2-0 down. 3-2 up. We should all be happy. Right? And yet…and yet…this football team. They really are odd.

Read the Arsenal 3-2 Aston Villa report and see the goals here

Here’s how the players rated this evening.

Ratings

The ratings are now hidden by default until you vote, but if you just want to view the ratings and the comments, flick the switch at the top above Bernd Leno. Also, give the ratings a few seconds to load.

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Azurelas
Azurelas

0 for Joe Willock?

Goo-nerd
Goo-nerd

I think his desire was only exceeded by Guendouzi, who noticed the strikers were not creating space for the final ball and drove into the box himself.

The game turned completely when Willock and Torreira came on.

eric
eric

We need Torreira in place of xhaka from the start

Dave M
Dave M

I gave him 10, he’s amazing. Someone give me a good reason why we are starting Xhaka over him… please? Torreira and Willock have to play more, Xhaka less in the EPL…simples!

Prakhar
Prakhar

This wasn’t a good ebening.
Emery out.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

Toxicity level 100.

Prakhar
Prakhar

#ToxicityIn

Dial square charity XI
Dial square charity XI

Sounds like a petro club – Toxi City

PepePeppa
PepePeppa

System of a Down?

Pat Fried Rice with Egg
Pat Fried Rice with Egg

All these upvotes tell me that us fans are still thinking why didn’t we get heavy metal football Jurgen

SweGooner
SweGooner

Open eyes level 100

Duncan
Duncan

Not sure what Emery can do about the fact that Koscielny insisted on leaving and Holding isn’t ready to play (Luiz looking more and more like the panic buy he was), nor that Maitland Niles got sent off. He selected our best formation and best available team and won an exciting game with 10 men, with well judged substitutions to boot. I’m not convinced he’s the man in the long term, but strange time to call for his head, on a weekend where we moved 3 points ahead of Chelsea, Tottenham and Man U with a 10 man win.

loom
loom

Ah c’mon Duncan ffs. Last week we’ve struggled against the bottom of the league club, who just got beaten 8-0 yesterday, and this week we’ve struggled against the worst of the promoted sides. We are playing atrociously, and now is as good a time as any to raise the alarm bells

Sachin
Sachin

Emery needs more time but he needs to start winning the minds. Hire a better English tutor and a better defense coach!

Nasri’s missing chinbone
Nasri’s missing chinbone

This is completely true, however Liverpool weren’t immediately great under Klopp. Let’s not be the knee jerk reaction club that we’ve never been before. I’d rather not become Chelsea if it can be avoided.

That said, it would be nice if we didn’t look so devoid of identity and clear game plans each week.

Also no idea why Ozil has played 75 mins of football since the start of the season.

Duncan
Duncan

We play atrociously when he selects the diamond midfield, but we’ve been ok when he goes for the 4-3-3. Can’t understand the logic of saying “Emery out” after a victory with 10 men, with top four prospects (our stated goal for the season… which I believe is shared by most of the fanbase) in good shape as it stands. If you watch football to have your prejudices against the manager confirmed then maybe you didn’t enjoy yesterday. If you watch Arsenal because you want them to win, then yesterday was a great day.

sushant Gupta
sushant Gupta

I disagree that he selected our best combo, We have attacking FB, u do not pick 2 slow MF in Xhaka -Guendouzi to protect them. We have also observed that Sok-Luiz do not work as partnership change that’s also. So if pick Torreira + Guendouzi/Xhaka & one of luiz/Sok + Chambers/rob. it may work much better. We r good going forward, at least play to our strength…

shaka
shaka

doozi isnt a CM..he cant protect toffee. didnt play in Frankfurt, and there was a clean sheet.

goonshow
goonshow

So why did he deem Bielik surplus to requirements?

shaka
shaka

emery has made Arsenal Villa again.

Axedsoul
Axedsoul

Pardon my shenanigans but I’ll copy paste my comment from the match report post here. It’s been scrutinised by Blogs before he sees it fit to publish.

Axedsoul
Axedsoul

Shit. Fucking Shit. Masochistic Fucking Shit. Stupid Masochistic Fucking Shit must I be that I willingly put myself through this atrocity week in and out. That was Aston Villa for fucks sake, at Emirates, our home ground, it should have been a walk in the park but Nooooooooo, we’ll fucking make Grealish look like a Messi. My emotions are just going berserk. Relief, anger, frustration, joy, madness, excitement, drama all rolled into one. A roller coaster of palpitation, constant cussing, screaming, exultation, dropping tears, hair pulling, bone chilling depression, pumping adrenaline is what this was. Who needs crack when you could be a Gooner instead. FUCK!

Axedsoul
Axedsoul

Being scrutinised*
Oh well what do you know, the comment to my comment is undergoing moderation now.

Axedsoul
Axedsoul

Being*
Oh well, apparently the reply to my comment is undergoing moderation.

OnlyBeingHonest
OnlyBeingHonest

are you drunk?

Santi’s Smile
Santi’s Smile

Moderators on this site have the implicit trust of readers. Whatever delay is place to hide your comment – temporarily or permanently – are part of what make this site such a trusted forum for Gunners. There are no shortage of sites that will allow you to post indiscriminately. Go there if you feel unjustly scrutinized.

Comedian
Comedian

Perfecto

A Different George
A Different George

Btw, given your name–Santi scored a penalty yesterday and played all 90.

A Different George
A Different George

I’m sure he was smiling.

Axedsoul
Axedsoul

Ah, I believe I’ve made myself misunderstood. I do not feel that my comment was unfairly perused by the mods. I believe I’ve been active here for 8 years running and I’ve never felt the need to switch to any other forum. Just like my love for our club, the Arseblog communion has been deeply ingrained into my being.
I wasn’t insinuating that I was subjected to wrongful moderation. Yesterday’s game aroused a tumultuous uproar of emotions within me and I felt bottled up when my comment (which is essentially a physical form of my thoughts) couldn’t get published (timely).

Gooner85
Gooner85

Is it time to bring Chambers into the middle for Luiz or Sokratis?

Maul Person
Maul Person

He shouldn’t have been dropped in the first place…

Upamecano but downalego
Upamecano but downalego

Very true, but sadly with AMN serving a ban it looks like Chambers will have to play RB in the next PL game. Not sure Bellerin is fit enough to start yet.

Sokratis can do well with Chambers or Holding beside him, but not Luiz, they bring out the worst in each other especially with little cover from midfield and the full-backs. The likes of Luiz, Mustafi and Xhaka are better suited to opponents from the continent in the Europa, maybe integrate them in some kinder domestic cup ties. For PL we should be playing Chambers and Sokratis (replaced by Holding when fit) with two of Willock, Guendouzi and Torreira ahead of them. Add in the soon to return Bellerin and Tierney, with Martinez keeping Leno on his toes, and our PL defence suddenly looks a lot more appealing. Our ‘B-team’ is actually pretty well suited to European football, especially our group stage opposition.

PL/1st team (when fit):
Leno.
Bellerin, Chambers/Sokratis, Holding, Tierney.
Guendouzi, Willock/Torreira.
Pepe, Ceballos, Aubameyang.
Lacazette.
With a decent mix on the bench depending on availability and the opponents.

EL:
Martinez.
AMN, Sokratis/Luiz, Mustafi, Kolasinac.
Xhaka/Luiz, Torreira/Willock/AMN.
Nelson/ESR, Ozil, Saka.
Martinelli/Pepe.
*obviously add a few PL players when and where needed if the tie deserves it, if Bellerin needs game-time bring him in and finally give AMN the chance in midfield he has earned.

FA Cup:
Find a decent mix between PL and EL, but don’t risk anyone bordering on injuries or fatigue.

Carabao Cup:
See EL but add more youth, and any PL squad players coming back from injury who need minutes.

Sachin
Sachin

Sokratis and Mustafi are a comedy duo. But clearly the current first choice pair don’t look like partners at all.

Nasri’s missing chinbone
Nasri’s missing chinbone

Spot fucking bollock on this.

But then again utter madness to suggest we play a defender that actually likes defending and didn’t put a foot wrong in our opening game’s clean sheet, who we subsequently then dropped.

Our only clean sheet…

Doesn’t take a genius does it

George
George

Yes! We need to know what we have.

Luiz is garbage, we hoped it might be different, but alas. And Sokratis is not good enough to be a regular starter and I can’t stand his antics. Ideally, Holding and Chambers would beat these two out by the end of the season. Ideally.

Jack
Jack

I honestly don’t think we would’ve got into this mess in the first place if Ozil had started today. If he won’t start his star player at home against a promoted side then what on Earth is going on?

Goo-nerd
Goo-nerd

How do you figure that? Not being sarcastic – would genuinely would like to know what your reasoning is.

The criticism of Özil is that he is a luxury player and doesn’t track back or defend, and therefore the pressing is defeated and the midfield gets easily bypassed.

I don’t think it would’ve been any worse had Özil started, but not sure I think it would’ve been better.

Pretty damning that even with Laca out (who plays as a 9.5 more than an out and out striker), Özil still can’t get into the team.

FGS
FGS

How many more years of Emery’s tenure do you need to see to believe that he’s unwilling to use Ozil, or any traditional no. 10, regardless of circumstance? That is one thing that had never changed throughout Unai’s career.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

It’s almost as if some fans have been hit by that Men In Black device that wipes people’s memories, and they’ve forgotten years of forgettable performances (pun not intended), chief among them the Europa league final.

Mpls
Mpls

And the rest have forgotten his reputation for bossing the flat track at home.

A Different George
A Different George

Right–people who rate Ozil highly think he is brilliant against many different opponents. People who don’t rate him think he is only good at home against crap, non-physical sides, when (they admit) he is often brilliant. So, Villa at home?

I can only believe–as many suspected at the end of last season– that Emery, or the owners, are purposely trying to force Ozil to leave, for financial, not football, reasons.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

The last truly excellent home game Ozil had for us was against Leicester, nearly a year ago. And yes people can say he didn’t get many games last season but he started at home against Palace and Brighton during our infamous end of season run-in and he didn’t make a difference. Dropping Ozil is perhaps the one Emery decision I actually do understand…

goonshow
goonshow

Here’s a different view:
perhaps one can’t have both Ozil and Xhaka in the same team? Certainly they perform very different roles but both are defensive liabilities and both tend to leave unexpected gaps in midfield. Although, in a strange way, Ozil’s are less catastrophic because (a) he’s further from our goal so more time to compensate and (b) you kinda know he’s not going to win (or even attempt) more than 1 in 5 tackles.
Conversely, breaking up play is a key part of Xhaka’s job… except he tends to break up ours as much as the opposition’s!
The point is that – if we have a rock-solid, mobile defensive midfield – we can afford the creative luxury of an Ozil higher up the pitch.

Pat Fried Rice with Egg
Pat Fried Rice with Egg

Think your comment speaks more about Xhaka than Ozil

shaka
shaka

cant have doozi and ozil in the same team. Both cannot play CM and shield the defense. Both are better in the attacking third of the pitch. Doozi is Emery’s endless love, so Ozil and Willock etc have to sit on the sides.

Fred
Fred

Ozil isn’t our star player. He’s payed like, it but doesn’t play like it. Doesn’t track back or put enough effort in for the modern day premier league. Auba is definitely our star player…

Reality check
Reality check

Emery definitely has insecurities against top players. After Neymar debacle he’s picked on Ozil to satisfy his stupid ego.. he’s not a very good man manager and clearly out of his depth at big clubs..

Alex
Alex

Spot on!

Petit's Handbag
Petit's Handbag

Oh please stop this Ozil nonsense! Do you not remember Baku!! I loved Ozil, loved him. What a player he was. But he’s done, end of. He was a very good player but he cannot cut it in the premier League anymore. And if you want to come back at me, use recent examples please…

Martin Dufosse
Martin Dufosse

Ozil is not a top player. If he was they would have been queuing up for him in the summer. We couldn’t give him away.

Fred
Fred

I don’t think you can say that with 100% certainty. Yea he’s probably scarred by the Neymar thing, but seriously look at the top midfields in the premier league and world. #10’s that roam and don’t work hard aren’t at the fore. And no one here can tell me I don’t watch Ozil not track back and not work hard defensively hardly ever. I’ve never seen an aftv video in my 5 years of supporting arsenal. Ozil is an amazingly gifted player, but doesn’t work in modern football. Especially with a team that is as weak in defense and defensive midfield as we are at the moment. We can’t afford him, financially, and on the pitch, we have to get more athleticism out of more midfield. If Ozil lined up next to Kante and matuidi (or something like that idk) then great, but we do not need him, and he is not good for us right now.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

So you’re saying Neymar is a fantastic professional and not at all a divey cheating diva that always takes time off for his sister’s birthday, but Emery just couldn’t handle him? Of all the sticks to beat Emery with (and there are plenty), that isn’t a good one!

TeeCee
TeeCee

You forgot to mention Neymar’s posse of paid arselickers in that put down. Credit where credit’s due.

Mpls
Mpls

Neymar is an insufferable twat.

Oregoon

All of our defensive woes are because Ozil can’t play defense and doesn’t track back. Second year of this propaganda bullshit , and I guess we could put seven others guys into that category? We should fault Ozil for not taking responsibility for his new contract and actually upping his game. But Emery, how about faulting him for changing the culture of the team, and then failing to respond to the problems caused by his changes, or when things have gone bad. This is really how managers get graded. We have a lack of confidence and togetherness, and seemingly, feel uneasy enough to include the manager in describing our problems. This game, the most important of the season, saved his ass for now, but I don’t see Emery leading this team to becoming a force in the league nor even playing up to our potential. I just don’t think it is in him, and I hope I am dead wrong.

Alex
Alex

It’s high time some here start to REALLY watch Özil play with their own eyes and not via Arsenal fan tv and the Sun. Özil has improved his game, check Arsenal – Valence. He DOES track back. Just watch. And on the other hand isn’t he meant to attack? Don’t you trust your defense to do the job? Why aren’t the other PL 10 continuously harassed by the media for their lack of defensive work? Because they don’t do more than Özil.

Vonnie
Vonnie

Exactly Alex, but sadly some would rather believe what they are told. Mesut hadn’t played for a while and was clearly a bit rusty against Watford, but he still produced a moment of magic to set up a goal and had a good all round performance. Only after he was taken off did it all fall apart because there was no outball.

Fred
Fred

Vonnie! I wonder why there always has to be some personal element to these comments. We’re all arsenal fans. I just see things differently than you do! Yes he play 1 line breaking through ball that I can remember (seemed to miss a couple others to Pepe you’d expect him to make). My main complaint with the guy is when I see him not trying and win the ball back immediately after we loose it in the midfield area. He never has. We used to accommodate him and the premier league used to be a little different/less intense so players like him could thrive. I don’t believe what I’m told. I’m not on Twitter, not on aftv, I’m just a gooner loving in North Carolina, commenting on what I see. That’s all friend:)

Mpls
Mpls

Then turn off the commentators and don’t read the comments section before deriving your own opinion.

But it’s too late for your opinion of Ozil, because it’s already been set.

A Different George
A Different George

You know, if you can say about a player, after every match, that “he didn’t do much except create one goal,” you have a world-class maker of goals on your team.

A P
A P

Tough for a world-class goal-maker if he has a dick of a head coach.

Petit's Handbag
Petit's Handbag

He does try and track back, but he does not have the legs for it anymore. Don’t defend someone just because idiots talk bad about them or you become the idiot as well

Martin Dufosse
Martin Dufosse

You need to watch him. Like having ten men .

Vonnie
Vonnie

Emery hates Mesut and nothing that Mesut does will ever change that. Emery can’t deal with senior players, which is why he froze out Mesut and Aaron Ramsey before they’d even kicked a ball. If you look back at Emerys history he has always had issues with senior players. I was glad when Wenger left, but we have exchanged a professor for a primary school teacher, an Arsene for an Arsehole.

Petit's Handbag
Petit's Handbag

An Arsene for an Arsehole….that’s not clever is it? Were you hoping it would be!? He also came to trust Ramsey, played him and dare I say, got the best out of him.

Yak
Yak

How did he freeze Ramsey out? Ramsey was on his way out so Emery decided to focus on those players he knew were staying. But despite this he still played Ramsey during the second half of the season until his untimely injury after which we promptly fell apart!

Rob_holdingtheanswer?
Rob_holdingtheanswer?

That’s a load of nonesense. The reason he leaves Ozil out, is because he values dynamism and overlaping runs over passing and creativity.

Drew
Drew

Hardly, he keeps playing Xhaka.

goonshow
goonshow

yes – like Granit

Phil
Phil

How’d you go about backing this up? How is Ozil more senior than Auba, Laca, Xhaka, Luiz, Sokratis etc etc. If Emery ‘can’t deal’ with senior players why is he picking them week in week in.

The real problem is when fans start changing their mind about a manager they forget all else and lay the blame for everything at their feet. Ozil has not consistently produced for a while now and does go missing in big games. I’ve seen him run back plenty of times but never with the real intensity/conviction needed to win the ball back. He would genuinely be a star in a better team, just not this team, and that is in no way Emery’s fault…

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Genuinely baffled by this comment. What is it about Ozil’s performances over the last 3 years that makes you so sure he would have made the difference? You do realise it’s not 2015/16 anymore?

Gunner55
Gunner55

I don’t know if Ozil would have made the ‘big’ difference that some think he would have made. But there was a time in the first half when we had possession when we really missed his incisive passes. There were a few unspotted runs into the box that Ozil would have definitely picked. Particularly because Villa were not pressing us for the ball around their box.

Mark
Mark

Regardless of why Ozil isn’t playing and whether he should or not (we all have different opinions on that for sure) it is ridiculous that we have 350,000 per week tied up in a player that rarely plays (a total of 71 minutes in 6 PL and 1 EL matches). It’s very telling that he didn’t play in either match this week, both ones last year he probably would have started (or at least one of the two). I know it’s tough to offload his salary to another team, but we have two more years of his contract to deal with and at this point it’s a complete disaster.

Mpls
Mpls

Sure it’s very telling, but what’s it telling OF?
Manager?
Player?
Formation and tactics mismatch?
Shitty Dm’s And CB’s?

If you think it’s one or another, the others could be well and equally argued. That’s why opinions are so mixed.

Sachin
Sachin

I don’t think he would have done worse than Pepe or Ceballos. As of now two people are allowed to pass ahead in this team. Luiz and Xhaka. Next the creative responsibilities lie with Kolosinac and AMN. It’s stupid, this strategy. Far worse than the possession bog we had found ourselves in the last years of Wenger’s reign. We need the forwards to take gamble and the midfield to support them. And if your fullback can’t outpace, dribble or cross – let them at least not present the opposition with easy counterattacking chances! Ozil brings order. I don’t want him to track back, I want my midfielders to support his genius. Torriera and Guendozi for all their drive and energy aren’t going to unlock defenses FFS.

Guns Up
Guns Up

Hasn’t Guendouzi done exactly that several times recently, including yesterday when he dribbled half the Villa defense and won the penalty?

assistantref
assistantref

Emery has made it very clear he doesn’t rate Ozil, doesn’t want him, and doesn’t want to use him if he can possibly avoid it. As long as Emery remains at the club this seems exceedingly unlikely to change. Right now they’re just both playing chicken hoping the other one leaves first.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

Not the best of performances, but commendable spirit, Guendouzi was far better in the second half.
Emery’s interventions were spot on.
But we need to start the games strong and not let give smaller teams a chance to grow into it.

Gunnermite
Gunnermite

You are doing a good job as Emery’s PR. The man is clueless whether you admit or not. We keep hearing Man city and lipool went through similar states under pep and Klop but at this point of their tenures both managers had imprinted a playing style on their respective teams. Into his second season now and we are yet to know how Emery wants his team to play.

A fleeting glimpse
A fleeting glimpse

Saw some interesting stats last week. Wengers last 43 games and emery’s first 43 games. Wenger beat him in every area. We haven’t improved we have got worse. And with a good squad as well. Emery will strangle the life out of Arsenal like he did at PSG

A Gorilla
A Gorilla

Interested to see these if you have time to share here, whether on this thread or future ones. Cheers

Aaron
Aaron

I read that too but then it got me thinking.

Let me offer an analogy here –
Arsene has 21 years to build what he wanted and we took his 22nd year as his sample AND compared that against the 1st year of Emery’s.

This is like a company’s apprentice being allowed to grow in the organization and become the CEO and finally sack him after 22 years and expect an apprentice walking in to improve what was left with some tweaks to better the results of the departed CEO.
(I realize Arsenal didn’t hire Emery to be an apprentice but give the man some time, he hasn’t been all that bad)

After all, we were so close to securing top 4 last year and winning the Europa. This year with United, Chelsea and Spurs all struggling, let’s back our man and we should get into the top 4.

Yes, Emery can improve but he’s trying something albeit with the personnel which doesn’t suit the system but the defense is a mess more due to multiple individual errors than the setup itself. (Luiz and Xhaka contributing )

Sachin
Sachin

Ha! Individual errors? Like tiki-taka with your goalie?? Like making Xhaka your captain? Like having your fullbacks scampering 99% of the time? Like being again stifled by a physical and well-coached team 10 days after Watford? Emery has been found out when it comes to tactics. You can’t depend on Auba every time. All the stick people beat Wenger with – defensive coaching, video analysis, defensive midfielders – it’s been a year and nothing has changed. Emery is no Klopp but this is very much his team now. You can’t blame the system anymore. And questioning his approach doesn’t mean he won’t be backed – it means he better buck up his ideas

A P
A P

Close to securing top 4? We lost top 4 when it was there for the taking! It’s like the team and head coach conspiring not to win, so they can enjoy the Europa League again!

EnriqueIn
EnriqueIn

What’s the system?

A fleeting glimpse
A fleeting glimpse

Wengers final 43 games were his poorest. Your analogy doesn’t quite work when we factor that in.

goonshow
goonshow

Difficult to ‘suit the system’ when no-one seems to know what that system actually is?

Richard
Richard

Commendable spirit after the double substition, when we played with urgency – which is the way we should play all the time. The decision so get Saka off, who was one of our best players in the first half, is puzzling – in light of insisting that Xhaka stays on, despite him being the brake in most of our attacking play.

Sachin
Sachin

Also interestingly, AMN is on the record saying that he doesn’t want to be a fullback anymore. His silent industriousness has been taken for granted by Emery. With people assuming he would be ok to be a standby for Bellerin or an emergency leftback… however you feel about him, Chambers should be starting anyway in absence of Bellerin because he is at the very least a natural defender.

goonshow
goonshow

GET IN THERE!!!!!!

What a fight-back from our supposedly leaderless, rudderless 10 men!
And if anyone on this form attempts to defend Xhaka’s place in this team again, you clearly did watch the utter transformation once he left the field: fluid, quick, feisty, incisive.
Contrast that with:

– yet another crazy challenge (and booking) just outside our area
– pedestrian processing of the ball resulting in our momentum being killed – when Ceballos took the quick free kick in our area with the out-ball, his clumsiness was almost comical
– one-footedness costing us a very dangerous attacking chance in their area. Again… comical if it was so frustrating!

The bottom line is that a 10-man Xhaka-less Arsenal looked way more effective that the 11 with him on the pitch… and that is a sad indictment indeed.

Duno
Duno

I’ve run out of words. Xhaka is bad for us. Attack and defence wise. He can’t play with his right foot if his life depended on it. He’s so fucking slow. I have him a 0.5 on the ratings and it’s not just what he does poorly, it’s what he doesn’t, and the intangibles like mentality and passion. Xhaka can’t be our captain if we want to move forward.

Dave M
Dave M

Yup, he has no business playing in the premier league. He is just not suited to the pace of the game in the EPL. He’s a good player (not great), but he belongs on the continent and when the game slows down he’s effective. Auba is our captain…give him the armband already! I mean just look what that win meant. I don’t get why anyone thinks he isn’t the right guy to be captain.

Sachin
Sachin

Xhaka is a limited player for a team that used to be Barca Lite only a few years back, but he’d be a much better player in a different system. Barry, Henderson and Milner are two very limited players who have been fantastic in well drilled systems.

But it’s important to remember, when we had Parlour we also had Petit and Vieira and Gilberto.

Kolkata_Gooner
Kolkata_Gooner

This is so true. Our standards of judging a player seriously need to reassessed if we think a player has “done alright” if he has not made any error leading to a goal and played a very basic game. We need to ask what the player brings to the team, and in Xhaka’s case, who plays in a crucial position in the team, perhaps the most important position in football in terms of how the game is controlled, Xhaka gives us nothing. He has his skill set, I’m not dissing him completely, and in a different team, with a different set of players he may be a much better player, but its clear as day that in the last 15 games or so, Xhaka’s poor performances have dictated our performances as a whole team, and we looked so much better without him.

goonshow
goonshow

They aren’t ‘our’ standards mate… just Santori’s

goonshow
goonshow

There’s a famous advertising industry quote from the guru, David Ogilvy:
Always hire people who are better than you are. And if you don’t, ask yourself why.
Is Xhaka ‘better’ than Ramsey, Santi, Mikel, Edu, Gliberto, Vieira, Petit, Parlour, Rocastle, Davis, Thomas, Brady, Armstrong…
He certainly cost more – even in today’s inflated terms.

Jack
Jack

Totally agree

Petit's Handbag
Petit's Handbag

Very well put.

Niran
Niran

Since Arsenal Got Xhaka No Champions League Qualification…Where Xhaka Plays Is So Vital.. We Need Better Than Xhaka… He Isn’t Suited To The EPL Pr A 3 Man Versatile Midfield…I Say Give His Place To Willock… ToDay Was Big Proof Arsenal Is A Better Team Without Xhaka

Very Anxious Gooner
Very Anxious Gooner

Why is Ozil not starting these games? And why the hell does Xhaka get to start that too with an arm band? Emery owes the fans these answers!!

joanne Jeffery
joanne Jeffery

Understand that Guendouzi was really proactive in the second half and probably the best player but he was dire in the first. The two sort of balance each other out. Not an 8 rating for me. Don’t understand what I’m missing in terms of Torreira. Seems such an obvious starter compared to Xhaka even if his form isn’t 100 per cent, isn’t he the future? Dreadful overall team performance. Got to be down to the coach. I know we have some not great players but we seem to be no more than the sum of our parts. But really like Willock. And Saka looked bright again.

Mpls
Mpls

I’m sure it’s just hesitancy from Emery to play Torreira, who can get overrun at times, with two first season PL players in Willock and Ceballos. In theory Xhaka is the ‘experienced and responsible steady hand’ with top quality passing through the lines to turn defense into attack. But as we saw (as did Emery today..) he’s just not had those performances recently.

I don’t know, I may be reading more into it, but his body language this season has been off. I seriously wonder if he was potentially a transfer possibility this past summer. Or if conversation with Emery has left him unsettled and if his performances have something to do with the captaincy stalling.

Sachin
Sachin

Hmm. Interesting…

I personally love Torreira but it’s easy to bypass him lately – height! Emery tried playing him higher up but it hasn’t clicked so far. I’d still play him and Guendouzi slightly closer to defense and each other and give more freedom to a Ceballos/Ozil.

joanne Jeffery
joanne Jeffery

I did wonder if something is up with Torreira wanting to leave after those press reports but he denied them. For me he deserves to start then if he doesn’t deliver be substituted not the other way round.

yen
yen

Sorry for Saka as he seemed to be growing in to the game.

Absolutely loved a certain moment when he got a ball somewhere next to opposition’s box, defender immediately on his back. Kolasinac was right there as an easy way out. But no – he turned around, ready to take the guy on. Actually, it was fun – after ages – to have players on both flanks who can actually dribble and take on players.

Also, this time, it’s really player ratings. Because it was them who turned around the game.

SB Still
SB Still

While he would have been very disappointed to be sacrificed, I’m guessing it would mean he would be fresh enough to start again on Tue.

I don’t think anyone expected Emery to start him today. He seems to taking his chances this season.

I hope Willock starts as well on Tue. Along with some experienced heads like Holding and Chambers at CB.

Glasgow_Gooner
Glasgow_Gooner

Another tough day for Xhaka. Silly tackles, ball stuck under his feet and apologising to team mates for being too slow turning with the ball at counter attacks. Nice bloke, frustrating player.

Sachin
Sachin

What I really hate is for the fans to boo him. He is trying his best. It’s not his fault that Emery and other players can’t make things better. If he is bad he should be benched not booed by his supporters.

George
George

Fair enough, but he doesn’t help himself by making stupid plays all the time. Christ, when Moss is the ref you have to leave the moronic tendencies in the shed. Guy’s so fat and slow he’ll blow up anything to get a breather.

But, yeah, Xhaka has been a disaster and I hope we move on soon.

Rich
Rich

We’re in 4th place…. some of the reactions to this game have been typically OTT

I thoroughly enjoyed that, and if you can’t enjoy a 3-2 win like that, what’s the point?

I seem to be in a very small minority, but I see huge positives within our squad, and am really looking forward to next Monday night, United are in big trouble.

Pepe+Ceballos are struggling with the pace of the game, but it’ll come.

That was not a second half performance from a group of players who were about to throw their manager under a bus, 3rd or 4th is a real possibility this season, which would be progress.

Is Niles suspended for league cup? Or United?

A Different George
A Different George

Unless it has changed, the League Cup and the FA Cup have always counted as suspended matches after a sending off. But it looked to me that he was injured, and would not play regardless. Don’t know who will be our right back in that case–Chambers or Mustafi, I suspect.

Woolwich Shepherd
Woolwich Shepherd

That was a fantastic game from a pure football fan perspective. What a roller coaster. The subs were outstanding. Aubas free kick had me yelling at the top of my lungs. Guendouzi is getting better and better. I don’t need the heart attack, but it was fun. Onward. Maybe (just maybe) this is a character building win.

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

Apart from Auba and Lacazette, it’s the young players that are showing heart and fighting for the badge, this season. The 2 centre backs and Xhaka should not be anywhere near the starting lineup, when everyone is fit. Saka deserves a chance to make the left side his own. I believe there’s a good side in there and just a few players and good manager short of being a very good side.
Luckily, everybody else has been just as poor. From what I’ve seen of Arsenal this season, it makes a mockery of the “world’s best league” that we’re in 4th place, right now

Mutisya

oh yeah, John Terry.. hahahaha!

HansRott
HansRott

10/10 to the schadenfreude gods for pissing off Sp*rs fans. Big time.

Having had a nightmare game of their own yesterday …

Imagine their delight when we went 0-1 down.
Imagine their ecstasy when we went down to 10 men.
Then we scored. And were looking at a draw. Perhaps, at best.
At home.
Against lowly Villa.
A minute or two later they were back on cloud nine.
Villa were in front and the schadenfreude gods were having a field day.
But Sp*rs fans couldn’t even get that right.
We score again.
Only this time the draw was an ‘at worst’ scenario.
And … bless … if the Sp*rsy weekend didn’t get completed …
… when Auba steps forward and scores.

All that Sp*rsy hope dashed at the end of a game that had looked so promising for them so often and for such a long time.

In North London winning is always only part of the reward.

SarcasmB0t
SarcasmB0t

Why give a fuck about what Sp*rs fans think?

That’s small club mentality.

Don’t think about them, let them think about us, because they’re shit.

goonshow
goonshow

What are 4 Spuds doing on our forum?!

Goonerink

I think kolasinac deserves a mention for his performance. it wasnt prolific like last season, but he ran his arse off today.

Anders Limpar
Anders Limpar

His effort is nearly always top end, it’s just a crying shame the guy can’t defend!

Mikele
Mikele

Today defended well. In a better setup, he defends well.

Dave M
Dave M

Yeah, unfortunately blogs doesn’t like him and he is always getting shaded here. He was fantastic tonight, and he has a serious motor, sure he isn’t perfect, but he is a dam good player and shows passion and heart. I’m not sure why he gets slammed so much.

Hurensohn
Hurensohn

He really seemed wound up by the red card and started charging around angrily until the end of the game. Maybe someone should give him a right kick up the arse before games and he might play better.

bob
bob

Yeah, I love how pissed of he was, him and other players too. Like they were really feeling the injustice from being behind and down to 10 men for some bullshit decision. I know some were dissappointed for some of Sokrates’ antics, but I fucking loved it. It immediately made things start to boil, and then we had Guendouzi who used that to energise the crowd and the rest of the players. We showed such, darn I say it, Pashun 🙂

Dave M
Dave M

One thing is for sure, xhaka is pashun emery. #Xhaka4emery4eva

goonshow
goonshow

Loved the way he barrelled in and fronted up to Heaton when he was giving Guenfrizzi a going over.

Cultured Determination
Cultured Determination

i was going through the player rating (masked) until i gave luiz a 9/10. needless to say i mistook him for his son, and so i abandoned the whole rating thing.

TRoberts
TRoberts

I’m no fan-boy, but you had laughable clown Sokratis w/5 and Luiz w/4? Luiz was not culpable for their 1st goal, that was on Guendouzi for not tracking then man that made his run behind Luiz’s back. Luiz with 2 passes into the box that, were not for brilliant saves, would have been assists. Meanwhile Sokratis, whom I used to be quite fond of is rolling around, wrapping himself around opponents legs and self-fisting his forehead. I think these ratings are quite off indeed.

NairoGunner89
NairoGunner89

Torreira has to start next game. He was good today.

Guendouzi was immense today as well.

Xhaka so far this season has been below average. If Emery dropped Ozil coz of performance then Xhaka should get the axe as well.

Ozil has to be given a fair chance, we can not tell if he will do what Emery wants if he is almost always benched – surely we can not be much worse with him in the squad?

Alex
Alex

Özil did well against Watford… and in pre season. What else must he do? Mystery.

Aaron
Aaron

Maybe he just doesn’t follow the instructions that his manager wants him to, tactically.
Yes, the man creates but we cannot have too many with the poor work rate when we already have both Auba and Pepe on the pitch. (I know Auba tracked back when we went 3-2 up, but otherwise it’s usually the left wing that gets exposed if you notice – as it is we have Kolasinac defending, Auba doesn’t offer much)

I think Ozil will get his chance when Lacazette is back. Laca works his socks off and that would help offset Ozil who can then do what he does best, just assist a crap load of goals.

bob
bob

Ha! Frankly I’d love it if more of our players ignored our managers “tactics”. Seems to hold them back, but today they really let loose and low and behold we got a fucking performance.

BarackObama
BarackObama

Seems clear that Emery wants to push Ozil out ASAP due to his wages. By underplaying him they hope he won’t hang around to see out his contract.

Oregoon

Double edged sword there as his wages were supposed to be offset by shirt sales. Gee, I would like to buy two of that guy that doesn’t play. What a f-ed up contract.

Jim
Jim

Aubameyang 16 Goals in 16 games. United 14 goals in 16! …. I think.

marxdrive
marxdrive

The only captain we have/need

Chrispy
Chrispy

What a relief we haven’t got to play Premier league powerhouses like Villa every week.

Dan
Dan

Finally feel we have a good team but unfortunately we don’t have the right manager to take us forward

Hurensohn
Hurensohn

A good team? …our defence is a complete mess, even with the full backs fit and available we’re a soft touch in and in front of the center of our defence.

bob
bob

Our defence isn’t full of world beaters, but a decent coach could come in and drill the crap out of them so they wake up screaming from nightmares of being slightly out of position. Seriously, I have seen defences with far worse players fare a lot better than this vs teams much better than Watford and Villa!

The fact they simply can’t defend due to individual skill, if a complete myth: all of our central defence today are professional, international level defenders. That is because if you make their game simple for them they can, and have for years, excel at defending. All defenders can fuck up, but as a coach your job is to limit situations where it can happen, and set up so that mistakes are covered for the most part.

Wish our coach would at least have a crack at doing that, despite apparently ignoring it for over 16 months. Would save my heart.

Goonerink

thats a little unfair.
youve seen lesser defenders just defend because that is the paramount of what they can do.

to be a top 4 or even top 6 defender you are required to do more than just defend. therefore emery is trying to make them a top 4 defence.

problem is the better ‘more’ defenders we have are injured and we have no structure in place at the back.
honestly love luiz’ attacking abilities, but he doesnt seem to be forming a partnership with anyone yet.
i think ‘the dungeon’ will be a much more cooperative back 2, even if they arent currently internationals like their elder counterparts.

RedGibb
RedGibb

I don’t like the way this team makes me feel. Inside

Anders Limpar
Anders Limpar

2/10 Emery. Gets this high a score for at least not leaving Xhaka on for the whole game. Result aside (I know, I know) the man is floundering-ly out of his depth.

Jakob Romeborn
Jakob Romeborn

A bit harsh on Willock…

Nachoman
Nachoman

Centre backs red raw useless…surely chambers holding mavreponus,anybody….

Public Elneny
Public Elneny

Remember how solid Chambers and Sokratis were together in the 1st match against Newcastle

Then along came lovely David Luiz. He’s an £8m 32 year old signed as a stop gap – why does he have to start every game?

Nachoman
Nachoman

Xhaka captain?arsenal football club?

Johnson
Johnson

Great comeback!

Emery out

Petit's Handbag
Petit's Handbag

Xhaka not being as bad as the crowd made out shouldn’t mean a 6 or 7. His performance should be based on what we expect from an Arsenal player, not a Xhaka player. The guy ain’t good enough, Mustafi ain’t good enough. It only takes eyes to see this, get them both out. Forget Summer 2016 happened and move on

goonshow
goonshow

I’ll say it again – perspective: Armstrong, Petit, Thomas, Parlour, Gilberto, Viera, Brady, Davis, Rocky, Edu, Vieira, Cazorla…. Xhaka????
No matter how you look at it – he just don’t belong on that illustrious list.

goonero
goonero

Chambers misscontrolled but there’s a long way from there to the goal and it comes back again to that terrible trio of Xhaka, Luiz and Sokratis. It’s like they each bring out the worst in the other, and it’s not like Xhaka needs any help making himself look a fool.

Chambers and Torreira showed again that they’ve got more about them than their playing time suggests and it’s become a farce how Emery persists with inferior players when we have better options available.

You have to credit the team for the response, particularly Guendouzi who really put in a “fuck this and fuck you I’ll do it my goddamm self” performance in that second half. But you can’t excuse the first half performance against a Villa side that are about as easy as pickings get in this league.

The wait for a good performance over 90 mins, not just the last 25, continues. Although we’ve finally managed to out-shoot a team, so that’s progress I suppose and I guess conceding less than 20 shots at goal deserves some acknowledgement. But I can’t shake the feeling that in another world where AMN isn’t sent off and Emery isn’t forced into that tactical reshuffle, we just lose that game… but then I suppose that’s neither here nor there.

Paul Smith
Paul Smith

The Luiz/Sokratis combo is not good for my blood pressure…

Dave M
Dave M

It’s not very good for football either.

George
George

A good advert for pantomime though.

Tony Hall
Tony Hall

I do think that Unai Emery is out of his depth, nothing to be ashamed of as the premier league is one of the hardest leagues to adapt to. He seems a nice enough chap but it hasn’t worked out, we are no better defensively than we were last year, if anything worse so far. However taking all that into account he doesn’t deserve the level of abuse he is getting on here, just no need for people to be shouting out *Fuck off Emery* every five minutes. Apart from the fact it makes no difference in the grand scheme of things, it’s just unnecessary and unpleasant. Be constructive in criticism by all means but not abusive.

I do think two or three players need dropping, Xhaka for one and I don’t ever want to see Luiz and Papa together on the team list again, they are a comedy of errors. The sooner Rob Holding is back in the first team the better.
It speaks volumes that we were 100% better in the second half when down to 10 men and Xhaka was taken off for Torriera and Saka for Chambers, that speaks volumes !

Looking on the bright side, our direct rivals Man U, Spuds, Chelski are actually playing worse than us at the moment so somehow we are clinging on to joint 3rd place 🙂

David C
David C

Blogs, when we’re we 2-0 down?

Great comeback, think the ratings are a bit harsh considering we kicked some ass with 10 men.

Gary Baldy
Gary Baldy

0 for Willock ????

Afoly
Afoly

Chambers should move to the center of the defense.

Arsenalfanman
Arsenalfanman

What’s the point of Granit Xhaka? Torreira and Willock should be ahead of him.

Anders Limpar
Anders Limpar

Xhaka Khan’t

goonshow
goonshow

Exxxxcellent!!

Dave M
Dave M

I mean he is a shoe in for coaches choice award again this year…

Gunnerer
Gunnerer

When we do have to defend, why the hell do our defensive mid fielders run into the same line as our CBs? It creates a lot of space in the centre and plenty of crossing opportunity from the flanks. I really dont think the CBs are to blame as much as the poor organisation of the defensive midfield. And emery is responsible for this. Starting Xhaka every single game is like rewarding bad performance. He’s late on tackles, caught off position, and makes the most uncecessary fouls (today’s yellow card was the stupidest I’ve seen). Emery has to drop Xhaka out of the playing 11 to start with.
Secondly, he doesn’t reward good performance. Chambers in his first game was solid and we kept the only clean sheet. But no opportunities given. He can slot in at CDM and RB positions. Try some rotations.
Thirdly, his anti Ozil sentiment has to be booed by the fans. There’s no reason to not let Ozil roam the midfield and supply balls to the front 2/3. We can surely be better with him than without. He’s been inconsistent for sometime now, but give the man a continuous stretch of games for Gods sake, then let’s judge.

Finally, kudos to the team today to manage 3 goals after being a man down. COYG

Felix
Felix

Agree on Xhaka and Chambers but Ozil is past it.

I’m glad Emery have the ball to drop this coward who never tackles.

Drew
Drew

Thought Chambers was better than a 6. I personally think he’s better than Sokratis as well. Seems to be much calmer and more assured these days. And the boy can play as well. If we want to play out from the back I think we could do worse than a Chambers, Holding duo. I’d like to see that pairing given a go.

goonshow
goonshow

He’s also a monster in the air – which we sorely need.

RosaLegend
RosaLegend

Subs made the opposite impact of what they did against Watford today. And once Matteo improves his defending, he will be a scary force to be reckoned with. Great to see Pepe and Auba both confidently taking their goals too. Oh and Sokratis is a wack job and quite the liability.

Rob_holdingtheanswer?
Rob_holdingtheanswer?

I think Emery is a Manager suited for one off games, wich in the league sets you up for a russian roulette, with the lack of continiuity. Today the individuals rescued the game!!
And Blogs, to your ongoing concern with the Manager and his english, I heard Gab Marcotti say Emery’s Comunication issues are not down to any languague barriers…..soooo you know,Yikes!

kenneth double
kenneth double

emery is useless as is xhaka

Bergkamp2Wright
Bergkamp2Wright

Emery 0/10

Wetdog
Wetdog

Errr Blogs 2-0 down?? Was that before or after we made it 1-1?

Badaab
Badaab

Certain players we have just don’t work together, and Emery really needs to take a hard look at his team selections against both Villa today and Watford away (rhyming hooray). We cannot afford three passengers in the side, regardless of what they create on the ball, all on the pitch at the same time in the PL… Pepe, Ozil, Ceballos all provide little to nothing defending (also some of the kids, but that’s on the manager for picking them, not them for being inexperienced) and force other players to work harder and put themselves in dangerous positions.

American Gooner
American Gooner

Yeesh, that game felt like a ride in a jerky old elevator.

Can anyone explain to me who is supposed to pick up the late runner from the midfield three? Do we even have a dedicated defensive mid who is “supposed” to sit behind the other two? Traditionally I think of Xhaka in this role, but it became increasingly clear it has become Guendozi’s bread and butter. Xhaka looked better in the right-back role than in midfield today.

Get Willock & Torreira into this side ASAP, both are mobile, quicker in transition, and don’t commit stupid fouls.

This team makes me tired.

Santori
Santori

Not sure what the Granit thing is about.

Perspective – He played well midweek and before that against Watford and Liverpool.

And he has been playing through an ankle injury since International break. Plus considering the midweek game, its expected he won’t be full power. Then we were playing with a deficient defense.

NONE of the goals again today due to Granit. AND yet some people prefer to blame him for everything (or Mustafi).

Vacuous thinking at best.

Unai had to switch things around second half with Willock and Torreira to keep legs fresh and it made a difference.

BUT I think our fans again guilty of being stupid. The same fans who celebrated because we got rid of Mustafi only to now realise (or maybe they prefer no to) our defense is still shite.

If you listen to them, you go braindead.

Sachin
Sachin

Bang on. The only way they won’t pick on Xhaka is if scores a 40 yard screamer. Anything less means he will be booed.

Dave M
Dave M

Xhaka was rubbish against Watford, that was exactly the type of performance that he causes. An open game in midfield that is constant counter attacks that he can’t stay with. He was OK against Liverpool, nothing more… Maybe a 6.5 out of 10 at most. And good in Europa league, which is all he should be playing. You have a serious love affair for a guy that simply doesn’t fit in the epl and it shows week in week out. We are a better team without him, problem is emery so rarely plays without him.

Olivije Žirod
Olivije Žirod

I actually agree with you. Players need to be compatible with eachother. Guendouzi was as bad as Xhaka in the first 60 minutes. They quickly forgot he was also at fault for the first goal. He really started playing good only when Willock and Torreira came and then we got a control in the midfield. Xhaka and Guendouzi don’t go together. We need to start playing players who are compatible.

goonshow
goonshow

Santa – I’ve noticed the rare nuggets of perceptiveness that occasionally grace your interminable prose, and for that, I granted you a modicum of respect. However your comment above has melted that away like early morning mist on a summer’s day… The shift in every single aspect of the team was seismic and immediate from the moment Xhaka came off.
Just a few pearlers you may have missed:
– crashing in on the edge of the area to give away a needless and dangerous FK
– caught in possession, whilst trying to turn at least THREE times
– Keystone Cops feet botched Ceballos quick FK to play us out from our area on the counter
– dispossessed and left for dead (again on the turn) and – out of pure petulance – grabs the shirt and gets booked
– best for last… the one-footed Shrek display when gifted a killer pass in their box. He just had to turn and shoot… yeah right!

Cannot fathom your tendency to this myopic adoration of certain players… or are you just a contrary old bastard?

Santori
Santori

Red card harsh to say the least.

AMN got the ball way before making contact. Sad state of affairs nowadays that you can’t make tackles.

Back in the day it was called “Getting stuck in”.

A Different George
A Different George

It would have been a yellow any time in the past fifteen years.

goonshow
goonshow

And he actually got studded on his shin – that’s what they were trying to show Moss the Dick… he won the ball cleanly, yes there was some follow through, but his studs were down and he actually got stamped on!

Santori
Santori

Was a bit worried for us when I saw the line up.

5 of the players had just gave output midweek including Saka but also Kolasinac, Luiz, Granit and Auba.

Would have preferred a bit more rotation. Would have liked Nelson to have started. Sure Saka had heroics midweek but we need to manage things better. Nelson has been more solid providing support defensively .

Think the ratings a bit carried away.

People online were (wrongly) criticising Guendouzi all first half for frankly a lukewarm performance. He gets a boost because of his second half but if you want to be harsh on Granit, then its not entirely right not to also be critical of errant passes by Guendouzi or otherwise.

Its a case of wanting to see what you want to.

goonshow
goonshow

Precisely Santa – and you clearly didn’t ‘see’ the immense shift in movement, energy, fluidity and ultimately, team effectiveness, almost immediately after Granit got hooked?

goonshow
goonshow

To whit… shots with 11 v 11: us 6, AV 7
Shots after Xhaka subbed: us 9, AV 2…
So 30% more shots in the last 20 mins – AND with a man short. But then, that man was Xhaka… makes one wonder.

Kham
Kham

Guendouzi

Christer E
Christer E

Who will be the Captain that turn this ship up on course again?

bob
bob

Captian Douzi, reporting for duty!