Arteta’s the man

A win is a win is a win but boy that first half was hard to watch. From being a team that delighted us against Man U to a team that was cringe-worthy all over the pitch. No wonder Arteta shouted at them at half time, they’d gone back into their collective shell and decided that showing up was all that was required.

Luckily for us, Leeds didn’t manage to score in the first half when they were all over us. We couldn’t string any passes together or manage to win the ball back. Leeds were working like demons but that wasn’t a surprise. They play like that ………… as Arteta mentioned in his post match interview ‘they kill teams every three days’.

It’s well reported that Arteta was furious at half time. He’d told them what to expect and they hadn’t listened. Hopefully they’ll listen in the future. It’s one thing being up for a game against Premier League rivals but quite another being up for a game in general. Maybe Arteta knows a bit more now about where their heads are at.

Still, we are rewarded with an away tie against Bournemouth in the next round …… should be fun.

Here are some views of last night’s game from some of our bloggers.

Gooner B

Well, however this game ends up I think it bodes well for the future that we have a manager capable of changing the tactics and dynamic even before making subs and using the same players.

Martinelli is so exciting and portrays danger every time he gets on the ball.

Think we have been a bit lucky with Xhaka and Lacazette with the kick out.


A moment of brilliance from Pepe leading to a fluke goal by Nelson. A good second half after a horrible second half. A tale of two halves. Lucky we didn’t concede in the first half but in the end, we created chances in the second half and we put one in the back of the net – a small yet a big difference when the referee blows the end of the game.

Martinez – 7
Sok – 6
Holding – 3
Luiz – 5
Kola – 5
Douzi – 5
Xhaka – 5
Pepe – 6
Ozil – 4
Nelson – 6
LACA – 7, captain that led by example

Martinelli – 6
Willock, Saka – N/A


Interesting that Laca said Arteta shouted a lot at half time. And Arteta didn’t look that happy in interview post match.

“I saw how they reacted after Chelsea, and then I saw how they reacted after a United and one win, I have to be on them”.

Got to love that comment. He told them, they didn’t listen, he told them a little more forcefully.

The biggest difference was how much further up the pitch we were at the start of the second half. Big difference.


Regardless of any shouting or Mikel Miracles at half time, the fact is GiE is exactly right in that the shift of the back line 20 yards further up the field was all that was really needed for us to change the game in our favour. It congested the midfield area, put them under pressure, and allowed our talent to shine through in the tighter spaces (which is exactly what Pepe did for the goal). These last few games have shown that we are a far better side when we are compact and the defence, midfield and attack are close to each other. When we get strung out and there are gaps on the field we don’t seem to have the energy or intelligence to cover the ground both in attack and defence. Leeds made us look daft in the first half and it was like looking at an Emery team again. How refreshing it is though to have a manager who is capable of getting his message across to the players and who may finally make them understand that a compact team who work hard for each other is a difficult team to beat.


Mikel shouted because only one thing was required in this situation – more effort and determination than the opposition who had absolutely nothing to lose. If professional footballers don’t understand that about Cup games against lower league opponents they don’t have the brains to play at this level.

Enjoy your day ……… we go again on Saturday.



32 Responses to Arteta’s the man

  1. Morning again ………… if anyone was left writing a comment before the new post then pop it on here.

  2. Sue says:

    I really enjoyed that game, a real feisty cup tie! Shocking first half, they were all over us and we were all over the place! If Leeds do end up back in the PL.. they’ll be fine, if that first 45 is anything to go by!! All that pace and energy had me worried!
    Thankfully we woke up in the 2nd half!! Thought Sokratis was a beast!! Martinelli was brilliant, as was Laca. Much improved half from most…
    And only ONE yellow card 😱 wow!!
    Had a great seat right by the tunnel, got some lush pics of Kolasinac 😍 Great night, happy journey home!
    I’m glad we avoided Anfield in the next round!

    How nice to have a smile on my face (usually that’s thanks to RA, but he appears to have gone awol! Boo!!!) so thank you Arsenal and Mikel 😉👍👏

  3. LBG says:

    We could do worse than bid for Leeds defensive holding midfielder- K Phillips. Made for the Premier League, IMO.

  4. LBG says:

    Sokratis and your lover are both “beasts” but…..defenders!!?

  5. meaner says:

    Rob Holding couldnt even make a simple pass. He should stay away from the squad at all.

  6. RC78 says:

    Holding was definitely a fail yesterday and unlike the rest of them team, he continued to play poorly in the second half. Hope he gets back to match fitness and alertness ASAP.

    I thought that Harrison and Bamford did really well yesterday and Harrison reminded me a bit of Grealish. I wouldn’t mind having a Harrison or Grealish in the team.

    As for Martinelli – we got a gem there. Classy and committed. Some ppl say he s the new CR7 but I d be happy if he gets to be as good Gnabry or Gabriel Jesus.

    Arteta still looking for a CB and a DM….let s c

  7. RC78 says:

    Agree with all that the team playing higher up the pitch And with more intensity and intent made a huge difference. Now Crystal Palace and Zaha loom ahead. I can see Arteta tweaking his system a little bit or playing AMN as our winger just to make sure Zaha is taken care of

  8. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Peaches

    Entertaining game, even though the first half was painful to watch from an Arsenal perspective.

    Holding’s passing was awful but it was his first game back after a long lay off. It will improve and he has shown previously that he can be an excellent CB for us.

    As I mentioned last night, I think your ratings are a tad harsh (LB made me laugh when he asked if you were going to do ratings for the second half). These would be my ratings based on the full 95 minutes…

    Martinez – 8
    Really good in first half and kept us in it. Less to do in the second because we were so dominant.

    Sokratis – 7
    Did generally OK in an unfamiliar position, showed bags of heart and courage and made a win-saving tackle at the end.

    Holding – 5
    Rusty return for Big Rob and his awful passing almost cost us on several occasions. He’ll get better.

    Luiz – 8 – MoTM
    Helped deal with the Leeds onslaught in the first half and in the second showed real leadership qualities. Brought the ball forward well on occasion.

    Kola – 6
    Got forward well at times but struggled with the Leeds winger in the first half.

    Guendouzi – 6
    He and Xhaka failed to make any impact in MF in the first half but he had a much more effective second half when we tightened up the lines.

    Xhaka – 5.5
    See Guendouzi. Was lucky not to get booked for some wild challenges.

    Pepe – 7
    The MF problems in the first half meant our attacking players struggled, but Pepe’s great run led to our winner in the second half.

    Ozil – 6
    Absent in the first half, better in the second but nowhere near as good as his showing against Man Utd.

    Nelson – 6
    Got the winner and had some good moments but was rather in and out.

    Lacazette – 7.5
    He was the TV MoTM and put in a real shift, particularly in picking up the ball with his back to goal. The finishing boots are still on their gap year but hopefully due back soon.

    Martinelli – 7
    Another cracking cameo. This kid could be great.

    Willock, Saka – N/A

  9. RC78 says:

    Arda Turan is back at Barcelona and has only 6 months left on his contract. Clearly talented and clearly loopy. Worth the bet?

  10. RC78 says:

    Rocky – you are too kind to the players 😛

    In any case and based on Calum’s injury, Mustafi and Mavropanos lack of playing time as well as on Arteta’s words, it seems that we will be looking to buy a CB in January. The good news is that Koulibaly’s price has dropped to 70 Mln because Napoli wants to rebuild a team and needs cash so they are willing to reduce the fees for some players including Koulibaly and Mertens so do not be surprised if Arteta asks the board for these two players….There were rumours he liked Mertens. I d welcome them both.

    In the EPL, same names coming back Ake and Diop. Elsewhere, Rugani, Izzo and of course Upamecano

  11. RockyLives says:

    I fear I am a bit of a softie.

  12. LBG says:

    Soft by nature, on point sage by comment!

  13. LB says:

    Arda Turan is a tough cookie, which position does he play RC, the memory is not what it used to be and all that?

  14. RA says:

    Hi Sue,

    Game was like a rose in Spring.

    Arteta the man.

  15. RockyLives says:

    Good analogy.

    A yellow rose of Texas, perhaps, to go with our yellow ribbon for the FA Cup.

    I now find myself feeling really impatient for our next game, whereas under the dying embers of Emery’s reign I was starting to dread match days.

    It’s amazing how quickly things can change in footy. I don’t think any of us are expecting miracles for the remainder of the season, but we have replaced a feeling of pessimistic fatalism with one of optimism.

  16. RC78 says:

    Hi LB – he plays upfront. He can play winger or forward. He s a street fighter and a real talent but he s also hard to manage on and off the field

  17. Sue says:

    RA.. Hurrah hurrah 😝 Jeez, anyone would think it’d been months not days haha!!
    I agree with you…. and hope all is good with you 👍

  18. Sue says:

    LBG.. 😄 I’ve often said Sokratis should be in WWE….

  19. Sue says:

    Come on City!
    Looking forward to the darts too, although the BDO standard is nowhere near the PDC… on next is a 14 year old – Leighton Bennett 👍

  20. RC78 says:

    Ole will be sacked at the end of the season. Man Utd will go after Pochetinno for sure.

  21. LBG says:

    Having watched the game in full again from the comfort of my footie armchair, want to correct a few mildly inaccurate observations from the match. Rusty Rob made two (only), if
    significant, miss passes in the game ( and I would still lay some blame at feet of Ouzi and Xhaka for lack of movement/feet of concrete ahead of him.
    Correct some of my criticism of bald idiot in black, but Laca should have had penalty and Mesut was significantly roughed up. ( and Xhaka was an idiot…several times….what’s new)!

  22. RC78 says:

    With Tierney out, we could maybe explore Ricardo Rodriguez as a back up to Kola. He s available for 5 Mln pounds, doesn’t play much for AC Milan but is a Swiss international. He would be a bargain and he can play as a LCB as part of a back 3 as well. He s very good going forward and has quite wicked free kicks, long shots and excellent delivery. I think he s a steal at this price…

  23. LBG says:

    No more Swiss internationals for the moment, please!

  24. GoonerB says:

    Not around yesterday but thanks for the post Peaches.

    The classic game of two halves. The strange thing is that although it would be logical for me to have wanted us to play in the first half as we did in the second, I actually think the bad first half will have been beneficial to us moving forwards.

    Adopting the concept that one can learn as much, if not more, in the more difficult moments as in the good moments, this game should have served as a valuable part of the teams learning curve under Arteta.

    It will be far more obvious to the players what is expected from the start of a game now, so repeats of that lackluster first half should become rare from now on. This is something that I feel will serve us well and will see us start games strong on a consistent basis and, as fitness levels for the higher intensity game improve should see us playing a quick high intensity game throughout the 90.

    I love the fact that they responded so positively to Arteta’s anger after half time from that first half performance, and with what I just mentioned above I feel the omens are really good. I think the only thing that could thwart Mikel from eventually developing a team that can challenge for the big stuff will be the Kroenke’s commitment to him and the club.

  25. allezkev says:

    I thought the Leeds left back looked a decent player.

  26. RA says:

    GB not round yesterday

    GB round today

    Fluctuating weight


  27. GoonerB says:

    Christmas time RA, everything fluctuates…..and flatuates quite often as well.

  28. Sue says:

    Tyrone Mings picking up another MOTM… how I’d love to see him playing for us!

  29. VP says:

    Article on ESPN
    Luck Index 2019-20: Arsenal robbed of nine points as the Premier League’s unluckiest team.

    ESPN and the team led by Dr. Thomas Curran, at the London School of Economics, compile the Luck Index to examine how the Premier League would be if luck were not a factor through this season. And the ESPN Luck Index suggests it could be a very different look for the Gunners if events hadn’t turned against them.

    Indeed, luck has cost Arsenal NINE points this season! That sends them shooting up from 10th in the table to fifth, only outside the Champions League places by a goal difference of +1 to Chelsea.

    The officials were sleeping when Watford’s Tom Cleverley encroached on a short goal-kick, which forced the defence into an error and led to a goal. The Luck Index says that draw should have been an Arsenal win.

    What if Arsenal had been given a penalty for a foul on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Sheffield United with the score at 0-0? That turned a 1-0 defeat into an Arsenal victory.

    And they were robbed of a winner at home to Crystal Palace by a horrendous VAR decision, which ruled out Sokratis’ late goal.

    Most recently, if Chelsea’s Jorginho had been sent off for a second yellow-card offence when Arsenal were in front then the Gunners would have gone on to win the game.

    by Dale Johnson
    General Editor, ESPN FC

  30. RA says:


    Your Yule time swingeing weight fluctuation

    With accompanying frequent flatulence

    — Such exciting conflation

    Oh, Joy

  31. Rasp says:

    Morning all …

    … New post from RC78

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