Rotation a key focus as Sporting arrive in town

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Come on, I know this is an Arsenal blog, but how can we not talk about that Ronaldo goal against United last night?




I don’t even know how you get to that level of spacial awareness where you can sense a ball coming over the shoulder of a defender. That strike. That timing. Wow wow wow wow!

Chezzer taking abuse for his part in the Juve capitulation, but fear not, there’s a rabid group of fanboys who still can’t let the anger of his departure die.

Juve didn’t deserve to lose against a goal like that. Wasn’t it hilarious to watch Jose after the game? Man lost his mind over that win. It’s so funny to see him celebrating a group stage win like he’s just won the whole thing. Bit like Liverpool doing a bow against WBA.

United getting into a gear is a worry, they have a lot of talent in that squad and could prove a bother at the backend of the season if we hit a trouble patch. Let’s hope it’s up and down all year for them.

Tonight, we face Sporting in the competition everyone wants to face off in… The Europa League. The real deal. The gateway to the Champions League. Emery is pumped about qualifying.

“It’s a very important match because if we win we’re first in the group – that’s our clear target,”

“This competition is very important for us. It’s one way to win a title and get into the Champions League next year.

“We want to continue to improve and to continue with the players taking responsibility and confidence. I want to continue at the Emirates with our supporters with the same spirit as in the matches against Blackpool, Leicester and Liverpool.”

This competition is his bread and butter. Sporting are the toughest team in our group, so a good performance this evening will make it easier for us with our next two games.

The manager has a fine balance to meet, he has to make sure his team is strong enough to win, but he doesn’t want to overstretch them and have tired legs as against a more rested Wolves at the weekend. I expect a medium amount of rotation today, with a very strong bench.

Right, short post today because I work for a living you bums. x

204 Responses to “Rotation a key focus as Sporting arrive in town”

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  1. Champagne charlie

    “Funny when he puts in an extremely disciplined performance people still expect some Roy of the Rovers heroics as well and him to score the winning goal to break even.“

    Not sure who’s calling for that, we played Sporting and they had 30% possession. What is being stated is we had no creativity, which is Aarons wheelhouse no?

    Even in the last 10 mins he fucked up a couple of attacks indulging in himself and his party tricks. Commentators even mentioned how the Emirates wasn’t impressed with that shit in a game that had seen nothing created. “Holding it down” is noteworthy against a side like Liverpool, or Spurs.

  2. Marko

    Suddenly you’re all for “out of form” Ramsey getting minutes, despite spending every possible opportunity calling him shit and saying get rid asap. Marko logic in its pomp there.

    He’s getting minutes in the second string game what’s wrong with that. I mean as much as I think he’s shit there’s potential upside for him in these games sure there’s potential upside for AMN too but that’s not what the argument is. The argument is that a certain type of fan is critical of the manager (at every possible opportunity really) for not playing a favorite of his and I think said manager knows what he’s doing and there’s probably a good reason why he didn’t pick AMN in midfield. And that’s it really. And then you popped in to attempt an argument with Gambon and now I’m assuming that you’re still bored and looking for an argument with me. I get it I’m hip to you Charlie. I’m sure if you wait a bit Bamford will be on for you

  3. Paulinho

    Xhaka and Ozil would’ve spent the whole match looking for the left-back to make a run. That’s all either of them do when faced with a low block.

  4. Marko

    Because he didn’t. Just because a load of biased clueless pricks here have an agenda against him doesn’t change reality.

    Paulinho only you could try and spin a performance like that in a game like that as something positive for Ramsey. Biased and clueless with an agenda indeed. But sure it happens everyone has there favourites

  5. Ddkingz

    All kids on here tonight…
    Sorry pals…. You’re all bollock..
    Never a sensitive argument, for once..
    Always trying to outdo each other….


  6. Leedsgunner

    Ramsey, should have stood out tonight like a sore thumb with all his supposed skill. Instead, if anything Aaron looks like he’s retreated into his shell.

    He apparently wanted £200k per week.

    Raul and Sven being vindicated game by game in their decision not to give him a contract extension.

    I wonder if Ramsey has been watching old Wilshere videos because he reminded me of him with him holding on the ball so much. Is he incapable of getting off the ball quickly? Guendouzi was much more assured than Ramsey tonight on and off the ball.

    Funny really because you would have thought Ramsey would be super motivated to bring out his “A”game to prove the club wrong and to get the biggest clubs clamouring for his signature.

    He’s a good player but he’s playing like an average one. Maybe his confidence is shot.

  7. Paulinho

    Marko – I’m not ‘spinning’ anything. He put in a solid performance, and if – shock horror – he actually got given a run of games in his best position he would improve, Like he does every single season; come on strong in the spring months when the likes of Ozil down tools and think the season ends in March.

    At least Emery has finally woken up and realised he’s an 8 not a 10.

  8. Joe


    We will see what the footballing world thinks of Ramsey come Jan or the summer

    Available cheap or on a free, we will see how many top teams share your opinion of Ramsey.

  9. Joe

    He put in a solid performance,

    0-0 v sporting at home

    Sorry expect more for a guy demanding 200k plus a week and a guy you think is world class.

  10. Marko

    He put in a solid performance, and if – shock horror – he actually got given a run of games in his best position he would improve

    He wasn’t solid I’m sorry. if he was solid what was Guendouzi?

    At least Emery has finally woken up and realised he’s an 8 not a 10.

    I mean I think Emery has realized that he’s a bench warmer and not worthy of a new contract more than anything.

  11. Ddkingz

    My take on our progression so far…
    If we can’t cope with the Europa league and EPL, then we are fucked….
    No matter how you view it, being a self sustaining club or not, if we don’t go out by January or the summer for at least two quality players to add to the squad depth… Then we’re fucked….

    We can’t be playing like we are doing in the Europa league now, when we start playing champions league football next year, feeding average players like Rambo and co., Playing players out of positions like jekinson, or playing welbeck on a champions league night….

    We have to be ready for all the actions, and not using fringe players, or academy players, or some fucking dudes here moaning like a bitches about AMN and ramsey getting the nod ahead of each other when we are playing CL football…

  12. Leedsgunner

    On his day Ramsey is a fantastic energetic midfielder making great runs that our playmakers should be able to exploit but recently he seems indecisive and unsure of what to do.

    Sad for him because until now he’s been a consummate professional but the fight seems to have drained out of him.

    At 27 he should be at the peak of his powers, contract or no contract.

  13. Ddkingz

    I’d pay a dollar, to go through the internet hub and appear through the screen of any dudes phone and shoot him in the head for rating ramsey…. The guy have given a rating of 5/10 on almost every blog…. And some goats on here still backing him up….

    The board have made a decision on not extending his contract, who are you to oppose… So STFU and enjoy the ride….

  14. Paulinho

    “He wasn’t solid I’m sorry. if he was solid what was Guendouzi?”

    As I said,they were both aboutthe same. No need to literally lie to yourself and pretend Guendouzi was some monster baby-sitting Ramsey all night. Ramsey was overall the better performer of the two.

    Leeds – Nearly everyone in football reckons Ramsey would already now know who he is playing for next season. So I don’t think he’s too bothered about impressing anyone.

  15. Leedsgunner


    If you are right, it makes his insipid performances all the more unprofessional and outrageous because what you are then in effect saying is that he’s downed tools because he knows where he’s going next.

    Last time I checked Arsenal was still paying his wages. Until his contract ends he should be giving us his best.

  16. Paulinho

    Jamie – I don’t really care where he ends up. Whoever gives him what he wants will demand his attention, and whoever his willing to give him that type of money is obviously ambitious and looking to make waves in the next few years.

    He might end up at an Everton, and could turn out to be a good move for both. Silva is a good coach and could give him the role he wants.

    He keeps getting linked to giants of European football. This week it is Bayern. Are they genuine links or are they the Wenger-type links we’ve seen in recent weeks to Madrid, Milan i.e bollocks.

  17. Emiratesstroller

    Returned tonight from Emirates. Frankly very poor match between a very average Arsenal and a poor Sporting Lisbon.

    Vey sad to see the injury to Welbeck who was clearly in very great distress.

    There are several lessons to be learned tonight and indeed from recent games.

    1. Arsenal need two strikers on the pitch to be effective. We play better when
    we have Aubameyang on the pitch alongside Lacazette or Welbeck. When
    we play just one forward we are frankly ineffective.

    2. Our midfield in absence of Torreira, Xhaka and Ozil was bluntly very average. Mkhitaryan is for me a nothing player. Tonight he showed absolutely
    zero class. Iwobi was also rather poor.

    3. Arsenal need to recruit a new left back. The idea that Jenkinson is good enough to play for Arsenal at any level is a joke. Lichsteiner is also not good
    enough to play for us.

    4. The club needs to bring back Reiss Nelson if at all possible now that Welbeck is likely to be out for some time. We need a replacement goalscorer if
    Arsenal are to play strike options.

  18. Leedsgunner

    To bring back Reiss Nelson in light of Welbeck’s injury would be reactionary, especially when he is doing well in Germany (unless the player wants to come back). If he’s happy to stay let him stay learn and thrive.

    It would be a big step up but Nketiah should be given the chance to prove that he’s good enough.

    Let him play as the striker in the next Europa games (no risk) and the various cup games. He’s been scoring for fun in the U21 and the U23s sides for the Arsenal and also for the England youth sides.

    He deserves this chance.

  19. Pedro

    Leeds, I’d love to see what Eddie can do. Reiss getting a full season under Nagelmann would be great for his development.

  20. Marko

    whoever his willing to give him that type of money is obviously ambitious and looking to make waves in the next few years.

    Nice little put down of the club you support in favor of the player you support. Believe me if per chance he ends up at a “big” club he’ll be warming the bench. He’ll soon find his level and it won’t be starter at an ambitious club fighting for major honours

  21. Emiratesstroller


    This is now our third consecutive draw.

    Sporting did not have a single shot on goal. The only danger was the Nani cross which was cut out by Cech.

    It has been obvious in most games this season that we play in first half with
    just one striker and we look toothless. I believe that we have scored only four
    goals in first half of games. Most of our goals are scored when we bring on a
    second striker.

  22. Leedsgunner

    Reiss is getting a first class football education with Nagelsmann, and gaining invaluable experience as a first teamer and we want to bring him back to sit on the bench? I’m sorry that is ridiculously short term thinking.

    It’s akin to calling your super bright kid back from Oxford before he graduates because the tractor is broke and you think you need him for the harvest season.

  23. Freddie Ljungberg


    1. We can’t start both Auba and Lacazette in every game, unless we want to burn them out/get them injured. What we need is at least one goal scoring winger in January, something you felt was a low priority in the summer.

    2. Of course our second string midfield is going to be average, that’s why they’re not starters in the league, at least Guendozi has the potential to.

    3. Agreed. We have been looking at the Ajax left back for 13m, don’t know anything about him but trust the new team more than the ditherer.

    4. Reiss Nelson is not ready to start for us, and we need a starting left winger, so no need to bring him back. Just let him continue his development in the bundesliga and fingers crossed he’s ready to contribute next season.

  24. China1

    The game was too late for me but disappointing result

    We should’ve won this game to get the wheels of momentum turning again but hopefully we’ll pick it back up on the weekend

    We’d have also been certain to come top if we won, but at least we’re through.

  25. Marko

    It’s akin to calling your super bright kid back from Oxford before he graduates because the tractor is broke and you think you need him for the harvest season


  26. Leedsgunner


    You are right in pointing out it’s our third draw but to place in context Liverpool lost their Champions League match to Red Star Belgrade we have drawn and we did make 9 changes from the Liverpool match.

    Wolves and Bournemouth won’t be easy but with our full team we should be able to beat them. It’s not time to push the panic button just yet.

    As a season ticket holder the changes in the atmosphere must be invigorating. I for one would be interested in your take up close. 😉

  27. Freddie Ljungberg

    The injuries to Licht and Welbeck sure didn’t help Emery’s gameplan , Eddie was on his way on before Licht went down for example.

  28. Emiratesstroller

    Freddie Ljungberg

    I agree that we cannot start Aubameyang and Lacazette in every game. The major disappointment is that Welbeck is now out with long term injury. We need someone else to create problems up front as third option.

    What I saw tonight is mediocre Midfield. Guendouzi is of course energetic and a good option to have in less important games or coming off bench. Iwobi
    has played well in some games this season, but not tonight.

    Ramsey looked fairly subdued tonight and as I said Mkhitaryan is a nothing player

  29. gonsterous

    watching the highlights, did sporting create a single clear chance ?? I’m not too bothered with the draw, 15 unbeaten if I’m not mistaken. bring on the weekend

  30. Receding Hairline

    Whoever buys Ramsey is ambitious and looking to make waves in the next two seasons…lol

    Put down the shovel

    I remember the same individual saying Emery will soon turn to Ramsey to save his bacon when he realizes Ozil and Xhaka are shit. That hasn’t happened yet.

    I don’t care where Ramsey ends up, he has been good for us and I wish him the very best going forward, what I do care about is who we bring in to replace him. We should be on the look out for smart January additions to improve us.

  31. Pierre

    Too much complaining ,that was basically our reserve side and we have qualified comfortably..

    The first team will be fit and rested for the weekend ,that’s all that we have many players coming back from injury.

    Defensively,as a team ,we are looking much more solid

  32. Graham62


    Surely this can’t be you.

    What, no negatives?

    Injury analysis?

    I agree though, defensively we look so much better.

  33. Up 4 grabs now


    We qualified for the last 32, that’s all that matters.
    A poor sporting side that didn’t have a shot on target over two games says it all. And they were meant to be the main opposition in the group.

    That might be the last time we see wellbeck in an arsenal shirt, which is a shame as he’s a good squad player. And the type of player you need for cup games and coming off the bench.

    Squad is looking a little stretched with the injuries.
    Koscielny should be back to boost the squad in ten days.
    Let’s hope everyone else stays fit. Can see Smith Rowe and Eddie getting some league minutes from the bench as well.

    Then it’s time to blood a few more kids in the last two Europa games.

    First team have had a rest before the weekend so get the points on the board before the next interlull.

    Onwards and upwards.

  34. Leftsidesanch

    The hope is that the 1st team can build on last week’s performance. We need to start well in all the games going forward.

  35. Ddkingz

    Good one… Pierre..

    Trying to take things into perspective….
    Leaving nelson to continue his development at hoffenheim is surely the best option for both parties….

    And come next season, our squad will be out of it’s depths…. And if we do qualify for the champions league, we don’t just need replacement for those player’s, we need an upgrade on them all…

    Like Freddie said, a goal scoring winger is very essential, it will provide us with another dimension in our type of play and make our attack more unpredictable…

  36. gonsterous

    there were a lot of people complaining before the season started hat Smith rowe and iwobi and nketiah were not going to get much game time this season. But see what happened. The games are coming in fast and the injuries are mounting. this is why squad depth is sooo important.

  37. gonsterous

    don’t see why we have to sell ospina. He’s a great second keeper to have. wings and full backs are the main priorities. After that, we can get in a CM. Forward line is sorted for the this season and the next, so is the CB situation.

  38. Leedsgunner

    First things first, i don’t know if Arsenal players read Arsenal blogs but we have to wish our best for Welbeck. He has probably played his last game for us and for it is cruel that he has picked up another bad injury. Get well soon and I wish him a full recovery.

    His professionalism was never in doubt and his attitude was exemplary; a team player who did his best.

    Two, Paulinho suggested that Ramsey maybe playing below his best because he knows where his next team is. If so, he’s mentally gone. We need to sell him to his next club and off our books… before he’s injured. Ramsey is another player who doesn’t do short injury spells. W.illock should be given Ramsey’s spot, what he lacks in experience he’ll give in enthusiasm and hunger. Aaron’s checked out anyways, what do we have to lose?

    Three, last night was our reserve side but

  39. Pierre

    Actually stroller I do believe we beat Blackpool last week so it is not 3 draws on the bounce but if we look at the team from a defensive angle then ,despite having an injury crisis defensively, we have conceded 7 goals in 11 games which ,I think you would agree, is more like it .
    Yes ,the opposition has not been top quality but even a game like last night we would have conceded chances earlier in the season but overall we look more solid.

    December will give us more of a test ,if we can beat wolves and Bournemouth then in December we have Tottenham twice ,Manchester United and Liverpool .
    That will give us an indicator of where we are …

    Important to rest the first team in Europa league or it may cost us when the games come thick and fast .

  40. gambon

    I think the general pattern we’ve seen since Emery came in is:

    – Initially it was all a bit of a mess. Chaotic and the players didnt know what to do. Defensively we were all over the place
    – Attack started to tick, but at the cost of defensive structure and solidity
    – Now we are more stable, but struggling to create enough chances

    I dont agree with EmiratesStroller that we need 2 strikers on the pitch. The problem is our strikers are limited in their overall play.

    The problem is we need higher quality attacking players.

    I like the balance of the team at present, but there have been far too many games where our xG is about 1.3, while Liverpool and Man City average 2 and 3 respectively.

    We have 2 good goalscorers, then after that absolutely no-one that can be relied upon to score goals. Ozil, Myk, Iwobi, Xhaka are all lightweight when it comes to goalscoring, and Welbeck is done for the season. Ramsey can provide goals, but is rightly being marginalised as theres no long term upside.

    The next few transfer windows should focus on replacing some of our non goalscorers with quality attacking players.

    At the moment we are like Liverpool without Mane & Salah, or Chelsea without Hazard & Pedro.

  41. Left testicle

    It seemed his team mates were getting frustrated with Ramsey last night.

    Holding on to the ball too long – slowing us down and making us predictable. That and the unnecessary flicks and back heels.

    Expensive, luxury player that doesn’t fit in with our style of play. Yes, we actually have a style of play now!

  42. Pierre

    It may sound stupid but our defensive injuries have affected our attacking play but coincidentally have helped us defensively.

    Monreal /Kolasinac getting injured plus bellerins injury has meant we have had to play xhaka and lichsteiner as full backs …
    They are not as willing to overlap as frequently as monreal/ Kolasinac and Bellerin so we have lost part of our attacking options . However , it also has meant that we have not had so many gaps in our defensive channels as the full backs are not getting caught high up the pitch.

    Once we have Monreal and Bellerin back in tandem it will be interesting to see if has an effect on our style of play .
    I am hoping that the developing partnership between xhaka and Torriera will be a factor in our defensive stability which will enable the full backs to support our attack…

  43. raptora

    I think that the better defensive play compared to the start of the season, is based on the players and manager spending more time together, knowing what it’s required to do better than in the beginning where everything was still very new and unnatural. We’re not the finished article so I expect progress to continue in every line, structure and play. We are on a good path. Only thing we need is luck for our players to not get injured. Chelsea in 2016/17 had extremely little amount of injuries. I don’t know how it happened but we need this kind of luck for our main players and if that happens we can safely look towards reaching our goals. Poor Wele. I’m gutted for him.