Friday, March 21, 2014
Cardiff 0-3 Arsenal: player ratings

Cardiff 0-3 Arsenal: player ratings

The lead at the top of the table is extended with a 3-0 win over Cardiff. How did the players rate in our eyes?

Like this.

Wojciech Szczesny: 9/10 – That save was top class, kept us ahead and it’s not the first time he’s done it this season.

Bacary Sagna: 8/10 – Solid once again, made some great interceptions, read the game well.

Per Mertesacker: 8/10 – Puuurrrrrrrrr, Mertesacker.

Laurent Koscielny: 8/10 – Great again, stuck to Odemwingie like chewing gum to hair when he came on.

Kieran Gibbs: 7/10 – Another good one, booked early though which meant he had to stand off a bit at times.

Mikel Arteta: 8/10 – Tackles, interceptions, elbowed in the ribs, he was everywhere (check the stats). Mr Consistent in a very consistent team.

Jack Wilshere: 7/10 – Quieter today than in previous games but almost got another ridiculously early goal with a shot that cannoned back off the bar.

Aaron Ramsey: 9/10 – Two more goals, worked his arse off, and won the applause of the home fans who were quite happy to abuse every other Arsenal player. That header, oof, so difficult. You try it.

Santi Cazorla: 6/10 – Tried hard, but things just aren’t coming off for him right now.

Mesut Ozil: 8/10 – Was also a bit quiet but gets extra points for two wonderful assists. The cross to Ramsey and the slipped ball for Flamini to smash home.

Olivier Giroud: 6/10 – Not his day, had that bizarre moment in the first half when he stopped. He obviously knew he was offside and was expecting the flag but play the whistle big man!


Theo Walcott: 7/10 – Not on long but got an assist for Ramsey and Ramsey almost returned the favour in injury time.

Nacho Monreal: 7/10 – Another good cameo from the versatile Spaniard.

Mathieu Flamini: 7/10 – Walloped home his goal with great verve. Rolled his sleeves up and smashed it in.

Feel free to debate and discuss in the comments, but please read the comment policy first and don’t get angry with each other, or me, about imaginary points.


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  1. Fantastic game. Regardless of how the season ends up, we’re living a high right now… and it’s fucking awesome.

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  2. Love the feeling after a solid away win

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  3. Wenger was wise to keep Walcott largely on the bench, what with there being a Theophile on the pitch and all.

    Thumb up 644 Thumb down 2

  4. What a luxury it is to have a class player like Nacho on the bench, he always does really well when he comes on.

    Thumb up 282 Thumb down 2

    • Agreed. We probably have the most quality competition for the central playmaker position, but the depth at LB is a close second.

      Thumb up 126 Thumb down 1

    • Nacho certainly did a deliciously good job out there.

      Thumb up 41 Thumb down 1

    • Definitely one of the success stories of the last year or two. The lack of trophies- while not necessarily the be all and end all for fans- stops players like him hanging around, which in itself has a big part to play in the lack of trophies.. Oh the irony.

      Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

    • And Jenkinson cannot even get on the bench right now, and in 3 weeks or so aha! Another problem.

      Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  5. Nicklas Bendtner : 7/10 didn’t get arrested yet today.

    Thumb up 378 Thumb down 2

  6. Its amazing how Cazorla our best player last season is not playing well and we are still comfortably top of the league. I hope Arsene uses his subs a little earlier next time

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    • Last year he was our central attacking outlet, less so this year – perhaps that has contributed to a slight dip in form? Some players really revel in seeing lots of the ball and being relied on. His contributions have perhaps been less consistent because we really on him less consistently?

      Either that or it’s a slight dip in form, or both. Either way I’m sure he’ll play an essential role again sooner or later.

      Thumb up 98 Thumb down 1

      • He played on the left a fair bit last season as well and did brilliantly, although it’s certain that his best performances came form the middle. Either way I think he’s just taking some time to find form again. He’ll get there.

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        • Cazorla played every game last season and he almost deserves to have a slight dip in form.

          But………that said; anyone else scored a goal this season by setting themselves up off of the post? Up the Santi!

          Thumb up 157 Thumb down 1

        • It’s not true that his best performances came from the middle. He spent half of the season on the left wing and had better numbers from there. Surprised me that from the day he came all Arsenal fans were saying that he’s best position is number 10 role when in fact he had been playing on the right wing for Malaga before he came here. He doesn’t make runs in behind the defence and doesn’t open plays for others like a “10″. His best position (and best contribution) is from the wings. So the place on the pitch is no excuse for him

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      • He just didnt have a proper preseason. Then got injured on Intl duty. Its just been a very stop-start thing for him. Needs game time to get sharpness back.

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    • And off the ball, he really does put in a shift. He’s deft at nipping the ball off of people and does it surprisingly often.

      Thumb up 43 Thumb down 2

    • Don’t forget his magnificant goal against Liverpool, though. I loved that one…

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    • Also, this is Santi’s first month since his return from injury. He will take time to adjust to this team which is playing vastly differently to how we played last season!

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  7. Nicklas Bendtner : 7/10 quiet day today, but best performance since he smashed one in against The Pool.

    Thumb up 68 Thumb down 3

  8. Arteta was IMMENSE.

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  9. When are people going to realise that Ozil isn’t Fabregas? He doesn’t dominate games, it’s not his style and it’s not meant to be. He actively thrives (and makes it easier for the rest of the team) by operating on the periphery of games.

    He got two assists and played brilliantly, saying he was ‘a bit quiet’ is kind of a stupid thing to say. No offence.

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    • Very true, the point of his game is to be almost invisible, then BAM! He cuts you apart!

      Thumb up 112 Thumb down 1

    • Agree, doesn´t actually matter if plays brilliantly or not, class is permanent !

      Wenger´s post-match interview with Sky: He has that in him, at any moment he can kill you with a pass.

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  10. A complete performance. Well done lads. Another happy wkend

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  11. Ramsey and Szczesny being fcking awesome tonight.

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  12. Flamini's battered sleeves

    Ozil’s assist for Flamini’s goal is even better in slow motion. Smash it in… and flamini does just that. Similar stuff with the Ramsey assist. you can only score with those.

    Thumb up 37 Thumb down 1

  13. Here’s hoping for a 0-0 at WHL, some more “I didn’t like my team today” from Mourinho and a home win for hull tomorrow.

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  14. Here’s hoping for a 0-0 at WHL, some more “I didn’t like my team today” from Mourinho and a home win for hull tomorrow.

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  15. LiamBradyIrishGooner

    Was very nervous heading in to today’s game but yet again another amazing performance & another clean sheet. We can do nothing wrong at the minute, what impresses me the most is the togetherness in the squad. Enjoy your weekend folks I’m away to the pub with a big smile COYG

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  16. Ramsey is fucking excellent. Best in the league along with Szcs and Mert.

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    • I’d say there are a few other who would compete for that title, namely Özil, Gibbs, Kos, Sagna, Giroud, Arteta and Flamini

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  17. Watch the angle of Ozil’s passes. They are rarely what you – or the opposition – expect, and they keep us moving forward. Understated class.

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    • Allow me to disagree. I think they are exactly what is expected–what makes him so deadly is that he has the vision to see those balls and, what’s more, the ability to weight them perfectly.

      When watching games I generally see 8-10 of these moments where a pass with the right angle and weight will open up the defense, and what’s amazing to me is how often Ozil manages to execute these (more often than any other player currently in our squad.)

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      • what’s amazing is that we see these passes from our macro view, he’s sees them from within the whirlwind of the game…

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        • The timing of many of his passes is also interesting. He will often make a pass on his half-step (or during some other “awkward” timing of his feet) when it’s not expected. This often occurs when the defender’s weight is on the wrong foot, or in mid-stride.

          In addition to his profound awareness, he seems ready to release the ball at any moment… whenever the development of the movement warrants and often at the oddest moment for the defense. His “odd timing” is not obvious and he makes it look so effortless. His languid style makes it look like he hasn’t done much. Mixing this with more orthodox timing, he must be a nightmare for defenses to contend with.

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  18. Going to be extremely interesting to see how the other teams respond to arsenals extended lead at the top

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  19. Wish Flamini had ripped off his sleeves in his celebration…

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  20. Top of the league by a handful of points. Second in league in goals for, second in league in goals against.

    A good run against Hull, Everton, Man Shitty, and the Chavs and we’ll be very well positioned for the second half of the season.

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  21. £42m… for what we’re getting!!

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  22. Ramsey’s so good, he even scores when he doesn’t want!

    Thumb up 194 Thumb down 1

    • Well played. Chuckled hard at this. Also, Rambo doing the Ayatollah in response Cardiff fans’ applause? Class from both sides.

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    False Advertisement on the premier league page…this has nothing to do with Ozil

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  24. Well done gunners impressive win, nice goals rambo & who of course flamini well played

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  25. Anyone doubting Özil need only watch Culann Davies youtube vid. He’s the sort of player that makes not only defences, but entire teams shit their pants when he has the ball. 2 assists today, and even the commentator was saying he has “a bit of a quiet game” A lot about his game is understated because he makes it look so easy, some of the early plays from Arteta today where Özil took the ball with a Cardiff player pressing him, quick turn and then finding an outlet forward was truly world class. The thing that really gets me excited is the defensive work he does as well. None of that “I am a big star, the others can do the gritty work”. LOVING IT

    Arteta was immense as well, I am guessing the stats will show it. As they did last season, where he was top5 defensive mids in Europe. Class class player.

    MOTM for me though was Szczesny. Every single action was spot on, and the save he made to deny Cardiff a 1-1 was truly one of those match winning moments. Especially difficult to do because he was not called upon often.

    Thumb up 61 Thumb down 1

    • Edu's fake passport

      He was not called into action enough to be MOM but what he did do was excellent.

      Has to be Ramsey, his goals won us the game even though Koscielny was outstanding today.

      Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

    • Forgot to mention. Watch Giroud drag the defence apart for Ramseys first.

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  26. So much fun to watch at the moment.
    I have been waiting 8 years for a buzz like this.sign another striker in January and keep the momentum going

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  27. I do’nt know if other Gunners did notice the dislike VanPussy had for Aaron…but I’am glad the lad(Aaron) is pounding hard. I love the team spirit now…COYG!

    Thumb up 42 Thumb down 0

  28. Was unable to watch the match or follow the online streaming but once i made a call and heard we were 0-2 ahead of CARDIFFicult i knew we certainly were winning sum cup(s) this season……. C’mon u reds

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 21

  29. I was at Southampton game when Arteta was not having a good game. Our fans were getting on his back.

    I was getting frustrated with the fans as it was his maybe the only ‘bad’ game since he has started playing for Arsenal.

    I am so glad he has redeemed himself but not that he needed to.

    Thumb up 59 Thumb down 0

  30. No offense blogs, but are you really trying with the subs ratings? Flamini gets a 7 for manfully doing his job AND scoring, Walcott gets a few minutes and an assist… 7, Nacho does nothing wrong, 7. Either be usefully critical, or don’t bother rating them.
    Still love ya.

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  31. Another great team performance, another 3 points in the bag and yet another player on the score sheet this season with that Flamini smasher. We must have the greatest number of players on the score sheet in the league. I’m sure you knowledgeable lot will be able to confirm/deny this. What a season, literally goals from all over the pitch. COYG.

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  32. Great stuff as usual, but it’s always amusing when people pinpoint him as having “quiet game”. From watching him at RM, that’s Mesut Ozil in a nutshell. Despite what the highlight videos look like, he’s a very understated player. It’s partly because he makes even the most difficult things look mindnumbingly simple and graceful (as he did today, just ekeing the ball past Cardiff players through the lines so many times yet finishing with 94% accuracy) but also because he’s probably the best off the ball player in the world, and spends so much tim dragging opposition players away and creating so much space for his teammates. But he’ll always pop up with brilliant assists and great chances created.

    He’s a completely different playmaker to someone like Santi, who always follows the ball and every contribution is glaringly obvious. Which is why, when Santi starts playing well again, they should gel perfectly.

    Wenger said it best in the press conference; the next step is for him to become a “dominant” player.

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  33. Can’t argue with those ratings. Thought ozil was understated – superb. His touch turns bad passes into good ones. His assists were decisive.
    What is wrong with santi at the moment? It’s almost like he’s trying too hard?

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  34. Ozil leads the epl assists chart with 6. :)

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  35. Another superb display from the boys. Next three weeks are going to be huge though: Hull, Everton, Napoli, Man City and Chelsea. Hope everyone stays healthy, but Wenger must give some of the lads a rest against Hull on Wednesday. I’d go for: Szczesny – Sagna – Per – Vermaelen – Monreal – Flamini – Arteta – Gnabry – Rosicky – Cazorla – Walcott and have Ramsey and Ozil sitting on the bench scaring the shit out of Hull.

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    • Definitely need to rotate, but always dangerous to rest players when they’re playing as well as Ramsey. Agree with the rest though, looking forward to seeing Gnabry involved more when the games start coming thick and fast

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  36. One question.

    What is wrong with Ramsey?

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  37. Who would’ve thought Flamini had a goal up his sleeve.

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  38. The way Flamini celebrated after scoring the goal, he sure does wear his heart on his sleeve.

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  39. I’m a sometime goalkeeper. I played last night and kept my first clean sheet in over a year. SZCZ is an inspiration right now- the save from the header in the bottom right (at 0-1) was unbelievable and utterly vital. Love this guy. And this team! Wow.

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  40. In this game (and like most other games this team played so far) Giroud become the sacrificial lamb. Just watch the sort of crowd of defenders he have to deal with…and with those he created spaces for our attack minded midfield to hit it right and getting goals. He was constantly mugged in the opponent half, gets fouled and ref ignored 70% of them. Much in the same fate for Rosicky too, doing the same sort of magic to redirect the defenders.

    I love our HFB, I love our Lil Mozart – I LOVE the whole team!


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  41. Really enjoying being a gunner

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  42. Sleeve it.

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  43. Cazorla not at his best and no Theo or Podolski either for the majority of the season. These guys practically got all our assists and goals last season and we’re winning without them. We are gonna have some serious firepower when they come back/return to form. Lack of depth? Pfffft!

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    • The way the understanding has been built between players has been key to our success.

      We have brought in two intelligent players who are able to fit in right away and understand our game. But the platform has been carved from the bitter dissapointments of the last 2-3 seasons.

      The telapathy we have nurtured is not easily replicated by just going out to market and spending 100m on 6-7 mediocre/goodish players alone ( unless of course you think the way the media do)

      Well said.

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    • I cannot wait for Podolski to return with his left foot jackhammer!

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  44. Chesney is the One and Only

    Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

    • Andrew is very right to make a point of espnsuckernet on the value of the keeper this season.

      Seems to be something that has too conveniently escaped the attention of the general rabble of commentators.

      Maybe there need be a bit of illumination as to how Ozil has improved our game. 6 assists this season is not shoddy considering …he leads the league.

      Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Sorry, great gag, but the fact I got it (and so still remember that bollocks), means a down-vote.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  45. And on top of that, this straight off of Ozil’s twitter..

    3:0 away. what a game. I love this team and this Club. #premierleague #arsenalfc.

    Most seasons I can pretty solidly name my favourite player- this year it changes weekly.. So refreshing to have an entire squad (TGSTEL aside..) that actually give a s**t about the club!

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    • Santi is a bit off pace.

      But the great thing this season is whenever one dips, there are at least two to step in and take over.

      Expect Santi to rediscover some verve when others dip.

      Frightening array of options in midfield now.

      can’t wait for Poldy to get back in it.

      Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  46. Absolutely loving this Ramsey- Jack rivalry. By all means take turns Gents!

    Ozil. If you top the league in assists and are out of form, well…

    Szsc. Immense.

    Flamini, he can cut his shirt in half and play if all I care.

    COYG! 7 points clear, all the statistics I need!

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  47. Loved the match. Wednesday perhaps Giroud can rest; he’s earned it. Rosicky and Walcott should get starts, but too much turn over and we lose the cohesion that is defining the season so far—not to mention that Hull aren’t that bad a squad. We’ve been entirely together in the back, strong/creative in equal parts in the middle, and Ramsey, Ramsey, Ramsey.
    Was I the only one nervous at 1-0 up for this 20mins or so of Cardiff pressure? Too many seasons of failing, and then seeing the obvious tired legs out there (subs seemed late to me: Walcott should have come on at 65 mins). That’s why I agree with blogs that Szcez was the difference today. That save—gorgeous; just gorgeous.

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  48. Another clean sheet.

    We look more solid defensively than ever. That has led us to be a bit hesitant up front at times but clearly, the priority to hold firm in defense first is the correct one.

    With that locked down solid, we will begin to get better going forward particularly with more big guns to return.

    Hope Giroud can hold till January.

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  49. Headline: Ramsey scores but remember his roots, Van cunt scores and stick his face towards his former club that groom him to his full potential.

    Class apart

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  50. Please bring back the Bonus Rating!

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  51. Cardiff Fans: Classy/10

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  52. Hate to be the bearer of buts, but… Giroud could use a break mentally and physically. Unfortunate we have no one to step in convincingly at the moment. Come on Podolski

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  53. I really enjoyed Mertesacker’s tackle, after Arteta made a (rare) wayward backpass in the first half, when he was left to deal with two Cardiff players. His tackle stopped a dangerous counter and the danger was eventually cleared by Koscielny who was first to the ball after Per’s tackle. I’m specifically mentioning this moment because it was the only one not covered by the other comments above.

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

    • It’s natural thing to speak more about attacking players after a win and we all want a win as often as possible but i can’t help but admire our defence. Every single one of them. That of course includes SZCZ too. Each is a monster in his own way. Mert has made a huge step forward since he came to the club. Even compared to last season when he was already playing great he still looks a better player. Koscielny is a different species for me though. He improved after each season as a Gunner and now even in a game like this you can see there’s something special in him. I think we are taking it for granted (form of him and other def) but I wonder if he’s able to cut out this moments of madness from his game, which live somewhere deep in him. Honestly think that;s the only thing that blocks Kos from being the best CB in the world. Games against MOTD “big boys” City and Chelsea are coming up. Chance for Arsenal and Kos to finally shut all these mouths.

      Arteta… How can you praise enough this man? From being Everton “10″ to Arsenal deepest lying midfielder. He looks so comfortable in that role as he’s been playing there his whole life. Tackling, dribbling, passing… Seriously, tactically he’s a genius.

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  54. I really enjoyed Mertesacker’s tackle, after Arteta made a (rare) wayward backpass in the first half, when he was left to deal with two Cardiff players. His tackle stopped a dangerous counter and the danger was eventually cleared by Koscielny who was first to the ball after Per’s tackle. I’m specifically mentioning this moment because it was the only one not covered by the other comments above.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  55. I reckon Ramsey could eat 4 Shredded Wheat.

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  56. I've got Ö in my alphabet

    I’m so fucking in love with this squad that I want all of them to have a big orgy and let me have the offspring. I mean Szc (best keeper in the PL), the back four, ALL THE MIDFIELD, HFB, the subs with Monreal making his fantastic cameos!? Damn, I might be drunk as hell but if I had a girlfriend, I’ll let her cheat on me with EVRY SINGLE ONE in this beautiful squad (perhaps except TGSTEL).

    I don’t want this season to ever end, I don’t care if we win anything. I just want these guys to play on forever and ever and ever…

    Okay stop typing you drunk

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  57. Many times in the last few years I have had cause to lament the loss of Flamini. True he will get his share of cards but when you are tackled by Flamini you know it! Also can sub at D. Great to have him back!! Can’t say enough about Ramsey-last year he couldn’t hit a barn with a brick but he has now fulfilling his destiny which was somewhat delayed by Shawcross’ dirty tackle.

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  58. What a song for the boys
    A little bit of Szczesny with his saves
    A little bit of Mert with his tackles
    A little bit of Özil with his pass
    A little bit of Santi with his skill
    A little bit of Wilshere with his runs
    A little bit of Walcott with his pace
    A little bit of Ramsey with his goals
    A little bit of ………

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  59. How has Arteta never been called up to Spain??????

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  60. My ohhh my.

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  61. Bleed Red & White

    I don’t know how Ozil does it, but the guy just CREATES. Had a strong game, but the assists take it to another level. He produces assists out of thin air. Amazing. Sublime. I’m really looking forward to him fully adjusting.

    I think it’s pretty much fact that Ramsey really does mean to do all of those things that he does. Things come off for the guy for a reason. What a quality player. Top Notch.

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  62. Ozil reminds me somewhat of Arshavin’s first season. Things don’t really come off during the game, sticks a leg out as opposition runs past them. But very decisive, and their goals/assists stats are very impressive

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  63. cardinal gunners4life

    We showed once again the UNITY in the team and each player working together especially when we loose the ball. Ozil assist were great but the finishing was world class and those kind of goals win cup finals.

    Giroud is tired and deserve a rest and our best option is Poldoski to fill in like he did towards the end of last season.

    My joy is our bench and I was proved right cos your bench win you trophies one goal and assist from Flameni and Walcot

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  64. Like others here I cannot believe we are achieving what we are with last year’s best player Santi Cazorla completely off tune. What if he was playing at his usual level ?! He has even been picked for Spain recently and I agree that Arteta should have been given his chance at International level; much the better player right now.
    I was surprised we did not start with Flamini; he would be my first one down on the sheet to give us that anchor that you could build the rest of the team around. Especially for a tough away game.
    I know we have Walcott back now, but I would like to see Gnabry given some more playing time as I think potentially he is even better

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