Arsenal Tactics, Rumours and Building Blocks!

Today’s Arsenal Thoughts by TJ

It’s instructive that this is the strongest pre-season squad we have had in a very long time. The first pre-season Ozil has had with the squad.

Santi and Ozil are working magic together. Goodness me that’s how football must be played. It’s almost like taking street football tricks and turning it on, on the big stage. Santi from deep driving up and linking through to Ozil with foils either side of them. 4-2-3-1 is the play we play – don’t change it. It reminds me of Mr Miyagi in Karate Kid…”crane technique…if do right…no can defense!” (adapted…look it up kids).

Through this window I am also reminded how so called “world class” players moving to another team suddenly aren’t so world class. I am also reminded how some “good” players suddenly get hailed as “world class” when they join another team. I wonder whether those doing the “hailing” ever stop to consider that perhaps their talents and skills were best suited to the system being played and that brought out the best in them. That perhaps, there is “world class’ in a lot of players provided their skills, attributes and abilities were harnessed with the right game system. This goes to the term AW has used frequently recently – cohesion. Also known as “fit for purpose”…for the car lovers out there…drop a small block V8 into a 1970’s VW Beetle and see if you get the quarter-mile record 🙂 Even the great Shelby couldn’t get that to work.

All components of the system must work in cohesion. You don’t want the world’s best (btw is Alexi Vidal the world’s best RB but I am sure after 2 seasons with Barca he will be hailed that way)…you want the best component that fits into the system you are building, guided by the overall philosophy and strategy.

Some players can be moulded and taught to play in the system and with that philosophy and some are just made for one style of play – and they may probably well be “world class” in that particular style of play, but outside of that…well they’re just “good”. Gab is a good example…he IMHO is an intelligent footballer who knows how to adapt and I believe now that the language barriers have dropped a little and he’s grown accustomed to playing with both Per and Kos, will be a very valuable member of the side.

I read a critique of Per…I think the comments were fair both ways. In my view, Per is almost a sweeper style CB when we play the 4-2-3-1. It’s almost unique to us and I don’t see him as a liability on the pitch at all. You can never judge a CB on his own…it’s always about the CB pairing. Which brings me to another observation about Chambers. If/When/Should Chambers take up the defensive shield role, what is important when you have 2 FB’s bombing up the flanks is the ability for the “shield” to drop into a 3 man CB wall if needed and we are caught on a break. In time, either Chambers or Bielik will be able to do that. Per covers the right side but when you have a Hector bombing up, he needs a Coq or Ramsey to help him. That understanding has worked very, very well. A good system harnesses your strengths and compensates for weaknesses…don’t ever think these so called “world class” players don’t have weaknesses.

Much talk about our strikers/forwards. I think OG12 is peaking to his potential – this season and next. He is a far better player than the day he joined AFC. He scores but we only recall his misses. He is not the clinical finisher. I would love a OG12 with the finishing of say, Suarez…there ain’t no player like that. But he is a very important component of our mix especially because of our lack of height through the spine and his first touch/shielding and winning the second ball to start attacks is fundamentally important. He fits the system. Having said that…would a Benzema be better? Of course…but let’s ask 2 other questions…are RM selling and if so, does Benzema want to join us? Benzema will take some time – IF HE JOINS US – to fit into the system and for the providers to understand how he prefers to play. That degree of flex in the system allows us to cast a slightly wider net in terms of potentials. It helps that he is familiar with Ozil and he is French!

Szc on loan is a good thing for him…let’s hope he develops and doesn’t self-destruct at Roma! Thanks Flame for everything…you are what you are and your journey with us has been great. Sanogo to Ajax is brilliant…what an endorsement for the young man that Ajax see the potential in him. Ajax are not our “workshop” to drop broken bits into….if Overmars and DB10 believe they can mould and use him…it will be for this Ajax campaign…he will come back transformed.

Well that’s it for today you Gooners!



  1. So your saying the reason
    Arsenal has failed to win the
    EPL for 11 years is because
    the manager has bought
    too many poor players and
    can not maximize the
    teams potential.
    Well that’s true but like we all know that.
    But this year is gonna be
    different you hope?
    I guess that’s all we can do…hope.

      1. Guys i think we have a striker with us who can lead us to talking about danny welbeck..these guy can become a top cf if he really puts in a lot of effort and highly improve his finishing..its only his poor finishing that makes him look totally awful and i think if wenger can change that side of welb’s game, then we have ourselves a gem..his england record speaks for itself..have faith in welbeck wenger if you will not buy another striker this window and am sure his hidden qualities will be unleashed..for me he can be the best cf in the world ahead of even benzema maybe on par with lewandowski…try him wenger and make him work hard, believe in himself,and congratulate him regularly and am sure we will have uncovered a beast.

  2. Benz would definitely be a good addition to the team. ..However, that’s IF he comes.
    Emphasis on IF.

  3. “I believe we are ready to go further”. The perpetually spoken words of our dear Manager and he’s said them again at the beginning of this season!
    He leaves me and I’m sure most fans speechless with his weak war cries unlike JM who took over the year before and thought it was going to be difficult to win the EPL but then said Chelsea would win it last season, and was he spot on? We want the same level of confidence from our Manager. He refuses to do so cow he realises it takes top quality players to live up to that statement! £9M a year in wages? Come on Mr Wenger!!!

    1. @darlingbudsofarse to say at the beginning of the season that one will win the league is over-confidence and not confidence. It is so beacause how your team plays is in your hand, true, but well or bad other teams play is out of your control. So to say that we will definitely win the league means you are underestimating others and maybe overestimating yourselves.
      Quite honeslty, jose didn’t say he will win the league because of his confidence, it was more to do with his arrogance and ignorance.

  4. Beside the purchase of a deadly striker and a DM, AW should have a Plan B and C, as to how we gonna beat teams that park the bus…which was a major issue last season.

  5. The only way we will progress is for Arsene to get rid of this player loyalty/naivety and get the right 11 men on the pitch. Whether this poor trait comes as a result of financial insufficiency or simply being too stubborn will become obvious from now until the end of August. We’ve said countless times that we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt because of the stadium debt etc. but now we have been in a strong position financially for a few years and that excuse has well and truly dried up. Just get the job done, if it’s not the fans screaming for a clinical striker and competent defensive midfielder, then it’s professional footballers, and heck even Giroud has welcomed said additions… that says it all really.

  6. If wenger wanted to sign benzema or anyone else, he would have already done that. by now. But he doesn’t want to, simple as that. You and I know that there are only 3 things that can force wenger into signing players :

    1.A serious injury to a key player
    2.An embarrassing defeat
    3.The board/fans’ unrest

      1. While I agree we (guys like me) have no real idea how the market works, why the f**k do you often sound like Nostradamus? You often portray yourself as the all knowing Charlie who works directly with Arsene and knows everything more than everyone else.

        1. Right, because I would need to be Arsenes right hand man to know that a transfer like Benzema isn’t something you simply ‘get done’ in the first week of the transfer window…

          I dont portray myself in any such way, I simply get bored of reading criticism based entirely on ignorance. All views are welcome in forums like these, but at least have some grasp of the subject matter.

            1. Do you have to talk like a 14 year old?

              You know exactly what I was inferring, you’re getting pissy because we haven’t made waves in the early stages of the window. City and Chelsea have only made a signing each, why not simply be patient and let the window play out.

              We only need 1 or 2, so I’d much rather we take our time in the market and get exactly what we need rather than blow our load on the ‘easily obtained’ players we could get. Look at City, had to pay 49mil because they haven’t a clue how to work a transfer window…..Sterling wanted out and Liverpool still managed to fleece City, embarrassing. No thanks, keep your Aubameyangs at the expense of your Benzemas, I’ll happily wait until the last hour of the window to make the best possible signing we can.

  7. 23days running……………… 1 opportunistic signing ……….. Hahahahaha ……… Even a struggling Newcastle team(Note: they had somany injuries last season) have completed more transfers than Arsenal so far….. Keep ya hopes alive……there is still time…right?

    1. Are you dim? The teams buying more players than us finished behind us last year and are in dire need of such additions. If you seriously think the more you buy in a transfer window equates to good business you’re clueless, we needed 3 of the right signings when the window opened – now we need 2.

      I’ll never understand how you can be so dramatic to bang this drum DURING a transfer window….if the window shuts and we end up with someone like Krychowiak and Benzema, just how pathetic is your toys-out-the-pram routine going to look. Seriously mate it’s getting boring, just keep your noise until the window is closed.

  8. rumors Wenger has a backup option if he cannot land Benzema & then he will try for Lewandowski. Robert Lewandowski’s agent recently said the player’s next move will be to England or Spain or ibra + gotze

  9. Just sick of this window. Stupid, idiotic rumours. How do these guys come about all the crap the put out there for people to read? Same Vidal that Arsenal had reportedly signed is now going to play for Bayern.

    Now the idiots are saying Lewandoski is Wenger’s backup plan if we do fail to land the French Benz. “Backup”??? How can a guy like Lew be a backup plan?

    Whoever is in charge of this market should shut it down AsAP.

  10. so I guess some idiot here knows more than lewandowski’s agent lool it’s rumors that we are in for him just chilllll

  11. Sorry it’s off topic but my signing of the season would be Isco. Not Benzima, not Robert not Drexler.

    1. Isco has my vote.
      He is a fantastic player at a young age.

      Problem is that Benitez doesn’t want to lose him and also Isco is extremely popular in Madrid. One of Madrid’s most loved players and he is only 23

      But still worth a bid. If you don’t bid, you will never know

      1. Isco is a hard worker and has a complete game and really talented. If we got him I would be amazed

        Amazing Signings
        2013: Ozil
        2014: Alexis
        2015: ???? + Cech(I consider Cech to be highly important signing even though he only cost £10 mil because he is WC + PL & CL and we have needed someone like him for 10 years to win the PL)

  12. champagne Charlie,well tell me how they work,and please elaborate why it seemingly is harder for Arsenal to sign players compared to our rivals??Eh?

    If stoke city can sign shaqiri within days,why do we have to take an entire transfer window to sign a player that we really really want?? am listening

      1. Shaquiri plays for Stoke now does he? Maybe someone should let him know that…

        Our “rivals” being who? The title is between 4 teams IMO, Arsenal, Chelsea, City, United.
        Arsenal – Cech
        Chelsea – Begovic
        City – Sterling
        United – Depay, Schweini, Scheniderlin, Darmian

        So how are we lagging behind our rivals exactly? The two teams who finished above us last year have added 1 player a piece, as have we. The rest have added several more….out of obvious necessity in being so far off the pace. I’m not going to lecture you on how transfers work, give Google a go. The short version is this, buyer wants player, player needs to choose what he wants, seller needs to choose to sell. 3 main variables with several smaller ones decide a transfer, if you think it’s as easy as ‘we want him’ I don’t know what to tell you.

  13. We are always linked with many players, how many of them does wenger actually sign?
    Trust me the answer is ALMOST NONE.

    he always surpises us, but i hope this time he surprises us by signing benzema, the one we’ve been linked for ages.

  14. definitely Nostradamus…….. L()L ……….since there isn’t anything seriously going on at the Arsenal….. I could use some tantrums….. So excuse me pumpkin head!

  15. didnt think it was possible to spout more philosophical twaddle than the frenchman…but congratulations you have managed it ….and the point is … all is for the best in the best of all wengerian worlds but we would be a bit better with benzama!!

  16. I suppose fabian delph isn’t a player? eh?Falcao isn’t a player?eh?and both chelsea and city have made it clear that they are going to add more players,John stones will defo be a chelsea player next season, de bruyne will defo be a city player next season.Utd were not far off from us last ssn,they have signed 4 quality players and LVG has made it no secret that he will be signing a striker.

    Stop trying to look smart dude,transfers are happening all around us, Liverpool have signed 7 players already. But ofcourse Wenger is the genius, the all knowing professor who can never go wrong.How has that worked out for us for the last decade?You think this window will be any different because you are deluded,but it is typical of the other windows, and so is the season ahead.Cheers mate

    1. Yes was starting to think that too. A lot seem to be getting very needy. Been supporting Arsenal since the 1970’s and have seen some brilliant times but some very very barren times believe me. Am a season ticket holder and don’t begrudge spending my money though.

      Back to back FA cups and all the excitement involved in that…..we are in the CL and all the excitement involved in that….there or thereabouts each season and all the excitement involved in that. Do we really have it so bad as fans? Would you rather be a Spud or scouser? Nope thought not!

      Yes it’s frustrating, we all wan to win the EPL. We all want gloating rights over our rivals when we turn in for work on a Monday, but football is not always about that.

      We have a strong squad this season, would love some additions and we might get them, but if not then so be it. At least we retained all our best players and have Cech from the Chavs.

      Let’s not be so entitled, get behind the team and stop bickering amongst ourselves and just enjoy the fact that in a couple of weeks it all begins again thankfully and look forward to the Emirates cup this weekend!

      You never know we might find a couple of signings come our way after that. I am at the cup on Sunday and the first game Lyon are playing so hopefully if Lacazzete has a good game perhaps AW will put in a cheeky bid? Who knows! He might have a surprise up his sleeve the sly old fox….although probably not. Either way it’s soon to be EPL for good, bad, indifferent and I personally can’t wait.

  17. Agree with @champagneharlie. Some people need to go and hibernate during transfer windows and set their alarms to wake the day before. Transfers of the top players involve a waiting game where we are in the hands of the selling team buying first, its not rocket science. Wenger has a list of targets when the window opens and sticks to it. We’ve been through enough windows now to know seomtimes a trsnsfer happens early and sometimes it goes to the wire.

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