He’s Got No Hair.

I am still bruised and angry.

No point whatsoever looking at a one-off game and reaching conclusions about the future of certain players and whether they were responsible for that shitfest. Ozil was crap but he is one of 10 (Cech is excluded). It wasn’t lack of effort that cost us, it very rarely is, so what is it?

There is a simple answer …. look at our goals against record. I cannot recall a season when the defence was so porous. Goals conceded in the PL were 51!! Well over a goal a game. 13 conceded in the EL and we really only played 3 decent teams.

Is the personnel? I can’t say it is. Monreal may be a little slower but he remains a quality player. Kos and Sokratis are both experienced International defenders. Mustafi had a poor season but came good in the last couple of months. We have good young back-up in Mavro and Holding. AMN and Bellerin are both fine players with AMN doing well in a position which doesn’t suit his skills. Our GK’s made few mistakes.

Is this a new situation? Not really, we have been getting progressively more porous. 51 in the PL last season, 44 the year before and 36 the season before that.

Mr. Wenger was never a defensive minded coach and left a problem for Emery.  The problem seems to be that we do not have a viable defensive coach which considering who is our assistant manager is bizarre.

Steve Bould has been marvelous as a player and loyal as a member of the management team. One would expect him to be the man with the ability to create the defensive cohesion which is so clearly lacking. Why can’t he?  Is he not allowed to work on tactics? I cannot believe it. As a member of Arsenal best ever defence he has the knowledge and the experience, surely the defensive unity is his remit.

If we are to progress next season, the defence and especially the ability for the midfield to shield the CB’s has to improve. We may sign a defender or two but most of the players will still be at Arsenal in August …

Steve Bould may not.

written by BR

 

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56 Responses to He’s Got No Hair.

  1. Vahab says:

    It is mostly the defenders that we have. Our defenders lack consistency. Kos and Papa! Can we really compare them with the likes of Van djik, David Luiz, Christiensen, Vertongen, … . So it is mostly the problem of quality. Put two really world class central defender in that defence and you’ll see we won’t even need Steve Bould.

  2. Sue says:

    David Luiz?? 😂😂 he may have had a good game on Wednesday (although, I think we helped with that) imo he isn’t top notch

  3. Big Raddy says:

    Everton, Wolves and Leicester conceded less goals than us. Do they have better CB’s?

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Good stuff, BR. 🙂
    Let’s not forget that both Bellerin and Holding will be back next season and that really will feel like two new signings. I liked the combo if Holding and Sok but it would be good to get a ready to roll quality CB this summer. He can then either play with Holding or Sok and that leaves us a decent back up pair of either of them plus Koz.

    We did ship a lot of goals though and I reckon this is more to do with the lack of balance/ Emery’s tactical decisions than anything else. The team defending has been poor and we leave too much space for opponents to attack, especially after we lose the ball when attacking.
    I guess the bigger questions are:
    1. What is Emery’s preferred style of football and formation?

    2. Who does he need to let go?

    3. Who does he need to buy?

    4. Which youngsters can be promoted?

  5. GoonerB says:

    Thanks BR

    Ditto Sue, don’t rate Luiz.

    So here we are. I have to say that, for me, where we find ourselves is the result of many seasons of poor club management in every department. We used to pride ourselves on being the best run club, a mantel that even the media would agree with. We are quite possibly now one of the worst run big clubs across world football.

    I note that many people are very anti Emery and don’t feel he is the right manager for us. Now this may be true, and he wasn’t my first choice by the way, but once he was appointed I felt he deserved some time to show us what he is about. Is one year enough? Are there mitigating circumstances that will have hindered him in his debut season?

    We are a big club that sits near the top of the pile in revenue and turnover, so can spend big at times when or if we choose to. Not at the levels of City and PSG, but then I don’t really like that or expect it anyway.

    We are a club that needs to spend big on occasions when required, identify hidden gems at lower prices through good scouting, and have a manager at the helm that can mix this together with the additional promotion and development of quality academy players, all while understanding how to succeed in the EPL, as well as retaining our attacking identity…….not too much to ask 🙂

    I feel, that on reflection of the last number of years, we haven’t had the right manager at the helm of this club for at least the last 6 seasons. Part of me feels that Emery may not be the right manager for us as well, but part of me still feels he deserves a 2nd season before we really decide.

    Those mitigating circumstances I mentioned are essentially what LBG has mentioned, that Emery has inherited an absolute headache from the AW latter years.

    All this talk about not having the right balance in the side in midfield, or to allow for a talent like Ozil to properly shine, are things we have been discussing on here for the last 4-5 years of the AW reign, in addition to the poor winning mentality, poor focus, poor defending and poor game management.

    Emery has inherited this and has struggled to overcome it in his first season. Is that because he doesn’t have the capabilities as a top manager, or is it because these issues have been so long in their making that 1 year is nowhere near enough time to reverse it all?

    Underpinning all this of course is Kroenke, and the main finger needs to be pointed at him. The rot probably started to set in before 6 years ago as his influence at the club took hold. I would love for him to surprise us, but I really don’t think he is in this for what the fans would deem the right reasons, and we may have some painful years until someone else takes over at the top.

    We now have to take a different approach moving into next season. We will not be able to target players we should have been competing for such as Zaha or Nicolas Pepe, because there will be a few top clubs in for them and, lets be honest, we are rapidly becoming the least attractive big club from a footballing ambition perspective.

    For the time being we need to forget being able to bring in top experienced players moving into their prime because we will not afford them, and they will likely prefer other destinations anyway. I think that would be the same argument for a manger like Allegri, who will have many suitors and will probably want a club that can attract and secure 1-2 top signings. He is also wishful thinking right now.

    City, under the same circumstances, would have just tempted them by throwing big wages at them, but this is also an approach that right now we neither can or should follow.

    The promotion of our talented young players is paramount, even if we have to accept a temporary period of development. I would love it if we could do a Man Utd under Fergie in the next few years with our youngsters, similar to that talented young academy generation of Giggs, Scoles et al.

    We will need to be smart and mix in some experienced EPL proven players that have the battling qualities and fight and leadership to rub off on the young promoted players. Smart temporary low cost acquisitions such as Milner or Drinkwater who can show those qualities and let that fighting spirit rub off on these young players. It is more important now to have players like that influencing them than say let them take their lead from someone like Ozil, no matter how sublime a player.

    We need to be smart and do things in a smarter financial way while pinning our hopes on the emerging academy players. It could be exciting. However, I think the fan base should leave Kroenke in no doubt that this doesn’t mean he has got away with it, and us permanently accepting this cheaper model on a permanent basis.

    While we, the fan base, are forced to accept this as the way to go right now, and will back it at this time, I think the fan base should submit a carefully worded letter to Mr Kroenke with an accompanying petition of (hopefully) millions of signatures to explain that we hold him responsible for where we have descended to now, and thus the model and approach we have to accept at this time, but that we are not happy with his stewardship to date and that by no means are we, the fan base, accepting this as a permanent situation from here on in.

  6. fatgingergooner says:

    Our defenders are pretty awful. Sokratis isn’t fantastic but he’s come in this season and for the most part he’s been the best of the lot, showing just how bad our defenders really are. We must find a quality CB in the summer and we must hope and pray that one or two of Holding, Mavropanos and Chambers suddenly develops into a top CB.

    We also need to find a central midfield partnership that allows Torreira to play most weeks as the holding player in front of the back line. I would happily have someone like Doucoure from Watford who is full of energy and can play that box to box role that would compliment Torreira but also help our defence.

  7. fred1266 says:

    GK made a few mistakes hmmm

  8. fred1266 says:

    Probably the bouldy or who ever coaches or defence tactics probably out of date

    Mustsfi coming good then exactly did that happen

  9. GoonerB says:

    FGG, I will buck the trend on Torreira as the dedicated holding midfielder, (but accept I may be wrong), and state that I see a potential BTB player in him in a similar way to Kante. I still see the problem in the midfield partnership being Xhaka, who for me is a squad utility midfielder at best.

    Earlier in the season Torreira seemed a revelation, not just in his tenacity to get stuck in and win the ball in midfield, but also in how he was skipping past opposition midfielders closing him down and then carrying the ball forward, and even at times surging into the box with a late run from deep.

    Ok, he has gone off the boil recently but that can happen to any player after a while that doesn’t have the right balance and partnerships around them. It seems to me that the more constant factor in our, till now, fruitless search for a balanced midfield is Xhaka.

    AW bought him it seems with the idea of him being our base midfield player, kind of overlooking the fact that he had been playing at his prior club with a holding midfielder alongside him, in other words it wasn’t his forte to be the dedicated holding midfielder, and his tackling technique does leave a bit to be desired much of the time.

    Neither is he adept at skipping past players, carrying the ball through midfield, or making late surging runs into the box. Xhaka possesses a mean left foot for ball distribution and occasionally one of his thunderbolt shots finds the target, but I am not sure that is enough at the highest levels, given what he is not so good at.

    We have seen a lot of Xhaka to get an idea, and for me he isn’t a specialist at the highest level in any CM role. He is not quite a holding midfielder, not quite a box to box DM, and isn’t an ACM.

    Conversely with some of what we saw earlier in the season, Torreira showed he might have way more to his game than just a pure holding midfielder, which possibly isn’t even his specialist best role. I would give Torreira more leeway than Xhaka and look to re-balance that midfield to compliment him rather than Xhaka, who it seems doesn’t really compliment any other combination or formation we have tried.

    I still think we need a more powerful specialist HM. Whether we can get that from within through Bielik or Chambers isn’t certain. I would give them a go then hit the transfer market if not.

    After you get that specialist holding midfield position right we can have 2 further CM’s playing in front of that player in a mix of BTB and ACM. I feel we can cover hose 2 CM positions out of Torreira, Iwobi, Smith-Rowe, Willock, and possibly Micki. Currently Willock looks good for an ACM role but possibly also Smith-Rowe. Torreira and Iwobi could be excellent BTB options if we set up right and give them a go in those positions.

    BTW, sad as it is to say but I haven’t considered Ozil in any of that analysis because that ship has sailed and we need to be pragmatic about this and move on. We will probably have to take another financial hit on him to free him from the books to do so. Amazing how many financial hits we are taking, considering we are a club where the board and owner are preaching self sustainability and spending within our means. We seem to haemorrhage desperately needed funds through dreadful management set up.

  10. GunnerN5 says:

    It’s so true Raddy our defense has been like a sieve for the last two seasons. It was the main issue when Unai arrived and it’s got worse not better.

    Season – GA
    1992/3 – 34
    1993/4 – 22
    1994/5 – 46
    1995/6 – 32
    1996/7 – 32
    1997/8 – 33
    1998/9 – 17
    1999/0 – 43
    2000/1 – 38
    2001/2 – 36
    2002/3 – 42
    2003/4 – 26
    2004/5 – 36
    2005/6 – 31
    2006/7 – 35
    2007/8 – 31
    2008/9 – 37
    2009/10 – 41
    2010/11 – 43
    2011/12 – 49
    2012/13 – 37
    2013/14 – 41
    2014/15 – 36
    2015/16 – 36
    2016/17 – 44
    2017/18 – 50
    2018/19 – 51
    Average – 37

  11. GunnerN5 says:

    These are the results from a poll by 3.4million fans on Sky Sports.

    Who should remain an Arsenal player next season and who should be sold?

    Keep Sell
    Bernd Leno David Ospina
    Sead Kolasinac Nacho Monreal
    Hector Bellerin Stephan Lichtsteiner
    Konstantinos Mavropanos Carl Jenkinson
    Rob Holding Calum Chambers
    Sokratis Papastathopoulos Laurent Koscielny
    Matteo Guendouzi Shkodran Mustafi
    Lucas Torreira Mohamed Elneny
    Ainsley Maitland-Niles Granit Xhaka
    Alex Iwobi Henrikh Mkhitaryan
    Eddie Nketiah Mesut Ozil
    Joe Willock
    Emile Smith Rowe
    Alexandre Lacazette
    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

  12. GunnerN5 says:

    This may work better.

    These are the results from a poll by 3.4million fans on Sky Sports.

    Who should remain an Arsenal player next season?

    Keep
    Bernd Leno
    Sead Kolasinac
    Hector Bellerin
    Konstantinos Mavropanos
    Rob Holding
    Sokratis Papastathopoulos
    Matteo Guendouzi
    Lucas Torreira
    Ainsley Maitland-Niles
    Alex Iwobi
    Eddie Nketiah
    Joe Willock
    Emile Smith Rowe
    Alexandre Lacazette
    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

    Sell
    David Ospina
    Nacho Monreal
    Stephan Lichtsteiner
    Carl Jenkinson
    Calum Chambers
    Laurent Koscielny
    Shkodran Mustafi
    Mohamed Elneny
    Granit Xhaka
    Henrikh Mkhitaryan
    Mesut Ozil

  13. Sue says:

    GN5.. while I do agree with most of that poll.. I have to say, I’m still not 100% convinced by Iwobi (yes, even after Wednesday 😁) and sell Mesut?! 😫😳 although, after full time on Wednesday, I’d have sold the whole bloody lot of them 😄

  14. LBG says:

    Thanks Raddy
    I want to pick up your comment on ” not lack of effort”.
    Perhaps I would change this to what it was, for the last six weeks. IMO it was a combination of poor quality players with no backbone, prepared to go missing rather than call upon other players to show the Dunkirk spirit and keep discipline and shape. This to do with two things, character or lack of it and football brain.

  15. GoonerB says:

    GN5, the stats are interesting. I feel we have been progressing towards this defensive problem for a few years and that sooner or later it would be properly exposed in our stats. The stats do show that successful seasons don’t always correspond to the most successful defensive seasons so getting the balance right is paramount.

    The back line itself probably needs an additional decent addition with some current incumbents moving away from the club. It also arguably needs some additional specialist defensive coaching. While good defending primarily rests with the back line itself I feel that a teams defensive stability and ability to remain hard to break down comes through the whole team.

    The Italian Catenaccio (the chain) bases good defence on the whole chain of players. I don’t think we should adopt such a pure defensive model but some aspects of it could be useful.

    Again it is that concept of team balance. If the team is unbalanced then you get exposed where you shouldn’t necessarily, and end up with these desperate keystone cop moments as we see so often with us.

    Looking from the front we have completely overlooked bringing in proper specialist wing forwards for many years. Most of the top teams play with 2 of them either side of a single striker but not us.

    That means we cannot effectively adopt a back 4 in a 4-3-3 system like other top teams, where the FB’s will join the attack and overlap at select times rather than being the only source of attacking width and remaining so high up the pitch so regularly that we are exposed to counter-attacks.

    The central midfield as well needs to be the start of the defence as a screen for the back line. For years we ignored the need for a specialist player in that role and arguably have still not solved this.

    That is the attack and midfield already contributing to defensive problems before you even look at the quality and coaching standard of our back line, which as mentioned also needs addressing.

  16. jjgsol says:

    Surely the difference between us and Everton/Leicester and Wolves is that we are geared to attacking much more than they are.

    So many goals that we concede come from counter attacks, immediately after we have committed players forward.

    Sell Ozil and where will the defence-splitting passes come from?

    We saw how toothless we were when he was not playing.

    And, as far as Wednesday was concerned because we were playing with 5 at the back and 2 strikers, we had 3 midfielders against their 6. The midfield was outnumbered and nothing was done to counteract that.

    To put the blame on Ozil, or to criticise him because he did not “take the game by the scruff of its neck” is, in my opinion, complete nonsense. He was overrun and did not have enough support.

  17. GoonerB says:

    BTW GN5, my main bone of contention is with Kroenke at present as we are deteriorating under him and I feel there is a slow attempt to brainwash the fan base into acceptance of mediocrity, and an acceptance of a limitation in our ability to compete. I don’t believe any of that personally and we still remain a big club that can and should compete at the top end, but he is holding our head under the water.

    The big bucks do obviously make a difference but other top clubs in a similar bracket to us are competing at the top end with a more moderate model. I think we have to be careful not to dwindle into this acceptance, and as a collective let Kroenke know we are not buying it, and that our tolerance will last only so long.

    You will have noticed that I feel, kroenke and his stooges aside, that I feel AW started to lead us backwards over a few seasons. I really feel, although speculative, that Arsene changed his outlook and philosophy as to what type of football team he wanted to develop and deliver to a Utopian, but ultimately, unattainable one

    It is nothing that I have not stated many times over recent seasons. It is not a dig at him or anyone that still felt he was still the right man for us, more just an objective assessment of him as a top manager relative to what we were seeing around us elsewhere.

    He is and will remain our greatest ever manager and once was revolutionary. What he delivered to the club is unsurpassed and had it been presented as a package deal, with the gift of foresight, at the start of his tenure I would still take him being here 4-5 seasons too long, and the cost of that, for all those great earlier memories than never to have had him at all.

    That doesn’t change that I feel much damage has been done to the team in the last few seasons for a variety of reasons from Arsene to the owner and his representatives. It has been a collective failure. This will take some sorting out, but could be done with some simple matters being addressed and some patience for it to bear fruit.

  18. fatgingergooner says:

    GB,

    I think Torreira has gone off the boil because he had 2 full seasons at Sampdoria where he barely missed a game and then the WC where he was involved before starting with us. I think Emery has rested him at times and rightly so. I do see what you Mena about him being a b2b player as he certainly has more to his game than stopping the opposition. He’s actilually a very good passer and he likes to shoot and get forward so maybe that makes Xhaka even more pointless! I would argue that Xhaka is too specialised in that all he does well is distribute the ball. The rest of his game is very average. I agree it’s time for us to try Chambers in HM as he was good in that position for Fulham. He should at least get a shot before we go sign someone. We may even be able to move AMN into that midfield somewhere but his placid manner scares me a bit!

  19. GoonerB says:

    jjgsol, I tend to agree. We never built the right framework around Ozil but that was also a fault of AW. I could also say the same with Giroud to some degree. For many years our team has not complimented each other despite looking individually strong on paper.

    The balance of the team has never, and still doesn’t, compliment Ozil, and we are massively exposed to counter-attacks even from mid table sides for the reasons I mentioned above. This is not new with Emery and has been a problem for a while.

    However, I feel the good ship Ozil has sailed regardless and we need to let it go and press the reset button. Some bridges just can’t be mended.

  20. RA says:

    Nice Post Raddy,

    It has provoked? Engendered? Galvanised? a number of interesting and well felt comments.

    I was gripped by GB’s double whammy comments, and felt they had a lot going for them, but one point stood out for me, which was the suggestion that a million(s) fans should sign a letter addressed to Kroenke delicately pointing out that the said fans can put up with a temporary spell of making do etc – but that it was only for the said temporary period.

    My view is that any such letter would be intercepted by one lackey or another at the club, and would never reach him, but would surreptitiously nestle in the waste paper bin instead.

    Secondly, expecting half a dozen Arsenal fans to agree to, and sign such a letter is most unlikely, but million or millions doing so falls into Alice in Wonderland territory — just look at the brickbats being thrown here recently, because agreement cannot be reached as to who is pointing fingers at whom, or not agreeing to point fingers at the same culprits that someone else would prefer them to be pointed at instead.

    Not going to happen, GB, [ 🥺 ] but as I said earlier, I do agree with much of what you have written else wise. 🤪

    My view:

    Our defence is OK for a middle of the league team —

    It is never going to be good enough to allow us to compete at the top level, and the mid-field continues to be a disaster, and not just because of Emery, or his tactics, although he is a convenient scapegoat to some, as the defence and midfield problems well pre-dates his arrival, and Arsene struggled with it too.

  21. fred1266 says:

    Sue u beat me to it David luiz lol bur

  22. fred1266 says:

    Wolves have a better defense so I guess with some structure the CB don’t have to be great

  23. fred1266 says:

    Can we really depend on bellerin and holding I stop holding fate in injured playwrs

  24. GunnerN5 says:

    Goals against by team 2018/19

    Liverpool – 22
    Man C – 23
    Chelsea – 39
    Tottenham – 39
    Wolves – 46
    Everton – 46
    Leicester – 48
    Newcastle – 48
    Arsenal – 51
    Crystal P – 53
    Man U – 54
    West Ham – 55
    Watford – 59
    Brighton – 60
    Southampton – 65
    Burnley – 67
    Cardiff – 69
    Bournemouth – 70
    Huddersfield – 76
    Fulham – 81

  25. Sue says:

    Sheesh, Everton conceded less – with Pickford in goal 😂
    One thing which does bring a smile to my face though – United conceded more (not many, I know!) … I thought De Gea was world class 🤪

  26. RA says:

    Jjg,

    Slightly disappointed that you took such umbrage to a phrase I used – not I was alone in that.

    I think you said on here, or over on BK, that you did not see all the Final on TV, which might explain the different views. Was that right?

    You said, earlier, that it was utter nonsense to claim that Ôzil did not ‘grab the game by the scruff of the neck’ — well, let’s try a different expression — “Ôzil had absolutely no impact on the game” to which you replied, that he should not be blamed because he was overrun, and did not have enough support — which is in your opinion, was the reason why he did not make an impact on the game (or in my words – grab it by the scruff of the neck.)

    I’m sorry, but to dismiss the original statement as ‘utter nonsense’ makes no sense, as you defended his reasons for doing so.

    It cannot be denied, that Mesut is the most talented player at Arsenal. He is among the most experienced players. He is certainly the highest paid player to recognise that fact, but time after time this season, and last, he has been hooked by AW or UE for that very reason – he makes little impression on the game.

    Surely you will agree, a player of his status should not be overrun, in any game. He should instead be an oasis of skill, in a poor team performance.

    There are those of us who believe he should be inspiring and supporting the other more junior players – especially in a final – as he has played in important World Cup and CL matches, during his career.

    When Willock came on to replace him, his attitude was markedly different, and he showed skill, made incisive runs, made potential assists, and changed the look of the team, as had Iwobi earlier when he came on earlier, and scored a goal, albeit too late.

    Anyway, remember, you are entitled to your own opinion on AA, and welcome to it, but, so too are other bloggers, even if you disagree with them – so ‘utter nonsense’ is perhaps not within the spirit of this blog. 😳

  27. fred1266 says:

    Where u guys see AMN fitting in the side

  28. RA says:

    Apologies for the disjointed comment above — I am helping in the removal, and replacement of a large carpet (yes, you are right – just because I am a big bugger, as it has nothing to do with me! 😜 )

  29. RA says:

    Fred,

    That’s a good question.

    For me he is a player with a lot of potential, but he might be better with a spell on loan in Germany, or wherever, as he needs more experience, and to learn what is necessary in midfield and/or as a deputy full back.

    He was involved in two of the goals against us on Wednesday, which did not help, and both were avoidable — although we were so poor generally it would not have made a difference to the result.

    The story on the street is that as we blew the CL qualifying, the transfer kitty is back to only £40m or £45m, so Zaha won’t be coming as he wants the CL, and neither will James Madison or Upamecano, be joining us – too expensive, and with Rambo, Welbz gone because they are out of contract, and coupled with that Arsenal are allegedly trying to sell, Mesut, Mustafi and Mihkitaryan to raise more cash — it will probably be best for the club to keep AMN close by in case he is needed next season.

    In other words — who knows?

  30. RA says:

    Hi GN5,

    I wonder if you have the data for the previous season – 2017/18 – as I thought we were pretty good in the goals against column?

  31. RA says:

    I tend to agree with you FGG @2:09

    Personally, pushing the ‘give youth a go’ mantra we have all being calling for, I would like Medley to be given a chance in the squad and maybe get a run out in the Cup games.

    Altho’ Chamberpot has been getting good reviews of late?

  32. Sue says:

    In a weird kind of way, I’m glad the season is over..this last month or so (maybe more 😜) has been hard to take… I’m not sure what the summer (& the future!) holds for us – what with our absent owner, the many players with the ‘can’t be arsed’ attitude and our manager & those behind the scenes that are all talk (actions speak louder than words.. come on Raul & all the others whose names I can’t spell 😂😂) we have problems… big problems… will they ever be put right? Will we ever compete with the elite again? Will we ever be the elite again?

  33. GunnerN5 says:

    RA – This is the 2017/18 goals against per team.

    As I ran this I noticed that in my 12:36 post (which are our GA for every PL season) I had us at 50 goals against for 2017/18 – it should have been 51.

    Man C – 27
    Man U – 28
    Spurs – 36
    Liverpool – 38
    Chelsea – 38
    Burnley – 39
    Newcastle – 47
    Arsenal – 51
    Brighton – 54
    Crystal P – 55
    Southampton – 56
    Swansea – 56
    WBA – 56
    Everton – 58
    Huddersfield – 58
    Leicester – 60
    Bournemouth – 61
    Watford – 64
    West Ham – 68
    Stoke City – 68

  34. GunnerN5 says:

    Sue the season ending as low as it started, the middle was full of false expectations.

    As my son was driving to the pub to watch the game I said to him that I did not have very high hopes because I did not have any faith in our defense or our teams overall ability and that I feared Hazard.

    Leaving the game 20 minutes early after taking 3.5 hours to get there sums up our feelings.

  35. GoonerB says:

    Well Fred, I actually believe that AMN has more potential than Bellerin at FB / WB. Bellerin was playing well just before injury but was flattering to deceive a lot over the year or so before that.

    I will stick my neck on the block and also state I feel AMN is quicker…..where it counts. You see Bellerin is very quick once up to speed in a straight foot race but I believe AMN is actually quicker over 10 metres from a static starting point.

    This is more important most of the time because it is the ability to cover the ground within 10m that is normally more relevant in football than how quickly you cover 50m. Also I feel that AMN is potentially better at 1-1 defending and seems to often steal the ball away from the opposition and actually bring it out of defence.

    In addition he has been showing some real effectiveness in attack recently and is starting to match Bellerin on this. In reality it is nice to have the 2 options at present and we shouldn’t need to buy in this position once Bellerin is back. I wouldn’t put him straight back in though and would say that is AMN’s position that Bellerin needs to try and claim back.

    I know AMN doesn’t see this as his number 1 position but sometimes a different role presents itself. I kind of feel that AMN would be competing with so many others in CM that he would end up lost and not feature as much, and eventually move on without being a success with us.

    If I were manager I would be quietly pointing out that he has all the hallmarks of a top attacking FB, and that if he fulfills his potential it would be no bad thing if he ends up being considered a great FB. Players like Cafu, maldini, Cole are not players you think less off just because they were a full back rather than midfielder.

  36. fred1266 says:

    Sell koscielny and chamber wtf

  37. fred1266 says:

    When last time mesut has created a defensive splitting pass

  38. fred1266 says:

    Look how much better we play with Ramsey than the likes of mesut

  39. GoonerB says:

    RA, I was thinking more in line with an official public letter rather than a personal one to Kroenke, maybe in line with a petition on line that can draw from the worldwide fan base to sign it if they agree to what is said in it. I agree that one sent privately and personally will have little effect. It needs to be out there in the public domain so he knows everyone is aware that the fans aren’t happy with his stewardship to date.

    Nothing too controversial or Sabre rattling at the moment, no Stan out’s just yet, just enough to tell him we are recognising things about his tenure that we don’t like and that we want to see more action, and less flowery words from his mouthpiece stooges, and some personal communication from him to the fans.

    Almost marking his card really and saying we will stand behind you for now if you prove that you are what this club needs and have its and the fans interest at heart, but continue to play us for fools and it will be different.

  40. Sue says:

    GN5.. I didn’t think Wednesday would end well (and that is why I stayed at home to watch, I think if I had gone to the pub, I’d have probably been asked to leave 🤣🤣)… and do you know what? I’m absolutely fed up with feeling that way! I’m surrounded by scouser fans, who never expect their team to lose, always expect to win by at least 3 goals… and are absolutely gobsmacked if they concede just 1 goal!! What I’d give to have that mindset!!
    I feel for you, travelling all that way.. they nearly always let us down, yet we still go back for more 🤪 once a gooner, hey?!

  41. RA says:

    I am going to make you feel worse Sue, and then maybe answer your question over our future.

    First, Kolasinac may be going back to his old club, as they had a rubbish season and they want him back to bolster their chances next season.

    But look at these youngsters who will be stars in the not too distant future;

    Nketiah:
    a brilliant youngster who has been prolific in front of goal at youth level, but limited appearances

    Joe Willock:

    The 19-year-old has really pushed on at U23 level under Freddie Ljungberg’s guidance.

    Reiss Nelson:

    The winger, has already featured in the Premier League for Arsenal.

    Emile Smith Rowe:

    A hugely talented youngster who spent time on loan in the Bundesliga.

    Deyan Iliev:

    Since returning to fitness Iliev has regained his position as temporary third-choice goalkeeper.

    Krystian Bielik:

    Bielik was undoubtedly one of Arsenal’s best performing loanees of the season, capanble as a centre-back or a defensive-midfielder.

    Bukayo Saka:

    Saka is still eligible to play for the U18s next season but his aim will be to edge closer to the first-team.

    Xavier Amaechi:

    A winger with enormous potential.

    Medley:

    Tremendously skilled CB or Holding Midfielder.

    There are some fantastic kids named above, any or all of them, could change Arsenal’s future.

  42. RA says:

    Good man, GB, I agree.

    What I was trying to say, somewhat tongue in cheek, is that it is difficult even on a blog where we all know each other, is that where one sees gold, another sees the same thing as black and vice versa.

    Yee Gods! 😩

    You have been on fire today, so I am going over to Rico soon to see if you have shone or just smouldered. 😜

  43. Sue says:

    So 40-45m in the kitty… yikes!! All these names we’ve been linked with – no chance! No Zaha (gutted) I really wanted him. Fraser is still possible, but the defence!! Boy oh boy that defence… who could we buy with that? Or what could we buy with that? Would 40m stretch to a decent thigh?
    I’m seeing that Schalke are interested in taking my Bosnian beast back 😳 that’ll be my eye candy gone!! 🙁
    Things are getting worse & that doesn’t even include tomorrow…..

  44. RA says:

    OI, Su B Do,

    I already said that at 6:14.

    OMG have you become one of those that cannot breach my cloak of invisibility?

    Woe, woe is me — my bestest friend Rocky-Diddlee-Do is ignoring me — and now you, Sue – I am like a rose without water – drooping from the top down! 😭

  45. fred1266 says:

    What about using AMN next to torreira instead of xhaka so he can free roam like Ramsey

  46. Sue says:

    Haha, RA.. well I only just bloody saw it, as I was busy wiping my tears (from my love possibly departing) 😄
    Your list of youngsters helped though.. can’t wait to see some of them!
    Drooping?? No comment…🤣🤣 so.. just how much of a big bugger are you? And please keep it clean, as this is a family friendly site 😂😂

  47. fatgingergooner says:

    Has Pleguezelo developed into a world class CB yet? He seems to have been in our youth set up for going on 15 years now. Has a player ever broken into the first team AND had a testemonial in the same season!? 🤔

  48. RA says:

    I am not giving away any secrets here, Sue, but I am currently 6′ 7″ and ‘about’ 20 stone. (the first will not change, obviously)./

    The ‘about’ is because I can eat too much and go up to 23 stone, but when I am good — yay — down to 18 stone (no, that is not true) but certainly down to 19 stone-ish.

  49. Sue says:

    Bloody hell, RA.. 6′ 7″ the 7 inches obviously making all the difference 😂😂
    Wow, you really are a man mountain!! I’m tiny, compared to you, although, in all fairness, I think most people are!! 😀

  50. fatgingergooner says:

    I’d like to see us Rabiot from PSG on a free transfer to replace Elneny and possibly play instead of Xhaka. We will need to be savvy and that’s the sort of signing that can save millions. Not sure if he will come but Emery has worked with him before.

  51. fatgingergooner says:

    Is 6 foot and 7 inches 2 different measurements? If so, I’m still impressed 😉😂

  52. RA says:

    FGG,

    I told Sue about the quip by Mae West, a famous, and rather bawdy actress in the 30’s when, in a film, she asked a cowboy how big he was — “why, I’m 6 feet and 7 inches, Ma’am” – the reply from Mae was “ferget the 6 feet, jest show me yer 7 inches’.

    And I was pilloried for being rude!! 😂 Moi? 😜

    Got to go — it’s be horrible to Spurs day tomorrow — and also to ‘Pool too. Boo.

  53. fred1266 says:

    Chambers was Fulham player of the season think u forgot that one

  54. fatgingergooner says:

    Rumours of Lacazette to Barcelona. He has looked irritated at times this season with the lack of game time and Suarez isn’t getting any younger. Could be something in it.

    If we were to sell Lacazette or Aubameyang for big money to fund improvements in defence and midfield, who would you rather keep? Personally, I like Lacazette’s workrate and link up play. Auba goes missing too much but he can certainly finish. I hope we keep them both tbh but wouldn’t surprise me if one left.

  55. fred1266 says:

    Yea but think griezmann already on his way there

  56. chas says:

    NEW POST

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