The Ox and Le Coq win it for The Arsenal

Here we are again, another blog by yours truly and another match to review… This time around its The Arsenal are at home to League two Shrewsbury in the 3rd round of the Carling Cup. Arsenal are not on a good run from any angle we lookat it. We’re shipping goals, showing no backbone and lacking the cutting edge up front to finish teams off. The sad fact is I could have written that line at anytime during the past 2 seasons and it would have rung true. So when are we going to see a change?

Gazidis was interviewed by the press yesterday and comforted many on the financial state of the club but warned that we could not compete against the Manchester clubs when it comes to their transfer dealings. But didn’t we move into a new stadium to compete financially against Man Utd at least? I agree we can’t compete against the billions City have at their disposal but we’re not asking the club to do this. The transfer aims for the majority of the fans I’ve spoken to over the summer was to buy suitable replacements for players about to depart and enhance the squad in area’s we’ve struggled in. The fact is we left it until the last minute and this has had a direct impact on our start to the season. I’m not here to argue if the 7 players signed this summer were right or wrong, time will answer that, but I am very confident having those players on the plane to China would have allowed them to settle in quicker and set the team up for the season start.

Gazidis also talking about Wenger.

“He is not broken. He did not suddenly become a bad manager or out of touch with the game. It is complete nonsense. “[Sacking him] is a route we are not going to go down.”

It seems the board are fully aware of the unrest out there and are directly responding to this by backing the manager. In my opinion, rightly so. Wenger has been more than just a first team coach for Arsenal Football Club over the last 14years; he has taken this into a new era and set the bar extremely high. This is a debate for other time, but for me, Wenger has earned the right to implement corrective action and turn things around. The pressure is truly on and it’s now down to him not to spoil his own legacy.

Back to the game… I’m actually at the game so instead of writing a retrospective blog at 1130pm at night half asleep, I’m going to give you a blow by blow feed as the action unfolds from the game. It’s something new but who knows it could work… Here we go;

Team for the night is;

Fabianski – Jennikson – Djourou – Miquel – Gibbs – Frimpong – Coquelin – Benayoun – AOC – Park – Chamakh


6min – double oooh! Chamakh goes close twice but great saves by the keeper!

13min – My word, they’re through on goal, player shoots, fabianski let’s it run through like he knows its going wide and it hits the post. Poor (or very
good!) judgement.

14min  Arsenal aren’t doing well, Shrews fans are oleing their passes. Embarassing.

17min – Goal 1-0 Shrewsbury. A cross from our right and a simple unmarked header. Oh dear. Looks like Djourou left his man unmarked

29mins – They almost score again, this time directly from a corner. Arsenal are all over the place at the back. I fancy them to score again. When we get into their box no one wants to shoot. Sound familiar?

34min – Goal Arsenal 1-1. Cross comes into the box from Jenkinson and Gibbs, yes Gibbs header sneaks into the bottom corner. Keeper should have saved but it’s his first goal for the club. Phew!

Half time – Arsenal at it again. Defensively sloppy, hanging on but somehow level. When you play Arsenal you know you’ll have chances to score and Shrewsbury should have had 3. Not impressed.

49min – AOC goes close twice. One run beats 3 players in close proximity and the next is a shot which doesn’t quite make it. He’s not shy to attack, good stuff and encouraging.

60mins -GOAL! 2-1 Arsenal.  Shooooot! He does and scores! AOC picks it up and pops one in from 25yards under the keeper. He’s deserved that, top player.

68mins – AOC running the show, another run and a shot well saved by the keeper. I like him already.

79th min – GOAL! 3-1 Arsenal.  Ozyakup wins the tussle with the defender on the byline and pulls it back for Yossi who eventually tucks it away. Game over now surely?

90th min – AOC is replaced by Aneke and get a deserved standing ovation for a fantastic 2nd half and a great goal.

Final whistle , 3-1 to the Arsenal.

Ok that wasn’t a vintage Carling Cup performance but it’s a win that will give a lot of these players much needed confidence.

Stand out players for me were Oxlade Chamberlain and Coquelain, who also look quite alike from row 27. Le Coq works tirelessly, breaking up play, winning tackles and takes the ball forward with confidence.

A new star is born? Maybe. AOC is a real prospect and tonight was evidence to why Wenger agreed to shell out 12m upfront for him. He takes players on, beats them with ease and can pick out the final ball and when the crowd wanted him to ‘shooooot’ he was more than happy to. His goal was an opportunist effort which completely shocked the keeper. Theo better watch out. Seriously.

At the back the problems still remain. Fabianski did not command his box and Djourou seems to have forgotten how to play football let alone defend. He is a man very low on confidence and relied on Miquel to bail him out of some tight spots.

At the end of the day it’s a win. We next invite Bolton to the Arsenal then Olympiacos. 2 more similar results will allow us to build.

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog, different format but hopefully as informative!

Enjoy your day.


Feel free to follow me on twitter @ Tottz82, feedback welcome.

  • prime

    please dont let djourou play against bolton

  • Drew Spencer

    Loving your work

  • Gooner Sam

    And yet still Wenger won’t sign a defensive coach. AOC looks amazing but it’s going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better. Maybe the board will act once they start to see half empty stadiums!?

  • Yemi

    Half filled stadiums and protests should have occurred long ago but arsenal fans are too loyal.
    I didn’t watch the game cos i was driving, but men when i heard arsenal was down 1:0 on the radio i discovered i was not as confident as i was in previous years that we can turn things around.
    Thank God we did.

    I sure hope this is the beginning of the turning point because we have some tough matches coming up.

  • sharad

    Bolton will beat us anyway

  • Tottz

    A lot of ‘half filled stadium’ talk this morning, last night’s turn out was fantastic, make no mistake. 46k for a league 2 team in the Carling Cup? That’s more that City had at home for their first CL tie against Napoli.

    Let’s ignore the Sky sports news hype and put
    things into perspective.

    Ps; thanks for reading my blog gooners.

  • sammy

    Thought we looked shocking in the first 30 minutes. I’ve noticed in all our games this season that in that same opening period our defence looks more shaky than Shakin’ Stevens.

    Gibbs is one that needs 45 mins to settle into every game, even against Shrewsbury he was getting caught out of position and didn’t look brilliant. If Santos doesn’t show why he’s an International, we’re in big trouble on that left side.

    Any ball into our box versus Djourou and Fabianski was pretty much a 50-50 goal. It was that bad.

    Coquelin was pretty impressive. Sliding around the pitch with a bit of Flamini about him.

    Oxlaide looked a real talent. Quick and posesses actual tricks, THAT WORK.

    Everyone else was so-so. Ok, we’re not talking about our first team here, but then again we ARE talking about a league 2 side.

    To be fair, Shrews looked a really decent outfit who didn’t disgrace themselves at all, played some really good stuff.

    Some of the chants were a bit questionable. “Who are ya, who are ya?” Uh, they’re League 2 Shrewsbury Town…

  • bergChamp

    Thanks Tottz for another great article.
    I think Djourou has completely lost it as a player – he looked so good at the beginning of last season – what on earth has happened to him?

  • TrueGunner33

    Fellow Gooners,

    Even after our win this morning (I live in Japan) I still found myself deep in depression about our worst start to the season for as long as I’ve been a fan.
    Today was my day off and to cheer myself up I made a little video about how Arsenal can get their season back on track. It’s a lighthearted view in an attempt to lift this dark cloud that has descended upon us.

    If you’re interested and you have half a minute you can watch it here:

    Hope you enjoy it


  • Berth

    @ bergChamp but he cant be bad overnite. perhaps the confidence the team is lacking seems to manifest more in some players especially in defence. DJ,Squid,Koscien and co. As for Gibbs he looks so indifferent sometimes.

  • sharad

    Being a Gooner these days is becoming a very frustrating time.

    It seems to me that Arsenal fans are torn more than a Michael Owen hamstring.

    The Arsenal faithful appear to be at each others throats and it is a sight more disturbing than watching Harry Redknapp perform a lap dance.

    We used to be so united.

    Of course difference of opinions is more than welcome. Debate can be healthier than an apple a day.

    But most of the time these days Gooners don’t debate a thing. We argue.

    Some of the things we say to each other disgusts me. We slag each other off like we are talking to a lippy Sp*rs fan.

    All because we have a difference in how we think!

    I’ve been accused of being an ‘AKB’ so many times that I’ve lost count. Well, I can’t count past 1285 but that’s not the point.

    Because I believe that Arsene Wenger is still the man for the job I have been slated in the past.

    Listen, I know that the situation we are in at the moment is down to Wenger and I know for a fact that he has made many mistakes in the past.

    I just think he is still the right man for Arsenal.

    Just as there are people who insist Arsene can do no wrong there are others who think his time is up.

    That’s fair enough, it’s that persons choice.

    But for airing their views they don’t need to be vilified more than a person who has just let rip in a packed out elevator.

    I want the best for Arsenal Football Club because I love the damned thing more than I love my own country.

    No matter what I will always support the club through thick (Rooney) and thin (Crouch).

    What gets me down lower than Paris Hiltons thong is watching my fellow Arsenal chums take lumps out of each other. Every day.

    Of course seeing, before my very own eyes, Arsenal struggle on the pitch pisses me right off. It pisses me off more than actual urine.

    But flicking through Arsenal websites and seeing actual civil war between people who all want the best for Arsenal destroys me.

    One of the reasons I haven’t written much over the past few months is because I can’t handle seeing the infighting. It almost primal.

    I’m actually debating whether to continue writing the blog. I want too but it does my nut in when I see Gooners calling each other ‘cunts’ and other obscenities.

    Writing a blog I am there to be shot at. I understand that and can take it but witnessing the way we talk to each other is badder than Michael Jacksons Bad or a bad ass rapper.

    There is hardly any respect these days for each other and that is so terrible to see.

  • Berth
  • ferry

    Wenger became rather stroppy didn’t he when it was suggested he needs a defensive coach.I’ve been in football over 30 years I don’t need anyone seemed to be the message. This mans arrogance is stunning, it’s no wonder so many have said he doesn’t listen, Cygan, Stepanovs, Senderos, Squillaci, Koscielny, Luzhny tells me he knows nothing about defending.

  • ferry

    Sometimes Wenger makes it very difficult to continue to back him. I still do because he has proved beyond doubt that he is a great manager and simply seems to have lost his way recently. One title or a couple of cups could be put down to fluke, but two doubles and an unbeaten season cannot be, nor can being the only manager to have consistently challenged Man U and whichever clubs have been bought out by a billionaire. However, a question was put to him yesterday over whether he would consider bringing in a defensive coach. He replied with a rather arrogant “having just completed 30 years as a coach, I won’t be answering that” (or words to that effect). Arsene, when you fail to fix our defensive problems season after season, boasting about how long you’ve been coaching ain’t the way to go. It’s very clear that our defensive problems aren’t so much about the personnel, but more about how they’re being drilled (or not) in training. Fix that and you’ll fix half our problems in one go. If you’re up to it – great – but if (as most of us suspect) you’re not, just swallow your pride and get someone in who is. There are plenty of managers/coaches out there who rely heavily on excellent backroom staff – even Fergie does. I just shudder when I think how much worse it could be if Chesney hadn’t emerged.