ARSENAL SIZZLE GOING FORWARD, BUT DEFENCE STUTTERS

by .

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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Un

Richard

Don’t you have a mrs? 😝

Pierre

Un
Sunday must be her day off

Dunchirado

These Brazilians Gabriel we have are a rampant
hardworking bunch!

Jonnygunner

A brilliant win,and the way we scored just after Leicester felt they were back in the game was perfect. No better way to destabilise your opponents than getting a goal back almost straight away.

Pierre

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 .”

Zinchenko all day long for me offensively.

Pierre

Un
Whilst we are winning Ramsdale’s indiscretions are not a problem , the problem arises if he starts costing us points..

.

Wicked Willy

EB

Liking your style

Un

Pierre
He won us 2 points against palace
And cost us no points vs Leicester

Pierre

Un
“Pierre
He won us 2 points against palace
And cost us no points vs Leicester”

Exactly …no problem atm.

Akinzo

Ramsdale is still a baby for a goalkeeper. Some part of his play at the moment are irritating but he will certainly get better. And so will the entire team as the season goes along. We ought to remember that we are still building and we are miles away from being perfect. It makes more sense to lower our expectations at the moment than to argue that we are already the best team in the land. Its funny arguing that Saka isn’t blitzing. Its not his fault that most of the game is being played fromnthe left. There were palpable… Read more »

Emiratesstroller

Un

I made an observation about Ramsdale, which does not suggest that he is past redemption.

However, when I see a goalkeeper move up to almost the halfway line as he did in a couple
of home games last season it did concern me. A half decent team would target Arsenal’s
goal with long distance shots.

Ramsdale needs to focus on his goalkeeping duties and not act as a prima dona. Arsenal have the makings of a decent defence if we can keep everyone match fit, but what we don’t
need is a goalkeeper who is a potential weak link.

Akinzo

What need bother us now is Arteta’s disinclination towards making early changes. This will prove vital to our desire to truly close the gap between us and the better side.
We are all aware of the demerits of not keeping all the players up to speed and running the risk of playing the first team aground. What’s the sense in bringing players in at 85th minute?

Topside Northbank

Just seen Edu spotted boarding a plane to Valencia again….

Linked to Pino Villareal maybe someyhing in it only 19 but a wide player with real dribbling ability maybe he’s the ‘mystery winger’.

Un

I’d love to be going to Valencia today

Pierre

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.”

But can he track back ?

China1

‘ 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)’

If the toddler’s happy stinks as bad as your nappy I’d suggest upgrading to a better quality adult nappy brand. Pampers Seniors all day

Karsa

I think the lack of early subs is simpley Arteta giving his first XI as much time together as possible to gel.

There are only a few games until the first International break so playing time together is important. There’s plenty of time to rest players. Rotation isn’t a major issue after two games.

shad

Saliba really is the Rolls Royce in that Arsenal defence. Keeps things moving, body shape always spot on, aggressive in the tackle and reads the game so well. His ceiling is so, so high and in a couple of seasons bar injury, he will be world-class for sure. Gabi (#6) definitely could learn a few things from him. Overall, some lads looked a yard off the pace and were erratic with their decision making and passing, could be the heat taking a toll on them (Odegaard, Saka, Partey) but all in all onwards and upwards. I hope to see better… Read more »

TR7

As one of the few people who doesn’t rate Tierney I am very happy to see Zinchenko occupy the left back position. Tierney is hard working and full of passion but he lacks the skills on the ball that Zinchenko has. The guy looks so calm and composed. If you look at his passes they are perfectly weighted and in the right areas which really elevates our link up play to another level.

Zesus and Zinchenko have been absolutely amazing so far, it’s astonishing they were fringe players at City.

Topside Northbank

Nottingham Forest close to signing Aouar interesting we were linked with him last couple of years.

Thought the lad that came on for Everton Onana looked promising for them box to box and a handful, not many goals in that team though.

Habesha Gooner

Jesus was fantastic yesterday. It was a complete forward performance. He could have had two more with that open goal and the one on one he had (he could have also passed to Saka). He has never been a clinical forward. But what he brings is much more than just goals. He didn’t get the main man role at city and that is why he was struggling. The first goal in particular was fantastic. Short back lift to generate that much power and he directed it where he wanted. Ramsdale wasn’t poor imo. The second goal shouldn’t be going in… Read more »

TallestTiz

Some rumours that Tielemans rejected a deal to Manchester United, after a price of £30 million was agreed between the clubs.
Arsenal have been in contact with player’s agent but no contacts with Liecester FC

TR7

Odegaard is a continuity player who keeps the ball ticking but Arsenal need more from our CAM if we aspire to be in top 4 and closer to City and Liverpool. Let’s hope ESR remains fit and regains his form to eventually displace Odegaard or Viera turns out to be too good to be on the bench.

Anyway we are in a good place as far as attacking play is concerned.

Jesus, Eddie, Saka, ESR, Martinelli, Viera, Odegaard, Pepe and Marquinhos – 9 options for 4 positions.

TR7

Odegaard is a one footed player who can’t dribble or score. A player limited on 3 fronts can’t be our CAM.

Marko

Aouar close to joining forest is a big surprise

Chika

Nottingham Forest have signed 13 players this summer, that’s really huge.

Chika

Martinelli is playing like a big boy this summer. He seems extra determined to add goals/assits. He appears to have raised his technical game too.

Marko

They’ve gone for the pay to win approach which can be risky cause if they get relegated most of these players will then be sold

Marko

Anyone notice Martinelli is on set piece duty? That shows trust imo

G

I definatley do not want Chelsea winning today, hate them more then Spurs , but i think we have a better chance of overtaking Chelsea this season then spurs , so want a draw

China1

Aouar was being talked up as a likely Madrid signing 2 years ago. Now he’s joining Forest?

That’s going to be an interesting one to watch. If he works out a lot of clubs will be kicking themselves for not picking up a bargain.

If it doesn’t work out maybe we dodged a bullet

Mr Serge

I always always always want spurs to lose the only exception is we are neck and neck on the final day of the season against another team and spurs are playing them
Other than that die spurs die

Bob N16

Felt Ndidi would add more to our squad than Tielemans on the evidence from yesterday.

Mr Serge

China there has to be something wrong with Aoar if he is willing to go to forest that’s a massive fall from grace

China1

Best result today is a draw

We want to finish above Chelsea and Spurs. Both are on the same number of points. Draw works best

Bob N16

Draw today is best, a few reds and injuries would be ideal!

Samesong

Spurs to lose at this early stage of the season. Why? Because they think they are the bee’s knees at the moment. I never want spurs to win ever. Chelsea will always have their moments also so not bothered about them picking up 3 points today

Marko

Injuries… that’s not very nice of you positive Bob

Rich

Emphatic Chelsea win for me.

Snapped limbs + red cards for both

If Spurs get a result at home, that’ll just give them momentum + confidence, i loath Chelsea, but Spurs are just a whole different level of cuntyness.

Northbanker

BobN16 – my thoughts too – Ndidi is absolutely right for us. Really not sure what Tielemans would add but in fairness Inhavent watched him that much

Pierre

I did question Martinelli a few years back , but I wouldn’t question him now, we are starting to see end product , we are starting to see a player boss the opposition, great to see. He looks the part , similar to Eddie when he was being questioned and he now looks the part. Both are going to terrorise defences along with saka , jesus and hopefully smith rowe and Vieira. Some players may have to wait a little for their opportunity, it’s a pity we didn’t make champions league as this squad is starting to look like champions… Read more »

Naija+soccer

So that’s 16 goals scored in four games (Chelsea, Sevilla, Crystal Palace, Leicester) against decent opposition and only 2 conceded, one of them being an own goal.

I m impressed.

Naija+soccer

Saka is still getting match fit, or he is seriously missing Tomiyasu/Cedric. Or both.

Partey and Odegaard too.

But we are destroying teams without our best player in peak form yet. And our most productive side( the right) still waiting to come alive.

Positives.

Ray+in+LA

Marko

condolences on Xhaka’s adequate performance 🙂

after his early give-away that lead up to Ramsdale’s save, I thought Mr Xhaka played very well 🙂

Bob N16

Marko, positive for Arsenal wouldn’t you say?

TheBayingMob

Most worried about White going off injured. Barely two games in and we are starting to drop like flies already.

Nigel Tufnel

“A brilliant win,and the way we scored just after Leicester felt they were back in the game was perfect. No better way to destabilise your opponents than getting a goal back almost straight away.”

Yeah Jonny
This is something that City and Liverpool have been doing for years..
This is where we are heading as a team

Ishola70

Chika

“Nottingham Forest have signed 13 players this summer, that’s really huge.”

Rather than the amount it’s whether you have a few in there of the required quality.

Their new CB signing looked awful tbh against Newcastle.

Only the young fullback they signed from Liverpool showed anything at all.

Would be surprised if West Ham don’t win today so naturally we can expect a Notts Forest home win.

Rich

Nobody should be surprised when much of our play goes down our left, and we create the overload down that side, that the right side suffers as a result, through having less of the ball. Last season it was the other way around, everything went through Odegaard + Saka. Xhaka + Zinchenko are both players who’s strengths are progressing the ball from deep, some of their interchanging of positions yesterday was straight out of the very top draw. Leicester didn’t have a clue who to pick up with both players occupying central and wide areas. Martinelli is now physically sharp… Read more »

Bergkamp63

Might be some truth to the rumours that Edu was spotted at airport boarding a plane for Valencia ?

Yeremi Pino ?

The watch that the guy who is reportedly him looks very much like the the one he has worn before !

Ishola70

Said before Xhaka playing this further forward role is better for the side. His main weaknesses are getting caught on the ball and some opponents passing him too easily so if he gets done like this further forward it’s not going to be as damaging to the side and dangerous as when he played deeper and tbf to him he shows some good enthusiasm in the more forward role. Does this mean that Xhaka is now a quality player? Not really it’s just his role now sees that his weaknesses would not be so hurtful to the side. He can… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

“Aouar close to joining forest is a big surprise”

Lol why is this a surprise?

No good team in the world ( not even mediocre )wants him, so a team favoured for relegation takes a shot on him.

All you know about him is that he was linked to Arsenal 2 Summers ago.

Scouts and technical directors don’t think his character is worth the risk.

Grovers got obsessed with the guy without hardly seeing him play. You are a newsnow scout.

Naija+soccer

Can’t be in two places at the same time? Tell that to B. Johnson. He’s playing for both Nottingham Forrest(striker) and West ham(defence)at the moment. Hehe

raptora

Jadon Sancho has played under more managers at Man United (4) than he has goals in the Premier League (3).

Read that and had to share. 😂

Naija+soccer

Nigel

How bad is his character that he’s gone from Arsenal almost buying him to Nottingham forrest being his only admirers in 2 summers ?

Ishola70

As we all know you have to be careful when judging offensive players from the German Bundesliga.

Of course Sancho has qualities would be silly to say he doesn’t but there is the danger of over-rating from what he did in Germany.

And that’s not disparaging the Bundesliga and over-rating EPL. EPL has some dodgy defensive teams themselves. It’s just that overall the Bundesliga is a more open league to play in regards offensive players.

Naija+soccer

Yup Ishola70

Timo Werner case in point. Back in Germany, scored a long ranger yesterday. The kind he never came close to scoring at Chelsea.

Marko

Nigel you absolute tit 1 you don’t know if I watch German or Italian or Spanish football and 2 Aouar was outstanding for Lyon in their champions league run a couple seasons ago. He’s a top talent just being priced out of moves by greedy family members apparently

Pedro

Naija, he has a bad reputation. Hilarious to see him crater his career to Nottingham Forest levels. What a shocking culmination of two years worth of links.

karim

Marko’s right, Aouar is an excellent player and will probably perform in the EPL. Would not be surprised if he joined a big English club once he proves he can play well in this league.

Chika

Ishola70

Signing 13 players feels too many, when a team signs as many players, they’re likely mostly average. Let’s see how they perform as the season progresses.

Rich

Ish Buying proven PL talent is certainly the less risky option, we’re already seeing the benefits of Jesus + Zinchenko being equipped to hit the ground running. If we sign a midfielder, Tielemans seems like the safer bet, particularly with his contract situation, but depends what the plan is for our midfield?… Do the club think he can be a hybrid solution who can play as a single pivot, and both sides of a single pivot? I’ve always thought he was better as a No8, and he’s generally operate on the inside right. Do we go for a left footer… Read more »

Pedro

Karim, he needs a rehab club before he’s got out of France. Gotta work on his game and his terrible rep.

Marko

Wasn’t he close to Atletico last summer but a family member asked for like 2 million after everything looked agreed? That sort of shit turns off clubs but no doubting he’s a good player. He’d waltz into our team.

That Mangala fella at forest we were linked to him a couple years back he looks decent too

Rich

Balogun with his first start, and another goal for Reims.

He’s going to develop into some player.

karim

Pedro

Shame, really as he’s not a bad guy. He definitely needs a new challenge out of his comfort zone.

Ishola70

Chika

“Signing 13 players feels too many, when a team signs as many players, they’re likely mostly average. Let’s see how they perform as the season progresses”

Well they are winning at home at half time today atm not watching it so may be case that they are playing better than they did at Newcastle the other week.

Very early stages so teams are just settling and sorting themselves out in most cases.

But you feel Notts Forest are going to have to lean really heavily on home form to stand any chance of staying in the league.

WengerEagle

Aouar is absolute quality as a player but yes, his mentality is up for debate right now certainly.

Well worth the gamble for Forest though as he is so far out of their league quality wise if he can be motivated. Karim is on the money, will be a stepping stone for him like West Ham was for Carlos Tevez.

Marko

That’s literally it Karim stagnation more than anything.

Pedro

TR7 starting his campaign against a player so good Arteta made him captain.

Martin has levels to go. He was a key component of our scintillating attack. There is nothing to worry about their,

Little reminder or some of his highlights.

https://twitter.com/rl_comps/status/1558710876081094657?s=21&t=42YQ74amWEOwbBFRWFhiuA

WengerEagle

That Awonyi fella looks a handful. Powerful athlete, fast and can finish.

Scored plenty last season in the Bundesliga so if he can score 12-15 PL goals it may well keep Forest up.

Pedro

Karim,

It’s such a shame when these young men blow their talent.

Forest a very fun team this season. Their forwards are causing west ham so many problems

WengerEagle

Still so pumped by Jesus and Martinelli in particular.

Really exciting watching thar pair, haven’t been thrilled by an Arsenal duo like that in a long time.

Pedro

Oof, Forest running riot!

izzo

How right was I about the overrated tubby Jadon Sancho. Got called out that he was this amazing baller. Bundesliga has talents but not many can replicate that talent in the PL. So much money wasted on a player who is actually on the same level as Reiss Nelson. Did nothing either playing for England. Very flaky player that will be phased out and end up playing for the likes of Norwich/Forest. If he wants to resurrect his career as he’s still young he should return to the Bundesliga. PL isn’t for him.

karim

Brazil can definitely win the WC this year. Neymar has also been pretty damn good so far this term.

Marko

So we believing the Edu Ryanair flight stuff? Surely means Yeremy Pino right

Rich

Even thought it’s highly unlikely, I thought about putting a cheeky little £20 on United being relegated before the season kicked off. The odds have dropped so badly now, it’s not even worth it, because it’s still unlikely, but the payout is no longer there in the unlikely event, that it actually happens. Looks like plenty of others had the same idea, and after Leicester cleaned the bookies out in 2016, they’ve reacted quickly. Football + football narrative can change very quickly, and they’ve got some quality in their team, but if they don’t start at least fighting, they could… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

Fekking Antonio is a brainless brute. Another one grovers used to want for Arsenal.

Marko

WE I’m getting Pires and Henry vibes from them. Good understanding on the pitch and a good rapport off it

WengerEagle

Sancho has been poor there’s no getting away from that and I was a massive fan of his at Dortmund.

But is there a single Utd player that hasn’t looked poor to terrible in the last 2 years? I think most players you plug in there would look pretty bad including De Jong if they somehow get him.

FDJ next to Fred or McTominay would be a crap CM still.

Samesong

Clear penalty and a sending off

Ishola70

karim
“Brazil can definitely win the WC this year.”

Urgh World Cup.

For those that value club football over international football this upcoming one is just a huge pain in the arse.

WengerEagle

Marko

Potentially 5+ years in front of that partnership too given their ages, really exciting stuff.

Martinelli is going to be a super player, this will be his season to explode.

WengerEagle

Yeah usually like the summer WC but not looking forward to this upcoming shitfest at all.

Think it has the potential to ruin the club season.

Marko

Forest got United (Sheffield) Henderson and not United (Manchester) Henderson

raptora

Odegaard has good linkup play and all but watching this comp, you can see how he doesn’t make the difference, he is not impacting the game like he should. Even Xhaka’s linkup play was good yesterday, pretty sure you can watch a compilation of 5 other Arsenal players with a better overall contribution to Odegaard.

But do we really sacrifice a position in the team for someone who just recycles the ball well? How many top class players that don’t score or assist that much play/have played in Ode’s position?! Iniesta? Can’t even mention Odegaards name next to him.

WengerEagle

Ramsdale is becoming a bit of a concern really, only negative for me in yesterday’s game.

His post Christmas form has continued to bleed into this season, bit flappy vs Palace and very poor goal to concede from Maddison yesterday. Turner by all accounts is complete shite so not feeling great about the Gk situation right now.

Nigel Tufnel

Declan Rice. Another overrated player. I hope Chelsea or United buy him for 150 mil.. put him on 300k.

He’s good, but waaay overrated.

WengerEagle

Rice is overrated yes.

Very decent player but fairly basic in skillset. Not even close to the level of the likes of Gerrard, Lampard, Scholes for past England CMs.

The prices being quoted are farcical.

raptora

I don’t rate Rice so high as most posters here. Don’t think he’s all that.

karim

Ish/Eagle

I know Qatar was a terrible choice and it may even end up being counter-productive as far as Arsenal are concerned but I can’t help feeling excited, it’s the Mundial guys !

Marko

How can people not enjoy a world cup? It’s great and this is from someone who hates international football over club football

Naija+soccer

I obviously must have missed something but please why did they schedule the world cup into mid-season this time around ? Anyone ?

Naija+soccer

Feels like such a distraction. But if it somehow benefits our top 4 ambition then I guess it ain’t so bad eh.

WengerEagle

Going to fuck up the club season Marko and I much prefer club football.

PL and CL >>> WC for me.

karim

Naija

Weather conditions

Marko

It was a shit place to host it though I’ll give you that

Naija+soccer

Karim

Ah weather yes, major disrupter. Thank you my brother.

Rich

Ramsdale is learning a new way of playing, some of his distribution is superb, almost got an assist yesterday, put Martinelli through at Palace, and did it consistently in pre-season. He’s come from clubs who’s goals have been bombarded, he’s not been asked to step up the pitch and cover the space between our 2 centre backs in possession before, he’s not been asked to distribute in this way before. Anyone who’s tried to learn a different way of doing something, will know that teething problems are inevitable, they can’t continue in perpetuity, but there needs to be a level… Read more »