Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

This quality will be decisive against Soton

By 1970's Gooner

There is one quality that has transpired in the most recent games. It was certainly lacking in that dreadful game at Stoke.

The spirit within the team, the togetherness and the resolute attitude of the players to get through the game with victory in the bag was exemplary.

What has helped of course was the return to action of two key players in defence. Koscienly and Debuchy. This has given a new belief to the rest of the players that no mater what we will score the goals (we always do don't we?) and the defence is now capable of  keeping them out.

I expect that this will repeat itself on New Years Day.

A Happy New Year to all of you!!!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Coquelin set for a run in the team

By 1970's Gooner

I don't want to be an I told You So but Francis Coquelin had an excellent performance against West Ham.

I am not surprised, I expected that he will get his chance and that he will probably solve our search for that elusive defensive midfielder we have been looking for. Has Arsene discovered the defensive midfielder we have been looking for?

His defensive and combative display in front of the back four is exactly what Arsenal have been missing. A defensive midfielder who would put his foot in when needed, go for the headers using his body as well as his head and distribute the ball simply and effectively.

Here is what Wenger said about him:

"He played very well, especially in the first half. He was very influential and then in the second half he fatigued a bit in the last 20 minutes, but he had a very good performance not only defensively but he also passed quickly, sharply and through the lines. Overall he had a convincing performance."

I would put him ahead of Flamini certainly now and it is up to Wenger to decide whether he would play with two protective midfielders or not.

I would.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Player ratings Vs Liverpool

By 1970's Gooner

Szczesny: Almost did not put a foot wrong. 8

Chambers: Getting tired. The weak link in defence in recent games. Had a poor game. 3

BFG: Hesitant display. 5

Debuchy: The best defender. Positive and forceful. He is surprisingly a very good central defender. Scored a vital goal. 8

Gibbs: Had a steady if unspectacular game. Was not targeted by Liverpool as their attention was on Chambers. 5

The Ox: A weak performance. Kept giving the ball away and over keeping it. 4

Flamini: Ineffective display. 4

Cazorla: Not as effective as in recent games. Was efficiently smothered by Liverpool's midfielders but did get through to make that assist that nearly won us the game. 5

Sanchez: One of his most ineffective displays. Could not win the ball back, pass it accurately or create anything of note. 4

Welbeck: A below par performance. Did well when Giroud was substituted. 5

Giroud: Had a bad first half where he could not head the ball or hold it for more than 2 or 3 seconds. Second half he improved and scored a good goal. 6

Coquelin: Was very good when he got to play in the end. 8

Arsene discovers the defensive midfielder Arsenal longed for

By 1970's Gooner

What a dreadful performance. All over the pitch (except Szczesny). No one could hold the ball, pass it to an Arsenal player let alone create anything of note except once when we scored a second undeserved goal.

This performance ranks as one of three worst performances this season so far. The first was away in Dortmund, the second away at Stoke and now away at Anfield.

Today Liverpool's three at the back meant they had one more player in midfield.

They would have dominated even if they had one less than us! It was so bad really.

Overall they were hungrier and quicker than us and combined with Flamini's and Ox's ineffective display in central midfield outrun us in this very sensitive area of the pitch.

Add the fact that Chambers is getting worse and worse with every game and you have a recipe for disaster.

The guy needs a rest but of course Wenger's inability to buy a central defender means that he has to play.

Achieving 4th place is now in serious jeopardy. Maybe we should finish outside the top four to shake up Wenger and those at the Board to do something about it.

I mean we surrendered the title chase in the first 8 games of the season!!!!!! This can't be right....

In any case the one positive thing to come out of this game (except that of getting a very undeserved draw) is that Coquelin's display albeit for 10 or so minutes was a breath of fresh air.

Here was a true defensive midfielder. One who would jump for a header and get it! One who would put his foot in and come out with the ball. One who, after winning the ball, would pass it to a fellow player in a simple way. Without trying to make a through pass or dribble past players.

I predict that Coquelin will become the natural first team choice for Arsenal in this position and save stingy Wenger some money so that he could buy a descent central defender to challenge the established two.

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.