Arteta apologises to Arsenal fans for woeful performance

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Mikel Arteta apologised to Arsenal supporters after his side fell way short of the standards he expects on the way to a 3-0 home defeat to Liverpool.

The Gunners barely laid a glove on the reigning champions who, after a lacklustre opening 45 minutes, killed the game in an 18-minute second half blitz break courtesy of substitute Diogo Jota’s brace and Mo Salah’s strike.

Unable to call on key players in midfield – Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Granit Xhaka were all injured – the Gunners struggled to keep the ball and ended the evening with just over 300 completed passes and only three attempts at goal.

“Liverpool completely deserved to win the game, probably with a bigger margin,” said Arteta in his post-game press conference.

“They were much better than us in every single department and we were extremely poor today. Basically when you don’t do any of the basics right against this level of opponent, you don’t even have a chance to compete. That’s exactly what happened today.”

Asked what he put the defeat down to, he added: “[Twelve defeats this season] is a poor return but every defeat is different. Each one hurts differently.

“The image that we showed today and the lack of clarity in what we wanted to get out from this game… we need to apologise to our people, to our fans. This standard is nowhere near what we want. I am fully responsible for that.”

While the result doesn’t alter Arsenal’s league position – we’re still sitting ninth in the table – the performance once again highlighted our inconsistency on the pitch. It’s proving to be a real head-scratcher for Arteta who knows his job will be on the line if he can’t solve the issue next season.

“It’s very frustrating to see that and today was a big shock to the system. We have been really competitive against the big sides.

“We beat Chelsea here, we beat Spurs and we drew against Manchester United but today they were really good. A lot of credit to them because they were really good today, but we were extremely poor.

“I don’t know whether it’s the worst but it’s probably one of the worst. It’s one that really shocked me and leaves us in a position where we have to apologise for what we’ve done on that pitch today.”

While qualifying for Europe via the league now looks highly unlikely, the Gunners can still sneak into the Champions League by winning this season’s Europa League. Arteta called on his players to show a reaction when Slavia Prague visit the Emirates for the first leg of their quarter-final on Thursday.

“Absolutely,” he said. “This is the minimum that we can do, to perform at a completely different level on Thursday.”

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Limpars chip

I’m still in shock how shit that was, it was worse than watching England.
I’m guessing they were told to sit back and not chase down.
Gaby couldn’t pass to a red shirt
Lenos wrists were limp
Ceballos looks like he’s John Wayne running on the spot
Auba…… I just….. I……
Pepe done a Pepe on us
Holding wasn’t holding
Anyway….. Trust the process 💪

Johnny 2 Bad

John Wayne running on the spot! Excellent

Johnny 4 Hats

We like comments that have ‘John’ in them.

Qwaliteee

That made me laugh too, I must admit.

Anders Limpar

I’m beginning to have severe reservations about the process while not quite yet giving up hope.

Fezec

I feel this season is now either going to be a big success or a terrible failure. No in between.

Win the Europa and it’s two trophies in 2 seasons, CL football a year ahead of plan and evidence the process is working.

Get knocked out and he will quite rightly have to, very quickly, answer some big questions early next season.

Tanned arse

I would argue that’s not evidence of the ‘process’ working. Getting into the champions league would be a huge short term boost but doesn’t make us a good team. Performances determine that and right now we’re inconsistent at best and quite often poor. If that continues then being in the champions league will be for one season only and that’s not what any of us want. I have huge reservations about arteta’s decision making. The players he likes and the ones he doesn’t. The double standards he’s employed throughout the season and also the way he’s employed the tools at… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Top post, well said.

Chamakhyungpark

Quite honestly though, can you really see this team in the CL?

Qwaliteee

I could see us getting tanked by seven or eight….

Mentalista

The days of being smashed to the ground by big teams have ended with AW.

Nowadays we’re happy to sit back and have 0.5 attempts on target.

Qwaliteee

Really?

I don’t know if you noticed, but we were smashed into the ground on Saturday.

Liverpool could and should have had more. Thankfully we kept it down to 0-3.

I wouldn’t underestimate this current team under Arteta’s capacity for letting in big scores.

They’ve given us our worst league campaign for 40 years – they’re capable of anything….

A P

That took you long enough.

Nketibag

You forgot Laca, how he lasted 90 is beyond me.
It is blindingly poor from Arteta, Auba’s and Laca’s average positions are behind the half-way line. Why not play Auba upfront and give their league 1 CB pairing something to think about? Instead it’s Laca’s false 9/10 connective role in midfield. What is the game-plan? That has only worked when Smith Rowe and Saka are there. It’s just bad management and he should have changed it in game. Not just sit on his hands.

Qwaliteee

Exactly.

Auba up front centrally. Pepe on the right, Saka on the left (when Tierney is fit and playing too) and Odegaard/Smith Rowe in the No10 position, just off Auba.

Simple.

You then have Laca and Martinelli to come on against a tired defence.

I’ve no idea why Arteta can’t grasp what has been staring him in the face all along.

Play your best players in their best positions. It’s so fucking simple.

Riku

Mari and Gab- i know both left footed, but plenty of teams have had two right footed cb. Pairings. If their the best 2 – they are the best 2. Mari has calm, speed and height and more experience to help gab. Speak same language ,
imo complimentt each other .
( Two lefty’s might give the other team something to think about also )

Viv The 🐐

Mari and Gabriel have to play one day, cause Holding will hardly play every game. But he will play Chambers at CB before that proabably. Till the 2-0 I thought Gabriel defended quite well. Passing was ehhhhmm. But after that moment the good performance was gone.

Victor

Football game is about 3 results either win, draw, or lose. Playing with result that made to our head is very bad, because it lead to frustration once things go different…. Not playing Sana, xhaka is not a reason. Accept to be defeated why to apologize.!

Fireman Sam

Comment to make understand what be is?

truj

Where are we now? We build on the creativity of a genial norvegian who will be elsewhere next season. Fundamental, influental and important players are the recently damned duo of Luiz and Xhaka. Without them we were lost last night. So the next season is the restart of the rebuilding?

Goo-nerd

Hot take – Auba isn’t Arsenal captain material.

C.B.

He is looking like the new Ozil atm. More pay, less effort…

lessthanthesumoftheirparts

He’s a world class striker playing left wing back. What the fuck do you expect?

Goo-nerd

That you chill out and engage in civil discourse.

The comment is about both his technical performance (didn’t combine well or participate in buildup, misplaced easy passes) and his attitude during moments of adversity (was often walking, not leading the team).

Being Arsenal captain demands more in both areas.

Bossman Bill

Agreed bro. Love Auba, love what he’s done for the club as an individual, but with KT in the side and (I’m loathe to admit it but it’s a fact) Xhaka in the team, there are sincerely better options.

Just to be clear, KT is my preference, but you can’t ignore Xhaka’s influence in the dressing room (and I’m someone who is on record as a Granit critic).

Qwaliteee

👍🤣

El Mintero

He wasn’t playing left wing back. Do
You even know what a left wing back is?

Qwaliteee

He was being a tad sarcastic…

Lion

Aubameyang has been so poor that he should have been benched for at least 3 months now. Hopefully he will be benched soon. When played uptop he isn’t scoring enough. When played on the wing he just kills that whole side. He totally deserves to be benched. After watching the Smith Rowe and tieney combination on the left I didn’t think auba would return there. So many people in the club are much better than him in that position.

Bossman Bill

The problem is that he’s a great striker but not one which works with what the team are trying to achieve. It’s not his fault, he was never someone who would work in the system. Again, love him, but if you’re making an apple pie but all you have are oranges, it’s not going to taste great. Like, for example, Auba in the 2014 team scores 40 goals a season, but we play a completely different way now. I’m not saying it’s better or worse btw, it is what it is. We have no one to replace him with. And… Read more »

IamaGoober

So I kinda feel for Arteta a little bit. And to quantify what I mean when I say that is — I never really wanted him to be our manager. The reason why was because he was always going to be destined to fail as soon as he took the job. Given the way our club is, with the executives and ownership, Pep Guardiola would struggle to do anything different with what he has available to him. Now we are asking a guy (Arteta) with no way near that level of managerial experience to basically perform a footballing miracle. The… Read more »

IamaGoober

Like honestly what were we really expecting to happen? At a high level the Premier League equation goes like this: (good manager) + (clear/robust technical business/footballing vision) x (strategic investment) = success Every single club who wins the Premier League now operates under that basic equation or operating model. I’d even argue the teams who don’t win the Premier League all operate under that framework, naturally though, the parameters for ‘success’ will look different for different teams. To clarify some clubs may consider just staying in the Premier League as ‘success’ others may see qualifying for Europe as ‘success.’ But… Read more »

Vincent Ives

Yeah, buuuut…he was cheaper to hire as a result of his inexperience. So will his eventual successor. If we’re lucky it’ll be a young innovator from Europe, but it won’t be an expensive name with an extensive CV of successes. We don’t have to win titles or cups for Kroenke to make money. Liverpool got lucky with their American ownership, who recognised how much there was to gain from smart recruitment and success on the pitch. We’re just one of Stan’s many investments, and as long as we’re in the prem it doesn’t matter if we’re mid table so long… Read more »

Jeremy DG

Spot on. I feel sorry for Mikel. You can understand what he is trying to do but his players aren’t good enough (or bothered enough) to execute it. He’s an Arsenal man and he’s intelligent, I really want it to work. I get why people don’t want an inexperienced manager because he’s certainly made mistakes as expected but I do think next season it will be much better. I don’t think we are good enough but if we can somehow blag the Europa that would make everything so much better.

atom

Why do you feel bad for him though? He’s had some pretty serious backing in the context of the pandemic – to the point where Stan clearly put money into sign Partey. A lot of fans ignore contracts & only focus on transfer fees, but we spent a small fortune on Willian/Luiz/Auba – none of whom have really had great seasons. He also signed Mari & Cedric (jury out on both). He’s inexperienced and that has cost us a lot of points & hopefully he comes out of this stronger. But isn’t not like he hasn’t had a chance to… Read more »

S.p2

Was the Partey deal not in part funded by Martínez’s departure? I’m not defending Arteta but I’m not sure Kroenke was especially forthcoming with funds…

Atom

The losses were massive at the club. Stan had to put in the entire Partey transfer (Swiss ramble has talked about this)

El Mintero

Stan Kroenke is a fucking parasite who will destroy our club in the long run. You come on here and leave that comment?!! Wtf…seriously, what the actual fck…plastic espn fans everywhere on here…

Hakuna Matata

Money has not been the problem. Our recruitment has been. We paid $72m on an average player, paid r hefty contracts 4 William n aubameyang, not 4getting $50m. Clearly there has been money when compared to some clubs above us on the table like AV

Qwaliteee

We still need cash flows to improve throughout the entire club – not laying off staff in their droves and running the admin on the fucking cheap. You’ll never get that with Kroenke.

This club requires a takeover of ownership.

Qwaliteee

I don’t often find myself agreeing with you – but here, you’re spot on.

The sooner that Nigerian Arsenal fan billionaire (whoever he is) gets off his backside and buys out the mercenary howdy doody, the better.

I can’t think of a time in its history when this club hasn’t needed a change of majority shareholder than now.

Qwaliteee

About time old toupee bonce coughed up. It was probably a loan anyway.

Stansbutthole

KSE didn’t put money into the Partey signing

A P

Let me write it for you since you obviously are trying your best to skirt around the issue.

Arteta isn’t good enough either.

Qwaliteee

Spot on. I can’t be bothered to calculate the entire playing staff’s combined transfer fees but I’ll wager it’s a fucking lot for a team scratching around in 9th.

db10s

I agree except maybe another manager (in the short term) might get us 3-4 places higher up but no where near the consistent CL qualification we used to enjoy. Arteta has the potential to come good but he needs investment if we are to find out in the short term. For me the jury is still out whether Arteta, Edu and Kronke’s new overhaul of the operations are the keys to success. In addition, covid hit the club at such a time where we are in the first phase of overhauling everything and that has surely put a lot of… Read more »

ASH

Look at Tuchel
Same team, same personnel but now top 4 looks a surety
Manager matters

Ealing

When the change is dramatic, it’s because players making extra efforts to impress the new manager. We ditched Emery and got no bounce in the league, it means last years team wasn’t good enough and this years has taken over ne step up two sideways and one backwards

El Mintero

Really? You saw their result against wba and you say top 4 is a “surety” for them?!! Lol

A P

Investment needed? What about the monies invested to sign Partey, Saliba, Pepe et al? Enough monies went in. It’s either the manager, coaches or Edu that are lacking, maybe all.

That Arteta wasn’t able to perform better over the course of a season is not for want of money.

Stansbutthole

In fairness to Arteta, Saliba and Pepe weren’t purchased when he was in charge. That was Rauls work. Since he’s been in charge, we’ve signed Mari, Soares, Willian, Partey, Gabriel and loaned Odegaard — fairly sure that’s everyone. And out of those names, it’s hard to say with any real certainty how much control he had over the signings. As we do know quite a lot of the deals were worked on years prior by our former head of scouting before he was made redundant. But either way, are those signings really effective process? Could they be considered as part… Read more »

DB10**

The players have absolutely no respect for themselves first and foremost to allow themselves to be bullied across the pitch.
No respect for the shirt, club or fans.
We also need an experienced manager.
Not to mention replacing the deadwood. Imagine getting into a relegation dogfight with these primadonnas.

Bleeding gums murphy

I’m afraid the players on the park yesterday bar odegarrd and partey cannot play quick incisive passing that we are able to play when smith Rowe and saka link up play. Aubamayang is very technically limited, lacazette needs saka and smith Rowe round him and Pepe is a bit of a solo player me thinks. Arteta stumbled on the youngsters and it saved his job. Personally I’m giving him to Xmas.

Anders Limpar

I think one of the many mistakes the club made was when Emery didn’t work out they decided that must mean that all experienced managers wouldn’t work out and therefore a different (and cheaper) direction was required.

If ever a situation called for experience and games under the belt it was picking up the pieces after Emery. But as they say, hindsight etc etc…..

Viv The 🐐

I think we have seen the difference between a proper side and Arsenal. probably 8 of our players were absolutely missing today. I don’t want to focus on it, but Auba put more effort into his hair, than into his perfromance today. He looked like in a retirement home already. Mentaly we were not up to the game. We had no idea how to play. End of. Tried to dink it for Auba, but only Partey tried that pass like twice. Sloppy passing. The team is non existent on the pitch. Everyone was yards away from the opponent. I thought… Read more »

Nostalgic Gooner

MA is simply out of his depth. Maybe one day he’ll become an excellent manager, but a club of our size and ambition is not the place for a rookie manager to learn his trade. We have a lot of talent in this squad and we should be getting a much better performance from these players. The best managers are able to extract maximum performance from their players. With MA, all the players are regressing. Auba has regressed. Lacazette looks a worse player. We got a world class midfielder from AM who’s only played one world class game against MU.… Read more »

Viv The 🐐

It really is. Some games, we are just never in it. And in some we see a real plan. The fluctuation is a sign of not knowing what to do in some games and having no control over the game, and then stepping up in some.

Vonnie

It’s been like this for at least seven years, we have a squad that has too many entitled, feeble frauds. Looking at the videos coming out of Colney Mikel is training the right things, players like Tierney have commented how good he is and how he’s made them better. We need a complete overhaul of this squad in the summer before anyone can judge the manager, and that includes Aubameyang and Lacazette, a pair of lazy fuckers just joking around and taking the money. I’m sick of them.

Dave

Maybe Arteta is a good coach but not a very good manager yet

Arsenal’s Slow Build Up

Yesterday’s game was the final straw for me. I agree that Arteta is not ready for such a big job. Sorry, that’s just the truth

Viv The 🐐

Well he wasn’t ready to start with and we hoped he would be by now, which he is not. We should think about the options after the season

Sell Auba Saliba

Time to sell Auba. He can’t make a pass or control a ball. If cannot score, something he had hardly done except against lower teams, he’s done. Hurts me to mention our £72m signing. The midfield was light and a bit of courage from Arteta given our injury list was necessary. What to say of Holding, whom I really like but is at fault on the first goal. Again. Leno don’t look like the rock we need. I’d be happy with a Europa league this season, it would be 2 trophies in 2 seasons, but it is hard to be… Read more »

Chris

The result was bad but what really made me angry was that they warmed up with Rocky shirts on. And then performed like that? Come on Arsenal you should be better than that.

That’s not the way to honour someone’s memory.

Disarmed Gunner

They know who Rocky is alright but you can bet it’s not the Rocky that was on their shirts. This bunch have proven themselves to be woefully out of touch with reality. They have even forgotten they play for Arsenal. Playing 11 behind the ball like some newly promoted club. Oh, speaking of newly promoted clubs, Leeds are above us. Don’t wanna hear anymore excuses. Get this “process” and the manager and chuck it the trash and start again. If I’m building a bridge and halfway through I discover the wood is rotten and can’t be used do I continue… Read more »

Bossman Bill

I was uncomfortable with the Rocky t shirts. I felt it was something they just “did” as opposed to actively wanting to do. Like almost it was branding, you know? Unless I’ve missed it, none of the first team addressed the anniversary.

Chris

Perhaps, maybe it was a token gesture like you say and maybe it means more to supporters than the players but I still felt let down. I can’t help but feel that wouldn’t have been the case if there was some sort of Adams type leader in the dressing room letting the others know they either play or pay.

Bossman Bill

100% agree with you mate

Disarmed Gunner

Put money on Prague beating us. Not a hope this motley crew stand a chance of winning the Europa. As for Arteta, somebody pay him off so we can say our goodbyes asap.

Vincent Ives

Would you have said that after the second half against West Ham? The problem isn’t that we’re bad, it’s that we’re either superb or awful and until we learn to grind out 7/10s on the regular, we’re going to struggle.

Disarmed Gunner

Not once this season would I say we’ve ever been “superb”. We’ve been alright at times, but alright isn’t enough for Arsenal. As for celebrating a 3-3 draw against West Ham? Should never have gotten ourselves into that shameful situation in the first place. The truly top managers (Ferguson, Wenger, Mourinho, Guardiola) are able to motivate their players to perform for not just one or two games a season but for the entire league campaign. This is the standard I set for Arsenal. If I wanted us to just complete in domestic cups then I’d be fine with Arteta. I… Read more »

Tapps

West Brom away. 1st half Wolves away. Home to Leeds (until final 20 mins). Home to Chelsea. Home to 5pur2. Second half away to West Ham. We certainly have been ‘superb’ at times this season.

UpNorth

Ødegaard had a too long chat with Klopp after the match. I can guess the content . JK : you cant play for this shithouse,we need a proper midfielder at Anfield. interested? MØ replying politely, but thinking YES!
Can´t blame him either…

Riku

What did he do in game to get into Liverpool team , that even had wijaldam on the bench . Rosie eyes specs

Wolfgang

Reports that Arsenal may sell Saka to raise funds is not unexpected. He could generate at least 30million gbp.
The game is all about money. Could MC and Chelsea have won 8/9/10 ep

Vonnie

It’s made up bollocks and he’d be worth three times a paltry 30 million. Don’t believe all the crap and click bait that’s made up by shit stirring “journalists”.

karl

You have to wonder if we should waste whatever funds there are available in the summer with Edu and Arteta making decisions now. If they buy more 30 somethings, we may as well give up.

Twatsloch

And there’s me hoping we could finally see Fellaini in an Arsenal shirt with a 5 year contract in his back pocket.

On the right path?

Nothing to lose now by giving balogun alot of premiership minutes before the end of the season… just do it

Colonial Gunner

Would also make him more valuable should the the dreaded exit occur

Vonnie

He’s out of contract in the summer.

Fatgooner

Yesterday’s performance was dreadful but, you know what?, I’m not too bothered. Let’s be honest: the game was meaningless to us. Top 4/6 was already gone. Liverpool were more urgent because they had more to play for.

We’ve been ridiculously inconsistent all season. Having been utter garbage yesterday, it wouldn’t surprise me if we put in a great performance on Thursday. That’s Arsenal under Arteta so far.

El Mintero

This year is the very definition of “transition” year so I agree with you it’s meaningless. But the overreaction on Arteta is beyond ridiculous. He’s doing a good job with a shit team and once he clears the dead wood for good in the summer, and finally gets his own team on the pitch, then we can judge. Until then, all of this whining is just noise in the background…

Qwaliteee

Blimey folks get your tin helmets ready.

Friday morning Fats rant incoming…..

Chris

Blimey. Pot, kettle, black? I think we could all same the same about the Arteta bashing!

Qwaliteee

It was a joke!

Jeez…….🙄

Vincent Ives

Is that the first time we’ve not had either of Saka & Death Rowe since the watershed victory over Chelsea? I’m finding it very hard that people are looking at a loss that both were out injured for and saying “shows how critical XHAKA is”. I don’t hate Xhaka – I do think we need an a massive upgrade in his position though – but what on earth would have been different about last night if he’d played? Of all our midfielders he’s the most vulnerable to a high press, and though his forward passes have improved a lot recently… Read more »

Vonnie

Granit has fight, he also has a decent long ball over the top. Hopefully he’s back for Thusday, we need him. KT is a massive loss and we could all see he’s been overplayed, hopefully it’s not ligament damage. Not getting a back up for him was a huge fail in the transfer market. Saka and Smith Rowe are incredibly important to us now, I’d like to see more of Martinelli and Nelson, they can’t be any worse than Auba and Pepe, surely?

TUMANG

When will MA be scrutinized? He’s had far too easy.

Biggles

If we fail to win the EL this year then I’m sure that he’ll be very closely scrutinised next season when there will be tremendous pressure on him to turn things around. If he failed to do so then I think that he would be at real risk of losing his job at the end of that season.

Charles

If we let a novice manager burn three seasons they’ll have a hard time getting me back to watching week in and week out.

Tapps

Go away then.

db10s

I think we’re in a tough spot regarding MA and a new hire. The football economy is destroyed by the pandemic. Most teams won’t be able to afford to rebuild. But there is some sense in thinking that if a team could invest now, this would be the best time to do it while everyone else suffers. So even with a new manager in charge, we’re likely to see him stuck with 80% of the same squad for the next 2 years. IMO the squad needs the most work. We have two aging strikers, no creative/attacking midfielder, no back up… Read more »

Johnny 2 Bad

The players were told to sit back. What can Auba do when he doesn’t get the ball? Why are we playing like the away team at home? Why didn’t we press? The players aren’t as bad as that. Mismanaged. Pepe was doing well till yesterday. Laca was playing okay till yesterday. We can’t change manager now but at the end of the season we should. The rebuild can continue without Arteta.

Ealing

If we are to sit back there’s no need to play Pepe, laca and Auba

Tapps

How do you know we were told to ‘sit back’? Are you a clairvoyant? Or are you inventing narrative to suit justify your perspective? I think we all know……

Qwaliteee

Top post, well said.

Nail on head; the players are being mismanaged.

Crash Fistfight

Speaking as someone who never thought it was a good idea to hire Arteta in the first place, who could we get as manager at this point? Seems like we’ve waited and waited until nobody good (and gettable) is available.

Could’ve had Tuchel/Hasenhuttl/Nagelsmann/Jardim instead of Emery, could’ve had Ancelotti instead of Arteta. Who now? Would ten Hag want to come? Conte if Inter collapses? Not sure Rogers would be interested. There was talk of Gerrrad before but that seems like a weird fit.

The only sp*rs i like is san antonio

Same old story…

Qwaliteee

Once upon a time, there was a football club called Arsenal, who were owned by a stingy bloke with a wig who couldn’t care less about them. So they lurched from season to season trying to keep up with the clubs whose owners did actually care about them and failed miserably.

The End.

No you can’t have a drink of water, go to sleep. Here, there’s a dvd of Arsenal FC 2020/21. That should help you nod off.

Nikolaj

I am not the first one to say this, but Auba is not captain material. It is games like these where he should be leading by example.
In our current form we need players like ESR, Saka and Tierney (and Ødegaard), in order to play well. When we are without too many of them , we are not even close to competing. Quite sad

Zet

Liverpool was playing a careful game the start. But they have no idea Arsenal is this shitty and their confidence grew. When you lose creative players like Saka, ESR and Tierney…..Auba will be ineffective. He is nit the type that will fight for the ball and lead the attack. I am so surprise Arteta kept him on for 75 minutes. Hasn’t Arteta learn anything? or is it contractual that Auba will be compensated if he does not get 75 minutes.

NW1

We’ve gone downhill since signing Laca and Auba. In theory it was a good partnership but in reality it’s always been a joke. Can’t string a pass together and there’s never been any real onfield chemistry between them. It’s not suddenly faltered this season – signs have always been there. Throw in Pepe to that and it’s just horrendous. Worst attack I’ve seen in my afc supporting lifetime.

Qwaliteee

Yeah?

You should have been around when Frank Stapleton left the Arsenal in 1981 and for 1981/82 we were left with Alan Sunderland, John Hawley, Ray Hankin, Raphael Meade and Paul Vaessen.

That was a threadbare attack, believe me. Yet, under Terry Neil’s guidance, we still finished 5th – and that’s because we had good players in midfield, like Brian Talbot, Stewart Robson and Graham Rix.

The problem with 2020/21 Arsenal isn’t the forward line. It’s the sideways and backwards horseshoe crap we have had to put up with from Willian, Ceballos, Elneny and Xhaka.

Ozzie

Good point Qwalitee, but to be fair, Paul Vaessen was continuously injured from when Stapleton left, Meade never got a run in the side for some reason, I can only ever remember Hankin coming off the bench and looking quite fat, and as for Hawley, he always looked like a grafter playing out of his depth, like humble and robust version of Nik Bendtner with a moustache.

Footnote: throwing money at the problem in the shape Lee Chapman did not solve it.

Qwaliteee

Some good memories there. You may remember that Raf actually got a run in the side after Terry Neil was sacked at Christmas in 1983. Don Howe came in as caretaker boss and immediately put Raf in the side and we beat Watford 3-1 at Highbury and Raf scored a hatrick. A few days later, we then smashed Tottenham on Boxing Day at the Lane 2-4. Raf and Charlie Nicholas scoring a brace each. Raf then lost his place after Don Howe signed Paul Mariner in early ‘84 and that was that. A shame really. For those few games, he… Read more »

NW1

About ten years before my time so I stand by it. 😉 It is isn’t the only problem with afc 20/21 but I think it’s always the most overlooked problem. It’s easy to call out the guys you mentioned – but Pepe, Laca and Auba were all signed to be a our main forwards, to form a potent attacking trio, almost £200 mil they cost. For that money we should be expecting attacking players who have the ability to win game on their own. Much is always about our defence and midfield, with reason, but our decline has coincided with… Read more »

Biggles

The only possible small crumb of comfort (if that’s the word) is that perhaps the players were “saving” themselves for the EL. Obviously the “success” or otherwise of the season rests now with winning the EL. If we do, then there’s European football and the financial and other benefits that brings next season. If we fail, and we’re still only at the QF stage, then there will be tremendous pressure on MA and his colleagues next season against the backdrop of an even tighter financial position.

Qwaliteee

Wait ‘til the fans return.

I’m sure the Emirates faithful will have their own unique way of giving Arteta the good news, if we get more of the same – which we will.

Mark

Those days when we were routinely in the top 4 and CL seem decades ago now.

Biggles

True. The decline started under Wenger with the constant dumbing down of expectations. We went from winning the PL and CL qualification, to CL being “worth a trophy” in itself, to no CL qualification, to EL qualification, to who knows what next?

A P

I would wish for the Wenger days, even the latter ones, that you dismiss so frivolously.

Wenger may have been the peak, and started to decline, but the pace has accelerated with two managers and you are still blaming him.

Qwaliteee

It’s what he does. Ad nauseam.

Qwaliteee

Pardon me for putting my head around the door, but this ‘dumbing down’ of expectations just happened to coincide with a new stadium being paid off and the bankrolling of Chelsea and Chelsea. Thanks to Kroenke and his penny pinching ways, the stadium is STILL being paid off. How Wenger kept us in the top four without being bankrolled like City and Chelsea is a miracle. instead Instead of cherry picking the best, he had to balance the books with a budget that forced him to more or less to gamble with youth like Theo and the Ox and pad… Read more »

Ozzie

Agree 100%. Just imagine our current squad with Almunia in goal and Denilson as playmaker… how any manager got those guys anywhere near CL football in nothing short of miraculous.

Qwaliteee

Mate, we’d be firmly involved in a relegation battle – no two ways about it.

Qwaliteee

*Chelsea and City

Vonnie

We’ve got worse and the league is a lot tougher, we scraped top four by the skin of our teeth some years, we were always going to drop. The summer that Wenger only signed Cech was the beginning of the decline and it’s been speeding up ever since.

Joy

I hope he has apologised to Kieran Tierney also for naming him to play in his seventh match in 21 days

Bossman Bill

We’rent at least 2 of them with Scotland tho? Like I know we’re dependant on him but that’s the risk with a player so in form. Are we no gonna start him against Liverpool (reigning champions) because he played against the fuckin Faroe Islands?

If he’s fit he’s got to play. That’s where we’re at with him and all the boys who can change a game.

Chris

Yep.

Mootilated

Performances have been consistently for quite a while. Maybe he should start apologising for every single defeat until he is inevitably sacked.

Mootilated

*consistently poor

Fred Garvin

I don’t want a ‘next season’ for Arteta

Qwaliteee

I think you’ll see it, no matter what happens between now and the end of May. This board are all talk, in fact the whole club is all talk at the moment. Sorry, but I can only see more of the same, until both the Kroenkes and Arteta are removed. This club needs a takeover of ownership – that Arsenal fan billionaire from Nigeria would do nicely – a massive cash injection into all areas of the clubs business, both on the field and off it and a new manager who wants to win the top prizes via attractive football… Read more »

allezkev

Frozen

edzo

I’m exhausted by the apologies to the fans. Our players constantly make the same mistakes. With a few exceptions, our players are average and belong on a team with 12 premier league losses. Average at best. Nothing changes. Nothing. Just more apologies to fans.

Badaab

if there were fans in the ground arteta would have been sacked after that dismal performance. absolutely insipid from the manager, diabolical from some of the players. said this a couple of seasons ago before it started, but we’re presently like united were under moyes/van gaal- too many old veterans on ridiculous wages, too friendly with agents, no identity on or off the pitch. this is a mess of the ownership’s creation and they should be putting up the cash to fix the problems they are responsible for. arteta needs to stop with these apologies and produce results. thank goodness… Read more »

Biggles

I hope you’re right about the owner putting up additional resources, but on the evidence of years in charge I wouldn’t hold your breath too long. It’s true that the owner reportedly put up the funds for Partey’s transfer (presumably as a loan – not a gift). However, the club must repay £120 million of Covid loans to the Govt. in two months time as we were hit particularly hard because of the lack of matchday income – about 25% of total income – for such a long period. Much will depend upon our winning the EL this season. It’s… Read more »

Hank Scorpio

The problem is that they have been putting up the cash and they have been served up a steaming turd as evidenced by our current plight. This of course is coupled with them putting people in charge who are not capable of doing the things that need to be done to improve the club’s fortunes. There are limits to their motivation to keep spending while results don’t improve.

askblorg

I still take a lot of courage from the overall form since Christmas. Despite this loss we are still in 4th (1 point off 2nd). It was a bad day but people are way too quick to throw out the bath with the baby https://www.transfermarkt.com/premier-league/formtabelle/wettbewerb/GB1?saison_id=2020&min=15&max=30

A P

Too bad the season doesn’t start from Christmas eh.

Hank Scorpio

Way to be selective. If you take the last 10 matches we’re 8th in form or the last 20 matches we’re 7th. Or overall, we’re 10th and the teams directly above us have played fewer games…

Tapps

The point Askblorg is making is that we are making progress. Clearly a better team now than we were under Emery. And, despite Saturday’s shit-show, I still believe that we’re on course for top six next season.

Chris

This is true but Liverpool were 18th in the form table I think and we lost 3-0 so hard to read a lot into that

Hank Scorpio

That’s what I’m getting at about being selective about form to try make a point.

askblorg

it’s not *that* selective, saying 2nd half of the season. it’s 16 games and counting. i just think people love to overreact, but since smith-rowe came into the side and we’ve changed up our attack, there has been a lot to like. yes we are in another slight dip atm and that sucks.

jon

Liverpool played vintage Kloppball. They targeted Arsenal’s only creator, Ødegaard, surrounding him with three midfielders as soon as the ball got near him. Their high pressing was so efficient that Arsenal never (!) managed to play out from the back. At the other end, Ødegaard attempted to press, Lacazette more half-hearted so and the others not at all. What’s the plan? Are they supposed to press, or are they not? Ceballos and Auba were invisible. Pepe ridiculous. Partey tried to fight, but did not find passing options. I think Arsenal’s inefficient midfield was also down to Liverpool’s pressing. Klopp totally… Read more »

Qwaliteee

You had me until your final paragraph. Ceballos is awful, but Pepe and Chambers are both good players – they’re just not being managed properly.

Not sure what you meant at all by your last sentence. A shame, because up until your final paragraph, you were nailing it.

Frank Stroud

Not writing this until Sunday night as I was fucking fuming. That was as bad as it’s got. Useless. Auba? Where you gone? And that fucking haircut seriously? Leno, where your wrists gone? The rest, where’s your hearts gone? Fucking raging.

arseblog

Understand anger about performance, but why does Aubameyang’s hair bother you?

Mootilated

it does look pretty dumb ngl

Viv The 🐐

Getting a haircut is the only thing he did outside of international football last week. I’m usually not a guy, who talks about it, but it even bothers me, that our captain looks like a full blown rapper. And it could have been Kido Taylor-Hart and we did not notice it.

arseblog

But so what? Don’t see what that has to do with his performance.

Vonnie

Auba determined to act like Ozil and look like Gervino!

Ozzie

Was he trying to look like Gervinho?

Rincewind

Boo hoo hoo, here we are again. FFS.

Qwaliteee

Listen, contrary to popular belief on here, I actually like Mikel Arteta. From what I gather, he’s a genuinely nice guy and clearly loves The Arsenal the same as the rest of us. He’s also not entirely to blame for the club’s current woes. It’s my belief that until we now get a takeover to buy out the Kroenkes (and there have been reports of a takeover bid in 2021 from a Nigerian billionaire) then this club’s entire infrastructure and cash flow will remain as it is – everything being done on the cheap (the signings of Pepe and Partey… Read more »

Bossman Bill

Agreed. BUT. What if this is as good as it gets bro? I see Newcastle, I see Sunderland. I see Forest (won more European cups that we have). And I wonder if arteta isn’t in fact the guy to stop us from slide.

Like, we could have Steve Bruce.

Qwaliteee

Blimey, anyone but Mrs Doubtfire…..!! 🤣 I share your reservations, but two things have convinced me that Arteta is not the guy for this club. First of all, the football. It’s bloody awful. Seriously, is high press really the way forward? Why do we move the ball so agonisingly slowly when we’re in possession, especially when there’s a counter attack to exploit? The horseshoe – it drives me fucking mad. Why doesn’t anyone want to take a chance, move forward, try something, anything? Why do we give possession away so easily and needlessly, game after game? Why are certain players… Read more »

Chris

I think the term LEGO ball is pretty unnecessary, it’s cheap and not that funny (a little a bit funny granted). Honest question though, do you not see anything in Arteta to give him a chance? I’m no tactical expert, far from it, but I like the way he’s sorted out the defence and is trying to get the team to press and win back possession but is it perhaps being hamstrung by the players? We all know there are some weak links in this team but that’s not necessarily Arteta’s fault, apart from Willian, but even then isn’t he… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Right. I’ll try and deal with your points, one by one. First of all LEGO ball is not meant to be offensive. If it were offensive, I’m sure Bloggs would have pointed it out by now. It’s banter. Has football fandom become yet another slave to OTT ‘triggers’…? Come on! Lighten up. 😉 Secondly, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I would love to see Arteta turn this around and prove me wrong. But, for the moment, I stand by what I say and that is that Arteta is not fit to manage this club for two major reasons… Read more »

Chris

These are fair points, I didn’t read your other post before writing mine so I see where you’re coming from now. The LEGO ball thing just seemed to me a little tired, but sure, bantz. What I find difficult is that there’s some real vitriol in these comments towards our Manager and until that changes he is the Manager and think he deserves some support. I’m fairly balanced in my opinion of him and will call him out on things like Willian and Martinelli to a degree but I do maintain he’s trying to manage injuries there. It’s transition at… Read more »

Lion

Granit Xhaka was dearly missed in the midfield. He might be slow but very few players in this league can pass it like him.

Bossman Bill

What I want to know is why Ainsley and Joe Willock are out on loan?

They’re doing well with their loan teams – Are they really *worse* than our present options???

Ceballos is off next year, where’s Azeez?

Hank Scorpio

Both those will be sold I suspect. I can’t see either wanting to stick around. I could far more easily stomach our dire situation if we’d been giving games to these 2 ahead of Elneny and Ceballos. AMN has been played in many different positions and Willock was largely played in patchwork teams. Azeez also has shown glimpses and should be given some game time. We know what Elneny can and can’t do and we won’t be signing Ceballos. Where is the value in persisting with either of these 2?

kasgood

I wonder if Richard Garlick will have a major say when he joins us.
Apart from AMN, Willock, the Saliba & Guendouzi situations needs addressing along the selling of Martinez & hiring of Willian. The mega contract for Auba etc. Arteta has so much to answer for with his preference for over 30’s players and much more.

Geefive

Where is Auba’s apology for fucking the dog the entire match? Looked like a Sunday league player after a Saturday Night Bender. Complete shit.

blink

Very poor but they were really good tbh.

Gabigol

Ok you can win against big teams. Fine. But against teams who aren’t big or who especially focus on weaknesses in the channel or fullback then you shouldn’t expose them. It was poor tactically as chambers isn’t great when isolated 1v1 out wide. And Tierney got the run around because Ceballos was not providing support or cover shadows of the channel. Tierney had to cover both Ceballos midfield runner and Alex Arnold We now know very well Ceballos fallibilities in defensive phase but then of course teams who specialise on that know that very well too. Poor choices by Mikel.… Read more »