Arsenal bottle Europe via the league (but how about that Jack Grealish?)

by & filed under News Review.


Well, that was absolutely shite. I had a feeling there was going to be a bit of the Brighton’s about us last night; I turned out to be correct, we dominated possession, did absolutely fuck all with it, and conceded from a set-piece (45% of our goals this season according to the stat guys).

How utterly, utterly depressing.

The only positive I’ll take from that game is that we might get the chance to relegate Watford at the weekend. I much prefer Villa. Dean Smith is a good guy and I like some of the Villa players.

As for Arsenal, this is who we are. One moment, they’re taking bullets for 97 minutes, the next, they are flummoxed against a team that has been absolutely shite all season.

The usual suspects were problematic again. Rob Holding and Kola just don’t cut it for me. They’re not good enough on the ball and their fear of moving it forward is painful at times. The biggest mistake of the game for me was starting Lucas Torreira. We all want him to be the guy, but he doesn’t seem to have it. He was dreadful. He’s too small for the Premier League and I just don’t think he’s capable of being the warrior we need in the middle of the park. Striking that Arteta yanked him at half time, we haven’t seen that very often, but it was the correct decision.

People were also upset we fielded 3 center-forwards without any attacking midfielders. I don’t know if the hope was Lacazette would drop into a number 10ish role again, or the analysts assessed that Villa had conceded more shots than any team this season and it was likely we’d open them up after two strong wins. It didn’t work out. A lesson Arteta will have to learn. Maybe starting Willock would have been smarter (though he’s hardly pulled up trees), or perhaps moving Pepe into a 10 role? Who knows, some experiments don’t work, this one tanked.

Dani Ceballos had a solid game, but he doesn’t have devastation in his pocket when he’s probing the box. Granit Xhaka made things a little more interesting in the second half, but he’s far better at releasing the ball from deep than finding cute angles in the opposition area.

The harsh reality is if our wide players don’t show up, we offer fuck all to the forwards.

There is no point in controlling possession if you can’t convert it into a single shot. We can get angry about that, but it’s not a new problem, and the only way it’ll be solved is if we sign players that can do the job. I’d love Jack Grealish, the man has magnificent hair and unbelievable legs. Imagine that sort of creativity in your starting 11? Trouble is, we need two or three players like that.

The big positive from the game is that once again, Arteta has been reminded of the limitations of some of the players. Some of those deal extensions he’s thinking about might need a rethink. Some of those players he was thinking of keeping on, might just find their way out of the club. His team might start to realise that you can’t save some players from themselves. If you are weak mentally in your mid to late twenties, that’s probably a thing for life. You’ll get turns out of these guys, like the prior two games, but you’ll not get consistency, which is the difference between ok and elite.

We deserve everything we get this season in the league. We haven’t been good enough. The players aren’t of the right make-up for the way Arteta wants to play and there are too many players that can go missing when you need them. The points total speaks to that. We can solve that with a good summer, or at least progress to a much more coherent squad.

If you are now disgusted by the coach and you’re doubting things again, just take yourself back to the weekend. Remember the KLOPP OUT crew at Liverpool? The Fraudiola crowd? Lampard is a disgrace? Understand that everyone wants to be the first to call time on a coach. Those people will be wrong in the long run. This is not a sprint, there will be ups and downs, but Arteta is the right guy to carry us through.

The Cup Final will see us focused, I have little doubt about that. These players show up in the perceived bigger games, they are better when teams offer more than a deep block, we will also play our best 11. Bring that City energy to Villa and Brighton, we’re in the Europa League before the FA Cup. We didn’t, now we’re stuck in the same situation as last season… leaning on a Cup Final to save our summer. It’s grim, but we’ll do a better job of the final than we did last season.

The Villa result is not good enough, but it is what it is. Bumps are par the course. It doesn’t make it any easier, but if you pray hard enough tonight and donate to my Patreon, maybe we’ll do a little better.

Onto Watford, let’s hope we can finish the season by sending Troy and the boys to the Championship.

See you in the comments. x

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890 Responses to “Arsenal bottle Europe via the league (but how about that Jack Grealish?)”

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  1. Valentin

    Pierre,

    Against teams that park the bus, Özil remains the only player in this current squad who can unlock tightly packed defense. Let use him until the end of the season and then move our separate ways. I can’t see us in the FA Cup final playing Chelsea off the park, nor being successful with a rearguard action. Contrarily to ManCity Chelsea has a strong aerial presence. So let use Özil.

    ESPN has an article where they state that sidelining Özil is done on the order of management in view of selling him this summer. Since his back injury he is said to have trained very well. He is fit and raring to go.

    If true, I don’t think that was a very smart move, because they could sit down with him once the season is over and make it clear that they want him gone.

    With one year left on his contract, Özil leverage is limited. Sit and not play for a full year or negotiate a contract somewhere else at substantiall reduced wage that Arsenal may even part subsidise the first year.

  2. Emiratesstroller

    Pierre

    No-one disputes that Ozil is by far and away Arsenal’s most creative and classy footballer.

    However, there is clearly something going on with this player apart from just his football performance.

    A Head Coach does not discard suddenly a player in the fashion that both Arteta and for that matter Emery have done unless there is a serious problem.

    It could well be a non football matter, because as you point out quite rightly the team do look far less productive in his absence. I have suggested over the
    last two seasons that the team are unbalanced and that is down to Ozil’s absence and a lack of replacement.

    My guess is that when Ozil leaves at end of his contract and/or retires from football there will be perhaps a different side to the story than the one which we discuss now.

  3. RockyRoe

    Pierre/wasi

    I’m no fan of ozil but the stats do give something to chew on.

    However the dropping of ozil is not for footballing reasons, it’s plain to see. Ozil even without pressing still would walk into this shit show of a midfield.

    And therein lies the debate, arteta has taken a stand against ozil for exactly what we will never know, however, it must be something big, if arteta is willing to sacrifice points to stand by it.

    Also, its quite possible a joint decision by arteta, Raul and edu in hope that ozil moves on this summer, if he is not getting any football.

  4. Up 4 grabs now

    Unless we’re getting top dollar for our dead wood, which I can’t see happening, we need Stan to dig dip to reboot the midfield. Can’t see that happening either.

    Three quality 45-50 million players are needed.
    So probably more money than we spent last summer.

    Looking at the kids I can’t see them having enough quality to step up consistently.
    So unless Sven left his black book behind when he left, or edu has looked further afield than Brazil and started to scout the lower leagues or Europe we could be in trouble.

  5. CG

    Re. Ozil.
    This is what has happened here.

    Arteta got involved with the wage cuts.(wrongly)
    Ozil refused ( rightly) We have billionaire owners, after all.
    Arteta felt personally slighted.( he should not).
    Arteta feels if he selects our best creator – bearing in mind – we didn’t have a shot on goal against Villa & City- he will look weak in front of KSE.

    Impasse.

    The more the club disrespect Ozil: the more likely he will see out his contract.

    Arsenal should either pay him up or play him.

    As Pierre superb analysis reveals.
    Arsenal are much more likely to accumulate more points with Ozil in the team.

  6. Up 4 grabs now

    CG,

    There is an argument for playing ozil, because we do look bereft of creating something in games. The problem is which one turns up?
    The one who has barely scored or assisted this season, and hasn’t actually played since lockdown.

    Or the one that last had a good game God knows when?

    If he doesn’t make the bench on Sunday then he won’t be the the fa cup squad and probably never plays for arsenal again.

  7. Wasi

    Pierre
    Yes I remember. Thats why I corrected myself and added the *in 2020* below.

    Up4grabs

    Everybody loved Ozil 2/3 years back i.e. before he signed the bumper contract. I agree that we cant start Ozil in matches where we are going to sit back and defend for majority of the game. But fact is , against smaller teams , Ozil is our best player , as we tend to dominate the ball. And unfortunately we don’t have 1 player who can even come close to Ozil in terms of chance creation . And chance creation is the biggest reason for our league position this season. ( directly in correlation with Ozil not getting game time. We are 16th !!!!! in terms of chance creation this season. The Arsenal football club known for its beautiful football is 16th in chances created) . Some mio say , we have conceded a lot and this is our biggest frailty but that wouldn’t be true. We have conceded less goals than Chelsea who are probably going to secure CL Football. This year we have suffered to pick up enough points against lower teams ( A problem Arsene never faced and thats why qualified for CL 20 years in a row).

    Even Ornstein stated in a QnA yesterday ( uploaded on YT Tifo football I think) that Ozil has been working hard in training ( corresponds with the ESPN article) . So I think Arteta is benching Ozil for non-footballing reasons. And if true the manager is the one to be blamed for the points dropped against Brighton, Villa , even Spuds.

  8. Wasi

    Up4grabs

    Ozil had a string of very good games after Arteta joined. He even played very well against Chelsea and Man United .

  9. CG

    Up 4 Grabs.

    We are 10th.Below those giants of soccer Burnley and Sheffield Utd.

    But worse than that. We are dull.
    These water breaks are the most exciting thing, when Arsenal play these days.

    From Brighton to Villa , we are stinking the place out wherever we go.

    I guarantee, all the other players would want Ozil in the side too.

    They would not have to run around so much chasing the ball if he were.

  10. Gbat

    Ozil lost the desire years ago. Getting him out the club this transfer window will be the best bit of business we can do.

  11. Pierre

    Gbat
    “Ozil lost the desire years ago. Getting him out the club this transfer window will be the best bit of business we can do.”

    That remains to be seen, but leaving Ozil put of the team hasn’t been Arteta’s finest hour has it .
    Has cost us a potential champions league place.

  12. Dark Hei

    Arteta is using a back 3 with 2 wing backs to bring the best out of his regulars.

    In such a formation, Ozil has only one spot and that is on the right wing.

    Perhaps that is why he isn’t being played. Along with a 100 other reasons of course.

  13. Pierre

    A potential champions league place which in fact cost the club many millions more than Ozil’s wages.

  14. Pierre

    CG
    “I guarantee, all the other players would want Ozil in the side too.They would not have to run around so much chasing the ball if he were.”

    Many on here struggle to understand the concept of an exquisite first touch and letting the ball do the work.

  15. Pierre

    Dark Hei
    “Arteta is using a back 3 with 2 wing backs to bring the best out of his regulars.In such a formation, Ozil has only one spot and that is on the right wing.”

    I see no point in playing wingers if we are playing WING backs , it is the WING backs that give the width.

    It would be very easy to fit Ozil into a wing back system.

    Anyway, we were playing perfectly well with the 4-2- 3-1 system before lockdown and were unbeaten domestically this year, so why change .

  16. CG

    pierre

    “”””Many on here struggle to understand the concept of an exquisite first touch and letting the ball do the work,”””””

    they struggle with lots of things,but …..
    They have been all hoodwinked and brainwashed about this ‘pressing game’
    They think you can sustain it over a 10 month season. You cant.
    (10 games maybe.)

    we had a manager once- who with 10 games to go at the business end of the season.- had us fresh and purring.

    Top 4=Tick ( 20 times)
    FA Cup= Tick. ( 7 times)

    there was only tick tick with our Wenger.

  17. Pierre

    Dissenter
    If you, as an Arsenal supporter, want whats best for The Arsenal,there is no argument against Ozil playing …none

  18. Gbat

    Pierre

    Nobody doubts Ozil’s talent. But when was the last time he played consistently well? He’s been floating around the pitch for years now putting in minimum effort. He had a very good 1st half against United on January and then reverted back to type.

  19. Northbanker

    In the long run players with bad attitudes only create deeper problems for the club. In any organisation a key strategy with employment is to cut out the cancer as soon as you see it developing. otherwise it spreads quickly. That is Ozil now. It is also Guendouzi and was AMN. It is down to the player not the club to snap out of it and get back on track. Frankly if they don’t they should have their contracts severed for breach of contract and fight them in the courts.

    That said, we do need someone like this in the 10 role against the likes of Villa or Brighton, where we dominate possession. This is where we have wrongly deployed Ceballos – he should have been the Ozil replacement and is instead being allowed to play a deeper role and allowed also more conservative passing. I don’t btw think he is anywhere near as good as a prime Ozil but as present day Ozil isn’t either, he isn’t an option.

    Ceballos should have been an option and forcing him out of his comfort zone would have taken us further forward while develop or procure a replacement (Smith or ESR).

  20. bennydevito

    Comes onto LG to see what’s going on.

    Everyone is still talking about that useless non existent wage stealer.

    Decides to come back later.

    Good podcast though Pedro.

  21. Graham62

    Pierre

    Your perseverance on this subject just beggars belief.

    Question: Do you think Arsenal would have reached the FA Cup Final with Ozil in the team?

    Question: Do you think Arsenal would have beaten the likes of Wolves and Liverpool in the league, with Ozil in the team?

    All hypothetical I know but, I feel, rather relevant don’t you think.

  22. Pierre

    Gbat
    ” He’s been floating around the pitch for years now putting in minimum effort.”

    For the more educated it’s
    called making the game look easy

    That’s what happens when you have superb technique, an exquisite first touch and a perfect weight of pass.

  23. Graham62

    Pierre

    😷🤪😂

    Having Ozil in the team means that we have to change our entire mental approach.

    I include the manager, the players and the supporters in this.

  24. Pierre

    Graham
    Beating City and Liverpool were superb back to the wall efforts.

    Due to the style of football we played, it was correct to leave Ozil out of the side as he would have been a passenger as for long periods of both games we sat deep and played the ball long.

    Nothing wrong in horses for courses .

  25. azed

    “Everybody loved Ozil 2/3 years back i.e. before he signed the bumper contract. ”

    Not everyone Wasi. I always thought we had no business signing Ozil when he was signed. We needed a striker and a CM not an attacking midfielder when Ozil was signed.

    Pierre
    What happened to the “Emery doesn’t like technical players”? Some of us told you the club wanted to get rid of Ozil but y’all just disliked Emery so it was Emery’s fault.

  26. Francis Martinos

    This might look like what happened last season when we made it to the final of the Europa League. The players shifted their attention to that final and ignored a more easy and convenient route and that affected us in the final because I believe it disrupted our concentration which something we can’t sustain for long periods.

    I hope Arteta can get players having unlimited ceiling for mentality than skill because I still see that Liverpool team and I believe the only few players have skills. This leads me to the Ferguson’s team. Look back and assimilate how that team thrived with sprinkles of skilled players

    A win against Watford may convince me things have changed but I strongly recommend Arteta looks out for this. We should not have a repeat of this. We are too complacent and that alone cannot make up winners and competitors.

  27. Dissenter

    Honestly,, it’s not an overreach to assert that Pierre loves Ozil as much or even more than he loves Arsenal.
    I extend my commiserations to you Pierre, what will you do when Ozil runs out his contract next summer?
    Three consecutive Arsenal coaches have disagreed with you by the way

  28. Pierre

    Graham
    “Having Ozil in the team means that we have to change our entire mental approach.”

    Call it whatever you want but the fact is we win more football matches , play better football, score more goals and concede less with Ozil in the side.

  29. Tee

    Ozil should be sold asap even if it entails paying him off.

    Pierre,
    Stop this we missed champions league because of ozil’s absence in the team.

    I’m not in support of the ott scolding of the guy but he isn’t of any use to us any longer. For Emery, Freddie and now Arteta to have discarded him says a lot about Ozil.

    If Ozil believes he still got it then he should see the writing on the wall and move on to another club but he won’t do just that because he is collecting his pension. All his antics on social media shows he is ready to bleep the club to the last penny.

    I don’t actually blame him but those who gave him the underserved contract to save face because of the Sanchez saga

  30. Pierre

    Dissenter
    It’s all about the team ..

    I was hoping that at long last Ozil being out of the side would improve us as a football team.

    Sadly , the opposite has happened…AGAIN.
    do these managers ever learn.

  31. Pierre

    I think it’s worth repeating these stats as they tell us more than anyone on here can say.

    Post lockdown without Ozil in the side we have accumulated 13 points in our last 9 game.

    Last 9 games
    Matchday 29-37( without Ozil)

    United …21
    Chelsea…18
    Tottenham .18
    Wolves….17
    Burnley…..16
    Arsenal….13

    8 games
    Matchday 20-28 (with Ozil)
    Arsenal….16
    Chelsea ..10
    United …12
    Tottenham….10
    Wolves….12

    So, basically Arsenal have gone from accumulating the most points against our rivals with Ozil in the team , to accumulating the least points against our rivals , without Ozil in the team.

  32. Dissenter

    January 2018 was when it all came apart for Areenal
    We swopped 6 months of Alexis Sanchez 140k weekly deal with four years of Mykhi;s 180–200k weekly deal
    Then we gave Ozil a 350k weekly deal for 3.5 years to avoid the same of losing him for free.

  33. Graham62

    Pierre

    Keep up the pretence.

    The fact of the matter is that with a modern day Mesut Ozil in the team, you’re jeopardising the entire game plan.

    Looking pretty is a waste of time if you can’t apply yourself properly.

    He is a massive liability.

    🍺🏌🏻‍♂️

  34. G8

    Actually Ozil featuring in the new kit promotion is worrying!
    add the 4 yrs of Soars , Mari, Luiz,
    Its not looking good at all

  35. Pierre

    Azed
    “Pierre
    What happened to the “Emery doesn’t like technical players”? Some of us told you the club wanted to get rid of Ozil but y’all just disliked Emery so it was Emery’s fault.”

    I will call it how I see it whoever is the manager, Emery left Ozil out of the side as did Arteta and neither, up until this point , have proved to be the correct decision.. the opposite in fact.

    Arteta is by far the better manager and I like the organisation and discipline he is installing into the side.

    We all make mistakes and hopefully Arteta will see sense sooner than later.

  36. Dissenter

    Pierre
    I’ve always wondered if there’s no possibility that brown envelopes don’t have a role in your Ozil adulation
    Me and my dirty mind.

  37. Dissenter

    I think you’re playing the role of a media booster for Ozil Pierre

    So we suffered from not having the fantastic Ozil to beat the mighty Aston Villa who are +1 GD away from relegation.

  38. Dissenter

    Of course I’m just kidding because the concretely thinking Mari will soon arrive to take it literally.

  39. Dissenter

    * Of course I’m just kidding because the concretely thinking Marko will soon arrive to take it literally

  40. Words on a Blog

    Graham62

    It’s easy to mock Pierre as an Ozil obsessive, but he has a point.

    We created zero shots on target against the mighty defence of Aston Villa. In the matches post-lockdown, we have been great in matches where we had our backs to the wall, but poor and lacking creativity in many of the other matches when he had much more of the ball and couldn’t just sit deep and counterattack.

    We’re paying Ozil £350k a week. Why not use him to set up chances and make things flow in matches where we don’t expect to be dominated in terms of possession?

  41. Wasi

    Azed

    Maybe you didn’t like him then too. But I think most of the fanbase was buzzing .
    Ozil had about 15 assists in the first half of 2015/16 season alone. Cazorla injury coupled with Giroud forgetting how to score goals in the second half of the campaign , robbed us of a title as well as Ozil of a record breaking season.
    Ozil created 38 big chances that season. That is an ASTONISHINGLY high number. To put it into context KDB has created 25 big chances this season and has about 19 assists.

  42. Pierre

    Dissenter
    “So we suffered from not having the fantastic Ozil to beat the mighty Aston Villa who are +1 GD away from relegation.”

    No dissenter, in a couple of months , we have gone from a team who was outperforming ALL our rivals with Ozil in the side, to a team that is underperforming ALL our rivals without Ozil in the team.

  43. Gonsterous

    Bottom line is, we need ozil off the wage bill. Giving him game time isn’t going to help, so that next best thing is to freeze him out, if that doesn’t work, he needs to paid to leave.

    No compromise, no half hearted plans.

  44. azed

    Wasi

    Have you ever wondered why even after playing with Aubameyang and Lacazette, Ozil’s assist numbers have been down?
    As a matter of fact, Ozil has had only one double digit assist season which tells me the so called record breaking season was an exception not the rule.

    A cross into the box counts as a chance and Ozil was our primary set piece taker hence the high number of chances created.

    Pepe has scored 8 and assisted 9 this season. On its own, those are fantastic numbers especially for a player in a new league and 3 managers but when you probe deeper, you see something else. He takes set pieces for us hence the high assist numbers.

    If Ozil is as good as you guys claim, why only one double digit assist season?

  45. The backpass

    The same Ozil that has two assists this season and both has been scored by Lacazette with his Head.

  46. Words on a Blog

    One other thing about the matches post-lockdown: I can’t say that I’m a fan of the new 3-4–3 formation used by Arteta. It’s fine against the likes of Liverpool and City, when we don’t expect to see much of the ball and want to rapidly counterattack, but it doesn’t work so well in other matches. We either look turgid, don’t keep the ball enough, and/or fail to create enough chances. I felt the same when (very late) Wenger used it, and when Emery used it.

    Under Arteta, Unlike Emery, we do gain defensive security when we play 3-4-3. But what what we gain in defensive security is unfortunately counteracted by the loss of offensive potency.

  47. Marc

    The Ozil conversation is a waste of time right now. He hasn’t kicked a ball in a match for about 4 months. We have a league match in 2 days and then the Cup Final – not really the time to be bringing someone back into the team who will clearly not be match fit.

    The questions are: are the rumours about Turkey true or realistic so could he leave in the summer? If not and he’s going to see out his contract is there a way he can be brought into the team in a way that works next season?

  48. Champagne Charlie

    https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11670/12034597/mikel-arteta-exclusive-arsenal-ready-to-strengthen-squad-and-solve-creativity-problem

    Awesome insight from Arteta.

    The following is something I’ve banged on about for a while:

    “Look at the players that we had in the past at this club in those positions,” says Arteta. “You go back to (Santi) Cazorla, to (Tomas) Rosicky, to (Andrey) Arshavin when he played there, to (Aaron) Ramsey when he played there, to (Henrikh) Mkhitaryan when he came in. Even Jack Wilshere used to play in those pockets all the time.

    “That is a lot of players who are now not here. We have to renew that cycle, because if not, those kind of players won’t be there for us anymore.”

  49. Radio Raheem

    Arteta has been reading my posts or maybe just maybe we’ve both been watching the same arsenal unlike some 😁

  50. Pierre

    Marc
    “The Ozil conversation is a waste of time right now”

    I don’t hear you complaining when ,on a daily basis, the Ozil conversation consists of slaughtering him.

  51. Un na naai

    The following is something I’ve banged on about for a while:“Look at the players that we had in the past at this club in those positions,” says Arteta. “You go back to (Santi) Cazorla, to (Tomas) Rosicky, to (Andrey) Arshavin when he played there, to (Aaron) Ramsey when he played there, to (Henrikh) Mkhitaryan when he came in. Even Jack Wilshere used to play in those pockets all the time.“That is a lot of players who are now not here. We have to renew that cycle, because if not, those kind of players won’t be there for us anymore.”

    You and me both Charlie
    Fucking travesty clearing that lot out without replacing

  52. Un na naai

    Arteta knows!!
    Straight to the crux of the matter
    No ballers

    Makes a mockery of all those claiming we need a dm and cb and winger for the last few windows

  53. Radio Raheem

    Of all our youngsters Saka is the only one I feel could turn out special. The others, if they stay here long enough, will be adequate squad players or make solid professional football careers elsewhere.

  54. Ishola70

    “It also gives us an option of being more expansive in our overall approach, by playing him alone at base of midfield with 2 midfielders of a more attacking profile in front of him, something similar to what Manchester City do. Partey would be a great foundation to build from”

    Relating to Partey from the above article posted by CC.

    I’m sure the end game here and what we all want to see is the team become more expansive in their play.

  55. Pierre

    Maybe Arteta should relax a little on the non-negotiables and try and be a little more flexible or he will find himself backed into a corner in the future as with the Ozil situation. …treat them as adults.

    In the link he bemoans our lack of technical ability in midfield whilst saying that he recognises what creativity ozil brings to the side, and yet persists in leaving him out to the detriment of the team…puzzling.

    What terrible crime did he commit.

  56. Marc

    Pierre

    The only time Ozil is generally mentioned is about how prohibitive his salary is and that’s not on a daily basis.

    I made what I see to be an honest point – you didn’t disagree with my reasoning or didn’t put a counter argument to it.

    You accuse others of being “obsessed” pot and kettle springs to mind. Was what I said incorrect?

  57. Words on a Blog

    Radio Raheem,

    The one disappointment from our youngsters is Reiss Nelson. From what I’ve read, he was the one widely seen as the most talented and the most likely to make an impact.

    He’s doing ok, but is being eclipsed by Saka and even by the likes of Neketish and Willlock.

    I really hope he comes good next season – that is, if he’s not sold or sent out on loan.

  58. Champagne Charlie

    Pierre

    Non-negotiables can be whatever the manager sets the to be. If everyone in a 25 man squad can adhere except two players, then the fault is with them.

    Nobody needs to indulge Ozil, the sooner you back away from this militant defence of him the better.

    He could be the best creator on the planet, if he can’t display the same fundamental efforts of everyone else representing the club then he’s not deserving of anything. That’s cultural, that’s building future success.

    Ozil is a problem, time to smell the coffee.

  59. The backpass

    Its always Ozil for you Pierre.

    Maybe Arteta realizes his supposed attacking midfielder has only 1 assist under him, and feels he can’t build on such rubbish.

  60. Pierre

    Marc
    “The only time Ozil is generally mentioned is about how prohibitive his salary is and that’s not on a daily basis
    .I made what I see to be an honest point –”

    You said it was a waste of time discussing Ozil, I would have thought it would be a concern to any Arsenal supporter that one player being left out of the side for non footballing reasons has had such a detrimental effect on the side resulting in failing to qualify for Europe through our league position.

    Taking into account that Tierney wasn’t in the side pre lockdown it makes Ozil’s influence on the side even greater.

  61. Radio Raheem

    Words

    It’s a shame about Reiss. Whenever I watch him I see a player inhibited. There seems to be a mental block with him in matches that aren’t there in training. He seems to do enough for Emery and then Arteta to favour him over Pepe on several occasions only to underwhelm when given the chance. He might turn out to be another Gnabry or not.

  62. Wasi

    ‘A cross into the box counts as a chance’

    Wow . If that was true , Trent and Kdb should have had upwards of 500 big chances created this season. Unfortunately Kdb has only 25.

  63. Words on a Blog

    Cc,

    Two really good links.

    Interesting (and very reassuring) the LTAArsenal technical analysis and Arteta’s own outlook are pretty much totally synchronised.

    If this season under Arteta has been all about stabilising the defence, next season should be about restoring creativity. Hopefully some moves can be made in the transfer market so that we have more creative midfielders, but as Arteta makes clear, it isn’t always about having players who can play in the pockets. So it will be interesting to see what the “specificity” is in terms of style of play and new personnel.

    Despite a pretty dismal season, and even after taking into account expected limited transfer funds, I’m actually pretty optimistic about next season.

  64. The backpass

    “You said it was a waste of time discussing Ozil, I would have thought it would be a concern to any Arsenal supporter that one player being left out of the side for non footballing reasons has had such a detrimental effect on the side resulting in failing to qualify for Europe through our league position”

    You mean like doing fuck all against olympiacos in a much needed game resulting in falling to qualify for round of 16 of the Europa league?

  65. Pierre

    CC

    The non- negotiables have cost us dearly if we fail to qualify for Europe lthrough the FA cup.

    Shame that he has allowed himself to be backed into a corner , hopefully the non negotiables will prove to be a positive.

    Let’s hope so , though I think you will find that Arteta will relax them as time goes on and he will learn through this experience.

  66. englandsbest

    ‘Nobody doubts Ozil’s talent’? Well, I do. Or let me put it more clearly: I doubt his worth. Always did. Never could understand why Real Madrid bought him. Overcome with horror when Wenger forked out £43 million for him. The worst transfer deal in Arsenal history. The man has cost the Club more than £100 million.

    But that is only part of the damage caused. Every time I hear people talk of playing him,I want to jump of Highgate bridge.

    Imagine playing with a guy who gets paid five times as much and puts in one fifth the effort. A guy who seizes every opportunity NOT to play at all.

    For me the number one piece of business that should be done this summer is to get rid of him.

  67. habesha Gooner

    https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11670/12034597/mikel-arteta-exclusive-arsenal-ready-to-strengthen-squad-and-solve-creativity-problem

    At least this gives me hope that arteta sees our problems. We need a serious investment in midfield. We had the likes of Viera, Fabregas, Cazorla, Rosicky, Wilshere, Arshavin in our midfield. And No, Ozil isn’t going to be the answer this coming season. At one point we had Santi, Wilshere, Ramsey and Ozil with Sanchez in midfield and Attacking positions to be creative but now Ozil is the only one left and he is barely bothered about football. pepe and saka can do it but they need support from central midfield. I don’t care if coutinho is Kia’s client, I would welcome him with open arms if it’s not for ridiculous wages and prices.

  68. Marc

    Pierre

    It’s a waste of time talking about Ozil right now – Last PL match of the season in 2 days and then the Cup final.

    Do you think it would be a good time to bring Ozil back into the team for either / both matches? He hasn’t played a match in 4 months and will clearly not be match fit.

    As I mentioned the questions on Ozil are will he be here next season and if yes can he be integrated into the team.

    This isn’t an attack on Ozil it’s a comment on priorities right now.

  69. CG

    Cha Cha

    “”””Ozil is a problem, time to smell the coffee.”””””

    Ozil on £35 000 a week is the captain and team lynchpin.

    Ozil on £350 000 a week, keeps Stan awake at night.
    And that then causes Arteta a problem.

    It’s not an attitude issue or footballing issue.
    It’s a money issue. It always is with Arsenal under KSE.
    If they dont want Ozil.

    Front up and pay him off.
    Arsenal acting very very cowardly.

  70. Champagne Charlie

    “The non- negotiables have cost us dearly if we fail to qualify for Europe lthrough the FA cup.“

    No, I’d argue the lack of an elite standard at Arsenal has cost us much more in recent years.

    This season is a welcome critical mass as Arteta looks to scrub the wound clean, which inevitably comes with a degree of pain and short term suffering.

    Woab
    Yes, very much agree there. Think behind his door at Arsenal he’ll be somewhat immune to the demanding nature of the fans/media expectant of instant gratification and success.

    He’ll be privy to things in much greater depth and detail, hopefully instilling the necessary influences to deliver meaningful improvement over the longer term.

    Confident we’ll take a leap in quality next season with some squad tweaks and further expansion on his ideas and philosophies. It’s hard to be patient in football, but there’s a calmness with Arteta that suggests to me he’s not overawed here. He knows how and what is wrong, and he’s working to change things.

    What’s nice is that his macro isn’t only to make himself look good, he wants to re-establish the club in line with where he thinks we belong.

  71. Marko

    Apparently we were an Ozil away from being in a champions league place apparently.

    But seriously the lad is a total non-entity as a footballer these days that he’s not worth talking about. But it’s worth pointing out that what Mikel and the club are doing now is the right thing to do to force the issue. If they did that 2 seasons ago I’ve got no doubt that he wouldn’t be here right now. Emery tried it but unfortunately it didn’t work because the fan base were more concerned with disliking him and then everytime we didn’t perform you had numpties calling for his inclusion into the team he’ll make a difference they say. Difference now being Mikel is a mostly popular choice and people like him more than old frog eyes.

    In conclusion the cunt has to go because he doesn’t offer value for money and we need his wages to improve the squad.

  72. Marko

    Ozil on £35 000 a week is the captain and team lynchpin.

    You think we’d be getting a better output if he was on less wages? I feel like certain idiotic types think it’s just about his wage packet instead of the fact that he does next to nothing to deserve frankly any sort of big wage. His productivity is atrocious

  73. Marc

    The big question is why isn’t Mislintat scouting Ozil right now?

    Why doesn’t he have spies watching at the training ground?

  74. Big Perm

    Englandsworst

    ‘Nobody doubts Ozil’s talent’? Well, I do. Or let me put it more clearly: I doubt his worth. Always did. Never could understand why Real Madrid bought him. Overcome with horror when Wenger forked out £43 million for him.

    The biggest pile of shit I’ve read in a long time on here and that’s saying something cos you aren’t being sarcastic or ironic either.

    If you couldn’t understand, as you stated above, why RM bought Ozil, who subsequently turned out the best assist numbers in Europe, then you should stop watching football, stop posting in a football blog and shut the fuck up.

  75. Pierre

    Marko
    “Apparently we were an Ozil away from being in a champions league place apparently.”

    You make a fair point there Marko.

    At lockdown we were a mere 2 points behind united and 5 behind Chelsea with 10 games to play.

    We are now 10 points behind both clubs.

    So yes, you are correct, Ozil may have made the difference in the push for champions league.

  76. Marko

    That’s what you said Pierre not me. Lemme help you out with understanding I’m not stupid enough to think that someone who offers next to nothing on the field would have made a lick of difference to us getting a champions league place after the restart. Again lad is a non-entity as a footballer. I’ll say though you are consistent in your stubbornness and stupidity. Hats off to you

  77. Marko

    Anyway if anything this season has showed us we’re not one player or one CAM away from getting back to the champions league again the club needs a few signings at least before then and god knows how many we need to challenge for a league title.

  78. Graham62

    The bottom line in all of this is that Mesut Ozil became a massive burden for the club as soon as he was given that mind-blowingly stupid contract.

    I agree with CG🤭, “Front up and pay him off”

    Let’s end all this shite once and for all.

  79. englandsbest

    Ozil’s worth is as an indulgence for exceptional players in an all-star team. In the Germany side, in the Real Madrid side, any half-decent midfielder would have created as many assists as Ozil.

  80. Pierre

    Marko
    “I’m not stupid enough to think that someone who offers next to nothing on the field would have made a lick of difference to us getting a champions league place after the restart.”

    The stats tell a different story .

    Pre lockdown…with Ozil ..outperforming ALL of our rivals .

    Post lockdown…without Ozil ..underperforming ALL of our rivals.

  81. CG

    Graham

    “”””I agree with CG🤭, “Front up and pay him off”””””

    Pay up or Shut up.

    And if Stan dont want to pay up, and Arteta today admitting the team lacks creativity.

    I suggest he starts to utilize him against these ‘ low blockers’.*

    *Another new term , I have learned this week.

  82. Marc

    Graham

    And where does the money come from? We could be about to lose £30 odd million a season in revenue when we were losing money already and christ knows what will happen to match day revenue for part of next season.

  83. andy1886

    Funny how when mention was made of big chances created Ozil’s stats this season were conveniently avoided.

    For the record, official PL stats show that this season MO has created just ONE big chance. Saka has SIX, plus five assists (to MO’s two) and one goal (same as MO).

    Of course one has played the majority of games as a WB, the other less productively in his preferred position.

  84. Nelson

    Just watched the “Behind the scenes at the Arsenal x adidas 2020/21 home kit shoot”, Guen is no where to be seen but Ozil was there smiling and mixing up with the rest. It seems that only the management wants to get rid of him but not the players.

    For awhile, Saka has shown the potential to be our link up man to move the ball forward. Against Villa he was not in game shape. Let’s hope that he’ll rediscover his mojo. He is our future and not Ozil.

  85. Marko

    Pre lockdown…with Ozil ..outperforming ALL of our rivals .

    You mean where we drew as many games (4) as we won? Yeah he got a goal and an assist to add to his whopping one goal and two assists in the league this year. In total that’s one goal three assists all season long and he’s nowhere to be found on the chances created lists. But sure he was going to make a difference.

  86. Marko

    Also I think when Arteta brings up our lack of creativity that’s just another example of him saying this team needs signings it’s another area we need to address. I don’t for a second think it’s a call to arms for Ozil. I think he’s made up his mind on him already

  87. habesha Gooner

    I think we should find a team that can pay half of Ozil’s wages and sign some one worth that 175k money. It’s still a lot but we will get better value for our 18 mil a year with a better player.

  88. Marko

    It seems that only the management wants to get rid of him but not the players.

    Lucky for us they’re making the decisions for the club and not the players.

  89. Ishola70

    One good player at CAM can help but it’s not going to solve all.

    As that previous article stated you either get a midfielder in playing at the base that can play on his own with two attacking midfielders ahead of him or you get in midfielders that are more than comfortable playing higher up on the front foot.

    Arsenal don’t have these midfielders atm.

  90. Nelson

    Arteta is hoping that Laca could play like Firmino. Unfortunately, Laca doesn’t have the vision and skill to set up plays. His strength is receiving the ball in the box and shoot. If Arteta wants to continue with this system, he’ll need to sign someone like Bruno Fernandes to replace Laca.

  91. Marko

    The key to Ozil fucking off is going to be his wife. Left to him he probably doesn’t care much about actually playing football or earning his wage.

  92. Left testicle

    You can see it now…

    After months of transfer inactivity…
    Emile Smith Rowe
    He’s like a new signing.

  93. Marko

    Testicle try a little over a month. Window opens Monday and season starts September 12th. Hectic to say the least. Who knows what preseason will look like.

  94. Tom

    “When was the last time Ozil played consistently well?” is probably the most naive way to justify dropping a player completely from the squad who’s not going to leave and is dead set on living up to his contract.

    Name one Arsenal field position player perhaps other than Auba, who’s played consistently well over the period of last three seasons.
    Take your time, I’ll wait.

    Not like giving players silly money they never really deserved started with Ozil either. Arsenal have been doing it for a long time.

  95. Left testicle

    Pedro has a ready made excuse if we experience a crap start and fans get on Artetas back…’Mikel didn’t have a proper pre-season’.

  96. Wasi

    “I know what Mesut brings,” says Arteta. “You only have to check his stats and look at what he’s able to do in those tight areas without any space…”

    Dont think Ozil is been ostracized for footballing reasosn. Its either the wage cut or Ozil not agreeing to a “non-negotiable”.

  97. Marko

    Wasi you just answered your own question. “You only have to check his stats…Dont think Ozil is been ostracized for footballing reasosn”.

    He’s being ostracized because he’s not performing he’s not making a difference and they want him gone so that they can replace what’s he’s getting paid with someone else.

  98. Sid

    Now that diet Pep has coached the players to be solid defensively the final piece is coaching them to be creatively fluid,
    he has all the sauce to do it with pre season and a replacement for Ozil, no excuses

    Im telling you for free!

  99. Left testicle

    Remember this quote from Arteta. We may re visit when the window closes.

    “We are completely ready for that, and I also have a really good understanding with [technical director] Edu. We have been working together very closely to put together a plan that we are convinced can be successful.”

  100. Tom

    Ozil will never play like a 350 kpw player because there aren’t more than two or three of those in the world.
    He will never play like the 140k player he was before his bumper deal either but if he’s not going anywhere ,which seems to be the case, try getting some value out of him even if it is him setting up the cones and collecting sweaty pinnies.

  101. Marko

    clubs have been making signings for weeks now.

    Who? This happens every window one or two clubs get in some signings pre window and some Arsenal fans start to get agitated. Look we don’t know where we’re going to be at next season we don’t have the luxury of European football already guaranteed like Bayern and Chelsea do.

    If it makes you feel any better I personally think no matter what we’ll be busy this window with a new manager in. The only worry is the level of players that we’ll be bringing in. Will they be good enough to make up the difference between us and other champions league spot contenders or will it be more of the same struggles. Who knows

  102. Guns of SF

    Oh my,

    Now Ive woken up and see my Ozil comments from last night triggered Pierre.

    Pierre, I respect you love Ozil.

    However, I do not. For many reasons. If he was as good as stated, he would be playing regardless of salary. That was not his fault he as offered a disgusting amount of money. The fact is that 3 coaches have benched him. He is not performing and or course, having a bad attitude can also lead to the bench.

    This is a new era. The wenger era is over. That is where Ozil really played the club. He played Wenger who coddled his behavior and mis performances over and over.

    It shows Ozi’s character.

    IF he loves Arsenal so much, why did he refuse a pay cut that all others did.
    In fact, why did he not come out and say ill take a 50% pay cut!

    He is a self serving mercenary in my book. Ozil cares now only about his “brand” and how he can milk that for all its worth

    He social media posts wreak are a big Fuck you to the club and supporters. his never ending posts about loving the club, and all these other mini positive messages are nothing but a game, to keep the club and fans divided or always second guessing why he is not playing.

    He is a headache. I doubt he ever plays again when his contract is over.

    I blame Gazidis and Wenger for the contract. Wenger for the indulging, but Emery Freddie and Arteta have all had their chances with him, ( fair chances) and they see he is not worth playing.

    The team has moved on from him. He is happy though getting his fat paycheck until his last day.

    And all these stats? So many reasons why they are the way they are. Its not always Ozil driven.

    Conceding goals left and right, is not an Ozil thing.

    Believe it or not, I used to think he was great in his first season. But over time, like most on here we have seen him completely become disinterested in football.

    Time to move on from him and sell him to anyone willing to take him

  103. Tom

    “Time to move on from him and sell him to anyone willing to take him”
    Seems one of us is a bit fuzzy on how transfers work.
    Doesn’t the player have to agree on a move?

  104. Guns of SF

    Tom the assumption there is that if there is a team willing to buy him ( his last yaer of his contract) then we should not hesitate….
    fairly straight forward

  105. Graham62

    I hope those three teenagers who killed PC Harper are given the severest of punishments.

    Better still, send them to Saudi Arabia on a student exchange. That would sort them out.

    Anything to wipe those sickening smirks off their faces.

  106. Daniel Altos

    I think joelson Fernandes has elite dribbling jeez….If we get him for 15m it will be a steal..I know we have saka but I noticed that one difference between them is that saka seems to exploit space in front of him while joelson likes taking players on directly.That said,the priority should be in midfield this summer

  107. Dream10

    I think both Coutinho and Willian will both arrive this window along with a backup GK, CB (not Upamecano), Partey and a cheap #9.
    Saliba and Smith Rowe return.

    Martinez, Niles, Holding, maybe Sokratis, Guendouzi, Torreira, Lacazette and Nelson will go. Kolasinac stays as cover for Tierney. Saka is not a fan of the LB role.

    Leeds interested in Martinez according to Phil Hay

  108. CG

    Anyone who thinks, this constant Ozil saga is anything but the money are pitifully naive.

    Young Saiiba ; St Ettienes finest, is unable to play in The French Cup Final later.

    Reason why?
    You guessed it- Money!

    Its ALWAYS about the green stuff under KSE and Stan.
    They are such corrosive owners.

  109. Champagne Charlie

    Interestingly the apparent fans view of Willian (from a Chelsea pov) suggest his value to them is more in his industry and discipline than his final product.

    Lots of them rate Hudson-Odoi more for the final third but many saying Willian is a winger that could even play DM.

  110. Graham62

    CG

    If Ozil was on £500k a week and he was performing to a high level, week in week out, then no one would bat an eyelid.

    The feeble excuses given by some on here(ok, one person in particular) to justify his role at the club is and always has been, rather embarrassing.

  111. andy1886

    I’d be really surprised if we signed that lot Dream10.

    Willian would be an expensive stop gap, but I can’t see us giving him the three year deal he wants anyway.

    Coutinho? While he has/had certain attributes that we need I can’t see how he would be successful without a midfielder ‘minder’ in support and we don’t have one of those. Left to his own devices he’d get overwhelmed in our side.

    Partey it’s been said will sign a new deal with AM. No idea why we’d want to sign another CB when we already have eight on the books.

    Ignore the media gossip, it wouldn’t surprise me if none of the names linked arrive and we sign different players somewhat unexpectedly.

  112. Un na naai

    Ozil has created joint most chances (38) than any other player in our team in 2020 despite missing half of the games

    I’m no ozil fan and I understand what are Tets is trying to do. I might even go so far as to say I’d agree with it but those numbers are hard to argue against

    Pepe also has 38 chances created

    Maybe an attacking midfield 3 of
    Pepe ozil Saka might have pushed us over the line vs spurs Leicester Brighton and Villa

  113. Un na naai

    That’s 11 points there
    We’d be third now
    All games we could and should have won really.

    Not saying Arteta is wrong to omit ozil as he has to set a precedent but ozil even as shit as he’s become creates chances

  114. Un na naai

    Fat frank says

    “Only league title you’ve won and you’re giving it the big un, fuck off”

    What a total knob cheese
    Used to think he was alright
    Hope we turn them over next weekend big time now
    Detestable football club
    Fucking loathsome

  115. Bojangles

    It’s Özil time again. I, for one, am no interested in “might have”‘s, they belong to the coulda, woulda, shoulda of Wenger’s memory. I am not a stats person either. If my eyes tell me a player is shit and the stats tell me he is the best in the pl, sorry but I believe what I’m seeing, so spare the stats.

    Pierre will always look for a reason to include Özil, Wasi, at the moment, is using anything as a stick to beat Arteta with and Un’s flip flops of recent times are difficult to keep up with. Anything these three have to say about Özil, I disregard.

    For me, Özil does little more than pass the ball sideways and back and we have plenty like that in the squad, the difference with him is the amount of money he is being paid to do it. Get rid, if at all possible.