Dismal Arsenal drop out of Europa

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The less we say about that game the better. Arsenal put on their worst performance under Arteta. The team was fatigued, the energy was pedestrian, and we were god awful in the final third.

To make matters worse, we conceded a goal early in the second half from a set-piece. Just standard Arsenal, a total mess.

We absolutely controlled possession, but somehow, Olympiacos still looked like they were dictating the terms of the game. In the final third, we were a real mess. Bad decisions, heavy touches, and a real lack of a final ball. I didn’t ever feel like we knew how to win that game.

When the game rolled into extra time, you started to fear the deep block was going to win out. However, Arteta had a trump card, and it was Gabriel for the second 15 of extra time. He made the difference immediately. Olympiacos struggled with fitness and the live wire Brazilian made it difficult with his drive and energy.

The sub paid off. Mesut Ozil found Gabriel with a good cross from the right, his flicked header in the box sat up for Auba who scissor-kicked home. What an outrageous goal. We thought we had a winner.

We did not.

Leno gave away a stupid corner. We cleared at the front post, they picked up the ball, slipped a teasing high ball into the box, Luiz let it go to the back post, Sokratis was beaten to the ball and Leno was late off his line. They equalized.

It wasn’t over for chances though, 2 minutes into the added-on time and Auba was found in the box from 6 yards and somehow he fired wide. Absolutely horrendous.

Arsenal drop from the Europa League. Embarrassing, upsetting, but absolutely deserved. We didn’t show up, we lacked quality in all areas of the pitch, and we didn’t know how to make possession count. These days are hard to stomach, but they were always going to happen as we build to a brighter future. The key thing is that we learn from our mistakes.

Now it’s all about the league. Let’s hope the team has it in them to brush this off and pursue the Champions League the proper way, but winning the 5th place trophy.

I recorded a bonus podcast with Matt last night, we don’t talk about Europa and we do a nice section on Ian Wright.

630 Responses to “Dismal Arsenal drop out of Europa”

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  1. Marko

    Yeah still really gnaws at me that we nearly sold Xhaka in January for close to 30 million only to convince him to stay and meanwhile an absolute prospect like Bruno Guimaraes went for less. Hertha have Lucas Tousart signed up for the summer so that ship has sailed. But I hear it should be easy enough to get rid of Granit Xhaka so I’m not worried

  2. Ernest Reed

    None of what happened today should come as a surprise, should it? This team has played poorly for some time now and on occasion show some zip or spark. The reality is that management know they have a dysfunctional squad of players and despite Arteta’s best efforts at trying to teach old dogs new tricks, the facts remain, they are indeed old dogs incapable of anything other than what they are, marginally adequate only at the best of times.

    This one sits with Raul and Edu to right many wrongs. Only a fool would believe this squad capable of anything other than what you see, a middle of the pack team. Talk of 5th place is beyond wishful thinking, its a fools folly. The summer holds some hope and equally, time to address true needs.

  3. RockyRoe

    Imagine nketiah, you have just scored a delicious volley and hit the post in the last match and then you get dropped.

    Won’t the FA Cup match be a better fit for laca in his current form? Lower league opposition, might be he gets a couple building his confidence.

    You know, we all dissed Giroud but his hold up play was class and if laca can’t do that and can’t get goals or run ehind creating space why not give nketiah an extended run in?

    I’m so fucking mad right now, we lost this game not because the opposition out played us, they out thought us and we sat on our asses hoping for a rebound.

  4. Receding Hairline

    Major general they are no 100% guarantees in football that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try

    The game wasn’t changed from the bench and that’s not good enough

    The starting eleven gave room for the fatigue excuse

    Arteta just broke Mustafi (not that I care, this one is for Pedro)

    And bringing on Martinelli when he did was more ass covering than tactics, boy should have been on much earlier, many in that front line were begging to be subbed

    Yes he may learn from it but that wasn’t what Pedro sold on here. Work placement wasn’t the dream

  5. Ishola70

    “Olympiacos finished bottom of the group winning only one game and that came via an 87th minute penalty in the last game against Red Star…”

    They had some shit results as well yeah but giving Bayern a match suggests they may not be as hopeless as some want to portray.

    Drew with Spurs as well at home and thought they were a bit unlucky to go down at Spurs away as they gave Spurs problems in that match for a while.

    I suppose it depends on how highly you rate this present Arsenal team and going by your posts not highly at all so it shouldn’t register as an absolute mega shock should it this result tonight.

  6. Wolfgang

    The less said the better. Arsenal are ponderous and laborious in
    their attack. Too many passes. Don’t believe me.
    Look at how other teams stage lightning attacks and score.
    In saw the first half and didn’t wnt to lose my sleep. I have been

  7. CG


    “”””These days are hard to stomach, but they were always going to happen as we build to a brighter future.””””

    There ain’t no bright future under:

    Silent Stan.

    I doubt he even knew the match was on.

  8. Ernest Reed

    And to ponder a thought regarding fifth place or better, as some of you continually chime in with? Do you honestly want to watch these clowns get thoroughly embarrassed next season in the Champions League? This team, right now, in this form – its guaranteed they will get their asses handed to them in the prettiest of ways.

    Think about it.

  9. Major_Jeneral


    I already gave an example of how Arteta does not have favorites so far,. The impetus is upon you to prove otherwise. If have the evidence share it.

  10. Spanishdave

    We won away at their place and should have attacked them early on to put the tie away.
    Instead Arteta went to hold on at home!

    Rookie manager , Wengerish, poor.
    Auba will go now.

  11. RodneyKing

    Although, I always thought our chances of winning the EL were slim at best, I was confident we were going to beat Olympiacos again… maybe even over-confident. I guess Arteta and the players felt that way too.

    Performances have been so-so over the last couple of games. We were bound to have a bad result at some point. Let’s see how Arteta and the team respond.

  12. Left Testicle

    Mustafi, Xhaka, Ozil and Lacazette is such a piss poor spine and Arteta is the man who keeps selecting them.

    Pedro spinning the fact that Martinelli didn’t make an appearance until the 105th minute as Arteta playing a trump card. Should have played from the start.

  13. RockyRoe


    Explain laca selection match after match with little or no positive results? When he has other options available to him.

  14. Bamford10

    Good teams remaining in the FA Cup:
    Manchester City
    Leicester City
    Manchester United
    Tottenham Hotspur

    Chances of Arsenal winning it:

  15. Spanishdave

    We won away at their place and should have attacked them early on to put the tie away.
    Instead Arteta went to hold on at home!

    Rookie manager , Wengerish, poor.
    Auba will go now.
    Very poor management

  16. Pierre

    I do think we need a keeper who dominates the area.

    The mistake Leno made v Chelsea has affected him as he rarely , if ever leaves his line in the fear that he may misjudge it.

    I haven’t watched the deciding goal again but surely Leno’s starting position should have been 3 or 4 yards off his line and then he could have walked out and caught or dived to punch it clear to relieve the pressure as the ball as it came over Luiz head.

    The ball came in from a very deep area so he could have easily seen the flight of the ball all the way .

    Saying that, we did play poorly tonight, our decision making in the final third was very poor.

  17. Ernest Reed

    “Let’s see how Arteta and the team respond.”

    Feels like we’ve been down this road far too often, doesn’t it Rodney?

  18. Ernest Reed

    “Chances of Arsenal winning it:

    There is always a chance, Bamford. Recall Wigan taking out Man City. There is always a chance.

  19. Dolomite

    Just a question….

    Are you actually Arsenal fans or fair weather plastics?

    One defeat no matter how painful in 11 isn’t exactly a disaster class.

    Very few fully functioning teams can handle the rigours of a full Premier League season, Cup competitions and the Europa League talk less of a dispirited and shaky team like Arsenal.

    Onwards and upwards.

    Stop running your petty agendas on the basis of trying to prove yourselves right.

    No ones listening.

  20. Ernest Reed

    “The mistake Leno made v Chelsea has affected him as he rarely , if ever leaves his line in the fear that he may misjudge it.”

    There is no proof of that Pierre, thats speculation on your part. Leno is far from Arsenal’s problem this season.

  21. PieAFC

    He was pretty open about what mistakes were made in the post match conference.

    I really want Arteta to succeed.

    He’s walked into a shit mess. 2 losses in 12 games. Cracks have been papered over.

    I want Arteta to be ruthless. Start playing players the way he wants us to play, not to cover for lack of attributes or particular talent. Fuck all that of.

    Some players do need dropping. And I believe they will be.

    Bellerin feel for the lad. So many games he has been roasted on that right hand side. 24 and career at the top level with his now lack of pace is telling.

  22. Paulinho

    “Also shows we have got stuck in a pattern of play that is too easy to defend against, in that everything has to go out wide.Also shows that we are still playing with too much fear through midfield in that no one is prepared to commit a player and take them on.”

    Fortunately that will all be sorted with coaching………..

  23. Major_Jeneral

    Receding Hairline

    Indeed the biggest fault is that of Arteta. I also expected Martinelli to start at home in this game.
    Regardless of the manager trying better, Olympiacos are never a tough nut to crack though even at home. The last game arsenal played at home ended in a loss. I hope I am right about that stat.

  24. raptora

    Pierre: “Shit happens , that’s football, out on away goals.”

    Unbelievable the protection that Arteta gets when he made a gazillion of schoolboy errors that ultimately cost us a game versus a laughable opposition.

    Then we have the dudes pleading “player poverty”. On course to finish 3rd last season but NOW somehow we have a worse squad than Olympiacos I guess since we got KOd by them? Completely understandable logic. Couldn’t make this shiet up.

    Imagine the outburst if this was to happen last year under Emery. The Spaniard proved himself as clueless but, dear lord, Arteta fucked up a lot of things tonight. If he didn’t have the pedestal that some people have put him on, he would have been torn to pieces.

  25. Valentin


    Even before the Chelsea game, Leno rarely came off his line. Last summer I stated that we needed an upgrade on the goalkeeper.
    Because he is a decent good shot stopper, people marvel at his stops and he is given a free pass. Meanwhile he keep committing mistakes that lead to opposition goals on a regular basis. Statistically even 7~8 games he will make a mistake that will directly to a goal. More than any goalkeepers in the 5 top European leagues for the last 2 years.
    Also his poor distribution, slow restarts, reluctance to come for high balls put us on the back foot.
    I don’t think that Martinez is a great goalkeeper, but I do believe that he more suited to this team.

    The goalkeeper who really impressed me at the Emirates this season is the Leeds 2nd choice goalkeeper on loan from Lorient. His distribution was nearly immaculate.

  26. raptora

    Pierre: “Also shows that we are still playing with too much fear through midfield in that no one is prepared to commit a player and take them on.””

    Your idol Ozil the main culprit. Tried to make something happen in around 1% of the times he received the ball. Sideways passing till the game was over. Attacking midfielder?! Who?

  27. PieAFC

    Hopefully against Pompey may see some youngster given a go.

    That Balogun from the youth for 10/15 in the first team would be decent. Kids got pace to burn. He’s rapid.

  28. Marko

    Maybe now the absolute whooper of a narrative that we have some ultra-talented squad can finally be put to rest.

    I would add the whopper of a narrative that we have this infallible manager who oozes class and can do no wrong.

  29. Dolomite

    We’re in late February Rocky Roe

    The intensity and pace of the League always tells at this stage of the season.

    Certainly not the main factor but something worth considering along with 4 must win games in roughly 2 weeks.

  30. Pierre

    “Maybe now the absolute whooper of a narrative that we have some ultra-talented squad can finally be put to rest.”

    “Ultra talented “?

    All teams can lose a game Paulinho, Juventus lost to a mediocre French side last night, so is it an absolute whopper of a narrative to call the Juventus squad ultra-talented..

    All teams have off days and we paid for it.

  31. raptora

    People going to make it out as a Leno mistake LOL!
    Some people know no limits.
    A needless corner sure. But in no way an error leading to goal. A shit ton of errors happened before and after the Leno “mistake” to give them a corner.
    Now we suddenly need an upgrade on the Keeper cause he gave the opposition A CORNER. That we didn’t even concede from right away…

    Anything to keep the blame off Arteta.

  32. raptora

    Leno, one of our best performers for 2nd season running, being talked as a big problem in our squad. When walking disasters like Xhaka, Ozil, Mustafi, Lacazette are now our core and start every single game. Deluded.

  33. RockyRoe


    Ofcourse it is, but then you go and compund that with shit selection and substitutions? Where’s the genius in that?

    Were you not crying out for martinelli at 60? Millions were, and he did make a major difference when he came on, can you explain the torreira sub then?

    Questioning that doesn’t make me a plastic fan, especially when 3/4 of my life had gone supporting the red and white.

  34. Paulinho

    As I said before, Arteta will find himself in the exact same quandary as Emery with this squad.

    He will end up chopping and changing every week, and could well find himself in a similar graveyard spiral.

  35. Major_Jeneral


    When Arteta dropped him against Newcastle and Everton, I guess hi Arteta replacements was still lacazette

  36. Paulinho

    Pierre – Losing the game is not really the point. It’s the awful football, which you still seem to think is some mental issue/lack of confidence that can be solved by coaching, when the players are simply not good enough.

    How many times does Ozil have to sling in aimless cross after aimless cross before it becomes apparent he can’t do much else.

  37. PieAFC


    A part of me agrees with you there…

    Certain players need to be dropped and left out. For Artetas sake and the teams sake.

  38. raptora

    Paulinho: “As I said before, Arteta will find himself in the exact same quandary as Emery with this squad. He will end up chopping and changing every week, and could well find himself in a similar graveyard spiral.”

    Except he’s been playing the exact same players for 4 games or more now.
    His master plan was to form a core of Mustafi, Xhaka, Ozil and Lacazette, play Auba out wide and bench Martinelli. He did the exact opposite of what you said. He picked his favorites after the Dubai trip and stuck with them.

    They, of course as I said multiple times, delivered and failed him.
    Not much surprise there.
    But to witness the passiveness of his ingame management, the subs he didn’t do and the subs he did… in yet another game… This part caught me off guard.

  39. Dolomite


    Fair enough , I did think Martinelli would do far more than Lacazette but seeing it from the managers view point I guess he placed too much faith in him to affect the game by either scoring or setting up a chance seeing Lacazette had only recently ended a goal drought

    The Torreira sub was to dominate the midfield and have more cover down the right and middle as Bellerin was getting roasted by their left back which I could see Ceballos didn’t have the legs for as the game went on.

    Again misplaced faith in the abilities of Ozil and Pepe to be able to make up for that creative presence but I repeat not a disaster class.

    I’d file this under learning about your players when the going gets tough not ineptitude or incompetence.

    Like it or not it’s still a work in painful progress and far from the finished article.

  40. PieAFC

    I don’t see why pepe isnt shunted on the left. Doesn’t have to cut back. Can whip a cross in. No more onto his weaker foot.

    Can’t hack it there. Drop him.

  41. Paulinho

    Raptora – He started off playing Torreira – Xhaka, didn’t like the lack of creativity, so has gone with Ceballos. Same with Martinelli, who he has now put in cold storage. So how is that the exact same players?

    You accept the accusation that Emery chopped and changed, yet I seem to remember him playing Xhaka every week so I don’t really see a big difference.

  42. Gonsterous

    Jesus, what a piss poor result to wake up to.
    Was starting to like the twat but as many posters pointed out, stick with ozil, xhaka and co. And you will start getting inconsistent performances.

    I bet arteta went home and slightly regretted running his mouth about how he could fix these load of shites.

  43. salparadisenyc

    Some of you far more interested in narrative than club doing well, fucking dire.

    The initial signals from Arteta’s management are strong imo, i’m excited about what he can do after a transfer window’s work if decent budget is cobbled and Rual doesn’t get in way. But as stated above everyone can have on off game, tonight was his. I slated Emery for playing both Laca with Auba out wide and will do same to big Mik, lacks balance for me. Had we started with Martinelli on the left, Laca on bench think were looking at next round.

  44. PieAFC

    100% sal

    Alot of people have been saying that tonight though.

    Arteta and Round will learn from this.

    Slowly certain players are being taken off or brought on earlier.

    Bellerin to me looks like he could be the one dropped moving forward .

  45. Ngambo

    Can someone ask Arteta to tell his assistant coach to dress for the occasion.

    He looks like he’s off to a Sunday pub match.

    Lowers the tone of everything.

  46. reality check

    It was the round of 32. So let me get this straight. Europa League final vs. Round of 32. Hmmm. I know one is better than the other but I. Just. Don’t. Know. Which. One.

  47. Ernest Reed

    Don’t you ever tire of being annoying, Red? Head back into your dark closet and pound your pud for the rest of the night, might take the edge off. Geez already.

  48. Marko

    Except he’s been playing the exact same players for 4 games or more now.
    His master plan was to form a core of Mustafi, Xhaka, Ozil and Lacazette, play Auba out wide and bench Martinelli.

    Pretty stupid am I right. Two week break and then proceeds to do fuck all rotation despite 4 games in 11 days. I suppose rotation is something a manager learns with experience I guess

  49. CazOnARola

    Leno is definitely playing like he has PTSD after the Chelsea goal.

    Arteta mentioned Leno after the last game about the exact same issue of him not coming for some of the balls. These days he isn’t even coming to the goal kick line and starting deeper and deeper on set plays.

    Having said that, we need to fix other things first before we worry about Leno.

  50. China1

    Arteta is a very good coach off the field but during a match he has a very long way to go

    I’m not sure if it’s fear of making a change in case it doesn’t work out or if he just copies wenger style of not paying attention to what’s in front of him and making pre determined subs late on regardless of if they’re suitable ‘having faith in the setup you went with’ etc. but it’s cost us this and other games this season

    I can live with crap results here and there. It’s par the course in football, but arteta is improving the players but isn’t improving himself. It’s like the 4th time already we’ve been crying out for an earlier sub and he sits on his hands. He needs to review his own performances for how he can improve, not only the players

  51. Dissenter

    ‘ Except he’s been playing the exact same players for 4 games or more now.
    His master plan was to form a core of Mustafi, Xhaka, Ozil and Lacazette, play Auba out wide and bench Martinelli.’

    A certain major general is disputing that Arteta has favorites, about a dozen games in and he still can’t spot a pattern.
    Talk about a recruit on day one of boot camp masquerading as a commissioned officer.

  52. Gonsterous


    Exactly the reason why I didn’t want arsenal going for a rookie manager.
    Our club is not at a place, where we can afford to make a lot of mistakes. We are out of the CL, and not looking like getting back in anytime soon.
    We needed an experienced head but instead, we get KO’d out of the EL which many find to be full of average teams, instead of reaching the back end of the competition.

    Sadly there isn’t much global support from the new generation for arsenal.

  53. Wasi

    One loss and Pro-Emery or Anti- Arteta guys already out in full swing.

    Absolutely Horrendous result. Cant say we didn’t have the chances to win the game tho.
    Martinelli SHOULD have been bought on sooner and ARTETA definitely needs to improve in his in-game management.

  54. Gonsterous

    I support arteta and wish him well, but this notion that he will learn on the job is quite bizarre given we are in a horrible state as a club and need to be cutting out mistakes instead of inviting them.

  55. Dissenter

    Arteta just surrounded himself with the people available mid season.
    WTF is Round, what’s his pedigree?
    Let’s see how brutal Arteta is on himself and his staff before we even consider his decision making about the squad.

  56. Wasi

    Sadly there isn’t much global support from the new generation for arsenal.

    There wont be. For the now 12-16 yrs old Arsenal has become a joke club. And our supporters count will stay the same or even gradually decrease before we get back to winning big trophies again.

  57. UTarse

    Honestly can’t fathom all the Leno hate when the likes of xhaka and ozil were utterly piss poor.

    Not too pissed off to be out considering how poor we were, we really need to stop trying to polish the turd.

    I will hazard a guess that arteta is more pissed off than any fan, he won’t take this well and hopefully will come to his senses and fucks off ozil and xhaka and leaves bellerin and laca on the bench till the end of the season.

    He should however take the criticism on his in game management, it was very naive.

  58. Dissenter

    It was a bad result that negates a lot of progress that the team showed.
    People are right to clique the result. At the end of the day, managers are judge on results and today was a bad day for Arteta.
    You trying to gloss over an abject failure is more laughable that the so-called Pro-Emery crowd you are calling out.
    Any manager ought to get stick for what happened today, why should Arteta be immune from criticism? You don’t need a preseason or better players to get through this Olympiacos team with a one goal advantage. This is one of our worst ever European nights..

  59. Redtruth

    One loss like that could cost a manager his job, but not at Arsenal, he?ll probably be given a lifetime achievement award for getting us into the last 32…

  60. Pedro

    Wasi, the ghouls enjoying the loss don’t represent the base.

    Wouldn’t worry about it. Arteta the right man for the job. Different story next year.

  61. Wasi


    We had enough chances to win the game. Its a Fact not a gloss.

    Noone should be immune to criticism and I have criticized Arteta before for poor in game management and I criticised him again for the same thing here.

    So dont know where you’re coming from?
    In all honesty, who do you think was responsible for the loss? The Manager or the Players.

    Nearly everyone of them dropped a stinker bar maybe Mustafi .

  62. Marko

    Shocking performance and an awful result but some are only interested in defending the manager. Place is becoming more and more like Untold. Ah well it’s only slight criticism directed at the manager no need to be so militant about the whole thing.

  63. Wasi

    Honestly tho, after being in the game for more than 12 years ,how does Luiz have no awareness whatsoever and just let the ball fly past him into his own box.

  64. Wasi


    Yes, A manager who has only had 12 games and 2 months with the team. Has turned Despair into Hope. A manager who is making dead wood look quality and has brought a sense of accountability back into the players ( If they even had it in the first place).
    Plus a LOT more things. Just dont feel like arguing pointlessly now.
    The game is Done.
    Unfortunately all the players had to put in their Ugly performance in the same game.

  65. BacaryisGod

    Well, I said I’m on the Arteta train for at least two years because we’re too much of a mess to properly turn around sooner. He’s not even had a summer transfer window to call his own yet. So even as this was an abysmal performance, I’m not putting it on him. I’m not putting it on Auba either as he’s been an unqualified success in his attitude, leadership and performances since his arrival.

    Having said that, with over 200 million worth of talent in our front four, what a disgrace to have zero shots on target for over two-thirds of regulation time.

    To quote Col. Frank Slade, I’d take a blowtorch to this team. We’re likely to finish around 8th with some incredibly expensive talent so why not rebuild properly. Other than keepers, I’d say goodbye to every player over 25. Is that too drastic. No, and here’s why.

    Aubameyang and Lacazette: I just can’t see Aubameyang renewing his deal, and even if he did then we would be paying a 31 year old this summer huge wages for the next 4 years as his career winds down. Lacazette seems out of form and miserable. He’s still got transfer fee potential at 29 this summer so we should bring in funds for him.

    Ozil, Mustafi, Sokratis, Luiz, Kolasinac, Elneny,Mkhitaryan, Cedric, Mari, Xhaka: Following the 25 year old rule and seriously would anyone shed tears over the departures of this group. One way or another, let’s ship them out or at least send them on loan if they’ve got the one year remaining. Screw experience. I don’t want this kind of experience. Give me an exciting relegation battle with a bunch of willing and talented youngsters than mid-table mediocrity with massively overpaid journeymen.

    I’m not going to try to calculate what that lot would bring in to the club in transfer fees or salary savings, but my guess is that it would be huge.

    So what are we left with.

    1) Keepers: I exempted keepers and even if he’s had some recent slips, Leno has still done well for us. Keep him, Martinez and Macey unless a compelling alternative becomes available.

    2) Defence: We would have Bellerin, Tierney, Saliba, Holding and Chambers. We’ll need to invest in quality and depth but let’s stay young when we do. Still, not a bad start. Maybe even Mavrapanos might work his way back into the squad if his recent loan form can continue.

    3) Midfield: Arteta needs to man-manage Guendouzi back to showing the promise of last season and the initial improvement of the start of this one. Add Torreira, Willock, Smith-Rowe and Maitland-Niles to the mix and invest in one or two potential leaders like Grealish. I predict Real will likely keep Ceballos so that’s not a decision we’ll need to be making.

    4) Forwards: We would bring back Pepe, Martinelli, Nketiah and Saka (in an advanced position now). Let Nelson, Balogun and John-Jules fight for a squad position.

    Imagine if the club really did take this approach. No outfield player older than 25. Offloading all the incredibly frustrating veterans like Xhaka, Mustafi and Luiz. Letting Arteta mould this team for a couple of years and we can escape from the crippling salaries and transfer payment installments that will be bringing us down for the next several years.

    I would be excited to back this young Arsenal squad and wouldn’t care at all if it takes a 2-3 years to fully rebuild.

    Trust me, we should go with the Blowtorch Plan.

  66. RodneyKing

    @Wasi How do you expect Arteta’s in-game management to be top notch when you know this is his first job? That’s some kind of veiled criticism in my opinion.

    In any case, it doesn’t really matter whether it was the manager’s or the players’ fault. You’ve praised Arteta for the good performances of late – and rightly so.

    Don’t be reluctant to blame him for this loss.

  67. raptora

    From the first minute you could see that the team wasn’t up for it. Arteta made 2 changes from our game Vs Everton – Saka for Kolasinac and Lacazette for Nketiah. It was the exact same team that played Vs Newcastle in our first game Vs Dubai again with the exception of Lacazette for Nketiah.

    1. Team looked fatigued right from the get go.

    2. Team wasn’t up for it. They were perfectly fine passing the ball around for 90 minutes. They didn’t went out to win the game of football.

    3. Martinelli, who’s been desperate for minutes lately and arguably our shining light, along with Saka, was on the bench next to experienced players like Sokratis and Torreira. All of them extremely fresh and with a point to prove to the manager who’s been using them sparingly.

    4. First half we just walked the shirts. We did nothing. Was there a reaction on half time? No. We started the 2nd half same way we played the whole 1st. Extremely casual like we were ahead by 4 goals.

    5. Our manager’s first substitution was in the 72nd minute, 20 mins after Olympiacos scored. We needed to make something happen offensively as we needed a goal to qualify. And our manager thought it’s going to be Torreira.

    6. Our first shot on target was in the 75th minute. More than 20 minutes after we conceded a goal and the outcome of our Europa League campaign was in the balance. It was a good Pepe shot that forced a one handed save by the opponent keeper. Lacazette was close and had a free header from 5 meters but somehow missed the ball with his head.

    7. His next sub was Willock in for Bellerin. Bellerin was extremely useless and honestly if Pepe is going to operate in that zone, who is a proper winger and a lot of the times likes to hug the touch line, we could do with a more defensively oriented RB like Cedric who will cover in case his winger loses the ball while dribbling. Bellerin wasn’t good going forward and was pretty terrible when defending.

    8. Game went in extra time where we were both extremely boring going forward and at the same time we were really close to conceding a 2nd goal several times.

    9. Mustafi went out injured, I think hamstring , which is an injury that, could and probably happened, because of too much pressure in the muscle which could and probably happened because it was his 4th start in 12 days. Sokratis came in his place in the 103rd minute.

    10. Between the two halves, in the 106th minute, Martinelli finally got his chance. And guess what – 7 minutes later, the teenager touched a rebounded ball with his head and Aubameyamg with the sweetest of overhead kicks put us ahead on aggregate.

    11. We lost in the 120 minute when Xhaka put Leno under pressure by passing the ball back when Leno had Olympiacos player close to him. The German took a second and kicked the ball for a corner. We didn’t concede from the corner but from an eventual secondary cross after the corner.

    12. Ozil finished the game. Lacazette played 105 minutes. Mustafi got injured. Xhaka did zilch. Nketiah was oddly not in the squad god knows why. Martinelli was oddly a reserve for 105 minutes. We played pedestrian football.

    It’s also why you need a mixture of players in this competition. Because the big names will always underestimate the competition while the youngsters are willing to prove they’ve got what it takes.

    Bottom line is – We are out of Europa.
    Arteta played a tired team of older players in which he couldn’t light fire. He miserably failed in preparing the team mentally for the game. He miserably failed making them know that this is not decided yet. He failed his starting lineup. He failed to influence the game positively in any way. The subs he decided to go with made little to no sense. His moves were the extremely cautious moves of a scared man. Even the geniusity of Auba couldn’t save Arteta/us and it will ultimately cost us our best player who will walk in the Summer.

    As far as player poverty goes, I still feel we should have dealt with the Greek team. Olympiacos is a Championship level team. We were on course to finish 3rd last season. It’s not serious.

    As for “bad day” or “off day” it was crystal clear we weren’t up for it 5-10 minutes in to the game. It’s where managers earn their money. Sadly ours was more passive than a late period Wenger. The way he managed the game felt like he’s perfectly alright to go to penalties.

  68. Pedro

    Rodney, it’s a game of margins. Auba slots home in minute 122 and it’s not an issue. Leno doesn’t give away the corner. The same.

    I’m not saying I’d have run the game that way, but sledge-hammering a new manager after his first loss of 2020 seems very OTT. He picked up a bonfire, it was never going to be roses and caviar. The overreaction on here was predictable. The usual suspects, but just like last time, they’ll look like muppets when things change

  69. Pedro

    Raptors, can’t argue with most of your post.

    However, if we’d not conceded, the Gabriel sub would have looked genius. It’s a game of fine margins, now he looks a chump.

    Last week, you bitched that he started Eddie, this evening you complained he didn’t start Eddie.

    Margins. No credit when it works, hammer when it doesn’t. I get it.

  70. Tom

    The usual suspects, but just like last time, they’ll look like muppets when things change

    What last time are you referring to Pedro?

  71. gnarleygeorge9

    Since Stan Kroenke got involved with The Arsenal it has continued to take one step forward & two steps back. He married an heir to the Walmart fortune, he is not an empire builder, he just has plenty of financial backing from his wife’s side to satisfy his desire to own umpteen sports teams. While this fella & son remain involved in a majority ownership basis The Arsenal will continue to take one step forward & two steps back.

  72. BacaryisGod


    We would struggle but if we invested in 4-5 quality players we would be fine. Grealish has kept Villa competitive with much less talent to support him.

    This starting XI plus Grealish alone would be fine and this is before additional acquisitions:


  73. rollen

    Fine margins Pedro, right, but its same old players at fault same old lack of balls when it matters. Arsenes glorious failure at its best.
    And cut this crap , no one is happy that we embarrassed ourselfs in Europe once again. Most ppl are angry and rightly so. PPl are over the top as you were on Emery.

    off topic

    Guys have look at Liverpools financials published lately;

    thx Ivan.

  74. BacaryisGod


    Also, spending 300 million is never, ever going to happen. The choice is the one I presented. Maybe keep a couple of older leaders with expiring contracts like Sokratis but otherwise we should bin the lot and then let Auba get his last shot at Champions League glory at Barca.

  75. Pedro

    Rollen, Emery was a bad coach. I called it, he delivered. You, just like the usual suspects, are more interested in the hope that Arteta will be just as drab, than actually supporting the team.

    Absolutely your right to hose him, but you’ll be scrambling for excuses in the end, just like you were last time.

  76. raptora

    Glad you agree with most of it.

    Gabriel sub made a lot of us feel like it was late by around 105 minutes. Or at least 45.
    I said that it was odd that Eddie wasn’t in the squad. It’s only normal to 1. Not play him if he started Vs Everton but also 2. Have at least a winger and a striker on the bench. All we had was Martinelli who was almost an unused sub.

    It doesn’t however contradict with my original desire to play Martinelli, Auba, Pepe with Lacazette our first option from the bench in the EPL and have Nketiah and Lacazette fresh for Europa.

    Either way, I will not bitch if I see logical decisions. Overplaying the same players in 4 games in a row and expecting those senior players to be on their A game Vs a team like Olympiacos on a Thursday night is not logical. Neither is not giving Martinelli any minutes in the EPL and just 15 extra time minutes today. Or not having a 2nd attacking player on the bench.

    He has so, so much to learn. Will he though… Or does I get Wenger’s stench already.

    I could forgive him if we finish in top 5. It will only happen if he starts correcting his flaws. I hope it will come with experience.

    As other people have said, Arteta is learning at the moment. I don’t think Arteta in 1 year from now plays tonight’s game the same way. I hope he’s a quick learner.

  77. RodneyKing

    Talking about fine margins. Had Auba converted that penalty away at Spurs. Had Mustafi not been Mustafi vs Crystal Palace….

    It’s too early to judge Arteta. But of course, as fans we’re accustomed to judging the manager and players with each passing game.

    Overall, my own judgement will be in May 2021. But even then, I’m prepared to write that season off as well. If we get top 4 fine, if we don’t but are making progress in key areas, I’ll be content.

    In my opinion, 2021/22 should be season to begin to really challenge for the top places.

  78. Pedro

    Rap, bit pointless to say where your support ends, unless you’re in the ground with an Arteta Out sign.

    The manager brought on Gabriel late, he got an assist and we conceded a terrible goal right after. The difference between well timed and terrible hinged on a Leno fuck up.

    Next year, it’s a different team, and different mistakes. This weird notion that people thought it’d be a perfect ascension to success is painful to reds, especially from
    the crowd that were willing to give the last joker 4 transfer windows to fix things

  79. Dissenter

    “In all honesty, who do you think was responsible for the loss? The Manager or the Players.”

    That was the same arguments that roiled this forum when Emery was win charge.
    Ultimately the buck stops on the manager’s table. He didn’t set the team up right and his in-game management is sub-par.
    Hopefully he learns from this and stops starting every game with the player that openly worship him. He needs to fart out all that smoke they have blown up his bum.

  80. Dissenter

    You seem to be comfortable with failure so long as Arteta is the one in charge.
    When we win, he gets the credit and when we perform so limply that all the viagra in the world can’t stand us up… he should get what managers everywhere get – criticisms.

    You need to stop taking legitimate commentary personal. Even Emery didn’t get us knocked out in the last 32 stages.
    Arteta doesn’t need a preseason or new players to get past this Olympiaokos team. All that tough talk, where did all go?
    He deserves stick for this one. Hope he learns from it and stop starting the same group of fockers.

  81. Emiratesstroller

    There are many lessons to be learned from last night’s poor performance.

    1. We need to rotate the team selections better. Some of the team were playing on “empty”.

    2. Leno is a decent shot stopper, but he is not as others suggest controlling his
    area on set pieces AND his distribution is awful. He cost us the match against
    Chelsea and most certainly was at fault for the disastrous second goal conceded last night.

    3. Our defence remains brittle as ever. It is time to make the changes in personnel. Old players do not learn “new tricks”. The fact that the club has accumulated so many Centre Backs on its books is a clear indication of lack of
    quality in this department.

    4. Ozil does not have the stamina or fitness to play two games in a week and
    frankly Ceballos was piss poor and lightweight.

    5. There are many who post on here who are quick to blame Arteta for the
    performance and team selections. The reality is that he selected what was
    supposed to be our “First X1” and they did not perform on the pitch.

  82. Pedro

    Dissenter, I’m never comfortable with failure, but I’m happy to bypass short-term dopamine hits for longterm success.

    I’ve not said the manager isn’t at fault. Tonight was piss poor. What I’m struggling with is supporters revelling in the loss.

    But this is football, let’s see if the folk enjoying tonight are back next year.

  83. Johnno

    Arteta is a novice. He will make mistakes. But he has potential. Going for him should mean we are looking at a revolution/ longer term overhaul.

    I think arteta has done way better than expected up until now – if he was worse I’d still be okay with him if he’s a brave long term hire.

    Here’s why – If that’s the case that we need to overhaul – who would any of us absolutely keep ?
    For me. Leno. Tierney. Saka. Auba martinelli

    That’s it. Two teenagers, a crock and a fella that will likely leave. The pick of the Ed bunch.

    We are utter shite. The club has been run by fools on autopilot for At least 6 years. If arteta can change much in 12 months it will be amazing. In 12 games ? Get over yourselves.

    The sooner arsenal fans read their club history and see that actually we’ve always been a bit crap and only occasionally great when we get an employee that pulls us up the better.

  84. China1

    Pedro how is 2 points behind 3rd place and one good performance in a uefa cup final not fine margins between having had an acceptable season and a frustrating failure of a season?

    We’d have still been a work in progress under emery but we would’ve been in the CL, had extra money and a EL trophy for our troubles. Plenty nicer than what we got. And that was one auba miss and one good game against Chelsea from happening.

    Fine margins

    But he was on the wrong side of those margins so has rightly paid the price in the end

  85. RodneyKing

    @Pedro Give Emery some respect and just say he wasn’t a good fit at Arsenal. Which is actually a fair assessment.

    Bad coaches don’t win 3 EL trophies in a row. On one occasion, he even beat the great Klopp in the final. I’d like to be that bad in my day job.😂

    He got this bunch of players within touching distance of top 4 and into the final of the EL! And now we’re out in the round of 32! I’m afraid, it’s looking like he over-achieved with this lot.

    We all know that one of his problems at both PSG and Arsenal was his inability to manage his “big” players which led to said players downing tools. Very little to do with his abilities as a coach. There’s certainly more to managing a team than raw ability.

  86. Pedro

    China, Emery was a work in regression.

    He wasn’t sacked because of fine margins, he was sacked because he stopped moving us forward after his 22 game unbeaten run collapsed.

    He was on the wrong side of the worst start in over 30 years, that’s why he was fired.

    Why does that need to be explained?

  87. Emiratesstroller

    It is easy to blame the performance on Arteta.

    However, it was clear that he was giving the team instructions, but unfortunately the players onfield lacked the energy and naus to deliver what he asked.

    When we discuss poor team selections as some posters do the question I would ask is who would you have selected? Perhaps I would have made earlier substitutions with Torreira and Martinelli , but that is about it.

  88. Redtruth

    “Rodney, fine margins is Wenger in 1999. Not Emery who missed out and tanked is to our worst seasons in 30 years.”

    I think you’ll find Emery improved on Wenger’s last season in charge by moving us from 6th to 5th place…

  89. Pedro

    Sure Rodney, after taking a squad of players to within spitting distance of top 3, then adding 100m worth of talent, he over-acheived by taking us to the worst season in over thirty years.

    Honestly mate, no wonder you’re getting endorsements from Bamford.

  90. Caligooner

    I really can’t believe that anyone would advocate for emery needing more time. The players completely quit on him. Bad results spanned the end of last year and entire first half of this season.

    He was shit. He deserved to go after the collapse last season. He was backed by big money over the summer and was even worse. A nonsensical argument.

  91. Pedro

    Amen Cali, too many Emery Cucks about.

    ES, you went tonight, why was the atmosphere so shite? I mean, outside the bland football.

  92. China1

    Pedro last season was fine margins. That beyond even a hint of dispute

    Auba penalty against spurs, one good game against Chelsea and we’re EL champions, 3rd in the league, more money, more prestige, CL football this season

    He tanked this season. last season was 100% fine margins.

  93. Pedro

    China, not sure what your point is here… that a Europa League win or qualification was all Emery needed to make Arsenal great again? Is that your analysis?

  94. Redtruth


    When it comes to all things Arsenal, i’m always right, I said under Emery players were not good enough and now you are agreeing with my judgement..

  95. Emiratesstroller


    I did not go last night to game, because my wife is going into hospital for operation.

    Yes the stadium looked half empty and lacked atmosphere, but that has been the case for most Europa League Games in last 2 seasons. A lot of season ticket holders are not going to cup games.

    Also I think that you have to factor in that there is growing concern about moving around London. I was driving through Muswell Hill on Tuesday and
    the shops were empty.

  96. China1

    I didn’t see the incident but on sky sports it says utd’s penalty was converted 3 mins and 40 seconds after being given due to var review


    3 mins and 40 seconds???? Var needs to be doused in petrol and set alight. Then when the fires is out, I want the ashes scooped up and poured into a vat of acid. After totally dissolving I propose we launch the acid vat on the tip of a rocket directly into the sun

    VAR is the worst thing ever

  97. BacaryisGod

    Arteta said this afternoon the game:

    “It hurts, big time. We had a lot of hope in this competition. I think we did a lot of positive things in the game; I think we created enough chances to win, but if you concede two set-pieces again in a tie like this you put yourself in big trouble.”

    This worries me. What he should have said is ‘Both the team and I had a very bad day. The performance was well below what should be expected of an Arsenal team. We all need to learn from this quickly”

    His comments sound too Wegner-like. You can’t put lipstick on this pig of a match.

  98. China1

    No Pedro, it’s all emery would’ve needed to have a decent season and more than hit the targets he was given (top 4)

  99. Goobergooner

    What a heartbreaking loss. Only just watched the game. Not much to say that hasn’t been said.

    The fact we lost at home with such a dismal performance is definitely hard to take. Just as things were taking an upturn for the season.

    I didn’t have us to win it this year anyway, but that is a shocking way to go out.

    Top 5 is a possibility, but I don’t think our players have the balls to push through, I hope I am wrong.

    Don’t worry though, there is an extra place for Europa league next season we may work our way into. (I actually don’t know if the city ban means they can’t play europa, so my bad if that is wrong.)

    This has to be the first arsenal team of my lifetime that the core of the team Irritates me no end (Ozil, Xhaka, mustafi, Luiz). Can’t stand them wearing the red and white. Laca has been disappointing too.

  100. Pedro

    ES, didn’t think about that. Fear ramping up everywhere, travel ban at my place.

    I’m going to bed now, send the big love from Le Grove to your wife, I hope it all goes well!

  101. China1

    The thing is with refs and var

    If they make a mistake in the heat of the moment they will always have that excuse that it happened fast and I didn’t see clearly etc

    But for it to take an entire team of supposedly trained professionals 3 and a half minutes to see if it’s a hand ball is an utterly shameful indictment of how these ‘officials’ are not anywhere near capable of doing this job

  102. Aussie Gooner

    Languid and lethargic until the last 15 min of normal time. Allowed a very ordinary team to boss the game, cause panic in lightning breaks and have us on the back foot for most of the game. Not a shot on goal for most of the match, backwards/sideways passing, no initiative, no one willing to take players on, can’t defend set pieces, try to play out from the back and get into trouble – where have I heard this before?

    Yes it is down to the coach – team selection, substitutions, in-game management plan etc. That is the coach’s remit – no one else is responsible for that. Why would you sit back against a very average team that you already have a small advantage over? Surely you would know that they would try to steal a goal on the break or set pieces? Why did Martinelli not start? Why bring on Torriera and Willock when you are chasing the game? If you keep them occupied at the other end of the pitch the opposition are less likely to be able to mount an attack and commit people forward. These are the basics of coaching for crying out loud! That would have been considered a very easy game for the Greeks!

    The psychological effects from that game will no doubt set us back. Forget CL, we are not up to the required standard I am afraid to say. And don’t think that Silent Stan will bail the club out come the summer transfer market. Maybe if they set up a hologram of Stan sitting in the Director’s box during each game it will help motivate the players and the fans!

    And I had to get up at 4am to watch this shitfest!

  103. Goobergooner


    It can be both.

    But I think Arteta came in at the right time (as in mid season, albeit for a rookie the wrong time in terms of league position and form).

    I think everyone wrote this season off long ago.

    He deserves the criticisms of team selection and subs, but if it is constructive enough, he is smart enough to learn and adapt.
    And that criticism can only go so far, as let’s be honest this squad is not good enough, so he has to play the cards he’s been dealt.

    He does however still deserve time to train his philosophy into the team, have a pre season and a transfer window to bring players to fit his philosophy and go from there.

    It can only go up from the end of Emery’s reign, surely.


  104. RodneyKing

    Ha Pedro, you need to get down on your knees and pray – or meditate or get those voodoo dolls out or call on the gods of sauce or whatever it is you do as religion – for Arteta to be a success at Arsenal because Le Grove never forgets. 😂😂

    But you’d have nothing to worry about. Those of us who truly love you and your writing will quickly forgive you like we always do and put it all down to you wanting the best for our dear Arsenal.

    And if he does succeed, which I hope will be the case, we’ll remind you that we’ve been with you through thick and thin. Either way, we all win.

    And by the way, lumping me with Bamford? I feel greatly honoured. 😂😂

  105. Emiratesstroller

    Aussie Gooner

    We can debate ad infinitum who was to blame for last night’s performance.

    The hard facts are that the team did not perform on the pitch and appeared to
    be playing on “empty”.

    When we discuss who to play in midfield the options are limited. If you take off Ozil and Ceballos you are left with Guendouzi, Torreira and Willock as the

    Midfield has been a problem all season, because apart from the diminishing talents of Ozil we have lack of creativity in that department but more importantly limited assists and goals scored.

    If you look at our results in EPL the midfield has collectively scored just two
    goals. One by Torreira early in season and the most recent by Ozil against Newcastle.

  106. Gonsterous

    Knew lack of rotation would be the end of emery and now the same lack of rotation is doing arteta in.
    Nothing wrong with not rotating when you have players with the quality and dedication of cesc when he was here, but keeping faith with the xhakas and the ozils will gradually give you problems and prepare to see more of these types of results.

    Don’t really know what arteta can learn from yesterday? He’s been making the same mistakes again and again and the nay-sayers have been dishing out the same excuses again and again.

  107. GunnerDNA

    That was humiliating! Couple days ago fans was downplaying Emery winning the competition and reaching the final last season and today our supposed best 11 got jumped by some Uber Drivers. It’s always good to remain humble. All the “we’re happier now” from these players and they all embarrassed the club for the 3 year in the competition. Worrying times ahead!

  108. Tony

    Watched the game this morning Thai time with my son who is off from his private school indefinitely because a kid coming back from a Japan skiing trip with suspected Covid. Also another quarantined case in our city.

    Arteta’s team selection and in game management were seriously flawed, which seems to be Arteta’s Achilles heel.

    No need for me going into finite details as Marko, Ernest, Rocky, Pie and others have made the pints I would have made.

    Problem is Arteta doesn’t seem to be learning by his, Emery’s and Wenger’s mistakes. Last night was Wenger 2.0 at his worst.

    Squad rotation was not the main reason for the loss. Neither is squad poverty as Arteta could have used AMN, Nkethia and Martinelli (from 60+ minutes).

    Xhaka and Ozil were poor thought the game and reverting to type and Bellerin has lost too much pace to be a starter.

    Why Arteta doesn’t play Saka at LB and Pepe at LW and Nelson at RW begs some serious questions. With Nkethia as the striker keeping Martinelli and Lacazette as impact subs for the final 30 minutes if required is beyond me.

    As Marko said we should have sold Xhaka to Hertha and offloaded Ozil to the middle east or USA.

    Arteta has something and potential but that will depend on the summer TW.

    We waited 14 years to get rid of Wenger and Emery should have been fired at the end of last season (Raul & Edu’s fault).

    With the Crono virus yet to go full pandemic, we have no idea how this season is going to evolve.

    Life as an Arsenal fan is likely to be a miserable/disappointing one until the beginning of next season and I’ll still retain judgement on Arteta until 10 to 15 games into next season.

    The upside of being knocked out is that Arteta has the rest of the season to implement his strategies with less games and travelling to contend with.

    Time will tell.

  109. Bamford10


    “If you take off Ozil and Ceballos you are left with Guendouzi, Torreira …”

    Emery reached the final last season using Guendouzi, Torreira, Xhaka, Ozil and Ramsey.

    He also used the 3-5-2 a lot, something Arteta might want to to consider going forward.