Emery v Solskjaer … Which Manager Will Get Their Game Plan Right?

This evening we travel to Old Trafford for our seventh fixture of the season. Our away form is terrible so this will be a big test of character. Old Trafford is still Old Trafford, Fergie left a long time ago but their supporters will expect a win against us.

Going into the game we will still be without Lacazette and the talk is that Man U will be without Pogba, Rashford and Martial.

Unai Emery has had a full week to plan who is going to be in his team this evening. After great performances from Chambers and Holding during mid-week can he afford to leave them out of his starting lineup?

With Xhaka named as club captain this week he will now be the first name on the team sheet. I expect to see Guendouzi and Torreira alongside him. Maybe Joe Willock has done enough to start instead of Torreira?

Up front we have the magnificent Aubameyang with Pepe and Ceballos either side.

Back to the choice of defenders. This game comes too soon, sadly, for both Bellerin and Tierney to start so I expect we will see Maitland-Niles and Kolasinac. Fingers crossed, Holding will play alongside ……. meh, I can’t decide which other CB to play. Sokratis, Luiz or Mustafi??? I think Emery with play Luiz.

So here’s my thoughts on the team …..


We haven’t managed to beat a poor Man U side at Old Trafford in recent times. There is huge history between these clubs and the Wenger/Fergie years produced a great rivalry in which we won the league at their ground in 2002. Oh happy days.

I’m not convinced that either Emery or Solskjaer are the right men to lead these great clubs but this is where we are.

Both sets of supporters will be hoping that their teams don’t make silly mistakes. It’s too early in the season to say it’s a crucial game but a win puts us back in the top four. COYG



95 Responses to Emery v Solskjaer … Which Manager Will Get Their Game Plan Right?

  1. Sue says:

    Nice one, Peaches 👍
    Ah, the dreaded Old Trafford fixture, I’d say it’s defo on par with Anfield! Been 13 years since we last won up there (league, not FA Cup) that is really poor, can see why I’m I’m bricking it!!
    We hear the same thing every season – they’re poor, they have so many players out injured.. and we still don’t get a result! This has to stop tonight.. imagine what it will be like tomorrow on planet Arsenal otherwise??? 😩
    I’m hoping we see Tierney tonight, as he didn’t play for the U23’s on Saturday. Hoping Chambers gets a run out too…..
    Mike Dean is on the var… oh splendid ☹
    Oh please Arsenal, purleaseeeeeee!! 3 points is all we want 🙏

  2. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Peaches

    I think your team will be very close plus or minus Willock maybe. I would prefer a proper attacking wide player like Martinelli or Nelson from the left rather than Ceballos who is a central player, and it goes without saying that I would prefer trying something new at the base of our midfield, but it seems this is fast becoming pure wishful thinking.

    Utd are very hit and miss at the moment and I think some teams have worked them out. Will we? I feel they have become more of a counter-attacking team in their style recently, rather than a team that dominates possession and pressure, and will probably still operate this way even with their injuries. If we can nullify that we should then be generally stronger on paper and should hopefully walk away with the 3 points. Here’s hoping.

  3. RC78 says:

    What a post. Agree that Emery and Ole are transition period coaches. Am thinking that Emery will play Chambers and Willock so we could see Holding and Ceballos drop off.

    Leno – Kola, Luiz, Chambers, AMN – Willock, Xhaka, Torreira – Guen – Auba, Pepe

  4. RC78 says:

    My ideal line up would be
    Leno – Chambs, Sok, Luiz – AMN, Torreira, Guendouzi, Willock, Kola – Pepe, Auba

    Then I have plenty of options on the bench to make an impact like RN, Martinelli, Saka, Ozil, Ceba and maybe also bring in Bello, Tierney if needed

    If Holding is fit to play, then Sok on the bench. We also need a captain on the bench so Xhaka to go there.

  5. allezkev says:

    Thanks for the post Peaches, I think we should go into this game assuming the Rashford, Martial and Pogba will start, whether they’ll do the 90 minutes is another matter, but I almost always disregard stories of the opposition having injury problems.

    For me it’s Chambers at right back and Tierney to start, not sure that he’ll go with Holding to start just yet?

    I’d go with a midfield four and play Aubameyang and Pepe as a pair, who could pull wide and allow Ceballos to break forward and join the attack.

    I’d start Torrieira but Emery won’t so I guess it’ll be Xhaka, Willock and Guendouzi.

  6. RA says:

    Excellent post, Peaches. 😁

    It is more than 10 years since we last beat Manure away, and it was a bit rude of us to cheekily win 1 : 0 in the 85th minute — Lordy, Lordy, given the tradition that we always go for our annual thrashing at OT without a whimper, that shocked everyone, including us Gooner fans.

    Let’s hope we are a bit more ballsy tonight and if we do lose, yet again, to a crap MU, that we do so with a disgusting lack of grace, and let them know the nicey nicey Arsenal are changing, and we are happy to kick ass, once again.

    That is said more in hope than expectation, because where are the new Vieira, or Martin Keown, the tough guys that we have needed for so long?

    Maybe that might be Xhaka and Kos, but frankly they are not really worthy of being mentioned in the same breath!

    Sadly, we are still a bunch of physical weeds! 🥺

  7. Wolfgang says:

    If Emery plays like Wenger with all his players joining in the attack and passing here and there,he would lose. This is because how many times have we seen Wenger dominating the stats in possession and shots only to lose to a sucker punch.
    The Norwegian was a member of the team that used to beat the gunners regularly.We have seen when the gunner pedestrian attack break down a swift hit and run will see the gunners a goal down.
    Watford and AV have scored in such manner.
    Emery better make sure his defence aint caught napping by the speed of the MU forwards.
    If our wc striker takes his chances ,Arsenal will win but I believe Abu will be heavily marked

  8. LB says:






    My punt at tonight’s lineup.

    Tierney is nowhere near ready for ninety minutes up there and I doubt that Emery thinks that Holding is either, we might see him on the bench though.

    The keeper and the back line are not going to change, neither are the two in front of them but the real insight into Emery’s mind is who plays just in front?

    With Torreira, Emery will expect United to come onto us and will want the extra steel that the Uruguayan provides, however, with Ceballos, Emery will be going for their throats from the out set, thinking further, I still reckon it will be the above.

    Saka could be swapped for Nelson but I doubt it.

    We have our best opportunity in ages to beat them but who knows which Arsenal will turn up?

  9. Aaaargh, I wrote that whilst still in bed ……. just seen that we haven’t won there in the league since 2006!!!!!!!!

    How is that possible?

  10. Sue says:

    Kev.. i agree about the manc ‘injuries’

    I wonder if Greenwood will start & score his first pl goal (s) for them, that’s how it usually goes isn’t it? Remember Rashford?!

  11. RockyLives says:

    This is a p*ss poor United side.

    They are riven with injuries and dissatisfaction with Ole GS’s approach.

    It’s all set up for the good guys to win.

    And yet… my confidence level is hovering around 1 out of 10.


    1) As Sue says, no matter how bad recent United teams have been, we can’t buy a result up there for all the money on earth.

    2) Whenever any team (not just United) is going through a really tough time – the manager’s job is in question; fans are turning against them; they haven’t had a win in weeks – we are exactly the team to kick start their season by losing to them in some ludicrous or inept way.

    Also, regardless of how depleted United are tonight (and I share the skepticism of others about their “injuries”) I have no doubt they have watched other teams terrorise us by hounding our defenders as we try to play out from the back, forcing us into calamitous errors. We will definitely see that tactic used by ManUre.

    My predicted team:


    Our best chance of victory? Put out a really attacking line-up and have at ’em.

  12. Rasp says:

    Thanks peaches.

    The jury has been out for a long time … it’s about time they made a decision. Tonight is Emery’s opportunity to show he does have what it takes to maximise the talent at his disposal and put out a team that is balanced, where every player knows his job and with a game plan that plays to our strengths as well as negating theirs … simples 🙂

  13. RockyLives says:


    This phrase strike a chord: “…to maximise the talent at his disposal.”

    I really think we have a very talented group of players. Certainly I believe United would give their right arm to have our squad instead of theirs.

    So it does indeed come down to whether UE can organise those talents in such a way as to produce the desired result.

    We shall see… but if he gets it wrong tonight, the critics will start getting louder.

  14. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, yes, my main gripe with Arsene’s last few years was that his teams were often less than the sum of their parts.

    By definition, a team should be a blend of players that produces the best possible outcome. I reckon Emery feels he has 75% of his squad jigsaw completed. I guess it’s the use of the players that constitute the other 25% that will test his managerial skills.

    Like you, I think we should win on paper … but then Sue reminded me of the Rashford debut.

  15. RC78 says:

    Look – Utd can be caught on the left of their defense (Come on PEPE!!!) and also through the middle in between their DM and CBs. McTominay and Lindelöf struggle and sometime Maguire can be aspired into the midfield…so knowing this, I think Ole might play Matic but even then…

    Let us focus on passing the ball towards Pepe and make sure that whoever is in midfield, they can position themselves well in between their mid and cbs to create that space and chaos!

    Our right back, right forward and CM will basically tell the attacking story of our game…meaning that you could well see a goal from Kola and Auba as gaps will open up for them…Let us see

    Am hoping for a 1-0 victory

  16. RC78 says:

    I think that this is a must win game for us tonight BUT based on my experience with UE, he will try to play to counter Utd / frustrate Utd’ game plan rather than impose our game plan to them. He always does that away from home and his record is not great…he tends to over analyse especially in away games. I think we try to put them under pressure. I think today is a perfect day for Pepe to score from play and to show why we bought him but he needs to play freely without shackles. I think we can really demolish them if we put them under pressure from the start, if we impose our pace up front to them. So I say play in a 4312 and run riot. Put them on the back foot from the beginning. Get these FB into action and put their FB under pressure. Play the odd long ball and the usual short ones. Put Lindelöf in a tough spot!

  17. Sue says:

    Excellent comment, Rocky (11.16) Totally agree 👍👍

  18. RockyLives says:

    Don’t worry Sue – I’ll get more optimistic as kick-off approaches.

    I’m already thinking of upgrading my optimism level to 3 out of 10 (with a score prediction of 1-1, based on Auba scoring a peach for us and United equalising through some comedy defending on our part).

  19. Sue says:

    I’m afraid I’m going to be a party pooper, Rocky… my optimism is way down with the titanic right now… to make it even worse, i just read an article (why do i torture myself like this every damn time?! 🤪) about Lingard…. he hasn’t scored (in the pl) since before Christmas, in a bit of a slump, they say…. so Arsenal are the perfect opponent to pull him out of that slump as he has scored 4 times in 5 appearances against us.. urgh….. if he scores tonight and we see that stupid moonwalk or milly rock celebration…arghhhhh!!!
    But, like you say, we have Auba… then on the other hand, we have Stone Cold Sokratis 🤣 if anything, it’s going to be eventful! 👍 COYG

  20. Mike M says:

    Morning all. Been on a small hiatus due to going to Oklahoma over the weekend. Great pre-match Peaches. You are gutsy to take it on. I have no idea what Emery will do. If we play our best players we are better than them and we would probably win. But Emery doesn’t do easy. Someone last week made a sarcastic comment about how “obviously we know better than the manager and the dressing room right?…” with reference to Xhaka. Well I’m not convinced the “dressing room” is 100% bought in to Xhaka. But what are they going to say?? The evidence is plain to see. I wondered, what is Emery seeing that we don’t? Then I listened to his presser. He says “so he made a mistake – now we told him to correct that mistake and become a big player with his personality also” (not exact words but close enough). I only have one question. WTF have you been watching for the last 15 months? It’s not one mistake, it’s multiple. Why wasn’t this addressed last season and during the summer?
    As I’ve said on numerous occasions, I wish Xhaka could be the player Emery talks him up to be. But I honestly don’t think he is or ever will be. He will fly into a few tackles tonight. Maybe he’ll win some and inspire us. Maybe he’ll get sent off. Either way, there needs to be a massive transformation for this player to be our team leader. I hope to God he can do it. I doubt it. Most of all, I wish it wasn’t Old Toilet that the experiment begins!! Get ready, it’ll be nothing if it isn’t interesting. Not sure my stomach can take it.

  21. RA says:

    What you say, Mike, makes a lot of sense.

    I had high hopes for Xhaka when he first came in, but ………

    It is not possible to know someone from TV appearances or the media in general, but on that that rather superficial basis I find myself liking the dude, in a kind of kemosabe way 🥺 when he gives press conferences or gets up to his sideline Jack in the Box activity when Arsenal score, or have a near miss — it often brings out a grin on my normally lugubrious mug.

    How did you find the Oakies? Did Route 66 lure you into hours of driving, and singing –
    — I was only twenty four hours from Tulsa, only one day away from your arms, but she took me to the café, I asked her if she would stay, she said “OK” …. 😜

  22. RA says:

    It seems that Özil, Tierney and Belli Button were not with the rest of the squad in Manchester this afternoon.

  23. Sue says:

    Don’t tell me, Ozil is being rested (again) after 71 minutes against Forest… bloody hell…. what an absolute joke! Really not amused…….🤬

  24. Sue says:

    There’s talk of Wan Bissaka being ruled out 🤔

  25. LB says:

    Can anyone think of an example when Arsenal have done more to try and get rid of a player?

  26. RA says:

    I think it is a bit more than Özil ‘being rested’, Sue.

    He has not been in the team very much, I thought, but, on reflection, that was a bit naïve of me, he has only started a PL game once this season.

    And yet ………

  27. Sue says:

    I thought we’d go to Old Trafford and start our strongest 11, but once again, UE has other ideas…..
    Someone just said to me that Barca want Mesut on loan…..
    Unbelievable, RA… it really is…. smh, until I’m dizzy!

  28. Sue says:

    ION… Stranger Things 4 teaser trailer has been released! At least that has brought a smile to my face!!

  29. Mike M says:

    RA – not route 66. 35 and 45 – 440 miles, 6 hours – pretty miserable. And I was only 45 mins from Tulsa !!! My son is finishing his MBA. He graduated from OU. I have learned to love college football for the years he’s been there. OU have a good team so it’s a lot of fun. Went to Miami last December to watch the playoff game against Alabama. But that’s another story. Wasn’t singing the Pitney song but now you mention it, I’m sure I will next time !!!!
    @ Peaches – Sorry I didn’t get your e-mail yesterday – I replied to you. Generally it’s not a problem for me, just this weekend. I’m travelling the next 2 weekends but I’ll be in better position to do anything that crops up.

  30. Sue says:

    Torreira & Chambers start…. but then, so does Xhaka, Luiz & Sokratis!

  31. Sue says:

    No surprise to see Rashford & Pogba start!! Young comes in for Wan Bissaka…. COYG

  32. GoonerB says:

    LB was the closest. Almost had it spot on.

    I agree with the earlier sentiments of Rocky and Rasp about the quality of the squad and also Emery needing to make it work. The quality of the squad Rocky I feel is very decent. It is still shy of a couple of ingredients to really challenge at the top end but definitely looks one of the best squads in the next best teams tier.

    As you know Rasp we often both felt that our team in recent seasons has been a collection of excellent individuals that didn’t quite balance each other, so was never the sum of its parts. The really good managers identify a strongest 11 and a style within that.

    I don’t think Emery quite knows, or at least hasn’t worked it out yet, his strongest 11. It is something he will have to nail soon though because he will be judged by what he can get from this squad.

  33. GoonerB says:

    Oh, and COYRRG’s

  34. GoonerB says:

    I wouldn’t swap their team with ours and if I was a neutral manager would probably consider our squad the preferable one to manage.

    Our midfield 3 dynamic will be interesting to watch. The argument between needing 1 specialist deep midfielder vs the alternating job sharing pivot shift will be on show tonight.

    Can the collective of the 3 provide the defensive solidity required while still offering a forward thrust from midfield, or will it get confusing with no-one recognising when to go and when to cover? Will we still be yearning for that 1 specialist holding midfield player that knows their job and makes sure of doing it to free up the rest of the team?

  35. Evening all from behind the sofa …….

  36. Sue says:

    Just saw this on twitter.. last time we won away at big six was Jan 2015. Since then –
    Won 0, drawn 8, lost 15. Scored 25 goals, conceded 53. Just 1 clean sheet 😱 After reading that, Peaches is there room for another behind that sofa?! 😜

  37. RockyLives says:

    Let’s hope United have taken a risk with Pogba and Rasher.

  38. Rasp says:

    From what I’ve seen so far, our training staff have learnt nothing from the two losses. Our midfield are backing off and giving Pogba loads of space and the playing out from the back us virtually suicidal again.

  39. RA says:

    And, Rasper, much tho I like Calum, it does not take a genius to know he is too slow for the RB position — but we have all known that since he first got a transfer to Arsenal.

    He is a much better CB or midfield defence.

    Watch Manu play on that weakness.

  40. GoonerB says:

    Just wondering who Kevin Friend grew up supporting? Or maybe he just doesn’t care too much for them down sarf

  41. GoonerB says:

    That’s a studs up straight red from Rashford

  42. RockyLives says:

    At OT GoonerB? Don’t be silly!

  43. Aaron says:

    Typical manure game, foul the hell out of the Arsenal and get the free kicks.
    Was it rashford who did Holding’s knee? Damn bastard needs to get one back.
    Do not understand we don’t give as good as we get from the turds. Not talking shirt pulls or grabs…sheesh.

  44. Rasp says:

    Ashley young should be off the pitch

  45. Aaron says:

    Could not write an easier script…

  46. Sue says:

    What a dirty git Ashley Young is! Other than that, words fail me…….

  47. LB says:

    If the pantomime villain hadn’t ducked he might have stopped that.


  48. Xhaka ducked! The captain bottled it

  49. fatgingergooner says:

    We’ve been awful going forward. Defensively not really looked threatened but then we shoot ourselves in the foot by giving them a breakaway and not laying a glove on them. We are just not smart. Every time we look like attacking they foul us, but we on the other hand just let them have their attack. Too nice.

    Hopefully Emery is braver second half and gets Ceballos and Martinelli on the field.

  50. fatgingergooner says:

    I was waiting for the ‘Xhaka ducked’ comments 😂🙄

  51. Sue says:

    I’m sorry to say but I’ve been disappointed with Pepe… was it wrong of me to expect a little more for 72m?

  52. LB says:

    Let me try and reword that Sue

    Pepe has been shite.

  53. fatgingergooner says:

    He’s been awful Sue, but because he’s new he gets a bit of a pass. Won’t last forever though so he needs to start producing something soon. Our forward play really suffers without Lacazette. We don’t have that link between midfield and attack.

  54. Sue says:

    Captain courageous – my ass!

  55. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evening all.

    I’ll start with the positives:

    Guendouzzi (aged 20)
    Saka (aged 18)

    Both want to take the game to United and continually show for the ball and want the ball and in the main do something half decent with it.

    Guendouzzi has managed to get three yellow cards for United just by being prepared to drive forward with the ball.

    The indifferent:

    I feel sorry for Torreira he seems to have lost the game he had when he arrived, maybe because he is asked to play differently or because who he is asked to play with. Kola and Chambers do what they can do they are not going to become world class but they perform to their abilities.

    PEA and Pepe have had zero positive influence, perhaps some will argue Pepe’s pass led to Saka’s chance, I’ll say it was underhit and the reason Saka had a much harder chance than it should have been. PEA he will probably score a wonder goal in the second half and some will say it justifies his selection, I don’t think we can carry a non working centre forward who can’t hold the ball up in the PL. I’ve lost count of the amount of overshot crosses by Pepe,

    The Bad:
    Luiz, Xhaka, Sokratis

    Xhaka if they hadn’t scored would have been adjudged to have fouled on VAR watch the build up where he hauls someone down who is out pacing him. Sokratis and Luiz nowhere to be seen switching off when the ball drifted wide and only realising danger was still there far too late.

    I simply don’t get it. I don’t understand our shape, the way we play or what the approach is.

    Emery was quoted many times saying first we work without the ball. Well I don’t see it.

    We line up to take a short goal kick United had 3 red shirts waiting to pounce. United do exactly the same goal kick we are behind another red shirt? How is that working? Why aren’t we doing the same as others?

  56. Agree about Pepe …… impressed with Saka though

  57. fatgingergooner says:

    I absolutely hate McTominay. Always diving, rolling about and screaming. Think he’s seen too many YouTube videos of foreign players

  58. Sue says:

    LB 🤣👍

    FGG.. doesn’t it just?! Can’t wait till he’s back…
    With Pepe, i thought he’d hit the ground running, we paid a lot for him.. i expected to see instant results….. this time next year we may still be waiting…. and McTominay, omg when did he last score? 2 years ago??? Bloody hell…..🤬

  59. VP says:

    thank god for VAR

  60. Gööner In Exile says:

    Told you PEA would score great pass by Saka and good awareness to gamble on where that United pass was going.

  61. Listen to our supporters singing loud and proud at Old Trafford 😁

  62. fatgingergooner says:

    Got to agree with the commentary and pundits on one thing…both sides look shit! 😂

  63. fatgingergooner says:

    What is Pepe doing there? We are just inviting pressure.

  64. VP of Oz says:

    15minutes to go and we are like a deer in the headlights

  65. RockyLives says:

    We seem to have sat back since the equalizer even though you feel ManU are there for the taking

  66. RockyLives says:

    Rashford should have had a second yellow for jumping into Leno

  67. VP of Oz says:

    I think we should have had the result (we have missed the better opportunities) but looks like we are settled in to play for a draw. Probably explains Dicks away form.
    Rashford shouldve have had 3 or 4 yellows
    OT bias is a 13th man

  68. VP of Oz says:

    13th being the +1 for the supporters and +1 for the ref

  69. VP of Oz says:

    it would be nice to score off the last kick

  70. fatgingergooner says:

    That last cross summed it all up….

    I’ll always take a point at OT though, especially playing that rubbish.

  71. RockyLives says:

    We had players in pre season who could really deliver good balls from set pieces. Looks like we’ve coached it out of them now.

  72. RockyLives says:

    We should have won

  73. fatgingergooner says:

    We have some winnable games upto Xmas now so let’s hope we do just that. We need to go on a run of four or five wins to really put pressure on for top 4. It’s there for the taking given how poor United look and how inconsistent Chelsea will be. Leicester look far better than both those sides tonight….

  74. That very nice man called Mike is writing a match report so we can all relax 😁

  75. RockyLives says:

    You mean like those winnable games we had on the run-in at the end of last season? 😐

  76. Gööner In Exile says:

    If we are 4th I think that’s a damning indictment of the state of premier league football now.

    I have no idea why Xhaka is captain I know it was a players vote but that stinks of player power.

    I don’t think any of us think Xhaka is captain material, the only positive is he may get one less yellow card a game due to the fact that their seems to be an unwritten rule that captains get a couple free before red books them. Those two fouls in second half were outright lunacy with no attempt to play the ball.

    All in all my half time comment made hold. I have no real idea of what we are trying to achieve on the pitch.

    Guendouzzi clear Man of the match he was everywhere and didn’t stop.

  77. Sue says:

    I’m Auba scored 🔥 but disappointed with the result…. the wait for a.win at OT goes on……& on & on

  78. fred1266 says:

    now watching highlights at 45th minute Xhaka blatantly pulls down lingard he lucky to be on the pitch. Xhaka is such a disgrace IMO

  79. RockyLives says:

    Let’s clear one thing up. Xhaka did NOT duck. He put his head down to head the ball (quite bravely in fact, given how powerfully the ball was coming at him) – but the slight deflection took it past him.

  80. fred1266 says:

    must be one of the CB allowing MNU goal what kind block is that from sokratis

    oh well Emery know best

  81. fatgingergooner says:

    I would’ve give Leno motm personally. 3 good saves from Pereira, Rashford and Maguire and did everything asked of him. I think Geundouzis energy makes him stand out but still needs a bit more quality at times.

    I agree that Xhaka didn’t duck, but if the ball had gone a yard wide of him people would be complaining that he’s not fatter…I don’t think he was that bad tonight. Kolasinac must love having him in the side because he gets to run around like a headless chicken doing absolutely nothing but people will always be too busy moaning about Xhaka. I cannot wait until Tierney is in the side full time.

  82. RC78 says:

    I think there is one captain on the field and it is Guendouzi. Fantastic attitude and workrate. Once he is more tactically mature and technically more precise, he ll be like our… Rakitic/Modric type of player.

    In Saka, we have a real gem as well. Playing with no fear and actually causing pbs to the opposition.

    I thought Chambers had also a great game. Very industrious.

    Leno had a good game as well.

    Kola, Luiz, Sokratis, Xhaka were anonymous.

    Pepe and Torreira disappointing. I think they will soon feel the pressure of Saka, RN, Willock, Ceba building up.

    Overall a disappointing result but a decent game to watch

    I hate Roy Keane

  83. RockyLives says:

    FGG – well said about Xhaka. He was decent tonight apart from the silly challenges.

  84. RockyLives says:

    Some players start so far down in the fan approval stakes that they would have to score five goals and get three assists just to get an OK rating.

    Luiz is one of those. He was solid bordering on good tonight (some excellent long passing along with tenacious defending).

    But he’s seen as one of the problems so no-one will give him any credit.

  85. LB says:

    It’s not that I expect Arsenal to win at Old Trafford; it’s not that I think they should win, however, it remains, above most others fixtures, one of those games that I really, really want us to win. Not to be again, a draw, probably a fair result but ahhh, Saka, if only.

    Arsenal are obviously a work in progress and my enthusiasm remains high for that reason, the reason being that we don’t know how good the collective talent can be, we haven’t even seen our preferred wing backs in the team, let alone Lacazette and our wing backs, so I go into every game hoping to see progress and to be fair there are bright rays of hope most notably Guendouzi but just when I expect to see a bout of Wengerball or Emeryball as it would be called now a school boy error of a pass causes loss of possession, all in all, collective progress is slow in coming and is making for difficult viewing. Still next time will be different………….lol.

    Leno: this is a quality goalkeeper, fantastic save in the first half to keep the scores level, couldn’t do a lot for their goal and came out in the second half and played at his commanding best. 9

    Chambers: there was a really annoying comment from Gary Neville in commentary: “ he is too slow to play right back, too short to play centre back and not skilful enough to play in midfield. He did pretty well tonight but can we please get Hector back ASAP. 7

    Socratis: a much more thoughtful performance, it’s as if someone has sat him down and explained this new fandangled technology thing called VAR is all about. No stupid tackles, no shirt pulling on corners, not even a yellow, much better maybe he can go back to being one of those players we all like instead of one that we don’t. 7

    Luiz: Not a bad game either; I do like his long-range passes that often find Aubamayang to run onto, all in all a bit better. 7

    Kolasinac: good game I thought; we might expect Tierney to walk into the team but I am not sure the Said would agree. After accepting his role as under study to Nacho I really get the feeling that he wants to fight for his right to remain the first choice rb. 8

    Xhaka: it seems to be the common view that he is an Emery favourite but has it ever crossed anyone’s mind that Emery just might not been able to replace him yet, well that’s the way I see it anyway. Replace him with Chambers? This is not an obvious improvement. With Torreira? Same thing but change will happen sooner rather than later. 5

    Guendouzi: this young Frenchman is the new Vieira, there I said it, he is our new midfield warrior; his improvement trajectory is really impressive and the exciting thing is we don’t know where the end is. I really thought he had plateaued but against Villa he showed that he is capable of getting into the opponents box, something he had never done before and he took another impressive step up. The interesting thing I noticed was that his dynamic with Xhaka changed; they played differently with Guendouzi playing more advanced and Xhaka further back, it worked or at least it was better. Guendouzi could replace Xhaka eventually but a Gilberto and a Guendouzi would be better. The Frenchman was nigh on perfect tonight and again gets the MOTM 9

    Torreira: this man did the job that he was supposed to do on the night which was scramble around trying to recover possession, he did it reasonably well; he got forward reasonably well. Interestingly, Emery played him as a pure DM against Forrest and I expect him to do so again against Liege on Thursday; he is no Gilberto at the moment but he still could be. 6

    Saka: a great prospect for the future, obviously still struggling to find his feet but all is well and continues to improve the more minutes he has on the big stage. 6

    Aubamayang: try and imagine a team with no Auba and try and stop yourself going into a dark room and screaming – not possible. Ohhhh, how scary things would be. Saved our bacon again. 8

    Pepe: I don’t care how good he is likely to be in the future, I don’t care how good he was in France, tonight he was dreadful. 4


    Ceballos: if you are wondering why he didn’t start just cast your minds back to the Liverpool game and remember how easily he was by passed. Came on at the right time and added something to the attack.

    Nelson: after being leapfrogged by Saka he must now feel that he has got a real chance of getting back in the team and I hope he does because I don’t care who succeeds out of he and Pepe so long as one of them does.

    Willock: deployed at the right time and drove us forward well, all still good here.

  86. Sue says:

    Can we buy Zaha in January? 🙏

  87. RC78 says:

    Pepe will come good, i promise. I feel like he is not 100 percent fit yet. The guy needs time. Am hoping that by November he ll be flying again but I also think he needs a kick in the butt and shoild see Saka, RN or Martinelli play ahead of him in some games just to remind him to work hard

  88. RC78 says:

    I think there r question marks around a few players this season already and these ones are a bit surprising:

    – Torreira who has been very anonymous. Where is our Tottenham Torreira? Doesn’t seem as motivated and driven and he s definitely not as effective or dynamic.
    – Pepe, what s happening to the best forward winger of last year L1. He was unstoppable. What s going on?
    – Ceballos, a good first game and that s it…Touted as a Cazorla or Ozil type of player, he s not really confirming his reputation

    On the other hand, some players are playing better than expected… Chambers, Guendouzi, Willok, Saka.

    Let s see how the season unfolds but I can imagine that our best line up could end up being

    Leno – Bello, Chambs, Holding, Tierney – Douzi, Xhaka (no choice 😢), Willock – Pepe, Laca, Auba

    Cup team:
    Martinez – AMN, Sok, Mustafi, Kola – Torreira, Luiz – RN, Ceba, Saka – Martinelli

    In any case, no space for Ozil and ESR

  89. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning all interesting to read the comments and other views. I think the problem at the moment is I am watching a mish mash of a team.

    I look at the way Willock plays when he came on and I have hope, I look at Saka and I have hope. Chambers and Guendouzzi leave it all on the pitch week in week out.

    Others make me very angry. There was a foul towards the end by Luiz that could have cost us in a very dangerous position, it was totally unnecessary. I don’t expect these brain farts from our most experienced players.

  90. I still think Captain Coward ducked for Man Utd’s goal. It may have taken a nick off of Sokratis, but he didn’t just lower his head, but bent his body forward & down.

  91. Morning all

    There’s a New Post …………………..

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