Much More Than A Point.




It was only a point and only a single goal, but that was much better.

The team looked like a team again. Ozil was the best player on the pitch, closely followed by Xhaka and then Torreira. Our midfield was all of a sudden balanced. Ozil creating 3 really good chances in the first 11 minutes and looking class until he was withdrawn on about 75 minutes, presumably the lack of game time taking a physical toll.

Torreira did everything we expected from him when he signed, he hustled and harried, won ball after ball and layed it off effectively.

Xhaka sat deep, always ready to take the ball and distribute it with a variety of fantastic passes.

Saka and AMN both coped well defensively and the two center backs look quite secure.

Sadly there were some negatives as well.

Lacazette had a poor game, and that’s being kind. Maybe his being dropped has affected his confidence,or maybe his performance tell us why he has been dropped?

I thought Nelson struggled as well, he and Saka squandered some really good opportunities to deliver a telling final ball, in fact even a half decent final ball was not to be seen.

All in all it was a game we should have won on our performance, there were huge green shoots of improvement.

Well done boys and well done Mikel, after just 3 days training , outstanding progress.


50 comments on “Much More Than A Point.

  1. Despite not getting the 3 pts I too felt very pleased with the performance. I think of our players who doubted Arteta will soon start believing and we should see an upturn in overall form then.

    With Guendouzi out both Xhaka and Torreira played their preferred positions and our midfield look three times better.

    I feel a bit winded with these quotes from Xhaka’s agent saying that he’s leaving. He’s one of the casualties from Emery’s reign, who chose to throw him at the mercy of the vile element within our fanfase.

    He will be a massive miss this early doors in Arteta’s tenure.


  2. Brilliant George. Straight to the point; both the positives and the negatives.


  3. well that was the same game I just watched, oddly many seem to have seen a game where Xhaka and Ozil were awful, I really have come to the conclusion that football is not for those that viewed that game.

    Xhaka played the first half a little to the left just ahead of Torreira, but in the second half we went with 3 strung out along the back with Xhaka the one widest on the left, and his game was no less effective from there.
    Saka and Nelson let themselves down with their poor final balls, also would say Nelson took the negative option a bit too often, was a couple of times a confident Nelson would have gone for goal, but today he turned back too often.
    Saka rushed his crossing a few too many times, but he did put in a couple of great crosses but none of PEA, Lacazette or Nelson had gambled on the cross and so no danger.
    Lacazette had one of those games where nothing he tried came off, if they pass was on to the right he went left and visa versa, he passed when a shot was on and shot when a pass was on. Maybe trying to impress too much left him unclear in his thoughts.

    What was best about today was that we were a possession team with an attacking plan, 60% possession, and 16 shots, sadly only 2 on target, our goal, and a tame effort from Willock when we had a 4v2 late on, that really was the match winning chance.

    If today is anything to go by, then Artetaball is going to be great, and whats more is that Xhaka and Ozil will be at the very heart of it. Not sure if both PEA and Lacca will be, maybe one, as I think but for injury Martinelli would have been a sure starter today.

    Bring on Chelsea, bring them all on, and its some time since I’ve felt like that,


  4. labo where has Xhaka’s agent said he is leaving.


  5. Mesut Özil created 4 chances from open play against Bournemouth, the most by an Arsenal player in a single PL game so far this season. [@Squawka]


  6. Arsenal managed 17 shots against Bournemouth in Mikel Arteta’s first match in charge today, having only managed more than than twice during Unai Emery’s tenure. [@Orbinho]


  7. that was a disgraceful challenge on Pepe today, and not for the first time this season either



  8. Are there real people saying Ozil and Xhaka were bad?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. sadly yes George, we really are in an age where it does not matter how a player actually plays, many have prejudged and no amount of good play will change their minds.


  10. Ed

    Shit situation with Pepe. He either loses strongest asset- dribbling at speed- or will sustain bad injury.

    With way it’s unfolding with him, think it shows why anyone who has been with club any length of time will naturally become reluctant to play freely in many types of situations.

    Normally players can elect to hold off a little in situations which present elevated danger levels- ie big centre back steaming over to wide channel and going to dive for it at pace, whereas attacker can maybe reach first but will get smashed if defender commits. Players build up good sense of what opponent can reach safely, and when they can only likely reach it with dangerous lunge.

    It’s all thoroughly screwed up with us though. If a dribbler wants to reduce chance of injury to relatively normal level then they can’t play a normal game at all.


  11. Arteta on Mesut Ozil: “I think he played really well. He worked and could have been the difference, we could have scored 3 or 4 goals from his balls through. The final product wasn’t what we wanted. It was intense, I was so excited.”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Can’t play much better than that and still draw. Obvs, end product wasn’t great, but as much as that I thought we were absurdly unlucky with the bounce in their area.

    If Pepe wins Arteta’s favour and really kicks on, there may eventually be a case for moving him central for the sake of link-up.


  13. It was an afternoon of mixed emotions for Mikel Arteta.

    While he had to settle for a point in his first game as our head coach, he was still encouraged by the attitude and character we showed after going a goal down at Bournemouth.

    Arteta faced the media after the game – and this is a full transcript of what he said:

    on his first game as our head coach…
    I’m very pleased with some of the things I’ve seen, in terms of attitude, character, the passion we showed, and the fight and spirit the team showed. It was spot on. Probably better than I expected over 90 minutes. A lot of things that happened in the game, we prepared. They understood them and they tried to take them on board. We lacked the final product at the end.

    on how frustrating it was to lack that final product…
    It would’ve been great because it would’ve given us a better lift in terms of the energy and confidence of the team, but we have to analyse the performance. There are positives to take and obviously is a lot of room for improvement in other areas.

    on how much psychological work is required to lift players…
    It will be a process. I was worried what would happen if we conceded a goal. We did and I was very pleased with the character they showed. They came in at half-time and their faces, their reactions [were spot on]. It was about how much they wanted it. Normally, when you are in this process and you concede a goal, the confidence goes down and a lot of things that have happened in the past can come back. It didn’t happen, it happened in the complete opposite sense and that’s a really positive thing to take on board.

    on how he found being head coach…
    Very good to do that and I’m quite used to [substitutions and tactical changes] because I always suggested things that happened during the game. I have really good people around me to give me advice as well with things that happened. I felt comfortable and wet!

    on Mesut Ozil’s performance…
    To be fair his attitude in training since the day that I walked in the building has been incredible. I’ve seen this. I’ve said that I was going to give a clean slate to everybody and it was fair to give it to him. When we did the game preparation and were watching the opponents, where we could hurt them, we believed that he could be a key point. We prepared the game like this with him. He responded, did what he had to do, and we could’ve scored two or three goals because of him.

    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.


  14. the draws are killing us again this season, we’ve lost less games than both chelsea and spurs, we’ve won 5, lost 5 but drawn 9, of 19 games.
    we are close, if we can turn these draws into wins we will be in contention for top 4 this season, its not gone yet.


  15. Tolaji Bola travelled with the squad today as the 19th man, the left back might be getting close to a first team debut, maybe the FA Cup game v Leeds


  16. Do you think it may be possible that you were looking at today’s performance with rose-tinted glasses?

    Hoping to see something positive even if it might not be there?

    I did not see the game and I can assure you that a positive and winning start is what I was hoping for.

    I dare say that those people who made adverse comments about Ozil and Xhaka were looking for the exact opposite and that is what they saw.

    I would also not be surprised if they were the same people who were at the forefront of the abuse against Wenger and Ozil and Ramsey and all of the others who were regularly abused by the so-called fans.

    No new manager bounce for us, after an interim and now a full manager.

    It just goes to show how great the damage caused by Emery was.

    He and those who made the first mistake in appointing hi and the second one in not removing him earlier, have a lot to answer for.

    There is a lot of healing that needs doing and Ozil and Xhaka are essential for it to happen.


  17. jjgsol, we pulled them apart repeatedly but either fluffed the final pass or just couldn’t quite get the shot away. When we conceded we didn’t change how we were playing, which suggests the players are on board. It was heartening given that Arteta’s trying to rewire the team and he’s four days into the job. Even Pulis said we were unlucky.

    Bournemouth played very well too. They were excellent on the ball, and bypassed our press occasionally – not easily, but with some smart, crisp passing.


  18. so Martin Keown reckons that Arsenal did not win today cos

    1. the players are disillusioned

    2. they didn’t want it enough

    this guy actually gets paid for that level of analysis, and some wonder why he is not actually employed as a coach at a club, some even want him at AFC.


  19. I’m encouraged. Didn’t unpick much tactical stuff (seem to be getting worse at that) but it looked better and I found it easy to believe there’s been good work on training pitch and that Arteta has clear, sound ideas.

    Quite enjoyed that Amazon no commentator option meant could hear a lot of what Arteta was saying. Was on at Reiss a lot to stay wide and also seemed to have lot to say to Sokratis. Couldn’t decipher what exactly but seemed to be about when and where to move to cover space at certain points.


  20. I’m almost there with accepting Pool’s title drought is about to end and that they are miles ahead of us, but please let the bastards lose a game!

    With my Pgmol views, and especially the way they somehow act as though representing the ‘will’ of football (meaning mostly pundits and media) at various points, i.e Leicester title run, Pool’s when came close with Rodgers, think if they get within 10 games or less they are horribly likely to do it. Their quality plus even more help will ensure that.

    Gimme a late Christmas present so I can relax football Gods!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. The best I’ve seen of mesut since Wenger. Created chances after chances. Toreira was back to his preferred position and won ball back so easily several times. Luis was better as well as AMN. Saka did well defensively but let himself and the team down with his final balls.
    Leno, although very good shot stopper but seems not to know what to do with it afterwards. Many times he allows opponents to settle down before releasing the ball. He also lacks confidence playing the ball and when he did, it is mostly wayward or to a wrong player. If the way I think arteta want to play is correct, then I don’t think pepe did anything to convince him he needs to be in the team. He seems to think of dribbling first even when it is absolutely unnecessary before thinking of what teammate is free or in good position. He just like to complicate things. Arteta like he was as a player seems to like players who do to simple things right and the needful simply. If he starts bringing his players in, I see pepe going down the pecking order despite his talent. People talk about mesut not putting in the shift when we are not with the ball, but he is gattuso compared to pepe. Nelson might not have had a good game but I bet AMN will pray he starts the next game in front of him

    Liked by 1 person

  22. There were many positives ‘green shoots’ indeed. Sadly though as usual the media flag up Xhaka and Auba dissatisfaction. It always seems a constant battle against the negativity of the press and the group of so called fans.
    So great to read as some positive vibes.
    Give those shoots a shout I say.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Could only follow the game on Twitter (Lacazette now Public Enemy No 1) so refreshing to read these positive comments. People like talking about what a massive job Arteta faces but I’m not so sure it is as bad as that. Think we are a lot closer than many imagine. It’s a bit old fashioned of me I know but I do miss having a centre forward who scores headed goals or makes runs to the near post. Any chance of tempting the HFB back for a swansong?

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Very good. Lacazette and Ozil need a few more games. Xhaka and Torreieieira are a great combination.


  25. layksite i would say on Leno that time and again their players did not let him release the ball quickly, arm grab here, obstruction there, but it was late in injury time before the ref booked one of their players for it, and then of course he failed to add on the time it took for the booking and blew up full time straight away.


  26. Stew, I lost my phone with your number on it, can you text me then I have it? Merry Christmas btw.


  27. Not just that game alone Ed, I’m talking generally. Compared to when Martinez is in goal. He holds on to the ball far too long most times that it allows the opponents to settle. His quality is undoubted but he needs to add that to his game.


  28. “Not just that game alone Ed, I’m talking generally. Compared to when Martinez is in goal. He holds on to the ball far too long most times that it allows the opponents to settle.”

    I would suggest the exact same failing applies to Leno! Perhaps the fault lies with our goalkeeping coaches?


  29. the Xhaka to Hertha Berlin may not be as mad as it seems, as reports suggest that its new owner, London based German native, Lars Windhorst has promised Jurgen Klinsmann £200M for transfers in January, and more next summer, that he is intent on getting Hertha to be regular challengers to Bayern Munich. that along with Xhaka they have targeted players such as Gotze, Weigl, Draxler and Wanyama


  30. Adrian Clarke
    I watched the game today & Arsenal had far better movement, tactical structure & positional awareness. The passing was sharper too. Final ball/shooting was poor but that’s an individual thing. Good start by Arteta. Not sure what Thierry is on about.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. seemingly the disabled Arsenal supporters at the game yesterday were treated awfully by AFC Bournemouth, all sort of problems getting to their place in the stadium, and stewards unable or unwilling to help. Many complaints have been sent to AFC Bournemouth over it. All the money that is in the EPL and so many clubs still neglect supporters, and especially those with special needs.


  32. Douchebags all round at Bournemouth then perhaps. I made assumption, for no reason, they were nicer bunch than most prem destinations, but on pitch and off yest seemed same sort of malice and gittishness as usual. Particularly galling to hear all the jeers and ‘same old Arsenal’ crap when Sokratis had taken heavy whack to head. Treating disabled supporters badly on a different level to all that, though, obviously.


  33. Expect we’re all agreed here by way that Adrian Clarke’s views are sharper and more trustworthy than Henry’s.

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Henry probably thinks the head coach job should be his!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Surprised Adrian is not involved in a coaching and or advisory position. Guess his media career may be less hassle and pretty lucrative. Always insightful.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. test


  37. Can you look in the bin ive lost a comment


  38. Our medical team have issued a fresh update on the squad ahead of tomorrow’s game against Chelsea.

    Here’s the latest news:

    Hector Bellerin
    Tight right hamstring. Being assessed ahead of Chelsea (h).

    Calum Chambers
    Available for selection after suspension.

    Dani Ceballos
    Back in full training (from hamstring). Being assessed ahead of Chelsea (h).

    Rob Holding
    Back in full training (from knee). Being assessed ahead of Chelsea (h).

    Sead Kolasinac
    Right ankle. Ankle ligament injury. Aiming to return to full training in January.

    Gabriel Martinelli
    Tight left hamstring. Being assessed ahead of Chelsea (h).

    Concussion. Sustained during Bournemouth (a). Will miss Chelsea (h) and will be managed as per concussion protocols.

    Kieran Tierney
    Right shoulder. Dislocated right shoulder. Kieran has had successful surgery and will now rehabilitate for around three months, aiming to return to full training in March.

    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.


  39. Joe Willock: “Arteta has brought a different sort of energy and different sort of tactics that we can relate to more. I feel like everyone is excited, there’s a big buzz around the changing room, everyone’s laughing again and everyone’s got their head up”


  40. we have 19 games played, some have 20, and only 4 teams have lost less games than Arsenal (5), they are Liverpool (0), Wolves (3), Leicester (4) and Sheffield Utd (4), with Man UTd and Man City both on 5 loses.
    But only Watford and Norwich, both with 3 wins have less than our 5 wins, which is the same amount as Aston Villa, West Ham and Bournemouth

    The Draws are killing us, we have 9, which is equal most with Wolves
    Our lack of goals has been killing us, we have only 25, which is the same amount as 18th placed Aston Villa, and a full 27 goals behind top scorers Man City.


  41. the squad trained at the Emirates today


  42. West Ham United
    · 12m
    West Ham United can confirm that Manuel Pellegrini has left the Club with immediate effect.


  43. Xhaka, Bellerin, Holding and Martinelli were not at training this evening at the Emirates, all bar Xhaka have been injured recently, reports suggest Xhaka is being sold to Hertha Berlin, if he is not playing tomorrow its a massive loss to our midfield, and if he is leaving we really do need to bring in a quality replacement.


  44. I love how so many have greeted the reports that Xhaka looks like missing tomorrow’s game, loads of gooners on twitter celebrating that we will have an inferior player starting in place of our former captain. I always find this sort of thing amusing


  45. Rick
    In the same way that Athletic Bilbao only sign Basque players it’s great that Burnley have a similar policy where they only sign lads who have forklift licenses.


  46. Losing Xhaka would be an act of self harm, unless the situation is so bad they have no alternative. His situation was handled incredibly badly, either by emery or those above him, or both.
    Lots of reports linking Rabiot, perhaps a decent player, but he has never played in this league, knows nothing of the ways of the hatchet men and their PGMOL enablers


  47. we might all be overreacting, Xhaka might have missed training due to a knock, or something else, he might even play tomorrow, even if he misses it, unless Arteta says he is off it remains little more than a rumor


  48. Just hope we don’t get the “ his heads not in the right place” , Xhaka seems too professional for that to me, but we shall soon see


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