Frustrating defeat highlights that Arsenal need some quality signings

Lack of luck and quality costs us by Konstantin Mitov

It’s extremely frustrating, lovely Arsenal people. It hurts, it really does, because we actually played better. We gave Chelsea a game, instead of rolling over and dying like we’ve done in the past. But in the end of the day we still lost.

This game highlighted that we need signings in January. We’re extremely short on the bench. We didn’t have midfielders since Xhaka was “ill” or maybe he’s on his way to Hertha Berlin? Regardless we need more troops on board.

I thought Guendouzi and Torreira were really good, but once Lampard realized he made a mistake with the 3 at the back he made a sub and we failed to cope with it. Then again Jorginho should’ve been sent off. The fact the ref didn’t sent him off was pathetic!

That said though, we were really late with the subs. Is it because we don’t have anyone on the bench or we don’t trust them? We introduced Willock who missed a golden chance to kill them off. If that was in 2-0 in the bag, but instead it was missed again. I don’t wanna blame the kid, but these kind of misses can help win or lose games.

Laca also missed a good chance in the first half. He worked hard, but he was clearly tired and here is my only critic of Arteta in the game. He should’ve subbed Lacazette for Pepe. What does the manager see in training that we don’t? I’m not sure, but in a period of the game where we were struggling and dropping deeper and deeper, adding some pace and trickery whould’ve clearly helped, as we could’ve moved Auba to the middle and have a lot of threat on counters.

As much as I hurt and I’m disappointed, I have to say that what Arteta said he would do appeared on the pitch in the first half. We were controlling the game, we were pressing like a unit, we were defending with a system, not giving spaces. David Luiz was superb in my opinion.

It’s just difficult to swallow and more misery could easily be on our way with Man Utd coming next. The board need to back Arteta with signings. We’re in dire need of some experience. We are in an extreme need for a proper CB and even more so a good Midfielder.

Since Santi Cazorla left, we haven’t had a good ball playing midfielder. Someone who can carry the ball forward, nick a pass, shoot from distance. Some of these players are not good enough for what we’re trying to implement, but I can’t blame them today, because they showed fight.

It’ll be a very hard season, but Arteta showed signs of what we could be seeing in the future. Now we need the board to back it with the right players.



  1. we lost a match we should have won. no positives. The result is all that matters. David luiz and Mustafi made a blunder. either should have brought down Abraham. that is logic. but they allowed him to continue his run till he got to a dangerous position. if there is any team that should be buying players right now. it should be Arsenal. The board should go all out and buy Thomas Partey, Lewis Dunk and Rakitic. Rakitic may be getting old, but he is what we need in midfield right now. we need men who have won things. guys who take shots from the midfield. we need a central defender who is tall and has EPL experience. forget upamenco and Koulibaly. Go all out and get Lewis Dunk. Get in Thomas Partey. we are so vulnerable on the counter. when we are pushing for a goal, we need our DM or CM to stay and not join the rest of the attackers in pushing for a goal. what matters right now is getting 3 points. not playing good. The board should sign these 3 players these january. no need of prospects. forget the Joe willocks, Guendouzi for now. get in the men.

    1. Agree about trying to get Dunk an experienced premier League player, much better than risking a fortune on a foreign player who can be a bit iffy…..

  2. I think the Lacazette problem is the first challenge Arteta will be facing. As I see it, He does not drop Lacazette because he’s one of senior players now and because of his partnership with Auba. He should not be starting games, everyone knows that. Arteta is just trying to get him back to his better days but that is not going to happen any time soon. He should be playing the last 20 min for now until he gets back his confidence, or the team will suffer from his poor performances.

    1. Who on earth would he have played instead? Lacazette does a lot off the ball and is important in our pressing from the front, he allows space behind for Auba, we’ve seen teams just sit deep against PEA nullifying his speed in behind. Yes Lacazette has been wasteful of late but who else could he play with an injured Martinelli? Pepe isn’t starting yet, not because he doesn’t train hard but more likely he isn’t fit enough to do the tracking back required of him, in the Man city game he didn’t press at all, him or PEA pressed the opposition, he is more effective with his ability to beat a man against tired legs than fresh ones and is great for bringing on until he’s capable of doing the rest of the work.

  3. We sure have to make signings and important ones at that. We desperately need a good CB and a good midfielder. Also what is surprising is that MA did not bring on Pepe when Laca was clearly tiring.

  4. Arteta showed that he learnt from the best in the way we press yesterday. All we need is a ball playing central midfielder (rabiot or Douglas Costa or rakitic) and a proper winger(adama traore will suffice). Who saw wolves ferociously attack Liverpool yesterday? That wolves team is no more a midtable team but a top 4 team. Chelsea, Tottenham, manutd , leistercity will have to fight for1 champion league spot. Wolves will get one without a doubt

  5. It’s not a lack of experience which is costing us dear, it is a lack of quality.Three experienced players made costly mistakes which cost us the match, namely, Leno, Mustafi and Lacazette.Experience is an overrated attribute which is constantly used by ex players and pundits when it’s all about quality.As an example the only player who has truly impressed me this season in Arsenal colours is “young” Martinelli.

  6. There was clear positives, we played so much better, really feel robbed today. That equaliser from Jorginho turned the tied, he shouldn’t have been on the pitch.

    As we have seen the defence switches off for a second and we let in a goal, They should have fought till the end, I stated during the match we couldn’t keep the intensity up and as we saw they started dropping deeper later in the game.

    Such a shame.

    Laca is still not firing on all cylinders, we need a bigger squad we can’t as much as I would want to rely on the youngsters.

    With that said and the performance yesterday I have some hope (maybe not for the next game) but for the rest of the games this season.

  7. I doubt Arteta wanted to use all of his subs whilst we were winning. Any Injuries after the final sub and we are down to 10 men. A far from intelligent thing to do when we’re winning. Imagine the criticism he would’ve got if that happened.

  8. Arteta has to drop any fantasy sentimentality. Mustafi and Arteta should not play. Reiss Nelson is not a Sterling. He is bog standard. AMN not good enough, no mindfulness. Lacazette is too unhappy on the pitch. Luiz and Socratis not EPL standard. We are bog standard ordinary. 5 players need to go and we need 3 ‘gooduns’ in January at least if we want to avoid relegation.

    1. I don’t think that relegation is a real danger (not zero, but not high either) but I agree with you about being realistic. We need people at the back and the middle, another poster had said “men” and I agree. There are pieces that can be used, even at the back, but not without better players.

      We can’t afford to play Pepe right now as he plays no defence – with our weakness at the back we can’t afford that luxury. Maybe with a good defender and better midfielders he would work. the nonsense rumours about attackers drives me nuts…

      People love Gendouzi, and I think he has great potential – he is already good, but just try to really focus on him during a game (granted, a little hard to do on TV) and you see a ton of mistakes.

      I am not sure that we can get what we need in January, but maybe there are teams getting ready to throw in towels who can be persuaded to give us the pieces we need to stabilize. I am not talking about super stars, but (to use an ice hockey term) grinders – the players who last for years as a pro, know their jobs and work hard, they won’t be all-stars or make national teams but they know what to do and they don’t make mistakes or shut off. We need some of these guys.

      1. PS – we didn’t deserve the win but it was a better performance. Once Chelsea changed the formation you could see it coming. Feel bad for Leno as he really has been our best player (well, flip the coin with Auba), but that was awful.

        People are going to have to be realistic with Arsenal for a couple of years, more if management won’t spend serious cash over the next couple of summers. We put a lot of hope in Holding, Tierney and Bellerin being healthy and I hope that it is well-founded but they did not impress at all during their brief windows of appearance. The midfield is weak. It will take a lot of cash and some time to fill the holes with top-four level talent.

        The trick will be for all of us not to kill each other during the rebuild.

        1. @Stewart if the club don’t spend they will be in a relegation battle. Look at teams like Villa who spent £100m and still in a relegation battle! Auba wont hang around for long, nor will Laca and I would say Torreira will want out as they All did not come to Arsenal to be mid table at best!
          Arteta does not have the experience and needs 2-3 seasons under his belt, by then we will be relegated for sure! Get some grinder type players in from some of the harder working teams in the EPL and rebuild using a different style of players!
          I rather win 1-0 then lose with style – its a results based business, please lets not forget!

          1. I agree with that – just win baby (to quote the former owner of the Oakland Raiders – Al Davis)! We need to be highly pragmatic. I know that Arteta is inexperienced, but I have a good feeling about him (and of course that is worth so much 🙂 ).

    2. AMN is a CM, not a RB, different position, different mindset, different skillset. he’s also young, if I put Torreira as a RB he’d play equally if not worse so lay off him. AMN was the 1st to be promoted from the youth before any of the others for a reason, he’s that good in midfield and because his skillset is broad, he’s been put as a RB for cover but he’s improved the last few games as has Reiss Nelson. I’ll let Arteta judge them over yourself

  9. Back to the grinders – the really good Arsenal teams had some great players, the ones that you see in the highlights, but just as importantly, the rest of the team was made up of solid professionals – not “potential”, just solid. We need a base of those guys.

  10. Arteta actually showed that he can attack and “defend” for the 83 minutes until the goal.Though we lost we didnt deserve to lose.
    We had a great 1st half,no complaints there.
    The 2nd half our defending was good not bad.Everytime we got the ball they concede a foul but we actually got the better of them if not for the “fool”(referee).Laca did miss good chances but he held and won the ball many times.He has great chemistry with ozil but to be honest we need to convert those chances really bad so martinelli should start
    And ceballos needs to start.He has awareness,defending and attacking capabilities.He can also make good passes.He is much better than guendouzi and willock.He needs to start the next game if xhaka is “ill”.

  11. Konstantin It is not “the board” who decide not to spend money but KROENKE. THE BUCK ALWAYS STOPS WITH THOSE IN ULTIMATE CONTROL. IF KROENKE SAY WE DON’T SPEND, THEN WE DON’T. Simple fact Konstantin! Blame the correct person then !

    1. Well said Jon. Arsenal will be as ambitious as Kronke wants us to be.

      If he or Josh say “get a top CB and Midfielder” what do you think will happen?

      Put a bright spotlight on Kronke and keep the pressure on.

      Ask him why he has millions to waste on his Rams, but not a pound to spend on Arsenal?

      1. So true Jon, as it has always been under both AW and UE.

        What I saw yesterday, was a totally different team performance. …with the same players…totally different attitude, mentality, tactics and effort.

        The first half performance showed our squad, with all the injuries mind you, can live with ANY team in the premier league…and yet, we still diss our players as being dross.

        Of course we need better players in certain positions, especially if we want to get back into the CL, something that we took for granted under AW.

        I’m personally fed up with the continued negativity shown to the players we have and this ridiculous negativity can be shown by the way we performed against chelsea….all it needed was a coach/manager who knew what he was doing.

        Just look at the difference MA has made in such a short time, even to those labelled as “dross” “lazy” etc etc.

        The players sunk to their knees after the game and the crowd saluted their efforts to a man.
        As for referees not being biased or crooked Jon and decisions equalling out over a season , utter rubbish – he allowed chelsea to kick us off the park in that first half, so kenny rolfe’s thoughts are as tru yesterday as the always have been.

        I am already looking forward to seeing the utd game and the support given by the fans – it was fantastic against chelsea and I have no doubt that it will be again – it happened at a nearly full Emirates, so why can’t it happen on here?
        I got “My Arsenal back” yesterday, anyone who still feels the need to keep on knocking the club , by dredging up the same old negativity, should do themselves and the club a favour and think about what they are doing.

        Kronkie isn’t going anywhere and on yesterday’s display, he doesn’t need to – what he has to do is support MA in the transfer market as he did with UE, because this man WILL bring back success.

        1. By the way, you must have heard the support for Ozil yesterday Jon?
          It seems his fanboys haven’t diminished one little bit and it’s amazing what a coach who knows what he is doing with players, can actually get from them in return for their trust.

          I guess those who have dissed him as mentally frail etc must feel humiliated today – congratulations Mikel Arteta for realising what a player we have and how to man manage him.

          1. Ken, early days yet. Too early to assess whether these players won’t regress to “downing tools” (play when they feel like it) as they did with Emery and the latter Wenger years.

  12. It’s a pity we didn’t have Martinelli as an option, and also Saka having to be used at fullback even though the boy can hold his chin up he’s done alright. I agree with article, very surprised not to see Laca’s number called even if it was 75min, thought Ozil gave more than Laca both in possession and out of it, Laca also looked knackered after every sprint in that second half. Auba having a good game defensively might have had something to do with it as he was up and down the pitch fairly often. The mistakes, GK should have saved both of those, but it happens and it feels cruel after all the good work. I loved how we hunted in packs, every first or lapse touch there was us with one two three then four players swarming and not allowing obvious passes out, it was very good. First half we defended extremely well, we controlled the game, then later and later we fell back too far and allowed Che to set up shop in our half. We weren’t intelligent enough, should be pushing our team up when we have deep throws, should be taking breathers and GK should be wasting time and pushing them up after we’ve been under the cosh and have a free or GK out. Plenty of little things we didn’t do but Arteta has not had enough time yet to sort it out. Before the meltdown I was counting the positives with both hands, but felt a goal against was inevitable when I seen how Che started each attack with CB’s beyond the halfway line in some instances. Still, there’s a lot of encouragement, he’s getting strikers and Ozil looking hungry off the ball and we’re getting out to players more quickly, I am encouraged by the performance. Also must mention Nelson, he wasn’t in fans reckoning but the boy played very well for large parts and was one of our threats in that first half, the lad should get a mention by fans, he deserves a confidence boost.

  13. Im afraid we started well, Chelsea didn’t, they changed formation and one sub, it changed the way they played. We didn’t do anything to try and stop what Lampard did. Someone said in another post Chelsea brought in a 50 mil player of the bench but he also brought on two kids, one a debut. We had a 72 mil player on the bench and we never tried to combat what Chelsea did. Arteta has a lot to learn and he has to learn it fast. We cant make excuses, excuses dont win you games and we need to win games and fast.

    1. Reggie, we lost Chambers and had to change in order to cover for mustafi.
      We had our first choice full backs out injured, we had players forced to play out of position and we had a referee who, at the very least, was incompetent.

      For most of the second half, we DEFENDED well, wasn’t that something we had been lacking in for at least two years?
      The ironic thing was, our best player this season, Leno, was the man who gave them the break through, not mustafi , AMN or any of the other players.

      I would ask you to take a look at our bench and how the injuries are affecting MA’s choices regarding changing play.
      As for Pepe, a mystery to me also and I agree points are now a necessity, but I have no doubt whatsoever we have the man in MA and a fully fit squad will achieve just that.

      1. Im not knocking Arteta, he is learning on the job, he has to learn things like changing tactics and subbing pretty quickly. He is inexperienced in making his own decisions its just what comes with a rookie manager.

  14. I really must point out that the referee in this game clearly should have sent Jorginho off. With Chelsea there is always the possibility of corruption. I have never seen a game where someone like Jorginho stayed on the pitch. VAR has opened our game up to bad mistakes and corruption like never before.

    1. A DISAPAPOINTIMNG AND HASTY COMMENT SEAN. Esp from you. You seem to be saying that this ref was a cheat. I ACCEPT THAT ALMOST ALL ARE RUBBISH BUT NOT CHEATS AND THAT SORT OF SLANDER IS AN UNWISE THING TO SAY ON A PUBLIC FORUM THAT WOULD OPEN YOU UP TO PROSECUTION SHOULD THEY READ IT AND WISH TO SUE. You can safely criticise someones competence( excluding certain matters, not relevant here) but not their integrity and that is a key legal distinction. The legal onus would then be on you to prove it or lose your case, with possible heavy financial consequences. I respectfully advise you, in a spirit of well meant goodwill, never to write, publicly, that refs are cheats, or those running VAR – and esp not to name them individually or identify them, as you have in this case – unless you have real evidence and can prove your assertion. I have several times said the same to others on here and they flirt with danger, did they but accept my warning. I do note that some who I have warned no longer write as they once did.

      For what it is worth and it is only my opinion, but I thought the second Jorginho foul would have been a very harsh second yellow. Souness and Carragher say as I say too. One of them called it a “run of the mill foul”, and I agree. Guendouzi exaggerated it and I feel that is commonly done with CERTAIN players! I much like Guendouzi’s will to win but he is still immature on the pitch and it constantly shows, IMO.

      I thought that overall we ran out of steam after a stupendous first 35 minutes effort that drained us and that over the whole 90 minutes, Chelsea just about deserved their win.

  15. I thought and still think it wasn’t a yellow, i still think some would give it and some wouldn’t but for me its borderline. Dermot Gallagher said he thought it was a yellow so thats good enough for me to think ok it could have been a yellow. He also said that VAR got every offside right over the last few days. For me if the correct call and consistent is the result, then thats fine by me. What we have to get used to is fine margins and waits thats another debate.

  16. Jon, I’m sorry old friend, but yesterday’s display was more than incompetence, it boarded on a biased, pre meditated game plan to ensure chelsea were not penalised by the rules of professional football.

    Now I would class that as cheating. …don’t know what you would call it!!!!!

      1. David, as an ex referee, I was told exàctly what was needed t, o be unbiased anď efficient referee….I never made it past local football level I should add!!!

        However David, in passing my opinion on what I saw as a disgraceful example of PROFESSIONAL refereeing, bordering on inept and biased decisions, what on earth do you find unacceptable about my views and why should admin get involved?

        Let me ask you this, did you find his decisions consistent, fair, protecting players and unbiased?

        1. Agree with you

          There is a lot of money in football. Anyone who believes it is pure is deluded. Just like boxing and horse racing there is plenty going on. Mistakes yes…and other stuff too.

    1. Ken I call your post with its charge of a cheating ref not only silly but biased, wrong and unworthy of a man of your years and clear intelligence. Many Gooners side with you and I think they are also wrong about the “wanted second yellow” and are trying to deflect the fact that in the end we were a well beaten side and we ran out of steam after a stupendous effort for half an hour or so. Souness and CARRAGHER CALLED IT A RUN OF THE MILL FOUL AND NOT A SECOND BOOKING AND I AGREE. Guendouzi, as ever, made the most of it and in fact tried to cheat to get Jorginho sent off. Guendouzi is now becoming a well known hothead and thougn I LIKE HIS ENERGY AND WILL TO WIN, I do not like his attempts to con the ref, which he does quite often. After Lampards shrewd tactical change, which we were powerless to combat, with our threadbare subs bench and fill in players, due to injuries, we were second best. But for Leno’s howler we would have got a draw, which we did not quite deserve. Overall though, it was a huge improvement in many ways. The work rate was excellent; even OZIL put in a shift for once and there was clear shape. We were let down in the end by mistakes and our bad defenders when it mattered. Mustfi, true to form, was bamboozled and fell to ground when failing to prevent their winning goal, I excuse Leno, who has been excellent this season otherwise.

      On a more important wider point than just one game, I am hugely excited by the clear evidence that at very long last, we have a man in charge of the team who can and will continue to properly coach individuals and team cohesion. HE WILL VASTLY INCREASE OUR TEMPO IN TIME, WHICH WE HAVE BADLY NEEDED. His innate intelligence is already clear, as it was even when he played and he is our best hope for marked improvement. THE MANAGER IS ALWAYS THE MOST IMPORTANT EMPLOYEE AND IT AMAZES ME HOW SO MANY FINE MANAGERS CHANGE CLUBS WITHOUT A SIZABLE FEE BEING PAID, AS EVEN MEDIOCRE PLAYERS DO. I wrote this season off many weeks ago and expect at very best 8th and perhaps as low as 15th. Much will depend on injuries and poss incomings /outgoings next month. WE ARE NOW PAYING THE DISMAL PRICE FOR THE MANY YEARS OF INACTION AND DRIFT THAT STARTED WAY BACK UNDER WENGER AND CONTINUED UNDER EMERY. Of course we also had Gazidis and still have KROENKE, so ambitions remain realistically limited for a while yet.

      1. Jon, age and opinions have nothing to do with the subject of refereeing and neither does intelligence.
        The game of football is based on simple rules, designed to protect players, ensure impartiality and a consistency of decisions understood by all and sundry.
        Your thought that “it evens itself up over a season”, regarding referees simply shows that this is not happening and that a man of your intelligence is not recognising the simple truth – they are making regular, inexplicable, downright awful decisions…I give you the classic offside decision against manure earlier this season, which var clearly showed as onside by yards.
        These are supposed to be professionally trained people in charge of games that, potentially, could cost clubs millions and they are not doing their job.

        The game itself was ruined by the way it was refereed, enabling chelsea to make upteen challenges from behind, that were, potentially, dangerous and career threatening tackles.
        I’m surprised that you do not recognise the defensive display we put in for 83 minutes either, considering your long time belief that we have no defenders – they were superb, but I guess that you, as a realist, cannot acknowledge that defenders needed organisation from a coach who could actually do what his title suggests – bringing me back nicely to a referee actually refereeing a game in a consistent and fair manner.
        50,000 plus fans certainly didn’t see it that way and if Guendozi wasn’t fouled and pulled back, why did the referee give a foul?

  17. The only plausible transfer I can see happening is Angelino of Man City, he’s like third choice LB there and Arteta knows him well. But knowing us we’ll wait until Tierney/Kola return and that might as well be Never considering our injury record

    1. 9Kingojode, the biggest problem regarding your question (which I agree with 100%) is that Riley has ensured that no one are able to question his band of brothers.

      They answer to no one, never have to explain their thinking, very rarely “punished” and are paid over £80,000 a year for doing , judged on the chelsea performance, an incompetent job.

      The saying “it evens out over the season” should not be part of the referee’s description, as it’s a “get out of gaol free” card for them…but the fact it does, sums up their incompetence exactly.

      1. Ken , In this post, you say”incompetence” and in general I can easily agree with that charge. I do not say yestdays ref was good; merely that I thought he got the “no second yellow” decision right. Where I draw the line with you and others, notably Kenny Rolfe, is when you allege cheating . I CANNOT NOT ACCEPT THAT! On another tack, I would bin VAR, at least until and unless it can be proven 100% “accurate in the framing problem they admit is present. MORE IMPORTANTLY, unless and until it becomes almost instant for replay decisions , it is useless and spoils the game. MANY OTHER SHREWD FOOTBALL FOLK AGREE, SO WHAT DO YOU THINK?

        1. VAR, if used as in other countries around the world, is excellent for the game, especially when that country has inept referees.
          Riley has insisted that his band of brothers cannot go and review their decision at pitchside, which makes a complete mockery of the whole thing.

  18. so, the ozil fan club are once again beating their chests as though they are mimicking i said the other day, one swallow does not a summer make. nor does two swallows , for that matter. i was delighted to see ozils workrate yesterday, but he was not exceptional, he is not the same player who joined us first. i wish the old codgers who support ozil would finally agree with this .flogging a dead horse and all that. so chest thump away guys, i do have a feeling that this gesture from you might fall idle, maybe sooner rather than later.

  19. Jon fox, a foul is a foul. Exaggerated or not, it was a foul that deserves a card regardless wether he already had a card or not. just cause the ref decided not to issue another card doesn’t justified jorgino committing a foul

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