The team selection saw Ozil picked to play with Auba. Some have been suggesting this is a decent pairing, complementing each other, as do Rambo and Laca.
Iwobi got us off to the perfect start with his curler towards the far post which sneaked in past the unsuspecting keeper.
There seemed to be an awful lot of French players pretending that they’d been cracked on the head. Ben Arfa was the worst culprit, the disgusting little maggot.
Arsenal’s attacking play was very slack. Auba couldn’t trap a blind rabbit and Mesut didn’t seem to want to repay any of the manager’s faith in him.
We seemed to be lacking that link between Xhaka/Torreira and the front 4, a scenario we’ve seen several times already this season. Micki should be realising this and stepping into the breach but instead was fairly anonymous. Iwobi also seems a luxury away from home when his other three attacking partners are under-performing.
Having said that, both Torreira and Mustafi should both have done better with very respectable chances within the Rennes penalty area. We seemed to be in control on the whole, barring some sort of outside intervention. Cue the ref.
Sokratis had received his first yellow when the cheating Ben Arfa fell over him which was to prove costly 5 minutes from half time when the referee was conned by another French dive as Big Sok barely touched the onrushing striker who went down as if he been felled in the forest.
So, down to 10 men and made worse when the lad taking the resultant free kick hit a pearler as the ball bounced back to him off the wall. Cech had no chance as the ball flew past.
Iwobi was subbed shortly after half time with Guendouzi coming on in his place. We really needed 3 or 4 additional subs at that moment but that’s not allowed.
Nothing stupid, lads, see if we can salvage a draw with a man down. Oh dear, what followed was a flashing near post finish from Nacho, while Auba was debating with the ref whether it was a corner or not, putting paid to any notion of salvaging parity.
Other chances followed but it did seem as though we might take a 2-1 defeat back to the Emirates and finish the job there. But then to be caught with so many men forward in the 88th minute though, was unforgivable. How stupid can a team collectively be?
Rennes deserved to win despite their transparent cheating, diving and all-round shit-housing. If I never see Ben Arfa’s piggy-like face again, I’ll be happy. Oh no, just remembered, he’ll be at the Emirates next week.
On this showing, we stand virtually nil chance of winning the tiddly winks cup let alone the Europa. Complacent, lazy, idiotic, gutless – all words which could be applied to our team’s performance in this first leg.
Originally the thought of 17 days without a game for the second half of March seemed a terrible prospect; now it doesn’t seem so bad. Then again, a decent result on Sunday might make me think differently.
Cech – made some good saves – not much he could do about any of the goals … 7
Mustafi – persistently requiring treatment in the first half but none of his injuries forced him off … 5
Koscielny – as captain he leads by example – Arsenal required someone to scream at them in tonight’s game, lifting them up to perform at a higher level, didn’t happen … 6
Sokratis – unlucky to be sent off as the first yellow was soft and second was an obvious dive as far as I could see – Ben Arfa pleaded for the ref to send him off and then winked at Big Sok as the ref produced the red – it was almost as if it had been a deliberate tactic from Rennes … 6
Monreal – not his best game – didn’t have the legs or cover ahead of him to cope with the winger’s pace – great OG … 5
Xhaka – he’s ok if he’s looking at the game in front of him but on the turn he’s pretty redundant – some really sloppy passing when we needed sharpness … 5
Torreira – I still don’t understand why Emery wants him to play so far forward sometimes – miles out of position for the third, no idea why he would think that was sensible … 5
Ozil – really poor all night – earn your money, man, put in a shift – slack … 4
Mkhitaryan – he seemed to be in good form coming into the game – shame he didn’t bring it to France – did ok as a makeshift right back though … 5
Aubameyang – absolutely dreadful – worse first touch than Adebayor – clueless … 3
Iwobi – not a game for him, unfortunately, but gets an extra point for scoring a majestic curler … 5
Guendouzi – where was he meant to be playing? – I’m not sure he knew – all over the place is probably the best description … 5
Ramsey – showed more spirit in 20 minutes than Mesut had shown in 70 … 6
Kolasinac – on for the ineffectual Aubameyang … 6
Emery – Wenger was always berated for not being able to motivate players – this performance fell into the same category – he must be so angry … 6
Le Wagner – better team on the night … 7
Arsenal’s defense was made up of:
1. Petr Zcech 37yrs
2. Nacho Monreal 33 yrs
3. Laurent Koscielny 34 yrs
4. Stephan Lichtsteiner 35yrs
Total=139 years at the back!
Lichtsteiner wasn’t playing – in fact he wasn’t even in France.
At least Mustafi is only 26 – years ahead of him to improve.
Well done Chas, not easy I am sure.
As I said, 2-0 will do given the all important away goal. (I know, I know but give me sunshine and all that)
You said 17 days of no Arsenal might have been terrible before last night’s loss. Interesting take. I reckon it’s the other way around ie poor results against Utd and Rennes, and we’ll be thinking the season is all over
I was very surprised to see Ozil start given the weather and wotnot, but still, I agree with FGG, we were fine until the Sok offski
I meant that if we’re playing well, you want the next game to come quickly.
But after last night, I was thinking, ‘hmm, not having to endure them making me feel shite might be quite nice for 2 and a half weeks’.
i.e. if the season was over now that might be a good thing
Obviously this morning i’ve woken up feeling far more optimistic. 🙂
Yeah, ok Chas
I was hoping to beat Rennes and Utd, then thoroughly enjoy the break as we sit back and watch Chavs, and especially Spuds, implode
Away European legs in shit towns against shit teams is never going to be enjoyable. Think Bate 🙄
I am not so optimistic. Look at the goals against column – will we keep a clean sheet at home?
Could PEA hit a cow’s arse with a banjo?
Will Monreal gain 5 yards of pace against a very good Sarr?
Will Mustafi improve?
Will Ozil bother ever again?
Plenty to write about in March 😀
Ooops. Forgot to thank you chas for a fine write up. To find the positives in last night’s debacle shows both optimism and talent.
Loved your “it’s all about me” comment last regarding the result costing you a jolly abroad
Sort of the inverse of “think not what your country can do for you, rather….” 🙂
I didn’t realise I’d found any positives. 🙂
Well done, Chas. Writing these after such a game is soooo hard and yet you’ved put time and effort into this one. I know AA is all about being behind the manager but a 6 for Emery (and our CBs) is pretty misguided. Our second half performance was an absolute shambles and Emery’s tactics were poor. The team looked lost and had no clear strategy and then he brings on Guendo who clearly did not know what to do. I tell you that young man has knowledge on Unai. We only started to control the game again once he FINALLY brought on Kola, but then we still managed to concede another right before the end, and make the home leg a tricky one. I still have every confidence that we will put this right in a week’s time, though, but once again Emery’s tactics did not impress me.
Two big, season-defining games to come for Arsenal and Emery.
Particularly liked ‘misguided’. 🙂
A 6 for Emery, maybe not but at least he picked your favoured double pivot!
I’m not sure you can always blame the manager when his selected team decides it’s a day to perform worse than trained monkeys.
There is that, Chas 🙂
Agreed re not always blaming the manager, but…. when you go down to ten the players need clear instructions and a plan and that was missing in my view. The players also disappointed and it looked like we missed not just the physical presence of BigSok but also his leadership skills.
A clear plan
Micki, you go right back.
The rest of you, try not to concede any more goals and when you have the ball, keep hold of the damn thing for as long as you can.
Whatever you do, guys, don’t commit 7 players forward with 2 minutes to go.
Great effort chas. Not much more you could say really. I don’t blame the manager, as in the first leg against Bate, we were in control for 30 minutes, ands once again irresponsible madness by one of our players surfaced. On top of that I can’t think what has happened to Auba … maybe he has discovered the nightlife in London?
Only Ramsey and Guendouzi (and Iwobi until he was taken off) seemd to be putting in a shift. And what was all that bolox with Mustafi making out he’d got a serious injury … I could rant all day about the game … deep breath … and move on …
Morning my little cheroots,
Absolutely right on the money, Chazzer, the phrase ‘headless chickens’ springs to mind.
Personally I would take 3 points from each of your ratings, because they were not a recognisable team – from the shirt to the inept automatons on the field pretending to be a proud Arsenal team.
Proud? Please don’t even go there!
Losing games is all part of football, we all know that, and for every loser there is a thrilled winner, but what is particularly difficult to come to terms with is the manager’s abject strategic decision making on how the game will be managed, and the tactics to be employed to achieve that end — but the negation of any tactical plan, abject, or not, by every member of the team brought a taste of bile to this supporters throat.
I see no point in castigating players who are underwhelming not fit to play Premier League or European football — and we have a number of them, sadly — because it would be akin to entering an ageing mule in the Grand National, but the much lauded players like Mesut, Auba and Mikhi deserve to be derided for their gutless and careless performances last night.
They do not want to play for Arsenal?
Fine — The exit is that way ———->
Now you can see, those who were on here lamenting last night, the reason I stopped myself commentating further at the time — I care a damned sight more than those players!!
Hi all, not been on here in a very long time and good to read so many comments from the names I instantly recognise and have even met at The Arsenal.
I do not have a lot to add to the many fine comments other than we are looking like a team in total decline right now. There is not fight, no will to get up off the floor and get back into a game we should not be losing. We started well and looked comfortable and with a more experienced referee we have got the rub of the green, but no good entirely blaming the Spurs lover in the yellow shirt for everything.
Abua looks lost up front and if he was shooting at Jill Dando, she would be alive today! He has now had several below par games on the spin and missing that penalty last week has set him back further IMHO. The back four are a joke and would struggle to defend against a boys team on current form. They do not work as a unit, they hit the panic button every time and are caught out and wrong side far too often.
Ozil is a waste of oxygen and produces very little just about every time he plays, drop him and move him on. Why we are letting Ramsey go and keeping him is beyond me totally.
Play like that against a very confident United team on Sunday and we will be on the wrong end of another trashing.
I think poor old (well young really) Gonedouzie has been burned out by playing too many games in his first season, and reminds me of what happened to L’il Jack.
Coming on last night he seemed to be treading in trickle when trying to run, and seemed incapable of controlling the ball when receiving a pass.
Defending their third goal, Rambo came streaking back from their penalty area, trying to chase the lightning quick Sarr. Douzi who had 10 metres on him, still could not get those sluggish feet of his moving and looked shattered.
He needs to be given an extended break, not as a punishment, the kid has the quality to become a star, but he needs time to really recharge his batteries, otherwise the curse of Jack will tap him on the shoulder, and ruin his career.
Chas, I don’t think he even said that, lol. To be honest, I am not sure how many of the players actually understand Emery and maybe Nacho does not like to be the translator…
Hi Redders, I don’t think we can rest Ouzi against manu since Terrier is suspended. I had expected to see Elneny play last night, but it looks like he’ll be going in the much needed clear out at the end of the season.
You are right, Rasper.
In those circumstances Gonedozy will be needed agin Manure.
In principle tho, I hope they (Emery et Cie) do take an objective look at Dozy and realise he is currently a shadow of the brilliant player we saw earlier in the season.
[How are your fish doing? Hopefully Fred won’t read this or he will be down with his scuba gear to catch and BBQ them.] 😳
Well done Chas for writing a post after such a dour defeat.
It’s becoming more and more difficult for me to identify with this squad their lack of motivation is just awful.
Cech tried desperately to keep us in the tie but his usually unreliable defense proved once again just how inept they are.
I wonder how many times we have given away goals when our full backs are in the opposition half? When, if ever, will they learn? – Never it seems.
At 2-1 down we were still in the drivers seat and should have gone 100% defensive to avoid going down 3-1 but against all logic we did the opposite. Over confident or just plain stupid – FFS?
What has happened to Auba – he shows absolutely no interest and his face is as long as a kite, he looks like a player saying please sell me.
Oh boy now we have Man U and possibly another embarrassment ahead.
Hi Redders, the fish are fine thank you … my latest obsession is guitar renovation 🙂
A clear plan…..”Whatever you do guys, don’t”…..
There the problem, an eight letter word……too.much to expect….
It is difficult to draw full conclusions on Arsenal and Emery overall this season. Our performances seem to be at more extreme polar opposites than ever.
We have put in really good performances against top sides and looked awful against lesser ones.
I only got back for the 2nd half yesterday so can only comment on what I witnessed there. I can accept that we are lacking some quality and balance in certain areas of the team that will need to be addressed over 18 months but what is more worrying and really irks me was the seemingly defeatist attitude and lack of grit or fight.
This has become almost our most important competition and you would expect us to be running through walls to try and win the Europa league. I know they were a different quality that we were lucky to have experienced but we had teams in the late 90’s to early 2000’s that could go 1-0 down and down to 10 men at Anfield and still fight out a 2-1 win.
Last nights team looked like they had accepted a loss the minute Socratis was off and many of them were strolling around like it was a game after a few beers on holiday between mates on Magaluff beach.
I disagree on Gouzi yesterday. His lack of urgency stank and some of the plaudits he has got this year may have gone to his young head. He has great promise but will not be a top player if that is allowed to fester. He needs a proper bollicking Ferguson style for our good but also for his own good and his development.
Show him the video footage of his lack of movement and tracking and lassaiz faire attitude and tell him he will not be here for long or feature at any top club if he doesn’t put in a better defensive midfield shift than that.
The poor attitude and lack of winning mentality is a thing that has seeped in in recent years. Emery deserves more time to develop a team with a better winners mentality and with better balance and quality but It still worries me even at this stage of his tenure that so many players went missing. You cant help thinking that a Simeone team wouldn’t have laid down so easily or looked so casual.
I think a bigger clear out and reset is needed based on that 2nd half last night and bring in a mix of players that bring extra quality and extra fight and grit.
I am singularly unimpressed with the notion the what is needed is a complete clear out of all our players and their reinstatement with Emery choices and that it will take 3 or 4 transfer windows to do this.
Apart from the question as to where the money will come from, even with a clear out, when you have a fire sale what you are selling tends to go for very little, I do not think we’ve ever seen a manager come to a team and to expect to replace all the players.
He passed his interview with a dossier on every player and one would have thought that that would have included how he would wish to play each of those players.
We have a generally good squad of players, perhaps not as good as past ones, but I think the problem here is that they are unable to play the Emery way or that the Emery way is simply wrong and unsustainable.
Whilst we have had a few reasonably good performances this year, they were few and far between and the ones between them have generally been from mediocre to downright useless.
I find it difficult to understand why the powers that be decided to choose someone whose style of play relies more on preventing the opponents playing and reduces players to automatons.
Perhaps we have been spoiled by having a basically attacking team all these years but I’m not sure I understand why we need to accept this negative style.
I fear that this season is going to be downhill all the way and I’m quite pleased that I’m unable to watch the game on Sunday afternoon, as I fear it will be a bloodbath, even against Manure’s reserves.
My goodness me, GB, have those camels given you the hump? 🤨
I think Dozy had an off-night unfortunately, and that was epitomised by the first pass to him without any pressure, he simply stuck his bum out, allowed the ball to roll across himself, lost balance and control and was easily dispossessed.And away went Rennes on the attack.
You won’t have noticed, but the Rasper and I discussed this earlier and made allowances for him being only 19 y.o. in his first season.
I understand and agree with you overall, but the – ‘clear out – buy better players – is probably wishful thinking if the rumoured £49m transfer kitty is the extent of our ambitions next summer — some of which money is already ear marked to buy out Suarez from his loan deal.
Personally, I would sell Auba, Mikhi and Lacazette, and let the kids thru from the U23s, as those players would be sold at a loss but would find clubs prepared to buy them.
Then I would allow (?) Licht, Mustafi, Mesut, Xhaka gor for whatever they would fetch — add that money to the £49m, and buy even 1 young, quality player.
Honest word? Well, I guess that’s wishful thinking too.
Good to talk to you! 🥺
Agreed Jjgsoll, the squad is good as we saw v the Spuds just a week ago. To call for a clear out is just the typical response to a loss – now also prevalent on this site, unfortunately. The players did not do us proud this time round but most will agree we did okay till the sending off…. Then it becomes about tactics and leadership and Wenger’s replacement did not seem to have a clue. Two more tests await him, so let’s see how he will do. The scenario of a weakened squad and a sacked manager by Jan 20 continues to be a real possibility. However, I did like Emery’s tactics and subs at the weekend, so there is plenty of hope he will get it right more often going forward.
Sorry Chas, rude of me, but thanks for the post, and hello RA hope you are well
I like Gouzi and his promise, as I also like both Bellerin and AMN for the same reason, but I have noted that all 3 of them have this “strolling back at a slow jog” habit when we are being counter-attacked against, which for me is a poor habit that will hinder all of them from reaching full potential. We can allow for technical errors and misjudgment at times as they develop, but not a development of a habitually overly casual attitude. That doesn’t help us but also doesn’t help them if left unaddressed.
It seems to be a club problem as much as anything that is transferring down to these youngsters. I don’t believe, even at their age, it would be tolerated at other top clubs and stern words would be had about what is expected of them. The right mentality needs to be instilled in them at this age right now because once they develop the wrong mentality I think it will be hard to change and they will be lost.
For me Gouzi’s strolling around and failure to track or bust a gut as a defensive midfielder when we are down to 10 men, in a competition that is very important to us, was not about issues his (obviously inherent) ability or age, or him having just having a bad night where things he tries don’t come off, which can happen with younger players, but was all about his mental fortitude and commitment, or more to the point the lack of it.
We do need a couple of quality upgrades in this team but as important, if not more so, I would like to see a couple of dependable proper leader type players arrive that don’t need to be told by the manager when they need to fight and work harder. Players it is already ingrained in that can then positively influence these youngsters in the dressing room and on the training ground, not ones that sulk.
These could be a couple of older players that are maybe only temporary 2 season solutions, but can be as important in how they shape the dressing room attitude during that time as to what they bring independently as players. I agree we aren’t awash with transfer money anyway so a couple of bargains that can bring a greater professional winning and fighting mentality to the club would be worth considering.
The clear out is needed, firstly because we are overstocked in CM and, to an extent, in defenders that are older and/or not good enough, so we may as well rid ourselves of players that will never quite make the grade and put faith in our youth that has the potential to do so with senior mentors to work alongside them.
Personally I would push the boat out on both Milner and Kompany who are out of contract at seasons end. Give them a little golden handshake of a 2 year contract and get them into the club influencing those around them, especially the youngsters. Both can still bring some quality to the playing side as well for a couple more seasons.
Even players like Vieira and Petit needed that influence from the the likes of Adams, Bould, Keown, Dixon to instill the grit and leadership qualities in them until it became 2nd nature to them and they themselves could then carry that baton on.
Ramsey as we know is off anyway and personally now I would lose all of Mustaffi (not good enough), Lichtensteiner, Monreal (too slow now), Xhaka (not good enough despite his passing range), Elneny and Ozil (too expensive as a luxury player that doesn’t influence consistently across a campaign).
I would put my faith in the 3 elder CD’s of (if we can get him) Kompany, Kos and Socratis (in that order of seniority) and put faith in Holding and Mavro coming through next season with, in particular, Kompany and Kos to learn from.
Personally I would still try and persuade Cech to stay a bit longer as a back up but also with some integration into coaching. We don’t need to spend unnecessary cash on back up GK’s and he showed he is a very capable back up keeper still and is another one who inherently understands what it takes to be a winner.
We probably should spend on a couple of players to come in with a priority on a left footed wing forward to balance our team. I would put faith in our youth players, accepting some mistakes as they develop, but not accepting the adoption of a casual attitude that has become a bit of a hallmark at the club.
Gouzi, AMN, Bellerin, Willock, Nketieh, Nelson should all be promoted and given chances but with them knowing in no uncertain terms what is expected in commitment and work rate at a club like Arsenal, and surrounding them a bit more with the right senior players who can provide that positive influence over these next couple of years.
If you play and pause the Mustafi gif, you get some interesting stills.
This is my favourite.
Hope that clears up the type of clear out I am on about TA and jjgsoll and, rather than indicating it is a knee-jerk, spoiled fan type of reaction, that it is thought through, that there is some backbone and sense to who we let go and who we bring and why within a more limited budget.
I’m not on here that much anymore anyway TA, so I have no idea who else is responsible for the knee-jerk reactions prevalent on this site now. Probably need to look back and find out when I get the time.
In this photo I like the juxtaposition of the mini dress and the dog’s arsehole – an apposite metaphor for Arsenal’s form under Unai Emery. 🙂
What will we get on Sunday?
It was not aimed at you (or anybody) personally my friend. Keep up the good work and thorough comments!! 🙂
I would be happy to see a squad cleansing to allow Unai the early opportunity to mould a team of his making.
I believe we should rebuilt the team from back to front with defense and mid-field being the early focus.
Of the current first team I feel the following players should be retained.
A really comprehensive and clearly well thought through analysis, and one that mirrors my own views very closely. 😳
There are some very good, and potentially top quality kids being groomed at Arsenal, and rather than paying lip service to older barely adequate players and looking at them through rose tinted glasses, while anointing them as capable of improving matters if we leave them be, we should instil a sense of pride and value in the youngsters, and ensure they know they have to leave everything on the pitch, in every game, if they want to stay and prosper at Arsenal.
The years are long gone when I took any notice of fans telling me that ‘A’ or ‘B’ or ‘C’ are really good players, in complete contradiction of what I have seen with my own eyes, and backed up with the stark evidence of years of failure in the Premier League, and the European leagues.
I have no problem with other fans/bloggers having different opinions to my own, they have every right to them and I do not begrudge them one whit if they tell me I am wrong, but I expect the same respect in return, and not have to read ‘otherwise decent people patronisingly making ‘virtue signalling’ comments that they are so much more knowledgeable and caring than I am.
I am often wrong, and can be persuaded to admit when someone else has come up with a wiser, better opinion than mine, but it is confrontational if it is also accompanied with the inference they know fucking everything, and I know fuck all. 🤪
[I think your comment would rate as a fine Post — but as an analytical summary — it is top notch — and reads as a fair statement without personalising it!! ]
I have already made my views known about who should go/stay in an earlier comment, but your list has merits of its own and I would not contradict you.
If you were a politician (heaven forfend) and were looking for my vote, just add the young CB/midfielder Medley and Sheaf to the list (altho they are not in the first team squad yet, of course) and you would have it!! 😁
I hadn’t considered our under 21 players but of those that I’ve seen I’d keep –
You get my vote any time.
Oops I neglected these on loan players –
Emile Smith Rowe
I would let Mustafi, Licht and Cech go (the latter because he announced his retirement), buy a winger and cover for Bellerin. Job done – top squad.
Spot on, GN5.
We really do have a good bunch of players there, and I think there could be 4 or 5 of them, at least, who could be potential good squad players and potentially star material.
I had high hopes of Krystian Bielik buy injuries have caused him a lot of trouble — who knows he could still make it.
There is also Martinez the GK who I think is also out on loan – or returned to Arsenal because of injury ???
You could be right, TA, and I really hope so.
Not sure what happened to Bramall — he played a couple of games at right back – but I do not know what happened to him. Could cover for Belli, but Corporal Jenks has done that too, recently.
So we lost against Rennes after a poor defensive display…
Team cleansing input:
Cech, Ramsey, Wellbeck are out so that makes life easier…
Jenkinson, Mustafi, Monreal should be sold and Chambers and Mavro loaned out while Lichtensteiner can also be asked to leave
El Neny should be sold
Ozil needs to leave for his own sake
Asano can also leave together with Ospina, Martinez
We can extend the loan of Smith Rowe and also loan out Nketiah and Willock
As for Macey and Bielik, we are ok to sell them
Bellerin, Holding, Sok, Kos, Kola
AMN,LT, Xhaka, Guendouzi
R. Neilson, Iwobi, Mikhy
We need the following starters:
– CB, DM, CM, FW/Winger
– GK, RB, LB, ST
Leno – Bellerin, Holding, RECRUIT, Kola – DOUCOURE (or NDOMBELE), GUEYE, LT – D.COSTA, Laca, Auba
Lafont – MEUNIER, Sok, Kos, GAYA – AMN, Xhaka, Guendouzi – R. Neilsson, MITROVIC, Iwobi
Very interesting RC,
I really liked the look of Sarr — really quick, skilful and athletic — but I suspect PSG or one of the other continental clubs will get him.
Allergic to fish RA
Had forgotten about Jenkinson, RA. Should let him go too.
Some good comments and I think the term squad cleansing seems more appropriate. There seems to be a consistent consensus on who should leave with 1-2 players different opinions.
I think 1-2 decent acquisitions with 1-2 astute smart stop gap additions and promotion of youth is the way forward, but I feel it all needs to happen within a change of club attitude back to one of believing we can conquer anything but at the same time not taking anything for granted either. We used to have that and I hope UE can reinstall it. We already have great quality that can be added to and tweaked steadily.
Good to see you about RA and no problems TA, I genuinely have no idea who has said what and what the feeling has been recently. To me this remains a top site as does yours TA.