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. Un na naai

    100% agree with Midwest, RSPCA and Nelson
    Chambers was fine all game bar one scary moment until Mustafi comes in. He cannot get another minute in an arsenal shirt

    He was ball watching instead of being aware of the run behind.

    Not sure guendouzi was all that tonight either. Flatters to deceive
    Willock was the main man tonight
    AMN not a right back
    We shouldn’t be in a position where we play a 21 yo rookie midfielder at right back for nearly a year

  2. Danish Gooner

    We Will have to get used to inept defense untill they are all replaced bur remember Bellerin,Saliba Holding and Tierney should be the future not one of Them played today.Chambers,mustafi and the lot are sub standard players ,we are shifting Them as we go along.We have Got to be patient here guys.

  3. HighburyLegend

    “Mustafi was ball watching”
    And so ?? Nothing new here, but the fact that he keeps Emery’s trust is a real concern.

  4. Un na naai

    I’ve been banging the drum for willock since midway through last season. Glad he’s coming good
    If we play the rest in their proper positions and give them experiences heads and quality coaching then I’m really hopeful this lot will exceed shit being picked above them
    Mkhitaryan on left wing of a 4 man mf??
    Ozil on the right?

    Do me a favour

  5. Valentin

    I don’t see what Guendouzi bring to the team.
    His forward passing has regressed since his introduction last year. He still get caught on the ball way too much to be safe as a deep laying midfielder. His defending off the ball is not great either. Time and time you see him pointing to a teammate to follow a runner while letting his own runner go free.

    Defensively and offensively Joe Willock is so far ahead it would be criminal to play him ahead of our academy graduate.

  6. Ishola70

    Redtruth
    “Xhaka is hogwash with zero leadership qualities.
    I personally feel offended when he wears the Arsenal shirt.”

    He’s fucking captain.

    Xhaka FC lol

    Why don’t fans start booing Xhaka like they did Mustafi.

    It’s embarrassing having him in the side.

  7. Gazzap

    Put simply if Mustafi is in the defence we concede lots of goals. He just shouldn’t be anywhere near the team. We look great going forward but not even championship level at the back.

  8. Marko

    Chambers is shite but he wasn’t responsible for that second goal. He was okay all game it was AMN and then Mustafi being caught out of position who cost us the goals.

    No surprising at all but this is why we needed to overhaul the defence. You can have your team set up and drilled all you want but as long as you have braindead idiots in defence you are bound to be let down

  9. Ishola70

    Redtruth
    “Chambers made errors throughout the game. Poor touch and flimsy tackles dogged his game today.”

    Piff Paff.

  10. vickingz

    I’ve been saying it and i’m saying it again, emery is the biggest enemy, the architect of arsenal’s misfortunes by constantly changing formation to prove whatever nonsense he thinks he has to prove. Well, one of his foot soldiers told us we have to be unpredictable. Why complicate things? Even a le-grove member knows how to arrange our team better than emery. As bad as our defenders are, give them to fat sam and you’ll be surprised they can still be better than what they are under emery. Anyways, season starts for us next week, with arsenal’s unpredictable coach, arsenal is winning epl this season. UNPREDICTABLE ARSENAL.

  11. Valentin

    I genuinely still don’t know what Emery is trying to learn or teach his player by playing the second half in a 4-4-1-1 with Özil and Mhikitarian as wingers, Xhaka and Guendouzi as CM, Willock as #10 and Aubameyang as lone striker.
    No pace on the wings, soft center, isolated CF.

    As soon as proper winger with pace were introduced with Saka and Martinelli, we again were a threat going forward.

  12. Trask

    The fact that Mustafi and Chambers are still at Arsenal is an absolute travesty. Chambers is an average player at best and we all know what Mustafi is.

    Barring, a last ditch trolley dash, the new guys have failed in that regard. That defense should have been gutted this summer. Shame really

  13. Marko

    Again now we’re hearing about how it’s not AMN fault and he’s being played out of position. I swear this fanbase. Lad is shite no matter the position

  14. izzo

    Don’t think I can watch The Arsenal this season if Xhaka, Mikhi, AMN and Mustafi are starting game after game. What’s the point watching Auba and Pepe scoring only to lose the ball in midfield/defense and conceding time and time again on the other end. I’d like to enjoy good health and don’t need any unnecessary high blood pressure. See you guys Thursday!

  15. vickingz

    How dare people blame xhaka? He’s good enough to play for arsenal, same as elnhen, mustafi and co. Zhaka will turn out to be arsenal’s best captain ever. Well, let’s hope our captaincy curse is still ongoing which means zhaka won’t be here next season.

  16. Sid

    Decent enough night.

    The 1st half was especially good, and with the introduction of the Barca stars in the second it was no surprise we saw much less of the ball.

    1. Xhaka is a utter liability, which international player pulls a shirt in the opposing half? His brain dead moments will cost us again, hopefully with cabellos giving a good account of himself he will take xhaka’s place. Willock looks the real deal, every game, he seems to be improving and would be very realistic option during the season.

    2. Mikki was off pace, as is the standard for him now a days, based on the presason, thankfully Pepe is on hand to add impetus there. All 3 of Nelson, Saka and Martenelli looked better than Mikki.

    3. I think it is safe to say, Mustafi has lost Emery’s last bit of confidence, and we will start the season with Chambers and Papa. Great news that holding has already played 60 mins for U23 and still hoping for a new CB to join us.

  17. Un na naai

    Val

    I agree. He’s still very young though and shows some lovely touches
    He just doesn’t seem to do anything big. He doesn’t have a particular skill set

    Why is Guendouzi good at? What’s his game?

  18. Paulinho

    Ceballos showed some lovely touches when I came on. He did Busquets like a kipper with some lovely skill as well.

    Martinelli looks dynamic and hungry.

    Aside from that the usual mish-mash. We’ve got so many players but absolutely no pattern of play at all. Just making it up as we go along.

    Ceballos and Pepe can hopefully help bind it all together in the coming months. Ceballos seems to have that ability to release the inhibitions of those around him, in the same way Fabregas and Hleb used to. We need that technical leader to elevate the technical game of others.

  19. Ishola70

    izzo
    “Don’t think I can watch The Arsenal this season if Xhaka, Mikhi, AMN and Mustafi are starting game after game.”

    All about Pepe innit.

    First to six then run in for tea and toast. Jumpers for goalposts.

    Wenger will be proud.

  20. Chika

    It’s going to be really unfortunate if our horrible defence continue to undo whatever good stuff we do offensively.

  21. Valentin

    RSPC,

    I genuinely don’t understand that formation with that personnel.
    Özil and Mhikitarian are not suddenly become speed merchants.
    He surely must see that we cannot play that high line without an hard, aggressive midfield. The combination Guendouzi and Xhaka is as soft as they exist.
    He must have a reason.

  22. vickingz

    I genuinely still don’t know what Emery is trying to learn or teach his player by playing the second half in a 4-4-1-1 with Özil and Mhikitarian as wingers, Xhaka and Guendouzi as CM, Willock as #10 and Aubameyang as lone striker.
    No pace on the wings, soft center, isolated CF.As soon as proper winger with pace were introduced with Saka and Martinelli, we again were a threat going forward.

    He was trying to be unpredictable. Emery is being unpredictable as pep guardiola. Isn’t that a good news?

  23. Un na naai

    Marko

    AMN have the goal away and was rightly criticized

    Guendouzi did nothing and is rightly criticized

    Not sure your point is valid

  24. Un na naai

    Emery’s changes in the second half put the team under needless pressure and back fired

    Yes AMN gave away the equaliser but emery’s tinkering was needless and counter productive
    Need to get shot of this dick head

  25. vickingz

    Why is Guendouzi good at? What’s his game?

    Good at running headlessly and spraying passes at the back. Even an ant, he can’t tackle. Smh. Watch him holding his waist like someone suffering from chronic pile

  26. Paulinho

    Guendouzi should concentrate on doing what he did tonight – deep-lying circulator that has good feel for when to hold the ball and when to release it. He played well in that limited scope for what he can do.

    It’s when he tries to go forward and join the attack that he disintegrates. Willock has more all-round potential but I have a big doubts about his substance in any area. He deserves to be given a chance though to see whether he sinks or swims.

  27. Marko

    Guendouzi since he’s joined has probably cost us one maybe two goals he’s still only 20. AMN has been at fault for far more goals and continues to cost us goals and people have offered up he’s being played out of position as an excuse. Don’t worry about Guendouzi he’s the least of our problems. Could literally sell him in any window for a major profit he’s that rated. AMN will be sold for a wank stained rag in a year or two to a championship side he’s that bad

  28. Chitom

    What is AMN’s best position then?
    I hope posters don’t suggest his skill set is better suited to a midfield role when his close ball control is none existent and he constantly switches off.

  29. Paulinho

    AMN is just a chronic space cadet mentally.

    That mistake wasn’t even uncharacteristic. It totally summed up what always seems to be on the verge of doing.

  30. Freddie Ljungberg

    Don

    AMN nearly gave away another goal along with the one he scored for them, he was also at fault for 2 or 3 of the goals against Chelsea in the europa final.
    He always seems to have at least 1 or 2 of those moments every game, just like Xhaka and Mustafi.

    Unfortunately our other option there atm is Jenks.

    Guen wasn’t great by any means but he kept the ball moving and was showing for passes, kept it tidy. Not sure what else he was supposed to do against a Barca that was starting to dominate before he came on. He’s not the kind of player that will dominate a midfield at 19 but he’s better than some of the alternatives and he’s got the potential to become really good.

    I hope he doesn’t have to play as many games as last season and that Willock gets a share of his and Xhakas minutes.

  31. Ishola70

    A Xhaka-Guendouzi midfield is very, very worrying.

    Very worrying.

    How worrying? Very.

    This Ceballos will have to have a lot about him to improve this midfield.

  32. HighburyLegend

    “I think it is safe to say, Mustafi has lost Emery’s last bit of confidence”
    I really hope you’re right on this point.

  33. Marko

    Yes AMN gave away the equaliser but emery’s tinkering was needless and counter productive
    Need to get shot of this dick head

    Ah yes not an excuse but rightly criticized was Ainsley. So far we’ve heard he’s been played out of position and now it’s Emery’s tinkering. Brilliant. I saw that thick fuck trying to trap a ball inside the box and Barcelona nearly scored minutes before the own goal. He’s calamitous

  34. Un na naai

    Don’t worry about Guendouzi he’s the least of our problems.

    Marko

    Who said I’m worried? I’ve got bigger things in life to “worry” me than Guendouzi. Merely pointing out the ineptitude of his performances

    AMN May make mistakes but he scores and creates and plays out of trouble well most of the time
    Out Guendouzi at rb for 30 games
    See how he gets on.

  35. Un na naai

    Marko

    So you think Mkhitaryan on the left and oZil on the right was a logical formation change???

    Interesting…….

  36. vickingz

    I’ve criticized AMN enough and nothing he does now surprises me. His body language is his first problem which is a product of his mind. Does he think he’s some world class player for attempting the shits he’s always attempting?. This ain’t his first time attempting “blind passes”. He just played like he knew where leno was, he wasn’t under any pressure to play to the GK, even chambers was seen telling him to cool down. You can tell me AMN ain’t good enough for arsenal as a RB and I will agree because he’s been given enough time to show himself and he’s been found wanting.

  37. Ishola70

    Redtruth
    ”I’d improve the midfield let alone Ceballos.”

    Yeah but to what levels. Shit to semi-shit?

    It won’t do. It just won’t do.

  38. Redtruth

    Un nan naai
    “Who said I’m worried? I’ve got bigger things in life to “worry” me than Guendouzi.”

    Apply cream.3 times daily to the infected area should clean up the mess.

  39. Valentin

    At U21, AMN used to a rampaging right winger.
    He went to Ipswich and he was their best player creating lot of chance. His mom then left an insulting voice message and he was sidelined.
    When he came back, Wenger started to use him as a jack of all trades.
    I don’t know why he got in his mind that he is a central midfielder. He has some of the attributes to shine there, but he will need to change his approach. More aggression, more concentration

    However a right back he is not.

  40. Un na naai

    Freddie

    I’m simply asking what is he good at? What is his game? What doe he do? Keeping it tidy isn’t sufficient. He offers nothing offensively or defensively. The odd neat pass from the centre circle is less than we get from xakha.

    As it stands he’s 4th choice at best. We ya ent tried AMN in cmf yet.
    Maybe we could switch Guendouzi to right back and see how he gets on.

  41. Marko

    So you think Mkhitaryan on the left and oZil on the right was a logical formation change???

    What does that have to do with AMN playing like a braindead moron again? The shape of the back 4 didn’t change what does it matter what happens further up the pitch. He went from Mhiki in front of him to Ozil what’s the difference. Can’t keep passing the buck around for the useless cunt you wouldn’t do it for Xhaka or Mustafi would you

  42. Un na naai

    “Apply cream.3 times daily to the infected area should clean up the mess.”

    RT
    Good one. I’ll give you that. Old hand I take it?

  43. Samesong

    Apply cream.3 times daily to the infected area should clean up the mess.

    Blog of lube cream.

    You lot don’t you see having one good half is bullshit. Need to dominate games.

  44. Un na naai

    Marko because you’re insinuating that by pointing out the fucking nonsensical approach to the second half that I’m trying to absolve AMN of his responsibility in giving away their first goal.

    So if you think that emery did not invite unde pressie with his dog shit tactical changes then please say so or admit that this is the case and that once again he gets it wrong.

    And he’s not useless. The kid made a mistake. Playing out of position.

    I ask you again, how do you think Guendouzi would do at right back? How about martinelli? Pepe?

    He’s not a fucking right back.

    But yes. 100% brain dead at times. Not disagreeing
    Shame as he was our best player in the first half
    He tries to be too clever around our own box

  45. Paulinho

    “His mom then left an insulting voice message and he was sidelined.”

    I thought his Mum left a message because he dropped. So his form had already dipped and he’s been binned before she made that fateful call.

  46. Marko

    And he’s not useless. The kid made a mistake. Playing out of position.I ask you again, how do you think Guendouzi would do at right back? How about martinelli? Pepe?

    Eh no he’s useless. Again it’s passing the buck and now it’s about how others would do at RB? What does that have to do with him being a walking disaster. If RB/RWB isn’t his position what is? CM? Nope still shite? RW? Don’t be absurd.

  47. Batistuta

    Maitland Niles is absolute shit, doesn’t matter where you play him.

    The less said about Mikhitaryan the better

    Again, going into the season with that same back line will undo every other thing that has been done this summer, absolute travesty the level of our defence for how many seasons now

  48. Valentin

    Paulinho,

    Initially Ipswich thought that Arsenal would be willing to sell AMN. However once he got successful Arsenal changed their mind. Understandably Ipswich then decided to prioritise their own players. So after a small injury AMN did not return straight in the starting lineup.
    His mom as usual went berserk and left a colourful message to our favourite Yorkshire Irish manager.
    That was pretty much the end of AMN career at Ipswich.

  49. Ishola70

    Batistuta

    “absolute travesty the level of our defence for how many seasons now”

    Football values. Wenger values.

    We are here to entertain.

  50. Un na naai

    Marko

    It’s a perfectly valid question. How would Guendouzi do at right back?

    I’ve already said he’s brain dead at times so why would you want someone like that who switches off playing in defense? Next to Mustafi Afro over 6 months?

    He’s had 6 moths of first team football but out of position in one of the most calamitous defences we’ve ever seen. And we are arsenal fans

    Anyway
    I know you’re not one for changing your mind so this is futile.

    Point is that amn actually plays well going forward
    Guendouzi does not. He offers nothing at this stage as an arsenal midfielder

  51. Valentin

    Koscielny is on his way to France this summer or stuck in the U21 reserve until January.
    Chambers is just a replacement for Koscielny.
    Mavrapanos is made of balsa and again injured.
    Holding may come back be like a new signing.
    Bellerin is injured until September.
    Monreal is one year older.
    Kolasinac is still not a left back.
    So no change to our defense.
    Not true, we got rid of the calamitous Lichsteiner.
    Bar a miracle, the only addition to the defense will be Tierney.

  52. karim

    #MustardiOut
    #IwillbooMustardi

    From your living-room ?
    You’re french. Booing is common in France.
    So don’t act like you’re going against the grain

  53. Marko

    Point is that amn actually plays well going forward
    Guendouzi does not. He offers nothing at this stage as an arsenal midfielder

    Guendouzi is better than AMN. He can do things that AMN can’t and there’s every indication that he’s capable of getting better and finding a place in this team in the future. AMN won’t. Literally the only position he’s capable of getting a look in he’s appalling in. Shocking player

  54. Un na naai

    Marko

    Right. And willow last year? Wasn’t getting a look in at any position but in one ore season he’s surpassed Guendouzi

    Anyway, who cares
    Getting rid of AMN isn’t going to make emery suddenly learn how to start managing arsenal
    Tonight is just another sorry episode in the Unai reign of arsenal.

  55. Elmo

    Was Kyle Walker wearing a wig or using spray on hair in recent seasons? Always looked like the lad had a full, thick barnet, yet just seen on MOTD that he’s shaved head and he looks like he’s in the latter stages of male pattern hairloss.

  56. CG

    Why are folk so dense…

    Did they not observe the proper coaches in action earlier.?( klopp v pep)

    How they organize their teams?
    How motivated their players are!
    How they play to their players strengths…
    Etc!

    You could give The Clown £100 billion to spend on players- and it still would not make a shred of difference

    Emery will always let you down

    I know it.
    You know it.
    In fact everybody knows it except the Spiv and Vinny.

    Season from Hell up and Running.

  57. Marko

    Tonight is just another sorry episode in the Unai reign of arsenal.

    Discussion is how bad AMN is but somehow it turns into something about the manager. Buck being passed again.

  58. Un na naai

    Marko

    Yes. That’s right. Remember two years ago when the manager was accountable? No? Short memory
    We are 1-0 and outplaying Barca
    He changes everything at half time
    Stupidly
    We lose

    Simple, Really

  59. CG

    Arsenal 0 Man City 2

    Opening game of last season

    The clown plays AMN at left back .
    AMN comes off injured.

    12 months later

    AMN is still playing at right back.

    Not his position
    Not his problem
    Not his fault.

    Clowns Fault 100%.

    AMN is a central midfielder
    And him and Willock could be dynamite together….but not with this idiot in charge.

    Play people in position?
    He cant even name a bloody Captain.
    How many did we have tonight?

  60. Marko

    We are 1-0 and outplaying Barca
    He changes everything at half time

    Didn’t we make like two changes at halftime? Are we blaming the inclusion of Kolasinac at LB for AMN brain fart?

  61. Un na naai

    Marko

    We made two subs
    Not two changes

    We reverted to 4411 with Mkhitaryan left and Ozil right of a 4 man midfield containing xakha and Guendouzi

  62. G8

    It was the grest AW who first played AMN as emergency left back ,he did reasonably well there, then he was used as emergency right back, and midfielder, couldnt make any position his own..
    Bellend was a back up right back , got his chance and made it his own, still has issues but he is a world class compared to AMN

  63. Marko

    We reverted to 4411 with Mkhitaryan left and Ozil right of a 4 man midfield containing xakha and Guendouzi

    Says you. Again none of that absolves AMN for being so dumb.

  64. Cesc Appeal

    The level of negativity here seems really out of place. Some of the things being focused on are questionable.

    Way more positives than negatives out of that.

    The only negative to take away really is the defence let us down badly, 2 individual errors…but that isn’t anything we didn’t know before the game.

    I finished that game feeling really quite positive, Pepe to come, Lacazette to come, Torreira only got a little amount of time at the end, the youngsters playing well, the industry and good tactics in the first half really shielded the defence.

    I also think we’ve still got a LB and CB to come as well.

    We played a very strong Barcelona side at the Nou Camp and we were missing the majority of what will be our forward line and we were missing our starting CDM for the majority of the game.

    The negativity is really over the top.

  65. Left testicle

    The real negative for me is that the same old faces making the same mistakes. Miki kept giving the ball away and AMN still to laxidasical. The positives for me were Cabello and da toot. Ozil didn’t do to bad but that won’t translate to a cold, wet Wednesday OP north.

  66. Cesc Appeal

    I really don’t think we will have to put up with the ones who make mistakes constantly anymore though, not for much longer anyway.

    Mustafi it seems quite clear they club want rid of.

    Maitland Niles will not be starting as soon as Bellerin is fit, maybe even before that.

    Mkhitaryan is going to see his playtime reduced significantly, I think. He doesn’t get in the forward line anymore and even if Emery looks to someone else other than the obvious 3 there are young players in Nelson, Saka and Martinelli who are more than making a claim.

    Xhaka as well, even though Emery seems to like him, you’ve got Torreira to come back, Willock has really looked good in pre-season, you’ve got Guendouzi as well and Dani Ceballos.

    I cut Emery a lot of slack last year because the squad Wenger left was a total mess. But one of the basic requirements for me this year is that Emery punishes mistakes, laziness, scrappy play etc with being dropped.

  67. Cesc Appeal

    LeMassiveCoq

    Yeah we really need a LB and a CB.

    If anything is going to happen it will move along at pace now.

  68. MidwestGun

    Cesc-
    Agreed it seems too negative.. Were definitely some positives to take out of that..
    You know how it is though… it’s easier sometimes to define negative things especially when we lose.

    Also we didn’t see Pepe and missing some other players.. so .. I don’t feel like the world is ending .. I just want to see some defensive additions because I feel like we are very close to being a much better team. Barca is a much deeper team then us .. that much is clear. I don’t blame Emery for today or at least very little and in reality its a preseason match. Not much he can do personally about AMN’s mistake and the other ones. You have to give squad players time in preseason. . I do think he trusts players he should not though at times. But as you said maybe the reality will be much different as the season goes on… I hope.

  69. Leedsgunner

    Where are all the “Be careful what you wish for…” crowd now?

    Strangely quiet…

    Pepe would have never happened under the old regime… because Wenger hated fighting other clubs for targets. He thought having to convince targets was beneath him. Pepe would have been another entry in the “I tried to sign” book of transfer incompetence.

    Thank goodness we don’t have to deal with their infuriating mistakes and doublespeak any more.

  70. Cesc Appeal

    MidWest

    One of the most encouraging things for me was how much better we looked with a winger.

    Even when it was inexperienced players like Nelson, Saka and Martinelli. Just so much different to when its Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Iwobi etc.

    You add some actual full backs to that and we look a lot better.

    I want to see a LB and CB but I think with the CB the club doesn’t want to spend on an average sort of purchase which the kind of money we can spend will get you unless you scout very well. That means Arsenal need to work out a good loan deal or a good installment plan for a great CB.

    Also interesting that Edu was there to watch Holding with the U23s.

  71. Marko

    Also interesting that Edu was there to watch Holding with the U23s.

    I thought that was classy. Guy has got stuck in since day one and put in some work already. He’s everywhere

  72. MidwestGun

    Cesc-
    Yep… Willock, Nelson, Saka, Martinelli .. all a little better then I knew. Saying that over the course of the whole preseason which I actually saw this year due to it being partially over here.

    Think Willock may make a big contribution this season.. the rest probably just cameo’s but I feel like we are moving away from the everyone needs to be a CAM situation we had under Wenger so that’s encouraging to me.

    Off topic but, I do find it amusing all my Chelski supporting friends are bitching about Giroud as their only real striker now, too.. Some sort of Karma there somewhere. 😀

    Auba’s strike today.. was class as well.. watched it again.

  73. Valentin

    Hope is not a strategy.

    Definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over but expecting a different outcome.

    I am willing to bet that against Newcastle and then later in the campaign the same failing players will be used again: Xhaka, Mhikitarian, Mustafi.

  74. Valentin

    Ajax’s Donny Van de Beek is in negotiation to go to Real Madrid. Zidane really does not fancy Ceballos. At least not as an attacking midfielder.

  75. Cesc Appeal

    MidWest

    A lot more balance with the squad compared to the shambles left behind and that will be improved further with the addition of a LB.

    A midfield 3 of Dani Ceballos, Torreira, Willock could be interesting and provide a lot more balance and work rate than anything we saw last year. Added to that an actual winger in Pepe and then actual full backs.

    Interested to see what happens this week in terms of signings.

    Chelsea fans are going to know what it was like for Arsenal fans to have Giroud as a main ST for years. Could be important for 4th as well, we know Giroud is decent but he’s not someone who is going to carry that team, is Pulisic either?

  76. MidwestGun

    Cesc-
    Pulisic can’t carry Chelsea like Hazard did… But he is very good and in form right now. But he is not the goal scorer Hazard is this early in his career.. Also , he tends to get injured more then I would want. His tech skills are crazy good though.. fun to watch.

    Val-

    If you criteria for the bet is Xhaka isn’t going to ever play clearly that isn’t gonna happen.. I do believe Miki could get phased out once Pepe starts playing though.. and Mustafi seems to have fallen to second string in preseason , anyhow. But as you know I call Ozil/Miki, Xhaka and Mustafi the axis of evil.. so I’.m not a fan.. But if that’s your stick to beat Emery with every match you might as well break it out now. Clearly Xhaka is in favor.

  77. fsaf

    MidwestGun: “Also , he tends to get injured more then I would want.”

    I would not have a problem with him getting injured often tbh.

  78. MidwestGun

    Lol Fsaf… Yeah I know.. Once he joined Chelsea he was basically dead to me.. Unfortunate because he is probably the best US player in a long long time.

  79. Valentin

    MidwestGun,

    The reason for my pessimism is the combination of lack of change in personnel and tactic.

    Xhaka will play. Most of the youngsters we have seen in pre-season will be given token game time. (Nelson and Nkethia may be given time against Newcastle if Lacazette has not recovered by Sunday). Instead of getting a dominant CB ready for the new season, we will have to hope that Holding has fully recovered and is as good as we remembered.

    The same tactic of two central midfield players against three will be used to alledgedly protect a high line of defense despite not having defenders blessed with pace nor aggressive midfield to stop long ball over the top.

  80. MidwestGun

    Val-
    Yep… I agree. Willock has gotten a lot of time though.. that’s encouraging. And I don’t know that we can fix all our problems in one transfer window in regards personnel although we almost have to make defensive additions especially given Kos. isn’t going to come back.
    I’m not sure formation can fix our issues. but would prefer we stick to 4 at the back.

    My personal prediction is Edu makes a change at the end of the season In regards to Emery. but we will have to see.

  81. China1

    AMN isn’t going to have a career at a top 6 club considering how disinterested he is in playing

    He plays like one of those kids at lunch time who doesn’t really like football but there’s nothing else to do and all his mates play, so he’s like whatever then I’ll play

  82. Nelson

    I find that it is more urgent to get a CB than a LB. We saw today that Reiss Nelson has the motor to track back and also support the attack. He could cover up a lot othe weakness of our two LBs. On the other hand, once Suarez came in, Chambers was totally out-classed. He was shown up even before the 2nd goal. I can imagine that he’ll have a lot of problem when we play against a strong striker.

  83. fsaf

    AMN is annoying me extremely much. Never seen a footballer look so spacey. He’s having trouble concentrating for more than couple of minutes at a time. It sucks cause in general he has a lot of the attributes needed to do well in the EPL. But it seems like it’s his persona and he will never change that.

    Re Ceballos, with all the talent in front of him – Laca, Auba, Pepe; I’m not too bothered he’s not a natural goalscorer. Plus he’s young, has a lot of other strong aspects in his game. Cesc had scored 15 goals in the EPL in his first 5 seasons for us. He exploded in his 6th EPL season scoring 15 times! Maybe Ceballos will repeat that feat. Bottom line is that we didn’t even buy him. Most probably he won’t be with us for season 2020/21. I’m optimistic though. I think he’ll be a starter for us within a month of playtime.

  84. fsaf

    Chambers is that bad, that 33 yo Koscielny is surely better than him. If it wasn’t for the problems that Kos created, we should have sold Callum and keep Kos as a cover. Now we got done by Kos, we are stuck with Chambers for year (hopefully) until Saliba comes. I expect us to sell Kos and get a temporary solution until next season when we should say bye to Sokratis and Chambers and maybe go for a super good CB. Really important season for Holding and Mavropanos though. I hope they do well for us. We could save a hundred million if they form a good partnership.

  85. Nelson

    I don’t know why Emery wanted to try out Guen as a DM. That’s a No No. Guen’s weakness is his defense. Defensively, all our available midfielders are stronger than him.

  86. Leedsgunner

    Before everyone and his dog write off AMN, it should be noted that his strongest position is DM not RB/RWB. If we played him there regularly he would present a much better account of himself.

    Having said that his own goal tonight was caused by his own stupidity. Playing out of position or not, he shouldn’t have been so so idiotic.

    Still better tonight than next week when it really matters!!!

  87. Leedsgunner

    If Lacazette is not a 100% fit don’t let him play against Newcastle.

    It’s a long season and we need to have the long term view… if we play him and he comes off crocked for 2 or 3 months it will not be worth it.

    Give Eddie his slot and let’s see what he can do. He’s been excellent in the pre season and he’ll be eager to make the step up. Frankly after the Barca performance I would give Mkhitaryan’s place to Saka and W.illock should be given a chance too.

  88. Nelson

    AMN has good ball technique and very good recovering speed. He somehow has this swagger that is bad for a defender. I don’t know whether he can cut this out.

  89. Nelson

    I thought Emery spends a lot of time on video analysts. Offensively, he should count how many times Micki gave the ball away. Defensively, Micki was just a spectator.

  90. China1

    I don’t think AMN changing position is the biggest problem, it’s his lack of care

    If he plays DM he will be making the same careless mistakes leading to exposing our already suspect CBs, so I don’t think putting him in his preferred position will stop him being annoying and a liability

    In a way that own goal could be good for him. His face after showed emotion for the first time since he started playing regularly a whole year ago. Perhaps the penny will finally drop that he can’t just go through the motions at arsenal or he’ll end up with these dumbass moments and embarrassment in front of the footballing world again

  91. Receding Hairline

    AMN did well as a winger at Ipswich… Yea freaking Ipswich. It’s Emery holding him back alright, not his lackadaisical style of play like he is some superstar. Funny some have turned on him, isn’t he one of our own anymore??

    Some dense fcuk using a comment on Pep’s unpredictability to hammer a silly point after a preseason game, guys obsessed with me. Oga I no get your time, I have met your type in countless bars during games, all mouth no substance. Pfft

    Mustafi needs to move on for his own good, he is under a microscope now and it will get toxic quickly.

  92. Guns of SF

    Didn’t see the game but reading that mikki was shit

    I really wonder about him this season
    Would sell in heartbeat now

  93. Un na naai

    AMN was our best performer in a string first half against Barca at the nou camp

    That should tell that the boy has qualities.
    Concentration can be improved upon and coached

    Yes he made a bad mistake. No question
    Yes he switches off no question.

    But he is 21 and playing at right back.
    Even if he doesn’t make it at arsenal there are too many on here too willing to call the kid nasty names like Cunt and moron or useless. It’s a disgraceful indictment of the modern arsenal fan that so many behave like this.

    The second half was thrown away by two bad mistakes from two players who tend to make mistakes too often near our goal. No doubt

    But what the hell was emery thinking in deploying a midfield 4 of

    Ozil Guendouzi xakha Mkhitaryan

    It has to be the softest combination we have available. It invites trouble. We had the game under control until that point. If it were just for minutes then why did he play Aubameyang for 85??
    This was some lightbulb formation he’d dreamt up and wanted to test

    It was never ever going to work
    Not at home vs rushden and diamonds let alone Barca

    Let’s hope he never comes back to this silly idea again this season. Two wingers on the bench and he does this?

  94. Leedsgunner

    Remember we can sell players to overseas clubs after the 8th until the end of month/beginning of next (depending on the market). The 8th is important as a deadline for EPL clubs bringing in players.

    Priority has to be on bringing players in and after the 8th selling the deadwood off to build up transfer funds for January…

  95. Graham62

    RH

    Despite being played out of his preferred position “his lackadaisical style of play” does go against him.

    This is not turning on him and, in any case, so what if “he’s one of our own”.

    Hopefully it’s a wake up call that will register somewhere in his brain.

    China is 100% correct in his assessment

  96. Henry Root

    We must replace Mustafi and Mkhitaryan but we have until the end of the month to do that if they go abroad. Our priority is to sign a CB and LB. Tierney is too big a risk

  97. Chika

    The general consensus on here was that with a bit of organization, our defence would be better than previous seasons. Well, we’ve not seen anything close to that. Emery needs to cut out the high line and this stupid playing out from the back; he has a pair of glasses now so I expect his vision to be better.

  98. Leedsgunner

    PEA is now 30… and would be silly not to think about a long term successor.

    I would love it if it could be Nketiah but if this is to be he needs to be given game time. As he has shown in this pre season he has the raw ingredients and instinct he needs the experience to hone his decision making. As I said above if Lacazette is not 100% fit I hope Emery is brave enough to give Eddie a chance versus Newcastle.

    Tyreece John Jules, I hope will also be given games this year. If we can replace PEA internally it would save us millions and allow us to spend Pepe like funds on areas where we don’t have an internal solution.

    Externally if Juve is willing to let go of Dybala I would think about bring him in if the price was right next summer… especially if we capture Champions League football.

    If PEA has another dynamite season with Pepe feeding him, it is possible that despite his age another club might bid big for him. After all Higuain still attracted huge bids. Shame we missed out on Moise Kean but apparently he wanted guarantees of a starting role at the club.

  99. Receding Hairline

    Graham the one of our own comment is for a particular chap who funny enough is berating AMN while extolling the virtues of playing academy graduates. It escapes him that AMN is an academy graduate.

    As for his best position, is he really good enough to play central midfield for us? Doesn’t matter if he is better than Elneny by the way …

  100. Graham62

    I’ve also come to the conclusion that bringing in Tierney would be a massive risk.

    I hope we have other options on the cards.

  101. Emiratesstroller

    Once again we conceded silly goals,which is a habit of Arsenal over the past two to three seasons.

    As almost everyone on the planet believes there is not going to be progress made until the club makes a serious effort and investment in our defence.

    We know already that our current defensive resources are simply not good enough even if Bellerin and Holding make a full recovery.

    I had hope that Maitland-Niles might be an adequate understudy right back but rather like Mustafi he is constantly making silly mistakes and lacks defensive positional sense. So there are weaknesses all along the back line.

    Arsenal will get by in most midfield departments with addition of Ceballos and
    the promising Willock. However the sad fact is that Ozil and Mkhitaryan are
    no longer effective attacking playmakers and we lack goalscorers in midfield.

    I don’t think that Arsenal are able to recruit such a player in this transfer window. Perhaps the short term solution might be to play Iwobi there albeit I
    don’t think that he is the answer. What he will provide is pace and physicality plus the occasional goal.

  102. Graham62

    Auba has the physicality of a 25 year old.

    He is lithe and sinewy and has no injury issues.

    He could comfortably go on for another 5 years.

  103. Spanishdave

    Four days to go.
    Emery and co have had the whole window to get a cb.
    It’s gross mismanagement putting the club in this position.
    They have sold no one in our defence mainly because nobody rates them.

  104. Un na naai

    “Speaking of transfers, and in particular defenders, Emery was asked about the possibility of more incomings before the window closes. He said:

    Only if we can sign a player who really, really can improve our squad, then we are going to do that. If not, then not. We have good competitive players to achieve or try to achieve our target this season and we are going to be looking at something if we can sign someone, but with this idea. Only, and only, if we can improve.”

    This from emery last night
    Deja fucking vu. A Swiss cheese could come in and improve our defence right now

  105. Chika

    Ozil has showed some form this pre season but Mhki has been dogshit as usual. We need to lay down a marker from the first game against Newcastle.

  106. Un na naai

    Stroller

    Willock is a goal scoring midfielder

    I also expect more goals from our front 3 when Pepe is introduced
    Maybe if ceballos acclimatises then he can offer more of a goal threat.

    It’s defence we need to focus on and we have 4 days now. I hope Raul has something up his sleeve because I don’t want to see Mustafi on the field for arsenal again. The guy is just a giant hole where a defender should be.

  107. Un na naai

    Chika

    So why does emery persist? Why does he not give Saka nelson and martinelli more of a look in preseason?

    Why did he stick with Mkhitaryan on the left of a woeful midfield 4?

  108. Guns of Hackney

    Another defeat. Can’t wait for the new season.

    It could literally be any year between 2005 – present day.

  109. Chika

    Un

    I’m equally shocked at his persistence with certain players given the history of their terrible performances. Mhki has been terribly poor, his game time should be given to Saka/Nelson/Martinelli. There’s nothing new to find out with certain players.

  110. Un na naai

    Chika

    Well I thought so too until he was deployed as an old school left winger after another miserable first half.

    I just can’t get my head around the midfield he used in the second half.

  111. Graham62

    Don’t forget guys, the whole idea of preseason is to assess your options so that you’re ready for the real stuff.

    I’m sure Emery knows where he stands.

    At least I hope he does.