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cubeadvance
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Vermaelen was a mess for me though. Mertesacker has his flaws, but he stays where he should be and that leaves Koscielny comfortable. Vermaelen wandered off to be an attacking midfielder again more than once and you could see that Koscielny just wasn't totally content. Giving Vermaelen the captain's armband really seemed like the most obvious thing to do, but it really is starting to look like a bit of a mistake.

Definitely agree with this. The consensus for 1st choice centre back pairing seems to be Vermaelen and one other. But I’d like to see The Sack and Kos together. Maybe move Vermaelen into midfield.

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Yes I think Wenger has made a bit of a mistake with the captaincy. He is committed to playing Vermaelen now. I would have gone for Arteta, despite only being there a year. Even when everyone is fit (lol) you would imagine he would be in the team but i'm not sure if TV would be in my first 11.

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I'd second (or third, or fourth...) that - I don't think anyone who isn't (all but) an automatic selection should be Captain, and as far as I can see based on our squad Arteta is about the only person whose position should be safe for every game. (Though maybe that'll change when we get everyone back. I hope not though.) Not only that, he's also obviously one of the most senior and well-liked and respected of all the players, so he's an obvious choice even before you mention the hair.

Vermaelen, on the other hand, is prone to the odd 'mare, has two other players of similar quality fighting for his place, and isn't the most disciplined when it comes to his positioning or decision-making. (Though maybe the thought was that the Captaincy would change that?) He wasn't a bad choice for Captain, but I don't think he was the right one.

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:hat: to the ladies team for winning their ninth consecutive title and 17th in all. Since the old and now long distant Donny Belles era some clubs have enjoyed brief cup and league success by spending more on wages, but Arsenal have completely dominated. I suppose it's the old axiom of success breeding success - like with ManU.
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The problem was that Vermaelen was already vice captain under the Dutch Skunk, and to be fair that was a decision that pretty much everyone agreed upon at the time. Once the captain leaves, it's going to cause a bit of a stir if the captaincy doesn't get passed to the VC but instead to someone else. I think that would have cause a totally different problem with Vermaelen, to be honest.

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The problem was that Vermaelen was already vice captain under the Dutch Skunk, and to be fair that was a decision that pretty much everyone agreed upon at the time. Once the captain leaves, it's going to cause a bit of a stir if the captaincy doesn't get passed to the VC but instead to someone else. I think that would have cause a totally different problem with Vermaelen, to be honest.

I don't think anyone could have claimed that this is something that could have been avoided - if I was in charge I'd have been happy to put Vermaelen as captain even without him being vice-captain. Mertesacker, like Koscielny, was utterly awful when he joined, whereas Vermaelen slotted straight in and did well from the start. That the other two have improved massively and he's gone a bit backwards is a strange occurrence at best.

Moving him into midfield could solve two problems in one go though. It'd leave us massively short on defenders, but I guess that doesn't matter much at Arsenal as we never get any injuries.

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In other news, Henry got three assists at the weekend (the second and the celebration for it is Henry at his best) and scored a pretty decent goal too.

Nice to see that Henry hasn't lost any of his modesty. 2 superb assists and a superb goal.

Top man!!

Also..........Walcott - Sign da ting

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Team for tonight then? I don't think they'll take any risks with Arteta, so assuming he's missing I reckon:

Mannone; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Coquelin, Ramsey; Chamberlain, Giroud, Podolski

I'd let Gervinho sit this one out I think. If Gerv or Fenton are going to play though I'd probably play Ox in midfield instead of Ramsey.

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Mannone; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Coquelin, Ramsey; Chamberlain, Giroud, Podolski

I'm hoping we use the customary eleven players this evening - although you never can tell. Presumably Santi the name missing from your list, although I wonder if he could do with a rest, maybe come on as a sub.

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Nice to see that Henry hasn't lost any of his modesty. 2 superb assists and a superb goal.

Top man!!

Also..........Walcott - Sign da ting

Amazing. Just got round to watching this.

This

If you don't well then you're stuck on the bench,

listening to Frimpong chat about Dench

is amazing.

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Pressure from injury, pressure gaining the captaincy and a lacking Song to cover - it's typical that having a reliable deep-lying (though not defensive) midfielder in Arteta that allows everyone know where the furthest back midfielder is (and is the base of the solid play in the middle) creates a gap when our captain is on the pitch. Song or TV being back wasn't that uncommon - they both disappear(ed) forward at the wrong time constantly, but it was rarely at the same time. But if you've only got one player doing it and no-one covering (particularly when it wasn't needed while TV was out) makes massively noticeable holes. I'd have to watch something from last season back properly to tell, but I'm tempted to say that he's no worse but Song going and having Per back there for the start of this season just makes us notice it more now it's happening again.

Either way, it's really, really got to stop. Even if it doesn't cost goals, it'll start sucking defensive confidence away.

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went to the match yesterday. we didn't play particularly well but won which is good.

a question for regular emirates goers - is the atmosphere in the stadium always so awful??? it ranged from a quiet hum as everyone munched their prawn sandwiches and talked about getting tickets to other games to downright embarrassing as 3 people tried to start a chant but got funny looks instead of anybody joining in.

thank god for the the olympiakos fans singing all night long otherwise the stadium would have been totally devoid of atmosphere.

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went to the match yesterday. we didn't play particularly well but won which is good.

a question for regular emirates goers - is the atmosphere in the stadium always so awful??? it ranged from a quiet hum as everyone munched their prawn sandwiches and talked about getting tickets to other games to downright embarrassing as 3 people tried to start a chant but got funny looks instead of anybody joining in.

thank god for the the olympiakos fans singing all night long otherwise the stadium would have been totally devoid of atmosphere.

Atmosphere at midweek games are usually shite. People arriving late and constantly in and out for a piss/pie/drink. Obviously different when we are playing a knock out game or someone a bit more exciting.

Personally, I think the group stages are pretty boring, especially as we seem to play Olympiacos every bloody year. Probably doesn't help.

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