City, Theo & Coventry.

Morning Gooners,

After the battling point on Sunday at City, Arsenal return to action in the Carling/Milk/Coca Coca/Capital One cup against League One Coventry.

Before we get to that let’s cover a few hot topics doing the rounds;

City post mortem –

48 hours on, I’m still very happy not with our point but the performance too. Arsenal were in complete control during periods at the Etihad. With the majority of possession and over 200 completed passes more than City, we showed no signs of nerves or intimidation. On the contrary, we saw players such as Ramsey, Gibbs and Jenkinson step up to the challenge and arguably have their best game in an Arsenal shirt. Add that to Mertesacker reading the game better than a lonely chick read 50 shades of Grey on the train, Arteta the efficient water carrier and Koscielny reminding everyone of the quality left on the bench so far this season. This game was the second of three tests during a 2 week period, next upChelsea. With a win atMontpellierand a point at City, winning theChelseagame would complete the first big challenge ahead of us.

There were developments areas that did come out of the City game too; in particular the goal we conceded was frustratingly poor. Zonal marking, Man marking, whatever you want to blame, it’s just bad defending in my book. Mannone going walkies; two defenders standing underneath a jumping Lescott; heading in over Arteta on the line. No defence is perfect but we should have defended that set piece far better.

Gervinho, Gervinho, what do we do with our Gervinho. It’s easy to knock him after Sunday’s game (believe me many have!) but let’s not forget he was probably our best player against Montpellierand Southampton, he had earned his starting position. He started the game well but then he had that chance along with that touch. His confidence and game were over. Gervinho, however to his credit never stops. I have read recently that he has attempted (and maybe completed too) the most dribbles in the league, he constantly receives the ball in space and attacks the full back, however, he lacks something I believe it’s too late to teach him; composure. When was the last time you saw Gervinho stop the ball dead, have a look up, assess his options and pick out a player with a pass? Or when did you last see Gervinho infront of goal with a solid first touch and then calmly slot it in the corner? No, me neither.


Those lucky enough to follow me on twitter will have seen my tweet on Monday morning, ‘While Gervinho get’s his chance upfront, I wonder what the man who craves this chance is thinking…

Those lucky enough to follow me on twitter will have seen my tweet on Monday morning, ‘While Gervinho get’s his chance upfront, I wonder what the man who craves this chance is thinking…

Theo Walcott;

The Theo contract situation does not seem to be moving any faster but after watching Gervinho get the chance up top, I did wonder what he would have been thinking as this is the position he badly wants to be given a chance in. Funnily enough he answered my question later that day:

“I’m not a footballer who goes after the money,”

“It is all about the football. I signed as a striker and it is about time – I want to play up front. I am definitely a striker and feel I have matured in that position now.

“I have always said I want to win trophies at Arsenal. Thierry joined when he was 22 and started off slowly. I am only 23 and I want to be a legend
like Thierry. Hopefully it can be with Arsenal.”

“Last season I played a lot, had plenty of assists for Robin and scored goals from the wing,” said Walcott.

“Now I want to develop and step up as a striker. Arsene has said he will play me up front more.

“It is a case of having trust in me. I have learnt my game on the wing but when I look at what I did last year I feel can do even more. I am desperate for the opportunity.”

“My time will come,” he said. “When I get the opportunity I will take it.

“I could play there against Coventry – that would be a nice gesture. I will play anywhere for the team but it’s about time I played up front.”



As always, Theo makes his pointed as a well articulated and measured young man, he comes across well and not like your typical dogging English footballer. I actually can’t argue with any of the points he makes above. We will all have our separate opinions about how well he would do up front but he was bought to develop into a striker, he wants to be a striker, before he commits his long term future, why not just check if this will ever happen?

However, the current difficulty for Theo is that he is currently stuck between a ‘rock and a hard place’; talk to the papers about what he wants or commit with faith in Wenger doing the right thing for him. For me,  Wenger is absolutely doing the right thing by not starting Theo right now. After Nasri and RVP had wonder seasons in the penultimate year of their contract and walked out; 6 amazing months from Theo will see him walk away for nothing at all. If Theo wants to play, he must commit to the club and team first.

And finally Coventry in the League Cup.

The Arsenal faithful (including me!) have done it once again by selling 60,000 tickets out for league cup tie against league one opposition. The League cup has always been a fantastic opportunity for the fans to see the potential stars of tomorrow at the club. Tomorrow’s game could include Eisfeld, Frimpong, Gnarby and some unknown Russian called Arshavin.

Wenger spoke about Gnabry and Arshavin in his press conference:

“Serge Gnabry is a great hope for the future,”

“I rate him highly. He is in the category of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott – guys who have great power, great pace, good dribbling skills. Goal scoring potential and good vision as well for the final ball. He can play central behind the striker or on the flanks.

“He had some injuries. If he continues his development, I think he could play this season in the first team. At the moment he needs to work and ensure he remains fit.

“I have personally a great respect for Andrey Arshavin because sometimes some wrong ideas circulated about him – that he doesn’t care, but it’s completely the opposite,” said Wenger. “He’s a 200 per cent professional who works every day very hard in training. At the moment he’s a victim of the high level of competition that exists for places. I think he has a huge respect from everybody in the dressing room, and especially from the staff. We will give him of course some competition on Wednesday night.”

A big test ahead on Saturday too, a win against Chelsea and I really do think we could start to believe in what could be achievable this season.

Have a good one.

~ Tottz

Follow me on twitter @Tottz82

  • FlakeyStar

    Will Serge Gnabry start today?
    Apparently he is AMAZING!

  • German

    I love that pic of Gervinho, it sums up his contribution to the game! He is an excellent player, but he should play on the wing, not as a centre forward. He’s best asset is dribbling, not shooting.

    Worrying performance from podolski against City – we need to Giroud firing on all cylinders as soon as poss

  • devday

    Excellent blog Tottz! Looking forward to the game tonight – I wonder if Gnarby will get a run out…

  • eckleman

    So there I was at 8pm, searching the net for a free stream… no luck, so switch to Sky Sport News to hear the updates. At 10pm I put sky sports news on again to see the goals, expecting our 6-1 to be he main story but no, everyone else, man and dog gets in front of us, then, I had to sit through 10 minutes of stupid Ryder Cup analysis and at 10:45 they are finally kind enough to show us the 6 goals (sorry 7) but no Wenger interview… even my wife couldn’t understand why we were demoted to the end of the broadcast. So this morning I click on the BBC website, and you have to search pretty hard to find any mention of our victoy. Now united and liverpool both played with pretty strong teams, we play with 3rd choice and still win by a healthy margin, in front of 58’000 spectators and still it counts for nothing. Even the missus thinks its a continued Media conspiracy against the mighty Arsenal!!!

  • aron