How have we moved things forward?

by .

Oh man, it was totally an accident, I was wandering around the supermarket trying to find something that resembled healthy that could be cooked fast… and I accidentally bought something called Better Than Rice and a curry jackfruit pouch which is a vegan chicken substitute. I swear guys, this is NOT who I want to be…

Tasted pretty good though. Have to admit it. Also, I do feel smug because I’m pretty sure I just saved the planet with one meal? What did you eat? You fucking culinary terrorist.

Anyway, outside saving the world, I was thinking about the impact of Stan taking Arsenal private and Josh K telling us to all ‘be excited’ the other week.

Give it to him, he f*cking delivered hard. He even made Emery change his teeth, harsh, but that’s America people.

I wonder how they’re setting the club up financially now? Are they merging all their sports teams like some sort of mega content network? How is this summer working? How is Raul making the numbers continue to work? Or did everyone just get thrown off because Arsenal spent all season leaking they had no money to spend?

Everything the club is doing makes sense. They’ve invested in players before they’re out of our price range. They’ve taken a huge punt on someone that could be worth £150m in 2 seasons time. They’re trying to promote youth as a cost-saving measure. They’ve reorg’d around a serial winner.

From a business perspective, it would be a bad thing if we slinked into mediocrity. There’s no value in being shite in the world of democratised football content. This all makes total sense. But I feel uneasy, because Arsenal are finally doing things that make sense? What’s the catch?

I feel like one of those boys that went to Pleasure Island with Pinnochio. I’m out here, swigging citrus pale ale, smoking cigars, shooting pool with a puppet that has gender issues… but where’s the catch?

This just, you know, doesn’t feel very KSE.

Well, I guess that’s unfair. As we’ve constantly penned, Stan spends money, just not very well. The difference is KSE is now making good ‘soccer’ decisions. Maybe it took Josh to open his old man’s eyes to the utter corruption (legal) that was going on at the club. Everyone getting fat off over-generous pay packages, underserved long deals working in a no-pressure lifestyle. The opposite of an elite performance culture.

Now things have changed. There’s an urgency to the problems at hand. Let’s be more specific, there’s been an urgency in the last two weeks. This summer, if analysed in a debriefing, would still be classed as a bit of a mess.

I think the calmness from the fans has come from the realization that Raul seems to be a mafia-style killer in the world of football. We’ve not had someone ruthless before. Arsenal is on his terms.

The Nokia 3210 vibe of yesteryear is dead, we’re now dialling in on space phones. It looks great, we just need to see it move a little quicker because at the minute, we’re still fucked going into this season.

We’re still desperately under-resourced in defence. Jenkinson is in the squad for next year, Koscielny and Mustafi are still here and Nacho is now a captain and our first choice left-back.

Edu and Raul can pepper in as many exciting attacking players as they like, but reality will always bite in the Premier League if you don’t address the glaring realities. If you have a defence that collapses under pressure, you will be punished over and over again.

We are 7 days away from the Newcastle game. They are a terribly run club and they’ve let an elite manager slip away from them. They shouldn’t be a problem, but again, Emery and away form have not mixed well so far. I’ve read some people reverse engineer rationale for Pepe being so important because the club think our away form issue was a lack of pace going forward… could be… but that reads flimsy.

We’ll have to see what happens there.

This is a huge week for Raul. Does he pivot from Tierney after reading about his hip problems? Very worrying to read Adrian Clarke tweet that he had the same injury when he was young and it took a year to clear.

Who is the centre back? Raul is in Barca and we know they are desperate to move on Umtiti because… you know… he has a chronic knee problem. An outrageous talent and a World Cup winner, but no good to us if he’s taking 2 months off in December.

The Barca game today will give us some indication as to what to expect this season. La Liga for the Blaugrana starts on the 16th, so they’ll be fairly fit. Things we’ll need to be looking out for is who starts in defence and midfield. Is it going to be Xhaka and Mustafi again? If so, will Emery have done anything in preseason to address their glaring issues? Will Willock be a regular, adding more athleticism? How will Ozil be used? Will Ceballos be able to deal with the butchers in the league?

My big worry is preseason has looked pretty much exactly the same as last season. I also expect we’ll realise that most of the kids we’re purring over will not be features this season. Willock, Reiss and Martinelli are the big bets. I do like ESR, but he wasn’t exactly drowning in-game time at Leipzig.

Let’s see what today looks like… a 3pm kickoff for me for the first time in a while! I think London has to wait until November until they get their first one… sad times, fuck Europa.

See you in the comments! x

775 Responses to “How have we moved things forward?”

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  1. S Asoa

    Don’t know EHO is responsible for Gendouzi fixation for back passing like Elmeny. Far too often when better options available

  2. Cesc Appeal

    This game kind of sums up Arsenal all too often.

    Loads of effort, good work and then totally undermined by individual incompetence.

  3. Danny M.O

    Im sorry but that is all Leno. There is no reason for him to go for the ball. He should have stayed in his box.

    He may have shouted but as we all know you cant hear anything in the camp nou.

    The dynamic of the team has changed so much since saka and martinelli came on.

  4. karim

    No need for Leno to rush out of his cage like that to be fair.
    Still, AMN should have been more aware of the situation

  5. Marko

    I mean if you have legitimate error prone players in your defence that’s going to happen. Make no mistake he error prone. Not quite Mustafi or Xhaka levels yet but well on his way. He gets far too much leeway because he’s English

  6. Valentin

    AMN has the pace to recover most of his bad positioning, but Like I said before, he keep making stupid mistakes in possession.
    That’s why I suspect that Jenkinson will play a fair few games at right back until Bellerin is back.

  7. Ishola70

    Considering this isn’t Barca’s strongest team and sans Messi this 2nd half has been a bit too much one way traffic.

  8. MidwestGun

    Well yeah Leno didn’t help situation but AMN is just not a natural Right back.. you can’t put a back pass on frame if your not 100% sure.

    Anyhow… Kola and Matty G subs have been poor so far.

  9. Cesc Appeal

    Again, the difference in play because we have wingers even when they are Saka and Martinelli.

    Just shows.

  10. Ishola70

    Will Xhaka take the ball to the corner flag looking for pens like he did against Real Madrid lol

    Toblerone knob

  11. Cesc Appeal

    Saka looks a more conventional winger, take sit wide and crosses.

    Shame. What a moment for Martnelli that would have been.

  12. KAY Boss

    Who still rates AMN?
    guy is too passive to play rb. I think a competent rb who won’t settle for the bench should be signed. Bellerin ain’t better defensively either.

  13. izzo

    For the 1 millionth time AMN is not a right back. Play a fucking right back in that position. Jesus fucking christ!!! Not like he didn’t see Leno come out before he passed the ball . Brain farts like that is telling of a player that shouldn’t be on the pitch for 90 mins. This guy is too casual. FFS why do we keep the likes of these at the club. I’m not even going to mention Xhaka. He makes my blood boil along with Mhiki. We’re not going anywhere this season with this defense. I love the attack we brought in with the likes of Pepe, Saka, Nelson, and Martinelli but FFS just buy 2 fullbacks and a CB.

  14. Graham62

    AMN is far too apathetic in his approach to the game.

    Saw this on numerous occasions over the past season or two.

    Needs a kick up the backside from someone.

  15. Marc

    Midwest

    I thought the first rule of defending was don’t back pass on target.

    AMN get’s too much grief he’s not a full back = he might not be good enough but he hasn’t been judged in his natural position.

  16. Cesc Appeal

    Just how much better we look with width.

    The difference compared to last season where there were no full backs or wingers of any kind.

  17. MidwestGun

    Marc –

    Yeah it is pretty much., the first rule unless you have no choice and you are sure the Keeper is aware. Needs must sometimes. That was poor though..

  18. S Asoa

    Saka heads over shoulder above everyone else. Composed. If Spanish Waiter was a connaiseur coach would have gelled him with the team . Right now superb crosses but the striker not attuned to him

  19. S Asoa

    As of now Martinelli bit immature at the highest level. Lots of desire and trickery, but decision process has to improy. Has to know when to pass

  20. Mr Serge

    Karim Guen chases the ball too much like a ten year old he needs to develop more
    Hopefully Wilock gets his game time this season

  21. Radio Raheem

    Not watching but by the sounds of it AMN had himself a self-congratulatory spliff halftime. Standard AMN.

  22. Receding Hairline

    Karim you haven’t missed anything.. Guendouzi has fallen from grace here. Last season some wanted the team built around him, now he is the teachers pet blocking the academy players

  23. Ishola70

    Chambers was nearer to Suarez.

    Really no need to get hopes up regarding Chambers.

    Same piff paff defender

  24. CG

    The Clown loves losing late goals at The Nou Camp

    Loves it…
    The Original Specialist in Failure

    Once a Looser – always a Looser!

  25. chris

    Ah well, this doesn’t shatter the heart like another time it was Barcelona 2 Arsenal 1. Seen some positive moments this evening and will try to forget the horrendous! Now the real thing can begin, with hopefully at least one defensive addition to come before the end of the week.

  26. Batistuta

    Maitland Niles is shit, his best position or not, he’s maybe just as bad as Jenkinson….Plays so relaxed you’d think he’s won 4 world cups

  27. WengerEagle

    Defence is shite, we’ll concede 50 PL goals or thereabouts once again.

    Hopefully Pepe’s addition means that we’ll sneak 4th on merit on scoring more goals.

  28. Ishola70

    Well Messi didn’t need to come on.

    Only saw the second half and tbh that was disappointing and didn’t tell us a lot.

    Barca dominating play and Arsenal with a few rare counter attacks.

    That was it basically.

    What we already knew though is that AMN is really not up to the full task.

  29. Gazzap

    Chambers was the right position. It was mustafi that was unaware of suarez behind him. chambers was then able to get close to him whereas Mustafi was still nowhere yet Suarez was on his side.

  30. Doyindav

    Mustafi comes on and we concede. nothing new there.
    I thought guen played alright although I didn’t catch the first half.
    Looked like the only midfield player ready to receive the ball and spread ball.

  31. MidwestGun

    Subs pretty much screwed up stability … second half.. but it’s preseason… defensive liabilities still there..

    Willock looks very good though… like Nelson as well..

  32. Mr Serge

    We need a CB to partner sok chambers is decent back up holding needs to come back
    Buy a CB sell Mustafi then we have 4 decent CB

  33. Batistuta

    If Emery insists with this Mikhitaryan RW nonsense that he should be sacked immediately….. Nelson, Saka offer us much more.

    The manager has better options now to control the game, bad defenders or not.

  34. Nelson

    Obviously, there is no one commanding the defense once PapaSok is off. One of the CB has to mark Suarez. Instead, Suarez is standing between the two CBs.

  35. Cesc Appeal

    Great team performance in the main undermined by individual incompetence.

    Lots of positives from that. Far better than I expected us to be.

    Willock was great against top opposition, Nelson was good and mature, Saka looked great, Martinelli was great and that is so important because Arsenal with width is a world away from last season where we had none at all and had to use wingbacks.

    Willock, Nelson, Saka and Martinelli at a total cost of £6 Million and they look like they have real potential.

    I thought Ozil had a decent game, Chambers was decent, Dani Ceballos looked good.

    Maitland Niles was what he always is, good in places and then just scrappy, dumb and slack. He cost his team.

    Mustafi…nothing to say there.

    If we can get a LB and CB then we’re shaping up better than we have done squad wise in a long time.

  36. Ishola70

    Gazzap
    “Chambers was the right position”

    yeah right position but did fuck all.

    Sort of jumped like a fairy. That was his reaction.

    Chambers is a piff paff defender.

  37. Valentin

    I am willing to bet that despite the pre season games next Sunday AMN, Xhaka, Mhikitarian will start and stink the place out.

  38. vickingz

    Guen played fantastically well today, he was busy spraying passes at the back. What a player we have there..

  39. S Asoa

    Emery again will repeat has regressed. Last year his substitutions used to correct. This year jmaking things worse. The Idiot does not seem to have any judgement of his players

  40. Un na naai

    How management times did we lose the ball inour won third
    AMN, Guendouzi, ceballos, martinelli. What a joke.

    The goals we gave away were soft as dog shit. Both of them. Why was Leno rushing out to AMN? Why did AMN pass so wide of Leno and not react?

    What was Mustafi doing for the goal?

    Guendouzi flatters to deceive
    The defence handled everything really until Mustafi came on and AMN gave away the stupidest goal I’ve seen in years

  41. Un na naai

    Willock Saka and Nelson looked good though. More from them please
    Now get some defenders in before 5pm Friday
    We can’t be bringing Mustafi in every again

  42. Spanishdave

    If Emery and Raul cannot see how poor Mustafi has become then they need to move on as well.
    We are a mess at the back, nothing has been addressed.

  43. Brooklyn

    2nd goal all on Chambers….Went away from Suarez before the ball was played, realised his mistake and was late to attack ball….What a numpty just jumping and backing away

  44. karim

    vickingz

    Not that easy at the Camp nou mate.
    Look at the panic scenes in our own box at the end of the game.

    I never said he had a great game anyway.
    .

  45. KAY Boss

    Some of you are just slating Mustafi because he has a reputation for errors but that goal is Chambers fault.

  46. Ishola70

    Alright moaning about the defence but where was the competing in midfield 2nd half.

    Just totally dropped off and let Barca dominate and this wasn’t their strongest side by any stretch.

    Mind you Xhaka has to drop off deep. Even bigger nightmare pressing higher up.

  47. Brooklyn

    How is that second goal mistake of Mustafi? Come on guys Mustafi is shit at least 2-3 times a game but that one was not his fault…All on Chambers

  48. Un na naai

    Why play ozil on right and Mkhitaryan on left in second half? Makes no sense? They are both patently unsuited to those roles.
    Why not just bring martinelli and Saka straight on?
    I’d have left willock in the Middle too. He was our only midfielder who seemed to get his foot on the ball or who could defend

  49. chris

    Saka looked bright and I like the directness of Martinelli. Nelson had a good game overall. Pepe still to come in. A real positive appears to be that we have the width we have been craving for, in terms of personnel, and in play in glimpses. Future is bright and loaded there.

  50. CG

    Arsenal 1 Lyon 0 (h/t)
    Arsenal 1 Lyon 2 ( f/t)

    7 days later…..

    Barcelona 0 Arsenal 1( h/t)
    Barcelona 2 Arsenal 1(f/t)

    The Bad News:

    Worst manager bar none in the Prem.
    Worst Teck Deck in the Prem
    Worst Dof in the Prem
    Worst owners in the Prem

    The Good News:

    Best and loyal fans in the Prem
    And off course Best soccer Blog…Le Grove!

  51. MidwestGun

    Mustafi came in to captain the defense… the ball was played between him and Chambers.. Chambers wasn’t quick enough to react but Mustafi was marking empty space… that’s why it’s on him.

  52. Un na naai

    Chris

    We need defenders. Short and simple
    And emery needs to get his head straight
    A win at the nou camp would have done us wonders and we were so close
    Barca didn’t really trouble us until he fucked the midfield and then brings on Mustafi
    Why???? 5 mins left. 1-1. Nou camp. Idiot

  53. Un na naai

    Mustafi was ball watching
    Had no idea Suarez had run in behind him. He’s just not aware of his surroundings. Only focuses on what’s in front of him.

  54. izzo

    Chambers should be nowhere near starting 11 if we’re not selling him he can take elneny’s place. I will be very disappointed if we don’t at least bring in a starting CB before the window closes.

  55. Redtruth

    Defence jittery because their is no outlet from midfield. A strong midfield controls the game thus easing the pressure on defence. This is basic football principle which some clowns on here can’t seem to grasp.

  56. Ishola70

    bullshit midwest

    chambers has to do better.

    you are only focusing on mustafi because you don’t want to admit that Arsenal have two shit defenders in both mustafi and chambers rather than just the one.

  57. Brooklyn

    Midwest,
    That was Zonal Marking, Player can’t glue to opposition playing on shoulder while trying offside trap….otherwise opposition will pull one defender with him and fuck up offside line…..Mustafi needed to cover near side and Chambers his rear from the area of pitch Roberto played the ball…..Ball was on Mustafi’s rear side so it was Chambers ball all day long….

  58. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Hand on heart.
    We kept our shape in defence , you could se3 work been done,

    Amn is a cm .

    Chambers played well imo, one or two scary moments, but you get that,.

    Cjsmbers n papa n rob

    Only way forward
    With what we got

  59. Chitom

    CGAugust 4, 2019 21:03:42
    The Clown loves losing late goals at The Nou Camp Loves it…
    The Original Specialist in Failure Once a Looser – always a Looser!
    ————————

    Ha , ha, You were on pins and needles there towards the end praying for that Barca goal weren’t you.
    Good for you lol.

    So true though, Emery is such a looser for allowing Wenger era players prove themselves in a meaningless preseason game…….only to confirm they aren’t good enough, not nearly.

  60. MidwestGun

    Ishola-

    I just literally said they both aren’t good.. Mustafi has to shoulder blame there.. I bet if he was interviewed he would say he was at fault as well. Zonal marking doesn’t mean you ignore runner when you have nobody to mark.

  61. Valentin

    I would say the responsibility of the second goal is shared.

    I don’t know if Emery took the decision to change formation to a 4-4-1-1 and drop deeper or if the players unconsciously dropped deeper.
    Also once Nelson and Willock got substituted, our midfield was a shamble. Too passive and reactive defensively (that is understandable for Martinelli, Caballos, Saka but still disappointing). Nobody took control and organised how to put pressure on Barcelona.

    Oppositions should not have the time to look around, see an opening and make a floated passe from within our half without being challenged.

    Kolasinac was too far out to be of any help in the middle of the defense.

    Our CBs do not communicate and when Sokratis left, Chambers was unsure if he or Mustafi were to play on the left side of the Defense. He hesitated and left Suarez go.

  62. chris

    Un

    I obviously agree completely about the defence, the world and it’s dog knows we need reinforcements there. I hope Raul has another ace up his sleeve.

    I’m just so happy to see at last the quality of width we have waiting in the wings and in the now, Nelson and Pepe to feature immediately and Saka and Martinelli to come.

    The performance of Willock another huge positive. As ha been said, think he is ready to go full time!

  63. Chika

    Iwobi should be ready for some bench warming duties. Apart from the big boys, Martinelli, Nelson and Saka are raring to go!