Arsenal losing to Man City didn’t bother me, but our attitude did…

Expensive players are only part of the story by Neil Watson

Like everyone who watched yesterdays game I’m bitterly disappointed with the result but more in the manner in which we played. An opening match against last years record breaking champions is the most extreme baptism of fire imaginable for Emery and our new acquisitions. By comparison Chelsea also lost to City by a similar score yet appear to have spent more than us on players over the summer – so to suggest the problem is because we haven’t spent enough oversimplifies matters.

What we perceived as player discontent last season when certain members of our squad looked uninterested seems not to have been solely as a consequence of our outgoing managers tactics but more of a personal issue. It seems pointless highlighting the individuals in question, since we all know who they are, but the decision Emery now finds himself in and how those decisions will define how quickly his work in progress comes to fruition.

The risk for him is in dropping players regarded as big players in order to change the mood and attitude on the pitch. What we saw yesterday was a generally lethargic performance by established first team players against a team arguably capable of winning the UCL this season. As we often hear players really enjoy the ‘big’ games where the stage is set for them to perform against the best. From what we saw yesterday some of our keys players lacked the motivation and quality to perform at that level.

Unai has a wonderful opportunity, not necessarily subject to unlimited funds, to change the playing mentality of our team. The mentality is created within the team and not by individuals. ( #Leicestercity2017).

Dropping some of our show ponies in preference to players that will refuse to give up and throw themselves into challenges with no fear for themselves, will be in the faces of the opposition from the first whistle….. it may not be pretty, it may not remind us of our glorious invincible past but perhaps now is the time we need to field a team that nobody wants to play against.

Our club can complain about FFP and that it imbalances the fairness of league if our players can go onto the field with a pride and belief in themselves and a refusal to take defeat lying down.

Unai needs to have the courage to pick players that will give him that commitment and aggression and ignore reputations or players reputations.

Neil Watson


  1. kev says:

    What a poor team selection by Unai.Hoping the likes of Cech,Bellerin,Mkhitaryan,Guendouzi and Xhaka don’t start the next match.He should play Ramsey at box to box and bring Ozil to No. 10.
    He should then given Nelson and Iwobi a chance since they can take on players.
    I’m sick and tired of being sick tired of excuses being made for some of our players.Players like Cech and Xhaka are always making mistakes yet we were told it’s Wenger’s fault for individual errors.Also the CB partnership is a ticking time bomb. It’s just a matter of time before it explodes.

    1. GanjaMan says:

      How convenient it is to say Guendouzi shouldn’t start against Chelsea when he was one of our best and most brave of players against Man City. Then go on to say Ramsey should play box to box when he was one of the worst players yesterday, offered damn near nothing and the longest serving at the club now. The shit players got rightly subbed bar Maitland-Niles who was forced off injured and if it wasn’t for that the third sub would have been up in the air between Ozil and Mkhi who were also very poor. Time we stop being bias because we have favorites or because of the name on the back of the shirt.

      Auba, Mkhi, Ozil, Ramsey, Xhaka, and Cech(saves aside) were all poor. The subs Lacazette, Litch, and Torreria brought the positivity.

      1. PLR says:

        I agree with you 100% the subs made a massive difference and brought intensity. We should of brought in a left back, for cover. Even though Lich did well.
        But it is what it is! So onwards and upwards ?

        1. ozziegunner says:

          ??Unai Emery gave these players a chance to perform and they let him down. His reaction at training and selections will be interesting; “fly on the wall” anyone?

    2. khitb77 says:

      Says a fan, presumably with zero managerial or coaching experience.

      Please do the world a favour and stop posting!

      It’s truly pathetic that our whining “fans” think they know more than our manager, or any manager for that matter.

      Emery is a successful manager, who has worked with (most of) these players for several weeks, I take him to be a better judge of our players than you, or anyone else on the numerous Arsenal supporter websites.

      We lost to the best team in the Premier League. We all knew this wasn’t going to be a quick fix. There are so many issues for Emery and his coaching staff to address and given his modest transfer budget in the summer, spending our way out of our post Wenger funk isn’t an option.

      Hard work, discipline and getting the players to believe in the new methods are what will see us get back into the top four.

      We must be patient. I know patience is a foreign concept to a lot of our supporters, but give it a try.

      1. Thomo says:

        Pochettino klopp even pep.didn’t get it right straight away it will take time and people will have to be patient all this knee jerk reaction is stupid we started against man city ffs

      2. jon fox says:

        Who are you to tell a regular fan TO STOP POSTING? WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? You have no right to tell others to stop posting just because you disagree with them. FRANKLY, YOU SHOULD TAKE A GOOD LONG LOOK AT YOUR ATTITUDE, AS IT STINKS! By the way, I agreed with almost all of the rest of your post BUT no one has the right to tell others to stop. Think on fella!

        1. khitb77 says:

          Are you kidding? Of course I have the right. I don’t care if he’s got Arsenal till I die tattooed across his forehead.

          They don’t have to listen to me, but if Kev can write complete rubbish, then I can tell him he’s writing complete rubbish.

          It was the first game of the season, the first game in charge for Emery, the first Arsenal game for our side playing Emery’s new style. We were playing the best side in England FFS!

          We were obviously going to lose. We are so far away from being a top four side that it’s not even funny.

          Emery needs time to get the players up to speed with his methods and tactics, he needs a whole season to rebuild, following on from the shambles that we had sadly become under Wenger last season.

          Remember, Guardiola didn’t waltz into City and win the league. City lost 4-0 to Everton in his first season and they were a much better side than us to begin with, plus he spent £167M after joining City! Emery hasn’t been given that kind of cash to rebuild.

          Stupid knee jerk reactions from “fans” have dogged our club for years. We have some of the most moronic supporters in the world.

    3. Goonster says:

      So Guendouzi and Mkhitaryan should not start but Ozil should start? Guendouzi was better than Ozil and Ramsey etc..
      Ozil could not defend, could not pass the ball properly, could not hit or shoot the ball at 0.1CM per minute etc.

      The team that finished the game in the second half should be the starting lineup against Chelsea, may be try Leno for Cech, either of them I don’t mind.

      1. EyeShield21 says:

        my fist 11 next week:

        bellerin – sokratis – mustafi – Setphen. L
        guendouzi – torreira
        Nelson ozil aubameyang

    4. Ray says:

      Ah, what? Seriously Kev, that is complete BS. Ozil should be dropped along with Chaka and Ballerin!

      Catch kept the score lower yesterday. Simple and obvious for all to see!

      The fact is. Uni needs to change the mentality of some of our players and that might prove to be more difficult than he thinks. Especially when the club have shown less ambition to challenge above 4th position for such a long time. It wouldn’t install confidence in me as a player when the club also rely on freebies to strengthen the team! Saying that, a 34 year old defender had a better game than the younger defenders yesterday!

      We need to give Uni time. It’s only fair. But, I’m not convinced that at least one third of this team we be good enough to continue the long rebuild that Uni has on his hands..

      1. Ray says:

        Dam predictive text! I meant Cech, not catch. Sorry!

    5. Wilwill says:

      So you want to drop Guendozi who was arguably are best payer yesterday and rely on Ramsey who was awful for 50 odd minutes then hooked because of his dismal performance? Ok mate – did you even watch the game or were you too busy imagining up your next bullsh*t transfer rumour?

      1. GunnerJack says:

        Kev did NOT watch the game. He admitted it himself. So all this claptrap is just the result of his feverish and childlike imagination. He should be writing for the Sun or similar who also think that a pack of lies builds their reputations.

    6. Shekar233 says:


      What knowledge do you have of the game to say that guendouzi should not play? and why do you think ozil/Ramsey should play?
      You commented yesterday that you did not watch the match and
      You have been asking updates about the match on here.

      And now you have the audacity to judge the players whom you have not seen them play yesterday. Pathetic.

      Guendouze was the shining light among all our players yesterday, yes he made a few mistakes. He was partially(along with bellaerin) responsible for the first goal and could have been responsible for another goal if Aguero scored past cech.

      But what you seem not to understand is, we kept growing in the match right form the start of second half. By the end of the match we could have been level on 2-2 had Laca made good of his 2 chances and also ozil and laca didn’t mess that jinxed pass from ederson.

      So in almost all our attacks in the 2nd half the sole person winning the ball and starting the attack was Guendouzi. He broke up the city play a good number of times and also was very aggressive in closing down while pressing the city players.

      So stick to providing us entertainment during the summer by blabbering about your “Done deals” rather than commenting negativity about the match that you have not watched.

      PS: Your prediction of Ramsey signing the contract on the deadline day has failed and also the next prediction in which u said the ramsey would sing by the end of last week has also failed.

    7. Midkemma says:

      Stick to rumors cause your match analyse is p*sspoor.

  2. Cliff says:

    Good article Neil.As they say you can’t do the same thing the same way and expect a different result.Team selection will define our season.Emery must bite the bullet and bench some players.I believe he gave them an opportunity to prove them selves but they let him down big time.

  3. Southwest says:

    Dozi seemed star struck, Laca and Auba should play together, Iwobi is better suited with pressing but his end product should be worked on. Toreria should be a mainstay henceforth, Bellerin should defend better FFS. We can’t finish above City and L’Pool for real, but top 4 is a possibility if we get our acts together early in this campaign. COYG!

  4. Arsenal’s problems in summary:
    1. Xhaka
    2. Xhaka
    3. Bellerin.

    1. Tony Manvell says:

      I agree Xhaka is to slow mentally and physically, His type of play went out 10 years ago with controlled possession etc., I feel OZIL is the same although I would like to see him adapt quickly. Ramsey on the pitch did nothing he burns hot and cold. CZECH well good saves and rickets. Look there was some good news Matteo Guendouzi was a revalation, when Luca Torreira came on it reminded me of when Partick Viera came on , he seemed to position himself in the right place and did a job.
      Anyway my plight is one that most Arsenal supporters will have some empathy with. My misses is a CITY supporter, so you can imagine the ribbing I have had to take this last year. The one thing she did say of some note, ‘You know i think if you played anyone else you would have won.’ Well make of that what you will. Possible true, I suspect the next test at Chelsea will be more revealing.

  5. Franko says:

    He should have used all the players he bought first and then add the committed players to make the First 11. This pass from the back will soon explode in our faces if care is not taken cos our Central defenders are the slowest in the League. Emery should look to sign pacy are skillful players in a ll departments if he is to win the league in the future. The only way to conquer the Premier League is via pace and Skill el la the invincibles.

  6. kstixx says:

    Ramsey and xhaka should in no way be making arsenal first 11 if we really want to challenge this season or at least play well. They are squad players at best. I hope emery as seen first the catastrophe ramsey can be instead of insisting on keeping in him or making him a “important” member of the squad. he watched ramsey play in random videos. we are the fans who had to endure the pains of watching him play game after game under wenger and flopping for the wholr 90 minutes. I hope emery sees better now and i hope thay was why he decided to get him off. he deserve any wage of more than 150k.damn,we could have sold him and got someone better. i guess emery only saw videos of xhaka’s goals too before letting him renew his contract. This is an eye opener for emery and i hope he makes the necessary changes. I still back him 100%. Rome wasn’t built in a day. And contrary to popular opinion, i saw a slight improvement in bellerin, cech and mustafi yesterday. sokratis wasn’t as bad as i feared. the 2 goals were shockers foe cech. first goal, his view was hindered by players. second goal was sudden. where we lacked bite was in the final third. if we had taken all our chances, we would have had a draw or maybe a win.. who knows. but overall i saw improvement compared to wenger’s arsenal. I saw a manager for the first time in years who knew what to do when some players flopped. rather than keep them on the field. I bet the game against Chelsea would be much better. Onwards and forwards

    1. kstixx says:

      he doesn’t deserve*

      1. GanjaMan says:

        Here here! If true Ramsey wants Ozil pay or close to it that’s disgusting, Ozil doesn’t even deserve Ozil pay. This season we will finally see the players that will take our great club forward.

        1. ozziegunner says:


    2. GunnerJack says:

      Nicely summed up kstixx

  7. Cliff says:

    With the players we have we can play a 4231 formation.
    Leich sokratis mustaphi Monreal
    Torreira. Elneny
    Welbeck. Mikki. Auba
    I picked Elneny over Guenduzzi because of experience, but they should interchange oftenly.As for Welbeck, he is the only person close to a winger in our team and we really need one.

    1. kstixx says:

      what the hell are u smoking man. welbeck should have been shipped to stoke for free. i would have nelson over welbeck. guendouzi has definitely earned the right to start ahead of elneny, xhaka and ramsey. he only needs slight guidance. I watched the match with chelshit, manure and loserpool fans and most of them sang his praise and wondered where we got him from. They couldn’t believe their ears when i told them his age and that he was from division 2 of ligue 1. I would start
      litch mustafi sokratis monreal
      guendouzi torriera
      mkhi ozil Auba
      This line up would win us several matches

      1. Cliff says:

        I am in agreement with you Man.I have my doubts though about Ozil.He needs to be benched so that he can work harder in matches.For now he thinks he is indispensable .

  8. Pablo Picasso says:

    – The game highlighted the need for an explosive winger many of us were calling out for. Our wing play was poor and this was City’s weakness especially on Mendy’s side. I could imagine having a Mahrez, Sane or Sterling in our first 11.

    – Couldn’t believe Ozil, Mhki & Auba’s poor first touch, they really need more work on the ball especially on counter attacks. Unai would have loved having Carzola & Coq implementing his style of play.

    – Not all negatives though, I don’t think Cech had a bad game as most are pointing out, even for an experienced player his never had to play from back.

    – Unai needs to teach the team how to better press in an organised manner, its one of the big differences I noticed against City, City’s players pressed in zones & not all players running towards the ball leaving spaces (maybe having Lucas in the team will also help with this).

    – Please drop Xhaka & Ramsey from the first 11. Would have preferred to even start with the energetic Elneny in place of Xhaka. Ramsey is not a disciplined players & should not be given a free role in the team. Better players out there. Another poor performance from Mkhi & the fans will be calling for bench time for him aswell.

  9. Goonster says:

    To me it looked like our players were more worried about staying in their designated position. They were more worried about the tactics that Unai provided them with, so they looked rigid and stationary. But with a few games we will be much bettee. It might be too late for Top 4 by then but as long as we show some progress in the coming weeks then I will be happy.
    We lost but I just feel that new energy, fresh start and optimism in me. May be i am delusional but i am always delusional when it comes to Arsenal.

  10. GanjaMan says:

    Give Unai Emery time! He’ll work with what he has until he’s able to add the remaining players that will fit his philosophy. Starting from the back with a ball playing GK (Leno) to pacey technical lethal attackers.

    Man City and Liverpool are now the blueprint for this but it took time for their managers as well whom I believe are on their third season with access to more transfer funds.

    Give Emery time!

  11. Tatgooner says:

    iwobi ppshoupld play against chelsea ahead of ozill and torreira ahead of xhaka.
    if monreal pppis fit bellerin should drop to the bench and lichtsteiner should be at rightback.
    lichtsteiner mustafi sokratis monreal
    torreira guendozi ramsey
    iwobi lacazette aubameyang

  12. McLovin says:

    Xhaka out – TORREIRA IN
    Bellerin out – LICHSTEINER IN
    Cech out – LENO IN (this is debatable because Cech can make great saves, but he’s terrible with the ball, so we shouldn’t play out from the GK if Cech is in goal)

    Lacazette MUST START
    Özil CANNOT be on the wing
    I would also argue maybe starting Holding. He has done really well against Chelsea in the past.

    ———— Leno/Cech
    Licht – Sokratis – Mustafi – Monreal
    ——— Torreira – Guendouzi
    Mkhitaryan – Özil – Aubameyang
    ———— Lacazette

    OR as we don’t have any wingers:

    ———– Leno / Cech
    Licht – Sokratis – Musti – Monreal
    ————- Torreira
    — Mkhitaryan – Guendouzi
    ————- Özil
    Lacazette – Aubameyang

    1. Tony Manvell says:

      ———— Leno/Cech
      Licht – Sokratis – Mustafi – Monreal
      ——— Torreira – Guendouzi
      Mkhitaryan – Özil – Aubameyang
      ———— Lacazette

      I like that formation.

  13. Thomo says:

    Pochettino klopp even pep.didn’t get it right straight away it will take time and people will have to be patient all this knee jerk reaction is stupid we started against man city ffs

  14. barryglik says:

    0-2 v the champs is fine.
    An away loss to Chelsea is ok.
    It’s quite possible Huddersfield
    and us will be equal bottom
    after two games as we play the same 2 teams to start.
    Then we go on a long run of winnable fixtures
    interspersed with soft Europa league ties
    while our top 6 opponents will have some tough
    league fixtures plus the much harder CL.
    The 12 game league run 9 of which are in London is
    Westham H Cardiff A Newcastle A
    Everton H Watford H Fulham A Leicester H Palace A
    Liverpool H Wolves H Bournemouth A Tottenham H
    By the time we beat Spurs on the 2nd of December
    Gunners will be top of the league.
    Then knock off United at OT the following week 🙂
    You heard it here first.

    1. GanjaMan says:

      Imagine winning the first NLD held in that toilet bowl they call a stadium. Even though a win at Old Trafford against Mourinho would be priceless as well.

    2. gooner4life says:

      I think you are in DREAMLAND it’s time to wake up and realise we are just not good enough yet but we must be patient for the good times to return

  15. Thomo says:

    We played far too slow through the lines not enough movement and creativity and pressing on a consistent basis ,i think iwobi torriera should definitely play in the middle

  16. dboy says:

    Our players are still getting to understand they roles and get used to the managers philosophy. This will take time. It is still difficult for combinations to form because we have a lot of new players in the squad that need to settle in. These new players also need to adapt to the premier league. So i think we need patience. Klopp and Guardiola even struggled in their first season. Allow the manager to experiment and get the right be for next season. Trust me players who do not perform will be sold.

    1. GunnerJack says:

      The new players were fine. It’s Xhaka and Ramsey who need to adapt to the premier league!

  17. Sue says:

    I hope Ramsey & Xhaka are benched for the Chelsea match…

  18. Midkemma says:

    Drop rambo to the reserves till he signs a new deal.
    Time for Arsenal to get tough on contracts… Or will Gazidis continue to be spineless and offer too much for players?

    I think we seen some of the consequences of Rambo contract yesterday, he was put higher up the pitch and I can only assume to aid the pressing game but when did he press?

    Ozil pressed more and I for one will praise Ozil def attitude against City, he put a real shift in! Rambo though… Throw him in the reserves till he signs a new deal and willing to do as he is told, not what he wants.

    Kinda obvious to why Rambo was dragged off, fingers crossed Emery will learn from this and not start him next game… But I fear he will as he wants Rambo to sign a new deal.

  19. Jeremy says:

    I wasn’t surprised to see us beaten, honestly.
    Good to see the poor attitude leaving us, under the new manager.
    No more wimps!!!

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