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Where We Are.

Our twenty first game of the PL season saw us play one of the top sides in the division and perform very well. It left us ninth with 31 points however all the teams above us have played less games apart from Manure and the three teams immediately below us could go above us with wins from their games in hand which would leave us in 12th. Not all teams will win games in hand of course and in an extremely game packed season points in the bag and being out the F.A. cup could work in our favour.

So, what should we asking ourselves and speculating on for the remaining 17 games? Well, the biggest question is does Mikel now know what type of football to play to get us both results and performance after his piece of luck against Chelsi saw his fortunes change and poor old fat Frank fail as he could have got his cards had he carried on playing the same tired team in the same tired style.

Who is our best eleven and does Mikel know? For me its Leno, Hector, Bob, Mari, Kieran, Granit, Partey, Saka, ESR, Joe and Laca. Obviously form changes and Martinelli and a few others will be seriously challenging that line up especially our new number ten who may turn out ok. There will be many who question my view that Joe should be in there, but football is a team game and I believe he gives more stability and balance to the side defensively and will chip in with goals more than the so-called flair players that are supposed to be in front of him in the pecking order(Willock is now on loan and so can’t be considered). The next big omission in that eleven is Aubameyang, well I have always thought he gives very little to the team apart from goals and as time has gone on that has become more and more apparent. Now he is not scoring he should be an impact player for the rest of the season with Laca and Eddie sharing the starting birth. I think most people know my views on Pepe, he is a day dreamer which makes him a liability and does not produce enough at the other end to warrant a gamble with his defensive frailties.

How will Mikel manage the battle of the number tens? From what I have read Odegaard wants to play for Real Madrid and there is little chance signing him on a permanent basis especially as we will not be in the Champions league next season unless we win the Europa Cup. While the emergence of Emile has shown how much we needed such a player, and he could not do it every game for the rest of the season pissing him off in his breakthrough season could prove disastrous for ARSENAL long term.  If Mikel goes with Martin more often and then he goes back to RM or another CL side next season and Emile thinks he hasn’t been trusted, we could lose the pair of them and then we would be back to pre-chelski.

What should we do about the set piece coach? Defensively we do not seem bad although I did notice yesterday that the player, we have been leaving on the edge of the box at corners to chase down the second ball was missing sometimes. At the other end we have no potency, our free kicks are rarely on target and so we should be using a bit of imagination to get the best out of free kicks in dangerous positions and corners have got to be more varied to produce goals. The pile a million players round the keeper to give him COVID-19 ploy has never worked and should never be seen again. If the Set piece coach is not working, then they should get rid of him and reemploy Audrey the tea lady.

What do we do with the ex-Academy players for the rest of the season? So, its January the 31st and most of the players who have been in the squad are still here which is what I had hoped. As I alluded to at the start of this piece this is an incredibly competitive league this season and because of our bad start top six is probably beyond us in which case the use of the youngsters and the progression of the squad is vitally important for next season and beyond. I think the manager must make sure that players get game time with each other and not 100 miles away playing for cold balls utd. Obviously below that Edu must make sure the younger players loans are at the correct clubs to develop them in the way we want, and which will maximise the chance of the players integrate into our first team squad.   

How good are we? Even after the performance yesterday and the run of the last seven PL games it is still difficult to tell how good we are. We seem to have improved defensively despite having to change personnel to often however going forward scoring does seem a problem with defenders, midfielders, and forwards all under scoring for their respective sections. I believe selection based on cohesion rather than individuals will cure this although I do have a nagging doubt that Mikel does like a “Name”.

All in all, although there are still some worries especially politically at the club there are also some cracks of optimism starting to appear so start thinking and enjoy the rest of the season.

(ed. This was written by seebs @arse_or_brain before transfer deadline day, thanks Ian)

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123 comments on “Where We Are.

  1. Unfortunately, the evidence strongly backs up your suspicion about the owners Finsbury.
    They seem desperate post Wenger to palm off the running of the club to someone…anyone! And that suggests the absence of a plan, strategy, and perhaps any clue.

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  2. Compared to Liverpool even after the departures the club is healthy at CB. They need a Sokratis or Mustafi in their squad. Seriously! I wonder if such moves would’ve been blocked under this regime?

    Holding back to the form from just before his big injury. Both he and Chambers were playing as the best CBs in the squad before their injuries. I hope Chambers gets a chance.
    Mari was playing well and his knock is frustrating.
    the rookie Gabriel was due a wobble but I was hoping not to see the veteran squad player start his third game in a week. the veteran needed a break?

    If you’re picking at holes then a back up LB would be nice.
    And a trade with Willian on the PlayStation for Iwobi as I guess the new transfer Svengali would not allow that in reality.

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  3. Mandy you summarise it all better then i could!

    Perhaps it is a good thing that they are an owner with a portfolio of empty stadiums. Fingers crossed…

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  4. Aston Villa v Arsenal

    Match officials

    Referee: Chris Kavanagh
    Line 1: Daniel Cook
    Line 2:Constantine Hatzidakis
    Fourth official: Darren England
    VAR: David Coote
    Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis

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  5. Joe Willock ‘shocked’ by deadline day transfer and expresses Arsenal disappointment

    Joe Willock has joined Newcastle United on loan for the remainder of the season as he seeks regular football

    By Josh Challies

    19:00, 3 FEB 2021

    Arsenal
    Joe Willock joined Newcastle United on loan from Arsenal on the final day of the mid-season window.

    Joe Willock has expressed his disappointment regarding his opportunities at Arsenal this season and was left ‘shocked’ by his deadline day transfer.

    The highly-rated Hale End graduate has joined Newcastle United for the remainder of the season, where he will aid Steve Bruce’s side in their battle to push away from the relegation zone.

    Willock caught the eye in the Europa League this season but found opportunities limited in the Premier League, where he had only started twice for Arsenal – both of which came in November.

    The signing of Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid until the end of the season placed another obstacle in his path and a move to Tyneside should present more opportunities.

    Willock is now targeting regular action for Newcastle and has admitted he was left disappointed on how things were progressing this term.

    “I have been blessed to play so many games for a great club like Arsenal but I am striving to get to the next level. To do that I need to play more in the Premier League,” the midfielder said.

    “I was disappointed with the number of games I have played for Arsenal in the Premier League. To come here and get more games and help the team and put Newcastle where they should be in the table.”

    The young midfielder is optimistic ahead of his spell with Newcastle and has explained how he was left ‘shocked’ by Bruce’s plans.

    “I had a chat with Steve Bruce. First he approached it in a nice way. He asked how I was training and how I was and he approached it by being humorous, he made a few jokes, and I am a funny guy and love to have jokes. That was a starter.

    “He talked about how he would use me, where he sees me in the team and he had a whole plan for me. I was shocked. That was the first time I have spoken to a manager and they have had a whole plan for me. He called me a few times and there were a lot of things that made me think this is the right club for me.

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  6. Ed at 442
    Re the idiot WOBS who always blamed Wenger for a poor performance and never put the blame on Mike Rileys men what are their views on Luiz sending off?
    Do they realize that Arsenal were always playing against 12 men during Wenger era and is still continuing to this day.

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  7. May be rare opportunity to watch u23’s this week. Playing Chelsea and showed as being available on their website.

    Not sure it’s free but chance I suppose, or of someone providing link to it. Think Friday

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  8. Wenger was playing against 12 men which was bad enough. Arteta is now playing against 13, the man on VAR there to make crucial interventions.

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  9. VAR is just in place to vindicate and back up the corruption and bias of the PGMOL.
    A shame , VAR worked ok on the 2018 World Cup , but as we know, there were no cheating English refs at that tournament.
    If you believe Richard Keys ( I know) , Mike Riley has no real life, and spends much his time at the VAR centre interfering with things. RK wants refs miked up so we can all hear the instructions they are getting, but as we all know, secrecy is Riley’s thing.
    Until that stops, or Riley is jailed, there is little hope.He will not be removed from office unless caught red handed, as, like many of his ilk, he always bows to the most powerful In the most sickeningly submissive of ways

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  10. Seems Arteta spoke out today about damage being done by social media to players. Doubt he’s only talking about youngsters. Fingers crossed Willian for instance stays well clear.

    I just hope it’s a big part of player education now from young age to teach them just how wary they should be of social media/internet. I’d emphasise that it is a cesspit, that criticism tends to hit home deeper than praise. That it’s unregulated, that there’s an element of humanity which is just shit,etc etc.

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  11. Use it if they must but try form from early age a great distance between it and reality, in bad times and good.

    One of the big dangers for me is that I think for many players social media is now a big part of the good times, that it adds to enjoyment for them when playing well, good results etc. That will almost certainly make defeats even harder, creating an additional arena of pain almost. Auba’s one who strikes me as vulnerable to that.

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  12. They really upheld Luiz ban but overturned Bednarek’s!?

    Bednarek did make a movement directly to intercept ball, but pulled away just after Martial initiated his leg collapse.

    Correct of course to rescind his ban, but Luiz did less. Luiz did not make any challenge, nor make contact with opponent. He was guilty of moving into space at same time opponents leg swung back.

    Fuck knows what garbage they’ll go with. Candidates seem to be Hackett’s guff about not showing caution, or their perversion of wording of appropriate law so that not making a challenge is twisted to being not attempting to play ball.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Total sham. I can understand why Arsenal desperately want to be in any super league with the treatment they get from PL.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Unbelievable. Hope the club Keep the lawyers and appeals coming at these crooks, don’t let them rest

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Sweet eff all from the FA. Didn’t expect anything else. But by rescinding the Southampton Red they have begun to make life harder for themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Interestingly, they were let off Scot free, But Soton also called for the refs this week not to be allowed to officiate for them again. Shades of Fergie.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/55922560
    Taking this at face value would be interesting to see what Arsenal had been charged with had they uttered such things, still it’s a precedent for our lawyers should the club ever make such a request

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  17. ‘Fraid it’s put me back in that mood where my brain keeps compulsively throwing up more reasons to be angry.

    A sample : What Luiz did- running with bit of space behind someone : ‘Under the law Luiz was judged to have acted without precaution. With contact judged to be careless and satisfied the law on the Denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity (Hackett)

    Smashing someone to jaw with swinging elbow in air before heading ball, knocking them out : enough caution. No foul. No red. Gooooooalll! Football world agreed with this, often relishing it- ‘wanted it more’

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Worse is thinking about Ferdinand taking out Ljungberg last man in game 50 in one of the more obvious examples of those fouls you’ll see, something recognisable from 50 yards away as a foul.

    Bet that got nothing more than tepid ‘maybe unlucky’ from journey and football world here, yet at least three layers of officialdom are claiming Luiz was a foul and, even under altered laws, a red. Phhh

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  19. that was some cowardly pussy worded statement from Arsenal about David Luiz’s appeal being turned down, not sure why anyone even bother with such a lame ass “Club Statement”

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Some Man U fans were clearly unhappy that they only got a point against the Gunners. Fingers crossed the four points the Gunners took off Utd this season have some impact somewhere.

    Looks like 7th/8th would be a bonus this season!?

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  21. FT: Spurs 0-1 Chelsea

    first time since 2012 that spurs have lost 3 EPL games in a row

    Liked by 1 person

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