Another disappointing night at the Emirates …………

Well it wasn’t to be ………

Before I start with the doom and gloom just want to say it was really a pleasure to meet LBG and Ant. It must be said LBG is now my favorite Englishman, sorry Ant and chas you have just been demoted.

This is not so much a review but my thoughts from sitting in upper tier (yes upper tier) in the clock end. I was so far away I kinda miss judged the players, for instance I thought Aubameyang scored our goal.

When I got to the stadium the game had already started (would not like to say who kept me back lol) so I only saw from the 10th minute Arsenal were playing a lot of long ball …….. why? Only they know.

I still can’t understand why Mesut is being played out wide, even Arsene didn’t get the best out of him in that position so why in  hell do other coaches think they can get him to play good out wide.

After Arsenal went a goal down they did actually play with some vigor but still couldn’t get the break through. Arsenal 0 – 1 Brighton at half time and when the team went off there were some boos.

Taking a page from the Unai playbook, Freddie made a half time substitution bringing on Pepe for Willock and immediately there was a dominance about our performance. The Pepe introduction really raised the atmosphere the in the ground too.

After a few near chances the goal finally came from Lacazette. We kept pilling on the pressure and eventually we were 2-1 up but VAR took away our goal once again. To me after that the team seemed to have lost the vigor they had at the start of second.

Some one needs to tell the ground man to stop wetting the pitch at cause Sokratis keep slipping on the wet pitch. Who knew all this time it was the pitch and not his defending that’s the problem.

Because I’ve never seen Arsenal draw a game David Luiz wasn’t going to let this be the first and did his usual backing off until the attacker could put in a quality cross right on the  the head of Maupay …….. Leno didn’t have a chance. Arsenal 1- 2 Brighton.

For the remainder of the game Arsenal huffed and puffed and finally it was over.

Personally I  will give every player a 5 as no one really stood out to me while sitting in the upper tier (yes upper)


And some Player ratings from Rocky ………….

Leno 7

Some terrific saves from our German custodian and no chance for the two goals. He’s turning into one of the best GKs in the Premiership. It’s just a shame that what’s in front of him doesn’t match up to his standards. MoTM.

Bellerin 5

Hector had some good moments and was looking to attack and taking on defenders several times during the game. I have seen other people criticise his performance but I saw signs of him beginning to return to the form that made us love him.

Sokratis 4

We were beaten in the air pretty much every time Brighton pinged a cross into the box. If Sokratis can’t win headers, the other parts of his game don’t merit a place in the team.

Luiz 5

It’s tempting to give really low marks to Luiz and Sokratis, but our defensive issues go beyond individual performances. Luiz had some good moments where he was aggressive and won tackles. He has been blamed by most people for Brighton’s second goal, but closer examination shows it’s more on Torreira. In the build-up Torreira is marking Maupay. You can see Luiz look across and clock that that’s the case. Then, just before the cross comes in, Torreira goes sprinting away from Maupay as if the little Frenchman had just delivered a spectacular vindaloo fart. By the time Luiz tries to react it’s too late.

Kolasinac 5

He looked good attacking at times, was defensively suspect at times. A pretty typical Kola outing.

Xhaka 6

Arguably our best player after Leno. He’s the only player we have who doesn’t give me palpitations when being pressured on the ball in our own half. He also tried to get us on the front foot with his long passes. Even so, he still has two or three horrendous mistakes per game in his repertoire where he just passes to the opposition for no obvious reason.

Willock 3

Picked up where he left off against Southampton. A largely anonymous first half before being substituted at the break. Presumably Freddie rates him from his time running the youth team, but our Joe looks like he needs a loan-out to toughen up and hone his skills.

Torrieria 4

Is he protecting our box? Is he an extra striker? Is he a winger? Answers on a postcard if you know the answer, because he managed to do all three at different times last night. Was most culpable for Brighton’s winner. I don’t see a future for him at Arsenal. He’s too lightweight to be a DM and seldom plays that role anyway.

Ozil 4

One of those games where he just never got into it, partly due to Brighton’s tenacity and work rate. Mesut never likes it when players are all over him and he never wins a 50-50. In fact he seldom wins a 60-40 even when it’s 60-40 in his favour.

Lacazette 6

Scored our goal. Never stops trying, but we didn’t manage to get him into enough dangerous positions.

Aubameyang 5

Relatively anonymous for large parts of the game and found it hard to impose himself. He feels wasted out wide against a hard working defence like Brighton’s.


Pepe 7

Came on at half time and immediately injected energy and attacking verve. His attempts to beat defenders don’t always come off, of course, but when they do they open up the defence in a way none of our other attackers managed to achieve. Very promising outing and needs to start in our next game.

Tierney 5

Replaced Kola on 72 minutes. Not much changed.

Martinelli 6

On for the last 15 minutes or so. Got flattened within seconds of coming on but did not let it intimidate him. The kid tries hard and was unlucky not to score with a glancing header into the bottom corner which the ‘keeper just got to.



95 Responses to Another disappointing night at the Emirates …………

  1. Thank you Fred for writing something for today. It really feels so dreadful now 😦

    If anyone else wants to send me some player ratings I’ll add them onto the bottom of the post …………..

  2. Sue says:

    Thanks, Fred!
    Upper, hey?! I had a lush seat, north bank lower, pity the game was so rubbish and that the guy in front of me decided to start spouting the ‘c’ word 😬
    All that’s left to say is…. we’re in serious trouble and I can’t see a way out.

  3. LBG says:

    Good to meet and greet you Fred. Shame you were present at such a depressing game.

    Re comments and reactions after the game – self deception is one of the worst crimes in sport, Hector. You did not “defend good”, you have never defended good and the rest of your colleagues are even worse if that’s possible!!
    Freddie/ (and the BFG) ( not the Trinidadian) got it all wrong last night but the truth is too many players are poor in quality, dont understand 100%, take their abhorrent salaries and, while being prepared to show childish fits of peek at the end of the game, still churn out the same crap game in game out. Worse run since seventies! I stood during the sixties and I still believe this is a worse set of prima ballerinas because many have no REAL heart or soul for the game. Just imagine what a sixties player like Skirton or Court or Baker or Eastman would have thought about wages now.

  4. fred1266 says:

    They will be disgusted, wages was something Charley brought up a lot

    LBG how u think Tierney was so him did some good defending and also a really great cross

  5. Copied over from the other thread
    ‘Sorry to go all Untold, but the referee really had us over there didn’t he? Usually I’m laissez-faire about it, but this stood out as slanted towards B&HA. Perhaps one or two dives by our team didn’t help, but it was so obviously in their favour that even the match commentators were repeatedly mentioning it.’

  6. Sue says:

    Totally agree with you, SR 👍

  7. RockyLives says:

    Well said Fred. A disappointing night.

    But let’s not wallow too deeply in the trough of despond.

    Our players are not as bad as they look right now and it IS possible to turn it round.

  8. RockyLives says:

    I’ve put ratings in drafts

  9. Thanks Rocky, I’ll copy and paste it on 😁

  10. fred1266 says:

    Think we should go back to basics, I see we still trying to implementing this passing out from the back Frederick should just throw everything unai thought them

  11. Player ratings from Rocky added to the post now ……………….

  12. fred1266 says:

    Well giving everyone 5 wasn’t so far off after all

    Personal would give Tierney a 6 or 7

    Why a 6 for martinelli, still think he should have left on lacazette

    Probably a 6 for pepe cause he really lifted the atmosphere but didn’t really do to much, I was praying for the curler to go in

  13. Ant says:

    Here’s The Fredsta prematch

  14. Ant says:

    LBG had a little surprise gift for Freddie baby after all his comments about that t shirt over the years, he has finally got it

  15. fred1266 says:

    Best Christmas gift ever only a arsenal win might be able to beat that present

  16. RockyLives says:

    Lovely stuff Ant and Fred!

  17. LBG says:

    Bellerin 3, Socratis 3, Luiz 3 (two aggressive interceptions, not a CB), Kolasinac 4 ( defending amounts to running up very fast behind player, usually so fast that he fouls them, and, in their fear of being sexually assaulted, they usually lay the ball off, peel round Sue’s ex lover and take him out of the game with a one-two. Gets his extra mark for couple of maurading forward runs, without end product.

    Tierney is another example, like Torreira, Willock, Ouzi and AM-N who has been “corrupted”by the failings of the last regime. Positionally lost a bit of the confidence of first few games, largely due to the incompetent defence and midfield covers he has around him.

    Some are as bad as they seem

    Self Righteous
    Perhaps you could explain, if you were watching on TV why towards the end of the game at a corner when two Brighton players received treatment on the pitch, why neither went off and Brighton defended the corner with 11 men. Referees love to “give the underdogs” a shove. Well, you bunch of blind twats, we are the underdogs now.

  18. LBG says:

    Thanks Ant.

  19. LBG
    I think they had a collision of heads, so should have gone off for a while by the new rules.

  20. LBG
    they had a collision of heads & should definitely had left the pitch for a while

  21. RA says:

    Well done, Fred, a good Post, and I too am sorry that it was an appalling game for your debut at the Ems.

    Better luck next time.

  22. LB says:

    What uplifting photos and a very endearing post, shame about the football.

  23. RA says:

    I dislike disagreeing with my friend Rocky, it seems wrong somehow, even though it is only regarding differing views on player capability.

    Anyway, Rocky, after expressing my regrets, I cannot see that Bellerin deserves any love, and certainly gets none from me.

    You said he had good moments and took on (their) defenders several times. That is precisely why I would not give him a place in any team, where he is supposed to be a full back.

    I agree with what you said – but my assessment is quite different — he takes on their defenders – like a winger – as a full back he has no clue how to defend. He never holds his position – he cannot tackle – he gets blown off the ball far too easily, and he cannot head a ball.

    I am not interested to go down the Xhaka route that somehow he is a ‘good’ player. One small example, which you did refer to indirectly as ‘one of his horrendous mistakes’. He received the ball in a central position, just in front of the penalty area, dithered as usual, lost the ball, and how Brighton did not make I 1 : 3 I will never know.

    Our ‘best player’ to you, Rocky, is vying with Belli to be my ‘worst player’.

    Sorry, Rocky, this is only an opinion and not personal, but frankly I have to say, those players last night were, as some journalist said, ‘spineless, rudderless and leaderless’.

  24. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Redders

    Differing opinions is why we spend time on the blog… Your disagreements with my ratings will not be a casus Belli.


    However, I’m genuinely surprised you think Leno was vying with Belli as our worst player. I thought Leno had no chance for either goal and made some top saves in between.

    A question on Belli – do you think he has ever had a spell where he has played well for Arsenal as RB? My old memory is getting dodgy but I’m sure we used to think of him as a real asset – a lightning fast defender who made up with speed what he lacked in physicality and who could provide a real attacking threat (as the best fullbacks have always done).

  25. RA says:

    Having got that off my chest, I was not particularly disappointed with the spectacle last night, and in previous games.

    Unlike the poor fans who paid good money to be at the ground, and had their loyalty thrown back in their faces, I watched that shabby game on Amazon.

    I said after Sunday’s game that I was disappointed with Freddie (non-AA) because he just put out the same old team, and the same old tactics (if they could be called ‘tactics’)

    To rephrase the definition of insanity, I think that Freddie doing exactly the same thing last night, with much the same team/tactics, and possibly will do so again next Monday, is crazy.

    Look, he will eventually realise that just repeating what Emery did, is not going to get him the manager’s job permanently. He had some excuse to do last Sunday – as he wanted to start steadily and not rock the boat.

    But if he had said that he knew what he had to do – brought in more of our talented youngsters, and changed the tactics to suit them, in exchange he would have got a revitalised, energetic team, not scared of pressing the opposition, and the beauty of it might have been he would have got a win with talented, ambitious youngsters determined to grab the first team roles they clearly want.

    OK, they could have lost — but, like me, I bet most of us would have applauded the changes because we want to see a new era dawning.

    Instead – we got a new (interim) manager with the same limp livered team and the same pathetic tactics.

    I am afraid, Freddie, you have convinced me that you are not ready yet for the management of a big club, and we will have to get someone in with the experience and ability to change things from the basics up.

    Patrick Vieira because of his stature and history with Arsenal? Ancellotti because he has been there and done that. But not Freddie, I’m afraid.

  26. RockyLives says:


    Rafa Benitez for me.

    We need a serious, grown-up coach to whom the players will look up… or at least whom they’ll respect and who has the moral authority to impose some discipline and standards on the squad.

  27. RA says:


    I did not disagree with any of your ratings other than those for Belli and Xhaka.

    Leno was superb in the circumstances.

    I was quoting your rating/assessment for Xhaka, you naughty boy, where you said ;

    Xhaka 6

    Arguably our best player after Leno. He’s the only player we have who doesn’t give me palpitations when being pressured on the ball in our own half.


    Freddie just has to take the bull by the horns next Monday, or his term in charge will end sooner than anyone might expect.
    Fingers crossed he does the right thing — more of the same and the stadium wii continue with more empty seats, and even Kroenke will stop that.

  28. RockyLives says:

    Repeatedly throughout the game last night I noticed examples of sloppy, shoddy play by all our outfield players.

    Misplaced passes (even short simple ones), poor control, half-hearted tackles, lack of movement off the ball, lack of cover.

    I may be wrong but I sense that no-one, after the game, is giving any of our players the “hairdryer” treatment so beloved of the fearsome Fergie.

    Who is getting into the faces of Xhaka, Torreira, Luiz and others and saying “your first touch was S H one T. You call yourself a professional footballer? If you continue to play with this lack of care you’re going into the reserves.”

    (er… do we still have a reserve team?)

  29. RA says:

    I agree with you, Rocky, Benitez might be perfect, but I cannot see Kroenke being prepared to pay the alleged £20m compensation to the Chines club to release him.

    Whoooo – that’s good we agree on something again! 😛

  30. fred1266 says:

    Thank for the hates ants much appreciated

  31. RC78 says:

    I think we have to look at a few items here:

    1. The loss on the cheap of Ramsey and Oxlade is biting us in the back. Imagine if we played Oxlade, Chambers, Ramsey in the middle of the park, there would be a lot more dynamism and quality to get the ball back and to bring it forward;

    2. The incoming defensive players since 2016 that are still with us (so no Bramall or Lichtensteiner) have mostly disappointed so far and are: Holding, Mustafi, Xhaka, Kolasinac (not bad), Mavropanos, Leno (not bad), Sokratis, Mavropanos, Douzi (not bad), Torreira (jury is still out), Luiz (not so convincing) and Tierney (can’t tell yet).

    3. Our young players like AMN, Bellerin, Chambers, Holding don’t seem to have grown into the players we thought they could or should become yet…

    4. We are hoping that Willock, ESR and Saka will grow into good and reliable players but given the above examples, doubt is permitted

    5. Freddie is still working on his tactics and all but so far, he has not addressed our defensive areas and his experiment to play Auba on the right, Ozil on left and Willock in the middle of the park, did not really inspire us on the attacking front.

    6. The fans and the team seem low but let us keep a positive outlook 🙂 We are going to improve because at the moment, there is only one way and it is upward.

    7. Allegri is not coming. He will take on a new job in June.

  32. Sue says:

    I’m beginning to doubt that any manager can turn this around….best of luck to whoever is appointed!
    Apart from around a 10ish minute period, we made it very easy for Brighton.. they should have scored more!
    I like your optimism, Rocky.. if only I saw it that way!! I can’t believe we’re now so poor at home… we haven’t got a chance home or away now, so I say a successful season for us, will be to avoid relegation!
    A bunch of very average players, bar 1 or 2, on a good day…. I will defend my team until the cows come home, but after the grief I’ve received today, what could I say, apart from agree with it?!
    Dreading Monday……

  33. RC78 says:

    Other points:
    – I felt that we missed Douzi yesterday
    – I felt that Martinelli was positive when he came on and same for Pepe
    – I felt that Luiz was not poor yesterday but for sure he d do better in a back 3 or as a DM
    – I also felt that Bellerin is trying hard to rediscover his form but he is far from it yet and as a result, it made Chambers looked like a decent RB 😦
    – Shouldn’t Martinelli and Pepe start? What about Holding? Can Torreira be played as DM oe shouldn’t we try Luiz or Chambers there? Shall we revert to back 3? so many questions…If FL wanted to bring smiles to our faces and a dynamic team, I think that players like Luiz, Chambers, Douzi, Kola, Tierney, Martinelli, Pepe, Laca, Auba would be welcomed by the fans and will try to play positive football…so many questions, little answers 😦

  34. Sue says:

    Nice to see you have your Merci Arsene t shirt, Fred 👍

  35. RC78 says:

    – Rodgers extended his deal to 2025 so he is out;
    – Allegri not till the summer;
    – Who is left? Pochetinno is the only free one. The rest would need to break their contracts (Ancelotti, Benitez, Jorge, Jesus, Nuno …). Am hoping we re not considering Marcelino or Silva but you never know. I think that Blanc could do decent for us as well – he is a good coach and he is a fan of Barcelona style possession football. Since he left PSG, we did not play well continuously and he didn’t have a team with Mbappe and Neyma and he did well in Bordeaux and did decent with France.

  36. Sue says:

    Everton have approached Pochettino

  37. RA says:

    Very good comments today, RC, and it is helpful to have information on some of the managers Arsenal are rumoured to be looking at.

  38. Aaron says:

    If kSe does not appoint someone like Rafa soon, the Arsenal ARE going down and his asset will have diminished considerably.
    300mill to get back up, and the revenue lost will be mind blowing for his peanut counters and lawyers.

  39. Gööner In Exile says:

    Can I just say a huge thank you to the Vines brothers and Fred because the posts above remind us all what football is about, it may be painful it may hurt like hell it may be lots of fun but there is nothing….absolutely nothing that compares to going to football with friends and family and sharing in the love of your club. It should always be that first and foremost the rest is secondary!

  40. Gööner In Exile says:

    That said here’s my thoughts which I posted this morning:

    Ref was indeed a bit bad, wasn’t impressed when the ref in the studio said that the refs are looking for a triangle of fabric for penalties. So basically pull shirt up or down and it’s ok. Ridiculous.

    That said the ref was not to blame.

    I just went back and looked at the 2015-16 squad….oh happy days……ok we were not world beaters but we were balanced. The transfer activity since then has left a lot to be desired.

    It does not take any managerial talent to recognise we are a top heavy team, but the problem is we can’t get the ball to those up top as the midfield does not function, Torreira and Xhaka should be a good combination but there is just no understanding of where each other should be, that said I doubt we have started many games this season with the same midfield and it shows. Far too much tinkering, and Freddie tinkered again last night.

    Compounding the issue of a non functioning midfield is a non functioning defence, which may be because of that midfield but is still a worry, so the forward line have to carry the team from the front where they can’t get the ball enough and score more than our defence concedes. Other teams score more goals with lesser players and defend better.

    We have to get a settled XI especially in the middle of the park, choose the best 2/3 based on their skill sets not their form and let them build an understanding, then change one or two components at a time until we find the balance.

    And going back to that 2015/16 squad remember the criticisms of identikit players….well it was true but perhaps it was for good reasons, we had sprinkled a bit of stardust in Ozil and Alexis but we had a good base of a team:

    GK : Cech/Ospina
    RB : Hector/Debuchy
    LB : Gibbs/Monreal
    CB : BFG/Kos/Gabriel
    MF : Coquelin/Ramsey/Santi/Rosicky/Arteta/Wilshere/Elneny/Flamini
    AM : Ozil/Alexis/Ox/Walcott/Campbell
    CF : Giroud/Welbeck

    Not our strongest but certainly most balanced.

  41. Gööner In Exile says:

    Now on Luiz and Sokratis, the backing off the lack of aerial prowess, is it perhaps VAR? At the start of the season both had decisions given against them where they used their arms to pull back attackers, since then they have both just regressed and maybe that’s why?

    Would Bould, Campbell, BFG, Kolo, Adams and even Kozzer struggle in VAR era? From memory they were all fairly clean players, readers of the game, and strong jumpers without lots of arm use or am I just using rose tinted spectacles?

  42. RA says:

    Hi GIE,

    Sorry I am late for a response, but here I am.

    This is a bit awkward for me, in the same way as when I felt I had a strong contradictory reason on a relatively small matter with Rocky this morning.

    It is a bit difficult to appear to argue with you when clearly you have a far greater hands on knowledge of such matters than me.

    Anyways, I think the simplest answer to your question, following the principle of Occam’s razor, is that it is doubtful that VAR had any lasting effect on either Luiz or Soc for committing fouls spotted by VAR, they committed those fouls because they were not good enough to win an aerial duel against some players without breaking the rules. Cheating in other words.

    Secondly, though it is impossible to be definitive in giving an answer to your final question, as to whether Bouldie, Adams etc would fall foul of VAR when defending balls in the air, as we will never really know, but I do not think VAR would have particularly bothered them, even if it caught them in an occasional foul.

    The link between these questions is that Tony Adams, Bould and Campell, et al, were far better players than the current crop, including Luiz and Soc.

    But it is not just those two that there must be doubts about. So many of the current squad are just not top class, and as RC said earlier it is not a new phenomena because the recruitment policy has been poor for a number of years.

    One example that really gripes me is that when Van Dyke wanted to leave Celtic, his agent approached Arsenal, but was turned down when their Chief Scout said he was OK in Scottish football but too slow for the EPL. (I have been on two tours of the Emirates, and two different ex-players told me that).

    Van Dyke went to lucky old S/Hampton for about £8m, – they obviously had better scouts, and he eventually went to the ‘Pool for £76m, and revolutionised their team.
    If we had made a better fist of getting him, we could be in a far better situation than we are currently in

  43. fred1266 says:

    Was that why aubameyang went off

  44. fred1266 says:

    Yes sue finally, sorry I had to deprive LBG of his merci Arsene jersey

  45. fred1266 says:

  46. LBG says:

    I can’t think of anyone more deserving, or who.I would have preferred to hand it over to. Happy it pleased you so much and that you enjoyed the company of 2/3rds of the Vines brotherhood. Long live and all its participants.

  47. fred1266 says:


  48. LBG says:

    Smith-Rowe and John-Jules smashed it again last night for U23s. Get rid of deadwood and give yoof a chance. If you are good enough you are old enough!

  49. LBG says:

    Team for West Ham

    Maitland- Niles Chambers Holding Tierney
    Smith-Rowe Ouzi Pepe

  50. Sue says:

    Mavropanos played too… ah, so he is still about!!
    As for Holding.. I saw something saying he has a problem with his knee.

  51. fred1266 says:

    I rate Jules not so much SR

  52. fred1266 says:

    What ever going on internally even affect the youngster, remember when saka was bossing thing when he came on against Norwich didn’t even notice him

  53. LBG says:

    The yoofulness is draining out of the yoof as we speak.
    Freddie, not you, do it before it is too late!!!!

    Bring Mavrapanos in as soon as possible. Put Chambers in midfield alongside Torreira and rest one of midfield for Manshitty.

  54. Sue says:

    The Manchester derby has arrived.. looking forward to it and hope City smash them!
    Can’t wait for the boxing either! Come on AJ 👊
    £25 pay per view! Has to be done.. I just hope it goes beyond the first round 😀

  55. fred1266 says:

    You into boxing sue, is this a big fight or something literally every were I turn I seeing the fight being advertised

  56. Sue says:

    Yes I like it, Fred. This fight is huge!!! I’m expecting an AJ win, although I said that back in June 😬

  57. fatgingergooner says:

    Maybe a terrible season is what our club needs. Maybe it will get rid of this idea within the fan base that we are still a big club who should be challenging for top 4 and who should be signing the very best players. Maybe if we get a young, up and coming manager like Arteta we could build from the ground up, hammering it into the players that defending is just as important as attacking and making sure that the fundamentals of football are instilled in our players minds. Maybe it gives the excuse needed to any flash prima-donnas who still collect a wage from our club that they need to move on. Maybe the break from European football could actually be a blessing and allow a new manager plenty of time on the training field to right the wrongs that continue to pop up in every game we play.

    Maybe, just maybe, a crap season is what we need? 🤷‍♂️

  58. GoonerB says:

    FGG, I don’t think I can buy into that concept, and still want to see a strong and progressive second half of the season which, regardless of where we finish in the table (outside of the bottom 3), points towards us re-establishing a strong foundation that we can spring forward from next year.

    There are crap seasons and then disastrous seasons, which we have never had in recent years, and an even more worrying idea is that we are actually currently in relegation form, and frankly we are not many points above the relegation zone.

    The teams that are holding us or beating us, often at home as well, all point towards this……. Watford, Southampton, Norwich, Brighton……. it is not even the odd banana skin anymore, it is a pattern.

    The stats point towards relegation form as well. I said the other day about those 5 stats categories for EPL players I saw coming up on sky sports during the brief Wenger interview. I think the first 4 were assists, chances created, tackles won, and fouls won. They had the top 5 players in each category and not one Arsenal player was in the top 5 in those 4 categories.

    Although the normal clubs you would expect featured heavily the likes of Palace, Norwich, Villa and Everton also had featured players but not us. The 5th category of shots saved we topped (Leno) by a margin of 4-5 from second place. I imagine that margin has widened since Leno’s MOTM performance on Thursday.

    Think on that! I mean kudos to Leno, but we have topped the one stat you don’t want to. Add to that the increasing pattern of stats of net shots on goal and on target, and also just what we just generally see with our own eyes in our play, even against the lower league teams, and we could be in more trouble than we realise FGG.

    I am almost resigning myself to losing Auba or Laca, or even both, but more worrying could be a potential future crown jewel like Martinelli. I believe he will be sought after, and Klopp has already showered him with praise, which I believe had more of an ulterior motive than just pure general observation. If he doesn’t see us going anywhere then why would he hang around if other big clubs, that take being a big club seriously and are silverware contenders, are offering him a place.

    There is still a chance that we can retain these players but it is fading and rather than having a solid team to progress from we may be looking at another 3 year redevelopment process, almost from scratch.

    I have championed Arteta but am now thinking about a more experienced and respected coach as being a requirement for a 2-3 year period. Someone who can restructure the basics at the club and make us a solid top end team again, even if a serious title challenge is a couple of years away. Once we are solid again then we can look towards that younger dynamic modern coach, whether that be Arteta, Vieira, or Freddie himself.

    There is another argument for the experienced guy for a couple of years in that it allows us to keep Freddie in the first team set-up. I really like Freddie and feel he could have something about him moving forwards a bit. I don’t want to lose Freddie from the club. Right now though he is almost a bit guilty by association with the Emery era.

    Both Freddie and Arteta have the same gap in their C.V in never being a number 1, but Arteta’s experience as a number 2 (despite being 5 years Freddies junior) is packed with more positive experiences and top class knowledge of how to get a big club challenging at the top end of the EPL. Freddie has only really witnessed the negatives to date.

    You just wonder how much the players will buy into Freddie right now, because of this negative association, and maybe they just need to hear a new voice and see a new face to buy into a change of philosophy, especially if it comes from a manager that the players know has been there, seen it, done it and that they respect from the outset. I think Ancelotti would be the easiest to get and would be my first choice now, and we should just pay what it takes to get him. Rockies Benitez suggestion also bears merit.

    Think about it. If Freddie carries on for a few games and fails then he will likely feel he needs to leave the club. If Arteta comes in then how will he feel about being number 2 to another ex Arsenal player that is 5 years his junior. Quite possibly he will leave under this circumstance as it represents a bit of a loss of face. However, if he is moved to number 2 again to a manager like Ancelotti for a couple of seasons, with an emphasis on Freddie learning from him, then he will likely buy into this and remain.

  59. Sue says:

    Wow.. Everton take the lead……

  60. Gööner In Exile says:

    LBG – love that team up there.

  61. fatgingergooner says:

    Daft thing is if we can buy a win at West Ham it’s only 6 points to Chelsea (assuming they lose – currently 2 down) and top 4. Flip side of that is we are in relegation form. Need a quick turn around.

  62. Sue says:

    New manager bounce!! Works for everyone, except us 😩
    Pleased for Everton and Big Dunc though!

  63. GoonerB says:

    I agree FGG, we are as close to actually climbing into a more respectable and promising position as we are to nose diving into dangerous uncharted territory. We have the players but they have been recently styled into something poorer and I think can’t recall how to play as they once did. They are shot on confidence and play with fear. That is why some basics need to be addressed that will allow our superior quality to be too much again for most teams barring a few, but also accepting that there will be errors as well at present and it won’t all fall into place immediately.

    I still think playing on the front foot more at pace is a primary requirement even if it comes with some loss of possession more than we would like right now while we try and create forward pace and incisiveness. After that get that base of midfield and the 2 CB’s right and how they combine with each other so that they function better as a unit but with each player drilled to their more specific role but covering their team-mates role when required.

  64. LBG says:

    Now for a contradiction to make you cringe.
    You all know I want yoof first……but I want to see us difficult to beat like the good old days, when I spend three hours travelling……..Simeone is interested. Why cant we have attacking yoof and a solid, Scrooge-like defence?

  65. RC78 says:

    Auba not in a hurry to sign his extension. I think our captain will leave next summer. Shame but rather sell him for something than lose him for nothing… I d be more upset to see Laca leave though tbh

  66. Sue says:

    Sterling to break his United duck?? Come on!!

  67. RC78 says:

    Ancelotti may be sacked so there is a chance… He may be allowed to leave together with Koulibaly and Allan. Take all three and all of a sudden, our team becomes a top 4 challenger…

    Leno – Bello, Koulibaly, Luiz, Tierney – Allan, Douzi – Pepe, Laca, Martinelli – Auba

  68. fred1266 says:

    Do we really want a manager who can’t even managed properly with other good players ?

  69. RC78 says:

    Fred – all free managers have lost their jobs…

  70. Gööner In Exile says:

    LBG I think a solid defence can be achieved with a youthful defence, after all remember what GG achieved with Adams (17), Dixon (24) and Winterburn (24) were relatively young when signed, Bouldie a tad older when he arrived replacing the experience of O’Leary and because GG didn’t trust Keown.

    Even when that defence turned into the Invincibles it was young on arrival, Lauren (23), Toure (21) (not immediately centre back), Cole (18) only Sol came in at 27.

    It all comes down to who coaches them, and how hungry they are.

  71. LB says:

    Do you think we might be able to get Guardiola after he gets sacked on Monday?

  72. Sue says:

    Nice one, LB 😄

    Well done, AJ 👊

  73. Gööner In Exile says:

    Hahah LB wishful thinking…unfortunately he is surely back off to Bayern?

    Not sure I want to tar Pep with the same brush as Maureen, but it is interesting to me that few top flight managers these days even the very best seem to be able to make their ideas/tactics/methods last for more than three/four years…. does that say more about the players or the managers?

  74. VP says:

    good morning
    I sent a post suggestion to your email…

  75. RC78 says:

    Everton approach Ancelotti
    Tottenham approach Koulibaly while Pep is also interested in him
    PSG approach Allan to replace flop Paredes
    Napoli and Atletico line up Cavani
    Aubameyang considering Real, Juve and Barcelona

    Darren Bent advised AFC to go for Ancelotti

  76. We have a New Post ………………

  77. RA says:

    Where have you hidden it peaches? 🙄

  78. RA says:

    Forgotten to pay the WordPress fee, have we? 😀

  79. Where have I hidden what?

  80. RA says:

    Well, I might as well get some practise in while I am waiting; 😳

    Your lips on mine are soft as dew
    Your kiss is so divine
    Your eyes are like the skies of blue
    And stars that brightly shine

    Your voice is sweet like violins
    And warm like summer days
    I love you, I love you, I love you
    In oh, oh, so many, many ways

    Your touch is like a breath of spring
    You give life to my soul
    To me, sweetheart, you’re everything
    I ever hoped to hold

    Oh, boy ……..

  81. RA – on a new post

  82. RA says:

    The New Post, Peaches — it ain’t showin on my home page. 🙄

  83. Respond on Aussie Arsenal Coach?

  84. It’s when I fiddle on my phone ….. hold on

  85. RA says:

    Oh, well, Practise #2 coming up;

    The same one you said you needed
    The same one who needed you
    That same one is lonely
    Please mend the heart you’ve broken in two

    The same one you played a game with
    The same one who gave his all
    That same one is begging
    Completely at your beck and call

    Oh, yeah!! 🥺

  86. Trying to recover it now

  87. Sue says:

    Peaches, please hurry! I can’t take anymore of that singing 😳😩🤣

  88. RA says:

    Not to worry, Peaches — I am lovin Brook Benton songs, in the meantime,

    Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread
    If there’s a chance for me , I don’t care
    Open up your heart and let this fool rush in ……. 😎

  89. Post is back now 🙂

  90. RA says:

    Well, that cannot be my singing, Sue, coz it’s great —- 😛

    How’s about the Jersey Boys;

    (Why don’t you come out) with your red dress on
    (Come out) Mmm, you look so fine
    (Come out) Move it nice and easy
    Girl, you make me lose my mind
    She – e – e-e-e-e-ry baby
    She – e – rry, can you come out tonight
    (Come, come, come out tonight)
    Sherry sherry baby
    (Come, come, come out tonight)

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