A tough loss full of promises

It is a loss that (i) feels unfair and (ii) comes with a lot of positives…The poor refereeing clearly influenced the game big time even if Xhaka and Gabriel should know better…However, we matched and even outplayed Man City for 88 minutes of this game and it was an overall outstanding performance especially from Tomy, Saka, Odegaard, Tierney and Martinelli…We were all over Man CITY, the best team in the EPL and arguably in Europe at the moment. We were a joy to watch – we were convincing, we were threatening and we were able to smother and nullify City. Make no mistake, this is a game that has defined this team, its potential and the Arteta era…If we are able to play at this level days-in and days-out, we will certainly be challenging for domestic honours in the near future…



31 Responses to A tough loss full of promises

  1. RC78 says:

    The road to Top 4 just got harder this season though

  2. LB says:

    You forgot Partey; his best game of the season, a joy to watch.

  3. fatgingergooner says:

    I’m hoping this was Partey announcing himself at Arsenal. If he can match the levels that we’ve seen from our back 5, Martinelli, ESR, Ode and Saka, then we will really move forward as a team. That middle 2 is so important to the team and there is a real opportunity for Partey to dominate with performances like today.

  4. Las says:

    Thanks RC! What a game that was. The best display since Arteta coming in. The best game of Partey in Arsenal. Everything just clicked even after the penalty we could have take back the lead… oh that miss of Martinelli.
    Man City were all over the place.
    But it is painful not getting anything from the game after this awsome display.
    Onwards and upwards

  5. LB says:

    Happy New Year to you VP, I don’t know how to do this on Strava so good old AA will have to do.

  6. fred1266 says:

    With partey off to AFCON wonder who would be our CDM

  7. omgarsenal says:

    All the signs are positive and it took a few questionable calls on the referee’s part to consign us to defeat so a positive sign indeed. We will soon face liverpool and the Spuds and my best guess is that we’ll be stretched but if we play like we can and did today, we’ll take more steps towards showing how good we can be.

  8. RockyLives says:

    Well said RC.

    A painful defeat, but so many positives to take away.

    Best of all is that this was not a one-off, flash-in-the-pan performance. It was very much a continuation of the way we have been playing recently and offers great hope for the rest of the season.

    It feels a little unfair/unlucky that Partey finally found his feet and dominated a game just as he’s about to head off to the African Nations Cup, but there’s nothing we can do about that.

    To echo Fred’s question, who should fill in for Thomas while he’s away?

    Arteta seems to like Lokonga but he is young and will undoubtedly make mistakes as he’s still learning his trade.

    AMN would be a contender but it seems like he’s already in the departure lounge.

    Another option is Calum Chambers, who played as a DM in his loan year at Fulham (and was the supporters’ player of the season) but Arteta has never, ever shown the slightest inclination of playing Calum in MF.

    Finally there’s Ben White. I could see Arteta trying a White-Xhaka axis at the base of midfield, with Steady Rob Holding filling in at CB.


  9. allezkev says:

    Our next four games are pretty much our season and we’re relying very much on Xhaka keeping his head. Losing Gabriel for the NLD (I think) is another issue which will weaken our spine, but I’d go with Lokonga.

  10. Pete the Thirst says:

    Fantastic performance yesterday. The ref was completely out of his depth and switched the game up for City.

    There was a point where we had 5 cards and City had none, that’s not balanced. Until the penalty City had nothing on target.

    When are the media going to start talking about City players diving constantly? Sterling, Jesus & Silva hit the floor as soon as they got in the area. No yellow cards. It’s cheating plain and simple.

  11. fred1266 says:

    Think it would be xhaka and sambi

    What would be nice if we splash the cash and get bissouma or other CDM tired of seeing the likes of xhaka in squad

  12. fred1266 says:

    Mentioned before this is the second blatant none penalty call city wasn’t given

    Sometimes I do wonder what the point of VAR

    And the ref should be penalized, we have four refs who can’t make a correct decision

  13. fred1266 says:

    The way the referee ref sometime u wonder if football is a contact sports or not

  14. fred1266 says:

    Question was the onfield referee even offer the chance to review or penalty

  15. fred1266 says:

    Bissouma of to AFCON so weed to look elsewhere

  16. RockyLives says:

    Kalvin Phillips? (Don’t suppose Leeds would sell)

  17. RA says:


    A fabulous game – in the 1st half – and that would have continued in our favour in the 2nd half, if the referee and his mate at Stockly Park had not played around with the protocol, and fooked it up for us.

    We could have won that game 4:1 with just a soupçon of luck, despite the officials, but it was not to be, however, the world of football sat up and realised Mikel has us returning to the good old days, at last.

    it was disappointing in the way the officials interceded on behalf of City, but it will teach our youngsters that they must keep their cool in future.

    Speaking of which, next season we will be pushing for the Premiership, or securing a place in the top 4, at least.

    More please!!

  18. fred1266 says:

    Think he injured

  19. RA says:

    Sorry, RC, forgot to say, well done for your efforts in keeping AA going, and I liked your Post, again. 👍

  20. RockyLives says:

    Happy New Year Redders.

  21. VP says:

    Thanks LB
    HNY to everyone on AA

    What a great game that was. Loving the Arsenal.
    Referee not doing us any favours & cost us the game,

  22. RC78 says:

    I hope rumours linking us with Guimares are false…Guimares is at best average and can become good at best…If we are looking into the French league for a defensive midfielder, there are much better options like Tchouameni. You get Tchouameni, it is like getting a player that has the potential to become what Essien was for Chelsea…Tchouameni is French so no worries about the AFCON…

    BTW, Happy New Year to all of you!

  23. RC78 says:

    Also – there is a player in the Dutch League called Edson Alvarez from Mexico, he is quite a catch and there is alsways Mikel Merino from Spain (very much like Arteta…)…but ultimately, we should try to land Declan Rice

  24. fred1266 says:

    rc78 no way we spending that type of money for Tch

    Also hope as u said we not going for Gui cause not player from the French league fill me with any confidence cause of pepe and gervinho

    Even if mbappe want to come I still wouldn’t want him

    Think we should look within the prem for our CDM cover

    Which AMN would ne given a run there I mean if he cool with xhaka there sure AMN would be so bad right

  25. RC78 says:

    There r plenty of good players from the French league that came to the EPL like Kante, Mahrez…

  26. fred1266 says:

    So do we buy a CDM or use what we have and reasse next seal with the likes of guendouzi coming back

  27. fred1266 says:

    Not saying there aren’t any good French league players but our pass history has been horrendous

  28. RC78 says:

    That is unfortunately true…maybe the last good one was Giroud…although Gabriel and Lacazette have not been bad and we dunno yet about Saliba…but you are right overall…

  29. fred1266 says:

    Wouldn’t call lacazette a failure but really expected alot more , never liked Gabriel to much but has been better this season

    Maybe am being harsh because gervinho and pepe has left such a a sour feeling

    So u think we wait till summer for the likes of bissouma Phillips or get that markie player now or does mikel see partey and xhaka as our great CDM partnership

  30. fatgingergooner says:

    Looks very much like a 4 horse race for that 4th spot, so thought I’d have a trawl through the remaining fixtures just to see how ours compares to the others. I’ve included each sides remaining ‘big fixtures’ and also given an average league position of the opponents for the remaining games (in brackets).


    Man U/Liverpool home
    Chelsea/Spurs away

    9 home (10.55)
    9 away (10.55)

    West Ham

    Arsenal/Man C home
    Chelsea/Spurs/Man U/Liverpool away
    10 home (13.10)
    8 away (8.62)


    Arsenal home
    Liverpool/Man U/Man C/Chelsea away
    9 home (11.33)
    11 away (10.09)

    Man U

    Spurs/Chelsea home
    Liverpool/Man C/Arsenal away
    9 home (10.55)
    10 away (10.33)

    Without looking too much into it, I would say we are in a very good position, mainly due to the fact that we’ve already played City home and away. Also, I think the fact we’ve so far been lucky with COVID cancellations, combined with no European distractions, means that we are in a much better position for when the games are due to get re-arranged. We shouldn’t have the problem of fixture congestion that will effect the others who could potentially be playing 3 games in a week to cram in Europe and the re-arranged games.

    A long way to go, but top 4 is in our own hands if we can keep performing as we have been. 🤞

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