Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Freddie: The players are very short on confidence

Arsenal lost again this evening. When we’re not drawing games, we quite often lose.

On this occasion, Brighton scored two goals. We only scored once. If you want to win a game when you concede twice, you need to score at least three. On this occasion, we don’t get any points. Those are the rules.

After the game, Freddie Ljungberg, the unfortunate man given the responsibility of overseeing things while the club hierarchy reaches the voicemail of prospective coaches, admitted the players are not exactly thriving at the moment.

“We’re disappointed to lose at home,” said the Swede, who used to score FA Cup final goals and got paid to look sexy in his pants.

“The main thing is we didn’t show up in the first half. We were very passive and we had a chat at half-time, made a tactical change and all of a sudden we looked like a team.

“For 20 minutes or so we really pushed them, scored goals and thought we could win the game, but VAR was correct. That’s how we have to play the whole game.

“I said to the players that you can’t give away a whole half to any team in the Premier League. That’s what we need to learn from.”

The Arsenal fans weren’t very happy with the team at half time. And they weren’t much happier when the final whistle went. In between, there was a decent attempt to sing songs that would encourage the players to not be shit. It didn’t really work. And then the fans gave up.

“That’s the tough part,” admitted Freddie when asked how he can change the mood within the squad.

“They [the players] look very short on confidence. In the first half they were scared to get the ball and a bit scored to move, they were just standing still. That’s something we need to talk about.

“They need to have a win, we need to dig out a win and get them some confidence. They can do it because they showed it in the beginning of the second half and they did it really well for 20 minutes.

“It’s hard to say that when you lose at home, but they were very good in that little spell.

He added: “It’s obvious that nervousness from a crowd can affect footballers, it doesn’t matter what quality you have.

“They’re human beings like everyone else, they want to do well and they feel the pressure.

“That’s something we need to work on and I feel like if we just dig out a win, we can get there. They showed it in the second half.”

Arsenal next play on Monday away at West Ham United. All we’ve got to do in the next four days is remember how to play football.

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I know this team is playing poorly, but I genuinely feel really bad for them. I can’t imagine how it could be for professional footballers who got into the game for the love of it, to suffer week in and week out on the pitch. The Emery era, Gazidis, and the Kroenkes have led this club down to a point where we all feared they would. From a top level management perspective, we’re too slow to react, and it’s not surprising that culture has seeped into the team as well. The management decides the coach, the coach drills the team.… Read more »


Some quality yes but not enough.
I dont feel bad for them – they are not good enough and are not trying hard enough – for £100k plus a week.
The next manager as soon as he comes in needs to stop the rot by culling this team – so many players not good enough or passed their best that need to be removed and then to rebuild. No European football next year for sure…


Well I don’t think we have the finances to rebuild.

Dave M

Bollocks! So Brighton Hove Albion can build a really nice team in a small town of about 300,000 and yet Arsenal are broke and can’t build something positive. Ridiculous. Get the youth out there. People slating Willock are bonkers. He is learning the game and will learn the more he plays. He is the future – let him learn!!! He was actually pretty dam good yesteday – only player (with a little from Torreira and Kola) that had any drive in the 1st half. I mean he single handedly made a counter attack through his pressing and agression drove the… Read more »

Ordnance Dave

Holding/Chambers is the only possible way forward. Luiz has and will be an unrelenting nightmare.

Bould's Eyeliner

I would put Laca in the middle regardless for his hold-up play, Auba and Pepe together, Martinelli as sub.

Regardless, playing together as a unit and buying bobbleheads are two different matters.

Ordnance Dave

Sorry for them? I only feel sorry that they are all so crap and have dishonoured, the badge, the club and themselves. If they focused. If they put in some effort. If they just f***ing CARED. But they don’t.


How can you be in any position to say that they don’t care? They care a whole hell of a lot more than you care mate. They’re just struggling with confidence, which has been killed by your poison. If YOU cared, you’d get behind the team in difficult times; not when we’re coasting to victory.


Listening to Unai Emery twice a week for ten minutes did my head in, imagine listening to that every day and then being given videos of it to take home, then either being played out of position or not at all, or playing well and then being dropped for no reason, while results get worse, your fans start booing and insulting you, and previous players masquerading as pundits rip you to shreds. I think Unai Emery has scrambled their heads, and hopefully Freddie can get them back to basics and fighting again, they’re all much better than they’re showing at… Read more »


Sorry you have to go through this torture Freddie 🙁


Only hope now is to sign a top quality CB and a creative player to bring the Arshavin effect into this team.

Stop laughing at this Stan Kronke you cunt.

Sagebrush Farm

Where is Holding? If I was Freddie I’ll try a whole new lineup coz I don’t see how it can get any worse. Blrin, holding, mavropanos, terney, Chambers (protecting backline). Torreira, ozil, pepe, auba, martenelli.


Top quality CB and a creative player you say….. Saliba and Ceballos.


We’ll be back :”( COYG


Chelsea finished 10th one season, I think 2016, and won the league the next season, that’s the glimmer of hope that I’m clinging onto.


This team, without confidence, is npt winning the league.

Woolwich Shepherd

It’s amazing to see the confidence drain from this team. This team went on a 20 game run last year when they looked every ounce of a top four club. Gone are the days of Laca and Auba shaking hands in celebration, the Sokratis tackle followed by a fist pump, Torreira winning a loose ball, etc. What happened? Was Emery that bad? Were we never that good? Was it luck? Is this bad luck? I’m at a loss for words like Hector.


I know things look bad, but no way do Arsenal get relegated. A few points: 1 – Even playing this badly, you have 19 points from 15 games, well over a point per game. To get relegated you would need to take only 17 or so from the next 23 games. That is simply not going to happen. 2 – Even as bad as things are, only 4 defeats. Arsenal played badly against Southampton and Norwich and drew. Those teams played well and drew. This shows the gap. 3 – Arsenal will get a new manager and players in January,… Read more »

Naked Cygan

The lack of confidence issue has been growing and growing for many years. It all started when Eduardo got injured and we blew the chance to win the league. From that day we have lost most of our games against top teams. We won couple of FA cups, but there has been a decline at Arsenal for many years. We went from invincibles, to title challengers, then a top four team, then a top 6 team, and this year we can see how we could finish in the bottom half. We have to bring the winning mentally back to this… Read more »


It started from the champion’s league final my friend.


Not an excuse… Liverpool lose a final and come back stronger the next year. None of them players even play now… Just weak mentally and have it too confortable!


The amount of injured “key” players over the years needs some investigation.
Notice the attack on Martinelli(he could have been damaged) as soon as he comes on, the attack on other key players in this last game.

My Arse-nal

@ para, come on, that wasn’t an attack on Martinelli. He was unlucky that that massive lump ended up falling on his back. It was an accident and Brighton aren’t really a Stoke kind of team.


Brighton have been a stoke kind of team for years, they’re just a bit more subtle about it. The new coach has them playing good football and has moved away from that sort of thing, but there was nothing unlucky about that foul on Martinelli.


Just like things are bad right now for no real reason, they will also get better due to no real reason


Do you know that is exactly what every supporter of a team facing a relegation battle says about their team.
Worst run since 1977.
Four wins in fifteen.
Welcome to a relegation battle.
Arsenal have no spine for that….


Don’t know why the down votes. This is very much relegation form… we’ve played virtually every team below us already and only beaten two of them. Very, very worrying times….


Was hoping by having a club legend on the bench these players will start playing better. Feel sorry for Freddie. We need someone with experience to steady the ship.

How come Gus Hiddink is not considered for the job?


Because of the down votes


Sheesh. So he coached Chelsea, who gives a shit?

Someone with experience steadying a ship, why not?


The only positive is that it’s not a case like Man United. Sacking Jose and appointing ogs made them win, showed how the players stopped playing for Jose and were behaving like a bunch of kids. At least our players are trying hard and showing how this is a systemic problem. It will take a few more games and a few good results to remove that

Dave M

They try hard at blaming their team mates when a mistake is made, Luiz, xhaka, sokratis, lacazette, even auba and Özil… Senior players pointing fingers and blaming others when half the time the errors were their fault

Dr. kNOw

That’s your AVERAGE footballer mentality for you.

I would argue that this is the main loss Arsenal suffered over the summer. The loss of real character in the dressing room. Cech, Lichtsteiner, Ramsey… what are you left with? Bitches, that’s what. The likes of the players you mentioned should not be at the pillars of any serious dressing room.

Dave M

100% – the only guy that has come out and said anything in a way that speaks of character is Willock who says the team isn’t playing enough for the badge and the fans, saying the team isn’t good enough. Everyone else is like “oh come on fans we need you guys to support us, we feel sad…”. It’s getting to the point where I think we should just cut our losses with Laca and Auba and get some big money for them and move on. They have become a part of it too – both were shite yesterday and… Read more »


I agree with that. My fear is that we sell the strikers for great money and buy fuck all!!!

Dave M

Well at least it would be the Arsenal way ?


Completely agree with everything you just said.


Just like how you blame everyone else rather than look at your own role as a supporter, and the toxic atmosphere that fans like you have created, which in turn has killed the confidence of our players and caused this run of results.
First, you criticise players for not having a go at each other when things are going wrong, and now you criticise them for “blaming each other”.

I'm 14 Again

@Luther, I saw this interview of Keown and he said something to this effect. We complain about our team lacking leadership, about how they can’t organize themselves as big players and take a game and then we complain when their hunger drives them to correct younger players, we slam them when all they’re doing is trying. Fans like to slam the players but it’s good to refer again to the meaning of support and take a good, long look at ourselves. Support as a verb would be to help keep from falling, the way pillars function. There’s not been much… Read more »


So refreshing to have a fellow educated person who happens to be a fellow gooner, commenting on one of these articles.
You know when a man is hanged till death, he is being SUPPORTED by the rope. Reminds me of how our players and manager (particularly Wenger) have been “supported” by tossers like Dave M.


I’m not sure I’ve seen anything quite like it. For large stretches of the game not only were we on the back foot, but Brighton were genuinely playing better, more technical, football than us. They looked like the more skilled team. We misplaced so many passes, and I don’t just mean the passes that miss a player I mean passes that make it so that the player must receive the ball in a difficult position to do anything with it, it’s a successfully executed action, but also a pointless one (sums up Xhaka’s game and Ozil’s too often for me).… Read more »

God is a Gooner

Brighton are better. They are no mugs. Far better coached, with a plan and identity.

Dave M

Aaron Mooy gave our midfield a lesson. he was outstanding (and is consistently outstanding) not sure why we don’t sign him. He is SO SO SO much better than Xhaka. Look at the difference in their games. Xhaka hovers in a narrow corridor through the middle of the pitch pretty much from the top of one box to the top of the other – zero width. Mooy is literally everywhere. His movement off the ball is exceptional, which is why he gets the ball so much because he always finds space. Then when he has it his passing is easily… Read more »


I said the same thing when he left Huddersfield. fucking good player and an Aussie … hates losing. Unlike our pansy wombats.

Dave M

Pansy wombats ? i feel bad for the pansy wombats that get associated with guys like Xhaka and Ozil


We don’t buy him because a bunch of fans would scream, cry and boo because we spent good money on a slow mid table player.


They are not playing as a unit. Midfield is the biggest problem. Unai was wrestling between more venture going forward but at expense of protection of an imperfect defense (See Sanlehi) and more caution but sitting too deep and causing a lack of shots plus even more duress on the defense. Neither worked out well. In between we had a self induced (by fans) Granit problem, cebellos injury plus we have simply lost balance there. Today large chunks of the game, the attack (Auba and Pepe0 gave away or lost the ball cheaply and the opponents from their edge of… Read more »

Dave M

Still inventing ways to explain why we continue (as always) to be completely ineffective with a midfield based around Xhaka…
You’re like wenger, Emery, and now Freddie. Fooled by his good looks, charisma, and (probably) hard work in training. While ever we keep picking a guy that the coaches like and that trains hard that is a complete liability in midfield then we deserve this mediocrity.

Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice

Xhaka just isn’t good enough. And it wasn’t the fans who caused him to act like a petulant child instead of a club captain. And spare me the hand wringing about ‘social media abuse’. That was a separate issue. If you have over million followers, you’re bound to have a few nutcases on there. If people start giving players carte blanche to tell fans to fuck off because a few muppets on social media said some nasty stuff, then it means all of the players can get away with abusing fans and then going on fucking strike. Fuck Xhaka quite… Read more »


Arsenal does not need a manager Arsenal needs a team who can defend.
Both goals come from backing off the opposition letting them travel to our half unencumbered. We do not block them by standing our ground, making them shift or pass.
Our quick passing game is gone, we are so so slow.
Albeit we played better than the last game, but it still is not enough.
That shows how much/long Arsenal has been asleep(slight dig at Wenger) and is still asleep.


Players are : Short of direction Short of off ball work rate Short of discipline 1)Direction – Clearly we can’t blame Llungberg. He’s a brave man to step in and try to right a ship but is clearly half bake and taking over a very difficult position in tring times. BUT sacking Unai as I mentioned may not bring about immediate relief. Those fans clamouring for it to happen need to pull their heads out of their arses. Reality is a cruel mistress. It is not as easy as they think to get top names like Ponch or Allegri to… Read more »


Too many people are over reactionary. granted, I don’t see LLungberg getting to grips with this anytime soon (His selections if anything indication of continued lack of clarity from Unai era) BUT bringing in a manager bc he use to play for us won’t do either. Many of them lack acumen or experience Arteta (even if he wanted to come) would likely pursue similar system as Unai as with his mentor Pep…But without the assets at City. Viera in relegation in the far less competitive Ligue one would be a choice derelict of duty. Then there are those who want… Read more »


Lack of confidence? Yes. Lack of footballing talent? Yes. Even the most biased amongst us cannot deny this is the worst side in decades- Luiz, Mustafi, Sokratis, Chambers, Holding, Xhaka, Ozil, Kolasinac etc. would never even been at the club back in the early Wenger days much less be in the starting line ups. And social media makes it worse. On this form Arsenal are in relegation form. And Freddie Ljungberg is NOT the answer long or short term. Do not play Sokratis or Luiz EVER – their “experience” brings nothing but calamity. Its terrible. Arsenal are garbage. Play players… Read more »

Neil Gould

I watch Man city or Liverpool even Brighton last night. I see a team that actually wants to win a game of football. Drive and desire but I don’t see any of that with this arsenal team. In my understanding that is the ability a good manager brings to a team. He has the ability to motivate those individuals . At the moment I see an arsenal team turning up on the pitch and going through the motions but I can’t see any focus or desire .


The ‘tactical change’ was putting Pepe our talented winger on, and getting inexperienced Willock out of the key #10 role and opening that back up for Ozil. I know the hate for Ozil has gotten back to that of banshee children who’ve had their lollipops taken away, but we are in no position right now to be shunting Ozil out wide to make way for Willock. It improved instantly when we made that change. Aside from that, it was down to us not finishing our many chances, not closing down crosses, and not attacking balls into dangerous areas. Why is… Read more »


*3rd paragraph: not attacking balls defensively..

Dave M

Yeah we were brilliant in the 2nd half. 1-1 at home against Brighton…lol I’m pretty sure if Willock had pepe out there instead of Ozil clogging the same space he’d be more effective too, only difference is Willock when he tracks back actually gets stuck in in a tackle and actually attempts to challenge headers and bodying players in the middle – Ozil, I don’t think has made an aerial challenge in about a decade. Willock also came closer to scoring than Auba and Laca (i don’t count Laca’s goal because it simply wasn’t a shot, it was a fluke).… Read more »


he was rubbish mate. Brighton had a players his age who was way better than him. So age is no excuse. Hate on Ozil but accept you favorites were rubbish too. Arsenal’s problem is a coaching issue. It doesn’t matter who plays in the middle the result is the same. Why is Luiz trying balls over the top all the time and not even 1 was successful. where is the coach to tell him to stop doing that? None of the Brighton players are individually better than our team but they played better because they have a better coach than… Read more »

Dave M

“None of the Brighton players are individually better than our team” Couldn’t be further from the truth. Mooy is WAY better than any midfielder we had – he has been doing it for years. one of the most underrated players in the league. He is EXACTLY the sort of dogged fighter we need that is also full of skill and guile. He is like Arteta in his prime, but a little quicker and more skilled. As for the rest of your rubbish. This pedalled line of Xhaka didn’t play and we still sucked…lol. Open your eyes. Torreira played as an… Read more »


Ozil has only started 6 Epl games and when he came in we were rubbish and we still rubbish. Pick another scapegoat. This has nothing to do with the quality of the players just plain basic coaching.

“Mooy is WAY better than any midfielder we had”. That my friend is rubbish. Arsenal makes any opposition player look better than they are.

“Once again, sure, let’s stick to Xhaka, Ozil, Sokratis, Luiz (and Laca up top forcing Auba to the wing) it is working oh so well!!” – goes back to what I said, Freddie is Emery lite.

Dave M

Sorry if you think Mooy is bad then you know nothing about him. I’ve watched his whole career as a part Aussie. He is a brilliant footballer. WAY WAY WAY better than Xhaka. He developed at city under Pellegrino and Pep’s system. He knows the game and where to you. Do yourself a favour and rewatch the game and focus on just him and what he does on and off the ball in defense and attack. Watch any game BHA (or Australia) play and you’ll see Mooy bosses the midfield and is absolutely brilliant. He’ll give you an education in… Read more »


If you think brighton players are individually better than our players then you know nothing about football.

Dave M

I said Mooy is. Mooy is better than any midfielder we have. He is twice the player Xhaka is. Try reading generally helps with responding.


“When Ozil plays we’re exposed on the counter”. So we’re not when he’s not playing? It’s made no fucking difference in our weakness on the counter with him being on or off the pitch. He’s only played 6 of our matches. We’ve been weak on the counter in every.single.one. If you’re pinning a team’s weakness on the counter fully on its #10 / Attacking Mid / Winger, man, you’re looking in the wrong direction. This is the root of the fallacy about Ozil. He may not be everything we need, but he’s not the core of our problems. You know… Read more »


A real man would look at this club and see that it’s filled with boys. Can’t expect boys to compete against men. My advice to the board, Get busy and start offloading the whole lot of you know who’s. Start getting the real men in, Upamecano and Konate to fix the defense, get 2 proper DMs and fix the central midfield problem. There, problem solved. That’s all folks!


I live in Australia. On the odd occasion over the last 10 years that I would miss a game due to work/time zone issues, I would feel sick. I don’t have to worry about that situation anymore.

Dave M

I was so envious watching Mooy play [another] complete game in midfield being literally everywhere on the pitch, while Xhaka strolled up and down a central corridor about 25m wide from the top of one box to the top of the other. And people wonder why we struggle with a midfield based around Granny Xhaka…LMAO!

Ordnance Dave

Silver linings


I know this is hard, but we must really stand by our team. Support them, cherish them and stand by Freddie. At least its not Freddie’s fault. We desperately need a win to start build on. This game was supposed to be that game, unfortunately it wasnt. City is approaching in a few games. This can go bad if we dont get a win before that.

Ex-Priest Tobin

Aaron Mooy is better than any of our midfielders. LOL.


Terribly disapointed by the team! What happened at Arsenal? When I watch an arsenal’s match, hoping for a win, a good game, I feel disillusioned at the end … May be the club need change hands: KSE, Raul and co have to leave this club, they’re incompetent. In fact, since they arrive, Arsenal has no longer qualified in champions league. The club need change all of the staff, it’s time to change all of the system. Arsenal have to build new team…


We haven’t won since DANI CEBALLOS got injured.


Freddie should have that call with Wenger A.S.A.P !


Raul and Edu should have that interview with Wenger ASAP.


Ozil after five consecutive full 90 minute PL games. Stealing a living taking corner kicks. Oh how we pined for our playmaker to start. Oh how we cursed Emery.

Original Big Dave

We have “good” players but the side is so unbalanced. This is both the fault of AW and UE. In his final years AW resulted in just buying attacking players or short-arse players. UE had 2 summers to sign the players he needed and didn’t buy a commanding DM or a decent CB. UE had good intentions but criminal he didn’t do anything about that. Yes Torreira, but the guy needs a partner to compensate for his lack of physical presence and height. That’s why Xhaka gets picked because he’s the only physical presence bar the CBs. Its just annoying… Read more »


We’ve missed Giroud from the day we let him go. There’s a reason he’s first choice for France even when he’s not scoring, nobody is as good as him at holding up the ball and bringing teammates into play. I found it very strange that we sold him to get Auba when we already had Laca and most teams played deep against us. Auba isn’t much use when teams sit back, or when we’re sending balls over the top. It’s not a popular stance, but I believe we would have been just as successful by keeping Giroud and spending the… Read more »


It’s not lack of confidence , it’s too many who really dom’t care enough and those who care lacks the fotball intelligence to cope with PL. Luiz is in the first category, Sokratis in the second.
Two basic rules we violate, close down the opponent as high up on the pitch as possible and if you lose the ball,try to recover it within the next 3 seconds.
And last, you must go all in , I’m sick to the bone seeing our guys with halfhearted tackle attempts in midfield ,they are easily overturned by everybody with two legs.

Fireman Sam

Tackle attempts? I haven’t even seen that from Arsenal recently. We just stand off and back off.

Welcome to the Emirates, don’t worry we are very polite and won’t trouble you by getting close to you or making any physical contact. Just run as you like and we will back off. That’s it. Oh you’ve scored? Jolly well done (but we didn’t exactly make it hard for you did we?)

Fart Overjars

Board hire new tec director: check
board spend money on fancy dan winger: check
board respond to fan pressure and sack manager: check
board appoint club legend as possible long term manager: check.

How does this fit with the proposition that the board are to blame?

Money has been spend but the squad have not performed this season at all.


“It’s obvious that nervousness from a crowd can affect footballers, it doesn’t matter what quality you have.”

Good. Now he is putting the blame on fans and trying to avoid responsibility for his actions, i.e. questionable lineup and subs. Smart way to go.


Lewis Dunk has admitted in the media that Brighton knew the Emirates crowd would turn on the Gunners and did everything they could to make it happen. Opposition teams are now using our own fans as a weapon against our team, that’s what the Emirates has sunk to. It’s really upsetting me, it’s all become a vicious circle.


Every top player or manager and their agents….they also know the exact same thing. Arsenal is becoming a toxic environment. Arteta could damage a potential long term management career by taking this as his first job. If you are a Spurs fan and hate Arsenal all you need to do is pull a “Putin”. Post a bunch of trolling messages and watch the Arsenal “fans” eat their own young as their club implodes.


It’s gonna be a long one from me. Poor all around. Well except Leno, he is putting in strong performance as usual. When I look at our squad and think of a say top 4 finish, I feel we need to get 7 new players and cut ties with some who are under performing. This surely can’t be done in 1 summer window and this is all down to terrible team management from the top. Now I realize we are using our youngsters a lot but they still need to produce. If you wear that shirt with that badge, you… Read more »

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