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Post #535321  Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:29 pm 
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Bernard wrote:
Rich wrote:
Saw a discussion online about Arsenal's best 11 post Invincibles.

Not quite decided what mine would be but to throw a few names out that would have to be in it:
RvP, Fabregas, Cazorla, Sanchez, Koscielny, Sagna

Not sure many of the current team get in (2 8th place finishes and all) but in time some might have a chance

Fabregas made his debut in 2003 so surely can’t be counted as a post-invincible? For the same reason you can’t count Clichy as the left back. Tierney must be the left back.

I don’t think Koscielny can be in it without Mertesacker alongside him. Koscielny was quite ordinary (not that bad but certainly not great) before Per joined and was even worse after Mertesacker retired. I still see him as having much to do with the Baku nightmare without Per beside him. Together they covered each other’s shortcomings so the central defence has to be Mertesacker and Koscielny in my view. As a partnership they were exceptional.

Have we had a better keeper since 2004 than Leno? If we have he’s slipped my mind. Szczesny was good but I’d still have Leno.

I did think that about Fabregas. He never played a minute in the league so if I was putting medals round the necks of the Invincible team Fabregas wouldn't get one.

Currently I'd go for Monreal at left-back, but only because we've seen so little of Tierney in comparison, but I think Tierney has the potential to be the best left back post invincibles.
I'd agree on Per and Kos as a CB partnership.

If you went by just individual seasons then you would have Adebayor when he scores 24 odd league goals and Özil when he had 19 or so assists. Nasri also had a very good 6 months.

yes, probably Leno as a GK based on the fact that he seems to have saved us from further embarrassment in a lot of games.


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Post #535322  Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:58 pm 
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Nkunku scored a hat trick for Leipzig away to Man City tonight……although they lost 6-3. I’m pretty sure Nkunku was a player Emery wanted. Not sure who we got instead, maybe no one. Other Emery wants were Zaha and N’Zonzi and Raul have him Torreira and Pépé.

I don’t watch enough German football but see Nkunku’s name enough to think that was a mistake to not push through with Emery’s plans to sign him. He only cost Leipzig £11m


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Post #535323  Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:02 pm 
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Down to the bitter end at City, 6-3 over Leipzig. Pep working towards that CL trophy. If it happens.

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Post #535324  Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:12 pm 
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Bernard wrote:
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Oh well since it's becoming stylish to recall past players to their previous clubs a la Lukaku to Chelsea, Ronaldo to MU, now with Arteta diving into join the party. So a Wilshere return to Arsenal, is on the cards, so to speak. :angel4:

Isn’t the arrangement going to be Wilshere returning to train in order to help him get fit enough to find a new club, rather than actually to play for Arsenal? Perhaps things have changed, but that’s what the credible reports I’ve read have been saying.

Weren’t Jack’s contracts at West Ham and Bournemouth terminated because he was so rarely fit? If he did return as a player, was it Gaz from Oz who said it would have to be a pay as you play deal? I wouldn’t argue with that.

Most likely Bernard that was the initial arrangement to train to stay fit. Then gradually being reinstated into the team on an as needed basis? Like what Gaz possibly said is pay to, play, which may be on as needed set up. In a way, he is returning, but in a lesser capacity. His injuries did him in at the cluubs you mentioned. Hoping his return to decent fitness aids in Arteta's plans.

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Post #535325  Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:58 pm 
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There are a few reports that Leno has been guaranteed he will only be stood down for 2 games. This has got to be incorrrct. This is not player management at any level.

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Post #535326  Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:01 pm 
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Zed wrote:
Bernard wrote:
Isn’t the arrangement going to be Wilshere returning to train in order to help him get fit enough to find a new club, rather than actually to play for Arsenal? Perhaps things have changed, but that’s what the credible reports I’ve read have been saying.

Weren’t Jack’s contracts at West Ham and Bournemouth terminated because he was so rarely fit? If he did return as a player, was it Gaz from Oz who said it would have to be a pay as you play deal? I wouldn’t argue with that.

Most likely Bernard that was the initial arrangement to train to stay fit. Then gradually being reinstated into the team on an as needed basis? Like what Gaz possibly said is pay to, play, which may be on as needed set up. In a way, he is returning, but in a lesser capacity. His injuries did him in at the cluubs you mentioned. Hoping his return to decent fitness aids in Arteta's plans.

I was not saying I wanted him back but Arteta seems to be keen to have him around. I do not want him signed to any contract but if we saw a need for him then no payment other than pay for play. He was part of the old problem not the solution. And we would have to have a real injury problem to register him.

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Post #535327  Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:28 pm 
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Rich wrote:
Bernard wrote:
Fabregas made his debut in 2003 so surely can’t be counted as a post-invincible? For the same reason you can’t count Clichy as the left back. Tierney must be the left back.

I don’t think Koscielny can be in it without Mertesacker alongside him. Koscielny was quite ordinary (not that bad but certainly not great) before Per joined and was even worse after Mertesacker retired. I still see him as having much to do with the Baku nightmare without Per beside him. Together they covered each other’s shortcomings so the central defence has to be Mertesacker and Koscielny in my view. As a partnership they were exceptional.

Have we had a better keeper since 2004 than Leno? If we have he’s slipped my mind. Szczesny was good but I’d still have Leno.

I did think that about Fabregas. He never played a minute in the league so if I was putting medals round the necks of the Invincible team Fabregas wouldn't get one.

Currently I'd go for Monreal at left-back, but only because we've seen so little of Tierney in comparison, but I think Tierney has the potential to be the best left back post invincibles.
I'd agree on Per and Kos as a CB partnership.

If you went by just individual seasons then you would have Adebayor when he scores 24 odd league goals and Özil when he had 19 or so assists. Nasri also had a very good 6 months.

yes, probably Leno as a GK based on the fact that he seems to have saved us from further embarrassment in a lot of games.

I’d forgotten about Monreal. Yes he’d probably still be my post-invincibles left back although it won’t be long before Tierney takes over.

For me, to qualify for a post-invincibles team you shouldn’t have played a single competitive first team game for the club before the end of the 2003/4 season. So Clichy doesn’t qualify because he not only played cup games, he also played a dozen Premiership games (7 as a starter, 5 as a sub). So he presumably won a title winner’s medal that season. But Fabregas, who as you say didn’t play in the Premiership that season, did play a few cup games that season. So I really don’t think he can count for a post-invincibles team.

Regarding Sagna’s place in a post-invincibles team, I think Bellerin at his peak is worthy of consideration. I probably would go with Sagna. But I can understand arguments for choosing Bellerin at his peak. He was a very good player and always seemed a fine professional.


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Post #535328  Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 4:01 am 
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Despite losing all 3 of their preseason games, the Rams won their opening game by a comfortable margin.
:7laughter:

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Post #535329  Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:01 am 
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A name to look out for is Karim Adeyemi, he’s a 19 year old German winger for RB Salzburg. He’s got 6 goals in 7 league games for them this season and on his CL debut vs Sevilla last night he won 3 penalties in the first half. Such pace and direct dribbling. He scored on his debut for Germany recently as well.


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Post #535330  Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:33 am 
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Rich wrote:
Nasri also had a very good 6 months.

For as good as Nasri was for half (the initial 50%) of his last season with us (rather than 6 months), he was just as bad for the other half (the latter 50%). His two full seasons were okay but not anything I’d write home about. For that reason I wouldn’t give him a place in a post-invincible side.


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Post #535331  Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:46 am 
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The few players who I wished had a longer and more successful stint with us are:
Podolski - not sure why Wenger dropped him down the pecking order
Arshavin - definitely a huge potential to be one of our best, but again, got on the wrong side of Wenger
Alexis - by far, a player I like who would have gone on to drive the team on with his spirit and drive. Alas, Özil was chosen instead

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Post #535332  Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 7:13 am 
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It's crap not being in europe. One of the benefits of the Europa League was that some of the kids could get a run out against lesser opposition. It's hard to see the likes of Martinelli, Balogun etc getting much game time at all barring an injury crisis. How do they develop their game?


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Post #535333  Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 7:37 am 
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gooner7 wrote:
Alexis - by far, a player I like who would have gone on to drive the team on with his spirit and drive. Alas, Özil was chosen instead

To be fair I don’t think it was a case of Sanchez going because Wenger chose to keep Özil instead. Time wise there was a significant overlap between their respective Arsenal careers. I suspect the departure of Sanchez had more to do with him (not Wenger) wanting to move on.

Where I believe there was an important consequence between them is that Sanchez going made the club feel they couldn’t afford to lose both at around the same time. Hence we offered Özil £350k a week to renew his contract, and we all know what happened from that.

I honestly believe Özil ended up being paid (I won’t say ‘earning’) £18.2m (£350k x 52) a year at Arsenal because Sanchez decided he was going to leave, and obviously did exactly that.


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Post #535334  Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 7:44 am 
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Good to hear Patino training with the first team.
https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2021/09/16/reports-arteta-calls-edwards-and-flores-into-arsenal-first-team-training/

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Post #535335  Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 7:46 am 
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socrates wrote:
It's crap not being in europe. One of the benefits of the Europa League was that some of the kids could get a run out against lesser opposition. It's hard to see the likes of Martinelli, Balogun etc getting much game time at all barring an injury crisis. How do they develop their game?


Maybe league cup games or if we draw a club a couple divisions below us.

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Post #535336  Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 7:48 am 
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Zed wrote:
Down to the bitter end at City, 6-3 over Leipzig. Pep working towards that CL trophy. If it happens.

No wonder they conceded three. They were missing their first-choice centre-backs, who between them cost £100 million, and had to play their third and fourth choice centre backs instead (who between them also cost £100 million).

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Post #535337  Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 9:25 am 
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Gaz from Oz wrote:
Zed wrote:
Most likely Bernard that was the initial arrangement to train to stay fit. Then gradually being reinstated into the team on an as needed basis? Like what Gaz possibly said is pay to, play, which may be on as needed set up. In a way, he is returning, but in a lesser capacity. His injuries did him in at the cluubs you mentioned. Hoping his return to decent fitness aids in Arteta's plans.

I was not saying I wanted him back but Arteta seems to be keen to have him around. I do not want him signed to any contract but if we saw a need for him then no payment other than pay for play. He was part of the old problem not the solution. And we would have to have a real injury problem to register him.

The Mirror, on the strength of what David Hillier says, are reporting Wilshere’s return, if it happens, will be only for training and not playing.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football ... dium=email


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Post #535338  Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 9:43 am 
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Bernard wrote:
Gaz from Oz wrote:
I was not saying I wanted him back but Arteta seems to be keen to have him around. I do not want him signed to any contract but if we saw a need for him then no payment other than pay for play. He was part of the old problem not the solution. And we would have to have a real injury problem to register him.

The Mirror, on the strength of what David Hillier says, are reporting Wilshere’s return, if it happens, will be only for training and not playing.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football ... dium=email

And Hillier is in the know!

'I have got inside information on this. I am a lucky man, so I am actually playing golf on Friday with a guy who does all his security systems at his house and he is very friendly with him.'

Sounds solid to me.

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Post #535339  Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:07 am 
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mcquilkie wrote:
Bernard wrote:
The Mirror, on the strength of what David Hillier says, are reporting Wilshere’s return, if it happens, will be only for training and not playing.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football ... dium=email

And Hillier is in the know!

'I have got inside information on this. I am a lucky man, so I am actually playing golf on Friday with a guy who does all his security systems at his house and he is very friendly with him.'

Sounds solid to me.

First time I’ve ever seen ‘solid’ and ‘Hillier’ in the same passage. ‘Rubbish’ or ‘useless’ or ‘garbage’ - plenty of times!


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Post #535340  Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:47 am 
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Bernard wrote:
mcquilkie wrote:
And Hillier is in the know!

'I have got inside information on this. I am a lucky man, so I am actually playing golf on Friday with a guy who does all his security systems at his house and he is very friendly with him.'

Sounds solid to me.

First time I’ve ever seen ‘solid’ and ‘Hillier’ in the same passage. ‘Rubbish’ or ‘useless’ or ‘garbage’ - plenty of times!

Harsh, but maybe fair! If I'm remembering correctly, he was pretty good when he first came into the team in the second half of 1990/91, wasn't he?

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Post #535341  Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 11:44 am 
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Bernard wrote:
Rich wrote:
Nasri also had a very good 6 months.

For as good as Nasri was for half (the initial 50%) of his last season with us (rather than 6 months), he was just as bad for the other half (the latter 50%). His two full seasons were okay but not anything I’d write home about. For that reason I wouldn’t give him a place in a post-invincible side.

No, I definitely wasn't advocating for his inclusion just pondering around whether we judge players for a very good but short period of time or for a longer period of 'good-ness'.

Adebayor was a better example who at his best was very dominant in the league, he bullied defences and scored for fun - some spectacular goals as well. He scored more goals in his best season than Aubameyang has ever done but I'd guess Aubameyang has a much better goals to games ratio over his entire Arsenal career


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Post #535342  Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 11:50 am 
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Bernard wrote:
I honestly believe Özil ended up being paid (I won’t say ‘earning’) £18.2m (£350k x 52) a year at Arsenal because Sanchez decided he was going to leave, and obviously did exactly that.

That's pretty much how I see it. We couldn't face the embarrassment of losing both so we did whatever we could to keep at least one, and Sanchez had the greater desire to leave.

Irrespective of the transfer in decisions that have cost us (and we can all list them) some of the biggest reasons we are where we are right now is not selling players at the right time. City offered £60m for Sanchez. We let Ramsey leave on a free - at his peak he would have commanded £40m.

I can understand the injury circumstances of Wilshere and Cazorla leaving on free transfers but there have been a lot of mistakes. Szczesny for £10m, Juve wanted him to replace Buffon - as soon as we heard that we should have been asking £30m at least


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Post #535343  Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:50 pm 
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Rich wrote:
Bernard wrote:
I honestly believe Özil ended up being paid (I won’t say ‘earning’) £18.2m (£350k x 52) a year at Arsenal because Sanchez decided he was going to leave, and obviously did exactly that.

That's pretty much how I see it. We couldn't face the embarrassment of losing both so we did whatever we could to keep at least one, and Sanchez had the greater desire to leave.

When Özil signed his last bumper contract, no-one on the forum objected very loudly. It ended up being one of the club's worst decisions in living memory - maybe not as bad as signing Bryn Jones in 1938 for a British record transfer fee: #AllisonOut - but hindsight is a fine thing.

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Post #535344  Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 3:01 pm 
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Bernard wrote:
Gaz from Oz wrote:
I was not saying I wanted him back but Arteta seems to be keen to have him around. I do not want him signed to any contract but if we saw a need for him then no payment other than pay for play. He was part of the old problem not the solution. And we would have to have a real injury problem to register him.

The Mirror, on the strength of what David Hillier says, are reporting Wilshere’s return, if it happens, will be only for training and not playing.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football ... dium=email

Saw the same. Just a stop over for Jack till he finds another club.

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Post #535345  Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 3:05 pm 
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mcquilkie wrote:
Zed wrote:
Down to the bitter end at City, 6-3 over Leipzig. Pep working towards that CL trophy. If it happens.

No wonder they conceded three. They were missing their first-choice centre-backs, who between them cost £100 million, and had to play their third and fourth choice centre backs instead (who between them also cost £100 million).

Will be ineresting to see how Pep does against PSG.

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Post #535346  Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 3:47 pm 
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mcquilkie wrote:
Rich wrote:
That's pretty much how I see it. We couldn't face the embarrassment of losing both so we did whatever we could to keep at least one, and Sanchez had the greater desire to leave.

When Özil signed his last bumper contract, no-one on the forum objected very loudly. It ended up being one of the club's worst decisions in living memory - maybe not as bad as signing Bryn Jones in 1938 for a British record transfer fee: #AllisonOut - but hindsight is a fine thing.
There is another view of Özil's contract. When he signed he brought with him big investment from Adidas and a massive social media presence which was no doubt to Arsenal's financial benefit. He was a World Cup winner, highly respected as a midfielder, and truth is we had nobody else of his commercial worth.

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Post #535347  Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 4:59 pm 
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Clear illustration of the lop sided tactics with Tierney’s and Tomiyasu’s touch maps from the Norwich game.

I don’t mind these complex tactics but my biggest concern with them is the effect on the right winger, who either doesn’t get enough help or who has to stay wide because no one else provides the width. It must be a lot more fun being the left winger, Tierney always next to you, you can drift inside and affect the game more.


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Post #535348  Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:38 am 
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Bernard wrote:
gooner7 wrote:
Alexis - by far, a player I like who would have gone on to drive the team on with his spirit and drive. Alas, Özil was chosen instead

To be fair I don’t think it was a case of Sanchez going because Wenger chose to keep Özil instead. Time wise there was a significant overlap between their respective Arsenal careers. I suspect the departure of Sanchez had more to do with him (not Wenger) wanting to move on.

Where I believe there was an important consequence between them is that Sanchez going made the club feel they couldn’t afford to lose both at around the same time. Hence we offered Özil £350k a week to renew his contract, and we all know what happened from that.

I honestly believe Özil ended up being paid (I won’t say ‘earning’) £18.2m (£350k x 52) a year at Arsenal because Sanchez decided he was going to leave, and obviously did exactly that.


Most unfortunate we did not have the financial power to keep both of them. They would have helped propel the club together.

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Post #535349  Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 3:14 am 
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gooner7 wrote:
Bernard wrote:
To be fair I don’t think it was a case of Sanchez going because Wenger chose to keep Özil instead. Time wise there was a significant overlap between their respective Arsenal careers. I suspect the departure of Sanchez had more to do with him (not Wenger) wanting to move on.

Where I believe there was an important consequence between them is that Sanchez going made the club feel they couldn’t afford to lose both at around the same time. Hence we offered Özil £350k a week to renew his contract, and we all know what happened from that.

I honestly believe Özil ended up being paid (I won’t say ‘earning’) £18.2m (£350k x 52) a year at Arsenal because Sanchez decided he was going to leave, and obviously did exactly that.


Most unfortunate we did not have the financial power to keep both of them. They would have helped propel the club together.

I don't think Alexis wanted to stay. He tends to move on near the end of contracts. I don't think he could see the club making the necessary investments to compete. Plus, I think the players around him were going thru the motions. I rate him as the last top quality player at the club. A few of the young ones may make it but that is a little way down the track.

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Post #535350  Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 7:09 am 
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Rich wrote:
Clear illustration of the lop sided tactics with Tierney’s and Tomiyasu’s touch maps from the Norwich game.

I don’t mind these complex tactics but my biggest concern with them is the effect on the right winger, who either doesn’t get enough help or who has to stay wide because no one else provides the width. It must be a lot more fun being the left winger, Tierney always next to you, you can drift inside and affect the game more.


Hi Rich,

I think Arteta tries to overcomplicate a game that is essentially very simple. Guardiola is the same but the difference is that he has elite players in every position and I sometimes feel City win games inspite of his tactics and not because of them.

Let's face it, having players like De Bruyne, Kompany, Aguero, David Silva, Yaya Toure (to name but a few) over the years has hardly required him to be a tactical genius to get results.

What Guardiola has done very well is to get elite players to work incredibly hard out of possession and implement the pressing game. Not always easy when you are dealing with big egos.


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Post #535351  Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 7:16 am 
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I read this on Le Grove

https://le-grove.co.uk/2021/09/16/what- ... long-read/

Seems incredibly complicated.


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Post #535352  Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 8:18 am 
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socrates wrote:
I think Arteta tries to overcomplicate a game that is essentially very simple. Guardiola is the same but the difference is that he has elite players in every position and I sometimes feel City win games inspite of his tactics and not because of them.

Let's face it, having players like De Bruyne, Kompany, Aguero, David Silva, Yaya Toure (to name but a few) over the years has hardly required him to be a tactical genius to get results.

What Guardiola has done very well is to get elite players to work incredibly hard out of possession and implement the pressing game. Not always easy when you are dealing with big egos.

Morning socrates. Conceptually I wonder if what you say is similar to Wenger’s biggest single error, in my view anyway. Namely turning his back on what made his Highbury years so successful with power and physical presence in midfield and moving to a tiki taka system with the midfield jam packed with skilful midgets (I’m not being too literal when I use the word ‘midget, which I hope everyone realises).

I still see Arsenal’s best (let alone Wenger’s) central midfield as Vieira and Petit. Even after Petit we had Gilberto who was a player with physical presence.

I’ve always suspected Wenger fell in love with the way Barcelona played the game and decided to copy it. The trouble is, they used it with players of the quality of Messi, Iniesta and Xavi and in Spain where football is less physical. We didn’t have that level of player.

Even Fabregas, our best skilful midget at the time who obviously went to Barcelona and played many games for them, never became an automatic first team choice ahead of Iniesta and Xavi.

Martin Keown said the same a few (perhaps more than ‘a few’ now) years ago. These days I think Keown can be a right plonker. But I reckon that’s something he got right. Wenger tried to copy Barcelona with inferior players. As you imply, is Arteta doing the same with Guardiola’s Manchester City?


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Post #535353  Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 8:53 am 
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These days, fairly accurate.


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Post #535354  Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 8:56 am 
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socrates wrote:
I read this on Le Grove

https://le-grove.co.uk/2021/09/16/what- ... long-read/

Seems incredibly complicated.

So much for my simple mind.

Then again when I first played football it was 2-3-5.

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Post #535355  Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 9:11 am 
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Not much margin for error for Arteta. The only upcoming game he can drop points in is the NLD. And even that should be a draw. He has to beat Burnley and Wimbledon. Brighton is playing well but the last few weeks but even so, he has to start beating clubs outside the top 5 or 6.

Especially now that we are getting back starters and he has better personnel to work with.

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Post #535356  Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 9:27 am 
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Awards of all types are pretty much rigged. This Ribery article iillustrates it. Sports, entertainment awards, all types are largely rigged.

The Oscars and Grammy's are rigged for sure. At the risk of sounding homophobic and I'll qualify what I about to say that I lived in LA for years. By default you live there long enough to become very close friends with someone who is LBGTQ. I've been to a few weddings, etc. That said, Lil Nas X, the gay rapper (used to be a rapper who just happens to be gay, which is what any thing other than human should be: race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, etc)
Anyway, at least to me, the music industry is using him to beat us over the head with his sexuality. Having him do all kinds of PR stunts. Latest being a magazine cover where he's photoshopped pregnant. He has won best video for something or another. His youtube comments are millions of 'bot' based comments.

Player of the Year awards in American sports also seem compromised. Some seem like poitical statements if the player has some sort of stance that the league or public wants pushed.


I don't know for sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Ballon D'or is rigged.

https://www.givemesport.com/1453609-franck-ribery-has-spoken-honestly-about-not-winning-the-2013-ballon-dor

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Post #535357  Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 9:39 am 
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Bernard wrote:
socrates wrote:
I think Arteta tries to overcomplicate a game that is essentially very simple. Guardiola is the same but the difference is that he has elite players in every position and I sometimes feel City win games inspite of his tactics and not because of them.

Let's face it, having players like De Bruyne, Kompany, Aguero, David Silva, Yaya Toure (to name but a few) over the years has hardly required him to be a tactical genius to get results.

What Guardiola has done very well is to get elite players to work incredibly hard out of possession and implement the pressing game. Not always easy when you are dealing with big egos.

Morning socrates. Conceptually I wonder if what you say is similar to Wenger’s biggest single error, in my view anyway. Namely turning his back on what made his Highbury years so successful with power and physical presence in midfield and moving to a tiki taka system with the midfield jam packed with skilful midgets (I’m not being too literal when I use the word ‘midget, which I hope everyone realises).

I still see Arsenal’s best (let alone Wenger’s) central midfield as Vieira and Petit. Even after Petit we had Gilberto who was a player with physical presence.

I’ve always suspected Wenger fell in love with the way Barcelona played the game and decided to copy it. The trouble is, they used it with players of the quality of Messi, Iniesta and Xavi and in Spain where football is less physical. We didn’t have that level of player.

Even Fabregas, our best skilful midget at the time who obviously went to Barcelona and played many games for them, never became an automatic first team choice ahead of Iniesta and Xavi.

Martin Keown said the same a few (perhaps more than ‘a few’ now) years ago. These days I think Keown can be a right plonker. But I reckon that’s something he got right. Wenger tried to copy Barcelona with inferior players. As you imply, is Arteta doing the same with Guardiola’s Manchester City?


I never really went along with this...

Wenger was never really a master tactician at all, I don’t see him telling his players to play differently. His team got the ball down and played and his success was more about enabling individuals to be the best they could be rather than how they were set up. It was his weakness. Didn’t TA call him tactically naive about defending. I couldn’t disagree.

I think the change in style lent more to the fact we didn’t have the finances to sign the top players of height, power and pace anymore. I’m sure wenger would have lapped up drogba, Essien, Yaya Toure if he had the finances.


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Post #535358  Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 10:06 am 
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TOP GUN wrote:
Bernard wrote:
Morning socrates. Conceptually I wonder if what you say is similar to Wenger’s biggest single error, in my view anyway. Namely turning his back on what made his Highbury years so successful with power and physical presence in midfield and moving to a tiki taka system with the midfield jam packed with skilful midgets (I’m not being too literal when I use the word ‘midget, which I hope everyone realises).

I still see Arsenal’s best (let alone Wenger’s) central midfield as Vieira and Petit. Even after Petit we had Gilberto who was a player with physical presence.

I’ve always suspected Wenger fell in love with the way Barcelona played the game and decided to copy it. The trouble is, they used it with players of the quality of Messi, Iniesta and Xavi and in Spain where football is less physical. We didn’t have that level of player.

Even Fabregas, our best skilful midget at the time who obviously went to Barcelona and played many games for them, never became an automatic first team choice ahead of Iniesta and Xavi.

Martin Keown said the same a few (perhaps more than ‘a few’ now) years ago. These days I think Keown can be a right plonker. But I reckon that’s something he got right. Wenger tried to copy Barcelona with inferior players. As you imply, is Arteta doing the same with Guardiola’s Manchester City?

I never really went along with this...

Wenger was never really a master tactician at all, I don’t see him telling his players to play differently. His team got the ball down and played and his success was more about enabling individuals to be the best they could be rather than how they were set up. It was his weakness. Didn’t TA call him tactically naive about defending. I couldn’t disagree.

I think the change in style lent more to the fact we didn’t have the finances to sign the top players of height, power and pace anymore. I’m sure wenger would have lapped up drogba, Essien, Yaya Toure if he had the finances.

Myself, I think it’s too simplistic to say we couldn’t afford players with physical presence. Are small players always less expensive anyway? He bought Arshavin for a lot of money. From memory Nasri, Ramsey and Rosicky weren’t exactly cheap either.

I do think Wenger decided to change the style and I think it’s over simplistic to we simply couldn’t have afforded to sign players with more physical presence than those we did. I accept the stadium move meant we had limited funds. But surely we could have looked for different types of players to those we did sign?

You disagree. Fair enough. But it all seemed too much of a coincidence to me.


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Post #535359  Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 12:28 pm 
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I think we all look back on the post-invincibles era far too harshly, purely because we didn't win any pots. This video shows just how dynamite we were.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkXZRHG5RxQ&t=198s

Pep would die for his current City to play with this much verve and pace. It's absolutely electrifying, whatever the size of the players... and there are Bendtners and Eboues out there too. Doesn't look like tika-taka to me. Looks like lightning in a bottle.

That season more than other is tragic on so many levels. We were magnificent, we won nothing, and you can see from moments in this video that other teams saw only one way to stop us, and that was to clatter us around. And on top of that, the media also decided to legitimise the "stop Arsenal by any means necessary" approach and we all know how that ended up... with players in hospital beds having their legs pinned back together.

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Post #535360  Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 3:37 pm 
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Pompey Gooner wrote:
I think we all look back on the post-invincibles era far too harshly, purely because we didn't win any pots. This video shows just how dynamite we were.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkXZRHG5RxQ&t=198s

Pep would die for his current City to play with this much verve and pace. It's absolutely electrifying, whatever the size of the players... and there are Bendtners and Eboues out there too. Doesn't look like tika-taka to me. Looks like lightning in a bottle.

That season more than other is tragic on so many levels. We were magnificent, we won nothing, and you can see from moments in this video that other teams saw only one way to stop us, and that was to clatter us around. And on top of that, the media also decided to legitimise the "stop Arsenal by any means necessary" approach and we all know how that ended up... with players in hospital beds having their legs pinned back together.

A heck of a watch. Such memories reignited.

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