Two Points Dropped In Old Trafford Brawl

by & filed under News Review.

Arsenal didn’t go to Old Trafford to play a football match, they went to fight a war. Jose Mourinho had no other way to compete. He’s built a £350m Stoke, a bland execution of hard pressing blended with brazen thuggery. This time though, we were their equal. For every clipped set of heels, we had a shoulder barge. For every elbow, we had a crunched shin. The game wasn’t high on technical wonderment, it was more a brutal showcase of the darker side of the English game. Though it has to be said, United made over 120 more passes than Spurs did at the weekend, and Arsenal roughly the same amount.

Though it was enjoyable to watch us go toe-to-toe, in the end, we walked away with the feeling that we fucked a great opportunity. That was two points lost. Familiar shabby defending and some not-so-familiar missed chances cost us in a game that finished a 2-2 draw.

Arsenal shouldn’t be conceding leads as quickly as we have been. We went 1-0 up from a corner. Mustafi managed to break free from a penalty box tangle and powered a strong header into the slick grass, De Gea fumbled the catch and Herrera on the line volleyed the clearance instead of heading it away, allowing the ball to creep half a yard deeper past the goal line. The ref looked at his wrist and saw that tech had decided the goal would stand. You have to say, Mustafi is an absolute menace from corners.

In a re-run of the weekend game against Spurs, 4 minutes later, we conceded. This time, from a freekick. Rojo surprised everyone and clipped a shot across Leno, the German pushed the ball wide, but he didn’t put it behind the goal. Herrera pounced on the second ball (was offside as well), the cross made its way through a huddle of aqua blue shirts, finding Martial who smashed the ball in from close range.

It was the same story in the second half after Emery introduced Mikhi and Lacazette. The Frenchman timed a great run into the box, he struck his shot into two United defenders and the ball somehow slinked past De Gea. Then, immediately from the restart, we struggled with a long ball, Sokratis misjudging the flight, Kolasinac and Leno were caught in no man’s land allowing Lingaard to zip in and take United level again.

The game turned into a slugfest as both sets of players tired. It was brutal. Violent tackle after violent tackle. I have no idea how Torreira survived, he was crunched over and over again, but never gave up. We had the better of the chances. Auba was denied by De Gea’s dropped leg when he struck from a Kola cut back. Lacazette headed the ball out of De Gea’s hand and struck into the empty net, I thought that was legal, but the ref didn’t. Then there was a moment right at the end when Mikhi came from an offside position to volley in from an impossibly tight angle.

It wasn’t to be. United will be feeling luckier than us today, but the 20 game unbeaten run goes on and we can say that we preserve the progress momentum heading into the Huddersfield game this weekend.


Iwobi: I think I was bang on when I called out his recent performances. He had a really poor game after being subbed at half time versus Spurs. His close control is Hleb like, but his overall decision making isn’t decisive enough and when it is, it isn’t often right. 72% pass completion isn’t great in a massive game at United.

Guendouzi: He stepped in for Xhaka at Old Trafford. I feel like he’s being judged through a 26 year old international lens when he’s a teenager. Though his start was shaky, he really grew into the game. He doesn’t ever give up, he’s always looking for the ball and he can drive forward with clever dribbles, or quick short passes. He delivered an incredible 87% pass completion rate (25 of his of his 65 successful passes made in the final third, 10 more than anyone else). He also made 7 ball recoveries. Just think about that. I was really impressed. Once his nerves subsided, he really made an impact on the game. Fellaini pulling his hair was the height of embarrassing… interesting that MG was also the most fouled (6). United clearly targeting the new boy.

Torreira: A mini man mountain. He is everything you want at the heart of your team. He’s focused, never complains and he’ll go to war with anyone. Each game he grows. To play next to a teenager and still look excellent is quite the achievement (90% pass completion / 10 ball recoveries). My worry is he’s playing all the games and we don’t really have anyone else in the squad to fill in for what he does. He’s integral to our mentality, maybe AMN could step in when he needs a rest? I ADORE this guy.

Leno: You have to call it out, he’s made two errors in two games. I think he could have done better with that free kick. The strike was surprising, but not fierce enough not to put it behind the goal. All players make mistakes, let’s hope missteps in big games isn’t a thing

Holding: Absolutely gutted Rob Baresi picked up an injury because if it’s a nasty one, we don’t have Kos now because he’s broken again. Not an ideal time to lose your best passer out of the back.

Kola: He’s a chance making machine. Absolutely devastating down the left. He created some fantastic chances this evening that should have counted towards goals. His defensive side needs some work, but his power and pace driving into the oppositions box has proved deadly when he’s played. He created three chances yesterday, 5 against Spurs. That’s not bad for a wing back.

Laca/Auba: I love these two. Auba was dying by the end of the game, but it’s great to know you’re always in the game with them on the pitch. I love them both. I’m especially enjoying the more creative side of Auba coming through. He’s starting to show he’s more than just a goalscorer. His pressing from the front was really solid. Lacazette is another warrior. What he delivers with his pressing is underrated. He’s also more attuned to the rough and tumble of the league this year. How he managed to score from two players swamping him is something else.

Mikhi: He started poorly, but I thought he grew into the game and had some excellent moments. With the real Mesut Ozil MIA at the minute, we need an experienced creative in the team. If he can give us Dortmund Mikhi, we’re in good shape. I feel like there’s some form in there somewhere, hopefully, Emery and the coaches can release him.

Warrior Mentality: It was interesting to hear Emery talk about how he was a coward of a player and he doesn’t allow it in his players. The team is motivated, they relish the fight and we are not to be fucked with. I think we’ve seen a lot of evidence that suggests the signings of Papa, Torreira and Lichtsteiner have been very smart. They are brawlers. They bring out the nasty in everyone. You want to go to war with those guys on your team.

We might not have the best squad in the league, but with smart preparation, fighting spirit and a lot of belief… there’s no reason we can’t secure top 4.

Onwards and upwards. What a fucking joy it is to love football again.

278 Responses to “Two Points Dropped In Old Trafford Brawl”

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  1. gambon

    No idea what you’re seeing in Mykhitaryan

    He is absolutely shocking.

    Our problems can be summed up right now as:

    – Entire defence
    – Mykh and Iwobi

    Any improvement is going to directly linked to how quickly we can replace them.

  2. Ivan

    @ gambon

    True minus Iwobi. Hes bench material, but good bench material. We need players like him to be our second string. Too many games in season for first 11 to play, and he looks just about right level to be a sub.

    Mikhi on other hand lacks desire. Same as Ozil, not built for pressing team.

  3. Savage

    Horrible game, but not surprising that we looked a bit leggy after the Spurs game, where we gave 110%.

    To get a few draws here and there is not the worst – City’s form doesn’t represent normality. Does feel like an opportunity missed though.

  4. Arsnil

    The communication between the defence and keeper seems to be shocking. Both goals had this lack of communication at their heart which led to utter confusion. Put your name on the ball and whack it into Row Z rather than “After you….. no after you…. no I insist”!!! Who is the leader of this unit. It seems to be rudderless.
    Also when you finish with a team containing Lichsteiner and Michi, then I cannot understand this type of conservatism. We have plenty good young players who are playing in Europe and in the Carabao and who are much better than this.

  5. Ivan

    It might be blessing in disquise this time around. It will keep Mou at the helm of ManU enabling him to sink that ship till end of season 😁

  6. Guns of Hackney

    Iwobi is good bench material?

    Yes, but not in the way you think…but he does play like a lump of wood so…

  7. Arsnil

    Also at times you just have to clear your lines. The amount of times that we played ourselves into trouble last night was much too high. There are times when you have to go safety first. I admire playing out from defence but when it becomes Russian Roulette with six bullets in the barrel well……….
    In the Wenger era we never seemed to learn from our mistakes. Last night our mistakes viz. lack of communication and decisivness at the back, clearing our lines and playing the right young players is easily fixable. Let’s hope that it is. It’s not rocket science.

  8. shaun

    think holding going off was a blessing as he looked out of his depth to me and utd front three would have got to him eventually , him and chambers should be offloaded really , well add Mustaffi to that as well …………………when licth came on we looked a lot more solid and less nervy holding was making me feel very uneasy but the defensive shape we have under Emery is good which is why I was so annoyed with the UTD goals .the first one even though off side holding especially and Iwobi need to be clearing that ball ….really piss poor kinda of a throw back to the Wenger shit show Emery has to stamp that out but he needs new personnel to fix the defense AND WE NEED A WINGER iwobi is not anywhere near good enough surely people can see this now

  9. Leftsidesanch

    Once Iwobi improves his decision making and starts adding to his goal/assist tally we might have a player. We don’t have time to wait though so this position needs to be addressed imminently. I wouldn’t call him a winger he’s the closest thing we have to one in the squad too.

  10. Leftsidesanch

    “In the last part of the game was Arsenal wanting the draw, diving, getting the game stopped, waiting for the game to go to the end.”

    What game was Mourinho watching? The last 20 minutes or so we were in full control – going for the victory.

  11. AngeAusArsenal

    Shaun you must be the only person that is seeing Holding as a liability he has been a revelation this year, or do you think we were better with Lichsteiner there?
    Iwobi has steadily got worse with every game, Ramsey was back to his average self and Mikki was no better.
    Ask yourselves where would we be without Torreira

  12. Emiratesstroller


    Let’s put aside the result. Frankly if I was offered two weeks ago 7 points from
    Bournemouth, Spurs and Man Utd I would have been delighted.

    However, I do have concern in the defensive department. Let’s be perfectly honest our backline is not good enough and no tactical preparation by Emery
    is going to change that. Yesterday we lacked concentration, composure and more importantly positional sense. We need to find and invest in new defenders before discussing an upgrade in other positions.

    We learned also from the recent games in Ukraine and Manchester that Guendouzi is not yet good enough to play in starting lineup.He may be a
    promising player with a lot of pace and energy, but he makes mistakes. There
    is absolutely no way that he is ready to replace Xhaka in the team as some posters suggest.

    Whilst I do think that we will win most if not all our pre Christmas games the
    fact is that we are conceding far too many goals. 20 in 15 games is far too many
    for a top four team and WORSE than at the same stage as last season.

  13. Paulinho

    Wonder if people still think Iwobi is a player ‘transformed’?

    Still the same player from three years ago, two years ago, last year……

    Decent to a point but no idea what to do once he gets in and around the penalty area. Even his dribbling and decision-making in deeper positions desert him when the pressure really cranks up.

    Overall an okay performance. We did well to rouse ourselves in the second half to create a few chances despite the heavy legs and heavy atmosphere of a foggy hell hole of a ground.

  14. Major_Jeneral

    Pedro no review on Ramsey’s performance. ?. Ramsey had an okay game by his standards. Decision making was not lacking. He should got into the game in the final third though.
    He didn’t time his tackles well else he shouldn’t be injured.

    Overall I am glad we didn’t chicken out under pressure like in the past.

    Bad news for Koscielny. When is Mavropanos coming back?. Rotation needed for Huddersfield. Xhaka, AMN have to play.

  15. steve

    There are some really poor/average players in the team. Mkhitaryan is fucking awful. Iwobi is a complete nothing player. Kolasinac can’t defend to save his life. Holding is bog standard.

  16. omar

    In recent years, December had become a disaster month for Arsenal. We have the opportunity to put the ghost of Disaster December to rest. We have weathered Spurs and United away in the League and with Huddersfield, Southampton, Burnley and Brighton next before we finish the year at Anfield, we have the chance to build real momentum going to Liverpool.

  17. Danny

    So who will start on Saturday? No Holding, Ramsey, Mustafi (5 yellows I believe), so Ozil, Monreal maybe even Koscielny. Plus Kolasinac and Torreira both looked dead on their feet for the last 15 minutes.

  18. Arse&Nose©

    ” He delivered an incredible 87% pass completion rate (25 of his of his 65 successful passes made in the final third, 10 more than anyone else). He also made 7 ball recoveries. Just think about that. I was really impressed. Once his nerves subsided, he really made an impact on the game. Fellaini pulling his hair was the height of embarrassing… interesting that MG was also the most fouled (6). United clearly targeting the new boy.”

    Guendouzi was the highlight for me yesterday. For a 19yr old to show that bottle and composure, to not be phased by the cynical targeting tactics was seriously impressive.

  19. shaun

    “or do you think we were better with Lichsteiner there?” yep- I do and only because lichsteiner is experienced and knows how to deal with pace and holding does not Holding is good against Watford, Brighton,Europa league and mid tier opposition just don’t think Holding is top level talent for a center back , I think sokratis is our best center back which cannot be good , all our center backs are slow and have difficulty with pacey strong attackers that has to change if we are to challenge

  20. Davey

    Roll on our deal with Adidas that must be the worst kit I have ever seen and looks limp and flaccid like our fucking defending!

  21. Davey

    We need like many teams a quick left footed centre-half, all centre backs in world football seem to be right footed and it is really awful to watch how awkward they all are receiving the ball and trying to make a simple pass to the left back. No balance

  22. raptora

    I cannot agree with Stroller that Guen has been doing bad lately.
    Just the opposite. He never gave up to make little dribbles with the ball, to demand the ball being passed to him, to move the ball forward time after time. He looked fresh and determined even in the last minutes of the game. He really impressed me and hopefully a game like last night’s proves good to him in the long run.

  23. raptora

    Ramsey was miles, miles, miles better than Mikki and they both had a half time to play in. Mikki had fresher legs since he got the second half but you couldn’t see it because he was just hiding like a ghost. He obviously got in to several good positions because the team as a whole pushed United but he pretty much fked up every single ball he touched up until the last 10 mins, where he missed couple of chances.

    I would give Mikki a 4 for last night’s performance. Ramsey was a solid 7.5

  24. raptora

    seriously though. You mention how devastating Kolasinac was, that was mostly in the first half COURTESY of great through balls by Ramsey.
    And you say that Mikki had “excellent moments”. Nobody saw them. Nobody saw him. Guy was MIA as much as Ozil.

  25. HighburyLegend

    The fact that we didn’t won at Old Toilet since 2006 is a bit hard to swallow, but whatever.

    In the Emery Red & White Brigade we trust.

  26. TitsMcGee

    When a disappointing game is a draw away at OT three days after your last game you know you are in good hands.

    Under Wenger, a draw at Old Trafford would be considered a positive(heroic failure and all).

    Under Emery, a draw feels like a loss.


  27. Graham62

    Although I understand some fans concerns over our defensive frailties, it should not detract from our visible improvements all over the pitch.

    Emery has worked miracles in such a short period and although I’m not one to point fingers at players, as some regularly do on here, I do believe that we are a work in progress and will be for some time to come.

    Holding is not, imo, a “liability”. Mustafi is playing far better and Iwobi, although still lacking in decision making skills, has improved leaps and bounds under Emery.

    The team ethos is superb and although mistakes are still being made, at least we can rest assured that Mr Emery will analyze and review each and every flaw in the team. Yep, we are in good hands.

    Father Christmas came early for me this year.

    He has given me my team back.

  28. TitsMcGee

    “Mikki had fresher legs since he got the second half but you couldn’t see it because he was just hiding like a ghost. ”

    Colour me not shocked. There’s a reason this guy was an outcast before he came here. Flashes here and there but largely anonymous.

  29. T

    I am having a hard time watching mustafi misreading stuff game after game and lunging in desperate tackless every 10 minutes. He is just completely out of his depth at this level.

    Whenever i watch VVD play and compare it feels like watching a halfdrunken sundayleaguer vs. a real pro.

    Big papa is by far the best centreback right now but wouldnt be surprised if sven and raul are looking hard for a world class centreback and a new first choise left back.

    The defence lines ability has dropped really low since the days that mertesacker and kozzer dominated the forwards of this league.

    The fact that emery was forced to go for back 5 not only highlights his ability to maximize what he can take out of the players but also the fact that he has admitted his current defenders are not good enough to survive with only 4 players. They hardly cope with 5….

  30. Bamford10

    Mkhitaryan is far from perfect, but he does have quality and he had a couple of quality moments last night. His deft little one-touch pass back to Lacazette is what created the latter’s goal and is one such example. Ozil aside, Mkhi is our best CAM option, and he isn’t as bad a player as some here would have you believe.

  31. Emiratesstroller


    I did not suggest that Guendouzi has played badly. What I said is that he is not
    yet ready to play in starting lineup. As a young player he is prone to making mistakes as he did yesterday.

    He gave away an unnecessary free kick in front of goal from which Man Utd scored first goal and he is making some errors, which hopefully in due course he will eradicate from his game.

    He is a talented young player in a similar situation to Willock, Smith-Rowe,
    Nkietah and Nelson. They merit a place in squad but not at moment in starting

  32. Hitchy

    How nice is it to actually care about football again!?!?
    What a battling performance, and stood up well in a very physical match, a point at Old Trafford is a decent point, but definitely felt like we deserved to win the match. Easily could have finished with 9 Vs 9 the way tackles were flying in. Rojo and Torreria lucky to be on the pitch IMO .
    Thought Guendouzi was absolutely superb, continually shrugging his man with clever turns in mid-field. He looks an absolute find from Diamond Eye!

  33. Bamford10


    Agree that Ramsey was pretty good last night. One little through pass in the first half was especially nice. But Mkhi had some good moments as well, and there is no reason to turn this into a Ramsey vs. Mkhi thing. Both players have their limitations, neither is totally in form, but both are quality players.

  34. Guns of Hackney

    Another career ender for an arsenal player. This can’t be a coincidence. I cannot think of another club so blighted by these injuries.

    At least one a season for us…but normally two.

    Unlucky or poor training.

  35. Mark

    @ Arsnil
    ” Both goals had this lack of communication at their heart which led to utter confusion. Put your name on the ball and whack it into Row Z rather than “After you….. no after you…. no I insist”!!! Who is the leader of this unit. ”

    Good post . These are schoolboy errors, unless the keeper called for it , kola should have been putting that ball into the stands.
    Take command and make the decision, that’s what the defence need drilling into them, until we can get the right players.

    I also wonder why we don’t use some of our younger players, ESR, Nkettia during our matches. Other teams seem to do so more than us, for some reason.

    Can’t wait for VAR, cos it’s gonna change a lot of the shit decisions that go against us. I’m sorry, it happens too often to be coincidence.
    Kola tries to cross ball obviously blocked/deflected by the defender! No corner!! Card for Bellerin on players orders?? No card for The disgusting hair pull or elbow to lich’s head by the dirty cnut Foulaini !
    Matic!! Still on the pitch!! Plus Lacas cheeky attempt nicking the ball with his head. What why wasn’t it a goal?? Keeper’s supposed to have two hands on the ball and be alert to protect it. De Gea didn’t.
    I’ve seen them given.

    Hopefully with VAR, it will lessen the massive influence the refs have over games.
    Especially when they send players off for innocuous challenges, yet only ( not always) give yellows for absolute leg breakers.
    Thus not sending players off, who always seem to have a direct influence in key moments later in the game.
    That pisses me off ,big time.

  36. Bamford10


    And to further develop my point above, I would’ve played Ramsey as a CM last night, with Mkhitaryan the CAM. That is, Ramsey alongside Torreira, with Mkhitaryan just in front of them and Aubameyang and Lacazette up top.

    Emery clearly doesn’t like two up top, however, because he likes to be able to press with three forward players. I personally think he should be more flexible on this point. Indeed, I think he should consider sitting and countering (in a 4-4-2 diamond) in some matches. Doing so would save legs, and we could be quite good on the counter.

  37. Graham62

    I thought Wenger had gone.

    Bloody hell, the criticism on here today beggars belief.

    Two points off 3rd and eight points ahead of 5th.

    We should be joyous.

  38. raptora


    I thought that Ramsey was our best player in the first half.

    Second half – Torreira.

    Iwobi and Mikki had really, really bad games.

    Good performances by Guen, Mustafi, Papa, Bellerin, Auba and Laca.

    Kolasinac was excellent if it wasn’t for that blunder he had for their second goal.

    We were convincingly the better side and I’m even more sure of it now that I watched the game again.

    De Gea + Mariner combo saved them the game regardless of our 2 amateur mistakes.

  39. Mark

    Did anyone else hear the” we want you to stay” chants to Mourinho 🤣😂

    If only we’d beat them, I’m sure we’d have heard it at the end of the match.
    It was great to hear it anyway.

  40. Thorough

    Emery has been amazing but we won’t be able to judge him properly til we drop 200mil minimum on this shoddy team. Can we fucin do it?

  41. Guns of Hackney

    Holding made of glass.

    Weakest team in history. Too much time spent playing fucking Fornite. They have atrophy.

  42. Nelson

    I still like the formation of our team. After the initial nerve playing in OT, the team settled down and we were controlling the game.
    This formation allows Kola to play as a winger. Our best attacks all came from that side. With Monreal coming back as left CB, it would free up Kols to continue his attacking run and his pull back. We still need Mikki and Iwobi to help Auba to finish off those chances.

  43. HighburyLegend

    Manure players will never change.
    They are butchers, nothing more.

    And this was not going to change with Maureen in charge…

  44. Guns of Hackney

    Our defence makes the French army of WWII look like King Lionides’ Spartan’s Last Stand at Thermopylae.

    Even Rita Ora has a tighter one than us…and the whole music industry has gone through there.

  45. omar

    Huddersfield (h)
    Southampton (a)
    Burnley (h)
    Brighton (a)
    Liverpool (a)
    Fulham (h)
    West Ham (a)
    Chelsea (h)
    Cardiff (h)

    WWWWDWWDW. 23 from our next available 27 points. You heard it.

  46. Freddie Ljungberg

    Take a look at Guendozis individual performance in the game and say again how he’s not ready to start.

    Is he inexperienced and dawdles on the ball sometimes? Sure, but he’s 19 and is already offering more than Xhaka, mistakes and all.

    Always driving forward, better at evading the press, much more mobile, more incisive passer.
    Just wait when he has a little more experience and bulks up a bit for next season.

  47. Bamford10


    I really like Guendouzi and I thought he was good in the second half, but he was falling all over the place in the first half and looked his age a bit. This isn’t a slight on him at all; I just think people should be realistic about the fact that, as good as he is, he is 19 and he is still finding his feet (literally, at times).

  48. Pierre

    I think a lot of people are missing the point about Emery and his philosophy..

    This week it was reported in the media that Torriera was quoted as saying that Emery wants him to get forward more and join the attack (or words to that effect) …this tells you everything about Emery and his philosophy and how he wants the team to play .

    When people complain about our defensive players and how many goals we concede, from where I’m sitting nothing is going to change ..we will never have a watertight defence under Emery even if we spend 300 million as I have come to the conclusion that the defence is just an afterthought to him….

    He started the season with a back 4 and both full backs so high up the pitch that they were playing like wing backs and now he is telling Torriera he wants him further upfield …. I can guarantee you this won’t improve our defensive stability or performance.

    So ,what I would say is , sit back and enjoy the ride ,forget about defensive stability and look forward to end to end football ….

    Some would say that his footballing philosophy is similar to wenger and they may be right but Emery does bring more to the table in regard to work rate, competitiveness and energy to the team …..the question is ,can a team win the league with a defence that concedes more than a goal a game or are we just going to continue as a good cup side.

  49. Bamford10

    And by the way, contrary to what some were saying here last night, Auba didn’t “miss a sitter”. That was more a case of De Gea making a really good foot save. De Gea also made a great save on Auba’s curling shot from the left side to the far right post.

  50. Pierre

    “Ramsey was miles, miles, miles better than Mikki and they both had a half time to play in………I would give Mikki a 4 for last night’s performance. Ramsey was a solid 7.5”

    and I would give you zero points for your appraisal of their performances.

  51. Bamford10


    Complete nonsense. Emery has said repeatedly that the primary thing that was lacking when he arrived was defensive structure, defensive shape, defensive understanding. In no way, shape or form is he an “attack now, defend later” type.

    That he thinks a CM should get forward at times is the fucking game, not some aberratio unique to a certain type of manager. Does a Rakitic at Barcelona sometimes get forward and score goals? Yes, he does.

    Since when did CMs become purely defensive players? Since never. This is a bogus idea that has been promoted by some on here in an effort to criticize Aaron Ramsey.

    And Emery really has nothing in common with Arsene Wenger. He believes in tactics, in proving detailed instruction to each and every player, and he spends hours and hours a day on these matters. He does not believe “the game is the best instructor,” nor does he think players should simply go out and express themselves. That is, he is an actual modern manager.

    As for why our defending continues to be poor, this is a matter of our having poor defenders, not a matter of the manager.

  52. Tippitappi

    Would hope we can beat the pensioners ,also they have to guard against avoidable no shows like Wolves who were actually in a run of bad form proving even if you can’t do 100% you have to put in a shift or points are dropped. It was nice going to OT without all that wenger baggage weighing the side down ,could & should have won yet you always take a point there! If they both keep on the same trajectories we should win there next time

  53. Thorough

    And about time people stop comparing Iwobi to Hleb. ffs Hleb was a prodigious talent, a supporting striker whom Wenger ruined by playing on the wings. If Hleb played closer to the box he would have been more productive and we would prolly have had penalties for fun if Wenger wasn’t such a despicable cant.
    Iwobi on the other hand is a nothing player, the worst striker of a ball in this Arsenal set of forwards. He gets confused just by having the ball at his feet. He does my head in as much as Bellerin when he gets into good positions but can’t shoot to save his life. A Pepe in January will totally show Iwobi up.

  54. Freddie Ljungberg


    Yeah, he started slowly, like the rest of the team, but remember he played in ligue 2 this time last year, pretty intimidating starting at old trafford at that age. He grew into the game though.

    I still don’t think he’s quite good enough to be a regular starter for us this season, but I feel the same about Xhaka even though he’s been better lately, still has costly mistakes in him and doesn’t offer enough on either side of the ball outside a game here or there.

    Would rather give Guen more game time so he gets the experience.

    If Xhaka and AMN steps up maybe we can focus our efforts elsewhere in january and the summer, fuck knows we have plenty of other holes to fill.

  55. raptora

    Danny Murphy said that by the book of law Feillaini’s hair pull is a straight red card.

    Add to that this 100% second yellow to Matic with 20 mins left in the game.

    And the offside goal.

    We were butchered by Mariner. Second game in a row I must say. It’s always like that btw. Yes, we get some fortunate calls coming our way vs the minnows, but as soon as there is a big derby, you just know that the refs will fuck us up. Has been going for years vs say Man City – a gazillion of offside goals and dives given penalties.

  56. Pierre

    “Complete nonsense. Emery has said repeatedly that the primary thing that was lacking when he arrived was defensive structure, defensive shape, defensive understanding.”

    what Emery says and what Emery does with regard to the defence are 2 different things……I can tell you now that Emery hasn’t made the defence his primary concern.

    Just don’t expect any real improvement defensively ,that’s all I’m saying .

  57. Paulinho

    “Since when did CMs become purely defensive players? Since never. This is a bogus idea that has been promoted by some on here in an effort to criticize Aaron Ramsey.”

    As I’ve said many times, football is full of brainwashed fans who think sitting back continually is a sign of intelligence. That’s why they go weak at the knees for garbage players like Grzegorz Krychowiak.

  58. gambon

    I would say Emery has certainly worked hard on the defence.

    We signed 4 defensive players out of our 5 signings.

    He was massively naive to put so much trust in so many failures though.

    If he doesn’t act decisively in the next 2 windows he will be gone fairly soon.

  59. Pierre

    I’m still not sure if he’s a genius of a very fortunate manager .

    Our last 3 games we have scored 8 goals .

    I would say 5 of those goals could be rated as fortunate.

    Last night both goals were very fortunate. ….. against Tottenham a defender needlessly handed us a pen plus Lacazette strike took a deflection on route to goal…Bournemouth scored an own goal .

    Don’t get me wrong , I will take them all day long but …..

  60. Freddie Ljungberg

    December 6, 2018 13:28:17

    ”So in other words…not ready to start.

    Way to cherry pick what I wrote.

    I also said I don’t think Xhaka is good enough to start for us so would rather give more minutes to Guen unless we’re buying a new CM in January.

  61. OleGunner

    Pierre once again has no clue what he’s talking about.
    Emery will sort out the defence you numpty with time, it’ll just take a while as he doesn’t have the personnel who can execute to his standards and has had one bloody transfer window

    There’s such a thing as being able to get forward aggressively and still defending to a high standard.
    It’s not either/or, jesus christ.

  62. Redtruth

    “When people complain about our defensive players and how many goals we concede, from where I’m sitting nothing is going to change ..we will never have a watertight defence under Emery even if we spend 300 million as I have come to the conclusion that the defence is just an afterthought to him”

    I think you’re confusing Emery with Wenger.

  63. Leedsgunner

    Compared to years past, we have started this December very well… and in reasonable shape.

    Sure, as I said last night, I would have loved a win, and frankly we should have won… but it is a measure of how we have come that we are disappointed this morning.

    To me, it’s all a matter of perspective. If Wenger had achieved what Emery has achieved this season, people still wouldn’t be taking us seriously. We would be derided as flat track bullies and chokers. Why? After all the years in charge, Wenger had the team built in his image, and these were opponents that he knew well. Wenger took as far as he could go.

    Emery is on his first season in the EPL, even so, he has achieved surprisingly good results.

    20 game unbeaten streak.
    Drew with Liverpool and Man Utd at the first time of asking
    Top of his Europa League group with 2 games to spare
    Reconnected with the team with the fans
    Instilled a new never say die attitude where we are finishing games strongly
    Cultivating our best youngsters into the first team in a sensible manner rather than out of sheer desperation and lack of ideas
    A manager that does tactics
    A manager that does game changing substitutions
    A unified squad that fights for each other

    Emery has done all this with very little money time and training. If this is the base that he is working from common sense says there is much more to come from Emery once he has time to fully bring his own players in.

    Remember. for the large part, Emery is working with a Wenger defence. Apart from Sokratis and Lichtsteiner he hasn’t had time to bring in his own defenders who understand his philosophy from the off.

    We need to take a breath and focus on the next 4 games which are all winnable… before we face Liverpool again. No more silly draws please.

    When we play Liverpool, I want to see that we have learnt from our errors and I want to see us win against Klopp’s men.

  64. Leftsidesanch

    Gambon, I’m sure he will bring in further defensive reinforcements as Emery strikes me as a manager who learns from his mistakes.

    Little P should be treated with nonchalence. Forever reaching…

  65. Pierre

    “I would say Emery has certainly worked hard on the defence”

    I would say it doesn’t matter how hard you work or who you buy……if you play with your 2 full backs so advanced In a back 4 as we have done this season , goals and chances will always be conceded ,especially as he now wants one of our defensive midfielders to push forward…

  66. Leedsgunner

    Before anyone says it, I’m not by any means saying, everything is fine and rosy. It isn’t… but for me, Emery is smartly laying down a good foundation upon which to build upon.

    We can only improve from here if Emery is given the time, players and the money he needs.

  67. Paulinho

    Our defence will never be great with Emery but he will just get us to improve in terms of belief and execution in the final third. We won’t shrink in future games, but we will always be susceptible to conceding at any moment.

    PSG actually played very well for 3/4 of the game against Barcelona in that 2nd leg, they attacked with intelligence and controlled the game well, but Emery teams never go into lockdown cynical mode so it will always be a roller coaster. Much preferrable to the white-flag waving under Wenger though.

  68. Leedsgunner

    Was Özil at the ground last night?

    Did anyone ask Emery if he was? Very disappointed with Mesut to be honest. We should be able to rely on our best players to produce on the biggest stages and for the most crucial games. Instead of stepping up and taking charge, he’s shrinking back into his shell.

    Yes playing Man United and Huddersfield will both only get you three points each for a win, but he needed to be there last night to take the lead and inspire our midfield. Where was he?

    Despite taking home the largest pay packet in Arsenal history, he is becoming a squad player.

    Remember Özil is taking home over £18m a season. £18m to hide, very disappointed, to say the least.

  69. Graham62


    ” He was massively naive to put so much trust in so many failures though”

    ” If he doesn’t act decisively in the next two windows he will be gone fairly soon”

    No disrespect, but what medication are you on?

    So you’re saying Emery could be gone after next summers TW if things don’t improve defensively ? Is that right?

    Three points-

    1. Who else could he put his trust in? Maybe the tea ladies?
    2. You say “failures”. I say badly coached, underprepared and demotivated players.
    3. From being headless chickens defensively, we are now occasionally frail, which is a big improvement in my eyes.

  70. gambon


    How many seasons do you think Emery will get to keep finishing outside the top 4?

    You think he was employed to finish 6th?

    As for your ridiculous point about our defence….it hasn’t improved at all. Not one bit.

    15 games…..20 goals conceded is not “occasionally frail”.

  71. Leedsgunner


    Not to put words in gambon’s mouth, but I agree with him that he needs to start using upcoming TWs to address our first team’s weaknesses.

    Wenger knew what the weaknesses were but he for the most part fudged it. Emery cannot do this… he needs to address it at the first time of asking.

    The signs are good though… Lucas Torreira was a player we have been crying out for since Gilberto left. The club brought him in. I’m sure Emery has asked Raul and Sven to sort it out the defence with his preferred targets. Very interested in January to see what they will do.

    Emery will act decisively. He has to, he hasn’t got the reservoir of good will and history to draw upon that Wenger did.

  72. Mysticleaves


    It’s true that sometimes Pierre is over the top about midfield two being static. Ideally he wants the back four and the pivot never to cross the centre circle and allowing the front 4 the freedom to attack attack attack.

    However, Ramsey in that last two seasons is a typical example of the movie How Not To Play CM in a Two Man Midfield. He doesn’t occasionally join the attack with intelligent runs, he always joins the attack and sometimes gets in the way of strikers. He was awful there. That is what most people are saying

  73. WengerEagle

    Like Gambon have no idea what a few are seeing in Miki, a lazy and slow plodder for the most part that is a turnover machine.

    Nearly making me pine for that mopey wimp Ozil.

  74. Paulinho

    Mystic – He wasn’t awful in the slightest. You rated him higher than Saul Niguez based on his midfield play so you’re completely contradicting yourself again.

  75. Leedsgunner

    Mkhitaryan did best work before he even stepped on the field… he convinced PEA to join us! His goals have been absolutely crucial for us!

    I’m afraid though, unless his form picks up massively, he needs to be shipped out along with Elneny and Jenksinson in January. Even if we sold badly, surely we should able to achieve £35m for the three of them combined?

    Then use that money to buy a young promising winger or a left back.

  76. Leedsgunner

    *I’m afraid though, unless Mkhitaryan’s form picks up massively, he needs to be shipped out along with Elneny and Jenksinson in January.

  77. WengerEagle

    Think you’re dreaming there I’m afraid Leeds, more like 20 million max for the trio as Jenk is shocking, Elneny isn’t much better and Miki is 30 and physically way on the decline.

  78. Paulinho

    “Like Gambon have no idea what a few are seeing in Miki, a lazy and slow plodder for the most part that is a turnover machine.”

    Best I can say about him is that he is obviously well-schooled in terms of where to move in the final third, which means he finds himself in great positions, and he also can be pretty incisive in terms of final ball, but even then I’m probably stretching it.

  79. WengerEagle

    Don’t mind having Kola as a utility left sided squaddie but he absolutely cannot keep starting at LB if we are serious about top 3-4, complete liability defensively.

  80. Leedsgunner

    Wenger Eagle

    Even £20m is better than a kick in the teeth, I guess the lesson we can all learn from this is this… don’t bring in ponies to begin with.

  81. WengerEagle


    True and technically he’s obviously gifted, sweet weak peg on him but fuck me Walcott was more useful than him even with all of his limitations, also had a reliable end product but could actually run.

  82. WengerEagle


    20 mill still gets you a very decent LB if you look in the right places, like Robertson for Pool who only cost 8 mill.

    Won’t be enough for top shelf likes of Telles, Mendy, etc though. We haven’t had a top bin LB since Cole.

  83. Graham62


    Have you actually been watching Arsenal play these past ten years or so?

    Let’s put it simply.

    We are, as it stands, under Emery around 4/10 defensively. Prior to this we were a 2/10 or 3/10.

    If we get to somewhere near 6/10, we’ll be nearly there.

    Not disputing that Emery needs to use the TW’s wisely but don’t you think he should be given time to work with what we’ve got, before splashing the cash?

    Jesus, I sat back and twiddled my thumbs for a decade waiting for Mr Wenger to work on our defence.

    Give Emery a little leeway.

    We are not MC!

  84. Leedsgunner

    Wenger Eagle

    Segnesson? At Fulham? All hype? Or do you rate him?

    I wonder if Fulham would be tempted to sell Ryan Segnesson to us if we threw in say £10m and Calum Chambers into the mix. From what I’ve seen that boy is an amazing talent. In fact if it helped us secure him I would be willing to loan him back to Fulham for the rest of the season to have join next year.

    Apparently Calum Chambers is really thought of highly by Ranieri… maybe he’ll make a bid.

  85. WengerEagle


    The defence had been poor, not sure that we’ve seen any improvement from the AW regime in that respect.

    Defending 20 goals conceded in 15 is hard to do, on course to concede 50 PL goals which would be awful.

  86. WengerEagle


    Like RS but he’s yet to show that he can make the jump from Championship performer to PL one, only a kid and definitely one for the future but we need someone who will come in and do a job right now, like Monreal of a few years ago.

  87. Mysticleaves

    Rumors suggest Almiron is a done deal …… Newcastle. Gutted a bit. Hope SES have some names up their sleeves

  88. Leedsgunner

    Almiron looks good on video clips but remember he’s ripping it up in the MLS… is this making him look better than he actually is?

  89. WengerEagle

    He that MLS lad for Atlanta?

    I’d be very sceptical of taking players from the MLS, Bradley Wright-Phillips is still long dicking it over there and Altidore is actually prolific, I don’t trust that level personally.

  90. Akilan

    Wow, now Emery can’t improve us defensively ever…

    Yesterday, despite manure fielding the likes of Martial, Rashford and Lingard, they never really threatened us from the open play. As poor as our defense was, Manure’s chances were couple of long shots and those jammy goals.

    I didn’t see our system failing in the last 3 tough games where our goalie had to make save after saves to keep us in the game. That alone is an improvement in my book.

    Pep and Klopp had multiple TWs and 100s of millions to fix their defense. I’m pretty sure we will get there. Give Emery his chance.

  91. Graham62

    For the first time in a long long time, Arsenal players are having to think.

    If you thought that everything would be hunky dory, without spending huge amounts, then I’m afraid you just don’t get it.

    We are no longer a joke and are competing again. Get it, WE ARE COMPETING AGAIN!

    What more do you want after just 6 months at the helm?

  92. WengerEagle


    You’re getting it twisted, all in all I’ve been very positive about Emery if you’ve paid attention to my posts.

    But the defence has been shit, and needs drastic improvement.

  93. Dream10

    Leeds & Wenger Eagle

    I’m not sure Kolasinac is better than Gibbs overall. He does provide more in the final third. But he is below avg defensively. Finds it difficult in a back four.

    Pretty sure one of the reasons Gazidis hired Emery was that he’s comfortable working on a budget with youth promotion and a few touch ups in the transfer market.
    Don’t see us in for Mendy/Alex Sandro or top names in other positions.

    Talk to me about Kieran Tierney. You guys rate him?

  94. Marc

    Not sure how anyone can say we haven’t progressed under Emery. The simple stats are as follows in the comparative fixtures to last season. We’ve conceded 3 less (still needs to improve), scored 2 more and are half a point off achieving half of last seasons points tally after 15 matches. We have also accrued 14 away points so far compared to 16 in the whole of last season.

    Oh yeah and we aren’t having thousands and thousands stay away from every home match.

  95. Akilan

    Chelsea’s banter strikers are finally biting their arses heavily. Considering they play city and some solid mid table teams in the festive period, we could be 3-5 points clear by the time we play them in January. Beat them at home and we could easily finish above them.

    Also, all their big games bar spuds have been at the bridge. Could be a difference as well. Hopefully I haven’t jinxed it.

  96. Pierre

    “It’s true that sometimes Pierre is over the top about midfield two being static. Ideally he wants the back four and the pivot never to cross the centre circle and allowing the front 4 the freedom to attack attack attack.

    Not quite right

    Firstly ,there is nothing wrong in having one of the full backs advanced leaving 3 defenders back…my argument is with having both full backs advanced in a back 4 …no problem with both wing backs being advanced…

    Secondly …I have never said I didn’t want a midfielder crossing the half way line …of course both central midfielders should support the attack by being available to receive the ball as an outlet to control the game….

    If we are chasing the game then that is the time to gamble.

  97. HighburyLegend

    @gambon : what were you expecting ?? Competing for 1st ??

    Give a rest ffs, or if you don’t like the current situation, call back Arsène.

  98. useroz

    Definitely 2 points dropped. Both teams didn’t play well but we were better. At least with more BIG chances. What’s the xG? Must be saying we were ‘unlucky’.

    Guendouzi is a 19 yo from Ligue 1 reserve in his first PL season. He did well last night. Gave the team lots of forward momentum and link up in the final 3rd; Pedro’s stats refer. Wot more could we ask for? The foul was bad luck. Guendouzi pulled away (unlike Xhara, Mustafi type) and whoever fell with the slightest touch felt. Leno and Iwobi/ Holding had fair chances to prevent the goal.

    Emery must rest Torreira. Cannot afford to burn him. A miracle he finished the game.

    Ref was a chicken in curbing Manure brutality even when we gave some back.

    Cannot complain about Laca and Auba with what little we got in creative. Tho, I still expect Auba to have done better and tested Down Gea more.

    The GAP layer is glaring.

    Mikki didn’t blaze his shots only when offside. Ffs. Poor passes most time. Weight of passes was off and some led to counters. Sell.

    Iwobi’s wiggling arse gets him nowhere. Some players just don’t have a WC football brain and Iwobi looks a poster boy. Runs in a stupid looking way too. Very slow reacting to Leno’s parry and intercepting the cutback. ‘Cheaper’ squad player.

    Emery must have told Ramsey not to hold onto the ball. Played better that way. But still short of the quality we’d want.

    The less talked about the defence the better. Kolac is a shocking PL defender. Leno must improve though not at fault with the 2nd goal.

    Should still be able to get top 4.

  99. Micheal

    Emery on Holding this afternoon:

    “The doctors are looking at him and will communicate,” said Emery. “At the moment the first news is not good, but we need confirming it.”