Dismal Arsenal drop out of Europa

by & filed under News Review.

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.

641 Responses to “Dismal Arsenal drop out of Europa”

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  1. 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.

  2. Bamford10

    Emirates

    “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.

  3. Redtruth

    Arsrnsl under the guidance of Emery had the best record in the Premier league at defending set pieces, now look at us, we’re back to the bad old days of Wenger…

  4. China1

    I’m starting to wonder if the refs are abusing var on purpose to rile up hate for it and get it taken away. Before we had var refs could constantly fuck up and ruin games with impunity but now they get held to a higher standard which probably grates with them a lot. What better way to get rid of it than to run it into the ground and get the fans to turn on it?

    There’s no other logical explanation for what we’re seeing. 3 and a half minutes to check if a hand ball was a hand ball. If you can’t decide if it’s a hand ball in the first 20 seconds I can tell you 100% won’t be any more enlightens 3 minutes later viewing the same angles and frames backwards and forwards again and again.

    If you can’t find the answer in 20 seconds it’s because either it’s up to interpretation – in which case give your interpretation and fuck off. Or it’s simply not clear. In which case watching any more replays will not make it clearer. Tell the ref it’s inconclusive and the original decision stands. Job done everyone can accept it

    But no…

  5. Sid

    352 has been the better option, you can play Torr willock Dozi their energy will cover other weaknesses, then we have wingbacks.

  6. GunnerDNA

    Bamford10,

    There’s no logical reason to include Ozil in any starting 11 for Arsenal. The Club told Emery not to play him last season and wanted him gone because he’s useless. All the trolling about more effort is bs, 1 assist and 1 goal in his last 19 games. Joker should be struggling to make the 18. Arteta not substituting him yesterday was a big red flag.

  7. gnarleygeorge9

    I’m sure anyone who knows Stan will tell you he is a nice bloke, but the nice bloke’s Club just got the premature Arse from a 2nd string euro comp & I for one have absolutely no confidence in his stewardship.

  8. Aussie Gooner

    Gnarley

    We all know that Stan has long pockets and short arms as far as his (or his wife’s) personal money is concerned. He will bleed Arsenal dry with the ‘self financing model’, leaving us mid-table, sell at a huge profit and move on to his next project. Arsenal only has to remain in the PL to grow the clubs financial profile.

    He is a businessman, he has no emotional attachment to Arsenal. Forget big transfers into the club – get used to mid-table mediocrity until Stan feels it is time to jump ship.

  9. Receding Hairline

    Arteta didn’t take any responsibility for tonight

    He talks about the effort the players put in being tremendous and how it’s his job to lift the players. He keeps talking about these players like they deserve to play for a top club..they don’t which is good because we are no longer a top club.

  10. Habesha Gooner

    Pedro
    It is being a hypocrite blaming it on Leno and Auba. If your performance is so bad that it depends on one of your best strikers missing one chance and Your keeper giving away a corner the whole team deserves to lose. Now comes the pattern recognition. Performances have been either poor or average in the last three weeks. This defeat was coming. Now It will be all about whether you want to call a spade a spade. Arteta fucked up. And It’s not just him some of these players are beyond redemption. We need to sell.

  11. Pierre

    Looking at last night from a balanced point of view instead of a knee jerk reaction, I would say that whilst watching the game I was quite happy with the first half though our passing was sloppy at times .

    We didn’t look in a lot of trouble defensively and we were controlling the game to a certain degree without looking too dangerous up front.

    Even when we conceded in the 2nd half I wasnt unduly worried , we had a few chances as did they but it felt that Arsenal were scared to make a mistake at this point in the game and became very negative in their passing and movement.

    It was like we were happy to get to extea time to give us half an hour to kill the game off.

    To a point this worked , we scored the goal and the Greeks looked finished but we allowed them one last chance and then of course Aubameyang missed a sitter…that’s football, nothings guaranteed.

    Ozil had probably his worst game in an Arsenal shirt and should have been replaced at half time.

    Martinelli should have come on from at least the 60th minute at least.

    I’m not sure why Eddie wasn’t on the bench, if he was fit then that was a big mistake as we have looked way better offensively with him in the side.

    So yes , Arteta made mistakes and paid for it but in saying that , it could be said that he was a couple of minutes away from getting the result.

    The next few weeks will tell if this result will have an everlasting effect on confidence.

    One of Wenger’s sayings was ” confidence can be lost very quickly but can take a long time to recover ”

    We will see what effect this has on the team, are the players weak mentally to allow one bad result and performance to ruin their season.

  12. SWG

    Arteta having a swipe at Luiz in his interview “when you concede 2 goals from set pieces AGAIN…” surely he’s gonna fix this in the transfer window unlike previous managers. We’ve struggled defensively for over a decade yet do nothing about it. The attacking was piss poor mind, ozil is offering very little and Lacazette is done!

  13. Wasi

    ‘@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.’

    I dont expect top notch in game management from Arteta just yet. But taking off a stuttering Lacazette for Martinelli shouldn’t take 105 minutes imo.
    He missed a sitter when Mustafi set him up by trying to head a ball bouncing at knee height.
    Martinelli with his fresh legs and pace should of come on after 70-80 mins imo.

  14. Valentin

    Yesterday, when attacking the team was very static. Even the defensive pressing was half hearted. Maybe it is fatigue brought by playing 4 games in 12 games, but then we need to better rotate the players.

    Hopefully against Portsmouth, Arteta will go with a more experimental line up.

    I would like to see:

    …………….Martinez
    Bellerin Mustafi Holding Saka
    ……….AMN Torreira
    Nelson Willock Martinelli
    ……………..Nkethia

  15. Graham62

    Tony

    Good morning.

    I agree.

    Team selection/ mindset/ physical defiences/ substitutions/ game management, all played a part..

    The miss by Auba, although catastrophic, was not the reason we went out. It took us 76 minutes to get a shot on target, which is unacceptable by any stretch of the imagination.

    The passing lacked poise and fluidity. GX was pinging the ball around as if he was on drugs. Ten yard passes hit at 100mph! I mean what the fudge.

    As for Leno, well what can I say. For months now I have been pointing out he is just not good enough. Being an excellent shot stopper does not constitute being a good GK.

    He does not command the box. He is weak at corners and free kicks and is suspect when distributing the ball. We need a far better keeper. Pope at Burnley has to be a priority for next season.

    Yes, we can blame our defence but when you have a goalkeeper who doesn’t give you confidence, you are basically fcuked.

    Were we going to win the EL? Imo, no we weren’t. Progressing though would have given us momentum and hope. Now we have to accept it and try and move forward.

    Arteta’s team selection baffled me. After a tough week of games, to not play Martinelli and Torreira from the start, was, for me, a huge mistake.

    Our best player was Mustafi, which says it all really. As for GX and Ozil, they are just not good enough. I won’t explain why, because we all know the reasons.

    Yes, I’m gutted but it’s now going to be interesting to see our response in the league. Can we push on? Can we at least give ourselves a chance of European qualification for next season. Note, I didn’t specify CL.

    There’s nothing much more I can say. So many disappointments over the years, just another one to add to the list.

  16. Digz

    @graham62 I agree with what you said. I just woke up and I’m furious. Two things went wrong last night 1) I hate to bang the same old drum but team selection: Lacazette. Arteta must have seen by now Lacazette is a hopeless player. He is never in the fight place and he is far too slow to move anywhere. I agree in the Europa was the best place to start him but a player so ineffective you take off on 60. 2) Game management: on 50 minutes I typed Arsenal injuries in google because I thought Martinelli must be out injured. Our only positive this season and Arteta doesn’t bring him on until the second half of extra time. We needed out first sub on 55 minutes. Should that have been Torreira a defensive midfielder that scores 2 goals at best a season, when we’re desperate for a goal? I hate to bang on about it but I truly believe good shape but poor team selection and hideous in-game management is simply not a huge step in the right direction at all. We’ve 100% lost Auba, next season with only Lacazette up front is going to be heinous

  17. Goobergooner

    ES

    “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.”

    You forgot to mention a lack of a real engine and athleticism, someone to properly break up play and recycle. Our midfield is as shit in attack as in defence

  18. Graham62

    I’ve always said that having a top GK is a must if you want to taken seriously.

    When was the last time we had a top GK?

    Seaman? Definitely. No question.

    Jens Lehmann? Not consistent enough imo.

    We have to get Pope.

    Actually feel sorry for Auba today.

    Not his fault.

  19. CG

    So:

    The substandard coach OGS can rustle up a 5 zero win – with only Igalo up front against Bruges.

    Yet

    The superior coach MA can only muster a 1 goal and defeat despite PEA,Laca and Pepe playing together.

    OGS who has 2 wins at Maine Road and Chelsea too this season and sits comfortably above Arsenal.

    Looks to me its either:

    Some on here have UNDERESTIMATED OGS as a coach or OVERRATED MA.

    I suspect it’s a bit of both.

    Arteta biggest mistake so far( and I stated at the time, off course) was his inept decision to appoint S. Round as his no.2.

    Round has been involved in these sorts of capitulations all his career.He revels in them. Arteta should have appointed some one much more experienced and who has been successful elsewhere.

    If he doesnt – he will regret it.

  20. Digz

    Another thing. It’s time to be honest, Is Pepe our 2nd worst ever signing after Lacazette? He slows down play, is incredibly lazy, I mean what does he actually do?

  21. Un na naai

    Want to touch on the Ian wright discussion on the podcast

    How can your heart not burst when it comes to this man? His passion and enthusiasm are totally infectious.
    I love the way he cheers for england and how crazy he gets when we score.
    I loved that documentary when he met his old PE teacher and cried beacuse he thought he was dead. He considered this man (who was white) a father figure in a time (70s-80s) when he’d have received some amount of nasty treatment because of the colour of his skin.
    It was incredibly moving.

  22. Graham62

    As usual CG you blame others for our failings.

    Round had nothing to do with what happened last night.

    You are so frigging predictable.

  23. Emiratesstroller

    I think that there will be selection changes for the game against Portsmouth.
    Some will be forced on Arteta e.g. Mustafi who went off injured.

    I could see the following team selected on Monday:

    MARTINEZ
    SOARES
    SOKRATIS
    HOLDING or MARI
    MAITLAND-NILES
    TORREIRA
    GUENDOUZI
    WILLOCK
    MARTINELLI
    NKETIAH
    NELSON

  24. Un na naai

    Look

    Last night was shit. No doubt
    Arteta got it wrong. No doubt

    But what I cannot stand is the revelry in a very tight loss. It’s pathetic and symptomatic of the toxic culture in the modern fan base and especially on Le Geove

  25. CG

    Graham

    “”We have to get Pope.””””

    And if we are recruiting from Turf Moor.
    Let’s go and get their manager too.

    A real manager.
    A real bloody leader.

    Because that’s what we need to stop our rot.

    No more Teck Decks.
    No more Head Coaches.
    No more Head of Football Operations.
    No more loan managers.
    Or contracts people.

    Because it’s all cobblers. And dont work.
    (Dont care what other clubs do.)

    Arsenal need a manager.
    A proven one.

    Always remember:

    Coaching is only 49% of the business
    Managing is the other 51%

  26. Seun

    Arteta should take the blame. Should have rested some legs and played AMN , Martinelli , Torriera, Guendouzi etc after he himself confirm players were complaining of cramps few days ago. Plus a long travel to Dubai. Fresh legs would have won us the game. Inexperience from the coach

  27. Pierre

    CG
    “Some on here have UNDERESTIMATED OGS as a coach or OVERRATED MA.I suspect it’s a bit of both.”

    I think it helps if you can go out in January and buy one of the worlds best attacking midfielders as united have done, as he has transformed their season

    Whereas we brought in 2 loan signings.

    Grealish next for them.

  28. Un na naai

    Arteta should have rotated
    There wasn’t the same energy in the team last night. The most worrying aspect for me is how many passes shots and crosses were over or under hit or just totally inaccurate.

    How the movement off the ball was non existent
    How little attempt there was to drive us forward
    Why was the hand break on? Is it fitness after a 2 week winter break? If so, why? If there were tired legs, then why not rotate?

    Personally I couldn’t give two shits about the Europa league. It’s Mickey Mouse and we stand less chance of gaining access to the champions league through it due to it being a cup and cups require luck. Something if which we had none of last night. The ref was awful
    Red card in the opening stages for the trip on Pepe
    Handball shortly after

  29. Cesc's Pizzeria

    As much as we expected the win, most of the mistakes were from Arteta’s limited experience (which will only sort itself out over time) as the players seemed very lost on the ball whilst also heavily fatigued.

    This may be a blessing in disguise however, as early European knockouts give us more resources to focus on the league and FA Cup. Especially if City’s ban is upheld, 5th place and a FA Cup win can still make this season an overall success.

  30. Sid

    Arteta is likeable, his over the top fanboys rubbing it in the face of rational fans are making his job difficult since everytime theres a setback Arteta faces the backlash.

    Im telling you this for free!

  31. The backpass

    And why the fuck is Mari not playing, bruno guimares gave a masterclass against Juve, after a month Mari is yet to play when we have bunch of clowns in defense who definitely can’t defend set pieces. Maybe, Mari is a little bit shit ..

    Back to Bruno guimares, he was bought for £22million, if Arteta actually lets xhaka leave, we might have bought him with all the brazilian connection here right now, he was also the best player at the qualifiers for olympics. Why did Arteta beg Xhaka to stay when we could have gotten a superior player in bruno?.

  32. CG

    Pierre

    “”””I think it helps if you can go out in January and buy one of the worlds best attacking midfielders as united have done, as he has transformed their season””””

    Undoubtedly he has -and a great point well made.

    (And hasn’t he fitted in quickly to their team?)

    Kudos to OGS there too,for his quick adaptation to the Prem.

    Meanwhile our signings Cedric, Tierney, Mari and Pepe still need time to get fit and adapt.

    OGS who has Mike Phelan as his no.2 (Fergies succesful lieutenant )

    MA has Steve Round as his no.2 ( Moyes’ unsuccessful lieutenant)

    Coincidence?

  33. The backpass

    “Personally I couldn’t give two shits about the Europa league. It’s Mickey Mouse and we stand less chance of gaining access to the champions league through it due to it being a cup and cups require luck. Something if which we had none of last night. The ref was awful
    Red card in the opening stages for the trip on Pepe
    Handball shortly after”

    Lol, how predictable. The same competition we have gotten to the semi-final and finals the past years. This was the best bet for us to get into champions league.

    Our next PL matches after westham includes; brighton, Southampton, norwich, Wolves, mancity, Leicester, tottenham, Liverpool, astonvilla and watford.

    Getting 12 points from this 10 PL matches is the real luck not the europa league.

  34. The backpass

    “Arteta is likeable, his over the top fanboys rubbing it in the face of rational fans are making his job difficult since everytime theres a setback Arteta faces the backlash.”

    Yep, pretty much the most useful free advice you have given. Accurate.

  35. Daniel Altos

    It is embarrassing that some posters here have suddenly lost all sense of objectivity…they run amok on the blog when we win football matches showing all the tactical genius of our coach yet when we lose any word of criticism is met with being called an ekb.Of course they won’t mention the late pre-planned subs planned by our manager.When we win I will praise arteta and when we lose I sure will criticize him

  36. SUGA3

    Arteta got it massively wrong with the squad selection and did not react when the things were obviously going south. No shot on target until what, 73rd minute? Laca was having a stinker, should have been hauled off in the 60th minute at the latest.

    Auba was not having a great time out wide, put him in the middle, look what happens.

    Poor, poor from the sauce coach. Also poor of you Pedro to just gloss it over. It was just Olympiakos at home, we should be waltzing these.

  37. Daniel Altos

    I see people suddenly don’t give a shit about the Europa league ehh…they only care about the League now.Talking about 5th place lol😂.I think by the time we play villa reality will set in on some of our fans that we have a hopeless squad.In fact I want you to mark this post and take it to the bank

  38. Davey

    For all our deficiencies going forward we are conceding all our goals from set pieces/crosses give Mari a run in the team we need a dominant force defending crosses it is plainly obvious

  39. Billyboy

    @Chris I’m with you, Pepe is shit. He does slow down play and he’s lazy. Arteta is a mess. Emery would’ve not gone out to Olympiacos even if he’s head was hanging off. Setting a shape is nothing if your team selections and management during the gang is abysmal #artetaout

  40. Daniel Altos

    Pedro talking about fine margins yet when Auba bottled a pen against Spurs and we missed 4th by one point last season I wasn’t hearing the same excuse being wheeled out…how predictable.Can we please have some consistency?And we can frame it however we want to but we shouldn’t be needing a 122nd minute winner(by auba as usual)to deal with freakin olimpiakos at home.

  41. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    I like Leno but wait a minute he made error couple of games back , an error last night should have booted up field like he done two minutes before.

    Good shot stopper but not for us next season .

    Art should have played Gabby earlier .
    Rookie error from rookie manager .

  42. Daniel Altos

    China1February 28, 2020 03:48:33
    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 marginsBut he was on the wrong side of those margins so has rightly paid the price in the end

    China spot on.Very hypocritical to be yapping about fine margins yet the same characters were having none of that last season.Any questions now are met with ‘ I’d take that if it means we will be better next season’…it seems it cast in stone that we will be world class next season according to some-the same guys who said we had a top 4 squad…Can someone explain to me why our top 4 squad couldn’t do away with olimpiacos?Or are we going to blame a preseason and fitness?

  43. Unathanthium

    Two major events that this club has yet to recover from. Firstly, and most importantly, the buying of Ozil. This was a gesture made out of desperation by a manager who felt he had to make a point to a disgruntled fan base. We needed a marquee signing and Ozil was the only low hanging fruit of any quality to pluck at the time. Never mind that he was mot what we needed, an expensive DM would have been better. This was a player who functions at his best surrounded by world class players. He’s not a leader, he’s a follower. We needed the former. We see his ambition too; any ambitious player would have wanted out of this club some years ago. It’s money first with him.

    Second item we still feel some effect from is the Suarez incident. This is when we see that we are only a big club on paper. Yes we’re one of the richest clubs in the world but our mentality is not equal to that. Liverpool were no better than us when we tried to buy Suarez. A really big club would have offered another 10 million and secured him but we faltered. In doing so we affirmed our natural pecking order in the league, behind Liverpool, a club who had never won the PL. Liverpool have the mentality of a big club, built on foundations from European success, an arena in which we’ve consistently failed. Liverpool laughed at us over Suarez because despite the evidence of our success in the league, they never thought we were bigger than them. And by failing to get Suarez we accepted our inferiority, and we’re still wallowing in it now.

    Every now and then we flex our imaginary muscles and make a statement, like spending 72 million on Pepe. These odd moments of posturing are infrequent and usually self. defeating. In the last decade how many clubs of the ilk of Leicester or Southampton have found players they’ve paid a fraction of Pepe’s price and then sold for a healthy profit. We are absolutely useless at finding talent at a reasonable price, possibly because what is a necessity for smaller clubs is merely a choice for us. We have the finances to go big so we do every now and then and make a complete hash of it. Our lack of direction reflects what sort of club we are, neither big nor small, functioning in some hinterland between the two.

  44. DigitalBob

    Brutal loss yesterday, the usual culprits at fault, Xhaka and Luiz. No matter how good a coach Arteta is or might be we have footballers who cannot cut it at the top level.

    On Arteta, I still have faith but he has a lot to learn in terms of in game adjustments, 60 minutes should have seen the end of Ozil and Laca with Martinelli and Willock(Eddie should have been on the bench) brought on.

  45. Ishola70

    The backpass

    “Why did Arteta beg Xhaka to stay when we could have gotten a superior player in bruno?.”

    Answers on a postcard.

    Poor from Arteta that decision but him having been at the club for such a short time I presume that he had this notion of giving every existing player a chance under him when he first enters the club so as to give the squad good morale and a boost.

    But if he carries on with this going into next season he will hang himself.

  46. Just Another Customer

    Leno is not learning from past mistakes at all this is the frustration I have with footballers these days.

    Watched the post-match interview involving Leno and Auba and our goalkeeper just put his mistakes as misfortune or being unlucky.

    WHEN YOU HAVE THAT KIND OF MINDSET HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE!!!!?????

    Thus making the same indecisions and errors match after match.

    If only he’s being coached properly to go out when need to be and when to stay on the line. This is maybe due the lack of trust between defenders. We need a solid organised but for now Leno is not good enough sorry to say if he does not improve himself.

    No use for all the talents if you are still complacent in your inadequacies.

    This also applies to real life by the way let it be a lesson for us.

  47. Thank you and goodnight.

    Doesn’t matter who we have as a manager, under kroenke’s stewardship we have gone from a top 3 team to a midtable team at best. We are a joke of a club, a retirement home for past it footballers. From top to bottom the club is a fucking mess

  48. Unathanthium

    Also I’m not sure why Pedro has such faith in Arteta. He may have worked under Guardiola but he’s never been a manager. Yes the team seem more cohesive but frankly virtually any manager in the PL could have improved on the disaster that was Emery.

    Fact is we’ve no idea whether Arteta is manager material and it seems foolhardy to test his abilities on a team that needs a major overhaul. Pedro’s smug comments about people regretting their negative attitude towards Arteta this time next season seem more based on wishful thinking than solid evidence.

    I hope Pedro’s faith is not misplaced.

  49. Floomboom

    I’m sure Arteta will one day be a decent coach at some club, but he’s not ready yet. You can’t constantly pick a striker that rarely scores goals and is too slow and limited to cause problems up front. He should’ve gone off on60. You can’t bring on a defensive midfielder when you’re chasing the game when you’ve got an elite up and coming winger/fw on the bench. Where was Nketiah? This is not just bad, it’s horrendous coaching. Emery would never have done that. We have no athleticism in midfield and the less said about our 72 mil signing the better. I’d rather have Pukki than Pepe

  50. Danny S

    Anyone thinking Xhaka is leaving I think may be disappointed.

    Ateta seems to put a lot of faith in him. I’m pretty sure he will still be a mainstay if the starting 11 next season.

  51. TitsMcGee

    Way too early to know either way on Arteta but this result should slow down the “he’s definitely the answer” kind of talk.

    We’ll know a lot more next season at this same point.

  52. Thank you and goodnight.

    @Unathanium

    Totally agree with you. Their have been for more no2 ‘s to a manager failing, than actually being a success. A good No2 doesn’t make you a good manager. I think this time next year , we’ll be looking at our 3rd new manager since Wenger

  53. Daniel Altos

    Danny SFebruary 28, 2020 08:57:49
    Anyone thinking Xhaka is leaving I think may be disappointed.Ateta seems to put a lot of faith in him. I’m pretty sure he will still be a mainstay if the starting 11 next season.

    I said this a while back too.Xhaka will be in the starting 11 next season, everything points to that.I wouldn’t be surprised to see ozil too

  54. Ishola70

    Don’t indulge them Arteta.

    Cut the ones that need to be cut.

    He doesn’t do this then he will fail in the long term.

  55. Ishola70

    Danny S

    “Anyone thinking Xhaka is leaving I think may be disappointed.Ateta seems to put a lot of faith in him. I’m pretty sure he will still be a mainstay if the starting 11 next season.”

    If that is the case then we can forget Arsenal really improving in the next few seasons.

    It’s simple.

    You cannot have such a flawed player at the core of your midfield.

  56. GillespieRoadNoMore

    Poor game management was our problem last night, what was Leno thinking hoofing ouf the ball for a corner. Having taken the lead all we needed to do was keep posession.

    Our attack was also notably absent, plenty of posession but no clue what to do with it, total lack of decisive and incisive play.

    Pepe drives me nuts, his decision making and vision make a toddler look focused by comparison. He might keep hold of the ball but during that time the opposition are given plenty of time to take up good defensive positions. Beat a player once and then create something don’t just rinse and repeat.

    At least we now only have just 2 things to focus on, however on current form I am not so confident about advancing beyond Bournemouth in the FA Cup.

  57. Pierre

    I think Arteta will be quite ruthless this summer.
    He will not hesitate to offload players who he (not the fans) thinks are not up to scratch.

    It’s important he remains calm, the players who have just gone ten games undefeated are more than capable of putting another run of games together.

    We went out in the last minute on away goals.

    I still think Leno should have come for the cross for the deciding goal.
    Looking back at it , his starting position was quite good, around the 5 yards out , but from there he didn’t move .
    The striker scored from 7 yards out so Leno only had to move 2 Yards from when the crosd was struck.
    He should have been on the front foot and it would have been a straightforward catch.

  58. PieAFC

    What’s to say Arteta hasn’t learnt from yesterday. Some subs were later as planned. Because look what happened to Mustafi. Had he made any more quick related, gun ho subs. Could have been down to 10 men if someone else went down with a muscle injury.

    To be taken of as a RB, that was telling. I worry bellerin knows he isnt the same player he once was. So sad to see. Either it’s a recovery issue, or this is bellerin now. Looks a shadow of a player.

    Severe changes against Pompey. Not an easy place to go. We will get a game. They’re doing alright this season. Had some good games there.

    Just need to some energy.

    Arteta has worked and done so much positives. But, I would like him to see him play players that play his way all over the park. Not adjusting the team to tactics to suit flaws and attributes some players don’t have.

    I comment a while ago, saying the left hand side play we do. Will become predictable soon, especially if we don’t mix it up on the right.

    Pepe needs to sort out his ability on his right foot, that’s not on Arteta. Thats pepe as a player. He needs to go on the left. No more cutting back, straight whipping balls onto the box. I think it should at least be tried and put a better player in Saka/Martinelli put there with better technique and more ambidextrous.

    We all said Arteta had a tight battle on his hands with this club and squad. Let’s not forget that.

    2 losses in 12 isnt crazy.

  59. Wasi

    CG

    How can a Hardcore Wenger fanboy fathom the thought of Sean Dyche managing Arsenal who is the literal opposite of Arsene.

  60. Pierre

    “Why did Arteta beg Xhaka to stay when we could have gotten a superior player in bruno?.”

    Money?

    I’m sure Arteta would love to go out and buy grealish , Bruno Fernandes, upacaemo, sancho, a keeper and a world class full back .

    But that won’t happen will it , so to ask as to why we didn’t buy Bruno ,is slightly niave.

  61. Danny

    I think we have to be realistic:
    Chelsea and Spurs are probably going out of Europe this round and with only 11 league games left, all 3 of us without European distraction will have to go for it, try to win as many as possible etc.
    Auba’s miss might have been the most expensive in Arsenal’s history but none of us here really believed we were going to win that Thursday night crap anyway. Of course by not getting to the semis or even the final means the club lost out on millions but sadly the players didn’t know how to deal with our away goal lead from the first leg e.g. first shot on target only after 75 minutes. As for Arteta, he has a lot to learn if he wants to be a decent manager but this season is not on him, at least not all of it.

  62. Ishola70

    Why would it be money Pierre?

    The price quoted for Xhaka to be sold to Hertha Berlin was 30m and I read on here this Guimaires guy went to Lyon for around 20m.

    Plus his wages would have been lower than Xhaka’s coming in.

    Arteta didn’t want to rock the boat so early.

  63. Jim Lahey

    Genuinely starting to worry about Arteta’s team selections and in-game management. Once again both were awful last night.

  64. Wasi

    Pierre
    ‘I still think Leno should have come for the cross for the deciding goal.
    Looking back at it , his starting position was quite good, around the 5 yards out , but from there he didn’t move .
    The striker scored from 7 yards out so Leno only had to move 2 Yards from when the crosd was struck.
    He should have been on the front foot and it would have been a straightforward catch.’

    Good Analysis Pierre.
    There could be 2 reasons as to why he didn’t come for the cross

    1) The most Obvious one. Leno is not a brave keeper. And that is why he faces difficulty in being a commanding presence in his own box.

    2) Maybe he thought Luiz is gonna try to clear the ball which could have easily deflected towards our goal,so Leno stood there to prevent an Own goal.

    Leno’s got the reflexes, leap, speed to be maybe a top 5 keeper in the world. But his decision making stemming from a more conservative , protect yourself first type of thinking makes him a a little less effective in being able to command his own box with authority. Also his distribution is not elite but still way better than Oblak who is considered in the top 3 keepers.

    Just saw the replay of the first goal we conceded. Luiz was scared as a chicken there. Not good enough aerially , We need Mari to step up and take that spot.

    All of this adds up to our weaknesses in defending set pieces.
    We’ve only really got Mustafi who we can rely on to defend on set pieces.
    Luiz and Leno arent brave . + We’ve got a very lightweight Midfield.
    After Mustafi , Xhaka/Martinelli are our best headers and that says something.

  65. raptora

    Pierre,
    Give us the home statistic you posted yesterday again.

    I’ll post a stat as well.

    2018/19 home games in the KO phase in Europa League:
    Arsenal 3 – 0 BATE Borisov
    Arsenal 3 – 0 Rennes
    Arsenal 2 – 0 Napoli
    Arsenal 3 – 1 Valencia

    2019/20 home games in the KO phase in Europa League:
    Arsenal 1 – 2 Olympiacos

  66. Emiratesstroller

    Earlier this season I suggested that if Arsenal failed to qualify for Champions League then I would prefer that the club did not qualify for Europe at all and
    we concentrated next season on EPL.

    Let’s be honest Leicester did not qualify for Europe this season and that has done them no harm. On the contrary they can prepare properly for their matches in EPL.

    The Europa League is a distraction and the situation is often not helped by television programming. More often than not we have landed up this season with games on Monday, Thursday and Sunday.

    If we need to concentrate next season on domestic competition we can cut out
    of our squad the dross and focus on building a strong core for the future.

    I made the case that we need two quality specialist players in each position with perhaps a couple of utility players if we have an injury crisis.

    The media and some of the posters on Le Grove assume that Arsenal’s absence from Champions League will impact on our squad. I disagree. The
    only player currently in squad who might consider a move based on his ‘reputation’ is Aubameyang and he will be 31 next season.

    Currently most of the other players are ‘average’ at EPL level. The only difference is that Arsenal are paying them Champions League wages.

    When I analyse our squad there are very few players on the evidence I have seen this season who merit wages in excess of £30-50K pw. On current performance that is Ozil’s level if the truth be known.

    We have on our books two outstanding young prospects in Saka and Martinelli and this needs to be our retention priority. We should be building a
    new generation around these players.

    I made the case on a number of occasions this season that we should not ‘buy’
    more than two or three replacement players. That is because frankly I would
    rather spend £100-110 Million on a couple of proven players rather than spending that amount on half a dozen mediocre or speculative players.

    That is my opinion about our current situation and how to rebuild the squad in future.

  67. Floomboom

    I’ll tell you exactly what we should do sack Arteta now instead of waiting 18 months like last time, go and get Ralph Hasenhüttl before the end of the season

  68. Pierre

    Ishola
    I presumed he meant bruno Fernandes who I think went for 65 mil but looking back I see he meant guimaires.

    I agree , that would look an option but there are a lot of variables that have to be taken into consideration.

    Like..was there a concrete offer on the table for xhaka that suited both parties.
    Is Guimaires the type of player that Arteta is looking to bring in.
    Did guimaires want to move to London/Arsenal.

    The time to judge on transfers will be the summer.not January

    He needed to assess the playing staff first and of course he will big them up as he needs to gain the players confidence.

  69. The backpass

    Pierre

    You do know that Bruno went for less than £20million, and Xhaka was been priced at €25-30 million. In what capacity was no money coming to play here?

    I was saying this since beginning of January, sell xhaka and buy bruno. Also, salary? He cant surely be given more than what Xhaka is presently on. I say ahain, what Money?

  70. James wood

    I ask anyone on here would you have started with
    Ozil -Cellabos -Xhaka in midfield.
    That’s a weak midfield protecting a 1 goal lead.with
    Pepe wide not known for doing to much working back
    and a blue badge Sulky faced Laca we where always going
    to be more fragile than usual.
    Desperate times when players don’t look interested.

  71. Ishola70

    Pierre

    I see your variables but this is not one:

    “Is Guimaires the type of player that Arteta is looking to bring in.”

    Guimaires is seen as a very promising CM.

    These type of players are what Arteta should be looking to bring in.

    And we are talking about a replacement for Xhaka here who is not a quality player.

    What is Arteta looking for ? A clone of Xhaka to come in? God forbid.

  72. The backpass

    “Is Guimaires the type of player that Arteta is looking to bring in.
    Did guimaires want to move to London/Arsenal.”

    If Arteta isnt trying to bring a midfielder like guimares come summer, then we are fucked.

    We definitely need a CM and a DM for next season, also this may come as a shock to you, but Ozil must not be in whatever set up Arteta plans for next season, or else, we are doomed.

  73. Graham62

    Now that the dust has settled, what do we all feel.

    Can we move up the league and compete for a European place?

    What about the FA Cup, should we look at this as a better option at European progression?

    Do we stick or twist with the likes of Ozil and GX?

    Food for thought. If we had had the Norwich City midfield playing for us last night, we probably would have won the game. Infact I’m sure we’d have won.

    That’s how poor our midfield unit is. Granit Xhaka and Ozil are not good enough, we all know that. It’s not the fact that they are substandard in so many basic aspects of a professional footballers remit, it’s the fact they are a massive burden on the entire team.

    I like Lacazette, always have, but he is not a player who should be picking up the ball in his own half to generate an attack. He is a box player. Physically adapted to turn defenders, get them off balance and be at the end of an attacking move. Wenger never saw this. Emery confused the issue and Arteta doesn’t seem to want to play to his strengths.

    Pepe drove me(us)mad last night. Faking to go left and right not once, not twice but often three or four times. Get the fudging ball across!! If he’s finding it difficult put him with Saka on the left, so he can cross with his left. I understand Arteta wants him to cut inside but he has to take defenders on and cross with his right foot. I’d be drumming that into his head/game.

    The training session today will be very interesting.

    Come on guys, roll up those sleeves and prove to us all that last night was a massive learning curve that we use to our advantage.

    Arsenal forever.

  74. Nelson

    It was a bridge too far. 4 games in 12 days! The players didn’t look the same. From kickoff they looked tired and nervous. They misplaced so many easy passes at home. Just imagine, Torr and Martinelli were our two best players. They should have started the game. Anyway, no more Thursday night football.

  75. PieAFC

    I do believe against Pompey. Saka will either be left wing or rested. Tierney will be back.

    That will be a huge difference moving forward having Saka available for the left.

    Lacazette has to he dropped for the next foreseeable games.

    I just want Monday to hurry up now and get a reaction from the players and club, albeit against lower level opposition.

  76. PieAFC

    I know the variation of the formation change, forming hybrids.

    Surprised with many clubs in Europe reverting back to a 4-4-2, wonder why Arteta hasn’t given it a go more regularly.

    Then that’s down to inept, lack of athleticism in the middle of park. Box to box types. Would at least put laca and auba up top from the start and two natural wingers either side.

  77. Samir

    What a stupid error by Leno in the last minutes of the game.
    However, he’s saved us so many times this season we can’t blame him.

    Terrible team selection from Arteta. Auba should only be played down the centre.
    Bellerin is not good enough anymore.
    Ozil never assists nor scores. Should not play.
    Xhaka looked very tired and in need of a rest.
    Laca should be second choice behind Auba for ST.

    …………..Leno………….
    Niles–Mustafi–Luiz–Saka
    …………Torr–Willock………
    ……………Ceballos………….
    Pepe/Nelson–Auba–Martinelli

    Why doesn’t Arteta rotate?

  78. Ishola70

    Another thing that was mentioned here a few weeks ago was that Arsenal were near the top of the table in regards “tactical” fouling and it seemed to be celebrated on here.

    I would hazard a guess that Granit boy is a big provider of this near the top of the table particular stat.

    But it’s nothing to be celebrated or to think it’s cute and clever it really isn’t.

    Xhaka even under this so-called renaissance under Arteta has still been committing cringe worthy challenges on opposing players because of his off the ball weakness. That these cringe worthy challenges haven’t directly resulted in an opposition goal in the last few weeks has been seen as significant progress. It isn’t. The weaknesses still remain.

    This is before we even get onto how slow and ponderous he is on the ball.

    Rip up this midfield and start again.

  79. Receding Hairline

    All this talk about Leno and commanding the box

    The corner was horrible from Olympiakos, it was dealt with easily, what followed was just classic Arsenal, the attempt to stop the cross from coming in by two of our players was disgraceful, the marking from two experienced center backs atrocious. The cross was on a downward trajectory hence the finish applied by feet, what exactly was Leno meant to do, mark the striker?

  80. Daniel Altos

    I know this sounds crazy but we should be looking at Giroud at a 1 year contract.As it stands,auba and Laca look to be off and we will enter next season having rookie strikers.Olly’s experience might help them

  81. Daniel Altos

    Jim LaheyFebruary 28, 2020 09:35:40
    Genuinely starting to worry about Arteta’s team selections and in-game management. Once again both were awful last night.

    ‘starting’?.no shit

  82. Graham62

    Samir

    Don’t agree.

    He was culpable for both goals because he can’t take command of the situation.

    Being a flashy “shot stopper” doesn’t do it for me.

    Not strong enough mentally. Hates the physical aspects of his role. Tentative on crosses/ free kicks etc.

    If I was a defender infront of him, I’d have lots of doubts.

  83. raptora

    “It was a very good year, very hard,” Domenec Torrent, whose knowledge of the Spanish lower leagues was vital to Guardiola in that year at Barca B, tells Goal. “It was Pep’s first year as a coach, he had to keep learning game by game.

    “The Spanish Tercera Division is very, very hard,” he continued. “There are a lot of veteran players and we had very young lads, but they were like sponges, they learned everything so fast.

    “In the second part of the league they started winning games more impressively, far better than the first, because they learned Pep’s concepts better. The only way to learn was to keep playing, it was like a Masters degree for Pep.”

    Guardiola agrees: “Definitely. Definitely, it was so good for me. It was good because I had one game a week, I had time to analyse my process, and I did not have spotlights, I did not have media.
    “I completely agree with Dome, it was the best school. First of all because I was a virgin! Dome helped me a lot because he was a manager in that division, the fourth division, for many, many years, he knew exactly the pitches, the stadiums… not stadiums, because there are no stadiums. You can imagine in England in League Two or the Conference, it is quite similar.”

  84. Graham62

    RH

    The defenders are apprehensive before the corner is taken. We all see that.

    A good GK would alleviate this problem and consequently defenders would be more positive.

    For me, no to Leno.

    Substandard.

  85. raptora

    Arsenal is Arteta’s school. It only makes sense for him to make schoolboy errors like last night’s. And the ultra passiveness with his subs means basically never helping his team during the game if things aren’t going our way. He’s done it in every game we played under him.

  86. Daniel Altos

    I say we should abandon this technical cute boy bullshit of ozil,xhakalson,luiz and go athletic…as someone said here the 442 is a start…the 3-5-2 too…get two absolute bastards in the middle of the pitch…heck get that 6’6 olimpiacos guy…we have been down this technical midgets road for 15 years and it isn’t taking us anywhere,we should just follow the Liverpool model and fill the midfield with workhorses

  87. Marc

    My criticism of Arteta as a manager last night is not that he got the selection initially wrong – it’s that it takes him too long to make a change when it isn’t working. His changes are also questionable when they are made – Did Willock really bring anything to the performance? Why wasn’t Martinelli brought on after 65 minutes instead of 105? Laca looked fucked after an hour and whilst he’s got a couple of goals he still doesn’t look like a player who’s “right”.

    We’ve got the opportunity to heavily rotate now for Monday so we have fresh legs against West Ham a week tomorrow. The problem for Arteta is he can’t afford to lose against Portsmouth as he’ll get the “went out of two competitions in 5 days” headlines but he can’t put out a full strength team. His selection will be interesting.

  88. Lari03

    Rookie manager error, I hope Arteta learns from this loss. Once again, we saw a coach play names and not a functional unit.

    Lacazette works best when there are 2 central strikers.

    There were lots of conditions to analyse and question from yesterday. But more importantly this should serve as a reminder that this midfield is the poorest we’ve had since the Emirates era began.

    I remember before buying Aubameyang, it was evident that he often missed a fair number of chances. Going forward, I would expect both Lacazette and Aubameyang to be sold in the summer, while we go for Jovic or a younger energetic all round striker in addition to Eddie & Martinelli.

    7 players in:
    Jovic or a good striker
    Said Benrahma,
    Pape Gueye,
    Todd Cantwell,
    Jack Grealish,
    Doucoure &
    The Scottish Robben @ Bournemouth and we just might have a stronger midfield and better team ahead of next season.

    5 Players out:
    Aubameyang
    Lacazette
    Mesut Ozil
    Sokratis
    Kolasinac

  89. Bojangles

    Fuck me, they’ve come out of the woodwork for this one. All sitting in their little holes just waiting for such a result. Nevermind the next win or two will have them return to the spud blogs.

    The Harvard grad trying to whip up support for his peculiar take on everything Arsenal is pretty sad to see, feel embarrassed for him.

    Can’t go along with anyone calling for Holding to be a first team selection at the moment. He’s done nothing in his few appearances since coming back from injury to warrant being in the 18 let alone a starter.

  90. Marc

    Graham

    Leno is a decent keeper although he does have limitations. The issue is not can we improve on him, of course we can the issue is with limited resources is he a priority. I’d say they are other more pressing areas on the pitch that we need to deal with way before we look at a new keeper.

  91. Bojangles

    That’s a strange reply to my post.. I never made mention of the game, players or manager. Just referred to what I read in here.

  92. reality check

    See let me turn on the light bulb for pedro and other like minded posters. You see what you think makes MA special. The thing in him, that you see, and you think, yeah that’s what we need. MA gets it. He understands what we need in 2020.
    What you hipsters don’t realize is that 90 % of the new wave of coaches and managers see the same things MA sees. If not more. His new era, young modernista, tactical analysis method for the new era is not exclusive to him. Other coaches are just as clued up as he is. MA isn’t just competing with dinosaur Wenger’s ways, Emery, carlo, jose ect. All these experienced managers you show no respect to. He’s competing with other Modernista managers and coaches. Which is why he’s not special. He’s just part of the new school, the new class but, he’s just started. So really he’s behind all the other new thinkers. As well as the more experienced coaches.

  93. The backpass

    Yep, everybody that think xhaka and ozil shouldnt be starting for us is a spud fan.. Classic.

    What next, those that also want changes to be done before 105 minutes are also Manchester united fans.

    I didn’t believe we could win the europa league with this squad with what I saw this season and also no top 5 finish.

    Its just that, if we are building for the future, then no ozil, lacazette, Xhaka in the starting line up, because we know what they would bring.

    Instead, Arteta has gone for his favourites or the senior players so as not to ruffle a few feathers.. Fuck them and bin them to the bench, what’s the worst that could happen with no Xhaka and Ozil?

  94. DigitalBob

    Graham62 @February 28, 2020 10:03:46 – Top post couldn’t agree more with this one.

    We need a summer of renewal and a lot of big names/first team players will go for that I am now sure.

    A lot of people on the interweb are saying how will we attract good footballers with no European football, well we can and we will. There are players out there could do a great deal more for us than our current underachievers for example the young Algerian player(Saïd Benrahma) at Brentford setting the championship on fire.

    We have options and don’t need to rely on Arteta to try and improve players that are blatantly not good enough.

  95. raptora

    Bojangles,
    You referred to people having Holding in their lineups for the FA Cup game vs Portsmouth. So you obviously mentioned players. It’s alright though. I wasn’t trying to be offensive.

  96. Pierre

    TH
    ” The cross was on a downward trajectory hence the finish applied by feet, what exactly was Leno meant to do, mark the striker? ”

    He could and should have done better , what transpired was , he did nothing and stood rooted to the spot.

    Will repeat, Leno’s starting position for the deciding goal was good , 5 yards off his line as the ball was crossed .

    The goalscorer made contact with the ball 7 yards out , nearly within touching distance of Leno.

    All Leno had to do was judge the flight of the ball , take 3 or 4 steps towards the ball and let Luiz know he was coming to claim the ball.

    The attacker was in the centre of the goal so he would have had no chance of scoring.

    Leno looks a bit of a dreamer to me, he dreams when he has the ball at his feet and he dreams when a cross comes into the box, though he is very good at shot stopping .

  97. reality check

    I said it when Emery joined. It doesn’t matter who the manager is. If he doesn’t address the ded wood, the trouble makers, the washed up seniors. If he doesn’t do this. In the end, they will Sabotage any progress we make. Eventually, the good work some1 like Auba does. Will be undone by a stupid pass or some average defender messing up. This theory is being proven year on year. Emery freddie and now Arteta. None of them have addressed the senior players. Emery made progress. Then they Sabotage him. Arteta has made good progress, but look what happened. If MA doesn’t wise up soon then that will be the indication he doesn’t see the problem’s and he will have to go too. These are problems that have been apparent to fans for over 10 years!

  98. Wenker-wanger

    David luiz is not a real centre back. What he is , is a very good footballer when NOT under pressure…a player that has skill and good passing ability.
    His shortcomings are obvious.. lack of penalty box domination, Arial power and just the raw strength to bully attacking players.
    So if you want to dig out the offenders for last nights game then there are plenty…ozil and ceballos couldn’t provide a decent killer pass, Pepe is a nightmare generally…so one footed he may as well not put a boot on his right foot,…Leno Made a crucial mistake…..and So on…
    But when you have a defensive disaster waiting to happen in luiz, you really are like a team with 10 players in effect.
    In the, luiz has raised his game recently, but old habits like buckling under pressure obviously remain.

  99. Bamford10

    Pedro

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

    You love to repeat this claim, but it doesn’t really make a lot of sense, because until last Sunday, our results in the PL under Arteta were no better than our results under Emery this season.

    Now they’re only marginally better.

    You assume that results under Arteta will continue to be better and that this margin will increase, but I don’t know if that will be the case. There are 11 PL matches remaining and this group of players just got dumped out of Europe in horrible, tears-inducing fashion. This could take a toll on the spirit in the team and camp and on their confidence, and that could spill over into the PL, where there are no easy games.

    Not to be grim, but it’s possible we’re in for “the worst finish” in 30 years. And I’ll tell you, if Arteta keeps starting Lacazette and not Martinelli, there’s a chance of it.

  100. Ishola70

    Leno is the classic case of being a better keeper when called upon for quick instinct keeping such as shot stopping.

    When he has time and has to think about his keeping such as crosses and distribution he can fall down.

    He looks a worrier and not the strongest mentally.

  101. raptora

    Graham: “Food for thought. If we had had the Norwich City midfield playing for us last night, we probably would have won the game. Infact I’m sure we’d have won.”

    Our midfield is now worse than the 20th team in the league Norwich. Now it all makes sense. Losing to a Greek team should be par the course…

    I just wonder how did Emery (a manager who was a full on clown in his 2nd season) win vs Sporting, Napoli, Valencia in Europe.

  102. Wenker-wanger

    @ reality check,.agree arteta is looking like a very good manager.
    The squad he has is full of defects….its a barely functioning unit and even with the current number 1 manager, klopp, this squad wouldn’t do any better.

  103. Dissenter

    Emirates stroller
    No one is debating ad nauseum with you. You ought to debate yourself for a while.
    The manager prepares the team. The manager picks the team. The manager was responsible for managing the team during the game.
    The buck stops on the manager’s table. You’re laboring to shift the blame way.

  104. Fairly Used Gunner

    Last night was atrocious from the team and their manager. It also shows us the leanings of our head coach and his tactical depth. We must not excuse failings. The coach cost us this game with his lack of experience and poor tactical nous. The jury is out on Arteta. More dismissal performances like this will lead to fan unrest and an eventual sack.

    PS: Been reading this blog since 2012; today’s my first post🤗

  105. reality check

    Aubas rescue goal. Henry has done that for us many times. Cesc, rvp, Sanchez. But in the end, the rest of the team is poor and their low ability Sabotages any good those world class players do. Then they leave to WIN THINGS because Arsenal will not be winning things. Then the fans critisize those players. We find a new hero. Blow smoke up his arse and the cycle starts all over again. Smh

  106. Danish Gooner

    Arteta is in for a real test here,these players are morons and susceptible to bad bad errors not one of them can produce 10 great games in sequence no wonder we will never challenge with this lot i would kill for a Tony Adams or Deniis bergkamp or a silky Vieira.

  107. Pierre

    Bamford
    “There are 11 PL matches remaining and this group of players just got dumped out of Europe in horrible, tears-inducing fashion.”

    A slight over exaggeration one would say, though I wouldn’t expect anything different from you.

    A last minute goal on the away goal rule shows how fine the line is between winning and losing .
    It wasn’t as If we were outplayed , just poor decision making cost us both goals.

  108. Danish Gooner

    We were a far better team under Wenger even in the bad period then we are now Arsenal are a stale dying juggernaut.

  109. Dissenter

    The Europe league was worth about £40 million for Arsenal last season but Emirates Stroller sees it as a distraction.
    Very soon he will start castigating Kroenke for not spending but is happy to dismiss big sources of our revenue so easily.

  110. Jamie

    The ‘no preseason, worst start in 30 years’ chat isn’t going to fly next season if we are indeed writing off the rest of this season as growing pains.

    Can’t wait for the natural squad evolution (revolution?) to begin this summer.

  111. Jim Lahey

    @Pierre –

    “A last minute goal on the away goal rule shows how fine the line is between winning and losing .”

    Against a Greek team in the Europa League… This isn’t losing to Bayern in the Semi-Final of the Champions League.

  112. Marc

    Dissenter

    Agree – he’ll either end up injured or make mistakes and then get slaughtered by the fans. People need to remember he’s a kid in his break out season.

  113. Danish Gooner

    Watched Bayern take Chelsea apart and i got embarressed on Arsenals behalf Bayern would have done another 5 or 6 -1 on us,easily.Bayern a german fullblooded engine Arsenal a total pantomime carthorse and we still pay vastly more in wages then they do.Go figure.atrocious.Yesterday was like watching a piss poor drunk up between two teams from hackney marshes not a pro football game.

  114. Marc

    There’s been bits of talk about Bellerin and his loss of pace – did anyone else notice last night when they broke against us and we had several players sprinting back including Bellerin and Ozil – Ozil went past Bellerin like he was standing still.

    Not an attack on Bellerin but I think we’ll need to look at a new RB pretty soon as well.

  115. Dissenter

    You didn’t need a preseason or elite players to get a result against Olympiakos at home.
    The only competition that could make our season meaningful is now gone.
    Now every performance in the league has to be seen from the no-pressure lens. We aren’t going to be relegated so the games will be pressure-free; any ‘improvement’ has to be viewed with skepticism.

  116. Bamford10

    Pierre

    Did you not see Aubameyang’s face at the end and after the game? One newspaper described him as “a broken man” in his post-match interview. That is what I was referring to when I wrote “tears-inducing”; I wasn’t describing how I think it felt to you or other fans.

    And I am not exaggerating in the least bit: the players felt that loss, and will continue to feel that loss, as a horrible and enervating one.

  117. reality check

    It doesn’t matter if MA is a good manager or not. Wenger was a good manager. Emery was too. Modern day players test you. If you don’t stamp your authority they will run over you. Pep dropped Agureo and put jesus CF. He told a SENIOR PLAYER in Agureo. Work harder or you’re dropped. Klopp dropped and sold so many senior players its not even funny. You have to establish who’s boss first. But be fair. Jose lets everybody know whos boss, but he has favourites so it doesn’t look fair. So 1,2,3 players down tools on him. Not because he’s a bad coach. It’s because he seems to have favourites and it’s not fair. Treat every player equal on merit.

    Arteta. Why is so many under performing players still on the pitch at 60mins. Why were so many players who are in good form dropped? Favourites. Not wanting to upset the seniors.

  118. DigitalBob

    Marc – yes I noticed as did a few people I was next to at the match. A guy in front of me actually said the fastest they saw him run was when he was subbed for Willock.

    I’m hoping its down to recovery and not down to him being done at this level.