CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: WILL ARTETA CONTINUE NEW ROTATION HABIT?

by .

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

639 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jamie

Well that was a lovely half of footie.

3 great goals, and Saliba and Gab are playing well at the back too.

Havertz is pony though, let’s be serious. Nigel thinks he’s elite; that should tell you everything you need to know about the player.

Goona

An early second half 4th goal then get minutes in for the subs…

raptora

Onana to blame for Bayern’s first goal. Overrated.

jabberwocky

i would also like to see more of ESR, and there’s no doubting Havertz hasn’t had a good start to life at Arsenal, but he’s clearly got no confidence at the moment and there’s defo a player in there, so I wish people would be a bit more patient with him as he’s not going to magically grow confident if everyone is on his back constantly. Should other players be starting instead of him? Maybe, but that’s an Arteta problem, let’s try support the guy as there’s a player in there, just needs to get.a rub of the green and… Read more »

MidwestGun

Sevilla and Lens 1-1 at halftime. If it stays that way.. could take control of the group from the jump.

Habesha Gooner

Try VIP league for streams

Rainman

anyone looking for a stream

https://afr.808scoretv1.com/

Matt

Onana is shocking. Don’t know what United were thinking getting rid of De Gea and bringing him in. I love the decisions being made by that shithouse of a club!

Matt

Jabberwocky, pretty sure Havertz doesn’t read Le Grove (sorry Pedro). I think it’s safe to give our honest opinions of him on here without fear of unsettling him.

Freddie Ljungberg

“Give it time, someone with a vastly superior footballing intellect will soon tell you what you are missing with Havertz, in an oh so condescending way too.” Nigel is busy right now but he’ll be right on that asap. Looks like there’s been a crackdown on streamingsites, reddit soccerstreams has been taken down by homeland security, crackstream down etc. At least twitter works for now. Lovely game to watch so far. Not often we’re afforded this much space, makes it so much easier. Hope we get to see ESR second half, and that Saka can get a breather with Nelson… Read more »

jabberwocky

cheers rainman seems to be working!

rollen

Get one more fast than do some rotation, especially Saka and Saliba.

Un

Jamie
Everyone said that about vieira
Give him some time
Lad needs confidence
He will get that soon playing in a team that plays like this
It’s a matter of time
He has quality

rollen

soccerstreams100.io works for me , a lot of hd streams

Un

Marko
You’ll probably have missed the best game of football we’ll play this season

Why I Gunna

Come on now, give ESR or Nelson a half

Montana Gooner

Saka and Jesus will get a big break I would imagine.

I do feel for Rambo. Worked so hard to get here and has to watch. Head up mate.

Anyone who thinks Havertz isn’t a skilled footballer and is in this team is looney. He’s playing with zero confidence. I don’t have the answers for him, but I hope he figures it out, because I’d love to the Leverkusen version.

jabberwocky

Matt – i’m not one to try and censor anyone’s opinions, and all of us don’t matter individually so not saying anyone at fault for anything, but we’re quite an active fanbase online and the way things are talked about here, elsewhere (twitter arseblog whatever) do seep into the general arsenal fan discourse which inevitably then leaks into the stadium. anyway yeah not saying anyone’s opinion isn’t valid or they shouldn’t share it, but I do think that we need to give him more time (while at the same time not pretending he’s been playing well, he hasn’t and I’m… Read more »

Goobergooner

Very nice feet from Lang there. No pen ever though

MidwestGun

Mmm don’t like it when dudes go after Jesus’s knees. bastard.

Goobergooner

Oooh nice havertz first forward pass of the game

Useroz

Should take the shot, Jesus

MidwestGun

Ohh man that was almost a beauty assist by Ode.

Goobergooner

And yeah I’m being a bit harsh on kai, I really hope he comes good. But his stench of Chelsea is really lingering for me.

Goona

Lol kanes scored

Matt

Jabberwocky

Fair response. I just don’t see it with Havertz but will be very happy to be proved wrong.

MidwestGun

Benny Blanco .. doing some business today.. like it.

Danny S

What’s the bet saka plays the full 90.

Useroz

…a touch of over playing
C’mon keep pushin for goals

G8

Ben White looks abit drowsy lol
He had one too many before the game!

Montana Gooner

Oh Trossard. Havertz was in there.

Goobergooner

A bit unlike trossard there

Un

Odegaard Trossard Zinchenko and rice running the game on the ball
Running it

Useroz

Raya doing fine thou not seriously tested yet

Un

Also Ben white big gabby Saliba and Jesus
Running it
Saka with goal and assist but still quiet
If this is the new arsenal then give me more

Un

Watching the game in the same club i convinced rice to join us
We all know it was me
Give me my props
November 2022

Goobergooner

Rice is such a beast. Love that man already

MidwestGun

Haha Rice told De Jong to fuck .. right off.

Useroz

57″ subs!!

Nelson and Tomi for Trossard and Zinchenko

David

We are playing very well but what’s the point of Havertz? Is ESR really worse?

Matt

Leaving Saka on and taking Trossard off, strange decision

Montana Gooner

Reiss has already has his CL nightmare. Should be some joy for him.

LoveSausage

Why the fuck does he take off Tross and keep Saka on?

rollen

I like Rice more and more, tough but smart and good guy.

Goona

Should be resting saka

Habesha Gooner

I would have taken off saka instead of trossard.

jabberwocky

Matt, fair, and based on his performances thus far there’s not much to see – but he was such a talent and I’m so hopeful he just needs things to click for him rather than him being yet another Bundesliga player that can’t adapt – only time will tell, but yeah just not been enough time (in my opinion) to conclusively say one way or the other

MidwestGun

Tross the boss. Nice one dude. Saved a little for the NLD hopefully.

rollen

Wtf Tets? Saka need some rest.

Goobergooner

Tomiyasu playing the inverted role sees big Gab tuck in left rather than tomiyasu who as a CB/FB hybrid can drop straight back into CB.

I like that from tets

Goobergooner

Though just seeing tomi at RW there haha

Montana Gooner

Lovely touch there from Havertz.

Useroz

Havertz should take the shot on his fav left

LoveSausage

I love Gabi J but he should have had at least a brace by now.

WengerEagle

Criminal to sub off an in-flow Tossard instead of Havertz who once again has been a zero.

Goobergooner

LS
That’s Jesus to a T

LoveSausage

It’s a whole different vibe with Raya between the sticks. No jitters or brain farts. Love it.

WengerEagle

If Jesus was clinical he’d be leading the line for City still or Real Madrid/Barca. He’s that good outside of the six yard box.

Goobergooner

Saliba has some feet! Brilliant from him

jabberwocky

William twinkle toes Saliba

Goobergooner

Yeah so true weagle

raptora

Told a few in here Chucky Lozano ain’t it and he’s now back to his old team at barely 28 yo.

Also, Benny boy looks quite slow tonight.

jabberwocky

Rice is so good

Useroz

WOW ESR!!

Madhu

Finally ESR

WengerEagle

Saliba has come in from the word go last season and bossed it. Our best CB since Sol for me.

Goobergooner

Loved the crowd reaction to Saliba too.

Un

Here he comes esr

LoveSausage

Goober,

Yup, frustrating player in a lot of ways. So much talent and a wonderful technique but just not clinical enough. He’ll get the Ramsdale treatment next season.

raptora

ESR and Fabio in. Let’s see who is taken out. Maybe Ode + Saka?

MidwestGun

Saliba is just class.. personified.

TR7

Finally ESR will get some minutes?

Montana Gooner

Well Raya has not been good on the distribution this game.

Here comes ESR for the fan club. Hope he put on a good showing.

rollen

ESR!

raptora

Weird Ode barely ever gets subbed.

NW9 gooner

At last ESR

Goobergooner

Fucking love it get the youngsters going. ESR and vierra ready to tear PSV a new one

TR7

Score a brace ESR and make yourself undroppable

GoonerB

Smith-Rowe getting minutes. Amazing

rollen

Finally good subs.

Goobergooner

ESR or havertz false 9?

raptora

Kai at #9. Arteta is desperate to help him score.

Useroz

Ode

4

Goona

Wow we are fucking buzzing

raptora

Wow Ode has become such an insane striker of the ball. Holy shit! That was a bomb and a half!!!

Goobergooner

Havertz it is with ESR in LCM.

Love that

Goona

esr…class

MidwestGun

BOOOOM ODE! you beauty!

Goobergooner

Absolutely beautiful stuff.

LoveSausage

Get the fuck in! Captain fantastic!

WengerEagle

Never mind the football and talent, it’s a breath of fresh air just to have so many likable players once again at the club after years of toxic/soft-bellied personalities.

Compare us to the shitshow going on over at Utd or Chelsea for example. Even a guy like Nelson is a scrapper and always runs his bollocks off when he comes on.

4!!!

MidwestGun

Ode was like fuck it.. I’ll shoot. have some of that! haha

TheLegendaryDB10

I am a very happy to see ESR finally being played. ❤️

Aaaand it’s 4-0!!!

Øde!!!

Goobergooner

Duno how my paid stream is so far behind

Jamie

Ode has to be one of the best attacking mids in Europe these days. Exceptional form.

Habesha Gooner

That is an ode speciality to the bottom corner. Enjoyable. Nice boost for the weekend.

WengerEagle

Rap with the timely LG curse! Good man

Goona

@eagle…its great to see, a decent squad again plenty of options

Goobergooner

Weagle that is exactly it. Love these boys. Havertz for me only one who needs to prove he’s fit to wear the shirt

psuedo warrior

Odegaard sparing Havertz’s blushes.

Guy was clean through and passed back