No more Europa League…end of the season in sight. What to do?

Emery’s Villareal beats Arteta’s Arsenal logically over the two legs. We had some hope at the end of the first leg with Pepe scoring that PK that kept us in the tie but overall, we were outplayed in Spain. At the Emirates, we did not manage to take control of the game and had a very timid first half. In the second half, we started to play with poise and purpose but we were too scrappy to create real chances and when we did, the posts denied us. Auba very unlucky tonight and our club with him…

My generous grading mostly based on the second half because I do not want to think of the first half again

Leno – 6 ;

Bellerin 6, Holding 7, Mari 6, Tierney 6.5

Partey 5, Odegaard 4

Saka 6, ESR 6, Pepe 6.5

Auba 6

Martinelli – 5

Willian – 4

Laca 6

So what is next for us? There is no more real reason to play this season…except to prepare next season…

So I am hoping to see more of Balogun, Martinelli, ESR, Azeez in the starting line-up and less of Luiz, Willian and Odegaard especially…Let us give playing time to players that will be with us next year and can start positively next year. Let us focus on next year already

ESR, Partey, Saka – Pepe, Balogun, Martinelli – why not?

A sad end to the evening and really to the season but let us build for next year already.


42 Responses to No more Europa League…end of the season in sight. What to do?

  1. RockyLives says:

    Well done for posting RC.

    It’s hard to rid oneself of inherent bias, but I think if I was a neutral watching both legs of that tie I would come away thinking that Villareal were far the better side. Hope they beat Man Utd.

    I doubt that Villareal have greater financial resources than Arsenal, so how come Emery can get them playing better than he ever managed to get Arsenal to play?

    What’s wrong with our club?

  2. Aaron says:


    Seriously, you know the answer.

    RC thanks for the ratings, and remember to give Mikel a -1.

    We do not have the luxury of watching this garbage for 10 more years and still have the gall to call ourselves AFC.

  3. allezkev says:

    Well said RC, although is there an outside chance of Arsenal qualifying for the new UEFA Conference competition, forget the name?

    I’d give Ryan a few more games, I almost dozed off waiting for Leno to start things off at the back.

  4. RockyLives says:

    Some controversial opinions:

    Martinelli is overrated: his first touch is very poor and he has failed to deliver this season despite numerous chances. That snatched shot that went half a mile wide sums him up at the moment. He flattered to deceive last year but may just be another Andros Townsend when all is said and done. I hope I’m wrong – he’s young and has plenty of time to improve.

    Partey is overrated. The man was a liability tonight.

    My ratings:
    Leno – 6 (Couple of good saves but continues to make his defenders nervous).
    Bellerin – 5 (Had some OK moments but still tends to turn backwards too often).
    Holding – 6
    Mari – 6.5
    Tierney – 6
    Partey – 4 (he doesn’t half lose the ball a lot, and in some really dangerous places).
    Odegaard – 6.5
    Saka – 5
    Pepe – 6.5
    Smith-Rowe – 6.5
    Aubameyang – 6.5 (unlucky with the two efforts that hit the woodwork).

    Martinelli – 5 (for effort)
    Willian – 4 (actually got some crosses in, but remains the worst ‘top’ player we’ve ever had).
    Nketiah – 2 (total idiot – comes on in added time and burns 90 seconds of it with two unnecessary fouls).
    Laca – not long enough to rate

    You can tell I’m grumpy tonight.

  5. RC78 says:

    I think our worse player tonight was Odegaard by a long mile…
    The second worse was clearly Willian when he came in.

    Martinelli and Saka were not their usual selves and Auba was super unlucky.

    I think the major question mark is on Arteta at this stage of the season. There is nowhere to hide. Our squad is full of talent. It is just not coming together this year…I think Arteta better have a good first half of the season otherwise, he will be out and maybe deservedly so…

    Partey better show up next year too…

  6. RC78 says:

    My man of the match was Parejo closely followed by Albiol

  7. VP says:

    would we have won if Xhaka did not get injured pre-game

  8. CorporateMan says:

    Coquelin is an Arsenal reject. Partey is a £45m Arsenal acquisition. But the’reject’ taught the other how to play defensive midfield.
    Shows the difference good coaching makes.
    Look across London and see what Tuchel has made of a Chelsea team that was pure mediocrity before he came.
    Any rebuilding that does not include replacing Arteta is dead on arrival

  9. RockyLives says:

    Chelsea also spent 220m in new players.

  10. RC78 says:

    The Chelsea squad is overall superior to ours at every position almost…Plus they have a better coach too…

  11. VP says:

    One word best describes how I feel about this season –


  12. Maxwell says:

    The end to a meaningful part of a disappointing season. For me, the most damning aspect of the entire year, is the performance levels of the expensive imports.

    Willian is universally pilloried as the worst, with justification. Pepe on the other hand, seems to have been accepted by the fans as of appropriate quality. He has scored some good goals, made some sound assists, but his decision-making is atrocious, and he too frequently loses control of the ball, which, considering that is supposed to be his main skill, is pathetic. Not worth the cash.

    Aubamayang has carried the team for two seasons with his exceptional goal/minutes ratio. But since his inflated new contract, whatever the external reasons which have contributed, has seen an abyssal drop off in form and quality. Wrong contract, with too much money up front.

    With Luiz, they knew what they were getting; a player who flashes hot and cold, who can be a masterful leader at and out of the back, but who all to frequently switches off or makes a poor decision. At his age, he should not have been considered.

    Partey – well. I have yet to see an entire game in which he looked like the £52 million saviour we were promised. He gives the ball away cheaply, makes soft fouls, can’t shoot (apparently), and his moments of creativity are so few, they might just be luck.

    When second-string players have come in (as with Newcastle the other day), the team has looked hungry and energetic. Similarly, the young Hale End products have raised the performance – but have recently run out of steam, notably Saka, because they have had to carry the “senior pros”.

    And still supporters bang on about buying this magician, that technician, the guaranteed 30-goal a season scorer. Spend, spend, spend.

    Because The Arsenal by right should be at the top, where they have always been. Really? Do we have more entitlement to be in the top four than, say, Leeds? Or Liverpool? Or Manchester United? Or, or or. All of whom have spent time out of the top places in recent years, even though they have a great fan-base and have spent loads of money. The leagues are littered with teams that have a proud history of winning the top prizes – back then.

    For whatever reason, too many supporters (and I like to think that we on ArsenalArsenal are exonerated of this particular fault) don’t get what supporting a team is really about: that the supporters of about eighty-five teams in the League, and all the teams from below, understand. And it’s not primarily about winning.

  13. LBG says:

    Nothing more than one would expect from you, sir. Unadulterated quality!

  14. Maxwell says:

    LBG! I’m blushing!

  15. Pete the Thirst says:

    Absolutely pathetic performance last night.

    Arteta got the tactics wrong once again allowing Villareal time on the ball. Our best performances this season have come when we press teams into mistakes. The lack of energy and urgency was disgraceful.

    I’m always willing to give managers time, but he is making repeated errors, which is eroding my trust in him.

  16. Pete the Thirst says:

    Can’t really blame the defence last night as they did their job.

    The midfield was weak. Partey looked knackered and poor on the ball. Odegaard was anonymous.

    ESR was cramped by Odegaard again. They play in the same positions. Saka looked tired, but still managed a few good moments. Pepe reverted to headless chicken mode.

    PEA played reasonably well considering we hardly gave him the ball.

    So, no Europe. This is the time to rid ourselves of the dead wood and bring in the youth.

    Ceballos (rubbish) and Odegaard (flattered to deceive) can trot back to Madrid. Luiz (out of contract), Lacazette & Bellerin should be moved on. Nketiah too. If we can get decent (any) money for Pepe or Willian they should be gone too. I expect PEA will look for a side in Europe, but can they afford his wages? I would happily see the back of Xhaka too.

    I would bring AMN & Willock back to the club. They are better than some of the duds we have been fielding. And they will put effort in.

  17. Maxwell says:

    Pete. Not sure I agree about Lacazette. For me, he has been our best up-top centre forward this season, and I admire his effort out of possession. My faith in Arteta, which was very positive, has been eroded by the faith he continually places in the duds, as you call them. He talks positively about the young brigade, but we have yet to see Balogun start a game, or Azeez get some minutes, and the general feeling is that he only introduced ESR because injuries forced his hand. The worst thing about his conservatism is that the football’s not especially enjoyable. As Amy Lawrence put it this morning, “ Arsenal’s tempo is like banging your head against the wall in slow motion.”

  18. RC78 says:

    I d say our priority is to get rid of:
    – Leno
    – Bellerin, Luiz, Willian
    – Ceba, Odegaard
    – Nketiah
    – Torreira, Willock
    – Guendouzi, AMN?
    – Nketiah, Nelson

    The core team is known:
    – Holding, Mari, Gabriel, Tierney, Cedric
    – Partey, Xhaka, El Neny
    – ESR,
    – Saka, Pepe, Martinelli
    – Laca, Auba, Balogun

    Key positions to be recruited:
    – GK
    – RB
    – CM
    – FWL
    – Back-up striker a la Giroud

    RECRUIT – RECRUIT, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney – Partey, RECRUIT – Saka, ESR, Martinelli – Laca or Auba

    Ryan – Chambers, Mari, Mavro (?), Cedric – Xhaka, El Neny – Pepe, Azeez, RECRUIT – ?

    I am thinking we may need another coach too but this is another story

  19. Pete the Thirst says:

    @Maxwell happy to disagree about Laca. He’s been average at best for the past 2 seasons. That he’s our ‘best’ cf says more about the options around him than how good he is.

    Hopefully we will see more of Balogun and Azeez, plus some others nect season. It’s hard to decide if they are the answer unless they are given opportunities to play regularly. Until then the jury is out.

    The way Arteta has dealt with AMN, Willock, Nelson & Saliba it doesn’t look like a whole group of youth players will be blooded. Expect more Willian cheating a living.

  20. LBG says:

    Fairly simple “priorities” then. Easy! My a***!

  21. LBG says:

    Saliba and Balogun?

  22. Aaron says:


    Well said, however it might not just be about winning, but how we play the game.

    Simply put, we can’t defend and cant’ score.
    Stats back me up.
    The product is garbage for the level of $ AFC have spent.

    We are owned buy an incompetent owner who knows nothing about futbol, and his hires from the top down, including his clown son, are absolutely atrocious.

    Get back to me when there is real change in a decade from now.

    AFC are stuck in a black hole of their own creation.

  23. JM says:

    From the Guardian, “In trouble from top to bottom: chaotic Arsenal are failing in all areas.”

    “From the Kroenkes to the technical director, from Arteta to his squad, nobody is standing out as a high performer.”

  24. JM says:

  25. RC78 says:

    LBG – I think Saliba should be loaned out to another EPL club next year. He is not fully ready yet – this is why I was so eager for us to get Fofana as well…Fofana was physically and mentally ready – Saliba needs to mature physically still and some aspects of his game need to be improved too.

    Balogun will be with us next year and clearly part of the rotation for me.

    And I don’t think it s gonna be easy but I also think that the only way to resuscitate AFC is through electroshock and it needs to be swift and intense…

    Amy Lawrence’s comments are not untrue

  26. Sue says:

    Guendouzi’s season is over… he’s suffered a metatarsal fracture. I hope we see him back in NL next season 🙏
    I don’t want to talk about last night 😂

  27. LBG says:

    Between us on this site we could take a “long hard look” at the Club from top to bottom. And based on those two semi-final games, could probably get a better result!!
    Always appreciated Amy Lawrence and quoted her succinct feelings while the game was on last night.
    Biggest question for me is where we find the dominant leaders on the pitch, good enough to hold their place, prepared to correct tactical errors and bollock any ( no matter how much they get a week) who arent doing their job consistently for the team. For example, the Connor Coady’s of this World

  28. LBG says:

    Well at least we have a new Colemanball ( look it up, if you are puzzled!) as a consequence of Thursday. David Ornstein of “The Athletic”…(Arsenal’s)….”is a gradual decline that seems to have reached its peak”. As someone else said, was he holding the graph the right way up?

  29. GoonerB says:

    Hi guys. I think I can say for everyone how much we appreciate Rocky and RC78 for all their hard work with the posts. RC needs to be commended for this recent one having suffered a double whammy of pain with both Arsenal and PSG.

    Your suggestion is a good one LBG and I think later today I may have a rare bot of time to concoct something. These would be things I would have said in comments anyway so I can just make them more of a post.

    I will split my thoughts into 2 posts. The first on a analysis of Arteta and the 2nd on the main areas we have not been good in and what needs to happen to ensure that next season we make a quantum leap forward.

    Probably too late for these posts for today tomorrow and Monday as it is matchday tomorrow so more and post match posts will be the thing but happy to ping something over later on anyway.

  30. GoonerB says:

    Ps, I forgot to mention to RA that I had continued our discussion the other day on confirmation bias but got beaten by the new post, in case he missed my comment due to this and wants to look back.

  31. LBG says:

    Look forward to another load of bolleaux from you!!😉 Make sure you disagree wholeheartedly with MA! As a Club we have been going downhill fast for eight not five years.

  32. RC78 says:

    Hey GoonerB – posts always welcome 🙂

    This has been a tough week…and on top of it, it is very likely that PSG will miss out on the title too…Appointing Pochetinno to replace Tuchel has been a massive mistake…At least, they should have let Tuchel finish the season

  33. RC78 says:

    What do you guys make of Bamford?

  34. LBG says:

    Hoping he has the final Midas touch.

  35. LBG says:

    Poor old Totteringham!

  36. RC78 says:

    Tottenham is actually full of talented players but after a bright season start, they got cocky like Mourinho and started tinkering a perfectly good system…i don;t really feel sorry for them but it just goes to show the importance of a good system and sticking to it rather than trying to be cute…

    Lloris – Aurier, Aldewereid, Sanchez, Reguilon – Sissoko, Holjberg, Ndombele – Lo Celso – Kane, Son

    It is very solid…

  37. LBG says:

    It’s very Spursey!😁

  38. Maxwell says:

    LBG – and therefore execrable!

  39. LBG says:

    Dont think I have ever wanted Chelski to win a game at any time during a match….except today. Cocky, cheating, diving, moaning Manshitty, you got what you deserved.

  40. fred1266 says:

  41. LBG says:

    We are hoping America will welcome you with open arms…….and we will offer one or two others as bog offs!!

  42. RockyLives says:

    New Post

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