FIVE things Arsenal learnt from the draw with Besiktas

Champions League playoff tie – Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five takeaways from Arsenal’s perspective by SE

Arsenal’s Champions League campaign kick started yesterday, with the Gunners looking to win against Besiktas, on aggregate, to progress to the group stage of one of the most appetizing club competitions. The first of this two-legged playoff tie at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium culminated in a 0-0 draw, with both teams not doing enough to go into the lead, ahead of the second leg at the Emirates next week.

However, from Arsenal’s perspective: Here are five takeaways from their performance last night.

The Gunners still hold all the cards

After playing out a 0-0 draw, and leaving Istanbul empty-handed, Arsenal could feel frustrated by the number of opportunities they failed to tuck away – profligacy that has the potential to haunt Wenger’s men come next week. But, having kept an away clean sheet, and with the luxury of playing the second leg at the Emirates, Arsenal are very much in control of their destiny, as far as this playoff tie is concerned.

We need to reserve our judgments on Calum Chambers for a later date

It’s only human to look at a young prospect, and irrepressibly use a whole lot of adjectives to describe the prodigy. Calum Chambers’s potential and maturity is out there for everyone to see; but let’s face it: the lad is just 19, and has a lot more improvements to make to his overall game.

Albeit the young defender looked good in thwarting the likes of Ba, Ozyakup and Sahan, over the course of 90 minutes, there were a couple of moments when the former Saints man looked shaky and very nearly paid for it. Most conspicuously, his slip in the 44th minute of the match could have cost the Gunners had Demba Ba found the back of the net.

And, it is moments like those that, without a bit of pressure, the lad might be able to execute better than what he has managed to, so far, as a Gunner. Yes, it’s difficult conceal the apparent excitement when Chambers walks on to the pitch and oozes verve, but we just need to reserve our judgments on him for a later date.

Champions League comes with its own set of features

Champions League games take the excitement levels to a whole new stage altogether. Be it with the anthem, or the Adidas ball that features in this tournament, they catch our eyes almost always.

But there are certain things that frustrate us year after year, and one season after another. ‘Refereeing’ in games of this magnitude infuriates almost every one of us, and yesterday’s game was one classic example of that.

For some reason, the ref gave the match every chance to flow in the first half, despite the kind of challenges that were going in, which, on another day, could have enticed the man-in-charge to produce a card or two. But the Serbian referee, who had kept the cards in his pocket until then, abruptly started dishing out card after card from very early on in the second period. A slight jab, barge or a shirt pull at your opponent, and you were reprimanded with a card.

Secondly, the standard of playing surfaces is contentious, to say the least. The turf at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium was ignominious in its semblance: Bumpy, hazardous, and incongruous for this magnitude of a Football match.

What’s up with Giroud?

The Frenchman was one of the two changes for the North Londoners on the night, as he replaced compatriot Sanogo from the game against Crystal Palace on Saturday. And, the lanky striker’s profligacy time-and-again went on to be described as ‘not-yet-match-fit’, which is becoming perennial and viral. I can’t remember a marquee moment that the 27-year old managed to carve out, yesterday, which was disappointing. For all the bustling energy Sanchez rendered the Gunners’ frontline, it was a shame that he couldn’t get any smidgen support from Giroud. And, with fixtures coming thick and fast for Arsenal, you begin to wonder, ‘What’s up with Giroud’?

Palace game at the weekend had an effect on the Arsenal players

The first half of the match was as electric as it could have possibly got, with both sides hustling and harrying each other, and thereby making it more than competitive to watch. But the second half became a one-sided affair, in terms of possession and chances created. Arsenal, very early on in the second period, looked tired, passes went astray, and there was an air of resignation about the Gunners. Certainly, 2 games within 4 days did take its toll on the Arsenal players. And it doesn’t get much easier, either, considering the two fixtures that await the North Londoners in the next 7 days.


Arsenal did show ambition to win the game, and make it easier for themselves in the home leg next week. But, overall, you got to say that Wenger’s men would be happy to have kept a clean sheet and honors even, ahead of the second leg.


Tags Besiktas Chambers Giroud


    1. There were four things we learnt from that match.

      1. Arsenal and Arsene Wenger must get into the market for an already made striker like Cavani at whatever cost if they want to have a go at the premier league trophy. And this is possible given the new approach of our manager and club towards the transfer market.

      2. Giroud can not steer Arsenal’s season long push for the trophy whether we want to admit or not.

      3. Arsenal should get a central defensive midfielder. Khedira or perhaps even Christoph Kramer. Kramer is a good lad too esp for the future

      4. Arsenal should sign Thomas Vermaelen’s replacement as soon as possible, and if possible a left back since Gibbs is always injured.

    2. Remember that the team have only trained together for only 2 weeks and even Arsene Wenger said that the team isn’t ready. We should finish them at the Emirates anyway. Cazorla missed our best chance as well. Giroud didn’t really have any decent chances but he was awful and no where near sharp enough for my liking. Ramsey was awful as well and Wilshere was our best midfielder. Chambers struggled and Koscielny were off the pace. Ramsey must learn from that and Giroud needs to be sharper for the next game but to be fair Ramsey and Giroud scored against City plus Giroud popped up in am important position to provide Ramsey with a tap in for 3 points against Palace.

      1. Giroud missed the best chance just before a half time a dinked through pass by Ramsey had him one on one Giroud took an air shot,he also missed from Sanchez’s cross from the right when he turned and fell over instead of shooting!

        1. Watch it again he fell over due to pressure from the defender then the defender blocked the shot and it as bad luck. The air shot he should have done better but Cazorlas was better because of forward momentum.

          1. Ox needed 1 min to create a real chance from nothing ,
            If Giruod played from yesterday till now he could not score a single goal

            1. Positive lessons learnt:
              1. Calum Chambers

              2. We played with 10 men (Giroud doesn’t count)..then 9 (Ramsey RED)..Yet kept a clean sheet!

            2. …….and the next minute he gave the ball away stupidly and left us back-peddling and dangerously exposed. A blessing and a liability in the space of 120 seconds so need some balance.

        2. Ramsey miss one on one as well, he should have release a shot when he can. Don’t just point finger at Giroud, our midfields are poor too. We need to improve as a team – but for Giroud better to have a new striker coming in, someone who can bench him

          1. its pretty clear that the main thing i learnt from last night is that Arsene Wenger has learnt nothing from last season

    3. 1.)Giroud is crap&Disgrace 2.)same as point 1 3.)Same as point 1 4.)Same as point 1 5.)Giroud is crap & Disgrace.

      1. Giroud played 90min whereas Rosicky played 1min… that means in arsenal if you want to play more you have to be crap

    4. Things I learnt from last 2 games

      1. Ramsey. Is he just become poorer than last season? No, it is because of his “Star” status now that opposition player is giving him special treatment, learn and track his move and do their best to take him out of the game (including playing dirty). He also have to shoulder the unnecessary expectation of us fan now. Many want to give him captain armband, compare him with Cesc then expect him to give assist/goal every match. It is very premature. Cecs delivered 4-5 great season for us, Ramsey had only once, please give him time to develop at his own space. It is a very important season for him, to play under pressure of fan and attention of opposition – we should give him our biggest support even in bad time so he can get through this difficult stage and become a truly world class midfielder for us.

      2. Carzola is not good defensively, moving inside too much (it’s Wenger strategy). He and Monreal on the same wing making us very vulnerable in the left wing. Everton will put Lukaku there again. Hope Wenger coming up with something new

      3. Campbell – don’t think Wenger having anything against him. He is new to the team, new to the EPL. The kid needs time, World Cup push him into the spot light, Wenger wants to remove it together with the unnecessary high expectation from fan like some shows here. Wenger does not put Pires in the first team right away even Pires is way more experienced than Campbell at the time he joined us.

      4. Sanchez shows glimpse of brilliance. He need time and support. He will have it when Ozil and Walcott back

      5. Giroud – he does not manage him well did he, still not fully fit is not an excuse. Player going on holiday still can keep them relatively fit if they are professional enough and want to do well next season. Seem he enjoys himself too much during the holiday. Wenger trusts his player but think his patience is running low. Hope to see the speedy front three of Ox – Sanchez – Walcott soon, see if it works. We can always throw in Giroud as plan B if things does not work out.

      6. Arteta and Flamini – unlike others I still trust Arteta to do decent job, Flamini not so much as he can be a walking bomb, red card await to happen. Do think we need a new DM as well or at least a better backup option than Flamini. Arteta is 32 can become injury prone and cannot compete at highest level for 50 odd matches. I hope the rumour about Rabiot coming to fruitful, I like the physique of the guy, tall and strong, very comfortable on the ball as well, strong tackler. He plays CM but surely Wenger can make him DM as well.

      7. Chambers – Amazing but again let give him time and don’t overhype him. Would love Wenger trying him in midfield now Arteta is injured.

      8. Debuchy – we won’t miss Sagna. We can see he gave 100% for every match he played for us

      9. Ox – think he can have higher chance of break through year than Wilsheres, hope he can get more game time.

      1. Some good observations but:

        1) Over reaction re: AR. Most on here will give him the benefit of one more poor match before a riot starts and Wenger is told to sell him. He will manage, scored in 4 of his last 5 matches before last night, no signs of a dip imo.
        2) MF has one red card in 5 PL seasons for Arsenal – “walking bomb” a little exaggerated.

  1. I don’t know what game have you watched but even with 10 men Arsenal looked more lively that Besiktas yesterday. First half was more of a giving the initiative to Besiktas but second half shown that Arsenal with 2 official game played in 4 days was fresher that the turks. And that with one man down.
    I have no comment for Giroud as it is self evident.
    Chambers suffered one slip exactly because of the field. I believe tactics for us was not to lose the game. Let’s see how will this pan out for us in a week time.

    1. Well pointed out about the pitch Budd.
      Was going to comment on it, but you did it for me.
      Chambers, as you said made a couple of mistakes, but, THEY were down to bad bounces on a less than EPL quality surface.
      I think that some of the problems with Giroud and others was ALSO partly due to the same.
      NOT a great performance all the same, but, it is NOT a EPL game where you have a 1 off 3/1 or 0 outcome, this, is the qualifier for the UCL, and as such is a 2 leg affair, and 0-0 away in Turkey, against a team that beat Chelsea pre-season, is a good result.
      Someone has said, it does NOT make us favourites to go through, REALLY. Yes Besiktas go through IF they get a win, or score draw, but, WE are at home, and simply need to win.

  2. CL is beyond us with the present squad and likes of Madrid, Barca Munich in the competition. In the EPL City & Chelski have strengthened their weaknesses apparent last season.
    Afraid finishing 3rd or 4th and defending FA Cup is the most we can hope and have to accept unless Wenger spends big on quality defender, DM and a striker!

  3. Our biggest weakness is off the ball, we need to do something about that. If you watch man city or chelski play you can see they have that muscle. Striker is important too, but a solid cdm should be our first priority

    1. its not even about having muscle, chelsea press well without the ball which doesn’t require strength but definitely more stamina which only sanchez has, but we’ve never played like this and our players certainly don’t have the ability to perform to that level for 90 minutes.

      I would argue that if we had taller, stronger players our ball retention would be better though and subsequently we wouldn’t need to press so much

      1. jt. PLEASE explain how having TALLER and STRONGER players determines ball retention.
        Surely, ball retention is about the ABILITY of players to keep the ball, and, pass the ball accurately.
        Winning the ball in midfield, maybe a tall strong player is a positive thing, but, he also has to be very good and doing something with it once he has.

        1. Must admit getting bored with this “beast” CDM obsession – if we get Godzilla sitting in front of our back 4 we are suddenly nailed on PL/UCL champions. Many of the best players in this role have been 6 foot or under. Size or height only has any real advantage in aerial duels and even then it not a clincher, depends as much on spring, upper body strength and timing etc. And big players have no special natural advantage in shielding a ball and holding off a defender etc – YaYa Toure is good at this but because he has ability not because he is physically intimidating. Messi and Suarez are equally adept. Ball on the ground then height is a disadvantage. Effective tackling does not require abnormal or superhuman strength – in any event tackling is pretty much gone the way of the dodo in modern football. Stamina, tracking, timing, anticipation and reading of the game go a lot further when defending. Barcelona of a few years back were spectacularly underrated as a defensive unit – and one of the smallest teams ever to grace a football pitch – and you can see that DNA in Sanchez.

  4. we played poorly most of last season, an have started where we left off.
    the only reason we won games was unique talents like ramsey, kos , ozil etc.

    wenger has a decent squad there – but no matter who he adds he needs to have better tactics. santi on the wing has never worked- why is he still there?

    jack is not deservin of his starting place, stop playing him til he shows more.

    why is ox and campbell not getting more game time, blistering pace, hunger , technique – things we need

    giroud is a third choice player, yes im not his biggest fan, but hold up play is not enough, he cannot work at that upper level that sanchez ozil an ramsey play- he doesnt have the pace, cutting edge, general ability nor the mind for it,

    wenger this season a title challenge till the end is what we expect – i hope you dont let stubborness get in the way

  5. I don’t know how to be optimistic nowadays, I feel sad when I start slating our players and our manager. Maybe, I do that instead of smashing my screen.

  6. Giroud didn’t look very sharp last night. However (slightly off subject), really liking Debuchy. Played well, IMO.

  7. This game shows us that Giroud is clearly not a world class striker. When was the last time he scored late in a game. Wenger does not realise that if Giroud does not score at the start or in the middle of the game then he never will. No point keeping him on for the entire game when he clearly is ineffective.

    And what’s wrong with our Subs, why bother bringing on Rosicky on in the 90th min. Cazorla shouldn’t be starting as he really has dropped in form. Either play him as a No.10 or don’t play him at all, he can’t play on the wing. At least Chambers is proving to be a great buy, Debucy looked solid and Sanchez has a phenomenal work rate. And what’s Wenger’s problem with Campbell?

    1. We are only 3 games in on a world cup year. This is our best summer in years plus no top team in the league has looked good so far. Liverpool, City, Chelsea and United haven’t played any better.

  8. Arsenal to beat Besiiktas
    by 3< in the return.
    On paper Arsenal has
    a very strong midfield.
    Arteta Flamini Diaby Wilshere Chamberlain Ramsey Rosicky
    Cazorla Ozil Podolski Campbell Sanchez Walcott Gnabry.
    If they stay fit and play to their potential
    Arsenal will be very hard to beat.

    1. yes david yes!!!!
      holy smokes after a draw i thought you’d have been relentlessly pessimistic…
      but the voice of calm and rationality?? not knee-jerky bullsh$%t!!
      cummon.. surely it feels good yeah??

  9. I learned that we need a new striker if we’re to make the top 4 this season.

    I have learned that we might see a repeat of the 6-0, 5-1 defeats of last season.

    I have learned that we’re no match for Chelsea and City

    I have learned that we need a midfield general

    I have learned that Campbell will be lucky to get any games this season

    1. We beat City 3-0. We have only played 3 bloody games so far. Campbell probably aint match fit and has to fight his way in the team. We already signed a new striker in Alexis plus Campbell came back. We have needed a midfield general for years.

      1. sanchez is a winger man- ffs at barcelona his stats were great as a winger

        campbell is also a winger- smh, if campbell isnt ready why is giroud playin- is he ready?? if he is theres no excuse he is very poor

        we beat a city missing its spine in a glorified friendly- for charity

        its not ‘3 games in’ we were poor most of last season an its just carried on from there

        wake up

        1. Sanchez is a striker and you will know that if you watched Barca, Chile or Udinese play. When Messi was injured, Alexis carried Barca last season up front. Campbell plays as a striker for his national team and that is his natural position, howver he is versatile as can also play in the flanks. Arsenal were missing Ozil, Podolski, Mertesacker, Walcott and Diaby. City were missing 6 players and only 3 were starters. Yaya, Nasri, Silva, Hart etc are hardly benchwarmers.

          1. both have played as cf- i agree.but sanchez and campbell will be wingers for us, wenger has said as much an played them in said positions.

            clutching at a charity shield like it means something is sad- poldi is our bench, diaby doesnt exist, lets see what happens when we play city in the league- then we can talk

            1. To be fair you weren’t sure that it was a real trophy so you were consistent. The people who are saying that Cesc was a mistake are stupid. Then they complain of Arsene Wenger buying too many no10s. The charity shield is still a trophy and I agree, however we need to play better against big teams. Remember that the team has had 2 weeks to train with 4 new players. To be fair you are consistent with opinions Muffdiver.

      1. Yep…still upset about that but there is nothing we can do now.

        It is time to show some ambition and to snap a great CF and a top CB/DM depending where Arsene sees Chambers play. Let’s keep Giroud as a sub, he usually performs well in this role and send Sanogo on loan to make enough room in the squad.

      2. Does that mean Chelsea will win every away match in Europe this year because cesc will up there performance??

        1. Against lesser teams like Besiktas they will whooop them.. When they come up against a dysfunctional team like Arsenal who play as individuals, no tactics and don’t have a team effort then they might mash us again..

          We need to attack and defend as a team. Wilshere loses the ball, throws himself to the ground and refuses to get up for 5 seconds instead of showing some balls to win the ball back. Ozil, Podolski and Cazorla hate defending and I would not want to see playing together, it’s one to play at a given time, they are such liabilities defensively. Just attacking, lose the ball and shrug their shoulders instead of fighting for that ball back, a single DM will not change a thing as long as we have attacking players not helping out defensively..

          1. Could not agree more! we can buy all the players we want but we need to get the basics right first! Defending as a team is non-existent in arsenal. Too many players- Cazorla/Podolski, Wilshere, Ozil just jog back when opposition teams counter attack! we cannot have the luxury of so many players not having defensive discipline! Monreal after all is not as bad as he is made out to be (for a second choice lb) 9/10 he has no cover in front of him and gets exposed. For me 2 things have to improve drastically for the team to challenge for trophies (in addition to more new signings) 1. Defensive discipline for every attacking player 2. More penetration and fluidity in the final third!

    2. You have just said my mind. Why do we keep fooling ourselves. Even a blind man will see that Mancity and Chelsea have stronger teams than we do. Chelsea’s first 11 looks the beat in the league and if they play to their best, they are likely to win. With the squad we have and tactics we playing and attitude of our players, we might have to fight for 4th place again. I might get thumbs down but it’s a sad truth.

  10. It’s quite annoying looking at some of the comments about the game last night.

    1.Giroud was shit, I don’t dispute that. He’s been shit and has underperformed for too long now. We need a new forward. (Unless Sanchez is gunna be our striker).
    2. I don’t agree with the articles’ analysis on Chambers. I thought he was rock solid apart from that one slip. Let’s face it, Koscielny made some mistakes as well.
    3. Lots of people were saying how bad Arteta was. I actually thought he was doing a good job before he went off. He seemed far more comfortable as the anchor of a 4-3-3 rather than having to decide who’s attacking and who’s sitting in a 4-2-3-1. Now that he’s injured, Wenger has to enter the transfer market now to bring in a DM though.

    1. Giroud hasn’t underachieved for an 11 million quid striker. He is send choice quality like Dzeko at City. In fact he has the same conversion rate as him last season (6 shots a goal) which is hardly clinical. Don’t judge the team until at least 10 games in.

      1. stop making it out giroud is anywhere near edin dzekos level- its embarassing.

        smh trying not to respond but jesus

        1. How many times have you seen Dzeko play? They are both slow and not very clinical. Dzeko scored 16 league goals taking 6.44 shots per goal while Giroud Scored 16 taking 7 shots per goal. Giroud does 0.22 assists per game while Dzeko 0.03. Ask any City fan and they will tell you that Dzeko is far from clinical and not really better.

      2. Really??? Dzeko is not first choice at city and was 3rd choice at some point. Bony and Remy are better players than Giroud and they almost cost the same. Please stop making the price the issue. Certain players get bought 5mil and sold 30mil. Giroud should be our 3rd choice striker.

  11. Arsene Wenger: “We are not close to signing anyone”.

    Really!!?? I hope this is bullsh*t.
    We desperately need reinforcments especially now players are getting injured, (Arteta, Sanogo, Kos, Gibbs).

      1. David Ornstein from the BBC, The Guardian and The Telegraph said that Arsene is pretty much Guaranteed to sign a DM and a CB or a player that plays both positions.

  12. 1 – Cazorla is not a winger, anyone playing LW needs to have discipline and track back.
    2 – Giroud is a super sub, he performs miles better when introduced later in the games therefore we need a CF.
    3 – Chambers is absolutely great, he still needs to mature and may cost a handful of points at some stage but what a talent.
    4 – We could have all the wingers in the world and Cavani, the boss would still play Santi on the wing and Giroud up front…that needs to stop, why not use Campbell there? Or the Ox? Cazorla should have been central yesterday.

    1. True that! Play Cazorla as cam..somehow in that role he is 10 times better. Rotate the CAM position between Ozil/Cazorla/Rosicky. Play Ox and Campbell in the left wing.

      Cazorla in the wings has to stop! he does not bring anything to the team

    2. True that! Play Cazorla as cam..somehow in that role he is 10 times better. Rotate the CAM position between Ozil/Cazorla/Rosicky. Play Ox and Campbell in the left wing.

      Cazorla in the wings has to stop! he does not bring anything to the team

      I am not sure what the idea behind playing a tall CF is when the midfielders are not scoring enough!

  13. Giroud was absolutely horrendous. Wenger needs to either buy another striker or test some of the other options such as sanchez or campbell up front, or eventually Theo. Didn’t think Jack was too bad?

  14. I’m just annoyed sick note Gibbs is out for three weeks, he’s almost as bad as Diaby! Do the players not warm up or stretch enough before the games or something?! Gibbs is a great player but pathetic when it comes to injuries… As for Arteta, well I just knew we could not scrape through one whole game without an injury. What the hell is the cause of these injuries? Poor exercising, poor coaching? It’s just ludicrous and it has to stop.

  15. @No10. Spot on especially re’ Cazorla and Giroud I wonder what goes on in Arsene’s head sometimes!

  16. When Theo comes back, I expect Giroud to drop to the bench and the front three to be:

    Cazorla(left) Alexis(striker) Walcott(right)

  17. We peppered over the cracks last season with our FA CUP trophy.. All last season we terrible apart from Ramsey and may be Kossy..

    We have continued from where we stopped… Ever since we lost Nasri and Cesc we look so lost, every half decent team we face makes us look stupid, the likes of Southampton, Swansea, Everton, United. Spuds even if we beat them dominated us in both games, next time we won’t be lucky..

    And when we come up against the likes of City, Liverpool, City, we look even more pathetic.. We miss a real CM to run games for us, we need a DM, we get dominated by virtually any half decent team. No control in midfield, we create next to nothing in each game, we find chances hard to come, we lack creativity. It has become normal and widely accepted for our team not to have any shots or clear cut chances at all for the first 75 minutes of each game, if we are lucky we get 4-5 shots at goal each game on average..

    It’s bad team mentality..

  18. How many spaces do we have available in our squad? From what I can see we have 3 open spots, but only 1 for non-homegrown players.

    Szczesny, Walcott, Ramsey, Wilshere, Gibbs and Coquelin are our only home-grown players, we’re allowed up to 8, so 2 open spots.

    We’re allowed 17 non-homegrown players, we have 16:
    Ospina, Monreal, Debuchy, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Rosicky, Arteta, Flamini, Cazorla, Özil, Alexis, Podolski, Diaby, Miyaichi, Campbell and Giroud.

    1 spot left.

    We’re allowed players below the age of 21 on January 1st 2014 to play for us without being listed in the 25 man squad, that includes:
    Sanogo, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chambers, Gnabry, Zelalem, Bellerin, Martinez and the rest of our youth team.

    So we can buy 3 more players this transfer window, but 2 have to be homegrown.

    Who should we get?

    1. Take Miyaichi off and we do have two spots left. My wish list based on priorities:
      1. Cavani, Falcao, Rues, Higuain (somehow unrealistic), Bony, Remy, or any one. (Enough is enough)
      2. Carvalho, Bender, Mascherano, Schneiderlin, Wanyama, or Dejong.

      You may take Diaby off (if Pod doesn’t leave) and add any 3rd or 4th CB cover.

  19. Let’s experiment against Everton, I hope Wenger goes nuts and goes:

    Debuchy Mert Kos Monreal
    Ramsey Chambers Ozil
    Campbell Sanchez Podolski

      1. I reckon Everton is not yet in gear, the proposed back 4 and CDM would offer suitable cover and the front line enough pace and firepower.

  20. If Chambers has a lot more improvements to make, considering he was man of the match and also was in the last game, then what does that say for the rest of our team, the so-called experienced ones??????

    1. I’m tempted to think it means Merts and Kos are good and Chambers is, or will be very shortly, very good. Never mind the last 2 games, he has been our best player over the last 5 games hands down – either means our team is not that good or Wenger has pulled off a genius signing. I posted CC’s stats for the game last night compared to Kos. Kos had a good game but got slaughtered just in terms of the numbers (blocks, interceptions, passes, tackles, aerial duels etc etc). I fear Wenger will be too cautious and won’t give him a chance when the rest of the team are fit though.

  21. What is it with everyone with this we need a Left winger? Come on Gooners, in all wengers time as Arsenal manager, name me 3 out and out left wingerS WE have had since 1996.

    Wenger is not a 2 out and out wingers type of manager, Pires was never a left winger as he did exactly what Cazorla does for us right now, but Pires was a class above Cazorla, he was a false left winger go always cut infield all the time and congested the midfield, that’s where his goals came from, get would cut inside and let Cole overlap.

    Ljumberg was supposed to be a winger but always was in midfield.

    Wiltord was a winger but deployed himself as second striker coming off that right or left.

    Reyes, was never a left winger, he spent more time in midfield creating rather than on the wings, he was a false left winger who always cut inside.

    Nasri was played as a left winger but remind me of any crosses or left wing play he did..

    And finally, Chelsea, City, United and Liverpool, name me any left wingers they have? Non whatsoever. All they have are Right wingers or AM’s deployed as left wingers.. Nasri, Silva, Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Schurrle Janujaz, Coutinho, Sturridge, etc.. Not a single out and out left winger for any of these clubs, but the majority of the are playing devastating football..

    Stop with this deluded Left Winger obsession. The team has got to have more fight and dedication, that’s it. We have players in this team that are lazy defensively, I will not name names. But Sanchez who is an attacking player is up and down hat right side, he attacks and at the same time tracks back to help his RB defensively.. Walcott does the ame when fit, Ramsey attacks and tracks back, Rosicky whenever he is playing attacks and defends, Wilshere tries but he just loses concentration too much..

    If we can attack and defend as a team we will see a difference. Some players have to fix up..

    1. @GOONSTER
      Exactly. The Napoli performance of last season was one of the best I’ve seen this team put on. Yesterday, with the exception of the back 4, we looked like individual players on the same team. While Besiktas, withe their limited talent, looked like a solid unit…

  22. I disagree with the boyus statement that Arsenal hold the advantage. Arsenal have to win but for Besiktas it is only necessary to get a draw whilst scoring.
    We still need 3 players; 1 CB (Miquel may be the one), 1 top class DM (not going to happen as Wenger made Arteta the captain) and 1 top class central striker (again unlikely to materialize).
    I was disappointed with the sluggish play. Arsenal are at their best when they move the ball quickly and the attacking players make forward runs.
    Giroud should have been subbed, at the latest when Ramsey was sent off, and replaced by Campbell who’s able to make runs in behind the high line Besiktas ended up with as they were pressing their numerical advantage.

    1. Agree the situation is slightly more precarious than we would have liked but Besiktas have to improve on the result they got at home to go through – can’t think of many good reasons why they will be better and/or us worse at the Emirates to make this happen. Has a Turkish club team ever won in England?

  23. for all the Giroud haters out there… i’ll back him to the hilt.
    But… he was terrible today, was ineffective and just awful.. deserves to be dropped for the next game.

    but… when he has a good game can you man up and admit that he was good?

    1. I’m being fair with him all the day. When he perform well, we say that, but you didn’t notice that because I don’t remember him putting a good performance anywhere near when he starts from the beginning.

  24. First, remember Giroud has scored 40 goals for Arsenal in apprx two years. So, you may not want him anymore but you shouldn’t call him rubbish or insult him. I want a top striker but Giroud may have played poorly recently but I respect him.

    5 things I learnt from the match
    1. Can’t do 433
    2. We need a top striker like Costa, RVP, Aguero
    Strikers available are Falcao, Cavani or change Sanchez into a striker and get Reus or Cuadrado
    3. Better to finish in top 3 so that we don’t need to qualify for the group stage lol.
    4. Wenger is a great manager but tactically can get things wrong
    5. We need to make at least one more Marquee signing whether it’s a top CDM, striker or winger.

  25. One thing I’ve learned:

    Some fans are blinded by their emotions so that they don’t see the reality of what has happened in a game.

    1. I totally agree. Giroud aint the greatest striker ever and literally take 7 shots a goal to score but he did score 40 goals in 2 years, cover the most ground and played his heart out. We won the community shield thrashing City, got the first 3 points of the season and got an away draw in a difficult game in Turkey. So shut up and support Arsenal. People say Wilshere needs to step up and his passing was crisp, he glided past players and had our best effort of the night.

      1. Bony for 12m to Swansea which is almost the same price of Giroud and I guess with lower wage, how many goals you can give him in Giroud shoes? so please, put this statistic aside and just look at his performance after the first 5 easy runs of the last season.
        We support Arsenal, no doubt, but this is not Emirates stadium where support is needed and not moaning, however, this a blog, a forum to express our feelings

      2. I think it’s too early for us to be flaunting the community shield. Should city go ahead and win the league, thrashing them in the community shield would be regarded as their gift to us.

      1. The reality was we came up against a well organised Besiktas who were up for the game, and had a point to prove.

        The reality is that Giroud IS a decent striker.

        The reality is that most of the team played well at times.

        The reality is that when Arteta was injured we lost our shape.

        The reality is that this wasn’t an easy game.

        The reality is that we aren’t yet amazing, but there are signs of greatness.

        The reality is we have players coming back from injury and rest periods.

        The reality is people (fans) expect FAR too much EVERY game.

        The reality is we are a team that needs a couple of players to achieve great things, but moaning about players every time we don’t perform as people expect, is not reality, but emotions driving opinion.

        Ok? 😀

        1. “The reality is we are a team that needs a couple of players to achieve great things” That is the reality, I would say.

  26. i hate those who mention cesc in their comment,who is him by the way,is he a god,can someone tell me where will he play in our starting11 or who should we bench so that he can play by the way why bothering mentioning someone who plays for chelsea.we didnt need him and he didnt need us and mou said that,if he realy respect us as you faithful fab fans think then why he has not said anything about that until now.for me arsene was right about that and fab was the one who was wrong for choosing chelsea while he knows that mou will mock us and the manager that he said he respected so much.he is just like other judas who play for our rivals and i will not make a plea if he will be bood at the emirates.

    1. I would play cesc over Arteta or Wilshere any day. Anyone noticed his ball distribution and creativity? Why are we asking questions with very obvious answers. Being an Arsenal fan doesn’t mean you should be blind to facts.

  27. What’s up with Giroud?

    Giroud is a very physical player who gives a lot in every game but uses this to be up for the challenge in the next game. Last season he played quite a few games, he had to show the French manager he was the better option than Benzema. Now he’s just starting up those engines people normally call lungs again. In 2 – 3 weeks he will be our good old 0.5/game striker.

  28. Why should we reserve judgement on Chambers? We don’t on anyone or anything else. The lad is class – you cannot accidentally walk in to a new team at 19 and be unarguably our most consistent and polished performer over 5 matches. Has anyone seen his stats for yesterday compared to Kos? More passes, touches, blocks (twice as many), interceptions (again twice as many), 100% effective clearances (9), more aerial duels won etc. One error but I’ll guarantee you that next time he is playing on a ploughed field he will head it straight out instead of trying to anticipate the bounce.

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