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Team News: Arsenal vs. Coventry City

Arsenal begin their league cup campaign this evening by hosting Coventry City at The Grove.

Arsene Wenger has opted for a mix of youth and experienced youth to tackle the midlands side. Most of the youth coming in defence whilst Giroud, Walcott, The Ox and Arshavin are tasked with getting the goals.

Sebastian Squillaci has been tasked with sitting on his arse and doing nothing, ably accompanied by Chamakh. They`ll probably be sorting the half time bongs.

Here`s the starting line-up and subs.

ARSENAL TEAM: Martinez, Miquel, Djourou, Angha, Yennaris, Santos, Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Arshavin, Giroud

SUBSTITUTES: Shea, Squillaci, Bellerin, Frimpong, Eisfeld, Gnabry, Chamakh

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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday September 26 2012

Time: 7:26PM

Your Comments

Conventry? We playing a bunch of nuns?
Phew! I bet that's a weight off his shoulders!
That's the monkey removed .... here's to a shed load more goals for the Frenchman.
Olly Giroud is it you?
Ox with a roaster for two. C'mon u gunners.
The owl makes it one apiece for our front three! We want four.
Where are you watching the game Niko?
6 -1
watching? media blackout mate I had to cough up 2 quid & am listening on my phone!
Only stream I've seen is manure geordies and that's more of a trickling brook than a stream tbf. I know this is only a club lying 18th in the 3rd div but a good rout like this does wonders for the morale and confidence. Serge sounds a great prospect, is it only me that sees him dribbling down the field whilst puffing on a Gauloise?
Walcott's second goal was really something. I agree with a sentiment posted recently - that if Gervinho can play the CF role in our team Walcott should be able to play it. I would really like to see what he can do there. I don't want to unbalance the team, but I thnk it's time for us to see if he can do the business.
Arsenales F.C
Walcott's second goal was really something. I agree with a sentiment posted recently - that if Gervinho can play the CF role in our team Walcott should be able to play it. I would really like to see what he can do there. I don't want to unbalance the team, but I thnk it's time for us to see if he can do the business.
Arsenales F.C
arshavin was just like cazorla. the current system fits both players as it is build around a free role 'no. 10'. we used to play with a system that evolved around cesc and then rvp. arshavin is good if he is played in his natural position like he did with zenit and with the russian national team
I think if last season's system was more fluid than two seasons back, this system is more fluid than both. We've got constant interchanging of our front three and our midfield three. Oppositions don't know which player to pick up. Also, we've got great strength and pace in counter-attacks and we've got runners all over the park. Earlier it was a much slower game with the ball always going through Song or Fabregas and much more skewed to the right side containing Walcott. Now, everyone seems to move the ball on much quicker and we've got multiple outlets where we can switch the play to.
Walcott really looked like he had something to prove. Some people claimed here the other day that Theo isn't a good finisher .... I've always begged to differ. He might be frustrating in other things he does, but the boy can finish.
I'd take issue with Arshavin being like Cazorla in the role he played last night. He still came out with by far the worst pass completion rate in the team (a lot of that because he was, frankly, ******** about for most of the game). It was fine for a game against a side at the foot of League One, but if anything, in this new, more disciplined Arsenal, I think Arshavin showed more than ever why he's nowhere near the team. He no longer even tries to do the basics.
Little Dutch
I also think Walcott proved more than ever why wide attacker is the best role for him. It's certainly the role from which he can do the most damage in the alley between full back and centre half. He wouldn't get that liberty in the centre. His touch and movement aren't good enough for a start. Gervinho, for his faults, can keep the ball in tight situations and eke out chances for himself by taking centre halves on. Walcott's pace is much more effective behind a full back or by causing that confusion between full back and centre half as to who should be marking him. Both his goals were because of that.
Little Dutch
That's a bit lazy LD. You could say the same about Gervinho. Both of his goals against Southampton came from wide positions.
Arsenales F.C
The reality is that playing centrally Arshavin is not only behind Cazorla but Ramsey and Rosicky too - and probably also Diaby or Wilshere. Unfortunately for Andrey he is also behind Podolski, Gervinho, Walcott or Oxlade-Chamberlain for a wide role - and even there Rosicky or Ramsey might be better picks.
I agree with what Wenger says though, "we have a different formula and the team is doing well. His time will come for that and at the moment we have to be a bit patient". First and foremost I wouldn't want to unbalance the team, but Walcott looks like a great finisher now.
Arsenales F.C
Totally agree with you LD Walcott also missed 2 one too one with the keeper which is something people clamoring for him to play through the centre don't mention. He got 2 goals from the wing and thats where he belonges IMHO.
Did they? I swear Gervinho has scored two goals inside the six yard box this week and the other one came from a run directly into the heart of the defence? Not sure how it's "lazy" to assert that either. You can disagree, but I don't see how it's "lazy." Walcott is a very good finisher and the best place for him to get goalscoring opportunities is from out wide where his skillset works. I don't think he'd get the same amount of chances through the centre with two centre halves minding him and, crucially, just sitting on the edge of the area and not allowing him in behind.
Little Dutch
Both of Gervinho's goals against Southampton came from wide positions. They're still on Arsenalist. The tap-in he came inside to follow it up, but he was still out on the right initially. About the misses Van Persie was clinical, he still took 200 shots whilst scoring his 36 goals last season. That's 164 missed opportunities if you think about it, but they are part of a striker's game. I am more worried if a guy isn't getting opportunities to shoot. Players like RVP or Walcott, even in wide/reserved positions, still manage to get a huge amount of shooting opportunities. I thought RVP might get bullied if he moved into the centre, but if a guy's getting a ton of shooting opportunities from a reserved role/role on the wing, he'll probably get a ton more in a central role.
Arsenales F.C
Arsenales, I don't think "his time" is going to come any time soon and we'll have to be mightily patient for it to happen. Arsene's been saying that for years but never really acted upon it. In any case, I can only envisage Walcott as a striker if he gets a bigger strike partner who complements him. Having that would require a shift to a two striker system, which I don't think is going to happen this season, the next or for seasons to come. So, if he's still eager on getting the striker role before he signs a contract he may as well pack his bags and bid adieu
I was at both games Arsenales, I know where Gervinho's goals came from. A rebound and a couple of tap ins from close range. If you want to fool yourself that they didn't come from a central striker position to fit your point, go ahead.
Little Dutch
Dude, just because you were at the game doesn't mean your memory is perfect, if anything you often miss things at the game. When Arteta played Gervinho for the through ball he was well wide of the 18 yard box. When Ramsey went on his run to score, Gervinho was again at the right hand edge of the 18 yard box wide of the full-back, and even when the ball hit the post he was still coming in from the right hand side, that's why he was in the position to run straight into the rebound. I'm not saying he wasn't playing as a free-roaming central striker, but both his goals were scored from him being in a wide position, so it's lazy to say Walcott's 2 goals came from wide positions so as wide attacker he's best. His 2nd goal didn't even come from what you'd really call a wide posiion.
Arsenales F.C
And Wenger did make some hints earlier in the season about Walcott becoming a striker. He said something along the lines of "We turn all our wingers into strikers". If anything Walcott's 2nd goal was reminiscent of the first goal he scored for Arsenal in the Carling Cup. Except then he popped it off to Diaby and got a return, this time he had the talent to take it on his own. If Walcott is going to leave so be it, but if Gervinho can play that false 9 role we might as well see if Walcott can do it. Walcott's ball control is not the same as it was 2 years ago, he's shown he's got ability on the ball now.
Arsenales F.C
Well I have managed to see both goals a fair few times since. Two of Gervinho's goals this season were tap ins from six yards or less. He was slightly wider for his other goal, but still not touchline wide. He just bent his run behind the centre half. Being at the game shows you a lot of things too. Mannone shaped to take a free kick with a view to hitting Giroud in injury time. The kick was delayed as Arteta had to yell at Walcott several times to move into the penalty area in the event of a flick on. Even when Giroud did duly oblige and win the header, flicking it into the area, Walcott still didn’t move and the ball rolled harmlessly to Joe Hart. Gervinho has at least shown the movement and nous to nab himself a couple of tap ins. Walcott's first goal saw him run from behind the full back and his second goal was a run from the wing. It's not even debatable. Like I say, you may disagree, but it's not a "lazy" assertion at all, just one that you happen to disagree with.
Little Dutch
Gervinho isn't perfect in that role. His touch and his finishing sometimes let him down. But as seen last night. Walcott has some form for poor touch and some poor finishing. (He missed two gilt edged chances last night that I'd usually expect him to put away). But Gervinho's movement and anticipation is much more suited to CF than Walcott. That's why he's able to sniff out those tap ins and, crucially, he can beat players and get shots off in tight spaces.
Little Dutch
I haven't seen any highlights yet - were they on the beeb last night? But Theo missed a couple of really easy chances really. I thought before Giroud's pen that even if he scored 6 goals, it wouldn't matter in the grander scheme of things, in the prem is where it matters - we've had far too many players flattering to deceive in this tournament before, although obviously scoring is better than not! Chamackh worked hard when he came on.
No one has had any doubts Theo can finish better than Gervinho, if similar opportunities can be simulated for both players. What has come up for discussion here is whether Theo can be Arsenal FC's top striker. Given what we've seen of him and know of the defending in the EPL and Europe these days, can we honestly throw our hats in with Theo as our hold-up man and outlet for goals? Not on your life, Arsenales. Wenger trains with him daily and can't take a punt on him but believes he poses a bigger threat playing from the wings and cutting in, leaving confused defenders in his wake with his pace. That is the place for him till we resort to 4-4-2, perhaps, when he can benefit from the work of a big target man and slip in behind to score goals. God knows he will miss quite a few & frustratingly so. But, it is only in that formation that we can consider him as striker. If he truly wishes to emulate Henry, well, learn to cut in from the wings and cause havoc, as Henry was wont to do, even though his skill set allowed him to be able to take care of himself well when surrounded by opposition defenders in their box.
I agree with LD here, Gervinho has shows he has the movement andf work rate to play the striker role even if his finishing needs to imrpove. Also he is a bit bigger nad stronger so harder to knock off the ball. Theo gets outmuscled too often when the defenders get close to him. I would be inclined to stick with Giroud or Gervinho in the striker role. Podolski works well with Gibbs and Cazorla on the left side so I'd leave him there. Theo is a good finisher but the rest of his game doesn't suit the lone striker role in my opinion.
I took my daughter for the first time yesterday(11)and what a first game to take her too,my cousin and his friend are season ticket holders and gave them up so we could go,smack bang on the halfway line as well:)About arshavin,totally agree,first half his passing was woeful,it wasnt untill we went ahead and there was less pressure,he performed better.As for walcott,the time he has spent on the bench i think he has seen that he wont be missed if he leaves and could be missing out on greater things to come.thats why the change of tone,talking about how he wants to stay and become a legend now.Should only look to Arteta as an example of how to conduct oneself.Has to now start scoring like he did yesterday to justify his ststment
I was probably unjustified calling it a lazy assertion. Saying his movement doesn't look as good as Gervinho's is fair cop. He did manage to get off more shots on goal than Gervinho from the same position last season, but that might be because he's more established in the team. At the moment we look to be a very well balanced team so there's no sense in disrupting it, but I did like the look of those finishes last night - I would still like to see it in future.
Arsenales F.C
I don't think it should be over looked that this was Theo's first full game. And am I wrong in thinking he has the best goals per minutes ratio of any Arsenal player? I thought his finish against Southampton was very much a poachers goal, although the finish was also very accomplished. And with his back to goal he didn't seem easily knocked off the ball at all. I don't think he is the answer to Arsenal's CF prayers but I think he should be judged fairly.
No 10

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