Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Report: Arsenal 0-2 Man Utd (inc goals)

Arseblog, reporting live from MetLife stadium in New Jersey (attendance 82,262).

Arsenal starting XI: Ramsdale, Timber, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu, Rice, Havertz, Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Nketiah

Arsenal’s pre-season continued with a 2-0 defeat to Man Utd in New Jersey this afternoon.

Mikel Arteta began with a £200m midfield trio of Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Martin Odegaard, perhaps as a precursor to what we’ll see often in the season ahead.

United had the first chance of the game, Antony scuffed his shot wide after they found space in behind. At the other end, Gabriel Martinelli fizzed a shot just over the bar, while another scramble in the Arsenal area saw us get it clear after some decent United build-up.

Brilliant work from Saka presented Martinelli with a chance that was saved by Tom Heaton, and the United keeper was equal to the Brazilian’s rebound too. A low Nketiah cross caused some mild panic, the game got scrappy on a slow looking pitch, but in the 29th minute United went ahead through Bruno Fernandes.

After some build-up down their right, the United captain fired in a left footed shot from outside the box which bounced just in front of Aaron Ramsdale. The Arsenal keeper got an arm to it but couldn’t keep it out. He will feel he could have done better. 0-1.

The lead was doubled in the 36th minute after Gabriel miskicked completely in midfield, allowing Jadon Sancho to fire the ball into the roof of the net. It was a real blunder by the Brazilian, which United punished ruthlessly. 0-2.

Lisandro Martinez squared up to Odegaard after an obvious foul on Saka, and after two minutes of added time, the Gunners went in behind after what was a scrappy first half display.

Arteta made just one half-time change, Kieran Tierney replacing Tomiyasu, and early in the second period a smart free kick from Odegaard put Nketiah into the inside left channel. If he squared it, it would have been a tap-in at the back post, but he seemed to get caught in two minds and neither a cross or shot went wide.

With 57 minutes on the clock, Arteta made more subs with Gabriel Jesus, Thomas Partey and Ben White, replacing Martinelli, Rice, and Timber. An Odegaard cross created a chance for Havertz which he headed over the keeper but onto the roof of the net, before there were more changes with Havertz, Nketiah, Saka and Saliba replaced by Jorginho, Emile Smith Rowe, Fabio Vieira and Leandro Trossard.

Harry Maguire picked up a booking for a lumbering foul on Odegaard, Casemiro got a ball in the face and took the chance to have a nice lie down for a few minutes, and Rashford had a shot blocked.

Jesus got booked for a foul after losing the ball, there was a fight in the crowd which saw a bloke in a bliue t-shirt swinging punches at all around him and then escaping the stewards by ducking down between the aisles, and there were four minutes of added time at the end of the second half.

Arsenal had a late free kick outside the left corner of the United box, from which Smith Rowe’s header was deflected just wide.

In the end, plenty for Mikel Arteta to work on ahead of Wednesday’s game against Barcelona in Los Angeles.

After the game there was a penalty shoot-out for entertainment…

Casemiro Goal 1-0
Martin Odegaard Goal 1-1
Diogo Dalot Goal 2-1
Leandro Trossard Goal 2-2
Victor Lindelof Goal 3-2
Fabio Vieira Miss – save Heaton 3-2
Marcus Rashford Goal 4-2
Jorginho Goal 4-3
Christian Eriksen Goal 5-3

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That was shite


Bowel-fresh shite.
Steaming on a platter.
With a warm glass of amber-coloured piss to wash it down…




Sure it’s a friendly, but I learned that without Partey and Xhaka, we looked very young and weak out there. This team that was the youngest in the league and has just got a lot younger. Those retiring Partey already better defrost that humble pie. We got far better when he came on, then far worse when he was shoved to RB 5 mins later. Concerning. We also looked completely toothless upfront. I’ve seen enough of Nketiah by now to know we will be in big trouble if we go into the champions league with him as our only backup… Read more »


Arteta out ! 65m for Havertz and he’s not a clinical 20 goal a season finisher, he’s not a creative 15 assist a season playmaker, he’s not a box tp box midfielder with a work ethic, he can’t track back or tackle or win the ball back, his touch for a pro player in the PL is poor, I don’t know how anyone pays this guy money to play football other than his height I don’t see what he brings to the team. Arteta said Ozil doesn’t have the work ethic to play the pressing style he like to play… Read more »

Moronic Inferno

Ah, give it a rest, it was a pre-season warm up, come back at the end of the season with your hot takes.


Is this a wind up?

Santi’s Thigh Grab

But how do you really feel about Havertz?

Sarcasm can be tough to appreciate if it’s poorly written.


If you look at Havertz’s stats at Chelsea, his work rate – distance covered, runs, interceptions etc were some of the best in the league. Sorry to piss on your skip fire.


Still puzzled at this Havertz signing, especially for the money involved. We missed Xhaka and Partey in that midfield in the first half.

Maybe we should play Rice in the Xhaka role for now and give Havertz time to adapt to it off the bench. Maybe he would come good after a while. But that was proper shite today, no lies.


Definitely how I would start things out the first few games. Havertz might take a few games to settle and find his role especially after player striker so much at c*****a. Seems rice could slot into either role and we know partey is a beast when fit.


May be only a friendly, but it was for United as well. We looked very disjointed. Nketiah isn’t good enough for this level, we should be trying Balogun more.


We seem to fare better with a false 9. Eddie was good last season when he first came in but then we looked toothless until Leo took over. Seemed a similar story today.

Not sure Balogun is going to do much better right now.

Whole team was off it to be fair, and Utd made it hard for us. 3 new players, no Zinchenko.


We’ve tried Nketiah enough across the front 3 and he does very little in the way of productivity. He fouls a lot, he gets fouled a lot, runs a lot, lose the ball a lot. He must have played about 100 games for us now and he probably scored 15 goals. He’s a striker and has a goals per game ratio of around 0.15. That’s not good enough for a back up striker for even mid table teams.


tbf his goal scoring recently has been quite good, but the team unfortunately doesn’t seem to function with him up top


please remind me when was the last time he scored? i think the last time he scored was jan 22nd. 6 months ago. he has had no shots on target in three pre-season games let alone goals – and the only shot on goal he’s had was today and it was off-target.


When I say recently I mean in the last year or so. He hasn’t played that much.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Or turn that phrasing around, he hasn’t taken his chances or opportunities when given minutes by the manager. He’s currently a substitute striker that doesn’t score as a substitute, his goals come when he starts. This is an team position that needs more competition for Jesus and Eddie hasn’t shown he can provide it.

I miss santi cazorla

His first touch is atrocious.

Winterburn Wanderers

Excellent made up statistics. For anyone interested in accurate numbers per FbRef Eddie has played 34 league 90s for us, with 18 non penalty goals and assists, off 22 expected. That’s good end product – 0.53 npG/A p90, from very good underlying numbers – 0.66 xnpG/A p90. Balogun last season in the weaker French league got 17 non penalty goals and assists in 33 league 90s, or 0.51 per90. Off 25 expected, or 0.74 npxGA per 90. Remember, in the weaker French league.


Your stats are right except that that was the output of 5 seasons for Eddie compared against the output of 1 season for Balo. Also Eddie hasn’t shown improvement from season to season in his actual output (not expected output) per 90 if you look at FBref. His expected output has gone up so he is underperforming more and more as seasons go on.


Nketia is nowhere near the level for this team. We need a striker, a goal scorer, someone like Vlahovic or Osimhen or dare I say it…Mbappe. I know we would have to break the bank but this team would then be set for years. Mbappe likes Arsenal as it’s an exciting project. We would have some team almost like a galacticos team. Wishful thinking I know but one can dream.

Anders Limpar

Mbappe and the carnival he would bring would be like Anelka on crack.


Not sure Anelka on crack is something I want to see tbh


Speaking about not good, I know Rice is very good at breaking up play but he looked very poor when we started play from the back. Always looked unavailable and sometimes stood in one place pointing where the defenders should pass it forward. Definitely wasn’t helped by the fact Kai wasn’t as available in such situations like Xhaka used to but hopefully it’s a coaching issue and they will get to grips with it. We couldn’t beat their below par press because of that and struggled to get the ball out of the back 4 through the midfield which was… Read more »

Chinese Gooner

Nketiah is the least of the problem in this game, Jesus didn’t do any better against utd’s second choice defense line. All the players behind him were slow and lack of ideas. There’s not much he or any other striker could do.


That’s because with Eddie we’re playing 10 v 11.


I don’t want Eddie anywhere near the arsenal squad – he doesn’t add depth, only despair. I’m having a hard time naming a forward worse than Nketiah that’s played for the Arsenal in the last 20 years. I don’t understand why we’re not giving Balogun minutes. he’s coming off of a great season. How can Arteta assess/’experience’ him if he keeps giving Eddie all the mins – the same Eddie who hasn’t done anything of note for the all the minutes he has played this pre-season and has had only one shot over the last three games he started –… Read more »


Francis Jeffers

Cornish Gooner

Exactly what I was thinking

Tomaury Bischfeld

Yaya Sanogo


Lucas Perez, Chamakh, Sanogo, Aliadiere, Bendtner…Eddie is probably about as good as Welbeck.


I mean that’s not great company.


Park Chu-Young


Nicklas Bendtner






Eddie isn’t our starting forward.


yes and he’s not pushing gabi for starting spot – we need depth and players competing for positions not depth where there is drop off in quality – what happens if gabi gets injured for a chunk of the season – is gabi going to start in every game if our forward options are gabi and eddie

Reality check

Eddie just doesn’t suit Arteta’s style of football. Has all the qualities to do well in a more traditional system.

Mikels Arteta

Hear, hear!


Yes, to Balogun.

Mayor McCheese

What an awful game.

Chinese Gooner

Good wake up call. Better than coming up short in the season


I propose we make the best of the situation by permanently retiring that kit.

Can you hear the drums Patino?

If this game causes that horrid kit to be retired then it’s a massive win


Looks like my 3 yr old got hold of the Marmite and then threw up after finishing the entire jar.

Merlin’s Panini

I like that kit. It’s not traditional in any way but nor was the bruised banana that so many people love, or the green one in the 80s. It’s only for one season.
Sadly kits are big business and a relative chunk of the revenue stream. If they were the same all the time, no one would care to buy a new one.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

The club deal with Adidas is a big deal but the bulk of funds from the sale of kits goes to Adidas and not Arsenal. Arsenal gets its money up front from Adidas who recoup it on the back end.


Ramsdale save a penalty challenge (impossible)


Lesson I learnt today:
1.We need a new striker Jesus and Nketiah are not enough.
2. Partey should be kept by all means he’s vital to the way Arsenal play.
3.Tierney is one dimensional that’s why Zichencko will always be ahead of him.
4. Partey and Rice should be our midfield pair instead of Havertz and either of them.
5. Tomiyasu’s best position is RB.


7. We better train Turner for the penalty shootouts. Ramsdale is so many things but never it.


Felt like we showed up expecting a kick-about and United showed up wanting a result. I do feel like it’ll fire us up and out of complacency all the same.


Our midfield was massively missing in transition from defence to attack and that was our main strength last season. Hopefully we get it right but Kai doesn’t drop back as deep as Xhaka did to start moves and Rice as good as he is at breaking up play has always looked wanting at starting up play when the team is under the press


i saw rice covering left back and looked over at our midfield and we didn’t have anyone there! it was pretty appalling.

Merlin’s Panini

This is what preseason is for. Arteta’s tactics are a lot to learn and without the experience in game they won’t know the mistakes they are making. This gives them the chance to assess themselves. It took Partey and Xhaka two years together to really get it. Zinchenko being injured (again) also changes the roles somewhat.


I’m sure we’ll play better – just that midfield looked weak today


Ya, in a way the result is a positive, lest we forget about the unforgiving PL


Lesson I learnt today:
1.We need a new striker Jesus and Nketiah are not enough.
2. Partey should be kept by all means he’s vital to the way Arsenal play.
3.Tierney is one dimensional that’s why Zichencko will always be ahead of him.
4. Partey and Rice should be our midfield pair instead of Havertz and either of them.
5. Tomiyasu’s best position is RB.


I’ve now learnt this lesson twice


It’s only preseason etc etc but I don’t like playing a CB as inverted full back. Do it with Zinchenko or Partey, but the likes of Kiwior or Timber aren’t playmakers and shouldn’t be in the middle of the park.


Friendly or not, we look massively unfit and undercooked. Players didn’t look particularly interested which will piss off Arteta. The pitch was a cabbage patch and we learnt nothing other than Gabriel still has a gaff in him, Nketia probably isn’t good enough to challenge Jesus, Tierney is not a good fit for the team and Fabio Viera…well nobody really knows what he does.

Mayor McCheese

I think the only thing we may have learned from this pre-season game is that United are a touch fitter than us at the moment. We’ll be much sharper when we face them for reals. Rice looked absolutely gassed by the end of the first half!


I think they just knew they only had to play 45 minutes. Martinez was a walking yellow knowing he was done after 45, so it didn’t matter. I’m not sure they’re more fit, just knew they only had to play one half.

A Different George

A genuinely dislikeable guy; shithousery is one thing, but risking injury to opponents in a friendly is unacceptable. I hope Premier League referees take note for when he does that in a league game. Perhaps naive, but I don’t think Webb will allow referees to let this sort of thing go. (And Casemiro’s record last season indicates that Man United players do get sent off, at least when they are not English).

A Different George

will *not* allow


A lot of us have been saying Nketiah isn’t cut out for Arsenal, but there is always a Nketiah apoligist on every thread.


Yes and they will ensure they downvote your post


A very disappointing showing. Dithering defenders, toothless attack, midfield bullied.
Tommi at LB another unnecessary kick in the teeth for KT, who when on showed more commitment than anyone.
Still time to sell Nketiah who continues to be pretty pointless.
Fingers crossed Havertz isn’t starter.
ESR land Saka looked sharp.
Rice should be central or right side where he has shown telepathy with Saka for England


ESR is about the only member of the squad who’s been playing in real games the last few weeks. Hmm what a strange coincidence he also looks sharper than everyone else…

I think you’ll see the others warm up too as the preseason rolls along. .


I seem to be in the minority but I really don’t like Tomi at LB.
Sure, he did a number on Salah, but he’s always coming inside, even when we’re not in possession. Opposition rw has the run of the touchline practically.
If Zinny isn’t fit it should be KT playing for me.

Norwegian Wood

Under the press, Kieran Tierney had one opportunity to play a simple back pass to Ramsdale, and he turned the ball to his left foot and attempted to hoof it away, making us almost lose possession of the ball if not for the United defender deflecting it out for a throw in. Summed him up for me. He hasn’t got the required skillet for this system. He approaches football like he’s still at Celtic (hoof it at the first sign of pressure). He looks out of place inverting. We should be looking to sell. Play Kivior there. And Balogun should… Read more »


His ‘skillet’ looked a tad under-cooked… but hey, it’s only pre-season.

Naked Cygan

Has Ramsdale ever actually saved a penalty for us and why is Fabio Vieira playing for Arsenal?


Ramsdale jumps at first possible opportunity. I think he should face Jorgi in practice to even be able to be a penalty stopper. I really hope that Arteta uses Turner when it comes to shootouts. He’s a proven Specialist in Penalties.

Vieira is a good player but only being good won’t get you anywhere. You need to fiesty. He should take a page from our other youngsters and build some muscles up. Dude was literally getting thrown out of the way by United

Morrisey fan #1

I watched the season review over the weekend and Vieria was involved in a lot of goals, scored a couple too. How quick we forget when somebody goes through a bad patch.

dr Strange

That was boys against men so let’s grow a pair after that shitshow.

A bit worried about our defending and Nkethia just isn’t good enough. Keep Balogun.

ESR looked up for it. Really hope he has a great season, as a nr 8…


“That was boys against men so let’s grow a pair after that shitshow.” I think you just broke the machismo cliché-meter with that one sentence mister 😉

Though I’d very much like to believe you meant we should grow a pair of boobs. Wouldn’t that be cool? Sort of counterintuitive but I bet if we did that it would help us win a bunch of football matches. Especially friendlies. How well do you think Man U and Barcelona players could play if they saw all of our players suddenly sporting a pair of boobs?


Oops I must’ve spent too long marching at Pride today 🙈


Only if they could grow boobs


They could fairly easily if they wanted to, many people do. That’s actually much more realistically achievable than to grow anything between your legs that you don’t already have..


The amount of down votes for marching at Pride are a bit concerning :/

dr Strange

Nah I don’t think boobs are the answer. If you watch the womens wc you can clearly see that football is evolving away from boobs.


Boobs are always the answer


Bright start and then we just stopped. All in all, a poor team performance. Also, that MUTV stream was like death by a million snide Mancunian quips.


Mate – you deserve it for putting even 5 quid into their pockets.


Wait… MUTV get money from shady streams? I thought I was actively and negatively impacting their transfer war chest.

Crash Fistfight

Erm, the reason Orelem was watching an MUTV stream was because it was a dodgy free stream. Maybe think before commenting (or upvoting a comment as the case may be).

If Orelem was going to pay to watch the match, wouldn’t the first port of call be the Arsenal website?


The irony being, I paid for the Arsenal season pass and got charged twice. I had loads of issues sorting that out and eventually got a refund for one pass then had no access to the game. Desperate times and all that.

Crash Fistfight

I commend your commitment. I could never be arsed to pay for pre-season friendlies.


Also, I know everyone does it and it’s for money but I think it’s an utterly stupid idea to play other PL teams in pre season.

Chinese Gooner

As much as it hurts, I actually think there’s benefit losing to Utd in preseason,
serves as a good wake up call. Players would know they’ll have to do better. If we lost to a Barcelona or Bayern, nobody would care too much.


Apparently Kroenke got about 10Mn£ for the US trip. But is the ‘Native Indian’ Land a good place to visit esp. considering the fact that days & nights are reversed from UK? I still think the way AW managed his preseason was the best – some good practice in Austria or nearby Scandinavian countries.

Cornish Gooner

I totally agree, bad idea

Naked Cygan

😑 Never a fking friendly with United. Did not do us proud today.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Lackluster performance.

United were clearly up for it more than our players.

Mikel talked about wanting to take a close look at Balogun during the pre-season, and he doesn’t even get off the bench. Very disappointing.

Barcelona cancelled their friendly today with Juventus due to a stomach bug in their camp. Hopefully doesn’t affect our match on Wednesday.


Might be better if it does tbh

Mayor McCheese

I’d prefer that the game goes ahead. I think our players will be keen to test their mettle against a European CL team.


Just don’t want to be losing too much in preseason

Nainsley Aitland Miles

The players will need that game for fitness. If it gets called off, it’s 11 days between today and Monaco on 2nd August.

Mayor McCheese

I imagine Balogun will play in the Barcelona game.

I’d like to see it. Jesus didn’t start today so he’ll certainly start against Barcelona. Perhaps Balogun at #9 and Jesus wide of him.


Really lethargic first half performance (when it mattered), I can see what the critics mean about Havertz, looked uninterested especially on their first goal. Don’t understand why Nketiah starts and plays 70 some minutes while Balogun doesn’t get in (unless he was injured). Whether they sell him or keep it was a golden opportunity to see what he could do surrounded by starters. We know what Nketiah can do (not much) so why waste 70 minutes on him when Smith-Rowe, Balogun or Trossard could have used some of those minutes.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

These comments are on mark.


Yes is this Arteta being hard headed re Nketiah. Giving him the no 14, massive pay rise etc. Hope he does not go there with Havertz or Viera, to the teams detriment.


Tempo and fitness aside, the game showed me a few things, Kai cannot protect Zinchenko side defensively and Gabriel still has errors in him so we we’ll be quite exposed and open on the left, we still can’t defend ball over the top with any consistency and we need a ST/CF immediately. There’s no one in that line up or on the bench that can play forward, centrally, all game that can concern PL defences with consistency. Kai is still settling in but team looks much better with Leandro than Kai from deep. Vieira needs to put on muscle like… Read more »

Chinese Gooner

Painful to watch us struggling against utds second team and giving that bald cunt Ten Hag so much joy. Already missing Xhaka & Partey. Please stop playing Partey at right back. Not that he can’t play there, it’s just he’s so much better than the other options at the base of the midfield. If we keep him just to play right back when we already got 3 proper options at that position, I’d much rather we just sell him. He deserves better. Call me a perssimistic, i just really fear the possibility of both Harvertz and Rice flop like Pepe.… Read more »

Moronic Inferno

We’re doomed….DOOMED!


Fucking hell, that escalated a bit there, didn’t it?!

Chinese Gooner

It’s a communist thing;) It’s the survival instinct we get from decades in poverty (, we’re doing much better now in case you wonder). We tend to think far ahead and prepare for the absolute worst (at least mentally).


Declan Rice is not any way near that price tag, if that was the case Thomas Partey would be a 200 mill player, every time we break the bank a little piece of me dies.


Calm down. The money is either going to be wasted on Stan’s private yatch or here. I’d rather it be here

Morrisey fan #1

What a sad bitter response. Could you be more jealous of the man? Rent free in your head one might even say.


Good friendly game. Exposed our weaknesses before the season starts.

Reality check

Gabriel always seems to have an error in him. Ramsdale needs to get the end of the season form out of his system as soon as possible.


RAMSDALE seems to have an error 1 in every 3 games its shocking He and holding cost us the title I think the American is actually the better GK our no2


I’m worried it’s going to be hard to drop Havertz given his price tag. He looks short of confidence, wayward in his passing, and weak on the ball. But hey it’s pre-season so pinch of salt and all that.

Crash Fistfight

I just cant get my head around the signing. He looks the antithesis of the type of player Arteta wants in his squad. He’s like Ozil mark 2: when the going gets tough, his head goes down and he feels sorry for himself.

Cornish Gooner

I think there is a player in there and it might be the player we need, but I can’t get my head around the scale of the fee and the wages

I miss santi cazorla

Rice is overrated


I’m sure you said that about every player we have signed who didn’t score a hat trick or dominate the midfield in their first two hour of playing time at the club.

Bleeding Gums Murphy

I don’t think he’s overrated, he did looked a little overcooked as the game went on.

Left Testicle

Along as he’s not boiled in a bag!

Billy bob

Over cooked!!!


Overrated? Based on 60 mins in a friendly playing with his new team mates for the first time, while clearly not match fit but doing reasonably well?
I think I’ll reserve judgement until late September at least.


disagree.. he looked pretty solid all things considered and he is not to blame for his price tag


Pre-season friendlies should be about raising fitness and match sharpness and can be played against teams that are not our major rivals.
They should be arranged by Arsenal and not some American broadcaster looking for viewing figures.
The performance was terrible and, if anything it was a wake-up call.
You also wonder if these trips abroad are more of a distraction – admittedly New Jersey is hardly California but still…


I didn’t watch it. I ended up going to a gig thank God.

Billy bob

I know it is a friendly but losing to ManUre sucks!!! Arteta needs to introduce another non-negotiable – you do not get beaten by ManUre EVER!!!


Can any one highlight how Nketiah fits with our tactics? I just can’t see it.


Oops – whilst we can only hope there’s a considerable amount of fitness-training and general ‘settling’ still to come… there ain’t that much time. Also noticed some disturbing echoes from the (few) flaws of last season: Gabriel still has the odd crucial brain-fart in him; so does Rambo, apparently; Eddie still runs around, can’t finish, and doesn’t set up team mates when he should; we continue to create numerous good chances without being able to convert them. Mik still seems wont to make curious substitutions/lack thereof – surely we needed to see Flo against decent opposition? I mean, that’s the… Read more »


I blame it on the awful kit.


I blame it on a load of fat heads who don’t know what they’re talking about.


Paid for the Arsenal feed and wished I hadn’t bothered. I didn’t see The Arsenal I know and love.
After manu scored we stopped playing and never got our shit together. Lot of people having a pop at individual players especially Nketiah, but frankly we hardly created a chance after Martinelli missed the early one. Manu were fitter and sharper all over the pitch.
Hey ho. It was only a friendly.


Some of the comments on here are embarrassing. It’s a pre-season friendly and people are writing players off. Have a word.



Have you seen footage of those clowns at the game fighting each other?

That was fucking embarrassing.


And cue the meltdown from people who have no idea what pre season friendlies are all about; run outs and minutes. Results at this stage mean fuck all.


Typical pre-season game. One side ringing the changes to experiment and evaluate players, the other going for the win ‘cos they know damned well it’s the only fucking chance they’ll get until this time next year.


Yep, spot on.

Arteta put on a public face of displeasure, but privately he won’t give a shit – he’ll be more pleased and relieved that we got through 90+ minutes and a penalty shoot out against those Neanderthal cunts without sustaining any serious injuries.


Rice is a box to box midfielder. He needs Partey or Jorginho alongside him. Trying to get Havertz into the number 8 means Odegaard has to play deeper, forcing him further away from Saka. Timber going into central midfield means we lose White’s presence there too. Early days but I’m concerned, in an effort to be more unpredictable and more attacking, we might lose a lot of what made us so good last season.


TP5 and DC41 need to start the important matches

A Different George

Assuming your analysis is right, is it possible that those were the very things Arteta wanted to find out? That this is one of the main reason to play friendlies?

As for its substance, I think your analysis is part right: Odegaard’s freedom to attack and connection to Saka is key to Arsenal’s success. That probably means the inverted fullback will usually be on the left (Zinchenko) not as tried in this match with Timber on the right. But you are wrong about Rice; he doesn’t need a double pivot, especially when a fullback inverts into the midfield.


As long as the team is healthy, that is all that matters. Should play Flo more, just to let him shows what he is capable of in front of his “hometown” audiences! COYG!


Inverting to the middle seems to be confusing us rather than the opponent recently.

Tomiyashu on the left flank is also a poor experiment.
I believe Mik is testing out options and getting information on how best to use this squad.
Lot of good players in the middle and back..fine headache for him.
PS: Gabriel seem to be training with mustafi now. Pointing around, talking much and making crucial errors.


I recall why I hate manu today. Casimero and McGuire are thugs. Someone other than odie needed to put a serious hurt on one or both.
sorry I forgot Martinez and Shaw.


And you haven’t even mentioned the league’s most unlikable player; Fernandes.

Billy bob

Basically the whole ManUre squad are scummers, as are their vile fans


People need to relax.


Contrary to popular belief, I’m pretty chillaxed these days! 😂


It’s amazing how quickly patterns and positional responsibilities change in the team. Only a couple of seasons ago, we would rely on Tierney to bomb up the left and provide a vast majority of our attacking output. Then we had Tomi really balance that with some solid progressive play on the right with a great long outlet for Rambo to pass to. Now it is completely different. And the evolution of a team needs players who are already complete footballers in order to survive. At almost any other PL team those two would walk into the first team line up.… Read more »


Sorry perhaps a shorter explanation would have been ‘just look at how Timber slotted in to effortlessly, being able to understand 3 different roles really is the new standard’

I just would love to see Tomi and KT play more of a role this season

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