Win masks problems at Arsenal but how bad is it really?

There are still clear problems with the Arsenal team and yesterday’s win over Aston Villa does not change that fact one bit.

But it is just as clear that Arsenal is not the only top-six club with significant issues, in fact, only Man City and Liverpool can be considered genuine top-six clubs.

There is no guarantee that Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd and Tottenham will finish above Leicester City this season, any of them can easily finish outside the top-six.

Chelsea are not in good shape at all, yes they record the odd good win but they also struggle to pick up points and got beat at home in the Champions League midweek, they are 11th in the Premier League for a reason.

United are no different, they are on the same points as Chelsea and now without a recognised striker, they look all over the place and West Ham dealt with them with ease at the weekend.

Tottenham, also on the same points as Chelsea and United are weird to judge, there is definitely something wrong with them I just don’t have a clue what it is.

Point being is that Arsenal may be in bad shape but their closest rivals are in worse condition in my opinion and out of the four it is Arsenal that looks far more likely to get stronger and better.

Tottenham, Chelsea and United do have the odd injuries for sure, Spurs have lost Giovani Lo Celso to injury, United have injuries galore and Chelsea would love to have the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi back but they also have serious internal issues and none of them looks like their respective issues will be resolved anytime soon.

It is different with Arsenal, their injured players are due back very soon and their new signings are getting closer and closer to full match fitness.

Arsenal will be at full strength very soon, their rivals will not and so it may not be smelling like roses at Arsenal right now but neither does it smell like a cowshed.

30 Comments

  1. S.J says:

    When everybody is fit.

    Aubameyang..

    Saka, Lacazette, Pepe..

    Guendouzi, Torreira..

    Tierney, Luiz, Holding, Bellerin..

    Leno.

    1. Sim says:

      We can’t put too much pressure on Saka – yes we should blood him this season but making him a starter will be too much. When everyone is fit Auba & Laca plus one of Pepe/ Nelson/ Saka to keep them fresh/ not put too much pressure on any of those 3. It takes time to get up to speed in this league – Took Pires a season but once he was there… omg!

      Laca

      Auba Ozil/ Ceb Pepe/ Nelson/ Saka

      Guendouzi Torreira

      Tierney Luiz Holding Bellerin

      Leno

      Special mention – Xhaka should be given the vital role of holding a half filled bucket of water back at London Colney during match days – in case of fire (in the event of which I fully expect him to run anywhere but towards any danger & then give an interview accusing the fire fighters of being scared.

  2. Viju Jacob says:

    Let’s not miss the elephant in the room, which is Emery’s coaching/management. He seems to be on an ego trip and stubborn to play his style(?) of football, which is calamitous, to say the least. Even if one gives him Messi & Ronaldo, he will mess them up too. His defiant statement that he will continue to show faith in Xhaka and playing out from the back should be seen as warning bells.
    While we can eloquence about our great comeback, we have to be wise to know it was against a newly promoted side, not ManC or Liverpool.
    Good managers make great players out of good players, but Emery makes good players mediocre. We can dissect the players all we want, but if the team, system, style and formation is faulty, we will continue to totter along. A false sense of complacency will make us compare ourselves to struggling Spurs, ManU and Chelsea, while in reality this team is good enough to be pushing the Top2.
    Hope the board wakes up before it’s too late.

    1. Drew SA says:

      I have to agree with your stance on Emery. I could hear the boooooooooo when Xhaka was substituted. I felt bad for the support, even though he is utterly useless. Emery is an idiot of the coach. I mean does he really think it’s just a coincidence that HIS captain got booed off? Can we please book HIM next time he waves at the fans?

    2. Lenohappy says:

      Viju Jacob
      I read somewhere that what we did has only been done 9times in the history of premier league for a team to come back after 1goal down and with a red card but now you make it seem like its nothing? All you can say is that “While we can eloquence about our great comeback, we have to be wise to know it was against a newly promoted side, not ManC or Liverpool”. We showed great character coming back and winning the match,but because of your dislike for the coach you want to make it seem like its nothing special, if it was toth or united that did that we will Still be hearing about it until January but because its arsenal it’s nothing special.

      1. Viju Jacob says:

        Leno, pets keep celebrating wins against bottom teams while the lead at the top keeps widening. I didn’t predict any scoreline, but imagine the plight of those amongst us who expected a 4-0 win!

        1. herbdawg says:

          @VJ
          When the game started, we were seven points behind Liverpool.
          When the game finished, we were seven points behind Liverpool.

          Please tell me how the lead at the top keeps widening

          1. Viju Jacob says:

            It’s 7 points after 6 games and if it isn’t wide enough now as an indicator, what else is?

          2. ken1945 says:

            herbdawg, it’s in the style of football, the tactics, the mentality, the 100% effort and the most boring football seen for decades that sums up the widening gap – if teams like Watford and Villa can both outplay us for (at least) forty five minutes, what future chances have we got in actually narrowing those seven points…that’s the question we should be asking ourselves.

      2. ken1945 says:

        Lenohappy, what you are failing to address is this:
        Why did we have to make a comeback in the first place?

        Even before AMN was unjustly sent off, villa were running us ragged and the same “system and tactics” that saw us blown away by Watford in the second half, were there for everyone to see against Villa in the first half…so where were the changes and the lessons learnt?

        It was brilliant to see the ten men play their hearts out and THEY deserve all the plaudits they receive, why didn’t we see it against Watford the week before?
        We shouldn’t be rejoicing in a comeback, we shouldn’t be in that situation with the players we have.

        It seems that those who question the worst football seen at our club for decades, shouldn’t be voicing our disquite against a coach who just isn’t performing to the level that is required.

        So then, are you happy with his view that Xhaka is indispensible alongside Luiz?

        Do you see any room for optimistic thoughts regarding our tactics and style of play? It seems that even if Tierney, Bellerin and Holding come back at the highest level required, we are still destined to play tippy tappy football in our own six yard box.

        1. Viju Jacob says:

          Well said Ken!

    3. Le Coq Monster says:

      Lets call him Dumbo if he`s the Elephant in the room. Trouble is a Elephant has a good memory and we need Dumbo to forget to play Xhaka . 🙂

      1. Viju Jacob says:

        Le Coq, ?

    4. Am your real daddy says:

      I love you man, we have been deceived this team is good enough for the title. Where else in the world will you get a front three of auba, lace and pepe?….best arsenal team in years.

  3. Le Coq Monster says:

    And on next Monday night we have a game where either manager could with inept mistakes have the fans frothing at the mouth for their dismissal, welcome to the………………. You Dont Know What Your Doing Derby ………..or………..El Sackico…………………

  4. jamdownyouth says:

    Is Steve Bould still at Arsenal? I just cant understand what the trainers and coaches do in training but it is obvious that defending properly is not something they do very often. The basic issue of tracking runners off the ball is nonexistent as evidence with both goals yesterday. Although the defense has been heavily criticized (and rightly so), the midfielders are not helping as far too often they have been caught ball watching while off the ball runners get clear shots at our goal. Nobody can tell me that collectively Arsenal’s midfield and defense is worse than most teams in the league man for man and if those “lesser” teams can put in good defensive displays why cant Arsenal. I believe it must be corrected on the training field or we can kiss top 4 goodbye.

  5. gotanidea says:

    Emery got the line-up and the formation selection correctly at the Emirates, but our defenders couldn’t defend properly for some reasons

    I believe playing both Sokratis and Luiz together again would be a recipe for disaster. Emery should try another pair, such Mustafi and Luiz that played well in Frankfurt or Sokratis and Chambers that beat Newcastle

    I also think that Chambers’ lack of pace would punish us again if he plays as an RB, but we currently don’t have another experienced one. I can see that Emery starts to lose the dressing room, hence a win at Old Trafford is important to restore the players’ respect towards him

  6. Innit says:

    Emery has made mistakes but I don’t think 4th place and 3 points ahead of United, Spurs and Chelsea is an emergency situation yet. And we did it without 3 of our important defenders (Bellerin, Holding and Tierney)

    Let’s see how Emery deals with the upcoming matches and weeks ahead.
    If we are still 4th place in January or better then I think we are in a good place

    If Emery continues making the same mistakes then we won’t be in 4th in January. We will be lower

    Also next month we should hopefully have Tierney, Holding, Bellerin and Lacazette back so they will just make us stronger.

  7. Not a coach says:

    It’s still early but yes apart from Liverpool and City, seems that Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs and United share the similar problems and it could be fair to say we have a fair chance to go back to the big 4. Only that Leicester could also be another team to fight for that, and will make it even more interesting to see at the end of the season.
    As a fan, of course I dream of getting back to the big 4 and Champions League. But I really want it because we play better than our rivals, not because our rivals simply worse than us. Not like what we got this week, we had a scrappy win, yet somehow we top Spurs, Chelsea, and MU.
    I want to be proud as a fan because we get back to the big 4 after Big performance, not relieved because we are lucky.
    Can Emery makes us big and proud.

  8. paul35mm says:

    With Man U, Chelsea, and tottenham all stumbling Arsenal should be solidly in third place; they aren’t. They’re in fourth, tied with; wait fori it, West Ham and Leicester.

    The issue is the manager. Arsenal have played Koscielny, Mavropanos, Holding, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal, Kolasinac, Bellerin, and Maitland-Niles across the back and they have not been good, regardless of who played. It is aobut time to look at the common denominator. Unai Emery.

    It is completely ridiculous to think that all of these players who were excellent at other clubs or other managers at Arsenal or other places, are suddenly crap at Arsenal. It is what they are being asked to do that is ribbish.

    Mateo Guendouzi is everyone’s darling for his effort, but his efforts are, mostly, useless. He runs around like a chicken with his head cut off to little effect. He was crap against Watford, over run against Tottenham, and lost in space against Villa.

    Ozil tied the Premier League assist record under Wenger, but cannot get in the team for Emery. Only a moron would buy the lies Emery is selling. The narrative that Ozil is lazy is bullshit and always has been. Emery wants him out so he will not give him any chance to shine. When Ozile does play well, he’s immediately yanked off and not given another chance. The only reason Ozil was on against Watford is because Emery thought Ozil would get bullied by the physical Hornets. When it did not happen, Emery pulled him off and put on someone who did get bullied. Pure genius.

    How people keep saying he’s making progress when he is performing at the same level as Arsene Wenger’s worst two seasons is beyond comprehension. He’s signed 12 players, that’s a whole starting side, but his signings have not elevated Arsenal to better results than the players Arsene Wenger had on the pitch.

    Oddly enough, the players having the biggest impact, Auba, Lacazette, Kolasinac, etc. are Wenger signings. Arsenal have hired a Spanish three-legged pony to compete in the Grand National when what they need is a thoroughbred.

    Eddie Howe, Miguel Arteta, Sean Dyche among others all have done more with less and show a deeper technical and tactical understanding of the game than Emery will ever have.

    1. Viju Jacob says:

      Well said, Paul.

    2. Ani says:

      Your comments about Guendouzi are baseless. The lad is just 20 and has arguably been our best midfielder since the start of the season. Absolutely unfair criticism.

    3. ken1945 says:

      paul35mm, excellent post, but only if one believes that Ozil is being deliberately left out…which I most certainly do!!

      We all know that he is not the player of old, but to not realise that we STILL have a game changing player who has only played 70 minutes of football this season sums UE up.

      After saying he was going to play him on Sunday and then not to do so, is the highest form of arrogant behaviour meant to humiliate Ozil publically.
      It was only the gutsy performance of the ten men in the second half that saved UE’s bacon…this “coach” has no idea how to handle players.

      And if one thinks it’s only Ozil, spare a thought for Chambers and Holding…Chambers for being dropped despite the excellent performance against Newcastle and Holding who is match fit (included in the Frankfurt squad) but both ignored!!!

      Be a “big name or a lesser known player”, be prepared to get frozen out by this coach who has more favourite players than Wenger won fa cups in his last five seasons.

    4. Rory johnson says:

      Guendouzi was motm against spurs what you on about lol ??

  9. isaiah eggy says:

    i agree with you…100%

  10. Sean says:

    With the team we have if we do not get in the top 4 then the manager has to go. Also with this squad all that is needed is a manager to shore up this defence but with Bellerin, Holding, Mavraponas & Teirney all back then things might look abit better for Unai if he selects properly.

    We did just lose our 2 Captains/Leaders of the defence and long servants of the club in Koss & Monreal, so its time for others to step up and no one has so far, Maybe the lads coming back can.

    This Ozil business is annoying me as its obvious we cant put teams on the back foot with a counter attack with no creative player in the calibre of Mesut to feed the forwards all game long. With these players in front of him he would have no excuses now and let he fans decide like they are with Xhaka if hes not doing the business.

    Unai may be the problem, come xmas we will know and on the plus there is plenty of top managers available without a job and I’m 100% sure others willing to jump to Arsenal as what foundations we have in place for a manager to shine.

    We never made Top4 last year and lost out by a single point to Spurs because of a disastrous run in the last 6games in the league and a doing a no show with no game plan getting hammered by our other top london rivals in a European Final. That’s on Unai too not just the players, feels like we have no way of playing anymore…

    At least Under Wenger we had a way of playing and was entertaining. This is hard to watch this team most times.

  11. Grandad says:

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion Paul, but your comments concerning Guendouzi are nonsense.Had it not been for him, we would not have beaten Villa nor gained a point from Spurs.Moron is not a word which should be used on this site and I would hope you will not be permitted to use it again.

  12. Daulat says:

    Agree. Especially on Emery’s ridiculous personal stance on Ozil. He doesn’t play him knowing very well that Ozil would shine and he would have to answer uncomfortable questions when he chooses to deliberately drop Ozil frequently. Ozil just isn’t in his team plans. I just hope Ozil finds another club for his own good, as much as I don’t want him to leave Arsenal. Better than seeing such a player wasted on the bench, or @rested@ off the bench. Ridiculous.

  13. Frédéric slimane says:

    Very good article and a proper assessment of the situation!???

  14. Winner says:

    Something has to change or else Emery will lose his job. The defence played much better in p re season. They were not perfect but at least looked compact. I may be wrong but I suspect that Emery is trying to fulfill promises made to ceballos. Every week Emery seems to be bend on accommodating Ceballos in the team. This leaves the team with too many offensive midfielders for stability and balance. Saka, pepe, aubameyang, ceballos, gendouzi all starting means that the defence is not getting any meaningful protection. The team lacks balance and it boils down to poor selection. Ozil is better than both ceballos and willock.if the wingers can’t help out defensively then change the system. He is not obliged to start all those offensive players. Looking back we now have to admit that the first half defensive display away to Liverpool was much better than what we have seen since.

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