A lack of creativity and composure costs Arsenal again

by & filed under News Review.

courtesy @allthatchas

The Arteta revival of Arsenal is proving as spluttery as most expected. The Sheffield United game had positives, but the key thing we’re looking for is a victory and it once again alluded us.

The plan for the moment looks fairly clear. Arteta is trying to make us harder to beat, which in the main, seems to be working. We’re more in control of what’s happening on the pitch, the mistakes have reduced, and it’s in the main, a bit harder to create chances against us.

The main problem is that we aren’t creating enough in the final third to be a problem for most teams. Yesterday our best hope for goals was suspended, so we rolled with Lacazette, Martinelli and Pepe. It’s just not quite there. In the first half, the most interesting of our forward line was Pepe, who seems to be finding more confidence in the way he wants to play, but a lack of end product is still the common takeaway.

Our midfield is where the trouble comes from. There’s only one place a threat is coming from and that’s Mesut Ozil, his passing game was very off yesterday, though he was involved in our goal when he found Laca, who released Saka who found Gabriel for the tap with a deflected cross.

The overall lack of creativity in the side is a worry, not just that, we’re lack dynamism. Because there’s so little power, late runs into the box are a rarity, and if opposition planners know where the creativity is coming from, it makes you easy to play against. Part of the newfound ‘sort of’ solidity comes with a sacrifice in attack. The manager has yet to find the solution, but look, we bitched for 10 years about not having a coach who was interested in defending, now we have one.

I thought Saka showed a lot of promising signs down the left, he and Gabriel are players of the future, they work hard, they have power and pace, but at the moment, as teenagers, they are going to be raw and inconsistent. Arteta was effusive in his praise of the Brazilian after the game.

Absolutely. He’s an 18-year-old kid with all the enthusiasm but as well, he’s so brave to make decisions, to threaten the opponent every time. He’s all the time in the middle of the goal, waiting for an opportunity to come. The fact he hasn’t played 90 minutes for a while – since his injury – but is still in the way he went about every single action is impressive.

The real worry upfront is Alex Lacazette, he really stunk the place out yesterday, he looked slow, out of his depth and a little bit depressed. Not good and not helpful. I wonder if Eddie is going to land game time against Chelsea?

Our defence weren’t punished for their mistakes yesterday. Though in the main we looked solid, it has to be noted that Sheffield United weren’t at their best and we still nearly dropped clangers. I’m thinking about David Luiz not jumping for a corner and letting a man in behind him. I’m also thinking about Bernd Leno flapping at a cross, missing and having to rely on Granit Xhaka to save him on the goal line. I think Arteta made a good point about the general nerves when we’re 1-0 up being a problem he’s struggling to shake at the moment.

Yeah and there’s a history of [nerves in the stadium]. It makes it even more. In the Premier League we are 1-0 up and in the last 10 or 15 minutes you have to be careful, because anything can happen…

… Then when you’re 1-0 up, the last 10 minutes things change. They changed to a back four and they started to commit more bodies forward, and then they’d have six players in front of the ball. It’s more difficult to control when they play long balls or second balls like this. It’s not easy.

You also can’t ignore lady luck, who appears to have looked at Emery’s credit withdrawals last season and deemed us bankrupt. Sheffield United found space at the back post and Fleck hit the ball into the ground and it ended in the top corner, if that was on purpose, I salute you, but it felt like a mistimed shot paid off. The second bit of bad luck was having a ref in charge that always needs a bad decision to feed his ego. Pepe was clattered in the box, it was a clear penalty, but it wasn’t given. When you’re in a rut, these things go against you, and there have certainly been a lot of things go against us of late.

For me, the season was always a write-off. We’re 6 games into a rebirth, and it’ll take time to get the side playing the way the manager wants and the output is going to be inconsistent, but it will click eventually. It’s important to remember the scenario at the moment.

Onwards and upwards, a huge game at Chelsea next where we’ll be hoping to right the wrongs of the last game against them.

See you in the comments x

543 Responses to “A lack of creativity and composure costs Arsenal again”

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  1. Un na naai

    JoeJanuary 19, 2020 14:54:00
    Said it when it happened. Arteta is the wrong hire at the wrong time. No better than emery. The excuses being thrown out are pathetic. Admit it. Terrible hire.

    Joe
    Back to your usual flip flopping bollocks
    Remember? Emery in. Emery out!!! Emery in
    I bet brushing your teeth is hard work eh?

  2. Henry Root

    Very fair report, the turnaround will be gradual, uneven and affected by the availability of our best players ( and we don’t have too many of those) . The biggest problem is the midfield and it’s not possible in the Premier League to carry a player like Xhaka who is channelling mid-1980s Ray Wilkins with his sideways and backward passing linked to his tortoise like pace. Torreira is much improved but we need to move the ball much quicker not prat around 10 yards inside our own half . Lacazette worked very hard but isn’t strong enough to hold the ball up and is lacking in confidence in front of goal. Sadly I don’t think we have the quality to win at Chelsea but I can see a gradual improvement and if we can find a box to box midfielder with some dynamism we should start to win more matches. But Xhaka and Ozil need to go sooner at the latest in the summer

  3. Un na naai

    Marc

    We’ve shaved a million per week off our wage bill
    That’s £50m a year
    Plus sponsorship and tv money.

    Lower league teams have been outspending us for years
    Why?

  4. Joe

    UnAt least I can admit I
    Was wrong about emery.

    Will you about Arteta??

    At least emery made people emery in in the early stages

    What’s Arteta done??

  5. Joe

    azedJanuary 19, 2020 15:14:21
    Can we just stop all this bickering?
    Arteta has made us more compact but that has come at a cost.
    We are more compact because we are more cautious in defense.

    We’ve blown leads in 3 of 6 matches

  6. Pedro

    Joe, not sure anyone is going to play along with your gaslighting after your Unai Emery carry-on. It’s clear your analysis is coming from hurt feelings.

  7. Upstate Gooner

    Lack of timely and right substitutions cost Arsenal points… there, Pedro, I fixed your headline. We’re not chasing the game. There’s no need for Nketiah for Lacazette. Bring another defender in, another midfielder at around 75th minute, and see out the game. Arteta still has a lot to learn. Hopefully he will but his mistakes are just as costly as the ones our players make at the moment.

  8. Pedro

    RH, seems to be a very common thread of people that were loyal to Emery have now found their voice on Arteta after 6 games.

    Very transparent.

    Joe just said we should have hired Freddie and wants Un to admit he was wrong after 1 month of Arteta.

  9. CG

    (Excellent Post )
    Many thanks

    But one must never use the argument – that just because Klopp had a slow start at Liverpool and then came good – that MA will do likewise.

    Klopp had PROVEN himself at Dortmund
    He actually achieved success elsewhere.

    Arteta although promising: is learning on the Job.

    He has actually achieved nothing in his career as No.1.

    One should always bear that in mind.

    For starters:

    He should wear an Arsenal blazer and look like an Arsenal no.1.

    And secondly he should stand on his own two feet and choose the players he desires not Edu and Raul.

    If he does not do either – he wont be lasting too long.

  10. Pedro

    Upstate, statistically speaking, bringing on another defender when chasing a game ends in more losses of leads than bringing on an attacker.

    I’d rather be a protagonist. Not like we have an abundance of a elite defensive talent to lockdown games.

  11. Joe

    Pedro

    Funny. Could care less that emery got fired. That’s what should happen when managers are not performing

    I have no loyalty to emery. My loyalty is to Arsenal.

    It’s you who was hurt for 2 years because Arteta wasn’t hired. For 2 years you carried on about it.

    Let’s see what happens. Hope Arteta works Your analytical reputation depends on it.

  12. Marc

    Pedro

    From previous post – no agenda here other than wanting Arsenal to win.

    The only criticism I’ve made of Arteta is that he needs to start getting some wins. If you think that’s wrong please explain why?

  13. Un na naai

    What’s Arteta done??

    Joe
    Got performances from Torreira, Luiz, AMN, ozil, kolasinac in 3 matches
    Improved our shape intensity and team work
    Won titles at city
    Worked with the most elite coach in football over the last decade.
    And you didn’t admit you were wrong about Arteta
    You backed him then turned on Him then denied it then disappeared for 6 months after humiliating yourself

  14. Pedro

    CG, you can use Klopp because the ideas come from the same place.

    High pressure, everyone working as a unit, possession-based football.

    Not sure why trophies factor into this. Arsenal need to shape up to be a modern football club with progressive ideas. That doesn’t happen inside 6 games. If it’s not Arteta, it’ll be someone else that’ll go through the same challenges. We’re a mess. Neglected for years.

    We’ll spend the next 3 months with the vampires at the window after every poor game, then they’ll all be gone by October next year and deny their embarrassing commentary when called on it.

    Just gotta give it time. Arteta is the right man for the job. No doubts.

  15. Receding Hairline

    Pedro the you rated Emery so you don’t have an opinion bit will soon get old.

    Let me ask when is it safe to start expecting wins? What should we expect from this brave new path? The football isn’t great in all honesty, you just said protagonist but we haven’t been that. Performance are already dropping from the usual suspects

  16. Dissenter

    Pedro
    Why did Arteta support keeping Nkettiah instead of sending him away on loan?
    Why isn’t he improving Laca
    Why is leaving Ozil on when he was shite and Ceballos was available?

  17. Joe

    No. I didn’t say we should have hired Freddie.

    Said he wouldn’t have done any worse than Arteta.

    May as well should have just kept him on.

    Allegri was my first choice. Poch.

  18. Pedro

    Marc, it wasn’t directed at you.

    Of course we need wins, it builds confidence.

    It’s just interesting that we’ve gone from ‘these players can’t be coached’ as a serious argument to, ‘Arteta hasn’t won 6 from 6 we need to move on from this’

    The club is being flipped on its head. I’m not surprised people are clamouring to be the first to call Arteta a dud, but they’ll be wrong.

  19. James wood

    I have just managed to see the game.
    Ozil was dire dire dire he ceased being a top player
    when he retired from the German national side siting
    racism he was a decling player then and used this as a feeble excuse
    for his own inability’s then onwards.
    Arteta is enamoured with him because that is all he has in that position.
    Ozil is a thorn in the teams side he will see out his contract and then retire
    we are truly lumbered with this player who just can’t hack the modern game.

  20. Pedro

    Joe, so your hot take of the minute is that we might as well have kept on a coach that had next to no impact on the players when he took over?

    Seems smart.

  21. Dissenter

    ‘ The real worry upfront is Alex Lacazette, he really stunk the place out yesterday, he looked slow, out of his depth and a little bit depressed. Not good and not helpful. I wonder if Eddie is going to land game time against Chelsea’

    Laca is struggling at the moment. Strikers go through lean patches
    He works hard for the team and brings others into the game even when he toiling. It was taking him out he replacing him with Nkettiah that flatlined whatever we were doing.

  22. Marc

    Pedro

    You see I don’t think writing this season off is a good idea. Come the summer when we’re trying to sign players what’s the attraction? No CL, possibly no European football at all, a reduced transfer budget without sales, we’ve just sold Auba our best player and our shiny new manager hasn’t shown he’s got a team pulling in the right direction yet.

    I appreciate it’s not going to be easy but a solid run of matches where we put together some wins is really important. Saying don’t worry it’ll happen next season is like your boss saying don’t worry about a raise, next year will be amazing I’ll reward you then.

  23. Joe

    Oh yeah. The Arteta impact on players are is amazing to see

    We are lighting to the league with big wins over SFU, Bmouth, CP. Chelsea.

    The players have really really stepped it up under special sauce Arteta

  24. Un na naai

    Rh

    More to the point, what happened to the “it will take 2-3-4 years to sort out wenger’s mess mantra of the last 18 months? Dropped that one pretty sharpish didn’t you?

    If it weren’t so obvious what your up to it would be easier to engage with you but you’re clearly just a sad and agenda driven because everything you called blew up in your face spectacularly on the last year.

    You doubled down over the summer with the transfer activity and it got even worse. All you’ve got left is player poverty but the squad has increased in quality yet your man took us the other way

  25. CG

    PedRo

    “””CG, you can use Klopp because the ideas come from the same place.”””

    But Klopp had toppled Bayern won the German League twice .

    (He was a proven heavyweight manager.)

    Like when we employed George Graham or Arsene Wenger or when Manchester United choose Fergie.
    Or Watford with Pearson
    All proven elsewhere.

    Arteta is unproven.
    He can have as many ideas as Bernie Taupin- does not mean he can implement them.

    We agree on The Blazer though, eh?
    (Otherwise- he just looks likes a poor man’s Pep)

  26. Marc

    Samesong

    What can we reasonably expect from Chelsea and Burnley away in our next two matches?

    1 point? That’d be 7 points from 7 games.

  27. Upstate Gooner

    Henry
    Sadly I don’t think we have the quality to win at Chelsea…

    Newcastle managed to beat Chelsea yesterday who looked like a very average side. Why can’t we? I’ll answer for you. Because Arteta doesn’t exactly instill confidence.

  28. Receding Hairline

    Don the players are still not adequate.. What’s your point?

    You are one of those who maintained we have a top squad so why can’t we get results and good football from them now?

    You are all over the place with your posts and I will start ignoring them

  29. Dissenter

    TR7
    ‘Judge Arteta next season from results perspective. This season it’s all about the process’

    Your agenda is obvious to anyone who’s followed your meanderings over the last 2 years.
    You do realize that the difference between league pay-outs for 6th place and 12th place is the annual salary of a decent new signing?
    Remember this the next time you bemoan the financials of Arsenal.

  30. Joe

    Pedro

    All I’m saying is Arteta was the wrong hire at the wrong time.

    No agenda. No anti Arteta bias. Or pro emery agenda.

    Wrong hire at the wrong time for The Arsenal

    And I said it before , I hope Arteta succeeds. Because arsenal need him to succeed.

  31. Pedro

    Dissenter, would imagine his thinking goes beyond being a one-man team.

    Joe, people would pay attention to your bleating if you didn’t go so hard at defending Unai Emery. We’re 6 games in, grow up.

    CG, not sure what you’re getting at here. We couldn’t hire in Jurgen Klopp. We have taken a chance, would probably be smart to give him a chance to make and impact before writing him off and suggesting Nigel Pearson.

  32. Freddie Ljungberg

    Pedro

    It’s just interesting that we’ve gone from ‘these players can’t be coached’ as a serious argument”

    It was and is a serious argument when it comes to some of those duds though. No knock on your favourite lego haired spaniard, thems are just facts.

    Ozil just needs a couple of more games and he would have a combined 90 minutes of good performance this season, same as the last 2 years, he’s done. Xhaka isn’t suited to the league, you can shunt him to the left to mitigate that he’s slow and shite under pressure but then you have Torreira having to be the whole midfield by himself, not exactly sustainable.

    Our CBs are terrible and we have 2 kids at fullback.

    ‘Arteta hasn’t won 6 from 6 we need to move on from this’

    No one has said this

    Also no need to make this about a battle between the manager you didn’t like and the one you do. This is about Arsenal football club being poorly run for years before anyone knew who Emery was, it didn’t start 18 months ago.

    Getting worse year on year, a squad getting older and more bloated for every passing year, we’re paying for that now and will continue to do so until it’s fixed, sauce or no sauce.

  33. DivineSherlock

    I will cut Arteta some slack here. He didn’t have his 1st choice CB , LB & RB and the top scorer. Any team would struggle when it faces this type of scenario . There is a serious lack of options besides Ozil in terms of creativity. Lacazette has been disappointing this season. Also I think Nelson would have been a good choice as #10 when he subbed Ozil , but he too got injured.

  34. Marc

    Dissenter

    It’s the same a people saying we should miss out on the EL on purpose so we have a clear run at the PL.

    It’s so fucking stupid it’s beyond comment – yet these fucking morons will still expect us to spend a shit loan of cash in the summer.

  35. Upstate Gooner

    Pedro, substitutions could and should have been done earlier. Not one, but two or three before they scored in the 83rd minute. I’m an Ozil fan but he was shite yesterday. Take him off, bring Ceballos in. Take Saka off, put Holding in, and go with three in the back. Do something… anything. Arteta didn’t, and we lost 2 points.

  36. Un na naai

    JoeJanuary 19, 2020 15:37:29
    Oh yeah. The Arteta impact on players are is amazing to seeWe

    😂
    Another overnight stevie wonder.
    You failed to see the car crash until we woke up in a hospital bed and now you fail to see the improvements made in the past month

    Forgive me for taking you with a truck load of salt joe but you’ve got severe previous.

  37. Pedro

    Joe, you mean correctly point at the 22 game unbeaten runs underlying statistics that were pointing to a crash… which happened.

    That’s called analysis. You crying for Freddie is not that.

  38. Pedro

    Upstate, it’s subjective though… you take off an attacker and invite more pressure on a weak defence… or you add an attacker and take advantage of the space further up the pitch.

  39. Joe

    Ha

    We still seem like a car crash to me

    Still in 10th place.

    Only won 1 in 5 PL matches and a win not looking likely in the next 2

    😂

  40. Dissenter

    I think it will serve Pedro well to approach Arteta with pragmatism and realism.

    Problem is that he’s bigged him up,so much now that he has to do a reverse.
    The argument s should be that he’s a young manager with a high potential. Because he’s young and inexperienced, he will make mistakes, lots of it .
    Let’s stop papering over his mistakes. We just have to hope he’s a fast learner.

    Example in point, we have a crush of games coming up. I have concerns about the ability of an inexperienced manager to make the right decisions. He’s learning his trade at Arsenal.

  41. Marko

    we bitched for 10 years about not having a coach who was interested in defending, now we have one.

    We’re still conceding. We’re conceding less chances but we’re still conceding chances and goals. The result of which seems to be a total lack of creativity in the side. The most assists a player’s got in the league this season is Kolasinac, Ceballos and Lacazette with 2. But we play with Ozil as a starter so what should we expect really.

  42. Un na naai

    PedroYou were belittling emery every match of his 20-plus unbeaten streak. Were you being “grown-up”

    Joe
    You clearly don’t remember the emery is fucking magic he wears his magic hat post before the euro final.
    Shot down
    In flames
    Again….:

  43. Dissenter

    Ozil did his brief renaissance under Emery too; remember that famous game against Leicester that Pierre won’t stop talking about.

    The fact that he finished yesterday’s game when Ceballos was fit is an indictment of Arteta.

  44. Freddie Ljungberg

    Ozil nmblows out of his ass after 60 minutes, did it in his prime playing in sunny Espana and it sure hasn’t improved now.

    Keeping him on for the full 90 against any team, nevermind a hardworking, intense team like Sheffield is never the right decision.

    Maybe it’s part of Artetas cunning plan of finally showing Ozils last remaining fans that he’s a spent force and make Ozil fed up with all that running around so he moves on? One can only dare to hope.

  45. TR7

    Dissenter

    ‘Your agenda is obvious to anyone who’s followed your meanderings over the last 2 years.’

    Raul and Co. hired Arteta on a long contract of 3.5 years which suggests even they are willing to give Arteta a long rope.

    As for financials, we will register a net loss once again irrespective of whether we finish 6th or 8th.

  46. Pedro

    Dissenter, my exact narrative was that we’d have a rough opening two months, people would lose the faith, but stick with it and it’ll work out. I also said this season is a write off.

    Do you remember that? Or do you want to point to the write-up where I said this would be easy and we’ll be dropping record winning streaks in no time?

  47. DivineSherlock

    Marc

    If Arteta was 2 seasons in and had this injuries to deal with ,I am confident he would be able to deal with it. Comparing this with Palace shows your knowledge.

  48. Un na naai

    JoeJanuary 19, 2020 15:49:19
    Ha We still seem like a car crash to me Still in 10th place. Only won 1 in 5 PL matches and a win not looking likely in the next 2😂

    Joe
    Couldn’t see it last season though could ya? Then you did. Then you didn’t. Like a fish out the barrel. Flip flop.

    And no. Arteta is currently nursing us through physio and getting us ready psychologically for the M25 again.

  49. Joe

    Pedro

    You can’t just write off the season

    That’s a ridiculous position to take. You’ve always maintained that we have a top 4 squad. And that Arteta was special sauce

    And yet you want to us to write off the season because Arteta isn’t performing to what you dreamt of.

    We didn’t even get the new manager bounce

    We are exactly the same

  50. RodneyKing

    Good post. I hope we can now look forward to posts that actually focus on the football and what needs improving – like this one.

    But I must say players stinking out the place must be something new. And hard-working Laca of all people!

    I can’t recall any of them being so vile under the previous manager. 😂😂

  51. Champagne charlie

    Pedro

    Özil didn’t release Saka for the goal, it was Lacazette who dropped to the edge of the box and played a reverse pass into Saka.

    I noted yesterday that the side were playing with a fear of making a mistake with their forward passes which meant a lot were being fired through with far too much pace. That’s an overhanging frailty of having 2 wins in 15, and the most draws in the league, you get tense. Happened against Chelsea, Palace, and yesterday.

    You dont eradicate that in a few weeks, and we need to be diligent when we take the lead to look to extend vs protect. Takes a moment to shatter confidence and an age to build it. Arteta out though, naturally.

  52. Marko

    Judge Arteta next season from results perspective. This season it’s all about the process.

    Considering that you yourself admitted to judging Emery after just 13 games that is about turn that. Seems fair. Again this writing off the season and downplaying the importance of results all of a sudden is really poor imo. Especially in lew of a “process” or some sort of glimmer of future potential because it’s still a real struggle.

  53. Dissenter

    Pedro
    Why don’t you admit once in a while that golden boy Arteta shifts the bed with some pathetic management decisions?
    It wouldn’t deter realist like me from still supporting him.
    Yesterday was on him, all on him.
    Leaving Ozil on and replacing Auba with Nkettiah weren’t good decisions
    Not adapting for 70 minutes to a simple Lampard change was unbecoming
    Being cagey against pathetic Bournemouth wasn’t good either.

    Maybe he’s gotten the TR7 memo that only the ‘process’ matters, wins aren’t important since he has the most comfortable job in world football.

  54. Thorough

    Everytime I’ve watched Leicester without Ndidi they’ve looked distinctly average. Either Ndidi is a damn good footballer or the defensive midfield role in football is just so underrated.

  55. Un na naai

    JoeJanuary 19, 2020 15:53:34
    Pedro. Give us the underlying stats that Arteta is leading us somewhere.

    Already been done
    Where have you been? Heat maps, individual stats increases, positional maps

  56. Wasi

    Looks like Pedro wasnt really watching the game closely yesterday.

    “There’s only one place a threat is coming from and that’s Mesut Ozil, his passing game was very off yesterday, though he was involved in our goal when he released Saka who found Gabriel for the tap with a deflected cross.”
    Ozil played it to Laca who in turn released Saka down the left.

    “The real worry upfront is Alex Lacazette, he really stunk the place out yesterday, he looked slow, out of his depth and a little bit depressed. Not good and not helpful. I wonder if Eddie is going to land game time against Chelsea?”
    Tho Laca was not superb he was very much a positive presence last night. He did not stink the Game as you believe. Was involved in the build up play and continuously drops deep to help create chances which seems like an Arteta tactic.
    Was involved in the build-up of the goal. And also the next best chance we had when Pepe crossed for Gabi who volleyed wide was due to a lovely weighted pass from Laca to Pepe.
    And the substitution looked like it was made to keep Laca fresh for Chelsea as he clearly doesn’t have the stamina to play 2 full games in the space of three days.

    For people who were arguing that havent been any improvement. Have a look at this twitter post.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/sbourgenforcer/status/1218869260069548032?s=09&

    Our Xg and Xgagainst has had a very positive turnaround since Arteta took over. This is the kind of sustainable Improvement we need to have a chance of getting back to the top in the future.
    We tried the results man and 18 months down the line it has set us even back.

    Some tactical analysis from the game.
    Arteta’s tweak to push Xhaka back when Sheffield played long balls towards Saka paid dividends ad Xhaka won his fair share of aerial duels and mostly in that region .

    Gabi as we already know by now is Special.
    Auba even praised him after the game. He’s been in Europe 6 months and already has Luiz, Auba , Klopp,Arteta , Emery,etc raving how good he is going to be. He looked more mature than his previous displays yesterday. Didnt always try to force the issue. Drove when required , passed when needed and his pressing is such a BIG help. And as Auba said his mentality is So So Elite. Always seems grateful to be where he is but on the pitch he is fearless. Everybody raves about how hard he works and how keen he is to learn. To me he seems similar to a Cristiano Ronaldo. Striker/winger hybrid, Elite attitude and mentality, comes from a small background,Very hard worker, Teammates and opponents raving about his hard work, mentality, etc. Though there is a lot work to be done and lot of luck to be had before he can even come close to emulating Ronaldo’s legacy , its not Impossible for him. Imo I would put him in the Tier of talent comprising of Neymar,KDB, Mane, Salah, etc. I think if he continues his trajectory he can defo become as good as the guys mentioned above. And if he has a ton of luck and works as hard as Cristiano he might just upgrade a tier and move into Mbappe, Zidane, Henry category.

    Saka was a menace. His dribbling is quality. Very good press releaser. A very good all rounded game.
    Can develop into a LW/LB and has the potential to be elite in both those positions.

    Pepe is slowly but surely starting to show how good he is. Was a menace in 1v1 situations. Even when he first moved to Lille his first 6 months were not the best but then he exploded. Hopefully the same process is repeated here. He is playing with a confidence now. His movement is better now and he isnt afraid to shoot or use his right foot. Earned us a Pen which Mike Dean( who maybe has a personal grudge against us) ruled out. Who even was in the Var box?. Needed 5 mins to give Auba a red which tbh shouldn’t even had gone to the Var in the first place. Then didnt even take 20 seconds to agree with Dean that it wasnt a penalty when it very clearly was. Its now 12 points dropped due to bad refering Assuming we would go on to score the pen and win the game. There is no way someone like Salah, Mane, Vardy, Kane, Anyone else not associated with Arsenal doesn’t get that Pen.
    Just look at the Pen Mane got against Leicester. There was as minimal a contact as can be.

  57. Cesc Appeal

    4 or 5 new starters by the time August comes around and Arteta might be a success.

    1 or 2, especially if no midfield changes, then no.

    Same for any manager.

  58. DivineSherlock

    Joe

    Emery stunk the season . We were already off the pace for top4 when Arteta got hired. If you couldn’t see that then I don’t really think anyone can convince you about anything really.

  59. Marko

    also said this season is a write off.

    Unbelievable that. Kept hearing that the squad is top 4 quality it’s good enough we only need to get rid of the Spanish Tony Pulis and we’d be alright. Changed the manager brought in the popular choice and now there’s zero expectations on the season. Shouldn’t expect him to win with this lot apparently. Head spinning stuff really.

  60. Marc

    Divine

    My point was everyone’s can make a fucking excuse – I won’t ask what yours is. We look more compact but with an abundance of attacking talent we’re not creating or scoring anywhere near enough goals and Arteta needs to start getting the attacking side of our game together. We have 15 PL matches left which include: Chelsea A, Burnley A, City A, Liverpool H, Spud’s A, Wolves A, Leicester H, Southampton A so over half are at best really tough.

    With our current form we’re saying we can’t be expected to beat teams who are struggling let alone difficult teams.

  61. Dissenter

    Cesc
    ‘ 4 or 5 new starters by the time August comes around and Arteta might be a success.1 or 2, especially if no midfield changes, then no.Same for any manager’

    So no sauce then, just new player price tags

  62. Upstate Gooner

    Currently, we’re below Wolves, Sheffield United, and Crystal Palace in the table. Do they have better squads than ours? I’d say No. So they all must have better managers then because the table doesn’t lie. Crystal Palace go to the Etihad and put City to the sword. And we’re struggling against the mighty Sheffield United. SMH. P.S. Brendan Rodgers is a fraud.

  63. Cesc Appeal

    That is naughty.

    If the squad is top 4 quality and Emery was this awful manager who the players just didn’t understand and basically threw in the towel on you’d expect a bounce…and a big one.

    Either Arteta isn’t as good as you said or the squad isn’t. Because if you’re honestly playing the ‘they’re so scarred from Emery’ card then, again, they are not of the quality needed after 3 months of bad results.

    I don’t think Arteta is bad, some positives from what he’s done, but I think you need to raise the white flag on your statements regarding the squad before he took over.

  64. Pedro

    Marko, your head is spinning again?

    Do you need the entire board to explain to you the context of this season to get your balance back?

  65. Un na naai

    JoeJanuary 19, 2020 16:00:56
    And no. Arteta is currently nursing us through physio and getting us ready psychologically for the M25 again.When?

    Joe
    Next season obvs. We aren’t going for top four this year and everything else is kind of secondary right now
    Champions league has to be our only target right now results wise. Obviously ou general style of play has to improve by then.
    Which it already is showing clear signs of doing

  66. Cesc Appeal

    Dissenter

    I don’t think you can say that.

    Arteta wouldn’t have sauce to make this lot play he’d have biblical powers.

    This squad is so poor, you can’t make it do anything. It can’t press, it can’t use a high line, it can’t control possession, it can’t defend, it can’t create, it can’t score (outside one)…there’s always 2 or more players who will break any system you try to create, Ozil breaks any of them, Xhaka breaks most of them.

  67. NJ Gunner

    Pedro, good morning from west of the Hudson.

    I think that he bought on Eddie because Arteta likes to defend from the front, saw that Lacazette was tiring, and wanted to save him for Tuesday.

    The decision was in fact to use a forward defensively. Unfortunately, Eddie did not seem to put the energy into that task that I expected. I am sure it’ll be the subject of a conversation between the two this week.

    I also think Arteta is trying to use Eddie to see if he can line him up as a replacement for Lacazette next season. I expect using him as a sub that way will be repeated over the next two months.

    Finally, to be fair, I was struck by how young our team was by the end of the game. It got younger as the game progressed. I don’t know what the average age was but it’s hard to hold a tight lead with that much inexperience. This raises the question as to why more experienced players on the bench (Bellerin, Holding, even Ceballos) were not used. Can’t help but believe that some more experienced players on loan will not materialize.

  68. Pedro

    CA, if you’d had this squad with Arteta from the start of the season, we’d be competing for top 4.

    Now we’re dealing with injuries, a lack of fitness, broken confidence… and learning an entirely new system midseason after the busiest part of the season.

    Why is that context so hard to fathom?

  69. Dissenter

    The people that keep saying results don’t matter ough to realize that results translates to more money for transfers.
    The difference between running up the table to finish 6/7th and continuing our current form to finish 10-13th is a the one year salary of a good new transfer.
    He has to build form for the next season, hence he has to show he knows how to set up winning teams. Winning teams also translate to more money for the club.
    Europa duo is crap but it’s still a money earner, nit in the same scale as the CL. Not qualifying for it will set us back financially.
    I don’t expect that. Arteta will win the EL at this stage of his career because he won’t make the right in game decisions.

  70. Un na naai

    Wasi good analysis.
    Cesc AppealJanuary 19, 2020 16:09:03
    That is naughty.If the squad is top 4 quality and Emery was this awful manager who the players just didn’t understand and basically threw in the towel on you’d expect a bounce…and a big one.Either Arteta isn’t as good as you said or the squad isn’t. Because if you’re honestly playing the ‘they’re so scarred from Emery’ card then, again, they are not of the quality needed

    Cesc Appeal

    But the squad clearly is of top 4 quality as it proved last season
    We then improved the squad further while Chelsea spurs and united lost their best players or coach from last year

    We’ve now added someone who has never managed a club before to a squad ravaged by injuries and low on confidence. Of course there ain’t going to be the same bounce.

  71. DivineSherlock

    Marc

    Its not an excuse its a fact . The manager has a lot on his plate , has to now deal with an injury list too with no backup seemingly arriving in January. Just an example for you had Kolaisnac been fit , Saka most likely wouldve played in his original position which then means that Arteta could’ve added another attacking sub later on , instead of Guendouzi , shifted Martinelli to CF. Not to mention if we had Chambers or Holding or Sokratis fully fit then might also be able to see out that game 1-0 and build from that

  72. Marc

    Cesc

    But that comes back to me that Arteta is at best being naïve is selecting these players. Surely as Ass Man of City he’d be aware of who the opposition saw as our weak links so should have come in knowing this.

    I don’t expect Arteta to walk in and get everything right first time every time but I still see the same liabilities on the pitch.

  73. Dissenter

    Cesc
    I disagree though.
    Arteta was brought to improve players as well.
    Emery got stick because he supposedly used a power point to convince the club that he could improve players. I’m pretty sure Arteta didn’t tell the club they have to get him new players to succeed too.
    He certainly isn’t improving Lacazette, removing him for a player that can’t get minutes at Leeds isn’t a way to rebuilding his confidence.

  74. Jamie

    “Are you expecting Arteta to show a 30 to 40 point improvement over the course of next season?”

    Ranieri already captured that lightning in a bottle. Won’t happen twice in this lifetime. We need to narrow the gap to the top 4 before the season’s end to put ourselves in the mixer for next season.

    Looking for marginal gains until we can have a clear-out this summer and give Arteta at least some of the tools he wants in order to deliver success.

  75. Marc

    Divine

    Oh dear – OK Arteta was short of players yesterday what about Bournemouth away? Palace where he had these players available?

    My point is if you look hard enough you can find an excuse. If we can’t get a result against Sheffield Utd at home how are we going to fair in the 8 matches I listed earlier?

  76. Marc

    Pedro

    I hope you’re right because its a huge amount of points to make up. Arteta could also be without / will most likely be without Auba – he’s not going to have an easy time just because he has a pre season.

  77. Batistuta

    That the thing, you can’t say it’s a top 4 squad and all it’s missing is a better manager and then turn around and say we should write off the season once a new manager comes in, that’s just being dishonest… We either have a top4 squad or we don’t, the amount of spinning going on here I’m sure the CIA would be immensely proud of some of you

  78. Zacharse

    years ago i wrote on here that laca was going to be the final nail in wengers coffin. he was one of them but i never thought he was up to prem standards, small and slow. he scores a fucking goal and the last few games look very different. in fact, i believe the last goal he scored was a 90th min equalizer that postponed emerys sack which he didnt celebrate. would be fitting if that was his final goal for the arsenal

  79. Samesong

    NJ GunnerJanuary 19, 2020 16:12:55

    I though Nketiah would of hugged the ball in the wide areas and draw fouls like he has in previous games.

    We haven’t really been good for awhile at defending from the front.

  80. Un na naai

    His movement is better now and he isnt afraid to shoot or use his right foot. Earned us a Pen which Mike Dean( who maybe has a personal grudge against us) ruled out. Who even was in the Var box?. Needed 5 mins to give Auba a red which tbh shouldn’t even had gone to the Var in the first place. Then didnt even take 20 seconds to agree with Dean that it wasnt a penalty when it very clearly was. Its now 12 points dropped due to bad refering Assuming we would go on to score the pen and win the game. There is no way someone like Salah, Mane, Vardy, Kane, Anyone else not associated with Arsenal doesn’t get that Pen.
    Just look at the Pen Mane got against Leicester. There was as minimal a contact as can be.

    Wasi
    Mate
    You’ve summed up 24 hours of debate by me in one post. But it was a great one
    Kudos sir
    You know your shit.

  81. Cesc Appeal

    Pedro

    ‘Why is that context so hard to fathom?’

    The context isn’t hard to fathom. You’re deflecting for Arteta. Your staunch loyalty to a guy you championed for near 2 years now is the context. So you need first to admit that…you know you may not be the most objective commentator in which case you need to tone down the faux outrage at critique.

    Just admit you were wrong on the squad.

    Arteta can be every inch as good as you think. it will never be realised with this squad.

    Why is that context so hard to fathom?

    Because this time next year when this same group of players lets him down what will it be then?

    Just like you did with Wenger, one more summer, one more summer, one more summer, before finally admitting, actually yeah probably need to change this. It will be the same thing.

    I think you think admitting the squad needs major work is basically saying you were too harsh on Emery…I mean you were…but you were right on the whole with Emery.

    Admitting the squad needs to built to allow Arteta’s game to be played is not conceding any ground on Emery…don’t get bent out of shape about that.

  82. Marc

    Pedro

    No I’m saying Arteta needs to start getting some wins under his belt to get confidence up round the players and supporters.

    If he doesn’t the summers going to be a nightmare.

  83. Champagne charlie

    ”CA, if you’d had this squad with Arteta from the start of the season, we’d be competing for top 4.Now we’re dealing with injuries, a lack of fitness, broken confidence… and learning an entirely new system midseason after the busiest part of the season. Why is that context so hard to fathom?“

    Because its context that diminishes player poverty as the answer to all.

    If we’d have started like a house on fire it would’ve been the ‘typical new manager bounce’, but we haven’t so its because of player poverty all along. Just further examples of the woefully one-sided stakes offered up time and time again.

    The bogus narrative about this being a top 4 quality squad ‘so we should be smashing it now we have Arteta’ is painful reading.

  84. Marko

    Do you need the entire board to explain to you the context of this season to get your balance back?

    No no I’m well aware of the context. It’s a top 4 quality squad that started off with a poor manager that NOW has a good manager but there’s no expectations on the remainder of the season. I get it I really do.

  85. Un na naai

    Ah the stats

    Not good enough that we can clearly see improvement. Now we need numbers to verify

    God there’s going to be a lot of embarrassed muppets here within 12 months
    Having emery humiliate you all and your lack of footballing foresight in 2019 wasn’t enough. You’re begging for it again for Xmas 2020.

    Don’t worry
    You’ll get it

  86. Dissenter

    There will be a lot of teeth gnashing this summer regarding massive clear outs
    If Arteta’s success depends on new players then he’s a.reasy failed
    He has to be able to improve current players too. Guendouzi still does the same damn things. Laca’s famine is persisting and Ozil is back to his nonsense.

    Most managers will expect Ozil to be done after 60 minutes , even the younger and hungrier version of Ozil was yanked off the Madrid team at the 60th minute mark. Why is Arteta leaving him on against a physical team?

  87. Cesc Appeal

    Marc

    I mean I agree on that.

    He sat and watched one of the most abject performances we’ve given in a long time against City.

    But the context of a summer will be key.

    He’s got minus 1000 points for me with his whole Xhaka carry on and indulging Ozil but ultimately I will give him the summer.

    If he arrives next season still relying on those types of players then I won’t weep when he gets his P45.

  88. TR7

    Marko

    ‘Considering that you yourself admitted to judging Emery after just 13 games that is about turn that.’

    My judgement then was based on the methods/processes of Emery just like it is now with Arteta. Results will be up and down until we settle in to a well functioning team. A lot of what Arteta is trying to do with our players is work in process and it will take some time for results to materialize. Even in terms of results, we beat United, led Chelsea for 83 minutes and dropped points against others conceding late equalizers. We competed well in every game we played under Arteta.

  89. Batistuta

    There been improvements under Arteta sure definitely especially defensively, much much more organized and we do keep the ball a bit more even though quite aimlessly, again nothing to do with the manager and more to do with ability of the players… The league table doesn’t flatter us, that’s just about our level with the resources we’ve got….

    Oh and the season being a write off is disingenuous, we have the cups to fight for, the Europa league more so because it’s a chance to get into the champions league but also because the teams there are just about our level so we really shouldnt be having an issues against a lot of them, minimum should be getting to the final for me

    League places probably has us finishing where we currently are but would be a total cop out dismissing the season as over, even Klopp got a Europa final in his rebuild so that should be the target for Arteta

  90. Graham62

    When was the last time our opponents genuinely feared us? By that I mean when they looked across at us in that tunnel, when did they feel “Shit, it’s frigging Arsenal”.

    That’s right, a long long time ago.

    That’s what Arteta has to try and re-create.

    A genuine fear of AFC.

    Not an easy task.

  91. Champagne charlie

    “That the thing, you can’t say it’s a top 4 squad and all it’s missing is a better manager and then turn around and say we should write off the season once a new manager comes in, that’s just being dishonest…“

    No, what’s dishonest is claiming a manager could come into the club that had its worst start in 40 years and still overhaul that to challenge for top 4.

    Arguing that Arteta (or more competent than Emery) would’ve had us in the mix had he been manager from the start is the measuring stick. But there’s no time machines present, all we have is last years output of 5th place and 70 points which is historically top 4 material.

    The rest is subjective, but given plenty continue to deny reality, such as last season, it becomes a fruitless debate of two factions.

  92. Pedro

    Cesc, when have I ever said that this squad is perfection for Arteta? You’re conflating two issues. This squad should be making top four. Now it can’t because of the context of where we are.

    ‘Because this time next year when this same group of players lets him down what will it be then?’

    It’s not going to be the same squad next year. I won’t need to defend him next year.

  93. DivineSherlock

    Marc

    You really are so dense man. Arteta is newly hired manager in midseason , dealing with a team that was already struggling with a manager that was 18 months in his job . He is dealing with the mess as best as he can. If you seriously aren’t capable of seeing it in the football post-Emery then you really cant be convinced of it on here . Nobody can help you see it my man.

  94. Cesc Appeal

    ‘Oh and the season being a write off is disingenuous, we have the cups to fight for, the Europa league more so because it’s a chance to get into the champions league’

    The logical choice now is just go for the Europa League.

    Looking at the EPL fixture list I don’t see where we go on a run.

    I don’t think it will happen. Mourinho style throwing the EPL is a ballsy move, if you get it wrong you look like an idiot and heap pressure on yourself.

  95. Pedro

    ‘No, what’s dishonest is claiming a manager could come into the club that had its worst start in 40 years and still overhaul that to challenge for top 4.’

    Agree here.

    ‘He’s not as good as you think he is after 6 games. Beggars belief considering the lack of interest in interrogating Emery last year (a man who had two full preseasons and couldn’t establish and identity).

  96. Goonerresponse

    I don’t understand why so many ppl aren’t backing the manager. Our team isn’t great and he has certainly made a dramatic improvement.

    Our Fans need to finally stop the bashing of our club. It’s gone on for 14 years.

    We are back to playing towards an identity. Back to a brand of football we enjoy. Please let’s support this process.

  97. Batistuta

    Don’t even think anyone’s calling for a top 4 challenge in the league, that looks gone now, but folks are right to hope that results will prove though especially winning games, i mean that’s why we the game is played right, to see your team get results

  98. Cesc Appeal

    Pedro

    I think that’s laughably pathetic.

    Squad is top 4…but guess what, lucky you, that thesis will never need to be tested because I you massive squad changes this year so you can keep making a completely unprovable and totally unsupported claim forever.

    Bully for you, eh?

    What are the injury issues stopping Arteta? Bellerin? Tierney? Emery went a season without full backs and his first choice CB, didn’t stop you barrelling in. So what’s left? Has Chambers been elevated to the level of ‘best CB’ for your purposes? Maybe it’s Ceballos, that Raul contacts-trash loan who is still the most productive player in our midfield?

    So is it confidence then? In which case, the quality is staggering.

  99. Spanishdave

    Whatever Arteta does he’s still got the worst squad we’ve had for over twenty years. Our directors spent 200 mil and we have got worse
    With Arteta we have a coach who has a lot to learn, and yesterday he made some basic errors which cost us valuable points.
    Unless the owners put their hands in their pockets this situation will not improve.
    Shit cannot be polished.

  100. Cesc Appeal

    Batistuta

    No one is asking for a top 4 challenge. The issue is this squad was top 4 quality right up until Emery’s sacking.

    Now ‘context’ means it isn’t anymore. Bosh. One minute it was, one minute it wasn’t. What was the pivot point for the change because apparently now this squad is as bad as most on here were suggesting all along.

    Or is it temporary badness? Which doesn’t matter because apparently there will be massive squad changes this summer…which before you ask doesn’t disprove the whole top 4 quality thing…but luckily means it’s never tested.

  101. Micheal

    If people want an insight into the mismanagement and irresponsible ownership of our club, take a quick look at Arsenal women’s team. They are very successful and yet a perfect example of how to damage success by refusing to offer decent investment and support from Kroenke.

    Arsenal Ladies are reigning champions of the WSL and currently top of the league, in the quarters of the UEFA European tournamount and still in the FA Cup.

    The first team squad is just 17 players who are totally knackered and carrying a string of injuries. They lost 4-1 at home to Chelski today – backed by that Russian who has built a squad of 23, which now includes one of the most expensive players on the planet.

    Guess who owns Arsenal Ladies team ? And see the parallel with our team.

  102. Marko

    CA, if you’d had this squad with Arteta from the start of the season, we’d be competing for top 4.Now we’re dealing with injuries, a lack of fitness, broken confidence… and learning an entirely new system midseason after the busiest part of the season.

    Busiest part of the season. Just so we’re clear Emery was sacked in late November match day 13 of 38 games in the premier league he was in charge of 20 games in full. Arteta brought in in December will have at least 24 games in charge more depending on how far he gets in cup competitions. Zero expectations apparently. Man Unai did some number on the club. Oh it was 8 points off top 4 and barely able to win. What a difference a change makes.

    Just so we’re clear this isn’t me coming at Mikel but more his groupies. I’m still hoping that we get the finger out bring in some players and help Mikel win some games and have a positive end to the season. I’m not hopeful though Mikel really rates Ozil and convinced Xhaka to stay so god knows if he’s even interested in any signings

  103. Pedro

    Cesc, think CC has said it a thousand times 2 points off 3rd with a points total normally good enough for top 4 tells you that it’s not just a thesis, it was a reality.

    Now you’re asking me why Arteta hasn’t solved Arsenal football club after 6 games.

    I know which looks more laughable.

  104. Champagne Charlie

    Bati

    Look at City between now and the end of the season with their objective (the title) out of reach.

    You’re being incredibly naive if you’re telling me Arsenal and the players won’t have some degree of lost interest because they can’t achieve their goals in the PL.

    Finger wag at that if you like, but it’s human nature in elite sport. Teams don’t fight at 4-0 down, but if they somehow find themselves at 4-2 they’re a different beast. Same applies for seasons objectives, and that should be understood by anyone that’s played a sport in a competitive environment.

  105. Marko

    My judgement then was based on the methods/processes of Emery just like it is now with Arteta

    I know it was my point was that you gave one person 13 games and another a free 20+ games and probably more next season before you’ll judge him. Which is reasonable all things considered. For one though

  106. Cesc Appeal

    Pedro

    Beautiful for you. How it all works out, isn’t it?

    Arteta, the City IP king, comes in and gets January, February, March, April and May with a ‘top 4 quality side’ and has ZERO expectations because…reasons.

    Wow. If you can’t see the hole in your own arguments you’re in deeper than anyone thought. You know what you’ve become, don’t you? Look who’s agreeing with you on your points. You know what they were, don’t you?

    Seriously hope for you Arteta turns this around next season. Otherwise Le Grove becomes Untold for a new manager.

  107. Joe

    DivineSherlockJanuary 19, 2020 16:05:30
    Joe Emery stunk the season . We were already off the pace for top4 when Arteta got hired. If you couldn’t see that then I don’t really think anyone can convince you about anything really.

    Actually we were 8 points out of 4th and in 8th place when emery got sacked.

    We are now 10th and 10 points back

  108. RodneyKing

    Pedro January 19, 2020  16:13:14

    “CA, if you’d had this squad with Arteta from the start of the season, we’d be competing for top 4.”

    Maybe. But I’m certain that had Arteta been brought in after the EL final and we started the season poorly, many would have said that things would have been positively different had E.mery not been sacked.

    Arteta has the whole of next season to prove you right. And with the key word being “competing”, even if we ended up 5th, it would be hailed as progress.