RAMSDALE SHINES AS ARSENAL MARCH UP THE TABLE

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I thought I’d take the later post today, see how things pan out, then get into the mixer on the Leicester game.

So overall, we teed up another, THIS IS THE DEFINING moment for the club. The reason Leicester was so important was quite simple, they are a really good side and they will be in the mix for top 4 at the end of the season. We were also dealing with an away game, an area of inconsistency for sure.

Well, we certainly picked up where we left off against Aston Villa. We started with outrageous ferocity, we nearly scored after 2 minutes with Saka weaving his way into the box. For the next 27 minutes or so, we ripped Leicester apart. They had no answer to our pressing, they couldn’t deal with Lacazette, their midfield argued with each other about being overrun, and we actually made the pressure count… twice.

Our first goal came from another corner. Saka on his 100th appearance swung a ball in at the front post, Gabriel bullied his way there and glanced a beauty of a header past Kasper. A great start and another example of the good work Nic Jover is doing with the set-plays this season. He seems to be channelling a bit of that 90s George Graham energy at our corners. He’s also taking advantage of the fact most of our corners for 10 years haven’t made it past the front post… now that’s an asset.

You have to note that this happened on minute 5. We are early starters now, something we were not last season. This is how Klopp transformed Liverpool in the early days. He also had fitness challenges. Unai Emery let his side tire themselves out in the Europa Final, then pulled them apart after 60 minutes. Plenty to work on, but I love that we come out the traps.

Saka was in the mixer for the second goal, his run into the box found Lacazette, who was tackled, but the spillover ball fell to ESR who stroked his shot past Kasper. Our young superstar #10 has 2 goals and 3 assists in 10 Premier League appearances. Kind of special as Mesut Ozil is out of the Fenerbache squad for an away game they lost with no injury. Has anyone tweeted him to Trust the Process?

The opening 27 minutes was beastly. It was an absolute scene to look at. The only thing missing was another two goals. When this project is further down the line, we’re doing what City did to Brighton last week. You give them no way back, so when the energy levels drop, you’ve already broken the opposition.

The next phase of the game was equally impressive. Johnny said on the podcast that this game was important because you knew we’d been in a fight. I agree. Matt also said during the match that this moment was about character. Did we have the right mentality to deal with the waves of Leicester attacks?

We did. It wasn’t always pretty, but there was a standout defensive performance from the team as a unit, and there were some outrageous individual performances as well.

Aaron Ramsdale really was the star of the show. He is, without doubt, playing to world-class levels in this moment. You can’t argue it. There isn’t a weakness in his game right now. He has found a spectacular level in a short space of time and he’s answering all the questions we had about him emphatically. The big moment was the freekick. Facing into the sun, he somehow managed to scoop out an inch-perfect kick and put it on the bar. Peter Schmeichel said it was one of the best saves he’d seen with his own son on the pitch. There was more to his game than that, his passing was exceptional at times, his command of the box was dominant. He’s even revving up rival fans by finishing their chants for them. It also didn’t go unnoticed that he told Ben White to get the physio out to waste time. You LOVE to see it.

If there were one slight piece of feedback, it would be that his choice of kicking when we’re tired put us under more pressure. Arsenal still has work to do on controlling the game when we don’t have the ball. At the moment, he goes into long ball mode and we don’t really have an outlet to deal with that. This might be part of the strategy, but I don’t think so, because it invites waves of attacks and gives the opposition and their fans the upper hand.

Gabriel was absolutely elite again. He is the rock in the heart of that defence. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a genuinely imposing centre back. Gabriel is raw athlete. He towers over strikers. He’s strong, he’s fast, and his danger awareness has kicked up a level. You want his name on that team sheet, he offers so much assurance from set plays and now… from our very own attacking set plays.

I thought Ben White did a really good job dealing with Jamie Vardy. He used his speed to great effect and snuffed out a lot of early danger. Our full-backs also put in a very good shift. Tomi’s adaptation at 21 has been something special, especially when you watch Emerson Royal over at Spurs dropping 5/10s. Tavares has also been a revelation. His directness going forward has always been a known quantity, but not so much his defending, which has been really, really solid. Arteta went out of his way to credit Edu with that signing, a show that things are good behind the scenes now everything is working.

Back to the game. We had a rough middle part, but the subs that came on changed our style a bit. Odegaard created two chances. Auba was bundled over and Evans should have been sent off. Towards the end of the game, you felt Leicester were spent. We went home with the 3 points and moved up to 5th in the table.

So where are we in the season now?

We’re one of the form sides in Europe now. Spanish papers are writing about the turnaround. Pep was paying attention last week when he said Arsenal are improving one game at a time.

The early season problems can now be seen with mitigating circumstances in mind. Playing Brentford with a covid outbreak is always going to be rough, they put 3 past Liverpool with no injuries. Playing City with a (now) entirely back-up defence was always going to be hard, especially down to 10 men. Chelsea was the same. We’ve even seen this weekend that Palace and Brighton are decent after they took points from Liverpool and City.

It’s time to move away from #ArtetaOut after every result. Everything fans wanted to be addressed has nearly been addressed.

His talent ID along with Edu now looks elite. You can’t knock the signings. They’ve all banged. Outside Runarsson and Willian last summer, hard to not look at Gabriel and Partey as bangers as well.

The football, with ‘his’ players, can hit a level we’ve not seen in a very long time. Spurs, Villa, and Spurs all shone a light on where we’re going as a team over the next two years. No more donut football. There’s movement, speed, range and intensity.

We’re not just copying Manchester City. There’s something different brewing. We’re like a counter-attack specialist team. As a Gooner pal said, this side feels more George Graham than Arsene Wenger. The foundations have been built on an elite defensive system in which the whole team has to be participants… I think that’s quite exciting considering where we were under Emery at one point: Ranked 1st for errors leading to shots. 1st for errors leading to goals. 1st for penalties conceded. 4th for shots faced. 10th for goals conceded. We don’t have days where a Watford like side could pepper our goal with 32 shots. We are hard to play against.

The squad that he’s built and the football that they are producing has the fans on another level. People are bought into the project. Away fans are making loads of noise. Home fans are making loads of noise. Why? Because something special is brewing at Arsenal and we can feel it.

Say it quietly, but you can now say that maybe, just maybe… the table since Christmas a lot of people cried about might have been more predictive of where the squad was going than we gave it credit for. Why? Because we’re actually now sitting in 6th on that same points as the team in 4th (West Ham). We’re 3 points off Manchester City in 3rd and 5 off Liverpool in 2nd. I don’t have to splice a table to tell you that is impressive. I’m sure we won’t be there at the end of the season, but I suspect if we have a good December we’ll be closer to 4th than we thought we’d be after the first 3 games where people were saying we’d finish 8th this season.

There’s still a long, long way to go this season. There are going to be ups and down. The players are going to drop disaster performances along the way. We’ll win some we shouldn’t. We’ll lose some we should win. But it’s time to move away from catastrophising every result because we finally have clarity where the club is heading.

Let’s also laugh at Spurs. Let’s laugh at the Arsenal fans who thought Jose was a power move. Let’s laugh at the fact they hired their 4th choice manager. Let’s laugh that Kane and Nuno had a mega bust-up because he doesn’t want to be there. Let’s laugh that their fans BOOED Harry Kane. Lovely stuff.

Right, that’s me done. I know you want to watch our On The Whistle video where Johnny makes a confession that will SHOCK you to the core. Enjoy, like, and share the work. LOVE YOU ALL x

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301 Responses to “RAMSDALE SHINES AS ARSENAL MARCH UP THE TABLE”

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  1. S Asoa

    There is a consensus that Xakha is keeping Arsenal back. But he has convinced twice by Artera to stay and a salary bump up meaning he can’t be moved. Chalk that up to the credit of Arteta along with Wliams, Runnarson, trying to convince Mustafi to stay, and overpaying desperate amounts to get average White so as to keep Saliba out, no matter what bullshit is spun

  2. LoveSausage

    The aggressive starts are probably the most encouraging sign right now. It says a lot about the attitude in the team. We’re not a bunch of scared chickens anymore. I still don’t like the tendency to fall back and stop playing when we have the lead. That’s not good defending, even if you get away with it. If Rambo hadn’t been world class, this game would have had a different outcome. But either way, extremely important result. Hopefully, we can find ways to maintain aggression and press for longer than 20-30 minutes per game. A young and fit team should be able to do that.

  3. Spanishdave

    We do seem to be unable to keep up our intensity.
    Strange, so it needs sorting out.
    Arteta’s constant sideline coaching confuses the players, so maybe this unsettles them

  4. S Asoa

    It is a good feeling being 6. Hopefully we can crawl to 4. That would be really good and commensurate to what Arsenal is. Also will help us get the better players. AM, no more defenders please, Saliba is likely gone Mikel. Relax

  5. Karsa

    I’m very happy with the result and performance.

    Ramsdale’s save was one of the best but, otherwise, I felt we defended very well. We limited Leicester down the flanks and the centre was rock solid save for the free kicks.

    A great team performance.

  6. Graham62

    Oh the joys to see Spuds sinking.
    Levy should have offloaded Kane for the £130m that MC were offering.
    Monumental mistake on his part.

  7. S23

    Absolutely glorious to see Spuds all turning on their own.
    All of their fans that have taunted me over the last few years,with nothing to show-apart from the much vaunted Audi trophy have gone silent.
    Levy having a board meeting to discuss Nuno’s future-it should be his future under discussion.
    while we steadily climb the table and discover a way of playing ,with all of the summer signings improving match on match.
    If we are in the mix for 4th come December I will be convinced Mr Arteta is the man to take us forward.

  8. Topside Northbank

    Martinez very slow down on the goal.

    He’s a good keeper but maybe one of those players that played better without the pressures of a crowd during the lockdown.

    Willock another that flourished. This season 9 PL appearances 0 goals or assists 25m for him is looking good business.

  9. Topside Northbank

    Patrick Bamford another the Leeds crowd were on his back pre lockdown he got plenty of stick at times.

    He looked superb without crowds and the pressure of everything that didn’t come off being moaned or groaned at.

  10. The Bard

    Graham62. Totally agree. Not selling Kane was a massive mistake by an ego driven idiot. Reading Spurs got spanked and Arsenal winning makes the perfect weekend. For what it’s worth would like us to go for Sterling if he is available. His work rate adn goal tally would be a terrific foil for Auba. He will cost serious money but we need another striker. Good post Pedro and I agree the Arteta out noise of which I’ve been guilty needs to be put away for the time being.

  11. Northbanker

    Great post Pedro. My favourite moment of the match was when the Ram did the ‘shit’ completion of the fans chant with a fist and a huge smile on his face. Absolutely priceless.

    Do agree he was over kicking some of the clearances which did lose possession but after watching Leno’s tame and predictable short rolls to defenders under pressure and opponents hanging around like vultures in expectation, I will take that . It allows him to play the short ball and keep them second guessing

  12. Topside Northbank

    Agree all the comments on Kane.

    It’s little point keeping an unhappy player it rarely works out for example we had the likes of Fabregas sulking over a move and it showed.

    You are better off moving them on reinvest especially for the 100m plus on the table for Kane. City were never going to pay 150m plus for a 28 year old that Levy wanted, now they have a very unhappy player that value has plummeted.

  13. Graham62

    The Bard

    100% no in regards Sterling.
    Too much baggage and too much money.
    I’d love to see someone like Ollie Watkins(AV) or Ivan Toney(Brentford).

  14. UTarse

    Utter joke that the villa and city players get sent off for an identical challenges to the evans one on Auba yet evans is only a yellow…

  15. DivineSherlock

    I love it after a good away win and that was good as any we’ve had for a long time. So we’ve learned that our signings this summer has been spot on . The attack is slowly clicking into gear , our defense is solidifying . One weakness that may come to bite us in the ass is Midfield. You cannot deny that injury to Partey or Lokonga means we’re down to AMN and Xhaka/ Elneny. That is disaster waiting to happen .

  16. InsideRight

    I was delighted by the result yesterday. It’s no mean feat to go to the King Power and win. But like others tried to say yesterday, while the result was great, the performance left something to be desired.

    Leicester were all over us in the second half. They had all the momentum and their substitutions added threat to their side. Without Ramsdale I think we throw away the points on another day. We dialled it down when 3 up on Spuds, we relaxed too much when 3 up on Villa and we took the foot off the gas when 2 up at Leicester.

    For me there seems to be a pattern where game management is not what it should be. It feels like we lose our way and don’t deal with the opposition changing things up. We manage to hold on but we seem to invite pressure and it makes things too nervy. If Arteta fixes that, I think we’ve a good chance of finishing in the European spots this season.

  17. InsideRight

    I think game management comes from the manager. It’s down to Arteta to change things, give direction to the players and ensure we are not inviting pressure that could cost us a lead.

  18. TheBlaster

    I think, because of his long tenure, we remember Wenger incorrectly. When he won leagues and trophies his game was intensively coach fitness, press high and get the ball to the attacking forwards like Henry as fast as possible. Very much a team who played on the break… it was only after we encountered Iniesta, Xavi and Messi and the tiki taka possession football that handed us our arse on a plate the first time in the Nou Camp that Wenger became all about trying to emulate that, and went all ‘Wengerball’, and at times like that Willshire goal it was lovely to watch, and even surpassed the style of the Barca side, but I also remember that we didn’t press, because that requires intense coaching and discipline, as opposed to free expression, so we’re never destined to dominate like Peps side did.

    So Arteta actually does resemble Graham indeed , but also Arsene in the period when Arsene won stuff.

  19. S Asoa

    Aston Villa cooked 1-3 . Martinez shooting his mouth before Arsenal game is getting further just desserts. That fellow had become a worm

  20. Mr Serge

    Asoa white is far from average you are obviously watching the wrong player and defo not the same player I am watching

  21. LoveSausage

    TheBlaster,

    You’re absolutely correct. Barca’s dominance was eventually broken by teams playing gegenpress, I.e. a more organised and intense way of pressing. It’s no coincidence that our fortunes started turning when Arteta gave up on trying to emulate Pep-ball and we became much more vertical after winning the ball.

  22. S Asoa

    White is fast and intercepts intelligently. But suspect overhead. Without Tomi cover that would have been glaring. Also Gabriel is solid on the other side. If Tomi bombs too far up, also would be weak if opposition gets on the break. With a back 3 , however all is good though limited to that extent as above.

  23. Pedro

    Remember in the summer and people were saying that ESR should be considering Villa as a better football alternative to Arsenal?

    lololol

  24. Rich

    Really exciting games next week, decent one tomorrow night as well

    The PL is brilliant at the moment, competitive + exciting

  25. Gunnershabz

    Pedro

    I am glad we didn’t go for Maddison for £70m yesterday proved we got better deal with ESR contract and odegaard who just needs to work on his strength on the ball and he will be on fire soon

  26. Leftside

    Pedro is right, there was this Aston Villa Arsenal rivalry and Villa being a step up from Arsenal that only existed online in the warped minds of some Villa and Arsenal fans.

  27. Gunnershabz

    Mavropanos I did see a player in him but sometimes this league might not suit him

    Saliba getting raves in France now we just need him to keep developing

    He is increasing his value as we speak

  28. englandsbest

    Excellent post, Pedro, on the ball and very tolerant.

    I’m gonna be less tolerant. Time for the anti-Arteta brigade too lay off him. They have been so wrong for so long they are an embarrassment to this site and to themselves. And let me hasten to add – before they sound off about free speech – that fair criticism of Arteta is perfect okay. And here is some.

    Eddie is a better fit than Auba. His energy would have kept the Leicester defence occupied throughout the game.

  29. Nigel Tufnel

    The 2 Emi villains find themselves close to the bottom three. 2nd goal allowed by Martinez was awful, and it changed the game while they still had 11 on the pitch. Leno would’ve been well roasted here for that one.

    Maybe they’ll make another cheeky bid in January for Smith Rowe.

  30. Pierre

    I have a feeling that Palace will be the next team to make their mark.

    Quality signings
    Olise
    Edoaurd
    Guehi
    Anderson
    Eze last season
    Conner Gallagher a possibility .

    Could be a team to watch as I’m sure Vieira knows the market and has a few surprises up his sleeve for next season.

  31. David

    Our fast starts and goals to our game have negated the dirty anti-Arsenal officiating.
    Michael Oliver could’ve been the star of the show for giving a fk to a soft foul leading to that Ramsdale worldie.
    JE should’ve walked like Laporte did for the same transgression. Who knows, the scoreline might have been so different and we could’ve kept Manure from leapfrogging us. It’s these little sneaky manoeuvres that can cost teams titles or top 4 finishes. Bet you they’re still out to fix Arsenal.

  32. Pedro

    Shabz, I think Maddison is a great player, but he’s been totally rattled by the rumours. Also doubt he’d do the work needed by this system. For £60m? Good miss imo.

  33. Gunnershabz

    Pedro

    I was glad we didn’t go for him at all even buendia as well I think they sniff at it and was patient enough to wait for odegaard and edu pulled it off

    We just need that midfielder in January I think it could Dennis zakaria he fits the profile

  34. Up 4 grabs now

    The up turn these last few games coincide with the switch to 442 and xhaka exiting the side.
    That’s not coincidence.
    The new signings have pretty much hit the ground running bar the odd duff performance.

    I think most of us are willing to eat the humble pie on ramsdale, nobody expected to see his level of performance since he came in, and yesterday’s double save was world class. And 30 million now looks a bargain.

    White was pretty clumsy to give away the the two free kicks but for the most part did well.

    Also the fact that the defence is settled and not chopping and changing helps immensely as well.

    Arteta certainly has credit in the bank now with fans but it will slip away if we don’t keep up the momentum.
    Watford must be 3 points.
    Before we go into a very rough period.

    A point at the bindippers would be a miracle for me, but if Brighton can do it?

    United are there for the taking, a 3 nil win against an appalling spuds side is papering over some big cracks for them.

    Fourth is up for grabs (sorry couldn’t resist)
    Being out of Europe might not be ideal, but going into the home stretch later in the season fresher than the surrounding teams could be a huge plus for us.

    Onwards and upwards.

  35. Rich

    There were serious red flags with Maddison

    Going to a party a few days before a game, ignoring your managers calls to go home during a pandemic, and then going off to another party, was so irresponsible

    Leicester missed out on CL by 2 points, there’s a time to let your hair down, and a time to get your head down

    Expecting senior professionals to get that balance right, really isn’t unreasonable, he let the fans down, and he let his team mates + coaches down, the good work they’d put in all season was damaged by senior players who should know better

    Maddison’s a talented player, but we need to look into the character, professionalism, desire + hunger, of any potential signings, we need to litter the dressing room with consummate professionals

  36. Tom

    Jamie is a top poster on here no doubt but Englandsbest is even better.

    One of my all time favs of his was has to be him lamenting other people’s temerity to suggest who Arteta should’ve played, while in the next sentence suggesting…………… who Arteta should’ve played

  37. Gunnershabz

    Pedro

    He is a box to box player and he is going to be free next summer rumours Jose is after him too

    Especially we going to be light in midfield in January we might need to get him in

    I know he plays in the Swiss team behind xhaka lol

  38. englandsbest

    Tom

    Nonsense from you, an example of someone embarrassing himself.

    Fair criticism of Arteta is fine – and I’ve made plenty throughout.

  39. Jamie

    “One of my all time favs of his was has to be him lamenting other people’s temerity to suggest who Arteta should’ve played, while in the next sentence suggesting…………… who Arteta should’ve played”

    I dunno man, this sounds like textbook bedwetting chat and I’m pretty sure you’re embarrassing yourself here.

  40. Tom

    “A point at the bindippers would be a miracle for me, but if Brighton can do it?“

    Up4grabs, Brighton are Klopp’s bogey team because they never stop playing through the middle and around the press no matter the circumstances.

    Arsenal aren’t there yet.

  41. Obum

    Hi Pedro. I guess it’s the same goalkeeping coach that made Leno useless that’s still coaching Ramsdale? Will you also apologize to him?

  42. Rich

    Villa should be fine, but in the unlikely event that they get relegated, we could offer Martinez as 5% chance of starting as Arsenal No1 next season

    Tom, did you see Matty Cash applied for a Polish passport, you got to be happy with that? Really good player

  43. Up 4 grabs now

    Tom that’s why i said it would be a miracle.

    Still think we’ll get our usual 3-4 goal stuffing, but maybe ramsdale could be the difference and keep it to a narrow defeat.

    I’d love to get something their though.
    That would really prove we’ve turned a corner.

  44. Tom

    Rich, I saw that lol.
    No idea what that boy was thinking.
    I would think surely even a chance to make the England team would’ve been better than a starting role for Poland. That team isn’t going anywhere.

  45. Benjamin

    It’s time to move away from #ArtetaOut after every result.

    It depends on how many negative results we get?
    Over 200 million pounds invested.
    He has had 2 years.
    We dont play in Europe this season.
    If he doesnt get 4th this year, he never will.
    Couple of (great) results does not change that.
    Although he seems to be better at motivating the players.

  46. Foxy

    The team that beat Villa and Leicester was partly due to injuries to Oord and Tierney both whom had faked to impress up to then. The question is whether Arteta actually realisez the extra dimension to our play that Lokonga and Tavares brought in. It will be interesting to see his team selection for Watford.

  47. Foxy

    Re our new high intensity start Arteta needs to get more tactical with his subs to combat fall off from fatigue. Take a leaf out of rugby union and let a front player such as Nketia run like hell for 60 mins then bring on Laca or vice versa.

  48. Rich

    Benjamin

    £220-£230 million invested

    £140-£150 million of that was this summer on young players, who are only between 7-10-league games into their Arsenal careers, in which we’re unbeaten in the last 7 in the league, and 9 in all comps

    Last seasons big signings Gabriel £22mill + Partey £45mill, both missed the first 3 games this season, Partey missed more games than he played last season, and Gabriel (23), is now growing in stature with experience, and as he settles into his environment

    White, Ramsdale, Sambi, Tavares, Odegaard, Tomiyasu, should all be better next season, than they are this season

    If we finish 5th with an ageing team, things are only likely to regress, if we finish 5th with a young team, then there’s a good chance things will progress

  49. Nigel Tufnel

    What is wrong with Asoa? Doesn’t seem to enjoy nice wins.

    We can beat teams we’re not expected to beat, and like every good side in the Premier league, we can lose to weaker clubs.
    The people saying that game was dangerously close are overdoing it. They never looked like the better team yesterday. Evans could have been on a yellow already when he took down Auba, even though we didn’t get the red we deserved.
    Saka had 2 perfect scoring opportunities he missed badly twice when Ødegaard slipped the ball to him.
    If he gets one of them, them Øde sub looks even more genius for settling us down with a bonus assist.

    If Ramsdale didn’t make that save on Maddison, it would have been a fantastic, unlikely goal.
    Everyone knows we beat them solidly. Every game in this league has key moments that could change momentum, it’s not some apecific Arsenal weakness.

    Just enjoy and hope for more.

  50. Benjamin

    Why’s that then

    Cause he finished 8th twice, and if we finish 5th then playing on thursday is not gonna help.. He is not going to
    Get 150 million again.

  51. Tee

    “Arteta’s constant sideline coaching confuses the players, so maybe this unsettles them”

    Yes it confused them so much they scored unreplied 2 goals.

    Talk of talking trash.

  52. Pedro

    Obum, nope. Not sure the keeping coach can take any credit for a player that arrived ready. Though he will certainly try.

  53. Pedro

    Tee, moaning about arm waving is as embarrassing as that time we had a debate about the use of the word ‘project’

  54. Rich

    Not all improvement need to be external improvements:

    Ramsdale 23
    Tomiyasu 22
    Tierney 24
    Tavares 21
    Saliba 20
    White 24
    Gabriel 23
    Sambi 22
    Patino 18
    Odegaard 22
    Smith Rowe 21
    Saka 20
    Martinelli 20
    Balogun 20
    Nketiah 22

    We’ll need to supplement the squad, clear out more deadwood, but we’ve quietly assembled quite the collection of exciting young players, there’s a good chance we’ll see lots of internal improvements with this squad

  55. Habesha Gooner

    We have done well this summer on recruitment. 60 mil maddison would have been a joke. Spending a lot of money because you can is not the way to build a team. 33 mil Burndia who I thought would be phenomenal for us if we had signed him is also taking time to get going for villa. In that sense we have done okay with Odegaard. And I think he will contribute a lot more in the coming months. Especially against teams like Burnley and Watford who will sit back.

    Ramsdale though is the highlight for us. What a phenomenal player. Even if he makes some mistakes from now on, we know that we have a goal keeper with world class potential. Leno has been good for us but no one ever said he was world class. We need to back him. Martinez is truly forgotten because of Rammers.

    Off topic, Villa really need to have a look at themselves. That is 4 defeats in a row.

  56. Pierre

    Nigel
    “Saka had 2 perfect scoring opportunities he missed badly twice when Ødegaard slipped the ball to him.”

    That’s pushing it a bit , I thought Odegaard did well when he came on but they were half chances at best if that, the best chance of the 2nd half was Schmeichel save from Aubameyang with his foot from a corner.

  57. Habesha Gooner

    I hope Newcastle get relegated before the sheikhs have had a chance to seriously invest any money on them. I hope they blow it with stupid players in January and still get relegated. They will be top because of sheer investment after a while but it would be good if takes them 10 years.

  58. Pierre

    Habesha
    Tavares is fast becoming the surprise package (along with Ramsdale)after his last 2 performances, what pace and a 92% pass completion rate v villa shows he is more than just a speed merchant.

  59. Foxy

    Tavares seems to offer more options than Tierney going forward, incredible recovery pace, strong as an ox, and seems really switched on unlike say AMN.

  60. Pierre

    Without wishing to harp on about the difference that Tavares and Lakonga have made compared to xhaka/Tierney, i will ask the question

    How many times in the last 2 league games has the ball gone out to the left wing and ended with a cross from the touchline into a crowded penalty area with little or no chance of our striker or strikers winning the ball .. i am struggling to think of any..

    Our attacking play has a different dimension now, the aimless cross into the box is a thing of the past ……..hopefully.

  61. Habesha Gooner

    Pierre
    I do like Tavarez. He has been a great find for 8 mil. I think we need to give it time to really see if this is his level. And I still believe Tierney is better. He is just out of form. Last season’s Tierney was one of 3 players that showed up along with Saka and ESR that saved what was left out of our season. He was reliable and had amazing crosses. And I hope that guy comes back because we are going to need both of them during the whole season.

  62. Pierre

    Habesha
    Probably a fitness issue with Tierney asthis season he always looks knackered or is limping or going down with cramp, if he can sort himself out we will have 2 very good left backs..

  63. Rich

    Pierre

    Tierney was our most creative player last season, he was also our best player for large parts, It’s good we now appear to have a young player who’ll provide genuine competition + cover at left back

    Arsenal are becoming more direct, because Ramsdale, White, + Partey, are all naturally more direct through the spine

    Saka + Smith Rowe are good ball carriers, and the statistics point to Smith Rowe becoming significantly more direct this season than last

    The issue wasn’t Tierney crossing, the issue was the pace we transitioned from back to front, by the time Tierney had overlapped, the opponents were set defensively

  64. Nigel Tufnel

    Only Newcastle and Norwich have conceded more goal than ….

    Emi Martinez.

    His last proud moment was trolling Ronaldo and thrusting in a filthy manner at the United fans.

  65. Habesha Gooner

    Pierre
    It was not just a fitness issue. People haven’t realised but Arteta has made a few tweaks over the last two games and it is working for us.

    Tierney was bombing forward in order to provide the width while the CM in Xhaka or Lokonga were covering for him before. And that doesn’t suit him at all. He is asked to provide the only width on the left bombing forward whenever we have the ball amd the left sided attacker like ESR is asked to come infield. That was the 325 formation at work.

    Tavarez though is being asked to play as a normal left back who is picking and choosing to overlap and under lap as situations develop. Lokonga is also staying in the middle more even when we are attacking where as before when Tierney was playing he was being asked to cover for him and play as a left midfielder. You can also see that arteta has moved away from the 325 a bit because Tomiyasu on the other side is also playing as a normal fullback and getting into attacking positions more in the last two games. But before he was trying to be the third CB.

    If Tierney plays like a normal fullback that stays back and picks his moments to attack like Tavarez has been allowed, he will get his form back very quickly. I have faith in him. That is my take on why Tierney has been struggling.

  66. Bradybunch

    Rich.
    Completely agree. I really like NT, and h is now associated with our 2 best performances of the season/ decade possibly. But these were the best Team performances, where the whole 11 and subs outfought and out witted the opposition, and we consistently moved forward swiftly. KT would not have hindered this process.
    I said it last week, calling him Austen flush in his absence from action is grossly premature.

  67. Pierre

    Habesha
    I get what you’re saying, but Tavares has that special ingredient….lightning pace , put that with his boundless energy and i don’t think Tierney can compete with Tavares pace or energy , hence it will be a different game when Tierney plays, one can’t imagine Tierney bombing past Smith Rowe to create all kinds of problems for the opposition defence the way Tavares does ….that’s how it is I’m afraid, and I’m not saying Tierney is not a good player, he is , I’m just that he’s different to Tavares.

    Arteta may have a selection problem very soon when tierney and xhaka cone back from injury.

  68. Rich

    Pierre

    We need direct competition + cover in each position, these are exactly the type of headaches we want our manager to have

  69. Foxy

    Lokonga in the last two games has highlighted what we having been saying on this forum for ages, Party needs a high energy mobile partner in midfield i.e not Xhaka, to keep him fit. Yesterday Lokonga was all over the pitch whilst Party sat more centrally controlling the game.

  70. Raulishuss

    Its a good problem to have. Taveres came into a settled team plus he was getting caught out a bit yesterday but he’ll learn. Tierny looks unfit this season. Hope he gets his fitness sorted and comes back fighting but yea tavares is in a better moment right now

  71. Raulishuss

    Xhaka is still our best midfielder for control. I’m suprised some like pierre who wants to be recognized as the tactical brain box around here doesn’t have a clue. Sambi is growing in his role and i hope he develops fast but he isn’t there yet.

  72. raptora

    I stopped posting because you’ve been a prick to many people Pedro. If you think I’m hiding you are dead wrong. Or that I don’t enjoy when Arsenal win. But you are welcome to carry on.

  73. raptora

    Main reason I stopped posting on a daily basis is because the posts stopped representing me as a fan.

    You can see me however, celebrating goals in the comments section during our games with “Get in”. Doesn’t sound like I’m hiding, now does it.

  74. englandsbest

    Raptora

    We are all Arsenal fans on here, that is taken for granted. It’s just that some of us are less patient than others.

  75. Bertie Mee

    Good commentary on yesterday’s game Pedro. You described the game I saw .
    This is an interesting blog. Through the summer it was very toxic, No belief in any of our signings – lots of people finding Leeds mates or Brighton mates who didn’t rate White, people who claimed Tomayisu was being hawked around Europe because he was an overpriced flop, Benfica contacts who said Tavares was shit and above all the dogs abuse aimed at Ramsdale from people who had never studied his game or understood his development trajectory .
    And the storm when we didn’t sign Buendia , a player who had also been relegated but has bombed since he arrived back in the PL!
    Whether you like it or not ( amazingly many people who claim to be Arsenal fans don’t ) there has been a thoughtful reset which has radically improved the team , strengthened suspect areas like set-pieces at both ends and seen resilience increase off the scale . And above all we showed that Xhaka was utterly superfluous to this team, we don’t need him, he is the biggest negative constant in the club. He has played in three league defeats this season and part of only one victory . Go figure as they say .

  76. Pedro

    Bertie, the Ben White slander was spectacular. My uncle, the biggest Leeds fan on the planet, did not want to talk to me about White this week because he’s angry Leeds didn’t sign him.

    Good times for the project for sure.

  77. Pedro

    Raptora, playing the victim when we’re winning won’t rub with me… because you are certainly on here posting with vigor after we’ve drawn with a Crystal Palace like entity. Truth is, your agenda is dying and it’s hard to pivot because you went so, so hard at shitting on everything we did this summer.

    Take the Johnny road. Come to the light. It’s more fun there.

  78. IQ

    I was at the Crystal Palace game when they scored twice and it was Lacazette coming on that changed the game then and everything afterwards.

    He got the crowd back inside supporting the players and when he scored the equaliser it felt like we had won.

    He’s reignited the connection between the fans and the players and that’s been the difference in all our subsequent games.

    I’m not anti-Arteta (I’m not for him either) but if it wasn’t for Laca things would be very very different.

  79. Bertie Mee

    It seemed utterly daft to spend £50 m on White and £30 m on Ramsdale even to people who were prepared to give the project a chance . Now those look like very fair deals . Somebody at Arsenal stood up and pushed for those deals to KSE and persuaded them of the plan. It may still collapse to the delight of the naysayers on here but a lot of deep thought and courage was employed and it threatened to blow up in our faces after three games .
    January will be interesting because we might have a shot at fourth, should have a shot at Europe and might have two cup winning opportunities. Where do we strengthen and who do we shed? And when do we unleash some of the youngsters or do they go on loan . The Azeez experience suggests we need to think carefully about that one

  80. raptora

    In my last post I did say that I wil stop posting and I let my reasons be known. It was still when we were in the gutter and it was regardless of good or bad results. Don’t try to rewrite history that I stopped posting because we’ve won games. Anyhow, just got annoyed you had my name in there like I am hiding. I ain’t.

  81. Pedro

    Raptora, ducking out when we’re winning? Weak sauce my friend. Hold yourself to higher standards than that.

    Imagine sacking Edu for bringing in all of Arteta’s #1 targets. Arteta handpicked his team and is failing horribly in his job. I would blame Edu for not sacking Arteta but I don’t think that’s even in his power. He’s done a shit job in selling our players, which has been of incredible importance, but keeping Arteta who has got a lot of the players he wanted and the on-pitch results have been shocking, makes absolutely no sense.

    Why would we double up on Arteta delivering? He’s shown so many flaws. So many. He might get it right eventually in his career, but who dafug knows if it will ever happen? At the moment he is shit and he’s lead us to where we are breaking tons of negative records while spending a ton of money in the process. Who in their right mind would even think of such idea. Oh, I know…

    Apology time?

  82. Pedro

    Rap, you know I love you… but, you also wrote this.

    This slow but steady and obvious decline evaded the trained eyes of the likes of Pedro, Charlie, Rich, Stroller, englandsbest, zacharse, Bob N16 and excuse me if I’m missing someone.

    The rest of the posters, including myself, saw where this is heading long time ago, and we had made up our mind that we have no time for Arteta because Arsenal will never progress under him and we will not achieve a top 4 place, at the bare minimum, in all of his stay here. We’ve been proven right, more so, we’ve declined to unseen proportions even when Arteta was backed by the whole Arsenal club with money, trust, patience, protection and so on.

    In the meantime we were ridiculed for not understanding how football things work, for being haters and negative voices, for not being real fans, asked why do we support Arsenal and if we really do support Arsenal. People were banned for voicing concerns, silenced.

    I don’t want an apology. I just want those people to step down from their high horses. They think they know it all and look above to all the rest. Well you don’t, and I’m sure every single one of them will say something to “defensive” in return.

    But facts are that deep down inside of you, maybe you all realized that “holy shit, I was wrong as fuck…” and next time a similar situation happens in real life, with your relatives, family, friends, at work… Maybe you will not be so full of yourself and have some time to hear the other side of it. Just maybe.

    Is it time for you to step down from your high horse?

  83. Pedro

    Tom, my main man Dissenter.

    Exhibit One: Ben White the Midgety guy

    Thanks for your candor regarding how Ramsdale and Ben White made it to the England squad.
    Ramsdale was the bottom of a very superficial pool of 6 premier league English goalies, all were injured except for Pickford, Johnston and Ramsdale. Ramsdale was the last invited to provide coverage,

    Exhibit 2: Ben White is unphysical

    ‘The transfers of Ramsdale and White are the contentious ones; Ramsdale is as average as they come while Ben White is too green and unphysical for the league.’

    Exhibit 3: Ben White NOT ready

    Problems is they have over-corrected their previous errors so now we are left with the WORST of both works; old shit and not-ready youngsters. For examples, our ‘elite’ defensive signing has only one season experience in top-European football so someone will still to mentor Ben White.
    Ben White was the most midgety and least experienced of Brighton’s central defenders. They didn’t even but to replace him.

  84. Pedro

    Exhibit 4: Ben White not exciting

    Who’s our marquee signing?

    Ben White
    You;ll have to borrow the imagination of Arteta to get excited with that signing

    I was not a big Partey fan but his signing trumps the totality of what we did this window. With Partey, at least fans had the audacity to dream.

  85. Pedro

    Dissenter talking about Romero, who was roasted by a 34 and a 36 yr old on Saturday.

    ‘Romero is the quintessential traditional hard tackling and aggressive defender, in that Argetine mold that tends to do well on the continent. He’s extremely good at reading plays and so has like the top-3 interceptions in Serie A.gressive nature of the Argentine’s defensive style. In Italian, they call it grinta.

    He’s very efficient in his pressing 1 ands is incredibly athletic and completive- which is why he will beast the premier league. He is quick and had an enormous vertical leap.

    He reminded me of Walter Samuel, that’s why I wasn’t surprised when he was named as best defender in a league with a tradition of excellent central defenders.’

    Over Ben White who:

    ‘You are the one trying to place a guy with one good season in the championship and middling premier league year ahead of the 23 year old was was widely adjudged as the best defender in a league with a tradition of excellent central defenders.’

    Beautiful stuff.

  86. Tom

    Pedro, haha I thought English was my second language not yours.
    I didn’t see “slander” in a my of those, just an opinion on White’s ability and size.

    Calling Ramsdale the Relegator, or saying he looks “retarded”….. that’s slander.

    Your uncle maybe upset Leeds didn’t get White at £25 m they bid for him.
    Ask him if he would’ve spent his clubs entire transfer kitty on him when they too have a problem scoring goals. You might get a different reaction from him then.

    You’re just too sensitive about Arteta’s transfer dealings and White in particular.
    The Pedro of yesterday would’ve at the very least mentioned what a poor piece of defending it is to give up cheap free kicks 20-25 yards out, but not today and not when White does it apparently.

    The fact is , whether you like it or not, White has been spotty on defense and hasn’t proved anything other than a high potential so far.
    You know, kinda like a certain Frenchman we didn’t have to pay 50m to get.

  87. Pedro

    Tom, if I asked him:

    ‘Would you have made Ben White the star of your transfer strategy and the biggest purchase’

    He’d have said yes 1000 times over.

    Slander, in English: the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.

    Ben White a midget? Dominated Harry Kane and Burnley.
    Ben White offering less value than Romero? That’s a criminal offence.
    Ben White unphysical: Are. You. kidding. Pocketing Jamie Vardy.

    Arsenal are cooking. The summer was a banger. The team has convinced the fans. All the people on here saying ‘when will you admit you were wrong’ are in the gutter claiming they are the victims.

    It’s special… and we all win out of it, because a winning Arsenal is more important than me bantering you into early comment section retirement.

  88. Pierre

    Be wary pedro, remember Wenger’s wise words

    ” confidence goes up by the stairs and down by the lift” and at the moment we are almost at the top of the stairs.

    A dodgy result at home to Watford next week wiuld be a confidence wrecker as we face liverpool the following week and we could be at the bottom of the stairs facing the long climb back up again as we sit in mid table…

    All I’m saying is, we haven’t quite turned the corner yet, confidence can be a very fragile thing in football.

  89. Tom

    Lol, I still don’t think it’s slander,
    One of the most appealing things about your blog is the banter between the posters , or yourself and the posters.
    Everything said about White falls into ghat category for me.

    Ramsdale, that’s a different story…..some People went too far with him, but as karma would have it, so far, he’s turned out to be the absolute revelation and a complete bargain.

    Like I said before, White has a very high potential too……. He just ain’t there yet.

  90. Pedro

    Pierre, you are correct. But I’m not saying we’re about to win the league. I’m just saying the behaviour this summer, towards a decent window, and the carry-on after the start… is not looking silly.

    The players are good. The system Arteta is implementing can deliver results and performances. We’re in good shape going into the next couple of years.

    We could easily get spanked by Watford. But that’s part of the deal when you go for a young player approach.

    Anyway, happy nearly all the players are doing well. Most likeable squad in a very long time.

  91. Pedro

    Tom, Raptora wanted an apology and a blood sacrifice after 3 games… I just want to sue him in court for crimes against opinion.

    Think it’s fair.

  92. Nigel Tufnel

    Pierre great point about the crossing.

    That was like obsessive compulsive disorder last season and I was tearing my hair out watching.
    Those games with 30+ crosses from Tierney, Bellerin, even Saka had me wanting Arteta out.

    Rich… Emi 5% chance lol.

    Worth saying again, the distribution and passing from Rambo are much better than we knew, and I was in favor of getting him anyway based in his shot stopping and commanding on corners and crosses. Good job by the scouts.

    Agree with someone else, we might want to use a few less long kicks when trying to kill off time with leads. Should mix it up a bit on occasion.

    I’ll say it now, I’m still gonna be behind Aaron and White even after they make mistakes or cost us. They’ve been good enough so far to earn some credit already.

    Same for Tomiyasu, but others will give him a pass because the record of hate against White and Ramsdale is still fresh, so some previous haters might jump ship like rats at the first sign of trouble. I’m backing the squad, manager and coaches for the rest of the season at least, because we see the beginning of an identity.
    That was not there last year, and it’s impressive how fast the new guys have settled and fit in.

  93. Nigel Tufnel

    Pedro

    WOW re-playing the angry cretins greatest hits from the recent past.
    I’m sure there’s hundreds more you can use to embarass them.

    Thanks for pointing out what White has done so far, though they will continue to ignore any positives about him. Easy to target a cb as they rarely get enough credit as it is. A player who can bring the ball forward from his position, dragging opponents out of position, creates more areas for our midfielders and forwards to move into.
    I also noticed what Pedro mentioned about how it’s even made Holding better and these are fine points that add up and make White even more valuable.

    It turns out that he was an inspired choice, and there was some real vision behind it.

    His style and size, pace, fit in fairly well for playing next to Gabriel, which I assume was also considered in the signing.

    Gabriel for me may be our most important player, by the way. I think he will be considered world class soon enough.

  94. Tony

    If we say the first 3 league births are taken by the usual suspects, it leave the 4th CL spot up for grabs.

    West Ham and Manure seem to be the biggest threats with BHA and Spuds also in with a shout at the moment.

    Can we be better than the above?

    Certainly, we should do better than the Hammers and Manure should lose out if they keep Ole.

    All of the above is keeping with my thinking that player-wise we have a squad that can finish with a CL birth.

    Our nemesis will be potentially 2-fold: injuries first and if Arteta returns to using Xhaka other than a bench player, then Arteta 2nd.

    I doubt the players will slip up against Watford from their own passion and as the collective spirit creation with a rhythm we are seeing more & more during games.

    Assuming we get lucky with injuries to key players: ESR, Saka, Partey, Ramsdale and the current back 4, yes, Pedro including the decent, £30m worth – White, the deciding factor will be Arteta calling the shots.

    I’m not denigrating Arteta here, I’m stating facts that could derail our top 4 aspirations. Arteta’s change in direction and the one & 2 touch football Pierre and I talked about before and after the LCFC game, combined with a total press from the front is Arteta’s doing, which for that, he deserves some credit, as do the players in equal amounts.

    The key now is consistency and slowly upping our energy levels to the full first 45 minutes rather than the current 30 as is our current fitness levels.

    The key to pressing over 90 minutes is to read the game by the players. Dippers and City appear to be pressing all the time, but they choose their moments to press and moments to close the spaces the opposition want to play in or City/Dippers want the opposition to play in. Their work off the ball is as good as their play with the ball.

    That’s where we need to improve to conserve energy at times being disruptive and collective press to their back line and DM/MF. Pretty soon teams will park the bus from the kick off and try to absorb our attacks, energy levels and generally suffocate our attack with most their players behind the ball.

    It could go either way with Arteta, as we’ve seen in the past, and why there was such a lack of trust in him in the past and first 3 games of the season.

    Pedro your make believe post Xmas table blew up in your face during the pre season and first 3 game that were met with blusterous excuses that stopped short of divine intervention against us being cited.

    The real telling period starts after the International break with the Bin Dippers, Manure, Everton (banana skin), Southampton (bogey team) and then West Ham (must win top 4, 6 pointer). The lead up to Xmas has 3 winnable games against Norwich (whipping boys) Leeds away and Wolves home.

    Post Xmas is back in the top 4 mixer with City home and Spuds away. With Burnley closing out January we should be in the mix for the CL finish we all want so badly.

    That’s my take solely from the NLD first 30 and wins against Palace and Leicester.

    Still a lot of work to do to improve on what we’re witnessing and the players playing for Arteta and it seems believing in him.

    The onus is on Arteta far more than the players other than injuries.

    There’s a lot to be hopeful for, but there’s a lot than can go wrong over the next 28 games.

    In the scheme of things compared to last season, we are beginning to look like a team who believe they can get back into Europe.

    Make or break time over the next 12 weeks now for Arteta with all gooners hoping for the best, some secretly to save face, and others like me who tell it like it is from our eye tests and support the team first.

  95. Aaron

    The futbol is good for 25 minutes per game.

    The rest is utter $h*te, the team stops pressing and just turtles it!

    xG in that game was 1 (not counting Evans miss at far post on rebound)for Leicester and 1 for AFC

    Fine margins indeed.

    Last 3 games the opposition had clearer chances, just lacked finishing.

    Partey and co. off to AFCON and a ESR injury AFC going back to 10th.

    Chance creation will be the end of Arteta.

    ps Graham’s 1-0 to the Arsenal are not this team.

  96. Tony

    If we say the first 3 league births are taken by the usual suspects, it leave the 4th CL spot up for grabs.

    West Ham and Manure seem to be the biggest threats with BHA and Spuds also in with a shout at the moment.

    Can we be better than the above? Certainly, we should do better than the Hammers and Manure should lose out if they keep Ole.

    All of the above is keeping with my thinking that player-wise we have a squad that can finish with a CL birth.

    Our nemesis will be potentially 2-fold: injuries first and if Arteta returns to using Xhaka other than a bench player, then Arteta 2nd.I doubt the players will slip up against Watford from their own passion and as the collective spirit creation with a rhythm we are seeing more & more during games.

    Assuming we get lucky with injuries to key players: ESR, Saka, Partey, Ramsdale and the current back 4, yes, Pedro including the decent, £30m worth – White, the deciding factor will be Arteta calling the shots.

    I’m not denigrating Arteta here, I’m stating facts that could derail our top 4 aspirations. Arteta’s change in direction and the one & 2 touch football Pierre and I talked about before and after the LCFC game, combined with a total press from the front is Arteta’s doing, which for that, he deserves some credit, as do the players in equal amounts.

    The need now is consistency and slowly upping our energy levels to the full first 45 minutes rather than the current 30 as is our current fitness levels.

    The key to pressing over 90 minutes is to read the game by the players. Dippers and City appear to be pressing all the time, but they choose their moments to press and moments to close the spaces the opposition want to play in or City/Dippers want the opposition to play in. Their work off the ball is as good as their play with the ball.

    That’s where we need to improve to conserve energy at times being disruptive and collective press to their back line and DM/MF. Pretty soon teams will park the bus from the kick off and try to absorb our attacks, energy levels and generally suffocate our attack with most their players behind the ball.

    It could go either way with Arteta, as we’ve seen in the past, and why there was such a lack of trust in him in the past and first 3 games of the season.

    Pedro your make believe post Xmas table blew up in your face during the pre season and first 3 game that were met with blusterous excuses that stopped short of divine intervention against us being cited.

    The real telling period starts after the International break with the Bin Dippers, Manure, Everton (banana skin), Southampton (bogey team) and then West Ham (must win top 4, 6 pointer).

    The lead up to Xmas has 3 winnable games against Norwich (whipping boys) Leeds away and Wolves home.

    Post Xmas is back in the top 4 mixer with City home and Spuds away. With Burnley closing out January we should be in the mix for the CL finish we all want so badly. That’s my take solely from the NLD first 30 and wins against Palace and Leicester.

    Still a lot of work to do to improve on what we’re witnessing and the players playing for Arteta, and it seems believing in him. The onus is on Arteta far more than the players other than injuries.

    There’s a lot to be hopeful for, but there’s a lot than can go wrong over the next 28 games.

    In the scheme of things compared to last season, we are beginning to look like a team who believe they can get back into Europe.

    Make or break time over the next 12 weeks now for Arteta with all gooners hoping for the best, some secretly to save face, and others like me who tell it like it is from our eye tests and support the team first.