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The Highbury Library animted promo v5 350x350

On at least three occasions Signed Da Ting was provided with silver service delivery from Giroud and Gunner Galatico Ozil. The German national put in a quality shift, whilst looking like he was waiting for some pre-match Pepto Bismol to take effect. That must have been a hard core sickness bug going round Colney, because Ozil looked like he was about to spew like Liam from One Direction. Nausea aside Ozil’s delivery was very precise, but the end product from Theo not so much. Like an excited, sweaty- palmed, boy teen about to wave goodbye to his virginity, Theo shot his load too quickly.

I have been tempted to suggest that Mertesacker's transfer from Werder Bremen is the most symbolic of the Emirates era. Just like Dennis Bergkamp's arrival served as precursor to the champagne football of the last decade at Highbury, Mertesacker's was the first in a seismic shift. One of the reasons given for Arsenal's regression has been that the French league had gotten progressively weaker. When Arsene Wenger first came to England, he had the knowledge of an unheralded market and he took advantage of this. Jamie Carragher, the ex Liverpool stalwart speaks of how he effectively wrote off any signings from the French league by Liverpool on the basis that "If they were any good, Wenger would have bought them." As Wenger had to devise a plan to save Arsenal from the havoc brought by the departures of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas, Mertesacker's arrival foreshadowed a more Teutonic outlook. The next year, Lukas Podolski would join. The year after, Mesut Ozil. Wenger, a man born in Alsace, a town that borders

They have frequently been found wanting, lacking the requisite collective mental and physical edge needed to see off the opposition. They have too often this season, been bested in dramatic fashion by their top four domestic competitors.  Perhaps there are too many footballing passengers in this team hoping a few fellow players will carry them to a win. Some fans and pundits have criticised Wenger for being stuck in his ways. But perhaps he should revert back to his previous winning model of power and precision and abandon this feint-hearted tika-tika football experiment. Perhaps he should build a new team based on his previous proven winning formula of power, speed, clinical finishing and defending and in addition to the possession and triangular passing football he craves.

The only problem here is Chambers' age and the notion that Arsenal, contending seriously for a league title for the first time in a nervy, frustrating decade, can't risk one point here, two points there, in the league table to the learning curve of a 19-year old center back, much less when we've already got an excellent first choice pairing in that position for the first time in years.  At 19 years a center half has only experienced a relatively small number of game situations at full speed with the first team in which to hone those critical instincts that have him feeling rather than thinking his way through a match. Better, the thinking goes, to entrust that critical backup role to an old head.

Podolski, even when he's been tried centrally, has typically been a non-factor there.  The problem is that Podolski is not a dogged runner off the ball.  At times he will make breaks or play one-twos with teammates, but he's as often seen walking or merely jogging. Worse, Podolski seems unable to cross the penalty spot and operate on the right side of the pitch with the same confidence as the left.  As strong as his left foot is, his right foot is relatively weak.  Any striker, even a poacher, must be able to operate over the entire front of the goal.  And Podolski also doesn't have aerial skills that might mitigate some of this.

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more