A Jamie Vardy goal was, unsurprisingly, enough to separate Arsenal and Leicester at the Emirates this evening.

The Gunners thought they’d scored early in the first half but the goal was wrongly ruled out for offside, while Alexandre Lacazette – whose header was disallowed – and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failed to make the most of solid Kieran Tierney deliveries.

The loss of David Luiz to injury early in the second period was a blow, and substitute Shkodran Mustafi was culpable when Vardy headed home the winner 10 minutes from time after a deeply disappointing second half for the Gunners.

Read the Rapid Vienna 1-2 Arsenal match report and see the goals here.

Arsenal 0-1 Leicester – Player Ratings

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Frank

Creativity etc aside, not sure why we play using Lacazette as if hes a target man. Pinging balls in to him and expecting him to hold them up. Hes just not big enough. If we insist on playing this way then I really wish wed never sold giroud, because he is actually a striker whod be able to do a good job in there

Atom

We’ve added defensive solidarity but the cost has been a totally ineffective offense.

Daveo

The gap between the double pivot and the forwards is Alarming. The most ridiculous part is even after we went behind, this problem became worse. There were glimpses in the first half when we actually had 3 in midfield we looked sharper, not only by having a little possession through the middle but the fact Leicester had to cover with more defense there and that opened space on the wings, but as the game went on we went more and more back to a 523 and we created less and less.

loose_cannon

Our midfielders looked scared to cross the halfway line when we have the ball, let alone get the ball in between the lines or make runs into the box. There’s a chasm between our forwards and midfielders atm.

Jackstoneygunner

Arteta NEEDS to tell his forwards to stop being so STATIC. Liverpool forwards move around A lot. Mane sometimes end up in the middle Firmino sometimes ends up at LW Salah roams everywhere when teams sit back. This is how they break down teams that sit deep. We lack creativity but ALSO a major issue is our forwards other than Saka and Auba they don’t move enough. Saka moves and drifts inside Auba runs behind but when teams sit deep AUba has no idea what to do where to run Saka is the only one who moves Laca stays put… Read more »

Daveo

Glad there are some sensible gooners out there still that realise the lack of creativity is down to the system and not the fact we don’t play Ozil. Stick Ozil into this formation and we are a worse team. Change the formation to a 433 filling that hole as the #10 with our most creative player – Saka (and that includes Ozil – Saka is now a more creative player and WAY more complete), who has shown how effective he can be centrally – and we create so much more, we draw defenses in centrally and then give Pepe and… Read more »

Jackstoneygunner

Ozil wouldn’t change much because even a creative player like him needs runs to make the pass and if there are no runs ahead of him there is nothing to pass to. What happened to the Wenger days of triangles making trinagles the forwards making themselves available. I personally think THERES NOT ENOUGH CHEMISTRY BETWEEN OUR FORWARDS. Auba, Laca, Pepe have no chemistry. AUba and Laca have a better chemistry than Laca and Pepe all 3 combined there’s not enough chemistry there so the football is not fluid. They don’t understand each other well they don’t sacrifice for each other… Read more »

goonshow

Ceballos was didn’t make any mistakes but nor did he add any creativity (which is really why he’s there?). But he wasn’t the problem last night, Granit was. His abject lack of pace is now a glaring weakness that every other team has worked out. Nett result is that the other mid(s) and backs are wary of doing anything progressive from deep midfield in case they turn over possession and leave him to deal with the counter – exactly what happened last night. He gets skinned so fast that Gabriel barely has time to get across and Mustafi hasn’t even… Read more »

goonshow

Xhaka’s chronic lack pace is a bigger problem than many realise, possibly because his long passing skill counterbalances it.
Except that it doesn’t really – the knock-on effects are that Gabriel won’t ever surge forward and even Partey already looks wary of leaving Granit to cover a counter-attack… this is only going to worse after he got skinned for their goal – his start-off acceleration is truly dire!

mrugunner

defensive solidity? lei barely had possession and still scored from 1 rare occasion.
i dont call that defensive solidity. we only have 1 CS so far.

Daveo

Barring a goal with errors from 3-4 players (Bellerin, Leno, Ceballos and Xhaka) against City and then Leicester goal that exposed the insane decision to play Xhaka along the last defensive line (and one other good chance for them), we are much more solid than last year. It isn’t even close. We were a complete shambles at the back. But it has cost us. We are creating less than the sparse amount we did under Emery. Again it feels like so much is down to trying to make an X shaped peg fit into a round hole.

Pooner

It is now increasingly clear that Laca was a very expensive downgrade on Giroud.

Dr. kNOw

They should have gone for Auba in the first place. Giroud would still be at the club, and would either come on for Auba or hold it up for him.

I said exactly just this after the Liverpool but got many downvote.

Understandably I may have been harsh but his goals per 90 was once than Giroud before this season.

Giroud cost £10 million but Lacazette cost 5 times that and has added nothing better in his 4 years (almost). He misses chances just as much as Giroud did but holds the ball a lot less.

*after the Liverpool game
*Worse than Giroud

Apologies for the grammatical errors.

The Arsenal

Go look at Girouds 100 goals for the club and tell me fans did not give him a raw deal. Guy was class and has been in the top 5 strikers of his type in the world since we bought him.

Twatsloch

Taken for granted and underappreciated when here, sorely missed when gone. Isn’t that almost always the case?

I bet the Chelsea fans love him.

Twatsloch

Taken for granted and underappreciated when here, sorely missed when gone. Isn’t that almost always the case?

I bet the Chelsea fans love him.

sojiral

Just goes a log way to show just how disastrous emery was for arsenal.

karl

I like MA, but are we any better than during the Emery era? Their win record is similar.

goonshow

mate, you’re repeating yourself.

A Different George

I like Giroud a lot; so does Didier Deschamps, who won the World Cup with him. But I bet even Deschamps would rather have had Aubameyang.

Petit's Handbag

He was our player of the season 18/19.

A Different George

Giroud was not replaced in our squad by Lacazette. He was replaced by Aubameyang. Not a theory, an actual fact.

David C

Great point! I think Giroud would be a very useful player for us because we’re still playing that slow build up play where we rely on a Giroud header or a flick to set up the late man running into the box.

Benito3000

As a season ticket holder, I noted this at the time and it was actually pretty clear from the start. Giroud was massively underrated and does everything Laca does, but better. I haven’t checked the stats but I’m sure they would back this up. I often find myself wistfully wishing Giroud and Auba had the chance to play together…

Daveo

Brenda schooled arteta in the 2nd half and mikel had no answers. They pressed xhaka at every opportunity and made him a target when we had possession. Xhaka cannot handle a press, don’t know why it doesn’t happen to his every touch in every game. Our best moments came when we actually played 3 in midfield, yet we basically never did this in the 2nd half. When you play the least mobile player in the EPL as a CB/LB hybrid (xhaka) your going to get smashed on the break eventually. I said before the game of xhaka plays against fast… Read more »

ABC123andallthat

Daveo well said

Gooner

Mikel has a better squad than Emery but worse results. Why exactly do you think someone who’s never coached a top side, or any side for that matter, is the right man? We need to be ruthless like Real or Bayern. #artetaout

Atom

That’s a ridiculous comment. Emery was an absolute shambles last year with no defense, an anemic offense and clearly had lost the players. Arteta is still learning but this team is miles better than it was under Emery. I would add the constantly firing coaches only works if you have an experienced and amazing squad who simply doesn’t like their current manager. Look at how poor Barcelona has been under Koeman and the guy last year.

Vaibhav Pandey

Lol is this a solution? Sounds more like an irrational individual judgement.

goonshow

What a puerile, ill-informed comment.

goonshow

Of course, not that Emery didn’t get rid of many of the better players he had as ‘surplus to requirements’…

Flash

Well said! Without players in the middle like DeBruyne, David or Bernardo Silva… this low-cost/Pep-style possession tiki-taka is quite helpless. If we also playing without wingers like Mahrez, Sane, and Sterling, but playing with Laca and Auba at the same time we are castrating our wing-play either, because even if Auba is quick he is not a Mahrez type dribbler. So maybe we should try to sacrifice one of them and let Willian, Saka and Pepe to do their jobs on the wings and let Auba or Laca to concentrate on finishing.

Samgunz

I’d play Saka infront of xhaka and partey, pepe, auba and willian uptop, it’s simple Mikel.

Daveo

I’ve been saying to play Saka ahead of the double pivot for a month now. But Xhaka has no place in games like this – he is too slow and too easily exploited (shown right and pressed hard). He CANNOT play against teams when we control possession and tempo and teams play us fast on the counter. He gets exposed over and over and over again, and gets picked over and over and over again. Saka ahead of Partey and Ceballos/Elneny and I 100% argree with you. Our current shape is why we are creating so little.

goonshow

PLay Xhaka at your peril now – he’s been worked out by every coach in the EPL

Samgunz

He was better than Cebellos against Leicester but i do see your point, xhaka has basically been very consistent since he got back in the team, but if i had to chose right now I’d probably go with Elneny and Partey

Samgunz

My main point was saka is our best option for an attacking midfielder that will track back sufficiently, he can pick a through ball and usually beat the first man, no one else doing that right now, maybe Willock or Smith Rowe but Saka is ahead of both

IamaGoober

A bit of a wake up call tonight I think. We were so pedestrian for huge parts of that game. Our inability to lay a glove on any opponent that is happy to just sit in front of us and pretty much wait for us to break them down is getting concerning — because Premier League clubs are quick learners. It wont take long for the whole league to figure out that’s how you beat us. And listen, I know that breaking down packed defenses is no easy task, but we are creating nothing on a fairly consistent basis. When… Read more »

Daveo

The xhaka shoehorning is truly fucking bewildering. 3 managers and he’s there no matter what, but it’s the same week in week out. In games where we control possession and Tempo he and his weaknesses get exposed, game after game. Show him right, press his every touch and go at arsenal in fast counters and he becomes not just a passenger, but a liability. He was that again tonight. In the 2nd half Leicester pressed him at every moment and nearly forced a bunch of errors and then exposed him in the goal. Too easy. Yet he’s basically already picked… Read more »

IamaGoober

Yeah its fucking bananas isn’t it? Like I lost count of how many times he would pick the ball up out on that left hand side, get shut down by Leicester players, forced back onto his right foot, then he would have to go back to Gabriel or Luiz. It was killing us. And what I found most perplexing was the fact we were negating using Partey in those deeper positions all the time, which I did not understand at all. In the end he honestly stopped looking for the ball and ended up just trying to be there in… Read more »

goonshow

Yep – Partey’s (I’m gonna go there) party trick is the killer diagonal ball. So with him and Luiz, you have Xhaka’s only value more than covered! No place for him so rather play Mo’Nenny for solidity with pace and energy?

AmakeAgreatA

He played his usual game, wich he does regularly, hence why he’s always in the team, only today he was covering two positions from two diferent lines, that’s too much for him.
I think we should use Saka and Bellerin (AMN covers both) for width and threat in behind, midfield three, then Auba and Laca up top. Auba does’nt have the touch or trickery needed to do the wing play, but can’t lead the line either in this system so a front two solves all that.

Daveo

One position is too much for him.

Akshay

Agreed. I lost count of the number of times he Xhaka passed sideways or backwards when there was a chance to be more adventurous. The case was the same with all the midfielders vs Leicester. The build-up play was so slow I could grow coffee, roast it, brew it and drink it and Arsenal would still be passing it among the midfield and CBs. Where were the processes, that Arteta speaks about so much of, vs Leicester?
Toothless would be an understatement to this sort of attack.

goonshow

Couldn’t agree more, mate.

Woolwich Shepherd

Mid-table stuff. No creativity. Painful to see us get out-coached.

Samgunz

I would say xhaka was the most efficient with the ball out of the midfield 3 today, dani was shocking and Partey was crowded out, play saka in the 3 so someone can beat the first man atleast

IamaGoober

Really? What are we quantifying as ‘efficient.’ Are we looking at things solely from a completed passing percentage? As I’m sure his numbers were great. Even though that will solely be down to the fact he was forced to pass backward the whole game. If we actually talking about actual efficiency on the ball, he’s the least efficient player we have in midfield. He takes too many touches firstly. He slows everything down way too much and it kills any sort of offensive threat we have in transition, which is the only way we were going to score against a… Read more »

A Different George

Well, of course you’re right. I hope Ceballos’ performance was just because he wasn’t fully fit, because he was terrible. (Though, one great pass, to Hector I think. If we score, Dani has a great match.)

The Arsenal

At this point i would bite somebodys hand off to have Giroud back and get rid of Lacazette.

Reality check

He’s also not very good at lay offs or one touch at the moment. Laca had reinvent his game or hes gonna end up at a mid table club very soon.

Chrisnorton66

He is already at one mate

goonshow

classic!

Twatsloch

I’ve felt we’ve missed a big strong lump up there since we lost Giroud. Like you say, Lacazette isn’t that kind of player. We should have sold him and brought in someone more physical as an alternative when Aubameyang isn’t working out.

Zyrth

Honestly can’t give the attack and midfield more than 4. Buck stops with them (and the gaffer) for our ineptness in attack. Find space, pass quickly and adventurously. Why are we so timid in building up our attack?

Chris

I’m no coach but why don’t our players use the channels, run into the spaces between defenders etc? We’ve got the passing talent to find them (Luiz tried harder than most) but if everyone on the flanks are stood static in front of defenders then we’ll never create chances.

Zyrth

Somehow I think I’d lay part of the blame on Arteta for this. Runs into channels, as you’ve said, are supposedly drills or instructions given by the gaffer. It’s either that or Arteta manages the team like a certain Mr Wenger by giving his players a very high level of freedom to express and apply their Creative attacking solution on match day. But it seems like Arteta is more of the micro managing type, which means the players aren’t coached to play that way. Because honestly if they are coached day in day out I’m sure automatism would have kicked… Read more »

Chris

Yep, disappointing is the word here.

I’m sure you’re right about drills and it’s a shame if it’s true about Arteta’s coaching style – surprising considering the time he spent at City though.

Interesting point from @goonshow about Xhaka and his tendency to slow play. Maybe a midfield 3 of Partey, AMN and Ceballos is worth a shot

goonshow

Because when Xhaka plays, he runs the transistion, except that he also runs down the clock on any break through his slow feet (well, ‘foot’ actually). Small wonder our forwards have stopped darting about – they hardly ever get noticed because he’s fiddling about trying to shift it from his right (where savvy opponents always where nudge him).

Vivooty

Yes…Auba, another poacher,who can hold up play instead of Laca and Giroud instead of Nketia,to go after aerial balls and for bringing others into play…

A Different George

This is worse than Leno/Martinez. We sold Giroud because Dortmund would not let Aubameyang leave unless they got a replacement; that was Batshuayi, but Chelsea would not let him go unless they got a replacement for *him*–that was Giroud. We sold Giroud because that was the only way to get Aubameyang. I am a big Giroud fan–but, come on, we got Aubameyang

goonshow

Come back HFB

Henrik

Not the players fault this one, system not suited for our squad, simple as that.

Auba auba laca partey

VAR fucked us! Lacazette scored!! Don’t understand the hate he receives from Arseblog, he was our best player today. Auba can do no wrong. “He is just played out of position” I suppose. Leicester is a strong team and they parked the bus, cancelling our threats and helped by referring decision. Gutted but I still believe arteta will get it right and glad the Over hyped tourist Ozil is history.

Jambon

If you thought Lacazette was Arsenals best player today, you should either stop watching football or watch lots more……

Naked Cygan

Var fked us, but we fked it up too.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

This has to be a joke. Lacazette was absolutely terrible and missed a header from 2 feet out. That alone is unforgivable. His touch was bad, his passing was poor. If he never put on an Arsenal shirt again I would not be upset in the least.

Pooner

You’ve got to respect Lacazette’s commitment to cosplaying a fat, hungover, Sunday-leaguer in his late forties. Real dedication.

Fireman Sam

Yeah unfortunately coming to the conclusion that Laca is …a bit crap.

Niobe

Generous to Lacazette in my opinion. He’s looked slow and flat-footed for nearly a year now, and contributes none of the work rate, hold-up play, craft and guile that used to make up his game. A real negative presence on the pitch, gutted we didn’t manage to sell him.

RyanJ

Love Arteta, but he’s a cup manager.

Cranky Colin

I don’t think you’re bonus comment is very funny.

The real problem here has nothing to do with Vardys Dad

RVA

”your” cranky, Colin.

Cranky Colin

Ah bollox, I was a bit emotional last night, and I was only pulling your wires!

Andy

I think the point is that if the little semen that created Jamie had ended up in a tissue rather than Mrs Vardy, we might have had a few more points in the bag over the years.

Richie

And we would have won the league in 2016.

Reality check

You are really underestimating our propensity to self- destruct the past few years. Vardy or no Vardy, those points were never coming..

goonshow

Just call him Vargba

goonshow

Or better still – Jamier Vogba.

I’ll get my coat…

AmakeAgreatA

Is it the wanking part that you’re not on board with, or is the dark sarcastic creativity that ‘rubbed'(sorry) you wrong??

Cechmate

Maybe his dad was like Mustafi and Xhaka, quick to dive in but late to pull out…. but he definitely wasn’t responsible for having both Mustafi and Xhaka on the pitch together.

DaDude

Vardy is definitely quick to dive ;-). But it is the refs who fall for that. Otherwise he is not nearly such a c*nt like Maupay who injures people on purpose.
Vardy just does the job his team expects him to do. Didn’t see what he did wrong yesterday in particular, but generally he is as annoying to us as Drogba was during his peak.

goonshow

Jamier Vogby

OdalGooner

I just heard a man calling Vardis mum a *COUGH* and no-one getting it 😉

Jack

87 minutes gone, 1-0 down and we pass it slowly around the back between Mustafi, Leno, Gabriel and Xhaka. That says it all. This loss has actually made me feel a bit queasy

goonerrah

Leno and our CBs touch the ball more than our midfield. I get what Arteta is doing but it sucks to watch and its not really working anymore.

Daveo

I got it, but I don’t get it now.

Vino

Yeah. In many games i have seen. Eg man city, We just dnt show urgency in dying moments of gane

Nketibag

Just seeing xhaka and mustafi still on the team sheet is killing me. We will not move on until they do.
Both epitomise out clubs recent demise to Europa status

Fireman Sam

Xhaka out
Mustafi out
Laca out

Riku

Three holding midfielders! Emery style Should have rested Thought the same, looked like Emery team when he didn’t play him either. Three holding midfielders today at home. ( I know Partey can play more positions. ) – if trying to be like Liverpool xhaka not got legs like their three But Dani today , nothing creative, second half , is he really a 10 . Would the German gave had to defend. Against a low block , no .. Or bring willock or Nelson on . Team looked tired second half , which is why should have played willock, Nelson… Read more »

SLC Gooner

A bunch of those were too generous. And honestly at this point, if we we’re still in the business of picking up players from Chelsea, I’d take Giroud for Lacazette in a second.

George Marowa

He needs to bring himself down to the level of his team. Play Niles in midfield drop xhaka not because xhaka isn’t good enough but because we know that a simple ball behind and we are down, we know that a runner will get the best of mustaphi. So play saliba. Laca needs 8 touches before playing a good pass or shoot play aube if you don’t like him then play balogun. This structure football isn’t for us it might work at wolves not at a bigger club.

Elgon Views

Blogs Mustafi is awful but not the reason we lost the game…there is a lot that is wrong with the team. This one is on the manager!

Niobe

Tactics cost us the win, Mustafi cost us a point.

sAMa

Where was Ceballos with his through passes? No, it’s Ozil’s fault we lost.

Jack

Ceballos wasn’t too great today in his new role as RWB

johnnycash

ceballos is bang average, honestly cannot see why he is so rated by some on here.

JJAC

Go look at the advanced metrics, he’s by far Arsenal’s best midfielder and one of the best in the league

A Different George

Ceballos has moments of brilliance, and he was really hyped up in Spain as the next big thing, a Fabregas-level talent. I’ve seen moments, as I say, but only moments.

Rowicky

Don’t know what lacazette provides.. he has no pace, no hold up play , no height no finishing neither create chances just fed up with him.. 50 m down the gutter.

A Different George

I cannot believe the endless revisionism. Didn’t we get something for that money when Lacazette was our player of the season?

johnnycash

player of the season in a team that failed. he has been a bad signing when you look at his price tag. although not a total flop his goal return is disapointing,

AmakeAgreatA

Way to static and structured. We need waaay more caos for Auba to get chances, but if he’s not eaven playing in the prefered, out of his less prefered positions…whay eaven bother. I think it’s time to hit the reshuffle button on the ofensive plan..Arteta.

Looney

It says a lot that the only player we have in this squad capable of causing anything close to chaos is Willock. Ceballos should have been subbed for Elneny at half time even though I don’t think it’s entirely his fault. The system was awful. I was happy when I first saw 4-3-3 only to see it become 5-4-1. We’ve created absolutely nothing from the middle all season. Why Arteta thinks our defenders and wingbacks should be our chief creators baffle me. Heck, at this point, I’ll gladly take Wilshere back. He’s a free agent right? Even if it’s 15… Read more »

Wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to have Jack return but he’d just be left out due to ineligibility

Looney

Ineligible? How so?

We are already over the 25 man squad limit.

Vonnie'

He’s home grown.

Gennaro

Not the same player who left us unfortunately

goonshow

If you’re talking Jack for 15, I would take the Holy Santi over him 8 days out of 7.

ElGunnerLoco

Willock is shit mate.

He’s not strong, he’s not a good passer, he doesn’t have exceptional technique, doesn’t have an exceptional average, and has the football brain of a squirrel which for some reason spurs him on to run like a headless chicken with the ball when he gets it, with no end product whatsoever.

ElGunnerLoco

exceptional engine*

Looney

Unfortunately, he is the only midfield runner we have at the moment. That’s the thing with runners and agents of chaos, they will always make mistakes in their attempts go make things happen. Remember Ramsey

ElGunnerLoco

Ramsey’s running had a method and a purpose to it, Willock just runs about aimlessly until he crashes into an opposing player, losing us the ball… not to mention all the other qualities that Ramsey had that Willock couldn’t even spell, let alone exhibit.

Uba

Willock is not good enough; neither is Nketiah.
Nelson should be getting games.

sAMa

Please, don’t bring Wilshere back for the sake of it. What was his contribution when he was with us?

Simp for Arteta

Maybe you don’t remember the Aaaarsshhhaaaaaaaviiiiiinnnnn game

goonshow

Sub Ceballos? And leave the Granite carthorse on?
You’re having a laugh, mate!

johnnycash

what is this structured bollocks i keep hearing. We dont have good enought midfielders or wide players to move the ball forward and our best triker is being played on the wing. structure my arse

Chris

I think the point is players are ‘structured’ in that they rarely stray from position, which makes them easy to defend.

Suppose ideally you want structure in defense and fluidity further up the pitch.

Zeshan Hussein

We need need need to play Auba through the middle. Put Saka out left and Pepe or Willian in the right. We might start getting some runs behind then. We controlled possession today but the lack of movement behind the defence cost us today.

Dubai Ham

Arteta is the problem. I don’t enjoy watching Arsenal anymore. We are play shite football and we lose games. Under Wenger in 2016-18, we were losing games but we were playing beautiful football.
I enjoy watching the likes of Leeds and Aston Villa more than Arsenal.

Mark

At this point I don’t know why Lacazette still starts.

SGP_GNR

Different managers (3); different players (…); same nonsense!
It must be the water at the Emirates.

Jaaaa

Every manager after they dropped Ozil, they started to lose matches eventually it led them to give uo their job

B.O.B

Can we have a rating for the manager as well? This loss is on him…

xjert02

I think, it is truly a good idea. Why not to have a rating for the head coach?

Swifty

Lacazette is fast becoming the Mustafi of strikers.

The Far Post

Everyone knew what Leicester wanted to do when they brought on Vardy, yet we played so open. Mustafi was so far away, and given that distance, Gabriel, who probably doesn’t appreciate yet how dangerous Vardy is, possibly should not have left him free?

Daveo

Gaby had no choice because ünder’s cover (xhaka) has the turning circle of an oil tanker. That’s actually on arteta and not xhaka for playing him there. Gaby has to cover him otherwise he goes straight in at Leno,unchallenged. Either way it’s a goal.

The Far Post

You’re probably right, but I would take my chances with Leno stopping Under, who was so fast, Gabriel couldn’t cover enough ground to challenge him.

Oregoon

Yes. Let the other pogue try out Leno. Anyone but Vardy.

Daveo

I get what you’re saying, but everyone would have just blamed him if he stayed on Vardy and let ünder stroll in for a goal. Normal defending is to close down the ball carrier who completely lost Xhaka despite the 5m head start Xhaka has (poor awareness, but the bigger problem is Arteta playing him there). Gaby made the right choice, you HAVE to expect your centre back partner will cover the central player. Mustafi didn’t do that well at all, but 0% blame on Gaby. 15% on Xhaka, 15% Mustafi, 70% on Arteta. Rogers targeted Xhaka in the second… Read more »

Phathisile

So he leaves the most dangerous player in the box to go and help Xhaka? That is poor defending. He should have stuck to Vardy not expect someone to pick up a player he is marking while he goes to help Xhaka. It gets people upvotes to blame Mustafi but if it was Mustafi that left Vardy to help Xhaka everyone of you will be blaming him for that.

Daveo

WTF are you talking about. No one would blame Mustafi if he went to cover an OPEN player. It wasn’t “helping” Xhaka. Xhaka might have well been sitting there having a ciggie, he was completely out of the play. Gaby has to come and cover a free man, especially one he can get to. Mustafi should have done better, but the mistake is playing Xhaka on the last defensive line. Brenda saw that and sent ünder after him, and Leicester also attacking Xhaka whenever he had the ball too. Arteta’s decision to replace other guys and not Xhaka was a… Read more »

goonshow

He didn’t ‘go to help Xhaka’, you muppet! Apart from the fact that Xhaka is ‘helpless’ when it comes to any quick counter, he HAS to go to the obvious threat: maybe he blocks the cross; maybe Mustuffup actually wakens from his slumbers and does his job; maybe the cross is over-hit and Vardy doesn’t reach it… gotta play the percentages. It’s what all great defenders instinctively do so well.

Dr. kNOw

The problem was the tactical plan to drop Xhaka into the defence. In a medium block that leaves space between defence and goalkeeper. Against Under and Vardy. That was, in a word, suicidal.

Xhaka inevitably lost the foot race with Under for a ball over the top, Gabriel tried to cover, Mustafi was asleep, so Vardy was free to finish up.

Daveo

100% spot on. Absolutely Mental playing xhaka like we did in the second half, both in possession and then without it. I’d call it more a Porsche passing a combi on the German autobahn than a foot race

goonshow

The moment Rogers makes that first sub, Xhaka shoulda been off. It was bloody obvious, with Vardy already stripping down, what they were trying to do, ffs!

Biff

Xhaka was standing too far out when the ball was played for Under. Knowing he is slower than Under, he should have dropped off sooner. Tierny was outside him. It seemed like Xhaka told Tierny to drop down and inside to cover Under. But it didn’t happen. Mustafi was hopelessly out of position leaving Gabriel alone with Vardy. When Under broke free, Gabriel had no choice but to cover him. I think Mustafi, Tierny and Xhaka were all to blame.

goonshow

Even more criminal was the fact that with Xhaka continually drifting further up, it forces Thomas to sit deep to cover his lack of pace, so negating the high-impact mid we just paid a bloody fortune for!! Which makes Granite twice the liability yesterday

The Arsenal

It just comes down to the fact our midfield across the board is just shit. Partey has just arrived. What exactly do Xhaxa and Ceballos do…What does Willock do. Elneny has been our best midfielder and he is just as limited as the rest. We are no longer a good or even decent team.. Teams like West ham, Sheffield utd and Wolves are better than we are in the middle of the park let alone the the other top 6 sides. Tielemans and Mendy looked far better than what we have despite having less of the ball.

Dave

Thing is, that’s essentially what he did at Gladbach… that’s where Xhaka is most comfortable, he’s just very flawed.

goonshow

Yep – especially with players like Addison who can play that killer ball over the top.

Anders Limpar

1\10 Mikel Arteta Tactically this was a joke. Auba was clearly told to hug the touchline like a traditional winger and lump crosses to an off form Laca who is never the best with high balls anyway. Auba also played on the right, something Wenger persisted with and eventually gave up on as a waste of his best resource. Pepe who finally seems to be playing himself into a bit of form was benched to make room for Laca. A lack of creativity and specifically centre mid is a huge concern. If we are starting Partey, Xhaka is redundent (anyway).… Read more »

Andy

Just start by putting Aubameyang at centre forward and dropping Lacazette to the bench.

Looney

That won’t solve the problem, if anything, it will make it more glaring. The major problem is our midfield isn’t set up to create chances. The midfield under this system is there to pass ball around to give a sense of pseudo-control, and to shield the defenders and wingbacks who are actually the creators. Imagine rather than having Ceballos participate in the final third, he is being asked to cover for the wingback and just look on. And the idea of using wingbacks as chief creators works best if we have runners from midfield but we’ve lost those. We also… Read more »

johnnycash

How would putting your best goalscorer thought the middle make things worse. Lacazette couldnt control a bag of cement and looks like hes running with lead in his boots. put auba up top and move saka to the left wing

Hurensohn

Our best effort of the night came from Auba down the left. Bellerin’s volley…

Rob67

The whole team looks woefully short of tempo. They played like they were on tranquillisers. Pepe still can’t take a simple corner and every time I see him it’s a reminder of how ludicrous it was to pay what we did. This in turn, is a savage indictment of our on going recruitment failure.

We are well short on and off the pitch. And on this showing Arteta is getting little more from the players that Emery did.

Matty Cakes

I was reasonably encouraged by the first half but by 60th minute when they brought Vardy on I knew what was scripted.

Lacked complete urgency and creativity in the 2nd half.

Only positive was I didn’t pay PPV £15 as I got a VPN and PeacockTV sorted. So I made the donation to Islington good causes.

cereal killer

Can’t play defensive game from 0′ to 90′ and expect goals from heaven! Arteta out

cereal killer

Lac , Auba ,Ceballos,Xhaka,
Pepe are all shit.
We need a creative midfielder otherwise we will run sideways like headless chicken.

potatogooner

We have one at home playing fortnite.

James

Match of two halves. Saka and Luiz were at the heart of what we’re doing well. Taking Tierney off was a head scratcher. Why not Nketiah for Lacazette or Ceballos? Lacazette – The Lord loves a trier, but for all his effort, he cannot be our first choice center forward anymore. This is his fourth season trying. Xhaka – Many had hoped Partey would free us from playing three centerbacks, but dropping Xhaka back instead will do us no favors, particularly against a team with the best counterattacking striker of recent times. Xhaka can pass and combat, but not cover… Read more »

cereal killer

Imagine Vary did 10 munites what laca nd auba couldn’t do for 90 munites.

Matt P

Gee, very generous ratings for the midfield and attack. Bang on for the defence, which was generally very good. The only positive.

Bendtnerschristmastree

10/10 to every single one of us, for predicting a Vardy winner as soon as he came on.

Daveo

I picked this when I saw him listed on the bench 🤣

Mootilated

I actually said to my dad when he came on “he’ll get the winner. what is worse though, is that we don’t have a similar card up our sleeves.”

Yep it was like watching dominos fall.

goonshow

Didier Drominoes

The Arsenal

Everyone predicted that when they saw the line up. Just like Arsenal to prove us right as usual.

Dave

Guttertrash

Charles

Has to be a .5 for Mustafi. The only impact he made was a completely preventable error that *he was fucking warned about.*

WheresReissNelson

What about Xhaka? Our «left back» missing Ünder through on goal? He could have scored himself!! And wheres the pressure on the pass? Think theres more trouble in this team than Mustafi.

johnnycash

xhaka and mustafi have been a big problem since they arrived. arteta could be the 3rd manager to get the sack by putting his faith in players who have constantly proved they arent good enough

goonshow

Errm – I think you’ll find Arsene retired.

johnnycash

Obviously it wasnt his choice to leave , he has said as much himself. so he was sacked asked tp leave asked to step down whatever way you want to put he . he most certainlt didnt retire

Snagger

When we did this to city and pool we’re tactical geniuses but when it’s done to us it’s the managers a fool. Saying that the horseshoe is horsesh*t.

RosaLegend

Oh so poor going forward! Worrying signs indeed.

ShakenNotStirred

I ant fathom since a long time what Laca is in the team for. He cant dribble balls, dives at slightest contact (never looking to carry the momentum), is very slow. Giroud was way better doing what he is trying to do. His small stature does not help too. He did not have any right to ask Tierney to feed ball onto his feet when he missed a clear easy header. Waiting for Martinelli to get fit to play on left for Aubameyang to play center. Pepe moves like a dancer with no idea what to do with the ball… Read more »

Absolutely agree on Lacazette. He had no right to complain with the sitters that he missed. Should be apologising to his teammates.

Alas we aren’t near January yet so I doubt we’ll see Saliba or Martinelli until near then.

At this point I would be more comfortable seeing those two make mistakes as at the very least they will learn from it unlike these goldfishes we have currently

loose_cannon

People will talk about Ozil but our attacking issues go much deeper than one player. We have out best CF playing wide right, a deep lying playmaker at CB and our CMs being too scared to cross the halfway line. There’s no one receiving the ball in between the lines or making runs into the box, and teams have little to worry about if Aubameyang is putting in crosses for others. I have a lot of faith in Arteta but it’s troubling that he doesn’t seem able or willing to address these basic issues. We’ve lost 3 league games in… Read more »

jfmgunner

When you realize that tactically we don’t have the right players to maximize the effectiveness of our stars, it’s disheartening. I think the ownership took a risk and gave us the Partey money to see if that was the missing piece, but it’s clear that Laca is a shell of himself and a new forward is needed (or Auba in the middle and actually playing to Pepe’s strengths), and our entire lack of penetration and creativity shows a CAM is needed as well. I don’t think there is even a slim chance Kroenke will spend big anytime soon to bring… Read more »

Chris

Whatever happened to coaching players? I’d say there’s enough talent in the squad to avoid having to spend big on new players. Although I do agree with the Partey purchase.

Fred Fox

Can’t win if you can’t score a goal. This loss is on the front 3

Thierrys_Tears

Xhaka wasn’t great on our goal either.

Both Auba and Lacazette were very wasteful today and that is the reason why we were even in a losing position to begin with.

Auba can pick up his form but I don’t see Lacazette getting any better. Time to phase him out like we did Giroud😞.

I cannot believe freakin Brendan Rodgers made his game plan so obvious and we did nothing to prevent its execution.

Must this team make half-baked managers look like geniuses all the time.

0 points against last season’s top 6 so far.

Of to Manchester to give the cliff divers their first home win in the league I bet.

We might be a work in progress but that’s no excuse for being predictable.

SGP_GNR

The most generous team in the PL never fail to make any team look good. I am sick of their generosity.

You and I both

Savage

Right now, Wenger > Arteta

Hurensohn

Short memory.

The Arsenal

A game like this can make or break a manager. I thought the Liverpool game had shown Arteta Xhaxas true level but i guess not as he was starting again today….Its worrying that Elneny has been our stand out midfield performer. Lacazette is finished, his game belongs in 2011 and he is not adapting.
We have gone from one of the most entertaining teams in the world to absolute dross in 4 years. Even at our shittest our football would always be high level combination play.

Tribe

We don’t have a squad of players that can follow Arteta’s plans. Most of our players are one sided. When he changes formation they cannot adapt to that. Here are the clear indications for that. At best, Lacazette is a Serie A striker. He is far from Premier League quality. If Aubameyang is our most efficient forward/wide forward player, then do anything to pull the best out of him. Pepe is not what many of us seemed to think. Or maybe he needs more and more time to adapt (and we don’t have much time). Whatever tactics or formation you… Read more »

AmakeAgreatA

Lacazette on form is absolutely Premier league quality, and one of the best at that. What you can say is that mentality wise he lacks something…he needs the enviroment, his phisical state and his mind to be right to be at his best.

Tribe

But how many years do we wait for that to come? We don’t have the luxury of another very good player to take his place until he tick all the boxes.

AmakeAgreatA

That’s the thing, let’s hope Martinelly comes in for him soon, and see how he copes.

The Arsenal

How many times has been on form since we bought him. He was supposed to be an upgrade on Giroud where at the moment I cant see what he does better. I would put money on Giroud winning a foot race at the moment.

ElGunnerLoco

Still not missing Wenger?

No way would we be so shit with him at the helm.

Tribe

I believe with Wenger we could have been in a similar position but the main difference could’ve been that we all could see a beautiful football.

Roy

We played at a pedestrian pace and were picked off when Leicester upped the ante. We were careless in possession and for all the shots we had, we only occasionally looked like scoring after the ridiculous decision to disallow a goal because someone was on the keeper at a corner.Like Blogs I wonder why Lacazette stayed on so long not holding up the ball and giving away free kicks. What has Nelson done to be overlooked… because Pepe certaily isn’t cutting the mustard at the moment.

Salibaba and the Forty Thieves

Nelson didn’t cost 72 million in transfer fees.

If they played Reiss more as a starter or from the bench, the club would be admitting they wasted money carelessly. Like Chelsea with Kepa, Liverpool with Keita, it is something that we’ll (and United) inevitably have to do

Woolwich Shepherd

Manager 4/10. Absolutely outcoached by that chicklet-toothed Brendan Rodgers. He had a clear game plan and introduced Vardy at the right moment. I’m gonna get slammed for this rating but I don’t mind. I was frustrated with Arteta after this game and need to vent. No creativity. Switching things up front game after game. Why is Laca starting at striker? Ceballos pushed wide. No deliveries to Partey. Sideways passing. Subs all wrong. Can’t blame him for the injuries, but my goodness. Where’s AMN? Where’s Reiss Nelson?

Des Lynam

Arteta must be abjectly terrified by the fear of capitulation. He must think if we try to play, and take risks, we will expose ourselves to huge defeats. I can kind of see that. We are a football club in need of major surgery. Years of terrible transfer business, contract failures, and basically our whole coaching set up is catching up. The sad thing is, what with our owners being who they are, it will take a long time to fix this. The optimist in me says Arteta needs 3 more transfer windows, the pessimist says he will not be… Read more »

Monkey knees

The lack of DECENT creativity is glaringly obvious! Auba is our most lethal, potent finisher- play him as a striker! I’ve loved Laca for years, but he’s not cutting it right now. We all just KNEW that with us wasting our chances, and not being able to clinically break their 2 banks of 5, that they would nick it. They did. We have one of the best creative players we have ever had rotting away outside the squad, due to his religious beliefs. Disgusting .

Emery’s Facial Expressions

Playing Pepe and Laca and getting rid
of Özil for not fitting Arteta’s game plan – not to mention Mustafi while Holding and Saliba are available. … Whoever makes these decisions is full of shit. We obviously cannot create chances and there is no flow. Who instructs this team to hold the ball in midfield for the last ten minutes straight while we’re down 0-1 FFS?