Arsenal back in the mix, Top 4 is on the agenda

by .

via @Arsenal instagram

I know there’s the temptation to get revisionist. I know we’re hyping a point. But f*ck it. Yesterday was exactly what we’ve been waiting for over the past 10 years. Unai Emery’s Arsenal side went toe-to-toe with a big team and played like they belonged in their category. The result was 1-1, but as I said before the game, anything more than zero points against the Champions League finalists was going to be something to cheer about.

Nothing about that performance felt like the usual. For starters, we didn’t go a goal down inside the first 20 minutes. In fact, we didn’t really have a bad first half. We weathered a powerful 10-15 minutes of Liverpool pressure and countered with some of our own.

The second half saw us drop a goal in unfortunate circumstances, Mane slipped in behind Bellerin, he fizzed a ball into the box, Leno pushed the ball into danger, Milner finished and celebrated with irritating relish.

Arsenal didn’t pack up and go home. We put Liverpool on the back foot. We chased them down, pressed in packs and tried to counter. Emery also played his part making a the best sub of the game when he brought on Iwobi for the dismal Mikhi. The Nigerian’s clever runs and direct play opened the game up for us. He started the move for our equaliser (that was actually quite a combo of passes), threading a beautiful ball into Lacazette. The French striker saw Allisson coming, turned back on himself, and instead of squaring the ball into the box, he rifled off an inswinging curler past everyone into the far side of the net. An unbelievable strike considering how much he had to do! I love his celebration as well, the man has so much sauce. I genuinely love him.

Arsenal even had a chance to win it, Bellerin fluffing his lines at the end when presented a free strike from 20 yards out.

A point of piece felt fair on the face of it, but given the context of how good Liverpool are, it felt immense.

So what did we learn?

I think the key takeaway is the Emery resurgence is real. The team has adapted to the new ideas and there’s a real belief about the squad. The players know they’re in a fight every single game, the complacency has gone, and the tactical ideas the players are learning are starting to become part of their muscle memory.

There were some great performances out there. I think the easiest one to spot was from Torreira. Who knew signing a proper defensive midfielder might solve the issue of a weak midfield? The Uruguayan is rightly a fan favourite. He crunches into challenges, he’s a great passer, and he’s always looking to move the ball forward. He played like a gladiator yesterday, he went full steam into every challenge and he made things really difficult for Liverpool. He’s a dream technician and still so young.

Granit Xhaka, a player who has had a rough ride from most Arsenal fans put in a performance. He found space all over the pitch, and he opened up our options moving forward. He also maintained discipline defensively making sure there was stability at the back. I think Liverpool missed a trick no pressing us harder yesterday, but when you give the Swiss the space he desires, he will make your afternoon miserable. A great game and hopefully a watershed moment for him after a tough couple of seasons.

Bernd Leno is a tough one. He boasts some very strong attributes as a keeper. He has great reflexes. He made two very impressive saves yesterday. The first was when VVD somehow found himself in on goal from a long ball, our keeper spread himself to deny the goal. The second was late on when he tipped a powerful VVD header over the bar. He’s also brilliant with his feet, fast with his distribution and great at making space for the defence. What you can’t ignore are some of the decisions he makes with balls into the box. Early on, he made a huge flap that resulted in Liverpool hitting the post. He didn’t even try to punch the ball, it was just a flap. Also, for their goal, he palmed the ball into danger because he mistimed the catch. My hope is he has a touch of the De Gea’s, noting that the great Spanish keeper was also terrible in the box to begin with. He’ll have to work on that sharpish, otherwise, he’ll become a target for that sort of ball just like Fabianski was back in the day. Great keepers die in the Premier League if they can’t deal with crosses. You can get away with that on the continent, but just ask Bravo about it.

I also though Ozil was largely anonymous again. He ended up looking like a striker for large chunks of  the game, instead of sitting a bit deeper in midfield controlling the game. Maybe he was supposed to lead the press, maybe it was tactical, whatever it was, it didn’t seem very effective. Talking of strikers, it was very tough out there for Auba. He’s not a traditional wide player and he’s very easily dealt with against good teams, he looked upset to get benched for Ramsey, but he really didn’t impact that game that much.

Lacazette is also an odd striker to assess. Steve Bould said he’s good enough to play as a 10, and you can see that with his intelligence around the box. He’s also very good as the first line of the press, he’s an ankle biter and he has a lot of success turning possession. His real secret is the hard work. He was being eaten alive by VVD and Gomez for large chunks of yesterday, but he will work and work to eek out a chance. When he finds that space, he can absolutely bury you. What a goal, a just reward for such a punishing game yesterday.

For me, one of the most telling parts of the Emery rein came in the bar, listening to everyone shout for the introduction of Iwobi. The wide man has really taken to the new coach and his performances have come on so much. He opened up Liverpool, he worried them, he can dribble past players, he can find a key pass and sometimes he can shoot. He was exactly what we needed to unlock Liverpool and it was a pleasure to watch.

The day went to Emery for me. He’s made such a big impact in such a short time. There’s still a long way to go this season, but that game felt like the moment you could say that this is now and Emery team. The fans believe, the players believe and the results that have been put on the table tell you the story you’d absolutely want to be reading at this point of the post-Wenger era.

I hope you all had as much fun as me watching the game, we’ve got our Arsenal back, right?!

292 Responses to “Arsenal back in the mix, Top 4 is on the agenda”

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  1. Bamford10

    Joe

    Pedro criticized Leno for his play on their first goal as well; should he also take his “foot out of his mouth”? I don’t get why you have to be so unpleasant, mate. Why are you so bothered by even the slightest criticism of any aspect of anything any Arsenal player did or did not do yesterday? It’s really weird.

    And for the record, I went back and watched that play again, and I would say it’s a little hard to judge. On one hand, I agree that it is coming off towards the side of goal before it hits Holding; on the other hand, it’s very clear that Leno tried to catch the ball — and failed — and would thus have been better off punching it.

    Alisson made mistakes as well, though; no one is denying this.

    Video highlights for anyone interested in the play in question:
    https://www.nbcsports.com/video/highlights-arsenal-1-liverpool-1

  2. WengerEagle

    Not often that you come away pleased with a draw at home but given the circumstances it was a good result. Thought that we outplayed Liverpool for spells, performance was very encouraging. Lacazette goal was inspired, made that finish look easy.

    Keeps us close to Liverpool and extends our unbeaten run and momentum with 14 unbeaten. We also proved for me that we can stand toe to toe with these sides, still feel we should have beaten Chelsea and even though the Citeh match was comprehensive we looked a bit of a disjointed mess and even then had moments, think that we’re better equipped now that players like Torreira have settled in who I thought was motm yesterday in the centre of the park.

    Disappointed in Leno for the goal conceded but he had an otherwise solid game and worth noting that Alisson spilled an identical cross in the 1st half that Mkhitaryan failed to connect properly with, same angle and all.

    Happy Birthday CA.

  3. Joe

    Pierre

    I know your trolling as usual but:
    Playing for a top 4 place will never do it for me …

    It was ok with your for 14 years under wenger when we didn’t challenge for the league

    What a fucking trolling clown you are

  4. Pierre

    Un
    “And 5th is still 5th. No matter who’s in charge it’s not good enough for me as an arsenal fan. Not under wenger and not now.”

    agreed.

  5. Do One Gambon

    Xhaka was motm for us yesterday imo. Just wanted to point out because of all the stick he gets, its only fair to then praise the good.

    Said it before, there’s a player in there. Maybe were beginning to see it now he’s actually being coached.

  6. Leedsgunner

    Joe

    I see Koscielny in the same light as Cech. Brilliant veteran squad players who will add experience and play valuable roles especially when we reach the business end of the many cup competitions we are in.

    We can’t rely on them to play week after week but personally it would be foolish to discard them in the middle of the season.

    If Cech and Koscielny want to go in the summer, they go with my blessing, but if it was up to me I would love them to join our academy staff to educate the next generation of our youngsters.

  7. Pierre

    Joe
    You don’t know me so you have no idea what I regard as successful….

    4th place has never and never will mean anything to me ….winning trophies does though ,unlike you and a few others on le grove.

  8. Joe

    Leeds

    Don’t think we should get rid of them. But I don’t think we should hesitate buying a CB in Jan if something comes up because “ kos is coming back”

    Tough injury to come back from especially at 32

  9. Joe

    City 4-1 up …puts everything into perspective…Playing for a top 4 place will never do it for me …

    4th place has never and never will mean anything to me ….winning trophies does though ,unlike you and a few others on le grove.

    Would FA Cups and being 40
    Points back be good enough for city?

    Put that into perspective.

  10. Receding Hairline

    Bamford a perfect game where every single player does not make a simple mistake doesn’t exist. You are always looking to pick mistakes and faults anything we play a game of football its tiring

  11. Un na naai

    Joe

    He should have left it or stayed on his line. If he goes for it he needs to catch it or party it outwards. Not to the edge of our box

    He then let’s Milner’s shot go straight through him.

    It was poor from him

  12. Receding Hairline

    And it is ridiculous to suggest Liverpool should or could have been two nil up at half time… Absolutely ridiculous cos its not even remotely true

    Nobody is celebrating anything. As for your we can’t do it at Anfield when Keita plays comment, well he hasn’t exactly set the league alight has he

  13. Leedsgunner

    Apparently Aston Villa is asking after Laurent Koscielny to be the veteran defender that Terry was for them.

    Just thinking out loud, if Aston Villa was agreeable is it worth us looking into Jack Grealish as a part of the deal? Is he worth it?

    I know about a year ago there was a lot of hype about him. Any Grovers who watch the Championship want to comment on the lad?

  14. Cesc Appeal

    Leeds

    ‘Thank you very much, mate.What great company 😉’

    That comments was for you by the way. Having to enter your details everytime I often forget to then put the name of the poster I’m addressing!

    WE

    Thank you, mate.

  15. Leedsgunner

    Joe

    I agree with you that Koscielny’s return shouldn’t be a reason not to sign a suitable player if one becomes available.

    Wenger constantly passed on players because this or that player was coming back from injury. In fact you could argue both Diaby and Wilshere stole a living off the club based on this.

    However, I would like to think those days are well behind us now. Emery is the head coach — and he doesn’t have sole discretion on recruitment. He needs to work with and listen to Sven and Raul… and I’m hoping that before they pulled the Ramsey contract off the table they had a replacement in mind to bring in January.

    If they sell him without doing so, they are opening themselves up to criticism and personally I think they are too smart for that.

  16. Un na naai

    Receding

    Why you taking it personally? It was a major mistake
    It lost us two points. It was poor goalkeeping. It wasn’t his only major mistake yesterday either

    I don’t agree that he’s a better keeper than Cech. Maybe with his feet but like I said, I don’t need my gk to play like maradonna

  17. Leedsgunner

    Cesc Appeal

    You’re welcome. ;). Your namesake making noises about coming back to the Arsenal. Would you mind him back? Sounds like he wants to finish his career with us.

  18. Joe

    Leeds

    Oh I’m sure they have replacements lined up for Rasmey. They could
    Sign two better players including their wages for what Ransey was asking for per week.

    Torriera and Guen is a perfect example of what’s out there with a smart scouting staff and DOF and a proper Manager.

    Don’t think we will be seeing too many more sanago’s or el neny’s.

  19. Cesc Appeal

    Leeds

    I wouldn’t anymore personally.

    We have a youngster in Guendouzi looking to get game time, we Xhaka who seems to be improving under Emery and we have Torreira who is just excellent.

    I would like to see us replace Ozil in the summer, someone like Havertz who Mislintat is apparently interested in would be great. Xhaka, Torreira, Guendouzi, Havertz, Maitland Niles, Smith Rowe would do for me.

  20. Un na naai

    The guardian writes

    Which is not to say that everything is flawless, particularly not the goalkeeping situation. Sadio Mané’s cross was awkward for Bernd Leno, but he was under no immediate pressure and with better footwork, he surely would have been able to make a more decisive intervention than pushing the ball on to Rob Holding, off whom it ricocheted to James Milner.

    That wasn’t Leno’s only error: in injury time at the end of the first half he had come for Milner’s free-kick and got nowhere near it. Virgil van Dijk’s header bounced off the post. As Jürgen Klopp pointed out, on another day the Dutch defender could have had a hat-trick, which suggests the problems Arsenal had in dealing with set plays, the lack of authority imposed by Leno.

  21. Joe

    Un

    Did you see how cech played v Blackpool

    He made a couple of glaring errors including flapping at a couple crosses

    V Blackpool.

  22. Joe

    Blackpool almost responded immediately when O’Connor rose highest at the far post to meet a corner, but with the returning Petr Cech poorly positioned the ball cannoned back off the crossbar.

    Cech’s blushes were then spared by the offside flag after he was caught in possession by Jay Spearing trying to play out from the back. Nathan Delfouneso turned the ball into an empty net only to see the goal correctly ruled by the offside flag.

    Arsenal, especially Petr Cech, then endured jittery moments before O’Connor was sent off for taking out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang six minutes from time, after which Blackpool’s fightback faded.

    Cech made a less favourable impression. A spectator for most of the match, the goalkeeperhe misjudged an attempt to cut out a corner in the 53rd minute and was fortunate that O’Connor’s header struck the crossbar.

    Want me to find more?

  23. Cesc Appeal

    ‘As Jürgen Klopp pointed out, on another day the Dutch defender could have had a hat-trick, which suggests the problems Arsenal had in dealing with set plays, the lack of authority imposed by Leno’

    This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever read, VVD could have had a hat trick which demonstrates Leno’s lack of authority?

    Fair enough on the one flap.

    But one of VVD’s other chances was a great pointblank stop from Leno.

    The other was a great reflex parry over the bar from a VVD header.

    It should read ‘on another day VVD could have had a hat trick had he not face da great shot stopper’.

    Also Leno was instrumental in helping us beat the Liverpool press often. Cech makes us look a bag of nerves when he plays with his feet.

  24. Joe

    City responded immediately as Sergio Aguero fired a shot into the side netting and, from the resulting goal-kick, Cech nearly scored a bizarre own goal as City pressured the Arsenal defence, determined to play out from the back.

  25. T

    I think the whole team did brilliantly yesterday! After a lomg while it is exciting and meaningfull to watch the games again knowing that there is a good team with real chance and occasional magic every night. Cant even bother to critizise anyone cause the staff actually make good calls and solve problems.

    Cant wait to see what changes the leaders make in the next two windows! Woulnt be surprised if a player or two comes and leaves in both windows.

    And i bet that sven and raul were both watching yesterday VVD dominating both boxes thinking that we gotta get a leader like that too.

  26. Joe

    Kola and Bellerin didn’t seem to be affected by injury lay offs and playing vs a much harder opponent than Blackpool

  27. Un na naai

    Joe

    Yes. Well done. All foot work. He’s not pirlo. He’s a goalkeeper. And he’s a better goal keeper than Leno right now
    Key word in all of that was almost too. He almost but he didn’t
    Leno did
    Made yourself look a bit silly now haven’t you joe

  28. Joe

    the goalkeeperhe misjudged an attempt to cut out a corner in the 53rd minute and was fortunate that O’Connor’s header struck the crossbar.

    All footwork?? Hahahaha

    Who’s the silly one now. Hahahaha

  29. Joe

    And he flapped at another cross where the Blackpool player at the far post misplayed it. Luckily.

    Embarrassing stuff really from cech

  30. kc

    The ability to play out from the back successfully automatically makes Leno the better keeper. You could actually see Emery’s vision coming to fruition yesterday when Liverpool would press the length of the pitch and open themselves up. Arsenal just abused them at that point.

  31. Un na naai

    Joe so the only thing you could find agaisnt cech was one mistake against Blackpool in the worthless cup…..
    You just proved my point for me. Nice one

  32. Un na naai

    No Leno’s abailty to pass does not make him a better goal keeper. Not even close
    Why bother wearing gloves then
    Silly comment

  33. Joe

    And man city you muppet. Do you even read?

    And now he’s related to the bench because Leno has come in and won the #1 spot after he got injured.

    And I haven’t gone through the other matches he’s played.

    What about leno’s Saves that kept us in the match un?

    Hilarious how you’ve keep skipping major
    Points.

  34. Joe

    Ha and all you can
    Find v Leno is one deflected parry out to Milner against league contenders Liverpool??

    And then you use coming back from injury as an excuse. Hahahahaha

    Yeah cech was garbage v Blackpool. Imagine what Liverpool would do to him.

  35. Joe

    We would have lost v Liverpool if cech was in goal.

    That’s why most of us couldn’t wait for him to be replaced this summer and even before.

    No trust in him.

    Leno saved us yesterday with some of his saves

  36. Marko

    No I wouldn’t want Jack Graelish if I’m honest. Anymore attack minded players being targeted I’d prefer they were actual wingers and his attitude is questionable so that’s a no for me.

  37. Un na naai

    City was footwork joe
    We’ve already established that cech isn’t Messi on the ball.
    So he’s made one mistake

    And er I’m not so sure emery does agree with you joe
    Hence our £25m gk was benched until cech forced his hand

    And you’re missing one key point here joe, Leno has cost us two points while cech has cost us none this season
    Either way I’m not saying Leno isn’t a very good gk at all so take set the vibrator down a notch or two. I’m saying that cech is the safer at the moment agaisnt certain sides
    He doesn’t spill crosses. I’d have cech

  38. Marko

    Don’s on a clear wind up today and has proven time and time again that he’s wrong when calling players. He was wrong about Wilshere and he’s wrong about whatever he’s trying to do with the Cech nonsense

  39. Marko

    And er I’m not so sure emery does agree with you joe
    Hence our £25m gk was benched until cech forced his hand

    Eh…

    And you’re missing one key point here joe, Leno has cost us two points while cech has cost us none this season

    He’s a bag of nerves in goal which makes our defense a bag of nerves which costs us. I can only assume that you don’t watch Arsenal enough

  40. Joe

    I disagree

    He gained us a point with his 2 VVD saves.

    And allowed us to get the equalizer.

    He gives the defence a lot more confidence than cech

    Why didn’t Emery ply cech then yesterday? If it was wenger cech would have been right back in , but Emery plays by merit.

    Leno is our #1 by merit now.

    Cech can play Thursday. Leno will be back in for the important match v wolves.

    That will say it all

  41. Dissenter

    Joe
    Stop wasting your time trying to educate Un na
    Anyone who still insists that Wilshere is better off at Arsenal isn’t worthy of the the time it takes to put the key strokes in.

  42. Joe

    And er I’m not so sure emery does agree with you joe
    Hence our £25m gk was benched until cech forced his hand

    Guess we will find out this
    Week who Emery agrees with.

    A Europa match and a league game

    Let’s see who Emery starts where.

  43. Leedsgunner

    For the first time in a long time we have two very good goalkeepers, competing with each other. Isn’t this good?

    Why do we need to slate anybody? Let’s rejoice in a great performance!

  44. BacaryisGod

    Great post Pedro. Just a little rough on Bellerin who had a fantastic game and put in a superb block on Mane after we equalized. A right-back not known for his finishing missing a shot from 20 yards out isn’t really fluffing his lines but more following the script.

  45. Joe

    Watch the highlights again.

    Leno is out at the 3-4 yard line. He is fully stretched. No way he is trying to catch it. It would have gone out safely to the left side of holding hadn’t deflected it. Was unlucky it went right to Milner.

    The cross had pace. It was curling away from Leno

  46. Marc

    BacaryisGod

    Agree re harsh on Bellerin – it was also on his left foot. Whilst he does get caught out of position at times he’s work rate further up the pitch is fantastic.

  47. Joe

    Anyway. That topic has been done to death.

    Leno will be our #1 still. Cech is our new ospina. Our cup keeper.

    Bring on sporting. Bring on wolves.

    6 points needed this week

  48. Un na naai

    Leeds

    Yes I agree pal. I rate both of them and I’d want Leno to start the majority of games
    Just certain games for cech. He’s one of the greatest gk in history with what he’s achieved. His experience is unsurpassed by any modern goalkeeper apart from maybe neuer. He’s also one of the leaders of the squad and was emery’s choice for captain until he was injured. He’s a legendary keeper and was imperious for us until his injury. Leno May be more agile and better with his feet but in every other department cech is ahead of him and that’s why I’d go for him in certain games. Let Leno get experience for the rest of the games

    Joe

    Don’t forget cech only became available this week so maybe you might just start to see him phased back. Nobody knows….

  49. Rainman

    Paul merson’s tweeted:
    Fair play to @Arsenal, I got that wrong yesterday and I’m sooo glad they made me eat my words. Clear they are improving every week #holdmyhandsup I never want Arsenal to do badly! I just give my honest opinion about everyone at the time I’m asked.

    Good to see him eating his humble pie.

  50. Cesc Appeal

    Yeah I think Bellerin is also starting to really improve.

    You can see real improvement from Bellerin, Holding, Mustafi to an extent, Xhaka for definite, Iwobi and Lacazette.

  51. Un na naai

    Good to see him eating his humble pie.

    Unlike marko, Bamford and dissenter over xakha, welbz, iwobi and holding….

  52. englandsbest

    Spot on analysis and assessment from our host, agree with his every word, and, yes I did have a lot of fun watching.

  53. Akilan

    I was one of those that wanted Xhaka to be sold. I thought he would never make it in the PL. Did rate him though.

    This season despite having two shite games vs city and Chelsea, he has improved steadily and yesterday he was awesome. For the first time ever, I thought he could take us to another level. In the past, even when he had a great game, he’d make a silly stupid mistake like an unnecessary foul in the final 3rd or passing straight to the opposition with no pressure whatsoever. You couldn’t trust him to hold his position down and he was not mentally prepared throughout a game to dig in.

    I just hope he’s turned a corner. He has the potential to be our leader in the MF. Let’s hope he keeps his performances up and finally shows his infamous leadership qualities.

  54. Marko

    Unlike marko, Bamford and dissenter over xakha, welbz, iwobi and holding….

    Tell me exactly what you want me to say and I’ll say it and you can then you can move on to the next stupid thing that pops into your head

  55. Graham62

    There is no doubt that Wilfred Zaha is a marvellous
    talent but his attitude often lets him down. He needs to remember he is part of a team and watching him today against Chelski, there were several occasions where he ignored his teammates and then remonstrated with the ref when he felt hard done by.

    He needs a tougher more dynamic manager to put him in his place. Would I love to see him at Arsenal? Most definitely. Would he benefit by getting away from CP? Of course he would. Problem is, you get the feeling he doesn’t want to take the opportunity of reaching that next level.

    Whether he grabs it or not, is entirely up to him.

  56. Northbanker

    We need to keep one eye on how we bring Reiss Nelson into the team next season
    Another great goal for Hoffenheim against Leverkusen
    He could be better than Auba and Laca
    But wouldn’t grumble if we also fitted Zaha in as well

  57. Joe

    It was a good point. City and Chelsea all drew with Liverpool as well

    We should have at least drawn with Chelsea.

    We are looking good for a CL spot.

    Long may it continue under Emery

    #ekb

  58. Champagne charlie

    Dissenter

    One day you’ll have an original thought, or offer an opinion to discuss. Still waiting, until then you’re just full of refereeing and cape crusader antics – among your stale yank banter.

  59. Wallace

    Leno needs to work on crosses into the box, but outside of that he’s been excellent, and I’m far more relaxed about the playing out from the back with him in goal. Cech just doesn’t look comfortable doing it, and that transmits to the defenders.

  60. Wallace

    it’s great to see some of the players developing so quickly under Emery. much prefer watching a young team gradually evolve than the cheque book approach.

  61. Marko

    much prefer watching a young team gradually evolve than the cheque book approach

    Emmm sure but all those players you see improve bar Iwobi they were all bought. And I’m sure everyone will agree with me when I say Xhaka doesn’t improve a lick unless Torreira is brought in.

  62. Victorious

    It was a brilliant game. I would say the disallowed goal fortunate call for my team but in the same light, the decision not to send off Fabinho was also bad. The ref did not have a good game. But this doesn’t mean VAR should be introduced. Football is a human sport, mistakes like this, add so much flavour to it. Great game though, but i dont think Liverpool deserved their point.we outplayed them and had like 60+ possession

    mhki wasted lots of good moments by either taking too much touch or simply not just sharp enough, Iwobi should have started instead or came in sooner, he runs at players and defenders hates that,you could see the difference immediately he came on and thankfully he showed ice cold composition with that glorious pass to laca

    Must be said though that VVD is a monster of a player what a great signing he’s been for them and literally was their biggest threat against us all match and also took the bull by horn in defense,we would have beaten them flatly without him
    Literally he made all the difference for a top6 dippers side to title challengers and I hope Holding for us grows into such a player,he’s the closest we have to a VVD

  63. Graham62

    Lacazette and Auba have to learn to play as a duo, as well as separately, if we are to be serious competitors this season.

    I like them both and feel that they are capable of 25+ goals each, if they are used properly.

    The way Lacazette took his goal yesterday was brilliant to watch. His passion and combative nature have already made him into fans favourite. Along with Auba, we have a strike force that will strike fear into any defence.

  64. Marc

    Victorious

    “I would say the disallowed goal fortunate call for my team”

    Mane was in an offside position when the original ball was played and then moved towards the ball looking to gain an advantage. The fact that another Liverpool player who was not offside when the original ball was played got on the end of it is irrelevant.

    Mane was interfering with play end of.

  65. Pierre

    Joe
    “We should have at least drawn with Chelsea.”

    Give it a rest with that same irrelevant comment.

    what about all the other games we should have lost or drawn due to the other teams bad finishing.

    We are 5th in the league ,6 points off the top after ten games, top of the Europa group and through to the quarters of the league cup which is Pretty similar to 12 months ago at this stage of the Season which was our worse season for 20 odd years and we reached a final and a European semi final.

    The positives from this season are mainly down to Torriea ,he has given the midfield discipline and is gradually bringing stability to the defensive side of our game plus he is building a good partnership with xhaka.

    The passion that Emery shows on the touch line is all well and good but the gesticulating and shouting imo means nothing and achieves nothing .

    the fact that Emery shows no fear of the opposition and is willing to take them on at their own game is a massive positive for me .
    The top sides can be beaten but you need to play on the front foot and the early indications are that Emery would rather go down fighting rather than suffer defeat easily.

    I hope he keeps to this philosophy .

  66. Marc

    Pierre

    If anyone needs to give it a rest it’s you. You’ve been positioning yourself for weeks just waiting for a result in which to say “well we would have done better under Wenger”.

    As it stands we’re 5 points better off in comparable fixtures to last season and Wenger got worse the longer he went on. If the results pattern continues we’d pick up 17 more points over last season giving us a fantastic chance of CL football.

    Your hero is gone – thank fuck.

  67. Marko

    but the gesticulating and shouting imo means nothing and achieves nothing .

    What are you talking about the fact that we’ve won so many points from losing positions this season the fact that we’re finishing so strong suggests that the “gesticulating” and “shouting” is achieving something. Or would you prefer to look to the touchline and see him struggle with his jacket for a half hour? You’d be more used to that I suppose

  68. Pierre

    I would say 95% of what emery says/does on the touch line goes over the players head as they are too busy concentrating on the game .

    If it’s something tactically or changing the system on the pitch ,fair enough but pointing And waving your arms about whilst the ball is in play is pointless.

    Pep guardiola is very measured when he is on the touch line ….its when there is a break in play that you will see him tactically change things.

  69. Marko

    You make it sound like he acts like a raving lunatic on the sidelines micro P. Again I ask would you prefer if he sat down rubbing his hands between being bettered by a zipper? Stats show that the raving madman is doing something right

  70. Joe

    Pierre

    Last year we were 12 points off the top at this point of the season.

    This year we are 6.

    So fuck off we are in the same position. We are much better off. We aren’t playing like shit like we had been the previous bunch of seasons. There is actually hope that we will make up the points instead of knowing we will be 40 points off the leaders if wenger was still here

    Pierre, I know man, it hurts realize you’ve been following a loser for 12 years who lied, mislead and cheated you. You must feel like an idiot.

    Emery is doing wonders with what wenger has destroyed because he was a useless wanker.

    Keep going though pierre. Keep trolling Love reading the posts of an jilted ex lover. Hahah

    In Emery we trust.

    #ekb

  71. Champagne charlie

    Banford

    I don’t, but thanks for your continued concern. Let’s pretend that I’m the authority on myself and what views I hold; we can skip the part where your ignorant views are posted with absolute idiotic conviction. Sound good? Swell.

    Dissenter has made a number of remarks regarding me lately, they’ve all been spotted. I’ve since paid some attention to his posts in general and conclude what I stated about him. Hangs in the crowd, takes a shot when numbers are present, fucks off when called on it, re-emerges to crack his shit yank banter. Rinse repeat.

    I don’t talk about Americans in the context youve talked about the English, via sweeping generalisations. I’ve only ever remarked about yanks when talking about one (Stan), or talking to one (you, dissenter).

    Remember your ‘the English all have arrogance/entitlement when talking about the English language’ quip? Yea, me too. I don’t remember me saying anything addressing Americans as a people, just select remarks about a specific few giving a shit impression of the lot.

    Christ, for someone who attempts to flaunt his intellect you get a lot wrong…and with impressive stupidity.

  72. China1

    I’m with Pierre

    Apart from playing better, winning more points, battling harder, instilling a winning mentality, improves performances from half of the players most of us used to trash, a new setup tactically, a feel good factor for the team and fans and good substitutions, we’re in exactly the same situation as last year.

    No real difference. Good point well made pierre

  73. Pierre

    Ruth
    “The gesticulation transmits to the fans who in turn raise the volume which lifts the team.”

    So he’s basically a cheerleader…

  74. Pedro

    I love having a passionate manager on the sidelines. He’s the conductor of the team. He has to have more energy than the players. He sets the tone. It’s great to have him there.

    Pierre, it really does read like you’re hoping for an Emery failure. Bit disappointing to read. Be cautious, but outright hunting out things to cast doubt? Bit weird considering your aggressive defence of a really average Arsene Wenger.

    Reads like you care more about your pride than the team?

  75. Joe

    Pedro

    Call a spade a spade. He’s trolling.

    He’s upset the new manager has come in and completely transformed the team within months of being appointed

    To say this year is no different than last is complete bollocks and he knows it. He said it just to get a reaction out of everyone on here

    99% of the posters on here know he’s trolling but you won’t call him out on it

    It’s your blog and your perogative but don’t threaten to bin the guys who are calling it what it is.

    Your last post came as close as you have got to calling Pierre out.

    About time 🙂

    He’s not expressing an opinion as you like to claim he is , he’s trolling.

    And it’s not his pride he cares about , it’s wenger he cared more for than the team
    He claims to support.

    If Emery fucks up, I’ll be the first to say sack him. Because he isn’t bigger than the team. But right now he’s done a great job, Arsenal is fun to watch and it’s Graf being an EKB!

    Never will I care more for the good of Emery ( or wenger ) than that over Arsenal.

    You can see the same sort of message coming out of Akbs like Pierre, “oh it’s no different than last year etc”

    The biggest difference is fans are having fun again and right into The Arsenal. The Emirates has been rocking this year unlike the morgue it’s been the last few years under the specialist in failure.

    And that right there is the biggest indicator that fans of arsenal know this year is different. Not only because of the results and play on the field. The actions and body lanaguage of the players.

    Because of the fans.

    And Pierre is not a fan of arsenal.

    #EKB

  76. Joe

    I love having a passionate manager on the sidelines. He’s the conductor of the team. He has to have more energy than the players. He sets the tone. It’s great to have him there

    Exactly Pedro

    It’s get the players up for it. Gets the fans up for it. Funny how most of the top managers in the world are the more paaaionate ones on the sidelines

    Whereas wenger sat on his hands the whole match or fighting with the zipper on
    His sleeping bag. No wonder the players looked like they couldn’t care less on the field and the fans either didn’t show up and or were quiet as mice.

    Just following the managers lead.

    The Emirates has seen the most consistent atmosphere I’ve seen in a very very long time this season.

    And it’s wonderful to see.

    Makes me regret we didn’t make the change a decade ago.

    What could have been!

  77. Joe

    Chelsea / Everton

    Man city / united

    Liverpool/ Fulham

    CP/ Tottenham

    We need to come focused to beat the wolves. You know there will be no complacency with Emery in charge. We can
    Afford to drop more points right now.

    Hopefully Everton can get a draw or win v Chelsea. Man U can get a draw out of city. And palace shock spuddies. Zaha hat trick.

  78. grooveydaddy

    Realistically, it’s better for City to win.

    We have a much better chance of finishing above United than catching City.

  79. Joe

    There’s a growing sense that Arsenal have more resolve these days than under Arsene Wenger and that is responsible for their good start to the season.

    It is quite a hard notion to quantify, but how about this way – Unai Emery’s side have won more points from losing positions than any other team in the Premier League this season, with eight. Add in the fact they’ve scored more after half-time than any other team – 19 – and it bolsters the argument.

    Where Wenger’s teams would likely have collapsed after Liverpool’s first, Emery’s grew. They are a completely different animal.

    Say what?

    Pierre is going to have a meltdown

  80. TonyD

    This in the Daily Mail this morning:

    “2. There’s a growing sense that Arsenal have more resolve these days than under Arsene Wenger and that is responsible for their good start to the season.

    It is quite a hard notion to quantify, but how about this way – Unai Emery’s side have won more points from losing positions than any other team in the Premier League this season, with eight. Add in the fact they’ve scored more after half-time than any other team – 19 – and it bolsters the argument.

    Where Wenger’s teams would likely have collapsed after Liverpool’s first, Emery’s grew. They are a completely different animal.”

    Good to see positive press again

  81. Pierre

    Grovedaddy
    “Realistically, it’s better for City to win.We have a much better chance of finishing above United than catching City.”

    That’s what I like to see …positivity from the Arsenal fan base …

    6 points behind city with less than a third of the season gone and you have given up on the league title.

    You can’t have much faith in the manager …

  82. Pierre

    For a second there Joe I thought you had become quite knowledgeable on the game until Tony posted a section from the daily mail that is word for word in your post at 2.49.

    I actually agree with what the mail is saying about having more resolve and a “different animal” due to their reaction when going behind, although being 5th at this stage of the season over the last 20 years would have been regarded as a poor start (rightly so)and not “a good start ” as pointed out by the mail .

  83. Emiratesstroller

    It is always interesting reading comments from various posters on their opinion on different players at the club.

    So I am going to provide some interesting stats compiled a] from Arsenal website and b] transfermarkt in EPL games.

    Xhaka Games played 11 Mins 925 Passes Completed 857
    Mustafi 11/990/688
    Torreira 11/702/539
    Bellerin 11/945/481
    Ozil 9/750/396
    Guendouzi 8/480/370
    Holding 6/501/357
    Monreal 7/630/356
    Ramsey 11/541/299
    Sokratis 6/489/295

    When you analyse these figures and Xhaka’s overall “involvement” in games
    it is not difficult to understand his importance to the team and why he makes
    the occasional ridiculous mistake.

    By contrast looking at this season’s stats it is not difficult to understand why
    Ramsey has dropped down the pecking order of midfielders in our team. His
    pass performance is significantly worse than the other midfielders in the team.

  84. Pierre

    Pedro
    “I love having a passionate manager on the sidelines. He’s the conductor of the team. He has to have more energy than the players. He sets the tone. It’s great to have him there.”

    I think you and all your cronies are reading too much into the effect that a manager jumping around on the touchline has on the fans and the players .

    Nothing wrong in showing passion and celebrating goals but continually waving his arms about and gesticulating whilst the ball is in play has no effects whatsoever on the team .
    The crowd will get behind the team if they are playing well and if it is a big game like last weekend.

    I have seen no evidence to suggest that Emery waving his arms about on the touchline creates a better atmosphere in the ground …we have played West Ham ,Watford,Bournemouth and Everton in the league ,Europa cup ties and league cup ties and the atmosphere within the ground has been marginally better I would say but nothing noticeable ….. The first halfs have been pretty dead due to our lacklustre displays but in the second half the team has improved and consequently the atmosphere improves when we score ….that is a normal occurrence .
    Nothing to do with someone waving his arms about,it’s not something that fans take any notice of when there is a football match being played.

  85. Pierre

    Stroller
    Those figures are quite telling as it shows that Ramsey , although running around and looking busy, actually finds it difficult to create space for himself to receive the ball.

    It also tells me that ozil has been struggling under emery and is not nearly on the ball enough .

  86. Receding Hairline

    We have not played Bournemouth

    I don’t know why Joe or any one else respond to this poster called Pierre. Most with an unhealthy fixation on defending Wenger no longer visit this blog. He on the other hand is here to upset people in a way he believes fans and Le grove upset daddy Wenger

    Ignore his posts and he melts away or if I have read him well he will start posting positive things to get people interacting before trolling again. The guy doesn’t deserve a minute of anyone’s time. He is a fan of a certain manager not a football club.

  87. Pierre

    You obviously haven’t read me very well as I have not made reference to our previous manager in any of my posts …

    Your trouble is that you read the garbage that Joe posts about me and his obsession with our previous manager and you attribute those comments to me .

    Strange that you don’t want people talking about Wenger but you address your comment to Joe who relates everything to “Daddy Wenger” whatever that means…

  88. Wallace

    I’m also doubtful a manager jumping up and down on the sidelines actually achieves anything of note. what is apparent though is that in the majority of games this season we have been a different beast in the second half, so Emery is definitely working some magic during the 15min interval.

  89. Emiratesstroller

    Pierre

    Ozil’s role in the team is quite different from that of Ramsey.

    The expectation of Emery as has been previously discussed is that Ozil is responsible for creativity, assists AND more goals. Whether either he or Mkhitaryan can achieve that remains to be seen. At the moment Ozil would be my preference over Mkhitaryan

    Ramsey by contrast is supposed to play in central midfield as a ‘box to box’
    player. I think that he is now competing with Xhaka and Guendouzi in that
    role and frankly he is “less efficient” in that role than they are.

    When you factor in Maitland-Niles and Smith-Rowe coming through the system it is not hard to understand why Ramsey may considered surplus to requirements.

    Ramsey is no longer guaranteed a “starting” place in the EPL team lineup and
    most of the younger players coming through the system cost significantly less in wages.

  90. China1

    Pierre

    ‘That’s what I like to see …positivity from the Arsenal fan base …6 points behind city with less than a third of the season gone and you have given up on the league title.You can’t have much faith in the manager …’

    Bahahah the butt hurt is real

  91. China1

    At a time when the fan base is moving gradually towards unity there will always be some people who can’t accept their own mistakes of judgment

    Many of us here are over the moon to say that Bellerin xhaka iwobi and to a lesser extent Mustafi and welbeck have all gone from being hopeless and targets of constant vitriol to solid squad/first team players recently

    I’m over the moon to say I was wrong that I believed xhaka Mustafi and Bellerin were uncoachable. I’m gladly eating my words and nobody enjoyed xhaka’s glorious free kick the other week more than me – I said he was MOTM apart from the penalty and I also absolved him off primary blame for that (laca dumped him in the shitter)

    But Pierre you are really something because your pride and loyalty to one man means that you can’t enjoy the positive momentum we’re riding and the obvious progress we’re seeing apart from through gritted teeth

    I actually feel sorry for you

    #xhaka’s new number one fan signing out

  92. Emiratesstroller

    Last night the BBC offered an insight into the life of Bobby Moore the Captain of England in 1966 World Cup. He played “sweeper” in that team and was rated by Pele as possibly the greatest defensive midfielder that the world had ever seen.

    Torreira may not have the same class as Bobby Moore, but there are many aspects of his game, which are very similar. He is “football intelligent”, “positionally astute” and “plays the game simply and efficiently”

    Those are characteristics, which our team needed urgently and has helped
    other players like Xhaka and Guendouzi to raise their game.

  93. Pierre

    Yes Wallace , Emery obviously has a good reading of the game . The 2nd half performances and his substitutions have been exceptional…

  94. Pierre

    China
    “But Pierre you are really something because your pride and loyalty to one man means that you can’t enjoy the positive momentum we’re riding and the obvious progress we’re seeing apart from through gritted teeth
    I actually feel sorry for you”

    Save your feelings for someone else as I have been enjoying my football for years and this season is no different, unlike many on le grove (including you) who refused to celebrate the club winning our record number of FA cups due to your obsession.

  95. Leftsidesanch

    Come on guys, nobody here serves the purpose does you do Pierre. Let him argue by himself/don’t let him wind you up.

  96. Chika

    Bellerin has become one of our most crucial players this season. His role is highly important in the way Emery sets up the team.

    Would be great if we had a junior player with similar attributes, saves us some money too as we need to address other pressing areas.

    AMN has similar attributes but I’d prefer him to study LT’s game closer.

  97. Ddkingz

    Whoa… Lovely post yesterday.
    What I saw from the comments was everyone wanted arsenal to do great… No matter how negative it seems…
    Even, I had to agree with one of the most annoying posters here…

    Joe, cesc appeal, mstcleaves, great comments…

    My only issue with Leno, is he has to learn how to deal with crosses better… With his ball distribution, I thought it was never in our goal post…

  98. Ddkingz

    @akb’s….

    You are all needed to make arsenal a better team and football club….

    Like a great man once said, you can change your TV, clothes even your wife but, you can never change the club you support….

    Pedro said, we should judge after every game, what I can say from the first four months of Emery appointment is the fact that, wenger was the problem of our beloved club….

    I couldn’t believe, who was wearing the number 34 Jersey for arsenal against Liverpool…. That guy was a monster, was excellent…
    I wouldn’t have cared if we gave him to man utd for free in this past tw… Emery is doing a great work at arsenal… Even the most clueless most like xhaka, bellerin, mustafi, holding, are now becoming more effective and efficient…

  99. Ddkingz

    Like what joe said…. It was wenger who set the bar so low at arsenal….
    We the fans, should stop accepting top 4 Finnish like we won the EPL….
    Even this season, our objectives should be…
    Win the EFL or FA cup
    Win the Europa league
    EPL top 4… Minimum, so as to have a good momentum moving into next season and challenge for the tittle, and the season next become favourites, though I would appreciate if we win it next season…

  100. Ddkingz

    @ un na unai…
    Let’s get some things clear…. Though I always tend to get irritated by your comments, I was happy with what you comment yesterday….

    Just like everyone, including me.. we are not celebrating a draw like we won… It was 3points shared equally between arsenal, Liverpool and the FA….

    We are all happy because of the performance, we ouyplayed them, and outsmarted them in every aspect of the game, we man marked them expertly, oezil for all his flaws, tried his best and led the press… Liverpools only plan was to use the speed of mane to make their runs towards us….

    But please… Stop the 1/9 broadcast…. If we should all be kind to ourselves, our new era and our head coach, let’s just give him a head start, by forgetting the citeh and chavs match, it was just too early, and I do think he learnt his lesson from those matches about how to play the big 6…

  101. Bob N16

    Ddkings,
    I’m not sure if I can agree with your set of objectives.

    Surely the aim is to win every game and see where that gets us.. Cups are particularly difficult to aim for. Sure rotation in the cups is worthwhile to protect the legs of some of our players but we have a squad of players, some who need game time to be ready if injuries happen to our first ‘13/14’. The PL has to be our main focus. The EL is Mickey Mouse until the CL rejects join in. The FA cup is very dependent on the draw and CC, well we’ll see!

    Progression for individual players, development of a style of play and a growing belief that we can compete with every team we play against – those our real objectives. CL qualification will be vindicate our progress. Without wishing to sound too ‘negative’ reckon it’s 50/50 at the moment.

  102. Un na naai

    Ddkangz

    Well I just say I’m quivering with joy over your being pleased with one of my comments. Finally. Some French mug I’ll never meet approves…..I’ll die happy

    We didn’t out manouvere them in every way. We had the lions share of the play but they had the better of the chances and with a more clinical finisher they’d have had 3 or 4 on Saturday. That said I’m happy with the way we played. Just not the result. It’s nothimg to celebrate

    And no. I won’t stop with the 1/9 points line of debate. Unless we see an improvement then it’s higjly relevant, especially on these pages where a similar if not better record was derided over the past 12 years but now 10% of the points against top 5 is A ok as long as it’s someone new.

    It’s has to improve. As does Leno’s goalkeeping.

  103. Un na naai

    Even the most clueless most like xhaka, bellerin, mustafi, holding, are now becoming more effective and efficient…

    Ddkangz

    They were never clueless though were they? They were playing in a team that harshly exposed their weaknesses. Even the greatest players need a team that covers for their weaknesses and harnesses their strengths you think pirlo could have played in that arsenal midfield? Do you think Messi could have played right forward for us to the same effect he did for Barca?? Cech came to us a champion. The greatest gk of the premier league era apart from maybe Schmeichel and look what happened to him until emery came in. Was cech clueless?? Noooo. But he was unprotected and therefore exposed behind a defence and midfield that offered little protection due to an inadequate set up

  104. emmanuel nwaneri

    Happy birthday Unai. So happy that the Spaniard is carving a niche for himself out of the shadows of AW. He surely has turned the team around and stamped his style on the team…in such a short time too!
    He knows his onions surely. He is proactive, which is something we have been crying out for a long, long time. Unfortunately the Teflon Professor never thought anyone else had a clue about coaching; that the Gunners would disintegrate the moment he walks out of the door. Gladly, neither of that has happened. Thanks to Unai.
    Good game too on Saturday. Haven’t seen the Gunners put up a fight in a game for so long a time. Everyone was up for a fight, except another Wenger prototype – Ozil of course.
    As always, in big games, he simply vanishes. I was surprised Unai didnt hook him again just like at Crystal Palace the other weekend. He simply is not up to the task against top sides. At 30 he’s not suddenly going to up his game anytime soon.
    So, expect more substitutions of poor, unloved Ozil; more tantrums from him; more meaningless explanations from Unai as he must surely now know that the German’s days at the club are numbered.