The Arteta Derby

Good morning positive and hopeful Gooners.

The team makes it’s way up the M6 to face Mikel’s mate Pep and his team of all stars. There is never a good time to play Manchester City, but now seems as good as any. They recently got an unexpected spanking from Leicester and are without their star playmaker, KDB and don’t appear to have a centre forward to field.

It looks like we can start Tierney, after breaking him our of Covid prison in Scotland and we also have Partey available for selection for the fist time. Given our success against then in the FA Cup semi final I expect us to play similar game, that means 5 at the back and the MF prioritising shielding, so Mikel might be tempted to play those that are used to the system and each other. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Xhaka and Elneney start the game. If we can come through the first half hour unscathed, recent history shows them to be vulnerable.

There is a lot of optimism surrounding our team, more than our level of play justifies me thinks, but if the players also feel this optimism then that will serve us well.

The only thing I’m sure of is that whoever Mikel starts, huge swaths of the fanbase will think he’s gotten it wrong, but a good result is the best answer to any critics.

Another thing I’m sure of is that they will attack us relentlessly, even more than normal, because the lack of KDB means we will see less of the ball, as the price of his creativity comes at him turning over possession a lot, he probably gives up the ball more than the rest of them put together, he’s a bit Sanchez like in that respect.

Lets just hope their new £130 million centre back pairing struggles to gel and Walker frequently falls asleep in the area Aubameyang patrols, it will be a test for Walker as he usually has a speed advantage, well he won’t have one today.

OK, people, enjoy the game and I’ll see you tomorrow.


Pedantic George.

41 comments on “The Arteta Derby

  1. What a boring international break that was. Tricky game, as ever against this lot, KDB or not. Something doesn’t seem right with them, not exactly sure what it is, but let’s hope we can add to their misery.
    We do seem better against more talented teams than the functional, so certainly some hope of getting something out of this game .
    Need to see a bit of Auba I suspect


  2. Morning Mandy, I was beginning to think the site was broken.


  3. Good afternoon George! Maybe taking people a while to get back into proper football after all these international breaks


  4. Updates from u23 home game with Utd :

    denied a pen claim
    they get pen.
    miss it.
    take it again and score
    we go down to ten.

    Bet the odds of that sort of thing pretty minute if we travelled to Manchester, or anywhere, but for us it’s just a regular ole Saturday.


  5. You forgot the red card for Partey fpr something no one has been sent off for before or since


  6. Interesting back three, Arteta wanting to keep the back line higher up the pitch IMO, not a repeat of Anfield.
    Plus the variation in the front three following on from Utd. Arteta would of course have even more options if Ozil was on the already strong bench.

    Walcott! With a goal against Chelsea that may help the Gunners at the end of the season.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. COYG


  8. James Olayinka has joined League Two side Southend United until the end of January 2021.

    An Arsenal Academy graduate, the 20 year-old midfielder has been at the club since he was seven years old.

    He spent the first half of this year on loan at League Two side Northampton Town. James helped them to win the play-offs to get the club promoted to League One.

    In 2019, James joined our first team’s pre-season tour in America, scoring a stunning goal in a 3-0 win against Colorado Rapids.

    More recently, James was included in the squad for our Community Shield win over Liverpool in August.

    Everyone at Arsenal wishes James all the best for his time at Southend United.

    The loan is subject to the completion of regulatory processes.

    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


  9. I’m probably not the only one wondering if the departed keeper would’ve parried the two shots from city with more conviction. A shame as it was Arsenal who were caught on the counter this time.

    A good riposte to the city goal from Arsenal with their two best efforts so far. Saka impressing overall, Pepe could’ve done better with the header after good work from Willian.

    Some sloppy play in attack leads to a new spell for City. Outstanding save on Foden, Leno at his best in that moment.

    And that’s a huge save off Ederson’s shoulder to deny the prodigal Saka.


  10. Dan Critchlow
    It’s a shame VAR doesn’t exist when it’s a penalty decision involving us. They could use it in situations like that.


  11. Good attacking pressure to end to the half. Saka the stand out player for me, incredible talent. I feel he took the wrong option on that last cross.
    Could’ve been a penalty at the end too.


  12. Anfield Watch
    · 38m
    Information on Virgil van Dijk‘s injury is that he’s done his ACL, and will be out for the best part of 7/8 months. #awlfc [bein sports]


  13. Really don’t know why anyone would think we need Ozil in our team/squad after that brilliant performance from our midfield and attack

    by the way don’t anyone mention that Aubameyang hasn’t scored since he signed that new bumper contract extension, and certainly don’t mention that he hasn’t even had a good performance since either.


  14. Oh well, death, taxes, and Arsenal lose in the league at City and Liverpool, lacklustre in terms of creativity, looked a little lethargic, hard to get into any rhythm with these stupid internationals


  15. The one chance Auba had came from a pass down the centre, as with the Saka save you have to give some credit to the keeper in stopping the Gunners scoring.

    Lacazette with some poor passing after coming on, apparently he didn’t warm up during the break and his touch looked a little off, can understand the use of Xhaka and Partey after the break, Xhaka especially having played in some intense contests.

    Did Luiz coming in mean Arsenal found it harder to get out in that second half. Some hacking by City and also fair to say the ref was not great and it was a pen. In the absence of the creative player proven in this system (17/18) and under this coach, am hoping we’ll see the shift to a back four over the next period to improve the fluidity in the attack.


  16. I could not watch the game so cannot comment on it.

    However is 3 shots on target, our average over recent games, evidence of a midfield and attack worthy of the name, even against man$ity away?

    Is that evidence why we do not hern ozil or was that comment tongue in cheek?


  17. jigsol we were boring as fuck, Ceballos lacked the conviction to actually pass the ball forward, even late in the game. Wenger used to get crucified for making subs on 70 minutes, now we have Arteta waiting till beyond the 80th minute, and even then we seen no charge of the light brigade, it was as if we hoped for a goal, but were more concerned not to let in a second.

    Willian played as a false 9, but it was more of a false footballer role. Was Arteta trying to show how smart he is with that move. If so it failed badly.
    That Ozil is not even likely to be included in our 25 man squad is beyond a joke when we see the sort of football we seen today so often. Football reasons my arse.

    I see we played Cedric, Saliba, Willock and Nelson in our U23’s today, they got a 3-3 v Man Utd U23’s. That we didn’t even bother to include Ozil suggests that he is being totally frozen out and so there is no reason to give him any game time.


  18. I might have reached the end of the line.


  19. Should we now all be calling Auba lazy because he earns so much money and hasn’t scored for a few games?

    Surely we Arsenal fans should consistent.

    Oh yes, how many goals and assists has that other high earner, Willian, scored and made since his first game?

    Doesn’t his ‘obscenely’ high salary lasts for 3 years?

    What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander?

    The bbc website gave more than 6 out of 10 to only 2 of our players, Saka, 6.54 and Tiierney, 6.16.

    The rest were below 6 with the lowest that great creative maestro, Willlian, with 5.17.

    Clearly with every penny.

    Oh yes, Auba managed 5.41.

    And every Man$ity player rated above 6 except one, Gundogan, and he rated 5.97.

    And 8 of their players rated higher than Saka.

    So we must have out-played them, didn’t we?

    Yes, the future really looks rosy.


  20. Wasn’t able to watch. My son said we didn’t play too badly.Sounds from all of your commetns that we might have found something from the game. Interestingly before the game I found myself not exactly hopeful but not fearful of a pasting either. By such small margins is progess measured. Can’t see us out of the top three this season.


  21. End of the line, sounds ominous!


  22. So we are not very positvely at all then. Suggest the site is renamed and any who want to find a happier place do so. I will be. Nor sure any such place exists right now, but somwhere there will be a space for irredemable optimists who only watch for the joy it brings. And just for the record: Arsene was the best coach I have ever seen, but he was past his sell by date at the club because the board didn’t refresh the players, and so his message became stale.
    Ramsey was a magnificent player (my favourite) but his football equivalent of a glass jaw meant you couldn’t justify the wages he would have wanted for his final big money contract. You can’t find better than Ozil but you need better and stronger and more protected by the referee players around him. He didn’t get that support and we still don’t have it. There is other stuff going on and one day we will find out. But I doubt he alone would make the difference we hope for. I am glad I saw him play live: he was sublime. Would I necessarily play him if I was Arteta? Fortunately for everyone I’m not Arteta, but right now I probably wouldn’t. I’d be backing Saka and co instead.

    This Arteta team will do well. It wont be an Arsene team – that ship has sailed. But it will grind out some results and it will produce some great moments. Just as Arsene did to begin with. Believe me, the best is yet to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. And this is what I thought I’d found here


  24. Tim, perhaps you wouldn’t be so happy if you had watched it?


  25. jesus christ another penalty given to Man utd, they miss this one, but the refs are either corrupt or inept, maybe both


  26. No one is suggesting Ozil plays and Saka is left out, but Willian? Pepe? Ceballos?Elneny?


  27. I would love to be positive, or more positive than I am, but the situation since Wenger was thrown out seems to get from bad to worse.

    I have reached the stage that, when I switched on this evening to see the score, I did so with little, if any, enthusiasm and when I saw the result, I simply could not care.

    Previously, I would be nervous before I switched the phone on and upset and annoyed at a negative result.

    This is what Emery and Arteta have done for me and I suspect it is the same for so many others.

    After the Emery disaster, so many fans look at Arteta and are willing him to succeed.

    Winning the cup seems to have misled many into believing that Arteta is somehow different and better an Emery.

    For my part, I simply cannot see it.

    He talks as much rubbish as Emery did. At least Emery could be excused because he could not speak English, but Arteta has no excuse.

    If you look at the quotes from his press conferences, you will see that many of them simply do not make sense.

    I could go on, but I won’t bore you anymore than it seems you have already been bored today.

    I would love to see us riding high and deserving to do so, with the same sort of scintillating football we have got used to for so many years.

    However, under the current leadership, whether the people controlling the club or the manager, I cannot see it happening.

    We had 20 good years, we must now settle done to some bad ones. Hopefully, it will not be for too long, but, at present, I see no end to the tunnel, indeed, I don’t even see the tunnel.


  28. Oh, yes, and I can’t be bothered to watch MOTD, or the highlights on Arsenal.com or Adrian Clarke.


  29. Can understand feeling incredibly downcast if the desire is to be as good as we were in the glory Wenger years right now or to see clear signs we will be some time soon. Or even just to see us attempt to play thrilling attacking football.

    But judged in the context of our last 3-4 years, plenty of reasons for optimism and hope, even if in truth the game left me flat.

    Looks at present as though we have gained in structure, staying in games, and not being highly vulnerable to counters, but lost something in flair, adventure and creating and sustaining pressure.

    However, compare like for like, away games to very best and even away games in general, to a degree, and there were some games in last couple of Weng years when we struggled to create much late on when losing, even against likes of Swansea.


  30. Ok it was all a bit steady Eddie and it is hard to get excited about the style of play at the moment. I think back over the past few seasons and how many times has every man woman and dog said that we need to sort our defending out!
    I can really see the defending and organisation through the team and I don’t expect to see those awful embarrassing moments although the playing out from the back is heart attack territory at times.
    It is too early to start the Arteta out routine surely.
    There are more tweaks and changes ahead I am sure but I do feel that at some point when the personnel and the basics are sorted that the team will be unleashed from their temporary shackles.
    I am determined at this stage to feel Positively Arsenal.


  31. Firstly lets put the game into context, we are a team in transition after being absolutely torn apart by the owners oppointmnet of Raul and in turn his appointment of the really boring Unai. This against one of the biggest spenders and best teams in europe over the last few years.
    As city were at home it should of been on them to attack and to entertain but that didnt happen there goal after 23 minutes was if anything against the run of play ceballos outpaced by sergio through the middle of midfield and not tracking back enough to even follow the striker this leaving Luis exposed forcing Hector to come central to cover and when the ball went out to foden he therefore was able to cut inside a struggling Hector trying to get back in position. The shot was parred by Leno but not sidewards just straight back out to the two city stikers waiting to tap it into the net after Leno decided to stay on his knees and not to try and save the second shot. The players who had got back into the area was marking space rather than picking up the only two city players in the area.
    A real sloppy goal to concede after playing so well at the start. We wobbled abit after that and Leno had tomake a point blank save from foden to keep us in the game.
    We then rallied and created two very good chances with Saka skipping past a few challenges exchanging a 1-2 and only being stopped by the keepers shoulder the ball then swirling up and boucing up past the post. Auba then one on one with the keeper only to see his shot smothed and we all know if Auba doesn’t score he adds nothing to the team.
    Then the two most controversal incidents firstly a kung fu kick by Gabriels head in the area that VAR magically didnt even review. It would of been deemed dangerous play anywhere else on the pitch but the homer ref remarkably didnt see it, it is a points like this when you think the game is corrupt. Also Sergio deceided it would be fun to grab the female offical by the neck until she forceably pushed his arm away and told him to get off. Remarkably he wasn’t sent off and of course none of the media talked about this incident at all.
    The second half we started well again but started losing out way and subs were needed, with 20 minutes to go we have seen Arsene go with five strikers but Mikel replaced Wllian with Laca who only seemed to foul city players and never really get in the game.
    The next Subs came to late, Partey coming on for Xhaka who had been playing really well instead of ceballos who wasn’t. At the same time Eddie came on for Pepe but was played wide rather than central where he could of hassled the city defence.
    Mikel said the players were courageous for impossing our playing style on city and that definately reflected in the amount of fouls city committed and the bookings they picked up even with a very leinent and bias ref.
    Where we wern’t courageous was playing the ball forward and at times we were palying excellent football just trying to get the ball back to the CBs if we showed that style going forward we would have won easerly.
    Overall taking the game in context we played well certainly as well as city but in these games you have to be cllinical in attack, 100% focused in defence and have fair officials none of which we had today. However I do believ we are growing we just have to be patient for a little longer.


  32. In a nutshell,
    We ain’t going nowhere without Mesut Özil.
    I’m with AW on the state on football today about Bayern being the only super team last season. I’d add Liverpool but its almost all physical, superfit types in the game now.
    Very few artists/maestros.
    Will Bayern without Thiago stiill be super?
    Will Liverpool without van Dijk?

    Kroenke is f**King up our chances with the vendetta on Mesut.
    Enough is enough otherwise we might as well accept Project Big Picture and wait for the end of football!!!


  33. And I am past angry.
    Just terribly bored now.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. As expected we lost to city at their home ground. The game was not attractive from both ends .As surprisingly Pep also not going full throttle. Probably in the absence of KDB Pep was not confident and the FA cup loss was still afresh in his mind.

    Being Arsenal fan these days is not a great idea as we are evolving with Arteta style of play obviously not to my liking along with a large number of grooners obsessed with Wengerball.
    So watching Arsenal matches not exciting enough these days.
    Maybe watching Bielsa,s Leeds is more entertaining imo.

    I don’t think with the inclusion of Partey we will be seeing a fluent style of play as it seems now with Arteta we have said bye bye to Wengerball. We may finish the season better than last year but finishing top4 seems uphill at the moment imo.

    But Hey guys why finish top4 we were told by the idiot fans that we will win the league once Arsenal get rid of Wenger.
    Could those idiot fans come up and say sorry to us.


  35. I’m with arse or brain. Good improvements in defence. We look much better at the back now. And are progressing the ball out nicely. Midfield to forward is a problem. There is no link. I would have preferred Ozil as the false 9 with Auba and Pepe running in behind closer to the centre.

    Arrests seems to know about the problem in attack unfortunately for whatever reason he has to or chooses to leave the in house solution out of the squad.

    Shoots of improvement from the last 2 years of mess. Now, the quality of football up front needs to improve.


  36. I’m wondering if we are not playing am Ozil type creative player is because they play a larger percentage of totally passes causing is to turn over possession more often and putting the defense under pressure.

    Hopefully Arteta is only doing it while refining the defense until he is confident enough to risk putting a more creative player in the team so that we can attack more. Once we get the transition from attack to defense in losing the ball then the players will be more confident about not giving up a goal whenever we lose it.


  37. Attacking football needs to be played with speed. For that players need to know perfectly what is expected of them in every situation.

    This starts by doing it slowly at first. Like everything else when learning it at first. As things start working out and coming off I feel the speed of our attack will increase and become more exciting.

    I hope at least.


  38. Wenger was brilliant but he did inherit a solid defence and he was in football at the right time in the right place. Can’t possibly be compared like with like. And Özils ship has sailed for whatever reason our club have decided to lock horns even though he has to be a decent addition to the team at this time. No point even banging on about it anymore.


  39. Ah the old inherited a defence thing, falls a bit flat when none of em were in the invincibles and how solid were they in Grahams last two seasons.


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