Arsenal leadership keeping the powder dry

by .

Arsenal drop points. Fans get depressed. Everything is shit.

Not at Le Grove, where it’s sunshine and praise for our Dear Leader.

Just kidding, but not.

It’s amazing how quickly some fans fall back into misery and rant about their high expectations not being met.

This season was tanked by Unai Emery, 18 months in the making, the worst start in 38 years. 4 weeks ago, we were bemoaning uncoachable players, now people are angry we’re not destroying teams in every game.

Arteta was hired into a mess, that mess is not going to be solved by this current squad of players right now, but the manager is making solid inroads and we have to take the small positives that will come game to game. This is what happened with Liverpool when Klopp took over, huge highs, some miserable lows, but all levelled out because the scousers had a path that was clear.

Arsenal didn’t put on a great show against Crystal Palace, but there were positives none the less.

Defensive resilience is something we’ve been absolutely begging for, we’re already making inroads there. I’ve read numerous fans state that we folded yesterday, which is simply not the case. Our level dropped for sure, Palace came back into the game, no doubt. But we didn’t fold. In fact, we created far more in the second half than we did in the first half when we dominated (6 attempts to 1).

Also, it’s important to remember the state of their goal. A ricochet over the top of Bernd Leno. It was very lucky. That’s reflected in the xG for yesterday. Arsenal were 1.08, which is not bad for an away game against a tough team, Palace were 0.31. They came back into the game but had nothing to show for it.

If you want to go back to last season when we played them away and drew, Palace had an xG of 2.38. In the home leg, when we were still in the hunt for top 4, they beasted us and recorded an xG of 2.54.

Point here, xG is working in our favour, the goal was unlucky and the numbers point out that the bad luck was the narrative of the game. We didn’t give them much to work with yesterday, we were harder to attack, and we kept their best player quiet using a right-back that hates the position so much he forced a red card under Emery so he didn’t have to play there. We also dealt with a very average referee.

Factor in the side played a brutal game against Leeds in the week with a full stack of seniors, on top of the reality of our new far more intense training regime, and well, you get the picture, it wasn’t that bad a day in the office.

Things aren’t looking very exciting in the transfer window.

“At the moment there is nothing coming up. The club is working on a few things but you know how difficult this window is and I’m not expecting many things.”

Poor Mikel, used to double our normal transfer budget for squad filler in January, he’s now being faced down with real-world economics… if you don’t sell players, you can’t buy them.

It’s a tough scenario here because most of us would have had a few players in mind to shift on, but Mikel has other plans. My guess is the market isn’t flush with talent and he’s likely weighing the bother of bringing in names that either aren’t playing right now, or will have to spend 3 months adapting to a league that is way faster than any of the others. I also wonder if part of the ‘coach them out of mediocrity’ is a sales pitch for summer signings. I’d go to a club that could make Xhaka a functioning player in the Premier League, that’s miracles right there.

Arsenal are not really chasing anything, so working with what we have isn’t the worst idea. I’m not sure there are many instances where panic buys in January work out. I’d be quite happy to see what a fully fit squad can do from now until the end of the season, then make aggressive moves in the summer, very, very early on. A Euros year isn’t exactly ideal, but hopefully, Edu and Cagigao can formulate ideas with Mikel early so we don’t end up going on a mad one with Don Raul taking reccos from the football mafia on who might or might not be a worldy.

I forgot to talk about the players leaving on loan. We have John-Jules heading out to Lincoln City, they sit 16th in the table in League One, so a huge job for him there, and hopefully some minutes. ESR has joined Huddersfield, who dropped from the Premier League, and now sit 20th in the Championship. Quite the fall from grace, you have to say, but again, far more chance ESR will land minutes. Eddie still hasn’t found a club, but there are rumours Villa and Norwich might be interested. I’d be fine with either, as long as he actually lands playing time. No point in warming someone else’s bench.

Right, that’s my lot for today, if you want the match report, it’s here.

Have a good one, see you in the comments!

378 Responses to “Arsenal leadership keeping the powder dry”

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  1. Graham62

    Problem in this country is that we never appreciated our talented players.

    If Hoddle had been Spanish, he would have won well over a hundred caps.

  2. Champagne charlie

    Nelson

    Didn’t Spurs lose? Haven’t they had like 1 clean sheet under Jose?

    Not sure he’s the man to benchmark against at this moment.

  3. Tom

    Grealish – What’s not to like?
    God dribbler, good pace , good shot from both feet and with an eye for goal.
    Always asking for ball even in tight spaces and a good passer.
    Oh yea, scores off the charts on CG’s calve muscle index too.

    I saw him a handful of games earlier in the season and knew he was better than anyone we had playing in our mid , and said so on here.

  4. Graham62

    Also the culture in this country is not geared for dealing with talent.

    Night clubs and the pub scene ruined so many of our top players.

    No structure/discipline in their lives.

    I hope Grealish has learnt from his past mistakes.

    Sterling has grown up under Pep.

  5. Nelson

    CC

    The question is not benchmark against anybody. Arteta is having problem with the team performing consistently for 90 minutes. It seems that he is blaming it all on the players.

  6. Danny S

    Kids have too much in this country. I think video games ruin a lot of the kids and young adults.
    Rather than getting out in all weathers practising, they sit at home and play.
    Plus there’s not as much desire to make something of themselves because they are so dirt poor. Our kids are just too pampered and not ambitious enough.

    As for flair players, if I had a pound for every time the coaches at school would scream at kids to stop being fancy and pass the ball…..
    they didn’t encourage flair at all.

    Imagine if ronaldinhos coach had made him pass the ball every tine he got it.

  7. Champagne charlie

    Nelson

    I think you’re too keen to look for friction where there is none. He’s stating objectively that what he wants from his team is unsustainable for 90 mins given the current fitness levels of the squad. The senior players acknowledged the same post-match recently.

    Jose can waffle what he likes about game management but it’s a hit hollow when his sides are porous and end up losing.

  8. Spanishdave

    Un
    Glad you named Worthington.
    He was a great baller never really recognized by England.
    I saw him many times, the trouble was the players around him weren’t able to be on the same wavelength.
    England haven’t had a baller since Gazza.
    Grealish would be fun to have around

  9. HighburyLegend

    “Seems like he’s calling out the previous coach for not having his players fit enough to me”

    Making Emery the only responsible for something which had already start under Wenger…. you guys are priceless.

  10. RodneyKing

    It’s a little too early to judge Pearson but what he’s done at Watford is nothing short of remarkable. I heard Foster saying that for so long they’ve had “coaches” but in Pearson, they’ve got a “manager”.

    That’s not to say that coaching is fanciful. What was though, was hoping that Arteta would be able to coach certain players in this squad to greatness. But in just 4 weeks, it’s become clear that the quality required for Arteta to achieve his vision just isn’t there.

    Arteta’s biggest test will come when results don’t improve and the players begin to question his methods.

  11. Lego Hair

    Danny
    Most of us have all played to some level of the game and there’s nothing wrong with a good flair player but there’s too many ball greedy cunts that think they’re Ronaldinho when they’re closer to Ronnie Corbett with a pair of white preds 😂

  12. Spanishdave

    Stan Bowles probably had a couple of pints before the game.
    Great player .
    They didn’t get 350 a week let alone 350 k.
    When Liverpool dominated the league last none of them got more than 350 a week !!!

  13. Champagne charlie

    HL

    You don’t tend to have any football opinions, just a bunch of remarks about posters followed by copious amounts of “LOL”. I’d skip it if I were you.

  14. CG

    R.K

    “””It’s a little too early to judge Pearson but what he’s done at Watford is nothing short of remarkable. I heard Foster saying that for so long they’ve had “coaches” but in Pearson, they’ve got a “manager”.””:

    Well garnered Rodney.

    Its exactly what we need.
    A strongman manager.

    We have too much coaching and not enough managing these days.

    Fergie /Cloughie/Wenger /Stein – even Klopp dont coach- they man manage the players.

    That’s why they are the best.

    Pearson- architect of the Leicester miracle – conjuring up another one at Watford

    Our club- too up it’s own Arse – to appoint a bloody old school manager who wont take no nonsense from the players neither the idiots behind the scenes who interfere.

    Pearson as our manager
    Arteta as our coach

    Thats a dream team

  15. Redtruth

    CG
    “Fergie /Cloughie/Wenger /Stein – even Klopp dont coach- they man manage the players.”

    Which of those Managers has never won a European trophy……..lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol

  16. Pedro

    The Pearson Leicester miracle, that saw them nearly relegated in his first season.

    CG, you go from crying that we let Wenger go, to promoting Nigel Pearson as the dream ticket, you’re on a constant wind up.

    Arsenal were relegation fodder, Jose Mourinho was the man to take us forward, now you’re falling in love with Watford because Ben Foster had something nice to say.

  17. CG

    PedRo

    “””The Pearson Leicester miracle, that saw them nearly relegated in his first season”””

    That’s why it was a miracle.
    Because they won it the following season.

    Jose/Pearson / Dyche are undoubtedly managers not coaches granted.

    Arteta is a coach (mighty talented one)
    But he ain’t a manager

    And myself like Foster -prefer one person in charge – A manager and not a head coach.

    No one can belittle what Pearson is doing.

    I have not the foggiest – what xg is- but he must be absolutely smashing it out of the ballpark.

    Pearson is the British version of Klopp, currently.

  18. CG

    Cha Cha

    “””Pearson is the British version of Klopp, currently.“Find a door, and leave.”””

    Nay
    I’ll amend it.

    Klopp is the German version of Nigel Pearson .

    Crikey – you folk are so condescending to British players and Coaches.

    Just look at Watfords results???

    Is the game not about results ,any more?

  19. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Cc

    To an onlooker looking in you are screaming out for attention.

    Klopp Pearson is absurd.

    Look
    We tried the trusted experience manager n it failed.

    Fuck it

    Had me doubts bout art but …

    I reckon it will end up good, he’s playing the game well.

    Ie xhara.he don’t want the shit but keeping it sweet till June.

  20. CG

    Unpack what you mean by ‘not a manager’

    Fergie is a manager
    Pearson is manager
    Ancelotti is a manager

    Pep is a coach
    Arteta is a coach
    Terry Venables is a coach.
    Sarri is a coach

    I prefer a manager.

    Clear difference.

  21. CG

    RSPCA

    “””To an onlooker looking in you are screaming out for attention.Klopp Pearson is absurd.”””

    If Pearson keeps Watford up( which he will).He would have earned Watford £150 million pounds.Because they were gone.

    He has not moaned. Got on with his job.
    And managed.

    (He has not got Liverpool standard players.) He has been inspirational

    Your problem- if you are too snobbish to not appreciate it.

  22. CG

    The problem with so many young idealistic folk- they are always looking for utopia.

    Like Edu- is going to Teck Deck us back to the top
    Or Arteta is going to coach our players to massive improvement and sustain it.
    Or the new structure is innovative and will get us winning titles

    All total cobblers off course

    Pro Soccer is about winning your next game.

    And Pearson is doing it as well as anyone around.

    End off.

  23. Tom

    Pep is a coach not a manager

    ———
    It was Pep’s decision to let the 28 year old Ronaldinho go before he took over at Barca.
    That sounds like a managerial decision to me.

  24. Tom

    Hey CG, Pearson is doing a fine job at Watford but how hard should it be to keep a top eight club from relegation.

    Isn’t it what you predicted in the Sumer, Watford top eight?

  25. Valentin

    CG,

    The reason why Pearson is being successful because he is implementing a simple game plan based on power and pace and that luckily for him Watford had lots of that kind of players: athletic, pacy but with decent technique.
    In term of organisation he is not revolutionising anything, in fact as Foster said it is back to basics. Simply put: they run more, they tackle more and they shoot more. He does not need to be a clever coach, just a good manager to extract more physically from his players without overloading them with tactics.
    Arsenal does not have that kind of athletic players who can make the difference on their own via power run (I have been advocating that we should have at least one DM like Doucoure, Capoue, Soumaré, Sangaré type of player). So Arsenal can’t rely on that aspect to revive its fortune. It has to rely on technical and tactical ability to make the difference.
    That’s why Pearson would have been the wrong appointment for Arsenal. But conversely Arteta would have been the wrong appointment to Watford, because apart Deulofeu I can’t see a lot of Watford players fitting Arteta style. Troy Deeney has better technique and better awareness than he often given credit, but he is no Aguero.

  26. RodneyKing

    Valentine

    “…. Arteta would have been the wrong appointment to Watford, because apart Deulofeu I can’t see a lot of Watford players fitting Arteta style. Troy Deeney has better technique and better awareness than he often given credit, but he is no Aguero.”

    Aha! So Silva-, Aguero-, De Bruyne-, Sterling- and Mahrez-type players are what you need to play Pep’s, sorry Arteta’s style?

    The Arsenal rebuild is looking tougher by the day.

  27. alexanderhenry

    Pedro

    ‘Poor Mikel, used to double our normal transfer budget for squad filler in January, he’s now being faced down with real-world economics… if you don’t sell players, you can’t buy them.’

    Therein lies the problem. It’s the same one that Wenger faced if we’re being fair.

    Imagine if arsenal had an owner who was willing to inject a bit of extra cash into the proceedings. Not billions necessarily, but a sensible amount, a bit of rational speculation if you like.
    It actually makes more sense than doing precisely diddly squat which is exactly what Stan is doing.

    Spend a bit and something might happen.

  28. Freddie Ljungberg

    http://dailycannon.com/2020/01/mavropanos-set-to-join-fc-nurnberg-on-loan/

    https://amp.sportsmole.co.uk/football/arsenal/transfer-talk/news/shkodran-mustafi-closing-in-on-arsenal-exit_385910.html

    2 CBs potentially leaving, money received for them 0, zip, nada. Lucky us that it apparently doesn’t matter what you get for players anymore.

    This is why it’s a slow rebuild job. Most of our players we want/ed to move on are next to worthless, we have to be absolutely spot on and preferably luck out on a couple of Martinelli like gems to make ends meet and maintain any sort of level in the squad.

    All while lowering the wage bill. Damn that Emery for breaking the squad. Damn him to hell…

  29. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Cg

    Nah ain’t snobbish,

    I like Pearson in a way of good with players, Harry style.

    He set the basis for the Leicester title squad.

    However
    Watford are a good team,
    Players dropped tools for previous manager so really anyone was going to succeed.

    L8ke Mourinho.

    Good manage4 only when there is money to spend.

    Would have liked hi. To take the watford job.
    Then we would have seen if he was any good.

  30. Pedro

    Alex, the money isn’t the problem, we’ve spent double Spurs, Chelsea and Leicester over the lat 5 years… it’s who you buy.

  31. Pedro

    CG, if the difference is clear, you’d be able to articulate what it is. You’ve just listed a bunch of names without telling us what we should be looking for.

  32. Champagne charlie

    Can we bring anyone in this window that can play in the EL?

    If not then I struggle to see the value, more sensible to wait until the summer and be clearer what the needs are for Artetaball to take off after 15 league games to judge.

  33. Freddie Ljungberg

    Pedro

    Tragic that he changed agents to try to engineer a move and all that’s rumoured is a loan move to Galatasaray, and even that isn’t sure.
    Top top qualidee

  34. Freddie Ljungberg

    Would still leave us with only 2 healthy 30+ CBs and Holding in recovery mode, would be Evil Knievel levels of ballsiness/foolishness to rock out for the rest of the season with that.

    Hope it’s not another oldie stop gap incoming

  35. Pedro

    Freddie, quite sad how badly Mustafi has falling off the wagon. World Cup winner, to someone that can’t find a club. Tragic. Can’t work out if money corrupted his ambition, or he just fell up the stairs with his success.

  36. Freddie Ljungberg

    Pedro

    Beats me, Valencia couldn’t believe their luck apparently when we made that crazy bid for him. Was never good enough for us and probably the worst value for money player we ever bought. 35m, all the wages he’s been hoovering up over all the many many looong years he’s been here and now we’re probably not going to get even a fiver in fees for him.

  37. Marko

    Mustafi and Mavropanos leaving with Chambers out for the season one has to assume that someone comes in otherwise rolling with Luiz, Sokratis and Holding is a major gamble. That or Mikel is dumb as shit letting two CB’s leave while one is out for the season all the while convincing Xhaka to stay… Boateng incoming???

  38. Pedro

    Freddie, that window will forever baffle me. Couldn’t have made more bad decisions if we tried.

    Hopefully we’ll have it fully rectified by the summer, then we have another overhaul. Though I suspect he’ll keep Mesut if he continues to give him what he wants.

  39. Marko

    Though I suspect he’ll keep Mesut if he continues to give him what he wants.

    First off he does that then you gotta question the appointment of Arteta. And secondly gives him what he wants? What’s that exactly a couple decent halfs and then back to normal? Great. Worth keeping around for sure. ‘No, I put him in the team if I see every day that his attitude, desire and understanding of what we’re trying to do is there. He has the will and if he is in a better moment than somebody else, I will pick him. The moment this changes, he won’t play.’ let’s see if Mikel is a man of his word.

  40. Aussie Gooner

    Ozil is getting everything he wants anyway – 350000 of them per week! You can’t build a team around someone who does not put in or show up most of the time. At best he is a mercurial fringe player who is capable of sprinkling some magic on occasions.

  41. Dark Hei

    Highbury

    “Making Emery the only responsible for something which had already start under Wenger…. you guys are priceless.”

    Because Emery won the job interview with in-depth files and rosters about players that were already there.

    Basically told the club he could improve the return on investment on their existing player assets.

    Like a certain Meghan, he has no excuses because he walked into things with his eyes open.

    Plus he was on track in tanking the club’s newly minted 70m investment.

  42. China1

    Yeah letting two CBs leave when we are so light in defense is really questionable unless we’re bringing someone in

  43. Aussie Gooner

    Seriously, you only send players out on loan for career development when all 1st team positions are covered. This is basic stuff – team management 101.

  44. Aussie Gooner

    Never mind we are ‘looking’ at Calhanoglu the ‘new Ozil’ ffs! Now thats what we need a midfielder who can’t score and has lost form since his move to Milan – thanks Gazidis!

  45. Brooklyn

    Seems like we might get Boateng…now that we have young CB’s in Holding, Chambers and Saliba, who are best CB’s in their prime (26-330) but would cost below 40-50 million??

  46. Brooklyn

    Altos,
    High probability that Xhaka will be Arsenal player next season. We need two quality players in CM/CAM position as of now to rotate with or replace all three of our present starting midfielder next season.

    Selling Xhaka means buying another decent MF….too much work as we need another CB, RB and Winger/Striker assuming one of our striker is sold.

  47. Daniel Altos

    ‘cant achieve anything with this group’..’he needs this and that players’ etc.These are the kind of things the likes of Ishola were screaming about before only to be met with ‘the squad is absolutely good for top 4’ ‘we have a better squad than Chelsea’ etc…so what changed?Make no mistake,.I am excited on Arteta and can absolutely see what he is trying to do but let’s not pretend we have a good squad,for example,out of six midfielders,only one can tackle and he is a midget who is on his arse 90% of the time
    Also I swear arsenal are the only team without ‘new manager juice’…even with Freddie we didn’t go on some kind of new manager run…Watford,Spurs and everton have all had it ..I think the mental qualidee of our players is very suspect

  48. Daniel Altos

    ‘The squad wasn’t good enough for a title challenge but it was easily good enough to challenge for top 4. It’s that simple.’Yes.

    And we challenged for top 4 and only finished one point off it,or is that not a challenge?Also,let’s take a look at the 4 squads that were above us last season….can anyone say with a straight face we had a better squad than all of them?Let’s stop this revisionism shall we…9r what is the meaning of a ‘challenge’?.You can challenge but to get your acquired target,that’s my understanding,it’s not like top 4 was some kind of birth right is it?

  49. Daniel Altos

    Apart from aubameyang and lacazette(whom is now questionable)who else did we have that can walk into the Chelsea,Spurs,city or Liverpool 11?Let’s be honest here please

  50. The backpass

    “Selling Xhaka means buying another decent MF….too much work as we need another CB, RB and Winger/Striker assuming one of our striker is sold.”

    If Xhaka still starts for us next season, then we are moving nowhere and Arteta will be the one to be blamed.

  51. SP

    Ozil has been sleeping on the patch for 2 games now. So is Arteta serious when he says he wants all the players to give 100%.
    How long will Arsenal allow Ozil to steal a living?

  52. James wood

    Emery’s level of strategy’s was poor
    All players raise their levels for a new manager
    as they did for him initially.
    The sides problems where deeply ingrained by Wenger
    for reasons that might yet be explained.

  53. Tee

    Our team is not as bad as some agenda driven posters are trying to shove it up our throat.

    Chelsea this, Tottenham that, can you tell us the outstanding players Tottenham has aside Kane, son Erickson? Is it dele Ali that is world-class there or aurier, sissoko? Just name them.

    If we had gotten a better coach who knows what he is doing compared to Emery tanked big time, this level of performance wouldn’t have been this bad.

    No one can argue the players didn’t put in shift for Emery when he first arrived only to downtool when they realised he was shit.

    Intelligent posters were complaining about a non visible style of play even when we were winning under Emery because are wins weren’t convincing. In fact it was individual brilliance or by share of luck that we were winning then.

    During the one and a half season of Emery, you can count the number of matches we convincingly won.

    Saying these to counter Emery’s goons who will go any length to absolve him of his share of blame.

    Same lots want to use the same stick to judge arteta who didn’t have preseason with the team took over when our performances were relegation level.

    Edu and Raul should try as much as possible to address the deficiency of the team next summer because it as things are presently, it will take a lot of efforts to get a good player at an affordable price this January.

  54. Tom

    Chelsea this, Tottenham that, can you tell us the outstanding players Tottenham has aside Kane, son Erickson? Is it dele Ali that is world-class there or aurier, sissoko? Just name them.

    Lucas Moura alone has contributed more goals and assists in PL than our entire aforementioned fearsome foursome of LT, Guen, Xhaka and Ozil.

  55. Daniel Altos

    Daniel altos
    We had better squad than United and were on or with Chelsea

    And we finished above united didn’t we?We finished 1 point off Chelsea who were also challenging for top 4 ..the difference between Chelsea and arsenal was hazard,one of the best players in the PL last decade.As I said,when challenging for something (which we did for top 4) you don’t always get it as there others challenging for it.If you want proof that this squad isn’t good enough…just amwait and see how many players arteta will cull in the transfer window in July

  56. Daniel Altos

    ManCity are out to destroy Henry’s records…up next the all time assist record if 20…KDB is on track to absolutely smash it