Luis Suarez came off the bench to grab a last-minute winner as Barcelona beat Arsenal 2-1 at Camp Nou to claim the Joan Gamper trophy.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had given the Gunners the lead with a terrific finish on 43 minutes only for Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ horrible own goal to cancel it out after the break.
The first half was far from a high octane affair although there were moments of note for the Gunners. Joe Willock, as he has been throughout pre-season, was a very reassuring presence in midfield, happily dropping deep to collect the ball under pressure before moving it forward at speed.
At right-back, Ainsley Maitland-Niles was similarly chilled in possession and a useful outlet on the right flank. He had a couple of bursts that ended with poor crosses for which he apologised to Aubameyang.
Leno’s handling from crosses was clean, Ozil was tidy and Nelson wasn’t shy to carry the ball whenever there was a break. Given Pepe is barely back from holiday and Lacazette is nursing his ankle problem, the England under-21 international has a shout at starting at Newcastle.
Barcelona dominated possession for large swathes of the game but they didn’t really create any clear cut chances. Antoine Griezmann, playing for his new club at Camp Nou for the first time, kneed an effort wide, while Riqui Puig and Jordi Alba both shot straight at Leno.
A very solid Arsenal display was rewarded on 37 minutes. As the capacity crowd got stuck into a Mexican wave, the Gunners patiently moved the ball from one end to the other before Aubameyang, fed by Mesut Ozil, allowed the ball to roll across him and then picked out the top corner with a rasping right-foot finish. It was the Gabon international’s fifth goal past goalkeeper Neto, recently recruited from Valencia, inside 94 days. (1-0)
The home side, who don’t start their season for a couple of weeks, made a host of changes at the break. Guendouzi came on for Nelson to partner Xhaka in the centre of midfield meaning Ozil switched right and Willock pushed forward. Kolasinac also replaced Monreal.
Barcelona immediately played with more urgency and they were helped by repeated carelessness by the men in yellow. Maitland-Niles was particularly culpable. Were it not for a great goalline stop by Willock the Catalans would have levelled just before the hour mark.
The Catalans did get their equaliser on 68 minutes although it came completely out of the blue and had nothing to do with the home side’s football. Maitland-Niles looking to pass the ball back to Leno got his angles all wrong and simply passed the ball past his own keeper into an empty net. It was ridiculous and both men looked suitably embarrassed. (1-1)
Emery immediately sent on Martinelli, Saka and Ceballos to add fresh legs. The latter took an immediate clattering from Clement Lenglet but recovered soon enough. He looked very decent on the ball and was very willing to press high.
The youngsters also made an impact. Saka flashed a dangerous ball across the six-yard box that nearly found Aubameyang and not long after picked out Martinelli for an acrobatic volley that went just wide. It was a very decent effort but he couldn’t hide his disappointment that the net didn’t bulge.
In the closing stages, Luis Suarez had a penalty claim dismissed by the referee but the Uruguayan wasn’t to be denied the headlines. Just before the final whistle, he found space between Chambers and Mustafi to connect with a lofted ball on the volley. It was a great finish…and another indication of how much we need reinforcements in the centre of our defence. Just to be clear, Suarez is still a major prick. (2-1)
Unless we squeeze in a behind-closed-doors game this week, that is pre-season done and dusted for Unai Emery. In a week’s time, we’ll head to Newcastle United for the first game of the new season. All eyes now turn to the final days of the transfer window and whether we’ll strengthen our defence.
Starting XI: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Chambers, Sokratis (85), Monreal (46), Willock (70), Xhaka (85), Mkhitaryan (70), Ozil (70), Nelson (46), Aubameyang (85)
Subs: Martinez, Mustafi (85), Kolasinac (46), Thompson, Ceballos (70), Guendouzi (46), Torreira (85), Martinelli (70), Saka (70), Nketiah (85)
I guess the undsrstanding was probably that we will let them win so that Umtiti and Coutinho can come to us on loan. That’s why AMN goal makes so much sense…?
Mustafi came on & gave away the goal. F*#king brutal..
That was an incredible finish by Suarez. Absolute world class. Mustafi is execrable but wouldn’t pin that one on him.
I disagree with this. If you look closely, Holding was supposed to be marking Suarez, not Mustafi. Mustafi did wave towards Holding earlier in the move, but Holding did not lock onto Suarez. Suarez drifted between the lines, which is how he operates, and he created space. OK – waving is not the same as doing something about it, but Mustafi was aware of the threat and marking another forward so it is too much to ask him to negate the threat of Suarez, who was not his man. Give him a break – Mustafi was not at fault for… Read more »
Holding getting the blame is insanely far fetched considering he didn’t play.
Obviously he means Chambers, and he is mostly right. I only saw the second half; I thought Chambers was awful throughout. I don’t know how many times our defenders gave the ball away trying to play out, often in the penalty area (long before Mustafi came in). If Suarez had already been on the pitch he might have had a hat-trick from our giveaways. I don’t want to even think about what Messi might have done.
Oh sorry, I did mean Chambers, not sure why I wrote Holding. I did not watch the whole game and I am no Mustafi apologist but the goal was not his fault in my opinion.
A tell-tale sign is that Mustafi did not throw his arms up and moan/complain/appeal for a foul or offside that never was, which is his wont when trying to deflect blame
Mustafi for their winner was jokes. Could see Chambers shouting at him on the replay. Rest of the team looked decent.
I thought Xhaka looked like a 40 year old, so slow. Also had a customary brain fart pass straight to a Barca player in the first half.
People still defending him. Go watch as he looks at Suarez but does not react all the while Chambers has been screaming at him for the last 10 seconds.
I know Squilaci and Cygan were not great but Mustafi feels like the worst of all, I’m struggling to remember a game where he played and we didn’t concede. I get we paid and are paying a lot for him but please Unai stop playing him!
If it had been reversed (Mustafi shouting at Chambers to cover Suarez) everyone would have seen that the shouter was completely out of position and had left Suarez alone. And everyone would have been screaming that Mustafi never takes responsibility, and blames everyone for his mistakes.
We played pretty well, I thought. A bit sloppy at times, especially going forward, but all in all, just really pleased that no one got injured (anyone else have a heart in mouth when Sokratis went down???). Oh, and felt really sorry for Maitland-Niles, as he had a good game apart from the own goal.
Really? On another day we’d have gone down by 4-5. I’ve never seen a worse collective effort to get the ball out of the box.
As for AMN, he’s simply not a RB, never will be.
We must have given the ball away in our own area five or six times–sometimes after a smart interception (okay, got the ball, job’s done, now I can give it back to them).
Totally agree! We looked really solid for the most part – 2 banks of 4 – Barcelona created nothing until Mustafi came on. I also felt sorry for ANN, he had a decent game and looked completely gutted after his error. I think a decent Captain would’ve come up to him and given him an arm round the shoulders and said “come on lad you’ve had a good game, let’s go and nick the win now”.
AMN misplaced at least four passes in our half straight to a Barca player. His second half was absolutely horrible.
I thought–and this is frightening–that Kolasinac was our best defender in the second half. Sokratis very shaky, Chambers awful, Maitland-Niles just unable to get the ball out.
Maitland-Niles made another near-disastrous mistake in the half. Just luck that it did not result in a goal.
Other than the OG I thought Maitland Niles played well tonight. I liked how Ozil played as well. It was a good game and we probably could have nicked it.
Maitland Niles had a shocker in the second half. Gave the ball away a couple of times in our own area and then the calamitous og
Haiev you ever said:
”Other than his error I thought Mustafi played well tonight” ?
Have you ever said….
He had is best 45 minutes since being promoted to the first team in the first half. I believe his career will be at right back. He has all the tools to succeed in that position. All he needs is time and commitment to succeed in that role
I agree that first half he looked slick in possession ..even a little swagger in his step and the confidence allowed for some productive passing as well..2nd half was a bit off but fuck t his quality is there whether it be long term Rb or in the middle ?? Who knows
He’s not good enough to be a right back. Too casual and offers very little going forward. Prefer to see him in the middle, but if he doesn’t shake the stupid mistakes from his game his Arsenal career should be over within 24 months.
Damn straight, I’m shocked he’s lasted this long as an RB.
We lost rhythm in the second half but there is more to come from this side. I’d rather we lose this game and not go into the Newcastle game full of complacency.
I like AMN but he is too casual. He gave the ball away casually 2-3x before his own gloal of the century, then did it again several times afterward. It’s been a recurring theme in his career and he just doesn’t seem to learn. It must be exasperating for whoever’s managing him. It feels like he could be a top player if he’s just concentrate and take things seriously.
Bonus points to Mustafi for letting the fat Uruguayan professional eater run off him, complete with trademark “raise your hand and do nothing” super move.
We have to persevere with AMN. His mistakes came from Barca’s very high press where the whole defence seemed to be playing in their own box. His casualness can be irritating but it’s also why he’s so composed on the ball. As soon as he gets rid of those brain dead moments we’ll have a truly class player on our hands.
In that second half I thought Emery got it slightly wrong and I was just waiting when we concede and than it came in such a manner. But better still now than in the league later. When Saka with Martinelli came on it was better again. AMN needs not to let his head drop now, I still think there is something in him.
“As soon as he gets rid of those brain dead moments we’ll have a truly class player on our hands.”
Well sure. I hope he does too. But it’s become a pattern at this point which is worrying. He’s still young and there’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to get it out of his system but if he doesn’t he isn’t going to be able to make it as a pro no matter how talented he may be.
Came here to say something similar .. I think he is a massive talent people underestimate how hard it is to do as well as he has in so many different positions I saw his casualness as a strength initially as nothing seemed to faze him but now I am getting worried that it may kill his career if it’s not cut out soon. He needs to find the right balance.
Im actually happy his casualness had the result it did. Urgency is whats missing from his game. I do admire his composure but too often it leads to mistakes. This time it was punished in embarrasing fashion.
Yes there was a moment not too long after the PG where he had to pass it back to Leno under pressure. Suddenly… He passed it with precise urgency. AMN needed that own goal. Thank goodness it came against Barca in Preseason
Sorry but Maitland-Niles is merely a scapegoat for our refusal to sign an actual rightback. Seems he’s just played there cos he’s right-footed and came through the academy when we were short a rb…
We have a world class right back, he’s just injured. We don’t need a right back. We desperately need a centre half.
Overall the game was okay. Unfortunate for Leno AMN but they’ll hopefully learn from that.
Incredible that our young guns outperformed the la masia products. We really have some talented young players. Willock was amazing and I think he’s the one that deserves to start the most. Saka was also really good when he was introduced. I can’t wait to see how they all turn out in a couple of years
saka had only a few moments to shine and he created good chances!
Was also very impressed with Martinelli. That ball that Aubameyang tried an overhead kick on was delicious.
I try to give all benefit of the doubt and cheer on all our players but I find myself thinking that Xhaka has to be doing some of the things he does on purpose. Like he’s testing how much he can get away with. Being kind, he makes mistakes and doesn’t learn from them.
So much promise. Hope Emery gives Reiss Nelson a chance. Not sure we should hold onto Mkhitarayan surely a Chinese club may pay a good fee. Is it me being harsh or was Mustafi to blame for the winner? ANM – one of those things – he will learn and cares!
Please just sign another centre back and the lad from Celtic
Mustafi was absolutely to blame for the winner; ball watching and let the man sneak in behind him.
Had a look behind to see Suarez behind to yet chose to somehow stand and head the ball.
That was a terrible piece of defending.
Let’s blame Mustafi for global warming too !
They call it climate change now, otherwise known as the weather…
Boy O’ boy…
‘Climate crisis’ if you read the Guardian.. None the less, it clearly is Mustafi’s fault.
‘Climate crisis’ if you can read (slow, sizzling death if you can’t).
Given the timing of the pass/run Mr Bitey would have scored against most defences.
I thought Chambers was completely out of position, with Mustafi secondarily at fault–but a very good pass to take advantage of our positioning and a brilliant finish by an incredibly irritating but still world-class striker.
We have to get shot of Mustafi, the mood around him is now beyond repair.
Hopefully our fans don’t start turning on Niles, I really like him as a player, he had a very good first half, and he’s learning a new position.
It was classic Mustafi. Suarez was his man. He did not follow him close enough, half way hoping Chambers might stop him. That said, an excellent finish from the Uruguayan.
Does Mustafi know he is a defender and not a linesman?
OMG THIS!! I was actually shouting that at the TV because earlier in the game Chambers raised his arm before running too. This isn’t an attack on him but I think it is a leftover mentality from the Wenger era. Wenger never trusted the refs and I think he told defenders to let the linesman know about offsides to try and sway them. All it does is lose precious reaction time. With VAR entering the PL this season.. Just play to the whistle! Even if the call is grossly incorrect, computers will decide now! Are you smarter and more accurate… Read more »
For clarity, when I said “isn’t an attack on him”, I meant Wenger. It is very much a criticism of Mustafi.
I’m sorry, this is just stupid. Listen to Lee Dixon, who talks about how every defender should immediately raise his hand to influence the linesman. He learned that from George Graham, not Arsene Wenger. He did it alongside Tony Adams, not Mustafi.
I’m sorry, this is just wrong. Lee Dixon often talks about how he and the rest of his back line always raised their hands to try to influence the lineman. He learned this from George Graham, not Arsene Wenger. He did it playing alongside Tony Adams, not Mustafi.
He’s become a parody.
I dont know what people see in Niles but this dude belong to the championship. He certainly cannot be our full back before bellerin returns. The guy plays like he has psychological issues and low self esteem. I thought British boys are known for heart. His confidence with or without the ball is definitely not arsenal or a top 4 level. On a positive note though I see lots of skill in the team with the new boys. Big up to chambers. Now thats the British heart I’m talking about
He is not a RB and is not comfy there, he is learning the position. That’s the psychological conflict you are seeing, not low self esteem. The boy has grinded so hard that he is starting against Barcelona and playing a position Sagna used to play lol. You think someone who doubts their ability could do that so quickly and at such a young age?
How many times and how long have we heardt this potential crap about Niles. The premier league this season is even going to be more competitive. Trust me he’s going to cost us valuable points before bellerin comes back. Too casual, no urgency in his game, speed of thought is terrible . We’ve had plenty players who were converted from their original position bellerin inclusive. No excuses. He hasnt mproved one bit. Same old same old
Imagine having sagna in this team wow he was great
Thought we played well overall, considering all the changes and the own goal. Great goal by Auba and Ozil looked sharp.
AMN shouldn’t be too down, he did well in the first half.
Saka and Ceballos looked quality.
Let’s get a CB now.
Yep. Centre back is a must. Tierney’s injury isn’t improving and we will have to look elsewhere at left back. One of those two positions if not both, have to be filled before Thursday.
An enjoyable game and one that bodes well for the coming season if we can just find a functioning CB partnership and clear the f’ing ball when we’re under pressure in our own box. Main takeaway for me was that we looked so much better when there was at least one natural wide player on the pitch for us (Nelson 1st half, Saka/Martinelli 2nd half). For the first 20 mins of the 2nd half we had that slow, plodding play characteristic of last season (whenever we actually managed to have the ball). Anyway, am excited for next week. COYG!!
Keystone Cops defending. And I don’t just mean the calamitous own goal. Repeatedly giving the ball away in or around the box, absentee marking and positional naivety. Sort. It. Out!
Going forward it’s pretty decent. Ceballos, Saka and Martinelli all caught the eye.
Sokratis did well, and Maitland-Niles had a pretty good game, actually (the own goal was exceptionally bad, but also an exception). Monreal also dealt very well with the very fast and very talented Dembele. Chambers and Mustafi as a CB pairing, on the other hand, is the stuff of nightmares.
in fairness to Chambers he was shouting his head off at Mustafi to get in to position before the Suarez goal.
In all fairness Suarez came from chambers side and ran straight down the center. So how exactly is it Mustafi’s fault?
Because we zonal mark
So was he just suppose to leave the man open and mark Suarez, whilst chambers was marking nobody
“Repeatedly giving the ball away in or around the box” – it was so bad, it was surreal. Did we lose a bet?
Willock continues to prove he’s the real deal. That defensive tracking and awareness for his goal line clearance is something our ‘club captain’ Xhaka keeps failing to do.
Willock has to be in for a start again Newcastle. Guendouzi also looked good.
I can’t believe Matteo Guendouzi gets the stick from a section of our fan base.
This boy issl still young and has a lot of room for improvement. He makes mistake, granted, but most of the time he plays in a way that beguiles his age. People should understand that he is still young and learning. In 3 — 4 years time, I am confident his name will be on everyone’s lips.
Ceballos too is going to do some serious madness this season. Has really silky feet.
Overall, a decent performance.
100% agreed. There’s an unpredictability from Ceballos. He seems to be slightly awkward when he receives the ball and then pulls off the deftest touch and move. Really excited to see him play for us this season
Guendouzi is an absolute baller, he’s going all the way to the top, and we should extend his contract ASAP
We did extend it and gave him a raise….good news.
Xhaxa will be pushed out at some point this season. Willock too is impressive.
I hope. He’s slow: in feet and of mind. Pathetic. Just hope this armband bullshit doesn’t affect selection.
First half was really encouraging, thought we defended well and built from the back around a decent Barca press.
Ozil showed his quality as a 10 with his pass to Auba for the opener and showed how he really can’t be trusted as winger when he was moved to the right in the second half.
I thought we lost the rhythm moving Willock to the 10 as Guendozi and Xhaka showed once again they’re not a very solid partnership.
Really like the look of Martinelli.
Agree completely, I too don´t like Xhaka – Guendouzi partnership. Martinelli looks quite good just need to keep working and sometimes when he beats one player it could be better to pass than take on another. I also don´t like to imagine Mustafi to partner one of our young guys (Holding, Chambers), there isn´t any confidence coming from him and surely it would be better for them to play with someone calm and competent. That Mustafi´s hand is almost certain to flash upwards as soon as something goes wrong 🙂 it´s super annoying now.
I just like Martinelli’s desire to make things happen. He said he models his game after Ronaldo and while having nowhere near the quality he has that similar drive to score and willingness to get into the box.
How many 18 year olds would cut in front of a golden boot winner because they fancied a scissors volley at the Camp Nou? Gotta love it.
I think the main issue around Mustafi partnering with a younger defender is that he needs guidance himself. That, plus a sense of superiority he has over less experienced players meaning he won’t listen to their advice either. Classic example was him not listening to Chambers for the Suarez goal. The younger guy had more wisdom but Mustafi felt entitled to do a Mustafi. Then we conceded.
Suarez came from Chambers side, and ran straight in between both of them and mustafi was already marking someone, whilst chambers was marking no-one.
Nope. Chambers is occupying the correct zone for a RCB. Mustafi looks and see’s Suarez running into the space directly behind him, and doesn’t react. Chambers is slightly slow in running behind Mustafi to shut out the danger but ultimately Suarez doesn’t get a free shot on goal if Mustafi tracks *his* man.
Good guy Mustafi. Gave Emery another reminder why centre-back is needed NOW.
Guys, I have a question.
Does Mustafi knows that he is supposed a defender?
You’ve missed a couple of words out…
or a couple of letters…
Was really impressed by Martinelli, he definitely is one for the future.. Him, Willock and Saka are gonna be lethal.
Really hope Willock starts next week, he was brilliant tonight. Also hope some one hides Mustafi’s passport and he has to walk back to London
Imagine in 3 seasons if all young prospects come good. The starting 11 is immense! British attacking core too!
Nelson/Martinelli Willock B.Saka/N.Pepe
Tierney? Saliba Holding Bellerin
That’s before even thinking about any additional XP players we would have bought by then too. Drooling!
Our defence is so shit!! Been watching arsenal for 28 years, and I feel this is the worst, and most embarrassing defence we have had. No balance, no fight, just a joke. Pepe is a great buy, but I feel we need to spend big on our defence first.
We also need defenders who are available now, not fking next year or injured for 3 months. GET THIS FKING DEFENCE SORTED.
With one week left until the league starts, I was surprised that Emery did so many substitutions. If Özil and Torreira are supposed to start against Newcastle, he should have let them play the whole match. The same goes for the starting back four.
Otherwise, this was great training. Barcelona was all over the Arsenal players in midfield, and with the exception of the dangerous tackles you get in the English premier league, this friendly served to sharpen the match rustiness of the squad.
Mustafi is a calamity. Enough is enough.
Yes, but what to do about him? Nobody wants to buy him (I wonder why?) and he won’t leave for a pay cut. We either put him in the reserves and pay him a fortune in wages or buy out his remaining contract – also very expensive. You choose…
How were Chambers and Sokratis before Mustafi came on? Would they be OK at Newcastle?
They did fine. Chambers had a calamitous moment when he lost the ball right in front of goal with some clumsy footwork. In general, I’ve never found him convincing as a CB (neither did Fulham!), but he was ok tonight.
ARSENAL, do we have to remind you what a fucking clean sheet means,, fuck sake
But we’ve not improved the defence from last season so what do you expect? Unless we do, it will be more of the same in the coming season.
hope to god Mustafi is sold before the season starts
I know this will not be popular, but Mustafi is a better defender than Chambers. To be clear, I don’t want either of them starting for Arsenal, but Mustafi is the better of the two. In my opinion.
Possibly, but that’s saying very, very little particularly if you consider that together they cost us £50 million. What could we do with that money now?
And? Even if true (at the least, debatable), I’d rather watch Chambers make mistakes than that hand-waving, slip-and-sliding, ass clown.
And? I see. You’d rather have a worse defender because you don’t like Mustafi. How does this make any sense at all? I hope you prioritize results rather than you emotions or personal preferences.
Who’d buy him? Don’t you think other clubs see what we see?
I am positive everybody will be blaming Mustafi for the goal even though Suarez came from Chambers side and ran straight down the middle
Blah, blah, change the fucking tune. You and that other guy, always making strawman arguments in favour of Muttface. He’s shit and I don’t care if a player runs through the other nine before getting to him and scoring, he. needs. to. go. now.
What’s the ‘straw man’ argument, exactly? I don’t think you know what this means in the context of the posts so far, but I’d be delighted to hear your explanation.
Unpopular opinion, but not fond of Maitland-Niles.
Nonchalant style works if you’re Thierry Henry or Ibrahimovic, not a defender.
Xhaka is the man to make way for either Ceballos / Willock. Just too sloppy and his mistakes will cost us dear.
Or try to play Guendouzi instead of him more often especially if he keeps doing those mistakes.
Absolutely. He needs to be playing games that don’t matter that much.
Another expensive Wenger flop … he certainly did bring in a fair number in the latter years.
You think Wenger bought Xhaka?
Overall positive, impressed by the following:
• Nelson work rate and understanding with Monreal (tracking back)
• Willock’s composure and growing presence within the team
• Ceballos eagerness sets a good tempo, comfortable with both feet.
• Saka’s crosses seem to always find teammate
• Martinelli has good anticipation in oppositions box
• Chambers passing out from the back seem better than previous games
• Ozil controlled the game well until he went to right wing
• Ainsley maitland-niles 1v1 defending is improving, just concentration lets him down
For all the talk of a left back, RB seems to be an issue and I’m not sure AMN is the man to fill in for a constantly-crocked bellerin. Forget the own goal, it is what it is, but we don’t seem to be able to get much going down the right hand side of the pitch and he gives the ball away too cheaply. I like Sideshow Bob a lot, he brings a ton of energy and persistence into the midfield, I just wish he would push the ball forward more quickly. He hangs onto the ball a little… Read more »
Silly own goal, but not too bad overall. Only “friendly” games of course but we didn’t manage to beat any of the big sides we played. What does it all mean for the new season? Well, if we don’t strengthen the defence it’s going to be very difficult to get that vital top four finish. We may have closed the gap in some areas in comparison to the leading clubs but the defence remains the weakness. We’ll be punished for it unless we can do some business in the short time remaining.
We beat bayern Munich.
Happened to catch this from the cheap seats. A few thoughts: * I want to like our young guys, but with the exception of Willock, the rest were all too slow in possession and therefore too easily dispossessed or forced into a mistake. Maybe they just need blooding in, but the game was too fast for them. * Leno looks sharp * Chambers can play a little, tho he got too cute a couple times * our midfield is weak. We struggled to play out from the back all game long — especially for long stretches of the second half.… Read more »
“Suarez is still a major prick.” . I don’t see what Suarez did in this game to be labelled a major prick?
In my honest opinion, it’s unlikely that AMN makes that pass if he’s a pure fullback. A lot of football is played based on habit and patterns ingrained from time in the academy and youth football.
A true defender will rarely pass back without first checking for the GK’s position. He passed the ball back like a midfielder passing back to a defender.
Their second goal filled me with so much more horror than their first, because while the first was relatively freakish the second was indicative of our regular defensive woes: Mustafi took a look at Suarez over his shoulder, then took his eye off and lost his man allowing him in behind – a lapse in concentration; Chambers beside him realised the danger, realised he was Mustafi’s man and signalled to his partner to track him, but was painfully slow to react to cover Mustafi’s error; and neither of our defensive midfielders, Guendouzi or Torreira, tracked the runner as they should… Read more »
Our dithering, well pure fucking about let’s be honest, in the box was a disgrace. I can only hope it was some weird live training exercise whereby if play as moronically as possible, then things can only go up from there.
You’re such a peach, George.
emery is definitely heading for failure with this defense.. moreover is it because other world class teams are building from the back that he feels we need to do the same? with that defense, we can’t! we see that time and again and people hoping that emery will fix in the next 3 months what he never has in 12 months is beyond me.
as long as xhaka is here, we will be an europa league team at best
There are two kind of players, the ones that look and the ones that don’t. For all his qualities, Maitland-Niles does not look before he passes. His offensive passes were largely made blindly into the Barcelona box, where our forwards should or might have been. (They are sometimes still very effective).
Mkhitaryan also sometimes makes passes to nobody in particular, while players like Guendouzi and Özil always observes before passing, trying to do something sensible with the ball. Saka is very promising in that regard too.
What kind of sub is at 85th minute to swap Sokratis for Mustafi?? Wake up now!