Santi gets his Claws into Reading

Nobody seemed prepared to predict the outcome of this one. Would The Arsenal rise from the ashes of the funeral pyre built and torched by the press since the Valley Parade debacle or would they produce another Xmas turkey of a performance?

The line-up seemed bright and attacking with a Pod, Theo, Ox combination up front. Mozart couldn’t find a space on the Conductor’s stand with Santi set to continue baton duties. The bench looked strong with Giroud and Koscielny returning after visiting Abou.

teamsheet

  • Subs  Mannone, Koscielny, Rosicky, Ramsey, Coquelin, Giroud, Gervinho

 

Arsenal began the first half in threatening mood. Chamberlain broke away in the 2nd minute, fed Santi then cheekily took the ball off the Spaniard’s toe before unleashing a fierce drive. The first five minutes were all Arsenal with only a key pass in the final third missing.

A superb cross from the Ox needed Podolski to attack the ball. This was one of the few occasions where Arsenal didn’t attack the ball coming into the box which later became a feature of tonight’s performance. Some poor defending was followed by a swift break resulting in a Podolski shot which was blocked.

Reading won a corner on 11 minutes and the deficiencies of zonal marking were clearly exposed as the Reading player attacked the ball and got in front of the static Arteta. Arsenal responded with some fine passing play. The ball went wide to Podolski who slipped the ball on to Gibbs. Podolski continued his run into the area and controlled the ball with his right on to his left, bang. Arsene and Bouldie still looked less than happy. Mind you, you can understand that after the slaughtering they’ve had this past week.

wenger and bould

Cazorla suddenly looked back to his early season form, spraying the ball around and taking pot shots given half a chance. A move involving a particularly delicious through ball to Gibbs breaking down the right, ended with another Podolski effort screwing wide of the goal.

The 21st minute gave Theo the chance to confirm and consolidate his claims to play up top, but he fluffed his lines allowing the Reading keeper to block. At the other end Sir Chez was catching the ‘impossible corners to defend ‘ from Shorey and as a result gave his defence some much-needed confidence.

Arsenal were now slipping into turbo with a great run from The Ox and a Wilshere shot after a bout of pinball in the Reading penalty box. A vague threat from the home team was snuffed out by Vermaelen and Gibbs got in a fine block. Theo found Cazorla at the far post and yet another block meant that Arsenal couldn’t capitalise on a period of virtual total dominance.

A second goal was required to cement Arsenal’s superiority and it duly came in the 32nd minute. Podolski took on his full back (what a lovely sight, that is) and sent in a great cross, Santi stooped to head into the net for a lovely goal. Late runs into the area and players getting on the end of crosses, whatever next.

santis header

A relatively uncommon sight then became the norm as Arsenal now oozed confidence. The third goal came down the right with Theo shifting the ball to give himself space to cross to Gibbs on the back post, arriving late again. Gibbs headed back into the danger zone and Cazorla swivelled to put the Gunners 3 up and cruising.

Jack’s Christmas celebrations may have to be put on hold for a few days as he received an early present of crushed nuts from McAnuff in the 39th minute. There was no malice in the challenge but studs into the groin in December are sure to make the eyes water.

jack gets it in the nuts

 The first half came to a close with an Ox run, some excellent interplay from Gibbs, Wilshere and Walcott and nearly finished with an Ox headed goal from a Sagna cross.

The second half began brightly but Arsenal’s spark seemed to dwindle as the intelligent movement off the ball started to diminish as that horrible casual ‘job done’ streak crept back into our play. We were still creating some chances though, with Theo slipped in by Jack and Santi unlucky not to latch on to the rebound.

A few minutes of Reading revival saw some good command of his area from Szczesny and the BFG was reminiscent of Beckenbauer at times with his calm interceptions and beautifully timed tackles. Even then, Walcott had another great shooting opportunity but the ball went wide.

What we needed was another goal and that’s exactly what we got after more sharp play, Jack to Podolski and a tap in for a well deserved hat trick for the man from the North Pole.

santis hattrick

Theo had a chance to make it 5 but shot straight at the keeper. Then came that moment we all dread as Arsenal fans, coasting at 4-0, Gibbs played a risky ball infield to Wishere, Jack slipped and Reading scored. Only a consolation said the commentators, but you never know.

Arsenal’s foot was well and truly off the pedal by now. If they keep the tempo up it takes the pressure off, relax and even a team whose form is as poor as Reading’s sense some uplift. The second Reading goal was utter garbage from the Gunners. The commentators delighted in reminding us of the day Dowd engineered a Geordie comeback. The options for the man on the ball had dried up and nobody was willing to kick a few backsides.

On 74’ the Ox was subbed for Ramsey. The Ox had been non-existent in the second half. Complacency? Tiredness? I’m not sure but after a fine first half it was disappointing. Bacary looked half-hearted at times going forward then with little effort to get back when the ball was lost. Passes were going backwards in our own half as if we didn’t know whether to stick or bust.

The 80th minute saw my personal prayers answered with a brilliant piece of play from Cazorla and a fine finish from Theo. Theo’s pistols were finally discharged into the Reading net and we could breathe a sigh of relief.

theo scores

A round of substitutions, a Podolski blast and a near thing for substitute Giroud saw the game out for the Gunners. The BFG had time for one last majestic interception and Vermaelen got back well when the Reading player took a fraction too long when clean through.

All in all, a fine way to go into the festive period.Reading weren’t very good opposition but you can only beat the team in front of you, so upwards and onwards to a lunchtime date with Wigan. I’m looking forward to going already. Please can we play like we did in the first half for the whole 90 minutes. Please.

Santi took the ball home after a fine hat trick and man of the match performance.

santi gets the match ball

Ratings

Szczesny– Looked commanding from any aerial threat and didn’t stand much chance with either of the goals……7

Mertesacker – Majestic. Calm and assured, admittedly against a limp attack……8

Vermaelen – Much better from Tommy after his Yorkshire nightmare……7

Sagna – Got forward well, looked a little slack 2nd half and seemed to be arguing with TV5 at the final whistle….7

Gibbs – Supported Podolski really well in the first half. His two assists were balanced out by a poor pass to gift Reading the glimpse of a lifeline. …..7

Wilshere – Jack was excellent in the first half, then seemed to stop showing for the ball once the team believed they’d already won  …..8

Arteta – Effective, reliable. Allows Jack and Santi to play …….8

Cazorla – Magnificent and back to his best with a deserved hat trick …..9

Podolski – Much much better from Lukas. Took his goal superbly and looked dangerous on the left flank with two assists…..8

Walcott – Theo’s pace and subsequent threat seemed to occupy Reading all night. Could have had several more goals. Sign da ting Theo…..7

 The Ox – Great first half. Perhaps he tired in the second. Lovely to see him build as the season progresses…..7

Subs

Giroud – Nearly scored as a late sub….7

Ramsey – Added some drive…..7

Coquelin – Brought on to give Santi a standing ovation …..7

Written by chas

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132 Responses to Santi gets his Claws into Reading

  1. dandan says:

    Just off out hav’nt read the post will do later, but thought I would leave you with this. From today’s Mirror…….

    Here we goal again: Why #WengerOut is not trending anymore

    18 Dec 2012 07:30
    Arsenal came back from their humbling defeat to Bradford in stunning style, writes Oliver Holt

    Arsene Wenger looks on during the Capital One Cup quarter final match between Bradford City and Arsenal at the Coral Windows Stadium
    Getty
    Still think his time’s up?

    Still want to join the #WengerOut movement?

    Still think it’s time to shower some more abuse on the best manager Arsenal ever had?

    Still think Arsene Wenger’s useless, clapped out, broken, shot, outmoded, gone, past it?

    Still think he’s a relic? Still think he’s living on past glories?

    On balance, I’m guessing probably not.

    Read the Daily Mirror match report: High five: Cazorla hat-trick helps Arsenal bounce back against Reading

    Sure, the Reading team that Arsenal annihilated last night were desperately poor.

    But if Reading were embarrassingly bad, Arsenal were embarrassingly good. They made their opponents look like novices.

    This is the same Reading team, don’t forget, that ran Manchester United close a couple of weeks ago.

    So all the talk about the season of doom into which Wenger is leading his team isn’t looking so clever any more, is it.

    Instead of crumbling after their shock Capital One Cup defeat to Bradford last week, they bounced back in style at the Madejski Stadium.

    Alright Jack: Wilshere congratulates Cazorla
    Getty
    Arsenal are fifth now, two points behind Spurs in fourth. And that’s without really playing to their potential so far.

    Their next three games against Wigan, West Ham and Newcastle are all eminently winnable.

    And don’t forget that when the Champions League second round draw is made on Thursday, Arsenal will be in it. Chelsea won’t.

    So maybe it’s time to call off the slavering dogs for a while and admit that, actually, Arsenal are pretty much where they should be.

    Unable for the last five years to compete financially with United, Manchester City and Chelsea, Arsenal, once again, are close to being the best of the rest.

    In fact, Wenger even allowed himself to talk of a new dawn for the club after the game.

    “After we built the new stadium, we have had restricted potential financially,” Wenger said, as he discussed attempts to persuade Theo Walcott to stay. “Hopefully now we can be a bit more convincing.”

    Last night, Arsenal stopped being a club burdened by unrest and let poor Reading assume that tag instead.

    Up front: Walcott excelled in a striker’s role
    Getty
    When the boos rang out this time, they were not for Arsenal but for the team they trounced.

    And against a side that already looks dangerously close to being resigned to relegation, Arsenal played some of the sumptuous football that has always been Wenger’s trademark.

    “The old Arsenal,” Jack Wilshere called it.

    Walcott said it was “the true Arsenal”. Whoever it was, it was a lot, lot better.

    A glance through their line-up last night was enough to see their potential: Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere, Walcott, Arteta.

    And they overwhelmed Reading. They made them chase shadows. They made the match look like a training exercise.

    Wilshere, who is rumoured to be close to signing a new 5-year contract, was at the heart of everything.

    Santi Cazorla scored a fine hat-trick, Lukas Podolski was a model of industry and creativity down the left, Oxlade-Chamberlain oozed class.

    Arsenal did not shed all their recent vulnerability, though. They conceded two sloppy goals in the space of five minutes midway through the second half.

    If Wenger can strengthen the side anywhere in January, it has to be in the backfour.

    But there was to be no Reading comeback. Arsenal had done their job. They closed out the game and shut down the talk of crisis.

    Was it ever really a crisis anyway, Wenger was asked afterwards. “If a crisis is being slaughtered by everybody, we were in a super-crisis,” he said, smiling.

    Walcott sealed the victory with a clinical, crisp finish ten minutes from time.

    And, #WengerOut is not trending any more.

  2. JM says:

    Off-topic report.

    Our new midfielder destroyer ??

    {Sunzu linked with Premiership giants}.

    http://www.fazfootball.com/news/article/121217/Sunzu_linked_with_Premiership_giants

    Quote: “I will be travelling to England to sign a deal with Arsenal after the friendly game against Tanzania. As we speak, Mr Katumbi’s personal consultant Salomon Eskadela is here in Zambia waiting to travel with me to England,” said Sunzu.

    “I don’t know the details of the deal yet because I have not discussed with both Arsenal and TP Mazembe. However I spoke to both Mr Katumbi and Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger who assured me that I would not be going to London for trials but to discuss personal terms and possibly sign a contract.”

    Player profile
    Stoppila Sunzu
    Zambian international, 23yrs old, 6ft 2in. (1.89m)
    Plays in centre defence and defensive midfield positions.
    (Won African Cup of Nations 2012, scoring the winning penalty. FIFA Club World Cup runner-up in 2010.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoppila_Sunzu
    http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/en/stophira-sunzu/profil/spieler_82324.html

    What do you think, fellow AAers ?

  3. Big Raddy says:

    JM. What can one think? The man says he has spoken with AW and will sign – is he a liar or telling the truth?

    Would be a typical AW signing especially with Djourou likely to leave but would Sunzu be happy as 4th choice CB or is he to be a DM?

  4. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Excellent report. Only quibble is that I would give Santi a 10.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    BTW. Extremely impressed by the pics. How did you do them? Or was it some Rasp magic?

  6. Rasp says:

    Thanks chas, super match report. I agree about the deficiencies of zonal marking, athletes would perform the high jump from a standing position if that was the best way of gaining height!

    This is what I had to say about the game earlier …. fantastic first half performance. The sudden loss of shape, work rate, brains, ability that led to conceding 2 soft goals as they cut through us like a knife was worrying. If they’d have got a 3rd instead of us getting the 5th, it could have been a different story.

    One thing is for sure, the players proved that they are much much better than the performances of late and it is all down to formation and work rate.

    Here’s an idea, the team should have a ‘safe mode’ to revert to when the machine gets out of sync. The captain could give out a signal and we transform into a strong defensive formation until the rhythm begins to click again.

  7. LB says:

    Who wrote the title?

    Thanks Chas

    I can never read enough match reports when Arsenal win.

  8. Rasp says:

    Morning LB, the title was chas’ as were the pics/screen shots

  9. LB says:

    Walcott proved last night that he is more effective as a number 9 than both Gervinho and Giroud hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  10. LB says:

    Woo, good title Chas apologies for asking.

  11. Rasp says:

    Where does that ‘Walcott better than Giroud and Gerv’ quote come from LB?

  12. Morning all, thanks for a very blokey/macho match report Chas, full of visual stuff and no shilly-shallying with your take on the game.

    Anything other than a comfortable win would have been bad news for us – so let’s hope we can pile more misery on another relegation team at the weekend, Wigan.

  13. ArsenalForever says:

    Morning all, and good summary on the match Chas! Let’s hope for more of the same at Wigan on Saturday

  14. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “The Man from The North Pole”
    Geat report Chas. Thanks.
    As I’ve said before, you really have made the Reporter Job all your own :-)

  15. Wonderman says:

    Great match report Chas.I’m really annoyed that we conceded two goals and the tactical sloppiness we continue to display.
    A square pass in midfield is suicide in football, but yet we serve it up to give them hope. Our centre backs also a) continue to allow aerial balls to bounce needlessly and b) don’t cover each other when the other is challenging for the ball. In my opinion it is these bad habits and few others which are why we are not higher up the table.

    On a positive note, Theo looked threatening all evening as his movement is excellent. The Ox looks much more of a winger than Theo and now needs to add consistency of delivery. I thought last nights starting lineup made a mockery of playing Gervinho as a striker before Theo.
    Let’s try and build some momentum now

  16. Fab Report Chas
    It was good to have our old AFC back, put to the sword, attack attack attack….. shoot at any opportunity (and a little sleepy defense).
    On the whole i was over the moon with the performance, and Theo up front was a revelation, Reading FC defense were terriefied of his pace and played very deep and invited us on.
    Theo also had plenty of chances and wasn’t scared to shoot, mostly forced decent saves, and thoroughly deserved his goal.
    NIce post from DanDan too, i hate all of the negetivity, even people last night were moaning that we were playing a terrible side, but was it straight forward for MUFC or our reserve team prior to the game last night.
    Theo played CF last night, does this signify that contract negotiations are going well? Why else would Wenger not play OG……. I’m confused.

  17. GoonerB says:

    Great report Chas. I know Cazorla was MOTM but a short word on Theo. I thought he looked excellent as a number 9 last night. He missed a one on one but so have most strikers at some times, even the great TH14. What was more impressive was how he timed his run well and the way he bore down on goal with pace and control which for me was reminicent of TH14. Theo also has a good shot so is dangerous anywhere inside and around the edge of the box when he gets 1/2 a yard of space. I even saw him, with back to goal, hold the ball up and retain posession with 2 defenders on his back for those who say he can’t play number 9 as he doesn’t have the physical capabilities.

    Even when he is not doing great individual things in a match we seem to, generally, play more fluently when he is out there. He seems to be one of those players that make the team play better around him. If he goes I feel we will be losing a potent weapon and once again allowing a rival to get a player coming into their peak years that we have developed, polished, and presented to them gift wrapped. If it takes £100kpw to keep him so be it. I don’t want any swap deals with either Nani or Sterling. I have to semi-agree with LB (@10.28) that Theo is certainly a better number 9 than Gervinho, who for me should never play there. I wouldn’t even try and compare him directly with Giroud as they are different types of strikers. I would just be happy that we have 2 strikers that can offer us different things.

  18. Rasp says:

    Hi GoonerB, I agree. If it is about the money and Theo wants £100k a week, give it to him, get him to sign, protect our asset. There are ways to pay a player that do not constitute a weekly wage. We did it with Cesc and TH14.

  19. kelsey says:

    Thanks Chas,

    as i said earlier I am not getting carried away just yet. Theo has been saying for 2 seasons that he wants to play centrally and AW finally gave him his chance,but he will only be effective if as a team we start to play the ball more on the ground.One good game does not maketh a man, yet for certain games he would be extremely valuable, if he in fact stays.
    According to Lawrenson Gibbs had a great game, well I didn’t see it like that and Santos is not a good replacement so that is an area I would look at.
    IMO Giroud is a one trick pony at the moment,but I would give him the benefit of the doubt for the time being. gervinho will never be the standard required for a top team and I ask again why has Arshavin been frozen out ? We need at least a LB, a holding midfielder and another striker.
    The two goals we conceded were horrendous mistakes and i think Neville summed up the good and ugly about us, after the game.

  20. RockyLives says:

    Fantastic report and ratings Chas.

    I was going to quibble with your 7 for Gibbs – but I suppose, on balance, his two assists make up for giving away the ball for their first goal. (Incidentally, Jack’s slip had little to do with it as he would never have received the ball from Gibbs even if he hadn’t slipped. Gibbs just inexplicably passed the ball straight to a Reading shirt).

    Gibbs gives the collywobbles occasionally in defence, but he is a really good asset going forward and he and the Pod seem to enjoy playing together.

    Speaking of which, that was one of (if not the) best games the Pod has played for us.

  21. VCC says:

    Well said GonerB….Theo showed last night he can play in the spearhead position (no.9)

    Sing da Ting.

  22. RockyLives says:

    VCC

    The real reason Theo can work down the middle – unlike most of our forwards (and especially Gervinho) he is a cool finisher.

    Sing my dingaling da ting!

  23. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks for the fine post chas

    Last night showed a couple of things. Firstly, the way we popped the ball about with understanding and inteligence is a credit to one of the finest managers ever to grace world footbal. Secondly, it was a glimpse into our future. A British spine allied with top foreign talent.

    We are entering a period now were we can start offering stronger contracts to our top players and also one were we will have more muscle in the transfer market..

    We should be fighting for the title very soon, if not next season, certainly the season after and who will the manager be?? a certain Arsene Wenger.

  24. evonne says:

    Walcott, Walcott sign da ting!!

    Bad news my friends, Messi signed da ting till 2018 :( Mind you, if he was to play in EPL he’d want to go to Shitty

    Boxing Day fixture in doubt due to the lazy bastards going on strike again (tube staff, not footballers)

  25. jnyc says:

    Rasp, have agreed for a while. Give theo enough to sign. If its long term, and somehow doesnt work out, He will have some value to sell later. Cant give him away now. That would be epic fail after everything else that has transpired.

  26. Rasp says:

    Here’s a tasty morsel for all you foodies…..

  27. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I don’t think I’ll ever stop being grateful to Chas for putting up the “sign da ting” clip.
    Makes me smile every time I read it.

  28. Rasp says:

    Thanks jnyc, it’s sound business to protect our investment and keep hold of an asset. I know many will say that it will cause disquiet in the dressing room but the club itself has said that it will have more money in the next 2 years (the bottom club in the prem next season will get as mush as the winners this season) so we can afford to be a meritocracy and scale our pay relevant to the value of the player.

  29. evonne says:

    Micky – the clip is even better when you watch it :)

  30. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh do keep up Rasp,
    For some of us, Nigella is history in the posh totty stakes. We have moved up in the world.
    Kristin Scott Thomas is the new cat in town. She also appears in a Pinter play opening in London in January. I’m going for front row seats after a home game.
    Now, that will be a day out :-)
    ps As for the Pinter bit I say, whatever, could be Snow Blinkin White and I’d still be there.

  31. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Am I alone in thinking Jack is imposing himself as The Main Man both on and off the pitch.
    The New Mr Arsenal. Someone who makes it impossible for those around not to give 100%.
    The type of leader we have been lacking since Paddy/Tone.

  32. RockyLives says:

    Micky
    You are not alone :)

  33. Good grief The Rock, that’s (almost) the tag line from CE3K !

    We were out of this world last night.

  34. Rasp says:

    Oh yea, right micky, you’d turn down Nigella :roll:

  35. LB says:

    That is a very interesting thought Micky; you could be right: Jack Wishere the new Mr Arsenal.

    I like it.

    The thing that tortures me is that I believe we would have done even better with Rosicky playing instead of Wilshere; the Czech pings the ball around so much quicker than Jack; he speeds the whole game up and is more likely to score.

  36. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky
    Not alone. Scott Thomas or Jack?
    LB,
    Jack’s comments are increasingly those of a man whose veins run red and white.
    Back later.

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:

    LB
    You may be right, but a real leader is worth many pings :-)

  38. RockyLives says:

    Micky
    I’d rather not answer. Keep’s the enigma intact.

    Oh alright then – your view of Jack :)

  39. Rasp says:

    Does Thrimpong ping?

  40. LB says:

    Micky

    Definitely agree with you on the tone of Jack’s statements. A very clever observation.

  41. LB says:

    Obviously not, he Frims.

  42. kelsey says:

    Let’s play a game. If theo stays at an agreed 100K a week and was played centrally how many goals would you think would be worth the investment.

  43. Ah, I like games Kelsey; for £100k/wk I’d be looking at 25ish goals season.

  44. Big Raddy says:

    Working on Chamakh being paid @60k, then the answer is not very many.

  45. Gooner in Exile says:

    Chas, enjoyed that write up immensely, and the pictures.

    Called it as exactly as i saw it, i really didn’t enjoy the period between 4-0 and 5-2, watching the team knock the ball backwards because forward options were not there.

    But a win is a win is a win, and we needed it badly last night.

    Kelsey 20+ goals and 10+assists. (for me anyway).

    If RvP was on £90k a week, thats what Theo has to deliver if he wants more, we have to get value for money.

    As for Jack, I don’t want him anywhere near the skippers armband until he is at least 25. I know Adams was captain and Cesc, but he should be allowed to concentrate on his own game during this key stage of development rather than being the one everyone looks to.

    But in 2017 Jack Wilshere Captain, Carl Jenkinson Vice Captain.

  46. Gooner in Exile says:

    LB on your theory between Rosicky and Jack I think they both have similar qualities, Rosicky will tend to pass and move, whereas Jack will move with the ball. But they both get to to the same place eventually.

    One thing I noticed last night is Jacks 1st and 2nd touches, he seems to tempt the opposition in with his 1st touch and then when they have committed he whips it away and has taken them out of the game, and is motoring forward, a bit more calmness when picking the final ball needed at the moment.

    Here’s the thing, could we incorporate all 4 of our best midfielders?

    ……………………Arteta………………….
    ……Rosicky………………..Wilshere….
    …………………Cazorla…………………..
    ………..Walcott…………Giroud………..

    Obviously with Podolski we could also interchange Giroud and Pod, and even Theo and Gervinho.

    Ramsey would also have a more ready made role if needed in the centre of midfield if we stuck to the formation, Ox could step into Cazorla’s shoes which would benefit him being more central. Diaby could happily slip in to wither Jack or Tomas’s roles, and Coquelin can slot into Arteta’s role.

    Now add Sagna and Gibbs bombing on down the flanks and we could look very threatening going forward.

    Now if only we could make our central defence look more secure……bye bye Tommy

  47. kelsey says:

    In that case no deal to keep him, that’s why i posed the question

  48. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey
    Theo is on 11 goals (only one from central) and 10 from wide right is very very good. Also, how many goals would Santi have scored last night without the space created by the defence following Theo out of the picture.
    Advocatis Diaboli is what I’m being. :-)

  49. RockyLives says:

    Is BSR’s true value (in 2012/13) what we were paying him or what Manure are paying him?

    If it’s the latter, or somewhere in between, the comparison with Theo’s deal (if he were to stay) falls down.

  50. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    I love your trying to crowbar in all the best players.
    Try this: add Ox as well :-)
    3-1-6 Rules!

  51. LB says:

    Hi GIE

    Always enjoy your formation analysis.

    There are, of course, ways of accommodating both Rosicky and Wilshere, it was just that my comment referred to last night.

    As to your suggestion that both players get to the place where they need to be eventually, I say this: yes I agree again but one gets us there quicker and that same player is more likely to score. Something I notice you did not address.

  52. chas says:

    Thanks for the comments.
    Sorry it didn’t generate more.
    I suppose there’s more to talk about if we were absolute shite. :)

  53. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Easy Chas, we’re just warming up!
    LB’s got the corkscrew in his paws, and I’m in me comfy chair.

  54. RockyLives says:

    Chas

  55. RockyLives says:

    Does

  56. RockyLives says:

    this

  57. RockyLives says:

    help

  58. RockyLives says:

    ?

  59. RockyLives says:

    I blame Dandan

    His opening comment could easily have been divided into about 20 separate comments… :)

  60. MickyDidIt89 says:

    c

  61. MickyDidIt89 says:

    L

  62. MickyDidIt89 says:

    E

  63. MickyDidIt89 says:

    V

  64. chas says:

    Barstewards

  65. MickyDidIt89 says:

    ER Rocky :-)

  66. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I couldn’t make sense of that thing dandan copied. Some chippy bloke from the Mirror who kept saying “Getty”

  67. chas says:

    hahahahaha
    Getty
    Crisis, what crisis
    Getty

  68. chas says:

    That’s got it up to mid table mediocrity.
    Thanks chaps.

  69. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    I’m good for anywhere between 10 and 20 befre dawn :-)

  70. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Actually, while you’re here you can help me out. Now I’m watching on this awful wiziwig thing, on the flash sites (which suit my terrible broadband) how do I stop the ads popping up.
    I don’t want any software that turns my precious laptop to goo

  71. chas says:

    Micky,
    I think the ads may be built into the video which, I think, means you can’t stop them.
    Are you running adblock now?
    Sopcast is far superior if you can get it going and has no ads.

  72. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    Don’t know if I’m running adblock.
    Weird thing is that earlier yesterday I had been on the Lenovo website looking at their new laptops, and during the game on wiziwig up came endless Lenova ads.
    Cunning is what they are, or google is linked in somehow.
    I’ll go for sopcast for the Wigan game.

  73. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Also liked the “after visiting Abou” very ROLFING much.

  74. VCC says:

    MickyDidit……can you recommend a laptop for around £350 ?

  75. kelsey says:

    VCC Dell best value

  76. RockyLives says:

    VCC
    I can recommend a lapdance for around £350…

  77. chas says:

    Rocky :)

    Micky,
    The ads are targetted using any cookies you have on your machine. That’s why RA gets all those bra and knickers ads. :)
    Delete your cookies regularly and it’ll help. (You may have to re-enter login details on some sites but I’m sure you’ve got all of those stored safely somewhere!)

  78. Sheep Hagger says:

    Hi
    Any one got streaming sites for my I pad.
    Currently I use Veetle but its a little bit poo,wiz wig won’t work on I pad.

  79. kelsey says:

    RL

    I would expect the full monty for that amount for a week

  80. RockyLives says:

    Kelsey
    Really?
    I have no idea of the going rate for male strippers I’m afraid but I bow to your superior knowledge :)

  81. Sheep Hagger says:

    Lol u lot are mad.com

  82. Sheep Hagger says:

    Vcc get a I pad u will get one they are available in Wales.
    Much love
    SH

  83. VCC says:

    Cheers Kelsey,Rocky and Sheep Hagger.

  84. RockyLives says:

    How’s life treating you VCC?

  85. VCC says:

    Hectic at the moment Rocky. I’m gutted I could not get to see you on your recent trip to the Emirates. Dd you enjoy your trip?

  86. RockyLives says:

    Had a great time VCC – and was lucky to turn up to one of our wins!

    I’m hoping to be back early in the new year, so maybe we can share a beer or two.

  87. VCC says:

    That would be nice Rocky. Gtg speak soon.

  88. Luke says:

    A dominant display but shouldn’t disguise the fact that we need to spend in January. Read more here http://shootsyscores.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/new-years-shopping-list.html
    Feedback appreciated

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thanks Chas
    I do know how to clean up cookies, and you know me too well as yes, I am one of those that keeps all log in details in one big file marked Passwords :-)
    VCC
    Sorry was not here to advise on laptops. I zero use on techy stuff, but from practical experience would ask waht is it for?
    Travel, gets knocked about then SSD
    Graphics, games then max power
    If dull stuff like me and mostly work Word Excel PDF emails stuff, then go for quality build, less on power.
    You pay way over the odds for Sony and Apple, and also for ulta lightweight portability (that’s where I am).

  90. MickyDidIt89 says:

    youtubed Huntelaar on the back of rumours.
    Here are his goals from 11-12.
    From those, I seriously hope we NOT buy him.
    They are an identikit to Girouds at Montpellier.
    Am I right in thinking he looks carthoarse slow?

  91. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all, I am amazed at the pace our media moves, now they are heaping pressure on McDermott. Ok Reading are probably not going to survive in PL, but they have not spent silly money so they will be well set for relegation. They weren’t expected to get promoted last year but ended up going on a mad run and did it.

    I hope their new chairman doesn’t shaft him.

  92. Gooner In Exile says:

    Micky I agree that Huntelaar is not the man, the demand for him typifies our fans and media though. He played against us and scored therefore we should have signed him.

    He scored a lot of goals last year and is doing well this season but he is not IMO the player we need.

  93. kelsey says:

    Morning GIE

    It’s a long story buy my son’s godfather is a close friend of Majeski and before he resigned/sold his stake (don’t know the whole details) he said he preferred Reading to be in the Championship as opposed to the PL as balancing the books it made the club more efficent, if you get my gist.

  94. VCC says:

    MickyDidit 6:28 …..cheers for the info, much appreciated.

  95. kelsey says:

    Apparently our home game v WH maybe called off due to the tube strike,anyone else heard that

  96. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey
    That would be very sad as the Boxing Day fixture is such a traditional family day out match.

  97. kelsey says:

    my new year wish list to reduce wages on players not good enough for a team with ambitions to win a trophy.

    To leave:Fabianski,Squillacci,Chamakh,Bendtner ?,Arshavin (not on my wish list but obviously not wanted) Santos not good enough especially defensively

    Cover required for Gibbs, possibly Szscney and Jack (before he hits the red light) Rosicky (because he may break down again) Cover for OX as to much is expected of him and AW will use him sparingly,send ramsey out on loan

    Buy a CF (cover for giroud and theo) and a box to box player.
    Sell gervinho in the Summer

    i know it won’t happen but that’s how i see things going forward.
    I personally am not sure about Giroud as of yet or Theo based on one game playing centrally

  98. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey,
    So just the seven players then. Can’t see a problem :-)

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    My new year’s wish list is a little more modest.
    One superdooper DM and one night with……

  100. kelsey says:

    I can wish, Micky :)

    do you rate Gervinho or Giroud ?

  101. kelsey says:

    one night with GLIC :)

  102. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kelsey, heard similar yesterday on the radio, however McDermott said the plan was to be promoted at end of this season, not last.

    They are a well run club, but I’m not sure they are bold enough to secure the signings needed to have a chance of surviving. They would be a ideal club right now to send some youngsters to though, particularly think Miquel could learn a few things there and perhaps Frimpong (assuming his Charlton loan isn’t season long).

  103. Gooner In Exile says:

    There was criticism that Arsenal might call the game off when the tube strike was rumoured. As if we would do anything for a winter break.

    The pundits were saying “but QPR aren’t calling theirs off”.

    Considering the Emirates has 60000 punters and so many arrive by tube it kind of makes sense not to make it difficult, can you imagine the road traffic if you added 20000+ cars to the normal Boxing Day bargain hunter traffic? It would be crazy.

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey,
    “do you rate Gervinho or Giroud ?”
    Don’t think you are going to like this,but yes…both.
    First up, Giroud. Most of his goals at Montpellier were with his feet not head. In other words, I think we could still play the Arsenal Way with him in the side. Simply play our game as though we had a little ‘un in the middle.
    Now Gerv, and the bit you will really dislike. While he needs to improve his final ball, he attracts defenders like flies to smelly things. He is also a player who “takes on” (TM Rocky) and consequently, when he does beat one or more defenders there will be that much more space in the middle. Sort of the same with Theo. The real problem here, is that on the whole, wide boys hit their peak quite late, and I think the best is yet to come from both.
    I still prefer Gerv wide left to Pod.

  105. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey,
    As for your one night with Glic comment. Well, I’ve never met the fella, but so far out of the AA’ers I have met (I assume you are referring to the chaps here) then not one is anything like pretty enough.

  106. Sheep Hagger says:

    Hi
    No such things as tubes in Wales
    Much love sh

  107. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Not even as in “you complete and utter tube”
    Oh come off it, Sheep :-)

  108. kelsey says:

    Micky

    I am undecided about giroud early days for him but IMO gervinho brings very little to the side,I hope i am wrong but I doubt it.

  109. kelsey says:

    as runners up, is the first leg in the CL at home or away, I can’t remember.

  110. LB says:

    Morning Micky

    Some people on this site seem to be lifted by a good joke, it’s not that I don’t like a good joke, it’s just that I prefer a good football comment, the kind that makes me think and your 8.07 is one of the best I have read in months.

    Play Giroud as though he is a little un………..you are the first to say that……………brilliant.

  111. LB says:

    Morning Kelsey

    My understanding is our first leg will be at home.

  112. Sheep Hagger says:

    MickyDidIt89 says:
    December 19, 2012 at 8:30 am
    Not even as in “you complete and utter tube”
    Oh come off it, Sheep
    ———————————
    Sorry Micky I don’t understand what that means is it cockney slang for something
    Here’s a little welsh for you guess what I type

    nadolig llawen .
    Much love sheep

  113. Big Raddy says:

    Morning,

    If we win all our December games then I cannot see AWbuying anyone. Perhaps a loanee or two.

    Playing Theo centrally was both a fop to the player and an experiment to see if we could survive with Gerv away for a couple of months. It will be interesting to see if AW gives Podolski a game at CF.

    I would be surprised to see us buy a DM but it should be recalled that we tried to sign that bloke who went to Liverpool on loan which indicates AW recognises a weakness in the squad.

  114. evonne says:

    BR – he will, Stoppila Sunzu is due for a medical next week. WHO ????

  115. Big Raddy says:

    Evonne. Thanks. I will believe it when he is holding up the shirt with a smiling AW standing next to him.

    Just been doing some research into Sahin – the loan player who went to Liverpool (they paid a €2m fee + his very high RM wages). Despite being Budesliga player of the year only 2 seasons ago, Sahin has been a terrible signing – 7 games, 4 starts is a paltry return for the investment. He is behind a kid (Suso) and Shelvey in his position – even Joe Cole starts ahead of him.

    All that glitters …..

  116. LB says:

    “even Joe Cole starts ahead of him”

    Hahahahah………….

  117. evonne says:

    you of little faith :)
    I recon the media iduced pressure from the fans is beginning to be too much to ignore and AW will buy. He might not do what we would like him to do, but he’ll buy 1 or 2 players. You wonna bet?

  118. Rasp says:

    Stopilla is a great name for a DM though don’t you agree :)

  119. Big Raddy says:

    Not really because I want him to add to the squad. But being an adventurous soul I will take the bet and bet you Peaches swimming pool that we do not BUY two players in Jan.

  120. Rasp says:

    Morning all…..

    ……. New post ……..

  121. Big Raddy says:

    Would be our first SS since Stefan Schwarz, oops I forgot Stephen Sidwell …..

  122. Forest says:

    My partner and I stumbled over here by a different page and thought
    I might as well check things out. I like what I see so now i am following
    you. Look forward to looking over your web page again.

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