Have the Arsenal Players Just Had Their Blackburn 1997 Moment?

A clearing of the air at Arsenal?

According to reports in the press (yes, I know) Mikel Arteta called a team meeting on Tuesday to try and get to grips with our terrible Premier League form.

After going over a number of issues he left the players to talk among themselves.

Apparently there was much finger-pointing and heated words were exchanged, but the meeting ended up with the air having been cleared and much hugging all round.

This brings to mind the events of December 1997 when, following a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Blackburn Rovers, the players had a meeting in which the ‘old hands’ like Tony Adams, Steve Bould, Nigel Winterburn and Lee Dixon laid into their recently arrived French colleagues (Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit) for not offering the defence enough protection.

The French lads got the message and Arsenal won their next 10 league games on the way to clinching Arsene Wenger’s first league title at the club in 1998. We also won the FA Cup that season.

Now, I am not suggesting that the current crop of Arsenal boys are going to go unbeaten and win the league (although hey, you never know). Sadly we don’t these days have players of the caliber of that famous back five, or of Petit and Vieira in midfield, or Bergkamp, Anelka, Overmars and Wrighty up front.

But if the 2020 version of a clear-the-air December meeting has any kind of positive effect we can at least hope for an improvement in performance, starting on Sunday at the Armitage Shanks Arena.

It’s a football fact of life that no matter how good a manager is, there are some things that can best be sorted out among the players themselves.

Any of us who’ve played (or still play) club football at a park or local level will have experienced some version of this phenomenon: you’ve had some disappointing results, people are blaming each other, factions are forming, it’s even got physical at times… but eventually it all bursts out into the open, you have a great big barney and then you’re all best mates again. In the next game you’re all suddenly trying that bit harder for each other and offering encouragement instead of criticism when someone makes a mistake.

There was certainly an added exuberance about our Europa League performance on Thursday night and that could be taken as evidence of a change of attitude following Tuesday’s get-together.

Yes, we have been generally performing OK in that competition (although not as well as we did on Thursday), yes the opposition weren’t up to much and yes, there was a live crowd for the first time in ages, but the performance of many of the players – Lacazette in particular – makes me feel the lads were particularly fired up.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if we can get a helping of that tomorrow.

RockyLives

58 Responses to Have the Arsenal Players Just Had Their Blackburn 1997 Moment?

  1. LBG says:

    So remember that 1997 week, Rocky. I hope, most of all, that Mikel looks for the fire in the eyes when he makes his team selections.
    Happy weekend.

  2. LBG says:

    I appreciate your posts!!!😉

  3. RockyLives says:

    Thanks LBG
    Nice to know.

    To be honest the amount of commenting is way down (I don’t think I’m all that good at writing ‘conversation starters’ perhaps because I’m so rubbish at tactics and whatnot).

    It may also just be a reflection of Arsenal being in the doldrums playing-wise and also the fact that blogging generally is not what it once was.

    But all in all I’m going to give the Post writing a bit of a rest.

    I might chip in now and again and I’ll certainly keep an eye out for Posts from you, RC and LB etc.

    Here’s hoping for a North London miracle tomorrow.

  4. LBG says:

    Understand completely, Rocky.
    Perhaps we will (all) be dancing in the street tomorrow early evening and everyone else will be full of commenting on the thread.

  5. jjgsol says:

    I wonder if arteta’s need to control every player’s every move means that no matter how much air may have been cleared the players will still continue to have to do what they are told so that we are unlikely to see any change.

    Unless arteta has got the point that his micromanagement does not work and he needs to allow the players to do what they are being paid to to, even if that means using their own initiative, which has been lacking until now.

    Maybe we will see tomorrow. Althoughfor my part I will not be able to watch.

  6. omgarsenal says:

    All our armchair managers and some very whiney pseudo-Gooners have predicted the end of AFC in the EPL and the dismissal of Arteta as a consequence of our poor form to date. These same bunch howled for the dismissal of Wenger and then Emery and will, I am sure continue to whine and mope for the dismissal of Arteta. While I aknowledge the failings of AFC this season, and as a psychologist (retired) who knows a little about human nature, group and individual chemistry and social/psychological interractions in a competitive setting, I agree with RL’s article and would emphasize the following as well;

    1) It takes, on average,2-3 seasons for new ¨hires¨ to settle into their team….Arteta has done wonders but he cannot speed that process up as it is time and event dependent.

    2) Team chemistry, regardless of how poor or great amateurs supporters believe the current selection represent, cannot be fairly compared to any other team that preceded them, as the conditions (particularly now) represent totally different parameters than the invincibles faced. It just CANNOT be done, no 2 teams are ever alike nor are the individuals who compose that formation.

    3) Team meetings absolutely help ¨clear the air¨, defuse growing tensions, recreate team solidarity and establish a broader psychological and attitudinal concensus IF they are done honestly and encouraged by the manager….which is surely the case here.

    I propose that we all get off our high horses, take off our sombre coloured glasses (for those pessimists who always wear them) and TAKE one game at a time. We will see a committed Arsenal take on the Tiny Totts and sine our away from is fair this season, we can expect a barnburner, since the Totts are full of themselves and may be ready to be taken down a peg. Regardless of the result, this is Our Arsenal and will always be with our help and suppôrt.

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Rocky, your posts are great and always put a smile on this blogger’s face. Keep it going and it would be nice if the likes of FGG, GiE, etc would do some of the tactical posts for this fantastic weblog.

    Keep trucking!

  8. Red Arnie says:

    Brilliant post, Rocky. 🙂

    That familiar rumbling feeling but … somehow I am feeling quite positive. Fingers crossed, let us see.

    COYG.

  9. RockyLives says:

    I share your thoughts Arnie.

    It would be typical Arsenal to be crap against Leeds and Wolves and beat the Spuds.

    Looks like a back five line-up, maybe?

    And Partey is back – I hope he’s fully fit. He can start building his legend today…

  10. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Rocky, and can I also echo the thoughts of many others about my appreciation for your posts and the others that post.

    I often lack time to comment and was upset to miss the boat on LB’s recent one, especially as I got an honorary mention 🙂

    Anyway to today’s line up. Mikel could set us up in 3 different ways with this. My preference would see Saka play right wing forward and Auba left wing forward with Willian as a number 10 in a 4-2-1-3 formation.

    However recent line ups would suggest he will use Tierney as a left CB in a 3 4-3 but with Willian on the right. That would be my least preferable.

    The halfway house would be a 3-5-2 with Willian coming into ACM rather than playing on the right and have Auba and Laca as a classic front 2.

    Valium ready. Let’s go

  11. RockyLives says:

    One for GIE, but I thought Leno’s position looked really wrong for the Son goal

  12. fatgingergooner says:

    Only thing between the sides so far is the in-form striker having a crack from 20 yards.

    We don’t have that player right now

  13. fred1266 says:

    Another reason we should have kept Emi

  14. RockyLives says:

    We did on Thursday night

  15. fatgingergooner says:

    We also struggle taking throw ins! 😂

    We really lack a creative spark right now. I can’t wait for Martinelli to come back into this squad. I also think Pepe has found a bit of form and would be playing instead of Willian if not for that stupid red card.

  16. fatgingergooner says:

    Rocky,

    I feel the Thursday night standard is slightly lower than this! 😂

  17. RockyLives says:

    FGG 😀

  18. fatgingergooner says:

    Hard to disagree with Redknapp….our front 3 is where the money has been spent and is being paid, yet right now they are our weakest element. Frustrating

  19. fred1266 says:

    I think Nelson or willock should be playing over willian

  20. fatgingergooner says:

    Correct Fred.

    Auba has been dreadful so far IMO.

    At least Lacazette tries. Willian and Auba look lost

  21. fatgingergooner says:

    We are a different side with Partey yet apparently he can’t last a half!

    Brilliant.

  22. Aaron says:

    dammmmmmmmmmmn.
    Control the game, allow son on his right foot, defending 101, he hits a wonder goal, Partey playing well, too much effort, reinjures himself, now out for 4+ weeks, and goes back up the pitch the other way, defender plays him to his left foot, he hits a wonder goal.

    F am I pissed.

  23. Aaron says:

    Meant to say son goes back up the pitch and plays to kane, and you know the rest.

    Do not know what to think at this point, 11 games in and languishing in 15th place.
    Have $100 mill up front and can’t score to save our lives.

    Half a half to change the path of our clubs next few games, fight for it, maybe stay away from relegation form, not and will not speak of it.

  24. fatgingergooner says:

    Aaron,

    You almost have to laugh really. Could only happen to Arsenal right now. I actually think we’ve played ok but we’ve conceded a wonder goal and then suffered an injury to probably our best player which has also cost us a goal.

    I just pray Arteta gets time because I’m sure we will improve with him. We just need to get through this period where all our attackers seem incapable of hitting a ball towards goal. All 3 of them have been terrible but Laca has at least touched the ball a few times. You can’t even say they haven’t had supply because we’ve had plenty of crosses and got the ball into their feet.

  25. LBG says:

    Well Rocky, the difference between 1997 and now is, no matter what they said to each other, the players Mikel picked dont have the ability to be better.
    If Mikel carries on picking Xhaka, Willian, Aubang, Bellerin ,worse is yet to come, I’m afraid.

  26. Gööner In Exile says:

    Well we wouldn’t and shouldn’t expect any less from a Mourinho team.

    We could have got a draw today by not chasing a result, Mourinho knew that was unlikely so he wasn’t going to change much.

    So let’s deal with the goals, one of Gabriel, Partey should have been tighter to Kane. Once released Holding didn’t have much choice, he had to jockey otherwise it was a clear run on goal. The key moment was Bellerin’s slip, he went at speed to track run of overlapping player, that gave Son much more goal to aim at, if Hector had worried more about the ball it would not have been as easy for Son. It was still a fantastic goal from there. Not sure on Leon’s positioning, shot was hardly top corner, to me he was too far forward maybe anticipating a cross.

    The second just watch Xhaka from behind our goal angle, he runs into no mans land neither supporting the attack or covering off the Spuds players not back tracking, when they had it it was far too easy to bypass our midfield with one pass with Partey off field too after the slide tackle (clearly not 100% Arteta said he wanted to play, the most difficult decision for manager and medical staff but fear it could set him back further and was a poor choice).

    That said Partey was by far our best influence, why because 8/10 he looks and faces forward he is either receiving the ball facing the right way or he takes it on the half turn and turns towards their goal.

    Our problem……no one in the attacking half of the pitch able to to find space.

    Really frustrating when Saka was shut down by 4/5 and there should be 3/4 spare but no one was there.

    And our set pieces….less said the better.

  27. GoonerB says:

    Kane is probably the top number 9 in world football. He can do it all from scoring off both feet as well as being strong in the air and is a supreme link player as well

    Fgg, most of Soms goals come from him cutting in from the left onto his dangerous right foot. Do we have players who can do that?

    Pepe has a similar lethal left foot cutting in from the right a d we know Saka’s left foot is a wand at bending the ball, but we have only really seen this used for left flank crosses rather than goal scoring threat.

    Auba can bend that ball into the top corner cutting in from the left as we have seen before. I think we have those players. Nelson could also develop that ability from the left side of attack.

    We have a few players that could be a threat as a number 10 player / ACM as well but aren’t really playing that position.

    Sorry to be boring but you need to set up potential goal scorers in goal scoring positions and Saka is a minimal goal threat from the left and Willian is a minimal goal threat from the right.

  28. Gööner In Exile says:

    Oh and depth, we end up with a static line across their back line, players have to wait deeper provide the link or a run with the ball this should be what William can do.

  29. fatgingergooner says:

    First 5 minutes of this half sums it all up for me.

    2 fabulous crosses, poor finishing, Spurs counter.

    Spurs don’t counter if the ball ends up in the net. 🤷‍♂️

  30. fatgingergooner says:

    I actually think these are here for the taking if we score soon.

  31. LBG says:

    FGG
    When was the last time we scored from a fabulous cross?

  32. fatgingergooner says:

    LBG,

    From memory I would say Saka putting an absolute peach of a cross in last season that was tucked away.

    Also Gabriel last game.

  33. LBG says:

    In fact, what is the point in crossing the ball against this defence!!!!?
    A Moaninho team in all aspects, against a team who could play for another 90 mins and not score.

  34. LBG says:

    Fgg
    You have a good memory.! And a Gabriel unmarked goal from a corner. Wow!

  35. Gööner In Exile says:

    Well that was sadly predictable, a typical Mourinho setup against a side he knew would be chasing the game.

    Positives from second half…we squeezed the play another 10 yards if not 20 from the back, their counter attacks were not as threatening as they had further to travel. If we’d started with that line we may have not conceded the first at least.

    We also went forward for the majority of it and at least tried to work one twos. Dare I say it if Partey had been on he may have had the ability to run past defenders that could have opened them up.

    For my tuppence the only thing I thought we could have done better was to try and encourage Spurs to break ranks from defence and the only way to do that is run at them through the middle, shots from distance and crossing from deeper.

    Problem is we don’t have a centre forward who will scare the defence from early crosses, and we don’t have a good shooter from distance also capable of playing push and run. One player we did have who has gone was Ramsey. Again you still need a traditional target man to play off.

    For all the world Lacazette is not that player.

    Final positive it wasn’t embarrassing it was just expected with Spuds playing that way, they knew we would chase a win and that gave them their biggest advantage if we had sat back (which maybe we could have done if we were in 5th or 6th) we would have got a point today. Mourinho strand are very rarely brave. I thought today we were braver, and I applaud Arteta for attempting to go tor the win.

  36. fatgingergooner says:

    I look at the two sides and see very little difference other than confidence and strikers being at the top of their game. One team is top of the league and the other 15th!

    This is definitely not a time for panic or anger. I honestly believe that Arteta can get us where we need to be but the fact is that no team in the world can look good scoring less than 1 goal a game in the league. I don’t care how good the defence is, you will suffer.

    I just pray we find our shooting boots in the games against Dundalk, Burnley and Southampton, because our Xmas period is tough enough even with a prolific front line.

  37. jjgsol says:

    So the dreamworld continues.

    I could not watch the game but am glad I didn’t.

    70 % possession away to the scum and 2 shots on target.

    The reason why the front 3 cannot get a shot in is because we have no one capable of giving them the opportunity.

    You dreamers have had 11 league games and that fact hits you in the face and yet you still dream that arteta is the man.

    Agreed he has had to manage the team with both hands behind his back without Ozil, but frankly, having been told that was happening he should have walked away.

    He will now take the blame for the fiasco that is happening in front of our very eyes.

    Does anyone think the situation will be any different against Burnley.

    All they need to do is sit back like the scum did at home and we will not do the rest.

    What a mess.

  38. fatgingergooner says:

    jjgsol,

    Your analysis of the performance fell down when the first sentence started with ‘I couldn’t watch the game….’😂

    Our attackers miss free headers from 12 yards, whilst their attackers smash in goals from 25 yards. 🤷‍♂️

  39. Gööner In Exile says:

    It just dawned on me the biggest thing we miss. Explosive pace, to break down a defence like that you need to be able to either burst away from someone or play a one two that creates that movement.

    Not sure we have anyone capable of that?

  40. jjgsol says:

    FGG, Who am I to disabuse you of your fantasy.

    Please continue to think that we are playing well and worthy potential winners who were unlucky to lose, or whatever it is you want to think.

    When the truth dawns on you, please let me know.

  41. Red Arnie says:

    absolutely gutted, but I did enjoy watching the game. the good guys tried hard but could not break their defence. and they scored twice on the counter, but very well taken goals.

    it is obvious we are missing quality, a bit of magic, upfront. it is hard to see where that will come from in this team.

  42. GoonerB says:

    I will sit slightly in between everyone. I noticed in the week that Arteta talked about our balls into the box after the Wolves game and how we will soon start converting from this dominance of balls into the box. It was as if the amount of balls we put in was the most important thing.

    We did the same today. We must have annihilated the stats compared to spurs of balls into the box but I will ask again, who are we putting all these balls into?

    Personally I feel Arsene set up his latest teams to be more suited to an Aubamayeng type of striker but opted for Giroud, while Mikel is setting up the team more suited to a Giroud type of striker but we have Aubamayeng.

    All these great balls into the box mean nothing if we dont have the right players to convert them. I dont want us to go the route of altering our whole strike force to adapt to converting a multitude of crosses. We need to find the solution to suit the current goal scorers we have.

  43. fatgingergooner says:

    jjgsol,

    Why would I need to think when you can you tell me exactly how I feel and exactly what I think!? 😂🤷‍♂️

    When my truth dawns on you, I’d appreciate it if you let me know what it is. 👍

  44. GoonerB says:

    I’ll say one thing that should make the whole Spuds thing compared to where we are more palatable. It centres around what a club does or doesn’t do when it has genuine world class players at its disposal.

    We had a once in a lifetime combination of world class players like Bergkamp and Henry plus others and made it count with serious silverware.

    Although I hate to say it the Spuds have genuine world class forward players in Kane and Son. These 2 would literally walk into any side in football right now but the time that they are at their peak is never that long so the miscreants down the road need to win stuff now while they have these players.

    They might not get a combination of 2 players like this for another 20 to 30 years, if that. This is their moment while they have them so the pressure is on. We are a club that is redeveloping so can be thinking more in the future than the here and now compared to them.

    That said I still feel we could be far more effective right now with some tweaks in the way we set up……yawn yawn GoonerB, we’ve heard that one before.

  45. fatgingergooner says:

    GB,

    The worrying thing for me is how we are paying £950k a week to Auba, Laca, Willian and Özil….😳

    They say class is permanent, and for the clubs sake I really hope that at least a couple of those players return to form soon. It’s no wonder Wenger used to insist on 1 year deals for the over 30’s. I guess it’s easier to convince players to sign though when the trophies are coming in and the football is enjoyable. I agree about Spurs though. They rely so much on Son and Kane and if another season goes by without silverware then you’d have to think that they’d be looking to move on.

  46. 1979Gunner says:

    A continuation of form and entirely predictable. If anyone seriously thought we would beat Spurs today you must still believe in Santa Claus.

    Make no mistake, Spurs are serious title contenders.

    The cloud of doubt and mediocrity over Arsenal at present is difficult to explain. We came through the tears of tightening our fiscal affairs (to pay for Emirates) and maintained high performance levels. Then when we wanted to spend big we got (for £30m+) Granit, Lacazette, PEA, Ozil. Xhaka tries but not good enough. Lacazette, what, 6 league goals last year, PEA out of form and Ozil out of sight all together. Then we buy Pepe for £72m?
    The Saliba affair is a joke. The messing about with Aouar brought back the Suarez memories. The club seems shambolic. Where once was rock steady boardroom and footballing structure it now seem more of an episode of Dallas with the comings and goings.

    It all seems unstable.

  47. fatgingergooner says:

    Fair points about the club, but it’s not all been terrible, and it’s not all been stupid decisions.

    Gabriel, Martinelli, Geundouzi, Tierney, Partey, Saka’s contract….all look like good acquisitions.

    It made sense for the club to keep Özil over Ramsey, and it made sense for us to throw cash at Willian and Auba. Xhaka looked like a player we needed when we bought him, as did Mustafi, but all these decisions have back fired. We can easily say that they were poor decisions, but at the time they happened the majority of fans were wanting them to get done!

    The transfer market is always a gamble, and Arsenal have lost more than most in the last 20 years, hence why we’ve dropped so far back. Personally, I think the last few years have been an improvement, but there is no doubt we have still had some poor purchases. The Pepe price tag and Willian being the most obvious.

    Who would’ve thought, with Auba and Willian signing, that scoring goals would be our issue!? Not me….

  48. fred1266 says:

    GIE no one is to blame besides Leno for that first goal

  49. fred1266 says:

    GB willian is a minimal goal threat from every where on the pitch

  50. fred1266 says:

    Rocky don’t forget pepe cross to PEA in FA semi

  51. GoonerB says:

    I hate to say it but I kind if feel like I’m watching a hybrid vwrsion of a Allardyce or Pulis team with all this focus on crossing balls into the box. Long balls into the box was more a hallmark of those types of teams.

    Yes we keep the ball a bit better and for longer periods before the eventual cross but otherwise we are more similar in style to those teams right now than we are to any of the top sides.

    We are doubling up on our options with crosses from each flank with the FB’s and how we deploy our attacking wide men. Xhaka also likes to ping a long ball so adds to the lofted balls into the box stats.

    But where is the goal threat from our wide attacking players and ACM that you see in all other top sides? Why are our wide players and ACM’s offering so little goal threat?

    All of Auba, Laca, and Pepe arrived as proven goal scorers no better or worse than Salah, Mane, Mahrez, Sterling, Son e.t.c when they first arrived at their current clubs, yet those players have become better and a greater goal threat at the bigger club while we seem to have stifled the goal scoring abilities of our proven goal scorers.

    We have Eddie who knows how to find the back of the net and players like ESR, Nelson and Willock have all shown an eye for goal that could be developed further. Yet somehow many think our salvation is a young Brazilian coming back from an ACL rupture or someone names Aooer, or some bloke from the Austrian league.

    Make no mistake our chosen prince is in trouble here. Without doubt we still need additions to this side over the next few TW’s but there is nothing more damning than a manager that can’t get the best out of what they already have and then keep playing the same way with the same players in the same formation.

    I think Arteta will eventually be a great manager but it may be that he has to do this after 1 or 2 failed tenures rather than nail it straight off as I had hoped. I don’t want us to be one of his learning curves and I’m sure he doesn’t but what has he done recently to show any insight into how he can change things? I’m worried

  52. GoonerB says:

    Saka was always more a forward attacking player that covered the LFB role well for us when Tierney and Kola were out. When that wasn’t needed any more last season he was played a couple of times as the right sided attacker and scored a goal while always looking a goal threat in that position.

    We probably need a CF that is comfortable receiving the ball to feet in tight spaces like Kane is. For all his hard work in pressing and closing down I’m not sure Laca looks that player that constantly looks to receive the ball in the tight spaces.

    I don’t know enough about him but if someone said to me that Balogun was a player comfortable receiving the ball in this way then I would look to play him with 3 others, set up to maximise goal threat, playing off him to either side and just behind.

    This is the only way forward for Mikel even if it exposes some other weaknesses. If it does so be it. At least we then know where we genuinely need to strengthen. At the moment it is all guess work because we’re not making the most of what we have.

    LBG has always said give the youth a go. If we had lined up yesterday with a back 4 and a midfield 3 of Partey, AMN and Nelson in the attacking central role and Auba and Saka left and right respectively either side of Balogun then I would say that we would have looked far more dynamic and threatening.

  53. Pete the Thirst says:

    That wasn’t a fun game to watch, not entirely unexpected though.

    A few things I thought when watching the game:

    1 – Bellerin was playing right wing, not defence. Spurs targeted that spot for both goals. They knew he’d be out of position and we have conceded a lot from that side of the pitch this season. If this is tactical another player needs to cover his position.

    2 – Why not take a few long shots to draw the defenders out of position? They were comfortable sitting deep. They knew what was going to happen.

    3 – Lacazette made little effort to find space. He looked like he was on a ‘go slow’ at Ford Dagenham.

    4 – Could Leno have done better for the 1st goal? His positioning looked odd. It wasn’t a top corner shot. Reminded me a little of Almunia.

    5 – PEA is off form

  54. Pete the Thirst says:

    @GoonerB I would definitely be giving some the youth a go. How does Willian get game after game when he’s stinking the place out? Has he got a clause in the contract to be played? Surely Nelson would have provided a bit more urgency?

  55. magic hat (Jeanette Kliger) says:

    magic hat says:
    I haven’t posted on here for several years, but I feel I must now.
    I have tried to believe in Arteta, but I could never understand how a mediocre player and a Man City gofer was given this job.
    Can someone explain how it is even acceptable for a so-called manager once again to pick two total losers, Xhaka and Willian, rather than Elneny or AMN or ESR or Nelson..
    GIVE THE YOUNGSTERS A CHANCE!!!!!!!!
    If you were Balogun, would you sign a new contract?
    MA persuades AMN to stay and then hardly picks him – what a joker!
    I like Özil, I know others don’t, but the way he has been treated and the lies that have been spread make me so ashamed of the club.
    Why was MA suddenly made manager, giving him a huge amount of power?
    I have been following Arsenal since 1957. I have seen some dreadful periods. Is this the worst? It might very well be.

  56. fatgingergooner says:

    GB,

    Watch Man City and Liverpool and tell me they don’t cross the ball!!!

    We are averaging 20 a game this season. Liverpool 19 and City 16.

    The difference is that they have fantastic players who can find someone, but most importantly they have played together under the same manager for a long time and understand how to be patient to find the right areas to cross from. How often do you see Robertson or Mane at the by-line with a great crossing position? How often is De Bruyne beyond the full back and able to pick out his man? How often do KDB and TAA make perfect crosses from central areas onto an on rushing player?

    Crossing isn’t the wrong tactic, it’s just that we don’t have the players that City and Liverpool have, and we don’t have the patience and understanding to work the positions. At times we just throw balls in and hope for the best.

    It all comes back to one thing at the moment though and that’s having someone to unlock the door. KDB and Mahrez create chance after chance at City. We currently have Willian and Aubameyang trying to do those roles and they just haven’t started this season at all.

    I honestly believe it will come with Arteta, but it will take time and some players to start getting through the other side of this slump.

  57. Gööner In Exile says:

    FGG fair point about the position from which we cross.

    I’d guess most Liverpool and City crosses are in the penalty area from bye line and pulled back to an on rushing player rather than from the touch line and aerial.

    The thing about the cutting in winger is Maureens line up yesterday would have dealt with it. The central area was packed. If cutting in they would have been faced by an equal wall as crossing. What was needed was movement from deep.

  58. RC78 says:

    We were just ineffective in the final third and we got also found out twice defensively. The goals come on the Bellerin-Holding side and on the first goal, Kane’s quality to pass the ball is quite impressive.

    Anyways…another loss…another loss to Mourinho….another goal conceded to Kane…and a loss to Spurs…

    I want us to back Arteta but also Arteta needs to also address the team’s issues to find the back of the net. My feeling is that Martinelli will help us tremendously but until then, we need to find a way to score and create clear-cut chances…

    Willian is having a hard time so far so maybe we need to have him as a sub in the EPL and a starter in the Europa League. I think that Ceballos is having interesting games when he comes on so I would start him just because his ability to find a good pass is good. I am missing Martinez to be honest but there is nothing we can do about that one. I still don’t see what the coaches saw in making the selection of Leno over Martinez although Leno is a good GK.

    Bellerin needs to be benched for his own good and it is time to trust AMN. As for Holding, I think that once Mari is back, Holding may be benched.

    Anyways a lot to do to make a push for the Top 6.

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