Arsenal Need German Team Ethic As Spain Get Lucky & Gossip

Germany and Spain progressed with an almost reverse comfort level to a semi-final clash on Wednesday which will see the winning credentials of both tested. Germany are in-form, Spain in-luck; both characteristics will be needed by the eventual champions.

Argentina’s demolition by a four-goal margin should serve as a warning to the Spaniards, whose passing game has been too easily neutered by the opponents. The Italians almost made a virtue out of scraping through to the knockout stages and beyond, Spain are following that route albeit without the defensive assuredness of Azzurri gone by. Spain were livelier once Torres was withdrawn and Fabregas entered the fray but collectively they are a shadow of the team that triumphed two years ago.

Paraguay should have won last night. A rightly disallowed goal and missed penalty would in all likelihood have led to a different outcome had they counted but that is pure conjecture on my part. Spain looked anything but European champions, too easily was their play disrupted.

The penalty given away by Pique was down to stupidity; what possessed the Barcelona centre back to hold on to an arm for grim death? At any level a player is going to tumble in those circumstances. The surprise, I suspect, was that punishment – of sorts – followed. Cardozo’s penalty kick will haunt him in much the same way that Gyan’s from the previous night will.

Within a minute, Spain had returned the compliment, the referee requiring Alonso to retake his spot kick for encroachment, missing the second attempt before Fabregas was cut off at the knees by the goalkeeper in the melee for the rebound. Another penalty, this time not given. Lady Luck turned out to be a señorita in disguise, the woodwork favouring Villa. Nothing aside from the tenacity of the Spaniards will unduly concern their German opponents, their slackness will encourage.

The Germans were hugely impressive once more, swatting away Argentina with more style than against England which is seemingly incredible. The work ethic that they have, the defensive discipline, the technique and comfort on the ball allied to intuitive counter-attacking make their extremely difficult opponents to beat. The speed of passing and thought are the traits Arsene no doubt wants to see in Arsenal, modified for the Premier League.

An early goal put them in the ascendency but stifling the Argentine attack required all of the team to press their opponents and to track back, something that Arsenal do not always achieve. This lesson has to be learned to make the step up from top three to Champions next season. It is no doubt a message which will be driven home this pre-season.

Currently the media darlings, it will be interesting to see how much of chorus for replicating the DFB initiatives in England remains should the Spaniards win in midweek.

In the other semi-final, Robin van Persie decided that he had been injury-free for long enough and had a scan on arm-knack (makes a change from knee or ankle-knack) which proved to be nothing to stop him playing on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Gael Clichy is to be tempted by an in-house pharmacy that puts the NHS to shame and join Juventus in exchange for Felipe Melo whilst Riccardo Montolivio’s Mr20% says categorically that Arsenal is not negotiating for his client’s services but omitted to mention that he is looking to secure a new deal on the back of his client’s World Cup performances. Unusual for a player to want a pay cut but there you go. Finally, reports based on an unofficial Lorient website suggest that Koscielny will be joining on Monday.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on July 4, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip, World Cup 2010. Bookmark the permalink. 109 Comments.

  1. oooo no

  2. I can’t say Spain looked good value for anything except an unexpected exit. That display was surely down there with the worst performances of the competition. Almost unwatchable. If Paraguay had scored their penalty, Spain would never have got back into the match. How the cheating, chipmunk-faced Catalan Pique could complain about the penalty, when he almost pulled the poor Paraguayan striker’s arm from its socket, is beyond me. I would called it bare-faced cheek; but, alas, the corset-straitened Catalan’s cheeks are, notoriously, anything but bare.

  3. 2nd. Bring on the south americans.

  4. silver gunner

    One of the things I have notioced with the is that they have no greedy players i.e if someone is in a better shooting position that person will always get the ball instead of a stupid shot from an impossible angle.

    Arshavin for all his brilliance could learn a thing or two from podolski knowing when to shoot an pass is ctritical when playing on the wing.

  5. sad people who say 1st.
    Good analysis

  6. yipeee,8th

  7. Danish Gooner

    How on earth are you gonna get Arsenal playing like Germany with numpties like Diaby and Denilson and Rosicky in the side,their one player Mueller have more talent in his pinky toe then them lot put together.

  8. Danish Gooner

    We need a complete overhaul of the midfield and defense if we are to challenge and Wenger would never do that he is far to conservative.

  9. I think we did all that tracking back and harrying the opponent stuff early last season which contributed to our impressive run of results early in the season. We just couldn’t sustain that. I’m sure the Germans will struggle too if they had to do the same thing over 38 games.

  10. Sorry, there was only one early last season 😛

  11. Danish Gooner

    He is already wearing the barca jersey in his heart,please pass me the sickbag.

  12. danish go back in the hole you re big troll.Your usual negative view are not welcome.

    It s not a surprise Argentina lost.Their defence is rubbish and i told my friend at work they would get spank against the german at work they all laught.I ll bet 5-1 to the german and that was not very far.

  13. Maddy

    That, though, is the point of the squad system. Instill a team ethic and, theoretically, players should be able to rotate in and out with no negative impact overall. Of course, when you lose more than half of your first choice XI, it goes out of the window…

    YW

  14. I just want to say, thank God for ACLF I have just been reading the comments on Le Grove what a bunch of small-minded, larger-swilling Neanderthals that lot are.

    All telling Cesc to F*ck off and sack Wenger whilst claiming that it is ‘right’ that Germany and Holland should get to the final as it really is ‘their’ country!!

    I actually want to hurt these other so-called Arsenal fans!

  15. Torres’s link up play,outside the box is abysmal even when he is fit.his finishin n movement are his greatest gifts,but since he is not doin that spain look laboured.germany look the complete team at the mo.the 4th goal they scored shows their team spirit.argentina played like galactico’s wit no makkelle.

  16. BUY Schweinsteiger + Lucio (+ Buffon)

    I would like the Fans who attend Aresnal matches to start a campaign to bring in these top talents. It can be done by making huge banners saying”wenger buy lucio and Schweinsteiger.
    (the deal for swartzer looks like it will go ahead so im not holding out for buffon at the moment)
    they are two players would give us solidity and effective team awearness that is sadly lacking excuding fabregas and verminetor.
    Vermealen needs a true world class centre back to play with and fabregas needs a midfield partner who can cover the centre as well as provide top level activity in forward sections of the pitch.

    we have to show wenger and the Arsenal transfer string holders, that we wish once more to have a title-winning team that plays wenger-ball in the correct manner.
    I would like to also say good luck to wilshire,jet, landsbury,and Bartley. as i belive one or two of them will have a break through season making some valid substitute appearences, as this bunch of kids have a lot of quality to add so making themselves worthy members of the squad is the first step to begining a career.
    “just one more crazy rant from this madman”

  17. Germany are in great condition- but Spain like Serbia are capable of beating them. What is important is not conceding an early goal and not attacking stupidly and leaving yourself vulnerable on the counter. Argentina were tactically very weak. Against Germany it is always a collective game- not an individual one. Anyone who saw them lose to Serbia knows they are not unbeatable- especially if you can score first.

  18. BUY Schweinsteiger + Lucio (+ Buffon)

    I would like the Fans who attend Arsenal matches to start a campaign to bring in these top talents. It can be done by making huge banners saying”wenger buy lucio and Schweinsteiger.
    (The deal for swartzer looks like it will go ahead so I’m not holding out for Buffon at the moment)
    they are two players who can give us solidity and effective team awareness that is really lacking excluding fabregas and verminetor.
    Vermealen needs a true world class centre back to play with so that he can learn and grow next to someone who knows how to win the top prizes, and fabregas needs a midfield partner who can cover the centre as well as provide top level activity in forward sections of the pitch.

    We have to show wenger and the Arsenal transfer string holders that we wish once more to have a title-winning team that plays wenger-ball in the correct manner.
    I would like to also say good luck to wilshire, jet, landsbury, and Bartley. As I believe one or two of them will have a breakthrough season making some valid substitute appearances, as this bunch of kids have a lot of quality to add so making themselves worthy members of the squad is the first step to beginning a career.

    “Just one more crazy rant from this madman”

  19. jgunz – you aren’t very bright are you?

  20. skywatchingmug

    jgunz I would like some of the fans who attend Arsenal matches to just not leave early for once.

    As for banner mine would read as follows,

    ‘Let the manager, manage.’

    how do you feel about that?

  21. Danish Gooner

    Wenger would rather cut his arm off then start spending money.

  22. shotta-gunna

    Poliziano – Re Paraguay and Spain. To be honest it wasn’t such a bad game in the 2nd half. Could have gone either way but, with the introduction of Fabregas and Pedro, Spain was the better team. Paraguay’s tactics was spot-on; pressing high up the pitch made possible by playing three brand new forwards from the prior game (Arsene are you reading this?). This made shambles of Spain’s passing game who played into Paraguay’s hands by clogging the middle with Alonso and Busquet, none of whom were able to make quick passes when under pressure and no foot-speed to go around Paraguay’s press. Alonso was really poor showing a shocking tendency to hoof long-balls in the general direction of Torres and Villa. My main point is, with the talent available to Spain and their ability to retain and circulate the ball, they have the ability to break down the best teams in the world. I think they are being held back by del Bosque’s conservativeness, especially his insistence on playing Torres and two holding midfielders who are not dynamic enough.
    Next Wednesday should be very interesting.

  23. Reluctantly, I have to commend Germany on their performances and I think Arsenal could learn a thing or two.

    It’s clear we have the flair and attacking quality, but we could work harder at times and have a slightly better team ethic.

    At the beginning of the last season, we pressed hard and it made a big difference. I thought we looked good. We forced teams into mistakes and protected our slightly frail defence. For whatever reason, that aspect of our game tailed off. I think it’s something we should bring back. It works for Barcelona and Germany. No matter how good a team you are, you need to do the basics well.

    Maddy made the point that it’s hard to keep up for 38 games but, as I said, it works for Barcelona. They do it well. Pressing hard gets them the ball back quicker and then when they get the ball, they can keep it and play possession football. Having possession saves energy. It should make life easier over 38 games.

  24. How can anyone suggest that Rosicki is a poor player

  25. shotta-gunna

    YW – My greatest interest in this world cup from an Arsenal perspective is the evolution of tactical formations. Unlike our basic 4-3-3, most of the successful teams to date play some form of 4-2-3-1 with the Germans being the most dynamic. Schweinsteiger has been a revelation playing at the base of the defensive midfield, but having license to bomb forward and dictate play when opportunities arise. The Dutch and the Spaniards have two holders but they are not as versatile and fluid like Schwein and Kheidra. Reflecting on our defeats to both Chelsea and Man U in the EPL and the hammering we suffered at Barca in the Champions League, I hope Wenger is thinking of some adjustments in our basic shape.

  26. Perhaps Wenger has an idea we only need to play 3 at the back, would explain why he is shipping out Gallas et al. 3 in traditional defense, an old fashioned “libero” ahead of that, a switching midfield of 5, where anyone can play comfortably central or on the flank, and RVP ideally, but Chamakh when needed up front? Just an idea and NO I do not play Championship Manager lol. Its just I have been wondering why he is allowing Centre Backs to leave and is apparently not concerned.

  27. Great post Yogi I hate to dissapoint you jgunz.I agree with Danish Gooner I think Arsene would ratner loose an arm than break the bank. Recession anyone? I think Germany are a great ‘team’ based on the sum of all their parts. Arsenal may have better individual talent but the relentless disciplined team defence in banks of 4 and fluid attack and composed finishing , well ok a lot of tap ins for Klose, is certainly something to emulate. That is the only ingredient missing at Arsenal. Even Heskey could score in that German team such is their positional awareness to find each other , the opposition seem to be transfixed and in slow motion. As for Barca they should f@ck off and take the beating that real is going to give them for the next 3 seasons.

  28. Shotta, I think the difference between Paraguay and Spain was that Spain had better players to bring on from the bench after Paraguay had run themselves into the ground playing their managers tactics, which were spot on. Better finishing would have seen them ahead, which would have brought Spain out to seek a goal and they could have hit them again on the counter. It was the speed of Pedro against a tired Paraguay defence that led to their goal. I do agree with you re Alonzo, that looked like something he learned under Benitez! I’m not sure that I agree that the Arsenal 4-3-3 is supposed to be as rigid as you seem to think. The wide players in the front 3 are supposed to fall back to support the full backs when we are not in possession of the ball. The trouble is that we have some front players who are either lazy or defensively naive and do not always do their job well enough.

  29. Spain pissed on Paraguay and they will piss on Germany. Then they will shit on the Dutch. They are simply the greatest footballing nation in the world

  30. shotta-gunna

    Passenal – Our two wide midfielders (Arshavin, Nasri, Rosicky et al) are all suspect defensively. Dare I say our little Russian is something of a luxury player? IMO he doesn’t have the physical attributes to either play centrally or to bomb up and down the left flank. The other player whose role needs to better defined is Diaby. Is he primarily a holding or attacking midfielder? I sense that he is still trying to find his primary role in the team. No wonder he is subject to such mixed views by the fans.

  31. Well done Germany they have been along with Ghana my team of the tournament. Its a whole new generation of quality players that play exciting football!!

  32. Youn’ Muller babyyy…loool

  33. goonzablazin

    am I alone in thinking that Villa dove for the penalty vs. Paraguay? It looked to me that he slowed up and leaned back into the Paraguayan, then took a dive.

    Has anyone here seen Koscielny play, or know anything of his game?

  34. Shotta

    I would agree with you re Arshavin. The German’s luxury is Ozil. Not the best tackler, more of a number when it comes to defending. Great on the break though.

    YW

  35. i think dutch german final with the american ref can make f0r a dam g00d game. the yankee has been the best s0 far?

  36. I thought it was a dive too goonzablazin. The Spanish are pretty adept at it.

    Shotta, Rosicky is not one of the players I was thinking about, as he is pretty good about tracking back and helping out the defence. He is also a good tackler. As for Diaby, Arsene has said he is primarily an attacking player, but with his physique he should be able to help out more defensively.

  37. Passenal

    Diving? Surely it was acting in a professional manner, getting the defender to take the risk with a tackle 😉

    The only complaint anyone can have about Rosicky is that he doesn’t score enough goals for his talent. I’ve always thought he should be able to get 10 – 15 a season with his shooting ability. Mind you, you’ve got to be fit in the first place…

    YW

  38. shotta-gunna

    Passenal – On reflection I agree that Rosicky shows a willingness to work hard for the team which most of the younger players should emulate. But I doubt he can give us a season of that type of effort. He seem knackered towards the end of last. Diaby is still an enigma. Is he a box-to-box midfielder, attacking mid or holding mid? Even playing for France this World Cup I couldn’t be sure what was his primary role.
    We seem to have a lot of middies who want to play a free role which is an exceptional role reserved for the most gifted (YW – I am thinking of Ozil). Just my rambling thoughts.

  39. Just in case some of you have any sympathy left for Pique: http://www.givemefootball.com/premier-league/pique-cesc-dreaming-of-barca

    Thank god he knows exactly what is going on in Cesc’s mind!

  40. There was a strange contrast between the two games yesterday. During Spain’s match, I kept wondering where all the players had gone. In the first match, the pitch was teeming with footballers; in the second, it seemed almost empty, acres of grass interrupted by just the occasional diving Spaniard. I suppose it’s inevitable that the asthmatic dwarves of the Spanish team not only take up less space, but also cover less ground than the athletic Germans.

  41. 1 loose cannon

    Messi for a change he is not talking about Fabregas but complementing Walcott. he said

    “I must say that at the time I thought it was a bad decision to leave Theo Walcott at home,”

    “And I think that has been proved right. I can only speak from experience but he was one of the most dangerous players I have ever played against.

    “Barcelona players are not scared easily but I can tell you that when we played Arsenal last season he truly worried us.

    “When we were playing Arsenal at the Emirates we were so in control of the game at 2-0, with all respect Arsenal were not even in the game.

    “Then Theo came on and changed the game. He pretty much single-handedly salvaged a draw against Barcelona that night.

    “Even in the return leg our manager Pep Guardiola was telling us he was the player to watch out for.

    “And the best players in the world like Xavi and Gerard Pique were telling us to watch out for him. The truth is that he really rattled him.

    “If he could do that against Barcelona, think what he could have done against Germany and Algeria. Even if he didn’t start, he would still have been very important for England.

    “Along with Cesc Fabregas and Sergio Aguero he would have been the best impact player at the World Cup.”

    Well Capello missed a trick with Walcott. Deep down he knows he made a terrible mistake for Taking Lemon and S.Wrong- Philips instead.

  42. Sometimes you just have to take a risk and NOT play it safe. Look what Germany did. Podolski and Klose had abysmal seasons for their club sides — but are performing on the highest level at this world cup.

    Capello made a mistake by trying to play it safe instead of taking a risk and it might have cost England a bit (I believe with Walcott England would have possibly finished first in their group and their inevitable exit would have been delayed until the quarter finals!).

  43. 1 loose cannon

    Mr Graham hunter, supposed to be an expert on spanish transfer deals. This is what he said 2 days ago.
    “Barcelona at the moment want to bid about €35 million that’s their offer. It isn’t anything close to what they’re capable of offering, and they will go up and they will be willing to put Yaya Yaya Toure into the deal if Arsenal will accept that as well.
    Someone needs to tell him that Yaya Toure has already gone to City.

  44. Hey everyone…

    Yogi…I agree. Cynical football has won victory after victory at this Cup. Suarez will be a national hero. The “professional” style of so many teams has been rewarded. Ghana, Chile, and Germany have shown such free attacking football, with a minimum of the cynical play…to be fair so did the Americans. In any case this wasn’t to call teams out, but there has been a fair heaping of cynical play so far this cup and circumstances and the refs have seen fit to reward it.

  45. shotta-gunna

    Poli @ 5:05 pm – That Arsenal red mist must have filtered out all the Barca scum playing for Spain in yesterday’s match. No wonder the field looked so empty of players. LOL!

    PS: Villa did everything a striker should do to get a penalty. Now if a Eduardo or any blinkin “furriner” should get himself in that position in England, there would be hell to pay.

  46. shotta,

    In the 4-3-3, Diaby is what you could call the ‘balancing’ midfielder. He joins the attack and supports the other holding midfilder as needed. That’s why his defensive contribution largely matches his offensive contribution.

  47. About 4-2-3-1 I was enthusiastically endorsing it around this time last year instead of the 4-3-3.

    I think it will suit Arsenal well because it allows teams to morph easily into a 4-4-2 shape or a 4-5-1 or even a 4-3-3.

    The key to making it work for Arsenal is to have the ‘3’ given a lot of creative freedom, freedom that the ‘4’, the ‘2’ or the ‘1’ won’t have. In exchange they’d have to work very very hard in attack and defence.

    Sounds right in my head….if only the real world enfolded in my head.

  48. shotta-gunna

    OG – If we assume for argument sake that Van Persie is the “1” as he is now doing for the Dutch (with Chamakh as his deputy) then the “3” are any of Arshavin, Rosicky, Cesc, Nasri, Walcott, Bendtner, Ramsey, Wilshere. The debate is therefore about Diaby. Is he among the creative three or a part of the disciplined “2”?

    “….if only the real world enfolded in my head.” Similar thoughts have been going through my mind. My only apology is I don’t want to seem like I know more than Arsene as I have never coached a team in my life.

  49. Gainsbourg69

    Shotta:

    “My greatest interest in this world cup from an Arsenal perspective is the evolution of tactical formations. Unlike our basic 4-3-3, most of the successful teams to date play some form of 4-2-3-1 with the Germans being the most dynamic. Schweinsteiger has been a revelation playing at the base of the defensive midfield, but having license to bomb forward and dictate play when opportunities arise. The Dutch and the Spaniards have two holders but they are not as versatile and fluid like Schwein and Kheidra. Reflecting on our defeats to both Chelsea and Man U in the EPL and the hammering we suffered at Barca in the Champions League, I hope Wenger is thinking of some adjustments in our basic shape.”

    I’ll show you a line up that can turn us into Germany.

    ————–Chamakh/Van Persie
    Nasri/Rosicky—–Arsha/Fab——Theo/Eboue
    ——–Song/Denilson——-Fab/Diaby

  50. shotta-gunna

    G69 – So you have Diaby as a holder, the disciplined “2” according to OG. Two issues though: (1) you have him on the right side when he seems very left footed, (2) you repeat Fab in both the “3” and “2”.

    Isn’t it nice to play Championship Manager? Oh, If life was so simple!

  51. Gainsbourg69

    On the left you can add Vela as a Podolski-esque player and Wilshere in the middle as another Ozil. You can also play Eduardo in the strikers position as his finishing is lethal.

  52. 4-2-3-1 is interesting. and imo not all that different from the 4-3-3 we play, especially when it comes to defending, ala wide players dropping to support fullbacks.

    I think its interesting to see the general consensus evolving regarding tactics. It seems to me that we are praising some of the tactics we have are so quick to be critical of during the EPL season.

    YW, I’ve been surprised with your fondness of Paraguay and their tactics specifically. Yes, they were very well disciplined defensively, but isnt this the same “parking of the bus” we lament across the 38 games, albeit minus the thuggery?

  53. NJ

    I had Paraguay in a sweepstake…mind you, I didn’t lose because in another I drew Spain

    YW

  54. oh and can I get a HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!??!?!?!??!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

    thats right you tea drinking bastards. 234 years ago, my forefathers, including a great-great-great-great-great grandfather of mine who was a colonel in Washington’s Continental Army, kicked your forefathers ASSES!!! i think there needs to be an annual 4th of July friendly btw USA/England

  55. It is indeed a sad turnaround. Not your independence, just our politicians so willingy shoving their heads up your asses.

    Happy B/day…

  56. LimparAssist

    We truly are two countries seperated by a common language, aren’t we?

  57. Gainsbourg69

    Hotta:

    G69 – So you have Diaby as a holder, the disciplined “2″ according to OG. Two issues though: (1) you have him on the right side when he seems very left footed, (2) you repeat Fab in both the “3″ and “2″.

    Isn’t it nice to play Championship Manager? Oh, If life was so simple!”

    I repeat Fab in both the “3” and “2” because he can play like Ozil and Schweinsteiger. What’s different about Cesc, however, is that playing in the “3” he’d be a lot more involved than Ozil as far as organizing play up the pitch. As the “2” playing with Arsha as the luxury player I’d think he’d do well also.

  58. YW,

    yea, what is that? you lose a war one century, we threaten to destroy your currency if you dont chill out on the suez canal a few later, and then BOOM, inferiority complex. sad.

    LA,

    well with words like “lorrie” i dont know what you expect

  59. @G69
    I am not so sure if we should place Cesc a holding midfielder. I believe the new found freedom in the 4-3-3 (Because there is one dedicated holding midfielder in Song, and one “support” in Denilson/Diaby/Ramsey) for him is one of the reasons that allowed him to perform that well — something I think helped the whole team. If we place him further back and put more defensive duties on his shoulders I believe that it might lead to him becoming less effective and maybe in that our whole offense.

  60. Gainsbourg69

    Shit, I pressed submit before I finished what I was writing.

    I don’t know who you’re refer to with the “he’s left footed” comment.

    And yes it’s awesome to play football manager. This world cup has been the most clear cut as far as seeing the difference between tactical schemes that I can remember. I love me some tactics.

    And sorry for mispelling you

  61. After watching Germany’s young players, Arsenal’s young Frenchies are so different. Why?

  62. LimparAssist

    Don’t get truckulent with me, NJGooner.

  63. Gainsbourg69

    Evil:

    I am not so sure if we should place Cesc a holding midfielder. I believe the new found freedom in the 4-3-3 (Because there is one dedicated holding midfielder in Song, and one “support” in Denilson/Diaby/Ramsey) for him is one of the reasons that allowed him to perform that well — something I think helped the whole team. If we place him further back and put more defensive duties on his shoulders I believe that it might lead to him becoming less effective and maybe in that our whole offense.

    He wouldn’t be a holding midfielder anymore than Schweinsteiger or Pirlo are holding midfielders. They’re deep lying playmakers. And him being a playmaker sitting deeper wouldn’t preclude him from getting in some shots on goal. In fact, due to Alex Song, he’d be free to roam as much as he would like. Defensively he’d have to fill his role but it wouldn’t be as tough man. If you look closely at the Germans they don’t necessarily go out to tackle, they drop back and put bodies infront of the players who have the ball. They do more work intercepting than breaking up play with brute strength.

    As far as his role up the pitch, I can’t even start to count how many times we played against lower table sides who stiffled our offense by keeping a close eye on Cesc. Personally, I’m in favor of a crafty little player like Arsha, Wilshere or Nasri making themselves useful by linking up with the strikers or taking shots on goal while Cesc tears apart teams with his incredible passing.

  64. Kitchen Sink

    I don’t do caps LA, more of a hatter..

    this ones for you..

  65. shotta-gunna

    G69 – The “he” is Diaby.
    Yes – Some interesting formations this w/c.

    Generally speaking formations must fit the players and not vice versa. That is why AW gets paid all that money.

  66. Just a correction on Diaby.

    He is/was very RIGHT footed, that’s why he was put on the left – to improve his left foot and also so he could cut in onto his right for pots at goal.

  67. After reading all the opinions above my opinion is that everyone seems to agree that Arsenal now has depth.

    I think all we need now is a reliable central defence.

  68. Gainsbourg69

    domenik:

    After watching Germany’s young players, Arsenal’s young Frenchies are so different. Why?

    Because they’ve been brought through to the national team with the same tactical approach they were using in their U-20 team.

  69. Gainsbourg69

    earflow:

    After reading all the opinions above my opinion is that everyone seems to agree that Arsenal now has depth.

    I think all we need now is a reliable central defence.

    If you listen to the doomers we have a paper thin bench.

    As far as the defense is concerned, Wenger is already being linked with an Algerian defender and Koscielny. He’s got it under control.

  70. NJ

    It’s all Margaret Thatcher’s fault. She was dazzled by Reagan’s Hollywood smile and well, when she heard about Bonzo…

    YW

  71. G69

    More to the point, the French had a lunatic as a coach. Germany’s seems switched on and sane. Big difference.

    YW

  72. G69 / Earflow

    We don’t have depth in the centre. Even if Campbell stays, we need Koscielny plus one. In goal we need consistency. Can Almunia deliver?

    But more than anything, we need to have a relatively injury-free season. Depth is fine but you cannot lose your best players for substantial periods of the season and win trophies. ‘Reserves’ by their nature are not as good as the first choice, often requiring adjustments to tactics to accommodate the loss of the injured player. That is as big an enemy as any perceived lack of depth.

    YW

  73. G69

    My only worry is that a solution is found to the high amount of injuries that Arsenal players seem to pick up. Injuries thin benches.

  74. NJ @ 7.03pm

    When did you become so articulated?

    YW

  75. shotta-gunna

    G69 – I don’t agree with playing Cesc so deep. That is a waste of his awesome talents in setting up strikers or scoring himself. Even del Bosque plays him in an attacking role. He set up Villa for that run on goal leading to the penalty and Pedro for that strike and rebound to Villa.
    Schweinsteiger needs time on the ball; that is why he is playing so deep in the German setup. Apples and pears in terms of ability.

  76. YW

    I was prob writing the same time as you were but agreed.

  77. Correct Yogi

    If the French are to have ANY sort of enquiry it should be starting with how and who chose a full blown loon like domenech in the first place, and secondly, how on earth they still kept him on so long that he has actually picked up the record as the longest serving French coach of all time!?!?!

    WTF?!?!?!

    Either he has compromising photos of the FFA members, or they hav been paid off by some foreign power.

    At 2004 it was a competition between santini and van Gaal as to who was the biggest moron of the tournament, but those two are rank amateurs when compared to domenech.

    It is truly one of the great mysteries of the planet how that absolute psycho remained in charge

    Anyone who knew anything about footie knew it was a nuclear train wreck of biblical proportions just waiting to happen

  78. shotta-gunna

    MikeSA – My point exactly. That is why it erupted into a full blown political row. The players and Anelka were left to take the fall, not the FFF and Domenech.

    Interestingly, Evra is now being left hung out to dry, the fate of the de facto leader in every unsuccessful revolt.

  79. The worst you can say about Domenech is that he is the manager the French players deserved (I of course exclude Clichy, Sagna, and so on.) Thuram is right to say that Evra should never play for France again. The same goes for Anelka, although since he is too old to play in another major tournament, nobody has bothered saying it. In justice, a few others should perhaps share the same fate; but pragmatism dictates that the rest be pardoned.

  80. It’s all very well to blame the players for this, but exactly how long could any of them have been expected to carry on putting up with this lunacy?

    If it was a case of one tournament, or a qualifying campaign and a tournament, fine, maybe the players could have been expected to stick it out, but this goon just seemed to be going on and on, and the FFF did nothing about it.

    This was beyond any form of sanity or reasonableness.

    There are things that will make a nun swear, and this has to have been one of the most bizarre periods in football history.

  81. Gainsbourg69

    YW:

    “But more than anything, we need to have a relatively injury-free season. Depth is fine but you cannot lose your best players for substantial periods of the season and win trophies. ‘Reserves’ by their nature are not as good as the first choice, often requiring adjustments to tactics to accommodate the loss of the injured player. That is as big an enemy as any perceived lack of depth.”

    I think Arsenal copes with injuries better than most clubs. Wenger has picked players that can adapt to our tactics and know how to play the Arsenal system. Look at Denilson the season before last filling in for Cesc and our unbeaten run, as an example. What did us in this year was that our starters and then their replacements got injured.

  82. silver gunner

    Poliziano the french FA saw the writing on the wall and did nothing even i cant blame evra for what happened or the frustrated anelka

  83. Like everyone else on here, I swallowed the media account of Domenech hook, line, and sinker. He was a superstitious idiot who picked his team according to the pattern his tea-leaves formed in the bottom of his cup. The behaviour of the French players during this World Cup tore the veil from my eyes.

    I used to have a friend whose wife would sometimes refuse to meet the guests he had invited to his house. We would of course make light of her refusal, saying how busy she must be, and so on; but in private we would reproach her for her rudeness. One day I saw him punching his wife in the face. Afterwards, she was too busy to emerge from her room. Then I understood.

  84. shotta-gunna

    Domenech and French players – One day the truth will come out. I will withhold final judgment until then.

  85. Gainsbourg69

    Shotta:

    “I don’t agree with playing Cesc so deep. That is a waste of his awesome talents in setting up strikers or scoring himself. Even del Bosque plays him in an attacking role. He set up Villa for that run on goal leading to the penalty and Pedro for that strike and rebound to Villa.
    Schweinsteiger needs time on the ball; that is why he is playing so deep in the German setup. Apples and pears in terms of ability.

    I disagree. Cesc is an awesome player further up the pitch but that doesn’t make it his best position. He was picked up by Wenger because he was a deep lying playmaker that could score. Period. He’s the definition of a box to box midfielder. That Del Bosque plays him further up the pitch doesn’t really mean much. In the Euros and now in South Africa he plays further up the pitch but Spain keeps on eeking out results with him there just like we do when we play against teams that park the bus. Cesc is at his best and most effective when he drops back to set up other players.

    Schweinsteiger is not a classic playmaker. He used to be a winger and he was made into a central midfielder. If you’ve watched him play a few years back you’d know that he doesn’t need time on the ball in order to produce something. He’s a dynamic midfielder who has learned how to stay back. The central midfield role is something that has been coached into him. He has learned to pick apart defenses with his passes. That is something inate in Cesc Fabregas.

  86. Anelka was always referred to by the media as “le sulk”.

    Many Arsenal fans deride him and buy in to the story.

    In this debacle they have once again focused on saying he’s a disruptive influence, always has been etc.

    Funny then that he was warmly welcomed back to Arsenal when playing at Citeh by all Arsenal players, specifically including “Mr. Arsenal”, Big Tone.

    Even funnier is how Phil Thompson, hardly one to beat about the bush or be diplomatic with any foreigner, described Anelka as a quiet, respectful lad, liked by everyone in the Liverpool dressing room.

    Likewise, Jamie Carragher described him in very similar terms, with both he and Gerrard wanting him back at Pool and blaming old boggle eyes for dumping him in the first place.

    So people who actually worked with him found him to be quiet, respectful and liked by all his fellow players, as opposed to others who don’t know him from Adam.

    Apparently we are to believe that he is actually a different person and one who went out of his way to trash domenech?

    A far more likely scenario is that the loon eventually came up with something so outrageous and bizarre that even the quiet, respectful, likeable lad couldn’t stomach it any more.

  87. Lets also not forget that domenech is the same clown who thought he had a right to criticise Wenger about playing Gallas after a injury.

    Wenger is not overly fond of domenech, which should be a bit of a give away.

  88. It’s the same with terrorists and serial killers. There are always plenty of people to say what likeable folk they are. Perhaps Vicente del Bosque wouldn’t agree, though. He apparently had to suspend the “quiet, respectful, likeable lad” for 45 days for refusing to train. These managers must make some really bizarre demands of poor Nicky.

  89. Poli – But you are going into the realm of conjecture. Serial killers and terrorists? We are talking about a group of footballers whom we know want to project the best possible image on the grandest stage possible for a footballer.

  90. One of the demands that Domenech is supposed to have made of Anelka is so outrageous, so bizarre, that I can scarcely believe it is true. Indeed, only the sworn testimony of Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard, and Phil Thompson could make me credit it. The claim is that Domenech asked Anelka to play – on the Right! Yes, the position in which he has so often played for Chelsea without so much as a murmur. What 31-year-old lad is so quiet, respectful, and likeable that he would not subject the manager who made such a demand to a torrent of abuse?

  91. Poli – you seem to have lead a very colourful life, which does not appear to have adversey affected you. I appreciated your (and Paul N) stance on Suarez’s cheating.

    What many of my American neighbours (and NJ) seem to forget is that many colonialists did not support GW or NJ’s ancestor and instead promptly moved to Canada and the Bahamas, which doubtless benefited those countries outlook on life. And should have warned us about retaining the monarchy.
    Happy 4th

  92. So it is “supposed”, and “claimed”, whereas Phil Thompson included his comments in his book, Jamie Carragher and Gerrard were quoted in interviews.

    And why would he refuse to play where, as you correctly state, he plays for his club?

  93. Anelka is of course not a terrorist or a serial killer. He might well be taciturn, and I’m sure he is likeable to those who like him (as everyone is), but respectful he is not. To some extent, he is the victim of his team-mates’ stupidity, without which his angry outburst would soon have been forgotten.

  94. And why would members of the team have taken his side and protested?

    Most teams, like when england demoted terry as captain, would accept a decision, whether they liked it or not.

    I suppose they are just all complete arses and dear old dom is just the victim of a group of vicious and calculating mass murderers……………………….

  95. The question should be, Why does he not refuse at Chelsea? The answer is obvious.

    Remember that Anelka was not sent home by Domenech.

  96. The question should be: “is that a plausible claim”.

  97. What request would Domenech have to make to justify Anelka’s behaviour? Is it plausible that he made such a request?

    What request would del Bosque have to make to justify Anelka refusing to train? Is it plausible that he made such a request?

  98. It’s probably 6 of one and half a dozen of another. I’m sure Domenech is no more all to blame than the players are. It was just a disastrous combination of egos, weak management and bad attitudes. We can never know from the outside, but each individual has to take responsibility for their own part in the debacle.

  99. oh diegooo…

  100. *

  101. “In the other semi-final, Robin van Persie decided that he had been injury-free for long enough and had a scan on arm-knack (makes a change from knee or ankle-knack) which proved to be nothing to stop him playing on Tuesday.”

    Classic!!
    And true about Spain being a shadow of their Euro 08 selves…

    I say Oranje will take this cup 🙂

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