Saturday, May 25, 2024

Report: Arsenal 0-2 Aston Villa (inc goals)

Arsenal: Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Rice, Odegaard, Havertz, Saka, Jesus, Trossard

Subs: Ramsdale, Kiwior, Tomiyasu, Jorginho, Partey, Smith Rowe, Vieira, Martinelli, Nketiah

It was a disappointing day for Arsenal who missed the chance to go top after losing 2-0 at home to Aston Villa, after goals from Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins.

Mikel Arteta made three changes to the side that drew against Bayern Munich on Tuesday, with Oleksandr Zinchenko, Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Jesus coming in for Jakub Kiwior, Jorginho and Gabriel Martinelli.

Arsenal looked dangerous early on, particularly down their right hand side through Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka who breezed past Lucas Digne and Pau Torres twice in quick succession.

But their next opportunity came down the opposite flank, when Trossard played Kai Havertz in behind although Emi Martinez was equal to his scuffed shot.

The Gunners should have been ahead after 15 minutes when Saka found Jesus unmarked at the back post but his headed effort went wide at the near post, when going across goal might have been the better option.

Odegaard looked in the mood from the first whistle and found Saka in behind with another beautifully weighted pass, although he couldn’t quite take the ball into his stride and struck the post from a difficult angle.

Odegaard was again the instigator for more danger – this time playing Havertz in behind with a beautiful scoop turn – only for Saka to head over under pressure after the German found him at the back post.

Having defended for most of the first half, one mistake from Gabriel (after his kicked the ball off Zinchenko) allowed Villa and Watkins a strike at goal, and his low effort hit the inside of the post and curled agonisingly wide.

A heart in mouth moment for the hosts who were almost caught shooting themselves in the foot again.

Arteta’s men continued to push for their opener and Trossard looked certain to break the deadlock after Jesus found him across the six yard box, only for Martinez to stretch out a big right foot and stop his effort – with the whole stadium expecting a goal.

Arsenal were the better team throughout the first half despite Villa threatening on occasion, with Saka curling another effort just wide which summed up their opening period full of “nearly” moments.

It was a difficult start to the second half for Arsenal who were sloppy in possession and found themselves open defensively with Villa playing smartly through their press.

The visitors were inches away from going ahead after Zinchenko was caught trying to nutmeg Youri Tielemans, before the Belgian curled an effort onto the underside of the crossbar AND the post before bouncing back out to safety.

Villa were playing with their tails up and smelling blood with Arsenal struggling to match the intensity and precision of their first half performance.

Arteta had to try and change the momentum somehow, with Takehiro Tomiyasu and Martinelli replacing Ben White and Jesus, although that did little to swing the momentum of the game.

And with 84 minutes on the clock, Villa opened the scoring after Lucas Digne’s cross missed out everybody and was tucked in at the back post by Leon Bailey. 0-1.

Arsenal had no response to what the visitors were doing throughout the second half and their goal was more than merited – stunning the Emirates with wild celebrations in the far corner.

With the hosts pushing forward for an equaliser, Villa were able to break with Watkins who held off Emile Smith Rowe and dink confidently over David Raya. 0-2.

That was the final nail in the coffin and another example of how dropping your levels by a fraction can leave you vulnerable.

There will be more twists and turns to come but there is an eery feeling of familiarity about Manchester City sitting top with six games to play.

With Bayern Munich on Wednesday – in what looks to be a make or break game – things don’t get any easier for Arteta or his side.

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Charles

Really ugly match all around, but Eboué-esque from Zinchencko. Hope people won’t go over the top here – we weren’t going to win every match post-City, but this was indeed awful. 

Shivam

Has we played the second half the way we played the first, and conceded and lost the game maybe it would be acceptable. But tht second half performance is pure chokers’ job. Awful. Zinny was poor would be understatement!

Maniac

Zinchenko made almost half a dozen mistakes that could have single handedly cost us a goal. His decision making was atrocious and his defensive work was all over the place. In my opinion, he really doesn’t deserve a place in the starting lineup for the Bayern game.

Bleeding gums Murphy

There’s no two ways about it. He doesn’t deserve to start. The best way to beat Bayern at their ground is like we did at city. We will get more chances though.

Bleeding gums Murphy

If we go all open with em we will get slaughtered I think

Joker

Zinchenko was transformative when he first joined us but more and more these days his approach seems to be counter productive to our solidity, control and chance generation. He regularly dawdles on the ball slowing the pace of our attacks, gives it away, leaves space at the back and gets beaten one on one. It might just be an issue of fitness and form but he’s been this way for most of the season and I think at this point it might not be unreasonable to suggest the team and our optimal style of play has evolved beyond him.

UzesGooner

Thought Jesus was poor too.

Can we trade them in for Isak in the summer ?

Shivam

Or Watkins? He is an Arsenal fan! Love Jesus as a player, but his injuries and then his lack of finished product, does frustrate an awful lot!

UzesGooner

He’s either offside or in the wrong position to score…

Just an impact sub now. Cash in.

Nikleson

No one will sign knowing his knee is dodgy. We are stuck with him. A player never known for his high scoring pre-Arsenal. A signing that was never going to be a 20+ striker. Shame.

Shivam

Agree! If we really want to win big, we need to move on from Jesus, Zinchenko, eddie, Jorghino. I know these players have given the team a lot, they are quality. But injuries and that lack of killer Instinct will always leave us second place.

mjc1892

Jorginho does not belong in that group.

Sagebrush

True. He doesn’t.

Kevin Richardson / Jorginho

It’s not about “move on” though is it? All of these players could still make an important contribution.

Me2

You are right of course. Zinchenko can gift teams multiple chances and Jesus can miss multiple chances. For me, neither deserves to be anywhere near Arsenal FC much less the first team.

Kevin Richardson / Jorginho

Read your comment again, it’s a fucking joke

Shivam

Most definitely! But as squad players only! I did like to keep Jesus in most definitely!

Rufusstan

As pointed out already, its more that the team has evolved beyond them. and agree that jorginho is not on the list (yet).

Crash Fistfight

And him being in the wrong position isn’t down to not “having instincts” it’s about going to the wrong place. Why will he never run to the near post?

There was one chance today where he ran behind Havertz when he was played in on the left half-space. How the fuck did he think Havertz would be able to/would choose to play the ball there?

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Said it early into the season, Jesus is just a Brazilian Adebayor. We need to move on from him

Crash Fistfight

I think Adebayor was a better finisher, personally. Jesus is a better footballer, though.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I agree with all of that.
It says a lot about Jesus’ finishing, when Adebayor needed 5 good chances to score 1 goal

Sagebrush

MA should have started Kai upfront as he has been doing all along, saved Jesus for the second half and played Joghinho. This has been a winning line up.

Absolut

100%. Kai has been doing great up top. Midfield had been good. Leave Gabi J and Tross as impact subs. LB Tomi. Not all over just yet.

GoonerJust

Can’t believe we’re running out of steam on the 2nd half. Trossard should score the tap in, how on earth he aimed at Emi’s boot? The posts are 7m wide!

Eric Blair

That was an appalling and vital miss.

Deano

Poor all round team performance in the second half. Zinny was poor, no doubt but struggled to find any decent performances from any player in second half. Deflating really especially after Liverpool match.

Ebo

It wasn’t ugly at all in the 1st half, other than Saka who looked a shell of himself we played beautifully, Odegaard at his most creative best. We just couldn’t put the ball in the net to save our lives. I guess the fatigue from Bayern match and the run-in in general have wrecked us. We need a deeper squad and/or to trust the squad players more, the way we play and press you just can’t play the same players twice a week in the toughest matches, this isn’t 1997.

Frog In Ze Roim

They played Thursday. No excuse. Team selection was wrong with Jesus upfront. He has a working formula with Havertz up top. Why on earth change that?

Ebo

That “working formula” wasn’t working against Bayern and we were playing like crap until Jesus came in and changed the game, and gave us a fighting chance in the tie. Why do people have such short term memory? As for them playing on Thursday, are you seriously comparing a Conference League game to Bayern Munich? i’ve no interest in excusing the players who underperformed, but I do want to understand why so we can fix it.

Charles

While that’s true, the game is famously comprised of two halves.

Ebo

Absolutely, I meant to say fatigue seemed to have merely muddled our finishing in the 1st half, but then completely destroyed us in the 2nd. But we had the chances to put the game to bed in the 1st as we’ve done many times this year, and then fact we didn’t came back to fuck us in arse.

Ebo

*THE fact we didn’t came back to fuck us in THE arse. Fatigue apparently showing itself in my typing abilities and general IQ level too

Eric Blair

What did Arteta say regarding transfers? We have to maximise every window, that means we need to be ruthless again this summer and there are players who need to be upgraded on and gaps in the squad filled. The reality is we don’t have a squad with the necessary quality to compete on two fronts right now.

Ebo

Guess im starting to agree with that sentiment… I’ve been the one preaching patience with some players but that might work when you’re dealing with “normal” rivals and it’s enough to be really really good to win the title. We’ve been really really good this season and it looks like that won’t be enough. Against City you have to be almost flawless, and our squad clearly has a few flaws.

El Mintero

Cmon dude, fair’s fair. You’ve been a big booster for Zinchenko while a bunch of us on here have pointed out how bad he’s been all season. Surely now after that disaster from him you can now agree an upgrade is required ASAP??!! Quite how he got the start today after his shit performance against Bayern is beyond me. League over.

Ebo

I’ve always seen his flaws, but I’ve defended him on occasions where I felt the criticism was over the top and not giving enough credit for what he brings, like it was against Bayern imo. Today it’s hard to defend him. Then again it was also hard to defend Havertz at the start of the season… and we still have others in the squad too who have done really well at LB. I’m not convinced that’s one of the positions where we most need an upgrade.

Me2

The two ex city players who have done next to nothing all season. The so called ex city striker who has scored less than half what Rice has scored. Useless.

Clay

We actually have if we can keep doing the same thing that flopped last season and expecting to improve. Zinchenko is midfield is bad and has been bad but we keep doing the same whenever he is fit.

Spanish Gooner

Saka hasn’t been effecting games consistently for most of the season. He’s had lots of end product, but I’m struggling to think of a game he’s taken control of in the league.

Ebo

No end product today though :/

Lion layan

We didn’t even try

Kevin Richardson / Jorginho

Jesus wept

Jeremy

Zinchenko was great last season but his decline has been sharp. Tbf he’s a good player but is rarely fit and has reached his ceiling. Maybe time to thank him and move him on while we can get a decent fee if we consider ourselves ruthless

Riku

Teams tactics have just changed from last season to target zinny . I prefer kivor ( set pieces ) and Tommi…
Forwards wasted chances , jesus , Kia, saka, Leo , odegaard not shooting

Rob

Totally agree about hoping people don’t overreact. We need some perspective. Arteta and the team have been brilliant this season. We are still in the title chase (as well as the Champions League) and have a decent chance of winning at least one of those. A few years ago we were nowhere near that level. Too many people have short memories.

Shivam

Disagree with you, too many people do not have short memories, most here are appreciative of the work Mikel and the team have done, but there is just some Deadwood, or simply players who are simply not good to be in title winning teams and need to be either moved on or relied less upon. Also, some of Arteta tinkering needs to be pointed out. Kai in midfield is not very effective, and was doing good up top so that changes is strange. Also, substitution are usually not his strongest point.

Kevin Richardson / Jorginho

You should be manager mate you obviously have all the answers

om suley

i like how your phone capitalised “Deadwood”

reminded me how excellent that series was

Rob

We’ve moved on a lot of players already who were not up to the level needed. This team/squad has been on an incredible run over the last few months I get frustrated at the number of ‘supporters’ who are short sighted and overly criticise the team based on one performance. We are going blow for blow with Man City and Liverpool – two of the best teams in the world over the last few years. Look at the state of Man U and Chelsea – we are so far ahead of them.

Dada

Dust ourselves up and move on. Let’s keep supporting. Still much to play for. They need us more now than ever.

Fabulous

Ever since Porto, managers have figured out how to play Arsenal, the worrying trend is Arteta still hasn’t figured it out. How many times did Odegaard press Pau last night, only for him to play a long ball to Watkins/Zaniollo? We were torn down time and again down that left wing and the high press really wasn’t working but Arteta persisted with it for the whole game.

Joker

We should have won it in the first half with the amount of chances we created but I thought our performance was flat throughout. The players looked shattered out there. Sickening to lose like that and a big blow to our title chase but it’s not over yet. With only two points separating us from City and six games left to play you can’t say it’s over. We’re still in this.

Zenithreptile

Nah, it’s gone. Richest team wins again. Fucking Petro state wankers

Rosapirescastle

Beat Bayern and we have two legged semi v 115 charges.
Least spoil their party .
Potentially city could drop points but be hard for us to win every game till end

Me2

I don’t think those charges will amount to much.
The Premiership announced these charges by coincidence the same time the government announced an enquiry into how the premiership was being run.
The Allies brought Nazi war criminals to justice at Nuremberg faster than the incompetent Premiership can charge a football club on financial irregularities. Brown envelopes will be passed and the commission members will get nice pay offs and it will all be forgotten.

Futsboller

Yeah, this one hurts — but we’re still in the two competitions we most want to be competing for, and that is progress. Anything can happen, but it is sickening to hand it back over to City to lose. I mean, our goal difference, our confidence, our momentum, our fuel in the tank — everything took a hit today. But this is sport — pick up, dust off, and get at it on Tuesday. Another job needs doing.

Spanish Gooner

It’s over. City will win every single game remaining – we all know it and everybody in Liverpool does too.

Kevin Richardson / Jorginho

Can’t believe the positives this has. Bunch of wet fucking blankets. Like all the supporters who left today at 1-0 down.

Eric Blair

Admirable, but you’re dreaming based on that performance. Just look at what City are producing and compare our remaining fixtures. Only a miracle will see us win the title now.

Joker

I might suggest applying a degree of dispassion and not basing our chances in the remaining games solely on today’s performance, an outlier in the context of this wonderful season we’re having. Yes, City are an outstanding team and capable of winning all six but it’s not set in stone. It’s two points, not ten and it can swing in an instant as we saw today. The least we can do for this team who have given so much this season is support and believe in them until the end.

Eric Blair

Nah, don’t fancy deluding myself. We have a chance in the CL though if we can focus on defence and cleansheets, that’s where we can hurt 115 FC this season.

Shivam

MUTD and Spuds away, seemed difficult before this result, now, sorry to say I am quite pessimistic.

Kevin Richardson / Jorginho

You surprise me, but glad we’ve heard your assessment. Arsenal wouldn’t have won a trophy in their history with this sorry attitude

Maniac

It’s not technically over, but it’s out of our hands now, and we have a tougher run in than either City or Liverpool. Realistically, we need to hope City drop points and that we win probably all our remaining games. It’s a chance gone missing and a big setback.

Al m

Of course it’s over. We are fading. It’s plain to see. Plus Arteta doing his Nero impersonation and fiddling while
it all burns.

Kevin Richardson / Jorginho

Yeah fading after that terrible draw against Bayern and our first league defeat of 2024 . Pick yourself up man, hopefully the team are not so defeatist

Cygan’sbaldspot

Never want to see Jesus and Zinchenko again.

El Mintero

Jesus, if played the right way as foil to an out and out striker, could still be effective for us. Zinchenko, nah, not good enough. Never fit and always, ALWAYS (!), a defensive liability. Sell in the Summer.

C.B.

Emery has always done a good job at stopping Arsenal win trophies…

Futsboller

Too funny! 😉 😂

Henkamp

He was really up for it today for sure. Anyways, congrats to Granit!

Eric Blair

Well he got us to a European final which is a very rare occurance for us. Several players shat the bed that day.

Al m

Perhaps the club should have given UE the money they gave Arteta

Spanish Gooner

If Emery had the Rice money he’d have bought N’Zonzi three times

om suley

class !

Bukake Saka

Fuck

Mootilated

Origami FC

Kai Havertz And Let Loose The Dogs Of War

That was a kick in the teeth

Alex

Should have won in the first half

Mentalista

Death, taxes, and Guardiola winning the league.

Ebo

Out of those three only death and Guardiola winning the league apply to City

Henkamp

Can’t wait for the day when he f*cks off and allows a bit of normalcy return. Just look how tight the top of that table is! Other countries’ winners have all being decided for a while now, only England.

Doesn’t look like he wants to leave, though. Seems to have found a home St Petro dollar FC where he can spend as much as he likes. Sad.

karl g

There will always be hope, but things are just looking inevitable after today. Can’t believe we’ve let City back in.

Thessaloniki

Let them in? They were always there.

John D

We’ve been exceptional for the last two seasons so I don’t want to have a knee jerk reaction and throw my toys out the pram. However second half we just wasn’t up for it. Either fatigue or a lack of winning mentality but we never looked like winning and crumbled under the pressure. Draw a line under it and let’s move on . COYG

Shivam

Yeah, no undermining the process over the last two years, but urgent need of improvement in team can’t be ignored. Better finishers is absolute must. And what’s up with Martinelli?

Vonnie

I think that Martinelli injury was a bad one and he’s still not right, he seems to be limited to about 15 minutes a game. Big Gabi is injured, Ben White is injured, Gabi Jesus is injured, and those are only the ones we know about. The back up players aren’t good enough, so we need a good clear out in the summer, and that includes Smith Rowe, he’s so slow it’s a joke, and that’s the second time he’s been waltzed past for a goal.

gunnerboreus

I think the point about two seasons is valid. It’s been two decades since we have competed for the league two years in a row. That is the mark of a good team and represents real progress – – but doesn’t look like silverware this year 🙁

Bleeding gums Murphy

That second half was a disgrace. I would go further and that second half performance was pathetic for a team playing to go top. Poor management today from Arteta.

BLUEBERRY

Truly. Rice was looking tired from every angle. Needed a game out. Bad management

Ebo

Agree except I wouldn’t say it was poor management today, but poor management over the last couple of weeks to get us to this game in this state. A fresher and more rested team would’ve put this game to bed in the first half when we were dominating them.

215Arse

That needing change in the 60th, not the 80th. We looked gassed.

Thessaloniki

The press died after the break.

Spanish Gooner

League’s gone and there are 3 days to save the season. Until Pep leaves or the 115 charges get properly investigated this league will remain the most uncompetitive in all of Europe. Congratulations to Xhaka and Leverkusen.

Daveod

Eurghhhh gonna be tough to pick ourselves up for bayern after that, villa seemed to win 90% of any 50/50 situation, heart didn’t seem to be there today……..this defeat isn’t the final nail, but we do need to win every game now

Eric Blair

We’ve been here before, haven’t we? Mental or physical weakness? Pretty terrified about midweek now, please not another 5-1. Title is City’s now and forever more, unless you can do a ‘perfect’ season like Liverpool did that once. Fairly big summer investment needed if we are to bridge the gap.

RobC

maybe buy a bloody striker this time around

Eric Blair

Absolutely. I love that Havertz has done so well, and that Jesus brings so much to the team, but we’ve needed a proper first team striker since Auba left.

Me2

What Jesus do you watch?
He cannot score. He cannot dictate play. He cannot hold up play or assist. He just gets injured and gets paid £250k a week for doing nothing. No – he ponces money from the club. That is more accurate.
Arsenal are better when he is injured which is more often than not
Jesus brings so much to the team really – he is a scam artist…

Eric Blair

Are yon on a wind-up? He got us the Equalizer against Bayern just a few days ago!

Shivam

Mentality and physical stress and definitely the reason for the second half performance, but I always think quite usually trumps, and we lack it in some places! Finishing is one of that area.We are a very good team, but not a team that can win big it seems unfortunately.

Shivam

*quality trumps

Don

Last statement is a big overreaction. I am super disappointed but people need to calm down. Back the team for the last few games and we’ll see what happens

Ako

Not exactly an overreaction tbh, especially when this game kinda proves that we still need to make greater reinforcements to the squad because city have enough depth to change the game if need be, we not so much. So it’s not unreasonable for Eric to say that we need to make heavy investments but also I think we’re gonna a heavy squad clear out.

Ako

We’re gonna need to have a*

Kevin Richardson / Jorginho

Everyone knows we need to improve, just support the excellent team that we have. We can’t sign any players today can we?

FMT

The starting lineup gave me the creeps. sadly, I was proved right.
Trossard-Jesus-Saka was not it at all.
No point changing the formation that worked so much for us since the turn of the year. The starting lineup that earned us so many goals.
Well, let’s see how it goes for the rest of the season. It’s all Man. City’s now😕

Pigaroulettes

They’re 100% capable of winning every remaining game, Champion’s League included.

BLUEBERRY

And they sadly will

Shivam

Indeed, I thought Kai in the midfield should be over now, also against a time that plays such a high line like Villa, we packed pace to catch them!

Emi Rates

Well that was just awful to watch.

Norwegian Wood

What face will Trossard show to God?

BLUEBERRY

Maybe Jesus can show him

Norwegian Wood

That Trossard miss inside the six yard box with the open net waiting was it for me.

He has no right hitting that ball towards Martinez. I’ve heard it said he’s the best finisher at the club. That he doesn’t wrap his leg around that to take it to the farside and away from Martinez is really unforgivable.

Bleeding gums Murphy

He had a good two thirds of goal wide open and he hit martinez

Tayo

Haverts up top henceforth please, we’re less predictable with him playing 9

Maniac

Jesus looks like he’s running through treacle half the time as well. Was easily outpaced by McGinn at one point.

ScotchEggsRule

Villa are a cynical pack of cunts, enabled by a weak referee and our terrible finishing. If only Emery had the testicular fortitude to get us playing like that, when he was manager. I’m fuming….

Eric Blair

I think Emery is doing a great job for Villa, and he certainly has better players now than he did when he was managing us.

ScotchEggsRule

No doubt he’s doing a great job. Shame he was generally terrible for us. I don’t remember him instructing us to play such a cynical cheap game , as Villa play, either?

Me2

Oh fucking shut up…

Glen Helders Left Foot

Fucking useless cunts……..bottlers too

Arsenal Needs A Striker Desperately

ARGH!!! ARRRRGGGGHHHH!! So Disappointed!!!

Olawale Olayemi

This is a tricky position to be in. I’d prefer to win the league but the UCL is looking like our best bet for a trophy rn. But you can’t lose hope cuz if City drop points too, then everything is back on again

StuArse

WTF was that?! Everyone’s mind was on Wednesday.

Eric Blair

Looks like they wanted it won by halftime so they could relax with the CL game in mind, then couldn’t get it going again when that didn’t work out. I’d put this one on Arteta, but he’s learning still in this new environment for him, and he’s shown he’s a fast learner.

ObiKing

Kiwior has not let us down in the league. Havertz has finally found his rhythm and the gaffer moves him. On to the next… Zinchenko…..

FMT

Exactly. So shocking. Today’s loss is on Arteta with that starting three upfront. That combo starting never seems to work for us.

We move!

Shivam

Absolutely! Play Kai up top. Play Jesus on the wing!

Norwegian Wood

Kivior was poor against City and was poor against Bayern. Zinchenko isn’t the reason we lost today.

He made mistakes in possession, but so did Rice and Saka, and Havertz, and Jesus, and Gabriel, and White. The only player that can hold his head up after that performance is Odegaard.

Arteta’s selection brought the flurry of chances in the first half that were missed. Trossard should have scored. Jesus should have kept it on target at least. Both were from inside the six yard box.

Spanish Gooner

It was so obviously a non-Zinchenko game. Maybe White getting booked changed things, but Zinny should have been off the second we saw Bailey warming up.

Clay

The biggest problem when Zinny plays is he moves to midfield and he is shit there. That’s not his fault but the manager’s fault in wanting him to be the playmaker. When he is out the formation changes and we create better.

Norwegian Wood

Zinny is the most technically shifted player at the club. Odegaard said it.

He takes situations for granted when he should be more pragmatic, yes, but he has no problems coming inside. Please, let’s not turn things on their head.

Truther

Obviously would like to have seen the free-scoring team of a few weeks ago. We seem to be a more effective attacking force without Jesus, oddly enough.

I’m a fan of Saka but had he been able to control the ball instantly with his right foot he would have been in on goal at least once in the first half.

Sheldon

Havertz should’ve never been moved from the 9.

Vieiraera

Fatgooner’s opinion is rarely popular here. But he was right – arteta got the line up completely wrong. Havertz in the middle doesn’t work! We looked cluelessly lame against a makeshift villa midfield lacking Douglas Luiz. Jesus is NOT a striker. Zinchenko is a liability.

Eric Blair

Jesus has a big place in our squad, but like Havertz it’s not as a starting striker week in week out. That has to be a priority purchase in the summer, along with a winger, central midfielder, and left back.

Me2

When we need an attacker who cannot score or assist or even run Jesus will rise to the top but until then I would love to see him moved on to reduce our FFP burden and bring a player in who can do those things

Jeremy

I’m not that upset. I never really thought we were going to beat 115 charges to win the league this season…but it’s the nature of how we capitulate. It really wrangles and today (and this will upset people) the ‘bottling’ rhetoric will be strong and accurate for once. We were crap. The second half we looked gassed (even though both teams played in Europe). Villa were actually unlucky not to properly thump us. We have 13-14 players who Arteta trusts. 115 charges have 20 players who Pep trusts. As a result, we don’t rotate enough and our subs never make… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Not over yet mate. It’s whether or not someone can hold City to a draw. Those cunts are relentless during the run in. God I hate them!

Me2

Gabriel Jesus – A man who delivers perhaps one every ten games. Although he cannot be blamed for this I struggle to see what he offers Arsenal when he does play. It goes to show that we need a striker – hopefully with Jesus moving on because we have enough creativity and we don’t need to carry dead weight which is what he is. We should have started with Jorginho with Havertz up front. I suspect City will win all six games now – it is more likely than Arsenal winning theirs. You just knew Arsenal would collapse at some… Read more »

Jeremy

A striker who doesn’t score….ever. Wtf. A few months ago I was happy for him to be a squad player, now I’m not so sure.

Me2

It is no coincidence that our best run of form was when Jesus was injured.
He offers nothing – its not good enough to just be a nice guy in the locker room.
I would like to see him go along with Zinchenko who is nothing but a liability. Kiwior was awesome in that run of form we had and bang he is out of the team and Zinchenko is back bringing the vulnerabilities back with him.
I don’t trust either of them.

Spanish Gooner

We were comfortably top until he replaced Trossard at 9 last season too

I miss santi cazorla

So true

BLUEBERRY

Their winning every match including CL is more likely than us winning all the matches even in PL.

Alex

I fully agree about the starting line up. They showed a stat that we win 84% with Havertz up top. That’s enough for me.

But bottling it? Only you’ve bottled it mate.

BillyKrystal

What a gut punch. Now have to dream that City have hiccup but of course they seem like peaking out of the 3 of us. Time to enjoy the weather thank god for that!

Amb

The ghost of that pre christmas collapse has reappeared in the second half of todays game.

Spanish Gooner

Strangely enough it came back when we went back to playing the same team as at Christmas . Funny that.

FMT

Exactly!!
This loss is on Arteta

TotsOfJack

This is one of those games where the performance is more upsetting than the result. I hope I’m wrong but let’s hope we haven’t asked far too much of Declan this season. He looked knackered out there.

BLUEBERRY

Overplayed. This one is on Arteta. Should have given him a breather with a perfectly fit Partey.

Vonnie

The “perfectly fit Partey” who was so bad last time out that his team mates stopped passing to him?

El Mintero

Partey is fit enough to start and should be playing regularly now to knock the rust off! Keeping him on the bench is bad for him and bad for the team.

Frankie

Can’t understand why Arteta dropped havertz back and put Jesus upfront .. we are not the same team with Jesus upfront .. hopefully arteta puts havertz there for our remaining games ..

Me2

We are not the same team with Jesus is the team. Same with Zinchenko.

Eric Blair

Arteta does have a habit of dropping one every know and then! He’s a quick learner though, thank goodness.

Fatgooner

A throughly deserved Villa win against a disjointed Arsenal. This one is on Arteta. Aston Villa at home was no game to experiment in but he did. Havertz in midfield was a bad idea and completely messed it up. His only decent position at Arsenal is that false number 9. We have a winning formula with Jorginho alongside Rice and Odegaard. Starting Trossard was a bad idea too. Having said that we were ok in the first half but awful in the second, and the substitutions came too late. One more thing: it’s painfully obvious now that David Raya isn’t… Read more »

Eric Blair

I’m also wondering about Raya. Looking at him as an individual I don’t think he’s good enough for a title winning team, yet he does seem to fit our system and in football nowadays that is absolutely crucial.

Fatgooner

When it comes to the squad our two big weaknesses are the lack of a clinical striker and the lack of a top-quality goalkeeper.

A top striker buries at least one of those first-half chances. And then we go on to win it easily.

A top goalkeeper prevents that first goal and gets us another 8 to 10 points per season.

Without those two we won’t win a big one.

Eric Blair

Hard to argue with that. I would also add a quality central midfielder who can break the lines passing and dribbling.

loose_cannon

Good first half, second half we seemed to run out of steam and ideas. Very worried about Bayern now

SterdeyGooner

Everybody needs to stop this nonsense about Jesus being this special player that has changed our world. He goal return is pathetic and the team doesn’t gel in an attacking sense with him up top except on the few occasions it does and he misses the chances we need him to convert.
He’s not good enough for this team, it’s no coincidence our best performances and form have come without him this season.

Eric Blair

I think that’s a bit strong, but it seems likely that our massive improvement when he joined was less to do with him (and Zinchenko) personally but more the plan the manager was implementing.

He’s still a good player though and I’d love to keep him around as a squad player, very useful versatility.

SterdeyGooner

I’d love 30/40 mil more to put towards a top striker

gunnerboreus

No one will pay much for him. His knee is shot and he’s on big wages. The choice is keep him or more or less give him away. So I would keep him – – but as a squad player

El Mintero

His knee needs 6 months out for a complete recovery. He’s obviously playing thru some sort of meniscus tear meaning he’s never going to be more than 80% fit.

Qwaliteee

He’s carrying a bad knee injury mate. Each game he is playing through pain. Cut him some slack.

Ealing