Aston Villa Message Board
Thanks for the reply John. Although I envy you for being able to go the games, I understand the mixed feelings you might have about paying for some of the performances in these big games.
From television it looked similar to what you summarized. Although I think Ozil appeared a bit unlucky with his team mates in as far as some of his passes being squandered.
Your summary could have easily been of an other Arsenal game though and that is the worry for me.
IMO the best game we played as a collective, maybe not the prettiest, was against City. We seemed to press early, move up and down the pitch as a collective, not leaving big spaces between our lines for the opponents to take advantage of and maintained focus pretty much through out the game. It almost felt a little like Barca and Bayern play as a collective and press high on the pitch. But then we never seem to play like that again despite having shown we are capable of it.
By now you know I don't think highly of Giroud and I hope we will add some depth at his position this summer, now that it seems likely Wenger won't spend on a top DM thanks to the impressive debut season of Coqleulin.
As weak as it sounds, I think the ref for the return leg of the Monaco game is going to be the determining factor. Will he allow Monaco to foul us out of our rhythm or will he hand out some early yellows to give us a chance?
I was at the game and what I saw was:
1. The final ball. It just wasn't there. It just never worked for us.
2. Giroud was well off his game. He has apologised for this, and must make amends in the next game, or run the risk of being labelled forever a big game failure.
3. Mertesacker was also off his game. He ventured too far out and lost too many challenges.
4. Ozil was ineffective. He kept passing sideways or backwards and kept the ball too long. This slowed our game and allowed Monaco to get back in position.
In the end we just went mad and left our defences wide open for the third.
I've got a few more games to go to before the end of the season, but if we don't beat Liverpool, I may just give 'A' Games a miss. I've seen us draw against Spurs and lose against Utd and Monaco this season so far. £66 a ticket for that isn't worth it.
I hope the £40 per ticket I've paid for the West Ham game delivers good value.
I don't think we would be where we are without him in the PL. He shows us what we have been missing. The question is though (to me) should we still try to sign Schneiderlin or a player like him? I think so.
The only thing that's going to shift Wenger and his thinking, is if Tottenham knock us out of a place in the CL. And that is not as far away as some may think. A sobering thought for many, including the Arsenal board, who just might sit up and pay attention for once. BTW A Happy New Year to you and everyone. BTW again what was AW thinking of when he had 3 or 4 five foot 'nothings' up front against a six foot plus defence at S'hampton?
A few seasons ago we never thought we would be talking about Wilshire this way. About his potential etc. We expected that by now the talking would be about his actual game rather than his potential.
He should no longer get a free ride and for the moment, even if he is fit, I don't see his place in the starting 11.
The other problem Arsenal have, IMO, is that we have too many players that have similar attributes. Good technique, easily ran of the ball, small physique, not particularly pacy, preferring to play in the middle of the park.
IMO, we can only really play with a maximum of 2 such players at a time. If you consider 4 defenders and 1 DM that leaves room (ideally) for 2 small technical players, a striker and two quick wide players.
In fact I don't even think there is space for Ozil in our starting 11.
At the moment I would argue for Sanchez-Giroud-Walcott up front and Bellerin - Mert - Cos - Monreal or Gibbs in the back with Coquelin as DM.
This leaves 2 places for centrally functioning midfielders and to me on current form Cazorla is a shoe in leaving Ramsey, Wilshire, Rosicky, Ozil, Ox. When all fit my second choice would be Ox since he has pace which you need in today's game IMO.
The A hole Butchy will also be shyteing her knickers to hear that there's three geordie pals of mine currently 'down under' doing some building in Cairns, the plot thickens...and you gotta larf, really, you do!