Freddie Admits Man City beat Arsenal through tactics and quality

We all knew Arsenal were in for a hard game yesterday when the defending Champions Man City came to town, and Pep Guardiola’s side made it look all too easy to bamboozle our mockery of a defence.

When De Bruyne put the visitors 1-0 up with a brilliant shot from long range in the second minute, we knew that it would be near impossible to come away with anything from the game, and when Sterling made it two after just 15 minutes, Arsenal were as good as dead and buried and it looked like we were in for a landslide defeat..

De Bruyne made it comfortably 3-0 before half-time, and it was left to poor old Freddie Ljungberg to try and explain the differences between the side in the after-match conference on “Of course we know in the last couple of years that we’ve struggled against City at home, so we knew that before the game started.” he said. “We started well when Martinelli had a chance and we thought, ‘Oh, this looks good’. But we got done on the transitions again. One of the goals we had five of us against two of them and they still scored.

“We worked a lot on being balanced and having players back for the counter, but then De Bruyne showed his quality. Not many players can score those goals like he did today from small chances. Maybe it shows the difference in the teams. They score from those chances with top, top players. I think what we can learn is that we got done on the transitions again.

“If you look at City, when we were able to counter against them – and that was one of our game plans – they had five yellow cards from bringing us down when we had a chance to counter. That’s tactical and they worked on that. That’s something that we need to do. Maybe we need to learn to be more cynical when opponents have a chance to counter us. That is a bit of a weakness of ours and maybe we need to take those fouls.

“First of all, I think they take things on board. We have looked at clips about how we changed our structure. We’re actually there whereas before we didn’t have any players there for the transition. Now we are there. Of course now the next part is that we need to stop the action, to create something. I can’t remember which player it was but we were three against one, it got a deflection and then came out to De Bruyne. That’s small thing but that’s something we have to work on: how to defend. But I think we sorted organisation a bit, sort of, on the transition.

“I must say that if you’re 3-0 down against a team like City who can play well with possession, it’s tough. I said at half-time that I knew it was hard, especially against City. Liverpool and City are in a league of their own at the moment. I said it’s about pride. They had to go out and show in the second half, even if they don’t react and I knew it would be difficult to win 4-3, but there should be no chance of them scoring another goal. We tried to at least impose ourselves a little bit. It was hard for them because City kept the possession well. Sometimes we did as well between the boxes, we understood the game plan of trying to change it and open them up a bit. But we were not dangerous enough. We had some small half-chances where something could have happened. When they had their chances, De Bruyne smashed it straight in the net.”

Well, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy against Man City, but it is still hard to watch a game where we only get one shot on target in the whole 90 minutes, and it looks like Freddie (or whoever his replacement will be) has got a hell of a job on their hands to get this lot back on track….


    1. Fans are blameless because they do make decisions on how the club is run.

      Ljungberg is blameless because he’s been put in charge of a sinking ship, with no experience. From his comments, it seems he hasn’t even been given enough staff to help support him.

      Only a tiny amount of blame can be apportion to Emery. Mainly our loss of identity. Although he is very experienced, like Ljungberg, he inherited an absolute mess.

      The players haven’t been trying hard enough, and deserve a fair amount of blame, although they have been badly let down on the coaching side of things, especially from Wenger. The majority of them have proven to not be good enough, yet they were kept around.

      Wenger and Gazidis played a major role in our regression my opinion. They were left to their own devices, and made a complete hash of things, whilst simultaneously getting pay raise, after pay raise. Our defensive issues are our main problem, and that’s something Wenger gave up own.

      Kroenke is obviously the most to blame. He let Wenger and Gazidis go on 6/8 years to long, which has left us in the mess we’re now in. His lack of ambition, or any care for the club, has allowed it to drift into the wilderness.

      1. ThirdManJW, I think you meant fans do NOT make decisions on how the club is run.”
        I’m amazed to know that anyone is running the Arsenal.

    2. No one from the list.
      Mr. SK is not involved in daily club operations. We have signed a lot of costly players – Ozil, Sanchez, Laca, Auba, Pepe,Leno. Tierney and then we have Xhaka, Mustafi, Socrates, Perez, Chambers (16M then), Chech (M then), Danny
      Wenger – never got the players he wanted.
      Emery – never got the players he wanted, quick, athletic, daring (firefighter) type
      Lumberg – such a great figure, no back end support, no say in future transfers, mostly aging & useless players.
      Players – can you drive your road car to the Formula 1 competition? The players are not to be blamed as that is their standard and capability.Does any sane supporter expect Ozil to tackle, win the ball and give a “defense splitting pass?” A clean sheet with Chambers, Mustafi, Socrates, Luiz? Proper crosses from Kolasinac and Bellerin? A midfield with Xhaka or Ozil to act as the first line of defense?
      I would say it has to be Ivan, Raul, Vinay.
      Last season we were doing well because we had some players who played with their heart, may not have been the best, but at least they tried – Ramsey, Iwobi and Mkhitaryan. This year we have players making the numbers but not in the least trying. Some said it was Emery the cause – now after 4 games we have 1 win only, so it was not Emery. My only grudge with Emery was he ditched Mkhitaryan for Ozil, Torrera for Xhaka, Nacho for Kolasinac, Ramsey for Cabellos (on loan), sadly nothing worked and he had to leave unceremoniously. One of Auba /Laca may leave in Jan, expect a 40M from Barca for Gabreil, another 40 M for Guendozi, Lucas will want out,so with what we are left with? A league 1 team. Thank you Raul & Vinay (Laurel and Hardy would make a better photo shoot then these two gentlemen IMO)

  1. The mess started 2 years bac,, and the Board has not done anything to correct the mess. Why pay such a high fee for Pepe, when we so desperately needed a proper defender and Dm. We could have bought 2 defenders and a decent DM with the money paidforPepe. Why did the Management allow Ramsey to leave? He was such a vital cog in our midfield. Why are the Board taking such a long time to appoint a permanent Manager when the writing was clear for Emery months back. This lethargic and care a damn attitude will hurt the club long term. The sight of the Spuds signing Mourinho and they are doing so well adds insult to injury. Arsenal, Arsenal Arsenal! We are diehard fans and we love you so much we will never leave you but is the Board listening and watching and do they really care?

    1. Sorry Gunnerforlife, the mess started at least 10 years ago, when the decision was made to put the Club in hock to move from Highbury and construct the Emirates.

  2. I agree with Freddie firstly our tactics. Let’s start with Wenger for the last decade or so he instilled this soft approach in the players. We weren’t committing fouls anymore like in the vierra and Gilberto Era in actual fact Wenger completely chose not to buy physical imposing players anymore and chose instead to try and retain the ball even if we do nothing with it. Secondly our build up play under Wenger became slow and cumbersome lots of sideways and back passing. This gives the opposition enough time to reorganize their defence. Emery came along and just carried on with that trend a good example of Emery’s vision is how he tried to tone down Torreira’s physicality when he failed he benched Torreira or played him out of position or made the stupid excuse of him not being able to pass. Now Freddie came along in the middle of a storm and he is clearly overwhelmed and need help but the board as usual is turning a blind eye so yes the next coach we get must have a good track record of getting the best out of good and average players and nurturing young talent cause let’s face it the current owners and board are not going to spend 300 plus million pounds per transfer window to get in top top quality players

    1. 👍 Mike you have hit the nail on the head; Arsenal always had the reputation of having tough physical players, hard to beat. Now Arsenal sign cream puffs.

  3. I think the mess started with Özil and Sanchez.. Sure, we were terrible even before that but those 2 deals started an avalanche..

    1st mistake) Not selling Sanchez and Özil when they were not going to renew.

    2nd mistake) Panic mode -> giving Özil unwarranted, absurdly large contract and swapping Sanchez for ANOTHER underperforming player on absurdly high wages, Mkhitaryan. Did you know that Mkhitaryan got a PAY RAISE from his United’s wages when came to us? The man who had scored just 3 goals that season.

    3rd mistake) Ramsey, Wilshere, Welbeck, Cazorla etc. Getting rid of them, correct yes. But letting them go free as well? We lost tens of millions in them. On top of that, Cazorla is now actually playing like he used to with us in 12-14.

    4th mistake) Getting rid of Wenger was the right call. Hiring Emery was not. Firing Emery was again, correct. And even that should’ve been done 2 weeks earlier because there was a 2 week international break. The team and FL could’ve had a lot more time to get things together. In addition, getting rid of Mislintat was a mistake too. We are penny pinching club, we need a top, top scout for that.

    Not all hope is lost though. Look at the table. We are in an exact position Liverpool were when they hired Klopp. I think they finished 10th that season. Next season they got into CL, and they spent wisely before that. He brought in £37m Mane, £25m Wijnaldum and Matip (FREE) which warranted 4th spot.

    1. Fully agree with you Mclovin we made some stupid mistakes throughout the club and yes this is truly dark days but if we as a club learn from it choose a proper manager and get rid of the players who don’t want to play for the club we can become competitive again

      1. @Mike,

        Yes, exactly. In my opinion, we don’t even need world class players. What we need first and foremost are players who ALWAYS GIVE 100%.

        Does anyone here think Andy Robertson was world class while playing in Hull? He didn’t stick out. Nobody talked about him. But he always gave 100%, and still does. Klopp has made him a better player but Robertson’s fighting spirit he had at Hull.

        We need players like that. We need hard working players. Not the ones who sulk, stroll or berate team mates.

        And before that, we need a manager who will unite this Arsenal team. Who would it be? Give me 2m a year and I will find one.

        1. True again Mclovin alot of Klopp players were not world class when he recruited them but they will always give 100% for the coach and the badge we used to be like that a very long time ago the George Graham Era and the first decade of Wenger that is what we need now

    2. @Mc Lovin
      I think you are right in many ways, but I also think we have to go deeper than that.
      The fact is, for years we haven’t been able to develop players. I can hardly think of one player, who has come to us at a reasonable fee and then developed into a very valuable player. neither a young academy player. This has created problems. Our team hasn’t got better and better, and we haven’t had players, we could sell off for big sums and reinvest in the team.

      1. The reason for this is simple really alot of coaches became lazy it was and still is easier to buy quality than invest time to nurture and devolope raw talent in the academy only problem with this is it cost money and lots of it

  4. My opinion is this……there is only one Satan or Lucifer behind all this mess. He cunningly bought all the shares of the club, took over completely for money business purpose instead of football business. May the Almighty God set the club free from his hand. Wenger was just a conspirator,

  5. Freddie said City are clearly way better than us in all aspects.
    To be fair Sheiky is bank rolled by Abu Dhabi oil and has a billion pound squad.
    Pep has had 200 games to hone Citie’s super talented players.
    Freddie has had barely days to prepare a much inferior squad.
    Freddie is saying he can only do so much with what he has.
    Are the board listening, are they likely to do anything and if so when?

  6. Sad times right now. Who’d have thought when we were invincible that 15 years on, we’d be in this mess??

    It’s such a shame, I’m losing interest in football..there was a time when I’d watch whatever match was on, whether it was the PL, Championship or foreign. Not anymore.. I can’t remember the last time I watched MOTD..We’re plummeting down the table, while all the teams I detest are flying above us! What a load of crap ☹

  7. Actually the Problem is we didn’t do any succession Planning…
    Our board lacked vision…
    When we won FA cup 2nd time under Wenger after beating Chelsea, Board had to understand that In 2-3 seasons Wenger will go, if not willingly then forcefully….
    Board lacked that Vision…
    Board should have had Succession planning to replace Wenger systematically….
    Arteta might have became number 2 in Arsenal instead of number 2 in Man City…
    We could have had given assurance to Arteta or Patrick Vieira to remain in club for 2 or 3 seasons… Understand the functions… Understand the responsibilities of being Manager of any premier club and then we might have appointed likes of Arteta or Vieira as Manager after being at club for 3 seasons… But we Haphazardly Sacked Wenger because Crowd pressure… And then Hurriedly appointed Emery which turned out bad decision…. We didn’t learn from Man Utd Mistake….
    They are still struggling after departure of Ferguson….
    But United are Financially very very much marketable asset that’s they do not feel any pinch of not being in CL but we are no United in terms of Market Value…
    Bad Planning overall

    1. Yes, that board is really what’s wrong at this club. Board size to be specific. We have 5 board members, 1st one is the owner, 2nd is the owner’s son. So no football knowledge from them. The 3rd is a banker/accountant, the 4th, Lord Harris, am not sure what he does on the board. The 5th, Frair, is the only football guy we have who knows about the game…and he’s an old guy! The board is not providing vision and guidance simply because they cannot give something they don’t have! We need new board members, at least 3 football guys who know what it takes to be a successful football club. Problem is, that decision is up to Kroenke who has limited knowledge about who is who in the football world.

  8. Amazing insights from the turnip (or the swede … Are they the same?) .. Definitely make him a contender to run one of the wealthiest teams on the planet …. I suspect next home game will be in front of a half empty stadium so let’s hope that is enough to get rid of the cancerous owner eating away at this club … The man and his family are scum and fans should start making it clear he is not welcome in north London

  9. Mesut Ozil left the pitch to a volley of a jeers from Arsenal fans as he was substituted during his team’s limp 3-0 loss against Manchester City at the Emirates. Ozil, who hardly featured under previous manager Unai Emery, was making a rare start but failed to influence Arsenal’s fortunes, and was pulled off to be replaced by Emile Smith Rowe. Freddie after the match “Ljungberg said of the substitution: “I took Mesut off because I wanted some more energy in the team. How he reacts is up to him and we will deal with it later. I’m here on a day-to-day basis but of course we want players in the right way.” Freedie first mistake is starting Ozil in that match, all Ozil seems to know how to do now is taking corners and free kicks, I have never seen any player as lazy as Ozil in all my years of supporting Arsenal.

    1. I was shocked Ozil decided to stroll off the pitch even after Xhaka was booed for doing the exact same thing. Why do these plays test the fans like this? I don’t like it at all when we go after our own while INSIDE the stadium, but Ozil truly DOES NOT CARE one bit about this club or what the fans think. The disconnect between the players and fans is simply amazing.

      1. I love the way Freddie talks about him, ” he said it’s left to him to how he reacts”, it means even Freddie doesn’t care anymore about how he reacts, he also said ” we want players who will play the right way, it means as a former player and as an invincible Freddie knows what it means to play the right way, but still some armchair coach still think Ozil is suddenly going to turn it around at 31. We were told by some fans on here that he’s our best creator but am still waiting for that creativity lol, am waiting for the next excuse they will make for him.

  10. Can people be cured of their obsession with Wenger-bashing? Even Ferguson left Man U with a mess and people can still praise him a bit. Let us solve our problems and let Wenger alone. He had his own frustrations with the board while here.

    Freddie has a mountain to climb with a couple of things, but they are not insurmountable. I don’t believe we have to do wholesale house cleaning of players before we get efficient again. Yes, a couple of changes, but not more. The real issues are coaching and psychological, which a good coach given the wherewithall and time can solve.

    Freddie might be okay, but will he be given the time and resources by both the board and the fans? He at least understands what is going on and that is a good sign.

    1. We need WHOLESALE changes mate! The defence is hopeless and so are our midfielders. Just compare what we have to what is available for the coach at Leicester, Liverpool and City. Heck, even the Spuds have better defenders and midfielders than us! The current crop have reached their peak and no amount of coaching will turn them into anything more than average.

  11. My opinion, we have a structural and cultural problem. People keep saying buying Pepe is waste of money but failed to realize that we have brought many defenders in and two cbs. Some can argue they are not of required standard. Where our problem lies like I have being saying for some times is methodology. Emery came in, selected many defensive players yet played them like Wenger did and Freddy is also doing the same thing. I watched city players man marking Pepe in two or three, I watched them pressing us, tactically and defending in numbers, they don’t shadow mark, they don’t do reverse marking and zonal marked. My point is we may bring all the best defenders in the world of football, if we continue to defend that way we will concede shit load of football.

    1. Fully agree Mobella our tactics game plan totally outdated good example city continually fouled us in the middle of the park in non dangerous positions and man marked Pepe and Auba out of the game we in turn run next to the player until he is in a dangerous position then we foul

    2. Mobella thank you for that, I thought I was the only one who noticed that, each time Pepe get the ball, 2 or 3 city players close him down immediately and they do direct Markings not those stupid shadow marking Arsenal does, so Pepe even after beating one player doesn’t have much choice than to just pass or do some crossing. Sometimes I wonder if the team even practice new things I training.

  12. Not sure how much the kroenke’s love our club, if I were the owner I would be here snarling and snapping at Sanlehi and co,they are not forthcoming with what is going on regards a new appointment,I accept that they cannot tell us everything but at the moment we are getting nothing, the whole shebang is a complete and utter shambles,Freddie bless him is not to blame or Per, the majority of the players in this squad need to take a good look at themselves,they are a disgrace all I see is a bunch of sulkers and moaners,there is maybe 5 players worth hanging on to and one of those is Leno,he must dread the next game each week,he is the only one that can hold his head high here, Torierra, Socratis, Luiz, Kolasinac, are not good enough to wear this shirt Torierra is not strong enough for the prem he is weak and too small,the other three that I mentioned would not get a game for any other prem club,get your fingers out Sanlehi and co and get the right man in and start rebuilding our team,at the moment you are sucking the life out of the club.

  13. I’m sorry Freddie but your comment about Lacca having to sit on the bench because if he plays it harms us defensively does not stand up,I know you are doing your best pal but wether Lacca plays or not our defence is a joke they have been all season and without Lacca in the team please do not try to convince me that we are better defensively,we are not mate.

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