ARSENAL SIZZLE GOING FORWARD, BUT DEFENCE STUTTERS

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I watched the game angry because I have NOT slept, so pardon the negative vibes in this post, because overall, I am thrilled where we are right now.

We beat Leicester 4-2. Our football was scintillating at times. But… our defensive lapses feel like they need to be addressed.

The William Saliba own-goal, on reflection, seems like more of a fluke. I wrongly thought Ramsdale was out of position, I don’t think he was, I doubt that’ll happen again.

My bigger concern was that our lack of experience at the back led to a done and dusted game having something on it.

In two seasons’ time, we’re not going to let Leicester back in. At the moment, you can sense the nerves, and you still feel like there’s a fuck-up in the system.

Our second goal had so many problems. Ben White is clearly injured and he chose to hobble. No one is tracking the overlap. Ramsdale is out of position and lets a shot in from a silly angle.

Basically, two unforced errors. Which is great because you can control those longterm, not great if that is part of who we are as a defensive unit. No doubt Arteta will be dealing with those problems this week.

Ramsdale needs to sharpen up. His nervousness is contagious. I think his rut from last season has carried over and I have to say it: I am worried about him. The goalkeeping coach that has been a problem for everyone helped drive the signing of Ramsdale, it looked like a massive coup because he arrived in great form… now he’s in a rut, we’re struggling to get him out of it. I love the player, we know where his game could go, but right now, he’s not looking like a top 3 goalkeeper and it needs to change.

I also think Gabriel needs to have a think about what his game is all about. He takes too many touches and tries to be a player he’s not. Saliba, White, and Zinchenko are the creative defenders. Gabi is not, he’s a better version of Bob Holding. He needs to be quicker with his passing and give the ball to players who can do damage.

Onto the things that were GREAT: Gabi Jesus.

The man is a total difference-maker. He might be the most consequential signing since Dennis Bergkamp because he is someone that represents a page turned after a decade of not really competitive at the highest level.

His goal was Bergkampesque as well. A moment of genius. A floated chip any of our greats would have been proud to claim. We have such a complete player who has a MASSIVE point to prove. He’s strong, he has great anticipation for opportunity, and he wants to do it all. He could have had 4 goals today.

Gabriel Martinelli should be in a police station right now explaining away the brutality he committed against Wesley Fofana. He treated him the way a rottweiler treats a piece of meat. He was stronger than Wesley, faster, more committed, and it was a joy to watch. I’m glad he was on call for the assist for the Jesus goal as well as getting the pre-assist for his second.

Now let’s give Granit Xhaka his flowers. He isn’t the complete #8, but he had a great game. He scored a goal, created openings, and made some daring runs. The man is in great form, the fans are falling in love with him, and he seems to be falling in love with us. What a great game.

Same for Thomas Partey, the player is focused, and he is doing all the things we hoped he’d do for us in that position.

Odegaard and Saka were a bit quiet, but hey, they must have contributed something, because we exited with 4 goals and a win.

Some concerns?

Mikel Arteta didn’t manage the second half particularly well. He has a deep bench, he should have made earlier changes when it was clear his players were suffering in the heat. It seems like a petty point to make, but the bigger picture is that we suffered last year because Mikel didn’t rotate enough. I know subs are not rotation, but they are a showing that he trusts people. If we are going to do damage this year, every player is going to be important.

Some other considerations: Remember we are two games into the season. It takes 5-8 to get match fit. We’ll be far more intense for longer after the break when players are fitter and the temp in the stadiums drops. We should be fully fit by the United game.

Overall though? I fucking love what I am seeing. We got our Arsenal back. The players are committed, the coaching is world class, and the football is really, really sexy.

P.S. Where are my ‘Arsenal should sack Arteta for EtH’ friends today? What a mess they have down there. Getting beaten 4-0 by Brentford in game two of the season. Liverpool up next. Are United trying to copy our opener from last season? You LOVE to see it. What is the learning here? It doesn’t matter how fancy your football, how bald you are, how much of a discipline merchant you are, or how many teenage boys call you elite on Twitter tactico handles… if you don’t have the right players and the workplace is toxic, you are going to need to call what you are doing a project and it is going to take a time to fix. All of that stuff that I was saying to defend Arteta, when people were saying I was on the take, is all true for United. Their CEO should tell the media Ten Hag is staying for 3 years no matter the results and that the players will be exited well before he is. They won’t though. Woudln’t be shocked to see them sack him by Christmas and hire Pochettino or Graham Potter (like they should have done in the first place).

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Samesong

1sr

Samesong

2nd

Samesong

3rd

Samesong

4th

Sadra Tehrani

First

Sadra Tehrani

shouldn’t have read it first before commenting…

Leftside

Top 5

Leftside

Good post, it was why I was nervous about letting Leno go although I understand that he’s too good to be a second keeper, and on too high wages and himself rightfully doesn’t want to be sat on the bench for most of the season. That being said, it remains to be seen whether Turner can keep Ramsdale on his toes. Ramsdale needs to go back to basics, keep it safe and go from there.

Rich

Ramsdale has just turned 24, some of his distribution is exceptional, he just needs to improve his concentration and add some composure Emi Martinez was still floating around on unsuccessful loans until he was 27 Alisson didn’t sign for Liverpool until he was almost 26, and that was off the back of just 1 good season. It’s not like De Gea, Lloris, or Mendy are faultless, and even Alisson + Ederson make the occasional clangers. It’s crystal clear why a keeper with good distribution is vital to the way Arteta sets us up Ramsdale has areas of his game that… Read more »

David

Thomas Partey was mehh today. Good recovered but So many errant passes. Also thought Ramz had the big save early and the excellent out ball to Jesus. Near post legs is definitely a problem…

But still COYG

James wood

Great first half.
Second half not so good.?
The Watford goalie looked very capable and their left back
exceptional although sent off last night.?

MidwestGun

Good post Peds.. You will look back on these sleepless nights with fondness, eventually. Daddy girls are the best.. Anyhow.. Today was an epic success anyway you look at it.. Got Jesus on track.. with a brace in home opener. Martinelli scoring when people said he wasnt a good finisher last season, and Xhaka scored.. ffs.. hahaha TT got some game time and ESR. That United loss was the icing on the cake. Saliba I can forgive and Ramsdale really isnt my biggest worry although it is a worry. Tweak a few things and we are rolling.. I hope. The… Read more »

Bob N16

I think that the most reassuring thing is that we have been far from perfect and we’ve won both games by two goals. I’m sure we’ll have days where we’ll win by 4/5.

Loved the atmosphere at the stadium, hope it came across on tv. There is now a hard core section behind the goal at the clock end that are young and enthusiastic.

Jayjay

Wow!!! What a post from pedro, you seem to be the bloke whose posts iloved to read about 2 years ago, more sleepless nights for you mate. Regarding ramsdale just give him a brake. If he’s kept his legs together and tha ball went in by his left and closer to the post, you would blame him for letting in near post goal, wouldn’t you? Same way you can blame saliba for his OG. Would that pass have gone to vardy if he didn’t cut it? Possibly yes. Could he have directed his header out wide? Possibly yes. But shit… Read more »

TT

I agree with most of that Pedro but I did not think Ramsdale had a bad game.

Ishola70

Who was that poster on here the other night that said Newcastle finishing ahead of Manchester United this season had not a chance in hell of happening?

Db10 legend

@Pedro

First time i agree with you 100 percent. Ramsdale is worrying us with his performances last half season.

Jayjay

Spent about half an hour on last one

Ishola70

Middy

” I thought Ten Hag would be a good fit for us..”

He’s walked into a nightmare at Manchester United.

Not only individual players obviously questioned but the whole dressing room looks to have been completely off and for a long time.

Db10 legend

Fuck them😁

rollen

4 great games in a row. Cant talk shit about Tets at the moment.
Left side was glorious. Gabi, Zinchenko and Granit did really well.
Jesus could have 4 goals.
manure where is should be.

Ishola70

I still haven’t seen the game through properly but if Ramsdale did give cause for concern again then having a big character like he obviously has can only take you so far. You can’t hide behind that big character forever. Your faults and weaknesses will be found out over time.

Let’s hope it’s a case of big character and all the necessary ingredients to go along with that to make him undoubtedly a top keeper.

Sounds like the jury is out again though.

Needs to bounce back by the sounds of it.

Venga, Dani

Wow barca struggling hard at home to relegation candidate Rayo.

Db10 legend

He is only young, but who here remembers Richard Wright. Signed as the next big thing, the next David Seaman and stunk the place out. But everything’s peachy at moment so I’ll enjoy the result and performance

gnarleygeorge9

I 2nd that Db 😛

Venga, Dani

Frenkie De Jong by far the best barca player on the pitch…of course they’re trying to bin him off

Venga, Dani

Auba comes on

Db10 legend

The football played so far is a joy. Still very early days but we do look in far better shape. As I said earlier, love being proven wrong as it means Arsenal are winning.

Db10 legend

Oh and I know it’s old news now, but if city really want Tierney, ask for top dollar and sell. Another jack wilshere I’m afraid.

G8

Ramsdale seems to struggle with low hard shots,
It’s like he can’t get his big frame down quick enough..
needs to work on that imo in addition to a bit of composure.
In contrast he is excellent dominating the box and dealing with high balls.
I don’t trust whoever is in charge of keepers coaching and recruitment though!

Venga, Dani

Dont know Db10 – he might do better if we have another LB that we can safely rotate. Tavares, Kolasinac, were never options when Tierney was fit. Zinchenko is

Db10 legend

Somethings not right in coaching department that’s for sure. Not all of scz , fab, martinez where shit keepers. Yes we’ve had a few obviously, but you have to ask why so many haven’t developed as we’d like.

Db10 legend

@Venga Dani

I know he’s good but with that money maybe we can buy a more reliable, less injury prone version of a Tierney

Topside Northbank

Think with the OG next time Saliba will simply try to head it away from goal or even behind for a corner, great response from the crowd and himself he looks to have everything you want in a modern cb. Ramsdale made a good save at 0-0 but the Leicester player should of buried it, he seems to get a bit tetchy in games can look composed and then the polar opposite minutes later. Pedro agree on the subs should of been on earlier especially in that heat but great that in Nketiah, Tomiyasu, Tierney, ESR we have some quality… Read more »

Venga, Dani

lol busquets sent off

Venga, Dani

Yeah I mean if they offered 50 million it’d be hard to turn that down but non-injury prone Tierney quality left backs dont exactly grow on trees do they

Venga, Dani

RAYO 1-0 LOL!

Venga, Dani

ohhhh offside close one

Leftside

“There is now a hard core section behind the goal at the clock end that are young and enthusiastic.“

Yeah, nice addition today. Their energy is contagious and rubs off positively on everyone in the ground.

Venga, Dani

lol Rayo shithousing barca so well. What a nightmare start this is for them. Kessie looks like he picked up an injury.

MidwestGun

That was a dodgy red card… but Barca struggling is always a good thing too.. Obnoxious Club. Time to sign some more players they can’t pay for until 2035.

Venga, Dani

lol, imagine if we signed Lewendowski, Raphinha, Kessie, Christenson, and Kounde by mortgaging our future and then drawing at home to Leeds on the first day with xhaka getting sent off. lmao

LoveSausage

Pedro,

Completely agree on Ramsdale. The first 1/3 of last season, he was world class. The middle 1/3, he was bang average. And in the final 1/3, he was below average. After these first two games, he isn’t filling me with confidence.

In fact, I’d go as far as bringing in another GK this TW. I’m not saying Ramsdale won’t get back to form – I certainly hope he will – but his current form is a single point of failure we shouldn’t accept. And I’d rather not rely on this Turner fellow.

Venga, Dani

Busquets deserves a lifetime supply of dodgy reds after his career to be fair

McBright is Wright

Fantastic review. Overall good performance from the lads. My only concern would be game management. It’s gonna be a long season.

alexanderhenry

Excellent win.

Intense pressing and pace. I was impressed.
It’s worth bearing in mind the amount of changes made to the squad, so there will be teething problems defensively.

shblando

Ramsdale has made 3 excellent saves over the last two games that have been real difference makers. The kid is a crazy ball of nerves, not sure if he’ll ever exude calmness or be a world class decision maker…but he has some real positives.

G

Spot on rich re Ramsdale

S23

Great to be winning.
Dodged a massive bullet on Lisandro Martinez,fingers crossed for a drab draw with lots of injuries to Spuds and Chelsea.

Zacharse

RichAugust 13, 2022 20:47:33 Ramsdale has just turned 24, some of his distribution is exceptional, he just needs to improve his concentration and add some composureEmi Martinez was still floating around on unsuccessful loans until he was 27Alisson didn’t sign for Liverpool until he was almost 26, and that was off the back of just 1 good season.It’s not like De Gea, Lloris, or Mendy are faultless, and even Alisson + Ederson make the occasional clangers.It’s crystal clear why a keeper with good distribution is vital to the way Arteta sets us upRamsdale has areas of his game that need… Read more »

Karsa

Ramsdale is doing ok. One mistake but plenty of positives too. Not a concern for me.

China1

Correct rich. 100%

China1

This man Utd train wreck is fast becoming my favourite thing in football even more than my love for arsenal

SHAMBLES. Love it. Absolutely love it

Buckagh

Man disunited, fuck them. Atmosphere great, but lots of empty seats in ground?

GD4

For the Arsenal it’s a case of keep piling up the points while you can because the schedule in
April and May is quite brutal.

Aaron

Jesus and Martinelli causing serious problems early on. Xhaka actually making some good decisions and being in the right place at the right time. Partey still solid, looks like he is starting to find fitness, just needs to tighten up his communication and more accurate passing. Saliba is a straight up beast, even his header almost calmly went past the post, but just a little to tight for the margin of error. Ramsdale saved a goal and created a goal, so will let him slide on that bullet from Madi between the legs. The team played well and genarally dominated… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

Pedro is overdoing it with the Ramsdale fear. Take a breath. Part of what makes him a great distributor is that high wire act of sucking in pressers and letting them get very close, which opens up channels of distribution. I know it makes us all nervous as they get within a step, but it’s amazing that you don’t recognize what he’s doing. Yes he got nutmegged today, but take away the own goal… and he’s allowed 1 goal in 2 games. Do we have to create issues to panic about? Parteys passing was disappointing today after being meh last… Read more »

China1

Tomi>white>Cedric>bellerin

Love tomi when he’s fit and sharp. Really hoping he slowly builds up his sharpness and stays fit. Quality footballer

Zinchenko is revolutionizing our LB. Tierney didn’t play well last season and is also comparatively basic even tho he’s a good player overall

Zinchenko is not just technically superior but his decision making in the build up is miiiiles better

Tierney defaults to aimless gorm crosses when he runs out of ideas. Zinchenko is so good at building play tho.

China1

People going way too hard to saka, it’s ridiculous Guy has put the club on his back for about 2.5 years. He’s 20 years old lol. Someone described him as having downed tools yesterday. You couldn’t make it up. Ironically not picked up an assist along the way with a first half cross to xhaka that sadly headed off the post He looked a bit jaded, sure. Big difference between that and downing tools. It would have been a bit easier for him to dominate if the build up wasn’t constantly going down the left hand side or if he… Read more »

China1

If we beat Bournmouth and Utd lose at Liverpool we’ll be 8 points ahead of Utd already and at least 2 ahead of Liverpool

If they draw next week and we win we’ll be 8 points ahead of Utd and at least 4 clear of Liverpool.

very good. Let’s get those points next week and see where we land.

Venga, Dani

Who are we pulling for tomorrow? A draw with red cards/injuries?

bacaryisgod

Pedro

I’m with you on Gabriel not playing to his strengths but I think this was partly down to good tactics from Leicester. They didn’t pressure him with the ball because they wanted to force him into either dribbling or hitting an errant pass. Their goal was to try and deny the pass to Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard etc but our overall movement was too good and Zinchenko was a massive asset joining the midfield in possession.

Claver

Nice little link ups developing. Particularly on the left. Reminiscent of those lovely Jack, Cazorla, Giroud triangles.

Teams are going to start preparing for that. Fast switches to the other side solve that particular problem. But saka at the moment is a bit isolated.

Ps. China, your math is doing my head in.

bacaryisgod

As for Ramsdale, Pedro is spot on. He’s not awful enough to be a disaster but he’s looking panicky with his feet, in the air and in his positioning. I think we missed a trick not signing David Raya back when Brentford were in the Championship. He commands the box, is a good shot stopper and you just feel secure with him back there. Too expensive now, unfortunately. For all the good work we’ve done elsewhere, the goalkeeping transfer business, from selling Martinez to bringing in Runarsson and the shaky form of Ramsdale and previously Leno, has to be held… Read more »

LoveSausage

I’m sure Saka will find his form but it’ll be a transition for him. Last season he carried the team and everything we did went through his side of the pitch. That won’t be the case this season so he’ll need to learn some new patterns beyond receiving the ball on the touchline, drawing two players and cutting in. When he does, his output will double.

Venga, Dani

Wouldnt be surprised if Mikel goes back in for Raya eventually. Maybe in 1-2 seasons time

allezkev

Ramsdale is absolutely fine, but I understand the need to worry about something, you see goalkeepers do make mistakes, all of them but we’ve got a good goalkeeper who’ll get better and better as he gets more experienced.

Venga, Dani

BTW how good does Martinelli look. No one can knock him off the ball anymore. He’s really improved in maintaining possession.

Nigel Tufnel

Saka will be fine, no doubt…

I’m just a fair poster, and I don’t avoid criticism of my favorite players, and I’m not too rough on any of our guys that work hard. Just calling it fairly. No pets, and no scapegoats from me.

I’m the roughest person on Saliba here… until he extends with us… but I was cheering for him today like everyone else. I even loved the photos of him laughing and enjoying practice earlier this week. A sign he’s really beginning to feel that he’s part of the team collective.

Madhu

Agree with Rams, not a big problem and least of our worries. We should look at our defence they are allowing way too many shots. Zin is good for build up play but his defensive ability is suspect coupled with the fact that he takes up position which is more inverted allows the opposition lot.of space on the least channel. If we play Zin then it has to be for limited period and should get Tierney in by the hour mark. Attack looks slick and the front three are great. Partey yesterday was ok his passing was erratic and his… Read more »

Wengaball

Ramsdale should have done better on the Maddison goal.

But one of Gabriel or Zinchenko shouldn’t have allowed him a free shot in the first case.

I have played left back (still do). Sometimes when the angle becomes that tight you can get complacent for a fraction of a second thinking he can’t score from there but that’s me a hundred levels below. At the topmost level one of the two should have been blocking that shot or shepherding Maddison wider.

China1

Claver my maths skills are the way you can confirm I’m not actually chinese

Samesong

I thought Maddison goal was a class finish. Hit low and hard. Could Rams done better ? Of course but it is what it is. We move on.

Leedsgunner

Pedro

I told you Gabi J was good! I was ahead of you on this one!

Steveyg87

Ramsdale is just fine by me. Yes he has the occasional brain fart up his sleeve but the boy is talented and up there with de gea in terms of reflex saves. Lets give him time. 24years old. He will come good. We need to remember we’ve had Almunia, Flappyhandski and who can forget Cech who went 4 years without saving a penalty for us?

Steveyg87

I will agree though that Gabriel needs to simplify his game. Takes far too many touches. Thats not his job. Break up the play and distribute soon as you have the opportunity. Also worth noting that Odegaard had a better game when he didnt have players marking him. Hope Arteta sees what we all see. ESR for the physical teams and Odegaard against the ball playing teams

IAT-Robbie

“Zinchenko is revolutionizing our LB. Tierney didn’t play well last season and is also comparatively basic even tho he’s a good player overall”

Well noted, China. Makes you wonder of the standards at City if a guy like Zinchenko was considered a benchwarmer there. It does seem like Tierney is the more natural defender though.

Pierre

Nice to see the players playing with a smile on their face again , it’s like they know the arrival of jesus, zinchenko and saliba have added a new dimension to our game.

Away from home performances and results will tell if we really have turned the corner..
If we destroy Bournemouth next week then the fear factor will be there before we have even stepped onto the pitch in the coming weeks.

Gonsterous

Great game yesterday. Wildly enjoyable.
Hope tomi comes back soon so we can finally start attacking from the right again.

Saka facing the same problems that pepe faced. Arteta wants them to stick to the sidelines when both operate best inside the box.

DivineSherlock

That outside of the boot cross by Tierney in closing stages was filthy . I like both our LBs but I think Tierney should start at home where we tend to attack more and Zinchenko away games where we need to be compact.

izzo

Once Fabio Viera starts getting games and deputizing for Odegaard we’re going to see even more goals and putting teams to the sword to kill off games. His passing is outrageous and he’ll score goals as well as he’s not shot shy with that left wand of his.

Leedsgunner

I was so wrong on Arteta. I don’t care… Arsenal is winning and that my friends is what matters.

Pierre

Divinesherlock
“but I think Tierney should start at home where we tend to attack more and Zinchenko away games where we need to be compact.”

Surely it should be the other way round. Zinchenko gives the team different options when we are looking to break down the opposition at home, though i would definitely have Zinchenko as the permanent startet home and away, if he is struggling defensively in certain games then the easy solution is to bring on Tierney , 5 subs will allow an early tactical substitution.

Pierre

After seeing Zinchenko play a couple of friendlies, it was obvious to me that our left hand side would become more prominent and it would give us better options when breaking down defences.

Martinelli is thriving with a player of zinchenko’s quality behind him, Xhaka also looks like he is enjo

Pierre

Enjoying his football .

Left Testicle

Good stuff yesterday.

Whilst he didn’t do anything wrong Saka was quiet.

If only Ramsdale could cut out the silly mistakes and improve his concentration.

Would like to see more subs utilised when the game has been won.

Pierre

Due to the arrival of Zinchenko , who has the ability to find space on the pitch and look like he has all the time in the world on the ball due to great technique and good spacial awareness, Saka ( and Odegaard) won’t be involved in the play quite so much, but what it will mean is that when they receive the ball , there will be more space on the right side of the pitch , the arrival of Zinchenko means we are mow able to stretch the opposition defence.

Pierre

Left testicle
“If only Ramsdale could cut out the silly mistakes and improve his concentration.”

Ramsdale looks like a player/person who’s mistakes weigh heavily on him which is not a good thing for a goalkeeper..

All keepers make mistakes , the best keepers are the one’s who put their mistakes behind them quickly.

Richard

Pedro
I have been up for an hour and a half, changed the new born’s nappy twice, the toddler’s once (they stink as bad as mine), fed toddler which included getting cereal and milk poured on me, and not even able to enjoy a hot coffee yet.
The next few years will be tough, but you just have to enjoy the good bits, because there will be lots and lots of them!

Guns of Hackney

Very mediocre performance. Glossy but meh.

5/10.

Must sharpen up.

Emiratesstroller

Ramsdale needs to learn that he is first and foremost a goalkeeper and needs to concentrate on the disciplines of that position. What became apparent in the second half of last season is that he became more focussed on playing like The Man City goalkeeper. He was not at fault for the first goal, but he was responsible for second and also charging out at Vardy was ill discipline even if it was not a penalty. Arsenal will benefit from arrival of Saliba once he is fully integrated and settled in backline because he is most definitely a “presence” and… Read more »

Jonko

Since that first half against Nunberg I just cant get enough of Arsenal. Almost get into a depressed state when the match ends knowing I have to wait another week. The last time I felt like this was during that Emery 22 game run.

Mr Serge

Pedro I think you are a bit hard on the defence, it’s only salibas and zinchenko second ever game, they need to get used to their team mates and what they can and cannot do, white was also playing right back,
Going forward we are fire it’s going to be an exciting season,

englandsbest

We climbed a big step up yesterday. Razor sharp on the wings, a spearhead of a striker, lancing passers of the ball, a rock at the centre, a barrier at the back, Xhaka everywhere.

A lean mean guillotine

Who is next for the chopping block?

DivineSherlock

Pierre

Zinchenko has good ball retention qualities and Tierney is more direct and has a gung ho approach . Makes sense to play Tierney against average teams at home where he can make those runs .

Un

Stroller Every goal keeper has a weakness Even seaman let in howlers at his peak. I do agree that he must work on his weaknesses but I do recall a quote from pep guardiola on stones and Ederson getting caught out while playing out from the back I’m paraphrasing but it was something like “I don’t mind if hey make a mistake while playing the way I am instructing them to rather than playing long balls out of the back.” Mistakes are part of the learning process and par for the course in such a risky style. Ramsdale has played… Read more »

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