WEAPONISATION OF ARSENAL XG: WHY IT’S BANG AVERAGE ANALYSIS

by .

Well good morning to you, this will be a BIG week of writing and podcasting. I have a VERY special backroom guest lined up on Wedneday and I just know it’s going to be a banger. We’ll be powering on with a lot of writing because no doubt, because there will be a lot of people trying to take things off track this week.

First port of call? xG statistics.

There’s a table doing the rounds… sorry… a few tables doing the rounds that indicate Arsenal are the worst at everything this season.

We have two tables here. The bottom one is xG for the season, which has us in 16th. The on the top is Sky making a fuss of our attacking statistics this season.

So how do we react?

Firstly, on the xG table and data in general.

Statistics are there to point you in the direction of problem or an opportunity. In the world of football scouting, data tools allow analysts to drill down into a profile of player they are hunting, which gives finite scouting resource sharper direction so they get to what the club needs quicker.

In football, a statistic is rarely the ‘thing’, because it’s a nuanced game that is chaotic and difficult to measure.

Example:

INTERNET HOT TAKE: Aaron Ramsdale has been relegated 3 times. He conceded over 120 goals in his last two loans. He must be shit.

Ok. What contextual reference points do we have that might counter the above?

He won Fan Player of the Season at three of those clubs. Ok, interesting, so clearly, if fans of relegated clubs love a player, there must be something there. Especially if it’s the goalkeeper.

Sheffield United had 400 centre back combinations in a season that was ravaged by injury. Ok, so maybe the players in front of him weren’t that good?

There are hardly any 23-year-olds regularly making starts in the Premier League in that position. Ok, maybe he has something about him that is so unique, managers with weak squads keep going out of their way to have him as the first name on the team sheet?

He’s played for progressive managers and clubs, even if they have been poor. Ok, what are those guys interested in about his game? Maybe his passing is special?

If you scouted Ramsdale by his xG saves number, would you have bought him? If you scouted him based on goals conceded, would you have bought him? If you scouted him based on team success, would you have bought him?

No. Because context and the eye test are VERY important.

The xG table makes for grim reading this season, but only if you are an xG junkie that watches highlights of Arsenal. Remember, xG is a stat that is designed to give you a deeper understanding of results. Weaponising it when we’re 5th in the table isn’t sharp unless you have a good angle of attack, especially when context would say fans that actually go are very happy, and pundits were asking Arteta if Arsenal were a title threat before the Liverpool game.

Our start was brutal. We had a covid outbreak that wiped out 5 players, plus 4 injuries. We lost to Brentford, then had to play the European Cup finalists back to back. That was not good for xG. We deserved to lose, but there was context to those failings, and I think we’ve all accepted them now.

So a bad start for xG.

Arsenal then went out and rebuilt the defence, got injured players back to fitness, and covid patients recovered. We started Phase 2 of the season with a team that had 5 new starters. By the Spurs game, we’d finished with 6 new players in the starting 11.

What was the football trend? We started very fast, scored goals, then sat back to absorb the pressure.

Did anyone watching the Spurs game (eye test) come out of that thinking we were unlucky not to lose? No? Well, we lost on xG. If we’d won that game 5-0, no one would have thought us lucky. But xG had it as a loss despite the control and ease of the afternoon.

The Leicester game was the same. We should have won 4-0, we started majestically, but we let our foot off the gas and they had a few nice chances. Was the game ever out of control? Were we ever really in danger? No. But xG doesn’t record the context of the game or how we played it.

What is the reality of the season right now?

We’re 5th. Even after getting spanked by Liverpool this weekend.

We are 5th after our worst start in Premier League history. This position been earned.

We are 5th after reengineering our starting 11 with 6 players under the age of 24. These players have had 9 games together.

We are 5th after playing Manchester City and Liverpool away from home.

The xG sample size is small, it lacks context, and the eye test isn’t really telling us the things the Emery eye test was.

If we’re going to use context, let’s be fair here… let’s look at our performance since Arteta had all the players he wanted available for games.

Arsenal since Phase 2 of the season started (Norwich)

We haven’t scored a lot of goals, it’s true. But we’ve scored 2 less than Manchester City in the same period. Even with the absolute drubbing we took at the weekend, it’s safe to say our defence is going to be pretty good: Liverpool, West Ham, and an in-form Wolves have all conceded more than us. We have the 3rd best record defensively over that time period.

United has conceded 19 since Phase 2 started.

Attack is a worry, but again, only 4 teams have scored more than us. We have some problems here. Auba and Lacazette aren’t the full ticket. We know that. The coaching team know that. They have a very delicate political situation to deal with. How do you deftly deal with a captain that isn’t doing it? Eddie wants out, you can’t use him. Balogun is too young. Martinelli has been dreadful since the start of the year. Something has to give.

The attacking issue is also more complicated. Overall, it’s clear, we aren’t creating enough high-quality chances. But I also think part of that is because we don’t have elite quality in the final third when it comes to strikers, that is combined with having two rookie players as the focus of our chance creation in Saka and ESR. Would I change those two for anyone? No. But we have to accept they aren’t Mane and Salah… yet.

Let’s look at attempts at goal this season. The Sky stat box doesn’t have shots on goal, a number we usually use. In total, we’re at 13.25 a game. An improvement on previous years, but not amazing. However, when you take out the top 3 teams we’ve played again, the average goes up significantly to 16.3 per game. How does that look against previous seasons? Well, that number would have us higher than Liverpool for the whole of last season. That number would have us higher than Arsenal of 2014-15 when we had Santi, Ramsey, Ozil and Sanchez in the side. Take out the top 3 teams this season and our attempt production isn’t that bad. We are 9 games into the new regime, my guess is that when the cognitive style of football kicks in, we’ll see better chances, more will be taken, and our attempts on goal stat will climb.

Now imagine we had a striker in the system that could hold the ball up and make a nuisance of themselves like DCL or Ivan Toney. We don’t have anyone that can make something of all the great crosses we know we can deliver.

I know we don’t have other tools available now. We don’t need another striker to challenge for top 6 this season. But let’s be honest, it’s going to be tough against the top 2 teams until we change that.

Final point on all of this.

This is Project Youth 2.0.

We are not ready to compete with Liverpool. Our aim is to compete with everyone outside Liverpool, City and maybe Chelsea. I think this calendar year, we’re at 36 games and only City and Chelsea have more points than us, so again, when you put some noise cancellers on the drama queens, we’re actually demonstrating the sort of consistency required to be seriously considered in the mix for top 4 this season.

There will be peaks and troughs. The boys just delivered a 10+ game unbeaten run after a shocking start. This catastrophizing over bumps in the road does nobody any favours. It’s just a shame the most moronic voices on the internet are rewarded because tech algorithms prioritise confident bad takes over those grounded in reality because one is exciting and the other is boring.

These players have had 9 games together, that isn’t an excuse, it’s reality. They have so much work to do to start playing the cognitive style of football this system requires. They have so many lessons to learn until they are ready to deal with shocks to the system as a group and on the pitch. Sometimes the football will be fluid and dreamy, sometimes it’ll be clunky and tough to watch.

… but when everything beds in and clicks – and it will – this team will be ready to go to the moon.

The current strategy is the only way we make it back to the top. We spent 8 years trying to sign ‘ready-made’ players and it was a fucking disaster we still haven’t managed to get over. The simple truth is this: If you want to make it back to the top without the most money, you have to take some pain. We are going to take some pain this season, but at least it’ll be for an idea that stands a chance.

The biggest issue on our agenda right now isn’t trying to find an answer for losing at Anfield. That shit happens to the best teams in the world. The biggest agenda item is beating Newcastle, then taking advantage of a United side in disarray. Win those two games and we’re right back on track (sorry, I mean more on track, because we are already on track).

Our season works in phases. We’ve won the last two after a poor start. The objective now is to take 20 points from the next 27 in Phase 4. That’s going to be a tough ask, but so was 20 points from 24 in Phase 2 / 3, but we managed it.

Spitting distance of top 4 by January 2nd is the goal. If we’re there, I promise you, we’re going to be in with a shout of top 4 come the end of the season, because the chances are, our young players will click during those months and start delivering a more consistent flow of performances.

Finally, I know I am going overboard in answering a loud minority of people that don’t really exist in the ground, but I do think it’s important to reiterate… how we react after a defeat is important. It’s painful to watch people go to the worst possible outcome as soon as there’s a single bad moment. #ArtetaOut after yesterday? It’s so childish. If the players behaved like that, we’d be truly fucked. The great hope I always carry is that the people that go know better, as they’ve shown over and over again this season. I am so thankful for that. I cannot wait to go to some games in December and experience it myself.

So in short, I wouldn’t let xG worry you too much. We have good players, there’s a clear vision, we’ve hoovered up a lot of points, maintained a good defensive record, and hopefully our attack will kick up a gear in December.

On that note, check out our latest podcast below OR if you are feeling frisky, check out the Latte Firm video where I hang with FK, Walid and Rohan and talk xG and that ‘fight’ on the touchline.

ACAST | SPOTIFY | GOOGLE | CASTBOX 

 

322 Responses to “WEAPONISATION OF ARSENAL XG: WHY IT’S BANG AVERAGE ANALYSIS”

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  1. Matt B

    As night follows day, so the bedwetters return in full force after an Arsenal loss

    All the usual suspects are back, bleating on about this and that — the Brighton supporters, stand up Graham, the Brendan Rogers gang, you know who you are, plus a Leeds Utd fan, take a bow Aaron: ‘I would rather watch Leeds play 7 days a week out of 7’

  2. TR7

    Rich

    City, Pool and Chelsea are a cut above the rest and there is no shame in losing to them. But the game against Pool once again highlighted that we can’t create good opportunities against any organized hard working team.

    We somehow snatched a draw against Crystal Palace. Even the Watford game was not easy, we were definitely better than them but we struggled to create. We have a manager who is more than 100 games old, I would have expected some sort of coherence in our attack by now. Days like Saturday could become more frequent.

  3. Pierre

    Rich
    “There’ll be times this season when we come up against top teams who know exactly what they’re doing, and we’ll get pulled apart because our inexperience”

    Inexperienced ? really , i almost forgot, thanks for reminding everyone and don’t forget to point out that we have ar team with an average age of 24 , which of course would be much lower if it wasn’t for the fact that we have a couole of srtikers with an average age of 31 or is it 32 , then again it might be 30 .

  4. Taylor Swift

    Talk about overreaction. So we lost 4-0 away to Liverpool. Well boo boo. I don’t care. We can all see the model, buy young and develop. That development faze is 9 games so far. 9 fucking games. I am far more interested in away to Liverpool after 99 games.

    There are so many agendas going, it’s ridiculous, borderline childish.

    The best game to judge where we are was Watford. At half time we had a goal disallowed, a missed penalty and we’re having the shit kicked out of us. We had nine youngsters, heads could have dropped, in fact, heads should have dropped. But they didn’t and we got a hard won victory.

  5. Kroenkephobe

    Any of you dry bedded a-holes got a link for the u23 game? I missed my bed this morning a pissed all over my radio times on my bedside table, turning it into a stinking pile of papier mache (out of which I made an effigy of Arteta’s junk). Every cloud has a silver lining.

  6. Habesha Gooner

    TR7
    We haven’t been able to create much. But I think our attack needs a real focal point. Lacazette can do it a bit but he is not the full package. I think we are still trying to squeeze out as much as possible from Auba considering what we are paying him in wages. ESR and Saka are still young and inconsistent. I am hoping our attack improves just like our defense. Pepe needs to be sold and we need a couple of signings. We need a LW, a CF and a RW to compete with Saka after we sell Pepe. Martinelli can eventually move to backup CF role. And ESR can play in the middle and compete with Odegaard. That way we can really improve our out put. But we can’t do it with 2 old players that aren’t the full package, an overpriced inconsistent winger who is supposed to be in his prime, and a bunch of youngsters that are good but need time.

  7. Rich

    Pierre

    Go back to your Ozil poster collection and enjoy your hourly wank over your fallen hero

    You haven’t mentioned Willock, or how Nketiah is going to be the answer to every problem that we have, for at least 20 minutes….

  8. englandsbest

    I think Eddie Howe will prove a smart choice for NUFC. Right now his priority is to keep the Club in PL, and he’s experienced years of that with Brighton. He is wise enough not to bring in many players in Jan, just enough to allow his team to tick over to the summer.

    Let’s hope he has Auba – a proven goal scorer – on his agenda.

  9. Taylor Swift

    A lot of people are saying we should be better than Brighton. Why? At this stage we are probably not better, but that’s ok. Brighton are a very good side. We are young, and that’s not an excuse.

    I noticed a couple of comments about oil money and self sustainable. I’m not sure that’s right anymore. In his fantastic interview Josh made two extremely important points. There is further investment planned, and in response to the comment that Man City and Chelsea have resources, Josh, somewhat bristled, said “We have resources”

  10. Aaron

    Matt B,

    An oversimplification on your part mate!

    Am a Marcelo Alberto Bielsa Caldera admirer, and not the only coach that I do.

    Big difference, if you can separate the two ideas.

    AFC until the end for me, however we have been descending for quite some time if you have been paying attention.

    Question: How is it a coach can come in and take a team from 13th place in the Championship, spend 1/10 of what AFC has and in les than 76 games take their club to 9th place in the EPL?

    Brains and an ethos that works!

  11. Habesha Gooner

    I would love Doku, Isak, Anthony, Raphinha, Vlahovic, Noa Lang, Pedro neto, Moussa Diaby, Osihmen, David, Adyemi. There is so much talent to choose from. We need to revamp our forward line.

  12. Rich

    Pierre, nice spin tactic

    You accuse me of being repetitive, when it’s 2021 and your still talking about Ozil

    Get over it, he’s gone, he was an overpaid, lazy, mercenary, who was on the slide since 2017

    Sometimes the truth hurts, but everyone could see it but you…

  13. Kroenkephobe

    . In his fantastic interview Josh made two extremely important points

    Taylor
    That brought a lump of sick to my throat. Are you being paid to produce that? Where is all this bullshit Kroenke hagiography coming from? Oooh – what a fantastic interview. You brown noser…

  14. Matt B

    Aaron: Managing a team that came up from the Championship to play in the top flight for the first time in nearly 2 decades is very different to managing Arsenal

  15. bacaryisgod

    As a general comment, I’m desperate for the young players to shine, the new signings to maximize their promise and for Arteta to bring success to the club. However, if we can’t get 5th or even 6th place after the highest net spend in the league this summer and with no European distractions this season (unlike our current Top 4 Spurs, Leicester, Man U and West Ham) then all the propoganda in the world shouldn’t save Arteta’s job.

  16. TR7

    We had the opportunity to replace Xhaka, Pepe and one of Laca/Auba in the summer. Arteta kept all of them and added another deadwood in Odegaard. No wonder we struggle to create. I am a fierce critic of Ozil but even a half arsed Ozil is twice the player Ode is and our manager spent a fortune on him. Ode an expensive flop just like Pepe. At least Pepe sometimes scores.

  17. Habesha Gooner

    TR7
    It is a bit soon to label a 22 year old Odegaard a flop while we are in to 10 games in to the new season, isn’t it? Pepe is for sure a flop. So is Xhaka. But We need to give Odegaard a fair shake before labeling him. How he played vs spurs is indicative of the levels he can reach.

  18. Rich

    Odegaard is a brilliant footballer, he’s been played in areas that don’t really suit him, and lost a bit of confidence

    He’s 22, he’ll prove to be one of our best signings in years, quality young player who’s going to prove a lot of people wrong

  19. Rich

    TR

    What did you make of Henry, Bergkamp + Pires’s slow starts?

    Kolasinac got off to a flyer, before falling off a Cliff

  20. TR7

    Kroenke

    10-12 games after a full pre season.

    Pedro

    Not everyone clicks in 3-4 games but you can make a sense of the inherent quality irrespective of their performances.

  21. Pierre

    Rich
    “Odegaard is a brilliant footballer, he’s been played in areas that don’t really suit him”

    Well, he hasn’t been playing in goal
    He hasn’t been playing at right back
    He hasn’t been playing at left back
    He hasn’t been playing at centre back
    He hasn’t been playing on the left wing
    He hasn’t been playing on the right wing
    He hasn’t been playing as a striker.

    So I’m curious as to what areas he has played in that do not suit him.

  22. TR7

    Pedro

    Will go out on a limb and proclaim Ode will never be a top player. You can make a mockery of me if he proves me wrong. I made a similar proclaimation about Pepe and unfortunately I wasn’t proven wrong 🙂

  23. Rich

    Odegaard started 2 games on the left side base of our midfield

    He’s a player who’s best coming from the right or right centre onto his left foot

    As he develops he might learn to play that deeper role, as he’s a player who likes the game in front of him, but he’s not there yet

    Brilliant footballer though, people have jumped in with lunatic, knee jerk “hot takes” as per usual

  24. Dissenter

    Pedro
    How is a player we just signed for 30 million following a 6 month long trial not starting games.

    Odegaard is going to dropwown the pecking order when Xhaka returns.
    I’ll even start El Neny ahead of Odegaard currently.
    What’s Ode’s excuse- he’s not acclimatizing to the league, is he?

  25. MD-Gunner

    @Matt
    “I swear Pedro must think people have memories like goldfish and won’t pick up on the hypocrisy.”
    Some of the blog pieces border on split personality disorder “The thoughts, actions, and behaviors of each personality may be completely different”. Many who have followed from the Wenger through Emery and now Arteta management may have come to the same conclusion. After the loss to Villa “Arteta has to go” to the present “Trust the Process”.

    By repeated statements from different individuals “we need XX points from XX games” tells you they are hanging on by their finger tips hope for the Arteta project to produce results. If the project was successful after this many months, it would be “we got XX points from XX games” this should be enough for top 4 finish.

  26. Jdawg

    I love to hear the excuses when Arteta finishes 8th again lol. Or he’ll finish 7th and Pedro will shine the light on improvement and young team haha

    Whichever way you look at the table Arteta has his team 5th and now is the opportunity to prove the doubters wrong. That’s including me. I just don’t think he will do it

  27. Graham62

    Matt B

    Get used to it.

    By the way, if you’re so enamoured by Arteta, take me through your critical appraisal of Saturdays game.

    It’s amazing to think that those people on here who enjoy watching the game in general, yes, I enjoy watching my local team Brighton, are scorned by those naive individuals who, for some reason, feel they’ve got more Arsenal blood running through their their veins because they don’t want to admit they like watching other teams play.

    My blood has been running red for 53 years

    By the way, I also enjoy watching Leeds, Palace, Wolves, Brentford etc

    Why?

    Simple.

    They play, for the most part, a better, more dynamic brand of football to Arsenal.

    Hey ho, we’re in 5th, so who cares.

  28. Dissenter

    “Brilliant footballer though, people have jumped in with lunatic, knee jerk “hot takes” as per usual”

    You mean people don’t have enough data on him after seeing him for almost one calendar year.
    Hope you’re in the business of selling adult nappies since you started the “bedwetters” smear on those that disagree with you.

  29. TR7

    “Brilliant footballer though, people have jumped in with lunatic, knee jerk “hot takes” as per usual”

    Well unless Odegard prove his doubters wrong, you can’t call them lunatic.

  30. TR7

    Rich said Saka and ESR were far off from the level of Mane and Salah and this “briliant footballer” Odegard can’t even get a game ahead of Saka and ESR, some “briliant footballer” eh ?

  31. Rich

    Writing off talented 22yr olds is knee jerk

    How many 22yr olds in the modern game are performing consistently at the highest level?

  32. Pedro

    Dissenter, Odegaard is 22 years old, reckon we should give him a bit of time before writing him off.

    Suspect he’ll be seeing more game time in December, along with Martinelli.

  33. TR7

    “Writing off talented 22yr olds is knee jerk”

    That he is talented is under question. Why are you so fixated with age ? I see you talk more about age profile than attributes of players.

  34. Pedro

    MD, your commentary is so bad, you’re being propped up by Graham.

    I’m not sure what line of work you are in, but setting targets by time period is pretty standard stuff. By looking at a period of time and setting a target, it allows you have to perspective, so you don’t have a fit over a loss against Liverpool because you are looking at the bigger picture.

  35. Rich

    Odegaard has got everything to succeed, he was one of the best players in Spain 18 months ago

    He’s got his head screwed on properly, he’s supremely talented and works incredibly hard

    I’m not worried about him, Salah + De Bruyne we’re both sacked off at 22, Gnabry was completely written off

    The only thing that’ll stop Odegaard is injuries, otherwise he’ll develop into one of the best attacking midfielders in the league

    His quality was easy to see when he came on against Watford

  36. Pedro

    Tom, as bad as Odegaard has been, I think his absence has been more down to how good Lacazette has been.

    Hard to outshine a veteran chasing a contract. Might be a change now teams have cottoned onto the role he offers the team.

  37. Tom

    “Odegaard has got everything to succeed, he was one of the best players in Spain 18 months ago“

    I still like him but he doesn’t have everything Rich.
    He’s slow.

    Did you see Chelsea play Leicester over the weekend?
    They had five 21/22 year olds in their line up and they played Leicester off the park.

    Five young players playing different positions with different styles but one thing in common………. all athletic.

  38. MD-Gunner

    It is worthwhile to examine closely what is happening at Man Utd. because this is what can be expected at AFC. When SAF left they had difficulties finding a manger, because they had a disinterested owner, Bankers making footballing decisions and are now in the situation of finding their 5th manager who hopefully can get the club back where SAF had it. Total mess there since SAF’s departure and to my liking.

    At AFC it is almost mirrored, a disinterested owner wearing Ram’s T-Shirts to the AFC training grounds, no one with European footballing expertise in top management making decisions unless you want to include Don Raul the corrupt failure. So no surprise that after Wenger’s departure they are struggling to find someone that can restore AFC to past glories. This is not to my liking, but no surprise with the present management.

  39. Rich

    Tom, I did watch the game, Chelsea have got a brilliant squad, with a good blend of youth + experience, they were my pick for the title in August

    I’d generally agree the PL is all about athleticism + dynamism, but there’s still room for the odd technician to operate

    I’m confident Odegaard will develop into a top player over the next 12 months, I can see him making a big difference in games where the opposition cede possession

    He’s got qualities nobody else in our squad possesses, there’s certain games I’d currently worry about him in, but he’ll develop

    He’s ridiculously talented, seems like a bit of a marmite player, some seem to love him, some dislike him, bit like Ozil really, who I was never a fan of, and thought was a luxury we shouldn’t be accommodating, but there’s others who thought he was worth the hassle

  40. Champagne Charlie

    “Why are you so fixated with age ?“

    Maybe because it’s commonly overlooked on here with posters thinking output/improvement is linear and expectant from 18 onwards.

    I was dismissed last season for claiming Saka, ESR, and Martinelli contributors to our poor attack because of their inexperience – this despite two of the three being what I’d consider the ‘best’ options for our first XI.

    Most on here felt those three were going to be leading us to the promise land this season because they’d shown great promise at 19/20 years old. Mysef and Weagle ignored the sentiment and pointed out a season reliant on their output for top 4 was pie in the sky stuff.

    Chelsea isn’t a fair comparison either, their 21/22 year olds aren’t typically the best players per position available to them. They’re the guys pushing the senior talent in the first XI. Our kids are better than the experienced guys in attack particularly, which is proving quite the glass ceiling.

  41. Terraloon

    Tom

    Did you see Chelsea play Leicester over the weekend?
    They had five 21/22 year olds in their line up and they played Leicester off the park.Five young players playing different positions with different styles but one thing in common………. all athletic.

    As I keep banging on about it is folly to dismiss the importance of experience.

    If you look at that Chelsea team it oozed experience in players like Kante, Silva, Jorginho and Rudiger.

    My brother is quite an expert on his team ( Chelsea) and he always talks about the players that have come through their academy and have to go out on loan to gain experience and more importantly not be subjected to the the pressure that is inevitable playing in the PL .

    Time after time. Player after player they progressed through the ranks but time after time player after player those players were jettisoned. I always took the mickey out of him but the truth is that none of their academy players having left Chelsea really have gone on to have glittering careers. Many have won contracts but save Declan Rice I have to be honest I doubt many of those let go would do well at a CL club.

    My point is that Chelsea clearly have embarked on a different approach and they have pushed the boat out on the likes of Havertz but they aren’t being sucked into all this youngest team thing because to be honest they know you can’t wait for a year or two for players to mature.

    By the way Reece James what a player

    In a way

  42. MD-Gunner

    “Newcastle are one of those teams that Arsenal should be beating, period”.

    This is a telling statement how would City, Pool & Chelsea approach this. Field the “B-Team” with the heavy hitters from the “A-Team’ on the bench just in case. That is successful player and game management.

    While AFC’s generational one is trying to move players around in formations so that “Arsenal should be beating Newcastle, period”. Bottom of the table club becomes a must win game is usually reserved for relegation stragglers but not top 4 hopefuls. “Trust the process” is not for the bedwetters but for the dry bedded a-holes.

    I do admit that AFC’s present situation is giving me painful moments, but after the past few years, it will change in the near future one way or another, I just have that this change will be a happy one not more inflicted pain.

  43. Terraloon

    CC
    Our kids are better than the experienced guys in attack particularly, which is proving quite the glass ceiling.

    I am far from sure that 5here is any evidence to support that.

    That is if you are suggesting that Eddie, Martinelli and Bolugan would be any more effective because frankly we really haven’t seen anything to support that in the last 12 months

  44. Matt B

    Graham62: Good first half even though we were 1-0 down and then a disappointing second, but it didn’t feel like the battering the score-line suggested.

    Disappointing but in the scheme of things a set-back, nothing much more, unless we can’t beat Newcastle at the weekend…

  45. Kay

    Liverpool are challenging for the title with city and chelsea , we’re not at that level. We have the youngest team in the league, they’ll learn from this game.

  46. Terraloon

    Pedro

    Stop seeing things through blinkers.

    You keep banging on about stats but for one Chelsea beat then 3-0 . Arsenal beat them 2-0

    In the Arsenal game Leicester had 16 shots( 8on target ) Arsenal 9 (5 on target ) Leicester had 65% possession Arsenal 35%
    In the Chelsea game Leicester had 4 shots (3 on target) Chelsea had 16 shots (7 on target) and that possession was 62% Chelsea 38% Leicester.

  47. Tom

    “I’m confident Odegaard will develop into a top player over the next 12 months, I can see him making a big difference in games where the opposition cede possession“

    Rich , I think what’s more important to his game flourishing than opposing teams ceding possession is a clever movement of our own players.
    He is like Ozil in that aspect that he won’t blow by players but will look for teammates clever run instead.

  48. Nelson

    The first step to improve our attack is to take off the hand brake and allow the front four to exchange positions. Last game, Laca was marked out. TP was not 100%. Saka ended up playing alone and failed. In the meantime, ESR was alone on the other side of the pitch. What we should have done is move ESR over to support Saka. We are still lacking some in game management. If the opposing team comes up with a plan to stop you, you have to make adjustments.

  49. Champagne Charlie

    Terraloon
    Saka and ESR are nailed on starters at the club, as promising as they are we’re going to have to manage through their growing pains. Chelsea aren’t with their young players because there’s a heavy staple of elite talent slap bang in their prime.

    Our version is Auba, Laca, Pepe. No comparison.

    Rich
    Cheers mate. Not too dissimilar to what I said last season, it’ll be decided by how much growth we see from ESR, Ode, and Saka. Auba is a busted flush, Laca is off, Pepe is shite. Club would benefit greatly from a statement CF signing in Jan, but that’s very, very difficult to imagine.

    Impressed with Ramsdale which is funny considering the opinions offered about him preseason, and tbh I’m very impressed with Ben White as a footballer alongside Gabriel. Excited at the 2022 potential more than anything, just need to navigate there in relative health.

  50. Terraloon

    CC

    I actually don’t see such an issue with ESR as I do with Saka. ESR has seen the other side of football out on loan. I have to be honestI have concerns that both Saka and ESR have already had too heavy a burden through expectation placed on their shoulders

    But I agree 100% with you about the elite talent at Chelsea

    Ultimately the difference between the potential of a young player and a young player of potential delivering consistently is more often than not impossible to explain. There clearly is something that is gained from having experienced players around you but it’s as much having the ability to deliver based on the coaches instructions and for me the biggie is being able to concentrate for the full 90 mins.

  51. Pierre

    Rich
    “He’s (Odegaard)ridiculously talented, seems like a bit of a marmite player, some seem to love him, some dislike him, bit like Ozil really, who I was never a fan of, and thought was a luxury we shouldn’t be accommodating”

    Aa you mentioned Ozil,let’s put it into context

    Ozil when he was 21 in his first season at real madrid
    Played 39
    Assists ..23
    Goals …7

    Now that is ridiculously talented..

    As i pointed out yesterday, our creativity has plummeted during the past 18 months as has Aubameyang’s goals. ..

    There was a brief resurgence in our creativity last christmas when smith rowe came in as cam and was linking with Saka, sadly they are now playing on opposite sides of the pitch to accommodate first Odegaard and then Lacazette. and consequently our creativity has nosedived again….

    As Nelson said earlier, get saka and smith rowe playing together again as they have a superb on field relationship…

  52. Rich

    Pierre, the games changed a lot in the last 10 years

    Impact players are thing of the past, if you can’t do both sides offensively + defensively, then you’ll never survive at the top

  53. Champagne Charlie

    Terraloon

    Saka has more top flight experience than ESR, but it’s neither her nor there as far as I’m concerned. Neither are at the level to lead us into top 4 as fixtures in the starting XI.

    Our issue is that both are comfortably our best options either side of the CF. It’s been great to uncover talents like the pair, but the fact they’re as important as they are is just as much a sleight on our senior talent that end of the pitch. It’s a major factor in explaining our middling goals/creation numbers.

    I’d argue both players are being heavily let down by Auba ‘leading” the line as he does. It isolates them more than not and leaves them out to dry when we’re under pressure from better teams because our captain is a mute noodle shying away from stamping his mark on games.

  54. Pedro

    Terraloon, we should have been 4-0 up after 25 mins, we took the lead and held it. We also beat them 3-1 earlier in the year with a worse team. I really wouldn’t weaponize Chelsea beating them at the weekend.

  55. Pedro

    MD, you need to pick it up. You’ve gone into hiding for 3 months, now we’ve lost one game, you’re on here absolutely revelling in it whilst pumping Spurs and United. It’s embarrassing, it’s not for this blog. I have warned you repeatedly about this. Pick it up or go and take your insights to reddit.

  56. Khakib

    Auba and Laca just gotta go, we need fresh blood up front. I understand we’re building from the back and we also need a midfielder that can release Partey.

  57. Pierre

    Rich
    “Impact players are thing of the past, if you can’t do both sides offensively + defensively, then you’ll never survive at the top”

    Sorry to say but Odegaard is a fraud when it comes to the defensive side of the game, he is the master at shirking a physical challenge ( as Ozil was), he runs around a lot but never quite gets close enough to make a challenge.

    I said this months ago , he’s neither brave on the ball or brave off the ball , he never tries to commit a defender , he never tries to attack the ball in the air , he never makes a tackle , he never dribbles with the ball , all because he is afraid of the physical aspect of the game..

    Odegaard is basically what Ozil had become(but not quite as good ) , a player who recycles the ball , a player who doesn’t take risks with the ball , a player who looks good without pressure on the ball , a player who has to play in a team that dominates the ball
    .
    It is a myth to think that Odegaard is good defensively and good at pressing the ball…..

    What Odegaard seriously needs to do is get a backbone or he won’t make it at Arsenal.
    Running around in a fruitless attempt to win the ball is not enough, I’d like to see him take a few risks and commit defenders and not be afraid to be tackled, toughen up a bit like a Bergkamp or he will slip into obscurity.

  58. Pedro

    MD, all you do is post against the club, I removed Bamford for that reason. I don’t need someone on here with a perspective of a United or Spurs fan. If you can’t be here when we’re winning and your contribution when we’re losing is to pile on… what value are you bringing?

  59. Guns of SF

    Pierre

    Agreed… Ode is a lot like Ozil in the ways you highlight.
    He needs to build muscle, get more physical. End of….
    If he can do that, he will be able to deal with the rigors of EPL

  60. MD-Gunner

    You only hear what you want to hear, how many times do I have to repeat that I have supported Arsenal from my very first post here even taken the ridicule for suggesting that Ozil belongs in the squad. Couldn’t care less about Spuds, Man Utd. or any other EPL team, but that changes when they threatening AFC’s European football.

    As others mentioned that some posters are no longer posting here because of the blinder vision, you may want to give serious consideration to owning the domain name le-arteta.* it fits better your narrative.

    However it will become evident on May 22nd who was correct on the assessment of Arteta’s Arsenal and his project. For AFC supporters I hope they will see next season European football and for some I hope their wish for a competent manager will become reality.

  61. Pedro

    MD,

    As it stands, the blind vision has us in 5th, 3 points off 3rd placed West Ham, so with all due respect, I really don’t care much for people who want to take their time elsewhere. Good for them.

    You took 3 months off after relentlessly bashing the club. Now you are back… relentlessly bashing the club. It’s not cool.

    It will become relevant who was right on the 22nd of May, no one is denying it… so maybe get with the program and find a little joy in a squad of players you had zero faith in all season.

  62. IAT-Robbie

    I’m surprised xG was the focus of the article. I think it does a disservice to trend analysis to not include all games from our league campaign thus far.

    There are less subjective performance metrics that still suggest we’re outperforming our table position. Things such as our pass completion ratio, opposition passes allowed, penalty box touches, shot conversion rate, defensive actions per opposition pass, pressures leading to turnovers. We rank mid to bottom table in all of these. Top 3 or no top 3 games.

    The most worrying for me is we’re allowing 14.6 shots per game on our goal. This is similar to 19/20 Emery levels (16.4 per game) despite the better squad. Not sustainable.

  63. Nelson

    After watching Saliba a few games, I truly believe that Saliba can help us out defensively, especially when we are playing against those top teams. Saliba is calm and measured with his tackle. I felt sick watching White got out tricked by Jota for the 2nd goal. That would never have happened to Saliba.

  64. Guns of SF

    I dont need xg charts to know that we do not creative enough chances and score goals.

    Its plainly obvious.

    Its been an issue since Mike took over and declining every season.

    Saying it again, this is the major issue we face. Unless he has a plan that works, we will struggle again to remain up on the table.

    We really need new strikers to help matters and another CM that can score consistently

  65. Guns of SF

    White does go to ground very quickly. That Rashford video highlights that. He should stay on his feet much more if possible.
    Sliding tackles are a 50 50 % chance of working…

  66. Pedro

    IAT,

    Since the the new defence was put in place.

    12.3 shots conceded per game.
    4.2 shots on target per game.

    We have basically an entirely new defence of young players, not surprising they’ve had a few shaky games.

    Since the new defence was put in place, we have the 3rd best defensive record, even with a hammering.

    Not quite sure that’s Emery levels of worry.

  67. Gonsterous

    My opinion on odegaard hasn’t changed. Not what we need.

    In 2 seasons time, we will be looking to move him on, at 24 years of age, just like pepe. Age doesn’t automatically mean you get better. Some players just never go above a certain level and make the same mistakes when they are 28.

  68. Tony

    It’s the manager merry-go-round week with Zuidane snubbing Manure to take over PSG. Pochettino it seems has his eyes on the vacant Manure job he wanted when he was at Spuds.

    Poch got Spuds over achieving but zero trophies, so with money to burn as is Manure’s way, Pochettino will feel at home in the United hot seat.

    Let’s hope Manure are slow to hire Poch or any new manager before we play them.

  69. Pedro

    Gonsterous, amusing that you think there’s an in-game shift we have available to us right now that would down Liverpool at Anfield.

  70. Tony

    I agree with Pedro; shocker I know, Ode will live up to his billing, but only with a experienced manager who knows how to play him to his strengths.

    Ditto Balogun and Martinelli, Guen and Saliba.

    Arteta is not that guy as his history with youth players is last resort type tactics. Play them if no one els available.

    Emery gave ESR and Saka their game time to be ready for Arteta. Arteta wanted older player who walked all over Arteta.

    The blog owner trolling his posters because they don’t agree with his POV where he only wants nice things pointed out about his hero: Arteta. Any criticism or complaining about results that go against us is off limits and will be threatened with the bin.

    You”re like the kid who plays football with his mates and when your side isn’t winning you take the ball back home. After all it is your ball Pedro.

    Not the best optics. All you have to do is offer balance in your views and I’d certainly respect you for believing in Arteta, if you tell it like it is with all aspects of Arteta’s management.

    I’m sure we’ve all been wrong about something we truly believed in: I certainly have.

    In a few years time or hopefully much earlier, Arteta will be gone and forgotten, as our worst manager for the first 22 months unless you can name me someone who was worse. Don Howe? Billy Wright? Terry Neil? The contenders are from the 70s+ so for 50 years at least Arteta is our worst manager at least…………..

    …………….and you think he’s the coming of the new messiah of football. Arsenal’s version of Johan Cruyff as it’s who Arteta thinks he is.

    Troll and Ankle bite away, Pedro it’s your ball and you can take it home whenever you want or you can find balance and just believe your beliefs.

    Funny thing Pedders you talk about people having agendas when you have the biggest one of all and haven’t even come close to seeing them fulfilled. You can’t even be brave enough to lay down the target for Arteta this season for fear of being ridiculed at the end of the season, so you can’t have that much faith in your belief.

    The bigger man gains respect for owning their mistakes.

    Balance Pedro is not much to ask of a blog owner, is it? Please don’t make LG into an Untold offshoot.

  71. Tony

    Maybe Goober, but hiding behind silly tables is well just silly really.

    Only 2 things matter: the score on the day and the table position. That is the bottom line in football. The table never lies. Teams can be unlucky to be in a position below their worth or the opposite, but the table relies on nothing but results and points.

    At the end of there day the silly tables are just excuses for reality.

    Reality was the 4:0 roasting we got from Pool where Ramsdale saved us from a far worse and sackable scoreline.

    Reality will be who we buy in the Jan TW (Renalto Sanchez reported to want to come to us)

    Reality will be where we are by Feb 27th.

    Then season’s end reality and judgement day for Arteta.

  72. Tony

    Goober have you been to Vu De Monde in Melbourne?

    My daughter is hoping to be allowed in to do her Masters at RMIT spring next year, so will be in Melbourne for around 18 months. When her boyfriend goes over to see her I want to treat them to a good meal. They are both foodies.

    Silly as it may sound I watch Masterchef Australia. Can’t stand the Brit or other versions. It’s filmed in Melbourne so many of its top restaurants have been used for challenges as well as other around the country. I like the series for the people and how they push themselves as much as the food.

    It’s funny my PC is only the slower i5 chip so needs faster i5 or better i7 latest chip for windows 11. So they (new bf the doc was too anal) arrived last night with boxes of hardware for the boyfriend to build a new PC for me, and to teach my son how it all fits together and works from the building of hardware to running at very fast speeds with good stability.

    It’s a retirement/birthday present from them, so I want to set up something nice in Melbourne for them.

  73. Goobergooner

    Tony, unfortunately I have not been to the Vu de monde. Looks incredible though.

    There is too many good places to go in Melbourne, so I’m sure whatever you think of they will love!

  74. Tony

    “Gonsterous, amusing that you think there’s an in-game shift we have available to us right now that would down Liverpool at Anfield.”

    Oh I don’t know, Pedro selecting the better players in the first place would have helped and given us a better chance, don’t you think?

    Partey wasn’t fit. Auba is notoriously missing in the big games and has been very poor since his contract signing bar the odd good game. CT should have played with Tavares at right wing back or bench. Lakonga for Partey with AMN along side was my thinking. Eddie couldn’t be up front, as he’s in Arteta’s bad books for wanting to leave for improved first team game time even though he was a better choice than Auba who was non existent all game.

    If Eddie was misfiring then Martinelli was a decent replacement option even though Arteta has starved Martinelli of game time bar the odd few minutes a couple of times this season.

    Let this sink in, Pedro, not once did we have VVD or Matip back peddling at full speed into their penalty box. Pepe scared the life out of VVD before.

    3 shots on target, none off target says it all about the selection.

    Arteta picks the teams and lays out the tactics.

    Let’s hope he does better at Newcastle.

    They were my calls before the game and I was proven right. Whether we could have won or got the point we all thought we were capable of is a moot point.

    It was Arteta’s to make a statement and he fluffed his lines yet again ending our unbeaten run and a tough one for Sambi and Nuno to get over, as Sake looks still to have a hangover from the WC, let’s hope the young lads’ confidence isn’t too dented.

  75. Guns of SF

    We can do with an Insigne type…
    Small, can break the press, ball stuck to the foot type dribbler…
    Quick and nimble

    Santi like if I am honest…

    We need a player like that in the team.. this 2 man DM thing is not working.

    Its defensive and conservative…

    4231

    Heck we should go back to 442, at least that won us a few trophies

  76. Tony

    Thanks Goober you’re right, Melbourne is ranked highly for food from around the world same as seafood in San Francisco. Even the small collections of food stalls deliver excellent food like footpath stalls here.

    Food trucks are equally worth waiting for their fresh food in Aussi as they are in New York.

    There’s a place in Sydney as well that has similar billing so we’ll see next year.

    We’re all foodies in our family from the footpath stalls to Three Hats and Michelin Stars we enjoy food that is perfectly cooked with the right seasoning; it doesn’t matter the level of the eatery.

  77. Pedro

    Tony, tables never lie… unless it’s Arteta’s Arsenal, who are in 5th and all that matters to you is… the 1 game in 12 we have lost.

    ‘I was proven right’

    there it is. Your first loss in 3 months and you are claiming a victory lap.

    Painful stuff.

    Proven right. Youngest team in the league didn’t win at Anfield and you called it, amazing prediction ability there.

  78. Gonsterous

    Pedro

    I bring up 100 games, zero in game management, and you bring up one game, Liverpool.

    Liverpool everyone agrees was unwinnable. Let it go.

  79. Gonsterous

    Pedro

    You defend arteta like he has no flaws. Don’t understand why you are so sensitive on the subject.

    It’s an opinion blog after all, don’t like what you read, skip past it, instead of I don’t know, deleting comments?

  80. Pedro

    Gonsterous,

    ‘Zero in game management’ is such an extreme view.

    He has ‘never’ changed a game is what you are saying.

    Is that true?

  81. Guns of SF

    Pedro,

    The issue is not the table. its getting wins against big boys, and if we did not, what did we do right? Did we create enough? Get shots?
    Score? I mean, you need to score to win games… so how about this metric?

    City the excuse was so many players missing etc.
    Pool, a young team who was expected to lose

    Then all this tables stuff….

    The eyes dont lie Pedro… the simple truth is we are not hanging close with the big boys. I said the other day, you MUST get wins against them to crack top 4… mathematically its impossible otherwise to get top 4. You cannot lose all games against them and expect to have the points count…

    So the question is, why are we always getting hammered by the big dogs?

    To me that is the real test. I know we beat some of them here and there….but in the league is when it really matters. we need to get scoring again and forget all this xg bullshit..

    We need players who can dribble, score and shoot. We dont need the double pivot. Its been so boring and non effective in my eyes

  82. Pedro

    Guns,

    Incorrect. You don’t need to beat Liverpool and City unless you are title contenders.

    We need to beat teams like Spurs, Leicester, West Ham and United.

    Are we 5th right now, 3 points off 4th, are my eyes lying? Or are yours? All this ‘tables stuff’ you speak of… is the one I’m looking at untrue? Are you going argue calendar year tables that need to be actual tables… and now argue that actual tables are now the problem?

    Make up your mind man.

  83. Guns of SF

    The XG tables man.. all that shit…
    its just another metric that folks manipulate to prove their points.
    I dont care about those tables.
    I do care about the league table and yes its good to be in 5th..

    However, we get hammered by the big dogs. Why?
    Why cannot we win or give a great performace? its always some excuse or another.

    If we lost to pool fine, I can take it, its the manner of which we lose that is concerning to me. If teams like West Ham or Brighton can give them a run, so can we.

    Im just looking for consistency and really making the big guns work for the wins, and even lose to us!

    Big problem area that you would also agree with is goals…
    To get them we need to create, and figure out if we want to be a defensive team or an attacking one. I think we are caught in no mans land here.

  84. Goobergooner

    Matt B.

    “Managing a team that came up from the Championship to play in the top flight for the first time in nearly 2 decades is very different to managing Arsenal”

    It sure is.
    Even on expectations alone. Yet we have slid back to nearly the level of Brighton or leeds according to some.

  85. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    You highlight correctly as I pointed out many times that the current Arsenal team are not competing this season with Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool. All three clubs have
    beaten us very comfortably.

    Our horizon is finishing ahead of West Ham, Man United, Spurs, Leicester and possibly Wolves. More importantly we should qualify for Europe.

    We need to focus now on building up momentum once again starting off by beating Newcastle on Saturday.

  86. gnarleygeorge9

    The Arsenal is at the development stage of a total re-build where they need to start sounding out marquee players to build the squad around. For me it’s Haaland, he’s 21 years of age, he is on the launch pad to stardom & there is an opportunity for him to develop a partnership with Ødegaard, both at international level & domestic. Throw everything, including the kitchen sink , @ the transfer, let him know the team will be built around him going forward.

    Don’t!! tell me we are not in the frigging Champions League so he won’t come, we are 5th with the youngest squad in the comp. He has Arsenal in his DNA, & Josh has the dosh to get the deal done.

  87. Kroenkephobe

    ES
    Some glaring truisms there I’m afraid. It would be more apposite to hear your thoughts on why this keeps happening and whether the coaches, management and administrators are part or wholly responsible for this apparently endless tendency to underwhelm. Of course we’ll beat Newcastle – we always do. But there’s no sense of progression is there under this set up?

  88. Goobergooner

    Cc
    “Most on here felt those three were going to be leading us to the promise land this season because they’d shown great promise at 19/20 years old. Mysef and Weagle ignored the sentiment and pointed out a season reliant on their output for top 4 was pie in the sky stuff.”

    I agree with you on Saka and esr Leading the charge for top 4.
    But hardly anyone wanted to keep our attack the same.
    I will hold my hands up and say I wasn’t opposed to keeping Auba. But even at the time I was saying in order to get him firing we’d need to play way quicker/ more direct football.

    But the club has to take some of the blame here. They spent close to 100m on defence and we can’t score or create.
    Our midfield is still woeful, and our forwards are either young and growing as we go or on a serious decline.
    Odegaard isn’t getting a look in for some reason Pepe or martinelli or Eddie nowhere to be seen and we are again hoping that Saka and esr who already looked a bit jaded coming back from international break (albeit they were up against the best as well).

    We have some really interesting young players who look to have bundles of talent, and that is something I can definitely get behind.

    But Arteta and co have changed their tacts from the here and now to a new build so this is take 2 for Arteta for me; and this new team will take time to gel. I do understand that.

    But it’s the club’s choices to play the inexperienced players and it was their choice to spend unnecessary amounts of money on defence instead of the more pressing needs further up field.

  89. Goobergooner

    Terraloon

    “In the Arsenal game Leicester had 16 shots( 8on target ) Arsenal 9 (5 on target ) Leicester had 65% possession Arsenal 35%
    In the Chelsea game Leicester had 4 shots (3 on target) Chelsea had 16 shots (7 on target) and that possession was 62% Chelsea 38% Leicester.”

    This is actually funny.
    I understand that once a team gets that cushion lead they tend to drop off to some degree.
    But there is people saying that it’s a tactic to just drop intensity and let the opposition have bulk possession which leads to more attempts at our goal.
    Is it a tactic to rely on our keeper to stop the comeback? (Yes I know that sentence sounds weird as it’s fucking great having a keeper we can rely on).
    It’s a bit backwards if you ask me, trying to use those stats to make Arteta look great is a hard task after all 😂.

  90. Emiratesstroller

    Kroenkephobe

    The hard facts are that Arsene Wenger stayed in the job too long and we were encumbered by the construction of a stadium which has limited the club’s investment in top class players.

    Also the premature death of Danny Fiszman created a vacuum at the club with two billionaires competing to own Arsene and as a consequence neither was prepared to invest money in the team as opposed to buying shares.

    That situation was resolved finally in 2018 when Kroenke managed finally to own the club
    100% and has since then unlocked funds to improve the team.

    I think that Arsenal are now on an upward curve with a young manager and team, but there
    is still some way to go before we reach the pinnacle.

  91. Pierre

    We are conceding too many chances, if i take a sample from last season compared to this season, it shows that we are really struggling away from home this season compared to last season when it comes to stopping the opposition having shots on goal..

    Last season in the league away from home, from Christmas until the end of the season.

    Played 11
    Shots conceded 10.7 per game on average.

    This season away from home
    Played 6
    Shots conceded 17.8 per game on average

    That is over 7 shots per game more we are conceding this season away from home..

    We have spent over 100 million on our defence and keeper in the summer and defensively we are not as secure…

    The argument against is that new players take time to gel and it is to be expected, which is a fair argument.

    On the opposite side , the question could be asked why try and fix something that isn’t broken, why not spend that 100 million on a part of the team that is broken…a world class striker.and a world class defensive midfielder..

    United and Everton are our next 2 away games so it will be interesting to see if we can tighten up at the back as we can’t keep relying on Ramsdale to produce man of the match performances.

    If we were flying at the other end then one could understand us being more open at the back, but that is not the case, 7 goals in open play is a poor return , we are relying too heavily on set piece goals and may struggle if they dry up..

  92. Jamie

    Too many conclusions being drawn after a standard drubbing at Anfield.

    The test this season isn’t how we perform against the top 3 clubs, it’s how we perform against the rest, imo.

    Newcastle, Bam Utd, and West Ham are better indicators of the process being made. 7 points from 9 and no one should care about losing to the best clubs in the PL.

    Also, Xhaka isn’t the solution going forward. His name was barely mentioned during our unbeaten run. Knee-jerk analysis to suggest he would’ve been a difference-maker against Liverpool.

  93. Champagne Charlie

    “Arteta is not that guy as his history with youth players is last resort type tactics. Play them if no one els available.“

    Literally the youngest side in the PL, and ESR was on loan at Huddersfield the season Arteta came in only for Arteta to block a second loan and make him a feature of our first XI once he was fully fit. So much shit analysis that doesn’t track with reality.

    “But hardly anyone wanted to keep our attack the same.“

    This simply isn’t true. At best you had calls for Lacazette to be sold because of his contract situation, but the majority of posters blamed Arteta for Auba’s shit season, and claimed Pepe was being hamstrung by the manager and the absence of a competent RB – big lol. Then let’s not even both with the Eddie/Balogun eulogising from you know who.

    Very few posters lamented our attacking options, and most deflected it onto Arteta as another means to criticise his use of the group.

  94. TR7

    CC

    “Maybe because it’s commonly overlooked on here with posters thinking output/improvement is linear and expectant from 18 onwards.I was dismissed last season for claiming Saka, ESR, and Martinelli contributors to our poor attack because of their inexperience – this despite two of the three being what I’d consider the ‘best’ options for our first XI.”

    I see it a bit differently. If Saka and ESR were playing behind Cavani and Vardy, their goal/assist contributions would easily touch 20 plus per season.

    I look at Saka and Mahrez and I don’t think there’s anything Mahrez can do that Saka can’t if we are talking purely skill set of the two player. The level ESR is playing at is probably the same level Nasri was operating at in 2010. I see where you are coming from but still I believe Saka and ESR can produce the kind of numbers we need provided they have good strikers ahead of them.

  95. Goobergooner

    Cc

    Auba went from top goalscorer to what we see today over one season. I know I can see with my eyes that we don’t play to any of our forwards strengths. That is only one one man.

  96. Goobergooner

    Eddie and martinelli fit into Artetas system better than auba does. Even if they produced aubas dismal numbers, they would certainly give more for the team as a whole. What is Arteta scared of?

  97. Terraloon

    Goober

    This is actually funny.
    I understand that once a team gets that cushion lead they tend to drop off to some degree.
    But there is people saying that it’s a tactic to just drop intensity and let the opposition have bulk possession which leads to more attempts at our goal.
    Is it a tactic to rely on our keeper to stop the comeback? (Yes I know that sentence sounds weird as it’s fucking great having a keeper we can rely on).
    It’s a bit backwards if you ask me, trying to use those stats to make Arteta look great is a hard task after all 😂.

    The reasonI posted those numbers was Pedro is suggesting that in that Leicester game Arsenal thrashed (or similar word ) Leicester.

    I re watched the Liverpool game last night and there is an emerging pattern that come the second half of game the intensity drops massively. In a couple of other games and yes including the Leicester game as the game progresses the opposition is either able to work out matters, Arsenals game management is lacking or more of a concern would be that the energy levels and with it the ability to fully concentrate drop.

    The o5her point about playing Leicester was in reference to the Chelsea game. The simple fact of that game was they did thrash Leicester . Pedro said the two games ended in the same score, they didn’t. But in that Chelsea game at no time did Leicester look like getting a real foothold in the game. The stats show that, the final score emphasised that.

    It’s not a question of weaponising matters it’s about taking a reality check.

    Chelsea’s youngsters are playing alongside elite players they are organised on the pitch by players that have seen it all and know how to approach teams whereas the concern for me is that Arsenals squad just haven’t seen it and one it all and without that help on the pitch they will continue to make the same errors and at some point Ramsdale won’t be pulling the team out of the mire

  98. Graham62

    I think it’s about time this blog changed its name. You know, something relevant and based on the hosts perceptions. Any ideas people?

    What’s the point of running a blog for the masses when the masses are being told not to criticise or have a different POV to the blog owner. This has become a dictatorship, of that there is no doubt. Telling people to go elsewhere is the lowest of the low. In fact, based on the rhetoric of these past few months, I only come on here now to question Pedro’s blinkered opinions. I really can’t be bothered to read the posts because we all know what’s going to be said.

    As an “amateur “ Pedro, I would do things differently. For a start no Auba. An 8 year old can see that! It’s a scandal that he’s being given game time. Eddie or Martinelli should be given a chance.
    I would have gone with Tierney and not Tavares, although I do see the potential with the Portuguese.
    Probably would not have started with Partey, as he is clearly still not fit.

    Selecting a team is easy and should centre around putting those players in that deserve to play. Auba doesn’t!

    In my opinion Arteta is one of the poorest in game coaches I’ve seen.

    He is also singlehandedly alienating players. Eddie, Balogun, Martinelli, Tierney, Pepe, AMN and others. Amazingly he favours the likes of Xhaka, not forgetting Willian and Luiz when they were around.

    Training ground has nothing to do with what happens on the field of play.

    In my eyes, Arteta still remains a huge negative.

  99. Graham62

    Also, before I forget, to not question Arteta’s antics on Saturday but rather compliment him for showing some spunk, is naive and blinkered to the extreme.

    It’s staggering the lengths some people will go to to justify their own delusional opinions.

    My apologies of the other week, are long forgotten.

  100. Graham62

    Terraloon

    Don’t worry mate, you’re right in everything you highlight.

    I watched the Chelski game. They annihilated Leicester. We didn’t.
    Similar scores but two totally different games.
    Thanks to Ramsdale, we got out of it with a clean sheet.
    Thanks to VAR, Leicester only conceded three against Chelski.

    Chalk and Cheese.

  101. Champagne Charlie

    “I see it a bit differently. If Saka and ESR were playing behind Cavani and Vardy, their goal/assist contributions would easily touch 20 plus per season. I look at Saka and Mahrez and I don’t think there’s anything Mahrez can do that Saka can’t if we are talking purely skill set of the two player. The level ESR is playing at is probably the same level Nasri was operating at in 2010“

    Suggesting Saka and ESR are at the level of Mahrez and Nasri of 2010 is pure romantic delusion.

    In 2010 Nasri had spent 4 years in the Marseille first XI playing over 150 games, CL included. He’d been a full France International for 3 years, and was into his 2nd/3rd season at Arsenal by that time – ESR is 12 games into his first full season at the top flight.

    It makes perfect sense why you continue to dismiss the relevance of us being a young team, because you don’t understand it’s meaning at all. Instead you make claims that a player’s ability is comparable to another and think that outcome means they’re on the same level.

  102. Kroenkephobe

    I think it’s about time this blog changed its name. You know, something relevant and based on the hosts perceptions

    Hi Graham, A few from me, straight of the top of my head.

    Le Drove – To recognise the masses of ex-contributors and dissenters that Pedro has alienated from his own site.

    Le clove – a paean to Brian Garlick and all the other admistrators that make our club such a well-oiled machine.

    Or, given the time of the year, ‘Mikelmass (ive ego and failure to deliver)’

    Or if we want to get all literary. Pride (at narrowly beating Norwich) and Prejudice (against certain players whose faces don’t fit). Or maybe just ‘crime and punishment’ as a euphemism for the super league fiasco.

    Or probably none of them…

  103. Dream10

    Tr7

    Love both ESR and Saka, but they are not better than Nasri and Mahrez at the moment. Our youngsters are more athletic, however the latter are technically elite

  104. China1

    Like cmon Pedro I agree 100% about xG. All these stats are only indicative and none of them conclusive without context. I always say this

    But for you to rail against xG when it makes arteta look bad but to weapon use it yourself vs Emery when he was winning early days with bad xG … nah I refuse to believe you’re not self aware enough to see this.

    You can’t pick and choose when to take the high ground on such issues just because you like the manager

    Wenger celebrated top 4 with worse squads and you said it was failure. Wenger celebrated the calendar year title and you said it’s banter. Emery goes on a great winning streak and you said xG justified moaning constantly throughout it. Arteta is manager and suddenly xG doesn’t mean shit and we’re winning the as many points as klopp over 11 months trophy
    You can’t pick and choose. Not when so many of us remember how you described such things under the previous managers

  105. Rich

    CC

    Don’t bother wasting your time, experience doesn’t count for anything on Le Grove, lacking experience is an excuse, not a legitimate reason…

    Pierre is convinced you can flood the team with raw youngsters just starting out, and compete against the best, no need for any balance….

    Trying to build a young team from the bottom up, is no excuse, the same people who demand we flood our team with inexperience, are the same ones who’ll then demand we sack the manager when they inevitably give inconsistent performances, and come unstuck against established teams of the highest quality

    Cohesion is also not important, we should just be able to throw:

    Sambi 22
    Tavares 21
    Ramsdale 23
    White 24
    Tomiyasu 22

    3 of which had never played in the PL before:

    And then go and compete away to Liverpool who’ve been together a while, are full of top class + experienced players, have an average age of 29, just 8-11 games into their Arsenal careers

    If it looked like men against boys, then maybe the eyes weren’t deceiving….

  106. China1

    Rich maybe if We had a team of experienced vets we’d have done better. Lola, luiz, mustafi, Willian, xhaka, el neny, soares, Leno all experienced players from last season who always covered themselves in glory if I recall correctly

  107. Terraloon

    Graham

    WhenI read some of the comments on here regarding the age of the squad , age of the starting 11 it really surprises me that so many think it’s a given that this team is going to be able to break into the CL/EL places. There are absolutely no guarantees and some of the stats being thrown at us to prove matters are just plain embarrassing.

    I am no coach but watch football at all levels and talk to others who have played at and managed football at reasonably elevated levels and one of the most interesting points came out of one of my recent discussions which was prior to the Liverpool game revolved around the gaps that Arsenal leave on the defensive flanks and how the back 3 struggle if Parteyis advanced.

    I haven’t as yet been able to fully make my mind up in terms of the likes of Tavares , White and Lookonga birth have something going forward but coaches elsewhere will now have a better take on them so in many ways the Honeymoon period is fast approaching it’s end.

    The Newcastle game should go only one way. The truth is if you aren’t beating the bottom team at home then there is probably an issue but, I wonder about the new manager bounce and the fact they can score if they get the ball to Wilson or St Maxine

  108. Champagne Charlie

    China

    Straw man arguments as per, nobody is advocating for experience to be a driving factor in anything. Competency is always key.

    But really not controversial to claim competent/experienced players and teams will beat competent/inexperienced teams majority of the time.