Report: Norwich City 2-2 Arsenal (inc. goals

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Result: Norwich City 2-2 Arsenal
Competition: Premier League
Date: 1 December 2019
Venue: Carrow Road

Arsenal XI: Leno, Chambers, Mustafi, Luiz, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Willock, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Subs: Martinez, Sokratis, Tierney, Torreira, Pepe, Saka, Martinelli



Freddie Ljungberg’s first game as interim head coach of Arsenal ended in frustration as Norwich held us to a 2-2 draw at Carrow Road. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s retaken penalty cancelled out Teemu Pukki’s deflected effort before Todd Cantwell’s cool finish gave the home side the lead in first half stoppage time. Aubameyang lashed home a second equaliser from a corner just before the hour-mark but the Gunners struggled to build any momentum after the break and were thankful for a series of smart saves from goalkeeper Bernd Leno. 

Another draw, our seventh of the season, means we’re still seven points adrift of the top four and extends our winless run in the Premier League to six games. Freddie has his work cut out.

First half

Having only been in the job for a couple of days, Ljungberg’s bold decision to drop Sokratis and hand Mustafi a Premier League recall certainly raised eyebrows. The Gunners set up in a 4-3-3 formation with Xhaka, Guendouzi and Joe Willock in midfield and Ozil and Aubameyang flanking Lacazette on the left and right respectively. A strong bench included Pepe, Torreira and Martinelli.

It was a bright start from the Gunners. The passing was crisp, the movement sprightly and we even managed to break through lines with our first attempt to play out from the back. We should have had a goal too. Willock and Lacazette caused mischief in the Norwich box before the Frenchman scuffed a golden opportunity that allowed Tim Krul to push the ball around the post. Five minutes later, Mustafi’s header was cleared off the line as he beat Krul to an Ozil corner. The travelling fans liked what they were seeing and were quick to serenade Freddie.

A McLean effort, straight at Leno, was a warning that we weren’t going to have things all our own way. Back we came. Kolasinac, a danger on the left, won another corner and this time Chambers forced a save from Krul. 

Of course, completely against the run of play, we conceded. On the break, Norwich worked the ball to Pukki. Thirty-yards from goal, he weighed up his options and decided to go it alone. He cut onto his right foot and tried his luck. Mustafi, who’d made no attempt to close down the striker, turned his back on the shot and it deflected off him inside Leno’s near post. Luiz punched the air in disgust. (1-0)

Norwich didn’t seem overly determined to protect their lucky lead. Inside three minutes they gave away a penalty when Christoph Zimmermann handled an Ozil free-kick in the box. VAR had a look and verified the decision by referee Paul Tierney. Aubameyang placed the ball on the spot and had to deal with some mind games from Krul who duly picked up a booking. The Dutchman won out, diving to his right to make a decent stop. Damn. 

But hang on. A quick VAR check showed several yellow shirts encroaching. The referee pointed to the spot again and this time Aubameyang, despite going the same side, hammered into the corner net. A reprieve for the Gabon striker. Out came his trademark front flip celebration. Krul was livid. It was fantastic to see. (1-1)

Chances for both sides were few and far between after that but somehow we still managed to head into the break behind. A minute into stoppage time, Norwich worked a counter-attack targeting space vacated by Calum Chambers. Hernandez pulled the ball back to Cantwell who opened his body and passed the ball beyond Leno’s despairing dive. (2-1)

Second half

Knowing we’d push hard for an early equaliser, Norwich sat deep soaking up pressure doing their best to cut out crosses early. We kept probing and capitalised on 57 minutes were rewarded. From an Ozil corner, Mustafi’s initial effort was blocked but when the rebound fell to Aubameyang he lashed the ball into the top corner. (2-2)

It should have been a positive catalyst. It wasn’t. The home side created three golden opportunities in quick succession. McLean, capitalising on awful play by Xhaka and Guendouzi, had an effort fingertipped onto the post by Leno. Soon after, Cantwell went just wide and then Pukki, having twisted and turned Mustafi until the German was on the floor, forced Leno to save with his feet. The German was in inspired form.

Ljungberg responded by replacing Willock with Torreira and soon after put Saka on for Guendouzi. The winger’s first involvement saw him deliver a cross, via a deflection to Aubameyang at the back post. Our captain, in turn, found Ozil who backheeled goalwards. It was hacked away. A second effort by the German a couple of minutes later had no power.

The Canaries came on strong in the closing stages. Kolasinac and McLean had a confrontation after the latter claimed a handball against the Bosnian. VAR had a look but the ball had come off our full-back’s chest. Leno then twice had to save from Aarons. The second was brilliant, clawing the ball for a corner after another big deflection.

The final chance of the game fell to Torreira but his powerful shot from the edge of the box was blocked at close quarters. It was a breathless end to an entertaining encounter. There were a few positives, particularly the fact we twice fought back from behind, but more dropped points are very frustrating.

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HelderHughes
HelderHughes

With Kolasinac, Xhaka, Mustafi and Ozil back it felt weirdly like a Wenger team and we kind of got a Wenger performance to boot. Good going forward but so vulnerable on the counter.

Strange how regressing back to Wengerball is actually progress but Unai has left us in pretty bad shape. Freddie’s at least got them looking like they want it again. Enough to be optimistic about in my humble opinion.

Futsboller
Futsboller

There was more positivity about our game, except for the very painful defensive errors. Freddie and the team have a lot of work to do, but I think as this team re-learns how to control the midfield better we will improve. It wasn’t going to be remedied overnight, but let’s hope it’s not all too late for a top four finish.

SB Still
SB Still

Atleast we showed fight today, to get back twice. Although its Norwich (no disrespect), it’s an away game, we didn’t lose. Something to build on.

ricky rick
ricky rick

Agreed. That said, I don’t think we can learn to control the midfield with this personnel. First half was encouraging though.

Futsboller
Futsboller

Fair enough, but this is our personnel for the time being and they’ve got to make it work. Willock didn’t seem like the right fit today, and I think if Freddie returns Ozil to the middle we should continue to improve. I thought we were better in the midfield today, controlling the game much better, but they countered too easily. You could see what a help Torreira was at the end in mopping up some messes, so one of these days the little man has to be given a chance to earn/keep that role of shielding the back four.

PETER BARRY
PETER BARRY

Sorry but in my opinion Top 4 is out of the question for a team that seems to be struggling for belief and confidence.

Dave cee
Dave cee

Top 4 finish?! Honestly, this has all the makings of a relegation battle. That back 4 is atrocious

Jean Ralphio
Jean Ralphio

It will take time to get our passing game going. Emery changed tactics and teams every game and no on-pitch relationships have developed. What Freddie has to do, IMO, is play the same way. I know we are vulnerable on the counter, but we’re also shit when we sit back. The only way out of this is to up our tempo and impose our game. We looked good in the first ten minutes and so it was a bit disappointing that we didn’t keep it up.

Chuffy
Chuffy

I think we were too conservative again. Freddie does not have the managerial experience to take a team that is so low on confidence forward. Strange line up, strange substitutions. Early days for Freddie, but I don’t think we have time to test him out. What has happened to Pepe? Not to be hard on Saka, but is he ahead of 72 million worth of player?

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

I can only assume fitness? Both Martinelli and Saka preferred to him. Not great for the confidence if that’s genuinely Freddie’s pecking order.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

If Laca continues his worrying form, I’d much prefer to see a Pepe – Auba – Ozil front three. Auba’s one of the best CF in the world. He needs to be there if Laca isn’t producing.

cygan'sbaldspot
cygan'sbaldspot

Martinelli Auba Pepe with Ozil behind for me

Goonshow
Goonshow

I have a feeling we ain’t seen half of what Martinelli can co

Snagger
Snagger

I’m reading some positive reviews of the Arsenal performance but in truth I don’t find anything. This is relegation fodder taking the lead twice against so called top 4 contender. I hope this team was picked to show it’s the players not the managers. A side full of senior pros and if Emery was still in charge they would be building the gallows before a ball was kicked. Mustafi given a second chance and he takes it , then drops it. For the second goal Xhaka tried to tackle square on the player goes by so Xhaka slow jogs back and speeds up too late. Ozil running scared as if Norwich were on mopeds. You can change the managers and the tactics but it’s the personnel that need the surgery.

GunneRon

God only knows where we’d be without Auba and the underrated Leno this season. The issue with our team is clearly not simply one of personnel but of larger ones such as a midfield structure which not only exposes our defence but also limits us from playing forward through the centre and create chances. Much work ahead for Freddie. Hope he gets it right soon because our top 4 hopes are getting slimmer with each passing game.

Martin
Martin

I couldn’t see one thing to be optimistic about. A bad lineup and poor substitutions. I feel totally depressed

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

What exactly were you expecting? The guy’s had three days to put his stamp on a side that’s been very poor for three years. Mustafi and Xhaka were slightly controversial decisions but both did pretty well from where I was watching. There’s no magic wand here. It’s going to be slow and steady progress from game to game.

Mpls
Mpls

Well Freddie didn’t play Torreira as a #10.
It’s a start.

Granit(e) hard!
Granit(e) hard!

Lol… true!

C.B.
C.B.

Drawn with each of the bottom three in the league! Have we ever done that in the last 20 (or more) years?

Thanks to Auba for his scoring record. Hard to see us picking up at the moment, the defence and midfield are too mediocre, though would love it if Freddie can do it.

Tim
Tim

Love Auba, but he was super lucky to get that second pen. First one was terrible, second one… no that’s a pen.

Tim
Tim

*now

DaDude
DaDude

I agree that the first one was terrible, but I don’t think we were lucky to get the second one. There were 4 yellow shirts in the box early and after all, the ball was cleared by the defence, so this is definitely relevant. Had Auba fired it into the stands, it wouldn’t have been retaken I guess.

Mpls
Mpls

The fact that one of the clearly encroaching players cleared the ball away sealed the call. But he’s lucky they did encroach. It’s really what Krul deserved though for continuing the gamesmanship even after being booked.

Arsenal optimist
Arsenal optimist

I don’t think Freddie can do it. The way he signalled for Gendouzi to come off was very rude in my opinion aswell. Didn’t like the starting 11 or subs. Don’t think he’s cut out to manage a top club.

thw14
thw14

Safe to say that absolutely no one at this point of time has any clue of how to fix Arsenal Football Club.

We could appoint the lovechild of Sacchi, Cryuff and Clough, and said lovechild would be convinced, as soon as they donned the club branded jacket, that playing a non-DM at the base of a midfield diamond, in front of two loose cannon centre backs is absolutely the way to go.

We just have to accept that this is the iteration of the multiverse we happen to be in. Maybe we blindly luck into a solution. Worked for a bit at Spurs.

VAgooner
VAgooner

don’t say that word

TENNESSEE
TENNESSEE

Freddie only had a day so you really expected a total transformation?

Alveuel
Alveuel

Expect him not to pick Xhaka, ever. Not to pick Mustafi, ever. Any Arsenal fan can identify the two weakest links in the Arsenal team, yet for some reason managers like to try them out. This isn’t preseason. Until they prove to be dependable, they are proven to be what we have seen… liabilities.

db10s

I have to say Xhaka looked better then usual but that is still nothing to shout about.

I think we’re severely lacking athleticism in the middle of the park. Willock has it but still isn’t developed physically and can be overpowered while running with the ball. Maybe a signing like Dacoure might help in Jan, otherwise we’re going to struggle unless some magical balance can be found.

The issue is that our midfield is too easily bypassed. How many times we find ourselves defending 3v3 situations because the gap between our backline and the midfielders is huge. Also i feel the team ran out of gas after 70mins ish. Thanks to Emery starting alot of the first team in midweek.

Positives today would be our passing is faster and more dynamic. We switched it up a lot more then usual. Diagonals, accurate pings between flanks. We managed to build up attacks from halfway line as opposed to Unai’s 80% of our possession would be in our final third. Best hope would be having our attack improve to wenger levels to cover up our defensive issues.

Jean Ralphio
Jean Ralphio

We can’t expect any manager to fix this overnight.

Pearson
Pearson

Clear out the Wenger players and their culture. Get an English manager and raid the championship for English players

Tim
Tim

Guess what, Xhaka is not the only Arsenal player that walks off when subbed in a must win game.

Jack
Jack

Guendouzi did not like getting subbed one bit did he?! Hasn’t got his protector Emery anymore

goonero
goonero

I really don’t like his personality

John hall
John hall

And he was white while he was on

John hall
John hall

Shite even!

Skinny
Skinny

Hah. I guess this is a statement of fact

A Fleeting Glimpse
A Fleeting Glimpse

Xhaka was terrible. Totally switched off for second goal and when finally spotted danger couldn’t get there. Nearly cost us game when to slow on ball and and Norwich forward through on goal after Guendouzi lost it and Leno pulled off good save.

Henkamp
Henkamp

Xhaka wasn’t terrible. Alongside Auba and Leno was one of our better performers.

The scape-goating has to stop

Leon
Leon

No it doesn’t…
Its fun.
But to be fair Xhaka WAS one of the better players but thats not saying anything complimentary.
Sorry but when you play Xhaka, Ozil AND Mustafi what the fuck do you expect?
Arsenal are approaching relegation form.
Perhaps that is what it takes to get Kroenke out of the club…

HoldenontoArsenal
HoldenontoArsenal

Did you see that lazy ass Xhaka….the guy who raced back into the box with a ffffing great slide that prevented a shot on goal…yep, that lazy slob.

Pearson
Pearson

It’s about time he did something productive. The sooner we see the back of Xhaka the better

Dorothy
Dorothy

Xhaka xhakas, Mustafi mustafies, Luiz luizes. Footballistically, we have too many unkind verbs in this team.

Bergkamp2Wright
Bergkamp2Wright

Exactly, none are good enough and that won’t change. 3 very expensive mistakes.

Tim
Tim

Made one mistake, sure. Want to start counting individual mistakes? Go on. Why not mention the recovery Xhaka made in the box in the first half? I’d like to see Guendouzi make one of these…

Dorothy
Dorothy

Are you saying that Xhaka does not, in fact, xhaka? Or that Guendozi xhakas more?

Olivije Žirod
Olivije Žirod

What are you talking about ffs? Luiz was out of his position and then Guendouzi switched off. Xhaka even though he was intercepting the ball he was the FIRST one back.

Mpls
Mpls

Hector showed how it’s done last match.

Glen Helders left foot
Glen Helders left foot

Let’s hope Freddie does alot better how ever long he’s there, poor team selection, poor substitutions and poor performance no new manager bounce. If Emery put out that team and performance people would’ve been looking for blood. How can anyone who’s watched Arsenal’s performance over the last 8 months come up with Kola,Xhaka and Mustafi in there line up, worrying

VAgooner
VAgooner

give the dude a break, he’s literally had one training session to change things

Dorothy
Dorothy

I thought the perfomance was ok actually. Front foot most of the game especially the first half. Undone by defensive errors. Shot count – 16 to 15, 7 on target each. Our Xg = 1.96 to them 0.81.

VAgooner
VAgooner

Agreed. I thought we deserved more, that wicked deflection for their first was pure Arsenal. I hope nobody holds that against Freddie

Dom47
Dom47

VAgooner, no, that was pure Mustafi. And Freddie chose to play him. Two goals are on him (willock as well the first one).

VAgooner
VAgooner

You blame him for the ball taking a deflection off his leg and wrong-footing Leno? You sound like you think he did it on purpose

Dom47
Dom47

No, I blame him for not coming closer to the guy, sooner. He wasted time waving his hand again for some reason, thing he likes to do a lot and the guy came closer to our goal and then he did not have time to close down. Him making a deflection to the goal is so mustafi as well.

Mpls
Mpls

They switched mark and Luiz was on him. It was Luiz who was supposed to finish closing him down at that point. He didn’t close him down enough.

Glen Helders left foot
Glen Helders left foot

I’m all for giving him a go but how anyone who’s seen us this season can come up with that line up is worrying, plus we seem determined to completely shatter Pepe’s confidence

Maniac

I thought Kolasinac was excellent today. Constantly fighting for the ball and providing an outlet down the left. Certainly no pushover.

I think our issues lie mainly in midfield – we really struggle to control the game.

Hiiiii guys
Hiiiii guys

The fact Freddie has only one training session doesn’t mean he basically carries on Emery tactics going forward. Not good enough like up and subs. Willock didn’t seem to be very involving. He seem like a boy playing in a mans game.

db10s

I agree. Our main issue is midfield positioning. Which can also be said that we don’t have enough athleticism and brains in the middle. Players aren’t mobile enough to cover their arse when they are out of position and can’t turn when receiving the ball under pressure thus slowing down our attacking transition. Heck even Arteta did very well in the role. His reading of the game put out alot of potential fires and when on the ball under pressure he’d just draw a foul.

Even if we bought a decent CB, it won’t solve the issue where our midfield is bypassed so easily and it always seems like we’re having to defend a 2v2/3v3 situation.

I think we need a big quality upgrade in the middle and just a minor upgrade on Mustafi/Sokratis.

Mpls
Mpls

Guendouzi does not currently have the positional discipline for the double pivot. Ok receiving and driving forward, but when we transition to defensive phases he too often is out of position or ball watches.

Joseph
Joseph

In all honesty, I think Ljungberg was modest today but I feel we need a permanent head coach ASAP.

Henkamp
Henkamp

I don’t know how to feel about this. This season is already a write off as it is.

At some point though, we have got to start pointing at the players. A good number of them are bang average. We’d be in a worse position if not for Auba and Leno.

Equally surprised by some of the starters and changes made by Freddie today. I am really worried.

Dan
Dan

Good going forward poor defensively, good attacking football hope per can have time to work on the defense cause attacking wise I think Freddie has got them playing again just need the attackers to regain their killer instinct.

Mikołaj
Mikołaj

At least it was entertaining, felt like players took off leashes around their necks.
It will take time to fix defending though, as an unit Arsenal look extremely vulnerable

James
James

We are a club in serious danger of relegation.

And it’s not funny.

Jack
Jack

Chambers was getting on my nerves today. The guy needs about three touches to control it every time and always looks like he’s about to fall over. He was also roasted a few times by Norwich taking advantage of his indecisiveness

goonero
goonero

He makes up for his pace with his technical ability, but he clearly isn’t a guy who can do that consistently. Good feet for a centre back, not for a wingback.

Al Bundy's right hand
Al Bundy's right hand

Not fast enough either to play attacking wingback. Got caught out a couple of times.

Mpls
Mpls

Yep, the entire first half, and the second.

Bergkamp2Wright
Bergkamp2Wright

He’s not a RB

Greg in Seattle
Greg in Seattle

Agree. Still think he’s a CB or CDM. I still would like to see him given an audition as a bona fide #6 shield CDM.

db10s

But he’s probably been our best defender overall this season. We need Holding to come back strong.

Pooner
Pooner

We are in a very very big hole and it’s going to take a monumental effort to get out of it.

Worryingly, I thought Freddie got lots wrong today. Team selection was bad, tactics were flawed, and subs were strange. Hopefully he can turn things around but first signs aren’t promising.

It’s glaringly obvious that this squad is really lacking quality in defence and midfield. We desperately need both a centre half and central midfielder in January. Doubt we’ll bring in anyone though knowing Raul’s anti-January policy.

Alex
Alex

Open at the back but encouraging nonetheless. First game I genuinely enjoyed for ages!

Oregoon

I was sucking vinyl for the last 15 minutes. We are going to out of his streak without tightening up the defense. Personally, we don’t have the personnel but I don’t see the cavalry coming anytime soon.

ricky rick
ricky rick

Bernd Leno, take a bow! At the other end, I thought Ozil was at his weakest worst for a long time. Was Freddie afraid to take him out earlier? Biggest worry is we really need a CDM, if Torreira is not physical enough, fine, get a new player in January. The ease with which players are running through our midfield is insane.

Bergkamp2Wright
Bergkamp2Wright

I think it’s fair to say other than Leno and Auba the team were pretty bad.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Too early to write Freddie off yet but if Emery had put out that line up and performance….

Eric Blair
Eric Blair

Errr, he’s been in charge less than 48 hours mate.

Pakgooner
Pakgooner

There is a lot to look forward to most certainly, the passiveness has to cede a bit though, guys like Willock can actually dribble so would like to see more of that. I think it was a good match, we can do better with being quicker through our paces. Leno was a beast today

yen
yen

The midfield is non-existent. It’s extremely easy to bypass (all opponent’s gotta do is to run really) & don’t create much going forward. Don’t track back properly, no cover of 2nd wave runs.

Bergkamp2Wright
Bergkamp2Wright

We might be the slowest team in the prem. Every time Pukki got the ball they shit their pants.

db10s

Spot on. I honestly feel like we should have kept Iwobi and used him in the middle. We are severely lacking pace and power there.

I am starting to feel like Torreira while very decent, might not be best for this league. Maybe selling him for a good fee and get in someone more beast like might be best.

jarlov
jarlov

I strongly suggest to all my fellow gooners. Please stand by every one of our players. This is troubled times, and we will get lots of setbacks in the coming games. The most important thing in life to do your best, is to have confidence, and our boys are missing that.

Swifty
Swifty

Freddie has a massive amount of work to do.

Here’s hoping Our neglectful owner buys him a solid central defender for Christmas. I know, I know, it’ll no doubt be a Terry’s Chocolate Orange again but one needs to remain positive.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

I saw a marked improvement today. Come on you fREDS!

Tim
Tim

I get Saka has potential but what’s the point of chucking him in at Norwich to be bounced around like a pinball and bullied off the ball? Ditto for Joe.

Jack
Jack

Totally agree on Saka. Emery was overplaying him even when he wasn’t doing much. I think Martinelli would’ve been better coming on when Saka did

Tim
Tim

Spot on on Martinelli.

db10s

Yup nothing against him but his body isn’t physically ready for the league.

Talent and mentality isn’t the issue here.

Rich
Rich

Leno MOM

We’re really not a very good team, our problems go way beyond coaching, the majority of our players just aren’t very good.

We desperately need competent competition for Bellerin, Lichtstiner was what you get for £0, Chambers clearly isn’t a right back, and neither is Niles

Bellerin got injured last January, and we’ve had major problems down that side since.

Raul should be held accountable for punting £72mill on Pepe, who’s now behind Saka + Martinelli in the pecking order.

Lucas Perez is killing it over in La Liga, maybe we can do a cash plus player deal involving Pepe in January…..

VAgooner
VAgooner

I know many will disagree with me, but I actually liked what Freddie did today. I’ve thought for a while that Willock deserved a shot in the PL, and that Sokratis needed a break. Still not sure what Pepe needs to do to see the field, but two managers that don’t trust him, even when we’re chasing a game? Maybe they see something we don’t (and maybe we should trust them on that)

Andrew
Andrew

I mean based on that performance Willock shouldn’t be anywhere near the first team for awhile.

VAgooner
VAgooner

I mean, I didn’t say he took his chance…just that he deserved it

Bergkamp2Wright
Bergkamp2Wright

We out shot a team away from home! Progress.

Whilst I question several things(Xhaka?! WHY!!!!), Freddie got us playing at least a bit better and that is enough.

I honestly don’t think he’ll be in charge long so everyone just get behind the team.

What is clear is we need 2 new CB’s, a RB, and a whole new midfield.

db10s

I say midfield is the priority. We don’t have power and pace in the middle.

I feel like at CB, Chambers is decent and hopefully Holding will dust off the rust soon. We should be looking to swap out either a Mustafi, Sokratis for a decent upgrade while we wait for Saliba next season.

No point signing a top class CB now when our midfield is as strong as a wet tissue.

Mpls
Mpls

I doubt you’ll agree, but Xhaka was our best midfielder today.

Henrik
Henrik

Win or loose i will never ever blame freddie for anything. Hes an Arsenal legend and this season is already well over thanks to the worst manager in our history. Lets build in january for our next season. We got a lot of bad players to get rid of and some defensive issues to solve.

Bergkamp2Wright
Bergkamp2Wright

The board Also are culpable for throwing this season.

VAgooner
VAgooner

Let’s be careful about giving Freddie too much credit. He’s an inexperienced manager that has to dig a team out of a terrible hole. I think we need to be sure to temper our expectations. Everyone seems to think he’s going to be a miracle worker…I’m a little more skeptical

Blobby
Blobby

You don’t remember Bruce Rioch I assume?

Goonshow
Goonshow

Blogs header to the Team News was Mustafi and Xhaka Return…

And MY GOD how we wish they hadn’t…

Mustafi without the balls to commit and block Pukki’s shot when he clearly sees Luiz standing off. Repeatedly standing off and inviting the run and/or shot in our last 1/3. Get put on his arse (again) by Pukki, like Yogi Bear on his 11th Stella!

Xhaka over-committing in Canaries’ half (why?!)… getting skinned and then JOGGING back with no commitment to make up for his error, until the last few seconds when he tries to sprint (I use the word in its broadest sense) to half-heartedly tackle Cantwell. I had a brief, nightmarish flash of yet another clumsily late penalty-inducing lunge from behind – but this time he didn’t even get close.

And let us not forget his utter botching of the golden chance to give either of our strikers a tap-in after Norwich’s suicidal give-away in their own half, early.

Two utter donkeys – slow, positionally bereft of any awareness, but worst of all – not a shred of the simple grunt and commitment required to wear the shirt.

Goonshow
Goonshow

What’s really disturbing is that 4 people actually take issue with a call to uphold the value of our colours. For pete’s sakes – this is the team of Chapman, Armstrong, Brady, Stapelton, Rocastle, Adams, Parlour, Jennings, Rice, O Leary, Vieira, Thomas, Dixon, Keown, Henry, Dennis….
Remember who we are and what we have always represented – half-hearted, muddling lack of commitment is NOT it!

Qwaliteee
Qwaliteee

Good post mate. Quite why you’ve been voted down so much is a mystery. I can’t understand all these Mustafi lovers. They clearly get some sort of thrill out of watching that beardy German pillock falling flat on his arse or scoring own goals. The Premiership points that idiot has cost us must now run into three figures, yet some people still back the muppet because Germany miraculously won the World Cup whilst he was in the squad.

SLC Gooner
SLC Gooner

Better than the last few Emery matches. The players were working fairly hard, and the attacking was at least occasionally clicking. This looked more like a late-era Wenger team.
But we’re in a big hole. Neither the defense or the mid-field is good enough. I think things will be better if we get a decent Bellerin back and move Chambers to CDM. But still not sure what the best options are for center backs. They all have issues.
And while I’m certainly not ready to give up on Pepe, there’s not really any way to play Laca, Auba, Ozil and Pepe at the same time. Not without a MUCH better midfield and defense than we have. Willock and Guend while very promising, just aren’t good/experienced enough to hold the middle together. Given the amount of offensive options we already had, certainly does look like the money spent on Pepe would have been much better spent on a good experienced central midfielder.

ArsenalFan
ArsenalFan

First game and the job is already gone?????? Have a word with yourselves please! If it was going to be turned around in 90 minutes we would not have had to let Emery go. For the first time in a long time i felt i was watching an Arsenal team, my Arsenal team – looking for the ball and attacking with it. I agree some of the players are not the best and need replacing but at least the spirit was beginning to come back – eternal question is it better to give a league away rather than have to chase an equaliser!!!!!!

kaius
kaius

Xhaka and Mustafi were a waste of space (as ever) but what’s even more disturbing is just how bad and ineffective Ozil and Laca are away from home.

If you cannot play away from home in the Premier League, you should not be playing for Arsenal. Let’s be clear about this – our personnel problems go much deeper than what good coaching can solve. This squad still needs major surgery.

VAgooner
VAgooner

I thought Laca was pretty good today? He didn’t score but he sure as hell tried hard. That’s what we’re looking for from the team, yeah?

Sam
Sam

He has been trying hard for three seasons now.
Not good enough. He loses the ball as much as Alexis and doesn’t score even half of what he did

Futsboller
Futsboller

This team will come good in a bit of time. There were plenty of encouraging signs today. Ozil played well today, made himself available for the ball constantly, tried to make things happen, delivered excellent corners and free kicks, and did his version of tracking back (not the most formidable at that, but his game is in the opposite half). Lacazette was not sharp, but he’ll get there.

It would be nice to buy an excellent centre-back pairing, but I don’t think we can afford that. We’ll have to make due with what we’ve got, and clearly the Mustafi-Luiz axis is not the one to take us forward. Freddie will try something new midweek.

Qwaliteee
Qwaliteee

Kaius – Good post, mate. I’d be careful about having the temerity to criticise Mustafi; you’ll upset a lot of people on here, as I’ve found out. They love it when his mistakes cost us more points. They love it.

Dave
Dave

I don’t know what’s wrong with some people, I mean, the guy just had ONE (maybe one and a half!) Training session and some guys are already written him off? I mean, wtf? Seriously!?

Actually I liked what I saw of the team going forward, it was promising and it felt we were going back to wengerball, which for me is a plus. Problem is the same problem we always had: The defense. But I got excited by our forward play, and the team actually showed spirit to get back on track and draw the game! Is still really early days to draw conclusions.

I do agree tho, Xhaka should’ve been subbed off, and Torreira should’ve started. All in all, let’s just wait and see how things develop!

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

Average performance; ok result.

Looks Freddie did absolutely no work on our defending as we were as awful as usual. Both goals we conceded should have been prevented. Luckily our motm keeper was in top form. We probably need 3 quality defenders right now.

At least the midfield looked better, and we did create up front. But Norwich were the better side. Sad, isn’t it?

Don’t understand why Teirney and Pepe didn’t get a chance.

A point is better than none, I suppose.

VAgooner
VAgooner

So Freddie, an attacking player by trade, should make our defense world beaters after one training session? Get the fuck out of here

Goonshow
Goonshow

You enormous muppet… Freddie had basically afternoon tea and a kickabout on Sat morning with a bunch of shell-shocked and dented players to cobble something together. Yet you feel he did ‘no work on our defending’…

Does your mum know you’re watching foorball unaccompanied?

Big Dave
Big Dave

It’s all gone a bit quiet from the Mesut Ozil fan club.

Alex
Alex

Özil free kick got the pen. Özil corner led to the goal.

We still here bro. 👍🏻

Fred Garvin
Fred Garvin

“Oh look, a chance to shit on individual players when the fanbase needs unity and patience in the wake of Emery’s nightmare 18 months. Step aside, everyone, I have arrived.”
What a brave individual you are.

Alex
Alex

Here you go: he defended, intercepted, tracked back, created, offered dangerous set pieces but he is handicapped by Guendouzi’s selfish work… but i bet you don’t care.

Vonnie
Vonnie

I thought I was the only one who has noticed that Guendouzi doesn’t like to pass to Mesut. How many times is he available for the outball and Guendouzi ignores him.

Goonshow
Goonshow

I am big fan of the youngster but he has sadly regressed in the last few games. Seems to have lost his incisive passing, still goes down way to easily looking at the ref to bail him out. He’s been in the Prem long enough now to know it ain’t gonna happen and needs to adapt.
Having said that, the talent is undoubtedly there and if anyone can mentor him, it’s Fred.

Vonnie
Vonnie

Yes, Goonshow, I agree that there is talent there but there doesn’t seem to be any discipline, and he seems to be a total brat when things don’t go his way. He needs to grow up fast, he is a major factor in the chaos in midfield.

bob
bob

Considering the horrendous shape Emery left us in, I think Freddie did well today. He can only change so much in one training session, and largely has to pick the same players as Emery until he can work with the others a bit. He at least had us attacking with some more spirit and we actually managed to link midfield with attack for the first time in ages.

Today was always going to be a look at Freddie motivational skills and we looked up for it. Give him time before you judge him on the rest. He has to work with the group for a few weeks before he can rely on players that have been marginalised and misused.

I’m excited to see how he will do given a bit of time. We are not in this crap situation because of Freddie, so improvement, even slight above the shower of shit we’ve been used to, has to be applauded, so he can build with the time he has.

Fucking baffling that anyone is trying to make any sort of conclusion about what sort of a manager he is based on a single training day and match.

VAgooner
VAgooner

I think it’s a huge step forward considering the dude has had ONE TRAINING SESSION to make changes. Imagine what he’ll be able to do with a month of working with the team

roastimbou27
roastimbou27

Guendouzi is painfully overrated. Can’t head it, can’t tackle, is so slow, doesn’t defend, has a sloppy first touch. He just looks busy because of his hair. Believes his own hype which is the worst thing.

VAgooner
VAgooner

He definitely needs a break. I’d go with Torriera-Willock-Ozil midfield, with T sitting deep and the other two supporting the attack for the foreseeable future

db10s

In his defence, he’s still a kid and talent is there. Just needs the proper coaching. His strong points aren’t applied very often. Excellent at turning away from his marker and strides forward BUT he doesn’t pick the right pass when on the front foot.

Tony Hall
Tony Hall

I can’t believe that some people are criticising Freddie when he has had 1 game and a training session with the team. How much fucking difference do you expect him to make in 3 days ? We would have lost that game if Mr Emery was still manager I guarantee it, at least today we hauled ourselves back in it twice and showed some fighting spirit. He has his work cut out finding the best 11 and shoring up our leaky defence and it won’t happen overnight so we need to show a bit of patience and show him some respect. The toxicity around this club has to stop otherwise no manager is going to want to come here !

On a side note Tim Krul is an odious cunt !

Optimistic Gunner
Optimistic Gunner

We had a decent spell in the opening 15 mins and that was good to see(Laca should have scored)
We came back twice after falling behind.

Otherwise, not much to talk about..
Early days Freddie but some surprising decision by the thinktank..

Team Selection
============
..Mustafi, Luiz and Xhaka started an away game (maybe for the first time) while Torreira was benched!!!!
..Tierney is a far better option than Kola, again on bench!
..Pepe, Saka , Martinelli were benched and Ozil was played as a winger!!
Why not the base of Torreira + Gndzi and Ozil/Willock ahead of them?

Substitutions
============
..Willock did nothing in the first half but still played on
..Mustafi did everything he could but still played on
..Gndzi was the only engine in the midfield and yet he was taken off (injury, maybe)
..When we badly needed some impetus, the attacking substitutions came way too late( Martinelli at 90th min!!!)

Hopefully this was a false start, better things to come from Freddie!! All the best!!

Note# I got a feeling of too many cooks when I looked at the manager bench today. Hope that is not the case and I’m overreacting.

Goonshow
Goonshow

Agreed…

You’re over-reacting.

Dom47
Dom47

Though I wad super excited by getting rid of emery and having freddie in the dugout, to me it’s clear Freddie is not the guy to take us forward, we need a capable manager in fast.

Playing mustafi, xhaka, leaving pepe on the bench and not giving him a chance at all baffles me.

Having willock there for 70 when it was obvious he was strangely uninterested is also a big red flag. Torreira, our only real DM who was waiting to be unleashed, not used til late in the game.

There was much potential to try and go for them, instead we got a conservative setup with an attacking, direct football which was the only positive.

We had some flashes but if Leno did not show up.we would have lost this game by 1-2 goal.margin.

Krul is a disgusting human being, showed it before and good for Auba to hold his nerve.

Leno motm for me, auba close.second.

Mustafi should play with reserves and not play a game for arsenal.ever again.

VAgooner
VAgooner

So everyone complained that Emery was too conservative and didn’t go for it, then the new manager puts out an attacking lineup and we complain that he wasn’t more conservative? Make up your mind, pick a side and stick with it. You can’t have both. I don’t mind an attacking side against a team we should be expected to beat, even away from home

Dom47
Dom47

I wanted a more attacking side, pepe in w auba and ozil and laca. Torreira in DM. Then build the rest. Dunno how you got that I wanted a more conservative lineup. This was a conservative lineup.

db10s

I think the main issue is that all our midfield combinations have major flaws.

Xhaka-Guendouzi is not mobile and slow at transitioning.

Xhaka-Torreira is slightly more mobile but horrible against a decent pressing team.

Guendouzi-Torriera sounds promising on paper but there’s no power there. Opposition players just run past them and they can’t keep up. Like 2 angry house cats vs lions.

Willock doesn’t have the positional experience yet off the ball. While decent on the ball. He’s always no where to be found when there’s runners going through the middle

I wish Emery kept Iwobi so we can use him in the middle of the park. Has a skill set that differs from all the other players in the middle. Might not always play a good pass but he can power through a press and help us transition better. Also because he’s basically a Freebie. We didnt spend anything on him besides wages.

Tribe
Tribe

Sorry Dom47 but how did you managed to conclude that Freddie is not the man to take us forward? (I ain’t claiming nothing as for now)

1. Did you saw that in just one game?
2. Did you manage to conclude that from the one training session he had with the team?
3. Are you able to see in the future?

Slow down a bit guys, give him at least a couple of weeks. Emery was killing the attacking spirit for 18 months, can we at least give it a shot to a fantastic person?

I am not claiming anything, just saying he needs a fucking chance. If we change managers after every game…………………….

Dom47
Dom47

Tribe

Thanks for keeping it civilised while disagreeing. I think Freddie is wrong for these reasons:

1. Lineup – Mustafi and Xhaka back into action. No Torreira to give defensive solidity at finally having a DM role, no Pepe. Willock before Torreira.

2. Subs – they were late and putting torr on after seeing clearly that willock did not bother to show up and looked like a kid, waiting until 70th min to put Torreira. No Pepe, Saka before Pepe (and Martinelli).

As we already lost much ground this season we don’t have time to give to Freddie to play around. I am also tired of managers not trying to win and going with conservative setups. Liverpool, City, even chelski spuds etc would act as an elite team and part of top 6 and went at them with the top team and attacking intent.

Freddie just continued with that, he was afraid (thus no Pepe) so we got a disjointed performance and no real intent to win in the end.

If you have an opportunity to manage for at least a while he could have shown some balls, which was lacking for a long time and went with our strengths, rather than our weaknesses. I miss having a manager who believes in himself and translates that to the team in every way, also in the lineup and the setup.

And while our play was more direct and attacking, we still had a conservative lineup.

db10s

Fair points but I bet there will be another set of fans who would criticize Freddie if he went with Torriera Guendouzi Pepe Laca Auba Ozil and lost/drew the game.

Hopefully we’ll see him find his feet in the next 2-3 games (if we havent hired someone else)

I agree we don’t have time to play around but even if an Elite manager came in tomorrow, he’d still need a couple of games to know his new team better.

I am hoping the club are still talking to candidates for the head coaching role and not waiting on to see how Freddie does. That’s my worry.

Dom47
Dom47

I fully agree db10s. Hope we don’t go manure route, with sentiment, giving a long term contract to Freddie as they did with Ole. Should’ve taken poch then, he was ripe to leave, wouldn’t have been in this mess. When I read what ole is saying, I can see them as us with emery, delusional and justifying bad results in a very stupid way. That will end ugly.

Brendan is a bad thing for all those managers who claim they need more time and process as he managed to do a lot in a shorter period.

Alveuel
Alveuel

Leno for player of the season. He’s literally the only reason we are able to stay in games. Without Leno we’d be relegation zone for sure.

So done with the managers picking losers in the starting 11. Xhaka should never play another game for us after his tantrum. Add to the fact he’s 95% never in the right position for his position. Convert Kolasinac to DM or play Torerra in his correct position. Play Tierney every game. Never pick Mustafi. I mean never, like the Arsenal Ladies team has more dependable center backs than Mustafi, I’d 100% pick them over him.

I know Freddie had what, 2 days to get ready for this game… but Saka over Pepe is kind of unforgivable. Saka has talent but is better in games where we are in front, Pepe is much more creative with his dribbling.

Need a real manager as soon as possible.

Wrap Leno in bubble wrap, if he gets injured we could be relegated. Norwich ffs.

mrugunner
mrugunner

How can you defend ljungberg when he starts xhaka, mustafi and kola.
When you have tierney and torreira on the bench.

Torterrier
Torterrier

Aubameyang has to play through the middle. Either Lacazette needs to learn to play out wide or drop him to the bench. I love both of them but we all know Aubameyang is a star striker, watching him send crosses in to players with poor reactions is so frustrating and it will never bring us goals.

Torreira was excellent the short time he was on, he needs to be given a run in the team. I am not a fan of Xhaka but Torreira certainly brings the best out of him when they play together. Torreira makes tackles and makes blocks; Xhaka, Luiz, Mustafi and Guendouzi stand rooted to the spot and watch the opposition take advantage of the space.

db10s

Like i said above somewhere. The issue with Torriera-Xhaka, is that they can’t play out of a press. So you’ll have that issue where we might look more solid but our attackers will be starved of service. You’d get Ozil or willock dropping deep to collect the ball leaving our strikers isolated.

We’re missing an essential ingredient in the middle of the park. A ball carrier. Remeber when Le Coq wasn’t so great until Wenger paired him with Santi? Yin and Yang. Then Santi got injured and everything went to shit again (till today)

I thought ceballos would be the answer but he doesn’t drive forward very well. Looks like he’s running with a parachute attached to him.

Torterrier
Torterrier

I do agree with you, although I would say Torreira-Xhaka is the best way have at the moment, unless we try Torreira with Maitland-Niles, which could surprise us. Torreira could stay back while Maitland-Niles does have some drive and can carry the ball forward.

Vonnie
Vonnie

It’s a strange one, when Auba plays through the middle he’s often less effective than when he plays on the wing, and he’s nowhere near as good as Laca at holding the ball, so I’m not sure on that one. If the opposition is leaving space behind then Auba is your man, but most teams we play against sit relatively deep and Laca is better in that situation. I love them both and I think we’re lucky to have them.

db10s

I think it’s simple. IMO Auba has an uncanny ability to find space. Laca doesn’t look for it and prefers ball to feet and turning his marker or playing a quick one two. But because the team can’t support Laca while he’s holding the ball up, he appears to be less effective. I feel like Laca paired with a runner from midfield(like a ramsey) would see him be way more effective.

Cultured determination
Cultured determination

I was scratching my hrmead when unai brought on saka instead of pepe against palace. Same thibg happenrd again. Why???

Qwaliteee
Qwaliteee

As soon as I saw that Mustafi (and, it has to be said, Xhaka) were back in the side, my heart sank and I knew we’d drop more points. Doesn’t matter who you have up front. Doesn’t matter who you have in the managerial hot seat. Mustafi is gonna Mustafi. For fuck’s sake Arsenal, get rid of him. The guy is a fucking liability and the points that we’ve dropped due to that useless idiot’s cock-ups must now run into three figures. The guy is shit. World Cup winner or no World Cup winner, he has never been any good in an Arsenal shirt; just fucking get rid of him.

Saint
Saint

To many not up to standard required. Can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear I’m afraid!

Greg in Seattle
Greg in Seattle

There was an opportunity to come out swinging for Freddie. Start Pepe with Ozil, a combo we’ve barely seen. Set up the defense as best as possible given these players (dump the loose risk takers, have Per set the priorities and tone). Essentially tighten up the back and counter attack vulnerabilities and then set your most unique and dangerous attacks loose to terrorize a bottom-table team.

He rolled out an Emery lineup and hoped for the best, and I thinks that’s about the worst thing he could have done for fans and players. I don’t think we were that good going forward. Our goals didn’t come from open play and there were few dangerous shots created. We still rely on crosses too much and that’s a reflection of our drop in midfield talent. The weird uncertain (double pivot?) roles of Guendouzi and Xhaka persist with neither owning the role of shielding the defense, or being good at it when they try.

Auba and Laca are both good for goals but IMO playing them together continues to be problematic in developing a flowing creative attack. Neither are great wide.

Just pensive thoughts after a game where I irrationally hoped for a magical new day. Wanted to see a new mix.

ScotchEggsRule
ScotchEggsRule

Could Chambers and Torriera get a shot together shielding the defence?

The Arsenal
The Arsenal

We have to have the slowest, weakest and least athletic midfield in the league. No physical beasts in there. And we no longer even have the skill merchants who could offset that gap.

Santori
Santori

As I mentioned, would be foolish to expect too much.

Certainly very surprising team selection.

Players we were told carrying knocks – Luiz, Mustafi, Kolasinac, all started.

But what advantage from such subtefuge not clear since Luiz-Mustafi possibly the most questionable backline we have (albeit they did preside in a couple of clean sheets early in europa)

Started off bright and sharp I though with plenty more efforts on goal than usual and some crisp moves.

But poor control by Willock led to a turn over. Right side of our defense (Chambers) clearly identified as a weak pount as they had joy all through 90 attacking that space.

I’m not sure if Mustafi is entirely at fault as suggested. We saw through the match they were quite capable running through on defenders so had Mustafi gone in on Puki, he may have risked the Finn getting in behind with Luiz too slow to be back up (sokratis preferable).

For me the first goal we should have been able to hold them wider instead of so central. In the end, it was a bit of an unlucky deflection into goal.

Then a lifeline from the Ref who is like a double edge sword. this time, his pernickety nature in our favour. Auba did no favours missing the first attempt but we got a second swipe at it with encroachment.

Thereafter I thought we were front foot again for most parts before yet again undone on the break from Chamber’s right. Insufficient tracking back from midfield meant a shot at goal which crept in for them.

And midfield was a problem as the game wore on as we started to look more ragged in the middle, lose our shape and discipline.

It became end to end.

I was surprised to see Granit starting frankly since he was hobbling much of two or three days past.

BUT I thought again his distribution was useful for us splaying the ball wide quicker.

BUT we don’t seem to have a functional system with just someone guarding ahead of the Cback which is likely more what we need right now.

The midfield spread across in what seem like a 4-1-4-1 included ozil wide (not his most influential position interchanging with Auba and Guendouzi/Willock adding pressure high up) which on several occasions almost bore fruit…

… one with Xhaka winning the ball high up but he elected to try and find Lacazette rather than just come into box and take a shot (which IMO would have been the better option)

Llugberg tried to keep momentum in engine room (I have spoken about has been a problem for Emery) first with Saka out wide then later Torreira to watch the area around Chambers.

But it did not get much better as the game got more helter skelter and we lack control.

Players receiving the ball today I felt tried harder to retain it (Auba still poor in this regard) but second half we were back to usual problem giving away the ball too cheaply when coming out in the transition to counter.

Many times, the ball simply won back by Norwich as we failed to support the players on the ball receiving enough.

Martinelli put late on as a last roll of the dice and we had one decent chance that fell to Torreira late on but in the end a spirited enough display (as you would expect with a new ‘approach’) but not unexpected flat result.

Its been literally 2 days since Unai departed so a bit much to expect miracles from an inexperienced Freddy.

Still you wonder with selection adopted if he is more concern with a result against Standard Liege than League at the moment.

Too many people can only see in front of their noses. Gaffer has to extrapolate further ahead and I suspect that has been shaped into the thinking regarding today’s selection.

Kostas
Kostas

An interesting game finally!
First of all we have to say that this is still an Emery team which judging on the end of its founder ..it is not successful.
Second of all I am sure some moves will flourish in time. Like the use of mustafi was a move to motivate Sokratis or the non inclusion of Pepe.
Thirdly the subs were very late and felt wrong.
Finally
I believe in Freddie but I also believed in Unai.

Xman
Xman

The simple fact was the mistake of spending money on offense this summer instead of defense or midfield. This problem is also seen at Man City were they also thought the offense is so good that it’ll carry them forward when the youth quick teams ( Norwich, AV, SHU) only take advantage of poor defending. I think Arsenal particularly thought they could at least be competitive until this winter’s opening. Hoping getting players back from injury would (HB, KT and RH) make the difference. Arsenal would be better for the next month throwing some U-23 center backs for experience than the group they on the 1st team😉 Then selling X, G, T, M, DL, and Papa. Although I like some of these players not one of them would start at Man City or Liverpool. December and January could be even more painful if new players aren’t brought in the squad no matter who the coach is going to be next. It simply won’t matter without better players.

HoldenontoArsenal
HoldenontoArsenal

Somebody needs to educate Freddy on the new Arsenal, fans select their favorite players. If you actually attempt to make your own decisions and selections as manager….#freddyout. Same thing any other new manager needs to know. Have your agent negotiate a lower salary and bigger buyout clause when managing Arsenal, if you want the most job security and ultimate earnings for all the abuse that will rain down upon you.

Qwaliteee
Qwaliteee

Another Anti-Gooner. Fuck off up the Seven Sisters road then, to the place where you belong.