A Great Result From A Shocking Performance.


I could not be happier with that result. Coming back from a goal down against the League and European champions. A spectacular backs to the wall victory with every player leaving it all out on the pitch. Fantastic.

However, the flip side is that we played shocking football. We were dominated from start to finish by a side that has already gone on holiday.

The two goals we scored were not the result of our good play, not even the result of us pressing as a team forcing a mistake, they were the result of two Liverpool players , under very little pressure, dropping huge clangers. They were so much against the run of play that I physically burst out laughing.

Take those 2 gifts away and we had one attempt on their goal in 95 minutes of play. At home.

We had 31% possession, the lowest recorded by any Arsenal team in the Premier League, at home, at our own F*cking home.

This was not a park the bus, restrict their chances and hit them on the break performance, it was a we got battered and somehow clung on by the skin of our teeth performance. They had 23 attempts on our goal, so it wasn’t a great defensive effort, it was desperate stuff.

Of course we deserve huge credit for the commitment ,spirit and effort, but I can’t be happy with the performance because it was frankly pathetic.

Our passing was non existent, no fluency or creativity.

I thought Lacazette, playing this false 9 role, was fantastic. Which is rather ironic in that he is the current whipping boy of the squad.

Also we seem to have got an upgrade in the goalkeeping department, which is odd because Leno was perhaps our player of the season. Two busses come at once eh?

I’m confused, because I 100% believe in Arteta but we should not be so bad so often, even with the worst squad in 25 years.

If ever a result has masked a performance, this was it. But don’t let that take the joy of getting 3 points against Liverpool, that has to be enjoyed separately.

Pedantic George.


34 comments on “A Great Result From A Shocking Performance.

  1. I’d just written this on the last post, so forgive me for copying it over to here.

    So a maximum of four, minimum of three games left in this strange season for the Gunners. We’ve gone from Emery to Arteta via Freddie, and August to July via Lockdown. And I’ve gone from some hope (with the signings of Luiz, Cebbalos, Pepe and Tierney and 6 points from the first two games) to real optimism (with the emergence of our young home growns) via abject despair when it looked as if the Board were going to let the club sink without trace. Six points from the last two League games might just see us sneak into the Europa League, though that’s dependent on others faltering. I guess that European competition will not be straightforward next season anyhow with travel restrictions still likely in place, and maybe UK teams not quite as welcome across the continent if second waves or third spikes do become more than just another Project Fear.
    I missed the NLD and only saw Adrian Clarke’s Breakdown of it, but watched all of last night’s effort, which I saw with mounting incredulity (still expecting to lose 2-3 when we missed that great chance late on) and then great joy, especiaily as I had been mercillessly bullied earlier on that day by a crowing Liverpudlian. We’ve scored a lot of goals just lately from forcing defensive mistakes and it pleases me to see our strikers so hungry. But most of all I have thoroughly enjoyed our goalkeeper, and if you haven’t seen it properly, do look at the quite astonishing save he made at the death to secure the three points.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Totally agree with review of performance.
    Some player performances though continue to impress in the midst of the mid table mayhem that the team has produced at times.
    The goal keeping has been impressive and I feel that this is a strength going forward. Holding and Tierney also look like the future.
    They have obviously been working on forcing opposition mistakes in training so something is actually transferring from the training sessions.
    As said many times before Arteta has a massive job and I am really hoping that he can make a difference and is given the necessary support from those in control.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You expected Arsenal to go toe-to-toe with the Champions and Premier League winners. Failure to acknowledge the obvious gulf in talent between the two teams makes you analysis very unfair.

    2) And trying to dismiss this win as playing against a Liverpool that was already on holiday is frankly dishonest. They did every thing to win that game last night and at the end to at least share of the spoils. Emi Martinez stopped that from happening right at the death, which sums it up; that both times fought till the very last minute.

    In my opinion, the only thing this does is undermining the efforts of Arteta and the lads for whatever reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeah I agree with that Labo although there is some haunting truth in parts of this review.
    We have to take the game in context the opposition are world-beaters and we are a struggling part rebuilding side so a win is definitely a win here.
    We have gone from a manager sacked to late to a caretaker having to cope for to long to a manager appointment not quickly enough. If you add to that the shutdown stopping a good spell of form (as opposed to the spuds who were struggling who have hugely benefitted from the shutdown) and returning with injuries and suspensions to deal with as well.
    So all in all a great result the performances we will have to wait for.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sorry, but I don’t think who we played excuses a 60% passing or a CB with 40%.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Totally agree with you Ian.

    Last night was our 9th game in 29 days. It’s such a tricky exercise to manage the lads’ recovery time from one game to the next if you’re in the midst of a transition period.

    Our goals came from a combination between gifted and closing them down very quickly to force the errors. And, well, we gifted Spurs two goals on Sunday to lose that match… so there’s that.

    This weekend we play against the second best team in the league and if we win that game via a goal bouncing off someone’s ass I’ll take it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I dont think the performance was that bad considering the opposition.
    In the Brighton game, they scored a goal like the one Pool almost scored at the end to win that match, against the run of play cos we didn’t take our earlier chances.. also got away with a lot of rubbish fouls so really…

    Considering all the team has gone through… they did well and it is important to have a great keeper. several games most of the top team keepers have kept their teams in the game… there is a reason Pool went and got Alyson and I remember De Gea severally saving Man U in many a match!


  8. I agree with you entirely.

    The whole performance was an embarrassment.

    The fact that we managed to win masks the awful reality that we were grossly inferior to them, except in respect of the goalkeeping department.

    There was no midfield, even after Callabos came on and do not think we managed to string more than three passes together at any time throughout the match.

    I know that Wenger did it once away to Man$ity and won the game but this was, possibly, using all of our luck for the next year in one session.

    It is correct that both goals were gifts, although I think the way that Nelson took his goal was excellent bearing in mind it was not an open goal like Lacazette had.

    It is also true that we have given away many goals like these over the years and especially this season and, more particularly on Sunday, so perhaps we are right when they say that things even themselves out over a season.

    Nevertheless, if this is the future, it does not bode well for Arteta and the club.

    It is clear that if you take away Ozil we have no creative midfield at all.

    He is only creative midfielder whilst he is out in the wilderness, our creativity is nil.

    That is why yesterday, the midfield was totally ignored and bypassed at every opportunity.

    I think we are a very long way away from getting Arsenal back and we will certainly not get it back this way.

    Buying more players will not help, because every new player usually needs a season or maybe 2 to bed in and get used to the style of play. it is very rare that a player clicks straight away. More new players you have the more instability there is in the team.

    Why it was that Pepe was not one of the first players to be substituted is beyond me?

    I recall him doing nothing whether in attack or defence to justify him actually being there.

    I daresay the cup semi-final will be more of the same and it is just as well that I cannot watch the game


  9. Going to be interesting when Leno get’s back to fitness. Other teams will have noticed how good our so called number two keeper is.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. On another day, we could have been battered, but lets face it, we have had enough bad luck in recent weeks, months and years, so I will take what was on offer last night, and Martinez, what a keeper, apparently Argentina are coming around to a similar opinion.
    Can sort of see what Arteta is trying to do, we are not defensively stable enough to take on a team like that playing our traditional game, the same will apply to the FFP busters this weekend, so the tactic was defend in numbers, harry their defence into mistakes and Martinez, then, defend in numbers some more, and hope to get lucky.
    I thought the ref was a little lenient with some of their fouls, but most refs are with that lot, if Dean, Atkinson or Taylor had been in the middle, they most likely would have found a way to ensure we were battered.
    Unfortunately, Wengerball or perhaps anything approaching would not have worked with the players we now have against this team.
    Interesting words from Arteta about strengthening and investment, i am sure there are nuances in those words , including managing expectations, giving players time, maybe alongside a pretty clear message, Emery for all his multitudes of faults reportedly did not get the players he wanted, despite a lot of money being spent, perhaps things would have been better for him with Banega, Zaha, and heaven forbid, Nzonzi, perhaps Arteta warning those above not to try similar on him? who knows apart from those in the know.
    I suspect Arteta wants this season over as much as many do, I will take that performance every game for the rest of the season as long as it gives the same results, which is a very big If , then, can start building to something more traditional in our play next season, as long as Arteta is backed to a reasonable, if not a state funded oligarch oiler ,slaver, tyrant funded level, which I am sure he will be

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Tell me this isn’t dodgy. Utd’s ref for game, which is massively important to Champ League chances is…Graham Scott. The guy on VAR for that pen against Villa.

    And yet we know Riley will send people to championship if he dislikes a decision enough. But Scott, who I don’t think has ever got to 20 games in a year in prem and doesn’t do big teams that often, clearly gets a reward here.

    His first Utd game of season. Did one late on last year where they may have needed points as well. 2-1 win. 2 pens.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. And , as would be predicted, VAR comes to the aid of Utd again.
    This seasons task, get Utd back in Europe and make sure Liverpool win the league, and Mike Riley can retire….if only we should be so lucky.
    Perhaps Uefa will take out their frustration at the City verdict, and really have a good look at this league

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Would love to see Palace equalise just to watch the PGMOL have to embarrass themselves in the most cringeworthy of fashion


  14. Apparently 7 goals originally awarded against Utd have been overturned by VAR in their favour this season
    Why isn’t someone looking into this league

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Mandy no one in the media is ever going to look into it cos they make money from it. They know if match fixing was even suggested the arse would fall out of the league, it would be hit the same way Italy was

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Mavropanos has extended his contract at Arsenal, and has joined up with VfB Stuttgart on a season-long loan

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Our medical team have issued an update on Pablo Mari and Gabriel Martinelli.

    Here’s the latest on their rehabilitation:

    Pablo Mari

    Left ankle. Sustained significant sprain to ankle ligaments during Manchester City (a) on June 17.

    Latest update on Pablo:

    Now off crutches after surgery and moving freely without aid
    Has returned home to Spain for a short period, where he continues to receive specialist attention and extensive therapy
    Will return to the UK later in July to resume his rehabilitation at our training centre throughout the close season, with the aim of returning to full training in September

    Gabriel Martinelli

    Left knee. Sustained injury during training on June 21. Successful arthroscopic procedure undertaken to repair a lesion in the cartilage of the left knee.

    Latest update on Gabi:

    Currently recovering in a knee brace after his operation, which took place during the last week of June
    Surgery was successful, with consultants and our medical team very encouraged with Gabi’s current progress at this stage of his recovery
    Currently at our training centre every day receiving specialist attention and support from our medical team
    Will continue his recovery throughout the close season, with the aim of a return to full training by the end of 2020

    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.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Imagine what they’ll get up to if necessary in Utd’s final two games!!

    Thing is, because it appears to be fundamentally inconceivable to every last one of sports pundits and journo’s that anything could be amiss, it can be attributed to luck.

    It’s how you can read various match reports where, say, tonight’s ref was involved in big decisions which favoured Utd, and each time it’s just luck, luck, luck. In virtually every other high profile field I can think of, questions would quickly be asked about this.

    Are there any limits to how much ‘luck’ they can have? They’ve certainly been pushing it in recent weeks.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Agree, the media aren’t yet ready, or perhaps not allowed to say what is obvious for reasons of brand and finances and other reasons maybe, but interesting to hear Roy Hodgson on MOTD pretty much saying that their offside by 1mm disallowed goal would not have been disallowed if scored against them in that match. VAR can be very selective, as we know only too well under Riley.
    This is an elder statesman, ex England manager saying in no uncertain terms that game was tilted. His tone on this issue reminded me of Wenger at times , before he was silenced, hopefully, he is no longer silenced.
    What Utd get away with would embarrass Italian teams back in the bad old days, and though a better team, Liverpool’s favours are not far behind.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. From Dale Johnson’s ESPNs twitter feed

    For the VAR conspiracy theorists.

    Most VAR decisions in favour: Man United 10
    Most net: Man United 8
    Most disallowed for opposition: Man United 7
    Most subjective in favour: Crystal Palace, Man United 6
    Highest net goals: Man United +7
    Highest net subjective score: Man United +5

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Add to that the amount of red cards they never got, Rojo should have had several for starters.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Watched bit of clip of Keys laying into Riley. Thing is, when limiting possibilities to mistakes only, and in addition not looking at who benefits from mistakes, there can never be a halfway accurate understanding of who supports the man, and therefore how likely any change is. Nor, of course, who put him there in first place.

    He’s been worth 50 million plus, maybe much more, to Utd this year if gets them in. Champ league money and shirt deal was due to go down by 20 mill or so. Many of their other sponsorship deals may be a similar story.


  23. By way, pretty sure it was a year or more ago I last looked at pen stats in Riley’s time. And think there was something like a 40 swing in our pen total with Utd. If so, must be comfortably past 50 by now.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. “For the VAR conspiracy theorists. ”

    Really think someone should invent a VAR Trophy and award the team that benefited the most with it.
    All fans of all teams should vote and maybe it can be a way of having a kind of VAR watch for PGMOL mob.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. VAR trophy…United then Liverpool get my vote, coincidentally, it has been reported that those two, and only them had a veto on the appointment of Scudamores successor, the new PL supremo


  26. Arteta on the Kroenke’s: ‘I speak with them and I have a really really good and open relationship. That’s why when you mentioned that [sending a message to the Kroenke’s] I am surprised. Because I don’t need to, I have the phonecall and speak to them. And they have been very very supportive from the first day that I joined the club. They were very much participating in the decision to bring me back here and the same with Vinai, Edu, there are no gaps or frictions there’

    Liked by 1 person

  27. It was a bumper press conference for Mikel Arteta on Friday as he looked ahead to our Emirates FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.

    Our head coach discussed the match at Wembley, Dani Ceballos, Mesut Ozil, Alex Lacazette and more.

    This is what he said:

    on his philosophy for developing young players…
    Well, first of all you have to assess what stage of their development they are in and I consider that there are five different ones. We are pretty lucky because the academy has done such great work in the last few season to produce their players and the personalities that we have in the squad right now, so when it comes to us, it’s about how we can support them and create the right environment for them to grow in a place where they have some protections, but at the same time they have the exposure for them to grow and the circumstances on the context that they have to deal with the pressure and competition. I love working with young players.

    on the importance of having a pool of young English players…
    It’s really important because this is part of our DNA. We can produce at home and we know that with the facilities and structures that we have in place, we have players of that calibre and that level. There are some things you cannot compare with anyone from the outside because their feelings and their relationships within the club and how much they care, their passion they put in for our team is different and that’s a mixture you don’t get from anyone else.

    on how far our English youngsters can go…
    I think they have to set the limits. We want to give them as many opportunities as possible, again with the right environment and the right structure around them, but then it depends on them. This is not about doing it for one month, three months or eight months, it’s about doing it for a long time, and you know that the demands of this football club and the level that you have to be to be there, you have to be really consistent and that’s the hardest thing to do.

    on whether he can target Manchester City’s weaknesses…
    That’s what we will try to do as much as possible. Like any other team, they have some weaknesses as you mentioned and as well, it’s about stopping their strengths, which they have a lot of. This is part of any game plan, it’s not about City or any other opponent that we’re facing, and tomorrow we will do exactly the same.

    on how long Pep will stay at Manchester City for…
    I don’t know. He’s been there for four years, which for him is quite a long time already and look at the success that he has had. He feels really happy there and he is surrounded by great people across the club. He feels that the players, the style and the identity he’s created belongs to him as well. He’s close to the fans and he’s really happy, but I don’t know. That’s a question for him.

    on whether Dani Ceballos wants to stay…
    Well, that’s a conversation that we’re having with the club to see what we can do in the future with him. But I’m really, really happy with his progress and how much he’s improving and giving to the club. I always say as an example, he’s a loan player but when you see how he celebrates for every goal and the way he trains every day and how much he cares, I’m really happy with him.

    on plans to get fans back into stadiums for October…
    That’s the rumour we are hearing. Obviously things are evolving in different countries in different ways. I think we have to be patient. I think we are all desperate to have our people back in the stadium and make football what it is again. But obviously we want to be able to create a safe environment for everybody to come and join. My opinion is that it will be gradual. The sooner the better but let’s do it carefully.

    on it being good that Boris Johnson is talking about it…
    Very good. It’s good because they can see that in the near future things are going to improve. That’s another sign of that which is really good, not just for football but for society in general.

    on the FA Cup being the way into Europe for us…
    Absolutely [it is massive for us]. For many different reasons but as well because this competition is a big part of our history, in the last 10 years even more. It’s a good opportunity for us to go and win a trophy, and we are very excited. We will try to go there again tomorrow and make another step forward.

    on whether Mesut Ozil is in his thoughts…
    Yeah he’s been training.

    on whether Ozil is in the squad…
    I haven’t done the squad yet, but he’s in training.

    on whether the Liverpool victory sets us up nicely for City…
    Unfortunately yes [City are going to have a lot of the ball]. We had a really good reaction after the goal [we conceded against Liverpool]. It’s not easy because they are such a dominant team, so I’m really pleased with the result that we got. They’re going to be very different games and it’s going to happen tomorrow as well, you cannot expect to be dominant for 90 minutes. I don’t want to be defending deep for 90 minutes either. There are going to be a lot of little games within that game that we have to play. We’ll have our moments as well and you know how crucial it is in big games and in this competition to make the right decisions. I expect not a similar game but the level of difficulty will again be really, really high.

    on whether selling players to buy new ones is an inevitability…
    I don’t know. We are facing a lot of uncertainties at the moment. COVID-19 has hit all the clubs and it’s obviously a big worry, a big uncertainty we have with some of the players. We don’t know where we’re going to finish and how much impact financially that’s going to have. We’re going to have to sit down at the end of the season and see what we are able to do, but we are working together with the club. In the last few months we’ve put different plans together to see how we can minimise these uncertainties that we have.

    on if he picks his team solely on football reasons and how Matteo and Mesut feel about not being selected…
    Pure football reasons. My decision is always that. My only ambition is to put out the best squad, the best players that give us the best balance – in and out of the field – and the best possible chance to win the game.

    on how positive he feels regarding Auba’s future…
    I’ve always been very positive about it. I don’t have the key to the future and in football, anything is possible. But I see his reactions, I see how he is training every day. I know that he’s happy. I talk to him a lot and if we are able to do it, I think we can do it and we know how important he is for the team.

    on knowing Arsenal’s weaknesses from his time in the coaching team at Man City…
    Well, it’s a different team and we are a different team as well. I know their strengths and I know the flexibility they have and the things that they are going to try. But even like that, sometimes it is very difficult to stop them. I want to focus on what we want to do. If I worry too much about them, it’s not the message that I want to send to the players. It’s what we are going to do and what we have to do to try to win the game, to give us the best chance to compete against them throughout the 90 minutes and put them under difficulties. That is what I will do and that is the game plan we always put against every team.

    on whether he is worried by City winning all of our last seven meetings…
    Yes. But if I look at the trends as well before we played Liverpool, with the calendar year or the last two calendar years that they’ve had, you get depressed. What I need now is energy to transmit to my players, belief and it’s the FA Cup – we have a lot of experience here and we have a history related to that. Let’s go for it.

    on David Silva’s legacy in English football and if he is under-appreciated globally…
    If I could read the articles and the comments when he joined the Premier League, they were saying that player is so small, he doesn’t have the physicality, he won’t adapt. What David has done in this league has been incredible. Again, the level of consistency to play the way he has done with the amount of goals, assists and chances that he creates every single season, in tight spaces against very low blocks, time and time again, is incredible. I always said – and I agree with what Pep said – in shorter spaces, he’s the best player that I’ve seen.

    on Alex Lacazette…
    Yes, I really like Alex, I said that even before I joined here that he is the type of striker that I really like. I think he had periods where he was very unlucky, because he was having the chances and not converting them which he is not used to. But the way he can link play, he’s a massive competitor he hates to lose. He goes for every ball, you see in every challenge how he’s ready to go. He works really hard and he’s a very intelligent player, I am really happy with him.

    on not wanting to lose him…
    Why would I want to lose a player like him? I’m really happy with him.

    on whether Maitland-Niles wants to leave…
    I don’t disclose those reports, first of all because I don’t read them so I don’t know about them. I speak to the players about how they are feeling and how we can help them. If they are having difficulties again I speak to them and make them easier for them. He’s a player who can play in many different positions, we have discussed the things in my opinion that he can improve or adapt to his game because he has incredible quality. He has every quality that you need to be a football player to play the highest level and he just needs to do it in a little bit more of a consistent way, but he is someone who can adapt to any position as well.

    on whether he has a future at Arsenal…
    Yes, maybe he didn’t play as much as I wanted him to play but I played him in many different positions and in very important games as well.

    on whether he was sending a message to the owners after the Liverpool game…
    No, that was misinterpreted. It wasn’t my intention. We work so closely with everyone at the club, with the owners to put the plan that we need to take the club forward. Everybody has the same ambition, we are in all of this together. But if you ask me if I know right now what do I have and how can I do it, I’m sorry but I don’t know because there are a lot of questions that we can not resolve right now with the situation we have. One is financially and the other one is because we do not know if we are in Europe, and because we have players that we don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s the reality. It’s not about sending a message, we all have the same objective which is to try to bring the club back as quickly as possible, fighting with the top teams in the country and in Europe and that’s it, and I want to do that as quickly as possible.

    on talking with the owners or Raul Sanllehi more…
    No, I speak with them and I have a really, really good and open relationship, that’s why when you mention that I am surprised because I don’t need to do that. I can make a phone call and speak to them and they have been very, very supportive from the first day that I joined the club and they were very much participating in the decision to bring me back here and the same with Raul and Vinai and Edu. There are no gaps or friction or anything there.

    on if he can pick up the phone whenever he likes…

    on whether assurances have changed since taking the job…
    The context has changed. Nobody knew what Covid-19 was going to do. We didn’t know where we could take the team. The team was in a really difficult moment. Sometimes we were looking down, don’t forget, to relegation zone and saying ‘Jesus, we have won one in 13’. We want to move this forward and I am very ambitious because I can only think about this football club moving in one direction and I am going to push with everything I have. My job is to do that, first of all with the players that we have. It’s not just about the players, if we can improve with a staff member, with somebody who is going to give us an extra yard on something, I will push to do that. The first thing is to improve the players that we have, and I think we have done that so far, and we can go to the next level, of course we can. But in the meantime as well we need sometimes some specificity to move the club quicker into those positions.

    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.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Emile Smith-Rowe scored the winner as Huddersfield beat WBA 2-1 which in turn means Leeds are promoted back to the EPL
    Leeds need one point to be champions

    Huddersfield should now be safe, six pts above relegation places with rivals having two games left, they have much better goal difference, they have an 11 goal better GD than nearest rival

    Liked by 1 person

  29. with WBA losing it means Brentford will get automatic promotion if they win their remaining two game

    Liked by 1 person

  30. HT: West Ham 3-0 Watford

    looking like a win for West Ham, which should be enough to keep them safe from relegation, but would put Watford right in the relegation dog fight

    Liked by 1 person

  31. watford now only 3 pts above relegation places, they play Man City and Arsenal in their final two games of the season, wouldn’t it be great if we relegate deeney and his big talk team

    Liked by 1 person

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