Tonight we play Slavia Prague in what has become a massive tie for the club, manager and players. Quite simply, it’s our season and a big part of next season too. All of our eggs are in the Europa league cup now, seriously, ALL OF THEM!
We sit 10th in the PL with little or no prospect of getting European football through the league position, we are out of both domestic cups, so no way in through them either. We are playing in the last chance saloon with a piano that is very much out of tune. However you look at it, it’s a desperate situation for a club like Arsenal. Or should I say “for a club like Arsenal used to be”?
Winning the competition, very much a second rate competition, in itself is not that important, I mean seriously, it’s a competition for losers and second rate clubs, but it comes with qualification for the Champions League, and that’s a massive prize, far bigger than the trophy itself. The financial benefits of the Champions League are huge, and even if we get dumped out after the group stages, we might have the losers cup again to see us with something to play for come to the end of next season. The owners will be desperate for the cash windfall. Also fans will cling to the hope that with Champions League qualification the club will be in the transfer market for Champions League players.
On top of the cash bonus, people think that we will be able to attract better players because they want Champions League football. I believe they do, but I don’t think qualification through the Europa will do the trick. Players will look at our league position and conclude that future participation is a long shot.
That we find ourselves with all the eggs in this second rate basket is a worry, to say the least, but it’s where we are and we have to try to win it.
Fail to win this competition and we can safely say the season has been an unmitigated disaster. We started of as the 8th placed team and now we are 10th, the squad is ageing and we are depending on loan players to start games. What a mess.
Anyway, to the game itself.
Let’s be honest, we should be thinking Slavia Prague is a formality. Suddenly though, I’m reading blogs and tweets that tell us what a difficult opponent they are. Well they might be, but it’s not because they are good, it’s because we might be awful. Another Liverpool like performance and the Dog & Duck could be difficult opponents.
KT is out for 4-6 weeks, this is a disaster but not as big a disaster as us being so reliant on a left back that it becomes a disaster when he’s injured, again.
Also missing will be David Liuz, like him or not, that too is a big miss for us,
Good news however is that Xhaka, ESR and Saka should all be fit and Odegaard’s knock seems manageable.
Again, I have no idea who Arteta will pick and what our tactics, if any, will be. Well I hope for his sake he gets it right for a change, because failure might see him chased out of Dodge, if not now then when the fans return to the stadium.
I’m sorry that a game against Slavia Prague is such a massive event, but this is what it has come to.
#Wengerout they said!
Enjoy the game and stay safe. We might win at a canter and have a week of celebration?
After months of talks & coming close to reaching a pre-contract agreement with an overseas club, 19yo striker Folarin Balogun to sign a new four-year deal at Arsenal imminently
with the EL game in the balance what team would you select on Sunday for the Sheffield Utd game, full strength or even go as far as resting everyone who might start on Thursday, and what do you expect Arteta will do
I enjoy many of the good players in the squad.
Enjoying the two midfield loan players proving/showing their PL level.
I enjoy Pepe too, can’t blame him for the owners.
Have given up on worrying about this coach Arteta now Eds.
Perhaps in desperation as at Xmas the younger players will get more minutes now.
fins I would think the youths will only get game time now if its to help us progress in the EL by resting the starting 11 in the EPL games.
When I say given up I mean I’m not excited by the style whatever it might be.
Given Arteta’s conservative style as midfielder when at the club i expected similar as a coach but at least with some flair.
I am a big fan of science fiction but I thought these 21st century drones on the training ground were for analysis not dummies for the players to copy?
Too many drones.
Eds painting by numbers can be fun but I suspect we have too many drones involved in this process. Show me an old man who squats like a Shao Lin master in silent agony (training??!!!?) upon the touchline and I’ll be interested to see what kind of football team he sets out haha!
I agree Eds probably an interesting younger line up this weekend against a coach who looked like he might he following Coppell’s Reading with this Sheffield team, with more flair.
No idea of Sheffield’s current form but given the changes expected I expect this to be a fun game from both teams.
Not sure what to expect from Arteta for the away fixture, I suspect like Emery who had a process too in his time at the club alas not a good one Arteta has also become confused.
well for me fins the biggest problem I have with Arteta is that he is here 16 or 17 months and for the life of me I don’t know what sort of football he wants us to play, surely to God its not this stale, negative, counter attacking, Tierney crossing stuff we see so often. There is no formation or good style of play that you could say well yes that is what Artetaball will be. People bring up that it took Klopp a few years to get Liverpool to be the top side they are now, but from very early on in his tenure at LFC you could see what he was trying to get them to do, in his first full season his biggest problem was that at about the 60 or 70 minute mark his players were out on their feet and they lost so many points in the latter stages of games due to it. But you could see his gen gen football, but what the fuck is it that Arteta is meant to be building.
If I was seeing something that gave me confidence we are implementing a certain style of progressive football, I could get behind it, even if like Klopp in the early days at LFC it was a little flawed, but you can not convince me what we are seeing under Arteta is just a step away from being something special. Even the bloggers and twitteratti who are very vocal in their support of him don’t even suggest we are close, no its all about him needing 2 or 3 more transfer windows where he can end up with a squad that are completely his own. I’d have no problem with that if there was any sign that Arteta actually has a game plan, a style of play that will bring success. They try to tell us he has fixed the defence, yet tell us he needs a right back, a right sided cb and maybe even a keeper, that don’t sound like its fixed. As for attacking football under Arteta, there is nothing that gives me even a glimmer of hope that he even wants us to dominate and take teams apart. He keeps going on about 2 or 3 chances in a game should be enough to see us win or at least get something out of the game, that is Sean Dyche type thinking, its not befitting of an Arsenal manager.
Maybe he meant two or three 1.00xg chances, three big huge open goal scoring chances per game?
ah now, how often have we seen that under Arteta, we get it against sub standard sides in the EL
we are set up for Tierney to fire in high crosses, but have no striker that actually wants to head the ball, let alone who is good at it
With Fulham losing tonight a win against Sheffield United means we are safe from relegation at last.
Eduardo is now the headline act.