THE STORY OF ‘SHOTS TAKEN’

by .

Ugh, trying to be creative during a dead week is… tough.

How about a table?

Arsenal rank 10th in the league for shots on goal according to the Premier League data. We’ve had 92 shots across 7 games. That’s 13 a game.

Now, there’s a little bit of misleading context there. We’ve played City and Chelsea, the two best teams in the world, and we played them when we were in pieces with covid issues. Take them out and our shots per game looks a little healthier at 17.

What is clear is this: No one knows where we are on the attacking front.

We do know this:

  • We are not scoring enough goals in the Premier League

The job to be done after the break is clear. We need to see a consistent level of shooting output in all of our games. Liverpool clocked in with 147 shots. City 15 odd. United 107. Wayne Gretzky said you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Or something like that. We need to take more high-quality shots if we’re going to move on this season. That means we need to move the ball quicker, be more creative, and take risks.

We’re playing teams that will give us a chance to do that. Palace, Watford, Villa and Leicester aren’t ruthless defensive teams. There will be openings, we have to craft them, the football needs to be more us vs Spurs than Brighton.

That is Arteta’s challenge now. We need to see this team bang more often. I can’t have a taste of a glorious future then not see it again until next year.

A lot has to workout on that front. What is clear is that Auba, in this current system, needs a lot of things to happen for him to work. That’s why it’s interesting that the club are tackling a striker for the Lacazette replacement. We need someone that can rough it against teams like Brighton. DCL and Ollie Watkins are front runners. One is very good in the year and a Gooner, the other leads a press like an absolute monster and he’s also a Gooner.

The biggest miss of the summer, in my opinion, was Tammy Abrahams… we wanted it, the player wanted it, but it was one in one out on the striker front.

Onto some cool tech news. Arsenal’s GPS partner, StatSport, has just announced that their tech is for everyone. Yep, they are promising that you, and your fat arse, can use their equipment in your Sunday League games and compare yourself to Bukayo Saka in their app.

THAT IS AWESOME.

If you don’t know what those packs are… they basically monitor about a 1000 movements on your body so sports scientists can assess thing like: How hard did that training session go? What is the peak exertion this player can handle? Should Thomas Partey be rested because he’s in the red zone?

Health apps have always been a bit meh to me because the contextualization is broing. I really couldn’t give a shit about how many steps I take. My fit bit is boring. I don’t believe the sleep app actually works.

Gamifying the football experience? That is some next-level stuff. Imagine being a 12 year old and being able to monitor your performance to an exact science. Imagine the business opportunities behind that sort of data?

They’re also running a competition for the chance to win one of their pod things. They are £300, so might be worth getting into the mixer on that one (not you Dave, you’re too old).

Feeling starved of football? Haven’t seen the Women’s team this season? Then jump on their game vs Barcelona this afternoon. It’s 8pm UK time, 3pm Eastern… it’s going to be a banger of a game. The new coach is dropping 3.9 goals per game. Maybe he can have a word with the boys team?

FABRIZIO ROMANO has leaked MORE good press about the Arteta Regime. He’s told the world that Arsenal are thrilled with the progress William Saliba is making and he’ll defintely be part of our plans next season. Reiterating that playing 38 games is better for his career at 20 then bumming around on our bench all season.

Nice one Fabrizio, nice one Arsenal FC.

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167 Responses to “THE STORY OF ‘SHOTS TAKEN’”

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  1. Irish Gooner

    Pedro how come you use certain fixtures to suit the stats like playing good teams like Chelsea/Man City but don’t take into account the crap teams like Norwich and Burnley that should beef up the stats. Arteta is taking this team nowhere, If Kane had his scoring boots on Spurs may have salvaged a draw in our only decent victory so far this season, prepare for no euorpean football again next season Pedro

  2. Pierre

    Fortunately our next 3 games are at home (including league cup), all night games , even better for the fans to create an intimidating atmosphere..

    Win the first one v palace and it sets us up nicely for the next 2 …

  3. raptora

    Matt B: “why so many people dismissed White and Ramsdale before they’d even seen them play”

    Must have something to do with shelling 80m in defence, for 2 players that were not universally recognized.

    You read Watkins or Calvert-Lewin or even the likes of Mings, Cash, Cresswell and just like now, in the blog, people are excited for Watkins just by some gossip dropping.

    80m is a truckload of money and we spent it in defence, for 2 players of unknown quality, both risky signings that can go either way. They are not a Varane, or a Lukaku that you know their absolute quality and that both of them will most probably do well/great. They are 2 players that most fans either didn’t know or had no great opinion of.

    You cannot tell me that in the tens and hundreds of people posting in the blog, not even one had the football eyes to see the unquestionable quality of these 2 stone cold reserves in the English squad along with the pure class of Ben Godfrey and Sam Johnstone and speak about how they would love to have them in our team before the gossip that we want them dropped.

    Excuse the fans questioning a stupidly high price tag deals for players that did not catch the eye. We are talking about White becoming the 9th most expensive defender of all time and Ramsdale – the 7th most expensive goalkeeper of all time. Goodness me. Can’t believe some fans dared question the transfers.

  4. Bradybunch

    I think it’s 8 pm in Barcelona, so 7 in UK for the Women’s game tonight. Barca are still good in this iteration tho, so I don’t expect many goals from Arsenal. Hopefully Jonas has swapped some ideas with Mik for this one.

  5. raptora

    Let’s look at the transfer of Andy Robertson from Hull to Liverpool for £8m.

    – Surprising – even though fans knew him, no one could imagine the heights he’ll reach or that he’ll even be good enough for a top 4 club let alone playing an integral role in a title winning team)
    – Cheap af – regardless of working out or not, you lose peanuts

    White + Ramsdale:

    – Surprising – we had people in the blog arguing that Ramsdale is a fake story even when there were reports of us making a 3rd bid etc. They couldn’t believe we want him and we’re going to pay 30m for him. And White – when the news landed the first thing that started circulating was that Rashford situation.

    – Expensive af – both in top 10 of the most expensive players in their position of all time.

    Both are high risk transfers with not much experience as well. We’ve had Torreira, Guen, Elneny, Ceballos, Kolasinac even. They all started well their Arsenal careers. But other than Torreira, the others cost peanuts so it’s whatever. While with White and Ramsdale we are talking about a huge amount of doe that the club committed to the wish of Arteta. Huge risk.

  6. englandsbest

    If Auba was firing on all cylinders we’d be top of the league. Just throw in the goals he ought to have scored, and you’ll see that I’m right. And therein lies our problem upfront.

    Of course, no striker scores all the goals he ought to score. The closest that I ever saw was the late great Roger Hunt. So what I am talking about is our RELIANCE on Auaba to score goals. And therein lies the root of the problem.

    He is a lurker, he operates by stealth. Put in a slugger and everything changes. OG would have missed more, but he would have scored more. The point being that the attack is shaped for Auba, no rough and tumble.

    No doubt a top goal scorer tops Arteta’s agenda. But that’s a major conundrum with Auba around on a huge salary. So I imagine offloading Auba for a decent amount sits up there at the top roo. In the meantime, what to do. Cross fingers and hope Auba hits a hot streak?

    My way is a halfway measure: put him on the bench, bring him on late, instruct him to expend every ounce of his diminishing energy. Give Eddie a try with one instruction: SCORE!. Or Pepe. Or Martinelli. Or Balagon.

  7. Pierre

    To score more goals you need players that have real desire to score goals .

    If you look at our offensive 4, Smith rowe and Saka are getting there but are not there yet but both should reach double figures for goals/assists.
    Aubameyang is fast becoming a striker who only scores at home, and Odegaard may score occasionally but doesn’t look like a player to me who will reach double figures unless we start dominating games.

    As i mentioned before, to me it is a simple solution, we need one other player who can provide goals and the simple solution is to drop Odegaard into midfield alongside Partey, put smith rowe as CAM and bring in Pepe, Martinelli or Eddie to play the left channel.

    In away games bring in Lacazette for Aubameyang and we will see an instant improvement.
    Our away peformances have been poor in the league, one goal scored in 3 games, i would say the Burnley game was our best performance away from home and that wasn’t brilliant …our offensive 4 that day was Aubameyang, pepe, saka and Smith rowe with Odegaard centre mid…

    It’s time to experiment up front .

  8. Rich

    Arsenal had 8 centre backs on their books

    The club is clearly trying to age down the squad, and bring down the wage bill

    This summer we lost Luiz, Mustafi, Sokratis who left for nothing

    Luiz reported £120 p/w
    Mustafi £90k p/w
    Sokratis £90k p/w

    £300k p/w saved, over 5 years that’s
    £78,000,000

    Ben White
    £50 million
    £80k p/w according to the Athletic, 5yr contract, + 1yr club option

    Over 5 years that’s:
    £70,800,000

    Net spend will say – £50 million, but really it’s just a reallocation of resources

    Ozil reported £300k p/w
    Over a 5yr period that would cost us £78 million

    Odegaard £35million + reported £100k p/w on a 5yr contract

    £61,000,000 over 5 years

    Smith Rowe apparently got a £50,000 p/w bump

    Over 5 years that’s £13,000,000

    Net spend will say – £35 million

    But all we’ve done is take Ozil’s wages off the books, and put the money into signing and paying Odegaard, and renewing Smith Rowe’s contract

    Net spend doesn’t mean anything, it’s a nothing number

    Tavares £8 million, reported £800k p/a, 4yr contract + 1yr club option

    £11,200,000 over 4 years

    Kolasinac will leave for free, apparently got a deal worth £120k p/w on a Bosman

    Kolasinac over 4 years would cost the club £25,000,000

    Even though we paid £8 million for Tavares, and will lose Kolasinac for free

    The outlay on Tavares is less than half the price

    It’s also easier to sell a player earning £800k p/a, than it is to sell one earning £6.2 million p/a

  9. Dissenter

    Pedro
    “Now, there’s a little bit of misleading context there. We’ve played City and Chelsea, the two best teams in the world, and we played them when we were in pieces with covid issues. Take them out and our shots per game looks a little healthier at 17.”

    Not sure
    Had we set up for City, Chelsea ort Liverpool the way we did at Brighton, we would have been shellacked. Brighton are still struggling with putting away chances.

  10. Ernest Reed

    “Just throw in the goals he ought to have scored, and you’ll see that I’m right.”

    How can you be right when the FACTS tell the exact opposite, EB? Football, as with every sport, works in what HAS happened and not what COULD HAVE happened.

    The revisionism on display from some of you is bluntly astounding in its ridiculousness.

  11. Dissenter

    I prefer a striker like Ivan Toney, an athletic monster that will batter defences even if he’s not playing well.
    That’s why Tammy Abraham was a big loss…and I can’t stop resenting Lacazette for refusing to leave to make squad space for Tammy’s exit.

    There have to be young and hungry strikers like Ivan Toney in the Championship. Villa and Everton will ask for a King’s ransom for either of their strikers.

  12. Pedro

    Diss, think we’d have given City and Chelsea better games of football… particularly Chelsea. Might not have won, but the performances would have been better for longer.

  13. Jamie

    Nice piece today. I can’t vouch for anyone else, but I much prefer reading about what Arteta should be improving on, not all the mitigating circumstances as to why we’ve seen very little improvement to date.

    We’ve been defensively solid since not long after his arrival. We absolutely need to consistently score more goals. Next 3 games are crucial.

  14. azed

    We do know this:

    We are not scoring enough goals in the Premier League.

    This has been the theme of Arteta’s tenure and he’s almost two years into reign.

    Pedro

    Maybe it’s time to admit that Arteta would not be that super sexy attacking manager you envision him to be.

  15. Chris

    Another interminable interlull, and in a months time there will be yet another.

    I want Wenger to have his ideas for a revamp of the football calendar pushed through, all so we can put an end to all this nonsense. One set of qualifiers over 6 weeks is it? I would absolutely prefer that over the constant stop start of the domestic season.

    Luckily there is plenty of other sport on to distract from the monotony of these qualifiers.

  16. Graham

    Surprising – we had people in the blog arguing that Ramsdale is a fake story even when there were reports of us making a 3rd bid etc. They couldn’t believe we want him and we’re going to pay 30m for him.

    I think to be fair that was in fact Pedro

    August 16 main post

    “ Then we get to this goalkeeping issue. We have a child as our backup keeper right now. Our main interest this summer is a £30m keeper that has all the hallmarks of Richard Wright. Namely, he looks decent getting 50 shots powered at him every day, but what does that tell you about suitability in a system where you’ll be dealing with 3 decent shots a game? We don’t have much money as it is, we’ve not added a single creative player to the system, we’re down a striker, a right-back, and a CAM… are we really going to blow that much money on a keeper no one can suss? ……. What the f*ck are our analysts looking at with Aaron Ramsdale to indicate that he is £30m worth of talent in a deflated market that has Onana going for £10m?”

    L

  17. Davi

    Can’t remember his name, but Ivan Toney’s striker partner (Mbuemo?) looks pretty good also – well-rounded and possibly more of a goalscorer?

  18. izzo

    Reality always bites. We aren’t scoring goals like an Arsenal team should. Its not good enough. Its going to end badly. Arteta and his crew don’t have what it takes. Why are we prolonging the inevitable. End of season we won’t be anywhere near 4th or (lol) Europa League places. Just sack this project and try something new already. Boring AF!!!

  19. Chris

    Pedro

    It sounds crazy I know, what I can’t stand is playing 3 domestic rounds, an international break, play another 4 games, another break, play another 4 games etc. It’s frustratingly stop start and makes it harder to build consistent form.

    We are going to have a 6 week break next mid season anyway for the WC, I know that the tournament provides more of a fix than the qualifiers themselves, but we will get to see how that might work anyway I guess.

  20. Chris

    Pedro

    I was thinking more like play 14/15 games in the league, then the extended break to take care of the international qualifiers, and then the rest of the domestic season uninterrupted.

    If Arsene gets his way I would think it would play out something like that anyway?

    I actually wouldn’t appreciate a Christmas break, can’t beat the nostalgia of the Boxing Day games.

  21. G

    Wasn’t bothered spending 30 on Ramsdale considering we sold a keeper for 18-20mill..

    Also reckon we’ll be above manu by the time we play them

  22. Chris

    Pedro

    If I was a betting man I’d say probably not, FIFA and UEFA at loggerheads over it. Although it wouldn’t surprise me to see FIFA force it through, given they have a lot of support from confederations other than Europe/SA and there is a shit ton of money to be made.

    What I would say is there is surely a better way to handle the flash between club and international football than it is in its present format, which is undoubtedly outdated. Wenger is right when he says nobody cares about watching Faroe Islands vs Albania, outside of this countries. Even worse watching an Italy squash an Andorra 7-0. If there is a practical way to change all this for the better then it should absolutely be explored.

  23. Matt B

    Rap: ‘Must have something to do with shelling 80m in defence, for 2 players that were not universally recognized’

    You mean not recognised by you and others on here? Ramsdale was called up to the England squad at the Euros. Bielsa had put a bid in for BW the season before which had been rejected by everyone’s favourite (on here at least), Graham Potter. And as we know Ramsdale had been supporters player of the season 2-years running.

    So yeh, not universally recognised by the ‘experts’ on Le Grove, just by those that actually matter, and make a difference, in the ‘real’ football world

  24. Matt B

    Apart from the ‘experts’ on here who make judgements without seeing players actually kick a ball, some of us actually wait for the evidence before chucking our toys out the pram

    Which is exactly what you and many others on here did, hence the bedwetter shout, completely justified in this instance

  25. zacharse

    seems like the gods are pissing on stan k

    reports of problems w the LA stadium. didnt bother to read but sounds as though the roof leaks prett badly, delayed the nfl game?

  26. Matt B

    Pedro: Ah yes, good shout…

    Leno’s fee to Arsenal back in 2018 was £22.5M

    Ramsdale’s fee was £25.2M (rising potentially to £30M)

    At the moment, Ramsdale looks twice the keeper Leno is.

    He’ll make a mistake soon enough, as all keeper’s do, but we know that many of the usual suspects will be on here straight away gloating.

  27. Dissenter

    ‘reports of problems w the LA stadium. didn’t bother to read but sounds as though the roof leaks prett badly, delayed the nfl game?”

    Every project of that size will have niggling problems which are typically accounted for
    The builder will handle it and it will be covered by the builder’s insurance.

    You really think Stan K is staying up late because some roof is leaking.
    The other day, the roof plumbing at the Redskins stadium burst and rained shot down on hundreds of people. Stuff happens

  28. Matt B

    Rap: While with White and Ramsdale we are talking about a huge amount of doe that the club committed to the wish of Arteta. Huge risk

    Did you feel that Leno was a huge risk at £22.5M back in 2018? Did you fuck

  29. Pedro

    Matt, he’s an absolutely elite signing. Perplexing to start with, but as soon as you started digging and hearing other fans talk about him, it was clear he wasn’t going to be shit.

  30. Dissenter

    Zach
    A simple newly built single family home will give a home owner a 90-100 day warranty on repairs
    How much time do you think a commercial builder will provide for a 5 billion dollar project?
    Whatever repairs will be done wont be on Kroenke’s dime, Kroenke may actually make money off them if he decides to seek damages.

  31. Upstate Gooner

    “Arsenal rank 10th in the league for shots on goal according to the Premier League data. We’ve had 92 shots across 7 games. That’s 13 a game.

    Now, there’s a little bit of misleading context there. We’ve played City and Chelsea, the two best teams in the world, and we played them when we were in pieces with covid issues. Take them out and our shots per game looks a little healthier at 17.”

    This is really annoying… it’s like saying that if we don’t count the first 3 games, then we’re undefeated in the league. Or better yet, if you only count our game against Spurs, then we play fantastic free flowing football, and have a goal difference of +2. Except that we’re not and we don’t. We lost the first three games because we’re shite. We beat a shite Norwich team on a goal that could’ve been ruled offside. We beat Burnley on a free kick that could have been easily defended (in fact, if I’m Pope, I’m pissed at my wall for not even attempting to jump). We were lucky to draw with Brighton who outplayed and outmanaged us throughout the full 90 minutes. So yeah, it’s all great and dandy but it’s like saying that “if grandma had a dick she’d be a grandpa”.

    As for Saliba – fantastic news… hopefully, he’ll be playing under a different manager when his Arsenal time comes.

  32. Pedro

    Upstate, when you are looking at shot creation and two of your games were against the best two team in the world… and United haven’t played the best two teams in the world, the sample is skewed. That is just a fact of sampling. Add in the context that we were massively depleted for both games and you have an even worse sample.

    Just basics and why reading too much into 7 games is a fools game.

  33. Johnno

    We appear to be stuck in the old narrative – arteta – yes or no.

    But I see a club that bought and grown potential. Team is young and coach proof. I thought arteta had promise abs still do. However I have been alarmed by his slow learning curve. A few months ago that concerned me. But now I think it’s irrelevant.

    We come 5th – well done – he will get z as new deal and most will like that.
    6Th – mission accomplished for this season. Carry on
    7th. Meh. Job in jeopardy
    8th +. Gone

    the only people that should care about this season is the owners (as fans what’s another year ?)

    Do as a fan – I see only upside. This side could be very good. Whether it’s under arteta or another – I don’t really give a shit.

  34. Vintage Gun

    Regarding GK’s, i’m really impressed with Ramsdale. Really impressed.
    He was the only summer signing that i was against but from his first interview through to his last match against Brighton the kid has been class. In performance and personality.

    He’ll have his ups and downs along the way, but it’s clear he has passion and a love for the shirt, and the way he has rose to the challenge thus far under massive pressure to hit the ground running deserves a mention.

    He gets my vote and hope he continues to grow.

  35. Nigel Tufnel

    Raptora,

    From yesterday which I just read… let me ask you….

    ? Do you ever realize, that when you’re giving your view on one of our players, like Ben White yesterday, that you sound exactly like someone who is biased against him and Arsenal. Basically, (and I’m not trying to be funny) you sound like a spurs fan reviewing Arsenal players in the worst possible light.?

    I mean, as harsh, as negatively, as demeaning as possible. The terms you use to make him sound completely inept?

    For example, you treat our new guy, the same way I talk about the piece of sh1t Harry Kane.

    He’s Mr. Speech impediment, dirty player, 2 footed dirty tackles against opponents late in games where they’ve lost and frustrated. His cheap faking going for a header duel and ducking to injure the opposing player.

    His diving for penalties.

    The fact that he did nothing in huge games in the last world cup and Euros. England might very well have won both tournaments if Jamie Vardy was playing instead.

    Complains about never winning a trophy with Spurs but never got them to win an fa cup even as their star.

    Now there’s England and spurs fan Boys who will take exception to all that, as well as biased media. I realize I’m being quite negative. As a gooner I’m supposed to be.

    The thing is, I love Arsenal, and I’m supposed to treat Kane like that.

    Why do you treat our new guy with descriptions that make him seem a failure and worthless? A guy we supporters are hoping will be a key for the next 10 years.
    I’m sure you put him down before he ever played a game for us.

    You’re reading of the first game against Brentford is super negative compared to how some of us see it.

    You showing clips and saying Kane (a filthy spud) should have had a penalty off him. Why would you be pushing points like that?

    Doesn’t make sense if you like Arsenal.

    You really don’t sound like an Arsenal fan. The same way Bamford never sounded like an Arsenal fan.

    And by the way, if Ben White or anybody else has a bad match, I’ll talk about it honestly here right after. I won’t go on 2 months later as you are about White at Brentford. And you are being overly critical considering the circumstances of that day.

    And why wouldn’t an Arsenal supporter (as you say you are), not highlight the fact of the recent and substantial defensive record with him acclimating with Gabriel (who I admit has been our most important player).

    Basically, I’m asking, what the hell did your father do to you, to make you this way?

  36. Guns of SF

    The fact that he did nothing in huge games in the last world cup and Euros. England might very well have won both tournaments if Jamie Vardy was playing instead.

    This is true.
    Also, lets not discount the coward Southgate who had his nuts cut off before the game started. Wrong line up and should have gone guns blazing at home against italians

  37. LoveSausage

    Pedro,

    Agreed with the big question in this post. I think one of the things dividing the fan base right now is whether scoring more goals is just the next step in the evolution of the team (Arteta supporters) or something that’s mutually exclusive with the negative football being played (Arteta critics). I believe the next 4-5 games will give us the answer.

    I strongly disagree with going after DCL/Watkins. The top teams in this league seem to be doing just fine against the Burnleys of this world without an old school English-style center. That’s mid table stuff. Granted, Chelsea has one now but his physicality wasn’t the primary reason they bought Lukaku. It was that Werner couldn’t finish if his life depended on it.

  38. Pierre

    Personally I would have the international qualifiers in pre season..
    So instead of the players getting match fit with their respective clubs, they can do it away on international duty and then they can come back to their clubs ready for the new season.

    The other benefit of this is it gives the club managers a chance to assess young players in pre season or players on the periphery of the team .

    This would mean no qualifiers at all during the season as it would all be done and dusted by possibly the end of August…

  39. Leedsgunner

    Dusan Vlahovic is refusing to sign a new contract. I wonder if Florentina will consider taking Torreira (he’s on loan there from us) and Lacazette in a straight two for one swap?

  40. China1

    Zacharse yesterday you said Emery was garbage and he went. Wenger lost the plot and he went.

    What was last season?

    We came 8th for the second time in a row. We were near the relegation zone until Christmas. We didn’t win or compete for a cup. We went out of Europe for the first time in a quarter of a century. We broke literally countless negative records.

    People keep acting like last season never happened and people ave unfairly criticized Arteta.

    If wenger and Emery were garbage in the end then how can you possibly conclude that Arteta is not whilst doing worse than either of them ever came close to managing last season?

    Stop moving the goal posts.

  41. China1

    People literally had standards for the last ten years and then something clicked in people’s minds and somehow standards just don’t matter any more. Things can slip. The same shit that previous managers got crucified for are now acceptable.

    I don’t know if it’s some hipster fan thinking just because Arteta is young and a pep wannabe or something but either we have standards or we don’t. You cannot hold previous managers to elite standards and the current one has no fricking targets and just empty statements like ‘if he fails he will go’ after he’s already tanked a season and *not* gone.

    People having their cake and eating it, it’s ridiculous. If people wanna bend over backwards to accommodate artetas arsenal, fine. But if you’ll in the same sentence diss Emery and wenger you have absolutely no credibility on that

  42. China1

    And any comment that refers to the player poverty and ness that Arteta inhereted whilst simultaneously ignoring that Emery walked into an absolute car crash squad and wasn’t even allowed to sign all his own players, let alone 200m worth is having a laugh.

    If Arteta had inherited wengers squad like Emery and came 5th and a EL final the same folks who rightly say Emery failed would be calling it a marvelous success for Arteta.

  43. Guns of SF

    Southgate is a pussy.
    The final was in his backyard and he choked. He played ultra conservative. Who does that against Italy? A team that Spain really should have knocked out.
    I like England and was dissapointed they lost but really, they had this and blew it. I put that on Southgate. Putting on 3 cold subs before PK’s is amatuerish to me.
    Shame he wasted that attacking talent on the bench. should have gone guns fucking blazing in the final in your house.

  44. Leedsgunner

    It appears to me that Nico Pepe and Arteta doesn’t see things eye to eye; both parties are trying to accommodate each other which is positive… (that’s why he is on the bench) but time is running out.

    Either Pepe needs to change and give Arteta what the coach wants or Arteta needs to admit that he can’t make Pepe better.

    Pepe is nearing three seasons with us and beyond the point where we keep hoping that he comes good.

    However because of the ridiculous price we paid for him we’re going to admit that we will only sell him on if we admit to a huge loss.

    One way to avoid that?

    Sell him back to Lille… and suggest a player swap for Jonathan David who is valued in transfermarkt at £36m… then agree that no more instalments for Pepe would be made.

    I think from memory we paid £22m upfront and we agreed to pay £10m for the next 5 seasons… which means so far Pepe has cost us £42m so far.

    Pepe returns to a club who understands him and in return we receive a seasoned young striker.

    Doable and reasonable? I can see Pepe’s wages being a problem though…

  45. Leedsgunner

    Oops, Jonathan David valued at £31.50m not £36m…and funny enough that is what Pepe is worth at the moment! So a straight swap is even more reasonable…

  46. bacaryisgod

    Rich

    This summer we lost Luiz, Mustafi, Sokratis who left for nothingLuiz reported £120 p/w
    Mustafi £90k p/w
    Sokratis £90k p/w£300k p/w saved, over 5 years that’s
    £78,000,000

    I really don’t know where to start with this one, but needless to say you don’t take a 5 year into the future cost of players you’ve just got rid of. Mustafi was loaned out to Schalke for half the season and then left the club. Sokratis was also given a free transfer in January. Luiz contract expired this summer.

    The savings (ie. what we spent last season on those players) are are probably about 14m not 78m. You don’t extrapolate out over 5 years for unwanted players!

  47. bacaryisgod

    Leedsgunner

    Pepe making about 7m per year and David making 2m per year would kill that deal even if Lille wanted him back (which by and large doesn’t tend to work). David has just been with them for about a year. Nice thought but no go!

  48. bacaryisgod

    Guns-it really doesn’t work that way. Not one of those players had a chance of staying 5 years longer at the club. Never seen a budget that looks remotely like that.

  49. S Asoa

    ” If Auba was firing on all cylinders we’d be top of the league. Just throw in the goals he ought to have scored, and you’ll see that I’m right. And therein lies our problem upfront. ”
    That is the elephant in the room. But mention who is responsible for shitty tactics of not playing to Auba strength, instead force him to helplessly chase the balls, and love for Arteta overflows and drowns all reason

  50. raptora

    englandsbest: “If Auba was firing on all cylinders we’d be top of the league. Just throw in the goals he ought to have scored, and you’ll see that I’m right. And therein lies our problem upfront.”

    If Auba was firing on all cylinders he would’ve surely changed the outcome of our games vs City and Chelsea, and also vs Brentford when he didn’t play at all. Seriously.

  51. zacharse

    china
    let’s be clear, i didn’t have anything to do w the goalposts being moved but i concede that they definitely were, by ownership presumably-and a clear transfer window strategy was probably the result as well as artetas continued employment.
    I understand the strategy of hanging on to a rookie and letting him learn. I understand why it looks safer than to throw endless $ at guys like conte from ownership standpoint esp. after the pepe purchase. If they’re going to give him 150m and presumably another 50 in january, i expect to see us 4th or 5th- or at the very worst holding our own and taking some points of big clubs- i expect there’s gonna be more days like brighton.
    as for the comparisons, emery started strong and went to shit. the football was never convincing and we had a lot of luck during that big run. when it started to fall apart it never got close to coming back, primarily because the football was shit. arteta hasn’t followed that example so not a good comparison. we’re not consistently shit getting worse. wenger though-do we really have to go there?
    It was definitely a shitty season last year. Arteta was the least of our problems then and now. The football’s not there yet i get it, personnally i like watching young teams find their legs and i like underdogs and that’s why i like what’s going on and I’m game for it. If he finishes outside 5th and doesn’t get fired are you going to blame me for not spazzing out and spending 5 hours a day on here raging?

  52. China1

    I won’t blame you for not spazzing out as you say but I will blame you for having a dry diaper!

    Comparisons between Emery and Arteta really are fair, tho. Emery was filling the shoes of a legendary manager. Can you imagine how hard that is? You can ask Moyes who was well respected until he went to Utd and it’s taken him years and years to return to respectability

    The squad Emery inherited was awful. It didn’t have a midfield. Ozil (troublemaker). Ramsey (injury prone, fishing to leave, didn’t help the defense enough). Xhaka (say no more). He had Guen playing half the games who most people think is hardly Partey. Torreira as well failed. Ceballos too in time.

    In defense it was holding and Sok. Mustafi as well. Bellerin stinking the house out at RB. Leno was good in those days. We had zero wingers in the squad. Iwobi, who is not good enough to start every week for Everton was a key player out wide sometimes. Welbeck too! Auba also sometimes shoehorned onto the wing

    That season we were an Auba penalty miss and a bad EL final away from having had an excellent season. I don’t think people appreciate how hard that was.

    But regardless I’m not here to defend Emery, I wanted him gone after the EL final.

    But my point is we called Emery a failure but Arteta did worse in his second season. That’s really what it comes down to for me

  53. China1

    As well whilst Emery all was full as hell, artetaball is equally as drab besides a tiny handful of matches to date

  54. raptora

    China: “But my point is we called Emery a failure but Arteta did worse in his second season. That’s really what it comes down to for me”

    But Arteta speaks and looks better than Emery. Surely that matters more than our play and results.

  55. zacharse

    china i agree w most of that but key differences
    emery was snowballing and arteta is, with 10 more out of next 12, doing the opposite
    squad emery had had experience and ‘intelligence that got worse over time and the dregs of it were what arteta had to work w for 18 months, give or take 15 games for partey and more for gab mag

  56. raptora

    On top of the €500,000 loan fee, Mislintat said of a future deal for Mavropanos: “We have an obligatory purchase option of €3 million if we remain in the league. There’s also an option if we get relegated. In both instances, we have the opportunity to take him. I think it’s relatively clear what will happen with him.”

    Shite business if I’ve ever seen one. What a horrible garbage deal they made.

  57. raptora

    I read Barcelona scored less than 5 goals for the first time this season. I assume the difference in qualify between the teams in female football is bigger than in male football.

  58. Graham62

    For my sins, I like Lacazette and what he brings to the team. I would also like to say that, based on the past few months, he’s a better option than Aubameyang.
    Arteta though has his favourites but I think it’s a travesty that he’s being ignored.

  59. Globalgunner

    I like Laca too. He is a warrior that battles defenders and hunts for the ball. He is also more likely to produce a goal out of nothing than Auba these days who is all about waiting in the box for ESR or Saka to produce a bit of magic. He has done well for us. If I had to choose Id keep him and let the other go. If you are up against a tough team Auba offers very little

  60. Steg

    Emery was at Arsenal from May 2018 to November 2019. So two full summer transfer windows, but i still think he was hard done by and needed more time to get rid of the players who were no longer up for it and bring in the players he wanted. I rate him as a manager.

    Give Arteta till the end of the year by which time we should hopefully start to see the vision, if not Potter or the lad at Nottingham Forest would get my vote – modern, sensible managers. I don’t have any time for Conte fanboys – the man is a walking timebomb

    I just think that about most managerial sackings happen too quickly though.

    As for new signings – id love Watkins as he is very modern footballer (presses well and can finish) – I assume though that had we signed him from Brentford Arsenal would have been pilloried for a lack of ambition etc etc.

  61. raptora

    In general, when Auba offers very little it’s because our team in attack offers very little.
    I see your point that Laca could do a better job when we don’t get a sniff of the ball, but even in counterattacking football Auba is also better than him. I agree that Laca can do more if he is left in the wild to deal on his own with several players, like Auba was Vs Brighton. But in every other situation Auba gives you more.

    Arteta’s job is to make sure that when he plays Auba, his team will play football and not whatever it was vs Brighton. If we’re going to produce close to nothing, just play Laca.

    Why we didn’t play our game vs Brighton is still a mystery. It’s fine adapting your game plan to the opposition, but versus the big teams. That Arteta didn’t have the courage to go and try to outplay an average squad speaks a volume about the believe he has in his team and in himself.

    He was perfectly alright with sustaining pressure for 90 mins straight. Versus Brighton. Not City, Pool, Chelsea, Manure, not even Leicester, Villa, Everton or West Ham.

    Brighton.

  62. raptora

    Steg: “I assume though that had we signed him from Brentford Arsenal would have been pilloried for a lack of ambition etc etc.”

    You are wrong there, as at least the fans in here do love a relatively low profile player. We had people asking for Bissouma not sure maybe 2 years ago. We had love for Max Aarons and Buendia. I was pushing hard for Anguissa from Fulham.

    Watkins scored 25 goals in the Championship and is no mean feat. That being said, I’d still rather take Calvert-Lewin than him.

  63. bacaryisgod

    By the way, it’s a slow news day when Pedro turns over the blog to Statpro for some informercial. I hope Pedro’s getting paid to promote this because he works hard enough on the site for minimal compensation, but if so it really should be announced as an advertisement.

  64. The Bard

    I’ve posted before. This is our biggest handicap. Auba is most effective whe we break quickly and he can get behind defences. He’s next to useless if we have to play through because his link up play is hopeless and he cant hold the ball up. Not sire what the solution is except spend a fortune on another striker. I thought Abrahams was a good shout.

  65. Up 4 grabs now

    Morning,

    i keep banging on about it, but we should be able to play two strikers in the majority of games,
    if thats a 442, 4312, 4132 or a 352.
    this will help with the scoring issue.

    yes play more in midfield or more defensively if we’re playing the likes of United, city, Chelsea or the Bindippers but most of the other teams in the league are not going to overrun us in midfield, especially if we up our possession game a little more.

    we struggle to score, if Auba plays as the loan striker, he drifts out left, and we have no one in the box.
    Our midfielders are not frank Lampard or Stevie G clones who will be bursting into the box to score 15-20 goals a season from midfield.

    We dont play with actual wingers consistently, whose job is to create, or cut inside. that know they have full backs behind them that can cope with defending so they aren’t constantly defending instead of pressing themselves.

    we accommodate the likes of xhaka in the side to fill in at left back while Tierney gets forward as a part time winger. this leaves midfield light, and just means partey is left on his own.

    Theres nothing wrong with flying fullbacks but they need to build up that understanding with the player in front of them, so they know when to go, and when to sit back.

    if we want more from the likes of Pepe, we need him and Tommy to build up a good understanding.
    and Tierney & Saka as well.
    if you have two strikers Auba can still drift out like Henry used to do.

    but you still have Lacazette/ Martinelli/Eddie or Balogun as a presence in the box, which can cause problems for Center-backs.

    if you have two strikers, its splits Center-backs apart as well. which creates gaps for players to run into.
    it also can confuse defenders who dont know if they should stick or go with a striker. which might cause hesitation which can be the difference in a player getting away into space.

    right now we have no presence in the box, unless its from a freekick which gives defenders time to reset and get into position.

    in open play they dont have the time and have to make split decisions.
    Two strikers makes it a lot harder to defend against, if one striker is quiet and having a bad game you still have a second player causing problems.
    Right now Auba goes missing for large spells.

    It also gives you a way of switching play while the game is going on, you can be playing a ball over the top for Auba to run onto, the next minute hitting it long for someone lika laca to hold onto the ball and relieve pressure, if the Defence is struggling, Auba cant do that.
    you can also mix up the crossing from wide, cut backs or low balls for the likes of auba and runners and something with more height for the likes of martinelli or laca.

    continuing to do the same thing is just like watching wenger in his stubborn years.
    hopefully Arteta can learn from this

  66. englandsbest

    Wenger’s biennial WC is the worst possible threat to football as every fan twiddling thumbs right now knows very well. It’s an attempt by FIFA to control the game entirely, a kind of super league setup that will benefit them, not Clubs. How long will it take before it becomes an annual competition?

    IMO two properly set up European Super leagues is a good idea – the Yankee owners (primarily Liverpool) screwed the idea by demanding exclusivity and permanence – the kind they have in the States. In the proper way, entry would be open to the majority of clubs – those with the essential facilities – which means that the clubs would be competing in their domestic leagues as well.And the extra money wuld ave gone to the Clubs, not FIFA.

    I don’t mean to offend the French but they have a historic habit of setting up supra-national organizations that, well-meaning or not, turn out to be corrupt. FIFA is one of them. With Brexit,, and Merkel gone, how much hope can there be for yet another French inspiration.

  67. Pierre

    It’s no wonder that Arsenal were poor offensively v Brighton as Aubameyang’s first touch was atrocious and we all know( or should do) that the first touch is the important touch, get that right and the game becomes so much easier…

    Denis Bergkamp had an exquisite first touch which was a godsend for ian wright , Anelka and Henry as they knew they could make a run and he would deliver with perfect weight on the ball.

    Odegaard and smith rowe have a decent first touch but as yet i haven’t seen the vision for the defence splitting pass, maybe it is a skill you are born with as the timing has to be spot on, the door is only ajar for a fraction of a second and then the opportunity is gone.

  68. CG

    u4g

    “”””I keep banging on about it, but we should be able to play two strikers in the majority of games,””””

    Keep banging.

    ‘””The quality of your center forwards in the prem ultimately makes the difference””‘ …..Fergie’s sentiments.

    Think Henry /Arsenal
    Think Salah/ Liverpool
    Think Cole and York Man Utd
    Think Wengers nemesis Drogba./Chelsea

    Re- signing Odegaard and extending Xhaka really reduces your chances of ever playing 2 or 3 center forwards a game.

    I can’ t think of many managers out there that have Laca, Martinelli, Balogun and Eddie and even Pepe and refuse to utilize them in pairs.

    In that pouring Brighton rain Sat , Fergie or even a Conte I suspect would have shuffled the pack have played 442 and gone direct against their big plodders.

  69. Nelson

    Just read that the last game, our XG is 0.32 and our opponent’s XG is 2.94. Was our coach present on the sideline? How come he didn’t change the formation or do something to correct this during the game until the two Subs? That’s not good enough.

  70. Up 4 grabs now

    CG,

    Odegaard i can live with, xhaka is just a waste of resources, should have cut our losses 2-3 years ago.

    wengers early years, chasing a game lets have 4 strikers on for the last 15- 20 minutes.
    fergie was the same.

    at some point you have to risk it, not all the time but at least you need to try.
    nothing is more frustrating when you play one up top and replace like for like.

    sometimes you have to overload the box with strikers and pressure the opposition defence.

    i cant remember the last time i saw that.
    10 minutes to go and its pass it back to the keeper which relieves the pressure on defences.
    then recycle the ball to xhaka!!!!

  71. englandsbest

    In defence of Arteta sticking to the routine set-up (against Brighton in the rain) is that he is trying to make it ‘routine’, second-nature, instinctive. Even so, he should have substituted Auba, strenthened midfield.

  72. Pierre

    Arsenal away matches v the likes of brentford’ brighton’ villa , west ham , watford, Everton , Burnley leicester and a few more tend to be physical affairs and this season from what i have seen , they will be more physical than ever…

    In these type of games we can’t afford passengers, the players have to be brave on the ball and brave off the ball

    Aubameyang and Odegaard are neither, we lnow that Aubameyang plays in self preservation mode , meaning he rarely gets involved on the physical side of the game and will not put his foot/head/body in where it hurts , but i have been watching Odegaard very closely and he is the master at looking busy but just keeps enough distance from the opposition so that he doesnt get involved in the physical aspect of the game.

    I will just add that i really like Odegaard when he has time on the ball , his passing is crisp and precise , he rarely gives the ball away and although not a risk taker, he is very good at linking the play when he has time..

    However, Odegaard is another who plays in self preservation mode and I’m not sure the team can afford 2 players who play this way in tough physical away games.

    Odegaard is neither brave on the ball or brave off the ball,
    he doesn’t attempt to commit the opposition player when he is on the ball as he knows it will mean physical contact
    he doesn’t attempt to dribble with the ball as he lnows it will mean physical contact.
    He doesn’t attempt to head the ball as he lnows it means physical contact
    He doesnt get close enough to tackle the opposition as he lnows it will mean physical contact.

    As i said he is very good on the ball when he has time but he has mastered the art of avouding the physical aspect of the game., and i have to say he is very good at it…

  73. CG

    u4g

    ”””wengers early years, chasing a game lets have 4 strikers on for the last 15- 20 minutes.
    fergie was the same.”””””’

    Those were the days…..

    The imperious A. Wenger one of the few managers who used to bring on x 3 attacking subs on in a game when the team is 3 zero up.

    Most shut up shop and close the game out, not him.

    Wenger and especially Fergie used their array of center forwards to devastating affects, late on in the games.

    Why Arsenal and Arteta didnt make x 3 attacking subs on at half time against Brighton is beyond me.

    We only have x 31 games left.- what’s he waiting for! ( Christmas again! )

  74. Kroenkephobe

    In defence of Arteta

    EB
    In order to help new readers, it might be prudent if you started EVERY message you post on here with that little but oh-so-revealing phrase. 🤓

  75. CG

    Pierre

    Are you basically saying Odegaard can only play on that big pitch at the Emirates and is not really cut out for away fixtures where the grass aint cut as short?

  76. Nelson

    I thing one reason that makes Luka Modrić such a good passer in midfield is that he can pass the ball with inside of his right foot and outside of his right foot accurately. It can give the ball a different trajectory to pass the opponent. Arteta insists to have right footer on the right and left footer on the left. It did allow the player to have a better passing lane to the full back. Unless you are as good as Modrić, then it doesn’t matter.

  77. Up 4 grabs now

    CG

    True wenger never used to shut up shop very often, there was a few times he should have done which cost us though.

    in 66 league games under Arteta we have only hit 3 goals or more 16 times in that period, about 22%
    of games.

    The last two seasons we scored 55 and 56 goals over a 38 game league season.
    just to get back to top four levels i think we probably need to be hitting the 70 mark
    Either that or tightening so far up at the back that were conceding 25-28 across the whole season.
    since we’ve conceded 10 already and only scored 5 im not holding my breath.

    The defence has tightened up though so at least it seems to be improving.
    without two strikers or a major upgrade in the forward areas i just cant see us hitting 70 plus goals though.

  78. raptora

    Up4: “i just cant see us hitting 70 plus goals though”

    Cause we won’t be scoring 70 goals under Arteta ever. If we keep on going with Arteta’s low percentage moves like blind Tierney crosses to no one and Partey shots to the moon.

  79. raptora

    If we keep on going with Arteta’s low percentage moves like blind Tierney crosses to no one and Partey shots to the moon we’re probably going to end with the same amount of goals scored as the 2 seasons before – 55 and 56.

  80. China1

    Arsenal winning 1-0? Bring on 3 strikers!

    Those days were terrifying but it paid off most of the time lol

    And when it did it was very satisfying

  81. Up 4 grabs now

    In the last 10 years the team thats finished 5th and missed out on top four
    eight times out of ten haven’t hit 70 goals.

    The two times 70 plus goals were scored and the team missed out was both 5th placed Arsenal
    conceding 51 and 44.respectively.

    all the teams that finished fifth over the last ten years the average goals conceded was 50.4
    all the teams that finished forth over the last ten years the average goals conceded was 44.9

    most times the teams conceded 35-41 goals with the exception a few years back when Chelsea conceded 54
    realistically we need to be hitting 70 plus goals and conceding no more than 40 to get back into the top four.

    defensively we could get away with conceding a goal a game for the rest of the season but need to score at least two in every game.
    that means when we play the likes of Norwich, Burnley, Watford Newcastle etc we need to be hitting them for goals not nicking one nil wins.

    Either that or we revert back to the George graham days and win every week 1-0
    3 points is the most important thing!

  82. Kris

    “Gabriel Martinelli is considering his future at Arsenal – according to The Mirror.
    The 20-year-old forward is growing “anxious” over a lack of playing time, having only featured in two Premier League games for the Gunners so far this term.
    Martinelli has been an unused substitute in Arsenal’s last fives matches in all competitions, and may seek a January move if his situation doesn’t improve soon.”

    Should he go on a loan? A player of his age needs to play regularly, and we all know he does have potential so losing him could be another Gnabry situation.

  83. raptora

    White is one of those players that didn’t watch football when he was young and he’s still not watching any football now. He chose to have a football career ahead of cricket.

  84. raptora

    Who’s the most skillful player in the squad?

    White: Let me go Gabriel Martinelli.

    Who’s the hardest to play against in the squad, one that always gives you hard time?

    White: I’m going to say Eddie (Nketiah).

  85. Nelson

    One think I noticed is that Arteta seems to be able to use the water break well. Maybe we should request to have a water break whenever we play. Ha!

  86. Positive pete

    Kroenkephobe- excellent idea- can we also apply that to the “ bedwetters” who regularly bore us to death.Perhaps an image of a soggy mattress & a screaming child for the newbies to be aware of…..

  87. China1

    Are we still using bed wetter as a derogatory term???

    I for one think the smell of stale piss in the morning is rather fragrant

  88. China1

    What happened to almunia and his stories?

    They are my favourite thief about arsenal this season clean sheets aside

  89. Globalgunner

    China: Positive Pete aka Pedro was not happy with Arteta being the butt of Almunia`s jokes so he basically banned his blog escapism. .

  90. China1

    Almunias stories were literally awesome tho

    Surely even the most ardent of Arteta lover had to appreciate how good they were

  91. China1

    Pedro seriously man if you banned almunias stories I don’t understand

    Forget Arteta in or out or any of that shit IT WAS HILARIOUS

  92. China1

    Almunia if you’re out there reading this, please give us a sign….

    By dropping to your knees and fumbling with your zipper

  93. CG

    u4g

    ”””’CG. True wenger never used to shut up shop very often, there was a few times he should have done which cost us though.”””””””””’

    Yes, undoubtedly.
    Eg, the Spurs 4-4 classic/debacle.

    In Wengers last season his team in the x 19 HOME games scored x 54 goals only 2nd to City’s 60.( some mess he left……?.!)

    in Arteta’s last x 22 HOME games his team has scored just x28 goals.

    And multi millions have been spent post Wenger.

    A. Wenger like all the great managers ( Klopp. Fergie ) believed in attacking players and attacking formations and goals!

  94. Nigel Tufnel

    Piling more strikers on the pitch does not equal more goals.

    Man City is the proof. They’ve basically been doing without a striker for a season or 2, more really, because when he was injured it was no like replacement..

    Liverpool too. It just proves that the most successful and dangerous attacks have more skill players on the pitch and use that to get around traditional setups.

  95. englandsbest

    China1

    No reason for panic. I am looking forward to writing an ‘almuniasaynomorere’ myself. I can picture the scene now, the doomsters gathered together on a murky rainy night trying to figure out an explanation of how they got Arteta so very, very wrong. Using pseudonyms of course, I wouldn’t want to embarrass them.

  96. Graham62

    englandsbest

    ……….I’ll give you another take on that story.

    A small huddle of Arsenal supporters, hankies in hand, wave goodbye to the departing Arteta as the taxi pulls out of the Emirates Stadium.

    How could we get it so wrong? Why couldn’t we see this happening?

    Remember, it’s just an opinion.