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Besiktas – Arsenal an entertaining 0-0

By Walter Broeckx

If we compare this match with the one on Saturday it is almost unbelievable that the final score was 0-0.

From the first second and you can take this literally: it was an open match. Ba trying to shoot directly at goal from the kick off and if it wasn’t for an amazing save from Szczesny we would have been behind after 2 seconds. But our Polish keeper was ready from the first second of the match. Luckily.

The match went up and down with Ba having another chance but again Szczesny was there to stop his shot. From Arsenal we had a few promising runs from Alexis. But his cross to Giroud didn’t end up in a goal with Giroud and a defender trying all they could to do what they are paid for on the ground. Giroud trying to score, the defender trying to stop the shot from going in. The defender got the upper foot at the end.

What also was visible after a few minutes was the poor state of the pitch. The ball hobbling and bobbling too much to my liking and I think also to the liking of the Arsenal players. It wasn’t as bad as the pitch in Milan few seasons ago but a good second in the league table of bad pitches is what they get from me.

As in Milan we struggled too much with the ball to get it moving well. For me the match was entertaining to see but not the best match from Arsenal. It sure is visible that we are not yet in top form. But we worked hard. And when you can’t get in to your game that is all I ask from the players.

The first half ended with two big chances one for each team. But it remained 0-0 at half time interval.

The second half was also entertaining but the ref started to push himself in the spotlight. He let Ba stamp on Arteta’s foot without calling a foul and the result was that Arteta had to be replaced. As if to make up for this miss he then started waving cards around as if he got paid for each card he could show.

And he started seeing some fouls, but then not seeing the same fouls seconds later.  It all got a bit bizarre.  Even worse he then started seeing fouls the other way round and waving cards around like mad. I’m not saying each decision was wrong but he surely didn’t cover himself in glory with his decisions.

The second yellow card for Ramsey was what I expected him to do. Ozyakup went down without hardly being touched and there was no real pull, but the ref seemed happy to send him off.  Now I don’t mind such an approach overall if the ref would be consistent. But then not even a minute later when a Besiktas player pulled Wilshere down completely he didn’t gave a card.  It is such inconsistency that is putting refs in a bad light.

But despite being a man down we still tried to go forward when we could. A free kick from Cazorla was almost spilled by the keeper but he retrieved the ball. Besiktas could have scored when a striker curled the ball wide of the far post and that was their biggest chance of the second half.

The biggest chance came for us however when Oxlade-Chamberlain almost capitalised from a bad pass from a Besiktas player. He rounded two defenders and then shot with his left foot. It was going in but the keeper had a hand to it and it rebounded on to the goal post and then the Besiktas defenders could clear the ball.

A draw maybe was a fair result in an entertaining match, played at a pitch not fit enough to be used in the conference league around New Year.   [Actually Walter as an occasional watcher of Conference football I’d be disappointed with a pitch like that in the Conference in the New Year – Tony]

I would have liked a score draw more to be honest because a 0-0 is a tricky result. It will be about being patient and clever in the second match. And in that match we will be without Ramsey who will be banned for this match after his two yellow cards.

By then we will have our Germans back however and we can hope that they will hit the ground running as we will be in for a tough match against an opponent that gave a good account of themselves. Let’s hope that we can show that on a decent pitch we can up our game to the required level.

Finally I want to say a little word about our new young kid on the block: Calum Chambers. I didn’t want to get too hyped after the Man City match. You know it could have been a lucky shot but then  again in the Emirates cup he also wasn’t too shabby, (and that’s an understatement). So he impressed against City. And then he also was impressive against Crystal Palace. So two in a row wasn’t that bad for a 19 year old boy.

But today once again he showed that he really is an amazing player in the making. Apart from one miss he was once again impressive. So very slowly I am falling for the hype he is creating for himself. And I don’t mind falling for the hype. It is very difficult for defenders to catch the spot light (compared to a ref or strikers anyway) but this boy is doing  just that. So I will not shout it out loud…yet… but we might have found another player that we can enjoy for a very, very, very long time. Well done Calum, keep it up!

 

———

The books
The complete Arsenal Anniversary series is to be found on the Arsenal History Society site.

57 comments to Besiktas – Arsenal an entertaining 0-0

  • Brian Waldron

    Giroud,Wiltshire and Arteta were all shown up in the game. Giroud is just not a world class goal scorer and at times looks more like a gangly left footed idiot than anything else. Wiltshire needs a few games in the reserves to get his “mojo” back and Arteta is just too slow!Get Alexis a good cappable striker to play with and we will be scoring at a far higher rate.

  • oldgroover

    Yes Walter Callum was very good in his first CL game. No nerves, he just took it in his very confident stride, and as you say was only undone once when Ba got passed him and Kos, but nothing came of it.
    The stadium looked dreadful as a football venue and apart from the poor pitch the crowd was so far from the action that it seemed a bit atmosphere less to me ( watching on TV ). The so called famous Turkish “welcome to hell” could not be put into operation unless flag waving from a distance and being whistled to death counted as hostilities.

  • you have said it all Brian. l really wonder what Wenger sees in Giroud. the lad can’t even control a ball and you expect him to score. what ever it is Wenger must find a striker in Demba Ba’s mould. if Ba was for Asrenal we would win the league not this Giroud of yours. he really let the team down big time. to Giroud you need to up your game mate

  • Ozzie – so how do you explain Giroud’s scoring record over the past two seasons? Very similar to Henry’s over his first two seasons. Or would you have got rid of Henry after season two as well?

  • Super Singh

    We didn’t play well, but on a positive note we played three games and kept three clean sheets. Bodes well if this carries on?

  • Super Singh

    oops! forgot about Crystal Palace, my bad.

  • Joe

    There were a couple of moments when a more clinical forward would have put us in a better position for the second leg, and I’m not sure you can really play those off those because of a lack of fitness. Other players involved for longer in this summer’s World Cup are back and producing for their clubs, so Giroud really has no excuses.

  • Will

    I am not getting the Giroud hatred, scoring almost 1 in 2 when you are the ONLY forward in the squad is pretty damn impressive.

    I too thought the ref got a bit weird in the second half and was doing what I hate in football, blowing for things but letting the exact same foul go minutes later. I would love to get in their heads and see why one is a foul and the other isn’t.

    Sanchez worries me but maybe he will get better when Ozil plays. I find he is ball hogging and needs to learn to pass.

    Over all, we need to play with more urgency and with more movement upfront.

  • oldgroover

    Will
    No need to worry about Sanchez. He laid on chances for us to score at least three goals and all from his passing.
    He may play differently when Ozil come into the team, and even more so when Theo returns, but for now he’s doing very well ( on the right side ).

  • Chapman's Ghost

    @ Tony Attwood,Henry was a phenomenal player and Giroud just doesn’t have his talent. Ian Rush scored loads of goals for Liverpool but does that make him a better player than Henry?
    Of course not.

    It’s not about comparing Giroud to Henry, that’s futile. All any of us want Giroud to do is score goals and we don’t care how he does it. He had an off night last night, all players do, and there’s no denying he can find the net. Not really worried about his capabilities, I’m more concerned about his understudies Sanogo and Campbell. The former looks out of his depth in league games although he may yet come good, he certainly did ok against Benfica but he needs to get a goal in the league, might settle him. Campbell looks the better prospect but it’s a bit risky with two unproven players as back up though I know we have goals in players like Walcott, Ramsey, Sanchez (potentially at least), Podolski and Koscielny who often crops up with an important goal.

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Was very impressed with Callum Chambers too. Looks like we got the best of the Southampton lot, traded this summer.
    I take it that Arsenal’s attacking machine is still trying to get its rhythm – too many moves break down in the final third for my liking!
    My worry is that time is not our friend! This weekend, Everton; mid-week next week, Bestiskas at home! Wake up boys!

  • Mike T

    As a “relative” I really didn’t know what to take from your performance.

    At times you moved the ball very well but at other times I thought you were far too open against a team that has yet to start their season. Your midfield was sluggish most of the time and against you really need someone of quality to protect your back four.

    You have no problems when you get the ball in forward positions and Giroud gives you far more than some realise. He is aggressive and unsettles the opposition defenders & when they are distracted other players can ply their trade.

    The Arteta tackle wasn’t a foul. If you really want to penalise that sort of contact you might as well cut out all physical contact.

    Ramseys first card was correct and he didn’t learn from that. For the second there was a slight tug on the shirt but it was a tug.

    The pitch looked terrible but its no point moaning about anything and everything.

    You now have face a really tricky week. I very much doubt the 3 Germans will be anywhere near match fit, certainly not enough to complete 90 minutes. On top of that you already seem to be leading the injury table

    Will AW want to play all these three as starters at either Everton or home to the Turks? I doubt it.

    I would not be at all surprised if you pick another injury or two up against Everton the additional CL games and the travel will not be helping recovery and I know its ridiculous to say but I thought the likes of Ramsey looked tired. That or he isn’t yet fit enough physically or mentally to be playing at the level needed by you

  • nicky

    I agree entirely with the criticism of Giroud as our main striker. When the ball is at his feet, he is clumsy and lacking in control. Very like the inexperienced Sanogo.
    However, as Tony has rightly pointed out, his scoring record (including assists) for Arsenal to date is quite good.
    I would like to know the reason why Arsene is not using Campbell so far, in a striking role. Or not using him at all, really. Is he not fit?
    On last night’s game, watching on HDTV I thought the playing surface pretty good. This morning, the expert consensus is that it was a disgrace and unworthy of a CL game.
    It just shows how little some of us actually see when glued to that persuasive box in our homes. 😉

  • Mike T

    What did Freud say about slip/

    “relative neutral”

    Also I don’t know if you picked up when Ramsey was walking AW mouthed the words “why did you do it”

  • Mike T

    Need to get my typing head on. I meant Wilshire not Ramsey looked sluggish

  • oldgroover

    Mike T

    Rather a “relative” comes on and points out the obvious, as they tend to throw the T word around quite randomly on here at times.

  • colario

    When Ramsey walked you could read the media . “Ramsey off as weak Arsenal fail to score.”

  • AL

    Arsene was not saying to Ramsey why did you do it, he was questioning the ref. It was not a tug as well, rather it was an open palm round the other player’s groin area. Not enough to go down, and if that had been rugby you can bet that the other player would’ve carried on as if nothing happened. For the first card the beskitas player held Ramsey’s jersey first dragging him as they were turning, and Ramsey also grabbed the other guys jersey. The only difference was the other guy let go of Ramsey’s jersey first.

    Ba trod on Arteta and how that cannot be called a foul is beyond me. Debuchy was also trod on the foot, before having his standing leg swiped by the same player and there was no foul nor card. As Walter pointed out, Wilshere was spun round by a pull seconds after the Ramsey yellow and nothing got given. That ref’s incompetence was shocking.

    I thought we played well. Sanchez was very lively on the right hand side and Chamberlain was unlucky not to score. We should be ok on Wednesday though.

  • Chapman's Ghost

    @Nicky, I think Giroud’s scoring record would be aided if he had someone up front with him. Very few players can play the lone striker effectively, at least at the top level we’re striving to reach, but I think with two up top we’d get the best out of him.

    Have heard from a reliable source that Wenger is looking for a star striker but getting one is contingent on other players moving, bit like the Ozil signing, so if it happens will most likely be at the eleventh hour. But Wenger wants top quality and is unlikely he’ll just buy anyone. So it seems he is quite aware of our limited options up front.

  • Mike T

    @ oldgroover.

    They say football is all about opinions and long may that reign. In truth its one of the reasons I love football.

  • Will

    Looking forward to the day when Ozil, Podolski, Walcott, The Ox and Sanchez are on the pitch.

  • para

    Giroud is Giroud, this is why AW bought him. I do not understand all the hate for Giroud. It’s just the way he is, non flashy and solid.

    Looks like Giroud and Sanogo are going to be interchangeable which will surely push them both. Alexis and Ox also looks to be interchangeable. I do not expect to get an out and out striker, not that AW would not get one, but there are really none available that would slot in at Arsenal at this moment(non-interest, wage demands, long contract, etc).

    When i think of Walcott to come and before that, Ozil, Mert and Pod to return, the depth is great and we will need that depth.

    Walcott wants to play central and does sometimes, Ox also does and can, and apparently Alexis also can and will. We now have so many alternatives, that the number of substitutes are probably not enough any more.

    I think we are going to see some interesting formations of our squad this season.

  • bjtgooner

    @Mike T

    The foul on Arteta by your former Chelski player was a foul – I have just re-watched the incident several times. Ba came in from behind Arteta, stamped on Arteta’s foot without contacting the ball – foul.

    As you appoint yourself as a “relative” – I do wonder “inlaw” or “outlaw”?

  • oldgroover

    I’ve just read elsewhere that this match was not played in Besiktas’ regular stadium, but the Olympic Stadium which they are using while their own one is redeveloped. I didn’t know this at the time of my earlier post ridiculing the so called “hostile atmosphere”, but it might explain it.

  • Mike T

    @ Al

    I don’t disagree that Ba trod on Artetas foot but that in itself wouldn’t justify a foul being given. For me the tackle was not reckless, careless or with excessive force

    Was AW mouthing the words at the ref? Possibly but Ramsey was closer to him when he was mouthing the words.

    I know as an Arsenal supporter you see things a certain way in matters Arsenal, the same as I do when its matters Chelsea but in both situations I can see why Ramsey received the bookings

  • bjtgooner

    @Al

    Agree about Ramsey being sent off, your description is accurate and Ozyakup dived. Any sympathy I had for Ozyakup is gone after that incident.

  • Will

    Am I the only one who wants Ba banned for that shockingly poor dive?

  • AL

    Mike T
    In the context of the yellows Ramsey, Monreal and Flamini received yesterday Ba should have been carded a yellow at least. What is worse, tugging on or shoulder charging another player, or stamping on another player’s ankle with the possibility they’ll miss two or three games(I may be wrong but thought the area where he was stamped on is the metatarsal area, so might be worse). Fouls don’t have to be malicious or excessive only to warrant yellow cards, even a late barge after the ball is gone can be punished.

    As for Wenger saying what you think he said, I insist he was directing that at the ref. His comments afterwards show this, he labelled both cards unbelievable. I don’t see how he could have a go at Ramsey and then say both cards were unbelievable. He would be saying what Aaron did was stupid if he thought so.

  • finsbury

    Rules which the officals are supposed to apply fairly aren’t opinions, that’s why they get written down. HTH

  • menace

    Ba was late in many tackles and deliberate in stamping of opponents feet. The ref was shameful as he reacted to Bilic rants and began pulling cards out for no real reason. I thought the initial rants should have resulted in Bilic being sent off.

    Alexis gets fouled regularly but does not get noticed. He should make a noise to draw the refs attention. Arsenal still do not shoot from distance, despite having several chances.

  • finsbury

    Ba’s first challenge in the opening minutes was more a yellow then anything Ramsey did all night, forget about the stamp on Arteta un to the refs nose!

    Joke! Or as someone else said: “not serious”

    And not good for football. Anyone who can’t see that doesn’t understand sport. Simples.

  • Mike T

    Al

    We are going to have to agree to disagree with you about Bas challenge.

    For both of Ramsey’s bookings the player was in front of him,I would suggest getting away from him.The second booking was when he lost the ball Ramsey grabbed out, he was .Having already been booked he should have known better.

    AW no doubt like every manager will try to shift the blame in an attempt to protect players.

    Bookings are bookings and its not really possible to judge then against other offences that result in a yellow. For instance what about taking your shirt off in celebration against a tug to stop someone advancing, or how about kicking the ball away as against a deliberate hand ball.

  • oldgroover

    You have to admire a team that gives it’s striker specific defensive duties, but it’s a shame that Ba’s not learned the art of a clean tackle or block.
    Talking of which, one first half interception by Chambers was Bobby Moore at his best.

  • Mike T

    @Finsbury

    Its interesting because the application of many of the rules in football are based on opinion , a judgement or if you an interpretation of the situation of the officials. OK its not an opinion if the ball is out of play but what about a handball?
    For handball to be given it has to be, according to the rules, deliberate. In whose opinion is it deliberate? Yep the officials.
    Even offside isn’t as straight forward as a written rule things like interfering with play etc are factored in and whose opinion is it if the player is indeed interfering? Yep the officials.

  • Carim

    a draw was a fair result but i cannot believe in modern day football riches that pitches like that exist these days.it was awful and you knew right away it would be a battle over quality.no excuses about the sending off,it was stupid by rambo and no need for it.once again,what the hell did santi cazorla do.is he wengers secret love child or what because he was awful again.why did sanchez get taking off when he was a threat and don’t do much santi stay on.i’ve been crying out now pre season for the ox to be given the chance to play there,and he done a lot more than santi did.i like santi,arteta,flamini,monreal,giroud,but they are squad players at best for me.i think when walcott comes back we must base our front line on pace.sanchez through the middle with walcott & the ox on the flanks with ozil feeding them in a free role.the 2nd leg is at home and our game will pick up because the pitch will be slicker and quicker for the game we want to play.we will be better but in this game you just never know. ox in for rambo is a must for me.on to the next one everton.

  • DevilDriver

    This was an excellent result. 2nd leg should be a job well done.

    It’s early days; players are humans not robots. I wonder how many of the Giroud hater’s were giving it large when he scored that goal last season vs Newcastle.

    KEEP THE FAITH and hope CESC has already peaked this season…

    DD

  • Carim

    @: Chapman’s Ghost Chapman’s Ghost

    August 20, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Spot on

  • Carim

    Something which struck me about the game was how we reverted to looking very predictable and one dimensional in the final third. We saw it so often last season; our wide men constantly cutting inside and attacks breaking down when the edge of the area becomes over crowded. Well drilled teams found it easy to work us out. What seemed so refreshing about our performance against City in the Community Shield was that we looked clinical and exciting, sitting back and breaking with real pace and power. The very best teams Wenger has produced were always about that – ripping teams apart on the counter, using the full width of the pitch. Team selection has to be the biggest cause of this and specifically, playing people out wide who constantly want to cut inside! Cazorla, playing left wing, is never going to offer any kind of natural width. He isn’t going to go past his man and stick the ball in the box. We currently have Sanchez playing wide on the other flank; presumably, Wenger sees him as the nearest thing to Theo until he returns from injury. Again, Alexis wants to be involved in central areas, in goal scoring areas and that’s arguably where we should be utilising him. This kind of imbalance in the front 3 is making our approach play very laborious. For all of the stick Giroud gets and much of it was well deserved after this game, he has proven himself to be fairly useful getting on the end of crosses, particularly attacking the near post. However, this kind of service only seems to happen when we have players with pace, who want to play out wide, on the flanks. Sometimes it would be nice to see Wenger be that little bit bolder with his team selection, even if it means picking one or two less experienced but perhaps more hungry players, such as Gnabry or Campbell and see if we can freshen things up in the final third.

  • mika

    It seems a horrible thing to say and I don’t like feeling this way about any Arsenal player, but I think Arteta getting injured could be a good thing and hopefully it’s for more than just a few weeks. Given our usual injury troubles we can’t afford to have anyone out for too long, but I was never really convinced that Wenger was going to sign a DM/CM, regardless of the rumours going around. If Arteta’s injury is significant it may force Wenger’s hand and he may go all out to get someone to cover, hopefully one of the more long term options that we’ve been linked to. Ever since he made Arteta captain I’ve been worried that he would continue with the Spaniard as his preferred deep-lying CM and would continue with Flamini and Wilshere as alternatives, despite the fact that they have all proven they can’t do the job against the big sides. If there was any substance to the reports that he is interested in Carvalho or Khedira then now is the time to strike. Admittedly I was all in favour of a move for Khedira given his strength and top level experience, but I’ve become less confident with our defence, especially with all of these injuries popping up, so I think I’m more on favour of Carvalho now, given his preference to defend over attacking. I don’t see any excuses not to sign a proper holding mid now (or physical CM) so let’s hope Wenger sorts something out soon

  • mika

    Positives from last night: Clean sheet. Chambers superb again and he and Kos look so comfortable together (what u wanna bet he drops him for Sacker spuds against Everton) Debuchy going forward offers so much more than Sagna. Sanchez`s work rate and quality shines through Negatives: Monreal is a liability Arteta offers nothing as a def midfielder Ramsey`s stupid sending off Caz can not play out wide so either play him central or play the Ox Girouds link up play and general threat was poor (Wenger either has to give Sanchez a chance there or bring in a top drawer striker…no chance)

  • mika

    @supersing: How can you defend Wengers team selection and sub usage when the Ox done more going forward in ten minutes than Caz and Giroud managed in 90 minutes. If he had put Sanchez up top and played the Ox we would have wrapped the tie up ….clueless yet again!

  • finsbury

    Indeed. Alas the oft used example of handball can’t explain how he missed the fouls by Ba. No room for interpretation there. Nice try, but you’ll need to try again.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Hockey offical (closest sport to association football) make such a fudge as last night, or on other occasions we see during AFC games on a consistent basis. Yet hockey is a hardy faster game to officiate. Go figure.

    Please refer to the recent hockey tournament in Glasgow, the Olympics, etc. HTH

    Btw even though the officals seem competent and know the rules of the sport that they officiate they seem happy to use video play and have done for years. That includes all marginal calls being called by the on field officals judgement. A judgment is not the same as an opinion, please refer to a dictionary.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Ox does more going forward in 10 mins he was on the pitch because hez fresh and going against tired defenders.

    Giroud pathetic??.. The pitch was pathetic. Do you realize what difference a mm can do?? And when was the last time a striker, who scores 40+ goals in 100 appearance, considered shit?

  • finsbury

    Just a reminder, for those who have already forgotten:

    In the very recent WC in Brazil,FUFA the tournament organisers fudged it so a poor Home team made it to the SF where they were then humiliated by a good team, following very suspect games against Columbia and Croatia.

    The Croatian coach said:
    “This was ridiculous today, and if we continue in this way we will have a circus”

    I wonder why and how hockey and every other sport now seem to avoid such controversies in spite of the acknowledged presence of fixers and groomers in these sports (including within the UK – but none of this applies to football heavens forbid).

    It is what it is.

  • finsbury

    I’d have hoped all these groaning experts could understand that Chambo, following injuries at the end of last season and during the WC is simply behind in his pre-season. He was always looking like he’d be ready for a start by the second leg.

    England’s most exciting young player was in Arsenal’s starting line up at the beginning of last year. Tells us everything. He was also the best playe on the park in the opening fourty five minutes of last season, before he got taken out. Taylor lost control of the game on purpose, he knew what he was doing, and that’s why he didn’t get another arsenal game for the duration of the season. Please bear in mind that last season there wer only eighteen refs in the league!

    It was what it was. There can be no rational denial.

  • finsbury

    Clarification above:

    The circus the Croatia coach referred turned out to be the WC SF where everyone and their pet monkey knew that Columbia or Croatia would’ve provided sterner opposition.

    This is not hard to understand. For people that watch and like football. And other sports.

  • gouresh

    I think we did well, considering the state of the pitch. a lot is said about Giroud and i think he is fantastic, his 1st touch is what its about, with midfield and wide players coming in. also there are comments about our play. we play quick close and sleek one touch football but with the state of the pitch, one can do so. we will be fine at our home game.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    We did not play well. For me that is the cause of the result. Our passes were off and the reception of the passes was off…the fault of the pitch?…maybe it contributed- couldn’t see from my position on the couch.

    As for the ref’s performance, it was OK until that first yellow was given. After that, I felt it was difficult to predict what he was going to call or after a call what it was for. I was listening to an Amermican stream whose commentators I thought were relatively neutral and they were openly confused about the calls given.

    It is far too early to jump a cliff over this result as we are getting some solid players back and we have a few days to continue to train. Up The Gunners.

  • Micheal Ram

    The pitch was terrible. Whatever gameplan Arsenal had before the match, went down the drain once they played on that rugby look-a-like pitch. Not only you feel heavy when running, controlling ball at Arsenal standard is impossible. I don’t blame the players if they were avoiding injuries even though that did not materialize as Besiktas played like Stoke at worst. Referee was totally useless as he failed to protect the players’ health. Shame on him. I hope Arsenal will slice open Besiktas at the Emirates.

  • It is interesting the number of new posters and long-term absentees that we see here every time Arsenal get a less than desired result. Where were these posters after our victory on Saturday?

  • Mick

    @Bootoomee
    Just what I was thinking. The truth is they are rubbish supporters, far more so than the players are who they accuse of being rubbish.
    They make me sick, stupid idiots the lot of them, they don’t know what the word support means. I am talking about people like you mika saying it is a good thing Arteta is injured. You obviously do not enjoy Arsenal as a club, why don’t you bugger off and take your like minded morons with you.

  • mika

    @botmtom – I was here – and as i said in the other chat a less than convincing win over a low life crystal place doesn’t justify anything but a top 4 finish if that.

  • John L

    @boo,

    all work and no play keep me from posting. i would love a updated forum where you have threads to reply to a comment and email notification to replies….would help me stay on track as i often dont have the time to comment on every article, then check back with it later for replies.

  • John L

    i think the point so many people miss in regards to giroud is that he is not a goal-scoring striker. he is a complete stirker.

    -his job is to engage in physical battles with the opposition defenders.
    -provide an outlet for midfielders when playing with his back to goal.
    -give us height and aerial ability on defensive/offensive corners and goal kicks.
    -make near post runs to drag defenders and allow space behind for midfield runners, and also provide taps ins and knock ons.
    -score goals and provide assists.

    he is not a poacher or finishing striker and thats okay. his graft and determination, intelligence of where and when to battle defenders takes alot of pressure off our catalog of diminutive creative attacking midfielders and wingers. part of what makes ramsey such an effective goal scoring midfielder is the work that giroud does, same could be said for walcott when he plays.
    giroud might not always make the headlines, but he provides the team with so much and allows the players around him to flourish.

  • Gunnerjoe

    Mike T
    I hope you get the chance to be as understanding of a player who does a hatchet job on Cesc ending up injuring him with a tackle like Ba’s.

  • Nelson Wong

    Wenger brought Giroud probably for his physical presence. He knows that even if he gets another quick striker with good technique, Giroud would still have a big role to play.

    Giroud does not look sharp and nice but neither did Miroslav Klose… All he needs to do is to improve say, 10 or 20% of his touches and add more variations to his runs to find scoring chances.

    Giroud is a more than “good” player and he fits what Arsenal need. The team just need another striker with another style or a change in formation…