Arteta big game tactics will change how top 6 see Arsenal + The major weakness we must fix

by .

I’m writing this a few drinks deep, so take the information with a pinch of ‘okaaaaay mate…’

In short, what a day.

Mikel Arteta picked up the second trophy of his tenure. It might not be a major one, but a win against a full-strength Liverpool side is certainly not to be sniffed at. I honestly didn’t hold out much hope of a victory. It felt far too early in our preseason to deliver any sort of competition against one of the most brutal teams in the world.

I don’t really want to go over the game in too much detail. We basically recreated our FA Cup run where we let better teams have more of the possession, while we played around their press, and took our chances.

The goal from Auba was another sublime ‘play it out the back’ moment. Elneny fed Saka on the right, Saka created an overload and casually pinged a ball out to Auba. Our contract rebel sharpshooter cut inside, Tierney created a decoy with a fake overlap, then Auba placed a bullet strike over one of the best keepers in the world. Fucking majestic. Thierry like. Think back to how shite we were playing out of the back under Emery? Unreal how good coaching can have the same players scoring worldies against elite teams with the same idea.

The second half was a little more Liverpool. We conceded a sloppy goal. Some deft football by Liverpool and a bit of bad luck on our part saw Minamoto earn enough space to slip a pass past Emi. Again, it’s preseason, the goal wasn’t an abomination, though frustrating nonetheless.

We didn’t collapse though, which was lovely. The players gave it some in the last ten minutes, we weren’t quite sharp enough, but we saw the game out for penalties.

We scored all 5. All elite strikes. Reiss started first and buried it. AMN followed up with a COOOOOOL as a cucumber pass into the corner. Soares, who I thought would miss, smashed his home. David Luiz rocketed his into the top left corner. Then Auba BURIED the notion he’s not a big game player, winning his second trophy with Arsenal with the final kick of the game and a BELTER of a strike.

What a great moment for Arsenal. The Community Shield might not be the biggest trophy of them all, but when you are an Arsenal fan, or player, or board member, it means a great deal. Arsenal are improving. We’re mixing it with the big teams. We’re showing up and delivering when it matters. I said before the game, the importance of the win was momentum. We are a confidence team, this will have mainlined belief into a squad that’s still learning how to be top tier.

So what can we take from the game?

DON’T FUCK WITH US

Yeah, childish headline, but what the last batch of games starting with an ‘FA’ prefix have taught the rest of the league is that we have a capable squad of players that can damage big teams. Specifically, we’ve learned to deal with teams that aggressively press us.

Teams like Liverpool have come at us with extra venom over the years. They beast us, we panic under pressure and give the ball away, then they go again and again until we’re beaten into submission. The we’d cave to the pressure, the more confident the pressing team would get and the more we’d cower. That reputation for meekness has been well and truly weaponised by Arteta.

The lesson teams are now learning is that if they aggressively push us high up the field, we will play around the press and do some real damage. We no longer shit the bed. We have comfortably played around 2 of the best pressing teams in the world and taken home results. What you saw yesterday was a Liverpool side that started to panic when their plan fell apart because we showed them on numerous occasions we’d open them up. That is a warning shot for the rest of the league. Teams will think twice about pressing us hard and high. This is a great development for Arsenal. Big teams will eventually wise up to this, but for the moment, we’re dangerous against top 6 sides.

CREATIVITY WHERE ARE YOU?

Our biggest issue this season is now the opposite of what it used to be. We lack creativity. Arsenal is now competitive for the big games, where we’ll struggle is against teams that low block us and string 11 bodies in front of us. Think about Brighton and Villa.

I thought we were worth more than our 2 shots on target yesterday. The movement in Liverpool’s third was much better. The football was really good at times. What we’re really lacking is a decision and a moment of magic when it matters. Ozil when he cared, Santi, Thomas Rosicky, Jack, Andrey, could all create magic with a deep block… we don’t have that right now and unless we address it, our issues will come in games where teams don’t want to play.

No doubt the Arsenal analysts recognise this issue. No doubt we’re trying to adjust the squad to accommodate a more creative set of players. Willian will help, but it’d also be great to bring in a true number 8 or a modern 10 that could help us unlock defences.  The club hope they can get Auoar for £40m, which means we have to sell someone. Torreira, Guendouzi, and Lacazette are all the best hopes of raising funds, but the market is sluggish. I also hear we still fancy Partey… but again, hard to move fast if you have no money.

DON’T SELL THEM PLEEEEASE

My main concern before the game was that we had at least 5 players in the starting 11 that won’t be about come October 5th. Under Arteta, things like that don’t seem matter. The stand out performers were AMN and Martinez, once again. The Argentinian keeper is just a very good player. The idea that Chelsea might pick him up from us for £10m is an absolutely awful thought. He’s focused, brilliant with his feet, great with his hands, and a brilliant leader. I also love that he has a greater goal, becoming Argentina’s #1. Are we letting the better keeper go here?

Then there’s AMN. I can’t have it that he is on the exit list. He’s brilliant. He seems to have the exact mindset we’re looking for, he shows up in big games, he executes Arteta’s plans, and he’s the best wing-back we have. Soares might be a good player, but he’s 29, there’s no resale value, there’s no ceiling. Why wouldn’t we keep the North London boy the fans adore? £20m seems a pitiful amount.

Listening to the prezzer after the game, the AMN issue is consistency, and I’d imagine the backroom team believes the same thing of Emi. I can’t counter people who see the players every day (and know the grand vision), though I will say the main argument in their favour is neither of them have had elite coaching or attention in their careers like they are receiving now.

… also, AMN just landed an England call up. Well done. Totally deserved.

Say it ain’t MO?

I watched the game with Matt from the podcast. I said…

‘You know what Mo Elne…’

‘NO. Don’t even finish’

What I wanted to say was that Mo was pretty decent against MK Dons. He’s more mobile than Xhaka and he’s pretty tidy. Let’s keep it understated here, he was basically an Egyptian Pirlo controlling the midfield. Too far? Ok, well, at the very least, he acted like the ‘server’ we’ve lacked in midfield. He moves the ball fast and accurately without fuss. A bit like Xhaka in that sense (who was also very good). I thought he was great. Hard to ignore a game like that against Liverpool.

SAKA

After Saka signed his new deal, Arteta used the versatile teenager sparingly, so it was great to see him back in the starting 11 yesterday, tearing it up. He’s such a smart player, he reads the game really well, has great anticipation, and his decision making under pressure really does look good. His switch to Auba was perfectly weighted… it’s magic to see him doing that. I cannot wait to watch him develop into a world-class talent this season.

SIGN IT

Auba, please man, sign the deal.

What a player. He’ll be absolutely essential to our success this season. Hopefully, the club can move the deal along and have him tied down after the international break.

Right, that’s me done, see you in the comments.

P.S. I have put some cash/money down on a website refresh. Expect some changes over the next few weeks!

P.P.S Love to see Dani Ceballos cheering Arsenal on from his home on Twitter. He needs to fuck off this Betis idea and get back to London. We need him!

462 Responses to “Arteta big game tactics will change how top 6 see Arsenal + The major weakness we must fix”

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  1. Marc

    Pedro

    “Has his limitations, but we are a better team with him starting.”

    Sorry mate but a daft comment – Xhaka being our best CM isn’t a reflection on him being good it’s a reflection on how poor all of our other CM’s are.

    We should be looking at players several levels better – If Xhaka’s so good why was the only team interested in him a bottom half of the table team in Germany?

  2. China1

    If we can get that statue done but we have to sell xhaka to pay for it, can we call this a deal and everyone’s a winner?

  3. Pedro

    Marc, I prefer to judge players on what they’re doing for the club now, versus who came in for them when we were at our worst ebb in 38 years.

    Arsenal are a much better team under better coaching, Xhaka has been central to the reinvigoration. You have to change your opinion with the facts. He’s not the player he was in December.

  4. China1

    I think I’m a reasonable woman when all’s said and done Charlie

    We can even make the xhaka statue gold and the crying Torreira statue plastic if you want, but Xhaka’s on the next plane to a lower half German team for whatever they can rustle up

    Do we have a fair deal?

  5. Marko

    Think we have enough assets to sell once the market gets into swing to cover Aouar / Partey or whoever the targets end up being without selling AMN and Martinez.

    Do we though? And in a timely manner as well? I’ve got my doubts especially since apparently the likes of Kolasinac and Torreira and Holding are being linked with loan moves. Partey and Aouar likely costing circa 90-100 million and we’re disregarding 20+ million for AMN on the basis of what exactly? Cause he’s not improving our starting 11

  6. TR7

    Xhaka can neither run with the ball nor can he keep the ball if pressed. He doesn’t win enough balls for me. Only when he has space around him does he play well and pass the ball around. Not to mention odd brain dead moments every now and then. Too limited a player for us to be having in our starting line up.

  7. bacaryisgod

    Don’t forget Xhaka is an absolute master at slamming on the brakes and getting awarded a free kick from the opponent trying to tackle him from behind. He sells it so well to the refs (seriously!)

  8. Marc

    Pedro

    Better than fucking awful doesn’t mean good. If we bring in the midfielders we’re being linked to Aouar and Partey and get Ceballos back on loan he’ll soon begin to look the weak link – we can’t play 11 men on the edge of our box every match.

  9. Marc

    bac

    That isn’t him slamming on the brakes – it’s the opposition players not realising a professional athlete can be that slow!

  10. Pedro

    Marc, your critique is just an entrenched view. It doesn’t stack up to reality. You don’t make as much progress as Arsenal have with an ‘awful’ player in central midfield.

  11. China1

    Pedro thanks I’m feeling more womanly already after that!

    And no Charlie the Christopher Reeve line was legit👍

  12. Upstate Gooner

    I said it before and I’ll say it again… the reason Arteta likes Xhaka so much is because he reminds him of himself – same (shit) type of player who cracks under the slightest of pressure. The amount of back and sideways passes that I’ve seen from both is staggering. There’s no denying of improvement under Arteta but I’m still pissed at him for not selling Xhaka to Hertha Berlin when they came calling and the player himself wanted to leave.

  13. bacaryisgod

    Like I said a few weeks ago, we should all be prepared for very limited incoming players. We still haven’t even announced Gabriel or Auba and seem miles away from other targets. Don’t be shocked if this becomes enough transitional season out of financial necessity.

  14. CG

    Cha Cha

    “”””””He deserves a statue, and hopefully its one of him telling the fans to fuck off, Torreira can be in the background crying.”””””””

    100% Agreement. Start the crowd funding for it. I am all in…….

    PEA might wear the armband, but Xhaka is the teams captain.

    Its no surprise to me Arsenal supporters don’t recognise his qualities.
    Also no surprise Little Legs is crying again.

    he does that lot.

  15. Marc

    bac

    That’s my concern – I really think we could be flat broke maybe even to the point of having to make a profit in the TW.

    That’s why people having a meltdown over AMN being sold is short sighted.

  16. Sid

    Xhakalson has been seeing less of the ball under Arteta, less than Luiz says alot about what Arteta thinks of him.

    Elneny & Willian is a better option in midfield than Xhakalson & Ceb. Its what Arteta has in mind.

    You heard it here 1st!

  17. Pedro

    Upstate, wouldn’t be the first time your eyes have lied to you.

    This was from Jan, well before Xhaka started to get a system that supported his game, but it clearly shows he’s right up there with the best when it comes to progressing the ball from midfield.

    Not sure anyone that watched Arteta regularly would claim he cracked under pressure. Weird analysis there as well.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Gunners/comments/elscyg/which_epl_players_make_the_most_progressive_passes/

  18. Captain Tierney

    That goal impact graph is a bit difficult to understand.
    But its clear as day that Xhaka makes a big difference for us. He might not be a world class central midfielder but he is certainly a good player when you hide his deficiencies (Just like Arteta is doing right now). Emery and Wenger never did that.
    I’m certainly not a big Xhaka fan but unless we sign 3 quality Midfielders , expect Xhaka to start week in week out , next season too.

  19. Leedsgunner

    As long as we brought in a suitable replacement, I don’t plan to shed any tears if Xhaka goes.

    Granted he looks like he wants to play under Arteta but the truth is he is a very limited player.

    Oh I wish Wenger brought Cesc back to the club after he left Barca rather than plunking for Xhaka.

    Both Granit and Shadran should be sold if someone offers a decent amount…

  20. Tom

    “He deserves a statue, and hopefully its one of him telling the fans to fuck off, Torreira can be in the background crying.“

    Lol

  21. China1

    What am I wearing? Just manly stuff like a baseball cap, leather jacket, jack wills t shirt, some loose jeans and high heels

    Charlie didn’t dissenter like xhaka tho? Or is that receding?

  22. Captain Tierney

    The thing with Xhaka is that he is a one trick pony (Strictly considering his football ability that is).
    He is one of the very best in progressing the ball up field but that really is the only thing he is very good at.
    He cannot dribble , he is not mobile , doesn’t score or create many chances , he also has a mistake in him.
    In defense he is above average in heading , his positioning has improved but his lack of athleticism really comes to the fore in 1v1 situations.

    Contrast that to someone like Cazorla.
    Man could dribble , create , score and progress the ball as well work diligently in defense.

    Cazorla can easily start in a title challenging side, Xhaka probably cannot.

  23. CG

    LG

    “””””Martinez and AMN in verge of extending their contracts…””””

    I see the Zombie Club is showing some slight signs of recovery………..

    Will it last….?

  24. Champagne Charlie

    Oh China…

    You obviously missed it when Dissenter shared to the class that he was previously stalked by a hermaphrodite and cancelled all his socials.

    Sadly the details of that story haven’t been explored fully. It’s a cliffhanger, and you’ve now incriminated yourself ya he/she.

  25. Sid

    Xhakalson would make a great goalkeeper, he grabs managers by their balls, he should try the same between the sticks

  26. Marc

    Wasi

    The problem with “hiding” Xhaka’s deficiencies is that it reduces the positive impact of another player / players.

    If Xhaka was any good they’d have been a queue a mile long looking to sign him back in Jan.

  27. Leedsgunner

    Bennacer as an alternative if Atletico Madrid refuses to be sensible?

    As for them asking for Lacazette in return for a couple of flops they can go do one.

    Who do they think they are? It might be debatable but I don’t think they are any bigger than us.

  28. bacaryisgod

    Sid-are you serious? You think Arteta doesn’t rate Xhaka based on him using him differently? He’s probably been the 2nd name Arteta puts down on the team sheet after Auba.

  29. Moe

    Saka, Auba, Willian
    Saka, Auba, Pepe
    Martinelli, Auba, Willian
    Willian, Auba, Pepe
    Auba, Laca, Willian
    If Laca gets on his scoring boots and Pepe stops pussyfooting, I see goals goals goals. And the pace of WillianAuba and Pepe on counters, woohoo. Get them a solid mf please, Arteta.

  30. CG

    Captain

    “”””””He cannot dribble , he is not mobile , doesn’t score or create many chances , he also has a mistake in him.””””””

    And you want Arsenal to pay £50 million and offer £200k a week for Partey?

    Stick with Granit. Arsenal’s Brian Talbot.

  31. Upstate Gooner

    Pedro
    I’ve seen plenty of Arteta as a player to have him in my top 3 least favorite Arsenal players of all time. Santos, Arteta, Jackie Boy. Kyle Martino (American commentator) rightfully called him The King of a 5 yard pass years ago. The guy couldn’t pick the right ball unless it was back or sideways to save his life. Glad to see he’s doing better as a manager though.

  32. RyDog

    The comments section here is sometimes entertaining but very negative. Like I get wanting better than Xhaka but Xhaka is still good and if he’s coming off the bench or a squad option you probably have an excellent team. Let’s hope for that instead of slamming the guy. Arsenal fans like to pick a few guys to hate on and never give it up even when presented with much more good play than bad. Obviously has limitations but so does everyone not named Debruyne playing midfield in this league.

  33. Champagne Charlie

    Arteta was underrated here when he played, top captain at the time and exactly the sort of character needed in the middle of the park.

    Modern fans view is to denigrate any and all players that aren’t top, top shelf. The best managers know it’s not all about hoarding talent, and the pieces have to fit together to be a successful side.

    Henderson prime example, Firmino another, neither one are top shelf but they’re functionally crucial to arguably the best side in Europe right now. Says it all.

  34. Marko

    Arteta was underrated here when he played, top captain at the time and exactly the sort of character needed in the middle of the park.

    I don’t agree with that whatsoever I think our midfield was a struggle for a long time there with players being played out of position. Cazorla and Arteta as holding midfielders… not for me

  35. bacaryisgod

    That’s your top 3 least favorite, Upstate. What’s the criteria you are using because it can’t be based on anything empirical.

  36. salparadisenyc

    Marko

    Window closes October 5, think theres plenty of time.

    Clearly a different market than the norm, Aouar and Partey targets but surely not the only ones as both big money, Laca and Partey swap looks possible with less moneys exchanged regardless of Atletico current stance.

    “Not improving our starting XI” is debatable, I get it you need AMN sold as you’re totally inflexible in amending any opinion on him.

    Yet he keeps answering the recent call, putting in very solid performances within the right structure against peak competition. Arteta’s head turned likely pulling a 180 on selling him as he sees a solution, Southgate calling him up, whilst you tunnel vision post from a former time under another manager.

    The boat has left the dock.

  37. Upstate Gooner

    Bacary
    Santos and Arteta based on their play. Wilshisha for various reasons. Couldn’t stand the little prick. And never understood what he did to deserve number 10 shirt. Waaaay overrated and super injury prone player that we should have unloaded years before we actually did.

  38. Captain Tierney

    Marc

    I agree. But right now we dont have a good ball progressor in our ranks do we. If we get Partey and Aoaur then that would be something else.
    Xhaka has been very good under Arteta. He always did his job under Wenger and Emery too but he was very rash back then and made a lot of errors.
    Arteta has seemingly reduced that by his coaching and tactical intelligence.

    CG

    Partey’s dribbling puts him in top 3 in all of Europe’s midfielders and you don’t need a microscope to see he is physically very good. The only thing Xhaka can do better than Partey is pass and thats that. Partey is better than Xhaka at everything else.

  39. bacaryisgod

    So you just didn’t like them but you do realize they are all far more accomplished players than so Stepanovs or Bischoff to name just a couple.

  40. Up 4 grabs now

    Evening,

    The choice of either xhaka or elneney,
    Is like the choice between a dog poo baguette or a cat shit sandwich.
    Neither are appealing.
    Elmo is a six out of ten player every game, and offers very little, although I’d rather him play than granite boots.

    Pedro it doesn’t matter what stats you put up, stats don’t tell the whole picture. What you see in games themselves does.
    Do you remember the stats that made Theo look like a worldy.

    Xhaka has improved since arteta came in, but that’s to the detriment of how we play.
    Like others have said, he isn’t mobile enough, doesn’t create enough and isn’t good enough for us to compete for top four let alone a title tilt.

  41. Sid

    bacaryisgodAugust 30, 2020 16:30:20
    Sid-are you serious? You think Arteta doesn’t rate Xhaka based on him using him differently? He’s probably been the 2nd name Arteta puts down on the team sheet after Auba.

    What other option does he have?
    Why have a midfielder that makes less passes than 2 CBs?

  42. Freddie Ljungberg

    Pedro

    This is a deep dive into Xhaka after the restart.

    He’s not really been better, just had most of his responsibility stripped from him and been protected in a low block with 7 defensive players. Means his lack of pace and mobility isn’t exposed. Not a bad tactic against the top teams as we are right now with an inferior squad but it’s bottom team stuff, we have to get back to 4 at the back to climb the table. Players like Xhaka, Mustafi, Holding, Kola, AMN, Luiz gets exposed then because they’re simply not good enough.

    http://7amkickoff.com/index.php/2020/07/22/what-arteta-has-done-to-xhaka/

    ” Mikel Arteta has “restored” Granit Xhaka by taking the ball away from him. His pass numbers per90 are down from 86 per game to 66 on the season and those have dropped even further to just 55 since the June restart.

    His total touches are down from 95 to 75 on the season and just 63 per90 since the restart. His touches in the final third are down from 18 to 11, and carries are down from 67 per90 last season to 55 this season and just 40 since the restart. And his progressive distance carried is down from 142 per90 last season, to 124 this season and an incredibly poor 88 since the restart.

    No longer being asked to be the main man with the ball, Xhaka’s pass completion percentage is up and his number of passes straight out of play are down from 1.37 p90 to 0.69 – his passes blocked, intercepted, and offside are all down similarly.

    Xhaka’s SCA90 (shot creating actions) numbers are also down: from open play, Xhaka’s SCA went from 2.08 per90 to 1.19. His progressive passing distance has cratered from over 400 per90 to 299 over the season and further down to 181 since the restart. And his number of progressive passes p90 are also down from 9.78 to 6.1 and just 4.1 since the restart.

    Xhaka’s passes into the final third are an astonishingly low 5.3 since June. This is a guy who averaged 10 final third passes per90 under Wenger and he’s had a total of 35 final third passes in the 8 matches since the restart.

    Arteta’s move to add a third center back has also relieved some of Xhaka’s defensive duties:

    tackles are down from 2.23 per90 last season to 1.2 since the restart
    interceptions are down from 1.2 last season to 0.75 since the restart
    Passes blocked are WAAAAAY up: 0.94 last season, 1.5 since the restart
    pressures are the same
    but the errors are all gone”

  43. OC+Gooner

    I’ve been negative since Wenger left, though I know that opinion doesn’t suit this blog. That said, I feel like there is a way forward under Arteta. I feel like my club is getting back on track. The new ideas are exciting and working.

    COYG.

  44. Champagne Charlie

    Marko

    We had Song (23), Coquelin (20) , Jack (19), Diaby (25), and Ramsey (20) centrally when Arteta joined.

    He absolutely wasn’t the issue in midfield. The next season we sold Song and bought Cazorla who played as a 10 to great effect.

    The season after that we brought back Flamini and Kallsrrom in Jan.

    Our midfield in Arteta’s time with us didn’t do him justice at all, he held it together in reality and we limped to top 4 finishes every season he was here.

  45. Sid

    After Auba I think Mustafinovs, Luiz, Xhakalson tie in 2nd place making it in the team sheet.
    If you agree the 1st two are good enough for Arsenal that would be the only reason Xhakalson is good for us

  46. Upstate Gooner

    Bacary
    I vaguely remember those names. Stepanovs made a handful of appearances in the early 2000’s when I was only able to watch an odd game here or there, and Bischoff played in a couple of League cup games, and made only one substitute appearance in the league during the season. Really not enough for me to either love them or hate them. But I’ve seen plenty of the other three to form an educated decision. I fell in love with Arsenal at their peak, in the late 90’s. We’re talking Bergkamp, Henry, Ljungberg, Pires, Petit, Overmars, Vieira, etc. Where exactly do Arteta or Jack Wilchair rank among those? They weren’t good enough to polish their shoes.

  47. Up 4 grabs now

    Wolves pull the plug on going for AMN.
    This is good news as far as I’m concerned.

    He’s 23 improving all the time and arteta seems to be working well with him. And hopefully can keep improving.

    For everyone saying where will he play, at present he’s in front of bellerin at right back. If Tierney is playing the third centreback he can play left wing back.

    I’d rather see him in midfield than Xhaka, and with league cup and Europa league games I’d expect him to get plenty of game time.

    Get rid of five or six before you get shot of him.
    Also martinez has made the goalkeepers place his to lose now.

    Would definitely start him against Fulham.

  48. Habesha Gooner

    Well Niles is staying. I don’t mind him staying but some how we are going to have to sell Sokratis, Mustafi, Chambers, Guendouzi, Lacazette, Elneny and Torriera for around 90 mil to address our midfield issues. If Ceballos doesn’t come back we also need to replace him.

    I think if AMN does stay and we don’t get all our targets , It’s better to try him as a CM. I think he should be given a fair shot in midfield seeing we are going to be crap anyway if we don’t sign players. None of our players above have suitable offers and we need to start selling if we are to stand any chance of top 4.

    But given the choice between a creative player and Partey, I would choose an attacking midfielder like donny Van de beek. We really need creativity to unlock a deep block defense. We need another source besides Willian. We can keep Torriera and try to add a better DM next season if it’s not possible to do everything now.

  49. bacaryisgod

    Upstate

    Mikel and Jack rank below the legends you listed but way above many players even if you look at players just from the last 10 years.

  50. CG

    Anyone, who has any doubts the sheer genius of Wengerism,
    A little reminder.

    Saturday Charity Shields triumph.

    1.Martinez
    2.Hector
    3.Holding
    4.AMN
    5.Elneny
    6.Xhaka
    7.PEA
    8.Saka
    9. Eddie

    manager Arteta.
    x 10 Wenger Men starters.

    Our Wenger , unfortunately long gone- but still collecting trophies for The Arsenal.

    He deserves Respect.

  51. Marko

    “Not improving our starting XI” is debatable, I get it you need AMN sold as you’re totally inflexible in amending any opinion on him.

    That would be to debate that AMN is better than Tierney at LB (he ain’t) or Bellerin or Cedric at RB (he ain’t)

  52. Pedro

    CG, you have to stop this desperate attempt to wind everyone up with your Wenger comments. No one is biting. Give it up and try and engage on 2020 issues like a normal poster.

  53. Upstate Gooner

    Bacary
    Matter of preference, really. I have followed Arsenal very closely for the last 15 years or so, and haven’t missed a game in probably 11-12. I still cringe every time I remember Arteta play. No other player besides Santos does that to me. Jackie Boy is different. It’s more of his personality that I couldn’t stand but he was largely a very average player as well.

  54. Habesha Gooner

    Wenger Eagle
    Well no one has gone in to get him yet. United are just keeping tabs on him. I think we can convince him. He is still playing in a Holland league and he isn’t elite like Dejong and De ligt were yet. He is a very good young player just like the likes of aouar. He is attainable if we go in for him.

  55. WengerEagle

    I’d take AMN over Hector or Cedric at RB. Hector since he’s lost his pace has been largely awful and Cedric isn’t above mid table standard.

    AMN at least has a higher ceiling than both and offers you more going forward. Having said that I wish Wolves hadn’t vetoed the deal and we used that twenty odd million to improve the team because I don’t think that AMN is considerably better than either.

  56. Champagne Charlie

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.squawka.com/en/thomas-partey-squawka-scout-atletico-madrid-analysis/%3famp

    “If forward-thinking distribution, almost-limitless stamina and a combative physical presence were not quite enough, then how about a near-perfect ball-carrying ability? In Europe’s top five leagues this season, Thiago Alcantara is the only player out of the 247 that have attempted 50+ take-ons with a higher success rate than Thomas.

    And although he is not as frequent a dribbler as the Bayern magician, his 2.2 completed per 90 minutes is comparable to players synonymous with carrying the ball – Jack Grealish, for example – while his ability to evade tackles in the defensive third is vital to Atleti escaping advanced opposition player and therefore building their own attacks.“

  57. Freddie Ljungberg

    Upstate

    With those comments about Jacky you’re lucky that Don is either banned as per usual/ stabbed himself in the eye trying to eat with a knife and fork for the first time.

    Pedro

    Any comments on the 7AM link I posted before that shows why Xhaka is perceived to be doing better but is actually doing very little now and that’s why there’s much fewer mistakes?

  58. CG

    PedRo

    “””””””CG, you have to stop this desperate attempt to wind everyone up with your Wenger comments. No one is biting. Give it up and try and engage on 2020 issues like a normal poster.””””””””

    Arsenal have spent £300 million since he left,
    And they are still using his players.

    Wenger won the last x 2 trophies too, although in conjunction with Arteta.

    Fact. Like it or lump it.

  59. salparadisenyc

    Eagle

    Don’t go messing with Hector, i’ve a little assassin in my house who WILL find you.
    He’s 9.

  60. Captain Tierney

    WE

    Thats a real stat.
    If I remember correctly he was 2nd and Kovacic and someone I cant remember the name of comprised of top 3.
    The stat takes in account dribbles completed and completion percentage I think.

  61. WengerEagle

    Habesha

    He’s come out and said that he’s happy to stay there for another season. Also has been heavily linked to Real Madrid/Barcelona.

    He only needs one more season of impressive CL performances to get snared I reckon and he’s likely holding out for that kind of move. He’s highly thought of, may not be the touted superstar that DeLigt and DeJong were but he’s already shown what he can do.

    Having said that, I really like him as a player. Would love if he would entertain the idea of a move to Arsenal.

  62. Upstate Gooner

    Up
    The choice of either xhaka or elneney,
    Is like the choice between a dog poo baguette or a cat shit sandwich.

    Made me laugh out loud. So true. What I wouldn’t give to have Santi back in our midfield. And even with Coquelin. That was a very decent pairing. What we have now is a complete joke. Add Sagna, and Monreal along with Kosc/Mert combo in the back, and that would be some team.

  63. Marc

    “CG, you have to stop this desperate attempt to wind everyone up with your Wenger comments. No one is biting. Give it up and try and engage on 2020 issues like a normal poster.”

    Yeah let’s talk about how if Arteta doesn’t get rid of Xhaka then Xhaka will be responsible for Arsenal getting rid of Arteta!

  64. Freddie Ljungberg

    Pedro

    Oh really?

    “This was from Jan, well before Xhaka started to get a system that supported his game, but it clearly shows he’s right up there with the best when it comes to progressing the ball from midfield.”

    That was with warts and all, folding under pressure, making silly mistakes and fouls etc. He doesn’t do that anymore but that’s because he doesn’t do much of anything really anymore, he’s been removed from having any responsibility of progressing our play. It’s either or with him because he’s too slow to not get overrun and harassed into making mistakes frequently further up the pitch.

  65. Champagne Charlie

    Sal

    He pops up everywhere I look man 🙁 can’t even read about Partey without getting reminded of my Ex.

  66. Habesha Gooner

    Yeah, I think if it was another summer we would have stood no chance. But Madrid have Odegaard returning and they probably would like to sign him. Other than that Juve has enough midfielders and they just signed Mckinnie. Barcelona are really short of money. And the team that’s more likely to get him would be United. I think he can be a really useful player. I would like Emiliano buendia as an option though. Wouldn’t mind Felipe Anderson too since we are skint and need creative players.

  67. WengerEagle

    Yeah same, I slightly prefer Aouar. Van De Beek is more of an all-rounded attack minded CAM that comes to life in the final third whereas Aouar is better at progressing the play, retaining possession and dribbling through bodies, a player that we are in dire need of.

    Wouldn’t be upset at VDB though, going to be a top player.

  68. Pedro

    I’m also not sure how the numbers support Xhaka being a sideways passer either. The only reason he’s in the side is because he’s one of the few servers in the team with Ozil benched.

  69. Up 4 grabs now

    There are no favourites or favours. When he says that “everybody starts from zero,” they believe him. When he adds that “what you did two weeks ago or two years ago doesn’t matter,”

    Pedro do you think ozil gets another shot?

  70. Marc

    Pedro

    Mate I want Arteta to do well because I want Arsenal to do well – the last thing we need (or can afford) is to go down the ManU road of “we’ll get it right this time”.

    You need to realise though that Xhaka = no CL football and we won’t get it whilst he’s a fixture in the team.

    Beyond that it’s banter – stop throwing the Oat Milk at the screen!

  71. Freddie Ljungberg

    Pedro

    So all his stats are way worse, Tackling, passing you name it but he’s been better because?

    I mean he’s making fewer mistakes but that’s because he’s shunted to left back and hardly sees the ball, he hasn’t improved as a player his shortcomings has just been masked by a ultra defensive set up. All that stuff about him being up there with the best in progressing play isn’t true anymore, he can’t do that and not give away goals on the regular so he’s been neutered for his own good. Would sure be nice to have someone in there that can string a few passes together without falling on his arse every time he’s pressed but maybe that’s just me.

  72. Champagne Charlie

    Habesha
    Felipe Anderson sprung to mind as a misfit we could profit from, then I realised he was bought for 40 mil and they want him gone, gone. Wouldn’t touch for half that personally.

    Marko
    I know you like some mad gossip so here’s a fun little update. Seems as big a hard on as we have for Aouar (and we do), we’ve not gone cold on Grealish and there was tentative dialogue this past week about the numbers involved in any deal for him. I get the impression from what I’m told that Grealish is a permanent plan B to Aouar and Coutinho is a loan option.

  73. Pedro

    Marc, we had 18 months of uncoachables and now those same players are putting big teams to the sword.

    I’m totally game for upgrading the midfield, but the narrative that Xhaka is awful is tired, and it doesn’t reflect reality.

    Still, give me Auouar, Thiago and Partey… and I’ll not be arguing the merits of the Swiss

  74. WengerEagle

    Habesha

    I’ve been a big Felipe Anderson fan since his Lazio days. West Ham and David Moyes are just about the worst environment that you can provide to a mercurial attacking talent, just look at how much Haller has struggled. Anderson was still one of their better performers even if he was much better in his first season. He’d be great at LF for us as a foil to Pepe/Willian with Auba up top.

    Juve lost Matuidi and Pjanic and Khedira is getting cut loose too. Leaves them with Bentancur, Arthur Melo, Rabiot, Ramsey. Wouldn’t exactly call that stacked considering they’ll likely sell Ramsey too. De Ligt being there too I could see it happen.

  75. Up 4 grabs now

    Pedro, my concern would be if ceballos doesn’t come back, and we don’t have money to bring in a quality creator. Ozil might be all were left with.

    I can’t see him leaving of his own accord, and we can’t afford to pay him off.

  76. Champagne Charlie

    Freddie

    I know which team you bat for but I’m not seeing the angle you’re attacking it from here?

    Xhaka has worse stats but a clear upturn in performance and that’s a bad thing for you? I’m confused. He’s been better, spoonful of sugar will help that go down I’m led to believe.

  77. Pedro

    Freddie, internet spreadsheet merchants struggle to draw insights… and that’s what you are doing here.

    Lower = bad
    Higher = good

    Jordan has to sacrifice his personal stats for the greater good. No one said he was a worse player for it.

    Xhaka has changed his game, Arsenal are doing better. Not hard to fathom here.

  78. Marc

    Pedro

    I think we’d all be quite happy with that. I genuinely think in 5 or 10 years we’ll see replays of matches where Xhaka played and wonder why the fuck we put up with him for so long.

  79. Habesha Gooner

    As of Now though we have entirely average midfielders. Guendouzi has potential and a deep lying player anyway and Ceballos was the other one who I thought was a better midfielder. As of now we have Xhaka, Elneny, Torriera, Guendouzi, Ozil and Willian. At best it’s the same level of players. Its false hope to target top 4 with that. I am worried because no one is even buying our sellable assets. There is still a month to go but I wouldn’t be dissatisfied if we brought in one of Partey/Auoar and Ceballos back on loan. At least we would be competitive enough then.

  80. Pedro

    Up 4 grabs now, I don’t know how the summer will pan out, but the club are going hard at some proper targets.

    Fingers crossed…

  81. Freddie Ljungberg

    CC

    The team has been better, we played with a super conservative set up and Xhaka has had the ball stripped from him because he wilts under pressure and he can’t dominate a midfield to save his life, this is not a case of him improving, it’s the set up masking how crap he is.

    That statue you mentioned, is there by chance a version of you with your head up Xhakas ass next to the crying Torreira?

  82. Champagne Charlie

    Weagle

    Because Anderson isn’t half the player? Not hard to see why Arsenal would go near Grealish for 50 mil than Felipe Anderson for 30.

  83. Marc

    “Up 4 grabs now, I don’t know how the summer will pan out, but the club are going hard at some proper targets.”

    I just wish we’d get one of them over the line – I’m getting flashbacks.

    Transfer Window PTSD is no laughing matter.

  84. Champagne Charlie

    Freddie

    If my head is anywhere it’s up an Alcantara, that all you’ve got on the subject? Bit lame.

    You and Marc can make up a chant for the ‘I hate Xhaka’ club, maybe Pedro will feature it in the next podcast.

  85. Freddie Ljungberg

    Pedro

    “Freddie, internet spreadsheet merchants struggle to draw insights… and that’s what you are doing here.Lower = bad
    Higher = goodJordan has to sacrifice his personal stats for the greater good. No one said he was a worse player for it.Xhaka has changed his game, Arsenal are doing better. Not hard to fathom”

    Ok, so he’s not doing any of the stuff he’s supposed to be good at, like passing, or at least much less of it but he’s just better now? Presumably because he doesn’t give away 5 goals per season anymore? There’s a reason for that, the great progressor isn’t trusted with the ball. Thank Arteta for that, now he just has to boot him out too.

    I’m not debating that the team hasn’t done better, we have. Xhaka is not an integral part in that though. The sooner he leaves the better for the club.

  86. Freddie Ljungberg

    CC

    “You and Marc can make up a chant for the ‘I hate Xhaka’ club, maybe Pedro will feature it in the next podcast.”

    Think we’ll have to get in Sid as a consultant on that, seems to be the one thing he’s good at.
    Not sure how he’s going to squeeze in some dark meat in there so better to not ask.

  87. Up 4 grabs now

    Marc,

    Didn’t you hear, with all the cost cutting we ran out of pens at the Emirates and can’t afford any new ones.

    No new players till we’ve found one down the back of the sofa in artetas office.

  88. WengerEagle

    Charlie

    You’re way off the mark there, not half the player? I know that you’re big on Grealish but Anderson’s first season at West Ham was every bit as good as Grealish’s season just gone was. And he’d been a top performer for Lazio before the move too.

    And secondly, you’re mad if you think that Villa would accept 50 million for their only asset? Chilwell just moved to Chelsea for that figure and he’s a LB.

  89. Marc

    “You and Marc can make up a chant for the ‘I hate Xhaka’ club, maybe Pedro will feature it in the next podcast.”

    We’ve got a secret handshake as well.

  90. Pierre

    Jamie… “China, what are you wearing?”

    China…”What am I wearing? Just manly stuff like a baseball cap, leather jacket, jack wills t shirt, some loose jeans and high heels”

    Jamie…..”China –Sounds hot.”

    I had my suspicions …

  91. Up 4 grabs now

    Wouldn’t be an arsenal transfer window without leaving it till deadline day with two minutes to go till we get the deal done.

  92. Freddie Ljungberg

    CC

    FYI I don’t hate Xhaka, I just think he’s a terrible footballer, a stain on the good name of the club and should be taken out the back and made into horse glue. Other than that I’ve no problems with him. He’s good at not losing spare keys, that’s something at least.

  93. WengerEagle

    Milan are an interesting story Sal, they genuinely looked untouchable post Covid break and Zlatan at nearly 40 is still bullying Serie A defenders for fun.

    Would be lovely to see both Milan clubs back battling for a Scudetto next season.

  94. Marc

    U4GN

    Problem with that is if the players then have to quarantine for 2 weeks we’re looking at mid October before we’ve got a midfield and that’s without new players having any training sessions.

  95. Champagne Charlie

    Weagle

    Chilwell just moved to Chelsea (a cash rich oil side) from Leicester (a rich top 6 side).

    Villa are within their rights to posture transfer fees but nobody is paying 65-70 mil for Grealish so they can have that valuation as long as they want.

    And not for me, Felipe Anderson is a good player but he’s comfortably a level below Grealish. Maybe Grealish needs a sexy season in Serie A for you to get the sash out? 😏 you’re absolutely weak for that league you slut.

  96. Marc

    “FYI I don’t hate Xhaka, I just think he’s a terrible footballer, a stain on the good name of the club and should be taken out the back and made into horse glue. Other than that I’ve no problems with him. He’s good at not losing spare keys, that’s something at least.”

    See Freddie gets it. It’s nor personal it’s strictly business.

  97. MidwestGun

    China, on this site, you can be whoever you want to be.
    _____
    True Dat…. Sal is a Golden God… and I’m the King of the Blues… Muddy Waters.

    There was a dude on here, I swear was Jack Wilshere trolling himself.

  98. Marko

    I get the impression from what I’m told that Grealish is a permanent plan B to Aouar and Coutinho is a loan option.

    I’d be alright with that. Aouar and Coutinho will address so much for us and I’m really not that keen on Graelish.

  99. Habesha Gooner

    TR7
    Lyon are tough to negotiate with. After the Champions league performances they put a 60 mil euro price tag on his head. I don’t think we can get him. Everything would need to fall in to place regarding sales for us to get him. Partey is still Arteta’s No1 target according to reliable sources. I think we might see a left field CAM brought in at the end.

  100. Champagne Charlie

    “A young, French Thiago Alcantara. Yes please.“

    Don’t sully his name with that vowel-monstrosity at Lyon. Not comparable, oo-ee-ooo-aa-aaa is not a number 6 at all.

  101. G

    ” said it before and I’ll say it again… the reason Arteta likes Xhaka so much is because he reminds him of himself”
    Mate if u think Arteta was a shit footballer then you’ve got no fucking idea

  102. WengerEagle

    Charlie

    For that kind of moolah I’d want Auoar or Van De Beek who are both comfortably a level above Grealish.

    And I do have a weakness for Serie A alright haha, it’s one sexy hotbed of talent at the moment.

    Re Grealish, what does he do so much better than Anderson? Their goals/assists contribution were pretty much the same in their first season in the PL [8 goals, 6 assists Grealish and 9 goals, 4 assists Anderson] with Grealish edging the passing numbers and Anderson the dribbling ones.

  103. Freddie Ljungberg

    Maybe Benrahma is considered as a cheaper midfield option? He can play rcm.

    A Partey/Soumare type behind Said and Willian in games we have to dominate isn’t too shabby, certainly much better than what we’re rocking now. Revert to a more defensive set up with Xhaka/Elneny;) in place of one of the creative players against the top teams.

    Wouldn’t mind that for a season if we’re also sorting out our defence which is looking likely.

  104. WengerEagle

    Charlie

    I know but they’re both diminutive, love a dribble and are smooth CM ballers.

    Obviously Thiago is elite and the vowel assassin is yet to compare, guy has potential for days though.

  105. Up 4 grabs now

    Marc,

    Means we might have to buy midfielders from the premier league to avoid the two week quarantine.
    Or hope that players are coming from countries not on the quarantine list.

    I know we have to sell to buy, but it would make a change getting players bedded in before we find ourselves 6-8 points behind.

  106. Marko

    Van de Beek going for around 40-50 million euros is a steal he’s top class but I feel like the need for dribblers and ball retention in difficult spaces make Aouar and Coutinho perfect for us.

  107. WengerEagle

    ‘Van de Beek going for around 40-50 million euros is a steal he’s top class but I feel like the need for dribblers and ball retention in difficult spaces make Aouar and Coutinho perfect for us.’

    On the money here son.

    Although when you look at it, we’re in dire need of goals from midfield too, may not be such a problem if Pepe bumps up his numbers considerably.

  108. Champagne Charlie

    “Re Grealish, what does he do so much better than Anderson?“

    Nothing hugely per se, I think he’s a better player overall, passing, dribbling, ball retention, durability, spatial awareness and being able to receive the ball between the lines, and massively in terms of character/leadership.

    He’d be a much, much better fit for us too so his value to us would be greater because he more impressively fulfils the left/inside left roles whereas Anderson hugs wide because he gets lost back to goal.

    I like Felipe Anderson, but I love Grealish and think he’s a level above across the board.

  109. Marko

    WE that’s why I’m firmly on board with Coutinho he’s got good production but I’d also like to believe that some things would improve with better players and a particular set in formation and tactics. One gets the feeling that now it’s more having to make do with what you got so I’d imagine there’d be more cohesion when we get targets that we want