Black Friday For Red London.



Here I am again, happy as can be.

Well that was a desperately disappointing night, wasn’t it positives?

Simply put , for most of the game  we looked the better team, but we were not. If that makes any sense?

Until they scored, bloody Sanchez of all the devils it could have been, with a decent bit of skill, and their first shot on goal, we looked the most likely to be the ones going ahead. A couple of minutes latter  after some typically horrendous defending.

Ramsey looked most likely to be the one providing a spark, and he did just that, setting up, via a slight deflection, a tap in for Aubameyang.

In all honesty, I never thought we would pull it back, and in  the second half, that proved to be the case.

To make it worse it looks like Papa and Kos could be crocked  quite badly.

Going out of both cups is bad enough, but when it’s to first Spurs and then United, it’s a bitter pill to swallow.

Not sure I can see any light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s safe to say the tunnel is a dark place.

Still, it’s only a game? So on we go.


42 comments on “Black Friday For Red London.

  1. There’s always light. Just need to look the right way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Only got to watch the highlights. My biggest worry is the lack of effort getting back and this trying to play the offside trap way up the pitch. If Kos has played his man the second goal most probably would not have happened…third goal was similar with Torreira.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. yes pauln we lack the speed in midfield and defense to be playing this high line defense and offside traps. AMN really disappoints me in his lack of effort to get back, for me it was a big part of their second goal, and he has lots of speed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. george – spurs in the cc, man utd in the fac, lets hope its not chelsea in the EL

    Liked by 1 person

  5. from football.london, Emery’s after game comments

    On the result

    I’m happy because I think our work is good, but the other side is bad. The injuries don’t help us with the result when it is 2-1. The injuries didn’t help us because the rhythm is going down.

    On Koscielny’s injury

    Koscielny is going to the hospital for an analysis.

    On the result

    They give us problems. We worked well. We needed to take some risks and they scored the third goal. We need to keep improving.

    On Ozil’s absence from the starting XI

    He played.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Unai Emery was in reflective mood after our Emirates FA Cup campaign came to an end with a 3-1 defeat against Manchester United.

    Our head coach discussed our injury situation, where it went wrong on Friday and the balance of our team in his post-match press conference – and you can read every word below.

    on where it went wrong…
    Good evening. I’m happy because I think our work is good, but the result is bad. Today it’s the result and the injuries. They don’t help us to be in the match, maybe when the result’s 1-2. In this moment we had the possibility to grow and to win, but these injuries – especially the one to Koscielny – didn’t help us because our rhythm went down. Also, we needed to change different players to play at centre back. They were very clinical today and in the moments when we attacked, we got into the box but couldn’t produce the last action to score. We deserved more but we played against Manchester United who are in their best moment of the season, and they have a lot of players to make the difference. Rashford and Martial came on as well.

    on how bad the injury situation is now…
    I think they weren’t big injuries for Sokratis [his ankle]. Maybe Laurent Koscielny is going to hospital to [analyse] what injury he has. Maybe he’s broken [his cheek or jaw] but I hope not.

    on if team balance needs remedying…
    Yes, but today for example we worked to stop their counter-attack. They have very big players to do the transitions and they gave us problems with that. We worked well, the second goal was in the transition, but the first was [due to] our positioning. In the second half, we took some risks and that’s what we needed to do. They scored [a third]. We need to keep improving. I think the matches against West Ham United and Chelsea we played and worked well defensively. Today was more difficult to stop their transition. We need to work on attacking [too] because we wanted to win. Our idea was to go in with a good balance. I think we have a good balance in a lot of moments but they have big players with big qualities who can make the difference.

    on how he can fix it…
    Working. I know the way is working. Also today, we had two injuries that changed our possibility to take more balance.

    on why Ozil didn’t start…
    He played. I can play other players [too].

    Copyright 2019 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hope that is not a broken jaw with Kos.
    Europa league , that could be the one. Maybe Ozil being saved for it, Ramsey being kept for it. Got to get optimism from somewhere, just can’t see us in the top four with defensive issues and injuries, the others seem to defend a lot better than we do, as do most of the Prem League. Oh for those relatively stable days of autumn sunshine, and Rob Holding, the clinical attacking, the 22 games, all turned out to be too good to be true.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I only saw the last 40 minutes but it was not easy to watch. To be fair there were games under Wenger that weren’t easy on the eye, few and far between as they were. But my question on Twitter: Is there any identity to how Arsenal currently play? We pass the ball a lot but don’t create loads of chances. There was zero shots on target in the last 20 minutes. Wenger was also struggling to find a way to create goals more consistently especially after losing @19SCazorla. Still not there.

    I am currently writing a blog for UFV demonstrating that Arsenal’s performance is just as good as Tottenham but not great.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. mandy do you think emery is saving ozil for the EL, what with all his recent “tactical reasons” and tonight’s “I can play other players [too].”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I think the manager has messed up the chemistry with this team. Changing every minute, refusing to play players and all this rubbish. I know we beat Chelsea but it just does not seem right.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. shotta I said something similar on here last week, in the early stages of the season I could sort of see what way Emery was trying to get the team to play, lots of playing out from the back, regardless of what pressure was put on, quick direct attacks, but as soon as that 7 wins in a row run came to an end, its disappeared, we have different formations and tactics from game to game. And when I say different tactics, I’m not sure, as I can’t actually see what we are trying to do except overload outwide and have the fullback cut it back. The players seem muddled, as if they are not sure what they are meant to be doing, except running around a lot. that is the only constant. I asked recently, have the players begun to question Emery’s instructions, tactics and team selections, both Ramsey and Ozil seem to be popular players in the squad, and when popular players are left out, especially good ones like these two, team mates begin to question it, and then this leads to questioning everything the manager is trying. Of course this happens much more when on a poor run of form, and 5 defeats in last 10 games, is certainly a poor run of form.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Yes, why not Eduardo, just trying to salvage some optimism here!
    And keeping Ramsey for that very tournament!
    Whatever his true thoughts or aims with Ozil, the German is going nowhere this Jan, so he may as well start playing him

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Maybe Emery is emboldened to go off in his own direction, by Ivan’s departure as the alleged Spanish takeover gathers pace, or something.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. mandy I think Arsenal would sell both Ozil and Ramsey in a heartbeat this window if they got any sort of decent offer, we are clearly trying to bring in Nkunku and Suarez, both players who would be rivals to MO and AR, and with Mkhitaryan was was getting in the team ahead of both earlier this season now back in training, I think we might very well see less and less of both Ozil and Ramsey.

    I stated this a few weeks ago, if Ozil and Ramsey are not seen by Emery as important to our team, then maybe the best thing he can do is get them out of the club in the next five days. Its getting to the level of a sideshow now, its a distraction to the team. when star players are not wanted, you have to get them out, or the manager is in trouble.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. george is that for “tactical reasons” or are can you “play others too” banned smiley thingy

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Alright. Was happily distracting myself but came back for a peek at things here and seems I won’t be having weekend off thinking about it.

    Maybe a basic trick of mind (the recent one always the worst kind), but think I like that sort of defeat least of all.

    One where an opponent is built to counter, with the question marks against them being whether they have the quality in centre mid to play the other way- building play, breaking down organised defences while not being too vulnerable to counters themselves- at elite level…and we seem incapable of, well, phhhh…

    I guess it’s simple. The only sure way to combat the threat of counters is to sit deep, call their bluff, and invite them to have a crack at breaking us down (presenting us with counter opportunities if they take up the challenge)

    Problem is, that doesn’t sound too great an idea either- not from a pride perspective, not from an identity perspective, and not really from a personnel perspective. To complete the set, maybe not from a probability perspective as well.

    So we lean heavily towards the option of taking on the possession and attacking duties ourselves; try our best and live in hope we don’t get countered and especially that we don’t go behind.

    Maybe it’s just where we are,folks, with these top six games showing our capacities and limitations better than the other ones do.

    We have a decent chance of getting that precious first goal by taking the initiative, but we also have a good chance of conceding first and then being in a lot of trouble right away.

    I would have started Ozil, and feel more strongly it would have been right call now than at kickoff (though that’s always the case when things don’t work out), but I don’t think it would have improved our chances by any huge margin.

    He may well have been playing on that painful day Rashford got his two, or that game last year when we were also killed on counter by them.

    I detest being vulnerable to counter in that fashion, to those bums in particular, but i feel we’re bit stuck at moment. Not quite good enough to have the odds the way I like them if we commit fully to attack, and without the personnel to really consider the sit deep option, which is hard to accept anyway. While some sort of in-between option, which sure sounds sensible, blatantly can’t be that easy to pull off and must have real drawbacks too.

    Gradual improvement is the hope I suppose.

    Fuck me though I do hate a game unfolding like that, where the impression is that they get to defend virtually the whole time in a settled manner, with many players back at nearly all times…and then periodically attack into huge spaces against a stressed and undermanned defence. It makes them look clever. It makes us look the opposite.

    It isn’t the whole story of the full truth but it bloody feels too much like it at the time.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I thought Ramsey was one of our better players, he’s off as we know, but if it really is at Emerys behest, I hope he has a bloody good replacement in mind.
    They would get a few million for Ramsey if they sold him now, but the replacement, would, for a while at least likely to be inferior to our amazing Welshman.
    A lot not making sense. We could find ourselves without another two defenders at worst, yet are told the club can not afford to recall Callum, who can play in 3 positions, yet are they taking risks at the detriment of hitting key targets this season? And would reported loan players be any cheaper than recalling Callum or settle any quicker?
    At worst, this time next week, we could be two more defenders down and nobody else in. I hope that doesn’t happen,as only one man will take the blame for this, admittedly worst case scenario, a man who needs support in a very difficult situation.
    But I still back him in the Europa

    Liked by 1 person

  18. rich the problem is you are taking tonight’s game plan as an individual event, its not, we can see how it suited a good utd team, but we are having the same problems against the west hams, brightons, southamptons, wolves, if opponents pack their defense and counter we have all sorts of problems creating, is it tactical reasons, are we as the wob say, going to have to wait till the entire squad are Emery players, before we see a defined playing style, game plan, identity,

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Agree on the counter situation Rich bloody frustrating. And it’s not just the megabucks signings of Utd that do us, journeymen cloggers who seem to only be wheeled out against us have similar success. Mitigating circumstances at the moment with the injuries, but we have been weak defensively since Per and Kos with Coq shielding them.
    Don’t quite get why the club settle for this Achilles heal, our rivals do no such thing, or at least once their managers became established. There is no virtue in playing attacking football but being so poor at the back.
    I know I am going against the trend here, but I really back Emery to solve it in time and with less injuries, far less injuries, but could take time, and i suspect Wengerball as we know it might then be a thing of the past.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. mandy for many we can keep stinking the place out and it won’t be emery’s fault, it will be Wenger’s, Gazidis’s, Kroenke’s and ozil’s, not forgetting Mustafi’s too, Unai Emery is well down the fault list.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. maybe we will have to go for Gary Cahill on loan after all, although there are reports in Holland that we are after a couple of defenders from there.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Emery deserves a season off the fault list, what he gets is another matter. But I am starting to wonder is he is not what Napoleon would term a “ lucky general” But he will be under scrutiny next season no doubt.
    Ozil, that’s amusing of they are blaming him, he hardly ever even plays

    Liked by 1 person

  23. It is written by those of knowledge and wisdom that if we can get Monchi, all will be well with Emery.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. seen someone mention an international break coming up, there is not one till after the 18th of March

    Liked by 1 person

  25. mandy why should Emery get a season off the fault list, if its his decisions that are at fault, we were told he knew everything that there was to know about each and everyone of our players, even youth players, we are meant to be fitter than ever before, he is meant to be a great tactical coach, he himself named Ramsey and Ozil, not forgetting Cech as vital players to his vision, yet we know Cech is retiring, Ramsey is leaving and it looks very like Emery does not want Ozil, or at the very least can’t find the tactics that get ozil in the team.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. I would give anyone (within reason) replacing a manager like Wenger a season off the fault list, especially as he has mitigating factors, the worst injury list in defence I can remember, and not a lot of money for replacements we are told. Maybe nothing to do with emery, but it seems there is enough upheaval behind the scenes at the club as well, need a bit of stability.
    I believe he will do a decent job, but suspect it will not be with many players from the Wenger era, and in a few cases, that will be unfortunate..

    Liked by 1 person

  27. maybe Emery could start stabilizing the thing, by deciding what formation and tactics he wants to use, and going for it, as things stand nothing seems set, it all seems to be overthinking, or is that over thinkering, we put in a great performance last week v CFC, but we went with a different formation tonight, different tactics. Yes my thinking on it all might be far too simple, but I just feel that we are six months in and we are no closer to seeing what exactly it is Emery is trying to do. formation wise, or tactics wise

    Liked by 2 people

  28. I suspect Emery is changing things so often for a few reasons, injuries and fitness, assessing players, accommodating different opponents, and at times, I would suggest trying to put square pegs into round holes. Other managers do similar , but with more settled squads, and it tends to work better. Still, took these loved and annointed managers a season or two to reach their best, despite the odd new manager bounce, which I am sure we partly benefited from after the first two fixtures.
    But I am sure this change does unsettle the players at times, sometimes, it all works beautifully- Spurs Chelsea Fulham, sometimes, it is complete pants Soton Brighton wolves West Ham and to a lesser extent, this eve.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. mandy its all for tactical reasons, is it not.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Good wrap up and comments as usual. I’m struggling, during the last few years as the anti AW were cackling, my response was always I support the team and our coach, i’m finding it difficult to keep that attitude. There is something going in the management of the team, it isn’t normal that AW, IG and now SM have left, 2 of our main assets on the field are being spoilt, Aaron in his prime let go on a free and Mesut left out for tactical reasons, meanwhile we pass the ball 600 times a game seemingly 550 times sideways or backwards…and now we have no money…

    I read elsewhere that UA lost the dressing room at PSG, I can imagine with Neymar and his posse that would be a tough group to handle but like Eddy mentioned, benching 2 of your best offensive players and micro managing 93 minutes a game must be grating and must rub some players wrong…

    This year will be about the development of Iwobi, Guen, AMN, the EL is still to play for. I hope to be surprised….

    Liked by 2 people

  31. It seems Emery still have a PSG hangover, where his team were so much more talented than everyone else in Ligue 1. Only when his back is against the wall in England does he use tactics to negate opposition strengths, then one win and its back to old habits.

    Throwing Özil on was a hail Mary move. It irks me that he did that to a player that hasn’t played in a long time cos it now emboldens those who are already abusive toward him.

    I’m also yet to see the benefits of playing Xhaka at CB other then him going there when asked to do so. Breaking up the midfield pairing of him and Torreira is not doing either of those players any favors. Clearly Monreal, with his experience and attitude, will be a better fit. Monreal can even play in an attacking role.

    If the Greek kid is gonna play any part this season I hope he gets a run vs Cardiff, with Kosc and Sokratis doubtful we can’t really have him cold too against Mancity.

    Whatever Emery’s “tactical reasons”. Games against Spurs and Chelsea highlighted this team is not short of talent. He just need to settle on a gameplan and quit trying to over think stuff.

    Liked by 3 people

  32. Eddie at 1:25am

    I mentioned International break. Had a look at PL calendar and saw a 2 week break between the Huddersfield and Southampton games. So just assumed, unless calendar is wrong, or perhaps the weekend in between is reserved for the FA Cup, which now means weekend off for the boys anyways.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Interested to know anyone’s thoughts on ways to try negate threat of counters.

    Is there anything beyond : very high attacking quality of your own; deep defence; very high defensive quality, including fast athletic defenders ?

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Firstly thanks to PG- not a nice job but closed the door a bit. Its not often I lose my rag in a game but that was one. Yet again ManUre are just not that good and we seem to buckle under. Too many shadows form the past?
    Key points Sok and Kos going off, each time the Guns went through a silent period,still missing someone who can hold it all together. Iwobi tried hard but didnt seem to pull off much, he seems a bit to self conscious? Xhaka isnt a defender(imo). Mesut looked a tad rusty but how would it have been if he started from the beginning or played some other matches? I thought Guen looked good, Auba and Lacca seemed to have a bit of an off day. Pogba should have had a yellow and Lingard off. ManUre clogged up the goal, and went for the counter, it was even talked about before the game by some old Toileters that thats what they would do.

    I dont think it was a shambles (the main cliché of our time) or even the game the result suggested, but we did hold a better shape under Wenger. George could well be spot on with his 1.48am comment.
    Its been more of a baffling season so far, I expect ManUre to lose on the 9th März though.

    One thing, Isiah Berlin said that the questions of losers are just as important as the answers form winners. For us this is a key detail, ManUre can get deluded by a formula and we can learn how to be a team?


    Liked by 1 person

  35. rich more speed in the team is one key to stopping the counter, if you look at us when we lose the ball, we are outran, nothing else, its not as if the opponents already have extra men on us up the field, in fact we always have more back than they have up, but they speed away from us, now only part of that is down to speed, the other part is the desire, as I stated many times, our team are optimistic defenders, “ah they won’t score”, or “someone else will put in a tackle”, or just “it will be alright on the night”, take utd’s goals 2 and 3, on goal 2 AMN one of our very quickest players did not sprint back, no he jogged back, meaning a player he could easily have got back to mark seen Mustafi have to go towards, and in so doing leaving Lingard free to score. If AMN had got back, Mustafi goes to Lingard and the danger is negated. On goal 3 Pogba just pulled away from Ozil who yes, was behind him to begin with, but Guendouzi was goal side if out wide, but he actually gave up the ghost, and so Pogba was under no pressure at all when he was taking his shot, these are simple things. I must also add that even when Bellerin is playing, and he is said to be our quickest player, he often fails to push himself to get back. optimistic defending. And when optimistic defending leads to us letting in a goal, there is a cloud of pessimism over the whole team.

    If you watch recent games, we seem to have abandoned the notion of Torreira as a defensive midfielder, ever since he scored in the NLD we seem to think he is a box to box midfielder, look where he was when Lacca scored v CFC, look where he was when PEA scored last night. Torreira and Xhaka seemed to be working well, but this has been discarded to have Guendouzi in the team and the balance of our CM has gone to pot. Is Emery over thinking things, maybe.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Sam Greenwood has signed his first Professional Contract with Arsenal, he turned 17 recently.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Negating counters, a bit more pace might help, along with the huge leadership and knowledge of Kos. And not having backs not bombing forward and not being able to get back in time. Two banks of four would have helped yesterday, against fast forwards in full confidence, but unfortunately, for whatever reason, it is not in our DNA to play like that and hasn’t been for some time, but I emphasise, whatever else happened, losing two defenders like that is a killer blow for most, except maybe lesser teams where every player is constantly drilled in defence.
    Have long struggled with the way we defend, read somewhere that we as a team are too good to set up effectively to defend as a team, like a Pulis or Big Sam team, but we don’t have the coaching or resources to develop or buy the real elite defenders to make us like, say Liverpool now. Not saying am convinced by all that, but still cannot get my head around why virtually every team in this league , rich and relatively less so, defends better than us, and this has been the case for 2-3 years. As posted last night, there is no virtue in wasting games through fuckwittery at the back.
    As for Ozil, get the frustrations that we don’t see enough of him, have spent enough time bemoaning that myself. Maybe Emery is burnt by star players from PSG, or could be financial, but surely our manager is not a complete idiot. In fairness to UE, at various stages, he has played Ozil, bigged him up, made him captain, and also dropped him. What else is he supposed to do? Perhaps more work behind the scenes? Perhaps that Ulrich article is correct, Ozil is a sensitive guy and in some post WC / Ergogan and maybe post Wenger funk that Emery just cannot get him out of, despite trying, whatever excuses he uses for not picking him. Let’s face it, apart from one or two games , Ozil certainly has not been at the peak of his capabilities.Feel dirty even suggesting it, but maybe one of our favourites just genuinely isn’t in the right frame of mind to perform and UE is just doing what any responsible manager would and removing him from the firing line, he may even feel it would be better for all concerned if MO were at another club, not that I would wish anything that drastic. Or maybe MO is just gradually getting over injuries, mental, physical or both. It is quite possible the Wenger Gazidis regime may have taken a different approach to Mesut, those two leaving has prob altered all manner of things, but we are where we are.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. I wonder if we have another Bruce Rioch type situation here, or maybe Bruce Rioja

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Good Afternoon,

    All the points made earlier are sensible and pay a lot of attention to the problem in defence, and a certain amount of consideration has to be paid where the CB (capt) and the other strong, experienced CB, are both bashed and replaced after calamitous injuries.

    But – and I feel somewhat vulnerable mentioning this – has anyone else noticed that are best goal scorer, with the most goals, has ironically been missing a hatful of, for him, of relatively easy chances, especially in last night’s games, and in the game against the Spuds.

    Perhaps the problem is not just down to weak defending?

    I read that AW is being lured to PSG as Head of Football or some such. Interesting, if so.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Another post is up, Rich has had a tantrum.

    Liked by 1 person

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