High Hopes But Low Expectations For Arsenal

#CHEARS match preview by Shard aka @shardgooner on Twitter

Time can be such a weird thing. I was away from Arsenal and Twitter for about a week and it feels like everything has passed me by, and yet nothing has really changed. We lost again. The same arguments are raging. The same outrage, counter outrage, and outrageous opinions, all mixed with some hope (denial) that things will work themselves out.

A week may not be much time, but what of 3 years? In that time frame we have gone from complaining about top 4 not being enough and why Wenger is wrong to somehow it still being Wenger’s fault.

Well, if plus ca change is to be the theme, that might work out well for Arsenal. 5 months ago Arteta was celebrating winning the FA Cup against Lampard’s Chelsea. After all that has happened since, could things be the same again?


Shoelaces tied and lead weight in our socks

Unfortunately, we go into boxing day with our shoelaces tied together, some serious lead weight in our socks, and with our gloves filled with hot air. Our mouth piece though. PRsenal is gritting its teeth, and showing that it is alive and kicking itself in the shin. All good there, then.

Meanwhile our opponents’ pockets and gloves are loaded, and pack quite a punch. They average over 2 goals a game. Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner lead the charge and the likes of Mount and Chilwell provide the ammunition. Kante is their leading tackler, while Zouma is a rock at the back who has also scored 4 goals. Arsenal have to stay sharp for the whole 90+ mins in this game or it could very easily lead to another goal fest against us.

Not that goal fests are bad if you can attack. Chelsea can be got at, but I have no faith in us doing it. I’m not sure anyone really knows what the plan is. The best I can figure is that we hope to repeat by sitting deep and hoping to catch them on the counter. Do a Mourinho. I mean why not. Arteta has been doing that more and more off the field, so maybe this is just the best we can hope for.

Gallows humor to open contempt

Here’s all I care about really. Arsenal are not only no fun to watch, they give me no sense of pride to follow. Pride which has nothing to do with results. By now my gallows humor has turned into open contempt. I never thought such a day would come. Well, at least it’s something new.

Not new is Granit Xhaka being a figure of hate for Arsenal fans and we can look forward to tweets blaming any and all failures on him as he’s back from suspension. Gabriel is back as well, but the Christmas Partey is cancelled. Auba and Martinelli are both being assessed, while Lacazette is only going to be judged. Oh well, we need martyrs for the cause, don’t we? What cause? Can I say MAGA?

Oh, and just to add some good cheer, take a look at where Ivan Gazidis’ new club sit in Serie A. (Anyone who quotes Emery and Villareal at me is getting banned)

I’m not even daring to wish for a Miracle on Hornsey Street. If one is due I hope it goes towards something more important and more deserving than Arsenal FC. I recently got called the Grinch. I hope I’m not ruining anyone’s festive celebrations, but Arsenal doesn’t bring me any good cheer any more. Enjoy your eggnog to go with the likely goose egg coming our way in terms of points.

Merry Christmas, folks…… If the guy(s) in red and white let you down, you know you can only blame yourselves for having been naughty and flying those planes with banners…… And a Happy New Year to all.

Written by Shard aka shardgooner on Twitter.

You can also read this and comment over on https://uncensoredarsenal.com

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57 comments on “High Hopes But Low Expectations For Arsenal

  1. By the number of comments so far is it “how hopes and low expectations?”
    Shard used to be most positive, optimistic gooner ever until Emery, perked up with Freddie and Arteta but look at him now.


  2. I commented a few weeks ago that with such kind of performances and the style of football Arteta wants us to.play it will result in drop in following of the club.Now its upto the owners that for how long they can persist drop of the club fanbase.
    No one really cares now.Even the players seem disinterested.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such is my level of interest that I am weighing watching the match against cleaning my bathrooms.


  4. six changes from our last league game

    Team: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney, Elneny, Xhaka, Smith Rowe, Martinelli, Saka, Lacazette.

    Subs: Runarsson, Cedric, Mustafi, Maitland-Niles, Ceballos, Willock, Pepe, Nketiah, Aubameyang


  5. Chelsea team: Mendy, James, Zouma, Silva, Chilwell, Kante, Kovacic, Mount, Pulisic, Werner, Abraham.

    Subs: Kepa, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Emerson, Gilmour, Jorginho, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi, Giroud


  6. Plenty of changes. Smith Rowe starting with Martinelli as well. Hope Arteta has something up his sleeve.

    If have thought Pepe and Martinelli up top to give us pace on the counter.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Gabriel has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid. Seems he had people round for his Birthday last week


  8. Not a bad line up COYG.


  9. David Luiz and Willian – both are unwell but have both recently tested negative for Covid


  10. its being suggested that Gabriel will miss three matches due to covid regulations


  11. penalty to arsenal, xhaka with a great ball out to tierney who cuts inside and is brought in, VAR reviewing it


  12. Lacazette scores it 1-0 to the Arsenal


  13. the goal was the first shot on target in this game


  14. Xhakaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa with a brilliant freekick to make it 2-0 to the Arsenal


  15. Unbelievable.

    Just a change of a few players and we look a completely different team. Attacking at pace and through the middle too.

    The youngsters are doing really well. Let’s hope we can win this. Will be a huge confidence booster.

    Fantastic free kick from Xhaka who is playing quite well.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Half Time: Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea

    Lacazette opened the scoring from a penalty, and then Xhaka made it 2-0 just before half time with a great free kick.

    Other than that its been mostly a boring game, those two goals were the only two shots on target. Smith-Rowe, Saka and Martinelli playing it simple and its mostly working ok, Tierney having a good game too, seems to be happy with having ESR and Martinelli to link with. Mari booked. Elneny a bit off pace so far.


  17. its nice to see Tierney, Bellerin, Saka, Martinelli and Smith-Rowe take on and beat men, with Xhaka really pulling the strings in midfield to feed them too. Need a little more in end product from them as we are not making the most of the promising positions we are getting in.


  18. chelsea bring on two subs for second half

    Mateo Kovacic off Jorginho on

    Timo Werner off Callum Hudson-Odoi on


  19. Saka with a fantastic goal.



  20. Sakaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa 3-0


  21. well its the 3 scorers we’ve been waiting for lacca xhaka saka


  22. willock on for smith-rowe who had an impressive game


  23. willock should have slipped that over to laca for a tap in


  24. laca should have scored, then elneny hits the post and holding has a shot saved


  25. cfc score, var overruled the linesman who had flagged abrahams offside, 3-1


  26. into 5 minutes of injury time and its a penalty to chelsea


  27. mustafi on for lacazette


  28. Full Time: Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea

    Lacca Xhaka Saka with out goals to put us 3 up, we then made life hard for ourselves in the last 10 minutes of the game and it took a Leno penalty save to stop it being a real nail biter

    Xhaka my man of the match

    ESR, Martinelli and Saka gave us a real freedom in attack, it was simple stuff, but effective, i’m sure one of them would not have played but for Willian being ill, so maybe Arteta will have stumbled onto something that works by accident, lucky man


  29. Man we really pulled that one out of the hat.

    Totally unexpected victory. And week played too. We were actually much more exciting going forward and worked hard off the ball.


  30. Arsenal being linked with a move for Marseille’s 26 year old midfielder Morgan Sanson


  31. Whether Arteta’s have was forced or not, hope he learns from this and uses it as a blueprint.

    The difference between Martinelli running in behind and Pepe waiting for the ball at his feet was clearly visible. Funnily Pepe was not like that when he joined. He just seems confused.


  32. What a great performance.

    Arteta is clearly listening to what so many people are saying.

    I suppose he had to, as his future was hanging in the balance.

    Now can we banish Cellabos and Willian to the reserves, because had they played, we would most likely have lost.

    I was surprised he brought Pepe on, but as he did nothing and was barely involved it did not matter.

    This is the first time I was interested to watch and was nervous about the result for ages.

    What about all those “fans” who have nothing but bad to say about Xhaka? I hope they will eat humble pie and apologise.


  33. jjgsol do you actually believe that if Willian had not been ill he would not have started.

    it was amazing how brittle we became at the end, a game we could easily have been 4 or 5 up in and once we let in one, we almost crumbled


  34. from daily cannon

    PSG medic, Bruno Mazziotti, has confirmed his move to Arsenal by changing his bio on his Instagram profile

    Back in September, David Ornstein reported for The Athletic that Arsenal finally had an agreement to bring in Bruno Mazziotti from PSG. He still needed to finalise the terms of his exit from the Ligue 1 club, so that’s why we had to wait a little longer for him to arrive at the club.

    We have also reportedly added Nick Court, from Bournemouth, as a first-team therapist according to the same publication.

    Arsenal have been working on a deal for the medic since June, so they’ll be happy to land their man at last. He’ll likely help fill the gap created by Chris Morgan’s move to Liverpool.

    Arsenal almost lost club doctor Gary O’Driscoll to Liverpool as well this summer, but they managed to convince him to stay in the end. O’Driscoll and Mazziotti will now work together to lead the Gunners’ medical team.

    Unsurprisingly, Mazziotti has a close relationship with Arsenal technical director Edu. They worked together at Corinthians and with the Brazil national team.

    The 42-year-old also worked for Real Madrid and AC Milan in the past. Clearly, he has an impressive track record and it reportedly already making an impression at London Colney.


  35. Every word Mikel Arteta just said on Granit Xhaka, Arsenal’s youngsters, Gabriel, Willian & Chelsea

    Mikel Arteta has spoken after Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Chelsea in the Premier League

    ByChris Wheatley

    20:27, 26 DEC 2020.

    What does the win say about the strength and depth you have in this squad?
    Well I think it’s down to everybody because the senior contributed in a different way, some of them on the pitch, some of them outside. When were coming on the bus I sensed the energy and how much they wanted it. It doesn’t get any better than playing in the Premier League on Boxing Day in a London derby. I said today we have to take this opportunity now to put some performances that we didn’t have results in the past, that we need a big performance and the three points. I think the boys did it really well.

    Xhaka showed the fight and leadership you’ve been calling for?
    Since I’ve been here he’s always shown that. That’s why I’ve been really supported of him. He makes mistakes like we all do but his commitment and his character and how much he wants to fight for this club and team is unquestionable. I think today he showed that again.

    Do you feel it’s a significant result for you?
    Well it’s a really important win for us. Because as I mentioned before some of the performances have not been enough to win football matches and that’s something obviously difficult to handle all the time. We needed the points, that’s for sure, and today we’ve done it against one of the best teams in the league in a really convincing way. That shows you we’re able to do it when we’re at our best. Can we do it every three days? That’s the question mark we need to respond in the next weeks or so, but today we needed that lift. The boys are delighted and of course for our fans because it’s been some difficult weeks.

    You must have been delighted with the performance of the youngsters?
    Yes. I think it was a really good mixture today of senior players, experienced players and young talent that we have. They’ve been showing us in the last few weeks that they’re capable of starting the games. I had no doubt that they would respond today and I think they were really good.

    What’s the latest with Gabriel?
    We have to follow all the guidelines and protocols with COVID. The doc is on top of that. For how long still it’s not 100 per cent convinced but he was in contact with someone who has tested positive, then he has to stay away for a few days.

    Was it anything to do with the game against City because Gabriel Jesus has tested positive?
    No, it wasn’t with another player in the Premier League. It was with someone in his bubble.

    Is it linked to David Luiz or Willian?
    No, that’s for some different reason. They were having some symptoms and we have to be really cautious when that happens. The protocols say that they have to stay away. They have tested negative but we still have to be really careful that we don’t pass that onto the players and make sure they don’t have it.

    Gabriel hasn’t tested positive? He’s just been in close contact with someone who has?

    Pleased with Martinelli and Tierney on the left?
    Yes. I think both of them were really good. Really good understand, communication and courage as well. Every time they were attacking they were involved in good actions, so I’m really pleased with them.

    Was Partey close to being involved?
    Not yet. He hasn’t started to train with us yet so I think he’s still a few more days away.


  36. Well that performance should place the cat amongst the pigeons. Those young guns dictated the performance. Tierney was superb. Martinelli should become a terrific and exciting striker. It might stir Aubamayang from his stupor. And what of Saka and Smith Rowe? Well, just excellent. Xhaka was very good too….Rob Holding is very good and reliable…

    This should bode well….

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Arsenal being linked with Dortmund’s 24 year old German international Julian Brandt


  38. Edwardo. I suspect that Willian would not have played. It could also be nothing to do with his state of health, but that he was going to be dropped and they said that to save face.

    Did they not do that with Ozil when he was dropped by Emery?

    Like many others, I would be happy if Wiilain was kept well away from the first team. Perhaps he should be swapped with Ozil


  39. the telegraph with a stupid article saying the Arsenal squad is split over any possible return for Mesut Ozil

    as if any member of the squad would be against it


  40. Just enjoy the moment I say.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Curious thing with modern game that the spaces, from which great chances normally come, are more likely to be there against good teams than lesser ones. (Unless of course you have established a nice lead against those lesser ones)

    Today we had players who could use that space, luck was with us perhaps, and so a much much needed victory, with some real positives.

    Won’t get carried away into thinking it means those same attacking players will typically have as much let alone more joy against modest or middling teams, as they normally pack defences and deny space, but still it was encouraging and offered more than enough to suggest similar tactics/line up should be tried again. Particularly enjoyable to see positions Smith-Rowe was operating in.


  42. Great win. But has Artetas Arsenal turned the corner? It has to be seen.

    Xhaka Laca Bellerin led from the front and the young guns Saka and Tiereny Martinelli clicked well. The idiot fans who criticise Xhaka should be hiding after that Xhaka free kick. Infact Xhaka ran the show. Wondering if Ozil is back in Jan and Auba finds his form with the young lads this team we may still finish top half.
    Obviously Arteta need to play attacking football and not the Maureens defence first approach.

    However the hundred million dollar question still has to be answered by the WOBS who said we will win the league once Wenger is out of the club


  43. jigsol, Arteta and every other manager that ever plied their trade at top level has ever listened to fans or pundits who by and large do not have a clue about the finer points of football.
    We all have our opinion but with a club who has hundreds of thousands of fans those opinions become white noise and managers have to focus on their beliefs they certainly haven’t got time to pick through social media to find what Bert down the pub thinks.


  44. Very impressive result and performance, could have easily had 5 or 6. Hope Arteta has learned a thing or two from that, there are reported cliques, some unhappy with their lot, leaks, but what really matters, those younger players were excellent, as were others, Tierney, Xhaka, Leno saving a very nervy end to the game.
    If certain players in the squad really are a problem behind the scenes and it is hindering their performances, hopefully with those players out there yesterday, these players problems just got bigger.
    Very pleased for Xhaka, some goal and performance, but it helps him to have enthusiastic players running in different directions ahead of him to make use of his amazing passing, rather than players just lumbering towards the wide areas in that slow predictable, uninterested manner we have been seeing. Xhaka played a captains role yesterday
    If Arteta wants to keep his job, he might want to repeat that experiment more often.

    Liked by 2 people

  45. Apparently that was Arsenal’s first pen against Chelsea in the league since 2007!!!!??? Is that true? I think it is. I remember some non-calls about 15-17 in games against them being significant title affecting calls.

    I’ll take that.
    And I’ll take watching the Arsenal with fewer Kia players/donkeys from Kia’s stable on the pitch any day of the week. Will Arteta be able to be to agree with this empirically observable assessment and slowly move away from the clutches of these vampires? Other calls suggest not, but that’s what we have to hope for.


  46. Wow.

    I just read one of the big bullshitting arsehole blaggers describe Xhaka as Arsenal’s second best midfielder after Partey. Which means that the whole time they’ve been harassing barracking and attempting to bully the player they’ve been attacking the best midfielder at the club, in their own words.

    what a bunch of ****s such people truly are, they type who’ll say any mean vindicative bullshit if it will earn them a click for a few pennies.

    The writing vampires are degrees worse then the youtube vampires (some of whole are ok alongside writers like Arsenal Column) and more conceited which makes their lack of knowledge of the game even more amusing given their arrogance about it all.
    These twerps know less then the sweet lampooned FA about this sport. But they know how to get on with Kronke’s PR genius’!
    What a credit they are to the club, the fan base, and most importantly to themselves. They’ve left a fine record for posterity to observe.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Mandy this whole thing about cliques causing problems behind the scenes is nonsense, you have to remember those claiming it will tell you that Ozil is the ring leader, the clique includes Willian who plays every game he is fit for, Xhaka of course, not forgetting Bellerin, and David Luiz, we must include Mustafi who is in every match day squad he is fit for, it probably includes Kolasinac and Sokratis too, and after the CC game it has to include Runarsson. Now do you see what links all these players, once you get that part you can then judge if you think there is cliques or if its just another way for some to have a pop at certain players.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Smith-Rowe yesterday showed the complete folly in leaving Ozil out of the squad so far this season. There we had a No.10, finding space, playing the simple but effective pass, giving us a totally different type of attack. The exact things Ozil would do for us, but we are told Arteta’s system does not have room for a No.10, of course some have already changed their tack, now its only room for a “modern” no.10. it seems Smith-Rowe done some sort of super human pressing during the game, that is beyond Ozil, did anyone actually notice it, as it passed me by.

    Arsenal should forget about bringing in any new no.10 in January, and reinstate Ozil, use him and Smith-Rowe in the role for the rest of the season, allowing ESR to establish himself as a regular, but having Mesut to take some of the burden off him.

    Liked by 1 person

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