GLORIOUS FAILURE IS AN AFFRONT TO PROGRESSING STANDARDS

by .

Well, what an average week.

One bad decision snowballed into multiple.

The biggest problem this week was how we approached the Europa League. We went big, played a group that had been rinsed physically by the Leeds game, we didn’t win.

Then we headed into Sunday, we were forced to rest players, and our lack of depth couldn’t handle City’s quality.

We lost 1-0. That’s not bad against the best team in Europe, the problem was less about the result, it was more about the acceptance of a lesser defeat.

‘We didn’t get spanked as bad as we usually would have’ is a 2019 way to look at games. Yesterday, after going down in under 2 minutes again, we just seemed to land on the idea that losing by one goal would be acceptable.

That’s not cool.

We played our way back into the game after Sterling of all people headed in birthday boy Mahrez’s cross early on.

We were certainly asking questions of City, especially in the last 15 minutes. We were stretching their defence, we were pinning them back, we had some moments. The hope was that we might have a go in the second half.

We didn’t.

We played with fear. The whole game was predicated on caution. Odegaard rarely took a chance by turning into space. The Norwegian was not at the races, it was a timid showing from him, but again, maybe his fitness was running low after a few games in a row after very little before. Mo Elneny’s fear of vertical passing seemed to infect everyone’s confidence. Auba, clearly knackered, offered next to nothing going forward. His fake jumps for balls in the box were embarrassing. His body language was shocking at times. He offered nothing. Is it time to accept that he can’t handle three games in a week? Is it time to accept that in hardworking games like that, you need a different forward leading the line: Lacazette or Martinelli would have offered more.

Defensively, I kept on thinking, ‘wouldn’t it be nice to have ball players.’ Rob Holding was fairly decent, but he’s not really built to be spraying it around against City. Pablo Mari was supposed to be the artful of the two, he just kept passing it Holding. Hector Bellerin was deeply frustrating all day. His partnership with Pepe was horrendous, not helped by the wingers return to normal form. His first touch was horrible. His decision making wasn’t great. Then you had Tierney, not his best day out, but maybe City was too much to ask after 5 games out.

Let’s talk about Pepe. He’s just not the full ticket, is he? His runs were poor, his touch wasn’t great, his decision making was laughable… he looks like he should be a good player, I’m just not sure we’ll ever see it. I’d prefer to see Martinelli on the left and Saka coming in on the right

We also have to be very honest about this squad. It is very nothingy without Thomas Partey. You can’t expect to beat City with Mo Elneny playing next to Xhaka. It’s not the Egyptian’s fault, he’s a sound guy, no doubt, but he’s painfully limited in games that require accurate passing with an edge of boldness.

The Arteta system needs fast passing from the base and it needs someone leading the line that is fully fit. Auba couldn’t run the line, he hid from crosses, and he looked sad. Elneny is living the dream, he’s the African Carl Jenkinson, we need to move on from him.

We also need to find a strong narrative heading into the end of the season. At the moment, there’s nothing to hold onto as a fan. We’re 1 step forward, 2 back every other month. It’s exhausting. There’s progress, but it’s not wrapped in anything. Arteta keeps telling us what we already know. He needs to give us hope. He needs to show us he can give us a run or another trophy.

Ending Leicester City’s title run next week? Yes please.

Ending Jose Mourinho’s Spurs career? Double yes.

Winning the Europa League by putting Unai ‘Good Ebening’ Emery to the sword? Don’t say sexy things you don’t mean.

This season has been shit. Give us some f*cking joy. Put a run together.

Check out our On The Whistle Podcast. It’s with Matt and Johnny. It’s a good one. They are basically miserable af and I keep the positivity bubbling. I’m that guy now. Imagine?

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Play

737 Responses to “GLORIOUS FAILURE IS AN AFFRONT TO PROGRESSING STANDARDS”

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  1. gunneram

    The season is a watershed moment for Arsenal.
    The quicker we forget the better for all of us
    In Order to compete we need Partey / Saka level players in most positions

  2. Kroenkephobe

    More like enhancing Leicester City’s title run next week

    Benjamin,
    I think we saw this year’s title winners dominate the Arsenal this afternoon.

  3. azed

    AFC Forever

    “we were bottom of goals conceded from set pieces”

    You really should stop lying on this that can be disproved easily.
    We conceded 10 goals from set pieces in 18/19
    The best defence set piece wise was Leicester City with 7 goals conceded.

  4. azed

    “We also have to be very honest about this squad”

    Lol at Pedro blaming player poverty after spending all of last season telling us player poverty isn’t a thing.

    Gabriel
    Partey
    William
    Mari
    Cedric
    Runnarson
    Ryan
    Odegaard

    Players Arteta has added in just over a year.

  5. Leedsgunner

    I suspect there will be some celebrating that we only lost by a goal.

    But the issue that I have is in the manner that we lost.

    Like the Aston Villa match we lost the match to a sucker punch goal because we couldn’t get switched on from the opening whistle.

    What is that about?

    If we lose to a better team scoring wonder goals against us that’s fair enough.

    What is not acceptable is that we are losing games again and again and again due to lapses of concentration.

    Wolves, Aston Villa now Man City.

    We love defeating ourselves so much. Where is our determination to learn from our mistakes?

    More importantly why is Arteta not dealing with this?!?

    Exasperating!

  6. Spudnik

    Pedro,
    ‘We were certainly asking questions of City, especially in the last 15 minutes. We were stretching their defence, we were pinning them back, we had some moments.’
    Really? Was one of the questions: ‘are you looking to the left as I pass sideways to the right cos we can’t cope with your pressing game?’
    Were the ‘some moments’ the single shot on target?
    Football fans are some of the biggest conspiracy theorists around and a lot of them are to be found in the comments here. So let me throw my hat into the ring of flat earthers, vax deniers and the tinfoil hat brigade; Arsenal only lost by a single goal today cos Pep felt sorry for his mate Arteta.

  7. Matt

    Pedro, you have created a monster with Arteta.

    Like Raptora said on the last post, this blog used to be about challenging the dwindling standards of this football club and Pedro himself used to slam people for defending Wenger.

    This blog is now the antithesis of what it used to be.

  8. zacharse

    i watched the leicester game today and have to say they looked a lot better than city on the day. Auba needs the fucking hairdryer treatment if not outright benching. bellerin needs to take a backseat and let cedric in, i mean could bellerin do as good a job on the left as he did covering for tierney? not that he was amazing but he was a threat more times than not. why not pop an academy player like azeez into the midfield. xhaka can come on as a shoring up sub. Non-negotiables look well and truly negotiated in the manner of a raul sannlehi transfer. i think i’m very close to losing faith completely in arteta and as for watching these 630 730 830 am games and ruining my day, i’m going to give it one more week until i go back to emery days where i knew what i was getting and occasionally watched the highlights.
    That game today was winnable i don’t give a shit what anyone says. i watched the fucking thing and they weren’t that good. auba should have been pulled in the 20th fucking minute and gabi brought on. theres too many passengers in this garbage side. how can odegaard even begin to get started when he’s being fed by elneny and bellerin???

  9. Leedsgunner

    I would trust the process and the manager’s protestations more if we didn’t keep making the same mistakes and put our faith less and less in players like Willian and Luiz. Give their minutes to our academy players like Nelson.

    The positive from this insipid performance?

    At least Willian didn’t get off the bench. Could the penny be dropping? One can live in hope.

  10. Nelson

    “i watched the leicester game today and have to say they looked a lot better than city on the day.”

    I see it differently. City will play Champion League game this week. There is no need to waste energy. The real master plays just good enough to win.

  11. Graham62

    Arteta really is not the real deal, is he Pedro?

    He played into Pep’s hands by sticking Auba up top and chucking Pepe out wide with Hector ‘the useless’ Bellerin.

    Lacazette, who didn’t feature against Benfica, was nowhere to be seen until it was too late and Martinelli was also left on the bench.

    Saka tried to do things but when the emphasis is on restraining your opponents out of fear, rather than having a go, you’re destined to fail.

    Where’s the risk taking? Arteta is so scared………but of what for Christ’s sake?

    To be honest, it has all become a bit of a joke, as has the predictable nature of this blog.

  12. DM

    I don’t get why we played Pepe on the right and Saka on the left when Pepe has looked sooo much better on the left, and Saka always does well wherever he is! I thought at first, ok, so I guess they have license to switch, which will cause City problems… but nope, no switching, and surprise surprise, Pepe was ineffective on the right once more.

    I swear, Arteta does some baffling things. There’s no doubt we’ve improved under him and some things he does so well, but then he’ll just do these weird things that I’m at a loss to explain.

    And he needs to make subs sooner ffs.

    And I wish we’d give Cedric a go ahead of Bellerin.

  13. Andy1886

    City the best team in Europe? I don’t think so, Pep will get his arse handed to him the CL as usual this season. A team in form for sure but not the best team.

  14. G8

    Good post Pedro,
    at least you kept it real this time,
    tomorrow’s back to Arteta fantasy world !!

    The whole team was not at the races today,
    Arteta should have freshened things up upfront
    Pepe and Bellend compo was useless for the first 45 mins, why didn’t he switch Pepe to the left for at least the first 15 mins in the 2nd half ?
    He was going to be subbed anyway .
    He could have also introduced early subs with legs and energy..err…wait… only the outcast Martinelle fit the bill
    Auba was embarrassingly weak he should have come off in 60 mins
    Easy to blame elneny, but neither xhaka or odegaard offered anything forward
    Just like the away game Arteta seemed happy to lose one nill..
    Terrible sauce
    Worrying how he is handling our young assets!

  15. Leedsgunner

    Sometimes you can not help that a better team is better than you because they have spent more.

    How do you attempt to “even up” the stakes in such a circumstance?

    You bring your “A game” to the table every single time and you concentrate from the very beginning of the game to the very last second.

    Therefore if a superior team is going to beat you make them work for it. Press them you pressure them to make a mistake so that you can exploit the turnover…

    Where is that eye to detail? That hunger to get it right?!?? Why do we repeat the same mistakes over and over again?

    Man City sat in neutral and they beat us.

  16. Leedsgunner

    The truth is that Arteta is a bad squad manager… and he played the squad he did versus Benfica out of fear.

    He knew his squad and fringe players were not good enough to get a response and so he went for a very strong team— who didn’t get the job done anyway.

    We should have kept our best players fresh for the Man City but we couldn’t because Arteta knows his future is more important to him rather than the pride of the shirt.

  17. Leedsgunner

    You might as well completely write off the games against Leicester and Tottenham because Arteta will go all out against Benfica to save his skin.

    Arteta is trying but his gripped more by fear trying to save his job rather than making choices which are brave visionary and confidence inspiring.

    He is like a toddler trying to make himself understood in a tutorial at Oxford.

  18. China1

    Crap management imo

    We played Leeds with give or take our best team. We picked pretty much the same team against benfica to give ourselves the best chance of going through but fluffed it then picked most of our best players again in a dead rubber against city meaning that not only would they always likely struggle due to fatigue but now they’ll also be knackered ahead of our most important game of the season so far vs benfica

    Arteta rolled the dice on his best players fitness and not only has it not paid off for the city game but it could cost us the benfica game and help to derail what’s left of our season where we go into that game once again wanting our best players on the pitch and needing to beast them when they’re in the red

    Second point Pedro, still gonna run with the line that developing martinelli is a priority for Mikel? After the Leeds game you said wait and see if he’s in the lineup for benfica. He wasn’t. Then he couldn’t even get on the pitch against city. If he plays at all in the return vs benfica it will be because the players he has ahead of him in the pecking order are exhausted and out on their feet.

    Mikel doesn’t rate martinelli

  19. Pierre

    Odegaard played way too safe today , we missed the one and 2 touch football of Smith Rowe and his ability to take the ball on the half turn

    ..Tierney’s final ball was poor , he linked well with Saka but didn’t deliver, he was also poor for the goal in allowing Mahrez to casually come inside without any pressure on the ball.

    Holding getting the blame for the goal but to me, I would ask the questions of the keeper who was rooted to his line .
    Sterling was on the 6 yard line when he headed the ball, and the cross was a floated cross , Leno’s starting position was poor , near post and on his line .
    His starting position should have been centre of the goal and 2/3 yards off his line.
    That being the case , he could have taken one step and caught the ball.
    Bellerin also wasn’t blameless .

    Was a similar performance to the one at city’s ground, no ambition from Arsenal and settling for a narrow defeat..

  20. into the red

    City could have had three in the first thirty minutes. Then they took their foot off the gas, content to let us amble about without any purpose and barely a decent shot on goal. More random. football from the Arteta team without any evidence of a decent game plan and players willing to put themselves on the line for it. This was a training exercise in the sunshine, and about as gripping to watch.
    Ever since at least Emery we have had a patchwork quilt of a side, promising bits here and there, dull pointless bits leavened by flashes of promise, then some amateur defending. The tradition continues as we fumble about with a weird mixture of some very good players and some below average plodders. Add in the strange permutations of the manager, and you never get a clear sense of are we going forwards, idling in neutral or slipping back.
    Will it get better? Who knows, every step forward looks like a lucky streak a few weeks later. Welcome to the new Arsenal, same as the old Arsenal.

  21. Pierre

    Thursday is the important game, it’s a must win game or our season is effectively over , which is something Arsenal fans have not been used to , as the past 6 seasons we have competed in a cup final .

    Not bad for a team in crisis…

  22. Leedsgunner

    Remember according to the latest Pedro we’re going to beat Benfica and beat Leicester…

    We might barely get over the line against Benfica but does that inspire confidence, convince you or anyone that we are moving forward?

  23. Leedsgunner

    Even if we beat Benfica we still face very good experienced sides in Europa. We are delusional and arrogant to think we are anywhere near winning this competition.

  24. Tom

    Pierre
    Maybe Leno forgot to shout “away” and that’s why Holding did nothing lol

    Lee Dixon called it right but what does he know, he only played Tierneys position all his career and was a part of one of the best Arsenal back four on record.
    Tierney was to square on Mahrez and Holding was ball watching.
    Stop trying to be too clever for your own good, Leno wasn’t at fault.

  25. Sly

    I do see potential in arteta
    He has done some decent coaching with players, nice improvement with the style of play and players understanding what’s expected of them
    Being able to transition the ball from defense to attack etc

    I don’t see elite potential in arteta
    He doesn’t have the swag
    His team played with an inferiority complex instilled by the manager
    This mentality will never take arsenal to the top tier

    Poor/naive player rotation will cost us any further progress table and cup wise this season

  26. Moray

    It did seem that Arteta had agreed with Guardiola prior to allow them to continue their winning streak if they let us get away with a 1-0 loss. The result let’s Tets off with some face and City were allowed to ease back in some players coming back from injury and prepare for the tougher matches they have coming up.

    How else to explain away the midget scoring between our CBs or the huge drop off in City’s intensity, ambition and overall play after their goal. The fact is, this City side could play Arsenal a hundred times in the league and beat them.

    That Elneny, Bellerin and Xhaka are still featuring for us with regularity should say everything about why we are where we are. Arteta’s poor team selection isn’t going to help us raise ourselves.

  27. Tom

    Pierre
    If you want to absolve Holding of any blame— a bit of a hard ask— then next in line to blame might be Bellerin, who makes contact with Sterling shortly before the ball is delivered, but then let’s him into space uncontested even though he has the whole play right in front of him, unlike Holding.

    Also, just because the ball wasn’t drilled super hard it wasn’t really a floater.
    These are usually hit from the very bottom and have an under spin.
    Mahrez curled his cross and it was an in swinger, which made it a lot harder for Leno to judge where exactly it would arrive.

  28. Ernest Reed

    Which set of correct lenses did you put on for this post, Pedro?

    You can put on 300 pairs of different shaded lenses and guess what, crap still looks like crap and this team, is crap.

    You have lowered your standards so much with Arteta that you cant even see the obvious with him at all, he’s an incredibly poor manager and couldn’t pick a lineup that works consistently if his own life depended on it.

    “Whatever” is the only word i have left on offer to describe the utterly useless team that’s presented to us, game in and game out.

    Thats me done.

  29. Nelson

    To be fair to Xhaka, I find him and Saka are the only two players that don’t disappoint.

    For Thursday, my preference is to get back to the trusted offense. We’ll have Laca, ESR and Saka for three positions. Either Auba or Pepe will occupy the LW. Ødegaard will backup ESR in the 70 th mins if required.

  30. China1

    For me I don’t care about the result yesterday provided we win the EL game. We were always underdogs and we’ve little to play for in the league

    But I do care that we’re beasting our best players in every match and not giving some of our useful squad players much of a chance

    And you can see how arteta has set martinelli up for a fall. By dropping him every game his confidence is likely to take a hit sooner or later. He’ll eventually give him a start and if he doesn’t do an ESR and hit the ground at 100mph then this stick will be used by arteta to say he’s not ready to be a first team option. Back to the bench. Or preferably sold

    I guarantee you that’s how arteta sees it

  31. Anonymous Commentator

    I don’t care about who to blame for the goal
    We didn’t even threaten them.
    What optics are these? It’s a training match, and arteta hasn’t even gotten spicy with the selection for a training match.
    What’s the point in any of what he is doing. How does it progress us or prepare us for the next season?
    This one is finished.

    Is he planning for the future or is he desperately trying to preserve the now?
    Martinelli can’t get minutes and he expects Balogun to sign da ting, he is lucky our form is so questionable otherwise he would be getting quizzed on that regularly.

    Wouldn’t this have been a good match to play anyone seeing as secret handshake or not the result would have been a loss no matter what?
    At least give anyone the opportunity to attempt to make a highlight reel so that we have a better idea of what exactly we do and don’t have in the squad.
    He himself doesn’t know what he has in the squad.
    Terrified of using it cause he might lose, oh how troubling that would be at this juncture, another loss.

    Get him out already.
    He’s terrified of the realities of the job.
    Emery at least made a go of it and invited discovery of squad talent looking to impress.

  32. Gooner_grower

    @China1
    “Mikel doesn’t rate martinelli”

    I believe the reason Martinelli didn’t play was because he was not ready.

  33. Nelson

    I also don’t like to play Saka all 90 mins. I would either rest him or at most 60 mins. Auba had such a bad game, but I understand why Arteta kept him there. He provides the hope for a lucky goal.

  34. Dissenter

    Aubameyang is not good captain material
    He does not embody the fighting spirit you want around the club.
    Seeing him knocked down so easily on his bum by John Stones was so disheartening
    , not once …but twice. John Stones is not even a bruising defender.
    To see Ruben Dias run over to high-five Stones made me so angry.

  35. Dissenter

    “I believe the reason Martinelli didn’t play was because he was not ready.”

    He was on the bench so he was ready

    Why is it okay for people to carry Arteta’s water like this?

  36. Dissenter

    Arteta is not a quick learner or maybe he just depends on happenstance too much
    Why did he take Pepe away from his area of strength and put him on the wing that he is poorer
    Talk about setting up players to fail.

  37. Dissenter

    “Ending Leicester City’s title run next week? Yes please.
    Ending Jose Mourinho’s Spurs career? Double yes.
    Winning the Europa League by putting Unai ‘Good Ebening’ Emery to the sword? Don’t say sexy things you don’t mean.”

    In your dreams Pedro

    You will still have more excuses than a cactus has spikes when he falls short of all three expectations
    ‘Standards have indeed been thrown out the window” and something is “brewing” at Arsenal

  38. Dissenter

    Arlo White on NBC described the city pace as ” a testimonial” match.
    They didn’t even break a sweat. They don’t need the goal difference and have CL midweek.

  39. Artetauphillclimb

    Elneny is Egyptian, so if you are comparing him to Carl Jenkinson, say the Egyptian Carl Jenkinson not the African Carl Jenkinson – next time check yourself before using African as an adjective.

  40. Gonsterous

    Well predictable loss, but I don’t understand why we are playing saka for 90mins in every game. That’s a recipe for disaster.

    Sadly artetaball is having 11 world class players in the team. Another term for that is cheque book manager. Learnt from the best.

    He’s not going to improve anyone. Saka was always a world class talent, but for the sake of his career, he needs to get a move away before he is broken beyond repair.

    ESR, Martinelli, Guen and Saliba are talents the fans have been going on about for months. Guess who is the only one who can’t see it? Yup, the generational man.

    November when I checked the table, we were in 10th, February when I look at the table, we are in 10th. Guess where we will finish come April?

  41. Gonsterous

    Last month, we were 3 points of chelsea who were having a bad run. What do they do? Sack the incompetent coach, and get a new manager, who with the same players have led them 9 points away from us, and sitting in top 4.

  42. bacaryisgod

    Gonsterous

    Absolutely right. Arteta makes no sense in his rotation decisions. He’s running Saka into the ground. There’s something seriously wrong with his judgement.

  43. bacaryisgod

    I think at this point we all know in our hearts that it’s not going to end well with Mikel. The real question is if ownership has the guts to pull the plug in time to avoid too much damage.

    Imagine Gasperini or Rangnick leading the team out for our Premier League opener. The new manager claims that he’s trusting youth but there may be bumpy times. In the summer, The first XI features Leno, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Guendouzi, Smith-Rowe, Saka, Martinelli , Balogun and a dynamic young right back. . We know that this team will make mistakes and suffer bad days but it has talent, speed and drive.

    Just a pipe dream but a fun one to have.

  44. Dissenter

    OGS subbed in Sola Shorotire, a highly rated academic graduate who just turned 17 years old 2 weeks ago.
    It may very well be a token gesture but it’s a lot more than we are doing. We have good academy products running down their contracts because they don’t get opportunities.
    When we were leading Leeds 4-1, why not bring on a young player just to give academy players that little hope the ladder is open. Instead he brought in the 32 year old Brazilian.
    Good managers give young players opportunities, OGS did a bit of that at Spuds with some of their average academy players.

  45. Dissenter

    Pedro
    Just listened to that podcast
    It’s kind of sad to see hear your two guests repeatedly pin you back to reality every time you fly off on another Arteta hot air balloon.

  46. Tony

    Pedro
    “Let’s talk about Pepe. He’s just not the full ticket, is he?”

    Absolute right, Pedro when Pepe is stuck out on the right wing with little support and being doubled up on by defenders when receiving the ball mostly from the hapless Bellerin.

    So why isn’t he the full ticket?

    Pepe is one of those anomalies in football – one footed, but yet still mesmerizing with quick feet when given a little space with players around him dragging defenders out of position.

    9 goals and 6 assists in the last 2 seasons says there’s a player there, especially with his lack of playing time; probably not worth the £70+ million, but a player that will always scare defenders doing the unexpected at warp speed, especially slower CBs because of his unorthodox style.

    Arteta just looks to have emotional and people connection issues. That and a vindictiveness and insecurity in his temperament. I can see no other explanation for his treatment of so many players, especially our youth players with the right potential, such as Balogun, Azeez and a couple others..

    Both could do with some counseling sessions to level them out to see what’s really under the surface.

    If and it’s a really big ‘if’ – if Pedro is right and Arteta is the gifted and special sauce manager then get a professional in to help Arteta unlock and deal with his issues.

    I’ll try to add a little context here.

    When you’ve lived with ADHD all your life as I have (cue trolls), recognizing others who are spectrum based is not the difficult; however, determining their alphabet soup is not that simple unless you spend time with them.

    Anyone wanting to learn more about ADHD should watch this prelude to the Rory Bremner’s Horizon program:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc0v8m-ChSs

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2017/17/adhd-rory-bremner

    ADHD manifests itself differently in people, but the one constant is the speed in which the brain works to compensate for brain growth imbalances that meds, and potentially with age where growing out of it can occur in early teen life where the under developed parts of the brain play catch up.

    With practice ADHD can become a gift rather than a debilitating struggle to gain clarity and focus when the brain is flying at stupid speeds far, far greater than people without the condition. It’s the brain speed that triggers distractions from around the people’s close environment, which in turn causes loss of focus.

    To illustrate this further my wife has ADHD and is the co owner of a multi million dollar company at 45.

    Our daughter and son have it from passed from us and they have both excelled at school and University where my daughter has already passed her first aerospace engineering degree with a 3:75 GPA (1st in her year of a mostly male dominated major) and now on her second AE degree.

    It hasn’t been easy for them by any stretch of the imagination – just hard work and the support of their doctors teaching them various steps that are clearly working.

    Pepe looks to me that he is affected by ADHD in some part where like Covid ADHD has many forms and levels that often attach to another spectrum based issue, such as autism.

    A very successful friend I’ve known for 4 decades has a son with a more severe form of ADHD that has attached a mild autism to the condition. The kind that saw him learn the guitar in an afternoon on his own at 10 to a level he can copy songs note for note in minutes.

    I digress. Back to the game.

    One shot on target and 2 off target sums up our game plan last night. We set out to defend in numbers and try to counter using players in make shift positions with Arteta seeing things completely different from fans who, reading here, sadly seem to have a better grasp of the situation than Arteta. Not a dig or trolling Arteta, but as I’ve mentioned before Arteta fails to see what is glaringly obvious in front of him.

    The game was lost by Arteta imo in the selection and line up before the game started.

    The subs were wrong and too late to produce anything.

    Before the game I felt we could possibly get a point from the game if City didn’t score early and with a different line up including Martinelli instead of Auba who one could see was a passenger within the first 10 minutes.

    I said a few weeks ago the next 6 games would make or break our season.

    So far we’ve lost one, drawn one and won one.

    Now Thursday’s game is where our season peters out with a whimper leaving us trying probably unsuccessfully to gain a European place for next season from our final league position or we get past Benfica and bury the ghost last season’s early exit.

    MO is still improving his match fitness and needed ESR/Partey yesterday to help relieve the pressure off him before he can pick up the number 10 mantle with the necessary PL game speed.

    The PL pace sill a little in front of MO, but he’s done well to be dropped in the deep end and is just about keeping his head above water. MO has the skills and vision in abundance or certainly did have in his teen years. However, I think it’s more the case ESR needs to play with MO rather than separately to get the best from both players.

    Auba should never have started the game, it was made for Martinelli’s pressing and aggression that Auba has never really had that get-in-and-mix-it with City’s CBs and right back.

    Basically, Auba’s contract is another royal screw up by clueless Edu and Arteta who if reports are true also looking to tie Luiz down for another year probably at the expense of Saliba. £100+k a week to be a good influence in the dressing room.

    Our play yesterday had been dictated by Arteta decisions that yet again shouldn’t see the light of day.

    Nothing has changed my mind regarding we should be hiring Rangnick to sort Edu and Arteta out and hopefully Rangnick will bring us into Leicester’s level of successful recruitment both with skillful players and financially as well as consolidate a collective vision for the next 3 years.

    One with targets and accountability.

    It’s just a crazy mess (sorry progress; keeping eye on the ball and all that) with Arteta more often than not is fanning flames instead of putting the fires out.

  47. Dissenter

    **OGS did a bit of that at Spuds with some of their average academy players.

    That should have been Poch did a bit of that at Spuds with some of their average academy players.

  48. Aussie+Gooner

    Why do we need to pay players like Luiz, Xhaka, Abu and Willian exorbitant salaries just to be ‘good eggs’ in the changing room when we pay a manager and director of football to do just that?

  49. Leedsgunner

    Both Spurs and Liverpool losing and it doesn’t matter because there is a manager at the club who is happy to speak a good game rather than to learn from our mistakes.

    I actually wouldn’t mind losing if we showed desire but we constantly and consistently switch off mentally.

    City beat us without breaking a sweat.

  50. China1

    Aussie we do it because the manager lacks confidence to be able to maintain order amongst players who have strong personalities. Rather than be the alpha of the team, arteta is scared of personalities that may challenge him so they get sidelined

    We saw the same thing happen in wengers last 10 years where we would only play nice boys who won’t ask questions and it hurt us enormously because accountability disappears when everyone is too nice to challenge each other

  51. China1

    And yeah everyone should give up on the idea of balogun staying at arsenal and kicking on

    Mikel has made it entirely clear he has absolutely no interest in giving him any chances. Balogun is 4th choice at best atm. Maybe 5th if you consider arteta tried Willian as a false 9 multiple times

    Basically arteta dislikes the guy because he’s got a bit of a swagger about him. Martinelli, guendouzi, saliba. All young players with confidence to speak up will get their development blocked here. I guarantee you if ESR said anything mildly negative tomorrow he’d be benched before you can say ‘Arteta has a problem with big personalities’

  52. Guns of SF

    China

    Mike A is conservative coach. His old school tactics are such BS. Someone who is his age I would expect to be more progressive and moldable and flexible..
    He is nothing of the sort.

    City was in third gear the entire game…. under no time during the game did I feel like we were keeping them pegged back or pressing the issue

    It was more or less KT cross to no one,
    Auba get the ball and get pushed out of play and then smile
    Odegaard chasing shadows- welcome to the EPL young man

    Lots of shit, the Bellerin and Pepe right side is shit, the entire world can see it does not work.

    Why not as I stated earlier put Saka on the right and try Matinelli on the left?

    Why not attack City? Hell, id rather score and lose then play anti football and lose 1 nil.

    Ill take a 3-4 loss any day.

    We are giving up our DNA to attack, and his team selection, in game management is still woeful. Just fucking woeful.

    I also hope we DO NOT sign Dani or Odegaard this summer.

    Why is it that we cannot get players that city always gets? We get these very young, weak players who are cast offs from La Liga and think they will save us.
    I know its early for Odegaard but what I have seen already I know he will not move the needle for us. He is not what we need. ESR all day long over him.

    Its like being a depressive fog being an arsenal fan. some days are better than others but overall its the same dull and dreary season…. nothing to hang our hats on… nothing

    We still need to win the EL and get EL places so Mike better get his shit together fast

  53. Guns of SF

    This is correct

    Elneny is Egyptian, so if you are comparing him to Carl Jenkinson, say the Egyptian Carl Jenkinson not the African Carl Jenkinson – next time check yourself before using African as an adjective.

  54. Guns of SF

    I hate to admit it, but losing Rambo, and not replacing with a similar Rambo player has hurt us. When he was not injured he generally was a positive player for us. I do think we let him go at the right time, but the lack of a like or better replacement has hurt us and continues to.

    El Neny on the pitch is like a 5th defender. how do you expect to win and score against City with him? Bring him on when we are closing out games we are winning.

    Dani would have offered at least something more going forward

    Some folks are excusing this loss. No thanks…. every game is a test for improvement and we keep failing the ones against top teams, bar a penalty against Manure united

  55. Guns of SF

    Honestly, I would not doubt the agents of Martin are putting some feelers out for this summer….

    He finally drops Willian but goes back to Pepe….instead of the dynamo that is Martinelli….

    And I dont even care if he does not score, Martin offers pressing, vision, attacking nous and crossing, as well as taking shots… a real attacking threat all around.

    yes he is reckless but a player like that would cause city some issues… if not for simply forcing them into mistakes…

    Mike needs to wake the F UP

  56. Aussie+Gooner

    With the same mistakes repeated time after time I do not see Arteta ever learning. Honestly a consensus of folk from Le Grove would do a better job managing the team! We were completely impotent against a City side that didn’t need to move out of first gear. Shameful! One shot on target at home! Lost 11 games thus far – on target to lose 16???? Mid to low table form!

  57. ace

    So in a nutshell, it is the manner of losing that annoys most here. I’m glad though that we weren’t humiliated by City who somehow mananaged not to score 3 more goals by the half hour mark.

  58. Winthorpe

    ArtetauphillclimbFebruary 22, 2021 01:40:47
    Elneny is Egyptian, so if you are comparing him to Carl Jenkinson, say the Egyptian Carl Jenkinson not the African Carl Jenkinson – next time check yourself before using African as an adjective

    Next time check yourself before attempting to control another person’s language
    You’ve no authority over anything boy

  59. Receding Hairline

    “In Order to compete we need Partey / Saka level players in most positions”

    Yes, just like West Ham have top level players in all positions.

    By the way Partey hasn’t dominated every match he played in, a bit rich acting like our whole season rests on him.

  60. Kegunner

    Pep plays a simple brand of football that gets results often. Silky midfielders and great defenders. Kloop played a simple brand of football that worked for him. Hardworking midfielders with great defenders and quick lethal attackers.

    Arteta needs to simplify his game and stick to it. By know he should know what works where and use that. Otherwise he just frustrates his players and the fans. When he came in his simple approach led to a run of results. Tinkering and not changing game plans quickly in play are costing him wins.

  61. The Bard

    Predictably the dummy throwers are out in force. Sack the manager and most of the players. We sacrificed this game for the Eurpoa league. City were terrific and we were poor. We can play a lot better. Too many players weren’t at the races. It’s no big deal. We will play better.

  62. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal were outclassed yesterday by Man City playing in second gear after the first 20 minutes of game.

    I don’t want to discuss their creativity and attacking potential, but rather their defence, which is now an outstanding unit conceding just 15 goals in ALL competitions played since the beginning of October.

    Let’s focus just on their Centre Back resources for one minute. Dias [£61.20 M] and Stones
    [£50.04 M] are an outstanding unit. They have in addition Laporte [£58.50 M] and Ake [£40.77M] sitting on bench. That is £210.51 Million spent on Centre Backs.

    Contrast that with what we are able to put out in the Centre Back position with Holding and
    Mari who cost combined under £20 million.

    The goal we conceded yesterday by Sterling at 5′ 7″ highlights the huge gulf, because I doubt
    that the two Man City centre backs would have conceded that goal.

    If Arsenal want to get back into the top 4 frame let alone challenge for league title then we
    need to be more ambitious in our recruitment of defenders. Frankly Holding and Mari would
    not make the Man City bench let alone their starting X1.

  63. Pierre

    Tom
    “Maybe Leno forgot to shout “away” and that’s why Holding did nothing lol
    Lee Dixon called it right but what does he know, he only played Tierneys position all his career and was a part of one of the best Arsenal back four on record.”

    I get that i embarrassed you a couple of weeks ago and now you feel the need to look for a kind of revenge, but you reall need to do a little better than this.

    So Lee Dixon obviously knows a lot , he agreed with me , Tierney was partly at fault for the goal. .
    I also believe that a goalkeeper should at the very least command his 6 yard box ( thats the small area in front of goal , in case you didn’t know).
    Sterling was 5 yards out when he headed the ball ..

    I’ll leave it there i think…

  64. Terraloon

    Artetauphillclimb

    In footballing terms Egypt is a member of the African Football Confederation

    In geographical terms Egypt is situated in both Africa and Asia .

    El Neny was born in the Nile Delta which is located in Northern Africa so adjective or not technically factually he is African

  65. Davey

    Was Saka on the left because of the return of KT? Pepe has been half decent on the left but was back on the right and shite!

  66. Terraloon

    ES

    Not buying into the argument about the cost of players being the reason for yesterday’s dire performance.

    Up against those CD you had Pepe , who cost more than any of City’s CD. PEA who cost £56 million.

    City played with the handbrake on they came to do a job and no more. Arsenal on the other hand could have gone all in they didn’t they played with fear and were doomed to be beaten before the first ball was kick because of attitude.

  67. Leftside

    I still can’t get over needing a goal and subbing off the meek, negative Elneny for Ceballos.

    Watching us as a whole is so soul destroying, there is nothing to get excited about in this team, the only thing brewing is perennial midtable finishes under the insecure, control freak Arteta.

  68. Leftside

    And I do not care about some Arsenal fan’s weird dislike for Emery but we at least challenged for the top 4 under him and reached an EL final, Arteta has us championing 1-0 losses where the better side barely breaks a sweat and challenging for top 10 finishes.

  69. Leftside

    We have lost 16 Premier League games in the last year and Man United for example have lost 4 games and Mikel’s job was still safer than Ole’s.

  70. Kroenkephobe

    I don’t mean to get into dangerous territory here but Egypt is in Africa as any outline of that continent will confirm. As far as I can tell, both descriptions are valid. Is there anything wrong with describing someone from Africa and therefore Egypt as African and/or Egyptian? In the context, it doesn’t seem to me as if there was a consciously discriminatory nuance to what was said.

    In general, opting to apply a national identifier to someone can be seen as un diplomatic, but the original post was critical of the piece because Pedro called him African instead of Egyptian when both are plainly applicable. If I was Elneny, I’d be proud of being Egyptian and African.

  71. Captain Tierney

    Poor game yesterday.
    One could say Man city weren’t at their races, someone else could say Arsenal defended well. But the main point is we lost the game and didn’t create one clear cut chance. No matter who we are up against, not creating even one chance is abysmal for Arsenal football club.

    We conceded a very poor goal. Tierney didn’t get tight to Mahrez but it was Mahrez and if you get too tight with him he’ll just zip past you. The main culprit imo was Holding ( he did defend very well for the rest of the game). A second before thr cross came in, Holding checked where Sterling is and then just allowed him to get behind him with no hesitation whatsoever. That shouldn’t be happening. Leno was not to blame here, nor was Bellerin who was marking the other City player at the far post. Holding should be clearing that with ease. A 5’7 player shouldn’t be heading in a goal against our 6’2 CBs. Even the cross was a clipped one and usually easier to defend against for big defenders.

    Dont know why Pepe was shunted to RW and Saka at LW when they have performed so well in the reversed roles. Even then, Saka was a menace throughout the game. So was Xhaka who I thought was very good last night.

    Auba was anonymous again. He isn’t a No.9. He can’t play striker in matches where we dont have the ball. He doesn’t contest for Aerial balls, he is afraid to get dirty with the CBs. He is just too cautious. The worst thing he does is that fake jump trying to show he is contesting for an aerial ball. Like, who are you trying to fool?

  72. Globalgunner

    Every other team in the league except Arsenal would have tried harder to win that game. Again Arteta only gets away with that tripe performance because there were no fans in the stadium. Heck Arteta would not even be the manager today if there were fans in the stadium.

  73. Leftside

    Olis, that was the latter stages of Emery’s tenure and I’m sure you knew what I meant. In his first season we were at least challenging for Top 4 and the EL – that is not championing anybody that is just a fact. That is the remit for any Arsenal manager, to at minimum challenge for a CL spot and that is what Emery did in his first season. Arteta came in half way through last season I hear you say, fair enough but he still didn’t move the needle much. He has had a full season and we are in regression no matter how a few of you superfans and Pedro spins it.

    Arteta has not improved this side, and there’s no getting around that, so what exactly should I be embarrassed about? If we’re going to exchange views on Arsenal leave the snide attitude for teenage girls in the school playground.

    I don’t think Leicester are fantastic by any stretch but they are a good, well balanced side who are well coached and have been performing at a higher level than Arsenal for the last two years. It is unlikely based on the trajectory of both clubs and performances that we will get anything from that game.

  74. Davey

    Out of 38 League games Arsenal away must be Man city’s easiest, the spuds always give them a game at home it was embarassing seemed like we played out a 0-1 loss at 20 mins to go at least have a go.
    Pathetic.

  75. Emiratesstroller

    Terraloon

    You don’t need to buy into the argument I was making.

    Pepe was a speculative buy who was not worth remotely what we paid for him and I agree
    he is a waste of money.

    On the other hand Man City have bought 3 Centre Backs in Dias, Laporte and Stones who are
    now amongst the best in European Football.

    I recognise that Arsenal do not have the budget, which is available to Man City, but if you are
    going to spend mega bucks then at least spend it on the right players.

    Arsenal’s 1st X1 is probably three players short of a reasonably competitive team. The three positions, which need to be beefed up in my opinion are a Right Centre Back, Central Midfielder to play alongside Partey when he gets finally match fit and a Centre Forward.

    If we want to buy “proven” talent rather than “speculative” buys then we need to spend proper money.

  76. Graham62

    Globalgunner

    100% correct.

    Try convincing Pedro of that.

    The tactics, the set up, the players used, were all wrong.

    I hope Bellerin doesn’t feature on Thursday. Total embarrassment.

    It’s all on Arteta.

  77. Matt

    Guarantee Olis will be nowhere to be seen at the end of the season. Or will it become, wait until the end of next season?

  78. Davey

    Olis, Davey is this the same Spurs that had about 5% possession and two snide goals? Yes it is.

    Look at our record in the league against City especially at home, I didn’t expect to win the game but can’t handle watching attack v defence played at testimonial pace fucking embarrassing.

    That is not my club

  79. Emiratesstroller

    Graham 62

    I must confess that I was surprised by team selections.

    Selecting Holding and Mari as a centre back combination against Man City seemed illogical.

    Also why play Saka on left wing and Pepe on right wing? Pepe has looked better on the left
    when he has played recently and Saka looks very comfortable on right.

    As I have just posted Arsenal do need to spend some proper money in summer transfer window specifically along the spine as I have posted above.

    I suspect that the players Arsenal shift out this summer will generate around £90-100 million in transfer market.

    I would prefer that Arsenal spend any budget we have got on players who will make a real
    difference to our team and are an upgrade on what we have got.

    The idea that Arsenal should buy both Ceballos and Odegaard and spend £60 million would
    not be my solution or priority.

  80. DUIFG

    Benfica leg one coming back to bite, post the goal it stunk, we were happy with a draw, go out and win that and his life would have been so much easier now.

    Bad decisions come back to bite

  81. DigitalBob

    An expected result and giving the scoreline some might say not bad considering the gulf in quality between the sides. Having said that we did not look remotely like scoring. It has been said but Auba had a bad game, Ode was anonymous and Pepe started in what we ALL know is his least effective position.

    The player poverty argument is valid as Elneny is Elneny, chasing shadows is what he does for a living, and while fan favourite Holding has been solid he was at fault for Sterling’s goal. No way any of City’s world class centre-backs let a 5’7 Sterling have that much room.

    Win on Thursday and this will be forgotten. It’s also not a certainty Leicester beat us and I think it will be a fairly competitive game that we can get 3 points from.

  82. bacaryisgod

    On January 31st, Saka was rested vs. Man United as a precaution for a sore hip. Since then he’s played every minute of our last 5 games. That’s 5 games in 20 days in one of the most demanding positions on the field.

    Is Arteta trying to break our one consistently excellent player this season?

  83. Dream10

    Poor day for the back four. Bellerin and Tierney were poor offensively. Holding and Mari were not alert on multiple occasions.

  84. AFC Forever

    Since 2017/18 all some of you have done is use the blog to moan about players and demand Managers are sacked. First Wenger, then Emery and now Arteta. That is 3 managers in 3 1/2 odd years all subjected to the same agenda. I personally believe Managers should be given time, especially when they come into a club that has been a mess and subjected to years of mismanagement from above. It’s not that I ‘love’ Arteta, as some children have claimed but because I believe in giving a Manager time to bring in his own players and implement his playing style. So I am not a hire and fire fan, never have been because unless you can outspend everyone else and already have a group of World Class players, it ain’t gonna work keep changing the manager.

    So I need to understand why this constant demand for new managers is so popular on LeGrove and what you expect that to achieve:.

    1. When do you want Arteta sacked – Immediately or at the end of the season?
    2. What manager do you want to bring in and why?
    3. How long will you give him before demanding his head?
    4. What is your minimum expectation year 1, 2 and 3 – including trophies?
    5. In his tenure how many players will he need to replace?

  85. HerbsArmy

    If you can’t see the mess Arsenal are in, and call it out for what it is, what’s the point, Pedro.
    There has been nothing exciting about supporting this club for the past ten years, since the 8-2 humiliation at OT.
    If you refused to tolerate Wenger why are you constantly celebrating and talking up a manager not fit to lace Wenger’s shoes?
    Pathetic club with far too much sycophancy and dishonesty about the performance and status of where Arsenal should be.
    If the club can’t be bothered, neither can I.
    I’m not angry at the defeat, just the apathy and acceptance, and blinkered people insisting that somewhere, Arsenal are making progress.
    Arsenal need some straight-talking home-truths rammed down their throats, they need to know the consequences of letting down millions of fans almost every week on an annual basis.

  86. AFC Forever

    Dream10

    “Bad day for the back four”

    Thought they did okay except for the opening spell when they got caught cold. Tierneys first 90 minutes so perhaps he started slowly because he didn’t get close to Mahrez for the cross. There is absolutely no way Sterling should be able to get between both centre halves, that was an individual error, unacceptable – I know we had the disadvantage of lack of recovery time but I wouldn’t have changed the CB pairing completely, that should always be a partnership of understanding.

  87. Mr Serge

    We should have gone all out for Rodgers when we sacked Unaii
    We never we dithered
    We should also have brought their director of football he knows how to sell high and bring in talent
    At Arsenal that DOF could get in an even higher level of quality player due to our pulling power

    We missed out spurs will probably sack Jose and bring him in now
    Arsenal need an experienced winner at the helm not s novice.
    As much as I support. MA as he is here I would jump at the chance to get Leicesters management team in

  88. Mr Serge

    AFC
    I agree with giving managers time as well

    1. When do you want Arteta sacked – Immediately or at the end of the season?

    I don’t he needs 3 windows at least
    2. What manager do you want to bring in and why?
    Brendan as I explained in my last post
    3. How long will you give him before demanding his head?
    2 seasons minimum
    4. What is your minimum expectation year 1, 2 and 3 – including trophies?
    Progression, squad improvement, player departures that are holding us back.
    5. In his tenure how many players will he need to replace?
    Half of them stating with Bellerin, Auba,xhaka willian luiz elneny lacca to be replaced with 1 st 11 players

  89. Nelson

    ES
    “Arsenal’s 1st X1 is probably three players short of a reasonably competitive team. The three positions, which need to be beefed up in my opinion are a Right Centre Back, Central Midfielder to play alongside Partey when he gets finally match fit and a Centre Forward.”

    Totally agree. But we can’t play our 1st XI every game. Our squad still has to be deeper to challenge Top4 or Champion League.

  90. Sid

    China1February 22, 2021 09:55:07
    El Neny is an African (Egyptian)

    Generally Egyptians Northern Africans are described as Arabic by other Africans and by themselves.
    Its complicated …….

  91. Nelson

    idk. It seems that we always sign some French kids who are lose cannon. First Guen, then Saliba and now Pepe. Pepe has no business making those claims. He should concentrate on his job.

  92. The Bard

    Totally agree AFC. This site often descends into a football version of Strictly Come dancing. I’m not sure Arteta is the real deal but let’s see how we go for a couple of seasons. What we do know is keep sacking managers doesn’t work either.
    For those lauding Rogers you need to remember he turned us down. Why I wonder, possibly owners who don’t care, a dysfunctional off field set up and no money. Makes sense to me. We aren’t consistent but when we are on it we look as good as any of Wengers team of his last decade.

  93. Grant Elkin

    You really need to lurn that Arteta isn’t the great hope we’ve been looking for. You keep plugging him to be some kind of God like manager, and yet he is constantly making the same mistakes again and again. Wrong team selections wrong tactics wrong, leaving it to late to bring on the subs which ate usually the wrong ones. This argument about he’s not got the right players, is starting to be a hard swallow after all he chose Willian a 250K pitch decoration, and a extra year to the walking Red card that is DL. I really do enjoy reading your blogs and listening to your pods, but your continuing sell that Arteta is the 2nd coming is waning thin. Mark my words it won’t be long before he brakes Saka and ESR from over playing them both. I truly believe come this time next season we will be looking for a new manager, as this 1 step forward 2 steps back will start getting to the fan base if it isn’t already.

  94. Nelson

    “We should have gone all out for Rodgers when we sacked Unaii”

    For me, we should have signed Carlo Ancelotti after Wenger. He has a sure hand and EPL experience. Now it is done and Arteta has demonstrated that he is learning. We’ll have to prepare for his mistakes.I hope KSE is willing to provide more funding for the Summer TW.

  95. andy1886

    AFCF – Minimum expectation is continual improvement. Fans aren’t as thick as certain people like to suggest, it doesn’t have to be measured in trophies, it’s about being more and more competitive against the best sides. And by competitive that doesn’t mean parking the bus and trying to nick a goal.

    To a degree this season is much like the 2015/16 one. Chaotic results, big teams stuttering, an opportunity that we should take advantage of. Sure City are out in front but the rest aren’t pulling up any trees. Yet we’re one of the biggest underachievers.

    Improvement means a recognisable style that actually makes sense (no lumping in high balls to strikers who don’t win headers), playing players in their best positions (the Pepe/Saka thing being an example from yesterday), consistency of selection with sensible rotation (does MA even know his best side?), and players that enter the pitch motivated to win games (rather than settle for a narrow loss). I want to see payers that are angry when they lose, not ones that are pleased with they way they played despite not even making a game of it (see Mari’s post match comments).

  96. tunnygriffboy

    Win and everything is rosy and we progressing and moving forward
    Lose and we need to change everything and no one is good enough
    Surely there needs to middle ground.

    Personally i think Arteta is the man to yake it forward. Yes he’s made mistakes but i can see progress. The club was a basket case for years and needs a lot of fixing and a bit of patience.

  97. Anonymous Commentator

    What’s really concerning is that there are some superfans (superfans?) Who actually think city were trying to break us down and score for real.
    They weren’t.

    I would rather we force city to actually play their best game than whatever that game was.
    So what if they score 5, we should be scoring 2 and making them have to take the game seriously.
    That encounter was just a joke.

  98. Emiratesstroller

    AFC Forever

    It was not a “bad day” for our centre backs BUT the difference in quality between ours and those of Man City is significant.

    I do think that Gabriel has the potential to be a top class Centre Back, but we need to find someone to play alongside him of similar or better quality.

    Holding and Mari are “adequate” squad players but not in my book first choice starters to play against teams of calibre of Man City.

    Whilst I do not subscribe to the valuations made by Transfermarkt on players. It is relevant
    how they are rated in the pecking order. We don’t have a single centre back who is ranked on first page and only one [Gabriel] ranked in top 50 centre backs in World Football.

  99. Leftside

    Olis, why wait till the end of the season? What will we learn between now and then? it’s there for all to see unless your purposely trying not to see it

  100. Thank you and goodnight

    He’s constantly changing the back four, how does that help them get consistency. Last season after losing kompany and Laporte getting injured, pep kept on changing the back four trying to find a solution, they leaked goals because of it. Now they have found the solution to their centre back problem , he sticks with the same CB pairing .

  101. Globalgunner

    The best team in Europe is Bayern Munich….does this need explaining.? Until they are dethroned they are the best. I bet they will beat City if they meet them in the CL This is because they have a forwards that always score goals and City have a sometimes Jesus and our Bête noire. Raheem fkn Sterling. Imagine Raheem Sterling never failing to score against you. OH I forget….He was coached to greatness by none other than Mikel Arteta…or so the legend says.

  102. Gbat

    Just comparing the squads yesterday tells you exactly the biggest problem we have. City had a better player in just about every position and most of their subs would walk into our team. I know a lot of you think that a manager will come in with some magic coaching that’s going to turn these players world class.

  103. Anonymous Commentator

    It doesn’t matter olis. You’re gonna lose to city either way. Arteta can try to save as much face as he wants by convincing pep to play light but he’s already racked up more than enough losses for the season anyway.
    We didn’t even play the game because the team now believes they’re the little kids on the block and dare not upset the bully.
    It’s pathetic. Mental regression of the team. Belief in being able to score and genuinely threaten opposition is gone.

    Very long few weeks up ahead.
    Expect one of the upcoming results against teams who arteta won’t be able to have secret handshakes with to be extremely telling.
    You can fool most of the fans arteta, but not all of them.
    He can’t even give us attacking football when we’re on a hiding to nothing and city are just letting us play and daring us to score.

    Arteta should at the very least show that we deserve to be in the same league as city, we are the arsenal, make them have to play their best.
    I would rather a Bayern 5-1 weekly because at least Bayern respected that we were dangerous and so opted to bury us when given the chance as opposed to the insepid excuse for a football match from yesterday where the team won’t dare to try scoring for real because heavens forbid city actually start playing the game.

    And we’re meant to be confident of beating benfica?
    So what if we get passed benfica, there are far better teams in that comp and we are nowhere near winning anything.
    This arteta side can’t even pass the basic eye test of being up for the occasion, of being able to be threatening when the opponent is inviting all pressure.
    City daring us to score and we won’t do it because we’re scared of being shown some football.
    This team is meant to progress in the Europa? To the quarter finals? Would never make it to finals on current observations, squad talent be damned it never gets used.

    There is no process.
    I don’t know what miracle signings will be arriving in the off season because we took out a loan to cover our operating costs not that long ago.
    Can’t even discover talent in the squad already, Tets is too scared to do so but his choices are no better than an out of their depth u17 player anyway.
    Everything has gone wrong and Tets has no answers or eye for a solution.

    We are having to both hope certain players get injured and that others don’t in order to facilitate our squad rotation, and our season ambitions.
    What a mess.

  104. karim

    Pedro

    Man City is the best team in Europe.
    The EPL is the best league in the world.
    London is the best city in the whole universe.

    Ok, mate.

  105. Anonymous Commentator

    It’s an absolute mess and I will not be fooled by city going light on arteta in the slightest.
    Those players even have history with arteta, damn right someone is opting to use the kiddy gloves.
    The only player to have a real threatening shot was cancello, one of the few players arteta doesn’t have history with, wonder why that is.

    Meanwhile the technical Wizard kdb is skying his shot.
    Gabby Jesus the same.
    Sterling.
    Zinchenko.
    Gundogan not having a shot cause he’s cursed with the Midas touch currently.
    Ok thanks for the film city, got the evidence we needed for when the chickens come home to roost.

  106. Leftside

    Olis I have looked, I also note there is a chasing pack and a few of the teams above us have games in hand. We’ve also reverted back to type in the league and have gone back to dropping points and making excuses. It doesn’t make one less a fan to call it how it is.

  107. andy1886

    @Olis, the best team in Europe are Bayern, current holders of the CL title which is a competition to find out who is the best team in Europe.

    City are in great form but I can’t see Pep winning the CL anytime soon. Given that he has had the best players and the largest budget in every league he’s managed in his record in the CL is pretty poor. I expect that he’ll manage to blow it again this season too.

  108. Emiratesstroller

    Whether you agree or disagree with valuations of Transfermarkt or not they rank our Centre
    Backs as follows:

    Gabriel 37th
    Holding 129th
    Mari 203rd
    Luiz 248th

    A club of Arsenal’s stature should have at least two centre backs in top 50 and their reserves
    in top 100 to be remotely competitive.

    Saliba’s valuation since he signed for Arsenal has halved.

  109. Leedsgunner

    If we win against Benfica, but lose against Leicester, you can hear the excuses already.

    If we are in the final eight in the Europa League that’s one thing… but in 32? Should we be throwing in the towel already in the League?

    Arteta might have won us the FA cup but we have to admit that we are truly a mid table team.

    Losses are acceptable as long as we can see improvements in the long term… I just can’t see it.

    Man City went easy on us… and they still won at a canter.