MAGICAL DEBUTS FOR WILLIAN AND GABRIEL

by .

Arsenal hit the ground running with a clinical dismantling of a hapless Fulham. The story of the day was all about the debutants. Willian landed two assists with a shout for a third and Gabriel kept a clean sheet and bulleted a header for his first goal.

The starting line-up looked very conservative, if Unai Emery had picked a starting 11 with so many defenders, we might have shrieked in complaint. However, this is a different era. Arteta’s 5 at the back is a little different. Maitland-Niles and Tierney added a lot to our attacking build-up play allowing us to play some joyful attacking football at times.

The midfield base was Xhaka and Elneny. Not where I thought we’d be at this stage of the season, but the two of them worked really well together. Mo(dric) is more mobile than Xhaka and he’s super tidy. He’s an engine room of a player, moving the ball fast, accurately (95% pcr), and mostly forwards. His height and size also gives us something. Granit Xhaka looked composed and fit, he completed the most progressive balls into the final third, his one into the box was a sight to behold, finding Auba with an over the shoulder pass Pirlo would have purred over.

Our defensive structure was solid again. Admittedly, Fulham really offered very little in way of threat. Our biggest errors were mostly self-made, the biggest scare came when AMN passed to Gabriel and the Brazilian ghosted the ball requiring Bernd Leno to be fast on his feet to stop the encroaching striker. He warmed as the game progressed. His erratic passing started to improve and his tackling sharpened. I think most of us forgot he’d not played for the best part of 6 months.

Rob Holding also looked very steady. Arsenal.com showed the Bolton boy dropping stepovers in training, he took that into Fulham’s half with a lovely bit of technique that opened up an attack. I wasn’t sure he had it in him to play at the level we need, but he’s getting better and better and the manager has told him he’s going nowhere.

Bernd Leno was under some extreme scrutiny. Martinez is off to Villa and there are a lot of hurt feelings in the fanbase. The German was fine. He’s a world-class keeper and he breezed the 90 minutes.

Hector Bellerin made a pretty excellent case for his continued inclusion in the plans of the manager. He looks fit, he’s grown out his fade, and he’s sharpened his attacking prowess. Everything about his game looks better at the moment. It is VERY interesting that after Vinai said Arsenal don’t sign players based on agent reccos that the squad didn’t contain Cedric Soares.

AMN worked hard for the team, his passing was a little off, 75% isn’t going to be his best number this season, but it was in the name of a vital role for our build-up play and he seemed to spend most of his time on the left. Rio Ferdinand had this to say on what he was doing for the team.

‘Maitland-Niles is a wing-back and when you speak about wing-backs you’d expect him to be in the wide areas, coming out consistently throughout the game.

‘He’s done anything but that, he comes in, passes the ball and his first run after that is to run inside and create an overload in midfield.

‘He comes straight into the midfield area and what that does is it causes confusion and causes them to have more numbers in there than they’d usually have.

‘After that, you’ve got the width being created by Aubameyang, your main goalscoring threat, and the left-sided centre-half, Tierney, he’s the man who creates the width.

‘It’s so different to what you expect from a three at the back. You normally see it being quite rigid and you know where people are.

‘When you’re a player out there and you don’t see players in the positions you expect to see them in, that is a confusing element.

‘That’s what Arteta seems to be doing and we see are they a well-drilled team? Yes, they are.’

Some people questioned Mikel keeping AMN. I couldn’t be more pro his inclusion. The guy is an absolute expert at executing tactical plans. I’m so happy for him, he’s an absolutely class act.

Tierney also had a good game, his pass completion was 86%, and some of them were dreamy to watch. He is going to be hugely important to our success this season, I really hope we keep him fit.

In attack, it was another positive game for Auba. We played out of the back in now trademark fashion, Willian switched the ball to him on the left, he cut inside and fizzed his shot into the top corner. We know what we’re getting with Auba, game-changing finishing every week. Rio Ferdinand told BT that he’s a player you always feel is going to do something, that’s a huge compliment.

Willian shut the doubters up (lololol) with an incredible debut. He’s sharp in the mind, he’s electric on the ball, and he gave us the sort of creativity we’ve been lacking. Near 100% pass completion. A hand in all 3 goals. He’s slotted right in. I think he’ll be very important to our success, what a dreamy player. I particularly liked that he kept Pepe benched. The Ivorian came roaring onto the field when he landed his minutes. We need a better level from him this season. The occasional flutter of magic isn’t enough at the highest level. We need him more present. Hopefully, Willian will push his game.

Not every game will be a simple as this one, but you can only play what is in front of you. I read that this game was our best xG against away from home in 5 years. The players were focused and motivated. Everyone wanted to be on the pitch. The squad is finally united around a vision. They all want success, and who would bet against it? We look a different animal these days and everything coming out of the club is positive. What a difference 6 months can make.

Do we still need signings? Absolutely. I think they’ll arrive. I think the biggest need is a dynamic #8.  We lack a bit of midfield dazzle. Balls into the box rarely come from central midfield, Xhaka and Elneny between them put the ball in the box once, so that needs to change, particularly against teams that’ll have more organised defensive structures. I think we’d all love a #6, but we could survive without one. Hopefully, we sign two players, the desire is there, the challenge is raising enough funds to make it happen.

The manager made a statement of Mesut and Matteo. They aren’t part of our future. Matteo will have to find a new club. Mesut will likely just sit out the season to make a point no one cares about.

Might also be worth a small mention about the Ceballos and Eddie dustup. It looked like handbags and both of them made up on Insta after the game. Best pals again.

Next up is West Ham. They are in total disarray. Players in open revolt against the club. A shambles on the pitch. We are normally a gift for beleaguered managers, let’s hope we’re not next Saturday. A huge Top 4 game today when Spurs and Everton go head to head at Goodison Park. I can’t wait to see what that looks like.

WE ARE BACK! See you in the comments. x

 

520 Responses to “MAGICAL DEBUTS FOR WILLIAN AND GABRIEL”

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  1. Guns of SF

    so the 20M can go to Aouar.
    We end up on the hook for about 35m?

    I am sure the new keeper will not cost us that much….
    Still need to sell the other dross in the team…
    Why is this taking forever

  2. TT

    tbh i hope the spuds dont lose this game. I want their downfall to be a drawn out bloody affair with Maureen staying long enough at the helm to cause damage that will take years to fix 😀

  3. Marc

    Tom

    I was just thinking how long before Mourinho has a meltdown? It’ll seriously start when the window closes and he hasn’t been given a shit load of money to spend.

  4. Steveyg87

    Gutted that Emi is leaving…

    Hopefully this takes us a step closer to signing a quality CM, we will not finish top 4 with Elneny in the starting 11

  5. Marko

    There is no more perfect match in world football than Jose Mourinho managing Spurs. It’s just pure ugly. He sets them up like every game is against peak Barcelona.

  6. Valentin

    Delle Ali seems to be the easy fall guy for Mourinho. I can see tension brewing there pretty soon. Half of the Spurs team seems like they are already fed up with his low block style of play.

  7. Paulinho

    Not surprised the game is going as it so far. Everton are simply a more talented dynamic team (with their three new signings) than the Spuds.

    Everton like to shoot themselves in the foot though and they still haven’t shown they can hold onto leads. which is a perennial problem of theirs in these types of matches. Always give up a goal late on.

  8. raptora

    As a whole I like Richarlison. But fuck me, he tries to score from EVERY situation. Has fucked up multiple attacks where the danger could have been far bigger if he was to not just shoot from everywhere.

  9. Paulinho

    Marc – Always their problem. Whenever we play them they always waste chances, and fold defensively. Chronic lack of belief.

  10. Marko

    it’ll certainly take until next summer to move everyone on.

    Been hearing this for years. Besides the argument being made isn’t everyone it’s moving on the few who have actual interest in them from other teams.

  11. Habesha Gooner

    Runarsson links making sense a bit more now. Inaki Cana has a bunch of videos uploaded to YouTube about the keeper. I don’t know if it is legit but has a lot of followers. Looks decent but everyone does on you tube. Still a second choice keeper so we will be fine.

    And Lol at spurs. Thank God we hate Mourinho and we didn’t even contemplate hiring him. He has become every stupid insult he has thrown at Wenger.

  12. Tom

    The only reason Mourinho might last longer this time around is because Spurs players are perennial chokers too lame to revolt the way Chelsea and United players did.

  13. Marc

    Leftside

    I was struggling to get excited for the season but the juices are beginning to flow. I’m looking at our team / squad and the forward line looks quality, the defence looks quality we get CM sorted and we’ll be challenging for the title in a season or so.

  14. Marko

    Runarsson links making sense a bit more now. Inaki Cana has a bunch of videos uploaded to YouTube about the keeper

    They worked together at some Danish club previously

  15. Up 4 grabs now

    Just think next summer ozil goes and frees up wages for
    Three 100k players and 2-3 kids, let that sink in.

    Shift on a couple now mustafi on his last year 90k Kolasinac 120k sokratis 90k and a few next summer and you may well be close to 800k a week in wages, (just in time for messi on a free!)

  16. Leftside

    Would be marvellous Marc, been far too long.

    Abit concerned with reports of just one cm, think we need more than that but theres still time in this window.

  17. Tom

    Apparently Everton haven’t won away to a big six club in the PL since Dec 3013.

    If they hang on here ………they still haven’t.

  18. Marc

    Leftside

    If we only get 1 CM this window we’ll need 2 next summer. 1 will be the other 1 from this window and the other will be a replacement for Ceballos.

  19. Up 4 grabs now

    Have spurs downed tools already?

    81st minute.
    The stats are quite worrying for Spurs. They’ve made seven tackles all game, and Harry Kane has just had his first touch in the box… in the 81st minute.

    Daniel levy on the phone to poch as we speak!

  20. raptora

    Still time for Ndombele to come good. But horrible first season and starts this one as a reserve. 55m pounds. Was it Marko that had a fetish for him? So far not justified.

  21. Habesha Gooner

    Tom
    I will put it down to becoming desperate at the final run of the Emery reign.

    Spurs spent a lot on Loscelso and Ndombele. Both aren’t Mourinho players. They need freedom to play. I hope he stays the whole season. By then the likes of kane will be agitating for a move. And spurs will ho back to their original midtable place.

  22. Valentin

    Marc,

    I think you meant clinical rather than cynical.
    If Richarlison had half the shooting calmness and accuracy of Aubameyang, he would be world.class.

  23. Captain Tierney

    raptora

    I think the fee for Ndombele was 60 mil which could potentially rise to 70.

    Spurs do miss Eriksen but more than anyone they miss Moussa Dembele.

    I believe they bought in Ndombele to replace Dembele but he hasn’t been half the player the former was.

  24. Captain Tierney

    Dembele leaving Spurs started their downward spiral.
    He was thei Cazorla tho not ad good as the little magician.

    Poch once compares Dembele to Maradona. 🤯

  25. Marko

    There was actually some cunt on the Sunday supplement talking about how shrewd Spurs business was this summer and how Mourinho did well and was going to push on this summer. Absolute garbage

  26. Valentin

    Raptors,

    I was the one singing NDombele praise. I still think that he is a classy player. But he is not a Mourinho type of player. Having Pierre Hoijberg who had a nightmare game starting ahead of him against Everton is just proof that Mourinho first instinct is to park the bus.

  27. Vickingz

    Everton’s play out from the back using James to launch over the head ball to Richarlson should be studied. It opens spurs up over and over again

  28. Dissenter

    Everton looked very assured totes in the midfield.;
    -James still has a lot of juice, his passing is exquisite
    -Doucore still has his engine intact.
    -Allan is a proper number 6, he reads the game very well.

    It will be hard for Liverpool or city to get 100 points this season because the middle of the league has improved so much.

  29. Captain Tierney

    Divine

    Yup, Agreed.
    Allan tho in his first match showed he is a very good forward passer and can do mostly everything Torreira does in the defensive side of the game.

    Lets see if he can continue to do that for the whole season.

  30. Vickingz

    Mourinho by himself lost this game with his selection, how on earth did he put ndombele on the bench? His midfield was shapeless till ndombele came in

  31. Captain Tierney

    Ndombele loses the ball too often.
    He did bring some spark to Spuds hapless midfield but in the 10-15 minutes he was on he also lost the ball quite a lot for a midfielder.

  32. Paulinho

    Everton remind me a bit of Leicester last season.

    Well-balanced first eleven that all compliment each other. Similar to Leicester as well in that their level drops like a stone if they lose any of them to injury.

  33. Dissenter

    Marko
    There was a time when Draxler was going to solve every problem Arsenal ever has, now it’s Partey.
    All we ever read now is Partey. I don’t rate him as much as you do, Why is that so hard for you to understand?

  34. Dissenter

    Nelson
    James still has excellent passing though. He my not need to be as dynamic because he has good runners all around him.
    Everton have a very mobile forward line in Richarlison and Calvert-Lewis.

  35. Little Mozart

    Mourinho and Delle, that’s where it’s gonna start. Selle is a hot head he won’t let Maureen run over him. May the drama begin.

  36. Dissenter

    We are about to sign an Icelandic goalie?

    Valentin
    How is good is this Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson?
    He’s only 25 year old so why would he be so willing to come and be a definite number two?

  37. Marko

    There was a time when Draxler was going to solve every problem Arsenal ever has, now it’s Partey.

    Two completely different types of players but ok.

    I don’t rate him as much as you do, Why is that so hard for you to understand?

    It’s more than that it’s also you stupidly comparing him with Holjberg.

  38. Captain Tierney

    Dissenter

    He is already a no.2 at a mid table Ligue 1 club.
    Becoming Arsenal’s no. 2 is like an upgrade and not to mention a bigger paycheck.
    He will also have a lot more exposure playing for us in the Europa and League cup games and might even get a move to become a starter somewhere else.
    Its a win-win.

  39. Marc

    Quite simply we need to strengthen midfield, if the club / Edu and Arteta see Partey as being a player that will do that then what’s the issue?

    Beyond needing to raise the cash to buy him!

  40. Bamford10

    Receding

    “What does that even mean?”

    I think it means an athletic, mobile, ball-winning and quality-passing central midfielder. We don’t have any of those, and they’re pretty useful.

    I don’t necessarily have a view on Partey, but I do think we need CMs who are more mobile, athletic and dynamic than the ones we have.

  41. Habesha Gooner

    Well, Anyone that has seen Partey for a long period of time values his abilities. I won’t debate his qualities again. If we sign him, You will have to sit back and watch him fix our crap midfield. Not creatively, but he will bring balance, Protection and athletic abilities with great dribbling skills. Hoijberg is worse than Torriera. Partey will make you guys eat your words. It might be a an irrelevant point though, It seems Aouar is the prime target.

  42. Receding Hairline

    Bamford then great unto the next target who fits that description and who we can afford. Athleti have already given an answer, pay the clause, maybe if we had other similar type midfielders lined up and start negotiating with them they might actually be open to do business.

    Can’t be Partey or Aourar seeing as they aren’t similar players

  43. Marko

    Pretty sick of reading we need a “Partey type player”. What does that even mean

    Try watching him to know what it means. Good passer good ball winner his ball retention is excellent and he’s capable of dribbling out from the back. But I can’t stress that you try watching him so that you know what kind of a player he is when commenting on him.

  44. Marko

    then great unto the next target who fits that description and who we can afford.

    It’s possible we don’t want to sign up someone with a significant drop off in quality compared to Partey which I like. Now you might think fuck it he’s not worth it we should look for someone cheaper and not as good but thankfully the club is still thinking about their first choice targets

  45. Aaron

    Hard pass on both those keepers we are linked to Raya and Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson, both were rated poorly on some stats site that someone posted here or on another site. Small keepers too, 6ft and 75 kgs..

  46. Radio Raheem

    A crap midfield that beat City, Liverpool twice… I would have thought obvious that we’ve developed a system of play that accommodates or thrives on our ‘crap midfield’. I’m not sure what people are watching.

  47. DivineSherlock

    Everton will falter later cause they dont have a strong bench . Walcott , iwobi , Moise Kean and Bernard ? Not inspiring . They should make the most of their start though.

  48. redbro14

    Had a nice sunny walk out in Black Park just outside London. Got back to comments. Very lively today without the usual sniping between posters. Must be the good vibes from yesterday. Interesting views on Aouar or Partey. Seems 50/50. If Arteta wants to cement our solidity in the defence….Partey…..if on the other hand we want more spice up front, Aouar. I want them both, cmon Yanks now is the time to do something special, but can’t see them breaking our self sustainable model….

  49. Dissenter

    The Partey obsession here is so overwhelming g that it’s become a litmus text of all sorts.

    A few weeks ago, no one was talking about Gabriel, now we see we have a very effective defender.
    The same for the midfield, there are other targets that may not be as Partey-licious but will get a job done for us. Partey operates for a team that’s defensively preoccupied sometimes to the detriment of good football. He’s not even the engine room or the organizer at Atletico – that’s task falls to Saul Nigeuz.

  50. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Diss

    I agree said it months ago
    Not sure he is the right fit for the club.

    I would be happy if we missed out on him

  51. Dissenter

    Devine
    That’s a good point regarding Everton. There staring eleven can hold its own against any team but the drop off from starters to bench players is a lot.
    Maybe Ancelotti;s organization may make that difference.
    They beat Spurs too easily today and that should give us some food for thoughts.

  52. Pierre

    I have a feeling that we won’t be parking the bus , jose style, when we play liverpool, city and united away in the next few weeks.

    We may not dominate the football but it will not be 80/20% or 70/30% in favour of the opposition.

    With the arrival of Gabriel and the re emergence of AMN and Holding, it becomes increasingly obvious that we rushed in a little when completing the signings of Mari and Cedric.

    I’m sure that we wouldn’t be giving either a second glance if we were offered them at this moment in time..

    The only blessing is that they were cheap, I suppose they will do for the europa and league cup

  53. Words on a Blog

    I am beginning to wonder whether we’re gonna end up getting Partey or Aouar.

    Arteta is on record as to how much he likes Xhaka, and has played him enough times to show that his public declarations are not fluffy PR.

    Recently, he has been on record about how much he likes El-Neney, who he “knows well”, and has “played phenomenally.”

    He wants to retain Maitland Niles, who (@Pedro) “executes tactical perfectly.” Ditto, Holding.

    So how can we afford Party and/or Aouar?

    Unless we sell (not loan) Bellerin, Torreira AND Guendouzi, it ain’t gonna happen.

  54. MGooner

    We are back.

    Sure looks like it.

    Mo is a good player, very under rated imo. He should be given a chance alongside an experienced midfielder. Maybe some Brazilian magic is needed in that midfield – Edu should make some phone calls.

  55. DivineSherlock

    Dissenter

    Easy fixtures in the beginning as well. Its how well they cope with injuries and suspensions . League is too strong this year . Wolves , Leicester , sheffield utd , Everton , Spurs . Plus the top 4 clubs , Arsenal really need to step up against the likes of West Ham and Palace . Or else we might be playing catch up for top4.

  56. Habesha Gooner

    There is a difference between a coach’s ability to bring the best out of players and Player quality. These same midfielders looked like Sunday league under Emery. People have short memories. Sir Alex won his last title with crap players. He got the best out of them but eventually it showed they were crap when he left.

    The only midfielder who has a high ceiling is Guendouzi. The rest are average. Arteta has made them better but If we have Partey we are getting a player of high caliber. I know people here don’t watch other leagues but how they see partey.

  57. HighburyLegend

    “The German was fine. He’s a world-class keeper and he breezed the 90 minutes.”

    It was fulham ffs!! Lol
    Anyway, we will know soon enough if he’s a real “world class keeper”… (fingers all crossed)

  58. Dissenter

    Words
    I’m pretty sure we will get at least one quality midfield addition.
    We have to move players out and some are already exiting- Pap Sok, Torriera and Martinez.
    We should have at least a balance of £10 million from the Martinez deal when the cost of getting is replacement is resolved.

  59. Champagne charlie

    Dissenter

    It was your waxing lyrical about Hojbjerg and claiming him a very good Danish prospect……at 25…..and the kind of talent we should be looking at instead of Partey that invited remark.

    Bit weird seeking to downplay a player like Partey because there’s buzz about him though, not like you’ve given much of a reason for such indifference outside of the fact he’s a widely held want of the fan base. Is that it entirely? He’s a popular target so you’re offering the Alt view? Kewl

  60. Champagne charlie

    “5 – James Rodríguez is the first Premier League debutant to create at least five chances since Alexis Sanchez for Arsenal in August 2014. Dazzling. – OptaJoe”

    Not bad for a “has been”, reckon past it Coutinho could do the same.

  61. salparadisenyc

    Meanwhile Arteta going to go out and be highly competitive all season with Xhaka and Elneny doing the Partey pivot.

    Imagine the scenes on here.

  62. Dissenter

    CC
    Draxler was once a Popular target here too.
    I told you I don’t rate Partey as highly as you and suggested that there were players with similar comps we should go for. When asked for an example, I said Hojberg because he had just made a move to Spurs just about the same time.
    If I had to take a midfielder from AM, Saul is the one I would take away. He’s the one that runs the midfield.

  63. salparadisenyc

    Great to see Jameeees in the Premier league, lets see if he can sustain what was a very good performance today. I was definitely one of the suspect ones on his signage, as long as he keeps slaying Spurs long may it last.

  64. Dissenter

    Pedro
    I read somewhere that James has only played more than 50% of games in only one season of the last five.
    There’s a breakdown lurking around somewhere, it’s a question of when, not if.

    What did you think of Allan?

  65. Dissenter

    Marc,
    I really think Mourhino will rob another club of a hefty pay-off by January.
    That Spuds midfield had enough material material to complete with Everton. They looked like a beached ship.

    All he does is moan and complain. Once he had that magic about him, now it’s just a dark cloud.

  66. Pedro

    Diss, I think Everton will play some great football this year, but I don’t think they’ll last the pace.

    I thought they looked great today. Allan was solid, James was very creative, Richarlison should have scored.

  67. Champagne charlie

    Dissenter

    I’m not sure what point you’re exercising by stating Draxler was once a target? Would make sense if he’d eventually been signed and underwhelmed, but what he’d have done here is complete conjecture. .

    The rest of your post echoes exactly what I said to you, you’d rather Hojbjerg than Partey…..and the ridicule comes at you because of it.

  68. Dissenter

    CC
    Lol
    You’re intent on Partey-shaming me😜
    I will keep writing about my views regarding Partey, so long as we are allowed to have differing opinions on any issue here. I don’t rate Partey as much as you lot, to me he’s not that much better than Hojberg.
    For emphasis if Pedro offered caption banners on his site, I’ll probably pay for it just to irritate these Partey-fest that’s going on.
    Many of you have made liking Partey some type of touchstone.. There was a time when Draxler and Schneiderlein were used for similar purposes on this site, that’s why I keep bringing up Draxler. .
    I’ll repeat again; Saul is the heart and organizer of the AM midfield, He;’s the one to whip up a storm about, not Partey.

  69. Marc

    You’ve really got to ask yourself what the basic IQ level of the Spud’s marketing team is. They constantly open themselves up to ridicule. You call a documentary that covers a period “All or Nothing” when you win or come first – not when you’re a bunch of halfwit, talent less bottlejobs who haven’t won a League title since Black & White TV.

  70. Graham62

    Oh the joys.

    Spuds lose.

    Mourinho is fudging up…………… YET AGAIN!!!

    The players are in meltdown.

    Paying off a massive debt on a new stadium.

    Back in their rightful place.

    Remind me again, who are the top dogs in North London?

    Thank you god.🙏

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