Arsenal 2019-2020 - Because Thursday Games are the Best Way to Start the Weekend

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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Praise be, Mkhi going out on loan to Roma. I'm sure Arsenal will have to pay some of his wages, but saving 6-7m of the 9m he'll get paid this year and not having to see him on the pitch again is absolutely worth it.
 

shaggydog2000

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Praise be, Mkhi going out on loan to Roma. I'm sure Arsenal will have to pay some of his wages, but saving 6-7m of the 9m he'll get paid this year and not having to see him on the pitch again is absolutely worth it.
Supposedly they're paying his whole salary on top of a small loan fee. Which is great. I really didn't expect anyone to take him without a lot of money stapled to him. Raul has turned over a lot of the team now, and they're definitely better for it. They shaved over $50 mil from the wage bill this year, and you have to hope they use that to lock up their good young players. If the Ozil to DC united thing actually happens (and it could in January), Raul would deserve a statue. Not a big one out front, but maybe like a little one on a table in the press buffet area, or a training room. Nothing over 3 ft.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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Supposedly they're paying his whole salary on top of a small loan fee. Which is great. I really didn't expect anyone to take him without a lot of money stapled to him. Raul has turned over a lot of the team now, and they're definitely better for it. They shaved over $50 mil from the wage bill this year, and you have to hope they use that to lock up their good young players. If the Ozil to DC united thing actually happens (and it could in January), Raul would deserve a statue. Not a big one out front, but maybe like a little one on a table in the press buffet area, or a training room. Nothing over 3 ft.
That's pretty incredible.

Really the only thing left is to do something with Mustafi and Xhaka. A shame we can't send a knife-wielding motorcycle gang after them.
 

BostonJack42

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I know someone else mentioned it, but it's crazy to me how much this team has completely changed over. Who's our longest tenured player at this point - Bellerin?
 

shaggydog2000

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Bellerin made his first team debut in 2013. It's him by a country mile.
Ozil also came over in 2013, and first played for the Gunners about a week and a half before Bellerin made his debut. He's not a regular starter, but Emiliano Martinez made his debut for the first team in 2012. He's out on loan, so whether he counts or not is debatable. But I'm pretty sure you have to count Ozil.
 

Zomp

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There has been a shift in how top teams play over the years. Strict #10's with no defensive ability because outdated very quickly...but its all cyclical. In a few years some manager will play one with 2 holding midfielders who do nothing but defend and be successful, and then they'll become en vogue again.
 

lars10

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Startling how Ozil just dropped off a cliff.
The thing is he doesn’t get played so who even knows. You can’t convince me that his passing ability is worth less than Xhaka playing defense and more or less doing nothing on offense. Özil still creates tons of chances whenever his coach plays him. I can’t help but think that Auba and Lacazette could use him passing to them. Or that the defense currently being played is that much better than he is capable of. Perhaps Emery is looking for mids that hustle and try to close players down immediately.. but the passing has been hurt by this defense first thought process.. and the defense doesn’t look much better for it.
 

shaggydog2000

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The thing is he doesn’t get played so who even knows. You can’t convince me that his passing ability is worth less than Xhaka playing defense and more or less doing nothing on offense. Özil still creates tons of chances whenever his coach plays him. I can’t help but think that Auba and Lacazette could use him passing to them. Or that the defense currently being played is that much better than he is capable of. Perhaps Emery is looking for mids that hustle and try to close players down immediately.. but the passing has been hurt by this defense first thought process.. and the defense doesn’t look much better for it.
But Xhaka and Ozil are not like for like substitutes. Ozil has not played because players like Iwobi, Ramsey, and now Ceballos were being played instead of him. And all of them were better suited to the pressing the coach wants out of the role. There is a reason Ozil has fallen out of favor with his national team and club team at the same time, and no other club has stepped up with an offer for him. His style of play is currently out of favor and doesn't work with the systems that are in use.
 

lars10

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But Xhaka and Ozil are not like for like substitutes. Ozil has not played because players like Iwobi, Ramsey, and now Ceballos were being played instead of him. And all of them were better suited to the pressing the coach wants out of the role. There is a reason Ozil has fallen out of favor with his national team and club team at the same time, and no other club has stepped up with an offer for him. His style of play is currently out of favor and doesn't work with the systems that are in use.
Fair enough. I think emery is a slave to formation and style of play.. he tries to shoe horn his players into a system.. and then changes or tweaks each game depending on opponent so that the same set of players never play together. Özil in my mind fits perfectly in a 3 4 1 2 or similar where he’s a slightly withdrawn forward almost.

I hated both Ramsey and iwobi’s style of play. Ramsey was constantly out of position and was always way too far forward and to my eye was always late or slow at tracking back. Iwobi could get the ball in mid but could barely dribble or pass... and his crosses were some of the worst I’ve ever seen.

I know I’m a rare Özil fan, but his passing is exquisite and I think he makes their attack far more dangerous. Ceballos is an upgrade over the other two you mentioned but I’d like to see him and Özil together at some point.
 

Tuff Ghost

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Some good news on the injury front: Holding, Tierney, and Bellerin are all back in full training. About in line with the expected timelines, but good to hear. I hope we see start seeing them out there in a few weeks.

Joe Willock also signed a new 4 year deal. He’s had a promising start, I am looking forward to watching his progress this year. As someone that’s been with the academy since he was 4, he must be pretty happy.
 

shaggydog2000

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Some good news on the injury front: Holding, Tierney, and Bellerin are all back in full training. About in line with the expected timelines, but good to hear. I hope we see start seeing them out there in a few weeks.

Joe Willock also signed a new 4 year deal. He’s had a promising start, I am looking forward to watching his progress this year. As someone that’s been with the academy since he was 4, he must be pretty happy.
Holding has been in full training for over a month and playing games at the U23 level, so he should be eased back into playing with the senior team soon. I'd guess he gets subbed into the Europa league game next and gets his first time there. Judging by how he was brought back, it's going to be at least a month before we see Bellerin or Tierney. But I'm definitely looking forward to seeing them all in the side.
 

Tuff Ghost

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To clarify, Holding is now back in full training with the first team squad, as noted here.

https://www.arsenal.com/news/team-news-holding-bellerin-tierney


But in disappointing news, Lacazette is now out until at least October:
https://arseblog.news/2019/09/lacazette-ruled-out-until-october-with-ankle-injury/

“After assessments to an ongoing ankle issue, we have advised that Alex will need to rest and strengthen his ankle to regain full fitness.

“Alex has been playing through this injury for several weeks. He is likely to be back in action in October.”
 

Tuff Ghost

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Having spent some time looking for the bright side on the Lacazette news, I am hoping it means we get to see some more Nelson the next few weeks. With Man U being the only notable Premier League match in the next month or so, he can get a little more experience in a series of matches that are a little lower profile. (I am not too concerned with Europa and hope they rest most of the main XI.)

Plus, as much as I love having Pepe, Lacazette, and Aubameyang playing together, Aubameyang is at his best in the middle, so the offense should be fine.

Anyway, personally I will enjoy seeing some good game time from a couple of young academy products (Nelson and Willock).
 

mikeford

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Really wishing we had held onto Eddie Nketiah for this sort of thing. He's been blazing for Leeds so far, which is good, but yeah.
 

Tuff Ghost

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Yesterday's match took me right back to last spring. Another disappointing road performance and dropped points.

Two huge mistakes by the CBs led directly to the Watford goals. I'd be good with trying a Holding/Chambers combo at this point, dependent on Holding's fitness.

I wish it was just two big mistakes and an unfair result, but really they are lucky to have gotten 1 point out of this. Watford had 31 shots to Arsenal's 7! One xG model that I saw had the xG at 3.07 to .085, and really Watford 3-1 would have been a more representative score line.

Trying to be positive- I am thankful to have Aubameyang on this side. Love the guy and it's scary to think where they could be without him. He also had the best post-game quote:
"I feel like we are literally giving goals to the opposition, it is up to us to progress in that respect "
New thread title?
Arsenal 2019/20 - Literally giving goals to the opposition
 
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Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Frankly, yesterday was embarrassing. The result doesn't matter that much but the entire way we set up tactically and our inability to either use the ball or maintain any control was just pathetic.

I'm pretty convinced at this point that Emery just isn't the manager to take this team forward. He has been working with the team for over a year, we still don't have anything remotely like a style of play, and he seems completely averse to trying to set up in ways to really go on the front foot. Even when his selections are adventurous, his tactical instructions seem conservative.

Whether we stand a better chance of getting top four by keeping him or canning him is another question. But even if he lasts the season and even if we make top four, I want him gone next summer.
 

shaggydog2000

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Auba is a pro. One of the best at his job in the league, and he always shows up and does it. I can't say that about anybody else involved with the team based on yesterdays game. I held back from criticizing Emery, because what do I know about coaching in the premier league, and look at the defense he was handed, but I'm not getting the impression that he has a technical advantage over any team we play, even the bottom of the barrel ones. This team is not amazing, but they have more talent than this, and they shouldn't be making the passing mistakes they are. If this is the system, the players don't seem to know it well enough.
 

lars10

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Auba is a pro. One of the best at his job in the league, and he always shows up and does it. I can't say that about anybody else involved with the team based on yesterdays game. I held back from criticizing Emery, because what do I know about coaching in the premier league, and look at the defense he was handed, but I'm not getting the impression that he has a technical advantage over any team we play, even the bottom of the barrel ones. This team is not amazing, but they have more talent than this, and they shouldn't be making the passing mistakes they are. If this is the system, the players don't seem to know it well enough.
What system has the fullbacks passing it around the back inviting pressure while having nobody to pass to in midfield? It seems to be what Emery has set up, which is insane. The goalie passing to the fullback in the box and then passing it to another fullback etc. seems like elementary school soccer where kids didn't quite have a strong enough leg to kick it up the field yet. To have this be the intended style of play in a league where the top teams put an immense amount of pressure on the ball while also seemingly not organizing your defense at all, while also playing David Luiz like that name still means anything... is just odd. Especially since the talent level (theoretically) that they brought in over the summer is pretty high. Emery seems, though, to have zero idea of how to get this team to play together or do the little things.. like hustle.
 

Tuff Ghost

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This quote from Cleverly of Watford says it all:

I feel like we were well organised from their goal kicks. It is something we worked on all week. We weren’t surprised they tried to play like that. It was just more of a surprise they didn’t adapt during the game and they were pretty stubborn with it.
When the other team can game plan that effectively, execute perfectly, and you don’t have any way to adapt and respond, well, it is concerning.
 

wonderland

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I guess Emery is trying to instill a system and doesn’t want to abandon it too quickly? Similar to Berhalter.

I can understand that to some extent. But what I don’t get is Xhaxa’s continued presence. I can’t identify one thing he does well. Not fast enough to play DM and not good enough with the ball to be a CM. My buddy compared him to Will Trapp and I thought that was good.

Also on Sunday, taking off the three players who can possess and carry the ball was a poor decision.
 

lars10

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I guess Emery is trying to instill a system and doesn’t want to abandon it too quickly? Similar to Berhalter.

I can understand that to some extent. But what I don’t get is Xhaxa’s continued presence. I can’t identify one thing he does well. Not fast enough to play DM and not good enough with the ball to be a CM. My buddy compared him to Will Trapp and I thought that was good.

Also on Sunday, taking off the three players who can possess and carry the ball was a poor decision.
We've replaced one extremely stubborn manager with another. I, for one, would like to know what the advantage is to having fullbacks pass back and forth to one another. Perhaps the intent is to gain more possession..but they haven't figured out a way to 1. not turn the ball over regularly 2. pass 3. pass effectively to the mids or forwards.

Emery also has the Wengerian habit of playing his favorites and playing them all the time even though they don't seem to fit in the team or system.. Xhaka seems to be an example of this.

His sub decisions are also awful or regularly very late when they also make no sense.
 

Lukiewerle

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What are the current arguments for keeping Emery around? It's been a year+ of pretty terrible football and, amazingly, seems to be getting worse.
 

The Gray Eagle

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No comments on the Carabao Cup game? It wasn't an important match but it was the most fun game of the year so far by a mile.

Exciting lineup filled with young players who did well, and Holding, Tierney and Bellerin all played. Holding even scored, along with 2 for Martinelli, one for Willock and the first Arsenal goal for Reiss Nelson. Chambers had 3 assists and looked great.

It was only against Nottingham Forest, but it looked like an optimist's dream of the near future.
 

shaggydog2000

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I wasn't able to watch, but I caught the highlights. There is a lot to be excited about there between young players and guys returning from injury. I'd be happy to see Tierney or Holding play this weekend against United, even if it wasn't in a starting role. The Nelson, Willock, Saka, group really seems to be capable of pushing for time against the starters, and Martinelli and Smith-Rowe are perfect for the early Europa league games and the Carabao cup. Between the young talent they have, and the under-performance of the established players, we could get some serious turnover in the next few months. I'm thinking more of Guendouzi and Willock in midfield instead of Xhaka. I don't know that Ceballos has his role locked down either. At least one of the central defenders is going to get displaced by Holding, and maybe even Chambers displaces the other. We know Tierney and Bellerin are going to be regular starters. This team could look pretty different by midseason.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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I wasn't able to watch, but I caught the highlights. There is a lot to be excited about there between young players and guys returning from injury. I'd be happy to see Tierney or Holding play this weekend against United, even if it wasn't in a starting role. The Nelson, Willock, Saka, group really seems to be capable of pushing for time against the starters, and Martinelli and Smith-Rowe are perfect for the early Europa league games and the Carabao cup. Between the young talent they have, and the under-performance of the established players, we could get some serious turnover in the next few months. I'm thinking more of Guendouzi and Willock in midfield instead of Xhaka. I don't know that Ceballos has his role locked down either. At least one of the central defenders is going to get displaced by Holding, and maybe even Chambers displaces the other. We know Tierney and Bellerin are going to be regular starters. This team could look pretty different by midseason.
It's pretty tough to get backs in the game when not fully fit and conditioned since you generally don't want to use substitutions on them. May be worth one sub to get one of them into the lineup though.
 

Tuff Ghost

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The past couple of days I just caught up on the last 3 games (Frankfurt, Aston Villa, and Nottingham Forest) thanks to Arsenal.com posting the full-match replays (love it).

Xhaka presumably seems to have the leadership qualities and intangibles ("calm eyes" maybe) that make for the prototypical captain choice, and he was captain previously at Borussia Monchengladbach. The team supposedly held a vote to confirm to help decide captain, too, so the players must respect him. With all of that said, it is disappointing because I was really hoping he was on his way to diminished play time. He is slow, shaky defensively, and error prone. To make matters worse, Emery has been relying on him to be the central and deepest midfielder, while the other midfielders venture out wide to support the right and left-backs (Adrian Clarke's video breakdown of the Aston Villa game did a nice job showing this). Having him as the last level of protection in front of shaky center-backs, is an ugly recipe, and I think he is actively contributing to how poor the defense looks, even though most of the blame is being directed at Luiz/Sokrates.

Torreira is a much better defender and moves so much better than Xhaka. I was hoping that since he seems to be getting back into match shape that we'd see a regular pairing of him and Guendouzi, with Ceballos or Ozil in front of them. And then I'd like to see Willock first of the bench over Xhaka, too.

Xhaka is experienced and a perfect guy to play Europa League and Cup matches, but I really wish we'd see the end of him as a first team Premier League regular.

In other more positive thoughts, Guendouzi had an incredible second half against Villa. He was energetic, winning the ball, showing good vision, and the play where he created the penalty was amazing. He almost had a goal on a nice shot outside the box, too. I am really impressed with what he is showing.

It was great to see Saka get some playing time and do so well. His goal against Frankfurt was a beauty. At this point, I actually think I would rank him a little above Reiss Nelson based on what they have shown so far this year. It will be fun watching the young guys continue to develop.

And Chambers... wow. When did he decide to become an offensive force? I am kind of kidding, but he's been wonderful offensively the last few while playing right and left-back. I would rather see him out there then Kolasinac or Maitland-Niles, until Tierney/Bellerin are both 100% to play full games. Speaking of which, Tierney looked pretty good and fit against Forest, so hopefully his regular first team adoption is starting now or soon. Once the regular fullbacks are playing, then I'd like to see Chambers get some time playing with Holding at center-back.

I think there are things to be excited about (young players, returns of Holding/Bellerin, introduction of Tierney), but the Xhaka thing kind of bummed me out. I'd prefer to not see the team continue to give up 20+ shots a game, too; that might help a little. Regardless, after six games, they have only lost to Liverpool and sit at fourth, so things really are not as bad as they sometimes seem.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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The past couple of days I just caught up on the last 3 games (Frankfurt, Aston Villa, and Nottingham Forest) thanks to Arsenal.com posting the full-match replays (love it).

Xhaka presumably seems to have the leadership qualities and intangibles ("calm eyes" maybe) that make for the prototypical captain choice, and he was captain previously at Borussia Monchengladbach. The team supposedly held a vote to confirm to help decide captain, too, so the players must respect him. With all of that said, it is disappointing because I was really hoping he was on his way to diminished play time. He is slow, shaky defensively, and error prone. To make matters worse, Emery has been relying on him to be the central and deepest midfielder, while the other midfielders venture out wide to support the right and left-backs (Adrian Clarke's video breakdown of the Aston Villa game did a nice job showing this). Having him as the last level of protection in front of shaky center-backs, is an ugly recipe, and I think he is actively contributing to how poor the defense looks, even though most of the blame is being directed at Luiz/Sokrates.

Torreira is a much better defender and moves so much better than Xhaka. I was hoping that since he seems to be getting back into match shape that we'd see a regular pairing of him and Guendouzi, with Ceballos or Ozil in front of them. And then I'd like to see Willock first of the bench over Xhaka, too.

Xhaka is experienced and a perfect guy to play Europa League and Cup matches, but I really wish we'd see the end of him as a first team Premier League regular.

In other more positive thoughts, Guendouzi had an incredible second half against Villa. He was energetic, winning the ball, showing good vision, and the play where he created the penalty was amazing. He almost had a goal on a nice shot outside the box, too. I am really impressed with what he is showing.

It was great to see Saka get some playing time and do so well. His goal against Frankfurt was a beauty. At this point, I actually think I would rank him a little above Reiss Nelson based on what they have shown so far this year. It will be fun watching the young guys continue to develop.

And Chambers... wow. When did he decide to become an offensive force? I am kind of kidding, but he's been wonderful offensively the last few while playing right and left-back. I would rather see him out there then Kolasinac or Maitland-Niles, until Tierney/Bellerin are both 100% to play full games. Speaking of which, Tierney looked pretty good and fit against Forest, so hopefully his regular first team adoption is starting now or soon. Once the regular fullbacks are playing, then I'd like to see Chambers get some time playing with Holding at center-back.

I think there are things to be excited about (young players, returns of Holding/Bellerin, introduction of Tierney), but the Xhaka thing kind of bummed me out. I'd prefer to not see the team continue to give up 20+ shots a game, too; that might help a little. Regardless, after six games, they have only lost to Liverpool and sit at fourth, so things really are not as bad as they sometimes seem.
I'm with you pretty much completely.

Xhaka announced that he'd be taking time off once his wife gives birth to their first child (due Mid-October). My hope is that the team just looks miles better without him and he just concedes his starting spot as a result.
 

mikeford

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I still say Bellerin should've been made captain.


I gotta say: the worst thing about being in the Europa League is not having matches on Saturdays.

This week against United might well have been on Monday anyway but just in general it sucks.
 

shaggydog2000

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That was a pretty sloppy game last night. And not just the conditions. Geundouzi and Saka had big games, and Auba had his moment, but other than that it was not fun. Really looking forward to getting those injured defenders out there.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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There's some good discussion from the match thread, that I thought would be better continued here.

Emery has a better side than Wenger had in the past five or so years and he's making each player worse.
He's also playing every one of his young players even though they haven't remotely played well enough to deserve it...as well as playing a super regressive defensive style with players that don't know how to pass through balls or cross..but in addition to that don't seem to be particularly interested in playing defense either..as well as playing Luiz and Xhaka who leave their feet or commit really dumb fouls almost every game... while also playing forwards who aren't getting service because he's playing defensive mids who don't seem to possess the ball particularly well through midfield.

That and not playing the same lineup twice so that none of your players know or learn how to play with one another.
I disagree with this. Outsdie of Auba, Guendouzi has been their best player this year and Emery has no young options (until Holding/Tierney/Bellerin are fit) to play in the back. Willock and Saka have looked good. I suppose Nelson has been up and down. Pepe needs to settle in and I agree they need lineup stability, but the young players are playing hard and acquitting themselves just fine to me.
I may have over stated. I agree on Guendouzi.. and didn't mean to include him.

But Emery is also regularly playing Maitland-Niles (22) who does have 2 assists, but to my eye isn't all that great a crosser of the ball. Nelson (19), Willock (20), Saka (18), Martinelli (18) with Guendouzi.. that's 5 players 20 or younger that he had on todays roster which seems like a lot to my eye. It's true he has the three you mentioned out.. so I dunno. He's also playing Xhaka (13 fouls committed) and Luiz a ton.. I guess because he doesn't have any other options. But it would seem like Ceballos should be starting every match..and possibly Torreira.

I'd just like him to pick a starting lineup/formation and play it regularly with minimal changes...and also maybe see some sort of consistent style of play.

With all that said..they're top four...but they've been playing down to their opponent for a while in the EPL.
Who is it that you want playing ahead of the youngsters that are on this rosters? The only player that even fits the description is Ozil, and clearly he's a different story altogether. As constructed this is just an extremely young team. The two older veterans you're looking to add in Torreira and Ceballos are both just 23, and Lacazette is out injured. I do agree with you that I'd like to see Ceballos starting every game. Torreira as well, but he'd be replacing an older player (Xhaka) not a younger one.

Maitland Niles playing time is the result of Bellerin, Tierney and Chambers being out injured. It's going to be a completely different look in a month with Bellerin, Tierney, Chambers and holding all back. Though if it's not Bellerin or Tierney as wing backs, I'd rather Maitland Niles than Kolasinac.

I do look forward to players returning from injury, and more consistent lineups. Would love to see the following:

--------------------------Aubamayeng--------------------------------
Lacazette---------------Ceballos---------------------------Pepe
-----------------Guendouzzi------------Torreira-------------------
Tierney-------Holding-------------????????----------Bellerin
---------------------------Leno---------------------------------------------

I thought that Guendouzzi played too much last year and wasn't ready for the Premier League turning the ball over far too much, but he looks absolutely fantastic this year. It's a shame he didn't hit the rebound into the air above a diving De Gea yesterday, as that would have made for one hell of a first Premier League goal.

One of my biggest questions of Emery right now is what the fuck is going on with Pepe. He looks worse than he did the first two or three weeks of the season. I'm a believer that it takes a full year especially for offensive players to adjust to the premier league, but right now he just looks lost. Afraid to take on defenders one on one and not using his speed. Would be nice to get him going and a goal not from a PK.

Is there anything more we can say about Aubamayeng right now? What a delight to have on this team, and how lost would they be without him. I absolutely love the pressure that he puts on defenders and keepers, and we've not got a few goals to show for it. Pretty incredible that over their last 17 games, Auba has 17 goals and all of ManU has 15.
 

shaggydog2000

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There's some good discussion from the match thread, that I thought would be better continued here.







Who is it that you want playing ahead of the youngsters that are on this rosters? The only player that even fits the description is Ozil, and clearly he's a different story altogether. As constructed this is just an extremely young team. The two older veterans you're looking to add in Torreira and Ceballos are both just 23, and Lacazette is out injured. I do agree with you that I'd like to see Ceballos starting every game. Torreira as well, but he'd be replacing an older player (Xhaka) not a younger one.

Maitland Niles playing time is the result of Bellerin, Tierney and Chambers being out injured. It's going to be a completely different look in a month with Bellerin, Tierney, Chambers and holding all back. Though if it's not Bellerin or Tierney as wing backs, I'd rather Maitland Niles than Kolasinac.

I do look forward to players returning from injury, and more consistent lineups. Would love to see the following:

--------------------------Aubamayeng--------------------------------
Lacazette---------------Ceballos---------------------------Pepe
-----------------Guendouzzi------------Torreira-------------------
Tierney-------Holding-------------????????----------Bellerin
---------------------------Leno---------------------------------------------

I thought that Guendouzzi played too much last year and wasn't ready for the Premier League turning the ball over far too much, but he looks absolutely fantastic this year. It's a shame he didn't hit the rebound into the air above a diving De Gea yesterday, as that would have made for one hell of a first Premier League goal.

One of my biggest questions of Emery right now is what the fuck is going on with Pepe. He looks worse than he did the first two or three weeks of the season. I'm a believer that it takes a full year especially for offensive players to adjust to the premier league, but right now he just looks lost. Afraid to take on defenders one on one and not using his speed. Would be nice to get him going and a goal not from a PK.

Is there anything more we can say about Aubamayeng right now? What a delight to have on this team, and how lost would they be without him. I absolutely love the pressure that he puts on defenders and keepers, and we've not got a few goals to show for it. Pretty incredible that over their last 17 games, Auba has 17 goals and all of ManU has 15.
Pepe does look a step behind. Hopefully it's just an adjustment period like you said. I think Emery prefers Xhaka to Torreira because of his size. The physicality of the league is a lot to handle for a younger player, and Emery and Guendouzi talked a lot last year about him needing to get stronger in order to improve. I think Emery wants one player in that midfield base who can handle the rough stuff. Torreira is more than willing, but does get pushed around at times in there. I'm not saying it's a great reason, just that there is a reason Xhaka is playing.
 

lars10

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There's some good discussion from the match thread, that I thought would be better continued here.







Who is it that you want playing ahead of the youngsters that are on this rosters? The only player that even fits the description is Ozil, and clearly he's a different story altogether. As constructed this is just an extremely young team. The two older veterans you're looking to add in Torreira and Ceballos are both just 23, and Lacazette is out injured. I do agree with you that I'd like to see Ceballos starting every game. Torreira as well, but he'd be replacing an older player (Xhaka) not a younger one.

Maitland Niles playing time is the result of Bellerin, Tierney and Chambers being out injured. It's going to be a completely different look in a month with Bellerin, Tierney, Chambers and holding all back. Though if it's not Bellerin or Tierney as wing backs, I'd rather Maitland Niles than Kolasinac.

I do look forward to players returning from injury, and more consistent lineups. Would love to see the following:

--------------------------Aubamayeng--------------------------------
Lacazette---------------Ceballos---------------------------Pepe
-----------------Guendouzzi------------Torreira-------------------
Tierney-------Holding-------------????????----------Bellerin
---------------------------Leno---------------------------------------------

I thought that Guendouzzi played too much last year and wasn't ready for the Premier League turning the ball over far too much, but he looks absolutely fantastic this year. It's a shame he didn't hit the rebound into the air above a diving De Gea yesterday, as that would have made for one hell of a first Premier League goal.

One of my biggest questions of Emery right now is what the fuck is going on with Pepe. He looks worse than he did the first two or three weeks of the season. I'm a believer that it takes a full year especially for offensive players to adjust to the premier league, but right now he just looks lost. Afraid to take on defenders one on one and not using his speed. Would be nice to get him going and a goal not from a PK.

Is there anything more we can say about Aubamayeng right now? What a delight to have on this team, and how lost would they be without him. I absolutely love the pressure that he puts on defenders and keepers, and we've not got a few goals to show for it. Pretty incredible that over their last 17 games, Auba has 17 goals and all of ManU has 15.
I realized that there wasn’t really anyone else after I posted. So the young players have to play. But whose fault is that? I’m not sure who is responsible for roster construction, but in all their spending they seemed to have misplaced some of their resources. (Why bring in Pepe when you already have two very good strikers with nobody in mid to pass to them?). A lot of this does have to do with injuries though..and not playing Özil.

I am concerned moreso with three other things:
1. The players they’re bringing in are playing worse under Emery than they did elsewhere. Pepe has looked awful for example. Ceballos and Torreira are getting used in such an odd way that I can’t help but feel as though it’s mesding with their confidence.
2. His use of xhaka and Luiz despite their performance. I assume/ hope things will change as players come back.
3. Tactics.. what the hell are they? Are we playing defense first or offense? Emery seems to value D over O, but the team looks lost on defense and have made almost every EPL game an adventure.

I also don’t understand not playing Özil. If he’s going to be sold wouldn’t it make sense to play him to increase his value? If the players playing were obviously better I’d understand..but they aren’t. And the team is suffering due to poor service.. Auba has basically saved them by scoring freak goals. I’m an Özil fan so i know I’m in the minority, but his passing in the game he played was creative and seems like something they could use. I sense that Emery prefers players that don’t question him and just hustle.. or something..because I don’t quite see what qualities really push one player over another week to week.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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I realized that there wasn’t really anyone else after I posted. So the young players have to play. But whose fault is that? I’m not sure who is responsible for roster construction, but in all their spending they seemed to have misplaced some of their resources. (Why bring in Pepe when you already have two very good strikers with nobody in mid to pass to them?). A lot of this does have to do with injuries though..and not playing Özil.
I'm not going to complain about roster construction outside of maybe a better CB, but Saliba should help solve that next season. I'm happy that for once they went with young but somewhat already proven players that will continue to develop and get better. The problem is that the 24, 25 and 26 year olds they've been acquiring haven't worked out. Look at Xhaka and Mustafi both 27 and should be in their primes and meanwhile it feels like they shouldn't even be in the starting XI. Ramsey was allowed to leave at age 28. These transfers and Wenger's inability to develop almost anyone over the last 7 years of his tenure are why they are missing a core of players 25-30. Walcott (30), Jack Wilshere (27), Ox (26), Coquelin (28), Elneny (27), Joel Campbell (27) are a few of the players that never developed into anything under Wenger's time. I'm not saying they all should have, but at least two out of that group should have been far more serviceable than they are. Meanwhile Szezesny (now 29) was allowed to leave in favor of Cech to Juventus for just $14M.

As for Pepe, Aubameyang is 30 and Lacazette is 28. Despite his recent performance the drop off in strikes after age 30 is pretty similar to wide receivers. I don't think putting a 22 year old that can play out on the wing behind those two was a horrible move. I'm just concerned that he's seemingly going backwards with his play and am wondering what the hell Emery is doing.

I am concerned moreso with three other things:
1. The players they’re bringing in are playing worse under Emery than they did elsewhere. Pepe has looked awful for example. Ceballos and Torreira are getting used in such an odd way that I can’t help but feel as though it’s mesding with their confidence.
2. His use of xhaka and Luiz despite their performance. I assume/ hope things will change as players come back.
3. Tactics.. what the hell are they? Are we playing defense first or offense? Emery seems to value D over O, but the team looks lost on defense and have made almost every EPL game an adventure.

I also don’t understand not playing Özil. If he’s going to be sold wouldn’t it make sense to play him to increase his value? If the players playing were obviously better I’d understand..but they aren’t. And the team is suffering due to poor service.. Auba has basically saved them by scoring freak goals. I’m an Özil fan so i know I’m in the minority, but his passing in the game he played was creative and seems like something they could use. I sense that Emery prefers players that don’t question him and just hustle.. or something..because I don’t quite see what qualities really push one player over another week to week.
Agree completely on the 3. I'm also an Ozil apologist. I think either Ceballos or Ozil should be starting every game, and I'm interested in seeing what it looks like with one of them central and either the other out wide or in back next to Guendouzzi.
 

BostonJack42

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I think the problem is that absolutely every Arsenal fan knows that their basic line up should include starting Ceballos and Torreira but instead we're getting Xhaka and something else.

Someone up-thread made a comment about Torreira not being as physical as Xhaka - I absolutely don't see that. Yeah, Torreira is tiny in comparison but I when I think of Xhaka's "physicality " it's usually in relation to the latest rash tackle that just lead to a yellow card.

Guendouzi, for me at least, is joy to watch. Fights to the last, yelling and screaming, mixing it up with the other team.

Pepe needs time to settle in but I wouldn't mind seeing him through the middle in some Europa games or blow-outs against weaker sides. He has also been striking his shots (besides the PK) about as weakly as you can.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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Should I also mention Serge Gnabry, who is 24, sold for 5m euros, starting for Bayern tonight in the Champions League and has scored 2 so far vs Spurs?
 

tmracht

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Gnabry ended up receiving a 10 from L'Equipe only 11th player in history. Nutty stuff!
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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18 year old Martinelli has 2 goals in the first 15 minutes vs Standard Ligue today. The first a header on a fantastic cross by Tierney. The second a magnificently placed shot through traffic. He now has 4 goals in his 2 (1.15) Arsenal matches.

Great to see some guys returning from injury as well with Tierney, Holding and Bellerin all starting. Bellerin the captain for the first time.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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Tierney's crosses have been spectacular this game. In addition to his defense, we may be getting a surprising lift on offense compared to Kolasinac bombing down the wing with the ball.
 

shaggydog2000

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Tierney's crosses have been spectacular this game. In addition to his defense, we may be getting a surprising lift on offense compared to Kolasinac bombing down the wing with the ball.
I only saw the goal highlights, but Tierney was everywhere in them. Looking forward to seeing him and Bellerin against Premiere league talent.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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I only saw the goal highlights, but Tierney was everywhere in them. Looking forward to seeing him and Bellerin against Premiere league talent.
This was my first time seeing him play. He looked really good. Had a few other perfect crosses that really should have been put in.

Not surprising if you saw the box score but Martinelli was awesome. In addition to the two goals his assist on the Ceballos goal was beautiful. Gave himself a couple opportunities for a few more goals.

I only started following the premier league (and Arsenal) in 2007, when I graduated college and had Fox Soccer Channel for the first time. This year is the first time I've ever been really really excited about the youth of the team. Even Bellerin is only 24. The core of this team is going to be incredible in 2-3 years.