ARSENAL FUMBLE AT ANFIELD WITH NAIVE SHOWING. WHAT’S THE DAMAGE?

by .

Arsenal lost their first game since Manchester City away at Anfield to a team that has lost 1 in 27 games.

It was brutal.

A lesson in the true meaning of elite.

Fear not. This won’t be a blog post catastrophising the result because we have moved well beyond that sort of stuff. We’re not at the end of the journey with this squad. We’re at the start. Unbeaten runs are welcome but don’t think they will be the norm for at least a couple of years, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Losing 4-0 to any team is always going to sting, but it wasn’t the same as City at home, there we real positives. The first half was very good as far as I’m concerned. We competed with Liverpool, there was good structure, and everyone was up for the fight (including Arteta on the touchline).

The game didn’t turn on the first goal. We came out for the second half firing and we looked like a team that was going to have a crack. Sadly, the game turned on the second goal. Nuno Tavares, a player that has been very impressive, won the ball in defence, broke forward, and passed directly to Jota who did extremely well to finish past Ramsdale.

Everything went downhill after that. We saw firsthand the difference in experience and quality. Our heads dropped, the game plan fell apart, and we let Liverpool happen to us. Getting spanked like that always hurts, but remember, this Liverpool side turned around a 3-0 deficit at Anfield to a Barcelona that had Messi in it… they’ve been together 6 years, they are a team at the peak of their powers, we are a team at the start of our journey.

There are certainly some areas of concern. Our senior players didn’t really show up when we needed them.

We need to talk about Auba. I love him, he’s changed his game this season, the pressing is notable… but it’s not enough. He can’t become the striker this system needs. He’s not present enough because let’s be fair, his game has never been about that. We’re trying to turn him into something he’ll never be. We can ride it out against lesser teams like Spurs, but we’re always going to struggle in big away games because he doesn’t have the power or the game to be devastating against clubs like Liverpool.

The trouble with Auba and Lacazette is you need one player that adopts the strengths both currently share between themselves. Our team is crying out for a striker with the aggression and link-up play of Lacazette combined with the pace of Auba in his prime. We also need someone that can dominate like Adebayor or Olivier Giroud. Two of our most experienced players aren’t quite right and our younger strikers just aren’t ready. It’s no use shouting ‘GABRIEL MARTINELLI’ because we’ve seen him blow his chances this season against lesser teams. It’ll be baby steps with him and Liverpool certainly wasn’t the game for Arteta to drop on him.

Our biggest problem was midfield. They weren’t brave. The same issues we suffered against Brighton and Palace fizzed up in relevance again. The first half was compact, Thomas Partey and Sambi Lokonga did a really good job. They still didn’t play through Liverpool though. We didn’t really open up the game to our forwards the way we know those players can. We let Liverpool get into our heads, that made it hard for us.

I don’t want to say it, you don’t want me to say it, but a game like that needed a peak Xhaka next to Thomas Partey. He always shows, he never cowers, and he will move the ball forward. I’m actually really looking forward to having him as an option because in certain games, he gives us experience and skills we’re lacking a little bit at the moment. That’s not a sleight on Sambi Lokonga, there aren’t many 21-year-old midfielders in world football equipped to hold their own against Liverpool. It’s just part of our reality. Sambi is going to be a great in 2 years. This season, he’ll be great in certain games, because inconsistency is just part of the mix. If you need reassurance, just read what one of the Premier Leagues’ greatest defenders in Premier League history said about him recently.

‘The first thing I did when I saw Sambi is I went to Mikel and said, ‘You’ve got to watch this guy, he’s the new Yaya Toure.’

“What I like with Sambi – and it’s rare in football, what Yaya did have – is he wants the ball no matter what.

“If the teams not doing well, give the ball to Sambi. If the team’s doing well, give the ball to Sambi. He will never hide away from his responsibility.

“He has things he has to improve… if he remembers the conversations we’ve had, he will know exactly what he still has to work on but at the same time… Yaya was a finisher and that’s a very rare thing to have. I don’t know about that [with Sambi].”

“The point is you need players who are not afraid to have the ball when the going gets tough. As a centre-back, your job stops at a certain point on the ball.

“And you need to be able to give it to people who see the next pass, see the next move, take responsibility, take people on and put that tempo in when there’s no tempo in the game anymore. For me, that’s what Sambi has that makes him special.”

I’ll take his view over @Registorama⁰⁰⁷, 2000 Twitter followers, working at Carpetright in Slough.

Our defence conceded 4 goals, that’s not good, but I do feel confident that the group is going to get better and better. One thing is for certain now, we can play the ball out the back. Everyone is really comfortable. Ramsdale is just so, so elite. What a player. Hopefully, he doesn’t have too many games where he’s that busy. The rest of the unit is raw, but there’s a lot to love about them. Again, remember, the oldest player in our back 5 is 24 years old, there is SO much growth.

The investment this summer will pay dividends, but to move forward, we likely need a revamp of our frontline. If you have a DCL, Isak, Oshimen or a Tammy A in that starting 11, we’re a different proposition.

Games like Liverpool also show you the limitations of a project strategy like the one we’ve embraced. ESR and Saka weren’t at their prodigious best. That will happen. They are incredibly young to be occupying such important positions. That doesn’t mean their lapses don’t hurt us. Bukayo found some great spaces in the first half, there were three occasions when he had a choice to make that could have opened the game, each time, he picked the wrong one. Those moments change games. Simple as that. That’s part of the learning experience and the deal we do as fans when we have exciting kids in the squad. He’ll get better because of it, but that’s the difference between Arsenal and Liverpool. Salah and Firmino are both 29, ESR and Saka are 19 and 21. Want some context on that? Sadio Mane was starting his first season with Metz at 19 years old. He managed 22 appearances and 2 goals that season. Saka had made 85 Premier League appearances and started in the final of an international tournament by the time he was 20 in September. Mo Salah? He was playing for Al Mokawloon, he hadn’t made it to Switzerland or spent time with Jose Mourinho who would bin him to Roma. I really, really don’t want to be reading shite commentary that our Hale-End boys don’t have the skills to hit the highest of levels. You cannot treat Saka and ESR like they’re seasoned veterans, because they are not.

Arsenal is currently a very naive outfit. Liverpool isn’t just an outrageous squad from a technical perspective, they know the dark arts. Sadio Mane is a cheat, that’s why he riles everyone. When he’s firing into challenges, he’s a warrior, dropping elbows, crunching limbs, all under the guise of innocence… when he’s on the ball, someone brushes past him he hits the deck and screams like he’s been hit by artillery shrapnel. Arsenal don’t do that. We’re too honest. Tomiyasu is case in point, he’d stay on his feet if someone was clubbing him with a boot. Most of our players operate that way. We need to grow some fangs and find that edge that all the best teams have. It’ll come, but that sort of instinct for the game needs to be taught.

I did see a few people complaining about Arteta kicking off with Klopp, some journos suggested the game pivoted on that. Honestly, grow up. That for me was a ‘my manager’ moment. The greats kick-off and fight for their players. That’s the first time I’ve seen him do that. I loved it. Wenger did it. Fergie did it. Mourinho did it. Klopp and Pep do it. For 40 minutes, that game felt like a classic Arsenal game of the past. Everyone was up for the fight, the temperature was off the charts, and it felt like we were competing. It didn’t end that way, but look, Klopp doesn’t get that riled for games he thinks he’s breezing. It’s also extremely amusing that the crowd that whines relentlessly about the winnertivity of Guendouzi for having a go at Maupay AFTER a game had finished, are the same complaining about Arteta decorum. For the record, Simeone, Ferguson&Wenger, Pep G, and Mourinho have all been up to worse. If your moan today is Arteta stuck up for his players against a cheat, you need to get in the bin. Also, reference the last paragraph, it’s amusing that a segment of our fanbase is as green as our players. If you’re moaning about managerial decorum as Mane brings Masters Degree levels of shit-housery to the game, I really have to ask if you’re even paying attention.

Losing to Liverpool away at Anfield stings. We haven’t won there since 2012, so plenty of experienced Arsenal teams have dealt with this sort of defeat. We can do better, we will do better, but today we couldn’t do it. The internal target has to be to right the wrong at The Emirates.

The bigger job now is the next game. Arsenal, for 25 years, have always been awful after a great run of ‘unbeaten.’ Wenger’s teams were always clunky after a big run ended, Emery’s 21 game unbeaten run ended and the bad form didn’t stop until he was fired, Arteta had a good start last season, then sunk into hell. We can’t let this game kill our momentum. We have to react. That’s what big teams do.

We’re in Phase 4™ of the season. Arguably the toughest. This phase lasts until January 1st. It’s brutal. It happens fast. It goes a long way to deciding how a season finishes.

  • Saturday 20th November: Liverpool (A)
  • Saturday 27th November: Newcastle United (H)
  • Thursday 2nd December: Manchester United (A)
  • Monday 6th December: Everton (A)
  • Saturday 11th December: Southampton (H)
  • Wednesday 15th December: West Ham United (H)
  • Saturday 18th December: Leeds United (A)
  • Sunday 26th December: Norwich City (A)
  • Tuesday 28th December: Wolverhampton Wanderers (H)
  • Saturday 1st January: Manchester City (H)

There were 30 points to play for. We’ve dropped 3 already. 27 are available. Our target for this phase should be 20 points. If we can deliver that, I suspect we’ll very much be within spitting distance of top 4.

The back half of the season will see our big games played at home. Our young players will have adapted to the Arteta system and will have learned more about each other and the expectations of The Arsenal. The benefits of no European football should start to pay dividends as some of our rivals move into the next stages of Europe.

Arteta needs to pick the players up from this heavy defeat. Newcastle arrives in 7 days, then we have a really big test against a United that I suspect will have no coach by that point. That’s a chance to make a dent in their top 4 challenge to make it impossible for their next manager and it’s a chance for the coaching staff to earn a little fan capital back.

This season is still on track my friends. Leicester lost, West Ham lost, Palace drew, Brighton lost, and United lost. Spurs can’t go above us tomorrow, nor can Everton. We are still 5th in the table, 3 points behind 3rd, 5 behind 2nd, after a game we didn’t really have much of a chance to win. The most important thing now is winning our next game and making sure we stay in the pack.

Ignore the catastrophisers that had nothing to say during the 3-month unbeaten run. If you are a person that thinks there’s an ‘I told you so’ moment after an away loss against Liverpool, you are a f*cking idiot. If you see people calling time on the project today, just think about how sad their Arsenal existence is. Their love is not with the club, it’s with their dead agendas they are trying to resurrect because they’ve forgotten what being a supporter is all about.

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342 Responses to “ARSENAL FUMBLE AT ANFIELD WITH NAIVE SHOWING. WHAT’S THE DAMAGE?”

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  1. Rich+robbins

    We got schooled period. Great first half, youthful mistakes, without no strength from midfield or strikers, can’t win. A great growth education. Another step……toward positive development. Go gooners

  2. azed

    Emery would concede a goal per game for 5 matches, whereas Arteta keeps 4 clean sheets and then we concede 5. Same numbers over 5 games, but the story is entirely different.

    Stop doing mental gymnastics, you’ve conceded 5 goals and that column can determine if a team gets relegated or not.

  3. Pedro

    Azed, that’s not the same thing.

    If you have a striker that scores 5 goals in a row. Or a striker that doesn’t do anything for 4 games, then scores 5 in one game. What is better for the team?

    What is better from a psychological perspective. Consistency of clean-sheets and the occasional drubbing. Or conceding 1 goal a game?

    A football mind would give you the answer.

  4. AFC Forever

    Pedro, I agree.

    Thought the lads did well. We showed good discipline and made Liverpool work hard yesterday. The second goal killed us & we list our discipline through inexperience. Liverpool at Anfield are levels above most teams, they’ve dominated in Europe for that reason. I really don’t understand the need to fake outrage, it’s so unnecessary & unpleasant, however predictable it may be.

  5. azed

    Erm

    Pedro we haven’t really done well, most of wins in the unbeaten run was down to Ramsdale making spectacular saves..

    How many games can you say we’ve dominated from start to finish?

    Once upon a time, you hated when Leno was “our best player”
    Once upon a time, after every game we heard stories about xG and xGA.

  6. Graham62

    When you have a young team, as is constantly highlighted on here, if you’re going to lose it at 0-0 in a game that truly matters, don’t do it at Anfield. Remember some of those fans are naturally versed in giving out verbal abuse. Don’t light the blue touch paper.

    In fact, can I suggest that if you’re an inexperienced manager and coach, as Arteta is, you don’t even do it at any away game.

    Even Worthing Town FC!

  7. Pedro

    AFC, job to do with the midfield. They need to be braver in those games.

    There’s also the players dealing with a shit mistake. They caved after that. Still, it’s a learning. The idea that people have that our unbeaten run would just go on forever is a bit childish.

  8. Rich

    Aaron, it’s ridiculous to sack a manager for individual results

    We could lose to Villa, Newcastle and United, but still quality for the Europa league or CL

    What happens if we beat Newcastle, Villa + United, but lose the rest of our games, Would that be acceptable to you?

    Arteta’s job this season is to qualify for the Europa League, and to improve the football, if he doesn’t do that, then he should be handed his P45

    We’ll lose plenty of games this season, but we should also get our fair share of results

    I wish things were better, but 5th-6th is our current level, if we achieve that with the youngest team in the league, then that’ll be a decent platform to build upon

  9. Pierre

    What is worrying is that in our last 3 away league matches , Ramsdale has been man of the match for Arsenal

    Brighton
    Sbots against 21
    Shots for . .8

    Leicester
    Shots against ..16
    Shots for…………….9

    Liverpool
    Shots against ….19
    Shots for …………..5

    And probably half of our shots were from lakonga or partey from outside the box…

    One would expect that by now under Arteta, Arsenal would at least start to have a modicum of control in our away games..

    His main objective should be to try and find a way for the team to perform away from home..

  10. azed

    Pedro

    If I were to be a manager, I’ll rather win 2-1 than 1-0.

    Everyone is afraid of City and Liverpool because of their ability to score goals and that helps them become better defensively because teams are afraid to attack them.

    That’s why our heads dropped against Liverpool. We are not so good at creating chances.
    What’s our winning percentage after going down at half time?

  11. Aaron

    Rich,

    See your point, but you do not see mine.

    Our futbol is dire, plain and simple.

    If we do not get 4th or better, Arteta needs to go along with Edu and other management.

    Futbol is about winning and entertainment.

  12. Pedro

    Pierre, Brighton and Liverpool felt like similar games. Think we just took our foot off that gas against a LCFC side we felt we’d comfortably beat.

  13. azed

    What is worrying is that in our last 3 away league matches , Ramsdale has been man of the match for Arsenal

    Thanks for this Pierre.

  14. Pedro

    Azed, that’s because you like Emery.

    Most managers would prefer to point to cleansheets.

    Cleansheets say something about concentration
    Beastings say something about experience and confidence in bad moments

    I’d rather be 1-0 to the Arsenal, it’s in our DNA

  15. Pierre

    Pedro
    “. Think we just took our foot off that gas against a LCFC side we felt we’d comfortably beat.”

    Not quite how i saw it , we did have a purple patch early on and then retreated back into our shell and Ramsdale did have to make a number of saves to keep our clean sheet.
    Losing to liverpool is not the end of the world , they are an excellent side and will probably go on to win the league if they can keep that intensity up, and keep salah and van djke fit..

  16. Rich

    Aaron

    We’re clearly not on the same level as Liverpool, Chelsea, City, they’ll very likely take up the top 3 spots

    We’ve got an outside chance of 4th, but while United are in a bit of bother, they’ve still got a very good squad, with a lot of goal scorers

    We could edge United into 4th, it’s realistic enough, but that would be a slight overachievement IMO

    There’d have to be serious internal problem for United not to turn it around, they’ve surely got enough firepower to blow most teams away with a decent coach

  17. Pedro

    Pierre, I think we tried to control the game and weren’t that good at it. Not sure it was ever in doubt though. We had another gear if we needed it.

  18. Graham62

    Pedro

    We were actually doing better against Liverpool( at 0-0) than we were at the same stage against Brighton.

    Thank goodness our manager didn’t have a set-to with Graham Potter.

  19. AFC Forever

    Pedro
    .
    “The idea that people have that our unbeaten run would just go on forever is a bit childish.”

    They know, like we all do, that no team has won the PL winning every game. They just use a defeat to Grind their Arteta axe. I will never understand that type of behaviour from a fan. The fact Azed & Aaron haven’t been on here for months, sums up how sad some people are waiting for us to lose a game

  20. DivineSherlock

    I think the moment of truth will come with regards to Laca and Auba , just like last season it happened with Willian and Cedric . Once we play Eddie/Balogun/Martinelli with ESR Saka and Odegaard for a number of games . Should happen pretty soon .

  21. bennydevito

    As long as we put in a good performance and get the 3 points against Newcastle that should set us up nicely for utd away. With Carrick as the interim manager I don’t see the utd players bothering any more than they did for COle as they’ll know their positions aren’t under threat until the new guy is in permanently. A draw if not a win will set us up nicely for the 20 pts we should be aiming for in phase 4

  22. azed

    Azed, that’s because you like Emery.

    Pedro

    Why did you say Emery and not Wenger? Wenger didn’t care about the defensive side as much.

  23. Nelson

    Carrick was there with Mou and with OGS. I can’t see he is any good running the Manure team with so many star players. You need a coach with strong personality and a proven system to work. Carrick looks like a yes man to me.

  24. AFC Forever

    Nelson

    I agree. Man Utd have the lowest running stats not because of OGS but because of their players ego’s. Van Der Beek & Cavani must wonder what they have to do to get minutes. We had similar problems a while back. As good as these players are, it seems like they’re simply not putting 100% in for the team, Players get away with it, Managers pay the price.

  25. Nelson

    I am probably watching a different game. After the 1st goal, Sambi Lokonga lost his confidence with the ball. TP was not 100% to start with. Our midfield was so crap and I didn’t see us coming back.

  26. Aaron

    AFC,

    I have been here, just not prolific.
    No reason to post, for me everyday, as I have been watching the last 100 games in a row, have you?

    Maybe I am not just your type of “fan.”

    The team has been playing $h*te futbol, from an entertainment perspective for years, Emery included.

    We might be in 5th place right now, but AFC will regress to the mean in it’s xG, and we will finish outside of the top 4.

    That according to the numbers and eye test.

    Let’s see if Arteta, slots Xhaka, and underperforming Partey right back in the next time possible, that way he can slow things down even further.

    Do you not even watch other sports? Coach? Anything??

    Teams that are set up in a defensive position are infinitely more difficult to break down that hitting any team on the counter or are not back into a solid formation.
    Our off the ball movement is non-existent, or the passer just misses the movement because of fear of making a bad pass, the team are like statues, except for a few players.

    Suggest you watch a few more teams that play with aggression, even if they are lower in the table than AFC.

  27. Terraloon

    Ok it’s early in the season but the only time Arsenal have scored a goal after the opponent has scored was in the 2-2 against Palace.

    Not quite sure what to make of that but it doesn’t bode well should Arsenal go a goal down. And that has to change

  28. Champagne Charlie

    “Stop doing mental gymnastics, you’ve conceded 5 goals and that column can determine if a team gets relegated or not.“

    The ignorance is quite something.

    4 clean sheets and losing 5-0 isn’t the same as conceding 1 goal for 5 straight games just because the net amount conceded is 5 goals.

    Painful trying to dress that up as some sort of mental gymnastics, it’s basic football comprehension. Like I say, it’s telling you had nothing to say about xGA when we’ve been 2nd for it in the league the last 8 matches.

  29. Terraloon

    Karsa

    It’s five clean sheets in the league but Arsenal have let in 17 so after 16 goals have gone I. Arsenal have score one. Even Chelsea who have had 8 clean sheets have scored more after5he opposing team has scored

  30. Terraloon

    Let’s try that again

    It’s five clean sheets in the league but Arsenal have let in 17 so after 16 goals have gone In Arsenal have only scored score once
    Even Chelsea who have had 8 clean sheets have scored more after opposing team has scored against them

  31. andy1886

    Xhaka moves the ball forwards? Are there two of them? Biggest sideways and backwards passer of the ball I’ve ever seen at Arsenal in fifty years. Makes Ray ‘the crab’ Wilkins look like peak Santi by comparison.

  32. TR7

    Arsenal do struggle to create good chances. It’s only when ESR gets in to good positions to run with the ball do Arsenal look a bit threatening. This deficiency will eventually catch up on us.

  33. Positive pete

    “ Lots of soggy mattresses last night I guess from the screaming bedwetters on here this pm.Excellent post Pedro.Trust the process.That’s the one the Bedwetters refuse to acknowledge or understand in their blind rage.Never mind.We move on.Barcodes next up.

  34. Graham62

    So we get stuffed by Liverpool, MC and Chelski and those that supposedly know better say “It doesn’t matter, no one expects us to do well. They’re miles ahead of us anyway”

    Poppycock!

  35. Taylor Swift

    Well, there is surprise. The usual hysterical reactions from the usual suspects.

    We had eight ypiungsters, Partey first time back from injury, an out of form Auba, and the expected hour from Laca. Honestly, everyone should calm down a bit.

  36. Graham62

    How can you “trust the process” when we can’t even trust our manager to act accordingly?

    What’s the opposite of a “Bedwetter”?

  37. Zacharse

    Graham
    You have one thing to say and weve all heard it already.

    Also if u cant figure out what the opposite of a bedwetter is see a fucking doctor

  38. Zacharse

    Nice write up Pete
    One thing that stood out to me in the 2nd half was our unwillingness to make a hard tackle. White had a great one on mané a few minutes from
    The end after id been screaming for 15 mins for a cruncher.
    Hats have to go off to liverpool at some point too. Hate fucking mané and woulda put $ down at half that he would not make it out of the game w/out a red. Luckily my lpool buddies said ‘ya thats mané, he’ll either get sent off or take a hat trick’- hopefully we’re targeting competitors of that caliber now. We need one badly. Yesterday was a reminder of how weak out senior players are- while all the whiners and complainers of the world cant see past arteta- last season it was those players that let us down worse than id ever witnessed. Mikkey needs to continue to bring in his type and offer not a single extension to a senior player that rode out an 8th place finish. End of. Auba, laca, leno should have won us points and they didnt. After yesterday its a good reminder how near we are to last season still and how important it is to be clear what went wrong

  39. azed

    4 clean sheets and losing 5-0 isn’t the same as conceding 1 goal for 5 straight games just because the net amount conceded is 5 goals.

    That’s true, the team the conceded 1 a game might have won the four games even though they conceded while the team that has 4 clean sheets might have been 0-0 draws.

    Remember when you claimed Fofana contributed to Leicester’s poor defence even though he didn’t play like 10 games? What happened to context then?

    You are such a scummy fellow you’d lie even on a faceless blog.

    Now run along and find someone else to play with.

  40. azed

    Arsenal do struggle to create good chances. It’s only when ESR gets in to good positions to run with the ball do Arsenal look a bit threatening. This deficiency will eventually catch up on us.

    Be careful TR7,

    You’d be accused of running an agenda or talking out of context.

  41. andy1886

    “What’s the opposite of a “Bedwetter”?”

    Probably one of those weirdo’s who wear those adult incontinence pads (diapers for our US friends). There certainly seem to be a fair few on here who seem to have an unhealthy obsession with *ahem* ‘watersports’ shall we say…

  42. Mics

    This was an ugly loss, but there were some positives to take. The first half we looked alright. After the mistake by Nuno and their second we imploded. Happens with young teams I guess. While I’m not overly grim about this loss, I do think that the ten match unbeaten run might have papered over some unpleasant truths about where the team is at right now.

  43. Mics

    I know it is unlikely in January, but I think our striking options badly need to be upgraded. Auba and laca are just too easy to defend against these days. If we’re still in and around top four by January, I would not mind paying a premium to bring someone in, though I doubt the caliber of player we need will be available.

  44. TR7

    Azed

    I don’t pay any heed to what others say. I can say this much though – any poster using terms such as bedwetters is not worthy of being taken seriously.

  45. andy1886

    @Mics, if we can get a reasonable fee for Auba (Newcastle Oilers maybe?) then it could happen but the odds are against it. Don’t forget that we didn’t go for Tammy because we didn’t have space with Laca not willing to move and he isn’t going to give up a big payday when he can leave on a free in the summer

  46. Pierre

    There must be a time very soon when Arteta looks at Aubamayang and thinks this is ridiculous, he’s playing crap, why do i keep playing him in the hope that he will become the prolific goalscorer he once was.

    Aubamayang plays in self preservation mode , he is never injured because he just doesn’t get involved in any physicality on the pitch , his first touch is woeful and his 2nd touch isnt much better , his passing is poor and he adds nothing to the team.

    Sooner or later Arteta has to bite the bullet and put Eddie in the side.
    It is becoming an embarrassment that we have a couple of prolific young strikers in Balogun and Eddie who cant even make the match day SQUAD..

    My mrs would do a better job up front than Aubamayang, at least she would kick a few and give them some Verbals, Aubamayang gives the team nothing and i am/was a fan of his , and yet Arteta keeps picking him ….WHY.

    How do we know that Eddie isn’t good enough, he’s started 4 league games in 16 months, why is Arteta afraid to start him , is it because he may prove him wrong..
    Who can blame eddie for wanting to leave and probably go and play for Vieira..

    So, how long will it be before Arteta bites the bullet and plays Eddie, Balogunor Martinelli , or will it need an injury to Aubamayang to make .Arteta see sense

    7 goals from open play tells it’s own story .
    If you want pressing then watch Eddie’s goal in the league cup v Leeds , he smelt danger as soon as he saw the defender going to head the ball back to the keeper, he anticipated the error and then showed fantastic skill to chip the keeper and then control the ball before finding the net

    If you want good movement in the box and kanu like skill, then watch eddies goal v wimbledon , finishing of the highest quality …2 games , 2 goals and he was firing on all cylinders in pre season …and yet he can’t even make the SQUAD, despite the team scoring only 7(SEVEN) goals from open play.

    All i can say is that it is a good job we have a good set piece coach..

  47. Champagne Charlie

    “Remember when you claimed Fofana contributed to Leicester’s poor defence even though he didn’t play like 10 games? What happened to context then?“

    If you play 28 of 38 games you’ve contributed haven’t you? Same way I said our poor attack was down to the inclusion and contribution of ESR and Saka despite them being objectively our best options.

    Not surprised you failed to grasp the message time and time again, too busy weaving a shit agenda with a less than basic grasp of data.

  48. Positive pete

    Posters using the term “ bedwetters” can’t be taken seriously? But isn’t that the point of the word to describe those very people that can’t be taken seriously ?Personally I prefer “ screamers” but I understand this may have other connotations.

  49. Bergkamp#10

    Now with Ole sacked Arsenal comfortably have the worst manager in the league.

    Also those antics by Arteta yesterday were embarrassing and did nothing to help the team.

  50. Bergkamp#10

    Why is everyone getting gassed up over that 10 game unbeaten streak? Emery went 22 unbeaten with a worse squad. Wenger went 26 unbeaten with Mustafi in central defence. There were a lot of narrow wins against shit teams and almost a loss to Palace in that run.

    The standards are on the floor with this club.

  51. rollen

    Calling ppl idiots for wanting garbage manager out from our club. This was greatblog for years now itsUntold Arsenal level of garbage and lies.

  52. Tom

    I think the Fofana debates were based on Leicester conceding 50 with him in the squad , regardless how many games he missed last season, and the prior season without him when they conceded 41.

    That was the “smoking gun “ evidence he cost Leicester the CL places.

    Good thing ( not for him obviously) he’s out for the season so we can again use that bullet proof logic to asses his contributions to Leicester’s goals conceded tally come May.
    I think it’s 21 after 13 played.

  53. Kris

    Leicester are massively worse defensively without Fofana. Every commentator has noticed it by now. Whoever was blaming him for Leicester missing out on CL is a simpleton who should just be ignored.

    BTW, Wenger’s worst ever scoring record was 59 goals scored in 98/99. But we finished 2nd with a goal difference of 42 (59 – 17).
    So I’m expecting at least 59 goals scored this year even if we concede 45 – 50.
    Do it, LegoHair.

  54. Tom

    I must admit in real time I liked Arteta’s outburst after Mane’s challenge on Tomiyasu, but having listened to both side of the argument Pierre and others make a lot of sense saying it was probably counterproductive.

  55. Tom

    And I’m not a fan of chopping and changing tables, or removing games as outliers as some on here tend to do to make a point.

    If you ignore the City and Pool games to show defensive improvements, then I suppose the other side of that coin might be ignoring the Tottenham and Villa games to show we’ve only scored 7 from 10.

  56. SMK

    Two things I am extremely worried about:

    1. The amount of saves Ramsdale is having to make per game.
    2. We have only scored 13 goals this season.

    If these two things do not improve, we know how it will turn out in the long term…

    Pedro was very vocal about this a few seasons ago..

  57. Graham62

    I’m sorry but anyone who thinks that Arteta’s breakdown was a joy to behold are clueless.

    “The greats kickoff and fight for their players” Yes, they do, but they usually do it when they know they’ve got the right personnel on the pitch who can absorb that aggression and react accordingly.

    So are we now assuming that Arteta will be “great” because he lost his temper.

    Let’s see how that pans out.

  58. Graham62

    Pierre

    100% correct in regards your perceptions of Aubameyang.

    Nketiah, Martinelli and Balogun must be so motivated and inspired.

    For Christ sake Arteta, give them a chance..

  59. Champagne Charlie

    “And I’m not a fan of chopping and changing tables, or removing games as outliers as some on here tend to do to make a point.“

    Yea, context with Arsenal is always a dirty subject. But you seem to have no trouble when it’s Brendan Rodgers and Leicester being discussed.

  60. Guns of SF

    TR7 said it well

    We look dangerous with ESR running with the ball at goal…
    Outside of that, we dont really have any attackers or attacking play besides the random cross to a marked Auba or tiny Laca.
    We still need that Mid who can break the lines, move with the ball and create. We also need strikers who can dribble and take on their man and get into the box. We have neither.
    It is time to pursue new strikers. I love both auba and laca but its not working consistently. We need Giroud type and also a Suarez type

  61. James

    20 points from next 10 games is optimistic in my opinion, but I’d be delighted with that kind of return.

    4-0 is a tough result to take, but we are in a good position in the league now, better than its been in a long time.

    Aside from games against big teams, our defence has been excellent this season, particularly Ramsdale.

    Addressing long standing problems with young players is something I admire from Arteta (admired Edu)

    Now surely scoring more goals whilst maturing as a team is the next step to address.

    I’m glass half full and feel it’s a shame some others are not, especially within the context of a loss to Liverpool away

  62. Guns of SF

    If Mike wanted to fire up his team, it did not work.
    We do not have players of that mold.
    All are nice good boys.

    We need some nastiness in this team. A mane of our own….
    We had Dani C, who was a little nasty prick but now there is no one

  63. Bee

    There are lots of issues we need to get right. We’ve conceded more than we’ve scored this season. Our attack is not clicking. Like you rightly said we need an attacker that can do what Lacazette and Aubameyang can do. We also need a midfielder that can do what Xhaka and Sambi can do. There is a reason why Arteta wanted locatelli, I don’t want to believe it was locatelli or nothing.
    Odegaard needs to step up, Pepe needs to step up too. We need to replace the likes of guendouzi, Torreira and El nenny. There are a few midfielders that are moving towards the tail end of their contracts (Denis Zakaria, Florian Grillitsch etc ) we can go all out and get the likes of Tchouameni of Monaco, Mahdi Camara of st Etienne, Ruben Neves, palhinha of sporting Lisbon, gravenberch, Neuhaus etc
    Edu and co did a good job this last window bringing in Ramsdale and co. So I believe they’ll a good job in January too

  64. Pedro

    ‘Worst manager in the league’

    lol, guy with the youngest starting 11 sitting in 5th.

    Some absolutely shocking takes come out of the woodwork when the post-defeat bedwetting happens.

  65. Pedro

    Bee, Locatelli would have been lovely… so would Ruben Neves, guy is mustard. Don’t think we’ll move on centre mid until the summer. Though a Jovic type on loan might be an option in January.

    Dealing with the politics of Auba is going to be a real headache though.

  66. Milo

    If you don’t have a player to physically dominate the midfield, then you need someone who can dominate it technically. We have neither, at this moment in time. Until we do, we will have trouble controlling the flow of matches. I’m not saying all is lost, but it’s quite simple.

    As for Arteta’s skirmish with Klopp…I knew it could backfire the moment it began. I like that Arteta didn’t really address it during the post-game and he’s moved on. If you are gonna lose it, make sure you lose it when there is reason to lose all composure. That flailing arm on Tomiyasu, wasn’t it. Was a foul but nothing more. Wait until Mane or Salah dive, or Mane does his usual “tackling”. He just looked foolish going bonkers when nothing of any significance happened.

    I like Klopp, but I liked Arsene too and both love a whine. Can’t be perfect.

  67. Ernest Reed

    “What is the opposite of Bedwetter?”

    In consideration that its you asking Positive Pete, i’d say PantWaste comes to mind. Specifically as it relates to you, no doubt.

  68. Ernest Reed

    A response against Newcastle is a must for Arsenal. Put Yesterday’s result away as quickly as possible, learn the right lessons and put Newcastle to the sword equally as possible. Lets go boys, put your week ahead to bettering yourselves!

  69. Tom

    CC, the only context that ever mattered to me re Rodgers was his table position vis a vis his transfer spend and wage bill.
    Until this year he has over performed those at Leicester, which apparently stating, so makes one automatically his biggest fan on Legrove.
    But rest assured if he places below 7-8 come May, I’ll be the first one to criticize him for his performance.

  70. Ernest Reed

    Lyon v Marseille suspended 5 minutes in as Payet was conked in the head with a water bottle. Honestly, what the heck is going on in this world? People are becoming more and more ridiculous in their behaviour. Honestly, we have gone mad.

  71. Champagne Charlie

    Tom

    No you won’t, you make every Leicester utterance your business on here and it sure as fuck isn’t in a quick-witted attempt to dismiss them – quite the opposite for the club claimed at Arsenal’s level.

    You lost your mind at the concept Brenda bottled it in the league the last couple, nvm the ridiculous defence against the statement that teenagers cost teams in the short-term (still alive a good year later patently).

    Context matters when it’s every team bar Arsenal for you, which is an odd stance you inevitably take.

  72. Tom

    Worry not Charlie, I treat everyone the same and according to same parameters.
    I leave goal post moving to experts like yourself.

  73. MD-Gunner

    @Guns
    “We need some nastiness in this team. A mane of our own….
    We had Dani C, who was a little nasty prick but now there is no one”
    Tets couldn’t handle a person like that. Guen was a little shit and often did nastiness, there is no way of telling what will happen if he tries that out on an incompetent manager.

  74. MD-Gunner

    @Pedro
    “MD, again, I didn’t ask about what City might do tomorrow. Are we 5th, 3 points from 3rd, 5 from second, in mid-November?
    The answer is yes. So really, as a man who demands results, you should be happy that you were so badly wrong about this Arsenal team.”

    Now that the City & Spuds game is done and dusted lets get back to the Table math, because you are using Pedro’s EPL table math, like positions after Christmas, results over a year’s period, results after the AFC’s loosing streak or not counting a poor season’s start. 3 points from 4th and now 5 points from 3rd is great if you have a positive Goal difference, but in the Pedro EPL table the GD column must be missing.

    To make it easy for you think of the GD as a decimal number after the points difference. Since Arsenal has -4 GD. ATM it takes MORE then 3 points to get into 4th or score 13 goals in the next game, given AFC scored 13 in 11 games is an impossibility, to end in 4th if West Ham looses 1:0. Your table math is Pedro Table math of wishful thinking in an alternative universe where AFC will end up in a CL position, just because you are wedded to this manager.

    In the real EPL table math we will judge Arteta after 38 games and guess what, atm he is 3 points of no European football with that GD.

  75. Tom

    “No you won’t, you make every Leicester utterance your business on here and it sure as fuck isn’t in a quick-witted attempt to dismiss them – quite the opposite for the club claimed at Arsenal’s level.“

    CC , debunking your claims is the easiest thing around.
    Just a few days ago I said Rodgers mentioned for the United job was a head scratcher.
    Meaning he’s not the level required there.
    You’ve been away some so perhaps that’s why a bit rusty but try again.
    So try again

  76. Pedro

    LoveSausage, I’d love it. Would be special. It is clear though, they need a big name to operate there. Too many egos. Zidane feels kind of perfect.

  77. Pedro

    MD, look at the table, right now, what do you see?

    5th.

    5 points off Liverpool. 3 points off West Ham in 4th.

    Goal difference is very different to points. I’m really not sure why you are on an Arsenal blog trying to argue that outright 5th after our start is a problem.

    I mean, I am sure, you are here revelling in a defeat after taking 3 months off.

  78. Champagne Charlie

    Tom

    Goal posts move organically, you either accept new information and put it into the mixer when forming a view, or you ignore it and claim you’re ‘steadfast’ in your expectations. Pretty obvious which is the more sensible approach, and which you tend to opt for.

    “CC , debunking your claims is the easiest thing around.
    Just a few days ago I said Rodgers mentioned for the United job was a head scratcher.
    Meaning he’s not the level required there.“

    Not sure you understand the word debunk. I said you favour Leicester/Brenda when you talk about them in respect to Arsenal – I’m sure Pedro has numerous quotes stored illustrating such. Calling Brenda a poor fit for Man United has no relevance to that observation whatsoever. But uhh, good one?

    Oh and I read Le Grove daily, so rest assured I’ve missed very little. In fact when you don’t speak, and just listen, you learn a lot about what others write. Safe to say some posters are like clockwork, and you’re one of the more predictable.

  79. LoveSausage

    Pedro,

    Zidane would get a lot of respect from the players. On the other hand, he’s on record saying that he doesn’t think of himself as a great tactician. Poch is the one I’m afraid of. He’d make a team out of them.

  80. Pedro

    LoveSausage, they had him locked and loaded last season ready to go.

    I love Poch, think he’d do a great job there if give the power. Still a hard job, look at what he’s doing at PSG with all those egos.

  81. Tom

    I didn’t say Rodgers was a “poor “ fit for United.
    I said not the level required.
    Hardly the glowing endorsement of his capabilities on my part is it.

  82. Nigel Tufnel

    I love all these guys who don’t want a manager who fights for his players.
    They say it made us lose the game.

    They lie and say it made them lose respect for Arteta. You hated Arteta already, and pounce on everything possible even when we win.

    Everybody knows you give him zero credit when we win, even if it’s a long unbeaten streak.

    You are disingenuous creeps. You finally got your chance to crow for this week.
    …… The rest of us real fans just want to get back to winning as soon as possible. No matter who gets the credit.

    I don’t defend Arteta too much, and still am not sold on him, but I’m liking him more and more lately.

    The vision for Ramsdale and White playing out, for example. I think that was him.
    …. The decision to build the team starting from hard work and defense first.

    Then the youth aspect of the players we’re trying to build with. So yes, I like the project.

    Watching Tottenscum win today with a fantastic manager, but who is a mercenary… and who will be a lame duck at the beginning of next season. I would not take their position. I’ll stick with what we’re building with our kids and the new kids. Obviously a team of mostly 19-23 year olds is going to be a work in progress. Bumps like Sambi and Nunos 2nd half against Pool are going to happen. You’re a child if you don’t understand that.

    Luckily Pedro understands.

  83. LoveSausage

    Pedro,

    I don’t envy anyone who has to deal with Ronaldo. Impossible to fit into a modern system and impossible to bench. On the other hand, United have a group of players of the kind that Poch likes. Sancho, Martial, Rashford. And I’m sure he’d go if there was an offer. He’s been fed up with the PSG ego circus since his first week on the job.

  84. Tony

    Just watching Spuds play Leeds early morning as too late last night where the commentators just talked about Spuds not having a shot on goal for 250 minutes.

    Do happy to hear that snd Conte only has them running in Trang it’s reported.

    Leeds are looking the better team this far ib30 minutes

  85. Tony

    You could think that the players are throwing Conte under the bus and going through the motions.

    Conte has his job cut out, which is great news for us and our push for 4th

  86. Time Up

    Spud will improve and go above us under Conte and 2 years down the line we will still find Pedro telling us we don’t understand the meaning of Arteta.

    The man is an average manger, with 10 games unbeaten the 8 wins were mostly fluky, the keeper saved us or bad finishing.

    He thought he would go to Anfield to defend and steal a point. When we went down he had no clue what to do as per usual. We know how to defend when leading or drawing, as soon as we go behind, it’s game over, he doesn’t know what to do.

  87. Goobergooner

    “We have one white game and the Stockholm syndrome returns faster than you can say ‘professional foul’”

    China that cracked me up.

    As did this

    “I leave goal post moving to experts like yourself.”

    Blog of laughs today that is for sure.

  88. Dark Hei

    Peds

    I am with MD. GD is a measure of a team’s actual strength.

    The TOP 3 have runwaway GDs. We are in the mixer with the rest.

    The bashing at Anfield brought perspectives back down where it belongs.

    At the way things stand, I am ok-ish with the defeat. It might even be beneficial in the long run.

  89. Major_Jeneral

    With those players there atm, conte would not finish in the top 4 or outlast Arteta as a manager.

    . Why some of you still in awẹ of spurs manager is beyond me
    Hold your horses.

  90. Tony

    Maybe feels Spud’s fitness in question so contained the first half only pressing from midfield.

    2nd Half Souds chasing everything with the fitness you expect from the start of the game.

  91. Pedro

    Tony, Conte needs time. Spurs is a bag of shit. He’s dealing with a striker that wants out. It’s going to be a huge job for him, but he’ll have them humming soon.

    I’m so, so happy he didn’t get the United job. Can only imagine he was told they wouldn’t hire him.

  92. Pedro

    Dark Hei, let’s talk about goal difference at the end of the season.

    Since Arteta got his players, we have the third-best defence in the league, even with the hammering and only 4 teams have scored more goals than us. City only have two more goals.

    Plenty to work on, but goal difference doesn’t mean a thing as long as we’re racking up points.

    Top 4 is a stretch goal this season, we’ll know more come January 1. But as it stands, 5th, 3 points off 4th, is pretty much exactly where I hoped we’d be at the end of November.

  93. Pedro

    Time Up, such a bullshit comment. Where were you over the last 10 games? Doesn’t sound like you were watching Arsenal.

    Liverpool have never lost at Anfield with VVD in the side (PL). They are 37 unbeaten when he’s next to Matip. This idea that Arteta needs to have answers to beat Liverpool, or be deemed average by someone who doesn’t know what they are talking about on the internet really is something.

    We’re 5th with the youngest team in the league. That is not average. Especially after the start we have.

    I’m so glad I don’t have to be around people like you when the games are on, what a fucking drag some people on here are.

  94. China1

    There’s quite a lot to be positive about at the moment. Our season was salvaged just as it looked like arteta was about to let it slip into the bin early on. The liverpool game was frustrating more so because the score line was steep and there was a lack of proactive management from arteta to address the things going wrong (that has been a recurring theme with him not being very good at subs).

    But if we beat Newcastle and especially if the performance is there I think we go into the Utd game as favourite. Win both of those games and we’re doing just fine

  95. China1

    That 85th minute partey sub still irks me

    That was right out of the arsene wenger predetermined subs taking place irrespective of what’s happening on the pitch playbook lol

    That one was planned and made absolutely zero sense

  96. China1

    Pedro if we win both we’ll be in a great position

    If we get 1 or 0 points, whilst not mathematically a disaster, it would put serious dents in the teams confidence which could hurt us later.

    4-6 points (with the Newcastle being a win if not both) would be fine

  97. China1

    This is a good time to play Utd tho. If ever we’re going to beat them it should be now. 6 points would be a brilliant reaction to the liverpool breakdown. I’m expecting 4 points but I’m a bit nervous about Newcastle. Who knows whether or not that thumping will be sitting in their heads going into the match. If Newcastle score an early goal and press aggressively a lot of uncertainty could cause us trouble very quickly

  98. China1

    No idea if there’s any truth in it but reports Milan want Pepe on loan.

    We should be looking at some kind of two way deal to bring in Kessie if he can be persuaded. That could be win win as they will lose him in Jan for cheap or on a free anyway. If they really want Pepe this could be a fantastic deal for both sides.

    I’d even do a straight swap with no cash. Jessie can’t be worth more than 20m with 6 months on his deal (realistically 15m or even less at the absolute max). Meanwhile 70m boy Pepe I would still be fine with us trading for kessie and no fee lol because I’m honestly not convinced we would sell him any higher than that anyway. What we don’t need to see is another case of an expensive player who we start loaning out over and over again until he leaves on a free like ozil and mikki.

    Straight swap. Everyone’s a winner. Also I think Pepe would enjoy himself more in Italy. Ac Milan would be a great switch for him

  99. China1

    Partey Kessie would be just what we need for a midfield 2 and for a midfield 3 you could add in lokonga so you have 3 players with really complimentary skill sets and good athletic profiles for CM. We’d be absolutely sorted at CM.

    That would free us up this summer to focus on CF, wing and backup keeper

  100. Leedsgunner

    BBC reporting that Man United’s first choice to replace OGS is Poch. Second is Erik ten Hag.

    Man United, quickly becoming a poisoned chalice, and I think Zidane recognised this and turned it down. Pleasantly surprised that he did so… I thought he would take it for sure. Zidane is perhaps the only manager who could stand up to CR7 and look him in the eye and not blush.

    Hopefully Pochettino will follow Zidane’s leaf and say no… although to be honest, Pochettino doesn’t bother me so much like Erik ten Hag.

    Erik ten Hag has a sharp mind. His track record in delivering titles is impressive and his record in developing young world beaters is relentless.

    I would hate for any of our rivals to hire him.

    Perhaps if managerial targets keep on saying no, SAF will fancy another go?

    Now that would be funny.

  101. China1

    Or tbh we could do a straight swap xhaka for Kessie

    Xhaka would do better in that league anyway. But really in Jan we need to be asking Milan about Kessie and seeing what we can do here

  102. Leedsgunner

    What happened to the Partey of At. Madrid who always looked to attack?

    Xhaka, I’m sorry Pedro, is not the answer. We need to move on from him. If Roma gives us any money at all, please Edu, do our club a favour and take it.

  103. DivineSherlock

    If we are waiting for summer for CM then Kalvin Phillips has my vote . The guy is absolute machine , just like Kante , just needs tactical know how of when to attack and when to sit back .

  104. Leedsgunner

    Pedro

    He shielded their defence and he always launched their attacks. In his first games for us I loved the fact that he always looked positive and played on the front foot.

  105. Tony

    That wasn’t the reality check I had been hoping for at Anfield.I truly believed we’d get a point.

    I’d posted I was concerned about the inclusion of Partey, Auba and Tavares in the starting line up; all 3 looked wrong for the impending, intense game.

    I just can’t understand Arteta’s thinking with those 3 players: Auba has been rank recently being very one dimensional in his play every team has been trained to defend against. Auba has no hold up play and not much else for £350k a week.

    Auba is beginning to be the new Ozil in his on-the-pitch worth.

    Partey wasn’t fully fit for the intensity after an injury lay off. Not hard to understand really.

    Tavares is too inexperienced for that type of game without someone to help him, such as AMN. We had an inexperienced kid looking after an even more inexperienced kid. Both new to the PL and playing one of the 3 elite teams. All after 24 months of management?

    Nothing new here then. Way to go Arteta.

    My back four would have been: Tomi, White, Gabs, CT.

    My midfield was Saka, Lakonga, AMN, Pepe

    My front 2 would have been ESR and Eddie (Martinelli), but Eddie was not on the bench presumably because he’s told Arteta he wants to leave. Not shocking at all and par for the course with Arteta. Bolagun’s asking to go on loan rather than sit on the bench or in the stands and who can blame him?

    Arteta only brings kids in when he has no option and when they do well and get recognized for England duty, Arteta plays them into the red by the look of their drop in energy levels. Who’s going to break first? I hope it is Arteta and Josh’s beard bings him wisdom to get rid of.

    Arteta’s flaws are there for all to see except Pedro, EB, AFCF and ES all Artetarised or is it Pedroised? A bit of both?

    They could have been 3 key players for us for the game and it proved so because we only had 3 shots on goal and none off vs Pool’s 9 on target and 3 wide of the mark. White was average, especially making g that farcical canter to the center circle without looking up once only to be dispossessed setting up an early Pool attack nicely for them. Holding would have been the better choice because Saliba is unknown in the PL because Arteta wouldn’t play him.

    Saying that Martinelli suffered the same fate; benched to teach him a lesson. WTF?

    Feb 27th is my date for which to either order humble pie for me and my son or for us to be proven right.

    Not that long and in the meantime I will be supporting the team.

    My thoughts aren’t about the loss, it’s about Arteta’s inability to read his players and their merit for inclusion for an away Dipper’s game where we have a nasty habit of losing by big scores.

    Had Arteta played Azzes, Bolagun and Martinelli as well as possibly Patino, he would have had a bigger player pool with experience. The training pitches only shows so much. Yes we need a striker, but we need not have had Arteta been proactive with the aforementioned kids at the back end of last season.

    Now we need a strike, but a midfielder is needed more who isn’t an injury risk like Partey. Sambi and Nuno need to be integrated intelligently. Arteta? Not the guy, he pushes injured players back on the pitch.

    It was 3 points we could afford to lose in our quest for 4th, but had we lost them by losing a hard fought game by 1 goal our confidence would have been a lot better than it probably is right now.

    I was hoping for so much more and got a 2nd half whimper and paper over the cracks 1st half from us and Arteta.

    We did put 10 crosses in to Matip and VVD to clear up almost unchallenged and Pool scored form their crosses in the box if not directly.

    We were chasing shadows after 30 minutes; cracks appeared, but we scrambled the ball out of danger. The last 15 minutes Pool upped their gears one and eventually scored the goal that was coming for about 10 minutes with 84% possession for Pool for the 10 minutes.

    I posted changes I felt at 50 mines, but if I’m honest I’d have made changes at half time.

    After what I witnessed of that half, I’d have moved White into DM and Holding in the back line.

    ESR and Saka looked tired from international duty and overplaying them in previous games. Saka hasn’t really looked himself sine that penalty miss and the ensuing trolls.

    Arteta was now in trouble from his poor selections. In his shoes I’d have changed Auba for Martinelli and Ode for ESR and that was it for the game.

    The capitulation in the 2nd half was frankly unacceptable and entirely down to the manager. All this BS about the manager can’t kick the ball but it’s the position the managers creates through selections that creates the ease for the opposition as Pool found in the 2nd half.

    They went smoothly into 3rd gear where the score would have been far more except for Ramsdale who can help our kids with his past experiences where his enthusiasm is limitless.

    The game was Arteta’s to win and also his to lose.

    Had we won Pedro would have been extolling the virtues of Arteta’s sauce. Instead he’s doing his Yorky terrier ankle snaps at posters’ ankles, as he refuses to believe any view but his own. Wait.. …..Same as Arteta.

    Trolling in that fashion isn’t good optics for you, Pedro. Not that I’m one to talk at times.

    Your table for points falls short because we play Chavs Feb 12 and Bin Dippers on Feb 26th with Brentwood sandwiched between.

    We will know where we stand far better on Feb 27th.

    Where the transfer window went wrong was us buying White for 50m instead of Bassouma first as I’ve repeatedly posted. Saliba could have fought Holding for the CB slot. Partey was injured a lot last season but not Pedro’s %.

    Therefore, an elite manager would have recognized this and finally repaired our MF finally after nearly a decade of also rans in MF. Not bought fanciful over priced players ala White.

    White may very well go on to be in that price class, but in a few years and we need better than hot and cold defending over games now, especially as we have the players. What was sold to us as a seasoned PL player. He looked anything but that yesterday.

    I’m not saying we would have won with my line up, but I believe we would have been happier with the way we lost.

  106. China1

    I’m willing to bet if you trawl through our results from the last 5 years and pick out the 20 worst results and performances, xhaka started at least 15 and was one of the best players on the pitch in less than 3 of them.

  107. Leedsgunner

    Zakaria over Kessie for me.

    There’s too much hype over Kessie, makes me suspicious. Zakaria we can hopefully acquire on a free and we can concentrate on bringing a top top young striker.

  108. DivineSherlock

    China1

    Amen to that , I am sick of Granit Xhaka , he should at this point just play somewhere else which suits his pace . Bundesliga , SerieA , France , MLS , Narnia ,Mordor I dont care .