Arsenal 0-0 Southampton – player ratings


A night of intense frustration as we dropped 2 points at home against Southampton. We had 21 shots, 20 from inside their area, and missed some gilt-edged chances to score.

Here’s how the players rated.


33: Petr Cech




24: Hector Bellerin


Crossing was poor, gave the ball away cheaply at times, not his best night.


5: Gabriel .


Did well generally, but lucky to get away with a couple of bad moments on the ball and one slide on Mané in the box which gave me a turtle's tail.


6: Laurent Koscielny


Defensively fine but guilty of a shocking miss in the second half. It felt like a game when a scrappy Koscielny goal might win it, he had the chance but headed over.


18: Nacho Monreal


Really solid tonight, but it came at a cost. He went off to get treatment, and ended up limping about in the final minutes. Expect a lay-off.


20: Mathieu Flamini


Made some inexplicably poor passes this evening. He tries, and he runs, and he points, but those are things most of us could do.


8: Aaron Ramsey


This partnership with Flamini just does not work. He too tried hard, so much of what makes a midfield function is the partnership, and it's just not there. Still feels like it should be Ramsey + someone, but that decision has to be made now.


11: Mesut Özil


I'm a bit torn by this. He created 10 chances tonight, a season high, but also missed two great opportunities to score. The second, in particular, should have put us ahead, but overall he made things happen. We just couldn't make the most of it.


7: Alexis Alexis


He too made things happen tonight, some of his passing in the final third was really good, and forced the keeper into some saves.


28: Joel Campbell


Had a couple of nice moments but it didn't really work out for him tonight


12: Olivier Giroud


Never really stuck with him, but definitely should have had a penalty and had the ripped shirt to prove it.


14: Theo Walcott


He came on in the 62nd minute, the game went to 96. He made just 2 passes, lost the ball a few times, and missed a brilliant chance to score. When he's bad, he's really bad, and tonight he was really bad.


34: Francis Coquelin


Not on long enough to rate, but managed to get a yellow card for his first foul when some Southampton players were allowed get away with 6 or 7.

Vote is now closed

Bonus rating: 10/10 - Dropping to 4th on Groundhog Day. They say we're young and we don't know. But we all know 🙁


    • Theo Walcott is awful. He’s a liability that not even Leicester (who are better than Arsenal for some fucking insane reason) would field. Please, Theo, don’t fucking sign da ting and just leave.

      Thumb up 92 Thumb down 29

      • Ever thought that it might be because his manager starts playing him up front, he does really well, then shunts him to the left wing where he’s NEVER played cos he didn’t buy (or develop) enough cover then tells him to play on the right, after having declared “Theo is now a striker”….If you’re the Third Pleb, o wonder what the first two are like

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  1. 1/10 for Theo. It might be a bit harsh since he didn’t start the game, but he did NOTHING after coming on – besides fucking up that double chance of course. And it wasn’t only tonight, in recent games he has contributed with absolutely nothing. Not scoring goals, not using the ball well, not defending. And this guy is now virtually on the same pay as Mesut and Alexis – our two most decisive players.

    When Poldi was around, he was criticised for not contributing with anything on the field besides scoring goals. But at least he fucking scored on his chances. Poldi would have thundered that chance past Forster. AND he had lots of banter as well. Fucking ‘ell.

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    • Slightly off-topic but Forster had a stormer against us again – yes we were pretty toothless and some of our efforts flattered his keeping ability but he looks a really solid choice at no. 1 for the Saints, based on the admittedly few times i’ve seen him play.

      Thumb up 35 Thumb down 1

    • Theo was terrible again, agreed. Flamsey doesn’t work blatantly. Özil should be scoring those. But this form is temporary. We can’t really dip much more than this, and I am still convinced that sp*rs will drop off, Leicester will too, and our form will improve with a little tinkering and regained sharpness.

      Thumb up 13 Thumb down 8

    • A few takes on the match:

      1. It is unfair to just blame Theo – true, he was poor and missed a glorious chance (or two) but so did half the team. Just blaming him deflects attention, scapegoating him. The one to blame for the team not getting the win is AW – his lack of imagination, his lack of guts and common sense.

      2. Having fully watched the match, I feel, purely, in the context of this match, that Wenger’s in-game management was poor. Samples:

      -> After an hour or so, he removes Campbell and brings on Theo. Anybody who had seen the match thus far could see that Bellerin was having a poor game with zero contribution in att. A manager with imagination (AND guts) would sub him and make Joel play at RB.
      Why? The Saints were more or less under the cosh, the pressure was building & we are playing at home. Of course, Joel was having a poor game too and the risky move might have backfired but there is also a chance it would have helped us win the game. Theo can make runs, Joel can defend/make the pass & we’d have an extra man in attack. But no guts, no imagination.

      -> Just the first half display would have made most managers sub Flam who was having a poor day as well. But not Wenger, even with Coq on the bench. Instead, he brings this DM on after 85 mins. Really? When the whole team is looking for att. inspiration from the bench from min 70? And a new signing Elenny is not even on the bench?
      I may be wrong but it is clear what Wenger’s thinking was: I’ve sent on Theo, we are close to scoring and when we score, I’ll send Gibbs and Chambers/Ox after that & play out the 1-0 win. Once again, a man who can’t think on his feet, a man who can’t force the issue and has stubborn ideas regardless of the dynamics of the game.

      -> Lack of other in-game adjustments in light of yesterday’s performance. What did Wenger do to address these during the game, at half-time or in training pre-game: a) Ozil pathetically going down like a drunken fool and losing the ball when a man is pressuring him. b) Alexis unnecessary dribbling when he should be making the pass. c) Ozil asked to not take corner kicks when he was obviously not doing it well from first kick. d) Asking team not to get desperate and launch balls into the box again and again. e) Switching Alex and Walcott on the flanks etc etc.

      Some of these concerns have persisted for long whereas some are in context of the game only. But Wenger just sits, makes no adjustments, makes zero tactical moves or talks to players. And on top of it, his risk-free nature.

      Finally, I desperately want to be proved wrong but Arsenal will never win the PL under him again – and a change is desperately needed by season-end.

      Thumb up 11 Thumb down 60

      • Nobody can be arsed to read something this long in the comments section.

        It’s 2016. We have pictures of cats, EVERYWHERE.

        Thumb up 33 Thumb down 2

      • Oof. Bellerin may not have had one of his top matches, but he saved us from two 1v1’s with the keeper in the second half by streaking across to take the ball. One would have been 2 v Cech.

        That’s worth a goal in my book, and most likely a point on the day.

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  2. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated Thumb up 47 Thumb down 109

      • Or similarly, we could reinstall the faith we initially had in him which led us to thump Manchester United 3-0 – a period of time in which Ozil, Walcott and Alexis thrived.

        I’m not saying he’s not remotely culpable for some mistakes in the past few matches but it goes much deeper than that. To some degree this relates to how we’ve been using him, the instructions/directives he’s been given and the system we play. We can either do what we initially planned on doing this season (as pre-season and the early stages suggest) and reinstall him upfront or we can continue to wonder why our £140,000 p/w centre forward is failing to change the outcome of games where he’s under-utilised or a substitute.

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        • This is a hypothetical question, but how many touches, how much defending, and how many shots would you expect Alexis to get in 36 minutes of football against a team that was already tiring?

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          • I have not got a clue, I think I’d strugle to set a quota for those. By the same notion I would consider it unfair to compare him to the unusually robust (and driven) Alexis – nobody in our team compares. Similarly, I think mostly all of us now agree that he’s strictly a centre-forward these days and his defensive role is therefore strictly limited. Alexis probably isn’t a fair comparison.

            However, I would highlight that when playing Walcott has the second highest impact within the squad (to Ozil) on our goal difference and therefore our ability to win games. While he’s not the greatest defender, the fact we actually have a better goal difference when he plays (all via GoalImpact) can only conclude that he really isn’t very detrimental to have in the side. Asking about those standards for him as a player is useless if we can simply establish that when playing he vastly improves our chances of scoring more/conceding less, making us more likely to win games.

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    • Chris, I was with you right up to the point about Theo As Striker ( TAS ) ! His movement is poor and he always wants the ball to feet. Unless we plays balls for him to run onto then he is as useful as a not very useful thing, when played as a main striker ahead of Giroud.

      Our main problem today was not enough shots or headers that were on target had any power. Aside from a couple at the begininng and end of the second half, as far as I could see from where I was sat in the NE corner of the ground.

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      • Squandering one on one vs goal keeper repeatedly is not an attribute of a good center forward in a team with tittle aspiration

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    • Wenger might not be a tactical genius, but lets not talk shit. Its not his fault that flamini AT THIS STAGE of his career struggles to make simple passes.

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  3. I’m so fucking frustrated. Where was Elneny? Where the fuck was Theo? Why can’t someone just stick the fucking ball in the net?

    To be fair, I don’t think Ozil could have done much more with his chances – both had to be taken very quickly, almost instinctively, and were only denied by great saves.

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  4. Anyone know how Mertesacker was available today on the bench given he received a straight red v Chelsea. Surely that is 3 games i.e. Miss burnley, saints and Bournemouth???

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  5. I understand the decision to play Flamini because it was the safe bet to play the current CM partnership against a team like Southampton. But from now on, ffs, get Elneny prepared and get that Coq in shape so we can play them in midfield and move Ramsey to the right. Who knows, maybe the new boy can bring a bit of positive creative chaos.

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    • All agreed except that Ramsey on the right exposes Bellerin and on tonight’s performance he looked tired and exposed enough as it is. When Ramsey played ( or decided not to play ) on the right teams targetted us down there. Liverpool at home particularly, so much so that Özil, Carzorla and Coq and a couple of others had no outlet as Bellerin was the only player on the flank and being 2 on 1 against him, couldn’t be risked if Liverpool nicked the ball and broke free down our right.
      Consequently the ball was recycled into a congested area where Ramsey probably was, and the momentum was lost.

      Rinse and repeat for any other decent team we play Ramsey on the right for, i.e. anyone in the top half of the table.

      I get that he tries and that’s great but he needs to think more about his responsibilities not about his heroics.

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  6. Disappointing result. But there are plenty of games to go. We need to make sure we support the team at every game and give them every chance of climbing back up that table. COYG

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  7. Does Theo Walcott actually play football anymore or is he just someone who talks a good game in the papers ?

    it sounds harsh but of late, the London Evening Standard had him talking of settling scores against both Chelsea and again tonight against Southampton.

    It is all very well to tell people what you are going to do or need to do but then not to do it, again ? It’s a team game and it is not all his fault but he sure didn’t do an awful lot to turn things around in either game.

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    • Walcott wow I thought he would build from his Welcomed new tracking back but he has absolute donkey in the other side of the pitch.

      He should have scored with arguably our best chance of the match but decides to pass it instead of smash it past the beast that is Frazier Forster no less.

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    • We should start another contract negotiation saga with Walcott. He’ll go on a goal scoring spree and we’ll win every match until the end of the season. Perfect plan.

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    • Correct, he’s a plastic personality with no passion or heart unless it’s contract renewal time
      I mean God’s sake if your form is bad the least you can do is put a shift in to help the team
      I agree with other comments about Ramsey. He has gone all Hollywood and has no tactical sense, and badly affects our shape. He needs to get back to a simple game or go back on the wing, having Coquelin next to him won’t make a blind bit of difference

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      • I beg to differ re the Ramsey-Hollywood antics assertion based on recent performaces.

        Distribution-wise he’s slow. Recently I’ve found him to be too conscious of misplacing passes often favouring safety over creativity (maybe he reads arseblog)… What made Cazorla brilliant in that deep position were his fast incisive balls to mount our attack. We had no issues with the many interceptions they yielded, because great reward often requires high risk.

        Flamini’s limitations have forced a stifled Ramsey to play too deep where his risky forays into the box would have been useful these past few games…

        Though Coquelin will help solve the Flamini problem, I struggle to see an immediate solution to the Cazorla issue.

        The reason why I’ll continue to support Ramsey is because he is grafter, but optimising his style of play necessitates a free role which we can’t accommodate at the moment.

        Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

    • Theo is one helluva lucky boy. He got the hype as a 16 year old with his World Cup call up. He has been overrated. Has his good days but no way consistent enough. We need a great striker and we won’t win the league without one.

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    • I was going to say Theo should improve on his what he is good at, but I don’t really know what Theo is good at apart from speed, he has no composure, he can’t hold or Sheld the ball, he has the worst first touch under pressure, his work rate Was last rated during the Man City game. AW should start thinking about cutting his wages I don’t see a period where we can say Theo is at his peek

      With the way Alexis Sanchez was able go past Wanyama most if the time would you have switched him to play the Santi’s role next to Coq? They do have the same drive and It’s all about winning the game in which ever way

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  8. Absolutely devasted. If we win the title after a miracle this season, I will think back to today because I really think we lost our change today with another draw. Max point now is 87, so I really do not think we can miss more than 5-6 points in the last 14 matches to win it. And that will be very very hard with performances like this.

    Walcott is so so poor these days, Iwobi and Chambo miles better. Iwobi best for me, and why Gnabry is not in the team is a huge question for me.

    Flamini and Ramsey are also so so poor. Coquelin in next match, and maybe Chambo, Chambers or Elneny in for Ramsey. The loss of Cazorla has been worse than I expected, thinking in my deluded mind that Ramsey would fill the gap. Where has the Welsh Jesus gone?

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  9. I’d pay to hear Arsene’s thinking on signing a player who not only isn’t good enough to start ahead of Flamini, but cannot make the bench when the league was undeniably ”in our hands”. Baffling stuff, from a great man.

    Thumb up 49 Thumb down 18

    • Flamini is 30% of the midfield problem. The other 70% I honestly think is Ramsey.

      Ramsey is 30 meters from Flamini when we are building from the back, yes Flamini doesn’t play the longer passes but I would think that this has been pointed out to Ramsey by now.

      How we sometimes can work around it is to use our fullbacks but today, they had a soton player on them in a flash so they had to pass backwards (Bellerin mainly).

      We hardly ever got beyond their two CDMs who I think did a wonderful job today, granted Mason the fuckwit gave them licence to foul without consequence all game. An early yellow for either of them and their shield shatters.

      Just quietly, when Cech hangs up his gloves, I’ll have me some Fraser Forster. What a mountain of a man he is, made enough saves to win two games today the cunt!

      Thumb up 72 Thumb down 11

      • Ramsey needs to be dropped asap. I think wenger will when he can. Remember first game of season peeps when he gave him a start in the middle alongside coq and put santi out wide. That’s right you got it, he changed it at halftime, something I can’t recall him ever doing. He knows Ramsey is not good enough to play there, he doesn’t have the intelligence I’m afraid. He can’t recycle ball, doesn’t play as partnership and most times needs far too much time to play. The hype is slowly wilting. Reality can be painful.

        Thumb up 28 Thumb down 11

        • Ramsey will not look out of place in a West Brom side. He is that average. All he does is aimlessly run about the pitch misplacing passes and trying things he doesnt have the skill set to do!

          Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  10. It’s this time of the season again.. The dip after January, we’ve got to break the hex of this month and the next. I’m on the fence and starting to lose balance backwards. I hope the team can push me over to the right side with the next crucial games…

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 5

    • Campbell was absolute poo, he was even worse than Walcott. I would have made the change at half time, except I would have brought Oxlade-Chamberlain on instead of Walcott. Walcott’s had a poor month, and Ox was at least improving the last couple of matches, so I think he would have been the better choice.

      Thumb up 36 Thumb down 43

      • I agree aswell Campbell was awful tonight kept giving the ball away and never once passed it forward always went side-ways or backwards. would have still kept him on instead of Theo. If anything would have subbed him for the OX would have atleast gave us some urgency in our attack. Why flamini starts I don’t know. An half fit coquelin could do a better job. Ozil playing with a bunch of retards….10 chances created and can’t even convert 1 rubbish!! And Wenger if Elneny isn’t PL ready why buy a player like that.

        Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  11. I don’t know why this thread as turned into a discussion about Flamini and Ramsey, what cost us the game tonight was missed chances, something neither Flamini nor Ramsey did, Ozil missed two great chances, Alexis missed two good chances, Kos missed a sitter, Theo missed a good chance, Joel missed a good chance, and Giroud missed a chance.

    other than our missed chances, the main topic that should be discussed was the totally awful performance by Mason, he should have just worn the Southampton kit and been done with it. How did Wanyama, Romeu & Ward-Prowse all escape without a yellow. Why were Southampton players allowed to get away with standing in front of the ball stopping Arsenal from taking quick freekicks. Mason seemed more concerned with making AFC move the ball back a couple of inches at a freekick than in doing his job in an unbiased way.

    Thumb up 118 Thumb down 5

    • It would have been good if more of our attempts on target had had more oomph behing them.

      There were some very tame shots and headers, Forster was good but I thought he didn’t have to work too hard for a lot of the saves.

      Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

    • It’s all very well blaming the ref, and yes he was shit, but the bottom line is we dominated most of the game and had the chances to win it but we fell short. We just don’t have what it takes to get results when it’s crunch time. Leicester aren’t faltering and now Sp*rs have overtaken us. I think we will get top four as usual but our title challenge has slipped away since Christmas. I’ll hold out hope til the end, but on recent performances I can’t say we deserve the title. Fair fucks to Leicester, if it has to be anyone else let’s hope it’s them.

      Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    • So, Southampton players stopped our players taking free kicks – just kick the ball against one of them. Instant booking and they won’t do it again. I seem to remember Cesc doing this a few times – we could use a few players with some ‘cleverness’ in their game.

      Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  12. One word: PHYSICAL
    Apart from Walcott who was really bad tonight
    ( I would have preferred OX)
    the other players weren’t so bad.
    Their goal keeper is a monster.

    Again until Arsenal addresses the physical aspect of our game, this will be the result with most physical teams, Chelsea, Stoke, Southampton…

    Remember the days when it was Bolton?…

    When we play against a very physical midfield we tend to fall apart.
    Mark my words we may not win Barca but we will play a much better game against them just because they are not a physical side.

    Teams that know this weakness about Arsenal tend to exploit it and you won’t expect the ref to hand out 10 yellow cards ( even though they deserve it)

    Carzola and Coquelin was the closest to a physical midfield partnership we’ve had in a while.

    Thumb up 38 Thumb down 9

  13. The most depressing part of watching arsenal now for me is the overwhelming sense of exhaustion, similar to when you’ve been in love with someone for so long but only get fleeting moments of happiness sandwiched by constantly noticing their flaws, knowing deep down inside they could never change but at the same time you cant imagine life without them…SIGH

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  14. Can we finally call an end to this painful experiment with our so-called British core? I know the banter is great, but I’d rather have players that can actually play to the required standard.

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  15. Well we were frustratingly unfortunate up front, plus great performance by forster. On the positive note, our attacking potent was clearly encouraging, just dont have the luck to get one inside their net.

    What worries me is our defensive lapses, a more potent opposition’s forwards would punish us with a goal or two!

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  16. After supporting arsenal for 13 intense years,I think I will take an extended break. Arsenal is too emotionally demanding as a hobby and not rewarding as a passion.

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  17. I said it last week i said it after Liverpool and again many disagreed but i said it anyway and i will say it again that was a terrible performance again we show such weakness, you can see the players looking nervous, starting off slow not enough fight…. we dont have the mentality to win the league.. we simply dont have it! Do you guys see leaders in this team? I know per wasnt playing today but hes not exactly a leader anyway… very low energy this team doesnt have the belief, the energy or the mentality to win the championship… that i can tell you!

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  18. Love how Walcott thinks standing beside the full back is showing his involvement. He is a waste of space at the moment. Miss Santi badly, can we please, please lose the Ramsey and Flamini double act!

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  19. Critics always write Arsenal off as perennial bottlers and we always prove them right. When will these players prove critics wrong and reward Wenger for the faith he had in them? I swear this really hurts and I feel bad for Wenger because the players always let him down. The manager always takes the blame while the overpaid players walks free. This is frustrating to be quite honest. We the fans deserve better.

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  20. Blogs attempts to exonerate Ramseys’ dire form by blaming either Flamini or there inability to “click as a partnership’ are getting more laughable by the week.

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  21. Lets be fair Walcott always steps up when he got a contract to earn with more pay, anyone else notice that? Personally for me hes proven this season that he will never be a consistant player he just doesnt have it… i do think he tries but he simply doesnt have the mind set of a world beater…. just the way he is i suppose

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  22. We showed a great attacking potent, but unfortunate with the finishing. What worries me was several defensive blunders. Vardy, Aguero, Messi, Suarez and Neymar would have punished us for that. More worryingly, they are coming….

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  23. Agree on the need to find a way to respond to physical teams. While Coqzorla is a great partnership, we could really use a more physical pairing for those teams that want to bully us off the ball. Dare I say it, a Viera type.

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  24. How can Ramsey and Flamster get a 5? What’s the 1-10 based on? Is 5 ok? If so we clearly watched different games. They were shockingly poor and if Walcott get’s a 3 then they should get a big fucking 0. The only thing they are really good at are waving their arms.

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    • We kept a clean sheet and had more than 10 chances on goal. They didn’t seem to give up the ball in bad areas. Why would they get less than a 5?

      Just curious- we had 10 chances created by Ozil alone, and totally bossed the last 30 minutes plus. What would you rate Wanyama, a ‘destroyer’ type DM for his performance today?

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  25. I had a dream that we won 5-1, Sp*rs drew 8-8, Man City lost 4-0 and Chelscum lost 2-0. Imagine my disappointment when I woke up to check the scores (Australian problems)…

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    • Haha I had the exact dream about Arsenal. Malaysian gooner here. Left for work all disappointed though. Gonna be a long day.

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    • You are right. He has been a great manager but now appears to be totally losing the plot. To buy a midfielder, who looks capable of slotting straight into the team, and then not play him because he needs time to “adjust to the demands of the EPL” makes no sense whatsoever. Can he not see that the team lacks any sort of leadership. Until he sees this and purchases one or two players with a bit of backbone, we will never win the title. If he can’t he should move on and make way for someone who can take the team forward.

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  26. Bit harsh on Giroud, thought he looked sharp and had the required effort and intensity throughout, unlike everyone bar Sanchez, Ozil on and off, rest were awkwardly devoid of confidence. Campbell should have stayed on, Walcott did nothing.

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    • And how many has Giroud scored in the last two months? Also he plays in his favourite position while walcot has never played on the left before.
      Giroud is having his typical season, in fact everyone is at this point. Someone will have to have a blinder for us to win this season. Time for someone to become a genuine legend by have his name written in history.

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  27. Everybody misses sitters, Walcott gets the blame. I’m not his biggest fan but come on folks. Kos had a good game? He hasn’t had a good game in a month. He keeps making silly moves at the back (looping header to Bellerin today, some weird turn and fall vs Burnley on Saturday – both resulted in good chances for the opposition). It is frustrating to once again see the end coming too soon for our title challenge, but Walcott to blame? pheww. Özil should have had 2 or 3 in the first half. This has been the story of our season. We create the most chances but score every other full moon. Still, 5 points off top and if we’d f*cking click for a period, we’ll be close.

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  28. I don’t understand why Coq started on Saturday and not tonight. This was the much more important game. Give him 45mins against Burnley as a tune up and then get him in there tonight. We had so much proof that Ram & Flam just wasn’t working, why go with it again.
    I am convinced Ramsey will be better alongside Coq. I’ve loads of respect for the effort Flamini puts in, but we had better options tonight.

    People will say it didn’t cost us as we didn’t concede and had 10 shots on target, but if you are controlling the game better, there is more chance you’ll find the time and space for Ozil and Alexis to conjure something.

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    • Squad rotation.

      That, and if Coq had given away the ball tonight as many times as he did in the cup match we’d have been in Serious trouble. He needed a more ‘manageable’ match to help regain his match sharpness and fitness.

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        • He also had the ball taken off his feet and gave it up due to heavy first touches many more times than that, all in our half.

          Those don’t show up in the passing stats.

          Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s a great player and passer. He’s just rusty from being out. Southampton’s press would have been a very bad match for that. Nothing against him, it’s totally the reality of the situation.

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        • He also had the ball taken off his feet and lost it from heavy first touches many more times, all in our half. The passing stats don’t show that.

          Don’t get me wrong, I think Coq is a great passer and player, he’s just rusty. Southampton’s pressing game would have been a bad place for that tonight.

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  29. Seems to me we have a roster to win every game. We got talent, skills, some world class players, and then….no results. If we don’t blame our players, who’s fault is it then? Coaching staff?..makes me wonder.

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  30. Santi Cazorla can’t come back soon enough. This team misses him so much. He is the ‘vibe’ of this whole Arsenal team, he makes it click. He is for us what Fabregas was for that little title winning team last season. Simple as that. We’ve struggled ever since Santi got injured. How we’ve managed to go so far without him, and still be only 5 points off the top, I can only guess.

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  31. I haven’t yelled at the TV this much since we sold Arshavin. What a frustrating couple of hours. For me, Sanchez was disruptive rather than helpful today. Thought Ozil was decent, Chech was amazing, and everyone else was off.

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  32. i rated most of the squad higher because despite my own disappointment in the draw we kept a clean sheet which is a definite improvement over recent games, and the only reason we didn’t return Southampton the favor of a 4-0 spanking was impressive goalkeeping and poor finishing and refereeing.

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  33. New TV contract $$$, small teams getting stronger, wenger still playing moneyball, 3 players in the last 3 windows, all cost < 10M, only 1 plays regularly.

    Right footed Sanchez on the left, left footed Campbell on the right, both want to move inside, only width comes from our fullbacks leaving us fragile defensively when forward. Since we have no width, opposing defenses stuff the central areas in the final 3rd, makes for easy defending.

    Wenger’s past it, tactics are stale and predictable. Challenging on 3 fronts?? By the end of the month, we'll be challenging for 4th…yet again.

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  34. I have never trusted Wenger after the 2013-2014 season and would rather see him leave with dignity.
    But the points we lost today was not due to lack of trying.We tried a lot but were very unlucky, plus the ref was bad.
    This also then puts emphasis on games we lost or drew which we would have won if we had tried.
    Although I think Ramsey needs rest, he has lost it, a break will do him good. Ozil however was amazing. Theo to me looks like unhappy on the pitch, dont know why..

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  35. Walcott, Flamini and Ramsey get the abuse after this one. Does Arsene pay any attention to the fans? If he does, none of the three should start next game. Someone earlier mentioned that Ramsey wasn’t nearly as bad as some make out when we drop pts but equally he’s not as good as some make out as well when we win. I would tend to agree with that. What happend to the Walcott that was running his ass off contributing at both ends of the pitch when we took United to the sword? Does he only perform against Manchester clubs?
    Flamini was quite diciplined being a shield for the back 4 but he just doesn’t offer much else.
    Arsene needs to find us a winning formula again and get us out of this rut.
    Personally, hope none of the mentioned 3 start next game.

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  36. I watched the highlights, the team was playing fine bar the finishing. Forster was superb, it was difficult to beat a GK with the way he played.

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  37. It has to get bad before it gets better, another 4th place finish and new contract and we’re stuck with the old fart 2 more years…nooooooo!!!

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  38. Not winning the league after all the steam we built will have to be one of the most dissapointing thing ever in the last 10 years and I’m afraid it will be rubbed in even more were Leicester or sp*rs finish above us.

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    • Has there really been any steam?Some good performances at times but little consistency in a race where only because of others shortcomings are we still in it.If we can get that consistency , I believe we could win it but hard to see where it might come from in reality.

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      • Retained Cup.
        Finished 2014/2015 strongest.
        Most points in year 2015.
        On top this season at some point.

        I’d call that STEAM.

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  39. Ever since the Mertesacker Red Card v Chelsea, I’ve had a sinking feeling about our chances this year.

    Like the scene in Gone With the Wind where Scarlett is hearing from Ashley about conditions at the front:

    “Every day, I see more and more Yankees…”

    “Oh, Ashley, you can’t mean we’re losing, can you?”

    Ugh. Had such high hopes.

    That said, all is not lost. It’s time to shake things up as far as selections. We have nothing to lose – let’s go for it. High variance selections are the way to go, IMHO.

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  40. It’s easy to criticise Flamini, but Ramsey is responsible for our woes equally if not more.

    Infact, I feel Ramsey is an overrated player, thinks too much of himself, lacks discipline and technique. Wenger needs to talk hard with him.

    Maybe for a change we could try Coq/Elneny partnership.

    Ramsey has had his chances.

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  41. Also Gabriel was pretty poor You can see why isn’t picked ahead of Mertesacker. he doesn’t win many headers ahead of his marker and is serially clumsy.

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    • Mert and Kos shipped 4 against this team. Long got a hat trick.

      Gabriel may not have won all the aerials, but he managed to keep track of that willy covered in slippery shit. they play a fast, physical counter. I actually liked Gabriel in that setting, aside from the ‘turtle-head challenge’ (as blogs put it) in the box.

      We came away with a clean sheet, so I have no complaints about the backs.

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  42. Just watched the highlights back. So disappointed with that result – not sure how we failed to score given the decent chances created (Forster heroics aside).

    Think this feels doubly bad given all the sides around us won. Feels like all the momentum is with them, and none with us. However, there are some games coming up which provide us with the opportunity to make up lost ground – Man City Leicester at the weekend – they can’t both come out of it with three points. A draw there plus a win for us at Bournemouth and the gap between us and the top is cut to 3 points.

    Weird atmosphere at the Emirates for last night’s game – kick off arrived with a whimper and there was obvious tension in the crowd made worse by the news of how other games were going. I’m sure it transfers to the players.

    Agree the Flam-Ram partnership needs to be put to sleep now but don’t think that was the reason for last night’s result. We did enough offensively to win that game by several goals and failed too. I do feel the midfield was exposed though but Saints guilty of failing to capitalise on the space we afforded them at times.

    Bit deflated today….

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  43. There are games where we get a disappointing performance and I want to listen to podcasts and see what people think and contextualize it a bit. This was not one of those games. The fact of the matter is that those above us have about as difficult run in as us, with one or two (including those who must not be named) who arguably have easier fixtures for the rest of the season.

    It is not over. And there are actually positives to take. And if we are going through a lull then we’ve done well to only lose one. But all these silver linings mean nothing unless we put a run together sooner rather than later.

    I’ll listen to the podcast this week, but for me, I’ve come out of this game not seeking any context but just resolute in the view that whatever we do, however we do it, we’ve got to put a run together very soon. Or this season will end like the many before us have done. Blighted by injuries, lull in performance, fall behind, finish on a positive run, but ultimately out of the competition by March.

    I don’t think we’re there yet. And Ozil and Alexis look just brilliant. But Ramsey, Campbell, Oxlade-Chamberlain feel like puzzles in a jigsaw that just don’t fit right, while the less said about Theo the better at the moment. Maybe Ramsey’s performances will get better with Coquelin instead of Flamini, though Flamini has done well given what we had to ask of him.

    Can’t help but feel that if we had Wilshere and Rosicky pushing at the door, we’d find a balance in the midfield again. Welbeck might be a great option for us in the coming months. He’s another player I wish were available yesterday.

    I’m not sure how we’ll get out of this slump but despite the positives that there are, I look to the teams ahead of us and think they’d have got a better accumulation of points in our last four league fixtures than we did. That has to be concerning. I think we have to look to beat Leicester and Tottenham. Even if we don’t we may win the league, stranger things have happened, but looking at the upcoming months, for me, nothing less will do. It remains to be seen if we can step it up that extra gear to force games over the line.

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  44. I have had enough time to reflect; the initial anger having simmered somewhat. The next two rounds of games are pivotal to anything we hope to get this season.
    City is playing Leceister and Sp*rs at home.
    We are playing Bournemouth and Leceister away and home respectively. If we win both, and those other teams take points of each other, we are right back in a healthy position.
    I think the league will be won between 78 and 82 points.
    What we have to do is clear: forget Barcelona and CL; put in our all and get 6 points from the afore mentioned games and we are back on track. I retain hope.

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  45. It was 0-0

    We did not concede so the DM did his job decently. We did not score which suggest the fault lies elsewhere.

    Yet some here as per usual blame Flammini or Rammini for everything. Simply put, we were poor finishing.

    Flamini made a couple of poor passes but so did Gabriel, Bellerin and Koscielny. They did equally shocoking passes to no moral outrage.

    If you want to see how ludicrously bias some people are, watch the game again.

    I did and Flamini actually protected us very well.

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    • maybe you could start a workshop and teach us how to watch football? cos obviously we have no idea what we’re doing.

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      • Or even better, put up a video or article explaining why Flamini is sooo special and has never had a bad game according to him.
        The fact he is still defending this “Rammini” pivot shows he’s clearly out of his mind. When last have we controlled the game in midfield with those 2 playing?? Every game the commentators keep making the same comment about how easy it is to get through our midfield and yet you see our flamini expert telling us he had an excellent/good game.

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        • I’m not defending the Flamini Ramsey combo, because in general I very much prefer other options. I’m actually eager to see more of what Coquelin and Elneny offer.


          We kept a clean sheet and had 20 some chances on their goal. This wasn’t a defensive midfield problem. We didn’t need to control the defensive midfield area – for THIS match. The anger and scapegoating of Flamini and Ramsey for this match is misdirected.

          In fact, I think we were better off NOT spending time in that part of the pitch -because of their press- to reduce loss of possession in dangerous areas.

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  46. It’s worrying that no-one (Wenger, Board etc) can see the issues we’ve got in the team. They’re just 100% focused on positive thinking and believing that the fans will blindly follow their logic:

    Cech – Great but only got a couple of seasons left
    Ospina – Pissed off at being left out with no real chance to break through

    Monreal – Very good for now but was hopeless before plus aging
    Mert – Good but slow and aging
    Kos – Good but slow and aging
    Gab – Young and showing promise but lacking game time
    Belerin – Good, is he struggling with form at the moment?
    Gibbs – Useless
    Chambers – Useless

    Ramsey – Inconsistent (could we get some good money for him?)
    Cazorla – Injured
    Ozil – Great but aging
    Coq – Injured
    Rosicky – Near retirement
    Arteta – Near retirement
    Flamini – Near retirement
    Wilshere – Injured
    Ox – Constant bench player
    Elneny – ? Don’t know yet

    Giroud – Good but slight inconsistency and one man band
    Theo – Poor form
    Sanchez – Just returned from injury
    Welbeck – Injured but is he good enough?
    Campbell – Young and in thrown in at the deep end due to our annual injury problem

    Sanogo – Ha!
    Debuch – Pissed off and loaned as per request
    Jenk – Injured and awful
    Gnabry – Promising
    Akpom – Promising
    Szczesny – Pissed off and loaned as per request
    Hayden – Promising
    Martinez – Doesn’t have a chance

    For me, we need one major signing each in defence, midfield and up front to cover our endless injury conveyor belt and also cover the issue of aging players in key positions. If only we had the money, then we could secure the title for 2016/17 – Oh well, I suppose in the sparse world of football there’s only Messi and Ronaldo to buy and they’re not available, so hey ho, let’s get the hero that is Sanogo back and really step it up a gear.

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    • Alex, flamini is poor and Ramsey is rank average. I sit over there and believe me sir Ramsey brings very little. He does run about a lot but then so did Brian Talbot!!

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  47. And here’s the proof in the pudding. I’m not saying Flamini was fantastic but he certainly afforded the team more protection than some would give credit and there was a reason why he started.

    338 – FLAMINI makes himself available in middle passes to Koscielny to switch flanks quickly
    407 – Poor pass by Koscielny
    428 – FLAMINI intercepts at half way line successful
    730 – FLAMINI tackle wrongly ajudged by cunt Lee Mason as foul
    800 – FLAMINI executes tight pass successfully in front of box under pressure
    807 – Poor pass by Ozil
    845 – Block by FLAMINI
    925 – Poor pass by Alexis
    955 – Succesful shield and header to win free kick under pressure from Mane
    1040 – Gap Ramsey too far up. only time. Puts to rest Rammini disassociate, they had no trouble agianst City or Olympiakos so blatant nonsense they can’t play together or are incompatable.
    1154 – Man makes a shot. Koscielny can’t block it
    1219 – Poor pass by Ozil
    1259 – Sliding tackle by FLAMINI succesful against Wanyama but bellerin loses it straight after
    1311 – Another succesful intercept by FLAMINI but Bellerin again gives it away
    1403 – FLAMINI sucessful intercept/tackle
    1838 – Bad pass by Campbell plus foul by Campbell thereafter
    1956 – FLAMINI soft pass but Campbell was also wrong side
    2315 – FLAMINI intercept
    2612 -Poor Ball FLAMINI
    2831 – FLAMINI sucessful tackle high up the pitch
    3047 – Poor cross Bellerin
    3420 – FLAMINI offers outlet to Gabriel who is under pressure in defense by moving forward.
    3452 – Another tackle by FLAMINI high up pitch wasted by Bellerin
    3648 – Sucessful tackle by FLAMINI
    3738 – Succesful tackle by FLAMINI wrongly judged by cretin Mason as a foul
    3855 – No nonsense clearance by FLAMINI under pressure
    3923 – Critical tackle by FLAMINI against Tadic through on goal in penalty box
    4022 -FLAMINI Points for someone to pick out Mane on LW as he is committed covering in middle. Bellerin reacts late and FLAMINI was right as ball goes to Mane who goes one on one with Cech. Fortunatelt Bellerin recovers/ So pointing by Flamini clearly not useless
    4710 – Really bad ball by FLAMINI
    5350 – Equally bad ball by Gabriel
    5654 – FLAMINI good tackle against Mane
    5805 – Important clearance by FLAMINI as last man
    5924 – Covering header by FLAMINI
    6033 – Good control by FLAMINI
    6144 – Flamini tackles but pillock Mason allows Soton to gt away with handball
    6231 – Poor ball Bellerin
    6436 – Poor header Bellerin
    6547 – Good tackle by FLAMINI against Mane and on to Monreal
    6728 – Recycle by FLAMINI to start an attack
    6900 – Tackle by FLAMINI sucessful
    7042 – Header won by FLAMINI
    7130 – sucessful tackle by FLAMINI
    8309 – Sucessful tackle by FLAMINI
    8623 – Foul by Coquelin leads to yellow
    8745 – Coquelin loses on header leads to defense under pressure. Midfield is no more or less secure with Le Coq on
    8812 – Poor tackle by Gabriel
    9324 – Coquelin poor pass to Koscielny
    9523 – Wanyama beats Coquelin too easily

    So as you can see (if you bothered to watch the game properly) Flamini is in no way as poor as imagined nor Coquelin as effective when he came on.

    There were other reasons for us not scoring but as far as DM was concern, we did not concede either and the danger came from elsewhere.

    Learn to watch the game properly instead of spewing red herrings.

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      • Yeah Blogs jeez. Learn to watch the game properly cos Santori said so!
        didn’t you know he is privvy to real objective info while the rest of us poor souls only have our fleeting subjectivity to appeal to. What a bunch of morons we all are, how do we not just walk around bumping into walls…

        santori – when your posts are longer than the blogs themselves, it’s probably time to have a re-think.

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        • Despite all these “actions”, yet you still see how southampton were going through the middle like we were playing a 6-0-4(which has been happening for the last4-5 games).

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          • Going through to what?
            They had 3 chances the whole match, we had 20.

            Ramsey and Flamini are not our best combo, but they weren’t the problem. It’s just an unimaginative repeated narrative people are using to lash out at someone.

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  48. No leader on the pitch-no chance winning anything!
    And the main worry is ,that Cech is the only one able to be it.
    But as a GK he is too far away mostly.
    We need someone like Viera or Adams to put things right on the pitch.
    Never understood why Arteta gets the skipper role and BFG as backup.
    Poor decision of Arsene.

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  49. All this shit talking about Ramsey and Flamini. Firstly, Southampton didn’t score. That means that the defensive players did their job, that includes Flamini. Secondly, we should’ve score at least 3 times. It was just one of those games. We made enough chances to win it but we fucked it.

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  50. Theo to China with all the other vastly over rated players.
    Anyone who thinks he is the answer after 10 years of trying is deluded.
    I’d sell him in the morning. Oh for a Freddie at outside right!

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  51. The thing that pissed me off the most last night was the fact that despite the 13 corners only one (maybe two) beat the first man. I just can’t understand that considering Ozil took most of them.

    It seemed to be a similar story with crosses and free kicks. Bellerin’s crossing was poor last night but did Monreal even attempt to put in a cross?

    It’s just not good enough.

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  52. Still cheesed off with this bunch of wasters – you get the chance to win the league and disgracefully blow it on the 2nd of February!!! Indeed 2016 has thus far been depressing!!! Due to the psychological problems this team has, Wenger needs to tell them the title push is over and they are all playing for their jobs between now and May – perhaps then the twits will put together a decent run and pull off a 1998 style surprise!!!

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  53. The league is still up for grabs, but we’re going to need to put together a serious run which is currently looking fanciful. You never know though. COYG

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    • Also, it feels that we need to shake things up some how. Maybe an Elneny/Coq midfield with Ramsey on the right kind of thing. I don’t know, I’m not getting paid to do this, thankfully.

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  54. I like the “moustache” person comment.
    Time to shake it up ………..
    For a start off Walcott doesn’t have to be a starter on the wing, or an option on the wing, for fucks sake , we have a lot of our squad back.
    Second, keep the Flamini man out of the holding area, for fucks sake , we have a lot of our squad back.
    Just for once, Arsene, just do it, PLEASE.

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  55. A bit harsh on Cech to give him a 7 when he had a shutout and dealt convincingly with every cross that came in not to mention some great distribution. I know we didn’t get the win, but what more could Cech have done?

    Ozil had some great moments and worked his butt off, but the one real negative with him last night was his corner kicks from the left side, the majority were very short easily cleared by the first defender. I’d let someone else like Sanchez take them for a bit from that side and left Ozil still take them from the right corner.

    It’s hard to remember Walcott even being on the pitch other than the two shots he had stopped, beyond that two passes in 30 plus minutes is a staggeringly low number. However, that’s been his M.O. ever since he was put back out on the wing this season. Hardly involved at all and when he is does nothing with the ball.

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  56. No leaders in this team. Oh for a Adams & Viera. No top strikers in this team. Henry would score 30+ goals a season with ozil’s assists.

    Wannabes like walcott & ramsey who believe their own hype need to be sold.

    Wenger’s ability to spot talent & find gems is now in question. Too few sanchez’s, too many players like campbell, gabriel, wellbeck, chambers who are just not good enough to win the title or challenge for the champs league.

    He wasted the January window buying a player he doesn’t think is ready to play in the premier league!

    He complains there are no top strikers available but every player has a price. He just won’t pay the price needed to get them preferring to return to the bargain bucket.

    He’s like someone who keeps going into charity shops because he once found a picasso hidden behind some tat. Unfortunately the days of finding players like henry, Viera, Bergkamp in a bargain bucket are over.

    Payet, Vardy & Mahrez may have been in the bargain bucket but he didn’t spot them.

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    • Adams and Viera are retired. Get over it.
      And central midfielders don’t walk right into a team in the title race.

      Nope, he didn’t spot those three. Only West Ham and Leicester did. And we have Ozil so we don’t need Payet. Not quite sure how that relates to having ‘lost it’.

      Giroud, Santi, Monreal, Kos, Alexis, Ozil, Cech, etc. I can handle ‘lost it’ if we have those kinds of acquisitions to look forward to.

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  57. Giroud was only stopped by some excellent goalkeeping and less than excellent officiating. It wasn’t his greatest game but he was pretty good. I’ve been mostly offline the last few days and was surprised to see people criticising him, until I remembered I was on the internet.

    And Flamini was no worse than the rest of the team.

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