Auba: We’re ready to go head-to-head with big guns

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang says Arsenal’s new-look squad have what it takes to challenge for honours but he admits the first aim is qualifying for the Champions League again.

The recruitment of Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos, Kieran Tierney and David Luiz has seen key positions strengthened and, after last season’s disappointment, bolstered the mood around the club both in the dressing room and on the terraces.

Ahead of Saturday’s game with European champions Liverpool, Auba, who has started the new campaign with goals against Newcastle and Burnley, is now expecting the squad to close the gap on the top four.

“I think as I said earlier we have made good signings, that will help us,” he told Canal+.

“Last season, we were not far away from qualifying for the Champions’ League.

“Whatever happens, that is the most important thing, the most important aim for us. To be back in the Champions’ League.

“Aside from that, to fight for the title, we know very well that the big guns are ready but we are also ready and in any case we are going to give our all to match the big guns if possible.”

It goes without saying that it would be great to head into the North London derby in 13 days time as the Premier League’s outright leaders, but for that to happen we need a win at Anfield.

Surely, Auba must be licking his lips for a chance to test Adrian between the sticks?

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Kentish Gooner
Kentish Gooner

Hopefully Adrian will have another off day! 🙂

lettra
lettra

Or more importantly VanDijk who is still very good but hasn’t looked perfectly flawless like last year. Auba can score against anybody.

IamaGoober

Above all else, I want to see us show a bit of mettle on the weekend.

I am so sick of watching us rollover in fear every single time we go a goal down at Anfield. Just because we concede first it doesn’t mean we then have to absolutely piss our shorts through and concede another 3 or 4 goals consecutively in the proceeding 10 minutes.

If we go a goal down early doors — lets not panic, just keep things tight for 10-15 minutes and feel our way back into the game. Lets show a bit of maturity for a change and see where it gets us.

There’s lots to improve on from last seasons horror show in this fixture. We’ve got the firepower to hurt any side in Europe in my opinion. So this time around lets try and stay in the game long enough for the guys up top to work there magic.

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

Or Arsenal F.C. play like warriors and beat them on merit.

adrian
adrian

What do you mean?

Hantal
Hantal

He means it would be nice to win because we’re good, not just because they’re shit

Kentish Gooner
Kentish Gooner

Pipe down, West Ham reject

Mentalist
Mentalist

Let’s just say that Adrian concedes the kind of goals Auba scores.

Dave M
Dave M

The Arsenal is getting it’s swag back! COYG!!!!!

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

Two single goal wins against relegation fodder does not give us our swag back. Love the optimism and things are looking good but let’s not set ourselves up for a fall.

In two games time some of you may be calling for Unai’s head on a plate.

Dave M
Dave M

“gettING”…it’s the gerund of the verb to get. It means it’s happenING now. I’d didn’t say we are back to the top, but we’re gettING there.

kaius
kaius

I’m flagging your comment Dave M. We’ll not be having any of that fancy optimism on here

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

But of course the word ‘is’ is the third person singular present of ‘be’. And ‘be’ is defined as “to occur or take place.”

Therefore your statement implies that the swag is irrefutably going to be returned and that this is an absolute.

Dave M
Dave M

You should have studied harder in English class.

Duno
Duno

It’s = It is
Its is the word you want there.
Since we’re making a grammar thread. 🤷🏾‍♂️

Dave M
Dave M

You got me you bastard…

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

By the sounds of things, you should’ve just studied. Anything’s better than nothing.

Goontastic
Goontastic

Ouch! Get to the burns unit Dave!!

Pat Fried Rice with Egg
Pat Fried Rice with Egg

“to occur or take place”

the key word is to. It is going to, but not yet, thus Dave’s emphasis on the ING

Truj
Truj

I think we do not have much chance against Liverpool, but the sprs game is a must win to get into the top four. After two good win against the relatively easier opponents everything looks bright but we must keep calm and collected.

Patient Gooner
Patient Gooner

Or perhaps hailing him…

Andy Mack
Andy Mack

When you beat a team like Burnley and their keeper (who’s a decent quality) was easily their best player then it’s always positive.

my name is bob
my name is bob

“Auba shoots from 40 yards… Should be easy for Adrian… Oh wait, he’s too busy sipping a margarita to notice the shot! It’s an unbelievable goal from Auba!! What a strike lad!”

Cacho
Cacho

What’s this I’m seeing? Andy Robertson is texting during the game! He’s now lost Pepe, who is steaming down the right side. And Pepe cuts back and squares it for Lacazeefttttttte, who scores easily as Van Dijk is tying his ponytail! Unbelievabbbblllrrr *gary Neville orgasm*

Dewey
Dewey

Auba is very good at closing down goalkeepers so hopefully he can do that to good effect against Adrian who seems quite uncomfortable with the ball at his feet

mike1h
mike1h

auba pepe and lacazette cab all start for me. get that pace and shove it down their necks.

Mayor McCheese
Mayor McCheese

Agreed, but the big question for me is midfield. Do we go with the same one as Burnley, or is Ozil / Xhaka reintroduced? I mean it speaks to the performances of Willock and Guendouzi that I’m genuinely unsure.

Don Cazorleone
Don Cazorleone

Hold Ozil back until the last 30 minutes when the game opens up

Naija gooner
Naija gooner

Drop willock for torreira

TeeCee
TeeCee

So uncomfortable that he has to get rid to the nearest player, regardless of which shirt they’re wearing.

Spanish Gooner
Spanish Gooner

I hope both Auba and Pepe start, at least. Just sitting deep won’t do us any favours, but if we have real pace and danger on the counterattack I think we can beat Liverpool, who have looked vulnerable so far this year

PeteyB
PeteyB

Maybe the threat of Pepe would give Robertson something to think about when bombing on too.

I’d be pleased if Torreira was in but maybe a game too soon.. Deffo need him next week for another NLD winner!!

PeteyB
PeteyB

Are folk expecting a back 3 (5) like Blogs and James?
Auba / Laca / Pepe
?? / Ceballos
Kola/Monreal/Luiz/Papa/AMN

I expect Guendooozi will get the spot…

AMN vs Robertson and Mane strikes me the biggest mismatch, though of course Salah will cause some bother on the other side.
Will be a big ask for Pepe to support and track Robertson, but as mentioned he could exploit space behind, particularly with Luiz’s range of passing.

BergkampsDNA
BergkampsDNA

I agree it will be a back 5. But going for 5-3-2 rather than 5-2-3 with Ceballos a third, more advanced central midfielder so we can match them up 3 v 3 in the middle. Aubameyang and Lacazette up front can track Arnold and Robertson to a point, then the midfield will have to shuffle across. That leaves Pepe to bring on, which I think is better as a first start at Anfield might be a bit much to ask and he’s clearly not fully fit.

Dave M
Dave M

That would make us very narrow and make our tough to go on the counter. Personally I’d like to see us stick with more or less the same team, but I’d be very tempted to play pepe (in fact I would) . Put the clamps on willock and guendouzi and keep them deeper to break up Liverpool through the middle and disciple from our fullbacks so they don’t exploit us from wide, then hit them hard and fast on the counter.

Mesut O’Neill
Mesut O’Neill

I would say Salah up against Monreal will cause us more problems due to outright pace. AMN can hang with anyone for pace, Mane isn’t particularly tricky he just uses his pace to good effect.

Martin Harris
Martin Harris

COYG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

Two games I really want us to win more than any others, Spuds and Man U. Even with Sanchez gone I’m itching for the team the way it plays now to show United some masterclass.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

This!!! I think these are the two worst teams in the PL, I know there are other unpleasant teams but these two really suck, not sure who I think is the most vile but it sure is a close call!!!

Godfrey Twatsloch
Godfrey Twatsloch

The over achieving Spuds had us on the backfoot last season but this year I want us to well and truly re-establish who owns North London. This is where we ride back in to town and retake it from the upstarts.

Dave M
Dave M

Surely Chelsea is in there too?! For me they are a very close to Sp*rs level scummery. Sure I fuking hate manure, but they’re 3rd for me and for some reason I don’t hate the filthy mancs quite as much, although I should. Them and chel$ea are the reason football is SO messed up right now.

Goonersims74
Goonersims74

I’m so with you on that but I’m sorry Chelski for me is top, then spuds and 3rd manure. Chelski were nearly relegated before the Russian gangster came on board and now all you hear is “we’re the best team in london.” Fuck off. Where is your history! I hope Lampard gets them relegation Cocky gits. At least the spuds know their place…beneath us!

TeeCee
TeeCee

Nah. They’re only a jumped up nasty bunch of racist cunts fueled by bent money, not T*tt*nham.

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

Chekski slipped a bit on my hate scale since Mourinho left though.

Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again

This is what I want to hear from the club and the fans. Fuck setting the bar at top 4. Let’s stop being afraid of ambition.

The Spoon
The Spoon

I think we can have quiet ambition. Arsenal players don’t need to be so open and positive on social Media. So many times last season we were “were going to give it our all” and then didn’t actually turn up. Plus I think top 4 this season is an ambition as we’ve been out of it a while. Get back in the champs league, more money to spend next summer and next season we can expect to challenge.

Dave M
Dave M

Big difference is fans are starting to believe them this season. The air of optimism is hella refreshing!

mike1h
mike1h

ordinarily a win away at anfield is obviously desired but difficult, with Adrian and us now having luiz i think we can be considered slight favourites

North London is Redder
North London is Redder

Did they lose a single game at Anfield last season?

mike1h
mike1h

did they have Adrian in goal last season?

TR7
TR7

We need to thrash Liverpool then the big guns will know that another big gun is reloaded !!!!

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

We are the gunners, no bigger guns than what we have in our Arsenal.

Tony Adams Nose
Tony Adams Nose

Liverpool will be very fast out of the blocks and really work hard to close us down in the first 10/15 minutes. It will be very important we don’t concede an early goal.
I believe you can get at Liverpool and our strikers will not waste the opportunities Norwich and Southampton did. It will be all about weathering the early storm. You can’t rely on players having an off day.

SB Still
SB Still

I worry about our play out from the back and Liverpool’s high press!

Even against Burnley, we had to work hard to beat the press but Burnley still got back into shape and didn’t let us test their keeper as often as we would have liked on home turf.

For me 4 points from the games against Pool and Spudd will be improvement.

Nnn
Nnn

I trust Auba when he says this.

uh2711
uh2711

we gun the big gunz coz we the only true gunnerzzzzzzzzzz

Goonereality
Goonereality

A point would be good, three would be great. It’s still early days for the new look team though. It may be a little too soon to expect too much but football is a funny old game as Jimmy Greaves once said (among other things). Let’s see.

HansRott
HansRott

We’re not going to know how good we are this season for a couple of months yet.

In particular we need to see how Bellerin, Tierney, and Holding integrate with what we’ve seen so far. We’ve plenty of options everywhere on the pitch:

Top third: Aubameyang, Lacazette, Pepe, Nelson, Mkhitaryan, Ceballos, Ozil, Martinelli
Middle third: Willock, Torreira, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Elneny, Smith-Rowe
Back third: Tierney, Monreal, Kolasinac, Luiz, Holding, Sokratis, Chambers, Mustafi, Bellerin, Maitland-Niles, Mavropanos

The point is whether our back line is four or five (three) we’re still going to be stronger than last season. And if our front men perform as we dreamily hope they’re going to, Aubameyang is right, we should be a match for anyone.

It’s six into four, but already Chelsea look undercooked and I’ve yet to be convinced by either ManU or Sp*rs. Which is why the next two games are as important as any early-season games we’ve had in ages.

Last season we lost against Man City and Chelsea.

This season we’re in better shape, but our expectations are also rightly higher.

Forget the earlier two games, this is when our campaign really starts.

Niran
Niran

I totally forgot about Elneny… Poor Guy !

HansRott
HansRott

There’s every chance that both Elneny and Mustafi leave on some kind of deal before the mainland shuts its window (2nd September).

The thing with Elneny is that he still could be useful in the minor competitions.

That said, if Emery has it in mind to option Chambers and/or Maitland-Niles somewhere at the base of midfield then even that might be wishful thinking.

Santori
Santori

I hope we are stronger.

We are certainly better reinforced in certain departments Mslintat neglected to reinforce.

Raul’s done well on most fronts being bolder with his transfers without the encumbrance of the German (even if some deals carry a bit too much risk for my liking) :

1) Up top we have finally added the wide player on the right we have been crying out for since Alexis was around. With the Chilean, all the attacking intent came from his side and we were predictable affording teams an easy containment.

Pepe is exorbitant but as mentioned we have some intangibles to consider in the benefits (and risk) of the installment plan but also the ambition we show to top assets (Laca/Auba). He also is a hedge for one of those players leaving next summer but also affords us ability to go 3 up top in fluid formation.

This last point in particular will be something very different for our opponents particularly when Pepe kicks into gear.

Thus far his flashes of individual brilliance would suggest we have a real added threat now in taking on defenses both with better efficiency on the counter (we need less players involved) and in taking on defenders one on one in tight confines with defenses seated deep that would open space for us.

2) In midfield, we have also finally added Santi’s replacement, again neglected for so long. As I have mentioned in seasons past, we have players who pass and play but not players who can dribble the ball in tight confines. Rather than lacking bottle, we actually lack sufficient technical ability.

With Cebellos (albeit on loan so we will have to revisit issue next summer), we have a player who has tidy feet. whilst he isn’t Santi, he has ability on the dribble but also the energy and attacking instinct (into the box) of Ramsey. Plus he also has great set piece delivery and excecution.

I’m genuinely excited what he can do for us. Already we see an alternative to the more rigid Granit based midfield in having two highly energetic youngsters in Guendouzi and Willock paired with Cebellos into a rotating midfield 3. Whether of course they can sustain it remains to be seen.

I would not wed myself to any particular system but the midfield has been AS MUCH an issue in our poor defense record as the backline. We still have issues but tracking of runners seems to have improved with Guendouzi and Nelson particularly last match.

Time will tell. OTOH going forward, we are again less predictable with our fluid group of youngsters.

3) At the back, I’m not so sure we have solved our issues.

People like to point finger at Mustafi solely but in pre-season, we had issues with Chambers not being in correct position leading to simple balls lofted in ending in goals against with Dembele (Lyon) and Suarez (Barca).

He may have fixed his positioning issues so time will tell. BUT SSbob (Luiz) is at best a stop gap band aid.

Ad I mentioned before hopefully he is a strong enough band aid for this season but frankly, we kicked the problem once again down the road. Buying Saliba resolved nothing short term and as I said, carries risk at 27m for a player with just 19 senior games under the belt (talk about selective stats)

Maybe he will turn good this season on loan at St Etienne but if he doesn’t we have a problem having to pay out an additional 7m every summer plus difficulty moving him on.

BUT the bigger issue is he has no direct impact to this season for us.

We were instead intent on prolonging Koscielny one season too long and preferred to blame him for frankly doing the right thing in refusing to follow such a silly plan.

BUT we left it late and did not have joy bringing in a more immediate solution (Upamecano)

Instead again rather conveniently some prefer not to see David Luiz as the panic buy he is (Sebastien Squillacci I’m sure had similar fans lauding his merits)

Time will tell on Luiz but I suspect we are not all that much stronger.

OTOH bc we were not able to spend the money on a complete solution, we had money left in kitty and went back in for Tierney. This is a good signing with Monreal in waning years although as I mentioned the Spaniard is good enough for one more hurrah and he certainly showed it against Burnley.

4) then there is the emergence of an exciting new crop of young Academy players.

AMN as I mentioned will learn from mistakes and Rback IS his natural position.

He looks still to have some learning but he is young and full of potential plus adds pace and power down the right side to compete with Bellerin and complement Pepe.

Night and day to the very limited Jenkinson some people preferred to wank to.

Willock is a revelation this summer. Tidy feet, competitive streak. I think he will be a big say for us this season.

Nelson as well perhaps a bit under the radar but he plays with plenty of maturity and perhaps somewhat compensates the premature (IMO) loss of Iwobi.

He looks like he has end product as well with that finish disallowed against Burnley.

They’re going to have some surprises in store for some of our tougher opponents.

Conclusion 50-50. We have plenty of firepower yet to fully gel so we can be a real threat for any team if we find the right mix (and that’s without Ozil even factored in)

BUT we have work to do yet at the back. Simple goal conceded again at Burnley, aerial issues.

I won’t be crowing just yet by any means to say the least.

Tommmy
Tommmy

Waffle

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Mate, in the busy life we all have there is not the time in the day to read a post of this length from someone we don’t know..

Kinghenrythe14th
Kinghenrythe14th

Wish there was a “hide comment” button

Dave M
Dave M

I thought it was interesting. Don’t agree with all of it (think you’re way harsh on Luiz). But you make some good points. I agree midfield has been a source of our defensive woes… Fingers crossed these early positive signs are for reals. Big test this weekend. Don’t let the Debbie downers get you down @santori…stick to being you!

Alex
Alex

50/50 Wank

patrick
patrick

Could you repeat that. I havent heard that opinion before,

CJay
CJay

Jesus Christ, Santori, that’s longer than the actual article you’re commenting on.

the🚗2n
the🚗2n

Bless you Santori and your Mustafi b*ner… I’m just gonna leave this here… https://www.theblogstarter.com/

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

Your talents are wasted here, you should write a book.

Did anybody actually read that?

Dan nichols
Dan nichols

“Ad I mentioned before hopefully Luis is a strong enough band aid for this season but frankly, we kicked the problem once again down the road. Buying Saliba resolved nothing short term”- that’s a pretty contradictory couple of sentences! Though this can happen in long unedited pieces, I’d advise not to try big articles in a single train of thought. If you want to go long, probs avoid chat rooms and write the article slowly and submit it somewhere more suitable.

The Spoon
The Spoon

This was a big irritation last season, too much talk and then very little action. I think we’re all confident we can make top 4, but that’s more to do with united and chelski having clueless managers and weak squads. Let’s get a few wins before we get carries away. And less social media and interviews that will bite you in the backside!
Liverpool are definitely not quite in full gear so having them this early is good, and we could definitely get something.

Truj
Truj

Do you think we can have a leicester like season for the 2nd spot?

Cmon
Cmon

If we should have “leicester like season”, we would not only have to win the league but do it with 100+ points and undefeated.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Agreed Aubs. Let’s have it! 😊

Vonnie
Vonnie

We can beat anyone on our day, I’m with Auba on this one, we’re good enough. Sometimes we give teams too much credit, instead of just getting stuck in and giving them a good game. I remember games against Barca and Yanited that we should have won, if we’d had a bit more belief. Leicester didn’t win the league by respecting other teams.

Qutub
Qutub

Obviously I’d love a win vs Liverpool but the one thing I do want to see is 100% effort and commitment. No dropping of the shoulders, throwing hands in the air and pointing fingers. I think if these guys run their asses off, play with passion and intensity then I can live with the result, no matter what it is.

Gordy
Gordy

I don’t understand how people are saying Burnley is easy/ relegation fodder. They might be the modern Stoke but they are going to be hard to beat while referees let them get away with their brutish behaviour and piling into goalies from corners and free kicks. Hope to see that we are at least competitive on Saturday and Auba looked like Thierry with that goal against Stoke/Burnley.

Hantal
Hantal

I think the big guns are coming a little early, we’re still conceding too many chances at the back. But we’ve had some awesome high scoring games against Liverpool so fingers crossed

Guns Up
Guns Up

We’ll probably concede quite a few chances throughout the season, though hopefully fewer than in recent seasons. Liverpool and Spurs have looked more susceptible than usual, however, so I actually prefer these early matchups. I know we’re not City, but they could have scored 6 or 7 against Spurs. 6 points would be surreal, 4 outstanding (leaving us level on points with leaders).

Cacho
Cacho

LETS GO, SMASH THOSE MUGS…

Pash
Pash

“Licking his lips to test adrian between the sticks” that’s just wrong! Haha

Flavoured Rice

Looking forward to the battle of charades on the touchline by the two most excitable managers in the league

N10
N10

Such a tall order. But doable. This way glory lies, gunners.

Cultured determination
Cultured determination

Adrian just needs to maintain his current form and im sure we’ll win, even if it’s 4-3

Cultured determination
Cultured determination

PAL can compete with MSF! Bring it on! Just stick to the same 3CMs or have torreira come in for guensouzi or willock. We need work rate, speed and movement in midfield. No xhaka pls.

baz00r
baz00r

4 points from Liverpool and Spurs would be great if we can manage it..

Kareem
Kareem

How is this for a dilemma?
Win against liverpool and draw against Spurs?
4 points

Or

Lose agaunst Liverpool and win against Spurs?
3 points

Kareem
Kareem

Last season I similarly contemplated UCL and Europa League outcomes.

And I realised that i would rather Arsenal and Spurs both lose, then both of us win.
Even if it meant we missed out on UCL qualification.

I believe that we will be able to overtake Tottenham again in the future. But I sadly can’t see us lifting the Champions League trophy in the future.
Or at least not in this era of financial doping.
And I couldn’t bear the thought of Spurs have one over us.
It’s bad enough that Chelsea does.

But how ridiculoua is it that Tottenham even made the final in the first place?
Only 90 minutes away from a Leicester-esque triumph (minus the heart warming part…)
City and Ajax really should have knocked them out.

HansRott
HansRott

I think we can do better than that.

No point bandying around words like ‘ambition’ and ‘lack of’ if all we do, as fans, is be cautiously pragmatic.

We’ve had one of the most talked about transfer windows of any club for ages. We’ve effectively spun flax into gold. The time for crossing-fingers and hoping for the best just stomped its feet through the floorboards. (You see where I’m going with this?)

If ever there was a moment for a fairy-tale season it’s now.

The BiG CACTUS
The BiG CACTUS

a hattrick for auba

Andy Mack
Andy Mack

We certainly have the ability to beat anyone on our day, but I’d be a bit more confident if Bellerin, Tierney and Holding were fit and on form. Lets hope Saturday is ‘our day’.

Deano Afc
Deano Afc

How about we all just get behind our team and stop bitching for once……C.O.Y.G!!!!

Lee

Come on the gunners saturday lets beat liverpool…

rosicky01
rosicky01

Adrian will need to be at 150% performance Level to survive the PEAULA submarines coming to Anfield