ALL SMILES AUBA IS BACK

by .

There are two certainties in life. Organic deodorant will always let you down and Sean Dyche’s Burnley will make you sweat.

The Turf Moor outfit are certainly not the most odious of the North West teams, but they’re not exactly a pleasant day out. If Brexit were a football club, it’d be Burnley, and they’d be telling you that the BT Call Centre should be nearshored.

Patrick Bamford had all sorts of problems when he was there.

‘There was always that stigma because I went to private school’

Dyche thought he was a ponce because he had rich parents.

‘He said that he was fascinated by how hard I worked and that he was so impressed, especially as my dad was a billionaire.’

Bamford is from Newark, his dad a local architect. This was my fave bit.

‘I went home every night wondering how to get in the Burnley team. It was: ‘You’ve been brought up nicely, had everything handed to you’. Is that what people think just because I went to private school and played instruments?’

Imagine judging someone for playing musical instruments?

So very, very Sean Dyche.

We’ll be in for a rough ride tomorrow. The kick-off is early. That doesn’t make a difference to Arsenal, we’ve had a week off, but it might be difficult for them after their heroic point in the week against Leicester.

My hope is that the fresh legs add something to our game. Last time we had a few days off, we absolutely controlled Leeds and spanked them. I want to see that level of control tomorrow.

The thing we’re all looking for is the early goal… it’d be nice to score one, instead of conceding after 16 seconds. It’s an away game, we need to shut up shop, keep it tight, then play into their fatigue as the game goes on.

This is also a huge test of Mikel Arteta’s team when it comes to rotational intellectulus. Yep, I made that term up, but we need to see a line-up that factors winning the Europa League, and being fresh for West Ham and Sp*rs. Really, you’d hope we could go light for Burnley… but you’re messing with momentum. Fuck the Burnley game and it all falls apart.

Trends are looking good for Arsenal. Expected goals for and against are trending in the right direction according to The Athletic.

‘THE ONLY TABLE THAT MATTERS IS THE LEAGUE’, yes, yes, we hear you… but actually, the table wasn’t a good indicator of progress when we were on a 20 game unbeaten run with Emery… the xG table was the one that mattered in the longterm.

Good performances beget good results. Our results have improved, but when we were bad, we were really bad, so you aren’t seeing it in the table yet.

The next few games are hugely important. Win tomorrow and we’re 3 points off Liverpool. Beat Spurs and we’re 2 points behind them. Don’t even think about beating the mighty West Ham, they’re too good, title winners 2022.

Finally, it was nice to see Auba on a fan channel chatting to an Arsenal fan. He was smiling, saying contemporary words like sweg, and having a pretty good time by the looks of things. A far cry from the hostage video he dropped in December. If Auba is happy, everyone is happy, he seems like one of those characters whose moods have an outsized effect on everyone else. When they’re up, everyone is… when they’re down, the whole room is lead boots in the ocean.

On that note, have a great Friday night, see you bright and early for an On-The-Whistle podcast with Johnny and Matt.

 

981 Responses to “ALL SMILES AUBA IS BACK”

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  1. Graham62

    We all know we should have won the game. Also, we all know we cocked things up with their equaliser. We hit the frame twice, Pepe missed a sitter and Saka should have buried his chance in the first half. However, we also know that a penalty should have been given. Why it wasn’t just beggars belief. In fact, it was so frigging obvious that everyone who knows anything about the game should be shaking their heads in disbelief. The fact that VAR( Kevin Friend) didn’t ask Andre Mariner to review it shows why something has to be done.

    Conspiracy, I’m not sure. The thing is, if David Luiz had handled the ball in the same manner, would the decision have been the same? I have my doubts.

    So Pierre, if you’re out there, I’m sort of with you on this. We are being discriminated against and even though other teams are suffering the consequences of VAR, Arsenal seem to be the only team that the crappy system picks on more than any other.

    Arsenal should complain imo.

  2. raptora

    Xhaka hit us up with another Xhaka special worthy for the Xhaka at Arsenal highlight reel.

    Our and Tierney’s best period in the game came after Willian was subbed off and all of our attacks happened from that left flank.

    Who could have expected this….

  3. China1

    Graham I agree 100% except for you called VAR a system

    System implies it has some designated processes and the like. Var is made up as it goes along with clearly zero thought, consistency or common sense involved

  4. Ishola70

    raptora
    “Can’t believe Pedro is on twitter defending Arteta’s choices: “Willian gave the assist for the goal. Xhaka has been our best midfielder this season. Ødegaard has created chances. Not sure how you landed on this take.”Actually I can. Anything that lord Arteta decides MUST be the best choice. Defending him all the way to the sad and obvious ending. AKB trait if I ever seen one.”

    This has been one of Pedro’s most glaring dishonesties in his desperate attempts to big up Arteta = his implying that Xhaka is not a problem for this side. You wouldn’t mind it so much if there was consistency to it but no Pedro previously named a hill after Xhaka that Arsenal managers die on. But no more of course. If Arteta rates Xhaka then Xhaka must be alright.

    I don’t know why posters just don’t straight up call out Pedro on this and just give him a straight question = Are Arsenal going to really succeed with players like Xhaka in the side every week? If Pedro answers yes we will really succeed with players like Xhaka as a mainstay then we just can all call bullshit on it there and then.

  5. SpanishDave

    We cannot keep the ball when it’s booted upfield, we do t win the headers, Auba just pretends to jump with very little effort.
    Xhaka passes the ball mostly sideways or backward s and waves his arms about as if he’s the man.
    We play without a real CF as Auba drifts out wide so there’s nobody opening up the middle.
    Saka is lost on the wing and has little support.
    Leno is not a commanding goalie, he doesn’t give the defenders confidence.
    It’s a real mismatch all down to poor amateur coaching.
    Why we are allowing this experiment is beyond me as it is slowly destroying our club
    Chelsea have got themselves a real coach and look what’s happening

  6. Steven Berg

    Kroenkephobe
    March 6, 2021 15:38:33
    —-
    havent left the site – I just dont sit n wait for every comment like a pimply 13 yr old staring at his font waiting for a text off sum fat slag…like u do – u worthless libtard….

    n just so we’re clear – u bunch of libtard scum – I’m not here to try n make friends like all of u sad lonely weirdos – Im here to call Pedro out on his Marxist hypocrisy and all of u scumbags who condone it….

    None of u are Arsenal fans – ure a bunch of libtard, lonely wannnkers – Arsenal was never a club for Marxists – so u can all phukk of elsewhere

  7. Gonsterous

    Generational coach and we had one low cross all game, other than that, it was all headed clear or just bounced off our strikers head because they couldn’t score a header into an open goal with no opposition’s even if they wanted to.

    Chaka was out The door last jan and arteta convinced him to stay, got luiz a new deal along with auba, wanted laca to stay, got in willian, and co, sticks with bellerin and in his pre match interview, said this squad is no where near what he needs.

    Basically told us and the media that he is a cheque book manager.

  8. Captain Tierney

    Dissenter

    I get and agree with some of the criticisms against Arteta. But some here just want to push their ‘Arteta out’ agendas forward as soon as they get a chance. Its getting really bizarre now.

    Any manager would have been sacked for that Pre-December disaster. But the club chose to stick with Arteta and there have been major improvements since.
    I cant think of any game other than City after Jan that we honestly deserved to lose. We have been creating chances every game and xG results vindicate that.

    It doesn’t help that Auba isn’t the same player as he was when playing for that big contract. Has been missing many chances lately.

    + Another bizarre decision today that has gone unnoticed is the offside decision against Auba late in the game. Xhaka played the ball to Auba who I think was onside ( anyways it was a very very tight call). Auba played to Laca and Laca played to Pepe who was running at the opposition defender. It was essentially a 3v 3 or 3 v 4 situation. Refs are advised in such situations to hold off their flags until the move is over.
    Bizarrely the ref decided to raise his flag midway.

  9. Thorough

    If you’re still supporting Arteta you definitely must be dim.
    This is the most divisive manager we’ve had that I can remember. Players are so sure whatever they do they’ll get benched for his favorites eventually..Our best run this season came with Lacazette and Pepe in attack alongside Saka or Martinelli.. Just last week they had a blinder but still found themselves on the bench.
    He’s ostracized quite a few too and their arsenal careers maybe over because of him ie Saliba, Guen.

    Now let’s forget about everything previously and treat today in isolation.
    Just when we were all convinced Cedric was better than Bellerin and should be our starting right back this dimwit brought Chambers out of nowhere. A player that’s either overweight, unfit or both. Someone that’s just coming back from a long term injury.
    Then what he sees in Xhaka I don’t know. This is a guy that used to be a calamity, giving assists to opponents and throwing games by getting sent off. Some olodos even think Partey and Xhaka combo works best when Xhaka has just been threading water and only had a better player covering up for his shortcomings.
    Then we needed a goal and this man’s last throw of the dice was the worst anybody could have thought of. We had a knackered Saka who was contributing nothing today and had escaped a second yellow 3ce. Just sub Martinelli for him but no, the idiat removed our most progressive midifleder to bring in another babysitter for Xhaka. Even if you’re not gonna remove Saka the next addition should have been an attacker. But I guess he’s afraid of the boy coming in, scoring and proving him wrong.

    Arteta is the wrong one for us. Auba looked pissed going off. Our players are having their confidence destroyed.

    IF we throw enough money at this team Arteta will look good eventually, but just like Xhaka, like Luiz, you know when it matters most, when you need that extra, he’s gonna let you down.

    Arteta out – wholeheartedly.

  10. Steven Berg

    Y do u think so many real Arsenal fans have left this shit show of a blog over the years – and all thats left is u bunch of libtard rejects?

  11. Pierre

    Graham

    I’m close to not even bothering watching The Arsenal anymore.
    I’ve had enough of shit refereeing decisions against the club, it’s been happening for too long now and it’s getting worse…

    Some think it’s about defending Arteta, it’s not…I’m no defender of Arteta , all I want to see is a fair game of football …not too much to ask is it…

  12. Kroenkephobe

    Bergy baby

    You’re evidently not used to operating a keyboard, but if you want to play violent metaphors, I’m sure there will be plenty of others on here who will join me in giving you a tuning, you miserable cowardly fuck. You’re not an Arsenal fan. I can smell you a mile off – a sad lonely nazi in a grubby spunk stained bedsit.

    Give us a kiss macho man.

  13. China1

    Steven berg

    n just so we’re clear – u bunch of libtard scum – I’m not here to try n make friends like all of u sad lonely weirdos

    You’re not here to pass your GCSEs either are you mate? But I do wish you the best as your future will no doubt be challenging

  14. Pierre

    CT
    ” Auba played to Laca and Laca played to Pepe who was running at the opposition defender. It was essentially a 3v 3 or 3 v 4 situation. Refs are advised in such situations to hold off their flags until the move is over.
    Bizarrely the ref decided to raise his flag midway.””

    Yep , saw it ,Pepe one on one on the edge of the box and the flag went up for an offside that was actually onside.

  15. Graham62

    Pierre

    My perceptions on this are swinging your way.

    There is no doubt in my mind that if had been an Arsenal defender sticking his arm out, it would have been reviewed and a penalty given.

    I’m 100% sure of this.

  16. Shaun

    To be honest and I am no xhaka fan , I fully believe xhaka and Luisa have to be moved on just as we had to deal mustaffi and that is nonnegotiable. That said the xhaka mistake was horrendous but not altogether surprising. What the premier league need to explain is one of the most blatant hand balls we have seen this season and also the most clear but it was not given……absolute madness

  17. OCGooner

    Commentator here on the Stateside broadcast summed current Arsenal perfectly. “You never know what you’re going to get week to week from this team”. He was genuinely confused.

  18. Emiratesstroller

    I know that Xhaka will get rightly blame for his ridiculous pass resulting in Burnley’s goal.

    However, as Keown suggested Leno was once again the primary person at fault for the goal.
    Why on earth do you pass a ball to a player who is facing the wrong way with 3 Burnley players pressing in the goal area.

    Leno’s poor distribution and decision making is the primary reason that Arsenal concede such ridiculous goals. All he had to do was kick the ball upfield.

    It ruined once again a game, where we were in total control.

    Leno is a decent shot stopper, but his control of his area and distribution are exceedingly poor. He has cost us far too many goals in last two seasons.

    When see these mistakes and poor decisions it highlights why Emi Martinez should have been retained. Frankly he is the more solid and reliable goalkeeper.

  19. Steven Berg

    Kroenkephobe
    March 6, 2021 15:59:28
    —–
    Hate to inform you, you marxist-libtard but the Nazis were socialists just like you –
    from Nationalsozialist, from national (national) + Sozialist (socialist)

    For example – look at what the EU has done to the UK’s fishing industry – effectively taken it over and destroyed the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands…..
    Just like the NAZIs took over the means of production in their own country…..

    Now at least you’ve learned something today you libtard

  20. WinOrDie

    It doesn’t matter who’s the manager of arsenal now as long as the referee bias against arsenal is looked into.

  21. Steven Berg

    I’m sure theres a few posters on here that arent libtard scum – none of this is directed at you – just pedro and his minions….

  22. Samesong

    We are 18th in the fair play league. 37 yellows and 4 reds his season that’s terrible.

    Does anyone think refs look at this and have an unconscious bias?

  23. Thorough

    We’ve been hard done by severally. However, we don’t half help ourselves. When we were 1 0 up we played as if there was nothing at stake. Auba missed a glitedged chance. Saka missed one too. Auba’s especially was annoying because he’s done a few of that this year and still remains a starter.. I’m not sure a Martinelli or Nketiah chomping at the bit would have done that.
    Against Wolves it was exactly the same thing, we had them all over the place, we could have been 3 goals up and it would have been a true reflection of the game. Yet we gave them back the initiative

    Why exactly do we do this – hand over initiative to the opponent? By a stupid red, by giving out a penalty, by scoring an own goal, must we always be the ones running the dimness sprint to its limit?

  24. China1

    ET it was a really dumb mistake from Leno but how is he more to blame than xhaka who was entirely able to just pass it back to him?

    People acting like Leno forced xhaka to rush into a blind, technical lob horizontal across the penalty spot

    Any normal player in that situation with any doubt in their mind about time on the ball just taps it back to the keeper. This is some of the lowest level nonsense ever that xhaka was unable to do anything about it. Surely everyone who has ever played football knows when you receive the ball in trying spaces the easiest and safest option is just to give it straight back

    Leno didn’t force xhaka to make a poor pass, whilst he did put him in a pointless situation where we all know xhaka was prone to make that mistake

  25. OCGooner

    Emirates,
    You are absolutely correct, it was Leno’s mistake in the main. Unfortunately the Emi deal is done, but you’re right, we now need to go get a proper #1 who can command his box (which sucks because there are a lot of more pressing transfer priorities for the summer, both in and out). Keep Ryan as a solid #2. Probably won’t happen though unless there is a Mgr change.

  26. Graham62

    ES

    You are of course 100% correct.

    Leno is costing us big time.

    I know that, you know that, in fact anyone with half a brain knows that.

    His decision making is absolutely atrocious. Hit the ball at him at 100mph and he’s fine. Get him to think and he’s utter crap.

  27. The Godfather

    Stop blaming Leno.
    That same pass is basic.
    It has been given to El Neny and Ceballos countless times.
    A simple side foot one time pass and we are off to the races.
    Xhaka is poor technically and even more of a mental midget.
    The blame is on the stupid coach for hanging on to this scrub.

    The man is a cancer.
    He is the Mustafi of the midfield.
    Shyt player

  28. China1

    Graham I believe that’s known as Wally walnuts syndrome where you are elite in split second decision making but cannot be trusted with more than 1 second to do the right thing

  29. Matt

    China

    Come on, you really expect Xhaka to play a five yard pass BACK to Leno who is on his line with Wood sniffing round? He would rightly have been crucified for that and let’s say he did, what do you think Leon would have them done with it? He certainly wouldn’t have cleared it.

  30. Sid

    ‘We are 18th in the fair play league. 37 yellows and 4 reds his season that’s terrible.’

    Is there a fair play league since chrismas? Asking for a friend

  31. Jim Lahey

    So, we should be putting teams like Burnley to the sword, the team isn’t where it should be, we all know that. But…. we need to talk about the bigger issue here.

    Arsenal football club need to request a formal inquiry into the running of the PGMOL. The clear anti-Arsenal bias will continue as it has for the past 15 years unless the club does something about it. At the end of the day, these decisions are costing the club not only points, but money.

    The longer the club sits back and does nothing the bolder the officials are getting.

  32. Captain Tierney

    China1

    It seems like people want to blame Leno for every little thing.
    At the same time, theres not one mention of that 1v1 save he made which saved us from humiliation.

    Sure, Leno made the wrong decision but Xhaka was the primary culprit. Its not like this was an anomaly from Xhaka.
    Since his move to the PL, no outfield player has mode more errors leading directly to a goal than Xhaka. This is what you are always gonna get with Xhaka.

  33. Kroenkephobe

    Bergy Baby

    History lesson from you? Really?

    I’ve now got this image of you sat at home in a full nazi uniform looking through a magnifying glass painstakingly painting a spread Eagle atop a bavarian mountain just like that brown shirted villain in the blues brothers. Your dear old mum is watching you admiringly dressed in an oktoberfest outfit and is poised with your apple strudel.

    A purely virtual blowhard. You’re a stain on Mark Zuckerberg’s underpants.

    Millwall game finishing shortly – run along now.

  34. OCGooner

    ZacharseMarch 6, 2021 15:31:45
    Got up in the night bout 330 to empty the old pissbag and considered staying up to watch the 430am game. Glad i didnt.

    I did (430a for me too) and now I’m pissed……

  35. Jim Lahey

    “Leno’s poor distribution and decision making is the primary reason that Arsenal concede such ridiculous goals. All he had to do was kick the ball upfield.”

    Its almost like he has been given instructions not to do that… Christ.. have you been watching our games lately?
    That pass has been made countless times over the last few months. The fault lies totally on Xhaka’s shoulders, he called for that ball and then smashed it into Wood.

  36. Freddie Ljungberg

    TYAG

    They must be using that Jewish space laser they used to set fire to California, bastards.

    Think Steven is Aubergines slightly less retarded brother but I could be wrong. Could be slightly more.

    Xhaka back to being Xhaka today, no surprises there. Still can’t believe some people don’t see his position as first priority for an upgrade this summer, mind blowing stuff.

    Why in all hells were Pepe benched again for Willian? Sure Willian was decent last game, Pepe was better though and is much more of a goal threat, we only really came alive after he came on, too bad he missed that chance, but he nearly scored another and should have had a penalty, all in 20 minutes. Guess Willian got another easy assist though so all good, give him a life time contract with guaranteed playing time.

    I get the need for rotation but we just had 6 days off and someone like Pepe has hardly played this season, getting benched regardless of form, has to be demoralizing.

    Less said about Martinelli being glued to the bench the better.

  37. Captain Tierney

    I think Newcastle recently wrote a letter to the FA regarding the poor officiating and namedropped a few refs as well. Asking the authority to not allow those refs officiate Newcastle games.

    We should be filing our complaints too. Its blatantly clear that we are the team worst impacted by VAR. The decisions that go against us are baffling.

    Also this should be a joint effort with other teams to force accountability on the referees association. The quality of refereeing in the best league in the world is not up to the standard really. The refs are not held accountable. The use of VAR has actually affected the game in a negative way when it was supposed to make the game more fair. Theres a reason so few EPL refs are called up to officiate Champions league and important International games

    This can’t go on.

  38. TeeCee

    It’s the usual under Arteta, one step forward, two or three back. There’s no way we’re getting better than 10th this season. The man is a fool. He’ll play his boys Luiz, Xhaka and Willian till he’s hounded out of the club (eventually). I do wish crowds were in stadiums at the moment. Arteta is mediocre, he was as a player and he is and will be as a manager. Anyone who picks a walking disaster like Xhaka every week deserves all he gets.

  39. China1

    Thanks Steven

    Since we both hate libtards and all the lefty nonsense they stand for and we’re both hoping to get at least 3 Cs in our GCSEs next year, it seems like we have a lot in common

    I’ve always said my favourite things in life are Trump and Eddie Nketiah (in that order)

    I just hope one or both of them can be president again in our lifetimes

  40. Steven Berg

    Kroenkephobe
    March 6, 2021 16:23:37
    —–
    I’ve already tried to explain to u that the Nazis were socialists – just like u n Pedro – n the only thing thats spreadeagled is ure ass cheeks as they get pummelled by ure marxist brethren – most likely as ure mother watches on wearing a gimp mask

  41. Steven Berg

    China1
    March 6, 2021 16:31:33
    —-
    Alas I despise Trump – people should just check out his imdb page – n u’ll soon find out he’s really just an actor – I prefer to go along the lines of this thought –

    “The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.”
    Benjamin Disraeli

    N those very people are the people that run all ur media etc – and brainwash the masses into using terms like “white privilege” etc…

  42. China1

    That’s right Steven when will the LIBERAL LEFTY ELITE finally wake up and stop supporting pedros nazi plan?

    I’ve just about had it, it makes me so mad

    Gonna have to go for an anger wank to calm myself down

  43. Biggles

    @andy1886

    You mentioned it not being predictable for Saka to have an off game. I know what you mean, he’s one of our most important players, but I actually thought before the game I would like him rested because I had visions of him getting injured. Barmy as it might have been, I thought it would have been a game to give to Nelson. Either he seizes the chance and it’s worth it; or they break him instead of Saka; or he’s duff and we sub him for a pair of fresh legs in Saka or Martinelli later in the game.

  44. LoveSausage

    China,

    Agreed on the Leno/Xhaka situation. It wasn’t the best choice on Leno’s behalf but saying it’s his fault is a bit rich. Xhaka doesn’t have to take the first touch. If he’d had even basic technical skills he could have played a first time pass to Luiz. He puts himself in that situation.

    On a related note, I thought the player movement was really poor when playing out the back. Leno’s distribution isn’t perfect but it’s impossible when the players aren’t moving. Xhaka standing around and yelling at Partey about where he should move. Maybe he’ll become head coach when Arteta eventually goes😂

  45. OCGooner

    Folks I don’t think we need to debate whether it was Leno or Xhaka’s fault – initial error was Leno giving it in the first place, Xhaka compounded it with his lazy no-look lob across the box. It’s a situation of dumb and dumber. Neither is what we need, and both should probably go.

    Bigger picture is Arsenal are a bang average mid-table team with no Europe in it’s future now and for the immediate foreseeable future. None of us know at this point whether this is a legitimate rebuild that will come good in 1-2 years or it will end up as a Lampard style experiment. Time will tell.

  46. China1

    Hey ur not wrong Stevens

    ‘Sticks and stones can break my bones and words can also hurt me’ – Benjamin button

    I tend to think trump is an actor but at least he acts well akin to a Ben affleck of politics and if it’s choosing between a rock n a hard place then the choice is clear

    ‘When in doubt do not fear, because man is strong and can throw a spear’ – George bush senior

  47. China1

    Yeah OC I don’t think Leno is in the same bracket as xhaka for overall quality but you’re right both made dumb mistakes in that moment

  48. Steven Berg

    China1 –
    I understand its hard for libtards to get their heads around these things – so at first you’ll mock them – but trust me the reality of it all will hit you one day….

    On that note I’ll bid you all adieu – have fun wallowing in your marxist misery & ignorance

  49. LoveSausage

    OC – I don’t think Leno should go. IMO he’s a good keeper who can potentially become great. It’s easy to forget the things we had to suffer through in the good old days of Almunia & Co. I don’t think Leno has made mistakes worse than what you have seen from Alisson or Ederson this season.

    Berg – Don’t forget your tinfoil had buddy.

  50. Bertfish

    I dont know how many points we have lost due to our own fuck ups & sendings off but I bet where top of that league. 5 points lost to Burnley alone. Even if we had them we would be right in the mix still.

    Most teams don’t need to beat us as we beat ourselves.

  51. Zacharse

    Wow another great discussion. Lol. My dad grew up sharing back fence w the trumps in queens. Still amazes me that anyone w a functioning brain can get behind the guy. While i sympathize w the plight of libtatds as well as basement dwelling brexiters, its all the same bullshit as far as i’m concerned, a big theater production while important decisions are made by a few oligarchs behind closed doors and attached to a whole mindfuck agenda to divide the populace down the center. An old roman tactic divide and rule. Both sides are equally pathetic to the degree they identify w their political allegiance as a social group. That is exactly what the vampires want. As for trump, that guy has been a joke of a human from the day he was born, whether it was him having to play baseball w kids 3 yrs his junior, which is a big gap when youre young, and still being told to shut the fuck up and bullied or whether it was him being shipped off to a military school for rejects, the only reason he thrives is the same reason weeds thrive- the environment is toxic.

  52. Biggles

    @emiratesstroller

    Re: Leno being to blame for the Xhaka. I’ve watched the goal over and over again. I don’t understand why Mari passes to Leno in the first place. Tierney has the ball, Lowton on his shoulder and Westwood close by as well. Makes sense to pass. Can’t see where half the team is, but of who is visible, Mari is most sensible choice. But Mari could have played it into space for Xhaka – who was already sprinting – to receive. Or he could have played it long to Chambers, or to Luis, or just punt it upfield and see what happens. But he plays the shortest possible pass, right back to Leno who is immediately under pressure. What’s he supposed to do? Not gonna send it straight back to Mari, not gonna send it can to Tierney. He knows where Woods is, so he’s not going to try lob him to get it to Luiz. Maybe long to Chambers would have worked. But the easiest option really is to Xhaka. He can’t expect Mr Passmaster Regista to nab an assist for Burnley.

    Ultimately I think the biggest issue is the whole playing out from the back thing. We all know Pep is addicted to it, so much so that he swapped Hart (when he was good) for Bravo just because Bravo could play out from the back. Didn’t matter that his goalkeeping ability was like an Almunia tribute act. Sadly, it’s clear that Arteta also wants to do the whole play out from the back thing.

    Sure I want my goalkeeper to be competent on the ball, but there has to be an understanding that a punt up field is a valid tactic and we need to use it rather than play risky. Besides, playing from the back leads us to do far too much of this slow sideways stuff.

  53. OCGooner

    China,
    Don’t get me wrong, I have hope. Just tired of waking up at 430a to jump up and down in silence whilst my family sleeps when Auba makes something out of nothing like in days gone by and i think all right we’ve turned a corner. Only to spit out my coffee 30 minutes later when Xhakatard gives us another s**t filled Twinkie. Then on the replay I notice that Leno is passing it to him in the middle of a 3 man press. My U12s better decisions that that.

    Love,
    Did say probably go. Which on Leno I think the book’s is still out on him (he is better than previous few we’ve had excepting Martinez). But Xhaka needs to go yesterday. I will personally fly from SoCal to London to help him pack if that helps……..

    Guess there’s a new post up already….

  54. AFC Forever

    Pierre / Graham

    “Some think it’s about defending Arteta, it’s not…I’m no defender of Arteta , all I want to see is a fair game of football …not too much to ask is i”

    It suits people with agendas for Arsenal to lose. On here. You visit any other blog or even non-Aesenal ones and EVERYBODY is saying that was a definite penalty. Even Spuds. If it was a one off, you shake it off but it’s not. Happens far to often to be an ‘accident. Kevin Friend is sitting in VAR deciding a match and he must know it. Why not ask the referee to look at it? It’s suspicious, it really is. No Gooner should accept it, weird if they think the agenda is more important than being CHEATED.

  55. AFC Forever

    Wingdings

    Wolves: Luiz sent off on half time when the attacker kicked his knee. Clear. Obvious.

    Villa: Lacazette pulled down by Martinez for a clear penalty but the referee awards a free kick to Villa. VAR unbelievably doesn’t overturn & award a penalty. Clear. Obvious.

    Burnley: Blatant penalty handball today. Clear. Obvious.

    Just saying that in a game of small margins those 3 games have arguably been decided by match officials. Conspiracy theory? I do not know but we have either upset the gods or something fishy is going on.

  56. Shaun

    Let’s be honest here I am a Martinez supporter and think it was artetas biggest mistake telling him that 95% bollocks and I also don’t think Leno is good enough but blaming that xhaka shit show on Leno is a bit rich .xhaka could have done a number of different things ,it’s what he ended up doing was what we expect and anyone who thinks xhaka should be retained is bonkers he is just like Luiz and mustaffi they may play some good games but they are prone to mind boggling dumnes to which has to be seen to be believed but hey Arteta will tell you he trains well

  57. S Asoa

    Seen replay of match . It appears that Williams and Xhaka are minimalist players playing to statistics. Safe back passes. Xhaka is even worse pointing up to confuse and exasperate forwards , while mostly passing back or sideways for 100% statistics. Like in last game , Williams pass is again a pre-pre-assist level with Auba needing to charge 2-3 players before slotting it in. Very, very difficult, but Williams gets his assist and a saving branch to Arteta and his apologists.
    You’ll know who mean !