What is the one thing most likely to get us 4th?

It’s a slow day on the Arsenal front.

Saturday’s limp and pitiful performance has left everyone in a state of ‘Meh, whatever’.

Let’s have a poll to relieve this listlessness ….

(Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)

Please add any other (more sensible) answers to the question in the comments below.



51 Responses to What is the one thing most likely to get us 4th?

  1. LBG says:

    Play the Arsenal Ladies team; even without their Nobb, they’d be better.

  2. chas says:

    Piccadilly Circus 1964

  3. chas says:

    I’m sensing some dissatisfaction with things at present.
    What happened to the ‘we’ll win both the next two games’ optimism of Friday

    p.s. I’m not sure Jordan Nobbs would appreciate being referred to in the singular.
    p.p.s. the Arsenal Womens team are really missing Jordan – two defeats now after yesterday’s loss to the lady chavs.

  4. chas says:

    Even Joe couldn’t make the Women invincible once injuries took their toll.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    Any post with a pic of Alex James grabs my interest. Is it Boy Bastin alongside him? I am not very good on the Old Timers.

  6. Big Raddy says:

    I voted for the slaughtering of the goat. It worked for many civilisations over thousands of years and a goat is cheaper than a CB.

  7. chas says:

    Yep, Bastin alongside Alex James.

    Just look at his technique here. Head over the ball looking down. Could teach Alex Iwobi a thing or two about shooting.

  8. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha, thanks Chas

    I wish I had voted Norris, as cheating has been proven over the centuries and civilizations to work way better than Erik’s goat sacrificing

  9. chas says:

    Haha, the cheapness of the goat swung it for me, too.

    Or perhaps we could just slaughter a Centre Back?

    Mind you LB does that every time he writes a match report.

  10. VP of Oz says:

    Chas, Joe is probably distracted. I believe his family is visiting him at the moment.

  11. VP of Oz says:

    We have multiple days pushing of 40 degrees at the moment. Interesting about the roof policy at the tennis. Without the roof there would be absolute carnage from the heat as itโ€™s stinking hot this year. But Iโ€™m a bit of a traditionust and want it to be an outdoor comp.

    Itโ€™s after 10pm and still 30 degrees

  12. LBG says:

    Chas 0942
    Disappeared into the ether, with fred!

  13. RC78 says:

    I voted for the sacrifice…

    Now am rather upset with Emery’s handling of Ozil. We knew Ozil would struggle under Emery but he should not be banned as he is now.

    If Emery wants to impose his tactical nous then he should play in his favored system AS OF NOW rather than do a makeshift…This season we playedour best in a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 BUT Emery is a fond of a 4-3-2-1 or 4-2-3-1 set-up so let us play in it as of now so we can already prepare our players for next season. The only competition we should aim to win is the Europa League so there we can maybe more game driven rather than season driven…

  14. GoonerB says:

    Cheers Chas. Only seen the MOTD highlights but got the general gist from the comments and recent games I have witnessed.

    Voted for the defence as it is the single most obvious thing that has cost us points and ergo our chances of making top 4. In reality it is probably a mix of things that are hindering us.

    I agree about UE needing some time to really shape the team as he sees fit before we can properly judge him. He has arrived in the EPL at a time when City, Liverpool and Spurs are stronger than they have ever been and Chavs and Utd, despite being a bit inconsistent, both boasting highly talented squads with world class players.

    In his defence I feel he inherited quite an unbalanced squad for a supposed top team which had some serious question marks over the players professional attitudes and application in the more modern game. Not taking a swipe at the great man but the latter 2-3 seasons under AW had some strange features in terms of an apparent lack of mental strength, focus and attention to detail, and a frequently laid back training ground attitude during matches.

    AW seemed to have a strange infatuation in latter years with bringing in tricky or ball playing CM’s which left us overloaded in those positions while seemingly completely ignoring a proper holding DM, proper wide players / wing forwards and a commanding CB.

    Currently none of Torreira, Gouzi, Xhaka, Elneny, Ramsey, Ozil, Iwobi, Micki are naturally suited to operating as wider / wing forward players, and are all better in more central positions. None of them have the attributes that you see in Sterling, Sane, Mahrez, Mane, Salah, Willian, Hazard, and even Lamela, Son and Moura.

    The strangest thing about it is I think AW preferred a 4-3-3 but completely ignored bringing in the pacy wide players that could play either side of the striker in a front 3. My gut feeling tells me that UE also prefers the 4-3-3 and is trying to play as close to that system as possible but again without the right players or balance of squad for that system. We are still seeing a lot of the pigeon holing that had been a feature of the prior 2-3 seasons.

    It could be argued that UE should be a tad more practical in adapting a system to what he has available now, but if he is set on a system and doesn’t want to compromise then we won’t know what he can do till he gets 2-3 TW’s under his belt.

    I do have one key worry at the moment. At one point it seemed that UE had begun to inject a different mentality within the players with them starting to apply the modern pressing game, in conjunction with a greater energy and quicker rapier attacks, in numbers, based on always looking for a forward pass rather than slow pedestrian sideways ones.

    We recently seem to have ditched all of that and reverted to to the same style that we saw in the latter AW period, slowing the game down with lots of sideways and backward passing, a poor focus, too many players looking overly relaxed, and frequent poor clearing of our lines in dangerous moments. We must lead the way with namby pamby clearances back into the most dangerous areas of our own box.

    What has happened?? I can accept that we need some ins and outs to shape the system as he wants it before we really see what UE is made of, but I don’t understand why the mentality and style of play has reverted, just when it seemed to be changing for the better. That’s how it seems to me anyway but maybe I am mis-reading the situation.

  15. GoonerB says:

    Good point RC. The Ozil thing is starting to look less strong and decisive in the handling of a top player and more vendetta in a Mourinhoesque way.

  16. RC78 says:

    GoonerB – exactly and I am not a fan of andling players like Mourinho

    At the moment, I think Emery is happy with the following players in the squad:
    – Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Kola, Torreira, Guendouzi, Iwobi, Laca and Auba.

    These guys more or less fit his style/requirements.

    In Central Defense, he wants the old school type of partnership:
    – One strong CB in terms of aerial duel and one-on-situation and one that is a strong defender but with more ability to play the ball from the back (Holding for us basically). Mustafi and Sok are good defenders but we need better ones – someone like Koulibaly or Godin

    In Midfield, he wants aggressive midfielders that can play the quick pass or drive the ball quickly in the opposition’s half. He is not a big fan of those players that are not box-to-box so the likes of Ozil and Miky are not his favorites while Torreira and soon Guendouzi (he needs to release the ball quicker) fit the bill. He neeeds mids that can score too.

    Up front, he wants 2 types of players:
    – One type that can run behind the defenders repeatedly (Auba)
    – One type that can take the width and create speace in the middle (Iwobi style)

    and that is why he s struggling with Laca. Laca is a good player but Emery will never get the best out of him in his perferred formations.

    So if Emery is to be given the keys to re-building our squad, then he should be allowed to ship out:
    – Cech
    – Lichten, Jenks, Mustafi, Kos
    – Xhaka, El Neny
    – Ozil
    – Laca
    plus of course it is acted that Wellbeck is going.

    Then he should be able to recruit
    – a new GK
    – a new back-up RB
    – a new CB to start alongside Holding and we keep (Sok, Monreal, Mavro) as back-up
    – a new LB
    – a new DM
    – a new CM
    – 2 few FW
    – 1 ST (good in the air and keeping the ball – like Giroud basically)

    that is a total of 9 players…

    – RB: Perreira or Meunier
    – CB: Koulibaly or Godin (unreal) or Aldewereid or Mina?
    – LB: Gaya
    – DM: Allan or Gueye or Doucoure or Casemiro or Ndindi
    – CM: Pjanic or Sanches or Herrera or Kessie
    – FW: Douglas Costa / Perisic or Arnautovic / Zaha or Pepe /Saar
    – ST: Haller, Milik, Kalinic, Mitrovic, Mina

    Leno – Bellerin, ALDE?, Holding, Kola – ALLAN, Torreira, KESSIE – COSTA, PERISIC – Auba

    ? – PERREIRA, Sokratis, Monreal, GAYA – AMN, Guendouzi, Willock – Miky, Iwobi – MITROVIC

  17. GoonerB says:

    Not sure about the striker position RC. I don’t see not having a Giroud type striker adversely affecting Liverpool or City but there is something still missing that I can’t put my finger on fully in how our strikers operate, particularly when on the pitch together.

    At one point it looked like they were going to strike up a good partnership both supplying each other and scoring in equal measure but it has looked a bit disjointed of late.

    I don’t really like Auba from the deeper left position but still wonder if they can be played as a front 2. What system did we play on Saturday? I didn’t really pick up on that from MOTD. It may give clues as to why it wasn’t firing.

  18. RC78 says:

    3-5-2 according to Skysports

  19. chas says:

    I’d say it was more 3-2-2-1-1-1

  20. chas says:

  21. LBG says:

    Hi GoonerB
    Re the Ozil approach, I believe Emery may well now be trying to eject Mesut. Not selecting him on Sat could well be followed by a selection this week in a game of intensity he “expects” him to fail in.
    Must hope for a blinder from MO and a rethink from “Dick”.

  22. RC78 says:

    Emery’s record all competions:
    32 games played: 20 wins, 6 draws, 6 losses
    66 goals for, 38 goals conceded

    Emery’s record in the EPL:
    22 games, 12 wins, 5 draws, 5 losses – 41 points or 1.86pt/game
    46 goals, 32 conceded

    Emery’s record vs last year Top 5: 5 points out of 18 possible
    Losses: 3
    Wins: 1
    Draws: 2

    So what does that tell us?
    – We are ok in the Europa League but we were also OK last year in this competition;
    – We still struggling in the EPL, especially against big teams.

    If we do not detoriate or improve our form, we will end up between 70 and 71 points, which is 5 points below last year’s 4th club final points (75 points – liverpool). Top 4 seems unrealistic and Top 6 seems most likely with a 6th position finish.

    Predicted finish:
    Liverpool – City – Tottenham – Chelsea – Man Utd – Arsenal

    The only way we get to the CL is through the Europa League so I say let us focus on winning it and then be acceptable in the EPL. We need strengthening to be competitve int he EPL but we may get away in the Europa League

  23. LB says:

    Amazing, before reading the comments I went for slaughtering a sheep at the top of Muswell Hill, it was the idea that the blood would run towards N17, for some reason, made me chuckle……..hmmm, not sure why now I think of it.

  24. LBG says:

    What it tells us is we let in twice as many goals as we should! Without a settled, far more resilient defence we will get nowhere in the Europa Cup. So far we have played blind schools!

  25. LBG says:

    Conor Coady!?
    Despite my obvious comments about defence, please don’t make this a window where we somehow settle for average.
    Put the young boys in and teach them. If you are buying, buy big in the Summer

  26. RA says:

    Hi GoonerB,

    I actually got to the end of your comment and amazingly not even one eye/eyelid faltered (altho the my right eye was staring over my shoulder at the lady friend) — only thing that puzzled me was why you kept referring to the EU.

    Have you gone Brexit doolally? ๐Ÿ˜œ

    There is an elephant in the room, of course, I saw him after reading your comment, when the left eye stared over my other shoulder.

    These ups and downs in the fortunes of all clubs occur on a cyclical basis, and I voted ‘other’ because of it — it could be 10 years before we get back to the top 4, and 20 years before we win a trophy.

    Time will tell — and if I am wrong by a year or two, I will deny saying this and will find a way to blame you.

  27. GoonerB says:

    We should really be effective in a 3-5-2. Juve have been good in it for a while now. In fact based on the players we have / don’t have at the moment it should currently be one of our most suited formations, which makes me wonder whether this was more a bad day at the office that would have happened in any line up, and maybe we shouldn’t write it off yet.

    You get to play the 2 strikers…..as strikers, and they are both good mobile strikers that should be able to work off each other effectively pulling both wide and in front of goal as the game unfolds.

    You get to play 3 of our plethora of CM’s, utilising 2 out of our many deeper lying ball winning / ball playing ones, and one of Ozil, Ramsey, iwobi or Micki as the 3rd more attacking of the trio playing between those 2 and the strikers.

    In the absence of natural wing forwards (needed really in the 4-3-3 system) our width can mainly come from the part defensive part offensive wing backs where we have more options (than we do pure attacking wide players) in Bellerin, AMN, Koli and Monreal.

    You get an extra CD, which I feel we kind of need to make up for our lack of quality at CB, especially if we are playing the high defensive line.

    No reason it shouldn’t work, so either we didn’t play the 3-5-2 effectively once the game started, and it morphed into something else more disjointed, or it was just a particularly bad day for a few players.

    Agree about prioritising the Europa league.

  28. RA says:

    Who is Conor Coady?

    We settled for over the hill, ageing players who cost peanuts last summer, why would Mr Kroenke change the habits of a lifetime next summer?

    It is said that we must sell before we buy to raise the funds — no club will buy Mesut, as his salary is obscenely high, and who the hell would give us any money for Mustafi, Cech, Xhaka Mikhitarian, etc, and we are already letting Rambo go for ยฃ0, and frankly that sum is about what we would get for the above, and we will also get that for Lichtsteiner and one or both of our wing backs.

  29. GoonerB says:

    EU – Emery United
    UE – Union European…or something like that

    Hope that clears it up RA ๐Ÿ™‚ Good to see you are still knocking around. Had a couple of chances to comment today but these will be few and far between over the next while

  30. RA says:

    What puzzled me — and you know I am easily puzzled — is that for the first 15 minutes or so, our midfield/defence ran thru Wham’s defenders with some really eye catching moves.

    The defence, rubbish as they are at the highest level of the Premier, played better than they have for most games this season, but then the defence wobbles (well Xhaka’s usual ‘gift’ really) reappeared and the attack somehow disappeared too.

    There seems no way for any manager to improve things with many of these players, and I agree with LBG, if we are going into a cyclical spin, I would rather do it with the young players promoted and let them gain experience the hard way, and ship the rest out.

  31. RA says:

    That clarifies everything, GB, the ‘E’ is for ‘U’ and the ‘U’ is for ‘E’, Terry is needed, and I’m off for tea.

    [Oh, go on then, you mentioned you will only be around a bit — so, go ahead tell us — have you got a date with that hairy camel at last? ] ๐Ÿ˜ณ

  32. chas says:

  33. Big Raddy says:

    FFS They have sacked David Wagner ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  34. RA says:

    Just watched the highlights of the first away match Man Citeh v Arsenal U23s. (hadn’t seen it before).

    Brilliant stuff — we lost 5 : 6. — Not the result but the sheer skill of both teams.๐Ÿ˜

  35. chas says:

    “They’ve” sacked David Wagner gives me a choice of a least six clubs!

  36. chas says:

    Where’s Fred?
    I’m sure he’d be able to tell me the right club.

  37. chas says:

  38. chas says:

  39. chas says:

  40. chas says:

  41. chas says:

  42. LB says:

    Didn’t expect West ham to be so hasty

  43. mickydidit89 says:

    How utterly miserable must be the lives of the 39% who voted for strengthening the defence over the fabulous array of options.


    Wagner comments ROLF LAMOW ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. chas says:

  45. chas says:

  46. chas says:

  47. chas says:

  48. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Was David W pushed or did he jump? Makes no difference, his departure is a sad loss to AA.

  49. chas says:

    When it all started ….

    From BR’s pre-match 11th Nov 2018

    In David Wagner they have a fine manager who is doing a wonderful job with very limited resources. By far the most impressive of the promoted sides, Wolves already have 18 points, just 2 behind the incredibly lucky Man Utd.

    Stevie D says:
    November 11, 2018 at 9:55 am (Edit)

    I really think you should endeavour to get your facts even close to being right before attempting to comment on the opposition. We do not have David Wagner as manager, we do not have โ€˜limited resourcesโ€™, and we donโ€™t have 18 points. Not until Sunday at 6pm anyway.

    ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  50. chas says:

    Wagner celebrating Brighton’s equaliser on Boxing Day.

    Sad to see you leave the Prem, mate.

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