Arsenal’s newfound resilience delivers 3 points in brutal encounter

by .

The first half was back to the Arsenal of Arsene Wenger. Some great attacking play and some extremely dopey defending. Key point, the half was a lot fun.

We went a goal down inside a minute. A ball into the box came off the back of Luiz’s head, Calvert Lewin dropped an outrageous overhead kick and scored. A lot of finger-pointing going off, one of the big mistakes was wondering what the fuck Kola was doing wrestling Mina into the box breaking the offside trap. We were also slow, we weren’t alert, it was standard Arsenal.

Kola had a nasty clash about 14 minutes later, he went off with his arm in a makeshift sling with blood coming out of his mouth. Saka came on, probably how most wanted the game to start. The young left-back made an impact almost immediately. Xhaka slipped him in down the left, Saka moved the ball forward and whipped in a perfect cross for Eddie to guide a volley across Pickford’s goal. Brilliant to see him score after so many criticised Lacazette not starting (same people that have been complaining the Frenchman should have been dropped weeks ago).

We controlled possession in the main. Most of our problems came from Richarlison. He has so much power, he can shoot, cross, dribble, but Mustafi mostly did well with him on his own.

Iwobi had the best chance, blazing over in customary Iwobi fashion. He was subbed after 60, I do not miss him.

We took the lead when David Luiz slipped Auba in with a defence-splitting pass that was unbelievably sexy. The sharpshooter from Gabon should have cut the ball across the box to Eddie, but he wasn’t having any of that, he took the shot himself and it was inch-perfect.

The half meandered on for 5 minutes because of the Kola injury and we couldn’t keep it together. A ball cleared the area and was volleyed into the ground, spinning up, Mustafi lost out to Mina, the onward header wasn’t dealt with, everyone was asleep bar Richarlison, who prodded the ball under Leno.

The second half started off in spectacular fashion, Ozil slipped Pepe down the right, he cut back, found Auba with a precision cross, the striker heading down into the ground back across Pickford’s goal. Carlo’s face was a picture, barely had the chance to sit down.

The narrative of the second half was a messy one. Everton consistently found Richarlison out on the left, and his dangerous balls into the box were an absolute nightmare to deal with. Calvert Lewin was inches away on numerous occasions from equalising.  He found himself 6 yards out with only Leno to beat, the German spread himself and the ball bounced off him.

Mustafi was a bit of monster in the second half. He took control of a horrible 45 putting his head, legs and body on the line to keep Everton at bay. Especially important as Saka’s head dropped after a number of bad touches, some Theo like collapsing on the ball under zero pressure, and some car crash passes to imaginary friends.

The two best chances came when a looping long ball over the top saw Bellerin slide it into the Everton forward line, Leno was quick to it, 15 years from his line he slid into a tackle and made the chance. There was also a horrendous setpiece that ended with a Lewin header that grazed past Leno’s far post.

NERVE JANGLING.

The fans hung on for the last 5 minutes, sung loud and proud, and we took the 3 points.

Mikel’s first back-to-back wins in the Premier League. The fans vocal and onside. The players smiling at the end of the game.

The performance in the second half was a big mess at times. We made silly mistakes, we struggled with possession and we rode our luck. But that’s football, we needed a bit of good fortune after the nightmare run of horrible decisions and moments we had at the start of Arteta’s tenure.

I’m sure he’ll be working with the players to address some of the clear problems. We gave up possession too easily in midfield under pressure. We also didn’t deal with Richarlison. He’s a fantastic player, a bully, but time and time again, we allowed long balls out to the left to end in a cross or a very close chance. Mustafi was mostly on his game which was useful because Hector didn’t appear to be.

Another slight annoyance is some of the very cheap turnovers we allowed from throw-ins. We shouldn’t be losing possession there, but we did on numerous occasions. I also thought there were a few times when we weren’t even offering options.

Arteta was happy, mostly because Everton had a week to prepare and we had 3 days. A very important bit of information, particularly for a side that are a lot more physical than us (Arteta paraphrased).

‘The way we reacted and played for 65minutes after Europe was exactly what I wanted. They kept going and going.’

He also said Auba is the most important player and that he had questions over his ability to do the physical side of the job when he started, but now they are answered, and he wants to keep him at the club. It was a towering performance from the captain today. Two brilliant goals, but more importantly, his defensive duties were integral to keeping the outcome respectable. He loves mucking in and he’s playing like a proper captain. I was very impressed.

Dani Ceballos also had a very positive game. He was a little all over the place in the first half, he played some searching balls and kept the ball moving well, but he also made some silly mistakes, playing passes that didn’t need to be played or losing the ball in possession. The second half he was much better. He was an enforcer, making some brutal tackles and refusing to hide.

Bernd Leno was back to his best. He made some incredible saves, controlled his box well and made some very high-risk decisions that paid off. People might critique that he’s overused statistically, but the best keepers in the world keep teams in games. We haven’t had on that does that in years. God bless the German.

Also, worth noting that Mesut was also a beast. Ran himself ragged, made some great passes and tried to slow the game late on. Granit Xhaka was also brilliant, his probing balls and some ambitious Hollywood passes really opened the field. You really can’t know those two for effort and application.

There was some criticism of the subs. Arteta moves late in the game, a very Wengerish trait, and sometimes it’s not entirely clear what he’s up to. Taking off a flagging Ceballos for LT to strengthen a midfield being overrun made sense though, and you could see what the intention of Mesut for Matteo, more energy, aggressive pressing higher up the pitch. It didn’t really help, but I think that was just the nature of the game. I think a lot of people thought Papa or Nelson could have helped down the right where we were being absolutely savaged. Fair comment really, but the outcome was a win, so sheath your swords.

Overall, it was a great win. Not an ideal performance by a stretch, but some good attacking play, three very well worked goals, and a good response from going a goal down. That’s three wins in 7 days. Also notable that the fans are feeling it. They sang loud, they supported the team and helped us see it through. I think people can see Arteta is slowly moving the club forward, this is a team that was dead a few months ago and now they’re fighting like dogs until the end. Arteta was never going to fix everything right away, his main job has been to make us harder to beat, which we are. Now we’re starting to rack up points. Loads to address, but I’m feeling good about where we’re heading. The plan is clear.

A massive home game against the Greeks in the week. Let’s keep the positivity rolling and move to the next round and the chance of winning a cup.

See you in the comments. x

293 Responses to “Arsenal’s newfound resilience delivers 3 points in brutal encounter”

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  1. Silverhawk

    Lol. Guys calm down. Red is here to create comic relief. Don’t get all beat up with his comments.
    He’s a legrove special.

  2. Habesha Gooner

    Freddie
    If Auba goes, I don’t think we will be doing much better than Lacazette in the market. And I think Martinelli can be a prolific CF. He just knows where the goal is. He isn’t polished enough to play as a winger but he has instinct for headers, First time finishes and being in the right place. Lacazette and Martinelli with a really good winger and a better central and Attacking midfield will actually be enough. If auba stays, we sell Laca and we do these improvements, even better. We are too dependent on auba right now because we don’t create much. Even if he stays he should be the cherry on the cake, Not the whole cake.

  3. Leftside

    Red isn’t the only one, at least he can be mildly comical and you can laugh at him. You have CG who is an absolute cretin and Thomas/Steve who is just a nonentity.

  4. Guns of SF

    we really need Tierney back and operating on all cylinders. This would make our left side a beast… with Saka there as well.

    Pepe and Bell on the other side Im not so confident about. Would like to see Soares do some better things than Bell… Will not force Mustafi to come to his rescue or Luiz….

  5. Freddie Ljungberg

    HG

    I have no doubt Martinelli is going to be a great striker for us. Don’t think Laca is good enough to hold down the fort until he’s ready though. Just doesn’t offer enough.

    If Auba leaves and we sell Laca that would give us something like 80-90m, Edouard for 30m and the rest on a Cam will be better than keeping Laca out of sentimentality imo, he’s not getting any better so better to sell while he still has a relatively high value.

    We’ll see though, going to be an interesting summer for sure and hopefully we have EL or even CL to help us attract players and fatten up our budget.

  6. Danny S

    Leftside

    Have you ever seen The fast show? I read all CG’s posts with the voice of Rowley Birkin QC’s voice. The ‘and of course I was very drunk at the time’ guy.
    Makes them all make sense.

  7. Guns of SF

    we rid of Ozil, take those wages and give to Auba on a 2 yr deal…
    its all about the $$$ at the end of the day.
    Seems his family likes London, he seems settled and is captain.
    There is more sometimes to just players wanting to play for their childhood dream team

    Auba has kids also, so an uproot might be the best idea… but who knows…
    I hope he stays.
    Sell Laca… I cannot see where we have a place for him… and another slump like this, then its a waste

    Eddie is getting the nod …. so far so good.

    Laca is our meal ticket this summer. Hopefully 30-35M can be had for him…

    Need a CAM, CM that can score…

  8. Henry Root

    Sorry Xhaka was not immense or anything like it. He was deeply average, made very little positive contribution and is slow and laboured. Can ping the occasional pearler under no pressure but is a player who adds nothing to this side . His Opta stats on assists must be very interesting. When did he last create a goal…or a chance?

  9. Leftside

    Danny S I haven’t so I’ll have to have a quick search cos I find his posts insufferable I generally scroll past and only read if I see normal posters replying.

    With Redtruth, he actually reminds me of Red from that 70s show. He was super grumpy and pessimistic also. Maybe thats why I find some of his stuff funny.

  10. Ishola70

    Don must be yearning for Wenger’s purgatory elite level again if he is happy to see this team being kept intact going into next season.

  11. Danny S

    Leftside

    Red has gone full troll now, much like Thomas.
    They feed off the attention.

    CG I think is genuinely nuts. Like some crazed oracle of nonsense.

  12. Champagne Charlie

    “I love the idea, btw, that this is a very good squad but that Arteta plans to replace many if not most of the players this summer. That makes sense.“

    Makes sense to anyone that can comprehend the difference between ‘suitability’ and ‘quality’. Arteta will want to bring in players to enhance his football vision, not a hard concept to understand.

    Ibra was sold by Barca because he didn’t fit their system/needs. Go ahead and tell me Ibra wasn’t good enough. Your argument is typically shallow.

    Want to give your view of the following while you’re at it:

    -13 games with Emery we were 8 points back of 4th (lost ground by 8 points)

    – 6 games with Freddie we stayed 8 points back of 4th (lost no ground)

    – 9 games with Arteta and we’re 7 points back of 4th (has gained ground by a point)

  13. Redtruth

    Arsenal Home record against Everton:

    1996: Arsenal 1 – 2 Everton

    1997: Arsenal 3 – 1 Everton
    1998; Arsenal 4 – 0 Everton
    1998: Arsenal 1 – 0 Everton
    1999: Arsenal 4 – 1 Everton
    2001: Arsenal 4 – 1 Everton
    2002: Arsenal 4 – 3 Everton
    2003: Arsenal 2 – 1 Everton
    2003: Arsenal 2 – 1 Everton
    2004: Arsenal 3 – 1 Everton (League Cup)
    2005: Arsenal 7 – 0 Everton
    2005: Arsenal 2 – 0 Everton
    2006: Arsenal 1 – 1 Everton
    2008: Arsenal 1 – 0 Everton
    2008: Arsenal 3 – 1 Everton
    2010: Araenal 2 – 2 Everton
    2011: Arsenal 2 – 1 Everton
    2011: Arsenal 1 – 0 Everton
    2013: Arsenal 0 – 0 Everton
    2013: Arsenal 1 – 1 Everton
    2014: Arsenal 4 – 1 Everton (FA Cup)
    2015: Arsenal 2 – 0 Everton
    2015: Arsenal 2 – 1 Everton
    2017: Arsenal 3 – 1 Everton
    2018: Arsenal 5 – 1 Everton
    2018: Arsenal 2 – 0 Everton
    2020: Arsenal 3 – 2 Everton

  14. Bamford10

    Charlie

    Nice try. Barcelona and Ibra is a very special case and something of a false analogy. Who in this current team — and we’re talking about several players here, presumably — is Ibra to Arteta’s Barcelona and how? Please explain.

    The answer is: no one.

    This summer, when we see who he doesn’t rate and who gets sold, it will be obvious that he is moving them on not because they didn’t “suit” his style, but because they simply aren’t good enough, either technically or athletically or both.

  15. Champagne Charlie

    Banford

    Right, because you leaning hard on that assertion is not in anyway related to your overall bogus narrative about squad poverty.

    I missed your ‘analysis’ on why I posted about the deficit to 4th place?

    Short version being Emery gave up 8 points to 4th, Freddie lost no further ground, and Arteta has gained a little.

    Eerily quiet on that one, but quite loud pregame about a loss today resulting in us moving 10th to 11th. Bizarre right?

  16. Pedro

    Bamford, it’ll not be obvious at all. Lacazette is not suited to that central role for Arsenal, but he could move to Atletico and score 30 goals a season.

    Xhaka might not be suited to the Premier League from a power and pace perspective, but he’ll do just fine in Germany.

    Kola, Bundesliga left back of the year, might go to Barca and rip it up in a league that requires less defensive ability.

    Arteta selling players this summer isn’t going to be a vindication for you just because you say so.

  17. Goonies

    Lukalu to inter

    mhkytaryn to Roma

    Other examples of good players not being suitable for certain managers and the style
    They want to implement.

  18. Bamford10

    As for your second point, that’s a bit of sophistry there. Not surprising from you.

    In the 13 matches we played under Emery this season, we earned 18 points. That means we earned 1.38 points per match under Emery, and this in the season in which he was fired.

    Until today’s match, Arsenal have had the exact same return — 1.38 points per match — under Arteta. The win today improved this slightly, to 1.56.

    That these nearly identical point returns have resulted in differing distances from 4th place is the result of how other teams were playing during these respective time periods, not how Arsenal were playing. So your argument is bogus.

    If Arteta were to have managed our first 13 matches this season, and if he were to have realized the point returns he has realized thus far — 1.56 per match — he would only have won two more points than Emery did. That still would have left us six points back of 4th.

    Further, Arteta has only managed 9 PL matches, and he has only begun to have to deal with the burden of competing in two competitions at once. Let’s see where his numbers stand at the end of the season.

    (Note, though, that I don’t say this because I have any interest in passing negative judgment on Arteta. I like and rate him. You are the one who brought up this comparison. My issue, as I have said before, is with the squad, which I think is inadequate and poor.)

  19. Bamford10

    Pedro

    “Xhaka might not be suited to the Premier League from a power and pace perspective, but he’ll do just find in Germany.”

    Right. He’s not athletic enough to be a top four quality player in the PL. Just as many of us have been saying for some time now. This hurts your point, not helps it.

  20. Pedro

    ‘The burden of two competitions’

    Arteta started his job in the busiest part of the season, picking up the aftermath of an Emery/Freddie combo. He’s been up against it from the start.

    You bad data analysis fails to take into account that Arteta is picking up from the lowest ebb of 30 years with no preseaon. You can’t extrapolate his start like it’s been a normal scenario that’s comparable to Emery spending 200m and having 2 preseasons.

  21. Bamford10

    Pedro

    “Lacazette is not suited to that central role for Arsenal, but he could move to Atletico and score 30 goals a season.”

    He isn’t “suited” to the role because he is slow, undynamic and unathletic. That is, he isn’t a top four quality PL CF.

    And he won’t be scoring 30 goals in La Liga ever. And as Gunnerblog pointed out on an Arsecast a week or so back, he was never a 30-goal striker in the first place. Something like ten of his goals in each of his big years at Lyon were penalties.

    Thus Lacazette is just another example of an expensive Arsenal player who isn’t actually top four PL quality.

  22. Champagne Charlie

    “Until today’s match, Arsenal have had the exact same return — 1.38 points per match — under Arteta. The win today improved this slightly, to 1.56.“

    You mean until today you were flogging the 1.38 figure like it was proof Arteta was doing no better and now the same daft reference shows he’s doing better you’ve moved the goal posts and turned to undermine the improvement as ‘marginal’ over a sacked coach. Utterly predictable from Arsenal’s super fan.

    “If Arteta were to have managed our first 13 matches this season, and if he were to have realized the point returns he has realized thus far — 1.56 per match — he would only have won two more points than Emery did. That still would have left us six points back of 4th.”

    If Arteta was to have managed our first 13 games he’d have done so with the benefit of a full preseason and guidance over our summer signings. Thus he more than reasonably would’ve returned a better figure than 1.56 points per game that he’s accrued to date with none of the massive influencers mentioned.

    Your denial is so painful.

  23. Pedro

    Bamford, last time I checked penalties count as goals, and in 14/15, he had 31 goals in 40 starts for Lyon.

    You have absolutely no idea what he’d do in Spain, he’s not suited to the Arteta vision, but he’ll no doubt have a good career elsewhere.

    We do seem to be getting back into this repetitive nature with you where you go over the same thing again and again in a bid to prove yourself right. Is this the only line of conversation you have?

  24. Champagne Charlie

    Top four quality is a term many seem wildly out of touch with.

    Now Lacazette isn’t top four quality? We made top 4 with numerous average footballers. Spurs made it last season with Eric Dier, Wanyama, that Argentinian CB Foyte or something?

    Deary me, seems if you don’t like someone then that somehow qualifies them as not good enough for a top 4 side. Elite thinking.

    Then again we’re what? 10th best squad in the league I’ve heard so there’s the baseline for sense.

  25. That Dreamcast Kid

    Pedro
    February 23, 2020 22:38:27
    Red, leave the AKB stuff in 2017, you’re worse than CG for constantly pumping Wenger.

    funny because he’s the most vocal WOB out there iirc which is why some can tolerate him back then

    but the eternal contrarian known as Redtruth keep spinning the wheel

    you do you Ruth the blog is not fun without some village idiot eh

  26. Emiratesstroller

    I was at the game today and despite 2 defensive errors where we conceded unnecessary goals I thought that overall we were good value for the result.

    We scored three excellent goals and were unlucky that Aubameyang did not
    score a hat trick with a brilliant shot which hit the post and could have been
    the “goal of the season”

    Everton are a decent team as their recent form confirms and no-one should
    dismiss this result.

    Mustafi had an excellent game as has been suggested. Saka produced his 10th
    assist of the season AND for the record Ozil showed some real “class” and
    “work ethic” not seen in his game for a very long time.

  27. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    It is high time that you bin “RT” once again and this time for good. His obsessive negatives are not just tiresome but grinding to the point that he is not remotely amusing, but idiotic.

    The man does not go to games and indeed by his own admission often does not watch them.

    When you read his posts today they reveal someone who is completely delusional.

  28. Zacharse

    the only real complaint from the game should be bellerin’s performance. anyone saying otherwise either didn’t watch, isn’t a fan, or is just. plain. dumb.
    redtruth however is a bit more than dumb as he constantly proves to us all. the scoreline totally flattered a pretty mediocre everton who imo were just calvert-lewin and richarlison, two very big boys our not so big cb’s handled fairly well.
    loving the ceballos/ozil interplay- it’s only going to get better. eddie’s play is only going to get scarier, very good he’s got auba to learn from.

  29. Minden Raider

    The difference in this squad and Emery’s is that they dig in. Under aEmery they would have folded and it would have been 3 -3. 3 points won no matter how we do it. Gained by playing ugly perhaps. A few months ago I was worried about relegation !!! I’ve watched Arsenal since 1966 and this team is not bad believe me. Onwards and Upwards

  30. Minden Raider

    Excellent post Pedro. Dont know how you keep it going when I see some of the ridiculous comments against you. Excellent blog. Keep it going.

  31. Dissenter

    Pierre can’t stop winning🏆🏆🏆
    He must feel like Nostradamus right now

    Pierre
    Pardon, what’s the winning number for the lottery this week?

  32. Dissenter

    Whatever you think of Arteta
    He has moulded the team into one cohesive group in a short time. That’s
    no easy feat for a young manager .
    He has Ozil and Laca doing things that even Wenger never got them to do. he has Xhaka playing with good decision making, ditto Mustafi.
    He’s doing well, actually very well for a manager with no long term experience. You just know he’s learning very quickly and will get better.
    Hope city have to sell this summer and we get 2-3 players from their excellent academy.

  33. GunnerDNA

    Dissenter,

    “He’s doing well, actually very well for a manager with no long term experience”

    I agree 100%, but there’s no hiding from the fact that he needs better players. All the backtracking on some of these players are just trolling. Arsenal got away with that victory today, fans saying players were tired but most of the starters were fresh. CA really improved that Everton team, they were impressive.

  34. Zacharse

    Emirates

    i just worry bell ain’t gonna get back to where he was at. each game kinda confirms it. don’t really know how far therapies go now but hopefully he can gain some of that monster speed back, he’s still young, but dunno

  35. Spanishdave

    We have brought two players in Jan and neither have played for us yet?
    Why?
    I know one is not fit but what’s wrong?
    Bellerin is pants

  36. Zacharse

    next four games, home to west ham, away to brighton and southampton then home to norwich.
    hopefully that gets us up a few notches so we can take wolves away after that. that would be a HUGE 3

  37. Zacharse

    you think juve are gonna take him Pedro? that would be a sea change in the dressing room but prob worth it. we’re gonna need to buy two RBs this summer… unless there’s someone in the academy i’m unaware of

  38. Zacharse

    spanish dave

    one is injured, one has never played a prem game before. i wouldn’t be surprised to see mari either start or make the bench on thurs though

  39. Emiratesstroller

    Let’s be honest Arsenal in November needed a complete overhaul based on our performance level in the season up to that point.

    The football was dull as dishwasher, our defending chaotic and we looked like
    a relegation team.

    We are not by any figment of the imagination a title winning team but since
    Arteta’s arrival the the team looks better organised, fitter and increasingly harder to beat.

    No-one can argue also that players like Mustafi, Xhaka and Ozil have worked
    much harder in recent games and their performance level has improved. Two
    months ago we were discussing how to shift them out of the club.

  40. Zacharse

    april could be a rough month, wolves, leicester and spuds AND europa quarter finals. hopefully we get a solid run of momentum and no big imnjuries

  41. Spanishdave

    I know but why buy them?
    We need players who can hit the ground running in January as we don’t have time to bed them in

  42. Zacharse

    dave
    they were bargains and we had no monmey and needed players. both copuld turn out well for us as well. good biz imo

  43. Leedsgunner

    Mkhitaryan doing well at Roma and they want to keep him. Don’t get greedy Arsenal… anything around £10m+ sell him on and move him on. Do the same for Elneny.

    That’s £20m+ without batting an eyelid and millions off the wage bill. Then use some of the saved wages to improve Saka and Auba to stay… plus have a nice start up fund from which to build a good transfer kitty.

    Oh by the way, if Mustafi’s improved performances convinces another team to shell out £20m+… sell. We need better and younger.

  44. Guns of SF

    Tierney is a
    Concern

    Something tells me there was more to his injuries than the club let on about..

    Something seems off

    Should not take this long for a shoulder separation for a young strong kid

  45. Nelson

    Pedro: “The second half started off in spectacular fashion, Xhaka slipped Pepe down the right,”

    Mistake. Xhaka never played on the right side.

  46. Leedsgunner

    So come the summer, even without touching the Crown Jewels in the squad we should be able to raise £50m easy.

    Mkhitaryan £10m
    Elneny £10m
    Kolasinac £10m
    Ainsley Maitland-Niles £15m to £20m. English youngsters are all the rage in the Bundesliga at the moment… perhaps we could even propose a player plus cash deal to RB Leipzig for Upamecano? It’s clear for whatever reason Arteta doesn’t rate him. Sell him on then with a first refusal and decent a buy back clause.

  47. Pedro

    Leeds, absolutely. Think we’ll raise some good money in the summer and change the profile of the squad. Kike Marin says we have two players signed already. Would love to know who they are.

  48. Zacharse

    emirates

    let’s hope he does. a few of those guys could use a rest, saka definitely, and would love to see mari get a shot

  49. Spanishdave

    Something’s wrong with Tierney.
    A dislocated shoulder is not three months rehab.
    Why the hell did we get involved with him?
    It’s an Arsenal thing.

  50. China1

    Even our worst players tend to be top 4 quality it just depends if you mean starting 11 or squad.

    As far as squad players go, we did it with bentdner, chamakh and denilson all in the same team…

    Man utd won everything under the sun with absolute mediocrity like o’shea, Anderson, fletcher, Wes brown and the like.

    You don’t need a squad of beasts. You don’t even need 11. 7 excellent players 5 consistently solid players and a bit of average for squad fillers will more than do

  51. China1

    I don’t know anything about shoulder injuries but yeah you’d have thought this would’ve been a one month issue or something max?

    Anyone here had a dislocated shoulder? Was it really that bad?

  52. Nelson

    One can see that Arteta ball is possession football starting the attack from the two CB’s. Whenever we recover the ball, it’ll pass back to one of the two CB first. The system starts to work better and better.

  53. RodneyKing

    Bamford10
    February 23, 2020 20:59:22

    “Un Na
    I’m not salty at all. I am quite happy, actually. And to win their wager with me, TR7 and WE need Arsenal to finish above United. No offense, but I’m pretty confident I’m going to win that wager.”

    I don’t mean to pick on you but around this time last year, you (and gambon) said we weren’t going to catch United let alone finish above them. We eventually did, in spite of our poor run towards the end of the season.

    For the love of Arsenal, I hope you’re wrong again. But I’ll have to admit that at the moment, United are looking more likely than us to finish 4th/5th.

  54. China1

    I want players like xhaka sold as much as the next person, but it’s a well trodden path that even average players can go all the way in a team that wants them

    Darren fletcher’s only contribution to football was running around relentlessly committing as many professional fouls as possible whilst trying not to get red carded

    Guy was average as fuck, is idolized by no one and will be entirely forgotten to footballing history. But he was a mainstay in a beastly successful man utd setup and was considered a key player lol. Not a Vieira sort, not a makelele sort, not a mascherano sort – a Scottish guy who just had a good engine and liked to kick people

    So I hope we upgrade significantly on xhaka and chums but it’s not necessarily true at all that this squad can’t be top 4

  55. Zacharse

    China

    Motivation, confidence and tactical
    Nous are bigger parts of football than talent many times. Sometimes we all forget these qualities are what separate players who are basically all at the same level. I mean what percentage of footballers ever play a prem
    Game? Sure there are are world class players but by definition there arent that many

  56. Pedro

    Rodney, not quite sure the hype over United is any less bloated than usual.

    They drew to Brugge away in the week, beat a very inconsistent Chelsea, lost to City in the semi of the league cup, drew with Wolves, and beat a shite Watford.

    OGS gets great press despite not really moving the needle, though Fernandes looks great.

  57. RodneyKing

    @China Fletcher had Scholes next to him, didn’t he? At least for a bit.

    Xhaka could do with a mobile, sure-footed partner.

  58. RodneyKing

    Pedro, United beat City away from home in the league.

    Their counter-attacking style helps them win the “big” games. It appears to be all OGS has to offer in terms of tactics though because they tend to struggle against the “lesser” teams which is why they went in hard for Bruno Fernandes.

  59. Pedro

    Rodney, he did, everyone said they’d turned the corner, then Pep smashed them 3 weeks later.

    Maybe Fernandes is the key, but there have been so many United false dawns. Truly, the only key for them is Poch.

  60. Pedro

    United a whopping 4 points ahead of us during our worst start in 3 decades, on our 3rd manager, with a squad you said was uncoachable.

  61. Bamford10

    Pedro

    I never said anything about anyone being “un-coachable”. That is just another one of your straw-men. And United had a terrible start as well, on account of injuries. They were in 14th place when I said here in October that they were a better team than we are. And they are. I will be shocked if they don’t finish well above us.

    As for our supposedly terrible start which you’re always going on about, as I’ve pointed out several times, until today Arteta was doing no better in the PL than Emery did this season in the PL. 1.38 points per match. Given Arteta is only doing slightly better than Emery did, it’s a little weird that you go on and on about how terrible Emery was this season; again, Arteta is only doing slightly better than Emery did.

  62. Pedro

    Bamford, how many times do you have to have this 1.38 points red herring explained to you?

    Do you not understand how poorly constructed this line of attack is? I thought you were a professor?

  63. Pedro

    You don’t even start your bad comparison from the right place.

    Your 1.38 number was comparing 9 games to 13. If you were to compare 10 to 10 (last 10 UE to first 10 MA) which would still be a stupid comparison, Emery clocked in at 1.1 points per game. Arteta is now up to 1.5, which is a 27% hike in points starting from the worst Arsenal position in over 30 years.

  64. Pedro

    If we spread the numbers to 11 games after our next game and we win, the gap goes to 33%.

    Which becomes all the more significant when you realise all the things Arteta didn’t have, that Emery did.

    Namely 2 preseasons
    A say in who we signed
    200m to spend
    18 months with the squad

  65. MidwestGun

    Supposedly terrible? Bam it was the worst start in 27 years we had only won 1 match in 9 in his final 9.. Your losing it. If you can’t see how the team is performing better, as far as effort, organization, structure, giving up less shots per game. and now results are starting to follow.. I don’t know what people can tell you anymore. Also what is the obsession with top 4 quality or not? … Squad quality is a sliding scale players don’t perform at the same level game to game.. Form isn’t a constant. So at any one point during the season you can’t say X team is the 4th best team or the 7th best team.= because its all subjective with games to play. Only thing you can say with surety at the moment is Liverpool is the best team.

    Everyone here thinks we need new players… whether we need 2 or 7 … whatever.. why do we need to split hairs about that? We seem to have a coach who is able to communicate ideas and have everyone on board. We have been lacking that for ages that makes up for some player liabilities as seen by Mustafi.
    Everyone and I mean everyone thought the dude would be useless.

    Also what exactly is the point of proving that Arsenal is 7th best or 8th? That Emery wasn’t an issue? because he sure as fuck was. The team had stopped playing for him… he was done. I mean I just don’t get it…I feel like your way off the reservation on this one. I don’t agree with how many on here obsess over your comments and start getting personal but you have to see how what your saying isn’t jiving with what has happened. And then we end up rehashing an era of Arsenal football I would frankly like to forget.
    Arteta could still crash and burn and I would still say Emery had to go and we needed to try a new direction and that had nothing to do with player quality. Coaching does matter a bit more then you think, clearly.

    Anyhow apologies if I’m piling on but damn can we move on from this argument? Squad quality versus Coaching. it’s tedious. As far as I’m concerned we need both. And Emery was not the answer to that half of the equation.

  66. Sid

    The strikers in this team are capable of getting goals especially now we have 2 dribblers pepe and saka the strikers are not tightly marked, one of the reasons Auba is scoring headers.

    Dozi’s best position is higher up the field not a sitting CM, he’s naturally a protagonist.

    Im telling you this for free!

  67. Zacharse

    we don’t even need that many new players, a few fullbacks, a big cb and a midfield destroyer would get us into contention w city, they haven’t had a particularly good season…

  68. Emiratesstroller

    I don’t understand the relevance of the so-called stats which compare our performance this season under Emery and Arteta.

    1. We lost 7 games under Emery in all competitions. This compares with only 1 defeat under Arteta against Chelsea which we lost in final 10 minutes when the team tired.

    2. Yes we have drawn too many fixtures this season under all managers, and
    in many cases that was down to silly defensive errors.

    However, anyone who watches the team perform as opposed to just reading the stats will recognise that Arsenal were playing poor football under Emery and we did not look remotely competitive.

    The performance level under Arteta has improved markedly since he has
    taken over.

    It is still not perfect, but at least we are moving in right direction.

  69. Receding Hairline

    Emirates stroller we won 21 league games under Emery, finished two points off third place and played in a Europa league final, saying we did not look remotely competitive under him is lying .

    Like Ishola pointed out we also had this same scenario where we went on an unbeaten run and looked hard to beat. Literally nothing happening now didn’t happen at one point under Emery. Which is why declaring the past few games the dawn of a new era is very very premature as is the declaration that certain characters have been “properly coached”. They haven’t, they always had it in them to go on this little runs every now and then.

    I have just caught the game and again defensively we rode a luck. We conceded 17 shots at home.

    All this I told you he was the right man for the job thingy is very premature. He is doing okay at the moment, Ole who must of you thinks is a bum also goes on great runs of results and beats some very good teams… It happens.

    Too much back patting and I told you so’s because we won games,we have always been able to win football games on a good day same as every other team in the country

  70. Pierre

    Everton exposed our weak areas yesterday which was down the flanks.

    Many on here were concerned that we would be overrun in our midfield area but that didn’t happen, Ceballos and Ozil put in a great shift and they obviously like playing together.
    Ceballos is playing himself into the starting line up with every good performance he puts in.

    Bellerin , although not getting much protection from Pepe, is a liability at the moment and against good opposition will be targetted.
    Arteta is probably hoping that Cedric hits the ground running , if he does then we should expect to see him as a regular starter until Bellerin hopefully returns to his best.

    Kolasinac is always injured( and always will be) and for me , Saka , although doing well , is not a full back.
    So it’s a similar situation at left back with Arteta hoping Tierney hits the ground running.

    If /when Tierney returns this will then give Arteta another attacking option in Saka.

    Arteta options offensively are very good , with the 4 kids ( Saka, Martinelli, Nelson, Eddie) pressing Pepe ,lacazette and Aubameyang for a start.

    We are now looking very good offensively, there are goals in this team now the attack is starting to gel

    Have to mention Ozil as he was quality again yesterday.
    Our worst period of the game was when Ozil and Ceballos were taken off and we were unable to keep possession and lost control of the game .
    Arteta should have tightened up our right side and brought Nelson on for Pepe to help out Bellerin.

    Unless willock and Guendouzi show Arteta that they are up to the job in the next 3 months then central midfield is a position that he will strengthen in the summer, with maybe 2 coming in and a couple going out.
    I doubt if Torreira will stay and probably one of Willock or Guendouzi will be allowed to leave and maybe even an offer will come in for Xhaka that will be too good to refuse , so that is the area I can see Arteta strengthening.

    Everton surprised me with their quality yesterday, they will give any team in the league a game.

  71. Redtruth

    From AT
    “Under Emery, the Gunners had eradicated cheap goals from set pieces, but Arteta’s failing to get a handle on it and the team is paying the price. Arsenal won because they were the more clinical. On another day, the scoreline could easily have been reversed as Everton played most of the good football.”

  72. Pierre

    RH
    “I have just caught the game and again defensively we rode a luck. We conceded 17 shots at home”

    We did ride our luck towards the end of the game yesterday.

    I feel the problem for this was due to the fact that we unable to pace our game as well as we have done recently , where we have become stronger in the latter stages of games.

    Conceding so early was the reason for this, the effort and energy that the players put in to turn the game round took its toll in the later stages of the game.

    If we hadn’t have conceded so early , the game would have panned out completely different and we would have paced our game and conserved energy.

    We beat a very good Everton side yesterday, I will be interested to see how they get on in their up and coming tough run of fixtures as I believe they could cause these teams problems.

  73. Valentin

    RT,

    “Under Emery, the Gunners had eradicated cheap goals from set pieces”

    Except that the last season under Wenger Arsenal had the best defensive record at set pieces in the league. The season before Arsenal had the second best defensive record at set pieces.

    The first season under Emery we were also in course to have the best defensive record at set pieces until toward the end of the season when he decided to switch from zonal to man marking. Crystal Palace, Wolves, Leicester etc took advantage of that mad decision.
    Emery was asking Torreira to man mark mountain man Scott Dan. Guendouzi suddenly became a penalty waiting to happen with his erratic grappling in the penalty box.

    You do realise how ridiculous that remark was when that stats and facts show that was the last good thing Wenger did before being told to leave.

  74. Luteo Guenreira

    Tired of these slags who have probably never exerted themselves physically for more than 5 minutes in their lives always talking as if sport is formulaic.

    The best teams don’t always win the league. The team that played better doesn’t always win the match. Please stop obsessing over who has the better players as if that is all that matters, you’re ignoring the human aspect of everything. Yes we all want and know we need better players.

    Not that this will register as intended. It’s like talking to to a plant. Dumb fuckers annoy me though.

  75. Valentin

    Pierre,

    I don’t think that Everton will have any joy during their next set of games. They will face teams that will exploit their defensive frailty.

    Since Idrissa Gueye went to PSG, they have nobody who can physically dominate and control the opposition. Schneiderlin is the ghost of the player he was at Southampton.

    Like Bernard, Richardlison, Walcott Everton have players who flatter to deceive. Look good forward in patches but not consistent enough. For all Everton’s possession and attempts on goal, they scored two jammy goals from set pieces.

    Also they are very susceptible to counter-attacking. Against Wolves, ManUtd, Chelsea, ManCity, Liverpool those lapses can become fatal.

  76. Dark Hei

    Valentin

    Agreed. Wenger was sacked because the attack wasn’t scoring goals and the mid was dysfunctional.

    And on a side note, our dead ball defence improved after Steve Bould came on board.

  77. DivineSherlock

    That was some performance , so so enjoyable . Didnt think Arsenal had it in them to turn it around. Mustafi alone defended the whole right side. Luiz with that sexy pass. Saka’s cross . Aubameyang. So many positives. Mikel Arteta is really good.

  78. Dark Hei

    China1

    Excellent point with regards to Darren Fletcher.

    It is how a player fits in with the squad rather than pure talent itself. We had our experience with a rampaging Coquelin.

    If anyone desires a coach that only moans about lack of players, just look at the current Mourinho.

  79. Sanmi

    Contrary to opinions here, lacazette isn’t the one keeping Auba from central position, it’s the tactics. In our setup, Auba is less effective as a 9, bcos he cant hold up play and gets easily man marked. Coming from the wing however, its difficult to mark him. That’s how we destroyed man utd and Everton. Plus he is playing as an Aux CF anyway, he doesnt have to track back all the time as Xhaka is covering and Saka joins in double marking opponents no7. So whatever happens Auba stays on the wing permanently

  80. Freddie Ljungberg

    “Against Everton on Sunday evening, Ozil played one key pass, had a pass accuracy of 92.3%, took 66 touches, attempted one dribble, made one tackle, and put in one cross, according to WhoScored.”

    Good numbers if all you want is someone to keep possession and circulate the ball. Not that good if you want a Cam that actually influences the game and contributes to goals. Which kind of is the job of a Cam.

    Those of you thinking Ozil is earning his wages and doesn’t need upgrading in the summer are deluded. Sure he’s improved lately but he’s still doing very little.

  81. Sanmi

    Man utd aren’t as good as some are predicting here, they were woeful 1st half against Watford at home, if not for a mistimed challenge by Foster, that had draw written all over it. In any case, Everton is never losing to man utd at home. Not happening

  82. DivineSherlock

    Valentin
    I disagree with your sentiment regarding Everton. Its Andre Gomes who they really missed , with the protection from Delph , he can be the difference for Everton. I thought it was strange Ancelotti didnt start him. Good for us obviously. Bernard isnt even a starter , They needed somebody to feed passes to thay front three of Iwobi-Richarliso-CalvertLewin. That is why they resorted to the long passes on our rightside to Bellerin. They are certainly a good side.

  83. Zacharse

    The one thing that NEVER gets mentioned re: arteta vs emery lately
    And i just can’t understand why this doesnt just END THE ARGUMENT EVERYTIME
    is that with the end of the “marathon” that is the premier league, his tactics stopped working. And then we lost the final. He got found out AND he lost the dressing room. Its fine to be in the lead for 3/4 of a marathon, but nobody really cares about the guy who was winning for 3/4 of a marathon and no one wants to use those methods for the next one. He simply wasnt good enough. Spin it however you want but that is what happened

  84. Habesha Gooner

    Morning. Miki with a goal and an assist. And fonseca says He wants to keep both miki and smalling. 10 mil for him and another 10 from Elneny and It will pay for half the price of a really good CM. Or pape gueye and a decent left back if we sell kola.
    And On auba playing on the wing, I know he doesn’t offer much as a striker apart from goals but if we got a really good winger and if auba is still playing on the shoulders of the last defender it will add much more balance to our attack. We are getting goals from auba from wide areas but we are also missing what a really good winger could give us. Take ons, beating players and good deliveries that can be converted if auba is in the middle. Saka is showing what a good winger could give you from left back. Auba’s best form came when he had Reus and dembele either side of him. We have three wingers Nelson, pepe, Saka. one is playing left back. We are also using Auba and Martinelli who are both strikers on the wing and we lose balance in our attack.

  85. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Stroller
    I like reading your posts as much as I enjoy reds short statements.. don’t agree with him , he don’t reply to questions ..

    However calling for a fellow poster to be banned is wrong in my opinion. Unless he has personally attacked you, then that is wrong.
    Yes he is nuisance at times

    He is entitled to his views however random they are.

  86. Pierre

    Habesha
    “And On auba playing on the wing, I know he doesn’t offer much as a striker apart from goals but if we got a really good winger and if auba is still playing on the shoulders of the last defender it will add much more balance to our attack”

    We have a really good winger in Saka

  87. Freddie Ljungberg

    What happened with Guen in Dubai:

    “The training incident,” Ornstein reveals, “was a mid-session altercation with one of his team-mates, which led to both men being pulled up by Arteta, although the 20-year-old was deemed the guiltier party and given a more stern dressing-down.

    “But also during the five-day camp, Arsenal’s technical director Edu had to tell off the Frenchman for his behaviour at an external event,” Ornstein adds. “The group were enjoying some local music when Guendouzi briefly removed his shirt and waived it around in support of the act.”

    Doesn’t sound that serious and the knee jerk reactions to sell him from some on here looks even more silly now. If we sell everyone that’s not world class by the age of 20 or has a dust up with a team mate we’d have to start playing 5 a side

  88. Bob N16

    I get no enjoyment from reading Redtruth’s comments. I wouldn’t ban him though as I suspect the interactions he gets from this blog are an important part of his social interaction. Without this ‘contact’ I would fear for his mental health.

  89. Luteo Guenreira

    Eh anyone that asks for another poster to get banned is a twat. Grow some skin and move on. Snitches get stitches.

  90. Emiratesstroller

    There needs to be some perspective about yesterday’s result and not the constant unintelligent commentary expressed by the usual party poopers.

    1. Arsenal played two difficult games in less than 3 days plus travel to and from
    Greece.

    2.Everton are a better team than has been suggested with good results since 7th December. They lost by a single goal to Liverpool.

    3.We conceded an early goal in first minute of the game and a second in the
    last minute of the first half. Both situations would have been critical outcomes
    in games earlier in the season.

    4. We did not concede a goal in the second half despite coming under considerable pressure in last 20 minutes. That pressure was not unexpected
    considering that Everton played with 4 forwards at end of game.

    5. Whereas in the past Arsenal would have probably drawn or lost such a game that was not the case yesterday. They played to the whistle.

    6. No-one argues that there are weaknesses in our team/squad, but also that
    several players have raised their game since Arteta has arrived most notably
    Mustafi, Xhaka and Ozil.

    7. Some of the so-called analysis is ridiculous. Arsenal have got the same squad of players as they did before Christmas apart from Mari and Soares who
    have yet to play. So it is plain to see that the team has improved with more or
    less the same resources.

  91. Eddie

    Oh fuck. Bamford and his twin GunnerDNA are still banging on the same fucking drum. This is non-stop spam Pedro.

    You may want to check on the IP address mate.

    Bamford and his bogus analysis. He just flits from one position to another after he gets his trousers pulled down exposing his tiny, dysfunctional wiener. He just lies about what he said and what he meant.

    It’s beyond boring.

    Time to switch on the spam filter mate. I don’t care if he’s on the spectrum and I don’t care if he’s transitioning. I don’t want to read his rubbish.

    Retire him for good. Send him to his bedsit to spam another place. I hear Walter Mitty.com are looking for contributors. Or maybe a BDSM site for subs. He just loves his public spanking.

  92. Luteo Guenreira

    Hamford is a lost cause, just mug him off and be done with it. A guy with his ego with an imaginary bet against a couple internet specters, if it gets close toward the end of the season you know he’s going to root for United over Arsenal if he hasn’t been already. And he claims to be an Arsenal fan, can’t wrap my head around it.

    He’ll never stop because he’s unable to see himself frankly for what he is, so why even bother.

    On another note, I bought his mom a new collar that fights fleas and she seems to really like it.

  93. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Monday morning gag

    A Dublin man sees a sign outside a Kerry farmhouse:
    ‘Talking Dog For Sale’….He rings the bell, the owner appears and tells him the dog can be viewed in the back garden.
    The man sees a very nice looking Black Labrador Retriever sitting there.
    “Do you really talk?” He asks the dog.
    “Yes!” The Labrador replies.
    After recovering from the shock of hearing the dog talk, the man asks, “So, tell me your story!”
    The Labrador looks up and says, “Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the government, so I joined the Garda.
    “In no time at all they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world drug lords, because no one imagined that a dog would be eavesdropping.
    I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years, But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn’t getting any younger so I decided to settle down. I signed up for a job at Dublin airport to do some undercover security work, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded several medals. I got married, had a few puppies, and now I’ve just retired!”
    The man is amazed. He goes back into the house and asks the Kerryman how much he wants for the dog.
    “Ten quid!” The owner says.
    “£10? But this dog is absolutely amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheaply?”
    “Because he’s a lying cunt. He’s never been out of the garden!”

  94. Raymondo

    I was at home yesterday listning on radio I am now 70 and have seen a lot of good and bad at Arsenal. Wonderful to hear The library come to life yesterday get rid of the whingers. We have not been lucky of late once our luck turns we can move on to many many victories. Last word had to turn radio off it was too tense.

  95. Luteo Guenreira

    And threatened to go and support Real Madrid if arsenal didn’t sack Wenger

    The delusional cunt talks as if his fandom is something so sacred like some virgin spinster that’s kept her hymen intact for her whole life. Or twenty years in his case, I suppose. .

    News flash for Bam-bam: No one cares about your hymen.

  96. Wasi

    Lucky win yesterday but I cannot doubt the application showed by our players.

    Individual caused the first goal. Kola strolling 4 yard behind the offside line then Luiz making a mess of what should have been a simple headed clearance.
    Second goal was clearly on Leno but the way he responded in the second half was exemplary. He gave away a simple goal sure but saved 2 or 3 Very big chances and more than made up for his mistake imo.

    Auba putting in a captain’s performance. You wont find a better goalscorer in the league rn and his defensive contribution in recent matches has been off the charts. Replacing him is gonna be tough because there arent many players who provide a similar skill set to Auba out there. Fortunately we have one already in the team in the form of Gabi.
    His predatory insticts are similar to Auba’s. But imo he has a ceiling way higher than Auba’s. Along with goals he’s got pace, skills, Heading ability, and elite mentality. Summer’s gonna be interesting.

    The cross that Saka put in for that first goal was
    ELITE-ELITE level. The curl, accuracy, pace , whip. Everything about it was perfect. Whota Playa.
    KT’s not getting that position back easily.
    Looked tired in the second half and his concentration along with his confidence seemed to go down after a couple of misplaced passes and a comedy fumble. Edu needs to sort that contract out fast. If he enters the last 12 months Im sure every big team will try to poach him.

    Ceballos positive again but needs to release the ball faster. Got caught on the ball quite some times and misplaced fairly easy passes but his willingness to pass forward all the time and try to make something happen is reminiscent of a little magician we know and love. And tbf it would be unfair to conpare Ceballos to Cazorla because-.(I know ive said this a lot of times but for ME) Cazorla was one of the best players in the league in his peak and also the most underrated player imo. Ceballos does come close to Cazorla But finding a Like for Like Cazorla replacement is very very difficult. He had a very unique Skill set. Even after a horrible injury layoff he has been a standout player in LaLiga. Ceballos definitely be coached to perform a Cazorla like role but he definitely needs to improve his strength if he is to ever become a regular in the Prem.

    Mustafi’s turnaround under Arteta has been nothing short of miraculous.Had it not been Mustafi to cover for a very poor Bellerin performance (again) we might have conceded one or two more surely. Isnt afraid to put his body on the line and Finally I saw a full 90 in which he did not make a silly error. From being hated to by nearly the entire fanbase he’s gone on to become our 1st choice CB. And I can finally say he is 🔙🔛🔝

    I would also like to mention Ozil, Xhaka, Eddie Nketiah for putting in very good performances.

    Especially Ozil whos good performances go under the radar if he doesn’t get a goal or an assist.
    Even his short passing is something which is unique and extremely effective. For instance take his normal 6 yard pass to Pepe on the line for the 3rd goal. If the pass had been slight overhit Pepe would have had to stop it with his Right and would he would of probably slowed the game before playing it back to Ozil. Had the pass been slightly underhit or directly onto Pepe’s feet he would have had to take a touch towards our own goal or maybe play it back to Ozil first time as the defender was closing him. But Ozil played a pass which was Inch perfect. Just in behind the defence and perfectly in Pepe’s stride. It automatically put distance between him and the full back allowing him space to cross the ball for Auba. And Ozil makes such passes constantly throughout the game with near perfect weight on it . Theres no stat to define such brilliance and many wouldn’t even get it unless you really UNDERSTAND football.

    Pepe’s crossing is a also a very good weapon.

    Bellerin has never looked slower.

    Luiz responded well to his early setback.

    The spirit showed by the team was exemplary.

  97. Francis Martinos

    I believe the substitutions were spot on. Where the problem lies was that the subs didn’t carry out the simply instruction that shouldn’t have taken a coach to order had the players themselves were technically superior.

    All throughout the latter parts of the 2nd half, Andre Gomez was allowed to nick passes to the Richarlison on the right. Now, I believe in solving a problem from its source/root.

    Applying this, if only the earlier midfield paring of Ozil and Ceballos or the substitutes of Matteo and Torreira had stepped up to prevent the Everton midfielders particularly Gomez from making those passes, I believe we would have been better off.

    Don’t forget that Richarlison is a trouble for any defender. From Virgil to Maguire to Fernandinho he’s bound to cause problems and if he’s allowed to have one on ones with a defender as much as he had it against Mustafa, be sure he’ll be certain to score.

    Bellerin was not contributing neither in attack nor defence but still managed to ignore a responsibility to make himself useful by coming into midfield or instructing any available player to stop those passes or better yet, assist Mustafi.

    My opinion is that we have a lot of players in our team who seems to be spoon fed and don’t have the high cognition and intelligence skill set to play top football.

    They definitely see where their colleagues are suffering, i was expecting a senior player on the team to even raise this issue with others but they simply were not bothered. It was like, “if Arteta doesn’t instruct us I would not do it.” They ignore responsibility a lot. And that not how team work is.

    That for me is a shame and I hope those players are shown the door so that we can allow better players wear the Red and White.

    If you think I’m in error, just imagine what Kolasinac did for Everton’s opening goal. That is simply dumb. .

  98. Rich

    I thought the play for the first goal was kind of brilliant, you know Kola is not going to go down if you push him, most players would have collapsed but Kola was going to resist, and then ruin the whole offside trap.

    That being said, the comeback was brilliant, Mustafi was immense again. I can’t imagine there is room for all the centerbacks we now have at the club. Especially with Saliba coming in next season.