Superb! But here is how Arsenal can improve even MORE

Arsenal v Man Utd thoughts‏ by TJ

I watched the game three times. The first live, and then two more times to take a look at our shape, tactics and work rate. I am sure many of you watched it many more times than I did!

Clearly a superb effort by the boys and a very focused effort – albeit with a few lapses which is understandable. But my biggest take out from the game…we are still 20-25% off playing our best. I’m not talking about missing personnel. I am talking about the collective understanding on the pitch.

But first to the actual performance. Three sublime goals. One with superb teamwork and a quality finish. One was about fast counter-attacking and great vision, and one with vision and individual magic. Defensively we were good with a couple of moments..but we dealt with them.

What could have been? 6 or 7 to nil realistically if were on song. So there is good upside from here. Today seemed to me a day where quite a number of players decided they were going to make a mark on the season. Everyone turned up to play their A-Game. We just need this each game.

Some observations:
1. Ozil increased his tempo and play-speed to match the team! He played to match the speed of the movement instead of slowing it down. More decisive. This was crucial and I believe he’s finally in sync with Cazorla, Ramsey, Sanchez and Walcott (and the wing-backs).

2. Cazorla is still evolving his ‘Pirlo” role and creating new moves (seeing new spaces, using a different less predictable movement, which the others aren’t in sync with yet. This is a good thing but I guess it will take a while for the others to gel with and we can expect some mis-placed passes.

3. We have 4 No. 10’s who are beginning to start inter-changing through game. Ramsey, Carzola, Sanchez, Ozil. Ok – when that finally clicks..good luck defending against that!

4. Hector is maturing very, very fast….it’s frankly scary how quickly he’s learning and adapting. Monreal – I think you’ve all said it already. But here’s the thing…they balance the speed of the midfield attack. It’s the team speed which is important and not just having 1 or 2 speedsters. Man Utd have a much lower “team speed” because they have too many key dependent players who don’t match the speed of the others.

5. Per was good today but it also highlighted the fact that he can’t man-mark – a quick, nimble player will always turn him. He’s fantastic at reading the play and guarding the dangerous spaces and he uses his anticipation to make up for his lack of mobility and speed…and here’s the but…if the attacker sits on him, he will get away. The flip-side is this…we are a short side and we need height in this team. Add to this his leadership qualities. It’s not an easy decision just to say play Gab and Kos.

6. Ramsey worked his nuts off today and this is what he needs to keep doing. Should have finished off his chance but such is this game.

7. Coquelin again proved why he is such an important player. I thought his distribution today was excellent and his decision-making and focus was brilliant. I do think the natural change up for Coquelin when he’s out…is Ramsey and not Arteta. And then play either Jack or Ox out on the right. I think Bellerin is maturing enough to understand when not to over-commit through the flank when he doesn’t have the defensive cover someone like Ramsey gives him – Ox is still suspect in tracking back to help cover his RB. And why not Arteta…well it comes back to team tempo and speed. To my mind, he doesn’t have the higher 3-4 gears. Too often he slows down the play when we need to counter-attack. Quick recycling is key when we win the ball in our third of the pitch.

I wasn’t going to do a player by player analysis but I just wanted to highlight where I see the development and changes and the opportunities for the team. It’s still not a finished product. We still have our challenges but this is something we can build on for the remaining 30 EPL games and we will be there and thereabouts.

Very encouraging signs…COYG!


Tags Bellerin Cazorla Mertesacker Ozil


  1. Nice article and some good observations. I too could see Ramsey being a better option than Jack Arteta and Flamini ..if, if he could master discipline and ignore his attacking instincts even further than Cazorla had to. I don’t know if he could do that. He has gained experience out there on the wing and brought about some discipline required for that position but a defensive mid position is a whole new ball game.

    1. I can’t see Ramsey curbing his attacking instincts. If it’s between him and Carloza for the holding role I’d plump for Carloza every time. I’d put Jack ahead of Ramsey in that role too if Arteta proves not up to it.

    2. Ramsey will not curb his attacking instincts and nor should he. This is what he does best, why rob the man from what he does best? The fact that he can work his socks off is an unexpected bonus for us. Adapt. Regroup. Survive.

      1. I agree to a point which is why I’d never start him at DM. However in certain games I would argue that he should curb his instincts and should be off if he can’t. I can remember games last year when we were one up in injury time and he’s our furthest man forward. That’s naive to me, he needs to learn how to help take the sting out of the game.

  2. I always look out for Arsenal training pictures a day before matchdays, recently I have noticed Ozil, Sanchez, Walcott training together with a certain Arsenal Legend Robert Pires, I cant help but think this has greatly improved the effectiveness of the trio WOS. I am also optimistic of their partnership getting better and better to a magical state. Because we all know Pires has a very attacking mentality, given more time to work with WOS more dynamic and more magical stuff will be the result. Brilliant move by our Very Brilliant Manager. COYG

  3. Credit must be given when it’s due…..Well done to Wenger on getting his tactics spot on but most importantly for his game management…..I loved seeing us 3 0 up and just having two banks of four players looking rock solid and Theo and Sanchez playing on the counter. ….I would have loved to hit United for 6 but it was gonna be risky…..We carried out the rest of the game in a very responsible manner and I enjoyed it so much……To be honest I watched the second half of the game without being nervous at all, I genuinely enjoyed the entire game

  4. Teacher : Do you know the reason Manchester
    United lost to Arsenal
    Student : Manchester United lost because their
    defenders were Young, Small and Blind

  5. Win, lose or draw. Let’s support the team. Of course, we are happy when we win and sad when we lose. We all wanna win all games but we will lose a few. We want to have a great run of let’s say 12games without a defeat or draw. Now, enough of Wenger Out, Ozil dropped etc… If a player is on form’, He starts. If he is struggling and not gelling well with the team, then he should be dropped. Hoping for Ox and Giroud to play their part in a long season. High hopes for Welbeck and Wilshere too…. Arsenal all the way!

  6. @admin I have to complain about this user photo,it looks like a illuminati sign or a total fool.Remove it please,am intelligent and I love Jesus.I know its caption is meant to undermine me

    1. LMFAO!! fam is uncomfortable, *Beyonce’s voice*Bruh the Illuminati wants you via this blog ..hahaha relax mate its just a template..and why is it that whatsoever image that is with a pyramid in it is always labelled illuminati??

      1. At least unlike other sources, yours have two all-seeing eyes, you could be super illuminati, lol, and you could use it to make sure we get the treble this season *winks* you know what i mean

        1. Actually Eddy I was just looking and was going to say that your’s looks a lot worse lol!

          To check what a gravatar one looks like, look at Zulu-Boy above…..

    2. What user photo? What are you talking about?
      Ohh your avatar? Im afraid these are computer generated. You dont think I choose each one for each reader!
      You can fix this easily. Go to and register a photo along with your email address, and that pic will appear everywhere you comment not just here.
      You can even use a pic of Jesus if you can find one…

  7. This game reminded of the champions league game against Napoli couple of years ago.Fast paced/silky touch and attacking football.I wonder why the gunners are not performing at this level more often.

  8. Tj, I believe Jack Wilshere will be returned to the right wing position to manned that place when he returns and hit top form. Because Aaron Ramsey who is currently manning that position have not lived up to expectations as he has not been able to hit the back of the net even once, save the illegally cancelled goal he scored at the Emirates Stadium against Liverpool. What role will Ramsey play in the Gunners’ 1st starting XI if Jack Wilshere is returned to right wing? I am afraid he will become the cover to Cazorla, which means he will not be getting regular starting start as the case is now. And the Ox should improve on his poor goal scoring attempts. Let him start to make success out of his coming attempts. And I believe he should do that if the Boss continues to play him at left wing rather than the right wing. His tracking back to defend will also improve with time, I would believe.

    1. Wilshere can’t play wing. But then again, we said the same about Ramsey and he’s the best on the right at the moment. Probably Ox is more natural there but he actually need to up his game few notches.
      Where will you play Jack when Jeff will start to show up in the team? Jeff is class.

      1. @Budd
        No offence but I still think Joel should be given more game time on the right. He is better there than anyone save Theo…

  9. Off topic,

    In the last article Hafiz got censored!

    House of Rahman and its representatives are said to be furious and demand Arsenal to spend spend spend on new moderators!!

    1. Hafiz will be moderated until he has a sensible comment to make. We may be waiting some time…..

      Let’s promote serious discussions, like gravatars and Hafiz!

    1. EVERYONE has their first post moderated. Sorry I’ll try and make sure I’m on 24 hours a day from now on okay?
      You waited a whole 17 minutes before you complained lol.
      Lucky I wasn’t down the pub!

  10. I love this confident mood among the gooners after a huge sin over our arch enemies, especially with international break on, which means two weeks of party mood, hopefully we can consolidate united win by defeating Watford otherwise it will be back to square one, so the boys and the management should be as motivated as they were against united, we have seen in past they getting over confident against the so called small teams and dropping unnecessary points, 3 pts are 3 pts regardless of the opponents.

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