TOP FOUR FLIRTS AGAIN, AS HOPE WAVES FROM THE BAR

by .

Ahhhhggghhhhhhhh… WHY CHELSEA, WHY?

I wanted them to win. Smash West Brom. Keep hope OUT of this weekend. Make the Liverpool game an exercise in nothing.

Tuchel losing his first league game 5-2 has opened this afternoon up. It went from largely uninteresting, to… hmmmm… this could be sexy?

For Arsenal AND Liverpool.

If we win today, we go to within 6 points of top 4. SIX POINTS OFF TOP 4 WITH 8 GAMES TO GO.

That would be tantalising. There are still a lot of teams in the mixer. Too many to topple in my opinion, but still, the Premier League season, as it stands, is not over by a longshot. Our last few games are not the worst… we also play Chelsea, who we can beat.

My worry, as usual, is we’re world-class at punching ourselves in the face. Think about the self-inflicted wounds we’ve inflicted this season. We’ve been smacking ourselves about all year, no one is better at fucking things up than us.

The Liverpool game today, at home, is not looking great on many levels.

The Xhaka haters are about to see what happens when he’s not in the side.

David Luiz, who I’ve been desperate to see out of the starting 11 isn’t going to be included because of injury.

Saka AND ESR have very late fitness tests.

We’re not exactly cooking on first-team gas here…

What do we have going for us?

Well, we’re at home. Jurgen Klopp had a lot more players away last week than us. He’s had one training session to prepare.

I’m hoping that we might have carried through a bit of belief from the backend of the West Ham game. We are playing, mostly, like a top 4 team of late. We have the players to do damage today, there’s confidence that we can come back from going down in big games, and at some point… something has to click for us.

We’re waiting for a bang-bang moment.

Liverpool is a great team, they’ll be top 2 next season… but at the moment, there is a weakness in their system.

What am I looking for from today? A fucking performance.

We gave Manchester City too much respect. We let them score early, then we spent the game trying to keep it respectable.

That can’t happen today. We cannot let Liverpool control proceedings from the off. We have to stop conceding after 6 minutes in the big ones. There needs to be a show of force out there.

Which Arsenal will show up?

As Matt from podcast always says, you’ll know after 5 minutes.

Will it be the team that bossed the Spurs game? Or will it be the team that showed up thinking about what they were having for dinner at West Ham.

These are moments Arteta needs to own. He has to get his team firing. At a minimum, we need to come away from this game thinking there’s been progress

We’ve beaten Liverpool with Arteta. This squad can do anything on its day. Let’s see if we can do it under the pressure of a ‘maybe’ run for top 4.

HUGE GAME. See you on the other side. x

718 Responses to “TOP FOUR FLIRTS AGAIN, AS HOPE WAVES FROM THE BAR”

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  1. Champagne Charlie

    Some clear points from the game to me

    What we missed:
    – Luiz. Ridiculed and dismissed continually on here, and yet he’s our best defender and biggest leader.
    – Xhaka. Cant even be bothered going there. Not holding Partey back from anything, he’s a mile ahead of everyone bar Thomas. The drop off in quality/efficiency from the pair is criminal.
    – Saka. Our best attacking player, period. Bitter/sweet to say such a thing because while it’s great to have a young star, it means our supposed stars aren’t much at all.
    – ESR. Most Nasri-type player since the Frenchman was here and he’s a joy to have in the team. Love him.

    What was learned/confirmed:
    – Auba isn’t captain of anything. Hugely underwhelming “star” player. Terrible extension.
    – Pepe. Fraud, half a proper footballer. He excels in street football and is good for a nutmeg each game. Won’t last.
    – Ceballos/Elneny. The axis of nothing. They’re 3rd rate.

    We get better next season by restructuring the whole attack and bringing genuine depth into CM. The defensive framework is there or thereabouts, we just don’t offer enough of a threat to keep decent teams honest.

    I’d bin Auba, Laca, Pepe, and Willian and go again honestly.

  2. Matt

    Left side

    I think that is more to do with expectations. The media expect United to be higher than they are hence why OGS gets more shit. In the media eyes we are exactly where we deserve to be.

  3. Ishola70

    S23

    “Also,we might need to factor in KSE wanting to expand into a Brazillian fanbase,by signing well known Brazillian players,or bias from our Technical director”

    Stick with bias from the football technical director or just pals acts or just horrible clueless football decisions.

    This Brazilian fanbase wanting and waiting to be seduced by Arsenal and the EPL doesn’t exist.

  4. Champagne Charlie

    Almunia

    That’s fair, I don’t agree but I respect what you’re saying because it’s measured.

    I don’t think prior experience here directly translates to his role now. Helpful for sure, but the nuts and bolts of being the main man are too unique. He has slack because the club believe in what he’s building towards, and I agree with that.

    Ultimately the rate Arteta improves will be the measure of him, but I think we’re likely to see big strides this summer and beyond. Proud men with everything to prove don’t like to be caught short, which will be the feeling this season domestically.

  5. Almuniasaynomore

    CC

    Again I agree with you up to the point about what he’s building towards. I genuinely can’t see what his vision is or evidence that he has a clear vision himself. I guess time will tell. God bless your optimism Charlie, you might be one of the few who sees beyond what the rest of us can see. I wish I could. Good night to you.

  6. Wingdings

    Jim LaheyApril 3, 2021 23:05:07
    “Yeah Pedro is just all agenda nowadays.”It is actually funny how Pedro was the one that rallied against the cult of Arsene only to head up the cult of Arteta.. At least Wenger’s apostles had some reasoning for their devotion. Arteta just has snappy jackets and Lego hair

    _______

    Exactly. What the fuck has Arteta done to warrant this cult around him? Ridiculous.

  7. TheLegendaryDB10

    David Smith

    The Kroenkes made a huge mistake in sacking Wenger without a plan, 

    Totally agree. How an experienced businessman like Kroenke make such a criminal mistake is beyond belief.

    He just thought that Arsenal woukd make top 4 like clockwork and is not anticipating that the PL requires a lot of focus as an owner if you want to be succeasful.

  8. TheLegendaryDB10

    CC

    Pepe. Fraud, half a proper footballer

    Totally agree. It was was around the 85th min that I suddenly heard Pepe’s name being mentioned by a pundit and realised that it was the first time I heard his name being mentioned.

    Totally anonymous.

    Not worth the £70 mil price tag.

  9. Deejaycee

    Earlier in the day I watched a dog average West Brom team humiliate the Chavs with slick forward play and breathtaking goals even under a dinosaur like Allardyce!
    The Arsenal performance tonight was nothing short of abject, no gameplan, no tactics and no fuckn idea!!
    I’ve been behind Arteta until now but tonight’s performance makes me believe the players don’t believe their manager has an idea worth buying into…
    Soooo many players not fit to wear the shirt…and Aubameyang as captain sums it all up for me!!!
    Massive changes needed starting with the manager and captain…let’s get someone in with experience who knows what they are doing ffs!!!

  10. Rich

    Last Summer we signed 2 centre half’s, we renewed Luiz’s contract, and loaned out Mavropanos

    We failed to register Sokratis, and screwed up Saliba’s loan in October, leaving us with 9 senior centre half’s on our books, and 8 in the squad

    3 young prospects, the other 6 who flat aren’t good enough

    We turned down offers for Bellerin + Niles, but also decided to offer Soares a 4 year deal, who couldn’t get in the Southampton team, but then we decided to loan out Niles to WBA in January

    Bellerin has now dropped behind Soares + Chambers, and Chambers isn’t even a right back

    We loaned out Kolasinac in January, leaving us with only one natural left back, which means we’re running Tierney into the ground

    We signed 32yr old Willian on a 3yr mega contract, at the same time as signing 31yr old Aubameyang on a mega deal

    We went into the season with a first team squad of 31, 2 not registered, and had another 4 players out on loan

    We then renewed Holding’s contract, and now there’s talk we’re trying to renew Elneny’s contract as well

    In spite of their flaws, Xhaka is our best central midfielder, and Luiz is our best centre half, which should really tell you about the state of our squad

    We turned down €10 million for Mkhitaryan in January 2020, then paid him to leave 6 months later

    We also paid Mustafi, Sokratis and Ozil to leave this January

    We paid Ozil £350k p/w when it was clear he was in steady decline from 2016

    Kolasinac £120k p/w

    Turned down £60 million for Alexis, only to swap him 4 months later for Mkhitaryan

    We paid £72 million for Pepe

    £17million Perez

    Mustafi + Xhaka £70 million combined

    The f*ck ups are endless

    If KSE are seriously considering letting Arteta + Edu loose with the cheque book, whether that’s on transfers or contract renewals,then they’re out of their minds

    They should go and get Rangnick, and then back him to make whatever changes he thinks are necessary

  11. Kaz

    The worst Liverpool form we’ve seen in years, losing to nothing teams weeks in a row.

    We witness West Brom take apart Chelsea and realise Liverpool are there for the taking. Especially as they’re missing so many more important players than we are.

    We play awful. The set up is poor as are the team instructions. Ponderous, risk averse and full of errors and poor decisions.

    The cult will continue their ramblings as for why this is latest tepid show is a sign of progress.

    The rest of us shrug and move on. We’ve said it all before. Nothing we can do but wait.

  12. Johnno

    At least we should now know our best 11 and we can focus on the EL.

    It’s an excellent list by Rich. I’m not sure I lay the blame at anyone’s specific feet in that we have been a joke as an organization for years. The comment On letting wenger go without a plan is bang on. But stans mistake was his indifference. He should have started building around wenger years ago and told the bloke to fuck off if he sulked and didn’t like it (which numerous sources suggest is why we never built a plan for post wenger)

    So we have become a hollow shell of a club. The Newcastle of London. We have hired poorly and attracted chancers and weak characters that are not serious professionals. And we have rewarded them. Many times over.

    Today should be a watershed moment for arteta. I support him because – despite his many flaws – he is young and ambitious. He wants to win. That’s why pep likes him. He doesn’t want to put up with this shit and those thinking we should him him might be forced to consider that he might quit us if we don’t give him what he needs.

    I don’t want to see lacazette Auba Bellerin ceballos willian ever again in an arsenal shirt. Pepe can be an impact sub or can piss off. Arteta needs to be ruthless here. We have many players that are not good enough with their feet. They need to be eased out and we have many (the ones I list) that are not good enough within their heads. . They should be ruthlessly and aggressively jettisoned in the most humiliating way – a la Ozil.

    Serious clubs are made by serious people. We have too many clowns

  13. Gbat

    I thought the centre backs and the two centre midfielders were abysmal. Weren’t winning the first or second ball. They weren’t brave in possession but they also couldn’t keep hold of it. The passing was so poor.

    It’s clear that we need a big turnover of players. Arteta knows it. And tonight’s performance helped confirm it. I’m way more interested in who’s on the pitch than who’s in the dugout.

  14. China1

    Didn’t see the game but reports saying we were trash all over the pitch

    Gabriel picked a fine day to give away a couple of goals after I had been proposing he get picked lol

    It’s familiar issues by the sounds of things tho. A lack of fight, careless mistakes, the captain anonymous, goal keeper could’ve done better, and the manager setting us up to defend rather than win

    Arteta doesn’t need to be perfect and will make mistakes but we’ve now conceded 12 goals in our last 7 league games including 6 goals in two single halves in our last 2 matches.

    I think holding is a solid player but I think it was a very odd choice to pick him yesterday when he hasn’t played in many months. Not sure why liverpool would be a good game to throw him back in

  15. China1

    Pedro not gonna lie I think it’s very strange that you would want Chelsea to be winning games to be out of reach of us

    What’s the difference between that and wanting us to lose? Which is something you say no true fan would ever want

    This is a bit of a Freudian slip because you knew arteta would fail to genuinely compete for 4th and it would end in tears so prefer expectations to remain in the gutter. It’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of mr generational is it

  16. Johnno

    China. – Luiz is done. And can’t play 2 left footed centre backs.

    GBat – agree we were poor at CB and CM. But I could see times when they’re dint want to play the ball that was on to pepe auba and laca because they knew it was coming straight back. Plus Odegaard couldn’t get on it because he couldn’t play off those 3. They just got bullied. It also meant we didn’t get players forward as the game went on as they just knew if they ventured forward on third man runs they’d just have to do a doggy back when those 3 got mugged and left in a heap.

    It’s true that holding Gabriel Partey and ceballos were poor – but put ESR and Saka wide – serious players that care about keeping the ball and not highlight reels and gold cars – and I wonder if we get better performances from those Cbs and CMs

  17. David Smith

    Many might disagree, or not want to hear it, but i believe, the lesson from today, Xhaka and Luiz run this team. Look at the defence without Luiz, and the midfield without Xhaka.
    Both can make mistakes, but their absence shows their true influence.
    Arteta knows where the big balls of this lot are to be found, and in general, they were not on the field today.
    There was zero leadership, despite our skipper playing.

  18. China1

    Also Pedro lol at the remark about how the xhaka haters will see what the team looks like without him

    He has started 24 games and 1 sub appearance out of 30 league games this season and he’s been an ever present in what is going to be our worst season in decades. In terms of games without him the whole team had a car crash performance yesterday (or are we going to blame other players individual errors on the fact Granit wasn’t playing?) but of the few league games this season where he didn’t play, they include us beating utd and Leeds, so hardly a strong point

  19. China1

    David they both played in the first half against west ham as well and that was a dismal void of leadership and involved Luiz errors on a couple of goals.

  20. China1

    David our teams best extended run of form defensively this season involved holding and mari.

    There’s no evidence to back up your point

  21. Thorough

    Gun of SF
    Why put on El neny when chasing the game????
    Again
    baffling

    Nope. We didn’t concede no goals with Ceballos on. So we weren’t chasing the game when we put Elneny on.

  22. Gbat

    Johnno

    I don’t for one second believe that Arteta rates Pepe or Aubameyang. They aren’t his type of player. They’re just too limited and unpredictable. But he’s in a bit of a tough spot. One’s our best goalscorer and captain and the other our most expensive signing.

    He knows we need at least five players in. He knows the type of player we need in and who he wants out. But it’s not as easy as most on here think it is to buy and sell.

  23. Pedro

    Le Grovers.

    Shit performance.

    BUT.

    We just passed 2,500,000 comments.

    Thank you for venting on here, I love you all., x

  24. salparadisenyc

    Fucking fuck this is getting tedious isn’t it?

    Pete best line regarding today’s .09 xg masterclass was certainly “Unai Emery filing copyright infringement…”.

    My kid was in tears, i’ll leave it there with step it the fuck up Mik safety is for failures and it’s all staring to show in complicating whats simple.

    Thankfully Sociedad saved the day baby.

  25. China1

    We’re we not shite when he did play for the entire first half of the season?

    In the few games he hasn’t played we’ve also been good in some of them.

    So what exactly is the point?

  26. Rich

    Nobody should be surprised

    Chambers – average, and not a right back

    Holding – average

    Mari – average

    Luiz – our best centre half, but way past his best, and shouldn’t be near a team trying to compete at the top

    Gabriel – good young player, but lacks experience

    Soares – couldn’t get in the Southampton team

    Bellerin – Not sure what’s happened to him, he looks finished

    Tierney- brilliant, but no natural cover means we’re running him into the ground

    Runarsson – We actually went into a season with this guy as our only backup to Leno, which really highlights the levels of negligence at Arsenal

    Elneny – average, but apparently getting a new deal anyway

    Xhaka – our best midfielder, which says more about the poor quality of our other options, than it does about Xhaka’s quality

    Ceballos – fair weather player, far too slow for the PL

    Pepe – still raw at 25, it’s the hope that everything suddenly clicks into place that kills me

    Willian – past it, and luckily we’ve got another 2 seasons to go….

    Lacazette – £50 million downgrade on Giroud, not a bad player, but far from the required quality needed

    Saka is our best player, but he’s still a teenager, and we shouldn’t be this reliant on a teenager, hopefully we don’t physically and mentally burn him out

    We can’t afford to make anymore mistakes

    There doesn’t seem to be any type of squad planning, everything we do is reactive or poorly thought out, I’m not convinced that sacking Arteta changes much

    Would anyone really trust Vinai + Edu to run the club from top to bottom, and make the type of astute decisions needed to turn things around?

    Coaching + tactics seem like the least of our worries, we’ll get some results between now and the end of the season, we’re in with a decent shout of winning the Europa

    This just feels like our level right now, we could still realistically hit 60 points, but we’re desperate for some competent bureaucrats pulling the strings behind the scenes, we’re run so badly, our currently plight isn’t something that’s happened overnight, it’s a succession of poor decision making over a long period of time

  27. China1

    Oh Pete I forgot you’re doing that thing where everything that happened before Christmas didn’t happen lol

  28. Pedro

    China, your broad brush analysis could be levelled on anyone.

    Are we better with Xhaka in our midfield?

    Yes.

    There’s not debate. No lol. Just facts.

    Today showed it.

  29. Biggles

    @champagne Charlie

    You talked about the need for a reset for the last decade. I agree. I saw that as properly kicking off in summer 2021, with the end of of Ozil and Mkhitaryan’s contracts and the departure of old has beens like Koscielny. I saw Emery as a safe pair of hands to get us through 3 years, making some incremental improvements and trying to keep us competitive until this summer when we could be ambitious.

    Obviously it didn’t pan out like that. Emery did finish higher in the league and he did get to a European final. But then it went bad and he was gone. I was excited at seeing Pepe rock up ahead of summer 2021, I was excited at seeing proper square pegs for square holes recruitment with Tierney. I was even more excited when we started cutting the dross ahead of schedule.

    But Arteta has managed to turn Auba into the new Ozil – overpaid and disinterested. Luiz is the new Koscielny – not all bad, but past it now. Willian is the new Mkhitaryan – overpaid and not living up to what was expected. Ceballos (thank goodness he’s just a loan!) is a hark back to banter signings that were just completely not what we needed.

    The reset is no longer this summer, it’s 2023. Arteta isn’t a safe pair of hands and so far he’s been more of a Steve McLaren (mid-table, won a cup in first managerial job ) than a Roberto Di Matteo (won the Champions League after taking over midway through a season in first managerial job). His innovative, Guardiola influenced thinking was to go and repeat the mistakes of his predecessors.

    Maybe Arteta will come good. Maybe he’ll always suck at Arsenal but be successful elsewhere. Don’t know. What I do know is that progress in some areas is being offset by regression elsewhere and we have more “transition” seasons ahead of us.

  30. China1

    Pedro it’s not just facts because the guy plays 99% of PL games so any comparison otherwise is not well founded

    And if you’re going to compare then is it not highly disingenuous that the only match you want to highlight is yesterday’s when we’ve actually had some very good performances and wins on some of the other games without him? Why did those games not count and only this game does?

  31. China1

    Also we’ve just come off the back of a rubbish 3-3 with West Ham in which we again shipped 3 goals in one half. Xhaka played in that game.

    Or do we only count how he improves us in the second half of that game and pretend the first half didn’t happen? Kinda like you’ve been trying to do for the shit first half of the season (in which he was also a mainstay).

    Your attempts to whitewash the bad make my eyes hurt from rolling so hard lol

  32. salparadisenyc

    Moment Klopp pulled Robertson and put on the attacking Jota knew we were doomed, pulling left back at 0-0 because the opening is SO apparent a green light filled the shadows.

    Arteta was so sussed for sitting back and waiting. Painful in a slow bleed kinda way that only Football gives.

    Le Massive Coq… im boozed with you brother.

  33. China1

    Pedro were we good against Leeds?

    At the time we all said yep pretty good. But that game doesn’t exist anymore. Just like the first half against west ham must have disappeared as well.

  34. Biggles

    Arsenal’s progress as a project right now is like one of my wife’s pals. She’s a longtime weight watchers member. Every fortnight after the weigh in, you would see the Facebook post – “lost 2 lbs this week, feeling great #bestlife”. And yet she still ways about 5 stone more than me. Because what she didn’t post on Facebook was the alternate weeks where she’d gone on kebab binges and gained 4 lbs in a day.

    Arsenal is the same. Attack clicks, we leak goals. Defence clicks, we’ve no creativity. Creativity sorted, nobody can finish.

  35. China1

    Actually I was wrong about the Leeds game – That was a Ceballos Xhaka midfield not a Ceballos pirlo midfield as I remembered it

    In which case I can’t even remember the last time we played a league game previously when xhaka didn’t play. The only one I can remember is vs Utd which we won with a good performance

  36. Johnno

    GBat. – 100 percent agree and wasn’t saying that you thought arteta rated Auba and Pepe. I agree that he likely doesn’t. Arteta is a serious dude and as a player he made the most of his limited talents. – and also played in all 3 CM positions over the years- adapting to his age and the team. So I think he considers those 2 as a bit of a joke quite frankly.

    I was merely saying that all the players in the team need the others to perform. Remove the outlets and the deeper players will struggle and look like they are making mistakes. Don’t know what feeds you get but i had the misfortune of listening to Andy Townsend tell
    Me that we never passed the ball to Auba or Pepe. Then showed all the Liverpool chances and they all came from passes to those 2 that they lost possession on and we were stretched.

    You’ve a decent Liverpool front 6 pressing you and no outlet ball that you trust. Cant be easy.

    I just hope that today confirms that we need to play ESR and saka wide. Try Martinelli at 9 and need a more Mobile Xhaka to partner Partey. Nobody else should be in the reckoning. I agree with those that say that Martinelli and Auba and Pepe can’t be in same team. Low touch and low security players

    My only question to arteta is – if you can only chose one of the three – why is Martinelli 3rd choice ?
    Hopefully after today he isn’t. I’d rather lose with committed and brace kids than indifferent and cowardly. Veterans

  37. Ernest Reed

    Congratulations on the landmark, Pedro.

    As for Arsenal, yeah whatever. The season is a write off and shouldn’t be wasted on players like Cebalos or his like again, give the kids the final run in because they are the future and you may as well have a good look at what you really have got.

    That performance sums up the abject mediocrity that this club finds itself in, game in and game out. Matters not who the manager is any longer, this bunch just cant string along a decent run if their lives depended on it. They have no shame and worse, have little heart. Without the kids this season this team would be a serious relegation contender. That is what i will take away from an otherwise Un memorable season.

  38. Globalgunner

    Missing Xhaka is like missing a big fat mole on your face. Calling it a beauty spot changes nothing. You have to ask yourself. Would Xhaka find a place in any of our 98-2006 winning teams?. The answer is obvious. When mediocre becomes your new normal. That’s when you miss dross like him. Pedro trying g to make this about Xhaka to cover from another diabolical display from Saint Arteta. Nice try.

  39. Gonsterous

    Lmao, I thought the game was today, instead I wake up to the result of 0-3. Don’t know who had a bad game yet but I suspect the usual happened. Slow start, sloppy play and no conviction or motivation. And to think I read the post and was feeling positive only to reach the comments and slowly realize the game was already played and we got spanked.

    Nothing new though, back to crying about squad poverty eh pedders.

  40. China1

    Lol gonsterous what time zone you in?

    The game was early AM hours in the Far East, so if you’re somewhere out here that could’ve thrown you off. Has happened to me in the past

    I struggled to sleep last night and very nearly turned on the stream but every time I do it for the late games I feel ill with tiredness the next day so I restrained myself and eventually got to sleep. Glad I missed it as there are few things more annoying than staying up until 3am watching a game which goes badly wrong. Then I can’t sleep after because I’m pissed off which makes the whole exhaustion thing even worse!

    I’m already working 60h a week and have a 4 year old. My body literally can’t handle the late games on top.

    But I’ll make an exception if we make the EL final.

  41. Gonsterous

    Embarrassing reading some of the comments here.
    Put in luiz and chaka in that team and we would have still lost in similar fashion.

    Saka and esr were the missing ingredients today. We could even point to it being mainly ESR, because before Christmas we had luiz and chaka in the team and we were still embarrassing ourselves. After the introduction of esr dis we turn our performance around.

    If we Give laca a new contract, we will have learnt nothing. Everyone plays well when they contract is expiring, it’s their motivation. Look at theo, auba, ramsey etc.
    Renew laca and he will go back to never finding the back of the net.

  42. Gonsterous

    China

    I’m the early to bed kinda guy, so of course I miss most late games. I’m in the south east time zone, currently living in Nepal. Really do miss being back in Europe, sitting in a bar in time for a normal kick off.

  43. Guns of SF

    Honestly
    What did Auba do today? This constant LW is just INSANE at this point. He made like one run behind the defense and put a so so cross in. Other than that?

    Ode was absent today
    We had no ideas to create. Without Saka ESR we are screwed

    This team needs a rebuild this summer. No doubt about it.

    Pepe, Auba need to be sold
    Lets see how Ode pans out in the next few games. If he can help us win EL then Im cool with him staying

  44. Guns of SF

    Also how are we expected to win the EL with a performance like this at home?
    Dont event get me started about Martinelli

  45. Guns of SF

    _____Laca________
    Martin__Ode___Saka
    ___ESR____TP_____
    KT__Luiz__Gab____Soares

    That line up will do some damage… but Mike does not see it nor wants to try it, being 10th in the league. Ultra conservative fella

  46. Guns of SF

    Renew Laca on the same money for one year plus an option for year 2 – in case he stinks it out.

    or less money for 3 years.

  47. Guns of SF

    Look at Mike
    “I accept responsibility for the way we played today. It is my fault. I have to set the team up to perform in a different way and that is it. At the moment I am in shock.

    In shock? How so? you have been inept at in game management and team selection all season long.

    You are risk averse

    You are a defensive minded coach

    You pander to vets

    You should not be manager.

  48. Tony

    Just watched the game this morning, and as expected, another serving of rancid jus by Arteta and thankful Xhaka wasn’t playing.

    Very poor selection and even worse in-game management that Arteta seems unable to learn from over the last 15 months.

    Some people claim it to be down to player poverty, right Pedro? Yet Arteta has a far better squad having chosen who he wanted to buy unlike Emery.

    Just not worth noting here more about a game we weren’t properly prepared for.

    It seems Klopp was running plays with his squad who weren’t selected for international duty ready to put in the performance needed to dominate us from the off. The returning international just fitted in seamlessly.

    Onto our EL game nervously with trepidatious hope and very little else to hang onto with Arteta in charge.

    Kroenkephobe
    Sounds like you had some adventures in South America have you published anything regarding your travels?

    I haven’t read the Rocky book so I’ll also look for a copy to be sent over to me.

    Tony 2
    Great Rocky story.

  49. Nelson

    Before the match, I have warned that the Pools attack would be 30% stronger with Jota. Arteta didn’t do any adjustment when Jota was subbed in. I saw the danger and we didn’t do anything to prevent it….

  50. Nelson

    And the nightmare scenario just repeats itself. Auba didn’t cover their right back. They crossed the ball. Holding defended the space and not the man and gave up a header goal. I thought Holding is taller than Sterling and Jota.

  51. Guns of SF

    Jota header was criminal to let a rat faced twerp jump that high in between 2 6 feet plus defenders.

  52. Tony

    Thinking out loud here, but instead of Tim Lewis as an advisor I would have thought Stan K would have sought David Dein’s counsel considering how poorly the club has been managed since David departed.

    I hope I can soon clear the imagery of Chambers and Holding clueless defending for the bin dippers’ first goal.

    Similar to Sterling’s goal off the Mahrez cross.

  53. Tom

    Anyone thinking this Arsenal line up couldn’t have possibly given this Liverpool a game needs a serious rethink.
    Our back four, for example, was easily on par, if not better from a strictly defensive stand point of view.
    Kabak ,who’s 21, has barely 120 minutes of PL play under his belt and not much more from his Bundesliga days earlier this season.
    Philips is valued at 1/3 of Holding’s transfermarkt value and has barely a 1000 minutes on his clock.
    Trent Arnold has been dropped from the England squad such was his form lately, and he’s never been a solid defender anyway.
    Milner , a model professional that he is, is also 35 and his legs have gone.
    Thiago, his superb technique notwithstanding, is even slower than Milner and hasn’t been exactly worth his billing.

    The fact Arteta chose the chicken shit approach against this Liverpool side that lost 6 out of their last 8 games against mid and bottom of the table clubs, is very telling in itself.
    Philips and Kobak probably couldn’t believe their luck yesterday.
    Arsenal had 3 shots on goal against them and this is what some other clubs did in that particular department during Liverpool’s latest poor run of form.
    Wolves-10
    Fulham-10
    Sheffield-8
    Everton-9
    Brighton-13

    Players take their cues from the manager and if you preach caution and safety first, don’t be surprised then that the performance is such as it was.

    Arteta’s first 50 games have been worse results wise than those of the bum Emery and the has been Wenger.
    Worse in winning %, goal difference, games won, games lost and draws.
    Truly generational stuff.

    There was a generational manager on display there yesterday but it wasn’t Arteta.
    Who would bet big against Pool winning the CL this season, however poor their PL campaign has been?
    Who would bet big Arsenal get past Slavia Racist FC ?
    Answers on postcards.

  54. Sid

    Arteta has made us solid defensively.

    We are playing fluid football, its plain to see.

    We are top 4 since chrismas.

    We signed PV4 replacement.

  55. Guns of SF

    Tom
    Players take their cues from the manager and if you preach caution and safety first, don’t be surprised then that the performance is such as it was.

    Well said, Mike is a defensive and passive coach. Fault Wenger for all you want, but at least he would take the attack to any team.
    And his attacks would win quite a bit…. too bad he could not organize a defense

    I think that its a combo tho, bad players and bad tactics.
    If Mike wants a defensive team, just wait until fans come back to the stadium. The boos will sting him

  56. Guns of SF

    With Xhaka out, TP did look lost. It was his chance to show his stuff, but his passing was really bad again. I wonder if he is just confused as to his role, or he is just not as good as advertised. EPL will do that to players.

  57. China1

    Those are some very ugly numbers Tom…

    Gonsterous you’re in Nepal? That’s cool. And yeah then you know these fucking late kick offs are such a pain in the dick. And I’m telling you now the times you do say fuck it and stay up you’ll end up regretting it!

  58. Gonsterous

    Arteta should have switched to a 4-3-3 to neutralize their midfield domination. Tactical.genius he is not.

  59. Gonsterous

    China

    Staying up late to watch a game is something I haven’t done for a long long time. Don’t really see the point, it started from the Wenger era where I even quit my subscription for all football coverage.

  60. Sid

    Who will be deployed as LB in the EL? Will it be Saka?

    We all know Diet Peps only tactic is using the left side to attack

  61. Sid

    Will Partey survive 2 consecutive games? Will ESR be brought back straight from injury?

    Buckle up, its about to get bumpy

    Im telling you for free!

  62. Captain Tierney

    Arsenal fans losing their mind after losing to a Liverpool side which looked like their last season’s self while having 4 first teamers out injured.

    Who would’ve thought ?

  63. Sid

    Diet Pep was so confident the same tactic he used to win the FA cup will work i.e play Auba on the left wing have 10 men behind the ball.
    Wishful thinking. Without Tierney to push forward, luiz/Xhakalson to hoof the ball to Auba.
    He had NO plan B at all

  64. Thorough

    THE THINGS I DON’T GET ABOUT ARTETA:
    – Making players like Holding totally redundant for long stretch and hoping he’ll suddenly put them out when his favorites are unavailable and thinking they’ll show no rustiness.
    – Cedric was suddenly showing up Bellerin and he actually deserved the right back spot. Then Arteta creates a bigger problem by dumping him and bringing in a returning central defender to take his place.
    – When questioned ‘Why Martinelli wasn’t playing’ he said something along the lines of ‘Every player must fight for their spots and must take their opportunity when it comes.’ Sadly he’s refused to apply the same rule to players like Auba who keeps stinking out the place and still gets selected.
    – Putting square pegs in round holes. Ffs don’t shoehorn anybody, play Auba when Laca isn’t playing and vice versa, play players like Reiss Nelson and Martinelli when our first choice wingers aren’t available, stop having favorites.
    – He should watch the freaking game. 25 minutes in and we were getting battered. They were audacious enough to pull out a defender for a winger and we didn’t react likewise. In game management is fucking shit.

  65. Kroenkephobe

    Cheers Tony

    In retrospect, I should have gathered some material while I was living in Argentina, if only for myself, but it was working long hours, combined with playing and watching football regularly plus drinking and womanising etc etc. that combined to get in the way. Plus if you’d got a camera or tape recorder out while standing on the terraces at Racing or say the Bonbonera (Boca’s immense 3 sided stadium that looked like a chocolate box hence the name) they’d have eaten you alive. It was still a bit hairy to be a Brit in Buenos Aires in the late 80s, especially at the football where the gangs (barras bravas) still collected money ostensibly for war veterans at half time. I speak Spanish but if they ever sussed my accent was a little off, I’d tell them I was Swedish and they left me alone.

    In essence, watching football there is second-to-none and unforgettable. Whereas this morning, all I’m trying to do is forget about last night’s shitshow.!

  66. Pierre

    Tony
    “I hope I can soon clear the imagery of Chambers and Holding clueless defending for the bin dippers’ first goal.”

    Some crosses are nigh on impossible to defend, and that was one of them , Beckham would have been proud of such a superb delivery.
    Would Martinez have come for it , possibly , would martinez starting position have been better , possibly but even if it had been , i feel the quality of the cross would have done him.

    As much as gabriel could be culpable for the 2nd and 3rd goals , I I wouldn’t be too hard on our 2 central defenders as they were the only reason we were still in the game on the hour mark, it was basically those 2 against a constant onslaught of attacks , and in the end they broke.

    For me , the concern was our failure to compete in midfield and attack , we were totally dominated and completely out played, and that is no exaggeration.

    Yes , liverpool were very good, but as mentioned earlier, on paper , man for man their team were not that much better than ours..

    It was boys against men , but the problem was , none of our boys were playing …out of saka, ESR, martinelli , eddie , nelson, Balogun and willock only Saka is a permanent starter with ESR shunted on to the flank, which eventually will lead to him being benched as it’s not his best position.

    Those kids would have put up a much better showing than that lot yesterday , it was embarrassing watching us be totally outclassed .

    Arteta should now experiment in the remaining league games .
    Bring in the academy players and Martinelli and let’s see what they are made of…

    It feels like a wasted year regarding our academy players , Willock and AMN out on loan ,Eddie , Balogun, nelson and Martinelli have hardly had a kick this year.

    What a waste of a talented group of players who have never let the club down in the cup competitions and received little credit on le grove for their performances and many victories in the europa, league cup and fa cup in the past couple of seasons. .

    What a waste.

  67. Gonsterous

    Don’t know any other club that comes out and apologize to their fans as much as arsenal. Say sorry and then play crap again after a few weeks.

    Not much weight on the apology and it won’t change anything. It’s more of a show than genuine emotion.

  68. Ishola70

    If this team truly does miss players like David Luiz and Granit Xhaka then any hopes of breaking into the top four any time soon is a pipe dream.

    It sounds like excuses to me.

    We all know Arsenal are capable of dropping poor performances with these players involved or not.

    That the team can go on semi decent runs and achieve good isolated results here and there with all players available shouldn’t mean these type of players are championed in any way. The team doesn’t show enough consistency overall to be mourning the absences of players such as these two.

    Come back to me when Arsenal actually go on a significant run that sees them in the thick of the top four places in the future and then we can start talking about the importance of players like Luiz and Xhaka.

    Xhaka and Luiz will never be involved in a truly succesful Arsenal side.

    A player like Saka might do.

  69. Gonsterous

    Pierre

    Nah too much whip on the cross and it was swinging away from goal. No goalkeeper would come out for it unless they wanted to be stranded on no man’s land leaving the goal wide open.

    Martinez is a good keeper but let’s not re write his ability and pretend he would not concede a single goal with the current defense we have sitting before Him.

  70. peanuts&monkeys

    What exactly you mean by ‘current defence’? After so many investments, spoilt for so many options that is defenders till the half line, (considering Xhaka as nothing but a defender stationed upwards), Arsenal still do not have good defenders?

  71. Gonsterous

    When you read pedros post again, it seemed he was optimistic about arteta against pool. Next post the excuses will be out and we will see a big difference where he goes back on the defense and claim squad poverty, injuries and explain how pool is a world class team, where arteta had no chance to win this game.

    Getting quite predictable.

  72. peanuts&monkeys

    If anything is wrong, it is the defending. Not the defenders. It is. This trainee coach who doesn’t know how to use all these 11 defenders (counting mavro, saliba et al)

  73. peanuts&monkeys

    Ppl, you shd be happy the Tierney lad will get some rest. Anyways, 50% of his efforts gee wasted due to Arteta’s dumb way of not having a strong heading striker whom Tierney cannot find at the end of his crosses. Ditto for Cedric.

  74. Wiglaf

    Thorough

    You’re dead right mate
    Any time one of our players gains momentum in form he drops them. It’s madness. Cedric, Amn, Martinez, holding, pepe all dropped while they were playing their best football at the club.
    Arteta’s ego will hold him back throughout his career. To clever for his own good. He over does it, micro manages and strangles the team.

  75. alexanderhenry

    Pedro

    ‘Are we better with Xhaka in our midfield?

    Yes’

    That’s not really the point is it?

    Are Mcdonalds fries better than Burger King’s ?

    Yes

    But it’s still junk food.

  76. The Bard

    The attitude yesterday was poor. The result is no surprise. Our 1st XI are good but the rest are poor. Without 4 players and losing Tierney was too big an ask. What is he going to do with Auba ? Is he still smarting from being dropped because he was late. He was abject yesterday.

  77. Gonsterous

    Bacary

    We got in ode, partey and gabriel and the manager still needs another 6,7 players. Jesus, pep lite really is turning out to be a cheque book manager and sadly he can’t buy tactics.

  78. S Asoa

    Everyone is Auba shit , Pepe looks shot .And maybe Martinelli will come in and save the day.
    Relax none can ,the way Arteta sets these world class individuals, outstanding in their speciality, deficient in other things , set to fail. Auba at left who can’t defend or track back, whereas Pepe is more deadly in that place. Auba has the knack to arrive and score goals in the box. Coming back to Pepe not syncing with Tierney , because a coach didn’t play them consistently together nor ironned out these things. Martinelli has been getting occasionally 10 minutes, not enough to gel and understand teammates playing in a most high strung position..
    We make our assumptions based on what the Club PR says. AFC is a closed book with dictatorial controls by the Manager. Naturally for an year our analysis do not match the results.
    Saka, ESR , play their natural game they learnt at the Academy, and thank goodness, for the sake of his survival Arteta has let them have fluxuous movements.
    Arteta is learning. He needs to be at a Championship level Club. He is blundering around here.
    Period

  79. SpanishDave

    Look at Arteta’s players he has brought in, look at who’s still here.
    In over a year this is his set up, his training and coaching.
    Same as the Man City game he lost it before it started, he’s afraid of loosing and is just an average Joe rookie .
    I watched Leipzig play Bayern yesterday.
    What a contrast, quick one touch football , aggressive forward play , exciting stuff.
    Naglesman changed the set up to try and win and all he lacks is a stronger cf.
    Watching our slow ponderous play was such a sad contrast, we are way of the track now

  80. Ishola70

    S Asoa

    “Arteta is learning. He needs to be at a Championship level Club”

    I wonder how he would fare in the Championship with overall lesser players to work with.

  81. S Asoa

    An extract from the brilliant Tim of 7 am kickoff

    “I like all the Arsenal players on the pitch today. I don’t have an agenda against anyone. Many of those players have shown some streaks of brilliance and I was actually eager to see Partey and Ceballos in midfield. But at the end of the day, what I saw were a number of guys who lack the touch and vision – along with the a system which was asking them to do things that they cannot do – getting beat by a system and set of players who were doing exactly what they love and have been trained to do. We played right into their hands (or feet).

    Arsenal simply cannot play the way we wanted to play today with Calum Chambers, Dani Ceballos, Gabriel, Pepe, and Holding and expect to pass the ball around Liverpool’s press. Actually, maybe they could do it? I feel like they can’t. Or at least that it would take a genius-level organization to make it happen.

    But when I see Dani ball-dawdling in midfield and getting caught on the ball, or trying to make slick reverse passes into the heart of their defense, I think we are in for a long night. Chambers, for example, had the most pass combinations of any Arsenal player (14) and they were all back to holding. ”

    It explains a lot, anyway one will interpret. Arteta system of playing out from the back can be very good with appropriate players (5-6 new players connundrum), but a dangerous shitshow with even a flaw. So Arteta tries to shoehorn all his otherwise good players into his system, where it does not work.
    The results are predictable against a good team. Against others the quality of our players does the thing. That’s why we are fortunate to be where we are – midtable

  82. Foxy

    Nothing wrong with a defensive set up as we beat Liverpool twice with a back 5 and counter attacking approach. The difference then was that they were controlled displays e.g the back 5 reduced the threat from their wide players and then we counter attacked with pace down the flanks. Yesterday we were exposed wide and then when the ball was in our box we simply hoofed it down the middle to the smallest CF in the Prem, so it simply came straight back again. Plus of course we now have Leno in goal not Martinez.

    Liverpool were just on another level in both intensity and interplay plus in Sala and Mane they have two real game changers. Even towards the end they would have 3 players closing down our wide players like Pepe and Martinelli, where we just had Auba ambling back.

  83. Thorough

    Now that it’s obvious we need a partner for Partey, I’ll love to go against the grain and say fuck Bisouma, I want Boubacar Soumare instead.

  84. Foxy

    Maybe we just need a manager that has experience in getting results out of mid table squads. Arteta is just expecting our lot to be Man City level and then getting confused when they fail.

  85. Thorough

    Wiglaf.
    If he doesn’t learn to rotate and keep everybody fresh then he doesn’t belong in a top 4 team. Especially for a coach that love the Vets that’ll break down ever so often, he needs to learn to keep everybody fresh.

  86. Tony

    Kroenkphobe
    Thanks for the insight.

    Athens was a crazy place also to watch football back in the 80s. Seats were usually ripped out to be used as aerial weapons even on their own supporters.

    Once saw a Greek trying to navigate his way through a wild melee when his crutches were ripped off him by his own supporters who then went forward swinging at anything close while the guy was picked up and carried behind.

    S E Asia lawlessness probably rivals the South American levels bar perhaps the drug cartels.

    That said the collective S E Asia mafia gangs can cause loose bowel movement very quickly for some stupid enough to go where they’re not wanted or not showing the correct respect to people.

    Being part of the MC world out here is widely accepted with some clubs having earned respect from the various nefarious factions. I’ve never had a problem in the 21 years I’ve lived out here.

    Pierre
    Have to agree with you, I know wonders will never cease.

    At 60 minutes I wanted Arteta to replace ineffectual Auba and Laca and replace them with Eddie and Martinelli.

    Actually, I wanted them to start and still want to see what Bolagun can do.

    Off topic for a mo.

    My son came home yesterday with a vid of him hitting a carry 300 meters. After he explained what he meant I realised he’s really hooked on the sport practicing every day.

    What would you consider a good carry? I have no idea.

    Rain season is coming early so the temperatures will drop significantly for me to start accompanying him.

    Trust you’re back on the greens.

  87. Foxy

    The only plus point is games like yesterday highlight players we need to move.on like Laca, ceballos and Holding and care I say it Leno.

  88. Useroz

    “Naglesman changed the set up to try and win and all he lacks is a stronger cf.”

    That’s exactly what went wrong at the team level… it wasn’t set up to play at all, and as much as players should take responsibility the manager is accountable. Is it too hard to accept?

    After all, when the ‘players’ won the FA Cup, who got a promotion?? So it wasn’t too early and impatient for the generational one to claim the credit of a trophy , yet its too early to sack him when , with defo poorer squad, Emery did better overall?

    Btw, I don’t care less about Emery other than the results and signs of material progress that we’d see week in week out. It’s not rocket science and process my arse.

    We aren’t talking about improving business performance of MNCs so its not as if Arteta is given the task of a CEO turning around an ailing international business.

    Emery was ridiculed of his lack of English that caused the breakdown, etc etc and eventuallyled to the poor resultand sacking. Yet, the generational one speaks allegedly 5 languages, including English, and still fucks up the process!! Where’s the tactics? Players may have been more disciplined positionallly but we also see the less than fluid movements. If it’s not Arteta taking the hit, did the 8 teams that beat Liverpool all Man City level on the day? Or players took matters unto own hands , well feet, and decided to beat up the pool ?? I bet their managers at least had tactical plans to do something about pool and somehow worked. Did you see some sorts of a plan or a change of plan when out play turnes to poo last night ?

    Even when pool underperforms, they tend to play with pace. What’s Ceballos on the pitch for being Sliw, and flimsy? Milner should have scored midway thru the 1H, and who started ut? Ceballos dilly dallied on the ball rather than passed it quickly to Tierney and lost it….within 30 seconds.Milber took the shot and I thought it one down… Could Elneny, Azeez or somebody be worse than Ceballos for this type of games? Arteta calls it a project exception isn’t. At best it’s a retirement project for Arteta and his cohorts … Name one kid developed by Arteta? ESR was forced upon him due to injuries. Saka inherited from Emery, Martinelli well we know don’t we. Martinez is a top 5 in Europe on stats and he’s sold 👌….

    We aren’t going anywhere with this guy however generational shit he puts out. Lest he given any budget to spend in summer.

  89. Captain Tierney

    No keeper comes out for an outswinging cross like Trent’s.
    I dont think we can play the blame game with the first goal because the cross was sublime. But if you want to blame someone, it should be Holding.
    Just before the cross comes in, Holding moves forward in free space where no-one is instead of marking the only target in the box for the cross ( Jota)
    He did a similar movement against City for Sterling’s header.
    He is a good rotation option, not good as a starter. His horrible on the ball skills actually made me miss Luiz.

    Ceballos had a disaster. Just like last season’s game against Liverpool.

    Honestly, every player out there played bad, bar maybe Tierney.

    But its also down to Arteta. We cant play Auba and Pepe and hope to keep hold of the ball, worsened by Ceballos giving the ball to Liverpool every time he gets it. Both players are final action players. At least Pepe offers himself as a long ball option and wins some headers. Auba does zilch, when we don’t have the ball. His pressing is half hearted, and he never ever competes for an aerial ball.

    Auba can be deadly when he gets the ball in the opposition box, other than that he doesn’t offer much. He is also having a very poor season by his standards and needs to be benched for some time.

    Martinelli in his small cameo harrassed the Liverpool defender s and nearly won a ball in their own box. He is also a more natural winger than Auba and he never stops.

    A Tierney injury has been coming. He is playing a LOT. Hopefully its just a knock, otherwise we could be in real trouble.

  90. Captain Tierney

    I dont know why people still have a hard on for Emi. He is badmouthing the club every chance he gets. Recently at ESPN.

    Yes he is a good keeper, but he talks like be should have become a starter 5 years ago.

    His only loan spell where he showed he could have a future at Arsenal was his latest one at Reading. He should be grateful Arsenal kept him for so long. Instead he is talking like a disgraceful ex.

  91. Useroz

    Both Pepe and Auba can’t keep and run with the ball. In a way we were doomed before the ball was kicked. I’d rather put Pepe on the left and Nelson or reluctantly Willian on the right.

    Never commented on player hairdo… but can’t help but feel Auba attends more precisely to his hair than making simplier 5, 10 yard passes yesterday. Hospital balls, stray flicks nothing came thru…

  92. Johng

    What a shocker, really negative tactics. I can understand that got us a result last year against them, but they have been loosing games lately when other teams got at them.
    It just feels like Arteta had not done his homework and just decided I’ll do what i did last year.
    Some poor player performances also did not help, but the culprits have been called out in earlier posts.
    There have been some good posts on this article and we have definitely made some poor decisions on personnel over the last few years, some will make a good argument that it goes back way further.
    OK I get that we are all disappointed and want success to come back to our club, but where do we go from here.
    We can’t just bin players that cost us a lot of money or players that are on huge amounts of money per week that no one wants.
    I personally think that the best accusition we could make this summer is a top notch director of football, who has total control of all things football including the manager.
    I have nothing against Edu but I think we can do better and the fact that Arteta was put on the same level as him says it all. Anyone who had pride in their position would have walked away
    I

  93. Johng

    Will anyone be calling MA into the office on Monday to explain what went wrong,not saying he should go but he should be told that, that performance was just not good enough PULL your finger out

  94. vickingz

    Who are these ones calling for the introduction of the young players? Is it that you just started watching arsenal under arteta or you just haven’t discovered that arteta isn’t just a tactical genius but a mere coach who just relies on the big players? Covid 19 lockdown cum injuries had to help him suss out our best first 11 which arteta was forced to play for few games and we won but as soon as both lockdown and injuries eased out, arteta went back to destroy the chemistry and he’s been doing this excellently well since then. Arteta is just like pedro, others look at him crying but he looks at himself laughing, thinking he’s way smarter than everyone