Snatching loss from the jaws of victory

by & filed under News Review.

From a purely neutral perspective, you have to salute the fact that Arsenal and Liverpool put on an outrageously exciting game of football. It was an absolute spectable, 10 goals in 90 minutes followed by a 9 pretty electric penalties that sadly finished the Sky Sports Gold classic on the side of Liverpool.

If you’re looking at it from a football purist perspective, we shipped 5 goals away from home in a game that Jurgen Klopp wasn’t taking too seriously (it clashes with the World Club Cup). That’s 7 goals in a week. That’s losing two leads from 2 goals up. That’s another loss however you look at it.

Unai Emery added some credit points to his flagging total with the fans. I thought that despite Mustafi trying to down his manager with an early own goal, we looked like we had a much better shape. The players for the most part looked like they knew what to do.

This is a common theme with Unai teams, we turn up for the big games, like the players know people are going to be paying attention. Everyone ran hard, we controlled the pace of the game for large parts and Liverpool didn’t really look like they had answers.

Mesut Ozil, as someone said in the comments, was the full package exgirlfriend experience of your nightmares. You dumped her because she’s boring and spent too much time playing computer games in curry stained tracksuit bottoms… then, after 3 months in life rehab, she shows up to the ball dressed up looking like the end scene of a teen film about transformation. Teen film? That sounded gross. But to be honest, I felt gross last night purring over a player I know will let me down. The sequel to this film is Requiem for a Dream.

Unai Emery tried to have a strategy last night, it seemed to revolve around the idea that sending Mesut up north for a tough game would show the fans that he’s a meek little bitch. How wrong was he? The German was on fire. He was at the heart of everything. We had 11 shots on goal with him on the pitch. It went further than that.

‘Mesut dispossesses’ was heard at least twice. Imagine, Mesut mucking in? He really must have been mad.

He has an edge over everyone in our squad. He thinks differently. He is decisive in the final third at a speed no one else can match. His assist for AMN was nothing short of ELITE ELITE ELITE. He just a very smart player that can open opposition in a moment.

So what happened? We were 4-3 up and Emery decided to hook him off on 65 minutes for Guendouzi. Say what you will Frenchman’s performance, Arsenal went from being a threat and creating 11 chances, to doing our usual, just 2 shots in 30 minutes with a heavily defensive midfield. Emery claimed this was preagreed, but for me, read the damn game. Read statistics that consistently show defensive subs are not the way to see out a game.

We all knew what would happen. Emery is world-class at snatching a loss from the jaws of victory, and so it was to be. Origi leveled, Willock put Arsenal ahead with and deeply sexy lash from 25 yards, then Origi leveled late on.

We lost the shoot out. AMN took the sauciest penalty of the night that deserved to be a winner, but sadly Ceballos blew his likes. Not a poor strike, but a great save.

So what did we learn?

We are very bad at defending. It’s not an individual issue, it’s a core structural problem. Bellerin and Tierney aren’t making a difference, nor is Lucas Torreira as a DM. We just don’t have the right sort of mindset to defend. The structure is open, built for individual errors, and Emery can’t fix it.

There should be no scenario where 5 goals away at Liverpool ends in a loss.

On the positive side of things, looking to the future, it’s clear that we have the raw ingredients for spectacular football. Emery tried to show the world that the way they see the squad is wrong last night. I genuinely believe he thought a Xhaka-less midfield with Ozil and Torreira was a throwaway game that’d show the fans what he’s persisting with in the league is correct. 

Woooah was he wrong. Moving forward, we looked spectacular at points. Saka and Gabriel is a partnership for the ages. Mesut pulled strings. Torreira looked great. Willock was a force. We looked special, albeit against a second-string Liverpool side.

If we can find someone to manage us that can balance solidity and with exciting attacking football, we’re a 100 goal a season team. The future is there for a manager that wants to play with Arsenal’s post-1996 DNA. The Liverpool game was fun and vital because it showcased that Emery is tanking this squad with a conservatism that doesn’t need to be. He’s a Sevilla coach at heart, not an Arsenal manager.

So the story last night was a revival of glorious failure. A fun game, but ultimately, you’re judged on results, and that was not a good one for Emery. Nor was the subplot of trying to show up players he doesn’t like. Mesut has his flaws, but ostracising him in a moment in which we don’t create now has concrete evidence. We need to bring him in from the cold, hopefully he can warm the first team and kickstart a movement towards top 4.

272 Responses to “Snatching loss from the jaws of victory”

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  1. Valentin

    Marc,

    Leno has been rated as the goal keeper who has made the most errors that directly lead to a goal last season. So clearly he is making mistakes.

    Even when he does not make mistakes, his distribution is poor. Instead of restarting quickly games, he dither. Even when Martinez is having a so, so game one of his attribute is the ability to kick-start attack from the back by good distribution by hand or feet.

    At his age, he may eliminate mistakes from his game, but he is unlikely to progress in term of distribution. With age a footballer improve his decision making but rarely his technique.

  2. Cesc Appeal

    It’s not an apology, but who cares, don’t want him to say sorry just want him phased out of the squad.

    Still no word on the captaincy issue.

  3. Valentin

    Because of his walk about, Tierney has already been responsible for two goals.
    Maybe he will curb his tendency to bomb forward and concentrate on being a full rather than an auxiliary left winger.
    But right now even when he is in a defensive position he is rarely in his position. Look at the second Crystal Palace goal. He is in the middle of the penalty box instead of being on the left blocking Ayew or heading clear. That was not the only time where he was not in the right position.
    I hope to be proven wrong, but right now all I see is an athletic left winger who has been converted to fullback and is suspect defensively.

  4. Freddie Ljungberg

    Klopp on Martinelli:

    “After speaking about defender Sepp van den Berg’s performance, he said (official website): “That’s really difficult to deal with these guys. Martinelli’s pretty much the same age but he’s a talent of the century, he’s an incredible striker, so it’s really difficult.”

    Safe to say we’re not the only ones impressed with Gabriel.

    Too early to say for sure but it does look like we have our frontline pretty much sorted for the future if these youngsters keep progressing. Makes it a lot easier to take that Auba is reaching the end of his career.

    It’s going to save us a lot of money too that we can focus on our problem areas.

  5. Samesong

    Marc

    Ozil usually covers alot of ground. I could ask that question about every other player in the team.

    I honestly don’t know. Take each game at a time with Ozil. What I would expect with him in the starting lineup is some positive energy from the other players in the team.

    Some of the things Ozil does best imo is when he he has his back to play and that half turn and little one two to start counter attacks.

    People also need to be fair if a player been out for so long also dont expect them to RIP up trees consistently straight away.

  6. Champagne charlie

    Big pussy Xhaka has principles and managed to articulate his thoughts better than a lot on here.

    Glad it wasn’t a subdued, fake apology, those needing one are something else.

    That irrelevance is over with, now can focus be put on the actual person causing the issues at the club?

  7. Cesc Appeal

    FL

    Whoever is responsible for scouting Martinelli deserves a lot of praise.

    We need to see more of him in the EPL. His speed and work rate are going to provide more balance than our current set up in attack.

    He apparently wants to play more on the LW which is perfect for us.

  8. Cesc Appeal

    Sal

    People must be very happy with him.

    Emery has been a disappointment but behind the scenes the club has undoubtedly changed for the better…much better.

  9. James

    It’s more than disappointing that arsenal accept a captain behaving this way, it would never have happened before. Can you imagine John terry, Patrick viera, or Roy Keane behaving like this?

  10. HillWood

    I agree with Pierre
    Last night Özil played well made some nice passes through the defence and set up a couple of goals

  11. Tony K

    Glad to see everyone here can clearly see what we have been missing by having not played Ozil. It’s an absolute sham of a situation.
    Raul has got to start taking the blame for this situation. He has backed an absolutely atrocious manager with zero credibility of playing football with any kind of philosophy. he doesn’t feel the rythm of the game. It’s the worst kind of manager you can ever get. Not only does he not have sauce he has no rythm , cannot feel the flow of a game.
    He cannot see what everyone else can see which is that we have probably the best front three or second best front three in the league but he has systematically gone about destroying their moral and confidence by not playing any system to feed them by virtue of the fact he is not playing a system that creates anything.
    Ceballos at best is a back up for Ozil to come on after 75mins to add energy and a little creative flair. He is not the answer and I would not be getting too excited about him. There is a reason Zidane doesn’t rate him. He is very far from the finished article and I don’t beleive he is a Number 10 either. He would he better playing further back but then does he have the physicality for the Prem?

    I think SF mentioned getting Doucoure and Maddison. I think both of those are excellent calls. I been going about Doucore for years and Maddison is brilliant already , scores special and important goals.

    EMERY OUT. He has to go now. Can we all please unite on this one thing before he murders the club. At this rate we will not make top 6. We are currently maybe midtable at best.

  12. salpardisenyc

    Cesc

    No doubt about that think everyone understands Emery’s limitations, the more interesting at this phase is how long Raul / Edu let it go and whose next.

    The timing of it will say much.

  13. Guns of SF

    Get some more Samba in the team… need that flair and technical skill….
    Now we have Edu… need to stop scouting La Liga for midfielders- tend to be skillfull but not ready for the robust EPL

    Not many players are- but we could use more tenactiy and skils… lets get Edu to start scouting the country- there are more gems to be found there for sure

  14. Cesc Appeal

    Sal

    We were apparently looking at some other young players from South America.

    The thing is Edu will have a good amount of knowledge on the talent there and good contacts.

    I agree.

    Interested to see how long they stick with Emery. If the plan is until the end of the season unless things get laughably bad then that is a massive mistake.

    For me it would be Wolves and Leicester. If things haven’t improved I’d sack him and then give myself the international break to sort this.

  15. RodneyKing

    As Wenger and Arsenal began to decline, demands for a new manger were met with: “Who’s out there that can take over from him?”. But now everyone seems to have an opinion.

    Let’s all pretend that the terms “Groundhog Day” and “Elite Purgatory” were never used regularly to describe the team’s dreary performances and managerial situation. At the time, a number of posters here pointed out that Wenger was driving the club into a dark tunnel that will take years for it to get out of. How right they were.

    As fans, we want our team to do well, much sooner than later. But let’s not forget how we got here in the first place. True, Wenger took the club to enviable heights but for many years, even after the stadium move and the club’s financial situation improved, he failed to invest properly while selling off his best players to our immediate rivals.

    Everyone else got better while we got worse.

    In comparison to Leicester, most pundits I’ve heard talking about their progress under Brendan Rogers, say he inherited a great squad of players. However, when it comes to Emery, many agree that he inherited an unbalanced squad – great going forward but soft in the middle and terrible at defending.

    Nothing will change until the club shows a willingness to address the glaring issues in the current squad and, going forward, gets into the habit of acquiring (and grooming) the right calibre of players. And then we can have a conversation about this or that manager.

  16. Redtruth

    “No doubt about that think everyone understands Emery’s limitations, ”

    You mean Arsenal’s limitations, give Emery PSG type signings and the errors would stop.

  17. Guns of SF

    It could be curtains for Emery if we tank the next 2… lets see what happens.
    Both those teams derailed our CL chances last season.

    Lets see if he remember. Get angry and try to exact revenge on those bastards.

    I cringe when we score early tho… just cannot keep the lead in any damn game!

  18. salparadisenyc

    Cesc

    Exactly my thinking if we loose both those thats 10 back on 4th with a moment to bring in a new man before the madness of December and hopefully the time to claw back into it.

  19. HighburyLegend

    “Xhaka explains anger at Arsenal fans”

    Xhaka unable to explains his huge list of mistakes to Arsenal fans.
    Swiss joke head…

  20. Valentin

    A while ago Wenger stated that before the best strikers came from South America because they had better technique, now they tend to come from South America because they are willing to work harder than most European strikers.
    Chasing lost causes, closing down defenders is something than most are asked to in their native country and so when they come to Europe, those that keep that ethics tend to shine more than others.
    It also help that the ones coming into Europe have superior technique.
    His remark was about Suarez, Sanchez and Cavani. That the only ones in Europe willing to do that work are the ones who have experienced professional football late in their life.
    Martinelli is showing that maybe there was something true. His energy, willingness to run himself to the ground and hunger for goal remind me of Wright who came from non-league football.

  21. Valentin

    “You mean Arsenal’s limitations, give Emery PSG type signings and the errors would stop.”

    The truth is that they did not, and that’s why he was not renewed and is now managing Arsenal instead of moneybag PSG.

  22. gnarleygeorge9

    Is there a player or hired football department identity that has been @ The Arsenal over the past 10 years, that hasn’t been blamed @ some point in that period by the fans for the situation that continues @ The Club. The blame game changes from week to week, yet the Board sit idle, in the comfort that the owner is more interested in the LA Rams. There is no pressure on the Board to actually solve the defensive shambles because there is no pressure from the top to do so. The bottom line for the number 2 of the Kroenke stable is the all mighty dollar.

    And look at what defensive shambles does for world wide exposure, AFTV, Arsenal blogs, etc are proving that collective frustration of The Arsenal fans is Gr8 viewing, its click bait & everyone that isn’t Arsenal now can’t get enough of the Arsenal Circus. Must be Gr8 for revenue. Arsenal, The buffoons of football. But Stan doesn’t care, his pride & joy are the LA Rams.

    No real change will happen at The Arsenal until change happens @ the top.

  23. Ole Christian

    Tony K – I support you 100 percent!!!!
    Redtruth – I am not sure you understand football, if you dont see the class of Ozil.
    Emery OUT now!!

  24. Guns of SF

    still it seems he is passively justifying his actions- even to those fans who he feels target him. Not professional…. have to put that aside… be a captain and take the criticism with the praise. whatever… time to move on.. he needs to not be captain anymore

  25. Chika

    “My wish is that we get back to a place of mutual respect.”

    I’m glad Xhaka took his time and he didn’t offer the cap in hand apology certain people demanded.

  26. gazzap

    At long last a statement – you sense from the Arsenal PR department. But anyway whatever it needed to happen. Either way, he isn’t and never was Arsenal captain material. Club statements do not change that fact.

  27. Cesc Appeal

    Sal

    I think we will beat Wolves, though I said that about Palace, but again I expect it to be scrappy. The midfield will be set up wrong, we will concede a bunch of attempts on our goal etc.

    The question becomes watching this how long does Sanllehi keep thinking ‘well he’s getting points’ and not think about the kick in the butt coming later on because of the way we’re playing?

    If this Arsenal next week walk in and play Leicester as we’ve seen them then that could be messy.

  28. Valentin

    Samesong,

    Suarez, Sanchez, Tevez, Cavani, Costa. They seem to revel in fighting defenders.

    Nowadays academy strikers are more interested in flowy movement than just scoring and the dark arts to make that happen. Most may have better technique, but they don’t have the hunger and passion of those. They don’t chase lost cause consistently. They don’t know to use their body to fight defenders.

    Rashford is a case in point. He has all the attributes (pace, technique, …) to be a top class striker, but does not like fighting. Right now in England the only striker who seems to have that nasty streak winning at all cost seems to be Vardy.

  29. salparadisenyc

    Cesc

    Wolves effective at getting result, notably draw. No idea if the side that clipped City’s wings at the Etihad shows up or one that got throttled by Chelsea.

    With blood in the water, i’d suspect the former.

  30. Dissenter

    The legend
    “What are the odds he plays on Saturday now that he has posted his statement.”

    Emery will play him…and I think he should play just to draw line under the entire nonsense. Keeping him away will look like hes punishing him.
    Those that will still boo him will boo him, its up to Xhaka to act like a pro and not let them get to him. The boo boys still need to vent…and they will.

  31. Un na naai

    Val

    Like wenger said. The players from South America have fight because they came from nothing. That’s why he believes they have the hungriest strikers in the world

  32. Un na naai

    Martinelli looks to be the latest off the production line

    I don’t worry so much about losing Aubameyang or Lacazette now knowing we have him and Nketia coming up and couple of other exciting youth prospects in the cf forward position

  33. RodneyKing

    Of course, Xhaka knows that the fans didn’t boo him because they hate him and truly wish his family ill. They just don’t think he’s good enough and worthy of being Captain.

    The only way he’s going to shut them up is to raise his game. He’s been here for 3 years and judging by what we’ve seen so far, there’s little or no chance of that happening.

  34. Danny S

    I love it how people bleat on about Ozil when he has a good game, completely ignoring the fact he firstly can’t string a run of games together because he gets poorly, and secondly he can’t perform consistently like that.

    However, I did say a while back I’d like to see Ozil with martinelli and it did look good. If only Ozil had the same drive as the young Brazilian.. or even half of it.

  35. Samesong

    Arsenal Women winning 8-0

    Val

    When Rashford first came onto the scene as a striker he used to do show that hunger. Since changing position right wing/forward not so much. Sanchez should of stayed at Arsenal. He’s ruined himself going to United.

  36. Kwame

    Ozil always performs against this level of opposition. Against tough teams he would always get missing in action. Nothing but a flash in the pan. Same, same, same!

  37. Guns of SF

    Lets add Aguero to the list of strikers that relish the physical part of the game.
    Add also, Gaby Jesus.
    Nasty players for defenders… those are the most aggressive players on the pitch.

  38. Guns of SF

    Sanchez was losing his lustre in his last season. that drive and fire was fading fast.
    Glad he left. He is shit now…

  39. Emiratesstroller

    I read some of the posts about Ozil on Le Grove and I question whether some
    of these posters actually watch games and actually read the game.

    My view is that Ozil is a sensitive soul who is easily upset and distracted offield
    and that has impacted on his performance in last three years.

    Clearly what occurred before and during last World Cup in Germany impacted on how he played and was not helped by the fact that the National
    Team were poor.

    Arsenal attempted to show some “love” by offering him a mega contract, which
    was resented by a large number of supporters and he received a lot of criticism. That has impacted clearly on him and has coincided last season in
    playing in a poor team under a new head coach.

    During summer he trained and played in friendlies quite well, but he then
    suffered from an attempted robbery and subsequent threats.

    Again one gets the impression that Emery has not handled the situation particularly well and there have been rumours circulating that the club want
    to offload him.

    However, anyone who has watched Arsenal play this season and who understands football can see that he is in a different class to the rest of our midfield and rather than ostracise him the player should be given encouragement.

    We have in the squad currently some excellent forwards, but the lack of quality in midfield not to mention the brittleness of our defence is not helping
    their cause.

    My view is that Ozil needs to play and that decisions need to be taken on who
    will complement him in midfield. Guendouzi will obviously be included in
    starting eleven because of his work ethic and then a decision needs to be made on whether to play Torreira or Xhaka in starting X1 DMF position.

    Willock is a very good prospect, but at the moment he is probably a bench player for EPL games. Ceballos is also bench player standard, but at the moment I remain unconvinced about his longterm future at club unless
    we are able to buy him as a squad player at a fee which reflects that status.

    Arsenal need to make next summer major investments in midfield and centre
    back position. Whether the club are willing or able to do so remains to be seen.

  40. 5am

    Özil’s display is evidence enough that Emery should be sacked. It’s confirmation that he had this asset available the whole while but he was utterly inept to make use of.

    Instead he persevered with a defensive strategy which he couldn’t improve, whilst then at the same time starving the team of creativity.

    How many more faux pas does he have to make before Raul and Josh call it a day?

    Imagine if ambramovich had bought the club way back when he was actually in the market….yes, we’d probably be on our 5th manager at least – each however with some trophies to show for their endeavour…

  41. Ishola70

    Oh for gods sake wait until Ozil is picked for a couple of EPL matches before waxing lyrical about him.

    He was playing against a massively weakened Liverpool team who had inexperienced youngsters and a midfield that didn’t have one defensive minded midfielder in it.

    Get a grip ffs.

    If he produces in the top end matches then all well and good.

  42. Ishola70

    I would be hugely surprised if Ozil turns out this one man saviour that so many fans want to portray him as now.

    But such is the insistent clamour and hype about him now I actually want to see him being given chances now in the bigger games and then this whole Ozil episode can be put to bed one way or another.

  43. Ishola70

    This is classic fan behaviour though.

    When things are not going well they cling on to one aspect one player to be the mender of all ills.

    And when that passes and proves not to be the case they then move onto the next player that has been absent for whatever reason.

    A never ending cycle.

  44. Ishola70

    Emirates Stroller

    “My view is that Ozil is a sensitive soul who is easily upset and distracted offield”

    What with the Xhaka episode as well do we really want to keep on indulging these sort of players?

    Is Arsenal a creche?

    Surely fans would want strong minded players that are dynamic and adaptable.

    Both Xhaka and Ozil are far from this.

  45. Valentin

    Stroller,

    I completely agree.
    I don’t think that he is lazy and difficult. I just that he is moody and gets affected by external events more quickly than most. Some players have their parents dying in Friday and play on Saturday and produce a man of the match performance. Özil in the same circumstances would be on floor. He is not a fighter. If things do not go his way, he is not going to excel as a Fuck You answer. He is going to be despondent.

    Because of his experience at PSG, Emery tried his best sergeant major/tough boss impression. That motivated Ramsey to prove him he was wrong. It had exactly the opposite effect on Özil.

    It is funny how most of the people who attend the game have a different opinion of players than the people watching on TV.
    When you watch the full pitch of the game, you can clearly see the tactical deficiencies, the enormous gap, the lack of protection of the back four. Yes there are individual errors, but a lot of mistakes are caused by the systems. If VdV was in our back four, people would be on his case as well.
    The same with the recruitment, Most people who attend games knew that we needed a central midfielder and a left footed CB. Yet keyboard warriors were arguing about buying another forward and fullbacks. Pepe was an unnecessary nice to have. Like buying a shower head when you don’t have running water. Useful later, but right now redundant.

  46. Left Testicle

    ES
    Watched Wrighty and Bergkamp tonight on Sky Sports. We now have to put up with the likes of Emery, Xhaka and Ozil.

    I’m sorry ES but you do come across as very condescending sometimes.

  47. HillWood

    Ishola
    Ffs get a grip
    None of our midfield or defence produce in top end matches. Why do you think we are in Emery’s beloved Europa League still

  48. Cesc Appeal

    LT

    That was great.

    I actually have genuine feelings of love for Bergkamp.

    I feel like Wright acted like I would meeting Bergkamp. Like an excitable child! Haha.

  49. Bamford10

    Batistuta

    “There is no discernable statistic that shows us as being better under Emery, none whatsoever”

    Here’s one: we finished 7 points better and one place higher in the table in his first season than we did in the previous. It’s not a lot, but it’s something.

    And it’s “discernible,” btw.

  50. Bamford10

    One of the better recent comments from someone other than me.
    ___

    Nelson
    October 31, 2019 10:51:35

    I am all for keeping Emery at least until Christmas. This season, Emery has created three big problems for himself:
    – playing Xhaka as lone DM behind two CMs
    – openly freezing Ozil out and spending too much energy on Ozil
    – playing out from the back when opponents were closing in

    As of yesterday, all three problems appear to be gone. The dressing room can be united again. Adding Martinelli and Tierney to the starting 11, I have confidence that the team can compete.

    I hope Emery can see that playing both strikers with a 4-4-2 formation is not the way to go. Moving Auba to the wing also makes the team weaker. The team is more balanced playing with one striker. Against stronger teams, play 4-3-3 and against weaker teams, play 4-2-3-1.

    Let’s give it a try. And no to Jose!

  51. Bamford10

    Pierre

    “Mesut Ozil made a fool of Emery last night with his man of the match performance.”

    If you stopped being so petty and vindictive, you’d see that far from feeling he’d been “made a fool of,” Emery was very pleased with Ozil’s performance last night and very pleased that Ozil performed well. One could see this in Emery’s post-match comments. Unlike certain people here, Emery is a grown-up. He wants to win matches, and if Ozil can help him win matches, well, then he is all for Ozil.

  52. Luteo Guenreira

    One of the better recent comments from someone other than me.

    Why do you talk like this? John you really need to improve yourself as a person, you’re gonna be alone forever at this rate. When’s the last time you’ve been on a date? The local Tampa massage parlors don’t count.

  53. Luteo Guenreira

    So Pierre thinks Ozil is icing, not surprising considering the amount of times he’s shown up with Ozil’s frosting smeared all over his face.

    Ozil did play well yesterday though, a different kind of performance than anybody else on the squad would be able to offer. Smear me with a bit of frosting too then I suppose, I’d be dousing myself with it if he was only able to do that consistently across the PL.

  54. Bamford10

    Cesc Appeal

    “Klopp would likely have expected a loss when the team sheets came out.”

    No, he wouldn’t have. He fielded the better players. AND he was at home.

  55. Manxgooner

    Bamford is one them of them blokes that turn up to 5-a side in a proper full kit including socks, and you just know they’re shite at football haha! Proper bellend

  56. Bamford10

    Cesc Appeal (from last night)

    “We’ve got an embarrassing lack of control over this game. Emery fundamentally cannot set up a midfield.”

    The problem isn’t the set-up; it’s the weakness of our midfielders. Neither Torreira nor Willock is a midfield technician. We’re not going to control the game because our midfielders aren’t good enough to control this game. In contrast, Keita, Lallana and Oxlade-Chamberlain can.

  57. Cesc Appeal

    ‘Dennis Bergkamp is my wifi password’

    First name on an Arsenal shirt was Bergkamp for me when I was a kid.

  58. Bamford10

    Below is another reasonable comment that cuts across the grain of the anti-Emery mob mentality that has seized control among certain sections of the fanbase, including here.
    __

    Emiratesstroller
    October 31, 2019 09:12:50

    “I agree with your view [Bamford & Graham] that Wenger, even in the latter years of his management career, had better players than we now see in current squad … The current squad has better players in the forward line, but the rest of team is lightweight, unbalanced and mistake-prone.”

  59. Ishola70

    Bamford

    “We’re not going to control the game because our midfielders aren’t good enough to control this game. In contrast, Keita, Lallana and Oxlade-Chamberlain can.”

    It’s hard to think any team in that match controlled the game that ended up 5-5.

    Let’s not forget Liverpool only avoided a 4-5 defeat in injury time.

    It wasn’t a serious match and I don’t know why any fans would take great insight from it.

  60. Ishola70

    Bojangles
    “I’m not convinced the “apology” came from Xhaka. It has the PR department written all over it.”

    Did we need to know the graphic detail about the online abuse?

    Seems a bit cheap to me.

    There is garnering for sympathy and then there is absolutely begging for it.

  61. Bamford10

    Left

    Given the absurd slant of opinion at the moment and the mob mentality at work, yes, I am doing precisely that, because certain points and certain points of view need to be highlighted, in my opinion. We are only getting one side at the moment, and that side is not especially reasonable or fair or even accurate, IMO.

    Do you have any comment on any of substance of what I have re-posted above?

  62. China1

    I can’t blame xhaka for being pissed of about the horrible shit people said about his wife and kid. There’s no place for that in football or anything else

    Where xhaka is wrong is to equate those booing fans with those sending the evil messages. Most of those booing fans are probably normal regular fans who have just had enough of him, and can’t be lumped in as the same as the absolute cretins who want his wife raped or whatever

  63. Ishola70

    All Xhaka needed to say was that he has been getting stuff online that is upsetting him.

    There was no need to go into graphic detail about the abuse.

    Now again he looks like a bit of a child. A kid that has been told off by his mum for his behaviour but says mum these boys were saying this and saying that and calling me bad names. They called me this, they called me that mum.

    Club captain lol

  64. Ishola70

    China

    He has distinguished and seperated the two I think.

    He went into his graphic detail about the online abuse but also said he feels the fans don’t understand him which may well apply to those jeering him inside the ground.

    He’s misunderstood.

  65. Luteo Guenreira

    “Given the absurd slant of opinion at the moment and the mob mentality at work, yes, I am doing precisely that, because certain points and certain points of view need to be highlighted”

    Bam-bam

    You think you’re being moderate but you’re not, you’re being extreme against the face of extremism, which was apt maybe a year ago but isn’t any longer.

    I wish you were smart enough to understand this. I genuinely get sad for you sometimes because you’re obviously such a sexless numpty. You should make an effort to better yourself, I’m serious.

  66. Words on a Blog

    I have to say that I’m not convinced by Xhaka’s “apology”, whether it came from the man himself or from Arsenal’s PR department.

    He says he was already at “boiling point” because of (frankly disgusting) comments by fans on social media. But social media is not the stadium, and who knows who made those comments or whether they were fans?

    Twitter and Instagram and the rest have different rules and are entirely different arenas.

    Over at the stadium a small number of people started booing when The Captain showed an incredible lack of urgency leaving the pitch when he was subbed off when we were chasing the game. When he reacted petulantly, many more started booing. THAT’s what he should be apologising about.

    I’ve never really been too fussed about who is Arsenal captain. But I’m pretty sure that whoever it is, it can’t be Xhaka.

  67. Emiratesstroller

    Left Testicle

    There is no intention to be condescending.

    Everyone is entitled to express an opinion and indeed be critical.

    There have been several players whom I have criticised including on occasions Ozil, but I would never abuse them as some so called supporters do.

    I am frankly frustrated that Ozil who should be in his prime over last 3 years
    has underperformed, but the fact is that Emery has not given the player a
    chance to prove himself this season. Ozil is not even selected to sit on the
    bench.

    So it is ridiculous to be critical of the player as many others do if there is
    no opportunity to show what he can do.

    Personally I have always maintained that Ozil is a gifted player, but is flawed
    in both his onfield and offield situations. He is a “luxury” player who is icing
    on the cake in a very good team.

    Sadly Arsenal have never been that team since he joined us. Yet I am 100%
    convinced that he can add value to the current team factoring in the current
    state of our midfield. He is not going to run around the pitch like Guendouzi
    or defend within an inch of his life, but he will deliver football intelligence
    and creativity which is currently absent in the team.

    On a secondary issue I am shocked by disclosures from Xhaka about the personal abuse and threats to his family in recent weeks, which he admits
    has triggered his reaction last Sunday.

  68. Champagne charlie

    Luteo

    You’re witnessing the overextension of masculinity from someone who no doubt works in a department overrun by women.

    This is his outlet for being a big boy, nobody else talks like such an idiot referencing themselves as making good comments etc. I mean who rehashes comments from the night previous as a way of dubbing views “better” because they fall near his perception?

    Same guy telling folk left and right that they ‘don’t see the game very well’. There’s trolling, and then there’s just being an embarrassment.

  69. Tony

    Let’s see what Ozil brings to the team over a continual period of PL games not meaningless cups, such as the Carabau cup against 2nd string team players.

    I’ve always said Ozil has the talent, but …………….. no need to regurgitate Ozil’s negatives here.

    As for Xhaka, he is happy to be paid way over his skill set and what little he brings to the squad, so unfortunately he has to suffer the multi media side and fans’ discontent when he is playing badly and costing us points/games, which is most of the time.

    Live by the sword and all that.

    Personally I wanted him, Mustafi and Kola sold in the summer and hope they go in the January window.

    I also think it’s time for Edu to make a statement of intent – a mission statement if you will – not a proverbial Edu PR video full of lip service promises.

    Finally looks like Tony K is Pierre trying to be clever but being clever has never been Pierre’s strong suit – agenda driven obsessiveness yes and that makes him dumb when he’s just trying to self professed and juvenile running his wind ups.

    That said when discussing tactics and formations Pierre is often right and insightful. Sadly I don’t read his posts because for the aforementioned former point made.

    So Ozil to run the AM against Wolves? Works for me and looking forward to him bringing assists on a regular basis.

    Wonder who will be captain coming from Emery’s comedy-of-errors play book.

  70. Dream10

    Xhaka has his limitations on the pitch.
    But in no way shape or form should he be subjected to the type abuse directed at him and his family. I think it’s more than an extremel minority that do this at football matches or on social. It extends to regular people who attend matches and follow their clubs.

    With Nelson out due to injury and Özil unlikely to feature from the start, the ball won’t stick in the final third. Left Ceballos out of the predicted XI yesterday. I think he’ll start. Not sure Lacazette will start though.

    Revised XI

    Leno
    Chambers Luiz Sokratis Tierney
    Torreira Guendouzi
    Pépé Ceballos Saka
    Aubameyang (c)

  71. Tony

    For Le Grove rugby enthusiasts both temporary and those that love the sport.

    What the experts think the final score will be for tomorrow’s WC final.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/article-7637003/Sportsmails-experts-say-win-World-Cup-final-England-South-Africa.html

    I agree with them it’s England’s game to lose, but it will not be an easy game with the Boks being a very physical side as well as ability to play quick expansive rugby.

    May will have his handful keeping Kolbe quiet. Will be a great battle of the wings.

  72. Tony

    Now we’ve had Xhaka’s apology does that mean Emery is going to select Xhaka and Ozil to tomorrow’s Wolves game?

    2 players that need minders on the pitch for different reasons

  73. Silverhawk

    Ceballos is a very light player. I doubt he would succeed in the premier league.

    On another note, I’d wait for Freddie to take over before I pass my final judgment on him. What do you guys think about him?.

    Regarding Xhaka, I’ve always maintained the line that if you perform well, no one would boo you or hurl attacks at you.

    Also, if you are a bad player, just make sure that you’re not costing the team. See elneny for example. He’s a worse player than Xhaka but has never been booed. He’s out of the limelight. And when he does play, he keeps things safe.
    The manager has to take part of the blame for starting him tho.

    At the end of the day tho, players like Xhaka should be sold.
    We still have to let go;
    Xhaka
    Mustafi
    Mhiki
    Elneny
    Sok
    Niles
    Ozil isn’t going anywhere and Kolasinac is an able deputy

    Holding isn’t all that imo.
    So we need to go back in for Upamaecano.
    Get a strong, ball playing CM and a young good RB to deputize for Bellerin and probably overtake him.

  74. Graham62

    Tony

    Goodmorning.

    I think it’s going to be a tight game but I’m hoping England can reproduce last weekends performance against the AB’s.

    England by 6-8 points.

  75. Silverhawk

    We have a good squad already but with gaping holes.

    A starting CM and CB are needed asap.
    And we may be have to sell Lacazette to give Martinelli a clearer path to the squad as the 2nd CF.

    Use the Lacazette money to go back for Zaha or Similar and let Saka deputize for him. While Nelson (I’d rather he’s sold) or ESR deputize for pepe.

    In CM, if we’re letting Özil go and he actually leaves, we’d need a goal scoring, assist giving CM Ala Bruno Fernandez or a creator like Maddison. Then we need a CM brute in the mould of Wijdnaldum. While Guendouzi plays deep lying(Hopefully he bulks up more and learns how to tackle/intercept). Torreira and Willock are able deputies.

    With this, we can either go 4 3 3 or 4 2 3 1 depending on the opposition.

    In defense, the LB is settled. We need to absolutely get Upamaecano. I’ve watched him extensively this season. Man is on mad form. Sok and Mustafi has to go and Dinos needs a loan badly. Bellerin(I hope he picks up and get better asap) and chambers are good RBs. A case can be heard of pushing chambers to the center and getting a young high flying RB to deputize.

    Leno and emi are enough for now.

    So,
    GK- Leno, Emi
    RB- Bellerin, Chambers
    CB- Saliba, Upamaecano, Luiz, Holding
    LB- Tierney, Kolasinac
    DM- Torreira, Guendouzi
    CM- new CM, Willock,
    AM- Özil or a new attacking CM
    RW- Pepe, ESR,
    LW- new LW, Saka
    ST- Aubameyang, Martinelli, Nketiah

    So, we need about for new starting players. Our sales should cover most.

  76. Silverhawk

    Oh, a new talented young coach who lays emphasis on attacking and controlling games.

    Leno
    Bellerin Saliba Upamaecano Tierney
    Guendouzi CM. Özil/CM
    Pepe Aubameyang LW

    That is a top 3 team in the premier league.

  77. Tee

    Ishola

    No one, if my memory serves me right, is saying ozil is the saviour we are waiting for

    What Sensible posters are saying is that ozil can’t do any worse than the sets of bland attacking midfielders we presently have.

    Ostracising him is not justifiable bearing in mind he earns like 350k per week.

    It’s you that keeps changing what people say to score cheap point.

    Ozil should play in our EPL matches because we need his creativity.

  78. Chika

    “If he (Ozil) produces in the top end matches then all well and good.”

    Yeah, like the CAMs benching him have been producing right?

  79. Graham62

    We all know that Wolves is going to be a tricky game. Infact, I would say the majority of supporters would not be surprised if we were not to win it.

    Will Emery give Ozil a chance? Surely he has to ………………………………..doesn’t he? There’s no way Xhaka will play. Don’t even have to explain that one.

    Traore concerns me big time, especially as he is becoming a key member of the Wolves team these days and doesn’t run around like a headless chicken as he once did.

    Difficult to predict.

    Either 1-1 or 2-2 or a narrow 2-1 win.

  80. Nelson

    Since Ozil will not quit before his contract ends, we should ignore how much he is making and do the best thing for the team. For away games I prefer Ceballos unless it is a weak team that parks the bus at home. For home games, I would start Ozil and sub him out after 70 mins a la Jose style. I would start Martinelli who can support Ozil in the pressing department.
    Emery prefers to use Torr higher up to do the pressing. Guen will be the DM for now. We have to sign a stronger DM ASAP. Xhaka will most likely request for a trade. We could use Xhaka’s money for a new DM.

  81. Graham62

    I think we are all in agreement now( apart from B10) that Emery has to go………and the sooner the better.

    Apart from his inept tactical plans, poor manmanagement skills and his confusing communication skills(even in Spanish!), he has no feel or empathy for the fanbase.

    If he did, he wouldn’t have hung Xhaka out to dry.

    A poor poor manager.

  82. Pierre

    Strange performance from Holding the other night.
    Does he suffer from confidence issues I wonder.

    I can remember a few years back not long after he first arrived, his form took a dive after a decent start .

    He looked very shaky at the back and his distribution was poor.
    He got over that period and excelled in the cup final v Chelsea and it all looked plain sailing .

    The following season Wenger didn’t trust him enough to be a regular starter, I amongst others, criticised wenger for this, but maybe there is something in his game/personality that holds him back .

    Last season before he was injured he looked back to his best and his confidence was high.

    Of course, it is never easy coming back from injury , but it will be very difficult for a manager to pick holding when his confidence is low as he is a liability to the team.

    There were a couple of occasions in the first half v liverpool when Holding let go simple balls into the box that could easily have resulted in goals….it surprised me because I expected a commanding performance at the back from him.

    He has a couple of Europa games coming up that will help him fully regain fitness and confidence, and hopefully put him in contention for the first team, as Holding at his best is probably our best defender.

  83. Graham62

    Pierre

    I think it’s probably based more on fitness and a lack of game time.

    You’re right lets hope the upcoming EL games help him regain confidence so that he push for a first team place.

    As you rightly highlight, when up and running, he is “probably our best defender”

  84. Dream10

    Pierre

    Maybe Rob is having a confidence problem after coming back from a serious injury. Don’t expect him to reach his best level till after the New Year. Overall, he is an alright player and seems to be a lovely guy. His ceiling as a player is not very high. Doesn’t excel in any facet of the game. At best, he should be a squad CB.

  85. Bamford10

    Silverhawk

    I really like Ceballos. Highly technical, great passer of the ball, great work-rate, very intelligent. However, he is a little slow and this holds him back. It is hard to say how he might fare long-term in the PL, but I think his slowness will/would be an issue, and he may be back in Spain in seven months’ time anyways.

  86. Bojangles

    How often do players become class when they haven’t played for a while. They just get better with every passing month…. in our minds.

  87. Hitman

    Xhaka isnt misunderstood. He is just out of his depth. Stealing a living at this level.
    Rather than do the decent thing play in a league more suited to his ability, he blames everyone else for his failings.
    Disgusting that he is now trying tar fans in the Stadium with the online abuse he is getting. Shameful response from Xhaka and AFC.
    Just tells you about the dishonesty and integrity of modern footballers. Its all about the money. Just like AW, he does want to give up the golden goose
    Hold on to the golden money tree Xhaka.

  88. Bamford10

    It’s a little old now, but this was Arsenal Truth’s reasonable take on Monday after the 2-2 Palace draw.
    ___

    Arsenal Truth
    Monday, October 28, 2019

    Pick the bones out of that. If the saying is true, Emery had an unfilleted mola mola for tea on Sunday night.

    When Emery was appointed, I said I’d give him until October 2020 before deciding whether I thought he was the right man for the job. The only precondition was everything going horribly wrong, and that looks a possibility over the next couple of months due to Arsenal’s inability to play with any sort of conviction.

    Performances reveal more than results. While Arsenal deserved to win despite playing badly, there continues to be little sign of tactical consistency or team evolution in open play.

    The Gunners got off to the best possible start, two up in nine minutes from set-piece flick ons derived from Pepe corners. With the pressure off, this was Arsenal’s chance to shine. Alas, both goals were merely a smokescreen – Emery’s side has fundamental flaws that thwart its ability to control games.

    It’s not Emery’s fault that Chambers tackled Zaha like a donkey for the pen, and VARs ruling out of a perfectly good strike from Sokratis in the dying minutes was shameful. The Spaniard’s not getting the breaks, but it’s becoming increasingly obvious that his players play with fear and whatever he’s trying to manifest in training is not filtering through to match day performances. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the play is muddled because the thinking behind what’s trying to be achieved is muddled.

    Chopping and changing tactics is all well and good if you have a strong base to work from. Otherwise, all you’re doing is adding layers of confusion.

    Palace are one of the best counter-attacking sides in the country and Emery limited them on that front by playing 4-4-2. However, that also inhibited his players’ ability to front press. I’m all for being pragmatic against clubs that are superior, but Arsenal should be imposing their game at home to mid-table opposition.

    Where I do empathise with Emery is that, on the face of it, he does not have the midfield players he needs to control a football match. Xhaka is garbage, Guendouzi is a jack of all trades master of none, Willock is out of his depth, Torreira lacks positional discipline, Ozil is physically and mentally unequipped for the PL, and Ceballos is very skillful but does not influence games – I can see why Zidane doesn’t rate him.

    Unlike Wenger, Emery doesn’t buy the players, but he does have to find solutions to this conundrum and his first port of call is to drop Xhaka because he’s not fit to be on the pitch let alone captain the side. That decision alone has caused Emery to sail the ship off course, and if he doesn’t correct it, he’ll sink for certain.

    He simply has to use the most logical configuration out of the players he has available, and that must surely be a midfield pairing of Torreira and Ceballos as deep-lying midfielders utilised to both win possession and build play from the back. They also have to be trained to play with discipline in those positions.

    On the subject of Xhaka, I warned many weeks ago that if Emery continues to field him fans will eventually take matters into their own hands. The supporters cheered when his number came up and Xhaka didn’t take kindly to that. His slow march off the pitch mutated ironic cheers into howls of derision – his verbal response was outrageous.

    As a professional footballer and captain of the club – something he can no longer be, he simply had to control his emotions better. Point made from both sides, and while his actions are certainly hard to forget, fans should be man enough to adopt a conciliatory stance assuming he plays for the club again.

    Meanwhile, the clock’s ticking for Emery – fans are losing faith fast. He has winnable games on the horizon but is now in a position where winning’s not enough, he has to show signs that results are sustainable.

  89. Bamford10

    “Where I do empathise with Emery is that, on the face of it, he does not have the midfield players he needs to control a football match. Xhaka is garbage, Guendouzi is a jack of all trades master of none, Willock is out of his depth, Torreira lacks positional discipline, Ozil is physically and mentally unequipped for the PL, and Ceballos is very skillful but does not influence games – I can see why Zidane doesn’t rate him.”

    One of the better paragraphs written about our midfield in some time.

  90. Emiratesstroller

    At last Pedro has identified the collective problems in our defence, which is what I have been suggesting for a very long time.

    There are of course individual players who are poor defenders and who are also error prone. The most notable case is Mustafi who needs to be offloaded and replaced in January. Kolasinac is okay going forward, but is frankly defensively a liability. Frankly he is too often out of position.

    Arsenal need to recruit if possible as soon as possible a top class centre back
    who reads the game well and adds composure to what is at the moment an
    error prone and rudderless defence.

    I have seen enough of our midfield in the last two seasons to know that it is
    currently not performing up to expectation. Personally I don’t think that Ceballos and Guendouzi can play together in the same team. Apart from
    running around the pitch what exactly is their function in team? Are they
    supposed to be defensive, offensive midfielders or fulfil both functions?
    Frankly I don’t think they are good enough in either role.

    At least one midfield player needs to be creative and be able to make assists.
    That should be Ozil, but there is no point being critical if he does not play.

    Finally I am glad that Pedro has corrected an earlier suggestion that Xhaka
    was booed by the crowd before he was taken off. That was not the case. He
    was booed for leaving the field too slowly and then gesturing to the crowd.

    However, it is true that there was a small amount of booing at half time and
    then at end of match. This was a criticism of the overall performance of team and how we played the game and not about individual players.

  91. Un na naai

    Well that was a nice break from the standard bull shit until silverhawk came striding into town

    Talking shit about how inept our squad is

  92. Nelson

    This storm is killing almost all cities in the east coast. We lost power the whole day. How I miss the civilization.