Koscileny and Oxlade-Chamberlain on a win, a new system, and the fans

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Laurent Koscielny and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain spoke to Sky Sports after the 2-1 win over Boro this evening.

Here’s what they had to say.

It’s been a tough time for you…

Kos: It was important to take the three points tonight. We were in a bad situation with a lot of defeats and tonight we needed to come back with our quality. It wasn’t perfect, but we tried to fight and play with the ball. It’s good to win, good for the confidence, we know it will come back slowly, but it was important to win tonight.

Was it about ‘stepping up’?

Ox: Yes, of course. What we’ve done in the last few games has not been good enough and we have to take responsibility for that. I think we’ve done that this week between ourselves and we knew it didn’t matter how we won we had to go out there and get back to the basics.

That’s making sure our commitment levels were right to play for this football club. It’s a massive honour to play for a team like Arsenal, and you’ve got to give it 100% week in, week out, and maybe that had been slipping in the last few weeks so that was the first thing we needed to get back to tonight.

We did that and obviously the three points are massive.

How did you find the formation? When did you start working on it?

Ox: It was something new for us, we worked on it this week, and it was new for a lot of us but I think we adapted really well to it, especially in the first half. Middlesbrough came out second half and made it a lot more difficult, they went more direct, but all in all it was a new system, we got the three points with it and that’s all that matters.

Was it different for you Laurent, playing in the middle of a three?

Kos: Yes, like Chambo said for a lot of players it was the first time we played with 3-4-3 and it was very different, but we have the experience and intelligence. Second half was harder because they played with a lot of pressure up front and with the long ball but we are happy to the result, and with the system.

Did you do the nasty things better tonight?

Ox: Yeah, especially at the end. They sent a lot of long balls forward and we had to just defend. It was a proper defensive performance at the end, and there were times we got opened up a little bit, but I think we all recovered as well as we could, and other than the goal I think the boys defended really well.

I just want to say one more thing. We know it hasn’t gone well the last few weeks but to see all our fans travel all the way up here on a Monday night, it means everything for us, for them to stick by us. It was only right we got them three points, so we’d like to thank them.

Did you feel like you didn’t deserve the support?

Ox: Look, it’s a massive club and as players you know you’ve got so many fans behind you, but to see them come back after being so disappointed – as we have – to see them come up here and support us through a tough time means everything.

We have to keep fighting for them.

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47 Comments on "Koscileny and Oxlade-Chamberlain on a win, a new system, and the fans"

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PGunner

Nicely said Ox

Oleg\'s Oratory

Best thing about our new formation is that Theo won’t be doing the post-match talking anymore. Let the Ox do the oratory indeed.

santori

No Walcott please.

As I said and many know, he provides the goals here and there but he is not involved enough rest of the game for a player at his age and experience and he lacks nuance.

I like the Ox and I think he can be massive for us. One more player like him in the squad will tilt the balance for us.

But first we can work on our passing. Final ball second half, was poor. We passed the ball to the other side way too often and a lot of that was Alexis.

We have to do better than that.

Too Sober to be Onside
Too Sober to be Onside

You know he scored 19 odd times this season?

IamaGoober

Kind of feels like lip service to me now.

I was at the Palace game, and a lot has been said about the chanting of ‘You’re not fit to wear the shirt’ in the media since it happened – and for me, I am glad we sang it at them. Because for practically the first time in their Arsenal careers they were made accountable for their collective poor performances, because after all that’s been said about Arsene etc.. those players have hidden behind him.

Arsene has been taking rounds in every presser, and he never threw the players under the bus once, which is utter class from the man, and you have to respect him for that, because lesser managers like Maureen would of been quick to do it. In fact I remember a presser when Chelsea were nose diving down the table last year and he let them have it. So I do hugely respect Arsene for protecting the players and the sanctity of the dressing room at times when the pressure would of been so huge on him, after they continuously let him down.

We will see whether or not the Ox’s post match comments are worth anything come this time next week. If its another poor performance at Wembley and City brush us aside with ease, then we know they’re all totally full of it, and if anything is to change at Arsenal then a lot of the squad have to be turfed out, a long with Arsene and lots of the coaching staff too, before we can make any progress forward.

A Gorilla

True talk.

IamaGoober

@A Gorilla

Thanks bra.
I never knew they had computers deep deep in the Congolian rainforest.

78/79/80

Who is down voting that?

OppiK

I love the Ox

Ibby

Sanchez grinding on the Ox like an EDM bro at a concert on his 3rd snort of cocaine. Loved seeing the team together and happy at the end.

santori

Good players know and appreciate a player that is making a difference.

Remember RVP was extremely upset with Wenger when he took the Ox out of the game. He was our most effective player that day.

Spanish Gooner

Brilliant from Ox

yen

Great stuff from Ox. Some leadership material in those words. Respect that he didn’t only answer the questions, but also took time to address what no one else from the club is addressing at the moment.

Wade wilson

Very rare to be able to genuinely say x player gets it or x player loves the club. But Ox is one, and I love the kid for it. From his efforts with the younger players( he is very active with going to youth and reserve games), trying to help new signings fit in, his interaction with fans & also his actual attempts to learn about the club from ex pros (Keown, Pires and Henry). Also he’s very talented.

RagingRoadkill

I read you comment and I agree. The thumbs up is for your name.

George Graham.

Do you still want to sell him to Liverpool?

sahil

No and I don’t think Arsenal want to sell him either, so it’s up to him I guess.

Frode

Yes

Gloryhunter

Well said Ox πŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎ

Gran Xakh

Ox always speaks well. Thought he had a decent game, first half in particular he caused a lot of problems and played in some good crosses. Do rather hope the Liverpool rumours are bollox

Hi-brid

Ox has put more shifts in than most this season too.

Theoptimist

He needed to, to be honest, he had been terrible. However he DID make the effort. Ramsey and Wilshere take note please

MikeyG

More and more the Ox seems like the true Arsenal guy, honorable and honest and wanting to do for the fans what we do for them week in, week out. Well played Ox, well played

Alexis\' rolled shorts
Alexis\' rolled shorts

We won and I’m glad, that’s just it

docciavelli

Honestly, when was the last time we’ve seen a change in formation? I think it was the 4-4-2 employed in the 2014 FA Cup using Yaya Sanogo(!) as a second striker.

Not jumping on Wenger here, but couldn’t this have also worked well when we first lost Santi? A little more control at the back, a bit better in the air on set pieces? More wide service to Giroud? At least this time there was no goal against in the first 15 mins.

Mc1892

I’m away from the UK at the moment and my Internet can barely load this site let alone stream the game, so I was hoping someone could tell me where Ozil played in the reshuffle? Did he maintain the ‘number 10’ or move back/ across?

Mustrum Ridcully

He played as a right midfielder with Ramsey and Xhaka in the middle and Montreal as the left midfielder. The front three were Alexis, Giroud and Γ–zil.

Tommy

Monreal was left wing-back. Although anounced as 3-4-3, it was more like 3-4-2-1, with Alexis and Ozil tucking in behind Giroud and Monreal and Ox providing width from the flanks.

Toure motors

Ox gave it a proper lash tonight. Fair play to him, credit where it’s due

Skinnyarse

We are all behind you Ox, just do your part and we’ll do ours. A massive 3 points, was a hard fought one but well done lads that’s the spirit! COYG!

Loose_Cannon

3 points the most important thing today, though I’m personally not convinced by the change in formation. Didn’t really help us deal with the long balls and we were somehow even more exposed on the flanks. Ox struggled defensively at first but turned that around, was personally my MotM for generally looking dangerous all game. His comments were important as well, good to see the players reacted to what Walcott said last weekend. But there’s still a hell of a lot to do

Lula da Gilberto

I feel for the players sometimes. How many of fans would really disagree with a bit of honesty. We were shit, we’ve been shit for ages and that makes me sad. I hope we can be less shit. I feel based on the result that we were slightly less shit. So that’s nice. We hate being shit and its been going on for too long when we know that individually we’re not shit players. I can only really speak as a player and not a manager or an outsider, so I just hope we continue this pattern of getting less shit over time.

Mustrum Ridcully

Even though we won, I still think there is something missing in midfield. The transitions were not quick enough and our midfield really did not pass through the lines. Too often the player on the ball had no forward options. This lack of movement and the fact we were taking too many touches meant the opposition could get into position to defend too easily.

Fuhgedaboudit

Can anybody say “Santi”?

Loose_Cannon

It’s one of the problems with the formation, because you’ve only got two in midfield and the wingbacks tend to push very high and wide, the midfield two need to be very disciplined with their passing and running. Attacking-wise it’s all about the front 3 and the wingbacks, suits a very direct game but is very physically demanding. If you’ve seen Chelsea or Spurs play, you’ll notice how disciplined the two CMs are, they rarely make off the ball runs into the box, instead the ball is into the attacking mids quickly. Even Ramsey being where he was for the winning goal was a risk. On the other hand, this should be a formation and style that suits Giroud in particular, but he didn’t perform either. Back to the drawing board methinks

Clock-End Mike

Who’s this chap Koscileny? I thought he did quite well for most of the match, so he must be a good addition to the team. But Holding was magnificent β€” quietly efficient, well-positioned, intelligent distribution. I like him

jack jack jack

Ran his fucking hole off tonight and caused them all sorts of trouble. More of the same please boys.

santori

Ox was very good today, provides something different because he can take a man or two on.

I mentioned before that playing Elneny doesn’t provide us with anything. Hence we end up passing sideways.

This system IMO suits the Ox. Still I felt we are on a learning curve and presented too many chances to a team that struggles (thankfully) to score and they got one against us courtesy of Koscielny.

We miss the ability to take on players which Santi gave us in the middle and this has got to be addressed this summer regardless of Alexis and/or Ozil leaving or staying.

One player who could have been big for us this season alas would have been Gnabry, who also has ability to take on players on the trot.

I think if we lose (or keep) Alexis and/or Ozil, the sort of players we need to look at to play the mobile two behind the main striker in 3-4-3 would be someone like Konoplyanka. He’s 27yrs and a bit adrift in career but clearly an enormous talent and has both pace and trickery to beat a player or two.

I don’t think we are anywhere near convincing yet but at very least this 3-4-3 which I suspected Wenger would have to switch to prevents us from thinning out in the middle.

We’re on a learning curve and you can feel it but the players have got to get to grips very quickly with the NLDerby just ahead.

No St Totteringhams but lets sink their title hopes at least. COYG.

santori

I think if the 3-4-3 is kept we are looking at vacancies this summer as such :

……………………..Giroud/Welbeck……………………..
……….Ozil (V)/Ramsey……Alexis(V)/Santi…………..
Kolasanic/Ox…………………………………..Bellerin/(?)
……………….Granit/Coq……(?)/Iwobi…………………
…….Monreal/Holding………Mustafi/Chambers……….
………………….Koscielny/Gabriel……………………….
………………………….GK…………………………………

V = potential vacancy in which case we will have to address if they should leave.

? = Need to add.

There’s also room for maybe Perez or Joel Campbell should they stay and possibly one of the young guns like the Jeff on periphery.

Everyone-else – Jack, Debuchy, Jenko, Elneny, Gibbs, Ospina can be moved on or go on loan.

If Ozil or Alexis leave, one player that we should seriously look at is Konoplyanka the Ukrainian playmaker.

I also think either of Saul Niquez (at Athletico) or Fabinho should be looked at for the deep midfield role next to Granit.

There’s a role for a quick pacy player like the Ox on the other flank. Alan Halilovoc could be interesting, someone young and who has not quite been able to hit the heights yet but clearly a lot of skill and pace about him.

As with everything, change is as much a risk as it is an opportunity.

Yawl Gooner

Cost a fortune to get his name on the Jersey!!

santori

Rob Holding. another great David Dein purchase.

Mac

Keep the Ox. Sell Walcott. Theo has had enough time. Despite the odd good performance/goal, he’s simply not good enough, especially when contrasted to the Ox last night.

Loose_Cannon

Walcott our second top goal scorer? Comparing him to Ox playing at right wingback, against bottom of the table Middlesborough? Baffling

Anthony

Not forgetting those big performances from Theo against the likes of Bayern, United, Chelsea.

I’m sure with a club our size, we have room for both Theo and Ox, and in some games having both on the pitch will add to our game.

It might not work every week, but that’s the point of having a squad so that we can rotate players in and out against different opponents.

Theo, while not perfect, gets a lot of undeserved criticism. This season he’s been one of our top performers and is not far of betting 20+ goals in all competitions.

Ox is a more dynamic player, sure, will give you that 100%, but does not yet have the composure in front of goal tonne a consistent scorer. Once he adds that to he already exceptional workrate he will be top quality.

Dan D

Ox said all the right things, which was good to hear but fair amount of pre-scripted stuff in there for me too. Celebration after with the fans was a good bit of PR also. But although in my mind true I admit it is a little cynical of me.

On the pitch it was nothing to really write home about, except for a couple of really good moments.

Our defending for their goal was shambolic too. Sanchez and Kos both at fault and as for Monreal; deary me. Terrible to give Downing all that time and space to move it onto his left and then buy a packet of fags before crossing.

But we won, which was nice, the team put a shift in, but that’s the very least I expect so no real credit there for me.

Put simply, a very welcome three points but the performance of a side so clearly lacking in my real confidence or cohesion.

For me too 4 has gone but just for the sheer pride of it we need to keep winning and end this season well.

Cid

Appreciate the sentiment, but it’s hard to shake the suspicion that the post-game messages would have been radically different if we hadn’t been playing a pile o’ shite like Middlesbrough. If that’s proper defending as Chamberlain has it, I fear for us when we’re playing a team that actually could hit the cow’s arse.

:HM

If anyone knows who the fan was who tried to take Sanchez’s shirt off the young lad, tell him he’s a prick.

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