THREE Arsenal Myths BUSTED by yesterday’s win over Aston Villa

A happy day but let us re-group and judge after next weekend by JT1

Whilst the overwhelming majority of Arsenal fans are very happy and buoyant today I think we would be better served by withholding judgement to exactly where we are at the moment until after our next away match. Win that and people will start taking notice, lose and we just re-enter the continuous loop we often find ourselves in. I am more worried about next week than many of here obviously are – I hope you guys are right! Several things struck me during and after the match today.

1) I think the media and pundits will need to start re-evaluating the squad depth myth they have perpetrated regarding Man City and Chelsea. That depth is patently not there to the extent alleged and more evidence confirming such has been on display in the past few weeks or so. It is fairly astonishing to think we could put out an Arsenal B team (when everyone is fit and comprising those who did not start today) of: Szczney, Debuchy, Chambers, Gabriel, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rosicky, Alexis and Welbeck. And that is after loaning out Podolski, Sanogo, Campbell, Miyachi and Jenkinson and not including other youngsters such as Gnabry, Zelalem and Bielik. I should give an honourable mention to our friend Aobu as well. Are we closing the squad depth quality gap slowly but surely? (And don’t start reeling off the Man U and Man C striker options, they play 2 up front to our 1 so logically need more striker depth – consider the whole attacking unit).

2) We should fret a lot less about Cazorla and Ozil playing together. And also have a time-out on this “left wing” malarkey and knee-jerk into convincing ourselves that x or y is wasted out there. If we played with out and out conventional wingers then I would be the first one up in arms if Ozil was stationed there – but we don’t and just look at the positions Ozil (and Cazorla and Walcott) took up on the pitch today. Ronaldo, Hazard, Reus, Neymar and Pires (amongst others) have made a decent fist of having a starting position left of centre on the pitch so I would not write Ozil off too soon as an option.

3) There appears to be general consensus, despite the good depth that we have, that we need at least 2 more players; one centre forward and a defensive midfielder (probably in the summer now unless something bizarre or spectacular happens tomorrow). Now I know many will have superstar players ready to ink in on the team sheet over the names of Giroud and Coquelin but I would like to pose the following question. What players (available or not) would represent a significant upgrade on these two? And I ask you to consider carefully the specific roles they play before naming their replacements and not name a different type of player, someone who would require a system/personnel change to accommodate them.

For the centre forward, Wenger, whether you agree with it or not, has in his mind a certain kind of player. In the interests of team balance and the way he wants to play I think he wants a creative fulcrum with a respectable goal return, can contribute defensively and to whom the ball will stick to and who can also help play in the 3 behind him. I imagine Wenger has the idea that cutting and pasting a 25 goal poacher or a “more direct on the last defender’s shoulder” type will detract from the contribution of the attacking trio behind him.

Giroud looks ungainly, is slow and cannot run or dribble to any great effect but he creates better than most CFs I can think of, is as good defensively as most, is a better header of the ball than most, is cleverer than most, works harder than most, is robust and rarely gets injured and in terms of close control he can be sublime. He is also close to the goal every other game ratio that is the hallmark of a really decent centre forward. Who is the like for like upgrade? A hardworking, reliable goalscorer, a team player with good technique and touch. For the record I do not think Welbeck is anywhere close to being a solid back up in that specific role – but I rate him as a very good squad player nonetheless.

I ask a similar question regarding Coquelin. What I like, almost as much as FC’s performances, is the obviously very narrow remit he has been given and how uncomplicated the role is; ultra disciplined, sound positioning, decent energy, proper choice of challenge (from the take the ball, the man and anything else in the way challenge to the gentle well-timed dispossessions) and neat re-cycling of the ball. It reminds me of a Claude Makelele.

Whilst many of the players mentioned could well be converted to such a role – I do not see any stand-out examples elsewhere of anyone playing a comparable role. The likes of Khedira, Gundagon etc are playing in a manner miles away from this role. Mascherano was the closest I could think of. As I have said elsewhere Schneiderlin looks positively box-to-box in comparison to FC. Perhaps the discussion should be who sits immediately in front of or along side FC in the big, big high stake games. Can Ramsey provide that extra level of protection? I could certainly see Schneiderlin playing that role but not convinced he could play the same role as FC any better than him at present.

Btw: Anyone got any additional rumours, tweets regarding Bielik – read from a number of sources that the management and others have been “blown away” by him in training.

Roll on next week. COYGs.


Tags Aston Villa Coquelin Giroud tottenham


  1. As Lee Dixon eloquently put it : start defending from high up. If we do that then our CBs can protect. This is one busted myth I would highlight : Arsenal is playing attacking football. Yes, we do. But only when we should. To see Giroud closing up and defending in the middle is a feat.
    Our Donkey is having a blast. Keep up the good run and who knows, maybe for once we will finish above 4th.

    1. Thats lame. Wenger should have opened his eyes a long time ago and we might have plyed for the title this year. This year its the start of the season, last one was failure in the winter transfer martket which made us fail.

      Donkey is doing fine, all our players are disciplined beside some who are more interested in personal glory then anything else. Not wanting to call names bec of the fanboys. But even these players will soon understand that now playing for Arsenal means, play good or lose your place.

      1. @ks-gunner
        Name and shame, dude. F**k em if they can’t face the truth…
        Theo and Ozil for starters…

      2. It may be lame but truth is that we were without 9 players at one time. If you don’t have the players to do this or if the players were not in form (Rosicky, Ramsey, Mertesacker, Ozil etc) you can’t really play hiding game,is it?
        I don’t know who is NOT playing for glory in this world. I guess you have to rephrase it.

        1. No. Wenger is at fault. His 4-1-4-1 is sheer bs.

          Its wrong to use Wilsher as a 10 and put Ozil in the wings and Santi at the bench.
          Its wrong to use Arteta or Flamini as dm’s and criminal to use them both together.
          its wrong that Merti play striker at times. Where is the discipline?
          Its wrong That Ramsey spend more time attacking the opponent then Sanchez for example. Wher is the discipline?
          Its wrong to use Wilsher as a 10. Its Either box to box like he plays in england or bench. He loves to run with the ball but his leggs are of glass.
          Its wrong not to use Rosicky
          Its wrong to trust Seza to much.

          and and and All Wengers fault.

            1. Hahaha, you seem to forgot the games where he was sent in the usual 70th minute. Same with Campbell. They were actually really cr ap. Took a while for them to be in form. One of these games were against Spuds if I remember right.

              1. Nope. He was barrely being used and fans where getting pissed bec of Wengers favorisem towards players. Cambell was only used in the end to waste some game time. No real chance was given to him. Mr Wengerit.

                1. I don’t remember Emirates screaming seeing Rosicky in the form of his life in the beginning of the season. When Wenger said that because of WC and players coming after injuries he did not had time to bring the team to its best potential, people like you said “bollo cks”. He should do it anyway.
                  Now that he’s having almost all the team back you enjoy the results. Not sure if fans like you really deserve it but because I really don’t care I’d say have fun, enjoy Arsenal.

          1. @ks.. As always blaming Ramsey, Wilshere, Giroud etc..

            This good run is doing you bad isn’t it? Your “Wenger Out Now” catch phrase is wondering why it’s being oppressed recently, it’s been locked away in darkness and it must feel neglected and no cared for at the moment .

            And your Arsenal saviour KLOPP is still struggling at the bottom of the league. Flavor of the season managers. It was Martinez and Klopp, now it will be Simeone for the next few seasons..

            1. Honestly Wenger will go one day. Who do you see as replacement. I don’t think Simeone is an Arsenal type of trainer. De Boer/Bergkamp combo or the Koeman brothers?

          2. wow….4141 bs? You must really hate wenger. This is the formation that is responsible for our success right now. That is our defensive shape that pundits have praised allover the country. All i can see from ur comment is hatred….nothing else. Real shape because Wenger will definitely bring more success and i just cant see how u can live with urself wen that happens….goodluck though.

    2. But you don’t say any different than Dixon. Start defending in the zone you are but don’t rely only on the back four. Everyone should do it, start wearing them out from the beginning. By the time they reach our final third the field should be already crowded and ripe for an interception.

    3. Do you know why we’re the team with the highest amount of different scorers in England ? It’s because we don’t rely on Costa type of strikers. What if Wenger actually listened to you guys and bought Falcao or DiMaria ? Same people would be slating him for wasting money. Face it, he knows what a player is worth, and I would rather buy Giroud and make my midfielders score more goals than depend on a 50million striker who’s past his best.

      1. Exactly. Besides, how can anyone rate Di Maria above Sanchez? As for Falcao I said he’s too expensive for what he offers. If you remember there was such a commotion about Balotelli. Turned out the old man knew all along what player he is. And don’t forget, we could have had Balotelli for less money because of Puma.

  2. Nicely put Jones. Even i do feel the same way. I don’t believe Morgan Schneiderlin will be any better than Francis Coquelin.

    As for Giroud. He is one of the best in what he does. The sheer number of assist he provided last year, despite being a striker is a testament to his ability. What he lacks in pace he makes up in other aspects.

    Not expecting anyone to join today. I don’t think we need to even. Just get the injured back. That should be the first priority. Sell Jack.

    1. Sell Jack? You must be stupid as f*ck in wanting that. Shneiderlin is a better player then Coq. And Arsenal can find better strikers then Giroud with ease.

        1. Have you see seen Citys reserve strikers? If not, do it, then do it again, then again and again, with luck you might learn something in the end.

          1. Who then? Dzeko? How many goals does he have this season when mind you, Aguero was injured. Jovetic? Better than Giroud? Ha! Welbeck is better than Jovetic for a start. OK, name another one, will you? Bony? He’s still in Africa.

            1. Football is a game of 11. They cant play all at once do they. At Arsenal they would do all good, bec they are proven. That you disslike this idea is a diff thing.

              1. People like to change time to time. Probably Dzeko would do better at Arsenal now, who knows. Fact is that we have Giroud doing basically the same thing Dzeko was doing at City. I fail to see how Jovetic will take the place of Walcott (even rusty he’s better than Jovetic), Sanchez or even Welbeck.

                1. I know you have some kind of my father is stronger then his father openion going on in your head, but dont make your self heard outside this forum bec people will laugh at you.

    2. Not sure i agree with you..This AFC midfield in their present form can make anyone score.Giroud is playing well but i have a feeling Balotelli would have fared much better at AFC than at Liverpool..The two midfields just dont compare

    3. Talking of people being critical of AR I was interested listening to Keown last night on MOTD2 where he almost seemed reluctant to praise FC but was very keen to highlight AR’s role (and SC’s) in the improved Arsenal defensive set-up in midfield. Never sure with MK as he often has an agenda but he did appear genuinely impressed with AR’s role/contribution – and if his analysis is correct then obviously AR is owed an apology by some.

  3. If there are two teams I really want us to whip badly its Manchester united and spurs….

      1. Damn the confidence on spurs forums, they think they have the game in bag and want to employ the game they had on Chelsea against us.

        Nothing but 3 points will bring more joy to me. I hate earlier fixtures though, I got to enjoy us playing on Sunday’s

  4. Good piece Jonestown1 and very good assessment of the team.

    – In terms of depth you are spot on. Many of our players have come to age and if our medics can continue patching up our injured players as fast as they are the sky is the limit.

    Watched Chelsea without Fab and Costa and they looked pretty average (boring) I should say, Hazard there only ray of light and we all know City without Augero, Silva, Nasri and Yaya are nothing but a decent team. With or without most of our key players we have hanged in there and credit goes to the coaching team for this.

    – Le Coq has been brilliant and his really taking his chance which is refreshing. I think the calls from some of us to bring in a WC DM is not really to displace Coq but to compete with him and add more depth. Its no secret injuries are definite and at this point I would hate to go back to Flamini era. Arsenal is on the move for football dominance once again and having another specialist DM would be key to replace Flamini and Diaby. Keep in mind there are suspensions and fatigue too along the way, too many competitions and too many games to play, aint sure Bielik would be thrown in next season.

    – The comment on Le Coq applies on OG too, having another good sticker to replace Poldi and Joel will be welcome. Having said this giving chance to Akpom and Welbeck will be good to see aswell. We all remember how much OG was missed when we just had Welbeck – Poldi, Sanogo, and Joel as ST options.

  5. I would choose the Ox…

    I appreciate both Theo and Ozil’s contribution yesterday but away from home in such a game I would go with the Ox based on his form before the knock. If his fit he will offer more energy and fight. Theo and Ozil are still learning to play with contact as Wenger said and Theo against spurs he maybe a target of some silly challenges.

    Bring either of them on in the 70th minute depending on how the game is going.

    Anyway I trust Wenger’s selection as he is with the team mostly.

    1. Damn if the Ox will be out then it changes the whole thing. I will leave team selection for Wenger as I cant split between Theo, Ozil, Welbeck to take up the right side of our attack.

  6. What I love about yesterday was our interchange of positions and qucik build up play.
    Most sides have a creative player that must be sheperded closely – David Silva, Eriksen, Coutinho, Rooney, Fabregas etc.
    Yesterday because we played Cazorla and Ozil, with Giroud dropping deep and creating and Ramsey and Bellerin bursting forward the Villa players didnt know what hit them and who to mark/pick up.
    So so difficult to play against a team like this, Arsenal as that should be, SO happy today 🙂
    P.S. Ozil and Walcott been on the protein shakes! great to see Ozil in particular looking fast and strong.

  7. I will wait to see how we cope with better opposition so fingers crossed the Man city win was not a one off.

  8. Sissoko cant seem to get Arsenal out of his mind and mouth at the moment.

    “Arsenal made me dream when I was a youngster. Patrick Vieira was my idol. I saw myself in him,” he told BeIn Sports.

    When asked if PSG or Arsenal were interested in signing him, he added: “You will have to ask my agent. For now, I’m a Newcastle player and I am happy at the club.”

    Sad to say I cant see him getting into our team unless his willing to be a squad player.

    TR7 > Sissoko
    Carzola > Sissoko
    Ramsey (huh)???
    Sissoko > Wilshere
    Sissoko > non playing Diaby
    Le Coq > Sissoko (as DM)
    Sissoko > Flamini
    Arteta (huh)???
    Ozil > Sissoko

    He could be a good addition for the out going players but definitely a summer move.

  9. Its Ozil. Bec Ozil has magic and Walcott needs magic to finish off his job. You all will know that Ozil will play next week, so save your personal wishes for other things.

  10. Ozil played Excellent yesterday but remember Aston Villa were rubbish especially their midfield.So sorry if my jury is still out on him.Caz,Coq, even Mert and Giroud for me have proven themselves for the moment in the last few games.Consistency is the key here.They have been consistent..Ozil???lets wait against Spurs

  11. We wont sign Shneiderlin, not now not in summer, why would wenger buy byielik and give coq extansion, arteta will stay which means 3 dm, and i belive it will be enough, we needed badly dm and Coq is showing that atm, plus wilshere can play there, i cant see it, Coq form was amazing, he can only be better, in summer wenger might bring only one player!

  12. Aston Villa had 5th defence in league before this match, and we trashed them, we need to give credit to our players, many here can say Aston Villa didnt play at all, but they were simply inferior to our great squad, what i see is, with this current set up, and tactics, we can defeat anyone, last time we scored 5 was 2 years ago, thats not coincidence!!!

  13. Schneiderlin to me too is a Ramsey / Diaby type, not an actual DM but a B2B player..

    And people on here are still going in about we should pay £45 million for Cavani, seriously, £45 million for a player that has been average since moving to PSG, a player that has been absolutely terrible for Uruguay in all competitions for the past 5 years. And they also wanted Falcao for £50 million even if had been injured for a year, look at him now at United. He is terrible.

    Right now there are no good strikers, Suarez was the last good striker we could have signed.

    But how I wish Cazorla and Rosicky were bit in their 30’s, they are just hitting form and wish they were still in their 20’s 🙁 . But let’s enjoy them for as long as we can. Absolutely amazing players..

    1. Just lets see how Akpom develops. Spurs just got a 20 goal scoring guy from their academy. I agree with the article writer, we have amazing squad depth. We were too top heavy hence the 3 players on loan. When it comes to buying players we need to look at upgrades of what we have.

      Can we find a better DM than Flamini? – I think so.
      Can we find a better GK?
      Rosicky is getting older who could we replace him with when he goes.
      Do we keep Arteta for 1 more year or do we find a replacement for him with competition for Schneiderlin.
      Left Back looks injury prone with Gibbs and Monreal, which youngster should we get here.

      Can we do a Chelsea sell one of your better players to fund an upgrade. Schurle sold to get Quadrado. Should we sell Ramsey to get Pogba?

      It will be great to see what transfers come in this summer.

  14. I see a few fans here worried about the NLD… Seriously, take a step back look at our team and then look at theirs, enough said. Up the Gunners, F**k the Spurs.

  15. Thought we all wanted the players who have played well to start and those who haven’t dropped?

    Ozil plays well and now we want to drop him? Strange.

    Anyhow I would assess it on sharpness. Ozil or Walcott? Who is sharper? 2 games 2 goals. Ozil looks sharp, Walcott isn’t there just yet.

    Oxlade shouldn’t be dismissed from a start due to the big reputations of some of the others. He has it all, speed, strength, energy.

    I would like him to get more starts but he will not be too sharp due to injury. So ozil over him.

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