Matteo of the Match

by & filed under News Review.

via Arsenal Insta

Two points dropped. Right?

The story was a familiar one. A Granit Xhaka mistake costing us a needless goal. Two if you’re being very harsh.

The first came when he and Sokratis made a total mess of a clearance inside 11 minutes. The whole team folded allowing Lamela to fizz a shot across Leno, he parried it into the path of Eriksen, and we went one down.

The second mistake was an inexplicable lunge in the penalty box. Careless, unprofessional, but oh so very Granit Xhaka. Kane buried the penalty like a robot was a two-step special.

I don’t even want to get into the needless fouling towards the end when we were trying to chase the game. He wasn’t even playing players and he was slowing down the play.

It’s all so avoidable. Just don’t pick him. Emery has watched him make mistake after mistake for an entire year… he knows that he can’t stand up to pressure… he knows that he does dim things very consistently… so what does he do? He picks him against Spurs and gives him the captains armband in some sort of weird masochistic show of authority.

The midfield he chose was quite odd. Basically 3 deep-lying midfielders. Very little creativity. It didn’t really give us much solidity, as we were all over the place in the first half, and it gave us real trouble transitioning the ball forward. Lacazette was constantly dropping deep to collect the ball, sometimes from our own penalty box.

Thankfully, the Frenchman came through to save our half. Pepe sliced a ball into his path, he took two very good touches and forced the ball past Lloris from close range. That goal gave us a much-needed boost heading into the second half.

We came out a much more forceful side. The halftime team talk must have focused on urgency, pressure and more adventure moving forward. The game suddenly clicked into a proper North London derby, there was next to no structure, the ball was travelling end to end at a ferocious pace, and defending went out the window for both sides (not like it was ever in the window for us).

The manager introduced Ceballos for LT, and that gave us a different sort of energy. It introduced a link between attack and midfield, and it gave us a bit more mobility in midfield. Still didn’t stop Harry Kane waltzing into the box and ripping a shot off the inside of Leno’s post.

Still, you’d be hard pushed to convince me Arsenal weren’t deserving of a goal, the winds blew heavily in our favour and we looked far more menacing than Spurs.

The goal that levelled it was a thing of beauty. Matteo G threaded an outrageous pass that levelled the whole Spurs team, Auba gliding it past with the lightest of touches. It was out of this world.

We still had time for a Harry Kane dive, he shifted his body inside Sokratis running path and threw himself to the ground. It wasn’t even clever. It was pure out and out cheating. It really, really, really needs to be dealt with. His cheating is out of control. If he weren’t English, he’d be getting lampooned by the media.

So what can we conclude?

The Xhaka thing

Emery has to stop relying on Xhaka. He’s slow, ponderous, bad under pressure and he makes massive errors more often than any Arsenal player I can remember. I can give a pass to him for last season, but now it’s starting to look like a real blindspot.

Bland Midfields

Additionally, the manager needs to start being more aggressive with his line-ups. That midfield was always going to be bland. We shouldn’t have to watch strikers drop deep to make up for a lack of creativity. It made little sense to have 3 similar midfielders sitting in a flat line yesterday, especially when Spurs were there for the taking. We gave them far too much defensive respect and it didn’t even pay off, we conceded 8 shots in the first half, with 7 of them on target. An abomination.

The Masterful

I think that Matteo G just announced himself on the world stage. That performance was nothing short of sensational. He was at the heart of everything. His passing was good, he ran with the ball well, he was ambitious and his attitude was absolutely exceptional all game long. That should be the standard for every game moving forward. Incredible that he’s only 20 years old. A megastar in waiting.

Pepe

I’ve seen some tasteless Arsenal fans comparing him to Gervinho. Utter drivel. The man hasn’t clicked yet, but you can see he’s going to be absolutely class. He has that air of unpredictability we need in that front line, he’s fast, he can pass, he reads the game well and I think he’s going to be capable of explosive moments of brilliance. He just needs a bit of luck, then he’s away.

Defence

Spurs had a lot of good chances yesterday. I think if I watched that game again, I’d be appalled at some of the defending. We are going to need to sharpen up, we are too easy to get at, and we gave key Spurs players far too much time to do their thing yesterday. Leno kept that scoreline acceptable yesterday, but he won’t save us like that all season. David Luiz also needs to be pulled to one side… that’s 4 errors in 3 games from him. Not good enough.

Top 4

I think we’re nailed on for the top 3 this season. Spurs don’t look the same, Chelsea will  struggle, and United are utterly average. It’s basically ours to lose, I just hope that isn’t an invitation to coast. Emery needs to tighten the ship and he needs to find a way of unlocking the magic more consistently.

Right, that’s me done, see you in the comments. x

822 Responses to “Matteo of the Match”

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  1. GillespieRoadNoMore

    Mikhi looks to be off, wish we could say the same about Captain Calamity Granit Xhaka – what a total plank.

  2. TitsMcGee

    I’ve seen some tasteless Arsenal fans comparing him to Gervinho. ”

    4 games into the season, in a new country, in a new league(perhaps the most physical in the world). Shows the level that some operate on intelligence -wise.

  3. TitsMcGee

    I like the talent that we have on paper but unsure that Emery is the guy to put that talent in the best position to succeed. “Disjointed” is the word that comes to mind.

  4. raptora

    Pedro: “I’ve seen some tasteless Arsenal fans comparing him to Gervinho. Utter drivel.”

    That’d be TR7. And this one from DanishGooner: “Pepe a very expensive Kaba Diawara.”

  5. bennydevito

    Good Morbing Grovers,

    Good post Pedro.

    For me personally even though Guendouzi did have a good game it wasn’t great. He’s so slow especially when chasing a loose ball or long pass and looks like he’s running through quicksand. His running style is also frustrating with a very large bouncy stride and runs like a giraffe on a bouncy castle. There was a time in the 2nd half where a loose ball broke in the box and he had a head start on the Spurs defender to sprint to the ball and smash it in first time but got nowhere near it. I’m find him so frustrating to watch.

    We should have started with Celballos instead of Xhaka with Torreira and Guendouzi sitting behind in a 4 2 1 3 formation

    People moan about Torreira playing as an attacking midfielder but it makes sense better than Xhaka or Guendouzi because he did start out as a striker.

    Anyway that was definitely 2 pts lost and Emery needs to sort it out and stop playing so negatively and stop pulling such stupid faces.

    Also Mk needs to go. He’s terrible.

  6. Silverhawk

    Having Xhaka as the captain this season was where it all went wrong. Now he’s basically undroppable.

    A midfield with 3 of Willock, Özil, Ceballos, Guendouzi, and Torreira will be a formidable one. That’s what we need to try out this season.

    I know this is bad but I wish Xhaka a 3 to 4 months injury during this international break. That’s the only way we can get rid of him for a while.

  7. Guns of Hackney

    We were shit. Period. This is a 7+ score line against city or a warmed up Liverpool.

    What’s the point of even analysing Emery? The man can’t pick a team. He did the right thing going three up front…tick. Then he totally neutralises it by picking the midfield he did. Either start cabellos or dare I say it, Ozil but not that f-ing shambles.

    Sokratis gets a lot of love on here. Not sure why as he’s shit. A total lump. Lucky not to get sent off for his BS with Rose.

    Leno kept the score down but a better keeper holds onto that shot. So meh.

    Pepe…yes, unpredictable (currently), a live wire but a bit headless. He’s 24 not 19…where’s the intelligence? Also, any half alive defender should easily sort him out because of his 100% reliance on his left foot. Actually, yes he is a bit Gervinho…but he DOES have a bit more.

    Auba. Shit until he scored.
    Laca busy. Good goal. A very expensive Wiltord.

    We made a massive error giving Emery another season. He’s not up to either Arsenal, the players or the league, but whatever it is, he’s not very good.

  8. raptora

    “Sky sources understand Henrik Mkhitaryan is travelling to Rome this morning to finalise loan move.”

    Loan move though. Still going to be a problem in the coming summer. Wages out of the club is a big thing though.

  9. shaun

    It’s all so avoidable. Just don’t pick him. Emery has watched him make mistake after mistake for an entire year… he knows that he can’t stand up to pressure… he knows that he does dim things very consistently… so what does he do? He picks him against Spurs and gives him the captains armband in some sort of weird masochistic show of authority.

    after reading the above and not just then actually a few times since the spurs game I found myself thinking “we need to get that Center back sorted and start looking for that coach who is going to deliver ” . I was actually annoyed yesterday when I saw a poster talking about next season ……thinking what is he talking about ; what about this season . I get it now as it is becoming obvious that we will not win with Emery .There is some thing fundamentally wrong and I am not just talking about playing Xhaka as that just makes you take notice and think nah mate your not the full ticket. We are way to open defensively .Is anyone else seeing any kind of defensive improvement ? I am not sure but I am 99.9% sure if we drop Xhaka and play Willock or Ceballos we win that game lol……lol long i know ..long short ..Xhaka fucks the defensive structure of your team so bad that you have to be a mad man to include him same as Mustaffi

  10. Guns of Brixton

    Juventus are interested in Arsenal centre back Shokdran Mustafi, according to Sky in Germany.

    The Serie A club are looking for a replacement after losing their captain Giorgio Chiellini to knee injury at the weekend.

    Mustafi has yet to feature for Arsenal this season.

    Juventus have also enquired about Dejan Lovren, Medhi Benatia and Jerome Boateng.

    Huh? Are they on drugs?

  11. shaun

    Sokratis gets a lot of love on here. Not sure why as he’s shit. A total lump. Lucky not to get sent off for his BS with Rose.

    some gems on here today but beginning to that that as well lol……………..lol kinda needs replacing …helping to close out a game by coming on in the 89th minute when we are 8-0 up maybe ????

  12. Kayciey

    Emery is the reason why Arsenal failed to win yesterday and he will be the reason in future matches. The earlier he goes the better for everyone.

  13. Areeshaycaller

    Why is no one talking about our flat footed left back in Kolasinac? He’s so rubbish and can’t track back when he goes upfront. How about the centre back pairing? Why did Sokratis go for that header when Granit was contesting with Kane? He could easily have marked the resulting flick. And the kamikazee positioning of David Luiz for that goal was something else.
    For Emery and his choice of midfield yesterday? I can’t deal

  14. Kleinfeld

    That game should be Xhaka’s last chance.

    If Emery keeps playing him and he keeps costing us points, its on him. No need to make a rod for your own back, especially when we have better options.

  15. Alan

    With Mhiki off to Roma, WTF is Emery doing bringing him on for the last 25 mins to win the game!!!! He was waaaaaay off the pace, had 2-3 half chances, esp the Sanchez header that fell to him!!
    Nelson, Willock or even Ozil would have done a better job.

    Defo 2 points dropped yesterday.

  16. Major_Jeneral

    GoH

    Yes Pepe is 24 but dont compare him with Gervinho, he made an assist yesterday.

    He didn’t have a preseason. So how do we expect him to hit the ground running.

    Give the lad some time to blend.

  17. Grant Elkin

    Hopefully IF we get top 4 or 3, I hope Raul will call Uni in to his office thank him for his work and wish him well in his future endeavours. I believe Uni is not the man to take us farwd, he’s a mid table manager at best. I don’t know about you guys, but I can not see any definitive style to our play and he seems to nor know his best midfield. Now I find that kind of worrying, considering he’s been in the job over a year. I pray D’on Raul gets shot of him at the end of this season, he’s simply not good enough.

  18. Un na naai

    We had the players to beat spurs and least take the game to liveroool and make them sweat

    We failed on both counts due to the tinker man fucking around and over complicating things in midfield with zero improvement defensively

  19. Emiratesstroller

    I posted on the previous thread an observation about the vulnerability of our
    defence when we play both Maitland-Niles and Kolasinac in wing back positions.

    Both play effectively as wingers with little or no evidence that they know when
    to defend. Too often both are bombing upfield at same time or are in no man’s
    land leaving our two centre backs totally exposed on the flanks as was the
    case yesterday.

    I was at the game and it was obvious in the first half that Spurs had identified that weakness when they counterattacked. Indeed watching the rerun on BBC
    last night you can see Pochettino directing his players to take advantage of
    this situation when they counterattacked.

    If we are playing with both these wing backs then my view is that we need to
    play with three centre backs. Otherwise we are going to struggle in defence.

    Hopefully when both Bellerin and Tierney return they will show a greater
    degree of defensive responsibility as has been the case yesterday.

  20. Pierre

    Many seem to think that when holding is fit that he will come straight into the back 4 …think again .

    Enery will be reluctant to drop either Luiz or Sokratis as in his mind they are influential players ….the same as xhaka ( in his mind)

    Emery thought he could copy klopp and play 4-3-3 with advanced full backs, all he did was leave our centre backs exposed to the counter.

    Will the manager ever find a system and stick to it , probably not.
    Will the manager ever find his best 11 and stick to it..probably not.

    And there lies the problem .

    I just knew that Ceballos would be made the fall guy for the liverpool defeat ..
    The Tottenham game was the perfect stage for Ceballos to show us what he is made of .

    His misuse of Ozil is laughable in my opinion ..in the last 15 minutes we needed players who use their brains , keep the ball, work the openings, Ceballos and Ozil would have dominated the closing stages given the chance , instead we lost the ball time time again allowing Tottenham breathing space .

    The game was there for the taking, it just needed calm intelligent football as there were spaces all over the pitch but he leaves our most intelligent footballer on the bench

    Maybe the manager was afraid that he would come on and show what we are missing and that wouldn’t look good on Emery would it.

  21. Chris

    Glad Mkhi is off, but makes it all the more strange why he was brought on yesterday and not, well quite frankly anyone else instead.

    A lot of Emery’ decisions regarding the game yesterday were just bizarre.

  22. raptora

    I’m kind of opening my eyes re Emery. I liked him but you cannot consistently pick Xhaka as a starting player but to even make him the captain?! It shows he likes the player and that’s obscene. I’m glad that he and the club as a whole identified Mustafi, Mkhitaryan, Elneny, Jenkinson, Ospina as players not needed but Xhaka firmly belongs in that category. So do Ozil, Sokratis and Kolasinac. The sooner we get rid, the better. And as long as they are still in the club, we should be only using them in the cup games and not in the EPL. At all costs if possible.

  23. Un na naai

    There’s no synchronicity anywhere in our team outside of lacazette and Aubameyang

    No partnerships, no understanding, no familiarity. It’s like they don’t work on anything in training
    Like these guys don’t know each other

    Yes there are 2 new faces in the starting lineup but the rest of the side play like they don’t know each other

    It takes Ceballos to come on and add that know how.

  24. shaun

    the positive is I think Emery will bow to fan pressure and I am not even joking. We got rid of Mustaffi although we were massively helped by his high profile errors . but hey same goes for Xhaka … it is that obvious and we know Emery is not gonna try and defend that now . Not after the situation is explained to him but one of his English speaking friends …”your ass is fucked if you keep playing that dude ” and Emery will be like “ahh yes yes ,Xhaka we have spoken many times and he has his qualities , he know his situation and maybe now is better for us is better for him so he can find new challenge

  25. shad

    14 months in and Emery still thinks Xhaka is a key starter for such fixtures and tops it up with giving him the captaincy.

    Either he is utterly incompetent or he is giving Xhaka just enough rope to be hanged by the masses (i.e. me and Pedro)

    My conclusion is Emery isn’t the man to take us up a level. And I do not want to see Xhaka starting ever again. I’d rather lose trying out Willock, Nelson and Saka than see another brain fart from our captain.

  26. raptora

    Pierre,
    You’ve been advocating Mikki that he is still able to produce quality moments. Guess it’s what Emery hoped for. I mean I would have picked Mikki instead of Ozil and Nelson as well. But I don’t get to see how they play in training. So who knows if it was the right decision or not.

  27. raptora

    “Juventus are unlikely to be successful in their efforts to sign Arsenal centre back Shokdran Mustafi, Sky in Germany understands.
    The Serie A club are keen to bring in a centre-back after their captain Giorgio Chiellini suffered a serious knee injury at the weekend.
    Juventus had also enquired about Dejan Lovren, Medhi Benatia and Jerome Boateng, but a deal for Mustafi is unlikely to be completed before Serie A’s window closes at 9pm today.”

    Oh lord…

  28. Knoxville

    Excellent Post Pedro.

    Emery is clearly not the man to take Arsenal forward. I don’t understand how the man spends his days analysing the opposition with tonnes of videos and still adapts shite tactics. What exactly is he watching? My gut tells me he is a pornhub regular.

    You dont get top 4 if you cant beat your closest rivals home.

    Thanks for the memories Unai (If any) but its time to go.

  29. Wasi

    Ughh 2 points dropped. Same old story.Defensive Errors gift opposition 2 goals. Strikers carry us again.Idk where to start. Maybe Emery choosing such a bland midfield or starting the game with a deep defensive line at home against a struggling Spurs team.
    Honestly i beleive Emery should have started positively. Started Ceballos or willock in place of torreiraor guendouzi. I know i know . Even i want xhaka to be benched or sold but emery was never gonna bench him. Midfield lacked creativity . Front 3 didnt have enough support and we started too deep. Spurs had too much tym on the ball .
    The Goals ugh. 1st goal a result of 3 stupid mistakes maybe 4. 1)Xhaka losing out to Harry kane aerially but thats understandable he is big ol’ Harry.
    2) Sokratis trying to contest a header he was never gonna reach and leaving Son free who was clear in his sight.(60% at fault).
    3)Luiz’s defending (25% at fault)
    4)Leno not able to collect or divert the ball to a corner (15%).And then Sokratis nkt tracking Eriksen. Though Leno was outstanding throughout and should be forgiven. He was wrong footed and made a good save to Lamela’s shot.
    Second Goal. Emery’s baby Xhaka doing what he does best. Also i dont get how was he not sent off yesterday. Committed infinite no. of fouls . All silly . Putting the team under pressure . + The Son challenge was easily a yellow and in some cases even a Red. Xhaka is a liability. Rn id rather see robbie Burton over Xhaka.Idk why Emery loves him so much. But theres also hope that maybe Emery is trying to steer away from making xhaka a starter as he has not yet been made official captain. Maybe he is waiting for Holding or bellerin or even Ozil to step up so that he can make one of them the first captain of the five.Anyways captain or no he shouldn’t be starting PL games for us anymore. Also benching Torreira for Ceballos is funny. Torreira was playing well yesterday and i thought he might even nick a goal in the 2nd half. He is trying to make those Ramsey-esque late runs but he gets in the box too early imo. He needs to hold and wait for the right moment like Ramsey to make a dart in.
    Mykhi was outrageously poor. His only good moment came when he slid that pass to Kola who then crossed which was put in goal but Kola was offside. Last minute of the game when matty g played him a long ball he waited for the ball to come to him when he could have just crossed it first time to auba who had cleared ahead of his marker. Really Roma please get him.
    Kolasinac was BAD. Poor crossing . Idk why but he seems afraid when he has possession of the ball. He just tries to get rid of it i think. He is only good when he is chasing a through ball near the by-line before crossing blindly. He doesnt even want to defend. You see Torreira and guen and even Xhaka running behind to defend during turnovers and this guys is well ahead of our strikers jogging back like he is in a garden . Need Tierney to get and stay fit.
    Finally Positives.
    Don Matteo.He was everywhere yesterday. Tackling , winning the ball back , passing dribbling even had a good shot saved by Lloris who also was outstanding yesterday. Really Matty g seems to be the first name on the team sheet now. Well ahead of everyone bar Xhaka in the starting 11 who he should usurp easily now after this performance. We got a Super player on our hands. Raul needs to tie him to a big contract before the season ends cuz big teams are gonna be in for him sooner or later . France call-up before the end of the season? Or would that be too much. Why Deschamps wont pick Laca is another big mystery. Hed rather ben yedder and giroud. Seriously Laca is very very much better than these guys.
    Auba looks like he is getting better with Age. He’s considerably improved his dribbling,passing and crossing since last season. He seems faster sharper and even more deadlier. Also the feel good vibe he brings around the club is invaluable.
    Laca doing what he does. Coming up clutch against a top 6 opponent while playing throuvb an injury. He doesnt seem to have Auba’s nose for goal but he definitely has nose for outrageously wonderful goals. Also important and clutch goals.
    Amn played fine. Son got the better of him on some occasions but he is son he can get the better of literally any FB in the league. Other than that Amn looks like he is learning to let his composure not turn into complacency. He was good.
    Leno was v good . Made important saves in the first half to keep us in the game.
    Ceballos positive. Brings cazorla esque qualities weve lacked severely past 2-3 seasons. Should have started . Ideally in place of Xhaka.
    Good Atmosphere around the stadium too. Would Love to have that every game.

    Also why GOH acting like CG?

  30. Edu me a favour

    Yeh, I really don’t get some posters writing Pepe off , I’ve never seen a ball stick to an arsenal boot like it does with him , it’s crazy , and when he finally shakes of the new team nerves and stuff he’s going to be exceptional

    Not too sure I agree that we’re nailed on for top 3 , I’d wait until we’ve played teams like Leicester and wolves away until we can say for some certainty that we’re nailed on for that lofty position. I still think we will get a beating away by one of those top 9 sides , especially with xhaka in the side.

    Emery in a nutshell – talks up Reiss Willock etc getting their chance this season , promotes them to first team squad – mkhi on his way out in loan – brings him on yesterday – this for me is enough ( not that I really need anymore) to show that this man has to absolutely be replaced at the end of this season, I don’t think we should do it before as we need some kind of stability there but defo say adios to him in May.

  31. Emiratesstroller

    Pierre

    One of the reasons that Xhaka has become a liability and his mistackle resulted in a penalty was that Maitland-Niles as is too often the case was ‘off station’.

    Son was left completely unmarked as was too often the case in first after when
    Spurs counter-attacked.

    We can blame always the Centre Backs and the Defensive Midfielders for their mistakes, but the reality is that when we play wing-backs and in particular both Maitland-Niles and Kolasinac we are left totally exposed.

    I have been critical in past about Guendouzi, because despite his work ethic
    there has been little end product to his game and his performance level deteriorates in last quarter of games. Yesterday he proved me wrong for first
    time since he joined Arsenal. He had his best game by a “country mile”.

    There is no logic in keeping Ceballos, Ozil and Mkhitaryan if you are not going
    to play them. My view is that one of the first two should be playing in starting
    lineup. Mkhitaryan is a very mediocre player and needs to be offloaded. Whether that happens today or in January depends on club and interest in
    player.

  32. China1

    Supposedly mikki flew to Roma and juve after mustafi?????

    If these deals happen arsenal have had a glorious window

    Ozil and xhaka would be the only stench left! Incredible times

  33. Danny

    If Mkhitryan is leaving today for Roma it just shows what a useless manager we have by bringing him on instead of Nelson or Willock yesterday.
    Actually he’s useless anyway.

  34. Jimmy B

    There’s a comment on here slagging of Geundouzi, stating that he’s slow and that the commenter, dislikes his running style and hairstyle… For fucksake mate, you’re a moron and should not, under any circumstances, be allowed near a keyboard.

  35. raptora

    Yes, ES. Guendouzi has always been shit. He literally played his first good game yesterday… Do you actually believe yourself? This performance was in the making and most people could see him being very good this whole time.

  36. Biggles

    I think Emery made a mistake with the midfield. I’d have been tempted to go Willock – Torreira – Ceballos personally. A bit more energy, a bit more running. Xhaka is clearly the weak link. My thinking is that Emery thought we were going to be under more of a siege and wanted more deep lying midfielders to try offer extra defence.

    If we can get Mkhitaryan out on loan, then good. I’d have preferred an outright sale, but on his wages it’s not going to happen. He’s 30, he’s under contract for another two years and he’s on £200k a week. I would rather he go on loan so he doesn’t get in the team and even if we have to subsidise half his wages it’s a saving of £100k a week whilst giving more game time to Willock/Nelson/Martinelli/Smith-Rowe (depending on who and what formation we play). The sad thing is that we only sometimes saw Dortmund level Mkhitaryan, who was a great player. Shame it never quite worked out.

    I don’t see Emery winning us the league, but I don’t think we are realistically fighting for that this season. Dropping Emery if he’s going to get us into the CL is just daft – it would cost us and we’d be no better off. The guy is here to improve us a bit whilst we reshape the squad and get costs under control. Raul has done far more of that this summer than I ever dreamed was possible.

    Now there’s just Mustafi, Xhaka and Ozil to go…

  37. Wasi

    The Run of games after the break should provide enough game time for maritnelli ,saka and nelson to fight it out for Mykhi’s position. That is the impact sub for one of the strikers. Also i think john jules can get some time in CC or EL. Chambers and Holding will be starting the CC and EL games and pushing Sok and Luiz. Tierney and Bellerin can hopefully get some time towards the end of the month. Willock/ Ceballos will get games to displace Xhaka in the starting 11.Ozil will get time tl prove his worth. Lets hope that Emery can figure out his best 11 before the end of the month.

  38. Leftsidesanch

    Anyone already writing off Pepe looks to look in the mirror, Arsenal fans can’t help themselves but embarass and be over reactionary to everything.

  39. Northbanker

    After last 2 games seen enough – sack Emery immediately and the a risk on Freddie as caretaker manager. Emery is completely out of his depth

  40. Davey

    The game yesterday was piss poor with no pattern and shambolic defending, a draw was about the right result just feels like we scored all 4 goals! Grant Hacker has had too many chances and must be dropped we also need our fullbacks back A.S.A.P and am getting really worried on our Greek colossus Papa (not)

  41. raptora

    Leftsidesanch: “Arsenal fans can’t help themselves but embarass and be over reactionary to everything.”

    They are not many people who’ve done that tbf. 95% of the people are supporting Pepe and know we got a big player in our hands. The other 5% are either trolls or hipsters wanna be cool.

  42. raptora

    “The Premier League club also remain open to letting defender Shkodran Mustafi go before Monday’s transfer deadline – but it looks unlikely the 27-year-old German will leave.”

    A bummer…

  43. Davey

    “Grant Hacker”

    This must be the best auto-correct I’ve seen in my life. LOL

    That was from a spuds fan I work with this morning, very funny and spot on.

  44. Emiratesstroller

    raptora

    I have never suggested that Guendouzi is “shit”. Indeed I am reluctant to describe any player in that way.

    However, I have not been impressed until yesterday with his performance level. It is all very well running around the pitch like a rabbit, but there needs also to be end product. Yesterday he delivered it for the first time.

    If he plays consistently in that fashion then I am a fan for his inclusion in starting lineup.

    What I do know is that Emery needs to make decisions on who is going to play regularly in first team with allowance for some rotation to avoid tiredness and
    potential injuries.

  45. Sohara

    I have read all your comments above & I think you have all not taken into consideration that Emery has only been here for one year, no doubt he would LOVE to get rid of ll the players you mention above, but it takes time, you cannot get rid of over half our squad in ONE YEAR. All the new signings that have been coming in have all been good signings , considering we do not have CL & we do have financial restrictions. I feel sure that in another year, most of the players that you deem ‘Not good enough’ will have been moved on. I was at the game yesterday & although I was VERY disappointed at the result as we all are. There were positives to take. The Atmosphere at the ground was amazing . The players put EVERYTHING they had into that game right until the end, you cannot ask any player to do more than that, even if they make mistakes, everyone makes mistakes sometimes. I think we should give Emery a chance, we have a great management team behind him , we have some GREAT young players coming through, we are still ahead of Spurs ….so I feel a bit disappointed, but still hopeful . I think top 4 is a realistic target & hopefully the Europa

  46. Pierre

    Raptora
    “You’ve been advocating Mikki that he is still able to produce quality moments. Guess it’s what Emery hoped for”

    Mkhitaryan is not a bad player, he is just another creative player misused by the manager

    Add him to the list of CAMs who look lost under Emery
    He tried Ramsey….it failed.
    He tried Ozil…it failed
    He tried Mhkitaryan….it failed

    And now he has Ceballos who has everything you need in a creative midfielder…. and he doesn’t play him probably because ,like all the other creative players he has , Emery doesn’t trust them .

    Personally, I believe he hasn’t a clue how to use them .
    It’s all about what they can do defensively not offensively.

    Funnily enough, with his defenders, it’s all a out what they can do offensively not defensively.

    Maybe someone should have a word with him.

  47. Leftsidesanch

    We have a squad with enough quality to go for a top 4/3 finish but it is hard to be confident as there are still too many errors in this side and we have no solidarity defensively. I can only hope that it will tighten up once Bellerin, Tierney and Holding come into the fold. I keep saying that i wouldn’t be averse to playing Chambers and Holding as I don’t have much faith in Sok and Luiz (admittedly the latter wasn’t too bad yesterday).

    We dropped points yesterday due to silly errors, at least Leno made up for it with some fantastic saves. As for Xhaka, it is really difficult to see what he brings to this side. He has been playing in this league for a few years and hasn’t come to grips with the pace of the game, still makes the same costly errors and then continually gets picked for the following game.

    As it is an international break now, Emery will roll out with him to Watford completely discarding his woeful performance yesterday. Mikki looks to be out of the door which is fantastic news, and I don’t feel he should have been brought on yesterday. With a bit more diligence and thought in our play yesterday we would have won the game. Mikki and Kola actually stifled us when we got into promising promotions.

  48. Akan

    Calamity Emery doesn’t have a clue, the man makes the worst player at the club captain of the team. Arsenal’s defensive disasters started in 2016 when Xhaka arrived at the club and they will only be sorted out when he goes. He adds nothing at all to the team that a whole lot of other players couldn’t do better. His continued selection by the manager exposes the weaknesses of how the club is run..Low expectations No ambition

  49. Ishola70

    Surprisingly good article about the Xhaka situation from Metro on the morning yesterday before the match.

    Metro usually just copy other media but this is from one of their own writers.

    The positives to take from the article:

    Xhaka hasn’t been made permanent captain. The article highlights the mess of Emery’s five captain’s with Xhaka the last man standing out of all of them and despite this not been given permanent captain.

    Set-pieces have been taken away from Xhaka this season which may indicate that Emery is lessening Xhaka’s role in the team gradually.

    Emery is surrounding Xhaka with midfielders which are the opposite to Xhaka which again could point to gradual exclusion of Xhaka.

    https://metro.co.uk/2019/09/01/why-granit-xhaka-is-emerging-as-unai-emerys-biggest-problem-at-arsenal-10643112/

  50. N5

    I’ve never been a fan of Luis and I was really concerned when he was brought in! It screamed of a panic buy to me!! Very Kim Kallstrom!

    Since he’s joined he’s been terrible! He doesn’t need to adapt to the league or the city so that’s not an excuse. I’ve always felt he conned a career!! So often erratic and crazy than dependable and decent!!

    Sok was terrible too and his fighting was embarrassing!!

    Our defence has been awful for far too long now! That should have been the priority not getting in another winger!!

    Emery renewed hope but so far nothing has changed and yesterday was a massive highlight of our deficiencies!!

  51. shaun

    “My gut tells me he is a pornhub regular” what kind of thinking is that ….you don’t have to be brain dead to be a pornhub regular

  52. Ashwin Gunner

    All those people who were saying Poch was Shit and Emery is the best thing which has happened.

    your best thing couldn;t even beat shitty Poch at home.

    Xhakha should never have been in the squad. Instead Mr Best Thing makes him the captain.

    why was Ceballos not started. We are heading into an international break. What was Emery trying to do by not playing him. Its not as if we are going to have a mid week game. He is the best mid fielder we have.

    Then comes Mikhi. Pick anyone from our academy and they would do a better job than Mikhi. My dog can dribble better than Mikhi.

    This manager is as shit as Wenger if not more.

  53. Ishola70

    Arsenal took the game to Spurs from virtually the first whistle so I don’t see this massive problem with the midfield of course with the exception of Xhaka.

    Spurs had their best CB partnership back which steadied them defensively and they took out their defensive calamity Sanchez out of the firing line by taking him away from central and shunting hi out wide.

    It’s unrelistic to think that the team are going to over-run Spurs and create chance after chance but even so Arsenal were on top for long periods of the match and did create more than enough chances.

    People saw Spurs had problems before the match but it looks as if these problems were over-cooked somewhat.

    Arsenal were clearly the better side yesterday but as we have seen for over a decade now the team is not up to scratch defensively.

    The club have got to get serious about defensive matters and if that means binning Emery so be it. The seriousness in this matter starts with the ditching of Xhaka and over time CB areas are replaced to the ones we saw yesterday.

  54. N5

    On that subject Ishola, who would you pick as captain? I’ve been thinking about it and it’s quite a difficult decision. Torreira I guess when he’s playing.

  55. Ishola70

    What a joke the five captain were eh.

    Of the five only Xhaka left around in the first team.

    Three have left the club and the other is a whatever member of the group.

    Xhaka has got the captaincy by default.

  56. Ashwin Gunner

    “Mkhitaryan is not a bad player, he is just another creative player misused by the manager”

    You are absolutely right. Its Emery’s fault. . Emery should have known that his 140K per week player cant hold a f8king ball.

  57. Emiratesstroller

    The problem we have in midfield at the moment is the roles that the players are expected to play.

    Both Xhaka and Torreira are supposed to be specialist “defensive midfielders”.

    Guendouzi, Ceballos and Willock are supposed to be specialist “central midfielders”.

    Ozil, Mkhitaryan and Smith-Rowe are supposed to be specialist “attacking midfielders”

    In an ideal world if you are playing a balanced team you need a combination of
    the three.

    The problem, which was highlighted in first half yesterday is that there was
    very little balance and it was unclear what was actually the role of the three
    midfielders selected.

  58. Ashwin Gunner


    On that subject Ishola, who would you pick as captain? I’ve been thinking about it and it’s quite a difficult decision. Torreira I guess when he’s playing.”

    I would go for some one Like Papa. His passion will be contagious.

  59. Jamie

    So we’ve gotten rid of Jenko, Kos, Nacho, Elneny, Mkhi for less than £10m, and a couple of them might have to return when their loans finish. Mustafi, Ozil and Xhaka still here and we can’t give them away.

    The theory that Wenger left loads of value in the squad has been well and truly debunked. It’s been awfully quiet here since we sold Iwobi.

  60. Ishola70

    I’d go for Lacazette as captain N5.

    He seems very much liked at the club and most times he shows good attitude.

    Guendouzi of course is earmarked as future captain.

  61. Leftsidesanch

    I hope the loans for Elneny and Mikki are with an option to buy. Some places have reported they are and some haven’t so it’s unclear.

  62. Pierre

    Ishola
    “Set-pieces have been taken away from Xhaka this season which may indicate that Emery is lessening Xhaka’s role in the team gradually.”

    You could be right, Ozil was always our go to player at set pieces until Emery arrived.

    I may be wrong but I’m sure we used to score more goals from set pieces with Ozil being able to pick players out in the box.

  63. N5

    Good call with Laca Ishola, he is our French Ian Wright. I know Arsenal have always been reluctant to have someone lead from the front though.

    Ashwin, I imagine if he were to pick Pepe as captain the internal politics would be an issue. Players getting their noses out of joint after being here longer etc.

    Guendouzi as Ishola says is likely future captain.

  64. N5

    Leftside, I asked yesterday if Elneny’s was with an option to buy and I was told it has but the price asked is unreasonable so is a non starter!! Disappointing if true because he’s a average player if being nice!!

  65. bennydevito

    Jimmy BSeptember 2, 2019    10:26:05

    There’s a comment on here slagging of Geundouzi, stating that he’s slow and that the commenter, dislikes his running style and hairstyle… For fucksake mate, you’re a moron and should not, under any circumstances, be allowed near a keyboard.

    >>>>>>

    Why don’t you name the commenter and quote the comment fucknuts?

    I criticised his running style and pace of a fucking snail because it’s a fact, what of it? I didn’t criticise his hairstyle though because what’s that got to do with anything?

    If anyone’s the moron it’s you.

  66. Thank you and goodnight.

    When Wenger played Chamberlain against Liverpool ,2 days before Chamberlain left for Liverpool, we all slated wenger , and rightly so.
    So why the fuck would Emery pick mikhi knowing we’re trying to get rid of him? Fucking madness. Last season I stuck up for Emery, yet it’s obvious now after only 4 games played that Emery is truly clueless. I’d get rid of him now, why bother fucking about waiting till the end of the season. Emery out now

  67. China1

    If mikki and mustafi are out that will really put a positive on our weekend after the dropped 2 points

    As well can you imagine being ozil right now if mikki and mustafi goes

    He’ll be looking around the dressing room for fellow wasters and he’s gonna see absolutely no one who isn’t giving their best and sitting out a fat contract.

    Xhaka is still there and sucks but tries at least

  68. N5

    Alright TYAG mate, how are ya!! Did you hear Liams dad’s been banged up for 18+ years for being a nonce!! Gobsmacked mate!!

  69. Biggles

    I’m not normally a fan of a goalie-as-a-captain, but I think in our case Leno makes the most sense. He’s unlikely to be dropped, whereas any of the other senior players like Lacazette, Xhaka or Sokratis could be dropped. Obviously you can drop your captain, but it’s never a good look and you still then need to pick a backup anyway.

  70. Ashwin Gunner

    N5

    I was going for Papa – “Sokratis Papastathopoulos”.

    I like Laca as well. the guy plays his heart out. never seen him relaxing or complaining. but he is not as vocal as Papa. some who can kick Xhaka and Mikhi on their balls if they make a mistake.

  71. N5

    “He’ll be looking around the dressing room for fellow wasters and he’s gonna see absolutely no one who isn’t giving their best and sitting out a fat contract. ”

    That in it’s self may be enough to get the bug eyed chameleon looking fucker to work harder and not just against the shit clubs but in tough games that matter also. Lazy bastard 😀

  72. China1

    A year back ozil must have felt so safe and assured

    Where will he hide now? Who are his allies if his fellow losers go?

    That arsenal bench is gonna become a very lonely place if he doesn’t either make some effort or fuck off

  73. Ishola70

    I don’t think Papa is a good enough player to be captain.

    And if he was vocal without the danger of being sent off always hovering over him then fair enough but like Xhaka he seems to be on the edge all the time of getting in trouble with the officials.

  74. Wasi

    Pierre
    Ozil was ripped of his set-piece duties because his set pieces were not really that good. They were flighted and not fast whipped deliveries. Though they were very accurate and he did pick up some assists through his set pieces. Honestly Pepe, torreira and xhaka are better at set pieces and should be taking them regularly. And with Emery easing out Xhaka from the set piece duties and not making him permanent captain it might be possible Emery might try to ease him out of the starting 11.Hopefully.
    Also id like Bellerin , Holding and Lacazette to fill the rest of Captain vacancies.Such a strange thing to say.

  75. China1

    Leno for captain isn’t the worst idea and we do lack genuine options unless we’re gonna go really wildcard like we did when we gave it to cesc

  76. Leftsidesanch

    N5 I agree, but you hope that Elneny pulls up trees over there in Turkey to persuade them to part with the cash. That being said, I genuinely don’t think he’s much worse than Mr Granite who is now a staple in this side.

  77. Ashwin Gunner

    China1

    We still have some losers on the bench. It will be some time till we get rid of all the fat bast*ards who add nothing to the team.

  78. N5

    “I genuinely don’t think he’s much worse than Mr Granite who is now a staple in this side.”

    Jesus, from Viera, Pires, Petit, Fabregas, Gilberto to Elneny & Xhaka!!

    There are no words for how this feels!!

  79. raptora

    Big lol at Fifa nominating Kane for The Best award but not someone like Sterling or Bernardo Silva.

    Stats for last season (EPL + UCL):

    Kane – 37 games, 22 goals (4 penalty goals), 5 assists;

    Sterling – 44 games, 22 goals, 12 assists from a winger position.

    Kane’s previous season was nothing special and he surely was far from being super influential for the spuds. Their hero last season was Lucas Moura because he scored when they needed to.

  80. Ashwin Gunner

    “And if he was vocal without the danger of being sent off always hovering over him then fair enough but like Xhaka he seems to be on the edge all the time of getting in trouble with the officials”

    Agreed. He is a constant threat of being sent out. But he is going to be threat anyways. Give him the captain band and atleast we can be sure that there will be no Park walkers in the team.

  81. N5

    Raptora, FIFA is an old boys clubs of lunatics and sycophants. No way should Kane be in the same sentence as Sterling, let alone winning the award ahead of him!!

  82. Emiratesstroller

    When we discuss “captaincy” of a team you are considering leadership, playing performance and above all regularity of selection in the team.

    The problem at Arsenal is that very few of the players are guaranteed currently a place in the team let alone meet the other criteria.

    Personally if and when he is match fit I would pick Bellerin as captain. He is
    now the player who has been the longest at the club, he is a good player and
    would be expected to be selected in starting lineup when fit and I think that
    he is also one of the more intelligent players in squad.

  83. N5

    Ashwin good call re Park walkers. Did you see the game where Mert ran over to Ozil and berated him for not going to the away supporters? that’s what we need now, someone with leadership and who is not afraid to hold someone responsible for their actions!!

    How can Emery put a journeyman as a captain? I’m unable to get my head around Xhaka’s selection let alone his captaincy.

  84. Mr Serge

    So Miki on his way to Roma on deadline day. Great news we are getting rid of all the dross. Shane nobody has come in for Xhaka and Mustardi

  85. raptora

    ES,
    I like Bellerin but he still has his baby face and we still consider him green and youthful. He doesn’t have the aura.

    Guendouzi for sure has it from what I’ve seen but it’s probably too early to make him our main captain.

    Imo Leno is the easiest and safest choice. And Emery could use a bit of easy.

    I would consider Luiz. Rather have him than any of the other candidates except for Leno.

  86. Ashwin Gunner

    N5

    Exactly. one of the many reason i loved Per was his commitment to the shirt he is wearing. He gave everything. he was not the best defender in the world, But we can be assured that he will give every ounce of his energy to fight before falling down.

    I would love to have a Viera like personality. Some one who can fight in the middle of Old Trafford and not give a flying f*k of what will happen. But they dont make such men anymore.

  87. Ashwin Gunner

    ” Shane nobody has come in for Xhaka and Mustardi”

    The best we can do is to take Xhaka out of Emirates and close the door behind him.

  88. Leftsidesanch

    ‘There are no words for how this feels!!’

    You have to just laugh, like how Jose did when he described the game as funny (no doubt he was referring to Sok’s wrestling routine which is quite funny) and Xhaka’s inanity. At one point, Martin Tyler and Neville broke out into laughter even at his antics.

    We didn’t emerge with the three points yesterday and the spotlight is firmly on Xhaka after such a horrific performance. He will start games and make mistakes and will ultimately needs to sit on the bench for the majority of this season if we are to progress. Either that or we are going to have to be super clinical. What gives.

  89. N5

    ” But they dont make such men anymore.”

    Its a different world now. He wasn’t a tough guy in the sense of wreckless, he was just incredibly passionate and that seems to not be part of new players make-up!!

    Players now play for who pays the most, not the love of the shirt and this IMO is the reason we don’t see that kind of attitude anymore.

  90. Thomas

    “Emery needs to tighten the ship and he needs to find a way of unlocking the magic more consistently.”

    ___

    Emery needs to… Bla bla

    Emery needs to be sacked asap.

  91. Ashwin Gunner

    “Emery needs to be sacked asap.”

    True that. But who do we replace him with. and the Board will not be in favour of sacking him after 4 games into the season. At best we have to wait till May 2020 to see him pack his bags.

  92. Major_Jeneral

    The captaincy issue needs to be resolved soon else it will jeopardise the harmony in the team.
    Xhaka’s performance in the last few games has not being and I am sure people like Sokratis or Laca will have reservations for that.
    He needs to be dropped and Emery needs to have a defined starting midfield soon. At some stage in the game yesterday it felt like the team were broken into two halves. No connection between midfield and defence . In addition Midfield was unable to liaise with the attack seamlessly.

    My Picks for the captaincy armband at the moment is Lacazette, with Bellerin the main one when fit.

    Any timeline on Holding’s return to the first team.

  93. Leftsidesanch

    Read that Mhki has to make 25 appearances for there to be an option to buy. I hope he gets all the game time over there.

  94. Emiratesstroller

    raptora

    I think that you underestimate Bellerin.

    He has been at the club almost 10 years and in the first team 5 years.

    In contrast to Fabregas who wanted always to return to Barcelona Bellerin has made it clear that he has no desire to follow that route. Indeed he has always
    maintained that he is happy to stay in London.

    From what I have seen of Bellerin he is an intelligent footballer and if there
    is one player guaranteed a starting place in first team when fit it is him.

    There is one additional factor to consider. Emery’s language skills are not exactly the best on the planet. Bellerin is Spanish and speaks that language.
    He speaks English perfectly in contrast to many other players and can also
    communicate in French. That covers most of the players in the squad.

  95. Ishola70

    Bellerin had a few too many defensive lapses.

    ES you go on about fullbacks getting too far forward and getting caught out defensively well Bellerin did that enough times himself.

    He’s pretty good going forward at times but still has to show that he is a complete full back.

    Seems his long absence has made people forget his weaknesses.

  96. N5

    It says Roma are going to pay his wages as well. Due to the cost of some of our wages that’s not always the case so this is good to see!!

  97. Micheal

    I am as pissed off as everyone else about the stupid mistakes which continue to cost us in games. But I do not believe the weakness is entirely the players’ fault – despite the blindingly obvious flaws in players like Xhaka, Luiz, etc.

    The weakness, to me, lies in the basic coaching. It seems almost Wenger-like in refusing to adapt to the opposition’s style, tactics and players.

    Operating with a slow, error-prone central midfielder like Xkaha immediately exposes the already weak back pair of Sokratis and Luiz. But allowing AMN and Kola to vacate vast acres of space at the back by driving upfield without adequate cover is reckless. Xhaka is not good enough for the Premier League but he is not the only problem in our defensive set-up.

    As a start, we need to step up the basic coaching of defensive play across the field. Not just in the liability that is Xhaka.

  98. N5

    @Micheal exactly mate. I said the same thing before the game (discussing the Liverpool game) about how Emery is Wenger MKII when it comes to midgame tactics change. He doesn’t seem to have a plan-B. When you can see you’re getting overwhelmed in a certain area, usually midfield. you adapt of get beat and he’s not adapting.

    His first years cracks were papered over by the amount of 2nd half goals we scored when teams tired, this year he’ll have less places to hide and his weak areas will become more and more obvious.

  99. Ishola70

    His crossing was erratic N5.

    But he was a threat to the opposition going forward because he was direct and ran into areas that are a real danger.

    Jury has always been out on him defensively.

  100. Un na naai

    Jesus

    So many of you seem to care more that we are saving £200k pw on Mkhitaryan’s wage than actually beating our rivals

    Just feeds in to the notion that you’re all transfer window fans rather than into the football itself

  101. Valentin

    Stroller,

    AMN was very rarely caught upfield yeaterday. He was skinned by Son who is a very good player.

    If you expect less situations where both our Fullbacks are caught upfield when both Tierney and Bellerin are back, I am afraid that you are likely to be disappointed. This is a consequence of how Emery wants to play and not having a diligent central midfielder.
    We don’t have a central midfielder with the tactical and defensive instinct to know when to automatically drop and cover the space. Against Spurs, Xhaka was trying to fullfil that role but because his tackling is so poor he ended up just fouling people. Putting us under more pressure with the free-kicks.
    Even when one fullback remains in position, if one of the CB goes on a walk about (fails to intercept or clear) because nobody in midfield tracks runners, a single diagonal run across the penalty box open our goal.
    On Spurs first goal, AMN tracks Lamela from his side to the left, but nobody tracks Ericksen who then have a simple tap-in. We had four players (AMN, Sokratis, Luiz, Xhaka) in defensive position, yet at the end of the movement both Ericksen and Kane were on their own.

  102. N5

    “So many of you seem to care more that we are saving £200k pw on Mkhitaryan’s wage than actually beating our rivals ”

    We’re only discussing it because it’s just happened Un, we do care, I promise.

  103. Emiratesstroller

    Ishola70

    Yes Bellerin did make some mistakes, but he is in contrast to Maitland-Niles
    a genuine wing back and does not bomb forward all the time.

    He knows what is required to defend properly and when to do so.

    Let’s be clear Bellerin when fit is almost certain to be guaranteed a starting
    place in team.

  104. Wasi

    major-jeneral
    Holding should be ready after the international break. The Eintracht Frankfurt or the nottingham gsme i beleive. Does any1 remember the shocker Holding had in the Fa cup 3rd round after we’d just won it last season.?

  105. N5

    “But he was a threat to the opposition going forward because he was direct and ran into areas that are a real danger.”

    He is more suited to being a winger than a full back. I’m not a fan of this 3 CBs and 2 further forward full backs anyway so I hope this doesn’t stay in Emery’s plans when HB returns.

    Looking forward to Tierney and Holdings return.

  106. Emiratesstroller

    N5

    Arsenal are now playing wingers in the first team with addition this season of Pepe,Nelson and Martinelli.

    There is and should therefore be less requirement for both Bellerin and Tierney to bomb forward all the time and devote more effort to defending properly when required to do so.

    I don’t see Maitland-Niles and Kolasinac applying that discipline.

  107. Leftsidesanch

    ‘Why play Mhki yesterday if he was leaving today’

    We have an overthinker in the dugout who can be quite timid at times. We all knew that Mhki wouldn’t pull up any trees yesterday, I would have put on Reiss yesterday. Martinelli is an option but he wasn’t even included on the bench.

  108. N5

    I hope so Emirates, I just feel like HB won’t have that discipline either. I can see him bolting up the wing and overlapping whomever is in front of him forcing them to come back and cover him if he losses possession.

    We’ll see though.

  109. Ishola70

    ES

    Bellerin is ahead of AMN but that doesn’t make Bellerin a great player.

    Before his injury Bellerin had his critics and rightly so because he had defensive lapses and sometimes as N5 says he didn’t always make the best of the positions he found himself in offensively.

    Still has to prove that he is a top fullback. He gets passes by many because he is seen as an Arsenal man which you yourself have already alluded to today.

  110. Emiratesstroller

    Valentin

    I was at the game yesterday and I can assure you that both Maitland-Niles and Kolasinac were constantly out of position when they should have been defending.

    We know that Xhaka is cumbersome and that resulted in penalty, but had Maitland-Niles been in position to cover Son’s attack that would not have happened.

    As I posted earlier take a look at what Pochettino was instructing his players
    to do. He was targeting specifically our flanks where there was acres of space.

    Incidentally there was a similar discussion last weekend when we played Liverpool.

  111. Catalyst

    Edu should reign in on Emery if he persists with xhaka. It’s embarrassing to watch xhaka fucking up and Emery putting up stupid expressions on the sidelines.

  112. Ishola70

    Valentin
    “AMN was very rarely caught upfield yeaterday. He was skinned by Son who is a very good player.”

    Yep it was quite clear yesterday that there were instructions to the fullbacks before the match that one would sit more due to the threat of Son and the other would have licence to bomb forward.

    Kola was given the licence to bomb forward, AMN was told to be more conservative.

  113. KAY Boss

    Xhaka is a liability. Don’t know why Emery persists with him.
    Torriera had a good game. Don’t get why some want him gone. Guy’s good. Size doesn’t matter. Left with some of you, players below 6ft ain’t cut for the PL..
    Lower your expectations and you will enjoy arsenal. High expectations are killing some sense of judgements.

  114. N5

    “He was targeting specifically our flanks where there was acres of space.”

    Which Liverpool did also. Either learn from mistakes or be doomed to repeat them!! Someone should tell Emery this.

  115. Ishola70

    Let’s be real here.

    A fullback can’t sit yards away from his own goal.

    He has to push up in line with the team as a whole.

    No fullback sits isolated deep.

    Poch was targeting AMN but that wasn’t because AMN was way too far forward.

  116. N5

    “Poch was targeting AMN but that wasn’t because AMN was way too far forward.”

    I agree. As good as AMN may turn out to be, he’s green and he’s not very strong on the ball so I would be targeting his side too.

  117. raptora

    I mean the fact that both of your full backs bomb forward shouldn’t mean that you’ll suck at defending. City, Pool, Spuds been doing that for years and they look pretty stable in defence. It mostly depends on the training of that element of the game aka “what happens when you lose the ball in the opponent’s half”. And of course it depends on the personnel. If we have slow and capable of a brain dead moment players like Xhaka and Sokratis or players like concentration like AMN and probably Luiz or players that just don’t want to defend like Kolasinac… Things should improve by the time Emery starts picking Tierney, Luiz, Holding, Bellerin and no Xhaka in midfield for several games in a row.

  118. Micheal

    One curious upshot of the current set-up is Torriera. He is effectively being played out of position in the same way Chelsea play Kante. It means they do not get best out of Kante and we are certainly getting the best out of Torriera who is not a great attacking midfielder.

    It seems pretty clear that his best position is the holding midfielder. He can tackle, has decent engine and is evidently more disciplined than Xhaka. Shoe-horning Xhaka into the defensive midfield is also weakening Torriera’s contribition – two mistakes wrapped in one.

  119. N5

    TYAG, strange you should say that. I’m in East Grinny this afternoon getting my last stitches out! Other than that all good though thanks mate. You alright?

    I had seen Liam and I think he’s relieved about his dad going. I think he would have ended up killing him otherwise. I just can’t get my head around it. I know he was a stick up guy and a fighter, but a nonce!! He used to stay at our house!! I couldn’t have been his type though 😀

  120. Champagne charlie

    “Arsenal took the game to Spurs from virtually the first whistle so I don’t see this massive problem with the midfield of course with the exception of Xhaka.“

    Our midfield is porous, no matter how much blame you shovel the way of Xhaka there’s Torreira offering nothing, and Guen and Willock playing like the 20 year olds they are irrespective of the talent.

    If you can’t see an issue outside of Xhaka then the issue is with you.

  121. Ishola70

    Charlie

    The midfield could improve off the ball with the exclusion of Xhaka.

    Can you not even ackowledge that.

    In time I’d like to see Guendouzi at the base of the midfield replacing Xhaka and Torreira slightly ahead of him pressing and both pressing at the same time when needed.

    One thing is for sure. Xhaka is terrible off the ball and his exclusion can only get us on the path of not having such a suspect midfield defensively.