Mikel Arteta reign as Arsenal’s head-coach gets under way with a trip to the Vitality Stadium to take on Bournemouth this Boxing Day.
Good day all. With Arteta now in charge his immediate goal will be to get the team back to winning ways, having taken over with a dismal run of just one win in the last 13 games (all competitions). This should happen concurrently with him imbuing his own philosophy on a talented side who have not played with any assertiveness all season.
However, with three matches in seven days he will have quite a job on his hands, but if he can get them to put in a committed performance against the Cherries from beginning to end, things should start falling into place from then on.
With Arteta’s arrival only made formal a day before the Everton game, Freddie Ljungberg had full control in terms of tactics and team selection. He did, however, have a chat with the players beforehand to tell what he expects regards to attitude and commitment from them.
He watched on from the stands and, despite the lack of cutting-edge up front, was fairly pleased. The defense was much better than most of what we saw all season as we registered only our third clean sheet. He made clear that he view that as the first brick to build the team back into a functioning unit, with the priority on team performance instead of a reliance on moments of individual brilliance.
While Arteta has promised players a “clean slate”, the form of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who netted just once in his last four starts, will be a concern. Alexandre Lacazette scored three goals in his last three league starts and will be hopeful of a recall after being dropped in favour of Gabriel Martinelli.
Bournemouth come into this game on the back of six defeats in their last seven league outings, of which five were on the bounce. In their last game, defeat at home to Burnley, they failed to get any shot on target. Their struggles in front of goals saw them having just one goal in their last four matches.
Eddie Howe said that his side will have a duty to entertain the Vitality faithful. So we can expect them to tune things up and play with purpose with hopes of giving Bernd Leno a busy afternoon.
The Cherries have not been our most arduous opponents though; in the 10 previous meetings between these sides the Gunners won eight times (D1, L1). On our last trip to the Vitality we beat them 5-1.
Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac are out injured. Rob Holding, Dani Ceballos and Hector Bellerìn are back in training, but there may be doubt whether they’re fully match fit. Martinelli got trouble with a tight hamstring and will be assessed before the game. In addition, Calum Chambers will be sitting this one out due to suspension.
It’s difficult to know what to expect in Mikel Arteta’s first match as head-coach, but his arrival certainly has the potential to lift some of the gloom amongst Arsenal’s supporters.
With all players getting a fresh starts, he have many options at his disposal regarding team selection. So during this coming week we may see who he thinks will give him the kind of drive and willingness he demands when stepping on the pitch.
Before defeat to the Clarets Bournemouth won away at Chelsea and if they want to give the home crowd something to cheer about, they may look at a similar dogged performance.
The next few days will be quite a test for our new coach, but today should be quite entertaining and I will be keeping my fingers crossed that he return back to London with all three points in his bag. COYG!
On paper today’s game should be the perfect game for the Arteta effect to take hold. However to quote the old cliche there is no easy game in the Premier League.
We have plenty to feel positive about, particularly the attitude and fight shown against Everton. It is however the senior players that will interest me today as they have been a disappointment in the past few weeks.
Everything that I have read and seen of Arteta’s approach and behaviour during the last week has really impressed me. His vision, the way he seems to have related to staff and treated people firmly but with respect bodes well.
I have to say that with hindsight, Emery seemed lacking in these areas and thus created all the underlying issues.
Let’s hope these skills translate to performances on the pitch soon.
It all starts now. I am really looking forward to see the overall team response to MA.
I expect a lot more effort from the older players if MO10 is properly treated. UE just made it blatantly confusing for the players to understand what was going on with squad hierarchy. MA must keep Raoul & the politics of salaries away from the team or else!
MaitlandNiles – Sokratis – Luiz – Saka
Torreira – Xhaka
Pépé – Özil – Lacazette
+ Martinez, Mustafi, Mavropanos, Guendouzi, Willock, Nelson, SmithRowe.
it will be interesting to see who Arteta selects for his first game in charge, will he upset the boo boys and the experts in our fan base and select the likes of Mustafi, Xhaka, Ozil, will he continue with youth all over the place, will he go against Freddie’s view that Aubameyang and Lacazette can not play in the same team as they leave the midfield and in turn the defense, exposed.
What will his formation be, will we see a 4-2-3-1, or something like man city’s 4-1-2-3, today will be the first team Arteta will be responsible for selecting, his team, even if missing several players through injury or suspension that he might very well and most likely would have picked, so what formation, what tactics, what response will he get from the players. Will he stick with PEA as captain, if I were him I would give the armband back to Xhaka, well that is if the rumors of his departure next week are not true.
Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, David Luiz, Saka
Nelson, Ozil, Aubameyang
subs: Martinez, Mustafi, Mavropanos, Guendouzi, Willock, Smith-Rowe, Pepe
Mohamed Elneny is in advanced negotiations with Serie A giants AC Milan, according to his father Nasser. [@goal]
I was so enthused with our play last week and at times we cut them apart even if we didnt have the cutting edge up front.
It is a shame Callum is suspended because it would of been good to name an unchanged back seven however it’s the attitude and positiveness of the players that will make the team consistent.
Successful sides will have continuity of selection with the seemlessness of good form when players come in and out. It is the form of the team that matters and not individual players.
It is time for us to dream again about our style of football and not just Results COYG.
BOURNEMOUTH TEAM to face Arsenal: Ramsdale, Stacey, S Cook, Mepham, Simpson, Fraser, L Cook, Lerma, Gosling, King, Wilson.
Subs: Boruc, Surman, Solanke, Stanislas, Wilson, Billing, Kilkenny
I can only echo what you said Ian.
The lack of team performances under Emery caused us to lose our way. If we can play like a team again, results will follow, if in the event that we get outplayed there will be feeling that we left our hearts out there.
I’m bloody excited for this moment. Arteta is going to hv a great career as manager.
in a game we should be a couple of goals up in we now find ourselves 1-0 down, Saka loses the ball wide left about 35 yards out and a couple of passes later and gosling fires past leno, it was all too easy for them
HT: Bournemouth 1-0 Arsenal
Arsenal have dominated the game, should have scored at least a couple of goals but have not managed to put any of 9 shots on target, fell behind when Saka lost the ball and they got in far too easily.
Torreira doing very well as the DM, and Xhaka and Ozil at the heart of all our best moves, sadly our crossing and shooting has been very poor, Nelson and Lacca really should have done far better with some of the chances created for them.
Amazingly I’m seeing some idiots wanting ozil taken off at half time, the fuckers know nothing about the game
Arsenal with 60% possession and 9 shots, but none on target, Aubameyang, Lacazette and Nelson really have to do more, Xhaka and ozil have given enough good ball forward to see us score.
Chelsea are behind at home to Southampton 1-0, we really need to get a win today and it could put us right back in the hunt for a top 4 finish
Aubameyangggggggggggggggggggggggg makes it 1-1, a fine first time finish, finally a shot on target for us
lacca really should have put us ahead there, one on one with the keeper
we seem to be playing with 3 at the back this half, sokratis on the right, david luiz in the center and xhaka on the left, with AMN and Saka pushed up a bit more
wilock on for ozil who had a fine game
chelsea losing 2-0,
mustafi on for the injured sokratis
bournemouth have a goal rightly ruled out for offside, about ten minutes to go
Pepe on, Nelson off
in to 4 minutes of stoppage time
FT: Bournemouth 1-1 Arsenal
Aubameyang with our goal, really we should have made more of the 60% possession and our 17 shots, we only put 2 on target, and that is where we let ourselves down
Torreira, Xhaka and Ozil all very good. We went with 3 at the back in the second half, with Xhaka dropping back to a wide left position. Willock blew a great 4 v 2 breakaway near the end, when he shot straight at the keeper.
Quite encouraging I thought. Got me down a bit seeing Pepe come close to a crippled knee again at end though. Bet he’s been on end of more bad challenges in his time here than all rest of career put together.
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My theory on why Pepe keeps getting smashed and will get really bad one soon at this rate is that he is still dribbling freely, i.e with a footballer’s normal intuition of when they’re at risk of dangerous challenge or when relatively safe. Lose/lose for us as if he stops we are denied one of the primary things we bought him for.
I think it’s what has denied us sight over years of more of Ozil dribbling at speed with opponents in close attendance. He worked out quickly it’s not safe to do so here. But at least, with things better in Europe, we got that utterly glorious goal from him there on run.
Not sure much blame for Saka on the goal. Was a heck of an unpromising pass to him, from a player with no other option. Only real way I can see him dealing with that better is if he decided immediately to lash it away, and was prepared for clout as did so.
Interestingly, pretty sure I heard this week Arteta was keen to avoid passes into tightly marked wide player with back to goal- ie pass before one to Saka. Love it if that can be achieved but seems difficult to me unless there’s some alternative built into the system- ie hit channel when gets hot or have free midfielder close by wide player for inside pass.
rich I did no blame Saka for their goal, just that he lost it well away from our goal, that we did not manage to make a challenge on any of their players from that point to the goal is my only point of concern on the goal.
New post is up
Fair enough. Very interested in seeing if we can cut down on those passes out wide to tightly marked players with few if any options available. Maybe it’s common for any team playing from back and only stands out in our games because I watch them in different way. Don’t know. Optimistic it’s something Arteta will target for improvement though