AFC 2 – 0 Newcastle, the change of guard is happening…

A convincing win against a poor Newcastle team. We dominated possession, we dominated the midfield, we dominated also defensively. Overall, we just dominated – we maybe conceded 1-2 chances and I believe we should have been awarded a PK at the end of the game as Lascelles’ elbow into Martinelli’s face was a clear foul and intentional…Anyways…Two very well taken goals by Saka assisted by Tavares and Martinelli by Tomyasu (our wings are working decently 🙂

Ramsdale: Untroubled, calm…6

Tomyasu: Proving to be an astute purchase. An assist and solid going forward and defensively. 7.5

White: Not bothered. Did not take any risks. 6.5

Gabriel: Solid and more daring than White. 7

Tavares: Slowly but surely becoming the Nr.1 option as LB. Bright, brave and solid. Needs to be more aware at times defensively but wonderful going forward. An assist. 8.

Partey: Solid but also guilty of some poor passing once we were up 2-0. 6

Lokonga: Solid, sober. 6.5

Saka: Wonderful before his injury. A goal and plenty of gusto. MOTM. 8

Ode: A rare start. Did not help his cause but did not make it worse either. Some good passing. 6

ESR: A quiet game by his recent standard. 6

Auba: Ghastly. 5.5

Martinelli: Full of life and trickery. A great goal and should have gotten a PK at the end.

Laca: Energetic but not decisive. 5.5

El Neny: N/A.

I think today was a real marker for Arteta’s AFC in many ways

  • Ramsdale and the back four are rather solid and seem to enjoy defending together.
  • We were supposed to be excited about Auba, Laca and Pepe but in the end, it seems that our excitement and goals may come from ESR, Martinelli and Saka! ESR and Saka are clear starters now and although he needs to become fitter, Martinelli could be the striker we need. Has the change of guard happened…
  • Partey, Lokonga – Ode – did not look out of sorts but I still believe this is the area of the pitch that could use some improvement.

The losers: Pepe, Saliba, Auba, Tierney, Cedric/Chambers.

The winners: Tomy, Tavares, Martinelli


33 Responses to AFC 2 – 0 Newcastle, the change of guard is happening…

  1. RC78 says:

    Fatgg: Fabulous result after a tough loss last week. Could’ve been one of them games against a side playing 11 behind the ball, but I thought we created some good chances and didn’t get frustrated. Another clean sheet, another 3 points, another good showing from Saka and Smith-Rowe. Happy.

  2. LB says:

    Good write up, bang on in all but one tiny point — Odegaard ran the show today and rather than the default Saka/ESR, our very talented Norwegian was MOTM.

    Howe, fearing ESR’s input, set 3 Bar Stripes on him, this worked as Croydon’s finest struggled to make his mark, but in doing so, he freed up Odegaared who gave us a midfield master class.

    All that said, however, I do agree with you that the midfield is the area that needs improvement.

  3. RC78 says:

    Since Arteta’s first home game in charge in December 2019, only three teams (Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea) have won more points at home in the Premier League than Arsenal (67).

    Not too bad…but it does not tell you how many games they played and how many we played so it s hard to tell really

  4. RC78 says:

    I thought Ode played intermittently…at times, he did try to manage the tempo of the game but also tried some good passes but overall, it is underwhelming…

  5. LB says:

    I am not trying to say that Odegaard set the place on fire but from my view in the ground he did look like the most influential player, I find you miss so much watching on television don’t you?

  6. Aaron says:

    A win is a win is a win.

    Yes, dominated but with a lot of sterile possession.

    1 good shot in the first half, if not for Ramsdale’s solid save on Shelvey, could have been a very different outcome for sure.

    Clean sheet from a few good chances from the bar codes, so that does bode well for the club’s momentum moving forward.

    Why does Arteta continue to put Saka and ESR on opposite sides? The goal came when Saka switched and the triangle passing finally made it’s way through.

    Hope that Saka does not have a groin injury, he has played so many games and minutes in the last year, could be subbed off every game in the last 20 for Pepe or Martinelli. Do we not have load management for these kids?

    Auba, again not getting service, and his missed sitter from 3 feet is not going to do him well.

    However, AFC controlled the game as they should, did not commit any howlers, and took advantage of their chances, that is what good teams do, and maybe we have one, a good team, not a great team.

    Still need to work on the attack, and pressing to move up the table, that is for sure. Only 11 more goals to get to 4th!

  7. RA says:

    Good Post, RC, thank you.

    Ode has had a somewhat limited time on the field of play recently, and I think he played well today, altho he had quiet patches which I think was because Partey continues to struggle a bit and that upsets both the other mid-field players and the forwards.

    Ramsdale was excellent – he made two very important saves, which if they went in instead could have presented a very different result.
    My rating: Ramsdale 8, Auba 5-ish — the rest were pretty much as you said.

  8. fred1266 says:

    Saliba losing and he not even playing for us damn

    Aubameyang really curious why he missing such easy chancees of late

  9. LB says:

    Today was only the second game I was able to attend and I was shocked by Partey. last season his passing was world class, obviously he struggled with fitness and injury but I would still use the term world class. Today, he was so average I was at a loss to understand what had happened.

    Interestingly, Charles Watts gave the MOTM to Laconga, I struggled to see what he brought to the table, just goes to show how much I know.

  10. RA says:


    Trying to understand what happens to players when their performances drop off significantly is a question of perception, but even allowing for injuries etc, you are right in saying Partey is not the player he was when he joined us — OK, my words, not yours – but I never thought he was world class to be honest, but he was very good.

    Now rather disappointing, and we might be stuck with Xhaka.

  11. RC78 says:

    Partey is going to improve and improve. I think we expected him to hit the ground running but injuries did not help him plus a poor set-up did not help him but now, barring injuries, with a set structure, a good back four and good GK, he is given the platform to perform too.

    The question is whether Arteta is asking him to play as the Holding Midfielder or more as a box-to-box. Yesterday, I felt like Lokonga was given more freedom moving and pressing forward.

    As for Leno, Bellerin (i should have added them) Saliba, Chambers, Tierney (even), Pepe (…), losing without playing, it is because it s going to be a hard way (back) to the first XI.

    Our back 4 is set now and our first choice GK is also clear. How could Arteta put Leno back in goal? How could Arteta take out Tomyasu, White, Gabs or Tavares out? I felt that our Full-Back are really adding to our game going forward – yesterday both assists were by our FB and both our Goals by our Wingers…

    If you think about Saliba, the guy is having a solid season in Marseille and had a good loan spell in Nice. Now, what do Arteta-Edu do? They have White-Gabs and then Holding-Mari as back up (plus Chambs) so will Saliba accept to fight for his place? Would it be fair to him to not play him when he is so young? I think we could potentially discuss a contract extentson and loan him out to an EPL outfit next year. By then, Mari should be out…

    I am not even factoring Mavropanos who may just be sold.

    For Pepe, it must be hard because Ode, Martinelli were preferred to him today…

  12. Pete the Thirst says:

    Interested take, RC.

    For me Saka was easily Arsenal”s best player. He is heading back to his best form.

    Tavares is great attacking. His defending needs some serious work and his passing is wild. Better teams will destroy us by targeting him, like Liverpool did last week.

  13. Pete the Thirst says:

    @LB how was the atmosphere? Looked a bit chilly.

    First league game I missed. COVID intervenes!

  14. fred1266 says:

    His shooting even more wild

  15. LB says:

    Effing freezing Pete, Friday morning I was on the beach in a tee shirt and on Saturday I was wrapped up head to toe in ski wear and I was still cold.

    Not a bad atmosphere, no moans, no groans, everyone seemed to be on board.

    The overall progress is clear to see, yesterday was the first time I saw Tommy and Tavares in the flesh and they alone are reasons to feel uplifted. Can’t remember the last time we had a proper right back, Hector was fast but he could never really defend. Maybe Sagna?

  16. RC78 says:

    Kalvin Philipps unhappy at Leeds with Bielsa…I d take him in our team 🙂

    Starting DM-CM:Philipps, Partey
    Back-up DM-CM: Xhaka, Lokonga
    Plus: El Neny…

    He is a very good player and would help our midfield tremendously, I believe.

  17. RC78 says:

    Rams – Tomy, White, Gabs, Tavares – Partey, Philipps – Saka, ESR, Martinelli – Laca


  18. fred1266 says:

    Surely or priority should be a striker or Cam who could score goals

    Am happy to persist with aubameyang and lacazette but we need someone to assist them odegard is not the answer

  19. RC78 says:

    Ode is defo not the answer…

    West Ham loses so that’s good news for Top 4 race but also bad since Man City beat them and is now 6 points clear…

    I think the next 4 games are going to be interesting for us. If we can secure 10 points, it would be wonderful

  20. LB says:

    Against teams that try and park the bus Odegaard is our best choice and as an Arsenal player that makes him more “the answer” than any other wishful signing.

  21. allezkev says:

    Yeah I agree RC our defence is looking so very dynamic, a real solid unit at the moment but they can’t play every game.
    Saliba will get games when he returns next summer, as will the other defenders we have in the squad be they Holding or Tierney or Ballard or whomever, it never worries me that we have too many good players, what a great problem to have, they’ll all get game time next season as our return to europe will almost certainly mean two games a week for most of that campaign.

  22. RC78 says:

    If we qualify for Europe, you are right. We need 8 defenders (2 RBs, 4CBs, 2 LB) + 1 that can plug in when needed…I think that Mari can leave us to be honest – he has not really been a fantastic signing. He has been ok. I d like to keep hold of Holding though – he can be frustrating sometimes but he is usually quite good so I d keep him.

    Tomy, RECRUIT, White, Saliba, Gabs, Holding, Tavares, Tierney + Chambo.

    I think Cedric and Kola can pack really…same for Bellerin who seems to be enjoying a bit of game time in Spain at Betis.

    What do you make of K.Philipps? Shall we pounce? I think he can be an astute acquisition. He is dynamic, decent on the ball and quite something at recovery. I d be chuffed if we got him. I think he fits the Arteta method.

    We re 5 games away from mi-season. Utd (a), Everton (a), Southampton (h), West Ham (h), Leeds (a). We can bag 11+ points, we would have 34 points – it won’t be fantastic since it is out of a potential 54 points but given our poor start, it wouldn’t be bad…Should be enough to keep us in the Top 6 race though.

  23. allezkev says:

    I like him RC, as you say he’s exactly the type of box to box midfielder that Arteta would like to bring in, he’s the right age bracket and also English, which would free up space in our foreign quota as Elneny would depart.

  24. fred1266 says:

    LB exactly how you think odegard is the answer against team who park the bus has he even shown us that, that just wishful thinking my brother

  25. LB says:


    My comment on Odegaard was based on attending the match on Saturday in which Newcaste tried to park the bus and apart from Saka, of course, Odegaard was the most likely to create an opening.

    Not convinced? Did Partey look like he was going to find a way through? Did Laconga look like he was going to find a way through? Did anyone else look like they were going to find a way through? All the play went through Odegaard, I am not sure they showed this on TV but this was noticeable and commented on by many around me.

    I love playing fantasy football as much as the next person, recruit this player and recruit that player but the fact remains that Odegaard is an Arsenal player and as such offers more scope to break teams like Newcastle down than any other player Arsenal have on their books.

    Still not convinced: Arteta picked Odegaard to be the play maker in a crowded Newcastle half, proof that this was the right decision was that Arsenal beat Newcastle 2 goals to nil.

    As to what happens in the future has nothing to do with my comment on Odegraard’s performance on Saturday.

    I hope this answers your question Fred.

  26. RC78 says:

    Ode is indeed our player and clearly someone that Arteta rates highly but so far, I am not overly impressed by his performances. I would feel better with ESR in that role and Martinelli on the left wing for example…

    Rams – Tomy, White, Gabs, Nuno – Partey, PHILIPPS? – Saka, ESR, Martinelli – Laca?

    Just saying…anyways, we won and we are still not out of the top 6 race, which is already comforting…Let us hope we can reach 34-35 points minimum before the X-Mas games start…if Ode can help us achieve this tally, great. Otherwise, the other players must 🙂 COYG!

  27. RC78 says:

    On another note, Rangnik official named as Man Utd interim coach…

    He is a decent coach and could well turn the tide at Man Utd but I am hoping it will not be this week…

    Man Utd’s squad is full of talent except maybe at DM but overall, if you have: Wan Bissaka, Varane, Pogba, Fernandes, Rashford, CR7, Sancho, Greenwood, Cavani…you need to produce the goods…

  28. LB says:


    Agree with the thought that Odegaard has underperformed this season. My very first comment above refers to his performance on Saturday in which he was in my opinion very influential.

    Moving forward I see so much upside to our talented Norwegian, where he should play, I am not really sure.

    I wouldn’t have wanted him playing against Liverpool, although I thought Lacazette was a poor decision, Elneny would have been better but it is always easy with hindsight.

  29. LB says:


    With the appointment of Rangnick do you think we will get a more attacking Manu on Thursday or a more defensive one?

  30. RC78 says:

    Rangnick is a transition coach so expect a 433 or 4231 but with most likely CR7 starting (but I would not be surprised to see Cavani in the line-up)…

    De Gea – WB, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles – McTominay, Matic – Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford – CR7

    Or a 433 with the same players, except Fernandes would play next to Matic basically.

  31. RC78 says:

    Would it be possible that he opts for a 343…maybe but I think if he does a 3 at the back, he will go 5 in the middle…as a 3412 basically
    Maybe he will wait for Varane to be fit again to play with 3 at the back…anyways…

    I just hope they do poorly against us…

  32. RC78 says:

    New post

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