Arsenal …… not good …….. again

First half was horrendous, second half was better. We were exposed every time Vitoria put some pace on their attacking movements. We did not create much going forward and we did not really defend well when tested. No stand out performer.

Lessons learned:
1. Ceballos cannot play in central midfield
2. Holding can only play at the base of a back 3
3. AMN-Mustafi are not a good combo covering the right side of the defense
4. Saka needs a rest
5. Emery does not rate LT anymore
6. Willock is the real deal
7. Pepe set-piece delivery is good but he still needs to do better in open play

Player ratings

Martinez – 5.5
AMN – 4
Mustafi – 5 (just b/c of the goal)
Sokratis – 6
Holding – 5
Tierney – 5
Ceballos – 4
Willock – 5
Saka – 3
Martinelli – 4
Pepe – 5


Douzi – 5
Laca – 4
Torreira – N/A

Emery – 5 (for trying a new formation but not playing the right players)




42 Responses to Arsenal …… not good …….. again

  1. LBG says:
    November 6, 2019 at 5:54 pm (Edit)
    Leicester v Arsenal


  2. Rasp says:

    There are now so many haunting similarities in our performance with the last few Wenger years. It’s so frustrating.

    Mourinho is the last manager we would ever want … but right now, with the enthusiasm being drained from our souls with each passing game, I’d take a Mr Motivator type manager like Brendan Rogers (or better still, give Freddie a chance) in a flash.

    I don’t mind if we get beaten by a better side at Leicester as long as we play like a team with a heart. If we deliver yet another tepid performance in keeping with our current form then I’m happy to stand up and be counted in the Unai out camp.

  3. LB says:

    That was quick RC, thanks for the read.

    I think you are missing something with Torreira, Emery had to leave him out because of his importance in the coming Leicester game. Ok he came on when he had to but only because he had to.

    I am guessing that you mean that Ceballos cannot play at the foot of a diamond or that he cannot play anything connected with a defensive midfield role, please correct me here if you disagree?

  4. fatgingergooner says:

    Saka need a rest is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a while! He’s only played about 5 games for us…although with the way we play that’s enough to make anyone want a snooze.

    So glad I didn’t watch it. 1 shot on target….🙄

  5. LB says:

    I would liken supporting Arsenal at the moment to a dog whistle, some people can hear it and some can’t.

    keown stupidly said that this team is going to have to play an awful lot better if they want to beat Leicester, stick to defending Martin because you know nothing about what is going on at Arsenal.

    That team tonight had nothing to do with the team that will play Leicester, nothing at all and to connect the two shows staggering ignorance.

  6. fatgingergooner says:

    First it was Özil, then it was 3 at the back. I wonder what’s next from the ‘Desperately Make Changes In Order To Find A Solution’ handbook. As you say Rasp, starting to feel a lot like Wengers final weeks. How we’ve got here after such a positive summer is beyond me. Will the shit ever end?

  7. Sue says:

    Man, that was pants! 1 shot on target in 95 minutes!
    I bet Vardy & co loved watching that! Maybe I’ll rent Toy Story 4 on Saturday at 17.30 😂

  8. Rasp says:

    Trouble is … the dog can’t hear the whistle either … maybe it’s not being blown properly 😅

  9. fatgingergooner says:


    Great film. You’ll cry at the end though, but I suppose that’s the same watching Arsenal…🙄

  10. LB says:

    It is worth remembering that Emery’s job was and is to get us out of the group stages of this competition which he is well on coarse to do so.

    It makes sense that he should play a young team and experiment with new systems, and in fairness he has done very well so far in this competition; he almost did just enough to win tonight.

    As for people expecting more free flowing exciting football, the chances are so slim when you are playing so many kids and trying out new ideas. In fact I fail to see why that should not be expected.

  11. LB says:

    It makes me wonder why some people even bother pretending to say that they support Arsenal when all they want to do is find fault.

    Thiery Henry aint coming back, get used to it people.

  12. Sue says:

    Cheers, FGG.. I almost cried at the end of the 3rd one 😀
    Being a gooner, I have shares in Kleenex haha!!

  13. fatgingergooner says:


    I didn’t even watch it so I have no issue with the game tonight. I agree that this tournament is separate and tbh watching the younger players has been our only bright spot this season. My issue is I can’t see us beating Leicester at the weekend and that shouldn’t be the expectations for our club. We are boring, can’t defend, can’t win, and the manager is struggling to do anything about it.

  14. Rasp says:

    There is a massive disconnect between our defence and our midfield, our midfield and our strikers, our manager and the players.

    It was never just down to Mustafi or Xhaka, or the quality of the players in general. There is a lack of creativity, belief and fight/urgency/steel.

    There is no leadership on the pitch and no leadership in the dugout.

  15. LB says:

    You see Slim, games like tonight show how much Emery is trying to find solutions to the problems that we can all see.

    Or that is how I see things anyway.

    Pepe, that’s the player that we were all jumping up and down about when he joined is playing like shite. So Emery can do nothing or try find a solution; he clearly attempts to take the pressure off and play him in the Europa in the hope that his confidence grows so he can rejoin the first team in the EPL.

    I could go through every player who played tonight and give the reason they played where they did but hey ho, you get the idea.

    As for Leicester, I share your fears, but at some point the quality of Ozil, Aubamayang and Lacazette will shine through.

  16. LB says:

    In a minute someone is going to come on here and tell us something that we hadn’t realised like the sky is often blue.

  17. fatgingergooner says:


    I’ve no doubt Emery is putting 110% into Arsenal, and as I said the other day…I’ve seen no lack of effort from the players like we had under Wenger at the end, but that makes it all the more worrying that we are seeing zero impact on results or performance. Emery is trying, but it feels like his best is just not good enough. It shouldn’t be this difficult only 4 months into your first real season (last season was the time to test formations/players etc). I really hope he gets it right, but I don’t share your optimism in terms of Laca, Auba and Özil being the answer to our prayers as I don’t really see them as the problem. Our issues lie elsewhere and haven’t been rectified since Emery came in.

  18. LB says:


    I really enjoy reading your comments, they are always thoughtful, considered and you clearly know what you are talking about.

    Thinking about your comment further, I agree we are boring but as a season ticket holder what am I to do? Do I just stop going or do I try and find reasons to continue……..

    Genuine question, by the way, because behind the bravado I am as lost as everyone else.

  19. LB says:


    “I shouldn’t be difficult four months into the season” Why not? Has Pepe performed anywhere near as well as we hoped?

    Both our wing backs crocked and still not back to full fitness.

    Ozil, the Rubic cube that he is………….

    I am not suggesting that Ozil, Aubamayang and Lacazette are the answers to our prayers but I think it is reasonable to expect a little bit more, last week was Ozil’s first day back in class, what did people expect: Bergkamp, Henry and Pires in their pomp?

  20. LB says:

    Actually thinking further and looking at the title of the post I realise that Bergkamp, Henry and Pires is what people expect and I also realise that speaking well of Arsenal is a waste of time here……….

  21. fatgingergooner says:


    It’s far easier for me as I watch most games on tv whereas you have to watch them next to angry Gooners moaning about every missed pass or tackle!

    To try and answer your question….we have some exciting young players in Tierney, Pepe, Geundouzi, Willock, Saka and Martinelli so maybe concentrating on those guys rather than wallowing in the despair that is Xhaka, Mustafi etc is the way to Arsenal happiness!!!

    Just remember…..With every poor result we get closer to a new (hopefully exciting) manager, and with every win we get closer to being a team worth watching……the problem is we have become inconsistent so we won’t be getting either of those things!!!!! 🙄😂

  22. LB says:


    I live in hope that this collection of players finally clicks into gear and starts playing the kind of football we all envisaged at the beginning of the season.

    I am off now, enjoy your evening.

  23. fatgingergooner says:


    One thing I, and many others, wanted from Emery was to get some identity back in our play. I believe that can be achieved to an extent regardless of injuries and personnel yet we haven’t seen it. He seems to want us to be some sort of tactical chameleon where we change based on every opponent, but it just isn’t working and it seems (based on results) that the players are struggling to do what he asks.

  24. RockyLives says:

    Passionate discussion as ever.

    Football is a funny game and football fans are fickle as hell.

    Just imagine this scenario:

    On Saturday we beat Leicester in a close game (to you doubters I would say that our best performances under UE have been against good quality opponents). We play pretty well and take the points.

    After the international break we turn over Southampton at home.

    Then we see off Frankfurt to secure our place in the knockout stages of the Europa League.

    And we round off a good run by winning away at Norwich in the league.

    What then? Where does the thinking about Emery stand at that point?

    I’m sure many reading this will think “well that ain’t going to happen.” I wouldn’t be so sure…

    But in any case the point I’m making is that it is quite possible and even likely that we will at some point go on a good run under UE and we might find ourselves reappraising things.

    This certainly applies to me. Right now I’m pretty down on Emery and his chances of turning things around, but a few results go the right way and who knows?

  25. LBG says:

    Your reference to Martin Keown seems to illustrate much of your argument currently. To suggest his comments are stupid surprises me. His comments could be described as “obvious” perhaps, but surely you would not suggest he is stupid with regard to understanding how to defend or that he understands at least as much as you about what is happening at the Club at present!!?

    Unlike perhaps some on here, I do not want “free flowing exciting football” as an aim. I want simple, structured, discipline and shape with the ball and especially without it! I want annoyance from other team mates when carelessness, lackadaisical play occurs, currently regularly, all over the pitch. I want to see evidence that players care, and will try immediately to correct an error, win back the ball, show heart and never say die. I want all players to put their bodies on the line for every other player and the team. I want the players to understand that all the above lifts a crowd and gets them (me) up and loudly backing each and every effort.
    ( I believe, by the way that with our available attacking players the ” free flowing, exciting football” will come naturally from the above approach and will in fact ‘ take care of itself’).

    I hope Emery can motivate and coach tactically these necessary and dramatic changes in our squad. I believe however he doesn’t even understand, let alone can bring to fruition any more than 40% of that package!!!

    I guess, if we beat Leicester on Saturday, my argument will be shot down and hopefully we will begin a new positive chapter for the Club this season…….I’m not putting money on it though!

  26. fatgingergooner says:


    We can only hope that Emery turns it around. As for fans, I lose any respect for anyone as soon as they start hoping we lose in order to get a change in manager or players. It was rife under Wenger and it will start again soon if Emery doesn’t succeed. You can have a different opinion or be negative, but If you don’t want your team to win every single game then as far as I’m concerned you’re not a fan.

  27. Sue says:

    Saliba has broken his foot??

  28. RC78 says:

    1. Saka needs to be given a rest not b/c he is tired but b/c he is not being effective lately

    1. Ceba cannot play as part of a double pivot. His defending is not great and his delivery is much more effective when in the final third.

    2. Emery seems to be trying smt new. I was happy to see that he is willing to test the back 3 option.

    3. LT is hardly playing lately. I am hoping to see him start next to Douzi vs Leicester

    1. We will struggle against Leicester
    2. Leno – Chambers, Sokratis, Luiz – Bellerin, Douzi, Torreira, Kola – ?, Laca, Auba

    The missing player could be Pepe, Ozil, Ceba, Martinelli or Saka

  29. RockyLives says:

    Amen to that.
    I cannot imagine how any Arsenal
    Fan could ever want their team to lose.

  30. Mike M says:

    Maybe it was the terrible conditions but i doubt it. The fact is we are just SLOW !!! In everything we do. Martinelli was the only one trying to inject pace. The main problem is even if 1 player tries to quicken the pace, no one else is moving fast enough to keep up with their speed (and speed of thought). As a fan, this makes it soul destroying when we’re defending and frustratingly uninspiring when we’re in possession. We have quality players but everyone is looking for the easy route. I think that’s what I dislike most about Xhaka, now it seems to be spreading throughout the team. You cannot compete at the top level of football without speed. We don’t have any as a team, as much as we may have individual speed. i don’t know why.
    Lastly, Maitland-Niles was as bad as any Arsenal player I’ve seen in recent memory. I don’t understand it. he’s a good footballer. What’s going on?

  31. Sue says:

    RC.. Wenger to Bayern is looking likely.. and he might be in charge for the spud game. Another 7-2 please, Arsene 😜

  32. RockyLives says:

    Mike M

    While I understand your comment about over general slowness (we do seem very ponderous in possession much of the time), I thought in tonight’s game we broke at pace very effectively numerous times (and sometimes had three-on-two or four-on-three situations) but all the moves came to nowt because of bad passing or bad decision making.

  33. LB says:


    I fear you did not read my comment carefully enough, if you had I suspect that you may agree with me about Keown.

    Quote at the end of the game: “this team is going to have to do an awful lot better if they want to beat Leicester on Saturday” (Keown)

    And my response is that tonight’s team has got nothing to do with the team that will face Leicester and to suggest that it is, is STUPID.

    Surely I don’t have to list the players that played tonight that wont have anything to do with the weekend.

  34. Mike M says:

    @ Rocky – I missed the first 5 and the first 15 of each half respectively. If these breaks happened then, I didn’t see them. I saw a few attempts at fast breaks but, as you say, they didn’t work. Which led to more slow and cautions passing and possession in the middle third. There were numerous runs and moves in the first half and at the beginning of Lacazatte’s appearance but we almost never tried a long ball. As you’re probably well aware, a long ball in of itself isn’t often successful. But it changes the dynamic of how the defenders set up when we’re in possession. There’s no threat of anything from us right now except tippy tappy in the mdfield. That goes for this team and the “first” team. Both martinelli and Laca almost gave up making runs behind in the end.

  35. LBG says:

    I have seen little or no difference between the performances of tonight’s youthful ‘ second’ team a la Europa, and any combination of players he puts out as ‘first choice’ on Saturday for Premier League games.The failures I have witnessed all season pervade the whole squad ( recent evidence Seffield Utd, Crystal Palace, Wolves).
    Keown, like the rest of us witnesses, is trying to explain the general malaise and, in truth, is finding it pretty near impossible!

  36. Mike M says:

    @LBG – Couldn’t agree more. It’s also why I texted my son after 85 mins and said “the commentator keeps talking about our winning this game. Apparently he hasn’t watched us much this season”. It’s all the same with different players. maybe i owe Xhaka an apology.

  37. fatgingergooner says:

    Our main failures last season were our poor output from attacking midfield and our defensive play, and I’d argue that we are currently worse off right now in both areas. Tactically, Emery hasn’t shown himself capable of rectifying these problem areas, so all he can do then is hope a change in personnel will bring improvement. We’ve lost Ramsey, Iwobi and Mkhitaryan and we’ve not used Özil. So basically we’ve removed our entire attacking midfield from last season and replaced them with youth like Willock, Nelson, Saka, loaned Ceballos and bought Pepe. At the moment they are not producing, and whilst promising for the future, are arguably putting out less creativity and end product than last years lot. Add to that the fact our defence wasn’t really strengthened (Luiz for Kos and Tierney for Monreal) and it should be no shock really that we aren’t improving.

    We had a great summer, but how many of the signings have actually improved our starting XI up to now? Luiz is no better than Koscielny. Tierney hasn’t played. Ceballos is nowhere near the level of Ramsey. Pepe, most alarmingly, is doing no more than Iwobi did. Martinelli, whilst fantastic, is competing with our best 2 players so won’t get the games. When you look at it like that, you start to understand why we are struggling domestically. If Emery can’t adjust tactics to make us click, then he must get better players on the field. Bellerin, Tierney, Pepe and possibly Özil need to be in the first team and playing well otherwise we will continue to drop away. Even if he manages that though, it still might not be enough to paper over our defensive frailties.

  38. Sue says:

    👍 Totally agree, FGG

  39. RC78 says:

    Emery at Psg didn’t manage to create the system he wanted although he had a very talented group of players. After a while, the players took matter in their own hands and told him how they wanted to play to be effective as a team. Emery Said OK. He had negotiated to be the one in full control for CL games and the group agreed to thst given that he won European cups. Just to say that maybe our players should have an honest conversation between themselves and with the coach and Edu. They could agree to a game plan or team shape. This may help, at least until Xmas.

    I think we have no choice but to play as a back 3 at the moment. We need to also add more core to our midfield. For the game vs Leicester, I am not opposed to seeing a 352 with Douzi, Willock and Torreira un the middle flanked by Bellerin and Tierney. Up front, we trust Auba and Laca. This would give us plenty of options on the bench

  40. LB says:

    Just want to say that I saw this game as well:

    “I thought in tonight’s game we broke at pace very effectively numerous times (and sometimes had three-on-two or four-on-three situations) but all the moves came to nowt because of bad passing or bad decision making.” (Rocky)

    The amount of times on a break that a crucial pass went behind a player instead of in front was infuriating.

  41. Morning all

    We have a New Post ……………..

  42. LB says:

    Its a real shame we don’t have a Seville supporter on here so we could find out what Emery did well in Spain, I think he won the Europa 3 times or something.

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