Naive Arsenal need to change narrative at Chelsea

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Alex Lacazette is dropping a different sort of criticism into the ether… he’s moved beyond liking naughty Instagram posts, he’s now saying actual words with bite.

“They [Sheffield United] were not very dangerous but this match summarises how we are this season. We are winning the match but don’t get it over the line,”

“We are quite naive at the moment. We need to be nastier and more consistent in the 90th to 93rd minutes of matches.

“Especially when we can do better than this. We have the players required. It is a shame.”

YES ALEX. I don’t normally like to see players and coaches airing dirty laundry, but when it’s this sort of thing, it kind of signifies a shift in mentality. It’s more punchy than Johann Djourou or Denilson telling the fans we should be doing better. This feels like a rallying cry. We are better than the results we’re dropping, he can feel that the squad is underperforming, he’s one of the more senior players and he has a right to say these things.

Sure, there will be criticism of him, there haven’t been a lot of goals to speak of, but as everyone keeps telling me, he’s putting in a filthy shift for the greater good.

Mikel Arteta didn’t shirk from the comments.

“Yes, I think it’s part of the game management and I think there were things we could have done better to put more pressure on the opponent, to bring the ball into certain areas where we could rest with the ball and control the game better. That will come. It’s a good process for us to learn about those situations.”

One of the more ridiculous notions being peddled is that nothing has changed, which I’m guessing is why the new manager is being asked about the players and whether they are still feeling the excitement a few games in.

“I don’t have that feeling. The feedback I’m getting from them is very positive, they know when we haven’t won the reasons why and there are many different aspects to that – some we can influence some we cannot influence – but they are there and they are very aware of that.”

Here’s where he’s seeing the improvements since the last time we played Chelsea.

“Well a lot of things have happened and it feels longer than a month to be fair. The amount of games, the (amount) we’ve trained, the amount of things that happened. Yes, a lot of things changed, a lot of positives in terms of reactions and the things they are taking on board, the way we have managed to change the energy, atmosphere, relationship and chemistry with our fans was massively important for us. So yes, in terms of results it could have been a little bit different, I think we have been very unlucky and other aspects have influenced that.”

It was very amusing to see the vampires out post-Sheffield United.




I have absolute faith that these people will be deleting their tweets and apologising for their limited world view of football coaching that led them to those opinions. Xavi refused the Barca role because he lacked the confidence to take over a sinking ship midseason (thanks Wasi).

Mikel has jumped off an Elon Musk Space X passenger ship to Arsenal’s Titanic. He is picking up the worst Arsenal moment in almost 40 years. Emery had fired his captain, alienated Ozil, pushed LT out the door after playing him as a 10, had AMN taking red cards to get out of playing full back, had Auba leaking stories about leaving the club, and had us in a death spiral. The confidence in the squad was at ground zero when he landed. Remember fans pontificating on our players being so bad they were uncoachable?

There is no quick fix for Arsenal, anywhere. Look at what is happening at Spurs under Jose Mourinho, no new manager bounce, no improvement in style or thinking, he can’t even make the defence solid. He’s working with Champions League finalists.

Also, we don’t need a quick fix, we need something that’s future-facing, and that takes time. So ignore the people creating false expectations, we’re moving in the right direction, and the form will come.

The Chelsea game is huge for Arsenal. We still have a pretty broken squad of players, but there has to come a point where the vision clicks, and hopefully a bit of luck falls our way. Chelsea are further ahead under Frank Lampard, but have still been very, very inconsistent. A win against them will show a very defined mark of improvement and it’ll be huge for the fans to go away from home against a big club and win.

It’ll be tough though. We’re still playing midfielders in defence, we don’t have an Auba to lean on, and the squad is struggling for confidence. I think fitness is still a challenge, Statsbomb had a rolling xG chart that shows we’re tanking in the second half, maybe a combination of new ideas, legginess, and panic because of second-half-history is going against us. We need to get over those things and start pulling in the three points.

The real progress that Arteta has made has been in solidifying the team. We don’t leak chances like we used to and the idea of defending being a collective endeavour is now mainstream in the squad. I really want to see us continue defending well, but coming up with some new ideas to be more positive going forward. We’re very much reliant on Ozil being in form, the rest of our players struggle to break the lines, so we need a bit more boldness tomorrow.

I’m unsure who is going to start tomorrow, but Eddie might find himself some game time.

“It would depend on the circumstances, the players we have available, his performance, the way he trains the impact he makes every time he plays. He’s a young player but I have to try and treat him exactly the same as the other ones. (If) I put him in the pitch because I think he deserves it. The way he trains, the way he shows every day how much he wants it and it will depend on him.”

Alex on the podcast below said the home fans went nuts for his appearance, here’s hoping he can deliver on the expectation. Some fans felt he didn’t quite put the shift in they were looking for, but let’s see what he can do if he’s given time in a huge game. He should be looking at Tammy Abrahams and Mason Mount and wanting a bit of what they’re getting this season. He has the talent, he’s cool in front of goal, it’s just a matter of making it count when he gets the chance… something he was struggling with before his loan move.

This is a huge game, I can’t wait, let me know what you think in the comments!

P.S. I recorded a podcast with Alex below. It’s good. Listen in and an give it 5* on iTunes.

Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify

277 Responses to “Naive Arsenal need to change narrative at Chelsea”

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  1. Freddie Ljungberg


    Ozil has 103rd best goal contributions in the PL in his last 43 games over 2 years, we could probably pick someone up for a fiver from league one that would give us more.

    Same with Xhaka, he might look ok, maybe even good in a slower league but here he’s just a hindrance. We could easily better him for 20-30m.

    Also, Arteta isn’t responsible for transfers.

    We have scouts and Edu for that remember.

  2. Freddie Ljungberg

    We will only buy if we can find better talent than we already have is such a Wenger thing to say.
    Especially when the talent at hand is dire.

  3. Pedro

    Freddie, Arsenal operate a braintrust, Edu isn’t working alone. If the manager thinks he can get a turn out of Ozil and Xhaka, he’ll be left alone to get on with it.

    Not my favourites, but you have to trust that the options are bad and that Arteta knows what he’s doing

  4. Freddie Ljungberg

    “If the manager thinks he can get a turn out of Ozil and Xhaka, he’ll be left alone to get on with it.”

    That’s a big worry if that is how it is, delusional thinking. I hope it’s not true or we’re in big trouble.

  5. Champagne Charlie

    “also, there’s literally no money, we blew it all.“

    Say it louder for those in the back that can’t fathom a bosman LB so we can turn Kola into extra coin.

  6. Pedro

    Freddie, not really delusional thinking. Say what you will about Mesut, on his day he’s unplayable… and if Granit has a strength, it’s his passing and moving the ball between the lines. They’re his servers… doubt there are many sub 20m players we could land in Jan that could be better IF he gets them playing at a higher level consistently.

  7. Freddie Ljungberg


    When did he last have this day? It was more than 43 games ago that’s for sure.

    He has worse goals and assists input than every other PL teams front 4 and a fair few of their defensive players as well. 103rd! That’s beyond garbage. He hasn’t been unplayable for years and years.

    Xhaka is good at recycling possession when he’s not under pressure, has a nice lofter ball out to the left wing. That’s pretty much it, He’s nothing special in passing between the lines, both Torreira and Guendouzi does that better.

    We had a big bid for Upamecano turned down last window, that was before we recouped 35m on Iwobi. We have money, it’s the will to improve we lack.

  8. Dissenter

    I will never fot the life of me understand the hysteria against replacing an average LB with a comparable player who will be back-up to a 22 year old starter [if Tierney turns out well] … for a profit.
    I can’t wrap may minds around it.
    I do understand some of the concerns that Kurzawa may not be good enough, but at the very least he’s as good as Kolasinac. He can’t be that dope since he’s earned a dozen caps for the world champions.

    I loved the posts Valentin has made about Kurzawa. The player has his strengths and weaknesses like anyone else.

  9. Pedro

    Freddie, I’m no fan of Xhaka, but he passes between the lines better than Matteo and LT. He looks much better under Arteta than he has under Wenger or Emery.

    Mesut has been playing under a football terrorist, so I’m willing to write of his last 18 months. He’s our best creator and he’s not going anywhere, might as well try and get a turn out of him.

  10. Dissenter

    You come across as a middle of the road poster.
    If you were appointed manager of Arsenal.
    Would you let of one of the top-2 midfielders of a very bad bunch in the winter window when there’s no guarantee of a good replacement that can take off from day one?
    A new midfielder may require at least half a season to bed in. Even top midfielders like Fabhino and Naby Keita took more than that to start ticking for a new team. That is if were even find the player that we really scouted in the winter break.
    The better approach imo, is top keep Granit till the summer and then make the right decision.
    A player in hand [no matter how flawed] may be worth more than two perfect fantasy league players in the bush.

  11. Pedro

    Dissenter, I think my concern is less about quality, more about fitness. Would prefer someone more robust… but beggars can’t be choosers.

  12. Dissenter

    I think the challenge is to provide tern with effective competition from day one. We made a fatal mistake with Bellerin, crowned his sorry arse as the chosen one and gave him zero competition. He hasn’t kicked off from his first two seasons. he has grown everywhere but on the field.
    With Tierney, Kurzawa will push him for a starting place. I don’t think Tierney is all that…so Kurzawa may fancy a chance.
    I don’t buy the nonsense about bad attitude. Players always need a new beginning to reset their careers. Arsenal can provide that for Kurzawa. if he were so bad, how would he have done so well at Monaco that PSG came for him. How would he have earned a dozen caps for France.
    There’s a lot of hysteria over nothing.

  13. Nelson

    Sheffield has demonstrated that if you have a team well gelled and with an identity, you can be competitive without big star players. It is important that all the players understand what Arteta wants them to do. There are still five weeks before the Europa cup games resumes. Hopefully, the team will be more ready to give a good show.

    Some posters prefer not to participate in next year’s cup competition if we can’t get the CL. For me, I would still like to get into the Europa cup competition. It would provide more opportunities for the youngsters to play. It would also attract more youngsters to join the club.

  14. Pedro

    Dissenter, think that’s correct. Almost no one settles right away… take your chances on players that get the league, understand London and are already settled

  15. Marko

    It’s not hard to get dissenter the argument being made at it’s fundamental is that he’s a poor player being signed first and foremost. Then you factor in his age and his likely wage and his likely long term contract and it’s just not a good idea. People trying to justify it have really short term memories. The amount of poor overpaid players we’ve struggled with getting rid of in recent years is ridiculous. Even now cannot get a buyer for Mustafi probably the only way to get rid of Ozil is paying him off. And with that in mind people think giving a poor signing like Kurzawa circa 100,000 a week for the next 4/5 is smart. At this stage I hope we do it so that a year later I can remind people of how wrong they were. That’s fun I know but not as fun as seeing Arsenal make good signings and improve as a club

  16. Freddie Ljungberg


    “Freddie, I’m no fan of Xhaka, but he passes between the lines better than Matteo and LT. He looks much better under Arteta than he has under Wenger or Emery.”

    He’s looked better because Arteta has taken him out of midfield and made him an auxiliary left back so he doesn’t get pressed so easily and turns over possession less, helps us defensively somewhat but leaves us another man short in midfield when we already have Ozil doing his disappearance act.

    “Mesut has been playing under a football terrorist, so I’m willing to write of his last 18 months. He’s our best creator and he’s not going anywhere, might as well try and get a turn out of him.”

    103rd most goal contributions in the last 2 years, blame that on Emery all you want it’s still indefensible output. Best creator, maybe, but that’s why we are where we are.

  17. Dissenter

    I do think Sheffield are running high on Adrenaline. That effort and commitment only gets you so far.
    They have won a lot of games on just sheer luck..and VAR. I guess they created their luck in some ways by giving their 110% all the time.
    I see them struggling to stay in the league next season.

  18. Ishola70

    I take it that this talk of no-one better than Xhaka and Ozil relates to this transfer window.

    It can’t be the case that this continues into next season.

    Mesut and Granit are flawed players. Can’t keep indulging them.

    Granit has been so much better under Arteta that he is playing LB/LCB position more than he is playing CM and the guy is a CM. He has been taken away from CM.

    Can’t carry on like that. It’s an admission that the player has weakness that Arteta even entertains that certain tactic with him.

  19. Pedro

    Freddie, he’s giving Xhaka space to do what he does best, that’s just smart thinking, gave Saka the opp to roam at the weekend.

    I’m not here to defend Mesut, but regardless of the last 2 years, he’s one of the best creators and there’s no one we could bring in with our zero budget that has the potential to better him for output. It’s a pretty educated punt that motivating him will be good for our run in chances.

  20. Marko

    Mesut has been playing under a football terrorist, so I’m willing to write of his last 18 months.

    Love the flip flopping absolutely love it so expected. Spent the last few years absolutely tearing apart Ozil and Xhaka not just the last 18 months and now because Mikel has planted his flag alongside both players you’re talking differently about them. Well I think we’re going to have to rethink all that stuff about elite ideas and title winning inside two seasons.

  21. Freddie Ljungberg


    You come across as a middle of the road poster.”


    We have to have our targets ready, there are players out there, if we have to add say 10m to what we get from Xhaka then do that, no way we don’t have that or can’t move that forward from the summer budget.

    Xhaka still hasn’t adapted to the PL after 3 and a half years, with a new player if we bring him in now there’s every chance that he will have adapted by the time next season starts and still wouldn’t have been worse than Xhaka the remainder of this.

    Gives Arteta more time to work with players that has a future at the club, that can only benefit us.

  22. Dissenter

    I too will be concerned if the contract on offer is 5 years
    It looks like a wind-up just on the surface. No one gives a 28 year old player a 5 year contract.

    I don’t think you rate Tierney as high as you have raved for long.
    If you did rate Tierney then you wouldn’t be so worked up over replacing Kola with Kurzawa since it’s a ka-ching moment…money comes out of it to rebuild the squad in other areas.

    This is just a deal you can’t walk away from if you’re trying top rebuild a team.
    it’s like Liverpool signing Joel Matip on a free transfer. he wasn’t highly rated too but see how he’s turned out in a good system.
    This is a squad transfer.

  23. Marko

    I take it that this talk of no-one better than Xhaka and Ozil relates to this transfer window.

    That’s Arsene talk right there no one better available we’ll only add super qualidee. I mean we refused to let Xhaka leave for 27 million while Bruno Guimaraes is apparently moving for around the same price. Anyway hate to see it

  24. China1

    Unreal stat. Apparently since signing his contract 2 years ago, ozil has only 5 pl assists and 5 pl goals

    In a team that has auba scoring every game this stat is ridiculous.

    I’m sorry Pierre but your boy is so washed up it’s painful. Regardless of if arteta can get him to run a bit for a couple of games

  25. Ishola70


    It is not a long term feasible option to play your CM away from the CM position.

    It’s a tactic that has been forced because of player weakness.

    I don’t know of one serious side that plays their CM away from the middle of the pitch.

    It’s called indulging and if Arteta is silly enough to carry on with it next season he wil trip up badly.

    Granit is still making horrible silly challenges in his auxillary LB position and will continue to do so because he is horrible too many times off the ball.

    Fair enough if Arteta makes do with what he has at this time with the tactic but not feasible or right for the long term.

  26. Freddie Ljungberg

    “but regardless of the last 2 years, he’s one of the best creators and there’s no one we could bring in with our zero budget that has the potential to better him for output.”

    He’s objectively one of the worst creators in the premier league. Thems are the facts.

    I get that we probably can’t replace him now because he’s “very pleased” with his contract but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t garbage and the main reason why we’re not scoring enough goals.

    I’m just worried Arteta actually believes what he’s saying about some players. Hope not.

    Regarding it being smart shunting Xhaka to LB, sure because it mitigates how dog awful he is at CM, but it leaves us short another midfielder, so my suggestion would be to buy a CM that can actually play in the middle of the park, radical I know. Then we don’t have to get over run by every team we play, including championship teams.

    I’m not knocking Arteta so no need to get all the excuses out.

  27. China1

    Yes Marko we’ve shat the bed on xhaka this window. I know the decision isn’t his alone to make but you question artetas judgment when he rates xhaka so highly. Is it just because they have a vaguely similar footballing style? I can’t see any other reason why arteta has this soft spot

  28. Nelson

    If Chris Wilder can get some noname players to perform, I beg Arteta can get Xhaka and Ozil going also. Some fans need to have more patience.

  29. Freddie Ljungberg


    “Unreal stat. Apparently since signing his contract 2 years ago, ozil has only 5 pl assists and 5 pl goals”

    He’ll need another couple of games to reach those lofty heights, it’s actually 4 assists…

  30. Dissenter

    Laca has come in for some viscous criticism but even he has contributed two assists in the last two league games with fewer minutes than Ozil, who has zero assists.

  31. Champagne Charlie

    “Very good. Basically 28 by the start of next season. So yeah factor in his age“

    Haha yea, 28 which is being talked about like it’s the new 34.

  32. Ishola70


    “If Chris Wilder can get some noname players to perform, I beg Arteta can get Xhaka and Ozil going also”

    Wilder wouldn’t entertain Xhaka or Ozil.

    His team are about off the ball as well as on it.

    Our Granit is one of the most poor players off the ball in the league.

    Wilder wouldn’t have him in his team just because of passing abilities.

  33. Marko

    I don’t think you rate Tierney as high as you have raved for long.
    If you did rate Tierney then you wouldn’t be so worked up over replacing Kola with Kurzawa since it’s a ka-ching moment…money comes out of it to rebuild the squad in other areas.

    How is it a ka-ching moment? It’s a back up on more than the starter and it’s a poor player likely on a big contract for long term. Need I remind people of the likes of Andre Santos and Debuchy players we bought gave big contracts to got poor performances from and eventually had to loan out for years and let go for free before we got rid. Carl jenkinson as well. Christ luckily we were smart enough to give just Lichtsteiner a year otherwise he’d still be here leeching a living. And now here we are doing it again. Like I said I hope we make the signing I really do.

  34. Overmars


    “Unreal stat. Apparently since signing his contract 2 years ago, ozil has only 5 pl assists and 5 pl goals”

    Not the best stat I’d admit, but.. Have you forgotten he was playing for a manager who wouldn’t even include him on the bench most of the time. Not only that, but the football was terrible over that last couple of years and I would say Emery failed to get the most out of the team. Ozi’ls final ball admittedly should have been better against Sheffield Utd, but since Arteta has shown him the love again, I think he’s generally been playing well.

    Other than Aubameyang who seems to score no matter what the situation is, most of our team had slumped. From memory, Torriera, Ramsey, Lacazette, Ozil, Mhki.. All top quality players that were ruined by Emery.

  35. Marko

    Is it just because they have a vaguely similar footballing style?

    That or he’s yet another dumb manager with a really obvious and alarming blindspot for the player. That’s Wenger, Emery and now Arteta. Arsene lasted 24 months with him Unai 18 let’s see how long Mikel lasts with the player.

  36. Freddie Ljungberg


    It’s great and all that you have belief in our new manager, but you’re setting him up for a fall with these over the top expectations, he doesn’t have super powers, he can’t raise the dead either. That’s what he would have to do to get above average performances out of those 2 for the rest of this season, and in Xhakas case it wasn’t even needed.

    Also patience pffftt, they’ve both had years and years of subpar performances, they don’t deserve more patience.

  37. Ishola70


    You have been terming Xhaka a donkey for three years.

    And you are right he is a donkey off the ball.

    Then along comes Arteta and you want us to believe that this means Xhaka will turn out fine.

    Xhaka has still been poor off the ball under Arteta.

    It hasn’t vanished.

    Xhaka is always a breathe away from being a hindrance to the side and this will be the case even under wonder boy Arteta.

    If Arteta knows best he will attempt to gut the Arsenal midfield next summer and as Xhaka has been the fulcrum of that midfield in the same period Arsenal have dropped down to Europa League standard then Xhaka should be one of the first to be shown out next summer.

  38. Marko

    he has contributed two assists in the last two league games

    Again two assists on the season Saka assisted for Martinelli against Sheffield United. Does Saka and Lacazette look the same to you Dissenter.

  39. Dissenter

    Scouts look at more than numbers. They study why players who were highly rated don’t do so well in their current clubs.
    Kurzawa first came to Arsenal’s attention because Emery recommended him having coached him at PSG. All this talks of bad attitude is bonkers because the manager whop saw him day in day out didn’t think so.

    Funny enough, I am more excited about Kurzawa than all the enthusiasm you threw about when we were signing Tierney.

    For every Andre Santos, there’s a Teemu Pukki; players looking for a rebound.

  40. Freddie Ljungberg


    It’s over 43 games, doesn’t matter if he was benched, deservedly so, sometimes. It’s beyond terrible. If he was a horse he would have been made into glue by now.

    Mikhi has never been a top quality PL player, Ramsey has always been inconsistent and injury prone, Ozil has been garbage since before Emery and Laca just isn’t as good as some make him out to be. Lazy to blame years and years of bad performances on a manager that wasn’t even here for all of that time.
    Torreira was brilliant beginning of last season then faded and then was shuffled around out of position too much.

  41. Dissenter

    Laca assisted Auba against palace
    Laca played a key role in the build up in the goal against Palace. He opened the defense with a pass to Saka…I should have written ‘pre-assist”.
    My bad…don’t shoot.

  42. Dissenter

    Yea, Arsenal shouldn’t do business with the agents chosen by the players we want to sign.
    Yes… the Arsenal executives shouldn’t have the best player-agent on speed dial.

    This contacts book attack os so damn boring

  43. Marko

    Kurzawa first came to Arsenal’s attention because Emery recommended him having coached him at PSG. All this talks of bad attitude is bonkers because the manager whop saw him day in day out didn’t think so.

    I imagine Kurzawa came to our attention because we’re apparently broke and desperate which never leads to smart decisions let’s be honest. The rest of what you said is pure fantasy.

    Scouts look at more than numbers.

    Well our former French scout recently said it’s a bad idea.

    Funny enough, I am more excited about Kurzawa than all the enthusiasm you threw about when we were signing Tierney.

    You’re excited about a bit part player coming in and being back up? Well that’s incredibly stupid of you

  44. Marko

    I should have written ‘pre-assist”.
    My bad…don’t shoot.

    Pre assists aren’t a thing. You were corrected twice and still said a falsehood

  45. Champagne Charlie

    “Well our former French scout recently said it’s a bad idea.“

    Former french scout..

    What’s his record like out of interest?

  46. Dissenter

    “Well our former French scout recently said it’s a bad idea.”

    Our current scouts may not think so.

    You were excited about a guy who was hailed as the second coming of Robertson …and yet you’re totally preoccupied about the guy who will be back-up to him [if he really was that good]?
    Doesn’t make sense.

    How many defenders with a dozen internationals caps for a country as good as France are available on free transfers in the summer?

  47. Marko

    Our current scouts may not think so.

    You believe we scouted Kurzawa? That’s cute. Probably specifically scouted on the off chance that Bernat got injured.

  48. Dissenter

    Valentin’s musings about Kurzawa have been good.
    He didn’t big him up [like Marko bigged up Tierney] and didn’t trash him [like Marko is doing to the player]

    I remember the indifference of Liverpool supporters about the signing of Joel Matip on a free transfer. It was a squad cheap transfer to get them to a better place.

  49. Overmars

    Freddie Ljungberg

    I was never Ramsey’s biggest fan but he, along with the rest were better under Wenger. Torriera was class at first and then Unai got to grips with him.

    Even if Ozil isn’t racking up the numbers, I like that he always does the simple things in the game right. Now some might say that every player should be doing that, but most can’t. Look at Willock for example, yes he’s young, but when things are going against him, he struggles to play the simple pass. Same with Pepe, even Lacazette at the moment. So I think that’s why Arteta is playing Ozil, as he knows that he 90% of the time, he doesn’t give the ball away, therefore inviting pressure.

  50. Marko

    Mikel Arteta: “We cannot waste these four months just thinking about next season, because the hurry of a big football club is now, not in the summer.”

    Love it Mick

  51. Dissenter

    “You believe we scouted Kurzawa?”

    You think we buy players we never scouted?
    Damn…you really think anyone would commit to spending millions in annual salary for an employee they haven’t scouted and done a background research on?
    These players have certain employee benefits including insurance. The club has to show due diligence before committing money to people.

  52. China1

    Overmars you’re way too lenient

    ‘Not the best stat’

    Be serious mate it’s absolutely dismal over 2 years and at 350k a week.

    That equates to almost £7m per assist we’ve been paying him. How many assists does iwobi have over the same time period? And we all said he wasn’t good enough (he wasn’t).

  53. Freddie Ljungberg


    I don’t care about Emery, or Wenger for that matter, these players were not good enough consistently then and isn’t now, that’s the point.

    Sure, Ozil doesn’t get brushed off the ball like he’s an overgrown baby on the regular.

    We lack creativity and goals from midfield and our Cam has the worst output of not only the big clubs but pretty much all of them but at least he’s tidy, smh.

  54. Aussie Gooner

    1) The Krankies will not ‘walk away’ from Arsenal anytime soon
    2) The squad as it stands is mid table in any language
    3) The Krankies will not invest a cent of their own money in the club
    4) The Krankies will continue to take advise from a dysfunctional executive
    5) No manager in the world would make this club functional at the present time
    6) Fuck xg stats and all – we don’t have the depth or quality of squad to compete
    7) Non of the above is going to change anytime soon.
    8) I would personally welcome Dangote with open arms but it won’t happen anytime soon.
    9) Laca is spot on with his comments
    10) Chelsea will lift their game for us
    11) Our scouting set up is shite – it has been decimated in recent years in favour of stats and Youtube clips

  55. China1

    Considering ozil is supposed to be the assist king, doesn’t 7m per league assist over a 2 year period make you want to die? This is a disgustingly poor stat

    If he was churning out assists but not much else at least there would be a case for carrying him, but he doesn’t assist or score so what is the actual point of him? If we want a n10 who doesn’t assist or score but puts in a shift we can find one for 40k a week quite easily. The whole point of ozil being expensive is that he’s supposed to offer something elite

    Where is it?

    And emery was crap, clearly but it’s no excuse. If ozil actually did his bit well emery would’ve played him. He didn’t offer anything useful so was rightly binned off.

    Just like he vanished as soon as he got his contract under wenger. And after 3 good games under emery he vanished under arteta as well.

    Some of you guys are way too lenient

  56. Kc

    It’s all about fitness. That maybe the reason teams power down towards the end of the game. Very few teams can keep up the tempo. That’s why great teams score early. In Arsenal case, under Emery they were running and sprinting much less. Now with Arteta on board , he is pushing hard on the team’s fitness and it will take a season or two to come to fruition. Take a look at Kloop,s Liverpool, in the first two years they were conceding a lot too.

  57. China1

    I would gladly swap iwobi back for ozil right now

    We’d save a fortune on wages, probably have better output and we’d have more pace and industry at AM.

    Now that tells you something because iwobi is some way short of the answer to our problems

  58. Marko

    Joel Matip on a free transfer. It was a squad cheap transfer to get them to a better place.

    Difference being Joel Matip was 24 a consistent starter for Schalke and he’s apparently on 70,000 a week. If you can’t see the difference between that and a soon to be 28 year old bit part player on 115,000 then I dunno. Anyway

  59. Dissenter

    Nope, it’s not that different.
    Joel Matip was player most Liverpool fans didn’t know about before they signed him on unfree. Joel Matip’s transfer didn’t provoke a whimper of protest because they didn’t care about what was just a squad movement of players.
    By the way. Matip increased his wages from 70 k Euros weekly at Shalke to £100k weekly at Liverpool. The rumor mill has Kurzawa reducing his wages to come to Arsenal.
    Kurzawa is no the first player to lose his way at PSG by the way. Lucas Moura too lost his way there and regained it any spuds. Emery coached Kurzawa at PSG and still recommended him to Arsenal.

  60. Pedro

    China, I think that says more about your taste in #10 players. There’s not a coach in the world that’d take Iwobi over Ozil.

  61. Overmars


    By you claiming that you would rather Iwobi than Ozil tells me all I need to know about your football knowledge. I’m glad you’re not in control of transfers at the club.

    Saying that, it wouldn’t surprise me if we sold Ozil end of the season. But the question is, who do we get to replace him? It’s all well and good saying he needs to be sold, but being realistic, if we finish mid-table and fail to qualify for the Champions League, we won’t attract anyone half as good. Even then we would have to pay a player around 250k a week but that doesn’t guarantee you a good player.

  62. Freddie Ljungberg

    Iwobi had 3 goals and 7 assists last season in less than 2000 minutes

    Ozil has 5 goals and 3 assists since the start of last season in 2700 minutes.

    That’s not saying Iwobi is good, it just means Ozil is really fucking bad.

    No coach in the world would pick Ozil over anyone.

  63. Freddie Ljungberg

    Does everyone’s eyes gloss over when presented with the facts of how horrendously poor Ozil has been for more than 2 years?

    Who could we get to replace him? Has to be a trick question, half as good? 250k a week? He contributes nothing ffs, replace him with an u12 player and we’d have the same result.

    Did Pierres subliminal terror attacks actually work on some people so they’re incapable of facing the truth of Ozils demise as a serious football player?

  64. Overmars

    Freddie Ljungberg

    “No coach in the world would pick Ozil over anyone.”

    Arteta seems to pick him every week mate, so he must be doing something right?

    You say we should replace him with an under 12s player… if he is as bad as you say, than surely Willock and Ceballos must be terrible, as they both couldn’t keep their place in the first team and Ozil has crept back in ahead of them both.

  65. Freddie Ljungberg


    it’s more an indictment on our squad than it is Ozil doing anything right. Arteta seems to want to go with experience to get us back to winning ways, not exactly working out that way is it?

    Ceballos has been injured and hasn’t really adapted to the league, Willock is a kid, also isn’t really a Cam.

    5 goals and 3 assists since last season.

    There is no excuses for that, none, certainly not on 350k a week.

    Give the u12 player 2 lollipops a week as salary, he can sit in the stands and we’ll get the same output ffs.

    I can understand Pierre defending him, love is blind and all that but for anyone else it’s just inexcusable.

  66. Overmars

    Freddie Ljungberg

    It does make laugh that as soon as Arsenal draw a couple of games – Ozil’s fault. Get beat – Ozil’s fault. Poor defending – Ozil’s fault. Dodgy hot dog at the Emirates – Ozil’s fault.

    Personally, I just enjoy watching him play football. Stats can argue he’s been useless over the last couple of years but I prefer to watch the game with my own eyes and in my opinion, I still reckon playing well, but not as good as his high standards suggest he should be.

  67. Freddie Ljungberg


    “It does make laugh that as soon as Arsenal draw a couple of games – Ozil’s fault. Get beat – Ozil’s fault. Poor defending – Ozil’s fault. Dodgy hot dog at the Emirates – Ozil’s fault.”

    Not everything is Ozils fault, us not scoring or creating enough is though, that’s what he is be=ng paid to do and he’s not doing it. This isn’t just my opinion btw, it’s absolute facts.

    Hey, if you enjoy watching someone float around doing a couple of flicks now and then and shirk all responsibility in the middle then that’s up to you, I don’t judge people even when they’re being stupid.

    I would prefer we got someone in that could actually help us win football matches but I’m a bit special like that.

  68. SP

    Ozil is a disaster of the highest order. Was kicked out of the German squad and is enjoying 350k per week at Arsenal for doing absolutely nothing.

    Arteta is clearly not as ruthless as some people thought.

  69. Aussie Gooner

    Don’t fret. Ozil is going nowhere – remember – he likes it here and, being the loyal servant that he is, will honour his contract to the end!

  70. Tony

    “China, I think that says more about your taste in #10 players. There’s not a coach in the world that’d take Iwobi over Ozil.”

    Can you show us the results of the polled managers you conducted Pedro.

  71. China1

    Pedro it’s funny you should say that because I didn’t see too many offers coming in for ozil in the summer yet we sold iwobi for 30 odd million

    Also which part of what I said is not true? Which player provides industry, pace, workrate, positive attitude, willingness to press and doesn’t regularly fake illness? That would be iwobi

    Which player provides greater goal and assists threat? I’m not even sure because ozil numbers spanning two years are so basement that he probably isn’t even winning on that front either

    Then there’s the wages being saved.

    If you’d rather pay £7m for each PL assist for two solid years for a player Whose specialty is assists then that really says a lot more about you.

    Over the last 24 months we’ve spent 34m on ozil wages. I’m guessing iwobis salary to be 100k (was probably less) which would set his wages at just under 10m over the same time period.

    So for an extra 24m what exactly have we got out of ozil that we couldn’t have got out of iwobi? Meanwhile iwobi got us 30m in transfer fee whilst no one will even touch ozil with a barge pole

    So please spare me the hipster bollocks about the genius that ozil provides. It’s a total myth. If we’d lost ozil on a free transfer instead of that contract and had kept iwobi we could’ve had an additional 25m to put towards a proper player rather than even needing to discuss this. 25m got us torreira.

  72. China1

    Also lol at your flip flopping Pedro

    Just because arteta rates ozil he’s back in your good books. If arteta comes out tomorrow and says ozil is a lazy shit who couldn’t assist his grandma to cross the road you’d be writing posts calling for his immediate sale

  73. China1

    Where are all the offers for our mercurial n10?

    Why aren’t teams beating down the door to take this legendary playmaker assist king off our books?

    Is it something to do with him being hideously expensive, having absolutely basement numbers for two solid years, his crap attitude, his political baggage, his fake illnesses?

    Surely not. Everyone wants ozil, right?

    Meanwhile actual decent money for iwobi was an actual thing that happened.

    I don’t even rate iwobi. He was a squad player. But even our squad players are evidently motivating opposition managers more than the incredible German

    A player who has been MIA for his last few games again I might add. So much for the arteta improvement for him huh

  74. China1

    I can tell you right now if ozil was getting 25 assists a season then some elite teams like juve, psg etc would absolutely be willing to consider his joke wages

    But he doesn’t. Because he can’t. Because he’s nowhere near as good as he and a lot of people like to believe

  75. China1

    When a club like arsenal has actual elite talent we go through a war every transfer window to keep them

    With Vieira, Henry, fabregas, RVP etc, every summer was a horrible slog of teams desperately tapping them up

    Where are those constant leaks to the press from other teams about how much they hope to play with ozil some day? It’s not a coincidence. Put a 29 year old TH14 in this team right now on ozil’s wages and you’d have a whole host of clubs still circling

  76. Unai

    100% with Marco on Kurzawa, feels like we’re repeating old mistakes.

    So we sell Kola for £20m to turn a profit? Whats Kurzawa’s singing on fee?

    Were going to end up with £10m and another player happy to sit around for a salary.

    On Ozil, he’s finished as a football entity and lets be honest age, will prevent him turning it round.

    What worries me, if this season is about building for next season then Arteta’s faith in both Ozil and Xhaka suggest they will be key players next year too.

    I’ll judge in the summer transfer window but if Arteta’s not pushing for a new CM or CAM to replace these 2 paper weights then I can only see him becoming another failure.

  77. China1

    Fyi iwobi got 8 assists last season (in the same terrible emery setup that apparently excuses ozil for getting so few)

    I don’t know how many were in the league. I know He scored 3 in the league last season tho (combined 14 goals and assists in all comps last year)

    So please tell me more about what ozil has brought to the table over iwobi in the last two years

  78. Unai

    If Ozil was a couple of lbs bulkier and a yard or 2 faster he would probably suit the prem but as he never has been or will be, he’s always going to struggle.

    Being able to shoot would be a massive benefit too.

    He’s just never going to live up to expectations or his contract and will always be a burden to us.

  79. SP

    Ozil was garbage in the world cup as well due to which he was kicked out of the German national team. Will Ozil sympathizers blame Emery for Ozil’s pathetic performances in the world cup too?

  80. China1

    Also why did emery drop him?

    Because he wasn’t contributing much

    If he’d been racking up assists he would’ve played

  81. Tony

    Perfectly reasoned and executed argument, China – Pedro won’t beat the count on that one.

    However Pedro also wins with his flip flopping to drive up the posts. Some here are just suckers to fighting meaningless arguments with baseless points.

  82. Pierre

    “Iwobi had 3 goals and 7 assists last season in less than 2000 minutesOzil has 5 goals and 3 assists since the start of last season in 2700 minutes.”

    I see the Ozil obsessives are on the march again …

    My recollection of when Ozil was making record assists and creating the most chances in Europe is that the obsessives on Le Grove regarded these stats as meaningless .

    That seems to have changed now , double standards I think they call it.

    Playing under a clueless manager (Emery) for the past 18 months has taken its toll on the whole of the Arsenal team , not just Ozil .

    Let us not forget that a few months before Emery arrived at Arsenal , Ozil created the most chances per 90 minutes in the WORLD CUP and was the 3rd most creative player in EUROPE.

    And despite being totally misused by Emery, Ozil still created the most chances during his time at the club.

  83. Unai


    “Look at salah at Chelsea. Different ball game at Liverpool. Why?”

    I take your point but you have to accept that Salah has all the attributes to be a success in the prem.

    As with Ozil he’s got the required skill for his role but hes also physically suited to the pace and demands of the league and has the mentality of a winner.

    Ozil is not a bad footballer, he’s just not physically or mentally blessed in a way his role requires.

  84. China1

    Lol Pierre how is it double standards?

    If we comment on his performances from what we see, it’s negative, lazy, anonymous half the time

    It used to be that his stats were his sole haven for those like you who swear by him but even those stats have vanished

    There’s nothing left. He’s completely done as a top end player and I’d bet practically anyrhing that outside of a good game here or there (every player has those) his form is going to vanish into mediocrity for the majority of the second half of this season

    That will be 3 separate arsenal managers which he has done this for.

    But do go on about his assists from years back. Very relevant to what we’re seeing today. He’s been consistently below par for years dude. Why does that pain you so much lol

  85. China1

    Right when arteta could really do with a couple more results to drag the team on, ozil has been poor against both palace and Sheffield utd – both games he could’ve been a difference maker but was one of the poorer players in the team

    And in both games we again dropped points. Is that emery’s Fault too? Or can we blame Freddie who likes to play him? Must be someone’s fault but it can’t be mesut’s

  86. Unai

    “I see the Ozil obsessives are on the march again …”

    Its a relevant discussion Pierre.

    Team is struggling to create so we look to our ‘most creative player’ for answers. He’s got to be questioned when he doesn’t provide his one key skill, assists.

    I’m not obsessed with Ozil, just recognise the situation we are in with him.

    He’s been given the freedom to be the player he wants to be, a manager that believes in him, reconnected with the fans and his effort has clearly gone up a notch yet the output remains similar.

    It’s probably time to accept its not happening, sign a replacement and let him wind down on the last year of his contract.

    If he’s our starting #10 next year we’re in trouble.

  87. Freddie Ljungberg


    “Ozil was at his best when he had sanchez and cazorla to olay off
    That’s what gets the best from him. He needs other skilled technical players to play off.”

    He needs his bath water at exactly 37.5 degrees, he needs exactly 52 red m&ms in his dressing room, he needs jupiter to be in retrograde, he needs a humidity of exactly 73%.

    Always with the excuses for Ozil.

    He doesn’t warrant any building around him, he’s 31 years old and has had an almighty drop in the last 2 years, his attitude was already bad before his new contract it’s now abject.

    Arteta is doing a good job mitigating how terrible Xhaka is under pressure by taking him out of the congested middle, it leaves us with a 1 man midfield though, poor Torreira has to do the work of 3 in there and it’s not sustainable.

  88. Pierre

    “Its a relevant discussion Pierre.
    Team is struggling to create so we look to our ‘most creative player’ for answers. He’s got to be questioned when he doesn’t provide his one key skill, assists.”

    I can’t say for certain , but if I was to make an educated guess , I would say that under Arteta, Ozil has created more chances than any other Arsenal player.

    Arteta would recognise this ,he also understands that Ozil is doing what is asked of him…creating chances. …it is not his fault if those chances are not turned into goals

    Plus , if you look at our goals scored, take our last 2 goals for example , Ozil has figured prominently in the making of those goals even if it wasnt the final ball.

    Arteta is also intelligent enough to understand this .

    Personally, I would like to see more from Ozil , I never thought he was playing anything special when the media were eulogising over his early performances under Arteta .
    Running around a lot means nothing to me, I want more than that from a player of the quality of Ozil.

  89. Pierre

    “It used to be that his stats were his sole haven for those like you who swear by him but even those stats have vanished”

    I thought you would be happy, he now has the best running stats …you cant have it all ways .

    Personally , I believe offensive/creative players need to keep energy in reserve for when they actually need it.

    I don’t particularly want to see our 3 most creative players ( ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette) running further than the others .
    This being the case, they wont be able to perform at their maximum on the ball.

    Arteta needs to get the balance right , too much energy is being expended by our offensive players without the ball .

  90. Dream10

    Links to Jerome Boateng popping up again.
    I think it’s one deal that will happen in the next ten days. Believe the club did reduce the wage bill in the summer. With cash for transfers set to be limited with the possibility of no CL/EL, expect this type of deal to be done once or twice this window and in the summer as well.

  91. Batistuta


    Guess we’re not going to agree on Kurzawa, can’t see any upside to it to be honest but let’s see how it all plays out, if he comes in and has a better then good for the club, if he doesn’t we’re stuck with a player no one would want for whatever length of contract he’s got….

    Shame though that a club our size is consistently complaining of funds, such poor decision making for years added to a completely disinterested owner, very sad.

  92. Batistuta


    Why is it only at Arsenal that our creative/foward players shouldn’t really do a lot of running? It’s team sport, you attack as a unit and defend as a unit if I’m not mistaken? Why the need to always not want attacking players do any work? You watch city and sometimes Aguero is behind Sterling and Mahrez in a counter because he’s just been back in his own box defending and yet somehow that doesn’t affect his input, same with De Bruyne…

    The game has sadly gone past non-athletic players, traditional CAM barely exist anymore because everyone’s got to put in a shift nowadays.

  93. Pierre

    ” It’s team sport, you attack as a unit and defend as a unit if I’m not mistaken”


    Which is something we are not doing at the moment.
    Too much emphasis is on the offensive players to press .
    The whole team need to press on the front foot otherwise our offensive players will be chasing shadows , which is often the case.

    Very rarely are the city players you mentioned in their own box.

    City condense the play in the opposition half , hence these players have to do less running and consequently expend less energy.

    Arsenal dont condense the play in the opposition half , hence our offensive players are having to do too much leg work.

    This needs to change , though personally I dont think we will ever be a pressing side in the true sense of the word with Pepe, ozil and Aubameyang in the side..

  94. Ishola70


    “He only drops back sometimes to fill in IF he needs to. Most of the time he forms a midfield 3 with Torreira and AMN”

    Not true.

    He is shunting to the left a lot in matches and the tactic is not about “filling in” in Xhaka’s case because we see Xhaka now shunting out to the left to start moves in first transition when Arsenal are on the ball. The tactic in Xhaka’s case as others have said is to give him more time on the ball when Arsenal have it in possession.

    So the tactic is to help Xhaka when he is on the ball.

    The team will still have a problem with Xhaka off the ball though. It doesn’t matter where you put him on the field. He will have mares off the ball any time, any place on the pitch.

  95. Ishola70


    Why do only Arsenal left backs need cover like that?

    As Marc said the other day Xhaka is shunting out to the left a lot not just when rookie Saka is LB but also experienced older player Kolasinac is there at LB.

    If it was only a case that Xhaka is only filling in for the marauding LB going forward then we would not see Xhaka shunting out left to start moves from deep when Arsenal are on the ball.

    Think about it.

  96. Ishola70

    tbh it’s a decent tactic from Arteta in Xhaka’s case but as said it won’t stop him still being a hindrance off the ball.

    It helps him on the ball.

  97. Pierre

    “The tactic is to provide cover for he marauding full back while giving the team the option of its best passer from deep more time
    It’s not just charity for xakha
    It’s to help the team.”

    Spot on .

    Is it wise to talk tactics with ishola..

  98. Ishola70

    And let’s not go there if teams start to really target Xhaka in his filling in role in the LB position.

    He is not a good defender at all so the notion that he is providing strong cover there is laughable. He is a body there that is all.

    We have already had a taster of Xhaka getting exposed in the LB position with his awful attempted challenge on the left side when he was booked late on against Sheffield United.

    If teams really target that area with this tactic in place it will get messy in the long run.

  99. Bob N16

    Let’s see what our squad is like in August. If Ozil and Xhaka are still in it, I will be concerned. That being said, posters who are critical of Arteta for playing them both at the moment are possibly being naive. Arteta is being a pragmatist.

    Some might argue that we should be selling Xhaka for whatever we can get right now but those people should ask themselves whether we would be better off selling in the summer window, a time when most clubs want to do business. By the summer Ozil will only have one year left of his absurd contract. This will hopefully mean that a club will be willing to take him on a free and allow us to wash our hands of him. With Ozil’s wages off the payroll as well as whatever we can get for Xhaka (25m?), we can feed this into the upgrade in midfield we badly need.

    For me the rest of the season is all about progression in way of playing and giving game time to players who can develop under Arteta. That being said, Xhaka and Ozil will get game time!

  100. Samesong

    Chelsea are looking to complete the #PL double over Arsenal for the fifth time

    Only Liverpool (5) and Man Utd (5) have done this against the Gunners

  101. Ishola70


    The tactic is in it’s infancy.

    Xhaka has already made a fool of himself against Sheffield United trying to defend as a LB and failing miserably with the booking he got.

    He was on thin ice against Leeds several times.

    If this tactic is for the long term teams will latch on that Xhaka is not a good defensive cover in the LB position.

    You have seen him play. You know how poor he can be off the ball so to suggest that Xhaka will be seeing off marauding opposition wingers long term is fanciful to say the least.

  102. Ishola70

    Ok Don.

    But the warning signs have already been seen.

    Warning signs don’t always result in goals against.

    But funnily enough the first time the tactic was used Bournemouth scored their goal from the right wing and Xhaka was doing his filling in stylee there.

    There would be no need for these convoluted tactics if only Arsenal had a CM who could handle himself better in the middle of the pitch.

  103. Pierre

    “If teams really target that area with this tactic in place it will get messy in the long run.”

    Wait for it …

    I’m sure the opposition will score a goal due to this tactic sometime in the future and ishola and fred will be waiting to pounce, because in their sad , negative little world , that’s what they do.

  104. Ishola70


    “I’m sure the opposition will score a goal due to this tactic sometime in the future”

    They already have. Bournemouth.

    And we know of course that there will be other goals scored by the opposition originating from their right wing down the line.

    It happens.

    Let me ask you why Arsenal are the only team in the EPL using this certain tactic? Is it because it is so cute and clever? Or is it because the tactic is about indulging and aiding one certain individual player?

    The filling in at LB is a misnomer in this instance.

    The main purpose of the tactic is to get Xhaka away from the middle of the park.

  105. Ishola70


    You should know not to shout from the roof tops about a tactic or formation being tops after such a short period.

    Remember Wenger’s three at the back at the tail end of the season a few years ago? The team were actually showing duck eggs. No goals conceded for consecutive games.

    The team were going to conquer on the back of this new found defensive fortress.

    Didn’t happen in the long run.

    I don’t want to see convoluted tactics because a player can’t handle himself in central midfield.

    I want to see a CM brought in that can handle himself in the middle of the pitch.

  106. Daniel Altos

    Bloody hell…does ozil really have 9 goal involvements in 43 matches?Shocking stat that one….if we reach 10games with Arteta and still only have one win out of 10 then it will start to look pretty bad….we have to conjure up a result from somewhere…..tonight might be a start.

  107. Daniel Altos

    Pedro am sorry but how is Barca a sinking ship?Yes they were playing averagely but they still were on top of laliga and their defence was really solid

  108. Daniel Altos

    Iwobi I would take over ozil…well at least he can dribble in tight spaces and can actually run…yes his passing isn’t as good as ozil’s but what use is passing if 80% of our passes are sideways and we attack with fullbacks most of the time anyway(something which legrove seems to be against)…am full on the john fleck propaganda.Also Emiliano buendia has 7 assists in a shit Norwich team and he’s got a good pass in him,can dribble and good work rate….this may sound mad but I actually think he is a better footballer than James maddison.

  109. Thorough

    I’m not saying I haven’t seen discernible progress under Arteta but immediately I saw the lineup I decided I wasn’t watching. We’re underutilizing the squad it’s not funny. What has Ceballos done wrong not deserve a spot ahead of or in place of Ozil or Xhaka? Mustafi is forced and that’s understandable. But sticking to the same failing players, the death of Emery, will likely be his downfall too if he continues down this foolish path.