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Welcome back to the Arsenal Vision post match Q&A, if you wish to take part in this then drop me a message via the contact us page. There was no Fantasy Sports Bonus victory today but hopefully we can get off the mark against Watford next weekend.

1) What did you make of the starting line up? With the benefit of hindsight, would you have made any changes to that side?

@alexthistlewood - I was a bit surprised that Coquelin was in ahead of Elneny. The Ox in for Iwobi made sense. Koscielny hurried back, Özil and Giroud on the bench made sense as well. I felt like we were a lot closer to our first choice this week than last week.

@chuxugo - A more balanced XI compared to last week. Although I would have loved to see Giroud start the game, as he would have given us an option to exploit the wings and send in crosses, as opposed to being too narrow and one dimensional.

@john_meg - I was surprised to see Sanchez starting as the front man again, I'd have definitely shifted him left and played Giroud. Other than that, the lineup is what I expected and probably as strong as we've got right now. Chambers being dropped in favour of Holding will surely hurt, but it was the right decision. The lad needs a loan.

@TDMAS0N - I thought that the team selection was fine overall. The only alternatives I would have considered would have been playing Wilshere instead of Walcott in order to have the balance provided by playing a creative/passing type in addition to a relatively direct wide player (ie Ox). That said, Walcott did at least give us some penetration by running in behind Leicester. I'm glad we didn't gamble on all three of Koscielny, Giroud and Ozil.

2) Was the draw a fair result? Are you happy with the point or disappointed?

@alexthistlewood - On the balance, we were probably more fortunate to get a share of the points than they were. Bellerin should have given a penalty, but we had a few chances up front, particularly when Özil came on. I think Theo normally does better with one of those chances. Can't be disappointed with a point away to the champions.

Earlier this week, I could see us going into crisis with a second loss in a row. So more than anything, this is a crisis averted. After the loss last week, things could have gotten toxic. This week was is fine, last week was the disappointment.

@chuxugo - It was a fair result, but we really should have taken all 3 points, so a bit disappointed. I thought we created enough chances to win the game but lacked the cutting edge to put them away. On the flip side, Leicester should have had a penalty late in the game when Bellerin brought down Musa, so it's fair to say Mark Clattenburg spared our blushes with that call

@john_meg - I thought a draw was a fair reflection on the game. Both sides had chances and we were lucky to get away with the second Leicester penalty appeal. On another day, that would have been rightly given. I think the game showed again that we're pretty limited when it comes to creating chances, and even more limited when taking them. We appear to lack penetration through the middle and the wide areas aren't fruitful either at the best of times. Our fullbacks have not started the season well, but then again, not many of the team is covering themselves in glory right now.

@TDMAS0N - I think on balance a point was fair, though I think we were marginally the better team overall. We looked very tired in the last 10 minutes and it is concerning that we still look short on fitness.

3) Who was Arsenal's best player on the day and why?

@alexthistlewood - Laurent Koscielny was the MOTM for me. He was almost perfect. I felt like his presence made a difference to the whole back four.

@chuxugo - Koscielny without a doubt. It's easy to see why he is rated as one of the best CBs in the world. Very calm and composed at back as you would expect, plus he had Jamie Vardy in his pocket all day long. Good to have him back

@john_meg - I'd have to say Laurent Koscielny. He showed why we missed him so much last week. Be it snuffing out attacks before they become dangerous or helping Holding through the game, he marshals that back line very well and has become one of the top centre backs in Europe over the last few seasons. Other than him, I think Xhaka had a decent game. His passing is outstanding, positionally he's great and he knows when to make a foul for the good of the team. He's a brilliant addition to the squad and I'm excited to see what comes from him in the next few seasons.

@TDMAS0N - Koscielny was absolutely outstanding, which is no surprise as he is the best CB in the league. The whole back four were excellent more generally. Bellerin is so comfortable on the ball and is such an important player for us.

4) Which Arsenal player(s) were not at their best and why?

@alexthistlewood - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. He had a frustrating day, dribbling into defenders and failing to combine with Alexis and the midfield.

@chuxugo - Walcott. He was all over the place yesterday. I am still trying to figure out what he brings to the team. He can't dribble, gives away the ball cheaply and constantly runs into blind alleys. Truth be told, he is not good enough to play for Arsenal

@john_meg - Sanchez was poor. He looks unmotivated, lacking sharpness and is playing out of position. I don't think it's all his fault, but he's not looking his best right now.

@TDMAS0N - Alexis had a poor game. I have never seen him play well at 9 for Arsenal. His best performances last season came when he played at RW.

5) What did you make of the Holding/Koscielny partnership?

@alexthistlewood - I was very impressed, though that might be down to Koscielny more than Holding. Holding could have been better on the ball, but that's not his first job. After seeing them yesterday, I'm 100% fine with them as our first choice going into Watford, if not perhaps for an entire season.

@chuxugo - I think they were brilliant together. Holding looked more assured and relaxed playing alongside Kos and was able to show his potential yesterday against Vardy and co. Promising stuff but we still need and experienced CB ***Insert Mustafi*** before the window shuts

@john_meg - Well, they kept a clean sheet so I suppose that's a good start! Holding is very calm on the ball. He's been compared to Stones many times and you can see why. He does like the occasional wander up the pitch with the ball, but I'm sure that'll be coached out of him sooner or later...

@TDMAS0N - Excellent - Holding was very impressive in possession and was strong in the air. We all know how good Koscielny is.

6) Alexis Sanchez has not yet sparkled in the centre forward role, would you keep him there or would you make a change? explain your choice

@alexthistlewood - I would not play him there. He was isolated and for Alexis to play his game, he needs to be more involved. The entrance of Özil and Giroud helped him.

@chuxugo - Alexis is not a striker, period. He doesn't make enough runs off the shoulder of the defenders (see Suarez) and with him playing alone upfront, we can't send crosses into the box, making our attacking play very predictable and frustrating (see most of the game yesterday). It is time to shut down this failed experiment.

@john_meg - I've never, ever fancied him in that role. He lacks the discipline to play up top, he can't run in behind onto a through ball and he comes too deep to pick it up. When Giroud is fit, he HAS to go back onto the left. He scores a lot of goals from the wide positions so I see no benefit playing him as a centre forward.

@TDMAS0N - He was poor yesterday and, though he is an outstanding player, he can really turn out some stinkers. I don't think he is suited to playing centre forward. Quite simply, we need to sign a centre forward. Whether it is as simple in practice to sign the quality we require there - I'm not sure.

7) Let's go one better, what would your starting 11 be for our next game and why?

@alexthistlewood - A senior eleven, subbing out Coquelin for Özil in midfield. Cech; Bellerin, Holding, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Cazorla, Özil; Alexis, Giroud, Theo. I would like to see us try a ball-player alongside Xhaka instead of Coquelin, much as Coquelin was useful in disrupting Leicester.

@chuxugo - Cech - Bellerin, Koscielny, Holding, Monreal - Xhaka, Elneny - Ox, Ozil, Alexis - Giroud.

This lineup gives us balance at the back, with a little bit of bite in the middle while retaining the ability to dictate tempo from deep with Xhaka and Elneny. With Ozil back in the side, you expect him to find the Ox and Alexis in space to do damage while Giroud gives us an option to cross the ball.

@john_meg -
Cech - who else?
Bellerin - first choice
Koscielny - obviously
Holding - lad did enough in this game to earn another start, in my opinion
Monreal - for obvious reasons
Xhaka - you can't leave a 35m signing on the bench again...
Elneny - Cazorla doesn't look 100% and Coquelin is going to get sent off shortly
Chamberlain - he's still doing it in fits and starts, but let's face it, he's a more effective wide man than Walcott
Ozil - because he's the best 10 on Earth
Sanchez - back in his natural position

Giroud - our only fit centre forward. And, even if they're all fit, he's by far the best option we have right now

@TDMAS0N - Cech; Monreal Holding Koscielny Bellerin; Xhaka Elneny; Cazorla Ozil Sanchez; Giroud

8) What are you expectations this transfer window?

@alexthistlewood - At this point, with the manager talking up Holding and Alexis, I'm not convinced we'll sign anyone. I can see us adding two players at most--a defender an a forward, but neither of them the super, super quality we dream of. I'd be pleased as punch if we did as well as the Welbeck transfer a couple years ago.

@chuxugo - We obviously need a new CB but I think our need for a striker is even more pressing. But knowing Wenger, I wouldn't get my hopes up. I don't expect him to sign a new striker this transfer window but a CB, Mustafi, maybe? that looks more likely.

@john_meg -
I actually have a theory on this. Let's say our budget, all in, was 100m. He's spent 35 on Xhaka and another few on the other young lads. So for argument's sake, he's got 60m left.
I think Wenger's plan was to use the rest of the funds to buy a striker. He probably looked at our back line and thought we have five centre backs - Per, Kos, Chambers, Gabriel, Holding. And we have two left backs and three right backs. In his eyes, maybe, job done.
What the manager didn't bank on was Per and Gabby going down long term. That means he has to buy a centre back that he hasn't budgeted for, which might explain the haggling with Valencia on Mustafi.
My gut feeling is that he will sign a centre back, but won't get the superstar target man he wants. Oh and that money will probably have to cover contract extensions for Ozil and Sanchez, if they actually sign...
I'd be unsurprised if we end this transfer window with just one more addition - a centre back.
I pray to God that I'm wrong.

@TDMAS0N - We will sign a centre back. We will either make a sensational signing at CF; or a hugely disappointing one (and I don't expect an in-between). The latter looks more likely as there is very low availability on CFs of the quality that we need.

9) What are you hoping for this season?

@alexthistlewood - I'm resigned to Arsenal not challenging for the title. I wouldn't be surprised if we missed the top four, but if I had to bet I'd bet on us being there in the end. More than anything, I just hope things don't get so bad that the atmosphere around the club, among the fans and the media, poison the whole season. That's where we are.

@chuxugo - To be honest, anything goes this season. For the last 5 years or there about, we've always been 2 or 3 players shy away from having a squad to compete for the league and the Champions League. The same still applies today. So why should I expect anything different in terms of what we can achieve this year? Sad to say, top 4 and FA Cup is best we can achieve this season and that's a big shame

@john_meg - to compete with our rivals for as long as possible. To have a good cup run. To make it past the last 16 of the champions league. For peace and harmony to be restored at the Emirates. Big ask though.

@TDMAS0N - I'd love for the fanbase to calm the f*ck down. We all want the club to do well. I'd like the media to focus more on in-depth tactics and the attributes of players than the sensationalist nonsense that panders to the lowest common denominator. I'm not holding my breath.

10) Any other thoughts?

@alexthistlewood - I still rate Leicester and consider a point away to them a good result. It's good to see something more resembling our first team. These guys are going to struggle to score goals though, without any additions up front--we saw ample evidence of that last season.

@chuxugo - It is hard not be envious of our rivals this season. Big name players and managers coming in, 2 wins out of 2 in the league and a general sense of optimism around those clubs. I think we Arsenal fans deserve to feel the same way, without being blindly optimistic. A big-name signing or 2 could do just that and help breed a whole new lease of life into our club

@john_meg - I don't think we've been negligent this summer, I think we've been naive. The moral high ground is where we find ourselves on the transfer front, but it's just us standing there now. Alone, pot-less and without a fully fit squad that's anywhere near close to challenging for the title. It's going to be a bumpy ride, folks. Buckle up.

@TDMAS0N - This was a good response to the result last week. 0-0 at Leicester is a good result; and the defensive performance was good from the back four and CDMs. Offensively, however, we looked far too static and the movement/positional play was poor, collectively. It was no surprise that this improved greatly when we introduced Ozil. We need more players of his tactical intelligence to play the way the manager wants us to (eg Muller).


Thanks as ever to the guys above for the responses. 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