Arsenal did what they had to do last night and fans should celebrate

It was not a good performance from Arsenal but a win is a win and that is all that matters in cup football.

There are a lot of negatives to take from the game last night, I will admit that but there is a risk that some perspective will be lost in the clamour to find fault with the Arsenal performance.

I have seen some fantastic teams, far better than this Arsenal side, have appalling games in the FA Cup, that is why so many of us love the competition.

It is easy to rip into certain players, question this that and everything else but knockout football is all about the win and after all is said and done that is what Arsenal achieved last night.

This team is still adapting to life under Mikel Arteta. the manager is still adapting to the mess he has inherited. Miracles will not happen overnight.

Yes, if that was against Liverpool we would have been three or four goals down at half-time but it was not and we were not losing at half time.

You would think that we have to play teams like Liverpool every week they way some people go on.

The way Leeds played that first half last night was impressive and I am of the opinion that the likes of Tottenham, Man Utd and even Chelsea would have done no better against the championship high flyers.

There is time to analyse the performance and yes, Arteta does have questions to answer, especially about the first half but the bottom line is this, we are through to the FA Cup fourth round and things will get better.

20 Comments

  1. Sue says:

    Leeds’ work rate in the first half was phenomenal…and as you rightly say a lot of teams would’ve struggled against them! I think they’ll feel hard done by though, but hey, that’s football.. we managed to nick that all important goal!
    I’m very happy to have won that and even more so at avoiding Anfield in the next round! Yay!
    Mikel’s the man ๐Ÿ‘

    1. Eddie says:

      Sue I know you had your doubts about Arteta before he got the job, but so far what’s your rating of him? on a scale of 1-10.

      โ€œI tried to tell them before the game, to convince them that is what they should expect but I think they had to experience it.
      โ€œIf they play like this, they were going to suffer and [Leeds] were going to make you look like a small team. If you change that, you start to win duels and start to win the ball much higher up the pitch and you are better organised with a much better body language, then I think you are going to enjoy your profession.โ€.
      – Mikel Arteta.

      This is the major issue we’ve faced for four seasons straight up now. After just a win against a top side, we drift back into comfort zone. Hopefully Arteta keeps kicking them in the back and refuses to let them back in that comfort zone.
      It’s exactly why I’m not complaining or pointing out anything negative about Arteta yet

      1. Sue says:

        I’d say 8, Eddie. Been really impressed with him ๐Ÿ‘ Doubts? What doubts hahaha!!

        1. ken1945 says:

          Eddie your assessment of four years is one that is probably spot on and I concur completely.
          What makes me so annoyed is this “over a decade of lost opportunity” rubbish.
          What MA says is not just sound bites, it is obviously what he believes in and that can only be positive for our club.
          He also didn’t panic in the first half, waited to the interval, blasted the players by all accounts, then sent the same set of players out to rectify their mistakes.
          Hasn’t put a foot wrong yet, in my opinion anyway.

          Sue, glad you saw the win, those Leeds fans are awesome, as good as any foreign club we’ve seen in the CL/Europa cup – is that how you saw it?
          Liked the way the crowd saluted all the players at the end…what was the response to xhaka’s performance?
          I couldn’t believe he didn’t receive a yellow card at least!!

          1. Sue says:

            Hi Ken.. I only saw your comment on the Arsenal 1 Leeds 0 thread this morning, which I’ve answered.
            Yes, their fans were awesome and I do think their players were too, wouldn’t mind a couple of them!!
            Was a deserved salute at the end! Xhaka had a good 2nd half I thought (except all the man-handling of course!) He received a good reception, so reckon he’ll be staying with us… not so sure about Mustafi though..was expecting to see him last night!

          2. Andrew Elder says:

            I think Xhaka needs anger management, he is so easy to wind up!!

            Loved the way the team responded in the second half though.

        2. Godswill says:

          Honestly he has impressed me a lot. We don’t need to think about Pep or Klop. We have them in a few years time in person of Arteta.

          1. Sue says:

            ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

    2. Truth says:

      Happy belated New Year Sue.

      For me, we deserved to win last night. We had a poor first half but on the back of our second-half dominance, there was only one deserved winner. I fact, would anyone have been surprised if Laca had score 2 goals and we had won 3-0?

      What happened to Laca anyways? I love his work rate but he has turned into a Bendtner in the box.

      1. Sue says:

        Thanks Truth ๐Ÿ˜Š And to you too ๐Ÿ‘
        Yes, it was very satisfying to win that! 2 wins, 2 clean sheets on the spin, not bad hey?!!

        Bendtner??! ๐Ÿ˜„ Jeez he ain’t that bad haha! I believe a goal isn’t too far away.. his work rate really does deserve one… I bet he was pleased with the motm!
        Glad we passed that test.. now Selhurst Park awaits… up against Zaha – who I wanted us to buy – will he score??!! Looking forward to it.

  2. As a fan I am okay with that win in respective they played. And the win will give them the courage and bold to face any club they meet. congratulation to you guys ( Arsenal ) I am relieved.

  3. Eddie says:

    Leeds would be an interesting team next season in the EPL.
    They’ll pose a good challenge.
    Lacazette and Martinez last night said Arteta was furious at them after halftime.
    They said Arteta and the team knew what Leeds were gonna do but they failed to show up for it and that’s why Mikel was mad.
    The problem of these players is the fact that they think they’re entitled to winning without showing up. They underrate teams too much, it’s been a problem right from Wenger’s last two seasons. These guys get complacent easily.
    It’s good Arteta had to kick them in the balls after halftime.
    I love the fact he’s being hard and ruthless the right way.
    Yet some people were saying stuffs like he wouldn’t be able to handle senior players in the squad

    1. Mohsan says:

      Being only tactically good is not enough for a struggling club like we are at the moment you have to be able to give some people a kick up the back side which Arteta has shown he can do. I am he has shown another side to his managemnt as well which is ability to motivate players when they are down. I really believe in him n I will stand by my words that this guy MA is special. It was a very good move by board finally they listened n used their brain. Now they need to back him up on all fronts we can build a strong present n future under him. Next on the list things to fix should be Academy I think we need a good appointment their as well, our Acdamey output so far has been really poor. Most of the players who have passed out are not up to standard forget about producing some special talent. My vote for Acdamey incharge goes to Berkcamp. I believe like MA if given time n support he can do wonders with our Academy that will benefit us for long time.

    2. Godswill says:

      I thought he was too gentle to handle complaisant players. But he has proved me wrong. Am happy to be proved wrong for the club. I’ve been praying for Xhaka to prove us wrong just as D Luiz is trying to do.

      1. Godswill says:

        Sorry ‘complacent players’

  4. Mohsan says:

    Really happy about our performance yesterday for one simple reason being below power for first half actually completely trash to dominant in second half. One of the signs of a good improving team is that they can switch into high gear when requiredโ€ฆ.I think this kind of performance points to two very important facts 1) Players are listening n have bought into Artetaโ€™s plan 2) It showed our mental strength n fight even though we were played of the park by Leeds in first half we bounced back n battled to snatch a winโ€ฆ. Every good team in past n present can not be really good all the time, some times you have to have that character to fight n scrap through. I am glad we saw that desire n fight from our team. We dominated one game n won then we got dominated in the next game but still won.

  5. SAGooner says:

    It was a cup game – anythimg can happen, the lower league teams have nothing to lose and come at you like Bull Terriers. And if you then play a team like Leeds, well, you’re going to have to pull out all the stops. Was that really a youth side like Bielsa said before the game he would play? If so we should count ourselves lucky. However, the fact that we bounced back in the 2nd half says a lot about Mikel’s control of the dressing room, which is what a lot of supporters were worried about before he was appointed.

    Lastly, I fully support whoever said that 3 at the back does not suit our team. I was very surprised with that formation. Mikel will rise up quite a few more notches in my estimation if he succeeds with playing 3 CB’s.

  6. jon fox says:

    Leeds, playing as they did last night are, IMO, a certainly to finish at least in top 6-8 in the Prem next year. Their promotion this year is a certainty. As to our team, what last night further showed but which we already knew, was that we have a top,top coach but a sub standard team and squad, esp in defence where we do not have even one proven top quality outfield player. That is a damning accusation of treachery by both Kroenke and Gazidis. As a realist, I know and so do all who do not self fool, that we have a long haul before we can seriously hope to challenge for the top positions again. We need a whole new outfield defence, Tierney and hopefully a fully fit HOLDING apart. That is going to take some time, as Kroenke withholds badly needed investment. I think we will continue to have some wildly fluctuating performances for the remainder of this season. Much will depend on injuries, stamina and energy levels. At last we have what is ALWAYS the most important person at any club, a TOP coach/ manager(the difference being mere semantics, in my view). But the real work starts now. It could never have been even seriously imagined with the near usless Emery. What a wasted 18 months that was.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      jon, doesn’t say much for the managers/head coaches, who finished behind Arsenal last season, in the “strongest league in World football”.

  7. Uche Edochie says:

    This team is coming from a very bad place and after months of bad results, bad performances, insults and a lack of confidence, they are beginning to win again. Two games and two wins against two good teams. Man United are not a bad side. We were just so good we made them look bad. Leeds is a bloody good team. Still we beat them. I don’t care that we struggled. I care that we fought like mad and won. Under Emery, these two games would have been losses. So again I say, let us be happy The future is looking bright under Arteta.

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