Freddie: The players are very short on confidence

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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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Jorin
Jorin

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. If the management is miserable, it’s easy to see why the team is miserable too.

Here’s hoping that our team can turn it around. The quality is there.

Leon
Leon

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…

Richie

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

Dave M
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 break and then Laca and Auba made straight line runs. Willock’s final ball was terrible, but he got nothing from his forwards, no drawing off defenders, no dropping off the line, no central runs…and then they yelled at him. Such is the culture of Arsenal.

Leno
Bellerin-Holding-Chambers-Tierny
Torreira-Guendouzi
Willock
Pepe-Auba-Martinelli

Laca has been shite this year. No one wants to say it but there it is. His goal was a crossed header that got lucky and apart from that he was terrible yesterday. Ozil unbalances the team. Xhaka unbalances the team. Xhaka and Ozil and its no wonder we can’t control home games against Brighton.

Ordnance Dave
Ordnance Dave

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

Bould's Eyeliner
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
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.

Luther
Luther

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.

Vonnie
Vonnie

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 the moment, they need to believe in themselves and know that we support them.

Amusa
Amusa

Sorry you have to go through this torture Freddie 🙁

Amusa
Amusa

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
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.

Richie

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

TorontoGunner
TorontoGunner

We’ll be back :”( COYG

Richie

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.

Anthony
Anthony

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

Woolwich Shepherd
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.

Michael
Michael

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, and it will be enough for a bounce.

4 – If Arsenal keep the current points per game, it would still come to 48, which is probably the absolute worst case scenario.

So, it’s very bad, but not relegation bad.

Sincerely, a League One club fan.

Naked Cygan
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 club. The current crip of players we have are too nice, too soft, and too sensitive.

backsakacrack
backsakacrack

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

Ben
Ben

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!

para
para

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
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.

Vonnie
Vonnie

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.

Francesc
Francesc

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

Leon
Leon

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….

Okester
Okester

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….

Ricardo
Ricardo

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?

Arsenalista
Arsenalista

Because of the down votes

Ricardo
Ricardo

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

Someone with experience steadying a ship, why not?

Oozil
Oozil

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
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
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
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 both were pointing fingers. i think they are great players and actually good characters, but they aren’t natural leaders and have adapted to the malaise. If we had some natural leaders in the squad around them they’d thrive (see Herny and Pires surrounded by Vieira, Bergkamp, Campbell, Keown, Pettit, Parlour). Why would they sign with this rubbish anyway?!

Cut the fat and build around a new generation:
Leno
Bellerin-Holding-[Saliba]Chambers – Tierny
Torreira-Douzi
Willock
Pepe-Auba-Martinelli

And if we move on from Auba change the front three to:
Pepe-Martinelli-Saka

Why the fuk not?! The senior players aren’t getting it done so lets start building a future not destroying the future.

Ealing
Ealing

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

Dave M
Dave M

Well at least it would be the Arsenal way ?

Willyp

Completely agree with everything you just said.

Luther
Luther

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
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 supporting from the Arsenal support

Luther
Luther

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.

Dawdler
Dawdler

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).

We have had so little consistency in our starting 11 all season, it often looks like our players are meeting each other for the first time. They all clearly know how to play football but fuck if they know how to play together. Consistently our midfield gets the ball and stand there with nothing to do next while our forwards line-dance with the opposing defence, expecting some kind of miracle pass or the defender to miss the header that we don’t ever bother challenging for (drives me mad, THEY WONT MISS AN UNCONTESTED WIDE OPEN HEADER GUYS). Our full backs are the only players with any semblance of movement, but since our wide forwards insist on staying wide there is nowhere for the full backs to run… fuck it I am not analyzing this.

I HAVE seen this before. Everyone is waiting (hoping) for someone else to make the crucial difference. Collectively, they have lost faith in their ability to succeed. Once you believe you are shit, as a professional, you are next to done. Opposition can smell it on you and pounce. Colleagues lose trust and everyone talks behind each other’s back. Your efforts are all over-compensations so nothing comes off. You watch in horror, knowing you are not as shit as your performance would indicate but unable to explain the evidence that proves otherwise. Largely everyone is either lost in their own head, or in their own emotions and the moment consistently passes them by. We have maybe 3 or 4 players across the whole squad who don’t seem affected by this.

It’s hard to watch.

Good luck, Freddie. I am genuinely rooting for you, but this will not be easy! 🙁

God is a Gooner
God is a Gooner

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

Dave M
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 as good as Xhaka’s if not better and he turns it over less. And he can turn past players, a skill which Xhaka rates about 0/10 – a skill so key to effectiveness in the EPL. Then on defense he recovers quick he gets in position and his timing in the tackle is exceptional. Is it a fluke (yet again) we couldn’t control the game with Xhaka as the fulcrum of our midfield? Accepting Xhaka is accepting mediocrity.

PodB
PodB

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

Dave M
Dave M

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

HoldenontoArsenal
HoldenontoArsenal

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.

Santori
Santori

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 their box were able to launch a ball straight past the yards of green in the middle with only a very slow Granit to beat.

Much of it because the other midfielders, the popular Torreira in particular, were over enthusiasitic and caught out of position too high and far from Granit.

Next our defensive line (Cbacks) were on one on one situation reminiscent of Soton game with Mustafi.

Results without Mustafi this game again similar.

Its a lack of relationship in midfield plus a poor backline.

In many ways it reminded me of the time Flamini was exposed by Ramsey pushing too high up some seasons past leading to some lobsided defeats.

many forget that before that, the pair managed to keep a string of clean sheets bc Ramsey stayed closer to the aging french man.

It was only when our better assets (Sanchez etc returned from injury) that ironically we dried up in goals. Then Ramsey tried to make a difference pushing higher (his natural instinct) which isolated and exposed the faults of the againg French Stalwart.

What we need is a better balance in midfield.

BUT we are not going to get that with Llungberg selecting willock and shunting Ozil wide.

For practical purposes at the moment, we may not have enough security in midfield IMO without Granit, Torreira AND Guendouzi together.

It may mean at expense of Ozil bc otherwise like Unai, the only other way would be to go diamond four (narrow) if we want the German as well.

I think at this point a no nonsense hard working midfield is probably better and a solid structure. if its a3, then we need to play 2 deep and regular together in say granit and Guendouzi. Torreira(or Ozil) can push higher or Guendouzi higher and Torreira next to granit but something regular in selection and work on the spaces between the midfield, not too much change.

Dave M
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
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 frankly. He’s not good enough anyway. One of the first names on the clear out list for any new manager worth his salt. You can guarantee it.

para
para

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.

Santori
Santori

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 come to us (even if they so haughtily prefer to list the faults of these managers and their unsuitability)

If we get a less than ideal gaffer, it could damage us further (albeit a more experienced caretaker maybe the best solution now)

BUT clearly nothing has been resolved with Llungberg. He has got us moving quicker, got rid of some of Unai’s poorer dictates playing over complicated and technical frokm the back.

BUT we have still a non functioning midfield in part bc instead of going with the strongest 3 we can muster (I would say Granit-Torreira with Guendouzi, we are trying to have Ozil worked in and inexplicably accommodate young Willock…now is not the time for inexperience experiement.

2)Discipline – We lack discipline. We prosecute well for 15-20 mins start of each half but dissipate back to bad habits and disarray.

Midfielders too high up (Torreira, Willock) and when we lose the ball (throgh carelessness -Auba and Pepe) higher up, it immediately translates to an attack through our empty midfield with only the slow Granit to beat before they can get at our backline in just 3 or 4 passes.

Also wide players not doing anywhere enough to cover and help fullbacks out.

Worse, when attacking we lose effort and end up stanidng 6 in a row static waiting for balls from midfield to be played to us. Some instances, when we see Bellerin busting a gut to the byline, we should expect a cut back or cross but Auba cannot be bothered to make a near post run.

3) Effort – Even if we can say we lose shape and are clueless, effort not enough. Some players are doing it but others tend to waltz back. Most guilty Pepe and Auba. They lose the ball way too much which often translates to us scrambling and on the back foot under instant duress.

But one instance Auba elected not to close down their player out right and gave him a free cross which nearly cost us.

Again I don’t see sufficient culpability in leadership.

Llugberg again presenting Auba the captaincy more for goal scoring form than function.

What we need is Sokratis (for want of better choice) to organize us during defensive phases, or remind midfielders not to depart too far off Granit when attacking, don’t be so over enthusiastic (in many ways this reinds me of when Ramsey use to push forward and isolated the aging Flamini)

And in attack, we need greater orchestration prob from Laca who perhaps is the node at the moment acting as the one player who can hold the ball for us high up without cheaply losing it.

Just not simply good enough but as mentioned, hard to blame poor LLungberg.

Problem is, you may want to sack Emery but its not so easy finding the right gaffer to want to come in. You find a sub standard gaffer with more experience than LLugberg but he may also prove false half a season or so down leading us in further problems just kicked down the road.

Clearly the solution is not easy but we have to think of something fast bc relegation form isnt that far off (ahem if not already)

…then we have lack of confidence…

Santori
Santori

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 say Nuno who without the comforts of a healthy retinue of fellow Portugese at Wolves, I have my doubts whether he can effect similar heroics at Arsenal.

And there is Marcelino another manager with even less credentials than Emery and will also be risk (not to mention same language issues people complain about Emery)

IMO we have no easy choice. Maybe Benitez can be coaxed in as a caretaker but he may talk tough knowing our desperate need.

Ponch, Allegri still available but less than likely to even consider us.

Then you are looking at exciting gaffers like Ten Hag at Ajax but he won’t likely leave till the summer.

One option we should be keeping close watch on is Simeone.

maybe he is the sort of disciplinarian and defensive organizer we really need to bring some sort of basic structure and discipline back to this team.

He is struggling in 6th at the moment in La Liga and apparently falling out with Athletico. Been there for a long time so maybe pliable to a move somewhere different.

but clearly we need to start to look for potential alternatives to Llungberg should he not carry the next match.

Leon
Leon

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 in their natural positions.
And get a manager in as soon as possible because this intrerim arrangement is going tp prove disastrous…

Neil Gould
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 .

Mpls
Mpls

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 it so many of our crosses and final balls get cut out or blocked, but we are nearly incapable of doing the same? Believe it or not we looked better at it tonight than the last several matches, but that’s not saying much.

I would literally start the next match with the lineup we finished this one with, aside from thinking about the CB’s. But If Holding isn’t fully fit, I really don’t know who would improve us there.

Mpls
Mpls

*3rd paragraph: not attacking balls defensively..

Dave M
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). Best example is when Willock chased back, made a great challenge sprang up into a 3v3 counter with Laca and Auba ahead of him wide and both tightly covered and all they did was make straight runs towards the goal line – nothing – no dropping off, not cuts inside, no pealing wide to make space for a cross (just terrible nothing runs) and then Willock tried to make something out of nothing by playing the ball through, but it was a terrible pass and Auba and Laca slated him yet they offered him nothing.

Yep lets make the 20 year old a scapegoat for all our problems while the malaise continues with a team built around tried, tested and failed options like Xhaka and Ozil (throw in Sok and Luiz too who were terrible again). A 20 year that is the only one in the squad talking about playing with pride in Arsenal and the Arsenal fans while these senior guys complain about fans and beg for support no matter how shite they play… Good call!

Clay
Clay

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 what we have.

Yes we like Freddie but his decisions and lineups have contributed to these 2 shitty results. Why is Willock play 10, Ozil a winger, Pepe and Martinelli better wingers on the bench? Thats on the coach not the players.

Luiz and Sokratis have been bad together at CB but we keep playing them and expecting a different result.

I know we have our usual scapegoats Xhaka, Ozil, Kola, Mustafi etc, but we must remember Ozil & Mustafi were not involved from the beginning and we were rubbish. Xhaka ddnt play a few games and results have been the same.

For me Freddie looks like an Emery clone.

Dave M
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 attacking mid during that time! Ozil can only play as a #10 and when he does we are exposed on the counter because he doesn’t do enough defensively – he runs (sometimes) but he can’t tackle, never challenges in the air. And then when you role him out with Xhaka it’s like saying to the opposition “The new highway has just opened – this way directly to the Arsenal goal please”.

Willock was not exceptional, but he was not bad by any stretch he worked his socks off and got next to zero help around him. Especially from Ozil playing through his space. 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!!

Clay
Clay

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
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 football. Sounds like you might need one.

I'mHere
I'mHere

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

Dave M
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.

mpls
mpls

“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 what I’m going to throw this out there: We were better for much of this match on the counter. I saw two main differences:

1. Freddie has been actively training on it. Our fullbacks were more mindful of their attacking runs and tracking. Bellerin didn’t successfully block out that cross, but he wasn’t still in the attacking half trotting back after his latest tekkers stepovers. He was in position.

2. Guendouzi wasn’t on the pitch. He shouldn’t be until he schools up on tracking and defending counters and following his runners. Ball watches near our box. He’ll get there, not there yet. I think Wenger would play him on the wing for a bit, haha. Maybe some 23’s or a dead rubber Europa at wingback / fullback / DM to practice recovery and tracking runs.

Bonus #3. Chambers wasn’t on the pitch. He’s not a fullback. Certainly not one that should be crashing the box. Back three or CB with positioning drilled into his head, he’ll be better.

Vis
Vis

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!

Mitch
Mitch

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
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
Ordnance Dave

Silver linings

Guns&Gooners
Guns&Gooners

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
Ex-Priest Tobin

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

Seb
Seb

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…

Richie

We haven’t won since DANI CEBALLOS got injured.

N J F
N J F

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

Richie

Raul and Edu should have that interview with Wenger ASAP.

Almunia4Pires
Almunia4Pires

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
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 that sloths move quicker. And weirdly we actually miss Giroud. We’re lumping balls forward but lacazette is hounded by bigger CBs and can’t get any real control on it. To compensate for that you’d need 2 up top, but then you’re having to take someone out of midfield where we already need to compensate for lack of presence.

The lack of investment into defensive or physical presence is really hurting us now – to counter that, for the first 20 mins of the second half yesterday we basically reverted to later-years Wengerball – quick passing attacking movement – This is when we started looking good again. “Later-years Wengerball” because it has the obvious weakness – the lack of defense. And then no surprise they counter and score.

The obvious flaws in our game continue to exist and the transfer window can’t come soon enough but it will take more than just players to change this.

Vonnie
Vonnie

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 Auba money on a top class defender or midfielder.

UpNorth
UpNorth

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
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
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.

Dom47
Dom47

“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.

Vonnie
Vonnie

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.

HoldenontoArsenal
HoldenontoArsenal

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.

srbistuta
srbistuta

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 are out there, you need to show something. I do like Willock a lot as a player and it seems he keeps himself to a higher standard so I’m looking forward to seeing him in the future. What about the others? Saka hasn’t shown anything worthy of a roster spot IMHO.

As for our senior players, Hector is a different player but he still has a knack to be positioned badly in crucial moments. His forward play has completely regressed since his breakout season which leads me to believe that it was exception rather than his standard form.

I see a lot of good vibes for Chambers i the comments and I must say that I can’t relate at all. The only good thing I can say about Calum’s game is his crossing which is decent. He is slow footed for a RB and IMHO is not suited for a CB role.

Holding is a player I am high on…but that’s maybe due to Luiz and Papa being absolute trash recently so I automatically feel like he is better 😀 Joking aside, Rob had his growing pains and I can’t wait to see him start again for us.

I can’t be bothered to write anything about how poor Luiz and Sokratis have been playing this season. Zero chemistry, it’s like they don’t like each other…

Kolasinac is clueless on defense. He hustles hard going forward but his end product is always lacking. That’s about it.

Xhaka is too static, too slow and plays the game like it’s been played in the ’80s. Plus the whole incident with the fans…sell pls

Toreira – slow. For a guy that is 5ft playing that holding/defensive midfield role, I would expect a speed demon. Also he is very limited with what he can do with the ball at his feet. If we can find potential suitors to sell for decent cash – pull the trigger.

Guendouzi needs to chill for a while. Watch some games from the bench and learn some stuff like when to push when to hold back. He also needs to improve his 1st touch imho but I see future for him in a decent Arsenal side (if and when we get there)

Ozil, just stop man. Cut ties with this dude and let him play Fortnite or hang out with politicians or whatever…I’m sorry but there is no place for poors man Riquelme in this modern EPL.

Abua is not Henry. He doesn’t have Henry’s 1st touch, or just Henry’s touch for that matter. He can’t dribble past defenders like Henry did or create for others like Henry did. What he can do is run the wheels of the back 4, getting into channels chasing through balls and finishing well in the box and he is super effective at what he does. That said, we are not using him for what hes good at…

Laca just hasn’t performed this season. I like his skillset, he is strong on the ball and can wiggle a bit but he just blended into the whole gray mood.