After the West Ham result I wanted him back. For all the criticism that the BFG collects, I don’t think he gets enough credit when he does well. The BFG is just that – he is a big, lumbering centre-back, but that isn’t all he is and to judge him as such and to just label him as such without appreciating his overall game is foolish and lacks honesty.

Per has made a career in football by being one-paced, but his reading of the game is excellent. He has beaten many strikers not with pace, but with positioning and anticipation. How many times have we seen him stick out a leg and stop a striker – to the dismay of many a commentator who lazily suggest its luck, or by his very nature having long legs which save his embarrassment.


Tonight we have seen the BFG at his best and with him, a more confident, assured Koscielny. Gabriel might be the future, but he is no direct replacement for the BFG.

Per takes the initiative on set pieces and uses his height well and dominated in our box tonight. It was great to see him hovering by the penalty spot and tracking the runners in. He marshalled the defence tonight and we have missed him badly. He will be the first to admit he dropped a clanger against Alli, but I think we missed a trick not bringing him back in sooner.

Which brings me round to another old boy whose time I think is up. Theo my boy, I’ve given you every bit of support I can muster, but you just look a shadow of a footballer and I cannot see how you fit into this team anymore. On current performances I would pick Iwobi and Campbell in front of you every day of the week and that’s not even factoring in the Ox, who has time on his hands to grow into the player we all hope he can be.

Theo, its over. You need a side that will play you every week and believe in you and I think you might have the ability to flourish, but I fear that will never happen at Arsenal. You’re very much a square peg when all we have is circular holes  left. I respect you as a man and I respect you’ve given it your best shot so you leave with my blessing. Just don’t score against the Arsenal.

I am continuing to enjoy the emergence of Iwobi whose gameplay and understanding with the players is a joy to watch. He looks every bit an Arsenal player and it’s great to have one of our own in the side again. Can’t wait to have Jack back in the fold too. I’d like to take a moment to give credit to a player who has really given himself a shot at a squad position next year in Joel Campbell. He has a great chance to make a career at Arsenal and I hope he is allowed to do that. I’ve really enjoyed his input this season and I think he has done enough to warrant a shirt.

Next season could be interesting. With the right investment and the right promotions from within, we could be strong again.


We are Arsenal. COYG