Arsenal make hay in the sun, but a storm is coming

by .

Unai Emery reversed the fortunes of last season’s openers with his second win in two games. For a brief moment, we are/were top of the league.

The game boasted lots of positives as the club looks to settle a squad of new players. David Luiz and Dani Ceballos earned starts, Auba moved out wide with Lacazette through the middle, Reiss and Willock retained their places.

The first half was pretty bland from a footballing perspective, but ultimately, I think you just have to accept that Emeryball is never going to get you off your backside. My main critique of our style is that we’re very predictable, more so than last season since the club added better ball players to the squad.

We are militant about playing out of the back even when it’s not working for us. Burnley penned us in our own half and it felt like were constantly turned the ball over needlessly. Liverpool will eat up that sort of approach if we don’t put a bit more variety in our build-up play.

The second slight bugbear is the lack of urgency in our game. We give the opposition all the time in the world to reset as we meander the ball forward from wide positions. I don’t think there’s an excuse for slow and methodical in year two.

That said, we’re more interesting when we do click into gear. David Luiz certainly has a lot more authority in defence than we’ve seen over the last ten years. He’s an attacking threat and the opposition knows it. His passing wasn’t elite today, but there’s a lot of variety in the balls he plays. He’s no 5 yard pass merchant.

I thought the passes that came off were excellent. Additionally, he’s a talker and an organizer. When you’re up against it, say what you will, but I’d rather him on my side… and I’d certainly rather him over Mustafi.

Back to the game. The deadlock was broken by Lacazette. He picked up a front post corner, used his weight to lean into those around him, then slid the ball into through Nick Pope’s legs when he was falling to the ground. Very Lacazette.

Something that’s very Arsenal, conceding sloppy goals. Ashley Barnes, the new Kevin Davies, managed to squirm between Luiz and Guendouzi to poke home.

The second half saw an immediate change, the manager introduced Nicolas Pepe. His introduction gave us a little more control out wide and a lot more know-how.

The football sped up a little, generally driven by the hugely impressive Dani Ceballos. He serves two purposes for me, firstly, he does all the things Mesut Ozil doesn’t want to do (turn up to work). He presses, he pesters, he tackles and he makes himself known. He dropped 7 balls recoveries and attempted 5 tackles. Secondly, he’s a better technician than Aaron Ramsey. He’s grown up thinking about the game differently, so hopefully he can give us a little bit of the best bits from both players. I have to say, I am super impressed how quickly he adapted to the pace. He touched the ball 97 times and created 4 chances.

It was the Spaniard that shut down a counter with an aggressive press, Auba picked up the ball, drove at goal, drilling a low shot past the impressive Pope. Our striker really is one of the most potent forces in world football at the minute. He looks so confident and so fit at the minute.

I’m not sure Emery’s defensive subs did much to calm the game. We looked nervous and it gave Burnley a bit of wind in the last twenty minutes. Bernd Leno had a very poor game, he was targetted with high balls into the box all game and it affected him. For me, if you’re going to flap at a ball with a single fist, don’t do it half-hearted. He’s usually so calm, the game reminded me of when Bolton were shooting from corners at Fabianski. I hope his coaches can nip this in the bud and it’s not an ongoing issue.

Mike Dean gave the game an extra 1 minute 40 and that was that, 3 points and an excellent afternoon in the sun for the fans.


A largely positive day at the office. I think we’re in for a shock against Liverpool next week if we don’t button up. We’re still shaky in defence and I think some of our play of the back has a touch of the kamikaze about it. Against rapid opposition with clinical finishing, we could be in a spot of bother. They haven’t been great against Southampton, but they have some many players that can decide a game in a flash.

I’m also hoping we can start to offer a little more variety to our play. If the gameplan is clear, it’s easy to counter. When we have great central players, why not use them?

The positives… Willock looked very good today. He’s rough around the edges, but you can see he’s going to be a very important player for us over the next few years. He created two chances today. Reiss has to impose himself a little more in games. It was notable how much more of a threat we were when Pepe came on. You have to take your chances, he has to keep pushing forward. That said, I thought his tackle early on was great and he was a shoulder away from a good goal.

Also, from a numbers perspective, we created chances. We had 9 shots on target, a huge improvement on last week. Dani Ceballos found an Arsenal player from all 6 of his corners (wow). Pepe, Willock and Ceballos had 11 successful take-ons between the… we’re running at players. Great to see.

Big week ahead…



796 Responses to “Arsenal make hay in the sun, but a storm is coming”

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  1. Un na naai


    He had a showdown with Wenger and demanded to have money invested in the side as he wanted to win the title.
    The meeting didn’t go as he wanted and he left a month later.

    Not sure about the contract set up but if it’s true then it’s just another sad example of how the club was being run since DD was forced out

  2. Alex Cutter

    “Have you guys not thought about RvP being the massive c*nt he’s always been (and a phenomenal striker) wanted to stir drama in a team that is on the rise?”

    Maybe some butt-hurt AKBs hold residual hatred for RVP having been “unfaithful”, but anyone who’s head isn’t up their own ass recognized a long time ago that Robin saw the writing on the wall and got himself out of shit situation.

  3. peanuts&monkeys

    Arsenal still doesn’t practice aggressive pushing high and attempting a quick 2nd after 1st success. Lack of urgency was all over the 90 minutes. Even Auba was casual in the 1st half – poor 1st touches.

  4. Un na naai


    Ceballos played some lovely stuff yesterday. I have to say. If he continues to perform like that he will fast become a favourite. With him and Pepe we could really see a hugely improved attacking threat.

    Agree with Pedro though, the lack of urgency is frustrating. I think Ceballos and Pepe will change that as they go through the gears
    Aubameyang isn’t an “urgency” player but lacazette is so with Ceballos and Pepe to play off an Aubameyang sauntering into space I don’t think it will matter
    These 4 will create space for each other in a variety of ways

    For the Liverpool game I’d drop xakha and Guendouzi and go with Torreira willock Ceballos

    Or Torreira chambers Ceballos

    We really need to shore up. Will Pepe be fit to start? Or go with Nelson?

  5. Wasi

    Good performance yesterday but not good enough. Its still our strikers carrying us , scoring half chances but there was definitely improvement in how we were playing and attacking. Ceballos was definitely a livewire and MoM but Guendouzi and Willock werent bad either. Our midfield has been very static the past seasons with Xhaka and Ozil both being very less mobile players. But against Burnley we had 3 active,mobile energetic midfielders with points to prove and places to fight for. It was a very fluid midfield, constantly exchanging positions and making space for their teammates. It will be interesting to see how Emery approaches the Liverpool game now. Does he go with experience in Xhaka or the youthful exuberance. The only thing Xhaka offers is quality distribution from deep and with David Luiz in we already have that covered so I hope that EMERY chooses youth over Xhaka. Well Emery’s already dumped Mykhi for Nelson so its definitely possible that we go with the young guns against Liverpool.
    With Liverpool without Alisson we definitely stand a chance against them imo. They were drab against S’ampton and the saints definitely deserved something from the game. Adrian cant play out from the back and that severely disrupts their playing style. And with our attacking prowess i think theres no team we cannot beat if we just get our defense right. Auba is looking like he is at the peak of his powers .
    On a side not- Lendro trossard who was supposed to be SvEN’s parting gift to Arsenal put in a good shift yesterday. Looks a good talent and at 18 mil could prove to be a bargain for the Seagulls

  6. peanuts&monkeys

    Nelson was the swiftest of the entire Arsenal team yesterday. prob, in his quest for swift moves he loses possession. How can such a good kid be made great? He needs to loaned out once more to the BL. Will there be a BL team still interested in him?

  7. Receding Hairline

    Lacazette was horrible yesterday, just horrible.

    Pepe might have tried some I’ll advised trickery in his own half but you could see how eager he was to take the game to Burnley. Tierney will also help in that regard. Ceballos was great but he could have released certain passes earlier.

    The movement from our two strikers was mediocre all game. Still a lot of work to do. Move the ball faster and it would have been four or five goals to us. The botched 2v 1 by Pepe and Auba was infuriating.

  8. Wasi

    Nelson needs game time sure . But its not necessary to loan him out. He is 4th choice attacker and will get a lot of game time this season. If he has it in him to make it he will probaby show it this season with us.

  9. Wasi

    Pepe has only nearly played 70 minutes with our strikers . How do u expect them to show gr8 movement. It will take time. It was Laca’s first game and he did score the goal out of nothing. So it evens out.

  10. Un na naai


    He’s a terrier. He presses hard. He tackles hard. He holds his position. He’s he a decent passer.
    I want him on the field vs Liverpool.
    If he goes with the midfield 3 from yesterday or swap one out for xakha I can see us getting overrun
    We need an actual defensive midfielder in there. Liverpool play two pretty frequently to allow their full backs to join the attack.
    AMN and monreal are going to have two each to mark
    We really need 2 sitting midfielders who can tackle and close down quickly and who won’t be looking to leave gaps behind by joining the attack. If he played willock/Guendouzi and Ceballos then one of them has to sit.

  11. Un na naai


    Lava had his ore season interrupted too with a niggle

    Rh knows full well when lava is fit he is a fucking nuisance. Constantly on the front foot. He’s a little fighter and Aubameyang is nowhere near the same olayer without him on the field
    Lacazette is his enabler

  12. Un na naai

    SidAugust 18, 2019 07:17:55
    Arsenal to win at anfield, Law of averages, you heard it here 1st!

    That doesn’t count in football
    Chelsea destroyed us every single time we played them until Drogba left
    Law of averages didn’t matter

  13. Wasi

    Dont know about the law of averages but i think we do stand a chance. Imo id play Torreira over Willock for The Liverpool game . Our defense is going to need all the protection they can get. Guendouzi and Cabellos in the other midfield positions.

  14. Sid

    Un na naaiAugust 18, 2019 07:19:08
    SidAugust 18, 2019 07:17:55
    That doesn’t count in football
    Chelsea destroyed us every single time we played them until Drogba left
    Law of averages didn’t matter

    It matters as long as the manager isnt Wenger, see our recent results against top 4 teams

  15. Alex Cutter

    “It matters as long as the manager isnt Wenger, see our recent results against top 4 teams”

    It doesn’t matter at any time, because:
    “The law of averages is an erroneous generalization of the law of large numbers, which states that the frequencies of events with the same likelihood of occurrence even out, given enough trials or instances.”

  16. Tony

    “THE GREAT VAR DEBATE: Technology is not yet advanced enough and said Raheem Sterling was 2.4cm offside… but allowed for a 13cm margin for error in making the decision

    VAR is being implemented for the first time in the Premier League this season

    So it begins the VAR teething problems. Doe that mean Monreal was onside yesterday with the margin of error taken into account?

  17. Un na naai


    Yeah I’d probably go along with that. Bet he will go for xakha though if he’s fit. With Ceballos and Guendouzi/Torreira

  18. Ishola70

    I think Man City’s weakness on some occasions is straight through the middle and onto their CBs

    With Lamela’s goal the centre of Man City’s defence was soft. They parted wide open and gave the attacker too much time to pick his spot.

    You can usually get at teams from out wide but in Man City’s case looks like straight through the middle a bit of a weak spot.

  19. Emiratesstroller

    Ceballos makes a huge difference to our midfield, and is a class player. The
    problem is that our midfield can be overloaded when we play three in that department as we did yesterday.

    Personally I don’t think that playing both Willock and Guendouzi is a strong
    or experienced enough combination in that department of the game. Guendouzi in particular is easily disposessed and Dyche comments about falling over and cheating relate probably to this particular player albeit that the comment was ridiculous.

    If we are going to play only three conventional midfielders then we need to
    operate with wingers who are also participating in that department. Pepe is
    clearly short of fitness, but I saw enough yesterday that this is not your typical
    winger. He moved regularly into central areas of the field and is very difficult
    to dispossess. He is clearly a handful. I think that there are similarities between him and Gareth Bale in style of play.

  20. Ishola70


    “He moved regularly into central areas of the field and is very difficult
    to dispossess”

    Except when he was dispossessed when he thought it was a good idea to try and dribble past an opponent deep in his own half got dispossessed and Burnley were straight away on the counter straight on Arsenal’s penalty area.

    He’s got to cut that out pronto.

  21. Ishola70

    I would actually want Pepe to be a “conventional” winger rather than going in all different areas.

    Man City and Liverpool get a lot of joy offensively with inside forward play.

    This is what I want to see from Pepe inside forward play. That means sticking to your area of play most times and being direct in that area and driving forward direct on goal.

  22. Emiratesstroller

    Ishola 70

    Pepe played in second half of match on side where I sit. He was dispossessed only once during the time he played.

    He is a very strong and well balanced player and if you had watched the half time warm up between him and Freddie Ljungberg you will have seen exercises which worked on his balance and control.

    As I suggest he is not your typical winger and once he is match fit and settled will add a lot to the overall play in team.

  23. Un na naai


    I was thinking the same thing over Pepe and Bale

    Someone commented yesterday how he lost the ball in our half by trying to turn his man and run at the space behind.

    Well that’s classic Bale. Once Pepe finds his feet it will be that sort of manoeuvre that will have us all on our feet willing him forward. It’s that sort of turn that opens up games
    It appears that both he and Ceballos have that in their locker and after yesterday’s showing I would be delighted if we can secure this lad on a permanent from Madrid. With Saliba coming next season and Martinelli, willock, AMN, chambers, Holding and nelson having a further season of first team action I feel that could leave us some serious resources available to add truly top class players to the squad

    Perhaps with one eye on the forward positions to ease Aubameyang and Lacazette wilting in the coming years. That said Aubameyang looks as young as ever. Maybe he could have another good 3 seasons in him.
    I would like to see one more creative player come in. A true fantasy footballer. One more to play off Pepe and Ceballos

    The team is certainly taking good shape though and I’m happy enough with the level of performance thus far considering we have 9 new first team squad members and it’s game 2 of the season

  24. Ishola70


    Yes he was dispossessed the one time but it was a serious error from him nonetheless. It was naive of him to try to beat a player so deep and in front of his own penalty area. Hopefully this happened because of over exuberance and wanting to impress a little bit too much on his home debut.

    I’m not interested in Pepe trying to be like a Mesut Ozil type floating about everywhere. I want him to be direct in his play and get at teams primarily from inside forward position direct on goal from out wide. Guy has pace to burn so let’s use that pace and see him go for the jugular right at defences rather than floating everywhere.

    Interchange with the centre forward is fine though because again he is doing his stuff uptop and direct on goal.

  25. Un na naai

    Ah it was ishola.

    Ishola. He doesn’t need to cut that out. We need more of it. He just needs to show less of the ball. He’s in a faster and tougher league
    It will come

  26. Ishola70


    What is good enough for the two top teams in England offensively should be good enough for Arsenal.

    Both Man City and Liverpool have forwards that are direct in their play most times. Driving in on goal from wide positions.

    This is what I want to see from Pepe. Not him trying to be too clever or cute. Direct.

  27. Un na naai


    And how is turning his man in our half and running at the space and centre backs behind not direct?

  28. Ishola70


    It was the wrong decision from Pepe from him that play to try and dribble past his man so deep in his own half.

    The proof that it was the wrong decision was that he got dispossessed and Burnley were straight on Arsenal’s penalty area.

    So it’s about decision making. On that occasion he made the wrong decision. I’m fine with him keeping it simple in deep positions like that. More interested in him being direct and taking players on further up.

  29. Nelson

    I hope Emery watched the video of the last 10 minutes of the game. Our best tactics and formation, with our current available players, is 3 5 2. We have two super fast attackers and a weak defense. We should play defense and fast counter. We could see more often Pepe and Auba running wild.
    Our two current FBs are weak. They are more suitable playing as wing back (I mean Kola and not Monreal). I would prefer Torr and Willock sitting in front of the 3 CBs and Ceballos playing in front of the two DMs. This could work against the Pool. Torr and Willock are stronger defensively compared to Guen and Xhaka.
    Once we have our two starting FBs healthy, we’ll play the more expensive 4 2 3 1 formation.

  30. Pierre

    The composure of Willock on the field really impresses me .
    A new player coming into the team will often try too hard to over impress the fans and the manager .

    I don’t see that with willock , I see a player who understands the game and the role he is asked to play …he is a team player first and foremost.

    Yesterday he was happy to take a back seat to Ceballos , he never occupied ceballos area on the pitch and allowed him the space to flourish .

    When Ceballos was substituted , willock played more advanced and he also showed his prowess in that area of his play , the cut back to Torreira was another example of the intelligence in his game as he had the awareness to pick out the player instead of aimlessly crossing the ball.

    When I look at a central midfield player I look for composure on the ball , discipline, awareness , strength , calmness under pressure and a good reading of the game.

    Willock ticks the boxes in all aspects , add to that his ability to attack the box if played more advanced , i would say he has all the tools in the box to be a asset to the club for years to come .

    I am sure that as he is given more game time and his confidence grows , he will become more commanding …I believe there is a lot more to come from him.

  31. Un na naai


    Maybe. But that’s not to say turning a man in your own half is always the wrong decision
    You implied you think he’s going to have to cut it out altogether. I disagree. Turning a man in any area of the field opens up the game in a way passing and moving cannot.

    Ceballos illustrating perfectly how to do it yesterday on several occasions
    Once Pepe finds his feet he will open the game up with his turns and direct running.
    To try and prevent that would be to deny a beautiful element of his game. Almost Mourinho-esque i would say ishola

  32. Ishola70


    It was a bit too deep though and too narrow where he decided to try and dribble past the opponent.

    That’s where his decision making was wrong in that play.

  33. Un na naai


    He looks able to tailor his game to the role he’s being asked to play
    He can do the Ramsey runs behind
    He can play the perfect box to box
    He can sit deep, defend well and keep it simple
    He finds spaces on the edge of the box and has vision. Some lovely little passes already from him.

    The kids is going to grow into a very very good player. Seems to have an old head on young shoulders

  34. Ishola70

    How did you enjoy Ceballos performance Don?

    You were another who was massively questioning him pre-season.

    You must have been pleasantly surprised.

  35. Pierre

    Pepe did lose the ball once ( big deal) .

    It was more or less the first time he touched the ball , he quickly learnt from that and didn’t make the same mistake again.

    After that he was bright ,inventive and linked up well with his team mates.

    The new signings have definitely giving us the wow factor and I can see much more entertaining football at the Emirates this season

    The liverpool game may be coming a few weeks too early for the new players as it will be a completely different test to Newcastle and Burnley.

    We could have done with one more winnable game to keep the feel good factor going..

  36. Un na naai


    Yeah. Perhaps. But Santi and jack used to turn in this spaces and open the field up immediately
    It will come and when it does those turns are going to be an asset for us.
    He will learn when to do it and when not to but AMN does it to good effect for us sometimes which often gets overlooked on here. Plays out beautifully in tight spaces at times that lad

  37. Un na naai


    I was. I’m not the type to double down. He’s exactly the sort of player I love to watch on yesterday’s showing so yes he’s out my concerns to bed immediately and adapted much quicker than anyone would have expected
    When I’ve watched him for Madrid he was very conservative and seemed to play with the handbreak on. Like he was scared to let himself and his manager down. He played with freedom yesterday and I was delighted to have my concerns shoved down my throat.
    Really clever player by the looks of it.

    But like myself in the day. 😉

  38. Un na naai


    Hurts to watch though because Jack Wilshere was every bit as talented if not more. He should be that player for us. Still. I’m happy we have someone to take up that role as that’s the sort of player that I love to watch. Exactly how I played the game when I was younger.

  39. Un na naai


    If we get a result so Liverpool it will enhance the feel good factor

    I thought there was plenty of flair on show yesterday anyway
    I wasn’t bored by the performance at all and it’s only going to get better

    Saying that we started off the season like Brazilians last season only for it to die off. The 5-1 at Fulham and 3-1 at home to Leicester were wengaball at its best and our 1-1 draw with Liverpool was a beautiful attacking performance too. Should have won that. Would be in the champions league now had Leno not given that silly goal away

  40. Emiratesstroller


    It was clear that Pepe is still not 100% match fit.

    However, he is a physically strong player and it was clear on a couple of occasions that even when confronted by two Burnley players at close quarters he could still override their tackles and beat them.

    We know also that he has strengths which our team urgently needs such as
    crossing a ball accurately, taking corners, free kicks as well as being a specialist penalty taker.

    What I liked also about his game was that he does not just play on the touch
    line waiting for the ball to come to him, but is willing to move around pitch.

    Personally I think that he will be well suited to playing in EPL. Burnley are
    one of the toughest teams physically to play against and I thought he handled
    the situation very well.

  41. Wasi

    No matter how you see it. City are not easy to beat. They are probably the hardest team to beat but no one is unbeatable. And they are at times soft in the centre of the pitch. That is because bothbof their advanced midfielders (de bruyne and gundogan yesterday) are looking for underlaps. And when underlaps the opposite midfielder makes a late run into the box. Honestly Teams should have already figured out this tactic of Pep. This is their main strategy from last season and I still dont see teams trying to deploy tactics to stop the midfield underlaps. How many times yesterday did we see City trying to go through the middle and score lovely team goals . Not many , right. Even though they have exceptional quality they try to keep it simple. Simple but complicated. Keep possession, advance play to the inverted wingers. Now when these wingers have possession theres a 90% chance that the advanced midfielder on that side will look for an underlap. The winger will play to the midfielder who will fizz in a low cross to the second post or the 6 yard box or to the opposite midfielder making a ramsey-esque late run. And then bang Goal. At least 1 out 5 attempts they score in that fashion imo. Of course they have an attack that is unpredictable and will also try different ways to score like cutting in from the wings etc, etc
    . But they have a base tactics and that is underlaps. If Managers can somehow find a counter to this tactic they can limit their offense to some extent and in turnovers their midfielders can be caught high up the pitch to then drive through the center. Ofc this is just theoretical and will be hard to execute .But its possible. Not to mention City have CB’s who are more deep lying playmakers than defenders.

  42. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal are a work in progress, but if both Pepe and Ceballos play consistently and to their full potential I see no reason why we cannot finish in top four.

    Watching Spurs yesterday they look a very average team. Their primary strengths are organisation and work ethic. In normal circumstances a team
    which has over 30 shots on goal as Man City did should win this game comfortably.

    Spurs got a lucky outcome starting off with disallowed penalty. Had that been
    given and scored Man City would probably have been 2-0 ahead and would
    have then gone on to win game comfortably.

    Kane was more or less anonymous throughout the game.

  43. Un na naai

    I don’t blame him one bit for leaving. The club didn’t do enough to keep this utter goal machine or cesc in my book. Wenger subscribes to Buddhist philosophy and Buddhist teachings encourage you to let go. To never hold on and to go with the flow. This was responsible for a lot of the best and worst in wenger for me.

    I will never forget though, the 2-2 draw at home to Manchester United while we still had rvp and the Ox was tearing untied apart. We had them on the back foot and a winner was coming
    With 20 mins on the clock wemeher takes Oxlade Chamberlain off and van persie was seen on camera screaming NOOO. Nooo.

    The Ox was the only guy capable of pulling that game out of the fire along with Robin and everyone bar Wenger wanted that substitution.

    Rvp was gone not long after that. He wanted us to bring in better players
    Could you imagine him with Santi and Sanchez? And with cesc still at the club? With Giroud as back up. We’d have won a title for sure
    Theo has his best every season too, supplying the bullets for robin. They formed a formidable partnership where Theo was effectively his strike partner. Then it was dismantled
    Robin was sold and Theo dropped.

  44. Un na naai

    I think Kane is never going to be the player he was. He’s lost a yard or two and now will require perfect delivery. He’s lost his mobility and can no longer take the game to the opposition the way he did in his prime. This should be his prime but the injury curse robbed him as it did to Shearer, Owen and Fowler before him.

    All 4 should have been absolute world class legends. Shearer wads. The rest lost their best years through injury.

  45. China1

    Imo last year we only played really good football a few times last season

    Even in the games we won well and our best performances, it was as much about being clinical and well taken goals, good work ethic etc. I don’t think we were actually that pretty to watch for the most part even in our best run

  46. Un na naai

    Tonhe honest spurs executed a game plan at city and it worked. That’s how youbhave to play city
    Don’t forget they knocked them out of the champions league playing exactly the same way a mere 4 months ago.
    If we can do a similar job at the etihad and anfield I’d not complain at all

  47. Un na naai



    All games where we played some really really good attacking football. We are better equipped this season to produce it
    I’m just not sure it’s emery’s favoured route to 3 points

  48. China1

    As much as I don’t like Kane I don’t think him losing a yard of pace will hurt his game that much. The guy reads the game well, makes space for himself in the box. Sniffs our chances before defender notice. Can score with his head, get tap ins and pick his spot from outside the box

    He’s a complete gorm, but I don’t think he needs to be brutally quick to be effective. He will get 20+ goals this season if injuries don’t interrupt his season too often

  49. Emiratesstroller

    Un na naii

    Spurs strength is teamwork, doggedness and work ethic. They are a good “old
    fashioned English Team”

    However, I don’t see a “classy” team. This team even with addition of Ali and Son are not going to compete for League Title.

  50. China1

    Maybe my serves me incorrectly but I don’t remember finding some of those games that attractive even when they were great wins.

    A lot of great hard work and some brilliantly taken goals but outside of the goals I don’t remember it being wengerballesque, assuming wengerball refers to arsenal at least 5 years ago ofc

  51. Un na naai


    Yeah that may be their strength but I don’t agree that it’s all they have.
    I’m not a massive fan Ali. Utter disgrace that spurs have managed to integrate him successfully while we failed with jack Ox and Ramsey who were all much better footballers than Deli Ali

  52. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal missed a top 4 finish primarily because of the number of goals conceded. It remains to be seen whether we can improve in that department.

    However, when you compare our goalscoring with that of our main rivals you
    get a different picture.
    Arsenal 73
    Spurs 67
    Man Utd 65
    Chelsea 63

    Arsenal will improve this season in that particular department with the arrival
    of Pepe.

    On the other hand Chelsea have lost Hazard and Man Utd have lost Lukaku.
    Neither club have managed to replace these two players with goalscorers.

    Spurs have retained their main goalscorers, but have not added in this department.

  53. karim


    You didn’t like it too much when Pépé played in a lower position but that was only to help us carry the ball forward as it was taking our midfield ages to do so at times.

    Can’t be complaining about that.

  54. Un na naai

    United will be better in attack without lukaku clogging up
    They already look far more fluid
    Solskjaer knows what he wants from his forwards

  55. CG

    Top Four????

    After that showing yesterday.

    Do folk actually believe this tripe?

    After the next sequence of results we will be mid table.


    (We made Burnley look like Liverpool at times.)

    our last 3 home game results

    Arsenal 2 Palace 3
    Arsenal 1 Brighton 1
    Arsenal 2 Burnley 1

    Every game is an effort and a grind under The Clown

    Under Wenger- we would smash the likes of Burnley, Palace and Brightons at home with free flowing, mouthwatering and mesmerising soccer.

    Now we have dirge every game.

    We need and we will receive x 3 successive trouncings in the weeks ahead.

    Only then – will the wonderful folk on here- finally wake up to reality.

    We are only going one way with The Clown ⬇️


  56. Pierre

    Do you think we are playing with a little more discipline in the full back areas and centre midfield.

    To me , it looks like the defence has more protection , we are not as open down the channels and are not looking so stretched at the back.

    Though we have only played Newcastle and Burnley this season , we still struggled defensively against the weaker sides last season, so to only concede one goal in 2 games is a positive.

    Of course , the next few games will tell us a bit more .

  57. CG

    Gawd knows what a fresh Liverpool front 3 of Sane,Salah and Firmino will do against alleged back 4 is frightening.

    Then Son,Kane Alli and co will run utter riot at The Emirates

    Then Watfords battery of strikers.

    At a conservative estimate

    I will be buying in the ballpark these results.

    Liverpool 5 Arsenal 1
    Arsenal 1 Spurs 5
    Watford 3 Arsenal 0

    We are utter garbage.
    And no one can admit it.

    Fail to Prepare
    Prepare to Fail.


  58. Freddie Ljungberg

    If anyone still had any lingering doubts that CG is a gibbering madman I present to you evidence number 257 above. Case closed.

  59. CG


    Only time will tell.

    But If you think a back 4 of sok,luiz ,monreal and AMN ain’t going to get ripped to smithereens against the CL finalists- you are deluded.

    Because they will.
    End of.

  60. Kay

    Yesterday Burnley did manage to break through few times on AMNs side in the first half.
    Dint happen that much in the 2nd half.

    We shouldn’t be giving that much space to Liverpool else we will get punished.

  61. Emiratesstroller


    Monreal has been disciplined in left back position. However, I am not sure that
    he is able to maintain performance for 90 minutes. However he will be good
    back up for Tierney when he recovers from injury.

    I do have concerns about Maitland-Niles. He is too often out of position. He
    needs to focus more on defence and less on attack where he is fine. The arrival of both Pepe and Nelson alleviates the requirement of playing with
    wing back on this flank.

    You know my views on Guendouzi. I am not a fan of his. I like Willock, but if he
    starts he needs to play alongside a more experienced player behind Ceballos.

  62. CG

    If Burnley are averaging an attempt at the AFC goal every 4.5 minutes on our patch- you know we have fundamental problems within the team set up.

    Better teams will utterly annihilate us this season.

    You know it.
    I know it.

    But you just cant admit it.

    I can.
    I will.
    I have.

  63. Emiratesstroller


    I have expressed concern about our defence, but it does not mean that we
    are going to lose games heavily.

    Last season we beat Spurs at home and drew with them away from home. So
    your prognosis about the result against them is ridiculous.

    I have seen nothing sofar from Spurs that suggests that they are better than us. As I said they are a well organised team, but certainly not title potential
    as some suggest.

  64. Ishola70

    “You didn’t like it too much when Pépé played in a lower position but that was only to help us carry the ball forward as it was taking our midfield ages to do so at times.Can’t be complaining about that.”

    Well of course there will be complaints Karim if Pepe gets dispossessed like that in the future in really deep areas trying to dribble out and the opposition score from it. That’s the way of it. Fingers will be pointed at Pepe for losing the ball in such a dangerous area in relation to the opposition. That’s the way of it. On this occasion the lose of posssession wasn’t punished with a goal for the opponents.

  65. KAY Boss

    RH, it seems you are gradually becoming obsessed with Torreira. He may not be physically imposing but is strong. Guy’s good. He can make it in the PL. He compensates his lack of physicality with good technical attributes.
    Ishola, you are taking this Pepe mistake way overboard. He made a mistake and he never repeated it.
    I’m very confident on the Liverpool game.
    Leno disappointed me yesterday. He could have started some counters quickly and this playing from the back is too boring and predictable. We almost suffocated ourselves with some atrocious decision making by playing from the back.

  66. Ishola70

    You don’t need to be protective of Pepe Karim.

    I have every hope like so many others that he will become a very important player for the side. Not just hope but expectation.

    But this doesn’t mean he shits golden nuggets is above criticism at certain times.

  67. CG


    If you really think – Arsenal are currently better than Spurs in any shape or form – you are simply lying to yourself.

    They are miles better.

    And we a need a Quality coach to close the gap- otherwise the gap will become a chasm.

    When Wenger was in charge at Arsenal- we were always better and certainly bigger than Spurs.

    That ain’t the case now.

    Dont lie to yourself, young man.
    It’s not healthy.

  68. Leftsidesanch

    When Wenger was in charge at Arsenal- we were always better and certainly bigger than Spurs.

    Troll troll troll

  69. Ishola70

    Guys relax.

    All that is being done is pinpointing one piece of play where his decision making was a bit off. That’s it.

    As said before it was probably down to over exuberance and trying to over impress on his home debut.

  70. KAY Boss

    CG, who allowed Spurs to be better than us? Emery or Wenger?
    In fact there are so many anti arsenal fans on this blog.

  71. Leftsidesanch

    Wenger beat Spurs once, lost 3 times and drew 4 times. Thats his record against Poch. Does that look like a record of a manager and team that show they’re superior than their counterparts?

    This place has fast become a joke. Why bother anymore with idiots being allowed to say what they want, and if we retort we get called bullies.

  72. CG

    Look at Wengers 20 year record over Spurs.

    75% win ratio.

    You lot cant admit- we have a gormless Clown* in charge and Spurs are streets ahead of us.

    *RVP totally correct in his assessment of The Clown

    He is Making it up as you going along
    No strategy
    No philosophy

    Why dont folk want to tell The Truth
    Denial is ridiculous…

  73. Un na naai

    SidAugust 18, 2019 10:50:07
    Sick sock should be doing altar boy duties go on they are waiting for you at the monastery

    This is a deeply offensive and political comment that has no place on a football blog.

    Pedro. If we are cleaning up then let’s clean up.

  74. The backpass

    I honestly believe CG tries to wind people up on purpose, he can’t really believe the rubbish he posts.

  75. CG


    Fair comment.

    See what a Great manager can do.

    (They improved rapidly under Poch)

    They have one
    We dont.

    Quite simply

    They are improving
    And we are deteriorating.

    Am I right or am I right?

  76. Graham62

    “When Wenger was in charge” we were conned into thinking that we were going to compete with the very best, so , in that respect, being bigger and better than Spurs should have been irrelevant.

    Could have also said that “when Wenger was in charge” we sat back and accepted 4th best as being a success.

    Many more in the library.


  77. Ishola70

    The deteriation materialised under Wenger coupled with other teams improving.

    Team is in a transition period and hopes that they can improve this season.

    Plenty of changes already in the first XI since Wenger left and a few seasons down the road side will be indistinguishable from when Wenger departed.

    Complete transition.

  78. Emiratesstroller


    You are becoming obsessive and ridiculous.

    The idea that Spurs are so brilliant that they are going to beat us 5-1 at home as
    you suggest is complete and utter nonsense.

  79. CG


    We will see but

    Buy Spurs Goals now….
    The market fluctuates

    After Liverpool spank us.
    The price for Spurs Goals goes down.

    And why you are at it.

    Buy Watford goals.

    Because after Liverpool and Spurs have spanked us.
    Watfords Goals price goes down.
    Got it.

    The End is Nigh!

  80. China1

    Our squad still has some weaknesses but emery has no excuses for not getting top 4 this season barring an injury catastrophe

    We have a much better squad than Chelsea and utd imo and possibly better than spurs or similarly good on balance

    Top 3 should be the aim, not too 4, though we may end up needing to settle for 4th.

    We should also be winning a trophy this season. Top 4 and any trophy will be a job well done on the path to making another step up next season.

  81. Jamie

    Pedro August 18, 2019 00:38:35

    Jamie, footballing philosophy has been around for years. It’s not a new thing. It’s always sat at the heart of the game.

    I get you, Pedro. I’m just saying I don’t remember anyone coining a playing style or club goals as a ‘philosophy’. I genuinely only remember the word popping up when van Gaal burst on the scene at Utd and started giving Powerpoint presentations (namely his exploits as the Holland coach in the WC) to a room full of journos.

    No one can argue against Ajax’s Total Football playing style in the 70s. Did they call it a ‘philosophy’?

    I guess ‘playing style’, ‘tactics’ and ‘long-term club goals’ are interchangeable with [or summed up by] a club’s ‘philosophy’.

    Gary Neville apparently referenced it too regarding Koeman at Southampton inline with the rising importance of Technical Directors in football.

    and GNev’s original piece:

    Similar to the term ‘project’ when players join new clubs [who are usually on the precipice of a massive spending run]. I don’t remember anyone calling a move to a new club ‘a project’ until the Sheikh bought Man City, and players like Tevez and Adebayor started joining in with the ‘project’ chat.

  82. karim


    It’s a little shortsighted ( and offensive ) to think I’m gonna defend Pepe because he comes from French football.
    It was the same with Guendouzi yesterday, I simply stated he had a decent start to the season when everybody was targeting him and got called out for that.
    He was in the PL team of the week just last week and now I’m told he’s shit.

    As for Pepe, he lost the ball once in a dangerous area and that didn’t have any consequences.
    He’s a dribbler I mean he’s gonna lose the ball at times but his general contribution will be very good I bet.

    Too much negativity on here !

  83. Cesc Appeal

    All about going wide with Spurs…makes it a shame our full backs will not be ready but we will have to make do.

    The team should watch the game yesterday and see that City were able to get at Spurs whenever they wanted by playing wide.

    Either Maitland Niles or Monreal bring the ball forward, Dani Ceballos needs to then sit in the pocket of space between full back and CB and look to get a ball into the box quickly for Aubameyang and Pepe or slide one in looking for their run.

    Walker and De Bruyne did that brilliantly again and again.

    I still have no idea how Spurs walked away with a point. Really are incredibly fortunate. If Guardiola is going to play Rodri over Fernandinho this season he might have problems.

  84. Champagne charlie


    It can be coined numerous ways, but inherently the very elite managers have had an identity with which they see their teams performing under.

    Approaches vary, but there’s always a baseline or principle ideas behind every top coach. To say it’s puzzling what we want to be isn’t a dramatic statement, it’s simply made as such by characters like Receding who feel the urge to go to battle at every waking opportunity.

    I mean a couple of guys posted what RvP had to say about Emery’s approach and in he chimed with the hottest take of 2019 – Fergie didn’t have a philosophy.

  85. Jamie

    This is the clip an inbred Manc mate of mine sent me after Utd recruited van Gaal. He thought they had just signed the most cutting-edge dude in the game:

    (Dutch with English subs)

  86. Jamie

    CC –

    I’m totally with you. I guess I just find the term ‘philosophy’ a little pretentious, which is 100% ironic coming from me, admittedly.

    Clubs have goals (financial and sporting), coaches have particular playing styles, some clubs recruit coaches/back office based on historical club principles (La Masia, etc). Not sure how anyone can argue against that, irrespective of the word used to encapsulate it.

  87. vickingz

    Emery the Mr unpredictable needs to set our team up in a fashion that naturally brings out the best in every player. The pepe’s dispossession is something you would hardly see happen to city’s and Liverpool’s wingers except they are defending and it won’t be in that fashion. Pepe had no business going that low to pick balls across to our front players, he’s a front player himself, an outlet but our midfielders just sometimes enjoy useless side passes that in the end puts us under pressure. Neither Mane nor sallah would be found trying to bring the ball from that deep position in Liverpool’s half and I haven’t seen sterling that deep in city’s half. Expect more of this should emery pairs xhaka and guen. Both of them just enjoy playing it safe so they don’t get pointed out. Ceballos really did what’s expected of him but i’m at the middle as to what his performance will be against Liverpool knowing Liverpool and Burnley aren’t of the same fabric

  88. Marko

    What’s that ginger bitch complaining about? Is it the incident with Barnes and Kolasinac? And yet the cunt doesn’t have a problem with him jumping knees and elbows first.

  89. Nelson

    I think that’s how civilization is developed. Many years ago, there was still no university. People start to sum up life experience based on the need and observations. Theories are established with beautiful names. Football has become so important to the mankind nowadays. It is natural that the knowledge will be summed up under different names such as philosophy or project or system, etc.

  90. Marko

    Jaime it’s such an odd thing to see on the sky sports website front and center considering their was no real contentious issues yesterday. What a moaning cunt honestly.

  91. Marc

    “I mean a couple of guys posted what RvP had to say about Emery’s approach and in he chimed with the hottest take of 2019 – Fergie didn’t have a philosophy.”

    That’s not actually correct Fergie did have a philosophy – it was to win.

  92. Freddie Ljungberg

    Other just as annoying Vic

    So strikers can’t miss any chances to be considered elite and wingers can’t receive the ball in their own half?

    Please impart more of your football knowledge on us mere mortals

  93. Marc


    Dyche just can’t handle being beaten by us. Last season they tried to kick lumps out of us and we kicked back – he didn’t like that, yesterday we simply outplayed them.

    He’s talked up as some great manager – he’s pretty average.

  94. Marko

    Also I see people are still hung up on this whole style and philosophy nonsense. It’s basically going to be never ending until Emery is gone and then I wonder if it becomes so vital if a fan favourite like Vieira gets the job or god forbid an unworthy like (Arteta). Truth is if we’re not winning every game (especially the first two of the season it seems) with any discernable patterns of play and convincingly it’s going to be a problem for a select few on here. Sad really.

    FYI Arsene Wenger actually didn’t have any philosophy that was at all good it was all bullshit. Giving young players who weren’t Good enough game time isn’t a philosophy. Giving instructions in as far as saying go out and play isn’t a philosophy. Being a cheapskate in the transfer market and never properly addressing the squad isn’t a philosophy. Let’s be honest here he got lucky with a few players over the years and that’s it. Was found out in later years when that luck ran out and the quality of the football showed. Fact is the way I see it there’s like 2 or 3 managers in world football who have a philosophy and the rest are very much adaptable in their approach.

  95. Thomas

    SidAugust 18, 2019 08:15:00
    Man city easy to beat, cloag the middle play the counter, with tierney and pepe it can be done


    Yep they’re easy to beat, that’s why they’ve got 198 points in the last two seasons. Idiot.

  96. Valentin

    There three main points of contention and neither MOTD nor Sky sports mentioned them.

    Ashley Barnes jumped deliberately with his knees into the back of Guendouzi and did not even got a card for his coward assault. He can even use the usual excuse that you need your arm to balance yourself, because lifting your knees like he did has a detrimental effect on the height of the jump.

    The second contention point was when Ceballos avoid three tackles who were nowhere near the ball. At least one of the Burnley players should have received a yellow card for deliberate rotational fouling.

    The last contention point was when a Burnley CB elbowed Lacazette when jumping over him. The referee pretended to play advantage. However head injury should take precedence over any advantage and clearly Lacazette was dizzy. Also the referee never went back to show a yellow card to the player.

  97. Marko

    I can see Ishola is focusing on that one incident of play where he tried to use his skills to get out of a situation in his own half but it didn’t come off. We’ll just forget the things that he did do right in what few minutes of his Arsenal career he’s had so far. Lad you need to relax sometimes

  98. vickingz

    Freddie L, read to understand, don’t just read to argue and if you can’t understand or disagree, just move on or be polite in calling people out. I’m not being responsible for your dearth of comprehensive ability

  99. Freddie Ljungberg


    That was pretty polite to be honest, didn’t calk you a cunt even once.

    What is there to understand? You’re just another AKB clinging on to the ghost of Wenger trying to nitpick and find fault with anything the new regime does, you’re not unique, just boring.

    Just yesterday you said if a striker only scores 40/100 chances he can’t be considered elite, guess what, there is no elite strikers now then, or ever for that matter. Your point about a winger collecting a ball in his own half is equally as stupid.

  100. Northbanker


    Don’t agree with your analysis that Wenger got lucky as I believe he arrived with a really useful knowledge of European football, despite the (short)time in Japan

    There was no luck in being able to give the Board instructions to buy an unknown sub at AC Milan – Vieira- before he had even arrived

    Wengers problems later included being too egotistical sand autocratic as a result of being at Arsenal too long That also included being completely out of touch with the transfer market and how to assess players

    It also included making the decision 10 years into the job to change his approach from getting power players to small technicians

  101. Freddie Ljungberg


    Even godhood isn’t enough to qualify for elite status apparently.

    think Auba has 25% conversion rate which is right up there with the best in the world but turns out they’re all not good enough.
    What a time to be alive

  102. Pierre

    “I’m shocked Pierre hasn’t been on here slagging off Ceballos.”

    A Very poor attempt at trolling ..a good troll always deals in facts and is honest.

  103. Marc


    You can’t divert what you do by calling me a troll. Everyone on here knows what you are and what you do.

    You’re going to hate Ceballos because he’s going to stop Ozil getting near the pitch so as always you’ll be picking up any tiny mistake he makes and trying to make it into a big thing.

    Also waiting for you to repeat your usual that Emery doesn’t like skilful players.

  104. Marc


    Actually there’s a good chance he wouldn’t have. One of the things that changed with him is he stopped signing players who had big personalities.

    Wenger didn’t like any form of confrontation in his latter years with the club.

  105. China1

    Some people are really reaching to be complaining already

    We’ve got 6 points from 2 games when half our expected first 11 haven’t played or have only had small contributions. We’ve had kids like willock guen and RN as mainstays, new players still settling in, established players injured or lacking in preseason time

    Theres clear room for improvement but the 2 games have been a solid job well done from arsenal overall. That’s not good enough for certain posters…

  106. Pierre

    Still trolling…

    I love the way Ceballlos plays the game, exactly my type of player who brings other players into the game, excellent at maintaining possession and switching the point of play .

    Nice to see him get a couple of assists.

  107. vickingz

    @ FL, you can’t speak beyond your scope and neither can I. That you keep failing to understand a fellow isn’t the fellow’s fault. I believe you don’t only watch arsenal’s matches, city play out from the back don’t they? Yet you hardly see sterling neck deep into their half to pick ball. If your outlets are being occupied in your own half, then what’s your escape route?

    Can we be set up in a way that we can at least minimize mistakes? Yes.

    Is it wrong for me to crave for our perfection? No

    So, what’s your problem?

    I’m an akb because I criticize emery? How low can you go bro?

    Why do people see criticism as an offense?

    What have I said about Auba that’s not obviously true?

    Is he wasteful? Yes

    His all round play? Nothing to write home about

    An elite striker because he scores one out of every possible 5?

    I’m a little into player management, I have my own academy, facilitated couple of players transfer both locally and internationally. When a player, a striker is being tried and out of every possible 5 scoring chances, he only buries one with nothing again to offer, he ain’t gonna get signed. For big players, lots of factors contribute to their signing but if Auba is a grassroot player playing like that, he’ll end up somewhere in Myanmar league.

    He only brings goals, every other strikers bring something else that works even when goals ain’t coming. Is it a sin asking more from Auba as a striker?

    It is well with you bro

  108. Marc


    In that case I apologise I didn’t think you’d be happy to see Ozil shown up to be a lazy, weak player who has no place in the modern game.

    Hopefully we can both enjoy Ceballos having a great season.

  109. vickingz

    Just yesterday you said if a striker only scores 40/100 chances he can’t be considered elite, guess what, there is no elite strikers now then, or ever for that matter.

    @FL, I dare you to bring this quote out if this was what I wrote.

    Bring it out

  110. Champagne charlie


    Yea that’s it in a nutshell, the terms are pretty meh but the gist is that top managers have a picture of how they want their teams to play and the question with Emery is what his idea is when realised.

    Obviously you’ve dribblers like Marko that think it’s just Emery getting the “philosophy” treatment, another sunshine bus ticket holder over there. Doesn’t matter who the gaffer is it’s pretty standard, for any success to be a achieved, to have a baseline of what you’re all about.

    Seems when pushed ours under Emery is to be flexible and unpredictable. So much so we look clueless at times you might argue, though it’s all part of the plan I’m led to believe lol

  111. Freddie Ljungberg


    Credit for a measured response.
    Guess I’m just tired of reading the same tripe from the usual suspects that just found their critical thinking cap a year ago.

    Still think you have ridiculously high standards for a striker when Mbappe who had the highest shot conversion rate in Europe still only scored 1 in 4, a couple of % better than Auba. There are not and has never been a striker that scores as much as you think they should measured over a full season. Then we would have the golden boot winner on a 100 goals.

    Oh, and Auba had 9 assists too last season so he doesn’t only bring goals. Is he a complete player? No, but if he was he probably wouldn’t be playing for us either.

  112. vickingz

    @FL, can he do better? Even nketiah can do all that. How are strikers really fading away from football…

    For all the goals he scored as a point man being fed, he shared it with Liverpool’s wingers. That’s good enough. He’s indeed a god.

    That’s all from me about this discussion.

    Happy Sunday

  113. Marko

    Doesn’t matter who the gaffer is it’s pretty standard, for any success to be a achieved, to have a baseline of what you’re all about

    First off always nice to see you Charles cunt as always. My point was that the vast majority of managers don’t have any specific philosophy or in this case baseline (big huh there) they are all flexible and not very specific. I would say that there’s literally two or three managers who have this baseline (lol) or philosophy. Literally Pep and Klopp and maybe Poch maybe.

    Anyway point still stands such a narrow and rigid approach to judging the current manager at the club. I wonder if it will still apply to the likes of Vieira if he gets the job eventually. I also wonder what Arteta’s baseline is

  114. HillWood

    There’s nothing wrong with playing out from the back
    But Arsenal don’t look comfortable doing it or very good at it
    They kind of advertise what they are going to do when they have a player either side of the keeper

  115. Freddie Ljungberg

    Cebolla- The Jury is Still Out!

    CG still haven’t decided if he likes onions and he’s ancient, what a sheltered life he must have lived.

  116. Marko

    Just had to check and yes Watford have lost their opening two games of the season conceding 4 and scoring zero. Huh

  117. China1

    The problem I have with us playing out from the back is it starts so deep and the entire defensive unit is so deep that any mistake leaves the opposition with a goal scoring chances right in or around the area

    We used to rarely play long balls and play out from the back very successfully with our best possession based teams and it never required to have the entire back 6 or so in and around our own penalty box to do it

  118. Graham62


    That’s the advantage of having David Luiz in the team.

    He can ping a 60m pass upfield with ease, similar to VVD at Liverpool.

    He picked out Auba with a beauty yesterday.