Arsenal 3-2 Aston Villa – A win but far from convincing

So much was expected before kick but as is usual with Arsenal these days it did not quite pan out that way at the start of the game.

Things were fairly even but Villa was getting forward more than expected, mainly because they were allowed to and Arsenal ended up paying the price in the 20th minute when Villa opened the scoring.

It was an avoidable goal if a defender would have picked up the run from John McGinn but of course, they did not and he simply diverted the cross from Anwar El Ghazi into the back of the net.

Arsenal then picked up the pace and started to dominate but Villa was always dangerous on the break and the more they broke the more confident they became.

Then disaster struck in the 38th minute when Ainsley Maitland-Niles picked up his second yellow card and was sent off.

It looked to me that Maitland-Niles got the ball first and was very unlucky to receive a second yellow but regardless, Arsenal were now down to ten men.

There were some handbags involving Sokratis but not much else to write home about as the first half came to a close with the visitors 1-0 up and if I am brutally honest, deservedly so.

The second half started with Chambers coming on for Saka and Xhaka giving away his customary free kick in a dangerous area, luckily nothing came of it,

The 60th minute saw a change in fortunes for Arsenal when Villa’s Bjorn Engels brought down Matteo Guendouzi in the penalty area and up stepped Nicolas Pepe for his first Arsenal goal.

But obviously it did not last long and within two minutes Villa had restored their lead through Wesley.

It was a decent goal with Jack Grealish going through the Arsenal players like a hot knife through butter before feeding Wesley to tap it in.

The game ebbed and flowed, Arsenal started to get on top, Luiz came close, Aubameyang missed a decent chance, Torreira came on for the hapless Xhaka and there were handbags involving Guendouzi.

The pressure was relentless from Arsenal and on the 80th minute came the equaliser through Chambers and it was fully deserved.

Matteo Guendouziws the creator with a nice cross to chambers who went past one defender before poking it home.

Then just a few minutes later cometh the hour cometh the man with a brilliantly taken free-kick from Aubameyang to put Arsenal 3-2 up.

VAR was on Arsenal’s side denying what looked a like penalty for Villa but the is life.

A win is a win as they say but the honest truth is this was not a great performance and the problems are just masked over for now.

162 Comments

  1. gotanidea says:

    The line-up and the formation are great, but the defenders blew it up again. Either Sokratis or Luiz must be replaced, because these two shouldn’t play together:

    – Aubameyang: Looked tired, but he did it again. A true leader that sets examples by his actions, not just words

    – Ceballos: Produced nothing special. He needs more time

    – Pepe: Largely disappointing. Hopefully that penalty boosts his confidence

    – Saka: Mostly anonymous throughout his time in the field. Perhaps he was still tired

    – Xhaka: He was not useful. Better use Willock next time

    – Guendouzi: The most passionate midfielder in the field, but too emotional sometimes. We need his energy at Old Trafford

    – The CBs: Luiz is a total disaster and a wrong purchase. Whoever decided to buy him must be fired immediately

    – Maitland-Niles: Seemed disinterested in this match. If he doesn’t want to play as an RB, he must be replaced

    – Leno: Has to be replaced with Martinez. Leno needs to be reminded that the first GK spot is not guaranteed for him

    1. Declan says:

      Luiz made more clearances than anyone. Watch it again!
      #EmeryOut

      1. lcebox says:

        Thumbs UP.

    2. kev says:

      Please never call Aubameyang a true leader again. He is a true poacher if anythibg.
      Guendouzi has bags of energy but a midfield of Xhaka and Guendouzi is a bad pairing. What does Emery aim to achieve? He should be playing Willock and Torreira ahead of both players

      1. Rory johnson says:

        Jesus kev you really have it in for auba huh? To you the man has zero but pace and goals.

        1. A J says:

          We looked to Auba today, and he delivered. Handing the pen’ to Pépé was top drawer ( and of course had logic behind it). His free free kick was class, and pure technique – no poaching there.

          In this game I saw leadership in the man.

          Guendouzi was superb. Again, in the context of this game, had a great game. Dogging it out, never say die or accept defeat attitude – well done Matty.

          Chambers staying calm over his chance – well done mate.

          Pépé. Given his style, put in a shift. Good pen under pressure.
          The next Gervinho …. behave!

          Ongoing problems, yes . But this game- 3 points.

      2. RSH says:

        exactly. Xhaka and Guendouzi are partly responsible for the horrible first half. They have no discipline, look like they are given no direction either. It’s just Guendouzi chasing after balls all over the pitch, & Xhaka mildly jogging with his heavy feet, pretending he is a footballer. Guendouzi definitely stepped it up in the 2nd half, but he has no clue about his defensive positioning because he is chasing after balls by himself all the time. Maybe that is something that is wrong with this entire setup. Either way, it leaves our defense embarrassingly open. As somebody else said, fullbacks also are just overall terrible as well. Never block deep crosses and always out of position. Really our game plan is trying to get Aubameyang on the ball and hoping he scores more than we concede. We look terrible all around.

        1. lcebox says:

          Truth..
          I cannot belive the mistakes we make each week
          Only when Xhaka came off did we look any use and Niles well he never looked like a full back and sooner hes out of there the better before he gets ruined.

      3. gotanidea says:

        I beg to differ

        I think Emery shouldn’t change the midfield trio from the Burnley game, which are Ceballos, Guendouzi and Willock

        Emery shouldn’t change the winning team just because of Xhaka’s seniority and those young midfielders have better ball control

      4. Param says:

        Guendouzi needs a partner who can commands him. But offcourse we have Xhaka.Again useless yellow card why do emery always start him. I would rather play Niles or chambers in his place.

      5. Nonny says:

        Kev you are beginning to sound like a comedian

        1. kev says:

          If you were any different you wouldn’t be part of my audience

          1. Nonny says:

            Am one of ur audience cause you produce rips cracking moments like a done deal

          2. kev says:

            Old issue. That was literally the only thing you could say so I understand you

      6. Jagr10 says:

        You want to replace Guen in the midfield with Willock. You must be crazy mate haha
        Or you havent watch the games

    3. gurrosco says:

      I have to back Auba on this one. He is the definition of world class- players that can change the game with sheer brilliance even when not performing.

    4. kenyanfan says:

      Emery out, xhaka out. As simple as that. This coach has issues. He is a small team coach. So resting Ozil was a lie? What wrong did Ozil do last time?! This is simply personal! It’s unacceptable. Second, do after one game he realized that saka is better than all the other wingers? And starts ahead of Torreira? Enough of this.. what wrong did Leno do?

    5. Sylva Olabanji says:

      I think this analysis is been a bit too critical.First, with all the flaws of the team I think the players mentality was in order it’s not easy to play 10 against 11 and win. That Aston Villa team is a good one. Guendoizi was my best player on the pitch. Willock and Toreira added some high pressing and still in midfield. Xaka must be rested for a while he’s not been effective at all. I also don’t know U.Emery problem always benching Ozil. PEP had an improved game but can still do much better.

    6. Blago says:

      The person to blame is Unai Emery. He does not seem to know what he is doing.
      Horrible team selection!

  2. kev says:

    Rubbish and spineless display for most part. I believe now the issue of Emery being good enough for Arsenal or not is a ship that has sailed. He was never the man. The truth is hard to take but it is what it is. You don’t need to be a realist to see it too. Hopefully this match ends Niles’ spell at RB and I only feel sorry for the player. Bad tackle from him and I hope he comes back stronger. Aubameyang scores again to overshadow his average display. Pepe is a good player but €80m means you must be exceptional. He was never worth that. Its more of smart business from Lille. Guendouzi is not an exceptional talent and was it here I read that we would reject £60m for him?? Average performance from us even made worse by the fact that Aston Villa were just huffing and puffing all match. Emery is lucky as this papers over the cracks

    1. gotanidea says:

      Unfortunately we have to use Chambers now. A player with good skills and physicality, but too slow to be an RB

      We are lucky to have such supportive player in Aubameyang. I believe his relationship will help Pepe’s transition

    2. Diogenes says:

      Who would you have instead of Emery, Kev?

      Some people here mention Allegri, but he’s reportedly a candidate for Real when Zidane is inevitably fired, and even if not, I don’t think he would want a challenge of managing the 6th best squad in the league.

      In any case I would want a manager that imposes his style of play (unless that style is like Mourinho or Conte etc).

      1. kev says:

        I never wanted Allegri in the first place because I’m not a fan of his style. I want us to give the job to Ljungberg because we are at a time where our team is filled with many top youngsters coming through. Believe it when I tell you that Ljungberg is good at handling our U23’s and youngsters in general. This is the perfect time to put him to the test. It might he called stupid in hindsight but to me football is full of risks and this is a rusk worth taking.

        1. My guy ur suggetion is pointless, looking at arsenal team right now the only coach we need is a world class coach like Enrique…. He is demanding and need result just like Guariola… We dont need any average coach right now… This is now the time to try and please old players like some of you are suggesting, we dont need them…

    3. Babasola says:

      Kev, I was of similar opinion all throughout last season about Aubameyang

      But try and look at him from his abilities and not his shortcomings
      He’s a WorldClass Poacher

      Lacazette Striking will result in beautiful football with maybe 2 goals and 1 assist from him

      But with Auba Striking, the goals can be as much as your midfielders & wingers can put balls into the box

      If they can put 10 good balls into the box – u can expect 6 Goals from Auba and even 1 assist

      And by the way, try & ease up a lil on his inability to beat a marker then you’ll see he’s been a Real Leader On the pitch

      It is very obvious

      He’s the presently the attacker always trying different things to make things tick up front

      1. kev says:

        Point well made but he’s never a leader. This isn’t me hating. Just stating it as it is

    4. A J says:

      SPINELESS?????????

      Kev’ this is a wind up.

      You are sitting at home (or like me on a train) killing yourself !

      1. kev says:

        As I said spineless for most part. Our performance was terrible. Villa shot themselves in the foot today and if this showing is anything to go by they are going to struggle to get wins making our performance even worse than it seems

        1. A J says:

          Know where you’re coming from Kev’ .

          I’m just not confusing “Spineless” with “a lack of quality”.

          For me today, we showed spine particularly as the game unfolded but quality only in flashes (all too rare).

          1. kev says:

            We were spineless for most part. Villa offered nothing in the game. Look how we played even before the card. We were also hopeless after the card too.
            If we had a spine we wouldnt have conceded in that fashion and been so hopeless in attack.
            Villa shot themselves in the foot if we are being honest

    5. Ade says:

      Why do u hare Auba this way, that guy is world class, what else do you want from a striker.

    6. Uzo says:

      Kev…I have never read a post from you that is positive. I used to see you as a realist. now I wonder if you draw the line between realism and pessimism.
      It’s not going to hurt if you try to find positives for once.

      1. Jagr10 says:

        Haha that is true, Kev is always negative.

        Kev, you cant always be so negative. Calling for Ljungberg to take over from UE, calling Guen not good enough and Auba average just destroys your credibility mate, keep that in mind.

  3. RSH says:

    Thinnest paper ever covering the largest of cracks. It’s obvious to anybody that Emery is NOT the right manager for this club.

      1. lcebox says:

        Count me in too cause anyone who thinks we will will anything with tactics and defending like weve seen since last summer is living in cuokoo land.
        He either sorts this crap out or ship out himself.
        I think hes had long enough and its no different.

  4. gunnerUp says:

    Xhaka is a fruitless tree. Emery open ur damn eyes. Torreira is so versatile and performs a great attacking & defensive performance. Been impressed with Leno, Ceballos & Kolasinac in recent games. And Sako & Guendozi were great today. Need Holding back in the CB ASAP. Prob Mustafi to join him.

    1. I have slated Guendouzi in the past but he deserves the credit tonight! He brought us level through sheer will power and played like a captain! What a recovery from the boys! FIGHTERS!

      1. Frédéric slimane says:

        ???, also people forget we played with 10 men in the 2nd half, criticising Guendouzy,Auba I must be dreaming,in the meantime Chelsea, man utd, spurs all lost but all you read here is negativity starting with the article, people should go to other teams site and see how they support,treat their players, managers,team including all the teams cited above you’ll learn Vs thing or two, what a disgrace to the club,if only the criticism was constructive but far from it,I’ll stop there before being accused of knowing it all!

    2. McLovin says:

      What does Xhaka offer a team?

      – no tackles or interveptions
      – no attacking threat
      – no chances created
      – sideways passing and idiotic fouls, YES

      Emery absolutely clueless.

      1. Jake the gunner says:

        I side with you on this one. Xhaka does nothing in the recently and it was evident today after he was subbed. I feel Emery needs this season to prove himself. It is too early to call for his heard. Klopp messed up a lot before getting it right.

  5. Oh boy what a nail-biting half! Thank goodness we were able to make a comeback! Double thank goodness AMN is out for the next game and hopefully longer! Good job boys! I had lost hope.

  6. Declan says:

    Someone on here earlier said Guendouzi is over rated. If we had a couple more like him we wouldn’t be in this mess.
    #EmeryOut

    1. Kay says:

      Spot on mate

    2. kev says:

      Massively overrated. The standard has dropped too much

      1. gotanidea says:

        So who do you want to replace Guendouzi, man? Maitland-Niles?

        The idea of having both Xhaka and Maitland-Niles in midfield is intriguing

        1. Jay says:

          Niles would probably do a good job in the midfield. If we put into consideration that Niles is not a natural defender but a midfielder, he’s just a makeshift. I think we should cut him some slack. He needs encouragement not total condemnation. Having him m there in the absence of Bellerin means he is the best available option, though not his natural position. He is a very good midfielder and Emery should give him an opportunity there too to show what he can really do. He is a very talented and skillful player

        2. Skills1000 says:

          You cant win the league with Guendouzi as a regular starter. He is a sub at best. You need quality in midfield. Players who consistently perform. Not flashes of brilliance. Our midfield 3 should be Ozil, Ceballos and Torrera. That is the best midfield combination at our disposal. Emery is not good enough for us..We need a top manager. We should be beating Aston Villa like 4 goals at home. We cant win convincingly at home. We cant get 3 points away. Why do we settle for mediocrity?

          1. Ikechukwu John says:

            You are really funny to talk about quality and consistency and then mention Ozil..
            Yet Guendouzi who is currently our best boy in the middle is a sub player at best…

            You are really funny

            Arsenal has one of weakest midfield amongst the top 6
            yet Guendouzi is much more alive in there than the rest..

            I am patiently waiting for Holding, Tierney and Bellerin to return before i would have my final say about Emery.

      2. Ronche says:

        I’m sorry but kev shut up. Did you see him in the second half. Play him in a midfield with other mobile players and you’d get class. At 20 he played like the captain of this team. If anything he is underrated. Man is class. He’s one good thing emery has done

        1. Rory johnson says:

          Exactly, never has a single word of encouragement, definitely an unpolished player who can improve his overall game massively but was by far our most influential player in the 2nd half, literally dobt think I’ve ever heard kev say a good word about any current arsenal player!

        2. kev says:

          Nothing new. Just a continuation of last season. Poor positional play, chasing shadows, sloppiness and weakness on the ball and decent passing. The hard truth!

          1. Nonny says:

            Had truth is guendozi is 10x better than Nelson and Niles

          2. Rory johnson says:

            Jesus christ man the kid is 20 and still you cant say one positive (decent passer is not a positive) even though he had a big part in digging us out of that hole…get a bit of perspective buddy, safe to say you (and myself included) were nowhere near as good at anything as he is at football at 20 lol and he clearly is giving his all, just stop being such a downer man, especially on one of the few parts of our club that doesn’t deserve it.

          3. kev says:

            Guendouzi gets to play in his actual position and was allowed to make so many mistakes by the coach last season to develop him. Niles is shifted to RB and asked to play there long term when he isn’t a defender in the first place. Talent for talent Nelson is miles ahead of Guendouzi and any unbiased person who followed him from the U23’s knows he was simply our most talented youngster though showing it is another thing.
            If Guendouzi can start in this midfield I believe Reine-Adelaide and Ismael Bennacer will walk into this team.

          4. Nonny says:

            Nelson can be the best at u23 even better than Messi but when it comes to the real deal he couldn’t even compete with saka.
            As for Niles he was never good enough for any position he hard only one outstanding game against united and that’s it about his Arsenal Career thus far

          5. Rory johnson says:

            And here we go with this Nelson nonsense again, plain to see now kev your just a contrarian, if everybody on here said they agree with you on Nelson you would probably just change to the opposing opinion (which is kind of what you did, when people agreed you then argued he is and am not a winger) if he was that good of a player like you believe it wouldn’t matter if he was on the wing or AM he would of contributed more on the pitch with the chances he was given, or would be given chances over people such as saka, sorry bud but your wrong regarding nelson (among other things).

          6. kev says:

            What do you mean by he can’t compete with Saka when it comes to the real deal?? Do you know what tomorrow brings?? Both might even turn out to be average. Nelson is off form so its easy to write him off but we will see in time and I will hoping to say ‘I told you so’ to all who doubted him.
            The playing of Niles out of position long term is one of the most ignorant things I’ve seen this club do and some still try to justify it. That match against Utd was just a continuation of what he was doing in our academy and England U21’s when he was played in his original position. If you don’t rate him cool but I’m not going to lie to myself about him jot being talented

          7. Rory johnson says:

            I never once said the lad isnt talented it’s you who us again taking your own opinion and spouting it like fact lol and never conceding your point slightly or saying anything of note that is positive, you have been saying for ages hes more talented than any other youth we have but alas up until this point your opinion is wrong, by this point we would of seen at least a glimpse to validate your opinion but so far nothing. And you point out that I dont know what tomorrow brings yet you seem to think 100% that you do which stinks of a superiority complex.

          8. kev says:

            I’m referring to Nonny’s comments. However, I believe I should clear somethings up. I haven’t stated my opinion as fact. If you’ve been following my comments about Nelson from the past which I know you have then you’d realise I’ve been implying based on his impact and showings at youth level he is simply our most talented youngster and more talented then Saka. If we are going by that theory then what I’m saying is very true and I always state that showing it is another thing. Saka is currently performing better than Nelson. The plain truth!
            There are people here who have already written off Nelson. Now some of these people would hope he fails to justify their point thus even ignoring the actual fact that Nelson is talented. Nothing about superior city complex here.
            As for Guendouzi he is talented but IMO isn’t as good as he’s made out to be and is rated above his actual level.His passing is decent and great at times but his overall game as a midfielder is lacking. I have a serious problem with him and Xhaka. I see Willock becoming better as a player

          9. Rory johnson says:

            Which are fair points kev but again not really what I’m getting at lol you literally never try to find any kind of silver lining regarding anything you just act on the contrary to popular opinion, and I think you read way too much into how someone performs at youth level because it’s pretty irrelevant doesn’t mean dick unless you can do it where it counts, and you still managed to squeeze into your last comment that what your saying is right lol thereby saying anyone else who disagrees is wrong…

          10. Nonny says:

            @kev

            Please how do you rate your own talent because it’s clear obvious that you see talent different from how everyone else see’s it

          11. kev says:

            I simply call it how I see it. I might be wrong in many things I say but it is what my eyes are telling me that I am stating. Others may see different which is normal. Lots of negatives than positives for Arsenal so I always try to not comment in the past during the season as I don’t want to appear too negative but now we are a shambles.
            As for Guendouzi I was only stating the reason why I rate him as such so that you’ll know it ain’t some blind hate or me hating on him. Talented but he falls short

          12. kev says:

            @ Nonny its pretty easy. I just look at the player’s game and how good it is.
            You might not rate Nelson but that kid is seriously loaded with immense potential and his combination with Nketiah one day will be a joy to watch. I rate Saka a lot but these are the two I’m most confident will become world class

      3. Nonny says:

        Over rated seriously so who in midfield is not currently not over rated he was the only one willing to take the ball today and drive it forward. If you don’t like a player don’t talk ill of him

      4. Declan says:

        I can’t be bothered to respond to such a ridiculous comment, even though I just did!

        1. Babasola says:

          Guendouzi has zero positional awareness and cannot tackle to save his life
          But…

          After today’s performance, it would be silly for anyone to bad-mouth Guendouzi

          He was our best midfielder today, in short – he was the Man Of The Match

          I think his pairing with another positionally inept CM in Xhaka is the bone of our defensive woes, they absolutely block no shots, don’t cover the CBs at-all…reason for Watford’s 30+ shots at us
          But…

          Paired with Torreira, he’s OK & from what we saw today we can even push him further upwards & put Willock/Ceballos behind him (Ceballos actually wins way more tackles than Guendouzi)

    3. Ade says:

      Guendouzi performance has improved thus season, I was exceptional today, man of the match to me

  7. Innit says:

    I’m happy with a WIN
    A win is a win
    That’s all I wanted
    3 points

    And happy Pepe scored

    COYG! ??☺?

    1. Idris says:

      That’s the spirit brother… A lot of complaining is quite unnecessary… We won… Man United would have loved to have this kind of win… With the fact that we were a man down… Lovely fighting spirit from the boys

  8. Isaac says:

    Auba should take over as team captain. Xhaka sets trash standards.

    1. gotanidea says:

      A true leader doesn’t need to raise his voice to be heard

      Aubameyang was like Henry in the past. He lifts up the team’s spirit with his goals

      1. Isaac says:

        Well said.

        1. Jay says:

          Maitland Niles should also be given a chance in his true position like every other young star. He is being rated on a position that is not his best, yet had done pretty was safe for occasionally errors which turns out costly. His effort as right back should be appreciated In this context.

        1. Artsenal says:

          Emery depends on xhaka in the position of holding player although hesn’t aball winner,slow and uncreative.He’s aside line passer rather than adeep play maker.Torrera can fit this position,he’s aball winner, swift, nergetic,and mobile. Torrera can shore up the central defence and the flanks as well if it’s neccessary.True on ball he’s less than xhaka, but that can be acheived through consistency.

  9. Kev82 says:

    Never in doubt ? haha Arsenal are taking years off my life ? not gonna complain today, it’s all about the 3 points ???

  10. gurrosco says:

    paper over cracks

    paper: Courage shown in comeback. Attitude deserve an applause.

    cracks: Pretty much everything else. Your typical horrendous Arsenal. Conceding within 90s after scoring? pfft.

    notes: The comeback shows that Arsenal has got a venomous strike force so why always the defensive tactics?

    food for thought: Did Emery change tactic for the comeback or did the players act on themselves?

    1. RSH says:

      exactly. The crack is literally everything besides Aubameyang! Emery sets us up to fail every match. The players I’m fine with at this point, but Unai has us looking like a disaster waiting to happen every single game. Whatever he’s doing is not working.

      1. gurrosco says:

        Couldn’t say it better. Is it him that is spreading the overly cautious vibe in the dressing room? The signs are just obvious.

    2. El kaissi says:

      Emery didn’t change no tactics he doesn’t even have any tactics. The game sprung back to life when Xhaka was Substituted. I’m happy for the injury on Niles if that’s what it takes for emery to open his eyes. That was the exact case when Leno took over the sticks from chech last season.

  11. Someone says:

    Next game please for God sake bring in Holding back to the CB i dont care who partnering him but definitely not the Clown Luis

    1. Diogenes says:

      Luiz was fine today, and Holding will suffer with this midfield as well.

      Xhaka – Guendouzi just does not work. We need Torreira or even Chambers — someone who can play well defensively so our defenders are not under constant pressure.

      1. Babasola says:

        Exactly My Bro.
        U’ve said it perfectly

        Not pleased with Luiz, he just doesn’t look like a defender

        But then, no matter the CB, our DM pairing is woeful and will make them suffer

        It has got to be Torreira and someone, Torreira has just got to be there

        Even Torreira-Xhaka pairing was looking formidable at a point last season though it’s obvious Xhaka cannot mark/tackle even a baby

  12. Seng says:

    Do you still blame the players for whatever has happened this season if you do then you are clueless

  13. kenyanfan says:

    Emery out, xhaka out. As simple as that. This coach has issues. He is a small team coach. So resting Ozil was a lie? What wrong did Ozil do last time?! This is simply personal! It’s unacceptable. Second, do after one game he realized that zaka is better than all the other wingers? And starts ahead of Torreira? Enough of this

    1. gotanidea says:

      Ozil had his chance

      If I were the manager, I would also start Ceballos only. Rather than playing both of them

      Because we need two ball winners to play behind a CAM like Ozil and Ceballos

  14. Eddie Hoyte says:

    Next up United.. I bet he’ll still stick with Luiz & d Wrestler.
    I’m happy I didn’t watch the game.
    Rather I enjoyed the Liverpool-Chelsea game.
    I’ll watch our highlights later.
    Emery still needs more time to convince some of y’all?

    1. gurrosco says:

      how would you grade Lampard so far? just curious

    2. waal2waal says:

      Whenever time i read of him referred to as that it makes me chuckle 😀 I think it was JF who coined it at first instance. Like you I watched the LFC-Chelski game – Let’s appreciate the win as best we can.

  15. Bur says:

    Maybe a win but the team selection was abysmal. Was last week not enough to tell a blind man on a galloping horse that the defence is rubbish.

  16. We continue to look average despite investment. Our shape is non-existent at times and leads to extra pressure on a defence which is already average. Our midfield shield is the biggest problem for me (yes, I know the defence is poor) as it reflects the manager just not able to get it right after a season of tinkering or playing poor players (xhaka). Obviously pleased with the fight back, but never confident in any match. Give chambers a chance.

  17. Agu Emen says:

    In Unai I trust.
    The guy is a genius.
    Fantastic come back with half his team out with injury
    10 men against 11 and they fight back to win 3-2
    Still the plastic fans and most on Just Arsenal are plastic
    are whinging because that is what their life is all about.
    We have to stay strong like me not like the plastics
    who wave the white flag after 5 games.
    Pathetic gutless plastic fans,
    you all need to go support Man City.
    In Unai I trust.

    1. Dan kit says:

      And the moronic post of the day belongs to ☝️

      1. gerry burke says:

        well put DAN KIT, very well put. next, he will be saying we should build a statue to emery.

        1. RicSAAlao says:

          He is not an Arsenal fan, mark him and ignore him. He said he has followed Arsenal 45yrs. He is uninteresting I guess.

    2. ArsenalGR says:

      Had it been a descent opponent we would have been ridiculed out there today… Villa managed to concede a really unnecessary penalty, to let Chambers free to shoot from close range and to make a ridiculous wall to allow Auba to score. That’s 3 out of 3 defensive mistakes. Villa literally shot themselves on the head today…

      1. Frédéric slimane says:

        ???, also people forget we played with 10 men in the 2nd half, criticising Guendouzy,Auba I must be dreaming,in the meantime Chelsea, man utd, spurs all lost but all you read here is negativity starting with the article, people should go to other teams site and see how they support,treat their players, managers,team including all the teams cited above you’ll learn Vs thing or two, what a disgrace to the club,if only the criticism was constructive but far from it,I’ll stop there before being accused of knowing it all!

      2. Frédéric slimane says:

        What a stupid comment,most goals scored come from errors,mistakes from the defending teams as if all the goals scored were screamers,look at the goals conceded by spurs, Chelsea,man utd…even man city all mistakes from defenders,GK”s.,!!

    3. Durand says:

      Have to be winding people up. Comeback down to players not Emery. Chambers showing he should be playing, Auba saving team again, came to life a bit with Xhaka off.

      Big middle finger to Emery, sack him before he turns us into a Pulis led West Brom.

    4. Le Coq Monster says:

      Do you trust in Xhaka as well ? 😆

    5. Viju Jacob says:

      Dan Kit, this guy Abu isn’t an Arsenal fan…he is just a plain numpty who comes here to troll. He has no clue about the game and he is just a wind-up.

      1. RicSAAlao says:

        The club these guy supports has no fan blogs as lively, so they found enough time to come here as ”goat in sheep clothing”

    6. Seng says:

      Haha people like you deserve emery

    7. arsenal-steve says:

      In Unai we rust.

  18. Isaac says:

    Good win but you gotta blame the tactics. We were so deadly on counter attacks before emery came but now we struggle to score open goals.

  19. ThirdManJW says:

    Leno – 6
    AMN – 0
    Sok – 3
    Luiz – 3
    Kola – 4
    Xhaka – 1
    Ceb – 4
    Guend – 7 MOTM
    Saka – 6
    Auba – 7
    Pepe – 6

    Again I felt Emery picked a terrible starting lineup, and it showed, but yet again, some of his players were shocking! AMN needs a long break from first team action, and Xhaka was awful as always. How bad does this guy have to play to get dropped? It wasn’t the comeback that shocked me today, it was Xhaka getting subbed. I couldn’t believe it…finally!

    The whole midfield were terrible, but Guendouzi got better, and was more influential as the game went on, playing a huge role in two of our goals. I loved his work-rate, passion, and there was quality as well. How much better did our midfield look with Torriera and Willock on as well? Emery has to grow a pair and bench Xhaka.

    Overall, a very lucky win. Villa had so many chances, and should have easily won the game.

    1. ThirdManJW says:

      Chambers – 7
      Torriera – 6
      Willock – 5

      I also thought Saka was very unlucky to get subbed as well, as he was probably our best player in the first half.

    2. gotanidea says:

      Kolasinac fought hard to get the ball back. He should’ve gotten at least 7

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        Maybe could have given him a 5, but final ball was so poor as always.

        1. ArsenalGR says:

          Spot on mate. Hopefully Tierney will replace him soon.

    3. GunneRay says:

      How does Xhaka have to play to get dropped?…

      He has to be 6th under and stiffer than he already is..

    4. RSH says:

      a 1 to xhaka is very generous of you ?

  20. sol says:

    A nice comeback. But the midfield was too bad, the defense was poorly communicated for the first goal against Arsenal, I think Pepe has got the first goal to boost his confidence…..what worries me is that some players are not controlling the ball which are the basics of football and has nothing to do with Unai.

  21. waal2waal says:

    ..by the seasons end all emery’s critiques will be eating their words and with it shouting how much they’ve always believed in our coach. I am happy we won and the league placings show that our ambition of top 4 is still very much “ON”. Winning is what matters and despite the blip that’s what we achieved. We wanted a change (of coach) and that’s what we have – be happy at today’s result and enjoy the week. We turned this around… that’s a positive, right?

    1. RSH says:

      Lmao, Aubameyang is the only reason Emery still has a job! The entire season he’s been bailing us out of terrible performances.

    2. RSH says:

      If you cannot see how this is going the same way a Van Gaal/ Mourinho/ Moyes and all the other fodder United brought in then you need to wake up. If you want Arsenal to become like United and haphazardly make UCL spots sometimes then Emery is your man. If you want a manager that will create a winning culture and style, then you get innovators like Klopp and Guardiola. Emery is in the former category. He’s a clown and his time is running out.

      1. waal2waal says:

        Time will tell @RSH
        …and currently we’re on track. Even champions can have an off day just as man citeh haad against norwich. We’re in a good place in as far as our league position goes. Added to that we’ve some players about to return from injury – quit flapping – better performances are coming.

  22. Darken says:

    When I read your comment about players not good enough for arsenal, I wonder if you realized that even the players thet were good previously are b3coming average. Whta do you want Pepe to do if he has no good instructions from the coach who seems to not know his best starting 11

  23. ArsenalGR says:

    Why do you all blame Xhaka? He played much better than Ceballos for instance, who barely offered anything today. If we don’t have a plan going forward, is mainly because of Emery. MTN was really bad today, Emery should accept that he ain’t a RB and play Chambers instead. We gave Villa too much space in the first half. Had they been more mature they wouldn’t have conceded 3 goals from a team with 10 men. Hats off to Gouendouzi, this guy is a leader. Nice to see Pepe scoring his first goal. I think every player involved got better after our first goal. That’s what’s missing from us: confidence in our ability – And some descent full backs! Nevertheless we got the 3 points, we are 4th at the moment and all of our direct rivals lost. COYG!

    1. Diogenes says:

      The mistakes AMN makes are only rarely position-related.

      Most of them are due to rashness or lack of focus. This seems to be a character trait and if he makes those types of mistakes as a RB, he WILL make them in the midfield as well.

  24. Sean Williams says:

    Totally lacking concentration and discipline. I am chuffed we won, and at least Xhaka coming off intensified our game. He is soooo slow. Emery…you keep choosing Xhaka and AMN. Are you crazy?

  25. Jo3l says:

    Auba giving pepe the chance to score is a big blaring reason why he should be captian! Respect! Xhaka is our main problem…. our defence looks better when he does not play. Hope Emery locks his ego and tries to save his job. That was hard to watch… good come back … against… who aston vanilla… Mancs will wipe their ass with them 10 nill.

  26. Kedar says:

    Totally Rubbish Performance by Arsenal…
    But only 1 thing we saw is that how Xhaka is useless…. The moment Dhaka was replaced, It was much better energy in Midfield and Fight…
    Xhaka is totally Useless….
    Emery has no clue….
    He always try to field Xhaka as deep line Midfielder….
    But Xhaka is totally useless there…
    He cannot Track runs of opponent midfielders…. He doesn’t have any reading of game… He cannot play as deep line protector of Defence..

  27. ArsenalGR says:

    Leno – 6
    MTN – 3
    Sokratis – 5
    Luiz – 6
    Kola – 6
    Ceballos – 4
    Xhaka – 6
    Gouendouzi – MTM 8
    Saka – 5
    Pepe – 7
    Auba – 7

    Subs:

    Chambers – 7
    Torreira – 7
    Willock – 5

    1. Diogenes says:

      That sounds about right, although I would give Pepe and Saka both a 6 and Xhaka probably 5, but I don’t think he was as bad as Ceballos.

      It’s becoming clearer why Ceballos is not wanted at Real…

    2. Declan says:

      Sokratis should get 0 just for the disgraceful way he pretended to be injured in a tackle.
      He’s a cheat.

  28. Kelleson says:

    Emery is not the right man for us, he have to make the team attacking minded. When game is slow Arsenal doesn’t do well. Player like xhaka, Luiz, Nile should not be a starter in our team, most especially Xhaka should not be starting any of our game again, immediately he was pull out of the game changed the rhythm of the game. Thank God it was three point.

  29. Crespo11_1 says:

    you see!!!!how game changed right after Xhaka was replaced………..haha…….Wake up Unai………

  30. Durand says:

    Guess Ozil still resting after that exhausting and debilitating 70 minute performance.

    Yet muppets like Luiz, Sokratis, and Xhaka get free passes.

    Chambers proving a point but Emery is blind to the glaringly obvious.

  31. Femi says:

    I know today that I am a better coach than this Emery of a thing he need to be sacked asap xhaka should be benched bellerin need to play next week holding n Chambers as CBS

  32. Mogunna says:

    Chambers secured defense, getting in CB position to fill UP for ghost Sokratis… Mustafi works best with Luiz, Willock was indeed better than Xhaka who been playing out of position as a defensive midfield…

    Pepe needs to be benched, acts like Big shot, got Big head or pressure of that’s Price tag record transfer, worth nothing so far

    He was lost soldier on the field, everywhere but where he supposed to be on his damn flank. Not defending while Auba was running back and gave it all…

    Team : Leno

    Chambers – Mustafi – Luiz – Kolas

    Torreira – Willock – Gendouzi/Xhaka

    Ceballos/Ozil/Xhaka/Nelson

    Auba -Pepe/Saka

    We have options in middle and upfront.

  33. Harish says:

    Wish Xhaka got a red today…I just want Emery to see that the team looks better of he is not playing…

  34. David Rusa says:

    Sometimes I wonder whether some contributors on this site watch the game or just follow it on the net. Why am I saying this? Nobody who watched the game would make some of the unfortunate comments I have seen about Guendouzi. This was for a long spell one of about three players who were showing any form of determination. He was actually the man who made us get the penalty which Pepe converted to put us level with Villa albeit for a very short time. He was also the provider for Chambers’ goal. How then could anyone in his right mind make nasty comments about him? Criticism is healthy if it is constructive but criticism for its own sake is uncalled for.

  35. gerry burke says:

    thats two promoted teams we have struggled against in the last couple of weeks, whats going on at our club ?. we are being made look like amateurs, headless chickens. i know a win is a win and all that , but surely we should have swept the floor with villa today, and, watford a few days back.

  36. Grandad says:

    Credit where credit is due guys.We saw a lot of fight and spirit today in adversity and to win after playing more than 45mins with 10 men is commendable.In a playing sense ,we are never going to make progress with the likes of Sokratis, Luiz and Xhaka in the team and their continued inclusion does give me serious concerns regarding Emery,s capabilities to manage our Club.Surely someone in authority can exert pressure on him to reconsider his selections of certain players who are consistently poor?The team to play Notts Forest will hopefully see the return of Holding and Mavroponas who was apparently outstanding for the under 23s last week.Auba will presumably be rested for that match as he is in need of a break.A game for a number of our talented youngsters surely.

  37. Mogunna says:

    Chambers is a must in this défense, felt more secured…Rob and Bellerin back soon, next game or so;pair Rob & Chambers as CB.

    Team i like to see next game.

    Leno
    Bellerin – holding – Chambers- Kolas

    Torreira Willock Ceballos Gendouzi

    Auba / Saka

    This is a Supersonic team full or energy and character. Saka would have been way more useful today, he runs back, defends and attacks. Pepe was so lasy while the Real sar Auba defending his Heart out…

  38. Nonny says:

    Nelson can be the best at u23 even better than Messi but when it comes to the real deal he couldn’t even compete with saka.
    As for Niles he was never good enough for any position he hard only one outstanding game against united and that’s it about his Arsenal Career thus far

    1. Mogunna says:

      You are dead wrong, they are played out of position as Xhaka but great young players.

      Nelson should have gone back on loan as Saka, Rowe, Martinelli, Willock as they need regular professional as a Saliba who staid at Sainté to do so.

      Its matter of picking right team as Nelson. Chambers played every game and was team’s MVP. Nelson was on right track in Germany,immulating Sancho like…Let them go as we wont play them enough…We lost great youth because of that last step of devellopment to make transition to first team…

      1. Nonny says:

        Should I count successful players that exelled in a position they didn’t start with even torriera said he started playing as a no 9 before his coach switched him to dm. When you are not good you are not good doesn’t matter where you were put to play on the pitch

        1. kev says:

          I advise you to detatch yourself from such an issue because I would also mention players who are great or world class in one position(main) and absolutely useless in the next position(alternative). Its one thing to not rate a player but another to think its right for another player to be played completely out of position. Note the key term is “completely out of position”.
          Btw where is Sergi Roberto now?? A once talented and highly rated CM even by Arsenal fans. Its been long since I heard about him

          1. Nonny says:

            Really! I so the key term is now completely out of position then wenger and emery must have been smoking something to play him completely out of position. Your problem is you think you know better the simple truth is the coaches sees he has the quality to play those positions he is just arrogant and doesn’t want to cement that spot let him wait till he gets an opportunity to play his preferred position what is even his preferred position cause all I heard from him is that he is an attacking player and I also know that a rb/rwb can also attack and score goals

  39. Viju Jacob says:

    Read through all the comments, but some aren’t true Gunners. People celebrating one of our lads getting injured? Unheard of and condemnable, because this isn’t what our club ethics is. Wake up guys, criticise their performances, but why get personal?
    In football, the match is played 33% in the preparation, 33% in the head and 33% on the pitch, with 1% being luck. We lose 66% under Emery even before we get on the pitch, but I will not wish him ill. He just isn’t a big club manager, a line that I always said and got slated for it in the past. He cannot, I repeat CANNOT, get us to improve, and that is down to his ability. He plays favourites and seems to overlook their faults, without getting personal as he seems to be an egoistical person who thinks he knows it all and the players know nothing. It just doesn’t cut ice I today’s world.
    We all cak heave a sigh of relief with this win, but can you imagine doing this during Wenger’s time? The Wenger out boys will slate us to death.

    1. Viju Jacob says:

      Not “Without getting personal” but “getting personal”.

  40. Dearest says:

    Never seen a terrible coach as Unai Emery… I pray he doesn’t cost us more harm… Wondered what xhaka was doing on the pitch …

    1. Kenya 001 says:

      @dearest we were adapting to Villa unai must go as early as now better for everyone

  41. A J says:

    Interesting. Read on this thread more than once that Auba is apparently “just a poacher” ?

    Since coming to the club I’ ve never considered him that., but so much more.

    Starting on either flank, coming inside getting shots off (remind you of anyone?) through the middle, pace, free kick technique- mixed bag of goals.

    In fact a lot of his work starts mid-half.

    Purely working the box living off 6 to 12 yard stuff – since when ?

    In fact I would say this year so far his close range work is yet to “click”.

  42. Knight says:

    We came from down twice to win 3-2 with a large part of the game 10-against 11.For me thats convincing enough.Wouldnt know what Emery told the subs,but it worked.

  43. gunpanther says:

    Unai thinking ahead of a game:
    I will keep Torreira on the bench, then unleash him in the second half after his buddies have conceded a goal or two. This lad is a genius in comebacks! ?

  44. Not a coach says:

    A win is a win. However, winning like that at home against Villa had to be called embarrassingly lucky, still we need to give credit to the players hard work though. The problem is that it’s clear that Emery plays favorite here. We know it with the untouchable back four plus Xhaka. After 6 games we can see that Chambers, fit-again Holding, and even Mustafi deserve a chance. Yes I know that Mustafi is a liability, but at least we can see which of these players less worse ?
    Even with Ceballos and Pepe. They are good, but seeing how they’ve performed so far, I don’t think that they produce what Willock or Ozil or other players can’t.
    What I’m trying to say is that somehow Emery will keep trusting some players but not to others

  45. Kenya 001 says:

    Hi arsenalgirl long time.happy with the points. Not happy with Emery though! His decisions are buffling why he plays xhaka is anyone’s guess.villa dominated us from start.

  46. Kenya 001 says:

    Emery is just pathetic should go am really pissed off at the way we are playing.Not even dominating Villa at home!!!

  47. ruelando says:

    Some points
    – We won
    – however we still had midfield and defensive issues
    – Guendouzi bad and good, bad because he caused the first goal,good because he kept us going
    – AMN can not catch a break, let us hope his injury not serious, there is a good RB in him if he wants it
    – Auba and Pepe not doing enough, both seemed loss at times and needs to be more involved
    – Saka for me was the best player in the first half unfortunate he had to go
    – Luis and Sokra did not do much wrong, Luis beaten to the front post for the goal, the defensive line cannot account for midfielders making a late run in the box
    – Xhaka in midfield displayed the lack of pace, which is essential in getting forward and back
    – We need very mobile players in our midfield
    – Defense less errors today

  48. Aussie Jack says:

    Arsenal are so predictable that even an old bird like me can make an almost perfect guess at the outcome. I got the result right 3-2. I got the half time score right 0-1 to Villa I predicted Aubenyang to score a brace (he got one), I also predicted Pepe to make his goal debut (he did), I even said that Arsenal would win in the dying minutes of the match, they did. Villa have shaken Arsenal at Emirates before and whilst I admire their spirit I doubt their ability.

    1. Lagos Gunner says:

      Hope you put your money where your “prediction skills is” dear octopus? Haha!

      The earlier Emery realizes that wrong selections like Xhaka ahead of Torreria can make him lose his job, the better for him.

  49. Arsenal#7 says:

    Emery has ti go NOW if we y have a chance on top four.
    11 points from 6 games is not good enough even with the defensive issues we have.
    Playing his favorites like a youth coach is not cutting it. Starting Xhaka ahead of Toreira
    is criminal, In addition after the first half Ceballos had to go. Too much twisting and turning when the game needed a better one touch quick movement of the ball play maker.
    Emery does not either see what is apparent to everyone else or he chooses to ignore it.
    How many of these games can you come back and win.
    If we were away from home we would have lost this today. If Villa can control the middle of the park better than us imagine what happens when we play top teams.
    Watch the Chelsea game today and see how much better use of youth plus experience Frank Lampard has. We sucked against Liverpool and Chelsea looked a lot better than us.
    Leaving players like Toreira and Oil out when it is obvious they can help us is not acceptable.
    Emery has to go very shortly.

  50. Aussie Jack says:

    In the last fifteen minutes they played like the Arsenal of old with guts and determination. At last we saw team spirit and I gave 8 out 10 to every Arsenal player on the field.

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