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

67YAZ

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You know he’s bombed out of his last 2 gigs by pissing off directors. Great tactician, no patience for the politics at big clubs. There’s no way this wouldn’t end in disaster within 36 months.
 

SocrManiac

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You know he’s bombed out of his last 2 gigs by pissing off directors. Great tactician, no patience for the politics at big clubs. There’s no way this wouldn’t end in disaster within 36 months.
Better than six months, which seems to be the current standard.
 

PedroSpecialK

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To put it another way, it's still fewer than 36 months since Wenger departed in 2018.

if Arteta is not able to right the ship, I don't think Arsenal would be worse off with Tuchel taking over
 

The Gray Eagle

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Gabriel is quarantining due to close contact with someone who tested positive. Gabriel will miss the next 3 games at least, counting today's.

Fellow Brazilians Willian and David Luiz also sit out today’s game, with the club reporting “Both are unwell but have both recently tested negative. We will continue to monitor, support and assess their conditions.”

 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Hard to believe what we saw today, a massive result that was fully earned. Chelsea had a bunch of chances from the 85th minute onward as we closed up shop but we were clearly on top until that point.

No surprise that we looked a lot more lively with a real attacking midfield player in Smith-Rowe and with two dangerous and energetic wide players, instead of CFs out of position wide and whatever Willian is at this point in his career. Given that this has turned into a rebuilding year anyway, Arteta should just play Martinelli-ESR-Saka behind the striker regularly - fitness permitting obviously - and see what they can produce.

Take tonight's lineup but Auba for Laca, Partey into one of the CM slots, Gabriel into one of the CB slots, and Maitland-Niles for Bellerin and we have a pretty interesting, very young team that might actually be fun to watch.
 
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mikeford

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This has to be the proof to Arteta that you've gotta sideline some do-nothing veterans and play these kids who have something to prove. ESR was great today. Martinelli was what the attack has been missing. Made our attack feel so much less one-dimensional. I can't wait til he's fully fit and we can stop playing Laca and Nketiah.
 

lars10

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This has to be the proof to Arteta that you've gotta sideline some do-nothing veterans and play these kids who have something to prove. ESR was great today. Martinelli was what the attack has been missing. Made our attack feel so much less one-dimensional. I can't wait til he's fully fit and we can stop playing Laca and Nketiah.
Yeah.. Martinelli just looked like he cared more than most of the performances we've seen put up for Arsenal this year. He also looks pretty skilled which is nice.
 

mikeford

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Diego Costa was released and the media is sniffing around a link to coming to Arsenal.

I would personally rather the club fold than sign this human refuse.
 

lars10

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Diego Costa was released and the media is sniffing around a link to coming to Arsenal.

I would personally rather the club fold than sign this human refuse.
Just what they need.. an old striker to further get in the way of their high priced signings and their youngsters
 

mikeford

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Graham Potter must have taken inspiration from Big Sam by rotating out Welbeck, March, Troussard and Maupay

Today might be brutal to watch
It was!

Man alive, I'll take the points but they oughtta burn the tape of that one. That was a snorefest.

Arsenal are now just 6 points back of Chelsea for a spot in Europe again. Yes, I'm talking myself back into this. No, I don't learn any lessons, why do you ask?
 

67YAZ

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If he can help Schalke stay up, it’s worth every last fucking penny.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Kola was not anywhere near the first name on the long list of high-paid veteran players I wanted to see move on this window.
But he was on the list. Hopefully a half dozen or so more to come.
 

shaggydog2000

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They've got a period in the schedule where they can rack up some points and get back into the part of the table they want to be in. I'm not going to complain if they do what they should do. Their issues with creativity seem much improved playing the youngsters up front, but we know consistency is an issue with young players. Saka and Martinelli have played enough and played well often enough that I'm not concerned about them, but Smith-rowe seems to be the one that brings the element the team needs the most, and he doesn't have much track record yet. And Smith-Rowe and Martinelli have had some injuries so that is a concern as well, in terms of how much should they be playing?

Holding has been good as a #2 defender with Gabriel, but I'd be concerned with him in big games as the #1 and Mari as the #2. Mari seems a bit slow for this level, so I hope Gabriel isn't out for long with Corona. I haven't heard if he's actually sick or just tested positive. Partey has barely played, so he could be a big help in the second half, but they really do need to move out some of the dead wood and see if they can add another more attacking midfielder even if it's just a loan player. And from what we've seen of Runnarson, any injury to Leno could be a disaster. Overall I'm optimistic about the second half, but it's easy to see where things could go wrong.
 

shaggydog2000

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Has Partey been injured? That position is so important in the Pep system Arteta has implemented
He's had a thigh issue of some sort. He's only played 2 full 90' games in the Premier league so far. I think his presence could be a big difference, judging from how they looked with him in the lineup.
 

mikeford

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they really should think about loaning in a veteran keeper in the january window because if Leno gets hurt, they are relegation fodder.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Some random Arsenal thoughts:

I'm not sure they can rely on them every match, but its pretty fun to see Martinelli, Smith-Rowe, and Saka all on the pitch together and playing fluid exciting football. While I think the jury is still out on him a bit, I am really glad to see Smith-Rowe take his chance so far. We could have three top talents all come through together playing behind and around the striker, which is pretty amazing. You generally can't win with kids in football but you can put the right players around the kids, then it can work.

I really want to see a Partey-Ceballos central midfield in this setup. I don't think it was coincidence that Ceballos had his best game in a long while on Saturday when he actually had some more dynamic players in front of him who he could link up to and get on the same wavelength with. For example, he doesn't confidently make this pass with Willian or Pepe at RW because neither of them are making the run. Add Partey, our best central midfielder in terms of passing and ball progression, into the mix as well and I think we could really go up a level.

Saka has been great on the right and helped bring balance to the team that we lacked with either Willian or Pepe. I think that is his long term future, especially with Martinelli seemingly best on the left (although he could be a striker in the long run). I don't see what the future is for Pepe, who Arteta clearly doesn't like. We should be looking to sell and recoup any value we can this summer, even if it means taking a big loss.

With the team looking more threatening in attack, Tierney bombing forward a lot on the left, and Saka and Smith-Rowe often combining well on the right, I hope that Arteta considers giving some more time to Maitland-Niles at RB rather than Bellerin. I can understand why he preferred Bellerin most of the fall - we were so dysfunctional offensively that it made sense to go with the better attacking option, since we were starved for goals. But Bellerin is a real liability defensively and I don't see him magically becoming a better player at 25 given the number of matches under his belt. AMN has some aspects of his game to iron out but he is an elite athlete who is much better in individual duels and would give a lot better cover to our RCB, which is a weak spot in general. Particularly against sides with very good, very quick LWs (which is most big clubs in the league) I would like to see more AMN. I may be reading too much into it, but I found it encouraging that Arteta used one of his subs on Saturday to give AMN some time there.

I'm not sure what to expect from the transfer market this January but my suspicion is that we won't do much, with adding another GK the most likely scenario. I think the team has five needs over the next couple windows. The big needs are an attacking midfielder that can credibly play the 10 role because Smith-Rowe can't play every match and is only 20 and shouldn't be expected to own the position completely, a top level central midfielder to partner Partey, and a top tier right sided CB who can be paired with Gabriel and relegate Holding to backup duty, which is probably a better fit for his talent level. The two smaller needs are a real left footed backup LB (assuming Kola is never coming back) and a competent backup GK. The most pressing needs right now are probably the 10 player and the backup GK, just because if either Smith-Rowe or Leno gets hurt we are in massive trouble. But I think it will be hard to sign the right 10 player in January at the right price, whereas it is much more likely to be financially and practically feasible to find a competent backup GK so that none of us ever have to see Runarsson again.

It's been a funny year. Results have been terrible but there is also a lot to be excited about given the development being shown by our younger players. We could be starting 6 out of 10 field players 23 and under if AMN takes the RB position from Bellerin, including a couple that look to have genuinely world class potential. And hopefully one or two more from a secondary group of young players (Nketiah, Nelson, Balogun, Willock, Saliba, Guendouzi) end up making it at Arsenal and panning out. That's a nice core to build around.
 
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mikeford

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Read earlier that Newcastle may be basically fielding their u23 squad for this weekend's FA Cup game thanks to COVID exposures on the first team.
 

mikeford

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We drew Southampton (or Shrewsbury Town theoretically) in the 4th round of the FA Cup.

Should we advance we'd play the winner of Wolves vs 6th division Chorley



I love never drawing lower league teams in either domestic cup all year.
 

Tuff Ghost

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Eighteen games into the season and Arsenal are on-pace for about 51 points and a mid-table finish. There have been really bleak times (a seven game stretch in which they picked up 2 points and were sitting on 14 points after 14 matches) mixed in with some more pleasant moments in which Saka, Tierney, Smith-Rowe, and (momentarily) Martinelli produced exciting play. (Martinelli is getting to be a bit of a tease with the injuries, unfortunately, so Momentarily-Martinelli is not a bad nickname at this point, or at least a 90's NBC sitcom title.)

They have not been terribly unlucky or lucky based on underlying metrics; they are about who they are. Their Non-Penalty xGoal-Differential (NPxGD) on Understat is currently +0.43 and in the middle of the table (10th).
37966

They have some interesting pieces to build around, and hopefully the Arsenal ship will head into the summer with a wide assortment of expensive, old jetsam floating behind it and a little bit of salary space to bring in a couple of fresh faces.

Some updates:
  • Kieran Tierney's injury is not serious, and he could possibly be back Monday (via Ornstein)
  • Mari has a calf-injury and will miss a few matches (via Arseblog)
  • Thomas Partey came on in the 2nd half against Crystal Palace for the first time since the match against Spurs. Hopefully, he will become one of the first name's on the team sheet soon, but I suspect (read: hope) that they do not move too quickly with him this time until he is truly fit.
  • Saliba picked up a man-of-the-match honor playing for Nice this weekend (on loan as of this transfer window). Hopefully his time in Ligue 1 this time around will be more productive than last season. It would be nice to have him as a legitimate option at the back next season. (via Arsenal.com)
  • Smith-Rowe, who has looked good and provided some of the creativity that has been missing in the post-Ozil and post-Ramsey days, was named FA Cup Player of the 3rd Round (via Daily Cannon).
 

shaggydog2000

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Wow, a rumor out of Turkey that actually came true for once. I wonder what they had to pay out to terminate it? It would be nice to see them move on Sokratis and Mustafi if they can get something for them before their contracts expire. Even if it's basically terminating their contracts as well so that they can move early, it will help to get them off the books and open up roster spots.
 
Jul 15, 2005
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Wow, a rumor out of Turkey that actually came true for once. I wonder what they had to pay out to terminate it? It would be nice to see them move on Sokratis and Mustafi if they can get something for them before their contracts expire. Even if it's basically terminating their contracts as well so that they can move early, it will help to get them off the books and open up roster spots.
I hope Arsenal uses some of Ozil's money to rehire the man behind Gunnersaurus full time
 

mikeford

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Good riddance to an absolutely self serving hypocrite of a man. A stain on the badge. Go play Fortnite in Turkey with your dictator friend, waste of talent.