Arsenal 1 – 0 QPR: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

As many suspected, Arsene pressed the SOS button and the cavalry was called in. Wilshere and Sagna were both drafted into the starting line-up in order to breathe some life into a struggling unit. It worked, probably not to the extent one would like to see but there was definitely greater thrust to Arsenal’s play, but only time will tell if the cost is exorbitant.

The first half was a cagey affair. Arsenal had bulk of the possession but the visitors were very well organized and diligent in their tracking. The Gunners found it hard to create space in the central areas and most of the possession was in relatively harmless areas. The best chances in that period were limited to a Ramsey header that hit the bar and a couple of shots from the left side by Giroud and Wilshere that looked better than they were due to Julio Cesar’s suspect handling. In total, the Gunners managed 7 shots with 4 on target but I don’t think any of those could be classified as a clear cut chance.

It’s worth noting that Wenger’s team were playing a pretty high line for most of the first half and did a good job of limiting the chances that the visitors could create. The pressing up the pitch was effective and the decision making by the defensive players was largely spot on. The off-side trap worked well but looked more and more a risky tactic as the game went on.

The second half followed the patterns of the first. Arsenal were creating some chances but it just didn’t seen enough. Cesar made a good save from a set-piece early on but was fairly comfortable by the time Wilshere was taken off in the 67th minute as Wenger introduced Walcott in search of something different. In that 20 odd minute period the Gunners only had 4 shots with just one on target.

A few minutes later Gervinho came on the pitch in place of Podolski. Arsenal’s best chance of the game thus far fell to Cazorla in the 77th minute. It resulted from an excellent Walcott cross that was only cleared towards the penalty spot where the Spaniard was unmarked and in acres of space. Not surprisingly though, Santi smashed it over the top.

The turning point came in the 79th minute when M’Bia was sent off for kicking out at Vermaelen. Having won the free-kick, the Cameroonian’s reaction seemed inexplicable. The only reason I could think of was that he thought the ball was still in play and wanted to make a tackle, but even that’s pretty thin. The other aspect to that decision was the theatrical nature of Vermaelen’s fall. I didn’t get a clear look at the replays but it seemed to me there was minimal contact. Nevertheless, the red card was the correct decision even if on a technicality.

In the final 11 minutes plus injury time, the Gunners had 8 shots with four on target including the goal. They created a number of quality openings with the man advantage and really should have scored more.

The goal in itself was a contentious one as the visitors had a genuine shout for off-side against Arteta who bundled it home from close range. This season Arsenal have been very lucky with a number game-changing decisions- Aguero, Cabella, and Affellay were all denied obvious penalties – and it can be argued that they got an undeserved goal. The other argument could be that Arsenal were always likely to score one after M’Bia was sent off.

After the goal we saw the nervous, indecisive side of Arsenal. Wenger called it a ‘psychological’ issue saying the team was lacking confidence and wanted to protect the result. I tend to agree that it was a mental issue but I think it was down to the fact that the players didn’t have tactical clarity at that point in time and lacked faith in their ability to defend as a team even against ten men. This brought some hesitancy into the way they played and gave the visitors a couple of excellent chances to get back in the game.

Granero was able to beat the off-side trap but shot wide. Jamie Mackie was able to run past three players before hitting Mannone from close range. Arsenal panicked but survived.

On the whole, this wasn’t a great game from the Gunners but the result should help. Wilshere and Sagna had good outings and their abilities will help the team in the coming days as they learn to play with their new teammates.

Individual Performances:

Mannone: Made the saves when called into action, showed improved judgment when coming for the ball, and distribution was assured. Overall a composed and steady game from the Italian.

Sagna: Jenkinson was doing a steady job on the right but Sagna came back and showed just how much was missing. His decision making, link play in attacking areas, and defensive game were all top notch.

Mertesacker: Was more concerned with sweeping in behind and reading the game and wasn’t really engaged in individual duels. Steady game from the German, probably an easier one than he’d have imagined.

Vermaelen: Was strong in his tackles and duels, cleared the danger when he had to. Granero did get in behind him and Mackie was able to go past him in the box, needs to do better.

Santos: Was much maligned coming into this tie and there are undoubtedly some weaknesses in his game but I thought he had a fairly good game. Tackling was good, positioning was better, and he made a useful contribution in the attacking third. Was another defender beaten by Mackie and there were moments when you could see more space on the left than was preferable.

Arsenal’s return to the high line defence was somewhat surprising and we’ll have to see how that tactic works in the coming games. Sagna made the right side stronger and there is hope we’ll see the creative burden shared between the two flanks as he settles into a rhythm.

Arteta: Another typically reliable performance from the Spaniard on and off the ball. Has been showing extreme desire late in the games when the team has struggled and it was that desire which earned him the winner.

Cazorla: Moved all over the pitch and helped push the team forward but could not make the decisive contribution in the final third. Missed a glorious chance. It was interesting to note that set-piece duty was shared in this game and he didn’t take as many as he’d been in the previous games.

Wilshere: Was composed and confident on the ball, passing was accurate almost immaculate, brought his trademark drive with that drop of the shoulder and runs at the defence but couldn’t really create much in terms of genuine chances. Wasn’t as involved in defending as others who’ve partnered Arteta have been.

Wilshere’s return made midfield seem sharper and it did show in terms of the chances created even if they weren’t high quality. However, the youngster does have a tendency to burst forward and it’s going to pose a challenge for the defence as they will miss the two-man shield at times.

Ramsey: Hit the post with a header, got into useful positions in the box, linked well with Sagna on the right, it’s not his natural position but with a good midfield behind him Ramsey can be useful in the attacking areas while providing balance on the right.

Giroud: Had a couple of shots at goal, made some runs into the channel, but on the whole the Frenchman wasn’t able to contribute as much as is needed from an Arsenal striker. Did play a part in the build-up to the goal as his presence in the box was useful.

Podolski: Another attacker who had a disappointing game. His movement was good but he wasn’t effective in the crowded central areas. Put in a good defensive shift with a couple of vital tackles.

The front three remains an area of concern. Arsenal need a lot from the attacking players in terms of movement, combinations, creativity, and precision with incision and goals being the decisive outcome. Wenger needs a system that compensates for the individual weaknesses and brings out their strengths. Thus far we’ve not seen the system work.

Subs: Walcott put in a couple of teasing crosses, Gervinho was unfortunate, Arshavin started the move that led to the goal and worked hard to help the team.

Wenger: Reverted to a high line defence, brought in his big players as soon as they were ready (and hopefully not before), Has to ensure the team shows better confidence and structure at the end.

63 Responses to Arsenal 1 – 0 QPR: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

  1. Spec says:

    Great to see Jack and Bac back in the starting line up definitely was a great lift for the team. The 3 points was sorely needed and its good we got a goal in the end controversial or not. Hopefuly we can build up from this win and gradually team confidence will be restored.

  2. mark says:

    santos was plain awful. big liability who will make costly mistakes the more he plays. over-commits the tackle way too often and our left side is significantly weakened without gibbs.
    i’d start seeing how yennaris performs in that position and try to develop him there.

    • roh top gun says:

      people just conventently slag off santos just because qpr chose to attack down the left almost all game. yes, he did not have the perfect game but he did much better than people give him credit.

      • Cupsui says:

        He was better but he was still poorer than we would like for a LB. Bring back Gibbsy ASAP.

        He may have made few challenges but he got stod up on a quite a few occassions and was completely absent a few times like in the first half when wright phillips had all the time in the world to run and drive into the box but showed he is crap and stuffed up the chance…

        Sorry but Santos doesn’t cut it as a LB

      • Charlie says:

        They chose to attack down the left to target Santos. They chose to target Santos because they saw him as Arsenals’ weak link. That goes to show that it isn’t only Arsenal fans that see him as a weakness. You speak as if attacking consistently down the right side was a coincidence. A manager wouldn’t be fit for the job if he didn’t attack with the intention of exploiting defensive weaknesses in the opposition.

  3. Philip says:

    Arshavin had a great little cameo. It was due to his fantastic cross that Arsenal managed to score.

    • santori says:

      Andrei in tight space is probably our best passer.

      His vision IMO is almost next to none (at very least on par with Santi if not better)

      Where he lacks nominally is pace but seems he has put a bit of work into it in the summer. Like to see him rewarded with more options. He could well be an extremely useful asset which Wenger for some inexplicable reason has hitherto been resistant to take advantage of.

      When employed properly (and I believe in concert with santi) he could be devastating for us (let’s hope in the right way:D)

    • JJ Pittman says:

      AA 23 is the favorite player of both my wife and my son’s Godson(age 12); and I will always remember the 4 v Scouse! 100% agree that he can be excellent with Santi. Have said this before, but still believe he would be best employed starting, told to go all out as long as he can. Assist totals tell the story and personality intangibles can help us turn the corner.

  4. Oguntuase Amos says:

    The bottom line is that the team won. If it were Chelsea, Man U or City nobody would say the goal was offside. Bunch of myopic critics who saw nothing good in Arsenal. Was Arsenal not better against Schakle and QPR than City was against Swansea and Ajax? Admittedly things are not going well with the team as expected but there is no crisis and the team is not a right off, it just need a little extra effort and belief.

    • 9jagunnerdoc says:

      Well said compadre, at times, I’ve often wondered if DesiGunner is a true fan.

      Last season, most of his comments were negative, or sitting on the fence at best.

      It is absolutely amusing that he found Carzola’s miss from the penalty spot unsurprising, he would be the only one in that department. Also he thought Vermaelen was theatrical, I’m sure he only read the reports, he never actually saw the match.

      It’s okay to report fairly, but to try and highlight only negatives is disgraceful for a fan. He would surely have hailed Man U for a performance like that.

      • santori says:

        Bit harsh on Desi. He does his homework diligently.

        I think he calls it as he sees it. Fair play.

      • richie says:

        Considering how nervous the whole team was I too was not surprised Santi flashed at his chance and sent it over. Considering how nervous the crowd was it would’ve been amazing if some of that tention in the air didn’t transfer to the players. I don’t know what game you saw? But I was at the game and then having programmed the machine I watched the Satanta recording after, and I consider Desi G’s assesment to be a fair. I’m fast approaching my 50th year as a Gooner and out of all the dross on the net Desi G’s blog can easily be classed as a glass half full pro blog. Desi offers constuctive criticism long may that continue, IMHO Desi G ain’t only a true fan he’s a proper Gonner!

  5. Chikanma says:

    It was another average performance from our boys but this time, we secured the maximum points.
    Confidence has been restored and hopefully we can push on..C0YG!

  6. AP says:

    for once there were players who can atleast cross better than a 3rd division side and we get a golden chance and a goal from that….so much for the dysfunctional passing game…

  7. Pat Rice says:

    Cannot believe you think Ramsey can be useful and bring balance, its not his fault he is put out wide of a front three but you dont need much of a football brain to see he offers no threat whatsoever to the left back, how can he be played there when we have Walcott arshavin and gervinho on the bench. If he starts him there next week we will come under severe pressure as they wont have to worry at all about him. Its like the dark days when Denilson was played out wide, please Wenger I bow to your experience but we are not creating and one reason is as clear as day.

    • Cupsui says:

      He does give balance and he is a hard worker and right now i think that is by FAR his best position. But yes his attack is a bit limited although he did nearly score a few…he had a much better game…

      But he simply does NOT cut the mustard in the CM role. Whilshere showed today how much we miss with Ramsey playing CM.

      Desi you say Whilshere didn’t help out that much in defence but i would argue on a few occasions he was the last man. I thought his tackling was exceptional for a guy who has been out for 17months. For starters he does and can make slide tackles with great timing; something rambo simply does not do any more.

      For me rambo is down to RW for balance and to have an extra technical player and an impact sub, which he can i think play a role…but not in the midfield…he slows things down way too much

      • santori says:

        Ramsey is hopeless RW. He cuts in (where he is more threatening …looping header) but he has no pace or technical ability to stretch the game wide which is what the team really needs.

        His best position is in the CAM role behind the striker (take a queue ticket behind Santi, Rosicky and Jack with Eisfeld breathing hard just behind him)

        That said, with Sagna back in, at least some of the work stretching the game will be taken on by the Frenchman. But that may also mean at detriment to the space behind which we will have to be careful with with United.

      • Cupsui says:

        I’m not saying that he should be in always…i still probably think Arsharvin is the better technical RW option. But that is Rambo’s best position cause his movement is good and he has a high work rate. And i am sure he is meant to track infield at times.

        He should be used best as an impact because he can cause problems late on due to his running…

        I don’t agree that CAM is his best cause his final third passing is not creative enough and he stiffles the attack…like last season

      • richie says:

        I don’t think CAM is his best position either!

  8. James Morgan says:

    Santos and the big German could easily be turned by MU’s nippy striker. I am worried that with the gunners pressing incessantly and passing all over the pitch,they will be liable to a swift counterattack by red faced.
    it happened when Ronaldo was around. I won’t bet it happening again. Suffice to say if RVP and the ugly Brit bull dog are not tightly marked.Arsenal will lose.If other teams can stifle these two players,why can’t Wenger do the same if he wants to win the game.Btw, don’t give the bs if MU scores once,Arsenal will score twice. The gunners areimho,goal shy.

    • Foolishgooner says:

      I think Gibbs will be back for MU plus Kocielny will partner TV with Bac at RB. That game screams for real DMF! Who?

    • roh top gun says:

      city had nippy strikers in tevez and aguero and mertesacker did more than alright didn’t he? personally i’m not worried if we go to old trafford with the same backline as long as play a team defensive game like in the earlier matches.

      • santori says:

        Big German will be fine. Rather his reading of the game than Koscielny’s sometimes over enthusiastic challenges.

        Remember, they have a number of professional divers at United.

        I’d keep TV and BFG for familiarity. The last thing you want is Koscielny to have to come into this sort of game. Expect Koscielny to have a game midweek regardless.

        If Gibbs doesn’t come back by next week, I’m skeptical Santos will do it for us. Worth exploring if Miquel will offer anything more solid with some time out LB in the midweek game. Otherwise as an emergency measure, maybe Sagna with Jenkinson @RB.

      • Cupsui says:

        If no gibbs…backline of:
        Sagna Merte Kozzer TV5


        Jenko Merte TV5 Sagna

      • JJ Pittman says:

        Remembering how Ashley Young dominated Jenkinson in last season’s fixture, would keep Sagna on right, but wonder if CJ could play left fullback? Agree that Mertesacker’s size and reading of the game will be okay at RHB and Kosc should not play at Old Trafford. Love him, but refs will give ManUre the call every time at home; he’s just too aggressive.

  9. Foolishgooner says:

    Well done sir! I hoped for Sagna and Wilshere and they made a telling contribution to the side, hopefully they get only stronger from here on. Desi you r right, as good as Jenkinson is this season Bac showed us little of what is missing (experience, awareness of possession and decoding of opponents pressure def n attack). Jack willingness and ability to go right down the middle! 3 points great n let’s home to get OX, Rosicky, Diaby n all forgotten gunners back for November the spookiest month for the Gunners. I want 4:6manure win today. Couple red cards to VP n gigs 🙂 cheers.

    • Cupsui says:

      Take nothing away from Jenko cause he has been one player who can really hold his head high…but sagna is the perfect fullback…

      balances attack and defence to a tee!! good to have you back…bac…

      • Cupsui says:

        Maybe Jenko RB and Sagna LB if Gibbsy is out…cause Santos is not good enough for Arsenal…

        I don’t bag players but i do have to say he is simply not of the standard we need…not even as a back up

      • santori says:

        Not convinced with Santos.

        He looks shaky.

        I don’t mind Sagna on at LB personally. United will be coming at us with hammer and tong on our left.

  10. Induct says:

    Nice post Desi,i’ll to see AA23 more in d side. Rest Cazorla and use Andrei in his position.

  11. sapiman says:

    From this match we now know that Giroud need quality crosses to his head and the goal was the result of it.
    We were on attacking smoothly but when Podolski was subbed,introduction of Gervinho interrupted the flow because he wanted to take on defenders.

    • shiv says:

      a) every striker needs quality crosses. Period.
      b) we were not even attacking, forget about smooth or rough. Can’t remember a single attack worth a mention, till Arsh crossed for the goal.

      • Cupsui says:

        then you are just blind…

        21 shots 11 on target…i remember a few…it was a much better performance but OBVIOUSLY still room for massive improvement

    • santori says:

      Yeah better performance albeit we have to remember QPR were poor.

      Still not entirely convincing but the impact of Jack and Sagna returning may be significant.

      We will have to up our performance by quite a few notches to meet United next week.

  12. shiv says:

    DesiG your analysis makes a very pedestrian, ordinary, aimless and ineffective performance look passable. The first half made for difficult viewing. how can a team start with Gurve and Twal on the bench and rambo on the wing ?
    Gibbs makes Podski look good. Without Gibbs behind him, Podski appears toothless – is this guy a regular in the German lineup ? He was going nowhere and appeared unclear about his role in the team – what is it anyway ?
    The defending after the goal was awfull – i mean we couldn’t keep the ball away from a 10 man side that’s bottom of the pile.
    If the first team players cannot up the ante and motivate themselves against ‘lesser’ opposition, it’s time we sent out Froq, serge and eisfield. i didn’t think i’ll ever have to say this but even Arsh should be given a chance just to rest Santola or replace whosoever.

    • roh top gun says:

      this match ended up 1-0 simply because of an absolutely brilliant julio cesar. Don’t try to beat down the team’s performance just because it was frustrating. When ManUtd or Chelsea win games like this, folks call it stuff of champs. But when pull one outta the hat it’s pedestrian and aimless, eh? oh, come on!!!

      • Shiv says:

        You call that brilliant ? Shambolic ball handling by jc made our ambitious long range efforts look good. The only redeming feature was the three points.

    • joe says:

      @shiv:u just answered yourself.u don’t feel poldi’s impact upfront because he’s always covering up for santos,unlike when gibbs’ around.gibbs does his job well,so poldi can concentrate on his attacking duties.

  13. Dale de Ruig says:

    Always enjoy your analysis but I can’t understand your constant support of Ramsey. I have been trying to believe in him for the last few years but it seems he will never be the player he was destined to be.He gives possesion away and offers us nothing on the right. In the middle he slows down the game. I don’t think he deserves a position in this squad. Coquelin has been better than him on every occasion in the middle and I think he would be far more effective on the right as well. As we saw when he played right back.

    • santori says:

      He has talent but it is best through the middle and just behind the striker (Santi’s position)

      He’ll need to learn to move things along quicker but he has good vision and the lad is not afraid to follow in or have a pop from range.

  14. jay says:

    Personally i think this system doesn’t suit the personnel we currently have and that’s why they are struggling..its good that podolski is effective defending but ultimately he wants to be in that central area tryna score..and we don’t make off the ball movements like old arsenal teams did, we’re not strong defensively and it seems like that defensive organisation we had at the start of the season has faded away..i feel we need a dedicated DM who sticks closer to the defense than the attacking players cos ultimately if we don’t let that occasional goal in we could always try and win 1 improve, the systems or tactics needs to change..more off the ball runs, more width and better crossers of the ball..and much faster when we are on the counter..

  15. Nick from Portugal says:

    Desi I do understand your constant support for Ramsey. He was played out of position but obviously with the substituting of Wilshere in mind, he hit the bar, he had one of the best shots of the match, he was right beside Arteta when we scored. He can be maddening because his lack of pace is really exposed on the wing but he has a lovely touch, can pass beutifully (and badly) and he is a 100% player, brave never drops his head. Arshavin proved yesterday what I have been writing on these posts for at least a year, he has great feet, is class but I wonder if cameos is all he is up for these days? Will Wenger be brave enough to let him loose in Manchester? Yesterday was about winning, about our two newcomers, about rebuilding confidence, the last five minutes were horrendous but we won. Great to see Arteta score, I share your admiration for him and agree on Sagna, brilliant and Wilshere also excellent. Cazorla needs a rest.

    • Cupsui says:

      I would disagree as i have replied above…THIS IS RAMBO’S BEST POSITION NOW!!

      he is not a strong enough defender to play CM, and his positional sense in the role defensively is off and he won’t slide tackle to save his life.

      When we need a technical player to bring balance to the right Rambo is your man he has good movement. For some reason his attacking passing has just gone off. but he will help maintain possession and pressure and chip in a few chances.

      If my memory serves he has hit the bar A LOT this season…

      Preferably use him as an impact and as i have said as a technical RW…but NOT CM…please only jack, diaby, le coq and Rosicky (if he ever plays again)

    • Scott (USA) says:

      What is Rambos best position? No attack, can’t tackle, did I mention slow…please somebody explain. I think his best position would be along side Denilson where ever the F%#k he is.

      • santori says:

        Ramsey’s best position is through the middle just behind the front man.

        But he is behind pecking order of Santi, Rosicky and likely even Jack which is the problem.

        Arsene has tried to invent a new role for him as a RW alternate given our supposed scarcity of resource (Walcott being inexplicably frozen to peripheral use), Chamberlain injured. Gnabry young and inexperienced (but showing great spark when on)

        Personally, I’m not sure if it is working terribly well.

        I believe Ramsey should be pushing for the CAM role behind the striker as mentioned with Rosicky likely to make way soon. In that he will of course have to fight the incumbent Santi and will be pushed by the possibility of Jack further up field and/or Eisfeld coming through.

        With Arsharvin likely to move on too, Santi may have a wide role when need be affording an added place in that central position when games dictate more technical approach (particularly when deeper entrenched teams negate our flanks)

        Thereby Ramsey should try to make himself at the head of the line in front of Jack and Eisfeld as a Santi alternative.

      • richie says:

        I understand the point your making but I can’t see it happening Rambo is a box to box central mid really who can drive a team forward but Central Attacking Mid played one step behind the forwards? I can’t see that! He doesn’t have the skills to drive into the box “a la Jack” nor does he possess the vision and ball skills of Santi, plus if Diaby is fit he can’t drive a team forward like Abu can. All in All although I like him he is limmited in both his play and the options open to him. As you point out in the queue he’s well towards the back, so much so that I fail to understand Arsene’s contiued faith because in fulfilling this new role invented for him, he’s hardly covered himself in glory.

  16. Kunle says:

    Why cant wenger convert kosn or djoroud as our dmf til january transfer to free arteta forward,to me arteta is better than cazorla droppin inside d box.arteta has accurate shot than cazorla inside d box.

    • santori says:

      Arteta’s role is very difficult to get right.

      he isn’t just a DM. he is the catalyst to our attacks (the pivot)

      which is why the sale of song is so exasperating. He was just coming good toward understanding this role and had a useful balance in both defensive cover and attacking threat.

      We are tight in this department now.

      Coquelin is the closest understudy to Arteta albeit his game is very different and his passing retention is no where as immaculate.

      Diaby in concert with Coquelin is a possibility but that will entail Diaby being fit of course.

      • richie says:

        Arteta plays the Makalale role brilliantly only Gilberto has played it better for Arsenal, I’m very sorry but we bought “Cazorla for A Song” and I thought it was a fantastic bit of business. As soon as it was seen that Arteta could play the Mak role Dimitr Bilongs future was no longer safe at the Arse, then when he heard of Barca’s interest he flirted with them. Alex was shocked that his flirt was immediatly turned into a marriage proposal, but by that time Arsene knew we had Cazorla. Arsene took a central defender and made him into a pretty damned good defensive mid, but he knew he had more of a footballer in the quickly improving Coquelin. Then if the worst came about he still had the rough diamond Frimpong to cut and polish.

      • Scott (USA) says:

        I like Diaby better than Song. Unfortunately he is rarely healthy. I believe Arteta is able to play in this position very well. Conquelin is a couple years away from being at Diaby,Arteta or Songs level. A different player and maybe good someday.

  17. Mark says:

    Sagna’s sheer quality and experience shone out yesterday. It was great to see him back and good to see a confident and determined player return to our side. Good as jenkinson has been it looked like Bac flung more quality crosses in the first 45 mins than we’ve had from the right wing all season. Trouble is we never have enough people following up in the area. It’s like the team isn’t prepared for effective crosses preferring instead to patiently and ineffectively dribble thru the congested middle.

    Podolski was awful. Never supported santos and kept berating him for every successful attack down our left. He kept wandering inside and congested the midfield making it easy to defend our attacks. After a good start this season he’s starting to look tired or lazy preferring to operate in the Corzolas space rather than provide width and threat from the left and not helping his full back. It does look like he can’t be bothered recently.

    Ramsey similar though he always tries so hard. Provided no threat from the right hand side, no crossing ability and tended to again drift inside congesting space for Carzola and Wiltshire.

    Huge change when Walcott came on and immediately looked lively. We had movement, and some quality crossing which Giroud at last had something to respond to.

    We look a little bit of a mess tactically still. It may be that we have almost an entirely new team with players again having to forge new relationships and understandings around the pitch. It’s going to take a while to rebuild this team into an effective unit.

    • santori says:

      Yeah, not sure what Wenger’s thinking is with Walcott.

      1) If he didn’t sign the extension already, I would have got rid of him last summer.

      2) Since we will likely have to sell him in Jan at a loss(likely), why not just use him to the max now as and when necessary instead of playing a square peg in a round hole (Ramsey)

      What we need to alleviate the attention we will get with santos on the left side is threat from the right.

      Sagna’s return is a massive positive but we could dow ith a natural winger to stretch the game wide/create openings for Jack and Santi through the middle. Conversely, it will help out left wing for Podolski.

      Baffling tactically as ussusal.

    • richie says:

      The Pod is being played everywhere but where he’ll do the most damage. I’m not at all surprised he’s feeling down, we aren’t making best use of his goal scoring talents. Gerv ain’t ever gonna be a CF yet he’s played centrally, but as a winger he’s o.k. The Pod can and has played the CF role really well and he’s a great finisher yet he’s played as a winger? I bet he’s wondering whats going on? I know I am.

      • JJ Pittman says:

        Right on! Look at all the goals he scored for a relegated squad with no other offensive threat last season! His work rate is phenomenal!

  18. Nikkogunners says:

    I think Wenger must find the pattern that plays on the strengths of the squad. I have one that i can propose. The pattern is a generic Here is how i envisage it.
    Podolski, Wilshere, Gervinho
    any of the back four selected would do and For now Mannone would do.

    Here is how this works.
    Giroud upfront. He seem a good danger causer and frees others to get into scoring position with his hold up play. But if there is enough support he can get into positions and get the goals coming.

    Podolski, Wilshere and Gevinho occupying the three man hole behind the striker and only using the wings marginally. Therefore the three play central striking in a close knot fashion and use their sheer pace, artistry and creativity to break down the opposition. The three are attack minded and central inclined and therefore it will play into their strengths. Their replacement are also centrally inclined. Sample these players Walcott, Arshavin, Ramsey, Rosicky and the OX…In fact playing 4 players centrally with three behind the central striker actually plays in the to the strengths of the squad. After the three central attackers, we have Carzola with a free role to take tours at the wings and in the central position behind the three, link up with Arteta (I have seen Carzola defending the back four and starting up a counter attack often enough). Even yesterday he was popping up everywhere and we can play to this strength. Stop Carzola and stop Arsenal would therefore be a risky prospect for an opposing side as Carzola will be running around carrying with him lots of men trying to stop Carzola in order to stop Arsenal and meanwhile his teammates will be wrecking havoc. The guys who can replace him in this role if he is out of a game will probably be the OX, Ramsey and maybe Gnaby in my view…this formation is very flexible and can quickly be reverted into utilization of the wings without having to do any substitutions…in fact Podolski and Gervinho could be switching sides once in a while to throw even more spanners to a team that tries to build a shield of defense as stubborn as we seem to be getting them these days.

    Arteta completes the magical trio in front of the back four and behind the 3 central second strikers, behind the main attacker. I believe Carzola link up with Wilshere at the central midfield will cause more problems for any side that faces us. Gervinho and Podolski will be close enough to assist, steal the spoils and force in some goals from the many chances we create…

    This pattern in my view is the gamechanger kind of a formaion that we need to start converting more goals…and winning games

    • santori says:

      Why so complicated?

      Narrow in the middle and rigid with too much room to help cover either fullback.

      Nah. 4-3-3 is good with the right personnel.

    • richie says:

      Your line up is O.K. except I’d still have a 433

      Pod Giro Theo/Gerv

      Jack Arteta Santi

      Gibbs BFG Vemaelen Sagna

      A real attacking formation change would be

      Pod Giro Theo

      Santos Jack Arteta Santi

      Kosielny BFG Vermelen

  19. joe says:

    @shiv:u just answered yourself.u don’t feel poldi’s impact upfront because he’s always covering up for santos,unlike when gibbs’ around.gibbs does his job well,so poldi can concentrate on his attacking duties.

  20. Cupsui says:

    Desi…One last point…

    I thought Giroud was very very good yesterday. His movement was brilliant, he dropped back a lot in defence, was denied a goal by an incredible save that ended up a goal anyway and was a constant menace…

    But he simply got SH*T service as he has a lot this season. Why can players not cross? Sagna made some brilliant crosses today then a peach of a cross from arsharvin led to the goal…but aside from that the crossing was shocking…AGAIN!! surely this is an area that is being worked over in training because it is killing us and Giroud…

    Not only the crossing but he hardly got any balls into his feet and the through balls from Ramsey and Theo in particular when he found space behind were not up to scratch…the promise was there, which is great cause it went amiss the last two matches…

    Hopefully the Bac/Jack return keeps kicking us in the right direction

    • richie says:

      Like you I thought Giroud had a very good game, He made some very good runs off the ball, but as a striker if you get no service how do you score? Oliver got less than nothing by way of service and had to survive on scraps, even on scraps he very nearly made a meal but for an exceptional save, from the MoTM.

  21. santori says:

    Some thoughts :

    1) Jack. Great to have him back! Immediately, there is some spark to our game down the middle. Not surprisingly, there is yet to be the fluency and understanding between the other two midfielders and him but signs are encouraging to say the least.

    Still does not detract away from the fact that without Arteta, we will have an issue.

    2) Sagna. Great to have him back! And as good as Jenkinson has been, Sagna is still on a different level offering us more outlet and experience going forward.

    3) Ramsey. Won’t fault him for trying but clearly, RW is not where he is most comfortable nor does it afford us width. Granted Walcott look a tad rusty but I just can’t understand why Wenger won’t play him fully, particularly against a very open QPR side. Yes we should have sold him in the summer and yes he’ll probably go in the winter but whilst we still have him, may as well use him to the max IMO.

    4) Santos. Some improvements but still a weak link and still vulnerable to being caught out of position, particularly risky I might add with our high line. We got away with quite a bit I thought and we’ll have to shore up the left side. Clearly, opposing teams (read United) will be overloading on that flank for now. Might like to see Miquel played in midweek to see if he offers any better solidity (if at very least as an alternate till Gibbs can return)

    5) Giroud. Did well I thought. Did not get a goal but he doesn’t shy away from half chances and tends not to over elaborate.

    6) Arsharvin. Useful in tight situations but again, I would prefer him central with Santos switched wide. Having him out LW (understandably since Walcott was out RW) at the moment is a bit risky with Santos more than needing cover.

    Not our fluent best and against a team that isn’t entirely convincing itself but some improvements to take into next weekend which will be a massive game. We will have to be tactically spot on then to make up for our deficiencies at the moment.

    Otherwise a solid 3 points regardless of the circumstance that afforded us the luxury. Something positive to build on which in many ways reflects our improvement in terms of personnel available in the middle of the park with Jack.

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