HUNGER SAVES ARSENAL, AGAIN.

by .

Mikel Arteta was reminded of the lessons he learned in December in the comfort of a safety blanket FA Cup 3rd round against a team that’s really not that good.

The team he rolled out had a few of the problem players we thought might be useful this season. The two most notable were Willian and Pepe. We also saw Reiss Nelson given a crack, along with Joe Willock, who many had high hopes for this season.

Well, if you thought the emergence of the kids was going to spark something, you’d have been very wrong. Pepe and Willian were quite simply not at the level expected of £100k p/w+ talents. Whatever the Arteta system is, you cannot argue those two are built for it. The Ivorian looks so out of his depth, you struggle to see how he’d land minutes at Brentford. Willian doesn’t have pace, he doesn’t have a purpose, and he lacks the drive to show he can change.

Joe Willock and Big Mo just didn’t work at the base of midfield. Joe was particularly anonymous. There’s something there, he shows flashes of ingenuity with some of his passing and he has a stride, but too often it’s the lack of concentration you remember. I really, really struggle to understand what AMN has to do to land game time. The guy who marked City out of a semi and pocketed Traore can’t land time ahead of two players that have lower ceilings. It’s really odd.

The big lesson of the Newcastle game is that we’re a couple of injuries away from utter mediocrity. It was incredibly worrying to see Gabi go off in the warm-up crying. The hope is that he’s a drama queen like David Ospina, I fear that’s not the case though, based mostly on the luck Arsenal has had this season.

Saka and ESR are now the go-to players that rescue games. They have energy, they take chances, and for two young players… they are really efficient. Smith Rowe is now up to 4 assists and 2 goals this season. His finish today was fucking outrageous. It was seasoned. Confident. Decisive.

Saka landed the assist for the assist twice. His first was a looped ball that Lacazette nodded into the path of ESR. The second was finding Auba at the back post. Brilliant stuff. The second half of the season, in a position he likes, is opening up his game and he’s thriving. What a talent.

We also can’t ignore two senior players that have stepped up to the plate. Granit Xhaka changed the game when he came on. Alex Lacazette found another assist. Those two are earning their keep.

Same with Kieran Tierney. He’s been an immense signing and he popped up with another beastly performance and capped it with an assist for Auba. Talking of our captain, it’s great to see him on the score sheet. He might be out of sorts, but you can see the green shoots in his game that tell you he wants to be the main man. He’s not mentally retiring any time soon. That’s great news.

I think we can also stop talking about Emi Martinez now. Bernd Leno is just a really good goalkeeper. His triple save in the second half was decisive. He’s passing is improving, he’s punching less, and he makes decisive contributions in games when he’s not busy.

Also worth noting that Pablo Mari doesn’t look like a bum. Edu has pulled one out of the bag there. He’s calm on the ball, his passing is good and he uses his frame well. Someone compared him to Per Mertesacker the other day and I thought that was apt.

So, we’re through to the next round of the FA Cup. The biggest news we can get is that Gabriel has a minor injury. The hope is that we see Thomas Partey very soon to address the midfield drabness. A huge week ahead as we build towards Top 4 deciders at the end of the month.

Listen to my on the whistle podcast I just made with Matt. HAVE A NICE DAY.

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396 Responses to “HUNGER SAVES ARSENAL, AGAIN.”

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  1. englandsbest

    Willian is a wash-out but Pepe showed signs of awareness. I think he’ll come good, maybe even £72 million good.

    Hopeful too about Martinelli’s ‘turned ankle’, if that is all it is. Recovery is a matter of days. I think fearful that it was more than that made him tearful.

  2. Time Up

    China1

    “Why would mari or Gabriel not be able to play RCB?
    95% of the best CB combinations throughout history consisted of two right footers, why is having two left footers an issue?”

    This is a good mystery, I’ve seen the two right footed, never seen the two left footed EVER.

    Just like I’ve seen right food right back covering left back. I think I’ve only seen left footed left back covering right back on time.

    Strange but true, and I don’t know why!.

  3. Captain Tierney

    China

    Because of abundance of right footed CBs many of them have to play LCB while growing up. Thats why most of them can play both RCB and LCB.
    In contrast, there are usually few left footed CBs and therefore while growing they usually only play the LCB position. So it becomes difficult for them to play the RCB role effectively.

  4. Pierre

    Adams/bould/keown /campbell / O’Leary.

    The best left footed centre half for Arsenal was Peter, Peter Simpsom , by a mile.

    Mind you , up until now , i can only remember the very average Tommy Caton.

  5. Samesong

    Terry and carvalho
    Ferdinand and vidic
    Campbell and toure
    Etc etc etcRighties galore

    Left footers tend to be more one footed than righties. This makes it awkward to play out from the back and reduces passing angles.

    Materazzi and Samuel were the exception!

  6. Useroz

    China1January 10, 2021 10:32:57
    Why would mari or Gabriel not be able to play RCB?
    95% of the best CB combinations throughout history consisted of two right footers, why is having two left footers an issue?

    You touch on nother one of Arteta’s non negotiables….

  7. Time Up

    China1,

    Give me two left footed CB, I know about right footed.

    And I can give you 10 right footed players played at left back for a long time and non left footed played at right back.

    The most famous was Irwin at ManU.

  8. Northbanker

    China -posted similar yesterday
    I have the same view – our best 2 CBS are Gabriel and Mari so Arteta should work out which one is best at RCB and creates a pairing

  9. Pierre

    Time up
    “Just like I’ve seen right food right back covering left back. I think I’ve only seen left footed left back covering right back on time.”

    Didn’t winterburn have a spell at right back in the 80’s if i remember rightly…and not very good…

    League cup final v luton springs to mind

  10. Time Up

    Pierre,

    I said I’ve seen it once just as an emergency due to injuries. Where right footed played at left back as our AMN regularly.

  11. Mysticleaves

    I agree with Pierre. Ozil should be kept, registered and used as back up to ESR. He claims he loves the club and wants to stay so let him stay and play when ESR can’t and if he doesn’t give a fuck, his legion of worshippers will be watching 🌝🌝

  12. Bojangles

    If Balogun wants to remain at Arsenal he should instruct his agent to get the deal done. If he doesn’t want to stay, then adios and good luck.

    He’s never even been out on loan yet. If we give in to these demands what happens with John Jules Or the new guy Moller? Do we do the same for them?

    If he does stay, he needs to serve his dues before demanding guaranteed playing time at Arsenal, the same as the other youngsters.

  13. Samesong

    I have played every position on the pitch and although my strongest foot was right. I was able to pass. Control, shoot with my left foot. Crossing on my left would be a lottery at times but some crosses did come off.

    Player’s that are heavily left footed mainly look to control, pass and shoot with that foot regardless. I;ve never known of a good leftie that is good or confident with their right foot.

  14. Karsa

    I haven’t seen any quotes from Bagolin saying he wants to stay. Speaks volumes.

    Two left footed centre backs would reduce the opportunities for long balls to the left wing from the right side of defence.

  15. China1

    I think it’s just a statistical improbability to have two left footed CBs in your first 11. Most teams have zero left footed CBs in their starting 11. Having two is just highly improbable as a law of averages.

    But there’s nothing special about lefties compared with righties. In a central position there’s really zero excuse for being incapable of playing off center to the left or right. In either case you will spend most of your time still just using your good foot.

    In the case of Gabriel a very many of his tackles come from him moving from the LCB position forwards to the right to dispossess they on his inside. At the end of the day opposition attackers can and will often come at you on the inside and outside and someone who is so one footed and inflexible so as to be incapable of tackling on their ‘wrong’ side is simply a very limited CB. There’s not really an excuse for it.

    So maybe Mari and Gabriel would fail if they played together but if after 3 games in a row whoever is at RCB is still struggling I think it mainly just reflects badly on them as opposed to it being a particularly big ask. Righties did this all the time. It’s really normal

  16. Dissenter

    I just saw the photographs of the Martinelli injury during warm-up,yesterday.
    It was a freak accident, his studs were stuck in the turf and his ankle twisted very badly. He’s probably stretched or torn ankle ligaments
    He’ll be out for a while, likely for months. Hopefully he doesn’t requires surgery.

  17. Davi

    Does Mertesacker have a good reputation with Arsenal fans? I know he had qualities and played some good games but my strongest memories of him are jogging back when attackers get behind the defence – I can forgive him being slow but he would literally jog back every time. Sorry I just thought comparing Mari to him was a bit of an insult.

  18. China1

    Davi mert was ok but overrated imo. He had great games here and there but he was very much a part of the overly soft culture we struggled with and his form could be sporadic imo

  19. Valentin

    If the rumours that Balogun is moving to Germany are true, then it is most likely not for the money. The fee and salary that German clubs will pay his agents would be dwarfed by what he could received in England.
    The lad and his agents are clearly more interested in game time and career progression. If they don’t believe that they will get that, they are unlikely to sign.
    Remember that after Saka signed, he was then benched by Arteta for a fee games, until it was obvious that it was a mistake. Iwobi, Eddie, Saka and Balogun share the same agent. They may be wary of what would happen to Balogun once he signed, because of Arteta can bench absolute talent like Saka and Martinelli, there is doubt that Balogun would be benched.
    Huss Fahmy used to offer heavily incentivised contract for young players. However one bone of contention was Arsenal refusal to have fixed release clause with counter incentive. If a player does not have X minutes, he can then leave for a cheap fixed price.

  20. China1

    Also I expect the global shortage of left footed CBS is because many left footed defenders will get encouraged to play LB as a kid because the value of being a left footed left back is often worth more to the team than being a left footed CB if the player is vaguely capable of playing either position.

    I was best as a CB (left footed) and was an example of often being used as a LB because we had a few similar level CBs (all others were right footed) but we had nobody else who could play LB who was left footed so it was more useful to use me there

  21. Graham62

    The really sad and annoying aspect about Balogun’s situation is that we haven’t seen enough of him.

    Arteta obviously feels he is not up to it when, from what we have all seen of him in glimpses, he most definitely is.

    Of course Balogun is not happy, why should he be.

    I don’t trust Arteta’s judgement on many things and I can now add this one to my list.

  22. Chris

    It’s certainly difficult to justify leaving Mari out of the team now, he has been solid. I personally like the combo of him and Rob Holding.

    In any case it is good to have reliable options and Mari is currently proving himself to be just that.

  23. Daniel Altos

    3:36
    I must have been watching a different game than most of you. Sure, Willian was abysmal but Pepe was fine. He worked hard and looked quite dangerous. He’s a little short on confidence but he came to play today. I have no time for Willian but I can see things clicking fairly soon for Nicolas. No doubt he should be relegated to the bench in favor of Sake, Martinelli or Auba on the flanks but I still have hope for him. The key move we need to make is finding a new home on loan or permanently for WIllian.

    @bacaryisgod Im with you on this one pepe might be shit but the hate he gets here for his performance yesterday is absurd.He floated two great balls for reiss (who was abysmal)and floated one for willock who fluffed his chance and he was making runs too.Willock,nelson and willian were way worse

  24. Ernest Reed

    “I agree with Pierre. Ozil should be kept, registered and used as back up to ESR.”

    That experiment would last precisely 12 seconds, which is about all that it would take for Ozil to say his back hurts and cant play.

    Lets not bring him back. A contract is a contract, pay it off in full and tell the lazy shit to bugger off at the end of it. If another team is stupid enough and desperate enough to field a lazy and uninterested player, then they would in fact actually be dumber than Arsenal, if that’s actually possible.

  25. Emiratesstroller

    Pierre

    Sorry I disagree. Ozil should not be registered for the remaining games this season.

    As far as I am concerned Ozil should move to Fernhabace in January if that is his preferred
    destination. Ideally his new contract and wages should start then. The only concession that
    Arsenal should make is that they cover part of wage bill for next six months if he is going to
    take a pay cut in Turkey.

    It serves the best interest of both parties that there is an amicable and clean break in relationship which does not continue to fester.

    I appreciate that Ozil may be the only central creative option available apart from Smith-Rowe, but playing him sends the wrong message to the team and players. There is life after
    Ozil.

  26. Nelson

    “his studs were stuck in the turf and his ankle twisted”

    I like to change the studs on my Adidas shoe. One time on a rainy day, I put on those long Aluminum studs. I twisted my ankle while walking out onto the field.

  27. Sean Mukiza

    Sad what’s happening with Joe Willock. Was excellent for the 23’s in 18/19 season playing as a goal scoring number 8. Ramsey esque. Getting Assists and goals every other game. Shows how big the transition is for some players. Looks shot of confidence.

    Mikel needs to stop playing him, it’s damaging the guy even more. Needs to go out on loan and rediscover himself. Looks lost.

  28. JAMES WOOD

    Watched the game twice.
    WITHOUT GOING IN TO THE PLAYERS WHO ARE JUST NOT DOING IT.?
    If Carroll had took he’s chances it’s a different result.
    Urgent upgrades needed.

  29. Uwot?

    Yes ems agree.Arsenal should only cover part of “ the waste of space” wages till end of season( contract up) if he decides to leave & play straight away at Fenerbace.Problem is him & his piss taking agent are also after a “ loyalty” bonus of £8 million plus.Which sticks in the throat.Meaning he is going to hang around till the death despite his agents laughable diatribe that it’s not money that is the motivator.p.S he will also be getting a £2.5 signing on fee by the way from Turkey!

  30. Uwot?

    Also I’ll tell you this for free.Willock,Reiss Nelson & Eddie are not going to make it.A shame as they’re home grown.Cut our losses & move em on.

  31. G

    ” Let’s not kid ourselves, ESR was forced upon Arteta as he insisted on played the resident stiffs, don’t kid yourself, Arteta is no genius by any stretch of common sense.”
    ESR was always going to get his chance.. Very highly rated within.. Thankfully he’s taking it.. I knew he was good but did t realize how good

  32. Captain Tierney

    I think Ozil’s move to Fener is very close. His brother posted a photo of Fener on his instagram with a cheeky emoji.
    My Favourite Arsenal who was probably the reason I started supporting Arsenal. Good luck to him in the future. World class player when he wanted to be. Gutted he isn’t leaving us on better terms.

  33. Pierre

    Stroller
    “I appreciate that Ozil may be the only central creative option available apart from Smith-Rowe, but playing him sends the wrong message to the team and players. ”

    So Smith rowe gets injured and we are back to where we were a month ago, playing dismal boring football with no creativity …..so what you’re saying doesn’t really make sense does it, any decision should be made for the good of the team .

    Personally, playing Ozil i would say would send a positive message to the players who all appear to like Ozil ( probably because he’s a quality footballer and just wants to play football for Arsenal) and it shows humility on the management that they are prepared to make a decision for the good of the team and not be vindictive and personal.
    I doubt if one player would begrudge Ozil playing for Arsenal again , in fact they would welcome him back.

    Of course it won’t happen as the management ( like many Arsenal fans) lack humility and are vindictive which is a sad indictment on Arsenal football club…

    At the end of the day , Ozil and the team were playing perfectly well before lockdown in march and i believe a footballer should be judged on performances and influence on the field and not some petty events that happen off the field .

  34. Captain Tierney

    Keown on Ozil

    “It hurts me that a player of that talent can’t get on the football pitch, it’s a crying shame,” he told talkSPORT.

    “For me, he doesn’t go down as a legend, because he doesn’t match the energy and determination of legends that I’ve seen at that football club.

    “If he had [Kieran] Tierney’s determination, coupled with that ability, he might’ve gone down as the best player ever to play for Arsenal.

    Hard to disagree. Ozil could have been so much better.

  35. China1

    Keowns van nistelrooy moment involved more passion than ozil’s entire career

    Keown – a true, genuine legend for this club

  36. Captain Tierney

    Agreed.
    And not only an Arsenal legend he should have also been a legend for Germany.
    Hard to think of a player as talented as Ozil to come out of the German setup in the last 20 years.
    Maybe only Neuer comes close

  37. DivineSherlock

    Ozil is busy drinking Turkish coffee with his wife. Thank god its over . I think his legacy is worse than Van Persie . Atleast Van Persie was clear he wanted to win trophies . Ozil just milked Arsenal for money, when he renewed his contract. Just thinking what if we had made Sanchez that offer and sold Ozil instead.

  38. Goobergooner

    Ozil is such a soft cock. Good riddance, he’s finally leaving. He embodies everything wrong with arsenal the last few seasons. The fact he copped out after signing a mega deal shows the kind of bloke he is.

    It is a pity he didn’t utilise his unbelievable ability to the fullest, but that is 100% on him. As mentally weak as they come.

  39. Pierre

    Sean M
    As you have seen a lot of the academy games i respect your view on the players coming through.

    I’m sure you recognise the potential of Willock and i agree with you that he may have to look elsewhere for game time to rediscover his game.

    I said earlier that i don’t think the system we now use suits Willock as he is a box to box midfielder and Arteta prefers his 2 central mids to be disciplined and rarely ahead of the ball.

    Willock has a choice, either adapt his game to suit the present Arsenal team or move to a side that play to his strengths..

    In Europe this season Willock has very good stats ( 6 goal contributions) due to the fact we are dominating games and he is able to make the late runs into the box.

    However , in his limited games against prem opposition, it requires him to be more disciplined and (similar to Ramsey) it goes against his natural instincts to play it safe..

    So yeah, a loan move to a team like Wolves or similar could be good for him ..

    I’m not sure Arteta ( and many Arsenal fans) have the necessary patience with our kids.

  40. Moray

    If Ozil goes to Turkey and cunts around like he has with us for a few seasons now, someone is going to take it in their head to crucify the lazy prick on the centre circle.

  41. Valentin

    As far as I remember, during his last season with Arsenal Arteta did worse than Özil. Not play a single game for Arsenal, milking the club knowing that he did not intend to play, asking the club to pay for his coaching badge while not having the intention to stick with the club when he got them.

    So the amount may be lower, but he had the same milking the club for my personal benefit attitude. A little double hypocritical to then accuse Özil.

  42. London gunner

    anyone interested in manor soluman the Israeli hazard.

    21 years old one of the best players in the Russian league scored against Real Madrid in champions league.

    Could get for 5 to 10 mill

  43. Graham62

    I’m old enough to remember’ The Forsyte Saga’.

    Now it’s ‘ The Ozil Saga’

    It’s actually quite laughable that Ozil is still seen by some as a solution or even a backup.

  44. Raulishuss

    London the next hazard is already playing in the pl for wolves. I like malon and u think he’s kinda similar to podence he’ll be a good buy for a low amount

  45. Raulishuss

    Val you shouldn’t make everything so personal it ruins the few positives you make. You sound so bitter eveeytime when it comes to Arteta it’s as if he did you one. Grow up bro

  46. Foxy

    On the subject of right footed left backs I recall Flamini putting in some good performances in I believe the year we got to the champions League final. He played very much on the front foot getting in a tackle before his opponent could try and attack him on the outside.

  47. DivineSherlock

    Val

    You are so full of shit , Arteta got a standing ovation when he last played the game for Arsenal against Aston Villa. And he was injured as well during his final season, Always gave a 100% when he played , unlike your boy Ozil who needs sick leave to holiday in Greece on away days . So by your accounts Per Mertesacker also leeched the club then.

  48. Habesha Gooner

    Well Fabrizio just tweeted we are keeping Nketiah. Arteta really has questionable eye for talent. Balogun is moving on it seems. I hope this decision doesn’t come back to bite us in the ass.

  49. Nelson

    Valentin
    ‘ A little double hypocritical to then accuse Özil.’

    It is the expectation and disappointment from the fans. The fans can forget Arteta as a player. Ozil could help the team out but he ignored the fans feeling completely. That’s like a divorced wife turning from love to hatred.

  50. Freddie Ljungberg

    Saliba got man of the match yesterday btw.

    In his second game, having been there less than a week. With no senior football in him all season.

    Who knew he could use a couple of games on a decent level to get some match fitness……

  51. Pierre

    Graham
    “I’m old enough to remember’ The Forsyte Saga’.Now it’s ‘ The Ozil Saga’”

    The only saga you remember is the grab a granny saga holidays for geriatrics like yourself and Tony.

  52. Nelson

    China1 “Long aluminum ones – blades?”

    I have different kinds of studs. Some are made of leather and others made of plastics. They are of different length. I have only one kind made of Aluminum. It is about one inch long specialized for wet grass.

  53. Mysticleaves

    I want Ozil to be used as back up not because I think he will benefit the team. But I think it will be stupid to be paying his wages in Turkey while we have only 1 no 10 (that has questionable injury record). It’s also a way to shame him. Having him as back up to 20 year upstart is just what he deserves.

  54. Pierre

    Nelson
    “It is the expectation and disappointment from the fans. The fans can forget Arteta as a player. Ozil could help the team out but he ignored the fans feeling completely. That’s like a divorced wife turning from love to hatred.”

    You’ve been reading Le Grove for too long I’m afraid.

    Ozil is like Wenger ,respected for his contribution to football by everyone bar the minority ( the obsessives) .

    Guaranteed that if Ozil was to play in front of 60,000 at the Emirates, he would get the recognition he deserves

    Most fans are intelligent and recognise that this situation is not of Ozil’s doing , he hasn’t turned his back on the club like rvp, Sanchez, nasri, Adebayor

  55. London gunner

    pierre

    ozil had some magic moments but whats the excuse for seasons where he played numerous games and was anonymous.

    When he said he was injured with back pain when it was complete bullshit and the fact three managers benched him.

    Its obvious he was a very talented player but also obvious that he had a terrible attitude towards hard work.

  56. Leedsgunner

    Deeply disappointed with Arteta’s insistence that he’s going to keep “trying with Willian.”

    Why does he deserve special and preferential treatment when we have younger homegrown talent at the club? Willian is done, a washed up ex Chelsea player who wants a rich pay day at our club’s expense. He isn’t going to get any better because his best years are well well behind him.

    Give his playing time to Reiss Nelson and Pepe.

    Stop signing Chelsea rubbish.

  57. Kris

    Val wins the LeGrove for today:

    “As far as I remember, during his last season with Arsenal Arteta did worse than Özil. Not play a single game for Arsenal, milking the club knowing that he did not intend to play, asking the club to pay for his coaching badge while not having the intention to stick with the club when he got them. So the amount may be lower, but he had the same milking the club for my personal benefit attitude. A little double hypocritical to then accuse Özil.”

    100 % correct, Val.

    Expect personal attacks from morons now. They hate facts. Because they’re smarter BY A LOT.

    Also, let’s not forget that Mertesacker himself milked the club by staying and collecting wages the last season even though according to him he did not want to play and was “relieved” every time he was not selected.

    Less money, but let’s not be ignorant cunts and let’s try to have at least a tinge of objectivity.

  58. englandsbest

    Ozil was Wenger’s worst mistake, and has cost the Club £150 million.

    Why did Wenger sign him, he needed a striker not a midfield? Sheer ego. He was made to look utterly foolish with his clever-dick £40 mill + 1 bid for Luis Suarez. So he paid £43 mill for Ozil – a sum which might well have got him Suarez.

    And if that idiocy was not enough, sheer ego by Wenger led to the £17 mill/pa contract. That cost the Club more than turning down the £60 mill bid for Alexis Sanchez.

    I was pleased Wenger went, I’ll be even happier to see Ozil depart.

  59. Mysticleaves

    Arteta and Mert were genuinely injured for long terms and couldn’t have played even if they wanted to. Anytime they played they put in 100 percent and wore their hearts on the sleeve for the club. As a player Arteta was not a legend for the club but will be more fondly remembered than Ozil. He got a standing ovation in his last game

  60. Samesong

    Arteta was not a legend for the club but will be more fondly remembered than Ozil.

    Only memory I have of Arteta playing is his crab passing.

  61. billp79

    1. Why don’t we just recruit players who can use both feet proficiently….at least that’s how we should be training the academy at least…
    2. Stop signing Silvestre, Kalstrom, Willian types….invest in youth…we should always have redundancy coming in through the ranks.
    3. If players are blocked for 1st team action by better players …its time for them to make a decision…fight or fee….hopefully when they are not in the last 6 months of their contracts.

  62. TR7

    Always believed that Ozil was incredibly overrated and no, he wasn’t the most talented German footballer in the last 10-15 years or so. Would choose an in form Schweinsteiger over prime Ozil every day of the week.

  63. billp79

    there should always be a player in the academy trying to make a push up through to the first team….so theoretically there should always be a replacement enroute for the likes of Niketia, Balougn, Willock, etc.
    That way we don’t have to make shit decisions on players past their sell by date and have no interest in making an effort and join or re-sign only to pad their (and their agents) retirement package.

  64. billp79

    new generation of agents and player feel they are entitled to big contracts without showing any signs of professionalism … they feel one good year is enough…

  65. Sly

    Ozil will be remembered as a good player
    Typically missing in games where it really mattered or against the Top teams

  66. Mysticleaves

    Always believed that Ozil was incredibly overrated and no, he wasn’t the most talented German footballer in the last 10-15 years or so. Would choose an in form Schweinsteiger over prime Ozil every day of the week.

    Finally somebody said it. I was pulling my hair out. Gotze was incredibly talented too. But fell off the wayside. Lahm, Reis. Sheer talent

  67. TR7

    Red

    You are right but I am considering Ozil simply because he represented the German national team.

    Mystic

    Lahm was absolute class, one of the modern greats of the game for me. Reus supremely talented, he could have become one of the best players in the world if not for injuries. Not a big fan of Gotze, always flattered to deceive. Ballack was very good too.

  68. Danny+S

    A large part of being a world class, legend type player is mentality.

    Ozil has all the talent on his day, but he is incredibly weak mentally.

    If he had the mentality of CR7, I.e sheer determination to do well and win, he would no doubt have been a legend at one club or other.

  69. Upstate Gooner

    Comparing Ozil with Arteta is like comparing diamond with a pile of poo. One was/is a supremely talented footballer, the other is a backwards/sideways passing bitch who couldn’t force his way into his national side even if he threatened someone with a gun. I’ll let you figure out which is which.

  70. Sly

    Arsenal should sell Nketiah
    We’ve seen the best of him
    We haven’t seen enough of Balogun but with the little so far he has more power, can hold the ball in a 9 position and has great technique and finishing

  71. Chris

    Read elsewhere:

    Apparently the Leeds team bus driver was stopped and fined £200 by Sussex police for a pointless journey!!

    Come on Marine!

  72. Thank you and goodnight

    @Englandsbest

    Ozil was a panic buy, we’d had a bad start to the campaign losing to villa if memory serves me right. Fans where on wengers back due to no signings and Real Madrid wanted ever di Maria or Ozil sold. Real chose to keep Di Maria and we were in the right place at the wrong time.

  73. Batistuta

    Watching Ajax v PSV and Ajax have come back from two down. Some beautiful football on display and some very good youngsters.

    Sangare has looked awful for PSV, wasn’t he another many wanted us to sign last summer. Love the Brazilian on the right for Ajax, name is Antony, dude can ball

  74. MGooner

    We’ve got a good core. Saka, ESR, Tierney, Gabby.

    At the back we’ve Ok now with the Italian and Brazilian, Holding.

    The midfield should be OK with Partey and Mo. I wish Chambers was given a chance there, thats where he used to play for Soton.

    Players like Mo passing sideways is an Arteta thing.

    I don’t think Willian is a bad player. It’s just that the system does not suit him. he could be a good counterattacking player.

    Jury still out on Pepe – I was a bit uneasy when we signed him for such a fee. At the time there were not that many offers from other clubs for him, surprised we paid that price. But maybe with a run of games he’ll come good.

  75. MGooner

    Thank you and goodnightJanuary 10, 2021 17:25:33

    Ozil was a panic buy, we’d had a bad start to the campaign losing to villa if memory serves me right.

    Not sure Ozil was a panic buy. My view is that we had not bought top players in a while and the world knew that Arsenal was not a team capable of competing for top prizes. That’s why we tried to lure the best available players – truth be told, there were not that many clubs queuing up for Ozil and just befor for Sanchez who was a bench warmer at Barca.

  76. Mark

    Balogun is more than likely gone, which is a crime. I mean he wants to play and with the performances we were serving up during the 7 match losing streak.

    It’s hard to argue that he didn’t deserve a chance in the EPL. Based on the fact we couldn’t score in open play, never looked like scoring and were breaking all kind of historical records, but in a bad way. You could think what would we have to lose. Mikel is too safe to do things like this, and seems blind to obvious talent.

    What’s worse than the blindness is his inability to manoeuvre situations to his and the club’s benefit. If you & Balogun want to stay, smart thing for Arteta to do is play him. Give him some fuckin minutes, a taster. Then ultimately agent has to do what client wants.
    How is not giving him any minutes at all helping? It just makes the agent’s case stronger.
    If Balogun is already gone or going, don’t keep saying you want him here. Not sure what the point of that is.

    Too little too late as far as I’m concerned, and another blot on Arteta’s performance/decisions for me. This has been going on for months and he had plenty of opportunities to play Balogun more in the EL and Prem than he has.
    Another one to add to the list.

    Why is it that we are going to persist with playing a shit Willian, cos he shows it in training??? Is this the training we se of them all smiling and laughing , doing nutmegs and telling Tierney to not tackle properly… during those strenuous sessions Willian’s a f#ckin Animal.
    Perhaps they should tell Willian to take it easy during training and save some for the game.

    I’m sorry but if you ain’t doing it on the pitch, fuck off! I don’t give a shit what he does in training!! He needs to be dropped until his performances warrant minutes in the Prem. We can’t be carrying no-one, and we have other options!

    So somebody please explain why we have too persist with Willian? What if he doesn’t improve? At what point do we stop persisting? More importantly what message does this send to other players and the team?

  77. Dissenter

    If it’s true that Westham want to pay good money for Eddie, why aren’t we selling him.?
    With or without Balogun, Eddie can be safely dispensed with.

    He’s surplus to requirements.

  78. Aaron

    Samesong,

    For real? Then all right footed players would be the same too?
    Highly improbable that one side would be different than the others.

    Me, played futbol through college in the US, left footed, and played mainly as winger for speed, but also played as a 1 up top, and both places on the left in a 4 person midfield. Take penalties for my teams with left, but could take them with my right if needed.

    It just depends on the player and how they develop, think Bjorg in tennis, his backhand was as good as his forehand as he practiced against a wall for years until they were the same. Same goes for players and how they develop their weaker foot or not.

  79. Mark

    Wilko
    “He just wasn’t ready for arsenal 4months ago after a bad injury and long layoff.”

    That’s not true he wasn’t ready at pre-season but regained fitness whilst playing with U23’s. Sean M watched him and advised his performances were very good , better than Mari ( whom I always rated) and Mari is playing now after a run of games. Why couldn’t we have integrated Saliba into the squad and given him some senior experience?
    Spite ! That’s why . Don’t cross Mikel by talking about how you’re trapped. Cos you will be trapped and not play.
    An experienced or clever manager would put it down to youth/puberty etc and a desire to play, but not punish a player out of spite. Which is what this seems.
    Pedro alludes to it as a mystery, but it’s pretty obvious to many, that that’s how Arteta rolls.

    Any defender will make mistakes or get beaten it’s football it happens. Good defenders make far less mistakes and are consistent. So saying Saliba’s not ready cos he made this or that mistake is wrong. If it’s something he does regularly it can be worked on. Otherwise you take the good with the bad and generally there should be more good than bad.

    Wilko, you watch Saliba with your own eyes and tell me he’s not good enough to start or be given any minutes before Kola or Mustafi or Cedric? Even Bellerin who I think is well overated.

  80. Mark

    Wilko, you watch Saliba with your own eyes and tell me he’s not good enough to have been given a start or be given any minutes before Kola or Mustafi or Cedric? Even Bellerin who I think is well overated.

  81. Useroz

    Can’t be more fitting description of Willian, an excerpt from 7amkickoff
    _______

    Willian wasn’t always a bad player but three years ago he lost a step. Then two years ago he lost another step. And this year he’s lost so many steps that he’s practically the knight in Holy Grail, down on severed legs, no arms, threatening to bit ankles. The only difference is that Willian doesn’t even have that much fight left in him. He often just lies there wallowing.

    Willian’s main redeeming quality is that he doesn’t lose the ball. It’s a pretty neat trick too because when he starts to go forward what he does instead of losing the ball is stop and turn around. Sometimes he passes the ball backward. Those are the best moments. Other times he will turn and face the defender again, pretend he’s going to dribble, and then pass backwards. He does this trick on the break, he does it on throw ins, he even often passes back on corners. ……

    It’s not just the way he slows up play. He also doesn’t move without the ball. That’s something you could probably get away with if you were the team’s golden boot winner and damn-near nailed on goal scorer. But if you’re the “#10” and you stand still like an inanimate carbon rod? You’re just taking up valuable space and making the opposition’s job easier

  82. Samesong

    For real? Then all right footed players would be the same too?
    Highly improbable that one side would be different than the others.

    Yes and most lefties don’t develop their weaker foot. How good is Messi with his right compared to Ronaldo and his left peg? They are just two examples of many. Salah weaker foot compared to Mane?

  83. Useroz

    But the frightening part came after the match, from Arteta, again an excerpt from 7amkickoff.. Arteta never fucking learn it seems.
    ………………

    After the match Arteta said something about how we need to keep trying with Willian. No, you don’t and here’s why: Willian makes the match more difficult for Arsenal. This is the same problem we had with Derelichtsteiner. If you play him, you have to carry him. He becomes a liability (in this case an offensive liability). He’s not making things easier out there and he’s not winning us matches. It’s better to not play him than to carry him for even 30 minutes in a match. Just like “The Lich” the best option here is if he never plays for Arsenal again.

    The sunk cost fallacy is strong with this player. A lot of people think “we can’t move him, we are paying him, so we might as well play him.” But playing him also has costs and since there are almost no upsides, we are just throwing good money after bad.

  84. Useroz

    Barring miracles, Willian would seamlessly take Ozil’s legacy forward if/when Ozil moves to Turkey..

    What has Arsenal done to deserve these ……

  85. Tee

    “Balogun is more than likely gone, which is a crime. I mean he wants to play and with the performances we were serving up during the 7 match losing streak.”

    And that would have made him sign right? Do you know what it means for a player to run down his contract at all.? We should have renewed his contract long before now. His agent sees that loophole and he is ready to use it. No need crying over a spilt milk.

    If he doesn’t sign, so be it. No youngster should be allowed to hold the club to ransom. He isn’t the next coming of Messi or cr7. Youngsters with more hype than him have come and gone with few of them really making the grade. Only at arsenal will a 19 years old will like play me or I leave. It says more about our decline. More priority should be given to those who want to stay and compete.

    This will be the last time I will discuss this Balogun stuff because it’s a no issue to me. We even have this tall new guy called Holla (don’t mind my spelling) who is likened to Ibramovic. I watched this guy’s performance and immediately love everything about his style of play.

  86. Aaron

    How many goals does Aguero, Ronaldo, Haaland and Mbappe have with their left foot? The list goes on and on…

    Not talking anecdotal evidence, want large numbers of left footers who are supposedly worse off with their weaker foot than right footed players,
    Total nonsense.

  87. Tee

    ” Ozil’s weak mentality is backed up by his poor technical ability.” err u sure about that*

    I was once a fan of Ozil but not anymore.

    Yes, he is mentally weak but to say he his technical ability is poor is nothing but trash.

    You don’t have to trash talk him to make a statement.

  88. Freddie Ljungberg

    Tee

    He does look good from the little I’ve seen, would be nice having another Swede in the team again, Seb Larsson and Rami Shaaban barely counts but freddie is one of my favourite players and Limpar was the reason I started following Arsenal so hope he becomes a top player.

  89. Grouvillegooner

    Nketiah and Reiss Nelson just not good enough so sell .
    Willock keep but probably a loan next season to see if he develops.
    Ozil just get rid, even if if we pay his salary for the rest of his contract. Agree with earlier comments – he was a panic buy made on the last day of the transfer window. Still remember in his early days how we were told to re-watch the games in order to appreciate what he was contributing! Most people then forget how he used to decide which away games he would be available to play in! What an example to a squad.

  90. Samesong

    Not talking anecdotal evidence, want large numbers of left footers who are supposedly worse off with their weaker foot than right footed players,
    Total nonsense.

    No you just don’t understand, based on what you told me you are a leftie who can take penalties with your weaker foot was that down to non development?

    As I explained that I am right footed but was able to use my weaker foot for passing, control, shooting crossing etc.

    And for the record I never said they were worse off, you did. Some of the best players I’ve played with and against have been left footers.

  91. Aaron

    Look man, not starting an argument, just clarifying some points for you.

    You said “Left footers tend to be more one footed than righties. This makes it awkward to play out from the back and reduces passing angles.” That is nonsense as I asked for data.

    Was not talking about left footers being better than right, that is not the point.

  92. Tom

    “Not sure Ozil was a panic buy. My view is that we had not bought top players in a while and the world knew that Arsenal was not a team capable of competing for top prizes. That’s why we tried to lure the best available players – truth be told, there were not that many clubs queuing up for Ozil and just befor for Sanchez who was a bench warmer at Barca”

    ——————
    Spot on.

    The Ozil to Arsenal transfer was an example of perfect timing and happenstance rather than planning or panic buying..
    Wenger had money to spend and Ozil became surplus to requirements at RM who needed the cash badly.

    People like to rewrite history but Ozil was a good get for Europe’s second tier club like Arsenal.

    I don’t remember many voices of discontent when the news of his transfer broke either, and it was his outrageous two and a half x wage raise years later that put Ozil in everyone’s crosshairs, and when the rewriting of history began in earnest.

  93. Dissenter

    Ozil is not gone yet so please hold these historical reviews.
    He may very well just sign a pre-contract and wait to leave in the summer,, that’s what I would do is I was in his shoes.
    It’s not like he’s trying to get selected for Germany, or something.

  94. Goobergooner

    Nah, I still believe ozil’s purchase was to placate fans with something shiny and new rather than actually building the squad properly.
    Yes he was a brilliant player, and he did do well his first few seasons, he really wasn’t the player we needed. We needed a world class winger and striker at that time.

    And considering the absolute shit show of negotiations we had with Liverpool, to go and spend an extra 3 mil on Ozil when Suarez could have most likely been purchased for that was a real dirty piece of work in my eyes.

    And that is when Arsenal lost the last semblance of its “class”.

  95. Samesong

    Well its not nonsense if you look at it logically.

    Alot of Lefties don’t play RCB and theres a good reason for this as they are heavily one footed.
    This is Based on the notion that left-footed players are less likely to have the same ability w their weak foot as right-footed players do on their weak side. Limits passing angles. Strange, but allegedly proven. Deschamp was the manager that spoke about this.

  96. Goobergooner

    Samesong, I get what you mean, but there really isn’t anything logical saying that lefties are less likely to have good weak foot ability compared to right footers.

    Like why is that logical to assume?

  97. Tom

    Suarez was always Barca bound and with Arsenal’s proclivity to self destructing under pressure, Suarez was just as likely to help us to the title as he was to getting a lifetime PL ban for biting someone’s ear off.

    Liverpool were never selling Suarez to a league rival no matter the stupid 40m plus one bid.

  98. Bojangles

    “but let’s not be ignorant cunts and let’s try to have at least a tinge of objectivity.”
    Kris

    If you think Valentine’s comment was objective then you have no idea of the word’s meaning. Maybe that makes you the ignorant cunt.

  99. Bojangles

    Tom

    Maybe I was the only Arsenal supporter that didn’t laud Özil’s arrival. There was no doubting his ability but he was a lazy player even back then. There was a reason Real Madrid wanted rid of him, they don’t let their best players go easily.