Arsenal 2014-2015: Ugh. Your banter stinks.

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mikeford said:
Good thing we passed on Cesc by the way
 
Sorry, but this is such a non-comment. There's no way Wenger was ever going to buy Cesc this summer - maybe in Football Manager you might sell Ozil after one year to Bayern and pick up Cesc, but that's not how the football world works or should work.
 
Besides, if Cesc had come to Arsenal, he would probably be injured and/or sucking out on the wing right now.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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ConigliarosPotential said:
 
Sorry, but this is such a non-comment. There's no way Wenger was ever going to buy Cesc this summer - maybe in Football Manager you might sell Ozil after one year to Bayern and pick up Cesc, but that's not how the football world works or should work.
 
Besides, if Cesc had come to Arsenal, he would probably be injured and/or sucking out on the wing right now.
Yup. Cesc v Ozil is a red herring as we were never going to sell Ozil last summer. If we had bought Cesc it would have meant not buying
Alexis and probably shelving Wilshere.
 

coremiller

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Cesc v. Ozil play different positions anyway.  Ozil's best position is as a #10.  Cesc is playing at Chelsea mostly as a #8, with Oscar playing Ozil's role.  Cesc was blocked by Ramsey and Wilshire, not Ozil.
 
Of course, passing on a player of Fabregas' quality to play Ramsey/Wilshire instead is incredibly dumb in a vacuum (ignoring financial considerations, which are obv important).  Just about the best case projection for Wilshire is that he turns into 90% of the player Cesc currently is.
 

Zomp

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Cesc is an 8 at Chelsea though because he has Matic next to him and Oscar in the 10 role.  If he was signed by Arsenal, I don't think he'd be deployed as deep as he is with Chelsea.
 
I can't fault Wenger for not going after Cesc when he has Cazorla, Wilshire, Ramsey, and Ozil to fill the creative midfield roles.  I realize they are all a bit different but you see Wenger having trouble fitting in the 4 I mentioned now.  There were more pressing needs that the squad had.  The fault isn't passing on Cesc, its not buying someone like Carvalho, Khedira, etc...
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Zomp said:
Cesc is an 8 at Chelsea though because he has Matic next to him and Oscar in the 10 role.  If he was signed by Arsenal, I don't think he'd be deployed as deep as he is with Chelsea.
 
I can't fault Wenger for not going after Cesc when he has Cazorla, Wilshire, Ramsey, and Ozil to fill the creative midfield roles.  I realize they are all a bit different but you see Wenger having trouble fitting in the 4 I mentioned now.  There were more pressing needs that the squad had.  The fault isn't passing on Cesc, its not buying someone like Carvalho, Khedira, etc...
Exactly. Cesc as the B2B midfielder with Arteta behind him would have been a recipe for disaster.

Given our financial constraints, the choice was effectively buying Cesc or buying Alexis. Sanchez is a player of comparable quality, is two years younger, and plays a position of actual need on the team. It was a no brainer.
 

fletcherpost

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Darren Anderton must have taken a nasty shit in the home changing rooms and didn't flush, and the stank wafted around for days, maybe more if he nipped in during the off season. Maybe he's been doing this every year since he hobbled, coughed and spluttered his way out of the game. I know he took a shit in Ledley King's on suite bathroom and King was never the same.
 
Poor wee Arsenal. They are the masters of treading water. Other clubs, one step forwards two steps back, two steps forward one step back - or an approximation of same. Arsenal haven't taken a significant step forward (relative to the field) in God knows how long...the early days of the Wenger era?
 
Is it unrealistic at the start of each season to view them as title contenders?  Man U are going to be back contending next year, (i think they'll get top four this year) they can and have thrown money at a problem. If Arsenal drop out of the top four for a season, they can't (I don't think) do a Man U, and then they'll suffer more by not being able to auto attract players who want CL footie.
 
Just want to say: I know Arsneal haven't been misers in the market. But there's Man U money, Chelsea money, City Money and Arsenal money 'seems' to be some ways below that of their rivals. (But they are a well run club, which is no small thing)  Don't mean to be negative about the Gooners...I'd love to see them stronger.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Koscienalty sent home from France with a an achilles problem that's "not serious."
 
No backup defenders, achilles problem, what could possibly go wrong?
 
Also, Chambers is suspended for the next match against Hull for accumulation of yellow cards, so the back 4 will be an interesting choice. Monreal in the middle with Bellerin at RB? Flamini at fullback?
 
We'll be starting multiple teenagers in the defense at the same time at some point soon. 
 

Lukiewerle

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Luis Taint said:
 
 
This is a non-story.  This rumor was originally started by the Daily Mail who, apart from appearing to have a bizarre anti-Özil agenda, literally use "the football grapevine" as their source.
 

mikeford

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AGM was today and man there is a heaping helping of things to bitch about.

Kos is out this weekend but Rosicky in the squad. Rambo in the squad for Anderlecht on the 22nd.

On to complaining: Arsene claims we bought well in the summer but are ONE player short and he'll get him in January.

I guess I'd ask "one player short of what?"

Because if the idea is one short of challenging for the league or the UCL, then it's at best a joke and at worst a shocking grasp of reality.

One short of 4th? Probably closer to reality. Even then I'd argue 2 since we have no defensive cover and sorely need a true DM.

Quite the frustrating morning
 

Silverdude2167

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mikeford said:
AGM was today and man there is a heaping helping of things to bitch about.

Kos is out this weekend but Rosicky in the squad. Rambo in the squad for Anderlecht on the 22nd.

On to complaining: Arsene claims we bought well in the summer but are ONE player short and he'll get him in January.

I guess I'd ask "one player short of what?"

Because if the idea is one short of challenging for the league or the UCL, then it's at best a joke and at worst a shocking grasp of reality.

One short of 4th? Probably closer to reality. Even then I'd argue 2 since we have no defensive cover and sorely need a true DM.

Quite the frustrating morning
Not much has changed since the transfer window closed. Why not get the "One" player then instead of waiting half the year?
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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mikeford said:
AGM was today and man there is a heaping helping of things to bitch about.

Kos is out this weekend but Rosicky in the squad. Rambo in the squad for Anderlecht on the 22nd.

On to complaining: Arsene claims we bought well in the summer but are ONE player short and he'll get him in January.

I guess I'd ask "one player short of what?"

Because if the idea is one short of challenging for the league or the UCL, then it's at best a joke and at worst a shocking grasp of reality.

One short of 4th? Probably closer to reality. Even then I'd argue 2 since we have no defensive cover and sorely need a true DM.

Quite the frustrating morning
 
I think we are two players short of challenging for the league from a talent perspective but also still really lack cohesion and experience.  We have a very young team and so many of our players have missed substantial chunks of seasons due to injury, which has hampered the development of their mutual understanding.  The core we're putting together really needs extended time playing together and growing together.
 
The league is obviously not happening this year but I wouldn't write it off for next year if we make the right additions.  And who knows what happens in the Champions League.  Arsenal fans have gotten used to the fatalism of running into Bayern or Barca every year and see this as an impossible hurdle but many flawed teams - indeed, many teams worse than this year's Arsenal - have made deep runs or even won the competition as there is a ton of luck involved.  Just ask Liverpool or Chelsea.
 

blueguitar322

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sachmoney said:
 
From that article (emphasis mine):
 
Next, Pep explains in detail how Mikel Arteta tries to draw in the opposing pivote in order to create a space in the middle of midfield into which Mesut Özil will try to appear. Pep walks through Arteta’s movements whilst emphasising to his players, who are spread out in front of him: “Özil is the dangerous one – he’s the one we really need to keep the closest eye on. Arteta draws you in, Özil pops up in that zone with [Santi] Cazorla and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain around him and that’s the way that they achieve superiority in a key area. We can’t afford that to happen."
 

blueguitar322

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Arsenal 2-2 Hull
 
The good
Sanchez had two moments of brilliance, one for an Aguero-esque goal and one with a beautiful assist to Welbeck
Arsenal kept fighting
Ramsey back earlier than expected
 
The bad
Wilshere hurt his knee and might be out for a while
The refereeing - particularly on Hull's first goal.  Clear foul, and that goal changed the character of the game substantially.  Arsenal were streamrolling up to that point.
 
The ugly
EVERYTHING ELSE
Defense - wow.  Diame shouldn't have even been given the chance to foul Flamini and score.  Mertesacker looked like he had the awareness of a 17-year old and the pace of a 47-year old on the cross for Hull's second goal.
Lots of miscommunication and giving the ball away
Offense continues to looks toothless against teams that pack it in
 
I'm officially starting to worry about Mertesacker.  Last year, with the defense relatively healthy throughout the year, he was continually able to step up and win balls to prevent dangerous situations.  I'm not sure he's lost a step - he never really had one to begin with - but all of the movement around him in and out of the lineup seems to be a disruptive force, and he's been struggling all Fall.  Many fans were banking on Arsenal's defense to continue its overall trend from last season, where almost half of the league games (17 of 38) featured clean sheets.  Yeah, not really happening this year.  Outside of Aston Villa away and two CL qualifying games against Besiktas, no clean sheets.
 
So far, despite the poor results, I've been bullish on Arsenal overall.  I still think top-4 odds are in Arsenal's favor, but the ship is definitely taking on water.  This was the first of a run of "easy" games, at least relative to the alternative.  The rest of this stretch really needs to be close to flawless in terms of results.
 

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blueguitar322 said:
Arsenal 2-2 Hull
 
The good
Sanchez had two moments of brilliance, one for an Aguero-esque goal and one with a beautiful assist to Welbeck
Arsenal kept fighting
Ramsey back earlier than expected
 
The bad
Wilshere hurt his knee and might be out for a while
The refereeing - particularly on Hull's first goal.  Clear foul, and that goal changed the character of the game substantially.  Arsenal were streamrolling up to that point.
 
The ugly
EVERYTHING ELSE
Defense - wow.  Diame shouldn't have even been given the chance to foul Flamini and score.  Mertesacker looked like he had the awareness of a 17-year old and the pace of a 47-year old on the cross for Hull's second goal.
Lots of miscommunication and giving the ball away
Offense continues to looks toothless against teams that pack it in
 
I'm officially starting to worry about Mertesacker.  Last year, with the defense relatively healthy throughout the year, he was continually able to step up and win balls to prevent dangerous situations.  I'm not sure he's lost a step - he never really had one to begin with - but all of the movement around him in and out of the lineup seems to be a disruptive force, and he's been struggling all Fall.  Many fans were banking on Arsenal's defense to continue its overall trend from last season, where almost half of the league games (17 of 38) featured clean sheets.  Yeah, not really happening this year.  Outside of Aston Villa away and two CL qualifying games against Besiktas, no clean sheets.
 
So far, despite the poor results, I've been bullish on Arsenal overall.  I still think top-4 odds are in Arsenal's favor, but the ship is definitely taking on water.  This was the first of a run of "easy" games, at least relative to the alternative.  The rest of this stretch really needs to be close to flawless in terms of results.
I was very bullish on Arsenal, but now I really think they are fighting for the fourth spot.
 

blueline

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Mertesacker has looked very poor this year and bg322's analysis is pretty spot on. The situation in the defense now with Monreal playing CB is simply inexcusable. Wenger admitted during the AGM this week he needed a defender and STILL didn't get one this summer. He knows the team has needs and he won't do what's necessary. But he'll always be allowed to get away with it. 
 

Schnerres

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Mertesacker was always slow, as you said. I don´t think there´s much he or anyone else can do on such a ball. Hernandez isn´t darting to the goal in a straight line, he is running like every better attacker would run, like a curve. But you can´t predict when he takes a turn and how far he´s running for the far post and when he sprints to the near post. That´s where the attacker always has an advantage, when the defense has to look for attacker and is in a 1-on-1. But Mertesacker should get more in the way of Hernandez to either get the ball himself or get a foul. But i still think it wasn´t a big mistake.
 
I also don´t know if Mertesacker is now falling off a cliff. I think he may have a bad (half-)season this year, due to the WC, short break, tough conditions in Brazil (maybe not many matches, but trainings, the weather, etc. all taking a toll) and now Arsenal doesn´t have anybody to rely on.
 

mikeford

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Ospina is out for 3 months and since Woj got himself suspended... 22 year old Damian Martinez starts in goal for Arsenal tomorrow. 
 
Ospina was apparently injured when he was signed and then "rushed back" and "reaggravated" an injury when he had to come on for Woj in the last UCL game.
 
All reeks of incompetence if you ask me.
 

Luis Taint

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17 years old and playing back up in a Champions Leaugue match, puts my emo, TurbografX16, 17 year old playing self into perspective.
 

SoxFanInCali

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Hey, you never know. 19 year old Scott Carson got thrown in for Liverpool against Juventus in 2005 after both Dudek and Kirkland were injured. He let in one fairly soft goal but made 4 or 5 good saves (including a one-on-one against ZLATAN) in Liverpool's 2-1 win.  The Miracle of Istanbul never happens if they don't win that game.
 

fletcherpost

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You can even go back further to Nigel Spink for Villa in the 1982 European Cup final. Jimmy Rimmer got injured after ten minutes and Spink was back up goalie, relatively inexperienced and he kept a clean sheet against the mighty Bayern Munich.
 
When opprtunity knocks...
 
Whether Martinez excels in goal tonight or not - and in a perfect world he shouldn't have much to do anyway - his involvement in the game at all reflects just how much about this season stinks already. It's not been *all* bad, but from the injuries to the tactical inflexibility to the stupefying gaps in the transfer policy to the £3m fee to KSE, never mind some of the results on the pitch, it's hard not to get a wee bit depressed.
 
That said, I am pleased to report that my seven-year-old boy, upon leaving a soccer practice on Monday evening, was walking off the pitch (wearing his Arsenal kit) next to an older boy wearing a Chelsea top and instinctively started snarling at him. So we're doing our bit to make sure the future is in good hands...
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Starters: Martinez, Chambers, Mertesacker, Monreal, Gibbs, Flamini, Sanchez, Wilshere, Ramsey, Cazorla, Welbeck



Subs: Huddart, Bellerin, Rosicky, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski, Campbell
 
I was hoping to see Chambers in the middle and Bellerin wide.  Ox looked awful against Hull so not surprised/upset to see him dropped for Cazorla.
 
Anderlecht has a 17-year-old central midfielder named Youri Tielemans that is ridiculously talented and will probably move to a huge club in the next couple years.  So he'll be an interesting player to watch.
 

blueguitar322

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Alexis with a beautiful assist - or what should have been - followed by one of the worst shots from Cazorla I've ever seen.  Unmarked at 15 meters with a pass that wasn't too difficult to control, and it ends up being closer to a throw-in than a goal.
 

blueguitar322

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Halftime 0-0 at Anderlecht.  Lots of possession right at the edge of the final third, but just about every attack stalls out there.  Haven't looked very threatening, it feels like most of the players are sleepwalking through the game.  Once again, Alexis isn't having a great game yet still appears to be a giant among men.
 
And we look ripe to be hit on the counter again, playing a pyramid type scheme when we have possession, almost a 1-2-3-4 with Mertesacker as the sweeper behind Monreal and Flamini and both fullbacks acting as wide forwards.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Meh.  We've been solid at the back but this team is way out of synch offensively.
 
I know he's working his way back from injury but Ramsey looks really lost out there.  He's playing so high up the pitch, which doesn't suit him, and its hard to say what he really does well right now.  His best form last year involved giving us tons of energy as a two way player and then making the timely run forward from deep to exploit holes in the defense.  Right now he's playing more like a #10 and that's not his game.
 

blueguitar322

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Atrocious game, but it's hard to complain when you win a CL away match.  Anderlecht deserved better.
 
The same old problems continue to plague Arsenal.  My favorite moment of the match was when Anderlecht almost scored their second but hit the woodwork, and Martinez - this young, third-string goalkeeper who probably still refers to BFG as "Mr. Mertesacker" - immediately started ripping into the defense.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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The spine of our team is truly shit right now - Flamini, Mertesacker, Monreal is really beyond awful - and we're lacking much of a creative spark on offense.  Injuries have maimed us but Wenger just seems incapable of finding the right combination of players.
 
Dortmund can't beat anybody in Germany but continue to look amazing in Europe.  It will take a series of crazy results for us not to qualify for the knockout round, but it will also take a miracle for us to win the group.  We're almost certainly locked into second.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Also, the Tielemans kid looked like one of the better players on the pitch, playing some beautiful passes and not afraid to mix it up physically with Ramsey and others.  I can see why every big club is likely to be in for him.
 
You can add Ramsey to the list of crap players in the (jelly-like) spine of the team - seems like he was rushed back into the side for this match, not that he's looked all that great the rest of the season so far.
 
And frankly, at this stage "locked into second" sounds pretty good. It's at least possible that we get a lucky last 16 draw for once, and go into that tie with a new (and not cup-tied) CB + DM purchased during the transfer window. I have almost no faith that this might happen, but still.
 

mikeford

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Man oh man was that a terrible performance for like 80 minutes.

Anderlecht must be sick over blowing that.

Gibbs finish on his goal tho... where was that during the FA Cup final, mate?
 
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