35 Comments

A Blip Or A Reality Check ?

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After the lord mayor’s show, comes the dust bin cart, and however we cut it, however we accept the mitigating circumstances, that was a dust bin performance.

I think the problem is that we got two results against Liverpool and City from hard work, organisation and effort, not from creative flowing football, and fans assumed one way of play would mean the other would follow. Well it didn’t. We went from all the players following instructions and being exceptional in their execution, to none of the players executing a decent attacking performance.

There really is no point questioning Arteta’s selection, because we simply don’t know the fitness levels of the player or what his plans are for the next two games, and Chelsea has to be the priority.

It’s clear to me that Xhaka is the main man in this squad, but he has been playing every minute of every game, he needed a rest, the problem is that we were so poor without him that he had to come on at half time.

We are crying out for a creative player when we play teams that we will dominate with possession and territoriality. Ozil is by far our most creative player , but for reasons unknown, he is persona non grata, so he was sadly out of the equation. There simply isn’t anyone else.

There’s no point crying over spilt milk, it was a bad night, but it’s fair to ask why? Anyone can beat anyone, as Liverpool and City have proven, but don’t think for a moment that their fans won’t be asking why they were poor against Arsenal.

I believe it will take 3/4 years for Arteta to just get us back competing for  champions league place, but again, we are entitled to point out that someone has done the damage to the squad in the last two years that has made the project so big.

Anyway, onward and upward. We have a cup final to look forward too.

COYG.

Pedantic George.

 

 

 

35 comments on “A Blip Or A Reality Check ?

  1. Obviously disappointing and seems like a step back, but plenty of mitigating factors to consider too, not least player fatigue due to frentic recent schedule leading to large scale rotation. Throw in a very slow pitch, age and inexperience of players like Saka, Nketiah and Willock, and the fact that there was a lot more at stake for Villa than us and you have, as many a wizzened old pro would say, ‘all the makings’.

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  2. I am pretty sure a playmaker is on the list This summer, perhaps why Ozil is being forced out. Remember a time when we had several playmakers, perhaps for all his talent, Ozil is not capable of taking in such a mantle without the likes of Santi Cazorla , Ramsey along side him, in fact, who would be the same without such players?
    Ozil is, or as some unkind persons might say, was elite, but at times these days, he is not surrounded by elite performances. Perhaps something as sublime as ozils talent was just not put on this Earth to struggle alone as a creative in teams that fail to perform against Southampton, villa , Brighton or any number of others similar in recent years. He must be a seriously frustrated character.
    I should not be at all surprised to see someone like the much reported coutinho come in and work with dani and Saka on the creative side, perhaps they need Ozil out to make way. The Brazilian would prob satisfy the wishes of Arteta, Raul, Edu, Kia all in one go, so certainly potential for an arrival there if they can finance it.
    But without doubt, that was poor. And Arteta does need time, tho he will do well to last 3-4 years developing a team with the banner flyers sticking around.
    But have my doubts there are many who could serve us better than MA in these , frankly, poor circumstances the club finds itself in.

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  3. I don’t think we can question the quality of the squad for last nigh it is certainly good enough to beat a poor villa side.
    While Mikel can’t work his magic overnight we didn’t change soon enough after getting bogged down early on.
    We left the ball with the CBs to much and played backwards and sidewards at a slow pace, a recipe for disaster.
    I trust Mikel but I would like to see Auba gone, I have always preferred 2players getting ten goals each rather than 1getting 20 especially when he gives nothing else to the team in his general all round play.

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  4. It was a dire game and the players drafted in were poor. Kolasinac has to move on he misplaced so many passes.
    I did wonder if maybe we agreed to throw the game in return for Jack Grealish!

    It was Tony Adams who said that you are never as good or never as bad as the media say. I think it is very true. It is a reality check no doubt about that and even after the Man City game Arteta himself said that there is a long way to go to narrow the gap with the quality teams.

    All that realised it is so disappointing not to have finished strongly with two wins in the league. With the Ozil saga included the club is in an unbelievable mess. Shame on everyone concerned for letting things deteriorate so much. I do want to believe that Arteta can deliver but it ain’t a quick fix that’s for sure.

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  5. Mandy, for me Ozil’s best linkups, in different ways, were with Ramsey and Sanchez, so I think you’ve a good point there. Expect him and Cazorla linked well, too, and my memory just hasn’t retained it like it has the other two.

    At Real I only recall him supplying great passes to their top strikers- Ronaldo and Benzema- but I expect supply to him was decent at least. Pretty sure they dominated a lot of games, anyway, and that’s where he thrives.

    In the good years with Germany they were a high quality outfit, first with that fresh youthful side he was part of, then the more experienced one which won World Cup.

    He first caught my eye in final year in Germany, then u21 win that summer. Latter was a very good, powerful team, while at Bremen…think they were a vibrant attacking side, and have a feeling he did lot more running/dribbling and shooting at that point.

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  6. Well, we did predict a more subdued performance following the thrillers v LFC and Citeh, and so it proved. All eyes on the cup final, one imagines and it would not surprise me if Watford cause more anguish in the meantime.

    I think we have to understand that the Mikel Arteta direction of travel is where we want it to be, even if the squad currently is not. And let’s bear in mind it took Klopp 4 years and £400 million to create today’s Liverpool juggernaut** and even Ol’ Red Nose was close to the sack before his Man u came good. Okay, I know it only took Arsene Wenger one full season but hey, let’s be reasonable, he had the benefit of being Arsene Wenger.

    It’s taken Citeh years of unregulated and unpunished financial doping to come within 15 points of this year’s champions. So given the restrictions on funds, we have got to recognise that there is likely to be only so fast – and so far – that Arteta can currently go with Arsenal.

    Wenger’s genius was to take a mid-table club with mid-table funding to be competitive at the top table, not just for a few seasons, but twenty. He was so successful at this that most observers felt it was the club’s DNA that took them to that point rather than one man’s brilliance. Some people spent ten years or more claiming Wenger should have done more with what he had.

    History already suggests he did far more with the limited resources available, than anyone could reasonably expect. And we already know there are those with far more resources who have achieved far less and who have received a fraction of the criticism Arsene received.

    So one can only hope that this AFC fanbase at least can be fully aware of this lesson, get behind MA, and give him the chance, measurable in multiple SEASONS, rather than games, to take us back to where Arsene routinely led us.

    Obviously a first FA Cup would do very nicely indeed but a final in his first half season ain’t bad.

    **excluding against Arsenal

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  7. Probably only seen about half our games since return but am I right in thinking we’ve been done another 1-2 times with near-post flick headers as we were last night? Think I saw Ed mention topic a while back.

    Tactic seems to have become very popular in league lately, helped a bit, I think, by footballs used these days, which seem faster to me than old days.

    Think Mari injury unfortunate in that respect as I’m guessing big part of his appeal was being main man at set-pieces. Think he excelled at that in world club cup against Liverpool where he even troubled Van Dijk. Luiz isn’t at all bad at set-pieces but think he’s used in middle. Mustafi’s good for his size but toast if a good ball is delivered and tall guy has any sort of run at it. Holding I’m not sure.

    Anyway, if Arteta’s the detail man he appears he’ll want to sort that out soon.

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  8. well Rich the flick on happened last night cos PEA was having a laugh and a joke with Mings, when to his surprise Mings ran over for the ball in and flicked it on, with PEA not even close, then we must ask who the fuck was meant to be marking the guy who scored, I kid you not when I say I was shouting at the screen before the corner was taken for someone to mark him.

    Then we look at our biggest problem, its not the defending, its the attack, only 3 times in 26 games under Arteta in all competitions have we scored more than 2 goals, Newcastle and Norwich 4-0 and Everton 3-2, we have 14 draws in the league this season, to add to the 10 defeats, for me when you fail to win in that many games, and especially when you draw so many, its a clear sign we are lacking goals. the fact that we have dropped so many points from winning positions is also another sign the attack is not working well, we are more likely when 1-0 up to let in a goal than to make it 2-0

    for me the biggest disappointment under Arteta has been that there has been no charge of the light brigade when either chasing a game or when game was in the balance.

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  9. Thanks to Arsenal Andrew for writing tomorrows blog in the comments for me to copy and paste.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Anthony Taylor has been appointed as the game manager for the FA Cup final.

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  11. Good point George Re Ozil and creativity. It is so obvious that we lack creativity if we don’t play Ozil. I pointed out so many times that we need a cover for Ozil as well. Mikki was an option but we did not kept him. His understanding with Auba could have won us matches. Ceballos is still learning his trade.
    As Ozil scenario remains unclear we need to buy a playmaker for sure in this transfer window (even if Ozil stays). If Ozil is sold we need 2 playmakers to take the game to the opponent and see Wengerball again.

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  12. Anthony Taylor will become the first man in over 100 years to referee 2 FA Cup finals, there had been a system where once you reffed on that ruled you out of any more, so that more refs got the big game. Odd that they decide to change it now

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  13. Thanks for saying it Eduardo. I’ve been telling people that for a while now our problem is a disjointed attack. We misplace too many passes and turn over possession players are in attacking positions.

    In order to avoid that we show down okay and movement do much that the attack becomes non existent.

    It puts our defense under unnecessary pressure more often than it should costing us points.

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  14. The Ozil situation is one where I think there is stuff behind the scenes that we don’t know about because before the break he played almost every match under Arteta.

    I understand he was injured at the beginning of the restart but given that he’s back now I expected him to feature in some way at least.

    We really need to play through the middle a lot more. We don’t have advanced midfielders or a forward like Giroud to help with that a he would drop into midfield and lay off the ball to advancing midfielders.

    Now we play with deep lying playmakers and attack from wide which I find immensely boring. No quick one touch passing, step overs, nothing. Just get it wide and cross. Started with Emery and continues. Ozil offers something through the middle which we need more off.

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  15. We hardly ever get to the edge of the D in front of the goal where the magic happens.

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  16. I seen some quotes the other day from Tony Adams re Ozil, and he basically said Mesut gets the blame for the guys behind him not being good at defending, and that Arsenal need him in the team.

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  17. Taylor’s 2nd is it? Think he’s still pretty young. 41. And his first, I see, was our final against Chelsea in 2017.

    Just read the explanation from Ellery and seems to suggest empty stadium is reason for it. I reckon it’s another signal that there are too few top officials, with number of those among that allegedly top bracket having been around for ages (Dean, Atkinson, Moss for instance have surely done one already as well)

    Traditionally, do think there’s something in it that we get fairer treatment in cup. it’s not Riley who makes the appointments and prob not him in charge of assessment either.

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  18. Alot of the problems we have now are not new Mikel just hasn’t solved them yet. We are very slow on breakaways and either choose the wrong option or turn backwards allowing the other team to get back behind the ball.
    As I was saying earlier this is another reason to get rid of Auba so we can expect everyone in the team to contribute to the goals tally.
    All teams leave spaces no matter how much they pack their defence and it’s up to us to exploit it.

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  19. @ArsenalAndrew good points but Arteta has still got his L plates on when compared to Wenger, Fergie and Klopp.

    We need to understand we have a total novice in the hot-seat and don’t think its fair to expect him to produce anything like those 3 have produced.
    We cannot even compare Arteta to Eddie Howe (who may be a better manager than him) if we are being fair on achievements alone.

    I also do not think the fans will be patient especially if we fail to win in 4 yrs like Klopp or spend the money the same as Liverpool (model to follow apparently).
    I am trying to be realistic and see the best and worst that could happen.

    1. Arteta could find the magic formula with the team and the execs get signing’s right and we sign a few players that could be sold on for monster fees and we benefit and invest in the team, compete and win at the highest level.

    2. Arteta is way out of his depth if Unai Emery, again, a more successful manager than him struggled in the same set up. Also If he is following ‘club policy’ of getting dictated to as to who he can play or not, if he is not in charge of picking the players he actually wants to bring into the club then I don’t see him being much better.

    I like Arteta and want him to succeed but I think club policy and direction have had a pole shift recently and he is not the one directing the ship.

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  20. Although disciplinary or financial reasons could explain the absence/exclusion of Ozil, I am not totally convinced. It could stem from a serious health issue that no one can talk about.

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  21. Oh dear, could Utd have to rely on PGMOL help for CL football? And let’s face it, Leicester no stranger to such help either

    Liked by 1 person

  22. ian I agree with you re PEA, he is like Pololski, a CF who just can’t play CF for us, he is a goal scorer, thats it, and he finds it easier to find the space he needs to score on a regular basis by coming in from the left. His goals are vital to us, but it leaves us unbalanced.

    Tonight liverpool get the title for the first time in 30 years, no one could have even thought such a thing was possible in 1990, just as who would have thought in 2004 that 16 years later we would not have another title, barely a title challenge, and look further away than at any time in those 16 years, we have Man Utd by far the biggest and most successful club in England, a full 8 years on from a title, again they don’t look close to another one any time soon. Spurs are almost 60 years since the tasted a title.

    Money is king, but that money has to be well spent too. Arsenal have spent a lot of money in the last few years, but its not been spent well in too many cases, that needs to be the first thing changed.

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  23. 900ft Ozil has been back in full first team training for more than a week but an undebuted Matt Smith has been included in the squad ahead of him, when we are crying out for someone to create a few chances.

    I expect Smith to get his debut on Sunday, if he is to be included in the FA Cup Final squad ahead of Ozil, which I also expect. I will say if I was Ozil I would refuse point blank to transfer out this summer, permanent or loan, I would dig my heels in if there is any silly games being played by Raul and co, something I think is happening.

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  24. Edu’s son, Luigi Gaspar is reported to have signed a Scholarship deal for our U18’s, he was in the U16’s last season

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  25. here is a stat I just seen on twitter, don’t know if as claimed, Ozil played in all 8, but before lockdown AFC played 8 EPL games in 2020 and we did not lose any of them, four wins, four draws,
    but he is being left out for footballing reasons

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  26. nottingham forest have just blown a play off spot, they were 3pts and 5 goals ahead of swansea but lost at home to stoke 4-1 while swansea won away to reading 4-1 to get play off spot on goal difference

    brentford lost at home to barnsley to miss out on automatic promotion, after a run of 9 wins in a row they lost their final two games so despite WBA bad run of form they go up

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  27. West Brom promoted. former Arsenal players Semi Ajayi, Kyle Bartley & Kieran Gibbs part of their squad.

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  28. I wonder if we will ever know the full story of Ozil. I just hope Arteta isn’t Just going along wit’s some Raul scheme, I would be surprised, but what do we know. All we know is arteta has some strict standards, but seems to be forgiving if players eventually tow the line, we know Ozil used to play in his teams, now he doesn’t, if asked, Artetas responses seem confusing, perhaps deliberately so.
    Strange, seems this club needs all the help it can get as it moves forward. Competing with those richer, those with better squads, those with seemingly far more experienced people running clubs, some believe others with more ambition, those more adept with the PGMOL, I hope there is good reason for ignoring such talent as Ozil. Not sure the wage cut rumour would necessarily constitute a good reason. Even pissing off the Chinese, could harm the club, but Stans President seems to be doing rather a lot of upsetting that country.

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  29. Mandy there is a line in this from Arteta that suggests its more than him that decides on Ozil

    Arteta on if there is a way back for Ozil and Guendouzi with ‘willingness and consistency’…
    That applies for any player and any member of the staff. All players know this. If you show that, that you decide to do the best not only for yourself but for the team and for the club, I think everyone will welcome you. It’s not just me that needs to give the green light, it’s everybody that has to be supportive. You need to feel that support from everybody because otherwise it’s a very uncomfortable situation

    check out the video at around 11.20
    https://www.arsenal.com/news/arteta-aston-villa-ozil-and-more-transcript

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  30. Chelsea need a draw or better v Wolves on Sunday to be certain of CL place, if they lose, Leicester would only need a draw to join Man Utd in the top 4

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  31. so the EPL season finishes on Sunday with two main things to be sorted, two from Man Utd, Chelsea and Leicester will get the final 2 CL places, and 2 from Bournemouth, Watford and Aston Villa will be relegated

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  32. At least we aren’t Forest fans. 3 points from last 18.

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  33. I thought it might be medical or health problem with Ozil.

    But given the vitriol previously from Stinker’s Arse and the humiliation he constantly received from The Dr.

    The Don hussled by an agent who is a part time agent alongside their day job. Did Stinker not like that.

    No doubt about it. We’d o it be kidding ourselves to think otherwise.

    The scientific method can help to quantify but essentially this is the price paid for retaining the clown who replaced Ramsey with Guendouzo at a loss. Joshy must be lovin’ It.


    two things to keep you distracted from Stinker’s horror story and denigration of The Arsenal in the meantime:

    Kepa will not be the Chelsea keeper on the day, The Gunners are going to need to play good.

    A.Taylor getting a second final, first time that’s ever happened. I think.
    He’s getting another. Strange coincidence his first was also Arsenal Chelsea. Blimey.

    What are the odds?

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  34. Interesting, Eduardo 1005

    Liked by 1 person

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