A shortish post mortem.
We sustained a beating last night at St Mary’s. Given our run of form, and the almost routine despatch of our closest title rivals on Monday it looked a match we could expect at worst a point from. Klopp’s Red and White Army had run the fox to ground on our behalf earlier in the day, and their efforts had provided us another opportunity to take over the lead in the Premier League. Given that in recent weeks we have been playing the best football in England, despite our injury list, scoring goals, defending resolutely from front to back our confidence seemed justified. Arsene sent out the side who had done such an efficient job against Citeh, no underestimation of the Saints in what has been, traditionally, a tricky fixture to win.
As matters turned out the evening proceeded very differently. A heavy defeat, a deserved defeat, a 4-0 scoreline that could have been worse on the night. I have no stunning insights as to the reasons for this. Rather like a number of Arsenal players and the bench by the time the third Saints goal had gone in I had been reduced to a state of head shaking, eye rolling numbness.
Fair play to the Saints. An extraordinary goal from Martina, unstoppable. A player making his PL debut ffs. And three more, all stoppable to varying degrees. But as the evening ended probably a fair record of the distance between the teams I thought.
Bizarrely we really do seem to struggle against teams allegedly “in crisis”. Just four defeats so far this campaign but three against sides that we went into the game as strong favourites. First game of the season against the ‘Ammers we faced a side that had won just one in eight of their last PL games ( in 2014/2015), had changed manager and were being touted as probable relegation fodder. Same at West Brom with the Baggies who had lost five of their previous seven contests. The Saints had one PL point of the previous fifteen. There is a pattern of stumbling, though Gawd knows what underpins it. I saw no lack off of effort last night. I did not see our usual quality of crisp passing and inventive football.Against West Ham, against the Baggies we were a little unlucky and could have got something from the games with a little luck. Last night we really deserved nothing.
I have thus far avoided the mainstream and social media in an effort to sustain a relatively fuzzy warm holiday spirit. I suspect both will be tearing into our central defenders this morning wit carnivorous enthusiasm. It was probably one of Gabriel’s greatest performances, almost career defining ! Multiple names almost certainly are now being touted as imminent arrivals via the approaching window to sort out last night’s defensive errors. What struck me last night was not that our defence was prone to error but how little we created going forward. Had Martina’s effort been the only goal of the night we barely looked at any time likely to get past Stekelenburg. A number of our players contributed too little, for too long. With Giroud locked down by Fonte and Van Dijk until the very last phase of the game, at 3-0 down, there was very little variation in how we tried to attack, to ‘do’ things.
Even on a bleak night one should highlight the good. Both our full backs I thought did well. Brief though his appearance was Iwobi brought a little spark to a grim final few minutes. Beyond those three, for once, I am struggling.
Right, having rummaged through the cadaver, let us raise our eyes to the coming days. The visit of Bournemouth allows us another bite at the cherry ( Sorry) with Citeh and Leicester not in the ring until Tuesday. Unlike the clubs in crisis referred to above the AFCB come to the Emirates on a decent run of form and therefore the hoodoo should not apply. A strong response required. We have the players to invest our optimism in. Destiny holds her hand out toward us again.
Enjoy your Sunday.
What I like about the Elneny signing, if true, is that Arsene has once more taken someone from completely off the radar of the so-called ITKs. It just confirms that all of these rumours we read about potential signings are pure speculation.
Thanks dk, was wondering the same thing about Debuchy. Some reports saying we will let Chambers go back to Soton on loan, but we can’t lose both of them, so I think you may be right.
Elneny …..that is out of the left field…..or was at least until a few days ago, but if widespread reports from Egypt and Switzerland are indeed true, and if Wenger rates him, then good enough for me.
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I am 58. I have two children under 12. I have a 91 year old mother who is not well. My wife is struggling and in a potentially misguided attempt to help her we got hold of.a Border Collie puppy. I also have a teaching job that gives me holidays but precious little respite as I work in admissions and marketing too. Don’t be surprised if I occasionally post in the middle of the night: you guys are all that keep me sane! And I love this team all the more because yesterday was so hopeless.
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The Independent is denial now, regarding Elneny!
In other words, Mr. Wenger has killed cock-robin? There is nothing in the Arsenal.com press conference to justify the Independent’s title line? Mr. Wenger cannot be accused of “killing the story”.
My guess is that with the African Cup, every 2 years, top. top, top clubs will avoid journey=man African players.
In simple terms, I am clueless.
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This is horrible guessing of course but those who are unethused about signing Mohammed might care to remember number one supporter Mo Farrah.
Ha ha – yes, silly of me not to think that Egyptian sources might be just as capable of fantasy as their European counterparts. The ACN is indeed a powerful counter-argument to the rumours. Maybe Mohamed is guilty of wishful thinking too. Time will tell. Wenger’s an old fox so you can’t believe him either.
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Yes Mandy – it is out of left field, although I’m not 100% sure I know what that means! That’s what makes it so believable.
I think now we just have to wait until 1st February and see what happens.
BBC reporting that the Elneny deal is progressing, a work permit is needed.
Wenger has said Wilshere will not be back till February at the earliest, as it will take 5 or 6 weeks of outdoors training till he can play again, and he has not even started outdoor training, AW also added that he really did not know when JW will be back in action.
Very frustrating on Jack, so many of the players injuries just seem to drag on and on.
As for Elneny, sounds like Wenger has been quite clear there is nothing doing. But he was the same with Arteta! Guess we can only take him at his word but even if there are rumblings afoot, he is quite right to focus on who we have, and how they must respond tomorrow, anything else is immaterial for now.
If nothing is going on, a few journalists including some at the Daily Mirror and BBC are going to look very silly……as he has made them look before, no wonder the media give the Boss such a hard time!
on Debuchy, well the lad has stated that he has to get regular game time, as he needs it if he is to have a chance of being in the France squad in the summer. He has not been in the subs for the last couple of games, that might be due to him going to be on the move, or it might merely be that with Gabriel, Gibbs and Chambers on the bench Wenger did not see the need for a 4th defensive player
there are rumors that if we do allow Debuchy to leave in January, that we will sign 33 year old RB, Darijo Srna from Shakhtar Donesk
MD I think the only denial Wenger made about Elneny was in the after match press conference at Southamton, and he said something like
“no, no, nothing in it, at the moment”
it does seem the player himself has said the deal is agreed, which would be unusual, if nothing in it, and David Ornstein of the BBC is usually well briefed by AFC, and it is he who is claiming that Arsenal are indeed in for Elneny.
I’m sure Wenger will be asked about it after the AFCB game tomorrow, so the story will either grow or be killed then.
there are reports that Flamini is out of the Bournemouth game with an ankle injury, so likely that Chambers starts in the DM role.
Fair points on Debuchy and Elneny Eddy. Just taken a look at the darrenarsenal1 Twitter account, he gets a lot of info from journalists and others, and is usually a pretty reliable source of such stuff without claiming to be some ego driven ITK click whore…..he is saying it is a done deal….but even Darren E can be wrong!
but, the old maxim…..until it’s on arse.com etc……
Flam as well….thought he didn’t quite look himself.against Soton…hope Arteta is soon back, and can stay fit…..or maybe that it is Chambers time, he certainly has some of the attributes
KingFut.com @King_Fut 3h3 hours ago
Mohamed @ElNennyM played 88% of #Egypt’s matches in the past 2 season, making him qualified for a work permit http://bit.ly/ElNennyAFC
You Are My Arsenal @YouAreMyArsenal 1h1 hour ago
If we do sign this Egyptian lad – I can’t wait for the inevitable pissing and moaning about a player no one knows about
Yes, the moaning will be inevitable, some will not be satisfied unless we sign the likes of Pogba….in…..erm…..January