Aston Villa earn deserved win against lacklustre Arsenal

Aston Villa have secured a 1-0 win over Arsenal this afternoon, with the Gunners simply out of ideas in the final third.

Our side was behind from the first attack of the game, thanks to terrible attempt at a pass from Cedric Soares. The defender’s failure in the final third allowed the Villains the chance to get the ball into Ollie Watkins, and he fired straight past Mat Ryan.

It wasn’t the ideal start to life for the Australian shot-stopper on his debut, but he put in a solid shift in goal.

Our team tried to pick themselves up front the early setback, but Tyrone Mings and Matty Cash were in top form, and always seemed to be in the right place to sniff out our attack as we pile forwards.

Nicolas Pepe was our most dangerous outlet in attack, but even he was forced to try and challenge Emi Martinez from distance thanks to a solid back line.

Early in the second-half, Ryan pulled off an amazing save to deny Jack Grealish’s effort which was destined for the top corner, while our best chances appeared to be coming from corner kicks.

Alexandre Lacazette was replaced by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with 3- minutes left on the clock, but the Gabon international wasn’t able to muster up a single shot on target, which was a clear indicator of his performance.

Thomas Partey limped off the pitch, and he and Emile Smith Rowe were replaced by Willian and Martin Odegaard, but we still struggled to in attack. The Brazilian actually played well for once, making runs down the left to get in behind, but Villa were able to deal with the threat well, and were deserving of their 1-0 win.

What could Arsenal have done better? Does Aubameyang need to stay out wide to be effective?


Tags Aston Villa


  1. Arteta seemed to instruct Smith-Rowe to move to the left side frequently, to overload the left flank with Pepe and Soares. Smith-Rowe should’ve been allowed to make crosses from the right side, where he’d been thriving with Saka and Bellerin

    Partey didn’t have a good game today and our left wing was dull because there was no Tierney. Aston Villa are lucky to have Ollie Watkins, who is a good lone striker

    1. Watkins is,nothing special. We have him too much space, probably scared to tackle in case we get another red lol.

      Watkins is a,type of forward we lack though.

      1. He could hold our CBs off as what he did in their previous meeting, he’s pretty quick and decent in the air as well

        1. if we decide to buy him this summer he will stop progressing next season, this type of players are fit in midtable teams, the like of Zaha, Barkleys etc

      2. Nothing special?
        Space my foot.. He held the CBs off even in tight spaces away from the box. Something Aubameyang will never be able to contribute to this team

        1. Well lets see again when Watkins has scored +20 goals multiple seasons in a row.

          I reiterate again: we went into the season without a player like Giroud and as we saw with Giroud, he never should’ve been starter but a super sub. And Giroud and Watkins, they are not special. Just good target men , the type of striker we should have in our reserves but don’t have. Thus, we only have one playing style (and I’m not sure what that is?).

        2. “He held the CBs off even in tight spaces away from the box. Something Aubameyang will never be able to contribute to this team”

          20+ goals a season, something Watkins will never contribute to any team

  2. There are NO EXCUSES for this.
    2nd minute goal down would be forgotten if we won.
    Sh!t club.

    1. Did you seriously just call the club you support sh%t? SMFH, call the manager or team sh%t if you must NOT the club you support.

      1. I really doubt he’s an Arsenal fan…. he comes here before every game with prophecies of doom. I’ve learnt to ignore his comments

  3. Ryan – 7
    Bellerin – 5
    Holding – 6
    Gabriel – 6
    Cedric – 3
    Partey – 6
    Xhaka – 6
    Saka – 6
    Smith-Rowe – 5
    Pepe – 5
    Laca – 5

    Subs: Odegaard – 6, Auba – 4, Willian – 5

    Awful first half, far better second half. Villa defended very well, but our final ball and final action in the final third was poor all day. Villa deserved the win.

    Ryan looks a solid backup, and hopefully Partey is ok. Odegaard looks decent as well. Didn’t even know Auba was on the pitch, which is a huge worry.

    Like I said before the game, it’s all about. Europe for CL qualification. I cannot see us finishing in the top 5 or 6, let alone the top 4.

    1. How didnt Pepe get a better rating? He was the only one actually shooting and making an effort at final third?

      1. Although Pepe had some decent actions in the final third, he also had many poor moments, bad touches, so they kind of evened itself out.

    1. Danson – When Pep gets bored of Winning Titles and Cups with city. He will lead us beyond the tunnel of darkness and take us on the freeway to greatness πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„

  4. Ryan MOTM for me. Fantastic saves.

    Cedric cost us the game. Villa needed to defend tightly the rest of the match.

    Arteta killed all hopes of a comeback by bringing Willian and shifting our best outfield player Pepe to the right.

    Then again its also Arteta to deemed Cedric be good enough to be makeshift LB.

    I sincerely hope after the season ends, Arteta is sacked and we bring in experienced tactician. What was our tactic today? 40 crosses to 175cm Lacazette? AMN shipped out so we can use Cedric as LB? Play Willian who wouldn’t make a Championship side?

    Guendouzi named Emery as the best manager he’s worked with. We played our best 45 minutes of the season (5 months after season started) and ended up losing

      1. Seems we should not get points off man u last time we won we went 8 games without a win and now it’s 2 games without a win

  5. i changed the channel when i saw willian come on instead of Martinelli come on guys Mikel Artetal is simply just not good enough

  6. So Arteta sees that Saka and Pepe on left is creating our most dangerous period of the game. He decides it is a smart decision to then move Pepe to the right, in favor of Willian!! You’ve got to be joking. Arteta’s blatant mistakes are unacceptable and embarrassing. This isn’t even about Willian not being good anymore. He purposely plays a player that has been awful all season when he has Martinelli on the bench to use over him. What the hell was he thinking? Mikel will not be here much longer if he keeps making these mistakes. He can complain about not having quality players all he wants. HE signed Willian first of all, and he is the one making bad calls and costing us points. Auba needs a good period on the bench too. Totally uninterested.

    1. Switching pepe to the right took out the width on both sides. Stupid decision from the incompetent “manager”

    2. RSH
      You are exactly right. Arteta single handedly killed off any chance with that tactical blunder with Willian and the switch.

      Why not Martinelli for Laca and Auba instead of Willian?

      Cedric cost us 3 points, and Arteta’s tactical blunder guaranteed it.

      Perhaps a season where Arteta only has to manage the league and FA Cup will suit him.

  7. Last 3 games against Villa, 3 defeats, no goals and 4 shots on target! Already lost the same amount of games as last season! Languishing in 10th with teams all games in hand.. look toothless up front, Aubameyang has turned into Nicklas Bendtner… Thomas Partey is injury prone and I want this season to end right now! Awful

    1. 80 minutes we won’t get back, Kev.
      After Tuesday at Molineux, I didn’t think I’d feel like that again so soon… wrong!!!

      1. Nothing surprises me with this team Sue.. I don’t even know why I’m angry we’ve been shockingly poor all season! Arteta is taking this team to the bottom half of the table and it’s inexcusable that it’s allowed to happen.

        1. I’m freaking raging!! Work was awful, then sitting through that! There’s only so much a woman can take!!

          1. Oh I know Sue, they know how to ruin your day, I’m watching no more football today I’ve had it! Wednesday was painful enough and now today another defeat! We’ve become a laughing stock. I’m going for a nap 😴

          2. Don’t have nightmares, Kev – Ollie Watkins, Grealish’s calves, Willian, John Terry – cold sweat ensues πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

          3. Grealish’s dodgy haircut maybe πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Willian is more of a night terror than a nightmare Sue πŸ˜†

  8. Hopefully this will be Arteta last game in charge must be sacked after this absolutely clueless makes so many wrong decisions should be sacked just for bringing William in on hes up there with the worse signing ever made by a manager please please put us and Arteta out of his misery and get shot of him!!

  9. At this point we can’t just pretend that all is well. We can not just wish away years of poor management, and lack of ambition

  10. How do you explain to your kids that Aston villa beat arsenal at the Emirates and villa park with players like Nakamba and Traore in Thier squad..

    1. all the evidence points to villa sqaud being better than arsenals. how many of our players get into their XI. Saka, Partey, maybe Holding. That’s it.

      1. Better manager also don’t forget. Also a good assistant in Terry, compared to Arteta who doesn’t want anyone experienced to challenge or question him.

        Concerning about Arteta’s poor decison making with subs and tactics. Very very poor lately, and he isn’t learning from his mistakes.

        Add an inexperienced Edu to the equation, and you get a rookie manager with more responsibilities than he can handle.

        1 decent game doesn’t make you a LB, shoe horn Willian into team fails again, Pepe on the right still ineffective, 100 crosses into box still doesn’t work, continue to be toothless upfront after 6 months.

  11. We deserve to lose, Pepe was our best player and why did we even bring in Willian when we have Martinelli on the bench. Each time I remember we sold Martinez for 20 million it makes me feel so sad because Martinez is what a complete keeper should look like, he’s way better than Kepa and Mendy and they cost more than him. I don’t even know who to blame for this match for this match.

  12. Today i have to agree we need a target man as plan B, we cant be wasting these setpieces , across and corner.
    And Holding, everywhere around the aerial ball only to nod it over

  13. If an experienced manager is available right now, Arteta should be sacked immediately. We are 13th soon.

    Saliba, Guendouzi, Γ–zil saga, insist on playing Willian.. There’s just too many bridges burned and calls made that are killing the team.

  14. I agree with you RSH. Arteta isn’t fault for this loss. I am even scared of looking at the league table. I am tired of this disappointment. What is the solution to this mess we are in?

    1. And sending out AMN on loan because Cedric > AMN as left-back.

      I was glad AMN was sent out on loan but I thought Arteta had a plan. THERE WAS NO PLAN. Using your back up RB as LB is not a plan ffs.

      1. Seriously no plan, and has been going on for years.
        Kolasinac might not be the best LB but he had his role in the team. Loaning him out without a replacement speaks of poor management.

        1. “We cleared the deadwood, saved millions in wages and won the transfer window”.

          “Best transfer window since the invincibles”

          1. Leaving your team short of essential players is not winning. Clearing the deadwoods was necessary, but it is not an for not getting a backup LB.

  15. Things that are clear….

    Auba offers nothing if he’s not in scoring form, and he’s not unfortunately

    Bellerin offers almost nothing in attack and very little in defence

    Xhaka is consistent and doesn’t make many mistakes but he slows the game down just that fraction too much which costs us attacking speed

    We are horrific against any team that sits deep. MA desperately needs to figure out how to play against these teams.

    ESR has been overplayed and looks tired, shouldn’t have started. Kid needs a rest.

    We have a strange obsession with crossing the ball against deep sitting teams….who are we crossing to??

    Odegaard looks good, needs a run starting a few games

    Ryan looks decent

    MA has my support but needs to start showing he belongs at this level very soon.

    Disclaimer(for the emotional fans that will be upset): Xhaka is decent but he very very rarely wins us a game though a moment of brilliance…

      1. I thought Xhaka was good too, but I agree that he just so often slows us down.. he’s very languid in possession..

        If we were smart, we would sell him in summer.

    1. agree with everything you’ve said. Xhaka was fine today, but thats’ about it and that’s a problem. It’s nice that he’s available for the pass, but it’s always a pass that is less advance, and always resets the play and allows opposition to set up against us again. and yeah i was also shocked when i saw ESR in the starting lineup. Why sign Odegaard if you are not going to give ESR some rest. He’s not used to playing this much and needed some rest time. It’s poor man management again.

    2. Xhaka is the least of our problems. Maybe you should lower your expectations. He is not our AM or B2B so stop expecting so much attacking contributions him. Judge him on his role in the team.

      1. hes responsible for the speed on play. If he’s slowing down the game and giving opposition a time to reset its an issue.

    3. If I had to comment it would’ve read with a stark similarity to yours. Still too much dead weight in this team.

  16. We struggled with partey on the pitch he’s has not improved us ,I’m sorry to say,we would rather have kept Martinez the best keeper in the league.This club had been badly Manager trusting amatures with big decisions.

    1. Your last statement” trusting armatures with big decision” is deep. And that is the truth. Is Kroenke interested in making us successful again? What is happening? How do we have a team that will compete for the league again? What is the way forward? I am tired of this mediocrity.

    2. Xhaka is the problem at this club, always has been. He prefers to sit back and just pass the ball rather than create. His unwillingness to make any foward drives or runs implys he is more of a DM than a CM. Compare the guys who we have seen occupying his spot before: Santi, Nasri, Wilshere, Ramsey.. now look at Xhaka and tell me if he fits in at this club! We cannot create if we don’t have a foward-minded CM in midfield willing to stimulate play.

      1. QD, HALLELUJAH!
        I HAVE BEEN SAYING EXACTLY THAT FOR ALL HIS TIME HERE. I can’t stand him at all and passionately want him gone. Some daft fans actually think he is playing well. Not me!

    3. And I thought it was just me.

      I’m having difficulties remembering a game where he has started and we won.

      Then to be told it was against manure. And there I thought that was the only game we won in that crappy blue kit

      1. Feck me… is this what it has come to… remembering when Partey started in a winning team and what crap kit we was wearing.

        I suppose this season… then yes it is😱

  17. We have best squad in a decade strong and no coach at player’s level.

    Tuchel showed so much in 3 games! Tact tic, and all a coach supposed to be for a team. A guide! Make proper changes, their last win was all that and team to watch now.

    He brought excitement & leadership. Players knows what must do as it makes all sense.

    We seem so lost on pitch.

    At this time of season, no coach can really be securing but more of a risk as he would need to adapt.

    Not Arsene. He will bring back senses and take this team way higher…

  18. In order to score you need to create chances and this lot had no idea. Clearly no leader on the pitch or on the bench.
    You see more passion from a Sunday league team.
    The club is still in crisis after a decade.

  19. This team needs a shake up. I really think both auba and laca must go. Would rather see martinelli and a new striker getting minutes. Willian is useless, xhaka is not good enough. Bring back saliba and partner with Gabriel. Go buy an all around striker like eduoard and see us challenge next year

  20. Omg, how many more times will we hear “We sold the wrong keeper” 😴😴😴😴😴😴😴😴😴😴😴
    Go and follow Villa then…

    1. lol Sue. A disappointing result today. Martinez is now a villa player. We have to move on as a team.

    2. It does my head in Sue! Martinez this martinez that! Bernd Leno is a fine keeper I have no problem with the goalkeepers including Mat Ryan who looks a very able backup. We are rubbish up top, now unless emi martinez can score 20 goals a season fans need to stop this obsession with him.

    3. πŸ‘ The decision was made for right or wrong, move on.
      Matt Ryan must be wondering what hes come to; his first touch is getting the ball from the back of the net!

      1. Being an Arsenal goalie that’s something he’ll have to get used to Ozziegunner lol… But I have to say he impressed me, if Leno gets injured, I’ll be a lot more confident with Matt Ryan as backup πŸ‘

      2. They seem to forget the howlers that Martinez as done in his last few weeks .
        You won’t hear the end of it they think he was the better keeper so any mistake that Leno makes will get highlighted but Martinez’s will get forgotten.
        Personally Martinez was a good keeper but not in the same class as Leno and Ryan looks just as good a backup as Martinez if not better

        1. I know Dan and someone on here called him the best keeper in the league.. what’s he doing at Villa then ? Let’s see how he performs with a crowd at his back.

          1. How is Martinez allowed to drag Lacazette down to the ground by the shirt in the penalty area and not be penalised? Where is VAR?

  21. Those of us calling for artetas departure at Xmas sadly being proven right … this guy is David moyes 2.0 … we are meant to be a serious club not one where journeymen manager can learn his trade … shocking

    1. saka and ESR saved his job. He was games away from being sacked. If he can’t even realize Martinelli is a superior player to Willian he’s got no business coaching any EPL side.

      1. And truthfully, he’s got no biz coaching an EPL side…Even the ESR SAKA combi he stumbled on after series of losses without any signs of improvement, he couldnt do nothing till God gifted him a mistake lineup..

        Now ESR is tired, SAKA can’t do it all alone…wat can he do about it ,absolutely nothing till he stumbles upon a magic substitution trick..cuz he has a strong bench buh doesn’t have a clue of who to replace…

        God help us ….and real soon …..cuz we staring at 13th with 10 losses already with Liverpool,Tottenham, man city,Leicester,everton and a resurgent Chelsea yet to come

  22. Clearly we don’t have any identity or style.Always starting the games slowly,defending,moving the ball sideways or backward.Always,until we concead a goal1.Then we start trying to play,but is already too late.Same scenario every game.Always scarred to play attacking football.Just like Arteta was as a player(sideway,backward,slow moving passes,always playing safe) is the same with Arsenal.Get rid of Arteta,this guy is far away for being a hope for Arsenal future.Arteta out,start looking for an experienced ,entertaining coach.Pay Nagelsman from Leipzig whatever he wants and bring him on board-this is what Arsenal needs.

    1. He would have been my choice but typical the board would not pay the wages he would have wanted. Had we got him we would be in a different position even with some of our dud players.

  23. Patrick if you didn’t watch the match, at least try to get ur info right.
    Smith Rowe played the full 90mins. Cedric was taken off for Willian.
    That being said.. Arteta and Aubameyang are both fools. I have said it constantly, Aubameyang brings nothing to this team at the moment. I would habe preferred Martinelli to come on as he’s more of a threat to defenders.
    Aubameyang didn’t do anything of note. Shame.

    Arteta moved one of his most promising attackers (Saka) to the defense (LB) when the team is chasing a goal just to continue putting in crosses for an Aubameyang that will never contest for the ball.
    Stupid tactics

    1. Very stupid tactics that continued to fail us early season now he’s back at it again…crosses on crosses to nobody…

      He obviously learnt nothing under guardiola…look at our players on paper shud b up there fighting for top 4…..buh look at teams that confidently drag with us, westham crystal palace,Aston villa, wolves like wtf!!! Compare a Watkins,Antonio,benteke,the cheat wolves cf to auba or laca….even their midfielders on paper ain’t close but tactics/indiscipline fails us time and time again

      how we struggle against these teams beats me…and how manutd with Fred, mctominay,james and martial destroy these teams amazes me….
      Can someone pls explain??

    2. I agree with a lot of your points but I actually liked saka at lb. I think we should have started that way. But it should have been martinelli and not Willian on the left. Saka created a numbers up situation on the left and led to a lot of crosses.

  24. I want arteta to succeed but at this point I don’t think arteta knows what he’s doing. How can you bring in Willian when you have Martinelli in the team.

    1. Lenohapy, if Arteta believes Willian is a better player and will provide more off the bench than Martinelli, then it’s time to have a long talk to him.

  25. We brought this on ourselves putting a rookie at the helm…even Chelsea well above us on the table sacked a rookie who was in champions league and top half of the table..

    Its a new decade, we might as well be heading to a period of mid table finishes ..we ain’t no big team no more…simple fact…

    Mourinho,benitez,pellegrini,lampard, sarri,Rodgers,pochetino even tuchel were all sacked at some point , so who d hell is arteta that he can’t be sacked….
    Its simple, we support a club that lacks AMBITION.

    Can’t imagine we had the worst run for ages early season, won a few games then decided January transfer window wasn’t too important for critical signings…not even an important role as backup LB or tall striker since we love putting in crosses..

    From now on I d just watch and pray

  26. When we are winning titles and play in CL, Aston Villa fans for years had to see their team battle for relegation or promotion. It is nice at least for one season for them to experience how it feels like to be on top.

    It is also nice for us to experience how it feels like to be at the bottom so that it can wash away all the feeling of entitlement we might have,

    Perhaps now we can appreciate the era of peace and prosperity under the great leadership of the Great Arsene Wenger and we might be more appreciative when the manager (Mikel or anyone else) bring prosperity to the club.

    All is not lost yet. We will be sure next month of where our season will probably end.

      1. Yes. I am tempted to buy a one way ticket of Arteta Out Airways but since I have pledged my support I will0 wait until the beginning of the next season to see if we will fly better. And he still have enough time this season to do something about the top 4 or do a 300 on EL.

  27. Bellerin & William should never play for Arsenal again. Cedric should never play LB. Arteta’s fault.
    Martinelli for Laca not Auba. Auba should come in instead of William.

    1. MA has agoal record against big 6, but against this teams that will not give you space, get dirty, deny you your game and throw everything at you, he fissle,. i attribute this to both coach and players inefficiency, on player part, character, looking at today match, how many 50-50 tackles did we win?
      on the part of the coach, he should have come up with a better plan, i guess his plan was destroyed by the early goal

  28. Where are the Arteta worshippers? Come out and make a case for your “manager”. Don’t hide in the bunker and cry!

    1. There are no worshippers. There are those who support the manager because breaking news he is a manager of Arsenal.

      There are those who don’t support him at all for example LCW and Mohsan (who I suspect are same person) and are consistent on their views.

      And there are those who support Mikel when he wins and he is not up to it when he lose.

      1. And there are those who supported his arrival expecting him to bring a certain style and intensity of play picked up from coaching with pep … by the years end it was obvious he hadn’t learnt anything and it was obvious we needed a change as we were falling further and further behind … hence call for change … nothing in recent run changed my mind … so consistently calling for his departure since Xmas … and now more than ever

          1. Then there are those of us who expect Mikel Arteta to be judged by the same criteria as Unai Emery, Arsene Wenger or Bruce Rioch.

  29. At this point i think the season is over,anything positive we achieve going forward should be considered a bonus because i have lost hope on the underperforming bunch we call players&hoping by next season arteta will be experienced enough to make the right selections&that the match officials will become less biased

    1. Living in hope or “cloud cookoo land” regarding Arteta making right decisions and the match officials will be less biased?

  30. I must have watched a different game as thought it was a pretty even contest. We weren’t unlucky to lose but equally could have easily taken something from the game. Certainly wasnt a disaster. Some random thoughts:
    — Odegaard looked good but should have scored.
    — Saka looked threatening but looked to me like he pulled out of winning a penalty in first half.
    — Grealish’s yellow came about 75 minutes later than it should have. Great player but he seems to be playing under a different set of rules than the rest of the players in terms of committing and taking fouls.
    — Aubamayang offered nothing and is causing a selection headache for Arteta especially with Pepe hitting form and Lacazette’s link up play on point
    — Gabriel looked close to his form early in the season
    — Great to have a solid back-up keeper.
    — Villa played very disciplined after going up early. Hats off to them.
    — We really miss Tierney

    1. πŸ‘ Why is Lacazette substituted constantly? Aubameyang’s total loss of form is of great concern, as are Tierney and Partey’s propensity for injury.

  31. The worst part was that we played about as good as could be expected and never looked like coming back into the game or dominating. Villa deserved the win. They were the better team with the better players IMO.

    This our level (for now).

  32. Bringing on willian when martinelli&ceballos are on the bench is a stupid decision by the coaching team

    1. Have to agree. Willian is just not cutting it, he has been poor since his arrival and Arteta keeps playing him πŸ™ˆ, I just don’t know.

  33. Listening to the ex ref trying to cover the referees decision not to award a penalty and not sending off the villa player – absolute joke!!!

    1. Ryan had a great game and has, hopefully, shown those who were already question him, to just give players a chance to prove themselves.
    2. Odegaard looks the real deal, in my opinion, on his debut and should start the next game.
    3. Played as a team and pressed for the equaliser from the second Villa scored.
    4. Substitutions were made that seemed to make sense.
    5. I can see quite clearly what Arteta is building and, having accepted that this season is over, will look forward to seeing what happens next season.

    1. Tierney – even though he is a key player, how long can we expect to keep accepting his injuries?
    2. Cedric is now in line for the abuse (it’s already started)) from the same set of fans – who just two games ago were claiming he should displace Bellerin.
    3. Yet again, refereeing decisions that are not going our way and that have a massive impact on the outcome.
    4. Partey injured yet again.
    5. No Martinelli.

    1. Yes..
      Displace the ever useless Bellerin at right back.. He’s not a natural LB.
      Put Bellerin in that position, and he’s be absolute pants.

      1. Ken, Cedric Soares should be RB instead of Bellerin. Why should Soares have to play out of position? Arsenal would be better giving Lopez from U23’s an opportunity at LB, his natural position.
        Agree, what has Martinelli done wrong for Willian to be preferred?

        1. Why should he be RB he’s done nothing to suggest he displace Bellerin ,if I remember rightly his couple of starts there in the EL he was abused non stop for his poor performances.
          He made the mistake today but for some reason it’s sounding like it was Bellerins fault .
          Classic Arsenal fans

          1. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. Some players can never do good for them. Some even think AMN is a better RB

      2. No Martinelli but given minutes to a Real Madrid loan player ,that does not sit well with me at all .
        If he’s on the bench he’s fit so why any of the 3 subs were bought on before him is a mystery .
        Auba -couldn’t tell he was on the pitch
        Odagard – nice little touches nothing special (seen this kind of player 100 s of times )
        Willian – offered absolutely nothing ,bought in to tidy up on the left side like we was ahead in the match and not looking for a goal .

  34. For over 90mins we couldn’t score. How many games will it take Arteta to realise Willian is a mistake? Why not Martineli instead of Auba and Willian? There’s absolutely no reason for Willian to come in ahead of Martineli and Ceballos today. Don’t Arteta know goals can also be scored from outside 18 yard? Has Xhaka forgotten he has a rocket of a shot in him?
    Holding needs some time on the bench, he getting too relaxed now. Yes Cedric made a mistake but the goal was Holding’s fault. Why is he always scared of getting close to fast attackers?
    The gamble Arteta took on the FA Cup game against Southampton will hunt him as the season draws to an end.

  35. The biggest issue I have with this squad at the moment is the obvious lack of improvement since September. Six months of the same dire football with very little change. I always said MA should have time. It’s only fair. But at this rate, we’re likely to see some sort of change in a few years at the least!?

    Nothing is improving under him. Tactically he is found wanting almost every game. His formations confuse me. His substitutions are crazy!

    This team are unable to attack with any sort of venom. The quality up front (on paper) should be able to demolish any side but our stumbling and bumbling in the final third are killing any chance of getting a positive result. For the life of me I just can’t understand how or why Willian can get a game when it’s obvious he is just here for a pay packet and not the football? Pepe is hot and cold as is our football because of the lack of quality in general.

    This Arsenal side are so far from what Arsenal should be as a club that I don’t even recognize the brand any more. I don’t identify with the players, the direction or the football. To me this could be Sheffield Wednesday dressed up to look like Arsenal? No offence to Sheffield Wed btw. It could be any Championship side in an Arsenal shirt. It just all looks labored and boring with no signs of any Arsenal DNA from the past. IT’s true. There is nothing special about this team. It’s as average as they come and MA will not and cannot change that any time soon. The club need a proven manager who can work much more quickly with players on an individual level. Time for the club to respond before we are dragged down too low!

    1. Agree. If Arteta wasnt going to set EPL alight this season it’d be acceptable. But he’s got to show signs that he is building something. I dont see the project. I dont see what he’s building. It’s not working. He’s out of his depth unfortunately. A cup run doesn’t make you a top manager. Arsenal need a top manager.

      1. πŸ‘ πŸ‘ πŸ‘ Too bad Unai Emery wasn’t an ex Arsenal player; he may have received the same patience.

          1. Dan, what mess; Arsenal was eighth when Emery was sacked. He wasn’t given any say in recruitment and the players had downed tools. Arsenal finished eighth after fifth and Europa League final the previous season. Compare the points gained record by Emery to Arteta over the same number of games.
            Just hope this Arsenal team doesn’t meet Villarreal under Emery in the Europa League.

    2. Let’s at least get the facts correct, both Cedric and the ponderous Gabriel were equally culpable for the Villa goal which deflected off Holding.A shocking start from which we never recovered.

      1. Also Holding for not closing down Watkins. Comedy of errors facing poor Matt Ryan in his first game.

  36. We played relatively well, just lacked that cutting edge. Our forwards missed some promising scenarios in both halves. I agree with the point that Willian should not have been brought on as he is not in form, but from the recent showings of Marty I dont think it would have been that much different. Villa also defended really well, we were not the only team on the pitch lol. Konsa might have been sent off but who knows, refs are fair! Less than desirable performance but not completely disastrous or bad.
    We will do better next game.
    Onwards and upwards!

    1. Forget Villa and look at our season so far and the games we lost. Look at the teams we lost to and the manner in which we lost and you will see that our performances have been the same. We have played so many games where the results have come down to the point being lost or gained in one moment. Our results could have gone either way because we have never been convincing. Every game is on a knife edge pretty much!

      1. I was actually basing it on our recent performances. But you are right, as a whole this season is frustrating. We are not cool to watch, we cant even play defensive football properly, lol. I thought the recent upsurge will help MA work out some tactics to unlock lowblocks but in vain. Lets see what happens now…

    1. We all know arteta is the problem..

      Guendozi playing well
      Martinez playing well
      Now willock
      Even AMN would amaze us soon..

      We got talented players better than a lot of teams above us on the table buh negative football match after match till saka does something exceptional then we win and forget the negative style of play till another loss…

  37. Sorry but Arteta hasn’t got a clue. ‘Talk the talk’….but no walk the walk’. Even I can talk a good game, but actually manage the Arsenal at FOOTBALL….walk the walk…Arteta hasn’t got a clue. It’s just not working, let’s be honest. We need a real, experienced, top notch football manager. It’s getting worse.

  38. Alas I watched on BTSport so had to hear Keown; what game was he watching – the goal was wholly Cedric fault, nothing to do with Gabriel, post-Covid.. Sorry, but this was yet another example of Bellerin and Holding treating the ball like a hot potato. ESR looks very tired already.. I wonder what physical training Partey is doing to pick up thigh/hamstring injuries – it sounds like 10 years ago. Odegaard looks promising. Pepe looks as if he could be worth Β£72m in about 2 years time, needs to get his head up.. Until Easter – leave Auba on the bench and use Martinelli / Balogan as sub for Laca. We need a front man in the summer window. Swallow pride, get bodies up there and pass it in the air.. Immensely frustrating, tgoo much pretty, romantic pitty-pat and not enough good old fashioned urgency..

    1. agree. rolled my eyes many times today over the attempts of fancy play. SCORE A GOAL. big shakeups needed up front.

  39. Willock at first game for Newcastle scores!Something is fishy with Arteta managing players.Waiting for Maintland Niles to score too!Arteta out!

    1. You said it @antonioro! MA is not able to coach players individually. Now we are beginning to see the limitations of his managerial skills!

      Surely the club knew this? If they didn’t, it just goes to prove how clueless the club are and the lack of ambition they have to compete as Arsenal Football Club! At the moment this could be Fairview Junior Football Club in disguise right now!

  40. Can we for a moment stop bemoaning about selling martinez and complaying about xhaka slowing us down when if you watched the game youd know he was our best midfielder with his precise passing

    1. You aren’t allowed to criticise Sir Xhaka don’t you know?

      A multitude of fans say he slows the game down but there’s a few here that defend him no matter what.

      He’s a decent player, but Arsenal need better

  41. I think bringing on Willian and ruining the one positive we had in the game on the left size was inexcusable. As soon as he brought on Willian, I though that’s it … I can sort of understand Auba, his head clearly isn’t in the same place atm and game time may help that, but Willian has been a disaster. I don’t understand why Martinelli wasn’t brought in for the last 20mins. You could almost feel the team drop as soon as Willian was brought on.

  42. No excuses for a poor display but that was a clear penalty on Lacazette by Martinez.He pulled him over by his shirt.

  43. As Arsenal fans are we expecting to much from this team of flops? Is there a culture imbeded from Venger, tip-tap and no fight? Some games we do play well but you are always expecting “that mistake” that throws the game into an area that there is no return.
    Look at that villa team and no harm , apart from Grealish they are a team of mediocre players and we can’t compete with them. I am so fed up with this squad and management I have lost heart and couldn’t be bothered if they never win again this season.

  44. We all know arteta is the problem..

    Guendozi playing well
    Martinez playing well
    Now willock
    Even AMN would amaze us soon..

    We got talented players better than a lot of teams above us on the table buh negative football match after match till saka does something exceptional then we win and forget the negative style of play till another loss…

  45. Disappointing and seems worrying how our midfield/forward players find it hard to make space or create chances for shots on goal.
    Matty Ryan stopped it being 3-0.
    People are slagging off MA and Xhaka a bit too much… but we are missing b2b midfield attacking mobility and speed in attack… that is a worry because it looks like we don’t have the players or tactics to solve that. That and man management/team choices are my biggest concern with MA and I think if those don’t change for the better by Summer we should be looking around but for a proper upgrade.

    This is the EPL not Champions League where you act like it’s a tight game and eke out 2-3 big opportunities which seems to be MA’s approach… it’s too slow and we don’t have the players for it.

    But I agree with above comments that with this squad we should be doing better in this league.

    Xhaka had a good game and picked a lot of decent forward passes (not all sideways and backwards and had great positional play again) but alongside Partey our solidity outweighs flexibility and we can’t punish teams..

    I can hardly remember any through balls for 1 on 1 except Laca’s recent miss …or strikers running into the box more centrally with the ball at their feet with clearer shot on goal. With Auba and Martinelli in the squad that needs to happen.

    Pepe worked hard today and continued to build on improving as a dangerous player but needs to be more aware of a final pass since he is always going for those far post curlers and they’re not the best option a lot of the time.

    Bellerin going in Summer will allow us to get a better option though I think he isn’t as bad as has been made out recently either.

    Rob’s improved nicely but I still feel something is missing… awareness of attackers off the ball movement maybe.

  46. this is time for reality check. the years of prosperity are long gone for Arsenal. it is going to take avery long time to pick again. The owners are going to sale the club because it is not easy to replace a person of Wengers experience and intellect. Arsenal was built to be managed by an intelligent manager, not just a manager. when we have Edu as the boss then there is something. We do not have style of play, we don’t win matches…what exactly are we good at? sacking Arteta will not solve the challenges we have. people like Edu should go.

  47. OT Willock is playing like prime Aaron Ramsey out there. Long may it continue- I believe there’s a fine b2b player in there. Such a shame Newcastle are a man down

  48. I simply pity Arteta and any other coach that has to coach/manage this group of players under the present manner in which this club is being run under the intense pressure created by fans.. How do you manage a group of players that have at least one costly error in them? How do you manage professional players that can’t trap/control their passes? How do you manage professional players that have very poor first touches? How do you manage players who can’t decide on the choice of which leg to use per time? I simply wish the next coach, if they will be bold enough to take the job, all the very best!

  49. 0-0 would have been a fair result in this he,but Arsenal are the ones who stuffed up and got their just deserts. No other recriminations necessary.

  50. “Under the intense pressure created by fans”! Arsenal are playing to empty stadia.
    The only pressure should be their sense of personal professional pride and their non acceptance of their personal efforts and the performances as a team.

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