The lessons from Europa failure.

by .

A not so happy Friday for most of us, the loss last night was hard to stomach. Olympiacos were not elite opposition and we’d already done the hard job in Greece, we really should have been able to drive that victory home and keep our Champions League hopes alive.

So where do we start on this one?  For me, the key issue was fatigue. The players looked leggy and tired and that filtered into the stands. That was our 4th game in 11 days, which is a lot, but it’s something we knew about and unfortunately, we didn’t seem prepared for the realities of it.

The starting 11 should have been rotated. I understand that Arteta would have been critiqued whatever happened if a loss came out the back end, but I think he pushed the starting 11 too far in this one and the output was inviting for the Greeks.

That said, I don’t this was an effort issue. We weren’t witnessing players not giving a fuck, they just weren’t at the races physically. They still fought until the 2 minute of added-on time in extra time. The cost of fatigued players came in the form of a key injury to the freshly rejuvenated Mustafi. It’ll also now have a knock-on effect mentally. Tired legs after a soul-destroying loss will feel heavier.

The second criticism would have to centre around the subs. Ceballos for Torreira didn’t really do much for our attacking threat, LT just isn’t very good at penetrating the lines and when he’s pushing forward it takes him longer to get back. Joe Willock proved ineffectual when he joined the program, he’s just not there yet, he must be doing something incredible in training because we’re not really getting enough from him on the pitch.

The big one that we waited and waited for was the introduction of Gabriel through the middle. I really like Lacazette, he’s a good guy, offers great vibes in training, but he really, really struggles against powerhouse centre backs. Last night he was in the main totally neutralised by the Greeks hulking centre back pairing. I thought he’d turned the corner, that wasn’t clear last night. I thought the moment that summed up his season was a delicious fake from Ozil that fell to him in space, his shot blazed out of the stadium. 2 years ago he’s finding the net.

Arteta didn’t sub him until the second half of injury time. Now, I can see the idea here, the Greeks were fading badly, Gabriel is a hand-grenade on the pitch, and sure enough, he was, his nodded head in the box setup the Auba scissor kick. The game stays the same and it’s a celebrated substitute timed really well.

Football is a beast though, a Bernd Leno mistake started a domino effect of fuck ups that let them back in. Then, last gasp, Auba puts wide a chance he’d score 9 times out of 10.

Overall, we lost because of a lack of quality in the final third combined with customary defensive errors we’ve been making for 10 years (so, errr, everything). The attacking issues are of more concern. We had 19 shots and only found the target 4 times. This wasn’t a case of ‘well, we were reduced to poor quality chances’, this was bad misses (xG 1.5 (Ars) – 1 (Oly)).

The Greeks gave us possession and we didn’t know how to use it. We really struggled with the deep block and we didn’t have the confidence to invite them on. We chased the second goal because we knew that’s what we had to do. Imagine if that game was reversed, do you think the Greeks would have played like? Doubtful. They’d have sat back, invited us to attack, then spring a counter-attack.

… but we have to move on.

The ghouls will be out for the new manager, that’s just par the course these days. If you only come out of your box for the losses, you have to ask yourself some serious questions. The path to a brighter future was never going to be perfect, the damage to this season was set in motion 18 months ago. You don’t undo the problems in two months. Also, find me a single manager in the world of football that would pick up this group of players in this moment and breeze the season. You wouldn’t. All managers make mistakes, it’s how you find out what your squad is made of, it’s how you learn where the limits are. We are barely 2.5 months into this new chapter.

What did we really learn from last night? There is still a lot of work to do on the defence. We are terrible from setpieces. There are still a lot of individual errors that you can’t afford at the highest level. There are some players that don’t look capable physically at this current moment. Bukayo Saka still looks the business, but even he had his bad moments last night as the panic set in. Next season, it’ll be a different mix. Saliba will join, we’ll probably buy a player like Upemacano, and if Mari is any good, he might be a fixture. We’ll also be looking at right back.

It is also very clear that our midfield needs work. We need better athletes. I think this has been an agenda item for years. We need to look towards power and pace. Players like Denis Zakaria and Wilfred Ndidi never seem to find their way towards Arsenal. Even Bruno Guimarães, a huge fave in the comments here, looked brilliant in the Champions League in the week. Arsenal need to go young and really make sure our midfield represents what the league looks like in 2020.

On the positives, the squad is still working for the cause. You couldn’t put that game down to a lack of effort. The players powered through the redzone in a game they were clearly finding very tough. I’m not here feeling disgusted, I’m just burned by the way things went down. The Auba chance at the end said it all about the new mindset, even if it didn’t come off.

Success is very rarely a straight line, if that’s what you were expecting from the new regime picking up this bag of shit season, then you were setting yourself up for a failure. This was always going to be a long preseason. There is plenty to do right now and there will be big changes in the summer as the squad is reshaped in the vision of someone that actually has a vision. The manager has found out that he pushed his squad too far last night, now he has to deal with the mess. In his press conference after he was very focused on the idea that he has to lift the players for Monday’s game against Brighton. That was our first loss of 2020, the next test is the character of the squad and the power of the managers leadership to get them back winning and making themselves a nuisance in the race for top 5.

A huge challenge, so let’s see where he goes. Onwards people, onwards. Podcast below and the prezzer from Arteta.

1,456 Responses to “The lessons from Europa failure.”

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  1. Bojangles

    I came to this blog around pre-season, so not long. At the time I was more than willing to give Emery at least the rest of the season. As time progressed and our football became relegation quality (something a few here seem to be having trouble remembering) and looking at upcoming fixtures wondering where points were going to come from it was obvious the Manager had to go, unfortunately not so obvious to those in charge.
    It took way to long for them to wake up.

    Now at least, there is some optimism about the club. I am looking forward to watching games again. Anyone who does not see an improvement in what is happening on the pitch compared with our games under Emery, imo really doesn’t want to see it.

    Those who come here to rant and rave after a poor result are rarely heard from when we are doing ok.

    Everyone is allowed to comment in any way they feel is appropriate but if you are only going to come here and shit on the team or the blog owner for that matter when we get a bad result but hide in the shadows when things are going well then it’s fair to say you are agenda driven.

  2. China1

    I’m gonna be realistic about the summer and assume the following things

    1) we will only sign two proper first choice players and the rest will be bargains/free transfers/ promoting youth

    2) we will sell a few experienced players including at least one of auba and laca

    With that in mind, I think if we can divert all our focus onto a quality CM like partey and a quality AM, with saliba also coming in, we could have a good first 11 for next season regardless of any sales we make

    I’d like to see luiz/saliba, partey/torreira/new AM and either Auba or if he’s sold, martinelli up front

    That would be a very good looking spine compared with this season imo…

  3. Goobergooner

    Un na

    “I’m actually going to start going to games again for the first time in years. It helps that I can afford it now and can take time off a bit too but to address the point I’m optimistic again. I want to see arsenal olay
    I want to cheer these young players on. I want to be able to say I was there when martinelli Saka and ESR were pups and just learning to play together in the first team before they won it all with Arteta.”

    What was the difference between now and when Emery started?

    The fact you didn’t like Emery. And are all for the hipster move in Arteta.

    I am not saying in any way I don’t want Arteta as coach, I’m loving him on the sidelines and heading the team.

    But you can’t say that finally changing things up wasn’t an exciting time in AFC history, albeit the hindsight of it all being negative.

    You are wanting the exact same thing now as people wanted with Emery.

  4. CazOnARola


    What you are saying is likely to happen, maybe not the same personnel like Partey but the idea would be the same.

    The only pbm is that until xhaka is in the team, mobility will always be an issue.

    Torreira while he has good leg speed and can tackle is too short to actually cover large distances quickly. I have a feeling he might be sold to fund a new CM and Aubameyang to fund a new AM.
    Mustafi, Sokratis, ozil all in their final year.

    If Saliba doesn’t fire, we will have only luiz as the CB who has played in the PL.
    Which tells me its possible that mustafi /sok may be allowed to run their contract down in order to provide some experience.

    If Mari’s performances are better than Mustafi, then that will certainly mean mustafi and Sokratis will be sold.
    Holding could be sold as well as we have too many CBs at the moment.

  5. Tee

    From dailycannon website,

    “Pierluigi Collina, the chair of FIFA’s referee committee, said. In other words, stop letting the Premier League and PGMOL decide by themselves because they are clearly clowns.”

    This is on the way the EPL chose to use var.

  6. China1

    I think the torreira is short stick he always gets bashed with is generally irrelevant

    When he started playing regularly at DM he was once again one of our best players.

    Just as he was last year before he got injured/dropped/moved out of position

    Partey and torreira would be a really capable and dynamic combination and more than enough quality and attritbutes to do the job well.

  7. Bojangles

    “No matter what happens to Arsenal football club – even if Enos Kroenke takes us down to the 2nd division – we will always be the last team to win the Premier League title at White Hart Lane.”

    Tim over at 7am knows what it means to be a Gooner.

  8. Pierre

    “In the summer we should sign Upamecano, Partey, Grealish & Jeminez.”

    Would be nice to get Mbappe too and maybe put a sneaky bid in for Trent Alexander Arnold and Van Dyke.

    And whole we are at it , how about Traore and Thiago and maybe the bayern left back Alphonso Davies.

    That should do it…

    Sorry , I forgot about the keeper, how about Manuel Neuer.

  9. Emiratesstroller


    As usual there are posters who seem to assume that a] money is no object and
    b] every player we should want to buy is available.

    The reality is that if you are lucky the club will be able to buy one first preference player this summer.

    When you read all the posts on Le Grove since Thursday you would assume that Arsenal are the only club on the planet who have played a bad game this

    As we have seen this week all clubs produce poor performances and that includes even the top sides such as Liverpool who lost to Watford.

    Le Grove has sadly accumulated a small number of posters who are obsessives determined to prove that Arteta is a poor choice as head coach.

    When you look at the facts of last Thursday’s defeat it is hard to see what he
    should have done differently apart from perhaps bring on Martinelli and Torreira as subs a little earlier.

    The coach put out his strongest available team in the match and unfortunately they played poorly. Many have been critical of selection of Lacazette and yet
    he was rested for the game against Everton and scored goals in his previous two games. So I find the argument for his non inclusion difficult to justify.

    Arsenal’s current problems have existed before Arteta arrived and not because he is now the coach.

  10. CG

    Re: Invincibles Day

    Thoroughly satisfying to awake with the knowledge that Wengers Arsenal is still immortal and Invincible.

    I think the club is missing a trick- not having an official Invincibles Day every season ……that is when the last unbeaten team every season finally looses a fixture.

    Eg..Invincibles Day occurred Saturday 29th February 2020.

    Happy Invincibles Day to you all.

    Including Grumpy Graham( who has been very quiet since Watford won).

  11. Kenyangunner

    Arsenal don’t deserve to be in the champions league.
    Time to rebuild .Worst side since I started following the team 25 years ago.

  12. Habesha Gooner

    This “we can’t do anything in the market if we don’t go in to champions league” attitude stinks. There are plenty of good players we could get that are reasonably priced that would improve us. Nabio fekir, Emiliano Buendia, Alexander Goloivin, Abdoulaye Doucouré, Pape Gueye, Kalvin Philips Are some players that I think would improve us a lot but aren’t as expensive as big money signings. And we are going to have player sales this year. Assuming auba leaves and Sokratis, one of holding or mustafi, Elneny, Mhiki. That can generate around 85-90 mil. We could get three very good players for that amount. Winger around 30 mil, CM around the same price, And a cheaper DM. Move Martinelli to CF and we will have done good work in the market for 0 net spend. And we could probably afford 30 mil at minimum I think. So That would get us a good CB if mari doesn’t work out. So There are still deals to be done. It will depend on us wanting to accept our situation and move forward.

  13. TH@14

    “Thoroughly satisfying to awake with the knowledge that Wengers Arsenal is still immortal and Invincible.”

    That’s what save our pitiful season.
    That tells you a lot about our situation as a football club…

  14. Words on a Blog


    Agreed – as long as Arteta and Edu are very clear on the profiles of the types of players they want, there is plenty we can do in the transfer market, even without getting Champions League football.

    Leicester and Wolves (amongst others) have managed to attract perfectly good players in the last couple of years without being in the ECL.

  15. Emiratesstroller

    Un na naii

    I agree 100% with what you post.

    I am one of a small minority of posters who have argued that it would be better
    not to qualify for Europa Cup League. My view is that if we don’t qualify for Champions League we are better off not playing in Europe at all.

    1. The distances of travel and climatic changes are a factor.

    2. As you post we are playing too many games in a very short time. The TV
    programming does not help when we are being asked to play games on a Monday, Thursday and Sunday in same week.

    3. Arsenal’s current squad does not help. The more experienced players are
    fairly mediocre and our youngsters are inexperienced.

    4. Arteta chose to play with his best available X1 on paper. If he had not done so
    and we lost he would have been slated.

    5. You can always be cleverer with hindsight.

    Tonight’s game against Portsmouth will not be a doddle either. They have not
    lost a home game for over 12 months and indeed teams have not managed to
    score there in recent games. Fratton Park is rated a fortress.

    No doubt if we put out an inexperienced team and lose there will be an awful
    lot of posters slating Arteta once again.

  16. TH@14

    “1. The distances of travel and climatic changes are a factor.”

    And the grass is too long most of the time!!

  17. Emiratesstroller


    You and I are on a similar time frame.

    I agree that this is by no means our worst team on paper. The only qualifier to
    that statement is that the bad teams who played for us in past were a little bit
    more “passionate” and stronger in department of “playing for shirt” rather than
    their Ferraris.

  18. Nelson

    Without CL, we won’t be able to sign proven good players like Bruno Fernandes. James Maddison, etc. We’ll have to promote more youth players and look for cheap alternative to replace our deadwoods.
    The other Top 6 teams will not be standing still. Leichester City and Wolves have improved a lot. It may take us awhile to recover in the EPL standing.

  19. Bojangles


    They couldn’t afford the Ferrari badge let alone what it is attached to.. but you are right, players from times past played for the club rather than just jthe money. They were different times and will never return.

  20. Nelson

    Just watch the replay Cagliari vs Roma, Mikhi played pretty good. He is worth more than the £ 10m offered by Roma.

  21. Freddie Ljungberg


    Not at 31 and on 180k a week he isn’t, not by much anyway. Hopefully we can squeeze out a couple of mil more though.

    Missing out on EL could cost us 30-40m, that’s one extra top player that can make a huge difference in our squad, rather have that than the extra rest.

    Kola out for a month with a shoulder strain. Tierney back n full training today and Soares next week so looks like Saka has to slug it out at LB a little bit longer, hopefully he gets a rest tonight.

  22. Nelson

    Xhaka and Mustafi can always surprise us with a brain dead play. While defending a lead with 3 minutes to go, why played a back pass to Leon when there were two opponents pressing just outside the box. Recently, Xhaka is even more fucked up than Mustafi.

  23. CazOnARola

    Him being short is not a stick. It’s a fact.. He has good positioning and is better defensively than all the other CMs, but he has also been bullied by taller and better technically equipped CMs of the top 6 teams at times.
    And when we are counter attacked, it limits our ability to get back in numbers. The result is we are not committing enough midfielders forward to prevent this from happening which blunts our agents.

    Add to this, on set pieces he becomes a liability. Most teams have DMs who can help out and even score from set pieces.
    Matic, Rodri, wijnaldum, fabinho are just a few examples.

    I feel Torreira is just below the bare min required at this level. He wouldn’t be the first guy i sell, but arsenal might considering we are looking for the same kind of player but taller and faster.

    Id be happy with partey and Torreira btw, but i can see why if the club do decide to cash in on him.

  24. Sid

    Xhakalson is a bigger problem than mustafi, if you have proper midfielders you can play Squillci /djourou/otamendi and get away with it, you can play senderos and get to CL finals.
    With a shit midfield Maguire, luiz look terrible

    Iim telling you this for free!

  25. Pierre

    “Just watch the replay Cagliari vs Roma, Mikhi played pretty good. He is worth more than the £ 10m offered by Roma.”

    He played pretty good because he is a pretty good player who was wasted by the manager last year and then we let him leave.

    When we talk about the players that have been allowed to leave from our midfield in the last 12 months like Ramsey, cazorla , iwobi and wilshere , Mhkitaryan tends to be forgotten .

    I suspect that Arteta would have liked Mhkitaryan in the squad as a wide player or CAM.

    Unless I’m mistaken, it looks to me like Emery allowed the better technical midfield players to leave and kept the harder working less technical players.

  26. Freddie Ljungberg

    Mikhi llayed pretty good because Serie A is slower and less intense than the PL. When has he had a good season in the PL? Never that’s when.

    He would have added some PL experience to the squad but that’s about it nd at 31 and 180k a week wages he has no future at the club anyway o better to boost his value in an inferior league where he looks decent and at the same time save his wages for a year. 100% the right decision to make, and I doubt it was Emery who made it anyway.

  27. CazOnARola

    Eboue was way quicker than Bellerin and was up against much worse wingers.

    Today every single team in EPL has wingers that can destroy players with a lack of pace.

    Bellerin was always just about okay at other things like crossing /tackling/passing.
    What made him special was his recovery pace.
    Now that that is gone, he is a complete liability.

  28. Bojangles

    “Arsenal hatch cunning transfer plan to boost Mikel Arteta’s squad with clever £43m deal”

    No Baldrick had not taken a position at Arsenal, although at times I feel his presence. The cunning plan is simply Arsenal have supposedly contacted Party’s reps with the view to discuss his release clause. However it has been reported that Party has no interest in leaving Madrid, so make of it what you will.

  29. kenyangunner

    @ Sid

    Difficult to explain some things. There was also the case of commercial sex workers in Nairobi who couldn’t get infected with HIV virus yet their partners had died from Aids.

  30. Dissenter

    ‘ I am one of a small minority of posters who have argued that it would be better
    not to qualify for Europa Cup League. My view is that if we don’t qualify for Champions League we are better off not playing in Europe at all’

    ….and of course, you’ll expect Stan Kroenke to chip and cover the £40 million hole in the budget if we aren’t in the EL
    Let’s wait till you decide to shed your erudition on Arsenal’s finances . I’m sure Glad Arteta doesn’t excuse mediocrity like you lot do.

  31. alex cutter

    “…we will always be the last team to win the Premier League title at White Hart Lane.”

    “Tim over at 7am knows what it means to be a Gooner.”

    Yes. To live in the past, and to come to the realization that any glory days are far behind you.

  32. China1

    The way id put it is this, plenty of awesome DMs are no bigger, barely bigger or actually shorter than Torreira. The idea that being big is a requirement is not correct imo. When he has played regularly at DM he has been consistently a stand out performer and won player of the month type awards multiple times for being a cut above the rest

    Secondarily I assume most people agree xhaka isn’t good enough. And ozil isn’t good enough. So if we’re selling torreira are you keeping one of these two or are we signing an entire new midfield (and a Ceballos replacement) this summer? It’s not realistic at all.

    I’d compare torreira to Leno. Leno isn’t perfect and he’s had a few bad moments, but over the course of a season he’s one of our better performers in a team. When resources are limited and you look at selling players like torreira or Leno it would be like being a 20 stone man worrying about lifting weights before hitting the treadmill.

    Its the wrong way round.

  33. Pierre


    “Mikhi llayed pretty good because Serie A is slower and less intense than the PL.”

    If only football was that simple .

  34. China1

    I actually like that idea of invincibles day as long as it’s tongue in cheek

    It’s a bit embarrassing for us to be crap these days and still going on and on about achievements from the past but if it’s done with a smile and a wink and a bit of banter when the last remaining unbeaten team in England finally loses then I think it’s a pretty funny thing to do

  35. China1

    Bellerin hasn’t only lost his pace but the last few games he’s looked lost on the field

    Maybe it’s because he hasn’t yet adapted to the tactic change under arteta. I’m not writing him off 100% yet but he’s been awful lately

    Tbh I’ve always been a critic of his because I think his great rep was basically built off a 6 month purple patch when he first emerged on the scene and he’s done next to nothing especially good since.

    We haven’t seen him play consistently well for about 3 years if we’re being honest.

    If a team is willing to offer over 30m for him I’d just take the money as I think he’s worth less right now if I’m honest

    But maybe arteta can work some coaching magic on him. It’s not impossible I just don’t have my hopes up

  36. CazOnARola

    I meant replacing Xhaka with a better DM than Torreira and buying another CM for the money we can get from selling Aubameyang /Lacazette and guendouzi and benching Torreira.

    I’m ok with ozil, esr and willock as the CAM for one more year.

    If Aubameyang leaves, i m ok with Lacazette Nketiah and Martinelli fighting it out and promoting Saka/Martinelli as the left winger and lacazette is also sold, we can use that money to get an experienced player to shoulder the workload.. He doesn’t have to be at auba ‘s level or Lacazette, but just cope with decent performances.

    Currently all our goals are coming from the wings and i think a Martinelli can chsnge that if played through the center with Saka on the wings.

    Id also consider pepe to be made more creative centrally by allowing him to play in the half space like Adama Traore was doing yesterday against spurs.

    Promote another youngster, buy another young guy on the cheap similar to how we got guendouzi. If we can’t do that, keep guendouzi.

  37. Freddie Ljungberg


    It is actually, Mikhi has never had a stand out season in the PL, under what, 4 different managers? He was great in Germany and he looks decent at 31 in the Serie A, bring him back to the PL and he would look average again. Hell even Ozil would probably look ok over there. Well, maybe not.

  38. Champagne Charlie


    Bad analogy, weights are much better than a treadmill for a 20-stone person.

    Also, Torreira simply isn’t in the same category as Leno with respect to his input for the club. That’s your poor association, and if we take action in the summer with that approach vs actually being objective about who offers what to the side then we’ll continue failing to move the needle.

  39. CazOnARola

    Obviously if Aubameyang stays, sell Lacazette and use that and the xhaka money to fund a new CM and use the Torreira+Guendouzi money to buy another DM and a young unproven replacement for guendouzi.

  40. CazOnARola

    But in all these scenarios i dont find myself keeping Xhaka this summer.

    If however Arteta keeps him for another season, i would not go bonkers.
    The reason being we just have too many players to sell to rebuild and we will suffer one way or the other.

    If we keep most of them, we will suffer with their quality.
    If we sell all, their replacements will take time to gel and when u have such a high turn over, checks are that one of the 5 new signings will turn out to be not as good as initially projected.

    In either scenarios, when u consider the platform that united, Chelsea, spurs, wolves have already, i expect it to be very difficult to make top 6 next season.

  41. Habesha Gooner

    If we are going to replace a CM It should be Xhaka. In my view there has to be two players for every position and 1 or 2 utility players. Guendouzi/new Starting CM, Torriera/ alternative DM to torriera, CAM/ Smith-Rowe or willock. We could get all there by selling Xhaka, Mikhi, Elneny, Sokratis, and one of Mustafi or Holding. Although we might have to go a little cheaper at DM.

  42. CazOnARola

    In theory yes that would work. But so could some other things. I will just give more time to Arteta in case we find there are no investments being made in the summer due to lack of funds.

    In theory we can move on all those players, but I’m sure we tried to sell and mkhi in the last summer, but could find takers only on loan.

    Newspapers talk a lot of shit and we have no idea what actually happened last summer.

  43. Nelson

    Pepe should track back to help out Bellerin. Look at Auba. He helped out Saka quite a bit. Of course, Saka is strong in attack. Bellerin is weak both defense and attack.

  44. Dissenter

    Football is really a strange sport . I’m pretty sure no one dared to imagine that Eden Hazard would be so abject in La Liga
    That league looked ready made for him. He’s been terrible by any standard
    He’s out with long term injury and they won’t miss his one goal in la Liga performance at all.

  45. Pierre

    Ask Fred regarding Hazard, , he seems to think it’s much easier not playing in the prem.

    And what about Ramsey , I wonder what pearl of wisdom Fred will come up with as to why its not a stroll in the park or Ramsey playing in Italy.

  46. CazOnARola

    Hazard stopped being a protagonist a long time back. He had stopped taking risks a long time back, preferring to play conservative passes.
    Then when the defender least expects it, he would make space and setup someone.

    That kind of style play is very conservative for a team like Madrid that play on the front foot vs every team in the planet. Hence the purely creative output expected out of hazard is much higher at Real/Barca than at Chelsea.
    Add other factors like politics, it’s very difficult. Look at how Bale has faded there over the years inspite of scoring his fair share of imp goals.
    If hazard goes to Athletico Madrid, he would have been seen as a lot more successful.

  47. Receding Hairline

    Or maybe you Pierre should give reasons why Mhki failed in United under two managers necessitating his getting moved on. You keep trying to sell Mkhi as an Emery failure yet he was one of Emery’s go go players. Played him in all the big games and got performances out of him.

  48. Marc


    I’ve not watched any of Madrid this season but’s it’s possible that Hazard has struggled because he’s not the main man anymore. At Chelsea he was the best or one of the best players in the PL at Madrid he’s just another player.

  49. Freddie Ljungberg


    It usually takes time for players to adapt to new new environment, it’s also never a ure bet that they will work at any given club. Real Madrid is a notoriously difficult club to settle in. Pretty basic stuff really, not everyone is the same. Doesn’t change the fact hat Mikhi was never good in the PL for 2 different clubs, he wasn’t very good under your God, he wasn’t before that and he wasn’t after.

    Never really rated Ramsey so ask someone elses to explain that for you. Has a handful of good performances a season surrounded with mediocre ones between his injuries. Glad we got rid, just a shame our budget was so decimated by a high wage bill and crappy players that e couldn’t replace him with better last summer, hoping that happens next window.

  50. Dissenter

    You’re the one who mentioned Ramsey, not me
    I’m just trying to Paulinho-proof myself for today. 😂😂😂

  51. CazOnARola

    Although slower, all those leagues are a lot more technical.
    Defenders actually try to defend players like Messi, Gnabry etc instead of just hacking the players down.
    Of course in trying to do it legally, they get spanked 4-5 goals many times, but it improves their defensive work without resorting to the dark arts.
    Its one of the reasons defenders /GK playing in the EPL get carded a lot in European /National competitions cause the fouls that are not given /carded in the PL will be given /carded in other leagues.

    Consequently hazard is facing a lot more tactical, political and technical challenges while playing in Spain than physical challenges like the ones in EPL.

  52. Dissenter

    Regarding the time needed to settle for Eden Hazard
    He didn’t need any time adapting to the premier league from Ligue Un so why should he need that much time in La Liga. We are talking about one of the best players in the world here not some 19 year old.
    It may be that the premier league isn’t as good as many like to think.

  53. Dissenter

    Madrid bought him to be the main man. They haven’t had a main man since Ronaldo left. There was a hole waiting to be filed. He just hasn’t clicked at all.

  54. Nelson


    You are right. I have watched Real a few times. He only got a small share of the attack. Real is a team full of star players. Hazard won’t receive special treatment there. Also he is a winger. He relies on services to function.

  55. Freddie Ljungberg


    The language, the culture, playing for one of the most iconic teams in he world, different playing styles, higher expectations etc etc.

    There’s many reasons a player may not work in a different league/club, all we can do is guess.

    I’m not too interested in what Hazard does anyway, if he tanks I don’t really care. The main point was about Mikhi and Pierres penchant for reimagining reality to suit his agenda, Mikhi was never a very good player in the PL, we needed to lower our wage bill nd it would have been counter productive to keep him. He’s so desperate to cling on to the last remaining pieces of Wenger left at the club it’s pathetic.

    We’re never moving forward with players like Mikhi, Ozil Xhaka holding us back and the first 2 especially with their low transfer value and astronomical wages are preventing us from upgrading.

  56. CazOnARola

    Ozil is the best passer in the team and best at getting into half spaces. As bad as he is at other things and what ppl call disappearing acts, we have seen what happens when he is replaced by Guendouzi, Willock, Ceballos.

    Ceballos looks like he is driving the team forward cause he is good at evading the press and passing into channels, but once you get into th final third, the space available contracts, and ppl will no longer press and will allow you to pass from side to side.

    Ozil plays because we have absolutely nobody that can play the way he can. Even when he is shit, he still does better in the final third than xhaka, Willock, guendouzi and Ceballos and that’s precisely our pbm.

  57. CazOnARola

    Freddie but mkhi is was for a few cut backs /goals and key passes unlike willock and guendouzi.

    Yes we needed to loan out mkhi. But what we did is we removed mkhi, ozil and ramsey altogether from the team at the start of the season and hence started struggling with trying to bring the ball out.

    Willock and guendouzi neither have the experience or the skill that mkhi had.

    And while i agree he doesn’t represent value for money, when u take the salary out of the picture, he would have made a nicer difference coming on in the Olympiakos game vs the ppl that did come on.

    Then there wouldn’t be so much pressure on willock who has actually done fk all apart from his goal against Liverpool.

  58. Nelson

    I believe that the team had complacency against Olympiakos and thought the job has done and the game was just a formality. They were surprised by a Greek team who came fully prepared. They defended deep and assigned someone to cover Saka. Our plan B was Pepe who didn’t cross a single ball to our two strikers. After we were trailing 2 – 1, Ozil sent two crosses which almost resulted in two goals.

  59. CazOnARola

    Is not just about final balls and goals.

    Beggars can’t be choosers, our other players can’t string 3 passes together in a row with the right weight and direction.

    I’m not saying Ozil should not be replaced. I’m just saying he certainly cannot be replaced by guendouzi, torreira, Ceballos, xhaka, Willock, esr.

    Emery literally tried everyone but they are absolutely shit at passing consistently and accurately in the final third which is the basic requirement.
    It was so bad that Emery not only brought ozil back but actually tried playing him as a false 9, as Lacazette and Aubameyang were absolutely horrendous in their passing on Nov and couldn’t string 1 pass together.

  60. Champagne Charlie


    Good take on Ozil, totally agree and have said for some time about the neglect taken by the systematic removal of Jack, Santi, Rambo, even Mkhi with no last-third player coming in to replace them.

  61. CazOnARola

    It was ozil s cross which Martinelli headed on for auba score. He started coming deeper to collect balls and launch attacks as there was no space between the lines of Olympiakos and the other midfielders weren’t finding him between the lines whenever he created space.. Lacazette also blazed over with his dummy.

  62. rollen

    Arteta is great communicator, looks to have clear vision and to be fan of the club. He can motivate but rest is to be seen.

    Ppl who argue we are better without Europa clearly have no clue. Its big hit to club profile and financials.

  63. CazOnARola

    What are you saying man, its a fact that Emery ditched him and tried every single person i mentioned in that role only to bring back ozil.

    Let me exaggerate and explain, would u play Sokratis in ozil ‘s position and expect him to perform well for the team?

    Not every player can play every position. That is what surprised me about emery. If his plan was always to freeze out ozil, then i did not understand loaning mkhi, the only other player who can pass decently well in the final third.

  64. Marc


    100% right on the financial losses going out of the EL – we could also be looking at matches being closed behind closed doors due to the Corona virus – that’s £2 – £3 million per match as well.

  65. Pierre

    “. The main point was about Mikhi and Pierres penchant for reimagining reality to suit his agenda, Mikhi was never a very good player in the PL,”

    Mhkitaryan Premier League
    Appearances 78
    Goals 13
    Assists 14.

    That’s a goal or assist less than every 3 games .

    Premier League Record
    Appearances 262
    Goals 40
    Assists 46

    A goal or assist at just over 3 goals a game , slightly worse than Mhkitaryan

    Of course,he is not as prolific as players like eriksen, Fabregas and Ozil who had a goal or assist at just over every 2 games though debruyne puts them to shame with a goal or assists at just under every 2 games.

    Would I take a player like Mhkitaryan who has.a goal or assist every 3 games in the premier league over what we have seen from midfied this season….probably.

  66. Nelson

    As reported in

    A deal taking Mkhitaryan to the Stadio Olimpico could see the Gunners pocket a fee in the region of £10m. That was the figure which Forza Roma reported was rejected during the January transfer window. Should the Giallorossi return with an improved offer then the north London outfit are likely to pocket a decent transfer fee.

  67. bennydevito

    Pierre, Emirates Stroller,

    There are reports we’ve agreed to activate Partey’s £43m release clause.

    Upamecano will go for around £50m because he hasn’t got long left on his contract.

    Grealish will be available if Villa go down.

    Jeminez will be a stretch admittedly.

    We will have around £50m available from our annual revenue before player sales.

    If we sell Aubameyang, Lacazette, Xhaka, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Sokratis, Ozil, Mkhitaryan and Elneny that would easily raise the money needed and then some, not to mention the millions a year we will save in wages.

    It’s not rocket science and is actually very doable.

    If we sell both Aubameyang and Lacazette then we will need a striker, but I suspect only Aubameyang will leave being the older and better of the 2.

  68. CazOnARola

    Nope. It was ditching him early when we hadn’t lost the confidence that got him the sack.

    Had he played ozil early in the season in place of willock, guendouzi and Torreira who aren’t meant for that role, we would have beaten teams we should beat.

    In fact ozil was one of the best players on the pitch in the away game at watford before emery took him off and then we drew 2-2 cause we just couldn’t string 2 passes together to even bring the ball out of our own half.

    Then we be did bring him back, it didn’t matter cause emery did not have the means to motivate a team low on confidence and on a downward spiral.

    I don’t want ozil here next season, provided he is replaced properly.

    But i certainly cant fathom playing Willock/Torreira /Ceballos /Xhaka/Pepe as nos 10s.

  69. Marc


    We’re not going to get any money for Ozil – I don’t know why people think we’re even going to be able to get a nominal fee.

  70. bennydevito

    I personally feel signing Pepe was a mistake. We should have used that money to get Upamecano and let Nelson and ESR have the right wing between them and kept Mkhitaryan.

    Emery wanted Maguire, Partey and Zaha but ended up with Sokratis, Lichsteiner, Tierney, Torreira and Pepe.

    I suspect had we actually signed the 3 he wanted we would have done much better.

    Still, the main thing is we have the right man in charge now and I’m very optimistic for next season and believe we’d be in the hunt for top 4 this season had Arteta started the season.

  71. CazOnARola

    We tried to sell all the players you mentioned in the summer but it doesn’t work out as nobody was willing to pay enough. The 10mn bid for mkhi is completely low ball as well considering what players like Iwobi are sold for.

    15mn is about right, but clubs know we are desperate to sell and sell low ball.

    It is not as easy as u think to shift all those players in one window.

    Just think about the amount of offers one has to listen to, reject, hash out the Financials, the legals.

    Just like our squad, I’m sure our legal team is also limited.

    There is always a limit to the total nos of deals that we can actually work on in the summer.

    Add to that, when you have more than 5 new players in your core squad of 12-13 players, it costs a lot of points at the start of the season till they gel.

    Remember when spurs bought capue, chadli, soldado, eriksen etc to replace bale? Only eriksen worked out.

    Infact look at our record when we bought xhaks, mustafi, chambers, ospina and perez in the same season.

    If you are working on 10-15 deals (income /outgoing) you are invariably going to make a lot of mistakes.

    Considering all these factors and our financial, i think we all should lower our expectations from the summer.

  72. Marko

    Great another make believe debate about Ozil. I say make believe because it’s pure fantasy to talk about him being anything else than a complete garbage player these days.

  73. bennydevito


    Yes I know we won’t get a fee for Ozil but we would get an extra £18m a year on our transfer budget with his ridiculous unwarranted wages off our books.

    Wenger and Gazidis really fucked us over signing Ozil on that deal and refusing the £60m Sanchez bid from City. We also lost Ramsey because of them as he wanted the same deal as Ozil.

    What a mess.

  74. CazOnARola

    The point was a response to the post that “any player in our current squad will create more chances and pay better as a 10 than ozil”.

    1)we suggest tried everybody else and failed. Infact each thing willock comes on can neither pass nor defend.

    2) if ozil is garbage as 10 in the current team, Torreira (a perfectly good CM), guendouzi, Willock, xhaka are toxic waste as nos 10s.

    Id take garbage over the toxic waste thank you!

  75. Marc


    No we won’t get another £18 million a year on our transfer budget is he goes – our last set of figures showed a £27 million loss all cutting Ozil’s wages does is reduce the losses for the following year.

  76. bennydevito


    It won’t be a £27m loss every year – that is a loss compared to the year before. Next year’s financials will be based on this year so if Ozil goes we will have made an £18m profit.

  77. Freddie Ljungberg


    That is last seasons numbers right? Before the adidas deal and before we cut 40m from the wage bill. We had more EL money then but we made gains in other areas so don’t think it’s quite that bleak.

    Getting Ozil off the wage bill will be an enormous benefit no matter where the money ends up.


    Not sure why you keep comparing Mikhi to Ramsey in your responses to e, I already told you I never particularly rated Ramsey either.

    Yes, we may have benefitted from having Mikhi in the team this season in place of Ozil but it would have been another burden on the budget with his 9m a year wage and inevitably he would have had another average season and been difficult to shift this window, now it’s easier and we saved a pile of cash by loaning him out.

  78. Marko

    2) if ozil is garbage as 10 in the current team, Torreira (a perfectly good CM), guendouzi, Willock, xhaka are toxic waste as nos 10s. Id take garbage over the toxic waste thank you!

    I mean garbage is garbage you don’t really make a case for Ozil by bringing up other players who aren’t CAM’s it’d be like saying Mustafi is shite CB but Reiss Nelson is an even worse CB. Besides we don’t need a number 10 anyway especially considering the productivity we (kinda) have from out wide. Bottom line is is Ozil playing poorly? If the answer is yes then that’s that anything else after and bringing other players into it is stupid. Arteta has said that he picks the team on merit so it’ll be interesting to see how he picks the team going forward and what classifies as merit to him. Also before anyone brings up his chances created the stats don’t have him anywhere in the top 10. Sigurdsson and Pascal Gross even made the top 10 in similar mins.

  79. Terraloon


    Not quite sure there ever was a cut in wages to players indeed in the year ending 31/5/19 wage costs rose from £218.9 million to £227.3 million.
    In the year that will end 31/5/20 I can’t see how the wage bill will be less indeed I suspect it will have grown further having signed the likes of Luiz and Pepe.
    EL money that is going to be down by several millions as for the big two commercial deals both will see an uplift but non CL qualification will have reduced the value of the deal and going forward should there not be EL qualification for 20/21 that will impact further.
    Selling Iwobi was a lifeline in that the fee, in accounting terms for this year will probably off set the increase in amortised fees for incomings last summer.
    For me there are two really worrying and as yet unknowns the first is the cash reserves we have seen a steady decline for a while now and paying for the likes of Pepe will have had a further negative impact and secondly the as yet unconfirmed comment as to how Kronke financed the share purchase

  80. Freddie Ljungberg


    Paid article but still, it’s easy to find that we cut 900 000 a week in wages we added to that slightly with our incomings but nothing close to that. Pepe is on 140k and Luiz on 125k a week. The rest is on significantly lower wages.

    Still plenty of scope to cut it much further, Xhaka, Mustafi, Kola are all around the 100k a week mark, Laca on 180k and then there’s the 350k a week elephant on the pitch…

  81. Dissenter

    There’s no reaction from our loss on Thursday.
    We are picking up right where we left if last week. The now familiar Arsenal malaise has overtaken Arteta too.