Kolasinac made the difference – and we’ll be ready for Chelsea

The Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin put the final nail in Cologne’s coffin last night by scoring our third, but he says it was the tactical introduction of Saed Kolasinac that was the turning point in the game after a very shaky start. The young Spaniard thinks that Arsenal will go far in the Europa League, and he was asked if this win over the Germans was important to our chances. “Definitely.” he said. “It’s a new competition for us and we knew we needed to set the tone. We think we’re one of the best teams in the competition, so we have to show that on the pitch. After not a very good start, the coach decided to change the tactics and it worked for us with Sead coming on, scoring and helping us to get a boost in the second half. I’m very happy.”

And did he think that the big delay affected Arsenal’s play in the first half? “Obviously with the nutrition we were ready to play at 8pm, but things happened and it meant we had to play an hour late. We had to be ready – these things happen sometimes, not often, but we have to be ready as players. We started a bit with cold feet but then after it just worked.”

So, a good comeback and a convincing second half means we’ve scored 6 goals in our last 2 games. Does that mean Arsenal are now ready to face the reigning champions Chelsea? “I think the win against Bournemouth in the league gave us a lot of confidence and today the win and coming back from [being behind] always gives you that boost. We’re going to train hard in these two days coming and then we’re going to be ready for Chelsea at the weekend.”

I hope so Hector, I really do….



  1. Arsenal_Girl says:

    Kolsanic was an excellent signing. Could challenge Lacazette for signing of the year.
    He may be our best defensive signing since Koscielny (that includes Mustafi) . So far he has been quite consistent. He can Play LWB, LB and 3 CBleft. He looks like an upgrade to Monreal and definitely better than Gibbs was. Wenger did a great job getting Kolsanic

    BTW, I’m not letting Wenger off the hook. Yes Kolsanic and Lacazette were good signings but Lemar wasn’t taken care off, we didn’t upgrade CM (ie Seri or Goretzka) and should have got a top CD. Wenger and Kroenke let us down this past summer like they do every summer

    Kolsanic should play against Chelsea I think
    He can rest actually most starters can rest against Doncaster

    1. gotanidea says:

      Yes, he is and I agree that the defensive and midfield area should be upgraded. Monreal has got Kolasinac as a good competitor, but Bellerin has no one to push him (because they do not use Debuchy anymore).

      Regarding the article, Arsenal is not ready yet. Kolasinac has made the left side more flowing, but Arsenal need more players with his spirit and intelligence to face Chelsea.

      If you saw Arsenal when they changed their formation to 4-2-3-1, they were susceptible to Koln’s counterattacks. There were several times when Arsenal got caught with Koln’s quick counters, like when Arsenal was using 4-2-3-1 in the last few seasons.

      Using 4-2-3-1 is good for attacking, because Arsenal would have one extra central midfielder (the CAM). But it also often leaves two central defenders behind, when all midfielders and fullbacks move forward.

      Arsenal have to keep the three central back formation or use a good defensive midfielder, because Chelsea would launch faster counterattacks with Pedro and Hazard. There are no rooms for misplaces passes, weak players and predictable plays, if they want to win against Chelsea.

      1. Break-on-through says:

        I still think we need to see more of his defensive side to get the full seal of approval. He goes into challenges with great force and he is a ball winner, but positioning and reading play, I want to wait a bit before I say yes he is all round a top top player. I like that he gives height and muscle to the back line, and being a goal and creative threat going forward is a huge plus in the modern game. He looks the business so far, I hope he is always aggressive and eager to work the socks off, because sometimes players can get comfortable before easing up a little.

        I feel for Holding a bit at the moment, he’s at an age and playing in a position which needs attention to detail. I fear there is not enough work done with defenders for us to get the best out of young Holding. Even senior CB’s need to be training with one another on defensive play/strategies. But you know that allot of work is going to be done on them supporting the midfielders, possession, being open to receive the ball. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Wenger also works on his triangles with our defenders. Wenger should allot some time for a group of them to do extra training on the making us more solid stuff, if they could do it with someone he fully believes can do a job without it interfering with his own style, it’d be great.

  2. I am optimistic against Chelsea… I well support arsenal to the end.. don’t write the team off but get behind the team and be a real fan not a plastic one

    1. Break-on-through says:

      I’m also feeling more confident than usual. I just hope Arsene hasn’t done too much damage to our 343 system, because that is where our confidence v Che came about. They have trouble dealing with our two players in the hole, and now we have Lacazette ahead of them, with Giroud then ready to come from bench fully refreshed. Giroud can be a handful when defenders are tiring, he gets an edge and can be a difficult one to shackle.

      Better options this season, this too could be where confidence stems from. Last season we had to use Alexis CF, but already we are contemplating whether to start him from the bench.

      Koscielny, Mustafi, would have played midweek this time last year, as well as Ozil, Xhaka and the rest. Chelsea even rested some because they seen our advantage, despite Conte claiming otherwise when they lifted the title. he actually said that “more games and less rest” – is better for a team. You have to laugh at them sometimes, like how Klopp’s biggest players are always injured the week before a big match, only to make a miraculous recovery which Rocky Balboa himself would be proud to call his own.

      This Europa might be a blessing in disguise, really, we were getting bored of that certain round or/and that same one or two opponent, being mauled by them was hard on the lads. Too many of our players would take weeks before looking to bounce back to top form. This Europa, right now we are the Madrid, or PSG, Bayern, of it – take your pick. We will see some better opponents drop into it in the next round, so we will have some good quality to face at some stage, but it will be the sort of quality that we were used to knocking down into this competition. I’m looking forward to meeting them, really, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing all those presidents keeping fingers crossed that they avoid ourselves. Later, Chelsea wont be able to do what they done midweek, neither will others, but we surely might. There is an upside.

  3. Akan says:

    The main reason for the improved performance in the second half was Maitland Niles being played in midfield instead of at left back. He is a central midfielder and a very very good one yet the manager is playing the same game with him as he has done with quite a number of players over the years in playing him out of his preferred natural position. It has worked on few occasions but mostly it’s been bad for the team and a disaster for the players career.

    What I don’t understand is, in Joel Campbell you have a player who has performed very well in every position and he has been asked to play in and every role he has been given, left wing, right wing, left back, right back, central midfield, I even recall an occasion where he was played at centre back by the manager and he performed adequately, yet Wenger treats him like dirt. I don’t get the reasoning behind that at all.

    1. arie82 says:

      Cause like park, perez, etc, campbell is not players bought by wenger, it the board who pick him.

      1. Admin says:

        So why does Wenger get slated for some of our transfers?

        1. JJPawn says:

          No one here really wants to answer your question. That mean being honest.

          Cannot answer why Lacazette signed. Why Kolasanic came on a free.

          Cannot answer why Ozil came. Sanchez.

          No real answer. That is the plight of Arsenal “fans”.

  4. Sue says:

    I think he’s done really well for us… I really like him & hope he plays on Sunday. I hope we beat them COYG

    1. Break-on-through says:

      When did you get married Peggy, or are you still running around. If you fell asleep reading this ..Wake up! a……………..!

  5. gworm says:

    I agree that the formation change made us much more potent going forward, but Gotanidea’s observation that we are then open to counterattacks is surely because the players haven’t been disciplined or intelligent enough to leave one full back and one midfielder in defensive positions when all the rest go streaming forward. Surely it’s up to the players on the pitch to make these decisions, hopefully having been drilled to do this in training? Or am I being naive?

    1. neil says:

      Correct… the lack of responsibilty of midfielders is our ongoing issue… I am sure that is why Ox left as he just wanted fo do his headless chicken running around that Ramsey is also prone to do… this is not Wengers fault in terms of the players noy adhering to their role though Wenger shluld take the blame for not recruiting a better player kn that CDM role… I think thats the only position we are lacking in.. yes we can get a new CB but if we had a proper DM the current CB’s would be protected more.

  6. When i saw our lineup against Koln. I new we were gonna concede no matter how. Thank God the manager learned from his mistake and it paid off.
    Now going to Chelsea over the weekend, i just hope he start with better players and also playing them where they prefer, coz Chelsea wont be easy this time around.
    Here’s what i expect come sunday:
    (352 Formation) instead of 343
    Mustafi Mertesacker Koscielny:
    Bellerin Ramsey Xhaka Kolasinac:
    Welbeck Lacazette.
    NB: playing Ozil as classic No 10 will be better than placing him in front three


Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs