That’s Entertainment!

By Kevin Whitcher

Online Ed: But nature of performance in win v Leicester a warning sign

I suspect Arsène Wenger loved last night’s game. Lots of attacking football from his side, who outscored visitors Leicester to put themselves at the top of the table until someone wins by more than a goal over the weekend. And there is no question it was a thoroughly entertaining 90 minutes, confirmation of the reason neutrals often tune in to Arsenal matches.

New season, same hope

I haven’t seen any post-match reaction, but it would be no great surprise if the manager pointed to the absence of four of his senior central defenders as a reason for a far from convincing defensive display. It was reminiscent of the match against Liverpool that kicked off last season in that respect, although at least this time, the Gunners were on the right side of a seven goal thriller.

Yet the absence of Messrs Koscielny, Mustafi (although fit enough to be on the bench?), Mertesacker and Gabriel were not the reasons for the concession of the first two goals. Individual errors by Cech, and for the second by Xhaka led to the chances Leicester converted. For the third goal, it was the old set piece weakness that saw no-one picking up Jamie Vardy from a corner. I am not convinced it was the personnel so much as the zonal marking system that was to blame here. So really, is anything going to change once everyone is available? Arsenal conceded 44 goals in 38 matches last season. You won’t win titles leaking them at that rate.

The midfield is still in need of a commanding individual who will dominate. Xhaka can play some lovely Hollywood balls when he isn’t giving away possession in his own half, and Ramsey is a decent box to box player. But defensively, forget it. Coquelin, at one time, looked like the solution there, but time has exposed him as the player who probably should have remained at Charlton. Elneny is a tidy link man who is capable of a last ditch intervention, and firing shots wildly over the bar. But the fact the manager was willing to let him go during the summer tells you all you need to know. A key defensive-minded player is needed for the shape of the team, but Arsene doesn’t do defence if he can buy an attacking player instead. I do not know if new Southampton signing Mario Lemina is the type of player required, although I am aware Ivan Gazidis wanted to buy him, based on stats, but Wenger has complete control of who the club go for, so he has ended up at St Mary’s. Hopefully another target will emerge and be secured before the end of August, because God knows, this team needs one.

Going forward, Arsenal played some good football in spells, and some rank football in others. There seemed no real consistency to this performance, no sense of control. A back three of Holding – Monreal – Kolasinac did not convince. Monreal in the centre did not feel right, although with two left footers, there seemed little choice. When Arsenal were chasing the game, Holding was hauled off, and the team switched to a nominal back four of the Ox on the right, two left-sided full backs in the centre and Hector Bellerin on the left. It was certainly different. Whether it was tactical inspiration or lunacy, it worked. Arsenal clawed back two goals to win the game.

Overall, it felt like a disjointed effort. The team is far from settled. The manager needs to have his best eleven available and play them consistently so they can establish a groove. However, one fears for the defence with such an open approach, and if Arsenal do go gung ho at Anfield and Stamford Bridge, the whole thing could unravel. The team’s confidence has seemed brittle for a long while now. Credit to them for turning the game last night around, but it really does not augur well for the much promised title challenge. New signings Lacazette and Kolasinac had mixed games, but it’s early days. There is enough evidence to suggest that both will come good.

Ultimately though, this was merely confirmation that Arsene loves his teams to go forward, often at the detriment of security at the back. So if possession is lost, they can be exposed all too easily. Oh for a Gilberto Silva. Nothing is going to change this season. Neutrals will be hugely entertained. Gooners will be delighted and frustrated in turns (as they were during the game last night). Arsenal’s priority is getting back into the top four, with its financial benefits, but as for winning trophies… well, let’s hope for a kind draw in the FA Cup.

The first issue of The Gooner this season went on sale at the Leicester game and can be bought at Arsenal home and away fixtures until the home match v Brighton, when issue 267 will be released. If you are not able to get to any games, it can be bought online for £3.60 including postage here.

Alternatively, you can simply pay £3.60 (postage included) (or £18 for a six issue UK subscription which gets you all the remaining issues before we cease publication at the end of the current season) via online bank transfer to –
Account name: The Gooner
Sort Code: 20-76-90
Account Number: 03004112
Please follow up the payment with an email to thegoonerfanzine@btinternet.com stating your name and address, ideally with proof of payment such as a screen grab or pdf, or at least the reference that you used for payment (e.g. 266Smith). If the payment was made from an account with a different name, definitely inform us so we can match the received payment.

If you want to buy a six issue subscription to receive the current edition, you can subscribe through the Gooner’s online store here (or here for Europe and here for the Rest of the World)

You also can bypass the online store by simply making a PayPal payment to the email address thegoonerfanzine@btinternet.com. Pay either £3.60 or £18 for a seven issue subscription. If doing this, please make your payment a 'friends and family' / personal gift payment – this helps keep our costs down. (Overseas buyers add £1.25 per individual issue for Europe or £2.50 per issue for the rest of the world. Six issue subscription costs are £28 for Europe and £35 for the rest of the world).

Finally, you can pay by cheque made payable to ‘The Gooner’ to the address below, for either an individual issue or a subscription…
The Gooner
BCM Box 7499

The Gooner is also available in digital form, through The Gooner App on iPhones and iPads, the Exactly App for Android devices and now Kindle Fire owners can also get their fix by searching the Amazon App Store for The Gooner.

You can also subscribe at www.exacteditions.com and read it through your internet browser as well as receiving a code which will enable you to access issues on all the above devices.

All digital subscriptions include access to our digital back issue library which dates back to August 2010.

12th August 2017 12:52:44


Comments and Reaction

User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.

Paulo75  13:04pm 12th Aug 2017

Spot on with the likeness to last seasons first game v Liverpool. The win is welcome but after several weeks of close season preparation, to be that bad at the back is truly breathtaking. The Manager wont change his ways now so I don't see how we will threaten a title challenge. - Post No. 108918

Exiled gooner in Pt  13:14pm 12th Aug 2017

Same old stuff still need quality central defender still need a Carvalho type player in the midfield, should not got rid of Schez a goalkeeper with his prime in front of him still and proven to of matured after last season in Italy!! Still believe Sanchez will go on the last day of the transfer window when to late to replace. Be alright we still got Walcott!!!Wenger out - Post No. 108919

mbg  14:11pm 12th Aug 2017

New season that's all that has changed, nothing else, same old crap tippy tappy going nowhere coming from behind scraping a win (thanks to the oppositions laxey daisy)with a decent player who soon will become an average one when the same old past it out of date fraud of a manager gets his grubby hands and ways on him and ruins him. ArseneKnewBest was spot on last night with his post when he said Leicester have only themselves to blame for losing, they beat themselves with their gung ho ness instead of defending properly (just as bad as ourselves) when it was there for the taking, but you can be sure they'll learn from their mistake/mistakes unlike our nice boys and past it manager, and you can be sure the top teams and all the others who have TOF in their pocket and long sussed out won't be making the same mistake. We want wenger out. - Post No. 108921

GoonerRon  15:08pm 12th Aug 2017

I thought we looked quite incisive in and around the box and Lacazette looked really sharp when in range of the goal. Difficult not to be concerned about our defending - hopefully getting some more first teamers in at CB will give us some stability at the back and get players in their strongest positions. Delighted Giroud is staying, there aren't many better back up strikers. A win - hooray. - Post No. 108923

TOOAW  15:24pm 12th Aug 2017

Take 4 senior defenders out of any team in the world and it's curtains. Liverpool have just played with the strongest team and concede 3.... just saying. I'd prefer to take the positives out of the game unlike some. 3 goals from 3 strikers. In Giroud we have the best target man in world football, heart of a lion. Fighting team spirit to come from behind twice. Wenger changing the formation when needed. Kolasinac looking like he's played for the Arsenal since day dot and worth every penny ????. Gazidis came out today stating that he couldn't find a better manager than Arsene so the contract was signed. Great times if you support the Arsenal. But what must it be like to be unable to share the fun. Rather miserable I guess. - Post No. 108924

markymark  16:23pm 12th Aug 2017

It appears to be Newcastle Utd under Kevin Kegan. No doubt greatly entertaining but title winners...... no. - Post No. 108925

TOOAW  16:39pm 12th Aug 2017

Oh dear.... Got to be an all time low for the WOBBLY WOB'S in comparing Le Boss with Keegan. - Post No. 108926

Arseneknewbest  16:44pm 12th Aug 2017

TOOAW - You lying fraud. There's chutzpah, and then there's downright dishonesty. You make Trump and Kim Jong-Il sound truthful. Giroud - "the best target man in world football". That'll be he geezer that cannot even get into the starting 11 of Arsenal; a second tier PL outfit slowly but surely morphing into irrelevance. Get real or get back to unsold anusol. You're a buffoon. You're not optimistic mate - you're just thick. - Post No. 108927

TOOAW  17:45pm 12th Aug 2017

So glad you posted AKB. Look back a few months ago when you stated we would get a hiding by Chelsea in the charity shield, take the annual beating on the first day of the season, let Lexi go blah blah blah. It's all there if you care to look. How wrong can one ahem man be. Hoping you are not angry because we won yesterday eh. OO 2 BEE. - Post No. 108928

markymark  19:00pm 12th Aug 2017

TOOAW - you really do need to be more self aware. Newcastle were famed for entertaining attacking football under Keegan. The 4-3 against Liverpool regularly being praised as one of the great games in the modern era. Yet they could not win titles and let a major points lead slip against UTD (ringing bells with the Great Wengo?) then they sell their star striker to UTD (ringing more bells???) I wonder TOOAW if you genuinely did used to stand on the Notth Bank for years(Squeak claimed this as well though apparently hated our football pre Wengo). Or whether you are Jonny come lately recent Wengo convert. There doesn't seem to be much back story to you. As useful I'm with the Arsenewbest's view that you are a chuffing BS merchant. Ps. I did witness Ivan say that live he had just finished circumventing a question about boardroom disagreement over Wenger. Basically he didn't answer the question saying that after discussion the board were united. Meaning the board took a vote and the winning majority was for Wenger to stay . As no one resigned the board were then united moving forward. For all we know it might have been 4-3 to keep him or 6-1. We will never know I guess until the replacement plan takes place within next two seasons. - Post No. 108929

mbg  19:13pm 12th Aug 2017

You'd think they could have held that piece of wall paper down a bit and showed their faces, but I suppose these particular AKB's are just not as convinced as they'd like us to think they are. In wenger we've rusted and rusted away. wenger out. - Post No. 108930

CBee  20:47pm 12th Aug 2017

When someone uses the phrase "heart of a lion" to describe Giroud, you know they are a troll ( or seriously deluded ). - Post No. 108931

Bard  20:57pm 12th Aug 2017

A thoroughly enjoyable game fully in keeping with the basketball style that we have come to expect. Same old Arsenal. Hopefully going down will convince Wenger to buy someone who knows what defending is about but not going to hold my breath. As for title credentials, not remotely convincing. We looked worryingly fragile as per. - Post No. 108932

mbg  21:34pm 12th Aug 2017

Well done Huddersfield Arsenal great result. wenger out. - Post No. 108933

Alsace  21:43pm 12th Aug 2017

The defence, irrespective of personnel, over the last 11 years has been vulnerable. Season in season out. All due to Wengers overall strategy. There is no argument. The rest is just pathetic excuses, from the man himself, and of course his dwindling band of disciples. What can you expect from European self delusion. - Post No. 108934

TOOAW  22:11pm 12th Aug 2017

@cbeebies. Giroud is positively a massive credit to the Arsenal under the Wenger years in the way of strike rate, goals scored, goals per minutes (last season). By all means check it out for yourself as the stats do not lie. Just a quick stat, after 113 games he scored his 50th goal. In those 113 games he started 92 games. The 3rd fastest Arsenal player to reach that number. I will reiterate...... the best target man in world football. By all means throw some stats and names as opposed to just criticise. I'm waiting. kPyW3Y - Post No. 108935

Exiled gooner in Pt  22:20pm 12th Aug 2017

I think we mentioned this near the end of last season MBG , I agree well done Huddersfield Arsenal shall be keeping an eye on them this season. As for Ivan the Wonker its all about youth now then , shame our youth system died the moment a real Arsenal Legend stood down from running it in Liam Brady!! Lets face it Nelson and Willock wont get a look in with Wally Walcott and the rest of the posing preeners in front!!! Wenger & the board out lets have our Arsenal back. - Post No. 108936

CBee  22:56pm 12th Aug 2017

I was commenting on your description of his character, not his stats. "Heart of a Lion" LOL! Use it for Sanchez yes, but not mannequin man. - Post No. 108937

TOOAW  23:14pm 12th Aug 2017

@cbeebies. Giroud has more integrity than Sanchez will ever have. Le Boss is playing the right cards at the right time over Sanchez. Personally I'd let him rot in the under 23's team and yourself the under 9's. - Post No. 108938

Exiled gooner in Pt  0:17am 13th Aug 2017

Tooaw, the only reason Giroud is still with us is he signed a new contract last January and no one else is GOING to offer him the same silly wages, same as all the other players seeing out their lucrative deals. At best he is a good front man who lacks pace which is why he will never be world class!!!As for the badge thumping and kissing do me a favour money and hair products is his drive not the love for our once great club. Wenger out - Post No. 108939

CBee  0:44am 13th Aug 2017

Keep on meowing TOOAW - Post No. 108940

Gaz  8:27am 13th Aug 2017

Same old same as really. Good going forward but crap defensively. And let's not pretend a lack of personnel was the cause of this as it's a cultural problem born out of Wenger's inability to create a solid defensive structure within his sides. - Post No. 108941

Yes its Ron  11:14am 13th Aug 2017

Always have to smile at the ' id let him play in the reserves' suggestion. Its why fans dont get invites onto Boards to run football clubs. 1. Clubs havent for years ran 'reserve ' teams but 2 why would a club allow the value of a player fall to nothing by denying him playing time? Its a suicidal suggestion. If AS stays at Arsenal it ll be because they've asked him for one more Season and hes agreed to do it, albeit at an extortionate wage paid to him. Im sure those who suggest this as 'punishment' dont have businesses to run themselves. - Post No. 108942

Cheltenham Gunner  11:42am 13th Aug 2017

Great game for the neutral. Same old same old, some quality goals scored by the team and comical goals conceded. Will we finish 4th or 5th, until Wenger leaves does it really matter? - Post No. 108943

Ham  11:47am 13th Aug 2017

Yeah, Giroud has integrity, I'm sure his wife will confirm it - Post No. 108944

Gaz  13:57pm 13th Aug 2017

Never really noticed the picture at the top of the page. Is that really from Friday night? If so good ****ing grief... - Post No. 108945

markymark  15:59pm 13th Aug 2017

I was having a think about a typical "Wengerist" and feel that there seems to be two classes or groups where the majority may fall into. Type 1 has become a Sports fan and is happier with the non partisan modern support where previously postcode and background created intercine terrace aggravation. Leaning heavily towards middle class and middle aged even later middle aged. They are often classic middle management of corporate companies. A threat of redundancy maybe a nagging fear but often life is good. Children are now at University and despite the fairly Liberal outlook. The idea of the children being free to experiment is actively discouraged as subtle pressure on their children drives them into the professionals. With their own accent into growing wealth they feel attuned to Wenger and feel that winning a title is simply a nice to have. His intelligence and perceived character is a prize greater than a winning team with an aggressive manager. The 2nd group will not necessarily have achieved a status that fulfills their own desired satisfaction levels they may suffer unhappiness and insecurity which feeds into aggressiveness and open suspicion. They are sharply critical of other views branding people as Traitors, Quislings, Scum. They may launch into Racist rhetoric , though race is not a key element to them in general as an individual from an ethnic background could be part of their group if they are sufficiently fanatical in viewpoint. The insularity will create a siege mentality and may result in threats of violence if they feel threatened by events. They may well indulge in a form of alter reality created by a group paranoia . Therefore Wenger cannot win because of refereeing conspiracies, FA cabals or 5th columnists undermining their club. The likely ending of Wengers reign could create a critical state amongst some who will be caught between attacking the new Manager and perhaps losing cohesion with the club altogether. - Post No. 108946

mbg  16:33pm 13th Aug 2017

Back to our normal position I see, any thing else never lasts long, at least the weasel and his fans should be happy. wenger out. - Post No. 108947

mbg  16:54pm 13th Aug 2017

markymark, self awareness is certainly not a trait of an AKB luvvie especially that one. wenger out. - Post No. 108948

TOOAW  17:24pm 13th Aug 2017

@ mark of mark. Lots of words. Lots of huff and puff but in essence a waste of 15 minutes of your life. How about wasting a further 2 minutes on the WOB folk. Miserable, boring, negative, yyaaaaawwwnn. No bother I've done it for you. - Post No. 108949

markymark  19:17pm 13th Aug 2017

TOOAW - looks like you recognise yourself as subgroup 2! - Post No. 108950

BigDaveTheGooner  19:31pm 13th Aug 2017

I would just like to make a comment about that weasel Gary Neviile.He was pitch side doing the punditry and slagging off Arsenal's defending something chronic saying how crap and disorganised (quiet rightly in my opinion) it was on Friday and then Wenger joins them for a post match interview but the weasel shrivelled like a salted slug and did not utter one word to Wenger about the shocking defending he had witnessed just minutes before. If Neville was as good as he thinks he is he could and but should have tied Wenger in knots but no he let him off the hook. Neville your a coward and a bottler,no wonder Keane had to get involved when Vieira fronted him up in the tunnel at Highbury,Keane knew he was a gutless Weasel,any respect I had for him as a pundit is well and truly gone. - Post No. 108951

markymark  19:40pm 13th Aug 2017

BigDaveGooner - he definitely is very politically tuned and won't cross anything that might effect access or punditry career, he is also pro establishment as he tried to attack Arsenal TV. TBHThey all are to a certain degree but at times Chris Sutton, Ian Wright and like him or loathe him Robbie Savage tend to say it like it is. Steve Claridge will attack obvious tactical failures and has berated Wengo on numerous occasions - Post No. 108952

BigDaveTheGooner  20:27pm 13th Aug 2017

I get where your coming from MarkyMark but surely if he's given his expert opinion about Arsenal's inability to defend then surely he has to take the opportunity to question Wenger's inability to put it right year in year out,instead of standing there like a gormless t wat. Take today's game with Moan United and West Ham as far as I can recall not once did he criticise West Hams defending,it was equally as bad as Arsenal's on Friday,but no ,according to the weasel Moan United were brilliant.There you have it as impartial as he tries to make himself sound he's still biased towards the moaners. - Post No. 108953

GoonerRon  21:22pm 13th Aug 2017

@ Big Dave - I thought that Neville and Carragher were a bit pally with Wenger too. To be honest though I don't think anyone in the media / punditry world would have the balls to go in too hard there and then in a post game interview. (a) they may be concerned that he might get defensive and cut short the interview which isn't great for the show, (b) they could easily get destroyed by being asked how good their managerial records are, (c) they may feel intellectually inferior to him so wouldn't want to get into a drawn out confrontation about. They probably know more between them about how to set up a team defensively whilst being on the pitch but have very little experience of trying to set up other players to do it. BTW, I'd love to see Chris Sutton on Robbie Savage try to pull Wenger to task in an interview like that - two distinctly average players who have to be ridiculously OTT about everything just to remain even slightly relevant. - Post No. 108954

markymark  22:20pm 13th Aug 2017

Gooner Ron - you certainly don't have to have been a gifted player to be a god pundit and certainly not to be a top manager in fact apart from the magnificent Johan Cruyff the relationship appears to be inverse. - Post No. 108955

mbg  23:59pm 13th Aug 2017

Big dave, good post and a pity they hadn't the balls (he'd have probably blamed primrose or bouldy anyway) but I agree with GoonerRon even though that was their job to ask and put that to him, so yes they bottled it, but another scenario ? wenger and his ego insisted before hand that the defence (and his deficiencies in that department) weren't mentioned or brought up. - Post No. 108956

Bard  1:13am 14th Aug 2017

Gooneron/bigdave; Mate wouldnt worry too much what the likes of Savage or Sutton have to say. They are just rent-a-gob pundits, rather like TOOAW on here.I very much doubt they would have the cojones to tackle any manager seriously. Im a Souness fan. Loved him as a player and like him as a pundit. He isnt anti Arsenal at all but frustrated like the rest of us that we dont have balls. As for interviewing managers they all get on bended knee unlike in Spain and the US where they really have to man up in interviews. who can forget dear old Jaqui Oakley giving Wenger his harshest interview in 20 years and he couldnt hack it. - Post No. 108957

BigDaveTheGooner  6:41am 14th Aug 2017

Thanks for your feed back chaps,but the point I,m trying to get across is that Neville gives it large when he's in the studio with all the technology and replays in front of him,and gets passionate about rank bad defending so instead of standing looking like a gormless t wat, let Wenger have it with both barrels. Unfortunately this is why we are in the position we are in,it seems Wenger is untouchable cos nobody has got the balls to confront him face to face but do it in the safety of the studio. Would Piers Morgan let him so lightly if he had the opportunity to interview ,I very much doubt it. - Post No. 108958

MAF  9:11am 14th Aug 2017

Wenger has played a blinder on BS'ing fans about Alexis. A PR masterpiece. Alexis has played his last game for Arsenal we all know that, but wenger needed to Keep it under the carpet to Aug 31. - Post No. 108959

peter wain  11:09am 14th Aug 2017

it may be entertaining but winning trophy football it aint. Same old Wenger will not listen will not change. We need a decent centre half and a decent defensive mid field player but with OGL in charge we have no chance of buying those. As for Gazidis interview who does he think he is kidding. Kroenke decided to give Wenger a new contact not the board and certainly not Gazidis. He should be sacked. - Post No. 108960

David1  14:25pm 14th Aug 2017

Never ceases to amaze that the manager who bought Vieira, Petit, Edu, Gilberto can't see the need for something similar in the current side. Total Shy*e. - Post No. 108961

mbg  14:39pm 14th Aug 2017

Bard, you right, and where is she now ? today ? has she been heard of since ? has she ever done another top flight interview especially wenger ? did he do a fergie on her ?. - Post No. 108962

Yes its Ron  15:56pm 14th Aug 2017

To be honest Kev, i think that nowadays,'entertainment'is the only prism to use when looking at football. Its ran by and owned by TV so its gung ho they peddle. The viewers demand it. Take a look at all of the defences now in that PL. They're all pretty rubbish, its not just Arsnls. Some of the matches, like Arsnl v Leics are a good watch but so far as the pure discipline of playing football is concerned the games been bastardised. Nobodys eems to care about rank bad defending any more, not even the Coaches when they win. Wenger had his leathery grin in full flourish after that game, the shambles at the back, the poor keeping by the rapidly declining Cech glossed over, all forgotten and forgiven. - Post No. 108963

Seven Kings Gooner1  16:24pm 14th Aug 2017

David1: I last had your angst 8 - 9 years and then it dawned on me that Wenger bought those players to win trophies, he has now won those trophies so now it's about the money. Well I used to think Wenger only cared about the money until we arrived to this season where we have 3 - 4 players out of contract and likely to cost the club in excess of 100 million if some sensible business is n't carried out in the next 17 days. You can only conclude that at Arsenal there is no plan for the football or indeed for the finances. Ron description of the Premier League is bang on - the world wide audiences love goal swapping and pretty soon defenders will be superfluous to needs and all 11 players will just attack, lets face it Wenger did away with the art of defending years ago and it appears that quite a few other managers are following his example. You can see why, good defending takes hours of practice, training and organizing, now where is the fun in that? - Post No. 108964

GSPM  16:27pm 14th Aug 2017

I wont be writing anything new this season, and I don't think most of you will either. Most of what we have to say can be "copy & paste" from the last 6/7/8 seasons.....Happy Groundhog everyone, and remember, No Fighting.zzzzzzzzzz - Post No. 108965

Hi Berry  17:44pm 14th Aug 2017

SKG...but how ironic is it that having penny-pinched and refused to pay the going rate for a number of players that might have made a difference over the past few years, the club is facing the prospect of blowing a cool £100m at the end of the season in lost transfer fees having let contracts run down. Might it not have been more sensible (and less expensive as things are turning out) to have paid the extra £10m here and there to secure the players that would have made us serious title contenders which in turn would have led, in all probability, to those top players wanting to stay rather than jump ship? - Post No. 108966

Seven Kings Gooner1  18:11pm 14th Aug 2017

Hi Berry, don't think too long on that point, it will drive you barmy. - Post No. 108967

John F  19:52pm 14th Aug 2017

Add to that hi Berry our over bloated squad that has average players on high wages that interested clubs cannot afford to take on and it will not be so much a trolley dash but a fire sale at the end of this window.The Chelsea link to the Ox is getting stronger which is worrying. - Post No. 108968

Bard  20:02pm 14th Aug 2017

Hi Berry what a post. But of course youve never worked a day in football so what do you know ! For a club that flaunts its financial management like a badge of honour its frankly ludicrous. Where's Jaqui Oakley when you need her. The Lucas Perez saga is enough to blow all the financial bollocks out of the water on its own let alone all the last year contract merchants. All we need is to sell the Ox to Chelsea and listen to the bs from dear old Ivan. - Post No. 108969

GoonerRon  20:13pm 14th Aug 2017

I really like Ox but if £35m is genuinely on the table I'd sell him in a breath. Ultimately, he's a squad utility player and for that money it's a no-brainier surely. - Post No. 108970

KC38  21:53pm 14th Aug 2017

It's all pretty surreal. Discussing the same weaknesses season after season. We all know the requirements a mobile destructive dm and a commanding cb. Sadly our greedy manager wants to play globetrotter football, he must see it but his arrogance insists that even his holding midfielder must be a ball player rather than a destroyer, each season at home we are open to counter attacking football, each season our players take liberties outside our 18 yard box with no accountability, it's taken 30 odd mins to concede 2 goals and 55 odd mins to concede 3, great we won but we all realise the bigger picture, this manager with his philosophy and power will not change add this to his mis management of the squad and your pulling your hair out. To claim he has 30 odd players and they are all good is total nonsense, now it's sell before buy, how about buy what's required and sell the tried and failed. Realise where we are weak and fix it. Why does no journalist take him to task, Arsene can you explain 4 last season v Liverpool, 3 last Friday, 10 against Bayern, do you think that just perhaps there is an issue how you set your teams up to play based on the goals you always concede? Please ask him that rather than are you signing a new contract or is Sanchez staying!! - Post No. 108971

mbg  22:55pm 14th Aug 2017

SKG1, it also takes know how and expertise something wenger doesn't have or never did, as it's been proved over and over so many times over the last ten years. wenger out. - Post No. 108972

mbg  23:56pm 14th Aug 2017

GSPM, hear what your saying mate and it's groundhog year again alright, but why keep quiet, why pull the plug, why not keep writing/posting even if it is the same, Jesus H it's the same shyte again we're getting on the pitch thanks to TOF so why should we give up or give in, (I certainly won't, rehashing or not) it's exactly what wenger and his wengerites and all his luvvies want and would love, for all of us proper fans to shut up to go/fade away, and let them all get on with it without a peep, well there's enough fooking wengerites sitting with their gobs closed doing that already, and like I said i'll not be joining them anytime soon and hopefully all the same lads on here as the last three, four, five, seasons who said it like it is/was and all the wenger out groups will be doing the same, and keep the pressure on, hell the way things are shaping up TOF is going to make it even easier for us. wenger out. - Post No. 108973

John F  8:31am 15th Aug 2017

Selling the Ox even for 35mil would be a mistake.He is only 24 and has been showing some really good form and is getting into his prime years.I wouldn't blame him for wanting to go to Chelsea as he really has been messed around by Wenger never allowing him to settle in one position.He has been played left,right,back ,front which at times has affected his confidence.It will be interesting to see how Continue treats him and what he gets out of him. - Post No. 108974

KC38  10:57am 15th Aug 2017

While I don't want to sell the Ox, I don't buy into this myth of being messed about. The Ox has flattered to deceive, far to many injuries and a repeated lack of end product. Myself and a fellow Arsenal fan watched him a season ago start badly and then we both agreed he had packed it in after 15 mins, he can be mentally weak and has a tendency to go missing. In saying all this why take the money what plus is there for fans, will we reinvest? Where I can agree is that at wing back he finally has a position where he can find space in front of him and a position that suits, why sell him when we have players far worse that should be shipped out. Wenger is guilty of many things but not the Ox inconsistency, and lack of end product. - Post No. 108975

Yes its Ron  11:16am 15th Aug 2017

"mentally weak and a tendency to go missing". Sums Arsenal up this last 10 years. The Ox (if ever a nickname shdt apply to him, its that one) merely forms part of the culture of the Club in being guilty of those sins. 40 Million ish quid for him would be a decent sale. Theres a decent player in there some where, but its unlikely he ll produce it at the N7 social Club. Hes like all of the rest, big wages with no pressure put upon him. - Post No. 108976

KC38  14:06pm 15th Aug 2017

Yes it's Ron, agree there is a decent play in there. At some point he has to man up and come to the party week in week out. As others have to, the cup final proved they can compete but competing week in week out, home away, digging in, wining personal battles are all things they lack and the manager accepts. Re the Ox it's not just at Arsenal a lot of his England performances have been nothing short of pathetic. - Post No. 108977

GSPM  17:02pm 15th Aug 2017

mbg : Agree, but it just gets boring, the old fossil just wont leave, 1 win he's a hero ?? 1 loss he's the devil. All in all , he is not up to the job. Ill try my best to not "copy & paste" and be a subjective in my comments. I want Arsenal to win every game, I just despair at Wenger ineptitude. - Post No. 108979

mbg  19:16pm 15th Aug 2017

Getting back to the sign/banner, it looks like the T was added along with the 1 which obviously has over a square of paper also added with 21, this wouldn't be one of the banners confiscated from the WOB's last season ? and rehashed and passed on by the spin department/AKB's to make it look like TOF is still loved with plenty of support. wenger out. - Post No. 108982

Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

16th February 2018

Frozen North Provides Relief For Arsenal

Rare comfortable away win for Gunners v Ostersunds