DECLAN KILLS UNITED IN FERGIE TIME

by .

Call the emergency services, my EKG is still off the scale, and the game has been finished 12 hours. Arsenal took a cagey game against United into a marathon of overtime and put EtH to the sword with two MASSIVE goals.

It’s hard to know where to start – but we should address the bullshit narratives that have been peddled all week. Just flick through your twitter feed or your group chats and remember all those characters that have spent the last 5 days complaining about the world caving in because we drew against Fulham. How are Arsenal fans so damaged? What did those cold nights during the banter years do to them? How can putting Thomas Partey at right back trigger a reaction so bad I had to keep double checking we didn’t lose that game?

Who knows… but those people were ready with the knives out when Garnacho broke through on goal in the 87th minute.

Kai ain’t right…

Arteta has regressed the side…

United are going to surpass us this season…

WE SHOULD NOT HAVE SOLD HOLDINHO!

Then BANG… those pre-written obituary notes went in the bin and all the carry-on last week was forgotten and brushed under 180 pivot carpet with platitudes like: ‘well, he picked the team I wanted.’

Mikel Arteta tactically outsmarted EtH, again. The Dutch manager offered up the ultimate sign of respect by doing absolutely nothing adventurous all game. He parked the bus, instructed his team to waste time, and he thought his bland plan had worked when his sub broke free of the offside trap late on.

It wasn’t to be.

Garnacho was played offside by some incisive body-shifting from Gabriel.

Arsenal made the 12 minutes of added time count with two brilliant goals.

But let’s talk about the shape of the game because it’s important to remind everyone how good we were. The first half was totally dominant from Arsenal. We did well in the duels, we hoovered up second balls, and we kept United looking very ordinary. Our defenders stopped United’s main attackers from turning with aggressive pressing and hustling.

Gabriel was welcomed back into the side and he showed no signs of being upset about missing the first three games. He kept Antony at bay, not allowing him to fidget spin or cause other problems.

We were very buttoned up, but United snapped at us first the only way they know how: Marcus Rashford, in transition, with Aaron Ramsdale conceding from the first shot on target in the game for the 7th time in 2023. No team concedes more first-time shots in the league than Arsenal. The super annoying part about the goal was the error came from Kai Havertz sloppy pass. He looked upset, Saliba comforting him. Those feeling were likely exacerbated by his air shot early on when he had time and space. When it rains, it pours. No amount of off-the-ball work or defensive stability down the left (noting that all our goals are leaking down the right) will assuage some fans from planting a tombstone in his 4-game old career.

Back to conceding… My life was flashing before my eyes; what would the narrative be if we lost? How could I exist after pumping the side all week? But before I could even pen a single piece of propaganda onto Twitter, Martin Odegaard was found alone in the penalty box by Martinelli and he drilled home to level things up. Captain Fantastic at it again. There are some players that hit a certain level of consistency that is so top tier, you barely comment on them. That is Martin these days.

The second half was a little more cagey. We controlled, but it felt like a less confident performance because United were catching us in transition every error we made. Arteta will no doubt be looking at that this week, because against good teams, we’re going to get put to the sword.

The offside goal happened in the 87th minute. I sent out Whatsapp messages saying ‘TUCKED UP, AGAIN’ but I needn’t have worried. The big man in VAR heaven blessed us by putting down the magic graphical lines – showing that Gabriel played the offside trap to George Graham levels of perfection.

That gave Arsenal the chance to go for the jugular. United had nothing to offer. Arteta rolled on the chaos crew.

Vieira (assist)

Jesus (goal)

Reiss (brilliant)

Jorginho (can’t remember)

Tomi (also brilliant)

It worked. The structure we had most of the game disappeared – Arsenal became ungovernable. United shot off green and white panic flares and tied white pieces of cloth to the corner flags. EtH, the manager who has spent £340m on players, rolled on Jonny Evans and Harry McGuire. We kept pressuring, poking, and ragging United left to right.

The moment came from a corner. Bukayo, fairly anonymous all game, found Declan at the back post, he brought the ball down on his chest, no one pressured him, WHACK on the half volley, GOAL, in off some United legs.

THE CROWD WENT WILD! RICE, RICE, BABY!

We still had time to play out – and there was enough of it for another goal. This time Arsenal broke on the counter, Fabio Vieira picked up the ball on the halfway line, most thought he’d roll it into safety to kill time, but the hot 8 slipped the ball into Gabriel Jesus, he powered down on goal, chopped the ball back, sent Dalot sliding down Holloway road, then he curled the ball past the extremely annoying Onana.

BEAUTIFUL.

So where have we landed?

Are Arsenal back to being a good team after a week of doubt?

I think so.

There are certainly some areas to work on.

Kai Havertz looked a little lost. His confidence has been shot to pieces, things aren’t rolling for him, but I’m telling you, he’ll be a great player for us. If you think Arteta is going to give up on him, you’d be totally wrong. I’ve been told that Kai is a top professional, he’s great at training, he’s well-liked by everyone, and Arteta thinks he has incredible qualities. Clock the people that relentlessly bag on him over the next few months – and when the time comes to take vengeance, do not tolerate ‘I was kidding, gotcha.’

One thing that might impact Kai is the great form of last season’s ‘he should go on loan to Swansea’ meatbag, Fabio Vieira. The Portuguese came on again and delivered when it mattered. 2 assists in 50 minutes of game time. He’ll be eating up some of those Champions League games, no doubt. But fair play to him, he hasn’t had an easy ride, now he’s starting to look the part, even if he does still boast the frame of a medium build 15-year-old boy.

Aaron Ramsdale has conceded quite a few goals from very few shots on target. I’m just not sure how long his run is going to last with David Raya at the training ground. My prediction is Raya is going to start against PSV – then the countdown clock begins for Ramsdale. At the level we need to be at, you need your keeper keeping out the impossible, Aaron hasn’t been doing that consistently for a while.

Johnny said on the Podcast that the standard back 5 from last year did a better job than the group that was put forward for Fulham. I don’t agree at all. We limited United to two shots on target and still managed to concede. But the bigger worry is United carved through us numerous times after picking up erroneous passes. It was basically their strategy – refuse possession, wait for a bad pass, cut through us. On a different day, we’re paying a heavier price than one goal. I doubt the coaching staff will have missed that, regardless of how solid some of the individual performances were.

Eddie had a really powerful game. His movement was brilliant, he showed great strength all game, and he worked tirelessly. But when Jesus entered the fray, you could see the difference. Defenders stood off him, his skillset has a little more shine to it, and when he was presented a chance, he took it with gusto. Jesus is still number one, but now Eddie is a meaningful option to rotate.

Declan Rice. What a player. Matt said on the podcast he’s a blend of Granit and Partey and it’s hard to disagree. He was a boss yesterday. He has on pitch presence and charisma, his passing is outrageous, those switches are NSFW, he offers up composure well beyond his years, and now we’ve just been shown he’s a big game impactor. What a way to announce yourself to the Arsenal faithful. Not many players over £70m represent value for money – that ain’t going to be the case with Rice. He looks worth every penny.

So what about Mikel Arteta? He showed once again, he is a top 3 manager in the Premier League, and he reminded anyone that is willing to doubt him they are likely going to end up eating their terrible opinions. EtH was probably the last of the ‘we should have hired him over Arteta’ and I think we’re now seeing that that can go on the scrap heap with Carlo, Jose, Antonio, Allegri, and Potter.

The vision for Arsenal is clear – we’re going to use certain games to try new ideas and give minutes to players who are on the fringe. That keeps players fresh, it gives them experience in a live environment, and it makes Arsenal unpredictable.

There will still be big game teams like today that require us to play our best / most familiar 11. That starting 11 wasn’t the realization that we’ve been doing something wrong. That was Arteta matching the players, formation, and system to an opposition that merited it. Arteta needed Gabriel today to deal aggressively with a brilliant forward line. He was always going to revert back to Ben White and Zinchenko against the best teams because they are first choice. Our midfield picked itself based on the physical requirements needed against United – Fabio Vieira has been in great form, but are you really putting him in from the start against United? Kai did his defensive duties better than Vieira likely would have (and Vieira did switch off as part of the Zinchenko mishap against Fulham).

Everyone is entitled to bang the table and scream – but it feels like people are far quicker to do it than ever before. Writing Havertz off after 4 games is a fool’s game – I honestly can’t believe it has so much traction. Complaining Arteta has regressed the squad this summer is just silly talk. Loudly proclaiming the solution to moving the club forward is to do exactly the same as we did last season is beyond parody. It’s not criticism, it’s folly. We’ve gone from spending 15 years in the doldrums of European football to Premier League contenders – and our manager had to spend the last 3 days justifying new players and ideas he’s trying to implement because the reaction has been so bad he can hear it in the stadium.

It’s going to be a very unenjoyable season if people can’t be realistic about the challenge ahead… let’s hope that win was a sharp reminder that those who scream loudest these days tend to have the worst takes. We’re trying to topple a Manchester City team that has the best manager, best striker, and the best technical staff building a beast squad for 10 years. That’s not going to be easy and getting there won’t be smooth. But we have a powerful idea, we have a crop of young players up to the challenge, now we just need the timing to work out.

Arsenal did a brilliant job today – never underestimate this group. We’re on the righteous path. Now go and get screenshots of the naysayers and think of all the ways you’ll make them pay in the future. x

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Kenyangunner

Hakuna Matata!

Tikpo

Great feat yesterday! Sweet victory! Off to read the comments now.

Markymark

Great boost for the lads – on other news some dick head will be banned for life and possibly charged for assaulting Roy Keane outside a lift in the West Stand prior to the match.

Mysticleaves

4th

Danny

3rd place !!!

Philip

I still feel sorry for ESR. Saka and Emile saved Aretas ass 2 seasons ago and I still think that he has a lot to offer for sure. Anyway I believe Mikel will configure this team cause atm we look worse than last year imo.

Markymark

Not quite getting the the position being taken over Ramsdale and Havertz – I always tend to avoid knocking a player simply to reduce a pile on but ….
Ramsdale nearly saves the shot after defensive shortcomings and a typical Rashford against Arsenal chance where he always saves his best. Kai on the other hand shows as good technique as I can must ( I’m 50+ with dodgy eyesight) gives the ball away for their chance and is keeping a guy who helped save Arteta’s Arsenal career out of the side.
I’m not going with the Pedro narrative on this

Northbanker

Great match – still buzzing

kjelli

MA seems to be improving Fabio, he will definitely help Kai to regain his mojo. There is a
reocurring problem of giving the ball away in dangerous areas in midfield. But this game and result will lift the mood in AFC. Even Piers is ecstatic. Reiss did well when he came on.

DM

Very harsh on Ramsdale – it was a good strike by Rashford and he got his fingertips to it, just not quite enough. Rashford always scores against us. Ramsdale made some good saves later on.
We’re talking about the PFA Goalkeeper of the Season here… I just don’t get why people think he’s not good enough suddenly.
More than happy for Raya to challenge him, but Ramsdale is my no 1 as it stands.

DM

On the other hand I would LOVE to know what exactly Trossard has done wrong?!
I thought he and Jesus should’ve come on in around the 70th minute.
Couldn’t believe it when, when we finally did make some changes, he wasn’t one of them… and then especially when we brought on Nelson instead! Wtf is going on?

Kc

When the game was turned on I thought we were playing Newcastle, the barcodes!

Northbanker

Great post Pedro. We looked so much better defensively with our Warrior Gabriel back. For me he is too top drawer even if ther is the occasional gaff (there is from Saliba and every other top defender too). Saliba looked so composed at the back too and was outstanding Take that team – replace Ramsdale Havertz and Eddie with Raya Vieira (or Partey / ESR) and Jesus and we are a match for anyone. Haven’t given up on Kai but he does need a slower introduction. His confidence was clearly shot and playing it out will be difficult for him.… Read more »

Bob N16

DM, Nelson deserves more time not less!

Rich

In fairness, not everyone of us was overly worried about Vieira, quite a few were preaching patience, we clearly weren’t signing the finished article at 22, who only had 3,000 minutes, The noise around his size is a Red Herring, plenty of slight players have excelled in the PL, this idea he needed to bulk up was ridiculous, he’s never going to be a physically dominant player. The Idea he puts on 12 pounds of muscle, and was then going to evolve into Adama Traore, was absolutely ridiculous. He’s always going to need to rely on good balance, agility, clever… Read more »

DM

Bob N16

Not in the place of Trossard, he doesn’t

Josip Skoblar

Jan Jongbloed, Holland’s goalkeeper in the 1974 and 1978 World Cup finals, has died aged 82. He was an unorthodox goalkeeper like the rest of the Dutch team at the time. He was allegedly imposed as goalkeeper by his pal Johan Cruyff. I always thought he was the weaker link in an otherwise perfect team (especially in 1974). The 1974 Dutch team is the most fascinating team I have ever seen. RIP Jon.
https://youtu.be/-vjqItfNxs4?si=zXsyxxfofxntvXxx

Moray

I thought Martinelli had a good game too, though we need to give him corner taking practice or find someone else. We win a lot of corners with our wing pace so we need to be less wasteful of those opportunities.

Davey

Very odd game yesterday, we wasn’t at our best but Utd were so negative they deserved FA from it, thought our front 3 gave them too much time and no press, 2 major chance missed were Havertz and Saka but so pleased we beat them as IMO they are shite.

Rich

Excellent post Pedro.

Some of the negativity has been absolutely ridiculous, but no surprises when you look at some of the usual characters looking for any possible reason to kick up a stink.

Pierre

Serge “Vieira is very creative we were all worried about him last season”I wasn’t، he’s the one player in the side who can play the killer ball to perfection and that player is like gold dust.. There are only a few in the league who can put the ball on a sixpence in crucial situations and Vieira is one of them.. It’s all about trust with certain players and the manager has to learn to trust the likes of Vieira، Eddie and Nelson and that applies to their team mates as well as those 3(and smith rowe) are quality and… Read more »

Rich

Pierre

Crazy…. Glitches in the Matrix.

Guns of Hackney

Woah. Arsenal were shit for most of that game and really only started at 94mins. So let’s knock that one on its head. Gabriel shouldn’t have ever been out the team. Bringing him back isn’t a master stroke, it highlights how bad dropping him for the first three games was. Havertz is four games into his Arsenal career but he’s 300 games into his actual career and 130 games into his premier career. The guy is shit. He did nothing. As the saying goes: a broken watch is still right twice a day and I’m sure when Kai scores a… Read more »

Dolomite

Excellent post Pedro

I guess the main thing you’ve rightly pointed out is as fans we need to trust Arteta to get the selection right according to the opponents we play – and not try to second best someone who obviously knows what he’s doing and sees in training

There will be hiccups and errors, but most likely we will have more days like yesterday and fewer days like Fulham this season.

Pierre

United’s offside goal is allowed and the perception of Arsenal’s performance is completely turned on it’s head. We lose the game، jesus would go from hero to zero for losing possession for United’s “goal” and we would be in for 2 weeks of negativity before our next game. So for me ، I think it’s better to judge our performance on the first 105 mins rather than get sucked into the euphoria of the last few minutes.. Of course it’s great that we won but performance wise we didn’t look in control of the game at any time and when… Read more »

Dolomite

Cant wait to stroll into work today and wear my Arsenal top to the gym as well…..

Madhu

While acknowledging that the Win was great, its also realist to know that our performance for most part was not much to write about. What boggles the mind is that right after their goal our passing becomes crisp and we cut through them and score a wonderful goal. After that we again go back to slow, sideways and backwards passing. We had some 30 corners most of them were dreadful. It was due to individual brilliance of Rice and Jesus that we go those goals. Turning a blind eye on such a performance is not going to do good to… Read more »

Josip Skoblar

I am still ecstatic about the win. We were the better team and we deserved to win. This said, apart from the last 15 minutes, we were average and United were shit. We deserved to win but we could easily have drawn or even lost the game had United’s goal stood in the end. The complete negativity about our team is unbearable, and so is its opposite: a kind of naive positivity. Our game lacks fluency and some of our players are under-performing. How long will it take Havertz to recover his confidence and come good?

Matt

Pedro being extremely disingenuous on Havertz, making out like it is a small minority of people on here who don’t rate him. Pretty much every pundit and journo and fan of every other club for that matter thinks he’s crap so it is actually the minority who think he will turn out to achieve anything at Arsenal.

Aasim

If Le-Groves stance is we are competing for top 3, then its view on the season and squad is justified. Personally, I still feel we’re not clicking. The game doesn’t sit perfect on the eye test. Martinelli – does he look incisive enough. Isn’t he too frequently getting cornered either on the byline or forced to pass back. Why can’t he dribble his way inside on cut-in. White and Saliba had double up on rashford. Why couldn’t white press him tighter Saka has been a bit rusty ….. A consistent theme in our games is our midfield being by passed… Read more »

G

Pedro arsenal fans are not damaged just that some are entitled and really believe we should be winning all the games we play and winning them well
Guns for a man who didn’t rate jack or santi I’ll take your comments with a pinch of salt.. maybe stick to politics

Foxy

Pedro clearly has fallen out of love with Ramsdale. Definitely a Ramsdale out Raya in agenda going on but is he justified? That Rashford shot in off the post was pretty much unstoppable especially as Ramsdale’s view was probably obstructed by White and Saliba

Rich

The game was in the balance, and could have dropped either way. I’d like to think we’ll roll a few teams this season…. But the majority of games will likely be settled by 1-2 goals…. And we will drop points. There was nothing overly concerning about our performance, Saka + Havertz should both score, we had a perfectly good penalty chalked off. Martinelli skimmed one past the post, and we scored 3 very good goals. The better team doesn’t always win, but yesterday they did…. Across the overall balance of the game we deserved all 3 points. Fans need to… Read more »

G

Aasim your right we’re not clicking and there’s a lot more to come and yet 10 points out of a possible 12
I think some expected us to start the season same as last session but football doesn’t always work like that

One thing we have carried over from last season is our never say die attitude

Markymark

Erik 7 Hag – has come to the Emirates two seasons on the trot and attempted to close off games. UTD have now not won in 6 visits to us. Obviously very happy with these stats. For a “Cavalier” side like UTD I find “7”’s tactics strange. I get the feeling that there may be a parting coming up with player revolts on the way

Bob N16

‘United’s offside goal is allowed and the perception of Arsenal’s performance is completely turned on it’s head’. Only if we then hadn’t scored two goals ourselves or if the penalty award had not been overturned or if Saka hadn’t missed a golden chance, ditto Havertz etc etc

local

“The Idea he puts on 12 pounds of muscle, and was then going to evolve into Adama Traore, was absolutely ridiculous” – Rich Adama Traore is fast and bulky with little end product. Fabio will never be as fast or as bulky and it’s fine. If he can keep the ball under pressure I don’t care how lightweight he is. I will hold my hands up, I wanted him sent on loan but the guy has shown that he belongs here. I still don’t think he should start most of the games but he has been one of the best… Read more »

Markymark

Foxy – completely agree. Rashford seems determined to produce world class finishes against us. If anything Ramsdale should have been congratulated for getting his fingers to it. Obviously all sites are agenda led and we can agree or disagree on these as they ebb and flow. For Ramsdale it appears ultra critical with zero room for error. For Kai it’s benign coddling with the old chestnut ( he trains so hard , so popular etc) it’s a PR job. I think a lot of wish Kai all the best in the world as no sensible Arsenal supporter wants a player… Read more »

Karsa

I’d rather we kept on picking up points whilst gradually improving, then hit our sweet spot with 2 months of the season to go. The same way as City do most every season.

No team plays perfect football throughout the season.

Rich

MarkyMark Those that were critical of our reluctance to move from a mid-press to a high-press yesterday…. Only need to look back to last seasons game at Old Trafford. Or where United’s goal + chances came from yesterday, they can be devastating in transition. United are always looking to use Rashford to exploit space in behind, and we clearly didn’t want to take the bait by overly committing, and leaving too much space between the lines. Ten Hag’s record away is horrendous, they came to get a point, and if they could snatch a goal or 2 on the counter… Read more »

Chrispy

First shot on target or not, it was still a great hit from Rashford. Ramsdale couldn’t have done much more tbf. Another couple of inches and he’s pushing that out off the post. Fine fine margins. Would have loved Kai not to have scuffed that shot, if only for his confidence. Tired of all the agenda’s against all the players by certain ‘fans’. Someone called Saka out yesterday ffs. We haven’t even got anywhere near clicking yet but sit on 10 points.

Redheart

Trossard started against Fulham and hasn’t played since then. Yesterday was Nelson’s first appearance of the season. Our favourites won’t always play but we have to recognize that the team wins or loses together and when these players want to sign contracts with us, they would be given some assurances about playing time.

Pierre

For some reason we always looked one player light when pressing yesterday.
the thing is، United had no height or strength up top to bother us so I don’t understand why Eddie wasn’t instructed to press their keeper and Rice، Havertz، Odegaard saka and Martinelli press tight onto their defenders and midfield ، meaning their keeper would have had to go long which would have been meat and drink for our back 4..

United were able to slow the game down due to our failure to press high up the pitch which I found frustrating watching the game.

Pierre

Rich
“Those that were critical of our reluctance to move from a mid-press to a high-press yesterday…. Only need to look back to last seasons game at Old Trafford Or where United’s goal + chances came from yesterday, they can be devastating in transition.”

Transition is different to pressing high when their keeper is on the ball…

Their goal and offside goal were the result of Havertz and jesus losing possession of the football..

john

Pedro again giving Arteta praise where it should not be the case. Bringing back Gabriel is not a masterstroke.It just shows that he needs to zip his inverted fullback fantasy in the bud.His overthinking will kill the teams momentum.Sometimes you have to trust the players on the pitch to deliver but of course simpletons like Rich won’t understand this.

Rich

Pierre Ball playing keepers have become so vital because they create the extra man in the press. Say there’s 3 defenders and the goalkeeper, then in the second phase you have a 2 midfielders, and one can drop deep, and the other can move into the front line…. And some times you don’t know which will drop, and which will stretch. To press in that situation you have to commit to deal with every player, including the goalkeeper, and that means you need to commit 5-6 players into the final third. If you commit 5-6 players in the final third,… Read more »

Emiratesstroller

I have inadverdently posted on last thread. This is what I have said. DECLAN RICE is the best piece of transfer business that Arsenal has completed in last 25 years. I said at the time when others complained about fee that the club needed to go extra mile to secure his services. Rice may not be the most brilliant footballer recruited but his profile makes him the most important. He is a solid family man who prefers to live in London. He provides also leadership qualities at the club and the glue which will keep other players at Arsenal or… Read more »

Wengaball

The ones at fault for Rashford’s goal were Saliba and White who did not close him down and allow him a free shot inside the box while being a yard off him, facing him and having plenty of time to close him down.

But not a word on that. Somehow it becomes Ramsdale fault.

Sometimes I think Pedro does not watch games, he reads a report somewhere or a Twitter thread and writes his own take.

Else it is pure agenda.

Phillipousis

How come is nobody taking that our team just stopped running at around minute 75. Everybody seemed to gave up and started walking on the pitch. And the goal from Man Utd on the 87th was an expected punishment for that. God saved us at this moment, because I can clearly imagine VAR drawing different lines and allowing the goal. And only after 90th we got back into pressuring them. It’s been said here enough about Trossard missing and not getting enough time. What I personally see that whenever Trossard enter the pitch he becomes electric and he drives all… Read more »

Pierre

Rich
“Arsenal sat in a mid press yesterday, because United were setting a trap, and we were reluctant to take the bait.”

I’m not sure you are fully convinced what you are saying is right. .

What I will say is I can guarantee you that if that was city at home v united they would have pressed high up the pitch ، making the keeper play long to put pressure on them.

Josip Skoblar

The goal of the century (in slow motion with a Led Zep soundtrack).
https://www.instagram.com/reel/CwmqNhjrzvq/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==

Wengaball

“Declan Rice is the best piece of transfer business in the last 25 years”

Stroller, that takes up back to 1998. We have had plenty of great signings in that time.

Second, Rice is four games in.

Calm down.

Jamie

Best signing since 1998? We signed Henry in 1999. Behave.

Marko

Tbf Kai ain’t right and Arteta has regressed the side from last season. Absolutely amazing finish to the game but we were a literal cunt hair from losing and the performance once again was lacking.

In short motherfucker has to go back to what worked last season

Spanishdave

I think Ten Hag is struggling with PL football it is so different from Holland in depth and speed.
When a manager starts complaining about the decisions says clearly that he is in the wrong place.
He will be gone this season

Rich

Pierre United beat City 2-1 at Old Trafford last January. City had 71% of the ball, and dominated United in their own half, but restricted them to little, and looked to counter in behind. United are a transition based team, Rashford got 30 goals + 11 assists last season, he’s one of the biggest transition monsters in the game. There was very little difference in our performance from our 3-2 win at home last season, to our 3-1 yesterday…. Both needed late winners. The difference was United, who were happy to take the ball deep, to try and invite Arsenal… Read more »

Tassos Davakis

Declan didn’t kill United, the deflection killed United !
Declan is a very ordinary football player .

Bob N16

Tassos, your post is a very ordinary comment!

Tom

Rich, agree re Vieira bulking up nonsense………some have already said he looks bigger lol.

Also, spot on re high pressing United.
Onana has ice in his veins and he can pick a pass too. Maybe not as accurate as Ederson but certainly good enough to make him dangerous.

Emiratesstroller

Wengaball

Arsenal recruited Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry around 1998. There may have been more brilliant players recruited since the, but not offering the same “strategic importance”.

Rice is a long term acquisition if he is managed correctly and that is a commidity increasingly rare in today’s market. He is unlikely to move clubs unlike many other players.

Tom

Ramsdale getting blamed for Rashford goal is way off the mark.
I suppose he could’ve gambled and cheated towards the far post since all indications were that’s where Rashford was gonna shoot, but plenty of instances of players going short post between defenders legs.
Had that happened he would’ve been crucified.

White and Saliba gave a tutorial how not to defend a striker when in tandem.

Emiratesstroller

Tom

The backline selected yesterday was in my view our best factoring in current resources. Saliba,
Gabriel and Zinchenko are the best combination in their respective positions.

My guess is that Timber would have been competing with White for RB position had he not got
injured.

Partey is not remotely a RB except in an absolute emergency. He is a very good DMF, but obviously
Arteta has decided to bring in both Rice and Havertz in starting X1. If you want to start Partey in
team then I suppose the RB position was the only option available.

Topside Northbank

Rice is top quality, lead by example yesterday MOTM for me, MU fans moaning about ref decisions going against them, unreal.

Foxy

Vierra has been helped in the last two games by firstly playing in the central left channel where he can move direct on goal and secondly by coming on late when players are tired and the game is more open. When he was stuck out on the right wing he lacked pace and typically paused and turned infield onto his left foot killing any momentum. Look forward to seeing how he copes over a full 90 minutes, but him and Ode in our midfield could be a bit too lightweight.

Matt

Partey out for 6 weeks apparently

Dissenter

Pedro is just beating that time tested drum When you put forward this remarks in the podcast, Matt and Johnny lushed back and reminded you that there were legitimate concerns of note The concerns about Havertz were real Saka’s performances are waning, he’s been overplayed and after this international break he’ll have had even more games because Southgate will beast him again. Saka needs to be rested for 1-2 games. Our bench is good enough to deal with his absence. Arteta needs to take Havertz out of the lime light. Let him come in when defenders are tired – he… Read more »

Tom

Emiratesstroller

I wasn’t suggesting there was something wrong with Arteta’s line up, just that piece of defending by White and Saliba.

Dissenter

Tom,
“ White and Saliba gave a tutorial how not to defend a striker when in tandem.”

Agreed, of the two, BW has the most fault. He’s been sat on his arse by Rashford many times in the last so he tends to back off him.

Soop

I think the criticism of Ramsdale is unfair. It’s hardly like he’s been at fault for these early goals, and especially yesterday… how many keeper would’ve saved that Rashford shot? It was world class.

As for Havertz, I also feel he will come good. Seeing all the armchair experts write him off after 3 games is so tedious. Yes, he’s struggling, but give him a chance and some support FFS. He’s hardly likely to improve if fans are on his back.

Enjoy the win – it was epic!

Dissenter

Pedro wants to see Raya start
He’s been beating that drum in the pod over and over again.

Soop

What the hell is going on with Smith-Rowe? He’s on the bench for every game but doesn’t get any minutes.

I love him as a player and he’s a Hailender too. What gives?

Tom

I have no issues with overturning Havertz pen, but take a look at Rashdords pen vs Forest and tell me it was any different.

Bob N16

I suspect that if Saka had cut in from the right, smashing it in off the post, we’d probably be focussing on his skill rather than defensive deficiencies. I knew Rashford would cut in, the defenders knew too. He was too quick and accurate. Would Saliba and White be disappointed? Sure but there were other times in the game where they successfully blocked shots.

raptora

Yeah, I wouldn’t have pressed deep Manure either. Fk them cunts are a counter attacking based team. I don’t rate their passing abilities under pressure in their own half very highly, but if we press deep such a team, we’d have to move all of our players higher and leave a shit ton of space in behind. Bruno can pick a long pass like not many can, so no, thank you, at the idea of pressing deep. I think the plan was good and we were under trouble almost entirely because of some bad passing we were making, but being… Read more »

raptora

because it’s quite infuriating to be the team supposedly in command, but actually they were one booger away from WINNING the game.***

Tom

Bob, it wasn’t about quickness but rather positioning.
One shows him outside, the other protects inside……..as opposed to shadowing your teammate.

Both are plenty quick btw.

youdaman

Great win but bang average performance yesterday. Havertz cannot start on current form and Saka was awful again but never gets subbed off. We are a good bit off last season’s level. Let’s see if things improve.

Bob N16

Tom, All I’m saying is that Rashford or Saka or any top quality forward at times are very hard to stop on every occasion. I had an excellent view of the incident. I think it’s nitpicking to focus on the defenders, White and Saliba, unarguably two of the better defenders around, who didn’t manage to stop a moment of class. I can remember at least two great blocks White managed, there may well have been more. Expecting defenders to be essentially infallible is unrealistic. Every single goal can be analysed and sure they could have been closer but I think… Read more »

LoveSausage

No player in this squad makes me flip flop more than Jesus. When he gets injured, I never feel like we’ll miss him all that much. Once he’s back though, you really see the gulf in class between him and Eddie.

Not that Eddie has done a bad job. He presses well and offers verticality, which is something we don’t have a lot of in this team. But he’s still very one dimensional compared to Gabi J. Hopefully Jesus can stay fit now and get 20 goals this season.

Josip Skoblar

What matters in football are the results. So far, we have done very well. If we keep winning, we will all be praising the coach and the team. Why not? In the meantime, those who pretend that our team is playing well or that our coach is a tactical genius are lying to themselves.

Mee

Havertz’s confidence looks shot. Arteta dropping him now would be the first nail on the coffin. How I hope he scores one off his shin vs Everton just to get the critics of his back.

I absolutely hate it that we continue buying from Chelsea despite all the duds they have dumped on us in the past but Havertz is a gunner now and the negativity is only likely to see him withdraw further into his shell while we lose out on a 65 Million pound plus investment.

Tom

Bob, one v one I will always give props to attackers.
One v two, our guys should’ve done better.

I didn’t nitpick. My opinion was in defense of Ramsdale who was blamed for the goal.

Surprised you didn’t call Pedro’s Ramsdale remarks nitpicking.
Seems yours sensitivity is heighten around my opinions.

Mr Serge

There were 3 players that could have either blocked or stopped Rashford before he got his shot away the fact he beat white and saliba before hitting his shot means I do not blame Rams for the goal even though as he got a hand to it.

I do worry watching him yesterday he dived at every shot whether it was on or off target which tells me either his positioning is poor or his judgement. I don’t recall Seaman or Jens jumping at everything.
Is Raya the better keeper ? We will see.

LoveSausage

Pedro really doesn’t want to give up on his narrative about the back line. It’s not just about how many chances you concede. You’d expect us to concede less of them against a Mitrovic-less Fulham than Manure regardless of who’s playing. It’s about the stability it provides when we’re in possession. We moved the ball much faster yesterday and everyone could see the added confidence we got from having Big Gabi and Zinchenko on the pitch – two players who fully grasp the system.

LoveSausage

Tom,

I said the same thing during the game when everyone was piling on Havertz and Ramsdale. Those two players are certainly no favorites of mine and didn’t cover themselves in glory. But in a 1 v2 situation, Rashford shouldn’t be able to get a shot on target. It was really poor from White and Saliba.

andy1886

Slating teams for being a counter-attacking side is pure football snobbery. Liverpool recently have been a counter-attacking side with a mediocre midfield and have pushed City for several years winning the title on one occasion. Wenger’s early sides were great counter-attacking teams until he went all Barca-lite. Personally I find possession based football, City in particular rather boring. Each to their own I guess.

Josip Skoblar
raptora

Rice was my MotM. A complete display. I’m so happy for him.

Gabriel put on a monster display, as per usual.

Ode was very good and precise. But there was something off between the three of Ode, White and Saka, probably because it was their first game of the season together.

Quite impressive Martinelli was vs one of the best defensive full backs in the world, yet he had a much better game than Saka who played vs their 3rd choice LB Dalot with Shaw and Malacia out injured. Our first goal was a real beauty!

Un

PierreSeptember 4, 2023 08:49:54 Serge “Vieira is very creative we were all worried about him last season”I wasn’t، he’s the one player in the side who can play the killer ball to perfection and that player is like gold dust.. There are only a few in the league who can put the ball on a sixpence in crucial situations and Vieira is one of them.. Pierre you were not alone in your views on how capable he is but he’s not the only player we have who can play a killer ball We have Odegaard and Jorginho too And zinchenko… Read more »

Un

raptoraSeptember 4, 2023 13:08:50 Rice was my MotM. A complete display. I’m so happy for him.Gabriel put on a monster display, as per usual. Rap I echo this I’d actually out Gabriel above rice yesterday He was that good I’d say his most intelligent game yesterday The way he used his body to cut down space So so so much better from him than the bull in a China shop approach he was guilty of in big moments Hats off If he plays like that every week then he’s the best centre half in the league All good having all… Read more »

Gommit

Pedro. We are not writing Kai off.. But we are saying that he is not ready to be starting every game. He needs more time to learn how we play. He should be coming in from the bench. Arteta ain’t doing him nor the team any good playing him so much when he is obviously not ready for our system I am not writing him off but I am not happy with how Arteta seams to have clear favourites and his reluctance to make changes during games. He should have made changes yesterday on minute 50-60 not on 75+ I… Read more »

Un

Don’t think martinelli was impressive yesterday
Both he and Saka are having moments but they aren’t even close to their best yet
Don’t understand the plaudits martinelli is getting and the pelters Saka is getting but both are still feeling their way I ti the season
What is very encouraging is that while their engines warm up they are still contributing goals and assists
Best pair of young wingers in the world

raptora

Andy, It’s one thing to be direct. It’s a totally different thing to be almost clueless when the opponent let’s you have the ball. The Liverpool’s midfield a few years back was the way it was to compensate for the full back being literally wingers. Pool had 5 attacking players – 3 forwards + 2 full backs that were basically wingers. But they could ball as well. Manure are quite ordinary on the ball when there’s not much space left. I like fast, direct football myself. Used to fall asleep in every Bayern Munich game under Pep in the CL.… Read more »

raptora

Don: “Yesterday he was impeccable. Pure perfection. Well done big Gabby.”

Good shit!

bacaryisgod

Rich ‘The noise around his size is a Red Herring, plenty of slight players have excelled in the PL, this idea he needed to bulk up was ridiculous, he’s never going to be a physically dominant player’. I like a lot of your comments, but it’s not a red herring. He needed to gain strength and that’s according to him as he stated he was spending extra time lifting weights to adjust to the Premier League. If you look at other comps in the 5ft 7-5ft 8 range (Messi, Iniesta, David Silva, Bernardo Silva, etc), their ideal weights are 10-20lbs… Read more »

Dissenter

Potter-inchino is not having it easy at Chelsea

Dolomite

From most of the posts above I can see that there is an air of entitlement and definitely impatience when fans look at Kai Havertz

No player in modern football is suddenly going to go from a non structured chaotic team to one that places great emphasis on strategy and structure and suddenly start banging in goals

The period for adjustment is an intangible- but patience and perseverance definitely help and I believe this is what MA sees that most fans don’t

TallestTiz

Nicolas Pepe currently having his medicals in Paris ahead of his move to Besiktas

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