Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Tierney: Things went wrong at the wrong times

Much like his boss, Kieran Tierney says “nothing went to plan” for Arsenal as Manchester City marked football’s return with an easy 3-0 victory at the Etihad.

Having strung together an eight-game unbeaten run dating back to December, there were hopes that Mikel Arteta’s squad might build on their promising pre-coronavirus form to at least avoid defeat against Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions. Instead, old issues, mostly in the form of David Luiz, made an unwelcome appearance.

It didn’t help that Mikel Arteta had to make two injury-enforced substitutions within the opening 25 minutes. First Granit Xhaka twisted an ankle and then Pablo Mari went down clutching his calf. The loss of the latter and the subsequent introduction of Luiz brought mayhem.

In the dying embers of the first half, the Brazilian misjudged the bounce of a De Bruyne through ball, allowing it to skip up and off him into the path of Raheem Sterling who lashed home past Leno. Just four minutes after the break, he followed up with more cataclysmic defending, tugging down Riyad Mahrez in the box to concede a penalty and earn a red card. De Bruyne tucked home the spot-kick.

Down to 10 men and forced to reshuffle the defence a second time, this time with Tierney playing as a centre-back, Arsenal played the kind of timid football you’d expect from a side fearful of taking a serious bottom paddling. In stoppage time, Phil Foden added a third for the hosts.

Even after making his first start in six months, Tierney had little positive to say about the occasion.

“We’ve worked so hard the last few months and to have such setbacks so early on in a game is never easy, especially against a team like Man City,” the Scot told Arsenal.com.

“Another disappointment is that you’ve not got fans out there either, so it’s always a miss when there’s no fans.

“Nothing really went to plan. That happens in football and you need to deal with it. Tonight we gave everything we could and things just went wrong at the wrong times. We just never recovered.

“It was hard. I thought in the first half, up until the goal, we were coping well with it. Obviously the goal right before half-time kind of deflates you a little bit. Going in at half-time at 0-0, you’ve got every confidence.

“Even at 1-0 we still had belief, and then the red card makes it harder as well. When people are moving positions, it’s hard. A team like Manchester City are going to punish you with the ball.”

Luiz was quick to apologise after the match and seemed to suggest that he’d not been in the right mindset in the last few weeks having struggled to bring clarity to his contract situation. The 33-year-old’s current deal ends in less than two weeks. With a two-game ban to serve, if he doesn’t pen an extension, this will have been the last we see of him in an Arsenal shirt.

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Qwaliteee

I’ll phone you a taxi, you poodle haired twat. Fuck the extension, just go. Go anyway. Go. And take our entire central defence with you. There are cleaners at the Emirates who defend better than you overpaid morons.

Runcorn Gooner

I think Arteta actually decided that Man C was a tough ask and Brighton is a more winnable match and kept some of his firepower ready for that match.
 
Reverse psychologically thinking or similar.
 
Gone a bit awry with Xhaka,Mari and Luiz situation though.

Qwaliteee

Rubbish. When you’re playing the top teams, you use the strongest experienced fit players available to you in your squad. Unless Ozil was sick, he should have started against City. Likewise Pepe and Laca. Willock and Eddie? Not against the top teams. You put out your most experienced strongest XI. Last night, Arteta proved to me that he can’t get even the basics right. That’s worrying – it’s yet more of the same that we endured under Emery and the latter part of Wenger’s reign. It’s one thing to take a stand with our crap board and owners – but… Read more »

Snagger

Do you base Ozils inclusion on his performance against City at home this season? Arteta knows City and wanted a dynamic pressing midfield not what Ozil offers. If he can only play home games and is really only an asset in attacking surely we should be looking at a 50% reduction in wages.

Alex

Özil already did great against City even at home and even with an hostile crowd The point is: OK, don’t start him but at least have him on the bench in case you need a plan B.

Qwaliteee

I base Ozil’s inclusion on the fact that he is one of the best midfielders in the world. To have left Liam Brady out of the side for ‘tactical reasons’ would have unthinkable when he played for Arsenal. Likewise, Patrick Vieira. For me, the same goes for Ozil. He is, currently, one of the best players on the planet. You play him! It should be a no-brainer.?

Snagger

I think you have your tenses wrong. He was one of the best midfielders. Now a flat track bully who can only play at home against so called weaker teams and only turns up when the game is won.

Qwaliteee

The only reason Ozil can bully the weaker teams is because, for the most part, they’re the only times the poor sod gets a game! So your answer is to not play him at all against the strongest teams or the biggest games? Thank God you’re not the coach and we haven’t signed Messi. If the club reached another FA Cup Final, you’d have him driving the team bus.

IamaGoober

Can I just say — the one thing that really fucking pissed me off about the performance last night. Was the fact that it was so easy for us to completely piss the bed in the manner that we did — rather than — show a bit of bollocks and try and hold fast and show some resilience when the chips were down.   We have absolutely zero composure, or actual personality anymore — or perhaps the best word to use is character. However you want to describe it, we just genuinely lack something in our mentality to really stand… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Well, our training ground didn’t become known as the ‘Colney Creche’ for nothing. Too many egos being stroked. The big difference is that at least some of the players are actually world class and can be forgiven for having a bit of an ego – Auba, Ozil, Laca and Pepe for example. The players who really make me sick are the muppets who think they’re world class and shouldn’t be playing for a pub team, never mind us. Mustafi, Xhaka and Luiz.

IamaGoober

I’ve personally trained at Colney, the place is genuinely unreal. It’s such a shame that its not a point of inspiration for the players. Honestly if I were a player who got to train there everyday, I’d practically have to be dragged off the pitches.
 
Its an unbelievable facility.

Qwaliteee

For that we all have to thank Arsene Wenger – a visionary. And of course Nicolas Anelka’s dickhead brother, Claude, for being muggy enough to generate a transfer that denied his brother a place in the Invincibles and funded our (then) brand new training facility. Cheers Claude, you sucker.

Lazarus

I’m sorry – do we have a twenty point lead at the top?
Are we in a position to prioritise one game over another?
Arsenal lost last night because they are fucking garbage.
Face facts.
Fucking garbage…

Qwaliteee

Well said. The garbage largely stems from our resident collection of central defensive losers – but Arteta must shoulder some responsibility for his team selections – especially last night.

James

You must live in some other multiverse where Ozil is still World Class, because in this world he’s been genuinely shit for at least two years. 4 assists in 2 years. Maybe City will swap him with De Bruyne….

Qwaliteee

Another Emery wannabe who would have our best midfielder not play at all. If you knew anything about the game, you’d know that natural skill sets in footballers never leave them – all they lose as they get older is pace. Ozil still has more ability to change a game than anyone else at the club. Four assists in two years is the result of him hardly being picked in the last two years and that was down to Unai Emery – not because Ozil is ‘genuinely shit’ but because Emery didn’t know what the fuck he was doing. A… Read more »

Jean Ralphio

We’ve lost our quick one touch play since Wenger left, this is what we need back. Our players take too long to think for basic passes. The pace of the ball when we pass is also too slow.

mjc1892

I think the main issue is just that we don’t have any form of central midfield. I don’t really know where Guendouzi goes, but he’s never there. Xhaka may have his uses, but supporting attacks with fast, one touch passing absolutely isnt one of them. Willock seems to have regressed. Torreira is never fit. AMN for me has had his chance and hasn’t taken it. Ceballos would probably do great in a better team but is surrounded by technically inept midfielders. The ball basically goes straight from defense to attack, and if it doesn’t make it there’s a strong chance… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Come on mate, the main issue is our omnipresent inability to defend. We haven’t had a decent defence in over a decade. Since Mustafi arrived, we haven’t qualified for the Champions League. And now, finishing mid table looks like the new 4th place. We could have the best midfielders and forwards in the world – and during the last decade we have had world class players in those positions; Fabregas, Van Persie, Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez, Auba. And only in one season did we even begin to look like title contenders – and even then we allowed Leicester to clinch it.… Read more »

Andy

Tbf its both. The defence is like wet bog paper. The midfield neither protect the defence nor support the attack. I am at a loss to describe what Xhaka’s role is, for example. The only two players who could consistently play for a Champions League side are Auba and Leno. And Auba will be gone soon, and Leno as soon as Bayern change goalkeeper.

Mpls

Rumors Ramsey may be surplus at Juve at the end of the season.
Just sayin’.
 
Maybe he gets his winners medal, and then?
 
Despite known issues I’d take him back in the squad right now. Especially if no Ozil in the squad.

Vonnie

He’s always injured when you need him and he left because he wanted an Ozilesque salary. We should be able to get a better player for half the price.

mrugunner

hmm it’s more since xhaka arrived

EZD

After one game, we’ve already got an injury/suspension crisis – in our two weakest areas!

Only Mustafi and Holding available at CB, and just AMN, Guendouzi and Ceballos in CM. That’s mid-table quality.

For some reason I’d come back into the restart optimistic we could even challenge for the firth place CL spot. But last night was back to reality – realistically the end of the season isn’t going to be any better than the start. Fair play to Arteta playing the youngsters – may as well give them some experience.

Nikolaj

We are in dire need of a good performance on sunday. Hopefully, Luiz has played his last game for us. Last night was rediculous

Naked Cygan

Sadly he will play many more games for us for tactical reasons.

Nikolaj

i fear you are right

leon kingsford

Yeah we have to get our title challenge back on track ha ha ha…

ckmma

Nice to see the lads got the last friendly out of the way, now they can concentrate for restart against Brighton

Qwaliteee

Nothing like a bowl of Kellogg’s Denial for breakfast on a Thursday morning….

Tapps

Do you understand irony?

Qwaliteee

Heh. You clearly don’t! ?

Marje

There’s only two PL games remaining this month, but presumably he’s not banned from the third game we have remaining this month, the FA Cup game against Sheffield United on 28th?

Andy

This is reminding me of early 80s Arsenal. The optimism of initial Terry Neill years evaporating as a succession of mid table players stumble their way through the season with just an FA Cup run to keep us interested.

Qwaliteee

I agree. Too many fancy dans going through the motions and no defensive discipline. Back in the day, that all changed when George Graham arrived in the summer of ‘86. He got rid of Woodcock and Mariner and told Charlie and Rixy to start pulling their weight. And as for the defence….the rest is history. At least during that period between ‘81 and ‘86 Terry Neil and later Don Howe always picked their strongest XI against the top opposition – something Arteta needs to learn and fast.

Lazarus

Arsenal FC need to be very very careful.   When everything was normal they could rely on the loyalty of the fans to turn up at the turnstile and pay their money regardless of the performance.   Now there is a deadly disease in the community that is spread primarily through close social contact who is going to want to pay money AND potentially put their lives at risk to watch this when and if restrictions are lifted?   I don’t see much future for Arsenal. The opportunity they had to improve has now gone as a result of COVID… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Don’t worry mate. Once Ozil departs, Snagger and his fellow Ozil Haters will flock to the Emirates en masse to watch our brave new Ozilless side slay all before them. In our relegation battle.

Chuffy

There has been very little progress under Arteta and even less under under Sanllehi and co. We are in a rut and we need this season and next to come quickly so that the overpaid, under achieving dross to leave. Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Luiz, Sokratis and Mustafi. That represents about £800000 per week of pure waste that is borderline lunacy. Add that to Xhaka, Holding, Kolasinac and average goalscorer Lacazette, that’s about another £400000 of mid table mediocrity. Auba wants to leave, Torreira always wants to leave and I’m not sure how long our saviour Bernd Leno will stay. That leaves… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Mid table will be the new 4th place – unless we sort out the defence.

Terry Phelan

You gotta love Anthony Taylor tho……….whilst absolutely nothing to do with the result, in first half, Nketiah was hauled down by two hands/arms around the neck. “get up “ was the decision, not even a free kick. Luiz, a one hand/ arm drag back in the box………PENO……oh , wait , there’s more, hand going to pocket……. RED. Basically , the full monty. For a moment , I thought Taylor was going to do a squit on the turf, and get Luiz to sniff it before he left the pitch. Me, paranoid…..nah…….but that doesn’t mean they’re not out to get us.… Read more »

Jack

I forgot about that Nketiah incident. At the time I thought it was a sure fire freekick, but it was never mentioned or spoken of again.

karl

The team shouldn’t be too low, as we never really expected to get a lot from this fixture. There was also the bonus that Luiz cannot play in the next two matches.

Qwaliteee

Mate, let me remind you that this is Arsenal Football Club – not Doncaster Rovers. If the players have adopted your mindset, then no wonder we’re farting around mid table.

karl

Just look at the players recruited in recent times and mid-table is our home. This isn’t Arsenal football club since Raul and co rocked up.
 
I really hope Arteta is just puffing up players now and plans a complete overhaul.

Qwaliteee

By that, I take it you mean those total unknowns Mesut Ozil? Alexis Sanchez? Laca? Auba? Pepe? Look at the currenct crop. Saka, Martinelli. We’ve had/got the decent players mate, it’s Mustafi and Co. that have prevented any progress being made. Raul only took over in February 2018. Our crap defence have been pissing away our title chances of the title long before Raúl joined us and now, thanks to Mustafi and Co, qualifying for the Champions League is now a distant memory and mid table is now the norm. The rot had set in long before Raúl got here.

Andy

I sometimes struggle to understand just why we are so bad. We see plenty of other mid table teams who at least have a shape and some cohesion, and who have 11 players who give it everything. What do we do in training? Do the players bond with each other to build a team? Are they told what is expected from them? I am genuinely mystified why over and over, we are less than the sum of our parts.

Qwaliteee

It’s the defence. Or complete lack of it.

Tapps

In my opinion, it’s the complete lack of a captain. We need leadership on the pitch. Love Auba, but can you imagine him giving someone a bollocking?

Qwaliteee

Yes, I can. I can imagine him bollocking his agent as to why he still hasn’t found a replacement club. As far as the Captaincy goes, there’s only so much you can do against a top side like Manchester City when your coach omits at least three of your best players from the starting lineup. If I was Auba, I would be wanting to get out of Dodge as fast as possible. Preferably to a club with a decent defence.

Biff

So much negativity here. Despite what people think, we are really not that far away. Just a few more half decent centre backs on loan, and we should at least be able to compete with some of the teams in the premier league.

Qwaliteee

“Not that far away” ? Have you looked at the Premiership table? Are you aware of how long it is since we last put together a genuine title bid, never mind win the thing? All of our top players want out, except Ozil who’s on a financial easy street – and good luck to him. (If Wenger was daft enough to put him on a ridiculously high contract that’s not his fault) This club is going nowhere fast mate – wake up!

Nick

woosh!

Canuck Gunner

It appears people aren’t getting your sarcasm. I appreciated the humour.

Qwaliteee

Get a room then, the pair of you.

OBT

too many dead weights/bad apples on this team.
Laca can’t get a start over Eddie?
Ozil not even in the squad…not even bench?
rather play Saka out of position than play Pepe?
Luiz…nothing else needs to be said
Auba looked lost, his possession, the little he had was bad
love Hector but
Willock, young guy but this game was a bit much for him, looked lost.
 
we need a real overhaul, God help us.

Qwaliteee

There’s only one person to blame for the team selection. How can you omit Ozil and leave Laca and Pepe on the bench against Manchester City at the Etihad and expect to take anything from the game? Utter madness.

assistantref

“Even at 1-0 we still had belief, “
 
Well I should fucking hope you would still have belief at 1-0 down. Looks like we’ve already dragged Tierney’s mental belief down to the levels of the rest of the squad.

Qwaliteee

You can’t blame the lad entirely. He’s been rubbing shoulders in training with Mustafi, Xhaka and Luiz. Then he has to play on the same pitch as them. Mediocrity Rovers, that’s what we’re in danger of becoming.

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