Derby day awaits

by .

Late-breaking post today because I feel… err… a bit warm… and I… have a… k… kind of…cough.

SHUT UP IT’S NOT THAT YOU DRAMA QUEEN.

Quick post regardless.

LT has broken his ankle. We’re really in a bit of a rut when it comes to injuries. Some unlucky, some fatigue looking, some that are just the aftermath of people feeling sad that we really gave Emery 18 months. Yes, it’s a fact that sort of shit can play HAVOC with the muscles. The manager had this to say.

We don’t know! I could not tell you with points. For sure since I joined, the amount of things that happened is enormous, but we just have to try to adapt. It’s part of football. It doesn’t only happen to us, unfortunately it also happens to many other teams. So we cannot be crying about that. It is what it is. Sometimes it’s bad luck, sometimes it’s part of the game we play and sometimes things that we can avoid and do better as well – the coaches or fitness coaches – but it is what it is.

The only silver lining with LT is that he seemed to be fairly out of favour. I think he’ll be shifted back to Italy in the summer if we can find a buyer. We need someone that’s more athletic and about 6 inches taller. Super basic, but I do think this team needs more power in midfield. I think a profile like Denis Zakaria (6’2) would fit really well for us, though I’m sure he’ll have sexier suitors than us this summer… maybe we go younger and a little more inexperienced.

Arteta wouldn’t be drawn on whether he thinks the top 4 is a possibility this season, probably a smart move, the team is very up and down and we’re a bit all over the place.

Beat West Ham on Saturday and we are closer. That’s all I am thinking because a few weeks ago it looked impossible and if we beat West Ham it will look more likely. So that’s the only aim. If game-by-game we go and start grabbing three points and three points and three points, and then we’ll have a chance in the last three or four games of the season.

He won’t say it, but I will. We should be making a very good go of the next 6 games. We need to, at the very least, be in with a shot of top 5 by the time we roll into our stick run of Wolves, Spurs and Leicester. By that time, it’s with the gods, but if our next 6 see 5 wins and a draw, I’ll be very pleased.

One thing is for sure, the remaining fixtures are going to be about the kids and blooding them.

I have to manage the resources that I have at the moment, and they are a big resource at the moment. It’s not just because they are young and they can be good because they are already very good. Some of them can be phenomenal. But they can only be phenomenal or very good if they play in a consistent way and we get them surrounded with good coaching, with good club culture and also with good players around them. We have to support them. I’m ready to support them and they responded.

If we don’t make the Champions League this season, it’s going to be all about the youth next season and we’re going to have to rebuild like Dortmund are. I’d be happy with that, expectations would lower, fans would get behind the team, and we’d probably like the team a lot more than we have during the expensive years.

… but, it would be nice to make the big trophy.

Right, that’s me done. BIG GAME, really need us to be delivering an aggressive win.

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568 Responses to “Derby day awaits”

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  1. raptora

    Nelson ahead of Martinelli has got to be some kind of a sick joke. Martinelli hadn’t really put a foot wrong until Arteta rooted him to the bench.

  2. Ishola70

    Ugly unconvincing win but a precious three points at this stage.

    Gained a couple of points on Wolves today.

  3. MuddyGooner

    Happy with the 3 points but hugely disappointed with the performance .

    We’ll get minced by City on Wednesday

  4. Wasi

    Raptora
    Nelson ahead of Martinelli has got to be some kind of a sick joke. Martinelli hadn’t really put a foot wrong until Arteta rooted him to the bench.

    Martinelli is not good on the right wing. Auba currently occupies Martinelli’s position. And we cant bench Auba So.

  5. Ishola70

    Dissenter
    “Nkettiah can go back to the subs bench
    He’s not doing enough to be starting.”

    Wanted the guy to lay a marker today but he failed.

  6. gazzap

    Not a good game at all. Poor,slow, ponderous play with inaccurate passing throughout. Lucky to get 3 points. fair to say without VAR that would have ended 0-0.

  7. TR7

    Poor performance but very crucial 3 points. 2 points off United.

    Mari is great in air. It will be interesting to see whether he can make up for his lack of pace with good aerial ability and good reading of the game.

    Ceballos and Saka played very well. Good cameo from Laca. Leno was very good too.

  8. TheLegendaryDB10

    Very laboured win.

    Got the 3 points in the bag.

    We seriously need to learn how to m9ve the ball up the pitch faster. Why aren’t we pressing anymore?

    As for Xhaka: sell him for either £20 million or 1p but please get rid.

    We really need someone who can actually control a game and know how to move forward.

  9. MidwestGun

    Well at least now .. I can be happy we got the points and root for Burnley to continue the Mourinho meltdown.

  10. gazzap

    Man City will tear us a new arsehole if we play anything like that. Arteta needs to find a stronge team. sadly I dont think we have the midfielders at the club.

  11. Pedro

    Ooof, grim performance, but that 3 points is so vital…

    Still 10th, but the pack tightened again. 6 points 10th to 4th. Unreal

  12. Aussie Gooner

    No structure, no focus, very lucky win today. West Ham are shite but put the fear of God into us on every break and set piece. 70% possession – 2 shots on target. WH 30% possession – 6 shots on target – go figure!

    Big up Leno, Ceballos, Mari and perhaps Luiz. Everyone else piss poor – including Arteta! Once again poor in game management and team selection.

  13. RockyRoe

    We got through that by the skin of our teeth. We just aren’t seem to be moving the needle at all.

    Also, today offside shows why wengers suggestion is so much better than what we have right now, measuring millimetres. With the fifa president backing it publicly hopefully next season we will see the rule changed.

  14. Ivan

    Its good to play both Eddie and Nelson.

    Cant see any of them being good enough for Arsenal, but could fetch some good 20mil+ a piece this summer if they are somewhat exposed/played till the end of season.

    Would sell Willock too if he doesent improve.

  15. Major_Jeneral

    Ugly win today but I will take it.

    Raptora

    Who would have been your starting lineup?

    Note:LT is injured, Mustafi is probably not fit and Bellerin has been suspect in that past few games he has played.

  16. Ishola70

    This is a team that has been relying on the flanks for quite a while now.

    Plenty of other teams go big on the flanks as well but what seperates the truly good sides from the also rans is that they have an added factor to go along with it. Strong flank play plus good midfield or defence.

    Arsenal have neither a good midfield or defence.

    This is the job in the summer. To improve midfield and defence primarily the midfield and then Arsenal can start thinking about becoming a truly good side.

  17. Major_Jeneral

    The midfield was not up to it today.

    So many displaced passes. If westham finished better they could have scored during one of those interceptions

  18. Spanishdave

    Two shots on target for us.
    At home.
    Arteta pants.
    He has developed favoritism with certain players which is not the receipt for improvement

  19. TR7

    Dani Ceballos for Arsenal against West Ham:
    Most touches (121)
    Most passes completed (86)
    Most recoveries (14)
    Most interceptions (6)
    Most tackles (5)
    Most fouls won (2)

  20. Ishola70

    Ceballos was also guilty of some sloppy passing as well.

    I think most know now that he will not be bought and he will go back to Spain.

    He has some decent to good attributes but overall he is not good enough and isn’t going to propel this team forward.

  21. TR7

    Pedro

    Ceballos was very very good today and I thought that was very apparent too. Moved the ball brilliantly from deep areas.

  22. Pedro

    TR7, it was an all-action performance. Just surprising that numbers like that return such a poor rate of shots. Still think he takes too many touches.

  23. Dissenter

    How in the world is Eric Dier still able to start today after whjatv happened midweek?

    Is the precedent that any player can run into the stands to defend their siblings when another fan is taking shots at them.
    Adebayor was punished for running to celebrate a goal in front of Arsenal fans yet Dier is being handled with kid gloves when he did the indefensible?

    All abuse isn’t even illegal, unless that fans was abusing Dier in specific pejorative ways like on race, religion, ethnic origin etc …it wasn’t illegal. How many times do we say players are “crap” or “shit” here?

  24. Dissenter

    Pedro
    “So many people absolutely gutted we won that. Pathetic.”

    You’re now trolling on your own blog.
    Who’s gutted we won?

  25. Habesha Gooner

    Nketiah is very similar to auba but lacks the explosive pace. He doesn’t offer a lot. Xhaka had a stinker. If he starting for us next season arteta isn’t going to be the guy fir us. No elite coach accepts a player with such limitations. Saka has the potential of an elite winger. No need to waste him at left back when his best work comes in forward positions. Ceballos had a mixed game too. Definitely wouldn’t sign him permanently. Martinelli is a forward that is being inhibited. He just wrecks havoc when he is around the penalty are and arteta is marginalizing our goal threat which we could use right now. Laca is getting back to form and I am happy about that.

  26. Vladdy P

    Pedro,you sound ridiculous.

    There is no pressing. There is no saucy football as promised. Compared to the way they played in Arteta’s first few games, it’s regressed.

    Emery was shit. He had to go. But don’t try and spin the way they are playing now as an improvement.

  27. Paulinho

    Ceballos is our best bet to improve our play but he still has zero off the ball movement, doesn’t present himself as a link man ahead of the ball, and doesn’t really dribble either. You need at least one of the those three things to actually trouble the opposition.

  28. TR7

    Pedro

    Yes Ceballos is a ball hogger and takes a lot of touches but at least his end product is generally good. We have midfielders who take a lot of touches only to produce a 5 yard regulation pass. So Ceballos is still better than other mids we have.

  29. DivineSherlock

    I know Ozil got an assist and probably bad time to slog him but he was awful. Numerous times I saw him not passing it to Pepe when he had space down to run . Ozil at no.10 has to be atleast creating something. Only Xhaka atm looks like creating that final pass frok midfield. Ceballos as a DM was interesting. Teams have figured out our propensity of left sided Saka Auba Xhaka.Arteta needa to change it up a little.

  30. Receding Hairline

    Who exactly is gutted we won?

    Because people are pointing out the performance wasn’t good enough?

    Guess Pedro you hoped we lost every game last season then?

    Stop projecting your style of support on others.

    It was a rubbish performance but three points is three points. We are still very much in the mix for Europe.

  31. Spanishdave

    Yeh numbers two shots on goal! Ffs at home.
    It was crap performance constantly giving the ball away, look at those numbers.
    No movement in midfield , no pressing.

  32. Mark

    Ceballos played really well today. Good defensively and good moving forward with the ball. We need to provide more/better options as a team for our players to pass to when we are in possession.

    Stopped counting how many times our play broke down due to the shit passing of Xhaka! He takes more from the team than he adds and he is a total liability with his tackling or should I say fouling. I grt nervy any time he has to challenge anywhere near our box. . Why he’s not subbed is baffling me. The more Arteta plays him the harder it will be and the losses will pile up.

    He needs limited minutes if we play him st all.
    Not a pretty win but that’s food some times. I like Mari, good in the air and he’ll get better as his confidence grows. I felt he played it safe, which is ok and I understand for your debut. Just feel we will see more from him.

    Main thing is we move Onwards. Ive seen Liverpool get loads of results where they’ve not played well and could have been beaten.
    A wins a win and I’m happy we didn’t lose or draw.

  33. Jamie

    That was a piss poor 3 points and another xG loss, at home to a David Moyes team in a relegation scrap. I’ll take it though, because that’s how shit we are.

  34. Mark

    I feel Ceballos played really well today. Good defensively and good moving forward with the ball. We need to provide more/better options as a team for our players to pass to when we are in possession.

    Stopped counting how many times our play broke down due to the shit passing of Xhaka! He takes more from the team than he adds and he is a total liability with his tackling or should I say fouling. I grt nervy any time he has to challenge anywhere near our box. . Why he’s not subbed is baffling me. The more Arteta plays him the harder it will be and the losses will pile up.

    He needs limited minutes if we play him st all.
    Not a pretty win but that’s food some times. I like Mari, good in the air and he’ll get better as his confidence grows. I felt he played it safe, which is ok and I understand for your debut. Just feel we will see more from him.

    Main thing is we move Onwards. Ive seen Liverpool get loads of results where they’ve not played well and could have been beaten.
    A wins a win and I’m happy we didn’t lose or draw. COYG!

  35. TheLegendaryDB10

    Pedro

    And we are 3 pts from 5th with a game in hand as it stands.

    Happy with the 3 points despite the performance. In this case, we really had to as West Ham were shite. Drawing to them would have been grim.

    ——–

    I can’t wait for this summer to come to see what we do. I really hope we start working on this very dysfunctional midfield.

  36. TR7

    The thing is you can’t play Xhaka, Ceballos and Ozil all in the same 11. None of them can make off the ball run or score goals or really up their tempo.

  37. Dissenter

    Un nai
    ‘Ceballos is good in deep areas. Some lovely touches but he runs out of ideas as he approaches the opposition box.”

    Yes I agree with this
    He needs to swivel his head more, he failed to spot Saka’s runs in the first half over and over again. He’s a good passer of the ball though.

  38. Dissenter

    Spurs have two players starting today that should be in the sin bin;
    Dele Ali and Dier.
    Stinking FA will take their time until their injury crises remits.

  39. Ishola70

    TR7
    “The thing is you can’t play Xhaka, Ceballos and Ozil all in the same 11. ”

    None of these three though factor if we want to see a really good Arsenal midfield.

    Arteta must improve the midfield with a buy or two or he will fail.

    We have had this sub standard midfield for far too long now.

  40. Habesha Gooner

    Pedro is just backing his horse no Matter what. Favouritism and playing some players no Matter what all seem like traits shared with Arsene Wenger. Results have improved and performances have been crap. It reminds you of a certain someone who did the same in his first season. And pedro has criticized both coaches for the same reasons. The only common denominator has been a terrible midfield. Arteta needs to fix that before talking about us as a champions league team again.

  41. Pierre

    Beautiful cushioned header from Ozil to put the ball on a plate for Lacazette. .

    Mari was a plus
    Leno had a very good game.
    Ceballos great game .
    Sake decent .
    Sokratis decent .

    The rest were average and the team as a whole was average at best.

    What it does show week on week this season is how spoilt we were as fans with the quality of football we witnessed over the past 20 years.

    We have struggled over the last 18months to even recreate the football of Wenger’s last 2 years

  42. Dissenter

    Un nai
    I knew you’ll take the bait and write something daft… and you met my expectation.
    You’ll notice race wasn’t the only criteria I listed and I also finished with ‘etc”
    You’ll do well to read what’s written before swinging in like Tarzan.

    FYI; I’m more conservative than you’ll ever be. You Neo-right wing leanings aren’t conservatism.

  43. Zacharse

    Hopefully nelson usurped pepes spot. Hopefully mari is now a starter. If there were better options than ozil
    And xhaka id love to see them but guen and willock are not reliable enough. Reffing horrendous. AGAIN. The backline was not the problem it was the midfield. I think the problem stems from xhaka ozil and pepe playing together, really ozil and pepe. Thank god leno had a night.
    Lets hope playing city brings out a bit more fight

  44. Ishola70

    There is no evident philosophy from Arteta just yet.

    Just a bit of better sructuring of the team.

    We have been promised more evident philosophy when he has a summer and pre-season with the side.

    Look forwward to it.

    If his philosophy is to continue with Xhaka at the core of his midfield he and Arsenal are going really nowhere though.

    TR7 must be praying that Arteta’s philosophy and vision doesn’t entail Xhaka just like so many others on here.

  45. Vladdy P

    Am hoping it gets better now we are out of the euro Cup and less fixture congestion, but Arteta kept preaching effort and ruthlessness. Am not seeing either from his players or himself in his decision making. Same suspects get to play again and again no matter what.

  46. Dissenter

    If we get a good fee for Auba in the summer, will Teemu Pukki be a reasonable and cheap option to replace him?

  47. Vladdy P

    If ozil or xhaka are here next season count me out.

    No one who was raised at la masia and worked with pep can possibly look at xhaka and say ‘now THAT’S a no4’

  48. Ishola70

    Xhaka is more important to bin than Ozil.

    The midfield needs revamping and to truly do that you need to replace the core midfielder. The guy who sets the tone and tempo of the midfield and that has been Xhaka.

    Ideally you get rid of both but I could just about live with the wet sponge for one more season if two players are brought in to improve central midfield.

  49. Dissenter

    Unai nai
    You are really a strange dude living in Lala land
    You’re one of those people that think everything will just be fine if we stopped talking about it. You’re probably one of those holocaust deniers I suspect. I believe it gets better when we talk about stuff openly and respectfully. I’m the one in the middle trying to make sure everyone gets heard.
    Remember your right wing nonsense isn’t conservatism, it is just a new type of well disguised hate.
    Anyways behave yourself and let’s stick to footie.

  50. Vladdy P

    Diss, what are you going on about?

    Like what I see from Mari. He’s very calm. Never looks afraid or in a rush like the others in defence.

  51. Ishola70

    Receding
    “I’m not going to make any declarations about Mari just yet.”

    Very wise.

    Dissenter seems real keen on this certain signing.

    I think he likes his exotic South American sojourn with Flamengo.

    Let’s hope he fits in. He was done a couple of times in open play today with opposition running at him.

    Going to be good for the team with aerials though.

  52. TR7

    Receding

    Aeteta has a clear tactics in defense and in attack. We play 4-2-3-1 but when we attack Xhaka shifts to left back and our right back moves in to midfield. So in attack we move to 3-2-4-1.

    Emery used to focus on individuals pressing high but Arteta focuses on positional pressing that is players occupy right positions to stop the opposition and help us have more possession of the ball. We also commit more players in opposition areas while attacking.

    Like Pep, Arteta prefers ball playing defenders as is clear with regular starting spot for Saka and Luiz and sidelining of Sokratis. Sokratis was a regular starter under Emery which basically sums up the difference between the two managers. Overall Arteta is trying to produce a possession based football with great focus on tactical positioning of players to.lend a good balance between attack and defense. Is it all working as per his plan ? No but he does have a clear idea of what he wants and how he thinks it can be done.

  53. Dissenter

    Ishola
    I said Mari has the makings of a good premier league defender. I wasn’t crowning him with anything just yet.

    comprender?
    You can’t expect him to just be dominating front the beginning, even VVD has moments of uncertainty initially at Southampton.

  54. Receding Hairline

    Ishola the defending from him on the chance when Antonio failed to square it for Haller was school boy.

    I don’t want to pin it on him but today was his first premier league partnership with Luiz and I don’t think Luiz enjoyed it. West Ham could have scored two today and no one would say they were lucky.

    Aerially he was sound but we have been here before with some of his predecessors. Still early days

  55. Ishola70

    Dissenter

    We won’t know if Mari is going to be a good EPL defender until we see him dealing with opposition running at him in open play when he is drawn out.

    Mind you David Luiz has made a living in England. But we all know he isn’t that good a defender don’t we. Not overall.

  56. Markymark

    Unai nai – stick your the football, you’ve often make good points and they are reasonable.
    Soon as you go into politics you seem to get some odd chip on your shoulder. If you were truly comfortable with yourself you wouldn’t need to race bait. I know many conservatives and 95% of them have no issues with other races but I do know the odd Enoch Powell amongst them.
    If he is your hero just be aware he stirred up racial tensions and attacks on ethnic minorities by using made up letters. Not a nice guy .
    You can be better than this

  57. Ishola70

    Receding
    “the defending from him on the chance when Antonio failed to square it for Haller was school boy.”

    Yes that particular play was very concerning.

    But we hope he learns from it.

  58. Stew

    Are we ever going to get an Arsenal player to take a (proper) shot on goal?? Enormous amount of possession and almost every time we fail to test the goalie.
    And – can we please stop using 11 men to defend a corner? It’s a ridiculous tactic that doesn’t help defensively and means we can never make a breakaway attack. Drives me nuts. Anyone else feel that way ??

  59. Dissenter

    Unaio na
    I brought cup abuse based on race, religion…etc
    But your warped and debased ego was mortally offended by a reference to “race” You choose to zoom in on it.

    I know of no conservative person who thinks everyone has the same opportunity, only superficial thinking neo- right wingers like you, living in a state of willful denial think so.
    You’re always offended by ANY mention of race, why is that?

  60. Receding Hairline

    Nice TR7 thanks for the breakdown. My question had nothing to do with Emery by the way so dunno why again he is dragged in. You guys keep mentioning Xhaka tucking in,that isn’t a philosophy by the way, just allowances made for a player with deficiencies. A

    Since you brought it up emery did have a clear idea of what he wanted to do based on the opposition, you dont fluke your way to 21 wins in the premier league. Just like the players are apparently struggling with what Arteta asks of them can’t same be said for Emery? Anyway this isnt a discussion about the past but the present.

  61. MidwestGun

    I believe Mourinho is done as a top manager.. His man management skills are gone.. Every team he manages now ends up with player dissention and acting out. And eventually they implode. Happens to all managers really.. eventually they lose their mojo. It will happen with Pep, Simeone, it happened to Wenger. Managers have a shelf life just like players. Think Emery is done too. Some fans don’t get that.. think player and managers always perform to their optimum career levels. They don’t, except maybe Messi or Ronaldo. who are consistently brilliant every season. That is one of the best things about Arteta is he is on upside of career clearly and he has the team motivated. I don’t question the effort like I did under Emery. I question the in game tactics at times but I do believe that will come with time. Hopefully, not too much time like next season would be good. 😀

  62. TR7

    Receding

    You can’t talk abouy anyone’s philosophy in isolation without contrasting it with someone else’s. That’s why I pointed out how Emery used to employ a different approach, it wasn’t meant to be a dig at him. He tried what he believed in and unfortunately it didn’t work out.

  63. Guns of SF

    yes we need this win today. Man City is next… praying for an Arteta miracle there.
    Lets see if the apprentice can beat the master…

  64. Dissenter

    Unai’na
    “Didn’t day everyone has the same opportunities
    Just that everyone has equal opportunity.”

    Idiotsa
    “Same” and “equal”, what’s the difference ?

    Everyone does not have equal opportunities.
    There are stratas in every society, in some places it’s derived from a history where people were intentionally left out by the power of the state. The US in one of such.

    You are living in a self-induced state of denial. You’re also a superficial thinker.
    Whatever you are, you are no conservative.

  65. Dissenter

    Pedro
    A thousand apologies
    Really, I made a random point about abuse and Unai zoomed in on “race”
    I’ll abstain from non-football issues for the next 5 minutes

  66. MidwestGun

    Un … Yeah Sir Alex was probably the exception to the rule. Also arguably the best manager of all times.

  67. CG

    Pierre

    “””What it does show week on week this season is how spoilt we were as fans with the quality of football we witnessed over the past 20 years.

    We have struggled over the last 18months to even recreate the football of Wenger’s last 2 years””””

    Well said as always Pierre.
    100% agreement.

    (Wenger made this management game look so so easy)

    His teams were always so fluent, so harmonious. Memmeric at times

    Now watching Arsenal- is like pulling teeth.

    (We used to destroy teams like this at home under his watch.)

    Not now. But thats what the phoney progressives wanted. A Wenger -less AFC.
    (I hope they are happy)

    Arsenal 1 West Ham United 0

  68. MidwestGun

    The announcer keeps saying Burnley look like scoring every time they attack.. I’m like yeah I wish they would.

  69. CG

    UN

    “””Good ol Bobby Robson
    How the modern game could use a touch of his class”””

    Well said.

    He nearly joined Arsenal-but he had given his word to the Porto FC chairman.

    Very loyal and classy gentleman ( like our Wenger)

    Imagine if Le Grove was around then and SBR did become AFC manager

    The majority on here would have wanted him out too.

    Too old , not progressive enough etc, etc.

  70. CG

    PedRo

    “”””CG, we hired a young progressive coach called Arsene Wenger. Much better choice.”””

    Had SBR joined Arsenal.And he was desperate to do so.

    There would have probably been no A.Wenger.

    Funny old game.

    Either way. Both men are exactly the sort of calibre of manager I want to see at the club.

    None of this Head Coach /Teck Deck/Head of soccer nonsense.

  71. China1

    The var work yesterday was an absolute disgrace

    Who on here didn’t manage to be totally confident he was onside within the first 10-15 seconds of watching the replay?

    Then he drew the first line and it was nailed on onside, zero potential dispute. 3 mins later I don’t even know what they’re talking about, and they’ve gone back to draw the line again

    This needs to stop and the officials responsible all need sacking.

    WHAT ARE THEY ACTUALLY DOING??? It was a tight one at full speed in real time but it was VERY easy to see he was onside in the replay

    If officials getting paid actual sterling can’t be sure 3 mins into watching those replays and drawing absolutely conclusive lines then there’s nothing that can be done to help them. They don’t know what they’re doing. It’s a complete disgrace

  72. Gonsterous

    We are a point behind spuds with a game in hand. Sadly that game in hand is against city.

    Last night’s result was great but judging by the way we played, we won’t make top 4 this season. We were terrible, and west ham should have been 2-0 in the first up, if it wasn’t for dodgy finishing.

    Don’t expect city to miss those chances.