Arsenal were a WHOLE TEAM of stars! Even Wenger….

Arsene came out with a plan for once, and it worked! by KM

So Arsenal gave me the best birthday gift you can have as an Arsenal fan with that marvelous 2-0 win away to Man City. Straight off to the positives with the number one being Arsene Wenger going out with an idea of how to beat city.

A performance Jose Mourinho would’ve been proud is something none of us expected really. Far too often have people (including myself) criticized Wenger for coming out trying to outplay good teams and getting ripped on the counter.

Well this time we were well organized and produced an example of a team performance. Did Mourinho call Wenger, and tell him how to beat City so that Chelsea have a 5 point lead? I don’t know, but whatever struck Wenger, it worked.

Can you really point out to one player as the star man? Yes, Cazorla was magnificent, his ball control was sublime, his penalty sharp and he also made an assist and a great dance afterwards. But really this one has to go to the team performance.

Coquelin, who played for Charlton a month back, was a real rock in our midfield. He really identified the need to protect the back 4 and get in the face of David Silva. When we scored, his reaction was to stay calm and continue to think about our defensive duties.

Giroud made a good game. He was winning first balls in the enemy box and scored when the opportunity came after a sleeping City defense. A big contrast to what we saw against Stoke the previous weekend.

Monreal was sublime. For me it was a clear penalty. Kompany got in the way and Nacho used it as a trigger. The Spaniard really is giving Gibbs no chance to come off the bench. Monreal is much more organized in defense and his heading is better.

On the other side we had a 19 year old boy who didn’t get a lot of mention but did a sublime job. Bellerin was fantastic. Just look at the City offensive line and their full backs. Zabaleta is probably the best right back in the league. Clichy and Navas are very fast, and Milner is usually a constant threat, but our full backs got good help from Sanchez and the Ox and it payed off.

This really was the best team performance of Arsenal I’ve seen for a very long time. Now the question is, was this a one timer? Why don’t we prepare like this for every game? Can we maintain this kind of performances?

Another big question mark is Ozil. He now has problem, with Cazorla being Mr. Fantastic for Arsenal. His game will have to rise. Exciting times. Competition in the Arsenal squad is getting hot. We have players coming back who will want a first team place and unless they produce the kind of stuff we saw at the Etihad, it’ll be hard to get.

Have a sublime week being a proud Arsenal fan!


Tags Bellerin Cazorla Giroud


    1. Dear AKBz, the man you all saw on Sunday is the actual Arsene, the other guy’s an imposter. I hope this Arsene stays…

  1. Gotta give ” le professor” wenger credit for the tactics used against city, hope its signs that he is getting his “mojo” back! Coyg!

    1. We can all really hope this is a starting point for better things to come. That City game showed why keeping large percentages of possession is pointless if you do not show intent & defensive discipline. We had an unbelievable 35% of the ball, but we did the job with it. What was most impressive about Coquelin is how he constantly glanced at the positioning of his backline, then plugged shut the most crucial pass routes for City attackers. He did that with great maturity. Santi! Oooh Santi! He tackled, dribbled, shot, passed, scored, did everything that any player fighting for his place against Özil should. If we can do this for 3 or so games in a row, we can acquire the consistency we need maintain for the rest of the season.

      1. I expect others have seen the stat that says that in Arsenal’s 10 lowest possession games since the Squawka/Opta stats begun that we won 9 and drew 1. Bit of an awkward stat when you think it goes against just about everything we stand for.

    2. I, as a #WengerOut sworn guy completely agree. However, the lack of these exact tactical variants is the exact thing that has slowly during the years put me in this booth. If he keeps showing us that he actually has some tactical variety with success, he might one day push me back into the AKB i once was.

      He does a lot of strange things on the transfer market that i really dont like, but one has to give him credit for the signings of Debuchy, Ospina, Sanchez and Chambers, as well as the surprise signing Özil. I do miss a plan though, because he has not shown signs of doing proactive transfers. Sanchez (winger) was not a kind of player we originally needed, we can see that in how Campbell has not really played at all, Özil was neither the player we needed last year. Ospina and Debuchy are fair enough, our backup keeper and first choice RB left the club, but those are drastic needs. What exactly is proactive then, one might ask

      Look at chelsea –

      Mata didnt fit into the formation / style of play – benched and sold, even though he was the best player in the club for the previous years. They needed fast wingers, so Willian and Schurrle was brought in. They also needed a defensive beast on the middle, and I believe they originally wanted to sign Matic already back then, but they way i interpret it, they needed to sell De Bruyne/Mata (or anyone to generate money) for that to happen, so that signing came in January. Then this summer came, and they were still not complete – needing a replacement for Lampard, and that striker they still hadnt replaced since Drogba left. A bit shocking that Arsenal didnt sign Fabregas, but either way. Fabregas + Costa.

      Now, they have the best team in the league, even though i must say that our first teams are really even.

      Courtois > Ospina
      Ivanovic >Debuchy
      Cahill = Mertesacker
      Terry < Koscielny
      Filipe Luis Coquelin (We havent seen how good Coquelin really is yet, but his performance so far has been very impressive. Still, he’s being called “our Matic”, so naturally…)
      Fabregas > Cazorla (even though recent form, Cazorla has been alot better)
      Willian < Walcott
      Oscar < Özil
      Hazard < Sanchez
      Costa = Giroud (Costa might be a better goalgetter, but Girouds teamplay is amazing, as well as the fact that he has 7 goals in 8 starting matches this season, if i remember correctly)

      1. I am a bit surprised that lack of ambition is regularly thrown at Arsenal and then in the next breath we hear that we did not “need” the player who at the time was regularly and routinely assessed to be the world’s best No.10. It was never a case of either Ozil or say a quality CB like Hummels – where do we spend the money? Ozil simply came on the market and we bought him. I imagine we would still be hearing about it now from the AOBs if it later came out that Ozil was available but Wenger decided he was too expensive and not what we needed. And then all last season the general chat was about this elusive 30 goal striker we had to have and then we get Sanchez, but he is apparently a “winger” and not what we need, notwithstanding the early signs are he is capable of providing 25-30 goals a season. This level and quality of player doesn’t come around too often.

        You are also a bit too kind in your assessment of Chelsea’s transfer dealings. It has worked out well but it took a lot of money and quite a few failures to get where they are now. Matic they bought back for 10X what they sold him for, they failed in the striker department for several years and Costa is a very belated fix to an old problem and Fabregas fell in to Mourinho’s lap.

        I think there is a part of your Chelsea v Arsenal comparison list missing. Felipe Luis v Coquelin – assume it was FL v KG/NM and FC v NM. Terry v Mertesacker and Kos v Cahill is the more natural comparison when you consider the differing roles/strengths as CBs. I think there are arguments to have each way for nearly all the comparisons – depends ultimately on the criteria you are judging them on. The only absolutely nailed on ones for me are Courtois > Ospina, Terry > Mertesaker and Ozil > Oscar. Willian for example is a far better all round footballer than Theo but Theo will get goals, something that has been weened out of Willian – I remember him as one of the most exciting prospects in Europe when he was at Shaktar – looks as if he has been completely neutered (or “Mourinho-ised” if you like).

  2. With every passing day this month it seems less and less likely that we’ll get a proper centre back. Just a last minute deal for an unheard of player from a lesser league as usual. ‘No one out there’, rubbish. There’s plenty of decent centre backs out there. There aren’t any top class centre backs that we could conceivably get, but I’d be happy to get a decent, experienced centre back, even if they’re not what Arsene is looking for. A decent centre back is better than no centre back at all!

  3. Wenger really frustrates me in the transfer windows and his loyalty to players is a double edged sword. Having said that – I think Wenger doesn’t get enough credit for ‘tactics’.

    If you look back to the win in Munich two years ago in the CL it was the same kind of display. Wenger had tactics and his team executed, same against Liverpool in the FA cup last year…

    Often times Wenger gets stick for ‘tactics’ while Jose gets praise. I believe a lot of times it’s Wengers loyalty to players who don’t employ his tactics which get him in trouble. The players make mistakes on the pitch and Wenger defends them – the media and fans alike suggested he isn’t an X’s and O’s man – I believe he is, and results against City, Bayern and Liverpool most recently have shown that. Its as much up to the players as it is the manager.

    1. Dude, a manager who gets spanked to 8 goals and 6 and such does not get any credit whatsoever. His record against big teams is shocking and a big reason why Arsenal never won the Cl besides playing in it for 17 years.

      1. And as good as the win was against Man can’t gloss over the fact that we have not been good enough to win the PL or UCL for a long time now..

        For me that doesn’t equate to a master tactician. Surely one of those would be masterfully tactical on a more frequent basis..not just in the odd game?

        Very happy with the win but let’s move on now shall we as it was just 3 points. Let’s see if a corner has been turned and we can kick on from here. Personally I have my doubts but hope I am wrong.

        1. We were comparable to any team in Europe at that time. Our tactics were fine, we were unfortunate with circumstance… Lehmann’s Red, and 2 late-ish goals.

      2. Did you read my comment? A manager doesn’t get spanked by 8 and 6 goals. A club does. When are the players at fault?

        The one fault I have outlined is that Wenger is too loyal to his players. Jose would bench all his players – he’s ruthless, he doesn’t care. Does that make him better then Wenger? Perhaps – but do I for a second think Jose is light years ahead of Wenger with X’s and O’s?


  4. Yes Le Prof deserves the praise too
    1. The biggest AW success has been buying Alexis. Not just the goals, but his sheer energy, never-give-up attitude, which is now infecting and raising the commitment level of the whole team – Cazorla, OX, Bellerin, Monreal. Anyone not chasing back when they lose out stands out like sore thumb. City game demonstrated real FULL team spirit for first time this season
    2. Coquelin was a nice piece of good fortune – the young guy took his chance and deserves a good run to cement his position. But we still need another strong DM – but unlikely to get a Schneiderlin or similar till summer. We’ll need to play 2 DMs in a lot of tough games in EPL and ECL.
    3. Kos makes a big difference – Per played his best game on Sunday. We need 1 or 2 back-up CBs to rest both Per but especially Kos – Reid and van Dyck would do – as we won’t get top level CB like Hummels, Laporte etc in Jan window, so go for them in summer

  5. Have a feeling we are doing away with zonal marking. Our defense was water tight, air balls were met with fight and determination and quite honestly Silva and Aguero were invisible most of the game. Even Bould had a bit of a sparkle in his eye. If I were a City fan, I would be most displeased with Vincent Kompany, I’d say both goals were his fault. In light of this, it is great to see our forwards taking advantage of the other team’s blunders. The way Cazorla is playing, I don’t really see a way back in for Ozil as much as I like him. We have found a winning formula against a few different types of teams, all Wenger needs to do is adjust it slightly from game to game. I’m kicking a dead horse saying this, but after watching replays of the game, I noticed not once did Sanchez just stand around. If he lost the ball, he flew back to defend and try regain possession. Absolutely amazing player, always a threat always sweating blood for his team. Coquelin is a breathe of fresh air and I hope he can keep up the excellent work, same applies to Bellerin, made City’s golden boys look average/poor. My wish is that we can do the same against Chelsea and United when the time comes.

  6. Can’t wait to read Hafiz’ negative comments. Like City had injurys or played poorly etc. Lol

    I think we played well and key was Cazorla playing in the central position. If Ozil plays against Brighton “for the love of God” don’t put him on the Left Wing. He will never show his true colours if he is on the wing. He is like Fabregas. He needs to be in the middle

    1. Penallty was soft and the boss prevented a tap in which almost got in, hahaha, srry man i had to do it. ( not that i care how we won).

  7. Im I the only 1 that notice we conceded about 20 corners and came away with a clean sheet?..for the first time in a long I watched a game and didnt once think we would concede from a corner… it the boss and mert being bk together? it ooooooooooospina being in…is it girouh yes OG12 being on that front post?..idk but I think bold should be applaud for the word he did on our set pieces…oh and we’re scouring from them now too..WTF… this my arsenal lol

  8. The Brighton game is a great one to rest some key players like kos,Alexis and Santi and give others some game time chambers,theo and Ozil.
    Like to see Hayden in the squad as well if he is fit ?

    1. Yes true

      Sanchez needs rest definitely. He has been are most hardest working, consistent player. Played so many matches.

      I’d like to see Walcott, Ozil, Campbell, Ramsey play. Yes Hayden too. Maybe Chambers and Hayden at CB. Also Bellerin at RB.

      I think we should give Szczesny a chance to prove himself against Brighton (although he probably won’t be busy against Brighton- hopefully we will keep possession most of the match)

    1. Gnabry is out for 2 weeks, same as Welbeck
      Debuchy and Arteta out for 3 months
      Wilshere out until end of February
      Diaby= God Knows

      1. I read that Arteta was only out for 6 weeks (even the pundits said as much on Sunday). He’s just having some screws removed from his ankle, or the metal brace in their (not sure which) removed. So he should be back come the end of February and back around the same time as Jack.

    2. Bro, Diaby has gone to see his sister somewhere around Bermuda triangle. Won’t be back anytime soon.

  9. Also, I think Bellerin and Chambers are doing well with Debuchy’s position (RB) but with Debuchy out for rest of season I will be well annoyed if Wenger doesn’t get another defender or gets a poor defender by February. I have a bad feeling this will be another last minute signing (if there is one)

    Also, Coquelin has been a revelation. We still need a top DM but until then he should be number 1 DM and when we get a new one Coquelin will be an awesome sub/alternative.

    1. I hope Szczesny, but Martinez would do a decent job against Brighton. I’m not being disrespectful to Brighton but hopefully we can keep possession for most of the game and not allow our keeper (whoever he is) to be too busy.

  10. We as a club should be ashamed that the celebration of an away victory at City is just dragging on like a cup victory. Yeah well done to the players and wenger but come on this is rediculous now.

    1. I think this shows how starved of performance, consistency, wins against big clubs and overall success we have been.

      It’s like giving a bowl of hot piss to a man dying of thirst for 10 days. Appreciated in a very big way!

      1. Depth is building at the club.
        Bellerin Mertz Koz Monreal
        Coquelin Ramsey
        Chamberlain Cazorla Sanchez

        Chambers Hayden New CB Gibbs
        Arteta Wilshere
        Walcott Ozil Podolski

        Debuchi Ajayi ? ?
        Flamini Rosicky
        Gnabry Zelalem Campbell

  11. Lets kick on from here and fight for the EPL and UCL GOYG.

    Wenger you have finally learnt that you need to defend more and let our attacking players do the job of scoring goals.

    How long has it taken ?????

  12. off topic,

    please people how did Chelsea do it this days…they don’t have single player in physioroom. how come their players don’t get injure..? their the only team in EPL the have 0 player on physio room.

  13. If signing a new CB is proving difficult for the boss to get, I think the boss should solve the problem internally for now by recalling Ajayi from his reported loan trial spell at Sunderland to fill the CB backup gap. Isaac Hayden is reported to have had an ancle operation that will keep him out for a spell. Thus making Ajayi the only internally available option left for the boss to call upon.

  14. So Jack is officially holding the Arsenal Back:

  15. Excellent win on Sunday against one of our many nemeses if you would believe the pundits and the superiority of the ‘Top Four’ or ‘Bigger Teams’.

    However, whilst it was refreshing to see Arsenal adopt a plan B for once to beat Man City, the adaptation doesn’t stop there. When we play Liverpool for example we will have to come up with yet another plan, a plan C to combat how they go about their business.

    Man City, are quite a force defensively and offensively but like Arsenal, do have a penchant for playing football in as near a truer sense as is allowed in the premiership. This means that although they’ll allow other teams to at least engage in a game of football as opposed to a war of attrition that you might expect from the likes of Hughes’ Stoke or West Ham (or many of the teams Allardyce has managed in his career….Blackburn, Bolton, Newcastle). City are fairly confident of their own abilities in the purists footballing sense to rely on their skill and flair to win the day. Although, they’re no mugs and will use guile as and where it’s needed.

    Now, Liverpool on the other hand do not have the flair of Arsenal or City and play a totally different game altogether. As was seen when they gave us a spanking last season. I’m going to digress for a second with regards to that game last season and just say that……although they hammered us on that particular day. We played them four times that season and beat them three out of four! Digression over.

    Liverpool, with their limited capacity for any real flair and grace, or should I say Brendan Rodgers tactic is to come out of the traps at two hundred miles per hour and attempt to hunt the opposition down in packs of two’s and three’s forcing you to concede possession and then picking up the scraps. This is exactly what they done to us in that drubbing and the way they managed to get a draw from us already this season. They’ve got a team full of work horses who are told to work in packs and put players under pressure and to do this constantly. It’s almost a percentage game for Rogers and Liverpool whereby if you keep applying that sort of pressure until the ball becomes like a hot potato for the opposition. At some point it’s going to prove dividends and although a very unpolished form of football could well go to achieving three points.

    So whilst we can pat ourselves on the back on the back of the City result and have major inroads in realising that a change of tack i.e our Plan B whereby we relinquished possession to 35% but got a fairly comfortable win. As opposed to having possession in the high 60’s plus and losing. We still have to be mindful that the change to match situations will also have to be constant.

    A team like Liverpool have a set method in mind, to wear down the opponent with sheer hard work or physical endeavour at the expense of flair and hope to get a result and have twice against us in the last five games……again the drubbing and more recently with the two all draw.

    I know we’re not playing Liverpool for a while but the point I’m trying to illustrate is that. Although it looks like Wenger has put his stubborn approach aside and opted for less subtlety and more pragmatism and has come to the realisation that this is what is needed. He can’t afford to use it as a one off to placate the fans or to resort to type. He has to realise that the tactics might often have to change depending on the opposition and he as to adopt the strategy and the team to do that.

    I think with the team we have now and the drive and passion each player has and brings to the team, coupled with a good tactical approach should really set us up well for the future. And, whilst we not win the premiership this season the likes of Ospina, Koscielny, Monreal, Bellerin, Chamberlain, Carzola, Gibbs, Coquelin, Welbeck, Sanchez, Ramsey, Giroud et al…..under Wengers’ guidance, do have what it takes to mount a serious challenge in time to come with only minor tweaks to personnel.

    I’ve always said, it’s not all about going out and busting your purse to buy a rampaging defensive midfielder or a strapping defender and thinking that was the answer. Most of the decent players in all positions are already at clubs and tied into long deals so unless you’re going to break the bank to lure them to your team……’re only going to be left with what everyone else doesn’t want. And if you do lure them in…..what’s the point of having this all powerful defensive midfielder when the system you employ still exposed the team as a whole.

    We don’t have to spend stupidly……..we just need to hone the players we got. Play the right ones to suit each game and employ the right collective tactics to suit each team.

    The change has come………….the change is good !

  16. I was the real star. I showed desire, commitment and concentration. I timed by beers to perfection so that I was not dry in the vital periods at the end of either half. I was well rested and showed stamina throughout the 90 minutes. I showed leadership over the remote.

  17. I’m still in shock and wondering how we managed the tactical change! Was it coquelins addition and organisation, cazorla being at his best, a great motivational speech from wenger or did bould take the the training session running upto the game.

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