Playing players that care, produced a better Arsenal performance by Konstantin Mitov
Welcome lovely Arsenal people. We beat a pretty poor Sheffield side, by playing some better football. You can spend weeks talking about tactics, formations and ‘little moments’ like Arteta likes to call them, but there are some pretty basic things you can’t go without – like putting in the care and the effort.
Yesterday we finally started Martinelli and the guy showed the kind of passion we’ve been missing. He was chasing down, making runs, being active. He capped off a fine performance with a tap-in goal, that was again a result of being active, being in the danger area and taking advantage.
A major bullet Arteta has been continuously shooting in his own foot is player favouritism. We of course introduced Willian, and at around minute 80, you can see him strolling around the pitch, while Gabi M is busting his gut to make a run back and help out in defence. This is the kind of attitude that Arteta has been tolerating from certain players that will be his ultimate downfall.
We shouldn’t be making serious conclusions from a game against a team as bad as Sheffield has been this season, but when I see players willing to put the same effort against Sheffield and Tottenham, I want them playing.
There were a few other good performances starting with Pepe, who’s been pretty good in the limited time he’s been given. He is a player that can take someone on 1 on 1, a rare quality in our squad. Again, it’s scandalous how he’s been relegated to the bench so much in favour of Willian and Aubameyang.
Calum Chambers also had another solid game. His crosses have been hot toast on butter! Lacazette was again superb. Can’t question his work rate, if only his finishing was a little more consistent. Today when he was slipped by an outrageous pass from Partey, 1 on 1 with the keeper, he banged it in. On Thursday we really need that to repeat.
If you believe the rumours he’s one player to be sold this summer and the fact we haven’t talked about a new deal, could confirm this. Which again falls into player favouritism. In my opinion Arteta’s job is firmly on the line on Thursday. If we don’t progress he’s out. Our jump to 9th in the league hardly inspires anyone.
Trying to look at it from a positive point of view, that late equaliser we conceded makes our job clear. We need to go there and score. We won 3-1 in Greece and that left a shit performance for the second leg. Now we’ll hopefully go there trying to impose our style and dominate a team that isn’t that great. If we can’t go there and win, we need a massive change.
The starting line up will be massive. If we play Willian instead of Martinelli I’ll be furious, but I can see it happening. Our only decent run of form in Artetas entire tenure started with that win against Chelsea when we played Gabi M, Smith Rowe and Saka behind Lacca. We recently reverted to pre-christmas line ups and produced similar results.
Rumours fly that players are unhappy, because they are mostly blamed for the result and while they are at fault as well, I must say the constant rotations haven’t helped, nor the player favouritism I’ve mentioned here. This comes from the “senior players”. Same players that threw Emery and even Wenger under the bus.
You see, our “senior” players are here either because they aren’t good enough for a top club, like Xhaka and Ceballos, or we paid them incredible cash like Auba. Willian came here because we offered him 200k and 3 years, a deal Chelsea weren’t willing to do. If we want to progress forward, we need players who care about the club. We cannot afford to buy 5 players for 250 mills this summer to improve the squad like it needs to, so everyone at the club from players, manager, technical staff and the board better realise that we must give our best or we will all suffer.
Let’s put it plain simple, we need to win on Thursday.