Mikel Arteta says he can’t put his finger on why Arsenal were so bad against Aston Villa but he was aware from the moment the game kicked off that his players weren’t at the races.

The Gunners entered the game off the back of a heartening win over Manchester United and with the best defensive record in the league but were repeatedly torn to shreds by the visitors who ran out deserved 3-0 winners courtesy of Bukayo Saka’s own goal and Ollie Watkins brace.

After the game, the boss took responsibility for the result claiming it was the first time since he took over that he noticed a drop in the standards he expects.

“I don’t feel like we were the team we’re supposed to be,” he told his post-game press conference.

“We performed below our standards, our ability and I didn’t see the spirit for the first time that I have seen every day in training and every day when we compete.

“This is totally my fault, it is why I am here, I am responsible for that, to make sure the team performs and competes at the highest level every three days. Today I haven’t done that, so obviously it is my fault.

“It is very tough to find the reasons [for the performance]. I cannot say I have seen a change or this week that we have trained a different way. I would be lying if I said that. But obviously there was something there today that [Villa] wanted much more than us, and they showed it.

“At the end of the day, if you are late in ever decision you make, if you don’t win enough duels, if every second ball isn’t for us, you don’t show the quality with the ball, you cannot defend your box, and when you get chances you don’t even hit the target, it is a really complicated way to win football matches.”

It’s now six hours and 26 minutes since Arsenal scored from open play in the Premier League (stat via @Orbinho) and the lack of creativity in the final third is becoming a serious issue for the Spaniard to solve.

“That is something we have to improve on, to create as well,” he said.

“We need to be more ruthless, but again I wouldn’t like to [point at] anybody – today wasn’t about that, it was about how we went about the job and who we were as a team and what we were transmitting as a team.

“I didn’t like it from the first whistle, we conceded on a mistake and got away with the goal on VAR and afterwards it was just not good enough.”

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Tierneys tescobag

Its time for some serious change of tacticts and personel. This cant go on. Drop the underwhelming players and get in some young talent with something to prove. Willian and Laca out, Willock and Pepe in. And pleeease get Auba in center forward. Just try it

Chris

With Laca spurning so many chances, it seems odd not to put Auba in the middle. At this point, I honestly feel if we had resigned Giroud upfront instead of Willian, he’d be banging in Tierney’s crosses for fun. He’d also provide a nice wall for Pepe and Auba to bounce off. You cannot be creative without creative players, I don’t want to hark on about Ozil, but surely, having an asset like him even on the bench has to be an option? It’s truly f**king criminal to be paying someone that much money, contributed by fans and we have… Read more »

Alex

No attacking player is a defender or should be one as he’d be a bad one. Time to stop focusing on Ö so called lack of defensive quality and remember that under MA he was the player recovering most of the balls before Torreira in some games…

Johnny

Well said! Is Grealish defender. If he plays in a team like AV, I cannot see why Ozil cannot play in Arsenal with the right system

kesface

Comparing Grealish and contemporary Ozil is a joke. Grealish offers so much threat with his running with the ball, movement in behind combination play and intent. I wonder if everyone here claiming Ozil as some sort of balm to our attacking woes even remember the hollow husk of a player we have on our books. He is not the player he once was, statistically and via the eye test, he has declined sharply. He isn’t going to offer much of anything. He will just be another slow, overly deliberate cog in this passive team. I miss the player he was… Read more »

Luther

I keep making the same point to people. I don’t want Ozil to defend or tackle back, just like I don’t want Leno taking corners or Mustafi running down the wing, or my dentist mending my shoes or a shoe mender doing my root canals.

In Arse We Trust

that was gold

John C

Deary me this is nonsense.

Ozil hasn’t been preforming the primary function in the team for at least the past 2 season. He has a total of 4 assists in the last 2 years, his productivity has fallen off a cliff.

As for your useless analogy, my dentist had the decency to retire the moment he no longer wanted to give me a filling, maybe Ozil should do the same?!

Luther

Ozil’s productivity has fallen since he ceased to have a manager who would play him properly. Under Wenger, he was always in double figures for assists; even in Wenger’s worst season. Wenger’s successors, however, constantly substitute him at half-time or on the hour mark, or not play him at all. It’s a bit difficult to be creative when you’re playing just half or two thirds of a match; even harder when you aren’t even playing. You only knock my analogy because you’re not witty enough, yourself, to come up with anything as good. What if your dentist DOES want to… Read more »

John C

If he’s not performing in the time he gets given he’s then either subbed or not picked at all, thats how professional football works or can Ozil only be creative in the last 20-30 minutes of a match?

And I knock your analogy because it’s a load of bollocks. Ozil isn’t being left out because he’s being asked to do something outside his professional remit, he’s being left out because the manager feels he no longer performs his role to the acceptable standard.

Luther

But he would be performing if he were being played properly, like he was by Arsene Wenger. Wenger played him regularly and for the full ninety minutes, and Ozil was in double figures for assists; he hasn’t been since Wenger left. I’d trust the judgement of our greatest ever manager over that of his inferior successors.

loose_cannon

It’s not just that we didn’t keep Ozil in the squad, there’s lots of reasons for that happening and we don’t need to go over it again. But what’s truly astonishing is the reluctance to play attacking midfielders at all. It doesn’t have to be a no.10 per se, but someone willing to break the lines with and without the ball. Ceballos, who didn’t even start, seems to be being instructed to be more conservative, while Saka spends most of his time out wide. I thought Willian might be brought in for that role but he hasn’t been used that… Read more »

MaxB

Or just sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic for a year. That absolute winning mentality and mentoring for the young guys would be perfect. Slow and old as hell, still will make twice the amount of goals of Lacazette.

Heavenly Chapecoense

What did Ozil create in the Europa League final where it matters most and in other games? He was banned because of his disruptive attitude off the field.

Luther

I think you’ll find Ozil was one of our better players in that game, and he created a fair bit for Aubameyang and Lacazette, who were not very sharp that night – funny how no one blames them for going missing. Just because Martin Keown singled Ozil out straight after the final whistle, doesn’t make it true.
And his attitude off the field hasn’t been disruptive – you just made that up, because you’re a brainwashed tool.

loose_cannon

Surely we can’t go around calling each other “brainwashed” on here for having different opinions. That’s the second time I think I’ve seen you say that regarding Ozil recently.

Luther

Yes, and unlike last time, we have some great evidence supporting my claims right under our noses. I give you exhibit A: If you remember correctly, we lost that Europa League final, not because of Ozil – he was one of our better players; creating lots, but Aubameyang and Lacazette were not at their sharpest that night – but because of our defence, which capitulated after conceding against the run of play. That wasn’t Ozil’s fault, but Martin Keown (who clearly has it in for Ozil, and has sold out on our club for his media career) singled him out… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Another crock of absolute bullshit.

You Ozil Haters never cease to amaze with your never ending list of crimes that this guy has supposedly committed to warrant his exclusion.

You’re an absolute joke – all of you.

Karim

Honestly and tactically,Leno is one of the team’s problem.When he was injured Martinez proved capable to concede less goals than Leno,he was part of the team that won at least two trophies for the team.A very wise coach would have encouraged him to stay a start him more often and that puts Leno under pressure to improve on silly mistakes.Secondly , the team must have players that can bench under performing players like Auba,Laca and more,I mean” like for like players”.When a big guns do not fire, don’t hesitate to take them out immediately and bring in potential goals scorers.The… Read more »

Ayodele Akinsiku

Probably that might spark something but it’s not limited to a personnel issue. Arteta sets up his team to try and control games but that’s the wrong mentality. Yiu can’t control games when the opposite is content in staying behind the ball and hitting you on the counter.

IamaGoober

I don’t think it’s a question of that idea not being good enough. Of course we want to control games. But the thing is — you cannot control any game if you lose the battle in midfield. Yesterday, that’s exactly what happened, Villa had the same extra man in there. Then you add in someone like Grealish who can carry the ball past one or two players. We were always going to struggle with just Partey and Mo, and then Mo and Cellabos. They were totally swamped in there. Villa found it so easy to pick us off and I… Read more »

John C

I really don’t get this obsession with Willian, the fact is the right side of the pitch is the only semi-functioning attacking part of the team with 4 of our 6 assists coming down that side. The real problem is the “fluid” left hand side which is completely dysfunctional. Can someone please explain to me the following: What benefit do we get from Tierney constantly shifting from left centre back to left back to left wingback? What is Saka’s role in the team and how does it aid us either defensively or offensively? What benefits are we getting from Auba… Read more »

IamaGoober

I agree to an extent that Willian does provide us with some balance down that side. And he’s not the route cause of our problems. But yesterday he was diabolical. He wasn’t far off that away at United, although I appreciate he found the pass for Bellerins goal. I feel our whole front line needs refreshing. If we’re going to persist with an attacking 3. Then could we perhaps aim to put Pierre through the middle? And then flesh it out from there. It does mesmerise me somewhat that he have this absolute goal machine for a striker… that we’re… Read more »

John C

It’s don’t think it’s just that he brings balance, the numbers are clear, the right hand side has produced 4 assists and combined for a penalty, the left hand side 1 assist total. Now this is no a defence of Willian or a critique of Tierney, Saka and Aubamayeng, merely an observation that in my opinion that left hand side isn’t working. The system being used by Arteta is restricting those players and keeping them too far from areas that would see them being productive. We agree on switching Auba to the middle, but also push Saka further up the… Read more »

loose_cannon

The left hand side would have produced more assists with better finishing, Lacazette’s miss a prime example, but it’s true that there are issues there as well. And you’re right, I don’t totally understand what Saka is meant to be doing in attack. Aubameyang swinging in crosses on his left leg surely can’t be part of the plan either, it’s clearly not functioning. I partly agree on Willian being scapegoated. He’s not the prime reason for our woes, but perhaps he is a symptom of it. When he arrived I thought he was actually going to come in as a… Read more »

Qwaliteee

The ‘obsession’ with Willian is simple.

He’s an over the hill, over paid useless Chelsea reject who makes an absolute mockery of the omission of Mesut Ozil.

The numbers, results and table don’t lie. It’s a good job they don’t laugh as well.

John C

Considering that the “over the hill, over paid useless Chelsea reject” has twice as many assists in 8 games this season than Ozil got in the entirety of last makes a “mockery” of your own comment

Qwaliteee

When Willian has created as many assists as Ozil has for Arsenal, then come back to me.

In the meantime, how about giving us all a laugh with another one of your feeble arguments.

JazzAFC

Not sure how one can assist, if one isn’t playing !

John C

He’s not playing because he no longer provides assists whilst on the pitch, not vice versa

Jeremy

I had a bad feeling as soon as I saw an exasperated Tierney preparing to take a throw in after 10 seconds only to realise there was nobody to throw it to because everyone was stagnant. Cue the next game where we see exactly the same stubborn tactics, the same players in the same wrong positions and likely get the same performance. Oh and slow passes rolling across our 6 yard box – are they actually being coached to do this? Sort it out Mikel.

GHunner

Here’s a thought. Try being unpredictable and give the guys some freedom to express themselves.
I wonder how much of this dip in form coincides with the very public Özil spat just as in Emery’s time. Someone should look that up.

Alex

You’re someone

Fabulous

This is basically what we crucified Wenger for all those years. Our fan base is really something else when it comes to finding something to moan about. The team has been abysmal. For Arteta’s sake I hope he recognizes this and change things. In the interview above he seems to slightly single out Laca and Willian for not even finding the target with good chances – that could be a hint he wants to change it up. Give him a bit of time to work things out, I believe he’s earned that right. After 2 seasons and when it’s clearly… Read more »

Jules

You’ve got to sort things out quickly Mikel. I’m still behind you, as I’m sure most fans are, I get that it is a process that takes time, and so far there have been enough positives and changes that you deserve our backing, but it’s time for an upwards trajectory now no question about it. Performances against Villa and Leicester were woeful. Something about the Villa game struck me: the faces of the players during the match looked mighty similar to their faces under Emery. don’t let that happen Mikel, for the first time in years it felt like our… Read more »

Futsboller

The problem is that our next game is Leeds, a team that plays at 110% and goes for it all. Sadly, it’s a game fit for our conservative approach, for while Leeds aren’t a big club they do try to play like one (unlike us at the moment). This Villa game was the one to change things up, to reward players like Willock and Aubameyang (i.e., let him be a striker for a match!), and send the team out to attack and overwhelm. Instead, we played the same game we played against United, and Villa walked right through it. It… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

But Laca recovered so many balls last week against Man United. How can the manager foresee that he would be as shit as he was against Villa?

Futsboller

Because Aston Villa are not Manchester United, the game was at home and now away at Old Trafford, and the team’s focus should have been aggressive pressing and possession, creating chances and overloading a team visiting the Emirates with the firepower that we do, actually, possess, but don’t seem to use effectively. In a game like yesterday’s, for Laca to be effective, he needs to be getting the ball just inside the box, in his feet, so he can do what he does best: one touch, swivel, score. Otherwise, if you don’t plan on creating multiple chances of that kind,… Read more »

AussieGooner

This worries me, a lot. He is saying the team is fine, just the performance that was poor? They weren’t motivated sufficiently or something? No Mikel, you chose the same team, and the same system, that you used to steal a win away at Old Trafford last week to play a home game against Villa. I keep hearing about how clever you are playing the opponents, choosing a plan carefully for each game yet my eyes tell me you just load up our defence, at the expense of an attacking midfielder and play our forwards out of position, and pick… Read more »

Tanned arse

I agree, the message I take from this that it was the attitude and drive of the players today, not the structure, set-up or approach play. Even if it was an attitude problem where players have eased off then the obvious consideration is that the competition for players (which seemed more based on merit when he first came in) has disappeared. Players know if they’re playing well. If they keep getting selected after poor showings then that message has a negative effect on both that player and also those fighting to take his place. Complacency sets in and probably a… Read more »

Alex

We have always had an issue with the psychology of not being the underdog (on paper)

Gilz

I don’t want to talk about arsenal today

Twatsloch

One thing this club has to get a grip on are these insane contracts with players not worth half the money they’re on. Do that and I reckon that’s a big part of the battle won right there.

Deano

Willian’s pension being one of them. Should have avoided that deal and played our youngsters instead.

Twatsloch

He’s the latest and to me the most unsavoury example of how our club is being milked by agents courtesy of the people in charge at the moment. But the problem of overpaying players has been going on for a long time now. We have a load of players on our payroll who are decent enough for other leagues and we can’t let them go due to no club being able to pay their wages. So what do we do? Some go on loan where we still have to cover parts of their wages, some sit unused, others hobble on… Read more »

Biggles

There’s little real room for manoeuvre, I fear. We failed to shift many of the players we wanted to in the last window. It’s highly unlikely we’ll be able to move many, more probably any, of them in January when football finances generally will be worse after more months of Covid-related empty stadiums, lower commercial income etc. As a club, we were in a “tricky” financial position before the season started and the transfers during the last window cannot have made that position better. As we know, there were large increases in the wage budget for Willian and Auba and… Read more »

Twatsloch

But that’s just it! When do we stop overpaying players so we don’t find ourselves in this situation in the future?

Biggles

Good point. We certainly need a much more rigorous contract negotiation approach.

John C

The problem, as i’ve always said, is that we’ve been a top 5-10 club in the world and for too long weren’t prepared to pay top 5-10 transfer fees but still ended up paying top 5-10 wages.

For too long we had a manager that was obsessed with “value” rather than quality.

What financial position we’re in now i’m not 100% sure but had we embraced our place in the footballing hierarchy years ago a lot of this would have been avoided, but moving forward the focus must be on quality rather than price.

Twatsloch

We need to get the flow going again. Players come, they work out or don’t work out so the latter category is moved on and replaced by new ones in an endles cycle.

The way things are now we’re just constipated.

John C

You have to accept that very few clubs can pay our wages so buying second best isn’t an option.

First question the club needs to ask itself before signing a player is are they good enough, you worry about the cost after that

Twatsloch

My whole point is that we need to bring wages down so we can get rid of the players who don’t work out. As long as we have 5-10 players of no use to us earning two/three times their actual value we’ll always be hampered in the transfer market.

Twatsloch

Like for example paying that fucking Willian 250k a week for three years. Who the fuck thought that was good value for money?

Well we all know who. But why? Why did that happen and is it going to be allowed to happen again? Because as long as it does we’ll continue to be lumbered with players who add nothing but a hefty wage bill every week.

If nothing is done to close that running faucet then not even the best coach in the world is going to get this club anywhere we want it to be

John C

I think we’re saying the same thing in a different way. We can afford our wage bill, thats what we have to accept, we just have to allocate those wages to better players. If a player is on 250, 300, or 350 grand a week, they have to be giving us performances that reflect that. Now the reason we’re paying Willian £250k a week is because we’ve historically spent our transfer funds poorly and bought players no other club with an equivalent budget wants so we’ve been unable to generate the required transfer funds to buy better. So back to… Read more »

Joseph Kawooya

This is what Arsene would reason out, I wonder why you have dislike for a like mind of your own.

John C

Top trolling, but it isn’t otherwise we would have no trouble selling the likes of Ozil or Mustafi

Qwaliteee

And what about the loan repayments to an absent billionaire owner? Just screw the cost and mount the debt up, right?

As for second best ‘not being an option’, you prefer Willian to Ozil. 🤣

Qwaliteee

Heh. Try telling that to Kroenke.

Then again, he probably doesn’t give a shit, because he’s only dishing out loans that somewhere down the line have to be paid back. The ultimate mercenary.

John C

I’m not sure what you’re talking about but Arsenal have historically had no problem paying their wages.

I believe last season we had the 4th highest wage bill along with Chelsea, the issue is clearly not one of being able to afford wages but what the club gets in return of the wages they pay

Qwaliteee

Heh. Another one of your veiled digs at Wenger.

The reason why he had to choose value was because we were funding a new stadium. A stadium that, thanks to Kroenke’s reluctance to put his hand in his eight time billionaire pocket, is something we still haven’t finished paying off.

John C

It’s not thinly veiled at all, i make no secret that i think Wenger management in his final 12-14 years was short sighted and has set the club back years

Francesc

Auba is only as good as the chances he gets. Truly elite strikers – Henry, Van persie, Kane, Rooney, Suarez etc. make things happen on their own and score the half chances as well. Big teams need big players to bail them out sometimes when the team is struggling. With auba that rarely happens (except the fa cup final and semi final). He is going to be a liability in his third season if not earlier.

NaanBread

I feel the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Is he a Kane or Salah? Definitely not. But he has scored from half chances plenty of times. And I think that was a given when he was brought. He wasn’t a forward that nutmegs and zigzags his way through defenders (Salah) or kills half of them with a great touch and a quick powerful shot(Kane) – he has always been someone who applies the finishing touch to any move with his pace, positioning and instincts. And looking at the state of team now, he won’t click unless he starts getting… Read more »

Francesc

Agreed that positioning is his main strength. But even Salah and Kane have that plus they have other attributes you mentioned. I dont think he has scored that many half chances. 8 of his 22 goals last season came against relegated Norwich and Watford and only 3 against the Big 6. I just feel that he is not in the same game-changer category as the players I mentioned above. Either he needs to do more or we just wasted another 400k per week to add to the 350k and 72m. A club like Arsenal cant afford that.

Matt P

There’s been some dodgy/ fucken poor transfer decisions. I have long maintained that we’ve had some dodgy charlatans dominating our management structure, thankfully most if not all of them seem to have been cleaned out but the damage has been done with some mediocre signings at excessive cost.

Yes. Thankfully most are gone. Just Edu (responsible for Willian & Cedric) is the last man standing.

Tick tock tick tock.

thw14

The Willian contract is crap. It was crap at the time, it looks even more crap now. Here’s the thing though – the contract doesn’t dictate playing time (as we know from at least one annoyingly PR-obsessed case). I don’t care if Willian stays here a full three years on ridiculous wages – congrats to him and his agent, and our skint owner can afford that and more. But there is no reason to play him, when we have TWO promising if incomplete young options there. If he has to be anything, he can be third choice CAM, behind Ceballos… Read more »

Twatsloch

We can’t have multiple useless players sitting on contracts that make it impossible to sell them on.

The_Golden_Wrigglesworth

Gunnersaurus didn’t die for this.

https://imgflip.com/i/4lmuzw

Twatsloch

Gunnersaurus was about to be saved by Özil but the gods said no.

Biggles

Where is he now? Can anything be salvaged? (Gunnersaurus, not Özil).

StockholmGooner

He’ll be back when the fans are back… Follow the news not the hysteria.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Hard to tell them apart sometimes these days

Qwaliteee

Another cheap Ozil pop.

Pathetic.

Name*

This was exactly what klopp said after that 7-2 loss. Anyone with two eyes and a functioning brain can see that the Auba on left, Willian-shoehorned-into-squad experiment, just isn’t working. Every time we start to think that the leaf has turned, and we can build momentum, such a game comes along. how can we not accuse him of Emerying through games? This is just like Torreira at no. 10 Just like OGS, who occasionally gets United to produce a performance, so also is the case with Arteta this season. The honesty stuff is irritating now. Would rather see a performance… Read more »

Name*

As someone who doesn’t care for Özil in the squad, I would rather have him than Willian. The latter has worked out in only one game till now. It was the shittiest signing the club could have made this summer

Biggles

Well, we employed Willian – a player over 30 – on a long-term contract, at a high wage. He therefore has little/no sell on value. If things don’t go well on the pitch, then that’s a recipe for potential disaster. I guess that, in fairness, the jury is still out on Willian given he hasn’t been with us that long. We’ll get a better idea come the New Year. I don’t think he’ll be leaving any time soon though.

Name*

To be frank, the Willian deal reeks of the same insipidity that the signing of Cech did. Cech was good with us. It confounds me how we end up gobbling up Chelsea’s leavings.

Biggles

Chelsea have been very good at disposing of various players to us when they’ve calculated (usually correctly) that said players are past their best or at least getting there. Unfortunately, it’s an indication (one of several) of the change in the balance of power between the two clubs.

Name*

This doesn’t mean I am rooting for Özil, just that what’s sauce for Özil ought to be sauce for Willian

Francesc

There were calls of sacking Klopp in 2016. Look where they are now.

Biggles

True. There’s little prospect of sacking Arteta – certainly this season anyway. That would be too much like Man Utd after Ferguson and the current backroom team/owners have too much invested in him to let him go – it wouldn’t look good, would it.

Name*

Nobody wants Arteta sacked. This transition from Wenger to post-Wenger has been mishandled enough already, and sacking Arteta isn’t the answer at all. He will be supported at least till the end of next season. The issue is that we would like to see a proper, even obvious reaction, to this abject defeat. If it is the same choice regarding the attack again, then it will be bad, but there’s little we as fans can do about it but whine on Twitter since the grounds are empty. One hopes certainly that it isn’t the way someone shouted at Bellerin –… Read more »

Francesc

Truly elite players like KDB, David Silva, Harry Kane, Mane, Salah, Hazard, Van Persie, Suarez, etc. make things happen out of nowhere..

All big successful teams have at least one such player. In spite of all the spending, we dont have even one.

Chris

I don’t know mate, Auba has scored a lot from nothing for us. Unfortunately he’s just shoved out on the left wing to accommodate another guy who misses a lot more than he scores. The trouble is, efficiency, because we don’t create that many chances the ones we do need to be slotted home. Where in lies the problem, the person on the end of these chances needs 4/5 to score.

Francesc

I agree bro that going to the left has affected him. But look at players like Kane, Mane, Van Persie, Suarez.. they make chances on their own, even if the team around is not playing well. Whenever they have the ball you feel/felt something will happen. Can you say the same about Auba? Big successful clubs need big players as much as they need tactics and good coaching. Unfortunately all our big attacking signings have not been able to do that.. laca, auba, pepe.. sanchez came the closest.

Lacazette is one of the most wasteful finishers I’ve seen in an Arsenal shirt. He’s definitely worse than Giroud in my eyes now

However all strikers waste more than they score. Mbappe and Vardy have leading conversion rates of about 30%

Laca New Signing

You didn’t watch Emmanuel Adebayor then? 😁

KC Yeo

Reason why Giroud in is the blue shirt and Laca is not . Yet we sell Giroud and buy Laca

Francesc

Emi Martinez – Best Arsenal player on the pitch last night

AussieGooner

I’m not sure why the downvotes to be honest. He kept a clean sheet at The Emirates, something Leno hasn’t managed to do so far this season.

Their third goal was created by him, the same move he pulled a few times for us last season. He takes the ball, looks up, sees a player on the run and gets it to him.

I will take that any day over our current tactic of ignoring our forward runs and just playing a pass to Holding on the edge of our own area.

Ayodele Akinsiku

If Arteta is gonna be truthful to himself , then this is not the first time his team will start games switched off. The signs have been there for a loooong time and I am glad this happened.

BelgianGunner

“Performance levels”? The tactics are wrong, the selection is wrong. I’d rather lose with Willock and Nelson than with overpaid underperformers like Laca and Willian and play some attacking football.
Albert Einstein: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

Jon

Before the Villa game, I had the feeling that it will be a very tough game. This is based on our record with team that park the bus against us. If you look at the way we played and results that came with it: 1) Results improve facing top 6 or team that come to us with structured play and counter. 2) Results are ok with weaker team from weaker league (Europa). 3) Results within EPL with team that park the bus and better than Europa (group) quality are mediocre. All this points to we are a structured team, with… Read more »

afl

only that Villa didn’t park the bus but have outplayed and outperformed usin everyaspect of the game.

this one has nothing to do with ‘low block’ or whatever tactical nuance, it is just a case of overpaid bunch of players that are comfortable with ocasionaly delivering averag EPL performance and the club and manager(s) are letting it go through without reaction.

kind of pitty for the club that has such youth prospects.

Henry

If I believe Ozil is not good enough then what is the point to start Lacca and Willian?

Francesc

Bro the reason ozil is dropped is not due to lack of quality but because he doesnt suit the coach’s style of play which demands high pressing and high work rate. Do you think he can get into klopp’s or Pep’s teams?

Pau

Francesc, please!

afl

DO YOU REALLY THINK WE PLAY HIGH PRESSING 😆

KC Yeo

More like being pressed

A P

Our style is high pressing and high work rate?

Jeez, I didn’t know that!

Emery and MA play defensive. That’s their style, not creative flair. That’s why Ozick doesn’t fit into their style.

And with a dog like Laca, it’s no wonder assists are low!

Qwaliteee

Is that the kind of ‘high pressing’ and ‘high work rate’ exhibited by Willian in the run up to Saka’s own goal…?! 🤣

Matt P

Good on him for taking full responsibility.
But I also feel he’s dug his own hole here to some extent, with some quite stubborn and conservative decision making.

Lady Gooner

The Auba Laca Willian experiment has failed. Laca hasnt been at the races for a while and Willian looks like his race is run. We all worried about him hetting a huge contract. Looks like those worries were completely warranted, except his drop off came immediately and not in a year or so as we thought. We are slow and plodding upfrobt. Can rarely spring a quick attack. I know the likes of Willock, ESR and Reiss Nelson are young, but id sooner see them flop than watch Willian do so. At least they have a future and are still… Read more »

Fatgooner

I finally got to see some highlights(?) from the Villa game and they were shocking. We looked dreadful. That was a real horror show. Arteta is wrong to blame himself. The problem we have is pretty simple really: we just don’t have enough quality in the squad. We only have one world class player in Aubameyang. The two new arrivals Partey and Gabriel would probably get into any top-6 team. Then the likes of Leno and Tierney are above average and worth their places in the first team. And that’s about it. Mediocre players like Holding, Bellerin and Lacazette are… Read more »

Elliott

Said it all mate.

Appels&Pere

The idea of Lacazette starting another game makes me nauseous. The hunger and energy Pepe and Nketiah introduced was instant. Laca hasn’t shown any of that in weeks. rant over.

Twatsloch

I’d love it if we found a nice French club for him to see his footballing days out. Preferably with a little bit of money coming our way.

And that is probably the best we can hope for right now.

Zenithreptile

What about a nice paddock to romp around in and eat hay while he waits to get aboard a big truck due for the dog food factory?

In Arse We Trust

I don’t think Lacazette remembers whether he is a n9 a false n9 or a n10. Our lack of creativity in the middle of the park has completely disrupted this player. The big issue today is that Laca does not do any of these roles correctly nowadays.. Let have him take a long big rest, watch videos of himself as a kid so he can reconnect with his true self. Here is what I would do going forward. I want a fucking n10 in the team. We keep playing against teams sitting deep (destroying us on transition). We need creativity,… Read more »

I get that Saka is a bright young prospect from our academy but it’s okay to admit he had a bad game yesterday.

How many passes did he over hit yesterday, how many foot races did he lose and he doesn’t have the stature for duels yet.

As for Ceballos playing no.10, Emery tried that last season unsuccessfully. It got to a point where Dani wanted to cut his loan short. I agree he should be playing so low but he doesn’t have enough goals in him to be a no.10

Appels&Pere

I dont think the issue with Laca is the creativity from the midfield. When Auba plays central he opens the defense, his movement creates gaps which in turn allows midfileders to take advantage and feed that gaps. When Laca is given a ball, either his first touch is way to heavy or he goes down hoping to get a freekick.

Pat Fried Rice with Egg

It seems Arteta is hell bent on having players fit into the system.

Sometimes, I reckon, he needs the system to fit the players he has at his disposal.

This is giving me Wenger flashbacks

Chopra_gooner

Stop playing 3 CBs, revert back to 4-3-3, play Aubameyang through the middle with Saka and Pepe, in midfield Partey, Elneny and Ceballos, in defence Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel and Tierney. Give it a run of a few games at home and wins will start coming. The 3 CBs formation should be played away against top teams only. Willian has not had a proper pre season, this argument does not hold water any more. He should be benched and Lacazette too. Willock and Nelson should be more involved in EPL. Arteta should not make the same mistakes that Emery made by… Read more »

AussieGooner

We can all see this. Why is it so obvious to us and yet Arsenal Football Club is stuffed full of experienced coaches and ex players watching something completely different?

It is really fucking me off to be honest. Does it really look that different with a view from the touchline?

Matt P

Edu is the latest in a long line of phoneys. Can we get some authentic people oozing credibility, or is that too much to ask?
All started with that cunt Gazidis.

karl

It cannot constantly be Arteta’s fault that they never perform. Taking the blame is laudable, but pointless if they do not change.

Arteta’s fault is investing heavily in the likes of Willian, Soares and Mari.

Qwaliteee

Arteta’s fault is omitting Mesut Ozil.

End of story.

jon

At their second goal, Eddie was following Ross Barkley into the box, but didn¨t challenge, probably out of fear of making a penalty. But what did Eddie do there in the first place? The setup of the team doesn’t seem right. To look at it impassionatly, one could say that Arteta moved the team up the pitch towards the end, in an attempt to get a goal, but got two against instead. Such things happen, but this feels like a very bad loss. It’s on the first page om my list of worst Arsenal losses ever. It feels like Arsenal… Read more »

SGP_GNR

That’s the same question I’ve asked myself re: other managers… So far, we’ve had three different managers in charge of numerous players of varying competence over the last few seasons, but these different teams still have no idea how to play football. It just looks like the players are happy to be well paid but can’t be bothered to show their worth. This utter lack of respect to club and fans has been going on for too long. it doesn’t look like anything will change at this club. Maybe it’s the water at the Emirates. Maybe the club should change… Read more »

Rosa

We had players with total respect for the club and fans in Ramsey and Martinez and let them go. Tierney is the only one of who’s left I’d put in that bracket. Too soon to tell with Gabriel and Partey. As for the rest agree.

karl

This team never springs into action until it is late in the game. They seem intent on passing in an arc around the back until a mistake is made.

I miss that incisive attacking team that would score a few and then be able to take it easy.

loose_cannon

Our most fluid performance this season in terms of chance creation has to be the second half against Sheffield United. We had Aubameyang central, with Willian, Pepe, Ceballos and Saka all on the pitch at the same time. I think that’s a blueprint we can build on. Maybe drop Willan, bring in one of Nelson, Willock or ESR (remember him??).

Hopefully this is the wakeup call Arteta needs to sort this out, we’ve not been good enough in attack all season and the United game conned us. Time to rip it up and start over.

Tony Hall

Please bench Laca and Willian, stick Auba in the middle and give some of youngsters a chance!

Santori

Auba is not the answer. This is lazy thinking.

1) He is poor in congestion and holding the ball up under duress in the box.

2) he is himself spurning chances at the moment and scored less than Laca.

3) He profits most from left channel where he can run into the ball and be afforded opportunity for manouver. He does not have decent close control and is best played with the ball rolled in front of him, that requires space.

Biggles

I think it will come down to how flexible, or not, Arteta is prepared to be or can be. With hindsight (always a wonderful thing), we probably got too carried away with his appointment (popular ex-player returns, replacing a failing manager in Emery etc.) – and winning the FA Cup helped to cement that. The reality was/is that this is his first job actually in charge. Being No. 2 to Pep at City for three years is not the same thing. Arteta came straight from that assistant role to manage a “big” club, albeit not a very successful one in… Read more »

Santori

I said it when he was appointed that he is NOT the second coming and that his inexperience may cost us at least in short term. One thing coming up with tactics under Pep’s shadow and with a team stacked with technical merchants thanks to a large budget. another to work with an imbalance team at Arsenal lacking technical magicians we have neglected to add when opportunity arose – Mahrez, Ziyech, Aouar. Yet insist on playing as if we have these players to do so threading intricate passes from the back. nor has he been entirely successful with man management… Read more »

StockholmGooner

I’m starting to feel disdain towards Lacazette and that’s down to Arteta picking him when he’s clearly not good enough. Effin and Jeffin his name as I was I felt toxic and it’s not something I’d do around people or at him.. but not something I want to do in my jammies at home either.

goonero

Who else’s fault is it meant to be? If you’re “standard” system creates less than 1xg per game from open play over a 30 game sample size then you’re standard is shit. So when you’re already shit standard has an “off day” you’re looking at even fouler shit.

The baseline level that this team plays at is simply not good enough and whatever about talent, that’s on the manager. It’s not about effort or desire, these players have shown time and again that they’d give their utmost for Arteta. Hes

Santori

Absolutely. Too many people prefer to cast blame on Lacazette. They would have blamed Xhaka or Mustafi but they were not on p[itch and we still slipped 3 goals. We have Holding, Magalhaes and Tierney (no KOla) and we still slip goals. Elephant in the room., Nothing fundamentally has changed. We are in 12 spot at the moment. I don’t think Emery was even this poor last season. Too many fans bleated on about change and Arsene and how it can only get better. They weren’t happy with 4th spot (or 5th) all the time. I cautioned it could also… Read more »

Joseph Kawooya

I would say the weather was a major factor in that game esp as our aerial game is subpar. I realises why Arteta starts Willian over Pepe, those two last goals conceded. Berellin has been good but we surely will do better with a motivated passionate version of a AMN. And lord Xhaka still has his priority spot in the team. Expecting another year of Europa, shape out the squad. The imagination is we have to wait on Martinelli to see Auba in the striker roll. We have no No.10 and he is the only one to carry that RW… Read more »

jon

I cannot see us making the Europa league this season, seriously not.

Sir John King

Aston Villa are a good side. Arsenal are not. Villa would have been relegated just a few months ago if not for us welcoming them to 3 points. Now they are looking like top 6 contenders, and we look far from it. Has their recruitment since July been so much better than ours, or is their coaching so much better than ours? They have taken big steps these last months and Arsenal just haven’t. I really thought we would see Arteta starting to demonstrate the kind of style and approach we are to play. Instead we got – and this… Read more »

Santori

Villa are also fairly erratic as many teams this season. BUT they really bought well in summer balancing out their squad. And they’ve turn the team around toward being more competitive in a very short time where many Arsenal fans prefer to bleat on about giving Arteta time because he is the messiah or something. That said Villa have far more humble assets than Arsenal but they are playing simple footy and going direct with intent to hurt and leveraging on their best asset their attack where we are over fussy and slow. Ollie Watkins has been a real relevation.… Read more »

Philip Visser

I see lots comment about tactics, attack, vs defense, midfield intracacies and so forth. All valid for a while now and in sharp focus after the humiliation of last night. My concern is about the basics, school boy stuff. Auba forgot what a first touch is to control the ball, Lacs needs to double the size of the goals to score from 5m out, Saka gives the ball away just when he looks promising, Bellerin can’t cross to save his life, has lost his pace, and is a featherweight defender against quality attackers,. And then there’s Willian. Disinterested, lazy, static,… Read more »

Biggles

I deduce from your comments that you are, what our beloved Prime Minister would call, a “Gloomster”. I thought that the pitch was looking OK last night.

Qwaliteee

Calling someone else a ‘Gloomster’ is a bit rich coming from you, Biggles my old son.

Half the time on here, you make Mourinho look like the Laughing Policeman.

Craig Velociraptor

Good to see that the bloggers Willian agenda has been embraced by the followers.

As if Pepe is the answer.

#define

Contrary to popular opinions here, I don’t think Auba is a traditional center forward. He is not a back to the goal type of a player who wins headers and sets up team mates. He has traditionally used his speed and size to get around players, not force the issue.
Lacs, for all his faults, is a guy who likes to mix it up in the middle.
IMO, If we use Auba in that role, we are setting him up for failure.

#define

And I don’t know why my gravatar is saying FU in mirror text, Not my intent , I assure you all 🙂

Clay

We are failing right now with him on the wing, what do we have to lose if he goes in the middle?

Santori

I agree Auba is not good in the middle of the forward line. This is rubbish spewed by certain media people. 1) Auba does not protect the ball well enough. he is poor competing for high balls with back to goal and he is not strong enough on the ball in congestion. 2) Auba benefits most from left channel where he runs in with sufficient real estate to score many goals 3) Auba does not have sufficient close control to play in the middle. He tends to be best when given the ball in front of him which he won’t… Read more »

#define

Clay, good point, though I feel that we may ding his flailing confidence.

Almunia4Pires

Meanwhile, Villareal are second in La Liga. Just saying.

KC Yeo

I hate these ball played from the back. Slow the game down and all the risky passing.

jon

Long balls from the goalkeeper are even more prone to be intercepted by the enemy. But Arsenal’s players have not practiced playing out from the back sufficiently. They are generally not good without the ball, a problem that has affected the team for years.

btw

Should have played AMN to shadow Grealish all game. We had no plan to deal with Villas most dangerous player.

czerwonadupa

Could someone please explain to me why after offering a 32 year old a 3 year contract @ £200K a week it was necessary to give half the money received from the sale of Martinez, £10M to get said player to sign this over generous contract? Over pay by £20M at least for a player & then pay an agent not representing either club or player millions? And for what exactly? How many players did Wenger get rid of because he would only offer a 30 year old a year extension? And then give a 30 year old a 3… Read more »

SGP_GNR

Follow the money…

Santori

More people here making excuses for Arteta he isn’t making for himself. Many trying to put blame on Laca like they did with Giroud. Auba isn’t scoring either nor is his hold up play particularly good enough to play through the middle. This is a lame excuse to pin fault conveniently. Fact is we are slow and insipid in transition still. Lucky victory over an erratic United side and over minnows in europa cover up major issues. Midfield is bereft of ideas without Ceballos as a third man. Forward players tend to stick on a row instead of make movement… Read more »

Scotty

Basically we’ve gone back to the end of the Wenger era, where we constantly pass side to side, with absolutely no incisiveness or penetration. Aston Villa and Leicester were constantly trying to run it or pass it through our defence. Yeah, 4 out of 5 times it doesn’t get through, but the one time it does they’ve created a chance. Passing it around for 10 minutes while the opposition is has 8 or 9 men in and around the penalty box, then just lumping it in to a striker that a) rarely gets on the end of it, and b)… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Towards the end of Arsene’s reign, we were still scoring goals. Check out the results. It was because of Mustafi and Co shipping so many at that back that we were struggling so much.