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Come On Freddie, Let’s Hammer The Hammers

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Arsenal make the short trip across the capital to take on West Ham United at their London Stadium. Both sides are short of results as the Gunners come into this match having won two of their last 13 Premier League matches, the Hammers only one in their previous nine.
Good day all. It goes without saying that Arsenal find themselves in a bit of a crisis and in need of a win to lift both the players and supporters. With so much happening behind the scenes in recent months, mostly baffling stuff, results were bound to suffer and it culminated in interim boss Freddie Ljungberg receiving the proverbial hospital pass. There’s general unhappiness with the way Raul Sanllehi and the Kroenkes dealt with the Unai Emery situation but for me that’s a fight for another day as Freddie and the boys need all hands on deck to help navigate the club through a chock full festive fixture list.
It’s always said that supporting Arsenal is like riding a rollercoaster and guess what, we are still on the ride so just make those straps a bit tighter. We are not always going to the scenic route.
Whilst the Gunners have given us little, if anything, to crow about all season, the Hammers are one of the few sides not doing any better, especially in front of their own crowd where they are winless in their last four home fixtures (D1, L3). The West Ham faithful have grown extremely frustrated, which has only increased pressure on their players and manager Manuel Pellegrini.
Pellegrini has been around the block longer than most though and will look at Arsenal’s recent results and feel that we are there for the taking, especially considering that two of their four league wins this season were against Man United and Chelsea. If they win today it will move them level on points with the Gunners and how much of a tonic will that be?
Freddie can do with one himself. Picking up just one from a possible six points, in the two matches following Emery’s sacking, hasn’t done him any favours if he got any designs on making his interim job a fulltime one.
Recent reports tells that Arsenal are stepping up their search for a permanent candidate with talks about an “Apprentice-type” grilling. Of course these should be taken with a pinch of salt, but one can’t help but think that if the run of poor results continue, the scope of the job for the new man will just get bigger and bigger.
For those as myself supporting the Arsenal for the last 20 to 30 years these are certainly “interesting times”, but I do take counsel from those that have been doing this longer and recognize it as the ebbs and flows of being a football supporter. So if we expect the players and coach to go out there doing their best, perhaps as fans we should step up ourselves and help them through this difficult period. It’s winter baby… we always knew it was coming.
Team News
Thankfully there’s no new injuries as both Dani Ceballos and Rob Holding still remain the only two absentees.
Prediction
This is a meeting between two dismally out-of-form teams; one of the league’s worst home records in the one corner versus one of the worst away records in the other. Almost as if each will find the other a welcomed opponent. Somewhat difficult to split on current form, but if I have to put my hand up… I’ll go Gunners all the way. COYG!
— @LaboGoon

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52 comments on “Come On Freddie, Let’s Hammer The Hammers

  1. Hope he go with
    Bellerín – Mustafi – Sokratis – Tierney
    Torreira – Chambers
    Pépé. – Xhaxa – Özil
    Aubameyang

    – Luiz not good enough defender.
    – Willock not ready, yet.
    – Özil & Pepe should get freedom to move across from side to side.
    – Torreira & Chambers should be disciplined and cover for the full backs.
    – Xhaka should be close to Özil, as Özil is better with technical able player next to him.
    – Unfortunately Lacazette need to be dropped (he is a great player), as the team need to find better balance.

    Holding my fingers for Freddie & the boys.

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  2. Football is indeed cyclical even in these money laden times. We need a win however it comes and then build from there tonight is an excellent opportunity to start the ball rolling and start to take on the rest of the division.
    COYG.

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  3. Tierney hampered by a shoulder injury of late

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  4. It’s been a few years, but data I saw back then pointed to a strong correlation between financial expenditure (transfer fees + wages) and final league position. Given our outlay at the time, the probability was strong that we’d finish between 3rd and 7th. For a good number of years, Arsène and the team outperformed based on the probabilities. In the past three years, the final league position didn’t deviate from the probabilities very much (5th-7th).

    A 10th-placed finish, lower, or a relegation fight would be a major outlier. None of that is an impossible outcome because we’re talking about a human endeavor here, but if you’re playing the percentages based on past probabilities, you would not consider those performances likely.

    If the probabilities have shifted in recent years, I will be open to revising this perspective.

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  5. Formation adjustment is key.
    I hope either Luiz or Chambers is played as DM in a 4-1-2-3.
    We really do need the 3 points !

    COYG!!!

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  6. Talking about human endeavour, and constant refereeing by the likes of Mike Dean/Atkinson this season, expecting more Deanisms, and probably another penalty conceded today.
    But, todays as good a day as any to start a much needed revival, a drift into the relegation placed will hit confidence, and provide joy for the multitude of forces that seem to be against this team, and Mike Dean.
    Being reported by the great mystic of Orn is saying Emery wanted Partey, Maguire and Zaha signed but a lack of CL football put pay to that. No idea how true that is, but if so, I would say at least two of those were grossly overpriced at the time, and such signings may have needed departures first, who knows. It does imply Emery knew weaknesses in our defence and mf, and believed we needed strong signings to overcome. we did of course sign defenders, one having another year at St Etienne, another considered not so successful by many.
    But , could be a recruiting worry if our coaches have a hugely limited say in transfers. I would guess if this report is true, may hinder us with the likes of Poch and Allegri for starters, not that i think we stand any chance there.. May also add weight to the fear the likes of Raul is running player recruitment.

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  7. Can’t add anything more hopeful and positive beyond that I bloody hope we win. An old cliche but we’re really in spot for a bit where results are all that matters (beyond good performances obviously signifying more reason to hope for more good performances/points)

    Fingers crossed and all that.

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  8. For the first time in two and a half years I’m actively looking forward to a live football match. I assumed it was over for me, so win lose or draw things are already positive in NE Somerset.
    If the massive improvement i saw in the last game continues this should be an exciting evening.

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  9. How that challenge by Creswell on Pepe is not rash and out of control I have no idea. Idiot Dean doesn’t even see it as a yellow. VAR should be checking it for red.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Jeez, when your lucks out…..

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  11. We need a Graham at this point, I think. Pgmol Handicap for an attacking coach, especially foreign, is simply too great . We can’t rebuild, without millions and millions, when aggression and dirt, including dangerous stuff, is always well rewarded against us.

    That tackle was absurdly reckless and dangerous. Only thing in its favour was contact with ball, but that’s meant to be irrelevant in assessing dangerous, reckless challenges.

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  12. Really need Ozil to do a lot more. Too many slow back passes. Not any incisive balls. And that is what he is there for.

    He also should have scored.

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  13. I suspect if any of ours had made that challenge it would have been regarded very differently. And on that basis all we can do is make our one touch passing game quicker and slicker.

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  14. We need a military coach who will who these guys into performing.

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  15. We do need to play quicker. But that also results in more challenges by the opposition and when they are allowed to make red card worthy challenges without them even being called fouls I can see why the guys are apprehensive.

    That said, we really need to put more effort in the attack as well. We are too slow. Xhaka has played more attacking passes that Ozil today.

    No idea what is up with him.

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  16. 45 mins to get something out of this , or wonder if the board might start feeling compelled to bring a firefighter in , relegation is not worth thinking about for a club with such overheads, it would make Leeds situation a while back look like a trifle annoyance for them

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  17. Oh dear worst half u Der Freddie so far not even any of our throws went forward. We have to be more positive second half. At least the ARSENAL fans are singing COYG.

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  18. Özil just does not have the right level of understanding with Torreira and Xhaka.
    Transition is way too slow.
    Bringing in Guendouzi might make sense.
    Laca later too.

    COYG!!!

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  19. Congratulations Martinelli, off the EPL mark!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pepeeeeeeee!!!!!M!

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  21. Auuuubbbbbaaaaaa!

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  22. 2 shots on target. 2 goals. That’s great.

    Chambers doing well for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. All front 3 have scored. Playing with more confidence now..

    Need to keep up the attack.

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  24. When I said it would be exciting I didn’t expect it to be this exciting

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  25. Pepe is tripped right in front of the assistant but he gives a throw to WH instead. Rubbish.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. For all his sublime skills Mesut performs a masterclass in holding up the ball, using his strength to shield it from the opposition. He is such a joy to watch.

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  27. Finally. A win. Hope we build on this.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Phew. Thank goodness for that. Lets hope does players world of good. Forgotten what it felt like to have a spell like that 3-goal salvo, or the largely comfortable playing it around nicely bit afterwards.

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  29. Really vital win, hope some confidence returns, we will need it with some of the fixtures coming up.
    Hopefully they can start moving up the table, and give Freddie a fighting chance

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  30. I enjoyed that. Very much. All of it. It was clearly coming. Confidence can’t be coached, it has to be earned .

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  31. That’s more like it…
    West Ham we’re lulled into just managing the game, waiting for a mistake. All it took was one proper transition and we were on our way.
    The prayer is that team confidence continues to rise.
    We are going to need it against Etihad Shitty.

    Well done boys.
    COYG!

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  32. See Dave, I wasn’t feeling positive, but hopeful, as I felt there were tiny signs of improvement in our last game. Maybe, the players will start to remember how good they are and start playing up to their potential. I’m really happy for Freddie to get his first win, away from home and under Dean, no less!

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  33. Pépé gives the ball away a lot, but in two critical moments, he did not.

    The other critical moment was Torreira’s pass to Kolasinac. That might turn out to be the defibrillation of our season.

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  34. Football is strange play well for 15 minutes in 97 and come out comfortable winners.
    Not our best performance but that didn’t really matter. Onwards and upwards.

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  35. The tide has started to turn! More solid defensively ( nice to not be playing Barcelona every week!) and slowly gaining confidence offensively. We have something to build on and I suspect it will be good at Practice tomorrow,

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  36. Great post match interview by Freddie, what a grounded , humble man

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  37. Press conference quotes: Freddie Ljungberg
    Chris Harris 09 Dec 2019
    Freddie

    Freddie Ljungberg was all smiles after we ended our long winless run in the Premier League on Monday.

    Read on for some of the key quotes from his press conference:

    on what changed in the second half…
    The players did amazingly. We had a gameplan and we wanted to move the ball a lot. First half we were slow, we were a bit lethargic, we didn’t move, we didn’t run. But that in my opinion comes when players are low and have no confidence. You don’t do it at the speed you need to and it’s been hard on the players, but I felt like we gave it a go in the second half and we did that. It was amazing to see, for me. And you saw West Ham getting a bit tired and a bit low around the 60th minute and we sliced them open and played some really good football, in my opinion. That’s how we want to play and we were keeping the ball well. But of course, we don’t get carried away. We have a lot of work to do on things but all credit to the players for how they did in the second half.

    on how big that result could be for changing the mood…
    I hope so! They looked happy in the dressing room, but I don’t think any of us can imagine, in my opinion at least… Arsenal is a big football club. We are demanded to win football games and they haven’t won for a long time. I at least have been able to feel or sense the pressure they’ve been under and you can always say ‘well they’re professional football players, they should deal with it’ but it’s been tough for them and you’ve felt it and seen it in games. Today, in the last 30 minutes, that lifted a bit and we started to play some good football and slice them open like I said. We’ve got a lot of things to work on but it felt nice with a win.

    on whether it’s difficult to find time to improve between games…
    It would be nice to have a few days so I can actually practise with them. Before the game is almost like a walkthrough, slowly, of what we need to do and maybe that’s why we start a bit too slowly all the time! Because you can’t really have the tempo in training, but it’s a lot of video and trying to show sequences that we can do better because we can’t really do it on the field. That’s not ideal, but that’s December and the situation I’m in with the players. We do the best we can.

    on whether one game is enough to help turn the season around…
    Of course you always hope. But I try to not get carried away because I can still feel that there are things we need to work on and we’re not near to where I want us to be. But of course, I hope that the happiness the players could feel, and that spirit and hopefully the belief in themselves, that they could pass the ball with a higher tempo and they could do one and two touches and they could do things a lot quicker, that they will have some positive effect on them.

    on whether he is having any conversations with senior people at the club…
    Yes, I speak to Edu. Of course we played with each other and we try to speak because I don’t have so much of a staff! So I talk to him sometimes about football. But I’ve been told to work on a game-to-game basis and that’s what I’m trying to do. Like I said, it’s the club I love and I’ll try to help them as much as I can. Then it’s up to them to do what they do.

    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.

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  38. Passenal, not sure myself, but hope seems a bit of an umbrella term? Hope itself can be negative ” I hope he gets it” ” I hope West Ham lose”etc but werent you hoping for a positive outcome? Hoping it gets better ( more positive?) hoping for a win ( a positive outcome?). You’ll have to forgive me, if Im off the mark.
    Confidence is interesting as well, its a good point that it cant be coached, but a step before it and perhaps its connected is that personal psychological well being , based on positive thoughts and lateral thinking in the face of difficult moment builds self esteem (self love)? Just wondering if the coaching bit is in there? Telling people they can do it means try to do it, which might mean it works out and from there the umbrella term confidence happens: coaching>belief>experience>positivity>feeling confidence? Certainly the old posi is part of confidence building. It was in my life with things got terrible.Probably a poor equation. Maybe a sharper person can really nail it?We perhaps need t be in some disposition to want to feel confident and good about things?Singular points seem to more about clusters thata we pop words on the top of it to easily explain?
    But Im not sure that it and Im pretty wacked. Could do with a bit of positive thinking myself .Im not into writing and have been doing to much of it for anyones tastes including mine.Everyone seems to have felt a relief. Nice goal from Pepe!
    But maybe we have a slither of hope for City?

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  39. Kolasinac has been genuinely very good three games in a row. I think our best player under Ljungberg so far.

    It’s hard to reflect clearly during a game, but our bad spell – and it was wretched – was condensed to about ten minutes either side of half-time. We may not have penetrated, but there were some heartening moves around mid-way through the first half that just lacked a killer pass.

    I think once the team is on top of a match you start to see the best of Ozil. That sounds like a backhanded compliment, but I think it’s the nature of his game as he needs the ball in the right place at the right time. After that he can be deadly like nobody else.

    And for a side that has been down in the dumps, conceding openers from deflections in two of the three games has been pretty harsh.

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  40. Dave, I always consider hope as a positive thing. I always hope for the best even when I’m finding it hard to be positive. Lack of hope is what leads to despair and negativity in my mind.

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  41. Very happy Freddie dropped lacca and played auba thru the middle with more suitable wide players (martenelli covered the left very well out of possession). Torrera was good defensively and Calum and Leno were good. Pepe whilst losing the ball stupidly in the middle of the park, when he beats his man opens up a lot of options. The attitude and mentality of the 2nd half esp the last 30mins is what we need to bottle and take forward from now. Role on city

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  42. Birdkamp. Good post. Like the bit about Ozil. Totally true in my opinion.

    Just night and day what he is able to show and do once/if game takes on a different shape, he’s getting ball in good positions, some space, players making runs for him. That’s his element and it’s beautiful to watch.

    Applies to all attacking player’s to a large extent- ie they like space to exploit, good supply, bit of time on ball, etc, etc- and how they can play is defined by what opposition are doing, so you literally can’t play as he did for last 30 or so if opposition have everyone back, are fresh, and giving no one any time or space in final 3rd.

    So the issue is how we can get ‘there’ much more often. I’m stumped on that aside from ‘go behind less and get ahead more’.

    Some hope and positivity restored anyway, as well as getting familiar again with the sort of sights and football of that last 30 mins.

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  43. it was revealed yesterday that Tierney had been in and out of the team due to a shoulder problem, and then he goes off yesterday with a shoulder injury, was this a risk that should not have been taken, or was it just bad luck.

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  44. Passenal, Thanks, what I got from what you written is that we seem to have levels of positivity? Tbh I hadnt thought of it much before, its pretty interesting to have a mull over. Good one. Makes you start to think what is positivity? If we had lost last night and somebody had said “lets be posi” everyone would have potentially got angry, because you cant always find it when you want it. Even though to some degree, as your saying its already there! I wonder how we can recognize the grade of it? I mean, everyone must be feeling posi to a degree otherwise they would give up the ghost? So that would indicate levels?
    You can see Positivity is also a massive umbrella term, that cover elements of that mean more than it seems. No wonder it can be a difficult thing to see, when its undefined and means many things to other people. What does positive mean?
    Plus I thought how do we really see it? ” I hope Dave goes” is that positive for whom? Me or others? But this isnt about taste or is it? Are our reactions to psychological ideas no different than if we like a certain colour or not? Im not sure. A colour will sit in a place outside of taste but we can really get to that point as we are always say> like no like, like no like? Its gets weirder as to what really people call Positive. Looks like a word like “reason” that can be used by oddballs when the want?
    Plus if we had lost last night, some would have felt more despondent and others still with hope( posi) looking for signs of growth.
    Cheers Passenal,I havent got there yet, but very interesting.Don’t mean to be pretentious/up my arsenal although Im sure it is. Hopefully(!) for everyone to mull over whilst waiting for the bus or whatever?

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  45. media now linking Paolo Sousa for our head coach job, he is currently head coach at Bordeaux, he formerly managed QPR, Swansea, Leicester among others, not sure how thought this one up, he has been sacked quickly at most clubs he has managed

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  46. Whilst we should not get carried away, especially as our 1st half performance was abysmal, nevertheless, having come away winners, and convincing winners at that, that must do wonders for their confidence which I think is 90% of the problem that they have had in recent weeks.

    It is unfortunate that they now come up against man $ity now, although, perhaps a good performance against them will boost the confidence even further. It is obvious confidence is so important for performance artists of all sorts and the last few months have drained the confidence of our players

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  47. Ed. Shoulder one is weird. Seems too much of a coincidence to be unrelated, obviously, but the burly West Ham player did crank back his arm at a very bad/awkard angle.

    Tremendously bad luck if that was something in normal circumstances the joint could have handled but with existing problem it did plenty of damage.

    Am I right that Kola wasn’t among subs initially? If so, given he’d been playing well, maybe he had a fitness concern. So more bad luck in way it panned out.

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  48. Paulo Sousa. Let’s hope that’s bollocks. What a strange appointment that would be judging by his career to date and, I think I’m right in saying, a nothing special sort of playing style.

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