LEGGY PERFORMANCE SHOWS LIMITS OF SQUAD

by .

The run is over. It was fun while it lasted. Reality gave us a slap in the face and our charge for top 4 probably died with that point.

No Tierney, Partey, or either Gabriel gave us a leggy performance that lacked true penetration.

That lack of quality in the final third, both with the final pass, and the final shot, were not quite there.

We also looked pretty open. Palace hit the target twice. Both times pulling great saves out of Bernd Leno. That didn’t really tell the full story, Palace were bad in front of goal considering some of the great chances they had. The woodwork was rattled. Granit Xhaka did have to step in with two spectacular interventions.

Talking of Granit. You had the full package. He was the most prolific of the progressive pass makers, he made some elite tackles, he was blood and thunder… but he also tackled like Boris Johnson after 3 pints, he gave away two freekicks in dangerous areas, and one of his very poor stray passes led to a dangerous counter.

Mikel Arteta blamed tired legs from the Newcastle game. I thought we lacked energy at times, but overall, it just felt like a game where things didn’t click. Hector wasn’t at the races. Saka and ESR were quiet. AMN looked unusually shaky at times. It just wasn’t our day.

Still, my main takeaway from the bland result was this: At least it was a bad day at the office for players that will get better.

I’ll take that sort of game from ESR, Saka, and AMN. Much better than watching that exact performance from Willian, Pepe and Kolasinac.

The biggest loss was Tierney. He’s suffering with tight muscles, no doubt because we’ve played him in nearly every game. He was always going to break at some point with no rest. Let’s hope it’s just tightness and a few days rest will get him back in shape.

If he does come back, the Newcastle game starts to look like the first time we could see a true selection. Thomas Partey will make a huge difference. Martinelli will give us that energy we lacked at times today. ESR and Saka have to keep playing. That’ll make us a more dynamic team and hopefully give us the three points we really need.

Short post today. I’ll be back later with some thoughts on the other things that are going on around the club!

291 Responses to “LEGGY PERFORMANCE SHOWS LIMITS OF SQUAD”

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  1. Bojangles

    After a short run of wins, according to some we’re back to playing with the handbrake on. There is no”handbrake.” Someone (sounds like a Pierre term) used it here a few months back, said something like “feels like we’re playing with the handbrake on.” It has since become a meme at LG. We played much the same v Palace as we did v Newcastle, the difference being Palace are a better team than Newcastle and we eventually won v Newcastle (though not in 90 minutes.)

  2. Aussie+Gooner

    Valentin

    Yes, nostalgia is not what it used to be! I to remember the defence splitting passes from Song to RVP often resulting in goals. Song was no Messi but he could loft a good ball over the top. It gave us options, something we seem to be sadly lacking today. I agree that Azeez should be given a run out in the first team – he has a genuine skill set and would cause havoc as would Balogun, Moller, Cirjan etc but alas it would appear not to be. I don’t know if Arteta is particularly stubborn or just plain stupid! Most of our decent academy players will head off to pastures new without having a crack at the first team while the usual suspects are picked week after week

  3. Sid

    ‘Partey is just a powerful runner, but the few games that I have seen at Athletico his partner was the one making those passes.’

    Relatively powerful, nothing close to Diaby, Yaya

  4. Bojangles

    It’s reported that we are interested in Barca backup keeper Neto. However, he wants to be guaranteed playing time, he’s not interested in just being a bench warmer.

  5. sarge

    Insipid performance, but why?

    Not buying that it was down to legginess, majority of the starting XI didn’t play 90 in the last game.

    Tempo was crap from the start. A lot of that was down to our overly cautious play out from the back. Holding particularly, slowing things down, always eschewing the more ambitious pass.

    And our fullbacks frankly where shite. A lot saying how we missed Tierney, but I think that just underlines the fact we only have one decent full-back. Imagine if we two Tierneys in the side!?

    I like Bellerin and he’s a half decent defender but honestly, he’s so fecking limited going forward. Just can’t make a pass under pressure. Unbelievable just how many times play breaks when play goes through him. Found myself shouting at the TV, can’t remember the last time I did that.

    At least Saka and ESR still very good, just not enough to make the difference. Hopefully Martinelli will help tip the balance a bit further.

  6. Valentin

    Aussie,

    Nostalgia…
    I don’t know if it is the academy system or the coaching system, but it seems that we have lost variety in players’s passing style and even the way to shoot the ball.
    Rosicky used to love passing with the outside of his foot. I rarely see a player even attempting to do that now.
    Nobody tries the delicate chip over the block defense like Song used to do either. Even when he was not using it, the fact that they knew he had that in his locker meant that it was a potential threat. So in a low bloc team, defenders had a choice either confront Song to stop at the source the chip or follow RvP’s run behind the defense. Both options leave gaps.

    If you are a manager, you want to foster that variety. Such passes will not work all the time and can be risky, but it will result in more options to score.

  7. Dan T

    SARGE

    (re playing out from the back) The problem is that the players are being coached to try and do things that they aren’t naturally used to or are capable of. Holding is a decent centre back who knows how to defend. That is all. But now he is seemingly being told he must pass the ball out from the back and play like Pirlo.

    We aren’t in a position to be tweaking the little things. In our position I’m happy for a centre-back to just be a centre-back. When you have the ball, pass it on to the midfielders who should be much more capable of moving the ball forward from defence to attack.

    When in possession – As fans – how many times do our central defenders make us shit ourselves and how many times do they actually play out and make something exciting happen. I definitely crack out the champagne a lot less than I change my pants!

  8. Dan T

    SARGE

    On Bellerin I agree completely. Is he not still listed as the fastest player in the team? So why does he sprint menacingly at a defender and then just stop? From there it’s pretty much 50/50 if he passes it sideways to an Arsenal player or an opponent.

  9. Gonsterous

    We are getting linked to Neto now, that one million for gunnarson looking worse everyday. I don’t think he’s good enough to be the 3rd keeper.

  10. Gonsterous

    Azed

    People getting injured in training because arteta wants the players to impress him there rather than on the pitch in a game.

  11. Sid

    Nostalgia…
    I don’t know if it is the academy system or the coaching system, but it seems that we have lost variety in players’s passing style and even the way to shoot the ball.

    Its both, the attributes you traditionally associate with a typical English midfielder, creativity, skill and flair aren’t ones that spring to mind.
    Old stoic German style is clinical mechanical football and extreme importance on long balls

    South America ,the Mediterranean, Africa, have raw, street footballers who enjoy playing for the crowd or making fun of an opponent.

  12. Goobergooner

    Sid

    Saka and esr contrast your statement there. But they are far and few between. I get what you mean in terms of Brits being athletic and that their style of play is more aggressive, yet not as technical.

    In saying that it’s getting better for the poms. Maddison and grealish right up there. Fucking Kane is now leading the assist charts with great link up play. Barkley and Foden are very technical players as was Wilshere.

    Arteta is the antithesis of Wenger’s style.
    Wenger was never scared as he knew goals would come. Arteta knows that the xg stat is against him and xga has definitely been against him.

    He’s playing to our weaknesses instead of strengths.

    Considering our forward line, especially the senior players, we should be playing a solid counter attacking game. We just move the ball waaaaaay too slow between defence and mid/att.

    The amount of times that we break somewhat fast, see the half way line and think ‘oh fuck, let’s get back to game plan’ instead of playing a ‘riskier’ ball to a forward player in space and on the move, just beggars belief.

    Our players are meant to be getting in behind. Not trying to beat blokes then shoot. Saka is the one who can do both. Which is why he is so valuable to the attack.

    ESR is so much better at intricate passing and finding a space between the lines. Something sooooo sorely lacking at the start of the season.

  13. DivineSherlock

    GooberGooner

    I lost count the number of times Ceballos/Luiz did that thing where they demand the ball , run forward like they mean it and than pass backwards . If you watch the replay youll see Aubameyang’s movement , but nobody passes the ball at his feet . I’d rather have Elneny than Ceballos.

  14. Sid

    ‘Fucking Kane is now leading the assist charts with great link up ‘

    According to sauces Harry Kane was conceived after a visit to Amsterdam by his mother, she enjoyed a dutch sugarKane, Mr Kane snr still doesnt know.
    You heard it here 1st!

  15. Emiratesstroller

    As Hansen once said you cannot play a team “full of kids”.

    However, there are by all accounts two or three young midfielders now playing in the U23s
    who have the potential to play in the first team. The two most notable young players with the relevant skill set are Azeez a DMF/CMF and Patino a creative CMF.

    Patino for example has been playing for Arsenal and England teams “two years ” ahead of his relevant age group.

    So Arsenal when you add in Smith-Rowe and Saka is not short of “HOME GROWN” talent.

    The issue is that you cannot play today a large number of young players at the same time in the EPL. They are not going to cope with the physicality and game schedule. Both Saka and
    Smith-Rowe struggled against Crystal Palace for this reason.

    What Arsenal needs to be doing is build up a reliable starting eleven of reasonably experienced players and then progressively build up the squad with these young players who will be provided with game time but not overplayed.

    Arsenal’s main weaknesses has been lack of control and creativity in midfield and a lack of
    quality and reliability in squad when players get injured or need a rest.

  16. Goobergooner

    Hahahahaha Sid you cheeky fucker.

    Divine,

    It’s annoying as hell to watch.

    But I was looking through EPL stats, Ceballos has a better all round defensive game than xhaka, apart from heading and clearances, where his interceptions and ball recoveries are better.

    Ceb also has more successful throughballs 6 and created chances 4 to xhakas 1 and none.

    Also has a lot more crosses completed.

    Stats do not tell the whole story.

    People who are going to complain about me saying the above. Read that last line.

    But I believe Ceballos has a better influence on our game than xhaka from watching the game. That is only the first time I’ve gone to the stats to clarify. And that isn’t the first time I’ve said Ceballos is our best mid (not including Partey).

    Yes Ceballos does play the 8 role moreso than the 6. But xhaka is only ‘good’ at one of those roles, yet not actually good enough for this team.

  17. DivineSherlock

    I dont look at the stats that much but Xhaka is more #6 than #8 his physicality helps . Ceballos usually hides behind the players , he should be the passimg option for the defenders and keeper , he shies away , lot of times I have seen that. Elneny is usually in and around the midfield running and have similar impact to Ceballos . Would like to see Elneny Ceballos once for sure . Xhaka is a walking liability.

  18. Tom

    Apparently Mark Clattenburg took offense at Klopp’s comment about United getting way more penalties than other PL clubs and issued a statement reassuring everyone that there’s no pro United ref bias.
    He said there was one when Fergie was around but it “has eased up “somewhat after he retired.

    Thanks for clearing that up. I feel completely reassured.

    Should we perhaps revise United’s record under Ferguson then?

  19. Pierre

    Stroller
    “As Hansen once said you cannot play a team “full of kids”

    And that united team (full of kids) went on to win the league .

    So the moral of the story is yes , you can play a team full of kids..

    Stroller
    “The issue is that you cannot play today a large number of young players at the same time in the EPL. They are not going to cope with the physicality and game schedule. Both Saka and
    Smith-Rowe struggled against Crystal Palace for this reason.”

    So itwas nothing to do with Lacazette only touching the ball 8 times in the first half..
    I would say that Smith Rowe and Saka contributed more than Aubameyang and Lacazette against palace..

  20. shaun

    You Guys kill me , Mari picked up and injury just before Arsenal had to pay his former club 1 mill for performance related payments he he bet Gabriel will be in for a while now lol……………………lol Edu and Mikel ……Laurel and Hardy …Saliba is not ready …what even to play in the Europa ……..well not while we have to pay performance related fee’s for his European involvement

  21. shaun

    seriously these guys should not be in charge at Arsenal it is really not good when you are thinking that westbrom were really really bad or the coach has got hold of them and coached any good habits out of them , they were bore draw quality against Newcastle as well so I guess we will see Monday night

  22. Pierre

    The way forward for Arsenal football club is to play the kids .
    I’m talking about the one’s that have already proved themselves in the cup competitions over this and last season.

    As yet, players like Nketiah, Willock ,,Balogun, Martinelli and Nelson haven’t been given the opportunities in the premier league, i don’t think they have had ten starts between the lot of them this season.

    Players like Willian , Lacazette and Aubameyang have been allowed to try and play their way into form, hence our recent dismal record, the kids haven’t been afforded that luxury.

    It was only the introduction of smith rowe and Martinelli that changed our season and their inclusion was more through luck than design.(injuries and suspensions)..

    Next season is the time to overload with the academy players along with Gabriel, Partey and Tierney .

  23. Tom

    Turned our season around Pierre?
    Have they?
    Last time I checked we are still sitting in the bottom half and playing uninspired football.
    The idea Arsenal can predominantly play their youth in the league and challenge for CL is a fantasy.

  24. Pierre

    Tom
    “Turned our season around Pierre?
    Have they?”

    Your words not mine , though 4 wins and a draw with 4 consecutive clean sheets , with an average of 18 shots a game before the palace game is quite a turnaround..

  25. Pierre

    Tom
    “Last time I checked we are still sitting in the bottom half ”

    Tom, can you please explain to me how any team can be transformed from a team sliding towards a relegation battle to a top 4 side in the matter of 4 league games…

  26. shaun

    the turn around as you call it came from the energy provided by Saka, Tierny ,ESR and Martinelli .I think we no Saka is quite possibly tired ESR the same as they are youngsters , Martinelli has been out injured and so is Tierny and that is possibly why we saw such a flat performance

  27. Emiratesstroller

    Pierre

    Please don’t compare the EPL when Man Utd played its youngsters with the situation today.

    For a start the league is far stronger and more demanding than it was during the era when
    Beckham, Scholes, Griggs and Neville brothers started playing.

    Do you seriously believe that Man Utd would have been as successful with the likes of Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool able to spend mega bucks as they do now?

    Furthermore most clubs from top to bottom of league employ larger squads with much better
    standard players who are recruited worldwide. Most teams are also employing much more
    mature players than would have been the case in 1990s.

    I am a strong advocate for introduction of young players, but only on a limited scale and
    if they are able genuinely to play at top level. Saka is good enough to play regularly in first
    team. As I posted earlier in week I am less certain that Martinelli and Smith-Rowe are able
    to do so based on current evidence.

  28. shaun

    Agreed it’s stupid to compare the youth and what they could 15-20 years ago to what is expected now, crazy in fact , the demands are much much greater now when you hear people like keane talk you really have to think is this guy serious ,very shallow thinking to compare the physical demands of the game twenty years ago to now

  29. Pierre

    Whether it’s crazy or not to compare youth with 20 years ago, the fact is the introduction of youth to our team has brought a turnaround in our season.

    I would argue the point that it is tougher nowadays to make your mark in premier league. .
    Perfect pitches and no physicality compated to the 90’s makes it easier for youth to make the transition

    There are many young English players who are breaking through .
    We saw the superb Eze the other night, calm on the ball,never rushed and plays with his head up… years ago he would have been clattered by the vinnie jones of this world if he dared put his foot on the ball at such a young age.

    Back in the 90’s the game was physical and demanding and until wenger came along , technique was a dirty word.
    Sadly, many on Le grove don’t understand the importance of superior technique as all I hear about is how many miles a player runs and the work they do.

    What happened to letting the ball do the work…under Emery and now Arteta i think we are going backwards in our outlook .

    Pass and move , one and 2 touch football, playing triangles, counter attack with pace..
    Smith Rowe , Martinelli and Saka are the players that are trying to play football the Arsenal way…

  30. Kris

    The United team that “won with kids” had 6 starters (!) who were 29 or older.

    So they didn’t win with a team of kids, Pierre. They won with a mix of youth and experience.

  31. Pierre

    Anyone who thinks that it would be easier for players like saka , smith rowe or Martinelli to make their mark back in the 90’s are clueless.

    The Arsenal.back 4 would have wiped them out as would Bruce and pallister or Razor ruddock.

    Beckam, scholes and Giggs would find it a breeze nowadays

    Roy Keane wouldn’t have allowed Smith Rowe time on the ball …

    Football back in the 90’s was tough .

  32. Emiratesstroller

    Pierre

    Sorry I don’t agree with your analysis.

    The average age of most squads in EPL range from Wolves 25.5 to Newcastle 28.0. Most of the leading clubs average around 26.5. Arsenal’s average is 26.4, but that includes Ozil and Sokratis who are both unregistered and don’t play.

    Without those two players included Arsenal would be possibly the youngest squad in league.

    Most successful teams rely on their experienced players in starting lineup. Man City play
    Foden in starting lineup on periodic basis.

    As I have posted many times Arsenal do have some talented youngsters, but probably no more than most of our competitors. The problem at the moment at Arsenal is that most of our players who are reaching peak are either mediocre or not performing.

  33. Moray

    Pierre, it’s an interesting point. There was such a difference in athleticism and fitness even just say 20 years ago. So, we’re dealing with more highly tuned racehorses these days capable of running tens of miles a week. But as a sacrifice they’re always on the cusp of breaking down. I remember a story about Mark Hughes going for his the medical when he joined Chelsea (I think it was) and he was asked about his leg break. He said he hadn’t broken his leg. They worked out he must have suffered a fracture which he put down to a short term injury and then played through while his leg healed itself. Also look at the brutalizations suffered by players such as Pele, Maradona, Best and Garrincha. They still managed to deliver world class football with a big brown ball. Different times.

  34. Pierre

    Kris
    Probably better for you to look back at the original comment of strollers ” full of kids” from Alan Hansen.

    No one is saying that united had 8/9/10 kids in the side as no one is saying that Arsenal should have 8/9/10 kids in the side.

    United had giggs and sharpe who came through the ranks.
    Beckam, scholes, Butt and the neville brothers followed shortly after..

    Arsenal could easily field a team with as many as 5/6 academy (inc. Martinelli) players in the side.

    Bellerin /AMN are academy players , smith rowe/Saka/martinelli/Balogun/Eddie/Willock/Nelson all have potential to make it.

    Let’s not forget that butt and Neville, although not of the quality of Beckam, Scholes , Giggs , were able to contribute to the many titles that united won.

    So there is no reason why players like willock and Nelson for instance , can’t contribute to the Arsenal side.

  35. Emiratesstroller

    Moray

    Professional sport has changed in last 20 years due to sports science, training methods and even nutrition.

    If you look at most sports the top players are older and more mature than they were 20 years
    ago. In football Ronaldo and Messi are still playing at top of their game. In tennis Federer, Djokovic and Nadal are playing in mid to late 30s.

    My daughter was an international athlete competing at top level in her late teens in late 1990s. Today many of the top athletes are competing in mid thirties in that sport.

    I have no issue including Saka, Martinelli and Smith-Rowe in playing periodically in our starting X1. However, they should not be overplayed.

    On the other hand I don’t consider Maitland-Niles, Willock or Nketiah as remotely starting
    X1 material. Indeed if Arsenal were more competitive I would not include them in our squad at all.

  36. shaun

    don’t agree with you either Pierre , without going into it to much in essence what your saying is the thuggery of the nineties football made it more physically demanding than the Game being played in present day , with the advancement in analytic performance data combined with training techniques specifically tailored to enhance individual performance I find it pretty hard to believe the game was more physically demanding twenty years ago because you got kicked over more .The mental side of the game is much more stressful now as well what with media advancements , formations changes at the drop of a hat all these things have advanced as you would expect making the game more taxing both mentally and physically

  37. Pierre

    Stroller
    “Pierre
    Sorry I don’t agree with your analysis..”

    My analysis had nothing to do with the average age of the squad…

  38. Pierre

    Shaun
    ” without going into it to much in essence what your saying is the thuggery of the nineties football made it more physically demanding than the Game being played in present day”

    ” thuggery” is your word not mine.

    Back in those days , 2 footed tackles were commonplace, the tackle from behind was taken for granted and players used cto take man and ball and it was accepted.

    Put players like foden, mason mount, saka, smith rowe, rashford , greenwood against the likes of stuart pearce, vinnie jones , Adams and bould ,dennis Wise julian Dicks and they wouldn’t stand a chance ….NOT A CHANCE.

  39. Foxy

    Just listened to a very good Arsecast when they discussed the Palace game had then our squad and issues such as LB cover. .

    The Palace frame made it clear that if we are going to play wide forwards who cut in onto their stronger foot then it is essential that we play athletic FBs on both sides who can go outside and cross or cut back as per the Liverpool full backs. This also creates space for the wide forwards to come inside. At the moment we only really have Tierney who meets this brief although both Cedric and Bell and also AMN with his pace could in theory do so on the right if instructed by Arteta – so what is he telling them to do?

  40. Tee

    Finally, ozil agree to terminate his contract and will be jetting off this coming week.

    Thanks for the memorable moments and good luck

  41. shaun

    “Put players like foden, mason mount, saka, smith rowe, rashford , greenwood against the likes of stuart pearce, vinnie jones , Adams and bould ,dennis Wise julian Dicks and they wouldn’t stand a chance ….NOT A CHANCE.” agreed but the very same players you mention above would not be able to get away with half of there ….ok thuggery may not be the best choice of word so let’s say physically aggressive style of play but anyway we are talking about more physically demanding and I don’t see what two footed tackles and a more aggressive style of play have to do with covering more ground and doing it at a much faster rate with more complex formations and information to execute it should be clear from analytical data as well that the game is more physically demanding now .the required stamina , agility and speed of thought have all increased without question in the last twenty years making the games much more physically demanding and exhausting now especially for young players who is some cases are still maturing

  42. China1

    I’m not sure how accurate it is that in the 90s it was THAT brutal, be serious. Even in the 90s when I first got into football it wasn’t typically that exceptionally aggressive in your typical match.

    It pretty much mirrored what kids football has always been like (and probably still is) on the school field, where players go into tackles with less fear of punishment and players on the receiving end are less likely to make a meal of it and roll around for 20 mins for fear or losing face amongst your friends (unlike pro football now)

    I am fairly certain when saka, esr and co were on the school field, opposition players would kicked the shit out of them on a daily basis. Kids do that. They survived to adulthood with both legs

    Let’s not reimagine the 90s as some time where every 5 mins your legs could get snapped. It wasn’t that bad.

  43. China1

    Even in the 90s footballers were by and large a fairly soft bunch when compared with actual tough bastards like rugby players

    Not many 90s football players would’ve lasted 5 mins in professional rugby

  44. Tee

    “Put players like foden, mason mount, saka, smith rowe, rashford , greenwood against the likes of stuart pearce, vinnie jones , Adams and bould ,dennis Wise julian Dicks and they wouldn’t stand a chance”

    Yes they can’t withstand the ruggedness of those defenders but at the same time will roast these aforementioned defenders with pace and trickery.

    Except if you believe Adams or Bould can match them speed for speed and tricks for tricks which I doubt.

  45. Habesha Gooner

    I would love to hear the details of the conditions on which Ozil is leaving. But it is a huge weight of Arsenal either way. We need to go in to the market to recruit players now. A midfielder and a Backup keeper the priorities.

  46. China1

    Yeah I wonder how much big eyes cost us with that golden hand shake… no word on it so far, but I imagine he’ll ask for at least most of the 7m he believes he’s somehow earned

  47. Bojangles

    I can’t believe there is anyone here seriously suggesting Mari didn’t play because we don’t want to pay his former club 1 mil.

    So we paid 4 or 8 mil (depending on where you got your info) for him to play 9 games for us over 4 years?

  48. China1

    Also there’s such a thing called adaptation. Any footballer with half a brain with clock on if they regularly get minced for holding onto the ball to long and either try to skin their man earlier or lay off a pass sooner.

    Wilshere was a moron who uses to get fouled all the time and never learnt his lesson (no brain), but for any player with basic intelligence (saka is a straight A student), they’re not gonna be dumb enough to spend their entire careers getting hacked out.

    Saka would be just fine in the 90s. ESR would be too provided he’s not too injury prone – the jury is out on that point

  49. Emiratesstroller

    I challenged Pierre’s statement about the Man Utd babes not because of their quality, but rather the overall quality of the opposition.

    In the early 1990s when they started playing the opposition clubs were relatively weak by comparison with what you see today. The league was effectively a “one trick pony” until Wenger arrived at Arsenal and started recruiting “world class players” from overseas.

    Blackburn did win the title in one season, but otherwise the League was dominated in EPL
    era by Man Utd.

    As I pointed out the opposition was fairly mediocre with smaller squads and players recruited almost exclusively from UK.

    EPL is far more competitive today and opportunities for young players to establish themselves and play regularly in first team far more limited.

  50. Tee

    “I would love to hear the details of the conditions on which Ozil is leaving. But it is a huge weight of Arsenal either way. We need to go in to the market to recruit players now. A midfielder and a Backup keeper the priorities.”

    The oracle tweeted, he is going on a bosman and as such won’t get anything. I think Arsenal played hardball on ozil and his agent. They actually wanted to get paid off but they were told to refund all the wages he earned while not playing.

  51. Tee

    “I can’t believe there is anyone here seriously suggesting Mari didn’t play because we don’t want to pay his former club 1 mil.”

    That’s some of the trashes they keep churning out here and when you question their sanity they tell you it’s critical thinking.

  52. China1

    If you want an accurate reminder of what players were like in the 90s, look at Tierney

    Guy is the most stereotypical 90s sort of player ever. Kinda hilarious throwback but so good at it

  53. Habesha Gooner

    Tee
    Yes he is joining fenerbache on a free but Arsenal will still pay him to terminate the contract. Sanchez had a similar pay off from United when he left to join inter.You would be naive to think he would leave 7 mil on the table.

  54. Kroenkephobe

    Indisputably our worst and costliest ever signing who morphed from a lazy bottler (who showed only the rarest of his talents) into an enemy within who sought to undermine the club with his pseudo altruistic bs. Photo shoots and declarations of love with a despot who delights in killing and torturing his own people. A former professional sportsman. Re-signed by a manager whose own rise and fall left the Arsenal in tatters. And let’s not even go there with his cod generosity towards our extinct friend gunnersaurus and his ersatz rashford impersonation. Mesut? Chau boludo!

  55. Habesha Gooner

    “Ozil was scheduled to earn around £7 million between now and the end of his contract in June. A deal has been reached in principle, however, for an early termination.”

    This is from the athletic. They would say so if it was canceled with out pay off. Instead it says a deal has been reached.

  56. Thank you and goodnight

    I don’t see why Ozil should pay back fuck all. They chose to give him that contract, then refused to play him and now they’re asking for him to pay them back lol, they’re fucking mad at Arsenal. The biggest comedy club in the world

  57. Bojangles

    We have problems all over the pitch ATM. Only 2 positions you could say there is genuine competition LCB and LW. Everywhere else we have either good/decent players and nothing or ok players and nothing. What’s more worrying is that 2 of the good players are young, players that you can’t depend on every game.

  58. Mark

    I think there was pressure on Ozil to go now rather than in the summer. In the timing of events. Apparently Fenerbache haven’t won the Super lig for 8 years, ( not even had much Europa League footie either) and haven’t performed as well as expected for such a big club in Turkey.

    They’re 2nd at the moment. It’s looking like they have a great chance this season and see Ozil as the key that can finally get them over the finish line.

    So because the planets aligned 🙏 , it’s better for Fener to have him now than wait until the summer and not win the league. For Ozil I bet he’s more than happy to come into the team placed so high. Gets to be instant Hero if they win, plus buying him valuable time with the fans as his performances start to fade. Cos he helped them win the league.
    So although I’m sure he’d happily sit playing Fortnite till June, circumstances may have meant he felt some pressure to strike some kind of deal now.
    ,
    Hopefully we were able to get whatever we pay him down to an acceptable level.

    YahFennerYah

  59. Foxy

    Back when real hard players like Peter Storey and Norman Hunter roamed midfield you could scythe straight through players as long as you more or less got the ball at the same time. Hence outlaw of so called tackles from behind. It used to be known as softening up the opposition and also involved old fashioned CFs and CB,s doing battle.with or without the Ball.

  60. Moray

    I’m not sure how high Ozil’s stock is in Turkey, but if he puts in as little effort as he has with us in the last couple of seasons those cunts will roast him alive on the pitch. Good riddance. I bet he hasn’t lost a cent in this deal.

  61. Nelson

    I agree with ES on playing the youngsters. Most of them are not physically capable to play week in and week out. Saka must be tired last game. He lost one step and was outplayed by the opponents.
    On the other hand, Xhaka was still playing like a bull. He actually surprised me with the timing of his tackle. In the past, those tackles would usually result in yellow cards. Partey also looked calm and reassured. Those you can get it from a youngster.

  62. Mark

    Wilko

    ” China and Jamie two pussies that didn’t play football or actually remember what it was really like in the 90s. ”

    This is why people have issues with you.
    You just jump straight in with the abuse ‘ Pussies ‘ , simply because their opinions differ from yours.
    Everyone is clueless Cape wearing cuck pussy, unless they agree with your views.

    ” Mark, Go do one, with your whining….”
    Or some other such crap will be your response.
    Tired already if how you and little ‘ t ‘ like to think you can police this blog.

  63. Moray

    @stroller, I’m not sure I agree that players are playing longer. I suspect the opposite is true (though maybe the data will prove you right). Players seem to be starting earlier and become honed athletes for their twenties and with a noticeable decline in their thirties. I see fewer bald heads and combovers than the 70s and 80s. I don’t think that’s all down to hair transplants. I would say the pressure, the money and the pace all mean players have shorter careers than in the era of Shilton, Wark, even McAllister…

  64. Moray

    Second thoughts, maybe there is less opportunity or inclination to “drop down a level” these days, what with the solid gold house and delayed gratification.

  65. Pierre

    RR
    “Hope all the Ozil obsessives go with him.”

    Let’s hope so..

    I christened them the Ozil obsessives as they were formerly the Wenger obsessives ( WOBS) and have little or no understanding of the game .

  66. Valentin

    China1,

    What you fail to realise that the reason why Wilshere was so good was because he was holding to the ball longer than his teammates and still be able to make a pass. That’s why he was at the end of shocking tackles. Most English central midfielders were just crab players.

    You are asking him to play like David Batty with no forward pass and a lot of quick lateral passes to avoid getting injured.
    Marco Van Bastien had to retire early having had 3 operations on his ankles from hard tackles from behind. The issue was not their style of play, it was the standard of refereeing.
    Following Van Basten retirement, FIFA banned the tackle from behind. Such tackles were supposed to immediately lead to red card. Yet UK referees did not start to fully apply that rule until late 00’s.

    Abou Diaby was assaulted by a thug who did not get a red card.
    Both Eduardo and Aaron Ramsey were on the receiving end of shocking brutal tackles that were deemed initially worth of a yellow card. Only when they saw the damage inflicted did the referees change their mind and gave a red card.

    There is a reason why Blackburn Rover were nicknamed Black Eyes Rover under Mark Hughes. Why Big Sam fresh from inventing rotational fouling upgraded it to rotational kicking with impunity.

    So yes today’s football requires more athleticism, but today’s physicality is nothing compared to the level of thuggery players had to face in previous decades. And that was not just kicking. Elbows as well. Deliberatedly elbowing an opponent at set pieces under the pretence of jumping leverage was not uncommon. Kevin Campbell used to call it sharpening your elbow.

  67. Jamie

    You just know Don is a 5’3 midget. So much anger and insecurity it’s palpable.

    Keep flexing those internet muscles, you’re a very strong and successful man.

  68. GoonerDave

    Over physicality was absolutely permitted in the game during the 90s and 00s. Most of it went unpunished and Arsenal suffered more from this than any other team in my opinion. Our fast, technical football was targeted by opposition players and the refs did little or nothing to help us.
    It is frustrating that now the over physicality has been outlawed now, but we have lost our fast paced, technical game. I’m not sure signing one player or 5 players will solve this. We no longer have the overall team ethic of swift, technical play. When AW left the club, we should have appointed a true successor to his style. Instead we went with bland and dull. Now we are a midtable team with a rookie manager that we can only hope improves quickly.

  69. S Asoa

    Valentin

    “Yes, nostalgia is not what it used to be! I to remember the defence splitting passes from Song to RVP often resulting in goals. Song was no Messi but he could loft a good ball over the top. It gave us options, something we seem to be sadly lacking today. I agree that Azeez should be given a run out in the first team – he has a genuine skill set and would cause havoc as would Balogun, Moller, Cirjan etc but alas it would appear not to be. I don’t know if Arteta is particularly stubborn or just plain stupid!”
    Maybe both
    Think we are getting there unravelling an enigma called Sauce Arteta

  70. Foxy

    Just watched Fabio Silva score for wolves using strength and both skill at the age of 18. if he cost £38m Balogun at 19 must be worth £20m plus !!!!!

    Traore just attacked the byline with pace and aggression none of our RB’s can half match, led to a corner and second goal

  71. Valentin

    S Asoa,

    The famous Arteta sauce that to me has a funny smell…
    The restricting coaching meant that few if any of the players is willing to take risk and do the unplanned.
    We rely on the opposition making a mistake and being out of position instead of dragging them out of position by deliberately overloading one side or doing something quick and instinctive.

  72. Habesha Gooner

    Losing balogun will be a head scratcher in a few years. We need to keep the best young talents here and sell the rest to invest in the team. Anyway looks like a huge weight of the shoulders of Fabio Silva. He has been putting the hard work. I can see why they spent so much on him. He looks like a good player.

  73. HerbsArmy

    Pierre

    I’ve addressed you a few times regarding Ozil, which you chose to ignore.
    Mesut Ozil is a luxury player, the type to buy when everything else in your team is complete.
    Arsenal were never a complete side after star players started leaving, and the fact that Wenger bought Ozil and took us into a season with only Giroud and Sanogo as our striking options is criminally neglectful.
    He came from a pedestrian paced LA Liga, where he played for about an hour in most games, to a PL that’s full of pace and intensity. Real Madrid sold him and won the CL with his replacement.
    It was a marquee signing, huge for Arsenal, especially the positive PR that came with it, but many plain truths were hidden or simply ignored in the excitement of signing Ozil.
    Wenger at Highbury, was led by pure football principles, and we loved him for it.
    After the move to the Emirates and the sellout to the Kroenke’s, Wenger had so much to do he became too corporate, more distant and dishonest with the fan-base.
    Ozil was the wrong signing and it significantly diverted Arsenal’s direction.
    As I said to you previously, Pierre, if Wenger bought Ozil to cement his chances of winning (what has largely become a secondary trophy) the FA Cup, he nailed it.
    Even after he first signed and was the first name on the team sheet he wasn’t standing out in games that mattered. Four or five good performances over a season, and that was under Wenger. In the PL and CL, Ozil failed every litmus test.
    In his very first season he was part of a side that threw away the PL title from a winning position in January, and tried to somehow justify it by beating Hull after extra-time in the FA Cup.
    If Wenger hadn’t bought Ozil, and remembered what had made him successful at Highbury, he would probably still be in the job today.
    When we can look back at the quality of Dennis Bergkamp, it is embarrassing to compare Ozil’s contribution when as a club we have significantly regressed since the summer of 2013.
    Ozil hasn’t just been at the wrong club in the wrong league, we’ve paid an absolute fortune to facilitate it.
    Arsenal really are comedy gold.

  74. S Asoa

    Valentin
    Watched a replay with headphones on.Arteta was screaming instructions non stop. Firstly he exposes the moves to all and sundry. Secondly , in a fast paced game it takes time to register what one hears and react. No wonder our games are boring and ponderous nowadays. Like slow stirring the sauce… and the team is cooked.

  75. 5am

    So funny hearing the ecstasy expressed over Ozil finally leaving, whilst ignoring the current league position as opposed to the form the team were in when Arteta had him playing. They’re not unconnected folks but the club from the summer continued to cut its nose to spite its face.

    Personally I wish him the best at Fenner and if he does well, I’m sure the fans here will find another way of still blaming the man who wasn’t even given an opportunity to fill the creative void for the club since lockdown 👏🏼

  76. Foxy

    The mistake was not buying Ozil but the crazy new contract. WE bought him at a good price and commercially as well as on the field he initially created a lot of positives for arsenal.

    Far worse buys were Mustafe for was it £37mm, Peres at £18m, Xhaka for £35m plus not taking £60m for Sanches and losing Ramsey on a free etc. etc.

  77. Mark

    Herb’s army.

    A really good detailed breakdown of the Ozil and Arsenal situation. One which I totally agree with.

    One can only hope Pierre can digest (swallow) these points. How Pierre can keep calling for his inclusion is baffling. It just ignores all the history we had of him disappearing during games, and just playing 3-5 yard sideways passes. With no output. Look at his stats for the last couple of years. Shameful.

  78. Chris

    Something tells me Nuno’s time at Wolves may be over sooner than later, especially after what his agent has been saying and Wolves’ relative poor run of results in comparison to the last couple of years.

    It’s a fun match to watch this one, very back and forth.

  79. Chris

    The opinions on Ozil are obviously polarising among the fan base, but I respect both sides who see him as one of classiest players we have had, and also those who feel he could have achieved so much more. I think the truth lies somewhere in between. When he was at the zenith of his Arsenal career with Alexis and Cazorla it was fantastic to see, but he was also guilty of disappearing in some games.

    However, it would seem he is now on his way and it would seem to be the best outcome for him and Arsenal. There isn’t really any need to get personal with him, appreciate the great things he did, whilst acknowledging that perhaps his Arsenal career wasn’t fulfilled to the max, and wish him well, that’s all there is to it really.

  80. Dream10

    Club are looking at short term solutions for creativity in this window, before they look for something permanent in the summer.

    That makes sense on paper, but the decision makers have not doing being well.

    Lots of positions to upgrade especially the manager.

  81. Valentin

    S Asoa,

    I have been writing that for a while.
    If Arteta constant screaming annoys people who just watch the game, I can only imagine what it does to the players.
    Also his instructions tend to be very low level: Pass to him, run there, follow that player. Those are useless, because by the time the players register, the opportunity is gone.

  82. Valentin

    Just watched the last 20 minutes of the Wolves v WestBrom game, and it is funny that two CBs for WestBrom are former Arsenal academy players: Sami Ajiyi and Kyle Barkley.

  83. Pierre

    Herb
    “When we can look back at the quality of Dennis Bergkamp, it is embarrassing to compare Ozil’s contribution when as a club we have significantly regressed since the summer of 2013.”

    You are comparing Ozil with the very best no.10 ever in the premier league.

    I think it’s worth considering the quality of player they both played with.

    Bergkamp had wright/Anelka/Henry.

    Ozil had Giroud for the first 4/5 years and has hardly played the last 2 years.

    Taking that into consideration, Ozil’s stats compared to Bergkamp are pretty good

    Ozil an assist every 3.40 games prem
    Bergkamp an assist every 3.35 games prem

    So very little difference there as you are comparing the 2, and hardly as you say embarrassing especially when you consider that Bergkamp had Henry , wright and Anelka as hia striker.

    Bergkamp 3.60 games per goal
    Ozil 5.50 games per goal.

    Let’s not forget that Arsenal had been trophyless for close to a decade before Ozil arrived and then won 3 in 4 years..

    I’m not sure if you are blaming ozil or Wenger or both for not winning the league. .

    Maybe if Ozil had a striker of the quality of Henry to put away the countless chances he created then he may have been appreciated more.

    He was regarded as the best no.10 in the world by many(including ronaldo) when he was at real madrid..
    Having Giroud as his striker didn’t really do him amy favours did it.

  84. Habesha Gooner

    Ozil was an okay signing. But we needed a striker. We had Cazorla there who didn’t need an upgrade. And His new contract was what screwed us most of all. He was decent for us for the first five years. He didn’t show up in the big games but he helped us hammer small teams. But his new contract was an abomination. It was a move to save face that crippled us. He didn’t even perform to the levels he was performing at before his new contract.

    Westbrom winning against wolves is really a surprise. Big fat Sam at it again it seems.

  85. Pierre

    5am
    “So funny hearing the ecstasy expressed over Ozil finally leaving, whilst ignoring the current league position as opposed to the form the team were in when Arteta had him playing. They’re not unconnected folks but the club from the summer continued to cut its nose to spite its face.”

    Well said…

    and now apparently we are on the market looking for a creative player…

  86. TheBayingMob

    azed

    January 15, 2021 23:06:21

    Mari has picked up another injury?

    What’s going on at the club?“

    The same thing that’s been going on for the past 15 years. Buying and facilitating broken players who just can’t stay for.

    I love Tierney as a player, but long term he will be just another case of what could have been as he will break continually.

  87. Dream10

    Habesha Gooner

    It was the right decision to sign Özil. We were struggling in 12/13 to qualify for the CL with Cazorla as the main creative hub. If I remember correctly, we played Spurs and got overrun. Then Wenger added Ramsey and Rosicky centrally for a spell at the expense of Wilshere and Cazorla. Should have signed Özil plus a striker in 2013 and Alexis plus a CM the next summer.

  88. Habesha Gooner

    Pierre
    He is gone already. He hasn’t performed for the last 3 seasons. So go and advocate for Eddie. At least he is ours. And we will find a better solution either this window or the summer.

  89. Tom

    So Ozil was a wrong buy at a time we needed a striker goes the narrative apparently.
    Did we pay over the market value for him?
    No.
    Did he perform on par or above according to his wages?
    Yes.
    Did his purchase and wages crippled Arsenal financially to the point they couldn’t buy a striker?
    173m Arsenal cash reserves in 2013-14 season says no.

  90. Graham62

    There must be something wrong with the coaching structure if players are picking up so many injuries.

    This has been the case for far too long.

    Has it anything to do with the facilities and systems implemented at the London Colney training ground?

    God knows.

  91. Foxy

    My Physio who has worked with top rugby and football players reckons the latter get injured too easily due to a lack of muscle and joint strength building weight training.

  92. Foxy

    “Just watched the last 20 minutes of the Wolves v WestBrom game, and it is funny that two CBs for WestBrom are former Arsenal academy players: Sami Ajiyi and Kyle Barkley”.

    Some serious body on the line defending from Kyle Barkley – love to see the passion.

  93. Batistuta

    Would make absolutely no sense to sell Ozil now and not have anyone coming in.

    ESR doesn’t get you so far as he’s young and inconsistent and bar him, there’s no one else. Our creativity is maybe the worst in the league.

    Hope Edu has plans to get someone creative in, doesn’t look like Arteta fancies them type players either way

  94. Sid

    Jack Wilshere aka Artful Dodger

    ‘He was a snub-nosed, flat-browed, common-faced boy enough; and as dirty a juvenile as one would wish to see; but he had about him all the airs and manners of a man. He was short of his age: with rather bow-legs, and little, sharp, hazel eyes.’

  95. Rich

    Think we’ll definitely target an attacking midfielder, we need to create more chances, and score more goals.

    I quite fancy Pedro Neto or Martin Odegaard, they’d be my top picks.

    Have a feeling we’ll have another go for Aouar though, Buendia or Dybala might be other options

    We can’t afford to get another transfer wrong.

  96. Pierre

    Batistuta
    “Would make absolutely no sense to sell Ozil now and not have anyone coming in.”

    I presume we may bring in Eriksen which won’t please many on here but i would be more than happy to see a player of his quality..

    28 years old and prem proven at a possible bargain price.

  97. Tom

    Watching Leeds play on the worst pitch I’ve seen this season anywhere in the PL.
    How is a club coached to play quick, interchanging football supposed to execute that on a cabbage patch?
    Weird.

  98. Rich

    Pierre

    Eriksen on a 6 month loan as a very last resort maybe?

    No chance we should look at him on a permanent deal though, Chelsea rejects are bad enough, a Spurs reject is too bitter a pill to swallow.

    I have a sneaky suspicion KSE will back us for the right players this month, the club is haemorrhaging money

    But they can’t afford their asset to deteriorate,

    Goals + creativity is an issue, and I think we’ll definitely try to address that.

  99. Chris

    Not a fan of Eriksen, we have to move on from the ESR signings, such as Willian, who inevitably come on high wages. Start building for the future, players with higher ceilings, not on the downward curve.

  100. Samesong

    This Leeds v Brighton games seems like they have been playing for ages. Not used to seeing football kick off screened on sky at 3pm on a Saturday.

  101. Kris

    Not a fan of Eriksen, but he was not a “reject” at Spurs.
    They were trying to extend his deal for ages, but I suspect he wanted to win something plus get a better salary.

  102. Igors Stepanovs

    This Richard Garlick appointment essentially is a replacement for Huss Fahmy which is required. The new “Dick Law” for Edu let’s say.

    For all our suspicions on the Brazilian’s DOF ability, one job we shouldn’t expect him to be doing is all the legal work required in players’ contracts. I would imagine Edu will still be involved in negotiating the major deals but the finer details will be all Garlick.

    From what I have read, Garlick is qualified solicitor and has a sports law degree, he is meant to possess clout at the top level as well as having some sort of track record having worked at West Brom and the Premier League.

    Raul Sanllehi was a very well-respected figure in the corridors of power within the top echelons Europe and UEFA. Since Raul’s departure what he was able bring to the table in that regards has been missing, I doubt Vinai brings that experience or presence to the table. Prime example would be on the UEFA discussions to reform the Champions League over a year ago, we were involved, even though we haven played in the Champions League for over four seasons, that was largely down to Raul. The hope would be that Garlick could offer us some political power again in these corridors since he is a high figure in the Premier League.

    The appointment makes sense to me and feels very much like a Tim Lewis appointment.

  103. The BFB

    Breaking news from the SS Arsenal, currently negotiating the treacherous waters of the North Atlantic. Newly promoted Petty Officer Garlick has staked his claim to be in charge of the lifeboats, should the situation arise. Meanwhile, a cabin boy answering to the name of Balogun, having incurred the displeasure of Captain “Blackbeard” Arteta, is currently languishing in the hold surviving on meagre rations.

  104. Valentin

    “Raul Sanllehi was a very well-respected figure in the corridors of power within the top echelons Europe and UEFA.”

    I have not laugh out so much since Marc was arguing with me about the long term prospect of Raul ten minutes before the club issued a statement that he had been sacked.

    He was a chancer that had he not jumped ship from Barcelona would have been kicked out. Barcelona had publicly admit that they broke the law of two countries (Spain and Brazil) and have their president resign in exchange for no criminal proceedings against the president, the member of the board and the club directors. The director of football operations under which those illegal transaction took place happened to be Raul.

  105. Valentin

    Richard Garlick will encounter the same issues that Huss Fahmy did.

    A lot of current senior players are on financially unsustainable contract, but they are not ready to accept that new reality.

    Arteta is somebody who does not know the meaning of the word compromise. He wants what he wants and he wants it now. So he will manoeuvre to bypass him and get his favoured players the deal that he think they deserve. Luiz and Willian are the two evidences of it.

    Negotiating with the academy graduate is no picnic. Heavily incentivised contracts may make sense for the club, but the players know that they have options for a great career outside of Arsenal. So he will have to spend an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to convince them to re-sign when Arteta will undermine him by not showing them that there is a path for them to first team regular.

  106. Bojangles

    There is nothing wrong with criticizing the manager for what is happening on the pitch but the shit he is getting for what people assume is going on behind the scenes is ridiculous. Nobody has sources within Arsenal but everyone in the, as Valentin likes to call them, Arteta Out Brigade are using everything that goes wrong at the club as a stick to beat Arteta with.