Freddie gets the Arsenal forward line right and some Arsenal pride is restored

Arsenal finally win a game of football! by Konstantin Mitov

Good morning, evening or whatever time of the day it is for you my fellow Arsenal fans! We won a game of football after 64 days! I am relieved. It was an away win too! I had honestly forgotten what it felt like and I wasn’t anticipating the game too much.

Let’s be quite fair the first half was so poor. I enjoyed the line up though. It seemed to put all the right players in their right positions. I thought Maitland-Niles was better at right back than Bellerin. I thought dropping Luiz was fair, and Chambers in CB looks so much better than RB. We put Xhaka and Torreira in midfield and Granit made a lot of mistakes again.

But in all honesty, the real masterstroke from Freddy that restored Arsenal pride was the forward line. Martinelli was sensational! Easily one of my favourite players. He encapsulates everything about the club that I’ve been missing. Youth, energy, desire and quality. He slowed his run for his goal and found the space like a real poacher and the finish was excellent.

Another player who introduced himself was Pepe. How good was that goal? Pepe is a player who can cause problems. He can be direct and that is something we’ve been missing. How come we were so poor for 60 minutes, yet score 3 goals in 9? Two things here, first we got some confidence from our first goal and that was vital and second we started playing the ball forward rather than sideways.

We’ve been far too stuck on the idea to control the ball and pass ourselves to the net. Even Man City are struggling with this style of football at the moment. The game has become more direct. Going forward its about pace and moving things quickly. Our forward 3 have devastating pace, which can hurt teams, we just need to utilise it better and the selection helped with that today.

That said, we must remember we only beat West Ham who are just as poor as we were. We didn’t exactly play well for 60 minutes. Freddy mentioned this as a problem against Brighton and here it wasn’t exactly much different yesterday. We must start the games better and we must not concede first every game. A clean sheet is something I’d also love to see, but we’re playing Man City next.

That said, if you want to be accounted for something and restore some Arsenal pride, this is exactly the kind of game where you won’t need additional motivation. We shouldn’t be looking at the league table, only at our recent performances and work on improving them. The fans yesterday saw something they could cheer on and responded immediately. We recognise heart and desire. If we see that in every game, results will eventually come.

This win was so important for Freddy but it also buys the board some time to find a new manager which should still be our priority. If Freddy can mustard up some respectful results against City, Chelsea and United, he might get the job till the end of the season. I would just love a fairytale story where one of the Invincibles takes over the squad and suddenly turns it around and we start winning, but I don’t want this to be an excuse for a board who’ve been hiding in difficult times again.

The manager of this club has always been a shield for a bunch of people who’ve failed miserably at running this club. This win, and it’s only one win, shouldn’t hide the fact we sacked our manager with no real idea of what to do and how to go forward. And the truth is the most probable candidates are Arteta and Vieira, not exactly the world class managers like Simeone or Allegri who can take us forward and come with the commanding respect and pedigree in their CVs.

We still have the Europa League on Thursday. If we can wrap things up there, this could restore Arsenal pride some more and it could be a very enjoyable week for once. Then we can at least face Man City with something positive behind our backs and who knows, maybe the real Arsenal can please stand up. That’s that from me, see you in the comments!

Konstantin

32 Comments

  1. ThirdManJW says:

    Obviously he’ll switch things up in Europe, and the FA Cup, but I hope Ljungberg will stick with this front three in the league from now on. Still slightly off balance as Martinelli isn’t a winger, but it still works because of his excellent work rate, and movement off the ball.

    1. Sylva Olabanji says:

      Point of correction ThirdMan Marinelli is actually a winger. Emery just liked to use him as frontman. Freddie got his formation and selection right. No thanks to the full backs early exit.

  2. Roshan says:

    Transfers I would make for the summer
    -If the rumours of Real Madrid wanting Auba for Jovic & cash we must take it. Or try to get Jovic and Cellabos (no cash)
    -Sell Laca for $50+m to fund a Zaha transfer.
    -Sell Xhaka (& Torreira if he wants to leave) to anyone to fund a Partey transfer.
    -Buy Upamencano.

    Leno
    Bellerin Upamencano Salilba Tierney
    Partey Guendozi
    Zaha Cellabos Pepe
    Jovic

    1. SAGooner says:

      Not Guendouzi, please. No forward movement there, lots of running, gets into good midfield positions to receive the ball, and then? Holds too long, passes back or sideways, never turns with ball….. enough said. Nelson or Willock would do better, maybe make more mistakes, but at least move the ball forward.

    2. famousfromdubai says:

      are you mad?
      who is jovic? someone that benzema gets more playing time over is who you want
      and then sell Laca for Zaha,
      do you smoke shisha?

  3. Sue says:

    “Some Arsenal pride is restored” – or proudness as Paul Scholes would say 😂😂😂
    I’d like us to stick with this front 3

    1. Pat says:

      Dear sue, I was happy to see us get three points. I really want Ljunberg to do well so am supporting him with my whole heart.,

      1. Sue says:

        It was a relief, Pat! I do too.. loved seeing them all hugging afterwards.. you’d never have seen that with Unai! They all appear to have a good rapport with Freddie 😊
        Onwards and upwards, Pat (🤞😅)

  4. Viju Jacob says:

    Five things Freddie did right:
    1. First XI
    2. Didn’t panic when two full backs got injured.
    3. Got the formation right.
    4. No panic substitutions at half time or for injuries.
    5. Kicking the lads to play with tempo after halftime.

  5. McLovin says:

    I like the fact about Pepe that he can beat his man. A proper dribbler.

    Off topic: stats can be very misleading. However, in regard of a great DM, I think 2 stats really reveal a great defensive midfielder: tackles and interceptions.

    Remember Kante at Leicester?

    33+4 matches, 4.7 tackles, 4.2 interceptions.

    Idrissa Gueye at Everton last season:

    32 matches, 4.3 tackles, 2.2 interceptions.

    Everyone’s seen Ndidi for Leicester this season, right? How immense he is?

    15 matches, 4.6 tackles, 2.9 interceptions.

    As stated before, stats can mislead, however I’ve never seen a shaky DM who averages more than 4 tackles and over 2 interceptions per match. I mean those are the two attributes that stops the incoming attack, right? There aren’t that many in Europe at the moment. In the top European leagues these players are the best midfielders who intercept and tackles off the attacks:

    Casemiro, Real Madrid
    Ndidi, Leicester
    Camavinga, Rennes
    Florentino, Benfica
    Llonch, Willem II

    If we are after a new DM, we should definitely keep an eye on Camavinga (17 years!) and Florentino (20 years!).

    1. arie82 says:

      Stats can be missleading
      Base on stat
      Mustafi is one best cb on season before, reality check, he is one the worst
      Xhaka is one most passing rate last season, reality check, it just a lot sideway passing
      Even players like walcott and podolski, have amazing stats performance to be the best in premier, but we know that they just good players, nothing higher

  6. Acejodecee says:

    They’re already back on social media after a while. Time to focus and built momentum and not the time to be distracted by the media #COYG

  7. For once, smiles on Arsenal fan faces. Freddie did everything right considering our bad form and the fact that we were trailing at half time. Under the previous coach we would have buckled and made WestHam look like Barcelona. Let us all give Freddie the support he needs, he is doing well under the given circumstances. Of course WestHam are not a great team and have their own problems but we should remember they beat Chelsea at Stanford Bridge and given the current Arsenal form every team that it takes on, is made to look a Barcelona and every striker a Messi. So all in all a great result considering all the facts and circumstances. Certainly the forward line was the best we have seen this season and hope the same continues for all the PL matches. Laca, Saka, Nelson and ESR can take up responsibilities in leading the line in EUL and FA cup matches. Seems happy days are in the offing!

  8. Godswill says:

    That Brazilian (the youngeris the best buy of the summer.
    Eh. Can Pepe be reproducing that regularly?
    The front three were okay yesterday.

  9. GunneRay says:

    Could you imagine how much better we would be if we replaced Xhaka with a young Viera and Petit!!?

    Our midfield is paper thin on creativity and strength and our defence would be much better if we could just pull off a fantastic signing in January!?

  10. Where'sMyTop4TrophyGone? says:

    I think that the Brighton game was the last we saw Auba and Laca on the pitch at the same time unless Pepe or Martinelli get injured.
    Also, with Auba contract talks not going anywhere, this is a bloody amazing sign. With Laca staying, we are looking at a very liverpoolesque forward line.
    I literally can’t wait for Auba to be sold (regardless of how bloody awesome he is for us) because with his transfer, we get a chance to buy a top defender and another promising player (I’d go for a box-to-box wunderkind if one is available out there). Who would go for either Alerwiereld or Verthongen? Or Dunk, if it’s not for a King’s ransom.

  11. Reggie says:

    A win against west ham who allow statistically more shots on goal this season than us is a start nothing more. The fact we have Ozil and Xhaka down the spine, makes us spineless. Those two need outing and thats just a start. Organisation in midfield and defence is the biggest thing along with balance and that is what our next manager has to be great at.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Reggie, still waiting for your final count on how many direct passes Ozil made, compared to the fifteen you told us he gave away during the game.

      Any idea yet as to the figure? If, of course, you were just concentrating on the negative side, I fully understand.

      1. jon fox says:

        Ken, I bet it was 357 passes and you have catalogued and remembered every one. Your Ozil obsession knows no bounds.

        1. Reggie says:

          Yes yes, if you think giving the ball away and not being fussed to tackle is good then, im not with you. People moan on here we cant win but then cant see the faults that cause that.

          1. ken1945 says:

            So, in actual fact Reggie, you watched the match…counted all the bad passes Ozil made…but didn’t log the positive ones?

            I guess that’s one way of judging a players contribution to a game then…and I’m being accused of having an obsession!!!

          2. Reggie says:

            No ken, his stats for giving the ball away was 15 times. The fact he is cruising through his big contract and not scoring, not creating, the fact that he cant keep the ball, cant tackle, i think the team need more. Just saying.

          3. Reggie says:

            Let me know ken how many assists and how many goals has our highest paid player got in the last 18 months, that is what he is in the team for. Impress me, go on.

          4. ken1945 says:

            Reggie- as per whoscored.com

            Success Pass Rate @ Arsenal ave = 83.9% (sub)
            Ozil = 88.2 from 7 games
            Guend = 88.7 from 14 (1) games
            Xhaka = 84.9 from 12 games
            Cebs = 88.1 from 7 (4) games

            Away Success pass rate stats (gotanidea “Ozil shouldn’t play in away games”)
            Ozil = 91.1 from 4 games
            Guend = 90.0 from 7 (1) games
            Xhaka = 87.2 from 7 games
            Cebs = 86.9 from 2 (3) games

            Key Passes Home Away Ave.
            Ozil = 3.0 2.0 2.4 from 7 games
            Guend = 1.1 0.5 0.8 from 14(1) games
            Xhaka = 1.4 0.3 0.8 from 12 games
            Cebs = 1.8 0.0 1.0 from 7 (4) games

            Shots
            Ozil from 7 games = 0.7
            Guen from 14 (1) = 0.6
            Xhak from 12 games = 0.6
            Cebs from 5 (1) = 0.8

            Defensive assists
            Ozil = 0.9 from 7 games played as a AM
            Guend = 1.6 from 14(1) games played as a DM
            Xhaka = 1.0 from 12 games played as a DM
            Cebs = 0.8 from 5(1) games played as a AM

            If only UE had played him when available, imagine how his key passes stats would look against Guendozi and Ceballos and how many games we might have won, but we can only guess.
            Hope these stats impress you, rather than taking time to count 15 passes that went astray, but not counting how many made their mark.

          5. ken1945 says:

            Should have said that these are from this season, when UE refused to play him even when fit.

  12. Towny254 says:

    Hang on we beat a piss poor West Ham side who in the first half made us look what were useless and for 1 hour we were rubbish West Ham got tired we took advantage of that and ran out good winners. But remember the old saying 1 Swallow don’t make a Summer

  13. Grandad says:

    The most significant decision made by FL yesterday was to leave out Luis.Had Holding been fit I suspect Sokratis would also have been dropped.There is no question in my mind that Chambers and Holding in tandem would help solidify our back four.I thought Chambers was very good yesterday as was AMN who has a lot of the attributes needed to make the grade.The trouble is his lack of concentration and inability to settle for making a simple pass when a more adventurous one leads to a breakdown in possession.Someone needs to get him to focus on his defensive duties because he has the raw talent to make a real contribution to the team wherever he is played.

  14. jon fox says:

    My thoughts at random on the game. First half was the single most depressing display I have ever watched in my 61 years attending and watching. But it was totally clear that much of this is down to total lack of self belief, collectively, and for what this reveals about the snowflake gereration, mentally speaking, who play our Prem game today. Not merely at Arsenal but worse here than anywhere else currently. Martinelli is now the single most valuable player we have, financially speaking and probably third playing wise, behind Auba and Leno. Leno is beyond sensible doubt a top, top keeper and I am very happy we have him.

    How fragile though is the new belief we rescovered though only in part after we equalised. I see us losing heavily to City anyway. We will probably scraoe through on Thursday. I am near certain that Ljungberg is not being seriously considered as permanent and we will soon have a new face at the helm.

    Pepe is highly talented but I still retain serious doubts over his long term effectiveness, as to my mind he is like many of our players in simply not being a warrior. Martinelli IS though and the difference is stark. I am 100% certain that until and unless we become a whole team of warriors, we will never again challenge for the title. Weak minded players have no business at our club. JUST MY TAKE!

    1. David Braithwaite says:

      I agree; Martinelli’s is the type of attitude we need. That of a winner.
      See what he did after he scored. He did not waste time celebrating despite the team having been poor up to that point.
      He wanted to get on with the game and get the win.
      There is a weakness of character within the team. How is that the team can come out and say they were “scared” in a football match playing for Arsenal? Xhaka, and since then Freddie-I found it extraordinary.
      This win was important but the result papers over the cracks. Freddie has changed personnel but so far I have not seen enough to convince me that he is the long term solution.

  15. Siamois says:

    I agree with martinelli but disagree on Pepe,he didn’t have much opportunities to show what he can do,look at him now with the weeks passing he has been bulking,he was subbed because he gave everything he had,good signs,our forwards are not the problem, put a DM whose only job is to cover our back three,breaking counters attacks, slow them down,that has to stay between midfielders and defenders and you’,LL see a great improvements,;’,no longer being cut open when we lose the ball slowing counter attack given our players to regroup!

  16. Abi says:

    My hope is that this win will restore confidence back to the players, they were so scared to play yesterday until after the first goal. FL should grow bigger balls to drop Ozil & Xhaka, they are liabilities to the team. Guendhouzi, Torreira, Ceballos, Willock,Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson in that order should be started at the midfield. They need playing time to gel better as a team. I’ll like to see the pairing of Luiz and Holding, with Bellerin & Tierney at the defence. It’s time we stick to a team.

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