Leeds! Leeds! Leeds!

It’s been a long two weeks since Villa came to our house and gave us a good spanking but it does seem a lot longer. In that time we have had players playing 3 international games, catching covid while on duty and on holiday, having punch ups at training, Arteta searching for deep throat and several other players bigging up Ozil, all while Aubameyang has taken to sleeping rough. So nothing good for the Arsenal manager. The dissent among the ranks will be of most concern to him, given the togetherness he so likes, and likes to suggest he has brought to the team and club.

Mikel then, will have less options than normal to pick from. Will his “non negotiables” become negotiables as far as Willian is concerned?

I have no idea how we will set up, part from playing three at the back. Do we press like we did against United or do we sit back ? No matter what he decides to do, Leeds will play their game. They will come at us frantically, pressing and passing forward relentlessly. They have a style and their manager has a fixed vision, whether they have the players to make it work in the PL remains to be seen.

It looks like our midfield options are Xhaka, Ceballos and ,err, well and no one else. As Willock hasn’t had single PL minute, I cant see him being started.

Whatever happens, because of how Leeds play, it should be an entertaining watch.

Three points would be welcome.

Enjoy the game.

Pedantic George.

45 comments on “Leeds! Leeds! Leeds!

  1. Looking like a midfield four of Saka, Xhaka, Ceballos and Bellerin for this match.
    there’ll be some call for changes in the front three, I wonder what the back three will be. Luiz, Gabriel and Tierney is my guess.

    One bonus from Elneny & Partey being unavailable is that there should be more attacking options on the bench. Nelson who had been hindered by injuries but selected regularly by arteta at the start a year a ago should be back in the squad.
    Fans will still give a bye on a crap performance this Sunday with a good result in the NLD, it’s Arteta who needs the players to show faith in him again this week, as if we see a repeat of Villa the prep for the derby will be negatively affected. I speculate that there’ll be a different better attitude with Luiz and Xhaka back in the eleven. Not sure but hoping we’ll see some better footy.

    Is Welbeck in better form then Lacazette?


  2. Nice second goal for Brighton, switching the ball from side to side, from the opponent’s D and not just the centre circle.
    Villa not as dangerous imo with only one playmaker in the team after Bartley’s niggle.


  3. This a very strange game at a very strange time in Mikel’s charge.
    3 points would be most welcome but having just got wrecked at home by a team who have just got beat by a team near the bottom of the table means the shadow of that lower half is creeping up especially with our derby foes seemingly scraping wins from all sorts of places even when not playing well.
    To get three points from a difficult place such as Leeds will take a total transformation from our last game and trying to imagine where that will come from is difficult, all eggs seem to be in the Xhaka/ Luiz basket and although Leeds like to ship goals unfortunately we don’t like scoring so it could be a difficult day.
    We need a special day so COYG.


  4. it seems Arteta is very upset that someone revealed to the media that David Luiz and Ceballos had a little punch up, (some have been blaming Ozil for the story getting out since it first appeared), Arteta says if he finds out who there will be major consequences, not sure what he could do to Ozil, maybe leave him out of match day squads, or even the 25, that would show him. Had to laugh at Arteta’s response to this training ground incident, a non story was given life by him with his consequences quote. Arteta’s non negotiables soundbite is being shown up as nothing more than a PR Soundbite the more Arteta talks, be it about Ozil, Pepe, our great youth or even Willian now.

    I expect tomorrow we will see a team along the lines of

    David Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney
    Bellerin, Xhaka, Caballos, Saka
    Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang
    subs: Runarrson, Holding, Cedric, AMN, Willock, Nketiah, Pepe,


  5. spurs 1-0 up at half time v man city, and currently sit top of the league


  6. How typically Mourinho are the spuds so far….so negative….


  7. Anthony Taylor the PGMOL game manager tomorrow


  8. So City struggled to break down a defensive block. With luck they will sign Ozil sometime in 2021. If not he is either surplus to their requirements or they too have been told to avoid.


  9. utd leading 1-0 v west brom, if they win the go above us. Tomorrow we can go as high as 6th, would take a 10 goal win mind you, and as low as 14th, if we lose and west ham win.


  10. utd won 1-0, a twice taken penalty


  11. Arsene on Desert Island Discs at 1100 this morning.


  12. Can never take my own spirits out of it when assessing team (or anything else!) and, well, guess I’m in a bit of a funk or something.

    Not managed a spark of optimism for this one yet. Last game seemed to do bit of a number on me. You know who doing well, and that agonising Utd pen sequence yesterday prob didn’t help. Pens after full time, cancelled pens, take em again if you miss pens. Attack, attack, attack is surely now ‘Pens, pens, pens.’

    Win and a performance would be very welcome. Did almost get a spark I suppose from George’s comment that, because of Leeds style, it should be an attractive game. They are something different and maybe that will result in same from us.


  13. Anyone see Haaland’s goals yesterday. Think either 3 or 4 of them were passes slid behind team with defensive line ahead of their own box. Feels like this is typical of a lot of his goals and of Bundesliga itself.

    Maddening in a way- has Auba had one such opportunity yet this year? Think main reason is way teams set up in prem (although as Spuds showed, if you are willing and able to defend, defend, defend, defend, etc against one of the truly attacking teams, those opportunities should arise) but I still find it bloody painful.


  14. Villa struggled with only one AM on the pitch yesterday. Arsenal have been playing with no creative midfielders. Not unless you’re willing to count Willian in that category.

    Do Villa also need an Ozil? Or just more more then one fit creative player on the pitch?

    Everyone has seen the answer, not just at Villa, but at the Arsenal too. when less then two playmakers have been available in recent times.


  15. City did not force their best most famous and creative footballers to not play leaving a gaping hole in their squad. City have been trying to build their reputation as a club by promoting attacking and creative talent. As all great clubs do.

    The hacks are currently queuing up to score in an empty goal! George Graham, Tony Adams, it’s a free for all! Rush goalie!

    We could all write to Sky and Mr. Murdoch and ask them to back off from this Ozil story?

    If the media stop talking about Ozil, if the other players stop talking about or to Ozil, if the blaggers didn’t try to blame Ozil for the latest unsettled story from the squad or the ones to come then perhaps the Ozil story will vanish from the ether?

    Instead we are witnessing an increasing frequency of the word “Ozil” being used by the broadcasters as the season progresses.
    It was a stupid decision when the squad list was announced and each week that passes is pouring naphtha onto the flames of that idiocy. What a fuck up.


  16. City have been trying to build their reputation as a club by promoting attacking and creative talent. As all great clubs do. And of late the Gunners have been doing the opposite.
    It’s no mystery why the hacks are currently queuing up to score in an empty goal! George Graham, Tony Adams, it’s a free for all! Rush goalie!

    We could all write to Sky and Mr. Murdoch and ask them to back off from this Ozil story?
    If the media stop talking about Ozil, if the other players stop talking about or to Ozil, if the blaggers didn’t try to blame Ozil for the latest unsettled story from the squad or the ones to come then perhaps the Ozil story will vanish from the ether?

    We are witnessing an opposite increase in frequency of the word “Ozil” being used by the broadcasters as the season progresses.
    It was a stupid decision when the squad list was announced and each week that passes is pouring naphtha onto the flames of that idiocy.
    We can try to run from this story. But we can’t hide from it.


  17. Scuse the double post.

    The much loved Bielsa like Sacchi damaged his own rep once by being incapable of making the most of the most talented footballers in his squad.
    Baggio & Sacchi, Riquelme & Biesla. Took these two great examples and great coaches years if ever to recover from the damage of those fall outs. it’s arguable that they never did. Neither damaged a particular club with their personal preferences, these were calls made with national teams. And the big difference, the reputation crippling fact is that we all know it’s not Mikel making the call. What must the players be thinking! What a mess.

    One change over Willock and Willian both being tasked with the creative duties today. Looks like a back four today, which Xhaka dropping back to make a three, just like Mikel Arteta would 2012-15.



  18. Team: Leno, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Bellerin, Xhaka, Willock, Ceballos, Willian, Pepe, Aubameyang

    Subs: Runarsson, Saka, Lacazette, Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Nelson, Nketiah


  19. Leeds Team to play Arsenal: Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas, Phillips, Alioski, Raphinha, Klich, Harrison, Bamford

    Subs: Casilla, Poveda, Roberts, Costa, Rodrigo, Struijk, Davis


  20. David Luiz out after his wife had a baby yesterday


  21. It’s a much more fluid, flexible selection then that taken against LCFC and Villa when there was more scope to attack then in other recent fixtures.

    Happy to see Saka protected/rested. I never expected Mikel to be as attacking a coach as Santi might be one day, but I still expect to see better footy from him.



  22. My Skygo isn’t working. Does anyone have a stream?


  23. Not sure where the ideas will come from.


  24. Nothing much to shout about ion the first half.

    No shots on target and Leeds should be well up.

    Ar least it is still 0 0, but that is hardly that much consolation when we consider we have had 40% possession.


  25. Reddiit dot soccerstreams dot net


  26. what did Pepe do to get sent off I missed it


  27. FT: Leeds 0-0 Arsenal

    leeds the better side, even when we had 11 v 11, they had twice the possession, twice the number of shots, and hit the woodwork 3 times.
    We did have a couple of great chances on the breakaway, Saka really should have done better with his one on one.
    Pepe sent off, Saka went off injured too.

    we sit in 11th place, after nine games, with 9 goals scored, and a -1 GD, but trust the process hey.


  28. I see Freddie Ljunberg was a pundit for today’s game and was asked about Ozil, he said Mesut has a magic left foot and he may not be suited to games v the likes of Man City who would have most of the possession, but that he would certainly create in games we had the greater possession.


  29. Was happy to see Saka rested although Willock struggled in that first half. Sad to see Saka injured after he came on. Happy to see Nelson do enough to remind everyone that when fully fit he should be in ahead of Willian.

    Hope Arteta keeps the basic shape though with Pepe out I guess that will mean more minutes for Willian.
    Could Auba have made some near post runs onto those late crosses?
    Would other clubs get that pen reviewed at the least? Heh.
    Be nice to see Eddie play on Thursday but Lacazette might get the rotation.


  30. < I was hoping we’d see a three of Nelson Saka and Pepe behind Auba in that second half and but for the sending off I think this would have happened.
    Injuries and suspensions means it’ll be a few rounds before this selection is available again, saw enough in moments in that second half to think that attack would’ve been interesting to watch against Leeds.


  31. Arsenal last 5 league games:

    Man city 1-0 Arsenal
    Arsenal 0-1 Leicester
    United 0-1 Arsenal
    Arsenal 0-3 villa
    Leeds 0-0 Arsenal

    but why would we need Ozil with a process like that


  32. Arteta only done a short presser after the game, not at all happy with Pepe, and he took off Willian cos of injury not performance. Says we will have to wait to see how badly injured Saka is, as it was a bad foul and the lad was in a lot of pain.


  33. Was it a foul on Saka? I couldn’t see what happened exactly. Going to be an exceptionally nervous wait on it. Despair for me if it turns out to be the bad one. Think he’s our most dangerous player so it would obviously be massive blow to lose that but also think the kid can be truly world class, so for that to be put in jeopardy…

    Couldn’t see any massive strain or twist on knee from the replay, (although not sure I was taking it in properly at that point) but of course sometimes it only needs that short, sharp movement the wrong way.

    Anyway, can only hope.


  34. Unfortunately think Pepe’s stupidity today proved he can’t be much of a student of the game, or specifically of us. Surely any intelligent player would absorb message in a year, let alone if they delved deeper into years, that under no circumstances can you give a ref the chance to send you off in an Arsenal shirt. They’ll always take it.

    Can say it was heat of the moment thing but surely if you’re aware of lay of the land you build up protection against that.

    Absolving him a little, his actions, and many other things, point to us not drilling the message into players that things are not what they are used to at other clubs, with national teams, or even what they see in other prem games or from opponents to them. I can understand it. The truth is a downer, and a weird place to operate from psychologically. But there are also clear drawbacks to not educating players about it.


  35. Pepe will now miss our next 3 EPL games, so at least he can play in the EL games and we can keep the EPL starter fresh.

    It will be a worrying wait to see if Saka is ok, and Willian was taken off cos he had a muscle problem, maybe Nelson will get some game time in EPL, if he does I hope his dead ball kicking improves big time, they were woeful today


  36. On form Pepe shouldn’t of been starting anyway. The embarrassment about the sending off was if he really had the arse with the bloke he should of gone completely Duncan Ferguson on him and knocked him out rather than getting sent off for kissing him. Does that make Pepe official deadwood now?
    The first half we weren’t great creating but we did seem to be organised and there was no lack of effort.
    After the sending off we sat deep played on the break and as Leeds pushed forward we looked more dangerous. This suggests going forward we should regress into ourselves and try and catch everyone on break.
    Saka seem to catch his foot in the turf locking his knee in the process. It will be a nightmare if our most creative player is out for a period of time.
    Auba again gives you absolutely nothing if he’s not scoring and when Saka and Tierney were busting a gut to beat several players and get in the cross Auba went to the back post where the ball was never going get to him. I was always taught if a winger was struggling and you were the only player attacking the ball you had to go near post. For a player who’s best quality is movement a found this astonishing.
    I have been criticizing Ceballos recently but I thought he played well today, still slowing us up when breaking but he worked really hard and made alot of tackles.
    Personally I thought Willock should of stayed on and Eddie should of also come on in ace of Auba for the energy he brings.
    I do realize I’m not a real manager and Mikel did achieve a result away from home with ten men so there you go.


  37. Mikel Arteta reflected on all the big talking points when he faced the media on a video press conference shortly after our game at Leeds.

    Nicolas Pepe’s red card and our need for more goals were high on the agenda, and you can scroll down for a full transcript.

    Here’s what Mikel said:

    on whether he’s happy with a point after going down to 10 men…
    Yes we have to take a point considering the circumstances. I’m never happy with a point but we know what a challenge we faced in the second half for 45 minutes with 10 men. The way we reacted to it, the resilience that we showed, the effort that all the players put in to try and overcome their advantage, it was phenomenal. At the end we have to take a point because, credit to Leeds, they had chances to score.

    on Pepe’s red card offence…
    It’s very clear, it’s unacceptable. It’s unacceptable.

    on Saka’s injury…
    He was in pain. We’re going to have to assess with the medical staff how bad it is, but it looked like a pretty bad challenge and he was in pain so we decided to take him out straight away.

    on playing Aubameyang through the middle…
    In some moments it worked really well. We had a patch in the first half, a patch of 25 minutes when we were really good, efficient, we pressed high, we created some really good opportunities, and made it really hard for them. Then there was a spell in the 15 or 20 minutes of the first half where we started to give the ball away, we did not control certain spaces against them and they suffocated us, which they were always going to do. They did it against every team in the Premier League. It’s impossible to dominate this team for 90 minutes. And then in the second half when you hope that you are going to get things adjusted and better, we go to 10 men and then obviously it’s a mountain to climb.

    on the importance of defensive solidity…
    I think we’ve been working really good defensively. That flair, that creativity and that momentum that the players need to make the last action, it’s the most difficult thing in football. It’s not that you’re not creating the chances, but we have to create more and we have to be more consistent in the final third with the amount of things that we finish and how we finish them. But it will come, and the reality as well is that we haven’t had much continuity in a lot of the players for various reasons, which is very important to get the understanding right with them.

    on whether Willian’s substitution was tactical…
    He was feeling something muscular and we had to take him off.

    on whether he’s concerned about our lack of goals from open play…
    It worries me obviously because we need goals and we need a lot of goals to win football matches and to be the top team that we want to be – without that it’s impossible. It doesn’t matter how good we are defensively. It’s not a lack of attacking players that we have, because we have attacking players on the pitch all the time, but we need some moments where we have to make decisions earlier, better and they have to be more ruthless. But it’s the most difficult thing in football and sometimes we go through these patches and we have to overcome them and I have to help the players to do it as quick as possible.

    on whether Pepe has apologised to him and the team…
    I’m telling you what I think happened, but obviously inside I cannot share with you guys, but it’s the way I see it.

    on whether he’s frustrated that Pepe fell for Alioski’s antics…
    I don’t know, but we knew the level of intensity, aggression and how alive they are in every action and you have to be able to deal with that because it’s part of the plan against this team. You have to be able to handle this situation.

    on what annoyed him most tonight…
    I’m cross because I want to win and when I don’t win, I get upset. We had it really difficult for different reasons because we lost two players on international duty and we had a player that came who wasn’t in the condition to start. We lost two players to injury today and one through suspension and we have an incredible amount of games coming up, so the fact we need to score more goals obviously is a concern. But I’m also really happy because I know how much this team has evolved in a lot of things. The first one is our resilience, ambition and belief we showed while playing with 10 men and this is growing as well. It’s a positive thing, but there are things we need to get better at.

    on whether we’re running out of players for the next match…
    We will see what happens in the next few hours, but we will put a team there to compete in the way that we do now and every team is going to face challenges with the amount of fixtures we have. Let’s hope that we can get some back.

    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.


  38. afcstuff
    Arsenal have now gone 475 minutes (just under eight hours) without scoring a Premier League goal from open play.


  39. Samir Khiat (Pepe’s agent) “He is still adapting and He is requested to perform better, which is normal, he has been transferred for an important fee and he knows it.Nicolas is not cheating, he is not a cheater. He maybe needs more time to adapt, but it will eventually work well’


  40. Just seen Adrian Clarke’s Breakdown and he seemed astonished that VAR did not get involved in the potential penalty that might well have gone our way in the second half. He was also a lot more positive about the perfomance than I had expected, having only been able to follow the game via snippets of Arsenal Player commentary and the experts on Twitter. Shame about Pepe as who knows what would have happened had it stayed 11 v 11. In the circs a pretty good point I think.


  41. so it now seems the Governement is willing to let fans back to game, with a maximum of 4000 allowed in to games, is it even worth the while of clubs to open even one part of their ground for so few fans.


  42. yeah foreverheady I just seen it too, liked how he pointed out how little time VAR took to come to their decision. We’ve seen this before, if its against AFC they look at every angle over and over, if its for AFC they barely take ten seconds to make a decision


  43. I see many fans blaming Kroenke for Arsenal’s poor form this season, its his fault according to them cos he is not spending enough money in the transfer market to back the manager,
    so just to be clear, going on transfermarket figures, Arsenal have spent £293M on new players since Wenger left in the summer of 2018.

    also in Wenger’s last season we spent £137M on players (£30M of that is down as the cost of Mkhitaryan, which was a swap deal as such)

    so just how much fucking money do these people expect Arsenal to be spending.


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