ROTATION NEEDED, WILL ARTETA BLINK?

by .

It’s Tuesday, and I’m still feeling pretty good about that Manchester City result. However, the bland punditry surrounding Arsenal this season has put a slight dampener on proceedings. It’s all a little personal, right?

Over-celebrating.

A manager on the sidelines deemed disrespectful.

Having a bit too much fun with the club photographer.

And now, we’re dissecting a clean sheet at the Etihad, the first one in 882 days, as if it’s an insult to the beautiful game? Claiming we lacked ambition? That it wasn’t a serious performance?

When it boils down to it, people are resistant to change, and the change they’re resisting is Arsenal’s return to the top table.

Once we scoop that first glorious Premier League title, this nonsense will cease, and Arteta’s junior standing in the managerial hierarchy amongst pundits will change overnight.

It’s still disheartening for the Arsenal players and coaching staff to be bombarded with so much nonsense after a truly world-class performance.

Furthermore, some of the evaluations regarding individual performances seem lacking. Let’s face it, Manchester City is formidable; they compel you to be flawless with their pressing, they keep you in a constant state of alert, and they have the capability to capitalize on even the slightest errors because they boast some of the best players in the world.

It’s difficult to pinpoint any underperformers when you manage to hold City to a goalless draw and limit them to under 1 expected goal. Passengers cannot exist in games like that. If you have them, you’re dead; it’s as simple as that.

Now, we turn our attention to a new challenge this Wednesday against a Luton side fighting for survival. This match is crucial because three points are expected. The reality of the Champions League demands squad rotation for survival. We can’t afford to stumble into games like Brighton, Villa, and Wolves away. Arteta also needs to give playing time to players who haven’t seen much action: Thomas Partey, Tomiyasu, Zinchenko, and even Fabio Vieira could all play significant roles in the final stretch of the season. If they’re not match-fit, they won’t be of any use to us.

You might notice I haven’t mentioned Timber. Why? Because I’m struggling to fathom how we integrate him into a team that’s hitting its peak. It might not be fair to him, nor worth the risk. Perhaps if he had played a couple of friendlies during the break, but he didn’t, so I’m hesitant to endorse his inclusion… especially considering he doesn’t have much experience in our first team (this is just an educated guess, by the way).

Arteta has been forced into rotation this season, and to some extent, it’s been effective. Despite our outrageous form all season, we’ve had to contend with heavy injuries throughout the year. The true test of rotation lies in how you manage your squad when all your star players are available… but you have to rely on those further down the pecking order.

Could Kiwior come into the midfield? Might we see Tomi at center-back and Cedric at right-back? Apologies, I can’t believe I just suggested that, do forgive me. In midfield, I expect to see Thomas Partey and Jorginho (the Italian hasn’t been worn out by a full season). Our front three might feature Reiss and certainly Trossard and Jesus.

We have plenty of options. Our bench could be very exciting. Whatever happens, our key players need to be out of that starting 11. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some big players dropped from the squad entirely.

Lastly, let’s take a look at this xG table from Understat.com:

Five of the top seven teams have overperformed their expected points by more than 8.9.

City and Arsenal have scored fewer than 5.

Some have questioned the reliability of the xG scores on the website, but regardless of their accuracy, it’s evident that teams significantly overperforming are the ones that have been under scrutiny all season.

The question remains: Are they getting away with it… or are they using wide-open football to outsmart the system?

Is a system that controls every inch of the pitch, like Arsenal and City, superior to the wide-open, high-scoring style of football seen with Spurs and Villa?

I don’t have a definitive answer, and we’ll only find out which style prevails by the end of the season… but let’s make some educated guesses.

United: It’s a blend of outrageous luck and having a squad brimming with individual talent that bails them out even in their worst performances. The system isn’t exemplary. Nor are their future prospects for the next few years.

Spurs: Ange has made positive strides with them. Everything I’ve heard about his vibe over there is promising. However, I’m not sold on his system. It exhausts players, it’s high-risk, and I doubt it will significantly evolve with better players. Plus, the absence of European competition is a factor. More time for coaching, more time for rest, and more time to devise strategies. Ange might find himself figured out next season – and I’m skeptical that Premier League + Europe will work to their advantage (especially if it’s the Champions League).

Liverpool: Klopp’s narrative has propelled them on a wave of euphoria. The last-minute goals, the stroke of luck, combined with individual brilliance, have been remarkable… but once he’s gone, that momentum won’t be sustainable, and a sixth-place finish next year wouldn’t be surprising.

I won’t even delve into Aston Villa, lest I stir up some heated debates among the commenters.

So, what do you think? Let me know in the comments!

Also, don’t forget to check out the latest podcast!

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Rich

Antonio has to do better there..

Southern Slide Tackle

I don’t get the negative lot. So entitled. This shit is hard and there are so many things that can go wrong. Yet, here we are in what’s maybe the greatest title race in PL history and y’all just have to critique everything. Bunch of sniveling pussies

Northbanker

Those of you who are still finding fault with a different but still ‘Arteta must go’ message are a disgrace to the badge.

GoH , Sid, Benkind etc. – you should be ashamed of yourselves but you’re probably too egotistical to feel shame

raptora

Is SST Rich’s burner account?

jwl

Daily Mail –

“While the result may have betrayed the occasion, Manchester City and Arsenal certainly drew enough viewers to shatter TV records in the United States.

NBC Sports reports that the match between the Cityzens and the Gunners this past Sunday is the most watched Premier League match in American history at 2.12million viewers.

But it was a gold mine for NBC as it became the first match in the US to surpass the two-million viewer mark – beating out the match between Liverpool and Arsenal from December 23 of 2023, which generated 1.96million.”

allezkev

God Bless America

Alexanderhenry

GOH

‘Arteta has to go’ if arsenal don’t win the prem?

There is no way Arsenal fc is sacking Arteta whatever happens this season. That’s as likely as spurs actually winning something.

Given arsenal ‘s obvious improvement, jettisoning the manager makes no sense at all but I am curious ; who would you want to replace him?

Pierre

Arsenal not going 1-0 up v city at the weekend was in my opinion a good thing as the atmosphere in the ground would have changed , city would have responded like a wounded tiger , they would have taken the handbrake off and started to take risks going forward.. We have seen many times before at the etihad, City responding to going behind are a different beast , they are similar to the old Ferguson sides in that they are relentless in their attacking play, they pressurise the Ref , and the city fans become very vocal. Arsenal keeping… Read more »

Jonnygunner

Rap- what if the injury to Pope returns…or has a knock on effect?
How do you know he’ll be the same?
Its all speculation.

Kpankulu

“Luton at home on Wednesday is a time for rotation…,” [@Pierre]

We disrespect Luton at our own peril. Arteta shouldn’t rotate merely for the sake of it. A delicate balance has to be struck and I’m confident he will strike said balance.

Nigel Tufnel

“For the benefit of the “we is only little “ crowd among us I ran the numbers, and City used a cool 1billion worth of talent in the game vs Arsenal to our 913 million worth. Average wise 70m to 60m per player featured according to Transfermarkt” He says he “ran the numbers” lol Thats referring to our players current transfer value estimates…. Not what the club spent in transfer fees. If you count up what Man City actually PAID for their squad, adding in their MUCH larger wage bill….. It’s not even close. Try posting the real numbers. Our… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

Tom,

Maybe if you had a friend in real life to talk with about the worlds many problems, you wouldn’t have to shoehorn depressing Gaza shit into an Arsenal blog, one day after our biggest match in many years.

Just Another Customer

all in all I’m satisfied with the progress so far here’s hoping we can find our groove again against Luton

China1

I fully agree kpankulu We should rotate only a few players in the starting 11. Max 3. Then if things are going ok, in the finals 20 mins take off more players who are regular starters This way only a handful of our best 11 play the 90. 3 don’t feature at all, and the others play no more than 70 Then in the following game we bring the 3 dropped players back in and ensure anyone who started today again and played the 90 is either rested or plays no more than 70 etc But wholesale changes against Luton… Read more »

Just Another Customer

time to start Partey me thinks

Aaron

Listen to the pod, good points all around.

Partey has to start, and am going against the grain, but 60 minutes ahead comfortably either Saliba or Gabriel has to come off. If Gabriel is in the red zone on an achilles, man, it is not if, but when, if managed improperly.

The rest of the team can pick itself if we can get lead Arteta can actively use his subs aggresively.

China1

Spud trolls out in full force on this blog unhappy with arsenal doing great so far whilst spurs falter again…

Siddeeq

@Northbanker, “Arteta must go must go message” then you lump me with GOH? Thats uncalled for. Men dont hit below the belt.

Siddeeq

“”Bob N16
Si tu lo dices, Sid!””

I have long suspected your ancestors are from Normandy. Native inhabitants of Britain are subservient to their betters.

Bob N16

That was Spanish not French Sid!

China1

The latest low tier attempt of trolling has become to make constant back handed compliments as tho no one is smart enough to see the over the top negativity underlying it

18 months ago we came what 8th or some shit. We are now in the CL QFs, 2 points off top with 9 games to go with the best attack and defense in the league.

If you look at arsenal right now and think any less than 90% of what is happening right now is great then you are absolutely nuts. Or a 🥔

TheLegendaryDB10

New Post

David

The rotation doesn’t make us drop down a level, it makes us drop several levels down. What a laboured performance so far!

Northbanker

Sid – apologies as no one is in that level but you do keep using ‘unacceptable’