Lens 2-1 Arsenal Review – Gunners fail to keep unbeaten streak going in tough night in France

It was a cagey start to the game with Lens trying hard to trouble the Arsenal defence with their high press, but slowly the Gunners gradually took command. And it only took 15 minutes for the Gunners to take the lead, thanks to a dodgy move from Lens trying to play out from the back.

Saka pounced on the ball and slipped it through to Jesus, who sent it perfectly passed the keeper Samba and into the bottom corner. And it looked like we could break their defenxes with ease.

Lens didn’t hang their heads though and they were playing well and getting a lot of success down the right hand side. And it paid off as it only took another ten minutes for them to equalise, once again caused by an error playing out from the back. Raya was at fault this time, with his long pass getting intercepted by Lens, Wahi stepped inside and set up Thomasson whose finish was also excellent and we were back to all square.

The rest of the half was a bit scrappy and physical with Trossard loooking weak against the big defenders, and even the big Havertz was having trouble getting past them.

On the half hour we were shocked to see Bukayo Saka being taken off with what looked like a muscular problem. On comes the physio, and there’s some stretching out being done. It looks like a hamstring, and is very worrying considering that he has been getting knocks in recent games and most fans were calling for him to be rested. Fabio Vieira comes on to replace him and Arsenal’s task just got a bit tougher without our starboy.

Raya has not looked comfortable at all today and our attack looks toothless without Saka and Martinelli….

The first half ends with Arsenal having had the lion’s share of possession but not looking comfortable, with the crowd and the opposition’s physicality.

The second half started very cagey from both sides with Trossard finally geting couple of chances, but Gabriel made a couple of worrying errors, ane which nearly led to a goal. But then Lens were defending a flurry of attacks from the Gunners and Tomiyasu had a golden chance to give us the lead but it banged against Samba’s leg with him knowing little about it.

But then Lens broke down the right wing yet again and this time it was disaster for Arsenal, as Wahi finished well to give the home side the unexpected break to give them the lead.

Arteta is looking vey worried, and immediately sends on Emile Smith Rowe, Ben White and Reiss Nelson, while Havertz, Zinchenko and Trossard trudge back to the bench. Lens also make three subs and both coachs are hoping fresh legs can make a difference.

Nothing happening, but Arteta takes off Odegaard and hopes for a last 10 minute miracle from Eddie Nketiah.

Arsenal came very close to the equaliser in the 88th minute but it was saved on the line, and then descended into a brawl before a Lens player got booked, and it looks like the Gunners have finally lost their first game of the campaign, and to make it worse it looks like we have lost our starboy. Let’s hope it’s not as bad as it looked.


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    1. Why do you think MA never wants to rotate….he knows this despite the hundreds of millions spent to build a “squad”

    2. How can one expect Saka to play each and every game? The gaffer is short of breath. Why does he not play ESR &Nelson? Either play them or transfer them. When will he realize the Havs experiment has failed in England and Europe? The myth has been busted that we never lose with Havs in the team. The apologists will have to search for a new tag line now. Why does he keep an unfit and perennially injured TP and Elneny on the rolls? Some went overboard when be defeated AFCB, but some failed understand that Villa put in some 6 goals and Newcastle put in some 8 goals last week/s.
      And the cherry on the cake was the erratic display of Raya, hope to see Ramsdale back between the sticks. Wake up MA or walk out MA.

  1. Im gutted. Totally gutted.
    I really thought we could have won this match. MA poor substitutions

    The better team won. Congrats Lens

  2. Oh boy, where do we even begin with this one?
    -Saka very obviously shouldn’t have started
    – Why re-sign Reiss if he’s not going to start any matches? Arteta doesn’t seem to trust him at all so why go through the trouble of contract negotiations? He gets in good positions, gets passed players and is a decent threat. Quality player that seems to be a last resort.
    – ESR treatment makes zero sense and think we’ve all gone over enough about it.
    -Havertz again, does nothing in yet another match. No big mistake, no meaningful contribution seems to be the biggest compliment now for him.
    – Some players look like they are sluggish. Vieira looks ordinary again, Trossard had a shocker, Odegaard if he isn’t playing next to Saka seems like he is lost. To be fair, Vieira is no RW and I don’t understand why the manager keeps placing him there. Get a proper one in January.
    -Rice will never be better than Partey if he doesn’t improve his range of passing.
    – Raya, please someone tell me what makes him better than Ramsdale. Looks totally ordinary in every single way. He’s smaller too and that was a huge detriment today as well. I feel like a larger GK saves one of those goals.
    – Jesus, last season with him as a starter please. He’s not a goal threat 99% of the time and that’s not acceptable.
    – Mikel, been making many bad decisions all season and is becoming too clever for his own good. I don’t think this Arsenal side has looked as good as last season to any extent. Needs to drop the ego and go back to the drawing board. Whatever plan he had in the summer isn’t reflecting in reality. I see trouble ahead for my lovely gunners this season

    Lastly, well done Lens. Very well done. Organized all game and looked better than us all game. Could’ve had more than two goals. They didn’t finish 2nd in Ligue 1 for no reason so I don’t think a weaker lineup was the right call. But maybe we should look at our “strongest” lineup and maybe think it’s not so strong after all.

    1. RHS.. you deserve a thousand thumbs up..

      Arteta is destroying what he built last season..

      Raya is not in any way or manner better than Ramsdel..

      Ramsdel is much more commanding and confident..

      As for Arteta and his stubborn use of Havertz..(a supposedly attacking player who offers zero contribution attacking wise) they would be the reason arsenal wins nothing this season..

      Arsenal is a ten man team with Havertz in it..


      Timber can play anywhere across the back 4. He is that versatile.

      Playing Havertz is this team’s biggest draw back

      1. Haverz is the master of finding space in areas of no influence. And in the process, influence nothing. He is like a ghost, he is there but he is invisible in the team. What is it 10 games and done nothing of substance.

        1. lol Reggie – I love that first sentence. It totally sums him up atm. Apparently his role is “Raumdeuter”. The word essentially translates to “space investigator”, and is best used to define the German’s effective role when exploiting the half-space. A Raumdeuter’s main function is to drift infield and find pockets of space in which to thrive. HE may well thrive there but the team certainly doesn’t! But at least Vieira gave him a run for his money tonight…

    2. @ RSH, so because we lose today, you wrote all these epitome, it means you have been expecting us to lose since all this while. Guy you don’t need to downgrade all these players because of away loss against a 2nd team in league 1.
      Its football match, its either you lose, draw or win.
      Common guy, support this team and be a happy guner either good or bad…

      1. Wale – we all want Arsenal to win every game and play champagne football – and shout it from the rooftops when we do. Lens are a good team but we are better, although we did not play that way tonight. I am not heartbroken, I think we can still win the EPL. But it is every supporters right to also give their bad opinion when they see fit. Yes every team has hiccups and usually bounces back but to support does not mean to blindly ignore bad performances or offer criticism, as in the long run this helps nobody.

      2. they didn’t play well today just a fact. I did not downgrade anyone either. Odegaard and Trossards performances today were not the norm, but they werent good. Havertz, Raya have done nothing special thus far and it was the same today. Jesus every fan says all the time that he does score enough. Who was downgraded? And seeing warning signs doesn’t mean I was waiting for us to lose. But am I surprised, no. I’ve consistently said all season that we haven’t been up to the standards we set for ourselves in the previous campaign.

    3. RSH,
      Could Arsenal have underrated Lens given that most of us Gunners have very low opinion of French Ligue 1?

      1. I hope not and doubt it. I have never thought it was “inferior” it is a professional league and the French are very good players. They have won the World cup more recently than us. Very unprofessional if they did.

      2. No, lens were very physical and that’s an aspect we lack, Rice has to carry the whole midfield, Zinchenko couldn’t keep up with the pace and we really miss Partey, Martineli and Timber, this 3 in our 1st 11 and we’ll be as firm as concrete.

  3. A loss against a very well drilled team, no problem, second in the group and will definitely qualify after seeing result from third and fourth teams. People need to calm down, is this a supporters site or an anti Arsenal site as some of the comments during the game were outrageous. Not one of our best nights but for goodness sake, we can’t win every game!

  4. I think Ramsdale and Smith-Rowe should be starters in the upcoming Man City game. Havertz could play CF to receive Ramsdale’s long passes

    We made too many mistakes when we played against Lens, so we can’t let Man City CBs seize the ball from our diminutive CF

    1. Gai, I think Arteta should be asked a few question if in the next few games ESR is not a starter and Havertz is prefered. From Lens game I can only see Havertz physicality is only noticeable in aerial duels and not a combative sense like Rice and Pathey. ESR seem more forward hungry than him.
      I Arteta needs to get his selection right to have any chance against MCity. We lost to Lens because our midfielders weren’t combertive and then wrong selection against very physical and bully opposition.
      If Arteta won’t be sentimental Ramsdale should return. Tomiyasu seem perfect for left &CB than right side of defense

      1. Good comments Sylva – totally agree about Tomi being a left-sided defender. Havertz CAN be physical – just look at his foul count! Arteta’s team picks are really erratic – good game bad game, and tonight was one of the bad ones. He put a strong team out but seems to have told them to keep something back for the City game – hence the apparent lethargy that threw out our timing and competitiveness. A second string with something to prove would not have worried about Saturday and would have matched them for enthusiasm.

    2. We all know Smith-rowe isn’t physical enough to mount our midfield, especially with Zinchenko at LB, it would be a disaster,

  5. Both Havertz and Viera were non existent tonight. Zinchenko’s passing was poor. We played at such a slow pace and couldn’t increase it. I don’t think Lens were so good….we were really poor…. that’s the real truth.

  6. To think some fans including myself thought this would be a walk in the park…. We scored first then didn’t create enough chances…

    Hope the lads will recover on time for the manc clash. The boys just have to put in more effort against manc..

    Saka and Martinelli injury would be a big miss but Arteta need to start trusting his other players.

    Congrats Lens. Welldone

    1. Why on earth did you think this would be a walk in the park ? There are no easy games nowadays and it’s about time some of our fans realised that.

    2. I thought we’d do better too but right from the beginning, Lens were totally pumped up and we expected to be patient and score in our own time.

      I’m a firm believer in putting out your strongest 11 on the day in an important match. Did Arteta or the team have an eye on the City game? Hopefully not.

      Regardless, underestimating a so called ‘smaller’ club was unwise and failing to convert the chances we had was criminal.

    3. Anyone who thought so definitely didn’t watch Lens against Sevilla…what makes this lose not very good for Arsenal is that,we visit Sevilla next & if things don’t go well,we might find ourselves at the bottom of the table that’s if PSV beats Lens, Arsenal should have atleast gotten a draw

  7. The Lens player who intercepted Raya’s pass before they scored controlled the ball with his upper arm. The linesman on that side should have seen it.

    1. Its not hand ball, look it up in the rules. The length of a short sleeve shirt, is the area that isn’t hand/arm ball. It was not handball at all. It hit him on his sleeve of his short sleeve.

      1. I must admit in real time I thought it was ‘hand’ ball too as looked like he controlled the ball with his upper arm but the slow motion replay seemed to show you are correct that it hit his sleeve. A very marginal decision though.

          1. It probably should have been given as handball as both Owen and Keown pointed out. The “sleeve” argument is often put forward, incorrectly, to justify situations such as yesterday’s.

        1. Forget about it guys we would’ve easily won the game if we really wanted to, it happens once a while just not our day.

  8. We turned up expecting to win and got what we deserved vs a team that played their socks off. Sluggish, negative. If you are planning on playing like this why play the first team? The backups would have matched their enthusiasm and we would probably have won. Arteta please listen to the fans because 1) Saka didn’t need to start and is getting stress injuries 2) Nelson and ESR deserve games 3) Trossard is not a left winger 4) Jesus is not the answer 5) Tomi is a left sided defender

  9. No wonder our players get injuries. No rotation. Players are being played when they should be rested. I feel for Bukayo, he’s being asked to be more than human.

  10. Scarcely a mention that their first goal should have been disallowed for a blatant arm ball. But it wasnt, and so we lost.

    VAR failing to intervene once again

  11. Glad we lost. Hope the OverClever One sees the light now and reset our season with wise but very obvious decisions.

    Let me shale the table a bit: Even ElNenny seems more braver with forward passes in a match than Rice. Jorginho moreso.

    Partly is King.

    1. Nothing to do with presence and absence, we’ve lost games while those you mentioned played the entire 90 minutes, just one of those days.

  12. A horrible game.
    We were passing the ball backwards too much inviting them to come at us, zinchenko in particular did this a lot and refused to give the ball to trossaerd who when with the ball was shockingly poor. Someone needs to define what Kai Havertz does in/for the team. What function does he perform, is he cam, dm, lw or what cos I don’t get it. He just does nothing in the team. It’s time Arteta counts his loss and keep havertz on the bench.
    Saka goes of injured and odegaard all of a sudden cannot function properly then joins zinchenko to slow down our attacking speed and pass the ball backwards..
    I’m disappointed in the result and play. If we play like this against city, they will gnaw on our bones.
    Havertz is making is look like a team with a man less. It’s like we’re playing 10 against 11. My god.

    1. Anybody who knows Lens very well they know this was not a walk in the park. These guys upset big boys and get mercilessly beaten by their underdogs at their home turf. It’s a bogey team for the big teams. I don’t know why and how. But Even psg and Lyon have had it rough in recent times. Now for today this is where Pepe and Tierney would have been of help. Anyway the master knows everything including injuries expected per game let me leave it to him.

    2. Match score didn’t surprise me. Its like waiting for accident to be happen. When Ego and stubborn overtake you in the race.. arteta is a good example. Where is those fans wants who believe we can to win CL and EPL with this squad and manager… This is just beginning… Imagine winning CL/ EPL wt Nketiah n Havertz.. it will make other teams look fool even in my eyes… Dream On..

        1. Thanks for remind me that. Eventhough it’s was 2021 but looks like long ago. So do you believe wt this team we will win UCL?

      1. And it won’t surprise me either if we get beaten again in the next 2 matches. This is typical arsenal.

  13. What sort of football was that ? Are we trying to bore the opposition into submission, passing sideways and backwards? It has to be said Haverz and then Vierra (why on earth did Arteta bring him onto left wing) were just ghosts. They are masters of hiding in plain sight. The Raya saga, definitely didn’t work tonight. We were masters of our own downfall. Poor, just poor. As soon as we lose the ball we look so vulnerable and open and sluggish with it.

    1. @Reggie
      The big difference between the sides were, when we scored they came at us harder. When they scored, we dropped our collective shoulders. Jus sayin…

    2. Ball possession and quick passing is all very well and good, bur you need quick players too. Fast thinking and fast movement off the ball. We just don’t have a deadly striker either who can make runs. The ball just goes sideways and backwards. We struggle against organised teams luke tonight. MA has no plan B.

  14. We look better attack wise with nketiah up front, and I prefer him to Gabriel Jesus.

    There I’ve said it.

    When eddie came on we had more goal threats and his back to post play is far superior to that of GJ9 who drops too deep than attempts to run at and out muscle defenders, Non of which worked out for him today,

  15. After last season I thought of we are going to be better but we look worse. Harvetz will get Arteta sacked, I hope Arteta is happy now that Saka is injured. But what I don’t understand is, why did you give nelson a new contract when you don’t believe in him. The injuries to Saka and Martineli could have been prevented if we had use our subs very well. I said it after the Brentford game and I will say it again, we will never win any major trophy with Arteta as our coach. He’s too arrogant for a coach who has not win anything, even the likes of kloop and pep learns from there mistake but he’s too arrogant to admit he made a mistake buying Harvetz and he will continue playing him even if it means the team struggling.

  16. We host City next in a game i’m sure the int’l break would’ve come too soon after Sunday’s encounter.

  17. Bad result, thought we played for a draw which was poor. We could have started ESR or Reiss too as they will not be put in against City. Trossard found it hard out there so I understand why Jesus may play wide against City. I feel ESR deserves more time, he is hungry for goals. Well done Lens.

  18. Just an observation:
    Without the two players inherited by MA, Martinelli and Saka, we looked and played like an attack with no idea.
    Nothing to say about the performance, it speaks for itself.

    1. Yes, it is true.
      If Arteta hadn’t trusted and developed Martinelli and Saka, they wouldn’t be a couple of our most indispensable stars. It hurts, when a team miss the 2 best attackers.

      1. lol he didn’t trust Martinelli, he eventually had to play him after injuries and then only saw the light.

          1. Come off it Anders, as PJ-SA says, he left Martinelli on the bench for months, while playing Willian and Saka was already proven under Unai Emery.

            But let’s go with your rose tinted spectacles – why were we so null and void up front, without these two players?
            After four years, shouldn’t we have addressed that problem, as it’s blatantly obvious it would happen sometime?

            1. Or maybe you have your anti Arteta glasses on again?
              Did Arteta leave Martinelli out, because he judged him not quite ready at that time? Yes, of course.
              So, we loose a CL game with arguably our 2 best attackers missing, and suddenly it is because a blatant problem was overlooked by a football manager, but clearly identified by “clever” fans??
              Not very likely, I think.
              We couldn’t break Lens down last night, that was obvious. But what was the reason? A number of possibillities:
              – A collective off-day?
              – Players underestimating the opponent?
              – Too slow build-up?
              – Wrong tactics?
              – Inexperience by a young team?
              – Too much mental focus on City?
              – Missing 2 of our best attackers?
              – A bit of all of the above?

              1. Always excuses excuses excuses. When can we expect a trophy? You don’t know that but you hope we will soon so your excuses can have a meaning. As it stands they don’t!

                Went back and checked your last article’s data. Very convenience of you to cherry pick only number of points but hiding the position on the table and the difference between us and the ones who were leading.

                What was your motive?

                1. That hardly deserves an answer.
                  The points for our first 6 games over the years are of course basic facts and the motive was to bring the facts to the table.
                  Unfortunately. facts aren’t always popular, it seems.

              2. But in not one of the reasons you give do you blame the manager!
                A collective off day? What the whole squad?
                Players underestimating their opponents? Who gives the pre match talk?
                Too slow build up? Following instructions of the manager.
                Wrong tactics? Following the instructions of the manager.
                Inexperience of young team? What nonsense – this squad finished 2nd last season and have brought in new players to strengthen it.
                City? If that was the case, why put out a full strength team, one of whom was carrying an injury?
                Missing two best attackers?
                Well one played with an injury and I had already made the point about them anyway.
                A bit of all the above?
                So who’s to blame for points 2, 3 and 5

  19. So much for the French League being weaker, particularly when playing at home.
    The Arsenal midfield was again bullied without Thomas Partey and Kai Havertz supposed physicality was not evident.
    Not disparaging Nketiah but Nelson has made a difference with goals as a late substitute more often.

    1. Have to disagree about Havertz’s physicality Oz – I considered his numerous fouls to be very physical!

  20. To me this was a throwback to similar poor performances against teams we should beat in the two previous seasons:
    Arteta I believe told the team to play cautiously and slow the game down to conserve energy (for Saturday) in the belief we would win purely by being a better team. This created two problems 1) our style is based upon quick passing and movement by our highly technical players. Slowing it down loses an advantage we have over most teams. It also throws our passing and rhythm out 2) it’s almost impossible to switch up a languid pace effectively mid-match if required. You just get a bunch of headless chickens.
    It’s happened before with Arteta teams and will happen again.

  21. So far this season, Arteta’s continual playing of Havertz I would suggest, now falls into Einsteins definition of insanity:

    Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result!

  22. Like a broken down record I can only repeat the same gripes. Why has so much transfer energy been put on acquiring six very good centre halves and no full backs. Centre halves come with limited skills sets however speed, mobility, the ability to make overlapping runs, and sending in dangerous crosses do not figure in their job descriptions. I know the modern game has changed but look at how Inter Milan’s two decent fullbacks were able to cause Man. Shitty all kinds of chaos in the Champions League final. Arsenal’s only penetration now is Saka and Martinellii. Beyond these two we are too pedestrian.

  23. Calm down guys. The boys only arrived at France on the same day as the match because of sudden transportation problem. And then, Lens players gave their best performance of the season against our tired boys. They were fitter and more motivated. Yet we still controlled most of the match. Sloppy play again cost us the match. But I will continue to advocate for the risky progressive way. We will get better as season goes on.

  24. Arteta will surely learn the hard way when the fans finally decides to come on him. Ramsdale is better than Raya. Give minutes more to smith because he has a better penetration than havz. Why didn’t he think Saka needed a rest? After 3 yrs this man seems to still not learn the basics.

    Our game pattern yesterday did not have the right urgency required. No confidence from my own perspective moving forward.

  25. By some of the comments, one would think Arsenal are never allowed to lose a game of football!

    Bad day at the office, but it’s only one defeat so far across four different competitions. Considering the injuries since day one, we’ve done very well so far.

  26. After the absolute fortune MA has spent…it’s quite telling that our 3 of our 4 best players in Saka, Martinelli and Saliba were all signed before MA was our manager.

    You can try twist it any way you want, but at the end of the day this is the simple truth.

    1. So what! He’s managed them since then to being the real deal rather than just having great future potential
      You didn’t name the 4th. Could it be Odegaard or White? Both very, very good players. Rice should get an honourable mention and Partey is frequently called world class.

      1. Exactly! The fact he decided to stop at 4 which could’ve been 3 if Odegaard was’nt number 1 and not our starting 11 sums it up. He just can’t stomach being proved wrong.

  27. Yeah Odegaard,Tomi,Gabriel,Partey,Oleks etc etc are craps. clueless manager for whatever reason those player thinks he’s a “Genius” and thinks highly of him. Real talk Jibester!!!

    1. You must learn to use the reply button, it’s quite simple for most 🙂

      Only someone that has the comprehension level of a 2nd grader could come to the conclusion that I said those players are bad just because I said they aren’t our best players. The 4th I was talking about it Ode son.

      1. What’s your take on the 3 best players’ comments on MA quality as a manager since four of our players are only of interest to you to suit your agenda.

    1. I despair AndersS
      Heaven knows how their nerves would be if we’d lost at home to Galatasaray instead

      1. Okay the holy trinity, who want Arteta to be sacked? I don’t believe you are incapable of understanding others points yet you continue like you don’t.

        You are all wrong and the others are right. It has always been that way and will continue to be so. Why? Because others base their opinion on truth and facts. You may spin and twist and circle but it won’t change the fact.

        1. That’s the problem HH, dare to point out some problems and the heavens open up.
          Is everyine happy that Saka is selected game after game though carrying an injury?
          Is everyone happy that ESR is behind Havertz and Viera for selection?
          Is everyone happy that Ramsdale has been demoted to No. 2

          These are genuine questions from supporters of Mikel Arteta, not supporters who want to see him fail – the problem IS we get the reaction that the “earth is flat” type of mentality whenever a doubt or opinion is raised.

          If everyone was happy with last night’s result, performance, selections and injuries then fine – some of us are not and hope MA becomes the best manager that The Arsenal have ever had.

          1. Exactly Ken! Who want Arteta to succeed? Those who point out his mistakes and wanting him to fix them or those who excuse the mistakes even if they are costing the team and they may as well be the reason of his sacking in the future?

            I think it’s very clear who is actually a true supporter of Arteta between the two.

          2. No, the problem is, some concerns are not raised in a rational and respectful way, but rather accompanied by rather stupid allegations like Arteta “stumbles” on his selections, just to name of them.
            To me it also seems more than a bit off the rails, when people (usually many of the same people) argue the selections are based on other criterias, than what the manager thinks will get the best result, i.e. “favouritism”.
            It is fair to discuss, why ESR isn’t first choice, why Ramsdale isn’t etc. etc..
            But why can some not discuss it without the usual personal anti Arteta angle?
            How about discussing it based on a logical presumption, that Arteta picks the team, he actually thinks will be the best?
            I am pretty sure, everybody agree Arteta makes mistakes (just like any other manager), and it is of course always relevant to discuss them.
            But some of us prefer the discussions to take a starting point where all the personal jibes at Arteta are left out.

            1. Discuss in a mature manner Anders?
              I’m afraid “the earth is flat” statement shows who wants to discuss things maturally.

              The problem is, raise an issue of concern and one is immediately cast as someone who wants him out. I’ve never attacked him on a personal level, in fact I’ve never attacked him, just questioned some of his decisions.
              If we are without Saka for the city game, who do you think should carry the can?
              Remember, this is not the first time he’s done this with a player, as Partey suffered the same fate.

          3. Ken what I notice so often -and despite our MANY disagrements- is , hearteningly, that YOU are among the rarer ones,among those who do not support MA consistently, who do at least give detailed reasons, when you criticise him.

            Others like Dk , Reggie and others on here confine their own posts to put downs of those like me and Anders, Sue P, who do support MA, ALMOST consistently.
            It is to your credit and marks YOUR opinions of FAR MORE IMPORTANCE, then theirs.
            BTW, I have been on JA very little these last few days,as I am still suffering from a nasty flu bug.

            Could be worse through, as I MIGHT have been brought up as a SPUD!

            1. Thanks Jon and hope you get well soon.
              I hope that I don’t put ANY Arsenal fan down though, as it’s their opinion and we are ALL passionate about our club.

              I’ve had some real ding dongs with you, HD, Anders etc etc and I’m sure there will be plenty more!!

              1. The thing about “ding dongs” Ken, is that they are always ended by the bell for the end of lifes final round.
                Not that I expect to be leaving this mortal coil any time soon. But we never know when that final bell will toll.

                  1. I would imagine 99.9% of people would know exactly what I ment ,maybe your not as wise as you like to make out jonny boy if you cannot grasp a simple sentence.

  28. Am sure by now, Arteta must be celebrating Saka’s injury. Everyone except Mr. know it all believed that Saka needed rest to avoid injury. What is worrisome is the fact that he and his foot soldiers will remind you that Saka has no substitute. My question is why did he not buy a replacement for Saka in the summer transfer? Instead , he threw away a fortune (65M) on a confirmed flop. This is the third season in a row the boy has been playing every match. No Partey, No Martinelli and now, no Saka and he think to make any headway.
    Manc, Chelsea and ofcourse, Liverpool are still waiting to teach us some lessons. By that time, we will be reminded that our stars are injured. The story continues. One step forward, two steps backwards.
    What is the use of having players and you refused to give them game time? This is where Guardiola is miles ahead of all of them.

  29. What is the point of building a squad if you are too scared to use it? Illogical. If we have performances like that up our sleeves forget the EPL. We were so slow and tried, as someone said, to bore them into submission. Sadly they played with some fire. We still have that in our locker and last season it suffocated us during the run in. Saka not being rested to avoid stress injuries shows the disregard for simple medical logic.

  30. Wow, the knives are out after losing our first game of the season to Lens in the CL. I wonder how many of the moaning minnies were around when we lost to Lens at home ( Wembley )in the CL ’98 ? I was on plenty of Arsenal forums in those days and there was no calling for the manager to be sacked or the slagging off of the players. To me it says that we have become more of a self-entitled fan base these days.

    1. Seeing Google didn’t appear till 1998 and the internet was just kicking off ,I very much doubt you was on plenty of forums .
      Even then it would have been dial up .
      As for losing to lens in 1998 ,Arsene had just won the double why would the fans boo him ,all Arteta as accomplished so far is spend a fortune and bottle everything when the going gets tuff .
      Not the same one bit .

    2. Self entitled to what exactly Herr Drier? Finishing ahead of Spurs? Not winning a League title in a generation? Not knowing our place in the football hierarchy? As Ken 1945 mentioned. above, there are questions worth asking and May is too far away before Arteta can be judged.

  31. I will never know why Arteta is overplaying Saka. Now, he is injured for the most important game of the season. Surely, this injury was avoidable. Also, the quality and contribution of Vieira and Havertz is questionable. Anyway hope we win the next game against City.

  32. Did any of our guys have a good game, if not then I don’t agree with the singling out of players. The entire team needs to look into the mirror and swear to do more in the future. We now have to win our home games and hopefully claim a result out in Holland or Spain

    I believe we’ll bounce back, but, like everyone, I am worried about Saka, he’s crucial to how far we can climb, we simply don’t have anyone who comes close to replacing him. And yes, he should have sat out that game because he hobbled off in the Bourn game too

  33. I won’t say a word now until will finish the Man City’s game.

    Win Man city and you buy yourself some time, lose Man city and it shows last season might be a fluke.

    1. I’d say that calling out a fluke last season would be premature
      Now if things are not gelling by February, just after the transfer window shuts, I’d be considering throwing my toys out of the pram.

  34. There was plenty for Arteta to ponder
    I’m not sure why Saka gets played quite so much – particularly with the niggling injury. Rather he was rested occasionally., the big but being that he is so valuable to the team
    I genuinely understand the reason why Arteta persists with Havertz for now, but there does have to be a sign of better things to come. He was relatively patient with Pepe and then he was for the chop. Hopefully KH will click but equally Arteta and Edu will have to realise that the team and it’s league position cannot be jeopardised going forward.
    It wasn’t the result that anyone wanted and we should not have squandered the lead (terrible marking in the penalty box) but it’s not terminal as far as the CL is concerned.

    1. Great summing up SueP and isn’t that, basically, what everyone should be saying?

      Mistakes were made, talk about them, air our grievances, move on and support the club… at least that’s what you and I seem to be doing.

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