Scouting Report – Best left-backs in Europe

by & filed under News Review.

via @Arsenal Instagram

Another exciting scouting report on the best left-backs in world football by @mike_mmcdonald.

The Full Backs dilemma (Part 2: Left Back)

I hear today that Napoli and Roma are interested in Sead Kolasinac.

At first it seems insanity to consider selling him with Tierney out for 3 months but maybe not…

Kolasinac has proved to be part of the problem more than part of our future solution.

Excels in pre-season then seems to flatline. Powers forward… stops.

Improved defensively but still slow to react to danger.

Considering he is on £120k, this may be the time to wave goodbye as I’m sure you could give his wages to a position more in need, and replace with a £40-70k guy.

If Saka is considered a real option then one of the options in this blog may end up being a reality.

Before we start the profiles allow me to make you nauseous again as I did by suggesting Ashley Young and Marcus Alonso, for there is another that’ll change your Christmas mood. His name is Danny Rose and he’s third choice under Mourinho down the road and he wants to play in the Euro’s I’m sure.

Danny Rose on loan. Sorry!

Young and promising

Name: Malang Sarr

Position: LB/CB

Age: 20

Height: 6ft

Club: Nice

Nationality: France U-21

Potential fee: £15M

About: Malang Sarr could fix two problems.

His primary position is left centre back which is arguably Arsenal’s biggest need. He is French and could form a formidable long term partnership with Saliba, speaking the same language.

Sarr is considered a generational talent and much like De Ligt, a natural leader in a generation of few.

An athletic, fast, ball-playing CB primarily.

Much like Upamecano, Sarr has formidable body strength.

Since switching to LB, he has suffered further forward when crossing but in a team whose attacking profile suits cutbacks, this isn’t a major concern.

His contract is up in June so we could get a short term left-back and a long term LCB for a small fee.

He is also playing out of position currently at Nice so the promise of a future as a CB option for a bigger club should appeal.

Name: Rayan Ait Nouri

Position: LB

Age: 18

Height: 5ft10

Club: Angers

Nationality: France

Potential fee: 20M

About: I was unaware of Ait-Nouri until L’Equipe recently mentioned that a Top 6 PL team have bid for him.

Over the last 12 months, Juve, Real Madrid, Man City and Athletico Madrid have shown interest so I think this qualifies us to take a look.

Ait Nouri is a very modern left-back. Plays more like a converted winger as his feet dazzle.

Electric pace and supreme athleticism add to the excitement but young, raw and untested at the higher level makes such a large investment unlikely perhaps for a club in our financial situation.

Ait Nouri represents many on these lists. Young, inexperienced but full of potential. I think that the fee dictates the risk. £15M or under and Arsenal may press go. As we are currently a club trying to fix everything I’d be surprised if we go for a very young player from abroad.

Name: Owen Wijndal

Position: LB

Age: 20

Height: 5ft 9in

Club: AZ Alkmaar

Nationality: Dutch

Potential fee: £10M

About: A regular for the second-best team in Holland this season. Wijndal is a complete full-back with no obvious weaknesses bar experience.

He is good going forward and also solid defensively.

Wijndal has great stamina and has been a very consistent performer for AZ.

Players like Owen Wijndal are often the best bargains. They have the possibility to play for very strong national teams but due to the depth currently in the Dutch squad he has yet to breakthrough. If you can get a player who is good enough to play international football but is outnumbered you may get them for half the actual value.

Experienced leader

Name: Jonas Hector

Position: LB

Age: 29

Height: 6ft 1in

Club: Koln

Nationality: Germany

Potential fee: 25M

About: Do you miss Nacho Monreal? If so, why?

Is it because he was so reliable? Because he was versatile, could play LB, LWB, CB.

Wish there was another like him?

Maybe there is…. Jonas Hector.

Hector is an uncommon modern player.

He has essentially played his whole career for Koln, even when they’ve been relegated. Had offers from Barcelona and Liverpool, but stayed.

A versatile and well-rounded player who has until recently been first choice for Germany even though he plays each year in the relegation zone.

An attacking midfielder in his youth, Hector still retains the in-game intelligence that first caught Cologne’s eye in summer 2010. Just look at where he has been deployed for club and country since: on the left wing, in defensive midfield, at centre-back and, for the most part, in his now favoured role on the left-hand side of defence.

Jonas Hector catches my eye as a good option for Arsenal as he checks many of the boxes needed as well as having the (rare) added benefit of being two-footed and a goal-scoring threat from left back.

A smart guy off the field who is currently studying for his business degree.

Arsenal are in need of leaders and reliable senior players. Koln captain Jonas Hector, could be the solution.

Out of favor, experienced options

Name: Ricardo Rodriguez

Position: LB

Age: 27

Height: 5ft 11

Club: AC Milan

Nationality: Swiss

Potential fee: £20M (loan possible)

About: There has always been something about Ricardo Rodriguez that’s bothered me.

I’m not a fan necessarily but his status as an out of favour player at struggling AC Milan makes me wonder whether he may be a loan option for Arsenal.

He will make the Swiss squad for the Euros but he may be concerned that he will lose his starting place.

RR has a distinctive hunched body shape when he plays that bothers me on an aesthetic level as I prefer players that have better field vision.

A similar player to Kolasinac with just one foot, good feet but not great, good going forward but not great and a good defender but again, not great.

Not a ringing endorsement, but I don’t have to approve for me to know that Arsenal are far more likely to attempt to solve their full back issues with loans and that this is a realistic option.

Name: Marcel Schmelzer

Position: LB

Age: 31

Height: 5ft 11

Club: Dortmund

Nationality: German

Potential fee: £15M (loan possible)

About: Much like Rodriguez, Marcel Schmelzer becomes a possible option as he is currently behind both Schultz and Guerreiro at Dortmund.

A former captain of Dortmund and a stalwart at left back for many years, Schmelzer’s form has recently dropped yet he is still considered an important member of the Dortmund squad due to his decade long service and the hope that he can regain his pace, tenacity and stamina that saw him hold down the left side for years.

Like Rodriguez, he is not a choice I’d go with but understanding that we may just need a body and that the club are looking for senior players that care and can lead on or off the field, then Schmelzer becomes a candidate.

There are others to consider.

Wendell at Bayer Leverkusen, Kurzawa at PSG and if City are looking for a left back upgrade then at least one of Mendy, Zinchenko or Angelino will leave.

I’d love to consider Chilwell but why buy Tierney if you are going to buy Chilwell.

My best guess is Arsenal will look at a loan and most likely Ricardo Rodriguez.

What would I do?

If Aubameyang can be persuaded to stay I’d go for Jonas Hector.

We need senior players with true leadership and better mentality.

If Aubameyang insists on going, I’d persuade Real Madrid to give us Achraf Hakimi in part exchange and use him at Left Back until Tierney is back, then play him instead of Bellerin at right back long term.

What would you do?

@mike_mmcdonald

369 Responses to “Scouting Report – Best left-backs in Europe”

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  1. Upstate Gooner

    We should not have bought Tierney to begin with. And yes, Kola is a liability. Get rid of, and bring replacement ASAP.

  2. Unai

    Cesc, good post but I’d like to point out its possible to believe;

    Our squad is underperforming and has quality but clearly needs some upgrades and flesh blood.

    Emery is not a bad coach but was terrible for Arsenal and it didn’t look like getting better.

    Things are wildly different for Arteta now than they were 18 months ago for Emery.

    I agree, Emery certainly deserved more respect at the start but hes not the coach anymore (rightly imo) , holding a grudge against people for being excited about Arteta for that fact just seems strange.

    It’s a bit early to be using words like demand or expect for Arteta, particularly when you consider who we’re about to face seems a bit strong for me, easy to see why its seen as knife sharpening.

    Who cares who said what 6,12,18 months ago, it’s just point scoring, Arteta is the coach now, hes not done anything obviously wrong yet and if he is infact shit, let’s have that discussion when he shows it.

  3. Dissenter

    These scouting reports are utterly meaningless. Judos to the writer for the post, not trying to be rude.
    A new manager needs to spend time to know the strengths and weaknesses of his squad. Then we have to move out undesirables for as much money as we can before we go for replacements.
    Martinelli wouldn’t have shown up in scouting reports such as these and yet here he is.

  4. RodneyKing

    Dissenter“

    I would be disappointed If we set up conservatively against Chelsea and United.
    Two games against two uncertain and certainly beatable teams
    It will be so Emery-esque”.

    Last season, the “Emery-esque” approach narrowly lost to Chelsea away and beat them and Man Utd at home. The performance against Chelsea especially was hailed as a “master-class”, if memory serves me right.

  5. Marko

    You don’t think Arteta’s coaching will give Xhaka will get a new lick of paint?

    Not really. At 27 I don’t see how he improves the things he’s bad at which happen to be the things we need him to be good at. Anyway he’s into his 4th season with us now and he’s been average overall. He doesn’t deserve another chance. Not like there’s any knee jerk reaction to the Xhaka signing is there

  6. Ishola70

    Dissenter

    What you are forgetting is that Xhaka has been heavily criticised from all sides since he has been playing in England and this for several years as well as showing serious dissent to his own fans.

    And of course there is the little matter that Xhaka actually wants to leave. He is forcing the move

    .This makes all your talk of getting up to 50m for him la-la land stuff.

  7. Dissenter

    Rodney Kings
    My post was for peoplerunning,with the no-pressure/low expectations mantra.
    Apparently, it’s the performances that count not the results like we have secured our premier league status for next season already.

  8. Ishola70

    Hertha are not in the position to sign world class stars.

    They are in a position atm to sign players of a certain standard who may have had problems at their current club.

    Players who have a bit of a name but are not real top performers.

    This is Xhaka territory and this is why Hertha Berlin are in to sign him.

  9. Marko

    Another exciting scouting report on the best left-backs in world football by @mike_mmcdonald

    Not one mentioned would be considered best LB in the world

  10. Mike McDonald

    Blog writer @mike_mmcdonald here.

    Wanted everyone to know that the list is based on who we would want and who is available, not the best around.

    I see Tierney as first choice, so these are back up options/short term fixes (Rodriguez, Schmelzer etc..)

    As cool as it would be to get Tagliafico/ Chilwell etc.., Arsenal don’t have the money and have greater priorities right now.

    Thanks for reading!

  11. Sid

    Have to agree with Dissenter about the scouting report, i must also add the scouting reports have Grimalndi’s modus operandi allover

  12. RodneyKing

    @Dissenter Not dissing (lol, no pun intended) you. Just pointing out a bit of history that I’m sure you’re also well aware of.

    Having said that, I’m in agreement that we shouldn’t be conservative in our approach since both of these teams are no longer the “big” teams they once were.

  13. Receding Hairline

    No one is demanding anything from Arteta

    We are simply demanding supposedly world class footballers good enough to finish third/fourth in the Premier League pull their fingers out and start getting wins on the board.

    Saying we should not be writing off games against wobbly teams like this years version of Chelsea and United, home games at that, before a ball is kicked does not mean you hate Arteta nor does it mean you are in love with Unai Emery.

    This place is like a creche at times. Comprehension really is a problem for some of you.

  14. Dissenter

    Xhaka
    You do realize that we have to source Xhaka’s replacement with the proceeds of his transfer. We’ve not become a fre spending club just because we changed manager.
    I think you have to separate the widespread disdain that many have for Xhaka from what we should expect for him.
    Hertha Berlin are apparently starting with 21 million and he’s expected to be the marquee signing af a well monied owner. You don’t think they will go higher if we play hardball?
    I think we can get double that. Xhaka isn’t a bad player, just not suited to the premier league in my opinion.
    He wants to leave …fine , so long as a good valuation is met.

  15. MGooner

    Well done Mike, good report.

    Onlu one thing which puzzles me is that we have no money. I thought Arsenal was among the richest clubs in the world.

  16. Ishola70

    Sid
    “Have to agree with Dissenter about the scouting report, i must also add the scouting reports have Grimalndi’s modus operandi allover”

    The time period between a Pedro post and these scouting reports need to be spread out better. They are posted too simultaneously.

  17. Marko

    According to Di Marzio, #Hertha are about to sign Santiago #Ascacíbar from VfB #Stuttgart for €12m

    Apparently they’re also looking at Wanyama and others. It’s very possible that we could end up being stuck with Xhaka. Well I hope we’re not stupid enough to ask for 50 million

  18. Dissenter

    Ishola
    One more thing
    You want to get rid of Xhaka so much that you’ll probably pay a fee to get rid of him.
    I want to play hardball and get as much as we can for him. The first offer is just that, a testing of the waters.to open negotiations. It’s to our advantage that Xhaka wants to leave- he can leave his loyalty bonuses on the table to facilitate his exit.

  19. G8

    Pedro,
    Brighton 2/ Bournemouth 0

    tbf, Arteta should have won his first game if it’s only about the sauce !
    The problem was and still is that we have assembled a very weak and injury prone squad!
    Youth need proper footballers to guide them and learn from

    I don’t see what the likes of Ozil, xhaka, Auba or Lacazette can offer those youth!

    Agree with receeding from previous post if other interim or newly appointed managers could get results against Chelsea and manure, I fully expect the saucy Arteta would as well in his first two home games.
    I will be really disappointed if we don’t get maximum points.

  20. Ishola70

    Dissenter

    You have completely ignored the Hertha Berlin angle and the buying club angle can’t be ignored.

    They are in the market atm for certain profile players and at a certain price. And the profile player they are after is not seen as real top class.

    This is why they are in for Xhaka in the first place.

    They have picked him out as a player that meets their criteria in buying at this time.

  21. Dissenter

    They offer 21 million…. We counter with 50 million.
    That’s just a regular haggling in negotiation, we’’ll probably end up with something in the middle, close to what we paid for him.

  22. Marko

    If it’s a back up LB to replace Kolasinac then we might as well target the 18 year old from Angers or the 20 year old from Alkmaar. No way should it be an oldie looking for a last payday who we’ll look to replace inside a year or so.

  23. Receding Hairline

    “Agree with receeding from previous post if other interim or newly appointed managers could get results against Chelsea and manure, I fully expect the saucy Arteta would as well in his first two home games.”

    Except that’s not what i actually said.

    The focus on Arteta is a bit much, i don’t care who our coach is at this point.

    When a group of players under perform so badly their coach losses his job there is usually a new manager bounce expected with the new arrival. We have not seen it with this group of players. We are too fixated on coaches while they get away with murder.

    They should be playing for their rights to wear the Arsenal jersey. Writing off games until they are “sufficiently coached” or bathed with sauce is dishonest. You don’t need a playing philosophy to win one football match nor do you need to play like prime Barcelona either

  24. Marko

    They offer 21 million…. We counter with 50 million.
    That’s just a regular haggling in negotiation

    I’m begging you to stop. It’s such nonsense they’re literally buying a CM from Stuttgart and wanted Lucas Tousart to begin with and you think it’s smart to ask for 50 million for a player who wants to leave and who generally performs poorly. Just stop

  25. Cesc Appeal

    Unai

    I agree for the most part.

    I was fully behind Emery’s sacking. He got a lot wrong and quite clearly he just wasn’t working here. Too many barriers, too many issues, errors etc.

    That said I have always been behind the idea that this squad is not good enough and is not built for the modern EPL…particularly in midfield. The attitudes in this squad aren’t good enough and as the league seems to be getting more and more intense, athletic and physical Arsenal seem to be wilting further and further into a lazy, entitled, victim state.

    I’m cutting Arteta an enormous amount of slack. What I don’t like though is the narrative shift suddenly from Emery is the reason we’re shit, the squad is great, 1 point off 4th blah blah blah to now suddenly it doesn’t matter what Arteta does this season.

    Really gratingly hypocritical to me.

    I’ve said before I want Pedro to be smug because that means Arteta has absolutely worked out for us. But he gets the same amount of slack Emery got from me, I’m holding Arteta to the same standard…others have to do the same or wear their hypocrite badge with pride.

  26. Ishola70

    Dissenter

    “we’’ll probably end up with something in the middle, close to what we paid for him.”

    You wish.

    I heard there may be add ons in relation to whether Hertha Berlin qualify for european football in the next few years but unlikely to me that this will amount to 45m.

    Again Hertha are in a certain market atm and it’s not 45m market they are in.

  27. Receding Hairline

    “So you wont blame Arteta if we lose both games?”

    No

    You are the ones fixated on Arteta this and Emery that

    I have my eyes more on footballers who have been disgracing the shirt for quite sometime now. Gutless social media junkies with no fight or sense of pride in their jobs.

    I will have an opinion on Arteta next season. That does not mean i should start imagining massive improvements where they do not exist

  28. Dissenter

    Ishola
    ‘ They are in the market atm for certain profile players and at a certain price. And the profile player they are after is not seen as real top class’

    Granit Xhaka was one of the top rated midfielders in the world before he came to Arsenal. Arteta alluded to that. He’s was highly rated. Things haven’t worked out well in England but he’s biased the Bundesliga before and I bet you he will do very well again there. Hertha Berlin aren’t making a random bid, they too have done their research

    Xhaka is an international captain of a top-15 country. He’s a marketable commodity. He’s going to be motivated to perform till the summer because of the Euros. He has shown a good reaction to Arteta so far. He’s has 2.5 seasons left in his contract.

    We don’t have to sell him cheap in. He could benefit from an Arteta-induced realignment of the club and can still be sold for a good price in the summer.
    That’s my take on it. Sorry to disappoint you.

  29. Unai

    Dissenter, saying you want to see improved performance over results is entirely fair at this stage.

    Emery was heralded for his unbeaten run but even is staunchest supporters have to admit it was worrying from a performance perspective.

    Otoh, play well consistently with a clear progression path and you dont need to ‘worry’ about results as they come more naturally.

  30. Champagne charlie

    “What I don’t like though is the narrative shift suddenly from Emery is the reason we’re shit, the squad is great, 1 point off 4th blah blah blah to now suddenly it doesn’t matter what Arteta does this season.Really gratingly hypocritical to me.“

    – Full pre-season, game 1 of the campaign, and hugely positive outlook surrounding the club and players for the season ahead.

    – Taking over game 19, confidence shot, form totally absent, everyone thinking they can get one over on us, no time to train properly between games over the Xmas period, game every 3 days.

    Totally hypocritical.. it’s the same situation entirely after all.

  31. G8

    Yes I don’t understand why Pedro is saying he doesn’t expect anything from the next two games!
    If we have good enough squad why not!?
    It’s not about Arteta, Emery or even Wenger!

  32. MGooner

    @Receding

    “They should be playing for their rights to wear the Arsenal jersey.”

    They don’t give a rats. A guy like Ozil is on a pension. Xhaka would be a good player in another league, so he does not care about AFC.

    Auba won the golden boot – he will feel he deserves better than AFC.

    Laca would be snapped by another club if he were on sale.

    Today its more a question of what can AFC do for its players to perform better. What can AFC do to add more quality – buy proper players rather than those on the cheap which we did over the past 2 years.

  33. Receding Hairline

    “Dissenter, saying you want to see improved performance over results is entirely fair at this stage.”

    No it isn’t

    Both are not mutually exclusive

    Teams play well and win football games at the same time. Heck the whole point of an improved performance is to stand a better chance of taking three points , what exactly is wanting to see improved performances over results, how do you get confident playing well and losing games? That’s how Norwich ended up bottom of the table.

    Pierre kept posting how they were playing well and sticking to their philosophies yet here they sit on 12 points rock bottom of the table.

  34. Dissenter

    Unai
    I think you’re lowering the bar to overcompensate your principled stance on Emery.
    Results are inextricably linked with performances ultimately. You may look the other way initially but eventually the main metric for improved performers is improved results.
    If players are more psychologically driven, buy into the new manger methods and don’t hold back physically, shouldn’t there be an uptick in results?

  35. Marko

    saying you want to see improved performance over results is entirely fair at this stage.

    It’s not an either or situation though we could look for both. I don’t buy into the whole forgoing of results writing off the season in lieu of seeing something positive on the pitch it’s December there’s plenty of time and games left to play and we need points. I’d absolutely hate to see us pick up a handful of wins till the end of the season and sit here and listen to how much better Arteta has us playing. He needs results too otherwise people will start to doubt him en masse. Luckily for us though I highly doubt for a second that he is writing off the season. At all

  36. Ishola70

    Dissenter

    “Before” he came to Arsenal.

    His reputation has been tarnished since he has been in England.

    He’s been in England for over three years now.

    Hertha Berlin wouldn’t be going in for him if his reputation was still at Borussia Moechengladbach’s levels when he was there. He would be out of their reach.

    I’ve already said I don’t see the midfield improving to any great extent if Xhaka leaves and there is no replacement brought in but that’s as much about the lack of quality as a whole in midfield as it is about Xhaka himself.

    This is all about your valuation of him right now.

  37. Marc

    Both ManU and Chelsea have been incredibly inconsistent this season.

    The next two matches could see any result and I wouldn’t be that surprised.

  38. TR7

    CA

    ‘I’m cutting Arteta an enormous amount of slack. What I don’t like though is the narrative shift suddenly from Emery is the reason we’re shit, the squad is great, 1 point off 4th blah blah blah to now suddenly it doesn’t matter what Arteta does this season.’

    Even when we had this great unbeaten run of 22 games under Emery, I (and a few others) said we weren’t playing well or improving although we were getting results. The yardstick has not changed even now. More than the results, I will be fixated on whether we improve our general play, build up, defensive awareness, defensive shape and fluidity of our game. It is not a ploy to give Arteta a free pass , it is not hypocrisy. It is just that I believe if we improve core aspects of our game, results will follow. If we don’t improve footballing wise under Arteta , I will be as critical of him as I was of Emery.

  39. Receding Hairline

    Nothing like an opportunity to shit all over Granit Xhaka to get the best out of Ishola

    Selling Xhaka without replacing him to then go ahead and play Willock or Guendouzi can only be done if Edu, Raul and Arteta are incompetent or drug addicts.

    We have seen how well it worked out getting rid of Mhki and Iwobi to play Nelson and Saka.

  40. Champagne charlie

    Our goal at the start of the season was to get back into the top 4 and earn ourselves CL football. At the midway point the season, in terms of that objective, is a write off.

    It’s been laid out quite clearly for anyone struggling with the concept, arguing against it is just another false flag for having a go at others apparently ‘changing the narrative’ in Arteta’s favour. They’re not, top 4 isn’t a sensible/likely goal anymore, so you rework it.

  41. Receding Hairline

    ” It is just that I believe if we improve core aspects of our game, results will follow.”

    This can happen in the same game.

    Improve the way you play in a particular game and you stand a better chance of winning THAT game. You don’t improve the way you play and then postpone the winning part to the next game or the game after that.

  42. Dissenter

    Ishola
    I get your point. It’s well made.
    It’s just that they are the ones coming for him and they have shown their hand by reportedly agreeing personal terms with him.
    The player is going back to familiar territory so the ‘before Arsenal’ reputation is relevant. It’s the Bundesliga that gave him that reputation after all.
    At the very least, we are going to get what we paid for him, about 35 million to let him go. Hertha Berlin most likely know this too.
    Let’s see how it unfolds.

  43. Ishola70

    Receding

    Read what was fucking said will you.

    I said I would want to see a replacement if Xhaka is sold.

    I’m giving him some kind of back handed compliment.

    Expecting up to 50m for Xhaka at this time is nonsense talk.

  44. Receding Hairline

    Nobody is demanding a top four finish

    Just that a team who were good enough to finish there should now be getting wins on the board.

    Quite simple really

    If Everton hold on for the win today and we lose tomorrow we will be below them on the log.

  45. Chika

    Would it be an exaggeration to say Luiz is a better passer of the ball than Xhaka ?

    “No, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration, it would be a lie.

  46. Marko

    Again it is mind numbingly stupid for any football club to write off a season in December especially given the arguments that we had a top 4 quality squad. It’s December we’re 8 points off 4th with Chelsea to play twice and United to play at home and we’re still in the Europa League and not to mention likely movement in the transfer window. Anyone downplaying the quality of the squad or our chances to pick up wins now can only be seen as an obvious pivot from earlier arguments. Again December 8 points from 4th and potential signings in January. Season isn’t over for us

  47. Unai

    Tr7,

    “It is not a ploy to give Arteta a free pass , it is not hypocrisy. It is just that I believe if we improve core aspects of our game, results will follow. If we don’t improve footballing wise under Arteta , I will be as critical of him as I was of Emery.”

    Agreed.

  48. Marko

    Nobody is demanding a top four finish. Just that a team who were good enough to finish there should now be getting wins on the board.

    This is true

  49. Champagne charlie

    “Nobody is demanding a top four finish Just that a team who were good enough to finish there should now be getting wins on the board.“

    Speak for yourself, and look above.

  50. Cesc Appeal

    TR7

    Yeah that’s absolutely fair.

    In all honesty I don’t expect much from Arteta with this squad, even next season, unless that midfield is basically totally changed and 1 or 2 defensive players are added then I really don’t see this side kicking on in any meaningful way.

    What I was seeing earlier was some people already laying the groundwork for excuses if there’s zero improvement or hardly any improvement. All season the narrative was Emery is trash, this squad is top 4 quality 1 point off 4th blah blah blah and now suddenly that seems to have been turned around.

    You’ve seen bounces already from other sides when they’ve changed manager.

  51. Dissenter

    No one is talking up about top-4 as a meaningful goal for Arteta.
    All we are saying is that there have to be improved results to accompany the improved performances.
    Brendan Rodgers did that last season with Leicester. The previously starved Jamie Vardy couldn’t stop scoring, Schmeichel had less to do and their pass completion improved by 25%.
    These metrics translated into good RESULTS. They won 4 of the first 5 games under Brendan Rodgers. That’s the form they carried into this season.

    We expect some type of bounce in results too, after all this players did reach the EL final and narrowly missed out of top-4 last season.

  52. Marko

    Speak for yourself, and look above.

    I think that’s a reference to me. I’m not expecting top 4 or demanding it I’m just not expecting us to pack in the season in December like some idiots on here. You think writing off the season in December is smart that’s on you

  53. Champagne charlie

    Schar scores for Newcastle, interrupting some vigorously wanking members of Le Grove who have Ancelotti as the standard.

  54. Champagne charlie

    “I’m just not expecting us to pack in the season in December like some idiots on here.“

    Who? Haven’t seen anyone claim such a thing, more nonsense.

  55. Ishola70

    The talk about Arteta is quite simple.

    And it will be results based.

    If he loses both the next two games there is going to be big pressure on him to make amends in the next couple of EPL matches.

    If he draws one and loses one against Chelsea and Man United there will still be pressure on him as the overall run of results as a whole will still be seen as very underwhelming.

    If he wins both or wins one and draws the other against Chelsea and Man United he will get the breathing space plus the positivity going forward of those results.

    This is how the world of the EPL works. Coaches are rated on results and unfortunately this is the case if a coach has just come in or has been at the helm for a decade.

    There is no reason that Arsenal operate in a parallel world to the rest of the EPL.

    All about results.

  56. Unai

    Marko, while I can agree we shouldn’t just fuck the season off entirely you have to admit top 4 is unlikely as fuck, I certainly cant remember anything vaguely similar happening before.

    We need 7 teams between us and City to all have worse runs than us, just cant see it happening.

  57. Pierre

    The desperados will be out in force tomorrow .

    All desperate for Arsenal to lose so they can point out that Pearson and ancellotti have won a couple of games.

    Sad .

  58. Marko

    Schar scores for Newcastle, interrupting some vigorously wanking members of Le Grove who have Ancelotti as the standard.

    Newcastle are rejuvenated under Steve Bruce that’s for sure

  59. Dissenter

    I think it’s the fear of being dragged into a relegation mudfest that’s driving my desire that we get wins on board quickly.
    Nothing worse than a new addition widely perceived as inexperienced manager still looking for his first win after three games [if we don’t beat either Chelsea or United at home].That media narrative is already written.
    That’s will be the story- Arteta still looking for first win in the new year…which will drag into the brief January lull. It won’t be pretty.
    Let’s do it at home quickly and get the monkey off the new manager’s back.

  60. Marc

    At least when Xhaka goes I’ll have the double bonus of not only not having to watch him anymore but no one will be talking about him on here either.

  61. Champagne charlie

    “You’ve literally said multiple times this season is a write off“

    Can’t imagine being as thick as this. Takes effort

  62. Marko

    while I can agree we shouldn’t just fuck the season off entirely you have to admit top 4 is unlikely as fuck

    Very unlikely but I don’t see any upside to just writing it all off. I mean we’re 8 points off we play Chelsea twice and United at home and they and Spurs like ourselves are absolutely hemorrhaging goals this season. We can rise the table we shouldn’t give up

  63. TR7

    Cesc

    ‘You’ve seen bounces already from other sides when they’ve changed manager.’

    Man U got a tremendous bounce from appointing OGS as a caretaker manager so much so that they rewarded him with a long term contract. Have United improved as a team under OGS ? No. Bounces are short term gains which rarely translate in to any tangible long term improvement. I couldn’t care less if Arteta did not get any managerial bounce as long as he improved our game for real.

  64. Bamford10

    For those watching this Everton match, which two forwards would you prefer to have at the moment: Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin, or Lacazette and Aubameyang? Curious where sentiments are at the moment.

  65. Marc

    If we start with the simple proposition of taking one match at a time and start getting some wins then whether top 4 is achievable or not will be self evident after a month or two.

  66. Cesc Appeal

    TR7

    That wasn’t really the point.

    More a suggestion of the quality level of the squad.

    If the narrative of squad great Emery shit was correct once the anchor that is Emery was cast away you’d expect an improvement in attitude, endeavor, tenacity, something…anything…

    Nothing.

    That’s the point. This squad is not as good as some suggested under Emery and in fact is as good as they are NOW suggesting it is under Arteta.

    I’m actually cutting Arteta slack with that comment. But pointing out hypocrisy.

  67. Mike McDonald

    I see everyone discussing Xhaka.

    I’m currently writing a CM blog next.
    In researching it’s nice to see that there are many great options that can dictate play and have athleticism and mobility too.

    Arsenal are about to get an upgrade 💪🏼

  68. Marko

    Can’t imagine being as thick as this. Takes effort

    “At the midway point the season, in terms of that objective, is a write off.”

    That’s just one flick of the thumb on this page alone you’ve said it multiple times but you’re so disingenuous you’re backtracking. Look just forget it you hypocrite go back to ignoring me and “bantering” Receding.

  69. Marko

    For those watching this Everton match, which two forwards would you prefer to have at the moment: Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin, or Lacazette and Aubameyang? Curious where sentiments are at the moment

    Are you fucking for real

  70. Champagne charlie

    Tr7

    Spot on. This incessant clamouring for immediate gains in the form of a manager bounce is pathetic.

    Arsenal are in no desperate need for points over improvements. I’d rather we struggle for a month implementing new ideas that are actually going to make substantial long term gains, than create a bandaid situation to see us unbeaten for a month delaying the adjustment period.

    Start as you mean to go on, warts and all. We’ll be better for it in time.

  71. Ishola70

    At least Southampton equalise.

    Trailing Crystal Palace by five points in the league would have been too much to take.

    Still not over though.

    Hold what you got Saints or better.

  72. Champagne charlie

    Banford

    Everton one of the squads better than ours?

    What were we again? 10th best in the league?

    Richarlison > Auba? What a time to be alive.

  73. Bamford10

    Pierre

    I prefer to watch the players and assess them on their attributes (quickness, pace, athleticism, technical ability, power, size, intelligence, guile, ability to create their own chances, work-rate). On these grounds, I think a lot of PL observers would take Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin over Aubameyang and Lacazette at the moment.

  74. MGooner

    Forget about top 4.

    I am actually a bit nervous that we could be in a relegation battle if the players down tools.

    As much as I like Arteta’s courage, my view is that he did not do enough to get the players on his side.

    He is not Pep – he cannot come to a club and say the things he said publicly. We already heard Auba bro saying things to journos. It is good for fans to hear but the players wont like that.

  75. Marc

    “I think a lot of PL observers would take Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin over Aubameyang ”

    Then why do I keep hearing on here that Madrid are about to fork out £70 million for Auba?

  76. TR7

    CA

    I am not sure whether you agree but irrespective of our squad quality or lack of it, AFC should not have been conceding 20 plus shots on an average against the likes of Brighton, Watford, Sheffield United and Crystal Palace. Under Emery, conceding 20 plus shots was a norm which was down to Emery. I have written numerous posts criticizing Mustafi, Xhaka, Ozil and Kolasinac, obviously I do not believe we have a great squad but Emery was a problem in himself. That we do not have a top squad merely compounded problems for Emery but he was out of sorts anyway. Torrera is a prime example of how poor managerial decisions cost us. Torr is played as a DM in the last two games and surprise surprise we look relatively solid in comparison to our previous outings. Now we may debate Torr is good enough or not but at the very least we know Torr, the DM is a better player than Torr, the high pressing midfielder.

  77. Champagne charlie

    “All of a sudden winning football matches is the enemy of meaningful progression.“

    Do you aim to make something up with every retort? Winning is vital, it’s key to confidence, belief in the project, Arteta’s authority over the players etc.

    That’s never once been questioned or dismissed, it’s simply been noted we’re changing a lot about the side so it’s more important immediately to see gains in what Arteta wants. We do that and results will come, can you grasp that?

    You’re creating such a drama out of nothing at all, yet more evidence you nitpick what folk say and conjure you’re own narrative to argue against. Did it just earlier with Ishola because you didn’t bother reading.

  78. MGooner

    @ CC

    The sum of the parts is greater than individuals. No one saying Auba is less capable that this or that player, its just that Auba is in a shit team atm.

  79. Marko

    Torr is played as a DM in the last two games and surprise surprise we look relatively solid in comparison to our previous outings.

    Imagine how we’d look with an actual RB playing at RB or a smart defender for once

  80. Pierre

    The desperados( formerly the know nothings)

    Receding,.Bamford , Gentlebris, ishola, dissenter, Mgooner, Receding Marko, Cesc appeal …

    All desperate for Arsenal to lose tomorrow…..

    When will they ever learn that they should listen to people who know and understand the game.

    They backed Emery to the bitter end and were made to look fools, and now they will make themselves look fools again with their continual criticism of Arteta, who i believe is the real deal…

  81. Chika

    Bumford

    “For those watching this Everton match, which two forwards would you prefer to have at the moment: Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin, or Lacazette and Aubameyang? Curious where sentiments are at the moment.”

    The other yank cunt. 😂

  82. Marko

    Desperate indeed Pierre. Here I am arguing that with some results and a good January that we’re not out of the top 4 race. You see that and your brain takes that as wanting Arteta to fail and criticism. Makes sense

  83. Champagne charlie

    Mikel Arteta on Nicolas Pepe: ‘If he is willing to learn, if he is willing to work hard, I assure he has potential to be top, absolutely top’

    Sounds a lot like Pepe is PooPoo in training, but talent is rated.

  84. Marc

    Marko

    I think Pierre was having a “senior” moment. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you, Cesc, Ishola or Dissenter want us to actually lose a match.

  85. Ishola70

    Pierre
    .”He played as a DM”

    Yes but not in the sense that you like to falsely portray.

    You know the false portrayal that when he holds hands with Xhaka all is well.

    He was off hunting down the ball as a DM.

    That’s what he did at Sampdoria.

  86. Receding Hairline

    Marc he isn’t having a senior moment

    He spent all of Emery’s tenure hoping we lose games.

    He is projecting that unto others

    Saying Arsenal should start getting wins on the board is now wishing they lose.

  87. Bamford10

    Marc

    “Then why do I keep hearing on here that Madrid are about to fork out £70 million for Auba?”

    Well, one, because Madrid are good enough elsewhere on the pitch that signing a forward who has pace and goals but little else actually makes sense for them. It doesn’t make sense for 99% of the other teams in the world, however, who need a forward who can do more than Aubameyang can.

    Two, because sometimes clubs overrate and overvalue certain players, especially when those players play in other leagues. We’ve seen this many times. People here have spent the last month slating Aubameyang, complaining about how little there is to his game, etc. Now you think he’s genuinely one of the best CFs in the world and genuinely worth £70m? That’s interesting.

    Further, if Aubameyang is genuinely of Real Madrid quality and genuinely worth £70m, can someone tell me why you lot are so pessimistic about tomorrow or any other future match? According to your suggestion, we have one of the two or three best CF’s in the world in our XI. Shouldn’t we be expecting to get results?

  88. TR7

    Recding

    ‘ it’s not a choice of one or the otherYou can win football games while improving performances.’

    I said it myself that if we improved our game, results would follow. So obviously I am not suggesting it is a choice between performance and result. All I am saying is we may not improve enough in a short period of time to get results consistently but as long as I get the feeling we are improving on certain aspects marginally game by game until we reach our desired level, it will be more than satisfactory for me.

  89. Dissenter

    There’s some movement in the dregs if the league table. It seemed Watford were certain to go down but a manager not known for sauce has improved performances along with results.
    Have to start getting those points on board now,

  90. TR7

    Ishola

    Torr is far more comfortable playing deep and then moving up to press high when required than playing far up and rushing back to defend.

  91. Bamford10

    Marc

    Yeah, I don’t think they’re “all that” either; I think they might be a better PL front two than our more highly-priced two, though. That was my point.

  92. Dissenter

    Arteta has talked about the imperative of winning games, yet some here are desperately trying to lower the bar for him.
    Trying to reframe progress as anything different from winning winnable games is pathetic.
    Arteta needs ugly wins more than ever so that he can get elbow room to make the changes tat need to be done. He needs wins to inspire confidence from the fans and players. He is a new manager who has never won a football game as head coach and he needs to get that stat off his back.
    The Emirates will go crazy for him when he gets that win. It will be a special moment.

  93. Pierre

    Marc
    Wait and see , Marko and the others are playing their silly games , to me they are transparent , maybe not to you though…

    Despite Emery , I have always wanted the team to win , only a plastic fan would want the team to lose to prove a point.

  94. Marc

    Bamford

    I think the issue with our 2 strikers is that we don’t play a system that will accommodate them both. If everyone’s fit and firing then Martinelli, Pepe and Auba look’s like our best forward line.

    I don’t like Auba on the wing.

  95. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Look

    The bigger picture this season is to finish as high as we can without getting into Europe…

    Then next time out we will only have the domestics to worry about, perfect planning for a new squad.

    One step back for 3 forward.

  96. Ishola70

    TR7
    “Torr is far more comfortable playing deep and then moving up to press high when required than playing far up and rushing back to defend.”

    Well Gosling got the run on him to score Bournemouth’s goal.

    So if he was glued to the DM spot he would have probably stopped that Bournemouth goal.

    But he wasn’t glued to the DM spot through the match.

    But you are very happy with his performance nonetheless.

  97. Marc

    RSPC

    Not sure that’s the good idea you think it is. We announced a £23 million loss a few weeks ago, take EL revenue out of that and you’re probably taking that to £40 odd million.

    The club turns round in the summer and says sorry we can’t afford that CM / CB you’ll be doing you nut.

  98. Ishola70

    I think we all saw the importance of getting a win or two on the board today if not in the next two EPL matches then certainly the next games after if we didn’t already.

    Arsenal were actually in a position quite late on in the Southampton match where they would have been five points behind Crystal Palace. Yes Crystal Palace.

    Imagine.