Team selection – meh- does it really matter?
Mkhitaryan hit the post in the 2nd minute and things looked bright for a moment.
A fortuitous penalty put us in front but we singularly failed to capitalise on it.
Brighton had a few half chances on the break. It’s such a disgrace that we made a team which narrowly avoided relegation look our equal.
Ryan made a decent save from Auba just before the break. Can’t really remember much else on target
At least we created a few more chances but the keeper, some courageous defending and Auba not being able to score an open goal meant that the crucial second was not forthcoming.
Taylor evened up the score with another ridiculously soft penalty. 1-1 and a reasonably fair reflection of the game.
The triple substitution seemed to destabilise the team rather than give it a boost.
Plan B is give it to Iwobi. Cosmic.
Brighton deserved their point and we don’t deserve to be in a top 4 which contains a poor spud side and a poor chav side.
I feel sorry for anyone who made the journey for an end of season celebration and witnessed that travesty of a performance.
I find it hard to agree with those who say we have made progress this season. As far as I can see, we are as poor as last season and much worse than 2016/7.
Man U drawing away to Huddersfield made me laugh. Us drawing at home to Brighton did not. We haven’t been any better this season than a shambolic Man United in Mourinho disarray.
The whole season rests on the Europa now and let’s hope Auba’s late goal helps get us to the Final where anything can happen in a one-off game.
It was unfortunate that Rambo, Danny and Petr had to say their goodbyes during the lap of dishonour.
I can’t really be bothered with separating the players out from one another.
A rating of 4 for everyone including the subs? Maybe 3?
Leno made a great save to stop us losing 2-1. Where was Lucas Torreira meant to be playing in the first half? – I really had no idea. The strikers tried to score but didn’t have the quality of that early season purple patch when they defied the xG.
Emery – didn’t get his team playing well enough in the League for the 4th? 5th? 6th? game in a row. We’ve been garbage for weeks … 3
Chris Wagnerson – managed a team which had just escaped relegation, with nothing to play for but pride and made them the equal of a poor Arsenal team – I’d give him a higher rating but other managers have made their average teams look much better than us recently … 5
chas (written just after the match to give a true reflection – please disagree in the comments)
Yet another disappointing result… why is it, every week, we have one player that plays like a complete donkey (Xhaka, take a bow)
I’m so annoyed at all these precious points we’ve dropped.. we could have easily been way out in front in 3rd.. 1 point against Palace, Wolves, Leicester & Brighton.. sheesh 🙄
So it now comes down to Thursday.. I’m nervous as hell about it now.. will we show up? Or will we bottle it? If we do go through (which I will be glad about) I can’t stomach the thought of losing to Chelsea in the final.. urgh 🤢
The sooner this transfer window opens, the better! Over to you, Stan…..
Thank you chas. I share your disappointment
When Brighton scored (two dubious penalties in the game – a question of evening up?) there was 30 minutes remaining yetI seriously doubted our ability to score.
The midfield both defensively and creatively was pants. This is the area which needs work..
Between them Ozil and Mhki are on €600+k a week. We are getting a poor return on the investment
I am disgusted frankly as there seems to be no end in sight to the miserable performances we have suffered for years — FA Cups excluded — and while a disinterested absentee owner prefers playing with other toys in the US I can only see things getting worse.
I may have a sabbatical next season — and leave the owner and administrators of Arsenal to their own devices — and I will return to support them only if they start to support the coach, (whoever that might be) and go buy some quality players (I know – fat chance, eh?) and look as if they are trying to compete and not con the fans,
I will not respond to any blogger telling us that we have a good squad, and that Xhaka is a quality player and deserves to be captain. That is utter B/S — and I would not want to spoil friendships before I depart – everyone has the right to an opinion, but I have heard that guff too many times not to find it provocative.
Good Post, Chas, and a brave one — I might have been rather more caustic, both about the team and the buffoons off the pitch – so just as well I did not write it.
The cockamamie idea that skilled yet gutless players, paid huge and unwarranted wages is acceptable to us fans – yet a true Gooner like Rambo who is the epitome of a gutsy hard working performer, and who clearly did not want to leave, could be treated with such utter disdain, is a disgrace, and again that septic attitude lies squarely at the feet of the pathetic current owner and his lackeys.
Hill-Wood was right – we did not want the likes of Kronke at Arsenal — but no one listened — greed trumps all.
I’d have given Laca a 5 for his non-stop effort. Can’t argue with the rest though.
This end of season collapse has been disappointing and is a worrying portent for the future.
It’s tempting to think we need a clear-out of 90% of the squad, but I suppose we should acknowledge that many of these players can do better and have done in the past, and maybe will do again in the future.
Nevertheless, you can’t help feeling we need three or four seriously good additions to move forward and with rumours of only £40m to spend that ain’t going to happen.
£40m in today’s market gets us a Mustafi and the left leg of Bernd Leno.
Klopp had a similarly up-and-down first season or two at Liverpool, but at least he was subsequently given a lot of money to bring in new players and improve the team.
(In summer 2018 alone Liverpool spent £176.95m on player recruitment).
If we’re in a race to stay relevant, Man City and Liverpool are driving Formula 1 cars, while we’re in Del and Rodney’s Robin Reliant (“New York-Paris-Islington”).
Maybe this time next year we’ll be millionaires…
Hard to argue with this: “The cockamamie idea that skilled yet gutless players, paid huge and unwarranted wages is acceptable to us fans – yet a true Gooner like Rambo who is the epitome of a gutsy hard working performer, and who clearly did not want to leave, could be treated with such utter disdain, is a disgrace…”
During the game my son asked which players I would keep if we could have a genuine clean sweep.
I got as far as Lacazette and Bellerin… then that was it.
I grudgingly allowed that we could keep a few as squad players: Kozzer, whom I love but who’s getting on and carrying too many injuries, Holding, maybe Auba, Leno. That’s it.
Very bad result. Very poor performance from all our boys, against one of the lowest teams around.. .Just one point from the last four EPL games. Thank God we had already garnered enough points before February. It is relegation form Arsenal is in right now. That was top four hopes down the drain. Now champions league hope rest on winning the Europa cup. From the way Arsenal is playing now, that will be almost impossible to achieve. Emery should better sit up….
Hi ya, Rocket, 😁
There I was having a vent of my pressurised frustrations, and you turn up and immediately cheer me up!!!🤪
We really miss you on AA, and especially one of your wonderful Posts. I think everyone else would like to be cheered up too — especially Sue who actually went to the game.
I think she is to blame mind for our loss — she was supposed to go with her usual band, Sue, Pugh and Barney McGrue — but she dumped Barney and look what happened!! 😩
Great to see you – even for a short time – and get writing – we need a Post from across the Atlantic – your fellow ex-pat, GN5 has been writing some fantastic historical Posts – so you could become the Voices from Canada.
I agree with what you say and the sentiments.
There was no fire in the team in a game that called out for Ramsey and his drive.
We saw flashes of it from Iwobi when he came on but no one seemed interested in giving that little bit extra, which is what we have been seeing all season.
We were flattered and deceived by the long unbeaten run, during which we played mostly rubbish, only for the opposition to be even worse.
I really feel that to suggest that buying on emeryphile players will make any difference is to live in cloud cuckoo land.
With all the best will in the world the powers that be made the wrong choice and we are likely to see no great improvement in the future.
I hope that I am wrong,
I should know this, but I cannot quite recall, as it has not been a matter of any importance before.
But — if we should get thru to the EL Final, and meet the Chavs, will we qualify for the CL regardless of the result, as the Chavs are now already qualified as a top 4 EPL team?
Seems sensible — which probably means UEFA will say – “No – Nein – Non – ve vill hef none of your tricky Englander tricks!!” 👨🏼🌾
Now, look ‘ere, jjg, I recognise that cloud cuckoo land comment which we discussed only a short time ago.
Rocky said above, that – “£40m (the rumoured transfer kitty for summer 2019) in today’s market gets us a Mustafi (Clone) and the left leg of Bernd Leno.”
I think you were agreeing with him – and we had already agreed previously. 😛
Word press is playing tricks on me today so I’m just testing.
Wake up word press.
This is umpteenth time I’ve tried to post this comment so here I go with number umpteenth and one.
Thanks Chas – nought to disagree with.
The good thing is that it’s almost over and we will not have to continue to “wish and hope” that things will improve and suffer while Stan the Man gets richer. It’s patently obvious that he has purchased Arsenal as an investment and will only spend the minimum to continue his charade with Arsenal’s loyal supporters. His primary concern is the bottom line profit of his Arsenal business and while that and his investment continue to grow he will just bask in his riches.
I’ve been scouring my memory banks to recollect a time when I had so much negativity towards Arsenal and unfortunately I cannot remember such a time. I’ve always been an avid supporter but now I feel that i’m losing interest (while Kronke’s interest grows) and look around at other teams that i wish were Arsenal. Teams like Liverpool for their passion and never say die grit and like Man C for their wonderful flowing style of play and the joy in their players faces – just look at Raheem Sterling.
Oh dear, that’s enough for now.
No CL spot for Europa runners up, only the winners.
Through all of my disappointment this season, there has been one person that has stood out with his desire and passion and that person is Unai Emery.
Now I can only but hope that he can also make a silk purse out of our sow’s ear!!
Cheers RA.. that brought a smile to my face! I needed that, after yesterday – Barney bailing on me, watching that bloody awful game & then crying over Ramsey!! Jeez AFC mentally exhaust me..
I am usually gruntled — but lately, I am becoming more disgruntled, and you seem to be joining me.
You will bounce back — you, too, are more a gruntled person by nature than disgruntled, from your comments anyway.
Perhaps we can set up an AA ‘Gruntled” club — as soon as GN5 and myself recover from being unhappy with events! 🥺
Not really surprised as you may have detected.
Yes RA, I’m upset with the manner in which the players have thrown away our opportunities – 5 games back we looked to be in the prime position to finish third and now the best we can hope for is fifth. It has been nothing short of a travesty watching the players simply drift through games.
My years are becoming fewer however my passion for Arsenal will never diminish and I will be keenly watching our transfer moves this summer. If the reports are true that we only have 40m to spend then Emery needs to supplement his transfer kitty with the sale of players – and he doesn’t have a shortage of viable candidates.
Even back in our wilderness years between 1953/54 and 1968/69 when we won nothing and finished an average of 9th in the league I still admired and looked up to our players – but today with a few exceptions I would happily see them all traded and start afresh.
Go big on the EL title or back to the drawing board for our team.
Next season & beyond:
– Big decisions have to come from HoF Raul Sanllehi (footballing & contracts matters), MD Vinai Venkatesham (club finance & marketing) & likely the most “active” of non-executive directors from our board, Josh Kroenke (Stan’s designated “heir”, the youngest board member at 39, and could be future “chairman”).
– The above trio must also appoint a new Head of Recruitment (and possibly Chief Scout) for the 1st team. Francis Cagigao (currently our Head of International Recruitment) could be an option as our internal appointment. He was a former youth team player and previously scouted Lauren, Fabregas, Bellerin, Monreal & Cazorla from La Liga. Other than La Liga, he is also connected well with the South America leagues.
– Cech’s retirement; both Ramsey & Welbeck leaving on free (and this is frees out 2 slots for our homegrown slots for the EPL & European competitions); Jenkinson also more likely to leave (which frees out another homegrown slot); Lichtsteiner as well.
– Players who, with either 1 or 2 years contract remaining, must have their contracts sort out: Monreal, Mustafi, Sokratis, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang. (Renew? Sell? Early termination? One way or another, our new management has laid down the statement that they will not let any player run down their contract. No sentiments attached). In addition, as of now, Koscielny plans to leave at the end of his current contract, due summer 2020.
– Surely, we will need new blood in the playing 1st team coming from within the youth ranks, returning loanees and from the outside.
DF/MF Chambers (will count as HG)
GK Emiliano (another HG candidate)
DF/MF Bielik (could count as another HG? please assist to check if possible)
MF E Smith-Rowe
GK Macey (another HG candidate, 3rd choice GK)
I’ve just read that it’s still mathematically possible for us to finish in the top 4 (yes I thought it was hilarious too!)
So we need to beat Burnley 4-0 (😄) and Everton have to beat the spuds by the same scoreline .. which would mean we’d be level on points & GD.. so it’d come down to goals scored (we’ve scored more)… if anything it gave me a good chuckle!
So Man City tonight.. anyone else think Jamie Vardy will spoil the party (& my life 🤣) ??
Thanks Chas. Strange to feel so negative when we have a 2nd leg of a semi-final coming up with 1 foot in the final, but that is how I feel.
I pretty much feel like RA did in his 11.22 comment. A few weeks ago I thought that Emery was exceeding himself this year and would have given him a fair bit of leeway in a debut season with the squad he inherited.
I now really worry that we no matter what or who we bring in that we will continue to go backwards under Kroenke, and could be in for some years of pain. He has overseen us go backwards by some margin in the last 6 years and, great though they were, the 2 F.A cup wins don’t disguise this. Spurs are now a better team than us, and are looking to get better still, but more significantly now look a better run club than us.
This really could be the death knell for us as a top club and them down the road have a real chance to be dominant over us for a period as long as we were with them.
These last few games have also swung my opinion more the way that UE may not be the right man. The mental preparation and line-ups for these last few away games doesn’t smack of a high caliber manager, especially when you also factor in his dismal prior away record.
I always anticipated that we may have to try 2-3 managerial options after AW before we find the right one. It is still the right thing to give UE the 2nd season to show progress but if progress is not forthcoming next season then I would be looking again.
UE has inherited a shower of shite that has been 5-6 years in the making. From the board down to AW there have been almost too many things that have been really poor, from the recruitment and playing side to the utter uselessness in the contract department. Ramsey going for nothing when we aren’t exactly staring at a big transfer budget. It actually beggars belief.
If you were to ask any other top 6 fan who they would want from our team it would probably stop with Torreira and Lacazette, and possibly Leno. All the other senior players, even those we try and convince ourselves we really like, are not top 6 material, although I give leeway to the developing younger players.
Mavro, Holding, AMN, Iwobi can still improve but aren’t really yet good enough to feature for any team with title ambitions.Ditto the other youngsters.
Monreal and Kos are past there best. Lichtensteiner ditto but maybe never good enough anyway. Xhaka wouldn’t get anywhere near being in the first 11 of any other top club, neither would Elneny. Micki and Ozil should be better but the poor performances are just too regular a feature now.
I would probably try and sell them now and accept a different pathway of development. Maybe we should just throw in youngsters who aren’t quite there yet and accept the transition phase.
I am not normally one for the massive clear out but maybe we need that now to rid ourselves of these senior players that don’t have that winning attitude before it seeps too much into our emerging players.
We are very close in our thinking there.
Emery needs better quality players to prove his worth.
Klopp had a sticky start but with the money from the sale of Coutinho,(£150m) and the ‘Pool Board transfer funding, practically 80% of their current players have been recruited since his arrival, or promoted from their youth team.
This is not intended to be a direct comparison of fortunes between our men’s & women’s teams.
Our women’s team, their technical & management team on paper and in application looks more organised, competent and optimally stuffed with the right personnel.
Our 1st choice GK Sari van Veenendaal is also the Netherlands’ women’s team captain. We have also DF/MF Dominique Bloodworth, playmaker Danielle van de Donk and elite marks”woman” Vivianne Miedema. All four are current European champions with the Netherlands team.
Our club captain, playmaker Kim Little, is also the vice-captain of the Scotland’s women’s team. DF Emma Mitchell & utility player Lisa Evans are also veterans in the team.
Forward Katie McCabe is captain for the Rep. of Ireland women’s team. DF Louise Quinn is also a veteran in the team.
Midfield dynamo Jordan Nobbs is the vice-captain of England women’s team. (DF/MF) Leah Williamson (she also came up from our youth ranks), (FW) Beth Mead & (FW) Danielle Carter are also thereabouts in the national side.
DF/MF Viktoria Schnaderbeck is captain for the Austria women’s team.
MF Lia Walti (Switzerland women’s) & DF Tabea Kemme (Germany women’s) are also veterans in their national sides respectively.
This is a 1st team with authoritative figures, seasoned campaigners and winners who showed their smarts, hearts and spirits to challenge in matches and for titles.
Technical & management team:
Vic Akers, OBE (Honourary President & previous general manager and founder of our women’s team).
Clare Wheatley, our current general manager (who recruited Joe Montemurro). She is a former player in our women’s team and came up the ranks from club development officer to GM after retirement.
Kelly Smith, MBE, scout, & Faye White, MBE, Marketing officer. Both Arsenal women’s team legends, as well as of the England’s women’s team.
Arsenal through & through. At the same time, capable & qualified administrators.
Ken Friar, OBE. Arsenal gentleman.
Steve Bould (1st Team assistant head coach) – questionable competency level.
And possibly, Per Mertesacker (academy manager) & Freddie Ljungberg (U23 head coach), if they produce consistency in their works with the youth ranks.
It will take quite a big effort from the men’s departments to achieve better results and stability, consistently for concurrent seasons.
Ok is sue male or female RA?
Play nice RA.
I only know Sue from the comments I have read on AA, the same as you.
I have never personally met anyone bloggers on here, so I do not know anything. 😁
bloggers = blogging
Indeed, Emery will need funds and reasonable ones as well. I think the club should make every effort to get him what he needs, but not sure but not sure this will happen though.
We must buy the 3-4 quality players we need this summer and they will cost what they will cost. Any attempt to buy cheaper is a false economy anyway. Liverpool paid £75m (I think) for Van Dyke. We tried to go cheaper and paid £35m for Mustaffi but now need to buy twice, likely without much return on that £35m, so who was the more savvy in the end.
There will still be some players that we need that we can get at a decent price but not all of them. I wouldn’t turn my nose up at Dunk who looked rather immense in Brighton’s CD yesterday. He replicated that performance recently against Spurs as well.
I think in total a central defender, a holding midfielder, a promising left back and a left footed inside right forward. We could probably get away with those 4 and promote from within and look for progress while accepting we are still in transition.
We will know far more about Kroenke after this summer’s TW, and if we are being left behind by the likes of Liverpool and Spurs I expect a fans backlash will begin.
Fred.. just so you know – I’m female!!
I did a ‘back of an envelope’ calculation a few days ago showing how much Embers might have when the (alleged) £45m transfer kitty + the proceeds of sales out + the eduction of salaries will make available.
From memory something around £75m – £90m could realistically be brought into play.
It’s not at the same level as some of the other clubs will have to spend, in addition to their squads already being much better than ours, but it is a start.
The Dick van Dyke CB position has worked wonderfully for ‘Pool, and it grieves me that Arsenal were offered him when Celtic were willing to let him go, but allegedly he was rejected as he was judged too slow, and too lackadaisical.
The asking price? Less than £20m.
Another in a long list of duff decisions by Arsenal.
JM and yourself have come up with a not unreasonable number of quality replacements — but I have become a bit too cynical so I can only close my eyes and hope. 🥺
education = reduction
There was never a doubt in. my mind — but it was not my business to comment on something personal. 😳
It’s ok, RA 😊
Come on Sergio – work those thighs 😍
Agree with everything in the article, disappointing end to a season that started so brightly. Curious as to why all 4 teams vying for the last 2 CL spots have all been equally utterly shite for the past month…at the most important time. I can only think they’re all running on empty, but that’s unacceptable, and only widens the gap to the top 2. Depressing.
If you’re expecting Kroenke to splash cash you’re in Disneyland. That will never happen. More depressingly.
I hope not…but I won’t be surprised if Valencia mug us on Thursday and put an end to everything, considering our current form….even more depressing.
This is AFC.
Would happily snap up Chilwell, Maguire and Maddison.( Dream world, LBG!!) Surely Leicester wont keep them for next season.
It’s the little changes that catch my eye, I like the honesty that the last sentence radiates.
Cycling from Valencia to London at the moment, I know, I am going the wrong way, don’t ask why I cannot answer, why do men climb mountains blah blah.
Anyway I almost killed myself to get to my hotel to see that game……..
well, looks like the nouveau riches are going to get it, glad pool not going to get their 1st title in a looong time!
Thank you Vincent Kompany 👌