Three Things Arsenal fans learned from the Newcastle game…

3 Things to Take from Newcastle v Arsenal by AG

Ozil is Crucial

Despite having 74% possession and 22 shots on goal, it was painfully obvious that Arsenal were lacking killer creativity in the final third. The ball was moved around from side to side as if the players were shirking from the responsibility of picking the lock, a role that Mesut Ozil is more than willing to take on. Having created 12 chances this season with 60% of his passes being forward, he also assisted our only real goal of the season so far.

But more than this, also evident was a lack of options available to the Arsenal players when in possession, having to settle for square passes to teammates occupying the same space. What Ozil brings to the Arsenal squad better than anyone is his ability to increase the number of options. Whether it’s his level of vision allowing him to pick out players others can’t, or when not on the ball his awareness and ability to drift into space and make himself available. That is what Arsenal were lacking most of all today, options. It led to predictable and slow attacks that Newcastle very nearly managed to completely contain.

LoLo is Becoming a Leader

Not only was Koscielny superb in the air against Newcastle, his tracking of runners and reading of the game allowed us to operate without too much fear of a counter-attack. But, we always expect this from one of the BPL’s best centre backs. Where he stood out today was his desire to take charge and make an impression on the game across the pitch. Arsenal’s most dangerous attacks (including the goal), came from moves that started with Koscielny driving into the final third and delivering a drilled pass to the edge of the box. I noticed him do this at least three times, and every time the resulting attack represented a more real danger to the Newcastle goal than our true attacking players could muster.

While Santi may have been captain today, it was Koscielny who came across as the one who wanted to move Arsenal forward and take charge. He is becoming a commanding figure in this Arsenal set up at both ends of the pitch. Gabriel also looked sharp today, I expect him to really put pressure on BFG this season, although I do think Mert’s voice is something we miss when he’s not there.

Walcott is Lost Up Front

On his day, there is no doubt Theo Walcott can shine up front, as he did against West Brom last season. However, today proved that through the middle, he is a one trick pony. Sometimes it may prove to be a trick that the opposition can’t handle, but against Newcastle he looked lost. He barely touched the ball (18 in total), and spent the entire game separated from the build-up play, sitting on the last shoulder of the defender waiting for a through ball to latch on to. Arsenal are often criticised for crossing when Walcott’s up front and then switching to through balls once Giroud is brought on, but this is not a coincidence. When Giroud came on, rather than sit 10 metres from the action and wait, he got involved in the build up, often coming short to receive the ball. While this may mean he doesn’t score as often, it forces the defence to come higher, creating space to allow through balls to be made. If Walcott wants to receive through balls, he needs to learn how to operate within the build-up play as a centre forward, not be a bystander. The change in tempo in the final third was immediately noticeable when Giroud came on, it also increased the number of options I mentioned we lacked during the game. Walcott looks lost and uncomfortable operating as a striker. Still think we need a new striker to convert more of the chances that Giroud does get, but for me he gets the nod over Walcott every day of the week. To start at least.

For what it’s worth my MOTM would have to go to Kos or Coquelin. Monreal was fantastic in the second half, THAT first time pass especially. I’ve seen websites give it to Ox but I thought he was poor, gave the ball away far too often and looked like he’d run out of ideas whenever he got the ball. Hopefully a new striker (not necessarily a star but another option), and a fit Ozil will see Arsenal improve and push on. I think the mentality is there this year.


Tags Koscielny Ozil Walcott


  1. Volker Struth, agent of Mario Götze “Mario has made it clear that his last two seasons have not been idyllic. Bayern have not ruled out a possible transfer just as we won’t rule out any possible opportunity, to stay or go abroad.”

    1. @Leo, I don’t think we need any central midfielder if he is not DM for that matter. Can he play top 9?? If no, then NO.

      1. he is too good to be missed + gotze > ramsey (who has been focused on real Madrid/barca since those rumors) why waste our time

    2. On kolcieny moving forward , this is because he does not have to babysit mertesacker and compensate for his lack of pace.

      1. This should be one of the things we learned from this game – Koschienly didnt have to babysit Merts.

    3. How do you guys say Ozil is crucial he has not been playing well any objective fan would see that why are we so bias as fans. arsenal looks terrible we are playing poorly and boo ooh to those fans that think we have a chance of winning any trophies this season we won’t the only way this will stop is if a total boycott is done on this club. Arsene as lost it no transfer and now he will be in a position where he has to take what he gets at any price stupid manager poor ambition. Last year some fan an this site called Swansea mini Arsenal well am not too sure about that anymore, we need to boycott this dam club and things will change.

    1. Rest your BP man. Zero your mind. Arsene may not buy. Arsene and the Board claim to be Arsenal but we the fans are the real Arsenal. We feel the pains and the joy. They only feel the joy.

      1. Yes u r right…Still we r looking for transfers ..isn’t it
        Wanyama not played for Saints… useful addition..what do you think?

  2. New striker…..or end of any season title hope.

    From our worst fans who always ask for new striker.

  3. Do you guess why kos the boss was bombing forward comfortably with the ball?? Gabriel is there to clean the mess if any. He never do that when paired along side per. It was Le coq and bellerin last season, its gabs this season.

  4. Transfer window will close in 31 hours and we still havent bid for any player yet. what a pathetic
    transfer window for Arsenal every year. We may sign someone but they wont be good enough.
    Tired of excuse every year and people still supporting Wenger.

    1. If you seriously think AFC haven’t bidded for any players you would be high.

      I think we will have been bidding etc but either the players won’t come – benzema. Or the bids army high enough eg Cavani.

      We seriously need a ST and we need to just throw caution to the wind and get it done

      1. Made inquiries, yes. There is no evidence of actual bids. Rumors are not bids. We were seriously linked to Higuain 2 years ago but never put in a bid.

  5. Okay. Agreed now? Ozil underrating is because the is no good CF in the team. The good thing is that after Ozil, there will be Zelalem and by then there will Akpom and Fortune. Let it well known now that Theo is no a CF, to him, Arsene and all. As at now we only have one natural CF which we are complaining about. Cech has regain his confidence. Lastly, we have another good CB in Gabriel.

    1. Giroud has had many terrible performances as CF, no one says he should be playing on the wings. Why is it different for Theo Walcott? Like every CF, Walcott has had both terrible and excellent games up front.

    1. @moneytalks
      If you really want him to know this, then go tell him in person. Otherwise save it…

  6. I think it would be better to sell Ozil. Why do we need him if we dont sign a top striker who could score 30 goals a season. Giroud or Walcott need 4 chances to score in a game and they havent scored enough goal lately too.

  7. We don’t have a quality striker

    we need one urgently.

    Walcott doesn’t have the physique, he is overrated and paid too much wages. he has not improved since 17 and he is injury prone

    Giroud is slow, can’t score can’t dribble,

    but he performs excellently for his up play fans.

    finally Wenger is deluded. and this delusion is a contagious and it has spread to the AKBs.

    same old wenger . same old Wenger, same old Wenger balls.


    Change is a constant. one day we gonna see it at AFC, BUT THAT will be



    has found the vaccine for terminal delusionary state of mind


  8. “Moving Abroad!”

    Lemme enLighten u

    “ABROAD” ere doesn’t neccessarily mean “ARSENAL”

    many walked past us in the past……ain’t the 1st time, certainly won’t be the Last!

  9. Walcott can be golden if we play counterattacking football. He would shine for Mourinho if he played 4-4-2. The problem isn’t Walcott, but the insanely boring and selfdestructive Tiki-wenger-taka. If walcott cant use his pace and agility, then why bother playing him as a central attacker, or even at all – when the attack is all about them passes, no shooting or powerplay

  10. we didn’t miss ozil we missed a striker .Seriously if ozil was in the team it wouldn’t have made any difference to the scoreline.I think it is a blessing in disguise that he wasnt there.How many more games does he need to adapt to premiership only game he played good was against crystal palace in rest of matches he just made these ordinary passes .he doesn’t have Ronaldo to feed the ball through like he did in real madrid so adapt change ur game create something but he is playing ordinary stuff.If he is our creative player he should act like one.Yesterday we didn’t put the game to rest but we had more drive going forward.It just lacked that killer finish.I think we should exchange him with cavani both teams will be happy.Even giroud tries more than him.We need a dmf as well.

    1. Dude if you think Ozil is the problem than I really have no words for your understanding of attacking football.

      Giroud is an old school Stoke style striker, a Peter Crouch type that has offers nothing going forward other than physicality. Since Arsenal ignore the flanks and very rarely provide him service, what does he offer? Hold up play? FFS

      Walcott has very limited understanding of what is required tactically to be a successful striker. Pace, yes but how often does he make the right run and when teams play a deep defensive line he offers absolutely nothing.

      I agree Ozil has been less than scintillating in his brief tenure @ the Emirates but give the man a Cavani, Benzema, Lewandowski type of striker in front of him and the German will once again shine.

      1. i neva said giroud is a better player, he just works harder than ozil. If you think ozil is giving is his best than i don’t think his best is good enough to win the league. And what’s with this talk about him needing runners.Ozil was our hyped up player, the game changer etc etc why does he need other players for him to shine. Ronaldo and messi don’t need other players to give them a lift, its they who raise the standards of other average players.That is how great players are they step up when required.Other players come and go but they still remain at top of their game,they don’t need anyone else to improve them. I don’t see that quality in ozil.He is getting more on the ball these few games but he isn’t doing anything exceptional just normal passing,yesterday we were much better at penetrating their defence we just lacked a proper finish. He just slows down the tempo of the game.And i think he will not be missed even if he goes but that’s just my opinion.

  11. Huge wage for Walcott is a waste of money. He has taken the club for a ride and Wengers faith in him.

    What kind of advice Walcott was giving Monreal before the match yesterday. Monreal must’ve been thinking dude I’m much more better than you are I don’t need your tips, tactics or advice.

  12. I think all 3 of your assessments are actually off the mark. The second is the most accurate, but it is still not totally accurate. I’d like to debate this so please reply if you have counter points to my arguments.

    1. Ozil is crucial
    I think this comment is born of being a fan of Ozil. Hear me out – the reason we were not creating problems today wasn’t because of lack of vision or a lack of Ozil taking up good positions, but rather a lack of quality on the final boy. YES, Ozil offers that quality, but so do Santi, Ramsey, Alexis and Ox. All of our players we rely on for final balls were not making them yesterday, but Ramsey was adding a second dimension to our attack by adding deep runs into the box. We had a far higher presence in the area and making dangerous runs because Ozil was not on the pitch. Granted, we were not tying together the play together as well in tight situations, but this was down to the quality of Cazorla mostly, NOT the lack of Ozil.

    To summise this point – without Ozil we have different options, not less options. The fact was certain players continued their poor start to the season and we did not capitalise on good movement in and around the box. I am not saying that Ozil is not great or doesn’t add something to the team but I fear you are totally writing off other players and styles of play simply because you believe Ozil is too much better than them without actually analysing what went on in the game.

    2. LoLo is becoming a leader
    I have to disagree unless you purely mean leading by example. While Koscielny did do GREAT yesterday, he doesn’t lead the team. What was great is that due to having Gabriel behind him, he was able to move into the space ahead of him instead of having to simply lay off the ball. Koscielny’s game improved because of the players around him, not due to a sudden leadership quality. If anything, the one quality Koscielny does not have is leadership – he rarely organises or commands his defence despite being by far the best defender on the team. While I understand you saw his commanding forays forward as being decisive actions of wanting to break the other team down, they were not the actions of a leader, but of a great player finally released from the shackles of having to constantly cover for the lack of pace of his partner.

    3. Walcott is Lost up Front
    I really have a problem when someone ignores the different possible tactics of the game because they do no believe the one picked was the right one. You make some admirable points, but you also miss the point of what Theo had been instructed to do and why against this defence it is hard for a player of his style to succeed.

    SO you are right about 1 thing – drawing defenders out by coming back to help in the build up play is very important in creating oppurtunities for space in behind. This is an astute analysis and it is one area that Giroud excels at but Theo has yet to truly find his feet. That said, Theo did this several times in the game early on, and his 1 on 1 that he missed was directly due to this movement – he pulled out and then attacked the gap and latched onto Bellerin’s ball. The problem was at 16 minutes Newcastle moved back their whole defence onto the 18 yard box and never left it. If Theo came off the defence, they stayed where they were.

    Theo’s job became moving the defenders from side to side to try and help make space for other players and to open up gaps between the defenders, not behind them. While getting involved more would have possibly been useful to draw more players to him, the fact was he constantly had the defenders worrying about him and not the players making runs into the gaps – i.e. Ramsey. If our final ball had been better throughout the game we would have found Rambo or Theo on numerous occassions. Theo cannot jostle man to man with a bigger centre back, but he can make him take a step to the side so that someone else gets half a yard and he consistently did this.

    When Giroud came on, Newcastle were behind and desperately trying to push out to get an equaliser. They were not locked into the 18 yard box and this is where his additional space was found, not due to any expert movement or build up play from him. While I understand you believe Giroud is a more natural striker (I agree), ignoring Theo’s movement in the game is naive. Theo is not a natural striker, but he certainly makes the movements of a striker and can DEFINITELY be played there. This game ended up not suiting him due to Newcastle going into fortification mode, but he certainly did not lost timing his runs to perfection on several occassions. If his finishing had been up to his normal standards, we could be discussing a brace or more from the pacey forward.

    To summise – while I believe all your points have merit, I feel they also ignore key secondary information that you haven’t taken into account. I agree to some extent with everything you’ve said, but I also feel you’re belittling some players without cause and misreading the situation on other players. Still, I think your analysis was interesting to read and would love for you to debate these points further.

      1. It was a long comment 🙂 How can you accurately debate if you don’t address all the points? 😛

    1. @FFF – nice reply and on the whole I agree but as regards Walcott ,whatever about his movement off the ball when he doesn’t have it ,but when he does have the ball his decision making has always been poor and his finishing in terms of % of chances taken is well below the level required for a top team.

      He can play as a striker but it’s not his best position, he’s just not good enough and he’s been with us long enough to know we should be looking for better options rather than throwing £140k a week at him.

      1. Theo’s conversion rate is not great but I have felt for a long time the biggest problem with his finishing has been lack of game time. Once Theo is on a roll he is usually very sharp in front of goal and is actually good at finishing IMO. Statistically he has a very high shot accuracy despite a poor conversion rate which to me talks more of making incorrect shooting decisions (learnable) than being a poor finisher. At this point I am still ultimately unwilling to pass judgement on his ability to play up top beyond the comment – he has the movement needed of a striker. His decision making isn’t always great, agreed, but he is always learning. I still think he has room to grow and progress and an injury free season could see him becoming a good striker or a great RW.

        The 140k a week issue is a whole different kettle of fish. Thanks to rising prices it is now virtually impossible to hold onto good players and Theo is certainly a good player. He has consistently provided high levels of assists and goals from the RW position while not injured and still presents a high level of potential to become truly WC. Is he worth 140k? No. Should we hold onto him? Hell yes. Is it an efficient spending of the money? Debatable. I would prefer to spend a little more on an established player than spend 30m on a very slight improvement (who we’d then pay 150k).

        Theo is a good RW and at this point possibly a good CF option. There are plenty of positions more important to attempt to improve rather than removing Theo from the squad. We would not get a huge return on Theo for cashing in right now and we’d have to spend a large sum to replace. The natural replacement was Pedro (who is better) but that would have taken up a HUGE chunk of transfer fund and wage bill, meaning purchasing a LW/CF/DM would be less likely. All of those positions take priority over RW which is one of our “flush” positions.

        Basically – what is the point in saying Theo is bad when he really isn’t. He’s no Aguero or Suarez but nobody is debating that. He had a poor game of finishing yesterday BUT he could also be lethal like against West Brom. Give him a little time and see what you think. I’d still prefer us sign a striker and use Theo as a counter specialist or a right winger or a second forward BUT he is certainy a potent weapon to have and his movement certainly makes me happy to watch even if he isn’t converting yet.

  13. Man City have just signed De Bruyne as well as Sterling.

    And yet Arsenal cannot manage to sign one player.

    Wenger is completely useless.

    I wish he would just go, I don’t care about qualifying for champions league football next season, the target should be to get that useless, unambitious cretin as far away from the club as possible…

    1. I can just hear Le Prof and the AKB brigade pontificating that DeBryne and Sterling are not “top, top” players and Oil City are simply buying the Premier League title.

      I cant stand Man City and Chelsea for obvious reasons but there relentless, single minded ambition to win silverware leaves me beyond apathetic @ times about the current state of Arelsenal FC. When was the last time Pelegrini ever commented to the City fans or the press that they were actively looking for quality players, that certain players werent 4 sale, that the transfer window is a necessary evil and should be eradicated. $150M spent on two of the most sought after young players in the world to complement an already WC class squad….

      Meanwhile in London our fearless leader is hoping and praying that the ambitious, European giants that compete for the Champions league title every year are willing to sell there surplus to requirenents players after improving there squads. And even if Arsene does spend some money in the next few days, will it be money well spent? Other than Sanchez last year, have the $70M spent on Ozil, Chambers and Debuchy over the last few windows significantly improved the squad, when a quality DM and striker could of easily been bought for that price tag. And please dont get me started on the millions wasted to extend Girouds and Theis stay @ the Emirates.

      DeBryne and Sterling vs Walcott Giroud so far this summer, classic and predictable Arsenal

  14. as for walcott he is not going to score as a cf, rw is his best position. He still sometimes plays as a 17 year old running mindlessly into a wall of players.He is not as bad as giroud but wasteful nonetheless, Ox is going to take his place unfortunately and he will be used as a sub.We need to stick with those who will improve the team. This will be my playing XI until we get a striker.
    bellerin Gabriel koscielny monreal
    ox coquelin ramsey walcott

  15. Yesterday it was obvious that giroud needed to be brought on from the start of the second half, but what does wenger do sit on his ass anf wait for a miracle, we were lucky that a goal was scored in the end.

    1. Cant dispute that, Gab needs a run of games with the first 11. If BFG walks back in when healthy Wenger is a bigger idiot than I fear.

      1. @Bigvalbowski
        So right. Gabe reads the game well and has the pace required to snuff out threats. He is also very good in the air. Something Per is not. There is a clip on of Kos & Gabe v NUFC. A must see…

        1. Great clip, Gab will have is rookie monents but his skill set is to good to languish on the bench behind BFG

          Wish Arsene would bid $20M for Wanyama and $60M for Lewandowski. Only chance we have of competing with Oil Shitty

  16. And other teams buying players even though they have a good squad also doesn’t go unnoticed by our players.It must be putting doubts in their minds as to why am i in this team who isn’t showing ambition.I am against buying for the sake of buying but at least assemble a decent group of players who could get the job done. Big clubs buy players and create competition for players so that they have a shot at winning or trying to win the league.You see so many good quality players sit and rot on barcas and madrids bench and not make a fuss about it is because they know they are at a big club and they will have to fight for places. I want arsenal to act like a big club.Buy better quality and bench those who don’t perform.

  17. One thing that has really pleased me was Gabriel, Kos and Coq triangle. There was good trust and communication between the three, which is especially impressive considering Gabriel’s English is still wavy. But Kos clearly trusts Gabriel and Coq. Great defensive trio all great tacklers.

    OT: Apparently we have had a bid for Icardi knocked back. The problem I have with this is that we are going to have to pay more now because it is so late in the window and is clear that we are desperate. A striker should have been bought in the summer and Walcott should have been told he will not be playing ST. The manager should be telling players where to play and not the players.

    1. Icardi is going to be expensive, not only because it’s late on the transfer window but also because he has four years left on his contract, he extended his contract with inter in June.

  18. to Alfie,

    Arsenal did not have 22 shots on goal. We only had 8 on goal. Just because the ball is struck toward the end line doesn’t mean it is a shot on goal. The fact that arsenal had 74% possession but only 8 shots on goal illustrates part of the problem that we currently have, creating real chances.

    1. Ummm, where are you getting this 8 shots from? Theo missed 3 chances, Alexis missed 2, Giroud missed 1. 6 Shots from CLEAR CUT CHANCES. Add to that Ox for the goal which was directly proceeded by an Aaron Ramsey shot. That’s the 8 shots? That’s just from a short highlights reel. There were plenty of other shots in the game that were poor shots…that isn’t how that stat works.

      Watch the game again and you’ll see we had PLENTY of shots above 8. We were poor at finishing. Not at creating chances. Newcastle were tight as hell and didn’t want to play football, but stop us playing football. We weren’t great but we were not awful. Either way the “shots” stat is ALWAYS balls struck towards the goal. Of those, we had 22. Get over it – you can’t fabricate stats. We had 9 shots on target even!

  19. If ozil’s not available i want alexis or rosicky in that number 10 role no more ramsey or wilshere.

    1. Sanchez can’t play the easiest of passes. We would be better of with mert as 10 goooooooooooooooooooooooooal Swansea 2:1

  20. i got some intergalactical source that writting some rumors that ozil didnt want to play if theres no striker coming , refuse to play , asked to put him on transfer list. same thing happen to ramsey, since barca is admit interest with him

    exactly this is what i afraid gonna happened since begining,and im already posted about this.
    wc player needs to lift up trophy. not just pre-season trophy they need future prospect, winning league, win ucl .

    the board + manager didnt want splash the cash , ie add 5m pounds more to land benzema,but they wont. now see what happened.
    now spreading rumors man city set world record bid to land jack wilshere.
    you know what happened next windows trf if we didnt sign anyone?
    ozil,ramsey,wilshere surely will taken first , and then etc etc etc.. im too afraid to saying it

    1. Why do you say add 5m and it will land Benzema? In order to say this you have to know:
      1. We bidded for Benzema
      2. Real Madrid rejected the bid
      3. That Benzema wanted to come
      4. That Real Madrid would accept a higher bid

      As NONE of those 4 statements are public knowledge, I ask what inside knowledge you have that means you can say that?

      This makes all the rest of what you say worth just as much as that fabricated nonsense.


      Gosh, you only have to look at Everton and Stones to see how that can work. Real are FAR bigger and have far more reason to say no to a bid for their only striker.

      1. Always been impressed with Gomis, even in his French league days. Big, athletic, pacy with technical ability, who knew they existed?

    1. Ayew was good. Gomis looked like nothing special to me. Even his goal was poor goalkeeping. Theo did the exact same shot yesterday and it was saved – everyone slagged Theo for awful finishing. Ayew meanwhile was dangerous on the ball and was making good runs. 1 game does not determine a man though and Gomis last season was certainly not a profilic striker, missing many good oppurtunities.

      Don’t get me wrong, I rate both players, but the implication they are better than what we have is misplaced after a single game where they play well.

  21. If we dont sign a striker play Alexis as Striker. Alexis’s positioning is better than Theo or
    Giroud. Alexis is capable of shooting from distance and also gets in good goal scoring positions.
    Alexis is wasted at lw. Sign Gotze and play him at lw.

  22. Any1 who thinks giroud is better than gomis , please keep calm and watch gomis play. Look whose behind giroud and look who plays behind gomis and yet gomis always looks more of threat and scores that too against big teams.

    1. “always” should be “this season”, I don’t remember Gomis being mentioned last season… probably because he scored half the amount of goals Giroud did in almost the same number of minutes played.

      1. And how many points did we snatch against top 6 with giroud upfront last season and how many did swansea get ,certainly 12 against us n man uni. If players like sanchez ozil ramsey n santi would be playing behind him he would be scoring 20 + goals atleast

  23. Come on swansea give me my hattrick! Liverpool lost chelsea lost only man u to complete an awesome weekend!

  24. one thing i learned from last game is le coq is a crazy guy and a big liability he needs to calm down and think before he acts or hes getting sent off one of these days.

  25. That is why nobody takes us (ARSENAL FANS) seriously, and when I say nobody I mean the owners….Every single one is judging Theo for a bad game ( it was indeed), there are some that were calling back for GIROUD again all these rubbish about Theo for just one game….if we were going to judge GIROUD and ask for his head for every bad game he had the man would have been already playing in Turkey or Greece, never mind our Coach….Theo came from injury and has not played enough time to tune up, why cuz Le Frog insists playing his wonder boy, give the man a chance, same play time as GIROUD and then jump to conclusions, coming from Injury he scored a hat trick against West Brom, when was the last time GIROUD scored 3 goals in one game….get real and stop giving WENGER arguments to keep playing his outdated tactics and force him to use very man in his squad leaving aside his well know favoritism for certain players.

  26. Let’s stop condemning our players, the team drop form, few players r playing well presently. I believe the team ll pick soon. Let our manager work on them in training n come up with better tactics n study better position for his players. Up gunners.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs