The defeat at Man United just shows how far Arsenal are from the Big Teams

Even Man United beat us! by Shenel

Another game against another top rival produces yet another loss for Arsenal, and so I find myself saying ‘here we go again’.

This is how the pattern of play seems to be going for our club at the moment when it comes to playing against the top sides.

Going into the game you felt we could actually get something out of the match at Old Trafford, with our confidence high and United’s not so much. But oh how mistaken we were, and yet again it was Manchester United who came out on top.

It remains to be seen that had Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still been at the helm at the club would United have come away with all three points? Or would Arsenal have used United’s current state and vulnerability against them and come away with all three points or at least a draw, I think we would have, but we won’t ever know now will we?

And as much as I would like to say that the character and attitude of the team was positive and scoring two goals at Old Trafford is never really easy. It’s unfortunate that we never seem to be able to win against the top sides and that United, who were in complete turmoil only a few weeks ago, managed to get one over on us.

The case with Arsenal seems to be that one moment they take one step forward, and it’s positive and they’re winning and confidence is high, and the next they take three steps back when they lose to the top teams.

Have we become a team that only beats those below us and not above?

So far we’ve lost to Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United this season and yes there will be more tests to come where we can prove ourselves but given the performances we have shown in all of these games against the top sides and coming away with zero points at all times, I don’t feel very positive that we will get points out of them any time soon. Although I hope I am wrong and would loved to be proved wrong!!

This unfortunate loss to United though, just goes to show how far off the rebuild process we really are as a club!

Shenel Osman


  1. Arsenal has been behind the big clubs since 2004. Since Mourinho destroyed Wenger in 2004/5 Arsenal has been slowly sinking. Kroenke and Wenger instituted the 4th place is a trophy era in 2009. Leicester won in 2016. Liverpool with Rogers then Klopp and Pochettino at Spurs pushed Arsenal down to 6th. The squad became bloated with over paid deadwood and Arteta unsuccessfully tried to play Man City football and failed. Now there is a huge change taking place. A young squad is being built but it is only half assembled. Tons of deadwood still needs to be unloaded in the summer hopefully and 4-5 more young guns brought in. TOP 6 is this seasons goal and we are on track to achieve this. NEXT seasons goal is TOP 4. If we achieve top 6 Arteta must stay. 7th place would be debatable. 8th he must go.

    1. Aside from the criteria you set out at the end of your post (I just don’t have a clear view on how to judge the season at this point) I completely agree with everything you said here. Sums up the situation and how we got here very well.

  2. Actually before the season started we all predicted Utd is the 4th best team in epl based on the quality of players and no one expected arsenal will be a point behind top 4, after playing all the big 6, and after the first 3 loses Ed just a few of us still think we may baounce back to challenge for top6, so going by these logic, we are still on course and are not doing badly based on the quality we have atm.
    We narrowly lost against a rejuvenated Utd at old Trafford under the new regime, it’s no big deal.
    I hope we can show character and win at Merseyside because that game has a lot to do with the way our season end, win that game and we are in top 4 , lose and we are buried in 8th.
    Am nervous, I just hope we wouldn’t bottle it. It’s best time to get Rafa Sacked

  3. We just need the last piece of the puzzle, a new CF

    He could be an aerially-dominant CF like Lukaku/ Kane or a tireless high presser like Watkins. It will depend on Arteta’s tactical requirements

    1. Actually Laccazet seems to fit more into MA tactic than Auba but still Laccazet isn’t enough, he isn’t good in the air and not as prolific and pacy as Auba , so if we could get a cf that is strong in the air and possess a bit of Laccazet and Auba character, that will be great
      Maybe Calvert Lewis, I don’t know much about Vhlanovic or so.
      I think we can get Calvert-Lewis for £60m
      That should be our investment in the summer and replace any player that leave

      1. Yes. Lacazette is more suitable for Arteta’s tactics, but he showed that his best abilities weren’t enough to lead our front line last season

        Lacazette’s hold-up play is good, but he is too slow to do high pressing, he isn’t a threat in attacking corner situations and he can’t win the long ball from our GK

        I’d prefer Vlahovic than Calvert-Lewin, because he is three years younger and taller. Vlahovic is also left-footed, so he can also be an RW

    2. Possibly more than just one CF. Odegaard hasn’t shown he fits the bill behind the striker and the central midfield areas aren’t fully sorted yet – I’m quite convinced Sambi will turn out very well and think AMN has a chance still of being very useful but xhaka has to go and Partney is very hit – or – miss at the moment. We really need an experienced player to be the calming influence, but that player also has to be reliable.
      Vlahovic looks like the total package for that cf slot, though, and would likely take us a lot further than a Watkins or calvert-lewin. I’m not sure quite how realistic a target he is, but he’s definitely more so than someone like haaland

      1. Yes. If we can sign two CF types to replace our senior strikers, we can play with various tactics to confuse the oppositions

        Imagine if we can sign both Vlahovic and Watkins. Vlahovic can start first as a target man, then Watkins can be the CF in the second half with Vlahovic move to the right wing

    3. What tactical requirements? After very nearly two years in charge I don’t believe even Arteta knows his own tactics

      1. I think Arteta’s current 4-2-3-1 formation requires someone who can hold off the defenders in the front line, but he might need a tireless high presser when he uses 4-3-3 in the future

  4. Truth be told, we are not a top 6 club, we are struggling to beat top 6 teams and with our manager being below that standard, we will do. I believe Arteta has brought some pf his ideas and changed a lot, some good some not but his philosophy and lack of tactical nous that top managers have will and is holding this team back. Managers under 50 dont generally win the Premier league and managers under 40 never do.

    1. Top 6 isn’t about beating top 6 sides. It’s about beating everyone else. So far that’s exactly what we’re are doing. Until we stop, I still have high hopes for this season.

  5. Sorry Shenel, the article doesn’t make sense, United were below us and still are aren’t they?, they are a bit like Spurs and Leicester who we have beaten, you also didn’t mention Brentford who have beaten us, because I guess it didn’t fit in with your narrative. We beat and drew with United last season and they then finished 2nd, so them beating us this season doesn’t indicate anything in itself

    I think what we all knew going into the game was that City and Liverpool are way ahead us us and many others, Chelsea are giving them a good run for their money so far this season but at The Emirates they caught us at a bad time for us, maybe we caught them at a bad time for them last season when we beat them and drew with them in the two League games

    What I think Thursday’s game may have confirmed is below those three teams right now competition is close, anyone can beat anyone, apart from maybe the bottom 3

    If we have a “top rival” right now I would say it is West Ham, they play Chelsea today and we play them in a couple of weeks, if we can get points away to Everton and at home to Southampton that could be a big one, but what I am saying is that they are all big, including Monday’s game

    By the way, the United team that beat us had a rookier Manager than our rookie Manager, who I thought showed a bit of personal class by walking away at the end of it within a sport/industry that rarely shows class, respect to him

    1. @FingersFurnell
      RealTalk right here…
      People go in about being beaten by the top 3, but selectively leave out Brentford and the manner with which they beat us. They set the stage for the 3 losses afterwards.

  6. Now you see the whole thing is not about a striker alone. It’s the mentality of the whole team. the defence is doing better but the midfield isn’t good enough. The whole striking force is under-performing because of the midfield. It needs more creativity.
    Man City is playing without a striker but still they have scored 3 times the goals we have scored.

    if Arteta were to play Tabares in the midfield to let Kieran in, we could do better. Leaving a creative player like him on the bench doesn’t make sense. Arteta is a real novice

  7. Now that ESR has added goals to his game I want to see him take up the 10 role just off the main striker allowing Martinelli to come in on the left. Personally I would give Balogun another chance to impress at Everton. I would look at seeing if we can play odegaard in a deeper more box to box role and ask Maitland-Niles to do a holding job.

    Tierney back in at left back

  8. We basically need to go on a 7 match winning streak starting Monday. That will see us end the year in top 4 and the League Cup Semi-Final. If you had told anyone before the start of season that could be possible they would have laughed at you. Then the first match of the new year is Man City at home, then we can judge how far we have to go. Let’s face it 3 of our defeats have been away to City, Liverpool and United. We was outclassed in 2 of those and again at home to Chelsea. The Brentford game was the major disappointment for me, but there was so many factors against us that opening day.

  9. My view is that as Tavares has pace, ability going forward and is extremely mobile – all the things we are short of in central midfield, excepting ESR, that Tavares should now play in midfield, where he is far more suited than as a defender.
    I see him as a possible box to box type in good time. I also like ASL in midfield as he is also mobile and pacy, but cannot stand XHAKA, AS HE IS SLOW, CLUMSY AND IMMOBILE AND MUST BE SOLD ASAP, IMO!

    Tierney, as a far better defender, should return to LB.

    We still completely lack a top class DM and have lacked one ever since Gilberto.


  10. Worth pointing out the Brentford thing Atid, even now, because you are right and most of the factors were outside of our collective control, a point would have been a good result there even with our first choice team being fit and well but the effect knocked on to the next two games

    There were only three starters in the 11 against Chelsea that played in the game the other night, Saka, ESR and Martinelli, Auba back on the bench from COVID (possibly too early to even be on the bench) with Laca still out from it and White went down with it, he probably had early stages of it for the Brentford game despite testing negative at the time

    Eddie was still injured so couldn’t cover up front and Gabriel was still injured so couldn’t play or cover a back 5 of Leno, Cedric, Holding, Mari & Tierney

    Whatever fans think of our position now or where we end up at the end of the season the Manager and players deserve a lot of credit for coming back from that situation, bottom of the League with no points

  11. The top 3 teams are in a league of their own. Then we have a group of arsenal man u west ham, spurs and Leicester(with a good run they can come back) fighting for that 4th place. We beat spurs and Leicester which is good but lost a good opportunity to get 3 pts away from a direct rival with that utd loss. I believe West Ham will attack us given their current form and that can work in our favour with more space to exploit.

    We need to remain consistent vs the small teams while taking pts from our rivals for 4th place. Definitely need to improve our mentality vs the top 3, we are Arsenal playing counter attacking football is ok considering the strength of the top3 But just lying down and getting our ass kicked is unforgivable.

  12. we’re only “far” behind managerially-speaking and as a result of our slow-footed, sideways-playing midfield options

  13. For all I know, Arteta needs to be more courageous and be willing to take more calculated risks.
    If he were more adventorous in his style of play (pressing the opposition) instead of always looking to sit back against big teams, the team will be in a better position.
    This team is capable of more than what they are achieving right now.

  14. West ham showed heart against Chelsea tonight, thats where they impress me and moyes 👏

    They have beat Chelsea, Liverpool, Utd and City (cup) this season already 👏 we have lost to all of them!

    We still need to get rid of a few players and invest in another 4 or 5 younger players & get the older players out of the club.
    Elneny, Soares, Mari, Laca, Auba, Leno, Bellerin, Lucas, Matteo & Dino all need to be shifted on, possibly Pepe too.

    Saliba returns, New RB, New CM, New GK (promote from within?), New Attacker & CF. Patino comes into the fold for next season, gradually integrated at the end of the season.

    Balogun will replace Eddie,
    Zakaria has been spoke about (CM),
    Patino comes in to help Emile/Martin,
    Saliba comes back with White/Gab,
    Okonkwo replace Leno but we do need to invest in our attakers.

    I understand what we are doing but us Mikel making us any better? Its been 2 years and we have the same mentality as before! We are improving but we cause alot of our own problems.

    Old guard out, Young guard rebuild but we need alot more fight, desire and fire to win at all costs and leave everything on the pitch to what i see west ham doing for Moyes. We need to be taking notes

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