DEFENSIVELY EXCELLENT ARSENAL BEAT CITY, WTF?

by .

Mikel Arteta made the biggest statement of his tenure with an electric win over Manchester City. It was 97 minutes of football we’ve rarely been capable of over the last 10 years.

Arsenal’s team of uncoachables purposely gave up 71% possession to a far better team and beat them 2-0 in a huge FA Cup game. The players defended like warriors. They worked for each other. They executed a tactical plan to near perfection.

This is a new Arsenal. The performance was more George Graham than Arsene Wenger. It was masterful to watch for so many reasons.

If Liverpool was a fluke, this was a purposeful masterclass.

The usual run of play against Manchester City is they brutalise teams with an aggressive press. Teams like Burnley panic in defence and fly the ball back out to their defenders and go again. Mikel Arteta knew this was how they operated. Instead of falling into the usual demoralising trap, he instructed his team to go harder at playing out the back than they’ve ever dared. To the untrained eye (mine), it was criminal negligence. Early on, Mustafi was tackled by Sterling 3 yards from the keepers’ line, only the quick thinking (and pessimism) of Ceballos kept out a clean strike at goal.

Still, it started to work. The plan was to play around the press. We gained confidence as the game wore on. It was clear that City were not Liverpool. Our first major chance happened when Luiz won the ball in midfield and threaded Auba through, only to see the chance fluffed.

You kind of worried that was going to be the best chance we’d create. It wasn’t to be. Our first goal was the best goal of the Arteta rein.

Emi > Luiz > Emi > Ceballos > (OMG he’s on the byline) Mustafi > (OMG he’s on his goal line) Emi > (OME he’s on the penatly spot) Xhaka > Luiz > Tierney > (what a pass) Lacazette > Hector > Pepe > AUBAOMGWHATAGOAL

What a goal. It had purpose, skill and craft. It was straight off the training ground chalkboard onto the pitch. It wasn’t even a fluke. We continued to stretch City because we played around their press. The half ended and City hadn’t had a shot on target. We had the better chances. Sure, our haul wasn’t dominant, but that was more down to sloppy play in the final third than a lack of opportunity.

The second half was better for City, but not that much so. They probed more. A little sharper in our third and it felt more dangerous, but overall, most of their sniffs were of the half-chance variety. The best of them fell to Mahrez. He only found one opening against AMN, he cut inside, beat his man, and forced a world-class one-handed save from Emi (which he held).

We took the second goal with a lovely move. Pepe received the ball on the left on the counter, he laid off Tierney who weighted a chipped pass so perfectly into Auba I thought it must be offside. Our man from Gabon broke their defensive line with an exceptionally timed run, he bore down on Ederson, and cheekily slotted between his legs for the win.

We still had 7 minutes of injury time to deal with, but the team was focused and delivered a stout defensive performance to see the game out.

We beat Pep G. Mikel Arteta, a novice coach, turned over the doubters as well as City and Liverpool in a week. He took uncoachable players and made them a team. He showed that football is about more than individual talent. Arsenal ran away with a win off 29% possession. A team that couldn’t pass out the back for 18 months after Arsene Wenger, used passing out the back as a tactic to flummox the opposition and score a goal. City, the most devastating attacking force in the league came away with one shot on target in 97 minutes.

That is exceptional.

I applaud the players. The coaching staff. The club for making a brave decision to invest in a vision, versus the bland idea that we should have hired in someone with a low ceiling that was recognised or invest in names we know are finished in the game.

Whatever happens this season – and it might not be pretty – I think for the first time in a very long time, we know we have the right coach at the helm.

With regards to the players?

Fuck me, Emi Martinez dropped another heroic performance. He’s played more games this season than he has in 9 years. He has EATEN his chance. His huge frame makes him very difficult to beat from any type of shot. He dominates his box. His passing is elite. He has stood up to every challenge. Arsenal finally has two great keepers.

David Luiz was a MAN MONSTER out there today. He lead by example, he never stopped, he concentrated, he delivered a HUGE world-class performance.

AMN, what a fucking smart performance. KDB, in his pocked. Mahrez, in his pocket. Foden, in his pocket. The only question I have about his future is whether the kit man can make a sturdy pocket for this boy. AMN moaned in the media earlier this week, then took his chance when it was offered. Superb game from him.

Lacazette was brilliant. We really needed him to drop deep at times to control the midfield. He did that. He never stopped. A very different performance to the one at Liverpool, but my word, what an underappreciated job he did.

Kieran Tierney. I cannot offer him enough praise. A rich footballer so focused his choice of designer bag is from Tescos. His power is off the charts; so explosive, so dogged. He put in an absolute shift again. What a gem Sven unearthed there, likely his best find.

ALSO, I should, you know, apologise for my opinion of Dani C. He really is a good player. He has the same attitude as Tierney. He loves the game, he never stops, his defensive contributions are huge. I thought he was excellent. Same with Granit Xhaka who has found a new lease of life since December. He made an unreal block when Bellerin made an attacking contribution to City in the first half. I also think it’s clear that he is a bit of a leader, particularly under this regime.

Final shout, Mikel Arteta. I hope we can now move on from ‘can a novice do a job for Arsenal.’ We just beat Liverpool and Manchester City inside a week. That is massive. Arsenal are resolute, the players are bought in, our results are getting better and we are VERY competitive. The debate should now be focused on how far can he take this, not whether he can take us there.

What Arsenal did wouldn’t be bold by business standards. Startups regularly nick talent from Apple, Amazon, and Google in the hope some of the magic rubs off on their operation. However, most football fans are new to that type of thinking. Arteta was a risk, but not as big as was made out. Regardless, so far, the thinking has paid off in the short term. We’re not being relegated, we have an outside chance of Europe, and we could win an FA Cup final. All from the starting position of being absolutely shite with a group of supposedly uncoachable players.

We still have 3 huge games left. It could be horribly disappointing. But don’t doubt we are on the right path. Mikel is the right man for the job. The big hope is that the improved performances might push the club to be braver this summer.

I’ll talk more tomorrow about what I think that should look like.

For now, enjoy my radio show below, and bask in the feeling of being excited about your club again. The future we wanted is here, Arsenal are finally on the up, the only thing getting in the way of a winning future is ourselves.

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526 Responses to “DEFENSIVELY EXCELLENT ARSENAL BEAT CITY, WTF?”

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  1. Dissenter

    The Arsenal that lost to Chelsea in Baku is not the same as the one that will play Chelsea in 2 weeks. Same players but the ethos has changed a lot and we re coming off the back of beating Liverpool and City. We played in Baku on a backdrop of a poor vein of form. I write this as one who was patient with Emery. The team ethos is different.
    -Hazard is gone, this can’t be overstated. He dragged our defenders from Siberia to the Sahara in that game. It’s like he wanted to win something on the way out.
    -Ozil is no where near the selection, I hope Arteta keeps it this way but I suspect he will play Ozil this week to give Ceballos a break.
    It’s truly 50-50 for that final.

  2. Just Another Customer

    every player has his function in the team even simple task given to Willock as a fresh leg to hustle the ball in last 10 minutes

    I believe that’s when our semi-retired pensioner comes to play – against team where we have more possession

  3. Nelson

    I doubt Arteta will use Ozil to replace Ceballos. Arteta has transformed Ceballos from an attacking midfielder to a DM. He may use Torr to replace Ceballos.

  4. Guns of SF

    We win the cup, Kroenke knows we need funding to win the EL next season.
    There is a lot at stake for us to win, and I feel we have more reasons than Chelski to win the final

    As long as we stay humble in our lead up to the game… and then come out guns blazing, we can do it….

    good practice the next 2 games. should be fairly easy… good way for Arteta to maybe try some new stuff too

  5. Chris

    Revenge?

    Absolutely. Arsenal and Chelsea is a huge rivalry, particularly over the last 25 years or so. Each club would love nothing more than to get one over the other. Think of how sweet the 2017 FA Cup final was (a win for us and denying them the Double) and how numbing last year was in the EL final (them adding to their growing Euro trophy pot and denying us a long awaited one and CL entry).

    The coaches and some players may be different by the rivalry doesn’t change.

    It’s bizarre to not at least have some thoughts of revenge for this final, even the most relaxed of football fan must have some tribalism otherwise why back any team.

  6. Champagne Charlie

    We literally lost in a final last season against Chelsea and have them in a final this year….

    Who the fuck isn’t sharp enough to work out it’s clearly a matter of revenge for us?

  7. Chris

    I admire your confidence Guns of SF!

    I hope it is vindicated.

    Tedious omens, we don’t tend to lose FA Cup finals in the 21st century, apart from when Owen pulled our pants down in possibly the biggest example of daylight robbery in football ever.

  8. DivineSherlock

    Its happening again lads , Beat City in semis and Chelsea in final . Now where have I have seen that one before.

  9. Radio Raheem

    Did we ‘play’ City in a carling cup final? I’m not quite sure if what we did that quite fits the definition of play.

  10. Dissenter

    CC
    You’re been intentionally daft if you decide to ignore what the enough to understand what the argument was about.
    It was about how a manager will approach the Cup final , not about the emotions the fans feel or the marketing tool broadcasters use to sell it.

    I said Arteta’s will want the players to forget that game and focus on his game plan; some people said he will use it a as a psychological tool.
    Get tuned to what the disagreement is about before you start spewing your brand of nonsense.

  11. Chris

    Radio

    We never competed in that final against City, a massive shame considering we done Chelsea in the semi final, the 2nd leg with Xhaka’s winner was a great atmosphere, was in block 6 for that one.

    Unfortunately the final was symptomatic of the season we had overall in 17/18.

    It is completely different now, we can go into this final with respect for the opponent but a big confidence we can turn them over.

  12. The Backpass

    Luiz must be feeling revengeful then..lol

    Only the fans think its revenge, I really doubt the Players feel so.

    Xhaka, Auba, Lacazette, AMN.. 60% of the guys who are in contention to start the FAcup didnt play in Baku..

  13. Chris

    Dissenter

    You must know whatever game plan Arteta tells the players, revenge will still be a huge motivation for the guys who played in Baku, if it didn’t cross their minds I would be concerned.

  14. Champagne Charlie

    Dissenter

    So you think Arteta won’t be using last years final against them as reference at all?

    Oh dear

  15. Radio Raheem

    Chris

    Yup I’d be disappointed we don’t beat Chelsea.

    That said preparing to play a team like City might be easier as you know exactly how they’d play. Chelsea, on the other hand, aren’t all that you might want to press forward, assert some control and go for the win but then you think it’s a final, Arteta’s first final…

    Wtf Mkhi scores?

  16. salparadisenyc

    I told Dissenter last week he lacked backbone, its didn’t really resonate with him. In the end the dude found Arsenal and thats all that matters, were on a very good week you beautiful bastards.

  17. Dissenter

    Chris
    I just happen to think Arteta will be smart enough to persuade the players to think otherwise.
    I think the ‘revenge’ angle is over-flogged and overused. We can disagree on this one.

    Revenge has a role in sports like when the Southampton players were preparing to play Leicester for the second time after being smashed 9-0 previously
    Same coach-same manager; the manager has to use that to prepare them.

    In this case it was a different manager who’s trying to move the club a different way…I don’t think it applies. I could be wrong.
    Fans may feel it, the media ,ay run on it and broadcasters may use it to sell the game but a new manager needn’t use that line.
    The manager’s pitch is to review the two times we met Chelsea this because they were managed by Lampard, the current coach.

  18. Radio Raheem

    Revenge, cup win bonus, foursome, winner’s medal….who gives a shit, just be up for the final.

  19. salparadisenyc

    We must beat Chelsea use whatever it takes and clearly last years final will be mentioned. If you can’t grasp that you never played sport.

  20. Chris

    Dissenter

    I do see where you are coming from but I’m my opinion Arteta could potentially use a bit of what you say, the game plan and also “guys, look what this lot did to you in Baku, is that acceptable? Go out there and out it right” something along those lines.

    Fair enough we agree to disagree here ✌️

  21. Guns of SF

    Arteta loving arsenal as much as he claims should feel something or at least know the players hearts and heads remember the loss. Use that motivation … it’s natural

  22. Dissenter

    Unai
    My point isn’t that hard to decipher. I’m zooming in in how a new manager with a different ethos manager will approach it,
    Not the fans
    Not the media
    Not the broadcaster of the game preparing 30 sec promos as we speak.

    Revenge unleashes a lot of emotions including fear. It;s not always a god outcome and in a way it’s like your enemy is residing in your mind rent free.
    Lampard approaches the game different from Sarri
    Arteta approaches the game different from Emery

    Quick question; do you think Arteta prepared the team that beat city mainly on revenge or to refocus them on what they need to do and review the mistakes they made previously?

  23. Big Perm

    We must beat Chelsea use whatever it takes and clearly last years final will be mentioned. If you can’t grasp that you never played sport.

    THIS

  24. Big Perm

    Dissenter you’ve never played spirt in your life if this is the bollocks you’re coming out with.

    We got smashed and humiliated in a final and we get to put it right against the same opposition. It’s the very definition of revenge.

  25. salparadisenyc

    And for the record, Pep was asked if Arteta clearly learned well during their time together at City.

    Pep answered

    “Maybe we learned from him.”

  26. Champagne Charlie

    Jesus Christ this place has been a shitshow since we won.

    Religion, discontent, now trying to unpick revenge as a motivational imperative in sport.

    Give. Me. A. Break.

  27. Dissenter

    Guns
    You do realize that Arteta’s Arsenal has played Lampard’s Chelsea twice already this season already.
    Do you think he brings up Baku every time we play Chelsea?
    Or do you think he uses material from the two times he’s faced Lampard.?

  28. Guns of SF

    No dissenter but this is a cup final
    This was a disaster for the team in many ways not just for emery. It was the start of a downhill side that kept going

    Arteta needs to take an us against the world mentality. By no means do I think the team will just rely on revenge. They need to follow tactics of course

    The emotional side of the game is a huge aspect too. On tired legs emotion can keep you going.

    Give you the mental edge on an opponent

    It’s how boxers get knockouts in the final minutes of the last round

    You cannot discount how getting revenge can help us emotionally in the final

  29. Radio Raheem

    Sal it’s all there is: WIN WIN WIN like I’m Charlie Sheen.

    On that sombre note sweet dreams, I’ll wake up for the final.

  30. Guns of SF

    Let’s not forget that some of these players may not be with us next year so for them this is their last chance to get a trophy with arsenal

    Want to go out on a high. A win would also increase selling value perhaps for some players….

  31. Valentin

    Pedro,

    As I mentioned a while ago, Gérard Lopez (officially the man in charge at Lille) has just put in place the second part of his plan to increase the turn over of players at Lille. He has just bought Mouscron FC an historic club in the Belgium top league.
    Despite the denial by Lopez, basically the Belgium club is now a satellite of the LOSC. Next season the club will have 10 LOSC players in their first team. He has just admitted that their team tactic will have to mimic LOSC tactic.
    In order to avoid legal issue with UEFA, legally the club is owned by a newly created different legal entity than LOSC. So if both qualify for Europe, UEFA will not have any legal recourse to ban one for undue influence.

    The deal is really about speeding up players progression from U18 to senior teams and therefore increase the profit generated by buying and selling players.

    Years ago Arsenal tried that strategy with Beveren before a major fallout. The Belgium FA helped kill the deal between Arsenal and Beveren. Because there was a very real risk that Mouscron would default and in doing so would take down a few other clubs with them, the Belgium FA just waved through the deal.

    I do expect more and more companies offshoot of agents and hedge funds to setup similar deals. ManCity and Red Bull have a lot to answer.

  32. Big Perm

    Sf

    good practice the next 2 games. should be fairly easy… good way for Arteta to maybe try some new stuff too

    This is what I’m talking about with naive fans talking utter shit.

    In what world will the next 2 games be easy against 2 teams fighting for their lives?

    Incredible

  33. RockyRoe

    Dissenter you’re chatting shit
    Chat shit get banged

    Un

    Says the guy who wouldn’t stop bashing auba till yesterday, by your own standards of chatting shit and getting banged, you shouldn’t be able to walk straight right now.

  34. Guns of SF

    Eggplant

    Dude get a grip
    Who do you actually think we will win against then?Bottom dwellers? No.?City or liverpool? No.
    Chelsea – ?
    We have played a new lineup in the past 2 games. New tactics too.
    What games are you watching?

    Piss off you troll.. time for homework and bedtime.

  35. Big Perm

    Sf

    I don’t think you get this football thing.

    I didn’t say we wouldn’t win but for you to say the last two games against teams scrapping for survival would be easy and the ideal time to experiment is again naive or could just be viewed as what it is…fucking stupid.

    People aren’t trolls for calling out bullshit posts.

    Why would these games be ‘easy’? Ah that’s right look at the league table devoid of any context that’d be right.

  36. Guns of SF

    Eggplant you are a total idiot

    You are no fan. You are a troll plain and simple. You get kicked off the blog and create a new profile and get back in.

    You are clueless when it comes to the team. No one said it would be easy. Do you feel every opponent is going to be a tough contest? That we are likely to lose but you feel relieved when we win?

    GTFO

    You cannot take a position because you don’t have one. Like trump you react to others only and claim that you know something we don’t. You are no fan

  37. CaliGooner

    Sounds like some clubs have seen the value of Red Bull’s having essentially minor league teams the same way baseball does here in the U. S.

  38. Gonsterous

    Fk, I would have preferred utd in the final. Chelsea are always dangerous in a final. Utd less so since they haven’t got to a final in ages, and the occasion would have over whelmed them.

    Anyway, we have to beat Chelsea or else this season is a disaster, finishing outside Europe with the squad a mess.

    I don’t know if this is the time to bring it up, since we just beat city but I don’t see xhaka and co giving us those type of performance consistently.

    Against liverpool and city, we could sit back and absorb pressure, in the fa cup final we will be required to go out and attack, and that’s where xhaka and co get inconsistent. They can either defend 90mins or play side passes for 90mins but they cannot go up and down the field for 90mins.

    I would be more than happy to park the bus and win the final.

  39. Danny M.O

    One thing is for sure is that we can’t play a back 5 against Chelsea. Doong that and you play in to Girouds hands. We need to play a back 4 and high up the field. We need to do to chelsea what bayern did to us with Giroud.

  40. Leftfootcurler

    So Chelsea it is.
    Good. Easier game than United.

    I don’t think Giroud will start the game if Abraham would be fit.
    Abraham is the better player.
    Also Arsenal tire in the 2nd half.
    The last thing a tired defender would want is a physical game.
    Its what Giroud offers.
    So Giroud will probably be substitute.

    Arsenal should stay with the 343.
    Lampard went 343 against united.
    I don’t know what he will do against us.

    Its a shame we sold Iwobi,would have been great in this game.

    We need to add another midfielder in this game to create a numerical advantage in midfield.
    Maybe get AMN to drift into midfield from RWB
    And have Pepe wide.
    That would give us a 3v2 numerical advantage in midfield.

    The press is going to be tricky if Lampard matches Arteta’s formation.
    Ederson went long when there was difficulty in playing out from the back but David Luiz and Mustafi won all aerial duels against Jesus,Mahrez and Sterling.

    It won’t be easy to do against likes of Abraham/Giroud.

  41. Bojangles

    I doubt Arteta will go into the next two games thinking they will be a stroll in the park, he’s too smart for that. He understands that playing teams trying to stave off relegation are often the most difficult games at this stage of the completion. Villa and Watford want be easy although still expecting 6 points.

  42. Overmars

    I’ve just watched most of the City game back and I tell you what, on another day we could have conceded a couple. The footballing Gods were on our side 100%.

    The de Bruyne free kick, the Laporte strike with his right foot, and there were a couple of times where de Bruyne fizzed the ball across the box and all it needed was a touch from either team’s players and it would have gone in.

    That being said, the win was deserved. Arteta set the team up perfectly, forced them wide and they didn’t have the height or physical power to beat us in our box, which was always compact with our 3 CB’s as well as Xhaka and Ceballos dropping in to stop the cut back.

    When Aubameyang missed that first chance, which wasn’t as easy as it looked, we all worried as you have to take your chances against City. The weak links in that team were Mendy, Garcia and Walker defensively, and it showed.

    I can’t wait for the final.

    6 finals in 6 years, we are somewhat of a cup side these days. With Chelsea’s relatively young squad, I’m hoping they fall apart, but let’s see.

  43. Leftfootcurler

    We struggle to create chances.
    So any game for us is not a stroll in the park.

    This is a problem we should fix next season.
    Buy Coutinho and improve Pepe.
    Should be enough to thrash shit teams in this system.

    I have no idea how Watford will setup.
    We should beat Villa though.

  44. Leftfootcurler

    Overmars

    Yes that is why Result based analysis on Arteta is unfair.

    Had City scored from those loss of possession in our own halves like for ex,Mustafi,Ceballos and Bellerin lost the ball in our own half

    Arteta would be called a novice,owned by Pep etc.

    Because City couldn’t take advantage of our player’s mistakes and we won,its a masterclass.

    Its a masterclass from Arteta regardless of the result.
    Even if we had lost 4-0.
    Because he gave our players a good chance to succeed.

  45. Pierre

    I would say that the only personnel change for the final will be to bring Saka in for AMN at LWB, it may seem harsh on AMN but he was brought in to do a defensive job against city and he did struggle in the final 3rd with his delivery due to being right footed. , against Chelsea we will have more possession and that’s where Saka’s delivery will be crucial.

    Alternately, AMN could come in for Bellerin at right wing back which I think is much the better option and AMN is more comfortable going forward on the right hand side.

    Lacazette has played himself into the side and Pepe’s performance v City will give him the confidence to make a difference in the final.

    I can’t see any other reason to make any other changes in the final..

  46. Nelson

    If both Wolves and Sheff UTD won today. we could almost forget the 6th and the 7th spot in the League. Winning the FA cup would be our only route to get into Europa. There is one factor uniting all the players. By winning the Cup, the reduction in wages will be dropped from 12.5% to 7.5%. This is on top of revenge, cup win bonus, foursome, winner’s medal…

  47. Nelson

    I also prefer AMN over Bellerin. AMN would attack the ball carrier while Bellerin couldn’t stop the opponent from centering the ball.

  48. Receding Hairline

    We weren’t outplayed in Baku. I know some are desperate to paint it as such but we didn’t lose that game due to tactics.

    We played a tactically perfect first half and should have gone in leading at the break.

    Giroud wins a header against Kos to open the scoring second half then AMN proceeds to bury the game with some lackadaisical play and it was all over.

    Its a 50/50 game this year because Hazard isn’t playing. Arteta has also learnt from the last time they won 2-1 at the Emirates by bringing on Jorginho. The 2-2 draw is less of a reference point.

  49. Pierre

    Receding
    What the game in Baku did show us is the importance of having a quality, agile keeper in goal.

    Chelsea’s first 2 goals were saveable that’s for sure.
    Martinez, in the form he is in now , would not only have saved them with ease but would have caught the ball both times.

    For instance,the Mahrez shot on Saturday low to Martinez left would have undoubtedly beaten Petr Cech as he was so slow getting down that the softest of shots would find the net.

  50. Sid

    If we try the tactics we used vs man c with Chelsea, we will fail because Chelsea are superior aerially and 2nd balls will unsettle us.

  51. Big Perm

    Sf

    Guns of SFJuly 19, 2020 20:10:44
    We win the cup, Kroenke knows we need funding to win the EL next season.
    There is a lot at stake for us to win, and I feel we have more reasons than Chelski to win the finalAs long as we stay humble in our lead up to the game… and then come out guns blazing, we can do it….good practice the next 2 games. should be fairly easy… good way for Arteta to maybe try some new stuff too.

    Yes sf this shows that you thought these last two games would be easy. Just take the L you’re getting into dissenter territory now.

    My position is simple don’t underestimate any opponent as I know football is a bit more nuanced than just looking at the table and saying they’re shit.

    You’re calling me a troll and donald trump? Nice deflection but just explain why these two games will be easy as you said above.

  52. Big Perm

    RH

    We played a tactically perfect first half and should have gone in leading at the break.

    Wow a good first half but ship 4 in the second? A game is two halves so that’s pretty irrelevant. Anyone can get beat with a cross into the box with a header but the team should have set up to help AMN and not leave him isolated against Hazard.

    That’s on emery. It was so basic.

  53. Sid

    The 10 men behind the ball tactic has been successful when used by physically stronger teams against smaller technical sides

    Arsenal vs Pulis Stoke
    Barca vs Mourinhos Inter
    Liverpool vs Diegos Athleti

  54. Receding Hairline

    If you don’t know what happened in that game then maybe don’t engage. AMN was under little pressure when he gave the ball away in the middle, nor did he need to foul Giroud for a penalty, nothing to do with needing protection from Hazard.

  55. alexanderhenry

    Pedro

    The messiah has landed- maybe.

    I fancy us strongly against Chelsea in the final anyway.
    Who’d bet against us?

  56. Big Perm

    RH

    Why was AMN so unsure and indecisive? Lack of a plan. Why was there so much space between the CBs and fullbacks and the midfield and defence? Shit set up. Why was Ozil nullified by man marking Jorginho? Poor personnel choice.

    Who was responsible for all that? I’ll give you a clue it wasn’t AMN.

    Why did we have moments of individual brilliance? We actually have decent attacking players that’s why Laca and Auba both played.

  57. Pierre

    Receding
    “If you don’t know what happened in that game then maybe don’t engage.
    AMN was under little pressure when he gave the ball away in the middle, nor did he need to foul Giroud ”

    Maybe you should practice what you preach.
    To say that AMN was under little pressure for the 2nd goal is not quite true is it

    Put it this way, for the Chelsea 2nd goal, the trip on AMN in midfield when he supposedly “gave the ball away”, was more of a foul than the nudge on Giroud by AMN for the Chelsea penalty.

  58. CG

    Looks like The Clown ( and his white witch) will be next appearing in a circus in Villarreal anytime soon.

    Clipboards being dusted down and packed as we speak.
    Buckle belts being polished.
    Grecian 2000 as well.

    I note they won 4 zero yesterday. He will soon want to stop that type of flowing soccer.

    Possibly meet him in the Loosers Cup too next season. He revels in this filfth.

    The worst manager ever to set foot in the British Isles.

    Rauls Clown. And he wanted to keep him here too.

  59. Radio Raheem

    It’s possible the AMN you see now is a product of that inconsistent error prone AMN of the past. He has learned and got better. Just a thought.

  60. Graham62

    ……..or, after years of regressive coaching philosophies and techniques, under both Wenger’s and Emery’s watch, it is at last starting to sink in because he has a mentor who knows what he’s doing.

    Just a thought.

  61. Nelson

    I remember a spot kick, in one instance in particular, the ball ricocheted out to Benjamin Mendy on the right and Kieran Tierney sprinted from inside the box to close him down on the corner of the box. There was another case during a short corner from the right side, it was Ceballos who sprinted out to try to prevent a cross. Where was Bellerin? Everything happened on his side.

  62. Radio Raheem

    Re:Bellerin

    He is and has been for a while. In his case it might take a while for the sauce to take hold. Veganism might sauce-resistant however much he tries. We’ll see.

    AMN should try reinvent himself in that position. Think I suggested the same thing for Reiss in the past. As Wenger used to say ‘internal solutions’ .