Another negative performance shows that Arsenal still lack desire

Same old result as Arsenal are too negative again. by Konstantin Mitov

Hello lovely Arsenal people. I am disappointed again. Away to a big 6 team, beaten again and what really hurts is the performance. Despite all the changes happening at the club and the positive vibes some very important problems were highlighted again.

First of all, it was evident that we struggle to create chances. For all the forward players and their talents that we’ve got at the moment, we just don’t create enough chances. You could see why we waited so long for Partey, because we wanted Aouar.

There are no ideas from midfield. You see us going to Man City and playing out from the back which kind of worked, and once the ball has to hit the midfield there’s nobody there. Our players are too static. They always want the ball at their feet.

Xhaka and Ceballos don’t drive forward with the ball. The passes are always sideways, but honestly there aren’t many forward runs to pick either. Our front three were shocking.

Are they that bad players or is it something else? Since Auba signed da thing, he’s been pretty poor I must say. I’m looking for a player to encourage our squad to be more brave going forward, yet I see him with his head down.

This was throughout most of the squad. We didn’t want it enough and we didn’t believe we can go there and hurt them, although their squad was weak. Their midfield had Rodri and Foden, not a pair that strikes the same fear as the likes of De Bruyne and Fernandinho, yet we were still dominated.

We have to look at Arteta here. Did we pay Pep too much respect? I look at Leicester and Leeds and they took the game to City and made them looked vulnerable.

We had good ten minutes at the end of the first half and then at the second half we were negative again. Why didn’t we use the momentum? They say managers earn their money at half time, but we came out not believing we can win.

The subs were Wenger style at minute 70. Why did we play Willian as our CF? Don’t we have Auba, Laca or even Eddie? If I am honest, apart from Fulham, Willian has been dreadful and we offered him 3 years and a high wage.

Did we learn nothing from Ozil? Honestly as much as I think we should get rid of him, he must be having a laugh with the struggle we have to create chances. Our best player on the pitch was Bukayo Saka. He was the only one with his head looking forward and trying to take players on and create something. Maybe we should give more chance to players who actually care about the shirt.

This wasn’t the first game this season where we’ve been poor though. We were lucky to beat West Ham, who dominated us entirely in the second half. Our first half against Sheffield was dreadful and it took a moment of magic from Pepe to win it.

Against Liverpool we were again too negative. I get that with Wenger we’ve been over optimistic and eventually got spanked, but being more solid in defense has come at the cost of creating chances.

Why didn’t we start Partey? He played for Ghana and Atletico Madrid before he joined? We obviously need more in midfield, yet we stick to Xhaka. Honestly I do not see his purpose on the pitch.

I am sorry, but Arteta has to take the criticism, because he’s hired to fix obvious problems and I don’t see us closer to the solution. We have Leicester and United next and I am not really excited.

The Foxes went and scored 5 at the Etihad, they will not fear us. And do you remember the last time we went to old Trafford and won? It’s been 15 years since Adebayor rolled the ball in their net late in the game.

I don’t see how this will change if we are this toothless and negative again. This is what hurts the most. Our wage bill is incredibly high. It demands a Top 4 spot.

I think the FA cup and some single game performances have again papered over a massive crack. Our away record to the top 6 must improve, and we’ll very soon get another chance to do that and I expect much better, although with Arsenal you should never expect anything.

I had high hopes for this game and I’m disappointed again. I just hope the players take some responsibility for once and come out with hunger and desire, otherwise another painful season awaits.

Tags konstantin Man City


  1. We did create chances though 2 one on ones which was not converted .
    Going away to the second best team in the country and there being nothing between the two teams is very good progress compared to 12 months ago,remember Arteta is still picking up the pieces left behind form our worst manager in our history .
    For me it was a tight game they took their chance we didn’t .

    1. Credit to Arteta for winning us 2 trophies. Don’t mean to be a buzzkill, but I’m reserving my judgement on him till the end of the season. So far, he’s made us more solid defensively, but I’ve yet to see how he really wants to play.

      We do seem to press more, but it often breaks down because not everybody’s doing it together. All it takes is for one player to switch off and the press fails. We can’t press 3 or 4 of them with 2 of us. The lack of coordination in our pressing gives the opponent openings to play out of it and we would have pressed for nothing. We have to press better as a team to make it work.

      Our pressing also seems to be more about making it difficult for the opponent to advance than about getting the ball back higher up the pitch to launch quick transitions. We press and run back into position, but we don’t counter-press. We do it more as a form of defence than a way to catch the opponent out and generate chances.

      Another thing we’ve been lacking is overlapping runs down the flanks. Our wingers and fullbacks got more than decent pace, but they just don’t combine well. We hardly see them play off each other to overlap and overload the opposing fullbacks. All too often, they are isolated down the flanks having to make something happen alone. That’s a difficult way to attack on the flanks.

      Something that really puzzles me is our playing out from the back. While it may be a way to beat the opponent’s pressing, we may also be playing right into their press. Taking a long goal kick may give the ball away to the opponent, but at least when the opponent gets the ball, we are still in position without imminent danger. If we press them well, we may even get the ball back and have a chance to counterattack. When we play out from the back and give the ball away, we are caught out of position in our final third and exposing ourselves to quick transitions. We shouldn’t be taking such risks, especially when we are still not good at it after trying it for some time.

      Despite getting some important results, I have not seen enough signs of a convincing system that would make us a top team. I hope it’s because we are still work-in-progress and Arteta does have a great system to implement. Let’s give him a full season or two to show us what‘s his grand plan. Till then he has my love and support even if things could be better

    2. If we go with this excuse of going to a second best team or best team we will keep losing while the likes of Leicester, Leeds and of all teams Aston Villa give it their all and get good results.

    3. Our worst manager In our history who gave us our first european final in 14 years in just his first season and lose out of top4 with just 1 point 🤔🤔🤔

      1. The board have come out and said that we went through the worst time in the clubs history with Emery in charge .Says it all in my book

        1. So now you agree with the board because it suit your agenda, but when it comes to how Ozil is being treated the board is wrong 😁😁😁

          1. You got the wrong guy mate regarding Ozil ,I see you still hold the grudge about Iwobi ,as you jump on all my posts arguing what I say .

  2. Scared football. Arteta seems scared to rely on our talent. The tactics were scared tactics. Arteta’s tactics is to control every movement of every player. Better to trust the players….let them play a bit…naturally. We played tactics for half an hour whilst they played football.
    What a weird forward set up we played. Where did that come from? Totally ineffective.

  3. I can understand that this piece was written by a true arsenal fan who has only expressed the pain in his/her heart concerning the lack of a win. Nevertheless, I think you need a reality check at this point, this game was played against a man City! I must repeat, a Man City! When did you suddenly expect to beat a Mancity at the Etihad with the same arsenal team that has lost to them woefully in the last 3 years. So for you to suddenly feel we should have won or drawn, simple means we have really made some tremendous progress. There were a lot of positives from that game, if you didn’t notice. And well said by @Dan Kit, we have two one-on-ones that should have been buried and then the game changes. I think Arsenal showed a difference as to the way they may have played in the past. On many occasions, we by-passed the Mancity press! My only worry, which I agreed with you, is the use of Xhaka and Luiz… I think going forward, Arteta will now play Partey and Cebalos or Elneny and then our midfield will be strong and confident…. In defence, we have our injured guys returning so we will see less of Luiz…. There is a future… I don’t see any other team giving Arsenal a challenge apart from Liverpool and Mancity…. I think we stand a chance this season; our defence is stronger… Our midfield will be stronger and the attack will pickup against lesser teams…the future is bright, don’t be too pained from the Mancity game.

  4. I thought it was not such a terrible performance and we could have shared the points had Ederson not made two great saves from Saka. The front three didn’t work out at all and I doubt if Arteta will use them that way again, but they can contribute in more orthodox positions, so I won’t write them off yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ainsley back in the side and on the right of our defence this time, with Partey getting a starting role along side Xhaka & Ceballos.
    No info on what Holding’s warm up injury was and Luiz doesn’t look so great in a back four as he does in a three, but needs must and he did OK with Gabriel benefitting from a fellow Portuguese speaker along side him.
    That’s two of the most difficult games out of the way now and our captain still looking out of sorts. I wonder how many games without him scoring or even getting shots on target will it take for the inevitable ‘resting’.
    Nah, won’t happen will it!!

  5. MA experimenting still and improving along, this is a game against city; and don’t give me that crap ‘Leicester beat them’ , that’s one off day for the citizens, they are still the boss regardless of KD presence, same Leicester you are praising got beaten by westharm that we ‘struggle ‘ to beat, football is not rocket science, it depends on who want it the most on matchday.

    A lot of our players underperformed yesterday and I’ll single out AUBA for ceiticism, 2-3 time he was static, staying put when he ought to make some movements and give Saka and cebalos options, he seems to be playing behind Saka, if you guys notice, you would have asked were was he when Saka was drinking, his laziness is why we played willian through the middle

    The goal was on Bellerin, he game Forden too much space, though that was a miscalculation on his part, I think he was expecting Forden to use his strong leg to make a cross, and the shot was too close to the keeper I never expected him to save the first ball, unfortunately his save couldn’t keep the ball out.

    I was expecting Partey to replace a defender though so we could have 3 at the middle and attack with purpose but MA knows why he only sub Xhaka

    It’s wasn’t a bad result but the performance is below my expectations, I reckon we are playing defensive tactic presently bcos the arsenal we know are too attack minded, losing focus, forgetting the basics for beautiful tikitaka, so fans have to grow to understand,

  6. Well, since Admin decided to pass my messages through quarantine, I’ll be brief.

    My messages have always been clear and straightforward…
    With Bielsa, Rodgers or even Mourinho (unfortunately) in charge, we would have been fighting for the title by now.

    While others are just living in denial, heeding the truth, To me, our performances are no surprise anymore. Its good to see that people like Eddie are starting to think logically afterall!!

    We have not played any single match convincingly this season. We are just living through the motions, offering free points to the so-called “big six”.

    No one seems to even want to make a simple tackle in the team just like previously. So what has changed????

  7. Two losses to teams 1 +2 is expected and still just a home win away from clear second place next round. But the truth is that Covid 19 and empty stadiums has changed football. Barca and Real Madrid losing to minows Juve losing. Covid has advantaged Arsenal greatly. Arsenals generally fragile player mentality suffers under crowd pressure but since empty stadiums Arsenals form and results have improved dramatically. Every game is just like a training session with no atmosphere which suits Arsenal. Any one can beat any one. Any one can win the league playing in lifeless stadiums. Arsenal are favourite. Its an asterix season no doubt. But with covid breaking out all over the place the virus will be the winner

  8. I was convinced of Mikel after he started beating Liverpool and Man City something which we were struggling to do before. Unfortunately it seems we have gone back to our ways again.

    I am still in an opinion that we are challenging for the title. Beating Liverpool and Man City does not you win the league. As long as we take maximum points from smaller teams and we don’t lose to the big ones at home we have as good a chance as any.

    Mikel deserve criticism I think more than any coach because he is still learning his trade. How else is he going to improve? We should not treat him as a Pep or Klop already. We should not let our love of him as a man cloud our judgement of him as the manager.

    My only grief with him at the moment is that Pierre is not a winger! Since starting to play in that position his goal tally has gone down. And the people who have been given his effective position have not proven that it is a wise decision.

  9. Leeds play underdogs. Team were complacent playing them and they paid for it.
    They play like they have nothing to loose and got some very good results. Is it sustainable across the full season? Absolutely not.

    Let’s stop comparing us with Leeds. Bigger teams are playing Arsenal more carefully now. Very evident from how City sat back in second half.

    Leicester do have belief and tenacity which is something we can learn. But they too finished 5th and bottled at the end.

    Yes they did beat City at Etihad. Will both Leeds amd Leicester have better positions at the end of the season than Liverpool or City? A very outside chance.

    Getting disheartened by looking at these teams and cursing Arsenal is not the way forward. We can’t play such risky football all season. It might be rewarding against some teama while it can be a disaster against others.

    A good and stable plan is the way forward. Arteta is still learning with the team. He sorted out defense very well. I don’t go into big games these days thi king we’ll get a hammering. This is a huge step imo.

    Can we show more drive? Absolutely.
    Do we need to be more adventurous going forward? Absolutely
    Can all this happen overnight just 5 games into the season? You tell me.

    Imo Partey is going to solve lot of issues in the mid. Attack is was needs to he sorted. Pepe isn’t good enough for big games. Arteta needs time to sort things out.

    Top 4 is the priority this season. We are well on course. Cheer up my fellow gooners! It is a long season ahead.

  10. An interesting stat that stands out to me is the lack of attempts we make. So far this season we haven’t made more attempts then our opponent in any of our matches this season. One, this suggests that there still remains a problem defensively and two, are forward players are either afraid to shoot or just not getting in positions where they can shoot. Are we still being haunted by Wenger’s ghost of walking the ball in the goal?

  11. You are right ALL the blame lies with arteta. This game plan does not work with these players. We CANNOT play from the back with a keeper like LENO.
    He is piss poor. Why was Emi let go???!

  12. We certainly do not lack desire as the headline suggests. We are defending better although Leno was to blame for the goal by palming straight to City and did the same thing 10 minutes later. His playing out from the back makes me wince! We are organised and can defend, what we lack is creativity and are basically far too slow going forward. Saka was a star yesterday but Willian, playing in the false 9 position, was way off the pace. Why did Luiz take the first free kick 20 odd yards from goal instead of Aubamayang? Our performance yesterday was a big improvement on the last league game against them but we are lacking creation and pace, not desire.

    1. Declan Thank you sir for that wise post, no matter how good your team is, you need your keeper to be focused against the big teams, I have always said Leno is good at stopping shots but he makes silly mistakes that even a championship keeper shouldn’t make, the same thing he did against Liverpool was what he did yesterday, how can you just palm straight at the opponent, in the last 10minutes he did the same thing but thank goodness Gabriel was there to clear it out. I can’t remember any clear cut chance that city had after that goal, Leno honestly needs some talking to. I just hope arteta will be bold enough to use our second keeper In the Europa league at least that will keep Leno on his toes.

  13. It’s funny some say they expected us to win at Etihad – Which of our performances suggested that ?

    (Is it struggling at home to Sheffield or almost beaten by West Ham or beating Fulham who everybody also trashes, Fulham that already looks like a sure relegation candidate)

    Don’t mistake “we’ve improved under Arteta” WITH “we’re now up & there with the better team” WE AREN’T

    Nonetheless, Arteta’s over-tinkering cost us yday – starting Eddie ahead of Laca in Sheffield game is enough punishment for his too many fluffs at Liverpool

    He should have started this Man City game
    This was Unai’s undoing too – not being able to decipher things u can change & things u shouldn’t

    Laca was doing great as the striker before Liverpool – something’s clicking on that front already, don’t over-tinker there

    He should start considering benching Auba & Willian – anyone who’s not hungry enough should see the bench at least for 1 match

    Been telling people, Xhaka is the only person that we don’t have another trustworthy substitute for & this was what Partey came for

    His first appearance proves that, we eventually see Xhaka getting substituted – something that rarely happens

    Both of them will play together but our main midfielder creativity is Ceballos – so our best midfield is (Xhaka-Partey-Ceballos)

    Willian’s false 9 was a disaster yday, being in front of Ceballos limited Ceballos from stamping himself as the creativity pivot

    Yet even when Ceballos gave Willian a through pass to run into space (since he was the Striker sort-of) he didn’t chase the ball – which would’ve have been a 1-on-1

    So his false-9 disturbed our midfield potential yet also hindered a striking presence, a waste of tactic

    Auba was irritating yesterday, there were moments he was like this under Unai too

    Unai benched him, the next match, when he was substituted – he scored 2 goals (or was it even 3)
    He probably needs that wake-up call now

  14. I think the players are having their natural skills forced out of them. Arteta is clearly wants to be in control of everything on the pitch…in contrast to Wenger who let the team play. Arteta is all tactics and that is good and bad. If he controls the football too much we will decline and we will have a bunch of robots. That’s because Arteta’s football is very fearful and not very assertive. Had we have gone fist to fist with that weakened Man City team we would have beaten them. It was a fearful and not a respectful display. We should never approach a game with fear. Leeds have done well because they are brave. Arteta needs to let go a little and play natural football. We do need a little of Wengers beautiful football style. mixed in with Arteta’s strong tactics.

    1. Sean Williams I noticed you and some other minority fans here keep mentioning Wenger name, the man is gone.And you saying Wenger allowed the team to express themselves on the pitch is just not funny, need I remind you how the likes of Liverpool Chelsea man city united always humiliate us because Wenger was just too stubborn to change tactics, or have you forgotten the 8:2, 6:1 against Chelsea, 10:2 aggregate score and so on, the 4:4 against Newcastle, we all know we could have played better yesterday but please stop trying to make it look like Wenger would have won yesterday.

      1. Lenohappy
        I am well aware Wenger is gone. your interpretation of the point I have raised is lacking and deceiving. Read and try to get the context. I am NOT comparing Wenger and Arteta, they both have/had their qualities and downfalls. Perhaps your ability to ‘notice’ what is actually written is a bit challenged. My point is it would be nice to play some expressive football in the midst of very controlled tactical football. Sad that you respond to the the word ‘Wenger’ so predictably. Thankfully many here are open minded and that is what makes this forum so meaningful. It’s sad that you are so predictable. Whether you are interested or not, I was glad to see the back of Wenger, but at his peak his football was supreme.

        1. Sean Williams did you miss the part where I said ‘we all know we could have played better yesterday ‘, like you I don’t like this negative tactics that arteta is using but saying Arsene will allow them to express themselves when we all know what the outcome will be even before we kick a ball during Wenger time.

          1. Lenohappy
            Make more space in yourself. I use the name Wenger as a metaphor, but you seem to be emotionally affected by the word ‘Wenger’. Detach yourself from carrying the Wenger word on your back like a cross. Maybe have some desensitization therapy for when you hear the word ‘Wenger’ . The word Wenger can be used in many ways and not just one that fires your emotional response. Open up.

  15. I’m seeing a lot of level headed fans here. This is City for crying out loud. Did we expect to go slap them and dominate them in their stadium? Arsenal created 11 chances, city created 13. Tell me how many people go to city to
    create that much. We were solid defensively as well. People blaming Arteta for using Willi as a false 9. His role was to play from deep in midfield and press, which unfortunately didn’t work because our midfield was disjointed from the attackers. Why so? Lack of mobility. Could Partey have fixed this? Yes, but yesterday was too soon for a player who has just started learning our system. Most times the defenders had to pass the ball to the wings when playing out of the back, but with a more mobile midfield that can run into spaces and out of the press, we could have done better. But playing Partey against the 2nd best team in the league with just a day of full training is not a necessary risk.
    We missed chances which made it more difficult for us as well. See the bigger picture guys: Arteta has made us far more competitive than his previous two predecessors. We can easily beat other teams other than liver and city. Give him time, give Partey time and trust this genius we have as a coach, who’s still learning his team.. I don’t doubt our top 4 credentials this year. Up the arsenal

  16. Dont know how true it is didn’t check but read, since 2015 wins against top 6 away, Crystal Palace 9, Arsenal 0. I know the Nil is 100% Correct.

  17. Yeah totally agree about auba. Is it because he likes joking around in training? We should not bought willian. I prefer giving reiss many opportunity to grow. What did reiss do that made him rarely picked in starting line up? He is full of technique. I bet he can play in cf too.

  18. Food for thought: how have Leicester and Wolves been able to establish themselves in the league? Apart from the argument (which I buy) that the foxes appear to get too much in their favour from match officials!

    Too many supporters/fans living in fantasia by thinking because of the outcomes of the Leicester & Leeds games, Arsenal should be smashing Pep’s very good team in their own yard, especially with the poor away record in the league which started improving after last season’s post covid restart.

    City were better; it rarely clicked for Arsenal! To be fair another day it might have been a draw or even a snatching of all 3 points. The Willian experiment wasn’t successful.

    Against Liverpool I was screaming bench Auba and bring on Saka. I wonder what would have happened if the following happened at the beginning of the 2nd half: Lacazette came on; Saka took Auba’s place with AMN slotting in behind; Willian displacing Pepe. Plus earlier introduction of Partey.

    Big gamble for a relatively young and experienced manager trying to establish himself in a demanding job for a big club with demanding fans/supporters plus manager players he recently played with and/or against – plus the nuisance Ozil fanboys!

    Very toxic lot! How long did it take the very experienced and proven Klopp to take Liverpool to the top? Imagine if Liverpool supporters were as fickle as Arsenal fans I doubt if he would have been as successful!

  19. What sort of rubbish and negative football was that? We played a 4-3-3 and 75% of our passes was done in our own half? We lost all the 50/50 balls, we didn’t show fight and even Willian of all people was playing sideways and back passes with zero take-ons. What happened to his dribbling and forward play? For the past 4 games now, he has been anonymous. It is a shame that with all the experience players we had on the pitch, an 18 yr old boy was the man of the match for Arsenal (Saka). He was the only one in the entire team that made proper forward runs and attack. This lilly-livered mindset and performance from the coaching staff down to the players has got to end. They should change the training methods because with so much talent on the pitch, I do not see why we cannot maintain possession in the opponents half at least 50% of the time instead of doing 75% possession in our own half. Our defenders had more possession of the ball passing among themselves than our forward players. I don’t mind losing but I prefer to lose with my head held high than with my tail between my legs. This style of playing football has got to stop, it is not the Arsenal way. If this type of negative football continues Aubamayang may struggle to get 20 goals this season and he is way behind already.

  20. Well said sir.

    I’m not expecting Arsenal to win the title this year, but at least I’m expecting a better performance from all the players as a team. I don’t understand the defensive mentality of every game we are playing as sometimes we should at least score then we can go to the defence!

    Willian is something else!! I can’t blame him for playing in a position not his .. but honestly aren’t our youngsters doing a better job when they’re having the chance? can’t he do the same?! why he become that “COLD” player? Pepe was trying yesterday but not Willian .. he was there .. just to be there not to play!

    To conclude, it’s time for MA to step in and change the mentality of our players, to play for the win and score more, maybe he thought Partey wasn’t ready to play a full match, but we are expecting him to be there in the next matches! at least that’s why we got him here!

    Give Ceballos and Saka more space behind the strikers so that we can see some good passes to the strikers.

  21. Wenger played the most beautiful football in history. Arteta scared of every team. If this kind of football carries on. RIP arsenal

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