The Arsenal spine needs a performance today

by .

I didn’t realise the Leicester game was on so late in the day. I feel conned. I woke up early, worked out, dressed up to go to a pals house… then realised the error of my ways.

So I thought, fuck it, I’ll write a post.

Today is a huge game for Arsenal because part of the narrative is going to be about the lack of creativity, with Mesut Ozil sitting at home trying to run the social media manager at Arsenal out of a job. Before we get into the creativity piece, it’s worth highlighting the Rodgers comments before the game.

“The team have to operate with one brain. They have to function and work together.

“There will be teams where there is more freedom, but less structure.

“Ozil’s a wonderful talent and very creative, absolutely. He can make the last pass, but it’s about the team. It’s about ­marrying the individual ­qualities of the player into the team and if you feel that player can’t press the game or doesn’t want to press the game, it has an effect on your attacking structure and your defensive structure.

“If one person doesn’t do their job, then you can suffer.

“He’s a talent, but, as always with talent, you have to be a working talent.”

He’s basically said what Arteta won’t. What you’re reading above is one part of why the German isn’t in the squad. The second part is covered nicely in the tweet below.

The above excerpt from The Athletic is what you hear when you recieve leaks from Arsenal. The most important part outside ‘they don’t give a fuck’ is the bit where the source says ‘the players are watching.’ Wenger indulged the behaviour, remember Aaron Ramsey saying on Sky that Ozil gets special treatment? Not a good look in a failing team. Emery tried to impose discipline, then gave up, which sends an even worse message… ‘I am subservient.’ Arteta could not afford to have the biggest name at the club not giving a fuck. It’d ruin him. So he acted in a way that sends the strongest of message.

‘No one is bigger than the club’

Back to creativity…

Now, it’s tempting to say that Arteta MUST solve the issue right now. I don’t think that’s the case. I think he has to keep winning. People complaining about style and shots on target don’t have much of an argument if he continues to roll with 10 wins in 12 games streaks. We really do have to brace for the reality that this season might just be a year of foundation laying. Defending like kings (trying) and nicking goals could be the way.

It feels grim that we could be ‘that’ team, but if it’s effective, then it’s hard to complain. If Arteta doesn’t think he has the players to move the football forward into a ‘progressive’ world, then I’d prefer he does what works, versus placating fans with something we’ve seen fail quite a lot over the last decade. What I do find quite amusing is that I was SLATED for wanting a hipster manager that played progressive football, now the same people that wanted Nuno or Jose are complaining that the football isn’t hipster enough.

It’s also interesting that for all the ‘we’re shit’ chat that goes around, Sheffield United gave Liverpool a big scare yesterday, and West Ham took points from Manchester City. Complainers are in a bind on this one… was it good to get 6 points from those two, or was it poor that we didn’t do more against Liverpool and City? Probably that latter… maybe a little too much respect for two sides that look lost (City) or severely hungover (Liverpool).

Also, while we’re on the topic of average teams… United vs Chelsea, what a bore-fest. Both teams looked a mess. Chelsea, having spent £250m on talent, couldn’t muster more than 1 shot on target. Everton is currently losing 2-0 to Southampton (who have been excellent).

Back to Arsenal.

My main hope today is that Thomas Partey can show some class against a proper team. If he can control the midfield with the calmness he did in the week, we’ll be in good shape. I’m also praying for Gabriel. There are NOT many tests in the Premier League tougher than Jamie Vardy. He’ll do nothing for 70 minutes, then he’ll destroy you with a hattrick off 15 touches. This game is huge for the Brazilian’s concentration.

This 90 will also test Bernd Leno. He was a shambles the other night. Most notably with the ball at his feet. Now, we know that part of our game isn’t going anywhere, we know that Brendan Rodgers will have spotted what happened, and we know that Leicester will pressure Bernd really hard to make more errors like that. He has to clear his mind and put on the keeping equivalent of an early 2000s Iniesta performance. He also needs to dominate his box, teams put defenders on his from corners, that sort of shit only stops when you win all your battles.

We also need to cause problems going forward today. We need to start the game fast, we need to move the ball with purpose, and we need to make sure the ball sticks with our front three. I think this is going to be a good game. Two fairly evenly matched teams that both have plenty to worry about. Hopefully, we win, because we need it after the City game. We also need some form going away to Old Trafford next week.



1,287 Responses to “The Arsenal spine needs a performance today”

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  1. Tom

    – “When Roger introduced Under and Vardy, a smart coach would have assigned faster defenders to cover them”

    Gabriel is our only fast defender.

  2. DivineSherlock

    It pissess me off to no end seeing Mustafi , Xhaka make the same mistakes over and over and still playing for the team . Why not give AMN a chance or William Saliba . I dont give a f what he does or doesnt do in training , I dont want to see them in league game again.

  3. DivineSherlock

    Brendan Rodgers used the same game plan as Arteta had against Pool and City . 3-4-3 low block , defend deep , wait for a mistake and then bam , shithouse a win . Arteta is increasingly showing signs of being a poor reactionary manager . No signs of proactiveness.

  4. Tom

    AMN can cover Under…

    Can you imagine the uproar if Arteta brought on AMN while needing a goal on 75 minutes against Leicester at home?

    No, he should’ve dropped Thomas deeper for protection and move the slower Xhaka up.
    Thomas averages a goal /assist every 720 minutes , why have him so far up the pitch when you just knew the ball over the top was coming sooner than later.

  5. Sid

    The tactics Brendan uses is what a team with Auba should be doing, Auba is similar to Vardy play him in the middle, Pepe is similar to Cengiz
    We needed to signa creator to play behind Auba(Buendia would be better there than Willian) and play Saka on the left that would be a fluid team.

  6. Guns of SF

    And to think that a single creator type ( aouar) would have made a difference???
    Hell nah

    We need 2 creators in midfield. One is not enough. How the heck is that going to work, if the rest of the players simple get a pass and look to pass to the person ( to them directly most times) versus into space or through balls?

    When was the last time we did a through ball?

    2 Creative mids needed! or at least some that can dribble and take on one or two players easily.

    I imagine if we had the Chelsea Hazard we could do some serious damage. Where is that type of player???

    A dribbling demon, who is allowed to create and take on players. Not the system Art has is place. it has sucked the life out of the side

  7. Tony

    Can’t wait to read how Pedro spins this one!

    Heading into Emery’s territory with 3 games and 3 losses. If Arteta keeps this up he’ll have to go as Emery had be fired.

    Brenda beat Arteta and then rubbed it in Arteta’s face by castigating Xhaka’s performance.

    Xhaka is Arteta’s (emperor) new clothes.

    After this dismal run of losses I hope Arteta has a plan B that is far greater than his current cautious plan.

    I have always maintained that Arteta was not experienced enough manage Arsenal. However, He was hired and we had no option but to see what Arteta can do.

    From where I sit we are still waiting and waiting and waiting!

    So forgetting Molde in the EL cup we have United, Villa and Leeds up next.

    Last 3 performances do nothing to instil confidence we can win any of these games or even get any points.

    Guess we have to hope for the best and plan for the worst knowing there are inevitable boring, inept performances to come unless Edu starts to earn his keep by making Arteta make far better decisions than he has since the season began.

  8. DivineSherlock

    Not starting AMN was a mistake , AMN starting in place of Xhaka wouldve made a difference. Going from Starting in FA Cup final to not even making an appearance in Europa. WTF Arteta get your shit together.

  9. Guns of SF

    AMN must play more. Been saying that all this time. He brings energy, direct dribbling, recovery pace… etc. A good engine…. shame he is not playing.

    In fact, I think an AMN and Pepe/Willian partnership might help our right side more than Bellerin.

  10. MD-Gunner

    Spuds, Everton and Arsenal all needed new managers at the same time, Spuds look a problem for us, so does Everton and we haven’t even thrown in the other teams that look decent like Leeds, Villa and Southampton besides last season’s top 4. Not a pretty place to be in. What bugs me you have 7 Center Backs and you field Mustafi.

  11. Receding Hairline

    Let’s see how the players react to this in the next three games, that will tell us how much they have bought into the process. We may not see the process but they do, their reaction will tell us what we need to know. Not just results wise too.

  12. Guns of SF

    Process Schmocess

    Arteta needs to figure out how to attack ( not the predictable left side)

    I would try a different line up with Auba center, I mean who the hell do we cross to without him in the middle anyhow?

    anyhow, this system really has deflated the attack. We need to have our wingers tuck inside more.
    its like Arteta does not allow them to move away from their position and can only go up and down…

    In the FA final, Pepe drifted all the way across midfield and that made a huge difference with opening spaces.

    This conservative shit is useless

  13. Sid

    It says plenty about Arteta’s men that their centre-back was their chief creator.
    Once Luiz departed with an injury on 50 minutes, they struggled.

  14. Mee

    How can Brendan not laugh at us when Fofana, reportedly behind our Saliba in development, gets a full ninety minutes. Arteta likes to ostracize some guys, doesn’t he?

  15. Calypso

    Arsenal next 4 premier league fixtures

    Man Utd v Arsenal
    Arsenal v Aston Villa
    Leeds v Arsenal
    Arsenal v Wolves

    The only way the manager can redeem himself is to win all 4 games.

  16. Sid

    ‘Leicester showed impressive discipline at the back, with 19-year-old Wesley Fofana again impressive in a makeshift three-man defence ‘

    Meanwhile Mustafinovs……

  17. Habesha Gooner

    Calling for Arteta’s head now is premature for me. But his clock has definitley started ticking. He must find a way for us to have shots and attacking moves. I know our squad hasnt got creative players but I havent seen him take risks to get a better attacking unit. Willian hasnt palyed at CAM, No smith rowe or any thing. We are so afraid of taking risks. And Football has always been risk and reward. Honestly, FA CUP or no Trophy the honeymoon is offically over. We will start judging him from now on. One complete game all season is unacceptable. Fulham are shit. And that game has only been the one complete performance this season.

  18. Guns of Hackney

    It’s very possible we will lose all four of those games. Good teams playing good football (man u the exception).

    We have £200m of attacking players at our disposal and none of them can hit a barn door.

    For me, three things.

    1. Auba got his monster deal and has now retired.
    2. Lacazette was always shit.
    3. Pepe is just the worst.

    I’m afraid Arsenal FC is a dead club and I’m not sure any manager could sort this mess out. The ethos just isn’t there.

  19. Tony

    What has made no sense to me is that The Arsenal is a US$2 billion company and yet the owners were happy to install a late 30s manager who has never managed at any level – just one assistant manager’s position – whose sole responsibility is to create a winning team and thus drive the club’s wealth to new levels.

    Arteta says he wants to win the CL in 3 years, but at His current rate he’ll be lucky to qualify for the CL in 3 years.

    The new manager bounce got us the FA cup, which in turn luckily gave us EL cup football this season.

    As has been said the honeymoon period is over. Arteta has to get the team performing in a winning capacity starting with United because right now Arteta is shambolic making continual mistakes where he has Brenda (publicly) and I suspect other managers privately laughing at Arteta’s tactics this season.

    For me there are no more excuses for Arteta; either he starts winning games and regularly adding to our points total or he leaves the club under a cloud of underachievement scratching around for a new job unlike Emery who found new employment rather quickly.

  20. Receding Hairline

    Its still early doors, the problems have been identified let’s see if he can solve them.

    Villa and Leeds will test us. Wolves are trying to be a different type of team, more possession based, this can play into our hands. Ole has shown he is happy to be negative in big games, that game has draw written all over it.

    Villa and Leeds will be the bigger tests in my view.

  21. Postrockydave

    Would be interesting to hear Arteta’s honest take on Fofana as a player. Might shine a light on why Saliba is persona non grata. Actually, some straight talking on AMN, ESR and Nelson’s likelihood of playing a meaningful role for us would be nice. There seems to be preference for recycling or ostracising what we’ve got & I can’t really see any youngsters being blooded properly at the moment (Nketiah excepted). No guarantee Martinelli will be picked once fit.

  22. Receding Hairline

    No Tony not United or even Wolves.

    Our game with united will not be worth watching, will be a bore fest.

    Wolves have been so so this season, I think we will beat them, they will struggle to score against us that’s for sure,they have been shy in front of goal all season. Nuno is trying something that’s not really clicked for them yet.

    Leeds and Villa are the games for me, how we perform there will be interesting

  23. Jeff

    The needle governing my opinion of Arteta had moved a little in the right direction given the wins against the big teams albeit in minor tournaments but in the most important tournament (the PL), we are still struggling. Not only in terms of lacking goals but also in entertainment value. It’s gone down. The game against City was boring. The game against Leicester was boring. I thought I was watching another performance under Wenger where the desire to win would often go missing or as we jokingly used to say that we played with the “handbrake” on. It’s all come back to haunt us again. We are now 10th after 6 games and if Tottenham and City win their games in hand we’ll be 12th. This is not what I was hoping for – a mid-table team.

  24. Receding Hairline

    For some supporters it’s either all is great and the managed must be worshipped or everything is shit and he must be ridiculed and called names.

    Football isn’t that simple

    Other coaches were always going to work out what Arteta was up to, question is how will he adapt, can he change it up, have we looked like a dynamic team with multiple systems in his 38 games in charge so far?

    This belief he was building from the back was always questionable, Aubameyang played out of his skin for his next contract, he and Martinez also playing for his next contract made the difference during the FA cup run, the league form has never been overly impressive.

    Which is why I found the whole I believe in Arteta mantra funny, the hero worship was premature, the over the top criticism now is also very silly.

  25. Receding Hairline

    Also who is going evaluating our performances right now?

    Edu? He is basically on the same grade with Arteta

    Vinai? Lol, he just looks happy to be here.

    The promotion to first team manager off the back of five FA cup games was again premature.

    Again its either every thing is great or burn it all down with us. No middle ground.

  26. Leftside

    Arteta will live and die by continuing to rejig this side to ensure you get Xhaka into it. Bringing on Mustafi who isn’t sharp mentally at the peak of his powers is one thing and far from match fit doesn’t make sense. Being willing to play Aubameyang in any position in the front 3 except up top does not make sense.

    I would like players to train and behave well, but I’d actually rather have a team on the field that is best equipped to win football matches.

    We haven’t scored in two, there’s a good chance that becomes three next week. Pepe’s not playing in a system that will maximise his strengths and he’s not playing great, but he’s not the reason we’re losing games. Auba hasn’t scored in 5 games and that will endure for longer in this negative, cowardly system. If Auba isn’t on song then we won’t win games. You build around him, not the likes of a problematic player for this team – Granit.

    Do we want to win games or not get beat badly?

  27. Muppetman

    Reading some of the comments you’d think this is a spuds blog. Yayyy we lost so I can come here and say I told you so…. playground stuff

  28. Jeff

    If we take last night’s game for example, I don’t understand how Lacazette played centrally while Auba was being wasted on the wings. My confidence in Lacazette goes down with every game. He just isn’t the player we were all hoping he’d be. He doesn’t have the height in the box to be an aerial threat so we lose out there too. His ball control is also atrocious. But these are minor things. Also I’m unhappy about how Arteta let Martinez go so easily. I don’t think Leno is better – I just don’t.

  29. Hector Gonzalez

    Same crap from Arsenal…toothless, boring, one dimensional and most of all no desire. Arteta…you are just a dumb puppet who thinks he has skill after being Guardiola’s lacky for a year…RIP Arsenal! Oh and by the way AFC…nice one for excluding your only creative talent out of the team for the whole season…assholes!

  30. Freddie Ljungberg

    We do lack a creative fulcrum in the team but that doesn’t excuse all the weird decisions Arteta makes.

    Xhaka, shouldn’t be playing at all, 4th choice midfielder at best.

    Auba has to play in the middle, if that’s not doable in Artetas system then change the bloody system, the players he gets shunted out wide for isn’t good enough to justify it, we also lose creativity and assists from the left.

    Too much chopping and changing, layers have a good game and then they’re benched in the next game.

    We paid 72m for Pepe and the talent is obviously there, Arteta needs to get the best out of him, that’s not done by barely playing him and definitely not by playing him on the left where his most lethal weapons, the cutting inside to shoot or cross, is nullified.

    Hope he wises up quickly, despite no evidence that’s going to happen, or it’s going to be a long ass season.

    We need to also go all guns blazing for Szoboszlai in January when RB Salzburg is out of the CL, but that alone is not going to solve our problems as long as Arteta keeps getting so many things wrong.

  31. Sid

    The hero worship and idolization is what breeds the over the top critisizm,
    xG was always going to catch up with this team but somehow it didnt matter, what mattered was ‘defensive solidity’ which probably wasnt based on xGa.

    Then lately the decisions have been all over the place, shows pressure is building

  32. Freddie Ljungberg

    Ozil isn’t the solution to anything, he has 4 assists in the league in the last 2 seasons, same as Bellerin has managed this season already. He’s not creative, nor dies he provide anything we lack at the moment, if this was 5 years ago then sure, now, no, just no.

    Would rather hope ESR can stay injury free for more than 5 minutes at a time, would be more use than retiredOzil. And I don’t really expect much fromESR at this stage.

  33. Zacharse

    The manager cant put the ball in the back of the net. Fact is laca shoudl have. He had enough chances. Youre all taking a load of shit about MA. He set the team up to win and they flubbed it. Dani was awful. Laca was awful. A lot of luck went against us. We have injuries and a small squad. We have Ozil the duplicitous making his grand farewell. It wasnt our day. I expect us to win and bounce back

  34. DivineSherlock

    You want your team to play a certain way , to be defensively solid then why the hell would you not play with those kind of players ? Baffling. Aubameyang on the right , Willian as false nine wtf . I am beyond angry because Leicester were there for the taking . All you had to do was pick the right players in the right positions . Arteta’s selection policy literally makes no sense .

  35. Freddie Ljungberg


    We have an enormous squad actually, just not that many good players.

    The problem is that Laca shouldn’t start, neither should Eddie. If Auba gets those chances it’s a different story, instead he’s out on the wings pinging in crosses to inferior players.

    Ceballos wasn’t great but he’s been our best midfielder for the last 6 months or more, the setup in midfield just to squeeze Xhaka the terrible into the starting XI was just wrong.

  36. Tony

    If the United was a home game, I’d be more optimistic.

    Seems to me that right now hoping for points far outweighs any feelings for required acceptable football played let alone pulse raising entertaining football.

    We just need to start winning games in a deserved fashion not flattering to deceive wins.

    Not sure how much of a grip Arteta really has on the dressing room with his NNs. Not sure everything is hunky dory behind the scenes. Just a feeling I have nothing to back it up.

    It’s looking increasingly likely that Arteta’s thinking and tactics are no mystery to PL managers so it’ll be interesting to see how teams set up against us.

    Wolves certainly isn’t a banker.

    Just have to see what gives over the next 5 games including EL cup.

  37. Mb

    Laca don’t deserve to be on bench.
    Xhaka should have been sold in Jan.
    No Willian was needed.
    Auba’s sell on fees could have got a striker and a mid, saving on salary too.

    Everyone knew we are not going to compete let alone win the premier league this season.

    What’s the point of 30+ year old with big contracts if you are going to be a serious team after 2 years ?

    And play Saliba FFS. How worse he could be!

  38. Valentin


    Those NN and talk of everybody start from scratch are just talk. As long as Arsenal is winning everybody stay inline and follows the rules. The moment, his tactics are exposed and the results start to fall down there will be leaks of people not being happy. Journalists will ask questions and he won’t be able to wriggle his way out of it with good quotes.

    Resentment will bubble and people will commit act of micro-aggression. they will break some of the rules thinking what’s the worse that could happen to me. Not playing? I am not playing and anyway when I play, we are so shit I am not enjoying it. The NN and his strict disciplinarian attitude will be the death of Arteta.

    One of his NN is that out of respect to each others players should not show annoyance with one and another during games. Bellerin and Arteta were arguing about Lacazette not being in the penalty box one of the few time when Bellerin went behind the defense and his cut back was intercepted. Expect more and more of that.

  39. Graham62


    Good morning.

    Yep, unfortunately, you are correct.

    The gist of it for me is that although Arteta will get my full support if I see things are being done correctly and the team is showing signs of improvement, he will NOT get my sympathy and trust if and when he starts to make stupid decisions.

    I genuinely thought that when he came in he’d see the problems that exist and, bit by bit, rectify them. Aubameyang is out of position, FACT! Put saka out wide and Auba in the middle. Pepe, for all his weaknesses, should be starting. His confidence is shot. Xhaka should not be in the team, PERIOD,. The fact that he is still at our club is astonishing as far as I’m concerned.

    Martinez should still be at the club and Leno sidelined. There is no comparison between the two and it’s interesting to note that since Leno has returned our performances have gone downhill. I sense that this has had a negative affect on all the players.

    I wish Torreira was still with us( that’s me). Felt he always gave us something. Players like Willock and Nelson should be out on loan or sold. AMN seemed to be coming good, now we don’t see him. The transitions are appallingly bad. We are slow, predictable and to put it mildly, garbage with the ball. It’s all very well spending all your time working on your shape and attitude without the ball but, come on, where’s the intensity with it.

    Arteta has to sort this out quick because if things continue as they are I envisage major problems ahead.

    I’m starting to have grave doubts.

    Welcome to AFC.

  40. shad

    So Arteta is a more eloquent Emery… and at least Emery didn’t make our strikeforce look this blunt. Laca is done, he wouldn’t get into any of the other top 8 sides and we are hurting Auba’s confidence shunting him out wide.

    I think our best front 3 would be Saka, Martinelli and Auba as they have the intelligence and legs to rotate.

  41. Aasim

    For Arteta to complain about how Luizs’ injury affected their performance, I think speak volumes about the lack of tactical flexibility and attacking intent of the team. For him to be so devoid of ideas is bad. Arteta is fast losing goodwill and patience with the fan base. Looking pretty and talking a good game wears out pretty quickly without results.
    If this continues the players will also stop responding to him soon, if they haven’t started already. I mean Cabellos and Aubas performance already indicated reduced engagement.

  42. Sid

    Exactly, the non negotiables are another amatuer strategy of dealing with personel, in the event that you need to be diplomatic you will have boxed yourself in.

  43. Ishola70

    What we do know is if Arteta sets the central midfield up again like last night with Partey on his lonesome with Xhaka wide left and Ceballos keeping on drifting right then the team are not going to get the required results or performances. Not enough of them.

    You can’t just keep on giving up central midfield.

  44. Bertfish

    Many on here were saying we had had a good transfer window after signing Partey, some were saying we had even won the transfer window, probably the same ones that said the same thing last summer…

    Ok let’s give the window some transfer window ratings (TRW’s)

    Please give your TRW’s

    Partey – 7/10
    Every one keeps telling me this guy is mustard but not having watched him too much I don’t really know. Good signing then but given we have NO CREATIVITY the monies should have gone there first then Partey if monies available. Would have marked higher because of this.

    Willian – 2/10
    It’s a “free” signing but not in reality as we will be paying off 30 million in wages over his 3 YEAR deal. Not sure what position he was bought for but he does not have the legs for a wide spot & his best days are numbered. What he has offered so far has been poor so fuck knows what return we will get from him in year 2 & 3 when he is 33/34. Another Ozil situation in the making…

    Mari 1/10
    Looked pedestrian when he did play the odd game. Given we were obviously going after Gabriel why did we also think we needed another centre back given we have a dearth of mediocre already available. Took a valuable foreign player squad position unnecessarily.

    Soares 0/10 & that’s being generous
    Shocking decision to give him a 4 year deal at 29. He is average now so again what return will we be getting out of him in year 3/4. Given we wanted to also keep AMN why did we even need him. Also took a valuable foreign player squad position unnecessarily,

    Runarsson 2/10
    Of course early to judge him but he was bought for peanuts which is worrying in itself & the fact he could not even cement a place in a struggling French team even more so. The fact he has not featured in any cup games so far could suggest we have fucked up again. If Leno gets injured it could be interesting….

    Ceballos 5/10
    If he hadn’t finished last season with a few decent games he would not have been brought back as most of last season he was shite. Does not offer assists / goals & his link up play with the forwards is rank at best.

    Martinez 0/10
    Everyone knows we sold the wrong keeper. After the end of last season he should have been told he was starting the season as. No.1. Had a commanding presence in goal that I have not seen since Lehman. Leno should have been told he would start as no.2 & if he did not like it he can go.

    Arteta & Edu are culpable for overseeing a shocking transfer window & until we improve the recruitment we have got no fucking chance.

    Ps Papa should have just been given a free to at least get his wages off the books!

    We are now stuck with a squad with NO CREATIVITY so it’s going to be a long hard winter chaps.

    Pedro, what are your marks on how Arteta has performed in this transfer window?

  45. Pierre

    It wasn’t all bad last night , i thought the first 45 minutes was the best football we have played for months ; Partey looked very good , Gabriel assured at the back , Luiz passing was exceptional and we were getting into some good areas in the final 3rd.

    The disallowed goal was a farce, their goalkeeper had already dived in the opposite direction and was on the floor when the ball went in the net…xhaka was in no way in the goalkeeper’s line of sight.

    Playing partey, Luiz , Gabriel and lacazette against Rapid was a bad error of judgement and we paid for it in the 2nd half last night.
    Saliba should have played v rapid .

    2nd half, Luiz had a muscle injury, Partey looked shattered and gabriel and Lacazette had a drop in performance.level.

    Ceballos looked like a fish out of water on the right side of the midfield 3, he should of come off at half time and AMN brought on as he has all the attributes to play the role required.
    Is it a coincidence that AMN has not seen one minure of game time since his interview in front of the media in which he showed his support for Ozil.

    Would be quite petty of Arteta if he loses another player for something other than football reasons.

    I’m not sure why Mustafi is taking so much stick, he is obviouslynot 100% fit and the goal was Xhaka’s fault for getting caught out with the ball over the top.

    This season is not about finishing in the top 4 ( no chance), it is about finding a style of play that works and then building on it for next season.

    We are in for a bumpy ride this season and the fact that our football is the most boring in the league makes it even worse.

    Pedro’s and Arteta’s stance on Ozil is becoming increasingly ridiculous by the day , can they not see how we are crying out for a player with his skill, intelligence, vision and creativity, only a fool would deny we are not missing Ozil.

  46. shad

    Arteta has to take the flak for this non-performance. Players respond to results and more so to being played to their strengths. It’s no fun having a structure that negates the strength of your key players. Auba out wide is a dud, Laca in the middle is tosh and Pepe isn’t cutting it in the system. Our backline is fragile and it’s obvious we let go of the keeper who inspired confidence and play the current system of soaking in pressure from the back.
    We lack a close quarter dribbler, we don’t shoot from outside the 18, Partey will need time and Xhaka and Mustafi are brainfarts waiting to happen each game.

    We simply haven’t addressed the squad structure and Arteta is making the same mistake as Emery – overcoaching and not having an overall game plan to impose on the opponents. He’d rather tweak and come up with multiple formations to adapt to the opposition which at this stage gets too confusing for the players.

  47. Valentin


    In all walk of life, when people start to manage most of the time they either want to be the boss and overcommit in term of discipline or they want to be loved and they overcommit in term of letting others influence them.
    Arteta has over committed with the Non-negotiables. When he has to relax them for one of the senior players, he would lose a big part of the squad.
    Pep worked at club that could afford to exile or sell at a loss unwanted players. That’s not Arsenal. He will have to learn to make peace with people or Christmas 21 somebody else will be managing Arsenal.

  48. Ishola70

    Giving up central midfield worked when Arsenal were playing in the underdog rule and countering like those FA Cup games.

    It won’t work enough over a whole 38 EPL match campaign

  49. Ishola70


    “Ceballos looked like a fish out of water on the right side of the midfield 3”

    Yes and everyone is slating him and haven’t recognised like you he had a poorer game because he was instructed to go right of the midfield. He likes playing centrally.

  50. shad


    TW Ratings

    Partey: – 9/10 I think he’ll come good eventually. It’s just his 2nd game in a new team playing for a very defensive minded coach.

    Runarrson In/Martinez Out: 0/10 – Tears are still flowing over this.

    Soares/Mari: 1/10 – I see no value addition.

    Luiz: 5/10 – On his day, he is unplayable. On the rest, he is an absolute muppet.

    Gabriel: 9/10 – Best signing of the window

    Willian: 4/10 – Too inconsistent to offer us that extra something to push us into the top 4.

    Saliba: ? Is he ever going to play??

  51. Gonsterous

    Disappointing but I’m still trying to look at the bigger picture. Arteta has till the end of the season. I hope he looks back on this game and recognizes that he’s the one who failed the team. Or else it’s going to be more of the same and it’s going to be a long season.

    Utd next, let’s smash those lot.

  52. prvhc

    Pedro’s on an eternal honeymoon with Arteta.
    I don’t think he’ll let go even after the marriage is broken.

  53. Sid

    Supreme leader is still on his honeymoon problem is his bride only knows the missionary position, has to learn 69, scissors, doggy, wheelbarrow
    All that before WINTER else it will be cold cold cold for supreme leader!

  54. Graham62

    I just won’t let go on the Leno saga.

    When you see that he’s referred to as “The German” by the other players, you sense that he’s not the the most popular character in the dressing room.

    Look at the way the players communicate with him. Is there a link between them and him. Body language says it all really.

    Imo, it’s not a coincidence that we’ve been flat since Leno came back into the team. We all agree that the cohesiveness has disappeared and the intensity levels have dropped but when one player leaves who was obviously liked and respected by his colleagues, it can have an adverse impact on the team and their mindset. Another point, he’s not good enough anyway.

    Arteta made the decision and he’s got to stand by it but, from where I stand, he has unsettled a ship that had sunk under Emery and resurfaced under his guidance. Suddenly the water looks distinctly choppy and oh, look! Is that an iceberg I see in the distance?

  55. China1

    I honestly doubt it’s because Martinez was more popular with his colleagues (is this even true) that arsenals outfield players are playing worse the last few games…

  56. zacharse

    I am not hearing the same alarm bells as everyone else, just the same issues with lack of competent midfield and lacazette in the starting xi. These are squad issues not arteta issues. That was Parteys 1st start, always disruptive when the player who will in theory be leading the team butts in for the first time, i imagine things will be tweaked and adjusted and within a week or two a slightly new team will emerge, hopefully featuring eddie auba and willian up front. Hopefully saka isnt getting burnt out, hopefully auba isnt playing a through a serious injury. Hopefully Dani starts completing simple passes. Pepe… who the fuck knows. Xhaka at LCB? ok. There’s a lot of games left to play and another window in jan… things are better than they’ve been in more than a decade as far as I’m concerned