What’s Going on?




Feck. Bollocks. Balls.

We were doing ok; then we conceded; then the familiar tale of trying to break through a deep defence while being wide open for counters. Urgh.

There’s gotta be another way. It’s gotta be better to lose another way than this way. Our way doesn’t seem sensible enough to me. It doesn’t seem to calculate the odds well enough. Or….we just aren’t that good. Still, maybe I’d prefer to be not quite good enough another way, or the other way: putting defence first and refusing to play what feels so much like a sucker role, one that allows teams who concentrate on defence and wait for breaks against us to look so smart.

Probably there is overweighting of the most recent, painful game going on. Just the week before our win featured a lot of us sitting back defending a lead (admittedly without the counter threat for plenty of it)…but still…it, this defeat, was bloody painful and aggravating. It felt so familiar, the sights, the tale, the blasted asymmetry. How can being light in defence while trying to get through a team who are defending deeper be smarter than being organised with a lot of numbers in defence and attacking into huge spaces with few defenders? Boy, it isn’t the whole story, which is a season or even seasons long, but ,ah, that doesn’t help on the day when it is the story of the action, and it is a story that has played out so many times before.

Of course, there is the big old issue of defend and counter being dependant, in its smartness, in its likelihood of securing a good result, and in the sheer spectacle of it, on the other team playing ball, literally. If they go for the exact same approach, then you will often get checkmate, or rather stalemate. The big spaces will not be there for either side to attack into. Something will have to give. Someone will have to push.

It’s also not true that defend and counter is adhered to 100%. The D & C team will sometimes  push up some and commit players to non-counter attacking, attacking attacking, or whatever the hell you want to call it (Utd’s first was not a counter, but did feature exploiting a nice gap behind our defence); they won’t always be totally set in a deep defensive block; they won’t always ensure there is no space at all behind their defence.

In addition, it doesn’t always work, of course. Sometimes- often even, if there is a gulf in quality- the possession team wins the day. Sometimes their extra possession and their extra time probing around the opposition box leads to a breakthrough. Sometimes they get in front, and have their increased chance from there of looking smart while the opponent looks dumb, or has to change, and face the threat of conceding again while they do so. Sometimes. The odds depend on quality more than anything else, but luck and chance are also factors.

It is all far better judged over time- months, a season, seasons- than in one game, obviously. Though, frustratingly, the nature of things ensures no two games are exactly the same, so while it is clearly not fair to judge one game as a conclusive measure of one idea against another, one team against another…a perfect means of judgment can feel, finally, painfully elusive. In a lovely neat Scientific experiment you could run it again, and again, and again. 10 times. 20. 50. Are you really so smart,eh, Mr Solskjaer? Is defend and counter really so f*cking smart? But no. Ten league games against them takes five seasons. Ten home league games ten years. The casts changing all the time. The variables. We can get ten games or more per year against teams who primarily play defend and counter against us, so there’s that, but again little is constant, or not quite enough is the same for the results to be completely satisfying.

It isn’t science. Too many variables. The luck factor. Arghh. So speaks a man, hopefully not too weird a man, who has just been burned by football. Whose passion, drug, vehicle of joy or whatever, has just delivered another good ole kick to the balls, bad trip, crash.

All this talk but in the game it is more a thing of emotion, with something like reasoning riding along in the sidecar. Meaning what exactly I don’t know. Reason isn’t king? Even emotion isn’t king, as in this case it isn’t in charge of its own destiny and destination? Ah, the lot of the sports fan, ey (where can i get me a bedsheets to deface? What’s Talksports number? etc)

Pulling back from all that, pretending not to be a emotional wee beastie, timorous or no, an immature goon, or anything like that; a person of sense or science or something, shit in order; head kept, dreams not your master, triumph and disaster not fooling you, no sir…where are we at? What is a reasonable set of expectations currently? Should we focus on trying to be better in attack, or in defence? Is there a way, on our budget and from the exact position we are in, squad wise etc, to try and keep (or forge for one set of the disenchanted) an attacking identity while NOT BEING SO F*CKING SUSCEPTIBLE TO F*CKING COUNTER ATTACKS (sorry)? What next? What does the future hold in store?

We will find out, in time. The perfect analysis does not exist because the perfect test doesn’t. We don’t get to play each game 20 or 50 times under the same conditions, with the same variables etc. Luck and chance will have their say. The things of perfect scientific tests, while leading to some very handy discoveries and inventions, well, they’re not generally the stuff of real, wild, chaotic, messy life. They’re only a part of it.

We do ,however, get the months, year after year. We get a season and then another; that has to do and it is not, after all, that bad a way to judge the merits of teams, systems and ideas.

          I hope I haven’t overreacted too gratuitously. But, f*ck me, that prick dancing again on our home patch. Utd again getting to look clever, and, horribly, actually be clever, while using a style that doesn’t place much onus on having to actually build play very intelligently…oh well. Onwards. The mind straining towards the impossible a little, half-craving those ten years of games in a week or something. Thankfully not getting it. Or at least not getting it because it aint fucking possible. These frustrations do make the good days sweeter don’t they.

Rich @Whatsinaname81

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124 comments on “What’s Going on?

  1. has there ever been a team that so needs to be the first goal scorer, and who also, even if ahead, or well on top, really have a big wobble once we concede, for several years now we really go into a state of shock when we let one in, players on top of their game suddenly turn into nervous wrecks, our 22 game unbeaten run, including the 7 straight wins, included a lot of games where we went behind, were we really rode our luck, opponents missing great chances, our keeper making a top save, or a defender making a last ditch saving tackle, and at the other end, our forwards were putting away chances at a very high rate, but since that run ended, the opponents are not missing so much, the big saves are fewer, the saving tackles are fewer, and our scoring rate has dropped to a normal level, all has combined to see us lose 5 of our last 10 games, we have cardiff up next, a game that we just have to win, or we are heading for real crisis of faith, we have city away after that.

    We are losing to both top clubs and the lesser ones, I’ve been told that we have improved massively against the big clubs, but last time I looked we have lost to Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea, also drawn to Man Utd and Liverpool, yes we’ve beaten Spurs and Chelsea, but we’ve had the odd win in recent years to these teams too. But its 9 games v the other top 6 teams so far this season, and we’ve won 2, drawn 2 and lost 4.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. David Ornstein
    ‏Verified account @bbcsport_david
    2h2 hours ago

    Arsenal have made an approach to sign Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic. #AFC want loan with £35m option to buy. 29yo open to #Inter exit. Fits plan of versatile midfielder e.g. Suarez (still possible) / Nkunku + winger. Unclear if injuries mean defender wanted but Sokratis not bad

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Arsenal Academy
    ‏Verified account @ArsenalAcademy
    4h4 hours ago

    Julio turns 22 today 🎈

    Wishing you a very happy birthday, @Jpleguezuelo 🎉

    Arsenal Academy
    ‏Verified account @ArsenalAcademy
    27m27 minutes ago

    Happy 22nd birthday to you, Gedion Zelalem 🎊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What do you see as the way to go then Ed?

    Try find those rare, athletic, fast defenders, with quality, at affordable prices? Wingers? Sit deeper in big games?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Like the pic for article,George.

    Might have been a bit more like this on 2nd goal though

    Scottish dad and family and can confirm it’s pretty accurate.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. we certainly need to increase the speed of the team overall, we need to add attackers that can take on and beat defenders to score or create, we look to have some of that sort of attackers coming through the youths, but how close they are to being ready is a whole other question.

    but one thing I would say is that we need to decide what way we actually want to play and in the main stick to it. This non stop changing of formation and tactics seems doomed to me. What other club/team does that, what side has been successful doing it.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. My monopolys 10ps worth: Emery to stop farting about with selections, realise whose whose in the pecking order and play them. The experiment was 20 games unbeaten but since then the lab is full of smoke and mirrors.
    Also someone to be an old style captain, and give everyone a bollocking if the get out of position, someone has to take charge, or have everyone take charge and work as an outfit. Same in midfield, old style midfield gen.Torriera, he looks the type.
    When it was even said on aftv what the ManUres would do why didnt we know? THey played us like a fiddle, look at the ten minutes extra time, the stards just got hold of the ball and we couldnt do anything.
    I know that it went all potty when first Sok then Kos ( the old backwards forwards name!) but someone has to step up and keep things in order. Would Monreal have been better than AMN? Does the FAC mean naff all to Emery? Iwobi before Özil and Guen? Lets Mesut do his stuff ffs! The guy is the king of assists and instead hes become the king of the bench.
    Dump the experiment and get a standard 11 as best as we can.Rambos doing well considering hes off.
    As Marky said, maybe its a Rioch situ? I reckon a Wenger side would have beaten ManUre last night-but that pure spec and means jack poop on my part. Ones thing for sure I dont really want to see anyone but Arsenal players dancing at ours again. ManUre got right under my skin last night.

    Anyway, fork it, maybe we can pull of an EL cup final win. Or scrape into the top 4. Or maybe we can not. We dont know how the players feel about everything either, could be really odd in the changing room?
    What does the Ornacle mean by bad with the Sok? Back in 4 weeks 3 or 2 weeks? If its like this next year, minus a few players who knows who the manager will be. But I wish Emery the best and hope it turns around, same to the lads, not much we can do keep the faith. It has been worse than this in the past though.

    Good piece though Rich, good points by Ed too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ed

    Bit of a shame- though unavoidable- but can’t see youth lads getting too many opportunities for remainder of season.

    It’s one of things I enjoy most from first half of season, especially while in Europa league, to see them get chances.

    Conceivable that there’ll be some against BATE, and maybe even next round if draw very kind, but league seems unlikely while in contention fro top 4, and not impossible we could be fighting to ensure Europa qualification at some stage.

    Still, that’s way of it. Looks like being a year for Iwobi and especially Ainsley to get lots of minutes and hopefully progress, and of course Guendouzi only 19, Torreira still young.

    For the promising ones beneath- and it feels like a guarantee we need a number to come very good in upcoming years in order to do great things- most likely it will be youth football or loans, with outside chance of a golden opportunity to give serious gamete to them if we miss out on top 4 early but have Europa qualification secure.

    I wonder what Saka or, more likely perhaps, Amaechi, if he can continue sensational return, would have to do to get in match day squads for league. Smith-Rowe I have this gloomy feeling whatever the injury issues are will run and run this season.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. smith-rowe is back in training Rich

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Frustrating no backside isn’t it?!?!

    One thing I noticed yesterday is that our goal threat is very limited. Can’t blame that on Emery to be fair to him. We should have kept Giroud.

    Well, I think it is obvious I am not a supporter of the new manager. Again, when he left Iwobi out against Liverpool (the first match) , I started to question him because the young man was flying at the time. Really stupid decision in my view.

    I saw many ask if he is overthinking things. I think the problem is he thinks he is always the smartest man in the room. I am getting a mourihno type vibe at present. He both says and does some stupid things, likewise.

    I really think he has lost the team by his team selectons. We have players who have both won and played well in the World Cup who are being left on the bench for a player who just stop wearing nappies. How would you feel in their position and what must the others be thinking. Guendouzi is good but not that good, as yet.

    He insists on dropping Xhaka back and we continue to drop points and matches. Then he offers no protection for him. We keep playing up the blasted pitch with this high press rubbish. Not when your back line is decimated, no?

    Wenger out huh…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Where did my comment go!

    Anyways, frustrated is an understatement at present. We all feel you bro!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ed

    Yeah, heard that. Feel like I heard same few weeks back though and maybe another time before that.

    Main reason I’m thinking it- apart from my pessimism- is the layoff combined with sense I had when he was making appearances that something or other was bothering him or he was managing an issue.

    Can’t remember what made me think it. Maybe I saw him subbed off in youth game with something? Maybe it was something within games. But definitely had that impression he wasn’t quite right.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Well that was a weighty post-match, Rich, and all the better for it.

    The ‘sciencey’ thing was fun and spoke to your frustration, but probably reflects the view of all who witnessed the game, and heard the idolatry of Ole the Conqueror — thank goodness it was not Moanhio at the helm for them — eeeagh — too painful to near had that been so.

    I have said some time ago that we need to blood some of our youngsters, and what better time than now with all the injuries to the CBs and Bellerin. The youngsters need to gain experience, and if we are going to get stuffed with so many defenders out for a time, this is the time.

    Get them on — if they are worthy of an Arsenal shirt — let’s see them do their stuff.


  14. Rich, that’s good stuff. You’re pretty good at this blogging thing. Now, I’m off to watch the game from yesterday – blasted weeknight games. It’s hard sometimes to bring yourself to watch a game you already know you’ve lost, but without the real-time angst you can usually see that we weren’t as bad as everyone made us out to be. Not looking forward to watching Alexis celebrate, but I am looking forward to watching Aaron play 90 minutes. It’s the little things.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. just a thought on the proposed loan to buy signings of Perisic, Suarez and Nkunku, if we signed Perisic and one of the other two in the summer, that would see over £50M of our summer budget used, if we signed all 3 it would see over £70M of our budget used. It seems a bit odd, but then again we are losing Ramsey and Welbeck, and it don’t look like Ozil is wanted either, so it very well might be exactly what we need to add in those areas.
    The big question is What sort of money will be left to sign the defenders most think we need

    Liked by 1 person

  16. would add too, if we bring in those 3 on loan to sign, and do sign them in the summer, few if anyone would count them as new signings in the summer, so even though the money would only be spent on them in the summer, it would not been seen like that for many and there would be the usual hissy fits about us not spending big enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Cheers, Alabamagooner

    Plenty to enjoy for you with Aaron’s performance. I take it you’ll be watching Juventus quite a lot in future!

    Totally agree with you about watching games ‘cold’. Very rare I do it but take in much more when do. Always highlights to me what a mess of nerves and emotion I am when watching live.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Ed

    Perisic sounded much more unlikely than the other two even for us to get a nice loan with no obligation to buy, which suited us perfectly but had few advantages for loan club I could think of, unless they were desperate to get some wages off books.

    Seems a bit of a pattern at moment. Reports of what we supposedly want- loan no obligation. Reports of other club not being interested in that. Add the Bailly one- as if Utd would loan him to us now- to it, and it leaves us looking a bit unrealistic.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Finished watching the game. We…weren’t that bad? We ran out of gas after their third, but up until then I thought we were in it. If Aaron’s header just after HT had gone in, different game. Shame we ran into ManU at this stage.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Interesting you say that, Rich. I paid for ESPN’s streaming service this season because they have all the FA Cup games, but they also have the Serie A games as well. Currently watching Milan v Napoli. Who’s the commentator? Stuart fucking Robson. Grrrrr…

    Liked by 4 people

  21. just seen a stat that after utd scored their 3rd goal, we did not have a single shot, 20 minutes of the game, this is not the first time recently that this has happened, for me this is as big a worry as any of the shaky defending, losing yet not a single shot, little being created, no one prepared to even take a pot shot.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I appreciate the thought-provoking comments on these last two posts, especially Mandy’s. As I have said before, Emery strikes me as an intelligent person, who may like many intelligent people have a tendency to overthink things.

    It’s not clear what a “back to basics” approach would be for him, the kinds of adjustments other managers might make and stick with when results and breaks go against them. One response would be to instruct the fullbacks to be less adventurous, rely on them less for their creativity, and put the team’s creative players in position to be creative. Maybe that is an option Emery has considered and dismissed for good reasons. I don’t know and don’t expect to learn whether that’s the case.

    A bigger concern is what is and isn’t going on behind the scenes. The scope of the change the club has witnessed over the past year is staggering, yet the management of that change has been, to put it kindly, less than obvious. This is the consequence of the hands-off leadership style KSE has taken with most of its sports properties.

    It’s ok to run organizations that way if you put trustworthy stewards in charge of the day-to-day management. Even so, those executives require oversight. Or the “catalyst for change” appears to design a succession plan, upends the status quo, and then leaves in mid-execution.

    It was the Board’s responsibility to account for that risk, putting in place a succession plan for the CEO so that valuable assets weren’t jeopardized. They failed.

    I’d prefer not to dwell on these developments and mistakes because I don’t have any control over them. It’s tough to get past them, though, when the failure is affecting the futures and performances of three of my favorite players in the squad.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. 900 what are you basing your conclusions that the board failed to “account for that risk, putting in place a succession plan for the CEO so that valuable assets weren’t jeopardized.”
    or that the board has anything at all to do with how Emery is using or not using three of your favorite players.

    the CEO has been replaced, and we it seems are trying to add another exec too. Even Per has an exec role at the club now too, as well as being head of the academy.
    Emery is in charge of the first team/squad, do you want the Board to pick the team, or do you want them to sack Emery six months in cos he is not picking the team you would. Or how exactly are the board failing here.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Ed, One of the characteristics I appreciate about this site is that it’s rare for members of the community to put words in others’ mouths. So I’ll hope that your response to me was made in a different spirit than it comes across.

    As for the failure, I have never heard of a succession plan designed to split a CEO’s role into two positions. Maybe that has happened in some organization, but the standard approach would be to appoint one successor who is responsible. Ideally, that person would be experienced in the matters currently facing the organization, or at least well-briefed, and aligned with the approach underway.

    The evidence that this did not happen is the Ramsey negotiation. How else to explain the about-face once Gazidis announced his departure? The financials did not change then; the philosophy did. Which is the kind of major shift the board — and a conservative one at that — should be guarding against.

    We will have to see if there’s a similarly marked change in the recruitment philosophy. If so, that’s a lot of whipsawing for one organization to take.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. or maybe more simply Emery decided that Ramsey would not be a regular starter in his team, and so a big contract was the wrong decision, after all Emery is not picking Ramsey as a starter on a regular basis, is that not a sign he does not see him as a starter for him. There is no good reason why the higher ups would stop Emery starting Ramsey

    as for splitting the role of the CEO, why not, if we have two people suited to certain parts of the role, why not split it and not only define their roles but refine them too. and as far as experience is concerned, Raul is no novice, and if the rumors are right, Mochi is not an novice either.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. also just to point out 900, I did not put any words in your mouth, I actually quoted you from your own post

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Alabama

    Stuart Robson…sheesh. There’s no escape.

    If they still have a guy Richard Hughes doing commentary sometimes, he is really good. Ex Gunner and positive about Arsenal so of course they let him nowhere near the prem coverage let alone our games after a trial in Emirates cup

    No Serie A for me at minute a rights bought by someone new this year so yet more money asked for. Shame as I would be tuning in often to watch Ramsey play out there.

    Despite Juve’s dominance of league, I think there’s plenty of good football to watch, so should be some decent games for you to in coming years and, of course, Aaron has great chance of winning plenty of trophies.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Just watched highlights of the game on Motd and sure seemed to back up my impression they were getting the three central midfielders back into defensive positions for our attacks.

    Even for our three best chances all three of them were there, alongside the four defenders, within penalty box.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Thanks 900ft. Frustrating times for all of us. I don’t get everything he is doing but I am certainly prepared to back Emery for now, though if he does something silly with Lacca, could be a different matter!
    I don’t fully get the Ozil thing, but sense there are things we haven’t been told, so am reserving judgement despite a desperation to see him back on the pitch at his best. Again, Ramsey, an immense player, hate the thought of him going, but also aware there were deals on the table for him for a long time, good deals or so reported, but he didn’t sign for whatever reason, is that Emerys fault, or another Ox situation, without the transfer fee?
    Not so long ago, I was on here , and other more hostile places backing a manager who I just didn’t get his MO for defending, didn’t understand his transfer activity, or sometimes lack of it, was worried he was for whatever reason, doing too many jobs, was immensely frustrated when Coq and Gab were allowed to go and got annoyed when we lost to Soton, Bournemouth , Watford, Palace, West Brom as well as our rivals, including spankings at Anfield, perhaps not helped by playing the outbound Ox on one occasion. Today seems uncannily similar, but one manager had a wealth of experience at the club, the manager I back today has very little and needs time.
    I get all the stuff about tinkering, lack of identity, confusing tactics, favourites not being played. But if Emery is to get things as right as I believe he will, going to take time , development and money.
    Think you are right 900ft on him maybe overanalysing things. Can also see your point on the behind the scenes stuff. In my opinion, a key force behind Wenger being ousted , a man supposed to lead us into a new era has buggered off to Milan, who knows with what effect. His choice, but the guys now in charge are relative rookies at this club and league, as is the manager and most of his coaching staff. They need to get that TD appointment right.
    Patience needed, this situation is going to take time to resolve. You don’t lose most of a regime and recover in months. Especially up against sometimes financially doped, and settled squads. Friday, we faced an extremely talented, very expensively assembled team playing as of just given the Wings of joy and freedom, yet also a team defensively drilled by Jose, whether they played for him or not, he still leaves his mark, we struggled to get through them, as others will

    Liked by 2 people

  30. mandy its one thing to not get through them, but to not even take a shot for final 20 minutes is more than not getting through them,

    if ornstein is correct about who we are trying to sign, then it would suggest that we will see a lot less of Ramsey and Ozil in the remainder of the season. Maybe we have over thought it and the simple explanation is that Emery really does not see either of them as a good fit for what he wants to do, the tactics he wants to implement, the formation he wants to most use. Could it really be as simple as that.
    Also I do wonder what it will mean for Iwobi, isn’t Perisic mostly wide left. Mkhitaryan is back in full training and he was regular before injury, so would expect him to be regular soon again.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. seemingly Xhaka’s wife got verbally abused at the game yesterday, and after the game Xhaka with his wife in the car with him, was verbally abused too, he was videoed telling these idiots to shut up. Pity he did not spark one of them out.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Really can see the point in a 29 yr old winger especially if we have to pay 35 mill plus wages. We are not a side who is battling for the title and need a final piece of the jigsaw and we have Nelson and Saka who are not far away from making an impact.
    I have long been a proponent of acquiring an out and out winger however this move seems like alot of money for only short term gain, I think I’d rather wait for our own youth players.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. First line should be can’t

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Seeing loads on twitter saying Ozil and Guendouzi failed in not sprinting back (or any combination of words people can muster to try make it sound as bad a s possible) after Pogba and while there may be truth in it they did not sprint at 100% anything like the whole way…nearly all the tweets seem to get it a bit or a lot wrong.

    Many seem to suggest they could have maybe caught him if they had run hard enough. There was literally zero chance of that, and would be zero chance any time once Pogba has any sort of head start on them. He is far too powerful a runner for either of them, especially Matteo. Supposing it played out anything like how it did- Pogba shooting, Martial with rebound- neither could have done anything to stop it no matter what they did, from their positions when Pogba got ball.

    A different question is whether players should always carry on running flat out in those situations just in case the opponent is held up or the ball bounces back to them in a tackle, or keeper makes save, etc?

    Maybe they had something to answer on that front, a little, maybe others do at other times (obviously they do sometimes), but I still feel sure there must be acceptable reasons why players don’t do it. i.e. Flat out sprint all the way back, even once clear they cannot stop initial phase.

    Embarrassingly, I have zero to draw upon from my own football playing years (maybe i didn’t track back often enough!). I can’t remember anything about those situations where opponents are driving towards the box and I am well behind the first charge and not in a position to do anything about it. Zilch

    I do know it would make a hell of a difference what stage of game it was, whether I had just sprinted the other way, how knackered I was,etc. Though our lot are all high level professional athletes that must also be a factor for them.

    For me the sprinting back thing is about 5% of the issue, overall, once a team is effectively behind the first lines of defence and charging into massive space on a counter. Maybe, maybe, running flat out all the way would put you in a better position to defend in about 1 in 10 scenarios.

    The remaining 95% is being set up in a way that makes those breaks uncomfortably likely.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. rich as i said our players are optimists, they stop cos they think someone else will stop him, or he won’t score anyway, the sprint back is two fold, even if you don’t catch them if they know you are close it can alter what they will do, how often when a guys is being chased do you see him pass off the ball when it looks better to keep going toward goal himself,(Iwobi does it a lot) its the effect of having an opponent chasing, also as you say, you chase cos you don’t know when he will slow down, or get slowed down, or ball will break from him.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. First goal either Tor or Kos close the guy down look at the acres of space for Sanchez. Freeze it at 1.42 and everyones watching the ball and not anticipating the play.

    Sanchez looked really average with ManUre rather than under AW.

    Second goal. Everyones drawn out of position neither Tor nor ANM bother getting back too much. Sanchez is roaming almost free again, and a nice tap in for the dancer.

    Number three, Guen does look like hes cruising back, but Tor on the far side watching the play.
    But we were going for the game at that point. And Im doing something I hate, looking in hindsight, its easy to pick it out days later on vid. Down there in the heat of the moment is very different.
    They played us and knew their enemy, we didnt, Sok and Kos injuries changed the game and dragged it down in steps. Plus ManUre blocked the goal pretty much in the second half. The stats show a different game from the score. Plu we were trying to get a pen or walking it into the net.
    We have the players, but we dont have the understanding, hence me saying it could better time to play a more stable line up? Unity always the key, look at all the sides that win leagues pretty much the same unit, working for each other, and a relatively few amount of players squad wise.And they arent neurotic. Bad thinking can relate in more injuries.

    Liverpool and City have that at the moment, Chelsea are more like us and the Spuds and ManUre are hit and miss.

    Funny that 40 years ago you could get through a season with about 15 players! And one sub a game.Different football I know, but it is fascinating.

    But the lads can get it al right for the 9th of March…lets see whose dancing then.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Ed

    We feel a bit differently on this one. I’ve a lot of uncertainty about whether it is an Arsenal thing or more of a football thing. Guess I’ll have to try look more intently on what other teams do in those situations.

    Was trying to think yesterday about footballers with real speed who play centre mid- players who could actually match or even catch Pogba over a long distance if he had the drop on them.

    Was struggling to come up with any. Kante isn’t exceptionally fast but he is one of few I could imagine racing back successfully after someone (though not Pogba). Switzerland used to use Behrami alongside Xhaka to do the fast closing down or chasing back. he was surprisingly quick but not lightening fast.

    Guess the sprinters gravitate or are guided towards different positions when young. Our Maitland-Niles when/if used centre mid would be one of the fastest you’d find in that position.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. well there is 108 hours left of this transfer window, latest rumor is that Perisic has pulled out of the Inter squad for today’s game as he looks to get a move to Arsenal

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Ed

    One interesting thing with out transfer efforts is, supposing most of the rumours true, we are clearly trying very hard to find players this window, with as much activity as i can remember in Jan, so what sort of impact would it have if nothing comes off?

    We all grew very used to Wenger- outwardly at least and surely in all ways to a fairly high degree- being remarkably accepting of the limits imposed by the budget. If things didn’t work out with targets, and that must have happened a hell of a lot post Abramovich, he got on with it without any complaint nor any perceptible change to behaviour.

    I don’t think that’s the norm with most managers. The majority let some frustration show in those circumstances, while some- Mou, for instance- react badly to it.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. If we’re analysing goals conceded by the way, I thought the first was nearly as grisly as the second, in a very different way.

    Our numbers and starting positions aren’t too bad, but the way they easily manipulate the ball into Lukaku with some short simple passes is grim. Iwobi fares particularly badly and looks a fish out of water in body positioning or following the player who has just laid a ball off and then moves to get it again.

    Once with Lukaku it doesn’t get a whole lot better. Kos makes a reasonable decision to charge out, though arguably he could have left it to Torreira to try block the shot. Mustafi seems to react to that and charge out instantly with Kos and without any thought of Alexis.

    I know, I know- horrible injury issues in defence- but those two at cb have played together plenty, and arguably it should be covered by fundamentals anyway.

    The other two goals are painful also, in their fashion, but considering just what bad news it is for us to go behind in any big game, especially against a counter team, the first is surely the most important of the lot.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. rich on transfers, we are indeed linked to many players, but Emery has only ever said one or two are wanted, a wide player who can go either or both wings, and maybe a CB or a versatile player. Ornstein says we are in talks for Perisic and Nkunku, and that Suarez might still come too, be it instead of one of the other two, or as well as the other two. He also says we are looking at defenders. Well in 106 hours we will know the ins and outs. But I will say I had not thought of what not getting some in might do to the actual squad, If they are expecting and wanting new players in it could very well have a bad effect if no one comes in. But I would say that if we don’t sign a couple of players, then a section of the fan base will be the malcontents they want to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Rich, imagine we do sign Perisic, Suarez, Nkunku and one or two defenders, even if its all loan with a buy option, it would mean that if next summer we did take up the option to buy them, we would be signing 5 players, probably spending north of £100M on them, the malcontents would be up in arms if we don’t double that up both money wise and player wise, as these guys would not be seen as new players once here for the next six months.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Arsenal Women
    ‏Verified account @ArsenalWFC
    4m4 minutes ago

    Half-time: Reading 0-1 Arsenal

    🇳🇱 @VivianneMiedema’s early strike is the difference at the break 👊

    #WeAreTheArsenal 🔴

    Liked by 1 person

  44. What’s up family!?

    Good blog post there Eduardo. Fully agree with the man.
    This is all about Emery for me. The players have shown their worth, it’s up to him to get the best out of them and put them in the best position to win. He is not doing it. If he is a great tactician, prove it, and I will change my views.
    I remember our surprising run to the CL final. Our defense was decimated and Wenger changed his philosophy using a making shift defense. Arsenal still hold the record for least goal against in the CL if I am not mistaken?

    Liked by 3 people

  45. Ed

    Don’t suppose you can remember who came in total when we had that frantic end of window once. The Arteta one.

    I’m thinking him, Park, Benayoun on loan and…was Per then as well? Or was it the Brazilian left back Santos?

    That would have been back in 2011, was it, after Cesc and Nasri late departures?

    Anyway, that was a summer window, and there weren’t the same sort of ffp wage issues we apparently have now.

    I can’t see anything like that happening, with 2 or 3 deals last minute. Maybe one, though; but I wouldn’t put chances of that too high unless sellers really want someone out, as I don’t see us as willing to pay late window premiums if seller understandably tries to leverage our need.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. per and santos both came in too

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Afternoon all – I hope you are behaving yourselves !

    Liked by 1 person

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