Arsenal 20-21: Artetenal and/or Kia Joorabchian Futebol Clube

mikeford

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Wonder how much longer the board is gonna put up with Arteta doing the same shit over and over and failing every week.
 
Jul 15, 2005
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tbh this roster needs to be cleaned out...it's a mix of the end of Wenger era, Unai's crew and some of Arteta's players

I'd give that rumored Eriksen for Xhaka swap a long look...I would have paired Elneny with Partey today
 

candylandriots

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They apparently love Guendouzi at Hertha. I watched the game with a Hertha fan and he was going on about him. Took me a minute to realize who he meant.
 

Tuff Ghost

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Yeah, there have been 16 foul throws in the Premier League this season and Bellerin has 5 of them.

The Athletic had an article this week about Thomas Gronnemark, throw-in coach at Liverpool, and in the article showed that Arsenal have the lowest wasted throw-in percentage in the league (187 throw-ins, 44 wasted, 23.5% wasted), surprisingly. I will need to pay better attention to what they are doing, but I am betting they tend to throw backwards and not take chances as much as some other teams, possibly explaining the lack of "wasted" throw-ins. I do not recall much value added to the attack from their throws so far.

It was strange to see them embracing the long throws into the box from Tierney against Spurs, too. His long throws seemed to me to have too much of a looping arc and did not go far enough, so I doubt much success will be seen from those. (Arsenal actually have the second highest long throw-in percentage in the Premier League, too: 65 long throw-ins, for 34.8% of their throw-ins.) Much like crosses, harder and straighter long throws with less of an arc seem more likely to be dangerous (if you're going to throw long at all).

The Athletic went for a sick burn as the closing line of the aforementioned article on Liverpool's throw-in coach:
Relieving that frustration is seemingly Gronnemark’s long-term objective, as the Dane is currently writing a book to help impart his knowledge of throw-ins across all levels of football.

“I’ve won the Champions League and the Premier League as Liverpool’s throw-in coach, but my biggest dream is to change football. I want to help those playing at amateur or youth levels develop this part of their game, not just those at the top.”

Perhaps the first copy could go to Hector Bellerin, who’s committed five foul throws already this season.
 

Tuff Ghost

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A meaningless final Europa group stage game was easy to miss, but I'd recommend the highlights for anyone who did not watch. Elneny scored an absolute beauty from 30 yards (Arseblog compared it to this Flamini goal, which was spot-on).

My prospect-loving eyes have completely fallen for Balogun. His hold-up play and finishing look top-notch. In a dark season of Premier League mediocrity, they have to give him a chance to see what he can do before he is out of contract.

Smith-Rowe also played well and hopefully will get some time over the busy fixture schedule the next few weeks. He has that bit of creativity that they are missing.

The only downside to this game was the play of Runarsson. He looks pretty rough around the edges. An injury to Leno could be fatal this year, unlike last year when Emi Martinez played so well in his absence.
 

mikeford

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Yeah Runnarson looks very poor. I honestly thought they kept the wrong keeper in the first place but not having a competent backup is not a good plan
 

SoxFanInCali

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Last I checked, Liverpool wasn't nearly being relegated during their down period. In fact they haven't finished in the bottom half of the table since the 50s.
Well, they were a few hours from administration and a nine point deduction at one point.
 

mikeford

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Arteta is done. He's not even trying at this point. The game plan is the same thing every week with the same players and it never works.
 

blueline

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Arteta is done. He's not even trying at this point. The game plan is the same thing every week with the same players and it never works.
Third manager this core has looked miserable under. I think the issue is spending £180 million+ on players like Xhaka, Mustafi, Lacazette, and Pepe over the last 5 years. The talent isn't there.
 

mikeford

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Third manager this core has looked miserable under. I think the issue is spending £180 million+ on players like Xhaka, Mustafi, Lacazette, and Pepe over the last 5 years. The talent isn't there.
the team lacks talent but its no ones fault but Mikel's that he keeps playing absolute dogs like Luiz (who he re-signed), Mustafi (who he tried to extend), Xhaka (who should've been exited from the club last year after his incident with the fans but Mikel convinced him to stay), Willian (who he wanted in) and Lacazette.

Play the fucking children from Hale End, I don't care. If we're going to lose at least lose with players who might learn something along the way.
 
Jul 15, 2005
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the team lacks talent but its no ones fault but Mikel's that he keeps playing absolute dogs like Luiz (who he re-signed), Mustafi (who he tried to extend), Xhaka (who should've been exited from the club last year after his incident with the fans but Mikel convinced him to stay), Willian (who he wanted in) and Lacazette.

Play the fucking children from Hale End, I don't care. If we're going to lose at least lose with players who might learn something along the way.
listening to Arteta in the post match interview, he seemed ok with the dominance of the team until losing Xhaka to the red...this disconnect sounds a lot like David Farke with Norwich City last season as that team showed no fight as they relegated

vs Southampton, they are without Xhaka, Partey, Bellerin...bring on the kids!
 

lars10

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Everything went so well at the end of last season. The disconnect between that team and this team makes my brain hurt.
Yeah.. nothing is working right now. I don't understand what the plan is supposed to be here. Auba bailed them out a lot last year and he's looked absolutely mediocre and at times looks completely disinterested.
It's ok to start the kids, but you have to see some improvement at some point.. they need to be developed. At this point every player on the team is regressing.

And I agree with Mikeford... Mikel's love of Xhaka, Luis, Mustafi are mystifying.. at least Lacazette had been scoring some goals that made him sort of useful..but the first three are beyond toast. There is some talent on the field, but they're not playing together at all.. and some of that has to be put on the coaching staff... the player pool needs to change too, but you a higher quality manager would also get the most out of the talent on the field. Arteta is basically having one of the worst seasons that Arsenal has almost ever had..which is something given how bad Emery was.

edit: they're playing an offense of crosses without 1. A player that can head the ball in the middle 2. any midfielders that can actually cross over the first defender.
 

Tuff Ghost

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My wife has been joking with me that Arsenal are going to get relegated this year and that they are on the fast-track to becoming Sunderland. It's usually just been in jest, but my word, they just lost at home to Burnley. They have a young, poorly performing back-up goalkeeper. What if Leno gets injured? Could they actually...? The mind reels.

No, I don't really think they are going to get relegated, but you don't expect to have to even consider these thoughts. Honestly, it was just two years ago where qualifying for Europa seemed a huge disappointment, now Europa qualification is a distant dream.

Just as I wrongly thought last October, when he told the crowd to eff off, I think Xhaka may have actually played his last game for Arsenal. Ship him off to Hertha Berlin and let him and Guendouzi choke-out the Bundesliga. Nah, on second thought, maybe just bring back Guendouzi and let's have a full WWE bad-boys midfield breaking red card records with their signature Gooner chokeholds. If the midfield cannot break opposition lines, they may as well break opposition necks, amiright?

I'll try to find a couple of bright-spots:

(1.) They have a decent amount of salary space being cleared off the books at the conclusion of this season, hopefully allowing for a continued transformation of the squad:
  • Ozil
  • Sokratis
  • Mustafi
  • Luiz
  • Ceballos (loan ends)
(2.) They were not completely impotent against Burnley and probably a little unlucky. They have been pretty much what xG says they should be this season, so no, they are not having a massively unlucky season in total, but yesterday seemed to be an unfortunate match to lose. Arsenal seem to have that special x-factor in their ability to lose winnable matches.
  • Shots: 18 - 10 Arsenal
  • Shots on Target: 6 - 2 Arsenal
  • xG: 1.85 - 0.82 Arsenal
  • xPoints: 2.16 - 0.62 Arsenal
  • (Via Understat)
Bring on Benfica, I guess. Here we go Europa.
 

Tuff Ghost

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To follow-up, I should note that Arsenal's running 5 game average of goals scored / game (actual) versus xG / game is looking a little ridiculous currently. They are currently at 0.2 goals/game versus 1.38 xG/game over the last 5 Premier League games. My graph below (Emery through current) shows how this trend is becoming quite noticeable and starting to look like the perfect inverse of the early Emery days when they were scoring more than expected.

37027
 

Tuff Ghost

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Arsenal 20-21: Seeing Red...
Arsenal 20-21: Suspension(s) of Disbelief...
Arsenal 20-21: Over-Edu for Some Success...

Sorry, just waking from a nightmare in which Arsenal thread titles endlessly materialize and surround me. After each one appears, Mike Dean emerges from a tenebrous pitch and shows me red for such internal nonsense and lack of nocturnal discipline.

I will say that the work that Saka did on the Aubameyang goal was excellent. There were two fouls, in my opinion, in the lead-up, but he stayed strong and on his feet and it paid off- very impressive for a 19 year old. If it had been Ceballos experiencing either of those fouls, he would have been screaming in faux-pain while rolling across the pitch before play could have continued.

Arsenal this season are a late-life crisis. The final call of non-existence pulling hard and unrelentingly. The joy of earlier years are becoming more difficult to remember. Each memory is transforming into vague movie-like clips as if they were from another life, or maybe not even real life, but a film once seen.

The ride was fun, but it's reached its end. Now the line to get back on is quite long. The next set of passengers are now getting aboard and beginning their journey. We are left watching, as we slowly pace backwards through exit, looking up longingly, thinking "That used to be us. We were up there, riding high and fast, gravity not able to weigh us down."

Now our feet are heavy as Lacazette's cement boots, and simply walking towards the exit takes all of our strength. We look to our left and see Ceballos rolling on the ground, receiving pitied looks, parents shielding their children from the strange outburst. We look to our right and see Luiz and Willian laughing about their luck at finding a discarded winning lottery ticket this late in the day. Finally, we turn and look ahead for the first time. We realize a sharply ascending mountain path is the only way out. Saka taps us on our shoulder, smiles at us and says, "Let's get to climbing," but we're too tired to smile back. We just want to sleep.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I've pretty much given up on the league season. We're obviously not going to make the CL places, we're unlikely to make the Europa League places either (and I'm kind of indifferent about that anyway), and despite all the banter we're not going to get relegated.

Arteta massively fucked up by exiling Ozil and not replacing him, essentially going into the season without any player on the roster who could play as a 10 or as the most creative 8 in a 4-3-3. He may have been banking on buying Aouar. But I think the more likely scenario is that he hubristically believed that he could tactically scheme around this gaping hole in the roster, somehow getting enough production by exclusively playing down the wings. This makes us slow to get into the final third - the quickest way to transition into attack usually involves the ball going through the middle at some point, but we don't have anybody to play through - and it makes us predictable once we get there.

At this point, I just want to see young players get chances. Lets get Martinelli back into the squad as soon as possible, lets see what Smith-Rowe, Balogun, or Saliba can offer. Spend a couple months trying different things out and then see if we can make a run in one of the cups in the spring.
 
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mikeford

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Cant really envision myself watching this club again with Arteta at the helm. Same thing every week. No improvement, no ideas, nothing.

Boring and bad.
 

Tuff Ghost

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I am usually good at finding a few positives to hold onto amidst a rough stretch, but I think I have crossed the threshold into “maybe 2023-ville?”

Our entire village has been burnt to the ground, but Saka knows a guy who can get us some lumber. Oh, and Martinelli has returned home. He is a strong lad who can help rebuild. Everything is fine.

Just a stroke of bad luck for the fire to consume the whole village. Next time the fire will regress to the mean and burn itself out before causing all-encompassing devastation. Arteta has got this. Fire prevention is a non-negotiable.
 

Tuff Ghost

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Arteta has now been in charge for 34 Premier League games, a period in which Arsenal have accumulated 47 points. Emery has been vindicated in the sense that the problem is much larger than him or any supposed communication issues he had (I don't think he was the answer, just not the problem).

For fun (and by fun, I actually mean abject terror):
  • Arteta: 1.38 points/game; 38-game season average: 53 points
  • Emery: 1.73 points/game; 38-game season average: 66 points
  • Wenger: 1.96 points/game; 38-game season average: 75 points
This is the trajectory of a team drilling towards the center of the earth.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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View: https://twitter.com/Arsenal/status/1341458494915039234


What a dreadful line up. Its like we're neither trying to win the match nor trying to use the match to give our young players development experience. Do one or the other. What is the point in playing a rusty as fuck Mustafi and Kolasinac? They're not going to contribute to winning this match in the short term, at least any more than a guy like Saliba, and they're certainly not going to help us in the longer term. And what do Balogun or Smith-Rowe have to do to actually start a match? If we had just lined up like this, would we have been any worse off? Would we really have had less of a chance of winning the match?

------------Balogun----------
Martinelli–Smith-Rowe–Pepe
------Elneny–Ceballos-------
Cedric-Gabriel-Saliba—AMN

I think Arteta has really lost the plot.
 

shaggydog2000

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Saliba can't play because he's not registered during this period, or does that not count for the Carabao cup? Smith-Rowe I can see wanting to get in there though. Him and Balogun together along with a recently recovering Martinelli may be a bit much.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Deadwood like Mustafi and Kolasinac should be sent on their way on January 1, even if we have to pay to get rid of them. Instead they are starting matches for us.
I actually like Kolasinac, but his time should be up and he should be moved on ASAP. These overpaid veterans are a cloud hanging over the club and nothing will get better until they get moved on. But that won't be happening if this lineup is any indication.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Runarsson is the worst keeper I've ever seen play for Arsenal and its not remotely close. He is mindbogglingly bad.

I have generally laughed off the banter about how Arsenal could get relegated this season. But if Leno gets hurt and Runarsson is the replacement it honestly could happen.
 

The Gray Eagle

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As Arsenal are getting humiliated by Man City, the Guardian is doing a live blog, here are some lowlights:

2nd minute of the game, and Arsenal is already losing: "Have Arsenal even touched the ball yet? I don’t think so! City stroke it around for nearly two minutes before working Zinchenko into a crossing position down the left. The Ukrainian sends an out-swinging cross from the byline towards the near post, where Jesus arrives to nod into the net with no defender near him! Oh dear, Arsenal."

54th minute, 1-2: "It’s a calamity for Runarsson and Arsenal. The keeper was impeccably positioned to claim the freekick that Mahrez curled around the wall ... but he let it slip through his hands and into the net!"

73rd minute, 1-4: "Mahrez rolls a short corner to Foden, who clips a beautiful cross towards the back post, where Laporte is one of two City players unmarked. Mustafi and Kolasinac assume the spectator role as they watch the Frenchman nod gratefully into the net."

What a clown show from a bunch of clowns. Thank god I didn't bother trying to watch this trash.
 

teddykgb

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I watched it and Sky apparently had ArsenalfanTV doing the commentary.

Both teams look awful. Foden goal was offside but your keeper was a disaster
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Arteta has no idea what to do, has no real plan, but is just intent on trying to maintain the appearance of somebody with a plan.

Does he want to try and get a result in this match and make a cup run, maybe qualify for Europe that way? That sounds like a decent plan. Then why the fuck would you play a keeper that was a backup in Ligue 2?

Or does he have a long term vision for the club and its development? OK, sign me up. But then why are the likes of Kolasinac, Elneny, and Mustafi out on the pitch, none of whom could possibly be part of any long term plan? Saliba was viewed as one of the top CB talents in the world in his age bracket and yet he hasn't gotten a single minute of first team play under Arteta. Smith-Rowe looks dangerous every time he steps on the pitch, but he is only allowed to do so in 15 minute cameos.
 

blueline

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I'm still baffled Arsenal have gone from winning the FA Cup, having a reasonable start to the season, and beating Man Utd to this absolute collapse over the last month and a half. Sadly starting to come to terms with the reality that Arteta doesn't have much longer, and it just hasn't worked out like we all hoped. If he goes though, then Edu absolutely has to go too, he's been an even bigger disaster. What are players like Mustafi, Kolasinac, and Sokratis still doing here? How did Saliba not go out on loan? How do you even explain this miserable back up keeper? How the fuck do you sign Willian at £200k+ a week? The guy is beyond out of his depth. Find a respected DoF with some qualifications, not that the Kroenkes even know what that means.
 

mikeford

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Runarsson is the worst keeper I've ever seen play for Arsenal and its not remotely close. He is mindbogglingly bad.

I have generally laughed off the banter about how Arsenal could get relegated this season. But if Leno gets hurt and Runarsson is the replacement it honestly could happen.
At least we might actually win a league title in the next 10 years if it did happen.
 
For what it's worth, I still have no regrets about Wenger being replaced. It was time. Arteta may ultimately be (and increasingly looks to be) the wrong man for the job, just as Emery was before him, but the trick is finding the right new manager, not clinging to the old one for fear of what might happen if you ditch him.
 

mikeford

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For what it's worth, I still have no regrets about Wenger being replaced. It was time. Arteta may ultimately be (and increasingly looks to be) the wrong man for the job, just as Emery was before him, but the trick is finding the right new manager, not clinging to the old one for fear of what might happen if you ditch him.
The time to replace Wenger was like 6 years before they actually did it. After Klopp left Dortmund and was like... actively campaigning for the damn job.
 

Tuff Ghost

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Hopefully Martinelli is okay in the coming days. He is a difference maker. The thing is, they do have a decent core of players on the good side of the aging curve here: Saka, Martinelli, Tierney, and Gabriel all seem like keepers. I hope Smith-Rowe, Balogun, and Willock get some more Premier League time in the coming weeks, too.

Smith-Rowe looked good and has a lot of the characteristics the team is missing. The Athletic had a nice piece on him last week and his creativity on the attack.

Runarrson was hilarious. How could they have expected this to go wrong when the analysis at the time of the signing was along these lines?
The results however, were less than glowing — in his first season, Runarsson conceded 43 goals in 25 matches, eventually being benched for Bobby Allain, a player who had just one match as a professional to his credit prior to the start of the season
He would feature in a handful of matches at season’s end after Gomis suffered a knee injury, but was again totally devoid of confidence, strength and poise – his only win came against a Toulouse side who were historically poor last season and he failed to keep a clean sheet in any of his 11 appearances.
A decent ‘keeper in terms of his reflexes, his positioning and aerial ability is lacking badly, and while he does have a powerful kick, his distribution out from the back often left much to be desired, frequently putting his defenders under pressure.
Rather than try to pick apart his skillset any further, suffice it to say that if Arsenal see a goalkeeper who is second choice for the worst team in Ligue 1 this season as a viable option to be their own deputy, they had better make a none-too-inconsiderable offering to the injury gods on Leno’s behalf.
 

Tuff Ghost

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I cannot stop watching the video of the Mahrez free-kick goal (tweet below). It's amazing.

Kolasinac is gently nudged to the side by Rodri, his large head slowly vacating the space the ball eventually crosses through on its way to Runarsson's greased-up up gloves. Pepe holds the top of his head, wondering if £140,000-a-week was worth leaving Lille for this club. Runarsson is bent over in despair. Lacazette raises his arms, looking like he is talking to the ghost of Arsenal-Past. Ceballos just wipes his mouth in casual disgust, presumably thinking that he should have found a way to hit the ground, scream, and roll to prevent the goal somehow.

Rodri starts to celebrate, then realizes the goal is so embarrassing it may be in poor taste to show too much enthusiasm. It is a moment in which pity is the only acceptable emotion. For supporters, it is a season in which humor has to be found in the absurdity of its failings.
View: https://twitter.com/EddieLongbridg3/status/1341654564169261056?s=20
 

teddykgb

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It’s a comedy of errors but I find it hard to be critical of Kolasinac not taking a smashed free kick to his face. In my view he tries to get a head on it while not requiring surgery and just misses. I’ve never been in a wall against a professional footballer but the ball always gets on you so fast when people who know how to strike it get into one