Report: Southampton 1 – 0 Arsenal (inc. goals)

186

Result: Southampton 1 – 0 Arsenal
Competition: FA Cup
Date: 23 January 2021
Venue: St Mary’s Stadium

Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Cedric, Elneny, Xhaka, Willian, Pepe, Martinelli, Nketiah

Subs: Runarsson, Ryan, Chambers, Luiz, Maitland-Niles, Partey, Willock, Saka, Lacazette


Arsenal’s defence of the FA Cup title ended in an uninspiring manner against Southampton in a 1-0 loss. Southampton scored from a cross that deflected off Gabriel.

Southampton deserved the win as they played with vigour against a slow and sluggish Arsenal side.

Pre-Game

Aubameyang and Tierney were given a break from match day duties and in their place, Nketiah and Cedric lead the line and play at left back respectively. Martinelli added youthful energy down the left wing while Willian and Pepe were given a chance to play themselves into form.

New loan signing, Ryan, made the bench.

First Half

The home side started the game energetically, pegging back Arsenal in their penalty box for most of the first few minutes. The Gunners were given a scare when Ward-Prowse caught them unaware at a corner, whipping his delivery against the crossbar.

Arsenal soon got to grips with the pace of the game, dominating possession but struggled to create too many purposeful moves into the final third with Willian playing in the centre of the park.

It was no surprise that the first big chance of the game came to Southampton’s Che Adams. The forward knocked the ball past Gabriel a little too easily on the counter and lashed the ball low towards the far post. Leno had to be sharp to palm the ball away.

Martinelli responded with a little quick thinking himself, beating the home defence during a free kick routine and received the ball in acres of space. Unfortunately he rushed his shot with his left foot despite having more time than he realised.

Arsenal’s lethargy cost them on the 23rd minute with Southampton taking the lead. The home side had too much time to distribute the ball and moved it to Kyle Walker-Peters on Arsenal’s left. His low driving cross went through Cedric’s legs and deflected off Gabriel, catching Leno off guard as it sneaked under him for the first goal of the game. Southampton 1 – 0 Arsenal (Gabriel own goal)

The goal seemed to provide the home side with energy as they tested Arsenal within minutes after. Ward-Prowse’s long range strike glided just past the post while Bellerin had to be quick just minutes later to block Ing’s dangerous volley in the box.

The rest of the half did not provide much more opportunities for both parties and Arsenal looked disjointed and sluggish. Pepe was often stranded on the right while Nketiah often abandoned his place at the tip of the attack to get a touch of the ball in midfield.

The teams went into the locker rooms with an energetic and vibrant Southampton deserving the lead.

Second Half

Arsenal’s sluggish play continued and it almost cost them a second goal. Both Arsenal central defenders were caught napping on the 49th minute when Southampton floated in a ball in behind for Ings who finished powerfully. His effort hit the post and deflected off Leno to go out, only to be called for offside.

At this point, the home side had 9 efforts on goal to Arsenal’s paltry 3.

Annoyed with Arsenal’s tepid display, Arteta called on the heavy hitters, Partey and Saka, for Martinelli and Elneny on the 56th minute. That change energised the team with Nketiah’s effort deflected in the box after a clever back heel from Pepe. The resulting corner then saw Holding waste an effort in kicking the ball high over the bar when he should have done better in hitting the target.

Arteta’s final throw of the dice involved Lacazette coming on for Bellerin on 70 minutes, Cedric moved to right back and Saka at left back. This pushed Southampton back with Arsenal bossing possession but the Gunners found it hard to break down the home rear guard.

The closest Arsenal got to scoring was from a nice interchange of passes outside the box between Lacazette and Pepe. Pepe’s tame attempt at goal was parried into Nketiah’s path. The striker side footed the ball only for a defender to kick it off the line and for the referee to call for offside on Pepe.

The final minute saw one last chance for Nketiah but he shanked his half volley wide – a very apt representation of the off colour performance by the Arsenal.

They have to do much better in the same fixture in a few days time if they’re looking to gain a result against the Saints.

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Johnny 4 Hats

Positives – Partey was comfortably the best player on the pitch. And he’s the best player on most pitches since his return. Negatives – Everything else. I’ll be very interested to see the ‘by the numbers’ article because I swear I’ve never seen more unforced errors by a team before. Passing atrocious. Finishing atrocious. Crossing atrocious. Decision making atrocious. Communication atrocious. Not a single player on that field will have given Arteta a thing to think about regarding his next team selection. On the contrary, it has just l rubber stamped many of their complete mediocrity. If we lose Balogun… Read more »

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Arteta is the problem. And because he went on a good run after being forced to play ESR everyone thinks it’s all good.

He persists with terrible players who should never play for us again.

mjc1892

What choice does he have..? We can’t play the same XI every game at the moment. We’ve gotta hope every time our second string step on the field a miracle is gonna happen. Fact is, we have far too many players that simply aren’t good enough (Nketiah) or who almost certainly are but don’t care (Willian).

David Hilliers Arm Cast

There are other options he has, he doesn’t use them. Where is Nelson? I would rather have seen Willock out there.

RedHotHornBlower

Then you would have complained that Nelson and Willock were shit and shouldn’t have played in a Cup game.

Krumphax

Yeah, ESR, Tierney, Saka were the players, that made us dynamic. Without them, you see most of the players, that underperformed before christmas. And as many said, if you bunch up all of them into one side, this performance comes out. Putting Nelson or Willock into that most certainly wouldn’t have changed that. What is up with Ceballos? I think he would have made a realy difference with Xhaka. But that is in the past. I think the project Willian and mostly Willian as a 10 has failed. The difference between ESR and Willian in the same position on the… Read more »

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Huge difference between young up and coming players having a bad game than two experienced internationals who don’t give a poo!

ALEXISANTISAKANELLI

ARTETA needs to be fired he threw the league cup away with a weak selection and he’s done it again in the fa cup. I said earlier that the fa cup should be taken seriously as ti could get us back to Europe if we don’t do well in the league and he’s basically sacrificed the cup for the league what if we come short given we are so far behind in the league?? Arteta would be to blame and rightly so

Non flyong dutchman

Southampton are a good side and you cant win them all… let alone knowing that Wolves would then lay in store

Look at the February fixture list with the Benefica ties. Frankly we dont need the cup this year. Its ours.We will it again when we next need to. Europa and the league has to be the focus.

Utrerly ridiculous to accuse Arteta of disrespecting a cup competition he has led us to win as both captain and coach.

Krumphax

Beeing happy to throw it away in any sense for me is unaccaptable. Do you know for sure, that will win it again? We couldn’t reach the final once in 9 years, because we did not take it serious and almost failed against Hull so don’t be so sure. But I accept the fact, that we are out of the cup. But what it now does, is adding a lot of pressure on the league. I want to win the EL, but there is even less reason to think we will win that, than qualifying for Europe through the league.… Read more »

Canadagoon

Too many of y’all are tripping, if Mikel plays our best XI in the domestic cups and the few good players we have get injured you’d scream for his head. We simply lack squad depth to compete on all fronts. We’ve won the FA Cup a lot lately, it’s been fun but time to move on. Finishing in Europe in the league is not out of the question if we focus there. If we focus on Europa as well maybe that’s an unlikely shot at Champions League. The club clearly felt FA Cup early round fixture is much further down… Read more »

jimbo

we dont lack depth we lack quality mainly because the last 3 or 4 windows we have signed a load of rubbish and despite having no midfielders arteta shipped out guendouzi and torreria

miike

Elneny was ball watching a lot today, but they wouldn’t have made a difference either on attack. Guendouzi likes to hold the ball and would’ve been dispossessed by soton’s press. Torreira was starting for atletico when they got knocked out in their cup competition by a 2nd tier side. It’s funny how our players are suddenly better when they aren’t on the pitch for us. our problem was that tierney and ESR needed a rest and we don’t have 3 bukayo sakas to use (luckily we’re on the look out for rotation options for them). cedric is very much not… Read more »

Ordnance Dave

Mikel got that line-up completely wrong today. A potential trophy gone, so we can finish 8th instead of 12th in the league. Great.

Glen Helders left foot

Arteta may be an excellent coach but he’s a poor manager, he’s a bad judge of a player and the mistakes he makes selection and sub wise are so blatantly wrong. If he plays Willian ever again he should be sacked

Non flyong dutchman

Southampton A team beats Arsenal B team… i suggest you reserve judgement for Tuesday kike any sensible rational human being would.

Krumphax

But why did the Arsenal B team play against Southampton A? It did not have to. He put a nonfunctioning team on the pitch. And you can’t deny it. That is the differnece between managing and coaching.

Don Cazorleone

Yup. I don’t care what he did at youth level, Nketiah simply isn’t good enough to play for Arsenal.

ALEXISANTISAKANELLI

SOMETIME I want back Arteta but he makes it difficult to back him I’m honestly still Arteta out. he’s just too stupid for me

backsakacrack

That has to be Nketiah’s last chance. Sell and move on.
He got 90 minutes leading the line today and absolutely blew it. Some of the worst decision making from an Arsenal CF I can remember.

jon

Eddie did not have his best day, but a long list of players were much worse than him today: Pepe, Willan, Soares, Holding, Gabriel.

Bleeding gums murphy

Could you tell me when Eddie did have his best day ?

Krumphax

That was probably his first game against Norwich. If you see what Saka and AMN have shown to us, was real promise. I saw very little promising with Nketiah. Apart from some tap-ins …. Dribbling? Passing? Heading? Hold up play? Link up play? What has he shown us apart from some hustle plays (though not very often in a game) and some Tap ins. I see it much more likely, that he will become another Afobe or Akpom than a Lacazette at Lyon. The difference is just too big. Even Saka did not have massive end product till now. But… Read more »

Bleeding gums murphy

This defeat is on Arteta. Nketia is so average, Willian is shot, Pepe is possibly the biggest flop in history, Elneny is barely squad player. Why not keep balogun out of game last night and play him today if you are not taking competition seriously. He is so much better than nketia. I’m afraid Arteta is out of his depth. Injuries I’ll was meant he gave smith Rowe a chance and it saved his job.

ALEXISANTISAKANELLI

THERE are no positives other than Saka and Partey. Arteta threw this game away. he didnt come here to win. Pepe is done for me he has no future at arsenal, willian I won’t even say anything it’s Arteta signing and im sure he’ll get him fired if he keep splaying him so I wont say anything Nketiah just sht player period. can’t press has no intensity why is he so weak physically and mentally Martinelli was sprinting working hard running everywhere what wasnketiah doing? walking

Marje

Have you seen Balogun’s toxic little tweet and Instagram post at the full-time whistle showing his goal yesterday? Even puts a facepalm emoji on his Instagram. Disruptive behaviour like this might indicate why he’s not being picked.

Alex

People with character have character. You can’t expect them to be lions on the pitch, “getting it up” everyone and “yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir” on the pitch.

Let’s face it – Arteta would never have a player like Ibrahimovic because he can’t handle that kind of player. But he’d be wrong not to

Homer

Thats possibly one of the silliest things ever written here. And considering the competition, thats some feat.

Jog the hell on.

Bleeding gums murphy

The voting suggests different

ALEXISANTISAKANELLI

I know right, the kid is starting to believe his own hype. I’m with Arteta on this one time to ship him out. SO disrespectful

aprilfool

I didn’t see the facepalm as directed at Arsenal so much as at the four or five poor U-23 souls he destroyed in the lead-up to that goal

GoonerJust

Wonderful goal by Gabriel…..for the wrong side, unfortunately.

From now on, we must play first team for all europa league matches, the only possible throphy and path to next year’s european football. I doubt we can reach fifth place on PL table 🙁

SB Still

We seem to play half heartedly, without belief or plan in the 1st half. 2nd part of the 2nd half was much better.

It shows how much more work is required in sorting out this squad.

Gunner0304

i think we need to take Willian on loan for some experience

Qwaliteee

I think we should move Willian on to the nearest pub side that’ll have him.

That’s assuming any pub side is that desperate.

Maniac

Absolutely woeful display. Just couldn’t get anything right today, from the passing to the crossing to the finishing. Just awful.

Also I don’t like making scapegoats of some players, but honestly playing with Willian is like playing with 10 men. I literally cannot tell you what he offers in the team.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

He’s mastered the art of dribbling towards his own goal

Pau

He trains well

Laca New Signing

He has a fantastic attitude in training

Laca New Signing

Cue the Özil vs Willian debate vis a vis “playing with 10 men”…

I’ll get my coat. 🏃

Voldermort

Horrible 1st half display. A decent last 20 mins but it proves that when we drop 2 or 3 players we just don’t have the squad quality to cope.
Willian is just another leach on resources that MA was hoping the club had seen the end of.
Nketiah is just not good enough and never will be for arsenal.
Why we insist on playing him over Balogun is madness. You have to question the managers judgement when we sign willian and continue not to play Balogun over Nketiah.

myrtle

too right

Tomaury Bischfeld

If Willian had signed for a year, I’d have seen it as a good gamble in a year with tight resources. If he’d signed for 2 I’d say, probably not the best use of resources given likely decline. 3 is just stupidity. There’s a reason Arsène didn’t offer contracts to most players over 30. My finger is pointed more at Edu on this one who was clearly influenced by the ease of the deal and his existing relationships with both the player and his agent. Senseless.

Jack

One of the most annoying things is seeing Willian do that half hearted press, it never does anything and he’s never fully committed but just seeing him jog around between the opposition’s defenders as they pass it around really irritates me

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Did anyone expect a different outcome after seeing Willian, Pepe and Eddie up top?

Dave

Sadly, no. When the likes of ESR, Laca, Saka and Tierney aren’t playing, we become so numb and slow. I don’t want to bash Eddie, he is a young player but I can’t see what he offers. Willian is the worst offender tho, he slows the play so much, which is silly given that he is supposedly be a winger, you know, one of those positions you use to speed the game up…

Daveo

I agree, but TBF Pepe was worse than Willian today (not saying Willian was good by any stretch – he was pretty ordinary). Pepe was awful, and he had a lot of chances to score or contribute to goals.

Goonerink

i dont understand this thinking.

pepe who had alot of chances to score, therefore got himself in the right attacking areas to contribute was awful.

yet willian who did precicely f’all wasnt as bad?

pepe tried and it wasnt coming off for him, its not nice when you have no supporting players.

Daveo

Willian was involved in build up play, he was about a 5/10 though, Pepe was pathetic. He fell apart with every touch and every chance. He was involved because we had no proper LB and had to go through the right channel. But he fucked up every chance to contribute. That was one of his worst games (and sadly there are quite a few to bad ones to choose from). You’re going to give a 70M quid signing the benefit of the doubt because you think “he tried”? Ok.

AussieGooner

Pepe made our two best chances!

The first was the free kick that Martineli cleverly got to, although ESPN were sure it was Willian who took it.

The second was that beautiful ball from the left that Eddie wasted.

Li can’t think of any better chance.

Pepe is way down the pecking order if we are going to talk about wasters.

Man Manny

I felt like breaking the TV and yanking Pepe out after that lousy free kick!
His Arsenal episode is well and truly over.
I’d sell if someone offered a quarter of the £72m.

Marje

Hard to defend Pepe, but he created five times as many chances today (5) as the next three (1 each for Cedric, Nketia and Willian) (source squawka)

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

True

Jordan Tan

Utterly, utterly disappointing. This one is definitely on Arteta for playing both cows, currently low on confidence & off form William & Pepe on both wings. What did you really expect when you play both your off form against Premier Leagues best defence? I would rate FA cup run more important than PLs match in few days time against them, I would have played my best eleven here and secind team on second match in PL. This one is on you.

mjc1892

Why would you prioritise the Cup just out of interest? I’d argue the complete opposite.

HenryKamp

We may have had better chance of qualifying to European cups through FA than Finishing in top 6 or winning Europa League.

Goonerink

you dont get auto entry to the EL by winning the fa cup this year btw

arsepedant
Disarmed Gunner

Did you watch this game? That’s why you prioritize the cup. Because this rubbish is incapable of achieving anything higher than 10th place. They’ve given up. At least a cup is maybe 4 or 5 games.

mjc1892

Yes I did. And for that exact reason I’m glad we went out in this than drop another 3 points on Tuesday. I’m a st holder and love nothing more than a trip to Wembley. But the one against Chelsea last year was hollow as fuck without fans there. And stumbling to a trophy win this year, in a procession of empty stadia, to further paper over the cracks that’re so obvious within our club, doesn’t actually get me going that much. Would be enjoyable to a degree, but I’d definitely prioritise a run in the league. I actually think… Read more »

jimbo

winning trophies is now papering over the cracks. i thought the whole point was to try and win trophies.

Daveo

Agreed, he had little option but to rotate heavily here given the run of fixtures in the league and Europa. He had to give the chance to Pepe, Willian, Nketiah – they all let him down…again. This is on the players not the coach. In fact, I think our tactics were pretty decent. Just piss poor individual efforts and errors really cost us. We’re desperate for another proper LB. Cedric was completely ineffective on the left, he came into the game when he switched sides at the end.

Titi-forker

Because now we’re definitely not going to have Europeans next season. Hope you’re okay with that

Arsenalista

I agree, we needed to keep the momentum going and instead we blew it.

StuArse

We didn’t play well, had chances but didn’t take them. What was the ref doing slowing the game down at the end. Nonsense.

Don Cazorleone

It’s cliche, and not why we lost but…
There was some dodgy dodgy refereeing going on today.

HenryKamp

Refereeing was dreadful though!

Alex

What a frustrating pile of complacent wank

Qwaliteee

LEGO Ball.

You snooze whilst your team lose.

Dave

Whenever we play Willian, we are so slow and sluggish. Can’t say I’m actually surprised we are out of the FA Cup, with today’s showing we really didn’t deserve to keep going, however is still sad to be out of it

StockholmGooner

Eddie really should be going out on loan or spend the rest of the season doing nothing but shooting drills and receiving the ball. Everything bounced off him and every shot was godawful – this is a striker? I want to see Balogun get a run. I feel that was Eddie’s last chance to show something, and all he showed was his flaws as a striker at this time and place.

StockholmGooner

Also, I didn’t mention Willian because I wasn’t aware he was playing. Pepe did a bit better but please… If we lose Balogun because Eddie has “seniority” then someone wake me up from this nightmare.

StockholmGooner

Lets not forget that the Arsenal youtube channel released a highlight of Eddie’s finishing in training before this game…

Marco

Yes these videos are complete BS.I have said before and I will say it again Nketiah Willock Nelson need to move on not of the required level for our great club.

Man Manny

On the contrary, i think this was Arteta’s last chance to woo Balogun.
He is not going to get game time in the EPL.
He will be gone in the summer.
Nketiah’s not up to it at all. His wild swing at the death was so unnecessary. 2 players were free for a tap in to his left. The inert selfishness that saw him get upset because someone else scored reared it ugly ahead at the most untoward moment.
Sigh!

Bergkamp2Wright

Totally agree re: Balogun, sadly I think he’s off so they won’t use him.

Qwaliteee

Only two and a half years more of that lazy Chelsea cunt to put up with.

And certain individuals on this site still defend him.

jimbo

How many more years of Arteta to put up with. At least one more season after this id say.?

Bergkamp2Wright

Utter shite.

Francesc

Pepe, Willian, El Neny out! Fucking shitfest by these players! We were basically brushed away!

ALEXISANTISAKANELLI

Elneny wasn’t the problem I was watching every time Elneny passes the ball forward to Willian. Willian would passes it backwards to Xhaka what about turning and passing to the forwards

Man Manny

Elneny gets all jittery if he gets the ball with an opponent 5 yards off him. He needs the whole midfield area to himself or a Partey by him to be useful. The club should have been more active in looking for a buyer in the summer.

HenryKamp

This one is on Arteta. This just confirmed we won’t be playing European football next season.

Cygan’sbaldspot

It did? I thought we still had a EL last 16 match and over half a premier league season to play

Atom

Disappointing result but we just can’t afford to play our first team every game and the drop off when Saka & ESR aren’t playing is immense.

Daveo

100%.

Tomaury Bischfeld

Exactly, anyone who played today would only get a 2 day rest. If this were a normal season I’d be disappointed. But if a cup exit means more rest for the likes of them and less having to watch Willian and Pepe in the league then it may be a blessing in disguise.

efeli

Please just get rid of this clown Willian, just pay him up front for the remaining 2,5 years. And please move on from Pepe that project is beyond saving and we might be able to recoup 20-25 m € due to his relatively young also
Also why is Nketiah being favored instead of giving more chance to Balogun in order to convice him that he should stay?

efeli

So pissed I can’t even type properly….
“Young also” supposed to be “young age”.

Tristian Beale

Not sure he’s being favoured I just think that balogun is gone. Eddie is limited and probably isn’t in our long term future but we have to rotate

Henkamp

We better go back there next Tuesday with more bite and purpose. And oh, without Willian anywhere near the starting eleven or the bench
What a dreadful player he has become.

Don Cazorleone

Even when they were instructed to stand on the edge of the box for Southampton’s goal kicks he couldn’t be bothered to get up to the line. Stood a few steps back. He seem contemptuous of any tactical instruction.

Goonerink

I think that IS tactical, he is the outlet for the second ball if we win it back from a longer range kick into the central midfield areas.

Henkamp

Exactly. That’s why I am not too critical of Pepe because you can see he is putting in the effort, although, it is not coming together for him. Willian is a different kettle of fish altogether! You’d think Arteta would have inherited some of Pep’s ruthlessness in doing away with terrible players. Perhaps, he is forced to play Willian due to some clause or something. Because I can’t for the life of me see why Willian is starting and playing 90 minutes + he is always the first to come on — most times at the expense of Pepe. At… Read more »

Old Bloke.

In the end we only lost to a deflected goal but handed Southampton the advantage by starting a weakened side against an energetic high pressing team.

jon

They were not even that good at high pressing, but Arsenal’s players don’t like to run those few extra steps to make themselves playable.

pound4pound

We have too big a squad, and yet somehow have precisely one player who can break down a defense through the middle. We desperately need someone to complement ESR.

jon

We have Partey. The play improved instantly when he came on. He is not a great shot, though.

Henkamp

Too many of them are average. it’s beginning to be clear. Compare Partey’s impact vs El Neny’s when he was on the pitch. Watch how Laca linked the play better than anything Nketiah had managed.

Unless we replace average players with quality ones we will continue to struggle when our few quality players cannot start.

Man City won that many trophies because you can rest De Bruyne and expect Silva to kill it. You can drop Sterling and trust Foden to step up etc.

Johan

Poor and uninspiring. We looked like a team of players who hadn’t played together before and yet had an extremely predictable game plan. Miss the days we played entertaining football.

Bertieme

Well they were a team of players who hadn’t played together for quite a while.
Gabriel coming back from COVID
Martinelli coming back from injury
Cedric, Elneny, back ups
Nketiah, hasn’t played for quite a while
Pepe, William, now on edge of first team
And it showed

Hi-brid

Oh well, I suppose we have to lend it to someone else once in a while.

C.B.

I was getting a bit bored of us winning it….

30yrsAGooner

Yeah…i feel the same. I really don’t care about the FA Cup anymore. If that’s all we have to hope for each season then we have real fucking problems…

Qwaliteee

Not the attitude for Gooners to have.

Although Arteta will probably be relieved you feel that way about it.

NobsAPlenty

Perfectly reasonable an ‘attitude’ IMHO.

Winning the FA Cup for us these days either means a favorable path through or beating good but tired teams with who are tired because they have been realizing higher ambitions than ours.

jimbo

Oh we only beat good team when they are tired. ok that explains everything.

Doey

Poor performance from most of the starting line up. Mind boggles that AMN is behind them in the pecking order and wasn’t even used to inject some energy. Willian is just ridiculous.

Mike_14

Yeah, just give the fuc.ing chance to AMN in midfield ahead of Elneny. At least try something different, I thought AMN´s performance in midfield in EL was encouraging and we have seen some of those players that started today underperform before. It just doesn´t work.

Jean Ralphio

Though Holding has been solid this season, his passing has been off all season.

jon

I don’t know why people hold him in such high esteem. Maybe because he appears sympathetic? He was awful at several occations today, playing the ball to Southampton in dangerous positions. Walcott was twice as fast as him (luckily, Theo has some weaknesses himself).

jimbo

because he is a good defender who can actually defend. good in a one on one situation good in the air. a solid defender. His passing was off today hopefully he learns to keep it simple in future

jon

He is not a ball watcher like Mustafi, and he is positionally quite good. But his speed and his decisions..

I like Holding, but both Luiz and Gabriel (who didn’t have a great day at St. Mary’s either) are better.

jimbo

Luiz is definately not better. Hes a liability. or have you forgotten last season already. Also hes a ball hog who slows the game down so much letting the opposition get back into shape taking 5 or 6 uneeded touches. we dont need a show pony in defence get the ball and move it on quickly.

arsepedant

That was painful. Awful line-up, predictable result. Soares is poo. Elneny should only come on after an hour when we’re three goals up and we need to run the clock down by playing keepaway. Willian should never play football again. Pepe needs to be sold for whatever we can recoup for him, take the loss and move on. Nketiah should be sold.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Nobody would pay decent money for Pepe now. The only solution I see is to send him back to Lille and renegotiate a discount on the annual payments we still owe them.
Nketiah, well maybe a Championship club like Brentford would take a punt on him for £5m.

Goonerink

I’d like to see eddie play first team football for derby.

Working directly under rooney might help him move onto the next level.

Carlos

Willian does my head in, how many young player opportunities are lost for this waste of space, it’s not just his body language. All his touches, his intelligence to play is so flat. Absolute turgid football. When is Arteta going to give him (and the fans, and the team) a break and drop him?

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I’m sure Ainsley could contribute more wherever Willian has played this season

Bergkamp2Wright

I reckon I could contribute more and I’m 3 months into recovering from an Achilles rupture. The bloke needs to be fucked off out the club, I lose respect for the manager every time he persists with playing him.

Jack

Sadly Arteta probably thinks these are the games where he can play him into form to show he’s not a complete disaster of a signing but alas

bored

I especially like the sequence at around the 80th minutes, where Willian half-heartedly “pressed” the last defender, and was visibly annoyed that the others didn’t follow his lead.

Perhaps that’s an example of the “non-negotiable” demanded by Arteta.

Biggles

Very disappointing result but I think it proves two things: a) the squad just hasn’t got the quality in depth needed; and b) how foolish it is to even think about prioritising cup competitions (as several Gooners were saying on this site only a few days ago) over performances in the PL. The PL is and must be our top priority – not winning it, or getting to a top four position – we’re still way off that standard yet – but getting up the table to an automatic EL qualifying position. Cups are the icing on the cake, not… Read more »

arsepedant

Do you really think we can finish top six? I’d argue that the FA Cup was our only realistic way into Europe for next year. And now it’s gone.

Biggles

I think we need to try our very best to get into a EL qualifying position, yes certainly. If not, Arsenal may as well resign itself to being a mid-table team for the foreseeable future, in which case the changes (negative changes, that is) which that would bring at the club will be the biggest any Gooner has seen. I’m not saying we will achieve it, but that it should be our top priority. We may still get into the EL by winning it this season of course, but it’s the same argument that was blown away today – going… Read more »

Vonnie

Cups are the entry into Europe, it worked for us last season and could’ve been a safety net this season. Willian, Elneny, Nketiah were pathetic, Cedric was awful, we still have too many hangers on at the club. We can’t always play the first team but none of these players put a shift in and Willian should never play for Arsenal again, we may as well start with ten men.

Bleeding gums murphy

Arteta has already stated he will continue to play Willian.

Biggles

That shows how far expectations for the club have “dumbed down”, doesn’t it. It’s not a new thing, it started under AW when we went from winning the league (with CL football); to not winning it but getting CL football through a top 4 place; to not getting CL football but settling for EL qualification through a league position; to, now, giving hoping against hope that a cup win of some kind will get us into Europe because no other route will. Sad really.

jimbo

ohh fucking hell lets blame wenger again give it a fucking rest

Anonymarse

Not sure what we were thinking with that team selection

Qwaliteee

How he can make three substitutions and STILL have Willian on the pitch, beggars belief.

Arteta got what he deserved today.

Fuck all.

Simone

Only arteta can prefer a shit player like elneny, one of the useless player i have ever seen, over torreira

Qwaliteee

Finally, someone else had noticed. Top post, mate.

Torreira’s game was ruined by Emery, but he was still worth retaining – especially when clowns like Elneny are still available for being picked.

Disarmed Gunner

No Arsenal.com video of him running about today like Vs Utd? He is garbage

jon

Elneny plays very similarly to what Arteta did himself in the same position – the eternal backpass king.

Reality check

Some really dodgy decisions by Arteta both in terms of selection and substitutions. Can’t just pick two still develping youngsters and two underperforming attackers and then leave the later two till the end.
One thing is clear though, there are two confirmed tiers (Saka, Martinelli, Smith Rowe) and then (Eddie, Joe, Nelson). AMN is somewhere in the middle.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Willock and Nelson need a loan – can’t see them playing again this season.

Marco

Agree with fellow posters very poor. Didn’t start playing until the 75 minute up until then atrocious passing crossing fucking everything.Very frustrated fan.The only way to compensate to the fans is getting the 3 points on Tuesday.

Fatgooner

Absolutely shit. We basically didn’t turn up in the first half and then only put them under pressure in the last 20 minutes.

This game just demonstrates exactly what we’ve always known: we have a core of half a dozen decent players, and then a load of crap.

Willian, Pepe and Nketiah should all just fuck off and go away. There’s far too much dross in this squad.

Arteta fucked up in his selection today. Good news: Rafa Benitez is available.

Public Elneny

If you want even more dull sideways football and baffling team selections, Rafa Benitez is the man for you

Fatgooner

Fuck off! Benitez is a proven, experienced manager.

Arteta needs to be called for his ridiculous backing of shit players who don’t perform. And for his refusal to back the likes of AMN, Guendouzi and Torriera. And he wanted the shit Willian. I suppose he’s not to blame for that?

Voldermort

To be honest. I would take Guendouzi and Torriera over Elneny and Willian every day of the week.
Amn I think is just going to drift like so many others like Iwobi. Nketiah is another one. Just not good enough but we will waste another few years on him trying to prove he is.

Public Elneny

There are approximately 1,000,000 proven, experienced managers! Most of which would be a poor fit for this club, especially if they don’t know how to play attacking football and don’t trust young players, like Rafa I’m very on the fence about Arteta, he’s shown enough poor judgement in the 1st half of this season that it’s hard to be enthusiastic about a long future with him in charge. He’ll learn not to make signings like Willian, but he seems inherently cautious, resistant to change and dogmatic – which isn’t promising No complaints about his treatment of those 3 though. Torreira… Read more »

Public Elneny

About half of that starting xi just aren’t good enough to be playing for Arsenal in any squad role – some of them not even close

Compounded by Gabriel having an absolute mare

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Terrible but understandable starting 11. What was Arteta thinking putting Saka at left back?? What’s wrong with playing people where they are strongest and can cause most damage. He doesn’t have Pep’s bench or tactical knowledge so don’t try to be so cute. Eddie just isn’t ready. Willian smh. Hopefully Gabriel starts on Tuesday.

RoJo

I thought Martin Keown was utter nonsense. He kept criticising Pepe and supporting Willian. I thought the Gabriel and Willian were slowing down everything. Pepe was at least trying and making the runs. Maybe Willian has his (Martin’s) nudes too!

Grymelock

I wasn’t confident when I saw the line-up and that was shit top to bottom, nobody played well.
If nothing else, Arteta can’t pretend anymore. Elneny isn’t up to standard, Willian is lazy and useless, Eddie has virtually no technique to the point he literally toe pokes everything and Pépé needs so many good players around him to be useful that he’s a liability.

Not only did the bad players get more time than they deserved, the good ones didn’t make up for it. Very disappointing.

Gatecrasher

We have first string players and second string players. And our second string players are relegation fodder.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Silver lining; this result should add more urgency to bringing in Odengaard on loan.

Disarmed Gunner

That loan doesn’t make me happy in slightest. We get in another player like Ceballos who knows this is a paid vacation so dicks about for a few months knowing if it all goes wrong he’ll be back to Madrid. Hardly a pressure on his shoulders. We need players who are not only motivated but hungry and even desperate. Guarantee first thing we will give Odegaard is a nice comfy pair of slippers

jon

With the players Arteta fielded today, Messi or Mbappé couldn’t have helped us.

Jeremy DG

Pathetic. I love the Fa cup so I’m gutted. Out with a whimper. Some observations: 1) let’s just stop with this elneny, xhaka midfield. I get that we wanted to rotate but we might as well throw the match with those two. Comfortably the worst midfield combination in the league, maybe even the championship. Xhaka looks good with good players around him (Partey) and Elneny is nothing more than a Fenerbace player. Fit and willing but so so limited. I could play the ball 5 yards backwards and sideways for 90 minutes. 2) Willian, Pepe and Nketia just don’t look… Read more »

Public Elneny

About your 1st point about our midfield – I agree, but I have some sympathy for Arteta here. As I see it the only 2 combinations of midfielders that can work in tandem are: Partey + Anyone, and to a lesser extent Xhaka + Ceballos. Ceballos was injured today and Partey really shouldn’t be starting 2 games a week while getting his fitness back I don’t see what Arteta could have done differently today with midfield tbh. He did try to address it in the summer by buying Partey and re-loaning Ceballos, but it still needs a lot of work,… Read more »

Meh-lneny

You couldnt pass gas in the premier league, but I agree with everything else!

ALEXISANTISAKANELLI

Thats not the problem You’re missing the pointt lol Elneny is not the problem. ARTETA picked this side on purpose he wanted to lose to send a message to the owners and board that he needs money., Because they’ve refused to back him in January. You’re missing the point entirely. The individuals he picked he knows what they are and what they bring he was trying to make a point like look at the depth that I;ve got and they’re not good enough..thats the message to the owners and board he’s trying to make

jimbo

xhaka is a weak link. why do people continue to make excuses for him. he needs to be gone in the summer but from the noises arteta is making he seems determined to keep him.
Im not having this he needs good players around him. he is a senior player in this team now and should be a leader but when the chips are down he goes missing.

Man Manny

Gabriel had a stinker.
Willian is beyond redemption
Pepe should be sold.
Elneny is not good enough for a squad player in a team with serious ambitions
Nketiah will not cut it at this level.
Our midfield is as functional as a car on three tyres without Partey and ESR.

I fully expect us to pay them handsomely when we go back there on Tuesday.

Swerve

The most useful part of this debacle was that this surely was a last chance saloon for a few of them. Arteta seems to have a stubborn streak which may prove useful in his future career but may also mean it isn’t at Arsenal. But you can’t dismiss the last few games. William apart he has signed good players so you’d like to think he can identify the right ones once the dross is out. If it’s out. I wonder what Arteta’s ambitions are. He wasn’t part of winning Arsenal side when he was there in terms of the league… Read more »

Swerve

*league and Champions League…

ALEXISANTISAKANELLI

Nketiah is so sht I think we can sell him this window he needs to go and let Balogun play more. SRIOUSLY can Arteta just have some balls and give Balogun a shot

Mentalista

Despite our shitness, the refereeing was even worse.

Hatta, you are a better supporter than me. As soon I saw the line-up with Willian and Pepe in, I knew we weren’t going to score.

Figured my time would be better spent continuing my university assignment instead.

It’s pretty obvious Willian is already in retirement mode, I don’t know what miracle Arteta is trying to perform.

Edu has a lot to answer for. Sleep well H 🙂

Tomaury Bischfeld

Pepe, Willian, Nketiah are just not good enough to play for the Arsenal we aspire to be. Gave Nketiah a chance at the beginning because he popped up with a few goals. Have never thought he offered much more to the team than an ability to poach against easy opposition and he hasn’t developed anything else. My instincts are that Balogun is a much more rounded and intelligent player. But who am I to judge, I thought Gnabry was outstanding but we let him go fairly easily. I won’t go into what a stupid decision it was to offer a… Read more »

Paul Roberts

If Willian and Pepe never played for us again we would not notice any dip in our performances.

Naija gooner

1)Honestly from the beginning of the game I just couldn’t see where the goal was coming from, unless pepe had one of those days,
2) this game needed an att midfielder who could play one touch football, we took too many touches on the ball which allowed Southampton to close us down easily.
3)this lads today couldn’t control a ball to save thier lives…Nketiah

Disarmed Gunner

Excuse me while I wipe the sleep from my eyes. Another mind numbing display of incompetence, ineptitude and indecision. Has Arteta learned nothing? Let me spell it out for him: Never, I repeat, never, play Xhaka and Elneny together. And don’t waste your time playing Willian and Pepe together either. This isn’t FIFA. You can’t make the high rated but out of form players play good.

It’s so frustrating watching the same garbage for nearly 2 years now. I’d kill for some creative and intelligent football again

Jackie's Willy

Gabriel spells calamity, and has done so for some time now. His passes are always overhit it underhit or straight misplaced, he doesn’t know when to get tight on the attacker, or hold back. Always looking like he’d do something wrong. Holding wasn’t any better than Gabriel, who was poor, today. Martinelli didn’t have the best of games. Scuffed that very big chance in the first half. Perhaps our biggest chance of the game. Xhaka should have been rested. He’s been playing and has never stopped playing since coming into the team. Elneny struggled. Bellerin was once again clueless. He… Read more »