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One thing I have to give Mourinho solid props for (as much as it hurts) is how he uses Fabregas. When he was at Arsenal we needed his goals too badly so we used him high up the pitch, and both the Spanish National team and Barca used him high up the pitch as well, as a false 9, or even in a role that you could only really call "messi support staff" where he was to play high in amongst the defensive line and be someone for messi to bounce passes off, and provide the final ball etc.

He is great up high and scores goals etc, but it isn't his best position. He is amazing deep in midfield, his long balls are just nuts. He controls space and the pace of the game so well from deep when he gets to have a bit of time on the ball, and he *always* seems to make the right passing choice, whether thats going forward or retaining possesion no matter how much pressure he is under. And thats how Mourinho sets up with him. Its Oscar and Willian and Hazards job to be the high playing midfielders that score the goals, Matic does the dirty work and Cesc makes it all happen.

I am sad he is gone, but I am glad that he is being used in what I think is his best position. That long ball that led to Oscar wearing an awful lot of Osipina was just class. God it was beautiful. God it hurts.
+1
Barca probably could have used him to replace Xavi instead of Rakitic. But Cesc wanted to leave at this point. Cesc might have gone there just a couple of seasons too early...
+2
Yeah I'm surprised at the way Barca used him then threw him away. I mean his Idol is Pep for gods sake, he knows what he is best at. Rakitic is great but Fabregas is Pirlo good as a deep lying playmaker.

I think its certainly true he went to Barca too early. Its hard to criticise him for it though. The boys he had trained with since he was 7 or 8 made up the core of the team, his long term footballing idol was manager and they were winning absolutely everything while playing the best football anyone had ever seen. Anyone would have left, but he will know now that it was a mistake. Poor Cesc, his story really is a sad one.
+1
Just touching on that long ball. Yes it was beautiful but it was also well read by the defense minus Bellerin. They had a line held that put Oscar offside, luckily Bellerin made up for his mistake. Once he irons those errors out of his game through match experience, we have one hell of a player for the future.
Bellerin had a good game. I think he had a pretty tough task.

"look we need you to play high up the pitch and provide attacking width for us, but also don't get caught out, you always need to be back there and stop hazard from running at you, and watch Willian and Azpicuelleta on the overlap too. Right you got all that? Well go on then, oh wait, Ramsey is going to be playing largely centrally and hopefully ozil or Alexis will drift in to give you support occasionally"

Given his task I thought he had a great performance. Obviously rusty at times, but against a great team playing an unusual system and without much support he really put in a shift for us. He is growing so fast. I really think he is going to be the best RB in the world in about 3 years.

Just hope he is still at Arsenal!
I agree even though Rakitic is a great player. I think he's doing well at Barca but his vision isn't as great as Cesc. I also think Cesc would've done well at Barca had he played as a free roaming CAM. He was always a second or shadow striker there, which was baffling.

Smarter by Mou though was getting rid of Mata. You could tell he knew he was prepping for Cesc or someone similar. Mata is good but not better than Hazard or Oscar. Cold, calculated decision by Mou.
Barca never wanted Cesc because he was going to fit into their technical system. The reason they signed him was purely for the soap opera element, it made for a good story. They could have players like Xavi and Puyol singing his praises and even the mayor of the city talking about how the long lost Catalan had to come home to his city. It was just to excite the fans.

I think Cesc's best years of his career will prove to have been in the early stages with us. From 16-24 he was absolutely sensational. He has had a great season with Chelsea, there's no doubt, but he isn't as explosive as he was with us. He is definitely suited to what they're doing though, it pains me to say it but he has fit in superbly.
I don't know about that Dougie, Cesc is still a young man at 27. With his skillset he could do a Pirlo and play until later than a lot of other players as a deep lying playmaker. Given that he has only just started being used in his best position I'd say his best years are still ahead of him.

Its so sad we lost him to a Barca PR machine that only truly valued him for the PR he could provide. Cesc will be one of those What If players. I really wonder what he and arsenal would be like now if he was still here.
Viper: completely uncalled for mate and not suitable for the forums thanks. Have a beer instead, or whatever else you like to do to relax.
*drinks beer*

All good :)
Cheers mate :)
Now that the smoke is cleared from Yesterday's game I wanted to share my opinion on what I've learned yesterday.

1. Arsene showed pragmatism by not getting sucker punched like we use to all these years. He would settle for a draw than to lose at home to one of the best teams in Europe. While that may seem like us not 'fighting' hard enough I feel the damage would've been immense had we lost yesterday. This gave us the impetus to finish strongly while gaining a precious point that we may need come the final day.

2. Coquelin made a couple mistakes yesterday but was more than being efficient throughout the entire game. His positional awareness seemed spot on once again and showed why we could challenge for the title with real steal in the middle. If he can work out those kinks in ball delivery that will make him even better. Remember that dribble by Hazard that lead to a foul and consequently had him booked? That showed he knows the threat and he's willing to cut one foot off to nullify that threat - take one for the team.

3. Fabergas. Believe it or not he still seemed like a nice guy still with Arsenal in his mind. His interview says it all that he'd rather a draw. I'm also happy a lot of the noise from fans booing when he got taken off was nullified by claps. And they say Arsenal fans are bitter. People need to understand NOT to loop everyone into the same basket. I also believed it was Arsene who refused to have him back and definitely not the other way around. I see him and it's just heartbreaking really. Trust me, he'll be celebrating the trophy but there will be some emptiness about it.

4. Ramsey on the wing provided more steel than width. Arsene sacrificed that because even with more width Chelsea would've sat back the entire game. A lot of people we're scratching their heads asking why didn't Arsene go for it sooner? When we learnt we weren't going to break them down he decided to withhold from going Gun Blazing and potentially get sucker punched right in our backyard. I can live with that.

5. No one gives The Emirates credit but the fans were loud all game and easily one of the noisiest there all season.

6. Our defensive workrate was amazing. No other club out more than 3 past us in one game. Stoke and Monaco were the only 2 if I can remember this season. That's improvement from last season.

7. Jose showed he's quite good at mind games and Arsene showed two can play that game. I don't know the deal why Per was played since Arsene said he suffered an injury. Seemed that may have been the plan but I'm uncertain. And where is Gabriel? Not even on the bench!

8. We still need one or two top players who can break down a Chelsea defense. Some say it's a an all out striker who can dribble and create his own space in front if goal. Well, possibly but if you see the way we played we have Giroud who drops back to feed the balls on the wing then runs into the box to connect from squaring. Another is his hold up play allowing a Ramsey to cut through into the box. Alexis plays that second striker in terms of creating his own space around the 18 yard box. That's out current answer and it has been working. Yesterday was Alexis's off day.

9. Along with Coquelin, there were several other players who were determined to protect is from counters. This amounted in either fouls or smashing another player with hard tackles. I've heard some pundits saying Santi and the likes played like they knew It was a lost cause so they didn't go for it. WRONG! We didn't have urgency because we played cautiously rather than going gun-hoe.

10. Lastly, our manager Arsene showed some class yesterday by saying Terry was a very good player and it was very difficult to break down that Chelsea defense.

*One other thing of note. The Cesc penalty incident. I don't think it was a dive and you could see when he fell he got right back up and didn't complain. Call me naive but I don't think he wanted it to be a penalty either. It was wrong giving him the yellow but I think he'd rather take it than anything else. Would be interesting to see if he'd still consider himself an Arsenal, Chelsea or Barca fan after his playing career. I think Barca may have left a bad taste though.

+2
4. That's not why Ramsey was playing at RW but I'll stay quiet about my theory till next season.

8. I disagree about needing a striker yesterday, we were lacking players willing to drive into the box and create space by taking them on. That game was crying out for either Oxlade Chamberlain or Wilshere. Lack of width was also a huge part of why we couldn't break them down, we didn't stretch their defense enough, partly because we wished to stay compact in defense, partly because Alexis wasn't playing from wide like he normally does.
Yah with number 8 that's subjective. This is why I mentioned 'probably'. We really don't need a striker per say. I think we already have a very clinical Sanchez and Welbeck (who's not clinical enough) but I also do know what we mean by needing an alternative.

With number 4. Zilch you're not Superman vs Batman. Why everybody gotta wait 1 while year for your theory lol.
+3
anderlecht put 4 unanswered by us..to add to stoke n monaco..
This was always going to be a hard game for Giroud and for us offensively. Chelsea's defense loves to sit back, they're specialist in that and Cahill-Terry work incredibly well together. We like to use Giroud's holding play for midfielders to make runs into the box, Chelsea know this and thats exactly where they are good at.

It can be part of the reason why Ramsey was more on the wing than usual, not only for the defense to have more steel, but also to move the combinations to the side and get behind from the wing. The runs came later in the box, looking for cut backs. It didn't pay off but it was probably a better, safer way to deal with this Chelsea side.
Damn, I wonder if it ha something to do with Schniderlin :D.

Chargui. I mentioned this yesterday there was a clear triangle formed on the right between Ramsey, Ozil and Bells. Bells providing the width to help bypass Azpilicueta. That also prevented him from going forward against us as well.
GSS: patience. Like all theories it's not solid yet.

Edit: Check your wall GSS
I'll be camping outside waiting!

Edit: Cool thnx.

Just read what you wrote. I'll dissect that and get back to you on that. I'll write a reply on my wall later. Very very interesting. My Schniderlin guess was way off but I as I mentioned earlier the triangle on the right with such a creative player like Ramsey plus the work rate in getting back in defense was needed. But I also understand about balance on both wings.
missing some rosicky action
+2
Haha so when Ramsey refused to shake Piers Morgan's hand, he replied "I don't think I want to do that."

New favorite line. Needs to be on a banner with Morgan crying hanging inside the emirates.
+1
"Ramsey is such a liability, I don't know WHAT Wenger sees in him"

Just one of the many tweets of our beloved Piers. If I were Ramsey I'd refuse his hand, too. The smarmy, arrogant prick has never acknowledged or apologised for the way he conducted himself. Only Wenger stuck by him, coincidentally the same Wenger whom Piers also wants gone any time we don't win 5-0.

If I'm ever at the Emirates and I see a flag of Piers, I'll tear it down and curl a nice steamy pile on it.
+2
"Curl a steamy pile on it". Deffy, that is beautiful one line poetry right there.
+2
All hail Jeremy Clarkson for punching him one time.
^ they had some issue yesterday too :D

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/piers-morgan-and-jeremy-clarkson-exchange-insults-as-they-bump-into-each-other-at-the-emirates-stadium-for-arsenal-vs-chelsea-10205409.html

Beef is real !!!
Clarkson and Piers are cut from the same cloth. They are both terribad, though Morgan is potentially worse.
+1
@Riglore agreed!
Please spread the word about Nepal, we are in need of help as things will only get worse.
Here are few useful links about how:

http://www.savefromearthquakenepal.org/

https://storify.com/jeneambrose/want-to-help-in-nepal
+7
Alrighty. I'm no Moral High Ground Master here but I have a couple points to make.

We have KGB, Cloudst and others who are trying to slow down a potential escalation of fights between Arsenal and Chelsea forums. If everyone can do their part and ignore some of the things said about the club that would help a lot.

Please understand that there are banters for every club and not all Chelsea fans are nasty. We have fans that can be exactly the same as well.

If you cannot stomach reading the Chelsea forums then go read a book and stop working up yourselves about something that's not even close to being important.

Every team has its glory days and let Chelsea have theirs. It is their time, and another year it will be our time or United or City or Liverpool or even Tottengham...OK, maybe not Tottenhem but you know what I mean.

We have a great club and a great manager with a philosophy I buy into and while that may not be enough for some it is for me and I can live that.

So what does that help you accomplish when feeding into these things? The aim is to annoy you and if that's how you feel then they've just got what they wanted.

I learnt this from my wife over the years. Just let it go, let it go...
+3
Don't make me grumpy. The ban hammer's been feeling very lonely lately, just sits in a corner of a dark room, sobbing quietly. But if I use it I have to fill out paperwork. And I hate paperwork.
Party Poopers ...MUHAHA..This is Waarrrr... #Justkidding
Our guys gotta calm down, if a dog bites your leg, don't go and try to bite the dog's legs!!
Yeh run it over with your car instead.

Edit: never mind, the ban hammer got some exercise after all, goodbye to a former Arsenal troll.
+1
Honestly, in the latter parts of the second half, it seemed that neither team wanted to win, both were quite happy with a draw, and a draw is a decent result for both teams. I think the whole style of football debate is unnecessary. The first half was a good watch.

After the game I called up my friend (whos an Arsenal fan) and he got mad at me for the type of football my team just played, he was genuinely upset and didn't want to speak to me. Sometimes football means that much to people, but at times people do take it too seriously.
+2
I tend to measure my words carefully so as to avoid hurting others. why do i have to do this? It's because people are too sensitive these days. Being sensitive hurts those around you, I beseech the world to lose sensitivity, for the sake of those of us who aren't :p
Thierry Henry was good for the first couple of weeks. Until he started making non-sensical statements. Sort it out mate.
I mean some of what he said had some truth to it but I think he's sensationalizing it too much. Doesn't look too good for his punditry career as I think it's more of an attention seeking style.
I am not only mad at him for his Arsenal related views tho. What he said about Chicarito was BS too. Especially for a guy who almost always celebrated in an arrogant way. Hypocritical much?
The Chicharito thing was bizarre but whats wrong with his Arsenal views?

He said he thought we needed four players to win the league, I happen to think we need about three.

Giroud is good enough to lead us in my opinion, his numbers would be incredible if he hadn't been out for so long this season. This is the only area where I disagree with Thierry.

I think we need a GK, maybe another CB but that isn't absolutely necessary, and a holding midfielder. Coquelin is fantastic and I love him but we can't have him as the only player of that type in the squad, Flamini just does not cut it at all.
+1
we still need another ST to compete with giroud, welbeck isn't that guy, sorry he gonna stay at the wings.


congrats to Leah Williamson on winning the Women's Young Player of the Year :D
+10
yes she plays for the Arsenal Women's team lol
+1
https://youtu.be/zYt0WbDjJ4E
Lol. Cloudst. I'm not big into individual awards because this is a team sport but Congratulations to her as well.
bae ;DD
Not bad
see looks like sophie turner for some reason, at some angles :P
oh herroooww
Any Aussie Gooners here?...Im trying to get a flight from Australia to Buenos Aires..but all flights I find don't go directly there, but go off to China or the USA/Canada first?

none of this makes any sense..why doesn't the flight go in a straight line?
zilch
@Cloudst,,,,why do you think flights in the southern hemisphere never go in a straight line with lots of stops?
That is a deep philosophical question my friend. Everyone is trying to answer that.
Not enough demand for that route, the fuel costs, maintenance, pilots wages etc don't make it cost worthy for the airlines to offer it. Purely a business decision mate.
And he's gone !!!!
It was Ratboi..
+1
Ratboi is like a shadow master of evil on this website
+2
I always thought he was pretty funny tho. There have been way worse trolls than ratboi
If he could stop annoying the United forum it might've been different but he simply can't. And in terms of creating new accounts he's the worst hands down, I've banned him over 50 times.
Hitting a hundred zilch

BCdynamo was probably the worst though
Only in terms of abuse. There's been a couple like that: BCDynamo, theLemondowski, Getaschiesch, they're probably the worst.
Getaschiesch was hand down the worse troll , i remember he used to make account every like every min , then he would abuse and finally he would threat with the ' i will hack your computer ' and stuff like that .

It was fun tho :P
Wow I missed that one Zilch. Haha Ratboi really sounded like a normal human being with that topic above. That ban hammer of yours is bigger than Thor's.
So did I, I've been pretty inactive lately. Another mod brought it to my attention.
LOL Ratboi! I haven't heard that name in a while.
Ratboi is always great value on the arsenal forum, its a shame he can't keep it in his pants and stay away from the other forums.
That I agree with.


5 hours ago
Chelsea’s captain, John Terry, led by example with a brilliant display of the defensive arts to dominate Olivier Giroud of Arsenal
7 hours ago
John Terry has pointed to Chelsea’s resilience and ability to dig deeper than those among the chasing pack as key to the team’s imminent title success this season
19 hours ago
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21 hours ago
Jose Mourinho defended his Chelsea side from chants of being boring, by attacking Arsenal’s lack of title success for a decade
23 hours ago
By the end, there was the unmistakable feeling that all Arsenal were doing was delaying the inevitable by holding the Premier League leaders, Chelsea, to a 0-0 draw
Yesterday
Chelsea put in another staunch defensive display to draw 0-0 with Arsenal and take another step closer to sealing the Premier League title
Yesterday
Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, John Terry, Gary Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic all feature in the PFA’s Premier League team of the year
1 day ago
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1 day ago
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1 day ago
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1 day ago
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2 days ago
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2 days ago
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2 days ago
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Premier League Table

Form
PTS
GD
GA
GF
L
D
W
Pl
Pos
77
39
26
65
2
8
23
33
1
67
34
36
70
7
7
20
34
2
67
31
32
63
6
7
20
33
3
65
25
34
59
7
8
19
34
4
58
11
36
47
9
7
17
33
5
58
6
49
55
10
7
17
34
6
57
21
26
47
11
6
17
34
7
50
-3
44
41
12
8
14
34
8
47
-3
42
39
13
8
13
34
9
44
1
43
44
12
11
11
34
10
44
0
42
42
12
11
11
34
11
42
-5
47
42
14
9
11
34
12
37
-14
46
32
15
10
9
34
13
35
-21
57
36
17
8
9
34
14
32
-22
48
26
18
8
8
34
15
31
-14
45
31
16
10
7
33
16
31
-16
51
35
18
7
8
33
17
30
-23
49
26
13
15
5
33
18
27
-21
59
38
21
6
7
34
19
26
-26
52
26
18
11
5
34
20
C/L  C/L Qualifying  UEFA Cup  Relegation 

UEFA Champions League Table

Form
PTS
GD
GA
GF
L
D
W
Pl
Pos
13
10
4
14
1
1
4
6
1
13
7
8
15
1
1
4
6
2
6
-2
10
8
2
3
1
6
3
1
-15
19
4
5
1
0
6
4

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