Old habits die hard, but Arsenal players respond brilliantly

by & filed under News Review.

Mikel Arteta stayed true to his word and treated the FA Cup with more respect than you’d show your grandma at a Sunday lunch. He fielded a very strong team for Bielsa’s Leeds, though it was loaded with some oddities. He stuck with a back four that saw Sokratis as right back. His midfield had Xhaka and Matteo, which always scares me. He continued his run with Mesut and capped it with Pepe, Laca and Nelson.

We started off in appalling fashion. Our manager hilariously said after the game, “I’ve watched Leeds United a lot and they batter teams every 3 days,” and batter us they did. We were absolutely second best for the majority of the first half. Leeds pummeled us, they beat us to every ball and they didn’t give us time to turn out of our half. It was utterly embarrassing. We managed 3 attempts with 1 on target (they had 15 attempts at our goal, 5 on target).

Matteo Guendouzi looked frightened, he was awful on the ball, he did not know which way to turn or where to stand. He resorted to slipping into the back 4 like he’d been doing under Emery. He wasn’t helped, Rob Holding has gone from looking like peak Baresi, to Pascal Cygan after 5 beers, he was very rusty and struggled with his passing. Then up front, Lacazette looked sluggish and low on confidence. Our players were bunched up, we didn’t fight, and we forgot all the good things from the last 3 games. The only bright spark was some good keeping from Martinez.

There are always going to be lots of questions of the manager when things are going badly, the one we wanted to know last night was whether he could motivate ‘this’ group of players to come out fighting. Well, Lacazette said, ‘he shouted a lot.’ Which always moistens the loins of British fans who think a good hairdryer treatment can solve any motivation issue.

Were the Brits wrong to dampen? Absolutely not. Brexit means Brexit and shouting at players appears to mean they pull their finger out, the dirty slaaaags.

The players put Leeds on the back foot right away. We became the protagonists. The shape was much improved, the midfield moved quicker to close down danger/angles, and the team worked really hard to get Ozil and Pepe on the ball. The German, in particular, made the most of the ball, he created some great opportunities, every touch had intent and seemed to dent the confidence of a tiring Leeds side.

The breakthrough came from some dogged work from Pepe. He slinked away from a pile-up with Douglas just inside Leeds half. The Ivorian reminds me of a fast Kanu sometimes, I don’t quite know how he’s staying on his feet, but it works and he escapes. He powered through the middle, released Lacazette out wide, he quickly slipped the ball into the box, it deflected and Reiss Nelson was on hand to bundle home. Not the tidiest of goals, but a confidence jab for all three involved.

That goal really took the steam out of anything Leeds could offer. We continued the half with the same intensity. I thought the fans were in fine voice, they kept the boys going with their singing. Arteta was able to bring on Gabriel, who looks the absolute business. His intensity is going to be a game-changer for Arsenal next year.

The game finished 1-0. We somehow kept another clean sheet. The team passed another test, they can be motivated, they do want to play for the manager, and the FA Cup could be a real opportunity this season.

Leeds is a bruising team to play against, the squad underestimated them, and they nearly paid the price. It’s a lesson learned. Mikel is good, but he’s never going to shake old habits in under a month.

Fans have to accept that finding consistency is going to be very hard this season. There will some great moments, but there are also going to be some horrible ones that might leave you questioning whether we have the right man in charge. We have to work through it, this is a proper manager with ideas that will take a year to start delivering consistency… but when they land, it’s going to be beautiful.

For now, let’s hope the lessons of today were learned. At the highest level, even against Championship sides, you cannot afford to take your foot off the gas. Leeds has a tiny squad that’s been somewhat out of form and they dominated us so badly in the first half, we only managed 37.5% possession.

Arsenal are still weak when pressed hard, we’ve known that for years, we’ll have to get better there. Xhaka looked really poor in the first half, but he was a different beast in the second. Matteo looked ready for the scrap heap in the first 45, the second he looked like a man who was told his family were in the boot of a car with their lives dependent on him playing like a man possessed. Everyone looked better when they moved towards the Arteta instruction pack and that can only be a positive for his authority as a manager moving forward.

Next up is Sheffield United. A tough game against a coach that will have watched what Bielsa did with intrigue. Chris Wilder will have a plan, we’ll have to rise to the occasion again and hope the squad wants to continue to prove the doubters wrong.

What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

P.S. I don’t normally care much for press conferences, but man, I love listening to the clarity of his comms. He knows exactly what’s going on, very refreshing. Also great to know Auba is committed.

498 Responses to “Old habits die hard, but Arsenal players respond brilliantly”

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  1. Tom

    I can definitely see Pep calling it quits at City fairy soon but Klopp lasted 7 seasons at Dortmund, enduring constant Bayern poaching his best players – something he doesn’t have to put up with at Liverpool.
    He could last there a lot longer.

    Arteta is showing signs of great promise but this Arsenal squad is ways off.
    Leicester’s midfield ,so often mentioned here ,is well into double figures with goals and assists in PL play ( Maddison alone has 6 and 3).

    Ours will need some serious strengthening.

    If Klopp is the elite at what he does and still needed to replace 75 % of his squad to get where he’s at , then unless Arteta is a genius he’ll probably need to do the same.

  2. Marc

    “And you’re spot on in that he should have stuck with Torreira sitting BEHIND Xakha ”

    I’d prefer Xhaka to be doing the sitting – five or six hundred miles away should do it.

  3. Un na naai

    Unai

    The argument was never that this squad doesn’t need and shouldn’t get new players every summer.
    Even liverpool and city upgrade every year

    The argument was wether or not Unai Emery was getting enough, not the best, enough out of his squad.

    The answer is no

    The other debate was wether or not our squad was good enough for top four? If we finished a point off top four and emery wasn’t getting enough from them then the answer is no

    Arteta is already dispelling the emery fan club myths that have been presented for two years.
    Have you ever seen an emery team press in unison like we have under Arteta?
    Anything good that came in the emery era was just muscle memory from the old arsenal regime

    Leicester and Fulham last season? That was wenger.

  4. Freddie Ljungberg

    Marko

    Source on that?

    Buy him and loan him back to them with majority of the fee being back loaded, we can get by with what we have for 6 months if it means we sort that position for the next 10 years after that with a world class prospect.

    Add Soumare who Lille is apparently ok with letting go of in January to that and I won’t even be mad if we didn’t sign anyone else in the next 2 windows. Ok maybe a cheap upgrade on Ozil too but then I’m good.

  5. Unai

    Pedro…. it was a top 4 squad 6 months ago, that was the old narrative, now it needs upgrades?

    Can’t say I’m overly fussed, wanted Arteta over Emery anyway.

  6. Un na naai

    Marc

    Arteta disagrees. Publicly made clear he wants him
    Then uses him as an essential cog vs United dropping in for kolasinac at lb and giving us another outball from deep alongside Luiz

    As myself and Charlie argued many times in the last few years, if you use these players properly, negate their weaknesses and harness their strengths within your system then they are very useful
    Xakha included

  7. Unai

    Un, “The argument was wether or not Unai Emery was getting enough, not the best, enough out of his squad.”

    To be honest, its not really an argument, more people just bringing up old arguments to score points. All it does is create a divide.

    Its gonna get ugly when Arteta goes on a bad run.

  8. Valentin

    The premiership is more relentless than most other leagues. It takes its toll on players but also on managers.
    Most managers are drained and can’t reinvent themselves at the same club after 4 years. In the EPL that effect seems to be even quicker. Between the stress but also the lack of any break during a Christmas and New year.

    For those reasons and because I really rate Arteta I think that Pierre is right. 2022 may be the year where Arsenal regain their premiership crown.
    Right now everything goes smoothly at Liverpool, but it will be interesting how Klopp and Liverpool FC cope when things start to go awry. Also will they be able to keep the same hunger and standard once they won the EPL.
    I also doubt that whoever follows Pep will be able to maintain the same set of standards.

    One big unknown is ManUtd. If the amount of resources at their disposal, if by hook or crook Ed Woodward hires the right man, he could revive their fortune. If they don’t I could see them slowly drifting into irrelevance.

  9. TheBlaster

    I love his press conference. You get the impression of a won’t suffer lazy bastards kind of guy, which is what we’ve needed for years.

  10. Pierre

    Marc
    “So out of interest how much would you offer Mustafi and Xhaka in their new huge extended contracts?”

    Arteta is being quite astute when he is talking up players like xhaka, Nelson, Torreira, Ozil , Pepe , AMN , Aubameyang

    I can guarantee you that in the past 2/3 weeks the value of most of these players have increased massively due to their improvement in performance.

  11. Freddie Ljungberg

    “So yeah, he’s turning me around a bit but he will need players”

    Yeah, good man that Merson. He knows what’s up (at least in this instance)

  12. London gunner

    Pedro

    😂😂😂😂 laugh emoji

    “Freddie, it wouldn’t have made the papers if his approach wasn’t more extreme than normal”

    You trust the papers. What planet are you on they will make anything say anything for click bait, controversy to provoke an action.

  13. Un na naai

    “So yeah, he’s turning me around a bit but he will need players”Yeah, good man that Merson. He knows what’s up (at least in this instance)

    Freddie. Has Arteta improved the team without signing anyone?
    Yes or no?

    Then answer another question
    Did emery improve the team after spending £200m?
    Yes or no?

    I rest my case

  14. Marko

    Mikel Arteta 4 games in and already being predicted to win the league inside 2 years. It would absolutely take a massive shit on Arsene and his failure to mount a title challenge for nearly 15 years.

  15. Pierre

    Unai
    “Pedro…. it was a top 4 squad 6 months ago, that was the old narrative, now it needs upgrades?”

    Upgrades to get to the very top , not to reach top 4 ..

  16. Freddie Ljungberg

    Don

    Yes, the team has improved. Is it good enough, no.

    Emery didn’t spend any money, the club did and the squad is in a much better place for the future and with regards to our wage bill because of it.

    Still need better players in midfield and defence, luckily Arteta doesn’t seems to be as dim as you though so we’ll see upgrades there soon.

  17. Pierre

    Marko
    “Mikel Arteta 4 games in and already being predicted to win the league inside 2 years. It would absolutely take a massive shit on Arsene and his failure to mount a title challenge for nearly 15 years.”

    I could have sworn Wenger won the title in his first full season , the league and cup double in fact.

  18. Marc

    Pierre

    “xhaka, Nelson, Torreira, Ozil , Pepe , AMN , Aubameyang ”

    I haven’t slagged off Torreira, Pepe, Auba, Nelson, AMN or Ozil under Arteta – for the most part I’ve been impressed and complimentary.

    People can say what they like about coaching this or managing that – Xhaka will not be at Arsenal next season. My preference would be so see him gone this Jan – he is still a massive cock up waiting to happen.

  19. Barking Arsene

    As Freddie said maybe try to get Upamecano and loan him back – we might have to loan someone else in the meantime or just make do for half a season.

    He and Soumare change the dynamic of the team significantly.

  20. Freddie Ljungberg

    Don

    You don’t seem to comprehend how the spending at a club works.

    The club spent the money, not the manager. The players bought are still there now, 2 weeks after the last manager left.

    If your point is that we shouldn’t be buying new players because Emery tanked I don’t know how I can help you. You’re lost.

  21. Pierre

    Marc
    “I haven’t slagged off Torreira, Pepe, Auba, Nelson, AMN or Ozil under Arteta – for the most part I’ve been impressed and complimentary.”

    Never said you did, you obviously got the wrong end of the stick.

    I was just making the point of how certain players value will have increased in the last few weeks.

  22. Dissenter

    “Emery had £200m spent for him
    Arteta has not”

    But Arteta inherited that squad that had 200 million spent on it. so what exactly is your point?
    You’re so disingenuous you’re adding the Saliba money even though he doesn’t join us till the summer.

  23. Freddie Ljungberg

    Don

    it’s maybe good enough for an outside chance of top 4. If our rivals muck it up. Would like to think we want to aim higher than that.

    Strengthen the team with a few class additions and top 4 should be the least we can expect, not the maximum.

  24. Marc

    Pierre

    Sorry misunderstood what you meant. To be honest the value of a player isn’t going to be influenced that much in such a short amount of time – Auba and Ozil are at an age where their value will be what it is. Torreira is just doing what he does – it’s not miracle work from Arteta it’s knocking a square peg into a square hole. Pepe carries a “big” price tag already and Nelson and AMN are both young academy players.

    I’ll judge player improvements after more than 4 matches.

  25. Un na naai

    The club spent the money, not the manager. The players bought are still there now, 2 weeks after the last manager left.

    Yes Freddie yes yes. The club spent the money and emery gets players in the positions he asks for
    So he inherited wenger’s squad and received the following upgrades

    Leno
    Torreira
    Sokratis
    Licht
    Guendouzi
    Suarez
    Pepe
    Luiz
    Tierney
    Martinelli
    Ceballos

    He also benefited by having AMN, Saka chambers, willock, Smith Rowe and nelson coming into the squad

    He then took all of that and took arsenal through our worst period for 40 years

    Arteta took everything emery failed to use and instantly created a team. A team that pressed together and hunted in packs, that kept its shape, was hungry, ran til the last minute and improved passing and off the ball movement.

  26. Un na naai

    Donit’s maybe good enough for an outside chance of top 4. If our rivals muck it up. Would like to think we want to aim higher than that.Strengthen the team with a few class additions and top 4 should be the least we can expect, not the maximum.

    So how did emery, a man now considered to be one of the worst arsenal managers of all time, best untied chelsea and spurs with that team if they are so poor? Poor team, poor coach but yet still beat our rivals
    How is that?

  27. MidwestGun

    From Earlier, sorry.
    Sal
    “I’m coming back to play under Wenger, if Gibbs can pull £80k a week sky’s the limit. I’ll be in hot tub if you need me.”
    ___________
    Hahaha this cracked me up Sal. I’m not gonna lie..

    “I’ll be in the Hot tub if you need me..” is most likely what they will engrave on my tombstone. 😀

    Anyhow, Happy New Year to you and yours at the Sal Paradise ranch!

  28. Un na naai

    But Arteta inherited that squad that had 200 million spent on it. so what exactly is your point?

    Diss
    Next time just put your hand in the air and say me me me.
    I can see you want some of my attention so I’ll humour you for a moment.

    My point is that emery failed to do anything of note with what he was given. Emery has done more in 3 matches than emery has in 18 months.
    That is my point
    The team was never poor like some of le groves finest claim. It was always waiting for a coach to come in and use the raw materials we have. Had Arteta been in charge from June we would now be sitting in the top four

    Had he been in charge last season we would have finished in the top four

    That’s my point.
    That player poverty is bollocks
    That coaching is the most fundamental component of a successful team
    That Torreira was always our best midfield player and nobody realised it

    That emery was shit. And he was a mistake from the very first moment he was interviewed until his final loss at Frankfurt.

  29. MidwestGun

    Marc-
    I’m in witness protection, they will never find me.. Top secret new name.. Henry Rosicky. … Probably shouldn’t have typed that on the open internet. … oops.

  30. Champagne charlie

    “it’s maybe good enough for an outside chance of top 4. If our rivals muck it up. Would like to think we want to aim higher than that.“

    This is such a dishonest comment.

    We accrued 70 points, a total that was good enough to make top 4 in two of the previous four seasons in the league. This with a total capitulation in our last 6 matches.

    Nothing to do with needing favours or handouts from rivals, we had the ability to make a top 4 number in points. Totally irrefutable.

  31. Marko

    Emery’s reign started and ended with a loss
    Wenger’s begin and ended with a win
    Sums it all up really doesn’t it?

    Eh yeah great point as always.

  32. MidwestGun

    Only thing worse then the Emery look this season…would be if OGs was our manager.. He has a similar look on the bench as Emery did. As if he is staring at an unsolvable puzzle.

  33. Freddie Ljungberg

    CC

    “This is such a dishonest comment.We accrued 70 points, a total that was good enough to make top 4 in two of the previous four seasons in the league. This with a total capitulation in our last 6 matches.Nothing to do with needing favours or handouts from rivals, we had the ability to make a top 4 number in points. Totally irrefutable.”

    Sure, dishonest.

    So Spurs didn’t have a abysmal finish to the season to give us a look in?

    Chelsea didn’t have an abysmal start to the season to give us a look in?

    Man U weren’t awful under Mourinho then?

    Irrefutable my ass.

    Yes, we tanked the end of the season, it was still a scrap for top 4 and not a sure thing, and that only because Spurs were even worse than us at the end.

    There’s even more competition this year and everyone’s going to be stronger next year again so what’s your solution? Coach Xhaka and Mustafi a bit more and get some more effort out of Ozil? Brilliant.

  34. Marc

    OGS a genius in Bamford’s mind.

    In real life a manager who if you were to call him distinctly average you’d be insulting distinctly average managers.

  35. Marko

    We should cheer United on. Otherwise they might wise up and hire pochettino. Pochettino with funds would be a top 4 fixture

    Who cares haven’t you heard we’re title winners inside the next two seasons mate.

  36. Habesha Gooner

    Marko
    Guardiola beat everyone to sign him. he said so himself that he didn’t want to miss out so they agreed even before the TW opened. He signed Mendy later from Monaco. shows how much he wanted him.

  37. Marc

    Un

    Actually the truth is none of us are intelligent enough to know what’s really going on.

    OGS is writing off a mickey mouse cup so he can focus on getting top 4 – honest!

  38. Marc

    ManU got a Cup replay next week, Liverpool away weekend after, 2nd leg of this which could get brutal in the 2nd half plus a couple of should win league matches.

    January is not going to be a fondly remembered month in one half of Manchester (or Surrey).

  39. Pierre

    Marko
    “Who cares haven’t you heard we’re title winners inside the next two seasons mate.”

    You never learn do you …

    So many comments come back to haunt you that one would think you would show a little humility.

  40. Champagne charlie

    Freddie

    2014-2019 the average points that got 4th place is 71.6

    So explain how we never had the quality when we managed to cobble together a points tally (70) that directly correlates to being right in the mix for top 4?

    In your own time.

  41. salparadisenyc

    Henry Rosicky with this blinder, “Emery was shite… and Wenger was waaaay past it.. lets move on people… sheesh.”

    Pretty much this, now just bask in the golden light of a tactical rebuild.

  42. Northbanker

    I see we have stated we’re not interested Re weed in Lemar – thank God for that
    Last thing we need is another winger – our meagre funds need to all go on a top quality CB and RB

  43. MidwestGun

    Still another half.. could end up a tennis score. It’s the Moose, deer, buffalo, antelope Cup.. but getting humiliated at home against City… not a good look.

    I’m going with Poch to replace because that would be better banter. Or maybe it wouldn’t be… can’t decide.

  44. Big Dave

    Spamford will crying tonight. Lots of rocking and lots of tears. Probably mumbling something about OGS being a genius before sputtering for “mommy” to change his nappy.

    Time to ring for his nanny.

  45. Champagne charlie

    “There’s even more competition this year and everyone’s going to be stronger next year again so what’s your solution? Coach Xhaka and Mustafi a bit more and get some more effort out of Ozil? Brilliant.“

    More honest commenting, on a roll.

    Not like every club in Europe looks to improve their squad every window or anything. Pure nonsense.

  46. Un na naai

    PierreJanuary 7, 2020 20:52:17
    Marko
    “Who cares haven’t you heard we’re title winners inside the next two seasons mate.”You never learn do you …So many comments come back to haunt you that one would think you would show a little humility.

    Pierr
    Why don’t you go and dig a few up and shame him? Take a couple of Freddie’s too.
    Two of them flip flopping and back tracking and doubling down and they don’t even know what to say anymore.

    Quick lads, if in doubt, scream for new toys

  47. Tom

    I hope OGS splits his wages three ways with Carrick and Phelan.
    I don’t think Iv ever seen this much conversation between head coach and his assistants during matches.
    Between this and Wenger’s gag order on Bouldy I’d take the latter

  48. Jamie

    What happens to the wager when Ole gets sacked?

    Let’s “circle back” to this later. I’ll make a nice long list of points, with the obligatory “so sorry, but no” postscript.

    You’re welcome.

  49. Freddie Ljungberg

    CC

    Did I say we were not in the mix? You’re not only the most misunderstood boy on le grove your reading comprehension is clearly lacking too.

    We were in the mix because our rivals had bad seasons.

    We want to be more than in the mix in the future, with our rivals and the teams around us getting stronger we can’t be fooled into thinking this squad is going to be strong enough for that.
    How are you struggling with that concept?

  50. Tom

    Un na naii
    Not that it matters much in Emery’s case since he turned out to be such disaster but Arsenal total net spend over the last two seasons was £147 m

  51. Pedro

    Freddie, I think the concept you are struggling with is that no one has said we don’t need to add to our squad. Not a single person.

  52. Champagne charlie

    Freddie

    “Did I say we were not in the mix? You’re not only the most misunderstood boy on le grove your reading comprehension is clearly lacking too.“

    Oh is that it? You never said the following..

    “it’s maybe good enough for an outside chance of top 4. If our rivals muck it up. “

    Pretty clear you’re claimed us a long shot totally depending on the failures of others. Something that’s simply false based on the points totals of the last 5 years relating to 4th place.

    “We want to be more than in the mix in the future, with our rivals and the teams around us getting stronger we can’t be fooled into thinking this squad is going to be strong enough for that.
    How are you struggling with that concept?“

    Haven’t struggled once with anything of the sort, same as there’s nobody sitting and claiming we need no investment to keep trucking….yet you made a remark which suggested exactly that.

    But there you go, challenger and resorting to snide remarks about me. Thought that was my calling card? Another one of your claims. Good night you’re having.

  53. Un na naai

    Tom

    Yes but we still doesn’t £200m in new payers and sold players that many on here were desperate to go. For free even. We took a lot more than many here would have sold them for with more launder out so what the argument here?

    The pint I’m making is that emery had a squad of players capable of much more than he could get out of them

    Arteta has proved this in just 3 games

  54. The backpass

    But it was claimed at the beginning of the season that we have a top 4 squad, i believe many are now seeing this not to be true.

  55. Pedro

    The backpass, the point most have been making for a long time is that it’s very hard to judge a squad with a manager as average as Emery at the wheel.

    Our squad looks as lacking in top 4 capabilities as Leicesters has the last 3 seasons.

    New coach, new hope.

  56. MidwestGun

    Watching Fred ,makes me think Martinelli needs to work on his Brazilian one word name. I propose Nelly. like the rapper. Only spelt Nelli or maybe just Mart.

  57. Freddie Ljungberg

    Pedro

    “Freddie, I think the concept you are struggling with is that no one has said we don’t need to add to our squad. Not a single person.”

    Sure, no one has been downplaying the extent of our need for signings, especially not CC and Don, ok. I forgot, player poverty has been proven a myth after 4 games of sauce.

    CC

    Not sure why you keep bringing up the last 5 seasons points total for top 4? How is that relevant? Just look at what happened last season and see if we were nailed on for top 4 without Spurs and Chelsea having crap seasons.

    Not many other teams need a new spine despite being 18 months into a rebuild job no, we all know the reason for that though…

  58. Un na naai

    We were in the mix because our rivals had bad seasons.

    Freddie
    We were in the mix because our squad was good enough to be in the mix.

    Had emery managed our squad properly and not chucked his lot in with the Europa he’d likely still have a job now. It was his choice to put all his eggs in a basket with Valencia, Napoli and Chelsea rather than Brighton, palace, wolves and Leicester.

    If you’ve any brains you’ll know full well which run of teams is the easiest route to champions league football
    Especially when you’re already sitting pretty in THIRD and looking down on those “superior” teams with 6 games to go. Any bloke with an ounce of sense would have saved our best players for those league games and Did what was necessary to dig out maximum points from the league.

  59. Un na naai

    Sure, no one has been downplaying the extent of our need for signings, especially not CC and Don, ok. I forgot, player poverty has been proven a myth after 4 games of sauce.

    Freddie

    Ah here comes the bullshit again. None of us have ever claimed we don’t need signings and shouldn’t make them.
    Cc and myself have been quite clear in grealish, among others

  60. Pedro

    Freddie,

    People downplayed the idea that our players couldn’t be coached.

    No one ever downplayed the idea we needed signings.

    You’re trying to score points off an argument that never existed.

  61. Un na naai

    Just look at what happened last season and see if we were nailed on for top 4 without Spurs and Chelsea having crap

    Freddie

    It should have been irrelevant. We were cantering into third place until emery decided to let his ego take over AGAIN (see Torreira, ozil, Ramsey, Lacazette) and go for the glory of the Europa rather than focus on what’s best for the CLUB

  62. G

    That is the loudest away support I’ve heard at the Emirates.. I know they had more allocation but when they sang.. your support is fucking shit… It was hard to argue

  63. Freddie Ljungberg

    Pedro

    Ok, it’s your site. I must have dreamed that that was a real argument then…

    I’m not talking 1-2 signings btw. I’m talking a full purge bar a few players from the Wenger era, that’s what we needed and still need. Almost there. Just another couple of windows to go.

  64. Pedro

    Freddie, even after the summer, people weren’t saying, ‘well done Raul, the squad is perfect’, it was certainly a dream.

  65. Freddie Ljungberg

    “It should have been irrelevant. We were cantering into third place until emery decided to let his ego take over AGAIN (see Torreira, ozil, Ramsey, Lacazette) and go for the glory of the Europa rather than focus on what’s best for the CLUB”

    Because Chelsea and Spurs had bad seasons yes.

    I’m not here to defend Emery, I couldn’t care less if he ends up coaching Eskimos to hunt seals less efficiently or not. He’s a footnote in our history, I prefer to look towards the future and it would look a hell of a lot brighter without some of the deadwood we’re still carrying.

  66. Big Dave

    Jamie, you’re speaking ,”nonsense” and you’re “delusional: if you don’t believe OGS is a genius. Sorry but it shows that you have “no idea” about football. If only you attended Harvard you would understand so much more. You wouldn’t keep “waffling” and throwing “red herrings”.

  67. Champagne charlie

    “Not sure why you keep bringing up the last 5 seasons points total for top 4? How is that relevant? “

    How is the points total of 4th for the last 5 season not relevant to a discussion about a sides ability to compete for top 4? It tells you the standard, in this case 71.6 points on average to make 4th.

    We made 70 points and never won a match in our last 6 games. But you’re absolutely desperate to highlight fault elsewhere to downplay our own ability within the squad. It’s a bogus argument, like drawing every goal ever scored back to a “mistake”.

    “Sure, no one has been downplaying the extent of our need for signings, especially not CC“

    I always want us to improve, or seek to improve. But we’re no different to any side in Europe come the transfer window, they all want that.

    The difference has long been the assessment of what we currently have, and this rubbish about us being 10th best, worst of the top 6, full of championship players etc was shown up last season, and is being shown up by Arteta with quarter of an hour in the job.

  68. Dream10

    Guardiola lost his shit when De Bruyne and Rodri lost the ball in midfield for Rashford’s goal.. Looked like he was going to spontaneously combust lol

  69. Freddie Ljungberg

    Pedro

    So we don’t have people in here arguing daily that Xhaka is good enough and should stay, Ozil same, even Mustafi?

    Is that our ambition now, to see what Artetas turd polishing skills are like?

    We need a minimum 4 new starters even after the summer we just had, that’s not a tweak of the squad that some are championing is all is needed.

    That leaves what, 2-3 starters from 2 seasons ago? The overall squad has been changed even more with a lot more youngsters being introduced. Complete rebuild job underway and sorely needed.

  70. salparadisenyc

    If Woodward doesn’t have Poch on speed dial at this point he’s far more out of depth than anyone thought.

  71. Champagne charlie

    “I’m talking a full purge bar a few players from the Wenger era, that’s what we needed and still need. Almost there. Just another couple of windows to go.“

    Almost where exactly? You talk like some folk think we’re all set for a title challenge. Honestly don’t think you know what you’re even arguing.

  72. Freddie Ljungberg

    CC

    Isn’t that the goal? Pedro was just talking about competing for the title in 2 years time.

    We’re not doing that with Xhaka, Ozil, Mustafi etc in the team.

    It’s not my fault you can’t understand what other people are arguing.

    see what I did there?

  73. Marc

    Wasn’t there talk a little while ago that City were eying up the Pooch as Pep’s replacement?

    If City get a CL ban then I expect Pep to walk in the summer.

  74. Freddie Ljungberg

    Why do people want Man U getting spanked? The less reason they have to replace OGS the better right?

    Their squad is in similar shape as ours, still a ways off competing, they do have more athletes though but that’s it.

    A lot more funds to correct it if they get someone competent to manage their transfers and a decent coach in.

  75. Un na naai

    Because Chelsea and Spurs had bad seasons yes.

    Freddie

    Because Chelsea’s team wasn’t very good and was overly reliant on a want away hazard and spurs while their first team were very good, didn’t have the squad depth to cope with two tournaments.

    Whatever way you look at it emery failed to beat teams we should have beat while we were ahead of the pack Freddie
    It’s a failure and he should have went then if you consider the final loss, the shit football, the unhappy squad and the lack of clear playing philosophy and ideas

    It was a clusterfuck and he was the architect

  76. Marc

    Midwest

    Get Rooney and Giggs in. Between Giggs fucking all of the players wives and Rooney fucking all of their Grandmothers it’d be pure banter.

  77. Champagne charlie

    Freddie

    Funny, because I’m not the only one questioning what you’re actually arguing. I’ve not misrepresented anything you’ve said (unlike yourself claiming folk want no signings) so I’m afraid you’ve missed the mark with yet another go at scoring points.

    You just said we need 4 players minimum, then named 2 starters who can’t compete for a title. Who else is it impossible for us to compete for a title with? Give your magic 8 ball a go.

    Remember, you had the majority of these players down as not good enough for top 4 without outside help about 20 minutes ago, so should be an interesting read for all.

  78. Un na naai

    Freddie LjungbergJanuary 7, 2020 21:40:40
    Why do people want Man U getting spanked? The less reason they have to replace OGS the better right?Their squad is in similar shape as ours, still a ways off competing, they do have more athletes though but that’s it.

    Freddie

    Slipped up there didnt ya? Revealing your true thoughts? Thought United were superior? They’ve been through 4 coaches now and we are still doing them.

  79. Freddie Ljungberg

    CC

    Our 2 CBs, pick your pairing, none of them are good enough.

    We would also need Tierney to stay injury free, Saka and Martinelli to keep progressing and Pepe to keep adapting.

    Wouldn’t hurt if Guen Willock and one or 2 of the other youngsters step up too.

    If that happens and we add a Soumare, Upamecano and a top playmaker to Saliba then yes, I do think we have a squad good enough to compete. Probably have to upgrade on Bellerin to though.

    Lot of stars that needs to align for that to happen, one thing we can’t afford to do is keep giving more chances to players that have been wank for years and doesn’t have the attributes for the PL. Yes, their weaknesses can be mitigated by the system bla bla, how about being totally revolutionary and sell them instead and bring in players without those weaknesses instead, far out I know…

    Sure, you want a tweak or 2, you still live in denial about the state of the squad Wenger left.

    Yes, yes I know Emery tanked this season. No need to go through that again.

  80. Freddie Ljungberg

    “Slipped up there didnt ya? Revealing your true thoughts? Thought United were superior? They’ve been through 4 coaches now and we are still doing them.”

    The hell are you on about now Don?

    Yeah, athletes are kind of important in the PL. It’s something we very much lack.
    It’s why teams like Wolves, Leicester, Watford even Leeds can run us ragged at times as soon as we don’t give 110%.

  81. Champagne charlie

    “Sure, you want a tweak or 2, you still live in denial about the state of the squad Wenger left.“

    Why do you persist in telling others what they want and such? Properly desperate to have both sides of an argument aren’t you. I’ve made numerous comments on prospective transfers, and I’ve also stated I’d like to see us change up the squad and fully back Arteta to bring his vision to life.

    But who is it you’re arguing against that wants no signings again? Name him.

    My “denial” is it? I’ve been vindicated in my judgements, it’s you that’s been shown up. But keep on going, I’m sure you’ll land a telling blow at some point.

  82. Freddie Ljungberg

    Don

    I obviously don’t want them to improve no, I do want us to improve though.

    So I’m quite happy with them keeping OGS and keep overspending on Maguire level players.

    Is there a point to this?

  83. Champagne charlie

    “Yes, their weaknesses can be mitigated by the system bla bla, how about being totally revolutionary and sell them instead and bring in players without those weaknesses instead, far out I know…“

    There’s no perfect players, this is what you’re totally unable to process. Liverpool are littered with imbalanced players, City have their fair share but they all suit the system implemented by their coach.

    You’re claiming various players pony without the context of what we need to thrive in Arteta’s approach. Some skill that.