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Arsenal lost 2-1 to Chelsea in a preseason game that was fun to watch, but for all the wrong reasons.

Arsenal were messy. Chelsea were poor. Both sides have plenty of concerns heading into the new season.

There were quite a few worries for Arsenal fans. The biggest being that the same faces that weren’t good enough last year are mostly still in the side.

Mo Elneny started and was given far too many minutes. He was his usual self. Unambitious, with a few mistakes in the mixer. Why is he so close to the first team?

Granit Xhaka scored and made some lovely passes, but his lack of pace nearly broke an ankle and there were a few flashes of ‘why?’ that he brought to the table. He needs to move to Italy, we need an upgrade, we can’t continue to talk about top 4 if we don’t move on players that aren’t at that level.

Our entire right side of defence isn’t up to snuff. I really like Cal Chambers, but he’s not a first-team right back next season. Hector Bellerin came on and assisted Tammy with his first touch. It was poor, but par the course, he needs to be exited. We need a new right-back as a matter of urgency.

Bernd Leno seems to be regressing with his passing. He looks panicked and totally lacking in confidence on the ball. If your keeper can’t move the ball in this Arsenal system, you need to find a new keeper. It’s painful viewing that such a good keeper in his twenties is so bad with his feet.

The biggest worry – and I do hate to say it – was Auba. He missed a one vs one and a header from 6 yards out. Two seasons ago, those are goals. Is he keeping his powder dry for the new season? We have to hope so. It is very worrying that our best striker at the moment looks like Eddie. He came on and put a show on again. He ran with intensity, livened up the front line, and looked dangerous with every touch.

There were some good bits about the game. We certainly played with more attacking intent than we did in the Premier League last run out. We broke into their box plenty of times, Willock scored a goal that the lino missed, we created enough high-quality chances to come away with more than 1 goal. The big shift is that we’re playing a higher line. That’s giving us more in the opposite third, though it exposed us time and time again yesterday.

Ben White looked decent when he came on, he made a couple of goal-line clearances. He looks assured on the ball, he’s fast, and you can see his range of passing is good. I don’t think anyone can deny the need for him after watching a high line with Bob and Pablo in the first half.

Willock is a messy player, but he causes chaos. His rangy runs and attacking mindset caused issues for Chelsea and it livened up our game. I expect him to leave, but it’s worrying a player we’re sending to Newcastle had more zest than nearly all our attackers.

The star of the match was once again Sambi Lokonga. He came on and the game opened up. He’s fast, he moves the ball with vertical purpose, and reads the game really well. We don’t need to experiment with Mo Elneny, Sambi should be getting first-team minutes from the start next season.

The major disappointment was that Thomas Partey was crunched and hobbled off injured. He was absolutely brilliant in the first half. He carried the ball, he opened the game up with his passing, he pressed hard… such a shame his day was cut short, but hopefully it’s not too serious.

So, in short, a bit of a worrying day out. There’s two weeks to go before the start of the season, we still need about 4 players, and the coach needs to fix a lot of issues on the training ground.

Spurs next week…

613 Responses to “SAME FACES, SIMILAR STORY”

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  1. prvhc

    Who’s going to tell them Arteta maybe wasn’t the right choice ? Edu ?
    There’s no people who can guide them on footballing issues.

    You’ve got fans, who are supposed to want the best for their club, still backing Arteta for their own reasons. How do you expect Kroenke to make that call

  2. CG

    “”””How can we explain having Conte, ZZ, and other top people available and we continue with an assistant coach who has done nothing but deepened the club’s level of mediocrity in his 18 months?!””””

    You simply can’t.

    No matter how people try to spin it or try to make excuses for it.

    After a promising start- Arteta has completely come up short in all areas of coaching and management.

    One phone call to the OUT OF WORK Conte- and Arsenal will have for the first time since A. Wenger departed a proper world class and proven manager in charge.

    GentleBris reminding everyone, why he is one the best posters around.

  3. Distanced hairline

    Xhaka was one of our best players last season, most people hating on him wont even get selected by their friends on a two a side game, a good coach will use xhaka well, what we need is a creator in the mold of carzola, buendia was that man, f#ck eduterta

  4. Gonsterous

    Should have paid the dough for buendia
    Now we have to either over pay for maddison or over pay for ode

    New window, same story for arsenal.
    Last day trolley dash will be fun though.

  5. CG

    “””Love your post CG. Even if it’s an unpopular view.”””

    Thank you Samesong.


    You survey 1000 AFC supporters- I reckon 95% would choose Conte over Arteta given the chance.

    Who would not want a man of the calibre of Conte?

    League Champion at Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan

  6. Pedro

    CG, what a revolutionary idea… hire one of the best managers in the world.

    Why not sign Messi as well?

    Honestly, people rallying around an idea Spurs just tried and failed at is quite spectacular.

  7. Raulishuss

    who wouldn’t want conte. Afc replaced ARSENE WENGER with unai emery. Thats all you need to know abt the cluelessness of our owner

  8. Valentin


    I don’t think that CG view is unpopular. Unpopular with members of Arteta’s cult, but not with most of Arsenal’s fans.

    Even if you are willing to give Arteta another chance, what cannot be disputed is that in the 18 months he had been appointed Arsenal manager, his league results have been below what was expected of the club and the football uninspiring.

    The more I look at the FA CUp victory, the more I see it as a lucky dead cat bounce. The stars aligned for Arsenal and we thought we were on the way back to the top. The reality is that we are sliding further and further behind other clubs.

    We are spending money we don’t have, to buy players we did not need. All that while ignoring areas of the squad that urgently required attending. Unless we change formation and tactics, this team will struggle to make the top 6. And if they do, it will be by playing such attritional football, Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce would envy us. We might as well rename the club North London Stoke Football FC.

    With a difficult start of the league, atmosphere at the Emirates could turn toxic pretty quickly.

  9. Gentlebris

    We may go for Mess. £20m signing bonus plus £500,000 a week.

    And why not?

    We were paying Ozil £350,000 per week at the height of his video game career.