Good guys Arsenal downed as Villains run away with vital win

Arsenal have given up on their hopes of qualifying for Europe through their league position today, going away as 1-0 losers from Villa Park.

The Arsenal boss rung the changes for today’s tie with Aston Villa, despite the knowledge that anything but a win would mean their only hopes of qualifying for the Europa League would be by winning the FA Cup.

Granit Xhaka was rested for the first time since returning to fitness after the break, while Shkodran Mustafi also missed his first fixtures since the resumption, although his was down to injury.

The biggest question mark was always going to come from our opponents however, with Watford having lost earlier on against Manchester City the door had been opened for Villa to escape the drop-zone with a win, and their reaction to the news was always going to be exciting to see.

The Villains definitely stepped up to the plate, and came out with a point to prove, as well as their Premier League lives to save.

In the first half, the two sides mostly cancelled each other out, although the better chances were all coming to the hosts, and they eventually found the opening goal.

The only goal of the half came from a Villa corner, where our defender has managed to knock the ball clear of one attacker, only to drop to Trezeguet in the middle of the box to fire into the bottom corner.

This proved to be the best goalscoring opportunity for either side in the opening hour, before our side really started to pile on the pressure.

We brought on Kieran Tierney for David Luiz as we began to really turn the screw on Villa, but just as we were looking destined to equalise, we were hit on the counter, with Jack Grealish powering up the pitch before putting in the perfect through ball, only for Keenan Davis to slide it past the far post.

This scare really took away a lot of the impetus that we had been building up, and while we appeared to have equalised from our own corner when Nketiah headed onto the far post, only to bounce comfortably to Pepe Reina, we didn’t really deserve any form of result after the performance.

The only positive we can take from the result, is that we can rest our first-team at the weekend before the FA Cup final on August 1.

Did Arsenal deserve a result from the tie? Do Aston Villa deserve credit for their performance? Do we need to analyse our performance further or move on and concentrate on Chelsea?

Patrick

Tags Arsenal v Aston Villa Aston Villa

183 Comments

  1. RSH says:

    Well done Villains. Clearly the side taht wanted it more and the only one that showed up, so of course they deserve to win. Wont say much about Arsenal except I hope this brought ppl down to earth again. Two wins and ppl think some of our players are good enough to stick around next season. We are a 10th place team & are exactly where the table says we should be.

    1. Eddie says:

      👍👍
      Simple and forward, like the article says, we get to rest players for the FA cup final.
      No point in moaning

      1. RSH says:

        Yeah, it is what it is and now it comes down to another Final. I will just hope we turn up this time and do what we need to do. There’s reason to be positive about it and now we just gotta execute.

      2. Splendid says:

        And if we lose that too? We are quick to forget this scenario played out last year.

        1. Eddie says:

          If we lose that too, then fantastic!
          I don’t know about you lots but if losing out on Europa doesn’t make the board and Kroenke wake up to the fact that we need signings then y’all must be joking whenever you expect them to splash the money when the team picks up.
          It’s obvious the team needs a rebuild.
          Europa league or not.
          Losing out on Europa league again should make that fact obvious FFS

          1. ozziegunner says:

            👍

          2. Mobella says:

            Eddie no amount players you brought in will change what we witnessed yesterday. What we need is a cultural change. You just have to look at Liverpool and City attitude when we were leading and looked at ours yesterday. Without looking at the scoreboard you would think we are leading by 4 goals. Through out the second half no ball was played to Lacazette from the middle. It is one ball forward and so many backwards. No urgency, no desire, no pride and Auba? A striker should be able to do something else. If those are the kind of balls given to him, he would be behind Laca in goal scoring chat.

          3. Mobella says:

            Eddie no amount players you brought in will change what we witnessed yesterday. What we need is a cultural change. You just have to look at Liverpool and City attitude when we were leading and looked at ours yesterday. Without looking at the scoreboard you would think we are leading by 4 goals. Through out the second half no ball was played to Lacazette from the middle. It is one ball forward and so many backwards. No urgency, no desire, no pride and Auba? A striker should be able to do something else. If those are the kind of balls given to him, he would be behind Laca in goal scoring chat.

      3. Nickerless Bender says:

        Omg!?You have read too much into this result… have you not heard of the Deeny conspiracy? We owed the fecker and when we smash em’ at the weekend bye bye troy and (smh) Danny….😇 .

        1. Splendid says:

          You forget they did us a favour by stopping Liverpool and protecting our invincible record. We owed them that favour.

        2. Gooner_ash86 says:

          Lol absolutely cannot wait to watch deemed have his “cojones” handed to him Sunday and sent packing to the championship…. I only wish I was at the emirates to see it

      4. Loose Cannon says:

        Yeah, we always find an excuse to condone a loss. No wonder we are in 10th! Below the mighty Burnley. And Oh! we missed the creativity in the middle of the park because our mid field general has not fully match fit! (Even he was, what would be his use, 18 appearances, 1 goal and 2 assists!)

    2. SueP says:

      You are obviously right but playing a team that are hanging by their fingertips in the PL is one that is likely to throw up this type of result

      The previous 2 games would have taken a huge amount out of them

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        I don’t think so. Reality is reality living in denial does not change it.

        1. SueP says:

          Living in denial about what?

          1. Highbury Hero says:

            You are making excuse for them. It’s not like they have been high flying for the whole season. This is something we have seen a million times before.

          2. SueP says:

            Well, we all know they are not high flyers. And I wasn’t making excuses for them. I did suggest reasons why the display was poor and that was all.

      2. RSH says:

        City were able to pull off a 4-0 result against a team that had 10x more to play for. If you are trying to create a winning mentality team you can’t be losing these types of games. I dont really think there is an excuse that is good enough. Arsenal were absent, Villa showed up. Can’t have that, and I’m not happy with it, but it’s what has occurred several times this season.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          👍

      3. Jimmy Bauer says:

        What differentiates big team from also-rans is the ability to dig deep and get results and not resorting to excuses like fatigue or badluck..Watford were fighting for Thier survival too But Man city went through them like hot knife through butter…Now that’s a big team with a winning mentality..

        1. SueP says:

          But we beat them 2-0 in the cup. Was that not a winning mentality? Exactly how many games have City lost this season? I think very similar to us.

          Without question Villa wanted that win more than Arsenal. It was fairly obvious 35 minutes in. We did not turn up so there are no excuses tonight but sometimes these things happen

          1. ozziegunner says:

            Sue and SueP, unfortunately with this Arsenal squad it happens too often and that is why Arsenal is mid table.

    3. Highbury Hero says:

      I have issues with Arteta. Clearly he lacks experience and this is too big a job for him. He is a very good talker but I want to see tangible results. We have the best striker in the league and he plays him on the wing. We have one of the best playmakers in the world and he does not make the team.

      I really hope that he will prove me wrong next season but I doubt it.

      I am starting to think now Liverpool didn’t really care for our game and Guardiola just gave his friend a little help. How can you explain winning against the two best teams in the country and whatever we have witnessed today?

      1. RSH says:

        I say look at the table. We’ve been hovering around midtable all season. That would suggest this is a midtable squad. On high wages is all. We have one player that gets into the XI of our rivals. One.

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          Yet the only wages does that seem to be the issue is the wages of Ozil. What are other players doing to justify their wages?

          1. RSH says:

            bait others with the ozil talk today, friend. not really feeling it atm.

      2. Eddie says:

        Here we go again with the best midfielder in the world búllshit.. Please move on from Ozil.
        Ozil isn’t the same played he was, why is it so hard for you folks to accept that he has declined and doesn’t is no longer his former self?

        Also you had no issues with Auba scoring from the wings right ? You had no problem few days ago when he got two goals there.
        Lose today and Auba is being used wrongly.

        “I am starting to think now Liverpool didn’t really care for our game and Guardiola just gave his friend a little help.”
        Our fans are so unbelievable

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          I have issue with the great Pierre being played on the wing for a long time. I didn’t comment when he scored. He does not score as often now since deployed on the wing.

          It’s Arteta job to make the best use of Ozil. It’s his job. His job. What do you think he was hired to do? should not participate in the backroom politics if he wants to be successful in this club.

          1. Eddie says:

            Lmao… And Ozil wasn’t given his chances under Arteta? Can you just drop this Ozil agenda?
            Well since it’s the coach’s job to make best use of players, he’s making use of the ones he feels are working well for him.
            Ozil can play on Sunday, he’s not needed in the FA cup final.
            Wake up! You talk about being in the reality yet you’re the one living in denial.
            Ozil is one of those players who declined early in their career!
            Wake up, he’s declined!! Wake up to the reality

          2. kev says:

            The Ozil treatment doesn’t make sense. I don’t even rate him that much for like three years but I believe that the form of our players is up and down so he should also be given his chances just like any other player and then benched when he performs poorly. Everyone should be given equal treatment and I’m against forcing a player out in this way if what I read is true. He shouldn’t have been given a new contract but he’s still our player and must be used relative to the performances of others.

          3. Eddie says:

            Kev you can’t say Everyone didn’t get a fair chance.
            Arteta trusted Ozil when he came in, Ozil played 11 games before the break.
            What was his contribution? 1 Assist!!
            1 frigging assist, I like the man, I love Ozil, but the truth is he’s a player who declined early. I really don’t know what y’all can’t see that, players decline. Accept it and move on.
            What else are you guys really expecting from Ozil at this point?
            We need players and even Arteta knows that fact, but there’s nothing Ozil can do for us anymore

          4. kev says:

            If the Ozil treatment was equally given to our players since Arteta came in guys like Kolasinac and Luiz would not start for us. I’m against ousting a player from the line-up like that. For 3 years I stopped rating Ozil but I believe that everyone should play relative to the performance of others as long as they are here. He’s not that good anymore but he can be in and out of the team as much as man of our players are. It makes no sense for us to just push him our when we even want to sell him

          5. gerry burke says:

            HIGHBURY HERO, you have issues , period !!!.

        2. ozziegunner says:

          Eddie, the voice of reason. This squad is not good enough overall for consistent performances. It is always a case of whether the Arsenal players turn up.
          I don’t blame Arteta, as just like Emery and Wenger, he can’t play for them. The Board and senior executive have to provide Arteta with the players he considers he needs; in my opinion a class CB, DM and box to box midfielder at least. The right players are out there and available.

          1. Eddie says:

            Thank you Ozzie, reading this Highbury guy keep saying we have a good squad just need a good coach is annoying TBH.
            We all know the squad is shite and that we need new players, some fans just choose to be delusional.
            This squad can’t and will never perform consistently no matter who the coach is.
            It needs rebuilding

        3. PabloX says:

          Mr man go and sleep

      3. kev says:

        I don’t think Aubameyang is the best striker in the league. He’s too one dimensional to be called the best though hes great. Anytime he doesn’t score or assist it usually means he’s average just like this game. However, I agree that Arteta shouldn’t be playing him on the wings but probably utilising Laca’s hold up play and there are many times Auba is in the box too. It’s just tactical. I feel you’ve lost the plot on the Arteta part though

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          Time will tell. Arteta should have continued to be an assistant or start at small clubs. He took a big leap to take this job.

  2. Highbury Hero says:

    It’s our trademark now to lose to relegation teams. I don’t even understand what’s going on and I don’t want to.

    I will just blame Ozil and his salary for our woes. It doesn’t matter that he was not even on the pitch this is Ozil fault the sooner he goes the better.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Ozil’s not playing because Arteta wants 11 players on the field and not at least one “revolving door” in midfield.

      1. Ba Elkhirsawy says:

        Have you got your 11 players that could not make one shot on target?
        Many are tired, we had to include him.

  3. Eddie says:

    Everyone played poorly obviously.. Is it tactics? Was it fatigue? The game was never gon be easy against a relegation battling team.
    Arteta had no option than to rotate and rest his players in the first place.
    This midfield definitely needs Xhaka in it at least until we get better progressive players.
    I don’t believe this crap that if we don’t get to the Europa we won’t have enough money to spend.
    Obviously if we fail to make it to the Europa, it should be clear to the board and Kroenke that this is when we actually need important signings.
    I can’t believe I’ll say this, the defense without Mustafi and Luiz looked worse😂😂😂😂
    Move on, Next!!
    We have a final to play.
    We were poor and Villa wanted it more, no point in moaning like we’re entitled to winning every game

    1. kev says:

      The defense may have looked worse but the chances given off today are the type of chances Mustafi and Luiz would give off . There was no sense in our play today and everything was so predictable. I just hope we sign a robust box to box midfielder and get ourselves an AM who woukd be allowed freedom to create. That and another CB are so key next season

      1. Eddie says:

        Exactly, we’re all hoping we make some proper signings, midfielders and a solid defender this summer and though I’m not blaming any player,
        I won’t call out any by name, the whole team were poor today.
        Villa deserved the win

        1. kev says:

          The thing is we’ve seen this over and over again with this team. Those who know how bad we are wouldn’t be shocked with the loss but it’s just crazy how bad we can be. In fact they wpukdnt be shovked if we lose all our remaining games. Still shocked we managed to get worse after 17/18. One would’ve thought that would be the worst of the worst but this is just next level stuff

          1. Eddie says:

            Nope, this is amazing. If having our worst year since 1995 doesn’t wake the Kroenkes up then we’ll know the Club is doomed and will be another Newcastle or Ac Milan.
            Let this terrible performance keep showing we need to rebuild.
            I mentioned after the City game that playing and winning the FA cup this season is only a consolation prize.
            I really wish there’s a way we could win it and not make it to the Europa league.
            Seriously what does it prove if not the fact that KROENKE NEEDS TO INVEST IN THIS CLUB?!!
            If he doesn’t do that, then I’ll seriously accept we’re never going back to the top anytime soon

  4. Ace says:

    I really get angry when I see Pepe with the ball. Dribbles are forward movements but Pepe’s dribbles to the back. He looses the ball so often and always too lazy to track back. The EPL is really not made for players like him. If there are players we should sell Pepe should definitely be one of them

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      How he cost 72 million is a mystery worthy of Sherlock and Poirot combined.

      1. Sue says:

        And we haven’t even paid for him yet 😳

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          The person who made this deal happen from their side is really really good at their job.

          1. Sue says:

            Yes and laughed all the way to the bank!

        2. kev says:

          How I wish Zaha never cost £80m. He was absolutely what we needed but also never worth his price. Chukwueze would’ve been a great buy for less that amount

          1. Sue says:

            I always wanted Wilf, Kev…

          2. Splendid says:

            Chukwueze would have cost not more than 35m at that time. Even Watford’s Sarr was so cheap.
            Pepe is so frustrating.

          3. Palmer17 says:

            I said not so long back we could e signed Chukwueze and Torres from Villarreal for same price we payed for Pepe

          4. Phenom says:

            Compare Pepe and Zaha numbers. Arsenal fans never appreciate what they have. It was clear we lost because of fatigue. To play Liverpool and city back to back takes a lot of energy. The negativity here is massive than AFTV.

          5. Sue says:

            It’s all very well comparing Pepe and Zaha’s stats…. but we’ll never know how Wilf would’ve been with us, will we??

          6. Splendid says:

            It’s not just only about numbers. It’s about what happens throughout the 90 mins. Off the ball, Zaha or Pepe who would you rather have in your team?

          7. Eddie says:

            Phenom you aint the only one tired of the moanings and negativity, I’m tired also.
            It was clear FFS these guys worked themselves down in the last two games.
            Everyone sang praises about how hard they worked, and everyone is aware Fatigue has been plying the team and yet everyone comes out full anger mode berating and complaining after losing.
            I suppose we must win every game and I suppose a player who in his first season, under three different coaches, in an Arsenal team that can be regarded as one of the worst we’ve had. I guess the fact that the player has contributed to 17 goals in his first season doesn’t count.

          8. Mikki says:

            Story for the gods come next season Pepe will still perform better than Zaha ,chuk how many goals and assist this season? Is Pepe our biggest problem right now? Is time we face reality,, we don’t have quality players, we are far behind others, Pepe will keep, will defend, dribble and score then you will know is a great player because they bought him 72 m, I don’t rate him for the now but is one of best players this season, he need to improve

      2. Ace says:

        This our passing-passing game can be so annoying. We just keep passing the ball in safe zones. No cutting edge, no bite. It makes teams comfortable to defend against us. We need players that can make quick darting runs into the opponents half. I thought Pepe would be the one to do that but. That’s so not the case

        1. Splendid says:

          I’m so disappointed at Holding’s performance. He was supposed to play Mustafi’s role. Instead of locating Cedric, Nketia, Laca, Auba he kept returning the ball to Luiz. Same with Kolasinac, he should be the first name on the transfer list.
          What’s the point in playing 3 CBs when only 1 of them can play out?

        2. Mobella says:

          People we need to look at more than the results. At this point in a season it is inconsequential. Look at the the team attitude on the pitch. Do we play like we want to win. I don’t think fatigue is a befitting excuse here. We had two days rest against Spurs and we all to the outcome. We have more than half of the team who hadn’t played an hour or more of football in our last two games. This more than the result for me. And what I saw yesterday, I have seen under Wenger, Emery and now MA with different players. Are we attacking or defending. We had zero shots on target is that due to fatigue also.

    2. kev says:

      Arsenal signed a more expensive Saint-Maximin.

    3. gotanidea says:

      His biggest problem is he’s so one-footed. It’s easy to defend against him once the defender knows Pepe’s tendency

      I don’t think he’d improve next season. Arsenal better sell him before his value goes down further

    4. Ba Elkhirsawy says:

      Exhausted and carrying the ball with too many dribbles depletes his stamina.
      He is a good player but it is not his day.

    5. Femi says:

      Thank you! I don’t really understand the Pepe praise most people are piping all about. He doesn’t influence games as he should albeit that Europa league match and Aston villa reverse fixture.

      He’s not really a fit for this league. His dribbles are not crisp and swift and he’s not really intelligent.

  5. Twig says:

    Jack Grealish anyone?

    1. Sue says:

      Yes please

    2. gotanidea says:

      Not for me. He’s good, but we need a courageous attacker who is good in one-on-one situation like Adama Traore

      Barcelona have that problem this season since they lost Neymar. Messi used to be that penetrator when he was young, but he’s old now

      Since we’ve missed Adama Traore when he was very cheap at Barcelona and Middlesborough, we’ve got to find someone else

      1. Shakir says:

        OT
        “Messi used to be that penetrator but he is old now…”.Cmon dude messi’s form has never dipped,apart from being a gooner I like RM but messi deserve some respect for what he is doing.He could be playing until like hes 50 and still be at the top.

  6. Jimmy Bauer says:

    Admin..Respectfully..Why are my post not showing again..

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      I can see you John cena.

    2. Admin Martin says:

      You mean the 10 replica posts??? You’re lucky you have not been banned.

  7. Reggie says:

    After the Lord Mayors Show. At least that put where we are into perspective. 9 league games 4 wins and 4 loses, is a true reflection of where we are. Mid table and that is the stark reality. Todays game was so uninspiring and lacked any passion or drive from the team. FA cup final to come but i fear that that could be the last hoorah for a good while. I think we have a good manager but we as a club are not in a position to get back into a place that we think we need to be. I just have no confidence in this bunch of players, they have talent but how many winners have we got? Really that game was a bit of a horror show, cant remember a shot on target against a defence that have let in 66 goals.

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      I believe we have a good squad but not good manager. We need a manager worthy of our status like Someone or Allegri.

      I supported Mikel appointment and I like the guy but so far I have seen little to make me confident he is the right man to return us to glory.

      We will see next season and I really hope he proves me wrong.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        The bulk of this squad have now failed for consistency under 3 manager/head coaches (4 if you include Freddie Ljundberg). For consistency Arsenal need improved quality at CB, DM and box to box CAM, which would also markedly improve squad depth. Squad depth is critical with the quick turn around of games in this very competitive league. If you’re not up for the fight you lose.

    2. gotanidea says:

      None of our shots was on target. I know the players were tired, but this is so embarassing

      Mings is an excellent CB though

      1. Sue says:

        Mings 👍

  8. Sue says:

    I’m disappointed…. but not really surprised…. sigh…….
    My only wish is, we play better than that in the final…. or we’ll be slaughtered…. rest half of them on Sunday… it’s all over now… another year finishing below the spuds…..☹

    1. Kenya 001 says:

      Well sue ain’t surprised at all think Jon fox should consult me for punter thing

      1. Sue says:

        So do I 😉 You’re too good, Kenya 👍

    2. Kenya 001 says:

      We’ll turn up sue no doubts 💯% .Now though we got to choose who goes down. Think the cojone guys I hate them save only when they ended that…… hope we relegate them on Sunday

      1. Sue says:

        Would be satisfying sending Deeney and his cojones packing to the championship 😁

        1. Quantic Dream says:

          😂😂😂

        2. Declan says:

          I really hope not Sue, Watford are a decent club that do a lot for the community. They are the closest ground to Colney and their training ground adjoins ours.

          1. Sue says:

            Probably won’t happen anyway, Declan

  9. Quantic Dream says:

    😐

  10. Splendid says:

    Someone tell me why Holding and Kolasinac couldn’t pass the ball out to attackers and relied on Luiz to pass out from the back. I’ve come to expect the worst from Kolasinac but Holding?
    Who is sincerely convinced there is talent in Nketia and Willock? This scenario played out last year, when we missed top 4 and relied on Europa league final to qualify for UCL. What happens if we lose again to Chelsea? Will Arteta still be seen as the right man?

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      I just hope we lose so he can focus only on the league next season. With his inexperience exposed I think a fixture congestion won’t do him any good.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Any person who wants Arsenal to lose an FA Cup Final is a disgrace to the Club. A “Highbury Hero” you are not.

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          The benefits outweigh the gain.

          1. ozziegunner says:

            Some clubs have never reached an FA Cup Final, let alone win one and you want Arsenal to throw the opportunity away. Players go through a whole career without playing in a cup final and you would deny Arsenal players the chance of a winners medal. Ask the players and any sane supporter of any club, which they would prefer: win the FA Cup or improve the chance of moving up the League table?

    2. Quantic Dream says:

      Arteta got the job without any experience. No one really knows whether he is the right man, including the board and Arteta himself.

    3. S says:

      Problem with us is that we don’t give anyone a chance, we expect to be winning every match & the moment we lose, none of the previous wins matter because in those matches they “let us win”. We always see a fault in everything and never a virtue is that right?

      1. Kenya 001 says:

        Spot on s. On a lighter note Arteta should improve his away wins, we have struggled for away wins for quite sometime now.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          Away wins have been in short supply since the latter years of Arsene Wenger.
          Imagine a team having to go to Anfield and beat Liverpool by 2 clear goals to win the League? That’s an away win!

      2. Phenom says:

        Thank you

      3. Highbury Hero says:

        We are losing too much.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          No sh#t, Sherlock!

      4. Splendid says:

        No one in his right mind expects to win every match. What we expect us consistency. You don’t win Wolves, Liverpool and Man City and lose to Brighton, Spurs and Aston Villa.

        1. Eddie says:

          Why are we entitled to winning Brighton, Spurs and Villa?
          Why? Because we’re a big team?
          Even Barcelona ain’t entitled to winning a single game.
          You’re only entitled to winning when you work for it.
          You guys keep talking aa though just because we beat United, Liverpool and City, the rest of the league should be walkovers.
          Wait till the next game, if Arsenal lose again then you can start complaining and calling for consistency, not whining after we lose to a team that fought for the point

          1. ozziegunner says:

            👍 Eddie, points must be earned. The table doesn’t lie.

      5. Eddie says:

        Thank you mate, that’s it.
        I’m off to see some movies.
        Fans constantly complaining as though we’re entitled to winning every games.
        It doesn’t matter how we’ve been playing, once we lose a game.
        Everyone attacks everything relating to the club

    4. E. Anderson says:

      Arteta will be resting the key players at home against Watford. Lampard will have no choice but to play his key players against Wolves to secure UCL place. If we do not beat Chelsea at Wembley to see Auba lift that trophy after today and the Baku Europa final …. as far as I’m concerned there’ll be no place to hide for our players…we (fans and players) should be hurting and too pumped for that final. And I’m not even smiling……

      1. Mikki says:

        No excuse, finals are won not by resting players or not… We lack winning mentality, is it bad to play the rest of the matches unbeaten ?

        1. E. Anderson says:

          Look, we do lack the winning mentality, particularly when playing away. True. But didn’t begin with Arteta, it’s been this way going three years back, I think. The way I see it, we are short of quality, particularly in the middle of the park, and maybe central defence. I say maybe because we do have individuals who I haven’t yet played, or not played as much, who I feel under Mikel Arteta could settle in and do the job….but not so in midfield. We need help there by way of incomings.

          I believe in the manager.

          1. Eddie says:

            Tell them mate… This squad ain’t got no depth. We have to run our players down

          2. Mikki says:

            Yeah without quality defence and midfidders we are going nowhere, I can’t rate any of our midfiders above the ahead despite the improvement, you can’t be knocking the ball without nothing to show, hleb, nasri and rosicky comes to mind, good passer or assist master fabregas, song can even assist then even when he was playing deep, we don’t have such players now

      2. Splendid says:

        For me, this match was the most important. Now we lost, no guarantee you will win FA cup after resting players.

        1. E.Anderson says:

          Yes, it was important to get us into seventh place. But look at the other team – Aston Villa, it was also an important match for them. They were staring down the barrel of relegation with a game left after. They were at home….they fought for everything (we did not, yes)they scored (we had no shot on target) and they defended with determination to secure the win. They deserved it (we did not).

          But I remember (you should too) how only a few days back we put in a similar effort against Pep’s City. We left everything on the pitch that day, everything! We earned a deserved victory to land in the FA Cup final.

          They made me so proud that day….I’m still proud, even now!

          These are men…not gods!

          Give them a pass today…

          1. Eddie says:

            I owe you a beer of your choice mate👏👏
            Seems you’re new here, your voice is that of sound reasoning.
            Hoping to read more from you please

          2. ozziegunner says:

            👍 Aston Villa were fighting for Premier League survival. There are no games in the EPL where you can turn up and expect to win. That’s why “Invincible seasons” are hard to replicate. Staying up will be worth £50 million plus to Aston Villa.

  11. Sid says:

    Bad day at the office, nothing more nothing less. And clearly Villa were more deserving.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Too many bad days at the office for the last 5 seasons at least.

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        The fact that a lot of people seems to intentionally ignore.

      2. Declan says:

        Ozzie and Sid, perhaps Arsenal should work from home …… 😜

        1. ozziegunner says:

          👍 Too bad we have to play away😊⚽

  12. Mikki says:

    Arsenal is not all about Pepe, he is not good enough but he has done better than most of ours players this season, first season for crying out loud…. Arsenal do better when they are under dogs, I remember the FA cup against Chelsea 2017,we won, but in Europa final we lost when the expectations were high, this is the typical arsenal nothing has changed, the mentality of the players need to be questioned, ..am some how scared because the final against Chelsea is still unpredictable I don’t seem to trust these players… Pepe is not the first flop in history of football, if our defenders should make mistakes Pepe will still be in their mouth, if he is not good enough the door is open for him to go else, at least one more season …the problem is will don’t have quality players anymore especially our midfield lack creativity …

  13. SueP says:

    So many criticisms of Arteta who has stopped the rot at least and with more or less the same players that were an anarchic bunch under the stewardship of Emery. I very much hope that Arteta will still be seen as the right man to take the club forward. An FA cup final is a great achievement in his first half-season as manager.

    Today was the opposite of what happened against City. We wanted the FA Cup more. Aston Villa needed to win more tonight. Both happened.

    1. E. Anderson says:

      Exactly.
      For me, with all things fairly considered, I look at the whole season then look at the manager’s performance…and I give him a vote of confidence going forward into next season. He is indeed a brilliant man.

      Also, I do hope the club brings in a midfielder or two, at least. He needs a helping hand here.

      1. Quantic Dream says:

        How is he a brilliant man when we are wallowing in midtable mediocrity under his leadership?

        1. ozziegunner says:

          Hopefully, unlike Emery, Arteta will be given the players he wants to improve the positions where Arsenal I’d deficient and squad depth overall.
          It is unfair to judge Arteta when he hasn’t had a transfer window and we have not seen how much support he will be given by the Board and senior executive.

        2. E.Anderson says:

          Why do you look only at our league position, @Quantic Dream?

          Look away now and see that which the league standings cannot show…

          The season began terribly, went downhill fast…we lost a lot of ground
          Mikel Arteta came in midway…
          Improved tactics…
          Improved work ethics…
          Enforced discipline and authority in a subtle and fair manner…
          Players are better at defending as a team, (though individual errors still occur frequently)
          Individual player improvements (likes of Mustafi, Tierney, Ceballos, even recently Luiz, and Bellerin have been better, sometimes even immerse)

          The players understand him and what he wants….communication is so spot on

          Yes, we haven’t moved up the table as we hoped….we just need a little more quality in the squad, he tried with the players he met…

          With few quality additions, the next season will not be like this…
          Did not want him at the time of Emery’s appointment. Not now. He is a good manager, I know it now, and I am glad to have him as manager.
          The players do believe in him, you
          should too.

    2. Splendid says:

      We never learn from our mistakes. If we lose to Chelsea will you still be happy with Arteta?same way we asked Emery to continue after messing up end to last season because (according to most of you) he got us into Europa league final and in a position to fight for top 4.
      Arteta is solely responsible for this poor performance at Villa. He got everything wrong. Chelsea will make top 4 and then play the final with a relaxed mind. You all know what happens to Arsenal when the pressure is on them?

      1. E.Anderson says:

        Just to answer your opening question directly….if we lose to Lampard’s Chelsea, I’d still be very happy with Arteta as manager of our club!

        Why?
        Like I did say, in response to a comment earlier, after the Villa performance tonight the Watford game becomes one where key players will most definitely get a rest. Lampard cannot do the same, considering stakes and opposition.

        Also, in our games against Chelsea this campaign, our manager was spot on tactically…we were not outplayed at all.
        We totally deserved to win the home tie, and were resilient, fought hard to get a draw in the away tie (with a numerical disadvantage, no less)

        They are no Man City. No need to panic.

        Arteta will do his job on that day.
        It is the players that I worry about.

        If the players come out to lift that trophy, and no red card(s) against us (I call it the ‘Blue curse’) then we will. We simply have more reasons to want it more….

    3. Reggie says:

      Sue, i respect what you are saying but has he really stopped the rot or papered over the cracks, 9 games 4 wins 4 defeats and two against relegation fodder. I alluded to it a few weeks ago, we look better, we look more solid but we haven’t improved our points amassing ability. On the face of it, we looked to have improved but really, Where ? We look better at getting nowwhere.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Reggie, refer to my comment above.

      2. SueP says:

        Reggie
        He is papering over the cracks. – I couldn’t agree more but he hasn’t had much choice but to work with what he has got. I remember us responding during the Emery crisis and there was a fear amongst us then that we would get relegated, so to that extent Arteta has stopped the rot.

        I’m not really surprised that we are where we are as the teams above us are better but for fear of repeating myself yet again, you can’t make a silk purse……..

        1. Reggie says:

          Yes Sue but Emery in his career didnt do relegation and we dont know where we would have finished playing unorganised football that got us 5th. Maybe Arteta has made a silk purse but getting pigs ear results.

          1. SueP says:

            We would never know if we’d have got relegated- that is true but we were talking in terms of a 14th or 15th place. At the moment that is where Palace and Brighton are now on 40 ish points

            The fact that we finished 5th last season doesn’t show the whole story. We had a poor end to the season and an embarrassing loss in Baku. This was carried on into this season and the rest is history as far as Emery is concerned

            I like your analogy. The results have been disappointing at times but I hope and pray Arteta is supported. If not there will be Kroenke out banners at the Emirates

          2. ozziegunner says:

            SueP, Mikel Arteta must be supported in the transfer market by the Board and senior executive to get the players he wants to address the deficiencies most of us can see. Unfortunately for Unai Emery, as well as his poor English communication, money was spent to buy players seemingly without consultation and he was expected to coach them.
            Arsenal can’t keep churning through head coaches, but must address the real issue that these players are not good enough overall to take this Club to where it should be based on funds spent or to meet supporters expectations.

  14. RW1 says:

    We are a mid table outfit based on the best 11 we can put together .. Last week was part of a pattern of short lived euphoria also experienced in the last years of wenger and under Emery which hid a sub standard squad and got the fans excited before returning to business as usual and frustration … If we don’t buy 2 quality midfielders … DM plus b2b ..and a new attacker we will not progress … And if Saliba is not up to the task we will need another CB … Sadly I don’t think the yank will oblige

    1. AY75 says:

      I think we already have a box to box in Ceballos, what we need is a DM (Partey) and a very tricky CAM (??). Add a top CB (Koulibaly?) to that, and other teams would definitely dread facing us….. it all comes down to investing in the right players

      1. ozziegunner says:

        👍

      2. E.Anderson says:

        👍
        I align with your take.

        My thoughts exactly.

  15. Declan says:

    Did we have a single shot on target?

    1. Sue says:

      No 😖

      1. Declan says:

        Thought not Sue

  16. The Singing Camel says:

    Highbury Hero def not an Arsenal fan.
    Since Arteta has been in charge we’ve beaten City, Liv, Man U, Wolves and Sheff Utd away. Also battered Leicester for 60 mins and tactically held Spurs away-which we lost because our defenders can’t pass 5 yards!!……… how is that the managers fault??
    If you can’t see the structure to our play has changed a lot pretty quickly you either-
    1. Are making up your statements
    2. Don’t understand football
    3. Don’t understand the limitations of our current playing staff and how this effects the set up

    Big if, but if Arteta does get to bring a few players in during the Summer things will be looking good.
    If we have the same personnel as we currently have MA will still make us more competitive but he can’t possibly look to get near the top 4.
    How many of our XI would make any of the top 6?
    How many prem teams would our current CB options be first team starters at? Norwich, Bournemouth but then I really don’t think they’re much better………. Dunk, Mings, Bednarek, Mee etc are all more consistent I’d say.
    Big job for MA and some fans need a reality check to realise he’s doing remarkably well indeed.

    1. E.Anderson says:

      I’ll simply say thank you!
      Thank you.

      1. SueP says:

        Seconded!

    2. Highbury Hero says:

      I don’t understand some of people calling others not fans just because we refuse to accept mediocrity. You have seen Arteta improvements and I have not. You have your opinion I have mine.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        You are not a fan if you want Arsenal to lose an FA Cup Final, just because you don’t want Arteta as head coach.

      2. SueP says:

        None of us want mediocrity for heavens sake. We want to be winners.

        My annoyance is that you expected Arsenal to fly up the league under a new manager with a middling squad It is easy to throw in names such as Allegri but would he have done any better? Don’t you remember us plummeting down the table under Emery? There was never going to be a magic wand or a genie

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          Yes he would. Why are you defending Arteta when it’s clearly he hasn’t changed a thing? He has to be put under pressure to deliver. I don’t see any progress. What exactly has changed since Emery left? We are still 10th if that is okay with you then fine but I can’t stand to see Arsenal in mid table because we are better than that.

          We are one of the richest and most followed clubs in the world. The results we are getting does not reflect our status at all.

          So okay I am not a fan if that what you want. But tell me this which fan in the world is okay with his team going nowhere? Can that be called really a fan?

          Do you even care?

          1. SueP says:

            I’d be very careful suggesting that I don’t care! And for the record I have never described you as a non fan

            So Allegri would have got us CL would he? With our current squad? This season?What do you honestly expect Arteta to do more than he has already? The teams above us have owners who show ambition and we have Kroenke

          2. E. Anderson says:

            @Highbury Hero, you are a fan (or a true fan…whatever that means), as we all are!

            As gunners, of course we aren’t pleased to be where we are. I am not asking you to not express your frustrations, however, I’ll urge you to apply some perspective.

            The season was almost over before it even began. We are being plagued by a dire lack of quality in the squad, evident in our poor away record, and general inconsistency in performances going back to Arsene Wenger’s later years.

            You suggest we have a good squad, I agree. However, not good enough to get back in the top 4, top 6 (definitely, but the start of the season was suicidal!)
            You feel we have a bad manager. You may well be proven right but upon his performances so far, I disagree. Not with what I have seen. No!

            Give him next season and assess him then. I only hope that the owner helps him out in the transfer market.

  17. Jah son says:

    We are not a mid table squad. Coach just needs to get it right and make the right signings. And I don’t like the way Arteta seems to just banish players. Unity is strength happy teams win. And I don’t like this system where our attack is dependent upon fullbacks. Also Pepe cannot play this system because the fullbacks don’t give him enough space, he’s a winger however Arteta is playing him too narrow.

    1. Reggie says:

      I am thinking Arteta doesn’t play Saka, Tierney, Pepe or Auba to get the best out of them. They are all top players and in the correct formation and set up, ripping teams apart. They should be a scary combo and he doesn’t play them right.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Reggie, Arteta can’t play the same players into the ground. Lack of quality in some positions and lack of squad depth, exacerbated by injuries (Martinelli).

  18. ArsenalAfroArmy says:

    70% possession 0 shot on goal.
    “Possession without penetration is simply masturbation” and that’s what the boys did. The plan MA had didn’t work, was dependant on villa high pressing to create extra man on the wings but they just stayed back, for some reason none of our midfield can find a defence breaking pass despite our attackers making runs after runs and just generally feels like we lack the balls/vision/ability to make risky moves. Anyways, the goal made me wonder, Cedric was hesitant to charge in, if it was Mustafi or Socrates they would’ve done it (probably at a cost of a penalty) , so which is the preferable arsenal defence?a type where we make less mistakes or one where we fight regardless of the risk?

    1. Lance says:

      All Cedric needed do was to close down Trezeguet to make it difficult for him to shoot.

  19. ozziegunner says:

    Arteta said in his post match interview that he has the Owner, Board and senior executive working for him. Let’s hope this is demonstrated in action in the transfer market to address the obvious deficiencies in this squad.
    Arsenal are looking at being out of the top six for the first time in 25 years and their lowest position since 1995. Arsenal have only earned 3 points away to teams in the bottom three and had no shots on goal in 90 minutes against Aston Villa (Nketiah’s header excepted which hit the post), which indicates Arsenal’s lack of creativity in midfield. How much is Jack Grealish again?

    1. Shakir says:

      I dont actually rate grealish that much but he is shooting technique is superb and precise

      1. Shakir says:

        *his

  20. Shakir says:

    I dont want to be harsh but i saw this coming,i actually listed some of our problems after the man city win cuz i was not that happy with the win.

    The importance of controlling a midfield is evident today.Ceballos and torreira couldnt do it but after xhaka came,we were quite better.

    MA is the right man,there is no question in it.He needs time and reinforcements and above all he needs the fans,us,to believe in him…

  21. Aussie Jack says:

    I should say Arsenal are a butch of “has been`s” but I`d be wrong this mob are “never will be`s”. Kroenke, as we all know, is not in the football business , his business is `money`.
    With the virus hanging over our heads and no cure in sight it could well be that Emirates will become a housing estate.

  22. Wenger91 says:

    Nevermind!
    we want the FA and it is our main goal, we lost our chance to reach PL when we lost against Brighton so I don’t care about the PL or our ranking over there. Focus on the future and let’s have a better plan on how to face Chelsea.

  23. Declan says:

    When the player ratings are up, I’ll be surprised if anyone gets higher than a 6. My man of the match was Grealish, what a player!

    1. SueP says:

      Declan
      It wasn’t a great night’s viewing was it? It seemed that the effort that went into beating Liverpool and ManC took its toll both mentally and physically
      The Nketiah miss may have changed the game but there are times when it’s not your night. And last night was one of those. But credit to Grealish and AV’s desire

  24. Sue says:

    If Villa do stay up, I wonder if Grealish will stay with them? He’s been linked with the mancs forevermore… and one thing’s for sure – we certainly can’t afford him……

  25. Sue says:

    Our worst finish since 1995….that is just sinking in….

    1. Declan says:

      Yes, and spurs fans are having a field day on the Arsenal twitter site.

      1. Sue says:

        Oh I bet they are….think I’ll give it a wide berth!!

        1. ozziegunner says:

          They need to check their trophy cabinet.
          They should be careful they don’t get ahead of themselves because even though looking at the third season finishing ahead of Arsenal, they aren’t exactly setting the League alight. Next season may not be an easy one for them with an aging squad and the stadium debt.

          1. Sue says:

            Very true, Ozzie 👍

  26. Haywill says:

    Is it wrong that i still love robin van persie 🙁

  27. Top Gunner says:

    We always find a reason to condone our loss. Last season we were saying that if we win the Europa league, then we’ll automatically qualify for champions league. This time is FA cup, against the team that beat us in Europa League final. The main problem here is Arteta. There’s no time to try things at this stage. Trying different combinations has cost us a spot in European competition

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      Amen!

  28. Grandad says:

    While I am pro Arteta, I am amazed that AMN did not start last night.He did very well against Man City.He has pace and energy to burn,and yet he stayed on the bench.I really do not understand it.As a number of guys have alluded to we need to improve the quality of our squad at CB, DM and AM .A very disappointing, but not unexpected result given our mid table status.

  29. Top Gunner says:

    Lets hope that Arteta will play Maitland-Niles during the the FA cup final. Otherwise I’ll be very disappointed with Arteta

    1. SueP says:

      Fair comment

      1. ozziegunner says:

        👍

  30. Labass says:

    Guys pls calm down. I know we are all angry and hurt. Believe me I am too, but let’s b optimistic. Arteta is d man for this club and will take this club back to glory if only d board can back him up. sincerely to me we don’t really need much signing this window. We just need to sign d right players and what we need right now is renforce our midfield. Buying a quality Dm in partey and an Am (a coutinho). A Cm

    1. ozziegunner says:

      👍 I am worried about Coutinho being a second Ozil, with high wage demands after being unwanted by Barcelona and Bayern Munich. There are better options out there, but Arsenal appears to be fiddling while the Emirates burns.

  31. Labass says:

    We have too many defenders, sell some, improve those who are still here in Saliba, holding, Mari, and chambers. Bellerin and Tienery will come good next season. Improve Saka, martinelli, nekitiah, nelson and willock’s game. With a good tactics having bought partey, coutinho and a central midfielder, keeping aubmenang and laca we’ll do well next season

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      I think Tierney has been too quality every time he has played. We struck gold on that boy.

  32. Labass says:

    This is how I want our formation to b next season……… Going back to 433
    Leno
    Bellerin Holding. Saliba. Tienery

    Coutinho. Partey. Xhaka/ceb/newCm

    Pepe. Laca. Aubmenang

    OR
    Leno
    Bellerin. Holding. Saliba Tienery

    Partey. Xhaka/ceba/newCM

    Coutinho

    Pepe. Laca. Aubmenang
    A 4 2 1 3

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