Kevin de Bruyne was the star of the show for Man City, scoring two goals and getting an assist as the visitors ran out easy 3-0 winners at the Emirates this evening.

It was another difficult day, but criticism of Arsenal right now should not be directed at Freddie Ljungberg, but instead at the people who own and run the club who have allowed things to get this bad.

Read the Arsenal 0-3 Man City 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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Dave
Dave

We are ass.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

“Felt like a pointed change too, Freddie bringing on a youngster for his Premier League debut.”

Didn’t we already do this once? Ozil is becoming the ex girlfriend you get lonely and end up calling at 3am only to have to break up with again the next morning.

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

It’s not just Ozil, the whole squad apart from Abu and Laca are not good enough to be a top 4 side. We just have to admit we are just not good enough. Even if Klopp comes to Arsenal tomorrow we will still get beat by city 3-0. The manager can only do so much. These guys are just mentality weak. There is no fire in their belly, and the confidence is very low. We just have to rebuild, and it will take atleast 5 years to see some results.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

The truly scary thing that dawned on me today while watching Torreira, Guendouzi, Chambers and Sokratis was that they don’t actually know how to play football properly.

They don’t know when to go tight or when to give space or when to force the opponent out wide or when to give away a tactical foul or when to not foul or when to play offside or when to play out from the back or when to press or when to pick up a man or when to take a risk or when to play it long or when to spot a run or when to make a run or when to support the attack or when not to dive like a deranged seal cub….

I don’t know if that’s our fault for not coaching them but these players don’t know how to do the absolute fundamentals. And that’s really scary.

GraeB
GraeB

HH- the answer will become clear when:
A- we get a coach who can come in and kick the stale/lazy attitude out of expensive/overpaid players or
B- said players go elsewhere and become World beaters under a new regime

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

I take your point and maybe time will tell with some of them.

It just got a bit infuriating when City players continually picked it up on the halfway and ran totally unopposed to the edge of our area as our defenders and midfield shimmied backwards like a cat who was appalled by the turd it left in the litter tray.

You can forgive the lads learning their trade but Sok actually belongs in a Sunday league team. He stumbles round the pitch like a half drunk toddler who is looking for a toy that never existed.

NaanBread
NaanBread

HelderHughes, That was beautiful, man. They say pain gives rise to great prose/poetry…

Le_jungberKamp
Le_jungberKamp

The kind of players we bring in, is so hit and miss, no plan to it.(all hope now on Edu)…now you can’t expect the players to do all this by them self. The Coach is the leader and the one that lay’s out the game plan and show’s the way forward, you speak as if every player has to be like a veteran capitan and read the game from their position like clockwork, these things take practice under a specific and coherent direction and playing style!

Spanish Gooner
Spanish Gooner

Really not sure Lacazette is good enough either. We’re the worst team in the traditional top 6, and he doesn’t even start for us!

Billy
Billy

I can’t blame özil, he was bad, but really there were times when aubas work rate was about the same. Thank goodness for Martinelli looking like he wanted it, Guendouzi as well but his flopping around is getting tiresome for me, stay on your feet sometimes lad, you start getting more calls! I fear we will lose both laca and auba.

Magic City Gooner
Magic City Gooner

In a way, it feels like the ones that haven’t been at this level at Arsenal are the ones trying, fighting, like they learned elsewhere how to hustle for your reward. We’ve had an acceptance of mediocrity at this club for years now and it really does feel like the majority of the squad has to move on in the next 3 transfer windows or so.

The team needs fresh athletes that haven’t been exposed to the cynicism of the media and the insanity of our fans, some who relish the challenge of being the ones to bring this club back to elite status again. Whether they’re young guys or coming from another club/league, there needs to be a character-first approach to recruitment. The ones already here are not going to push any harder, they’ve checked out. Thank them for their contributions and move them on.

Arsenal FC needs to commit to an attractive playing style and bullish attitude that should match all 11 players on the pitch at any point. We’re a hodgepodge of suck from different recruitment periods at the moment and this has run its course.

hoffsstuntdouble
hoffsstuntdouble

well said…

BidOnLard
BidOnLard

No, ass produces stuff. We are the stuff ass produces.

high gooner
high gooner

to be honest, the atmosphere in the club is toxic at the moment, many good players would have difficulties in todays arsenal.. we need structure, going back to the basics.. you already know what Wenger said about the elevator, the stairs and this thing called confidence..

Evaristus
Evaristus

Well, given the form we’re in form, I wasn’t expecting fireworks. Or anything. To be honest.

Dave M
Dave M

U-G-L-Y Arsenal ain’t got no alibi, we ugly!

my name is bob
my name is bob

It’s not the result that’s upsetting: honestly, we were always gonna lose to city.
It’s the performance.
Half the team looks like they want out, despite it being their fucking fault we’re in this situation in the first place.

Oh well, happy holidays to you lot, I might take a breather this Christmas.

Mutisya
Mutisya

fully understandable. Happy holidays Bob.

Hrishikesh Dubey
Hrishikesh Dubey

Alternative Bonus Rating: 10/10 to Freddie for calling out the board in the post match interview. Couldn’t just sucked up to them or refused to comment, bit his thoughts were pointed.

This job is currently too early for him and the board hasn’t given him the tools to succeed. Good on him to point that out.

Hrishikesh Dubey
Hrishikesh Dubey

Could’ve* just sucked up

Bodie CI5
Bodie CI5

Hate people who feel the need to correct wording or spelling,, twats,

SheffieldGooner
SheffieldGooner

Poor use of commas there mate.

NigelTufnel
NigelTufnel

Easier for an interim manager to stand up to the board, I suppose

Mpls
Mpls

Not when it’s a guy that wants to stick around whether or not he’s picked for the job.

I bet that changes after this shit show from the board.

TexGooner
TexGooner

I’m just glad City put us away so early they made it an easy decision to forego watching the rest of the game and instead study for my semester exams.

Thanks chaps.

Seb
Seb

Good luck in your exams mate, hope you perform better than your football club (no pressure but it wouldn’t be hard)

VAgooner
VAgooner

All that would be required is showing up and spelling your name with fewer than three errors.

Bob's Mexican Cousin
Bob's Mexican Cousin

It’s not even painful anymore. Uncomfortably numb.

Bergkamp2Wright
Bergkamp2Wright

Utter shit show.

Punk
Punk

Martinelli is king, rebuild around him!

aced
aced

Sokratis finally did something constructive. He picked up his fifth yellow card so he is ineligible for the next league fixture.

Gunner Seacrest
Gunner Seacrest

Unfortunately that means David Luiz coming in……

GraeB
GraeB

So that’s Luiz back in then? Joy?

Adrian
Adrian

Copied from Twitter “ Somebody at #afc should give Ozil a video of De Bruyne’s work in/out of possession, creating and scoring, pressing hungrily. Ozil, by contrast, seemed disinterested/showed dissent when deservedly subbed. Ozil blessed with special technique but his attitude stinks at times ”

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

And to think there are certain people on this site that would have you believe that Ozil is better than KdB…

simsimma
simsimma

I’ve heard someone on here say that before. Mind boggling. At no point during his Arsenal tenure was Ozil ever comparable to De Bruyne at Man City.

Marco

Absolutely correct.We saw the best of Özil when Alexis was at Arsenal.They seemed to be on the same wavelength.Unfortunately we gave the wrong guy the big salary increase and lost the best player we have had at Arsenal for years.As for our current situation players still mentally scarred from Emery’s continuous changing of formations and over analyzing the opposition. I watch a lot of football every team even the ones at the bottom have a system.Watched Norwich at Leicester really putting them on the back foot with quick slick passing and movement.Watched wolves batter spurs yes sucker punch at the end but that happens sometimes.Even Watford how many chances did they create at Anfield let alone against Arsenal.My point is these teams have a system and stick to their philosophy of play.Some fans mock the idea of appointing Nuno Espírito Santo we can only dream of playing some of the football wolves play at the moment.

Mintoes
Mintoes

@loose_cannon, yeah that fucktard mlps is one of them…?

Mpls
Mpls

You’re a true class act, Mintoes. True class.

Oh, and By the way, you would never hear me say such a thing, because I don’t believe that. Stick to your own words from your own mouth, thanks.

But don’t let that stop you from fully displaying the kind of person you are. Clarity is a good thing.

Mintoes
Mintoes

“…but his attitude stinks at times”. Eh? “At times”?!!! How about “…but his attitude has been shite since day one”.

Mpls
Mpls

If it were true, that would be fair. But it’s not true, so it’s just your angry display of scapegoating.

Mootilated
Mootilated

I think his attitude took a turn for the worse after the departure of Arsene Wenger. That man leaving the club was always going to be a double edged sword, especially at the time he did. But, like most things this club does, too little too late. We fuck up the timing for everything; the stadium, the departure of Wenger, the departure of Emery, the replacement of Emery, the replacement of key players etc..

mpls
mpls

It certainly took a turn for the worse when Emery decided to do another one of his adversarial man management of a big name. Ozil was in poor form, but Emery just put lemon juice and salt on it.

Karmafrench
Karmafrench

Thought maitland niles had à really good games. If he continue to play like that he could be more than à second choice. Still needs more training but it s promising.

Didn t understand the substitutions. Ozil was not good but not that much. He did some good things when he find the space. Would have put willock instead of guendouzi first ( only if torreira could have done the 90 min. ) and then maybe Smith rowe for ozil. I love guendouzi but at the moment he is pointless. Every time he play we get slice like butter.

But i won t be harsh on ljunberg. Smith Rowe dis some good things and the loss of kola put us in trouble. I m sure he would have play xhaka too who despit everyone think help us go through the lines.

Santori
Santori

I would have thought Granit could have helped too in releasing our wide assets better.

Torreira does not provide any better authority than the Swiss.

In terms of sub, would have liked to see Pepe off. Completely useless today (for 72m even worse). COuld have thrown on Nelson for effort like Martinelli or Smith-Rowe.

Would have frankly preferred to keep Ozil on than Pepe.

Cd78
Cd78

Nelson for effort? Have you seen him play? He has the same lackadaisical attitude as Pepe/AMN

Rob67
Rob67

They have to move on this appointment. Everton coming up looked a cert’. Now it’s a cert’ for them, with Ferguson firing them up. We are rudderless. Sanheli, Edu and Josh Kronke have got to work overtime to get someone in who can steady the ship and get this lot playing with a semblance of confidence. The alternative, is a relegation scrap. And don’t think it “can’t” happen. It could.

Santori
Santori

Freddy is barely threading water. Not his fault

BUT I doubt Arteta or Viera will make us better.

IMO no good choices at the moment but we really need a bit of structure.

We are really looking at Ancelotti but most of the teams he has been successful with have been ready made with talent not us.

Then maybe Ponch or Allegri but they would rather wait and see on Bayern or Barca likely.

No easy choices for the board.

get the wrong gaffer in and it could be worse still.

John Lavery

How about Mark Hughes? I would invite opinions here about his suitability.

oldboygunner
oldboygunner

Quite agree that the most passion showed by £350k a week Ozil was kicking the water bottle on being substituted.

sancho
sancho

Blogs on Ozil less than 2 yrs ago: “Hopefully the arrivals of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the kind of injection of talent he needs to convince him, but on top of that we have to make him an offer he can’t refuse from a financial standpoint too. We just can’t afford, from a sporting point of view, to let a talent like him go if we can help it.”

Santori
Santori

Absolutely.

Mhkitaryan was a complete waste of time and money.

We should have sold Sanchez to City (We are out of their league anyway) and git ourselves Mahrez. Instead we waited, (let ourselves) get cornered by Raiolla and had to accept Mhkitaryan in exchange.

Problems reinforcing midfield for Wenger started back then with Mslintat.

Auba for all his goals does not score enough in influential moments of the game and is non competitive for the ball which means it has to be played (laid to him) almost on a red carpet.

Would have preferred to play Laca who fashions chances for himself better and competes, holds the ball (Alal Giroud), can play others into the attack.

Santori
Santori

Attitude of some senior players a problem. Forget Granit, Ozil and Pepe leave much to be desired.

Insufficient work off the ball, every time they lose the ball (which is fairly often), its hands up in the air and jog back.

John Lavery

Ollie, where are you, Ollie? come back all is forgiven.

Kolasinac
Kolasinac

Could Joe Willock has done a better job in midfield alongside Torreira than Guendouzi ? Maybe even Luiz but than who is our CB option on the bench. Guendouzi´s defending is hardly present, and we desperately need strengthening in midfield and defence.

Tim
Tim

Have you watched Willock when he started for us lately?

Dave M
Dave M

Just because you hate willock…

Tim
Tim

I certainly don’t. One of our best prospects.

Kolasinac
Kolasinac

Yop, I thought he was ok against Liege playing in a deeper position, also his stats told as much if i remember correctly. I just think maybe that Guendouzi would work better in a midfield with two defensively stronger players (so that would mean Özil´s absence for a change. Matteo should be introduced carefully I think as with many other youngsters. We should be able to adjust the starting elevens also according to the qualities of the opposition.

Kolasinac
Kolasinac

I am just reposting this from Standard Liege by the numbers article:

JOE WILLOCK LOOKS MORE COMFORTABLE IN THE DEEPER ROLE
52 – Passes completed, second among all players. He completed 89.7% which was tied for highest pass completion percentage as well.

2 – Dribbles of 2 attempted, with one lost possession

6 – Ball recoveries

5 – Tackles, led all players

1 – Interception

2 – Clearances

1 – Error leading to a goal

Overall I think that this was an important game for Willock who had struggled in his last few outings. It wasn’t a perfect outing (his failed touch in the Arsenal box led to the second goal) but he kept things relatively simple with his passing, stayed deeper and provided a decent defensive shield for the center backs. More importantly for me is that he seemed to be able to have more influence in this match with a match leading 76 touches which is big departure from the matches where he has played an attacking role and been almost invisible. Hopefully this is something that he can build off of to provide additional depth at midfield for the rest of the season for Arsenal.

Santori
Santori

No.

Midfield is bereft of quality. Torreira on, no different to Granit.

Guendouzi and Willock are barely just 20yrs.

Its insane the options we have. Hopefully we get Cebellos back soon but again those who thought Sanlehi did a great job last summer should have a good look at themselves.

Goonshow
Goonshow

Just reflecting on the ‘surplus’ players who’ve been jettisoned in recent times: Kos, Nacho, Ramsey, etc – Good God… I’d even take Bielik in front of the back 3/4 right now – could only improve us: big, strong two-footed lad who was never given half a chance to show his ability.
This is ALL on the pathetic and (I use the term in its loosest possible sense here) ‘directorate’ of football at our club.

The Gooner
The Gooner

The scoreline was flattering. They deserved more than that

Santori
Santori

They were in second gear.

Put on Bernado and Mahrez but they still went easy on us.

Mark
Mark

We found out that Chambers as well is not the answer at center back and now we have no left back. The only bright spot on the day was Martinelli. This is about as low as I’ve been as an Arsenal fan, just no optimism about the immediate future regardless of who we get in as coach.

Santori
Santori

There is no answer at Cback.

Still remember people bigging up Chambers, then Holding, Mavropanos.

Mustafi is the problem they say, play Chambers or Holding or Mavropanos.

They alll have faults and we lack sufficient drill, structure and system.

PLUS we do not play as a unit.

Defense is not the only issue when we are defending because the wide players do not do enough to track back and help.

Defense should be a holistic issue but we defend too often out of sync with each other leaving massive gaps for say De Bruyne to run into.

Goonshow
Goonshow

And we kept Mavrop and let Bielik go for nada! Utter b/s

John Lavery

That was complete stupidity to let that boy go, he looked twice as good as Mustafi, I know that is not hard but he is playing well now and is on the fringe for his national team.

GraeB
GraeB

As Arsenal fans we are lucky. Imagine how it felt to be a Manure fan at relegation, a Citeh fan on being in third level (old Div 2) or a Spud at not winning anything important for decades/relegation.

Personally, I remember times when we were in relegation trouble and rarely in the top 6. A crowd of 4000+ for a league game too (no I haven’t missed a zero you younger fans!)

VAgooner
VAgooner

Martinelli and Leno are the only two who are locks at the moment. Remember when everyone was afraid Leno wasn’t good enough? Think about where we would be this season without him.

Sala
Sala

I dont know but i saw a good performance within arsenal they were inform inspite of a little bit lack of techniques and debruene show as he is the best CM in the world

Jack
Jack

I’m usually one of Ozil’s biggest fans but he was shocking today. Body language throughout worse than usual, could hardly control the ball. He really does need every single person in the team to be performing before he starts to really shine, otherwise you might as well have one less player on the pitch

Mesut O’Neill
Mesut O’Neill

He is a useless brat that needs to be removed from the club

Santori
Santori

Pepe another one.

Freddy has not sufficient clout to enforce enough discipline. He’s all carrot but franly we need a bit of stick.

Absolutely rubbish signing at 72m.

No one wants to mention it bc they were all celebrating his signature by Sanlehi.

But a couple of good moments spread through months of tepid performances is one thing.

The off ball work from him is simply not good enough. Every take on he loses out (and there are many), he throws his hand in the air then ambles back.

No Alexis or Laca determination to hunt it back.

Why bother complaining about say Mustafi putting his arm to call for an off side and then conveniently ignore Pepe’s tepid performances.

I wanted him subbed with nelson. rather in fact have kept Ozil (also had issues with his tracking back) then Pepe.

Utter useless at 72m, could have been spent on Ziyech or Fekir with money to buy an actual Cback rather than an existential Saliba.

Never Happen
Never Happen

How fortunate we are that we have you to remind us of our stupidity after each defeat. The team is poor but I can
honestly say that in 40 odd years of
supporting The Arsenal you are the
silliest cunt I have ever heard.
Well done.

Goonshow
Goonshow

I see your 40 and raise it with 51… and also utterly agree with you. But perhaps even more galling than the puerile negativity is the repeated ‘I told you so’s’ with which Santa litters his comments, like a incontinent budgie shitting all over the floor of his own cage.

simsimma
simsimma

I’m not an Ozil hater but I just don’t understand what his fans see in him. The only time I’ve really been impressed with him was when he played for Real Madrid. But even then I never viewed him as central to the team’s success, just a pretty good player on a very good squad. He moves to Arsenal and to me whatever sparkle he once had got dimmer and dimmer as he played. People talk about his subtle touches but I’ve always found him too subtle… like… is he even in the game?
So I didn’t find him at all shocking today because I’ve grown accustomed to not looking for him on the pitch. We were playing one of the best teams in Europe today. That’s not an Ozil type game. The absolute tragedy about this is that somehow the higher ups thought he was worth the outrageous salary he’s on now. So now in addition to not giving a shit on the field, he gets a shit ton of money for it and has no motivation to change.

Spanish Gooner
Spanish Gooner

Ozil was outrageously good for us at times, but he’s never been the instigator that his wage demands him to be. In his first season Ramsey was on God mode, and then after that it was usually Alexis who would grab games by the scruff of the neck when something needed to be done. The best comparison I saw was that Ozil is a (very) rich man’s Alexandr Hleb.

Goonshow
Goonshow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wlmC1Zzks8

(sighs plaintively and exits stage left)

Mintoes
Mintoes

@simsimma, why don’t you ask that fucktard mpls- he’s the only cunt on here still sucking Ozil’s bone after 5 seasons of utter shite.

mpls
mpls

Blogs has clear community standards. You should review them.

Stuey
Stuey

So many empty seats today….Arsenal fans aren’t like Newcastle…we won’t blindly support any old shite and pack out a stadium.
Fans voting with their feet is the only way to get KSE out!

Santori
Santori

Arsenal fans are SHITE.

Should be helping to support the team.

We were never going to get a result but those young players pushing for us like Martinelli, Saka, Smith-Rowe deserved some support.

Credit to the real fans that stayed past 85 minutes today and gave them a cheer.

Arsenal fans otherwise pants.

Santori
Santori

IMO fans should either not turn up at all or if you do stay to the end.

Arsenal have some of the worse fans. period.

Mo mo mo
Mo mo mo

If you’d been to a game, you’d be aware that if you stay right to the end, it will take you a minimum 45 minutes to get onto a tube and out of there. 45 minutes, standing in a queue, with thousands of other angry and potentially disruptive fans. On occasions like this when you’re 0-3 down, I don’t blame fans for leaving at all. When you’re 1-0 up or 0-1 down or drawing 2-2, then you’d have a point.

Charlie George
Charlie George

Newcastle fans have been boycotting home games in numbers all season. And btw they’re level on points with us.

Bodie CI5
Bodie CI5

I feel like getting my arsenal tattoo covered over,,, we are so bad, in that starting line up I’d probably keep 2/3 players the rest not good enough,, they need to be sold.

Fred Garvin
Fred Garvin

Far too harsh on Ozil, I think, blogs. Not a great day at the office for him, but there’s no way he was the worst one on the pitch. He distributed the ball, worked hard in possession, and was part of everything we did going forward until he got subbed.
I’m happy to see ESR get his PL appearance in, but you’re telling me by his 6 that he was twice as good as Ozil? Absolutely nothing changed for us offensively or on defense with that substitution.

simsimma
simsimma

Don’t think it was harsh on Ozil. To whom much is given, much is required. Of course ESR is not twice as good as Ozil (yet). But with his ridiculously high salary and experience you have to expect more from Ozil. As you said “absolutely nothing changed”… exactly! Ozil’s absence was unnoticed! A teenager comes on for him and the level of our game did not dip. Besides, it’s not that Ozil was getting better as the game went on.
Players like Ozil need to be held accountable. He should look at players like DeBruyne and be ashamed. What makes ESR get rated twice as high is his passion and willingness. Those attributes are gone from Ozil and it’s high time he moves on or the club moves on from him.

Mesut O’Neill
Mesut O’Neill

When are we going to get rid of the gaping arsehole that is Mesut Ozil. The guy is an arrogant, petulant not particularly good at football cunt.

We have the pleasure of paying this knob jockey £350,000 a week to behave like a fucking spoilt brat.

He is killing the club

Mintoes
Mintoes

Why are there thumbs down for this comment? Come on Ozil fan boys tell us why this comment is wrong.

Mpls
Mpls

Perhaps the tone is a bit better suited to some other forum. I know of a few places where it would fit right in, and I doubt any of us want this one to go that direction.

And before your fellow-supporter-attacking arrogance gets ahead of you too far, You would do well to understand that calling people ‘fanboys’ is pathetically misdirected. I, and I suspect many others are simply fed up with over the top scapegoating of Ozil and other players.

And before you get ahead of yourself again with assumptions, I’ll save you the step. I’ve said myself many times Ozil isn’t a fit for this team as we are. So save it.

You want to attack somebody? The board and our ‘directors’ seem like a sensible source of our problems.

Attacking fellow supporters does fuck all for ya mate.

Mintoes
Mintoes

Who’s attacking who? And please “I’ve said many times Ozil isn’t a fit for this team…” oh fuck me that’s one fucking massive u turn right there…lol…how about a quick review of all your other comments singing the praises of the midfield butterfly week in week out…think you’re better off watching yer fkn college ball Ohio badgers or whatever the fuck you lot watch over there…?

Goonshow
Goonshow

Oh dear… reverts to type. Kinda says everything we need to know about your ‘considered’ commentary.

mpls
mpls

Go right ahead and do a review. You’ll find my reactions are to over the top scape-goating. Not just of Ozil but in general. And go back to last season, and earlier this season. You’ll see exactly what I was saying. I point out when players have had a bad match, but when it’s over the top sometimes I respond, and with Ozil or with others I will point out counterpoints to the easy narrative because player narratives are not simple black and white.

Or you can just keep attacking fellow supporters if that’s easier for you.

Goonshow
Goonshow

Well done – you finally managed a sentence without profanity or abusing someone.

Rich
Rich

Freddie’s a class act, he articulates himself very well, interesting to hear him say Aubameyang and Lacazette unbalance us, they’re arguably our two best players, but I think he’s right.

That game didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know.

We lack structure, nous and quality, whilst City are a quality and well structured team, with plenty of tactical intelligence.

I’ll say it again.. “Ozil is finished at the top level”
How the Ozilites can’t see it is beyond me….. He’s been on the slide for years, he’s finished.

But after his social media activity this week, he certainly won’t be going to China or the States anytime soon….

I’d much rather go through the learning process and inconsistency of Willock or Smith Rowe than proceed with Ozil, but Arsenal fans have short memories, within 3 weeks of him being back in the stands, he’ll be heralded are the solution to all our problems again….

We’ve got 6 days to prepare for Everton, next week it’ll be Niles and Saka at full back, Martinelli has made himself undroppable, and also I think we have to give Smith-Rowe or Willock a 10 game run, I’d much rather lose with a young hungry team lacking in experience, than persist with some of the more experienced players who should know better, but don’t….

I’m not disappointed or surprised, we lost to a far superior team.

jon

Guendouzi and Torreira are very good with the ball and they are both awful without. The rarely make themselves playable. They are not very good at tracking back either. This is Arsenal’s midfield. The guys are great, I guess. They look sympathetic and all that, but Arsenal will get nowhere without a better midfield.

A.Bischoff
A.Bischoff

Deustcher?

GraeB
GraeB

I agree other than the “they are very good with the ball” bit.

Rich
Rich

Torreira is 23, Guendouzi is 20, I think they could make a good partnership, but they need time, we look like a team that’s lacking in quality, tactical nous and cohesion, because we are a team lacking quality, tactical nous and cohesion.

If you look at Ndidi, he had 2.5 years before really breaking through this season, I think Guendouzi will be a similar story, it’s imperative we tie him down, or we’ll just be educating him for someone else’s gain.

And if Terreira wants out? Then no value in persisting, get what you can, and get Guendouzi another partner ASAP

And with Xhaka probably leaving soon, we simply have to get the next profile and quality of player right, because we’ll never have a structure, if we can’t build one.

Fans need to find more patience with young players, it’s not going to happen over a few months, if we’re going to build around Niles, Willock, Smith-Rowe, Saka, Nelson, Guendouzi, Martinelli? Then the reality is we’re at least 2-3 years away, and many more painful days like today, but I think it might be our best bet.

People writing off Niles at 22 is naive, I think there’s a player there, he’s just being asked to do an unfamiliar job, in chaotic circumstances.

Goonshow
Goonshow

Currently (I don’t know what’s happened to him in the past month or two) Guend is NOT ‘very good with the ball’ – he too often either runs into cul de sacs and passes backwards, or gets dispossessed and falls over flapping his arms for the ref’s assistance.
The lad has talent, no question, but he needs time and mentoring.

Petit's Handbag
Petit's Handbag

Why is Ozil still playing? Emery was 100% right not to play him. Can’t even sell him to China now.

Pete Plum
Pete Plum

0/10 for the marketing team. A smattering of boos on the half time whistle was immediately followed by a louder chorus of we love you Arsenal from the North Bank, which was immediately drowned out by a ridiculously loud netspresso advert on the big screens. The team should never walk off the pitch to an effing netspresso advert!

Mo mo mo
Mo mo mo

I’m in a hotel and I just had my first Nespresso for two years. It must have been subliminal.

BleedRed
BleedRed

Leno said it best… the players need to look at themselves and act like they want to fcking win!!!! Martinelli, Torreira and ESR seemed to be the only ones who actually fought and played with some intensity. Pepe has something in him but no intensity to go. It was constant dribble dribble back pass. Even Auba didn’t do enough for me. I don’t care of hes not getting service get stuck in on someone. Laca has to he in the team somehow. He plays with passion and I rather that then people jogging around like they’re too good to work hard. Really would like to see Martinelli Auba and Pepe play front 3 with Laca playing as a 10

GraeB
GraeB

Worth a try I guess. At least it would be a midfield threat on goal.

BleedRed
BleedRed

Exactly. We’re obviously not keeping any clean sheets and Laca has scored for us in the past 2 games he played in. He should be playing

Goonshow
Goonshow

Agreed – try Laca in Ozil. Based on today, it can’t hurt!

Santori
Santori

Started with an FA cup squad ended with a League cup squad.

Not surprising result and we were lucky City spared us the blushes took the foot of the peddle second half. Could have been very ugly.

1) Leno – Did good for us overall. Great save to deny De Bruyne for that shot which would have been the hat trick. Came out bravely to smother the shot later when Chambers lost the ball through over complication.

2) AMN – I thought overall he did decent today. Tracked the runners well and played decent balls forward, a couple of decent crosses into the box for us. Still slightly too far forward on a couple of occasions but I don;’t think he has been done a favour by the tepid passive defending from Pepe.

3) Chambers – Caught for pace for second goal, overall a struggle today if he did play out the ball well enough several times without too much panic. BUT the lapse and over complication which almost led to a goal but for Leno again should be reminder that we have no good options at Cback contrary to what some prefer to belief. No Mustafi, same issues.

4) Sokratis – He does not have a stable partnership which is a problem. Scrabling left and right to fight fires, its a thankless task.

5) Kolasinac – Could have done better for second goal but overall strong again today particularly pushing forward. Very unfortunate injury compounding problems for us in a very tricky period. Already without Tierney, we should hope this is minor injury. Some cretin pundit (could be Dixon) chastising him for ducking from De Bruyne’s shot…he would never have been able to block than ball…the fault rather with advance players not bothering to track back and help cover leaving acres of open ground for the Belgian to waltz into. Go figure.

6) Guendouzi – Does somethings good playing the ball forward but lets remember he is 20yrs old. Therefore NOT a surprise he will make mistakes with De Bruyne nicking in behind to score his second. Those complaining about Granit need to get their heads checked.

7) Torreira – Again no more authority in midfield with this chap. Same problems. Ostensibly we have only two in the middle bc Ozil really does not put in enough work off ball. I said it before this game,w e needed to populate midfield with maybe 4 against City. No one tracking De Bruyne waltzing in to score. When they break, it takes forever before any of th forwards make it back to help in defense to cover the runners from City in midfield.

8) Pepe – Waste of time. A real flop at 72m and I’ll say it. A couple of good sporadic moments does not equate to money spend and its half a season in now. AND lest that’s all, his off ball work is rubbish. Tepid/passive defending mostly, when he loses on take ons (which is too often), he isn’t Alexis or Laca, instead he throws his hands in the air then ambles back. But some people prefer to throw criticism elsewhere. I would have hauled him off half time for Nelson and some elbow grease.

9) Martinelli – About the best player out there playing for the shirt. Good early opportunity solely from his own effort. Really impress with this lad at the moment.

10)Ozil – Don’t know why he’s kicking stuff coming off. Not quite enough work off the ball, too isolated from the other midfielders. I don’t think Llungberg has enough clout to push the more senior players (Ozil, Pepe) into performing more work diligently off the ball which is a massive issue. You see the likes of Sheffield bless with far less talent pushing with more effort and together as a unit. As I mentioned before, Freddy needs to tell all the players they are measured by their off ball work. If you are dropping in effort, he has every right to haul them off.

11) Auba – Not sure why we did not start Laca. I hope its just injury issue bc the Frenchman would be a far better target man for us and act as a node to distribute the ball better. With Auba, you need to play it through for him, he is incapable of competing for the ball.

12) Saka – I thought he came in and put in a shift again in an unfamiliar role. Was very concern with Bernado then Mahrez coming on but they had their foot off the peddle thankfully. Got up a couple of times for us but very worrying should Kolasinac’s injury be more than a week at this point.

13) Smith-Rowe – Came on and was more positive pushing forward for us. OTOH, also found it hard going with our midfielders behind him having to drop deeper, but he did at very least track back more diligently closer to them. Tried to create something down the right for us. Not much to criticise on the younger players who frankly deserved more support from the usual rubbish crowd that left so early.

14) Willock- I was hoping to see nelson in lieu of Pepe. As is, Freddy prob concern we would dip further in terms of energy output in midfield. One very stray pass (which will happen with him), otherwise OK.

Gaffer – He’s trying his best but I’m not sure he has sufficient clout to enforce the discipline we need in this team. On the other hand choices in front of us not the best. BUT we may need to pull the trigger and be practical if things continue to struggle otherwise accept it is going to be a throw away year (Albeit with still Europa in hand)

I thought he would have been better frankly with more players in midfield a 4-4-1-1 perhaps because they seem to overcrowd us too easily in the middle. A number of our players (the advance players particularly) do not make it a point to come down to help the midfield enough.

It won’t get any easier with away trips to resurgent Everton, Bournemouth and then Chelsea and United coming for a visit.

And the injuries are piling up.

Why we are not playing Lacazette and persisting with Pepe is BEYOND me.

A.Bischoff
A.Bischoff

I could be exaggerating, but I don’t think there’s another midfield in the Premier League that let’s the opposition simply stroll through it, the way ours does.

Oregoon

Yes. We have midfield choices of Guendouzi, Torreira, Willock, Xhaka, Ozil, Smith-Rowe, and our rent a guy Ceballos. Where in there is a cohesive unit with the experience and talent to be a top 4 team let alone top 7? Maybe in a few years for some of these guys, but not this year. Ramsey left in May, but for some reason we didn’t think we might need a decent box to box player beside Ceballos? Not advocating thug ball, but we should have taken more penalties against them.

Eoin
Eoin

Torreira and Martinelli, the only 2 outfield players that actually look like they want to get on the ball

Steve Morrows's Arm Cast
Steve Morrows's Arm Cast

Ozil took off his gloves and kicked them, not a water bottle. Arsenal didn’t even try today, a real shame.

Edzo
Edzo

Kroenke bought the club when we were great. He has added no value to the product since he’s been the owner. In fact, by not investing as much as the other top clubs he has caused the club to decline. He’s been sucking this club dry.

Wenger never had the free money to spend on new players or on salary for world class players so we became a selling club and couldn’t attract the top talent with lower than market salaries. Then when we got some money we never bought more than one world class player.

Yes, wenger made his mistakes but even during his worst season we were good at home.

Unless there is investment in the spine of this team, 2 centerbacks, two dominant mids, we will continue to decline.

Not sure how far we have to sink before world class players are brought in. Only then can we buy project players and develop them.

CJay
CJay

I think we can all understand now why Emery didn’t trust Ozil in big games. He’s good, but rarely does he grab the game by the scruff of the neck and make things happen. Hopefully, we’re not clamoring for him again if and when he gets dropped.

I hope we can also see how Xhaka was not our problem in midfield. At least he always provided a little bit of cynicism to break up opposition build up play.

I applaud Freddie for at least going for it with an attacking line up. I thought going forward we did okay in the first half, but without the ball we’re utter shambles.

I think going forward we should just try something completely different. Given our confidence issues, we should be starting those who play without fear and who work their socks off. Martinelli has definitely laid a claim to the starting lineup, in that regard. ESR and Saka show more fight and fearlessness than first team members and should be starting. Pepe is hit and miss and doesn’t hustle as much as Laca and so should be dropped for now.

And, although this will be controversial, I would even go as far as to experiment with Luiz and Xhaka in midfield.

Matt P
Matt P

What a shit show. As others have said this will take years to sort out. Depressing

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

Guendo, you need some time out mate. Watch the replay of the game. Learn from your mistakes. Learn to defend. Practise the basics. Get goal side of your man. Don’t run along next to him stroking his back. That does nothing mate. You might have picked up this habit from some of your team mates but please shake it off.

Cagooner
Cagooner

Not sure why AMN only gets one point more than Chambers and Kolasinac? They were both ducking fire today. They absolutely cost us that first game, which essentially killed the game off from second minute. I thought AMN did fine. Also thought Saka did fine at LB.

The rest of the season feels like a free hit, like the second half of today was. Get Willock, Martinelli, AMN, ESR, Saka, Pepe as much experience as possible over this period. It’s tine for a major rebuild. And on that note, I dont see Allegri, Ancelloti, Vierra or Arteta getting that done. I’d like a real old school beast of a coach to come in and kick the fucking money grabbing glamour boys out and really clean house. Dyche or Wilder for me.

Cagooner
Cagooner

Funny auto correct and auto anagram – but I really meant “fucking dire”.

Monkey Knees
Monkey Knees

Complete overhaul, squad wise, needed. Auba and Laca, included. These players are nowhere near good enough for Arsenal FC.

Charlie George
Charlie George

At least half a dozen “fans” in my row – Clock End upper – walked out before half time and didn’t come back. Loads more left early – prompting City fans to chant: “Is this the Etihad?”

The atmosphere (ie. the lack of it) is an embarrassment. Too many fairweather fans and tourists. I’ll never understand why these people turn up ten minutes late, go out before half time, come back ten minutes into the second half and leave 15 minutes before the end – even in games where the scores are level.

Why do they bother?

Liam D
Liam D

Another shit day at the office. Massive positive was the fans who stayed to the death singing. Not a lot of positivity around the club but I enjoyed that!

shmish

I gave Leno a 10 for putting up with the 10 players in front of him.

Ozenal
Ozenal

It’s becoming obvious to everyone we just get overrun. Just high press without the ball targettig centrebacks, and with the ball just dribble from halfway and watch us back off and make non event tackles (especially when Guendouzi plays).

Notice how he always throws his arms up in the air when the ball goes in the net, as a direct result of him letting someone pass him way too easily.

With all the videos does he not even realise it is his fault? I’d make him watch from the bench and put Burton on instead or play ESR out of position than have Guendouzi.

Monkey Knees
Monkey Knees

Recipe for yet more disaster. Anti Guendouzi chap is anti Guendouzi.

Ozenal
Ozenal

ESR/Saka combination looks pretty tasty. Reminded me of the Wengerball at its best.

Look forward to Ozil being dropped for ESR.

Saka from left back is devastating when attacking. But we need someone able to cover the space behind on the counter.

Niles has played left back before and did well. He is also a natural at tackling without going to ground, unlike Xhaka or Torreira. Having him cover from DM would be a good option imo.

Without ball:
………………….Leno………………..
Willock Sokratis Holding Saka
Guendouzi…Luiz.ESR..Niles..Martinelli
………………..Auba…………………..

Managers from Ferguson, Bobby Robson and Wenger used to play players he viewed as potential for central midfield he would play out wide to get used to pace and the physicality, whilst giving them some freedom of expression in attack whilst developing. Understanding the balance of when to attack or defend and not being so easy to be dribbled past.

This is a setup to teach Guendouzi and Willock. Willock btw has played at RWB for Wenger.

Defensively we pack the midfield and allow Luiz to recycle the ball in a position to launch Martinelli and Auba with a medium long pass, when the opposition love breaks down. Instead of those pitch long balls which just don’t catch out defenders, unless it is in direct transition.

Also out wide we can support Saka with Niles and Willock with Guendouzi blocking the passing Lane, allowing Willock the confidence to make the tackle.

In attack:
………………….Leno…………………
………..Sokratis Holding ………
Willock………..Luiz…………Niles
Guendouzi…….ESR……………….
…………Auba..Martinelli….Saka

In attack we go for the modern 2323 formation.

Niles will cover Saka and doesn’t often get roasted on a counter for pace or physicality on that side.

Willock will always be close to Guendouzi, and Luiz can Marshall them and create the triangles to get ESR on space.

Guendouzi medium long crossing is perfect for crosses from 18yard line. No need to beat the fullback, when Willock can overlap and lay it back for Guendouzi to cross to the head of Martinelli who is an absolute beast of a header.

Same for Saka, ability to either dribble inside or out, shoot or cross or just combination play with Martinelli was how he one twoed his recent goal.

Also his driven crosses can help Martinelli who already has a good sense of timing his runs into the box, particularly for headers. A la C.Ronaldo

Simply put, just see what patterns and combinations work before and put them together.

The only one is Luiz, who we don’t know if he can play that position. But at least we have someone who can build the play and not concede possession. And who can also drop back into defence without worrying about the high line. That will be called by Holding, whose ability to hold that line and play neat balls down the left flank really was a part of the run last season before he and Bellerin got injured and we switched to 3 man defence.

Ozenal
Ozenal

Oh and just to note that Freddie is already prepping the next manager for these combinations by putting ESR and Saka in and playing Martinelli. Whilst still giving chances to the sub standard senior players, who have proven themselves unable to improve in their best positions in their preferred formations: Ozil, Chambers, Pepe.

Sokratis I leave out because I feel he only works with a decent defender who can control the line. He doesn’t fix chaotic defending with large gaps infront of him for players to run at him.

Compact 451/442 in defence and a skewed 4231/2323 in attack. Allows natural movement of all our players

Ozenal
Ozenal

The fact that Emery played Guendouzi in central midfield for so long when it was obvious he was getting run at in the channels. Was mind boggling!

Freddie didn’t have many options with injuries, but I’d be surprised if Guendouzi wasn’t dropped or shifted out wide to develop.

Much like how Wilshere, Ramsey, Ox, were adapted to the important central areas.

Criminal from the FEC for not understanding this either.

Only looking at absolute numbers for statistical data is a recipe for disaster in a complex tactical game like football.

In baseball games are not fluid. So lends itself well to transfer market bargains. But football requires the ingredients to be complementary.

Like a Michelin meal vs a buffet. It needs to be coherent. Not just something which looks like a bargain for a 1.5hr maximum sitting restaurant.

When do you ever see the owners completely decide the ingredients for a menu they don’t know the chef can cook. When the chef is the creator and magician given the style he prefers.

Dholio
Dholio

Let’s stop with the doom & gloom fellow Gooners. This past week saw us win at West Ham, come back draw on Belgium clinching top spot in out group and finished off with a loss at home to City.
Anyone who thought we were going to get something from this game are smoking something I want. Yes, it’s depressing that we are miles away from a City or Liverpool, but that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. They are heads and shoulders the best teams in England and 2 of the best in Europe. If Man U or Chelsea smacked us around like City did, then I’d be very concerned. We are a million miles away from City & Lpool but we are definitely still in the conversation with United, Chelsea and Spurs. Let’s judge Freddie’s Arsenal in the next 4 games – Everton, Bournemouth, Chelsea, United. That’s a more realistic barometer than City.
Come on U Gooners!!!

Duakeez Jay
Duakeez Jay

I’m just wandering why we sold Ramsey. Apart ozil, all that’s left don’t know d arsenal way much

tgx
tgx

I’d understand if we SOLD Ramsey (for a good price) — it’s criminally insane to have let him walk.

Andy
Andy

How bad is this going to get? Relegation? Is that possible?

Arsenonymous
Arsenonymous

Well the good news is, now this game is finished, we’re free to talk to Arteta.
But the bad one is, he just had the occasion to watch us closely for 90 min, so it would be a miracle if he still wanted to come.

And don’t get me wrong, I love Freddie but I don’t think this board will give him a proper chance to show what he’s capable of, as he underlined it himself after the game.

N J F
N J F

De Bruyne – 10
What a player.

Moxrex
Moxrex

Was I the only one who felt there was no “off the ball movement” any where across the pitch? Yes Man City were closing down quickly but still the counter is to provide options for pass. We were not having many and time and again we were caught out in possession in wrong areas.

Pete Plum
Pete Plum

Agreed after Ozil went off and thought we looked much better before, except in defence of course.

Moxrex
Moxrex

Problem with Arsenal is we are trying to multiple styles at the same time. We are trying to play possession while also trying to play on counter. These things are great but initial steps are to get one style ingrained and then add another. What has happened is that we have forgotten how we used to play nice tiki-taka under Wenger (quick version) and then tried to go all out for the counter-attack version of Leicester. Problem was our recruitment got confused (Ozil suits our 1st style not second, Xhaka suits second style, Auba suits to second while Laca suits first). It has been the recruitment decisions as well as on field selections which has totally confused all associated with the club especially the players.

Arsenal need identity be it George Graham’s 1-0 or Wenger’s entertainers. Without that it would be extremely difficult few years for us.