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

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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. Receding Hairline

    China the playing out the back thing has become a bit too deliberate. The central defenders line up either side of the goal Keeper and the madness begins

    Glad the fans cheered when Leno decided to go long. Playing out the back should be something done when the opportunity presents itself not obsessively

  2. Pedro

    Marc, stop trolling. You spend more time talking about other people than you do about the actual football.

    Marko, Arsenal Wenger absolutely did have a philosophy. It was to his detriment. You are throwing out a fact to defend Emery.

    CG, behave or you’ll go in the bin.

  3. Receding Hairline

    Can’t a coach adapting his lineup to nullify the strengths of whoever the opponents are be termed a philosophy??

    I think some are using that word in a context that suites their own argument. Valencia always played a certain way under Unai, same with Sevilla. Maybe after 22 years of one philosophy it would take a while for another to take shape to be significantly noticed.

    Last season the complaint was too much cut backs by the fullbacks, something I still think we will see more of when Bellerin and Tierney are fit, two wins out of two this season its philosophy.

    I am still waiting for Ferguson’s philosophy explained, sorry Valentin but putting pressure on the opposition and referees cannot be part of Ferguson’s philosophy, literally every football team do that when they can.

  4. Champagne charlie


    I already answered that factoid of yours. Who the manager is isn’t the subject being talked about, that’s your way to try and make it some Emery agenda.

    It’s not, he’s simply the manager and due the critique. If Arteta was here and had delivered the exact same thing I’d be asking the same questions, because it’s a fundamental ask of a manager. ‘What are we about under you?’

    It gives us an idea of whether we’re tracking towards improvement, and doesn’t roll the dice against external factors of the season that contribute to where we finish. Same reason Liverpool leaders oversaw Klopp finish 4th twice yet knew they were onto a winner. He envisaged X and was tracking his side closer and closer to it.

    What are we perfecting here? What does peak Arsenal look like?

    The questions are fair, you’re just another that absolutely cannot process them so it starts you off on your usual tangent.

  5. Champagne charlie

    Is that Luke Freeman, the former Arsenal prodigy, playing for Sheffield Utd?

    I remember there was buzz about him for a while lol

  6. Pedro

    CC, agree.

    Where does this football go?

    It looks like we’re going to be more militant about playing out of the back and we seem to want to build play painfully slowly from the back.

    It’ll be very interesting to see if he lasts past this season if the football is still bland.

    I saw that our xG numbers were bad again as well…

  7. Guns of Hackney


    “I don’t give a fuck about the blog or the comments…roar”

    “Don’t bin me”

    Anyone who’s anyone on here gets binned. Take your medicine and come back even more abusive.

    On to the football. If Arsenal can keep a relatively fit team (ahem) we might do okay providing Emery finds a better combo up front. I know the fashion is to have Auba on the wing but I’m not so sure…we just paid £72m for a winger. And don’t they occupy the same side? Correct me if I’m wrong.

    I’d always go 3 up front. Always. Our defence is still as leaky as Paris 1940 so we simply have to outscore 80% of who we play. Our front three of Laca, Pepe and Auba should do damage to most…I’d say let’s enjoy a front three and pretend we’re Barca for a bit.

    Currently I am in excruciating pain. On Thursday I had a tooth removed (for cosmetic reasons)…I am in fucking agony. No over the counter medicine works and I don’t have a ‘guy’ anymore to score harder dope. Feel sorry for me.

  8. Guns of Hackney

    Also my wife wants to install a dado rail on the ground floor of the house…and paint below the line, gloss. And change the kitchen decor…

    I’m still in agony.

  9. Guns of Hackney

    Peter, you goddam stylish mother fucker! Our house is 90% top to toe F and B. Cost us £1000’s in paint but holy hell…it really does piss over conventional crap, doesn’t it.

    She’s never normally wrong on the interior design front. I’m going all in and agreeing to it. And she has threatened to do it personally.

  10. Champagne charlie


    I couldn’t say. Personally last season was uninspiring from that perspective and left me with questions about what peak Arsenal is all about under Emery.

    Hard to gauge what we’re all about, we more closely resemble a middling side going with the flow on a game by game basis vs an elite side who play their game and have different tactics in reserve should the situation call for it.

    Early in the season I’m happy to put the points on the board, but how we go about it just doesn’t smack of a long-term key to success. Think it’s unbelievably wishful thinking for us to be this über flexible side that can adapt to any and all opposition. Sounds much more like a paper thin defence of the questions about fundamental approach.

  11. Guns of Hackney


    Echoed. Ergo, we need to play to our obvious strengths and go all out and all in. We WILL beat 8/10 sides…probably, with this approach but get utterly whacked by the elite sides. Seeing as we won’t play elite sides more than 6 times this season, it’s worth a punt.

    I’d rather us go down in a blaze of glory than lose 1-0 in an absolute stinker.

    We have the tools to do some good this year but Emery strikes me as a bit passive.

  12. Pedro

    CC, be interesting to see how he makes us tough to play against for the Liverpool game. Playing out the back like we have been will be ruthlessly exposed.

    Been thinking about that Freddie promotion.

    In any line of work… who goes to their boss and suggests a swap of roles, junior to senior?

    Wonder if there’s something deeper there.

  13. Northbanker

    Think we have to rationalise this defence issue a bit more – we have played what is really a makeshift defence last 2 games and we are assimilating together a lot of players who have little experience of playing together throughout the team.

    The defence will hopefully be Bellerin-Holding-Luiz-Tierney and yet only one of those is currently available and he’s only just made his debut for us. So let’s get a bit real about how well they’re playing.

    Adding to that is that Burnley will prob be a top half team and will give a lot of discomfort to a whole host of clubs this season with heir physicality

  14. Receding Hairline

    Is that the same xG stats that had Burnley winning the game yesterday. Only save of note from Leno was from an offside. If lumping crosses into the box is an expected goal then that stat is flawed.

  15. Un na naai

    She’s never normally wrong on the interior design front. I’m going all in and agreeing to it. And she has threatened to do it personally.


    What a dream. Wish mine was like that. Just give her the reins and retire to the smoking room for a nice Cuban and leave her at it.

    My Mrs just points the cleaner at it and still complains. Poor old next door neighbour doesn’t have a fella and she flirts her own flooring, puts her own fence panels up. She does the lot.

  16. Guns of Hackney

    “In any line of work… who goes to their boss and suggests a swap of roles, junior to senior? Wonder if there’s something deeper there.”

    The only thing deeper is FL’s dingle in Emery’s starfish.

    FL hasn’t earned the promo.

  17. China1

    Welbz will probably score a hattrick against us in the most painfully ironic of ways

    One off his ass when he wasn’t looking. One off his crotch when trying a bicycle kick that wrong foots Leno who never expected such a fuck up was even possible and one off the back of his head when a cross comes in but he was busy thinking about how much he enjoyed scoring the previous two goals

  18. Guns of Hackney


    That had me laughing.

    1. I don’t have a smoking room or smoke anymore.

    2. If she threatens to do something my spidey sense starts tingling…I will end up doing it because she knows how OCD I am and if she makes a mistake, I’ll get the pillow case and the oranges out again! Joking!!!!

    3. I do loads for my neighbours. They are 77/80. Very fit and able but we do each other’s bins etc. They feed me wine and I cut the hedge. It works out. Their children are also a doctor, a solicitor and personal trainer. This covers most of life’s problems.

  19. Guns of Hackney


    The front three mate. That’s all.

    I concur. We stink the place up most of the time but…if up too works, we should do okay.

    Also, conceding 6+ goals against the good sides will be amazing to watch.

  20. China1

    Our obvious strengths are we have 3 extremely dangerous attackers and a very effective CM in Ceballos who will make things happen if given the ball regularly.

    I know arsenal aren’t title winning vintage but there’s actually quite a lot to be more positive about with this current arsenal side

    We have more attacking prowess including genuine width. We have a quality AM for the first time since santi’s legs went many years back. We have willock who is rough around the edges but has a lot to offer. Guen is doing pretty well so far. Luiz made a fuck up for their goal but otherwise made us look a little more assured than we’ve been since holding got injured. AMN is playing prettty well and for the first time looks like he gives a fuck

    It’s hardly all bad is it. We still have torreira to fully introduce to the team, laca still to gain full fitness, holding, Bellerin and Tierney to come back.

    We aren’t winning the league, but this is the best arsenal team we’ve had for about 5 years, so how about we have a bit of positivity about that

  21. Un na naai

    Has anyone heard from Vic Vic?

    Last time he was on here he was so depressed he was contemplating suicide

    China. Do you remember? Is he ok?

  22. Champagne charlie


    Yea found that an odd role reversal. I can’t shake the idea that Bould is just clinging onto a comfy pay packet at Colney, no idea what he brings to the party. Freddie in 12 months has shown more use, maybe that’s harsh idk.

    Yea see that’s what puzzles me about us, if playing from the back was a hallmark of new Arsenal you’d think we’d have it down at home against lesser sides. We struggled every single time we tried it last term and we’ve started in the same manner.

    Liverpool away will be interesting for sure, they’ve not hit their stride at all when comparing them to City’s two performances thus far. They probably fancy us though because we’ve been a soft touch in recent seasons for them.

    If becoming this epitome of adaptable elite is truly our goal then we should be well in the game and see a thoughtful plan to nullify. If we play out the back and get embarrassed for it then ffs just hit fast forward.

    Yea have to agree there, I’d have a lot more time and patience for Emery if we could see where we’re trending as a side. We seem to rely on moments and we’re suitably frustrated a lot and the matches often see 10-15 minute periods of drab football.

  23. Un na naai

    I do loads for my neighbours. They are 77/80. Very fit and able but we do each other’s bins etc. They feed me wine and I cut the hedge. It works out. Their children are also a doctor, a solicitor and personal trainer. This covers most of life’s problems.


    Yeah I used to but one complained about my shed to the council that it was over sized (it wasn’t) and the other tried to stop me from putting her fence up as it had blown down as she wanted me to pay to have it 6 inches further into my property that it was when I bought it. She mistakenly thought my fence was 6 inches on her boundary
    She also tried to get me to paint her house after I had mine done as it made hers look bad 😂

    So I don’t bother putting myself out there any more. No good deed and all that.

  24. China1

    Why would we be conceding 6 goals against all the top 6 sides?

    We are now playing a formation with two holding DMs instead of one b2b or endlessly floating player.

    We also have two new defenders who are better than the players before them.

    We also now have someone at n10 who actually shows up on the pitch rather than making us a man down.

    Meanwhile Chelsea are getting worse, Utd are nothing special at all and spurs haven’t changed much since last year when they barely finished above us despite you thinking we were shit

  25. China1

    Un na I don’t remember. We have so many people using variations of the same few names that I don’t even know who is who

    Vic Vic, victorious, vikingz or whatever are these not all the same person

    We also have about 3 people with variations of emery’s name and several guns as well

    I really can’t keep up with who is who

  26. Guns of Hackney


    Exactly. I’ve been wholly criticised for what another ‘guns’ said. They had an umlaut…I don’t.

    Anyway, no one should joke about anyone committing suicide. It’s the internet and a lot of people are unhinged.

    A couple on here are certifiable.

  27. Valentin


    In any line of work… who goes to their boss and suggests a swap of roles, junior to senior?Wonder if there’s something deeper there.

    I think that the failure to qualify for the Champion’s League shook the management and his star is shining a little less brightly to Raul and Vitesh.
    The something deeper is that Emery leash got a lot shorter. When last season he was pretty much able to choose whoever he wanted as player (Suarez, …) And coaching staff, it looks like this season he was pretty much at the periphery of things. I have been told that Emery wanted to bring another person and that he had been denied that. Could be just for financial reason, but that is telling.

    Like I said at the time, the switch of personnel between Steve Bould and Freddie was pretty much forced upon him by Raul and both coaches. Emery has now confirmed that he was told about the switch proposed by Bould and Freddie after it had already been agreed by Raul. Freddie is there to act as a bridge with the academy to influence him in using youngsters more and more productively.

    That does not mean that he had no say, just that his level of influence has been curtailed.

    He was still trying to reconcile with Koscielny while it was clear the club were already negotiating his departure.
    Zaha was his first choice but he had to settle on Pepe.
    Looking at Nkethia loan to Leeds, Emery stated that he wanted to keep him in reserve, somebody overruled him and decided that a loan would be more beneficial.

    I don’t think that Raul is looking at sacking him, but Emery knows now that if somebody whom he think would be a better fit is available, Raul will not hesitate to replace him at the end of the season.

  28. Guns of Hackney

    Jesus Valentine, take it down a notch. It was rhetorical and didn’t really need an answer.

    Un has admitted that his penis is a shed.

    Peter is into Farrow and Ball.

    China is a homosexual.

    It’s the blog of honesty. Not answers.

  29. Un na naai


    I would advise any young man to hold off until his 30s man.
    I gave it up in my prime cos my Mrs was incredible and didn’t want to let someone that good slip through the net

    Last one before her was Brazilian and let her go back to Brazil and was a bit gutted over it.

    Was a lot soppier in my 20s. Once you’ve had a couple of kids you slip right down the pecking order until the goldfish is laughing at ya!!
    You end up an open wallet!! Can’t wait til the kids are teenagers….

  30. Un na naai

    Wouldn’t change a thing though
    The old butterfly effect

    Think, one five knuckle shuffle at the wrong time and you get a completely different child
    The life you know and love would never have existed

  31. Guns of Hackney


    I was early thirties. I didn’t need any more tail. My wife was, is amazing. If she can put up with me, she’s earned her medal. She makes me better. Gave us wonderbaby. That’ll do me.

    Middle age suits me.

  32. Pierre

    Playing out from the back, we are not smart enough I’m afraid.

    If the opposition have 4 players up on the edge of the area for the high press that leaves 7 players.
    One of them is a keeper so that’s 6 out field players.
    The 2 centre backs would normally be on the half way line together ,so that leaves 4 outfield players to cover the midfield and the wide areas.

    Taking this into account then surely there must be space for Leno to dink a ball into midfield or the wide areas if we are smart enough .

    We need to drag a player out with a decoy run which will leave space for Leno to hit .

    At the moment it seems a little obvious what we are trying to do.
    Leno passes to a centre back then he gets it back then a couple of more times and then a Leno hits the ball into one of our players in midfield which is normally intercepted because the arsenal player is isolated .

    We need to be much smarter than that.

  33. jwl

    Flaws with xG, taken from vikigenuis on Reddit –

    -xG does not take into account the previous record for a single player. In a given position in a given situation, Danny Welbeck has the same xG to score as Cristiano Ronaldo.

    – The xG system typically has a minimum value below which it is clipped off. Say 0.1 This means that no matter how bad a shot is it will have an xG of at least 0.1. Example: Let us say, Ander Herrera decided to take 10 shots from outside the box, as is typical none of them have a chance in hell of ever being a goal, but by definition his total xG is 1. Contrast to say Lukaku being in a 1 on 1 situation only once with a xG of 0.7.

    – Let us come to one of the biggest flaws in xG. As much as it tries not to, currently xG always paints counterattacking/park the bus teams in poor light.This means that it doesn’t take into account the defensive organization of a parked bus, where players close down and block the angles or block the shot.

    This also means that it doesn’t take into account the vulnerability of high line teams when faced with a good counterattack.

  34. jwl

    Guns of Hackney –

    xG: Expected number of goals scored by a team. It aims to measure, how many goals a team is likely to score in that match taking into account the quality of chances created.

    xGA: Expected number of goals conceded by team. It aims to measure the number of goals a team is likely to concede taking into account the quality of chances conceded.

  35. Un na naai

    Liverpool next week
    Can’t wait. Nervous but looking forward to it
    Could this be the day pepe arrives? Will he do a Reyes or a Sanchez a pop a worldie in to announce his arrival

  36. TR7

    Playing out from the back is the right way to play football. Last season Emery started off with playing from the back and then all of a sudden ditched it. I hope this season he shows more maturity and continues with playing from the back. Might be tough early on but it pays rich dividend in the long run.

  37. Nelson

    Luiz:”But my decision was also to respect Chelsea and their new manager, who wanted to implement a different philosophy for the club.”

    I thought that as a defender, Luiz is least affected by the football philosophy whether it is procession or counter attacking.

  38. Un na naai


    Hmmm. Not sure. Sol, Adams, Keown and Toure were hardly Franco Baresi with the ball at their feet and we managed to play the best football the country had seen.
    I don’t need my cb to be Zidane on the ball. Safety first for me. Anything else is an extra.

    We are risking a hiding at Liverpool with their press. Maybe drop the experiment until we overcome the next couple of weeks as it’s spurs after that isn’t it? Need 4 points from those two

  39. Dissenter

    “Shows more maturity”
    That’s a bit rich coming from the typing fingers of a coaching nobody like. Your arrogance towards a manager in his 7th job is duly noted.

    He ditched it last season because we had players making individual errors at the back. I recall several posters like you and Pierre criticizing him for playing from the back.

  40. Receding Hairline

    So Pedro you are telling me Burnley deserving to win yesterday is a hard fact?? That they had more chances to score is a hard fact??? They had three shots on target to our 9, their keeper had a very good game. What really is the point of their higher xG??

  41. Guns of Hackney

    Fuck me. Players in the tunnel look like Gladiator.

    It’s a game of football, jerks…not going over the top. Pussies.

  42. Un na naai

    Some side they’ve built at Leicester

    If they can add a class forward to their team they will be knocking hard on that top 6 door. Someone worth 25 a season
    Praet on the bench too.

  43. Guns of Hackney

    Fat Frank looks fat as fuck.

    Pies around the world are terrified.

    Ashley Cole sounds like paint drying.

  44. Dissenter

    I still think this Chelsea team will come good
    I’m not sure they come anywhere close to 4th place though, but they won’t precipitously drop out of a EL spot.

  45. Un na naai

    I’m with RH on this one
    If XG was predicting an upset then it was wrong. We were in control for me. Only our wastefulness in front of goal could have prevented us from securing 3 points and with laca and Aubameyang on the field then we always have a goal or two in us

    1-0 chavs
    Like the look of mount
    United and Chelsea are going to be far more of a handful this season than many are expecting this year

    I’d even say both look better going forward than last season.

  46. TR7


    I have never criticized Emery for playing out from the back. Don’t attribute things to people they have never said just to get one up on them.

    I bet you haven’t done your FIFA coaching badges as yet and you do pass opinion on every manager and for that matter on everything under the sun. If Emery being in his 7th job is supposed to put him above criticism then I wonder what makes you comment on the likes of Fergie and Wenger on a regular basis. You say strange things on here.

  47. Un na naai


    Couldn’t agree more
    I think spurs and Liverpool May drop a level this season too which could make things very interesting. Arsenal for 2nd? Anyone? Could be a tidy little bet that
    What’s the odds?

  48. Un na naai

    United were very fortunate to beat Chelsea

    Only the woodwork saved them in the first half. Still
    You got to take your chances

  49. Un na naai

    Guns of HackneyAugust 18, 2019 16:46:03
    Pedro is a cunt.

    I’d take it down a notch. He’s on the bans this week trust me.

  50. China1

    Is XG really cold hard facts or a combination of subjectively determined as relevant data which are meddled together to determine an outcome based on a subjectively assembled model?

    XG isn’t cold hard facts any more than the weather app on my phone telling me there’s a 60% chance of rain tomorrow is.

  51. Un na naai


    Yeah. Totally. Frank has already implemented his PHILOSOPHY in just one summer

    Emery still struggling on that front
    Biesla too at Leeds did the same in one summer.
    No excuse to have no team identity
    Even the great rvp noticed it

  52. Dissenter

    I was just asking you to show some humility and be reflective.
    You were rather condescending towards Emery [not for the first time] when you said he “needs to show maturity”. He’s been actively involved in football since 1990 and been a manager forth past 15 years.

    When he came to Arsenal with the philosophy of playing out from the back, he was lampooned by many like you who still suggest that he has no footballing. philosophy.
    You can’t have it both ways. You can’t blast him for not having an identifiable philosophy [which you have before] then turn around and slate him for being flexible with the said philosophy.

  53. TR7

    Un Nai

    Yeah, may be against Liverpool and Spurs we can adopt a relatively cautious approach but playing out from the back should be integral to our playing style.

  54. Dream10

    Lampard has Chelsea on it so far. Ndidi, Evans swarmed down the middle of the pitch. He’s got his team playing the way he wants after a few matches. However, goal scoring and defensive transitions could be issues for them thru the yr.

  55. TR7


    ‘When he came to Arsenal with the philosophy of playing out from the back, he was lampooned by many like you who still suggest that he has no footballing. philosophy.
    You can’t have it both ways. You can’t blast him for not having an identifiable philosophy [which you have before] then turn around and slate him for being flexible with the said philosophy.’

    Either you are confusing me for someone else or you are making stuff up. I have never lampooned Emery for playing out from the back. Rather it was when he ditched it, I criticized him for not sticking with any style.

  56. Georgio

    Guys ya’ll should take a chill pill!

    How about Emery’s philosophy being ‘unpredictabily’ ??? Not knowing what to expect from his teams??

    But also being attacking team starting from the keeper and defending starting from the strikers!

  57. Dissenter

    Mount has bit of Lampard in him, like what Ramsey was supposed to be.
    Excellent engine, high workmanship and a good attacking threat. If he comes good, Chelsea won’t contest Ceballos with us in the summer.

  58. Un na naai


    It’s not compulsory for me. If it can be implemented successfully with the personnel available then fine. Sokratis isn’t going to be popping Paul Scholes passes off any time soon though so it’s going to have to be holding or chambers for now
    Saliba doesn’t seem to be great on the ball either. Seems like a defenders defender if you know what I mean?

    I think with Ceballos in the side it’s a lot safer but if he’s not in the field I’d not trust he rest of the midfield to show and take the ball under pressure without losing it

  59. Guns of Hackney

    I think someone else said that Pedro is like Mikki. Spot on. Journeyman on a payday.

    Chelsea are showing, I believe, the way WE should be moving forward. Young hungry manager, ditto players…and a few top names.

    Likewise Leicester actually.

  60. China1

    Human beings who have watched and played football their entire lives, even at a professional level will happily argue about what case is a chance or a half chance and the like, but XG suddenly comes in and it’s all facts end of story?

    Pedro I know you like the idea of statistical analysis being taken seriously in sport and I do too to a degree, but stats almost always lack the nuance of context and should be nothing more than a vague reference point than something you treat as a fact

    If we get 40 points in the first half of the season, does it mean we will probably get 80 points come the end? If we’ve beaten burnley 5 times in a row does it mean we will probably beat them tomorrow? What if they have a new manager and signings and we have loads of injuries and fan unrest?

    If we don’t create many chances but have some of the league’s most clinical finishers, should we expect few goals or many?

    What even is a chance? What are the exact objective criteria for determining what defines a chance and does said criteria have to change depending on the quality of the player it falls to? What is the objective fine line between a chance and a half chance? If a player scores a lot of half chances do we need to recalculate them as chances to accommodate their ability?

    XG like all stats only means a part of the complete picture and shouldn’t be taken that seriously by itself

  61. Un na naai


    Was me. Not that he’s a journeyman on a payday. Both were players in their day but they are certainly weak links for their sides on the right that show intermittent form and pop up with the odd crucial goal here and there.

  62. Champagne charlie


    Weren’t you one of the guys saying how smart we were for having a loan with no obligation to buy in the summer?

    Bit early to be calling for us to sign Ceballos isn’t it? 83 mins into his career here. Definitely not knee jerk at all. I say sell Pepe too amirite?

  63. Un na naai

    I’ve been impressed with Nelson defensively
    Really looking eager to show he can hack it off the ball. I thought he looked lively going forward too. He’s gaining confidence
    Unfortunate not to have a goal yesterday too.

  64. Guns of Hackney


    Meh…both look like they have 1 good minute in 90. I hate that kind of attitude. Perhaps Pedro tries a bit harder than Mikki but they could easily be the same player. Annoying.

  65. Dissenter

    Giroud was so understated by gooners when he played for us. He’s capable of the deftest flicks that opened up defenses.
    I always thought he made Mesut Ozil look better than he was, as crazy as that may come across to the Ozil-lites and the ones that detested Giroud.

  66. Un na naai


    He was good yesterday though. Stepped up
    Very early in the prem. I don’t really doubt his capabilities any more or his aptitude.

    Thought Luiz looked very much like a leader yesterday too
    Both were doubts for me and they’ve gone a long way to calming my concerns very early so I’m quite happy with every area of the squad this season.

    Apart from the manager

  67. Un na naai

    Un Meh…both look like they have 1 good minute in 90. I hate that kind of attitude.


    Two words

    Fucking Aubameyang

  68. China1

    Pedro is specifically because XG doesn’t discriminate that it’s flawed

    It doesn’t recognize nuance in a game that is exceptionally so. It’s not fifa where a team can be rated out of 5 stars and you can assign statistical certainties to players (99 for shot power for Adriano in PES 6 JESUS MAN).

    XG is quite good but it’s tryihg to reduce something incredibly complex into something incredibly simple. That’s not realistic

  69. Up 4 grabs now

    Philosophy I’m guessing is to win, nothing more nothing less.
    It’s football, not finding the answer to world peace.

    Burnley was the typical northern monkeys side yesterday Ala pulis and stoke, pulis and WBA, well typically any pulis side.

    Two wins, 6 points can’t ask for more than that.
    Liverpool will be a lot tougher especially up there and would be amazed if we even got a point but stranger things have happened.
    Just no recall for xhaka and we have a chance.

    Team will take time to gell, and we still have players to come back.
    Would be tempted to play 352 against the bindippers, and recall chambers. but tell the fullbacks to sit a little deeper as well.

    Use pepe and Auba pace on the break and you never know.

    Also spuds look bang average and Chelsea on this showing against Leicester are no great shakes either.
    Wolves beat manure tomorrow and it’s been a great weekend.

    Up the arse!

  70. Guns of Hackney


    “Giroud made Ozil look better than he was…Christ you mix and match the spirits on a weekend”

    Ha ha ha.

  71. Un na naai

    I think Giroud was treated too harshly by our fans
    He’s in the top 25 premier league players of all time in goals to mins ratio.

  72. Dissenter

    Nope, I said it wasn’t the end of the world to have a good player on loan with no clause giving us an advantage to buy, if we so wished. At the time I also said it was fraught with potential problems. There was also talk that it was Ceballos that insisted he didn’t want a clause [doubtful though]

    That said, the more I see the lad play, I realize that we should have tried harder. I’ve come to realize that we may just be the prime part of the shop window for madrid to exhibit their player, like a best part of car dealership car park.
    Madrid are notoriously shameless. They bought back Morata with they clause to resell him to Chelsea in 2017. I won’t be surprised if they consider selling Ceballos to Chelsea or Spuds for more money.

  73. Dissenter

    I’m a 100% teetotaler
    I was also known as the last man here standing to defend Giroud.
    Giroud has gone on to have a useful career at Chelsea. What has Ozil done in that period?

  74. Un na naai

    Up 4

    Not when you’re a top team. Everyone has an identity
    A philosophy
    A framework that guides your players. Something to drill into them. Tiebreaker what are they working on In training? Just go out there and win? Don’t think too much about your own game just learn the opposition?

  75. Dissenter

    I mean the same anti-Giroud cloud unanimously decided that Welbeck was the better striker.
    “Don’t worry about there goals”…”It’s all about pace and power”.

  76. WengerEagle

    Hard to blame the fans when he missed so many sitters for us Unn.

    Giroud was a very good CF in terms of value considering he cost us 12m at age 26, he scored 105 goals for us in 253 apps and we sold him at age 31 for 20m.

    But he was a lumbering oaf that made our attack very slow and predictable even if his link up play was sublime at times and he was capable of scoring goals with great improvisation.

    Was only natural after having Wrighty, Bergkamp, Anelka, Henry, Adebayor and RVP as your strikers for so long that fans weren’t going to be completely fair to Giroud and forgive him for his many flaws.

    He cost us in many big matches by missing sitters and by screwing up fast breaks with his snail pace, that home tie vs Monaco in 2015 was almost unforgivable on his part.

  77. Up 4 grabs now

    Un na

    I just think too much is made of this.
    Ferguson philosophy was win at all costs.
    Then do it playing good football.

    It’s not rocket science and footballers aren’t the cleverest.

    Same with this xg crap.
    We were 1 point off champions league last season but the xg said this that and the other.
    It’s still the team that scores the most over 90 minutes that wins the game.

  78. WengerEagle

    ‘Giroud has gone on to have a useful career at Chelsea. ‘

    I mean I know he doesn’t start much but 5 PL goals in 1.5 years is pretty awful by anyone’s standards. Even if majority of those 41 apps are subs it’s still a poor return.

    Unless you’re referring to his Europa League form.

  79. Dissenter

    Wenger eagle
    That was always my argument. he wasn’t RVP quality but was proven to be a good premier league striker
    Opposition fans respected him more than we did.

    I had mixed emotions when he celebrated against us after destroying his in Baku but It’s perfectly understandable.
    We coddled up to nonsense strikers like “Welbeck” and repeatedly lampooned the better ones.

  80. Champagne charlie


    The more you see the lad play? He made his debut yesterday ffs. When he’s went away to Anfield and been mustard maybe I’d get the early squirt, you’re being a bit gung ho after 80 mins football at home in the league aren’t you with this talk?

    It was plenty encouraging, but you act like no footballer ever has had a quality debut and then tanked. Papiss Cisse played a blinder for 6 months before reverting to type. Let’s hold off on the talk of a 40-50 mil transfer, he’s going nowhere. Perfect seasons audition ahead, here’s hoping he takes it.

  81. Un na naai


    Yes. I know. But it’s nit his fault he was thrust front and centre as rvp’s replacement

    He had big shoes to fill and he was one of the only players who really cared for the club. He fought hard and when we scored it mattered to him. He would celebrate a team mates goal as hard as his own.

    The blame really wasn’t on him. It’s was on wenger. He was never going to be our true successor to rvp
    And really at a top club is their option from the bench.

    Saying that he was preferred at no9 in Frances World Cup wining squad to many top class forwards

  82. Dissenter

    He made the most of the chances that he got at Chelsea, restrazrd
    I dare say Chelsea wouldn’t have won the EL without Olivier Giroud.

    Eden Hazard commenting about Giroud at Chelsea
    ““Olivier’s a target man, maybe the best in the world; I think so,”, “When he gets the ball he can hold the ball and we can go in deep with him, so for us it’s a pleasure to play with him.”

  83. Dissenter

    You may have a point there, it may be too early.
    You always wonder if these Spanish exports can mix it up in England. Ceballos does lookalike he’s not afraid to do the dirty parts of the game.

  84. Rambo Ramsey

    What a joke.

    If we had Auba/Laca rather than Giroud in Ramsey’s monster season (2014?) or in the season Leicester won the PL, our title drought would be over.

  85. Dissenter

    In walks one of the most notorious Giroud haters.
    That’s why I’m glad Giroud celebrated when he led Chelsea to beat us in Baku .

  86. WengerEagle


    Look, don’t disagree with that.

    I have time for Giroud the character. One of the few players that’s left us that I wish well because as you say, he seemed to care more than most of the others when he played here and you get the feeling that he’s still an Arsenal man at heart even in the Chav shirt, like Cesc and the way Cech and David Luiz will always feel more affinity for Chelsea.

    He had a bit of personality which I liked even if I wasn’t a fan of his game. In contrast to some of the blandest personalities known to man in Walcott, Ramsey, Wilshere, Koscielny.

    We seem to finally have a group of players with some strong characters in it now with Auba, Laca, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Luiz, Ceballos.

    Hoping Pepe begins to assert himself more once he’s settled, he’s fortunate to have the French guys there to help him adjust.

  87. Un na naai


    Not saying bye was world class but he took undeserved flack for not being rvp, bergkamp, Henry, anelka it Wright

    Up until him we always had a top goal scorer
    Dangerous and capable of scoring in any game against anyone
    It wasn’t his fault we didn’t replace that lineage properly is what I’m saying. He had more heart than most of our fair weather players in the latter Wenger years.

  88. WengerEagle


    I’m sure he much preferred playing with Diego Costa who he won 2 PL titles with.

    That’s what we call a diplomatic answer to a journalist question on Giroud’s qualities.

  89. Thomas

    Rambo RamseyAugust 18, 2019 17:23:31
    What a joke.If we had Auba/Laca rather than Giroud in Ramsey’s monster season (2014?) or in the season Leicester won the PL, our title drought would be over.


    The specialist in failure would still find some way to fuck it up.

  90. Champagne charlie


    It’s game 2 of the PL season, think it’s a fair assumption literally any subject is too early to judge.

    Let’s revisit it a quarter of the way in at game 10 and see what patterns are emerging. It was very promising to watch Ceballos receive and turn with such little effort in a crowded midfield but it was Burnley remember, name their best CM…

    When he’s done it at Anfield, held his own against City, shown some fire in the NLD, then let’s speculate about making him a permanent. If he goes on to hide at all the proper grounds and save the football for the fodder at home then he can get sent back to Madrid with a bow.

  91. Pedro

    Giroud is a beta striker.

    Much happier with what we have now… bar the lack of heavy physical presence. But ultimately, being a battering ram is of little use if you’re skewing it wide from 6 yards in pivotal moments.

  92. TR7

    I appreciate Giroud for making the most out of his limited ability. It’s not his fault we made him our no 1 striker when he should have been a back up striker. Very professional guy who has carried himself well.

  93. Un na naai


    Yeah. That’s exactly what I meant. He got a hard time for not being what we, the fans were looking for but he gave it his all and he just wasn’t rvp or Henry. If heart were converted into goals he’d be right up there. He did score some fucking beauties though and gave some sublime assists

    Also very handsome

    My Mrs did ask, who’s he? Where’s he from?
    Erm……..who’s Mila Kunis? Why don’t you ask about fucking nacho monreal and where he’s from??

  94. Up 4 grabs now

    I still say that if rvp had stayed the season we signed giroud, we win the league.
    And listening to him yesterday saying arsenal didn’t offer him a New deal, I’m calling bullshit on that one as well.

    Giroud had his faults and its not his fault Wenger lost the plot by then.

    Giroud worked his arse off, he was not the standard we needed but that’s not his fault.

  95. Un na naai


    I agree but the flack he took wasn’t fair

    Won’t ever forget the chance he missed at Chelsea when they beat us 6-0 and he had the opportunity to put us 1 up with 11 men on the field

    Rvp would have buried that. Pick your corner cos it’s going in.

    But yeah. I like Giroud. He was a tryer and as we all know, god loves a tryer