Olympiacos Review – Leno can’t make the same mistakes against Tottenham

Good win in the end, but it was ropey again by Konstantin Mitov

Hello lovely Arsenal people. We managed to take an away win at Olympiacos, but this time it’s not just with one goal and we’ve set ourselves on the course of prolonging the meaningfulness of this season.

That didn’t mean we didn’t try shooting ourselves in the foot. It wouldn’t be Arsenal otherwise. We started bright with a few chances we should’ve taken, but we couldn’t.

Then when Odegaard found himself in space, he actually opted to shoot, which doesn’t happen too often to our players, their keeper fluffed the ball and it went in! We deserved the lead, BUT…

A lousy attempt of a back pass from Luiz released an Olympiacos player through on goal, but to our relief, he skyed his shot. Be honest with yourselves and think what would’ve happened if Harry Kane was on the end of that?

We of course learned nothing from this situation and in the second while being comfortably 1-0 up in a very slow tempo of the game, Leno having all the time and space In the world, decides to give the ball to Ceballos who’s under pressure from 2 players, loses the ball of course and we concede.

At this point, it’s beyond a joke. The same player, in the same stadium made 2 mistakes that almost crashed us our of the competition just two weeks ago, but yet our goalie decides to give it to him? After the way we dropped points at Burnley?

Leno is to blame on this one for me. But what on earth is Arteta doing? How many times have we shot ourselves in the foot by trying to play out the back? We do not have the players to do it, yet we keep insisting on it.

Then while they were on to using the momentum we happily served on a plate, Arteta just waited with the subs and bear in mind, in the Europa you can make 5!

When there were only 12 minutes remaining and I saw Elneny warming up I was just done with this. Be honest again and tell me at that point in time you didn’t think Arteta has completely lost it?

What happened from the corner we got though was Gabriel smashed a towering header that gave us the lead. I’m not sure what the press conference would’ve been if that hadn’t gone in, but luckily for us it did.

Then, Elneny of all people found himself in space and decided to let one rip and it flew in off the post after a small touch from their keeper and it finished the game. We got two goals by taking a chance and shooting out of the box. There’s something to think about.

In the end it’s a massive result because the Europa is all we’ve got, but the football, despite some great goals, still has a lot to be desired. We are not Man City, we don’t have their players and we cannot play like they do, just because we want to. Arteta is skating on extremely thin ice here.

Most of the goals we concede come from our own mistakes and he does nothing to arrest that. Substitutions are highly questionable and quite late. We got lucky in the Europa twice and maybe faith is telling us something, but are we listening?

I was suggested some YouTube videos of Arsenal in the period 2007-2010. True we didn’t win an FA cup during this period, but my god the football was so much better. We used to attack with pace, pour bodies forward, move the ball quick.

Now we arguably have bigger names in the squad yet it’s honestly dull and difficult to watch. And we shouldn’t be hiding this behind the good result we nicked in the end.

I know we’ve bombed the league, but the chance to kill Jose Mourinho’s and Tottenham’s top 4 hopes surely should be motivation enough? I just don’t see how we’ll do it and I’m really worried for our defense.

What also discourages me is Arteta favoring some players. Saka was awful again today, just like Burnley. Willian was poor… Pepe was dangerous against Burnley even though he missed a sitter and he has contributed more than Willian, yet we’re sticking for the Brazilian based on 1 and a half good games. Don’t get me started on Martinelli…

Today we managed to do what we needed, but the football we played was far from convincing. If we are going with the stigma that “it’s the result that matters in the end”, then I’ll put it like this. If we don’t win the Europa League Arteta should be fired, because our league position is not good enough.

I will take all the criticism that I’m too negative, but while I keep seeing us giving away goals for free in an identical fashion game after game, I’ll stick to my point – you can escape with one bad performance if you get the result, but in the long run, how you play will eventually catch up to the reality and our league position speaks volumes of that.

Will we try to do something about it against Spurs? I’m not sure. You never know with this Arsenal what will happen, bar the fact that our defending will be ropey. This seems to be a constant!



  1. Again Ceballos is shouting for it ,this is a payed professional and Playing under Artetas instructions,not Lenos fault that Ceballos can’t think for himself .I’ve seen elneny play this ball 100s of time under pressure ,never making a mistake .
    If anyone’s to blame its Arteta ,his way of playing .

    1. I have to agree not Leno’s fault Ceballos asking for the ball but before doing that he should have had a look up/around that’s basic stuff also MA reiterated last night that he was responsible for those mistakes since it is him asking the players to play that way!

      1. Siamois yes ceballos asked for the ball, but the keeper should have been able to see that ceballos was marked by 3 players. I don’t understand how some fans are quick to blame the likes of Xhaka Luiz El neny Willian but when it comes to there favorites its always someone else fault. I decided I wasn’t going to talk about Leno mistakes again, I didn’t against Burnley and I didn’t during yesterday match or even after the match, but blaming Ceballos for Leno mistakes is ridiculous.

        1. @Lenohappy,

          when you play from the back, you are ALWAYS under pressure. If you aren’t, the opposition is not doing their job. If it was easy, even Burnley would play out from the back.

          If the keeper would HOOF it everytime one of our players is under pressure, that’s all we would be doing.

          Ceballos asked for it, just like Xhaka did. Both had enough time but decided to hold on to the ball rather than release it quickly.

          To play out from back, you need skillful players who have great first touch, awareness and quick reactions. Luiz, Xhaka or Ceballos lack all of these qualities.

        2. Agree totally LH. Goalkeeper is boss and makes the decision based upon the fact he has the ball and full view of the pitch. Im sorry but someone shouting doesnt excuse that. Agree the outfielders fluffed it but it was a suicide pass. Leno is a liabilty, and guess what? Every team now will press the same way against us.

          1. I also gave an example in the post match thread.

            If you are winning 1-0 with about 3 mintues of extra time to play. You get a corner in the opposition’s half. Your teammate in the penalty box is calling for you to take corner and cross the ball into the box. I will ask, what does a mature / experienced player doe in that situation? Accepts his teammates request to cross the ball into the box? Or he takes a short corner, play for fouls, throw-ins, free kicks and try to keep the ball in the corner for as long as possible in order to waste time?

            Take the mature and experienced option or just play naivety?
            What is the best option?

            I say, Gauge each situation individually and try to always make the more mature decision.

      2. How old is Leno? Just because your teammate in very tight/ dangerous position asks for the ball does not mean you have to pass it to them. As a mature/ experienced player you should know how to read a given situation. In game management.

        Bellerin was free on the Right but Leno chose to pass to a player who was surrounded by opposition players at the edge of our penalty box. It’s called nativity.

        Leno had the perfect view. All the field was ahead of him. How the flip couldn’t he sense danger? And his pass was so obvious, not disguised whatsoever. Even a blind man could have known and seen where the pass was going to end up.

        The likes of Leno, Xhaka, Ceballos, luiz etc are supposed to be some of our most experienced players but making stupid mistakes like that game in game out is stupid..

      3. I’m one of those advocates of MA but it is becoming annoying hearing him taking blame for fault and not doing anything about it. 1. It’s high time Leno sits out some games, 2. Hes being too biased when it comes to Willian, 3. Saka needs some time to come from the bench and he needs to start treating other the way he treats Willian, example is Matinelli.

    2. regardless of DC shouting for the ball Leno should have seen the danger and opted for a different option.

      Elneny should have come on instead of DC imo for TP as he can add that supportive structure that DC cannot.

      I really do not rate DC at all and i really hope he doesnt sign for us again.

      all in all both Leno and DC are to blame for the mistake, imo more Leno as he had the ball

    3. Agree. I dont know why Leno is getting the blame. Ceballos had bad control and couldnt pull off what he wanted to and it cost us a goal. Dani’s fault for thinking hes better than he actually is.

  2. Aha, classic whiny cringy article NY Konstantin after comfortably winning an European away game by 3 goals.
    Let’s whine and b###h about the manager’s sub’s even though they all changed the game after coming on.
    Let’s insist the manager is at fault for these individual errors.
    We’ve conceded 14 goals this 2021 and 7 out of those were individual and disgraceful mistakes, players keep failing to concentrate but it’s the manager’s fault he doesn’t control their decision making while playing, it’s the manager’s fault because he doesn’t add sugar to their coffee.. Hell it’s the manager’s fault because he doesn’t clean and lace the boots of the players. Basically he’s responsible for everything since he’s the manager, he should be sortim all their shortcomings.

    Leno stupidly gave away the ball, the last one was more of Xhaka. Last night was all Leno, who still needs to be coached and instructed that you can’t pass the ball to your teammates under pressure from 4 opponents right? Isn’t that what you guys expect from Arteta? To coach these players into knowing when to pass the ball or not.
    Yesterday’s gone, it’s the least of my worries now. I’m looking forward to Sunday, I just wanna sit and watch another game of football, I’m not cut in for this attitude of spelling doom and gloom every single week even after a good game

    1. Eddie when I tell people on here that Leno has always been an average goalie some will say we should keep quiet, yesterday was all about Leno, what on earth was he thinking giving the ball to a player that was surrounded by 3 players. The bitter truth is we will not win any cup with Leno as our goalkeeper. It was the same Leno error that eliminated us from this same competition against this same team last season. The only issue I have with Arteta is yesterday was starting Willian ahead of pepe, but that yesterday goal was all down to Leno not Arteta.

      1. Before the game, starting Willian ahead of Pepe was also the one thing I was questioning. I can’t defend him when it comes to that one, even I don’t get it.
        Regarding Leno, we all know he was error prone, I guess a whole lot of fans do look at it that he’s definitely gonna outgrow and learn from his mistakes but it doesn’t seem to be so. It’s a simple thing to know when to pass the ball.
        Even Arteta said so yesterday that we can’t stop playing out from the back it’s more about stopping these errors and knowing When to pass the ball or not to.
        It’s baffling that people expect the manager to teach these players when to pass the ball. Like really? Really wtf?? I can see my teammate is being closed down by four players, two from the sides and two running at him from behind but he can’t see those two so he asks for the ball and I decide well here it is and pass it to him under pressure? A professional players needs to be coached when to do and not do that? I had no idea Neuer, Ederson who plays it long sometimes to get assist are coached to when to pass the ball or shoot it out. I’m sure you know I back Leno a lot, but yesterday’s pretty stupid from him. He should know when to protect his own goalposts and know when to make smart decisions about getting rid of the ball

        1. “Regarding Leno ,we all know he was error prone “ when you say WE Eddie do you mean the 10 Martinez fans on here all the whole fan base ,because I have never thought that and it only seems to be a very small number of fans with a silly agenda against Leno who seem to want to be proving right about Martinez ,you know that keeper who was here for 10 years and played well for 6months now all of a sudden he’s a world beater ,I think some of you need to go watch some of his awful games this season and really see what error prone means .
          First job as a keeper is to stop goals going in not pretending to be Bergkamp with your feet .

          1. funny enough Dan if you ask on here, you’ll see people tell you i’ve never been on the Martinez hype train. I am and will always defend sticking with Leno. I love Leno a lot but if you can’t see he was at fault for yesterday’s goal then you’re just being biased. Also before the whole Martinez hype, lots of folks on here been talking about how error prone Leno was especially at Bayern and how lack of concentration is huge, again you can’t deny the fact that Leno has caused has up to five goals since he came here. Again, i love and support Leno, I see the great goalkeeper there but if you tell me Leno doesnt need to outgrow and cut the silly mistakes he makes then there’s nothing i can do to convince you.

        2. Absolutely spot on.

          Same thing played out on sunday against Burnley, Xhaka had to assume victim of his own shortcomings.

          In situations such as that, you’d expect Leno to have a better view of the opponents’ positions before making such passes, but no, he fails to, on two occasions and the team paid for it.

          1. You call it biased Eddie ,I’ll call it supporting a player ,one of our players form unnecessary criticism from a number of fans that still have raging boners for Martinez .
            I will keep supporting him because I remember what he has done for us the last 3 years.
            I don’t have a short memory and I definitely don’t jump on the newest bandwagon .

          2. “Raging boners” That’s one way of putting it, Dan!! 😂
            6 months down the line and we’re still hearing “We sold the wrong keeper” so tiresome!!
            Yes, he makes mistakes.. but don’t they all? They’re only human!
            Jeez, it’s like some want him to howl so they can ram I told you so down your throat!!

        3. Agree Eddie. MA makes a lot of mistakes and we admit that, but there’s a limit to what the guy can be held responsible for. If we lose but play well I am very positive. For me last night we won but overall played badly against a very poor team. Im not a “results at all costs” guy so I will comment on the performance not just the goals (which were great).

    2. Those crybabies only come out when we lose pts or make mistakes. Secretly supporting our opponent just so they can whine.

      1. Those “Arteta Out” chants won’t help us get through the next EL phase. If the angry fans want to make any unconstructive comments, they better wait until we’re out of EL

  3. Great Post admin.

    I think we are a different team to arsene wengers arsenal by far. Its not pretty and we have alot of mistakes.

    I see alot of people blaming leno for the 2 past mistakes. And I agree with them 50%. I think it is obvious that arteta wants to play from the back and any team with half a brain will pressure us because there is no mix up and it is predictable. I dont feel leno feels he has the options to play a longer ball and clear his lines hence we see lots of mistakes happening. The other half of the blame is on artetas shoulders as this is a clear problem that arsenal need to sort

    As for willian – I don’t get what he brings to the team. I am so angry with arteta for freezing out reiss nelson who IMO has more energy and less experience than willian but can do a job which is all willian is doing. Pepe is far better.

    Saka is tired plain and simple and needs more than one game rest. Next week I would not even have him ok the bench for Olympicos and let martinelli lacca pepe even perhaps nelson get a run.

    Lastly ESR over odegard.

    Don’t fully understand arteta and he better start coming up with results. I truly beleive our lack of brilliance is down to the manager. Perhaps his system will come good eventually but its crap to be quite Frank atm.

    1. Blaming Leno for Xhaka’s mistake is ridiculous and evidence of bias against him.
      The situation with Ceballos was quite different and they both should share responsibility- Ceballos demanding the ball when under such pressure shows a lack of awareness. Leno should have read the situation better.
      The playing style is Arteta’s. Overall I think it should be supported as it allows better control of the game. It can and has created opportunities once the press is beaten. However, he needs better players for this approach to be consistently effective.

  4. Leno isn’t the best ball-playing GK, but I believe he’d eventually learn from his mistakes and become a great GK. There must be a guideline on when our GK can pass to his marked teammate and when he shouldn’t do that, such as the maximum distance between the pass recipient and his markers

    About Saka, he wasn’t awful because he won more than three fouls againts Olympiakos and we were awarded several direct free-kicks because of his sacrifice

    Willian wasn’t poor either, because he won some aerial duels, took on some opponents by cutting inside and produced an assist with his accurate delivery. You can check Willian’s impressive stats in Greece and he has produced more assists than Pepe/ Havertz/ Ziyech/ Pulisic/ Mount/ Greenwood in EPL

  5. Arsenal have generally been miserly in defense this season let down by an occasional brain fart individual error and the attack has not been able to bail the team out. But against Leeds and now Olympiakos the attack has been able to compensate for any defensive errors. This is certainly a good sign. Liverpool with out Salah and Mane’s goals have looked so ordinary. Being good out back and up front is the key to a successful team

  6. Shut the f**k up who thinks that was leno‘s or ceballo‘s mistake. We‘re playing awful the whole season and you guy‘s talking of one Player … its transparent that MA is a peace of crab! With him we will never reach top 3 ! So arrogant, i hated ‚Good ebening‘, but this guy is a whole other Level. Only because he was the assistent of guardiola, people think he must be good…. so stupid. And come in this was a win yesterday, but against priäus, this is a must win …

      1. No, the team is not working together and some pick one player to point on, even though its the setting which doesn‘t work. Yesterday it worked, with luck and a sh*t opponent and some people would still say it was good football from Arsenal. Aha good football, look at the prem table, but we move😂

        1. Ive got to agree gooner. I dont know why people are accepting such awful football. It’s worse than under Emery and so many regulars here are just okay with it because they have blind belief Arteta will suddenly become a great manager. I don’t see one area of the pitch where things are working out for us!

  7. So let’s put this in perspective:

    Situation A:

    Xhaka and Ceballos are under pressure, and they know this. Despite this, they ask for the ball from Leno. And Leno does so. The opposition does not intercept the actual pass, but they dispossess the player because they held on to it for too long, or didn’t release the ball immediately. Leno’s fault apparently.

    Situation B:

    Willian is through on goal, just the keeper to beat. He notices Aubameyang is also through on, asking for pass. 1 on 1 with goalkeeper, Willian decides to pass the ball to Auba. Auba has an empty goal, but takes too long with the ball and is dispossesed. Willian is to blame, right?

  8. In. Nutshell Konstantin……..yes he can and probably will. He’s too casual and has his head up his own arse now that Martinez is no longer threatening his place.

    All too often it’s Leno who’s the architect of our calamities when playing from the back. He initially gives the ball to a player who’s already practically closed down so he doesn’t have to deal with the immediate threat. The ball becomes a hot potato and is hastily give back to Leno at some point who, has time to clear but decides to put anothe player under pressure by giving home the ball. I know this ain’t the 80’s no more but what’s wrong with the long punt to clear the lines temporarily. Even if it’s not aubamayangs game he should try to get on the end of the punt if only to stop the opposition defender being able to get a free header or to bring it down.

    Arsenal are persevering with trying to be cute at the back when they can’t even be cute at any reasonable distance from goal !

  9. A good article KM. You hit the nail on the head, when you highlighted the fact that we simply do not have the players suitable for playing out from the back.All over Europe teams will now be aware of the shortcomings of Leno with his feet, and you can rest assured that Spurs will look to exploit this weakness on Sunday.Leno is not alone as Luis was very fortunate to escape from an appalling mistake which again showed his inability to concentrate .He will never change and I sincerely hope he does not start on Sunday.I was pleased to see the fury with which Gabriel reacted to what was effectively another own goal.He was irate which is what I want to see from a defender.Arteta needs to adopt a more practical tactic which reflects the quality of players he has available at Arsenal not what he had at Man City.If he persists with this tactic which was introduced by Barca over a decade ago, it may well cost him the Europa Cup as it is a high risk strategy which ,clearly, is beyond our players.It also means we start from a deep position in our own half whereas we should be looking for our centre backs to pushing up to close the gap between them and our midfielders to create more attacking possibilities in the opposition half.I am a fan of Arteta but if he does not recognize what is clearly evident, he will go down in my estimation.

  10. Same mistake two games in row. The manager to blame, obviously. Seems he did not address the issue after the Burnley game for it to happen again the next game. If he addressed the issue and Leno keep making those costly mistakes then he has to be benched.

    There have been too many individual errors this season and its manager’s job to teach his players to focus. Is he waiting for revelation on how to do that?

    The player’s too share equal blame because even if the manager has instructed them to play a certain way when the situation is unfavorable they have to improvise and make better judgement. They are human beings for Pete’s sake not programmed robots. They are talented, professional and experienced footballers. A mistake now and then is understandable but on a regular basis should not be accepted.

    To their credit (both manager and players) they are through to the next round so a job well done. The mistakes have to be addressed because of the quality coming in the next rounds. One individual mistake might be all that is needed for a quality team to knock them out.

  11. Spurs are miles better then us
    In every department. They have a very very good first 11 and squad. Their attackers will rip us to shreds on sunday. Should of got mouriho or anyone but artera

  12. I’m one of Arteta’s biggest cheerleaders but there surely comes a point where you must realise that the tactics do not fit the players. I hope we one day have a team of top-4 level players but that is not the case right now. We need to play to our strengths and passing consistency is not one of them.

    1. Ditto Sean. Still backing him, but some problems are within his control to fix and he is not doing so. I think his overall tactical plan is solid and eventually it will be drilled in to these and the new players that will undoubtedly arrive when the cash is there. I also know that we are not privvy to the many possible reasons he chooses a team, but I disagree with too many selections now to accept it any more: Saka is off form and must be rested; ESR is easted if he doesnt play centrally; Ceballos must play further up the pitch if at all; Pepe now consistently makes things happen but can’t get a game; Willian – WHY? Substitutions are strange. And of course encouraging players to play tici-taca across the 6 yard box. I even saw Bellerin attempting a Cruyff turn in his own area last night.

  13. Beyond Leno not being able to differentiate between when it’s the right circumstance to play out or boot the ball, and the Luiz funny turn, I thought that it was generally a decent performance.

    Arsenal were on top at the outset and should have kept up the tempo – my only real criticism. There does appear to be a slacking off which allows the opposition to re-group and that is a concern- not making the superiority count

    However, was it luck that Arsenal scored three goals? They were well taken and all of them were excellent. Why should that be regarded as lucky? Olympiakos were lucky to get that goal scoring opportunity from an Arsenal mistake. The game is played for 90 minutes and it doesn’t matter if the winning goals arrive later on – as long as they arrive and they did. Not a classic but I’ll take that

  14. I am going to be almost alone in preaching patience. Rome was not built in a day and all serious change takes far more time than most fans will allow. I do agree that LENO needs to learn when and when not to pass out from the back and there are times to lump it upfield.
    This is a weakness but can be learned in time. Time is what so many will not allow and patience is what I will allow at least for myself, since I can only speak personally.

    I also feel that were our forwards more incisive than they have been this season and had we not wasted so many good chances, many of them created directly from beating the opponents press, then many fans would think differently about playing out from the back.

    Like so much in life, it is about where the balance of risk lies and that can and will be learned. IN TIME!

  15. People have made legitimate comments above on both sides in regards to Arteta.

    However, Arteta should be judged at end of the season by way of results.

    If we finish lower than last season he needs to go (unless we win EL)

    That’s just my humble opinion

    1. I understand your point of view Innit as Arteta has to be accountable and the end of the season is a good time to evaluate progress on the pitch and for the club as a whole.
      I believe that the departure of certain players by whichever means in January was a good start. There was so much discord surrounding them. The club is beginning to move on with its rebuilding process under Arteta and Edu but there is very little patience granted to football managers – we want instant gratification so that patience is limited
      Whenever I think about who could replace Arteta there are precious few who are tried, tested and available. Of those who would REALLY be keen to see his departure have they a realistic suggestion as to who his replacement should be? Emery had won trophies in Spain and managed PSG but it didn’t work at Arsenal. Would the hypothetical replacement (under the constraints of the owner and financial situation) be able to do any better? That is a question I ask myself and so far I can’t see anybody else doing so at the moment

      1. It is obviously reasonable to evaluate the situation at the end of the season and then make decisions.
        However, the simplistic suggestion that he must win this or that or he must go is overly simplistic.
        Arteta has obvious constraints and he has been making changes to the team so that it can play the way he envisions.
        Now some people want him dumped and another manager brought in. Do people realise this will be costly and is no guarantee in itself of the team being any better?

  16. Chelsea, united, city, liverpool would never accept this awful football. yet now it has become the standard to just accept what arteta is giving us at the moment on some crazy belief he’s going to turn into pep overnight and be an amazing coach all of a sudden. He started David Luiz in defense in an important match! It’s luck that Olympiakos didn’t score off his mistake. But the real question is why would you start a guy who has made TONS OF MISTAKES since the moment he came to the club!! Arteta is so so amaterish with his decision making. A lot of people need to wake up and see things for how they are. We are 10th in the table. So many ppl here want to challenge the top of the EPL but are fully happy with where we are in the table, and with zero overall improvement in our football. What is Arteta’s style or play, what are his goals, what is he trying to achieve? BEcause when i see us play it’s back passes, poor concentration, lack of purpose from many of the players every game and these players keep getting starts over and over again. Unacceptable.

  17. I won’t bet my house on Leno not doing it again. For me it’s senseless even if your manager has asked you to play from back and don’t kick it long that does not mean you don’t use your brain at all. You have a choice either to delay the pass until it’s safe or choose a better option with less risk. These sort of risk passing should be taken on the attacking side where if we succeed the reward will be high but if it fails consequences are not that big. Why do it other way around with these passes from back when reward is small to none but consequence can he huge. What differentiates a good player from an average player is they know when to release the ball when to hold on to it and what sorts of passes have to played in which situation. These constant mistakes by Leno points to one thing that Leno is not aware of his surroundings and he chooses not to use his brain. This is were I think Martinez excelled, they both are good shot stopper actually Leni is ahead but when it comes to other part of awareness and using brains Leno reminds me of Fabian bartez 😂

  18. Leno Keeps repeating the same errors with no consequence. He has no brain in that his head. What’s there is mere mud.

    Arteta keeps with his loved players irrespective of their productivity. His changes are even too late to have good effect.

    He’s waiting to be served the Socrates’ HEMROCK

  19. RSH, the common thread spanning the four sides you mention, is financial clout, a major asset which we do not have.You are not comparing like with like as we are a Club with a great history but are unable to buy our way to success.The reason we are in this mess is because our recruitment has been poor for some years not because of the inadequacies of our Manager.Like you I was disappointed to learn that Luis was selected last night, but it could well be that Arteta was saving Holding and Mari for the game against Spurs who are a better side than the Greeks.As it is I will be disappointed if he leaves out Gabriel who did well yesterday.Every fan considers himself to be an expert but very few have ever had to test themselves in the harsh reality of the EPL which is highly competitive.

    1. arteta said himself he selected the team wtihout the spurs game in mind. If this is what he says then i will take it at his word. And i agree our recruitment has been awful and that is not all on Arteta. Still, i cant look at our squad and say that the quality currently there constitutes being in 10th place. I would even be more fine with 10th if we played like we were going somewhere, with an identity like Leeds has. But I am NOT seeing the clear signs that we are improving. The pill would be much easier to swallow if i was more convinced it was going to improve the club in the longrun but i am not seeing the signs.

    2. I don’t see how how you can say Luiz shouldn’t be playing ,he’s been our best defender this season bar none ,and it’s easy to see our best two CBS are Luiz and Gabriel .
      Mari is a bit part player and holding as had chance after chance and not been able to make that postion his own .
      Luiz is the only defender who wants to play forward and puts his body and head on the line every game he plays .

      1. what did Holding do to lose his spot? Luiz makes errors all the time and is still Arteta’s go to defender. Luiz is okay and nothing more, and extremely clumsy. Holding and Gabriel have both been better than him at different points in the season. I dont think Luiz has ever been amazing this season given the number of errors he commits. I think you are just accustomed to them to a degree.

        1. Luiz as been head and shoulders above all our back players this season
          He’s plays forward every time he can and is always urging players to get up the field ,his passing range is better than any ball playing midfielder we have and to top it off he puts his body on the line every game ,watch him without the ball he is so more advanced to what we have ,yea he’s getting on and as no pace but he is still way above any central defender we have .

  20. Let’s face it, when Emery deployed similar tactics or employed a high press when the personnel simply didn’t fit the script, he was crucified…when Arteta does likewise he’s given far more leeway by most pundits/critics, yet he has a keeper who’s a bag of toys with the ball at his feet(both short, mid-range and long kicks), two accident-prone players, in Luiz and Xhaka, who are heavily relied upon for his system to function and then the ridiculously slow build-up play once we break the press, so we instill no fear in opposing teams, which allows them to commit more men forward knowing that they will have ample time to recover defensively…this my friends is a recipe for disaster

    furthermore, I must repeat my statements regarding Leno and Martinez…I do rate Leno, but not for this pseudo-sweeper keeper role, whereas Martinez, displayed a commanding presence of which we haven’t seen the likes of for the better part of 20 years…considering our defensive frailties in the recent past, he not only providing us with a top notch shot-stopper, he likewise filled the defensive leadership vacuum…so it’s less about Leno not being up to snuff, it’s about not looking a gift horse in the mouth, especially after the struggles we’ve faced over the years since the time of Lehman/Seaman…it’s almost as ridiculous as the whole DM gig since Vieira’s departure

  21. Our manager cited lack of training sessions with the players as the main reason he is unable to eliminate or fix the recurring problem of “suicidal” passes at the back. Has anyone ever heard of basic in-house video sessions, used to conduct post-game evaluations of games?

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