Another Worrying Performance.




Good morning campers

Arsenal have qualified through the group stages in Europe for the 18th consecutive season, albeit the last two in the 2nd tier competition.

Last night we managed it courtesy of the result in the other fixture and our own opponents being rather poor, although they were good enough to build up a two  goal lead. Or should I say we were bad enough to go two goals behind.

I don’t intend to dissect the game or crucify certain players because frankly the team and just about every player struggled, all I will say is that none of the usual scapegoats played, so it’s a struggle for their haters to blame them.

In mitigation Freddie has several injuries to cope with and a good few more that really needed the rest with our festive fixture list iminent.

Once again we see how a goal and an assist suddenly turn player that struggled in a game against third tier opponents  into a world beater that should start in the PL against very much top tier opponents in the PL come sunday. Well, according to many fans that is.

With Xhaka out I fear for our midfield come Sunday, City probably have the best midfield in the world, and we? Well we just don’t have one.

But it’s not all doom and gloom because Martinelli took only 15 minutes to impress.

P.S. Let’s not be falling out over politics.

29 comments on “Another Worrying Performance.

  1. Mills, I feel the same as you, truth be told.


  2. My experience of the game last evening was strange: I was able to watch most of the first half, and we seemed comfortably on top but a bit squanderish in front of goal. It also looked as if it was a really heavy pitch and that the ball was not really doing what it was told. I thought that most of our players looked pretty good, but quite young and frail. However, I formed a very strong impression that Sako was not up to it.
    And then I had to turn to other things so followed the score via BBC – and was mightily depressed and then delighted when it all turned out OK. And of course I was amused to find that it was Sako who made all the difference and was man of the match – so what do I know?

    And I am sorry that politics so often seems like a matter of life and death – but Bill Shankly would assure us that football is far more serious than that.


  3. I’m happy to give us a pass for last night (helped a lot in that by result turning out ok).

    That many young players on a tricky pitch, in poor conditions, feels ok to let it go and leave with vague hopes it was valuable experience for young lads.

    That said, the flaws did feel familiar (in that earlier, overwritten state when it looked like a poor loss). I have reasonable faith with those young lads that if we can get them into promising positions in final third they can do good things, especially if opponents not set deep, but it’s about the other aspects of game.

    Same applies to wider squad as a whole. Seems case across all sorts of playing permutations that teams have an excellent chance against us if they get themselves set deep to defend, and get numbers, even 2-3- forward fairly quickly in attack.


  4. If that is the case, why? I feel I can grasp most of it while watching but struggle to describe it particularly well.

    In many stages in games we struggle to create any of those situations where we have, say, 3 or 4 attacking players advanced in a good area, but we also struggle to stop attacking moves against us. It seems to require decent play to get at us, a nice pass or two, get past a player, maybe a bit of hold up, but not exceptional play.

    Plenty runs through my mind as to the reason- player quality, physical characteristics, organisation, midfield!- but I can’t settle on any one thing as the true or principle reason.

    Maybe it’s all of them! I don’t know. Certainly feel better about us than have for months now, and, so help me, quite looking forward to City, but feel most likely there’s a long long way to go until we are thriving again and solve these damn issues, whatever they truly are.


  5. Meanwhile, looks like Liverpool will be getting the player who was very impressive against them, even giving Van Dijk a hard time if remember right, for a relative snip.

    Those lot/fucks are just on a roll, though it’s surely easier to make good moves from a position of serious strength.


  6. was very disappointed by our 2 central midfielders yesterday, and both sokratis and mavropanos at the back, all 4 of them struggled. We really should have been at least one goal up at half time, but it was alarming just how easily we went 2 down.
    For me it was the introduction of Martinelli that changed the game, even if his touch was a little off, his work rate and just as importantly his speed gave us real impetus, and he gave Saka the room he needed to steady himself for both the cross that led to our first goal, and his shot that made it 2-2.


  7. Catalin Cirjan has signed his first pro deal with Arsenal


  8. What’s your thinking on what we should do with centre mid options we have then, Ed?

    While we’re at it, what type would improve us there?

    It’s far too simplistic but pretty sure we need an athleticism boost in there.


  9. not sure what you mean rich by athleticism, if its speed then I’m all for it, as for me its the biggest problem we have in both CM and at CB, the lack of speed means we are always not only struggling to get back or catch up with opponents charging through, but we are taking backways and sideways passing cos of the fear of what might go wrong if we pass forwards more, players know we lack speed so are cautious, and its as catch 22, as by being cautious it actually leads to us getting caught on the back foot.


  10. Stillarich
    I liked Chambers what he did as CM, on loan at Fulham last season.i feel if the coach can try one of the following midfield combinations
    Xhaka/chambers&Ozil or Torrera/Chambers&Ozil where Chambers plays as a DM in both combinations.


  11. Arsenal Academy
    · 5m
    Here’s how #AFCU23 lineup this evening against @OfficialBHAFC…

    Macey, Olowu, McGuinness, Medley, Bola, Smith, Burton, Olayinka, Tormey, John-Jules, Coyle

    Substitutes: Omole, Hillson, Balogun, Cottrell, McEneff


  12. Ed, yeah, pretty much meant speed, that and endurance- ie can get back if upfield, close down quickly (especially on edge of box), push up quickly, keep on running.

    But yeah, speed probably best way to describe it.



  13. Feel that when teams lack pace in defence and centre mid they often compensate by being designed for counters, with two or three really fast forwards. Defend, be patient, spot chance and go for it. That isn’t us.

    We’ve lightening quick Auba and a few who certainly aren’t slow, mainly the youngsters (though I’m still not sure how quick exactly some of them are. Nelson for instance I think of as pretty fast but on other occasions watching him run think maybe not so quick), and in Ozil surely the man you’d think is ideal for supplying that killer breakaway pass…but we don’t seem like killers on the counter.

    Teams often don’t give us that much on that front but even when they do we seem well off best counter teams for execution.

    I do like some of stuff Smith-Rowe does on counters so hope to see him stay fit and get more opportunities.


  14. Interesting night and I feel that the Labour Party and Arsenal are on a parallel course. Searching for identity and trying to unpick the mess.
    However they are through as leaders of the group so let’s be positive on that front.
    Some of those youngsters impressed and certainly are worth a first team place if only for their additional enthusiasm.
    I do feel injuries allowing that we need to stick with the same formation and players when possible at the moment.
    It does all look so experimental and the senior players do not seem to have basic positional intelligence.
    Oh well let’s see how the weekend goes and meanwhile the political and football reds will be linked with numerous possible leaders.
    Maybe Freddie as leader of opposition and Corbyn as manager?


  15. arsenal u23’s losing 1-0 and now down to 10 men after Robbie Burton gets a second yellow


  16. Ref was Durkin for the game, pretty sure son of Paul. Seemed to be reffing it pgmol arsenal style from bits I saw. Giving them free kicks every time they fell over. Ignoring plenty for us, including late push at end which looked a pen.

    Not sure what happened first half to get Burton so annoyed. Looked a near cert to get sent off afterwards though.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Arsenal Academy
    FULL-TIME: @OfficialBHAFC
    1-0 #AFCU23

    Our unbeaten run comes to an end on the south coast


  18. Speed is handy but not essential. Reading of the game is more important. Moving early, tracking back correctly, decision making on when to lay off and when to stay close, when to show inside and when to force wide. Also handing players over, communication is a massive factor.
    The other thing is this is a team game knowing your job in the team and understanding what your colleagues will instinctively do are all important. To get this the structure of the side has to be consistent something we haven’t had for a while.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Ian, you have passed the interview, be at the training ground on Monday.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Seems our players are getting political.
    Bellerins comment about Feck off Boris, and now it seems Mesut has spoken up for oppressed Muslims in China, the club have reportedly distanced themselves from Ozils personal comments.
    Footballers get a rep for being shallow, wealth obsessed and all that, might upset some, but some of our captains seem to care about issues beyond the latest Bentley…well they might care about that as well, but.
    Nothing wrong with speaking up for the genuinely oppressed even if it might hit shirt sales. Still, Emery would most probably have used that to ban Ozil from the first team for the next 6 months were he still in post.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Slightly nervous now about Pepe’s knee ‘sprain’. Saw the ‘tackle’ slowed down on twitter this morning. Surprise surprise tv didn’t show that at time in super slo mo. They often do for other contentious things .Dismal that in VAR era players can still do that to us. Two footed, out of control, scissor action, reckless. Way the leg catches makes it look like plenty of force would’ve gone through Pepe’s knee.

    Pretty much confirmed now after that and studs into Guendo’s shin (game before I think) VAR under pgmol won’t help at all with dangerous red card fouls.

    Only a break is likely to see red produced for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. seems Freddie has been refused permission by the club to bring in more backroom staff, till the make a decision one way or the other about the Head Coach job.

    Ahead of the game, Ljungberg conceded he has not been able to recruit additional help, with academy manager Per Mertesacker still sitting alongside him in the dugout.

    “That’s up to the club,” he replied when asked if he had made any decisions regarding backroom staff.

    “The club have said I have to wait until they make a decision, so yeah, I can’t do anything at the moment. I have Per but at the same time he is academy manager but he is helping me with the coaching.

    “The club has said when they make a decision then that’s it or I’m obviously leaving or maybe then we can do something with the staff. But it’s up to the club.

    “If you look at the person who was here before, he had a lot of staff and maybe I don’t have so many. So if you keep on going like that for months and months, it’s not so easy. But that’s totally up to the club.”

    “I haven’t got any indications of if I’m here (for longer) or not,” added Ljungberg.

    “What I’ve said to the bosses and the club is I will do everything in my power to do as well as I can for this club and the players.

    “Then obviously it is up to them to make a decision. I try not to put any emotions into that. It’s totally business and up to them.”


  23. laughed at this quote from Freddie, re Emery

    “If you look at the person who was here before, he had a lot of staff”

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Rich, can assure you the PGMOL and VAR will step in with bad tackles.
    On the tackle on Pepe, if that has been perpetrated on a Liverpool, Leicester or perhaps Tottenham player, the guilty would certainly have seen red and been slaughtered in the media to boot

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Interesting regarding the backroom staff.
    Wonder if they may be closer to someone like Arteta than we know about .
    Interesting quotes from Pep this week, basically it is up to Arteta to know when ready to be a manager, possibly a hint City would not stand in his way?


  26. Amazing how often those clubs at or near the top can name unchanged sides.
    I don’t have the stats, but I suspect this is a concept an Arsenal manager could only dream of in the last ten years or so when the hatchet men were allowed free hits on our players

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Mandy. Aye, thinking earlier of the reaction to Choudhury’s foul on Salah. It was a fairly routine, not particularly dangerous foul. (whether it should be a red under the Xhaka rule is another issue)
    Klopp denounced it without any hostile kickback (pundits prob disagreed but gently so), plenty of media attention, Liv fans no doubt backing manager profusely, and think I might be right in saying Choudhury dropped out of Leicester picture soon after, despite the challenge being very mild compared to at least two savage ones in months before.
    The one on Pepe was a good twenty times more dangerous, with far more force, and absolutely no control once player launched himself.

    I don’t blame Freddie too much for not saying anything- he knows score- but the contrast is shocking.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Here’s our latest team news update ahead of Sunday’s match against Manchester City:

    Hector Bellerin
    Tight right hamstring. Will miss Manchester City (h). Aiming to resume training next week.

    Dani Ceballos
    Left hamstring. Sustained during the Vitoria SC (a) match on November 6. Will miss Manchester City (h). Aiming to return to full training next week.

    Rob Holding
    Left knee. Bruising to knee. Will miss Manchester City (h). Aiming to return to full training in the next two weeks.

    Nicolas Pepe
    Available for selection for Manchester City (h) after bruising to left knee sustained during West Ham United (a).

    Kieran Tierney
    Right shoulder. Dislocated right shoulder during West Ham United (a). Kieran will undergo surgery next week and will rehabilitate for around three months.

    Granit Xhaka
    Concussion. Sustained strike to the head from the ball during West Ham United (a). Will miss Manchester City (h) and will be managed as per concussion protocols.

    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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