Arsenal host the Premier League defending champions Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium this afternoon; with both sides having ropy league campaigns thus far.
Good day all. The Gunners finally ended their winless run with a win at West Ham United, which they followed up by coming back from two-goals down for a draw at Standard Liège to qualify for the Europa League ’round of 32′ as group winners.
It’s still just one win in four games since Freddie Ljungberg took over, but he will hope his side can kick on against a Man City outfit that’s already 17 points behind leaders Liverpool and in a position of rare vulnerability in the Pep Guardiola era.
After averaging a massive 99 pts in the last two seasons, getting 32 pts from 16 games is Pep’s worst start to a league campaign in his glowing managerial career. His side have already lost as many games as they did last season, which include defeats to Norwich and Wolves, they also dropped two points on a recent trip to Newcastle. If you factor in that they’re on the back of a 10-game run without a clean sheet, this is the sort of form that can cause doubt in the minds of players and indeed a manager who have set very high standards for themselves.
Well… phhh! All these may mean very little considering Arsenal’s issues a bit more deep-seated, however, there should still be a strong belief that they are there for the taking. Otherwise what would be the point?
It goes without saying that we don’t have a particularly good record against the Cityzens in recent years; they have beaten us with an aggregate score of 14-2 in the last five encounters (all competitions). But we can’t exactly evade them, and seldom has there been a more opportune time to play them. While they still remain a threat up front, things are not happening at the back for them. So if we defend well enough and make the most of our scoring chances… wouldn’t that be a gigantic feather in Freddie’s cap, which would be a bit hard to ignore for our executives?
His few games as interim coach hasn’t exactly been ideal and having Mikel Arteta, who is one of the potential candidates for the Arsenal job, in the opposition dugout would add a rather interesting subplot as we vie for a first league win against the Cityzens since December 2015.
Nicolas Pépé is available after initial fears over his fitness, whilst Hector Bellerìn and Granit Xhaka might only return hereafter. Dani Ceballos and Rob Holding are also nearing returns, Kieran Tierney is ruled out for the next three months.
Gabriel Martinelli will be hopeful of getting a second league start after scoring at West Ham and I doubt any Arsenal fan will complain. Kid has been impressive.
For all of Man City’s problems it would be foolish thinking they’re not favourites for the win, however, they are under pressure to pick up results otherwise they can forget about getting a sniff in the race for the league title.
That pressure, of course, is something Arsenal can target as the visitors have shown they’re more prone to slip-ups recently than at any point during Pep’s tenure. So neither Freddie nor supporters have to feel apprehensive about our chances here today and just back the boys. I think there’s a genuine willingness in them to give more than they did these last few months and this could be an exciting game.
Keep those fingers crossed Gooners. COYG!
We will need a big slice of luck to beat City, they are a far better team than us.
Hopefully the boys will be playing to impress their potential new full-time boss – whoever that is in this shootout between Freddie and Arteta [insert toothy blob]
Unfortunately, will be surprised if we get anything out of this, but would love to be wrong.
Freddie is at pains to point out how much work needs doing, saw a quote somewhere he has identified 10-15 urgent issues that need addressing tho it still looks a squad with some talent to me. Makes you wonder what on Earth Emery and his staff were actually doing, and why the board didn’t see things a little earlier. but the point is, Freddie, Arteta, Poch , Wenger or whoever would have the same problems.
This club need rescuing from a dip that is in danger of turning into a decline, personally believe Freddie stands as,much chance of maybe more of arresting this as anyone else, he knows the club and its issues and will be able to help players confidence. Whoever it is will need substantial help from above , that may or may not put off some potential candidates..
But good luck to them today.
Take it the wonderful Mesut Ozil doesn’t want to end his career in China at some stage
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It’s almost karma that Pep’s worst start coincides with the introduction of VAR to the PL. Yes they’ve been better than us (and most) over the years but their 14-2 superiority has been PGMOL-aided in a couple of encounters. I feel absolutely nothing for Barcelona tikka taka and cannot wait for it to crumble when Messi retires. Geopolitical football bores me so I hope our guys are inspired and we defeat Shitty today!
that Freddie has had to have a meeting with the squad over how to handle the boo boys in our home crowd says alot about the idiots we have in the fan base.
Freddie has noted that opposing teams are heartened by how quickly our fans turn on our players, and that visiting teams set up to frustrate us early so that the home crowd turn on our players and affect the players confidence more and so performance level drops.
Freddie has also asked the players to look to be subbed off if they are tired, cos performance level drops when tired but fans do not take this into account and get on their backs.
Of course the boo boys keep telling us that the wages these guys get mean they should not be affected by some boos and jeers, which in turn begs the question, if booing and jeering them should not affect them, then why boo and jeer them, what will it accomplish
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so China state television has pulled the Arsenal v Man City game due to Ozil’s comments about the treatment of Muslims in China.
Excellent preview Labo. Nothing much to add to it really but may as well anyway.
‘If’ we can hold out and get lucky in defence and get ourselves opening goal, then not a bad chance of getting result today.
Must say I feel differently about our chances depending on if it’s Martinelli, Auba, Pepe, as opposed to Laca playing with Auba wide.
Maybe that’s wrong of me. Laca’s undoubtedly a good player, Martinelli’s still a kid, but never been convinced Laca, Auba in a three works particularly well, and extra speed Martinelli offers seems very valuable for counters with front three.
We got a chance, but, as you say, they’re still favourites and, of course, there’s potential they win it well. But we got a chance.
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Must admit, the games I have seen this season, notably Southampton, the loudest boos were for the appallingly biased refereeing, but if Freddie has identified it, clearly a major issue.
Wish the fans would turn on the likes of AFTV , in a non violent fashion of course , they are not the only problem, but certainly a part of it
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While I think you need luck to win any game, even when your on form, the thing about football even the best sides can get beaten by inferior sides just having a great game which is why there has been only one invincibles.
We know city have some fantastic players and are a great side but certainly beatable in our own backyard.
As we are just trying to build momentum a draw wouldn’t be a bad thing but I’m definitely starting with a win in mind.
Yeah we know our crowd inside and outside the stadium have been an embarrassment to the club in recent seasons and just like Anfield 89 everyone claiming to be there in a few years time everyone will claim they weren’t part of the toxicity.
Positiveness by the team is needed today, not to be scared and remember we are ARSENAL COYG.
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HALF-TIME: Everton 0-1 Arsenal
An impressive first-half performance at The Pure Stadium
Miedema with our goal, the bad news is that Beth Mead seems to have suffered a very bad injury, game was delayed for nearly 8 minutes as she was stretchered off.
Kim little made it 2-0 and now Miedema with her second sees Arsenal women lead 3-0 away to Everton Ladies
No idea how it relates to rest of women’s football but our women’s team seem as at risk from bad challenges as men’s team. Remember a stinker on Kelly Smith by Sunderland player put her out for good while. Dirty Chelsea player broke Little’s leg last year. Even one that did Nobbs cruciate was dodgy for me.
Like in men’s game, almost always the British players commiting these challenges. This time around happens to be by cousin of Jesse Lingard, so who knows if some of animosity towards men’s team has infected women’s game.
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Full Time: Everton Women 1-3 Arsenal Women
Arsenal finish the year on top of the table
Have to keep some faith or as you say what is the point.
It is interesting that the new manager affect hasn’t materialised. Just watched the Everton game and the increased level of performance is there for all to see.
Some of these youngsters that continue to impress need a chance but the experienced players must step up.
Maybe today is the day!
Feel so sorry KT he just can’t seem to get his Arsenal career going.
Let’s be ‘avin you!
Maitland-Niles, Chambers, Sokratis, Kolasinac
Pepe, Ozil, Martinelli
subs:Martinez, David Luiz, Willock, Nelson, Saka, Smith-Rowe, Lacazette
ah for fucks sake, behind already
2 down now
Biased Commentators as usual.
They showed a slow motion of the guendouzi tackle in the box which clearly showed he was tripped.
Kolasinac is injured and is replaced by Saka
3-0 down and its as good as over already
Man$ity 10 fouls to our 1.
leno with a brilliant fingertip save to stop KDB getting a first half hattrick
Freddie just lost me.Saka is a defensive liability that took too long to bring on.
Bring on David Luiz, move Ainsley to LB and Chambers to RB.
Not enough urgency.
Guendouzi really hasn’t a clue how to defend, not aware at all. City a walking past us all game. But its been two wonderful KDB strikes and a well worked Sterling goal that see us 3-0 down
I have turned off the sound as the bias is now too much.
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Every time we have been in a promising position they have fouled us
That is clearly how champions play. And the ref allows it.
HT: Arsenal 0-3 Man City
team booed off at half time, city have tore us a new one without really being at their best.
We are just so easy to run past, its unreal.
We really haven’t created a chance at the other end either.
I’m afraid this will spell the end of Freddie’s temporary reign, I can see us having a new guy in by time we play our next game.
when city come at us we just run away, back off and back off, no one willing to put in a tackle, no one prepared to go and meet the man with the ball, no one looking to put in a tackle, until recent seasons, I never seen that from an Arsenal team.
I wouldn’t have Pépé starting. Against this side Laca in the middle, Auba on the right would have been better. A better fit defensively.
Freddie has not respected Shitty enough and we look pretty much done.
Auba is just running around headless. Kolasinac should have stayed tight on Sterling for the 2nd. Guendouzi is just too positionally naive to trouble their midfield and I guess our injuries haven’t helped.
Arsenal women top their league by 3pts over man city women, with chelsea women 4pts behind but with a game in hand, CFC women surprisingly only drew with bottom club liverpool women today,
Arsenal Women have scored 29 goals in their 10 league games so far this season, and only conceded 5.
It’s easily the lesser of problems today but find it hard to imagine us getting back to very high level without upping our cynical fouls to match the rest. We go past or simply turn away from marker with skill, foul comes in, absolutely routine. Same player can do it numerous times if clever enough.
They go past us and it’s a real rarity to commit the foul. Puts us at a great disadvantage and you’d need to be a phenomenally good team to cancel out effects of it.
Man$ity 12 fouls to our 2. That is the difference.
They are prepared to foul to stop an attack and we are not.
Interesting, no discussion on the penalty call.
If I was not a foul then it was dive and he should have been booked.
Emile Smith-Rowe on for Ozil
its ESRs EPL debut
not an ounce of fight in our players, just awful to see
the BBC were told before the game that no appointment of a new Head Coach at AFC is imminent,
they’ve only had a little over 2 weeks to sort it out, no rush it seems
the Stadium half empty for some time now, that more than anything will surely make Raul and co get a shift on and get in a new boss.
Oddly rumors doing the rounds today that there will be an announcement shortly as to a change on the Board, likely the recent rumor that Sir Chips and maybe Lord Harris too, have had enough and are stepping down, now who replaces them, maybe Raul, Vinny and Edu will take their places. I’d expect Josh Kroenke to be made Chairman if Sir Chips leaves.
Sagna on Arsenal: “It’s a big circus at the club, you don’t really know who’s leaving and who is making the decisions. It seems like the players lack confidence. You can’t blame them because they don’t know who is going to be the next manager”
FT: Arsenal 0-3 Man City
3 fines goals from a city viewpoint, but same old from an AFC one,
we never laid a glove on City today, we let them stroll through this game.
Think this might be Freddie’s last game in charge of us, 1 win in his 5 games so far, and not a really good performance in any of those games, no new man bounce,
Whoever gets the job, needs to get it right away, and he also needs the finances in January to bring in 2 or 3 quality players, CB’s and CM’s badly needed.
As Freddie said the other day “This is not Arsenal”
Very poor, ok, it was a wounded City, bit not even competing. I don’t especially blame the players though some clearly could do better, certainly don’t blame Freddie, but the club just seems rudderless, that must, as Sagna mentions, have an impact on the players. The club need to sort the manager thing out, either confirm Freddie for a while and give him authority, and a slightly important, a thing called a backroom team, or appoint someone else, and quickly.
I fear where this team will be come Jan / Feb, those owning the club, and running it need to take a good look at themselves, we should not be in this situation. Defending and MF have been festering sores for some time, why has it been allowed to continue in such ways? The defending as a team is nothing short of appalling.
The lesson, if you lose someone like Wenger, you had better have a good plan and decent handover. And effective people to handle things. It is clear the club had none, or very little of the above. Of those three responsible probably for Wenger leaving in a large part when he did, and certainly the aftermath, two are long gone, one back in Germany, the other screwing up Milan if their fans are to be believed, the remainder is looking a little compromised to say the least.
The club need to sort this quickly, despite there being no quick fixes mid season to a team with serious defence and MF issues, poorly drilled, and lacking confidence.
That was a farce!
Raoul must be sacked asap!
All his scheming as backfired because he knows little about the actual game.
What happens in January now is beyond me ?
The toffees must be licking their lips…
I would like to think that if I was ESR and it was my EPL debut I might have occasionally got out of a half-speed jog.
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so 17 EPL games in and Arsenal’s record is
W5 D7 L5 GS24 GC27 GD-3 Pts22
7pts off top 4
7pts off relegation place
our next two games, to bring us to the half way point of the season is Away to Everton and then away to Bournemouth
we follow that up with home games v Chelsea, and Man Utd.
Feels like whatever attacking potential we might possess in a given 11 (and there are plenty of good attacking talents) is undermined, to extent it may as well not be there a lot of the time, by the way teams can cut through us.
City are something else of course, and we are a dream opponent for them in many ways, more so than all the bus-parking outfits and rougher teams they have to face.
Work hard, do their defending, and off you go into space. We won’t foul you and we won’t catch you, and they have the top level executioners to do the deed.
I have no complaint that we lost. In the end, they did not need more than 4 shots on target to win comfortably.
I am, however, aggrieved, firstly at the ignored penalty call when it was 1 0, which could have made a difference, which the sky pundits chose to ignore at half time, but I am angry that they were allowed to get away with 24 fouls, many of them against our players when they were in full flow.
The ref took no action to stop it, when he could have booked the first dangerous tackle and when that did not stop it, keep on booking them until they stopped.
Diving is certainly cheating, but so is this repeated fouling.
Freddie made a bold statement when he played such an attacking side, but was undone straight away when they scored their first goal.
IT was not until the second part of the 2nd half when Man$ity started getting real control by which time we were demoralised. Everything we tried did not come off. Once again, we had no good fortune at all. Even then the fouls still kept on coming.
I think he took Ozil off after his reaction when he missed a pass. There was every reason to take him off and put on ESR for a game, knowing that the game was lost anyway.
Well wasn’t that just the cherry on top of a shit week! Mind you it could have been worse given the first 45 minutes. I don’t know if City were feeling the Christmas spirit, but 45 minutes without conceding against them is a positive straw I’m happy to clutch.
As for the so called Arsenal supporters who booed the team then left at half time, go fuck yourselves and don’t come back.
“No appointment of a head coach is imminent”
Let’s see how the possibility of being on or near the relegation zone
in Jan looks for those execs, and more importantly, the owner, if they mean this.
From Freddie’s quotes, get the impression he is a little frustrated with the situation, but resigned to being professional and doing his utmost for the team. It cannot be easy for him. Little time to change things, a mass of injuries, a seemingly broken team, as far as we know, no Jan activity, and a limited backroom team.
I hope if things do go pear shaped, Freddie should not be blamed, the blame would lie firmly with others.
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It reminds me of Samuel L Jackson’s Pulp Fiction line, ‘we’d have to be talking about one charming mutherfucking pig’
If we’re going to football our way back to the top, or just to being a lot better, ‘we’d have to be talking about some first-rate mutherfucking footballer’s’.
That is, if we believe the key is a better supply line to Ozil and a front three, principally from the two centre mids, they surely need to be sensational, world class footballer’s. I’m not sure who, and I’m not sure what chance we’d have of getting them.
well Rich I have said for a while, our biggest problem is that we are at least 2 or 3 really top quality players below what we need, at CB and CM we really need far more quality. Are Arsenal prepared to spend the big bucks to get them, can we find unpolished gems that can slot straight in. Who ever comes in as head coach, will need a couple of quality signings in January, and another couple next summer.
seemingly Freddie has said in his presser that Raul and Co have to make a decision quick on if they want him to continue to end of the season, or appoint a permanent head coach now. That working on a game to game basis is not good enough.
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