SLOPPY FINISHING CRISIS HITS DEPRESSING NEW PEAK

by .

Arsenal feels like the plot of a seriously average horror movie right now. Someone at the club did something unthinkable. They walked under a ladder, reversed over a black cat, said a trigger word into a cursed mirror 5 times, or walked over the grave of a very sick individual… because our luck has been atrocious, and the output has been this weird throwback of glorious failure.

For the 4th time this season, we’ve lost a game we shouldn’t have because of outrageous bad luck in an otherwise really good performance. I know people shape their view of performances based on results, with plenty saying that wasn’t a good performance, but by any standard, to do what we did to Liverpool in the first half was thoroughly excellent. 13 shots, 5 on target, 3 big chances, and 1.5xG

… but no goal.

It was a travesty. We came out flying. The passing was sharp, there was variety in our attack, all that talk of ARSENAL CAN’T PROGRESS THE BALL was well and truly in the bin after a one-week attempt at making it the sticking narrative.

… but no goal.

After exiting that brilliant first half, PTSD kicked in and I was feeling the dread of inevitability. Liverpool was going to punish us for our front three failings and the footballing gods were not going to intervene in this grotesque travesty.

Liverpool went from two chances in the first half without a shot on target to 1o shots, 3 on target, and 2 goals in the second.

What pains me about the collapse is Liverpool unloaded 4 subs, 2 of them were babies no one had heard of… Klopp was raising the white flag and thinking about Fulham in the League Cup. Arteta changed out Reiss Nelson for Martinelli and that was it. He left all the players flouncing around in front of goal on the pitch to find a way. They could not, and Liverpool found a way. They won a freekick in a dangerous area from a foul the ref wasn’t giving all game. TAA whipped the ball into the box and Kiwior was on had to nod it past Aaron Ramsdale.

Killer.

They weren’t done. Dias went on a meandering run and ripped a screamer into the top corner of the inside post.

Dead.

So where do we go after a game like that? To our attacking players. The team that gave us 86 goals last season hasn’t managed to score a goal from 6.47 xg over the last 3 games. It’s getting embarrassing now. Kai Havertz started as the 9 and he looked like he’d never kicked a ball when he moved into the final third. Saka was dreadful all game, he is clearly cooked. Reiss Nelson just isn’t at the level, he is absolutely brilliant at looking great doing very little. He should have scored inside 2 minutes and made it a very different game. Odegaard hit the bar. Martinelli had no end product when he came on.

It was a disaster. We lack a killer. Arsenal have 6 players who have all lost their guts in front of goal at the same time. It’s not good enough.

Fans want a striker right now… anyone. It’s not going to happen. We don’t have infinite cash and the fans that bang the table the loudest for deals NOW are those that will be calling Edu a bum in 6 months when the hot name of the moment is a total fraud. We have specific needs, not many strikers can do what we need, the best deals are available in the summer. Stating that we should go hard at Brentford or whichever club has a player we want negates the fact that if teams are competing, they don’t sell. If they are failing, they don’t sell. If they are in the middle, they’ll want to stay there, so they don’t sell.

Arteta has to coach his way out of this one. This is a confidence crisis that is underpinned by the right fundamentals.

  1. The team is playing great football
  2. The team is creating a lot of good chances
  3. We are conceding very few
  4. The issue is the form of ALL of our players

If you have good form and you keep doing things right, eventually results will follow.

So you have two choices, you think our players don’t have another gear in front of goal, and this failure right now is us for the season.

Or, you understand that form is temporary, and class is permanent.

We’ve had one bad game in 6 weeks. We’ve had some terrible results in that period. There has been no luck. We conceded 2 goals from 3 shots on target today. 2 goals from 4 shots on target against Fulham. 2 goals off 3 on target against West Ham. That’s 6 goals off ten shots on target. We have taken 63 shots over those three games and recorded 0 goals.

I’m telling you, the tide will turn, players will return to form, and we’ll go on a tear in the back half of the season.

Losing three games in a row make you angry and it’s a struggle to see the light. There’s plenty of light to be had at Arsenal. We just need a spark in front of goal and the freak luck other clubs are having in our penalty box needs to stop.

This is a rough patch. It’s the pain we knew we’d go through. We just have to ride it out.

Ok, check out the latest podcast right now.

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Un

Diss Yeah I believe we can Why not We beat city twice Drew with pool and outplayed them this time Why not It’s not as bad as being made out We are a top 3 side in this league and this is a fucking tough league and we are a top 3 side in the champions league this year. I’m much more upset about West Ham and Fulham than yesterday Yesterday was disappointing but we were superior and very unlucky Do we need extra? Yeah. But Arteta can make tis team better by rotating and using Havertz up top more… Read more »

Dissenter

“In with a shout”…or you’re just having a laugh?

Talking about unreasonable expectations. It’s a joke to even talk about competing for the league when we haven’t scored from open play in like forever.

Rich; What are you going to buy a versatile powerful winger with in January?
Monopoly money …, perhaps

A good run in the CL, to the semis gets us a good cash haul to use to rebuild in the summer
Earn our way back to the CL next season to finish the season.

Dissenter

Un
That’s a lot of ands, ifs and buts hopla right there.
I wish you all the best with your hopium driven fantasies
Me, I’m grounded in reality. It’s like newly set concrete around my ankles.

Un

One thing I want to say thoug is this I abhors this “the system is the star” bullshit It helps but no, it’s not. It never was You always need moments of brilliance This team lacks that star power Saka is efficient and our star boy but he’s not as skillful as we need We need those wow, out your seat players that are soo so rare in modern football t take us up a level Salah kdb Haaland benzema Those players transform systems and transcend eras We need to unleash players like that I believe we have one or… Read more »

Un

Diss
No it ain’t
3-5games and we are top happily with daylight
Football changes moment to moment
Come on
Half glass empty tonight

Un

Coneteta is a pompous know it all but I agree with his last post

Dissenter

Un
I don’t think we aren’t struggling just on form
We have some more deeply set structural issues in the squad that needs to be resolved
This is not a band aid problem. Even when ware winning with a last kick against United and Luton, it seemed like we were papering over cracks.

Dissenter

*I don’t think we are struggling just on form

Rich

Dissenter Talk of £30 million for Eddie, we could put off buying a centre forward until we can secure the right one. We’d still have the option of Jesus, Trossard, Havertz, and we could also move Martinelli central, particularly if we buy another winger. Reputable reports West Ham and 2 other clubs are looking at Nelson, think that would only be around the £20 million mark. But in terms of FFP, we’d clock the whole lot as profit immediately, even if we didn’t clock the whole money immediately. Numerically we don’t need another forward… We’d certainly need an outgoing to… Read more »

Paulinho

We are becoming more and more reliant on perspiration rather than inspiration through intricate passing patterns and penetrative combinations. Yesterday’s game was pretty much a replica of the match against Spurs earlier in the season. Chances presented and spurned off a high press rather than top football. As soon as both Spurs & Liverpool awoke from their slumber our shape and game slumped and sagged under the pressure. Desperation and panic set in and we (again) began to force things even instead of ‘letting it happen’ by allowing the ball to do the work. Finishing in the top four will… Read more »

Dissenter

Rich Adopting a pragmatic viewpoint and setting a goal of 3rd/4th place with a deep run in the CL is now proof of …”don’t seem to support Arsenal… You just like kicking us when we’re down, and actively looking for a reason to twist the knife in.” It’s better than you basing a title challenge on fluff; incredulous valuations and non existent tabloid links to fuel a unicorn title challenge. Who’s the one with a calm head here?’ certainly not you. I mean, I’m not even calling for Mikel to be sacked. I’m taking a more realistic approach whilst you’re… Read more »

Dissenter

Paulinho
Precisely my point but some are just treating this as bad luck.

Lets win one game, get confidence back, win another and start a small run …then we’ll see.
In these circumstances, top 4 will be a victory in itself.of sheet grit.

jwl

“Arsenal travel to Dubai for a week away from London for a mixture of intense training, relaxation and recovery and commercial purposes. Some players left after the game with Liverpool on Sunday whilst the rest will travel to the Middle East on Tuesday …. Despite being out injured, Jurrien Timber, Thomas Partey and Gabriel Jesus are making the journey with fellow injury-affected players Oleksandr Zinchenko and Fabio Vieira, football.london understands. This is thanks to the whole of the medical staff making the trip …”

https://www.football.london/arsenal-fc/news/arsenal-given-surprise-jurrien-timber-28411318

MG42

Managers are judged on results at the end of the season Arteta will be judged by the supporters, the pundits and hopefully the owners.

Anything but an improvement over last season means he is being judged as a failure after £200m expenditure and should being shown the door

Pierre

So , we have conceded 6 in the last 3 games whilst scoring one.. Basically since early season we are now conceding more and scoring fewer whilst at the same time creating more chances. Up until 4 or 5 weeks ago there was a question mark over the position Odegaard was playing , many thought he was playing too deep to accommodate Havertz playing higher up the pitch. Although we were not playing open expansive football, we were top of the league and looked a very solid and disciplined outfit with Odegaard playing a slightly deeper role. It was noticeable… Read more »

Rich

Dissenter Hardly fluff…. We’re 5 points off top, still have play Liverpool at home, and into the last 16 of the CL. You arguing late goals are a bad thing… Try looking at the clubs who’ve needed late winners this season, and most seasons for that matter… Liverpool have scored more late winners than anyone…. Remember Fergie time?… The PL is physical + competitive, that’s not just for Arsenal… That’s for everyone, You just haven’t got the stomach for a scrap, and love a meltdown. I’d agree with you the squad is slightly out… But 2 astute adjustments this month,… Read more »

Un

Diss I agree there is far too much rigidity in game play. This can only be attributed to Arteta. I’m not denying this But we are also one of the best teams in Europe with a rookie coach and are very close to th loftiest title in Europe So some measure is required here. We are extremely close but the big difference is Arteta releasing his choke hold on our attack and realising that his preferred gk is no better than the previous. In fact I’d argue he’s worse Ramsdale provided the pass of our season last night and then… Read more »

Chas

Completely underwhelmed by the post after 7 games and 1 win…. Really surprised there isn’t talk of selling fast to recoup money for Onana and Striker…. quite shocked Peter

Markymak

Jesus all we need is a bunch of beta males wanting Mugabe Wenger back. He’s not come up with one sensible idea since taking the corruption money with FIFA.
Get him under the table and he’ll be here for all Eternity. His cryogenic form creating a continuous 4th place trophy hunt for the beta male “GOH” type followers to prostrate themselves in front of.

MidwestGun

Hi Kev… Happy New Year .. dude. Ya.. I’m aware of why Xhaka left and why he was never going to stay.. and honestly I didn’t want him to. What I’m saying is we didn’t need to replace him with an expensive project player who hadn’t played the position since he was a youth player in a different League. , and had been struggling for form for 3 years in front of goal in the PL. Because we did take that risk… of not going with a proven midfielder of which there were plenty.. some of which we are still… Read more »

Rich

We need AlmuniaSayNoMore back if Wenger returns… His story’s would be worth the Wenger comeback alone.

Haven’t seen him around for ages… Certainly one of the best posters, brilliant sense of humour.

Rich

Spurs vs Man Cuty
Chelsea vs Aston Villa

Nigel Tufnel

Onana would be a replacement for ElNeny, but dont we have an option for another year for Jorginho? also Onana nowhere near Partey level. for a guy to back up to Rice most of the time. Arteta and our scouts must see something special they think they can work with if theres any truth to it. I’m not buying the rumour, especially not for January.

MG42

Here is another reason to consider whether Arteta should stay or go. He divides the fan base way too much. Than add his personality and player treatment, pushing Partey on the pitch, and you have a handful of reasons to wave good bye at the end of the season.

Dissenter

Nigel
Did you take a break or was marooned in the international space station
Happy New Year to ya

R.S.P.C.Arsenal

If we could sell zinny for 20m
Play waters till timber back…

Fuck it sell a few of them and ignore the deal to buy Rickety Raya.

Un

Sell zinchenko for 20m???
Why?
He’s amazing at what he does
It’s not his fault that we don’t have a viable alternative for what he doesn’t

Rich

Nigel Reputable reports were in for him, player wants to come, and Everton will sell at the right price.. United also sniffing around if they can sell Casemiro to the Middle East. Agree we’d need to carve open some space, we can’t just keep adding players to our squad and spending, not without offsetting it with exits + incoming fees My take on it is that we probably can’t directly + immediately replace Partey with a player of equal quality + specificity, that doesn’t seem like a realistic ambition…. Caicedo would have been perfect, but that ship has sailed… I’m… Read more »

Guns of SF

Onana would increase our physical presence and aggression. A beast.
Just watch that video I sent.
6’4 or 6’5.
He can move the ball, and shield the left side, when Zin inverts. Martinelli does not need to track all the way back like he does now.

Rich

Guns

Arteta certainly moving us towards more physicality, industry, + height…

But that’s the current trend of the rest of the league as well, it’s as physical and competitive as it’s ever been.

What we’d lose with line breaking balls from deep, we’d gain in the press + counter press…

Would potentially allow us to play the percentages on a more consistent basis, by tipping the balance in our favour.

Mr Serge

Lol Un

Dissenter

Getting Onana when what we need are forwardline reinforcements is utter madness

But ffs let him carry on.

There should be an embargo, until you address the glaring problems in the forwardline, don’t commit to any more big spending.

There…I just said it

Guns of SF

Rich,
I agree. I think our midfield still needs more of that physicality. Rice is great but bar him there is no one else really. TP never plays.
Onana is young, might turn into a monster with the right coach(ing)

Un

Ah Pedro
Come on man
That was a giggle

Un

Jokes Mondays

Mikel Coneteta

Dissenter

So let’s ignore the glaring problem in the midfield on the horizon too then?

Elneny, Partey, Jorginho all 30+ and surplus in the summer.

Un

I decided to sell my hoover
It was just collecting dust

Un

Mikel
Have you ever smiled in your life?
I wonder who’s more serious
You or marko
Let’s have a serious off

Un

Don’t muller the cattle
I’m only here cos I’m waiting for my Mrs to get g to E toddler to sleep
By then I’ll be asleep reading this shite
Bring some thing interesting lads
Come real bros
Where’s hackney

Un

Or as they say in south weezy, fassey

Un

Hackney you loono
I know you’re out there

Un

There…I just said it

Diss
Dear me
😯
How controversial
You’re the DT of LG

Rich

Un

It was so cold this morning… That I seen a socialist with his hands in his own pockets.

A socialist is basically someone who wants everything that you have… Except your job.

Karl Marx walks into the pub and says to the barman:

“Hi I’m a socialist drinker”

Barman replies: “Don’t you mean a social drinker?”…

Marx replies:… “No I’m a socialist drinker, I only drink when someone else is paying”…

salparadisenyc

Evening doomers. Actually think were in a better position than many posting at moment, if we can keep within touching and get this major wobble hurdled it will get interesting. Liverpool at the Emirates obviously a massive one after Palace and Forest. If theres going to be a run that is where it starts. Premier league this season definitely more competitive in flux, have to think mid to high 80s could be enough to take the glory. We drop 9 points for remainder of season that puts us at 85. Still think City the biggest threat, not hard to see… Read more »

Un

Rich
Very good
You’re levels above cone

Dissenter

Mikel
Seems to that we have to be very disciplined with out spending since we don’t have an unlimited budget
I’ve seen us spend big money on defenders early in the window and most of us go …well so long as they still spend on the attack…only for them to not do so at the end of the window.
We need to prioritize our spending. We’ve sent zilch ion the attack relative to everywhere else. Time for that to change.

Rich

Priorities are not in attack. If we keep creating chances, the tide will turn.

If we can get a player out then upgrade.. I’m all for it.

But our biggest potential issues are right side of defence, and midfield.. If anything happens to Saliba, White, Rice.. We’re basically fucked.

Guns of SF

Rich
the left side too.
We have no starting LB, that is capable to cement that position. No LCM ( Kai) aint it and then Martinelli is jaded, having to do more tracking back, and without much support on the inside.
Its a mess too

Whiteydagunner

What pains me the most is Saka. A fabulously dangerous and brave player now reduced to being a liabilty – yesterday I cringed every time he had the ball ..inevitably he did nothing or lost it. Why? because MA insists on overplaying him time after time despite his obvious drop in physical form, and because of opposition defenders kicking seven kinds of crap out of him with no protection from refs. The man needs to leave to save his career .Its come to that..unless MA does the off from the Emirates first. But that aint gonna happen

Rich

Un

There’s a new South Park “Not suitable for children”..

Absolutely hilarious, Randy starts a OnlyFans page.. They hit it out of the park again.

Un

Rich
I’ll keep my eye out
X

Guns of SF

Thierry Henry interview. Awesome. It is long, but quite a good insight into our greatest player.
Good listen to all the dads out there.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aivpDPCP7Q8&t=6739s

allezkev

Howdy Mid West Happy New Year to you buddy…. Listen I ain’t gonna lie, I was as bemused by the signing of Havertz as most were, it certainly wasn’t what I envisaged as the uber upgrade on Granit but then I haven’t got a UEFA coaching badge and haven’t worked with Pep so I cut Mikel some slack and gave him the benefit of the doubt. I guess he was looking for a player who could fill the left 8, provide some more goals than Xhaka and add some height into the bargain. Coming from Chelsea is always going to… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

I’m fairly in line with the views of Un and Coneteta… I’m not ready to give up. Far from it with half a season to go, twists and turns, and just having gone through our worst run yet. Man City had a run just as bad recently… surprisingly, though they’ll probably improve in the second half of the campaign, as they did last year. Scoring a few will breed confidence and we still have a great defense. Pedro’s stats are real. No reason to be completely pessimistic as some are here. “A good run in the CL, to the semis… Read more »

Rich

There’s half of Match-Day 21 fixtures this weekend, they’ve split Match-Day 21 into 2 weeks.

No Sat 15.00 kick-off’s this weekend, but some pretty good games, 5 this weekend, then 5 the following weekend.

No Arsenal.. But not as painful as an international break.

Marko

Who the fuck is giving up? We spent 200 million after finishing second…I expect to challenge

5am

Perhaps just need to stop praying to false gods in the write ups each time and instead keep it real for the team to focus properly and get the tactics right. That way can play the right game and not just flatter to deceive…..

Nigel Tufnel

Thanks dissenter, same to you… sometimes life gets in the way of blogging.

Rich,
The next signing I would WISH for would be a Neto type. I don’t expect much incoming though. I’m with Arteta, our players and manager need to turn this around… no saviour coming in January.

Nigel Tufnel

Nice to see Kev and midwest…
2 big voices of reason needed in hard times.

McBright is Wright

Pedro! Common! Let’s call a spade a spade and not a garden tool. Mikel is an excellent coach, but proving to be terrible manager. You yourself said it, Kloop gave kids a chance. Pep did too. So did other managers. If Emery didn’t give Saka, Martinelli and ESR a chance, would Arteta rely on them now.? The DNA of our club is to see at least one new kid on the block giving a chance. That’s the life wire connection the fans has had with the team for decade’s. Am not saying kids will win us the games, but we… Read more »

LoveSausage

When every one of your attacking players stops producing just when they have the chance to create some separation at the top of the table, it’s not bad luck or form. It’s weak mentality. And it’s been a feature of Mikel’s teams.

Going out of the FA Cup against a rotated Liverpool team is a failure. Hopefully the warm weather training does the team some good. They need to string a run of wins together ASAP.

MG42

Arsenal’s average xG in the EPL is 1.86 however the entire EPL average xG is 1.54. So Arsenal’s xG is just a bit better then the entire EPL, plus they had 11 shots on target in the last 4 games, you don’t win titles with that. Arteta’s answer to it: that is football. Not very confidence inspiring but pathetic. Those are facts, numbers that are unassailable. Arteta promising to win trophies is a lie.

David

Wins from last year that have become losses this year:
Newcastle Away
Fulham Away
West Ham Home
Villa Away
Last year we won these 4 matches with a combined score of 12-3. This year we have lost all 4 with a combined score of 1-6. We have scored 1 measly goal against this lot after putting 12 past them last season. Arteta’s ‘controlling the game’ tactic ain’t working.

Useroz

With slow news, worth checking out :

https://gunnerstown.com/arsenal/2024/01/04/predictable-predictable-arsenal-a-quick-fix-for-the-gunners-goal-stipation/

Most of the points been talked-about here in different ways… so the question is, why not?

Useroz

Thought the Saka and Martinelli mazes are funny but a tad sad

Useroz

David

That measly goal was a result of playing it out with two quick passes that resulted in a shot by Martinelli , a kinda spill by Leno and tap in by Saka.

None of rhe “playing the same way” Arteta talked in the FAC post match interviews ie passes left right and center, and more passes around the box stuff ..

local

“pretends to jump for header” from Saka maze is so spot-on

Some of our attacking players are so poor at winning duels/defending set-piece situations, it’s comical.

raptora

One of my “goal of the season” was Fabio’s pass to Eddie to make 2-1 vs Fulham. A cross from the left flank, by the left foot of Fabio to Eddie for the one touch finish. So simple, so beautiful. I feel that by playing Marti on the left when he’s a right footer, and the vice versa is even more valid for Saka as Saka literally doesn’t have a right peg, drastically lowers the danger coming from the wings. This could be solved by swapping the positions of our wingers during the game, as many of us have already… Read more »

Un

Are any of you batty creases gonna get laid tonight?

Un

Not rap marko or gd42 obvs