Close But No Cigar

Good morning all, The Ozil saga seems to have put a dark cloud over me and effected my ability to look objectively at the game. So I have shamelessly stolen todays review from the comments section and a post from our old friend @arse_or_brain

“Firstly lets put the game into context, we are a team in transition after being absolutely torn apart by the owners appointment 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 didn’t 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 sideward, just straight back out to the two city strikers 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 a bit after that and Leno had to make 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 bouncing up past the post. Aubameyang then had a one on one with the keeper only to see his shot smothered, and we all know if Auba doesn’t score he adds nothing to the team.
Then the two most controversial incidents firstly a kung fu kick to Gabriel’s head in the area that VAR magically didn’t even review. It would of been deemed dangerous play anywhere else on the pitch but the homer ref remarkably didn’t see it, it is a points like this when you think the game is corrupt. Also Sergio decided it would be fun to grab the female official by the neck until she forcibly 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 our way and subs were needed, with 20 minutes to go we have seen Arsene go with five strikers but Mikel replaced Willian with Lacazette 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 imposing our playing style on city and that definitely reflected in the amount of fouls city committed and the bookings they picked up even with a very lenient and bias ref.
Where we weren’t courageous was playing the ball forward and at times we were playing excellent football just trying to get the ball back to the CBs if we showed that style going forward we would have won easily.
Overall taking the game in context we played well, certainly as well as city but in these games you have to be clinical in attack, 100% focused in defence and have fair officials none of which we had today. However I do believe we are growing we just have to be patient for a little longer.”

21 comments on “Close But No Cigar

  1. Won’t argue with that. And I know it’s been said before, Saka is one hell of a player.


  2. Didn’t play especially badly, unfortunately a loss is a loss, but in context, we have, in the league at least, an absolutely abysmal record against city, going back years, think it is 5 since we have beaten them. They have often gone three up, and taken their foot off the gas, some of those results appear to have been damaging to the team confidence, and among the fan base, I remember the protests going up after a couple 3- 0 home defeats to them.
    Arteta seems to be trying to stabilise things at the back, possibly at the cost of going forward in some games, I can get his approach away to city, but sincerely hope to see more against lesser teams , including those who will put 11 behind the ball.
    I miss Wengerball like everyone else, but we no longer have Dennis, Cazorla, a fit Wilshere, Ramsey, Rosicky etc. We still have Ozil of course, but can he do that without his former supporting cast away to City, I do not know, but there are plenty wiser than me who doubt he can. But some games and teams are made for Ozil, perhaps one day, we will find out exactly what has been going on over him. But into the here and now, and future, yes, Saka is incredibly impressive.
    So we carry on abysmal league form at City and Liverpool, guess that is just going,to take time to resolve. And the referee did nothing to help yesterday, as ever in this fixture, City seem to know exactly what they can get away with against us, and play to just that. Arteta will be aware of this as well.
    On the refereeing front, two major and controversial decisions against Liverpool yesterday, probably more than the whole of the last couple of seasons. What can it mean? A blip? Or are the PGMOL under orders for new Champions this season?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I entirely agree with Ian.
    And. I don’t think George is moaning too much.

    Willian for Ozil is a bad call, not as bad as starting Guendouzi over Elneny (never mind about Ramsey! He should never have started over Mo!) but this call will still cost points on the pitch and is therefore fair comment.

    Likewise the call on Leno over Martinez, it’s not great. Hopefully not as damaging for the club as those two above, but you can understand the consideration.

    When the fight for top six is so intense when rivals like Everton, Tottenham have been buying attacking footballers no one wants to see the Gunners fall behind, and if they’re already relying on teenage Saka over record signing Pepe & Kia’s gift Willian then that is:

    A problem on the football pitch that the football fans will be discussing!


  4. Could Nelson have made more of a contribution then either of Raul’s or Kia’s gifts?

    Will Nelson be starting ahead of Pepe by the end of the season, as he was when Arteta first came in? Not a cuss or slur on Pepe who I like (he’s quick!) I am simply wondering if Nelson is a better footballer then Raul & Josh’s Pension Fund.


  5. I’d like to see the team evolve into a back four and I’d like to see Saka in the attack but I don’t want to see him starting all the games.
    He needs to be weaned at the same rate as Sterling who was managed by good coaches/stewards (the same rate as Arsenal’s own teenagers of late until the miraculous Matteo parachuted from on high down and into the starting eleven).

    Never mind Ozil, if it pains forget about him or the fact that he’s played that role we saw Willian in multiple times for clubs and country, but Willian and Pepe will have to up their game with Nelson still in the squad.
    And Lacazette yesterday had the look of someone who is treading water until Martinelli is match fit again. Lacazette not Kolasinac was probably the signing that gave Sven’s opponents back then all the leverage that they needed.


  6. Arsenal Women 6 Tottenham 1. McCabe, Miedema 3, Foord 2. Miedema now top WSL scorer of all time.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. quote Mandy

    Arteta seems to be trying to stabilise things at the back, possibly at the cost of going forward in some games,

    I’m not sure what you mean by some games, its almost every game, we have managed to score 4 goals just the twice in all competitions under Arteta, at home to Newcastle and Norwich, in fact last season we scored at a much higher rate under Emery than we did under Arteta, it was just that we also let in at a higher rate,
    I’ve seen nothing so far from Arteta that suggests we are going to rip any team apart, we don’t even go for it the odd time we get two up, we have more of a burnley mentality than a liverpool one


  8. Like

  9. in the league under Arteta last season we scored 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 0, 4, 3, 1, 0, 1, 2, 4, 2, 1, 1, 2, 0, 3, and this season 3, 2, 1, 1, 0

    in the fa cup 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2

    in EL 1, 1

    and in CC this season 2, 0

    we have kept 8 clean sheets in the 25 EPL games under Arteta, but scored more than one goal in only 11 games. by the way 4 of those 8 clean sheets came with Ozil in the team and we failed to score in just the one league game under MA with Ozil in the team, that was Burnley away, a 0-0, but 3 times in the 15 without him playing,


  10. well george on your thought about coaching skills etc, I had a GAA coach/manager who was outstanding at training the team, setting us up for games, good man manager etc, but on match day he was useless on the sideline, he really couldn’t see even the most simple of tactical or personal changes that needed to be made, it was as if a malaise came over him. Always found it very odd.


  11. what fucking happened to spurs, I seen they were 3 up with ten minutes left so got a big surprise when I seen it ended 3-3

    Liked by 1 person

  12. They put bale on that’s what happened.


  13. Tremendously enjoyable that last ten minutes of Spurs game. Still a bit worried about them this year as Son and Kane look like they’ll score ton of goals so if they’re solid elsewhere will pick up lot of points.

    Most likely just a freak coincidence but I do like possibility Bale could unbalance them and give Mourinho a headache. His instincts so strongly against tilting too far towards attacking balance without enough cover, but if three of them fit might just do that (though also might rip up a lot of teams)


  14. I’m not glad Van Dijk got that injury but am very interested in how commentary is playing out. Fair bit of questioning pgmol quality but all on the level of how incident was judged. No one going anywhere near question of whether that challenge is more likely here than, say, Spain or Germany, and so, of course, no scrutiny of why that might be.

    We’d probably need another bad one to one of their favourites at a favourite team to happen quickly for that to materialise. But given how extremely rare those are, that surely won’t occur.


  15. AFCMikel
    One Rapid Vienna player has test positive for Covid-19 but the match against Arsenal this Thursday is still set to go ahead.
    Crossed fingers


  16. Tom Smith has joined National League side Dover Athletic until the end of January 2021.

    The 18 year-old goalkeeper signed his first professional contract with us in December 2019, following a loan spell with Salisbury in the Southern League Premier Division.

    During that time, he made 10 appearances before unfortunately having to return to the club due to a knee injury.

    Since then, the Arsenal Academy graduate has been an integral part of our under-23s side.

    Everyone at Arsenal wishes Tom all the best for his time at Dover 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.


  17. Arsenal now have 18 academy players out on loan


  18. To put that in context chelski have nearly thirty and I would bet many older players than the ones we have on loan a blatant misuse of the loan system.


  19. @ pedantic George @arseblagger

    I am interested to know what makes people have hope that Arteta is working to a big plan that will result in some kind of hybrid old Arsenal, Man- City, Barcelona type squad, tactics and team play.

    Think i said this on another blog but Arteta as well as being a student of Wenger and Guardiola probably spent most of his career playing under David Moyes at Everton.

    Which style do you see Arsenal replicating now of his 3 mentors?

    It’s interesting to note that we started calling emery the Spanish David Moyes and Moyes is a direct mentor of Arteta.
    Is there a possibility that Arteta is influenced by Moyes just as much or if not more than Wenger and Guardiola?

    The problem for me with the style that Arteta seems to be implementing is that you must win ala Jose Mourinhio as there will not be much sympathy if that style does not yield results.

    I am hoping Arteta can prove me wrong as there have been many hyped-up coaches with big reps that didn’t manage to realise the hype.
    Andre Villas boas, Brian Kid, Steve Mclaren, Paul Lambert.


  20. Gee,I have drawn the same conclusions on the podcast that will be out today.


  21. Listening now – Agreed 100%


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