Shambolic Arsenal struggle with basics

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via @Arsenal insta

via @Arsenal insta

Good gosh we have many items to cover today. Arsenal didn’t exactly cruise to a victory away from home against Cardiff, but we did rack up 3 delightful points on a day where Spurs lost to Watford. That was a huge positive, in a year where we’d only managed a solitary away win against Huddersfield.

Outside that, there were a lot of problems for Unai Emery when there shouldn’t have been. His starting 11 brought Mesut Ozil back into the fold out on the right, he persisted with Ramsey as a clunky #10 and he gave the fans the dream duo of Lacazette and Aubameyang up front with the Gabonese taking up duties wide left. Unfortunately, the addiction of starting Xhaka in midfield took hold again, with the Swiss taking up the double pivot with Guendouzi.

We started off strongly, our transitions through defence and midfield looked a little better than usual, but once again, we put far too much pressure on Petr Cech early on and he couldn’t cope. He made some erratic passes, capped with an awful moment when he tried to play the ball centrally through Harry Arter, forgetting to give his pass lift. The Irish international pounced on the blunder but blazed over.

Our possession gave us two early corners, the first was a smart front post move where Lacazette laid off to Ramsey who was coming in on the edge of the box, the shot was snuffed out well and the rebound was turned over by Mustafi. The German landed his second chance 11 minutes in, Xhaka finding his surging run, the header bulleted into the top corner. A really well-worked goal, Emery true to his word that he’d work on set-pieces.

Cardiff, a team that scored 69 goals last season were seriously lacking in confidence. Arsenal conceded 5 or so chances in the first half that were by no means a result of good defending. We were all over the place. The defence is painfully susceptible to almost anything. Long balls over the top, clever balls in behind, random crosses that somehow turn into chances. I don’t know how to calculate xG, but Cardiff were worth a lot more than they produced. I’d go as far to say they created better chances than us, outside the rasping shot that Lacazette hit the post with.

Our luck couldn’t ride out the first half, Xhaka, under no pressure at all, tried to spray a left footed cross-field ball 25 yards, when the simpler options was Guendouzi 10 yards away. The calamitous pass was intercepted. Our midfield pivot put next to no pressure on the attack, the ball was moved out wide left, Bellerin was slow to react, the cross made it into the box, our centre backs all missed it, Camarasa took his chance and fizzed his strike past Cech.

Real shoddy in-game management. I was watching a video doing the rounds from Pep G, he was explaining that he liked his full-backs to tuck inside because it shortens the length of pass. He believes that allows the ball to travel up the pitch quicker, and it reduces the risks associated with long passes. That sort of pass shouldn’t be happening when a player is under no pressure.

The second half brought a little bit more joy to our play. Mesut Ozil found his way into the game a little more, floating inside more often, with the hope of dictating play, whilst offering up our strikers more in the way of creativity. The German started the move for our second, finding Lacazette through the middle, the ball was played off deftly to Auba who was given all the space in the world to curl a 23-yard strike into the far corner. Thierry-esque.

Cardiff fought back again. Lacazette harshly adjudged to have fouled Arter about 30 yards from our box, I mean, the guy outright took a dive, it was embarrassing, I thought salt of the earth players didn’t play that game? The resultant setpiece was flighted into the back post, Rambo was swamped by Morrison who nodded the ball into the danger area where Ward was on hand to finish up.

A really sloppy goal to concede. The absolute basics of Sunday league are that if you’re marking a man way bigger than you, you fucking scream until someone of a similar size takes over. As a keeper myself, if you see that a small person is marking a big person, you shout at your defence until it’s rectified. It’s not like Morrison hadn’t been causing us major headaches before then. Monreal was in noman’s land when he should have been tracking Ward for his uncontested header. Really, really, soft. Our in game intelligence is still sub-par.

The manager decided to shake up midfield and bring on Lucas Torriera for Guendouzi. The decision was a masterstroke, because sad to say, a midfielder doing his actual job for 20 minutes earned him man of the match in my eyes. He can move the ball through the lines with ease, he clears danger and he gets stuck in. He was instrumental for our final goal, finding Lacazette with an incisive 10-yard pass through the right, Lacazette didn’t waste it, detonating his shot like an ICBM rocket at the keepers inside post. Woooah. What a strike.

There was still time for high jinx, Granit Xhaka had a moment that looked akin to an epiletic fit on the edge of the box, giving Cardiff another dangerous freekick. Lucky for us, we saw the game out and protected those 3 very important points.

Concluding thoughts:

I don’t know what’s going on at StatDNA, I don’t understand what mysterious data points they’re looking at and I don’t understand how the insights they’re drawing can be so powerful that the coach can justify starting a player who gives away more major chances per game than any midfeilder I’ve ever watched at Arsenal.

The man is utterly awful. He has no in-game management, he’s slow, he switches off and he has consistently gifted goals to the opposition since he joined us. What does he have to do to be dropped? What will we miss without him? Not like he’s ever not playing, so we don’t really have a reference point to highlight over here. It’s quite unbelieveable.

Also, it’s hard to see how Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey can co-exist in the same setup. The manager either moves Aaron into the double pivot with Lucas Torriera, with Mesut in the #10 role, or, he drops one of them. Ramsey does not look comfortbale as our lead creator, he doesn’t have the refined passing repertoire of Ozil. However, the German doesn’t have the industry or the desire to do the role that is needed of him. Also, I hate to say it, but I missed having Mikhi out wide. He offers us a lot down that right, without him, Bellerin was utterly impotent today. Emery really does have a conundrum, the system he’s playing at the moment needs him to make costly decisions for the good of the play.

Maybe we need to move to a 4-2-2-2 type approach? I mean, it kind of looked like we were playing that way at certain points in the second half yesterday. The only way Ozil could be effective was when he floated inside to dictate play.

I really don’t know how the manager rectifies the problems he has in defence. I think Sokratis is starting to look like a good defender, but his leadership skills aren’t shining at the moment. I genuinely think there’s a psychological issue at hand with the way Emery wants them to play. None of the players are comfortable playing out of the back. Cech immediately puts frazzled nerves into the danger zone because he’s not built to play like Cesc Fabregas.

On top of that, the way Emery has decided to start the ball moving is a lot less intense than I’d have hoped. We give teams the time they need to regroup and gun for us. That’s fine when you’re rocking £200m worth of defensive talent, but when you have our players trying to deal with the pressure, it doesn’t work. We don’t transition the ball fast enough, and quite often, even when we do break through midfield, we lose the ball because our midfield is being tightly pressed. I think the manager is going to have to give the defence a stronger foundation, and that might mean dropping Cech for a keeper who is comfortable with the ball at his feet. Alternatively, maybe the manager has to be more flexible about the way the defence plays.

They’re the golfing equivalent of someone who has come out of a lesson with 56 things to think about… their whole game totally collapses because they forget the basics in pursuit of the next level. Trouble for Emery is our defence didn’t have the basics right last season. So it’s a lot of learning to do on the job.

Overall, I’m happy with the three points, hopefully, the players can download what did work and continue to refine the bits that didn’t in training this week.

Next up, Newcastle away from home. I can’t fucking stand the Geordies. Let’s hope next Saturday is a good one for the greatest fans on earth.

See you in the comments.

258 Responses to “Shambolic Arsenal struggle with basics”

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  1. Guns of Hackney

    WE

    So I guess we’ll lose our games 7-4 then? Or win 3-2?

    Defence is, was and always will be the way teams win games. Pep knows this and that’s why he spent £250m on improving it.

    We spent the equivalent of a pack of peanuts and we got monkeys.

  2. WengerEagle

    I don’t actually foresee it working out for Emery here tbh, hope I am wrong but just don’t get that special vibe off of him that all of the managerial greats have. Would love to be proven wrong on this but his stint at PSG would worry me that he hasn’t it in him to handle the egos/garner respect off of the elite talent which is ultimately where we want to return as a club.

    If he can get us back in the CL and improve the personnel that would be good enough for me as a stop-gap to begin to fix Wenger’s mess before a better option comes is gettable.

  3. WengerEagle

    GOH

    Preaching to the choir there mate, was vocal in being against the Sokratis signing and Soyuncu who I’m glad we passed on as he wasn’t worth the dough being discussed and given his age we’d be stuck with him for the foreseeable.

    Beyond me why we didn’t sign a LB and a CB that’s not over the hill despite only being average in his prime.

    Sokratis screamed of cheap and easy as well as lazy. Sven had plenty of dicks hard with his recruitment history at Dortmund, nobody was looking into how it tailed off pretty dramatically and coincided with Dortmund’s steep decline.

    Fella we snagged off of Barcelona also oversaw the recruitment behind much of their dross they’ve only managed to get rid off recently and some of whom they are still stuck with in Gomes, Cillessen, Mathieu, Aleix Vidal, Digne, Alcacer, Turan, etc.

  4. Michael24

    B10.

    You cannot be serious!

    Comparing Conte to Emery is illogical.

    Conte inherited a set of players that were flexible and capable of adapting to change. They also had a winning mentality.

    Emery has inherited a core of players that have little or no concept of change. On top of this he has a structure and systems around him, built by Wenger, that need to be completely dismantled and rebuilt brick by brick.

    Also, remember one simple factor in all of this.

    Arsene Wenger!

  5. James wood

    Cardiff are the odds on favourites for relegation.

    Seems to sum up how dire we where.
    As regard Pedro’s remarks about Socrates seem
    wide of the mark.
    This guy is playing several levels above where he should be
    he will be seriously found out against better sides.

  6. Cesc Appeal

    WE

    What is worrying is that we all know he is a very smart manager, fastidious with his preparation and knowledge.

    He wants to play 4-2-3-1, again, most everyone knows that.

    But then he serves up totally unbalanced and in fact almost suicidal starting line ups.

    Take City, Mhkitaryan and Ozil out wide, the former doesn’t really do defence and effort and the latter couldn’t spell those words because it’s too much effort.

    He is playing a really high line with CBs too slow to do it but then leaves out Torreira who could shield them in place of a 19 year old rookie, not knocking Guendouzi at all, and Xhaka who gives Mertesacker a run for his money in the slow stakes.

    He’s now trying to shoehorn Aubameyang and Lacazette in together without actually playing a formation that suits them.

    That makes our summer a little baffling, if this was his plan we badly needed a winger as most everyone with a brain said who can get up and down that touchline and add real pace and menace from out wide.

    Aubameyang at LM is the same was when people wanted Veramelen at CDM, or Chambers at CDM, or Kolasinac at CDM. Not a clue. He started life there at St Etienne and briefly at BvB but he is now 29 and has played for years at ST, in case people weren’t aware, energy, agility etc decrease with age. He looked totally out of place there against Cardiff.

    When he played in front of Lacazette for that spell in the second half they looked very dangerous and it was the best attacking play we’ve seen from players outside of Mkhitaryan against Chelsea.

    I’m not at all bashing Emery or making judgement, but this pre season mode he is still in needs to stop.

    By the looks of things 3-5-2 helps us get into January where we should buy and sell aggressively still being in touching distance of 4th.

  7. Guns of Hackney

    Arsenal’s recruitment policy does seem really weird. There are no other ways to describe it.

    Buy a 30 slow as sin cb and try to play a high line. No.

    Buy a 26 year old keeper who call ball with his feet and not play him while you try and implement a out from the back tactic. Ludicrous.

    Play an over the hill 36 year old who can’t ball. Play him in every game and watch his confidence be destroyed.

    Xhaka. The worst midfielder in living memory. Play him every minute and give the SOB a new contract.

    Ozil. Just no.

    So many questions. No answers.

  8. up 4 grabs now

    352 is the way forward.
    if we played 442 we would still have the same problems, fullback playing so far forwards and out of position.

    We don’t actually have any wingers either, so it would be two from iwobi, Ramsay Welbeck, miki, ozil or a makeshift Bellerin with the litch behind him,

    No thanks

  9. Joe

    Can the record get corrected over the idea Lacazette should be sold? Waiting on that one…

    Can the record get corrected that Xhaka is a top 1% footballer. Waiting on that one…

    Also waiting on Greizman and who did your “friend in the know” tell you who was going be manager for us that you put money on? Hahaha

    Too good.

  10. Cesc Appeal

    Up 4 Grabs

    Agreed.

    Three CBs seems the only way right now.

    We looked like equals playing West Ham and Cardiff aside for a few minutes where we clicked in attack.

    If you watched those games you would have said a win for either side or a draw were all acceptable results based on the performances.

    For those ten minutes against Cardiff when Aubameyang and Lacazette clicked it looked good, both passing and movement. We didn’t sell Lacazette and buy a winger that would have helped the 4-2-3-1 so now we need to do what we need to do.

  11. up 4 grabs now

    The good thing with it being international fortnight means Emery can work on the training ground a bit with the players still there.

    They can assess the first four games and hopefully learn from them.
    Torriera should be ready to start, and guendouzi can have a little rest before going again, unless Des champs shocks everyone, and calls him up?

    The good thing with the run of games that we’re in now, means we can build some momentum before playing the bindippers.

    if we could get a point from them, then a few more games before spurs and man utd we could be in a comfortable position for striking at getting 4th.
    its not impossible although its a long shot.

    the worry is the Europa league starts in just over two weeks, and its pretty much a game every three days till the next international break middle of October.
    lets hope those afternoon training sessions have paid off.

  12. Joe

    Up for grabs.

    Europa should be easily navigated. Play all the reserves including Ramsey and Xhaka and Cech.

    Shouldn’t affect our PL matches

  13. up 4 grabs now

    Cesc,

    the thing is who plays as third centreback?
    if its Monreal then its lich as a left back or Danny Wellbeck!

    if its mavropos he will get a few games coming up with the Europa and
    Hi caramba cup coming up, or whatever its called.
    Holding should have been sent on loan and kept Chambers.

    playing chambers in all those pre season games then loaning him out is another weird decision?

  14. up 4 grabs now

    Joe,

    I get what you mean mate, it should be easy, but its Arsenal you know we’ll probably make a meal out of it.

    and when you look at our bench for bringing players in it doesn’t look great.
    xhaka and elneny in midfield
    holding and mavropos as centrebacks.
    Welbeck and eddie as strikers.
    and fullbacks are all busted its not great.

  15. Cesc Appeal

    Up 4

    It is all very difficult, this is such an unbalanced squad with so many issues. We need to get in the UCL this year and then spend bout £250 Million on this side obviously selling a lot as well over the next couple of summers.

    The Chambers thing is weird, that smacks of something financial. New contract, told he would be a big part of Emery’s plans then suddenly out of nowhere he’s gone.

  16. WengerEagle

    CA

    Re the wideman I am not buying for a second that one wasn’t available, take Felipe Anderson even, he tore us a new one at the Emirates at times and has made a really good start, a name I floated on here a while back.

    Guedes moved, Malcom, Fekir is marooned at Lyon and clearly wanted out, Lemar, etc.

    We didn’t even try for any of these.

    Which boggles the mind considering he’s having to shoehorn Aubameyang out left where he clearly struggles to influence the game and impose himself.

    Our recruitment for me was disappointing, I know it was only one window but the only signing you’d be excited for was Toreirra and he can’t even start a match.

  17. up 4 grabs now

    Cesc,

    Champions league is a long shot, but possible, do you throw all your eggs in one basket in the new year at some point, and go all out for the Europa league
    Like man Utd a few years back?

    your right about 250 million, I think that’s just to compete again, not even guarantee winning the league.
    the problem is I cant see Stan loosening the purse strings for that type of money.

  18. KAY Boss

    Look, I think guys are forgetting something emery said. The man wants to wind by 3-2 than 1-0.
    If we can win 3-2 most games I’ll take that over loses and draws.

  19. up 4 grabs now

    kay Boss,
    3-2 wins are great, but we struggled against a piss poor West ham And Cardiff side.
    how about a Watford, Everton, or Leicester even.
    and that’s before we look at the five clubs that finished above us last season.

  20. Champagne Charlie

    Weagle

    Emery needed more substantial backing this past summer imo, the whole hiring process started too late given it was a WC year. We were still dragging feet out of “respect”, which was a total cop out because patently we just didn’t have a very good plan in place.

    Emery has the ability, just think he and us have been sold short for this season. Unless a proper Jan arises you can pretty much write this one off as it appears to be a very, very laborious process.

    Has he been given a season to judge everyone, with promises of a massive overhaul next summer? That’d be my hope. But I was underwhelmed end of the window, and that hasn’t been shaken.

    Joe
    I’ve given up explaining things to a man who rides a greasy pole everyday of the week. What’s “too good” is your continued input as resident fuckwit despite numerous bannings. It’s like you’ve doubled down on your stupid 🙂

  21. Joe

    Poor CC getting his panties in a twist because he’s getting called out on being a “in the know” with his “mate at the club “ hahaha. Laughable.

    Charlie.

    Tell us how great Xhaka is again. Please!

    Top 1% innit.

  22. Cesc Appeal

    WE

    At least Torreira looks good. Was very impressed with him when he came on against Cardiff.

    I’m struggling with Emery at the moment, I’m trying to cut him slack in my mind and I’m thinking he is trying things before he arrives at his preferred line up.

    You know I completely agree on the winger. It seems as if Bailey was available for a reasonable amount, he’s signed a new deal now, there was a host of players out there, I even don’t mind Traore at Lyon.

    It’s like there wasn’t a meeting between Mislintat and Emery, or that they all just sort of hoped the players would step up to play Emery’s way and that Ozil would press, Xhaka would press etc.

    We could be doing them a disservice though, if there was just £70 Million, the squad in a total fucking mess, no one wanting to buy our players and they have to somehow get this side into the UCL.

    That said, Emery is not helping with his selections though.

    Up 4

    That will be a judgement call later in the season.

    The thing is, add another £30 Million from Adidas, £13 Million from the sleeve, UCL money and player sales and really Kroenke doesn’t have to authorise any sort of heightened spending compared to how we’ve been spending, just rises relative to income.

    The LA Rams story shows he does have some ambition and perhaps Kroenke Jr taking over as CEO will mean he wants to make Arsenal his own success to show KSE?

  23. Michael24

    Compete for top 4 would be a step forward.

    As for the Europa League, maybe a small step forward can be achieved.

    Let’s just enjoy the ride.

  24. Joe

    CC

    You have a lot of fantasies about me riding a pole

    Whatever gets you through the day I suppose.

    Want me to send you a pic of me
    In my fire outfit.

    Keep you going for days 🙂

  25. Cesc Appeal

    ‘No pressure then’

    This is elite level sport, pressure is constant, love it or leave.

    For too long no pressure, no expectation and no accountability at Arsenal.

  26. up 4 grabs now

    Joe, Cant wait for these six days, with a trip away to Portugal as well.
    Squads not that big mate so some of the first team will have to play.

    Monday 22nd October
    Premier League
    Arsenal V Leicester City

    Thursday 25th October
    Europa League
    Sporting Lisbon V Arsenal

    Sunday 28th October
    Premier League
    Crystal Palace V Arsenal

    Maybe our away form will have improved by then?
    I’m also waiting for the usual October injury pile up that befalls us every year, maybe with Wenger gone it might not happen?

  27. up 4 grabs now

    For too long no pressure, no expectation and no accountability at Arsenal.
    well put Cesc.

    hopefully things will change, especially once a new Ceo comes in, sponsorship money should be top of the list for getting more money in if Stan isn’t going to throw us a bone.

    im off out fellas, good talking with you all.

  28. Champagne Charlie

    Joey you’re not “calling me out” you’re classically being that thick twat we all know. As I say, not going to waste my breath explaining what’s been discussed to death previously. If you couldn’t follow then you won’t be able to now.

    Fantasies? Lol you seem to think being a fireman is like being a rockstar haha maybe nobodies told you….it’s not mate. Your mum lied to you

  29. Joe

    Let’s just hope he sorts out that Xhaka, Ramsey and Cech need to be relegated to the Europa group stage squad. And to the bench for pl matches

  30. Globalgunner

    The only way playing Cech makes sense is if we are trying to sell him in January and putting him out there. Same with Xhaka. Still seems stupid as their value will only go down with more exposure. They will also together cost us about 20 points by Xmas.

  31. Michael24

    Cesc

    Pressure is good, not disputing that.

    This though goes far deeper than expecting players to adapt so quickly.

    Pressure on the training ground will eventually lead to dealing with it, in a competitive situation, on the field of play.

  32. Joe

    Conte got a team with championship pedigree.

    Emery inherited a team with “loser wenger” pedigree.

    Not fair to compare them
    Or the situation

  33. Cesc Appeal

    Yeah.

    Conte took over a team that finished 10th because or Mourinho issues, but it had finished 1st the season before.

    Sarri took over a side that finished 5th because of Conte issues, but it had finished 1st the season before that.

    Emery has inherited a dog shit side relatively speaking that finished 6th last year and finished 5th the year before, steadily declining as opposed to a collapse season after success.

  34. Cesc Appeal

    Michael24

    This was always going to be a bit of rough season.

    I guess the problem is because we put up with Wenger for so long and could see the mistakes he was making that would have long term pain there is just no patience.

    Being told to wait is hard if you were in the boat that wanted Wenger gone for years precisely for this reason.

  35. Michael24

    Cesc

    I didn’t put up with Wenger. I made a conscious decision to not trust him after 2008.

    I stopped going to games 6 years ago and had no desire or interest to go and watch Arsenal after this time.

    What’s the problem with waiting for a couple of years for Emery to steady the ship.

    I’m prepared to be patient.

  36. karim

    I like Emery and am prepared to give him some time but he definitely needs to play Torreira and Lacazette now. Don’t know about Leno and Licht but they can’t be less reassuring than the ones playing in their positions if you follow me.

    If he takes the right decisions within a month, top 4 is definitely achievable imo.

    Europa League is a bonus and we will have have gelled ( one can dream ) as a team when it will really matter.

    So yeah, no need to go panic-mode for the moment.

  37. Cesc Appeal

    M24

    Emery will get time, without doubt, but he has to start putting his stamp on this side.

    Right now it feels like his tinkering but it reeks of Wenger still. To be expected in a way after all that time with him as manager, but Emery’s selections have been disappointing and far from recognising our problems game to game and trying to address them he seems to just be leaving them and asking for more effort.

    It is early doors yet, maybe over the break he will look at things and try to work them out, obviously it is going to require transfer windows as well. But he needs to settle on a team now.

    The biggest complaint is that it still feels like pre season, players being tried out, half time substitutions etc.

    Torreira absolutely has to start and so does Leno really, fair enough Cech is making good saves but with his feet he looks like someone who use to be good at football but hasn’t played in years and is nervous of the ball, not crap, but uncomfortable. Playing out from the back to draw out the opposition is clearly Emery’s tactic, so it is fundamental to have a GK with good feet, supposedly that is Leno.

    I want to get UCL this year and I want to see some progress with the side, that is it. We need to do a lot of buying, a CB maybe 2, LB, CAM/CM and a winger to start. But that will be a couple of years of work.

    Still very much with him, obviously, but disappointed with him so far.

  38. Marc

    Cesc

    What do you think about putting in a cheeky bid for Alderweireld in Jan?

    He’s looking for wages the Spud’s won’t / can’t pay and he wants to stay in London we might be an easy option.

  39. karim

    Cesc

    I’ve noticed you mentioned them both and I agree they’re both good, like them two a lot to be honest.

    Sanson has stepped up a gear since he joined Marseille after all these years in Montpellier where he was a bit timid.
    Much more consistent now.

    Traoré is not disciplined enough to play for a huge team yet but boy, what a magician. Just love him !

  40. Victorious

    3-5-2 might actually be the way forward for Emery considering the type of players we have, Wenger struck gold with it last season in a period were we became solid defensively and still carried a bit of threat moving forward.ofc it all depends if he’s flexible to a change of formation because going by his history in previous clubs he hardly budges from the 4-3-2-1

  41. Marko

    Sanson would be a good signing. I’m not even sure we’re looking at him I only ever seen links to Spurs and I think PSG but he’s good from what I’ve seen of him. Would love Kondogbia eventually to join. Plenty of options though

  42. Cesc Appeal

    Karim

    Good to know.

    I feel like Sanson could be that CAM/CM type player we need going forward, will have to keep an eye on him.

    I hear you with Traore, still very young though that may develop. Could be answer for us out wide in attack that no one is really thinking about. Wouldn’t it be great to have De Bruyne, Salah and Traore all in the EPL reminding Chelsea of how they f****d up?

    Marc

    That would be great.

    But with Spurs having spent nothing in the summer, their stadium a shambles and worries for fans about buying players in the future I think Levy would kidnap a member of his family to stop him making that move.

    There would literally be meltdown.

    Sadly at this moment in time it is a step down for him, but obviously looking to the future Arsenal can easily overtake Spurs again and should be doing so next season.

    I think Lascelles could be a smart EPL buy at CB.

  43. Victorious

    speaking of magicians,we might have one in our hands in Torreira, reminded me of cazorla when he came on against Cardiff, I mean the difference was palpable,2 footed,deft touch, ability to draw fouls and relieve pressure, dribbling,nippy,crisp passing between the lines etc..

    Dunno if it’s fitness or teething issues but I don’t suppose he will remain on the bench for long, I mean when he’s fully integrated he has that potential to be a star and own our midfield for years.

  44. Victorious

    Marko
    Sanson would be a good signing.”

    Forgive me,but I would’nt go near a player Marko of all people is touting for greatness.

    I mean your records in that aspect is shockingly bad

    Max Meyer and oh Sandro Ramos who you embarrassingly lost your SHIT in here because ‘we passed’ on him and let Everton snapped for 5M

    How’s that work out?

    Back to Real sociedad in a season long loan.

  45. Joe

    Like anyone has the time to go through your tedious posts

    You are/were wenger in till the very end.

    You’re not fooling anyone

  46. Michael24

    Manuel Pellegrini must be sacked if West Ham are to survive.

    Too old, too dour, too lifeless, too predictable. Lacks inspiration.

    Dead man walking as far as I’m concerned.

    Best man for the job, Eddie Howe.

  47. Un na naai

    Joe

    Your fire outfit?
    You’re not a fireman. No real fireman would refer to it as a fire outfit. It’s a uniform
    You’re impressing nobody with your phoney firman personna. Take that to the dream boys blog.

  48. Victorious

    Micheal

    ‘strucking gold’ was a metaphor used by me to emphasize on the fact we enjoyed some defensive solidarity when we switched to 3-5-3

    the 3-4-3 should be a suitable formation for the players we have in future. Both Chelsea and Tottenham, who are both top teams in the league, have switched to this formation to their great benefit. The defensive cover of three CBs, the space it provides the wing-backs, and the liberty it provides the front three players all make it a very appealing formation to arsenal.

    It’s a much better formation for the set of players we have.

  49. HillWood

    Just hope Dick realises very soon he can’t keep on with his suicide tactics with the players he keeps using
    Although as pointed out earlier who has stated he would rather win 3- 2 than 1-0
    If it all goes tits up he won’t be loitering around for twenty years though

  50. Victorious

    Un nai

    Depends on your definition of ‘good’
    because he was free for the whole of the summer and yet ended up at crystal palace

    He would have been a squaddieat best for us,just another Elneny

  51. Un na naai

    Zola ended up at Chelsea
    Bergkamp came to 7th placed arsenal
    Ginola to bottom feeding spurs
    Do canio to West Ham
    Okocha and djorkaeff at Bolton

    Meyer going to Palace or Wilshere going to West Ham doesn’t mean they aren’t quality players.

  52. Victorious

    Those are merely exceptions from the rule

    Good players play for top clubs most of the time,

    Wilshere was one time decent enough buy unfortunately became average to bad and now finds himself a West Ham team, which is sadly now his level

    Meyer definitely is a different case though, Available all through the summer and yet no single top club took the bait even as a freebie,tjat has to do with his quality, Palace is his level and he would be a sqaddie at best for a top club

  53. Un na naai

    Vic

    Maybe, maybe not. Look at Kanu when we signed him. Nobody else would touch him.
    Overmars was considered a crock, incapable of playing at top level again until Wenger brought him in. Nobody reckoned petit either. Look at Kante at Leicester. Suarez at Ajax
    All they need is the right manager, in the right system with some self belief and who knows.
    I still think Wilshere is the best midfielder of his generation in this country “by a street”
    Would we take dier or Henderson or deli Ali? Cos Wilshere is better than them

  54. Victorious

    Un nai

    Agree with you partially, it works both ways actually, managers have major roles to play on how far players full their potentials, but there has to be an innate talent to work with at first
    Those players you cited had one common factor and that is obviously that inbuilt ‘talent’ otherwise they could have tanked and ended up as dud signings

    That article quiet rightly buttress my point on Meyer,I’ve had the suspicion there’s something quite fishy about the player and that has to be his attitudes and love for the doh,comes across has a mercenary also and that’s enough to put off any top club wanting to take a punt on him.

  55. Danish Gooner

    Listen,you cant sort all the ills in 4 games but yesterday we would have lost under Wenger but we didnt lose it under Unai to start with that is something.I dont care about this and that tatical blunder,Unai has only been here for 3 months he hardly know the players and the players under Wenger will have to be revived from their drunken stupor,Unais task is massive but he can do it.

  56. Victorious

    Wilshere is the best midfielder of his generation in this country “by a street”
    Would we take dier or Henderson or deli Ali? Cos Wilshere is better than them”

    Dele Ali is a cvnt but is better player than Wilshere

  57. Marko

    Max Meyer and oh Sandro Ramos who you embarrassingly lost your SHIT in here because ‘we passed’ on him and let Everton snapped for 5M

    Max Meyer will be a year 2 max at Palace and then move up a club he’s a good prospect and he signed just a 3 year contract and Sandro would have been a good signing for us for sure but under fat Sam he wasn’t used properly. I wouldn’t worry about what you think Victorious time and time again you prove to be a massive dumbshit

  58. Un na naai

    Vic

    In short. Yes mate I like Meyer. My type of player and I like jack. I’d take both over Ozil and Ramsey and I’d take both over Ali all day long
    No way is Ali better than Wilshere. Not a hope. But hey. Football is a game of opinions and that’s mine

  59. Bamford10

    Way to miss my point re Conte. I acknowledged that Conte had better players at his disposal than Emery does; my point was that he figured his approach out by Oct. 1 of his first season. Has Emery figured even the first thing out about what he has in front of him? I’m not sure. Anyways, he needs to begin getting things right — and soon. Yes, he is new, but plenty of other new managers figure their squads out and get them clicking within the first few months.

  60. Bamford10

    Jesus Christ, this guy is still on about Jack Wilshere? Wilshere is crocked. He has been for years. Give it up, mate. You’re making yourself look like a fucking idiot. Did you watch Wilshere this weekend? He didn’t do anything. Yes, he was a fantastic talent — in 2011. It’s 2018; his career is finished.

  61. Bamford10

    I guess I could come around to the 3-5-2. Three CB’s could be Mustafi, Sokratis and Mavropanos. Two wingbacks would be Bellerin and Monreal. Three CM’s would be Torreira, Ramsey and Mkhitaryan. Two CFs would be Aubameyang and Lacazette.

    Far from perfect, but probably better than what we’re doing at the moment.

  62. Joe

    I still think Wilshere is the best midfielder of his generation in this country “by a street”
    Would we take dier or Henderson or deli Ali? Cos Wilshere is better than them

    Hahahahaha

    Fuck me! some of our fans are deluded beyond belief.

  63. Joe

    Way to miss my point re Conte. I acknowledged that Conte had better players at his disposal than Emery does; my point was that he figured his approach out by Oct. 1 of his first season. Has Emery figured even the first thing out about what he has in front of him? I’m not sure. Anyways, he needs to begin getting things right — and soon. Yes, he is new, but plenty of other new managers figure their squads out and get them clicking within the first few months.

    1st off , please fill me in about the plenty of other managers who figure out their squads? No other manager has had to deal
    With the wenger effect. Puts any manager behind the 8 ball.

    2nd). It’s 3rd sept, not 1 oct. you’re getting your panties in a bunch rather quickly over Emery’s supposed lack
    Of figuring it out aren’t you?

    3rd) we are 4 matches in. Ahead of Man U. 3 points behind spurs and 4 behind city. Not doing as bad as your little tantrum about Emery would suggest. And have already played city and Chelsea away where Liverpool have played no one of note.

    4) settle down and give Emery a chance. You can’t have been wenger out and expect a full turn around after 4 matches. Have you not been watching us the last decade?

  64. Steiner

    Ishola70
    I get why people call for Licht to start, but we currently have 1 fit LB, Monreal.
    2nd and 3rd choice are knobbled, if Monreal goes down Licht is the only feasible option at LB.

    In fact he’s our only back up at RB as well, if I was Emery I’d be holding him in reserve for the inevitable injury crisis.

  65. Steiner

    Englandsbest

    Come on, Wenger didn’t ask Czech to play out from the back and he was absolutely sh1t last year.
    I know he was exposed by a porous defense, but he made a number of clangers that lead to goals.
    A lot of people giving Czech a by ball because of the system, but come on, it’s not like he never kicked a ball before!

  66. WengerEagle

    Must be said that Cech is horrible at playing out from the back, like as in one of if not the league’s worst.

    Makes it all the more mental that Emery is persisting with him in that role, even Ospina is much more comfortable with the ball at his feet.

    And the Leno situation weird.

  67. China

    1) it’s shaneful for any pro player to be as bad with a ball at his feet as cech. No excuses. It’s embarrassing

    2) He was shit last season and average in the season before. Unless Leno sucks, what exactly does cech bring to this team? Experience? The last two seasons our defense has been a shambles. Where was in organization and leadership then? Where is it now?

  68. gonsterous

    yah, people asking for laca to be axed was a weird one. They did defend their shitty views by saying we should invest in a winger. We should have instead never have gotten mhiki, and instead with the sanchez money bought a winger. Mhiki offered us next to nothing from Jan to May.

  69. Black Hei

    I am seeing the fruits of Wenger leaving, at Le Grove first hand.

    Today we have 2 AKBs squaring off and a WO siding with one of them.

    Slowly but surely, Arsenal FC is recovering from dysfunctionality.

  70. China

    Tbh I think a large majority of pro players are pretty negligent in terms of developing their all around game if you consider the money they’re paid

    How many full backs have we had let alone seen who are poor at crossing the ball? How is this possible? It’s a fundamental technique for anyone who is not playing central and ventures beyond the half way line

    Ronaldo is a smarmy little shit but he absolutely shames 99% of players who inexplicably don’t have a rounded set of abilities. I pick him out because unlike many of the most gifted players, I don’t think it came naturally to him. He is famous for being one of the most dedicated and smartest trainers in the world and also takes unbelievable care of himself.

    If most players even put 1/4 of the effort and dedication in that he has, world football would be a vastly higher quality universe

    Far too many players just showing up, following the boss’ training drills, heading home and playing FIFA. Good close control, good passing, solid crosses, pretty accurate and powerful shooting, this kind of shit should be bread and butter for every single player in every single top league in world football regardless of your position

    This pisses me off to no end because I haven’t played regularly since I was 16 and just in the last 2 years (I’m 28 now) I started playing once a week. And my crossing and long balls are literally better and more accurate than any full back (and a couple of our wingers) from the last 10 years. How the fuck is that possible when I’m
    Not even a good player?

    NEGLIGENCE is the answer. ‘I’m a CB, I don’t need to be able to pick out a good through ball so I won’t practice it seriously’. This kind of thinking is poisonous in high level competition and breeds failure. Players should be pretty good at almost everything and very good/exceptional at the core skills for their position. This isn’t happening enough though, seriously

  71. karim

    Carts

    Excellent little player who scores on a regular basis nowadays.
    Gained a lot of confidence after a loan at Lille and is now considered a serious talent in France.

    I also like his constant activity, his defensive efforts and his fighting spirit.

  72. WengerEagle

    Marseille look interesting, shame they couldn’t persuade Balotelli to join as their CF’s are pants in Mitroglou and Germain and will probably cost them 2nd spot to Lyon, seriously good midfield though and they’ve just added Kevin Strootman.

    I reckon PSG walk it by about 15-20 points and Lyon pip Marseille to 2nd place with Monaco completing the top 4.

  73. WengerEagle

    China

    Funny you mention that, two attributes that always astounded me in how poor the average professional footballer are set piece delivery and weak foot ability or lack thereof I should say.

    When a player can take set pieces or shoot/pass of of both feet well they really do stand out. Elite level players over the years in Di Maria, Ozil, Sanchez, Robben, Adriano, Recoba, Douglas Costa and Dybala to name a few are painfully one-footed and aren’t even average on their weaker peg, trend with lefties in particular.

    Perisic is the most two-footed player about right now. Scores more with his ‘weaker’ left than his dominant right.

    Full-backs that cannot cross are unbelievably irritating too and incredibly common. Used to be my only hang-up with Bacary Sagna because he was a fantastic defender.

  74. gonsterous

    Ronaldo is a smarmy little shit but he absolutely shames 99% of players

    same could be said of Henry. I think most (if not all) great players are arrogant and have this aura of confidence around them. But off the pitch, you find they really are a different person.

  75. Up 4 grabs now

    Morning,

    It amazes me that with so few teams playing with wingers the onus is on the fullbacks for them to cross, yet for so many of them the crossing is appalling.
    Even corners are poorly delivered, well at arsenal they are.

    If I was emery, crossing, corners and free kick practice would be high in training.

  76. Pierre

    Just before the season started I was slated by some posters on here for suggesting that either or both of guendouzi or smith – rowe could /would be in contention for starting for us.

    Guendouzi has already shown that he is more than capable and I think it is now time to start thinking about bringing smith – rowe into the starting line up.

    I would drop ramsey or xhaka for smith-rowe who, in my opinion, has already shown to have much more about him than ramsey.
    Great on the ball, tactically aware, energy to burn and he would grow as a player as guendouzi has done already.

    I would rather see Emery take a few more risks with selection and why not bring in mavropanos who looked a commanding figure in the box last season.

  77. Up 4 grabs now

    Pierre,
    I think you’ll see Smith Rowe in the team for the Brentford game and at least the bench for Europa league games.
    If he does well in those games you may See him start to appear on the bench for league games.

    If the choice was him or xhaka I’d take Smith Rowe every time.
    Then again if the choice was playing with ten men or xhaka ten men wins as well.
    At least we won’t concede from giving the ball away with him not on the field.

  78. Pierre

    Up4grabs
    I think the fans are ready to see Emery take a few more risks with selection.

    Many of the great Arsenal teams, pre wenger, were successful due to youth being introduced into the side.

    70/71…charlie george, kennedy, kelly, pat rice

    Late 70’s…brady, stapleton, o’leary, price

    Late 80’s….rocky rocastle, adams, hayes, thomas,

    Why not give a couple of the kids a run, it’s a bit of free hit this season and by selecting
    Smith-rowe, maitland – niles, nketiah, mavropanos, guendouwzi it may just be the way forward

    No one knew that the kids would turn out to be so successful in years gone by, it was a gamble that worked back then and though times are different, it may just work.

  79. Valentin

    Funny how people are starting to come to my way of thinking. That tactical setup is not working. Either change the tactics or change personnel or both. Clearly, Some players should be dropped because they cannot work in the configuration.
    Regarding Cech, I think that he is not helped by the fact that we play with Sokratis who is very right footed and not a very good distributor on the left of the defense. Opposition find it very easy to block passes so he is forced back to Cech a left footer on his wrong foot. This is a ploy that every team will now use. Man mark the defense and press Cech whenever Sokratis makes a short back pass.

  80. Valentin

    Football is very conservative, look at the howlers of derision when it was announced that Liverpool have hired a coach for throw.
    Professional footballers work two hours per day on the team and maybe 1 hour of conditioning: strength, agility.
    What keeps amazed me is how many professional footballers do not master being two footed, being able to deliver decent crosses with either foot and to make 30~40 yards pass with either foot.
    To me that is the basic, if necessary they should then spend an extra 90 minutes a day to reach that level.
    Ronaldo may be an arrogant primadonna freak, but he is a dedicated freak. You just need to look at his physics to know that he is taking of himself and still trying to improve.