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

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