CL Arsenal – Basel 2-0

By Walter Broeckx

Two changes in the team with Ospina coming the place of Cech and Xhaka taking up the place of the injured Coquelin.

On the bench we had Reine-Adelaide and Gabriel. A rather unexpected name the first.

Arsenal team: Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Cazorla, Xhaka, Walcott, Ozil, Iwobi, Alexis

On the beach: Cech, Gabriel, Gibbs, Elneny, Reine-Adelaide, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lucas. 

Arsenal with most of the ball in the opening minutes but Bellerin having to be quick to smother a possible counter from Bazel. Then a long ball over the top from Cazorla (I think – not the best stream?)  to Alexis who was onside and in space on the left flank, a cross to the middle and Theo with the header! GOAL!!! 1-0 to The Arsenal after 7 minutes.

A great start from Arsenal and we get the reward. Iwobi in the attack and he ball ends up in front of Monreal but the keeper can save his shot.  Apart from that no real goal scoring chances  for Arsenal but Basel also not being dangerous in the first 15 minutes.

Theo Walcott throwing himself in front of the ball to prevent a half cleared corner from Basel to become more dangerous.  Base now going a bit more forward now but Alexis nicks the ball away and is being pulled down by Suchy who gets a deserved yellow card.  The Basel momentum gone and Arsenal back the team with most possession.  And Arsenal with some neat passing around the half way line. Theo gets the ball, gives it to Alexis who immediately returns it to Theo and bang! GOAL!!!! 2-0 to The Arsenal after 26 minutes. A wonderful low strike from Theo in the far corner finds it way to the back of the net.  

Alexis then sneaks through but the keeper gets first on the ball, that falls to Theo who is brought down from behind but the ref waves the foul away?  Arsenal 2-0 in front after half an hour played.

Alexis almost sneaking the ball away from the goalkeeper but the ball ended up around the corner flag in safety for Basel.  Mustafi then again with a good interception when Bellerin misplaced a pass in midfield. Strong defending from the German international.  Then Theo again with a great move, to Bellerin who gives it to Cazorlal who brings Alexis one on one but the keeper has a great reaction and saves at the expense of a corner. That should have been the third goal. Özil to Walcott who plays it to Bellerin but again the keeper with a great block.

And seconds later Özil in space but he puts the ball wide with the outside of his left foot. A great ball from Monrreal to Alexis but again the keeper with a brilliant save and the rebound from Iwobi is blocked by a defender. The ball then goes flat but no problem in the champions league as we have multiple balls.  Özil again with a beautiful turn but no end product after that. Well not every attack can lead to a goal scoring chance. Alexis with a long cross to Özil but he only hits the side net with his right foot. Iwobi with a bad pass that is intercepted by a Basel player but Kos comes to the rescue.  A great first half by Arsenal with Theo scoring twice on an Alexis assist but the score should have been higher, much higher.

Arsenal immediately with another dangerous attack but the keeper first ont the low cross from Monreal and then a little collision with Alexis that is being called back rightfully so. Alexis then gives it to Theo who is judged offside correctly. Alexis nicks the ball away from a defender like last saturday but then tries a pass to Özil instead of going for goal himself.  Xhaka then almost finds Cazorla but the keeper first on the ball.  Arsenal still 2-0 in front after one hour .

Ospina has to do his fist real work in blocking a dangerous corner in to another corner that he catches easily this time. And then has to push a ball over the crossbar when Basel shoot from distance. Some pressure from Basel now with a few corners in a row and Bjarnason missing at the far post.  Alexis then almost finds Walcott but the ball was too close to the keeper.  Sporar on the end of a loose ball for Basel but his shot went well off target. Walcott with a cross from on the goal line to Alexis in the middle who misses the target.  Koscielny has to stick out a long leg to prevent a possible Basel chance when we lose the ball close to our penalty area.  Got to keep our concentration up!

After 70 minuts Iwobi and Theo go off and Elneny and Oxlade-Chamberlain come on.  Arsenal then with minutes of possession in the Basel half but only getting a corner for their possession. Monreal has a go from far but… well I hope nobody got hurt in the stands. With 15 minutes to go Monreal goes off and Gibbs comes on.  Arsenal play keep the ball and do so for minutes.  Alexis and Özil combining to get Bellerin free on the right but his cross towards Özil is cut out.

Mustafi then at the end of a collision with Steffen when he kicks the ball away but both can continue.  Alexis being fouled just outside the penalty area after a dazzling dribble past a few defenders. A yellow card for Elyounoussy. Santi with the free kick but the ball gets stuck between the legs of the defenders in the wall.  Ospina with a good block when the flag stays down and Oxlade-Chamberlain at the other end rounding the keeper but finding himself on the goal line and the keeper could smother the cross for a corner.  Alexis at the end of the corner but again the keeper with an amazing block. He isn’t going to score today to his frustration.

A good win that should have got a higher score line when you look at all the chances we had. But no complaints here as a win in the CL is a win, no matter the score line.



77 Replies to “CL Arsenal – Basel 2-0”

  1. Yes, lots of chances. Thank you Walter.

    I think Walcott could have had a hat trick, I think Alexis could have as well, and Mesut. Cazorla could have scored. Actually, I think Alexis fancies his chances dribbling through a running of the bulls. Wonderful game by all.

  2. Fantastic performance from the lads.

    Theo is on fire.

    I have to say all this criticism of him from Wright before the kick off really pissed me off, simply because it’s not true.

    For those that didn’t hear he was basically saying it’s no good him starting to play well now he’s 27, he should of been doing it years ago.

    He said, I don’t know who’s fault it is, his or Wengers (another dig at Wenger) but it’s one of them.

    But it’s all bollocks. Apart from the 2nd half of last season, following an injury from which he just never seemed to recover, his form throughout his entire Arsenal career has been very good, and as well as he’s started this season, he started last season in pretty much the same vein.

    Theo has played this well before, perhaps the slight difference is and what might make him look even better is that he’s playing in what is possibly the best Arsenal side he’s ever played in. That certainly helps.

    Anyway for those of you that doubt what I say, earlier today I did a big piece on him with lots of stats on the:

    Arsenal v Basel. Basel’s amazing form, Theo’s comeback, Arsenal’s team.


    Theos career at Arsenal has been very very good (besides the 2nd half of last season of course) and this season is just a continuation of that. You’d think from how Wright, amongst others, where speaking, he’d been rubbish since he’s been with us.

  3. Michael Owen

    “The trouble with Arsenal fans is there so up and down. They win a few games and they’re going to win the league. They lose a couple of games and it’s Wenger out”


    Nothing to do with the media stirring them up, with the likes of him and the rest of the media doing that very thing, every time we lose a game.

    Since when has there been Arsenal fans saying we’re going to win the league?

    We on here are some of the most optimistic and none of us are saying it. In fact, when we have the audacity to celebrate a good win we get numbskulls berating us for ‘over reacting’.

    Sorry to be ranting after such a beautiful performance but I made the serious mistake of listening to the pundits and they really do talk an absolute load of crap, especially that hypocrite Wright.

  4. WRT the bulls. Mesut could thread a pass through the bulls to Alexis.

    And for Jambug, Xhaka could strike a ball of the horns of a bull, and knock out Wright spouting gibberish on the side.

  5. Jambug last season Tony said “when” Arsenal win the League he was that smug and confident and as a matter of clarifying something he even commented after Man City lost that at least no one can repeat the Invincibles when in fact Leicester Leicester were still unbeaten ! So yes some people do get emotionally carried away and talk bollox

  6. One fan? He’s your Messiah and everything he says you all believe! As he says himself keep repeating it and eventually everyone believes it and last season 90% of contributers on here assumed Arsenal would win the league and when it didn’t blamed everyone else Inc the FA, corrupt officials and Leicester cheating etc . I do not mock people who have an opinion only those who mock those who have and I actually do believe we have a very reasonable chance of achieving something special this season

  7. Jambug,
    what makes little owens comments even worse are that he played for Liverpoo!! who are the ultimate example of supporters that win a game and shout about how they’ll win the league+.
    The spuddies were a bit like that but seem to have calmed down after 50 years… 😀
    But it’s all driven by the media.

  8. Fantastic performance, especially in the first half. We could have scored a few more, but ultimately, that result will do, and well done Theo.
    Brilliant atmosphere in the stadium, the mood was very positive

  9. From what I seen of the game, it looked like Cech was into it on the sidelines. He was constantly moving his legs around.

    I still wish the TV would forget about commentary, and just leave us with the sounds of the game. If they want to blab at half time, I can go to the washroom then.

  10. Before the match AW challenged the team to repeat the performance against Chelsea. They did.

  11. I thought the pictures of the two Xhaka brothers in the news were nice.

    Too many ex players, of Arsenal or other teams, just seem to be wanting to be the story. Commenting on things is fine, but give up trying to influence things. Your time is done. If you want to influence things, get your coaching tickets and find a team to manage of your own.

  12. @Bloggs If memory serves when Tony said “when Arsenal win the league” he was not referring to the season 2015-16 but the eventuality that Arsenal will again win the league. And, no we do not agree with everything Tony says however we agree with the way he says it and the reasons why he says it. You see, Tony supports the Arsenal FC. On specific points we do agree with him. We support our club ALWAYS. We support our current manager. We support our current players. If Tony is off base from time to time, so be it. At least he supports the club instead of slating it to all and sundry.

  13. @Bloggs, and still’ no other team is undefeated for 49 games except Arsenal. so i think there’s nothing wrong with Tony statement that u were so ‘hard on’ about.

  14. Watching the game in the USA on Fox Sports, and there before the game, was a great big close-up of your sign.
    First time I’ve seen it on TV here in the States. Looks great.

  15. It would appear, after the last few games ,that the following is happening:

    1) Walcott and Alexis are developing a distinctly unique partnership and an almost ethereal communication between them. What will happen to Giroud when he is fit,I don’t know.

    2)Mustafi and Kos are becoming the two rocks of Gibraltar in defense.

    3)Bellerin, if possible, is getting faster each game, and improving all the time…what a player!

    4)The bench is so full of talent and strength that we could field two full teams in the EPL and likely challenge with both of them.

    5)The media and the aaa are desperately praying for a loss or tie, so they can return to their traditional,well-trodden path of shitting on AFC. It is so hard to compliment and aknowledge the Arsenal but so easy to demean and critique them.

    6) Wenger has to be credited with putting together this team,over the last 4-5 years and doing it in an affordable and rational way. The aaa and media are incensed that he’s made fools of them once again.

  16. It would appear, after the last few games ,that the following is happening:

    1) Walcott and Alexis are developing a distinctly unique partnership and an almost ethereal communication between them. What will happen to Giroud when he is fit,I don’t know.

    2)Mustafi and Kos are becoming the two rocks of Gibraltar in defense.

    3)Bellerin, if possible, is getting faster each game, and improving all the time…what a player!

    4)The bench is so full of talent and strength that we could field two full teams in the EPL and likely challenge with both of them.

    5)The media and the aaa are desperately praying for a loss or tie, so they can return to their traditional,well-trodden path of shitting on AFC. It is so hard to compliment and aknowledge the Arsenal but so easy to demean and critique them.

    6) Wenger has to be credited with putting together this team,over the last 4-5 years and doing it in an affordable and rational way. The aaa and media are incensed that he’s made fools of them once again.

  17. another exceptional performance from the gunners once again this season. hope the form continues and the team look solid and stronger. roll on to the next game this weekend. com’on Arsenal

  18. i remember last season when some of Arsenal fans who wanted Theo to be sold and talk so much shit about him. to ‘them’ if some players had a rough patch or dip in form, they were useless forever and demand the club to get rid of the players and bring in some ready made players. it just show how little they knew about the club and we can see what trust and confident of the manager can do to a players. it can transform them and when they repay the faith and belief the manager had in them, the players become so much better and a top performers. that’s why we rarely see Arsene Wenger gave up on a players under his care and it’s all up to the player himself to show how well they can use their brain or how intelligent they are. that’s why AW always mention ‘intelligent’ word when he refer about the players under his care. like i said before, i don’t claim to know everything about the club i support but at least i know the identities of the club i support and also my own’ and i don’t bringing myself so low by talking shit about the club, players or the manager even when i got frustrated, ever. if that sort of thing is to much for some of ‘them’ fans and ex players to understand, there’s nothing else anybody can do for them for their inability to see reasons and use them brain to think properly/logically and to stop making ‘them’self looking like a complete idiot when they speak their mind. Arsenal 4 life

  19. Theo seems more humble todays, guess he learnt from his “lesson”, whatever that may have been. Keep on doing it man.

    Giroud will either stay on as a squad player alongside Perez too, or one of them will leave. We need many different options, which we have now.

    I like the work rate and the togetherness that the team now displays. One thing i’ve noticed is that they tend to get bored if the other team is not playing football.

    We need to be more ruthless and score more goals, goals goals, but i sense Arsenal “do feel sorry” for some teams they play?

  20. @ bushido -September 29, 2016 at 5:03 am – Was just about to start , when I saw you comment ! So here goes ….

    Reporter : “Swamiji , it is so cold on this mountain top .What is the secret of your happiness , even in this so extreme weather condition ?”

    Swamiji : ” Tulsi and green tea . Would you like to have some green tea ?”

    Reporter : ” Yes , of course !”

    Swamiji : ” Tulsi , please bring us two cups of green tea !”

    * ( Tulsi is both an Indian woman’s name as well as the Indian or Holy Basil –
    For other countries , Tulsi could be changed to Rosemary , or Parsley , or Sage , or Thyme . Or if you really are in to that type of thing ,…why .. even Basil !)

  21. You should read and get the facts right . Just like the so called experts on football , they too can get it all twisted.

    Very very very very important – Please Read Carefully.

    A recent joint study conducted by the Department of Health and the Department of Motor Vehicles indicates that 23% of traffic accidents are alcohol related.

    This means that the remaining 77% are caused by idiots who just drink tea, coffee, carbonated drinks, juices, yoghurt and things like that.

    Therefore, beware of those who do not drink alcohol. They cause three times as many accidents!!!

  22. Someone sent me this today .

    Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar.

    I was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing I noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for me.

    He handed me a laminated card and said: ‘I’m Wasu, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk I’d like you to read my mission statement.’

    Taken aback, I read the card. It said: Wasu’s Mission Statement:
    To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.

    This blew me away. Especially when I noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

    As he slid behind the wheel, Wasu said, ‘Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.’

    I said jokingly, ‘No, I’d prefer a soft drink.’

    Wasu smiled and said, ‘No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, lassi, water and orange juice.’

    Almost stuttering, I said, ‘I’ll take a Lassi.’

    Handing me my drink, Wasu said, ‘If you’d like something to read, I have The Hindu, Times of India, ET and India Today.’

    As they were pulling away, Wasu handed me another laminated card, ‘These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you’d like to listen to the radio.’

    And as if that weren’t enough, Wasu told me that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him.

    Then he advised me of the best route to my destination for that time of day. He also let me know that he’d be happy to chat and tell me about some of the sights or, if I preferred, to leave me with my own thoughts.

    ‘Tell me, Wasu,’ I was amazed and asked him, ‘have you always served customers like this?’

    Wasu smiled into the rear view mirror. ” No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard about power of choice one day.’

    ‘Power of choice is that you can be a duck or an eagle.

    ‘If you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself. Stop complaining!’

    ‘Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.’

    ” That hit me right,” said Wasu. ” It is about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.”

    ‘I take it that has paid off for you,’ I said.

    ‘It sure has,’ Wasu replied. ‘My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I’ll probably quadruple it. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on it.’

    Wasu made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.

    Have an eagle week… And next…And….

    A great Thought..

    “You don’t die if you fall in water, you die only if you don’t swim.

    That’s the Real Meaning of Life.

  23. A man walks into a pet shop and says to the owner, “I want to buy a pet, but I don’t want a boring normal pet – no cats or dogs. I want something different.”

    The pet shop owner informs him that he has a talking centipede.
    “Really?” says the man. “How much?”
    The owner informs him that the talking centipede costs $50. Happy with the unusual offering, the man pays the money and takes his new pet home.
    Upon getting home, he lays the matchbox containing the centipede on the table, opens it and says, “Hello Mr. Centipede, fancy going to the pub for a few drinks?”

    The centipede says nothing. Figuring it must be tired from the journey, the man decides to leave it for an hour and try again later.
    An hour later, he opens the matchbox and says “Hello Mr. Centipede, fancy going to the pub for a few drinks?”
    The centipede again says nothing. Starting to get suspicious, the man decides he will give it one more hour, and if the centipede doesn’t talk he will take it back to the shop for a refund.
    An hour later the man opens the matchbox and repeats, “Hello Mr. Centipede, fancy going to the pub for a few drinks?”

    The centipede then says, “I heard you the first time you moron! I’m putting my shoes on!”

  24. Walter , thanks to you and Tony , there fewer and fewer ducks on here ! More serene and quiet . Just the one or two more to get rid of !

  25. @WalterBroeckx, u got that right. what really amaze me when some of ‘them’ came here at UA and talk their rubbish and accusing this site is full of negative stuff. how come it’s a negative thing in their eyes when UA and many of the commenter here is supporting instead of condoning and defending rather than slating the club, players and manager or about what the media/pundit etc said about Arsenal. some of ‘them’ really had a weird way of viewing thing in life and never failed to make ‘them’self look like a fool when they speak their mind.

  26. OT
    Officials for the Burnley match are….

    Referee: Craig Pawson
    Linesmen: A Holmes and S Ledger
    Fourth Official: L Mason

  27. Bloggs

    “One fan? He’s your Messiah and everything he says you all believe!

    As he says himself keep repeating it and eventually everyone believes it and last season 90% of contributers on here assumed Arsenal would win the league and when it didn’t blamed everyone else Inc the FA, corrupt officials and Leicester cheating etc”

    The thing with this site is that article writers cover a vast range of topics. They are usually very good and more often than not I agree with what they say.

    Why do you find it odd that regular visitors to this site, such as myself, by and large support and agree with what is said by it’s proprietors ? Surely the very reason we are here is because we like and agree with most of what they say. I know that’s why I’m here.

    People gravitate to people and views that they are in accord with. That is human nature.

    You don’t find many Socialists at a Capitalist rally do you ?

    You don’t find many Muslims at a mass do you ?

    You don’t find many Rock Music fans at a Hoedown do you ?

    As I say, it’s only natural that people of a like mind gather at the same places.

    What would be odd is if a Rock fan turned up at a Hoedown then started moaning about the music being played, wouldn’t it ?

    Don’t you agree ?

    Are you telling me that it’s not the same at Le Grove for example?

    Are you telling me that they don’t have a similar 90 % of visitors agreeing with the proprietors views on that site?

    Surely it would be odd if they didn’t.

    As for the 90% of contributors thinking we would win the league I think that’s a slight exaggeration don’t you ?

    But even if they did, what is wrong with that ?

    I don’t know. Maybe you can tell me ?

    And if I did, if we did, are you trying to suggest that we only thought that because Tony told us too ?

    Really ?

    I’m nearly 60 years old and followed Arsenal all my life.

    I’ve somehow managed to get to this point in my life without Tonys advice, God knows how, yet you’re accusing me of not being capable of making my own mind up as to whether I think Arsenal could win the league or not.

    Are you for real ?

    And one last point, even if 90% of us did think we where going to win the title last year.

    And if we did think that because Tony told us to, that doesn’t change the fact that Michel Owen was talking out of his arse, because thinking we might win the league when we are either leading or 2nd in the table as was the case for long periods last season, is hardly the same as “……..thinking we’re going to win the league every time we win a match” is it ?

    Conversely I have to agree with him that there is a certain section of fans that want Wenger sacked every time we lose a match.

    Now I wonder where they all hang out ?

  28. Can’t quite understand all this fury about Wright and Co, who regularly proffer widespread criticism of Arsene Wenger and whatever team he selects.
    Progamme-makers of this sort thrive on abrasive and outrageous remarks as they affect ratings which is the real object of the exercise. So-called pundits like Hansen, Shearer and Wright are listened to, not so much for their football knowledge as for being confrontational in what they say.
    Personally, I turn the sound down whenever these “experts” are on TV, preferring to see my heroes, live, on screen.
    Professional footballers only appear to become “experts” after they have ceased playing. During their careers, most cannot chew gum and run at the same time. 😉

  29. Brilliant football last night from Arsenal.
    This Wenger-type of football is so, so beautiful. Long may it last.
    Thank you Arsene Wenger.

    I do hope we manage to finish off the many good chances that our beautiful football creates. If we had been clinical in our finishing we could have scored 6 or 8 goals against FC Basel last night (and this could have helped our goal aggregate).
    I just hope this “wastefulness” in front of goal won’t come back to haunt us.

  30. Jambug
    I fear your very good response to Bloggs will fall on stony ground, he will be incapable of comprehending any of your points.
    He is, I suspect, not even up to the “village idiot” level of intelligence shown by our friend engram recently.

  31. What a super performance last night – yet again.

    The team selection pre Chelsea was highly criticised by many of the TV pundits, press and bloggers – and the team performance against Chelsea and Basel was scinillating – some of the most exciting play we have seen anywhere for a very long time.

    Those who have been trying to ridicule AW for the sake of their own egos, or for any other reason, have been shown to be what they really are – intellectual nonentities!

    Well done the team and manager.

  32. nicky

    It’s not about being controversial, it’s about being biased and hyper-critical of one club in particular, Arsenal.

    When did you ever hear Hanson, Shearer, Lawrenson, etc. criticise there ex clubs to the extent our ex players do us. You hear all three of them criticise Arsenal all the time.

    Did you hear Keane literally taking the piss out of us Walcott in particular last night? It was a fucking joke.

    There’s been a lot of talk about Theos upturn in form, this is what we get from Keane when he’s asked about it:

    “10 years at the Club. Look he’s had a good week………’s took him a while to get settled hasn’t it, you know, 10 years at the Club. Listen he’s had a good week. The guy needs to relax (to laughter) try and do it for the next 5 6 7 8 Months when the real big crunch games are coming up……..when the cold nights come in, when half the Arsenal players will have there gloves on (more laughter) I wouldn’t be getting carried away with Walcott, he’s still got a lot to do, lovely goals tonight, simplicity, his movement his finishing, outstanding, but he’s got to do it over the course of the next year or 2”


    He’s talking as if he’s never had a good game or spell in his life.

    He says ‘the guy needs to relax’. What’s that all about ? It’s the f*****g media that are going over the top. Theo’s just answering questions in a very level headed way.

    He says he’s got to do it in ‘crunch’ games. Yeah right. How’s that ever going to happen when the goalposts get moved etime we win a match? I thought the game against Chelsea was a ‘crunch’ game. Well, at least it was right up until the moment we, including Walcott, stuffed them, then it became a nothing game.

    What’s this about gloves?

    Basically it was a 2 minute uninterrupted piss take of Arsenal and Theo Walcott. What he said had no basis in fact and was simply yet another dig at Arsenal.

    We had just won 2 matches on the trot, one against Chelsea, for all the problems still a formidable opponent, and one against Basel, a team that are running away with there league and have an incredible record against English Clubs in there own back yard, in the most emphatic way, playing the most beautiful football, and that’s what we get.

    Can you imagine this following similar results for Liverpool, Spurs, United etc. ?

    It’s not just infuriating because it’s negative, it’s infuriating because it’s such a distortion of the facts.

    nicky, can you not see the adverse effect all this constant criticism has had on our Club ?

    Starting with turning our own fans against us to the point they accost our manager at a railway station.

    To the point they boo and jeer our own players to the detriment of there performances. To the point they end up leaving us in some cases.

    I could go on.

    It should not be ignored as innocent jabber in order to cause controversy, because it is not. It is an insidious, endless attempt to undermine our club to it’s detriment and I will continue to call them out at every opportunity.

    Dismiss it if you like nicky, I will not.

  33. That first 40 minutes was unreal.

    I got a pretty strong sense we wouldn’t quite hit that level again in the remainder of the match. May be getting my own reactions and the team jumbled but at that 40 minute mark I actually felt a bit tired- too much incredible football!- and felt I was more or less in sync with the team. A full 90 minutes or even 60 at that level of intensity is nigh on impossible I reckon.

    Anyway, we narrowly missed out on a massive statement with the scoreline (4 at least, possibly 5 or 6, by half-time) but the performance was there for it.

    I was enjoying myself far too much to notice, but did this multiple ball system that’s been mentioned for the champions league have any impact on how relentlessly we were getting at them?

    I don’t recall Basle using any tricks whatsoever to try gain themselves a breather and, on reflection, the storm we unleashed on them seemed different to even our best spells in the league. I’m wondering if that multi-ball system was a big help in that.

  34. Jambug

    Sounds like you let your guard down a little if you were listening to Keane mate.

    I knew he’d pull something like that so switched over sharpish. It’s a shame and I miss out on some of the football on those highlights shows, because I normally switch over whenever the pundits talk, but it’s the best bet for me.

    Now that I’ve seen his comments though…what a wanker.

    On Theo…I’m pretty sure his record is very decent in big games. I can recall plenty of goals and top performances against Chelsea, City, Spurs, at least a few against Utd, an FA cup final, Barcelona, Bayern, that amazing run against Liverpool way back at the beginning in a champions league quarter final.

    Utterly absurd to write all of that off. Why is it beyond the likes of Keane to express reservations and criticise but in a realistic way with a basis in facts?

  35. MarkHazel

    Just trying to explain, yes of course we tend to agree with what Tony and the others have to say, that’s why we are here.

    But that doesn’t mean we are mindless sheep.

    That was my point. Will he accept that ? We shall see.


    Regarding team selection, spot on.

    Prior to the Chelsea match there was one guy on here slaughtering Wenger, especially the playing of Sanchez as centre forward. I cant recall his name.

    Funny, he hasn’t been back since.


    Regarding ‘multi ball’, you may have a point there. It was as you say, relentless, in that opening half.

    This is easily the best I have seen us play for a long time. The thing I like the most is the transition from defence to attack. Back in the day of Henry and co’s peak, the opposition where often at there most vulnerable when THEY had a corner. Teams got to a point when they where afraid to attack us. I remember us being referred to as the ‘Red Arrows’ on more than one occasion.

    I feel we are getting back to something along those lines now.

    Also our pressing has got more intense, and we are getting back ‘into shape’ much quicker.

    All great portents for the rest of the season.

    Lets hope so anyway.

  36. Rich

    It truly was a pathetic piece of critique.

    And what’s more Lee Dixon just sat there and said nothing, and the anchor thought it appropriate to laugh.

    I know I messed up big time by listening, but how truly deplorable is it that that’s what I need to do in order to protect my blood pressure ?

  37. Jambug,
    I don’t think there are many people that take any of Keanes comments seriously. He’s a Pikey that was a good footballer (which he shamefully hide behind thuggery far too often) and thinks he can manage because he’s confrontational.
    But his managing skill have been proven to be poor, so now he assists managers by shouting at players. But his underlying motive for everything he does is Money.

  38. @Jambug, in my humble opinion’ as long as Arsenal football club is managed by Arsene Wenger, the critic and opinion about Arsenal always gonna be biased and hyper-critical by the media/pundit alike. mind u’ under the guidance of AW, Arsenal never been in crisis or caught in any wrong doing or scandal alike and always finish inside the top 4, (CL football every year) even in a hardship period during the stadium moved when the club had to operate under tight budget and the star players been cherry picked by rival club. maybe the pundit/media realize not many manager can do like what AW manage to do with Arsenal, plus ‘the invincible’ that no other manager in modern era manage to accomplish. even the most successful manager, SAF (according to british pundit) with the richest club in the world failed to do what Arsene’ who? manage to succeed with Arsenal (49,49 undefeated). maybe that’s why they always show their bitterness toward Arsenal and AW cos deep down they knew Arsenal always will be remembered as the club that managed to go all season undefeated while playing beautiful football.

  39. Keane was a talented player, whose ability was tarnished by his thuggery.

    As a manager, he has proved to be a total and utter failure.

    His snide remarks about Arsenal should be ignored as simply the expression of small-minded jealousy

  40. In two games WALCOT is the finished article for some….not for me.He has to show it week in week out to be considered a top one.Yes Reality

  41. Well said jambug @ 10.57

    Gary Linekar once said:
    “Au revoir Wenger”
    But he fired his shots too early and missed his target (the Gunners).

    A penny for his thoughts on his colleagues like Stuart Hall.

  42. @Jambug,
    Your comments, my friend, merely add fuel to the point I keep making, namely,
    1. If you are not controversial you won’t make on the list of TV pundits.
    2. Ex Arsenal players on Arsenal are perfect fodder on air to increase TV ratings. Provided of course that they are prepared to criticise and not congratulate.
    3. Neutral followers of football tune in to enjoy outrageous criticism on TV (or Radio) rather than compliments.
    4. In the 1930’s Arsenal managers such as Chapman and Allison would delight in the publicity afforded by the likes of Wright and Co. It keeps the Club in the news, doesn’t affect the players and shouldn’t affect any supporter worth his salt.
    5. The answer? Ignore the creeps. Bear in mind that an opinion expressed is that of an individual, nothing more. 😉

  43. The reason why some have made the conscious choice to ignore walcott’s top level form before his big injury is because that’d mean that someone might have to watch some replays of play, reflect upon his injury and how he got it.

  44. However your average football fan like the random Southampton fan I met can compare walcott’s struggles post injury with, say, Jay Rodriguez.

    But such simple logic appears to be beyond the ex-pro’s who are paid to mimic Alan Partdridge?

    Don’t be kidding yer selves.

  45. I don’t actually disagree with Roy Keane. Walcott’s challenge is to continue to play at this level. Too often he has been scythed down by injury and this has prevented a long run of good form.

  46. nicky

    It’s not what it is I am questioning, it’s the fact that yourself and others seem so accepting of it, and moreover you think that it is all innocent fun that has no impact.

    You are, in my opinion, wrong on all fronts.

    1) Being controversial is NOT the same as being agenda driven and biased is it?

    2) But why is it only ex Arsenal players are expected to be so critical of there own club if it isn’t to fit this agenda?

    3) Of course fans enjoy outrageous criticism, but why always about Arsenal ? I would love to hear similar endless derision of Chelsea, as I suspect would my West Ham, Spurs and Man Utd supporting friends, but we don’t get it do we ?

    4) You think it doesn’t affect the players. Well it may not directly, but it definitely does indirectly because if you are seriously saying it doesn’t affect the fans then you are fooling yourself. And it is the fans that turn on our own players, our manager, our board and our Club, at the merest opportunity, and that DOES affect the players.

    As for this:

    5. The answer? Ignore the creeps. Bear in mind that an opinion expressed is that of an individual, nothing more.

    You’re just contradicting yourself.

    In points 1 and 2 you say it’s the TV pundits job to be “controversial” and therefore that makes ex Arsenal players “perfect fodder on air to increase TV ratings. Provided of course that they are prepared to criticise and not congratulate”. So how is that there own opinion and nothing more, as you suggest it is in point 5 ? How does that statement in point 5 tie in with points 1 and 2? It doesn’t.

    Sorry nicky, I like many of your comments but you are way off base here trying to defend the indefensible.

    The least it has done over the years has turned our own fans against us, and laid a fertile landscape in which referees could stitch us up without any questions being asked.

  47. Andy Mack

    Like to hear you calling Keano a ‘pikey’ to his face which makes you a nasty little racist. He was only saying what is common knowledge about Arsenal falling away as the season progresses and he has been just as withering about Man Utd. I think he is value entertainment and he clearly beats the slavish attitude that pollutes this site.

  48. @Jamburg
    I still doubt he can perform as he did the two games on future.Just dont see it.Pessimistic no.It is just the accumulation of his performance throughout the decade that does not convince me.

  49. @engram, it’s that the best u can come up with. calling people ‘pikey’ might be offensive, but it’s not racist, as it isn’t specific to race at all. it’s better having slavish attitude pollutes this site rather than people with negative attitude that only knows to talk crap and abusing the players, manager and even the club their support. even when they speak their mind, they still managed to show how idiot they really are.

  50. Jambug / Andy Mack – to call Keane a Pikey is an insult to Pikeys. He is the thick Irishman that Irish comedians refer to. His pants are always stained because he doesn’t know where his arse is. He is a bully that only knows aggression.

    Alex – you are the finished article!

    engram – why have you stopped playing in the traffic? You know that you’re not being cared for in this community!

    Wenger’s Arsenal were awesome. The football in the last two games was worth the season ticket. The goals will come despite them ducks.

    Well done Walter – yet again shining like the star you are.

  51. Menace

    Another ‘tough’ boy in cyberspace who like Bushido sounds bitter, twisted and insecure because he/they know the wheels will fall off again.

    Someone really should correct the ‘chief reporter’s’ stream fed rambling before it hits space lol!

  52. @Jambug.

    You’re spot on as usual.

    The media agenda against Arsenal is clear to see.
    It’s a pity that Arsenal’s ex-players have no backbone at all. Ian Wright is the worst. Thierry Henry is not much better. As for Merson, the less said the better.
    Some of these ex-players have wasted the millions they earned as players on gambling, booze and women. They are now broke so they will prostitute their souls to the media by attacking their club so as to get called for more punditry jobs and earn a living.
    But Thierry Henry isn’t broke? He is very wealthy. He is a multimillionaire. He doesn’t have to attack Arsenal.
    Maybe no matter how rich you are, getting an extra £2m or £3m or £4m from Skysports for criticizing your beloved Arsenal is fine.

    It’s now a pity that some of very own players (such as Walcott) are beginning to believe that they have been useless for 10 years!!!

    As someone once said, the media is a terrible and evil thing, it can make you hate your liberator and friends but show love and appreciation to your oppressors.

  53. @Jambug,
    In WW2 we and others fought a war with the intention, inter alia, of preserving man’s right to free speech.
    You are now questioning that right, which I find sad and regrettable.

  54. engram, you’ve just proven that Keane only tries to entertain the lowlifes and it appears he succeeds in it. 😀

  55. Finsbury

    Excellent point. The list of speedsters who have completely overcome a cruciate to perform exactly as they did previously is surely a short one.

    On the other hand, players who were never the same again in their movement includes original Ronaldo, Shearer and, with catastrophic effects on his game, Michael Owen.

    The original Ronaldo was so good he was still able to achieve great things despite being drastically brought down from his full glory, Shearer was tough and savvy enough to still have a good career while not being a patch on what he had been; Owen, a deadlier finisher but someone I believe had plenty of similarities to theo in his strengths, weaknesses and style, was kaput, finished.

    Pires returned fantastically but was never a pure speedster and had a skill and craft level which was more suited to full recovery. Other guys in a similar boat were Baggio and Eider Gudjohnsen, both had terrible knee injuries at the start of their career but had the skills to adapt.

    I think it would be pretty simple, and should be essential, for commentators to discuss these things in relation to Theo or anyone coming back from a massive knee injury.

    Don’t want to say certain things, for jinxing/superstitious reasons, but it looks like Theo has made a fantastic and unusually good recovery from the injury.

    If he can continue as he is, it makes what I believe was his excessive caution of last year the work of a man who calculated the probabilities extremely well. There must be players who have experienced incredible regret at rushing back or trying to play with total freedom well before they should have.

    Prime example for me is Micah Richards : took a hammering with injury and tried to get himself back on track by being increasingly reckless when he could play. Crazy approach and half-ruined him. Wilshere was sadly a bit like that as well. First u21 game back after six months out, and he was launching himself into uncertain challenges near the touchline at half-way line

    Now I just want Theo to not get too carried away, and to remember there are some situations, like Kaboul with raised studs in a position to smash you if you engage, that are best left alone.

  56. Alex

    Well I’m sorry to disagree but I’ve seen him play this well on many occasions. This isn’t a ‘freak’ 2 games as people are trying to suggest.

    I’ve reproduced statistics to show he’s scored at this rate before. I’ve reproduced statistics to show how he out performs his contemporaries that play in a similar role.

    The only period in his career his standards slipped was following yet another injury last year.

    History suggests he will continue in this vein, not the opposite as you suggest.

  57. MickHazel

    September 29, 2016 at 10:30 am


    I fear your very good response to Bloggs will fall on stony ground, he will be incapable of comprehending any of your points.
    He is, I suspect, not even up to the “village idiot” level of intelligence shown by our friend engram recently.

    Absolutely correct Mick. Not a Dicky Bird.

  58. Good review Walter! Fast paced first half! This is going to be a fun team to watch as they continue developing!

    I’m surprised engram actually still writes and responds. He never gave a response, when I showed what he believes was outright wrong in the sanchez/henry and costa articles. And now, he’ll be off with his tail between his legs.

  59. @Jamburg
    I like your response even if i dont agree fully.
    Unlike others because an Arsenal fan criticize for good or bad i ve seen here ifiots they just jump on calling names dowble AA or AAA or whatever which franlky i dont give a look.

    As you said you might have compiled Theo statistics before.Statistics are as good as you want them to be.The honest and frank of the player (Theo) speaks volume to me.

    He admitted himself was not upto standard.

    It shows to me his truethfullness and honesty.You are more optimistic on Theo but i am more hopefull guess who Sanogo.
    Yes Sanogo never given a run of games as others but i do believe he is a strong presence in the box even admitedly his touch is iffy.

  60. @Alex,
    I share your view of Sanogo.
    And luckily for him, so does Arsene Wenger who has kept him on Arsenal’s wage bill. 😉

  61. I just hope Theo has (re)found a sense of purpose and will strengthen his strengths and play to them. The interplay and vision shown against Basel was exceptional in quality from him and the team all round. He has shown flashes before (that night against Barcelona when a full blooded tackle showed we meant business, the crowd went mental, and it went on to be one of the most rocking nights at the Emirates I’ve had). Sadly there have been times he has looked lost and bewildered, possibly trying too hard when the ball arrived and impotent without it. There seemed a danger he would become a 33 year old with potential. AntiTheoites around me have been simply disappointed and frustrated and relish the “new Theo”. They are more than willing to get behind him but he needs to continue to give them something to believe in. The team gelled wonderfully but there will be games we don’t score early, play against a parked bus on a carefully ploughed pitch, in miserable conditions.

  62. nicky

    First you accuse me of trying to stop freedom of speech.

    Then you accuse me of being paranoid.

    Sorry, I just don’t get what your on about, and as you seem more intent on insults than explanations I suppose I’ll have to remain in the dark.

  63. Alex


    As for what you say about statistics, yes they can be manipulated but I haven’t manipulated Theos at all. If you think I have, show me how.

    It seems to me people will dismiss statistics when they don’t like what they show, and embrace them when they do.

    Theo is a wide playing forward who scores at a ratio at least equal to, and better than, most, if not all of his contemporaries in the English game.

    That is a fact. That is not me getting statistics to say what I want them to say.

    The truth is Alex, every player that steps on to a football pitch is analysed to death with the use of statistics.

    His sprints.

    His total distance ran.

    His number of passes.

    His passing accuracy.



    Shots on target.


    I could go on.

    These are all statistics and it is how players are assessed, and judged.

    Yes what the eye sees is important, but statistics are what is used to support, or otherwise, what the eye sees.

    I believe Arsenal themselves use a scouting system that relies heavily on statistics, so even though you may not think statistics prove anything it seems Arsene Wenger and Arsenal beg to differ.

  64. Hey Jamburg
    Sorry for late reply was a bit ill.

    Please do not understand me wrongly on your statistics work. It was a general statement my comment in regard statistics not your specific research and compilation.

    Walcot still raw indeed .Unmeasured force on his passes -decision making and all that not for me after a decade of development. Sorry

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