Freddie Ljungberg says he’s going to stick with experience to get Arsenal back on track, but has made it clear we need more from the senior players than we’ve been getting.

The interim head coach returns to West Ham where he had a season as a player, looking to take his first one in charge of the Gunners.

Form has been patchy, confidence is at an all-time low, and when asked if he needed his experienced heads to step up, he told Sky Sports, “We do. We need to change this downward spiral.

“I haven’t said I’m going to build the team against specific players but I felt I want to play the experienced players when it’s such a difficult situation like it is at the moment.

“I made a conscious choice to put down the older players to take the responsibility and change the games.”

It will be a serious test of character for a group of players who have shown some deficiencies in that regard, and while erring on the side of experience is understandable, some of these guys have been the most culpable in this recent run.

Let’s hope we can turn it around tomorrow.

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PGunner
PGunner

With Man U beating Man C yesterday, we are now definitely the most underperforming squad in the prem. Freddie is essentially saying, and rightly so, that our senior players need to step the fuck up, take responsibility and most of all show the fight they would have needed to get to where they are in the game.

I can just about abide by sub par performances if the effort is there BUT we really need to combine maximum hard work with improved game intelligence in the next few games.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

I get that senior players need to perform better. But at the same time, it’s senior players that have got us into this mess with their abject performances.

Personally, I’d prefer to see a Chambers Holding CB pairing than Luiz Sokratis. We know what they offer and it simply isn’t good enough. Neither deserves to keep their place, despite their experience.

truj
truj

We can blame the defence of course but our mighty attackers let us down too. The so called outscoring the opposition tactic needs efficiency, the element we are lacking now.

Mesut O’Neill
Mesut O’Neill

Someone needs to remind Ozil why he gets paid £350,000 a week. Biggest robber since Sani Abacha.

Duno
Duno

I take it that you’re a Nigerian. I’m a fan of Ozil but he’s definitely not decisive enough. Should have scored some goals in these past few games but lacks that edge which is a shame.

Lanre
Lanre

You have been consistently anti-ozil for as long as i can remember, always the slightest excuse to slag him off. Why not call Freddie out for shipping him off to the wings? A 10 is a 10. A striker is no good in the wings. Torreira is a defensive midfielder. Why is this so hard to get?

Martin
Martin

Always the salary has to be mentioned. Ozil hasn’t been our worst player by a long way and has really been working hard

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Freddie’s been handed a poisoned chalice…it’s starting to look as if we have our own version of the “bomb squad” that Poch famously had to get out of Tottenham.
We should be able to rely on our senior players and if we can’t then why are we surprised we’re in the position we’re in right now?

myrtle
myrtle

You can point fingers all you like at the players, but for me everything still goes back to the lineup. I am yet to see a 100% logical team sheet this season. Every single game has been dysfunctional mess with too many square pegs in round holes. It’s as simple as that, footballers are CONFIDENT when they are COMFORTABLE. They are scared when they are out of their depth, being asked to perform unfamiliar roles. I feel like a broken record on this.
1. Pick players in their natural positions. 2. Look for complementary partnerships in key areas. Not Xhaka/Guendouzi and not Mustafi/Luiz. This a bermuda triangle of fuckery with players that are too similar and don’t offset either’s weaknesses. 3. Get Ozil and Auba off the bloody touchline and between the posts. 4. For goodness sake let our club record signing offer the width instead of Calum Chambers.

Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again

The only positive is that January is a few weeks away. There has to be significant changes in the playing staff. I don’t care where we get a real Midfielders and central defenders from. I’m sure Emre Can & Adrien Rabiot will be available for the right price. Players are available for the right price

Hiiiii guys
Hiiiii guys

I want to see a back line of
Bellerin Chamber Holding Tierney
Gendouzi Xhaka
Ozil
Pepe. Auba Martinelli

This team has pace creativity and defensive stability. Give holding the captaincy aswell. I don’t think strikers should be captain.

Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again

The only thing I’d change from your line up is that I’d move Luiz into the midfield. That midfield has not worked with any other combination. Try Luiz and Xhaka and see if it works.

Martin
Martin

Torreira instead of Guendouzi is the one change I would make. Why so many thumbs down

Gibson mukulas
Gibson mukulas

I support you 100%

Gooner Sam
Gooner Sam

You’ve seen the financial results, we are skint. I very much doubt we will get reinforcements in January

oldboygunner
oldboygunner

I don’t think the senior players give a shit about Arsenal FC.

Oregoon

Well let’s think about all the goodwill the club as shown telling Mustafi, Xhaka(implicitly), and Ozil they can leave! What goes around comes around, depending on your level of cynicism. Frankly, we should not play any of those three unless we have to and, again try like hell to move them in January.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

Who would have thought that one day we’d be going to West Ham full of trepidation and desperate for a win to stave off a relegation battle? Sad.

Interesting news yesterday about the club’s financial plight: it looks like Stan’s mismanagement of AFC is now bearing extremely bitter fruit. And with the high likelihood of no European football at all next season things are going to deteriorate even more next year. We’re more likely to sell than spend the huge amounts needed to turn us into a decent side. I think it’s called a vicious circle.

This actually might be a good thing.

As well as the trouble he has in London Stan is up to his arse in billions of dollars of debt in the US trying to build a new stadium for his beloved LA Rams. If things get too bad he may decide to offload Arsenal to generate some much-needed dough.

We can only dream, I suppose.

Takeshita
Takeshita

You mean to finish off a frosty relationship is to burn your own house or watch someone burn it so that he/she sees no value in you and leave you??? Na i wouldn’t do that or wish for it.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

Er, no. I mean I hope Stan sells the club to someone who actually loves football and is prepared to invest his time and money to make us great again.

Vonnie
Vonnie

We could get even worse owners, there’s lots around, just sayin’. The best is if the current owners understand better what Arsenal is about, how different things are in England, and stop totally trusting the snake oil salesmen they’ve been listening to, we can but hope.

Der32
Der32

From where we were when Stan bought into the club, I could not have imagined a worse scenario actually.

Leon
Leon

Hopefully the huge amount of debt he has generated and the general fact that every single Arsenal fan cannot stand the sight of him might encourage him to sell.
Arsenal would be a very attractive proposition to someone with the money – huge reputation, massive TV and franchise incomes, middle of London.
It could become a reality…
Kroenke is NEVER going to win the fans over – they cannot stand the man..

GraeB
GraeB

The quoted gate for Brighton game was the standard 60000+ which is probably all that KSE are interested in at this stage. That means their income was unchanged from previous years and all tickets sold.

Only when ST renewals go begging and true attendances begin to show through will concern be raised by accountants. That and a drop in TV money when we become also-rans.

gerardo
gerardo

I’m a red member and was looking to get a ticket for the game. The website said it was sold out with tickets only left on the exchange. If some season ticket holders don’t fancy going why aren’t more tickets going on the Exchange? Surprising to see so many empty seats especially for Freddie’s first game in charge at home.

PeteyB
PeteyB

Ticket revenues not a lot compared to TV money etc. Not having European football and a poor EPL finish will make a bigger debt in finances than empty seats will.

Oregoon

Here is a decent summary of what our owner is putting together in Southern California. https://www.athleticbusiness.com/stadium-arena/can-rams-chargers-stadium-bring-new-financing-model.html

An Arseblog News Comment
An Arseblog News Comment

I hope that means Pepe starts. He was our best player against Brighton

GraeB
GraeB

Pretty low bar for that title though!

Anthony
Anthony

Yep. But at the same time he showed the desire we’ve all been crying out for – and at £72m, a prive tag he is well aware of, its good to see him not simply sitting back so credit where its due.

I do understand Ljungberg’s POV though. The more experienced heads in the group need to set the baseline in our performances and they really haven’t been. So if they can up their game, supplement them with hungry young/fringe players it can only benefit all involved.

At least Freddie is highlighting out deficiencies without singling out specific players – hr is addressing the group as a whole.

Let’s hope it works!

COYG!

A Different George
A Different George

Well, along with the much-maligned Kolasinac.

Snagger
Snagger

So stick with what isn’t working and expect a different result the madness continues. Xhaka having had one of his better games but outshone in midfield by Mooy. Ozil showing fight after the final whistle. Papabob , Papabob Papabob!!! Valium please

truj
truj

Or we can mix it again. No regular eleven, lack of stability and cohesion. We do not need scapegoats anymore, just start to build some confidence slowly. It is said we are the most underperforming team in this league. It’s sad but you can play much better with our players and resources, so that’s the thin line of my optimism.

Leon
Leon

Its the senior players – the ones you would be looking to get Arsenal out of this predicament who got us into it to begin with.
Sokratis, Luiz, Xhaka and Ozil simply are not good enough to be in the starting line up – lets be honest they are not good enough to be at the club.
Holding, Chambers, Torreira and Martinelli with the right encouragement and support would do a much better job for Arsenal and all are young.
There is an old saying – those who fail to learn the lessons from history are doomed to repeat them. Arsenal cannot rely on its “senior” players who are immobile and lazy and should give these players a chance – it cannot get any worse can it?

Mouise
Mouise

Özil… he was heavily involved in our last 3 goals… but well…

Snagger
Snagger

He took the corners big deal. It’s not as if he’s bossing games we have mainly been scoring from dead ball situations no penetration from open play. We are paying 350 k for a specialist kicker is this NFL?

Leon
Leon

He is a lazy bastard – sorry but shit does stick.

bendtnerschristmastree
bendtnerschristmastree

he aint lazy, but bar the liverpool game he’s been bang average like the rest of them

santi's thigh grab
santi's thigh grab

He hides every game in the middle of the pitch to avoid contact, watch his positioning where he isn’t open for a pass, it’s intentional.

Martin
Martin

He hasn’t hidden in any games and never has. Maybe not as effective as he once was but is working hard.

santi's thigh grab
santi's thigh grab

No heart for the club, plays for himself.

Martin
Martin

Ozil has never been remotely lazy and in recent matches has been working as hard as any other player. You only see what you want to

Mesut O’Neill
Mesut O’Neill

Oh fuck off. Ozil is a complete waste of space who only gives a fuck about himself. Petulant spoilt little boy, he is one of the main reasons arsenal are so bad now. The other players all see that you can be a wanker & still get paid handsomely, so they follow suit.

santi's thigh grab
santi's thigh grab

Spot on, Ozil should ride the bench, that’s his most important contribution.

Kostas
Kostas

Ozil is shit, he cant score he cant mark, he is walking on the pitch, i dont know what does he offer to a team, just few good passes in easy games

Mpls
Mpls

I love it. First mention of ‘senior players’ and the typical response of‘Xhaka, xhaka, Ozil, Ozil, Ozil- when both of them easily outplayed Aubamayang, Lacazette, and our veteran defenders the last 2-3 matches.

Fuck the scapegoating ladies and gents, and let’s see things how they truly are across the board. Falsely singling out players is a distraction that doesn’t make anything better.

Mesut O’Neill
Mesut O’Neill

You are truly blind if you feel Ozil has done anything to warrant being in the team. You know what has stayed the same in this 5 year slide. Not Wenger, not Sanchez, not Emery, not Gazidis but the one & only Mesut Ozil.

Vonnie
Vonnie

What a load of bollocks, Mesut didn’t play at all while we got into this mess, open your eyes and look at the match instead of being a fucking sheep listening to cunts like aftv and most of the former players nicking a living masquerading as pundits. How many times does Mesut give them the outball only to be ignored, how many times is he stuck in possession with nobody making any movement at all? He’s not perfect but he’s nowhere near the biggest problem in this team.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Even though Ozil hasn’t looked any worse than anyone else, his reintroduction to the team hasn’t had any kind of impact. For a star player, a supposed leader and someone who many on here claim is the best AM in the league or even the world, that is hugely damning.

Dave cee
Dave cee

Look I don’t disagree. Auba and to an extent Laca are vastly overrated. But Ozil IS terrible. Our defenders are terrible. Our squad is a mess. That doesn’t mean Ozil and Xhaka are good

Mpls
Mpls

Never said they have been ‘good’ though, did I?

The point is, picking two favorite whipping boys gets you no closer to the truth, it only gets you two favorite whipping boys.

I guess for those who are into that sort of thing, that’s your business. But the rot goes much broader and deeper.

Continuing to berate and degrade two of our players -who are not our weakest, nor are they on the worst form in the team- does absolutely fuck all to help. It is, in fact, counterproductive. Right now they’re what we’ve got. Why destroy the motivation they seem to have found a bit of?

News flash: we’re not replacing Ozil with someone better in January.

News flash #2: we don’t have a better attacking midfielder/ #10.

A Different George
A Different George

It is possible to argue rationally, though I don’t agree, that Ozil does not fit into our system (or, anyway, some system that we theoretically have), that he is a “luxury player” for our squad, and so he should be sold. It is possible to argue rationally, though I don’t agree, that Ozil’s salary hampers our ability to buy other players.

But it is not rational to say he is not “good enough” to be at the club. No manger in England, in Europe, no player on Arsenal or any other club in the Prem would agree. Sometimes supporters are just crazy.

Oregoon

Seems the problem is relative to our other choices. Do we want to have Ceballos or Pepe play for Ozil, and then pick between Guendouzi, Torriera, Xhaka, and Willock as other playmakers? Maybe so put there are limitations either way you go.

Last thing, to scapegoat Ozil for everything that has happened over the last five years, let along two years, is nonsense and bordering on hate. I would like to see him go for his one good, as the league has always been a physical test for him, but while he is here I would hope to hell we get something out of him.

Mintoes
Mintoes

Ozil is long past his best. He’s done nothing for Arsenal. A disaster since day 1. We never had any need for him ever. He was given to us by an agent looking to offload him out of Madrid when they made it clear Modric was their preferred no.10. Wenger fell for it and we’ve been lumbered with this waste of space ever since. Our team has never been able to accommodate him because he has no game suited for the English premiership. Every time he starts it means we’re playing with 10 men. The 350k deal given to him by gazidis and wenger was absolutely shocking. If we are in the doldrums for the next 5 years you can blame a good chunk of that on this one insane deal.

Martin
Martin

So the most creative player in the league and the quickest to to 50 assists was a disaster from day 1. Helped us win 3 FA Cups. One of Wenger’s best signings. He may now be inconsistent but if you haven’t appreciated what he has contributed to us you have a poor knowledge of football

Mintoes
Mintoes

Helped us win fuck all. A complete disaster from day 1, yeah. Goes missing in every big game. Does fuck all in every other game. And sits there happy to rake in 350k week while the team suffers because of it. The absolute worst signing in our clubs history.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Actually I think many people would agree with that sentiment now. Or at least they’d say he wouldn’t play in the sides challenging for the title, which is where we should be. He looked a world beater when he was out of the side while we were struggling. Now that he’s playing and not making a difference, people reunderstand his true level, which is sadly where he’s been at since signing that contract.

Tony Hall
Tony Hall

They do need to step the fuck up and give 110%. They have no Emery to hide behind now and Fred bless him needs all the help he can get from them. He has really been chucked in the deep end and they owe him and the club some big performances. They are all so much better than they are playing at the moment. With the pace and attacking options we should be scaring the opposition and scoring for one. The defence is another matter entirely but even if we still concede goals we should be able to outscore most of the teams in the premiership. We should not be scared of any team in the league!

Leon
Leon

Exactly how much time should they be given to “step the fuck up” ?
How long as Xhaka, Ozil and Sokratis been underperforming?
Successful businesses don’t become successful by carrying dead weight.
You perform or you fuck off
Its called life and it applies to everyone…
Including dead weight players on huge salaries who do precisely nothing – just like Ozil, Xhaka, Sokratis etc.
I am personally fucking sick of reading the same garbage about the same players week after week – they might as well cut and paste the same criticisms every week to save time.
Give young players a chance – at least they will try which is more than the garbage that is the “senior” team dish out…

Tony Hall
Tony Hall

All the players need to give 100% not just the senior ones. And by *step it up* I was referring to Auba/Laca/Ozil/Xhaka mainly. And If they can’t get their act together in the next couple of games then I am all for playing the youngsters. Hell I would even go so far as recalling Eddie and playing a front 3 of Pepe, Eddie and Martinelli or even Saka, Eddie and Martinelli. We are fast approaching the point where we have nothing to lose!

Atom
Atom

Without Auba we would be dead last in the table. He has more than carried his own weight the past couple of years – we need to stop shunting him out on the wing to fit in Lacazette.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

He’s our goal scorer so he’s just doing his job. People forget how many chances he missed last season…as well as the penalty that might have got us top 4.
He does need to start up front away from home definitely but his pressing in games is pretty poor and he’s very lightweight in challenges.
And if the links to him and Madrid are real is his head even at Arsenal anymore…he downed tools at Dortmund when he wanted out of there.

Vonnie
Vonnie

You’re so right, look at the last few games and he’s been awful. His dream is to play for Real Madrid and if they are in for him we should sell in January because we sure as hell won’t be getting any decent performances out of him. Take the money and buy the defender and midfielder we need.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

Sell Auba in January and get relegated.
Sounds like a plan!

Mesut O’Neill
Mesut O’Neill

Ozil – underperforming since 2013

GraeB
GraeB

Emery started the season with young players, especially wingers, who were exciting going forwards.

We now seem to be opting for at least 8 defenders which gives us no real positivity in midfield to give it to our forwards. But this has neither given us any more strength at the back.

To make best use of our attacking forces, play more forwards but make defenders stay back and tackle, challenge, block more. Once we are really on top, then they can press forwards.

Chrispy
Chrispy

I always thought the ‘best’ players works better.
Holding needs to start. Torreira needs to anchor the midfield. Auba needs to play in the middle flanked by Martineli and Pepe/ Nelson or Saka. Kola and Laca on the bench. That’ll do for now as the minimum required in my opinion but everything good, potentially gets undone by serial mistake makers like Xhaka, Sokratis and Luiz. No wonder we’re shot of confidence.

Leon
Leon

Luiz was the worst signing we could have possibly made.

AndyA
AndyA

Im 100% not a fan of his. I also think players seem to become especially poor after joining arsenal. Torreira was amazing when he joined but has gone right off the boil.

Tribe
Tribe

By a mile!

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

A million miles!

Tribe
Tribe

😀

Dominic
Dominic

I find it hard to believe we couldn’t have agreed terms with Gary Cahill

Viju Jacob
Viju Jacob

Freddie, how about having a proper first XI and formation, unlike you playing Willock at #10 and senior players out wide? Stop being Emery 2.0 and put the best team out in a 4-2-3-1 and get the results.

Viju Jacob
Viju Jacob

Don’t know why the three thumbs down, but I guess it’s symptomatic of the times at our club

Atom
Atom

1. You’re calling Freddie Emery 2.0 all of 2 games in and 1 week in charge
2. You’re taking a shot at Willock who has been pretty solid this year and isn’t remotely the source of our issues.

Thumbs down doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a “sign of the times” – you made a couple of derogatory statements that people simply don’t agree with

Viju Jacob
Viju Jacob

Derogatory? Where? I am huge supporter of Freddie to get the job, but his performance in the first two games are reminiscent Emery.
And since when did Willock become #10? You understand the game well first before accusing.

Atom
Atom

Reread your comments. The answer to thumbs down isn’t usually you’re right but others simply down vote everything. It’s normally people disagree with you. You said multiply things people can disagree with – even your reply that I don’t understand the game well enough to disagree with you oozes of arrogance

Viju Jacob
Viju Jacob

Since you think I’m arrogant, can you tell me how and when did Willock become a #10? That isn’t his strength and I just mentioned that, which got you all files up. I’ve been a fan for 40+ years and I called it the way I saw it. Willock isn’t #10, the same way Auba isn’t a right winger.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

How about you go and get your coaching badges?

Viju Jacob
Viju Jacob

It’s too late in the day, buddy.

Pakgooner
Pakgooner

I know we are always missing those who are not there, but I sincerely miss Ramsey. He was our missing piece when not injured and an actual future captain. Yet I still believe there is enough harmony amongst our current crop, what would actually help is playing Torreira stuck with our defence with each defender coming in to help him close down opposition as they find it so easy to just wade into our box. Xhaka to play his Swiss team role and release on the counter. Bench Papa and Luiz both, they are detrimental especially playing out the back and for our overall speed of play, with them i feel like there is an entire 2 gears we never even touch. Chambers with Mustafi or Holding and Auba up front with Gabi and Pepe flanking.
I know we can make it out of this mess together and trust Freddie as he is one of us and I feel can do what’s right, just need to get a win with a pro performance.

AFC Gunnetr
AFC Gunnetr

I have faith in Freddie. Since he came in, he’s showing improvement theres more determination and the ball is being move fast. He plays good attacking football. Very unlucky to pick up only 1 point in 2 games. There’s still a lot of work to do but also there’s a lot of positivity, we need to keep our faith in him cos he knows the team and he loves the club. He will find his balance and the players will get used to his style soon. The fans really need to be behind him. The defense really need to be sorted out and the way the ball transit from defense to midfield and from midfield to attack need to sorted out.

I’m not saying that Freddie should get the job permanently, but if you look carefully any manager can come here and flop because of the pressure. Its not going to be easy for any manager to turn it around with this players. For me its rather have Freddie till the end of the season than taking chances with someone from outside. We bring in a manager in the summer to start a fresh season.

Dan
Dan

I know this might be an unpopular opinion with most people but I really think we need a massive clear out of some of not most of our star names and replace them with players who will be hungry for success and fight for the badge and each other.
Something in the club and this team is rotten and we need to weed out the bad seeds quickly before it spreads to the rest of the club.
As they say a fish rots from its head and at this moment in time the executive team and board really need to take a long hard look at themselves too.

santi's thigh grab
santi's thigh grab

This club began rotting when the Kroenke’s took over as majority shareholders. Owners goals are not the same as players and supporters, so we will not achieve our goals, it is as simple as that. The rot stops when we get a solid Director of Football that doesn’t eat at the same table with the agents, someone like Overmars. We won’t get a new Director of Football until the Kroenke’s are out. Buckle up, we have a ways to fall and for those that say regulation is impossible for a club of this size, look at Leeds and how long have they been wandering in the wilderness. Wenger out protests were misguided, should have been directed at the Kroenke’s, they have no sporting goals.

para
para

Something in the club and this team is rotten and we need to weed out the bad seeds quickly before it spreads to the rest of the club.
Well said.

Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice
Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice

I was watching Hughwizzy’s video on YouTube (at the BHA game). He filmed a few very short clips and one of them showed BHA with the ball in midfield and our players just walking around in front of them in a half arsed ‘press’. For sone reason his short clip made it really obvious. Then I watched every other team over the week actually running when pressing in midfield.

Hugh wasn’t pointng this out on his video, but if you watch it on his channel you’ll see it.

They simply can’t be bothered. We are in massive trouble.

Dave cee
Dave cee

Totally. I watched udinese vs someone last night and their midfield ran and pressed the bollocks out of them. I wished that was Arsenal

oldboygunner
oldboygunner

Everton did the same yesterday. None of this tippy-tappy-crappy Spanish style playing out from the back but an old style boot down the pitch to an old style centre forward for flick one to the speedy players. Worked a treat.

Vonnie
Vonnie

We have Auba and we’ve tried booting the long ball but he can’t deal with it. If that’s the tactic we should have saved a lot of money and kept Giroud.

oldboygunner
oldboygunner

Giroud was lazy and constantly needed Bostic to hold him together.; more concerned about his hairstyle than putting in a decent shift. I’m talking about a Centre Forward who actually puts in a shift.

oldboygunner
oldboygunner

The problem for Freddie as I see it is that what he wants from the experienced, senior plYers is, in my humble view, unlikely as indicated by those self same players stalling over extended contract talk and, in essence, waiting to see what happens. I sincerely hope I’m wrong but it seems to me that those players have an eye on their own personal futures rather than the future of Arsenal Football Club. Loyalty is unfortunately something that is rarely seen these days. It has been replaced by money and the leeching agents are largely responsible.

Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice
Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice

I’m uncomfortable criticising Freddie, but I think it’s
some of the senior players that need dropping. I double dare any of you to try one of those online premier League results/table predictors.

Being honest with my predictions I had us in a quite shocking position by New Year’s Day.

Please prove me wrong Freddie, and win 6-0 vs West Ham with our experienced players playing as though their lives depended on it.

But I do wonder how our experienced players would respond if we dropped into the bottom 3 in January?

I hope I don’t have to find out.

Ash
Ash

I don’t agree. Freddie needs to play his best XI and stop talking rubbish
If his best XI are all U-23 players, then so be it. Emery hid behind youngsters, and Freddie is putting experienced to the sword

Bodie CI5
Bodie CI5

But that could be a good thing as it might make the board realise that our senior players are just not good enough like we all know

Bodie CI5
Bodie CI5

Down to 11th and 4 points from the drop,,, I am so shitting it right now, and I can only see a loss tomorrow, and our players aint got it in them to fight or we’d have seen some right by now

Bodie CI5
Bodie CI5

I can’t help but feel chambers and holding are only championship level not prem league, i no their probably the best we got but that shows just how bad our defence is, am I alone in thinking this???

Santori
Santori

We certainly do.

Watching more limited teams like Wolves doing well, plenty of hard work and competitive spirit, working as a unit.

…we seem so disjointed particularly in midfield but also our attacking play hasn’t been sharp(never mind defense these days a given)

1)Aubameyang as much as he has the captain’s armband does not compete for the ball or retain it enough. His pace seems elusive as well, often not in evidence. Also he needs to track back if played in a wide role.

Wide forwards need to be responsible as well. They are often times to loose with the ball, both Pepe and Auba losing the ball cheaply translate immediately to counters with us scrambling to plug holes. This is a deflating feeling having to run back everytime we are in a good position building an attack.

2)Pepe I like to see played more for want of better choices but his output is only for 10 minutes and he goes anonymous. He needs to sustain effort instead it dissipates all too quickly’

PLUS Players (and fans) should not hide behind this convenient excuse of a lack of confidence. You make your own confidence and my advise to him would be to start working harder off ball.

Too many times, he too gives up the chase leaving our fullbacks exposed. If he has success chasing the ball down (take a page from Laca or Alexis of old), it will translate to a positive response form the crow turn help his forward play.

I said it before in the summer Pepe is a good buy but at 72m, we could have brought in Ziyech or Fekir with equal function. Some times, you pay too much for a player bc you prefer to make a statement, it diminishes their hunger.

3) In midfield, there is this persistent belief that some how Torreira is key to our turn of fortune. Maybe but thus far on evidence (when without Granit), the results have been similar in midfield.

The issue in midfield is not that Granit is slow (which he is, Torreira isn’t much quicker) but that they are too loose. whoever plays in midfield, we are simply not tight enought.

The midfield duo when playing together need to find and support each other better and stay closer. This has co-relation to attack. If the attack is not efficient, the midfielders linking play will try and push forward leaving us vulnerable to the counter. Against BHA, Torreira was too far forward many times leaving Granit exposed with acres of green to cover.

4) Bellerin has had a bit of a rough time thus far. BUT he remains our best option at Rback. That said, again, we do not defend enough as a unit. With the fullbacks rightly committed forward. we need the wide forwards to be prepared to cover back. that isn’t often done leaving Cbacks stretched as they cover wide and obvious consequence to open spaces in the middle (with mids as well in static line up top waiting for the ball)

5) Captaincy. Again I don’t see any function with Auba as captain.

As mentioned, I feel we need functional leadership over form.

We lack structure in this team and we need someone at the back preferably who can see play develop and pull us into shape as much as possible, enforce instructions from the bench.

For want of better choices, I feel Sokratis is the player to drum some focus and sense into those around him give a shout out to Torreira not to go too high or help delegate cover when covering for set pieces.

Then going forward, maybe Laca is better as a vice captain as he plays almost an indispensable function right now as a node for the attack to come through. He is one of the few players we have hungry to hunt the ball down when its lost but also able to competitively hold it up for us and distribute ala Giroud before.

A third captain in case either of these players are off pitch would prob be Leno since he is a constant.

At very least if we can see better output from these areas, we will improve our fortunes, never mind no matter what odd selection Llugberg or otherwise undertakes to accommodate Ozil.

Santori
Santori

Then there is this alternate narrative that some how unproven players will do us better.

This has not born out to be the case.

Willock has been good effort and energy but clearly not the answer starting.

Holding when he has played was too easily turned and has his own faults.

Tierney came on but there was no master class anymore than Kolasinac last match perhaps our most effective performer in terms of fullback.

Mavropanos whom some prefer to wank too the limited number of times he has been on for us looks green in positioning, makes mistakes too.

Too many fans prefer to delude themselves. granted senior players have flattered to deceive but imagining some sort of alternate reality isn’t exactly helpful either.

OTOH, I would say Guendouzi IMO should be played ahead of Willock.

Why Llugberg prefers to put on his Academy charge instead of the Frenchman is beyond me.

If anything what we could really benefit from right now is a stability in midfield (relationships) with as regular a selection as possible. We need to engender again better intuitive understanding between the midfield.

The problem is how to accommodate Ozil in a midfield 3 without changing the balance and cover off ball.

IMO We should charge Ozil with better work rate (and he has done it before but in spurts) if on apex of midfield 3. Going to a four with Ozil cast wide does not seem the best solution to take advantage of his assets either.

At the base of the midfield, we should have Granit for his long range passing to switch play quickly then either of Torreira or Guendouzi supporting but closer. If should Ozil drop in off ball output then both Guendouzi and Torreira can play taking turns to attack or cover next to Granit and add more presence in midfield.

Willock can come on as a sub to sustain energy levels which is the other side of the coin.

And of course the other player (who when he recovers) is Cebellos again potentially in a box to box role.

BUT for me, we need to establish some control in midfield again and that would mean a stable selection plus a clear system.

Emery then Llungberg has confused this team (and the limited resources in midfield) with switching between systems (not helped when Granit was lost thanks to fan induced mania)

I’m not saying Granit or anyone is perfect, they are far from but they will very clearly benefit from a clear system and a stable selection to establish better communication and understanding. Right now, we are everywhere in midfield. We lack structure.

Santori
Santori

And I think we need to stick to 4-3-3 or a 4-1-4-1 at the moment.

If we play Ozil in the midfield 3 fine maybe we carry a bit of risk but we just have to demand a higher work rate off ball from the German, if not we replace him simple as that. Ditto for that matter anyone in the team :

………………………….Laca……………………………….
Auba…………………………………………………….Pepe
………………………….Ozil………………………………..
……………Granit………………..Guendouzi……………..
Kolasinac…………………………………………….Bellerin
………………..Holding………..Sokratis………………….
…………………………Leno……………………………….

Again as mentioned this isn’t prefrential, so Kolasinac and Tierney will both be equal picks IMO. Ditto Torreira and Guendouzi. Cebellos also potentially when fit for higher up in place of Ozil (or if not Guendouzi or Willock) And in place of Pepe maybe Nelson.

Option as well for Martinelli or Saka wide left with Auba going into the middle.

All these permutations should be available but the key to it is a stable structure of 4-3-3. We need basics and players to know where they should be on the pitch. If the central mid pushes slightly higher, we can go into a 4-1-4-1 but that will entail not having to push Ozil to a wide position with less effect and greater confusion for midfield.

You may argue whether Granit is the right man but I feel for lack of better choices, he does some very good things as well for us not acknowledged by those who prefer to cast him as chief scapegoat. Regardless, we do not have perfect solutions in midfield so we have to work with what we have. I don’t See Torreira anymore water tight than Granit, certainly he has cost us goals as well and he did not improve our midfield in the duration when granit was unavailable due to fan hysteria.

We need some semblance of organization in midfield. reality is we have what players we have till January (amybe we can look into Emre Can at Juve then)

So a more structured (and familiar) approach is necessary. We worked decent with a midfield 3 with Unai last season so no reason to think any other system with same cast of characters is a good idea at the moment. Simply adds confusion.

Stephen T Lambert
Stephen T Lambert

YO You need to give Pepe a chance I am not sure what Freddy is thinking. I see a negative framework around players from Africa ( i know he is french) with regards to their work ethic at practice. This is coming from coaches that are white. I think there are many stereotypes propitiated by the media and coaches, heck, all of football when it comes to race. There are many biases (unconscious) that go unchecked.

para
para

Watching some games over this weekend, i notice that Arsenal games are filled with Arsenal players on the ground.
I see hardly any effort from the players except Martinelli atm. Pepe when he gets a game and Gwendouzi(who i noticed has learnt to not keep the ball too long).
Our quick passing game is long gone, can we get it back?
I never thought i would say this, but Arsenal need tough PL players and get rid of these so called technical players(that are not doing anything at all). I used to love the technical aspect of our game, now we just need basic hard working players who want to WIN.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

We still need technical players but they need to be gritty. Our best teams had players that could thrill us but they never backed out of challenges. The thing that’s really gone from our game is character…if we really do find ourselves in a relegation battle we will soon find out who has the cojones or not.

Obichiddy
Obichiddy

Amazes me that Ozil cannot put in a tackle for this team. We do not play through the middle any longer but wide through the wings. That’s very much unlike Arsenal. Have a look at Leceister. Their play thru the middle is super thereby creating lots of chances. Something needs to be looked at IMO