It wasn’t 7-0 like ’93 (or 7-2 for that matter) …………….

….but how the hell it wasn’t at least that is difficult to explain.

It has been rare recently for me to start a game with a significant feeling of confidence  based on the initial team selection. But that’s how I felt tonight. And the first twenty minutes plus did nothing to dispel that feeling.

Rob Holding striding confidently, Adams-like around the back, seemingly giving even Mustafi the look of a calm centre back alongside him! Tierney showing that not only is he an excellent attacking full back with a brilliant cross, but that he senses danger defensively and goes out to meet and cover it.

Torreira playing in front of the back four and mopping up efficiently. Dani Ceballos running the midfield, and the 18 year old Martinelli showing true  pure striker skills.

Even if, to be honest, the opposition weren’t much cop, things were looking rosy!

Willock was proving a handful and took his goal with great confidence. Surely we can look forward to a hat-ful! And yet it didn’t happen as chances were spurned regularly for the rest of an exciting half.

“In the old days a game like this would be 3-0 at half time, and finish 3-0 at full time”, said one observer. Well this youthful team did not lack desire at least to add to their score in the second half, but, with the exception of a close range poke from Dani, following excellent work to the byline again from Martinelli, we did everything except collect that hat-full.

And perhaps the “youthfulness” explains some of the waste in front of goal. Shape and calmness on the ball was lost, as almost every player seemed to get carried away by the excitement. Good chances were beautifully made, but then spurned. And how the “wonder kid” did not get his hat trick, I will never know!

It was an exciting, more than competent performance, produced three points and set us up in the group, but promised initially so much more.

Player ratings ……………

Martinez 6. Little really to do other than two driven at him at a perfect height. Not sure on his coming an catching.

Bellerin 5. Seems short on confidence, especially going forward.

Mustafi 6. A couple of risky passes, but overall competent, with the confidence of Holding alongside, against a less than potent attack.

Holding 8. A solid, head up, un-rushed performance which I hope will get him a place soon in the starting team in the Premier League.

Tierney 8. All round excellent game, showing great confidence and potential both going forward and in defence. Tired at end so needs to be used progressively.

Torreira 6. Started in his rightful position with confidence. Got a bit carried away in the end with attacking, and moved out of that position when 0uzi came on. Got lost at this point a little.

Willock 7. A real handful in first half and took his goal with great confidence. Got caught up in the madcap second half and less effective if always enthusiastic.

Maitland-Niles 5. Played on the right and tucked in, but too much distance from a hesitant Hector. Most of our good work was down the left.

Ceballos 8. Ran the midfield in the first half especially. Again perhaps tried too much on the ball as the game went on, instead of playing simple first time balls to open up an eleven men defence by then.

Nelson 6. Certainly some good work in the first half. Would like to see him take on his full back more regularly and believe in himself.

Martinelli 8/9. Took his goals beautifully and should have had five or six. A willing runner and creative centre forward.



40 Responses to It wasn’t 7-0 like ’93 (or 7-2 for that matter) …………….

  1. GoonerB says:

    Sorry chaps, got caught by the Peaches “new post” guillotine. May as well re-post it.

    Morning all, didn’t see the game but delighted all the same. It seems to be pretty much only our future stars that give us the warm fuzzy feeling these days rather than some of the more established players.

    I am completely with GIE in his 6.51 comment (which would have made a good post by the way). If AMN could develop and perfect the linchpin holding midfield position I would be delighted. He has the athleticism for it just needs to get the reading of the game side better.

    If that were to happen GIE’s team could even see Willock come into Torreira’s position and Saka play from the attacking right. Put Martinez in there in goal and we have a complete 1st 11 from our young future stars, but more than just that, a 1st 11 that actually looks really strong and balanced.

    Really exciting to see this potential. I just hope we have either got or will get the right person to push it through. While I am with GIE on possibly having a small step back to move forwards, I also get what FGG is saying as well, that it doesn’t have to be quite so dramatic and immediate. We still need to utilise and blend in certain key experienced players but I would like to see Emery go a bit braver with more of these young players in EPL games.

    I certainly see it happening in defence with Holding, Bell and Tierney just because they are actually better than what we had last season started the season with. I think he could be a bit braver though in the midfield and attacking areas in maybe a couple of positions

  2. GoonerB says:

    Many thanks LBG, excellent post.

    As I didn’t see the game I have 1 question regarding Nelson. Only GIE seemed to rate him that highly on his comment earlier but most others have given him an ok rating only. I saw a few comments out on the BCC and other places that rated Nelson a lot higher with one even saying that his would have been a MOTM performance if not for Martinelli.

    I am just questioning whether it is that some have overrated him or that others have underrated him? Although young we have been more aware of Nelson for a while so he is not new news, whereas Martinelli and Tierney are still shiny and new.

    I am thinking that we all tend to get more gushy over the shiny and new and wonder whether Nelsons ratings relative to some others are influenced by this but that his performance was genuinely very good. Maybe those that saw it could let me know.

  3. LBG says:

    I believe Nelson is short on belief in his own ability to beat his full back, and for me frustrates occasionally when especially it is a clear one on one. As a consequence his full back last night gained in confidence against him and took the ball away from him. Tierney on the other hand, given the chance, roasted the same player.
    I hope, Nelson can be encouraged to try this early on in games as it scares full backs when successful, making the next time easier, and often takes another defender out of position to provide extra cover. It doesn’t matter if it occasionally fails. Believe and try it Reiss.

  4. RockyLives says:

    Thanks LBG

    You’re spot on that it’s the young players who are giving us the “warm fuzzy feeling” at the moment. It really does look like we have our own “Golden Generation” coming through.

    Nelson had a decent night, was involved in some good moves and did plenty of good stuff, but to suggest his was close to being a MoTM performance is nonsense (and I know that wasn’t your contention as you didn’t see it!).

    I agree with LBG that he could have been a bit more aggressive with his running at defenders at times.

    The stand-out performances on the night were Martinelli and Tierney, with Holding, Ceballos and Willock not too far behind.

  5. RockyLives says:

    This from Arseblog:

    7 – Shots for Gabriel Martinelli, led all players
    3 – Shots on target for Gabriel Martinelli, led all players
    3 – Big Chances for Gabriel Martinelli, led all players
    2 – Goals for Gabriel Martinelli, led all players
    1.6 – xG for Gabriel Martinelli, led all players
    4 – Key Passes for Gabriel Martinelli, led all players
    2 – Big Chances created for Gabriel Martinelli, tied for the lead
    1 – Assist for Gabriel Martinelli

  6. RockyLives says:

    (I don’t know what xG is)

  7. RA says:

    Very good Post, LBG,

    And the ratings were absolutely spot on!!

    Yet another game to love watching, even if there was a certain profligacy re. goalscoring towards the end.

    Hope they are not all put back into their hutches for the Sunday game.

  8. RC78 says:

    I think xG is something related to chances per goal so he s expected to score for every 1.6 chance he had in the game.

    Nelson had a good start to the game and was willing to show himself but then he faded a bit and there was a bit of confusion with Willock and Ceba at times because they came in his zone a lot but he had a good game, just not as good as the other young guns But given his skill sets I think he can turn more into an Auba type of player rather than a pure winger.

    Pepe had a horrible time on the pitch

  9. RockyLives says:

    I mentioned in comments late yesterday that Martinelli ‘got done’ by one of their brutish defenders as payback for Martinelli nutmegging him a few minutes earlier.

    It was good to see Belli and KT step in to defend him.

    But most of all I liked the arrogance Martinelli displayed in nutmegging an experienced defender in the first place.

    And even after the foul he just got up and got in with things completely undaunted.

  10. RockyLives says:

    Thanks RC
    I thought it was the size of his underpants.

  11. RockyLives says:

    I think you’re being a bit harsh on Pepe. In the fairly short amount of time he had he was involved in a lot of action and had at least a couple of attempts on goal. He was a little unlucky not to get on the scoresheet.

  12. Sue says:

    Nice one, LBG
    I’m still drooling over Tierney & Martinelli (that cross, that header 😍)
    With those delicious crosses, Tierney will rack up the assists! These 2 are definitely our buys of the summer! Absolutely superb! Can’t wait to watch Tierney week in, week out in the PL (even if it is at the expense of my husband!)
    Thinking ahead to Sunday, back down to earth with a thud > Xhaka! Ozil > gooner > goner
    Mustafi has kept more clean sheets than VVD & Maguire 🤣🤣🤣

  13. Rasp says:

    Great report LBG, thank you.

    A very enjoyable game and an invigorating performance. I’d like to crow and refer back to the posts I wrote in the summer heralding the impending arrival of Tierney, Martinelli and Ceballos .. but modesty forbids 🙂

    I agree with your assessments and player ratings. Martinelli was the stand out player. His runs were superb, he gave the midfielders an option on every attack and for once they fed the pass early (mostly).

    It was good to see Ceballos return to the form he showed in his first game. I particularly like the way he tracks back and works defensively … anyone calling for Ozil to play (instead of him?) should take that in to account.

    Pepe is a great player .. no question. Just how to get his confidence back I don’t know, that is what we have a manager for … over to you Unai.

  14. Gotta love these two

  15. VCC says:

    That goal from Dani Ceballos stopped me winning £66. It was going in from Martinelli. I had £1 on 66-1 for his hat trick. I also had him for first scorer.

    Looks like we have a player on our hands with Martinelli.

  16. Is there a volunteer to write the Bournemouth pre-match please …… if anyone fancies it please let me know.

  17. RA says:


    I read your comment @ 11:13 and I immediately wrote a response which for unknown reasons disappeared into the aether.

    What I said, in support of your excellent, modesty restricted claim to have prophesied the coming of Tierney, Martinelli and Ceballos, was that you were indeed a very modest man, and had a lot to be modest about.

    The original having disappeared was probably a spectral sign not to submit my support —- so, I won’t!! 🤪

  18. Sue says:

    Martinelli has scored more goals than any United player!!! 😃 After just 2 games!

  19. RC78 says:

    I think some players are emerging as potential starters
    Leno – Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Tierney – Douzi, Torreira, Willock – Auba, Laca

    There is one spot left for Pepe, Ceba, Saka, RN, Martinelli but based on performances, I don’t think many could argue with this line up

  20. RC78 says:

    ESR and Ozil are lost causes IMHO for this team and may be loaned out in Jan…

    AMN and Kola need to put in the extra shift and I think that Luiz, Sokratis, Xhaka and Mustafi are feeling the heat.

  21. Aaron says:

    Good feelings from the game for sure- but will Emery continue to do so in the EPL?

    Just get the feeling that Xhaka and Luiz will be put back in the exact same positions that expose their weaknesses and the rest of the squads.

    Emery has not shown an ability to raise his teams up on the road and in league.

    The Arsenal have some talent coming up for sure let’s see if he will use it.

  22. Rasp says:

    Redders @ 2:16 … 🙂 … I see what you did there

  23. RA says:

    Rasper —- 😜😛

  24. Mike M says:

    Morning all. Great result. Didn’t get to see it but saw the first 3 goals and 1st half highlights. What a header from Martinelli !!!!!!!! That’s 2 outstanding striker’s headers from this kid in 2 games. Very exciting. It’s tempting to get really over the top about how things are looking right now so I won’t. But I really like the way things are headed. I still have the exact reservations I started the season with, possibly with the addition of Pepe as more of a gentle concern that a reservation. However my optimism levels are much higher than at season’s beginning, not based on results (fairly CFO !!) but more on the emergence of a very solid looking squad. If you’d have told me we’d lose Ramsey, Ozil, Nacho, Miki and Elneny and look so much better, I’d have had serious doubts. I really think we might be on the right track.

  25. Gööner In Exile says:

    LBG fair report, i’m glad it wasn’t only me that noticed Tierney’s defensive display, for me that was just as important as the going forward stuff as he prevented them breaking out and we managed to keep the pressure on.

    As for Nelson I think I like the fact that he doesn’t constantly go to bye like and with Tierney as a very good option on overlap I think the fact that he is two footed means defenders won’t like to play against him. In fact I’d go as far as suggesting Tierney’s job was made easier because Nelson played the way he did.

    There is something in there with Nelson.

    My biggest concern with AMN is he seems very serious all the time and we rarely see a smile on his face, I don’t doubt that getting to this level of football takes some serious hard work and dedication and for him maybe it was this that got him to where he is unlike some others who have a more natural ability. But I always want to see him relax a bit more in possession and generally. Maybe he put himself under pressure last night to prove he could play centre midfield and is not a utility player.

    I think perhaps my choice of words in early hours of this morning about going backwards while using the youth was maybe a bit poor. What I meant is that CL football whilst possible doesn’t seem that doable next season and if we did make it with our current squad how would we fair against the likes of Bayern etc. These lads could probably achieve EL qualification in the EPL, and will have a solid run in the competition. I personally see no harm in cashing in or cutting wage budget by removing some of our bigger earners if there is a real chance that we can develop a younger team and add some real quality in phases when it comes available at the right price. It is clear to me that Emery’s message and style has more chance of getting across to young players than older players. If they don’t buy into it then what’s the point in persisting with them.

    I also think we lack in our senior players the type that can help these youngsters on.

    There’s a reason Milner is around the Liverpool squad, from age of 30 to now he has helped those aged in to the 23/24 bracket on to where they are now all peaking together at around 27-29.

    Young will be doing a similar job at Old Trafford and even though I hate to admit it a good example of professionalism both on and off the pitch doing the naughty stuff too. Both he and Milner were never frightened of putting a shift in.

    The one player we had in that age bracket who I think we could look to do that was sold (Monreal) I look around the other experienced players PEA, Sokratis, Luiz and Ozil and I don’t really see the same

    Then we have our players who should be hitting peak age for footballers Xhaka, Mustafi, Lacazette and I only think one of them is really at his peak while the other two are either still learning or will never learn.

    That’s why I go back to my thoughts of this morning about the youngsters, if we still had the BFG around on the pitch still or our own version of a Young or a Milner I might be slightly less concerned.

    In fact looking at the ages of our squad I think that is one of the reasons we see such disjointed performances. This is not a group of players in our EPL first XI but a mixture of also rans and has beens and I have been hoping the club for a number of years stopped chasing the CL and adding new toys to appease the fans but actually focussed on building for a future. It’s much easier to add and improve when you know what you are building on, but buying players like Sokratis and Luiz are to me very short term fixes that do not have any merit to the team or the club long term.

    I thought this was noticeable last night when Guendouzzi came on nothing really changed, but when PEA and Pepe came on it did and it took a while for the new players to gel into the rhythm

    If you wanted to give Pepe a confidence boost he should have started the match.

  26. RC78 says:

    Emery is going to stick with Xhaka as a starter which is the biggest worry… I also think that he will trust Luiz or Sok over Chambers, which is not right especially once Bello is back.

    I thought Martinez was really awful the first 30 mins and then did OK.

    I think experience is one thing and age another so if you think of our squad, I think that if we do well in Cups including Europa League, then our young squad will have a lot of experience so maybe then we can ship Sok, Xhaka out while Ozil s gonna leave anyway… So you could end up having Mustafi staying being OK to be a sub and Sok leaving because he wants to start. How funny?

  27. Gööner In Exile says:

    Must admit I thought Ceballos was older than he is, there is a mature face on young shoulders at 23 he has time on his side.

    Should also have added Kolasniac to list of peaking players, but I think it’s fair to say we have all seen him develop over last couple of seasons.

    And you are correct RC I don’t think we will see Luiz, Sok or Xhaka replaced one first team line up anytime soon unless of course Luiz was a stopgap for Holding to return to full fitness? And will be used sparingly after that?

    As others have said the youth give us a warm fuzzy feeling and that is partly due to their enthusiasm but also because it gives us a chance to watch something build.

  28. fred1266 says:

    XG means expected goals

  29. Sue says:

    The Brighton fans singing ‘We want 7’ 😂😂

  30. Sue says:

    Brighton were superb 👌
    10 goals conceded in 2 games… and the spurs go marching on 🤣🤣

  31. LB says:

    It would be really nice if we could capitalise on spuds embarrassment for a change.

  32. RA says:


    You are so full of energy, and get up and that you remind me of a little buzzy bee. 😳

    I used to be fond of bees because they put honey on my toast at breakfast. Well I was fond of them until I saw a notice board outside a newsagents which carried the news headlines — and read;

    Bee goes berserk

    Stings 7 people

    And then stings himself

    Vicious little buggers, I first thought — and now —
    I do not trust – newsagents – because everyone knows, that, unlike wasps, honey bees only have one stinger, so the newsagent was clearly telling fibs, and was trying to give you guys a bad reputation!! 🥺

  33. I case it got missed yesterday …… I wondered if anyone would have the time and fancied writing the pre-match for tomorrow?

  34. Sue says:

    Liverpool make me sick…. week after week, lady luck is on their side 🤢🤬

  35. RC78 says:

    Hi Peaches – I ll get smt to you.

  36. Gööner In Exile says:

    I must say I enjoyed the football today, first G in his U7’s team clocked up their first win of the season (but shhhhhh we don’t keep results this early) after three losses to start. Very hard to watch from the sidelines as two dads of two players insist on them not passing. But hey ho finally came good.

    The to come home and see my BBC sports ticker telling me Soyds we’re down 2-0, then the quandary, do I watch and jinx it or do I wait for full time and MOTD. Decided to watch the half time analysis as a compromise, Jenas and Cole were laying into Spurs so decided the second half would be worth watching. A brief 5 minute Spurs revival and I was worried until the youth gather got his second and Brighton fans greeted every pass with olé.

    What is going on down the Lane, has Kane finally become the player I always suspected he was? Has Poch lost his magic or is it just Levy m’s lack of investment. In Levy’s defence you’d have to ask the manager if they got to CL final with that group of players what was the issue their new stadium has without doubt our strain on their finances. The bottom line is Poch hasn’t won anything yet, so demands for players etc seem a little churlish.

    Is their dressing room broken?

    Whatever the reason I hope we can all sit back and laugh heartily, just imagine their shiny stadium half empty when they fall out of CL places and they don’t have the money to pay for it……that would be funny.

  37. RC78 says:

    Peaches – pre-match post sent 🙂

    I think Tottenham’s players may be tired of Pochetinno – sad as it may be, it could be true. He may just leave in December replaced by…Mourinho? Allegri? Their team is full of talent and proven players so I expect them to mount a Top 4 Challenge comes to May.

    Lloris – Walker, Aldwereid, Sanchez, Verthongen, Rose – Ndombele, Winks, Eriksen – Son, Kane.

    This is a good team.

  38. allezkev says:

    Just like the old days, a late controversial penalty for Liverpool.

  39. Good morning all

    It’s match day and there’s a New Post ………………

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