Last gasp Giroud papers deeper problems with Arsenal thinking

by & filed under News Review.

RKaeRIKM

Ahh, I don’t mean to be the Christmas Grinch, but I will today. A win is a win and after two straight losses you might think I’d be happy, but I struggle after that performance.

People say that we dominated possession and the passing statistics, and sure, we did, but once again, I think we struggled tactically against a pretty bog standard team and I think that sort of performance is exactly why we’re often found out against the bigger teams.

Firstly, from a starting 11 perspective, when you’re playing a team like WBA, you know their main aim is to give the ball to you and sit deep. The team that affords opposition the most possession in the league I think. So when you know that’s the deal, why are you doubling up with precaution by giving your midfield the gift of Xhaka and Coquelin. The Frenchman isn’t very capable when it comes to moving the ball forward and didn’t it show yesterday? It’s like offering them up a free man.

Secondly, from a tactical perspective, when things aren’t going your way, but you’re dominating play, do you really have to stick to 70mins to make a change? It’s so predictable and it’s so risky.

Yes it paid off. Yes we took the points. But this lack of appreciation for what’s going on in the game and the inability to change things as they’re happening is why we don’t pass the last 16 in the CL. We beat the teams we’re supposed to, but we struggle when the level of ability and smarts is upped.

Thankfully, when Wenger did roll on Rambo and Perez things looked up. Suddenly we were moving the ball around with a bit more directness. Suddenly we looked a bit more dangerous.

Bless Iwobi, the guy has a lot of talent, but gjeez, take him out the limelight for a bit. Constantly giving the ball away and making the wrong choice with his passes. Perez came into the fold and immediately looked more dangerous and obviously more mature on the ball.

Rambo should have been rolled on at half time when we knew WBA had zero interest in coming to play. I love the way he sweeps the ball around the pitch and I like the way he can pass players with dribbling skills. I appreciate he’s not as solid defensively as Coquelin, but he’s so much more dynamic.

Giroud landed the winner late on, and boy did he need to. That miss he made when Perez slotted the ball across the box was embarrassing, as was his performance up until that moment. He really was in a battle yesterday, but his lack of pace and mobility shapes our movement in a quite a negative way. I’d take Sanchez or Perez over him at the moment. Also, if we’re not willing to adapt to having a lump in the box by feeding him crosses, what’s the point?

Mesut had a solid return to form creating a whopping 7 chances. Shout out to Kieran Gibbs as well who looked solid on his latest chance but most importantly, creative moving forward. I know that he always loves to bomb forward and defence is usually his weakness, but it was a nice relief to see him contributing positively to the game.

So we slog on to the next game, Crystal Palace at home against Sam A. Then we take on Bournemouth to cap off our festive fixtures. Two more wins and the month won’t have been great, but it certainly wouldn’t have been totally horrible.

Bad news is that Mourinho has found a rhythmn and Ibra is doing the business like the freak of nature he is. Conte marched on to attacking our 15 straight win record, my hope there is that when it collapses, they’ll struggle to deal with the loss of a streak. Liverpool continue to turn in results. As did City. This race is tight, and sadly, it looks like we have the players, just not the right manager to execute a winning plan this season.

We’ll see though… as Wenger said yesterday, fans are quick to change their minds. 2nd half of the season presents plenty of chances for AW to show us he’s the king!

96 Responses to “Last gasp Giroud papers deeper problems with Arsenal thinking”

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  1. Jenkinson

    “fans are quick to change their mind” — but not you it seems.
    You had every one of your criticisms firmly lodged in your mind before you watched the game – indeed you actually watched it.

  2. Wallace

    ‘If you have a look at the players who were not playing and not in the team today, and then you look at Chelsea’s, I think Arsenal have definitely got the stronger squad,’

    ‘So they have probably got the staying power to see them through and it will be interesting to see what Chelsea do. I think Chelsea will spend.

    – Tony Pulis

  3. GoonerInNY

    Jenkinson,

    What was Pedro wrong about? How do you know his mind was made up before? His analysis is pretty much spot on.

  4. SuperSwede

    Well Danish Gooner – that’s pretty much in your danish DNA nowdays, isn’t it? At least you now know how it’s like to be a Spurs fan

    Just kidding – we should stick together in times like these! I hope you’re having a peaceful Jul with the rest of your family

  5. Wallace

    Pedro

    anyone who didn’t have adblocker before your f*ckin’ Aldi turkey pop-up…I’m sure they’ve installed it by now.

  6. Leftsidesanch

    The better teams the league has to offer are beating most of the teams they should be beating. It looks like to make a mark the top teams will have to beat each other and thats where we have and will continue to struggle.

  7. flav

    So let me understand your viewpoint. When Chelsea win late against WestBrom they are considered gritty! When Arsenal win against them late, we are considered lucky and lack ideas….. Ben Foster had the game of his life. He made countless amazing stops, some lucky and some skilled.

    How about when Sanchez hit the post? Dude, if one or two of those chances had gone in (and 9 times out of 10 they would have) then your whole argument is void.

  8. Nigerian gooner

    I personally think the criticism of Coquelin is much too loopsided. The guy is committed and gives his best at all times.
    Give him some credit. Will you? Thanks.

  9. Ishola70

    Wallace:

    ‘If you have a look at the players who were not playing and not in the team today, and then you look at Chelsea’s, I think Arsenal have definitely got the stronger squad,’‘So they have probably got the staying power to see them through and it will be interesting to see what Chelsea do. I think Chelsea will spend.– Tony Pulis

    Who actually believes this? Staying power to see them through? To where? Top four? It’s no good Pulis stating that Arsenal have the better looking and stronger squad when the manager of that squad consistently shows that he is incapable of utilising that squad to the best and running into the ground certain players. If Chelsea do go out and spend in Jan then it will probably just rubber stamp their current status as favourites to win the EPL. Conte mentioned that he wants to spend some of the money they get for Oscar.

    It’s cruel to put up quotes like this Wallace.

  10. SuperSwede

    Why do one come to LeGrove and expect Pedro & Co. to suddenly have reversed their ideas about club and manager? There are plenty of other blogs, albeit perhaps nowhere near as popular, supporting competing ideas for everyone to be satisfied.

    Is it just me or do we play worse this season? Or one might say since about this time last year? We don’t seem to reach the high levels of the past even though we have a better squad since a very long time. The whole team looks like out of form even if some individual players looks up for it. It’s the collective outcome rather than player by player comparison I’m aiming for, I believe.

  11. Dissenter

    Pedro
    “Ahh, I don’t mean to be the Christmas Grinch”
    …and that’s exactly what you’ve become.

    Did you see ththe Westbrom- Chelsea game. It was even harder for Chelsea at Stamford bridge.

    Giroud had a good game. The Perez cross had too much zip in it and other players should have been at the end of the cross too.

  12. Gerry Thornton

    Look this repitisious crap is becoming boring. I believe we have the players to seriously challenge. What we have is a Manager that is unwilling to change, is as predictable as hell, which is becoming embarrassing and who is completely tactically clueless, how long must we go in with this farce? I am petrified that the rumours about a 2 year extension to his contract are true. Yes if we get a new manager we may have a dip for a while, but to continually watch the time have most of the possession yet to be clueless how to break mediocre teams down is disheartening!

  13. Ishola70

    I didn’t think Pulis liked Wenger. Thought he thinks he’s a pretentious prat.

    Think Pulis is taking the piss with that quote really and having a little dig at Wenger .

    He’s saying that the squad is good enough and if Arsenal fail then who can be blamed if they fail to win the title.

    Over to you Arsene.

    Pulis is having a laugh with that quote and having a little dig at Wenger.

  14. reality check

    Wallace

    I think the dialogue has moved on. Fans who want Wenger out and can articulate themselves well will tell you, most of us agree;

    1. We have Elite players
    2. We have a great sqaud
    3. We have better fitness coaches, or at least a better backroom setup
    4. We have money
    5. We have a great stadium

    All the things you would want at an elite level Football Club. Our issue is simple. Even with all of these positives going for Arsenal. Wenger will find a way to mess it up.

    Winning the League that is.
    Not top 4. The fans don’t care about top 4 any more. Top 4 is success for the club as a whole but its a failure for Wenger specifically.

    He has no excuses left my friend. You should demand more from your Manager.

  15. Rhys Jaggar

    Give Gibbs a break Mr Wood, he grew up as a left midfielder, so obviously bombing forward is his forte. He is yet another of Wenger’s ‘I know better than the youth set up’, or putting a more positive spin, gave Gibbs the choice of left back at Arsenal or left half somewhere else. Gibbs, a London boy, chose Arsenal.

    Chelsea have had a few 1-0 results in their 12 wins, including some relatively late goals. And it is abnormal to have wonder performances every week. The art to management is generating the benchmark of performance which produces wins without scintillating performances. With players like those at Arsenal, scintillating performances will happen, but to challenge, 1-0 wins need to be part of the mix. Arsenal are scoring more crucial late goals, which says they have one worthy attribute of winners.

    Walcott appears to have timed his injury well for a winter break, aka paternity leave. Most convenient.

    Ozil creates more chances when Giroud plays. Known fact. What are Sanchez’ stats like with or without Giroud?

    Next game will be more of the same, albeit Palace have more pacy threats on the counter (Townsend, Zara etc) and a big Number 9 to cause havoc in the air.

    No slip ups allowed. Utd are developing a head of steam, could yet get Top 4. Not to mention Spurs. It really is going to be 5 into 3 does not go……..

  16. stephen

    ‘I dont mean to be the Chirstmas Grinch’

    hahaha every one of your posts is negative lol – seems you are all forgetting that Chelsea played this team and only managed to grind out a 1-0 result – West Brom deploying exactly the same strategy as yesterday – of course when any other team grinds out a result they are mentally strong – we do it and of course you can always count on Le Grove and their merry band of Wenger Out fanatics to criticize something or other – 2 points off second and Man City – you know the team managed by the greatest manager in the world – Le FanAtics still whinging – win our European group – LeFanatics still moaning lol – why do you you even support a team which makes you so miserable – win or lose lol

  17. Wallace

    Ishola

    “Do you believe that Pulis quote yourself Wallace?”

    I think we have a better squad than Chelsea, yes. maybe a more talented first 11, too, although Conte has found a system to make the most of his team’s talents.

  18. Ishola70

    Wallace:
    “I think we have a better squad than Chelsea, yes. maybe a more talented first 11, too, although Conte has found a system to make the most of his team’s talents.”

    And what do you think of his remarks about the squad being able to see it through and Chelsea may need to spend?

    He’s having a giggle isn’t he at Wenger’s expense?

  19. Jonraid

    20+ posts at this point? Pedro is losing it like Wenger, no? Hope for an upward trajectory in second of the season for both Arsenal and Le Grove. :)

  20. Cesc Appeal

    How anyone can say Arsenal have more staying power than Chelsea is beyond me, a Chelsea team filled with EPL winners, players who have won the league recently displaying the type of staying power you need, versus a group of players who have consistently bottled the big occasions and moments.

    Load of rubbish, typical guff where people look at names on paper over substance, it honestly is like we go into seasons forgetting the past tweleve.

    Arsenal are a good team, but it really is a load of total s**t to keep banging on about ‘turning the corner’ etc when Wenger is still manager. You cannot have over a decade of scarily similar repetitive failure and just think that one season, suddenly, it will all be different.

  21. Wallace

    Ishola

    “And what do you think of his remarks about the squad being able to see it through and Chelsea may need to spend?”

    I think it’s interesting that no one’s saying it’s Chelsea’s to lose yet, despite the quite significant lead. and don’t think Pulis is having a somewhat convoluted dig at Wenger. just an acknowledgement that there’s quite a long way to go.

  22. Red&White4life

    “do you really have to stick to 70mins to make a change?”
    Why complaining ?? Wengaboy usually wait until the 75th.

    “2nd half of the season presents plenty of chances for AW to show us he’s the king!”
    lol Pedro you killed me with this one!!

  23. uche

    West Brom made life difficult for Chelsea. They defend very well and have proven themselves quite difficult to break down.

    However, we are the Arsenal. We are just coming back from two straight losses. We should have reassured fans by demolishing that team even if they played with 10 defenders.

    Yesterday was disappointing. Then again, such is the life of an Arsenal fan these days.

  24. Dissenter

    Cesc
    I agree with you about Chelsea.
    It’s theirs to lose.
    It’s easy to forget that they won the league two seasons ago with the same core. They will also have money [not from Abramovic] from selling Oscar to spend.

  25. Red&White4life

    “It’s theirs to lose”
    It was ours to lose last season, so who knows, a miracle maybe ??

    “Where’s the weak link in the Chelsea squad?”
    Conte ?? (lol)

  26. Cesc Appeal

    Dissenter

    Really interested to see what Conte does with that £60 Million, rumours of Verratti, but surely not.

    James has also been linked.

    Has also expressed his interest in Ake and Christensen returning though.

    The thing is though, Conte has got a system that is working, have to be careful with tampering too much, though I do still think they can improve on Moses and Alonso though, as well as they’ve been doing.

  27. kc

    King of the long jacket?
    King of the 70th minute sub?
    King of failure?
    King of ruining good players?
    I can’t decide what suits him best.

  28. Dissenter

    Cesc,
    I think Conte is going to buy a central defender from Italy. They need an upgrade on David Luis.
    He might also get a replacement for Mikel Obi who’s leaving in January.

  29. Batistuta

    You already knew Pedro would mention Coquelin who by the way was one of our better players than the almost always sideways Xhaka

  30. reality check

    It’ll be hard to improve on Moses and Alonso.

    LWB and RWB is dogs work. To have quality on top of discipline on top of hard work is hard to find.

  31. Federer

    Even the most likely challenger (ManC)has conceeded that title is Chelsea’s.
    http://m.bbc.com/sport/football/38439885
    So it beats me when I read of blind optimism from gunners like alexanderhenry that we still have a chance at the title.
    We should get our priorities right at this stage of the campaign : Maybe secure direct UCL qualification for next year and win the FA cup.
    Let’s not even get started on getting past the UCL round of 16 this year, better luck next year.

  32. Federer

    Batistuta, I was just gonna say that if Pedro doesn’t take a dig at Coq , (however subtle) in any of his post game reviews, I would wear a Spurs shirt to work and inscribe on it: “One Arsene Wenger”

  33. Dissenter

    I really think United are going to be challenging for the fourth spot.
    Mourhino has finally discovered how good Mykhtaryan is.

    We’ll be done once Mourhino trusts his flair players like Mata and Mykhtaryan.

  34. gonsterous

    Really Seem to have lost all interest regarding arsenal other than le grove ( thanx pedders )
    Dint watch the game past half time yesterday, glad we got the win, but we were shit. The 3 points was good though

  35. Wallace

    Dissenter

    “Wallace
    Where’s the weak link in the Chelsea squad?”

    no real weak link at the moment, when everything’s going so well, but both ourselves & Liverpool beat them quite comfortably, and Man City & Spurs were the better teams for the majority of their games. I think they’re currently being exceptionally efficient rather than dominant. which is why I think the pundits aren’t going overboard in their praise for them.

  36. karim

    Gonsterous

    Same here, stopped watching the game at half-time.. and no, it wasn’t because the stream you guys sent me went on vacation after that.

  37. Danish Gooner

    God jul til dig Superswede.Jeg elsker Sverige og Gota Kanalen og de svenske krebse gilder.We must stick together and get Wenger to realize he is past his sell by date,

  38. Red&White4life

    Sure Danish, after all this time, all of a sudden, he will realize it…

    The worst part is that Ivan himself don’t realize that fact – scared to face the true, scared of a change…

  39. Goonereris

    Didn’t see the game real-time but saw a recorded version this morning. Contrary to views about a “lethargic performance”, I thought West Brom showed what a good defensive team they are; the hard work Chelsea had to put in to get 1 goal against them is the pointer. I feel they would beat a few top sides. They have a style that makes it a frustrating game to watch but I thought we did okay with our effort and energy levels, especially coming back from two straight losses? Let’s see what the manager does with Perez and Ramsey in the next game.

  40. Sancho Monzorla

    I wish people would stop using the fact that Chelsea beat West Brom in a similar fashion as some convoluted silver lining. Chelsea’s win was in the middle of tremendous win streak, showing great form and pulling away from the rest of the league, you expect them to pull out wins like that after a certain point, because that’s what teams that win championships do.

    It’s a completely different circumstance to Arsenal, who after their annual slow climb to the peak of this annual roller coaster, are now in the middle of the predictable, inevitable drop. If Chelsea drew or lost that game they would still be 6 points ahead of Arsenal, still 4 points clear at the top of the table. If Arsenal lost or drew yesterday, that’s 11 or 12 points behind. Or maybe some of you think that’s not an issue at all since we would still be a point ahead of Spurs and in 4th place.

  41. DaleDaGooner

    So we know Pedro doesn’t fancy Coquelin, but your boy Rambo had 2 chances, 2 to out the game away and he fluffs it. I don’t get this Coq bashing really

  42. B.T

    Ramsey passing players with dribbling skills and sweeping the ball around the pitch? What the fuck? I must be watching a different Ramsey then.

  43. karim

    Cheers Gonsterous and Rollen, very nice of you guys !

    We usually get all the Arsenal games in here but it’s gonna help me next time they dare show Chelsea when WE play …

    Up the Arse !

  44. BacaryisGod

    Pedro-while I agree that Coquelin isn’t a creative force, he is vital in these games because he prevents the opposition from keeping the ball. His constant pressure allows our creative players to have more time on the ball.

    For me, the greatest problem we have is that Xhaka is not the creative playmaker that Santi is and this forces Ozil to come deeper to create and with Giroud clogging the space in the middle, this takes away from Ozil’s ability to score goals.

    We were essentially left with two goalscoring options; 1) a piece of individual Alexis magic or 2) a typical centre forward goal from Giroud.

    Iwobi, Ozil, Xhaka and Coquelin all looked extremely unlikely to score, but luckily one of our two options came through.

  45. Igbo Amadi-Obi

    Hindsight ia always 20/20, as they say. If someone had said to me before the game that stats show that Pulis and his team hand over play and sit back to defend, so we dont need Coq because he’s too defensive; instead we need Ramsey (who was previously accused of passing sideways) because he’s more adventurous, I would say good thinking. But what i see is that after the fact, everyone seems to have known how Pulis and Westbrom would play except Wenger.

  46. Alex Cutter

    “Imagine Swansea 19 years straight in the UCL, winning 3 League titles and 6 FA Cups. You think they’d sack Bob Bradley after achieving that? twitter.com/AFCMemz/status…”

    With Bradley having all of Arsenal’s resources? And having won fuck all in the past 12 years?

    You’re goddamned right he would he would have been sacked.

  47. David Smith

    Wenger, for all his faults is not going to take this team out of the top four.
    And if he wants to, he will b able to stay on, according to most reports at least.
    Would guess, it’s just a matter of how and when they spin it.
    Finish first or second, that alone would in the eyes of the manager and club make his extension tenable.
    Finish third, perhaps with a cup or an overdue freak qualification against Bayern will likely be enough.
    Finish fourth, and he will still stay, they will spin it that a man of wengers experience is needed to negotiate what could be a tough qualifier.
    Could be win win for Wenger
    Even, in the highly unlikely event they did finish out of the top four, they would probably tell us wengers record suggests he is the man to get us back there.
    They may also suggests Wenger may be needed in the aftermath of losing the two best players

  48. kelvin

    David Smith

    My God, somehow am in agreement with you. You just couldn`t make this shit up. Jeez, its all doom and gloom for us then, here is to more years of Wenger. #darktimesahead

  49. mikem

    David Smith

    He was always staying. It’s the kind of situation, re him leaving, where one should not believe it till they see it.
    The quest for more money is what drives him. The reason he seems such a nervous wreck at times is down to the fear of losing his annual lottery win.

  50. Goonereris

    Sancho,
    ” I wish people would stop using the fact that Chelsea beat West Brom in a similar fashion as some convoluted silver lining. Chelsea’s win was in the middle of tremendous win streak, showing great form and pulling away from the rest of the league, you expect them to pull out wins like that after a certain point, because that’s what teams that win championships do.”

    No one said it was some sort of silver lining but to allude to the fact that we have not played a rubbish team because they will give most teams similar problems. A look at some of their results will tell you a bit more: it was 1-1 v Spurs, 1-2 v Liverpool, before the recent losses to United and Chelsea.
    Just saying after two straight losses, teams which want to get out of a rut usually get to play the next few games with caution until form starts to flow again as confidence returns. It is my hope that this is the case with Arsenal because I really hope for the best for us.

    PS: I am beginning to feel this Liverpool side will take some stopping; better than the current leaders as a fighting unit.

  51. Sancho Monzorla

    Eris

    Who said anything about West Brom being rubbish? I don’t think anyone really said that specifically. They are 9th on the table, Pulis is yawn but far from a horrible manager, they have some good results on their books this season.

    But on more than one occasion, even since yesterday, the Chelsea scoreline was alluded to, as if that somehow makes it acceptable or okay that Arsenal are 9 points behind and, in all likelihood, not getting close to sniffing the top of the table like they were in October…as if somehow that means that Chelsea and Arsenal are level in terms of accomplishment and potential for this season.

    Get the fuck out of here with that shit, seriously. Bournemouth beat West Brom 1-0 back in September, if that result has nothing at all to do with Arsenal’s current form and situation, then Chelsea’s doesn’t either.

  52. London gunner

    Pedro as ever overhyping his man crush Ramsey who was pretty useless and squandered two clear cut scoring Chances one with a pointless and terribly executed skill.

    Whilst coquelin is bashed despite not putting a foot wrong and not being any less adventurous with his passing than Ozil.

  53. London gunner

    Liverpools combination play and off ball movement is so much better so much more dynamic and impactful than ours.

    That’s not because they have better players it’s because they have better manger who trains them and runs them through better drills

  54. Sid

    “2nd half of the season presents plenty of chances for AW to show us he’s the king!” ////

    Ohh yes. He will show us that he is the king by signing a new 2 year deal. And there is nothing much we can do about it. He will make sure that Arsenal finish in the top 4 somehow and that makes his job secure.

  55. Black Hei

    LG

    I am not so sure. I think it has to do with less European games. The 2 front runners and last year’s winner all have the same commonalities.

    Pool bombed badly when they had to participate in Europa last year.

  56. tunnygriffboy

    Undoubtedly Liverpool are dynamic energetic and extremely dangerous going forward

    I don’t think they could be playing with this intensity week in week out twice a week. On top of the rest they have between matches they also have loads of time to work on their system of play (ditto Chelsea).

    If you can stop them going forward you’ll always have a chance to hit them on the counter. If you can get out of their press their defence and and keeper still look vulnerable.

    Anyone give Lucas a start v Palace ? I would and it was nice to see Gibbs having another good game on the weekend

  57. London gunner

    Black Hei

    That doesn’t change the fact their combination play is better.

    You may be arguing (rather badly if you are) that there combination play is better because they have less games but that doesn’t change the fact their combination play is certainly superior to ours.

    As for movement of the ball you could argue that they have increased energy levels because of less games and this shown in more dynamic and progressive movement my answer or response to that would be is it not wengers job to adequately create and or form a squad that can compete on the dual fronts of premier league football and the champions league. If he can’t what on earth is doing as the manager of Arsenal.

  58. Samesong

    RSPCA

    I love the way Wenger say that both players are good friends and close to each other (what close as you mean on the bench?)

  59. Thank You And Goodnight

    Sanogo is wenger’s ali diao. I mean wenger has bought some shit players in his time but Sanogo has to be the worst

  60. Emiratesstroller

    Yes we did score eventually in last 5 minutes, but no-one who was at the game as I was will have been particularly impressed by the performance.

    Our first half performance was insipid with one paced football and virtually no shots on goal. The tempo was upped in second half and we managed to increase the goal scoring opportunities.

    I admit that the WBA defence and goalkeeper in particular is solid and that is
    reflected in their away stats in all games this season.

    However, we should be beating this side far more comfortably than we did.

    Arsenal may have on paper one of the strongest squads in EPL as Pulis suggested after the game, but it is not remotely a title winning team.

    Our defence despite not conceding a goal on Boxing Day is brittle. There are
    still the same fundamental errors and lack of discipline and concentration.
    Our zonal marking at corners continues to be a problem and Cech fluffed his
    lines on a couple of occasions.

    The midfield used to be considered a strong area of our team. On the evidence
    of recent games that is no longer the case. Ozil has been poor in the last three
    games and there is not much creativity evident when we play in central midfield the likes of Coquelin, Xhaka, Elneny or Ramsey. Most of the passing is pedestrian and frankly fairly predictable.

    My daughter’s comment when she watched the game was that our team is lacking passion and on that score I have to agree with her.

    There is a total lack of leadership starting with the Manager and Coaches on the bench. They sit through the game like dummies in contrast to the managers of most other teams. There is absolutely no reaction even when we are
    playing poorly.

    Life has become too comfortable at Emirates and what should be of concern to club were the absence of large numbers of season ticket holders at the game.
    Many of the regulars who would normally have been at the game were missing. That I fear is becoming a regular feature. Many supporters are paying to
    keep their seats, but there is a diminishing enthusiasm to turn up to games.

  61. tunnygriffboy

    Over the last 3 seasons the competition in in the league has improved considerably in terms of players/management/squds and tactics

    In the past teams who were regularly in Europe would be able to play at 70% on the weekend and beat a lot of sides. With the improvement in the league this is no longer the case. You have to be on it both physically and mentally if you want to win games.

    The top sides have always had bigger squads than mosts sides however nowadays all clubs have a really good first eleven plus a few extra with some top players. It is really difficult for the top teams to leave out their top players as these are the guys that make the difference. Whilst these can change certain players it is difficult for them to rest a certain core of players

    This is not just the case for Arsenal. All the sides in Europe tend to play their top players in the majority of matches. These players get fatigued, it’s natural. It is no surprise to see Chelsea and Liverpool play with the intensity they are because they are fresher than the other top sides. That coupled with the fact they have the players/teams and managers to compete in Europe means that they will be at the top this season.

    Certainly re Arsenal we looked really jaded in the 2nd half of the Everton games. Part of that was due to the managers not rotating and trusting other good players in the squad and not making early enough substitutions. Also playing 5 games in 12 games would be enough to stretch any team.

    I think it’s why City, us, Spurs and man u haven’t always been fresh and dynamic all the time this season.

    The way to get around this is for us to get everyone fit and then rotate and trust the players we bring in.

    I’m concerned about our midfield options when Elneny goes to Afcon and Ramsey continues to struggle with his hamstring.

  62. tunnygriffboy

    Emirates

    We’ve hardly conceded any goals fro corners this season. When teams who use zonal marking, and there’s a fair few, concede a goal it’s always zonal markings fault. When a team that uses man for man concede a goal from a corner no one ever says it’s because of the man for man marking system. Just an observation

    WBA played 6-3-1 were well organised as Pulis teams always are. They had little interest in attacking. Had we got the early goal we would have had more space as the looked for an equaliser. We didn’t so we had to persevere. Wasn’t pretty but no one could say we didn’t deserve to win

    It will be the same v Palace but they offer a bit more in attack with Zaha, Benteke et al.

    As for supporters who don’t turn up it’s their perogative. They are lucky they canafford a season ticket. Surely more should be done to ensure that if they are not going to a game their seat is put on general sale.

  63. Pierre

    I went to the west brom game and I have to say that something really needs to be done about the blatant time wasting from the 1st minute . We pay a lot of money to watch a game these days and I don’t really want to watch their goalie waste probably 10/15 mins taking goal kicks ( is this the only tactic pullis uses in a game ).
    Why not have ball boys and numerous balls around the pitch to speed things up or put a time limit on taking a goal kick , say 20 seconds. As soon as Arsenal took the lead then foster (west brom keeper) was running round like a maniac to get the ball back in play , hilarious.
    Why do west brom fans travel all that way just to see their keeper take 45 seconds & more to hoof the ball towards the touch line (rugby style). Not once did he attempt to kick the ball down the centre of the pitch (good tactics) or play it short to a team mate.
    Pullis should be ashamed of himself for setting out his team to destroy the game. He has some half decent players in that team who could have given Arsenal problems . Rondon, chadli, brunt, fletcher are all good players who hardly had a touch of the ball due to pullis tactic of telling the keeper to hoof it to the touch line .
    As I said, we pay a lot of money and something needs to be done . Oh I know , let’s blame Wenger . Everything else is his fault so might as well blame him for that as well…

  64. Emiratesstroller

    tunny

    We may not have conceded a goal against WBA who score very few in away games, but the fact is that Cech failed on a couple of occasions to take the ball
    and on both occasions a sharper team would probably have scored.

    Arsenal lost 2 games against Everton and Man City which we could have won.
    Man City are also in the Champions League and were short of three of the best
    players when they played us.

    The reality is that there are too many players in our squad who may have a
    decent pedigree on paper, but are lacking in substance when they come out
    to play.

    If as you suggest Ozil’s tank is empty at this stage of the season then I would expect a competent manager to do something about it i.e. rest him.

    What is abundantly clear to me and an increasing number of season ticket
    holders around me is that the club is not well managed from top to bottom.
    That is evident in transfer business, contract re-negotiation and the way we
    play.

    What is lacking is “passion” and “enthusiasm”.

  65. Pierre

    I agree that our football against deep lying defences is too one paced.. We need more players making late runs into the box to pull defences out of their comfort zone.
    Our play is possession based in these games but we seem afraid to take a risk in case we lose possession whereas a team like Liverpool will take the risk and play with a higher tempo which never allows the defensive side to relax..
    I Can’t see our style of play changing under Wenger as we don’t really have the players to change it ( maybe cazorla could make a difference) , it will be a patient game and if we don’t get the early goal then there could be e few more games similar to the west brom game…