Tommy Guns For Long Arsenal Future & Marseille Preview

English football’s navel must be very interesting since so much time is spent contemplating it. Whether it be the ill-advised appeal against Wayne Rooney’s recent red card or the folly of abandoning relegation and promotion, there is much to see in the bloated belly.

It is hard to see why the LMA were so upset with the thought of a closed shop. After all, is it not the case that a number of managers lose their employment because of the threat – real or perceived – of relegation? It would, I suggest, be the only thing other than winning silverware to give some stability in the profession.

Personally, I find the thought of being stuck with likes of Bolton and Stoke most horrifying of all.

As for Arsenal, well, tonight they meet Olympique Marseille for the first time in any match, as far as I can find, which is surprising given the history of the two sides. That they have not met during Wenger‘s reign is not surprising given his personal history with the French side and it would be of little surprise for him to desire a win even more than normal, no matter how much he may protest otherwise.

He received a boost in the form of Thomas Vermaelen extending his contract. Of the four key players whose contracts expire in the next season and a half, his renewal is least surprising. Having missed a season of football, I feel that the Belgian believes he has something to prove, perhaps sub-consciously he feels he owes the club a debt in view of the absences since his arrival.

As key as his signing is, there is more to it than just ink on paper. It changes the atmosphere, slightly but tangibly. Instead of gloom, there is a shaft of light breaking through the swirling clouds overhead, clouds that became a little less grey at the weekend with a win. Players are, as the manager put it, no longer perceived as wanting to be out of the door.

Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott would nail that lie completely if they followed the same contractual path as Vermaelen. The only one of the quartet whom I would have reservations about extending their stay is Andrey Arshavin.

He is of an age and calibre that demands first team football. Obviously that needs to be translated into consistent performances on the pitch for the outcome to be realised and yet he seems to be second choice for the wide left attacking role behind Gervinho. With time to rectify that situation, there is no immediate concern, just a nagging doubt.

Wenger is certain that the event is a clear signal of the club’s unity,

When you listen to people it looks like an exodus with everybody leaving the Club but we are a happy club. We did not have the start of the season that we wanted but the atmosphere inside the Club is very solid, very united and very positive.

We want to turn the results round and the fact that some players extend their contract at the moment is a positive sign for us.

We are unified and that is down to our mental strengths. This club has traditionally shown mental strength under pressure and I would just like to say that we have been under pressure since the start of the season but in the big games we always managed to find the resources to respond well

Tonight is just that. Marseille have a good record against English clubs at home, only Liverpool have won there whilst Chelsea and United returned with one point and no goals scored between them last season. It won’t be easy but their domestic form is of more concern than Arsenal’s, one win and six draws from their ten Ligue Un fixtures is poor. That win incidentally was a month ago.

I would not expect too many changes from Sunday’s victory over Sunderland. Andre Santos will replace Kieran Gibbs but that may be it. Perhaps Tomas Rosicky will step aside for Aaron Ramsey with the Czech being a second half substitute but even that change is not certain, nor entirely necessary.

Indeed, the only justification would be that Rosicky is not capable of three games a week at this stage of his career, something that is at once hard and easy to believe. He was pivotal in the second half dominance of the Wearsiders and I would certainly start with him for tonight’s game.

The line-up I would go with is:

Szczesny; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Santos; Song, Arteta, Rosicky; Walcott, van Persie, Gervinho

Whilst Arshavin was lively as a substitute, Gervinho is more direct in style and may feel more comfortable with his Ligue Un experience. Whatever the case, a win would be a boost to the confidence.  Consecutive wins is not a familiar feeling in 2011 for Arsenal and such an occurrence would be a welcome boost in this match.

Recent seasons have seen Arsenal struggle on their travels in Europe. A good draw in Dortmund is something to build upon, especially since six points against Marseille would put Arsenal into the driving seat as far as qualifying at the top of the group is concerned.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on October 19, 2011, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 388 Comments.

  1. Ist 4rm jupiter

  2. YW – Nice write up as always.

    The whole idea of scrapping relegation is a stupid notion. The PL is not an entertainment industry, it is a compitition. As such, there needs to be winners and losers. It would reduce over half the season to exibition matches.

    Tonight will be an interesting game. The home side have some very good players.

    I would go with:





  3. I give it to you Good.
    Now to comment.Nice post Yogi.
    I guess changing the rules as they stand to exclude relegation is just basically a selfish thought propelled by greed. Such a plan If it ever saw the light of day would not have the greater good of the game at heart.
    As for tonight , I expect a difficult game. A win would be most ideal as it takes pressure of us for the return fixture.But a draw would not be a bad result either. I wonder why Arsene chose not to take AOC along.

  4. People make me laugh – how long has Arsene been berated about his reliance on youth and now that he has bought some experienced players and decides to use them in a tough away CL game, he is being questioned about why he is not taking a callow youth along? AOC will get his chance in a home game in the Carling Cup. Any Arsenal supporter should be familiar with the routine for introducing youngsters to the first team.

  5. Nice post, YW.

    Well said, Passenal. AOC’s had a similar introduction to Ramsey, with just cup football at first. Same goes for Park to some extent – I remember Eduardo got most of his early football with Arsenal in the CC – people were even wondering why we’d signed him, but he got more games as the winter drew on.

  6. I agree with Passenal regarding AOC.


    I have a feeling Djourou & probably Coquelin will start tonight..

  7. Goonerandy,

    I slightly disagree with your contention that the EPL is not about entertainment it is a competition.

    The two terms are not mutually exclusive. The EPL is and should be entertaining otherwise who would bother watching it? Part of the entertainment is the winning or attempting to win the ‘competition’.

    In the context of the possible scrapping of relegation and promotion, and turning the EPL into a franchised based system, you are of course right, and I absolutely agree with you! 🙂

  8. Passenal,

    I sort of agree with you about the fickleness of some fans.

    However, I don’t think it is all about youth, and if a player is good enough to improve the squad/team he should be included, as is the case with AOC.

    But I would not argue against Arsene and his experience in these matters.

  9. Red Arse – Yeah, I could have worded that better. I suppose I meant primarily it is a compitition. Lucky for us, it is one that is entertaining. If we took the compitition away, it would cease to be as entertaining.

  10. Completely agree with the lineup Yogi. Strong team tonight. With the win we can then go and experiment with changes in the last two games.

    The only change we might see, as you’ve stated, is Arshavin/Ramsey coming on for Rosicky if he is knackered. Gervinho is bound to start, given that he has experience playing against Marseille.

  11. But I think Rosicky coming off is a sign that he will start (maybe even if Ramsey recovers – I hear he travelled).

  12. Markus – Yeah, he did travel. On recent performaces Rosicky deserves to be ahead of Ramsey.

  13. Yeah Markus, I can’t think of any reason to take Rosicky off on Sunday except to save him for tonight, he was playing very well.

  14. Le Coq possibly travelling as back-up for Jenks as well as midfield?

  15. Just remembered Chamack has French league experience. Him and Gervinho would make a good pair. Especially with Gervinho making those runs to the byline and Chamakh’s strength in holding off defenders. Could be a good combo to nab a goal late on.

  16. Line up the team in style.

  17. I think Ramsey needs to be eased back, lacks the energy and acceleration of Rosicky (Eduardo was a yard short at first after his leg break so to be expected that he’ll need time).

    If Rosicky isn’t able to play 3 games then I’d play Coq as I think we’ll need to be very careful of them on the counter, our full backs can push up pretty high and with the pace they have and the technical ability in the middle they will break quickly.

  18. Nice post. Expect a tough match but we could still pull off a win. We have players and a manager with Lique One experience. Then we have some class players as well. Hope it’s an open game.

  19. If Rosicky does not start, there is always a chance Benayoun could start.

  20. Good shout Andy, totally forgot about Benayoun. He’ll be raring to go.

  21. I don’t agree regarding aoc, jenks has come in with even less experience and granted needs must he was trust into the fray early I would like the Luke of aoc to be given some minutes even if its just 10 mins at the end of the game.

  22. YW – “Tommy Guns” sounds like somebody from the Gambino family.

  23. Maybe Rosicky & Ramsey will both start! Arteta to have a breather..

  24. Arteta has the serious horn for Champions League tho. Wouldn’t be surprised if he scored.

  25. mj_gunner

    Arteta could well deserve a breather, I doubt he will like the manager making him sit out this one however. He signed for Arsenal with the desire to play in the champs league. Tricky one… Ramsey’s energy or Arteta’s experience.. This decision is based entirely upon Rosicky’s presence in the starting lineup. Song will be ready for more minutes with all the time he has been absent through suspension.

    My lineup…

    – – – – – – – – – – Szczensy – – – – – – – – – –

    Jenkinson – Mert – Koscielny – Santos

    – – – – – – Song – – – – – Arteta – – – – – – – –

    – – – – – – – – – – Rosicky – – – – – – – – – – –

    Arshavin – – – Van Persie – – – Gervinho

    The rawness of Jenkinson is a concern, but his reaction and improvement throughout the Sunderland game shows this guy has the mentality to see him though. Its a very demanding role being a full back at Arsenal too.

  26. Chris – That is the team I fancy as well. Only with Gervinho in front of Jenkinson as he will offer more protection than AA.

  27. Theo and Jenk worked well with each other against Sunderland so might be risky to mess with it just now.

  28. A fairly good assesment of the Walcot issue (apart from the bit about Bale).

  29. Marsilles are a counter attacking team, so we should have plenty of the ball. Jenksinson is going to come up against a very tricky winger tonght though.

  30. Ah Heskey – great stuff…

  31. Refreshing to have commentary not centered about goalkeeping and center backs.

    Regardless of our starting line up, I want Arsenal to display an improvement in attack and return to confident play.

    Hoping to see a productive and industrious Andrey Arshavin tonight taking the spotlight. His recent play exhibits an added spark of concentration and energy.

    Definitely need other players to contribute goals.

  32. i think we should do a lilttle bit of rotation tonight, some players are looking quite tired eg Arteta. the line up ill go with is

    Tech 9(tempted to give the Fabmister a chance)
    jenkison mert kos santos
    song ramsey rosicky(Arteta a second half sub if we are chasing the game)
    AA23 RVP Gervinho (walcott or AOC coming later on)

    Chamack also desrves to play at least 30 minutes in the game

  33. Massive game.

    Momentum is huge in sport – whilst I don’t think we have nearly as much quality as last year, if these lads can pull some wins together, the unity of having been at the bottom of Arsenals form curve under Wenger will provide the squad with the additional desire to remain winners.

    I am excited by seeing which player will step up and take a leading role in our revival, our captain has set the example. Who will follow him?

  34. Andy, that article is idiotic and totally at odds with Walcotts record last season. He was our second most effective attacking player. Load of bollocks. Tired of this no football brain shite. Also they concede that he is only 22 and also concede that Henry didn’t press on until he was 23 and then go on to say that Walcott can never be an Henry type player. Wanker.

  35. Jeff – There is no way we should be changing our goalkeeper. Fabianski will get his chance to shine in the CC. In games that matter you play your best players.

  36. Markus – I thouhght the fact that we don’t play to his main strength was bang on though. We are a side that pins the opposition back leaving no space behind their defence. They are right to say that he won’t be a Henry type player, that much is obvious. Henry was tehnically and excellent player, even when he was young. Walcott has tons of pace, but is technically fairly poor.

  37. Bit tough to play to his main strength when most teams play deep with 2 banks of four against us. He is developing his game accordingly. Being an immediate starter for us tells me that Wenger disagrees with the points in that article. And as for this fucking idiotic comment:

    “Compare Walcott’s recent development to that of Gareth Bale. Would the Welshman been allowed the tactical freedom to attack that led to his outstanding hat-trick in the San Siro were he was an Arsenal player? I doubt it.”

    They were 3-nil down!!!!!! Of course Walcott in a similar situation would be given the same freedom. I’m getting more angry, so just gonna pretend I didn’t click on that link to that shitty site.

  38. Markus – “Bit tough to play to his main strength when most teams play deep with 2 banks of four against us”

    That is exactly the whole point of the article. Heh, I said the Bale bit was a bit shit.

  39. I get the feeling no manager has ever really coaxed the best out of Benayoun – he’s something of a mercurial player and I’m never sure quite what his role is.

    I wonder if Wenger has a clear idea of his role for the team – if any manager can find something new in an old dog you’d bet on Wenger.

    Will the Ox get a run out tonight? It’s somewhat inexplicable he hasn’t been given sub opps of late – considering the rude form he has been in.

  40. Jonny – AOC has not travelled mate.

  41. So if he moved to another team the left back and left midfielders of the opposition would all of a sudden stop sitting deep and he’d score hat-tricks every game?

  42. Markus – I don’t know why you are being so defensive over this? It is not exactly a critisism of anybody. Theo is a player who’s main asset is expoliting space behind the defence. Our syle of play dominates possesion pinning the opposition back, thus leaving no space behind them. Our play often demand intricate play, something which Theo is not really all that good at.

    The times when we do create the type of situation which plays to his strengths, he has shown what he can do. But that is not a main feature of our game. So yeah, he may be (individually) more sucessful in another side with a different style to ours.

  43. Great post yogi:

    Really encouraged by TV5 signing a new contract. May be this portends good things in the future. The club needs to make some difficult decisions about the salary structure issue.

    A win today would put us in great position in our group. A draw at their stadium an acceptable result. Obviously the former is the preferred outcome. I like Chris’ team in his comment at 11:56.

  44. I for one an am disappointed with AOC not travelling with the squad. I understand that he is young, I also understand that he’ll get chances in the CC for as long as Arsenal are in the hunt for it. I just happen to feel that Alex has been in fine form lately, and my personal opinion is get him in when he is full of confidence. There is no question in my mind having watched him on a few occasions that he has the quality to be a first team regular the question is more around Arsene’s desire to throw him in to the shark tank. I understand the pressure young players are under in England, where every hack likes to build them up just to kick the chair out from under them. That said, AOC is a quality young player that could push those around him in the same position… competition is a good.

  45. I was thinking about the Lille situation last night, you know the team that Hazard plays for 🙂 They completed their 3rd game of the CL and lost, bringing them to 2 points from 3 games and looking likely to exit the competition for the Europa. Now, Lille rebuffed Arsenal’s advances for Hazard due to their CL aspirations, the question is whether a sneaky January bid may change their minds 🙂

    I would like to stress, based on his performance last night… I wasn’t convinced but it is the first time I have seen the player. I also admired Sow, direct, pacey and physcial.

  46. Markus.Shitty site is better than it deserves.
    This no football brain stuff is regurgitated by people with no brain of any type.I mean the lad speaks well and comes across as an intelligent boy.That tells me he can learn.
    It infuriates me that dimshit bloggers are give credence when all the deserve is a kick in the bollocks.
    Is tonight the night to set Andrei free?

  47. I don’t think that there is any doubting AOC’s talent. But quotes from Arsene earlier in the week that suggested that defensively he was still a bit naive. As is to be expected at his current level on the learning curve I might add. It maybe for this season that Arsene has not yet thrown him in.

  48. Agree with Passenal regarding Ox. Give the lad some time. In a few years if all goes well he could become the center piece for our team for a long time. Thats already putting a huge boulder to carry on his back. Last thing Ox or Arsenal needs is for him to score a goal or 2 and suddenly have the same sort of media attention and pressure that Theo had to live with after the World Cup and the hat trick against Croatia.

  49. If there is a free AA campaign then I want a free Theo (to striker) campaign to commence. I am not saying he’ll be a success but it is time we tried him in the position he feels he is most suited to play (though his shots on target to attempts ratio is telling another story).

  50. Arrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhggggggg.

    Just when we look like we are starting to turn things around people start suggesting we use leaky Djourex’s at the back.

    I know we need to encourage players so they play better, but not him please not him. Even if she can’t get pregnant there!

    I just hope WKB.

    Up the Arse.

  51. @ Miami Arsenal | October 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    “I was thinking about the Lille situation last night, you know the team that Hazard plays for 🙂 They completed their 3rd game of the CL and lost, bringing them to 2 points from 3 games and looking likely to exit the competition for the Europa. Now, Lille rebuffed Arsenal’s advances for Hazard due to their CL aspirations, the question is whether a sneaky January bid may change their minds”

    Sneaky, but I like your thinking.

    @ Miami Arsenal and Red Arse
    Regarding AOC, AW said something about him having to show more hunger and work on the defensive aspects of his game. Also since we are not short in numbers in midfield, relative to RB, the Ox will have a tougher time getting into the side. However I would put money on him featuring in the CC game next week.

    @ Markus
    AW said Coquelin is not confident at RB, so he’s probably last on the list. JD, Kos and Santos were all mentioned as possibles and Nico Yennaris, young reserve CM/RB, has been training with the first team.

  52. George – The article meant football intelligence, but is not linked to Acedemic intelligence. Look at the likes of Rooney; thick as you like, but a very intelligent footballer.

    Theo often picks the wrong pass, or makes the wrong runs. That is what they mean by football intelligence. I have noticed that the runs he makes when trying to get behind the defence are very good, and times them really well. But when he has the ball he often chooses the wrong option.

    Also a good example of his poor decision making was there to see at the weekend. On a reguluar basis Jenkinson needed an outlet down the line, only to find that Theo had moved infield giving him no option of a forward ball. Little things like that make a difference at the top level.

  53. Thanks Andy – have been too busy today to look properly.

    Understand his omission for CL away but it is perplexing as to why he has been over-looked of late.

  54. Fun,

    I would hate to see Coquelin moved around at this point, so I am glad with Arsene’s comments. I think Coquelin is looking a more polished prospect than Frimpong at this stage of the game.

  55. Jonny – Going on from the discussion about Park yesterday, it is confusing as to why he also has not been included. If he is been eased in PL life fair enough, but in the CL against a side he will have played against last year? Seems strange.

  56. Park’s form in International games has been great also.

  57. Miami – Exactly. He is one of our few squad members who is actually in a good run of form. He will be confident.

  58. Andy.Perhaps you think I am”thick as you like” that you felt it necessary to explain “football intelligence to me?
    Rooney is not intelligent(in any way,the ugly fucker) he is instinctive.
    My point is the because Theo is a bright lad he will learn.Thick pricks like Waddle can either play or they cant.They dont learn the same.
    And given Theo took up the game relatively late he is not instinctive and eveything must be learned.

  59. If 13 goals and 8 assists from 38 apperances last season equals no footballing brain then Van Persie must be brain dead too. For Theo that’s an average of a goal or assist ever other match. Not to mention the fact that he makes Sagna look like the best right-back in the world (which he may well be) because teams are too shit-scared to attack us down the right.

    SA Gooner, if I’ve read your comment correctly then LOL sir! Although I still support Djourou.

  60. George – I do a bit 😉 (Only joking).

    Theo seems to be making many of the same bad decisions that he made when he first arrived. Like I said, just because he seems “a bright lad” mean nothing with regards to football intelligence. Rooney is not just instinctive; he is with the ball at his feetgranted. But it is off the ball when football intelligence comes to the fore quite often, not on it.

  61. Theo played in 28 EPL games last season, scoring 9 goals with 5 assists. He logged over 1,600 minutes on the pitch and recorded 65 shots with 27 on target giving a 41.5% accuracy rating. So far this term he has 8 EPL games, 1 goal and 1 assist with 21 shots and 9 on target for a 42.9% accuracy rating. This stats don’t lie as a wide player he does contribute more than a “fair” player is expected to for most teams.

    I think Theo deserves a shots as a central striker… that is all I am saying 🙂

  62. Miami – I reckon Theo could be a good striker if we played 2 front men. As long as we just use hte one striker I can’t see it working though. His hold up play and 1st touch is not good enough (and is essential as the lone striker).

  63. What is it with GA and attacking Walcott? why the need to persist with that.

    Walcott is not comfortable on the wings, he said so himself, so playing that position is likely to be hit or miss. But for someone who you claim gets it wrong so many times, its funny how he produces so much good. We can look to many Arsenal goals and remember the young mans involvement.

  64. Paul – Not attacking him. I have said many times in certain situations he is very very good. I can see the pro’s in his game, as well as the cons. Of course people only pick up my comments when discussing the cons.

  65. A win would really lift us up. I have a feeling we may rest Van persie, Arteta and one of the centrebacks.

    Markus regarding theo’s start it wont be long before one of the imbeciles tell you stats dont tell the whole story and try to belittle Theo’s contribution to the team.

    Plenty are wondering why AOC didnt travel, looking at the squad there is no one in it who i think should have been left behind so it had to be him. I see people have started putting all their great hopes on the boy, it’s too early give him time his time will come.

  66. Andy I agree and perhaps it is time to start rethinking the sole striker formation. The team plays anything from a 4-5-1 to a 4-3-3 as a game lays out and to date what we have learned is that RvP is fantastic but needs more from his wide players.

    With Bergkamp we had Wrighty and TH14 as partners to share the burden of scoring but also creating. I think RvP is very much a Bergkamp type player and what he needs is a team mate playing off him, someone to build an understanding with. My thoughts are not a shot at Theo or Gervinho, but there is a disconnect so many times going forward from these 3 players. If you look at many of the areas of the breakdown the constant is the lack of support, with players making wide runs and no one attacking centrally. We are asking RvP to time and again become both provider and scorer in the same breath. I think as an illustration and it is just one was the goal versus Udinese. A nice tackle from RvP, the ball drops to Theo who is far closer to RvP than he has been the entire game and Theo then makes a sublime pass to the surging RvP.

    Anyway, it is what is on my mind but I bow to the genius that is Arsene.

  67. Goonerandy – agree with your remarks about Theo. This is not to berate the kid, just an evaluation of his game to date.

    He’s been with the club almost 5 years………by now we would have seen some improvements in these deficient areas…….either the club has let him down, or he has not put in enough time to improve his understanding.

    When he is in top gear with the ball at his feet (and has no time to think), THAT IS HIS GAME.) For his size, he is deceptively strong on the ball.

    As center striker I believe he would be devastating…….as he does read the spaces well (between the cb’s)…..and his timing for runs is excellent; the club is stocked well with
    teammates that have the vision, and skill to play killer passes: RvP, Rosicky, Arteta, Song, Ramsey, Wilshere, Diaby, Arshavin, etc.

    His skill at combination play on the wing is not up to Arsenal standards.

    If the club is looking for a plan B……and RvP is not available…..for me Theo up front would an exciting option.


  68. Miami – Yup, I agree with all of that. I think RvP behind a goalscorer would be great for the side. RvP would still get plenty of goals and being so creative, we may see up upturn in goals for the likes of Theo and Gervihno as RvP “fed them in” so to speak.

  69. Firstlady, it is not about putting all our hopes on AOC at all. I think there is a legitimate question, the lad has been in a sparkling form so why not give him an opportunity if his form dictates he warrants the opportunity?

    I could say the same for Park, his International form as been excellent and yet we have still yet to see him on the big stage. Perhaps I would more patient if Arsenal were playing the type of football that closed out games and such but we aren’t at present so is it that silly to think about other options within the team that are currently showing good form?

    I put my faith in all 11 players wearing the shirt each game game to be the saviour, not an indvidiual player.

  70. Arsession you too were attacking the kid and used the Song pass to suggest that Walcott didnt know what he was doing or made the wrong choice, never did it cross your mind that perhaps Song made the wrong choice. I know Walcott gets it wrong but at 22 you are saying that someone has failed.

    Get off the young mans back!

  71. Also, unfortunatly for Theo, 3 players who were perceptive enough to find him in space and would move the ball “back to front” with tempo have not featured this season (Cesc/Nasri, and the injured Wilshere).

  72. I would point out that has others have stated, Arsene has concerns over AOC’s ability to defend and that is understandable and as good a reason as any to not play him. I also see a talented player going forward, one whom is champing at the bit to make a difference and get game time.

    I trust Arsene, doesn’t make me stop asking questions 🙂

  73. Arsene also mentioned that AOC “is looking sharper, and is nearly there”. Maybe his fitness was not quite up to PL standards when he arrived?

  74. On a completelty unrelated note, I see the travellers at Dale Farm at getting moved on at last.

    I can’t believe that protesters that were throwing bottles and rocks at the police and now pleading police brutality when they got tasered and batoned.

  75. Miami, Wenger could only take the players he took, I am sure if the number was more he’d have taken the whole Arsenal squad. AOC chances will come and this being a vital game it wasnt it,besides isnt he playing in the curling cup next game?

  76. Anyone know why Ryo, AoC and Park were not made available for the 3-1 reserve loss to West Brom? I would have thought game time would be useful for all 3 given they are unable to get 1st team action.

  77. Firstlady, I’m not sure of the lineup but one would hope he is. I understand Arsene has reasons for his non-inclusion, like I said I just think it is important to ask questions 🙂

  78. I wonder if with Le Coq seemingly ahead of Frimpong in the pecking order we may see him go on loan some Jan? I hope so, it would do him the world of good.

  79. Arsene has said that AOC will play in the CC game.

  80. suckkng up to theo’s budding skills aint we?

  81. GA, great of course that he’ll be in the CC games but I am still concerned that he, Ryo and Park were not available for the reserves game. I’ll have to check and see if it was a one off, the lads need game time.

  82. Well it does seem Ryo represented the reserves in the prior match against Swansea 2-2 draw, but neither AOC or Park were included.

  83. Damnn Wednesday night games though. I play guitar on Wednesday nights, and it will be a right old rush to get home in time for kick off.

  84. I’m just hoping it be on telly here in North Cuba

  85. Cant you play guitar at home Andy?! I know I am…! 🙂 Just started learning some flamenco, latin and spanish guitar (they are all slightly different btw!). My fingers are feeling the strain for the first time, actually pulled a muscle in my index finger..! Really addictive stuff though, once you get over the first few days of sounding terrible..

  86. I see the press are all over Fabianski wanting to depart for 1st team football. I guess it is an opportunity for Vito to step up as the 2nd man 🙂

  87. I understand the difficulty over AOC but he has been in sparkling form and to exclude him from bench appearances, even whilst Sagna was still fit, seems bizarre. AOC can also play in the middle and has been providing genuine scoring threat unlike the out of form Walcott who, at present, has the worst shots on target ratio I have ever seen.

    I’d also wager AOC provides more defensive cover than Arshavin on the other flank or than Theo did when he started getting sub appearances. Perhaps it is down to Jenks being the present RB but still this started before Lasagne was injured.

    AOC is just the kind of game changer I feel we need – especially as Chamakh and Park are also currently being overlooked. I would guess the reasons for each of these three players being overlooked are different but the net result is that often we are making substitutions that alter the midfield personnel without significantly changing our goal threat.

    The sooner we can bring on players who’s job is to score goals (strikers I believe they are known as) the better.

    Gervinho, Ramsey, Arshavin, Rosicky, Arteta, Benayoun all bring things to the table but they don’t score that many goals between them (though they all should) this means with Walcott out of form (and that’s all that’s going on here nothing more – get off his fucking back) we are overly reliant on RvP.

  88. Geo – Heh, I know that feeling 🙂

    I do play at home most days. We have a cellar so it is ideal, and I can turn my amp up quite a bit without distubing the neighbours. On Wednesday’s I play with a couple of other guys though, so at home is not really an option.

  89. Jonny – That pretty much echo’s my thoughts on AOC to be honest. I can understand bringing him through slowly, but he really does look to have something about him.

  90. Jonny, to be fair on Theo his shots on target is actually almost 43% which is better than his last two years. 21 shots so far this term and 9 on target in EPL games only.

  91. Jonny, you are wrong. It is not about Walcott being off form.

  92. Right, off home. Here’s hoping to a Theo hat-trick tonight 🙂


  93. On Theo’s current form Id like to see Arshavin and Gervino start. Bring Theo on in the last 20 as a impact player. Till his form improves.

  94. We can agree on that GA!

  95. Okay I understand the deal with AOC lacking a defensive edge. If you recall that last CC or league cup match when he played, the right flank was very often exposed and we conceded down that flank i believe. Still, even if AOC isn’t as willing to track back and the like, surely his offensive capabilities could be utilized (via a 70th minute substitution) in the dying minutes of a match when we need a goal. That is just me managing the squad from my futon though.


  96. AOC will not provide ‘cove’r to Jenkisnon in big CL tie. Not as good as Theo will.
    (see this seasons Sunderland Home game).

    I don’t get it. Theo provides a lot of cover for his FB, has done ever since he had time to watch lots of videos with those shoulder injuries. It’s why Nasri got shunted away from his preferred role on the right (or mid) from which he was so prolific and AA rested for some games like the Chelsea Home game last season, etc.
    This doesn’t mean player X is dropped over play Y every time in a 60+ game season. Arshavin was kept back in the Barca Away tie for Sunderland Home last season, and he really did win that game. A great performance. A shame the ref. that day disagreed, but anyway, a great tie ahead tonight.


  97. Yikes! Cover, not ‘cove’r

  98. Or consider if both Walcott and Chamberloins were brought on at the same time. Talk about an injection of pace!

  99. AW has made it fairly clear that he’s looking to play AOC a little more after his first three months (Ryo too, I hope!). Like when Gervais heads off to the cup of nations (I.C. did qualify, I think.).

    Just sayin’.

  100. I see the coach of Lorient is in love with Joel 🙂 1 goal and 1 assist so far in 6 games, though many he has been a sub

  101. Paul N – very well, why don’t you correct me of my erroneous thinking?

    If you’ve already put your impregnable version of the truth down elsewehere perhaps you can cut and paste – whatever is easiest really.

    I haven’t been following the comments today but, regardless, telling me I am ‘wrong’, without explaining why, seems a bit arrogant and presumptuous on your part.

  102. FFS – Chamberloins – nice.

    AOC really is a veritable smorgasbord of word play fun, isn’t he?

  103. Theo covers Jenks. He will play.

  104. I hope we see Song, Arteta and Rosicky in midfield again. Loving the fact that with those three in central midfield taking turns getting forward the opposition don’t know who to mark.

  105. M’lady

    Play Theo in front of vP and put the Ox out on the wing.

    Two bloody quick players on the field and solves the problem of who to leave behind.

    If it doesn’t work Walcott goes wide you can replace AOC with Ros-Arsh-Ben-Ram-teta to go back to the usual formation.

  106. @Paul-N

    Which 10 field players are going to produce the best result for the club?

    At the moment, only RvP is our only reliable attacker. This has been my point.

    Just as Arshavin struggled after October last season……..the 2nd half of last season also saw our goal scoring productivity drop from Nasri and Theo.

    I only gave one example, but after 4 years of watching Theo’s play……there’s plenty to support my comments. The Song example was inconsequential. I like the character of this player and factor in his age, BUT THE CLUB NEEDS SOMEONE MORE CONSISTENT on that wing.

    We all want the club to succeed……and most don’t care which combination makes that happen.

    Based on his form since the CC final, I can’t see Theo deserving a starting spot.

    I’m anxious for the match tonight and hope Theo makes an impact that initiates a turn in his contribution.

  107. Wenger is going to honor his contract, which is for 3 years.

    The bad news: Three more years of Le Moan and the Unconvincibles spewing forth

    The good news: Watching them eat their pissy words

  108. Arsesssion, well it seems that Wenger believes that Walcott is our best option and also the English managers. Yes, he is inconsistent in some things but it is obvious that the manager see’s something in the young man.

    I can point out some brilliant performances, goals and great assists over the years you are talking about so there is plenty of support against what you are saying.

    Jonny, I have been defending Walcott since Sunday. If a player is off form you dont say things like what Arsession and GA are saying. Dont come at me like you are some smart guy and I am a fool. I am not even sure why you are coming at me with this snide attitude.

    No need to respond.

  109. SA only one problem with ur ‘Theo up front’ suggestion,
    it makes too much sense

  110. Not been on for a few days as things have been hectic to say the least, but was great to get a win on Sunday.

    Theo is actually a pretty effective player when you look at his stat’s, compared to most wide players in the EPL so deserve’s a lot more credit.

    If I was going to be mega critical, I would say the only thing I would like to see him do more is forget taking people on, and just kick it past them and run a la Overmars… He has the pace to do that, and we saw hoe effective it could be.

  111. Thanks for the post, I agree with you that now some time has passed since the sales , alighned with the bad start we had, the evidence for many inital fears has in fact withered slightly. A clearer perspective is , I think, filtering through to the fans with each game and with each re-signing that might happen.
    Also agee about your assessment of TR.
    The atmospere should be electric there tonight and Im getting figety already. Aside from football I was wondering if someone could explain to me how I can get directly back to new posts. Im having to go right back to CLF sight and its taking ages, as you might gather Im new to this posting game. Realy appreciate any suggestions. Ile settle for a draw tonight. COYR

  112. Paul N – I have not been on the blog much recently and am not privy to discussions you have been having with other people.

    I find it unusual and ill-mannered to just state someone is categorically ‘wrong’ and offer no validation as to why. What’s the point in that?

    My response merely reflects the fact that I found it rude and unnecessary.

    The stupid thing is that we are on the same page – I think Walcott deserves defending from much of the criticism too.

    However, in spite of your blunt, emphatic statement that Walcott IS in form that does not make it true. Given that it is a topic that has been up for some debate this season, I think my opinion deserves a better response (and preferably one that includes an explanation).

    Courtesy doesn’t cost much and just because it is your opinion doesn’t make it fact.

    Enjoy the game.

  113. Whoops! That wasn’t meant to come out all in bold!

  114. test test

  115. Can’t get out of bold text!

  116. I think it’s clear that Theo will not be the world beating 25 – 30 goal per year player TH14 replacement we thought when he first signed and arsene felt strongly enough to help get him included in the world cup squad. He has been the victim of exaggerated expectations from the start. If arsene really thought he could be an effective central striker he would have given him chances in the CC or early FA cup rounds or some other way long ago. All that said he is still young enough to improve his technique and no doubt he can be a good wide attacking player. He seems to struggle with teams that lie deep and I don’t see an end to the parked bus technique anytime soon which is the biggest concern. Hopefully he can improve his goal poaching skills and become a consistent 10 – 15 goal/season scorer.

  117. praying that is rosicky is played he replicates the weekend form, otherwise I would like either rvp or arshavin in that hole.

  118. I do find the situation with Theo somewhat intriguing when you think about his arrival at Arsenal. It was Arsene that said he saw Theo as a striker, but proceeded to play him in a wide capacity like TH14 had done upon his arrival. This is now Theo’s sixth season with Arsenal and even though he is only 22 years of age, he has not been moved to his preferred position as a striker. I am curious to see whether Arsene ever actually makes the shift as he stated he would when the transfer was completed.

    Theo has scored 19 goals in 122 appearances.

    I understand the concept of fottballing intelligence, but lets not forget that Theo’s main weapon is pace and the question we should be asking now is whether we are using that weapon correctly. You can teach many skills in football, but pace is not one of them.

  119. Bill, I am not saying that Theo would be but considering he scored 9 goals in 28 appearances last year (his best in an Arsenal shirt) from a wide position, it isn’t impossible to think he could double the tally from a central area.

  120. Dr Nick, you mean to see new comments? Just hit F5 (refresh).

  121. Bill i disagree as with all striker he is a confidence player and when that kid is confident he is a class apart but as with the remainder of the squad barring rvp and chezzer everyone is low on confidence.

    I truly believe he is being played out of position on the right wing he has not got the dribbling skills to get past defenders but his movement of the ball is very good and with the right service will cause most defenders problems.

  122. Jonny, I didnt really bother because of how you came at me. You made an assumption in an arrogant manner.

    I never once said that Walcott was in form, that has never been the basis of my defense of the young man.

    You are making things up and assuming.

  123. No Bill, that is not clear that is your opinion.

  124. Bill, I agree with you that TW was a victim of EE. I think the focus, because of this, is on his failures and inconsistanties. I think if someone put together a clip of his best moments then the reality would be better ballanced.
    I do think he will go on to be a top striker. No hes not TH14 but back then we broke in record braking times, usualy 10 or 11 seconds and from the other teams corner a lot of the time Now we play a differebt way where we like to keep posession and play high up the pitch, for TW i think that is the problem, and his pace is sometimes not a factor. Being the away team tonight might give him the space to run into , fingers crossed

  125. Cheers Marcus

  126. Well Paul perhaps I misunderstood what you meant by this –

    “Paul-N | October 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm
    Jonny, you are wrong. It is not about Walcott being off form.”

    But ,given that all you have done is tell me ‘I am wrong’ and you are unable to explain to me why I am wrong, you could perhaps be a little more understanding as to why I found the brevity of your comment misleading.

  127. Some grumpy buggers on here today

  128. Limestonegunner

    Watched Lorinet v. Rennes and Joel Campbell started and played pretty well; had some real skills. Aliadiere and Sunu both played in their attack so was an Arsenal youth past and future line up. Plus, M’Vila was playing, pretty anonymously, so possible Arsenal target also. It felt like being an Arsenal scout watching the match.

  129. Enjoy the game everyone

  130. Paul @ 5:46.

    You’re right. Same is true of anything that we post. Clearly I am making a mistake when I saying something like that as a fact and not an opinion. My bad.

  131. Am hiking through the redwoods just outside San Francisco so no access to watch the game, will as always appreciate your comments during the game 🙂 I know Fungunner hates it when I do this but I am going for a 3-1 Arsenal win. But in true Arsenal style we will leave the third goal til near the end of the game, just so we can all be on the edge of our seats with worry as we defend like madmen for about 25 minutes before Rosicky scores with a rocket from just outside the area! Simples 🙂 will be checking in during the game if possible so keep those posts coming thick and fast please :). COYG!!!!!

  132. Got you Jonny. In a nut shell, Walcott has been judged on his overall abilities and growth and not just his current form. I have been saying that even though he isnt a natural winger, that he has produced some brilliant things in his career and has time to improve.

    Watching the Rangers tonight Bill?

  133. Limestonegunner

    A very fine preview, I thought. We’ve been warned: good attacking wingers, fast counterattackers, defensively soaking up the pressure, and scoring on set pieces. The French Stoke?

  134. Limestonegunner

    Good luck, Bill. Your Rangers are facing a team on a roll.

  135. He lacks many of the skills required to be an effective central player in today’s PL. In today’s game you need more then just being pacey and sitting on the last defenders shoulder and trying to run into space to be effective at that position. You should at least have some ability to head the ball and hold up the ball. No reason why he could not make those runs into space in the center that we all salivate over by starting from a wide position and cutting inside. All that said I wish arsene would give him a chance in the CC or early FA cup games and see how it works. We don’t and probably never will have the luxury of experimenting at central striker in league games so unless we are hopelessly out of the race for 4th he is not going to be able to get a “run of games” at that position anytime soon.

  136. Limestone

    Thanks, stomach already doing cartwheels and the game still several hours away.. Cardinals on a roll but I think the rangers are better prepared this time. Most people making us the favorites but it’s going to be very tough

  137. Paul:

    Butt planted firmly in couch with my lucky hat perched firmly on my head.

  138. Paul N – riiiight – now I understand!

    Hilariously – you’d have had me fighting your corner on that one all the way.

    Lets just agree not to disagree on that one….

  139. It should be good Bill. You have two of the best power hitters in Hamilton and Pujols going at it. Should be fun.

  140. Paul……
    since we support the same club, we should find more areas of agreement than disagreements.

    The kid has potential – no one can dispute that position and he has produced some brilliant things in his short career…….but that is the issue. The club is struggling for consistency –
    besides RvP, since the CC final, we are in the midst of a goal famine.

    I support the manager and believe he’s the best to lead the club, but I’m not foolish to believe that he is perfect. Everyone at every age makes poor decisions.

    As far as English managers are concerned, my comment would only throw fuel on the fire.

    Lets hope tonight can be the beginning where Andrey and Theo can release their demons.

    Grumpy bugger off…..

  141. I think Arteta might be rested for this one..hope we see a midfield three of

    Song – Rosicky – Arshavin

    Should be quite exciting viewing I guess..but its away in the CL so the probability isnt quite so high on that one I guess

  142. I find the walcott talk quite intresting. Walcott says that he trains as a central striker but plays as a winger. Very wengerisque!

  143. I think a lot of the reason Walcott receives so much criticism is because his potential upside is so great and it just hasn’t been fully realized yet. Sometimes he makes running past defenders and finishing look so easy it seems he should be able to do it every game.

    I think that is just a testament to how truly dangerous a player he can be if he manages to find a way to be consistent. I think improving his close control and varying the speed at which he runs at defenders will really help him to find the game when defenses sit back.

    The great thing is that he is still incredibly young. We all just forget that because he has been with Arsenal for quite some time now.

  144. Why a change in font?? I quite like it though 🙂

  145. I know we won’t see this lineup, but I think it would be great for an away European fixture:

    ——————Back 5——————

    I think that would give us much more variety in our play. I think Chamakh would thrive in this lineup and would be especially up for it in his return to an old French for.

  146. *foe…not for

  147. @ viceologist..

    Agree with your upside comments .. but I think the key to his development is getting better at finding little pockets of space 5-10 yards inside the touch line in order to get a run at defenders..and a lot of that comes with experience for which we as fans need to be both supportive and patient..

  148. Anyone have an official lineup for the game yet?

  149. Arsession, only if it was only Wenger making the “mistake”. When you see Walcott get into the same position for his country it is because the managers are seeing something that we may not be seeing.

    The club has been struggling since the end of last season, with the big shots in the team. With confidence and familiarity will come the consistency of the team.

  150. Vice, I agree with your everything you have said regarding Walcott. Good comment.

  151. Arsenal line up vs Marseille: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Santos, Song, Arteta, Rosicky, Walcott, Van Persie and Arshavin.

  152. So Andrei still in chains 😦

  153. Haha there goes my theory of Arteta being rested..

  154. @ george

    Yeah the midfield trio of song, rosicky and Arsh would have been quite something

  155. I am really excited to see that midfield three again. Rosicky looked great on Sunday. Hopefully he can continue that form into tonight. I think Arshavin may be quite a nuisance tonight as well. He definitely has something to prove.

  156. Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielney, Santos; Arteta, Song, Rosicky; Walcott, Van Persie, Arshavin.

    Subs: Fabianski, Ramsey, Djourou, Gervinho, Chamakh, Benayoun, Coquelin.

  157. Jenks is the only under 20 player today quite an experienced line up

  158. sometimes i really do wonder with arsene
    just seen an interview were he said in all the pressure big games this season weve come good
    doesnt he count utd spurs and pool as big games?? although to be fair it was a brave effort v pool..
    very odd statement all the same

    anyway not a bad starting line up tonight

    regarding the post..i would agree that in terms of age etc..arshavin would be the one player where reservations could be held..but that could be a good thing as he may find his form again in an attempt to win a good deal..either with us or elsewhere..
    if i had to pick two of the four though it would be tomas and down one to go..

  159. They’re going to sit back at home. Glad to see we’re going with a more offense minded first eleven. Looking forward to watching Santos tonight. I have a feeling he’s going to be key.

    Happy to see nasri do fuck all in a blue shirt for a change. I knew Mancini wouldn’t know how to play him.

    Good luck, boys.

  160. Maybe he was talking about the CL, JJ.

  161. Great comment about Theo, Vice. I think his learning curve frsutrates a lot of people because he shows glimpses of magnificent play and then loses the ball as if he were an under 19 playing against big boys.

  162. i also thought that gains at first
    he talked about the qualifiers and i thought ahhhh i get ya..
    but then he mentioned sunderland

  163. Who are the idiotic commentators?

  164. Who’s injured in the warm up?

  165. Can anyone explain why half of the farside touchline stands are vacant?

  166. The stadium is being renevated for the upcoming Euros.

  167. Fucking North Cuba… 2 channels of football and both are Barca, one in English and the other Spanish!!!!!!

  168. Im hoping Dortmund and the Greeks draw

  169. 3 ephing channels and all the same Barca match… GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

  170. Would like to see Jenkinson and Chamakh on the pitch together at some point….

  171. 5 fouls 3 yellow cards… think the ref is after a card bonus

  172. Arsenal commits 2 fouls and are award 2 yellow cards… were the challengers that bad?

  173. Seems pretty even so far. Could have been a hand ball on Jenks. I guess some 50/50 calls do go our way.

  174. Can’t watch the game but ESPN gamecast commentor said the Mert having a great game. I hope he and Wojo will be the key to an Arsenal defensive resurgence in the next couple of years. We have needed that anchor at the back and in goal for a very long time. Props to Arsene for bringing in big Per.

  175. Marseilles busting a gut in first 20 minutes to close us. expect them to tire in second half.

  176. How is Arshavin playing, after the free AA campaign?

  177. Great give and go by Theo, with Theo. #howfast?

  178. damn, Dortmund equalised

  179. Shit Another defensive injury. I literally cannot believe our fucking luck.

  180. Fingers crossed Jenks is ok.

  181. Bill, they had a handball that stopped an RVP goal, much worse than Jenks’ it seems.

    We are actually the more dangerous team so far.

  182. have any of our 5 corners looked like they could be scored from? when was the last time we scored from a corner?

  183. Hey there Paul-N, you ok?

  184. Walcott is looking very good.

  185. I am great Steww! how is everything on your end?

  186. wow, we do look a bit lost today…. marseille looks equally lost though….

  187. Paul:

    We have taken over the game in the last 10 minutes.

  188. @Paul-N
    Not too bad, quietly confident as ever!

  189. Kos is playing great!

  190. fair enough to Marseille that was a good effort. Commentators having a dig at kos for trying to stay calm. OK he sliced his clearance but I want him to stay calm, we need quiet confidence at the back.

  191. Arshavin hasnt really gotten into the game as yet.

  192. where are “free AA”-ers??

  193. Where the hell do they get these commentators from? The English commentator just called Koscielny a Belgian!

  194. Surprised if we end with 11 on the pitch after those early bookings. Held my breath for Santos then.

  195. Kenyan – I’m listening to ATVO and watching ITV – it’s a winning combination.

  196. were the bookings fair? I mean 2 challengers and 2 yellows was the start and yet OM at the time had commited 4 fouls for no cards

  197. sweet the greeks have done it again 🙂

  198. Paul @ 8:15:

    I have never met a sports fan in my life who did not think his team got the majority of bad calls and bad luck.

  199. The booking on Santos was as bogus as they come.

  200. @ Miami
    Song’s you see given but Santos was dubious. It’s just so early to book anyone, if the ref is then consistent you end up with 5 against 6 after an hours play.

  201. fuck me Chelsea have scored 4 already

  202. @ bill
    read Untold Arsenal’s ref reviews. It is as scientific as it can be and unbiased. It does away with that kind of truism.

  203. thanks Steww… I was curious whether the crowd were playing its part in the decision making process

  204. Bill, I didnt see the first handball. The commentators said it more than once.

  205. 8 corners… we really do need to work on set pieces

  206. How is Arteta any better than Denilson?

  207. Its a shame about arshavin.a waste of space

  208. Im going to need a good half time review lads/ladies so warm those fingers up please

  209. Jesus, Santos should be off. This ref is a loose cannon.

  210. What a bad game, my eyes bleed…

  211. Steww, maybe the ref realised he screwed the pooch in making his first decision?

  212. Miami

    Scrappy first half. Both sides giving the ball away. Marseilles pressing and closing hard all over the pitch. Ref has missed at least two penalties and 3 handballs. We have had some periods of pressure but not sustained. Arteta still quiet in the middle but Kos looks very good at the back.

  213. Santos wasnt concentrating and wasnt prepared to recieve a high pass and ended up handling it.

  214. Luck boy Santos – ref can’t see handballs it seems…

  215. well we deffo look abit off our game, Marseille look like they are throwing on everything they have at us. I cant imagin them having another gear. We do though..

    And yes Kos is playing great and Jenkinson is tackeling the preassure ok i thought, and hes had alot of preassure down his side today…

    but lots of stray passes today..

  216. Good shout Miami, because the first was never a yellow, barely a foul.

  217. Arteta is tidy at defending but he needs to drive take more responsibility going forward.

  218. but it was a very messy half from our part. Like we totally missed with the tactics….

  219. Eight corners and did we look like scoring from any of them? Mind you OM defence look kind of suspect, worse than ours on a bad day 🙂

  220. It was messy game Poodle, but there is a sense of calm about the team that I really like. We are seem calm when under attack and I like it.

    A very bright spot has been Jenks.

  221. I knew arshavin’s performance against sunderland was just a good old adrenalin rush.absolutely poor today.which is normal for him.walcott not far behind as usual

  222. Walcott has been good, dont listen to ace.

  223. 8 corners and 15+ crosses from Jenks/Theo…

    Still believe in a win. We can only improve from this.

  224. I agree Paul, i think the team followed a premade game plan, and it just did not suit the game at all. Im sure they will adjust it in the break.
    Maybe Wenger simply underestimated not the marseille team, but his french counterpart of a manager.
    Im sure they will adjust in the break and we will winn though…

  225. Give arshavin another ten minutes then bring gervinho on. Chamakh on for walcott for the last 20.

  226. I just think they pressed us really well, that’s them not down to us.. They’ve also fouled us well but after a crazy start the ref has lost his cards.

  227. I like young Jenkinson. After the baptism of fire he has had he looks unfazed. Takes responsibility, wants the ball.

  228. Hands up who thought that was a foul? No? Thought not.

  229. ESPN commentator again says what a great job Mert is doing and how good the Arsenal defense has been. Great stuff. Go Per.

  230. Like watching two rugby teams playing a kicking game. Gaining territory, but kicking away possession. I’d be more annoyed if I was supporting the home team though. I sense we are stretching them a little more as time goes on.

  231. Excellent to see how relaxed Song looked there, Dribbled and passed out of our area, when a lesser man would have hoofed it.

  232. Theo was away that was a booking if the first half ones were.

  233. JD to score.

  234. fuck me, yet another defensive player injured

  235. Good save. Unfortunately. Theo doing well again.

  236. Did Theo slip as he took the shot or was that another bad tackle from behind?

  237. Walcott should have buried that.

  238. They are starting to look tired as expected. We are building pressure.

  239. Rosicky has been excellent as usual. Great tackling, and he has been providing the creative spark you would expect from Arteta.

  240. Can’t understand how L’om beat Dortmund 3:0?

  241. Steww, i believe your observations are correct, they are tiring.

    Arteta holding onto the ball too long, shouldve put Gervs through long blow wow time!

  242. ouch there is a stat we don’t want to read… Arsenal 28 crosses, 0 completed

  243. I’d say that was Arteta’s 100th tackle in an Arsenal shirt. Insane.

  244. Kenyan, I watched that game and all OM’s goals were counter attack. Dortmund controlled possession and had most of the chances, just could not bury any

  245. how on earth was that even a foul?

  246. One of the best tackles you’ll see, timed, skilful and up and away with the ball.
    And it’s a booking?
    Surreal refereeing.

  247. That’s the most ridiculous booking I have seen for a long time (against JD). This ref has been pretty poor.

  248. poor Djour… that was never a card!

  249. THE GREEKS ARE currently leading dortmound, so go figure

  250. you know 29 crosses, not one completed… what is the game plan there? did I miss the memo from Arsenal that said we are now a box charging team with players running unabated in to the box for crosses?

  251. We look better after the subs.

  252. I feel we are lacking pace ..

  253. Kos super cool there.

  254. “Stat Attack: Arsenal have attempted 28 crosses against Marseille so far, yet not one has reached a team-mate.”

    A comment from the ESPN guy on the gamecast. I can’t watch the game but I can only imagine trying to cross the ball into a set defense and how difficult it is to get the ball thru and into a dangerous position when the bus is already parked. We need to get more early attacking and counterattacks so we can send the ball into the danger areas before the defense can set up. Will mean less possession but probably more goals in the long run. Either that or everyone on the team are terrible crossers.

  255. Hmm… Dortmund seem to be a heavy possession team but they are not scoring any goals

  256. This typifies our season.
    Endless defensive disruption through injuries causing a lack of cohesion. As a team that builds from the back we lose our shape before we start when the defence don’t know each other.
    But with the skill of our front players we also always look like we can score. All in all a good enough away performance but we ought to be good enough to win here.
    In of course, my very humble opinion.

  257. This ref is a clueless!

  258. Unlucky – great chance.

  259. Goalllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll


  261. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssss.

    Was just about to post something mildly critical ;o)

  262. Oh what a cool finish. Great cross from JD and brilliant from Ramsay.


  264. Well, well, well…..

  265. I tell you what, Djourou has been absolute class!

  266. Oh and what a cross from JD! 😛

  267. Koscielny was immense. Position perfect. My Man of the Match. Confidence is growing guys.

    Keep the faith…..

  268. Lovely. Really lovely to scrap away for 90 minutes and steal it at the end. After all we’ve put up with that’ll do me.

  269. We deserved to win this. We are back!

  270. hah innefective my ass! we had three chances the entire match and scored one!
    thats effective…

  271. so 30th time lucky.. great guns 🙂

  272. Didier not happy! 3G’s made a difference when he came on, very lively. Top of the table.

  273. thats it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    the curve is well and truly turned. 1 nil to the arsenal. we are back!

  274. One nil to The Arsenal!

  275. Steww, you spoke a bit too soon, innit? (smiley face)

    What a kool win inspite of not being at our best going forward!

  276. Paul-N good point. JD has had the kind of season that destroys confidence but he looked really really good out there. It was his decisiveness and cross that won the game.

  277. Rambo! Get in there son!!

    Great performance!

    Koscielny immense, def man of match!

    Arteta excellent too!

  278. Top of our table now with 2 home games to come…

  279. snatching 3 points at the death……..great result…..

    everyone played their part…..

  280. waan Aaron Ramsey!

  281. irish called it. though not as eloquently as it turned out. LOL

  282. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! arsenal arsenal arsenallllllllll !!!!

  283. @ Paul-N
    Ha! Yes I was settling for an away point but the players didn’t. They were better than me

  284. JD did start slowly last year too, then he went on to have a proper good peroiod before he got injured.

    But the first cople of matches last year he was just horrible!
    I guess hes one of em players that need some time to really hit his form.

  285. Marseille – a good team. Significant win on the road…..and what a confidence builder.

  286. Mentalist, say that again: one nil to the arsenal. Yes!

  287. Kenyan – has a ring to it doesn’t it?

  288. Great way to win on the virtually the last kick of the game. Thanks to the defense for keeping the lid on at our end so that goal was the winner.

  289. great result..
    naff game..difficult to watch but the tables looking good now in a difficult group..
    thats whats important..

  290. but honestly was that ref a bit weird or what?? i mean not only towards us but towards marseille too… thank god he did not have any rash game changing decisions..

  291. We keep the good run going against Stoke, Bolton and Chelsea and who knows?

  292. and the only away team to win today. this is our yea for the CL… we will set ll sorts of records on our way to it too! Last time out we were the only English team to win!

  293. This group is indeed difficult, Dortmund are almost assured of not qualifying and yet they started joint favourites with Arsenal. If I was thinking a sneaky bid for Hazard with Lille going in to the Europa then what about one for Mr Gotze

  294. hah Djourou looks like a great choice at right back! He is (usually) further up the pitch, so his one touch shenanigans have a lesser chance of being punished. He seriously bossed the right flank, playing the ball quickly, and moving up the pitch at the same time.

    How fitting is it that our only completed cross came from an out of position 4th choice center back?

  295. Great touch from Gervinho for our goal…… deft 😀

  296. Aaron f@ckin Ramsay!!!!Now thats what you call a professional away performance…. The team defended cohesively in the 2nd half closing down the ball, pressurising Marseille into errors all over the place. After all the pre match talk of Arsenal are doomed to mid table mediocrity and are going to be knocked out bollocks being knocked out by the ‘unbiased’ commentators …in your face. 1-0 to the Arsenal. Gushing praise in the end from commentators for KosMert.

  297. Arsenal fan amorris1988 on Twitter: “5 wins in the last 6 games now. Crisis? What crisis?”

  298. and AW has finally won at the SV! Fir that matter are we the first English team to win there?

  299. 3 Gs definitely changed it. Fast and direct. Arshavin looks really finished as a player. Song, Arteta,and the Kos, were immense.

  300. Poodle the ref’ing seemed off to me as well. Theo got pulled back a lot. Arshavin stamped on a guy’s shin about 5 ft from the sideline ref. Even when standing 10 ft away from the incident, the goal line ref’s fail to catch two pretty convincing handballs.

  301. Djouro very impressive ! I hope he gets some confidence back from this. Theo still not impressive gervinio was very definitely a improvement when ge came on.

  302. will we hear anything about inspired subs, after all the bashing that AW receives? seems our 3 subs combined for that goal! what a priceless goal too!

  303. Yes, Keane and the old Aston Villa manager O’Neill or O’Neal had us losing tonight. ha ha ha!

  304. Something is terribly wrong with Arshavin. I wouldnt think of playing him up in the centre..

  305. Top result!!! Well done Gunners! Proud of you.

    Typical fucking twatty ITV though, trying to undermine the result! Their beloved ManU only managed a 0-0 there last season, but apparantly we should’ve rolled em over.

    Fuck them!

    Up the Arse!

  306. Walcott played well. Most of our dangerous play in the first half came from the right. Both Jenks and Walcott did well.

  307. hear hear, TS!

  308. Hope Jenks comes back ASAFP!

  309. Dex, like how United shouldve rolled over Basel, innit?

    What clowns!

  310. Have to switch off, almost midnight here. Kiss your girl goodnight for me PaulN. Goodnight all.

  311. Special mention to our CB’s especially Mertasacker,MOTM for me. Absolutely magnificent!

  312. Paul I had money on us losing tonight. Don’t you forget, our defense is calamitous and Mertesacker has a slow turn of pace.

    Seriously though the crossing is pretty atrocious. Carl Jenkinson played well and was often the furthest player forward on the right flank, but how many of his crosses went 2ft. and deflected off the defender? I’ll tell ya how many it was, and it was quite a considerable amount! Sign off.

  313. @ chill, happily for us, your loss!

  314. Many times we dont get enough people in the box Chill. He still played well none the less and kept Marsaille on the back foot.

  315. its mad to think about how Carl was not even a first choice at Charlton this time last year. And now hes playing for the gunners at Stade Velodrome in the CL!!!

    And hes playing well indeed!

  316. OptaJoe on Twitter: “90 – Both of Aaron Ramsey’s goals in the Champions League have come in the 90th minute or later (also vs Fenerbahce in 2008). Rescue.”

    good one. lol

  317. Also we got many corners from our play on the right. Good job from the team.

    And a clean sheet to keep Bill cozy!

  318. Yes, let’s get Gotze, we could use him more than Hazard.

    This has got to do a world of good for Ramsey and for Djourou. The whole team will get a big boost of confidence from such a scrappy win. We didn’t play great but we came away with a pretty fairly deserved win at the death. Wonderful!

  319. that table looks good..

  320. That ref was seriously mental as folks have mentioned.

  321. First away clean sheet since 2008 away win at the San Siro. Feels good. Maybe we will go deep in the CL this year after taking first in our group. That would be a seriously big lift and might carry over into league form. Arsenal on the march!

  322. Paul, I figured you for a married man!

  323. Funny thing was watching attack after attack come down the RHS and decent crosses being delivered to meet no one in particular. Cannot help but feel that Chamakh would have been useful here.

    If ever the time to play two strikers was more apparent I don’t know when it was.

    That was a low quality yet very interesting game.

    I have no idea what we do with Arshavin – if he’s the answer I do not know what the question is.

    One thing with Wenger, which even those who can see scarcely a flaw must admit, when you have gone from favour it’s a stony, unexplained silence from which few return.

    Chamakh is out of favour and few can say quite why.

  324. Also is everyone else seeing all comments in bold?

    I started this by accident at 17.27, and I know not how – my apologies!

  325. too hard on jenks
    massive performance tonight from him..well done that lad

    yes gotze or hazard would be nice..but januarys not here yet so the lads weve got need to step it up..

    rvp cuts a lonely deadly force uptop at the minute..the others need to start contributing more

    what a strike from rambo…first touch almost took it away from himself but he pinged it didnt he..

  326. Correct Limestone.

    I agree Jonny, I thought we had some good crosses also. Either Chamakh and/or get more people into the box.

  327. Great win and thoroughly deserved. Great to see the pundits choke on their spit. Missed the first half but very impressed with the defensive approach. Song is just a beast and Kos was awesome. As many have said djourou at right back was surprisingly good. Ramsey is always dangerous in the box and scored a great goal. Well chuffed and hats off to the away fans they deserve a cheer!

  328. I think what was key about Djourou’s cross was that it was early. We had other opportunities where forward players were calling for the ball but we didn’t react early enough. Well done. He totally reversed his nightmare away to Blackburn with a composed sub performance at RB. He’ll probably have to start v. Stoke. This will help him immeasurably.

  329. Arsene made some dodgy substitutions, I thought. I would’ve taken Arshavin off instead of Theo as Andrei was horrible tonight. Chamakh attack would’ve been my choice. We played it mostly in the air tonight.

    The ref was absolute shit. That yellow on Djourou was incredible.

    Djourou played like a proper right full back. He looked for the pass inside, got out wide when he needed to and kept his composure defensively.

    Koscielny was my man of the match. He got to everything. Alex Song came in second. I love what he gives the team.

    Mertesacker was poor. He was made to look mediocre by Valbuena and Remy on a couple of occasions.

  330. Well done Arsenal, well done Carl, well done Ramsey and most of all well played Kosc, my MOM!

  331. I agree Gains. I thought Gerv for Arsh and wondered why Ramsey was coming in ahead of Chamakh. But as it turns out, all three of the subs combined on the goal, so how can we really argue?

    Song was very strong and mature playing with the yellow. I also thought Merts had some really dodgy moments and was bailed out by Jenks, Kos, Song on several occasions.

    You were really wrong about Santos though–his first half was a serious mare. Luckily he settled in during the second half, which by rights he should never have seen, one could argue.

    Hopefully he recovers for Stoke because it will be more of the play down the wings and physical stuff.

  332. Mertesacker was that bad G69? thought he played quite well as did the defense on a whole. Santos started off a bit shaky but got himself together in the 2nd half.

    I agree that Kos was class though.

  333. Imagin when we turn this season around. The pundits will shit themselves and LeGrove will grit their teeth in anger.
    Eveeryone was sure they would get rid off Wenger now but they wont..what a disaster..hehe…

  334. Limestone, Santos shouldnt have had the first yellow to begin with. That was a crap call to say the least.

  335. As others, I really have to credit Jenks for giving his all. He played fairly well but what was superb was his spirit and effort. Brave performance from the kid.

    Games like this really build the team’s character. This is a valuable away win in the CL, which have been few and far between in fact over the last few years. I think we can improve at home and seize decisive control of the group. Our toughest two away trips and we have 4 points. That is superb.

    Are we the only away winners today? I think so and nobody had a more important win, especially an away win on matchday three, I believe.

  336. As Team Spirit said I called it (kinda 🙂 ). Great result but the job is only half done now. We need to win the next two home games and that should see us through. Once again thanks again to those who kept the posts going throughout the match. I could get used to hearing “1 Nil To The Arsenal!” again 🙂

  337. Paul he could easily have had a yellow for persistent fouling or for his trip on Valbuena. He seemed really out of sorts and gave the ball away alot too. I like him and thought he was great versus Sunderland; I just don’t know what was wrong today in the first half. He’ll be fine this weekend, I believe.

  338. I didnt see that to be honest but you could be right Limestone. As Biased as I am, it was Diawara who got away with the persistent fouling.

    I agree with you, Santos was a bit out of it in the first half but he should be ok going forward.

  339. I too questioned why it was Walcott and not Arshavin coming off. The only thing I can think of is Wenger wanting to rest him for the weekend.
    However, all of the subs made a difference and ultimately that is what is most important.

  340. ok so now the cl table looks pretty lets get another win at the weekend and make the Pl table look better..

  341. Per was alright, Paul, but getting beaten like that doesn’t look good. He could’ve gotten us a penalty the way he went to ground against Remy. He should’ve stayed up and made Remy come to him.

    I know, Lime. Santos was all over the place. He had some good defensive interventions, though. Valbuena couldn’t find a way around him. I thought he’d add himself to the attack more often, but he didn’t. Poor night for him overall.

  342. I see what you saying G69. He was poor a couple of times and left us a bit exposed.

  343. Just finished on my sky+ .So I am late to the party so excuse me

    go on Rambo my boy.
    My man Andrei never got in the game tonight.Everyone else let him down 🙂

  344. for all the focus on our defenders i think on a whole we defended pretty well tonight..

    mistakes were made but they stuck together and helped eachother out..
    koz was the fulcrum..

    we even dominated the midfeild..especially in the second and arteta were solid without being exceptional..

    our problem was going forward..the wingforwards once again werent in the game..i thought theo and arshavin were poor..again..maybe both would be better used from the bench??..rvp was isolated for large spells..again..we cant allow such a quality player to be isolated for spells we need to keep feeding him the ball..we need more from these players..if we are going to continue to persist with playing 3 up top we need more than one of them to contribute and currently its not happening..

  345. There you are George, I was wondering where you were bro!


    for once we were on the right side of it.

    those pathetic journalists will say we were lucky. but tell you what, we just did what man utd have been doing for the past decade.

    so if you rather take the words of those pathetic cunts, i feel for you.

    GET IN

  347. I cant see how people can say Walcott was poor?! strange to me but I am not going to get into that again.

    To me, the whole team played a little reserved going forward apart from Jenks and Walcott.

  348. I have to teach on a Wednesday so always watch delayed TV

  349. I said yesterday we would become clean sheet machines.

  350. Can’t argue with you Paul about Diawara’s persistent fouling. But this ref was completely bizarre.

  351. Walcott was better than Arshavin today. I am utterly mystified by him and his inconsistency. It is painful. He should be a leader of this team and instead he is a sub.

  352. We should move Andrei inside or sell him,it is that simple.

  353. Kos in imo is first name on the sheets, he is just immerse. Great win lads, i would have been satisfied with a draw but im absolutely delighted with the win. go on Rambo.

    When Rambo came in many Arsenal fans were angry and insulting him where i was, really disgusting. i told them not to celebrate when he scored

  354. I agree, Lime. The referee should’ve given Morel a yellow for his foul on Theo, but he completely missed that. The handball in the box I wasn’t too concerned with as he gave us a break on Jenkinson’s hand ball earlier. I think we were a bit flat because we could’ve gone down to ten at any minute.

  355. jeff

    WTF is their problem man??? Ramsey is quality and will be a massive player.


    For the 1st time, I am thinking we might be better off selling the lil Ruskie mate.

  356. Good for you, Jeff. I was actually happy to see Rambo getting ready to come in. Some idiots just boggle the mind.

  357. one nil to the Arsenal

  358. Yes Dex .he is not happy out there on the left.

  359. i agree with you george

  360. Great win!
    But am I the only one who noticed Arshavin appear disinterested, or tired? He did not give Jenks any cover, walks around after he loses the ball! Gah.

  361. Bradys right foot

    How can anyone doubt the sheer awesomeness of Alex Song or how important he is to us. Kozzer doing the biz, big Mert was solid and young Jenks future legend his attitude is first class he’s got grit, bottle and heart I fucking love this kid and all that in possibly the most boring game in the Arsene era and i loved it. Sing it loud gooners 1 : 0 to the Arsenal!!!!!!!!!! Btw I’m wiping Arsh’s performance from my memory lol.

  362. interesting how the guardian match report stated that there was a third handball incident (santos apparently). i am sorry, but sports journalists ahve such a poor standing in my mind that my first thought is that they invented that incident. anyone can confirm that it really took place, because i dun recall it at all.

    and of course, telegraph made no mention of marseille’s handball.

    so much for accurate journalism.

  363. He did it on about the halfway line out wise.And a free kick was given korihikage

  364. I thought Andrei tried hard.
    He was not disinterested.

  365. george,

    yeah i remember that one. maybe i ought to read the article again, because i got the impression that it was really controversial, and nothing was given. BUT i do have better things to waste my life on.

  366. korihikage I think the point is it looked like a booking and that would have been 2 yellows and off

  367. Bradys right foot

    I agree George but just in the same way I would give my all in the shirt, i’d still be shit. Andrei didn’t quite reduce himself to my level thank Christ but there it looks as though there is still room for continued detorioration. Arsh to his immense credit is still taking people on, still probing still running at people which is not easy to do when your stinking the place out like a large unflushable guinness and vindaloo derived log. Arsene for the most part has decided to play him through this stinkyness but he’s not a starter on current form, an impact sub certainly where his positive play may reap more rewards against tiring defencies. This could bring about a return to form and I actually thought he made a positive contribution last year, what i’m saying is his form is worse now than ever and is a cause for concern because on his day he can and should be winning games for us.

  368. george, thanks for the clarification.

  369. BRF,I am trying to find positives for him.He was good on Sunday ,right? 🙂

  370. Bradys right foot

    pedantic george | October 20, 2011 at 12:28 am

    BRF,I am trying to find positives for him

    Millionaire, Beautiful wife, great sense of humor and plays for Arsenal. Where did it all go wrong George lol.

  371. I thought the best thing we have done in this game is be patient. we kept it tight and did not go forward at every chance. Marseille normally rely on quick counter attacks but never had that option . It was frustrating to watch at times but the job was done efficently. the defence is shaping up nicely and behind We have one of the best keepers in the world.

  372. ‘Morning all! Did anyone realize that Chezzer did not have to make even one save during the game? or am I missing something…?

  373. Boring, boring Arsenal 1-0 …..1-0…. 1-0 ….in the dying minutes. Remember those days!

    Credit where Credit Suisse is due:

    Despite a few shaky defensive moments I was completely floored that an intervention by the young Djourou had such a positive affect on the outcome. Well done lad.

    Watch Gervinho with that pass though, having overrun the cross he sticks a high foot out and lays the ball off into the path of the oncoming, unmarked Ramsey. Class

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