Rosicky – Sagna – Koscielny – Denilson

Morning all,

the great thing about football is that you can choose to ignore the bits you don’t like. So, John Terry, hahahaha. The rest?

*puts fingers in ears*

“Lalalalalala, can’t hear you can’t hear you can’t hear you, lalalalalalala, stop talking, can’t hear you, lalalalala”

I mean, just when you thought you couldn’t dislike Barcelona any more for always trying to nick our players and suckle the DNA directly from their teats, they let something like this happen. They have made me want Mourinho and Cronaldo win the Champions League. I feel dirty and ashamed and I might start self-harming because of it.

If that had been us Messi would have scored that penalty. Twice, probably, such is his record against us, but nooooooo, he had to hit it against the bar and now Ashley Cole is happy. What kind of a sick, twisted world are we living in? One in which we ought to focus on what’s going on with Arsenal and leave that vile monstrosity of a match last night behind us, I reckon.

We’ll start with some interesting stuff from Tomas Rosicky about a change in Arsenal’s style when we lose the ball. He’s praised the versatility of Arteta and Song, but says that pressing from the furthest forward midfield position is crucial when we turn over possession:

If I’m the highest one of the three it means I’m the first to start the pressure. What we’re doing very well at the moment is that, when we lose the ball, we begin pressurising immediately.

The three seconds afterwards are vital and I think we are all aware of that. When the opposition get possession, we’re after them immediately.

When it works it works very well. Rosicky cites the Man City game as an example of how our dominance of possession was brought about by this hard work, and it’s great to see the team actively look to win the ball back so quickly. However, while I’m sure the manager has always stressed the need to get the ball back as soon as possible, it does seem as this is something that was implemented during the course of this season, and it’d make you wonder why we didn’t do it more often.

We’ve spoken many times about the game we played against Chelsea at the Emirates. A 3-1 win was built on harrying and harassing the opposition and seemed to provide a blueprint for the way we should play. Instead, we lapsed back into a more passive style and while you can’t say that was the only reason certain games were lost, it’s frustrating to see a team play with real energy and drive one week due to the quality of the opposition, and seemingly not bother when the opponents weren’t as high profile. If that’s changed permanently then all the better.

Elsewhere Bacary Sagna and Laurent Koscielny talk about their roles at the club.


My goal is to be the best. It’s hard to critique yourself, but I was voted best right side of England twice in four years. This is quite satisfactory. I’ve never asked any questions. I’ve always looked ahead, trying to reach the next level.


I’ve been here two years. I know the players, the atmosphere and the opposing teams better. I can develop myself well in the field and to give the best for the team. I’m here to grow, helping Arsenal to finish in the top three and play Champions League next season.

It’s pretty amazing to me that doubts remain over both of them when it comes to being selected for France’s squad for Euro 2012. You would do well to find more whole-hearted, committed and consistent players anywhere in Europe. Not to mention the fact that they’re both outstanding defensively. Koscielny has been brilliant all season and Sagna has come back from a broken leg to more or less pick up where he left off (bar a couple of moments but I think some rustiness can be excused).

France’s loss would be our gain, I suppose, but even if they did go they’d be almost the last players who would themselves be affected by nonsense such as ‘tiredness’ and ‘fatigue’ after a summer tournament.

And speaking of summer tournaments, Jack Wilshere has been included in Stuart Pearce’s initial 80 player long-list for the Olympics football tournament. We know that Arsene Wenger does not want him to play, Pearce says:

That’s his opinion. I can’t change his opinion, and it’s not of great concern to me. Will any manager get a veto over who I select? Of course not.

So, I guess we can assume that Pearce will ignore what’s best for the player as he recovers from a year out of the game and picks him for ‘Team GB’. Maybe some competitive football wouldn’t be a bad thing after so long out but I guess the fear most of us have is that, as has happened in the past, any potential knock or injury would be ignored by Pearce and we get a broken player back when the tournament is over. This is because Stuart Pearce is a dick. Just in case you were in any doubt.

Finally, it looks as if Denilson will be coming back to Arsenal (briefly) after the club nixed any prolongation of his loan deal with Sao Paulo. I would suggest that this is because we want to sell him this summer and him spending more time there would prevent that, obviously. I suspect he, along with others like Vela and Bendtner, will be allowed to leave for far less than we might have initially wanted to sell them for.

The reality of a transfer market in which very few clubs have money to spend and the difficulty we’ve created due to their healthy contracts means we’re going to have to cut our losses with some of them. The suggestion is that Denilson will probably end up in Spain, but I don’t think there’s any future for him at Arsenal.

Right, that’s about that. Apparently the rains are coming here, it’s time to batten down the hatches.


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