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The Battle of the Disappointments.

Saturday night’s game is against the defending champions, or nondefending champions you could say.

We have had a miserable and disappointing season, but imagine how Liverpool fans feel? They were touting themselves as the greatest PL team ever and talking about the Klopp dynasty to come, instead they find themselves in 7th place and 25 points behind City, nearer to us in 9th and only 4 points behind them. Think how bad we have been and they are almost as bad. The poor souls. Shall we shed a tear?

Both sides have won 2 of their last 5 games so it’s an even game, unbelievably. And even more unbelievable is that this form is a bit of a revival for both sides. I’m shaking my head as I write this. Neither club has a snowball’s chance of making the top 4 with 9 games left! What the actual f*ck?

Anyway, on to the game.

Goodness only knows the fitness and tiredness levels of our returning players. We do know that Luiz is out and that Xhaka was to sick to train on Friday. Now for all the stick Xhaka gets, we could be in big trouble if he can’t play. He’s by far our most import and and consistent player that rarely misses a minute of game time. I don’t expect to see either Saka or ESR, with both of them struggling to shake of muscular problems.

There really is no point me trying to think of something more to say, because I have no idea what we will see in terms of formation, line up or performance. Our success against them came with 5 at the back and a backs to the wall effort , shortly after they had won the league last season, buy they were half on the beach that day and we seem to have moved away from the total negative tactics we employed then and in the run in to the FA cup win, So who know? Perhaps you think you do? So tell me in the comments.

Enjoy the game and stay safe.

Pedantic George

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64 comments on “The Battle of the Disappointments.

  1. Thanks George. Miserable and disappointing. In many ways that is an accurate summing up of this whole covid-wretched season. No crowds, too many games shoe-horned into too small a time, refereeing and VAR decisions verging certainly on the incomprehensible, if not actively corrupt. And much, much harder for the players than is generally recognised, especially the ones fuelled by big match day adrenaline.
    One way and another not a totally bad time for Liverpool to have a fallow recovery year after their last two seasons of supercharged gegenpress. And not too bad a one for The Arsenal to regroup and reform either, in that it will matter more come August should the crowds be back.
    As for today, who knows. It might be quite a fun game to watch.

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  2. Thanks George. Just good to have Arsenal back again. This game really is difficult to predict, both teams very inconsistent this season, injuries, Players out of form, sickness, post inter lull, perhaps some minds on other games this week.
    A shame for us that a lot of creativity won’t be on show, including, as you mention, possibly the all important Xhaka, so much starts with him.
    I just hope the early match defensive mistakes don’t rear themselves in this game though Klopp will surely target out early match nerves
    My prediction 0-0, and have no idea why I predict that as it flies in the face of anything remotely likely from this team in this or most other seasons!

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  3. The Metro reckon we are working on bringing in a player who goes by the name of Zagadou
    No idea if true, and know absolutely nothing about the player, but if true, and his name is pronounced how it spells, there is a ready made song for him

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  4. I shall get the pineapples ready….

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  5. Liverpool’s drop off this season with no CBs puts AWs last season when the incoming Raul did not rebuild the back line into the correct and unarguable context for a simple comparison. After all it’s a simple game!

    No Xhaka or Saka or ESR makes it harder for the gunners to get the three points today. COYG.

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  6. A great summing up George,
    Nobody (probably including the managers) have a clue about this game.
    Most would lean towards Liverpool but on up days and their down days we could murder them although we stand a chance of being murdered ourselves. Obviously there could be no murdering a the game could be absolutely stale or if both defences are loose then the neutral may get a great game.
    The one thing about this game is sure is nothing about this game is sure so we need to be clear about that.
    I looking forward towards having ARSENAL back after the interlul so COYG.

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  7. Arsenal: Leno, Chambers, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Ceballos, Aubameyang, Odegaard, Pepe, Lacazette.

    Subs: Ryan, Bellerin, Willian, Soares, Mari, Nelson, Elneny, Nketiah, Martinelli

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  8. Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Kabak, Robertson, Fabinho, Milner, Thiago, Mane, Firminho, Salah.

    Subs: Adrian, Wijnaldum, Kieta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Jota, Tsimikas, Shaqiri, Williams

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  9. Sam Dean
    @SamJDean
    ·
    23m
    Find it incredible that this is the first time Aubameyang, Pepe and Lacazette have started together this season. The three most expensive players in Arsenal’s history.

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  10. 30 minutes in and we can’t get out of our own half, who needs xhaka

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  11. Cursed……

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  12. That Milner is a dirty player.

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  13. Always has been. Was when he played for City, is now.

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  14. Would sooner have Elneny in the middle than Ceballos. Or Chambers and Elneny which would mean we wouldn’t have to rely on Partey.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Agree on Elneny.
    And how we miss our player of the season, and our young player of the season

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  16. tierney replaced by cedric at half time

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  17. Elneny on for Ceballos

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  18. Bit of a disaster class so far at home to a team who have struggled to many this season.
    Not sure Martinelli can do any worse than some of our front players on what we have seen so far , though they have not been helped by a virtually non existent MF

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  19. gabriel and leno awful and salah makes it 2-0 to liverpool, this has been a dire performance by Arsenal

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  20. Oh well, there’s always Europe I guess,
    I hope I never hear Xhaka criticised by supposed Arsenal fans again, this team are completely rudderless without him.
    Need to learn how to deal with diminutive forwards heading the ball as well, think Holding allowed similar with Sterling

    Liked by 1 person

  21. heading for our 12th EPL defeat of the season, without as much as a whimper, artetaball my arse

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  22. As expected with the two and then three best players from the season it has been tough but I still think as noted above the diminished squad could have been used better: the laca and Auba attacking combo led the club down to the 15th in the table, how many more times before this combo is in the bin? Hard to understand the continuation of this set up.

    Have to agree with George on Arteta. The lack of imagination. He might go on to be a good coach…

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  23. martinelli is on for aubameyang, our captain was woeful today, like many others

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  24. 3-0, and its nothing more than liverpool deserve

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  25. Can always rely on Arsenal to make an under achieving team and under pressure manager look like Brazil 1970.
    There are mitigating circumstances, Xhaka, ESR, Saka, Tierney but Arteta has got this one very wrong.

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  26. It’s all so casual. Partey nah I’m not sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. mandy it very much seemed like we were set up to defend, we had 11 men behind the ball most of the game, we just surrendered possession, Arteta ball is all about trying to score on the break, from a Tierney cross if possible. 12 defeat, 6 draws and only the 12 wins in 30 EPL games, its dire, not only the results, but for so much of the time this season the football is stale, boring, negative, I’d go as far as to say we’ve a cowardly manager, who seems to have a game plan that relies on us scoring from one or two chances, and us not conceding from our opponents seven or eight chances

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  28. seems this was Arteta’s 50th EPL game in charge, 17 defeats, 12 draws and 21 wins

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  29. If you start a game with three of your best five players missing and then the other one of the five gets injured before half time you will struggle. (and that is without the debate as to the best defenders are). But what I think it showed is how poor and lacking in skill and passion the ones on the pitch today were.

    I wouldn’t be rushing to blame the manager (international break, injuries etc) but I’d be disappointed if he didn’t react very firmly to that showing.

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  30. just waiting for Arteta’s post match press conference for him to tell us we needed to score those two shots we had on target and the whole game would have been different

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  31. as someone put it, Arteta sets up to defend a 1-0 defeat

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  32. Think you are right Eduardo, the problem is, we can’t defend! 6ft 2 players get out jumped by 5ft 7 players, kamikaze passes from for the back. A keeper with great reactions who stops shots but clearly not at ease with things.
    Counter attacking against some teams might be the philosophy but doesn’t work when our forwards aren’t interested and we have no MF schemer.
    I believe Arteta is bullet proof for this season and likely next, the Kroenkes have been bitten and will be reluctant to change, and even if they do, not sure they have a clue, but will be interesting to see who Arteta stays loyal to. But Arteta did very little to change things.
    At least two forwards should be dropped after that. Martinelli gets better and better on the bench.
    And unless there are mitigating circumstances we don’t know about, Auba does not look, or behave like a captain.
    Making Xhaka skipper is one thing Emery got right, even if it was by player vote.

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  33. One of the things I’ve learnt in the many, many years I’ve been a teacher is you don’t need to look too hard to tell which boy is an absolute twat. The haircut they decide to get during the holiday will leave you in no doubt.

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  34. Orbinho
    @Orbinho
    ·
    21m
    Arsenal have dropped 24 points at home.

    That’s more than in the whole of:

    1995-96
    1996-97
    1997-98
    1998-99
    1999-00
    2000-01
    2001-02
    2002-03
    2003-04
    2004-05
    2005-06
    2006-07
    2007-08
    2008-09
    2009-10
    2010-11
    2011-12
    2012-13
    2013-14
    2014-15
    2015-16
    2016-17
    2017-18
    2018-19
    2019-20

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  35. While I can maybe understand why we set up to defend, why would you then put the weakest trio partnership in the PL.
    You cannot blame the manager for the players that are out but the rest I think he has to take responsibility for.
    We should be on prescription for insomniacs and I congratulate all those who stayed awake until the end tonight.
    To be honest I am somewhat ashamed of the club at the moment, tonights 0-3 loss more embarrassing and a miles worse performance than the 8-2 against manure.
    We are truly cementing ourselves as a midtable club but what is unforgivable is fat Sam’s side playing better than us.
    I have been saying all season that if we are going to be a midtable club it we would be better if we played all the ex academy players and played attacking football.
    We can accept defeats as fans but how can you accept a defeat when the team is set up not to win unforgivable.

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  36. I loved how world class odegaard took the game by the scruff of the neck tonight and drove us on, no?

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  37. Arteta doesn’t sound impressed, he’s “ in shock”
    We shall see what that means by the next game.
    What has Héctor done wrong These days btw?

    Liked by 1 person

  38. yeah Ian, its not getting beat that is the problem, its the surrender to defeat.
    I see so many making excuses for Arteta, about players being out injured, and how once you take his first choice players away the team just can’t play how he wants, but all these people ignore the very question that then needs to be asked, – why has Arteta not found a plan B then, these dame people had lots to say about Wenger being stuck in his ways and not changing our attacking tactics when missing our better player, so why is it ok for Arteta to lamely accept defeat.

    our front 3 tonight cost over £170M, it was backed up by £50M Partey and wasn’t Gooners telling us last week that AFC should stump up £50m or more for Odegaard. and 3 of our back four cost us £75M, just how superior of a squad/team does Arteta need to see him send out the team to dominate and attack our opponents

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  39. mandy never mind Bellerin, the question is how is Cedric not starting at RB once Hector is not selected and how did Arteta think that having two slow coaches in Chambers and holding on the same side of our defence is a good idea

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  40. Who knows Eduardo, genuinely baffling. Chambers played well at Rb recently, but as you say, the defence today had issues. Not helped by a non existent MF to play to either , Cebaillos was not at the races, nor Partey.
    But just think there is an almost Einsteinian type universal constant with this team , no Xhaka, no party/Partey.
    In fairness to Arteta, he seems to recognise the importance of Xhaka as well. I hope these reports GX wants out this summer are BS, as he is not easily replaced. But the way he has been treated, we have been lucky to keep Xhaka as long as we have.
    That said, no squad should be so dependent on a single player, unless you are our neighbours.

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  41. It’s really funny to see the idiots at the blogosphere long for a top4 finish.The entitled brats mocked Wenger for 20 consecutive entries.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. What an absolute stinker that was.

    My impression was that it wasn’t a case really of the players underperforming or not doing what they were meant to. More that they were brutally tested by the opposition and found wanting.

    Each player just looked like what they are to me. Probably no one suffered for it more than Ceballos, but was similar story for each of them.

    Think the only result we’ve got again them for years now is when we put out a team actually designed, and with suitable players, for sitting deep, with occasional counter, and had the luck a team doing that generally needs to get a favourable result.

    Given we were right to move away from that…jeez

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  43. Mandy, Callum played well going forward the other day. As I said when some Muppet gave him MOTM when he was turned easerly on several occasions.
    The player selection is a real worry. Hector is the best right back at the club, Mari is probably our best CB but we know from history Callum and Bob play well as a partnership but Gabriel (although a good stopper) is very irratic and error prone.
    Ceballos loves losing the ball in bad areas and in a game against a possession side Elneny is a much better player and certainly a harder worker.
    Auba and Pepe are lazy and Laca doesn’t move much when you need players to annoy defences and defend from the front then Martinelli, Nelson and Eddie will give you twice as much effort and effectiveness.
    The goalkeeping situation is still a problem for a keeper who cannot command his six yard box.
    We not at the start of Mikels reign and this squad is not new. We have seen that front three fail over and over again, we have seen Caballos fail over and over again. Gabriels errors are not new and Leno is not reliable.
    I want Mikel to succeed but I am quickly losing faith.

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  44. Ouch. more then a few have written this performance was a lower moment then the 8-2 and when you think that big loss was for a ghost eleven three days after the main team won a CL knockout tie then.

    It’s not good.

    Ian lists the strange selections.

    When was the last time a club captain disrespected a coach like Auba has been with MA? The blaggers can’t even point to the breakdown in the relationship between coach and captain following the ozil dropping as that would tip over their precious narratives and reduce their click bait. Idiots.

    George and Shotta’s blogs were the few places where we were allowed to consider the disastrous impact of these calls upon this season and club.
    I guess we can look back on the Arsenal blaggers from the last 15 years as a chorus of insincere clowns making money off the back of the man they were critiquing. What a life!

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  45. well Ian we have not seen that front 3 as a unit fail over and over again as yesterday was the first game this season that all 3 started together

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  46. one of the Sunday rags reports today that Arsenal are prepared to sell Saka to fund a deal for odegaard, well if Arteta does that then he deserves to be sacked on the spot

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Arteta on whether Luiz needs surgery:
    “We don’t know. There are a few possibilities on that. We are talking with the docs right now to make the right decision on that. But it looks like he can be out for a few weeks at least.”

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  48. “Arsenal may have to consider selling young stars such as England winger Bukayo Saka, 19, to raise the funds to sign Real Madrid’s Norway midfielder Martin Odegaard, 22, permanently, as well as other new players to overhaul the squad” – Sunday Times

    Well I’m sure as far Edu is concerned everything is gravy. Grand. Anyone for champagne?

    Like

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