Five positive things that can be taken from Arsenal’s loss to Lyon

Not the result that Arsenal fans wanted and many are disappointed, however, even in disappointment, there are some positive things that can be squeezed from the game.

It is always easy to do a write up on the negatives from a loss and there were a few in the game for sure but for this particular piece I would rather concentrate on the positives, there will be enough occasions for negative reviews of a game.

Anyway, enough of the justifications, here are five positive things that can be taken from the game.

First-half performance

It was impressive overall, yes there was a lot of missed opportunities but Lyon was on the ropes and with better finishing Arsenal could have easily been three or four goals up. They just need to build on that.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

He did nothing spectacular but he showed more energy and go-to attitude than we have seen from him in a long time, he was the main creative force in the first half and with some consistency, he could have a better season than last. In better words, he performed better than I expected.

Joe Willock

Improving all the time, he did not put in the perfect display but when you consider his age and inexperience and compare his performance with that of Granit Xhaka he looked far more comfortable in the middle of the park.

Eddie Nketiah

His flaws are clear to see but there is no denying his potential, maybe a loan move would be best for his development but he is full of confidence and with some simple fine-tuning could be a huge asset for Arsenal in the years to come.

Gabriel Martinelli

Unfortunate not to claim a goal but he is already showing he is comfortable playing for Arsenal, he is not afraid to go for goal and he is definitely ready to be an active member of the first-team squad. He will surely be a starter for most cup games and possibly Europa League games in the early stages.


  1. Willock is the type of midfielder we have been missing for seasons, always looking to run in behind. I thought Nelson looked hungry today, attempting to beat his man when he had the ball at his feet. Still huge issues with Xhaka’s lack of pace and the need for a commanding centre back. Surely spending half of the 80mil we are willing to pay for Pepe, we could find a world class centre half??

    1. World class centre backs do not cost 40m. In case you haven’t noticed the market is badly inflated and 35m-40m is the going rate for average untested players.

  2. To me the best on the pitch were guendouzi, willock and nelson…auba and miki were ok too…we missed so much guendouzi in the second half, especially to start our game from the back (even when sometimes he lose the ball in key áreas). Xhaka is a worry, he is even misplacing a Lot of passes. Even so he plays all the match..

  3. And to imagine we are giving that clown the captain’s armband. I don’t see what Emery sees in Xhaka honestly.

    1. Emery may be relying on the Captains Curse. Once name Captain, players don’t last long at Arsenal.

  4. Arsenal only have one problem. And that problem is Xhaka. We cannot control the midfield when he is on the pitch. Guendouzi and Willock must form the midfield base from which we build. If Xhaka is not replaced, permanently, the same problems the team have been having since his arrival will persist.

  5. I wasn’t impressed by Mkhitaryan, Nketiah or Martinelli

    Liked Wilock’s performance though
    Ceballos, Torreira, Guendouzi, Wilock, Xhaka should be good for CM this season

    What the match did tell me is how badly we need Wingers and better defenders especially CB. Hope Pepe and Tierney go through

    1. Your xhaka delusion requires medical attention …we scored 70 odd goals last season without wingers and missed a bunch more what we need is consistency which comes from a stable first 11 but if xhaka and current defence are part of that we can kiss 4th place goodbye Pepe or no pepe

      1. Well, his delusionment with Xhaka is obvious, with him and Mustafi in our XI, that’s 2 goals handicap already. But we can actually do with a pacy right winger now as Mkhitayran is never consistent, and the fact that we can do installment payment for a player of such caliber is an opportunity. A CB is truly needed, but I am not sure any club can allow us do installment payment, plus let’s hope the Rugani rumor is true.

  6. Let’s reserve all our comments until Arsenal have played their 2 remaining pre-season friendly matches away to 1. a French Ligue 1 club sides whose name I can’t remember now. And 2, to Barcelona on 4th August before us will know what to say.

    I believe before on 4th of August Arsenal would have signed Pepe and completed the signing of Tierney too. While also they could surprise us again as they surprised us with their agreeing the fee to sign Pepe to also agree the fee to sign Everton Soares this summer as well on or before the transfer deadline day. So that Arsenal will have the necessary complete strong first team squad on ground for next season’s campaign. I will like to believe Emery will use these 2 remaining Arsenal pre-season games to build the team he’ll take to Newcastle match in the PL.

      1. That wud have been perfect….I have long been wishing that we sell xhaka or include in in a deal to get Docoure

  7. @sue I blame you for the loss you didn’t cheer the team or could it be the dissapointment of ? kolasinac not being ib the lineup?

    1. Haha!! I did cheer them on ? I was disappointed about Kola (& Ozil) not being in the squad, but after last week, it’s understandable. Hopefully they’ll be back soon

  8. It’s high time the likes of willock,krystian bielek should be integrated into the starting xi to weed out mustaphi and xhaka
    The latter are liabilities and would sabotage the wholesome efforts of the entire squad I just feel them as sympathisers of our bad boy koscielny

    1. His marking was poor, but he did alright in other areas. Wouldn’t say he was incredibly poor, but we do need a RB more than a LB

  9. Firstly credit to Matteo Guendouzi. Completely controlled the first half. Willock and Nelson put Xhaka to shame. There were positives but watching the defence commit Hari-Kari was like watching our collapse last season. If a player cannot concentrate for the full 90 min then why is he playing? 80 mins is not enough. Positives the kids, negatives Xhaka. Why did Emery bring Mustafi on so late? Didn’t he know that would lead to disaster.

  10. There’s literally no room for monreal, koscielny, elneny, Mustafi and jenkinson. I don’t understand why emery continues to give them games when they add nothing to the team. If we’re not bringing in a Cb then at the very least we should be looking to loan them in at least till saliba comes in and if no one is willing to pay us money for those afore mentioned players than it makes more sense to me to loan them out and get them off the wage bill till we can at least find a buyer.

    Attack: Pepe, PEA, Laca, nketiah, Nelson, martinelli, iwobi
    Midfield: Xhaka, cellabos, guendozi, torreira, ozil, willock, myhkitarian
    Defenders: TIERNEY, kolsinac, sokratis, holding, chambers, AMN, bellerin, NEW CB, medley

    1. Malik, I do not agree on Monreal, who despite his age, rarelyets Arsenal down.
      Should Arsenal sign Tierney as LB, I would like to see Monreal switch to RB to replace AMN until Bellerin returns. Then AMN can be given the opportunity in midfield.

      1. And you guys will all rain insults on Emery. Monreal CAN NOT be played at right back when his right foot is almost useless. It’s too late in his career to begin to learn that position. This goes to show that many of the fans who slate the coaches have little or no knowledge about football.

        1. Some fans really need to know their football better. Monreal can play play RB when Mustafi can plays CF

      2. @ozziegunner I would have to agree that monreal has been a fantastic servant for the club and maybe down the line they’ll be a coaching role we can offer him but as for right now, he can’t take this team forward, as last season he was directly responsible for a plethora of goals that were conceded. Like I said I absolutely love the bloke but he’s finished. Switching him to right back would be suicidal cause monreal is extremely left-footed and can’t use his right foot at all. I don’t think we need AMN to play in midfield cause we’re already well stacked there. We definitely need defenders though and I’d be extremely excited to see tierney come in

        1. Malik, thank you for your detailed response. I thought Monreal played well against Lyon and although I am well aware of his very dominent left foot (as raised by you and others), my suggestion to try him on the right was for the short term until Bellerin returns. Given his experience (Spanish international as well as many seasons at the top level) I would expect him to be able to compensate for his “left footedness” and enable AMN to be used in the midfield rather than have his confidence destroyed by being played out of position. Just “thinking outside the square”, which you have to sometimes in coaching.

          1. I see your point @ozziegunner and can see your point as monreal has proven to be competent in different roles in his arsenal career but I feel as though the phrase “you can’t teach an old dog, new tricks” is in order. I’d much rather persist with AMN who I think will eventually come good once given proper competition by hector, than trying to see if an already deteriorated monreal can Keep the ship floating till our only competent rightback comes back

    2. Malik he is giving them games so other managers can see them and hope somebody buys them

  11. If we sign Pepe & Teirney this week then that leaves us to concentrate on a CB and possibly a stop gap RB while also trimming abit more of the squad in the likes of Koss, Mustafi, Jenkinson, Monreal, Chambers & Elneny. One of Ozil or Mhiki aswell if posisble.

    Have read Juventus are willing to let Rugani leave and we have a 2year loan deal with an option to buy apparently ready to be launched or on the table already. Now that would he another remaster stroke by Raul, a good CB to replace Koss & Mustafi. A stop gap RB is on a free in Dani Alves for a season, Leichsteiner proved though that could be a massive mistake.

    I would’ve liked to have saw Xhaka replaced and sold if I’m honest while he has sell on value on a big contract. Proved today he isn’t what we need in the middle and most defo not our Captain going forward. Cabellos & Guendouzi looked the part in there, alongside Torriea that could be a nice pairing In there for the season.

    Leno (Martinez)

    Bellerin (Alves?)
    Holding (Mavraponas)
    Rugani? (Sokratis)
    Tierney? (Kolasnic)

    Torriera (Maitland Niles)
    Guendouzi (Xhaka / SmithRowe)
    Cabellos (Ozil / Mhiki)

    Pepe? (Nelson)
    Laca (Nketiah)
    Auba (Willok/Iwobi)

    That’s after all the names above are gone also. Then Saliba next summer. Could be worse.

    1. buddy your selection seems a little off. where is martenelli. and you put lucas and matteo in same team, two DM in same team. while Xhaka in all means not a DM so not a lucas backup…… ok, ok you are way off of little off.

  12. It seems Emery does not understand the arsenal,problem. It starts with the CM. That weekends affects all the back line that is also weak. To make arsenal a competitive team, we have to buy a very strong and intelligent CM not Xhaka. He does not know what is doing. Then buy a CD who will patern with Socratis. We need also a WB and LB. Emery may transform Chambers or Kolosinac to become CM. That will make us stronger again. Our CM and CD are very weak. Changes are needed.

    1. And Sergio, your qualifications are what to enable you to state that “Emery seems to not understand the Arsenal problem”?

  13. I keep hearing that Maintland Niles should be given opportunity in the midfield because he has one good game against Manchester United and pogba said good things about him.Against a Manchester United team that already turned there attention to winning the Europa league and played some kids in that match, i remember Jose mourinho playing one black boy ( can’t remember his name) against Alexis Sanchez then. My point is if Maintland Niles is any good as some keep saying here shouldn’t he as improve a little in that Rb position? He’s still a young guy who should be able to adapt to any position he’s been played, iwobi was a CAM in the academy when arsene wenger promoted him but due to competition then he was played on the wings and despite what anyone may say about him he’s not been entirely bad in that position, even Niles himself said it in one of his interviews that he likes to play as a winger so I don’t get all this constant talk about him being a midfielder and should only be played there.My own humble conclusion about him is that he’s overrated.

  14. Emery loves Xhaka, He is a definite starter and he will not sell him, To me he is the least mobile player in the squad and he loses posession all too readily, should be sold if an offer comes in.

  15. Nervous next couple of days and I won’t be happy till the signing of Pepe is done and dusted as there are rumours PSG could try to hijack the deal.

  16. One look at the comments on yesterday’s game and it’s clear that bias prevails and objectivity is lost.

    We lost because of wastefulness in front of goal, poor marking and erroneous offside trap. It’s easily to blame the usual scapegoats, but it’s clear that more players were guilty on top of the few scapegoats.

    In the previous article, someone even commented that Ozil played well yesterday for a change. OMFG!

    1. I appreciate your analysis, its difficult to differ when majority are a troll/badwagon rather than objective fans. Football is a team game, we lost that game due to ineffective/indicisive attack same as last season Brighton draw that cost us top 4. Some people are bend on jumping on bad defense crusade whenever we loss but are quick to praise our attack when we lose., hypocrites

      1. Thanks. Just advocating that we should be objective when reviewing how players performed in a game and leave past judgement out of it

        1. lol, I have stated right from the beginning that Arsenal should have been at least 4-0 up at half time, except for the lack of clinical finishing by a number of players.
          As far as the off side trap, the officials got it wrong; the Lyon player was offside. Arsenal never get any breaks from Moss.

          1. Yeah we are guilty of not scoring a couple of easy chances

            Replayed the goal a few times. Think AMN might have played Dembele onside

  17. So 10 days left in the window and Jenkinson, Mkh, xhaka, chambers, elneny and worryingly Mustafi look to be staying put especially Mustafi! There must be some club that’s insane enough to take a chance on Mustafi? Even if he doesn’t improve his new teams rearguard he takes one hell of an underwater selfie ? hopefully a RB , CB, LB and winger is incoming ?

  18. PSG have matched Arsenals offer for pepe and will blow them out the water if it comes down to wages told everyone yesterday not to get to carried away with this transfer we all know by now no transfer buisness Arsenal do is ever straight forward!!

  19. If PSG was ever serious about Pepe or vice versa, then no other club had a chance, but the fact that it got to the level of him agreeing personal terms with Arsenal and rejecting Napoli’s, Ancelotti accepting defeat and arsenal hiring Mino Raiola to finally broker the deal, it’s all but done, he will travel to London today for medical and should be announced by midnight.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs