Chelsea – AFC, no chance to get points?

Chelsea is a by far superior team to us at all levels: financial (Abra and future owners), managerial (Tuchel), technical, physical and mental (their team is better than us in all positions)…they are also back to winning ways and despite the ordeal related to their club, they are back to confident play…so based on the above, I do not expect us to get any points but then again…

  • We lost to Brighton and allowed goals to them, a rare feat they achieved in the EPL before us and
  • We lost to Southampton after they were thrashed by…Chelsea

so odd things can happen and maybe a London derby might prompt us to find our winning ways again…

Chelsea players to watch: Havertz, Mount, Lukaky, Reece James, Alonso

AFC players to play a key role: White, Xhaka, Lokonga

So my prediction is a 4-1 loss to Chelsea tonight and my hope is for a 2-2…

Predicted line-up: Ramsdale – Cedric, White, Gabs, Xhaka – Lokonga, El Neny – Saka, Ode, ESR – Laca

Wanted line up: Ramsdale – White, Holding, Gabs – Cedric, Lokonga, Xhaka, Saka – Ode (or ESR) – Laca, Martinelli (or Pepe)

COYG! Let us fight at least tonight…

93 Responses to Chelsea – AFC, no chance to get points?

  1. alan says:

    so this is progress? what a joke. we will not be humiliated only if Chelsea cant be bothered

  2. RC78 says:

    Alan…not sure how to answer your question to be honest…It is too hard…

    Ramsdale is better than Leno
    Tomy is better than Bellerin, Cedric
    White is better than Luiz, Chambers
    Saka, Ode, Martinelli, Partey and ESR have improved overall
    Xhaka is less prone to silly mistakes or red cards (I may have jinxed it for tonight)

    so on that angle, it seems that there has been progress but was that enough to catch up with the City, Liverpool and Chelsea of this world? Then surely not…

  3. LB says:

    I would like to disagree with you RC but I also fear the worst. As for the question of “Is it a process” — of course it is a process, at the end of this season, Laca, Xhaka and Leno will leave and then I think we are then left with a squad that contains Arteta’s signings or players that have come through the youth programme, that is the process and anyone who thinks that the owners are not going to give Arteta a chance to fulfil his vision are living in dreamland.

  4. LBG says:

    Those of you without Sky count yourself lucky. Even got Chelsea Merson in studio – plus Rednapp and Hasselbaink. Only need Alan Leicester Smith on commentary and the sound will be off. COYG.

  5. LB says:

    I forgot Elneny – a Wenger signing, he is playing perfectly well so far, the bar isn’t very high though.

  6. LB says:

    Well, who would have thought, what a fantastic result.

  7. fred1266 says:

    Nice to see saka putting that euro miss behind him

  8. LBG says:

    Chelski Merson ” is not a goalkeeper” but Ramsdale should have saved that”
    F*** off- Xhaka should not have turned his back, and should have block it.
    Hasslewank and Merson said it wasnt a penalty……and he nearly missed it. Showed your colours there, idiots, go f*** yourselves.
    Thank got the sound was off for the game.
    Great win, Arsenal, now for Manure.

  9. LBG says:

    “It was the pitch”, says Tuchel. It was your shit Club and players!

  10. LBG says:

    Poor old Merse, his mob lost three on the bounce, and he’s really down.😁😁😁

  11. fatgingergooner says:

    This post aged well…. 🙄

    Top 4 in our own hands after 32 games. Progress.
    Arteta and his young team moving Arsenal forward. They are far more entertaining, and more importantly, far more likeable than anything we’ve had in the last 5 years. I really hope they can finish strong and grab top 4, but even if they don’t, this will have been a good season and a much needed step in the right direction for the club.

  12. fatgingergooner says:

    8 of the starting 11 tonight 24 years old or younger, as were 5 of the 9 available substitutes. Plus we are missing our 2 regular full backs (both 24). This is very much a process and very much a work in progress. You can’t compare this side to teams of old where we’ve had massively experienced players letting us down. With such young players they are bound to slip up at times and blow hot and cold, but what they’ve done over the course of the season has been hugely positive. What needs to happen now (wether in CL or EL next season) is Arteta & co have to find the right experienced players with the right mentality to bring this group to the next level. We’ve been here before (with a pool of talented young players), and the club got it wrong. In the past we’ve either cut corners and tried to buy on the cheap or we’ve actually spent the money but in the wrong areas, but it does feel different this time. Firstly, we don’t just have ‘a few’ talented young players….we’ve got half a squad of them and they are all getting regular games at the top level (Ramsdale, Gabriel, White, Tomiyasu, Tierney, Tavares, Lokonga, Smith-Rowe, Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli). Secondly, (touchwood) they are all tied down to contracts and none seem to be kicking up a fuss to leave (Nketiah aside). Thirdly, the people that are now dealing with transfers at the club seem to understand what we need and have (more recently) been getting the majority of transfers right.

    The club is definitely on the right track with Arteta and Edu, but the next jump (to become a side that can regularly compete with the top 4 sides over a season whilst also playing in Europe) is a big one from where we are now, and the transfers over the summer will be key to how much of that gap we can bridge.

  13. fred1266 says:

    TT though Lukaku would bully us again lol

  14. fatgingergooner says:

    Was Lukaku playing…..!?

  15. fred1266 says:

    Lol yeah play in white pocket

  16. fred1266 says:

    Well RC78 u got your wish for a back 3

    How was Tavares, from highlights I see he was at fault for the second goal

  17. aaron says:

    Looks like AFC came out on some heavy tea, where has this type of energy been for weeks?

    Very good goal by Eddie, and ESR what does one say, he just has it.

    Now, onto that upgraded defense, one fortunate deflection, but the other was just a step slow near post for a well taken goal.

    Got the WIN, a lucky penalty, but hey, who cares, chavs are scum.

    Can Arteta build on this, since expectations now are 4th is there for the taking.

    Still conceding like crazy, but Eddie finally got a chance to play and took his chances well.

    Mikel just needs to get out of this teams way for the remaining games.

  18. LBG says:

    Thank God for our “hugely positive” fgg on this site.

  19. fatgingergooner says:

    It wasn’t long ago we were watching Mustafi, Sokratis and Leno giving corners away from our own goal kicks…..Yesterday I saw Granit Xhaka nutmeg a player in our own box and 5 passes later we’d scored a goal!!!
    Doesn’t seem too long ago that we were conceding 20 shots a game whilst the amazing Özil strolled around on the halfway line (why should he defend? He’s in the team to create chances)……Yesterday I watched Odegaard sprinting to close down opposition defenders before creating goals when we had the ball.

    Arteta has improved this side massively and given it substance, yet recently I’ve seen Arsenal fans saying we should’ve given Unai more time!!

    What short m-Emery’s we have…!!! 🙄

  20. Las says:

    A very timely win. We needed it very much. IMHO against Southampton we sould have won if only Foster could have been less then perfect. But we played really well.
    And we did it, we beat Chelsky and this will give us more belief. I don’t know why we have to do in the hard way but it is what it is.
    It is great progress. This team is fighting has the spark the spirit to do good things. Just like fgg said.
    COYG

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Thank God for FGG on this blog. The only one with perspective.

    Believe in this manager and team. Its a long term process and we are still three to four years behind Pool and Citeh. And LB, Xhaka is an Arteta player and will hang up his boots here eventually. That you have not seen that unti now amazes me, but there you go. 🙂

    CoyrrGs

  22. pbarany says:

    fatgingergooner, I fully disagree practically with everything you said or implied.

    This is not the place for a detailed comparative analysis of Emery- and Arteta-ball, but it is clearly biased if you compare 2 cherrypicked games from the eras. I could have picked Arsenal-Fulham 5:1 (the one with Ramsey’s wonder goal) and compared it with Arsenal:Brighton 1:2. You have to aim for the full picture – and even that wouldn’t have been 100% fair as Arteta had more time and more money (to buy players and to release them from existing contracts).
    Also, having top 4 within reach after 32 games tells more about the competition’s performance than our own. We should focus on points collected, as well as goals scored and conceded. (And especially chances created, key passes and expected goals scored vs. conceded – but that would lead us to the comparative analysis.) Yet still there could be slightly double standards as the dynamics of the campaign without European competition is vastly different from a season with only domestic games (especially with only a single one in FA Cup).

    Don’t get me wrong, FGG, you have every right to prefer Arteta over Emery or even Wenger. And don’t hesitate to proudly promote that either. Just please don’t make it a matter of cognitive abilities, because the facts and statistics are not on your side…

    Let’s celebrate this excellent win and great performance instead.

  23. pbarany says:

    Obviously my every world applies to TotalArsenal, too. 😛

  24. LBG says:

    I think your cognitive abilities FGG are top draw.
    Interesting last week for Aubameyang. Hauled off after 60mins against Frankfurt, not picked for Cadiz game. Perhaps that brilliant start was what teams have come to expect, gold or currently fools gold.

  25. fred1266 says:

    Xhaka nutmeg was a thing of beauty but still to take such a chance in your own box it a bit crazy Ent

  26. fatgingergooner says:

    pbarany,

    I have no interest in getting into a detailed analysis of Arteta v Emery. The point I wanted to make was only that Arteta’s Arsenal passes the eye test when comparing it to Emery’s. It’s a young, hungry team who are a pleasure to watch, yet for some reason, large parts of our fan base still don’t rate Arteta or his work. It baffles me, but at the same time, it doesn’t surprise me one bit. After all, these are the same fans who said Odegaard was a poor-man’s Özil, abused Ramsdale before he’d even signed, and believe Aubameyang should be given freedom to do whatever he wants regardless of how that impacts the rest of the team and undermines the manager and club.

    I’ve spent time moaning about Arsenal in the past and analysing every touch of the ball, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realised that none of it matters. It’s about enjoying the games and supporting the team. I’m fed up with ‘fans’ constantly whinging about the club, players and manager, and I hate the way that players are pre-judged before they’ve even played the game….‘I don’t like Xhaka so I’ll moan about everything bad he does and ignore anything positive he contributes’.

    I haven’t been on this site for a while, and it’s heart-breaking to see what it’s become. It used to be such a positive place and easily pulled in 100 comments a day. Now, it’s just full of negativity and one-sided opinions. All I can say is good luck to the people trying to maintain the site in the face of our forever-moaning fan base (Yes, that’s me moaning about people moaning!!!).

  27. pbarany says:

    I’m starting to get your point, FGG, and I can relate to your middle paragraph without difficulties.

    My 2 cents to the debate is that being a “good coach/manager” is neither a binary category, nor it is a subjective matter – at least in my opinion. The best way to compare 2-3 managers would be using a spider-chart (some might know it as a radar-diagram). While at the end of the day we might have our own preference whom we prefer from Wenger, Emery or Arteta, they have different strengths and weaknesses. One might score high on defensive stability, the other could be the master of tactical awareness. Some would score lower on ‘experimenting with new formations’, but could compensate it with ‘giving chances and career path to academy players’. The only common pattern is that all 3 of them terrible at disposing players, but had their own approach to new signings.
    Anyway, I don’t want to persuade you – or anybody else – to stand by my preference, but I am a big-big fan of creative attacking team football, so I rate higher Rosicky’s goal against Sunderland, Wilshere’s magic against Norwich, or Auba’s goal against Leicester than solo goals; therefore I interpret the sharp decline in chances created and key passes under Arteta as a disproof of progress. Yet, I rate his work in other areas, but as far as the eyes are concerned I seriously challenge that Artetaball would be a step forward compared to Wenger- or Emeryball.

  28. LB says:

    Total

    Good to hear from you. As to my Xhaka comment, I think you slightly missed the point, Xhaka, Lacazette and Leno were not signed by Arteta, (I hope you agree on that) Once they go at the end of the season the remainder of the players are Arteta signings or have come through the youth academy. In my subsequent comment I mention Elneny, a Wenger signing, who I had for got.

    Am I correct in saying that English is not your first language, that could be the reason for the lose of subtlety?

  29. fatgingergooner says:

    Pbarany,

    As Arsenal fans, we all love attacking football, and we mainly have Wenger to thank for that, but what you’ve failed to mention is the way that football has developed in the last 10 years. When I said that Arteta’s team passes the eye test, I wasn’t necessarily talking about beautiful fluid passing moves, I was speaking more about the high press and attitude of the team, and how it’s far more suited to the modern game than what we’ve had before under Emery and Wenger. Of course we’d all love to watch Bergkamp and Fabregas weaving pretty patterns on the pitch, but can you honestly say that Wengerball and Emeryball are more suited to the way that the PL is played right now? The high press high energy game is what it’s all about. Winning the ball in the final third and outnumbering opponents in transition. Arteta is getting that from his team with far more consistency than UE or AW ever did. Hopefully it continues.

  30. LB says:

    “I seriously challenge that Artetaball would be a step forward compared to Wenger- or Emeryball.”

    This statement left me confused for quite a while, thoughts like: how can he possibly know, what a sad way of looking at things, I am so glad I am not that negative, without hope what’s the point of living.

    But I ended up thinking that if someone cannot see the potential upside, after last night’s performance, then the subject is better left alone.

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    Fair enough, LB. Xhaka does indeed not fit in either of your ‘Arteta categories’ . There is no reason to believe that the players you mentioned by name will not feature anymore next season, just because they are not bought by him or have come through the youth academy. And that is what I got from your comment. XhakA is clearly central to Arteta’s plans and will be going nowhere. The fact that he was a Wenger signing is irrelevant.

  32. Mike M says:

    Well that was unexpected !!!!! So happy we beat that Chav scum. We’ll continue to have good and bad days I suspect but the ability to win a game with a weakened side which no one (including me) gave us a prayer in will be massive for this young squad. Some really good debate here. FGG, I think you might focus on the fact that even though people come on here and vent their frustrations, it’s still one of the better sites around. People are honest, get angry and get excited. RC has done a great job of maintaining while many of us has been awol. But I feel like celebrating that win and I’m glad there are a few of you to do it with.
    For what it’s worth, I agree with much of what is being said, it’s still a bit too early to say we’ve turned the corner in a football sense but as a club in terms of mentality and application, there’s no doubt we’re ahead of where we were. I’m excited about the “new” Arsenal. Let’s hope we keep it going. Defeat to United on Saturday will be a huge disappointment, no doubt, but not the end of the world. But a win …!
    C’mon you Gooners !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. LBG says:

    Bravo LB!
    And is it not possible to recognise the massive change in the development of football in the last three years ( let alone ten), as indicated by FGG, making a comparison between the Wenger and Emery reigns, and what Mikel is faced with now, almost redundant.
    Long live opinion and long live positive football blogs.

  34. fatgingergooner says:

    In the interest of opening up some positive debate, what are peoples thoughts on the Sarr incident towards the end of the game yesterday? He’d already been booked, then Cedric nips in front of him to get behind the Chelsea defence and he wipes him out, only for Cedric to get back up and run into the box and play (quite frankly) a shocking ball across when Martinelli was ready for a tap in. If Cedric had stayed down, then Sarr surely would’ve been booked again and sent off. Just because Cedric got up and carried on the attacking move doesn’t mean the yellow card offence never took place. Surely the ref should’ve gone back and booked him and given him a red?

    Also, anyone hear Tuchel moaning about the uneven bounce of the pitch!? Didn’t realise Chelsea played their home games at Lords. 🙄

  35. pbarany says:

    LB, I’m not sure I fully understand your last comment.

    The appreciation of yesterday’s fine victory must assume the acceptance of Arteta’s progress? (Even though – or especially – as stats indicate otherwise?) And while my view and preference of the chance creation focused Emeryball might be weird, surprising or even shocking, I don’t find “sad” a proper adjective to the way of looking at things. Albeit English is not my first language, either, so I could be wrong.
    Just as you are wrong hinting that without Laca, Xhaka and Leno the squad would only ‘contain Arteta’s signings or players that have come through the youth programme’. Because not only Elneny would confute the view but further would Pepe (I know, he will or should go, too), Holding and Tierney as well – not to mention most of the players coming back from loan. And Rob could be seen as a fringe player, the loaned guys should be sold according to many fans, but Tierney is among our 3 best players when fit.

  36. aaron says:

    mash manure this weekend!

    The team was totally up for it.

    However, I will say it again, if AFC reverts to form away, concedes 1st, and does not get 4th, he needs to go, it will not get easier next year.

    On track for 58 goals scored and 46 goals conceded, Mikel’s previous 2 years were averaged at 55 goals scored and 45 goals conceded by years end.

    If we get 5-7th, statistically we are positionally better, but not really when taking in the entire picture.

    Watching this team over 110 games and not many had the intensity of yesterday, but if he gets the team to 4th then he gets 1 more year.

  37. aaron says:

    SMASH!

  38. Mike M says:

    Aaron, maybe all the teams are improving so “maintaining” our position is actually improving? In other words, we could well be falling behind if we weren’t improving. I just look at a tighter, closer squad who press and work harder. I don’t remember Laca pressing as hard as he does now. Ode is night and day in work ethic to Ozil. Xhaka, while still very limited is working harder than ever too. The fact that neither Laca or Xhaka are good enough to continue to play in a relevant Prem team (like the current top 3) means we’re getting the most of what we have. Not sure if that’s enough for most people, which is fine, but it is for me.

  39. pbarany says:

    Well said, Aaron. Fully agreed.
    There is a lot at stake for the remaining games, as they can – and probably should – make or break this season. So let’s keep focused, and hope that the boys will make us proud. Yesterday’s game was really promising and exciting (unlike the previous 3), I’m looking forward to seeing more of such performance.

  40. fred1266 says:

    FFG didn’t see the game but Cedric did the right thing in getting back up IMO, cause I get fed up of players rolling on the ground but surely if a foul he should have go back and carded him, if it was any other side such as pool or city I sure he would have

    Do u think that why he gave the pens

  41. fatgingergooner says:

    Fred,

    Whilst I agree with your sentiment, the fact is that if Cedric had stayed down then Chelsea would’ve had 10 men….so you can understand why players do it. Once again a team is penalised for a players honesty. Makes a mockery of the argument to get rid of diving. As for the pen, I think Moss gave it because Saka made it look like a stone wall penalty. He was smart in that he held Azpi’s arm in to make it look like he was being held (much like they do in Rugby League after a tackle when trying to make the ref think they are being held down). Tbh though, I’ve no idea why Moss gave it. He’s an absolute weapon and one of the worst refs I’ve ever seen at the top level. He probably forgot which end Arsenal were attacking.

  42. RC78 says:

    An unexpected but very satisfying win over the Chavs!

    I know the mood is positive now and for good reasons, Odegaard, Saka, ESR and Nketiah played incredibly well going forward and Xhaka-El Neny had quite a good game too BUT…

    we were so shaky at the back…so many little errors especially by White, Holding, Ramsdale and what about the absolutely horrifying performance from Tavares…We conceded 2 easily avoidable goals and we did concede quite some chances overall

    we were lucky to face a very shaky and clumsy Chelsea yesterday…They would have lost 5-0 against a top team like Liverpool or City.

    Now, we just have to focus on keeping our attacking gusto and desire while keeping our focus and shape defensively. Easier said than done.

    MoTM: Saka for me closely followed by Nketiah and Odegaard

    Just a quick note on ESR, he is a very accurate striker of the ball and his runs are getting better. I m not a huge fan of playing him on the left but with Odegaard playing well in the hole at the moment, it is hard to take the Ode out of the team…I would caution against playing ESR as a false nine so the best case scenario would be for Ode to get better defensively so that he could play as part of our double pivot and then ESR could play in the hole…anyways…

    4 goals by our academy players! Awesomeness

  43. LB says:

    Thanks for the reply Total.

    I suppose we will have to agree to differ. I am in complete agreement that Xhaka is central to Arteta’s plans right now but I do not agree that he is part of Arteta’s plans for next season, I feel he craves a far more mobil player.

    I do agree that it is irrelevant that he is a Wenger signing, the point that I was trying to make was that I believe that Arteta wants to move to having a team in his own vision and again I do not believe that Xhaka is in his plans. We shall see.

    On a side note I am not one of these people who has a personal dislike of the man, I thought last night he gave an excellent performance, probably could have done a bit better to stop their first goal but hey ho.

  44. fatgingergooner says:

    Do you really believe that the club share this desperate need for fourth? Do you think they really see it as the line between success and failure? Between Arteta staying and going? I doubt it very much.

    Whilst fourth would be good, it doesn’t mean success. Arteta has taken millions off the wage bill and reduced the age of the squad massively. He’s produced saleable assets within the squad and brought a lot of fans back to the stadium. If we finish 5th do you really think the club would sack him!? Of course they won’t. They’ll probably take one look at Man U and think ‘Jesus, that was our mess 2 years ago….thank god we’ve got some stability’.

  45. LB says:

    “He probably forgot which end Arsenal were attacking.” (Re Moss)

    Very good.

  46. pbarany says:

    I also admire Cedric for his honesty and genuine attacking intent. Maybe it wasn’t the most efficient decision, but it was the morally superior one. Agreed with Fred, that Liverpool and City players would have acted as if they were assassinated, but that doesn’t contradict that they are ahead of us at the table and at quick decision making as well.

    Regarding Moss, I agree that he is a wanker. Maybe he gave the penalty instinctively, or because he understood that at the 91st minute it wouldn’t make much difference, so he could eventually rebrand his anti-Arsenal image. 🙂

  47. LB says:

    Ok, apart from Xhaka, Laca, Leno, Elneny, Pepe, Holding and Tierney what have the Roman’s ever done for us?

  48. fred1266 says:

    Lol so he was given azp the foul not realising it arsenal

    Really shocked he did go back to give the card

    But Cedric getting back to his feet he really had an easy pass to kill of the came still confused how he missed everyone

  49. fred1266 says:

    Rc78 so guess we got shafted on Tavares, someone like AMN would just be so perfect now

  50. RC78 says:

    I agree Fred…The only good thing with Tavares was that he actually matched Reece James for speed, which is not easy…

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers LB. You may be right. Granit is not the most mobile player and that seems very important to many fans. I think Arteta was delighted to keep Granit, not just for this season. Xhaka gets Arteta’s tactics and is his embodiment on the pitch. Without him we lack formational discipline and and shape. Very few players offer these skills and ability, but if Arteta can find someone with these skills and who is also more mobile then I am all for it. I struggle to think who that would be whilst also wanting to come and play for us.

    I enjoy reading your comments and I am glad you are still posting here.

  52. fred1266 says:

    Did Tavares actually hold James cause I watched a TT interview and James plays CB with AZP playing RWB so that How Azp was advance to score the second goal

  53. fred1266 says:

    Was odegard captain again last night surely saka should be given the arm band

  54. fred1266 says:

    Was odegard captain again last night surely saka should be given the arm band or holding for seniority

  55. RC78 says:

    Reece James and Azpi kind of played on the wings inter-changeably but initially it was more Azpi and then more R.James….

    As for Xhaka – at the moment, our team cannot function without him. It is a fact. It is also a fact that we will look to bolster our central midfield positions and we should go for Tchouameni IMHO. He can play deep but also project himself forward…Let us rekindle our love affair with Monaco a bit…So if Partey is injured, Tchouameni could step in and otherwise, he would be an upgrade on Xhaka so…all and all, he is the type of recruit we need. Second options for me would be Phillips or Rice.

  56. fatgingergooner says:

    I don’t think it will be very easy to replace Xhaka, mainly because he’s left footed and is happy in the most part to stay behind the ball. Too many players these days want to be everything, and finding someone who can mimic Xhaka’s skill set will be tough. He’s strong in the air defensively, happy to slot into the back if needed, can pass, and as mentioned previously….something that gets overlooked is how he adds balance to the team with his left foot. It opens up the wide positions if your 2 CMs are a left and right foot pair. If there are no left footers who fit the bill, then I’d be looking at someone like Phillips, Bissouma or Ndidi. They seem realistic targets, seem to have good attitudes, and know the PL.

  57. LBG says:

    Stonewall penalty. Evidence of fastbreak, one-touch, attacking football reminiscent of some of the good times under Wenger.
    Youthful, talented, English players promising good things for the future, a crowd that is behind the team and more supportive of the manager than some on this site. And the prospect of Champions League football and accompanying improved quality to the squad.
    Much to be looked forward to for me.

  58. aaron says:

    fgg,

    Not being smart, just asking questions.

    Who have we sold for a fair price or made a return on investment except Ox and Iwobi? The rest, we have basically given them away, or paid them to leave, and even now Eddie and Laca walking for free.

    It is easy to get the age of the club down, just buy younger players, or bring them up from the acedmy and accidently play them when like when the Willian fiasco backfired, and injuries left Mikel without an another option except to play ESR. Our recruitment policy and contracts have been a disaster.

    It is called pressure, either meet the goal or at least look like it, not staying stagnant like he has for past three years by seasons end.

    The previous three games before this one is the second time he has lost three on the trot, remember the start to this season? I know you do.

    This club has been soft for over 10 years, either change the culture or watch AFC as a top club fall of a cliff on the worlds futbol stage.

    Personally, I could give a rats a$$ how the club views me, but staN the man is a longtime loser and produced nothing but mediocrity for over a decade in almost all of his sporting enterprises, even this years ramS team was a fluke, if not for Aaron and Kupp they only had a 10% chance of winning the superbowl due to their -2 plus/minus, but this is besides the point.

    My questions are: where is our identity, do we truly play attacking futbol, are we making progress today? Not some vague bs about trust the process crap and we will compete in 3,4, 5 years time.
    Not that we have to win today always, but 8th, 8th and who knows what this year, 5th or 6th is not good enough. Next year we will have Europa and all that comes with it, not some easy a$$ schedule like this year with no Europe, Cup ties and what not. If we end up in the Europa conference would that be real progress?

    I, only me, a nobody, just expects our team to compete, and during the 110 games that Mikel has been in charge to show everyone he can do the job. He does from a winning percentage, but not losing one and league table so far.

    And I would not only call time on Mikel if he does not reach top 4, but Edu, Vinai and whole bunch of other people tied to recruitment, scouting and contracts too.

    He has time to turn it around, 6 games is long enough to figure out if we are on the correct trajectory for next year! Not 2-3 more years down the line, because if that is the case, and Saliba walks, then you can forget about developing the youth, and Saka and ESR will surely go out the door to $h*tTy, real or other as their agents surely would advise them to do.

    So, to me, he has had time, step up or step off.

    Oh, by the way SMASH manure, spuds and West Ham, and Mikel might just get 4th, and be on the way to lifting this club back up where it belongs competing for trophies.

    If not and AFC craters this year, starts slowly next year, then AFC is just treading water or circling the drain, as the league is not going to be standing still,

    Just my lousy 2 cents.

  59. pbarany says:

    LB, that was a perfect comeback.
    Kudos!

  60. fatgingergooner says:

    Aaron,

    Your attitude really baffles me. I just don’t see what the club can do to please you other than win every game, and tbh I don’t understand how you can possibly get any joy from watching a team that you almost seem to dislike! You have your own way of supporting and I can respect that, but some of the points you’ve made are just nonsense and I don’t think I can bring myself to respond!

    Good luck to ya!

  61. aaron says:

    fgg,

    It is all good.
    Your a fan in your way and me in mine.

    I am just over the last 10 years of downhill slide.

    Every time we put ourself in place to be successfu, AFC have dropped the ball, not counting FA Cup wins, which are brilliant, but not the end all be all. That entire shift from competing for titles to pleading f’n poverty was disingenous and covering up for the fact that we have not really competed for a title in almost 20 years! Not even counting our record against the top 4, including manure and spuds when they were not even in the top 4.

    FACT.

    I do not care about $, our owner has billions, it is how we spent it poorly, had no plan for Arsene’s departure and have had me slogging through many games to either have us lose becuase of very poor performances, like consistently or get blown out. (Am west coast, starting times are brutal, and I surf, so there is competition for my time)

    F that, my life is too short and I have many other interesting hobbies to amuse myself with. If our board and owner don’t give a crap about the club, really, other than people getting fleeced for their support than why should I and many others care?

    That last game had some electricity, the way we finally damn pressed had me off of my seat and the chavs could not deal with it, leading to some great goals. Hooray.

    So, if he can get the boys fired up to compete, than I am all in, if not, and more possession based coma inducing futbol, than I am out.

    I still have ptsd from Arsene’s 1000th, emeryball and how we were shellacked by watford!

  62. fatgingergooner says:

    Aaron,

    We have all been scarred by the last 20 years, I think that’s fair to say, but we are still here, and so is the club. Perspective has been lost by so many of our fans. We have dropped out of the top 4 and can no longer call ourselves competitive for titles, but is that all there is to football? If so, think how lucky we are to have even been around to see the great Wenger sides! There must be some football fans who’ve gone a whole lifetime without seeing any big success. Our time will come again, but not necessarily in the next 10 years, regardless of how much we want it. As a surfer, surely you more than most can learn to appreciate the ride!!

    As for the current team, i can only see positive things. We are not the Wenger sides of old rolling over anyone who dares get in our way, but nor are we the shambles of the late Wenger and late Emery teams with players walking, arguing, and not giving a s**t. This is Arteta’s first full season with 90% his own players. This is Arteta’s first full season without COVID interruptions and empty stadiums. I know patience is a lost art these days, but it has to be used when looking at this young squad. The foundation work is done, the wage bill sorted, the structure and philosophy is in place, the majority of fans back on side, and it’s now upto Arteta and Edu to go out and add some of the main building blocks to a very promising team. The central midfield and attack must be sorted in the summer and then we will really see what this squad and manager can achieve. Understand though that the situation doesn’t change regardless of if we get CL football next season or not. Of course it will be easier to recruit and build if we do, but even if we fall short, the same positions will still need filling, and Arteta will still be judged on the success of those signings next season.

    Btw, I disagree with your point about the Rams being a fluke and relying on Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp. All winning teams have a couple of difference makers! That’s just sport. Aaron Donald is an absolute beast though tbf!

  63. aaron says:

    fgg,

    I truly appreciate your measured response to my posts.

    Much respect!

    You are correct about the ride too, and I have patience to a point, until it is not longer called patience;-)

    Your viewpoint about other fans of other clubs is true, but I did not happen to pick those clubs to follow, think early 70’s for me.

    Will back the “ride, club, team and coach” for the next 6 games and see what is in store.

    Now let’s get back on point with kicking manure’s sorry a$$es on Saturday!!

  64. fred1266 says:

    Mikel Arteta on Nketiah: “If there is one player I have been unfair with, it is him. He has given me every right to do something different, so if Eddie hasn’t played more, it’s my fault, I have missed something or I haven’t had the courage. He showed me again how wrong I was.

  65. Mike M says:

    I have to disagree about KSE regarding the Rams. They also made it in 2019 and lost to the Pats (so did everyone except the Giants !!!!!). basically they were given time and money (which can also mean less in the NFL as you all know) under a young head coach and have been relatively successful. Not Pats successful because that may never happen again, but KC successful and more than many other NFL franchises.
    I really believe we’re heading down a good path. Kronke isn’t the best owner, nor the worst. He believes in hands off management and hiring the right people. He’s looking for the next Klopp, Pep, Ferguson, Wenger. He’s committed to Arteta. I’m still not sure I am, but I’ll give him credit for what he’s doing. Just like Xhaka. I can’t stand him as a player (he’s probably a nice guy) but I give him credit that he’s doing a good job for us based on his lack of natural ability. It seems fairly obvious he’s not a long term solution at CM. So if people feel the same way about Arteta as a manager, I understand. But he’s young and has a great pedigree and also bleeds Arsenal. I don’t understand why Kronke gets criticised for that, he’s not a bad option based on what’s out there.
    I believe we had legit chances to get Pep, then Klopp and could have also got Tuchel. But we’ve chosen a different path and whilst hindsight tells us not getting Klopp and Pep were a mistake, let’s give Arteta a chance. The hardest thing in any organization is to change the culture and that’s what he’s doing.

  66. LBG says:

    arsenalarsenal.net, like a favourite, very old rocking chair….riddled with woodworm!😠

  67. RC78 says:

    Best blog out there ppl, by far…at least people here can speak their mind, disagree and all in a collegial spirit 🙂

  68. TotalArsenal says:

    FGG, yes Granit’s left-footedness is a big plus. He is also comfortable with the ball in tight spaces and passes accurately, and with a good range (the main reason why I believe he is an ‘Arteta player’ going forward) . On top of that he is seldom injured and still is the obvious leader in the team, even without the armband. He is very hard to replace and any players mentioned to do so are a different sort of players and are not playing at the required level at the moment. Arteta knows about midfield play like no other, and if he decides Xhaka is his man we should all get behind him.

  69. RC78 says:

    Xhaka is a key player in our set-up and his performance has been overall good, indeed. He has a good understanding of the game, especially in ensuring that we keep our shape. Of course, he can still be erratic at times but he is definitely better than 18 months ago for sure.

    I am still convinced that we need an upgrade in our central midfielder. When Partey has been fit, he has played at a good level for us since November. He is, however, often injured. As for Xhaka, he can usually play a lot of games but he does lack the ability to drive the ball forward at pace and does not take enough shots from outside the box despite his obvious left foot quality…So for me, it is absolutely necesssary to get a new CM, one that will definitely improve our game with and without the ball. I like Tchouameni, K.Phillips and D.Rice as I believe they can elevate our game and fill in both positions in a double-pivot. Tielemans could also be considered.

    Apparently, Man Utd is going to have a clear out th/is summer and if they are letting them go for cheap or free, we should be considering making a move for Bissaka and even…Lingard. I think both players could add depth to our squad.

    GK: Ramsdale, Turner
    RB: Tomyasu-BISSAKA
    CB: White, Gabriel – Saliba or Mavro, Holding
    LB: Tierney-Tavares (AMN or Cedric?)

    DM/CM: Partey, TCHOUAMENI – Xhaka, El Neny
    AM: Odegaard – ESR, Lingaard (?)

    FW: Saka, Pepe (?), NUNEZ or WATKINS(?), Nketiah, Balogun, Martinelli, KOSTIC

    Ramsdale – Tomy, White, Gabs, Tierney – Partey, TCHOUAMENI – Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli – NUNEZ

    Turner – Bissaka, Holding, Mavropanos, AMN – Xhaka, El Neny – Pepe, ESR, KOSTIC – Nketiah

    + Azeez, Patino, Lingaard, Balogun?

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes Granit is not a natural dribbler. He is a ball mover who naturally sits a bit deeper. More defence than offence. I like Rice who I see more as a Partey type. He holds onto the ball too long and allows defences to organise themselves, but Arteta would teach that out of him. Philips I like too but no upgrade on Xhaka.

    Granit has a great shot but I don’t think he is encouraged to take them regularly. Yet I predict a goal from him v Manure tomorrow. 🙂

  71. LB says:

    RC if you write something tomorrow can the title be: Absolutely no chance of points today” 🙂

  72. RC78 says:

    LB – noted 😛

  73. JM says:

    @RC78 and all,

    If we (Edu, Arteta and Arsenal) decides to sign any new English midfielder in the coming summer, I would rather an 18 year old Jude Bellingham than either Declan James or Kalvin Phillips.

    Most know what mostly both James and Philips can bring about as players. Bellingham has a much higher development potential than both and would thrive under Arteta in a similar playing environment as in Dortmund, with our younger group of 1st team players (Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, Tierney, White, Gabriel, Tavares, Lokonga, Saka, Ødegaard, Smith-Rowe, Martinelli among others). He is already doing well at both club and national team.

    For Aurélien Tchouameni and Ryan Gravenberch, we would have Jude Bellingham instead as our future midfield general who may excel in any defensive or attacking midfield positions under Arteta and his coaching team’s tutelage. Personally, I would gladly break our club’s transfer record and pay £100million for him.

    Other midfielders from the outside that I would look at are Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, the pair of Leicester’s Wilfred Ndidi and Youri Tielemans (signing both, not either or), Sporting CP’s Matheus Nunes and FC Köln’s Ellyes Skhiri (the latter two are considered lesser known players with potential).

    Alternatively, I would consider Ben White in a defensive ball playing-midfielder role while reintegrating the returning William Saliba back to our 1st team as a potential future CB partner with Gabriel.

  74. Mike M says:

    JM I assume you mean Declan Rice (since otherwise it might be Daniel James which isn’t good !!) If you do mean Rice, I believe he’s exactly what we need and would take him in a second. IF and only IF we could make Champions League for next season, Rice is typically a signing that we MIGHT just be able to land, since he’d be guaranteed a start with us. Obviously it would also depend on who else we sign. As we all know, it’s hard to win games when you don’t score goals consistently.

  75. pbarany says:

    Guys, you are dangerously cruising to dreamland.
    Come on, we don’t have the funds to pay 100M for Bellingham – especially as the CM reinforcements are only second priority behind a striker purchase. And while your candidates are really fine, JM, I don’t think we should be looking at Frenkie de Jong, even though he is the best CM on the planet at the moment, but that is not the only aspect we have to take into consideration.

    Maybe a Rice/Philips signing could be on the table IF we need only 1 player in the summer, and could spend all our 70-80M transfer kitty on a single signing.
    Unfortunately it is not the case, so we have to focus on players that are really very good, yet their asking price doesn’t necessary reflect that. We need 2-3 Tierney/Odegaard type of signings (top players costing around 30M), and maybe 1 or 2 Martinelli/Lokonga type (under/around 20Y and close to 10M).

    Up front Gakpo would definitely fit the bill, Gabriel Jesus also, maybe Gouiri too, but (over)hyped players like Sterling, Kane, Haaland or Mbappé obviously wouldn’t. I’m a bit concerned about DCL, as he would be affordable for a 30-40M offer, but I’m not sure if he is a Vlahovic caliber of a striker and would be a clear improvement over Lacazette. The relatively unknown young starlet would be Charles De Ketelaere, who is surprisingly versatile and efficient, but I doubt Arteta would take the risk of bringing his main/only forward target from Belgium’s Jupiler Pro league.

    Regarding the central midfielders Rice, Philips, Tchouameni and Bellingham are all beyond our reach. They are very expensive, and probably would prefer to join a bigger, richer and more ambitious team than Arsenal. Gravenberch could be affordable, and I believe him being as good if not better than the others listed above, but he is represented by that wanker Raiola, so with a bleeding heart I think we should keep the distance. The more likely players to join would be Tielemans, Neves, Bissouma, Berge and good old Aouar. (I don’t know if Juventus’ Arthur is a reliable rumor, but he shouldn’t be too expensive either, and Edu could have some leverage there.) I don’t think Arteta should be looking into young starlets for this position, as we already have Lokonga waiting for his chances, and the academy is full of super-talented CMs. If 1 from Azeez, Patino and Salah-Eddine would come through that would be great, but there is a good chance that we might have more. Not next season, but in 3 years – by the time Partey and Xhaka are expected to retire or move on.

  76. fatgingergooner says:

    Pbarany,

    Couldn’t agree more about ‘dreamland’. Rice, Bellingham, De Jong would all end up elsewhere if it was made clear they were available. With Phillips we’ve probably missed our chance (would’ve been a bargain whilst in the Championship). I think I’d be more than happy with one of Tielemans/Neves and one of Ndidi/Bissouma, but I imagine Azeez and Patino may be given a chance too.

  77. LB says:

    I work on the basis of – It depends where we end up at the end of the season. If we get CL we will get ABC, if we get Europa we will get EFG and if we are domestic bound we will promote youth. And that is not meant as a criticism.

  78. aaron says:

    What a fantastic start!
    Nuno with his first??
    Wow!

  79. aaron says:

    Oh man, did VAR just go our way?
    Saka with a very clean spot kick.

    Liking this start, minus a few errors, but Ramsdale saved well.

    Spoke to soon, comical defending and you know who will not get an easier goal this season.

    Regroup guys, let’s go.

  80. aaron says:

    Under a lot of pressure game totally flipped, but Ramsdale and compnay just barely get it done.

    Nuno having problems everywhere, but then Xhaka goes boom.

  81. Jon Vines says:

    Fernández tackle ” was not high enough to make it dangerous!!!! Unbelievable!! You could not write it, even if you were a Manure fan!!

  82. fred1266 says:

    Great win,
    Tavares from hero to villian

  83. fred1266 says:

    How was Eddie today gutted he didn’t score

  84. LB says:

    Xhaka MOTM, there I said it, it’s out there; he ran the show today and a superbly taken goal to boot.

  85. pbarany says:

    After Nketiah being MotM 3 days earlier, and also nominated to the PL team of the week with the highest rating – I must add.

  86. LBG says:

    LB
    Wash your mouth out with soap and water!

  87. Mike M says:

    Great Result !!!!!!!!!!!! Great performance for 65-70 mins of the game. It must be apparent to most everyone that this is a team learning how to manage games (and often failing miserably for periods of them !!!!), but it’s so exciting to watch us when we’re good.3 goals against Chavs and Manure all replied to within 4 mins. Any team that grows together like this team is doing will get better at that so I’m looking forward to that. I think we’ll continue to “suffer” with our team. But for the first time in many years, I think we’re on track to solve some of the malaise we have been subject to. Xhaka did what important players do when the team is struggling, found another gear. Again, not my favourite player, but credit to him. maybe if he’d applied himself the way he does now, he would be my favourite !! Eddie worked hard but missed a sitter. He held the ball up fairly well. Odegaard is a beast and gets better every game. Gabriel is immense. I hope we continue to move forward. I don’t expect it,
    Go Gooners !!!!!!!!

  88. fatgingergooner says:

    Boom Xhaka whacker!!!!

    Just watched as been at work and what a fun game that was!!! I think my favourite moment was listening to Rio whinging about VAR and the referee! 😂😂

    Some suspect defending from both sides, but I always felt that we were getting the points today. Spurs just dropped 2 points too so it’s a great day all round.

  89. fatgingergooner says:

    Got to say that playing United shortly after an Anfield drubbing was rather helpful. Just thought I’d point out that we play Spurs 5 days after they head to Anfield…..

    I’m starting to hear that CL music in my dreams!

    😂👍🏻

  90. Mike M says:

    Dangerous stuff FGG !!!!! let’s say this; realistically if we can avoid defeat to Spuds, we need 9 points from 4 games to be certain. Mathematically, assuming they lose to Liverpool a draw with us makes their best possible 68 pts. I’d assume they’ll finish with 68 or 70. If they finish on 70 (and lose to L’Pool) that means they’ll have beaten us. We’d then be at max 72 which would mean 4 wins in our other games. Reality says it probably won’t pan out that way (they’ll probably go win at Anfield !!). Probability says we most likely have an away trip to the toilet bowl for a Champions League playoff game. But if you’d offered me that at the beginning of the season, I’d have bitten your hand off !!!

  91. LBG says:

    No player has scored more Premier league goals from outside the box against Manure than G.X. (3 level with Steven Gerrard, Les Ferdinand and Kevin Phillips)
    There you go LB, he had to be useful for something!!

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