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Honestly I’m ambivalent. He is almost guaranteed to score, but isn’t exactly a great team player. I thought we might have seen him or Welbeck start but I’m delighted to see the Ox back. I see him as a synthesis of Alexis tenacity and Walcott’s pace and directness. Back to Walcott, however, and I do wonder what his role in the team is. Tim Stillman (@Stillberto) made a point somewhere that the quality of the squad has risen so much that guaranteed starters (Poldi, Walcott, Wilshire etc.) are no longer the focal points of the team, but more on the periphery, and I’m glad that's the case. There is no room for sentiment. If we’re going to compete to win and Welbeck offers more in defence and team play I’d rather he starts. That said, I’d like to see him up top as

We need to understand that football is not just about attacking and it’s not just about when you have the ball. Tonight we were destroyed defensively when we gave the ball away, we need to organise things at the back a lot better. Our squad is very attacking, which is concerning. Tonight’s line-up left just three defensive minded players on the pitch in Coquelin, Mertesacker and Koscielny. In the Champions League, that’s not enough. Any side can tear us apart and if by some miracle we advance to the next round, I’m concerned by the damage a bigger side can do.

First rule of Penalty Club is that you do not talk about Penalty Club. On a more serious take, I think it is indicative of the club having more players willing to attack the box and draw those fouls. For a long time it felt like we really only had Ox available to run at a defender but now we can reasonably expect that type of forward thinking from Ox, Walcott, Welbeck, and even down to Alexis, Özil, Cazorla, and Rosicky. It can also be traced back to a more counter-attacking system that is really putting an emphasis on throwing punches instead of just dancing around the perimeter

 Welbeck, and even Ox over Theo at the moment. I like Theo a lot, but his lack of defensive nous is hurting us, especially when he's playing with Hector who is closing the gap to Per and leaving the flank open. The winger must help and Ox was much better at that at the Etihad. Welbeck would be the same. Theo on the other hand makes teams set up differently and not commit as many players forward. Welbeck or Ox do not have Theo's pace but are both pacy enough to punish a team that does commit numbers forward while also being much better at link up play with the midfield to their technical superiority over Theo. Theo is indubitably a better finisher than both but has been very rusty in front of goal since coming back and Welbeck's defensive effort is more

Primarily, Santi Cazorla. He was sensational against City - scoring, assisting and generally controlling the game, but relatively quiet today. Secondly, willing runners. Against City, when we counter attacked we had Ramsey, Chamberlain, Sanchez, Giroud and Cazorla all willing to get forward and today we only had Welbeck who looked willing to break away in attack.

It's hard to choose as everyone was fantastic but I think I have to choose Özil. Even without that assist which should be x-rated as the dirtiest and kinkiest kind of football porn ever (trust a German to produce porn like that) I think he had an outstanding game. He interchanged positions with Theo and Santi with consummate ease and exceled in each role. Far too often he is lazily accused by the media - and some of our fans who are foolish enough to believe them and ironic enough to lecture you on "watching players" when you point out his statistics - of not working hard enough and not putting in a shift. The action-man performances of Alexis this season have delighted the media because they love a player who can put himself about which

  • 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