This Is A Test Of Belief, More Than A Derby Even.

Good morning all.

This afternoon at 4.30 we kick off in a game that seems to have taken on a life of it’s own, a bigger game for the fan base and the manager than the huge game it normally is.

We are in 14th position after 10 games, the measure many use when they say it shows where we are as a team. Sadly, I think it does indeed show us. By any measure we are in trouble. We have been comprehensively out-played by teams that normally we would be beating. Teams that haven’t beaten us for donkey’s years are feasting on us. Make no mistake Jose and his Lilly Whites will be ravenous this afternoon. That man will smell Arsenal blood and want his fill.

Whether we like the way it’s happening or not, Arteta is trying to change a lot and it’s vital for him that the players and crucially, the fans, believe in him and his methods and a result here might swing the balance of belief one way or the other. It’s clear from social media that doubts are expanding at a worrying rate and by the look of the players, they too, on the face of it, are struggling to believe. It won’t have helped that recently he has made comments saying that half the team are not up to it and need replacing.

I recently ran a poll on twitter, that showed fans have gone from 92% of them thinking we will get top 6 in August, to just 25% believing it now. We know that fans are fickle, but that is a sea-change. Belief is plummeting. A win today could go a long way to restoring belief, any sort of win with any sort of performance. At very least, we must not lose.

This isn’t the Europa League, Spurs are not a 4th rate outfit, like it or not, they started the weekend top of the league and they look stronger than they have for years. However we set up to play and whoever gets selected, we will have to play at least as good as we did at United, and probably a lot better. The one shot on target from open play we managed up there is unlikely to be enough to beat this lot.

I literally have no idea who will play and how they will set up to play, so I won’t even insult you by speculating and pretending I do, or that I know who and how we should play.

We have been here before, 10 points behind, 2.0 down and we won 5.2; that result changed the mood and belief for the rest of that season, we need something like that again. However, this is a very different team and a different manager and I don’t think we are capable of that sort of a performance, but we have to put up the kind of performance that somehow, anyhow, gets a result.

It’s a derby and anything can happen, so lets hope it does and it happens in our favour. Good luck Mikel, players and fans. Cometh the hour and all that.

Pedantic George

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55 comments on “This Is A Test Of Belief, More Than A Derby Even.

  1. Know the buck stops with Arteta/ Edu , but after a conversation with a relative, just took a look where his main coach, Steve Round has worked, and so much became clear.
    He has worked at progressive outfits such as Middlesbrough, Derby County, Villa as they were four years ago, Everton under Moyes, England under Steve Maclaren, Newcastle under big Sam, and yes Utd, but under Moyes, and suddenly, a lot of things became clear! What is he doing anywhere near this club? I bet some of the players love his drills.
    I bet Round is a disciple of Charles Hughes, all about long balls, crosses and set pieces to the big guy in the middle. Unfortunately, Mick Hartford is not in this Arsenal team


  2. Thanks Mandy, I think.

    Thanks George and Shotts for your podcasts in recent times, saves anyone having to listen to the other content out there in recent weeks in particular.
    I would prefer to see the team to recover something but Mikel’s not helping himself with the Partey call which many saw before kick off.as an unnecessary risk. Not changing up something in the Holding Bellerin combo targeted by opponents (has to be mustafi or anyone with legs or change hector’s role!) of late was my low point but then came her injury. At least tell him to not thunder it wide from 40 yards if he’s returned with a twitchy hammy.
    Will be following Ian’s advice and try to enjoy the grads coming through but it’s made harder when Saka gets slung to RB so Willian can cut back from the left onto his stronger foot & into more defenders.


  3. Arsenal now being linked with a January move for Norwich’s attacking midfielder Emiliano Buendia, he turns 24 on Christmas day. He is reported to have 18 months left on his contract


  4. well fins just a couple of things on the points you make above

    yes Arteta needs to do something in our tactics or team selection to stop Holding/Bellerin being exposed, its madness to have Hector bombing forward all the time not only leave him way out of position when we lose the ball, but leaving Holding with too much space to cover, as he is too slow to do that.
    On the topic of Holding, I really do not see why we have not given Saliba some game time, that he has not even been given a minutes football for us is very odd, £27M paid for that.
    Thought at the time he put Saka right back that it was a crazy sub to make, why not AMN, in fact why not both AMN and Nketiah on, if he wanted to take Hector off but also get Nketiah on, the only reason I can see is that Willian can not be hauled off, after all he is everything Arteta craves in his players, or so Mikel told is several times so far.

    When Partey went off I did wonder if that wild shot he had might have contributed to it. And on the topic of that wild shot, did you notice that Saka was free in the area with a clear path to him for the pass but Partey did not spot it. For me it is for that sort of vision that we need Ozil or a player with that sort of vision and passing ability in the team. An attacking midfielder and a target man CF, seem essential to “Arteta’s System”


  5. Great idea.

    Let’s buy an attacking midfielder from a Championship side for countless millions and not use someone we already have who is a proven expert passer of the ball.

    Makes wonderful sense, doesn’t it?

    At the same time, why not buy in someone from Barnet as well. They are only languishing at the foot of the National League but their attacking midfielder must be much better than the one we already have and are paying hundreds of thousands to come to training every day, but not pay.

    Surely there must be many more lame ducks we can buy. All you need to do is look at the blogs and they are listed.

    By the way, I believe Saliba is not on our League list. They preferred to put injured players rather than him, Soctrates and the unnamable one.


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