Arsenal 23-24: Watch this Space

Jake Peavy's Demons

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Apparently our win nets us an extra €10.6MM (£9MM) or so, for a total of €91.28MM (~£77.9MM) in prize money so far.

Also, Conceição definitely has a history of making up shit against opposing managers in the past (Tuchel, Guardiola). Just glad to move on past these jabronis & see who awaits us in the Quarterfinals!

Some intense ties coming up!
 

lars10

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We made hard work of it but that was a huge result for the club. Our putrid European record is like a weight on everyone’s shoulders and there’s only one way to move past it.

Porto embraced all the dark arts but they were also supremely well prepared and set up really well to negate us. Conceicao is a bit of an ass but he gave us everything we could handle. I’m happy we won’t be playing them again anytime soon.
I'm just never impressed by teams that basically make no attempt at attacking other than to counter... but I'm admittedly bad at understanding tactics. Porto's style of play just seemed utterly cynical and I'm glad I get to 1. not watch them anymore 2. See Arsenal continue..as well as watch them week to week.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I'm just never impressed by teams that basically make no attempt at attacking other than to counter... but I'm admittedly bad at understanding tactics. Porto's style of play just seemed utterly cynical and I'm glad I get to 1. not watch them anymore 2. See Arsenal continue..as well as watch them week to week.
It definitely wasn't pretty to watch or fun to play against. But they basically negated our possession game without parking the bus and forced us into a game of ping-ponging long balls back-and-forth, the kind of match decided on moments rather than a match in which we just ground them down (like we often do to weaker sides). I think Conceicao got exactly the kind of match he wanted, it just didn't go his way in the end.

The good thing from an Arsenal perspective (beyond just advancing) is that none of our remaining possible opponents, bar maybe Atletico, are likely to set up to negate us to this degree. I don't know if we'll beat them but it'll be a more entertaining watch for sure.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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No matches until 3/31. Can we please keep everyone in bubble wrap until then?

As I look at the team, I think the two injuries that absolutely terrify me the most are Saliba and Rice. I still think Saliba's injury last season was the reason Arsenal didn't win the league. Rice has been an absolute beast, and even with Partey back (and hopefully at full fitness by the time the next run of matches begin), I don't think he can replace what Rice is doing for this team right now. Rice has lived up to every cent of his transfer fee. Amazing that he just turned 25.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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No matches until 3/31. Can we please keep everyone in bubble wrap until then?

As I look at the team, I think the two injuries that absolutely terrify me the most are Saliba and Rice. I still think Saliba's injury last season was the reason Arsenal didn't win the league. Rice has been an absolute beast, and even with Partey back (and hopefully at full fitness by the time the next run of matches begin), I don't think he can replace what Rice is doing for this team right now. Rice has lived up to every cent of his transfer fee. Amazing that he just turned 25.
Odegaard is just as important IMO. The lynchpin of our possession game and also the trigger for our pressing. No matter how much I wishcast about Fabio Vieira I cannot see him filling those boots. And I don't ESR is even in contention in Arteta's mind.

Its going to be interesting how we manage potentially playing do-or-die matches twice a week for six weeks straight after the break.
 

BostonJack42

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But they basically negated our possession game without parking the bus and forced us into a game of ping-ponging long balls back-and-forth, the kind of match decided on moments rather than a match in which we just ground them down (like we often do to weaker sides). I think Conceicao got exactly the kind of match he wanted, it just didn't go his way in the end.
If I was a bottom-tier PL owner - I would be seeing if Conceicao had any interest in jumping ship. That was impressive (but certainly not fun to watch) especially considering our form lately.
 

rguilmar

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The good thing from an Arsenal perspective (beyond just advancing) is that none of our remaining possible opponents, bar maybe Atletico, are likely to set up to negate us to this degree. I don't know if we'll beat them but it'll be a more entertaining watch for sure.
You won’t have to worry about that Atletico. They are much more expansive and attacking now, and much more vulnerable defensively. They’ve allowed 31 goals, which is on par with Real Betis, Real Sociedad, Valencia, and Las Palmas, none of whom would be confused with a defensively minded club. I know their reputation, but Atleti have been one of the more enjoyable teams in La Liga to watch since the World Cup break more than a calendar year ago.

Inter, who might very well knock Atletico out today, have allowed only 13 goals. Of course they’ve poured in an Arsenal-equaling 70 goals for a +57(!!!!) goal differential.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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You won’t have to worry about that Atletico. They are much more expansive and attacking now, and much more vulnerable defensively. They’ve allowed 31 goals, which is on par with Real Betis, Real Sociedad, Valencia, and Las Palmas, none of whom would be confused with a defensively minded club. I know their reputation, but Atleti have been one of the more enjoyable teams in La Liga to watch since the World Cup break more than a calendar year ago.

Inter, who might very well knock Atletico out today, have allowed only 13 goals. Of course they’ve poured in an Arsenal-equaling 70 goals for a +57(!!!!) goal differential.
I haven't seen much of Atletico in the last year, that is interesting to know.

After City and Real Madrid, Inter is probably the team I least want to face. I can see Arsenal struggling to adapt to Inzaghi's tactics and nearly winning this competition last year then following that up with such a dominating run through Serie A this year has to give them a ton of confidence.
 

lars10

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Jaylen Brown is an Arsenal fan.. and Saka sat behind the bench tonite and they exchanged jerseys at the end of the game..my two favorite teams becoming even more likable.
 

Jake Peavy's Demons

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Jaylen Brown is an Arsenal fan.. and Saka sat behind the bench tonite and they exchanged jerseys at the end of the game..my two favorite teams becoming even more likable.
This is amazing! I missed tonight's game but I'll have to go back & have a look!
 

lars10

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This is amazing! I missed tonight's game but I'll have to go back & have a look!
I was watching the game on Hulu.. and I saw someone holding up an Arsenal 'Saka' jersey towards Jaylen and I thought that was pretty cool.. so I rewound it.. and then I saw who it was and I was like.. HOLY SHIT THAT'S SAKA!

Surprised that he didn't look too much shorter than Jaylen..I'd assumed Saka was 5 foot something.

edit: pictured here..
View: https://www.gettyimages.com/search/2/image?events=776035508&family=editorial&page=3&sort=newest
 

Jake Peavy's Demons

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So, it's Bayern München. A chance to exorcise past demons from 2017. While I wish we would've gotten the 'other side' of the bracket (BAR/PSG/BVB/ATM), I am keen to see us up against the (current) German champs.

The 1st leg will have a slight benefit as Bayern supporters are banned from the visitors' section this round, after throwing fireworks onto the pitch against their tie with Lazio. I wish we could be home for the 2nd leg again like Porto, but it is what it is.

Declan Rice, Jakub Kiwior, Kai Havertz (2), William Saliba, & Mikel Arteta all have yellow cards. If I have it right, Havertz would need just 1 YC to be suspended for the 2nd tie against Bayern, & then the cards would reset after the Quarterfinals. The others 2, but would be sent off anyway & ineligible for the next tie.

If we can somehow advance, we'll have to face the winner of RM/MC. Yuck. But it would be a great measure to see where we are against the true elites. But let's focus on Bayern first.

Or, we can dream about a Arsenal-PSG Final at Wembley. Mbappe witnesses 1st-hand that losing in the final for a 2nd time is no fun, & going off of the old adage 'if you can't beat them, join them', decides to change his mind about RM & fulfill his legacy as successor to Titi. ;)
 

BostonJack42

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Walker and Stones out for Sunday.

On our side Offensive Gabby, Defensive Gabby and Saka are supposed to be fit to play.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Frustratingly, I was on a plane that didn't offer video-quality wifi during the match, so couldn't watch live. I'm more than content with the result although I think it leaves us in a pretty tricky position. My feeling is that none of the three sides are quite at the level of the best City or Liverpool teams of the past 5-6 years. All three will also be dealing with crazy levels of fixture congestion so I think all three will probably drop points during the run in and very fine margins will decide the title.

In terms of the match, Saka didn't seem fit at all and Martinelli was clearly only fit enough for the bench. My understanding from Arteta's comments is that neither player trained all break and both had their first full training session on Saturday. We're just not the same without their threat on the flanks and it makes me think that adding a third winger who is close to their level and can rotate in and out without too much drop off has to be a key priority for the summer. There is a lot of buzz about Nico Williams.

We're genuinely an elite side defensively, clearly one of (if not the) best teams in the world in terms of defensive organization, off the ball structure, and just being very difficult to break down. Having a defense that can carry you through matches in which your offense isn't clicking is massive. We don't get the result against Porto or this one without that safety net.

Big picture points for me:

-We're roughly at the level of City at this point, which is a huge accomplishment as they still should be viewed as the best team in the world.

-We shouldn't prioritize either the league or the CL but just go all out for both over the next few weeks. I hope we're genuinely still playing for at least one of the competitions (ie, in the CL semis or still right in the thick of the title race) by the end of the month.

-I think we're still a few players away from having the squad that Arteta really wants and, especially if we have another good summer that completes the squad and sees a few untrusted players replaced, we'll be very well positioned to compete for the league and CL for the next 4-5 years. If this year ends without either trophy it'll be a disappointment, but it will still be huge progress. After last year there were a lot of questions of whether our level would just drop back down to that of a team competing for top four. I'm genuinely not worried about that at this point. We're really good, our core is still coming into its prime, and Arteta has the drive and tactical nous to keep us competing for the big trophies for a cycle.
 
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teddykgb

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You really didn’t show up to play yesterday. Arsenal supporters seem happy and maybe that’s just a result of previous experience against City but I don’t see why Arsenal were so content to draw. The big winner was Liverpool who got some breathing room while Arsenal setup for and gained a point. It was well executed and City had vanishingly few chances but the approach really surprised me as I don’t think a point did either team much good.

May prove valuable if Liverpool slip up but it really killed the spectacle. City v Liverpool matches have been great to watch for years because both sides really go for it but you missed very little being on a plane.

edit: Just because these things gets misconstrued, Arsenal have every right to show up and play however the hell they want. If Arteta thinks this is their best path to a title then show up and park a bus and take your point and move on. I don’t really agree that it was best for Arsenal but there’s no issue on my side of taking a far more defensive approach aside from making it a lousy watch
 

JimBoSox9

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I don't think they parked the bus, I think City pressed their asses up against their own penalty box. Most of the Gunners back line had poor passing days, and Odegaard said after the game that they weren't playing as high up as planned or hoped. You could even argue that Arsenal's counter game produced more good scoring chances than City saw; Jesus in particular left two or three juicy looks on the table. It was just a good press by City and stalwart defending from Arsenal.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I think Arteta did what American football coaches do when they kick field goals with a fair amount of time left and losing. Nobody wants to feel like they have lost the league in March.

If Arsenal had lost, I think it would have had a significant impact on their chances to win the title. Maybe not as a mathematical matter, especially given their goal difference, but certainly emotionally. It is not great for fans and most think playing not to lose is cowardly, but sometimes when you know your team it is a reasonable choice.
 

teddykgb

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I don't think they parked the bus, I think City pressed their asses up against their own penalty box. Most of the Gunners back line had poor passing days, and Odegaard said after the game that they weren't playing as high up as planned or hoped. You could even argue that Arsenal's counter game produced more good scoring chances than City saw; Jesus in particular left two or three juicy looks on the table. It was just a good press by City and stalwart defending from Arsenal.
Arsenal very clearly planned to defend in a 5. They fell into that shape repeatedly whenever City got forward. I don’t really want to argue about whether a 5 back constitutes a parked bus but I think Arteta clearly planned to play without the ball and counter and set the team up to absorb pressure. Lots of teams do this to City and it’s very effective especially with Pep turning to his 6 defensive minded players tactics this year. It was a very defensive approach from Arsenal, I think if I were an Arsenal fan I’d feel like it was an opportunity missed as this City team leaks goals and is absolutely beatable. may have been dictated a bit by the health of Saka and Martinelli. But you caught City at a great time with tons of injury issues, I think we were there for the taking even at home
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Arsenal very clearly planned to defend in a 5. They fell into that shape repeatedly whenever City got forward. I don’t really want to argue about whether a 5 back constitutes a parked bus but I think Arteta clearly planned to play without the ball and counter and set the team up to absorb pressure. Lots of teams do this to City and it’s very effective especially with Pep turning to his 6 defensive minded players tactics this year. It was a very defensive approach from Arsenal, I think if I were an Arsenal fan I’d feel like it was an opportunity missed as this City team leaks goals and is absolutely beatable. may have been dictated a bit by the health of Saka and Martinelli. But you caught City at a great time with tons of injury issues, I think we were there for the taking even at home
I suspect that the approach might have been different had the game been scheduled for a month ago, when we had a fit Saka and Martinelli and were in the swing of the season.

These matches coming off international breaks are often weird, with players working back into sharpness and fitness again, and Arsenal was coming off an especially long break due to not playing the last weekend. So I think Arteta may not have been confident in his team being sharp enough, and capable of hurting City enough in attack, to play a more open match.

I agree that there was a bit of a missed opportunity but a loss for either team would have made the title race very challenging and so I wouldn't say that a draw did neither any good.

IMO, none of these three teams are really at any elite level where you could expect them to just win all their remaining matches. I think all will drop points and we'll see some twists and turns yet in the title race.
 

BostonJack42

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Mixed emotions and thoughts. Can't say taking 4 out of 6 points off City is a bad result. I do think a few players had a bad game - probably due to the City players level of talent.
  • Kiwior provided nothing going forward / Tomi looked off the pace and had some miss-kicks coming back from such a long layoff​
  • Jesus provided most of our 1st half-offense but in retrospect would have prefered to have started Leo T.​
  • I forgot that Jorginho was on the field for the majority of the game, I know he has come up big in some tight spots this year, so OK with him starting but he never seemed to make any impact​
  • Saka looked gassed but I don't know how we are going to rest him​
  • Hope Party can come back - would love to see 9+ games with him and Rice running the midfield​
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Echoing what @teddykgb said … as a Liverpool fan I was delighted with the result. But City is vulnerable and , Arsenal needed to attack not defend. It’s the old “When you come for the King you’d best not miss” thing.

Liverpool couldn’t get it done two weeks ago but at least they gave it a go.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Echoing what @teddykgb said … as a Liverpool fan I was delighted with the result. But City is vulnerable and , Arsenal needed to attack not defend. It’s the old “When you come for the King you’d best not miss” thing.

Liverpool couldn’t get it done two weeks ago but at least they gave it a go.
Liverpool were at home. When you played at the Etihad in the fall you had eight shots, .7 xg, and defended most of the match.

Last time you played City at the Etihad during a title chase, you had six shots (one from behind the halfway line).

Very easy to say that sides should go to that stadium and attack, but managers like Klopp and Arteta choose not to for a reason.
 
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shaggydog2000

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Liverpool were at home. When you played at the Etihad in the fall you had eight shots, .7 xg, and defended most of the match.

Last time you played City at the Etihad during a title chase, you had six shots (one from behind the halfway line).

Very easy to say that sides should go to that stadium and attack, but managers like Klopp and Arteta choose not to for a reason.
Arsenal absolutely smothered them in both home and away. I think things would have looked different for Arsenal offensively if Saka and Martinelli had not both been injured. A lot of their offense is set up to get the ball to them wide and far up the pitch. With Martinelli not starting and Saka a step or two short all game, they didn't have the explosiveness to advance the ball like they normally do. And Kiwior's passing wasn't up to the level of what Tomiyasu or Zinchenko could have provided to help open up the game. But every team has injuries, and even with injuries to some very important players they were still able to do what very few teams manage to do. The depth of the team has definitely improved from what it was last year.
 

teddykgb

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I think you guys are overrating this City team a lot. We are nowhere near the team you had rivaled in the past few seasons and this was a chance to basically bury us and announce your arrival as a title contender. City have won these fixtures outright in the past to make up deficits in the run in and those points swings are huge. You need to be putting pressure on Liverpool if you want the shakier results to matter and there aren’t enough match weeks left for Liverpool to stumble. On the one hand, yeah, even a Liverpool draw puts Arsenal in control but a random draw for you now opens up a multiple match week points gap with not many left to play. There may still be twists and turns but this feels too cute to me.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Liverpool were at home. When you played at the Etihad in the fall you had eight shots, .7 xg, and defended most of the match.

Last time you played City at the Etihad during a title chase, you had six shots (one from behind the halfway line).

Very easy to say that sides should go to that stadium and attack, but managers like Klopp and Arteta choose not to for a reason.
Well - one could also suggest that decision cost Liverpool the title as well.

I do get that Saka’s health may have been a big factor - he was basically a passenger the whole game.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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I completely understood avoiding playing out from the back to avoid City’s press - but I was baffled by the complete lack of a press of their own. Is Saka’s health to blame or just Arteta’s conservative nature?
 

teddykgb

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I don’t think Arteta has a conservative nature. They play great football and are one of the better attacking sides in the league. He just played this one conservatively. And Arsenal certainly pressed and would have been crazy not to with Ederson out but retreated to the shell whenever it was broken
 

lars10

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I don’t think Arteta has a conservative nature. They play great football and are one of the better attacking sides in the league. He just played this one conservatively. And Arsenal certainly pressed and would have been crazy not to with Ederson out but retreated to the shell whenever it was broken
But isn’t it super important to note that their two main wing players.. that they rely on for the majority of their attack ..were both at 60-70%.. if Saka and Martinelli are both 100% the tactics change significantly. Arsenal has a good bench but they don’t have anyone else as good as those two at what they do when fit. Arsenal basically had nobody to get the ball when it was kicked out of the back.. and it’s not like this Man City team is the sisters of the poor.. they’re still top three and beating everyone this season. Their struggles have mainly been when they’ve been without KDB…and he looked to be at pretty much full strength yesterday.
 
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Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I was very worried about this match and it was great to grab such a convincing win.

Other than Spurs away, this looked like the next hardest match on the schedule to me. United at Old Trafford is obviously potentially very tough, but they may be in full blown who-gives-a-fuck mode by then with ETH a dead man walking. Wolves away also looks hard coming right after our trip to Munich. But this was a big potential banana skin with Brighton having given us lots of trouble in past years and having only lost one league match all year at home and we were dominant.

There's just no room for error whatsoever with Liverpool two points ahead and City looking to be hitting top gear. We need to be in top form and we were at it today.

Let's hope United can somehow pull out of their tailspin and do us a favor tomorrow.
 

BostonJack42

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Great game except for the 20mins where we had to listen to Lee Dixon bitch about the penalty call.
 

blueline

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I think the last 2 matches, with really poor performances in the 2nd half, have shown it was probably just a bit too much for this squad to mount serious CL and PL campaigns simultaneously. Fatigue and a lack of depth in attack seemed obvious. Assuming City can close things out--which is still a pretty decent "if" at this point even though they're obvious favorites--I think the QFs and 2nd/3rd would still be a good season. It's a very young squad, they still obviously have a way to go in learning to manage these stretch runs, and I think it was assumed going into the season that Arteta was still building out the squad and adding depth.

I just hope they can regroup and get a result on Saturday and maintain some pressure on City, but not felling confident about going to Wolves unfortunately.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I think the last 2 matches, with really poor performances in the 2nd half, have shown it was probably just a bit too much for this squad to mount serious CL and PL campaigns simultaneously. Fatigue and a lack of depth in attack seemed obvious. Assuming City can close things out--which is still a pretty decent "if" at this point even though they're obvious favorites--I think the QFs and 2nd/3rd would still be a good season. It's a very young squad, they still obviously have a way to go in learning to manage these stretch runs, and I think it was assumed going into the season that Arteta was still building out the squad and adding depth.

I just hope they can regroup and get a result on Saturday and maintain some pressure on City, but not felling confident about going to Wolves unfortunately.
I think that's probably a fair assessment, although a disappointing one given where things stood a week ago.

The squad has looked really tired in the second halfs of both matches and completely out of ideas in possession. Its clear we need another high quality player in the front line, both for variety and to give players like Saka more rest over the course of the season, and also another option in the midfield.
 

wonderland

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I thought the loss of Timber really showed here eventually. They weren’t quite as solid in the back since the international break. That’s made everything a lot more difficult.
 

teddykgb

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Far too soon for this. This City team will lose points again. You probably can’t afford to lose anymore but we concede way too many not to at least draw once unexpectedly in the run in. This is why I thought your approach at the Etihad was so strange, now even a City draw leaves you behind. But this isn’t one of the great City sides and we have been playing way too many defenders at all times this season. You probably need to win out and have a few tough ones remaining so I get the pessimism to an extent but I still think this City squad is a pale imitation of the past few and that there’s more to come.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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Far too soon for this. This City team will lose points again. You probably can’t afford to lose anymore but we concede way too many not to at least draw once unexpectedly in the run in. This is why I thought your approach at the Etihad was so strange, now even a City draw leaves you behind. But this isn’t one of the great City sides and we have been playing way too many defenders at all times this season. You probably need to win out and have a few tough ones remaining so I get the pessimism to an extent but I still think this City squad is a pale imitation of the past few and that there’s more to come.
City draw vs. Arsenal win would have the teams tied on points and Arsenal has a 5 goal differential advantage at the moment, which is at least 6 with a city draw. I am with you that it seems there are far too many conceding the race to City with Arsenal and Liverpool both so close and 6 games still left. I am worried about overall fatigue for Arsenal at this point even with only the single competition left.
 

lars10

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I thought the loss of Timber really showed here eventually. They weren’t quite as solid in the back since the international break. That’s made everything a lot more difficult.
They haven't been scored on away in six games.. and yes they've lost a few recently, but their defense has been fairly solid. The thing they haven't been doing is scoring... Saka, Gabriel and Martinelli have been struggling. They've also had a stretch of 9 games in 28 days and are in a stretch of 5 in 14 which seems kind of insane. City is playing one less game and another of their games was today's FA cup game. It will be sort of a miracle if they can win the next two against Chelsea and Tottenham in the next 8 days.
 

BostonJack42

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Fuckballs that was fun to watch. 5-0 our biggest win over Chelsea in the league.

I get that they are not a cohesive team at this point with little to play for - but ripping them up like that felt great.
 

Silverdude2167

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Raya needs to go after this season. He cost them the CL with his foolish play to let Bayern back into the first leg and single-handedly let Spurs back into this game with just a JV-level play when the game had no juice.

Spend the money and find someone better.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Raya needs to go after this season. He cost them the CL with his foolish play to let Bayern back into the first leg and single-handedly let Spurs back into this game with just a JV-level play when the game had no juice.

Spend the money and find someone better.
He gave all of us some unnecessary heartburn yesterday as without that mistake I think we cruise to a win. The game was dead. But to his credit he was really good other than the mistake, especially on long passes and claiming crosses in his area. Overall he's been really good for us this year, with the exception of a few important mistakes in very high pressure moments. For me its something to watch but I have no problem with him as the #1 going into next year.

Big credit to this team in general for fighting back from that very tough stretch against Villa and Bayern to win three tough matches on the bounce. I think we'll fall just short of the title but this season will instill a lot of belief and I really like our chances of getting over the line next year or the following.

Kai Havertz has been one of the best players in the PL in 2024. Worth every penny of that 65m and more.
 

Jake Peavy's Demons

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Gaffer has confirmed that Timber will be available for Bournemouth! Doesn't necessarily mean he'll see the pitch, but that is awesome news!

He'll be crucial for the rotation next season.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I expect Bournemouth to be a difficult game, maybe even more so than United. They are something like 5th in the table since the beginning of November. Iraola is a really good manager, they press very effectively both high and in a mid-block, and Solanke can hurt anybody in transition.

Just got to get the three points, put the pressure on City to hold serve, and pray for miracle.
 

BostonJack42

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Jul 14, 2005
329
Games like this make me miss some sort of post-season tournament for PL. I felt like we really hit our stride yesterday and it was exciting to watch.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 2, 2006
22,716
Philadelphia
That was a disappointing (if unsurprising) end to a wonderful season.

You can't lose sight of just how good Arsenal was this year. Various models will produce slightly different overall estimates, but XG models concur that by XG differential Arsenal just had the second best non-Pep season in the PL since 2014-15 when the data is first available. Only Liverpool 21-22 was better, although Liverpool 18-19 is very close. Arsenal are also the first side since Pep entered the PL to actually finish with a better XG differential than Manchester City, which is an astounding testament to Pep's dominance.

Beating City next year may require finding some small margins and ways to go up a level, as well as hoping for luck to smile on us a bit more. But if we can maintain these kinds of performance levels over the next 3-4 years and Pep fucks off after next season, as seems fairly likely, then we will be a very hard side for the rest of the league to catch up to.

Early thoughts on likely transfer business:

All the noises coming out of the club are that we will be aggressive in the market again.

We're going to sign a forward, just not sure of the profile. The more I see him the more I really really like Benjamin Šeško, but its not clear that an out-and-out striker is what we're looking for.

If Partey leaves, as seems likely, we will replace him and this could be our biggest transfer of the summer. Zubimendi seems dead, Bruno Guimarães and, to a lesser extent, João Neves appear to be on the list.

I think we will still look to find a LB/LCB and wouldn't be surprised if we go back for Jorrel Hato, despite him signing a new deal with Ajax. There is also some buzz about Willian Pacho from Eintracht Frankfurt.

We will surely make the Raya deal permanent and then sign a backup GK, assuming Ramsdale goes. One rumor that makes sense to me for the backup GK spot is Las Palmas' Álvaro Vallés - advanced metrics love him, good with his feet, and a Spanish GK probably on the radar of Arteta and GK coach Iñaki Caña.
 

shaggydog2000

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 5, 2007
11,970
That was a disappointing (if unsurprising) end to a wonderful season.

You can't lose sight of just how good Arsenal was this year. Various models will produce slightly different overall estimates, but XG models concur that by XG differential Arsenal just had the second best non-Pep season in the PL since 2014-15 when the data is first available. Only Liverpool 21-22 was better, although Liverpool 18-19 is very close. Arsenal are also the first side since Pep entered the PL to actually finish with a better XG differential than Manchester City, which is an astounding testament to Pep's dominance.

Beating City next year may require finding some small margins and ways to go up a level, as well as hoping for luck to smile on us a bit more. But if we can maintain these kinds of performance levels over the next 3-4 years and Pep fucks off after next season, as seems fairly likely, then we will be a very hard side for the rest of the league to catch up to.

Early thoughts on likely transfer business:

All the noises coming out of the club are that we will be aggressive in the market again.

We're going to sign a forward, just not sure of the profile. The more I see him the more I really really like Benjamin Šeško, but its not clear that an out-and-out striker is what we're looking for.

If Partey leaves, as seems likely, we will replace him and this could be our biggest transfer of the summer. Zubimendi seems dead, Bruno Guimarães and, to a lesser extent, João Neves appear to be on the list.

I think we will still look to find a LB/LCB and wouldn't be surprised if we go back for Jorrel Hato, despite him signing a new deal with Ajax. There is also some buzz about Willian Pacho from Eintracht Frankfurt.

We will surely make the Raya deal permanent and then sign a backup GK, assuming Ramsdale goes. One rumor that makes sense to me for the backup GK spot is Las Palmas' Álvaro Vallés - advanced metrics love him, good with his feet, and a Spanish GK probably on the radar of Arteta and GK coach Iñaki Caña.
I'm getting the same feeling. Basically one guy in each area, goaltending (Backup), defender, midfielder, and forward. The midfield being the biggest name/need. Guys you actually like may get moved in this window, like Ramsdale (obviously) and Smith-Rowe. Maybe Zinchenko if they decide to move on from him.
 

Jake Peavy's Demons

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 13, 2013
553
Man, the loss at Craven Cottage was arguably the difference (although this year's Fulham were much improved). Proud of the squad, but it sucks to be so agonisingly close: just 2 points away. Now we buckle ourselves in for silly season.

I've not heard or seen the rumour of Álvaro Vallés, but he certainly fits the model at GK of which we are looking. That'll be an interesting transfer to follow: what happens with backup GK.

Really liking what I see with Šeško too; between he/Gyökeres/Isak, I hope we can land one of those guys, and really help transform our side and give us multiple options and looks in attack.

I do have my concerns with Gyökeres; he's a year older than Isak, and feasted in the Primeira Liga. Used to be Primeira Liga was roughly the same strength as the Championship, and if that is the case, how would his stats look in the Prem? We know Isak can do it in the league, but not too sure Newcastle would really sell him to us. Talking about Newcastle, I'd love Bruno Guimarães for us too if he'd tone down the shithouse-ness. But again, would they sell to us?

Midfield-transfer-talk will be fascinating; cautiously am excited about who our new #6 could be, if Rice is to stay at #8. João Neves would be fascinating, and a perfect candidate for rotation.

As frustrating as G.Jesus is, I would keep him, but if he'd stay as a #3 option striker (behind Havertz/Šeško or whomever), but tell him he's 2nd option on the wings, I could see us having a strong depth in attack.

Zirkzee was another name, but haven't heard anything on him for awhile.

Lastly, the talk about transfers for L(C)B are interesting. Between Zinchenko, Gabriel, Saliba, White, Tomiyasu, Kiwior, & Timber, all of those, minus Zinchenko, can do a job at CB. I feel we have enough adequate rotation for the CBs, but I guess if Arteta and co. want a new L(C)B, who am I to question. If Zinchenko is gone, that is 6 people for 4 spots, so maybe a new signing there is in order.

Curious on how much money we could really receive for Nketiah, ESR, and for Partey (just 12 mo. remaining). Good news is that it seems with UCL, we are not (overly) dependent on selling 1 or more of those guys to persue our big targets. Lastly, getting transfers into the side early for preseason, training, etc. is very important, so I hope they move quickly and efficiently. Rice is a world-class-footballer, but how much more of an impact was he able to make because his transfer got sorted quickly (well...a month into the window)?