Who was REALLY to blame? (And Arsenal’s new DM)

Manager vs Players by RS

This is the second Arsenal article I’ve written for justarsenal.com. Last year I wrote a post about who would be the striker that we should have bought. If you recall I mentioned Bony, we ended up with Welbeck. And after watching yesterday’s defeat to West Ham and seeing the reactions from this forum I’ve decided to write a new article about mistakes made during the game.

When you see a situation that goes wrong during a game either one of these two is at fault: the manager or the players, simple as that. When I see that people on this forum write ‘Wenger out’, I look at the decisions he made before and during the game. The starting Line-up was as follows:


Debuchy Koscielny Mertesacker Monreal

Ramsey Coquelin

Chamberlain Özil Cazorla


As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing wrong with this line-up. It is almost the same we have used against Chelsea and that went rather brilliantly. The only player that people would argue should have started is Walcott, but that would have meant taking Giroud out. People often look at Giroud in an offensive way, but I saw yesterday he managed to head some balls away from corners against us before the first goal. This line-up is on the defensive side seeing as both Walcott and Bellerin did not start, but in my opinion that was a good thing. It is better to start defensively so you can keep it 0-0 and try to score goals and use Walcott as a powersub when it stays 0-0.

Unfortunately, it did not stay 0-0 because of the free kick at the end of the first half. Two people made a mistake, Koscielny for not marking Kouyaté properly, and Cech for leaving his goal line and failing to intercept. I cannot see how this goal is Wenger’s fault. Should he not have selected Koscielny and Cech? I know no one would dispute me on this. Others might suggest that is the fault of manager for not training enough on defending set pieces, but this was not a collective failing, this was one defender that did not concentrate and we paid the price. The first goal was therefore not Wenger’s fault.

The second goal was very sloppy clearing from Oxlade-Chamberlain. Again, everyone would have selected him as a starter, not the manager’s fault for selecting him for the starting XI. Again Koscielny and Cech were at fault as well as neither reacted quick enough to neutralize the threat, therefore Zarate could score. These three individual mistakes from our star players are their mistakes, their responsibilities, not the manager’s.

If you look at our substitutions – Walcott for Coquelin, and Sanchez for Debuchy, I do not have a problem with that. Normally we slander Wenger for not substituting on time and for not taking enough risks, this time you cannot blame him for not taking risks. He risked playing our star man Alexis, even though he knew it could mean he would get injured because of lack of rhythm. That takes balls to take such risks.

So the reason why we conceded two goals was because of individual mistakes, the reason why we lost was because of lack of goals and attitude, something we clearly missed yesterday. You could say that the manager was at fault for not making the players sharp enough before this game but frankly, that is their fault, they earn 80k a week and part of that is earned by making yourself sharp before a game, the manager should not be a kindergarten teacher.

The players who we usually look for when we want attitude are Sanchez, Wilshere and Rosicky, all three of those have grit and pull themselves together when behind. If you looked at the faces of the players yesterday you may have noticed that nobody pulled open his mouth to motivate the team. I’m grateful that we have Coquelin by our side (even though he wasn’t in a good shape yesterday), but he does not offer enough leadership at the moment. That is why we do need a second DM, not only to offer competition but to offer leadership to a team when needed. What we are looking for is a player that speaks with his feet and his mouth, players like Viera and Keane.

Do not get me wrong, I am hoping as well for Benzema to come, but he does not offer grit or leadership. So these are the two things we currently still lack; leadership and clinical finishing. Benzema offers the second of those, Sanchez even offers both, but we cannot rely on Sanchez alone for leadership. What I am suggesting for the DM position are these players who I think could have made an impact yesterday:

Jeremy Toulalan from Monaco

Maxime Gonalons from Lyon

Gary Medel from Inter Milan

Ignacio Camacho from Malaga

Bruno Soriano from Villarreal

These midfielders offer leadership, experience and grit. They possess that cutting edge that would have been useful yesterday to shout the players awake and give them a kick against their backsides so they would put their heels in and scrape through. The hard thing about getting any of these players is the fact that almost all of them are captains at their respected clubs and are therefore hard to prize away. My personal preference goes to Jeremy Toulalan as he still has a few years left in him and would not cost too much. Also he is not too young so he is not a threat to Coquelin’s growth as our leading DM for the next years.

I hope you realize it was not Wenger’s fault yesterday – but his players – and that you agree with me about my choice for a new DM with leadership.


Tags Gonalons Toulalan Wenger


  1. mark says:

    Well written and thought provoking article, so thanks for that. I largely agree with you, but fear you have written so sensibly without slagging Wenger or the whole team (esp.Giroud) that your words will flutter away in the JustArsenal archives.

    Write some more please, because it reads well and makes logical sense. 🙂

    1. Patrick Shiiiza says:

      I can never know more about football than Wenger, none of us can… but I still think his tactics and team selection were at fault (injuries and omissions played a part)

      First of all our set piece play was pretty woeful. Coquelin playing Kouyate offside for the first goal with no one effectively marking him. Although credit to West Ham it was a very well taken set-piece delivery from Payet!

      No player closing down Zarate, which left Cech wrong-footed. Who was at fault for the second goal.

      Arsenal played with no width either. We over loaded the number 10 position which played into West Ham’s plan perfectly as they played with a midfield diamond. Only our full backs offered some width and at times Oxlade. But he also decided to cut inside too often. We had no winger on the left as Cazorla likes to drift in. Wenger should have instructed his players to play with more width and get the ball behind the defenders using the pace of Walcott or Ox. You saw Monreal was left to fling in crosses because Reid, Tomkins and Ogbonna were effectively marking Giroud out of the game.

      Walcott should have started. He’s been so effective and in form. I understand why Wenger wanted to go with the strength of Giroud, but those West Ham defenders are not quick. It is a big shame we had neither Alexis or Welbeck either. Really needed that extra pace.

      Cazorla on the wing is too slow and having Debuchy and Monreal as well. Gibbs should have come on to offer more of an attacking threat. We sorely missed Bellerin as well. Debuchy + Monreal is not a good combination. So far Wenger has balanced hi

    2. Patrick Shiiiza says:

      I can never know more about football than Wenger, none of us can… but I still think his tactics and team selection were at fault (injuries and omissions played a part)

      First of all our set piece play was pretty woeful. Coquelin playing Kouyate offside for the first goal with no one effectively marking him. Although credit to West Ham it was a very well taken set-piece delivery from Payet! No player closing down Zarate, which left Cech wrong-footed. Who was at fault for the second goal.

      Arsenal played with no width either. We over loaded the number 10 position which played into West Ham’s plan perfectly as they played with a midfield diamond. Only our full backs offered some width and at times Oxlade. But he also decided to cut inside too often. We had no winger on the left as Cazorla likes to drift in.

      Wenger should have instructed his players to play with more width (Liverpool at home anyone?) and get the ball behind the defenders using the pace of Walcott or Ox. We were at our most dangerous when Ox stormed down the right! Monreal was left to fling in crosses because Reid, Tomkins and Ogbonna were effectively marking Giroud out of the game.

      Walcott should have started. He’s been so effective and in form. I understand why Wenger wanted to go with the strength of Giroud, but those West Ham defenders are not quick. It is a big shame we had neither Alexis or Welbeck from the start either. Really needed that extra pace.

      Cazorla on the wing is too slow and having both Debuchy and Monreal as well. Gibbs should have come on to offer more of an attacking threat. We sorely missed Bellerin’s pace as Debuchy was very rusty. Debuchy + Monreal is not a good combination. So far Wenger has balanced his team with Monreal + Bellerin or Debuchy + Gibbs.

      Subs. Taking off Coquelin and moving Ox to full back wasn’t a good shout. Why move your most effective player back? and also why sub off your only ball winning player? he did have an awful game, but still offers more grit than anyone on the field. Ramsey or Cazorla should have been subbed off, with perhaps Coquelin moving to RB. Keeping Ox upfront with Sanchez and Walcott coming on also Gibbs would have injected more pace into the side. Instruct Mertesacker, Kos and Coquelin to hang back to prevent counters.

      Sanchez for Debuchy (Coquelin to RB) or even play with three at the back!
      Gibbs for Monreal
      Walcott for Cazorla (Ramsey also manages to sneak into the box and score and he is more robust)

      But you are right in the article. No one seemed to step up and motivated the team. You normally see Coquelin shouting at his teams mates, that didn’t happen. You would also expect it from Cech. There should have been a shift at half-time which shows you Wenger got his tactics wrong. Granted the team was very rusty, but not enough changed at half-time and West Ham capitalized. What a frustrating game.

      1. Patrick Shiiiza says:

        double post, my bad :/

    3. TrophyCab says:

      I’m a ‘Wenger in’ kind of guy, but it was Wenger’s fault this weekend. Yes the players weren’t at their best either. But we are still ignoring the age-old problem. We need a BEAST in the centre of our team, either in defence or in midfield (preferably midfield). We got bullied by a stronger team AGAIN, and as always, when the going got tough, the Arsenal went missing.
      There is a not-to-secret formula to beating Arsenal…
      1. Put some hard tackles in early doors (without getting sent off) TICK for West Ham
      2. Get men behind the ball TICK
      3. Play for set pieces around the box TICK (Mark Noble especially)
      4. Score from a set-piece TICK
      5. Defend your lead like dogs with 10 men behind the ball TICK
      6. Waste time on goal kicks/free kicks/going down injured TICK TICK TICK TICK(!!!)
      7. Score second (sometimes third) goal as Arsenal start to commit more and more players forward TICK

      I’m fed up of seeing us lose that EXACT same way. And I’m fed up with Wenger not addressing the problem. Get a beast in there who won’t allow us to be bullied. He doesn’t have to start every game and we won’t suddenly play ugly because of it. I’m sure there’s a beast out there with enough technical ability to pass the ball 5 yards on to Cazorla, Ozil, Ox, Wilshere, etc. Go find him.

    4. jaweant says:

      Have to say. Le Coq was trailing during the free kick and kept West Ham players on sides. He was behind everyone and should have noticed. Also bad tackle in box, follows by bad Ox first touch and everyone ball watching. It may have been a defensive line up, but it didn’t feel defensive. It was low tempo, team lacked energy and confidence. Idk bad game. For the 1000 time DM and striker or winger. Also love Le Coq, just pointing out mistake

  2. Kotte says:

    So sad all the optimism for the season was blown out within 90minutes…why Lord?

    1. davidnz says:

      Why Lord?
      The Lord giveth
      The Lord taketh away.
      You win some you lose some.
      Sh#t happens 🙂

    2. Gunner says:

      Most of the optimism was built from playing “weaker” teams in pre-season. (aside from the Chelsea)..
      Man u,Chelsea, Man City and even Spuds played at Barca or RM…a loss in a friendly would’ve exposed weaknesses and is more profitable than an actual PL game loss,which is a loss in points.

  3. Gunner says:

    I think the cause of the 1st goal, was that we held a too high line on the set piece..had we defended slightly deeper, would gave Chech the chance to collect – and a simple foul on the keeper leads to the ref blowing on his favour..The high line gave them space to run at and gave Chech too much distance to run out and collect..
    But goals conceded does not account for as to why we failed to score at home!!!

  4. davidnz says:

    The squad we have is
    basically the one which
    went 20 games with only
    2 losses after February.
    So the hiding we took v WH came as a huge shock.
    We were slow ponderous with no urgency.
    They were fizzing their play electric.
    Bilic completely outsmarted Wenger.
    Wenger says we need a response.
    He above all others must respond.
    And I believe he will.

    1. BASICALLY but not the same squad we missed the key player OSPINA

    2. Dee@ease says:

      It’s also the same squad that finished 12 points behind Chelsea even after having lost just 2 games since February so what’s your point?This squad is not good enough!

      1. davidnz says:

        We lost Mertz Kos
        at the start then
        lost Giroud and Ozil
        for 4 months and Szcz
        lost form too.
        That’s where we lost 12 points.
        After Feb we got them all back
        and Ospina and Coquelin stepped up too.

    3. Arsenal Gold says:

      The Same squad except that wenger in his wonderful rite as the manager of the Famous Arsenal football club on sunday switched Cazorla to the wings to accomodate his son, Ramsey

  5. MK3 says:

    If you summarize last 3 days’ transfer rumors/news then it would be like Benzema will have a medical at Arsenal as his agent was present during West Ham game and then we are very close to Lucas Silva but Man U is also interested, and suddenly from nowhere we are going to bid for Cavani… I think the football journalists are as deluded as Wenger is. …



  6. levilove says:

    How old is Jeremy Toulalan pls? I seem to fancy him as well…ticks all Wenger’s boxes

  7. arsenal369 says:

    Great Article! You should do more as you talk a lot of sense!

  8. Hafiz Rahman says:

    Wenger should have gone for All time fan fav Mvilla!!!

  9. Ozymandias says:

    Good article. I agree that the team v WH was basically the same as the one which went on a good run last season apart from Alexis and Hector. The difference in the performance could be put down to early season rustiness and no luck going our way. However against high energy, well organised teams we can often be sluggish with the midfield becoming very congested. If we score first – fine as the opposition has to come out more but if we concede first then it’s all uphill. I would like to see a tweak in tactics at home where AW rotates Ramsey, Cazorla/Ozil and is able to play those with more speed in both the wide positions. We have the players – let’s use them.

  10. Hafiz Rahman says:

    The fans are to be blame…

    They are happy on winning the Barclays, Emirates and Community Shield Cup…

    They are happy that Arsenal sign a 2nd choice bench warmer conceding 10goals in 15 games GK……instead of high performing first choice GK

    The fans are happy with the excuse of bad day at the office for the last 10 years….

    This is why We are not winning….

    Time for a change….time for a new Manager!!

    1. disgusted1 says:

      Hafiz lets rally the troops lets re-start the wenger out chants we will beat crystal Palace and everyone will be good again until we play United, city, Chelsea and liverpool where we will get slam espacially by United.

  11. govia says:

    I think you missed the mark. The issues are not related to team selection, substitutions, and assigning blame for errors that lead to the goals. For me, the game was lost due to strategy — a key failing of Wenger, often repeated.

    I am not a Wenger basher, but he needs to be less sentimental, and more ruthless (pragmatic). Wenger already had a proven system that resulted with wins last season, and in this pre season. Cazorla and Coquelin paired in the middle is a good thing: this tandem contribute to much of Arsenal ball retention, distribution, and defense until something better comes along. Now we know that Ramsey hates playing out wide, so what does Wenger do? He shifts Cazorla out left, and plays Ramsey in the middle. I like Ramsey but for me Cazorla does a better job in the middle. He does not bomb forward as much as Ramsey does (with his desire to score), which leaves Arsenal’s defense suspect to a counter attack. And Cazorla is a much better and creative distributor of the ball than Ramsey is. There was a time in the match, I wished Ramsey would have just slide the ball on to Debuchy who was making a fantastic run: Ramsey elected to shoot way outside the box – an error in the final third I believe Cazorla would have got right, for example.

    Finally, I am not a fan of Giroud, but he has surprised me with the way he has come along. He is a much better player than people like myself choose to acknowledge. However, if Wenger’s wanted to make a statement at the beginning of the season, Walcott should have lead the line. This was not about defense. This was about attack. And Walcott would have forced West Ham to worry more about him slipping behind them and scoring. With Giroud starting the match, West Ham was given free rein to run at us. It is no surprise that of all of Arsenal’s players, only Ox presented a challenge to West Ham in the final third. Arsenal and it’s manager must learn to dominate teams, and win games they have to win. Enough of this nonsense about nervousness! Aren’t you tired of that excuse?

    Wenger lost this match in the first half. By the time, he had made his substitutions, West Ham was in the position to settle back and stifle the opposition.

  12. JAmerican says:

    The RAW truth:

    We only need to focus on ourselves but before we do that we have to take a look at our competitors and make the proper adjustments for starters.

    Chelsea (defending champions) – Mourinho came back and after just 1 season addressed his teams weak areas and then BOOM!!! The won the league. I can almost guarantee you if Chelsea doesn’t maintain or better last season head will roll at Stamford Bridge.

    Man City (runners up) – rumors circling that if Pellegrini doesn’t win the league this season he’s gone and in come Guardiola. That’s ambition for you and setting a high standard.

    Man Utd (4th and needs to play CL playoffs) – Don’t know much about Van Gaal but one thing is clear is that he means business and has already attracted some amazing talent. The only way I see Utd failing is if he allows them to.

    Liverpool – Rogers isn’t your everyday big name manager yet he addresses his shortcomings as he sees fit to give it a proper go this season even after the dramatics of losing Sterling.

    All won their opening game with the exception of Chelsea who I’m sure if it wasn’t for that red card would be celebrating 3 points as well.

    Now to us, we seem to be living a lot in the past and more recently since we’ve went on an incredible run in the second half of last season we now think we’re good enough by just adding Cech and shipping out a fare few. Last season is last season and to be that naive to not have already improve on that says it all for me. So until something majorly positive happens in the near future for us then you can forget about the distant future all together. Insanity comes to mind and we all know that definition by now. I’m now more nervous than ever going up against Palace away next solely because the ARE a better team than West Ham but we’ll just have to wait and see the response then. #COYG Gooner till the end…

    1. Kotte says:

      Thats why i blame wenger and his fans…evry beginin of a season he always seem relaxd n he never end up winnin the league…imagin he wants the transfr window to be closd nw haha…whts wrng with wenger rili?

      1. JAmerican says:

        Don’t know man but one thing’s for sure I love Arsenal FC and not an individual or individuals. Let’s try and keep our heads up for the next match, that’s the best we can do for now as fans…

  13. govia says:

    Sorry, I made some typos up above, but I think you got the drift.

  14. rkw says:

    brilliant..its like saying on 16th september 2008 there wasnt really a problem with financial markets becuase it was the same markets that saw asset prices boom in the previous 6 years…what`s your f***** point

  15. Giving Wenger a free pass for the shortcomings of this team is what keep us from being serious contenders, Maureen as much as I detest the guy got it right, the ownership and the Fans settle every year for his lack of ambition. Our biggest achievement for the last few years is finishing on top of Liverfool and Spuds, would be ridiculous to name the rest of the league, any Manager with this squad could do that, because of his past glories we come to expect more from Wenger, what he does instead nothing sitting in his chest of gold dreaming that he will win this league with the same players and he knows that if that doesn’t happen he still will be there next season pocketing 8M

  16. Arsenal Gold says:

    For what its worth, this might be controversial….rene jeff adelaide verus Reece oxford or Ozil versus reece oxford?

  17. Arsenal Gold says:

    Alexis Sanchez came in and Ozil came to life……

  18. Koss says:

    No, Wenger to blame, we should always start with walcott as long as he is fit, forget about his striker role play him on his usual position and we have a better scoring opportunity. think Rambo should have been on bench with with Carzola starting on his place and Ox playing on left. #JustMyOpinion

    1. Mick The Gooner says:

      Agree. Wenger doesn’t seem to have the nerve to drop either Ramsey or Cazorla. He has to make a choice. We can only play 1 central midfielder, 1 attacking midfielder and one defensive midfielder. Wenger’s indecision means we play two defensive midfielders and only one winger. That means we’re very narrow in our attacking play and easier to play against.

      But the players were also to blame. Abysmal performances all round.

      1. Ks-Gunner says:

        He knows that Cazorla is the better player but he cant bench his love child bec of this. He did not bench him at a time where he was our weakest player in the team, and he wont bench him now, after he got a half good season out of him.

  19. kelisjech says:

    Arsene is to blame.
    Just get benzema and wanyama then we are ready to challange.

  20. Ks-Gunner says:

    it takes a specialist in failure to lose the first game at home against a weaker side like West ham.

  21. FFFanatic says:

    While I agree with some of your points I fear you’ve also not addressed other points. I’ll say that I agree with your analysis of why we conceded but I fear you’ve been a bit naive in the assumption that football matches are only won or lost in the key moments of the game. Bare in mind I will wholeheartedly agree, we lost that game due to Cech’s mistakes above and beyond anything else, but your article ignores 3 key areas that WERE down to the manager during the game and another 2 areas down to players.

    The manager was responsible for:

    1. Lack of left wing
    We played with 1 winger and had NO width on the left whatsoever. It is a common error Arsenal make and it greatly hinders us. Most of West Ham’s attacks also came down our left – this was due to Monreal being in an elevated position and the LW midfielder (whoever had rotated there) was leaving too much space. Whether you say this is poor management on the day or poor transfer market dealings, the fact was we were weaker as a team due to the absence of this position.

    2. A DM against a team who play long ball
    This may sound controversial to some people but the least important position if the opposition plays long ball football is a DM. A DM is utilised to keep the ball in front of the defence so they always have time to shape up but this is completely nullified by a long ball game where the ball is played into space behind or to the side of the defence. This is exactly what we saw against West Ham. This is why Wenger changed it and employed a more standard 4-4-2 by the end of the game – Coq was totally bypassed and we couldn’t do anything to stop that. A more aggressively placed midfielder was needed – which is why you saw most of the balls Coq won actually being quite high up the pitch.

    3. Playing Mertesacker in a high line
    Ok, now I’ll pre-empt the comments about me bashing Mert but this is once again more about tactics then bashing a player. West Ham want to play the ball in behind you and into the channels for Sakho to run into. Granted, the best option then is Bellerin and Gibbs to compete with Pace on the wings and then Kos can deal with the centre. BUT Monreal has been in form and bellerin was injured. So you HAVE to adjust accordingly and the answer was Gabby or Chambers in the middle to partner Kos. Every time Kos was chasing down a man, he did so alone because Mert was nowhere to be seen. This allowed West Ham to get up the pitch by simply hitting channels and not needing to play football. Mert is also abysmally slow in the defence at shifting the ball – the antithesis to breaking a team down when you need to move the defence fast! In short – Mert should not play in a high line defence which we were always going to need today.

    Conversely the players have to also take a look at themselves for these reasons:

    1. Quality of end product
    This was the big one for me because believe it or not we opened up the West Ham defence ALOT. They weren’t great. BUT the end product was diabolical. Not just shooting, but crossing and final ball too. Set pieces were diabolical throughout and Debuchy had about 10 uncontested crosses which he put into the first man or into space where our attackers were not. These are individual errors a manager cannot account for – players just not delivering in the moment. Yes – he can motivate them – but sometimes a player just does not perform and it makes no sense. This is the biggest reason we did not score – not our formation or the team selection but PURELY the fact when the moment counted nobody could shoot, cross or pass. Nerves? Maybe. Rustiness? Maybe. I’d put it down to the fact we weren’t in full flight and got sucker punched and panicked. The quality changed from slightly off mishits in the first half to diabolical rushed or overly thought about dung in the second half. VERY frustrating for poor Ox who was the only player showing any real quality.

    2. Lack of concentration
    Now, you kind of addressed this, but it was why Cech conceded 2 goals. It was why Koscielny lost his man a few times. It was why Ox lost the ball on the second goal. It was why we made crosses to an empty box. This game showed players not completely match sharp. YES we beat Chelsea last week but we had alot to prove – the players WANTED that game. This week is a routine match and has a smaller individual importance to the player. They can say they’re preparing just as much, Wenger can say all the right things, but at the end of the day they weren’t at the races yet. The 10% extra caused by REALLY wanting that win last week was not present and the start of season rustiness where you miss a run or don’t anticipate a ball was just not there. This is one of those things that happens just down to the human psychy. Doesn’t matter how good a motivator someone is – at the end of the day some games just aren’t going to feel as big and it showed.

    Now there are other reasons we lost. West Ham WERE sharper having played several competitive games and gotten used to the pace of the challenge again. It wasn’t fitness so much as just anticipation of certain moments. Ultimately we were off the boil and out of luck with our keeper making two flops.

    SO your reaction is to buy a DM. This is what I most disagree with about your post. You said 2 things that don’t make sense. 1 – You say that buying a DM will give us more fight on the pitch…but then say that he won’t stop Coq playing. That’s directly contradictory because especially in games like yesterday you wouldn’t use 2 DMs. SO which is it? 2 – You’re literally trying to suggest we buy some of the least purchasable players on the market. These are all club captains who are invested in the team and won’t be easy to buy. Will they come into a flooded midfield and play second fiddle to Coq or take his place but always be worried about him displacing them? There is absolutely no reason for any of these players to come to us and for the most part, they are players who would not necessarily add a great deal of quality to the team. I agree, we are thin on the ground with DM but I am adamant that Coquelin is a good quality player when used in the right way. Yesterday was not the time to play with a DM and SOME of these players could have been useful, but we already have other CMs which is what we’re really talking about playing there!

    A player with leadership WOULD be good but there are a couple of elements you have to bare in mind too. Firstly – they have to speak the language or be a leader by example (like Alexis). Secondly – they have to actually go into the first team and NOT be getting pushed out or they are just being wasted as leaders. Our biggest problem yesterday was not lack of leadership or desire though – it was just bad play. Grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck can be done in MANY ways – and an exciting CF or LW could be just as able to do that as a fighting DM. I’ll posit sometimes the moment a game turns is when a player beats an opposition player and creates something from nothing. Big tackles do it too, but you feel the team lift when you suddenly realise “They can be beaten!”.

    This is all just musings anyway. I liked your article, I just think you’ve got the wrong priority if you think removing a bright young star like Coquelin is the most vital position to switch in our starting 11. Got lots of other positions that can be boosted. A second DM IS a good signing – but I’d prefer someone who can act as cover as opposed to actually displacing coq – someone with a bit more passing scope would be nice but honestly in the games we NEED a DM, we probably don’t need our deep lying player making inch perfect passes either.

  22. nernlorg says:

    The problem with Arsenal is simple: clinging on to a finished manager who has lost touch with modern football. Some of our fans are as delusional as Arsene Wenger; and like Wenger, they also have eyes but can’t see! Imagine the number of quality players we were linked with this summer, from Vidal to Kondogbia to Schneiderlin — the types that could put more steel into our midfield — but none of these ended up at Arsenal. Instead they were signed by our rivals, and Wenger kept the money, waiting for quality players to come cheap from space! This is our 11th year without the EPL title, yet we claim to a big club in England. The mentality of bouncing back is nonsense; the more points you drop the farther away you move from winning the title. With this mentality, we should forget about the title, because it will only rotate between Chelsea, City and Man U, who are more aggressive and ambitious to win it.

  23. lugdush says:

    “Argentino argentino
    que amargado se te ve
    Messi no tiene los huevos
    que tiene Gary Medel (8)(8)”

  24. daly90 says:

    Am I completely mistaken or is your line up slightly off? In my mind Ramsey and Cazorla should be swapped, Wenger had Ramsey on the wing and this to me was one huge mistake, I don’t quite understand why he didn’t play Walcott there.. Ramsey had no idea how to play on the wing and quite often Ozil was covering for him

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