Arsenal’s defeat is simply another step on the path to success

It is not the end of us yet

Defeat is not loss, but a step on the path to success by Vuyo Mataka

It’s been a tough week for Arsenal, a draw against Brentford and a loss to Manchester City, kicking us off the top of the table. Arsenal have struggled for form since losing to Manchester United. It’s a slump at the worst time for Arsenal. The team has come to a plateau. The line-up is constant, the style of play is predictable and allowed teams to hindered Arsenal’s charge to the title. This has left the club in a vulnerable position, a position where the team has to change tactics and adapt to their new situation.

Arsenal have been flying for the past few months, with Bukayo Saka being the star play for the team. His composure and ability has been a driving force for us. Teams have realised his effectiveness and have put players on him to limit effect on the game. Other players are proving themselves, the likes of Odegaard, Martinelli and Nketiah, however, it hasn’t been enough. Granit Xhaka is having his best season at the club ,but tactically the team needs a more offensive midfielder that is able to beat the man and create the chance or take the shot.

The games against Brentford and Manchester City have shown that Arsenal’s playing style is rigid and predictable. With a lack of changes in the team, it makes it easier for teams to set up against us. The Arsenal bench is much improved, but there are not many game changers, especially in midfield. Possibly, allowing Fabio Vieira or Leandro Trossard into the midfield next to Odegaard could improve the team’s creativity, this is a question only Arteta can answer. The manager has quite the quandary to ponder.

Arsenal don’t play Manchester City every week, however, when the opportunity comes to show you’re champions you do not falter. At this moment Arsenal need results, they have the passion, but the individuals have to stand up and make a difference. Each game that passes the pressure builds on the team to do the impossible. Do Arsenal have the mental fortitude to fight for the trophy? or will their season end in capitulation, seeing Manchester City as victors again.

Every game matter now, make it count.

Vuyo Mataka


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  1. We can still win the PL but 1 point out of 9 points isn’t that great.

    We need to bounce back and get back to the top.

  2. Arsenal’s defeat is simply another step towards success, wtf that I have to say is the stupid is thing a have heard, quicker we sort Eddie with somebody else the better

    1. It means that defeat is part of the process. You think man city would be the team they are today without some defeats? Its the defeats that shows the team what they are capable of and how to improve. If you’re winning all the time, then slowly a mentality creaps in that says there’s nothing to improve on, and players start to get complacent. Sometimes you gotta fall down to see if you have it in you go dust yourself off and get up. Hopefully the boys have it in them. I’ve seen enough this season to know that they have it in them. Whether we win the title or not this year, all I know is Arsenal are back. We are a team that is taken seriously again after years of mediocrity

        1. What’s so complicated about what I’m saying that you’re lost? winning is not a birth right. sometimes you are going to lose. The key is to use the losses as an opportunity to learn and improve, simple as that. I think that was the point of the article, but it wasn’t expressed correctly

          1. Asuo….normally I would say you’re flogging a dead horse (Dan kit)…but I’m wrong…you’re flogging a stupid horse…pointless still

  3. If we lose at Villa Park, it would mean:

    – We’re not stable enough to be a title contender. It’s going to be difficult to bounce back after having a series of disappointing results

    – Arteta and the coaches haven’t analyzed Man City’s last two games. The blueprint is there and the fix for our problems is pretty obvious, since Man City’s attacking formation is similar to ours

    The defeat from Man City is normal, because Guardiola is one of the best managers in the world and Arteta’s tactics are similar to his. But I’d be really surprised if we lose against Aston Villa

    1. “The defeat from Man City is normal, because Guardiola is one of the best managers in the world and Arteta’s tactics are similar to his”… and they have great players with more experience of these kinds of games than ours.

      To win the title, we need to show go beyond normal, though. We need to raise our game above what is expected. We’ve done it several times this season imo. We’ve gone behind in big games and dug in to get a win, breaking the opposition by being confident and simply outplaying them in every respect.
      We’ve lost that spark recently, and at a bad time. If we’d played this city team a month or two ago, I’d not just expect us not to lose, I’d have been disappointed if we didn’t win, because I think we were better than them. The season is long, though, and things change. We need to get that spark back asap.

      1. Our attackers shouldn’t waste many clear-cut chances

        Man City were very clinical in their last few games. If Arsenal want to win EPL, they have to achieve that standard

    2. @gotanidea
      Let’s stop with the “City / Guardiola are far too good for us and that a loss is normal” talk.
      City are not prime Barcelona or Bayern etc..
      And the FREE HIT game nonsense ended last season. We are competing with City now, we have a much improved team, the players and manager have much more experience today.

      Stop with that embarrassing talk of a defeat to City is normal, that some cringeworthy copium in my opinion. When do we stop with “The games against City are free hit? Or that a defeat to City is normal?”

      How do you expect to win the title or CL with such mentality? To be able to win the league you have to first beat and do better than City. So how do you win a title if you just nonchalantly make such statements? So that is 6 points we have to forfeit, then what’s nexts 6 points against Liverpool? Then United and Chelsea etc in the future? In a few seasons Newcastle would be added? Then how do we win the league?

      1. Our attacking power and finishing are obviously not on a par with Man City’s

        I believe Guardiola is the most decorated manager in the world as compared to the other managers of similar age and Man City’s squad is far more expensive than ours, so our defeat wasn’t surprising to me

        Admitting Man City’s superiority over ours would hopefully make our coaches and players learn from the Cityzens’ games, because their tactics are similar to Arteta’s. We can still win EPL without winning any game against them

  4. Article reminds me of a quote from Nelson Mandela;

    “I never lose, I win or I learn.” Great attitude to have, but unfortunately we have not seemed to learn (or at least show that we have) after the FA Cup, Everton, and Brentford matches.

    Same tactics and expecting different results is madness. I mean FFS, inverted LB against City? That strategy against Pep who used it already with Zinchenko?

    City very familiar with that tactic, and the player especially; his advantages and disadvantages. Sorry to say, but that tactic kills the LW attack and isolates Martinelli; no need to help the defenders. Add to that neither Xhaka or Zinchenko making runs and it gets very difficult on the left side attack.

  5. I have to borrow Jon Fox’s ‘realism’ approach and state emphatically that it is better to lose now when we can recover than later when there will be no more room for manoeuvre. Any sensible person can see that there is a limit to how many games we can lose with the squad we have. Our players can’t all of a sudden become bad because some people disparage them. We are going to bounce back soon.

  6. Swap martinelli with saka so you have a natural left footy on the left and a natural right foot on the right, defenders are reading the way saka etc plays when they know if they go down the wing they need to cut back on to there left to cross it in , Herzog it’s footy 101, put Nelson on the right or viera on the left and put either saka or martinelli as striker instead of Eddie, hes not a out and out striker and plz change our formation to 2 upfront least it gives more pressure on the defenders instead of Eddie running about lost for most of the game, we can still win the league but we need to start getting to the point where teams can’t read our game play when they know who is left wing right wing and 1 striker….COYG

  7. OK
    Let’s say this is a blip
    Losing 8point in 3games, yet to win a match second half of the season. city winning first away game against current top 5 teams this season.
    My question is At what point will this became a cause for concerns, at what point are the fans supposed to be worried?

    I am very disappointed how in space of few weeks we surrendered all we built, I am not annoyed we did but annoyed in the manner it happened, I would accept city going on a crazy run and we meeting few bumbs over a period of time maybe 10games or more and city closing the gap, but to surrender it the way we did in space of 3 games is unacceptable. And Arteta has been a major catalyst in why we are struggling, he has been the main person that have let the team down. When pundits and fans of other clubs say we won’t win the league despite playing one of the best football and having a healthy lead we take it as insult but we know with arsenal people have come to always expect a collapse and we never disappoint them…
    Now is not even a time to scrap out victory we have to make a statement tomorrow by smashing villa to show we are not going down without a fight

    1. Gun down, Call yourself a true Gooner? I say you are NOT !
      That is not the post of a real supporter but of a spoilt self entitled child!

      1. Thank you John fox…in the next transfer window,we need to get some new supporters….this lot is not football savvy

      2. I prefer ignoring you because i have known you long enough here even when wenger was around. I know how true a fan you are, the self proclaimed all knowing, i can’t waste my energy with you i agree i am not a true supporter , you can keep moving my dear true supporter

  8. Gun down, how have we surrendered all we built?

    If your talking about points, that makes sense, or the fact that our unbeaten home record has gone, that’s another.

    But we’re still level on points with city, we still have the second best GD in the PL league, we still have the fans behind the players and we are still in the position to play CL football for the first time in six years.

    Of course losing the other night was a bitter pill to swallow, especially as it wasn’t until 18 minutes from the end that city went ahead again.

    I’ve watched this squad of players mature from being unable to put any consistency together, to one that has done the complete opposite.
    You don’t open up a 8 point lead in the most competitive league in the world, unless your doing something right.

    We have suffered from VAR decisions, players like ESR, Nelson and Jesus being out with long term injuries yet we are still level on points with a game in hand.

    Let’s see how MA, the players and the fans react tomorrow, before we start shouting about what we’ve thrown away.

    It’s taken me a long time to back MA 100%, but I’m b****red if three bad results are going to make me forget what’s gone on during this season.

    1. Every team have suffered injuries
      Injuries are part of football as long as it’s few players it’s not an excuse, i understand having 5 to 6 first team players injured it can be hard but we have been lucky with injuries this season so it’s not an excuse… what is the need of opening an 8 point lead just to lose it in space of 2weeks there is a way to lose and this isn’t it.

      1. City had no injury worries, while we had, arguably, two of our most influential players out and ESR wouldn’t be far behind.

        Lucky with injuries? Come of it, you are supposed to be a fan, why say such nonsense?

        What’s the use of opening uo a 8 point lead?
        Ask, united, Newcastle, spuds, chelsea, as they’re all trying to catch us up for a CL place.

        1. Top 4?
          Look at liverpool and chelsea to see how lucky we have been with injury.
          City have been without diaz, laporte, halaad have missed some games as well, what injuries are you talking about? It’s only Jesus missing, partey is having his best season injury wise, go and take a look at games partey have missed, he is hardly available for big games so what injuries are you talking about? Is the absence of partey the reason we have kept only 2 home clean sheet so far this season.
          Telling me about top 4 when we are looking forward to fighting for the league please don’t make me laugh

          1. I’m talking about the city game with reference to Partey…. did we miss him?
            So, if we win the league, will it be because other clubs had jnjuries?
            I do agree with your point regarding AW and Jon Fox though!!! Jon forgets how he “supported” Arsene and the club so faithfully.

  9. A lot to look forward to at Villa Park. What will Arteta’s formation be and how long can he persevere with the non productive Xhaka and Nketien. I am going hoping/wishing for the best but realistically fear the worst. We have no full backs, our two most dangerous players risk burnout and our transfer window gave us very little. Still I’m hopeful that the momentum we had built until a few games ago will be enough to kick start the most important part of our season.

  10. @Joe. S “non productive Xhaka and Nketia”. Suddenly you’ve turned them into your scapegoat umm. The entire team played below par and you can only pinpoint Nketia and Xhaka? Grow up sir and get over this defeat. Games come with victory and defeat. That’s the beauty of it. I don’t farmers league because there is always one winner, and that’s Bayern.

    1. Farmers league? City have won the title 4 times in 5 seasons. Maybe epl is looking more and more like farmers league nowaday

  11. Soccer boy, what ever your delusions they are not class players. A Vierra, Roy Keane Martinez at Chelsea now, would have turned on the burners and inspired the rest with their example.. Xhaka went to sleep. Nothing was going to happen from his end and he left the defence stranded and Odegaard as the only creative. A good pass every game or two is what Xhaka gets payed for and every other club has similar players who can get the job done with equal effect. Over the years I’ve been pretty consistent with my stand. Arsenal will never achieve while Xhaka remains ingrained on the starting eleven. Having said that I hope he pulls off his one good game in three today and inspires us to a win As for Eddie he missed to good chances and created none of his own. Tomiyasu, Martinelli and Zhivchenko can also be singled out for not being up to scratch but I know they will play better next time especially if chosen in the right positions. Eddie is simply a plodder. Having said that he is all we have at the moment. Now, as for growing up, at 67 I’m a lost cause but hey, do you know what!!!!!

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