You would think we had lost judging by some Arsenal fans reactions to “only” winning 2-1

If you want to know why I think Arsenal won’t win the title, some Gooners gave me plenty of evidence this weekend.

I have always stressed, we possess some of the best young talent in the division, but history shows that when our youthful squad is put under any pressure, we are mentally not strong enough to cope.

Last campaign we got 50 points by Xmas by being under the radar, no one expecting us to challenge for the Prem.

Now we have a massive spotlight on us to at least be Man City’s closest competition in the title race. Drop points this season and everyone wants to know why.

Never has the level of expectation been more apparent than the reaction to our opener on Saturday.

Wherever it’s fan channels on YouTube, Tweets on Twitter or comments on this platform, you would have thought we had lost to Nottm Forest the way some of our fanbase were acting.

In reality we won 2-1 in a match we controlled, only conceding from a counterattack and Ramsdale barely having to make a save.

Even after their goal, I don’t recall us hanging on like some have tried to portray.

Even with 8 minutes of added time, this narrative that Forest were close to an equaliser is simply fantasy.

A couple of times they lofted the ball into the air and each time we dealt with it.

The notion that we should be disappointed that we didn’t win by a bigger margin is naive, arrogant, or both.

It’s naive because it’s showing a lack of understanding of how this League works. It’s viewed as one of the most competitive in the world because even those expected to battle relegation possess quality where a player can produce a moment of magic, like Elanga did for his assist.

This is the same Forest who beat us in April.

We couldn’t beat Southampton in two attempts, and they are in the Championship.

It happens.

That’s why I predicted 2-1 because our failure to kill of games is quite common.

There are a lot of reasons to be positive about the future in North London at the moment, but let’s make this clear, we are not a good enough team to be putting our nose up to three points against anyone.

I can name you a lot better teams we have had then the current one who didn’t always blow their opponents away 4-0!

Two decades ago, even the Invincibles sometimes had to grind out wins.

You can understand why rival fans laugh at us when we fall flat on our face because, let’s be honest, complaining that we ‘only’ won 2-1 shows an unlikeable aspect of certain personalities.

Take the emotion out of your outlook.

If any other team had gone 20 years without a title, 6 years outside the top 4 and were acting like a 2-1 win in the League was now above them, we would point out how cocky that is?

The Gunners were not perfect at the weekend but certainly were not bad.

We didn’t need to get out of second gear and have been able to win without being at our best.

That’s a good thing.

Imagine the reaction had we lost?

Just be humble guys.


Tags Arsenal v Nottingham Forest


  1. I guess many fans expected the team to score more than two goals, after the total domination display in the first half and after signing three high-profile players

    I also believe they blamed Arteta for using the unusual 2-3-4-1 formation when we had the ball and wanted him to employ our old 4-2-3-1 formation with Partey/ Rice as the double-pivot:

    …….…………..……. Ramsdale
    ………………. White ……..… Saliba
    …………. Partey .… Rice …. Timber
    Saka . Odegaard . Havertz . Martinelli
    …………………………. Nketiah

    Fortunately, the adventurous tactic worked and I expect him to utilize the same one at Selhurst Park

    1. Gai, I think Arteta should stick with his old tactic of 4-2-3-1. If he couldn’t perfect his new tactics in pre-season why take a gamble? I bet he won’t try 2-3-4-1 against Crystal Palace because he might not pick 3 points. It’s an away game he shouldn’t gamble. Pathey’s ability should be maximized like we played in Community Shield against City. Too many tactics complicates a system.
      Indeed we should be taken more goals after dominating Forest mm ore difficult game are ahead.

      1. Sylva, we used the old 4-2-3-1 for more than fifteen years and couldn’t win any major trophy with that, because it made us highly vulnerable to counter-attack

        We surely remember how Joe Cole, Wayne Rooney, Didier Drogba and Eden Hazard punished us, because it was more difficult to organize an offside-trap with that formation and no major European league champion used it last season

        If we don’t use the adventurous formation at Selhurst Park, I think we’ll use the single-inverted-fullback tactics

        1. @Gai, I understand your analysis. But can Arteta at least stick with our last season formation it worked well for us. Changing to different styles all the time has a tendency of a team becoming “jack of all and master of non” in my opinion

          1. He wants to be unpredictable at best so can we just allow the man do his job. We won a game and dominated it. Against big teams he will set up in a more resolute way, but against a Forest side that had the lowest formation, he was right… Remember we lost to forest in one of the ties so pls let’s just chill…

        1. Arsenal never played 2341
          The game I watched they played 433/442 out of possession And 325 in possession
          Rice and timber would always drop deep to make a 3man defense depending on either one goes for attack

  2. “Even after their goal, I don’t recall us hanging on like some have tried to portray”
    This is how I saw it as well – we weren’t under significant threat, and the reaction after the game was definitely over the top.
    I think the disappointment is simply because we were so dominant, and then dropped. We didn’t show the intensity to go in for the kill, which we will need to show at times during the season. It just creates doubt, which seemed unnecessary.
    I will say I was disappointed with the goal we conceded – it was something like 2 vs 5 in our favour, and we weren’t able to control the situation – it looked like complacency from the defenders.

  3. +1 goal difference against a relegation contender. If we don’t get goals from the likes of Forest where are we going to get them?

    1. It’s the first game of the season! And going by your flawed logic, I guess we’ll definitely struggle to score all season.

      Clearly massive problems for Ten Hag as well, only scoring one against Wolves.

      What the super negative fans are completely forgetting is that we were/are integrating 3 new signings into the starting XI. They’ve only played two competitive games together. It will take time before we’re properly up and running.

      Off topic – MA is getting no luck with injuries. Looks like Timber will miss the majority of the season.

      Either we keep employing the worst medical staff in the game, or I am starting to think that we’re truly cursed!

      1. I am happy to see Ten Haag struggle because they are rivals and they can lose every game for all I care. Clearly your happiness to see them struggle is for other reasons namely it gives you the chance to excuse our manager shortcomings (not that you have lack of excuses anyway)

        The injury point is moot because you didn’t give that to Wenger where it was much worse than it has been recently.

        Why do you integrate new signings all at once? Why not ease some of them namely Havertz time to integrate from the bench? Do you think other teams will give the manager time to tinker?

        And it’s not logic it’s fact. The formation Arteta chose made us struggle to score how in the world can you refute that? Isn’t that delusion?

        1. We struggled a little bit to score, because Forest parked the bus, even after we went 1-0 up.
          But we coped well.
          The positive about using the new players from the start is, to give them as much time to integrate as possible. And why not do it in a game, where we could expect to dominate possesion like we did?

          1. With so much competition this season the coach should stop experimenting and and stick to the tried and true. We have players for that. He should’ve experimented in pre season and in Carabao Cup.

            Playing players out of position and shifting between two positions just tire them out and may cause injuries.

            Look I want us to win trophies but I hope the manager won’t subotage himself for overdoing things.

            1. Don’t really understand your complaints.
              We had a couple of players in new positions in defence, taht was all, and we virtually only gave 2 chances away in 100 min.

            2. Agree with you.

              If a midfield of Partey, Rice, and Odegaard can’t dominate at home against a Forest team parking the bus we have bigger problems.

              Play Havertz as striker for size, use Havertz not Odegaard for size, use Trossard as striker to interchange with wingers like last year when teams sat back.

              Why complicate things with Partey as inverted RB, White at CB, and other square pegs.

        2. Wenger kept resigning his injured players, so over time, that sympathy anyone had for him turned to frustration.

          MA has quickly replaced the injury prone Tierney and Tomi, so you’re factually incorrect…as always!

          Because a formation didn’t yield 3 or more goals in just one fixture, you think it’s correct to ditch it forever? I just have know words to how idiotic that sounds. Do you also judge players after one game?

    2. How many goals dis manure get from Volves? And for crying out loud, we need to support. Even people who haven’t kick a ball want to claim to know more than Mikel. The only manager who should school Mikel should be Pep, every other person should just support the team pls

  4. Dan, as far as I am aware, not one fan has complained about the three points we obtained against Forest.
    Neither is it “arrogance” to expect a win against ANY opposition, especially at home.
    It’s the way we won that’s the issue, along with the selection of players.

    We have the second most valuable squad of players in the world, at least that’s what we are told and the second or third most valuable player in the world, again, if we believe what we are told, in Saka.

    We spent over £200,000,000 in this window alone and have added some excellent signings to the squad that finished 2nd last season….. the squad that beat Forest 5-0 at The Emirates.

    We saw just what this new squad can do last week at Wembley and I was not being “arrogant” when I expected to see a team valued so highly, monetary wise, come out and perform in the same way that City did against Burnley.

    We should have beaten them easily, but missed so many chances and ended up defending a 2-1 lead.


    Because the boss tinkered with the set up and played square pegs in round holes?
    Maybe so.

    Because of the injury to Timber?
    Maybe so?

    Because fans were “arrogant” in assuming that we would beat Forest by more than one goal?
    I don’t think so?

    With the players at our disposal, we should expect better than what we received on Saturday… that’s not “arrogance” that should be a fact.

    1. Not arrogant to expect a win …. we did win ?

      Do you know the Invincible season ?
      Even that team didnt win 4-0 every week

      Leicester got relegated that season … We drew 1-1 away with them and beat them 2-1 at home

      1. Yes, we did win… did I say we didn’t win? I just compared our 5-0 win last season to our 2-1 win this season, with over £200,000,000 of great new signings to boost us further.

        The Invincibles? Now that WAS a squad that had arrogance, simply because they were allowed to play and express themselves in the way that suited their play. No tinkering needed.

        You didn’t address the point that, if one accepts your argument about being arrogant fans, that view didn’t influence one iota the result of the game.

        All PL clubs are settling in their new signings, so let’s not use that as an excuse – wasn’t it the Forests goalkeepers first game between the sticks?

        I happen to believe that our current squad is good enough to achieve a better result than 2-1 against Forest… that doesn’t make me arrogant – rather it makes me a supporter who expects more from a squad of players reported to be the second most valuable in the world.

        During the match I was supporting every player out there, along with the manager who has developed this squad, so where does the arrogance that you so scornfully put on anyone who has suggested we should have done better come from?

        1. I thought you were defending the moaning as in …. But we should be winning ….we won
          The Invincibles squad was good enough to beat Leicester better then 2-1 and not draw
          1-1 or draw 1-1 home and away to Portsmouth
          Or be drawing at home to Fulham and Birmingham
          Saints got relegated last season yet didn’t lose at Emirates,the bridge , old Trafford and drew with Spurs and Liverpool at home
          My point is ……it happens

    2. Sorry Ken, though I do agree with some of your specific points, I have to say that IMO out team gets far too much criticism from many on JA, which we just don’t deserve to get.

      It seems to me that a goodly number simply either flat out refuse to see OR or are genuinely unable to see the steady and remarkable improvement in our squad and in whichever team we can NOW put out, compared with that which MA inherited.

      Of course we are far from perfect, as are all teams even City.

      But IMO, true supporters need to praise far more often than we should moan and complain and there are certain regular names on here who find it almost impossible to ever say anything positive about our team and esp about our manager.
      I suggest that there are many others like me, who think exactly the same and who then just quietly despair and think that our great club deserves better fans than those I refer to , but will of course not name.
      Ken, it is not occasional criticism that I dont like, as we all moan at times.

      But for SOME on here, relentless negativity and refusal OR inability to see and remark on the marked and vast improvement in how our club – not just team, but club too – is run, is odd and peeving, to say the least.

      To deny that is so is to be less than honest IMO.

      Finally, having watched Wolves, a team many tipped for relegation,comprehensively outplay United last night and be robbed by a scandalously inept ref and VAR official – both of whom are now confirmed as being suspended this coming weekend, unsurprisingly – surely it is plain that there are NO games in the PREM these days that we should blithely assume a win by many goals..

      So I maintain that it IS arrogance to EXPECT to win ANY GAME by several goals.
      Consistent results stats show us that only fairly rarely does any team win by more than two goals and most wins are by a single goal. That is not opinion, but fact BTW!

      1. Jon, can I refer you back to the Wenger era days, when you constantly and, without fail, criticised the manager and players with unnerving repetitiveness?
        Does that mean, therefore, that you are not a true supporter?

        I’m not doing that, in fact, I’m doing the complete opposite!!

        Our squad is the strongest it’s been for many seasons and the manager has galvanised the club and, especially, the fanbase into believing again.

        Now I don’t see that as “arrogance ” rather as supporting what’s happening.
        Unfortunately, despite the three points, the dominance, the great new signings and the crowd behind the club, there was reasons to think that the selection of players and where they played, resulted in us struggling to get a desisive win…. which, I believe, we all expected.

        That’s not arrogance, it’s expectations not being reached.

        By the way, in answer to your thoughts regarding the millions of supporters throughout the world – this is about an article on JA and those who participate in it.

    3. @Ken1945 once again,fans cannot be critical or disagree with the manager without being called negative,anti MA…!
      Regarding our first game,I was happy with the 3 points.also, I’m not naive to the point of thinking that there wouldn’t be teething problems.i understand that it is going to take few games for our team to gel,for players to gain full fitness….having said that, I’ve found some of MA decisions, the risk of being called an armchair manager, I would have started with the same tactics/formation at last year which served us so well.then if it didn’t work,I would have made tactics and personnel changes,simple as.i believe new tactics shouldn’t be used in games until they have been perfected in training first.

      1. Yep, your right Siamois, question and / or criticise at your peril! 😂

        It’s the word “arrogance” that got me going – if Dan had said too high an expectation,, then I would have, probably, scolded myself for being so mistaken as to think we would, at the very least, get near last seasons 5-0 scoreline.
        It seems we mustn’t expect too much from the new boys, even though they have (?) strengthened the squad, otherwise we are being arrogant!?!?

        1. Truth being told I missed the arrogant part,arrogant really?so if I’m not mistaken, after the season we had finishing 2nd, strengthening that same squad to the tune of 200M,we are being asked to lower our expectations??

        2. It’s arrogant to look at any team and think you should be winning 5-0
          This is the same Forest who also beat us

  5. Its called discussion and opinion to what happened. Its normal. Thus site and millions of others would be redundant if we didn’t have it.

  6. Maybe if we came back from 0 – 1 to win 2 – 1, we would have appreciated the win more !
    The truth is that this league is not going to be easy for anyone. We should be prepared for the unexpected.
    See what happened at OT last night. Who ever expected a “disorganized” Wolves to give United such a big scare? Certainly I didn’t.

    1. To everyone complaining save your energy because we are going to see a lot of tinkering and twisting in our team this season … Players will play in different position either you all like it or not and there is nothing you can do about it other than complain.. so this is just the beginning of many rants to come the Manager’s way this season but at the end the manager do not care or need your blessing to play any player in any position he sees deem fit for a match .. There is a reason he’s the manager and you’re not.

      1. We’re giving our opinions Olamide and there’s nothing you can do about it either.

        Of course he’s the manager and you and I aren’t – so should we just suck our thumbs and stay stum?

  7. I don’t believe that anyone is complaining about the win…it’s more a case of the manner of the win.
    Our goals resulted from two pieces of individual brilliance otherwise we passed the ball around far too slowly and predictably… and had very little zip or clear methodology in our play.
    The second half was particularly poor where Arsenal seemed to just sit back and enjoy the fact that everything was all too easy.
    What’s the point of having a winning system of play…bringing in new better players who can supposedly take that system to new levels and then completely change it.
    The “elephant in the room” this Season will,unfortunately,always be Kai Havertz….A really good quality “jack of all trades” but “a master of none”…Not a good enough finisher or physical enough to play as a number 9…Not dynamic enough on the ball to play as a left sided number 8.But £65m means that he has to be played to the detriment of other players and their natural positions.Arteta has got carried away by his own coaching ability thinking he can turn Harverz into a cross betwen Van Persie and Bergkamp.The money would have been better utilised by offering it to Brentford for Toney….As the season goes on we will have a chronic need for an aggressive number 9 who can offer something a little different in attack without the need to tinker too much with our tactics and formation.

    1. JOEL, up and until your appraisal of Havertz, I agree 100% with you.
      Havertz is another discussion my friend

    2. Where is this comparison with RVP coming from? You are not the first one to mention that. I don’t see anything of RVP who is the deadliest and scariest striker I have ever seen in Havertz.

    3. One thing for sure, compared to the Man Utd performance last night, we were streets ahead.How on earth the referee failed to award a penalty for the physical assault perpetrated by the Keeper is beyond me.A disgraceful decision which adds fuel to the theory that Old Trafford is out of bounds when it comes to penalizing the home team.Utd were outplayed by a Wolves side which dominated the midfield area ,and in Cunha and the superb Nunes they have two ball carriers who are not scared to take on their opposite numbers rather than take the easy way out and merely retain possession.Unfortunately Cunha and the speedy Neto could not convert the chances which came their way and Utd got out of jail.Before the season started Wolves were on of the favourites to be relegated, but if continue to display the quality they showed yesterday, they will, I hope stay up.The EPL needs teams which can play attractive ,entertaining football, and I for one will be tuning in to the next Wolves match.

  8. Dan extremely wise of you not to try to rank the players !! Many would have had a field day. You just cant win can you !!

    1. JRS, but he’s trying to “rank” the supporters – either we’re arrogant or we’re not it seems.

      1. KEN unlike you, I see no such intention in DANS entirely fair and above all, REALISTIC article.

        We have countless millions of supporters, so to suggest ALL are either arrogant or not , seems to me to not recognise all the thousands of other individual fans opinions (other than ALL being arrogant or non arrogant) that you suggest.

        1. Jon, as I replied to you above, Dan was writing an article that appeared on the JA website.
          I have no idea how many of the worldwide Gooners are involved with JA, but Dan named four outlets where his perceived arrogance by Arsenal fans could be found.
          Now, if one thought that we would win this game by more than the 2-1 scoreline, Dan believes that shows arrogance… what was YOUR prediction Jon?

          1. KEN whether or not only JA readers are included in Dans piece,it is fact and it is also relevant that we have fans all over the globe and millions of them.

            If your view of and interest in Arsenal fans goes no further than those on this site, – and I contend that the regulars who use JA are not representative of ALL our world wide fan base, many of whom never use social media and some of whom would avoid social media like the plague – then yours is a narrow perspective, unlike my own.

            But they ARE all Arsenal fans and their many varied opinions, encompassing a far wider breadth of countless opinions than we have on here, are equally relevant to those of you, I and ALL other JA users.
            As for my own scoreline predictions, you may have noticed – or PERHAPS you have not noticed – that I avoid giving exact score predictions, as I consider it pointless.
            One main reason, even though not the only one, why I have never taken part in Dans weekly prediction competition.

            I merely thought it would be a comprehensive win and that is what happened, despite the unrepresentative “close” scoreline.

            1. Jon, being a part of JA, means that we can debate and discuss differing views…. with other fans on JA.
              It doesn’t matter how many worldwide fans there are, if they don’t contribute to JA, how do we know their views?

              So logic tells one that any article that appears on JA for discussion, will only be discussed by those who use the site… unless said article is produced elsewhere.
              We regulars would have no idea if that happens, so, like it or not, Dan’s article is aimed at the JA membership.

              Now, calling fans “arrogant” for believing that MA and his squad should be expected to improve season by season due to the backing of the owner and shrewd purchases, is a complete nonsense.

              In fact, by being satisfied with the performance on Saturday, it shows apathy not arrogance.

              I don’t expect this to happen again, so would you (or Dan) say I’m being arrogant, or simply expecting improvement after last season?

              1. Ken we are discussing different things. I have never suggested what you outline in this post is wrong. Plainly, it is true. But I was simply trying to widen the debate.
                No matter, so lets move on now.

                I would say that astute fans and that includes MA, esp him, are never “satisfied” with ANY performance. That would be harmful and so does not happen.
                ANY team can always do better and should always try their best to do so.
                That goes without saying. If you are satisfied , you never improve, in football as in life generally.

              1. Could be classed as arrogance, expecting us to beat a so called lesser team. 2-1, 5-0 whats the difference?

                1. At what point does Dan think its opinion or arrogance? 3-1, 3-0, 4-0, 4-1 or 5-1 even but 5-0 is arrogance?. I would say its all opinion based on what we perceive. I dont get this arrogance.

                  1. And that is my point.
                    To call Arsenal fans arrogant for not agreeing with one’s personal opinion is arrogance itself.

  9. It was the first game of the season and a new formation with new players against a low block. It is ok if Arteta wants to change tactics, as a game like that at home is a good opportunity to do that. That is all fine.
    What worries me is not the score or that we took our foot off the gas, but that we did not create chances at all. The two goals came after we pressed after a corner, not from an open play, and even they were both flukes. I think we don’t have enough attacking players and MFs that can break opponents’ lines by dribbling or killer passes. Too many sideway passes.

  10. I admit that I gave a huge sigh of relief when the whistle went. Not because Forest was threatening our goal it was because I knew one mistake is all it takes to sucker punch us. Last season’s draws towards the run-in flashed before my eyes, thankfully it was just worry in the end. As for our performance overall, it was a little expected due to players not being at peak yet and we had some new players along with new tactics, it was so important that Saka stepped forward, we’ll need that from our top-scoring players of last season, we’re relying on them heavily until the entire team can gel before hitting peak standards. Saka Martinelli and Ode will need to carry the can

  11. I said pre game that the Forest game will be a struggle as we still look miles away from full fitness and I the new players need time to understand the alleged new and improved ‘Phase 4 of Artetaball’

    I’m not complaining about the 3 points but what is really worrying is how 2 players that play with direct aggression and pace totally destroyed our game plan. Our only answer was to put Gabriel on to see out the final minutes. Again it was another reactive tweak and not proactive to put this game to bed considering our 65 minutes of “statistic” dominance.

    With the purchases of Rice, Havertz and timber, I assumed was to counter any physical and aggresive pressing which undone us last season. It appears that Artetaball cannot stand up to it and his lack of in game management is scaring the life out of me.

    It’s still early, but we need to iron these issues out sooner rather than later or the game against Forest will be the norm with our inability to see games out.

  12. If nothing else can’t our fans take note of how we bossed proceedings during the game? Quite unlike man utd(another so called tittle challenger) who escaped a draw or even a defeat last night thanks to VAR and wolve’s toothlesness in front of goal.infact our display last saturday can only be displayed by man city in the whole division which gives me so much confidence as i think we will only get better with time………As for those not satisfied cos of the score line, all i can say is keep calm we are on the up.

    1. At least Wolves attacked for 97 minutes and went at Utd. Forest just caved and went into their shell the whole game, happy to give us majority of possession.

      Quite a different game plan between Forest and Wolves. Forest never really had us on our heels except after their subs and the last 15 minutes or so.

      I was glad we stayed patient, because forcing things in those situations is when counter attacks hurt you. We stayed patient and organized, that’s the biggest positive I take from the game.

      Tomiyasu did well coming on, and if healthy we can count heavily on him this year.

      1. No! Wolves would’nt have been able to play as they did against man utd against us cos we have better organisation to get the ball back as soon as it’s lost as evident on final day of last season with the very same formation and tactics.neither forest nor wolves stand a greater chance in terms of possession and result against us but same can’t be said for man utd.

  13. Maybe you should issue a manual on how fans should act?
    Earlier, according to you, it has been wrong to celebrate wins too much, if the win was over a “small” club.

  14. There are true Arsenal fans and there are fake Arsenal fans. The true ones got intelligence to think and the fake ones listen to the media and parrot it around. As the biggest club in the biggest city I the land, such compromises is important. The more intelligent one side gets, the dumber the other side gets.

  15. Some of you need to get out of your feelings. Everybody’s take on the match is not always going to be in sync with yours. Deal with it and move on…Jus sayin 😁

  16. This the first game of the season. A lot of what has been written reflects arrogance or a certain sense of entitlement.
    Much of the criticism is also not constructive and really only reflect the biases and beliefs of those commenting. Many of the negative commentators have already started predicting doom and gloom unless the manager only does what they believe to be right.
    According to some this is how you show support.

  17. … and have been able to win without being at our best…
    Does winning the EPL title demand less consistency and being at your best in every match… Is that not the reason why we have lost out in the title race all these years…

  18. Dan – Taking credit here, please have one article on your other prediction as well for the united game… I told you during the score prediction as well that you can’t predict different with similar analysis of each opponent… it could have been 1-1 in place of 4-0, what you predicted….

  19. Our season openers have always been irregular so I’ll take it as one of those before putting out the red flags, hopefully the glitches will be ironed out over the next few weeks. However there was more not to like than to like against Forest. How would we have responded if their striker hadn’t missed that early gift?

  20. Honestly, I thought we would have been out of sight pretty much after the break.

    This has become part of our DNA now, refusing to kill off games.

  21. Pat, we are the biggest club in London we deserved a scintillating performance week in week out. No excuse.

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