Freddie starts badly; this has serious implications. (ANOTHER long read)

by & filed under News Review.

You might be heading here this morning thinking I’m about to launch into Freddie Ljungberg and the drab opener to his career in the hot seat. If that’s the case, you’ll be disappointed. We put in exactly the sort of performance I was expecting after the handsome Swede had spent just two days with a squad that looks like it’s been on a 4-day stag-do bender in Benidorm with the boys from Croydon’s biggest building site.

No new-manager-bounce for Freddie. I think fans were genuinely more interested in what he was going to wear before the game, an event far more likely to bring joy than the collection of players that have been mailing it in under a banter manager for 18 months. Turns out, his attire wasn’t quite as striking as we’d hoped. He looked like an account guy in advertising that’d just moved to 3 bedroom garage renovated space, in Stoke Newington, preparing to pop out to pick up a takeaway from Pizza Express. No 3 piece tweed ensemble for the ages, nothing CK flare-ish, just a bit boring.

His team selections were also a bit, how can we say it kindly? Interesting.

He brought back Mustafi, Ozil, and Xhaka. He opted to try and make Lacazette and Auba work upfront. He played his favourite, Joe Willock. His defence omitted Tierney, had Chambers at right-back, along with David Luiz. If we’re being forgiving, which we are, he might have been playing the politics card before he hits the team with his true vision. Conte did that in his first season at Chelsea (bringing a back 3 in after 10 games); play the card everyone wants you to play, prove it’s shite, then switch it up. I mean, not that crazy a thought, Freddie believes in high octane pressing and his front three were Ozil, Lacazette and Auba.

The attacking output was interesting for the first 15 minutes, the passing was more direct, there were some attempts at the combination play of old. The problem though, as always, was the defence. We were a total mess as usual. The midfield did a very bad job holding their shape, the players in the back 4 looked like they were new to the game, and there was the typical array of poor individual performances.

David Luiz just isn’t built for the game in 2019. He’s desperately off the pace, he’s lacking confidence for the first time in his career, and he’s lost that edge we used to hate about him. In the heat of spending frenzy last summer, we all hoped this was a masterstroke. Now we’re looking at him in cold light of day, it’s apparent that was a ‘contacts’ signing for the ages. Nearly £200k a week, a bunch of agents fees, and a pretty large transfer fee on someone that just doesn’t have it.

The manager took a lot of flak for his subs, again, I thought this was unfair. Is there really much of a difference between Saka and Pepe at the minute? Freddie basically said Pepe trains badly. He was an elite player, we might not trust his judgement on knitwear, but you can’t deny that he’s likely very attuned to effort levels in training sessions.

The overarching problem for Freddie is a simple one: He’s the caretaker.

Arsenal won’t give him the job fulltime. The players absolutely know this. Sadly, they’re all still in holiday mode. Freddie is a nice guy that they all like, but he doesn’t have any real authority in that role, because the players know he’ll be leaving. That’s not a slight on Freddie, when Alex Ferguson announced his first retirement years ago, he had to cancel it because his squad switched off. Our squad is a collection of pampered babies, they’ll take any excuse you throw their way.

Regardless, I hoped they might want to play for him, but just look at the overall pace of that game and the lack of commitment. There was no fire in the tackle, everything was halfhearted, no one risked 50/50s. The players weren’t giving it their all, because Freddie doesn’t matter to them like he should do.

That means the club really is going to have to go very hard to make sure the manager we hire is in the door by January 1st. We need authority in the dressing room and we need some ideas on how to get the team ticking again. I cannot accept the notion that the squad is worse than Norwich or Southampton, it’s simply too easy to play that card. Leicester have been a sub 50 points a season team for 3 years, their players weren’t shite, the managers were. No one, and I mean no one, had that squad of players down as anything outside average when we tanked them in 2018 with a blistering performance. Now they have a very good coach, he has them in 2nd, and apparently all he’s done is awaken an incredibly balanced squad. Not true.

Good coaching makes a difference. Players are just like us. They buy into ideas. They want to operate in an organised unit. They want to win. We need some fire in the dressing room and we need someone capable of reenergizing players that have lost their way.

It’s super trendy for everyone to talk about the deeper problems at Arsenal. I’m with everyone on that, but let’s not overcomplicate football here. We need a manager with a believable idea, good communication skills, with the ability to crack the whip in a positive way.

The managerial shortlist looks unwieldy at the minute, but it’s filtering down as we learn more about the names.

The Guardian ran a piece yesterday that said the club has massively cooled on the idea of inviting a super agent lackey into an already messy situation. I’m am VERY pleased about that.  Thank you to everyone that raised the alarm there, you clearly made a difference here. Nuno would have been a fucking disaster. It looks like he’s off the shortlist.

Pochettino is apparently a favourite of the board. Why wouldn’t he be? The guy is absolute mustard, he’d be an incredible hire, but from what I understand, it is very, very unlikely he’d tarnish his reputation for Arsenal. So, likely rule him out.

Allegri has been out of a job for a while considering his talent. Word on the street is he interviewed very badly. He couldn’t sprechen zie English that well and he also asked the club to sell him on Arsenal (power move). That’s a bad footing he might struggle to come back from. I think Allegri is a saucy beast, but his English is very poor if you watch his online videos, but more to the point, the guy is at the top of his game. He’ll want to win the Champions League with his next move, fast. Any human arrogant enough to ask for the interviewer to sell them on the role is probably not suited to a shit show like Arsenal. No money, an unbalanced squad, and basically a huge step back for a top, top manager.

Brendan Rodgers is interested in Arsenal. He couldn’t be any more excited about the opportunity. He’s clearly had his people leak ‘dream job’ to the press, and he wasn’t exactly emphatic when asked about his desire to remain with the Leicester project. Brendan is not everyone’s cup of tea, but look, the guy is a very good coach, he’s certainly better than Emery and it’s very hard to deny what he’s done at Leicester is anything outside exceptional. The football he played when he took Liverpool to 2nd was outstanding. Celtic might be a cakewalk, but keeping any side focused enough to be invincible is a notable achievement. If we end up with him, I’d certainly not complain. Only worry with Brendy R is he’s a bit of a berk, and I wonder how that’d go down with players that ripped the piss out of their last manager to his face. There’s also a harsh sting with Brendan: He comes with a £14m buyout clause and he’d likely cost us £10m a year (with his team). Just three weeks ago people were leaking that we were struggling to meet the ‘fuck off’ fee of Emery’s last 6 months. We are skint. I do not think we’ll be throwing that sort of money at a manager because that will hit our summer transfer budget. He’d be a solid hire regardless.

I’ve written extensively about Mikael Arteta, you know my feelings on him, he’s certainly on the radar of the club. He has had a lot of strong endorsements in the media (Henry Winter, arguably the #1 English journalist, being the biggest). He’d come at a very low cost, he’d slot right into the system, and he’d arrive with a big idea we’d all salivate over. Challenge with him is does he engage with Arsenal again after what happened last time? Would he fuck Pep over at a very bad time for the Manchester club? We’re what he wants, the question is, do the club have the cojones to make a hire that has some meek fans wetting their pants / calling me a melon fucker on Twitter.com.

Carlo Ancelotti will most certainly be asked about the role again. He knows the league, he’s world-class at bringing players together, and he has the sexy prestige that’ll have Raul firming up at the dinner table. I love Carlo and what he’s done, but I do think he’s had his time at the very top. He’s not a tactical master and most of his success comes when he’s given the best tools to work with. Also worth remembering that he lost to Emery in the Europa League last season, during a really bad Arsenal run of form. He also comes with a huge entourage of expensive people, including his son I believe. He’s a superstar manager, on superstar wages, not quite sure he’d deliver to the levels we’d want, but still a solid name to consider just because he’s a very cool guy and I like him.

I also wouldn’t be surprised to see someone like Ralph Rangnick considered again. He’s been targeted by a lot of top clubs, Bayern had a go for him and United were rumoured to be interested. I would have preferred him as a technical director, not sure if he has the management chops for the Premier League, but it’s hard to argue that he’d not be suited to our mess at the moment. He’s picked up far worse problem clubs in his career and pushed them forward. RB are also at the forefront of football development. He’s had his fingers in lots of club pies with their franchise and Red Bull are doing pretty well out of it.

Patrick Vieira will be sniffing around the role. Petit was speaking about it at the weekend. I love him, but again, is the work he’s doing at Nice getting anyone moist? I don’t think so. For me, if you’re going to hire him, you might as well give the job to Per and Freddie. I think the football will be about the same level when all is said and done.

The shame of this process is we can’t consider names like Ten Haag, Marco Rose, and Paulo Fonseca. Oddly, not even Gio Van Bronckhorst because City are eyeing him for New York or to replace Pep. We leave a lot of good names on the table by shooting for a manager now, but as you saw today, if we don’t move in the next 30 days, Champions League qualification is lost.

Anyway… point about the above, the shortlist is starting to shrink. The frontrunners to me look like Brendan, Carlo and Arteta. All solid, all very different, all an improvement.

Still, early days, plenty of time for the club to fuck this up.

Right, see you in the comments.

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602 Responses to “Freddie starts badly; this has serious implications. (ANOTHER long read)”

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  1. peanuts&monkeys

    The entire football world knows Arsenal has no ambition. No ambitious manager worth his salt will join Arsenal as long as these drab ownership is running the show. Same old, same old.

    If that news about Arsenal’s valuation going seriously downward is true, there is a silver lining for sure: Dangote OR some Sheikh OR some hotshot Chinese. As long as the new owner has real ambition, I will take even the Donald Trump.

  2. Induct14

    I want to believe Freddie is not as bad as portrayed. He has not had the time of his own sigh the players and am not sure that’s players are pampered or do not care. Fear and faith are powerful but fragile things. Let’s allow the man but do not expect magics only miracles.

  3. Induct14

    I want to believe Freddie is not as bad as portrayed. He has not had the time of his own with the players and am not sure that our players are pampered or do not care. Fear and faith are powerful but fragile things. Let’s allow the man but do not expect magics only miracles.

  4. Guns of Hackney

    Arsenal are a retirement home for players and managers looking for an easy pay day.

    One has to ask the question: why?

    Carlo gets back into the limelight.
    Rodgers is back at a ‘big club’.

    Arteta is my man. Nagglesmann seems to have fallen out if favour but I’m not sure why? Rose? I don’t know his work but he’s attractive. Tuchel? Still a good coach I think and PSG is a poison chalice.

    Whatever happens, it can’t be a season job or even two seasons. It has to be a five year programme that strips away the poison at the club and in the squad and reintegrates some philosophy.

    I don’t know what the hell were doing. I really don’t. But I suppose as long as the cash keeps coming and we aren’t relegated, the BOD must be happy.

    And please no more lip service from that arseclown, Josh.

  5. CG

    A majestic and magnificent Monday masterpiece by PedRo and I off course thank him for it.

    He quotes.

    “””Freddie basically said Pepe trains badly.”””

    So this new and expensive assorted regime – have actually spent over £72 000 000( smashing our transfer record) on a one footed, one season wonder, who scored 10 penalties last year, never played a CL game and does not train properly?

    I just dont get this Pepe deal….
    It absolutely stinks.

    How can any head of Football Operations job still be tenable when you scrutinise the Pepe deal?

    Let alone the Emery appointment.

    I shudder to think – who they could recruit next either in terms of players or coaches…

  6. HighburyLegend

    “…Mikael Arteta, you know my feelings on him…”
    Love is a beautiful thing.

    “the sort of performance I was expecting”
    Dixit the guy who was supposedly super excited before the game – see yesterday’s post.

  7. RGG

    Thought Freddie was pretty poor.

    Apart from playing a back4, I think he got everything else wrong.

    Auba and Laca….yawn, how many times Freddie have they started together and played well?

    Mustafi???? Rather Sok on one leg.

    Luiz? Rather Mustafi!

    Midfield awful without ball and not much better with it.

    Doesn’t help having Ozil. That guy is stealing a 400k a week living out of Arsenal. Subbed, with 2 mins to go! Well what can you do? If Freddie treats Ozil like he deserves he’ll just do everything to undermine and get rid of him like he did to Emery. Emery lost the dressing room when he took on Ozil and Xhaka. Both are poison.

    Right now I dont care who we get. Just want to see Ozil Xhaka Luiz and Laca sold and use money to try rebuild this shitfest of s squad.

  8. Chika

    ES

    I agree with your submissions. We need a revamp and that’s exactly why I’d rather have us embark on a long term project, instead of an Ancelloti desperately trying to drag us back to top4.

    We need a coach that’s young, innovative and patient enough to steer us through a slow and steady rebuild. How many windows do fans think it will take us to overhaul the squad? We have an insane amount of players we need to ship out.

    In the interim, Freddie needs to get his starting eleven right.

  9. Rocky7

    IMO . Nothing is going to change until the ownership changes . Seems the Emery debacle has shown that our ‘trusted’ middle management are as clueless as emery was and it’s obvious that Josh and the a Walmart Syrup don’t have a clue about ‘soccer-ball’ . But they do have an idea how to make money… Fact is we are not a football club in our owners eyes …… we are an asset, something to loan against , and the club is paying the loans and interest he bought the club with, …. let this sink in . The Arsenal is a Billionaires Ponzi Scheme. It don’t matter how tight our defence is,…we are going to have the same problems as long as we are owned by KSE. The Arsenal has already been stripped of it’s Soul. Sad Times. I hope I am wrong .

  10. TheBlaster

    Watching us defend is like watching table footballers vs moving ones. Stick your leg out and if it doesn’t work wait for the next guy. So hard to watch. Hope we can sort this. We have pressed at times in the last two seasons, but it never lasts.

  11. Wasi

    Dont really know what makes Carlo Ancelotti special anymore like Pedro says. Dont think he’d be much better than Emery tbh. Last year he couldn’t beat Emery even though we were in poor form. Napoli probably put two of their worst performances against us last season. I remember watching the match and thinking that even though we aren’t playing that well we are winning comfortably. This year Carlo has Napoli at 7th below Atalanta, Cagliari, Roma and Lazio . All of these teams are much much weaker than Napoli who have abundance of quality. You could even say that Napoli is just as good as Inter or Juve on paper. Or at least very close to these teams. They have one of the top 5 CB in the world. Manolas alongside him who is also very very good. Ghoulam is a a consistent and very good full back. They have quality Midfielders, Fabian Ruiz wanted by teams like Real, Barca and City apparently. In Attack theyve got Insigne, Mertens , Lozano , Milik. That squad is as good as any in the serie A. Carlo couldnt even convince his players to go to a training retreat with him. His time as an elite manager is done. All we’d be hiring is an expensive , English speaking, charismatic Emery. So Carlo is a big No No.

    Arteta , Poch , Nagelsmann , Ten Hag, Rodgers is where the sauce is at. Apparently we are not interested in Ten Hag And Nagelsmann ad much. Why? Id love to know. But its still early and they might be on the shortlist too we just dont know it. Raul knows how to work the press. He knows what and how to keep some things a secret. So all the newspaper telling us about the the shortlist is mostly clickbait.
    And even if it were true there are some good names on the list and at least theres no bad names apart from Carlo and Nuno i think.
    Poch, Rodgers are project managers who would be very good for us . Especially Poch.
    Arteta . We don’t know much about him other than the positive endorsement he gets from literally everyone he’s worked with. So I think we could maybe should take a punt at him.
    Carlo is definitely a no-go for me.

  12. gambon

    Not really worth analysing too much after Freddie had 1 or two training sessions.

    That said, its noticeable that we out-XG’d our opponents for the first time in about 6 games.

    It was about 2-1 in favour of AFC in XG, and in recent weeks we’ve been well outplayed by the likes of Wolves, Southampton, Sheff UTD and Palace,

    It looks to me like Freddie basically told them to go and play with more freedom and take more risks.

    His pre-match talk was probably as simple as “forget the absolute nonsense that the Spanish Pulis has been drumming into you”

  13. Wasi

    I dont get why people are jumping the gun on Freddie after 1 game. He had one training session with the team and lots and lots of positives in the match to show for it too.
    – Good attacking display in the first half.
    -Better control
    -Better pressing.
    -Realizing the negatives ( transition play) and im sure hell be working on it.

    And can please someone tell me why in the world was Guendouzi playing LB when we had the ball. Kid needs to be taught where to be and when. His positioning sense really needs to improve.

  14. Arsnil

    First game and he picks a terrible line up from his available panel. No excuse for that so if you are a manager and can’t assess players then you’re not up to it. He is bound to have seen first hand over the past number of months what was wrong with the players chosen and formations and systems. No clue so we will move on from there.
    You talk of the problem with Brendan Rodgers being the buy out clause of 14 mill. Yet we routinely spend 30- 70 mill on really shit players.
    Any successful team starts with a competent manager. Start from there.

  15. Guns of Hackney

    I have a feeling it will be Carlo. Arsenal are a club is crisis and I don’t think we have the foresight to sacrifice a season or two to get it right long term, more that we will go for a name and hope for the best. This will be wrong.

    We are really up the creek. If we had done the right thing and got Arsene to step aside five/six years ago, I think things would have worked out better. Now we are reaping the mistakes we made passing up Klopp, Pep twice! Arteta last year etc.

    It takes guts to stop, think and act decisively and I don’t think anyone at the club can or wants to do that.

  16. Jim Lahey

    Willock was horrendous yesterday, what exactly is his role in the team? He is not creating anything and he certainly isn’t putting in any defensive effort, not tracking back. The less we see of him the better. Same for Saka, pushed off the ball like a small child yesterday, zero impact. Freddie was a disaster.

  17. Steveyg87

    Based on yesterdays performance, Saka and Willock both need to go on loan. Martinelli needs to be fast tracked to the 1st team. Just how bad was Saka when he came on yesterday?

  18. Ernest Reed

    As was said about Viera, if you go with him you may as well stay with Per and Freddie. Funny thing is, the exact same thing applies with Arteta, the exact same thing,

  19. peanuts&monkeys

    The kind of space Guendozi earns by his sheer mobility in the central midfield area and while he is mazing ahead, its a pity he doesn’t know/want to shoot at goal.

    If he could, all his goalbound shots could be virtual set-pieces.

  20. HighburyLegend

    “I dont get why people are jumping the gun on Freddie after 1 game. ”

    I don’t get why people are jumping the gun on Freddie after seing him pick Luiz, Xhaka, Ozil and Mustardi in his starting 11. (LOL)

  21. 71Guns

    Very good post Pedro.

    I hadn’t fully realised how deep the problems went till yesterday. As for Freddie, I love the guy, BUT BUT BUT – that team selection was mind bogglingly inept and gives me no confidence that he could manage the squad for more than the minimum number of games till we get someone experienced in.

    And I do mean someone experienced. With this squad we could find ourselves in very deep sh*t if we take a punt on someone young, exciting and totally new to coaching/management. I think we should recognise how bad the problems are and do everything we can to tempt Rafa back from China. A couple of seasons under him to steady the ship, bring on Freddie and/or get in another young understudy, then see how the land lies. Failing that, go all out for Brenda!

  22. HighburyLegend

    And I won’t even mention the amazing substitution Ozil/Martinelli, with only 5 minutes left to play.
    Ooopppsss too late, I did it.

  23. CG

    Wasi

    “””-Better pressing.?””””

    How was it better?

    like in smoother?, faster?, more cohesive?, for longer spells?

    who in particular pressed well yesterday? Eg (Did Willock press well for us?)

    and who were the naughty ones- who didnt press so well?

    and what do we do with Pepe- if he dont want to press or cant press? Can he take lessons to improve?

    And Are we pressing Brighton Thursday or are playing soccer?

    I need to know Wasi.

  24. Graham62

    Pedro

    Sorry, but when a #1 journalist says that someone is “top notch”, I tend to take it with a pinch of salt.

    I’m not concerned or bothered about Arteta. It’s what’s happening right now that concerns me most.

    Your ott perceptions on someone that has not even been in charge of a team for more than 90 minutes, just beggars belief.

    Freddie has had three days at the helm and, as it stands, is a far better option

  25. Danny

    Imagine if Freddie would’ve started of with Martinelli, Tierney, Torreira, Saka and Holding, with no Luiz, Laca, Ozil, Mustafi and of course fuckin’ Xhaka. Now that would’ve been a statement! Sadly he didn’t. That line up was shit and he’s subs were shit. Freddie blow it big time.
    Will we beat Brighton? Probably not, a draw like last season looks very likely. Kroenke is destroying us.

  26. Ernest Reed

    As horrendous as the defending was yesterday, Leno was genuinely that good and the only reason it was not a disaster. Its going to take some time to right the wrongs with this team, they are a toxic bunch.

  27. Emiratesstroller

    I have posted earlier today on previous thread my priorities before appointing a new coach.

    The first is to make changes to the Board of Directors. Most of the Board is too
    old and frankly “old school”. We need to bring in people with more contemporary expertise including “football background”. The Kroenke family
    have limited football expertise and frankly reliance on senior management
    who are more often than not “ships passing in the night” is in my view dangerous.

    Second we need to review the senior management team. I am concerned that
    there are no clear demarcation lines between the roles of Sanhelli, Edu and
    the Head Coach.

    Third it is clear that the financial resources within the club are fairly limited.
    One suspects that the reserves built up over several years have been eaten up
    partly through failure to qualify for Champions League but also on some very
    poor acquisitions. Kroenke needs to commit additional resources now that he
    owns club 100%

    The club needs to recruit the right head coach for the job intended and not
    just bring in someone for the sake of it. The emphasis should be on intelligence, vision and communication and not necessarily on experience and what he has done in past. Too many managers/head coaches live on their
    laurels.

    Finally I would prefer that the club is in control of the entire coaching appointment process rather than what we saw with Emery where he was allowed to bring in his own team.

    What we have landed up with following Emery’s departure is a huge black hole in coaching department with a relatively inexperienced coach Ljungberg
    running the show with Mertesacker providing support.

  28. strangeworld

    Just one game and Pedro condenation starts. If it was Arteta, he would say, give him time,the result was not bad etc.. long read!
    Who has given positive endosrsement to Arteta? For what? As far as I know, it was for his coaching skills. in the training ground, but the real world of the game pitch is so different. We do not need a novice yet again. Go for experienced Carlo, Rafa and if possible to Rodgers.

  29. TR7

    Let Freddie manage 6-7 games before we pass any judgement on him. Team selection was poor yesterday but I hope he figures out the right 11 in the next few games.

  30. Biggles

    I hope that was Freddie making a statement that everybody has a place in the club and all can be in the team if they play well enough and clean slates all round. Maybe he felt that what’s close to the second string should have been able to beat Norwich (which really, should be the case) and that would be some kind of reset. That’s my hope anyway.

    Because the alternative is that he’s worse at being a coach than any of us armchair fans are and we hit 1st of January having taken 4/18 points (draws with Brighton, West Ham, Everton and Bournemouth). But maybe that kind of cataclysmic, bottom half of the table type result is what we need to get Kroenke to pay attention. If your guys running things for you routinely get 90-95% of their targets without you paying any attention, you’ll likely just accept their excuse and move on because you have more acres to add to your ranch or something.

    My only hope is that Freddie now says “right, you all had a chance, I’m going with our strongest lineup now” and we play our best team against Brighton and smash them.

    ————————–Leno———————–
    Bellerin—Chambers—Holding—Tierney
    ——-Guen——-Torreira——Ceballos—–
    ——-Pepe——–Lacazette——Auba——–

    Right now, that’s what I think we should be playing against teams we should be beating. Try hold a more defensive shape with two disciplined CBs, and have an actual proper DM in front of them. Guendouzi and Ceballos can do the ball carrying through the middle but can also do a bit more defensive work than say Ozil.

    Against teams where we expect to face more pressure, I’d sacrifice Lacazette to bring Luiz in as a DM alongside Torreira for the double pivot. This gives another physical presence at the back, but also can be an outlet for moving forward. Pepe has to be dragged back into the middle for that, Auba moves to centre on his own. Not quite sure about the 10 and the left midfield slot – probably Ceballos and Martinelli/Saka.

    ————————–Leno———————–
    Bellerin—Chambers—Holding—Tierney
    ————Torreira———–Luiz—————-
    ——-Pepe——–Ceballos—-Martinelli—–
    ————————Auba————————-

    We need to stop losing so, so many goals. Our centre backs are performing woefully at the moment. Sokratis was probably our best one last year, this season he’s way off the boil and I’m not sure why. Mustafi is still Mustafi. Luiz appears to have been infected by Sokratis, although I still think I’d prefer him as a second DM than I would Xhaka. Tightening up at the back will likely boost confidence a bit.

    The other thing that should boost confidence is if we start thrashing weaker teams. 1-0, 2-0 might give the same amount of points, but it doesn’t have the same confidence boosting effects as hitting five does. I think that’s partly a function of concentration and desire – and if you can keep improving it, it will make a difference.

    There’s no denying that pretty much man for man, the whole team (apart from Auba) are underperforming.

  31. Jim Lahey

    “There’s no denying that pretty much man for man, the whole team (apart from Auba) are underperforming.”

    Leno….?

  32. Rocky7

    Just go get van Bronkhorst . Give him 3 years. We will be back competing again .

    In the meantime , bring back Keown on the training pitch like we did when we went on that champions league run with flamani at the back . He will install some defensive shape and kill a few egos in the process. It’s like we need the boat rocked more to get out those that are too comfortable.
    Start looking to cash out on auba , he is like Danny welbeck with goals . And I think Martinelli will develop into the player that auba was ….and some.

    This next 6 months should be treated like a transition . We flunked on the champions league spot already and Europa is just a distraction next year .

    We are trying to run when we are having trouble walking.

  33. Danny

    Leno is having an amazing season, of course all for the wrong reasons, I mean how many goalkeepers in world football are having to make so many saves every bloody match?

  34. Nelson

    “It looks to me like Freddie basically told them to go and play with more freedom and take more risks. ”

    Some players were over doing it. Take Chambers for example. He advanced so far forwards when we had the ball. He had no idea when he should move back a little. His side was always caught wide open during each counter by the opponent. Our players require a lot of coaching.

  35. Graham62

    Look at it this way, Freddie has given players the benefit of the doubt to prove they can lead us forward. Clearly some are not up to it.

    These three games will give him a far better understanding of where he stands with them. Don’t be surprised to see several changes for Thursday and Monday.

    Egos should not be satisfied.

    Watch this space.

  36. Biggles

    @Jim Lahey

    My bad. Leno is playing well. I was just thinking about how if you take Auba’s goals out of the equation, we’re basically relegation fodder.

    @Danny

    Bellerin was supposedly close to making the Norwich game, I expect him to be back in the squad for Brighton and probably able to play against West Ham. Ceballos is supposed to be back mid-December. I’m not sure if that’s mid-December real time, or mid-December Wilshere time, or even worse, mid-December Diaby time, but mid-December. Hopefully that means he might make Everton onwards.

    Obviously Freddie couldn’t play injured players, so it’s understandable why Chambers was at right back etc, but picking Xhaka and leaving Torreira on the bench was all Freddie.

  37. Nelson

    “And I won’t even mention the amazing substitution Ozil/Martinelli, with only 5 minutes left to play.”

    I think FL wanted to tell Ozil that his performance is not satisfactory. FL said that he wanted to give every player a chance. When he cut short Ozil’s chance, that is a clear warning statement.

    Let’s give FL a chance to show his stuff. Top4 is over anyway. As for the next coach, I think we need a strong character. Our players are too relax. Yesterday, Laca acted like he was in a play ground.

  38. Emiratesstroller

    Biggles

    I do not disagree altogether with your team selections from existing squad, but
    if I am perfectly honest those selections are not going to resolve our longterm
    planning.

    Our defence and midfield resources which are currently available are not fit for purpose.

    We need better and more solid defenders and midfielders than we have got
    on the books.

    Whoever comes in to manage or act as head coach will expect a transfer budget and lets be realistic any potential sales of our current crop of defenders and midfielders is not going to generate much budget.

  39. DigitalBob

    Freddie didn’t do too badly yesterday, however if felt very much like an Arsene 11 than a new team. Having said that it was still better that than Emeryball.

    In terms of selection the CB’s are interchangeable in their bad defending, Mustafi, Sokratis and Luiz are all one in the same except you get less brain farts from Sokratis. Didn’t really mind this. Kola only played as Tierney had a bit of a knock.

    He also played the 3 senior forwards as its the smart move to keep the dressing room happy but Ozil away from home is always a poor depressing sight to see.

    The most interesting bit of news for me was that Pepe’s outta the team due to poor application in training. Big red flag as I can forgive the on field nerves he displays every game if he’s giving 100% behind the scenes.

    Overall Freddie’s not helped or hurt his chances at keeping the job but i still want Allegri in charge as he’s our best bet for an actual cohesive defensive unit.

  40. Emiratesstroller

    Nelson

    Ozil is no longer the player he was. I think most supporters recognise this.
    However, the problems with our current midfield are not only down to Ozil.

    Even if we manage to offload Ozil and save one and a half years wages the fact
    is that we are not going to get a transfer fee for him. He is unsaleable.

    Currently we do not have a single midfield player on our books who I would classify as an automatic first team starter.

  41. Jamie

    I can’t wait for Arteta to join so he can instantly improve Mustafi, Mavro, Kola, Chambers, Luiz, Sok, Xhaka, AMN, Elneny, Ozil, Mkhi, and Laca (all bar Luiz and Sok were Wenger signings, thanks Arsene) rather than try to shift them all out of the club and replace with better players.

    Arteta will be the 4th guy trying to get a song out of Wenger’s dross signings. It won’t be a coincidence when the same set of players have us languishing in 5th-7th for the 5th season on the bounce with 4 different gaffers having tried and failed to ‘coach’ them into an ‘exciting’ outfit.

    p.s. Fair play to Pete for somehow finding the energy to keep providing thousands of words a week on our dying club.

  42. Nelson

    Danny

    Sorry to be realistic. For me, it is better to be mentally prepared. You won’t get too disappointed when the hammer drops.

  43. Danny

    Nelson

    Of course you’re right it’s just depressing to think we’ve only just started December and the season is basically over. Maybe a nice FA Cup run……..

  44. Rambo Ramsey

    “p.s. Fair play to Pete for somehow finding the energy to keep providing thousands of words a week on our dying club”

    I think you meant to write ‘on our dead club’

  45. Steveyg87

    peanuts,

    Saka was pushed off the ball as if he wasn’t there, this happened at least 3 times within the 1st 2 minutes he was on the pitch. Did u even watch the game?

  46. HighburyLegend

    “but I hope he figures out the right 11 in the next few games.”

    @TR7 : he has been a witness of Emery’s failures in team selections since how long ?? Please, feel free to mremind us.

  47. Nelson

    Freddie :”The problem I think is that everyone can see that we had problems in transitions while we had possession, so that’s something that’s easy for a coach because we know what we need to work on.”

    That’s much better than what we used to hear from Emery (we have played exactly according to our plan).

  48. Leftsidesanch

    7 points from 4th with Chelsea to play twice. I hope the club don’t share that mentality of canning it in now or what is the point?

  49. S Asoa

    Rocky7
    You are absolutely spot on about AFC being the KES Ponzi scheme.
    Our troubles started from the time this Merchant was facilitated in by late Wenger. Perhaps that was the secret of Wenger Shit – show longevity

  50. Un na naai

    Top post Pedro. On the money again.

    This in particular struck a chord.

    “I cannot accept the notion that the squad is worse than Norwich or Southampton, it’s simply too easy to play that card. Leicester have been a sub 50 points a season team for 3 years, their players weren’t shite, the managers were. No one, and I mean no one, had that squad of players down as anything outside average when we tanked them in 2018 with a blistering performance. Now they have a very good coach, he has them in 2nd, and apparently all he’s done is awaken an incredibly balanced squad. Not true.“

    100% true. What is so difficult to u defend about this? Our players are better than Norwich’s we don’t need to buy a single additional man. Every player required to beat these sides is already at the club. Wenger was steam rolling these clubs with worse. What we need is a fucking coach who give his players the frame work and belief to win. It’s not rocket science
    Emery is just a dark cloud of a manager. Great for mid table sides looking to frustrate but that ain’t us. Well it wasn’t until he made us one

  51. Un na naai

    Alex CutterDecember 2, 2019 11:58:13
    Freddie Ljungberg?More like Ferdie Bumberg!

    Cutter!! Very un-you!! A bummer joke? Dont go all MAGA on me.
    How you keeping anyway? Hope you are well.

  52. Un na naai

    JamieDecember 2, 2019 11:22:05
    I can’t wait for Arteta to join so he can instantly improve Mustafi, Mavro, Kola, Chambers, Luiz, Sok, Xhaka, AMN, Elneny, Ozil, Mkhi, and Laca (all bar Luiz and Sok were Wenger signings, thanks Arsene) rather than try to shift them all out of the club and replace with better players.

    Jamie

    Ooooh I feel some egg coming to that face of yours
    I’d tread carefully on Arteta, Rodgers or Pochettino.
    So many on here mugged themselves with Emery in desperation to vindicate their spite towards Wenger
    Please, for your sake, don’t fall into the trap again

  53. Marc

    Pedro

    You really have to stop this “contacts” agenda if you’re going to use false information. If you have a google David Luiz is reported to be on circa £125k per week not almost £200k.

    The Luiz signing only happened because of Kos throwing his toys out of the pram, we were suddenly in a position where we needed to bring in another CB as a short term signing who preferably had PL experience. You keep mentioning “agent” fee’s in his deal – how much were they? The reported transfer fee was £8 million.

    I also feel sorry for the melons.

  54. Un na naai

    Can’t believe I’m going to say this but, quality article from the guardian.
    Oh I feel sick. I need to find Owen Jones and slap him. That will make me better

  55. GoonerInNY

    Emirates,

    I agree with most of your post as to Arsenal’s priorities, but I really wish people would stop talking about the board.

    I understand that in the traditional English football system, a board oversaw everything.

    However, Kroenke is the 100 percent owner of the club, and, as an American who owns multiple professional sports clubs (all failing more than succeeding, of course), he does not feel beholden to the English board system.

    Kroenke doesn’t give a rat’s ass about a board. He IS the board.

    So nothing will happen that he doesn’t want to happen.

    I just wish people would stop talking about the board at Arsenal. Five of the greatest football minds in the world could join Arsenal’s board, and it wouldn’t matter, since Kroenke wouldn’t listen or cede any power to them.

    The best we can hope for is for Kroenke to accidentally stumble on to someone better than Raul to run the club. But I am not hopeful, based on Kroenke’s track record.

  56. Un na naai

    Marc
    £50 was too much for him
    Was alway a calamity bar two seasons. Yet to see him ping one of those marvellous 60 yard Hollywoods too.
    Even if he’s on £120k PW that’s £12m in two years and his £8m fee brings it to £20m

    £20m we’ve spent on a defender no better than our worst defender-Mustafi.

    For the love of god can we please just get holding and chambers in the middle and begin drilling that defence?
    Leave Mustafi and Luiz for the cup games. Only problem is that those two should never step on a field together

  57. Un na naai

    Ny

    Great post.

    I’m also not sure I believe this bull shit that we’ve spent next years money.
    Just alleviated ourselves of half a million per week in wages this summer, minimum whilst gaining 3 new sponsorship deals with most of stadium debt gone and structured payments for those we did sign summer

    How the fuck do arsenal not have money to spend in the summer? Can anyone break this down for my simple brain in layman’s?

  58. Ishola70

    There is no doubt that this present squad needs a shake-up and players sold and others brought in.

    The club have not done anything for years and years at the real top end of football and in the last three or four seasons have stagnated from that.

    The club have got to be more ruthless in player turnover.

    From the starting XI yesterday we had Mustafi, Kolasinac, Chambers, Xhaka and Ozil. All players that have been at the club now for enough seasons and while being at the club have failed to see the team reach the better heights to now really stagnating for several seasons.

    You can’t fix a problem when you keep so many faces around that have been involved with the underachieving and stagnating. They have to be culled and new faces brought in to try to remedy what has gone before.

    Squad shake-up as well as new coach.

  59. Wasi

    Highbury Legend, Everyone giving Freddie flak for the team selections
    Chambers started because Bellerin was injured, Mustafi started because Sok and Holding have been very poor this season( and we all wanted him to get a chance after some impressive midweek displays, Chambers would probably have started CB with Luiz if Bellerin would of been available), Im not a supporter of Xhaka and would have him sold at the earliest but the past few weeks without Xhaka in the team our midfield has been non-existent. His defensive contributions are poor but he asserts a control with the ball that no one else in this team does properly, Willock should have probability been benched for Pepe/ Martinelli to which i agree but He probably used Willock for pressing high as he openly Criticised Pepe afterwards. Oh and the flak Ozil is getting is undeserved. He was easily our top 5 performers yesterday (Leno, auba, ozil, kola, guen in that order). He tracked back diligently too and also created a good few chances (4 in the first half alone i think ,not 100% with this stat but read somewhere). + most of his set pieces were effective.

    CG
    Re- Pressing..
    The pressing was better because it was there. This is the first step. Under Emery in the last few games we had resorted to sitting back in the last few games. That is why were being dominated by the likes of Southampton at the Emirates. It was certainly not organised , not very effective either but we did win the ball back high a few times . One Particular moment springs to my mind when Xhaka won the ball back high thanks to a good press but botched a simple pass which would have left Laca one v one with Krul.
    This team needs a lot of coaching and Freddie had, had 1 proper session. They need to learn when and how to press effectively, in an organized manner.

    The better players in the Pressing were id say Willock, Guen, Auba, then Ozil, Laca ,xhaka , kola , chambers also implemented the press not too bad.

    Ofc Pepe can be coached to press. If Ozil can press and track back then why not Pepe. He hasnt even reached heights close to Ozil’s so doesn’t even have that ego .

    ‘Are we pressing Brighton or playing soccer?’
    Do you even understand what you mean here.
    Pressing is a part of Soccer i guess.

  60. guest man aka WW

    “culprits” in order worst-best.
    WENGER: bought mustafi….let that sink in for a minute..
    Xhaka…..good for the swiss…too slow for the prem
    (a host of duds…too many to mention
    Conclusion: set the shitfest in motion and oversaw the shitfest for as long as he could.
    EMERY: bought sokratis and LUiz???? WTF???
    a man with no charisma or communication whatsoever.
    Conclusion: dealt the wenger hand and proceeded to descend into a black hole
    FREDDIE: Dealt a wenger hand and then given 4 jokers of no value to work with….oh and a 72million ace that can be read from the back of the card!.
    Freddie isn’t a culprit…..just inherited a culprit-potential.

  61. Emiratesstroller

    GoonerInNY

    I understand very well that Arsenal is now 100% privately owned by the Kroenke family.

    However, it is a business which requires expertise at Board level. Neither Stan
    nor his son Josh has that expertise when it comes to football matters and for the record I don’t think that the other Directors sitting there have current
    expertise.

    The point I made earlier was the senior managers who are making the day to
    day decisions including selection of new head coach are employees and transient.

    When you make a strategic appointment which determines the success or failure of a football club you need the right people making that decision.

    Stan was persuaded to appoint Emery as the last Head Coach on recommendation it is believed by Sanhelli. Do we really want a repeat of that
    exercise?

  62. Marc

    Un

    That’s a different argument. I’m not saying Luiz was a great signing but Pedro is posting information that’s incorrect to have a pop at Sanllehi and his so called “contacts” method of conducting business.

    Make the argument that £8 million and £125k per week could have bought us X or Y, offer an internal solution but don’t infer that there was millions and millions in agents fees or that the player is earning almost as much as Harry Kane when it’s not true.

  63. Marc

    Emirates

    “Stan was persuaded to appoint Emery as the last Head Coach on recommendation it is believed by Sanhelli”

    Do you really believe that? Do you think Gazidis and Sven had no opinion or input into the recruitment process?

  64. CG

    Secrets to Success:

    30/1/2019
    Bournemouth 4 Chelsea 0

    10/2/2019
    Man City 6 Chelsea 0

    10 goals conceded, 3 days apart – Luiz plays both games in a Chelsea Back 4.

    You cant win many games of soccer with David Luiz in a Back 4 but you can win lots of money buying opposition goals.

    The Opposition salivate when they see his name on the team sheet: they know they are in the game. They know he will defend too deep or do something stupid.

    (We are stuck with him for another 2.5 seasons)

    This signing was led by our Teck Deck.

    If Fred cant see this- he is as clueless as the previous incumbent.

    David Luiz is a liability. End off.

  65. guest man aka WW

    david luiz…is the worst defender ive ever seen…. why is that?…because he doesn’t actually defend….he backs off, gets out of position, loses focus and fails to read the danger. Just a 5-a -side player playing in mega scoring games.

  66. Chris

    Luiz has had several high profile calamity performances over the years, especially as part of a back four. Where he flourished most of note was in Conte’s back 3

    All in all you look at all our defensive players that started on Sunday (bar Leno) and you wouldn’t be sad to see any of them leave the club I would imagine

    The club needs serious work at almost every level before we are challenging again, even for top four.

  67. Ishola70

    The signing off Luiz was an awful decision obviously because of his weaknesses at the back but also because Arsenal didn’t need another old head in the squad.

    One old head is enough in Sokratis.

    When Koscielny left it should not have been thought the club must replace like for like with another experienced older player. Not with Papa Sok around.

    We are not Juventus who are known to bring in enough older players. They start from a position of strength. Arsenal don’t.

  68. Ishola70

    It does make you think that the David Luiz deal was done just to fill some people’s pockets.

    Arsenal a club that have been notoriously weak defensively for so long bring in a sweeper that lacks pace.

    That you just do not do unless you are being given back handers.

  69. TR7

    I still don’t understand why Mavrapanos doesn’t get a chance to prove himself. Not saying he will definitely turn out to be a very good defender but he can’t be any worse than Mustafi and Sokratis. The likes of Willock get so many opportunities but Mavrapanos has been totally ignored.

  70. Emiratesstroller

    Marc

    Gazidis first preference was Arteta. He got allegedly cold feet. The question you
    need to ask is why he did so?

    I don’t think that Sven Mislintat was the “instigator” of that appointment. His
    background was in Bundesliga and not in La Liga.

  71. Ishola70

    People need to get over Chambers as well.

    He is not top level.

    The lack of a turn of pace is going to kill him more than enough times.

    Effort player which fans appreciate but not the answer ultimately.

    His overall demeanour doesn’t even say top player. It says effort player. And that shouldn’t be enough for Arsenal especially when that player has such an obvious flaw that being no turn of pace.

  72. Marc

    Emirates

    I’m not suggesting that Sven nominated Emery to the shortlist but he was supposed to be part of the 3 man interview team that made the decision.

    Why is it that Sven and Gazidis get a free pass? If Sven was against the appointment or thought it was a terrible idea why hasn’t he said so – he’s been pretty vocal about Arsenal?

    My point in all of this is that Pedro and some on here have an agenda against Sanllehi that they reinforce with misinformation and lies.

    If he’s that bad at what he does you shouldn’t need to make stuff up about him.

  73. Marc

    Ishola

    You’ve got to separate what we want and need in CB’s with what we currently have.

    I can’t see us making any major signings in Jan so we’re stuck with what we’ve got and need to find a combination that gives us the best performance.

  74. Emiratesstroller

    Graham 62

    I don’t think personally that there are any immediate solutions to our current
    predicament in defence.

    Frankly we have a crop of players who are either not fit for purpose and not
    improvable or youngsters who are not ready for regular games in starting X1.

    Personally I would only keep on the books in defence.
    Bellerin [needs assessment once he achieves full fitness]
    Tierney [new arrival not yet up to speed]
    Saliba [yet to arrive unknown quantity]
    Holding [at best squad player]
    Chambers [ at best squad utility defender]

    At the moment I am unconvinced that any of these players merit regular starting eleven status.

  75. TR7

    Chambers and Holding as a center back pairing and Luiz playing in front of them either as a DM or sweeper defender is the best combination in my view.

  76. Marko

    Can’t believe someone from the guardian took the fear mongering about Jorge Mendes actually seriously. Always wondered as well why Pedro brought up the two expensive purchases from Lazio as an example of a bad transfer but then failed to bring up how wolves were able to get Rui Patricio, Moutinho, Jonny, Raul Jimenez, Jota, Dendonker or even Ruben Neves which was always considered a coup for them considering how highly rated he’s been for years. That one alone was massive. Even mentioned Joao Cancelo for some reason even though Valencia bought him for around 13 million sold him for 35 million and then eventually he went to City for 60 million. I mean some of those Jorge Mendes deals would actually have us far more tuned right about now. Oh also it’ll be surprising to people that Valencia and Wolves still exist and are somewhat thriving. Which again asks why so frightened of the big bad super agent.

  77. CG

    Ishola

    “””””It does make you think that the David Luiz deal was done just to fill some people’s pockets.”””””

    that would make sense and its the obvious assumption- but just imagine that is not the case.

    And that our Teck Deck and Head of footballing Operations ( dont laugh) actually thought the Chelsea Reject was what you require in the Prem?

    They genuinely thought Sokratis and Luiz was a top 4 pairing??

    in the words of the Yank Liverpool owner:

    “””What are they smoking down there?””””

    You have no chance in any org. when there is decision making like this on a regular basis.

    No chance. End of.

  78. Ishola70

    Marc
    “You’ve got to separate what we want and need in CB’s with what we currently have.”

    Fair enough.

    Yes the club won’t be getting in any back four/five players in January.

    They have enough bodies.

    We wait for Saliba and it’s a shame Mav has gone missing from virtually day one as no-one really knows if he could have been some sort of answer given more playing time.

  79. CG

    Walt

    Dont makes excuses for these dregs we have at the club.
    Not one- they ran out of them months ago.

    Dont be a bloody cheerleader for them: its demeaning to you.

  80. Samesong

    I wouldn’t be surprised that Petr Cech but in a word to David Luiz that the retirement home (Emirates) was a great place to be and you could do whatever you want there.

    Express yourself be shit, It’s ok your still getting paid.

  81. Biggles

    I totally forgot about Mavro.

    Been here nearly two years and only played 7 games. He’s probably got potential, but bloody hell does he need game time.

    At least we have Saliba coming into the squad in the summer. Speaking of which, let’s wish him a speedy recovery from the broken foot…

  82. CG

    Graham

    “””How come Brentford FC produce so many quality youngsters?”””””

    Because clubs like us sell our young talented left back to them for £3 million
    and then buy an injured Scottish one for £30 million?

    Higher lever of soccer The Championship or the SPL?

    So why the 10 times difference?

    Rauls inflation???

  83. China1

    Maybe Freddie doesn’t want to overload the players with a complete play style revolution immediately and is working on marginal gains each week

    I dunno if that’s teaching but we did see that the defense didn’t arse around much on the ball. Maybe the core change he wanted was just to cut that bullshit out and next we will work on another of our recurring issues

    We can hope.

  84. Ishola70

    TR7
    “Chambers and Holding as a center back pairing and Luiz playing in front of them either as a DM or sweeper defender is the best combination in my view.”

    Please tell how having Luiz as DM is anything like sensible given Arsenal’s continuing defensive frailties.

    It has already been said that Luiz hides from one on one situations with opponents running at him when he is drawn out from his own penalty area/six yard box. All he is comfortable with now to a certain standard is deeper sweeping up.

    If he goes further up the pitch to DM these obvious defensive deficiencies he has only become more pronounced. It’s like you are completely ignoring his defensive weaknesses which 99% of fans truly see now since he has been at Arsenal.

    He will be such a defensive headache at DM that he will make Xhaka look competent defensively in the same position.

    That’s how scary the prospect of Luiz continually playing DM is.

    Thankfully the chances of him continously playing DM are very slim to non-existent. He played a batch of games at DM for Chelsea about 6 or 7 matches many years ago and his other appearances at DM can be virtually counted on one hand. As he is getting old in the tooth now his physical limitations will also be very alarming in the DM position.

  85. Marko

    Let Freddie manage 6-7 games before we pass any judgement on him. Team selection was poor yesterday but I hope he figures out the right 11 in the next few games.

    This is just incredible to me. So lemme get this straight he needs a few more games for him to realize that picking Mustafi Kolasinac and Xhaka in defensive positions isn’t a good idea? Incredible from some of you lot if Arsene or Emery picked them no doubt there’d be massive criticism but because it’s someone popular he’s getting a pass? It’s ridiculous. Like Freddie or hate Freddie it doesn’t matter he gets fair criticism for picking that starting 11 yesterday and for making those substitutions. Mustafi and Xhaka calamitous all game and Lacazette and Özil (88 mins) all lasting the game. Guy made some pretty obvious errors whether he had time enough to train them or not is irrelevant.

  86. China1

    To be fair the players were having mental breakdowns responding to the relentless changes under emery

    On day one when Freddie gives them a different setup you can probably hear them sighing again

    I hate what emery was doing but maybe it’s not the worst idea for Freddie to just tweak it each week for marginal gains rather than scrap and rebuild it. If he can make a slight improvement each game then in 6 games we might not actually be that terrible anymore.

  87. China1

    Marko he did make some obvious errors but it’s fair enough to acknowledge that without jumping to conclusions about whether or not he’s going to do a good job just based off that game

    Many of our best players were not Doing great the second they walked in the door and management is the same. Freddie gave us some marginal improvements but also made some clear mistakes. Let’s see what game two looks like

  88. HighburyLegend

    “Marko he did make some obvious errors”

    Let’s see… Luiz, Xhaka (lol), Ozil, Mustardi (LOL) all in the starting 11.
    A few mistakes, indeed.

  89. Jamie

    Un –

    I don’t think I fell into any particular trap.

    I’ll give the next guy a season to stamp his mark on the squad, much like I gave Emery (minus the final 6 or so games where he absolutely choked the run-in and EL Final and it became clear he was a dud).

    What is consistent in our poor form during the last 4 years is the players. We’re onto our 3rd manager with this lot now. At some point, the players have to start taking the blame. 8 of our starting 11 yesterday have been at Arsenal for 3 years or more. Wenger defenders don’t want to chastise the players he bought in the same way Dalglish lovers welcomed the signings of Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing.

    My scouse mates were always harping on about how solid their players were even during the Hicks/Gillette years;

    Kuyt – aweome
    Agger – awesome
    Joe Allen – awesome
    Andre Wisdom – awesome
    Sakho – awesome
    Lucas – awesome
    Aspas – awesome

    Then they went through Hodgson Dalglish, and Rogers before hiring Klopp and cannibalising the squad. That’s when their results started improving. Not a single one of them argues that Klopp could’ve coached Skrtel into a VVD or Jerome Sinclair into a Salah. The inferior players were binned and replaced.

    If/when Arteta arrives, we’ll see if our results improve with largely the same players we’ve had for 3 years and counting. Doubtful.

  90. Un na naai

    Ishola70December 2, 2019 12:46:41
    All over the place.Present squad is fine but then frets over next seasons transfer budget.

    Ishola
    Try paying attention lightning. I said our squad is good enough to beat e regime bar city and Liverpool. Certainly good enough to beat Norwich and city.
    Didn’t say that we should not add quality players. Had you read anything yesterday rather than thinking up ways to rewrite your year long emery hard on you’ll have noted that I clearly stated I think we aught to sign at least one more Cmf maybe two and another cb and rb.

    I think we have enough in wide and forward areas even if we sold one of our strikers.

  91. Marko

    Marko he did make some obvious errors but it’s fair enough to acknowledge that without jumping to conclusions about whether or not he’s going to do a good job just based off that game

    That’s the thing China it’s not someone jumping the gun and making proclamations already about Freddie the criticism comes from those decisions mentioned and that is fair. My guess is that whatever he does in the time he’s given doesn’t matter one bit because at the end of the day he’s not getting it permanently.

  92. TR7

    Marko

    I don’t know if you remember but yesterday I wrote 3-4 posts criticizing Freddie’s team selection. All I am saying is let’s give him the benefit of doubt given it was his first game in charge. If he continues to play the same players we can seriously question his ability to manage Arsenal. Something tells me he will not reepat his mistakes a la Emery. If he does he will face criticism from all quarters anyway. In his post game press conference he alluded to getting caught on counter attack as our biggest weakness, here’s hoping he makes amends.

    Ishola

    Luiz can carry the ball and make passes to our advanced players. Unlike Xhaka, he can actually put in a tackle and he is a good header of the ball. Besides he will have Chambers and Holding as covers behind him. Again I don’t particularly rate the player but he is not as bad as some of you think he is. He is better than Mustafi, Sokratis and Xhaka in my view.

  93. China1

    One thing that’s crossed my mind is the chances have always been high that he doesn’t keep the role even if he does quite well

    What’s the next step if he doesn’t keep the job? If he’s lucky he can stay on as assistant for the next guy but he might be worried that if he pisses off the bigger names and older heads in the dressing room that he will lose any credibility he has with those players when he becomes assistant again

    This doesn’t make it right for Freddie to play them from a footballing perspective (which is what matters most to us) but he may well have on his mind that trying to get results with the big players on the pitch is a better outcome for him that binning off our experienced deadwood and if it doesn’t go well they will make him look like a twat the same way ozil and xhaka did with emery

  94. Ishola70

    We shouldn’t even be talking about whether the team can beat a Norwich or Southampton.

    This was all previously about flat track bullying and didn’t see the club advance to anything above that.

    We should be talking about assembling a squad that is going to exceed flat track bullying.

    This team has been hiding behind home form for far too long. Awful away record.

    They are not as good as fans think they are. What a surprise.

  95. Un na naai

    Ishola70December 2, 2019 14:32:05
    We shouldn’t even be talking about whether the team can beat a Norwich or Southampton.This was all previously about flat track bullying and didn’t see the club advance to anything above that.

    Ish
    Yeah, then we sacked wenger and now we can’t even do that…why the fuck do you think it’s being discussed?

  96. Un na naai

    We should be talking about assembling a squad that is going to exceed flat track bullying.

    Ish

    Was beating spurs, United, chelsea, Napoli and Valencia flat track bullying last season? Flip flop flip flop

  97. Marko

    All I am saying is let’s give him the benefit of doubt given it was his first game in charge.

    I mean considering you judged the previous manager after 13 games 11 of which were undefeated or wins why not just give Freddie the benefit of the doubt? You see in my mind I can’t really look past how someone starts a CB who not only has barely played this season but is someone the club is actively trying to get rid of because for three seasons he’s been really fucking poor. I also can’t look past bringing in Xhaka from the cold when everyone is wondering why Torreira isn’t being picked was it something personal with the previous manager. Perhaps the biggest red flag for me was Ozil sleep walking through the game lasting 88 mins I had visions of Ozil during latter Wenger when no matter how wank he was playing he was never subbed and he always started.

  98. Bob N16

    Agree NY, board is an irrevelance in present set up.

    ES, board is ceremonial, nothing more. Sanhelli, VV and Edu are answerable to ‘100% Kroenke’ and son, not the board.Wanting O’Leary and being told ‘no’ sums up their position. To edit a phrase that you love to use ES ‘not fit for purpose’, you can shorten it to ‘no purpose’.

  99. Ishola70

    The problem was Don was that the club were content to just keep on flat track bullying.

    They stayed on the flat track bullying high wire for too long. Content. No ambition to get on the higher wire.

    And guess what. If you continue to stay on one wire without moving you eventually fall off.

    That’s not even taking into consideration that the EPL as a whole has improved as well. Yes even the unfashionable clubs have improved.

    Arsenal have been getting by because of home form for many years now.

    This is not the sign of a very good team just home form.

    To have such a very poor away record strongly hints at flaws in the side. Not just hints. Glaring signs.

    And if a team has such obvious flaws that will become more exposed over time.

  100. Marko

    ”At my age I don’t need a lot of time to recover. I am open to listen to projects put before me. My aim is to seek the ability to rebuild myself and get my self-motivation back. It is my intention to return to manage in Europe”

    Poch probably thinking United not Arsenal

  101. Graham62

    Under Wenger, we just had Wenger. I don’t include sleezeball Gazidis, as he was all talk and no action.

    Under Emery, we suddenly had all these Chiefs scurrying around in suits, pretending to know what they were doing.

    I mean, who the fudge is Raul? What is he exactly?How the fudge did he get involved with our club? What does he have that Gooner Stan, who runs the local off-licence, doesn’t have? He seems more suited to a 1930’s gangster movie set in Chicago. The guy doesn’t look trustworthy.

    Arsenal FC seem to attract far to many undesirables for my liking.

  102. Bob N16

    We have to close down better when the other team is looking to shoot. Torreira is the only player I can immediately think of who is competent in this area. Sokratis has his moments but the space and time we are given teams to line up a shot is Championship standard. If there was one message Mertsacker should be giving this week is that you have to block better.

  103. Marko

    Mauricio Pochettino ― “My best decision was to come to Argentina to switch off for ten days. At my age I don’t need a lot of time to recover. I am open to listen to projects put before me.” [Fox Sports]

    10 days home for Christmas

  104. Ishola70

    Don wants to get giddy over results in a second tier competition and a home match victory.

    Don

    Tell us the last truly big win Arsenal have had in the EPL away from home against a big side that was near or to the top of the league?

  105. Nelson

    Marc

    You have missed one of Pedro’s post. He said that Emery’s English was very poor. Raul must have helped him a lot during his interview. Hence, Emery has succeeded to win over the other two’s vote.

  106. Champagne charlie

    “Not a single one of them argues that Klopp could’ve coached Skrtel into a VVD or Jerome Sinclair into a Salah. The inferior players were binned and replaced.“

    And not one poster has ever suggested what we have will get coached to glory alone.

    What’s been said is what we have can 100% be coached to top 4. The same top 4 Klopp delivered along the way with players nowhere near the levels he has now.

    But last season on here games against Everton, Palace, Wolves, Leicester….even 17th place Brighton… were ‘player poverty’. Our squad was ‘nowhere near top 4 quality’ yet finished a point back. And this season we’ve invested again, as others have stood still largely, and the party line is us having the 7th best squad in the league.

    Why? Because what Arsenal lack is a quality manager, the influence of which we haven’t seen at the club because we hired a dud following a spiralling great. We wouldn’t be sat here listening to the same tired bollocks about players if someone competent was appointed last time around, we’d almost certainly be in the CL and amongst the top 4 plotting how we can take the next step toward closing the gap on Liverpool and City.

    Instead it’s a bogus doubling down on Arsenal having Hull City level players.

  107. Marko

    I mean, who the fudge is Raul? What is he exactly?How the fudge did he get involved with our club? What does he have that Gooner Stan, who runs the local off-licence, doesn’t have? He seems more suited to a 1930’s gangster movie set in Chicago. The guy doesn’t look trustworthy.

    Graham you’re unbelievable sometimes I swear. Perhaps Google can help you.

    Under Emery, we suddenly had all these Chiefs scurrying around in suits, pretending to know what they were doing.

    You mean the people who hired him. So before him.

  108. TR7

    Marko

    I don’t think I have had more disdain for any Arsenal player than Mustafi and Xhaka since the days of Squillachi, so I am not going to defend their selection in our starting 11. If it were up to me , Mustafi would be relegated to our reserve team until we offloaded him. My limited point is if the duo is picked again and again, we can raise questions. You won’t see me making excuses for him. Pedro said he wouldn’t be our full time manager based on his first game and you are kind of reflecting the same sentiments, in that sense I said it was a bit premature. As for Emery, we lost only 2 games in his first 13 but it was amply clear to me the results were merely papaering over the cracks and he was lucky in terms of results. There was no improvement in our play from Wenger days, if anything we were getting worse. Once his lucky spell was over, we all saw how severe the downfall was from there on.

  109. Marc

    China

    “To be fair the players were having mental breakdowns responding to the relentless changes under emery ”

    You’ve also got a defence that’s had so little protection that whatever combination of CD’s we put out are shell shocked.

    We need to pick a CM that will first and foremost protect the defence, after that we’d have 4 players who can handle the attack.

  110. Jamie

    “And not one poster has ever suggested what we have will get coached to glory alone.”

    Point taken.

    “Instead it’s a bogus doubling down on Arsenal having Hull City level players.”

    And not one poster has ever suggested we have Hull City level players, I don’t think.

    Call it even?

    If the best we can hope for is for our current crop to be coached back into the top 4, that seems a little unambitious. Why not just sack off those in the squad who are, at best, 4th place material and start recruiting the next gen of higher-ceiling players?

    I don’t really care who coaches them. Except that cunt Mourinho.

  111. Pierre

    What we saw with Mustafi yesterday, was a player who is scared to make a tackle due to previous criticism of his tackling.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if freddie or Mertesacker had a word with him and told him not to dive him and wherever possible to jockey the opponent and to stay on his feet , I’m afraid he took it too literally and what we saw was a player who was afraid to engage with the opposition.

    The rest of his game was pretty good yesterday but the 2 goals conceded, although they were not directly his fault, he could//should have done more to prevent the goals.

  112. Marko

    TR7 he’s not going to get the gig anyway no matter what team he picked Sunday but in hindsight with what happened Sunday it’s just as well. Final point on Freddie I bet you he picks more or less the same team Thursday against Brighton.

    As for the next guy my hope is that whoever it is he demands in any and all uncertain terms that certain players are sold and replaced as soon as possible otherwise whoever he is he’s being set up for failure. This is a stance that they should have done in any of the previous 3/4 transfer windows with regards to the likes of Ozil, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Xhaka, AMN etc