CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: WILL ARTETA CONTINUE NEW ROTATION HABIT?

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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE EVE BABY!

They said we’d never be here again, Wenger was gone, so was our future… LOOK US BABY! Tuesdays and Wednesdays mean something again. We are back with the big boys.

Kind of…

PSV is a staple of European competition and a team I have bad memories of – remember THAT performance from Brazilian Alex back in the day? Remember Cody Gakpo in our Europa phase? Prior to those years, it’s interesting to note that some of the greatest strikers EVER have had stints with them in Holland.

Romario did 5 seasons there, scoring 165 goals in 167 appearances.

OG Ronaldo scored 54 games in 58 games.

Ruud Van Nistelrooy, a player Wenger was in for, scored 62 goals in 67 for PSV.

They have heritage.

But, they aren’t a beastly Champions League club the likes Newcastle (Milan) and United (Bayern) are facing. We have been blessed by Champions League standards. No long trips, not mega clubs, 2 of the teams are in the gutter domestically.

It is VERY arrogant of me to underestimate teams in the big comps, PSV has started strong with 4 wins in 4, but the reality is Premier League is monstr0usly strong compared to the Dutch league.

The question is whether Arteta reads things that way. Does he take the opportunity to rest some of his core names? Or does he go big in the first game at home to get some points on the board.

One name I fully expect to start is Aaron Ramsdale. I’m sure part of the soft exit from the starting 11 was geared around the consolation prize of playing the Champions League. It was interesting reading the debate surrounding his exit from the starting 11. Arteta said there were two games last year when he wanted to sub out his keeper on 65 and 85 minutes. People are pointing towards Arteta being the first manager to normalize subbing keepers during the game.

A few reasons that I find this line of innovation a bit weird are as followed:

  1. The soft landing people are trying to give Ramsdale is that this switch is tactical. Well, if Arteta is talking about subbing a keeper last season, he’s almost certainly talking about taking Ramsdale off for Matt Turner. What advantage could that possibly have given us bar Aaron having a poor game and a fresh pair of gloves giving us more security? However you cut it, this regret seems to aimed at squarely at Aaron not having a good game, because Arteta has labeled this as a DEEP regret, like a top 5 type thing. Matt Turner hasn’t played a game of consequence that would merit that kind of regret.
  2. David Raya is a better shot-stopper, he’s better with the ball at his feet, and he’s top-tier for claiming crosses. That’s by the numbers – not my opinion. So based on hard data – what game state would benefit from changing keepers? What type of opposition would Aaron be more suited towards?
  3. You’re 1-0 down against Brentford chasing the game in the 70th. You have a deep bench of lock-pickers and goal threats. This defensive shape needs breaking down. What keeper on the planet is giving you something you couldn’t get from anyone else? What is the unlock a keeper gives you?
    1. You’re 1-0 up late in a game, you’re getting battered, the keeper looks a bit shaky, but he hasn’t conceded yet, but you have a feeling. Are you going to pull the rip cord and bring on a keeper to see out a game – with cold hands? Someone experienced in football talked to me about the penalty shootout when Gareth Southgate let 3 of his subs take penalties – ‘how the hell do you expect a player to score a penalty when they have no feel for the game.’ I would say this is even more relevant for a keeper. I watched a keeper in MLS get sent off the other week – the home keeper who hadn’t been sent off ran the length of the pitch to tell his best ball striker to shoot on sight. Why? Because that keeper knows how hard it is to come into a game late with cold hands.
  4. Occam’s razor. The simplest answer is usually the right one. David Raya is not here because Ramsdale was knocking it out the park. He’s here because Arteta had doubts, those doubts were realised in the first 4 games, and the change has arrived far sooner than anyone realised. People are flapping over the decision because it’s shocking and painful to see a fave hit the bench. But be real – no elite manager is making things complicated for the team if they have a keeper the manager thinks is the best. We didn’t bring in a keeper Arteta thinks is equal to what he has – he brought in one he thinks is better.

I’ve also seen some people say ‘well, we just gave Ramsdale a new deal’… guys, this is exactly what Arsenal should always be doing. Arsenal tied down a club asset to a long-term deal to secure his value. We did the same with Balogun, a player we probably didn’t think would make it in our starting 11. What we’ve done is smart business. The point of having young players is that if they don’t work out, you can get a big fee. If we’d let Aaron run down his deal because we didn’t fancy him. we’d be out in the cold fee-wise. This is an evolution of our off-the-pitch thinking – not an endorsement for a forever spot in our starting 11.

Back to the game – it’s at home. Is this a chance to bring Kiwior into the mixer? Can we give Bill Saliba a rest? Will we give Jesus a run out on the right side of midfield? Does Jorginho come into the midfield to give us control?

I’m expecting rotation for this one with a killer bench if we need to lean into it.

We have Spurs at the weekend – that’s going to require an explosive 11. Spurs has momentum, a manager everyone loved, and they have no European football game this week. They have a week to prep – we don’t – that’s a big club problem we’ve not had to deal with.

Final point, for the fans going, and the fans watching – soak it up people. We’ve been to some dark places of the past decade, but now we’re back in the big time with a squad actually capable of doing damage in the competition.

We’ll be dropping a Before the Whistle Champions League addition tomorrow.

See you in the comments. x

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Chitrak

Flip-flops as usual

psuedo warrior

These are the Chaampionssss

Johng

Top 4

Vickingz

4th

Johng

Can’t wait to hear that music tomorrow. About time we returned to the big time.

TR7

We let Emi go to keep Leno which was a wrong decision.

We spunked good amount of money to get Ramsdale which was a worse decision.

Hopefully we have finally got the guy we need in Raya.

FB

A draw here could end up being a good result for Newcastle in this tough group

FB

TR7

Ramsdale cost 24m. Worth much more now, so maybe “spunked” is the wrong word.

AFC Forever

All this big talk about Spurs being back is based on what? They’ve drawn with Brentford, beaten Man Utd, (who failed to field a team at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium), along with the mighty Bournemouth, Burnley & Sheffield United (which they fluked). A few weeks back they lost to Fulham in the EFL & now that’s forgotten by their mates in the media. Spurs are back, behave. As for Tom not understanding the rivalry between Arsenal and Spurs, he must live on the moon. Putting those deluded big mouths back in their box is something we ‘have’ to do. They… Read more »

AFC Forever

TR7

“We spunked good amount of money to get Ramsdale which was a worse decision”

That is not true at all.

Buying Ramsdale and White was essential to facilitate the way Arteta wanted to play. Leno was an absolute nightmare ball at feet, Martinez not much better. It was a joke watching our back line playing out. Ramsdale and White transformed our ability to beat the press and play with an ‘extra man’.

Montana Gooner

I watched both of PSV’s qualifiers and they will not be a walk in the park for us. Hope we are well prepared for them.

X haka

Raya ain’t that great either.
Still looking for a world class keeper, 5 years into Artetas reign.

Allison
Ederson
Courtois needed, not ex Blackburn and Sheffield United no hopers.

MidwestGun

No way are we going to rotate like 6 dudes in our first CL match in forever. And PSV, imo is the best team in our group. So we will play players with CL experience. I know the NLD is next but it’s early in the season. Think these dudes can handle it. Trossard for Martinelli who is injured. , Perhaps, Ramsdale back in for Raya who I think will start the NLD and probably most PL games. I think Jesus will start due to experience, again. Then it just comes down to Havertz or Vieira. Think he might give… Read more »

Montana Gooner

I pointed out a few posts ago that with the run of games we have, rotation is going to have to happen. It’s a tough call and when to do it though. Two monster games this week.

Love having us back in the CL. Although I may not enjoy watching the games as much as I have the past few years with no horses in the race.

FB

X haka

Ramsadale was voted Player of The Season by fans of both Sheffield and Bournemouth while playing for relegation teams.

Give it a rest

allezkev

AC Milan vs Newcastle is so boring.

MidwestGun

Kev yep.. Keep expecting it to pick up .. Milan have looked much better the last 5 or 6 mins. Leao should have scored

allezkev

Mids…. It’s like watching Chelsea vs Chelsea 😉

jwl

“Arsenal tied down a club asset to a long-term deal to secure his value.”

Why are we trying to secure his value if we don’t have confidence in Ramsdale, we should have sold his value a few months ago and used that cash to buy Raya.

I’m believing Arteta is sincere because this is otherwise a colossal fcuk up by our execs. What value is Ramsdale going to have if he gets banishment treatment from Arteta like he’s done with a few other players and we just gave him a raise.

Sakablyat

My god Nick Pope is awful with his feet. I can see Newcastle be interested in Ramsdale if he loses his place as no 1 during the season

MidwestGun

haha Kev.. ya something like that.. there are a fairly large number of ex-chelsea rejects .. that’s for sure.

allezkev

Newcastle catenaccio

FB

JWL

Who has Arteta “banished”?

Your comment on Ramsdale has been answered over and over again on here . Stop being so utterly boring.

Fire

This Leao fella gives me Gervinho vibes. Totally unreliable when the going gets tough

X haka

jwl

they gave Tierney a new contract, then banished him out on loan., so what you say is very possible.

Ramsdale aint the sharpest tool, but even he will soon come to the conclusion its over with Mick and Arsenal.

another Arsenal goalkeeper bites the dust with this manager.

remember the Brighton Aussie we had on loan, thats Raya standard. I think,

jwl

I can’t believe how long it’s been since we in champs league, feels a bit like the clampetts heading off for beverly hills. My teenage niece is buzzing, we’ve been watching gooners together for 6/7 yrs and shes never heard the champs league music before an arsenal match before. Happy days are here again.

Positive pete

What’s all this this talk of ‘ spunking’?it’s not a porn site.

Positive pete

Fire.There were a lot of people creaming their pants about him on this site last season.See what i did there?

MidwestGun

Newcastle definitely playing for the draw. Barely bothered to cross the halfway line more than a couple of times that last 25 mins. Then when they did at the end to try and nick it at the death they had an open shot and they screwed it up. They will be happy with the scoreless borefest though.

Positive pete

Boring,boring Geordies.

allezkev

Feyenoord vs Glasgow Celtic up next.

MidwestGun

I’ll probably watch Dortmund and PSG for awhile .. unless it sucks. haha Then I will switch.

Samesong

I’ll probably watch Dortmund and PSG for awhile .. unless it sucks. haha Then I will switch.

Great minds……I will not be watching Crity

Tom

“As for Tom not understanding the rivalry between Arsenal and Spurs, he must live on the moon. ”

Ha ha ha, AFC , oh, I understand the rivalry alright, I just take issue with calling the NLD the ”most important game of the season” in a season Arsenal are finally looking to make their mark in the CL under Arteta, and possibly do one better vs City than last season.

You and Bob can dance around this all you want by the turn of phrase was ”the most important game of the season”

Chris

Seems like a lifetime ago since that shambolic night at home to Bayern (1-5). That night my feelings were we didn’t deserve to even be in the competition until we could get our house in order. Now we need to improve on our EL showings in recent years, but I have the feeling that the Champions League will bring out a far greater determination in the players, and we have the tools to go far, quarters at least, with a bit of luck with the draws. So on that, we need to be topping the group. And in order to… Read more »

Chris

May not have been pretty but that’s a superb result for Newcastle. Win their home games, in their raucous stadium, it may be enough for them to qualify.

Rich

A draw away in the CL is always a good result.

City only won one away game in the CL last season, away to Seville in the groups.

They drew away in the groups to Dortmund + Copenhagen…. Then drew away to RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, in the knockouts.

Positive pete

Interesting figures on the oilers Rich.Didn’t steam roll their way through it by any stretch.Of course,you just know we won’t be judged by the same metrics.On here for sure or by the media.

Kegunner

Winning the Champions League is a stretch for Arsenal. Possible but improbable. Big improvements in seeing out games this season might mean a sustained campaign to the later stages. An FA cup might also be good for the cup games. Winning the league should be a priority.

MidwestGun

So far decent game…. For a team built around Mbappe. he doesn’t touch the ball nearly enough.

Bob N16

Tom, just leave it.
You simply choose to misunderstand. Arsenal supporters want to win every game, but the NLD is particularly important to win. Stop trying to split hairs. Any sane supporter, given the hypothetical choice, would rather win the CL final or a decider for the PL over a NLD win. Trying to chip away at supporters who care deeply about beating the Spuds is at best misguided.

Tom

Bob, let me just remind you it was you who reacted to my post directed to Rich, and not the other way around.
I seem to have that affect on you for some reason lol.

jwl

Only gooners in London think NLD is biggest match of year because of tribalism, spuds chavs gooners hammers all work and interact with one another. I don’t give a flying fcuk about spuds, they have always been lesser team than us in a dodgy neighbourhood, I care way more about matches against manure than I do spuds

FB

Rich/Chris

Absolutely, that was a good point for Newcastle.

Would like to see similar or better for Dortmund in Paris.

Tom

Haaland keeps breaking scoring records but the amount of chances he spurns is actually mind blowing

Bob N16

Arsenal has a global support but we are based in N London. Everybody is entitled to support in any which way they want but arguing that some supporters should care less about beating Spurs is just nonsense.

Tom, you are right about suggesting I should ignore your posts more – your advice will be taken.

MidwestGun

So Mbappe moves to the right side to touch the ball more, than as soon as he does PSG start playing down the left side. So then he switches back and they move back to playing down the right. haha Dembele has touched the ball about 200 times and Mbappe like 20.

It’s like they are playing keep away from their own player. weird.

allezkev

Lazio 0-1 Atletico, nobody but nobody organises a defence like Simeone.

Tom

Hahaha, City down by a goal when should be out of sight instead.
No doubt Bob will be devastated if this holds up.

MidwestGun

City losing to a team I can’t pronounce let alone spell.. I might be forced to watch some of it.

Dissenter

Mid
“City losing to a team I can’t pronounce let alone spell.. I might be forced to watch some of it.”

…Don’t do that to yourself man

You know damn well how that game is going to end

Rich

MidwestGun

It’s Red Star Belgrade, they won the European Cup back in 1990/91.

Tom

Midwest, City on another day would’ve been up by 5.
Get ready for the second half onslaught.

WengerEagle

Did they not used to be called Red Star Belgrade? Think they won’t be European Cup in the early 90s, that Savicevic chap who went on to star for Capello’s Milan was the star.

WengerEagle

They went on to be*

MidwestGun

Oh ya .. Thanks.. Let’s go with Red Star then.. haha too many z’s and c’s and v’s

WengerEagle

They have had 20% and 1 shot on goal and lead 1-0, haha.

Prime Pulisball that.

Tom

Cmon Midwest , Red Star was former Yugoslav royalty.
The highest rated Eastern European club of all time.

MidwestGun

Well whatever they are called now.. yep they most likely will lose second half.

WengerEagle

Could be worse, could be Welsh pronunciation.

They just seem to hate vowels, all their love appears to have been used-up on the Sheep.

MidwestGun

I’m sticking with PSG game mainly because Ray Hudson is doing the match commentary.. dude is crack up a minute.

Dissenter

What penalty?
That was phantom call

MidwestGun

I don’t know.. the replay sucked… But var took about 10 mins to figure it out so you would think they saw something.. but who knows.

Mee

Really harsh penalty against Dortmund.

MidwestGun

So Mbappe scored and the entire tv feed crashed. haha

Dissenter

That was a very sleek finish from Hakimi

MidwestGun

Hakimi .. with a worldie goal. Quick… quick feet.

Josip Skoblar

Kakimi 2-0 PSG.

Josip Skoblar

*Hakimi

Josip Skoblar

Kylian Mbappé now has 30 goal contributions in his last 23 UCL games.

MidwestGun

Dortmund don’t look like they have it.. this year. Loss of Bellingham just makes them look tired.

Ray Hudson… he is working harder than a one eyed cat covering 2 mouse holes.

allezkev

Didn’t Vladimir Petrovic play for Red Star?

Guendouzi on for Lazio.

allezkev

Pedro (ex-Barca) on for Atleti

allezkev

Pedro on for Lazio rather

MidwestGun

Whoaaa. Lazio got one.

MidwestGun

Goal Keeper.

allezkev

Lazio goalkeeper equalises in the very last seconds from a corner, brilliant header to beat Oblack

MidwestGun

That was crazy….. He will be dining out on that header for awhile.

allezkev

It was a great finish, some centre forwards couldn’t do any better

Rich

Absolutely bouncing for tomorrow, atmosphere is going to be crazy.

Arsenal at Wembley on June 1st is written in the stars.

Montana Gooner

Roy Hudson is like my wife sitting shotgun and seeing brake lights a half mile ahead of us. Not every pass near the goal is a chance.

Montana Gooner

*Ray. But while you’re at it, picture Roy Hodgson calling a game.

Oh, shit. He’s fallen asleep again.

Josip Skoblar

Ugarte, the PSG midfield is a mega-beast. Very impressive.

Pierre

Chris “Seems like a lifetime ago since that shambolic night at home to Bayern (1-5). That night my feelings were we didn’t deserve to even be in the competition until we could get our house in order.” Personally I would put getting knocked out of the europa by sporting lisbon، olympiakos and villarael in the last few seasons as way more shambolic than losing to bayern 5-1 with ten men، especially as we were 1-0 up after 53 mins with eleven on the pitch.. If anyone thinks we have turned the corner yet in Europe should take a reality check،… Read more »

China1

‘History shows that teams that have been out of the champions league for a spell find it difficult to make an impact،’ Not saying you’re wrong Pierre but can you say some examples? Leicester and spurs are the only clubs I can think of that have made the CL in the last 15 years without having reliably qualified for it in multiple prior seasons and as I recall both got out of their groups at the first time of asking Might be wrong on that but I think so Everyone else in England who has qualified for the CL in… Read more »

China1

Also Pierre it wasn’t really a 5-1 to Bayern with 10 men after being 1-0 up on the 50th minute that broke the fans spirit was it? How disingenuous and you know it 😂😂😂 It was the end of a net 15-3 ass fisting we took from Bayern over the course of our final 3 games with them. Bad results happen. Shit results happen. But aggregate 15-3 over 3 games is a disgusting failure for a club this size. Ofc since it was wenger who oversaw that you conveniently are looking at the 10 man situation for a scape goat… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

We finished 5 points behind treble winners City (most dominant team in the world) last season over 38 games, with a dodgy 5 points stolen by refs…
We have much better depth from where we were at the beginning of last season.

All that in the toughest league in the world…
I’d say it makes us one of the most dangerous teams in any tournament.

There’s a reason Arteta uses the goal of winning the champions league to recruit prospective new players, and to the Kroenkes.

Madhu

Pedro pushing the narrative of Ramsdale there for the taking based on his superior and inside info. If that is the truth then giving a contract extension to Rams with a bump in salary and then making it clear that he is not ‘number One’ through leaks
, bloggers like Pedro and journalists like Sami Mobkil is again devaluing your assets. Whichever you look at it it’s devaluing your assets

Ernest Reed

Leave it always for Pierre to thrive in his isolated world of sodade.

What a misery you are, year over year. Live in the now and be happy for what Arsenal are and can strive to become. But no, the King of Sodade just can’t escape the past and has to make sure that others shouldn’t either. Come on Pierre, move on already.

jwl

I been reading about champs league and it’s going to be completely different next year, it sounds unrecognizable.
——–

“From next season, the group stage will feature 36 teams placed in one giant league table. Every team will play eight matches (two more than the current group stage but two less than the original plans which wanted 10), four home and four away – but all against different opponents. After this peculiar quarter-campaign, the top eight teams go straight to the last 16. Teams placed between ninth and 24th in the table, meanwhile, move on to a playoff round.”
https://www.theguardian.com/football/2023/sep/18/champions-league-group-stage-new-format-explainer

rollen

garbage formula for future CL

Can’t wait for tomorrow.

Aaron

Easy to understand that convoluted hosre $h*te, more teams, more games, more $.

Evolution or devolution of the game depending on one’s perspective!

Hamz

Having thought about it after the game on the weekend, it’s clear Rasmdale has been benched. All this talk of two keepers is a nonsense. Raya is just a better GK (technically and physically) than Ramsdale. Not a knock on Aaron, but this is top level sport, he’s not starting for City, Real Madrid, Barcelona or Liverpool. Raya might. That is the level Arteta wants to get at, so unfortunately I can’t see Ramsdale being a number 1 at Arsenal any more.

Emiratesstroller

Pierre

You over analyse our performance in Europe under Arteta.

For a start we did not play there in season 2021/2. In season 2022/3 we lost one game in open play
coincidentally against PSV Eindhoven. I suggest that you take a look at team selected.

For the record it was Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, Holding, Saliba, Tierney, Odegaard, Lokonga, Xhaka, Vieira, Nketiah and Martinelli.

So six regular starting X1 players did not start in that game ie White, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey,
Saka or Jesus.

Gonsterous

CL is back baby. Lets get a nice win and then focus on the NLD !!! Get those wnkers their first defeat of the season.

China1

If we beat spurs 10-0 this weekend the media will love the goalposts and start introducing spurs for their next game as ‘unbeaten in all but one of their games so far this season’ lol

China1

I don’t understand that CL format I assume clubs are seeded so that you don’t play more than 2 games against top clubs if you are a top club yourself? Would be curious to know how these fixtures are selected On paper it sounds like a complete mess but some observations are 1) clearly this is done to give Barca Madrid and Italian clubs a bit more money to reduce the risk of a super league breakaway again 2) it does open the door to more big games in the league stage which would potentially make it feel more meaningful… Read more »

Pierre

China
“Not saying you’re wrong Pierre but can you say some examples?”

I think you’ll find Arsenal struggled when wenger first came….group stages first 2 seasons

City …group stages in first 2 seasons

United in the 90’s 2nd round and group stage in first 2 seasons

Liverpool group stage and quarters first 2 seasons 2001 2002

Tottenham 2016 group stages 2017 round of 16 in first 2 seasons.

Chelsea were about the only side that bucked the trend.

Markymark

Last week we had Pierre telling us we needed to look to Wenger for lessons against Everton. Only to be reminded that in 2016 he was getting torn apart in the press and social over his new bogey man Koelman and our defeat against Everton. Now he tries to whitewash a 15-3 trio of humiliations against Bayern. These were the games that killed Wenger’s remaining credibility in Europe. Finally tipped the fanbase and of course for many of us it was just a shame he was still in charge ( should have resigned up to 5 season’s previous with head… Read more »

Pierre

Stroller
“You over analyse our performance in Europe under Arteta”

We were knocked out by sporting، villarael and olympiakos under Arteta، it’s you who is over analysing the performance and team selection..

Arteta needs to find a way to get the team to perform in europe.

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