Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Wenger’s “rotation” backfires against Villa. Player Analysis and Ratings

By 1970’s Gooner

Arsene Wenger’s changes in the starting line up meant that the team lacked rhythm and understanding between the players. Add the wet conditions and a resolute young Villa side and you could have predicted the stalemate.

Wenger’s decision to play Ramsey in the middle and the Ox on the wing created anxiety inside me.

Ramsey is not a penetrative nor is he a defensively minded midfielder. When he is played in a middle three which includes Cazorla and Arteta then he gets lost in two minds. Does he play in a more restrained manner staying back to help Arteta or does he move forward with the ball but risk crowding out Cazorla in the process.

He did neither against Villa and that meant that we gave the opportunity to Villa’s midfield to press us successfully in the middle and often steal the ball from Ramsey putting us under pressure. Coquelin should have started the game if Wilshere was not available.

Wilshere can play both roles to perfection but alas Wenger decided to rest him ready for the Everton game midweek. Wrong decision in my opinion.

The Ox I like but he has been off form in the last few games. That was very obvious to me. And true to form he did not inject pace nor real penetration on the wing. Walcott was not injured he was rested. Wenger should have played Walcott who is sizzling hot at the moment. Wrong decision again.

If Wilshere and Walcott had played tonight the team would have been traveling to the Everton game with a win under their belt and their confidence sky high.

Szczesny : Coming back to form. Brilliant save tipping the ball on to the bar from a well struck shot from outside the box. Has to improve his kicking though. 7

Jenkinson: Solid even if he was out for the last few games. Failed to put in the crosses for Giroud though as Sagna has been doing recently. 6

Gibbs: A much needed return to the team. He is more solid at the back and much more dangerous going forward than Vermaelen. 6

Mertersacker: A very robust and effective all round display both in the air and on the ground. He is a much improved defender this season and a player that the team can rely on. 8

Koscienly: A solid and workman like display. Did very well in the air and in bringing the ball forward from defence. Arsenal now have three equally good central defenders. 7

Arteta: Performed his defensive duties effectively and without too much fuss. A very reliable professional. 7

Ramsey: See above. 5

Cazorla: Was not at his effervescent best tonight. He tends to struggle a little bit when he is closed down. This happened with Chelsea and at Manchester United and we lost those games. He will learn to deal with this I am sure. 6

The Ox: See above. 5

Podolski: A performance that did not create anything of note I am afraid. Rarely got beyond his man nor did he come inside to threaten. 5

Giroud: Did not get the service he deserved as both wingers or their respective fullbacks did not get any quality crosses in for him. 6

Subs: Gervinho 4, Arshavin 4, Coquelin 5.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Wenger’s inadequacies expose Arsenal

By 1970’s Gooner

I am disgusted. I feel sick.

Arsene Wenger made four fatal mistakes against Utd today and the result was one of the most insipid and overall poor performances during his reign at Arsenal.


Everyone was telling Arsene Wenger that Santos was a serious liability. It was so obvious for God’s sake. But no he is so stubborn. The first choice left back is out so the second choice has to play. My arse. The second choice is totally useless Mr Wenger come to terms with it. You made a dud buy.

Time and time again he was too weak to stop Valencia or Rafael. Their first goal came from his bad positioning and of course Vermaelen’s poor clearance. And it was by bad luck and Mannone’s heroics that we kept the score low.


Ramsey is a poor player on the wing Mr Wenger. Face it. The boy is not ready yet for such games. He neither helped Sagna out nor did he go forward. He was useless. Totally useless. How come Wenger does not see that is beyond me.


Giroud is not a Premiership player. He is a joke Mr Wenger. He could not hold the ball up, couldn’t head it nor did he create anything.You bought another dud there mate. Face it. Playing with 9 men usually results in defeat don’t you think?


Ferguson subbed Cleverly. Wenger did not sub Wilshere and of course he got a red.

Maybe the difference between the two teams were the managers.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Drop this player for the Man Utd game Mr Wenger

By 1970’s Gooner

Sir Alec Ferguson seems to have been very astute with his tactics and formation in recent games. And even if the defence seems to be shipping in goals they end up winning the games that matter.

Take their league game at Chelsea for example. Many thought that the formation will be the diamond so well employed in the Champions League games and against Newcastle where a 3 0 away win was easily achieved.

But no, Ferguson reverted to the winger system with Ashley Young and Valencia running the Chelsea full backs rugged.

Valencia in particular aided by the right back Rafael created all sorts of problems on the right side contributing directly the first two goals of the game. The constant danger on that side meant that Ashley Cole was either restricted in his forward forays or more importantly when he did venture forward he was caught out of position.

So you can imagine how worried I became when the news came out today that Gibbs was unavailable for this Suturday's game at Old Trafford. Can you imagine what damage United can potentially achieve down that flank with Santos as our left back?

The guy cannot defend properly. He is either out of position because he has ventured forward (as all Brazilian defenders tend to do – Kafu, Roberto Carlos) or when he is in position he tends to commit himself too early rather than staying with the player.

I am worried. Really worried.

Arsene Wenger should, in my opinion, take the brave decision and drop Santos for this game in favour of either Koscienly or even Jenkinson. They are right footed but I am sure they will do a more than an adequate job.

The other area that Ferguson will try to negate will be to repeat Chelsea’s man to man marking of Cazorla during the encounter with Chelsea at the Emirates. Ramires did succeed in marking Santi very closely during that home defeat and as a result his distribution and overall effectiveness suffered.

Fletcher may be utilised for this purpose and he has the credentials to do it well. He has done it in the past against Arsenal and I am sure he will be up for it on Saturday. I just hope Fergie may not select him as he played midweek at Chelsea.

In this case Rooney will become the key man. He is likely to drop into midfield when Arsenal have possession making their formation a 4 5 1, restricting spaces for Arsenal’s midfielders to create.

The outcome of the game will rest on Arsenal’s ability to contain United’s attacking flair especially cutting the supply line to RVP form the wings (especially the left). If this is achieved Arsenal will find the net against a united defence which has been shipping goals lately.

Question: Which Premier League team has the best defensive record this season?

Long it may continue, but will it?