Is Souness right or have Arsenal REALLY changed?

Arsenal got a fantastic win today and finally showed that we are capable of standing toe to toe with teams like Man City on their own turf and getr a result. And there is no doubt that the Gunners went about this game with a different mind set and tactics, which is what got us the crucial win.

Arsenal’s main intention in this game was to frustrate Man City and make the game compact rather than our usual style of going forward and trusting to the creative and attacking skills in the team. And we still created chances and made them count while keeping a clean sheet.

It certainly impressed the Sky Sports pundits, including our own Thierry Henry, but the 64,000 dollar question is whether we have now found a way to play in these games. Arsene Wenger has often been criticised for not having a plan B but this could be it.

One thing that Graeme Souness said, however, cast a few doubts intyo my mind. He suggested that this might have been a one-off tactic, specifically designed to stop the danger posed by David Silva. Only time will tell and our next big away game is the north London derby with Tottenham in a few weeks and after that it will be the Champions League games that really test us.

If Wenger has stumbled on this system, I do not care as long as he uses it again. But what if we do gho back to the bad old Arsenal in the big games this season?

Tags Man City Wenger


  1. 1. The only down side to Cazorla’s magnificent performance is that Coq otherwise might have earned MOTM – he was very good again this week.

    2. One game Wenger recognizes reality and makes the right tactical moves and now “Arsenal have changed”?? Let us wait and see. I have seen this movie before.

    1. Francis Coquelin put on a MOTM performance today, he was the presence in front of our back four that we have been lacking for so long, he broke the build of play from city, transition the ball well from back to front and showed the type of passion and leadership that we missed for so much time. I know that he is not the type of “big name defensive mid” that we all want Wenger to sign, but, at 23 years old, if he keeps performing the way he has done over the last 3 games, Wenger may decide to wait until January for Schneiderlin. Good for Le Coq…

  2. Extremely well done by the lads today and also Le Professeur should be given credit, sublime performance!!!

    If today’s win over man city won’t be our turning point I doubt that we actually will have one this season

    Only future will tell.. So for now:

      1. Oh but you see, he is already an economics professor. One which also good at coaching, not the best I admit but among the best I may say.

  3. Whatever it takes, keep Cazorla as our main AMF unless he slips … Please no favoritism

  4. i am f*cking buzzing! what a performance what a result that was such a good game well done boys.

    Cazorla, coquelin and bellerin were immense. they were awesome. not to mention our entire back 5 were excellent. also wanna give a shout out to monreal i thought he was great down that left side.

    Lets keep this up! COYG!

    1. Also gotta give a shoutout to wenger, his tactics and game plan WERE SPOT ON.
      just excellent performance from the back to the front.

      1. I was actually proud of Wenger today. With his massive ego it was certainly difficult for him to face reality and make the changes. Arsenal were fortunate that things went their way, but Wenger still got it right. Beat City with a squad of less overall talent.

    2. Agreed also hats off to Wenger in getting Coquelin back now we have a good midfield which takes the pressure of the back 2 CBs they also were Fab, just 2 players Coquelin , Bellerin have made there mark and to all the Coquelin knockers who posted not good enough lets go pay 20 million on a player Eat Ya heart out CB

      1. There we go, Coquelin has cemented his superstar status to some of you in 7 games. Hilarious. Thrilled for the lad to come out of nowhere and really step up, he was excellent today, but his performances mean only one thing…..Flamini is now surplus to requirements. It doesn’t mean our need for a top class DM has disappeared. Arteta/Flamini/Coquelin is not enough DM quality.

        All said and done, how many of you Coquelin cheerleaders would say no to Schneiderlin? Right thought so… shut up with the “eat ya heart out” crap. I haven’t seen people slate Coquelin; simply point out he isn’t at Matics level yet and we need someone who is FOR NOW while the lad grows. Is that point too hard for you to grasp Luko?

        1. You been slagging him from the go I said before the game lets see if he does well at City as you pointed out 2 games against lower clubs West ham Stoke is not enough to grade him on, but me an a lot of fans have the upmost regard for him now and you should check out Arsenal fan tv the real fans to hear there remarks. CB

        2. More people are disagreeing with you on your posts Charlie so mabey you should try and be a bit more of a fan and stop trying to find fault with players who really don’t deserve it You sure your not a Spuds fan CB

  5. Gud win 4 us Today, d manager did well today. With d team selection and quick sub but I just hope he will countinue doing the ryt things cuz am sick of his poor judgement

  6. No Yaya, out of shape Aguero, who was also marked from the Boss made this today game a win. We played like the boxing movie Rockie. It was an out of controll match.

    Run, lose ball, Arsenal. Run, lose ball, City. After we scored that important penalty, all it took to win was Cazorla dancing around the pitch.

    Ramsey needs to calm down at times, i though in the end that he would break down bec him being out of breath, he almost did. He wants to much and bec of that his focus is not right.

    Sanches as well. lost the ball many times in dangerous situation.

    Cazorla and all the defense where superb today. Happy day.

    1. I agree that Ramsey was the weaker player for Arsenal today – could have been subbed 1st.

      But this game was no more out-of-control that most games when 2 big EPL teams meet up. If you mean Arsenal did not thoroughly dominate every aspect of the game, you are right. But that almost never happens vs. a top team like City.

      In fact, for the 1st time in a long time Arsenal had a great balance today – going forward vs. staying defensive. I would call that great discipline and control.

      Sure the game “COULD” have played out differently “IF” But you can say that about most games. Wenger and the players got it right today.

      1. You watched the game but unfortunately you did not understand much. Ramsey put an amazing defending performance today. He is a changed player. Instead of running amok looking to be the hero he gave his sweat for the team, in the no man’s land where heroes are never seen. Sorry to say but you must learn some football.

          1. Agreed very impressed with Ramsey. Have to say I was very very impressed with his dribbling he looked like the Rambo of old. He still has some kinks to iron out but he’s getting back to his best

        1. I did not say he was poor. I said he was the weaker of all the players.

          And you are right. He did very well defensively.

          1. I think Ramsey did very well and after second goal should have been subbed as he being tired and rightly so as he never stopped running started to make mistakes then, and Rosicky was the answer to take the load of Gazola. Oxy great for runs but lacks ball control if he can work on that side of his game he will be great but we can be nip picking let’s say well done to the squad and you have raised your bar now so keep it up CB

    2. Ramsey should be able to play well without necessarily scoring goals. He had many poor games last season which were overlooked because he somehow managed to put the ball at the back of the net. However, I thought he was more disciplined than previous games.

  7. 2 Reasons this victory was great.

    Reason 1. Maybe the idiot media will finally shut up. If Arsenal had beat Stoke away this season but had lost to City today they would still have the same points, the same table position. No difference in the race for league position.

    But to the media idiots, reality and reason are not factors. They operate in a world of perception and controversy.

    Last season Arsenal lost big away to Liverpool and Everton but…… BEAT THEM TWICE each at home. The media NEVER mention this fact because it does not feed their motive to stir up controversy.

    Last season Arsenal lost vs. big teams while City lost games vs. weaker teams. Is that somehow better? City won the league because of their OVERALL performance – not some trend the media love to over-emphasize.

    Reason 2. It sure felt GREAT to see this great performance and to see City whining about the whole thing. I know they had this game won in their minds before it ever started.

        1. i would happily do what we did today against any big team!

          thats what mourinho did with inter the treble year

          1. Except mourinho parked 2 double decker busses and would tell his team to lose possession on purpose like a p*ssy

  8. This is something I thought I’d never say – Mike Dean actually called a good match – save for not giving Kompany a 2nd yellow

    1. I was shocked when Dean gave the PK. Yes, it was a penalty, but those are the kinds of fouls in the box that Dean usually blows off when Arsenal plays.

      1. I agree re Dean I thought he had a really good game today ( not often we can say that when he is the ref at Arsenal games) shame the ref at the Newcastle game had such a bad game

  9. Conspiracy theory #33
    Cazorla is asking to be transfer listed by his own request as hes unhappy with giroud since giroud always grab cazorlas neck everytime he scores makin cazorla unable to celebrate while when giroud scores giroud can always make fancy celebration cazorla is jealous hes unhappy πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™

      1. Thats what santi cazorla has been thinkin he wanted to do the same but giroud never let him πŸ™ πŸ™ poor cazorla πŸ™ πŸ™

  10. Damn, now we got to put up with “Le Coq up the Arsenal” jokes for years to come.
    I could see Coq’s agent ordering hookers and cheese, cuz you know he is in Wenger’s office tomorrow discussing contract ” improvements.”
    Finally an A-class team being built. Let me quote Arsenal most beloved nemesis Jose Mourinho; “Wenger is building a team piece by piece.” Even the man who poked a cancer patient in the eye recognizes what Wenger was doing.
    English spine, Ozil, Sanchez, Ospina, academy graduates rising, 5 players with world class speed, and a team gelling into the Arsenal we want.
    The icing on the cake is this coming summer buys. We get the two correct summer signings, we will be kings of England and Europe.

    1. Now Wenger has an actual legitimate excuse for not pursuing a DM right away. So this means he will almost certainly get one now.

    2. “We will be kings of England and Europe” – ffs be happy and encouraged, but don’t be stupid. What kind of statement is that? Some perspective/humility wouldn’t go a miss….we’re 13 points off Chelsea.

      I’m all for enthusiasm, but measure it at least. Some good additions in the summer and continued tactical flexibility, and hopefully we’ll FINALLY be equipped for a sustained title challenge.

  11. It is easy to lose sight of this with great performances from Cazorla and Coq, but the FBs were also very good today. The FBs were the big cause of concern for me and they did great.

    Special praise for Bellerin to play so good at such a young age vs. a great team.

    1. 2 months ago could anyone have imagined that Coq would be the guy to come in and help put Arsenal on track? He is making a massive impact.

  12. I don’t think that Wenger stumbled upon that system…I do think that injuries and some players not being all fit at the same time played a hand into what he could do more so at the back when trying to find stability!!That being said that tactic was deployed at the right time and worked effectively against City: Yaya Toure and Nasri not being available might have helped too!!We lost so many games against top 4 teams in the past couple of years, that one win won’t erase it all (let’s not get ahead of ourselves) but if we can keep getting such win by putting not only a fluid and great offensive display but also grit and composure in defence; our win today and the way it happened will be the first step in the right direction…our best players being fit will help too: it looks promising, as a GUNNER today I can celebrate and hoping for many more!! But as much as we’re strong in certain areas we’re weak in others that can be addressed and hopefully it will!!

    1. City were missing YT and SN but we were without 5 or 6 who have been 1st team regulars until recently; Szcezney, Gibbs, Debuchy, Arteta, Flamini, Walcott, Ozil, Wilshere, Welbeck – and whilst I am not suggesting all or indeed any of them presently warrant a place it is quite surprising how quickly things change. Funny old game.

  13. another great performance from arsenal and all players.

    i would just like to remind everyone that we beat city at the beginning of the season, (granted they had some players out, we should of beat them at home but for some stupid defending in the latter stages) and we where clear winners today.

    i wouldn’t say much has changed or this was our plan B, but the problem lies with consistency, we where at the top of the league this time last year and that one liverpool result ruined it. this year, we have still played the same football, just lacked the constancy of last year.

    le coq was outstanding, i seen the stats v matic the other day so i thought i would pay close attention to his game. the guy is brilliant, in the air, his reading of the game, his timing, his calmness on the ball, positionally sound, strength, and can put in a tackle. best of all he is quick.

    i don’t know much about this young kid we are close to buying, but if i was wenger i would still buy a DM, but only in the summer and i would really give le coq the time and chance to be our first choice DM. much better than a young G. Silva.

    This January i would go all out for a CB, spend all his available cash on one that will take over from mert, how that guy is a world cup winner is beyond me. he is the only player in the whole of the league that wouldn’t look out of place on a sunday league pitch.

    Ospina should stay exactly where he is. ballerin is superb, just needs a little more work on his defensive play but that will come with game time.

    the player that worries me a little bit is Ramsey. he is extremely lazy at times and walks back when he has lost the ball. I’ve noticed this over a few seasons and as he is supposedly our box to box man, this shouldn’t be happening. i worry his fitness is hugely lacking as well as his confidence.

  14. Just watching MOTD….And its funny they are praising the 4141 formation which alot of fans on this site have critized. This shows wenger started this season with a plan because we started the season with the 4141 formation and guess what, Arsenal needed alot of time to work on that formation together as a team. This is what has been responsible for our poor performance because it was a new formation at work. Team mates needed to get used to it and with all the injuries we suffered, it was hard for the personnel we have to get it right instantly. NOw from the begining of this 2015, the team has been gelling. Wenger finally knows what his best eleven was (and he would not have know if he did not try diff players in diff positions etc). More importantly, the emergence of coquilin who seems to flourish in this system because he is quick young, has the desire to learn and also reads the game brilliantly. Thumbs up to Wenger and now I know why Fans on here know that they are fans and Wenger is the Manager on our great club. The corner has been turned, better reults to come from the 4141….Gunners for life.

  15. le coq is not good enough…
    we still need a world class DM…

    pay the 30m and get Wanyama….

    le coq can learn from the younger and more experience wanayama

    1. explain how he isn’t good enough after that performance and that fact that he has better stats than matic?

      30mil on wanyama is ridiculous

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