Report: Arsenal 0-0 Villarreal (Villarreal win 2-1 on aggregate)

471

Result: Arsenal 0–0 Villarreal
Competition: Europa League
Date: 6 May April 2021
Venue: Emirates Stadium

Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Xhaka, Partey, Saka, Smith Rowe, Odegaard, Pepe, Aubameyang

Subs: Ryan, Okonkwo, Tierney, Gabriel, Cedric, Chambers, Willian, Nelson, Lacazette, Nketiah, Martinelli


Arsenal’s Champions League exile will continue for at least another year after Mikel Arteta’s side limped out of the Europa League following a 0-0 draw with Villarreal.

Needing a goal to make the Spaniards sweat, the Gunners produced a horribly limp performance from start to finish. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did hit the post in either half but his contribution aside, we rarely troubled the visitors.

With little chance of qualifying for Europa via our position in the Premier League, an inquest will now begin into how this season has petered out quite so badly. Where we go next is anyone’s guess.

Pre-game

When the lineups were announced, the big question was whether Bukayo Saka or Granit Xhaka would be starting at left-back. The argument was moot when the Swiss picked up a knock in the warm-up meaning Kieran Tierney, just back from a knee injury, was asked to make his first start at short notice. The Scot lined up in defence alongside Pablo Mari, Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin. In midfield, Thomas Partey sat deep with Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard ahead of him. Saka started on the right flank, Pepe on the left and Aubameyang led the line. On the bench, the likes of Martinelli, Lacazette and Nketiahoffered potential fire power should we need them.

First Half

A fast start would have been nice. We got the opposite. Our players looked paralysed by nerves and far more concerned about the runs of their opposite numbers rather than taking the game to the visitors. Villarreal, with a lead to defend, weren’t overly fussed about making in-roads into the final third either. It made for a very cagey affair.

Aside from an effort by Nigerian winger Chukwueze, who cut in off the right flank to test Leno with a curler, shots were few and far between.

Just keeping the ball in the Villarreal half was a struggle for the men in red. It looked like we might get joy arrowing diagonal balls over the Villarreal right-back but whenever Bellerin and Saka and Pepe made any progress they were soon shut down. When Tierney pushed forward on the other flank, we opened ourselves up to the counter.

After Parejo came close with a free-kick that clipped the top of the net on its way over, the Gunners briefly threatened to improve.

First Tierney fired wide with a sighter from 20-yards before Auba clipped the post with a fizzing volley after a half-cleared corner was returned into the box and eventually fell to him. In a half of very few chances, it proved to be our best.

Our captain did have one further effort before the break. Given the ball by Smith Rowe, who looked to inject some pace, he stepped off the left and tried a trademark curler. It was a tame effort although that didn’t stop keeper Rulli nearly making a hash of things. The ball spilt from his arms and he had to gather at the second attempt.

Emery was forced into an early change when Chukwueze went down with nobody near him but it didn’t affect the visitors’ game plan, which was to indulge Arsenal in boring the socks off everyone.

Second Half

Time to go for it, Arsenal. Within a minute of the restart, Pepe crashed a left foot volley just wide after Tierney had scooped a lovely pass over a defender to find him in the box.

Two minutes later, a second golden chance. Rulli fumbled a Bellerin cross and when the ball fell to Smith Rowe he tried to dink a finish into the far corner. It dropped wide.

At the other end, Moreno tested Leno after Partey got caught dawdling not far from his own box. It was a big let off. The Ghanaian lost the ball in a dangerous area a second time a couple of minutes later. He looked completely off the pace.

Villarreal did everything they could to slow the tempo down. They took an age over set pieces and were very happy to see two Arsenal players go down at the same time just on the hour-mark. Odegaard took a heavy touch and rolled his ankle before Pablo Mari also went down as we tried to defend the resulting counter. The Norwegian was soon replaced by Gabriel Martinelli.

It was hard to see where a goal would come from. Our football was horribly lethargic and it said something that Holding had our best chances, twice heading over. Martinelli added to the frustration when he scuffed wide as a corner fell to him.

Finally, a chance of real quality. Pepe fed Bellerin who looped a perfect cross to Auba who headed against the post. It was his last action of the game. Lacazette came on for the final 10 minutes and immediately gave away a foul on Albiol as he contested for a Smith Rowe cross. Willian also replaced Tierney meaning Saka went to left-back.

With time ticking out we looked increasingly desperate in attack. A lack of precision in our passing and an inability to get men in the box made for a bad combination. A yellow wall kept us at bay with ease. Almost every fifty-fifty challenge resulted in a Villarreal free-kick. Five minutes of stoppage time was eaten up. Game over.

There will be no European final. No trip to Gdansk. No chance of Champions League football. Our downward spiral as a club continues.

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Cheerio

2 shots on target at home chasing a spot in a European final? Absolutely pathetic

Mick Malthouse

Weak and gutless.

Johnny 4 Hats

Well. It’s official. We’ve suspected it for some time.

We are a mediocre club.

Wrap up warm. The wilderness years cometh.

StuArse

Lol, already here

Jules

We well and truly are a mediocre club. Feels for the first time like we are so far down the spiral getting back up is impossible. It always felt a little more hopeful before, like we could do it next year (haha go on, laugh) but now it’s just… So hard to envision. How does one justify the kind of season we’ve had?!

Redsy

Stan has made all his sports teams mediocre so it’s not much of a surprise.

Time for change it’s not all about managers when Emery can put one over on us it’s about the kronkes

Atom

I don’t like the Kroenke’s but the Rams are actually pretty good. They came within a whisper of winning the super bowl recently.

James Skilton

That was a fluke season to be honest. NFL, NBA, NHL – all mid-table mediocrity with the odd season where something goes right. Arsenal is just a cash cow; nice steady income for them. They’ll not give it up.

Crash Fistfight

They got to the playoffs last season and went out against Green Bay (before all their OL got injured) with Jared Goff (who’s bad enough normally, let alone the fact he was recovering from a broken thumb) at QB.

What makes you think that the SB run was a fluke (other than the dodgy no-flag against the Saints)?

Goonerjag

The Rams have an incredible coach but Stan’s a cunt. We have a coach still learning his trade AND Stan’s a cunt.

Joe

That’s not true, the nugs are actually quite good.

Crash Fistfight

So are the Rams. The Avalanche are not that bad either. That is a tired narrative spouted by people who haven’t bothered to look at the results of their US teams.

Magazine_Gap

Arsenal are already there, wandering around the wilds.

Qwaliteee

Tell me something I didn’t know already last August, oh great sage.

DPK

Who the fuck would down vote that comment ? Are there really people who think that performance wasn’t weak and gutless ?

Matt P

Must be a fucken Spurs troll

Biggles

Weak & Gutless – sounds more like a comedy act than a football team. Come to think of it though… .

Nketibag

Personally I look back to the decision to play Xhaka at left back last match. It cost us a goal inside 5 minutes, and ultimately that has knocked us out. Play players in their natural positions and you minimise risk. It’s as simple as that. Terrible decision, and he even tried to do it again tonight.

SarcasmB0t

It’s not quite that simple.

There was also the decision to experiment with a team deliberately set up not to score any goals whatsoever.

Nketibag

What is this supposed to mean?
He played Auba, Pepe and Saka upfront with Smith Rowe, Odegaard and Partey behind. Not to mention Bellerin and a lucky Tierney. How is that not setup to score?

SarcasmB0t

Dude, I was responding to your post, where you were talking about the first leg.

My point was that in that game, having a goal-threatless set-up was at least as damaging as Xhaka at left back.

The issue in last night’s game was tactical rigidity and lack of energy. That’s also on Arteta, of course.

Nzini

My thought too,especially because we needed Xhaka in the middle.We did not have a midfield over the two legs

FMT

💯

Stanisashitcunt

The result tonight should 100% call time on this Arteta experiment. It was a bold move but it’s not paid off, so no need to dwell on the decision to move him on. Has to be done, and I’d argue Edu has to go as well. And I know it’s a bit weird to admit this, but I am (slightly) pleased for Emery. He was fucking mocked by sections of our fan base for his ‘good evening,’ which never sat well with me. I couldn’t even begin to imagine how that must’ve felt, being replaced by someone like Arteta given… Read more »

dcgooner

One more year… we’re out of the champions league and europa league next year anyway.. so why not. cement our position as middle of the road mediocre league.. aiming for the Everton trophy…

heihaci

Emery didnt get the same slack as Arteta and clearly some of the players had an agenda against him incl mocking his english

Canadagoon

Dislike Arteta if you want but let’s not revise history and say Emery was unlucky to be sacked, his football was terrible to watch, I’d say worse than Arteta’s and he had pre-seasons and no COVID football. I still remember that Emery game where Watford battered us

Qwaliteee

I remember the Emery games where we battered Spurs and played Leicester City like a cat toys with a dying mouse.

His football – as inconsistent as it was – was far easier on the eye than LEGO ball.

goonshow

And how we turned up and monstered Chelsea in that Uefa final…. as abject (if not worse as it was vs them) a display as last night.
How quickly we forget?

Stanisashitcunt

I literally never said anywhere that I thought Unai was unlucky to lose his job. He rightfully lost his job because he wasn’t good enough. I was simply highlighting the fact that I didn’t like the way certain sections of our fan base, the dressing room and even the media started mocking him when things started to go down hill. As for Arteta, he is not good enough. Consistently our xG and other underlying metrics this season have been woeful. in contrast Graham Potter has a Brighton side out performing us data wise. Even someone like Eddie Howe got a… Read more »

Vaibhav Pandey

I would give Arteta a full pre-Season to prepare and build the team. Also the kind of things going on at Arsenal are not ideal for players and the manager. Cut out the toxicity fellow supporters, please!

SarcasmB0t

Last time he was given a pre-season, he ostracized our premier young signing.

No more of this shit. There’s been no evidence Arteta can turn it around.

If anything, we’ve gone backwards since January.

If and when Arteta develops into a real manager, he can come back.

I’m sick of him learning Football Management 101 at our expense.

Bleeding gums murphy

Nketia coming on with gloves on summed it up.

Fabulous

And giving away two needless fouls straight away. Probably an occasion way too big for an England U21 striker; but some common sense at least.

myrtle

Aubameyang coming off summed it up.

Kostas

He came on the injury time so that his sub doesnt count to injury minutes!

Johnny 4 Hats

No one took responsibility. The pressure was too much for these guys. No one wanted to take the shot on or beat the man.

And how can you tell? Because we fecking started crossing it over and over. It’s a sure fire sign that no one wants to take the ball and do something with it. But if you float it into the area, no one can blame you for anything. So let’s just keep doing that. Auba vs two 6’3” centre backs.

Goodly morning

They were all having a pop at each other which doesn’t bode well. No spirit at all, I suspect they are quite conflicted with liking Arteta but knowing he’s not up to it as a manager.

Vaibhav Pandey

FFS, Accept the reality that it is going to take time to rebuild the team and stop culling heads everyday, fu*k KSE, Fu*k AFTV fu*k blogs, everyone is trying to drive their agendas, too much negativity all across by bunch of entitled fans. I am out of here and will continue support Arsenal in peace whoever is the manager or whoever is in starting 11. Thank you 🙂

goonshow

Well said mate. This culture of ‘instant gratification’ needs to be rooted out asap.

Qwaliteee

Instant gratification….?!!

We’ve not won the Premiership title for a mere 17 years and not had a sniff of even challenging for it in 5 years.

I think it’s about time we did, don’t you?

goonshow

I exclude Pepe that your summation – he and ESR looked like that knew why they were on the pitch… sadly few others did.

goonshow

Oops – ‘that’ should be ‘from’.

StuArse

Our final two subs being Willian and Nketia shows how far we have fallen.

The Arsenal

Eye bleeding reality

DPK

The subs were irrelevant to be honest. We started out with a terrible, passive attitude and that never changed. Unless one of our subs was going to hand out lines of cocaine that wasn’t going to change.
How Arteta can send out a team in our biggest (by a fucking mile) game of the season & play with so little passion & energy is beyond me…..sadly, it looks like the job is beyond him

Canadagoon

I hear you, but whoever the manager is, if you as a player can’t get excited and energized to play in a European semi-final that’s on you. Like have some pride, surely they grew up dreaming of playing in such games (and yes I know its Europa, still a semifinal though)

Gunnerbear

The job IS beyond him.

goonshow

Seriously misguided comment mate – these are highly paid professionals. Unless they are both deaf, blind and stupid – they knew exactly what was riding on last night.|
There is a point where every pro sportsman has to make their own commitment, dig deep inside and find whatever is necessary in that given situation.
They didn’t – and even is Arteta was the world’s greatest hypnotist, he couldn’t do that for them.
Gutless muppets… most of ’em, at least.

Vaibhav Pandey

Who is accountable for this? For me it has to be KSE because they authorized the purchase or lack of it across regimes of different managers.

goonshow

Time is up on Eddie (and many others): rushed around, almost got himself sent off and his sum contribution was to assist VR in running the clock down with his repeated fouls!

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Where’s Ozil?

Hank Scorpio

Out buying one of those large novelty farewell cards for when Arteta gets sacked perhaps.

Qwaliteee

Probably laughing his bollocks off.

DPK

Good to see you are a man of your word – remember you vowed to never mention Ozil again ?

Vaibhav Pandey

Yeah sucking Fenerbache’s money now, gladly so!

Chraya

No, Arsenal are still paying 90 percent of Ozil’s wages.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

I know right? Its all his fault after all

Luther

Surprised Keown didn’t blame him for this result as well!

SarcasmB0t

Doing nothing useful, as always.

Alex

In Arteta’s nightmares.

Qwaliteee

👏 The top post of the night.

gooner

I love Arteta very much but I hope to see us try something else next season. I know we won’t but another season of this?

Disarmed Gunner

Someone should flag this comment for incitement

Henkamp

I don’t care anymore. Just get Arteta and that piece of shit, Kroenke, out of this club. Can’t put up with this kind of toothless displays next season.

Qwaliteee

You and me both, pal.

And, it would appear, at least 57 others

goongot

I want so many people out from arsenal sometimes it feels it would be sane for me to not invest into club emotionally and mentally. fuck kroenke and also arteta you won us fa so thankyou for that but u can also fuck off now.

TommyGun

Absolute dog shit. I like Arteta as a human being but sadly he needs to go. If he could take Kroenke with him at the same time that would be just lovely.

The team never looked at the races this evening. Big changes need to be made.

Qwaliteee

It’s been a long journey, but you’ve finally got there mate. 👍🍺

Magazine_Gap

Just make sure you aren’t donating to the Kroenke Scheme of Enrichment (KSE), ’emotionally’ you need to find other things in life. No point getting worked up about millionaires chasing around a ball. None of them give a flying f about your emotions, so reciprocate.

Flash

Unclassifiable, disillusioning piece of shit….

Maniac

Spineless performance, spineless manager, spineless ownership. Absolutely sick of it. This Arsenal team have completely drained all the excitement I had for football for years. Not only did we fail to win, but at no point (except maybe 5 mins at the start of the 2nd half) did we even look remotely close to scoring. Just another lethargic performance to cement our worst season in the Premier League era.

Laurent

Spineless supporter that can’t support a manager when he gets some decisions wrong, when players make mistakes.

Vaibhav Pandey

I didn’t see the game but to me lack of connect between defense and attack was very obvious. The lack of Xhaka in midfield impacted Partey for sure as he was lone guard there. It may also put a stop on people who were asking ESR/Odegaard to be played along side Partey.

Truly pathetic. Meanwhile Roma who had nothing to play for gave their outgoing manager a prideful performance.

Yet they’ll tell us there’s been progress under Arteta and Edu.

Hank Scorpio

United have De Gea to thank for progressing to the final. That sounds like a preposterous claim but Roma gave it a real go….despite the 4 goal deficit.

Didn’t even notice De Gea was between the sticks for United tonight. I suppose Roma have more pride than we do.

Roma’s outgoing manager managed to motivate his players in a dead rubber match than Mikel did in our most important game of the season.

That says a lot about his man-management in my opinion.

The board are this club are showing their ineptitude.

Old Bloke.

Disappointing can’t see us getting anywhere with Arteta whoever we may or not buy in the summer.

goonshow

Question is who we will be able to buy… Odegaard for one will now be difficult to keep and which decent player would have watched last night and been enthused about coming to Arsenal!

Runcorn Gooner

What sort of start to a game was that. Slow,indecisive and lacking in any sort of statement of intent. If that was what Arteta told them he should be removed. It set the pattern and Villarreal had an easy night. Embarrassing.

We ended up chasing a result when we could have been ahead.

Lion

Really toothless

GraeB

And >250 comments here in less than 30 minutes tells you how fans are reacting.

Qwaliteee

….and Arteta reckons he can’t wait to have the fans back in the stadium… 🤣

Wengerball

Idk about you but has anyone noticed the sheer lack of movement we display in attack? I saw Martinelli dribble inside then back outside trying to find a pass just for six players in front of him to stand in place watching the ball. That’s elementary football. No third man runs, no check ins and check outs, just standing still waiting for something to happen. Once in awhile it happens, but it’s been like this every game this year. That’s bad coaching. Arteta has a lock on the intangibles (discipline, attitude, playing with effort) but I think his tactical knowledge… Read more »

Vaibhav Pandey

Thank you Football scientist for giving lecture on tactics! why don’t try your trade in PL?

Domi

What he said makes sense, here we are all allowed to politely analyse the game, who are you to deny this to anyone?

Mootilated

yaaaaaaaaaawn

Fabulous

Arteta out yet?

Ealing

It’s the first time I am agreeing with it

boudro

Same. I want him to succeed, but it may be at a smaller club to learn his trade.

Disarmed Gunner

What took so long? I suggest buying a nice new pair of glasses prompto.

Maniac

All it’s taken is our first season without European football for nearly 30 years and our worst league finish since 94/95. Our standard as Arsenal fans is so low that it’s not a surprise we’re the laughing stock of the Premier League. Honestly, what other “top” team would accept this level of mediocrity?

Even ignoring that, just on the basis of actually watching the games, what exactly are we seeing that makes it look like we’re heading even remotely in the right direction. The football we’re playing is simply awful.

Canadagoon

I mean both Liverpool and Man Utd have failed to qualify for Europe in the past decade. Didn’t Chelski come 10th with Mourinho? Maybe its what we need

Titi-forker

it’s not the manager. See what Emery did with a squad that cost a fraction of ours. This team is beyond save by any manager

Alex

Your point is that it IS the manager

Crash Fistfight

Swap the two managers over and Arsenal would probably win the tie comfortably over two legs.

goonshow

You mean the way we monstered Chelsea in Baku?
That was an even more spineless, listless display than last night – and against those West London suzz-buckets.
How quickly we forget!

Crash Fistfight

Yeah, because of course Villareal are at the same level as Chelsea. Just to make it clear, I don’t think we should still have Emery as manager – just because he’s less bad than Arteta doesn’t make Emery good, it just shows up how monumentally awful Arteta is.

Nketibag

Contradicting your own point there no?

Atom

The squad is not that bad. It has holes but there’s enough there to be much better than 10th or meekly going out in the EL. At least go down swinging.

Public Elneny

It’s considerably better than the one Emery had to contend with

I’m not even one of those people who want to revise history and pretend Emery did a good job with that squad, because he didn’t

goonshow

Emery had Ramsey, Welbz, Nacho, Kos, and and and…. but deemed them unnecessary.

Public Elneny

He used Ramsey a good amount, managed him quite well I thought by not overplaying him. Welbeck was injured for most of that season. Kos was waay past his best and wanted out. Monreal was old too – Kola outperformed him during Emery’s time here Emery didn’t have Gabriel, Partey, current Saka & ESR, Odegaard, or Tierney (who was injured for most of the time their time together overlapped) Again, I’m really not trying to big up Emery at all. But I do feel that our squad is actually in a healthier state now than it has been for the… Read more »

goonshow

I would agree – there are some definite brighter lights in the squad. I also wouldn’t judge Partey too harshly yet. Same voices that would have had Pepe dragged naked down Islington High Street behind an ox-wagon!

Fabulous

But 10th in the league, losing some absolute sh*tshow along the way. Putting all your egg in the UEL basket and failing. That can’t be down to the players.

What I’ll give him over Emery is at least there is a clear style of play. That said, that style of play obviously is a poor man’s Pep, and one Arteta’s trying to push with a way too mediocre squad compared to City’s.

He’s clearly out of his depth, this gig came way too early. Chelsea fans were raving about Lampard but the Tuchel thing worked out pretty well didn’t it?

karl

Whether he stays or not, the slow and ponderous style of play is down to Arteta. The players continuously stop and check back.

Biggles

If true, what’s the solution? We can’t dispose of the entire team. We sacked Emery after around 18 months, sacking Arteta after about the same length of time could be considered habit forming.

Charles

So can hiring shit managers be. I don’t want a manager who brings on Willian with a game on the line anywhere near our transfer business.

Crash Fistfight

I don’t want a manager who thinks signing a 32 year old Willian on a 3-year contract for £200k/week, let alone all the other terrible personnel decisions he’s made.

Biggles

But the vast majority of Gooners on this site were all in favour of Arteta when he was appointed. The point is that you just don’t know. Perhaps he is hopeless or perhaps he needs more time.

Another manager at a “big” club was very close indeed to getting sacked (as he freely admits) after three years – Alex Ferguson at Utd. Now, I’m not suggesting Arteta will “do a Ferguson”, but perhaps we need a little more patience before deciding after a year and a half that yet another manager is “shit”.

Public Elneny

But that’s such an off chance. How many Fergusons have there been in the history of football – who failed for 5 years and then succeeded from then on? What evidence has Arteta really shown to be worthy of that faith, more so than any other manager we could have in charge instead? And why do we have to put a very sensitive period of our club’s future on the line to test whether he might come good? If you’re concerned about Arteta the person, then sure it will hurt him to lose his job at the end of this… Read more »

goonshow

That’s entirely the point – we will never know, precisely because many may have been sacked too soon.
Arteta has been thoroughly compomised from day one.
Give him one proper pre-season, followed by a season with FULL support of the club, with a mentor(s) brought in to insulate his obvious areas of inexperience… then fire him if there’s no real, measurable progress.
It’s called a level playing field – and it’s the least a club of our heritage should offer.

Crash Fistfight

I’m not sure the majority were in favour of it, to be honest.

It’s difficult for me to know, I guess, because I wasn’t in favour of it, but it felt like people talked themselves into being behind the idea more than actively wanting it to happen. I mean, who wants to be depressed by the decision before you are able to see whether it was or not?

Comedian

Yup

Henkamp

Yup. This is the straw that broke the already-broken Camel’s back. What was that display?

We at the very least needed fight from this team.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

The ‘Wenger Out’ brigade getting everything they deserve.

Henkamp

Stop that nonsense. It was clear to see that the game had left Wenger behind. Will always respect him for his devotion to this club and all the wonderful memories he gave us. But it doesn’t stop you from admitting that we were no longer progressing with him as well.

If we had replaced him earlier with any of Guardiola or Klopp (when they were available), do you think we’d be in this mess now?

Fuck Kroenke, for real!

Tierney’s Tescopoints

Well said sir!

Luther

Conversation between Gooners from 2016-2018:
AKB: If Wenger goes, who would you replace him with then???
WOB: Anyone. Anyone would do a better job than him.

Conversation between Gooners in 2021:
AKB: Told you to be careful what you wish for!
WOB: We were definitely right to get rid of Wenger, but we appointed the wrong managers thereafter.

Atom

Wenger was flailing pretty badly by the time he got sacked. Squad & contract management were a disaster. Arteta & Emery haven’t worked but moving on from Wenger was the right call

Luther

You’re just one of those people who doesn’t want to be wrong – you’d much rather see the club fail than you have egg on your face.
If we appoint whichever manager is top of your wishlist and see him do worse than Wenger, you’ll just say “we were still right to get rid of Wenger – we should have appointed (insert a new name) instead”.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Squad and contract management have been worse since Wenger left. Willian, Saliba, Guendouzi, Runarsson, Nelson, Ozil, letting Kolasinac leave without a replacement. 4 year contract for Cedric who’s now our 4th choice right back.
Wenger was flailing a bit but a Wenger team wouldn’t be struggling against likes of Fulham and Burnley.

Public Elneny

Fuck right off

Public Elneny

I’m sorry Nainsley Aitland Miles. Don’t fuck off. I’m angry with the game and your comment hit a nerve for the amount of time it took for me to comment

Nainsley Aitland Miles

We’re all Arsenal fans, it just wouldn’t be right if we all agreed with each other!

Hank Scorpio

I am a huge fan of Wenger. His treatment and the way he exited were a disgrace BUT it was time to go. It’s just that everything that has been done thereafter has been a disaster. There are plenty of decent managers out there. We’ve elected to avoid them.

Bishop

I have come on this page to defend Arteta on a few occasions but the results speak for themselves. Giving Arteta another season with this club will be the equivalence of renewing Wenger’s Contract in 2014.

Arteta might come good with time, but Arsenal is a step above him right now

Disarmed Gunner

Don’t even try and put Wenger and this clown Arteta in the same sentence. Even in his “worst” years Wenger was 10x the manager this fraud is.

Qwaliteee

Make that 10,000. 😉

GoonerD

Unsure how much more he could do, he picked his best players and all the subs he made were attackers. When you need a goal that makes sense to me.

Crash Fistfight

Maybe managing a team is a bit more than picking an 11 and making subs?

Jules

Unsure how much more he could do?! It’s not just about this game mate, look at the fucking season, we’re fucking 10th!!!

Fabulous

You’re basing judgment on a second leg of a UEL semi final; per se. My judgment is more the whole course of the season. 10th in the league and no European football next season.

Chippy Brady

The problem is his over coached style of play which inhibits players playing freely and with confidence.

SarcasmB0t

Willian is not an attacker. Bellerin was far more attacking than him.

Alex

Nelson was kicked out to accomodate Borges.

DPK

Will you fuck off with calling him Borges you childish clown

John Williams

He loves standing still with the ball at his feet on the halfway line. His specialty.

Henkamp

You could say the same thing for Lampard. The same players that played like vegetables under him are the same set of players Tuchel has taken a UCL final. Make of that what you will.

goonshow

No you couldn’t – there is no basis for comparison since Chelski’s squad is way more expensive and has way more depth than ours.
All your point proves is that Lamps was a really, really shite manager.

Crash Fistfight

So you can’t say that a better manager could do better with the players at their disposal than a shit one?

goonshow

Of course – that’s simple logic.
But you are also nowhere remotely near the point I was making.
To whit… one can’t compare Arteta with Lampard unless he’d taken over managing the same squad and done better/worse.
No reasoned mind could compare our squad to Chelsea’s as equal either in talent, cost or depth. Therefor any comparison is inherently flawed.

Qwaliteee

The first game?

A false 9 in a European semi final away leg?

Hello…….?

Biggles

Well, there were recent reports in the press about MA being replaced. I’m not sure he will go though. That said, if I was the owner under pressure, I may look to try and bring in a “big name” managerial replacement (assuming anyone like that was available and wanted the job) along with a couple of trophy signings in the summer window. Pure speculation on my part.

atom

The only way Arteta should still be in charge after this season is if you can somehow argue that he’s made so much progress that we’re heading in the right direction even if the results haven’t shown it. But even then we really can’t afford another season like this either so you would need to be extremely confident he can compete for the top 4 next year with no European football to stretch the squad. If you have any doubts then you fire him now so that you can get the next man in with preseason & can get in… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

That’s probably what they will (and shouldn’t) do. Instead of finding a manager with potential (but crucially one who has demonstrated it) they’ll go for a tired old coach, probably already on the way down. And by “they” I mean Edu.

goonshow

Getting in a top manager (assuming of course that we can somehow blag one into joining this shitshow) would simply be plastering a large shiny plaster over the festering wound that is our club admin… something that has very little to do with Arteta, but carries much responsibility for how he’s fared this season.

The Crumble One

It’s starting to feel that he’s reached his limits for the time being at least. I’m all for Arteta but this team is not motivated and not performing anywhere near it’s potential.

The only question is, what quality manager would want to join this club in it’s current state?

evaristus asobara

Iol.
I laugh so as not to cry…

Atom

The result or the fact we just got thoroughly out coached by a manager fired for not being good enough here

Alex

Arteta Out

We’ve gone backwards and no Europe is not acceptable for this club or this squad. Much much better team sheet and he can’t get the orchestra playing.

Man Manny

One match a week might just be what we need.
Less fatigue, and hopefully, our best team for the season.
Clutching at straws maybe; anything to make my night better.

SB Still

Someone wake me up

Red-Wing

… when all this mess is over.

rhal

Can’t wake up

Crash Fistfight

When September ends?

OurTitA

Before you gogo?

The Kolkata Gooner

Gogo dolls

Atom

Our Achilles all year has been our inability to score. Awful ending to worst Arsenal season in 30 years. Massive changes needed or we’ll just do this again next year.

Eternalflamini

That’s a pretty shit Achilles heel to have in football.

Public Elneny

Great time to experiment with a 1 man midfield

Almost as stupid as last week’s false-false nine

Zenithreptile

Fucking unreal innit. I just can’t believe he’d do that regardless of losing Xhaka in the warm up

Public Elneny

I get that Saka was was probably going to start at left back, and Xhaka in midfield

But then just replace Xhaka with Elneny. I’m not even Elneny’s greatest fan, but at least with him you’re not throwing the whole gameplan out of the window, and trying to play a 4-1-4-1 system I haven’t even seen since it didn’t work for Wenger about 7 years ago

Zenithreptile

Spot on. Such a massive fuck up to change it 30 mins before kick off

Bort

The worst part is in the interview before the game, when asked if Saka would be playing left back he just smiled and said, he’d be an attacker as he has been lately. He was gonna 100% play Xhaka at lb again and leave Partey as the sole midfielder against Coquelin, Parejo and Trigueros.

Nketibag

Completely agree

bored

I didn’t have the time to check the line-up before turning on the TV. The first thing that appeared on the screen was Thomas Partey’s face looking all stressed and nervous. I didn’t know why at first, but then the game started, and soon my face looked exactly like his.

goonshow

Would far rather have seen Mo’Nenny partnering Thomas in mid-field.
Couldn’t certainly not have been worse.

Voldermort

Bolox absolute bolox..so tepid . Enough is enough now surely

Jules

well that fucking sucks

Bishop

I stayed up all night to watch this slimy, runny, green, sticky poo fest??? Why do I keep doing this to myself?

Jules

can’t believe we’ve got to watch this shite again next season…

backsakacrack

Not on Thursdays you won’t!

Magazine_Gap

Find something else to do. Like sleeping. Arsenal are not worth your time or investment.

Mentalista

Hell yeah we fucking suck

Aprilfool

I don’t know why but that cracked me up. We really fucking suck.

john

Most important game of the season and nobody shows up! We miss Xhaka so bad in this game!

Glenn Helder's Perm

Xhaka would have fit right in out there.

Man Manny

Don’t forget Xhaka was meant to play left back.
Not sure he could influenced things much from there.

backsakacrack

We would have lost 2-0 if Xhaka played. Seriously. Tierney defended like a beast out there.

StuArse

I tell you what, thank goodness there’s less money out there in football right now otherwise Saka would be off.

Twatsloch

He was shit tonight.

john

Putting your season on a 19 year old? Child labor bruv!

Twatsloch

Overplayed, unfit, too young, inexperienced, too much pressure? Whatever the reason for how he played tonight the fact is he was WAY below the standard we’ve seen from him before. In short, he was shit.

btw

and has been mostly poor the last few matches

Goonerink

I’ve noticed this, but think it’s actually opposing teams becoming weary of him.

SarcasmB0t

He wasn’t shit. He tried and it didn’t come off. It happens.

Partey, on the other hand, was shit for the first 75 minutes, then he wasn’t.

Willian, however, has been shit all season.

As has Arteta.

Crash Fistfight

Arteta has been shit bar about 6 games since he started. Everyone seems to have forgotten how many draws we got under him last season, or how shit we were after Project Restart, bar the FA Cup.

Alex

He’s been good and even great with Özil as a 10. Never lost a game with Özil on the pitch.

DPK

‘Never lost a game with Özil on the pitch.’

Fact check – that’s a complete lie.

A P

He cut his nose to spite his face.

Qwaliteee

And people STILL won’t have it. After all that’s happened this season. Hilarious.

Twatsloch

Agreed on Partey. He’s supposed to be world class but for us he’s not. The last few months I’ve wondered what the fuck is the point to him. 50 million something we paid for that lump.

Oh for fucks sake!

Cygan’sbaldspot

Lost count of how many times he gave the ball away or kicked it dead out of play since he came in. He’s relatively good to what we have, but I don’t feel relaxed when I see his name on the team sheet like I would have hoped

Oscandwarf

Pretty much everyone was poor tonight and it’s a team game.

Relying so much on someone who is younger than some of my socks is going to end in disappointment sooner or later.

The whole team is poor yet many of the players are not. That usually means a new manager or new players, or we get used to it.

I think there’s real danger we’ll lose the better players we have if we don’t turn a corner soon.

Twatsloch

I wasn’t relying on Saka. But he was shit.

Der32

Looks like this is the result Arteta wanted since the first minute. Is this how we want to play in the semis? He has to go or next season will probably be another writeoff. Thanks for the FA Cup Mikel, but you ultimately fell short.

Innit

Boom bye bye Arteta

Qwaliteee

I hate to break it to you pal, but pour yourself a stiff one on the rocks and have a seat. Because, it pains me to say but thanks to Kroenke, old LEGO head ain’t going nowhere…

Gooner

Well that was shit, does anyone want Arteta to stay. Chelsea being below us in the league and now in two Cup finals and top 4 speaks volumes

Gervinho is Driving

I’m sorry but our players are just not this bad.

Henkamp

Exactly. Remember when we played Leicester off the park a couple of months back?

What happened over these two legs leaves a sour taste in the mouth. I am angry!

John Williams

They are completely gutless though.

Wulfen

100% on this. This team has no leadership. None.

John Williams

There’s only one player that comes to mind when I think of a player who drove the whole team on to get a result in recent times and that’s Guendouzi. Saved us a handful of times last season. Says it all really.

Gervinho is Driving

Agreed. That’s mentality and culture, and that’s where we’re up against Arteta’s instinct to be conservative and controlling. He’s risk averse, spends the games micromanaging players, and comes up with clever formations. The players don’t have guts because the manager doesn’t want to see guts, he wants to see them executing the plan. Pendulum has swung too far from the Wenger “jazzer” era.

Swifty

By far the greatest team Stan Kroenke’s ever seen… FFS

SarcasmB0t

Hey give Stan some credit – he did hire the manager who got to the final.

Swifty

It was as if Emery was managing both teams

Biggles

I’m no supporter of Stan but it’s hardly his fault. As far as I’m aware, he didn’t choose the players, the tactics or anything else relevant to tonight’s game. The manager and the players c*cked it up all by themselves.

Swifty

He bought the players or hired the people to buy them. He doesn’t give a fuck. It’s all about the neutrals and the franchise to him.

A P

Maybe it’s Stan’s fault too next time you constipate because you eat poorly thinking about him.

Swifty

It’s nice to see KSE joining the chat

dariusz

Fuck you Kroenke

filsuf

this one’s definitely on arteta and maybe the senior players

dariusz

What I meant was fuck his business. Keep losing and finally leave us alone.

SarcasmB0t

I took it to be more of a general statement.

Henkamp