Arsenal shedding centre backs

by & filed under News Review.

Mikel Arteta has an entire week with his players, the longest gap of time between games since he joined the club. That means more recovery time for the players, more time to spend talking through ideas, and plenty of practice for whatever the plan is against Chris Wilders excellent Sheffield United outfit this weekend.

One of the main challenges the coaching staff will be dealing with is the loss of Auba, our most lethal player. Overall, one of the issues we’ve had for a while is the lack of shared responsibilities when it comes to goal-scoring duties. This was Arteta.

“They now have to make a step forward now he is not able to contribute to the team with goals.

“Someone else has to do it and I want to see that reaction too.”

My hope is that as we move closer to the vision of the new regime, goals will start to be more evenly distributed.

There are a few players I’d love to see step up to the plate, one of them is Gabriel Martinelli. He has a monstrous opportunity ahead of him. He’s Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus, so I’m intrigued to see what the manager does to the structure of the team to unleash him. My guess is he’ll slip into the left of the front three and just replace Auba. He’s more of a natural presser though, so maybe the temptation might be to have him lead through the middle.

Another player who should start offering up more goals is Nicolas Pepe. We’ve seen flashes of what he’s capable of, but he really needs to double down and focus on more consistent delivery. He can be a bit ponderous at times. His casual nature can come across like he’s not bothered, I’m hoping a bit more urgency in his game and the added responsibility over the next 3 games will see him rise to the occasion.

When it comes to our midfield, it’s hard to see where the goals will come from. Torreira finds good positions sometimes, but when he’s too far forward he struggles to make up ground, he’s thrived playing in a smaller area of the pitch. Same can be said of Xhaka, though it has been noted that he’s powered through on the overlap twice in two games. Matteo and Ceballos both have limited productivity, and Ozil has rarely shown much of a gift for goal scoring.

It seems I have talked myself out of this, let’s just hope the front three can offer something otherwise we’re in trouble.

In defence, there appears to be movement. Mavrapanos has been sent out on loan. Sven Mislintat came back in for the player, but Nurnberg appears to have won the race for the Greek defender. Everyone loved him when he joined, but he’s been well off the pace since. Hopefully, a stint in Germany can help with his fitness and confidence.

The player we’re all desperate to see the back of is Mustafi. Sport is a brutal job, but he’s quite simply not good enough and no amount of coaching is going to save a player that stopped being hungry. He’s certainly a lesson in what £90k a week contract can do to a persons appetite for success. Galatasaray, regularly a saving grace for persona non grata in the Premier League, are rumoured to be interested in reinvigorating his career. Good luck to them.

The worry I have with exiting these defenders is we’re left very short through the middle. We’ll be relying on two 30+ centre backs, and the fitness of Rob Holding. Feels very, very risky… which is why I suspect there will be some sort of cover on loan. I just hope it’s not Jerome Boateng, who is hilariously being courted by Ivan Gazidis.

ESPN ran some analysis on bad reffing this season, it had Arsenal down 9 points.

I DON’T WANT TO BE A VICTIM BUT COME ON FEEL SORRY FOR US.

The reffing was pretty bad at the Palace game and it was atrocious at the Chelsea game. I don’t understand how they run the associations. What are they looking at? Who is bringing them patterns of bad behaviour that go on? Like, how can this tactical fouling thing still be an issue? Shouldn’t the refs make a statement to clubs and say that they’ll be dropping red cards as a deterrent. If we’re using VAR, can’t someone update a live iWatch table that tells refs how many tactical fouls a player or a team have dropped in a game? These problems we have in the game seem fairly simple to solve, but when the problem is given to Mike Riley, he comes up with the most bizarre ways of fixing them.

I still maintain the refs should be accountable to press. I also think we should hear them justify decisions. It works in the NFL, it brings the fans into the decisions.

Right, that’s the blog done, jump on board for the latest podcast with Alex who occasionally blogs on here. I bought a new mic, the sound is pretty damn crisp. Let me know what you think in the comments!

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439 Responses to “Arsenal shedding centre backs”

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  1. Daniel Altos

    Am no fan of Ramsey but let’s face it…no one in the arsenal squad can do what did…key point being the jorginho marking.He wasn’t that prolific but those kind of runs drag opposition midfielders/defenders all the time.Think of it as a poor man’s Frank Lampard/Vidal…speaking of why don’t we look at Vidal on a short term deal?

  2. Dissenter

    Paulinho
    I haven’t changed my tune
    Ramsey was a good midfielder for Arsenal and was the consummate professional who never gave the club problems. He deserves respect for what he did at Arsenal.
    He was indeed replaceable, if we bothered to try. The problem is that you always bring every thing midfield related to Ramsey’s exit.

  3. Daniel Altos

    We largely pulled through thanks to Lacazette and auba goals but now laca has stopped scoring and we have no one in midfield who can score and it is a major problem.What happened to xhaka long range shots?Why did he stop shooting nowadays?

  4. Emiratesstroller

    Here are stats which should worry every supporter this season.

    We have played 22 games sofar this season and managed only 2 goals + in NINE of those games

    Of those 9 games we have managed to score 3 goals on TWO occasions and won both games against West Ham and Aston Villa.

    In the 7 games where we have scored 2 goals we have managed to win only against Burnley and Manchester United. We have DRAWN the other 5.

    The obvious conclusion is that we struggle to win games unless we score 3
    goals.

  5. azed

    “To do this he has the team playing risk free football,
    At the moment the balance isn’t right but it is the right way to go as the amount of chances we were conceding was a serious problem.

    If we only score on average one goal per game and concede 0.5 a game until the end of the season, that’ll do for me .Fans are getting hung up about not scoring, not creating , midfielders not scoring but they need to make up their mind what they want .
    If they want us to concede less chances/goals then they have to accept that we are not going to go hung ho when we are attacking , hence less chances created and less goals scored .”

    Pierre

    I can swear you’ve said some many times on this platform that Emery should just play 4-2-3-1 and things would sort out themselves.
    Remember you said play Ozil behind the striker, Aubameyang on the left and Pepe on the right and watch us create more chances?

  6. Champagne charlie

    Paulinho

    Yes I’m aware of your view about our squad, and the very fact you brazenly equate it to being ‘shit without Ramsey’ tells its own story.

    Ramsey has played 900 minutes this season, 270 of which came for Wales. So 630 minutes football for Juventus, 7 whole games worth.

    You’re honestly going to claim that player as a ‘rare one’ and ‘hard to replace’ this past summer? I’ll have to strongly disagree. The fact we didn’t replace him is poor, but to try and redress that as if we lost Thierry all over is just bollocks.

  7. CG

    ES

    “”””We have played 22 games sofar this season and managed only 2 goals + in NINE of those games””””

    Great stat
    An illustration of the absolute horror show the club has become.

    3 different head coaches.
    Very little discernable bounce each time.

    We will have Years and Years of this unless a whole New Regime is installed starting from complete new ownership

    We are finished as an Elite entity.

    If Leeds and WBA get promoted- we will be struggling to reach their levels next season.

    They will have a £100 million to spend on players . We dont have a dollar.

  8. Brooklyn

    Oh,
    Now with Auba would have been good time to give Pepe his preferred role with wingbacks switching their role.

    Let Pepe play tucked in closer to Laca,but on the right, ask Martinelli/Nelson to play more wide defensive winger on the left. For that to work AMN(lol) should do Kola’s role of stretching the play and Kolasinac should tuck in and pass the ball around. Kolasinac can probably do that better than AMN has done in last couple of games.

    Wonder if Bellerin will be fit enough??

  9. Pierre

    Azed
    Our confidence was rock bottom.
    Our football was dire .
    Every player was regressing.
    We were in the bottom half of the table.

    It shows the ignorance if you and the rest of the know nothings expect Arteta to come in and play open expansive football .

    Yes 4-2-3-1 has addressed the weakness defensively in midfield and made us a better balanced team

    I said play 4-2-3-1 for a better balanced side, which we certainly are.

    I wouldn’t get too confident with your snarky comments if I were you, because as you know , ultimately I tend to be proven right.

    I have no doubt that offensively we will improve offensively whilst remaining defensively solid , whether that is with a 4-2-3-1 or not remains to be seen .

    The one thing that is obvious is that players personal performances are improving under Arteta in the short time he has been at the club .

  10. Pierre

    Stroller
    “The obvious conclusion is that we struggle to win games unless we score 3
    goals.”

    Hence why Arteta is addressing our weaknesses, one goal conceded in the last 3 games is confirmation of that.

    Patience is the key .
    The position that Arteta has taken over in mid season is nearly an impossible situation .
    He is not going for the quick fix , he is trying to build from the back which will mean we do not have to score 3 goals to won a game.

  11. azed

    Pierre

    Now you are starting to give excuses . When the issue came up about us not creating chances, you said playing Ozil behind the striker would solve that problem.

    Don’t worry, at the end of the day, you and Pedro would finally admit that we need better players.

  12. Champagne charlie

    “Don’t worry, at the end of the day, you and Pedro would finally admit that we need better players.“

    There’s nobody on here that is against better players Azed, peddling a myth.

  13. Micheal

    ““Don’t worry, at the end of the day, you and Pedro would finally admit that we need better players.“

    Of course we need better players. But we also need better coaching, better scouting and better youth development. We have started to improve the coaching and let’s hope the better players, scouting and youth development folow.

  14. Ishola70

    Emiratesstroller
    “Xhaka is not designated by any figment of imagination as a “creative ” midfielder.
    His main attributes are “breakdown” of opponents play.”

    How many years have you watched Xhaka now? And you tell us that his main attribute is breaking up opposition play? Really? How can you even conceive such a notion?

    He isn’t particularly creative no.

    His main attribute is to give some sort of control in the midfield in terms of possession. On occassions longer flighted balls from deep.

    We saw again yesterday Man City’s pinball machine passing between many players. Quick combination passing . Give and go. Pass and then move to receive the ball again. Quick and nimble. Making different angles of play in their quick passing game. It takes opposition players out.

    Arsenal will never be able to play this type of effecive midfield team passing play when there is so much reliance on Xhaka to just conduct simple possession passing in the side. People give out Xhaka’s passing stats for Arsenal to tell us how good he really is and in turn most probably imply that he is important to to the team. But this in itself is a handicap in seeing the Arsenal side play a more expansive passing game in the midfield. Far too much reliance on Xhaka in regards basic possession football. And Xhaka is not capable to really contribute to a side quick combination passing between team mates. As we all know he is neither quick nor nimble enough. He is in his own way a very individualistic player just like Ozil is individualistic in his own style of play. And these individuaistic traits of these players can be a handicap to the side.

  15. Brooklyn

    Thinking of players like Ramsey. Who regularly (home or away, the game we dominate or get dominated in like Paulinho says)destabilize opponents defensive setup to open up spaces for others regardless of him personally getting in score sheets.

    Khedira, Vidal, Paulinho, Mautidi all old. Among young players or players in their peak Dele Ali, Rabiot(briefly for PSG), Ramsey ofcourse, Doucoure(plays as advanced mid under Pearsons), Fede Valverde, Sergi Roberto, Aranguiz, Hojberg, Goretzka, Tolisso.

  16. Majesticgooner

    Another area of the club neglected over the past ten years is the whole youth setup, how can the likes of spurs, chelsea,liverpool ,produce players who are regular starters in the first eleven, not substitutes and we cant, what the hell was Wenger and gazidis doing ? This rot will take years to fix.never seen one man destroy his legacy so much, a good lesson as to how power corrupts.

  17. Tee

    I don’t think any poster has ever said we don’t need new players.

    In fact every football clubs will always look to improve their respective team anytime the transfer window is opened.

    Even Liverpool who are about to run away with the league just bought minamino.

    What I believe some posters said was that the team is not as bad as some posters make it out to be but we still need to be adding proper players to improve the team till we get there.

    If my memory serves me well then arteta has not for once said he will build the team around xhaka and ozil. This is a narrative of some agenda driven posters.

    There is no need flushing out xhaka this window when we have nothing concrete on ground as to his replacement. Also is a difficult one because only few teams can afford to pay his wages. So, it’s wise by arteta to try and motivate him to put more effort. You can’t have a luxury player on that kind of wage sitting on the bench all the time. It’s either you terminate his contract and take the financial hit or use him till the opportunity arises to discard.

  18. Pierre

    Azed
    “Now you are starting to give excuses”

    True, the excuses I’ve used are that under Emery the football was dire, the players were regressing and our confidence was rock bottom .

  19. azed

    “There’s nobody on here that is against better players Azed, peddling a myth.”

    CC

    Take a look at Pierre’s post.
    Xhaka and Torriera are now the culprits because Ozil is a past it player.

  20. Paulinho

    “You’re honestly going to claim that player as a ‘rare one’ and ‘hard to replace’ this past summer? I’ll have to strongly disagree.”

    Well it’s a pretty obvious in my book. We will see how easy it is when we are still bemoaning our midfield next season, and probably the season after. It’s pretty hard to sign quality midfielders full stop these days with our financial situation, not being seen as a serious threat, and the fact supply is low to demand, never mind sign someone with Ramsey’s exact attributes.

    Dissenter – Our midfield is gash, and Pedro mentioned goals from midfield. It’s a topical discussion and one you can’t hide from as much as you want to to cover your eyes and ears when his name is mentioned.

  21. HighburyLegend

    “Lethal Weapon 5 was the best of the lot.”

    @Jim Lahey : you must stop your shots of heroine, for your own good.

  22. Champagne charlie

    Paulinho
    You were strongly advocating the addition of a winger. We spent 70 mil on Pepe, you telling me we couldn’t have landed a player to replace Ramsey for that coin?

    Azed
    You dragged Pedro into the mix and made it a comment that wasn’t solely directed at Pierre. It became a blanket statement suggesting there’s folk who don’t care for better players (the sort of rubbish I myself have been hit with), which is flat out nonsense.

  23. Tee

    Ramsey isn’t the go to type of CM for any tactical team.

    All he did was to search for goals even the they are not needed.

    There were matches were we were to see off games but you still found Ramsey ahead of the strikers looking for his glorious goal.

    That Juventus signed him means nothing because it was on bosman. Those are the kind of deals they are looking for.

    I watched him against Roma and I was like it’s good he was let go at the end.

    You don’t give a huge wage packet to a crocked player like Ramsey. Was there a season he managed to stay fit all through?

  24. azed

    CC

    Our squad is inbalanced and some players are living of past reputation (cough, cough Ozil).

    We have a collection of players that are not really suited to any known formation so any system picked by the coach would have issues.

    For 30 mins against Palace and 25 against Chelsea, we were dominant without creating chances. Once Palace started to press and Chelsea add an extra man in midfield, we could not do anything.
    Ozil -Xhaka and Torriera is a poor midfield that can overcome by most teams. Ozil and Xhaka need space and once that is not there, we start to fumble.

    We play our best striker on the wings just so we can play Lacazzete so we have to rely on Kolasinac to provide with.

    All this has nothing to do with Arteta as this was the hand he was dealt but so many times on here, Pierre said “just play Ozil and watch us create chances” I am calling him on that right now.

  25. HighburyLegend

    Lethal Weapon 5 don’t exist, dear Jim!! lol
    There is 4 films. One classic, one good, and 2 other totally pathetic.

  26. Paulinho

    “Paulinho
    You were strongly advocating the addition of a winger. We spent 70 mil on Pepe, you telling me we couldn’t have landed a player to replace Ramsey for that coin?”

    Yeah, Zaha or someone that can keep the width out wide on the left. I knew there was zero chance of replacing Ramsey like for like so the only way to move forward was wide goal-scoring threats and bring in central midfielders that had some flair or passing ability to link with them. We brought in a wide right player instead, and Ceballos. So we didn’t address it completely per spec, and we needed a Coutinho at the death to try and add balance of some sort as well as quality, which we didn’t do.

    Again, you can add whatever player you like, they’ve still got to be as good or better than what you’re releasing, or you will go backwards. Grealish has only started being a final third threat when pushed further forward, so he will have to replace one of attacking options, to bring goals. If you play him deep, you get ball-carrying but little goal threat.

  27. azed

    “You dragged Pedro into the mix and made it a comment that wasn’t solely directed at Pierre. ”

    CC

    Pedro made his bed when he said our conversion rate was unreal and Emery was to blame (he was the coach though) for our lack of chances created at a time when Iwobi was our best winger.
    I made a post after the Palace game that said last season, Iwobi to Kolasinac and a cut back was our best/ go to attacking move.
    Under Arteta, its Luiz to Kolasinac.
    Two coaches with different philosophies employing similar tactics with one constant, the players.

  28. Paulinho

    “We spent 70 mil on Pepe, you telling me we couldn’t have landed a player to replace Ramsey for that coin?”

    That’s how we replaced him. Again, the fact we didn’t replace him -like for like with that money suggests these replacements for him are not as common as you like to claim.

    Unless you want to give me list of players that can play central midfield, get a combined double figures in goals and assists, as well as run 13k and make tackles.

  29. Guns of SF

    Morning all.

    Some good points on here.

    We DO Need goal scoring mids. Our Mids are woeful and hardly create worth a shit.

    Our passes are conservative and easily read. In addition, our mids are weak physically, have little stamina and more importantly technical creativity.

    Ozil is not the answer. Any questions about Ozil being this or that is utterly pointless.

    A midfield revamp is what is needed. Look at the top 4 teams. Their mids are creative, hard working, press, and can score.
    Wolves mids are great IMO. Work horses that equally create and at any given time, anyone can be open for a shot and potentially score. They had Liverpool on the ropes the last 20 mins of that game… Their mids had 4 shots from different players in the scenario.

    We need to make our midfield dynamic again. A wriggly player like Alexis or Santi is what we could really benefit from when being pressed by the oppostion. Right now, we lose the ball or play conservative passes.

    I dont think Luiz is all that defensively but he does look or defense splitting passes often. Long passes that go thru midfield and hit our attackers.

    Says something about our mids…. they are utter shit. Lucas is finding his feet but the rest are awful

  30. Ishola70

    Paulinho

    “Grealish has only started being a final third threat when pushed further forward, so he will have to replace one of attacking options, to bring goals. If you play him deep, you get ball-carrying but little goal threat.”

    Saw the Villa – Man City highlights.

    One of the “highlights” shown was Grealish yet again being caught on the ball trying to dribble out in front of his own penalty area and this gave Man City a big chance on goal from which they really should have scored from.

    He has to learn when not to overplay in certain areas and situations.

    If he doesn’t learn he will just be another Jack Wilshere Mk II. Wilshere never became the all round player we all wished him to be not just because of injuries but also because he never showed enough intelligence on when to release the ball. Overplaying, over dribbling on the ball.

  31. Paulinho

    Ishola – He got caught twice against Spurs earlier in the season as well.

    He’s a talent, and we need that type of footballer to liberate our stodgy bunch, but there are question marks.

  32. Pierre

    RH
    Do you really think it bothers me if you or Azed care whether I think the players should be held accountable.

    Is this the best the know nothings can do..they spent 18 months defending Emery’s tactics and man management and all we are hearing now is imbecile comments like “when can we start holding these players accountable ”

    I can guarantee that when Arteta brings in new signings in the summer ( which he will do) , the know nothings will be claiming this is proof that the players are not good enough.

    Just remember, you are called the know nothings for a reason.

  33. Guns of SF

    Guen needs to go on loan… he was promoted due to having a good preseason with Emery year one and also partnering the shitty Xhaka.

    Now the jury is out… the runs a lot but does not do much at all.
    Needs to learn how to play with more purpose instead of being a battering ram out there..

    He is 20…. clearly has time to develop still.
    This summer we need to acquire 2/3 mids that can cut it.
    Im not so sure about Dani C- jury still out… need to see him do something for us this season.

  34. Aussie Gooner

    Very funny news from Chel$ki:

    “Antonio Conte has won his legal battle with Chelsea and the club will have to pay their former manager £85,000 in compensation. An employment tribunal ruled in the Italian’s favour and Judge Andrew Glennie found that he was unfairly sacked by the Blues in July 2018. ‘The complaint of unfair dismissal is well founded,’ he said. ‘The respondent (Chelsea) shall pay to the claimant (Conte) a basic award of £1,524 and a compensatory award of £83,682, being a total of £85,206.”

    I hope that Emery dosen’t get any ideas!’

  35. Brooklyn

    People are caught in Maddison hype. But Grealish is coming along nicely, far better and influential/take match by scruff kind of player.

    But a CM he is not. Maybe CAM at a pinch in counter attacking teams(could develop still young lad), still would bring nice balance to our team as LM, opposite to goal scoring direct player Pepe/Martinelli at RM.

  36. Pierre

    Does Ramsey’s goal every 6.7 games equate to him being a goalscoring midfielder.

    Ozil has scored a goal every 5.5 games but I wouldn’t for a second call him a goalscoring midfielder.

  37. Aussie Gooner

    And some good news for us for a change!

    “The richest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote, has revealed his plans to buy Arsenal in 2021, with the billionaire Gunners fan determined to oust absentee owner Stan Kroenke”.

  38. Guns of SF

    Dangote better hurry up….
    I am hoping he does something this summer… when our teams value continues to drop… Stan might want to cash out.

  39. Habesha Gooner

    Midfielders must be dynamic , intelligent and have to enough technical quality to be a top player in the modern game especially in the premier league. Xhaka is slow and can’t tackle while Ozil is a gifted footballer technically he lacks energy to affect matches. They have major weaknesses in their game. And these weaknesses can’t be coached out of them because they are physical and a little bit mental. If we had a decent midfield our defense wouldn’t look this worse ( this season), our young players wouldn’t shoulder this much responsibility. ( Matteo, Joe, Torriera) all have had dip in their form and it is the senior players job to lift them up. If we can’t tweak our midfield now we absolutely need to do it in the summer No question

  40. Receding Hairline

    “Nothing unfair about his dismissal..”

    Nothing unfair about Conte’s either, he was begging to be sacked for months before they sacked him.

    @ Pierre

    Didn’t expect better

    Still rolling with the boring “know nothings” line i see

  41. Champagne charlie

    “We have a collection of players that are not really suited to any known formation so any system picked by the coach would have issues.“

    Want to unpack that?

    “Again, the fact we didn’t replace him -like for like with that money suggests these replacements for him are not as common as you like to claim.“

    Don’t conflate the fact we never replaced Ramsey’s output from midfield with the idea there’s nobody out there capable. We brought in Ceballos and I’ve already stated that was an apples to oranges “replacement” while we spooned money wide on Pepe.

    “Unless you want to give me list of players that can play central midfield, get a combined double figures in goals and assists, as well as run 13k and make tackles.“

    PL
    18/19: 4 goals, 6 assists, 1.2 tackles
    17/18: 7 goals, 8 assists, 1.5 tackles
    16/17: 1 goal, 4 assists, 0.9 tackles
    15/16: 5 goals, 6 assists, 2.5 tackles
    14/15: 6 goals, 6 assists, 1.1 tackles
    13/14: 10 goals, 8 assists, 3.3 tackles

    That’s Ramsey’s stats from WhoScored over 6 seasons, those figures are good, not exceptional or elite. I don’t like Maddison but he’d have gone a long, long way to getting the same output, Grealish could, been talk about Havertz, the Fernandes lad being linked to United.

  42. azed

    “Is this the best the know nothings can do..they spent 18 months defending Emery’s tactics and man management and all we are hearing now is imbecile comments like “when can we start holding these players accountable ””

    Actually Pierre if you go through the comments, the prevailing theme/excuse was that Emery needed time and needed to get his players.

    Its the same thing with Arteta, he needs time and needs players…

    You on the other hand swore that playing Ozil as the number 10 would see us creating chances again and that hasn’t happened.

    You’ve gone from blaming Emery to blaming Torriera and Xhaka..Seriously?

  43. Brooklyn

    Pierre,
    You claim lack of confidence, I say players already got their confidence back after Arteta’s second game in charge. Now it is just player’s quality and consistency.

    Already making excuses for not accepting player poverty under Emery I see.

    Also we are tactically limited due to limitations of players like Xhaka, Torreira, AMN and to extent Ozil and Kolasinac. One or two limited players taking into consideration their strength for overall team balance can be accommodated, but playing to strength of all these limited player all of whom happen to play in defensive position is hurting our offensive balance. Absolute case for player poverty I say.

  44. Paulinho

    As I’ve said, Maddison is out and out number ten. He can’t play central midfield. Talking about apples to oranges…..

    Anyway, even if we did want to buy him, good luck getting him. Proving my point about easier said that done replacing these players.

  45. Paulinho

    Pierre – Ramsey scores big goals in cup finals, Ozil scores when everyone else is already piling on for the most part.

  46. Champagne charlie

    Paulinho

    How many games did Ramsey play in CM last season? Seems you’re hell bent on tweaking what’s so special about him time and again.

    We miss his goals and the threat he gave defences. You replace him with a Maddison (call him a 10 all you like, the others aren’t) and he gets the goals/assists whilst another player gets the tackles.

    Because remember… nobody else in the league has a Ramsey, so why would it be wild for us to exist without him?

  47. Distant legrover

    He’s being asked the same questions over and over because he initially opened his big mouth and confessed his intention to buy the Arsenal.

    Did you hear a peep from Kroenke in advance, when he initially joined Arsenal ?

  48. Paulinho

    “Because remember… nobody else in the league has a Ramsey, so why would it be wild for us to exist without him?”

    Because we had someone no one else had, got rid of him, while still lacking in areas other teams had an advantage over us.

    Not very good at this are you.

  49. Receding Hairline

    Brooklyn the confidence thing was always nonsense

    We have not even had a proper new manager bounce and it was written off as the squad suffering from Emery molestation.

    That theme will continue until most of them are replaced. Don;t expect some on here to ever come out and accept the glaring limitations of some players in the squad.

    Not surprising Ozil went missing the first away game against a team with a pulse, it has been blamed on his team mates not finding him when he takes up fantastic positions.

  50. HighburyLegend

    “Who’s still calling for zaha here?”

    Don’t care if Auba is suspended.
    No to this piece of shite under our colours.

  51. Champagne charlie

    Paulinho

    Again, you’re talking to one of the only people who called for attention to our CM last summer so spare me.

    You’re arguing Ramsey was near irreplaceable, that’s bollocks. If we spent the Pepe money on a Fernandes or Grealish we’d have done more good at replacing Ramsey. Because we chose not to isn’t strength to some claim he was a unicorn.

  52. Big Dave

    See that Bamford’s posting on Arseblog again and replying to Bill’s killer posts from HERE. Don’t know what the locals are making of it. Probably think he’s confused.

    It’s like me arguing with someone at work, getting shredded and then shouting on a train that his arguments were “not valid” with everyone looking and shuffling away from the yank krank.

  53. Champagne charlie

    Jim

    He’s managed 630 minutes football so far, 7 games total. Ripping it up, no idea how they’ll eventually replace him.

  54. Paulinho

    ” If we spent the Pepe money on a Fernandes or Grealish we’d have done more good at replacing Ramsey. ”

    But we didn’t, and you still claimed our squad was better than last year when the season kicked off.

    Until we sign a Grealish or Fernandes and they do the business all it’s all hot air and conjecture.

  55. Jim Lahey

    @Paulinho –

    Come on, he was a decent player, but nothing special its not like the entire club was being proped up bt Aaron Ramsey.. I mean how are we doing after Yaya Sonogo left?! Answer me that!!

  56. Champagne charlie

    “But we didn’t, and you still claimed our squad was better than last year when the season kicked off.“

    Because it is. We lost goals from midfield through Ramsey (though how many given he’s not fit this season?), but bettered ourselves in Pepe, Martinelli, and Tierney. Plus the emergence of Saka, and to a lesser extent Willock. Then when you consider further adaptation from those we bought a year ago, it’s hard to claim we’re worse off………unless your world revolves around Aaron Ramsey and we’re shit without him as you’ve claimed.

  57. Distant legrover

    Receding

    I actually am familiar with Dangote. Been hearing that name for almost 2 decades. It’s just that his declaration to buy Arsenal seems more like what people thinks he’s capable of (his wealth) as opposed to his personal intention or desire.

  58. Paulinho

    Jim – Our performances and results have fallen off a cliff since he got injured then left, but you and a few others are just as clueless as ever. Some feat that.

  59. Champagne charlie

    Where would we be with Ramsey in the side this season?

    He’s managed 7 games and 2 goals, one of which was a Nani steal from Cristiano.

  60. Marko

    Arguments about the squad again. Literally every football writer, pundit, ex-player whatever will gladly take apart our squad and shit all over it and yet there’s a few numpties on a blog somewhere so tribal on the issue that it’s day whatever and they’re still arguing about it’s quality despite it’s current obvious standing in world football. But have at it I suppose

  61. Paulinho

    Charles – Well I look forward to Arteta,with this squad, doing better than last year next season, and making big strides in the next five months.

  62. Paulinho

    Charles – Thank god we still can still build our team around Guendouzi,and have the characteristics of Xhaka to propel us forward, so at least midfield is sorted.

  63. Brooklyn

    Receding,
    Re:Ozil, I only partially agree mate.

    While I don’t particularly care for Ozil he is only player in our squad who won’t lose ball frequently or atleast manage 80-85% possession in final third. Viewing our squad make up and the way Arteta wants us to play he is needed for now.

    He also has been given limited role by Arteta in right half space plus more intensity to win the ball back. So, when Torreira, AMN, Sok don’t pass the ball to him quick enough with all the time in the world, I don’t really blame him for it.

    All this taking into account Ozil is not the type to take the game by scruff, demand ball dribble past couple of player to create space for himself or others, but is only one who provide any semblance of ball security higher up the pitch.

    Maybe Ceballos can help, but he dallies on ball, maybe can overcome this due his Superior dribbling/ball holding ability. Another option is Willock, lol.

    So I have always maintained before Chambers injury another deeper/box to box midfielder and CAM to replace or rotate with first choice midfielders were needed before CB.

    Not Maddison or player of his like though, someone who provides atleast 80-90% of Ozil’s, at his best, ingenuity and technical ability with more consistency and better work rate.

  64. Champagne charlie

    Paulinho

    Not going to offer a view on what I said then? Just a series of childish bollocks because someone dismisses your Ramsey FC ramblings.

    The midfield is lacking, I said so in the summer. Renders your point scoring nonsense exactly that.

  65. vickingz

    I think those clamouring for auba to be played through the middle really need a reality check. Auba despite being on the flank get played to score mostly through the middle but he’s useless when played through the middle. Can’t dribble, can’t even play a simple return pass, y’all need to count how many times he loses a simple return pass when played through the middle

  66. Paulinho

    Charles – You attempt to make a load of ‘gotcha’ points that fall dead on their arse,and then accuse others of childisness. Do me favour with the sincere shite.

  67. Paulinho

    “We lost goals from midfield through Ramsey (though how many given he’s not fit this season?), but bettered ourselves in Pepe, Martinelli, and Tierney”

    I obviously disagree. Should be apparent by now.

  68. Champagne charlie

    Paulinho

    I’ve not made any, you see them as gotcha points because you’re so buried up Ramsey’s arse you tweak reality to suit the narrative.

    How different would things be for us this season with him? He’s managed 7 games worth of minutes total, netted twice. Joe Willock has done more this season.

  69. Nelson

    Just watched the replay of the 1st half of the game against Palace. Until Pepe collided with Torr at the 28 minutes, we had the game under control. Pepe was the worst player on the pitch. When we were sending the crosses in from the left, he didn’t make any effort to challenge the ball. When we were attacking through his side, he screwed up every ball. We has wasted the chance to score a second goal. He still has a lot to improve.

  70. Habesha Gooner

    I don’t think replacing our inadequate players is as tough as people make it out to be. We got Guendouzi for 7 mil and Martinelli for 6 mil. No one at arsenal would sell Martinelli for 50 mil now. We need to Improve our scouting. And we need to take risks on unpolished gems. Dortmund have been run that way for a long time and they keep buying elite talent for peanuts. and there are no sure things. Ndombele and Keita were bought for big fees and they still haven’t justified their price tags. We should take 20-30 mil risks on talented players. Torriera was one. That way even if you wanted to sell there would be takers.

  71. azed

    “Want to unpack that?”
    CC
    Aside Bellerin and maybe Tierney, we played our best 11 at the weekend in a 4-2-3-1.
    Problems
    1) Aubameyang on the left is not his idea position.
    2) The moment a team presses us, we find it hard to get out of our half because two of our 3 midfielders need space to operate.
    3) Because of 1, we need our left back to give us width.
    4) Neither Torriera nor Xhaka provide 3rd man run from midfield. Emery tried to make Torriera do this by playing him as a b2b but we know how that ended.

    For a 4-3-3, we frankly do not have the midfield players.

    To get the best from our squad, you either have to drop some big names (Lacazette and Ozil) or deal with issues that arise when you play them.

  72. Distant legrover

    Ramsey would be a world beater if he was an injury free kinda player. Unfortunately hes a perma-crock. Unless he pulls a late career Van Persie, injuries will affect his legacy. He’s talented but what makes him special is his focus, Ronaldoesque.

  73. Paulinho

    Charles -I said last season I understood why we didn’t renew due to injury issues. It doesn’t change the fact you still have to replace what he did give us in the previous years. Even if he had stayed and was injured we would’ve have had the same problem of working around it.

    So not really less and less irreplaceable at all. Try again.

  74. Champagne charlie

    “1) Aubameyang on the left is not his idea position.“

    It’s not? He’s pretty gash centrally unless we’re counter attacking. And he’s won the golden boot playing from the left, up there again this season. What exactly do you think will come of him playing centrally?

    “2) The moment a team presses us, we find it hard to get out of our half because two of our 3 midfielders need space to operate.“

    So it’s nothing to do with us adopting a new system a couple of weeks ago? When we pass quickly we avoid the press as we managed against Chelsea and United for large parts. This “needing space to operate” is one of the laziest criticisms of our players.

    “3) Because of 1, we need our left back to give us width.“

    That’s a preferred tactic of Arteta, high and wide fullbacks with tucked attackers. Are you expecting the LB and RB to remain as part of a 4 at the back when we attack?

    “4) Neither Torriera nor Xhaka provide 3rd man run from midfield. Emery tried to make Torriera do this by playing him as a b2b but we know how that ended.“

    Agree, we don’t have a player that breaks lines off the ball, Willock can, I’m not sure if Ceballos can.

  75. WengerEagle

    Prime Ramsey was a brilliant player, arguably the best all round CM in the PL outside of Citeh who have always had by far the best CM players in Yaya Toure, David Silva, KDB.

    He’s fallen far off from that peak 203-2015 level of performance now though, too injury prone and lacks the defensive application he used to have in abundance in addition to his attacking threat.

    He won’t be at Juve for too long, doesn’t really have the game to link with Rinaldo, Dybala and Hig. Played yesterday when they were absolutely dominated by Roma, lucky to win.

  76. Champagne charlie

    Paulinho

    You’ve championed all day that you knew we’d be shot when Ramsey left because he is a rare talent and hard to replace. Now stating you knew he needed to leave because he was injury-ridden kind of diminishes the bluster that comes before.

    He left and we added Pepe likely with the thought he’d take up the goal scoring exploits he enjoyed last season which would’ve had our output no worse off. In reality he’s not warmed up yet and the midfielder they did bring (Ceballos) hasn’t kicked a ball in anger.

    I’ve no issue with the idea we overlooked our CM, I said as much at the time, but we’re not pony because Ramsey has left the building and what a guy he was. We’re pony in that sense because we never replaced what he offered. Still, if Pepe warms up and Ceballos wakes up under Arteta, then we won’t be chatting about Rambo from now until the end of the season.

  77. Aussie Gooner

    Unfortunately Kroenke was invited to join the party and to eventually take over the club. Dangonte would have to undertake a hostile takeover and pay well over the market value of the club.

    With Stan it was like leaving the front door open to a burglar! Kroenke was not stupid – he would have made all the right noises and paid the going rate to some of the old school shareholders who were frankly not interested in football. It was as easy as taking candy from a baby! Mr Dangonte will have a much harder task ahead of him. If his oil refinery works out then he will certainly have money to burn.

  78. Brooklyn

    Nelson,
    Yes he doesn’t have intensity as of now to play two way wingers. Dribbling past opponents who try to bully them takes away much of any dribblers energy.

    On top of that he is asked to track back, run forward to attack crosses, while he prefers to take on players. You don’t really see Zaha attacking cross or applying any intensity defensively as well as run beyond opposition back line. No dribbler does that bar maybe Willian but he drops deeper to conserve energy to dribble and press than run beyond opposition defence to support CF.

    He needs to improve definitely, but isn’t helped now, because Auba is provided greater freedom to attack opposition box from left meaning Pepe needs to stay wide for team balance taking into account AMN is useless at stretching play, our defensive players need babysitters.

    Just now Vikings made a post about why play Auba central?? Maybe because we can allow Pepe his favoured inside forward role with that little bit of defensive freedom and ask Nelson/Martinelli on opposite wings for more defensive/stretching opposition role while increasing team’s opportunity to score more goals.

  79. WengerEagle

    Spurs looking to loan that Portuguese kid?

    Hopefully blows up in their face ala Renato Sanches.

    Was worried it was Bruno Fernandes for a second but they are gloriously broke.

  80. Paulinho

    WE – I think if he stays fit he makes it work, although Juve said they would play him as a Mezzala, and he’s playing in that horrible No.10 role again. He always gets off on a bad foot though with fans though with the injuries. Ally that with needing four or five games to work out the kinks, and this love-hate thing develops.

  81. Paulinho

    “Now stating you knew he needed to leave because he was injury-ridden kind of diminishes the bluster that comes before.”

    I understood the decision, due to injuries, and giving Ozil a ridiculous contract a year before.

    I wouldn’t have given Ozil a contract, and I would’ve kept Ramsey just for those periods he is fit.

  82. Batistuta

    Auba is not a winger, he’s best played through the middle, doesn’t matter how shit he is at whatever it is some of you want him to be, he’s a goal scorer, best we’ve had since RVP

  83. WengerEagle

    Paulinho

    Ramsey in the right system is excellent but he’s not mobile enough when you already have a narrow CM trio in Rabiot, Matuidi and Pjanic that all like to play centrally and occupy his spots. He’s forced to play further forward and drift wide and he doesn’t have the attributes for it.

    Juve have basically stockpiled half a dozen of the same profile of player in Ramsey, Rabiot, Matuidi, Bentancur, Emre Can and Pjanic with Pjanic being the sole deep playmaker in there guaranteeing his spot.

    Douglas Costa, Bernadeschi and Dybala are crucial to their balance because of their ability to beat players 1 v 1 and stretch defences. Ramsey doesn’t do that.

  84. Batistuta

    Get a proper left winger and bin the dude currently at CF stinking the place out and play your best players in their best positions…Only at Arsenal

  85. Paulinho

    “diminishes the bluster that comes before.”

    Lol, you’re so desperate to land some blow, even though it’s a constant swing and miss.

    There is no diminishing of ‘bluster’. If he had stayed in, and ended up in rolling around Colney in a wheelchair, we still have the same problem.

  86. WengerEagle

    Auba is shocking anywhere outside of the penalty box. Everything from his touch, dribbling, passing, decision making and hold up play are subpar to terrible.

    He just happens to be a world class finisher and his instincts are phenomenal. Obviously he’s extremely valuable for that for a club on our level at the moment but it’s easy to see why no elite clubs ever wanted to touch him with a bargepole even at a cut price deal.

    Strange player in that he frustrates that shit out of you with sloppiness and poor technique for 89 mins and then he bangs in a decisive points gaining goal out of the blue.

  87. azed

    “What exactly do you think will come of him playing centrally?”

    With two proper wingers who can play 1 v 1, you drag players out wide, leaving room in the center for players to occupy.

  88. Paulinho

    “Juve have basically stockpiled half a dozen of the same profile of player in Ramsey, Rabiot, Matuidi, Bentancur, Emre Can and Pjanic”

    I agree the rest of those are similar, but Ramsey makes runs none of them do and see him quite a bit differently overall, but get your point about general congestion.

    Bernadeschi is a hated by Juve fans, but he is probably more of a natural number ten, which is why gets game time in that role.

  89. Brooklyn

    Present tactics of one wing back stretching play and other sitting deep helping defensively sounds even more enticing with the return or Bellerin and Tierney. But in opposite role ofcourse, Bellerin to stretch play and Tierney sitting deeper.

    Unlike with AMN, it won’t be as one sided because Tierney actually knows how to stretch play, he also seems like better passer and similar to Walker at City will sit deep for about 80% of time but also moves forward from time to time to provide variety of attacking combination.

    That way Pepe will get his favoured inside forward role, Auba/Laca whoever is better C.F(lol) plays, Nelson, Saka, Martinelli can play wide left midfielder role.

  90. WengerEagle

    Paulinho

    Well Matuidi does but he’s shocking in the final third haha.

    Yeah Ramsey does have that edge to him and do you know what, he’ll score a few big goals for them this season at points in the CL/top Serie A games if given the chance but I just can’t see his future there especially given how well Ronaldo has played with Hig and Dybala.

    I reckon he’s back in the PL in the not so distant future.

  91. Paulinho

    WE – Yeah Matuidi is a real workhorse, one of those that stops once he gets near the box though and bit limited.

  92. Champagne charlie

    Bati
    Is Auba not scoring goals or something? It’s a starting position, how did he score against Palace? Centrally, despite starting wide. It’s such a hollow statement.

    Paulinho
    Again with the “blow” crap, you big Ramsey up then admit he’s a crock. It makes a mockery of the claims he’s a rare talent etc when the guy can’t make it on the pitch. Put your tampon back in.

  93. Marko

    Edinson Cavani remains Atlético’s priority to reinforce the attack, but with PSG unwilling to sell this month, they have turned their attention to Alexandre Lacazette, and will offer Arsenal Thomas Lemar in a possible exchange.

    Fingers crossed.

  94. Paulinho

    WE – I think a midfield of Ramsey, Pjanic, Rabiot with Dybala in behind Ronaldo is better for them.

    I think long term Bentancur could do well in that central deep role. A bit like Rodri in style. He doesn’t do enough going forward for me.

  95. Paulinho

    Charlie – Ramsey is quality but injury prone. It’s not a tough one mate, I know the basics of an argument can elude you though when you haven’t got an actual point.

  96. WengerEagle

    Cavani has really spectacularly fallen off this season.

    Icardi is undisputed no.1 there now.

    Atletico love them some washed up elite strikers don’t they? Torres, Costa and now Cavani.

  97. Marko

    It’s not? He’s pretty gash centrally unless we’re counter attacking. And he’s won the golden boot playing from the left, up there again this season.

    Not accurate at all.

    What exactly do you think will come of him playing centrally?

    He’d be playing in his best position for one

  98. Champagne charlie

    Paulinho

    Thanks for another bombshell, renders him very replaceable you might argue. Which is kind of exactly what’s been said despite your claims of it being near impossible this whole time.

    Glad we got there in the end though.

  99. Nelson

    Brooklyn,

    Two times in the first 15 minutes, the ball was crossed from the left. Pepe stood there about two yards behind the defender. He didn’t move at all. The defender calmly took the ball and cleared it. He should at least pressed the defender and looked for a mistake.

  100. Marko

    Strange player in that he frustrates that shit out of you with sloppiness and poor technique for 89 mins and then he bangs in a decisive points gaining goal out of the blue.

    You must be loving Lacazette at the moment. He frustrates way more and doesn’t have the goals to justify it. Also Auba does more than pop up with a goal out of the blue. Statistically speaking he’s been awesome since joining.

  101. WengerEagle

    Paulinho

    Bentancur has done OK this season, he has a bit more about him then he’s shown in previous years. As you say though a fairly unspectacular player that keeps things ticking over in CM and does all of the basics very well.

    We forgot the perennial managerial favourite in Khedira too! Absolute shite and the worst of the bunch.

    I think they are crying out for a Sadio Mane/Raheem Sterling/Jadon Sancho type of player. Somebody that terrifies and pens defenders back and allow Ronaldo to play much higher up the pitch where he’s lethal.

  102. WengerEagle

    Marko

    Laca’s been steaming turd this season I want rid believe me.

    I’d far sooner keep Auba because he guarantees you more points with his goals. Both very limited centre forwards mind, Martinelli is already improving our collective at 18 when he plays.

    Bin Laca and reinvest in a midfielder.

  103. Batistuta

    Charlie

    His best psoition is centrally, always has been… The player who’s occupying the central position isn’t exactly pulling up trees so why not play your best player in his best position…I mean if Laca was banging them in then sure but he’s not and we are having our most productive player chasing down players down the wings when be should be closer to the 18 yrd area sniffing goals

  104. Paulinho

    Charlie – If by ‘one’ you mean clueless clown then yeah, one would argue that. I mean this season has shown how easy it is.

    Lol, absolute desperation from every pore.

  105. Batistuta

    Eagle

    Bernadeschi is useless, probably why they’re about to sign Kulukevski the Parma lad, doing wonders for them this season.. Rabiot has been bad each time he’s played and Matuidi isn’t putting in same shifts like he used to, all that running is finally catching up to him which is why they look so very suspect once Pjanic isn’t playing… Dybala, Ronaldo and Douglas Costa when he’s fit are just about keeping them ticking…

  106. Batistuta

    Its like how some folks thought just playing Ozil behind the strikers would fix our attacking issues, they’re never going to be, any manager is going have to rip the band aid with the midfield and get better suited players all round… None of that lot except Torreria are food for anything really

  107. Marko

    WE I can’t stress how frustrating it is to see Arsenal fans argue about the qualities of Lacazette and keeping him and binning Auba and whatever while you see Haaland go for 17 million pounds. It’s ridiculous. I still maintain 2015 had he been signed instead of Wenger just buying Cech and no outfield we would have won the league instead of Leicester but overall I think he’s been a disappointing signing. Not nearly enough goals and overall his performances have been inconsistent and poor generally. At going on 28 sell quit this shite where we hum and haw for a couple extra years and then struggle to get rid of him around 30ish

  108. Aussie Gooner

    Oh well it looks like Demiral is history! Out for the rest of the season. It will give the club yet another excuse not to spend any money this TW.

  109. Champagne charlie

    Paulinho

    As ever you’re at your peak when Ramsey is concerned, everyone else is clueless or clowns etc because the marvel of Rambinho isn’t being lapped up. Absolutely hopeless for you to be objective about him.

    Our squad is shit without Ramsey, you left it all on the table with that nugget.

  110. Paulinho

    “Our squad is shit without Ramsey, you left it all on the table with that nugget.”

    Glad we got there in the end.

  111. Marko

    Demiral and Zaniolo looking lime being out for the season with serious injuries yesterday

    Feel for them with a major tournament on the horizon but nothing comes close to the Dutch losing Depay and Malen to knee injuries.

  112. Batistuta

    Marko

    Very horrible really, worst thing for a player is getting injured with a major tournament on the horizon, chance for someone else to step up though… Means De ligt back in defence for Juve though and that’s worrying for them because him and Bonnuci haven’t particularly been a very good partnership

  113. Ishola70

    As Weagle stated Pjanic keeps the Juve midfield ticking over from deep.

    I don’t think Juve need to worry about putting in a replacement for him in that position.

    Pjanic is a solid player for them playing that role from deep.