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Mesut is out, so how does the squad cope now?

By Tony Attwood

So now we know.  Mesut Özil is out for about three months with a partial knee ligament tear.   The great dream of Sanchez, Walcott, Ramsey, Welbeck and Özil all in one team – the dream of stillness and speed – has taken another knock.  Will we ever see it I wonder?

The reason why Arsenal get so many injuries compared with other teams is still up for debate, but only one reason thus far has any evidence to support it: that our team is kicked more than any other team.

One can argue that training methods, the training pitch, the diet, medication or anything else is the cause, but none of these issues has any supporting evidence.

There is nothing to show that we have training methods different enough to cause this havoc, nor that our pitches are that different, nor the diet (virtually all clubs in the Premier League now follow the Wenger diet), the medication or anything else can cause this level of injury.  But we do have some evidence about the way Arsenal players are kicked.

Of course it would be helpful if other clubs gathered data as we have done about the way their players suffer on the pitch, and the way referees deal with them, but until that happens we can’t be sure.  But it sure seems that kicking the shit out of us without referee retribution is the only reason for these injuries for which there is anything more than passing speculation.

After the Chelsea game Arsenal told Germany about the Mesut problem and asked them to check.  Arsenal were not able to do it themselves as they had to release the player by the agreed international date.

Then Mesut Özil has his scan today and now we know.

He will now return to London and Arsenal’s medical team will start to work with doctors to find out what to do.

So now we have Olivier Giroud and Mathieu Debuchy out in the long term and Aaron Ramsey in the medium term.  Theo and Gnabry should be available after the international break along with Monreal, and if not then, then very soon after Yaya Sanogo and Mikel Arteta should be ready too.

Quite clearly, Arsene Wenger’s policy of buying multiple midfield players is proving to be exactly the right thing for the club to do.  They will get clobbered time and again by the opposition, in addition to us picking up the normal level of injuries that other clubs suffer.  So we need a bigger and bigger squad to cope.

Unfortunately we have the 25 rule in the League, and a slight variation on that in the European games so the numbers are limited, but we have introduced a number of under 21s and that has helped strengthen the remaining players.

Here’s the League squad with the long and medium term injured marked in red.  The asterisk players have home grown status.

  • Arteta
  • Bellerin (under 21)
  • Campbell
  • Cazorla
  • Chambers (under 21)
  • *Coquelin,
  • Debuchy,
  • Diaby,
  • Flamini,
  • *Gibbs,
  • Giroud, 
  • Gnabry (under 21)
  • Koscielny,
  • *Martinez
  • Mertesacker,
  • Monreal,
  • Ospina,
  • Oxlade Chamberlain (under 21)
  • Ozil, 
  • Podolski,
  • *Ramsey,
  • Rosicky,
  • Sanchez,
  • *Szczesny,
  • *Walcott,
  • *Welbeck,
  • *Wilshere,
  • Zelalem, (under 21)

There are of course many other under 21s, and some might come through – I’ve just noted the ones that seem relevant to the first team at the moment.

We seem to have 28 players with four out on long term injuries plus several others coming back from injury soon.  As I say it shows the need for this depth of squad.  And maybe even a few more given the way some sides are kicking us and some refs are turning a blind eye.

 The index to Untold and today’s anniversaries are here

66 comments to Mesut is out, so how does the squad cope now?

  • Steve0

    Do we really believe that abnormally high rates of being kicked are to blame for the excessive number of muscular and ligament injuries Arsenal have suffered every single season for the past decade? It’s quite obvious that something needs to change involving either strength and conditioning, recovery, or the training methods being employed. The talent is there to field a competitive team, but if the staff can’t turn things around, they’re the ones holding this club back. It’s probably time to hire someone from outside the club to evaluate the way Arsenal are operating, because excessive kicking aside, there is clearly an internal issue.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Instead of blaming the internal issues, which can be resolved easily, we should all unite to nullify the external issues……the obvious ones. The ones that we see every week and then blame the medical staff.

  • Sleekwhale

    I don’t believe so @Steve. His left leg got kicked answer knocked so badly it affected the knee. You also can’t have macho and rigid men playing tiki-taka – take a look @ Barca – but their player’s are protected. Do you also remember Ozil just got back from an injury just after the previous international break?

  • apo Armani

    @Steve0
    October 8, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    NO this purely an EXTERNAL reason!!!

    Getting kicked and twisted week in week out will not be solved by even scie-fi medical procedures!!!!

  • apo Armani

    A 40 man squad is not enough for us when we have a cheating FA and Refs against us…lets face it.

  • bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    Exactly as we predicted with certainty last season. The need for quality back-up has again proven mandatory. Alas.

  • El Gringo

    @apo Armani,

    There is no coincidence that Ozil’s left knee is the injured one. After all, that was the one that Mason kicked in the NLD without receiving proper punishment.

    Does anyone know if he was kicked on the left leg in the Chelsea match?

  • jerry

    Steve,

    Keep up with the times, Arsenal has already hired someone outside the club, Shad Forsythe, for exactly that matter. Unfortunately there is no optometist in the world that we can hire that is good enough to fix the vision of EPL refs!

  • El Gringo

    bob,

    I hate to see that you were right (not that I’m surprised). It’s good to see you back around! Welcome back.

  • Harry Barracuda

    I think these days we spend too much time running with the ball instead of passing it.

    When we played one touch all the time we never got this number of injuries.

    And we had better results.

  • apo Armani

    @El Gringo
    October 8, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Couldn’t agree with you more!

  • Yassin

    Whether the kicks are the reason or not, those fouls are not letting us play our game. They are preventing us from the mezmerizing football we onve used to play. We have the most talented attacking midfield, still we suffer in the attack, and now we cant blame Giroud! So it must be those fouls, or you can call them cheats.

    @Bob,
    Welcome back, where have you been? But at least the back-up forward is bought finally. Hope we dont regret not getting a defender. And I believe we have Hayden who can do a better job there.

  • Mick

    I recall last season when we suffered all those injuries after Christmas an ‘expert’ Dutch (I think) physio criticising Arsenals pre season training methods as being geared too much toward early season performance with no regard being paid to the long haul of the Prem League. Hence all our injuries in the second part of the season. I wonder what he would say now. Some expert.

  • Bob2

    You lot just aren’t learning are you!
    Chelsea ticked against us because they had a big DM.It allowed the smaller players to do their thing and took away some of the rougher part of the game.
    If we had a Dm of this nature the impact of physical knocks will be reduced on the smaller players. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts and us Arsenal fans are so engrossed in disecting our teams failure that we miss the obvious. Balance in midfield has not been right this season.

  • AL

    It’s nothing to do with pitches or training methods. Anyone saying that just needs to go take a look at the pictures Walter embedded in his article, which incidentally shows Mesut getting trod on the same knee that’s now been confirmed to have a fracture.

    Only a blind man can fail to see that our players are being kicked off the park. In each match so far this season we have had a nasty challenge on one or two of our players, the result being we have been losing a player a game. It’s a miracle Alexis doesn’t have a broken leg after the two horrible challenges dished out to him in his last two games. At this rate we will not have a team to field by Xmas, maybe we will have to rely on the academy players. The useless media are cheering on while our players get butchered. It’s infuriating that I feel like punching someone right now.

  • Usama

    I think during the international break Wenger and the management may assess the remaining squad we have till these four major injuries are over (jan maybe).

    We might a change in formation, just like what happened last season when we lost Ox, Podolski, Cazorla, Sanogo, Arteta, and Theo earlier in the season.

    What we saw was attacking midfielders were played in place of the 3 injured wing players we had injured till January. Till January we played wilshere,ramsey,ozil behind giroud.

    the result was a lack of pace BUT our passing was more fluent in connection with giroud, by bringing the best out him (in holding the ball, shielding, 1-2 passing, heading,) and most of all enabling Ramsey to find his magic touch and goal-scoring form.

    This time its the opposite of injuries. Instead of Wingers we have attacking midfielders injured. Now we have Ox,Theo,Alexis and Poldi who play in wing.

    Maybe we will see some little bit shuffle in play. Wenger knows best

  • Va Cong

    Oh my god! where have all these idiots come from?!?!

  • Yassin

    @Al
    “Only a blind man can fail to see that our players are being kicked off the park.”

    Man but it seems the whole world is blind!!!
    I cant believe we have to explain to all those people that we are being cheated. If they are Arsenal fans and they watch each game, how can they not see it and be angry about it?

  • andrew beaumont

    in the old days players just took it and dished it back out .what we need is a few tougher bigger guys in the team that will dish it out tackle for tackle .
    were getting a bad reputation for being a pusg over to out mussel and wenger has no new signing that redresses this problem we need to get in there and scrap like the arsenal of old .

  • Yassin

    @Bob2,

    “If we had a Dm of this nature the impact of physical knocks will be reduced on the smaller players.”

    What? Who?
    Now come on, ok I can take it we lost cause we have not this Dm. Ok I can take it we cant defend cause we dont have this Dm, we cant score? Ok I can live with that?

    But how are the injuries decreased by the Mythical balancing Dm? What does that have to do with Ozil injury? Or Arteta? Or…. Man really? Are u for real? Are you that depressed tp have that damn Dm?

    Do you have any old car that need to be repaired? Are you desperate to stop the wars all pver the world? Do you want to protect planet earth from aliens invasion? All you need is obvious, the new mythical destroyed of a hell of a DM. For any information regarding our products just call Savage, Owen or Neville.
    Please note we are not responsible for any headacke regarding not understanding what Owen said, as we dont get either yet.:)

  • Mandy Dodd

    Yes,,it was all predicted Bob. But even for us, this season seems excessive.
    Going to break ranks a bit here, I fully agree that refs and the treatment our players get are a major….major contributed,, but if you check youngsters who have not made the first team , over the years, you will see a similar pattern of injuries I believe. I don’t have the stats, but so many of our kids seem to have been hampered by injuries before their careers could take off. I don’t know if there is something else or not, but I hope the club are leaving no stone unturned in investigating this…..and if it comes down to refs and opposition tactics, we equally have to do something, either taking on the pgmol…..if that is indeed possible for us, or putting enforcers in the pitch.
    As for replacements for Ozil and co, cometh the hour, cometh the Ox. It may be his time.

  • bjtgooner

    Ozil did receive a number of nasty tackles from those nice thugs from Chelski, but the real damage was probably done by the attempted leg breaker from the Spuds – that impact was always likely to start off some damage.

    This weakens our squad and reduces choices – but knowing AW he will rearrange and soldier on.

    No doubt the idiotic tossers from the AAAA will claim AW overplayed him, underplayed him, gave him too long a break after the world cup etc – while continually ignoring the permitted thuggery on the pitch.

  • finsbury

    Harry Barracuda

    So you missed the many examples such as, say the goals, against various opponents already this season scored from one touch moves from back to front this season? That’s a shame. If you log on to the Arsenal Player you can go back, watch the football, and see those goals and other plays too. A very useful resource.

    It seems from your comment that you believe that the simple and easy solution would be not for the referee to know and apply the rules of the sport (I suppose it is too much to ask) but for the team to play one touch for ninety minutes? Ok then! Good luck with that. Because I’ve never seen any football team play like that. Unless they were marching through Columbia.

    It is a nice concept, I suppose, but I prefer to see football teams with fluid variation in their style, like we saw coming through so effectively in the last Home game…

  • finsbury

    I love the comment from “SteveO” above!
    Clearly he’s been paying close attention to the matter, and knows his stuff 🙂

  • El Gringo

    @Henry Barracuda

    You say, “I think these days we spend too much time running with the ball instead of passing it.”

    But that is not our fault at all. No player has the right to injure another simply because he is dribbling the ball instead of passing it. To suggest otherwise is to blame the victim rather than the perpetrator.

  • bob

    Many Thanks to Mandy, Yassin, El Gringo. It’s good to feel a bit appreciated, albeit it’s a painful occasion to return. Here’s to our fullest recovery!
    Mandy, my vote is for an enforcer. I don’t think Ivan has done it for us; and it’s hunting season against us again. As for the injured young gunners, maybe some more detail on that would help. It’s a pretty scary thought whatever possible explanation one might explore. And it’s worth the discussion. We’ve got to figure this out. Go Gunners!

  • Mick

    @Henry Barracuda
    Sanchez was felled by Cahill before he even received the ball from the pass by Ozil who was himself then taken out by Abromovitch after releasing the ball. Two fouls at once at the same time on two players, neither of whom were in possesion of the ball at the time. That’s your theory out of the window.

  • Tasos

    Arsenal have received the most yellow cards (19) in the league so far this season.

    Arsenal have committed only 74 fouls during this period.

    That’s a yellow card every 3.89 fouls committed and that is the lowest average in the League.

    Given our injury plight and bemoaned lack of physicality it’s amazing that it takes Arsenal fewer fouls to receive a yellow card than any other team in this league.

  • para

    It is actually good for Ozil to have a break now. He will work on strengthening too during this time. Players are coming back and selection headaches are going to be there for AW, but i think this is good, it gives us a better and more varied team selection.

    Our players used to be so fit, there were many games where the other team were on their last legs and Arsenal were still going strong, but now with all the changes, the team as a whole are not as “endurance” fit yet, and this may take some time for the new ones to be, and some of the older ones are getting older, so their fitness will decrease.

    All in all Arsenal are on the way to reclaiming their PL crown.

  • finsbury

    Good stats Tasos, thanks!

  • finsbury

    These stats or numbers are a good example of “Gamesmanship”. From the officials. Which means that it isn’t “Gamesmanship” (that would involve a player would it not?) but something else entirely. How could we describe it? A “tilted pitch” is one term that seems accurate.

    I’m glad Phil Neville Neville made those idiotic comments which he should not have made if he knew better: they are proving to be very useful! 🙂

  • Tasos

    Finsbury

    You’re welcome.

    Here’s another number for you.

    During the 2013/14 Premier League season Arsenal were the ONLY team not to have an opponent sent off during the entire period.

    38 games and not one single foul worthy of a red card.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Just seem so many of them Bob. Ryo, Fimpong, Toral, Afobe, le coq, Gnabry,guess you can add Jack….though he was a first teamer from an early age, so could be classed as a pgmol victim, same could be said of Theo Gibbs and Ox. Think Crowley has had his share of injuries as well. Ok not a comprehensive list, perhaps more my perception, but i do wonder if the playing and training regime of very young, growing players , not fully developed in skeletal….and muscle terms…may have inadvertently played a part? Cannot say I know the answer, nor am I going to sit in my armchair slagging off the clubs experts and professionals. If there is something else, I am sure it was not intentional or negligent, but we have a rep of playing a certain way, giving very young players games, we have in the past picked…. and generalising here….relatively smaller players….skilful players, that are also fair game for thugs and the pgmol .

  • Michael

    Can we please stop referring to these PGMOL Special Agents as “referees”? They are not a)un-biased, as demonstrated through the incredible amounts of data on this site or B) ensuring that the rules of the game are adhered to.

    I am so jaded over this year in and year out. I fear that the next major untold theme will be the English version of calciopoly.

  • sleekwhale

    it is a shame that we have to bear our burdens without help from the footballing authorities. I am so fed up

  • Michael

    Anecdotally, Fabregas was injured in each of his last three years with Arsenal, missing more than 10 PL matches per season. Interestingly, un-surprisingly, this has subsided since leaving.

    Ozil now will have two consecutive years of missing matches, however this was never the case prior to joining Arsenal.

  • bjtgooner

    @bob

    I would just like to add my comment to those made earlier – great to see you back!

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Let us take note of the total remainig points that will be availabe for the Gunners to get to win the Barclays Premiership. There are 31 BPL games left for us to play for max 91 points. We ‘ve gotten 10 points and dropped 11 points out of 21 points form the 7 games we have played so far. The total remaining maximum points we can get are 101. 86 points won the Premier for City last season. I am projecting 89/90 points will be the magic number to win it this term. With the Gunners having only 10 points now, they will have to get extra 80 points from their remaining 31 games. This translates to, they must not drop more than 11 – 12 points to become champions. It is not an impossible mission for Arsenal to execute successfully as they have did it before, have they not? The Gunners must return to invincibility and first get thuggery for thuggery, rough tackling for rough tackling, kicking for kicking, shirt pulling for shirt pulling, stamping for stamping, holding for holding and intimidation for intimidation.

  • Mick

    @bob
    In the words of Bruce Forsythe….
    ‘Nice to see you, to see you nice.’
    Your eloquance has been missed.

  • Blaisehayest

    Can anything actually be done? Would starting a petition do anything? What would said petition state? I don’t know much about law and as I’m American next to nothing about British law. Could the club bring charges against anyone or get some sort of investigation going? I’m just sick of being angry and wish there was something I could DO about it……… Just……. MAD

  • Sav from Australia

    @Yassin
    October 8, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    They can see Arsenal are being cheating. They are lying in a desperate attempt to keep up the various media narratives regarding Arsenal. We should not take these liars seriously. They are but trolls.

  • Sav from Australia

    @Blaisehayest

    I understand your anger. And to the question what can be done?

    Video montages – detail the way Walter had with his images in the referee crisis article. Make video montages with actual footage and on the various ways they rob Arsenal and tilt the pitch.

    And what’s more! We ALL know that the ENGLISH will do nothing. And from what I have seen on ESPN, American soccer shows will follow the English speaking world’s narrative. So, lets change the game and name and shame them in the all the other language groups. Lets show week-in-week-out the footage of the lovely great perfect Premier League and make it available via video clips of the biased events to Spanish/French/German/Italian, etc. all the major UEFA countries – as well as Mandarin/Arabic/etc. – all the major places that people are watching football. Name and shame them till the whole corrupt biased system collapses.

    Alas, I do not have time nor money nor resources to enact above plan. Doubtless taking footage will result in legal backlash as the FA/Premier League/PGMOL try to fight back against the truth being displayed so clearly – but there must be ways and means around that. The truth is that if a consistent week-by-week breakdown of the bias is shown in video format so that the Internet-age people who love video footage can digest it, then the media narratives and lies will fall by the wayside.

  • Sav from Australia

    Heck, if Tony or someone I trust wanted to start a fund/warchest for the above project, I would be first in line to donate. I don’t have much but if we all contributed perhaps it would be enough to fund such a project. Maybe. Legal costs will surely rise LOL. The slimy ones that control Riley’s minions will not go down easily. They’re reading this right now and laughing because they reckon its impossible. Where’s the eccentric old Arsenal supporter with money to burn when you need them?

  • Micheal Ram

    Football teams are not built on past history, but the players are driven by past achievement. Instead of keep moaning about there is no Vieira, no Petit, no Gilberto or no Campbell, let’s focus on the next ‘Invincibles’ or the next double. I think that would inspire the players more. Man Utd had one Roy Keane, tried to replace one after another, failed, moved on and found success. It’s like telling once your dearest wife or child passed away, there is an immediate replacement. Bunch of animals. Khedira never played in EPL, so don’t know whether he can do the job or not. Reyes? An EPL player? Francis Jeffers? A championship is won by a squad of footballers not eleven superstars. History will tell you that and history will only repeat itself. As I mentioned before in previous comments in another article, footballers are depended on physical as well emotional stability. Let’s support them to dead and don’t be miserable all the time.

  • Mick

    @Tasos at 9.28pm

    I would hazard a guess that our cards are on average given earlier in the game as well.

  • apo Armani

    @Sav from Australia
    October 9, 2014 at 3:27 am

    Your idea is a very good one, but would need much organization and an editing crew to piece/edit all the clips as you say…perhaps we have such people here on untold who have the skills, the programs and the time to do this?

  • ARSENAL 13

    I think ARSENAL as a football club cannot do much. But us as independent supporters can do something. We can file a petition or something similar. But for that we should make ourselves loud first. Stand together.

    Just look at the gooner blogosphere. We have blogs telling us that it’s arsenals fault. Look at Google+ fan page, there we have people questioning ARSENAL for letting Ozil go to Germany and questioning if our medical staff are qualified enough to diagnose a fracture. We are not united enough to deal with it now.

    We have enough footage as evidence to support the claim that there are illegal tackles on our players. And also evidence to support our claims that referees are turning a blind eye… Let’s make ourselves heard.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    A friend sent me this yesterday and am sharing it with you all. There are many sites with this message ,but like this the most .

    http://thejourneyofa1000miles.blogspot.com/2006/03/on-growing-good-corn.html

    There was a farmer who grew award-winning corn.

    Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon.

    One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors.

    “How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.

    “Why sir,” said the farmer, “didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”

    He is very much aware of the correctness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbor’s corn also improves.

    So it is in other dimensions. Those who choose to be at peace must help their neighbors to be at peace. Those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.

    The lesson for each of us is this: if we are to grow good corn, we must help our neighbors grow good corn.

    “Each man takes care that his neighbor shall not cheat him.
    But a day comes when he begins to care that he does not cheat his neighbor.
    Then all goes well. He has changed his market-cart into a chariot of the sun.”
    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “Man is now able to soar into outer space and reach up to the moon;
    but he is not moral enough to live at peace with his neighbor!”
    Sri Sathya Sai Baba (Indian Spiritual leader, b.1929)

  • porter

    According to the radio this morning it seems that Shad Forsythe although fully employed by Arsenal is still finishing his work with the German team .Perhaps that’s why Ozil was sent there to be assessed . Also is there not a rule about the international team having the right to inspect injuries themselves ? probably why he went.
    Regarding the earlier argument about bigger physical players , we do lack about two of them . It’s not a case of kicking back as much as having a word , a Keown or Adams whispering in their ear and strangely things might just calm down . We know that ref’s won’t protect us , the only way is to join the party and use the rules or lack of them the way others do. We might get a few more Norwich / Man Utd incidents but the word would get out that we were not having it any more.

  • Gunner6

    All those calling for a DM beast fail to see that we get carded easily. The beast would miss a chunk of our games due to suspension. What is the point then. Therefore, we will need a few such beasts. Can you name three available and at a decent price that can fit seamlessly to our game?

  • porter

    Gunner 6 , it’s the implication not necessarily the deed . Currently Ref’s have a line that they allow people to go to. We need to go to that line.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    As in life as in football. Arsenal ‘s beautiful game is being destroyed.
    Greed , corruption , indifference , cheating , match fixing , blind referees and the idiotic AAAA !
    http://www.oilempire.us/oil-jpg/kickball.jpg

  • Tasos

    @Mick

    Yes our cards tend to be handed out for first offences more often than not. Calum Chambers has the most (5) yellow cards in the league up to now, and that from just 10 fouls committed in all EPL matches.

    To put that into context, Crystal Palace’s Marouane Chamakh committed 10 fouls against Arsenal in the opening fixture before he was finally booked in the 67th minute. After that booking he transgressed only once more but still managed to amass more fouls (11) in one game than any other player in the previous six PL seasons.

    Leicester City’s Dean Hammond continued this pattern of repetitive fouling going unpunished against Arsenal, this time 84 mins and 5 fouls before he received his yellow card.

    Tottenham’s Eric Lamela (5 fouls), Man City’s James Milner(not even booked) and Chelsea’s Oscar (5 fouls) are others who can be added to the growing list of players who have impacted Arsenal games by their continual fouling, breaking up of play and thus momentum without necessary or seemingly equal punishment being administered.

  • Mick

    @Tasos
    Now I am getting depressed !!!!!

  • apo Armani

    @Tasos
    October 9, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Thats exactly how it is!!

    …and I bet it will get worse, of nothing is done – what though?

  • Blaisehayest

    @Tasos

    And that’s the fouls they called. How many of their fouls were not given due to advantage or just not called at all?

  • AL

    Sav
    Perhaps we could all (as supporters) donate into a pot and bring a suit (civil?) against the PL/PGMOL for lack of protection of our players? We may withdraw the suit later on if it looks like it’ll drain resources, but the media attention it’ll attract (not English media of course) might make the two bodies above want to review their approach where Arsenal are concerned. We need to do something, anything… we’re being complicit by our inaction (for evil to prevail good men must do nothing) unfortunately.

  • AL

    Wow, that’s really sneaky from Ivanobitch. Surprised not much is being made of his dirty play on the day. Think I’ve seen someone here (not sure if it’s Finsbury?) comment that in the same Cahill tackle on Alexis, Ivanobitch took out Mesut with an elbow to the neck. I despise this money laundering project with its manager with a passion.

  • apo Armani

    Ivanovic is one of the ‘dirtiest’ players in world football, he reminds me of another such ‘dirt bag’ Ivic!!!

  • Gunner6

    @Porter
    Thing is, our line is lower than the opposition. All the beast DM need to do is look menacing and a yellow card is brandished! Sorry for the over exaggerated comment, but I am sure you know what I mean.

  • goonergerry

    Skill will never prevail in the Alan Green Liverpool loving and Man U holding league.
    Mourinho is a defensive coach who advocates teams kicking their way to success and Ivanovic is a perfect fit for him.
    Our clueless media love him.
    Just don’t think Arsenal can match the physical intensity of other top sides- who time after time nullify our players skill and defeat us though aggression alone.
    Not been convinced that Ozil is anything more than a luxury player. Arsenal will sell this luxury in the summer.
    Arsenal need to move on and we will. Its not as if we have lost a wildly effective player is it?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Goonergerry,
    I have read stats from reliable sources that Özil was the most effective player in the season 2013/2014.
    Problem is the media is out on a with hunt and thus influences what people think about a player.

  • apo Armani

    The thing is; We will more than cope even with the unlucky absence of Özil – not because he is in-effective as suggested by Goonergy, but because we have enough depth in our squad to deal with it!