Arsenal leadership keeping the powder dry

by & filed under News Review.

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!

479 Responses to “Arsenal leadership keeping the powder dry”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Dark Hei


    “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.

  2. China1

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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??

  6. Brooklyn

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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?

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. Un na naai

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

    This season our squad is better than both since Chelsea lost hazard and morata and replaced with Tammy and odoi.

  14. Un na naai

    Torreira ozil Pepe Aubameyang Martinelli Saka Tierney Lacazette all better than untied counter parts and Leno is at least on par with DDG in his current form. At least

  15. Un na naai

    Look at the table

    Our worst form for 40 years
    Same number of losses as Man U and less than Chelsea

    It’s the draws that are killing us
    Fine margins

    When emery was in we were desperately lucky to draw against most of these teams and with Arteta we are desperately unlucky he chelsea and palace

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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