Slavia Prague Review – Arsenal are their own worst enemy yet again

Arsenal our own worst enemy once more by Konstantin Mitov

Well lovely Arsenal people it’s difficult. If you think I enjoy writing this here, you are extremely wrong. The reason because I do is because I am hurt. I felt nothing through most of the game, yet I am somehow still disappointed.

We had Saka 1 on 1 with their keeper and we missed it wide, and you know what, I didn’t think he’ll score. I’ve seen him waste chances 1 on 1 before and with Laca it was the same. We are not the sort of team that is clinical and punishes mistakes and he missed too.

We eventually scored and than we had only one job in defence, to keep the ball away from the box, we failed, than we failed to defend a corner with 3 players on top of the ball and and it ends up 1-1. Both Gabriel and Cedric could’ve done it, but no, we invited pressure and we crumbled.

It took us 75 minutes to make a sub, and the subs immediately made us better. You can call me negative all day long, but that performance showed everything that’s wrong with us. I don’t think those players understand what this EL means for the fans and even for the club.

You can say Arteta didn’t miss those chances, but that type of defending, who does it come from? The late subs? The game management? How many times has this been repeated? We gifted the lead away in Greece twice in this competition yet we learn nothing.

Sometimes in football you play well and you don’t win, but we didn’t play well, like we haven’t in a while. We need to change half the squad at least. There are no money for such endeavours though. How are we doing it by finishing 10th and not playing European football I have no idea.

I had some health issues recently and today was the first day I was feeling really good and what do Arsenal do? Imagine if we play against Bayern Munich like that. What would they do to, hit us with double figures?

This rant to sack Arteta is not because I have an agenda against him. It’s about the future of this football club and I’m just worried. The excitement is dead for me. I only feel numb during the games, I don’t celebrate when we score, because we always have it in us to do what we did today, and this much I’ve learned.

I just hope people lower their expectations to mid-table and be prepared for a summer where a lot of cashing in is to be done to cover for the losses. We aren’t out yet I know and we might win the Europa League in Theory, but with those displays I can’t see it. Luck might win one game of football where you don’t play well, but what we are producing is taking us only backwards and the stats hardly lie.

I can’t wait for this nightmare season to end. Might as well happen next Thursday.

Konstantin

71 Comments

  1. Thomo says:

    You summed it up perfectly. We don’t even play good football anymore. Everything is slow and ponderous no spark apart from Smith Rowe and saka no real movement upfront, just boring.

  2. Pepe says:

    Omg.. can people see the way we play?
    We play completely sh$t
    Some say blame the players for what exactly?
    The missed chances really we created only 3 good chances all night against slavia at the Emirates and you are saying blame the payers
    What are we even doing in the whole of 90 minutes. Every player now looks bad and plays sh$t yet the manager shouldn’t be mentioned..
    We improved defensively, I can’t even remember when last we kept a clean sheet
    This stage last two seasons Emery’s arsenal soundly beat Napoli 2:0 at the Emirates
    What football are we playing definitely there is nothing arsenal about this team from top to bottom only the Jersey
    No entertainment, no movement, nothing at all
    I enjoy other teams playing this days than watching this arsenal play this is when I realized that everything is dead

    1. Mogunna says:

      than you Pepe. It can’t be players fault but coach.

      We did not lose our foitball style, trademark, taught from academy on.

      Arteta is the issue for over a year…Instructing and positionning players.

      Had it right in defense and middle but had to tuin the attack.

      Why would he play Willian again and again?

      If in the team; why on his weakest side and same for Saka,?

      Why does he have to make it so complicated and confusing for players?

      Saka is so much more dangerous on Leff wing, probably most likely best in EPL, no match.

      He repeats same mess every game. Has to show us he is right to sign a deadwood.

      What happened to Chelsea’s players, all became good overnite?

      No, this shows how much and why a coach is important in a team.

      Our players are lost, trying to do what coach instructs.

      If you play Saka, must keep him where he is the best, cause more threats, accurate crosses, he is used to play there, why keep switching him?

      Willian be more productive as well on RW and that is a plus overall, against to minus.

      Same when he plays Auba there. He is better on RW, played there close to line. The have reflexes in these areas , right footed….

      He has to show he is the man & boss!

      Arteta tries and think he is guardiola and even better, dresses and acts as him but defenetly dont think as nor him.

      He must go learn and not do so in such a club. Chelsea got that, Lampard was not yet ready, experienced enough…

      Arteta was a cheap option and what we have as result.

      Willian as LW and Saka as a RW!!!

      With all due respect, that is beyond retarded; and so ridiculous from Edu & co who should leave for such failure.

  3. gotanidea says:

    We made at least five clear-cut chances and only scored once. Our awful finishing had ruined the manager’s plan

    Our attackers’ finishing looked great on Arsenal’s official YouTube channel, but they always bottle it in the matches. Lacazette missed two sitters, Partey missed one and Aubameyang missed one

    1. Pepe says:

      Please show me the 5 clear cut chances you were talking about
      Lacazette disposing their cb to run through on goal was the best chance of the game and it didn’t come by playing a great attacking football…
      You keep lamenting missed clear cut chances please where are the clear cut chances maybe I missed them

      1. Phil says:

        Partey was outside the box. It was a very poor attempt but never a clear chance.But hey- guess what? On the planet Got No Idea anything is possible
        In the second half Got posted that Lacazette was playing well but not scoring. I always thought that was what you wanted your main striker to do

        1. gotanidea says:

          Lacazette can make no shots as long as he can create chances for others, but he shouldn’t have missed easy chances either

      2. gotanidea says:

        1. At 27:20, Lacazette couldn’t produce a shot on goal, despite facing Slavia Prague’s GK alone

        2. At 28:30, Saka was one-on-one with Slavia Prague’s GK, but he put the ball wide

        3. At 48:30, Willian hit the crossbar with his free-kick

        4. At 61:23, Lacazette couldn’t finish his solo run

        5. After that, Saka made a great cross, but Lacazette couldn’t convert it into a goal

        6. At 74:28, Partey couldn’t shoot on target as usual, despite having enough time and space to shoot

        7. At 77:50, Aubameyang couldn’t convert a simple tap-in into a goal

        @Pepe : I think your anger at Arteta has clouded your judgement. Watch the extended highlights and see how atrocious our finishing was

        1. SueP says:

          On that GAI I agree with you, there were more than enough clear chances for the course of that game to have been changed for the better.

          The quality of the game is another matter though

          1. gotanidea says:

            Yup. I still believe we’ll go to the next phase

        2. Yossarian says:

          Agree 100% gotanidea. We created loads of decent chances but the finishing was awful. At the end poor old Arteta looked like he’d been forced to eat dog poo for 2 hours. The finishing was very poor, with the exception of Pepe’s goal where the finishing technique was absolutely fantastic. Should have won that game comfortably and were the better side, but once again nowhere near clinical enough and “Their own worst enemy” again.

    2. Pepe says:

      From your comment you expect arsenal to score from every effort on partey missed clear cut chance you are sounding funny
      The only clear cut chances we had went to lacazette and xaka you can paint a pathetic performance an excuse the manager for the way we play….
      We played sh$t and we got what we deserved
      The performance last night was just as bad as the one against liverpool the only difference was quality of opposition
      The few chances we had was not because we played great but because slavia was that poor
      Keep lining up excuses for each pathetic performance
      Leno didn’t pass from the back
      Arsenal missed chances
      We didn’t do duals with the CBS etc
      You now sound like a comedian dude

      1. gotanidea says:

        Read my reply above, watch the extended highlights and count how many clear-cut chances we produced. We didn’t consistently produce a plethora of chances like this under Wenger/ Emery and we should’ve scored at least two goals

        1. Awhy says:

          It is an insult to Wenger to compare chances created under him to the pathetic attacks under Arteta, Wenger has his deficiencies but I’m always sure Arsenal would score goals under Wenger, the only problem was who would score more.

    3. Lenohappy says:

      GOT hold on a minute, are you saying that aubamayang, Partey chances are clear cut chances? Even that Pepe goal is not a clear chance, he did all the hard work himself.

      1. gotanidea says:

        If our player is one-on-one with the opposition’s GK, it’s a clear-cut chance to me. For instance, when Aubameyang missed a simple tap-in yesterday

        Partey should’ve at least made a shot on target with the amount of time and space he had. Among the eight chances we had, I considered five of them to be the easy ones

  4. Darthballz says:

    This season has been the first time i’m bored watching arsenal .

  5. Thomo says:

    Its like watching paint dry

  6. Phil says:

    But some will still support Arteta and blame anyone and everyone except him.
    He is gone.Brown Bread. Toast.Thete canbe no excuses whatever the result next week.
    And wouldn’t it just be typical Arsenal to win over there?

    1. Danny says:

      Phil I’m with you 100% on Arteta I can’t believe he is still in a job hes completely out of his depth and its clear hes loosing some of the dressing room and when that starts to happen there is only one outcome but no idea why its taking the board so long to wise up and sack him. His treatment of Martinelli is nothing short of a discrace letting talent like this rot on the bench when he is a game changer and if Arteta by some miracle keeps his job into next season then that will prob result in him leaving in the summer but I know who I would prefer to be gone first!! ARTETA OUT!

      1. Phil says:

        @Danny- the reality is simple. We have a rookie manager and he is allowing rookie mistakes to achieve rookie performances and results.
        I don’t care what it costs- get Naglesman in for next season. Act like a big club and just get him here and this clown out

  7. Sean Williams says:

    Kroenke….Arteta…..Edu….Vinai Venkatesham are all part of a dark symphony of mismanagement sinking us into the football abyss. The supporters are accepting the unacceptable. Arteta must go, he riles the supporters, the players, the pundits.
    We should have spent our money on a top manager rather than poor players. Make Brendan Rogers an offer he can’t refuse and get him here for next season. Then within a year we will be back fighting on all fronts.

  8. RJB58 says:

    In the main, I agree with the lead article. the more I watch these games the more I think that if there is a plan that the players don’t understand it or that they are unable to execute it.
    Tippy tappy, back and square, Xhaka in the back four getting it and playing it back and square. Laca making runs for 25 minutes then stops, throws his arms in the air as no-one has once knocked a long ball up to him, so he stops running. It’s all looks ‘off the cuff’, make it up as we go along..
    Play it out from the back – no, please don’t; we want to do it, but we’re not good at it, Holding thinks it’s a hot potato, Gabriel dear boy, just give it to Partey asap, Bellerin can’t get ball beyond the first defender.

    But it’s the lack of passion, fight, determination, togetherness and dare I say it for most, ability at the required level. Fitness is assumed although Tierney always looks exhausted to me.

    back to basics -> get the very best we can afford thru the spine of the team GK, CB,CM,CF. And then two full backs..

    Personally, I’ve cut MA plenty of cloth to start to get this right but those he’s brought in are, alas, more of the substandard same. If there’s genuine ambition within the club then they owe it tgo everyone to seriously review his position before he starts selling and buying again in the close season.. I thank you..

  9. Darthballz says:

    Goi did you enjoy the game in anyway

    1. gotanidea says:

      Yes. We didn’t consistently produce a plethora of chances like this under Wenger and Emery

      1. Phil says:

        We played Slavia Prague PAL- who did you believe we were playing? Of course we should be creating chances against a side I like this. But. YET AGAIN. We fail to see out a golden opportunity with a one goal cushion. Next week would have been a completely different game. Instead we are effectively out as it is us who have to win not them
        Poor poor game management

        1. gotanidea says:

          Slavia Prague is the 1st in Czech First League and has been unbeaten for 21 matches in a row, despite getting two red cards in their last two games. They have also beaten Leicester and Rangers in EL

      2. Darthballz says:

        Really .i admit emery’s arsenal was so bad and confusing but Wenger’s worst team would brush teams like this aside .and look good doing it

  10. ThirdManJW says:

    Yeah, another poor night, and Arteta under insane pressure now. Despite that though, I still want to see him outlast some of our players. Arteta has been making errors, but I am sick to death of the lack of effort, fight, heart, determination from some of our senior players.

    Yes we can replace our manager asap, but he, like Emery and Arteta, will still have the same problems. We’ll get a little bounce, before player power starts dominating.

    We must continue this cull of our squad.

    1. Phil says:

      @TMJW- so a few weeks ago you were spouting how Arteta had improved us defensively. Remember that PAL?It is now FOURTEEN GAMES since we kept a clean sheet. We couldn’t even see out the last few minutes last night because there was ZERO leadership and ZERO game management. And mugs like you still believe we are improving?
      A 10am tee off/ I look forward to reading the next chapter of comical make believe you can conjure up now PAL
      EVERYONE can see it- except you mugs who just cannot admit to what is so blindingly obvious

      1. Defund The Media says:

        Phil he was saying that from like 3-4 months ago, prior to these 14 games of conceding so you cant really use that after the fact that’s just petty and invalid and jesus the way you talk is like a 12 acting out because his parents are getting a divorce or something, and you had the nerve to keep calling out jon fox when your at least as bad. Two of the oldest blokes on here too if memory serves 🤦‍♂️

        1. ThirdManJW says:

          Yeah I don’t engage with Phil anymore, because of what you said. He just acts like a baby. And keeps calling everyone PAL in caps all the time? Strange little fellow!

          1. Defund The Media says:

            Aye were all unhappy with how arsenal are at the moment, but there’s no need to be so angry and passive agressive with other fans for having different interpretations as to why or for seeing silver linings where you may not, got an idea is never disrespectful to anyone on here but he and others blast him soley because there opinions do not align, super childish, especially considering there actually angry at the state of arsenal NOT got an idea, if we were top of the league no one would care about differing opinions to anywhere near this degree or result to name calling.

          2. SueP says:

            DTM
            Gotanidea gets so much stick it’s insane. I’ve been on JA just about 18 months and warm to his remarks because they are never snide or condescending. I don’t always agree but his positivity just keeps flowing- something I could learn from

      2. guy says:

        Cmon Phil be fair – TMJW wasn’t saying that and he wasnt defending Arteta. I don’t know one person who is currently saying we are improving. You know I was a supporter of Arteta being given more time. More and more like me, are now doubting him, criticising him on this site. If he went tomorrow I wouldn’t be upset. The point we are trying to make is he is not the only problem. We have loads of them, and one of them is many of the players – a blatent lack of effort and concentration should not occur even if Arteta is a bad manager. This is a lack of professionalism from individuals. Even if theyre not happy this should not happen.
        At least Arteta is trying, albeit badly. These guys are not and simply dont care. The problems are deep.

        If you want people to make it even more obvious they are at the end of their patience with Arteta you won’t get it with unjustified personal abuse. – all you need to do is let them watch a few more games like this…

  11. PJ-SA says:

    Trust the process

  12. Sean Williams says:

    ThirdmanJW
    Arteta is not the right man. Surely you can see that by now. He cannot motivate, he riles the players, the supporters, the pundits….everybody. He just doesn’t have the qualities. It’s so clear how do you stay in denial?

    1. ThirdManJW says:

      I still don’t think one main transfer window is enough to make the necessary changes needed.

      Maybe you’re right and Arteta isn’t the right man, but remember that Emery had masses of experience, yet the players downed tools even before his first season ended. Ljungberg couldn’t get anything out of them, albeit, very briefly. I am not saying our managers haven’t been making mistakes, but clearly there’s a huge problem with the squad.

      We change managers, and it’s back to square one again isn’t it? Although the results have been poor this season, at least Arteta and the board have had a plan in place to get out the trouble makers asap, which is badly needed as the culture at Arsenal has been a joke for over a decade. I would like to see Arteta get that through, and have another main transfer window.

      1. Pepe says:

        Wenger was never down tooled by his players
        The fans wanted a change
        Emery was not only down tooled by the players but the entire club as he had little power and support from the club
        Arteta case was different because the club after what happened to Emery gave him that needed support and power and with everything he and support to play like this with how long he has been here is completely blind support
        Everyone looks bad even partey who came here with a good reputation
        Why are our attackers suffering like never before, why is everything disjointed from gk to Stricker only him can answer that and so far he doesn’t look to have any answers for that

      2. Phil says:

        Yeah and I just cannot wait to see the size of our transfer budget after this novice has somehow failed to get us even a top seven finish

        1. Pepe says:

          Kroenke is a billionaire
          All he needs to do is loan another 500m pounds and give Arteta to play with.

          1. Pepe says:

            But on more serious note
            When watch us play I ask myself with performance like this do we have any business in the champions league

          2. Arengspecial says:

            Would you ship out that amount if it was in your coffers???

        2. ThirdManJW says:

          The league is very tough this season. Even the current league champions might not even make top seven.

      3. Sean Williams says:

        ThirdManJW
        We are not at square 1 we are three squares back and there are better managers out there. If we would have taken Ancelotti do you think we would be as poor? The truth is NO. Arteta is taking us into the football abyss….there is no plan, he’s doing it on the fly.

        1. ThirdManJW says:

          I get the criticism, but there has to acknowledgment at how bad this squad of players are. We have ability, but a dreadful mentality that has been built up over so many years. We’re going through a huge transitional phase as well.

          Perhaps the results would be better under someone like Ancelotti this season, but probably not as much as you think. I still wouldn’t think he could get us into the top 6.

          I am not against changing managers in the summer, but how long until the players down tools yet again? Arteta and Edu seem to have a plan in place at the moment, why not let them see it through? Lets not forget how brilliant Jan was when we managed to dump a ton of deadwood, and hopefully again in the summer.

          Doesn’t matter who is manager for me, it’s about culling the squad and changing the culture right now.

          1. ozziegunner says:

            Sean and TMJW, I agree with both of you. I originally wanted Carlo Ancellotti, because he had the experience, credibility and winning mentality to instill discipline in this squad and overcome player power. He was available and living in his own house in London at the time.
            The bulk of these players have now underperformed and let down Wenger, Emery, Ljundberg and Arteta.

          2. SueP says:

            Would any of us have wanted Arteta? very unlikely that many would have

            I didn’t know who I would have gone for but if Arsenal were at least ambitious a big and proven name would have got the job and I wonder what the impact would have been?

            But they didn’t

      4. guy says:

        TMJW don’t worry – many of us get what youre saying – that its not all down to him, and that kicking him will not cure many of our problems. Im out of time with him now, but I know we cant sort things quickly with or without him. I simply believe he’s not evolving as a manager. Too many bad traits of his are getting worse not better, and for me its time to pass someone else the poisoned chalice. But honestly, I’n not sure it will make much difference because we are in a deep deep hole., and theres not one person internally or externally that I think can dig us out.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          guy and TMJW, I argued the same thing with Emery. The results these players “earn” for the Club and the varying performances they put in cannot be blamed totally on the manager/head coach.
          You just never know whether the Arsenal players will turn up or not.

  13. Pepe says:

    Haha
    1. Omg lacazette effort from that angle is a clear cut chance are you for real?
    2. Xaka missed a clear cut chance there
    3. Basically hitting a free kick against the post is now a clear cut chance interesting
    4. Everyone know that lacazette missed a very good chance which came from his own effort
    5. Lacazette outstressed legs couldn’t connect well with Saka’s cross we see that very often to me it’s not a clear cut chance that attackers doesn’t miss
    6. Partey’s effort on goal please don’t make me laugh
    7. Aubameyang miss was a good opportunity but it was also his first touch and he went to provide an assist
    You basically brought all our effort on goal what you posted here is virtually all our highlight and to you it’s clear cut goal scoring chances
    With each comment you sound more like a comedian or are you really for real?
    Did you think slavia also did have effort on goal

  14. Johnze says:

    Sad result. Honestly sick of Arteta. Really sick… Yes some players are to blame. But what about his management ? What’s the point of changing defence or starting eleven all the time. Is he building something ? Nope. Holding was doing great few weeks ago. Then luiz, almost out of contract and on the decline is fit and goes in front of him. How many shitty games did willian played ? And he still find his way through the pitch while arteta will make arsenal loose balogun because he can’t even make the bench… And for what ? Nketiah who is in and out and will quit the club soon. What are the messages sent to the squad ??? Arteta is probably, sadly, just not good enough to manage/coach this club. He can do great things with some players (Mustafi last year) but has already makes crucial mistakes like keeping mustafi last summer, selling martinez or exploding the bank for Willian… And we can’t credit arteta for ESR. Remember that at one point we were losing all the time, he just went to him as an emergency try…. What will be the next mistake : guendouzi out ? Selling saliba and giving a new year to Luiz.. ?

  15. Elton Rono says:

    This game showed how poor our gameplan is. We should have pressed Slavia Prague from the off. But no!! Only Xhaka pressed well in this game. We were so poor. The tactics set in this game by our manager was so poor. Saka needs to work on his finishing and shooting. Age factor really builds him.

  16. SueP says:

    It was undeniably poor for 70 minutes, although there was more urgency from then on.

    Arteta put out what he THOUGHT was the best 11 and my only complaint is that he didn’t make adjustments or changes soon enough. It isn’t fair to say that he got the first 11 wrong just because the subs made a difference.

    The chronic misses from clear cut chances altered the course of the game and highly talented and well paid players should be doing much better.

    I think that Arteta and the club are at a crossroads. The club cannot keep carrying on without conducting a thorough review of what has gone wrong for years and working out what it will take to put it right. (maybe they have and it will take time to filter down)

    There is no doubt to me that Kroenke is absolutely responsible for how the club has been run. He hired them. Unless you have absolute confidence that your senior team are suitably qualified, understand the business of being an EPL club then you are primed to fail, especially if you have not a clue about the business that you own. Being successful in America just doesn’t automatically translate into being successful over here.

    Whether or not Arteta can turn it around, or is given the necessary players to do so, remains to be seen, although I think his position is getting is becoming less certain, especially if results and dozy performances continue.

    Kroenke has to be pro-active at the end of the season. There have been so many decisions made over the years that have not been in Arsenal’s best interests that we are where we are now as a result. Arteta, of course, has to take some responsibility but so did AW and UE in that case, but they are far, far from the whole story.

    I repeat, Kroenke has to make some big decisions about the future at Arsenal as it is not just about the manager alone as it goes much deeper and will, I fear, take time to sort out.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Agree SueP. I have addressed this in detail in an earlier article/thread.

    2. guy says:

      Agree Sue but the problem is that Kroenke IS’NT responsible. He just doesnt get involved at all. Want to go back further? Blame the shareholders and directors that ousted Dein and sold their shares for a few extra pennies to a man they KNEW (they were warned time and again) was going to ruin their club. The man is nothing more than an asset stripper.

  17. Dan kit says:

    Time for Arteta to be shown his p45,this is starting to resemble the shambles that we saw under Emery ,no point leaving it till it’s to late Emery should have gone after that Baku embarrassment and now the same should apply to Arteta and the week we have just witnessed .
    There used to be a time when I couldn’t wait for the 1 Or 2 matches we played every week now it’s like it’s a chore ,I don’t see how any fan actually enjoys watching us play anymore ,I get hes had to clean up the complete mess left behind by Emery but the job is obviously to big for him so do the right thing Arsenal and get rid before it’s to late .

    1. Sean Williams says:

      Dan kit

      100% right

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Not 100% right because Emery was only head coach and not supported by the Board and senior management in transfers and player discipline. If losing 3 from 8 games and being in 8th position in your second season after losing a Europa League final and finishing 5th by 1 point in your first is “a complete mess”, how do you describe Arsenal’s current situation under Arteta?
        He has been appointed Manager, not head coach, supported in buying/extending contracts of players he wanted and supported by the Board in discipline. Still the Club continues to regress at rapidly increasing rate.
        Wenger 5th then 6th Semi Finalist Europa League;
        Emery 5th, Finalist Europa League, then 8th
        Ljundberg/Arteta 8th Europa League out prior to QF;
        Arteta Europa League QF? League 10th?

        1. guy says:

          We needsome more grit Oz – can you find us 11 Aussie Rules footballers?

          1. ozziegunner says:

            guy, if Australia only concentrated on Association Football, instead of spreading resources over 4 codes, the National team (“Soccerroos”) would be an absolute powerhouse.

    2. guy says:

      But we all still watch Dan! More fool us…

  18. danT says:

    This should have ended 4-1. There was no consistency or effectiveness in the attack. Overall, it felt like players did not care much. No real motivation.

  19. Abul says:

    Please, please Kroenke, please deliver P45 to Arteta by First Class Royal Mail immediately

  20. A J says:

    Well the morning after, and the dust has settled.

    Had time to ponder and reflect.

    Has that changed anything – no.

    Groundhog day.

    I honestly thought we would not have to endure another performance of Liverpool proportions.

    Last night was a least on a par with that.

    One has to be balanced and “grown up” about this.

    I have been to staunchly Arteta in, and remain so in that I would like to see the Summer window behind us and see just how much the manager is backed by the club.

    BUT.

    Serious questions have now to be asked (many would say for some time now).

    There may now be a fence that I may just have to sit on.

    1) Are we dealing with a manager of promise, who has inherited a largely sub standard squad whom the best of the best out there could not motivate / turn ’round ?

    2) Is the task to hand simply too big for him at this stage of his managerial career ?

    3) Are the players at fault, particularly in terms of application.

    4) Is lack of backing from ABOVE the issue, as opposed to managerial ability?

    Last night was so dire, I found myself looking purely at players attitude as the game wore on.

    What follows is NOT who I felt played well or poorly (after all, who played well ?).

    My list is more observational, regarding a few players that seemed to have “changed” relatively recently.

    Leno.
    Our runner up player of the season, has generally speaking looked a bag of nerves since the “great Martinez issue”.

    Gabriel.
    Upon arrival was mopping up player of the month on a regular basis. Does not look as assured of late, looking like a costly error may be just a minute away.

    Partey.
    Performances have dipped alarmingly since looking the “real McCoy” upon being signed.
    I call it being “Arsenalised”.

    Saka.
    Performance level down of late. Finishing has deserted him. Worryingly, I noticed more than one display of frustration waving his arms about at more senior players and (after it had gone out of play) volleying one ball into the Clock End in disgust. This from a 19 year old who has at many times been one of the players who have had to carry the team. At 19 is “this side” getting to the lad, leading to a down turn in personal performances.

    Lacazette.
    Looks almost disinterested. The few half decent crosses played into the box (on the ground) last night, Lacca showed no interest in busting a gut to get across his marker whatsoever. Also, I seem to be in a minority of precisely one when I believe Lacca’s hold up play is actually pretty with poor with balls played into feet coming off him, or flicked off blindly, far too easily. He almost seemed better dropping deeper, but this left us with no forward presence through the middle whatsoever. In fact ESR was often furthest forward in the 1st half.

    Bellerin (as captain) quoted after the game;

    ” We know when we make mistakes and at the same time, I think it’s a very positive performance”.

    Look at the last 7 words.

    In context yes, I do believe we will come through this tie.

    But as a standalone statement from the skipper on the night – you cannot be serious !!!

    Tell’s me a lot !

    Ken recently posted a lovely article which majored on our circa 1970 success.

    In the context of this post referring to Ken’s article is NOT relevant in any way, as those events were fifty years ago now.

    Ludicrous of me given the vast amount of years passed.

    Our younger fans won’t know what the hell I am talking about …….. but humour me.

    Wilson

    Storey McLintock Simpson McNab

    Armstrong Sammels Kelly Graham

    Radford George (Kennedy)

    YOU GOT YOUR POUND OF FLESH FROM THESE GUYS WEEK IN WEEK OUT, COME RAIN OR SHINE, PLAYING POORLEY OR WELL.

    Any thing else would have led to McLintock or one of our other hard nuts sorting them out.

    How times have changed.

    In the leaner times, poor performances were at least compensated for by sheer effort and commitment to the cause – I’m playing badly but that doesn’t stop me kicking the fella ten feet up in the air !!! (sent off nowadays I know, but you get my drift – you had to be there !).

    To my long laboured rather revelling in sentimentality point.

    I am an avowed 4-4-2 man – always have been.

    Of the two up top one was would be your “target man”. Caused defences all sorts of problems with his Physicality (often in the air).

    This current Arsenal Squad is totally devoid of such an option, since Ollie Giroud departed (vastly underrated).

    Two solid banks of four.

    Keeper – you always need a quality keeper. nuff said.

    Four DEFENDERS at the back. But yes, both McNab & Storey could “bomb” forward from full back and sling a cross in.

    Couple of strong tackling but capable players in centre mid’.

    Pace out wide ( and no one could ever accuse Wee Geordie Armstrong of not tracking back also).

    Two strikers as FOCAL POINTS up front – one of which would be called a CENTRE FORWARD (remember that). If a goal was there for the taking, the guy would take anyone in his way in the net with him !

    PURELY AND SPECIFICALLY RELATING TO TODAY, AS WE STAND RIGHT NOW – HOW FAR IN TERMS OF STYLE, IDENTITY AND STANDING IN WORLD FOOTBALL HAVE WE REALLY EVOLVED OVER THE PAST FIFTY YEARS ?

    Often dismissed with a sniff and wave of the hand “Come on, times have changed enormously since your day. You simply can’t compare”.

    Agreed – but I’m playing devils advocate here.

    But – have the basic requirements from players really changed that much ?

    Can you simply “overcomplicate” the game generally, and tactics specifically ?

    Remember, don’t think the “Invincible” or “Modern era Double wins” BUT RIGHT NOW.

    Dinosaur – maybe.

    Sentimental, non-comparable (in terms of era’s of the game) garbage and claptrap – again, maybe.

    But an honest and heartlet opinion borne out of extreme frustration.

    I

    1. A J says:

      I do not apologise for spelling / grammatical errors – it’s called being written with passion !

    2. guy says:

      Thanks AJ – took me back. A bit like having a wonderful dream, then waking up to understand reality is horrible! You can even scroll it forward to 1998/99: Seaman Adams Keown Dixon Winterburn Vieira Ljungberg Parlour Petit Bergkamp Overmars etc. Every one a leader, competitor, fighter.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        AJ and guy, teams of players, who although paid far less money, were more entitled to call themselves “professional” footballers, than the majority of the overpaid, weak willed, soft prima donnas plying that trade for the Arsenal at present. They earnt their money and played for professional pride and pride in playing in the red shirt with white sleeves and cannon badge.
        I always thought I wouldn’t want to fall foul of John Radford, let alone Peter Storey, Pat Rice or Bob McNab. As for arguing poor performance with Frank McLintock, Tony Adams, or Patrick Viera, forget it!

        1. A J says:

          Many thanks Guy and ozziegunner.

          Was a little concerned about posting my comment in terms of it being totally ridiculed.

          What a pleasure to read your responses – like minded Gooners.

          Take care both.

  21. Grandad says:

    R JB 58, your comments concerning Tierney are without relevance and baffling because a professional footballer should be exhausted at the end of a game, whether they win or lose.In the case of Tierney , I think I speak for the large majority of fans when I suggest that we would not be in the mess we are in today, if we had more players of his calibre and with his ethic for hard work.From your comments I can only conclude that you have never played the game at a meaningful level, but please correct me if I am wrong.

    1. Dan kit says:

      You know there is a reply button on each post buddy .

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