Review & Highlights – Arsenal unluckily beaten by the European Champions

It was never going to be an easy game against Chelsea, who went on an amazing run of form last season that ended up with them beating Manchester City in the Champions League Final.


But the Blues didn’t have it all their own way, despite their star studded line up at the Emirates. Chelsea had more chances than us, but the Gunners had their usual problems in defence with trying to play out from the back, and gifted Chelsea numerous unneccesary chances.


Arsenal also made enough chances of our own though and the referee refused to give us any penalty decisions, and even disallowed a perfectly good goal from Joe Willock, and we won’t go into the misses from our captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Surely he will have to find his scoring boots again and hit the target soon, won’t he?


We can’t read too much into the result with the amount of changes made and the differing levels of fitness, but I think it was a good workout ahead of the new season, and we will not be scared when Chelsea return for our firt home League game in a few weeks..


  1. Sorry all.

    This copied up from originally being under totally the wrong article.

    Before starting, I of course know we are only in pre-season and the transfer window remains open.

    However, I’m coming at this from a different angle.

    I am not wanting to jump on any of the numerous “bandwagons” you care to mention, but am genially very concerned.

    My worries concern the IDENTITY of our current side / squad.

    Why ?

    The LOOK, FEEL, ATTITUDE, APPROACH, and yes IDENTITY seems to have not changed one iota in spite of all the tub thumping, sabre rattling and promises made come the end of last season .

    How can I be writing the above when the window remains open until month end, and the season is yet to lick off ?

    1) I don’t like bring in buys after the season has kicked off, with the whole window now almost behind us.

    I am almost reduced now to “take what we can get” to get same of the same old same old off the books. After all we will simply NOT shift them at the prices we are asking … fair or not I’m afraid.

    Easy way out, keep them – and once again ….. nothing changes !

    But mainly ;

    2) I have a deep concern that whoever we bring in they end up being “ARSENALISED” – nothing changes.

    M A clearly has complete devotion to his vision for us and they way the team is to play … but you have to have the tools to do so. – IT IS OBVIOUS WE HAVE NOT.

    Look at pre-season – 2 goals gifted to the opposition by our complete inability to master playing out from the back, starting with the keeper – this is one issue Ben White has been brought in to help.

    The aforementioned two goals gifted by players who most know should not even be at the club – same old suspects.

    I wonder going into a new season how many of us will sit there thinking ;

    They’re going to score in an minute, no matter how well we’ve started.

    A mistake costing us is just ’round the corner.

    We’re gonna lose this.

    NOTHING CHANGES – those feelings have been with us year after year.

    Year upon year promises are made and broken, tracing back to at least moving from our spiritual home to the Emirates to “compete with Europe’s best” which has turned out to be completely laughable.

    Whatever changes are made to the structure within the club at various levels, again NOTHING CHANGES !

    I’ll never forget when one of the foremost journalists visited London Colney and concluded – “Amazing facility no doubt, but does not smell of success – more of a country club health spa”.

    This impression seems to seep into our club from top to bottom- where the hell has that winning mentality gone ?

    From Bertie Mee to Mikel Arteta and all in between I consider Arsene Wenger to be our greatest ever manager (Herbert Chapman gets a shout, despite the vastly different era’s).

    However I have a soft spot for George Graham.

    This current squad would literally not know what hit them with his outlook on discipline and getting the job done.

    Was it a mixed bag under George, yes – but hullava ride.

    My favourite Graham story.

    We were overseas pre-season.

    On a day off the squad were walking by the beach, in full club suits.

    Another English side passed by in shorts , tee shirts & flip flops.

    One of the senior players approached Graham.

    ” Look at them boss, can we lighten up a little bit ?”

    “O.K.” came George’s reply “You can take your ties off ” !!!!!

    I digress.

    What do you feel has changed in relation to the FEEL & IDENTITY of the side approaching the new season ?

    And more worryingly – what WILL change ????

    1. I read the whole piece before I noticed who had written it. I get it totally and fully agree. I struggle to either put my finger on or describe what my concerns are exactly – an unease that this is not an interim strategy but the actual way MA wants us to play in future – albeit faster, with better training/personnel and obviously a safer transition out of defence and through mf.
      But my problem is that even if these improvements take place, I don’t think I will enjoy this style, successful or not!
      I’m not sure about the discipline, as whilst it surely can be improved, I feel players have so much more power now than in Graham’s day. Tell them something they dont like they will ignore you.
      It certainly had the feeling of “same old” vs Chelsea.

      1. Thanks for reading / commenting Guy.

        Glad you got it mate 😉

        Bit rambling I guess, but passion kicks in.

        Agree it’s just a uneasy feeling right now.

        Same old, with the same error’s and “feel” about it.

        What do they say – the definition of madness is to repeat the same things, and expect different results.

        There is so much on the money in your reply.

        1. AJ, I have commented on your previous post, as one who understands and agrees with your sentiments.
          After watching the Chelsea game, Mikel Arteta could do worse than bring in George Graham with his string line, with assistants Tony Adams, Martin Keown and Steve Bould for a training session on the tactics, positioning and discipline of good defending.

          1. Hey Ozziegunner – you reel off some names there !

            Yes, it really does make you wonder where we would be right now with more of our past greats involved – and I totally agree those greats being from the defensive units of the past.

            I notice the “Arthur” guy who hovers around M A has jacked in the Welsh job to “concentrate on Arsenal”.

            I have to say in terms of fresh ideas, substitutions, tactical approach etc as a mere supporter, it is becoming increasingly difficult to see any change as time goes on ?

            Take care.

      2. Thanks for reading / commenting Guy.

        Glad you got it mate 😉

        Agree it’s just a uneasy feeling right now, almost disappointment before a ball is kicked in anger.

        Not necessarily at pre-season results, but a lack of “freshness” about the team.

        Same old, with the same error’s and “feel” about it.

        What do they say – the definition of madness is to repeat the same things, and expect different results.

        There is so much on the money in your reply.

  2. If Chelsea were serious, they would’ve used their usual 3-4-2-1 formation. Our communication in defending was just horrible and our vulnerability in counter-attacks was just a reminder of Wenger’s era

    However, that friendly game and the next one are just for experiments, so I was glad Arteta tried various players. Nketiah looked slick again, because he wasn’t tasked to do hold off Chelsea’s CBs and he interchanged his position with Aubameyang frequently

    I think our GKs, defenders and midfielders need to intensify their rondo sessions

    1. @Gai
      It’s is obvious we need steel in the midfield. I once said we need players like Yves Bissuoma or other Midfielders with grits, Pathey now seem injury prone and Elnneny is just not ideal for me. And for all doubters it is obvious we still need G Xhaka. From what I saw B. White will be a big deal for us this season he is athletic and a good defender. But I have doubts over our CF position.

      1. I predict Arteta would use two options in the front line if Arsenal can’t sell Aubameyang or Lacazette, depending on the games. He’d either start Lacazette, or play both Aubameyang and Nketiah with positional rotations

        1. Gai
          hunn I guess. But really where does Balogun come in?. May be he should be used in games where the opposing are faultering..

  3. Nothing can be looked into this because it’s only a friendly.

    We used to be fantastic in pre season, and won tons of Community Shields under Wenger, but were trash once the season started.

    I’m just looking forward to seeing new signings get some game time before the season starts.

    1. ThirdManJW, yeah right when it suits you guys then preseason matches are not to be taken serious at all and not to read too much from the defeats so Arteta wins community shield it’s a trophy if Wenger wins it’s just a pre season friendly lol!. No matter how trash we were under Wenger we were still better then what we have been under Arteta. Once again in order to glorify your baseless point you try to throw dirt on the club legend, why do you keep dragging Wenger into it. It’s like you are some how obsessed with him, let it go dude 😂.

      1. Its surprising that someone can call themselves Logic, yet have so little of it!

        I love winning the Community Shield. I’m merely pointing out the fact that pre season counts for nothing, and no better example than Wenger, who was trash in the league for 14 years straight, yet great in pre season.

        Unless you think not challenging for a league title for 14 years straight was a great achievement? Where’s the “logic” in that? Haha

  4. @Logic don’t get thirdman wrong o
    He is not saying Wenger era was total failure, what he was trying to say is that pre season will always be preseason(Friendly) and it could be of benefit/useful if u correct where it need to b corrected b4 d start of d season…..I could remember last season vividly when Man u losses almost all of their preseasons and later came second in the league and reached Europa Final,even this preseason Bayern Munich av won just one out of their preseason and that doesn’t mean they won’t win league again and some trophies in the coming season same as Liverpool

  5. Never nice losing to that lot whether it’s a friendly or not, but hey we can put it right on the 22nd 😉

    I’m more concerned over Partey – any news yet?

    One thing I do want to know though.. are we the only team Abraham scores against??!

  6. I’m afraid that Bellerin, Mari and Elneny are simply not good enough and never will be.If I were Arteta , I would team up White and Chambers at centre back with AMN and Tierney at full back.At least we would have some pace in three of the back four and what Chambers lacks in speed he makes up for in positional sense .Nothing to lose in the next friendly so give it a try MA .

    1. Chambers passing is very slow..he can’t play one two or tik tak game. From what I saw is the same arsenal players with no intention to win not taking their chances seriously and this forward of aubameyang laca n pepe it’s a joke. Why not sell auba or laca this season next season sell the other. If cristiano was sold who is auba..xhaka keeps that fouls as usual and you want to sell joe willock and leave xhaka committing same mistakes? Elneny is there you want to sell Niles…look how Arteta is ruining our academy players? Fans we should not allow him do so. Unai was far better than arteta in promoting academy. Say any player arteta has promoted from academy? Balogun? Okwonko? He don’t give them minutes and its preseason he played auba and pepe 90 minutes and there were players waiting outside. Odoi and Nelson are of the same class. Arsenal needs radical change from Arteta and Edu. Bring ljuberg and per.

    2. Grandad, as I stated above, bring in George Graham with his string line assisted by Adams, Keown and Bound for a defenders master class to show how it should be done.

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