Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Report: Arsenal 0 – 0 Red Star Belgrade

Starting XI: Macey, Debuchy, Elneny, Holding; Nelson, Coquelin, Willock, Maitland-Niles; Wilshere, Walcott; Giroud
Subs: Cech, Osei-Tutu, Sheaf, DaSilva, McGuane, Nketiah, Akpom

Arsene Wenger predictably gave his Europa League/Carabao Cup team another run out, with a man for man different team to the one that beat Swansea last weekend, our midfield looking notably green and our back three especially makeshift.

Red Star began by cleverly breaking up our possession with injury stoppages and were happy to counter us quite effectively with a number of chances that a better team would have tucked away easily yet the first half ended goalless.

In the second half Jack Wilshire really stood out with his ability to turn a player, ride challenges and make mazy runs, but Red Star were desperate for their precious away point and stalled for time as much as possible, using all the tricks in the book to break up our flow, and the game meandered to a draw.

First half:

The first ten minutes started quite tamely, Red Star perhaps having the upper hand in terms of hustle and energy, but it ended with an excellent chance for Giroud after excellent work by Maitland-Niles set up the big sexy Frenchman just outside the ten yard box but his low first time shot was straight at their keeper.

With 25 minutes in the Red Star team were trying to break up our spells of possession by having nearly every single player of theirs throw a hissy fit on the floor any time a challenge went in, so the game was oddly disjointed and slow.

Then on the 33 minute the game lit up, with Willock making a driving run that resulted in slipping through Giroud but their keeper smothered his chance well. Red Star duly returned the favour a minute later when Srnic blasted a shot at Macey that he parried over.

Our third choice keeper then made an absolute worldy of a save moments later when a looping header again from Srnic forced him to make a backwards diving leap, palming the ball onto the crossbar and keeping us in the game.

We kept looking extremely vulnerable when they countered, and when a ball was played beyond a hapless Holding, Boakye really, really should’ve scored as he was one on one but he blasted way over the bar under basically no pressure at all. The half ended 0-0 but we really rode our luck.

Second half:

Arsenal started the second half brighter with a few dangerous looking crosses being thrown in and a powerful run from Nelson that was expertly snuffed out in their box by a lovely precision tackle.

Wilshire looked lively and was involved in two vague penalty claims, one a weak challenge in the area that was he probably looking for, another when his tricky run resulted in the ball bouncing off their defenders hand in the area. Then yet another driving run of Jack’s into their area resulted in him deftly chipping their keeper only for a frankly astonishing lunging goal line clearance denying him a deserved goal.

On the 77th minute a lovely improvised juggling pass combo between Giroud, Elneny and Walcott almost put Theo through but he had to turn one eighty to get his finish away and couldn’t connect properly. Arsenal definitely looked the more lively at this point, but Red Star were always dangerous on the break and Boakye had some chances a better striker really would’ve done more damage with.

Even though we took the game to them with as much pace as our inexperienced sprightly midfield could manage, Red Star held on with grim resolution at the game finished a drab nil nil.

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Really enjoyed that.
Don’t know why so many stayed away?
Referee had a great game.

Mein Bergkampf

Thought Macey has got the presence and demeanour of a top, top goalie. Incredible save and all round imposing figure. Another 90 mins for Jack too. Giroud and Theo feel like they are getting a bit stale. I’d love to see Nelson or Nketiah get the nod in one of their attacking roles next game.


Lol just like one of the studio analyst was saying about Macey. England’s #1 right?


Absolutely, if we watched the match it our glasses on and ignored the numerous fouls on Wilshere he didn’t give.


If one looks very closely, what appears as an “it”, is really a “with” 🙂


What were you expecting from 2nd team/fringe/young players? They aren’t playing against an amateur club


That game was pretty drab. We created very little in the first half, and the ref ensured we couldn’t do much in the second…
And can someone please tell me what the point of Theo Walcott is? Arsene could select anyone from the crowd to stand on the right wing and do next to nothing all night.


What is the point of Coquelin in the final third??


What is the point of him in general…Hes been pretty lost without Santi next to him…Hes shot towards the end summed him up.


Our Coq is one of the best DM at the league. He is absolutely top class at intercepting passes and recycle possession. Nonetheless he is dropped far too easy compared to others (Walcott Ramsey xhaka,etc) because Wenger doesn’t like DMs. You don’t have to be good dribbler to be useful in football FFS!


Coquelin’s 30yard screamer in injury time was worth the entrance fee alone….
And that’s without the excitement produced throughout the rest of the game.
I don’t care what anyone says… you’ll not get any better value than that
The way we defended and only gave away 4/5 proper scoring opportunities and then passed it around aimlessly and produced absolutely nothing was riveting.
Football at it’s finest


Ohhhhhhh, my heart bleed for you old man. Pity you didn’t chose to be a Barca or Real Madrid fan (you still can!). I bet their 3rd string team provides superior entertainment to ours.


What were you expecting from the lineup tonight?

Igbo Amadi-Obi

Lol. Absolutely!
It was a similar performance inbthe first leg but Giroud’s goal made us overlook it.

Good thing is that we can afford to rest our first team from Europa until we play the big boys.


He’s good at blazing it into the stands


I would rather have Nelson play in his natural position than seeing Walcott doing fuck all. Coquelin’s case is different, he is our best defensive midfielder and can be very useful in certain games or situations. Therefore he need to play and keep his fitness.


He’s horrible for a club like Arsenal. He’s one of those players that AW has a hard time moving out because he’s to loyal. He should have been moved out already.


at this point i feel sorry for walcot , he is constantly trying to make something happen but he is desperately out of his depth even aganst a team like this one . i’d like to see a compilation of walcot for last few games because i dont remember him doing anything. for his own sake he should leave the club before he embaresses himself further. and as you said arsenal should give more chances to nelson and other academy players iinstead of keeping playing him who gives absolutely no value for the team when playing. Its only a manager… Read more »


I don’t understand why even have him on the pitch if we are going to play 3 at the back and not another more confident MF going forward?


Thought that Theo could only be good in these 2nd tier matches. Turns out that Euorpa and Carabao Cup are way above his abilities.


Walcott STILL has some people fooled…’he scored 19 goals’ etc….I dont give a fuck the guy after 12 years still does not know how to use his body to hold up the fucking ball..Eddie came on and did it twice at the age of 18…I bring this up because its not even a basic skill..Its common sense. Also crying at Willock when he didn’t get the ball after he made an obvious and shit run and than wandered offside as usual..

Mesuts Ozil

That was such a bad run

Adams Jnr

Fucking painful to watch, but through to the next round with two games to go, playing our second string, giving them playing time and for some more valuable competitive experience. WIN.

The Calm

Good solid workout and through to the next round. Just doing enough as a team is sometimes all that is needed. COYG!!


What a dreadful game. Yes we got through but deary me!
Think it’s time Theo was put out to pasture.

Godfrey Twatsloch

Elneny, Wilshire and Macey were good. Not bad from Debuchy either. Him and Wilshire not getting injured being a bonus.


I was actually surprised to see that debuchy is still a pretty good player. His recovery at times was excellent.


Eddie looked 18 tonight, cute little bastard


Thanks Coquelin for breaking up the play in our attack, always losing the ball, falling over a lot and taking one touch too many all the time. Well played.


Terrible game to watch. Occasionally Nelson, Wilshere or Niles would do something nice but other than that everyone was pretty poor and nothing came off. Willock was another who i thought was good, won alot of tackles and basically negated Coquelins reason to be on the pitch…Which Coquelin realized so he decided to push high and press at the stupidest moments and we got countered everytime he did it.

Petit\'s Handbag

AMN had a positive game, think he was about to whack that chance away until Jack took It off him


As much as I enjoy that we get to see a completely different squad with lots of youngsters in it, I feel like now that they had a couple of games together, there could be at least some development in terms of mutual understanding and basically what kind of football they want to play together. Or, well, tactics. Once we approach the box, we seem that we don’t really know what to do next. Do we whip a cross in? Should we try a one two? In the end, this squad tends to be redeemed by some sort of a… Read more »


There is no plan, no strategy, just throwing out a bunch of players that aren’t in the first team. It’s not even really about developing youth team players. It’s pure happenstance. Can’t see them go far when the teams from the CL drop into the competition.


Most of the time that’s also the 1st team


Jack had a wonderful game….. So did AMN, Willock, nelson and Macey despite a few poor distributions. Good workout for the team generally.
Our coq is so out of form it hurts. Yes I know he’s been injured but I do hope he gets stronger.
Big ups to debuchy too, had an assured game!

Kostas Greek Gooner

I am not sure why we stick with the 343 at these matches. Maybe to familiarize our 2tier players with our 1tier formation. I dont like what I see and we are lucky that they couldnt score today but some will celebrate we managed the Group.
PS Hopefully city will be more polite than Liverpool to us.


I was thinking if we forfeit the city game it only goes down as 0-3


I hope most of us are proven wrong come Sunday lol I know deep down we can see what is going to happen but hopefully we are proven wrong. Saying that i agree I can’t understand why stick with 343 in these matches. Team just doesn’t look good in the formation or at least the Alt team doesn’t except for the BATE game. I hope I’m wrong but I can’t see Per doing well Sunday with the way ManC are playing.


Wilshere was excellent. Great save to deny them a goal by Macey. Otherwise I’m 40% certain I fell asleep at one point.

I really enjoyed Red Star’s stalling tactics. Stretching a guys hamstring is now worthy of stopping play?

SB Still

Although the team performance and result weren’t very exciting, it was still good to see the youngsters beginning to step-up. Nelson and AMN had much better games in the wing back roles, although those positions are new for them, one can see them learning and improving in that position after few games. Willock too is growing in confidence. Eddie does seem sharper than Walcott. Wenger should probably put Walcott out of his Arsenal misery and move him on soon. I hope Macey keeps his place even when Ospina returns! It seems its the senior pros bar a Wilshere and Holding,… Read more »


I don’t WANT to see an exciting attacking prospect like Nelson become accustomed to playing as a wing back nor a very promising midfielder like Maitland Niles either ! Have we NO full backs in our youth ranks ! Or does Wenger only take on forwards and midfielders and try to turn them.into defenders?


Well at least they’re getting a chance to play and gaining valuable experience whilst doing so. And there’s nothing wrong with playing as a wing back, it teaches you that there is a defensive side of the game as well as attacking


Its not a permanent move. You want them sitting on the bench as some other unknown youth player is on the pitch getting minutes?


But it’s not developing according to a plan or a strategy, it’s just throwing them out there and seeing what sticks. It worked until now because the competition in the group stages is crap.


Stop playing the young players out of position!!! We also need to ditch this 3-4-3 with these guys. We should go back to a 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 or just play the right players in their positions. Play Reiss upfront and Niles as a CM. Instead of getting valuable experience at their proper positions, they’re stuck in a position where they aren’t even learning much…we all know how horrible we are defensively.
Not looking too much into the result. Things will get harder next round when the big guns fall from the champions league. Don’t see us winning this tournament


Exactly!! With 5 players out of position it is no surprise the result was a disjointed team performance.


You know that unless 1 or 3 are hurt or playing with the Prem team that Reiss would be getting valuable experience from sitting on the bench? Same with AMN


What about Theo not getting an England call up?


Sickens me that sp*rs are more entertaining than we are


Settle that stomach down: Poch’s boys are having a good moment, but it won’t last. I think we need to return to a back four to activate our dominant genes, but we’ll get it going soon.

Crash Fistfight

I particularly enjoyed the stewards letting a load of Red Star fans sing at the top of their lungs in the Clock End upper all game, only doing anything when a couple of Arsenal fans had a go at them (and that was to tell off the Arsenal fans).

Moley Mole the Mole who lives in a hole

Quite unrelated but anybody else read the Cazorla update? Nearly lost his foot, docs telling he should be glad he can walk, 8cm of Achilles’ tendon cut out, skin grafts galore. Something here for those who read French: https://m.lequipe.fr/Football/Actualites/Arsenal-l-enfer-vecu-par-santi-cazorla/847513

And for those that don’t the picture is impressive enough

Moley Mole the Mole who lives in a hole

What does it all mean for us that don’t read French or Spanish? Is his career over?

Spanish Gooner

More or less – basically it’s saying he’s lost 8cm of length in his Achilles as a result of countless operations, and contracted gangrene after one which nearly resulted in him losing his foot. Also, black stuff you can see patching up his ankle was originally part of a forearm tattoo, just to emphasise how grim it all looks for him. Poor bloke


I think given the team on the park doesnt play too often together as a unit, some players in unfamiliar positions too, a 0-0 isnt too bad. Of course as a spectacle it wasnt upto the usual Arsenal standards but then again either were the players or the opposition.
A fair result I think. I was happy to watch the game over brekky before heading off to work. Beats morning breakfast shows anyday of the week!


when I type Walcott my autocorrect replaces it with the smiley poo emoji.


I will take watching scrappy games like this with a mix of fringe and youth players.

This is the price to pay, and it’s worth paying so that the first 11 are rested up, fresh and raring to go in the big games.


meh. its sure better than losing.

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