… and we’re back

by .

Here we are, back together, ready to indulge in some peak-Barclays viewing today.

So what can we expect away at Manchester City?

A tough game. Sorry to be very obvious here, but Manchester City are hurting at the moment and they really need to impose themselves back on the league.

First game back can go either way. It’s an advantage in one sense, because teams have only had a couple of training sessions to crack the code. The fact that they don’t have KDB and a striker of note is also a big win for us.

Arteta has his side on better paper form, but really, we haven’t blown a game out the park so far this season. This would be a nice one to execute a sound plan really well.

Again, I wouldn’t be expecting us to express ourselves. We’re going to take our chances on the break, we’ll test their centre backs, and we’ll try and play very patiently.

The key is always defence. If David Luiz starts, you’ll know within 6 minutes which one showed up. We can’t have it be the Luiz who came on last time and had one of the worst performances of the season. We need the towering leader of a defender that took us to an FA Cup final win.

It’ll also be interesting to see how tempted the manager is to use Thomas Partey. Suspicion says it’s too early and he’ll go with Xhaka and Ceballos. Hopefully, he’ll see some minutes off the bench.

Nicolas Pepe, on form, could be interesting today. He lit up the last game with his energy and quick passing. Question is, does the manager really trust him? If we’re to have any sort of free-flowing football this year, it’ll likely have to include him. We know he has it in him to be world-class, we just don’t see it often enough.

I don’t have lot to offer today, but we’ll be back with a podcast and a match report tomorrow.

ENJOY THE GAME HAVE YOUR SAY BELOW! x

1,210 Responses to “… and we’re back”

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  1. Pedro

    Bamford, Arsenal Truth spent 18 months telling us how great Emery is. Guy has fallen off the wagon. Now he can’t stop hating on Arteta because he humiliated himself backing the wrong horse.

    A boring vendetta.

  2. Pedro

    Highbury Legend, why don’t you have a thought for yourself for once, instead of the usual posing a question and not answering it?

    What was truly pathetic about losing 1-0 to Manchester City?

  3. GunnerDNA

    Bamford,

    “And no manager, not even Klopp, would have them competing for 4th in the late stages of the season. Not in my opinion, at least.”

    Not true Bam! A better manger would have us playing better and have a good chance of making top 4.. United, Arsenal and CFC has the same problem, ex players as manager who should still be in the Championship applying their trade. The energy on the internet is different for a reason “the we’re seeing progress” gang is starting to ask questions. Fans are still yet to see how better this team is when they aren’t playing with the hand brake on. Arteta still doesn’t even know his best starting 11, this team has SR finger prints all over it, this isn’t Arsenal. Arsenal ultra defensive tactics is the managers choice. Everton, Leeds and Brighton don’t have better players than Arsenal the difference is their players aren’t scared to cross the half way line. Look at the substitutions today, what was the point in even making them? Does this guy knows the importance of substitutions or we should bring the water breaks back?

  4. Pedro

    ‘No one could get Arsenal into the top 4’

    Arsenal points since Arteta took over (prior to City game)

    1 Liverpool 59 pts
    2 Man City 47
    3 Man Utd 44
    4 Arsenal 42
    5 Everton 42
    6 Chelsea 41
    7 Spurs 40
    8 Southampton 40
    9 Wolves 38
    10 Leicester 32

    What we feel. Versus what is reality.

  5. Kaz

    AFC forever

    I don’t believe it’s arrogance to suggest Auba should not be played wide or Xhaka should not be starting. I’d say it’s common sense.

    It wasn’t arrogance to suggest Wenger needed a midfield destroyer. But we all insisted upon it.

    Disagreeing over managerial tactics isn’t arrogance. Nor is suggesting what you would do instead.

    It’s been easy to see what we do and how we play and I’ve been criticising the playing style since West Ham.

    This isn’t the all conquering Man City of 3 seasons ago. This is a weaker one with known defensive issues, no KDB and no fit striker.

    Absolutely Arteta was wrong in his approach, we absolutely could have got 3 points and I am absolutely believe the team I mentioned and playstyle would have got more points than 0.

  6. salparadisenyc

    What a shit game!

    Barring a couple golden chances we really looked one dimensional, stuck in 1st gear,. Can’t fault Arteta for mixing it up and going with Willian in the false 9, can fault him with persisting with it. Really was the big ask in the window, a creative mid who can control saw that need today. I’d much rather see Willian on the right where Pepe plays or in a more 10 roll behind CF, hoping once Partey begins to settle and own the box to box we’ll see that.

    If Saka or Auba converts those chances were having a very different conversation on here and thats precisely what Arteta set up for, keep it tight and take the key chances which we did not.

    Onwards.

  7. Pedro

    Sal, bit of a killer… similar vibes against Liverpool.

    Really wish we’d made more of an effort to support creativity. Fingers crossed Willian sorts it out… OR ESR comes good.

  8. Bamford10

    Pete

    “Arsenal Truth spent 18 months telling us how great Emery is.”

    No, he didn’t. This is the same bogus line you use against anyone who thought the squad was the principal problem or who didn’t agree with your extremely one-sided, Emery-is-an-incompetent-disaster, Emery-is-the-whole-of-the-problem-here line.

    Arsenal Truth was ultimately fairly middle of the road on Emery; he criticized him for some things, commended him for others, and sympathized with him on others.

    He never once talked about how “great” Emery was. He didn’t think that.

    Nor, btw, did any of the various posters here who you like to throw the same bogus line at.

    You know that you can disagree with people without misrepresenting their point of view, yes?

  9. salparadisenyc

    Pedro,

    Total stinger after the Interlull dirge, i’m just pleased were back and in action stronger than pre break but i’d be lying if I wasn’t hoping for deadline day deux swoop of Buendia to get thru this season.

    Have to say this place so reactionary with many willing failure tough to take some these jokers remotely seriously at moment, I know its shocking.

  10. Bamford10

    Now apparently we’re doing that lame thing Wenger would do where he would cut seasons up into meaningless blocks and tell us we were actually top of the league if you looked at it a particular way.

  11. Pedro

    Bamford, it’s not a bogus accusation. I used to pull him on it when he was telling everyone he needed 3 years and that he was actually doing well.

    He said this today:

    ‘At the moment the style of play reflects his personality, dull and pragmatic. City are not the same side as the last few years and missed key players today, Arsenal should have showed more ambition in the later stages at the very least. Loser’s mentality.’

    Like… honestly, you are defending this? Losers personality?

  12. Bamford10

    Pedro

    I’m just curious: if eight PL weeks from now, Arsenal are in 8th place (as we were under Emery), what will you say, exactly?

    I’m not saying that’s where we’re going to be — although given the competitiveness of the top eight, I think it’s a possibility — I’m just curious how you will approach the situation (narrative-wise, argument-wise) if that is where we are.

  13. Pedro

    Bamford, you have been spraying you power ranking nonsense on here for the last month.

    You are not the person to tell anyone that they can’t use actual points accrued to demonstrate the notion that no coach could get this squad into the top 4 is completely based on your hopes and dreams.

  14. Bamford10

    Pedro

    If we are in 8th in eight weeks’ time, I hope to God you don’t return to this “we had top four results during Arteta’s first 26 matches, so I was right” line. That would be really embarrassing.

  15. Pedro

    Bamford, I hope if we’re 3rd in 8 weeks time, you’re not on here telling us rival managers are very modern managers and Arteta is getting lucky. That you are doing it now is already embarrassing.

  16. Champagne charlie

    “And if we’re in 8th place in 8 weeks’ time?“

    And if we’re 2nd you fucking melt? There’ll be no relenting from you, just a merry reshuffle of your awful power rankings, and excuses galore for why others are failing and we’re simply profiting from that.

    Absolutely rammed full of spunk when seeking criteria to proclaim “failure”. Now you’re giving it large about Emery despite pinning tweets that literally read: Emery was never the problem. Can’t think of a poster who’s invalidated his opinion more than you the last 12 months tbh.

  17. Champagne charlie

    Damford offering takes on what constitutes embarrassing commentary on here. Yep, that’s me done hahah

    I’m with Jamie, positive Leicester win tomorrow and I know for a fact there’s a musty Florida dwelling getting organically rendered.

  18. Bamford10

    Churlish

    “And if we’re 2nd you fucking melt?”

    We won’t be.

    “you’re giving it large … despite pinning tweets that literally read: Emery was never the problem”

    Right. He wasn’t. I know you think he was, and I know you somehow think it’s been proven that he was, but he wasn’t, and it hasn’t. And if Arsenal are in 7th or 8th or 9th place in eight weeks’ time — i.e., where Emery found himself after PL Week 13 — that will be pretty solid evidence that the problem was the squad, not the manager.

  19. GunnerDNA

    “Liverpool are understood to have asked the Premier League to investigate the application of VAR in two controversial decisions during their 2-2 draw at Everton on Saturday.”

    🤡😂

  20. Bamford10

    Charlie

    “”absolutely rammed full of spunk”

    I’ve noted this before, but has anyone else noticed how often Charlie turns to images of male ejaculation and male ejaculate? It’s an interesting fixation. I imagine a good analyst would have some interesting things to say about this.

  21. Pedro

    Bamford, he was the problem.

    Players hated him. The staff thought he was a joke. We crashed in 2019. We were shite.

    10 months on. We’ve won something. We can defend. Our points total puts us in top 4 contention.

    You HOPE we won’t be in the top 4. That’s what is sad here. That is the only way to validate your average view of what was going wrong at Arsenal.

  22. salparadisenyc

    Oh FFS Emery was a problem, so much so his own benefactor had to shit can him on the heals of offering him an extension.

    When you loose the squad as a manager you are cooked its very basic.

  23. Pedro

    Dodgy Don Raul couldn’t even keep him in his job for the full season, that’s how bad he was. A man that could get Cedric a 4 year deal.

  24. Bamford10

    Pedro

    “You HOPE we won’t be in the top 4.”

    No, I don’t. And with all due respect, you don’t have a fucking clue what I hope for or what I want.

    I always want Arsenal to do well, but that doesn’t mean I always think they will do well.

    Arsenal won’t be in the top four in eight weeks’ time, Pete, and they won’t be in the top four come season end. In all likelihood, they won’t even be close to top four. And this will be because this squad isn’t good enough, a patently obvious fact that you are bizarrely in denial of.

  25. Champagne charlie

    Damford

    “We won’t be.“ – mystic Meg back at it.

    “Knows” we won’t be top 3 in eight weeks time, and that’ll be conclusive proof of his ramblings, but has fuck all to speak about if we are in fact top 3 by then. That’s you in a nutshell.

    Forever stumped at why folk find you a complete chore, I’ll help you out…….you’re a colossal wanker.

  26. Bamford10

    Pedro

    Your line on Sanllehi is bogus as well. There is zero evidence that he left under a cloud or that he was fired for anything “dodgy”. I laid this out clearly on Twitter, and if you’d like me to do so again here, I’d be glad to.

  27. Pedro

    Bamford,

    You do hope and I absolutely know.

    My line with Raul was bang on. He was fired. You cannot get any more nailed on than that.

  28. Champagne charlie

    “I’ve noted this before, but has anyone else noticed how often Charlie turns to images of male ejaculation and male ejaculate? It’s an interesting fixation. I imagine a good analyst would have some interesting things to say about this.“

    When someone’s full of spunk they’re buoyed, and drunk with courage – which perfectly describes you discussing the prospect of Arsenal failing.

    For someone with a Harvard English degree you’re a bit fucking useless with the language, wonder what an analyst would have to say about that?

  29. raptora

    Emery showed some promise in his first season as our manager. Maybe because the fans were in good spirit after finally changing Wenger, he had a free-pass year and it went alright I guess.

    Then when we were supposed to be even better in his 2nd season, we regressed. And when bad results started piling up, Emery looked and was the most clueless person I’ve seen. He was just standing near to the touchline, out of ideas, out of place, sad, he wished he isn’t our manager and he was somewhere else where he’ll have less pressure to deliver wins on the regular.

    We weren’t going to get better under him. He was so out of his league it’s not even real.

    I felt bad for him cause I could see it on his face that he knew he’d be a goner weeks before it was finally announced, he was suffering and we basically spared him more pain and humiliation.

  30. Champagne charlie

    I don’t think you want to turn to Twitter Damford, if someone did a deep dive on your feed I’m absolutely certain you’d be made to look a (bigger) twat very quickly.

    I’ve mugged you twice just by seeing what you had pinned on a whim ffs, Christ knows what knee-slappers you actually have fermenting beyond that.

  31. China1

    We lost 1-0 away to one of the best teams in the world in a game where we should’ve had a penalty and had a couple of chances to score

    It wasn’t brilliant but it wasn’t that bad. Some of the criticism is so far off base it’s almost laughable.

    For example I read that Willian wasn’t pressing in the first half. He ran his socks off chasing down the defenders. It didn’t amount to anything as they passed around him successfully, but it doesn’t mean he didn’t do it. I bet if you check his running distance you’d see he ran far more than you’d think, he just got bypassed by good passing

    People saying City were there for the taking as if they played badly. City’s passing was virtually flawless all over the pitch, their running was good, their technical play was excellent, their movement on and off the ball was very good.

    Sometimes people need to stop judging a game simply based on if we won or lost and judge it by what actually happened – which was by no means a great performance but likewise also not a particularly bad one. City will beat multiple of our rivals by bigger score lines this season. People need to take a breath

  32. Nelson

    Asking Willian to play false 9 reminds me when Emery asked Ozil to man mark Jorginho. That was not the strength of the player. I am sure that Arteta won’t try it again.

  33. raptora

    Pedro: “I don’t guess.”

    I know one from less than a month ago. You said we were skint and we paid around £50m cash to Atleti and Partey/agents.

  34. salparadisenyc

    Regarding Rauuuul don’t really have to guess its all there, Kroenke’s bring in heavy swinging corporate lawyer to review and El Jefe’s gone in under a month.

    Nothing to see here people. Don’t ask, don’t tell.

  35. Emiratesstroller

    I am all for playing a game of chess if the object of exercise is to keep a clean sheet, but we conceded a poor goal in first half of game and showed very little end product in second half.

    Our defenders spent far to much of the second half passing ball between goalkeeper and the
    back four with absolutely zero outlet.

    For me there was no real ambition in second half.

    One has to question the tactics adopted and the positions we played.

  36. Pedro

    Raptora, I also don’t really go hard on those things. Deals are always a shit show.

    When I gun for something, like I did Raul, there’s always an underpinning that is deeper than a bamford guess.

  37. Guns of SF

    I think Arteta needs to allow our attackers to play with more freedom and creativity.
    He played under Wenger, who for all his faults always wanted to play attacking football…. come hell or high water.

    I also hope that getting Martinelli back will also help. I hope Arteta plays him. At this point, the attack is in such a mish mosh shape. When we get pressed or when teams park the bus.

    Allowing our wingers more freedom to cut inside will help. Otherwise we are way too predictable for the opposition

  38. Pedro

    Emirates,

    It’s fine margins.

    Keeper cost us a goal.

    We didn’t convert.

    Question the execution, but the tactic has worked for us.

    Opening up against a team that devastating hasn’t been kind to us in the past.

  39. Luteo Guenreira

    I personally thought spunk meant ejaculate, and I thought it fit perfectly since it was addressed to a sausage.

    Bamford is just an entitled sausage. He’s still so fucking miffed he was binned all those months ago and he’s on a mission to prove it was unjust. If Arteta “fails” and Emery looks better by contrast, he thinks it’ll vindicate him somehow. Hence the constant obsession with Emery. And see how he’s always commending posters for “bringing value” to the blog, it’s his way of saying he never deserved to be banned since – of course – all his comments are right and valuable.

    Bamford you should be grateful Pedro has even allowed you to post here again. I definitely wouldn’t if I was him. You’re toxic, and that’s why you were banned in the first place. It’s got nothing to do with right or wrong, and certainly nothing to do with Emery. And the cluelessness involved with having already been banned for repeatedly stirring up shit and then asking for immunity to be able to share your bullshit without negative retorts coming your way? Gtfo Karen. Just because you dress is up with all your uptightness doesn’t make it friendly.

  40. Words on a Blog

    China1,

    Unfortunately all that a good proportion of people on here do is judge a game by our result and not in the performance.

    And boy, when we lose, they sure do love to pounce. The relish with which they do it is really something to behold.

  41. raptora

    Yeah, I agree with what Stroller just said.

    My problem and grudge with today has nothing to do with the first half. We tried to play football at the end of first half at least. Thing is, it was basically all we did in the game. We had a pedestrian second half where we were trying not to concede more and in the end, we created zilch. Game was in our reach and we were sideway passing. Arteta subs didn’t help, Arteta didn’t instruct the team to have a go at it. He was totally happy to witness our snail speed attacks for whatever reason. And he didn’t change our shape or do anything to show he wants to take points from City. It was all like a rehearsed friendly of some sorts. No passion. No ambition. Happy to end up with 0 pts.

  42. Gonsterous

    In the grand scheme of things, not a bad result. A draw would have been great but we are not going to go the seaaon unbeaten. Id rather take a loss against city than the lower teams. At least, this keeps the team grounded. They can be proud of their performance.

  43. Words on a Blog

    Your point about our lack of ambition in the second half is pretty fair, though I think the team failed to flood forward because the first goal resulted from a transition when we had a lot of players forward in Man C’s half, and the fear of getting hit by another quick counter was uppermost in Arteta’s and the players minds.

  44. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    I refrained from commenting on Leno’s performance.

    There is always an “accident” likely to happen when he is under pressure and that is precisely
    why allowing Martinez to leave was a grave error of judgment. He is the more solid goalkeeper.

  45. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    Bellerin may have been positionally at fault, but a competent goalkeeper should have saved
    comfortably that shot and not palmed it out to Sterling.

    This was a tight game and the difference between both teams was the quality of respective
    goalkeepers.

  46. Moray

    We are still a work in progress and need to upgrade in a few positions. It wasn’t a surprise that Bellerin was at fault for the goal as it’s well know he is a weak link. Plus, we still have Partey to integrate into the team as the season progresses.

    We weren’t great today but nor were man city. What they did was play out of the press better than us and we need to work on this. We had enough chances to get a result, but it wasn’t to be. It’s going to be a long and possibly an open season.

    The idea that we aren’t seeing progress since Arteta took over is just ridiculous. It will take time to get back to where we need to be.

  47. China1

    If we hadn’t sold emi we probably wouldn’t have partey now.

    Tho I wish arteta would’ve brought him on 15 mins earlier. If it gets to the 65th min and we’re losing and not exactly dominating or creating loads of chases we have nothing to lose by taking a gamble on partey. I don’t expect him to be amazing from day 1 but what’s the worst that can happen when we’re already losing? I can take us taking a gamble and losing 2-0 if we’re chasing a game and not creating much

  48. Emiratesstroller

    China 1

    There are a lot of ifs and buts, but the fact is that Leno is not a great goalkeeper and there is
    always an accident waiting to happen.

    Also his distribution is infuriating for me.

  49. China1

    I’d have to see it again but at the time I think the Leno parry was hardly bad. At close range when a shot is hit hard you have no luxury of picking where you parrying it and it’s too close to expect a catch. If the sterling isn’t where the ball lands everyone calls it a solid save and says nothing more of it. Sterling was in the right place at the right time and it’s a terrible error and all Leno’s fault.

  50. Dissenter

    china1
    “’d have to see it again but at the time I think the Leno parry was hardly bad. At close range when a shot is hit hard you have no luxury of picking where you parrying it and it’s too close to expect a catch. ”

    Not exactly true
    A better keeper punches it away from the dangerous areas – away from the center of the goal. Leno is good keeper, but that’s all he will ever be.

  51. China1

    My problem is that it’s now reached the point where every goal we concede five or take is going to go through this boring Emi comparison where emi will never have conceded anything Leno will, he will catch any shot at any speed and any distance and literally everything Leno does is bad unless it’s a worldie

    And I say this as someone who preferred Martinez and wanted him to be our n1, so there’s no agenda from my side. I just think it’s becoming a predictable bandwagon reaction now to absolutely everything Leno touches

  52. Dissenter

    That goal wasn’t;t some diabolical error omg Leno’s part but a better keeper won’t punch it to the center of the 6 yard box.
    He did save us on other occasions though but the harm was already done.

  53. Dissenter

    China1
    It has nothing to do with Martinez. He’s gone.My gentle Leno criticism have nothing to do with Emi
    Leno is probably the most important player on out squad because we don’;t have any replacement for him. If we suffer one season ending injury like VVD just had, then it better not be Leno.
    Runarsson is not good enough, if you believe the past is best predictor of the future.

  54. Emiratesstroller

    China 1

    We can debate ad infinitum the performance of Leno, but whatever you may think he is prone
    to making errors under pressure.

    That is what happened yesterday. As I said the difference between both teams was the quality
    of goalkeepers.

  55. raptora

    Stroller,
    Sure but Leno’s biggest strengths are his instinctive saves and his speedy rushing forward, closing in on an opponent that got himself in a 1v1 with him. Same skills that Ederson showed today. They have similar problems with crosses and Ederson has an error in him as well. Ederson is a bit better GK than Leno, but I’m pretty sure the saves he made today Leno makes them too.

  56. Nelson

    WOAB “the first goal resulted from a transition when we had a lot of players forward in Man C’s half”

    The problem is that Xhaka should never be allowed to position himself too far forward. The ball was already in our net and that slow poke was still on his way running back.

    What worries me more is that Arteta’s ability to coach the offense may be limited. He has put all his eggs on Auba. Once that is shutdown, there is nothing left. Willian has never played false 9 before. How Arteta came up with that stupid idea is beyond me.

  57. Tony

    Yesterday’s stats from Live Score:

    shots on target 6 – 3
    off target 6 – 6
    Blocked shots 2 – 3
    possession 59 – 41
    Corners 6 – 6
    Fouls 15 – 10

    Poor keeping from Leno for their MC goal cost us the match whilst Edison won MC the game. Emi would have kept a clean sheet, but we know why Emi was sold: the acquisition of Partey, so no point lamenting further.

    I’m not backing Pedro’s agenda driven spin: Arteta Rules no matter what narrative, although neither am I against Arteta at this time.

    I’m reserving judgement until February in the hope that Arteta learns from his naive mistakes.

    If he doesn’t it will be His undoing.

    Wow probably had the better chances (2) and were denied a penalty or at least an indirect free kick.

    The problem for me was not so much how we were set up but Arteta’s in game management once again.

    Right now there are more plusses than minuses for Arteta; however, that does not excuse Arteta for continually failing to react during a game in making the right changes to change the outcome.

    Never wanted Willian at the club and starting Willian as a CF was just ludicrous, which should have been changed at half time for Eddie if nothing else for Eddie’s energy in pressing.

    The next 4 PL games will tell us much more about Arteta than the next 3 EL cup games.

    Let’s see what Arteta does and how the results unfold before howling for Arteta’s head on a pike at the Emirates.

  58. Tony

    Leno is an elite shot stopper but with the ball at his feet and aerially being unable to hold onto shots and crosses Leno is very poor making Leno a liability more than he is an asset.

    Leno will cost us more points throughout the season.

  59. Tom

    Sorry but blaming Leno for this loss is just nuts.
    The shot he spilled was hit with power from seven yards out.
    If you thought Arsenal were gonna keep City scoreless over 90 minutes then you must’ve been the only one thinking that.

    You’re not gonna get anything out of a game vs City if you can’t score.

    Auba and Pepe were mostly anonymous and Walker kept them both in his back pocket without breaking sweat.
    Arteta’s in game management is poor and introducing Edie on 83 minutes was just another example for it.
    This game was screaming for a change of pace up front to give City defenders something else to figure out, but not with less than ten minutes to go.

    Danny Ings shows that rounding an on rushing keeper is a skill worth having and something Arsenal forwards fail to attempt.

  60. Nelson

    I start to think that we got the wrong player from Chelsea. Giroud should be as cheap as Willian. At least, Giroud is a proper #9 and not a false one.

  61. Guns of SF

    Tom, I think a lot of us agree. During the game, it was clear to see nothing was happening on our attacking end, even as the game wore on, it got worse, rather than better.
    We still passed safely and rarely had any meaningful attacks.
    I did see Luiz do some long passes and over the top, but no one really took the game by the horns and drove us forward. This is my worry. We have sacrificed attacking for a system that prevents goals.
    This will not help us to top 4 by any stretch. Players like Martinelli who is unpredictable and goes on feeling and emotion is what this team needs. We seem to be a system and its feeling a little robotic.
    Hard to beat, great, but how the F do we score?

    Auba in the middle, Saka and Pepe on the right, Willian in the hole. Partey will help, but I also hope Arteta plays Martinelli, a player who can shift defenders with his movement….

  62. Receding Hairline

    Pedro throwing Leno to the wolfs to distract from the negative set up by the manager.

    Many believe if we get creative players we will be more adventurous, I don’t. I think this is the way he likes to play, he doesn’t like heavy defeats. He was perfectly okay with a 1-0 loss.

  63. Tom

    Guns of SF
    Keeping Auba in for the full 90 is a simple decision but as much as I want Pepe starting games, he didn’t do anywhere near enough to be still on the pitch past the 75 minute.
    Both Auba and Pepe are powderpuff grade and Walker looked like a senior player defending against under 17 boys.
    It was embarrassing.
    Bringing another striker with 7 minutes on the clock against a possession based City gives him a few touches at best. It’s a waste.

  64. Sid

    Its wishful thinking Diet Pep will play Wenger/klopp/Pep/bielsa type of football.

    He is anti football personified and i told you his mentor is Moyes and with each game he is proving this right.

  65. Sid

    Bring in another baller into the team to assist Saka in creativity, Auba and Pep will be devastating.

    Xhakalson, Ceb, Willian are not creators, just hard workers,

  66. Receding Hairline

    “Its upsetting to see our team so deep. We could have created more in the final third, the final pass/cross”

    -Arteta

    So on one hand he was extremely happy with what we did but on the other he was upset we sat so deep.

    Maybe we sat so deep to do that wonderful thing he thought we did, lose narrowly.

    Maybe if we pushed up and took the game to them the “defensive stability” would suffer.

    Find the balance. You can’t be extremely happy and upset at the same time. Its almost like us sitting deep wasn’t his instruction.

    He is the manager, the team plays the way he sets them up to.

  67. Leftfootcurler

    This is the classic Arsenal game where we didn’t create much nor did we let our opponent create much.

    Just that instead of arsenal being super clinical with our chances,our opponent were.

    Arsenal not addressing this creativity issue is going to be the biggest obstacle in getting top 4.

    It’s nonsense to say Arteta didn’t go for it or he is conservative.

    We don’t lack numbers in attack.
    We build up from the back and press high.
    Both symbols of offensive football.

    When city have the ball in our defensive third, obviously we will be in our low block.

    The problem is when we did have the ball,we could not retain possession in the final third.

    All our attackers are very direct. They want to play the final pass,take a shot etc when they have the ball. They are not comfortable in retaining possession.

    So they lost the ball and then City got the ball back again.

    Hence why I have always said we need to buy Sancho/grealish/Maddison/buendia/Brandt/Coutinho.
    We lack ball retention, creativity and goals in the front 3.

    Willian offers ball retention but because he was playing in an unnatural role, he wasn’t able to do much.

    Where Arteta got it massively wrong is Auba Lw and Willian false 9.

    He destroyed the balance of the attack unnecessarily.

    Simply putting Willian LW and Auba CF would probably have given us a victory.

    Willian’s ball retention and long distance running would have been extremely useful at LW.

    Auba at LW is fine if you have a technically excellent CF who can hold up the ball like Martial,Haller and Jimenez.
    And you build from the right, switch/cross to Auba to score.

    We didn’t do either of those things.
    Auba should be getting on the end of chances,not getting on the ball looking to create chances.

    Arteta is a great coach but he is going to regret not fixing the front 3 in the transfer window.

    A big positive for me was Gabriel.
    Arsenal’s defensive line drops too deep inviting pressure but Gabriel can help keep the defence line high.
    He will be world class one day for sure.
    I am convinced.

    Hopefully Partey will help build from the right more.
    We need Pepe getting on the ball more than Auba.

    Pepe made some good runs,he is improving.
    Xhaka and ceballos should probably be fined 10% of their weekly salary for not getting Pepe involved more.

    Auba and Willian having a bad game is not their fault.
    It’s Arteta’s.

    Pepe having a bad game is xhaka,Ceballos and Bellerin’s fault.

  68. Leftfootcurler

    RH
    “Its almost like us sitting deep wasn’t his instruction.”

    It isn’t.

    The reason we conceded so many shots under Emery is because the defence line was too deep.

    Big gap between the defence and midfield lines.

    Emery didn’t spot the problem.

    We don’t concede so many shots now because Arteta tries to get the defence line higher.

    Problem is our defenders are cowards who just retreat into the penalty box like pussies. It’s their natural tendency.

    Creates a gap between the midfield and defence lines.

    It’s easily observable when we press.
    Auba-willian-pepe were the first line of pressing.
    Look how high xhaka and ceballos are pushing up.

    the defence line should be pushing up to,right on the half way line.

    It’s a myth that Arsenal park the bus

    But our defenders are too scared of the opposition’s pace in behind.

    So they hang back and create problems.

    I am hopeful long term Gabriel will solve this issue.

  69. Tony

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPaZh6C-AO8

    Sterling unmarked was by the penalty spot not 7 yards, Tom.

    If this was a limited occurrence by Leno I’d consider it differently.

    Leno seemed slow to react after the block although the defenders were equally poorly positioned.

    Having watched the goal more I still say Leno should have parried away not straight out to just off centre of the penalty box.

  70. Gonsterous

    I’m sorry but saying that if martinez played we would have kept a clean sheet is daft and just stirring the pot.
    Take your rose tinted glasses off and look at the goals martinez conceded last season, not exactly world class goals. People pretending like we would win all the games if martinez was here. If he was as good as you lot think he is, he would have gone for a lot more than 20m.

  71. China1

    But ET you were saying how infuriating his distribution is but yesterday his distribution was fine. Like I said, the ink has already been written and we know what everyone is going to say before a ball has even been kicked

  72. Gonsterous

    If the forwards has taken their 1v1 chances, leno wouldn’t even be discussed. But as always, someone has to be blamed for a loss. (Cant be arteta, or the forwards we love) , guess who’s left. The back 5.
    The defense did their job yesterday, the forwards didn’t. Simple fact.

  73. Tom

    Tony, the original shot from Foden came from seven yards away or maybe even fewer, so to blame Leno for spilling it, or not pushing it just the right way is extremely harsh.

  74. DivineSherlock

    Blaming the defeat on Leno is plain and simple stupid. He did make a number of other saves too. I was happy with the performance , if we play like this in all 38 matches we are likely to get top 4 . Its beating teams like Pool and City that will pose a problem , but other than those two we should be comfortable . The fact that the margins were so close , that we are blaming the keeper who saved a shot , gives me encouragement.

  75. China1

    Gabriel is quality I really like this guy. He’s quality and looks like he was born to be a CB

    Saka as well is putting our other offensive players to shame. Saka is the one midfielder yesterday who you thought city would’ve gladly taken off our hands. He just looked miles ahead of the rest of our MF and offensive players.

    I wasn’t impressed with Ceballos or xhaka tho. Neither were bad but neither were willing to take risks and kept going backwards. There was one time where we had beaten their press and xhaka had it beyond their attackers with our attackers breaking ahead of him in space and he literally turned back and passed to the keeper or CB who in turn had to beat the press all over again. Xhaka didn’t have a terrible game or anything but I really don’t get why he is so prone to going backwards when he is a very capable passer and has space ahead of him. Frustrating…

  76. China1

    We used to be losing our minds over getting fisted by teams in relegation battles. Now arsenal fans are devastated that we lost 1-0 away from home against one of the top 5 teams in the world, in a match where we had a couple of chances to level, were denied a stone wall penalty and weren’t even at our best

    The fact arsenal fans are moaning about this after such games used to be a 5-1 type demolition means we’ve come a very long way

  77. Leftfootcurler

    China1

    Disagree on Leno’s distribution.
    He basically squared to CBs and took ages to do it.

    There were moments where Tierney and Bellerin were free and there was no pressure on Leno.

    If we had a keeper with better distribution we would have broken through their first line of pressure better.

    I am not blaming Leno for the defeat.
    We had bigger issues.

  78. Aussie+Gooner

    I really don’t know where to start……

    Start Partey, he was match fit and able to play. The reason he didn’t start was because he is not yet familiar with the constant playing out from the back routine, passing sideways and backwards until you get into trouble routine or the ‘we won’t attack just in case they catch us short at the back’ routine. It is one thing to be cautious when playing a top, in form side at their home ground but with COVID home advantage is virtually null and void, City were without their best player and have suffered unexpected defeats in recent games. Surely to God that is a sign to go at them, other teams have and benefited.

    But what do we do? End up passing the ball backwards, sideways, backwards to a very nervous looking Leno, even from deep in their half. What other team plays like this? City certainly didn’t. Only one struggling to survive would. It stands to reason that if you constantly pass the ball around between yourselves eventually, say after 15 passes, you are going to lose the ball. Where would you prefer to lose the ball – in your own goal area or their goal area? Did you not see the City players salivating when we started going backwards? It was Christmas day for them, they could see how nervous we were. Only Luiz of all people looked composed. We are wasting the talents we have by playing them out of position and playing this cat and mouse game (the cat always gets the mouse remember).

    Their goal was another example of chaotic defending. Bellerin well off the pace, nothing new there, Leno palming it out straight to one of their best finishers, nothing new there. Goalkeeping 101 – hold on to the ball! If you can’t hold on to it push it out of play or into a neutral area.

    Substitutions – pathetic and way too late. We were not shoring up holding on to a lead or even a draw – we were loosing FFS!

    After we went a goal down we never showed signs that we wanted to win the game, just avoid a big defeat. Very, very negative approach. We had a couple of decent chances but it was not to be. Should we have had a penalty? Possibly but in this day and age you can never tell. The foot was high so there was intent, could have been a red card. Should Kunt Aguero been punished – most definitely. No player should touch an official like that, it was aggressive, he grabbed her shoulder to dispute a call she had made. Red card all day. I was shocked when I saw it ‘live’ and nothing happened.

    Balogun got two in the under 23’s in the draw against Utd, time for him to step up. ESR played half a game as did Azeez. Reiss scored, Saliba and Cedric managed 90 minutes! It should be noted that both our under 23’s and Under 18’s are not doing very well this year thus far.

  79. Samesong

    The fact arsenal fans are moaning about this after such games used to be a 5-1 type demolition means we’ve come a very long way

    No the fact is we haven’t beaten City away in the league for like 5-6 seasons or drawn is quite embarrassing actually.

    It’s Liverpool that do the 5-1 demolitions. So because its City should we expect to lose at home also?

  80. Guns of SF

    it was a horrible loss any way you slice it. We need to stop excusing this type of loss.
    we could have done a lot more today. There was no initiative or directives
    SO what if we could have scored? We played without any offensive ideas in the last 20 mins or more.

    That has to change. We need players to step up and take the bull by its horns in games like this, especially when we are trailing for most of the game

  81. Samesong

    Man City were poor in comparison. But they knew they were picking up their 3 points.

    Sterling always scores against us. He almost looked embarrassed when the commentator asked him about scoring against Arsenal.

  82. China1

    No samesong but it happens sometimes when playing against the best teams in the world. And yes city smashed us many times.

    If you can’t see that it tells you we’ve come a long way to be moaning about this then I don’t know what to tell you. This time last year we had a team of uncoachables who looked favourites to lose every other match even against abject dross opposition. Now people are slashing their wrists about losing 1-0 to city. It’s almost comical how OTT the reaction has been

  83. Guns of Hackney

    Played 2, lost 2. Against the top two. Anyone that says “well what do you expect”…is a born loser.

    The only improvement is the number of goals we concede in the defeats. No more to say.

    Our £100m forward was anonymous once again. Our new signing didn’t play until we were chasing the game…he’s a DM so how was that going to help? Very Wenger.

    Nothing more to be said about Pepe. The guy is unadulterated shit. Sell up and get what we can. He’s done.

    Willian is looking like good business.

    Worry noises from Arteta as well regarding Arsene. Look, we get that he may be paying lip service to an all time great but they guy is a dinosaur with regards to his football so why would you want Arsene around again?

    Arteta is getting a lot right but he’s still making the same mistakes that Downfall Arsene made and Emery made.

    We’ve spent a lot of money on the team but we’re still looking like a top 9 side. Not good enough, I think you would agree.

  84. Leftfootcurler

    Arsenal have come a long way but not enough to get top 4,imo.

    Not unless we improve our chance creation.
    I don’t think it can be done without signings but I want to see 2 things first.

    1)Build on the right too.
    Easy for opposition to defend if you attack only on the left. Need to attack using the whole width of the pitch.

    2)Play Willian-Auba-Saka front 3.

    AMN can fill the LWB/LCM/AM role.

    Just want these two things implemented, regardless of results.

  85. Calypso

    China1

    Another thing, getting rid of the man responsible for the 5-1 thrashings was always going to fix that problem.regardless of who the next coach is.

  86. China1

    No calypso

    The benchmark for success is being a vastly better team than we were when emery left. Which we are.

    Obviously.

  87. Samesong

    China1

    It’s almost comical.how OTT the reaction has been.

    That’s you’re opinion.

    But here’s mine.

    We haven’t beaten City away for.like.5 seasons.

    That’s what’s comical!

    Are we that poor? Do the player’s share the same attitude like some.of the fans?

    Wells it City the best 5 team in the world.So what I still view my team better.

  88. Receding Hairline

    China the team we were a few games into the beginning of last season should not be a benchmark for anything, which is why the manager was sacked. That wasn’t a football team.

    The team we the season before that scored more league goals than Pochettino’s Spurs and Sarri’s Chelsea, do you see us outscoring Spurs and Chelsea this season?

    Using a horrible start to a season 10 months later to continue justifying hand brake football is wrong.

    We are playing this way because the manager believes he will meet his targets playing this way. It has nothing to do with how we started last season.

  89. China1

    I have a harrowing piece of news to all you guys who are feeling down and out. We are going to lose again this season. Several times. We’ll also draw several games. As will our rivals for top 4.

    Because that’s what happens in football….

  90. Receding Hairline

    No one believed we were going unbeaten so that’s not news

    Do you believe we played to the best of our abilities last night China?

    Do you think we caused City enough problems last night?

    Was yesterday’s game tough for city?

  91. LittleG

    My main issue at the moment would just be that we need to get a bit more animated when fouled etc whether it be a penalty or free kick, just make sure the referee is aware of it and make sure we bring it to their attention.

    General performances still feel fairly disjointed, I do feel like we’re heading in the right direction I just wish but they fought a bit more on the pitch, they still don’t really seem to stick up for each other. It just takes me back to the games like the infamous brighton defeat.

  92. underrated Coq

    Also not sure about this whole ‘harder to beat’ bs. 15 minutes of turning the screw was enough for City to beat us. They were cruising in 2nd gear for the rest. And we never looked like getting back in the game.

  93. Ashburton

    Very concerned about the manager.His interview was shocking and he’s talking rubbish about how well we played… This academy football will get us nowhere. Don’t give me he won the fa Cup. Wenger won it shortly before we sacked him…. We should have gotten Jose!!!!

  94. Sid

    “The benchmark for success is being a vastly better team than we were when emery left.”

    O-M-G! You done lost yo’ motherfucking mind!
    You must have lost yo’ mind
    You must’ve just lost yo’ mind (yo’ mind)
    You must’ve just lost yo’ mind (yo’ mind)…

  95. Emiratesstroller

    China 1

    Do you believe seriously that we should have been passing incessantly the ball between goalkeeper and centre backs in second half when we are a goal down?

    Surely the object of exercise should be to move as quickly as possible the ball out of defence.

    I find the short square passing infuriating.

  96. Emiratesstroller

    I accept that Manchester City are still a better team than Arsenal but what I find infuriating was that there was very little “ambition” in second half to put them under pressure and claw
    back a goal.

    It looked like Arsenal were more concerned not to concede further goals than try to draw or win the game.

  97. Pierre

    I would say that City played a very clever game yesterday.
    Their intention in the 2nd half was to dominate the game with possession and not over commit too many players in the attacking third..

    They did this too perfection , they strangled the life out of the game.
    In the 2nd half, city changed tactucs slightly, they allowed Arsenal to pass the ball about at the back and never allowed us to bypass the press.

    Any possession Arsenal had was in our own half , Pep knew we couldn’t hurt City and closed down the channel to Saka and our only threat disappeared.

    It was a superb tactical game from Pep that Arteta had no answer to in the 2nd half.
    Pep’s substitutions were with the intention of holding on to what they had and ball retention .

  98. Graham62

    My main gripe in all of this is not that we didn’t play particularly well yesterday, because I thought in patches we did. It was the slowness of it all that got me. Where was the intensity, especially towards the end of the game when calculated risks had to be made.

    This is not the MC of past seasons, even with KDB in the team. As Aussie+Gooner pointed out, home advantage means nothing these days. If you’re positive and dynamic you can hurt teams. This is a worry and although we play far better without the ball, when we have it there still are big question marks against the team.

    Thirdly, and significantly as far as I’m concerned, Leno has become a target. Yes, he can make those flashy reflex saves but when he has to think and use his goalkeeping head, he is frigging useless. I know we are only five games into the season but if he continues to show the nervousness and poor judgment that we all see, for the rest of the season, we will finish we’ll off top 4.

    His distribution is woeful and, to put it mildly, painful to watch. How many of you are anxious when he’s making those casual sideways passes at the back? How many of you are crossing your fingers or touching that wooden coffee table in front of you every time a corner comes in or a high cross? That’s right, admit it, you all are. Now imagine how the players are feeling.

    With a top keeper between the posts yesterday we would have got something from the game. Just by looking back and seeing a
    big, confident, demonstrative, proactive figure in goal would do wonders for the team. We have the flip side of that.

    Lucky Aston Villa then.

  99. Gonsterous

    Said it before, will say it again.
    Defense did their job, the forwards didn’t. If we had put away those one v one chances, we would be having a different convo.

  100. Gonsterous

    Lmao at the place. Till yesterday, everyone praising arteta and how we have improved as a team. Come back this morning and it’s Armageddon. Now you know why the fickle arsenal fans are the most mocked in the league.

  101. þorkell einarsson

    A few observations ; Willian must be killing it in training to get a start in the starting 11
    he not doing it in the game , he has no blood on his teeth, he came to us to rest on his
    laurels and bathe in our money !! Its obvious to all but MA and EDU ?? Even Özil would be better

  102. Receding Hairline

    We didn’t keep a clean sheet so don’t get how the defense did their job.

    Did City miss chances too? Yes they did so talking about missed chances is a mute point.

    Goals change games, City already had the lead so eased off, if we equalise that wouldn’t have been the case

  103. Pierre

    Graham
    Not at all….

    There was a reason we couldn’t build any attacking momentum in the 2nd half.

    Pep set City up to win , not with style , but to win..he recognised that Saka was the danger and never alloweed him the space ir time to cause city the problems he gave them in the first half.

    I would doubt that Arteta would have wanted to look so devoud of ideas in the 2nd half , city strangled the life out of the game and Arsenal never came close to finding the answer…

    Superb tactical performance from Pep.

  104. Leftfootcurler

    Meh
    Pep didn’t tactically outwit Arteta .
    Only relevant thing that Pep did was having Walker at RCB to cover if Auba was released in the left channel.

    They were still vulnerable in transition and basically resorted to tactical fouling to stop counters.

    Arteta had self created problems.

    Simply swapping Auba and Willian would have increased our offensive threat significantly when we beat the press or on counter.

    This is where we lost the game.
    We stifled their attack well.
    Our chance creation depended on baiting the press and release the attackers/counter attack.

    Too bad Auba and Willian were in unnatural roles so didn’t have much of an impact even when we did get the ball to them.
    That is on Arteta.

  105. DivineSherlock

    Emiratestroller

    The fact is we deserved a point , competed with City enough to cause them troubles , same as Liverpool . Couldve even nicked it if we were clinical . So what are people moaning about ? Creatively we dont have the quality , but we wont be playing City every week . Its the matches against Leicester , Wolves , Evertons of the league that will determine our top 4 credentials.

  106. Pierre

    I have said previously that for Willian to be effective he needs players to bounce off , give and goes , one two’s.

    Willian isolated is like playing with ten men, he looks like a little boy lost at times.

    Against Sheffield united , he was invisible for an hour until Pepe came on and then he had a player to link with.

    Yesterday was a bit of a disaster for Willian, we all know he is a better player than what he is showing , so how can Arteta get the best out of him.

    If it was me , I’d choose the one player we have in the squad who’s game would lend itself to Willian’s….the frozen one.

    Willian likes to pass and move , but first he needs someone to pass to him…
    Willian will not go pass 2 or 3 players , he is a one and 2 touch player, but without an intelligent player close to him he will continue to struggle.

  107. SpanishDave

    We are slow moving the ball, yesterday on many occasions we we just outside their penalty area and within ten seconds we had passed it back to Leno.
    Passing backwards is a cop out pass, constantly now with no pressure our team look first to pass sideways or backwards.
    Look at Leeds they move the ball forwards with speed and move much quicker off the ball.
    We stand around doing tippy tippy.
    Arteta played crab football and he’s imposing on the team,
    Partey will soon be doing the same.
    Drop Xhaka and move on

  108. Pierre

    Leftfootcurler
    “Pep didn’t tactically outwit Arteta
    Only relevant thing that Pep did was having Walker at RCB to cover if Auba was released in the left channel. .”

    Of course he did.

    He allowed Arsenal to fanny about with it at the back in the 2nd half .

    He never allowed Arsenal to bypass the press in the 2nd half.

    He closed all channels to Saka in the 2nd half…

    He strangled the life out of Arsenal with his tactics and Arteta had no answer.

    Walker’s position never changed , he had Aubamayang in his pocket all game as he has pace to burn.

  109. Pierre

    LFC
    “They were still vulnerable in transition and basically resorted to tactical fouling to stop counters.”

    City were vulnerable in the first half …not in the 2nd half .
    I’m surprised that you wouldn’t recognise the importance of Pep’s astute tactics to nullify our game.

    He never allowed Arsenal to have quick transition in the 2nd half ..

  110. Pierre

    The thing is , City players didn’t cause us too many problems in the 2nd half , their remit was to control the game and do not give Arsenal a sniff at goal ….and it worked.

    City were not interested in playing open expansive football once pep saw Saka causing City havoc at the back after they scored.

    His sole intention was to not concede and to control the game and that is what they did.

    It is not a criticism of Arteta , he was against a very experienced, astute manager and Arteta will learn from this.

  111. Than you and goodnight

    Ancellotti seems to have Everton playing decent football. Bielsa has Leeds playing some great football. Arteta’s football is as boring as under Emery we’re just conceding less. Arteta better look for a better role model than pep because pep has been found out.

  112. Graham62

    People on here get confused with constructive criticism and moaning.

    Arteta may be new to the management game but to give Pep a tip of the hat because he nullified Arsenal in the second half is giving him far too much credit imo.

    Arsenal’s problems stem from their speed of transition. Arteta could have moved our front three around to counter City’s tactics. Look at Lacazette, when he came on, he was dropping too far back to collect the ball. Yes, we lack creativity but if you’ve got something that scares the opposition, use it.

    All Pep did was what you’d expect from a top coach but it wasn’t rocket science for Christ’s sake.

  113. Pierre

    Graham
    “All Pep did was what you’d expect from a top coach but it wasn’t rocket science for Christ’s sake
    I suppose all those coaches who outwitted Mr Wenger for all those years were also scientific geniuses.”

    Calm down calm down..

    One is allwoed to say that Pep’s tactics in the 2nd half allowed his team to see out the game comfortably…

    Pep learnt from their big defeat to Leicester and recognised that his team were not good enough to steamroller Arsenal , so he set out to control the game to protect his defence …

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