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1) Disappointing result today to say the least but were you happy with line up before the game?

@1tsNico - The line up was fine given that the "rotatated"  ones were abysmal midweek

@BilalKabdani - I was actually. Assuming we would play a counter-attacking style, Walcott up top over Giroud made sense. Ramsey on the right was debatable - I suppose it makes sense because of the defensive abilities he brings but I wouldn't have minded starting the Ox on the wing.

@invinciblog - No issues with the line-up. It's a strong team.

@jv_gooner - I was. Even if Ramsey on RW isn't ideal, it is the best 11 we could field at the time.

@saber_cbm - I would have to say no. I have never been a fan of playing central players wide to accommodate. To help close out a game Ramsey can do a job, but I prefer to make the opposition think about us and despite his inconsistency, Chambo gives us that threat. Ox or Giroud with Theo wide for me.

@simhan87 – No complains about the lineup. With the form of the Squad players, The XI that we started looks like the best XI we have.

2) What were your thoughts on the performance before the red card?

@1tsNico - I thought we actually surprised them tactically for once and we should have been ahead if the offside decisions weren't awful.

@BilalKabdani - I thought we were the better team; even though we didn't have a lot of attacking sparks we were containing Chelsea very well. I think that if we would start the second half with 11 men we could have gone on to win.

@invinciblog - I thought we were pretty effective, if a little sloppy/careless.

@jv_gooner - Thought it was a great performance. We looked solid on defense and weren't leaving much space for Chelsea even when they maintained possession. The balance between attack and defense looked right, just some spark missing when we got to the opposition box.

@saber_cbm - I felt we were comfortable, Chelsea were slightly the better side but we had a few half chances and away from home, I have no problem with us trying to keep our shape

@simhan87 – We started well and should have really tested Begovic more in the first 20 minutes. Chelsea came back well in the match. But we were pretty organized defensively and looked like the 1st goal will decide the outcome. A special mention for the way Coquelin and Koscielny tried to push us forward each time they had the ball.

3) Different people are viewing the red card (the 1st one) differently. Where do you stand on it? Costa/Dean or Gabriel?

@1tsNico - It's funny how some players are turned to  pariahs by media if they dive once  in their career (Eduardo vs Celtic, Santi vs WBA few years ago) but Costa keeps getting a free pass from refs, media, FA and Belzebuth with all the bad boy attitude. Mike Dean should call it a day

@BilalKabdani - Gabriel should keep composed and all that - sure. With regards to Costa and Dean, I hope they both - oh I don't know - get hit by a massive truck or something? If someone would just happen to have that on camera as well that'd be grand. Besides that, why wasn't nobody standing up to Costa or the referee? Where was our captain? Where were our players to tell Costa he'd better f*ck off or they'd tear him a new one?

@invinciblog - Costa is a cheat. A thug. A dirty creep. He epitomises everything that is wrong with football. He got away with a red-card-worthy face-handling of Koscielny, to whose defense Gabriel foolishly leapt. Costa's manipulation of the situation after the yellow cards were issued should have been recognized by Dean, who imho displayed another of the spineless, thoughtless, game-ruining performances for which he is (in)famous.

@jv_gooner - I think if Dean saw both of Costa's assaults on Koscielny, then there is no excuse for NOT giving Costa a red card. It was great to see Gabriel stand up to Costa at first, but after both were booked there was no need to remain so close to him. After the yellow, Gabriel's attitude was a childish and got himself sent off in the dumbest of ways. He completely felt for Costa's game, he was too innocent. Although I'm not exactly sure what it was Mike Dean saw for Gabriel's red, it couldn't have been worse than either of Costa's attacks on Koscielny.

@saber_cbm - Gabriel is silly for reacting and deserved to be punished for it, but he simple fact for me is Costa shouldn’t be on the pitch for the situation to happen. He could have gone for 3 or 4 things.

@simhan87 - Costa/Dean without a doubt. Absolutely Disgusting. 

Mike Dean – How does the referee fall for this? Costa has been in EPL for more than 1 year now. Everybody knows Costa tries to wind up the opposition players each and every time he steps on to the pitch. All Mike Dean needed to do was to have a stern word with Costa & Gabriel and move forward.

But you know who I am more frustrated with? Not Costa Not Gabriel. I am extremely frustrated and disappointed with the way our senior pros handled it. Cazorla, Koscielny and Monreal should have never let it out of hand. The moment Gabriel got a card, He should have never been allowed anywhere near Costa. Our leaders on the pitch (If there are any!!) need to take control of these situations. And this is not the 1st time it’s happening. It’s painful to say, but we absolutely do not have leaders on the pitch to control the situations when it goes out of hand.

4) Who was your Arsenal man of the match and why?

@1tsNico - Walcott did all the right movement through the channels

@BilalKabdani - Coquelin even though he only played for 45 mins - so important in breaking up attacks and providing stability in front of the back 4. If he's out for a long time we have a big problem.

@invinciblog - None of our players covered themselves in glory. Koscielny, perhaps was the least bad.

@jv_gooner - Coquelin for putting himself on the line time and time again. Nacho was great as well.

@saber_cbm - Very hard as I normally need to watch the game again with less emotion but I’d say Coq prior to the injury.

@simhan87 – Seems like a match in which most of them were 3/5 with no stand out performance. If I had to choose 1, would give it to Theo. Looks like he is growing into the central striker role. His off the ball movement was fantastic today and looked more likely to score than any of our other players.

5) Who did not perform for you and why?

@1tsNico - Expected Alexis to focus and be less wasteful. The season second course  beginning to haunt him. But I think the sticking up to each other is kind of fading in this team

@BilalKabdani - I would've liked to see more from Ozil and to a certain extent Alexis as well. I love them both to bits but they didn't quite turn up today. That chance Alexis had in the second half surely should have been a goal; hopefully he returns to form soon since we need him.

@invinciblog - Our forwards showed a lack of spine. As fiery and confrontational as we were at the back, we were non-committal and indecisive up front.

@jv_gooner - Özil looked out of sync with what was going on when we were on defense. He allowed Fabregas a shot on target and could have intercepted a pass or two had he been more focused. Alexis though menacing, lost the ball far too many times when it seemed like a simple pass would have solved the situation.

@saber_cbm - Santi, Alexis, Ozil & Ramsey. Theo was also poor but seemed to look to try and make things happen with the little service he had, however he needs to learn how to time his runs better.

@simhan87 – Hate to say but Ozil did not look too convincing even when we were 11 vs 11. And it is not the 1st time we are seeing it. For the next big away game, Would not be a bad idea to try 4-1-4-1 with Santi and Ramsey ahead of Coq. And Alexis needs to hit his strides soon. He needs a goal or 2 badly.

6) Do you think we have closed the gap on Chelsea or do you feel we are still behind them?

@1tsNico - I think Chelsea  needs to close the gap between Arsenal. And so far they're succeeding with a great player called The Referee

@BilalKabdani - I still think Chelsea are pants this season to be honest. I do feel like we are missing two or three players to compete with their squad but if they continue to play like they have been I can see us ending above them easily (assuming we win our own games obviously).

@invinciblog - I feel we have closed the gap technically, but psychologically it still feels like Men v. Boys. We allow the other top 5 teams to bully us.

@jv_gooner - We are ahead of them on the league table and were in a position to beat them today. Even if they were able to handle the game better than we did and made the most of every situation, it doesn't seem like this outcome would've been the same had we played 11 vs 11 for 90 minutes. We could've closed the gap today.

@saber_cbm - I feel that in terms of the strongest 11 we can put out we aren’t far apart, it’s depth in certain areas that are a problem. We have nobody who can do what Coq does in there. Chelsea can replace Matic with the same type of player, although an inferior one. But the step down isn’t as drastic

@simhan87 - Honestly, Chelsea did not look that great in the middle of the park and don’t look clinical enough up front. In my opinion, they will not be anywhere close to the title race.

7) With our suspensions and potential Coquelin injury, how would you line up for our next league game?

@1tsNico - It's a league cup game but it's against Spurs. It's a tough one would you use Arteta, or a a youngster? I think the fans need a result especially against spurs. I think Ramsey with OX on the flanks

@BilalKabdani - Cech; Bellerin, Mertesacker/Chambers, Koscielny, Monreal; Ramsey, Arteta; Walcott, Özil, Alexis; Giroud.

@invinciblog - Cech; Bellerin Mertesacker Koscielny Monreal; Cazorla Ramsey Ox: Alexis Giroud Ozil. If Walcott would get off his ass (and ego) I'd play him on the wing, where he belongs.

@jv_gooner - Unless Arsene thinks of something new, I think it'll be Arteta for Coquelin, Ramsey for Santi, Mertesacker for Gabriel and Theo on the wing with Giroud up top.

@saber_cbm – GK- Cech, RB- Bellerin, LB- Nacho, CB- Per/Debuchy, CB- Kos, CM- Santi, CM- Ramsey, CM- Ozil, RW- Ox/Theo, LW- Alexis, CF- Theo/Giroud

@simhan87 - With Santi, I believe it will be 1 match (He was anyways not playing midweek).

My XI vs Leicester : Cech; Bellerin–Per/Chambers –Kos-Monreal; Santi-Ramsey; Ox-Ozil-Alexis; Theo

8) Do you believe we can still challenge for the title this season?

@1tsNico - Never believed that we were challengers to be honest

@BilalKabdani - I do, mainly because the other top teams aren't that good this year. Chelsea are rubbish and struggling, Man City rely solely on Aguero and United are ... United. It all comes to down to whether we can have our key players stay injury-free and can start to win some games to get our confidence back. I also highly recommend having more points than any other team in the league after 38 games.

@invinciblog - Yes. This season still has plenty of upsets in store for everyone.

@jv_gooner - Yes

@saber_cbm - If we can keep pace until Jan and buy what’s required then yes, if not then no.

@simhan87 - Yes. We have the first XI to challenge. But we need to be more consistent. At least put on a 5-6 game winning streak.

9) Any other thoughts?

@1tsNico - Every time  Diego Costa finishes a game without being sent off and Mourinho talks about emotional control, hordes of angels are losing their wings and die in painful deaths in hell's pits.

@BilalKabdani - *insert insults aimed at Chelsea, Mike Dean, Diego Costa* In all seriousness, the worst thing is that Mike Dean gets to walk away without any accountability. Will he be punished? Probably not. Actually, the worst thing is that Diego Costa won't get sent to Guantanamo Bay. That'd be nice.

@invinciblog - Football needs video technology and it needs it now. The Rugby World Cup has already proved its worth. Wake up, FIFA/FA!!

@jv_gooner - Can't wait to play Chelsea at The Emirates.

@saber_cbm - Special mention to the away fans sounded superb as usual.

@simhan87 – I like Ramsey out wide. But I think it is time to start thinking about Santi-Ramsey partnership in the middle at least for home games against mid table oppositions. Ramsey at his best when he is able to run box to box. With Coq injured, would prefer Santi-Ramsey to Arteta starting. And hopefully, Gabriel-Kos is our 1st choice even after Per returns from injury. They have looked promising.


If you would like to follow the guys above, just search the twitter handle and get following.

  • 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