is Giroud, Sanchez and Welbeck.

My guess is that this is what he will choose to do. If this is so then for the right back position he can choose to keep Bellerin there or indeed play Coquelin. My guess is that he will choose Bellerin and keep Coquelin on the bench.


Bellerin  Debuchy BFG Gibbs

Flamini  Ox


Welbeck Giroud Sanchez

Prediction: 3  1

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Wenger will not buy a defender in the next window

By 1970's Gooner

You may think this is unacceptable and if it happens you will start organising a protest march outside the Emirates.

But consider the following.

Wenger does not like spending Arsenal's money unless he really, really has to.

Wenger likes to give youth a chance and

Debucee is back!

What does this mean? It means that he now can field his favourite back four of Debucee, Koscienly, BFG and Gibbs.

But he also now has a ready made back up in Chambers who can deputise if one of the central defenders gets injured or indeed if the right back becomes unavailable. Monreal with a lot of first team games under his belt will be a good enough back up for Gibbs.

Chambers can also deputise as a central midfielder if need be although in Wenger's eyes this may not arise since he will consider the likelihood of both Arteta and Flamini becoming unavailable as not so high!

So Debucee's return releases Chambers and hey presto he becomes the joker of the pack.

And with Wenger so reluctant to buy players he will feel that he can rely on Chambers who is a player already assimilated in the squad and well versed into his way of thinking and playing.

So there you have it. No significant defensive additions in the window.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Wenger trigered with the formation and paid for it

By 1970's Gooner

Yes you can say we were winning 3 0 and should have kept it. And I would agree. All Arsene had to do was reign in some of the attacking players instincts, flood the midfield and play possession football.

But three things did not happen:

Firstly Arteta had to go off injured. He would have had the nous to organise the players.

Secondly Wenger's substitutions were offensively minded. Both Podolski and Rosicky are not necessarily defensively minded.

What he should have done was to keep Podolski on the bench and The Ox on the pitch. The Ox could have droped back into midfield alongside Rosicky and Flamini. Sanchez also could have been asked to drop back just a little bit. Finally he should have taken Welbeck off and stuck Walcott on to scare them with his pace.

Wenger did none of the above. Worse of all he failed to instruct his players to adopt a more cautious approach and play possession football. Instead his substitutions gave the exact opposite message to his players!

Yes the defensive performance was awful as he indicated in his post match interviews.

But he again I am afraid is to blame. He is the one who overbalanced the team with too many forward minded players and stubbornly refused to buy DEFENDERS.....

And he is the one that triggered with the formation breaking the Arteta and Flamini partnership in order to bring in the very disappointing Ramsey!

The Arteta and Flamini partnership is vital for Arsenal at the moment because, as I wrote so many times before, they provide a disciplined shield in front of a fragile defence which at the moment contains a left back playing as a centre back a rookie 19 year old as a right back.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Arsene's new formation is more cautious but more exciting than the usual 4 3 3

By 1970's Gooner

I have long been advocating that Arteta and Flamini should be starting games for Arsenal. They provide a more efficient shield of the back four (especially when Konscienly and Debucee are absent) than when one of them along with a more forward thinking midfielder are fielded.

This is because the 'other' midfielder is more attacking minded and /or not disciplined enough to stick to his position. The result is an unbalanced formation which lends itself vulnerable to counter attacks.

Wenger says that we played a 4 4 2 formation against Burnley. Well it was more of a 4 4 1 1 formation.

This formation, apart from playing two solid defensive midfielders, allows Wenger to bring Sanchez away from the flank and alongside or around Welbeck.

Sanchez does not stick to a particular position for too long and his desire to track back and fight for the ball enables him to be an extra player in midfield. This is especially important when we don't have the ball and the opponents are due to start an attack or worse start a counter attack.

Overall this is a more balanced formation than before which allows for a more solid defensive cover but at the same time does not curtail the offensive nature of the team.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Arsenal Vs Burnley. Score prediction, who will score and line up

By 1970's Gooner


I don't see Arsenal conceding. The important factors to consider are the following:

- Gibbs starts
- more importantly Monreal is now gelling well with the BFG and
- Burnley's poor goal scoring record

I can see Arsenal scoring more than once. And with the team clicking into gear I expect that a 3-0 score line or more is quite possible.

Who will score?

Considering that Burnley will most probably adopt a more cautious and defensive approach then a penalty may have a bigger probability of being awarded. Who takes Arsenal's penalties? Arteta to get on the score sheet then.

I also expect Welbeck to get a goal and Ramsey.

Line up

The big and very interesting question is whether Wenger persists with both Arteta and Flamini. They played very well together at Sunderland and shielded a makeshift defence well.

I think he may continue with this at least until Koscienly returns and then make a decision according to how we are doing by then.

I also think that Cazorla has not been at his best. Rosicky should be given a start. But Wenger tends to prefer Cazorla. Lets hope he picks up his game.


Chambers  BFG  Monreal  Gibbs

Arteta  Flamini


Cazorla  Welbeck Sanchez

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cazorla going through a patchy period

By 1970's Gooner

Santi Cazorla has not been at his best recently. His average performances culminated in a below par display against Anderlecht followed by another similar display at Sunderland.

In the absence of Ozil (in the occasions when he plays as a number 10) the team is crying out for a creative more advanced player who can play behind the number 9 and link play between the midfield and the attack. Sadly Santi has not stepped up the plate.

Wenger now has a decision to make. Does he persist with him or does he bring in someone else.

In my opinion Tomas Rosicky should be given a starting birth. He is fit, combative and very direct always looking for the forward pass. And more importantly he can score goals!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Arteta and Flamini may now become regular starters together

By 1970's Gooner

It was about time Wenger realised that his team selection was a little unbalanced. He has always in recent times selected only one defensive midfielder (either Arteta or Flamini) and played a more forward minded Ramsey (or Wilshere) in central midfield. The rest of the team barring the four at the back are all forwards. In fact the two full backs become wingers when we go forward!

Don't tell me that this is an unbalanced team formation. And of course slightly clever teams with fast wingers and explosive midfielders are set up to defend compactly and break forward with speed. They have managed to get rewards up to now. Especially when you consider that the back four are now a makeshift defence with Monreal at centre back and Chambers at right back.

It was no surprise therefore that for the away game at Sunderland Wenger having seen how disjointed and exposed the back four and midfield were in Belgium decided to offer more protection by leaving Ramsey out of the line up and started with Arteta and Flamini in central midfield (without wishing to brag about it I suggested prior to the Sunderland game that the line up should indeed contain Arteta and Flamini).

Indeed this formation of 4 2 1 3 should now become more common for the difficult away games and against our competitors for the top 4 spots. It will provide a more solid and compact defensive formation and the springboard for the more creative players to inflict the damage that they are so capable of at the other end.

N.A Monreal's performance at Sunderland was very good and he is improving with every game.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Rosicky the surprise starter against Sunderland

By 1970's Gooner

The horrid display at Anderlecht made obvious two major weaknesses that need to be addressed for the Sunderland game and the ones that will follow.

The defence is already weak and needs to be protected.

Monreal is playing out of position and looks it. He is not up to it. Chambers can do so much and he is bound to start having average games. That is why in midfield we have to offer them protection at least.

Flamini over Arteta for me for this reason but on their own will prove not enough. You can't have Ramsey and Wilshere playing there because they both roam forward leaving the rest exposed. This has to be addressed by playing both Arteta and Flamini with say Ramsey box to box. Until Koscienly comes back at least.

Cazorla is having a bad run of form. Keep him out.

In my opinion it's time to give Rosicky a run. It will be a surprise but a much needed change. He is much more direct than Cazorla and can defend well when needed (adding more defensive nous in the team). Cazorla remember was very near but not near enough for the first goals we conceded against Chelsea AND Hull!

The team against Sunderland should thus be as follows in a 4 2 1 3 formation:

Zscsesny, Chambers, Monreal, BFG, Gibbs, Arteta, Flamini, Ramsey, Sanchez, Rosicky, Welbeck .

The Ox, Podolski and Campell could come on if we need to get something out of the game.

Jenkinson to be recalled?

By 1970's Gooner

Wenger has only himself to blame. He overloaded on attacking midfielders during the recent transfer windows and neglected the dire need to get in competent, not necessarily technically gifted defensive midfielders and central defenders.

He let Vermaelen AND Jenkinson go and intentionally took a chance that his first choice defenders will not get injured. Hell they didn't. Even  a 5 year old knows that injuries do happen in football. But no he had to take a chance. Why didn't he at least keep Jenkinson... He can recall him now. That's the mature decision to take. Will he do it?

No chance.

This type of reckless behaviour is characteristic of a manager who is not under any pressure to win anything. Can you imagine Mourinho, Pellegrini or any other manager who WANTS to win the league leave his defensive cover so exposed?

They will get the sack if they do not win anything. But Wenger knows that the Arsenal Board are eating out of his hands because he gets the team in the CL places! Because the aim my dear fellows is to make profits for the shareholders not to please the fans necessarily.

Have you heard a top team in any league declare that finishing 4th is a trophy in itself?

Ok maybe it was when we were paying for the loan to build the stadium. But now? What's the excuse Mr Wenger?

You know what? Wenger cannot get out of the 'finishing 4th is good enough mode' I tell you.

It allows him to indulge in his biasedness of developing young talent into stars, playing an overbalanced attacking football (which renders his teams vulnerable to counter attacks from tactically more astute teams and managers) and recruits small technically gifted players at the expense of sturdy, tall and robust midfielders and defenders.

That's why, by the way, we get more injuries than any other team in the PL. You don't need an in depth study to find out why we get so many injuries!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Maybe Arsenal's bench is not so strong

By 1970's Gooner

What a terrible performance against Soton. A terrible performance from the experienced and hungry for games older players. Rosicky was all over the place and Podolski was not in any place.

Rosicky, whom I rate highly, was more often than not passing to the opponents. He gave a totally unnecessary penalty which brought them back into the game. He did not take the game by the scruff of its neck like he tends to, or used to...

Podolski was uninterested. I was surprised to realise that he was still on the pitch deep into the second half! He was nowhere. What a pathetic performance...

Wilshere was average, again...

At least Diaby got through 60 or so minutes.

Campell I expected more from. He didn't provide it. He didn't go past his marker not even once...

Sanchez tends to get lost when he plays through the middle. I don't think he will be that effective there. But he can continue to take the free kicks...

Hayden and Bellerin had decent games

The youngsters were youngsters. They tried their best but they were let down by the older players.

Everything will be forgotten when we thump the spuds next Saturday!

And we will.