Wenger is loath to sign players in order to keep them from the clutches of other teams; Fabregas was the most recent example, opting not to sign the player due to Ozil’s status at the club despite knowledge that Chelsea would follow up with a bid. Similarly, Wenger recommended Antonio Valencia to Wigan back in 2008; having scouted the player for quite a while, Wenger recommended him to Steve Bruce as we were well stocked for wide players at the time. It is one of the attributes that makes him such a fantastic man to work with, his compassion and respect for his players is well known and is one of the reasons he is spoken of so highly of by former players. But with the financial arsenal at his disposal, it may now be the time to become rather more cold-blooded.
Theo is the obvious candidate for MOTM. I didn't see any particularly bad performances today, but one thing needs to be said about our number 1(3). One of the main complaints about Szczesny was often that he is prone to zone-out during matches we have total control of, and lose his focus for the one or two chances he needs to do well in - which might result in conceding a counterattack goal or being sent off. Ospina had nothing to do most afternoon but push out some goal kicks and take a back pass from Gabriel every ten minutes or so. But for the two real chances WBA produced, he did comically bad - one corner he went out of his line to collect to but clearly could never reach, and another long shot he nearly Fabianski
The truth is, loyalty doesn’t exist in football and Sterling owes Liverpool nothing. The argument that Liverpool allowed Sterling to play on the biggest stage, to start in their starting line-up whilst other, more experienced players sat on the bench, holds no weight. For if it wasn’t for Sterling’s own ability then Liverpool would not have given him the opportunity. Sterling earned his right to play at that level due to Liverpool’s lack of an alternative and the player’s own progress. His ability and importance to the team should not be used as a tactic against him to stay at the club; this train of thought can only be viewed as a form of emotional blackmail. You could argue that the young Englishman may not have made the progress he did without the help of Rodgers and his backroom staff
Yeah, I'm still very confident that we'll win. Perhaps some players would benefit from being rested on Sunday and that time off will help them freshen up. Plus we've already put 8 past Villa this season and last weekend showed that even with their new manager they're still capable of being worse than dreadful
There were quite a few things wrong with our performance for the first two thirds of the game. Going forward, our build up play was slow, labored, and predictable as it has become over the last few weeks with this lineup. Along with that, our skillful players were giving the ball away too often, specifically Santi and Alexis, or they couldn’t get into the game in the first place, specifically Ozil and Ramsey
Bellerin struggled for the first few games but alongside the experienced head of Mertesacker, he soon learned to vary his point of attack. His pace meant that if there was a reasonable chance of winning the ball, he could take it; but if not, he could give himself a yard and push the attacker outside, knowing that a heavy touch would see his pace come out on top. Since learning this invaluable lesson, Bellerin has become paramount to our structured game plan, both defensively and
Further forward we have our most expensive player in the club’s history, Mesut Özil. Despite what his critics would have you believe, Mesut is a hugely important cog in this Arsenal team. His nonchalance is juxtaposed by his pinpoint precision. He conducts the play like a musical conductor, swaying the passing from left to right, probing for that crescendo moment. He has adjusted to the pace and physicality of the league exceptionally well and has cast aspersions aside through some pretty impressive statistics. NB: Only in Britain would distance covered statistics pacify fans’ unrest at a player who is clearly exceptionally talented.
- Arsenal’s Next Captain – There’s only one choice!
- Burnley (a) "He had an utterly mind-boggling 11 interceptions" - Q&A
- The rapid rise of Oliver Giroud
- Liverpool (h) "There are experienced players who’d kill for his ability" - Q&A
- Raheem not worth Arsenal's Sterling & Walcott must do more
- Theo or Jack - Something’s Gotta Give
- The Wonderful Limitations Of Francis Coquelin