Since when were Arsenal happy to only lose 1-0 at home?

Did Arsenal Play For A 1-0 Defeat? By Dan Smith

I have written numerous times, “to be a big club you have to think like a big club.”

We didn’t think like a big club against Man City.

In my predictions post I had so little faith in us getting a result I said I would have accepted a loss where our confidence isn’t destroyed, such is the importance of Benfica on Thursday.

I thought that would be a case of ‘you play, we play’ with the League Leaders eventually overpowering us, as they are simply better.

Instead we seemed to just accept a 1-0 defeat as a compromise to not being humiliated. How many games at the Emirates can you remember where we would settle for a defeat?

We used to be trusted to always make that one chance, yet in the second half on Sunday we  didn’t have one shot. You are chasing a game but don’t have one shot! In the last 5 minutes you don’t even knock the ball into their box …. you do nothing.  Pep Guardiola seemed to sense it, so in the second half went easy on his former assistant manager.

Even I used to criticise Arsene Wenger for not changing his tactics depending on the opposition. The Frenchmen had so much faith in his ethos, he wouldn’t sacrifice his principles for no one.

I would much rather see my team try and play football and die on their sword, than ever do what we did this weekend.

Manchester City’s English midfielder Raheem Sterling (L) jumps to head home the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium. / (Photo by JULIAN FINNEY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

If you think I’m over reacting, look at David Luiz’s reaction at full time. Laughing, high fiving the opposition, playfully ruffling their hair. This is one of our main dressing room leaders, a potential future coach, showing zero hurt.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t talk to the opposition, but I can worry why a personality who our youngsters look up too doesn’t seem embarrassed by an 11th loss in the League which keeps us in 10th! I can’t help but wonder when he was at Stamford Bridge would a gap of 26 points between them and 1st be funny?

What about 11 points behind 4th?

The answer is a Terry and Lampard would set standards where that would be unacceptable.

Our reaction to our latest defeat (including by some gooners) has created an environment where players now think it’s okay for Arsenal to be 10th.  I been told that captains like Vieira and Keane are gone, but is it too much to ask someone at the club to be bothered?

Based on body language I would say only Xhaka and Tierney showed any pain in continuing to represent the worst Gunners squad in over two decades.

I want Arteta to succeed, but have admitted for a while if he was sacked, I couldn’t argue with the decision. The Spaniard is lucky that his employers don’t care where we finish as they get a part of a billion-pound TV contract regardless.

Some supporters won’t admit we have gone backwards since Mr Wenger left because it’s hard to admit your wrong. Yet common sense says if you were unhappy with ‘only the top 4’ in 20 out of 22 years then 10th is even worse?

We have lost 11 out of 24 League Fixtures. To put that into perspective; since the Premier League became a 20-team format only once have we lost more games (13 out of 38). We still have 14 games left!

We have lost 5 League games at home, that’s the most since 1995 (6) and we still have 6 to play at the Emirates.

We were promised we would be competing with Bayern Munich by now, that’s why we left Highbury. Instead we are losing at home regularly, and will be in the bottom half if Leeds win their game in hand!

But it’s okay because we only lost 1-0 to Man City.

A Big club would say ‘enough!’

Be Kind in the comments…


Tags Man City Review


  1. i am not very sad with it. man city beat liverpool 4-1
    our defense is good but we lacked attacking lineup would be martinelli,saka,smithe rowe and lacazette from the start let aubameyang get it together

    1. who cares what the scoreline was in another game? This is exactly the low standards the article is talking about. I guess we should never even bother with games if team has beaten another team. Let’s not bother facing Burnley ever again. they beat Liverpool at Anfield… Expect better from the players and managers. the performance was awful.

  2. “But-but its the best team in Europe”

    “We only lost 1-0”

    These excuses baffle me. Its like our club and fans have stooped so low that our expectations now are ‘as long as we don’t get hammered’.

    The worst thing is, our players looked like they had the same mindset in the game too. It looked like MA set up our team to go there just to mitigate the damage. Never to win, maybe not even to draw. There was zero belief in the players.

    Its not just this game, the first game against City was similar, you know back when City was not in form. Loss is a loss, no matter who we have played and right now we stand at 11 losses. Its unacceptable.

    People give credit to getting rid of the high-waged deadwood. Yeah, it is good but it doesn’t really take a mastermind to realize who we needed to get rid of. Any Arsenal fan could’ve pointed them out. So apart from getting rid of the deadwood, what is MA’s biggest achievement in the team this season?

    1. Oh and concerning getting rid of the deadwood:

      we never sold anyone, we received nothing from Mkhitaryan, Özil, Mustafi, Sokratis or even Kolasinac. We just terminated their contracts. So I wouldn’t call this an achievement really.

      1. Very well put.

        Our players, manager and now a lot of the fans are happy with mediocrity. It’s honestly pathetic.

        What’s worse is if you show your distain at the aforementioned mediocrity you are then jumped on for not being a “real” fan and not supporting the team and manager which just proves the exact point you are making.

        I like to think of it this way, would Patrick Vieira or Tony Adams accept these performances during their playing days?

    2. Our expectations has always been low since 2006 .
      I don’t get why fans are complaining about the manner we lost . If we had gone gung ho like Leeds , we would have gotten battered .
      Honestly what were we expecting ,to go head on with man city ? Look at our league position again and check how many matches we have lost so far .

  3. “Pep Guardiola seemed to sense it, so in the second half went easy on his former assistant manager.”
    Is the a fact or an assumption?

    We are in a transition and a very difficult one for that matter. I personally don’t think we were that bad against City.

    It almost seem like there is a conspiracy to get the manager fired. Bring in another Manager than go another two years with nothing to show because he was not given a proper chance.

    I will only Judge the Manager from next season. But for now I stand by him. I have a good feeling about Arteta.

    1. Unai Emery was not given a chance why is Mikel different? Especially when there was really a conspiracy from players to get him fired.

  4. Arsenal is sinking the ship even further. We are 25 points behind the log leaders after playing 25 games. How can we praise Arteta for job well done when we performing worse? We’ve never had this amount of difference in points during Wenger’s rein. It’s unacceptable

  5. You are right Dan. We should think like a big club. Our football was mediocre rubbish. Arteta wants his Man City to win the league and chose a team to give Guardiola a win. Xhaka and Elneny are the most boring incapable midfield pairing in the Premier League bar none. Arteta chose them. Sideways, backwards, any way but creatively forwards. Yes the actual most boring of any PL team. Well done Arteta for picking that rubbish midfield. Arteta has not got a clue. Hopeless.

  6. Some fair and important points in the article but I think it’s a mischaracterisation to say that people can’t admit we’ve gone backwards since Wenger left (at least in a lot of cases, most in my opinion).
    I do think Wenger left a sinking ship and it’s a case of stopping the rot, and there should be an understanding that drastic change is needed, and that generally requires short term pain for long term gain. Wenger may have kept us a little higher in the league for a little longer had he stayed on, but there were no signs he was going to do anything other than the best he could within a bad system, that was always going to catch up with us eventually.

    1. Yeah Davi I definitely agree with what you’ve said here.

      Wenger did a brilliant job of hiding the gaping hole in the hull of the ship that is Arsenal, which I suppose is a credit to his skill and knowledge. In a way you could say we were over achieving in the last years of Wenger’s only because he knew Arsenal better than anyone.

      As you say, there was never a possibility of ever turning it around only stalling the inevitable.

      It’s just like maintaining a vehicle, you can run a vehicle for a long time on little maintenance but when it eventually breaks down there’s going to be a ton of issues that need fixing. Wenger rarely fixed issues as they came up (not finding a decent DM for over a decade)

    2. If you are successful, showing progress, and delivering results you don’t have to say “trust the process.” When you are struggling, lost, overwhelmed, and in over your head, you toss out a refrain like “trust the process.”

      Even when he didn’t get to decide transfers and had a worse squad than Arteta’s now, Emery’s team was better than what we are seeing now.

      Puting up a good fight and losing to City is ok, but setting up like yesterday and that performance is not.

      Simply not good enough, 11 losses, no style of play, consistent negative tactics rather than playing to our teams strengths, to name a few problems.

      Arteta’s man management is atrocious, freezing out or banishing players, not giving others a chance. 14 months and he’s improved our defending, but killed our attack.

      There is nothing Arsenal about Arteta. Flair & creativity are gone, free flowing attractive football is nowhere to be found.

      Our Spanish Pullis says trust the process, allow him time to build 11 robots whose side and back passing can deliver mid table mediocrity.

      He’s content with scripted robots rather than free will flair and creativity he can’t control.

      1. I’m thinking of, has be really improved our defense?

        Of course goals conceded, we have one of the best defenses in the league but are we actually better at defending or are we just more defensive as team, more men at the back (at the expense of creativity/attack)?

        I would say best defenses are City, Leicester, Chelsea, West Ham, Tottenham who have conceded least but also are still scoring.

        1. McLovin, I have the same thinking as you. I don’t think we have improved defensively, it’s only we have more bodies in the back to mitigate the opponents attack. This could be the reason our attack is so bad because only few players are allowed venture forward and rarely make any risky run or pass.

        2. It’s a good point – it’s true that we need balance, but many have said that we need to have a stronger defence to act as a platform. Improving the attack while maintaining the relatively solid defence is the next step, but we have to see if it can be done. I do see the signs are there, but doing it consistently is the challenge.

      2. Some good points, but it didn’t really address what I’d said, unless you don’t believe the rot was there to begin with. If you accept that there are serious problems that have existed since Wenger’s time, then it’s just one of those things. Either you trust that things are moving in the right direction, or you don’t. Either way you won’t find out quickly.
        Even if it doesn’t work out under Arteta, and he’s done plenty I didn’t agree with, I do respect that he’s trying to improve the situation. We can’t afford to let the players run things, we have to impose some structure – maybe it is too rigid now, but it was definitely too lax before.

  7. Bit harsh I think. Man City have so many top players they could field 2 teams that capable of making top4 this season, while Arsenal are a team going through a huge rebuilding process. It’s always a shame to lose, but this was a game where realistically a point would have been a good result. Nothing wrong with being realistic. Lets just hope they can push on now and get a good result against Benfica, where I think realistically we should be expecting a win.

    1. Yes we are going through a rebuilding process, that much I agree. But my concern is this:

      What is our style of play? What is our best XI? Formation?

      Gegen-press? Counter-attacking football? Parking the bus? Tiki-taka? Long balls?

      What I’m worried about is that I don’t see any style nor do I see what style we are even trying to practice. Remember when we were on that losing streak, we lashed 40 crosses into the box in one game, without even having a target man? What was that? I don’t see any Arsenal DNA in our play.

      Last season I understood that it will take time for MA to get these right. But so far this season I haven’t seen any progress on that regard.. In opposite, I’ve seen our players confused, scared and absolutely clueless.

  8. Pep said Arteta is a clever man he knows everything very professional he knows a lot Pep you really don’t know him do you or your just making him look good

  9. Been passionately following this great club of ours since the 60’s, and seen many many highs and lows.

    Man’ City used to be there for the taking week after week back in the day.

    Times change, the way to evolve is dealt with differently from club to club.

    City took their path, we took ours.

    However, our obvious shortcomings were not nipped in the bud and addressed many years ago now.

    Let me throw this word in – DANGOTE !

    Pathetically simplistic, but I hope you get my drift in relation to a much WIDER issue at our place.

    We are currently “The Arsenal” by name – but not by deed.

    And that name will not carry it’s past weight forever.

    However unpalatable, there is only way one forward so far have we fallen – AND IT IS NOT UNDER KROENKE SPORTING ENTERPRISES !

  10. We are poor I can’t see any improvement in our squad
    Arteta is killing our offensive players with his tactic
    I can see Martinelli leaving us if Arteta keeps him on bench and playing players out of form

  11. Dan, like you I cannot accept the body language and chummy light hearted behaviour of Arsenal players after a loss. I never saw Pat Rice, Bob McNab, Ray Simpson, Frank McLintock, Peter Storey, John Radford, Allan Ball, Liam Brady, Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Viera, Thierry Henry et al engaging in horseplay with the opposition after a loss. Winning teams start with a winning ruthless mentality and a pride in performance, sadly missing at Arsenal at present.

    1. Ozziegunner spot on. A huge issue never addressed, and we have never been able to push on.

      Was disgusted seeing Cedric, Bellerin, and Luiz smiling, laughing, and yucking it up after the match. Not fussed at all, at a great club in London, getting massive wages, no pressure felt regarding results.

      They know neither the manager nor them has any real pressure, probably estatic and delighted no fans were present to boo them; spending good money to see that crap on the pitch.

    2. Ozziegunner you are spot on mate. I have followed this club since 68 and the players you mention never accepted defeat, it wasn’t in their DNA. I’m afraid we have appointed an apprentice to learn on the job and this mentality is rubbing off on the players. The fact is no one cares at the club. I have to laugh at the fans who call other fans, so called fans, because they raise these points. Let’s hope for a good end to the season.

      1. Dennis, 1962 for me at age 10. I could have played “name the player” with who I listed and all of them, whether in good Arsenal teams or bad, competed for professional pride and pride in the badge. They did not accept defeat lightly and none of the “half arsed” take our money and run approach of these pampered prima donnas. Show me a happy loser and you show me a loser.

  12. Agree 90%.
    We “big club” or a “winner club” would never be satisfied with losing.
    But we were not more of a “winner club” under Wenger in his last 8-10 years. We have been lacking that “winning culture” for a long time, both off and on the field. I doubt, anyone can get it back in 14 months.
    I think Arteta must be judged at the end of the season, but I was also very disappointed to see the way we lost. Mostly because, I thought we came out as a bit of a timid and freightened team and with tactics to underline it. Not a good sign.

      1. True, but in last 10 years we were never really seriously considered as potential title winners either. In fact, we were just the opposite. Considered to be a team, that would fold easily to the bigger teams. And we did.
        So, the lack of winning culture is nothing new.

  13. The fact of the matter is we have been over achieving for a number of years now. The cracks have been papered over and we have been pulling things out of the bag for a long time now…until this season.
    The writing was on the wall for a long time and we all knew it was coming.

    Unfortunately with the owner and the board and the people surrounding the club I don’t think it’s going to change anytime soon.

  14. …..and the man asked us to be kind in the comments…well in that case all I can say is spineless, coward, defeatist attitude, absolutely disgusting display, no shame, no pride, and no respect for the badge. From captain to chief cook to bottle-washer, all should be made to walk the plank after a performance like this.

  15. Arteta is peps cone carrier, the king of sideways and backward passing.. West ham now a superior team and that’s under David Moyes! Trust the process? I would love to know what the process is… Finishing in the bottom half of the table ? Already 3 teams have beaten us twice this season! Yeah our squad isn’t great but it’s nowhere near this bad!

  16. People keep talking about Wenger and Emery.
    Arsenal is a sporting franchise with athletes.
    It’s the managers job to condition the athletes he or she have in the moment. If the manager is responsible for motivating players then how does Wenger come into play. Just excuses

    1. Wenger oversaw the original decline from a group of winners with a winning culture to a group of pampered, largely overrated and overpaid losers. When that mentality takes hold its difficult to break, in great part because it’s hard to sell overpaid losers. Whatever your thoughts on the matter, this is why he gets brought into it.

      1. Just take a look at the midfielders Arsene Wenger brought into to replace Gilberto Silva, Patrick Viera, Michel Petit, Ray Parlour, Edu Gaspar, Robert Pires, Freddie Ljundberg et al.
        Went from size and power to small and technical.

          1. Dan, but why did Wenger change from a successful approach (in concert with David Dein by the way) to a different midfield profile (post David Dein)?

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