“Tactical Reasons” For City Thrashing.

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Good morning one and all.

Well ok, when I say good morning, I mean what an crap morning this is, I have a stinking hangover from last nights game, and I didn’t even have a drink.

Our honeymoon period with Arteta was brought to an abrupt halt by Covid 19 and by the looks of the team. Mikel gave it to them all and they are still under the weather.

So lets start at the beginning. The team was announced and I thought it was people having a giggle on twitter, but I checked on .com and there it was. Perhaps it was Mikel having a giggle? My initial though was “Are you farkin kidding me!”, but on twitter people were saying that because Arteta knew City so well that he would have a grand plan and that our kids would surprise them. So for the next hour I decided to wait and hope for the best. I won’t bother doing that again in a hurry, I can tell you.

After about 3 minutes Xhaka injured himself, and we had a midfield of Willock, Ceballos and Guendouzi ,up against KDB, D.Silva and Gundogan , good luck with that.

For the first 15 minutes City were poor, and we managed to match them, but then ,inexplicably, they decided to start passing the ball to each other and totally dominated us for the rest of the game. It could and should have been three or four nil by half time.

Luiz, having had to come on when Mari got injured, made a mistake and the ball , rather unfortunately , fell at the feet of Sterling, who lashed it in for his first goal in 2020. How kind of us.

For the second goal , we were opened up by a punt form their goalkeeper and Luiz , this time nothing unlucky about it, cocked up big time, gave away a penalty and got his marching orders. By the time the third goal came I had started playing Candy Crush Saga and missed how it came about, so I can’t help you there.

On a positive note, Tierney looked decent and City helped us prepare for the rest of the season by giving Leno some practice.

I would love to describe some of our good bits of play, but honestly, I can think of any.

I said last September that we would be lucky to finish top half, and right now we are sitting at 10th, right on the halfway line. Xhaka is out and our best player, Mesut Ozil, is being left out for “tactical reasons” Some clever prick on twitter posted this:-

I suspect Aubameyang is packing his bag as we speak. The club will possibly bow to fans pressure, as they did with Wenger then Xhaka, and we might have seen the last of Luiz, a player that until yesterday was being hailed as on of Arteta’s success stories.

It’s not all dome and gloom, we have Mikel, but it’s certainly clouding over again.

Cheer up.

19 comments on ““Tactical Reasons” For City Thrashing.

  1. Good god George. You have certainly brightened up my day with a dose of cold reality.


  2. Good job I didn’t write it last night when I was angry.


  3. I thought that football was returning to boost the morale of the country!
    I had actually forgotten that morning after feeling.
    What a strange and bizarre post match interview from Mikel and Luiz.
    Let’s hope this isn’t the new normal everyone is predicting.


  4. Seems for the next few games, we will be relying on the much maligned Mustafi and perhaps Tierney in defence, not sure anyone else is available?
    Wishing for the day we dont keep getting outplayed by some of these better sides so often, games away to City and Liverpool are getting very predictable and not in a good way. Suspect Arteta is going to need time, patience and backing to change that as well


  5. Strange team selection but with 4 games in 11 days and the Mancity game always the one more likely to lose… Mikel’s mind might well have been on the next three games.

    So while not the result we wanted… I’m also not cut up about it. Three wins in the next eight days will be quite lovely.


  6. my view of the game is that we were outplayed by a team that was not anywhere near their best.

    Saka on the right wing was a new one on me
    I don’t think we had a shot on target the entire game, barely had any kind of shot at all. But hey the mob want “the not good enough for Arsenal” Xhaka and Ozil out the door. Aubameyang was clearly annoyed that his team mates were actually unable to spot that he had made defense splitting runs where a simple straight pass was on to put him in on goal.
    Early this week a report in Spain suggested that Real Madrid quoted us £40M for Ceballos, well don’t ever let anyone tell you the Spanish don’t have a sense of humor

    The David Luiz after game interview, left more question than answers, as did “Tactical Reasons” Arteta. To me it sounded like DL was suggesting that he had turned down AFC’s offer of a deal, and had stopped trying, and regretting this a bit, and was still open to a deal if we offer him enough.

    Mari injury looks a bad one, it seemed to be his achilles, so might be last we see of him, Xhaka was a major doubt before the game, and so to see him off on a stretcher after 8 minutes suggests he might miss a few games, God help us,

    Mari injured and David Luiz suspended (not sure how many game, its his 4th Red of the season), so that leaves us with Mustafi and an out of sorts Holding as our only senior CB’s, I hope Daniel Ballard gets a chance in the first team now.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ornstein reporting that Mari is out for the rest of the season, and that Xhaka should return before end of the season.

    some reports that the problem David Luiz has with the deal offered by AFC is that its only for one year and that he and his agent are demanding a two year deal.


  8. from football.london

    Arteta’s press conference for the upcoming Brighton game

    What was the specific reason you left out Mesut Ozil?

    I’ve been very open with Mesut from day one. Since I joined I think that he was fit and he was willing and he wanted to perform at the level that he can do. He’s played every game with me [before City] so that’s it.

    “The moment I see he is ready again to do that, I will treat him like anybody else. I’ve been more than fair with him and I think he has responded in many games the way I want and that’s it.”

    Why was he not ready?

    A lot has happened to him in the last few weeks and I have to respect the timing of every player that needs sometimes a little bit of time.

    “It’s been difficult preparation in the last two months to get players ready and again, I’m the first one that wants Mesut at his best and I will put him in the pitch when I think he can give his best.”


  9. The new normal continued on Thursday evening, as Mikel Arteta took part in his second pre-match press conference over Zoom.

    David Luiz’s future, Mesut Ozil’s situation and Saturday’s Premier League clash with Brighton & Hove Albion were just a few of the topics up for discussion.

    Scroll down for a full transcript:

    on deleting the City match and moving on…
    Yes absolutely. Emotionally it’s very, very difficult to delete it but it’s what we have to do. It was a very accidental game right from the start, when we lost Granit straight away, losing Pablo and then the way we conceded the first and second goals. Against this type of opposition, this makes life almost impossible. There are things to learn obviously that we cannot not consider to keep evolving in what we are trying to do. But as well we have to be open and analyse the game as it went.

    on whether having Brighton so soon after works in our favour…
    Yes, every time you lose a football game you want a revenge straight away. That’s what we want, myself, the staff and the players. We need to see how many players we have fit for the game because it was a big hit losing three players in key areas which, at the moment, we are very short in. But we have to adapt. We’re going to have a lot of games, we’re going to be playing every three days with the schedule the Premier League has given us today so it’s going to be a challenge.

    on whether David Luiz has played his final game for Arsenal…
    I don’t know. I told you when I was talking to you guys last night that he’s very open. He’s a man, he’s a leader and I was sure that he was going to speak in front of everybody. You heard what he said, he was very direct with us too. That’s what I value from him, that’s what I like from him, but we need to be fair on him. Me personally, I’m going to defend him with everything I have because I believe in him, he’s shown me a lot of things in his time here and his career speaks for itself.

    on whether David Luiz’s departure would be more for business reasons than personal…
    Well we cannot forget the financial situation, the way that COVID-19 has hit every club and the economy in general – it’s going to have an impact. What the club is doing at the moment is assessing the situation and trying to clarify a lot of uncertainties that we have in the future. We have to make big decisions but time-wise it’s difficult to fit them in our needs. We are trying our best, the club is trying its best, and it’s difficult sometimes because it puts the player or our sporting necessities in a difficult situation. We have to adapt. That’s what it is and that’s why I wanted to protect David yesterday. That’s why I didn’t start him. But it’s a funny game and after 20 minutes, you need him and he’s a player who has had a lot of uncertainty in the last few weeks.

    on Kia Joorabchian’s suggestion that there’s a lot of uncertainty behind the scenes…
    I think for all businesses in general, a lot of clubs are going to be in a lot of positions. Don’t forget that we have accepted a pay cut, not only the players but the staff on board, to try to help the situation. I think it was an incredible gesture of unity and commitment from everybody working at the football club, that I’m very proud of. There are consequences and the people who are running the club are very responsible. What they don’t want to do is put the club in a difficult position. In order to do that, let’s first analyse what our finances are going to look like. We know that we have to improve, so let’s look at how we can improve it, and let’s see what we can do to get the club to the position it deserves.

    on the tactical reasons which saw Mesut Ozil left out…
    I have been very open with Mesut from day one. Since I joined I thought that he was fit and he was willing and he wanted to perform at the level he can do. He has played every game with me I think. So that it is. The moment I see that he is ready again to do that, I will treat him like anybody else. I think I have been more than fair with him and I think he has responded in many games the way I want. That’s it.

    on why Ozil wasn’t ready…
    There’s a lot that’s happened to him in the last few weeks and I have to respect the time for every player. Sometimes they need a little bit of time. It’s been difficult preparation the last two months to get players ready and again, I’m the first one who wants Mesut at the best. I’m going to put him on the pitch when I think he can give his best.

    on how Ozil reacts when he doesn’t play…
    He was very well with me. There were no issues at all.

    on whether Ozil questions why he’s not playing…
    My conversations with Mesut will remain between me and him. What I can tell you is that it was a completely fine, honest and clear conversation. That’s it.

    on whether this job is harder than he first thought…
    I cannot deny that there have been some big challenges along the way but as well I feel so privileged. It’s an honour to be in the position that I am. Every decision that I’m going to make is to defend the club in the best possible way, and then get the players on board, get their trust, get them behind me to believe in what I’m trying to do. They seem very convinced. We have a lot of rocks at the moment in our way. Last night we had a few more but I am more convinced than ever. We had something against us and that is time. In football, time is difficult to buy and patience is a little bit difficult to do. But I am convinced because I’ve seen it with my eyes on a daily basis, a process that takes time and time and time. At the moment, they look like they’re going to be flying but we need a little bit of time because a lot of things have happened, more than we expected, in this process. I’ve been here five months. Time in football is difficult to buy.

    on the fight for finishing in the top four…
    I said before that we started after the virus from a position that we have a lot of teams in front of us. We have to go game by game. Last night is over and we have to learn from what happened. We have to analyse the game as it happened as well, and be fair on our analysis. You can see the difference at the moment, in the process, in terms of the squad. That takes a little bit of time to get there, which I think in the first 30 or 35 minutes, we competed really well. We were a threat and we made it very difficult for them but at this level, when you give something to that kind of opposition they’re not going to make any mistakes. It was clear yesterday that it was happening. From now on, game by game, it’s still the same ambition and that’s to win the next game. That’s it. A lot of things are happening between them. Let’s see what happens.

    on Brighton and Graham Potter…
    I think he’s changed completely the way Brighton plays. He sounds very convincing and I think the players are buying into what he’s doing as well. They are a threat, they showed at the Emirates that if you’re not at it on the day, they’re going to create a lot of issues. We better be ready because it’s going to be a really tough game for us.

    on Eddie Nketiah…
    I want him to keep doing what he’s doing. The way he played last night against those players, in those difficult conditions, for me is extraordinary at his age. He has an immense personality to play, confidence, he’s powerful and is developing in every area I think. I have a lot of faith in him.

    on whether this situation will help the younger players…
    Yes. The trick here is to get them with the right environment around them. Not to put too much pressure on them. We have a really young squad, a very inexperienced squad, and when you put that in certain parts of the pitch very close together, you can see that there are some deficits and the decision-making is not always the right thing to do. We are in a position that we have to accept that some things at the moment, in there, probably more than we would like, are going to be like that. That’s the circumstances that we have but at the same time it’s great because it’s a great value for them to have these experiences and see themselves playing against that type of opposition.

    on the financial situation affecting transfers and big contracts…
    I think there is a lot of uncertainty in how the transfer market is going to look. You hear very different things and people are going to go all in, clubs are already spending a lot of money and others may be much more conservative and wait to assess the situation before they move. Our position at the moment is that we have to see and be cautious. Our ambition is still intact and I know from the owners that their ambition is still intact as well. We will try and do our best to improve the squad, maintain the players we want to maintain and move forward.

    on whether we can still hold onto talent…
    I don’t know. Today I cannot answer that unfortunately because there is too much uncertainty.

    on whether we have the advantage over Brighton because we’ve played BCD…
    I think to talk about advantages now is not very important. We are all adapting. The experience from last night is very strange. From the moment you travel, how you get to the stadium, the feelings you have during the warm-up, during the game, it’s completely different. We are all adapting. We experienced yesterday and we can talk about things that are needed to raise the level of motivation as well, and sustain that but I don’t think it’s going to be a big issue.

    Copyright 2020 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.


  10. Kia Joorabchian to TalkSport: “The situation from Arsenal’s point of view will be resolved this week. Not just David Luiz’s situation. There are several issues within the whole structure that will be resolved.”


  11. Actually George I disagree with slot you said. Football is a funny game and the difference between a good result and a thrashing is quite small sometimes.
    The two major injuries in the first twenty minutes rocked us massively and the two errors by one player costing us the game on 49 minutes doesn’t reflect on the rest of the team.
    The should of been three down by half time cliche is forgetting you are allowed to have a goalkeeper and although the three saves he made were good they weren’t world class, unbelievable, never been seen before saves.
    We know in defeat or victory you cannot go to extremes and actually we weren’t that bad last night.
    After 100 days of no football playing against the current champions known for their slick passing and chance creation our young ten man team performed reasonably well especially when you consider the more subs rule will benefit the teams with bigger and more expensive squads.
    We will never know just how the team would have coped without the injuries but I will wager it would have been far better and a fair ref might of helped as well.
    As far as below top ten is concerned, unless we had a massive spate of injuries, that is pure fantasy I still expect us to get top six.


  12. ian we didn’t manager a shot on target, 11 v 11, nor when 11 v10. we manged a mere 3 shots all night

    our stats for 11 v 11 was little different than 11 v 10, shots, possession, passes etc

    yes we can console ourselves that it MIGHT have been different if Xhaka and Mari had not been injured, but we really don’t know, all we know is that we on the night were second best, and for me City were not great, so just how much do we have to improve to get some wins going.
    Lets see what performance we put in v Brighton on Saturday, or are we going to, if we fail to win or lose, blame it on Xhaka and Mari not being available


  13. Is that now five penalties against out of Anthony Taylor’s last six games with us? And three against DL alone this season?
    And yes, I know that was a pen, but so are many we don’t get.
    Still onwards and upwards. Expecting Brighton to chase our much weakened defence , but we have to play better than last night
    Not sure the club are going to have a lot of choice but to renew DL the way our defenders have been dropping like flies for some time now


  14. Taylor is rotten, Luiz is past his best and we all saw his best opposite Ozil in 2014.

    But the commissions on the Suarez Soares Ceballos and Pepe deals were cushty. GG is well jealous!

    Never mind the decimation of the midfield under Raul.
    If I was in Arteta’s shoes given he just lost a crucial player in Xhaka, with the fixture schedule ahead given this was City Away I’d have rotated Ozil too given his injury history over the last period. Easy call to make no?


  15. Xhaka certainly is a big loss, does a very difficult job extremely well


  16. It is very easy to look at stats and say no shots on target means we’re awful however stats do not allow for circumstances. I could punt a ball from the half way slowly into the keepers arms would count as a shot where as someone sliding in who just fails to connect to put the ball into a empty net would count for nothing. We had a few good situations early on and it looked like we were going to cause the trouble. City had their best spell after the two injuries.
    I thought city did play some good stuff but we had some positives as well. Eddie looked good and Tierney on his return also looked sharp.
    I’m not saying it was a Stirling performance however I think we should keep things in perspective.


  17. Dan Critchlow
    Summary of the latest Arsenal injury update:

    – Chambers out for the season
    – Marí significant injury, almost certainly out for the season
    – Torreira out for 2-3 weeks
    – Cedric out for 2 weeks
    – Sokratis out for 2 weeks
    – Xhaka out for 2 weeks


  18. seemingly Zech Medley is in the Arsenal squad for the Brighton game tomorrow, he is a left footed CB


  19. FT: Spurs 1-1 Man UTd

    we are now 6pts behind utd and 2pts behind spurs, so if we win tomorrow we would go above spurs and close to one win behind utd


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