Well well well…Back in March, we put ourselves in a position to finish Top 4, comfortably…Then we screwed up against lower teams such as Palace, Southampton and Brighton…and then put ourselves back into contention with wins against Chelsea, Utd and West Ham…We were in the driving seat with 3 games to play. There was one game NOT TO LOSE: The Spuds game and we lost it, convincingly too for various reasons but mostly due to our own performance…We are still in the driving seat by then…Then came yesterday’s game, a must WIN game and again, what a poor performance from the first to the last minute and a game that cemented Pepe’s departure (he was abysmal) – the team did not show up, players did not show up except maybe Ramsdale and Saka…So it is a familiar AFC feeling, one that is so infuriating whereby we are so close to something very nice and we can’t finish the job. We need to strengthen our squad with players that can lift the team when needed, bring that resilience and also that energy…Really, a game to forget…
But let us put things into context again, the season is better than expected with a Top 5 finish and a young promising squad. This summer will be huge for us. Europa League will also help us attract some good caliber players but not the best caliber players…Let us see…All teams will strengthen again this summer and we have new competition in Newcastle too so…
For more context, here is Maxwell’s comment:
H! HINDSIGHT. WHAT A WONDERFUL ATTRIBUTE.
I’m with Rocky, but first a bit of CONTEXT.
Back last August, what were your predictions for Arsenal’s season? What were the predominant predictions?
After three games at the beginning of September, try to remember the same question.
After the transfer window, ‘overpaying for White’, ‘bringing in an iffy goalkeeper’, ‘taking on an unrated Japanese fullback’, gambling on young unknowns, where did you have Arsenal by now (May 2022)?
Now we come to January, and the transfer window that mass hindsight today is branding a disaster. Well, to be fair, it was widely criticised at the time. But the management was clear, there were players they wanted, but for whatever reason they weren’t available. The club were not prepared to bring in players just to make up the numbers – a strategy of previous years which had been equally criticised by the (so-called) fan base – and admitted that by waiting for the summer, they were taking a risk with injuries and tiredness in such a small squad. The injuries tolled. Young, still-developing bodies grew tired.
We’re all miserable today, and it’s exacerbated by the crowing from up the road (I firmly believe if it were Leicester or Burnley about to trump us, we wouldn’t be feeling so bleak). There have been spells throughout the season where the team spectacularly underperformed, so it wouldn’t surprise me if last night carries through to Sunday against Everton.
However, one aspect of fielding such a callow team has not been explored. Repeatedly, they have faced shocking treatment by referees. Thursday against the chickens was another example, but as is frequently the case for Arsenal players, they have been on the end of many poor decisions, and much unmediated violence. Young, inexperienced minds can take such unfairness much more to heart, as anyone who has had children can attest, than more cynical older heads.
If you look at the sudden drops in competitiveness through the season, how often do they start with a spectacular injustice – a penalty given, a penalty not given, two yellow cards in five seconds, a yellow card for multiple offences at the first foul committed, a stamp on a face, a kick in the back of the legs, raking studs.
Despite this, and all of the above, we’re going to finish fifth. Who knew?
Let’s celebrate that.
Another factor was the cursed international break in March approaching which we had built momentum and were doing very nicely. That idiot coach of Scotland Steve Clarke then decides to play Tierney when he carrying a knee injury in two worthless friendlies and this puts him out for the season. In contrast Zaha pulls out of his worthless friendly (Ivory Coast v England) and then runs the game where we lose 3-0 to Palace in early April. I think Partey was affected by his participation in WC qualifiers around the same time and coincidentally got crocked as soon as he came back to play for us. I for one will be hoping Scotland don’t make it through the playoffs just to spite Clarke.
True Dave…especially with our thin squad…
We definitely some quality players both in our starting XI and on our bench:
– Ramsdale, Turner -> Should be ok
– Tomy, Cedric? -> Not sure Cedric cuts the mustard
– Gabs, White, Holding + 1 (Saliba?) -> What if Saliba wants to be more than a back-up? He just won young player of the year in France
– Tierney, Tavares? -> Not sure Tavares is good enough
– Partey, Xhaka, El Neny, Lokonga -> We need a player like Tchouameni to join us but we will settle for K. Phillips 🙂
– Odegaard, ESR -> We are ok here, more than ok
– Saka + 1 (Marquinhos?) -> A recruit is coming for sure. Barnes, Bowen, Raphinha could be good options but we re apparently after Marquinhos from Sao Paolo
– Martinelli, + 1 (Reiss Nelsson?) -> What about brining in someone like Kostic too…
– +1, Eddie or Laca, Balogun -> We need one forward. Will it be Jesus now that we do not play the CL?
Ramsdale – Tomy, White, Gabs, Tierney – Partey, PHILIPPS – Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli – JESUS
Turner – RECRUIT, Holding, Saliba(?), RECRUIT (AMN?) – Xhaka, El Neny – RECRUIT, ESR, RN – Balogun (or Eddie?)
At LB, they are talking Hickey
At RB, they are talking Lamptey
At DM, they are still talking Neves for some reason
At FW, they are still talking Jesus
Turney – Lamptey, Holding, Saliba, Hickey – Xhaka, El Neny – ? , ESR, ? – Balogun (Eddie?)
Could care less about the ref’s unless of course when the opponents try and break our best players legs, then of course I am all in with total anarchy. (See my opinions on vaR)
Now onto the year, Letdown, that loss was total horse$h*tE!
We have a squad full of crocked players or players just not good enough.
With LBG on this one.
Seriously, we need 5-7 more players and bringing up the younger academy players to play in the Europa games or we can just forget about this team pushing for top 4 in a realistic manner.
Will believe it when I see it this summer, purchasing players early and bedding them in, that is not the Arsenal way.
If management and Edu do not act decisively and aggressively in the transfer market than we will see that our club has no ambition, and our leadership is totally incapable and inept!
I see you’re starting to take the positives out of games….👀😂
Context is the key word for me, and I think yesterdays performance was a direct result of the Spurs loss. As a one-off game, the Newcastle performance was pretty poor from us, but when you look at the context, you see that the Spurs result had left a big scar and put a huge amount of doubt in our players’ minds. Add the injury strain on the squad and you get the sort of performance that we saw at St James’ Park.
As for the season review, I think it’s a game too early to start the post-mortem. Norwich will be looking to give their own fans something to remember from this season, and wouldn’t it just be very Spursy for the Spuds to get mashed on the final day!? Can’t see it, but stranger things have happened. Let’s get behind the lads for one final time this season and see what Sunday brings.
In actual fact, I didn’t believe AFC could challenge for a CL position after watching the Chavs,MC,Pool and MU during the season. The spuds also were impressive in the final run-in so well done to AFC, with a thin, injured squad to make it this far. Arteta always warned us that this project was a long-term venture (4-5 years?) and we are only in year 2. Saliba is a great DM, and we have real talent out on loan, plus new hires coming in the summer….we’re right on track even if some whiners are bemoaning the demise of AFC.
If someone had given me 5th before the season I would have grabbed it with both hands and feet. The reality of 5th is: Spuds and Chavs finished above us (avoidable with hindsight and a better squad !!), No cup runs and the realization that our most expensive signing ever is ordinary at best (trying to be polite) and three of our most physical and effective defensive players are injury prone. I can’t (won’t) argue with Aaron’s point that they were overplayed except to say we really played almost the minimum amount of games a team cam play in the PL. Referees were in general less than friendly but Saka and Lacazette didn’t help with some unnecessary antics (in Saka’s case for self protection to be fair).
I think I’ve learned this much: Arteta has a plan and it will take time to implement. In order to become winners in difficult games you have to learn how to win, from that comes confidence and strength in difficult games. We went on two very strong runs this season and with additions to the squad, we should inevitably improve. Overall we played better when we were good and not so well when we were bad compared to the lackadaisical mob we’ve been watching for at least 5 years. We lack strength and savvy. e have youth and potential. we’re probably as fit as any Arsenal team I’ve seen for a while. we have a few passengers but not because we want them, it’s just where we are.
Overall, looking forward immensely to next season.
All these remarks are sensible to the maximum.
But, Arteta did not even give anyone the chance to play here and there to develop, not in practice, that does not count.
Tierney has a history of injuries, and we have learned from last year that Partey is now prone too, Tomi showed early signs after being overplayed, came from Italy, do they even run in that league, just kidding, the only guy who has not basically missed any time was Xhaka, all because of the demands of a very physical EPL.
Arteta had at his disposal, Mari, a true left footed back, Mavro, who started in many games, Guen a true midfielder, Torriera, Chambers who is plug in play, AMN who could have surely deputized on the left or right, and my favorite, Saliba who is IN Champions League next year, who is also in the French team for his age. We loaned or gave these guys away for peanuts, including Auba, who helped Barca get CL league next year, some are still on the books. They are all good enough to play a game here or there, period.
I do not want to hear any excuses, all we needed to to is win one F’n important game to get into CL, get more money, become a more attractive option in recruitment, but we can’t get it done in the last 5 years, not counting the FA Cup. Bascially Bruno and a CF would have got us over the line, but nooooo, not our leadership.
We will most likley lag over the summer, still have Pepe, and be ready for next year ready to go with a reed thin squad and super high expectations.
I know better to fall into this trap.
I think we can all agree that we would have been better off if:
– We kept one of Saliba, Mavro, Chambers or Mari;
– We kept one of AMN or Douzi
Now, as we have loaned them out, we should have gone in the market to get some players. I think Guimares is overrated – he is very good but he is not great. In fact, I think that K. Philips, D. Rice and definitely Tchouameni are better than him…As for the forwards, we should have indeed replaced Auba and it seems we tried to get Vlahovic but again, we are not attracive enough anymore. The one thing that could make us attractive enough to coveted players is Champions League. Otherwise, we have to go for the very good players that can grow to become great players but that rules out going for players like Tchouameni and Nunez, which would improve our team for sure…
Arteta-Edu had a golden opportunity land CL footie this year but the team failed to deliver in key moments…The summer is going to be a key moment – will we manage to improve our squad significantly? We do not want to be solid, we want to be serious contenders for a Top 4 finish and Cup titles, including Europa League…
I d say get K. Philipps, Raphinha and I. Toney (or Jesus) this summer to be included in our starting line-up
Ramsdale – Tomy, White, Gabs, Tierney – Partey, K. Philipps – Saka, Ode, Raphinha – Toney (or Jesus)
Turner – Lamptey?, Holding, Bednarek?, Hickey – Xhaka, El Neny – Barnes/Marquinhos?, ESR, Martinelli – Eddie (or Balogun)
Clauss (RB-Lens) and Kostic (LWB – Frankfurt) also worth considering
Excellent Post RC (and Maxwell).
We’ve been found wanting at the end but this season has been a massive uptick in progress.
The carpers will carp, but this team is going places.
The experiences these young players have had will all be banked and will make them stronger, tougher and better next season.
A few good additions to the squad and the next campaign will be a whole lot of fun.
Ask yourself the question “why is Xhaka still here but Aubameyang,Saliba,AMN, Torriera, Chambers etc not?”
My only conclusion is that Arteta felt those players weren’t fully bought into the culture. Imho, I believe the culture change is the most significant development we have seen this season. Is Ramsdale that much better than Leno?? Attitude and communication 1000%. Probably distribution and crosses too but Leno is probably a better shot stopper. I honestly think Arteta is building personalities and ethic before raw talent. Xhaka is very limited and has an issue with controlling himself. Yet after Newcastle, who was it that came out and criticised his team mates for not implementing Arteta’s game plan?
Whether you agree with it or not, Arteta is rebuilding this club from the inside out. Anyone who enjoyed watching Adams, Vieira, Bould, Campbell, Lauren, Wright, Bergkamp, Henry (and you could probably add another 20 players from Wenger’s first two squads drive their teammates on with a combination of encouragement and derision will know the personality out club has been lacking for probably 8-10 years. At least that’s what I see. We still have more to do, Pepe may be the most obvious although I wonder if Arteta sees something in him we dont’ (although I’d be surprised!!). I’m a believer. By the middle of next season I may think differently but I’d doubt it.
RC, we are close to agreement, but neither the defenders, nor the midfielders are the same quality.
So I would rephrase it that we would have been better off if kept Saliba and Mavropanos along with Guendouzi.
AMN is agreat guy, he has a calm and charming personality, but he is well below the level of Matteo and should be only considered as a backup in case of injuries (at CM, DM or either full back position).
“I think we can all agree that we would have been better off if:
– We kept one of Saliba, Mavro, Chambers or Mari;
– We kept one of AMN or Douzi”
I try and fathom the practicalities of this assumption but cannot get past the idea that the above would have been expected to be on the bench until the spuds game — do you really think anyone of the names you mention would have been on board with that idea.
And lets be clear there was not an issue before spuds, we were on a winning streak, none of the above would have got a look in so why on earth would anyone assume that anyone of those names would have been happy sitting on the bench twiddling their fingers for so long?
Cuz White, Tomi, Cedric, and anyone on the left have not been good enough or injured off and on for quite some while.
Hmmm, give them a shot at starting might provide enough incentive for almost anyone.
Loans are always an easy way for disgruntled fans to give some stick to the manager, but the fact is that when these loans are agreed, the manager is basically trying to predict the future! It’s impossible to know what injuries are coming 2 months down the line, and in this day and age it’s impossible to keep everyone happy when you have a squad of 35 and are not winning every game (its amazing how fringe players moan less when the team they play for are picking up trophies). These loans are usually 6-12 month agreements with no return clause. I think it’s fair to say that Arteta would’ve been more likely to have a smaller squad this year than he will next year because we had far less games to play, thus a couple of the 50/50 calls on loans probably went more towards letting players leave and get game time elsewhere. The other side of it of course is situations like the Saliba one. Fans were kicking off pre season because he was allowed to leave, and are still kicking off at the end of the season saying Arteta should’ve kept him, but he’s played 51 times this year, got himself into the France squad, and won young player of the year in France. That wouldn’t have happened if he’d been sat on the bench every week for us. I think as a whole the loan situations have been handled pretty well. Geundouzi and Auba were problems, Torreira, AMN, Chambers and Mari had their chance and weren’t good enough (they’re no better than Lokonga, Holding, Cedric, Tavares), and Balogun, Saliba have had valuable game time to develop which they wouldn’t have seen at Arsenal.
Your comment is spot on, however we are the Arsenal and every year we have had a horrible time with injuries, Arteta should have chosen a few to plug and play, even if it is to just rotate, which
Arteta was loathe to do, and damn the torpedoes if a few tattooed millionaires are upset with playing time.
All the while the fringe players would be getting some playing time, maybe help us get 4th, increase their value to us and them moving forward.
A blind person could see that Partey and Tierney and others were injury prone or playing in the red so much that their diminished performance was visibly observable. Arteta himself might have caused more long term damage to Partey either throwing him back on or too early in the recovery process.
We had options, Edu and company sent out most of our players for peanuts, and brought up no one from the academy that got any playing time, all the while our squad played the fewest games this year than any of the other top 6 teams.
We are not at a level where we have 2 Tierneys, 2 Parteys, 2 Saka’s etc. These players are integral to the way Arteta wants to play, and the stats back up that when these guys play we win far more games, therefore it makes sense that we do everything we can to get them on the pitch. If we were a City or Chelsea then we’d probably have back up players who were just as good, but we are not, and we do not. Who fills in and how many back up options we have isn’t really the issue and isn’t why we might miss out on CL football. Would we really win more matches with Torreira instead of Elneny, or AMN instead of Tavares etc? The issue is that the injuries were to our KEY players and unfortunately at the moment we only have so many of those. We can maybe cope without one or two of them for a few games, but when we play Spurs with 4 KEY players missing from their primary roles, then it becomes a big problem.
Naw, nope, not buying it.
All teams, including the top teams try and rotate 1 or 2 players every few matches or every match to not put their top guys into the red.
Arteta rotates Nobody, 1 person will not unbalance the squad so much as to cause us to lose multiple matches unless of course his name is Xhaka.
If this is so, than our squad management, player acquisitions, and player recruitment and development are very poor.
Aaron and FGG, you are both right as your points don’t necessary contradict each other.
The loaning scheme and the squad size wasn’t really bad. We should be happy that many fringe players got the opportunity to play in a top league, even though I doubt that anyone gave a shit, as their seals were probably already sealed long before. However we still have a 20+ squad with plenty of rotation capability. Not to mention we have quite talented academy players who would have surely enjoy playing the last 12 minutes of a game which would also enable the player they substituted to regain his fitness better and prevent burnout. And 10-12 minutes would not make them unmitigated liabilities as their physique and enthusiasm would have made up for their lack of first team experience.
So the statement that Arteta had only 12 capable players thus had no chance but to play the best XI (and occasionally substitute ESR to Martinelli) is just not true. Lacazette could have provided a different service than Eddie, Lokonga should have played some minutes on the expense of Elneny, hell even Pepe should have been given more minutes to be sharper well ahead of those games that really needed the sparkle the first choice players were missing.
But Arteta is truly terrible at rotation. There must be a better explanation than the cliché of “don’t change a winning squad”, as that wisdom should have expired at elementary school.
I try and imagine what it is like to only ever find fault in the team that you “support” and I struggle.
Aaron you are not the most miserable that has been on the site the list in the top right contains some real gems.
The thing that you all have in common is that given a choice between finding good in the club or finding bad you will always revel in finding the bad.
This way of thinking to totally alien to me.
Going to help you out here.
I have been fortunate to see some amazing futbol with AFC over the decades, and not once since Arsene left have I screamed “Welbeck,” “Sanchez,” “Ramsey,” “Cesc, ” RVP,” “Henry, “Berkamp” or whomever was playing defense or in goal.
Let that sink in, I find immense joy in the art of futbol, even ugly wins, it is just we are stuck in the mud since Arsene left, and we have not been able to get out of it. Even our best wins are far and few between, and every time, other than the FA Cup win, brought to you by team defense and Auba, when we are in a special or must need game, the team barely shows up.
Creating a winning team is not easy, but stan the maN just has blinders on when it comes to many things called sports.
The new home kit though
In the PL this season, Arsenal have 7 players who have played over 2000 minutes. Man City have 9, and Liverpool have 10. We’ve used 27 players throughout the season (same as Liverpool, one more than City). When you consider the fact that these clubs have also played far more European and Cup games than we have, then I’m struggling to understand why it would be that our players are ‘in the red’ and theirs seem fresh! It clearly doesn’t come down to rotation, as the stats don’t back that up. Maybe it just comes down to what I was saying previously, which is that we aren’t equipped to deal with injuries to key players, unlike Liverpool and City, who have far more strength in depth.
Aaron – the Rams just won the Superbowl for goodness’ sake. If you’re going to defend being a supporter who measures his love by wins alone, at least get your facts right.
I am not a “natural” Arsenal fan, coming from Wandsworth and being a rugger bugger from a child. I chose Arsenal after moving back to London and trying out all the leading clubs at the time. Arsenal were on a downward swing at the time, immediately post ‘71 double, but there was so much to like about the club, and I was smitten from Day One. I have never felt that my love or support are conditional on success or the ‘wins’ column.
But chaqu‘un a son gout, as RC would say!
FGG – as I implied, I feel a lot of it is down to the youth of the team. It’s exciting to have such a young squad, but it creates problems: bodies and minds are still growing and developing, and many are experiencing the whole gamut of professional football for the first time.
Won’t go into Rams history, think different cities and loser mindset.
Ram’s fluked a win, brought to you by Donald on a last play sack, and if he did not get it Burrow had a wide open player.
The Rams had a 7% chance to win that game due to their negative turnovers, had home field advantage in the super bowl, and some gifted calls on their winning drive that were not called in the first half.
Also, I have already put it out there how poorly stan the maN’s franchises have been over the last 20 years, excluding the Avalanche as they have a solid team for over 30 years, negative winning percentages and flaming out if they even make the playoffs.
Only winning, well you are wrong there too mate, Arteta has been winning, at around a 55% clip, it is the manner of those wins and losses that bother me, the fact that we did not hire some other proven winner, Klop and Pep, when we could have easily done so, but our board is asleep at the wheel.
It is called being proactive instead of reactive, fluid instead of fixed etc…
Just a hint, think about whomever hired Raul the criminal, partnered them up with Emery who wanted completely different players, and fired most of our scouting department.
One can’t make this stuff up..
Am a fan, just not your type of fan.
Can’t disagree with that Maxwell. I think something else that has been overlooked is the fact we lost our first three games and the manager was put under pressure by the same fans/media that are now bemoaning his lack of rotation! Is it the right environment to start tinkering with your lineup and tactics when people are calling for your head? Managers don’t get the time now to be able to mess about with the team sheet week in week out. Losing the first 3 matches put real pressure on Arteta to get points, and of course he’s going to play his best players and potentially take risks with players’ fitness in order to get the best side on the field.
Another side of team selection is the player themselves. Arteta spoke recently about how Partey has at times been too eager to return and has potentially caused himself more problems because of that attitude and desire to play.
I think overall it’s unfair to put injuries solely at the managers feet, and as for rotation, the stats don’t suggest to me that we’ve rotated any more/less than other sides.
Personally, I think any failings this season have come because of a slow start and a tired finish to the season. I would blame the slow start on a recurring issue, which is the club not getting new signings in early enough, and I would put the tired end down to a lack of ‘quality’ depth within the team rather than anything to do with rotation or the size of the squad. I use the word ‘failings’ loosely though, as 69 points (assuming we beat Everton) is more than I expected at the start of the season. Also, I’ve enjoyed the energy from the team which has surpassed anything we’ve offered in recent times, and it would appear from the outside that Arteta has built a new attitude into the squad. Hopefully we’ll look back at this season in a year or two and see it was a turning point.
I think your batteries are fully charged, sir. Power to the positive!
Have you thought about the fact that pool have played more than 2X the amount of games that our players have, even if you include only EPL minutes.
Their fitness standards and recruitment are light years beyond what we have going on.
When have we lately picked up a Modric, Ramos, Kroos, Marcelo (robust players that have durability too) type of player at our squad other than the developing Saka?? (Excluding Xhaka)
Saliba could have played those minutes with us as well, and developed just the same, but Arteta said no. Bet our defense would have been better too and saved us $50 million….
Lots of thought provoking comments. I believe we’re in a transition. Mentality, fitness (therefore putting the body through stresses it hasn’t been used to resulting in injuries), experience, squad size and last of all quality. Given that after giving the league a 3 game head start we came very close to a target no one gave us a hope in hell of, I see progress. I’m not happy or satisfied with any of the things we’re needing to improve on. I don’t think anyone on here is. I just think some of us see bigger picture longer term than others. That’s perfectly fine and I get that those who want better faster see it incumbent on Stan to provide it all for us. Where I personally differ is the list above is in order of importance imho and because of that, buying a band of “ready made stars” is probably not going to work (unless we bought 15 of them !!). Let’s see what the summer and next season brings.
From The Guardian: “Arsenal finish outside top four would be self-inflicted wound, admits Arteta.”
– Manager says recent defeats have squandered good progress
– ‘The league doesn’t lie. There is a lot to learn’
I’ve got a feeling we’re going to thump Everton tomorrow (4-0 or 4-1) but it won’t be enough for fourth place.
You’re right about how close we came. If just three of those losses against teams we should have beaten had been draws we’d be home and dry.
Lack of goal scoring has been our biggest failing this season and I have no doubt the club will rectify that deficit in the summer.
Rocky i always was concerned about Everton game cause i thought dey would need a win to stay up so that not the case so hopefully some open football
our CB have to watch out for Mr flop Richarlison
RC78 hearing Mbappe staying can u confirm
HIGHLIGHTS | FC Barcelona Femení vs.Olympique Lyonnais Féminin – UEFA Women’s Champions League Final 2022
Olympique Lyonnais Féminin (3-1) FC Barcelona Femení
Amandine Henry (with an outstanding long distance strike worthy of a finals’ winner), Ada Hegerberg (currently the all-time highest goalscorer in UEFA Women’s Champions League with 56 goals) and Catarina Macario scored for Olympique Lyonnais Féminin. Alexia Putellas(captain) scored the consolation goal for FC Barcelona Femení.
The recorded full match broadcast is also available on the same “DAZN UEFA Women’s Champions League” YouTube channel.