A Star is Born, Auba Is a Gunner, Emery Infuriates, Leno is Nr1 GK: Eight Observations.

Man United 1 – 1 Arsenal: A great away point or two precious ones dropped?!

We may get player ratings from Pb later this week, so let me do the usual eight observations. A draw is of course not a bad result away at Old Toilet but we cannot help but feel we could have had our first PL win in 13 years and 13 days there today.

Arsenal bezorgt ManU historisch slechte start ondanks beauty en arbitrale flater

Eight initial observations:

  1. Saka and Pepe: one plays with no weight on his shoulders and the other carries bags with £72m pound coins on them, and it shows. Saka was a joy to watch and crowned his fine performance with that bit of quality that was missing in much of the game: a quick and well placed ball for Auba to finish. I love his physical strength and his cool head with and without the ball: a star is born!! Pepe on the other hand is living in a nightmare; poor passes, poor shooting, poor set-pieces. Still we lost something when he was substituted.
  2. Auba is just quality and has to be our MOTM for taking his one big chance so well. His in-game football is not the best in the world, and that is why he is not at one of the top-top European clubs, but his effort was great and when that chance comes he will take it more often than not. Auba is a Gunner! Love him.
  3. Guendouzi, Torreira and Xhaka had the midfield covered. The only thing that was missing is the link up with the attackers; even though Torreira and Guendouzi worked their socks off to make that connection, it was clear we missed Mesut who could have easily played instead of Pepe tonight.
  4. And then Emery did something that was just so infuriating: he broke up the nicely purring midfield by taking Torreira (out of favour?) off and putting Ceballos (part of Emery’s ‘signature’?) on. Yes we needed an Ozil/Ceballos, but not instead of Torreira. Soon afterwards he took off both the wingers, so why not do that a bit earlier and keep Torreira on? I reckon it was Unai punishing Torreira for missing a big chance just before the substitution, because that is the sort of guy he is… But Torreira is a not an attacking midfielder and at least he was in the box to take on the opportunity! See also observation 7…
  5. Leno was absolute class and what a safe at the end from that late free-kick!! I also thought that Luiz and Big Sok had a great game, combining both a never-say-die attitude with full concentration for 90 minutes. The Central Defence did us proud today – much, much better than in previous games.
  6. I thought the full backs had a good game, also working their socks off and really adding attitude to their performances. Having said that, I reckon with a bit more quality in the final ball into the box we could have won it; and if there is one reason why Tierney and Bellerin will soon become our nr1s there, it’s for that reason (especially without a natural nr.10 in our formation).
  7. Emery’s subs… what can I say other than what I already said above? Even though we scored soon after the first substitution, this really had nothing to do with it. What exactly did Ceballos and Nelson add to our game? Virtually nothing. Ceballos or Martinelli for Pepe was on the cards, but imho Emery gave the win away with his subs in the second half.
  8. But even though we did not win, and we may not get a better chance to win there for a while, this is still an important draw for Arsenal. We are fourth and have played Pool (away), Mancs (away) and Spuds (home of football) already in just seven PL games. This hard-fought draw condemns the Mancs to their worst League start in 30 years and provides Arsenal with a platform to push on now. Whether Emery has the ability to get the best out of this team continues to be THE question but at least they gave their all for the shirt and that is something to be proud of.

By TotalArsenal.


69 thoughts on “A Star is Born, Auba Is a Gunner, Emery Infuriates, Leno is Nr1 GK: Eight Observations.

  • “GunnerN5 says:
    September 30, 2019 at 22:49
    Our 8th through 16th games are against the rest of the pack (Leicester?) so we should? be able to maintain our spot in the top four.

    8 Bournemouth H
    9 Sheffield U A
    10 Crystal Palace H
    11 Wolves H
    12 Leicester City A
    13 Southampton H
    14 Norwich City A
    15 Brighton H
    16 West Ham A”

    The main problem, my friend, with this is that we lost Top 4 last season in three fixtures from this list (Palace, Leicester, Brighton).

    TA pretty much covered all angles of the game with his observations but I have to add something, as always. 🙂 This one is something I used to moan about when Wenger was in charge as well.

    We played Man U with 800-year-old Ashley Young on the FB position. He was on a yellow card in the first half. Why we didn’t try to put him off the game by overloading his flank? Put all our attacks down Young’s wing until he gets tired and smashes one of our dribblers (that’s one thing Pepe knows to do) to receive his marching orders.

  • I can agree with your ‘8 Obs’, TA. With just the exception that in my view, Nelson came on and gave Chambers some needed help with Daniel James late. Cool and wet, Calum looked to be cramping at times those last 10+ minutes.

    I’m getting a different United vibe.
    The season after Van Gaal– Mourinho’s United took 15 draws, only 5 losses– for 69 points and 6th place in the PL. Arsenal tallied 70 last season. Looking on pace for 64-65 points this time. At best. Unless, Emery is expecting the Bellerin/Holding/Tierney troika to change the dynamic– to ride in like the calvary to 10-points I can’t fathom presently.

    In almost all phases– Emery makes winning more difficult.
    Not sure Unai Emery is suited to manage– the way the PL plays.


  • Admir, if you read what I said carefully you will note the question mark after the word should.
    “so we should? be able to maintain our spot in the top four.”
    I have little to no hope that we will.

  • I’m off for my dinner.

    TOTAL – I’ll work on a Standard Liege post and send it late Tuesday or most likely Wednesday morning.

  • Thanks T, for the dedication of putting up a quality post when we all feel a bit disappointed. I really appreciate being able to come here and find intelligent analysis that keeps me from going overboard sometimes.
    Some of your points…. I agree that the pressure is probably holding Pepe back . I’m glad to hear Leno appreciated, he has a very hard job with our defense and style of play.
    I want to add that Guendouzi was and usually is, immense. He is everywhere, all aspects of the game, seems to never tire, and takes a beating with his body being thrown and knocked all over the place. He is a very, very special player. Big Sam allardyce was gushing about him this morning on the radio. I was impressed to hear it.
    Obviously I’m with you on the questions about Emery. I’d like to think that I’m very patient, but I do look for positive signs of progress, and I really have been disappointed for a while.

  • TA …. good observations from a match of few highlights.

    What came across to me as positive or as an improvement was our midfield in the defensive phase of the game. They were shape conscious whenever we lost the ball. “The central defenders did us proud” @ TA was a consequence of a compact midfield out of possession.

    Am beginning to worry about Pepe. Nothing to convince me yet that somethings is on the way. For one who contributes poorly defensively, his offensive qualities should be ever present. He seems not to be much of a build-up-play man yet so far he has not found his asset of driving at the opposition with pace and trickery (Arjen Roben). Maybe Emery should give him the simpler role of an orthodox left winger until he acclimatizes better with the PL.

    Emery remains an enigma. Everything seems wrong yet we are fourth on the table having already played 3 of the big 6 in 7 games and 2 of them at away. With Holding, Lacazette, Tierney and Bellerin on their way back, we should really be looking forward to this season. The real sour point is the Ozil issue. I think I have seen enough to say …. Ozil gives more to the team than Ceballos. Would be happy to be proved wrong.

  • Agreed Admir, our attacking was disjointed on lacked focus, as if they never played together before. Ashley Y should have been roasted on the Gunners’ fire.

  • Cheers J, Guendo had a good game and so did the other midfielders. But in terms of supporting the attack he was lacking quality and therefore the term ‘immense’ is not appropriate imo. He did not make me wish for my favourite young midfielder, Willock, though, so that is good! 🙂

  • PE, agreed the midfield helped defence through their compactness and not leaving space between the lines; this was a massive improvement from previous games. Just a shame we lacked that bit of quality in attacking midfield positions and in attack itself. Auba took his chance, Saka was good and Pepe tried hard but there was nobody to feed them properly. Just like Spuds need Eriksen to shine so we do we need Mesut Ozil. Ceballos is a work in progress and needs to shine in the cup games first before making it into the PL team. Unless the club come out with a statement re Ozil soon, we can only assume that Emery is forcing him out, and if that is true it is a disgrace.

  • Although I did not see the game last night, I can feel that the team is trying very hard to win the game. However, we do not have tall players nor the stockiness of manu** players, so it is difficult to get behind their defense.

    It seemed like Pepe is struggling and losing the balls more than expected, but if Emery feel that Ozil is not better than Pepe, then I seriously have nothing to say. If you guys saw how good Ozil brings to the team, I could not see how Emery is blind enough to not see it.

    It is not that Pepe is not fit for us. He is quick, but at times he just stumbles and the quick thinking and hard pressing players of the English game makes it difficult for him. He strives in spaces, like we saw a few times, but when he gets swarmed by defenders he just loses the ball with ease.

  • I like this comment ^^^ “Although I did not see the game…” followed by some words (I wish I had such chutzpah…) At one point you got it right: (“then I seriously have nothing to say”), but then there are more words… 😦

    Why not watch the game, which is now surely up on the dot.com?….

    I know why…I DID watch the game…and I cannot get those couple of hours back… More frownies… (And sorry JK, for picking on you…at least you were up front about the, er, quality of your, er, observations…)

    TA sums it up (or breaks in down…) very well with his 8 (actual) observations. Keep at it gaffer–if you can–though I hope you can also find better things to do (like an interesting and well remunerated work assignment–probably not so forthcoming as your home country lurches away from, then maybe towards, the rest of Europe. It seems like tough times in the “planning” sector, when politically at least, it’s every man for himself…)

    Anyhow, I wrote a comment BEFORE the match that elicited zero responses, so, between wasting my time (and energy) on that one, then wasting (the same stuff) watching the match, I have to look in the mirror and ask myself, why?…

    And, I know the answer…because I want to win that away shirt (hopefully not this season’s, garish one, however: something from the charity shops will be just fine, for me at least…)

    So, put up the neutral matches we will be picking from…please… 😀

    Oh wait, there’s some Ropy stuff to be played. Do Arsenal (or ManU) really deserve these midweek matches? Might as well be Burnley, IM(H)O… 😦

  • The funniest thing is, these two teams might somehow end up playing a European final against each other unless some big team from CL screws up big time (any of Barcelona, Dortmund and Inter would provide us a difficult test but what if we get, say, Slavia? what if Liverpool finish third in their group?).

    After last night, I’m firmly in the “Freddy Knows Best” camp. You will recognize me as I’m the only member.

  • Firstly Admir? You sir, are not alone.
    And HT? You are ‘far too needy’. I haven’t had anyone answer a post of mine in ages.

    Well. Except for TA.
    Then, it’s always: New Post! 😉


  • Sing it with me people: “We’re 4th in the table…” 😀 😦

    If anybody read my pre-match missive, I said that I think Emery is looking good for getting us promoted (back to the CL). That it’s unwatchable football is a problem only for those who look beyond the results…

    ManU, as we saw, are really poor, but at least their manager seems to know it. That’s my observation watching him in the coaches box (I’ll link the video below.)… At least he doesn’t waste his time gesticulating (like a fool) or making toothy faces (grimaces?) in the rain.

    I think JW needs to write a post. Emery sets up his team not to lose (and we didn’t lose, we didn’t lose…which ought to be another song…) And a draw in the opponent’s stadium–or even at home against the other mid-table teams–is a good result… The points total doesn’t really matter, just keeping (no more than) 3 teams above us is…

    But, like I tried to ask in my earlier (pre-match) comment, what are we building towards?… Maybe with Gio van Bronkhorst being groomed to take over for Pep, it means that Arteta is headed (back) our way?… Hair (MA8) or no hair (FL8) (or maybe– PV4 or PM4) or any old ex-player… Maybe that could be a topic for a post…

    Surely, something’s gotta give. How can Emery have us right where we want to be, yet (completely?) out of enthusiasm on 1 October?

    And so we plow on…

    For OGS… (who didn’t have the linesman in his pocket last night…)

  • Hey JW… I just answered (or referred to your ideas) ^^^…. And, you should note, that I addressed JK’s comment too… 😉

    In truth, it’s not about the points, but… maybe TA could add some bonus points to “the contest” for picking how many Arsenal can get before our next “top 6” game… Unfortunately, I think Leicester (away) might be one of them…and Admir (rightly) points out that we’ve got some scar tissue from last April/May in a BUNCH of those fixtures… And don’t ask Pep (Mikel) about the trip to Norwich…

    I’m thinking that 15+ from these fixtures would keep us going nicely…for promotion purposes (and avoiding the FbF managerial issues)…

    8 Bournemouth H
    9 Sheffield U A
    10 Crystal Palace H
    11 Wolves H
    12 Leicester City A
    13 Southampton H
    14 Norwich City A
    15 Brighton H
    16 West Ham A”

  • Well HT–
    Just posted this over at Tim’s site.
    The piece from which I excerpted is a veritable road map for the club.


    Bit brighter day after reading James McNicholas’ piece in ‘The Athletic’ (sub req’d).
    A near long-form article–
    “Inside the revolution: how Arsenal plan to reclaim place among world’s elite clubs”

    A snippet:
    “It may ultimately prove to be a good thing that he (Edu) is not as close to Emery as Monchi was. Arsenal are building a model which has the durability to withstand a change in coach. Publicly, they say the advantage of this approach is that it enables the coach to focus on the next game. Contained within that is a tacit admission: not only is a coach’s focus short-term, but increasingly so is their tenure. Emery’s current contract runs no further than 2021; Arsenal have built an infrastructure to outlast him.”


    Most of the article revolves around quotes from Mertesacker and Edu. Of the approx 3500 words in the piece– maybe a half-dozen were: ‘Emery’.

    If you’re able– the writing at The Athletic is worth the price of admission.
    (A neat aspect? You can choose as many teams/clubs as you like, in any sport– to receive well-written articles about– (usually, a couple times a week) delivered to your inbox.


  • Not that I’d bet the farm on anything ESPN posts– but this seems pretty adamant:

    “Former Netherlands international Giovanni van Bronckhorst is spending time at Manchester City but is not being lined up for a top job at the Etihad Stadium, sources have told ESPN FC.”

    Van Bronckhorst, capped 106 times, has been out of work since he quit Feyenoord in the summer and City have agreed to let the 44-year-old behind the scenes at the City Football Academy and other clubs within the City Football Group including New York City.”


  • I will be watching Juventus v Leverkusen for the sole reason to see how Leverkusen, managed by Dutchman Bosz, will fare against the Italians. I reckon our next manager could be Dutch and Bosz is one to watch. 🙂

    I reckon you are harsh on the quality of the football, 17HT. I watched without the whinging commentary and quite enjoyed the battle. We can play much better of course but Arsenal managed to get into the box a few times and better finishing by Saka (unlucky), Torreira or (at the end) Nelson would have added one or two more goals. What was important is that we actually fought in this game and wanted the three points, something I have missed in many a PL game at Old Toiletto.

  • “How can Emery have us right where we want to be, yet (completely?) out of enthusiasm on 1 October?” 17HT

    Sums up my feelings. I sat down last night excited as always by the prospect of our lads playing at OT. By 20 minutes I was bored. Half time came and it was back to a very interesting book I am reading about the best consistency of batter when making pancakes (much depends upon ambient temperature).

    I cannot ever remember turning off an MU/AFC game before and why did I? Because the football is simply dreadful.

    I really don’t give a rat’s arse if Douzi can run 50 kms in a game or if the defence is better organised thanks to a negative game plan. I watch football for entertainment and this team (apart from a couple of players) is incapable of such when working under our manager’s tactical plan.

    We CAN play great football as witnessed against NF. True, NF were crap but it was the mindset of our team which impressed – we knew we were better than them and hence played with swagger. At MU we played with “the handbrake on” (thank you for the appropriate words Mr Wenger).

    We are The Arsenal. Better to go down in flames than bore the pants off a hundred million viewers.

  • Erik, agreed my friend, but your expectations are too high for our current manager. He wants to play better and attacking football but then we are so leaky at the back we end up with less clean sheets than an Amsterdam brothel on a Saturday night. The man is a disaster but it is still the mighty red and white on the pitch and the boys gave their all for the shirt… which goes a long way.

  • Admir, Freddie is a big shout my friend. Why wouldn’t he be the next Giggs for Arsenal? We just need to get a manager who plays a good, clear system of football that befits Wengerball but is a bit more of this time. Somebody who can get the best out of the players and uses our quite excellent resources well. Emery was Gazidis’ man, who clearly did not understand what the club needed. I would pay David Dein to source our next manager – and install Arsene as interim till the summer.

  • A couple of great lines from and article by Phi McNutty of BBC Sports.

    And then there was Monday’s 1-1 draw as ‘The Theatre of Dreams’ drowned in a downpour of rain and mediocrity, rarely enlivened by anything that could be called quality.

    In the context of a meaningful Premier League title challenge, this was the sporting equivalent of two bald men fighting over a comb.

  • TA. I don’t believe UE is a disaster, I think that he is a very pragmatic manager who looks at his squad and thinks he hasn’t the personnel to play the Arsenal Way. I don’t agree but then I am not watching them train every day.

    17 is right,, we sit in 4th place, just where we need to be. Should AFC make the CL it will have been a successful season.

    Some wrote about the players missing from the MU team (Shaw,Martial etc but Lacazette was a huge miss last night as were Hector, Rob, Kieron and Mesut. IMO it was criminal not to play Ozil. One can only think that he is keeping a few established players back for Liege on Thursday. But even so …

  • The latest news on Tierney is a bit vague – is he injured again or?

    Tierney injury history.

    19/20 Hip Injury Jun 17, 2019 Oct 1, 2019 106 days 21Celtic FCArsenal FC
    18/19 Groin Surgery May 7, 2019 Jun 9, 2019 33 days 3Celtic FC
    18/19 Hip Injury Apr 19, 2019 May 2, 2019 13 days 2Celtic FC
    18/19 Cals Sclerosis Mar 31, 2019 Apr 5, 2019 5 days 2Celtic FC
    18/19 Hip Injury Dec 7, 2018 Feb 22, 2019 77 days 17Celtic FC
    18/19 Knock Nov 15, 2018 Nov 22, 2018 7 days –
    17/18 Calf Injury Mar 16, 2018 Apr 7, 2018 22 days 3Celtic FC
    16/17 Ankle aigament Oct 28, 2016 Jan 21, 2017 85 days 15Celtic FC

  • And Erik, that is of course true, but we will have to play a lot better to make it to the top-four. And good, watchable football is important for the ‘brand’ too..

  • Nice comments this morning… I esp. like EtR’s “17 is right…” 😀

    TA, I know I’m a bit harsh on the quality of the football but I must (respectfully) disagree with your claim that Arsenal were playing to win last night… The match improved (dramatically) in the second half (though not as much as the commentators were claiming) due to the late (first half) goal. Once we got ours (unstolen by the linesman…) we might’ve chanced a winner but it didn’t seem the priority… Reread your Observation #7…

    JW, I think there’s wisdom in those longer pieces you’re quoting… Why not paraphrase one of them into a post (here on BK)… If you ask me, Emery doing a Sarri, (finishing 3rd AND winning the Ropy League AND then fecking off for a “better” job) seems the dream scenario. He’d need to REALLY lose the team (i.e., more like <10 points from these next 8 matches) for a sacking to occur…

    Finally, I've been thinking about the "Pepe problem…" He'll keep getting his chances (starting matches) until either (or both) Lacazette and Ozil get some games (both of whom, truth be told, would probably be playing–current matches–if we were desperate for points–People need to remember it's a LOOOONG season; and managers–in the real world–actually rest players because of it…). So, let's hope he gets some goals and/or assists sooner than later. Additionally, the current set up of playing a very (very) one footed player with his good foot toward the middle of the pitch (as an inverted winger) when he's got no midfielders (attacking mids, real #10s) to pass to, has got to be tough on him. So, I kinda want to agree with those (PE, I think, others maybe…) that playing him out on the left might serve a tonic… then again, more aggro FBs, or just matches we hope to win through Emery's wide-attack plan should give our new fellow some more space (and time) with the ball. It's tough needing to make things happen so (so) quickly as Emery (clearly, IMO) wants… (Thank dennis we've got the master of it, PEA, with that goal a game thing he's got going…)

    Put Saka on the right, or tucked in and doing that fine hold-up work (in this way he did make Grabsley Young look pretty old and tired, I thought) in Lacazette style and good things could happen (or maybe, at least) we'd have ANOTHER REASON we could call Pepe a 72 million pound flop). An extra touch for him (Saka) and we might've won the game… That (as for Pepe) will come with time and experience. As "supporters" we need to be patient–even if mistakes look worse when extra touches are added…

    So, I actually saw some things (another being that JW, you're right about Nelson doing some decent enough defending of that James kid)…but, overall, I still don't like it…

  • TA,
    My belief is that there is a lot of natural skill and talent in our squad that due to Emery’s – methods/tactics/coaching/training – is not being fully (or even partially) utilized.

    I’ve said before but I’ll repeat – I’m not anti Emery but he does need to come to terms with the fact that in both the Villa and United games we were a remarkably different (better) team in the 2nd half.
    The question that only he knows the answer to is –
    a) Did the just say to hell with it lets just play our football?
    b) Did he change the tactics?

  • I have no doubt Emery made those subs to win the game, Seventeenho, but it didn’t work out for him. Even though I didn’t think those subs made a difference, and in fact I believe they were the wrong ones to make, there is no doubt in my mind that Emery made them to win the game. It had the opposite effect; we started to play worse. But I am happy to respectfully agree to disagree with my friend from Lake Tahoe. 🙂

  • TA. My point exactly – give me decent to watch footballer points anyway. I don’t care if we make Top 4 (unless it is at the expense of Spurs 🙂 )

    Let’s be honest, what chance do we have of winning the CL anyway? I almost won the EL in the last 2 seasons and I expect us to do so again. At the moment it is our level of football. Better that than see us humiliated by Bayern Munich … again.

  • Agreed Erik. The CL is set up in such a way that the very rich clubs keep doing well: making lots of money which they use to buy the talents away from the next level of clubs… so they get stronger and stronger and keep beating the lower level clubs. Before the CL there was much more of a chance for a smaller club to make it to the final or even win it. The rest played in the UEFA league or Cup Winners League…. Those were the good old days.

    I like Arsenal playing in the EL but I just wish it was not on a Spursday but on a Tuesday or Wednesday…. but that would not fit with the rich kids…, 😦

  • Those who have not seen him play as yet, I recommend you to watch Frenkie de Jong for the Netherlands. He also plays for Barcelona but they play him with Busquests and that is not working out so well as yet. Just watch how he dances with the ball and the space around the ball and how he creates time and space and thus controls proceedings. An absolute joy to watch and one of the best footballers I have ever seen.

  • Thanks for the, er, respect… TA… And maybe that’s what we should be playing for… 😀 😦

    Win half your games at home = 30 pts, Draw the rest (10 points) Total = 40 pts

    Win 5 games on the road = 15 points, Draw 10 (and “only” lose 5) = 65

    In my view, that’s enough to finish top 4 this season… (AND we’ve already won once on the road!!) ManU are poor, the other London clubs not so strong (despite Sarri and Poch doing good work a season ago) and Leicester will fade, (I’m guessing)…and we’ve still got Ozil and Laca ready to add their stuff… But this post should be written by JW, I think… 😉

    Do I care? Sure… Get back to the CL because Arsenal ARE (financially) big enough to compete in the CL. We need to be in the comps with VAR, by the way, as we saw last night… Hell, that’s what got Totts to the final… And yes, bossing the other clubs with money is tougher in England than elsewhere–Even City/Pep “only” got the triple last season…but Poch made a 2nd final, I think–the same one Wenger did the season previous…I can’t quite remember what happened in the FA Cup… GN5, where are you when I need you?… 😉

    Are we really playing to win? Guendouzi, our most industrious flopper, er, player with floppy hair, er, player, hardly tries more than a Xhaka-esque punt (or two) forward to his (would be) scorers… (I’d argue because he’s a member of our first defensive line, not an MF…and what exactly was LT11 doing besides trying to win headers–and better yet, balls at the feet off of Pogba?) Look, that first half put ETR to sleep (!!)… And I might’ve take a nap myself except for being able to fast-forward through half time, and, frankly, the game needed a goal sooo badly that I wasn’t at all sad when it came…

    Anyways, coffee (to drink and roast) and places to be…and I hate to belabor (belabour?) my points…but, like that guy (somebody the devil…) says (now and again…) you’re too positive… (More winkies…)

    But, then again… and sing it with me…

    We’re 4th in the table…(more exclamation points–!!!!), maybe one for each place… 😀 😦

  • Bergkampesque had almost 4000 comments since the start of the calendar year, but about one third alone were made in the month of September. So big thank you to my fellow blog writers and BK commenters. :applause: :yippee: :love:

  • “Manager Zinedine Zidane backed Hazard to improve, saying: “I know he will triumph here but the important thing is to be calm and back him. I know how it works, I was worse when I arrived in Italy. There, I took three months [to hit form], at Madrid a bit less.” Indirectly, this is also good for Pepe. Just breath in and out keep working hard… you will come good.

  • Nice talking points, TA.
    I agree with most of them, however I haven’t seen the game, just watched a 5-min highlights on the official website, and a 11-min summary on YT. (Which also means, that albeit the hint in the post is indeed really flattering, I cannot deliver player ratings this time.)
    The only topic I would challenge is the evaluation on Saka.
    I admit that these video highlights are far from being the real deal, but apart from his assist (which was more like a quick and smart reaction to the defensive error, than actual skill) he made 3 serious mistakes, from those type if being committed by Iwobi, fans would request to bench him forever.
    By no means am I suggesting that he was playing poor, but I cannot take those headlines seriously where “Saka shines, but Luiz flops”. He is a great talent, and a hot prospect for the future, but it shouldn’t bias our objective evaluation.

    p.s.: I’m shocked by Steve Bould’s approach to the Leasing.com Trophy…

  • Cheers Pb, Saka really was fantastic taking into account his age and the occasion. I recommend you watch the whole game if you have the time.

  • I may be mad… (angry about what they’re doing to my football club…) but a BUNCH of those comments must be mine (live-blog posts)… What about word-count? Surely, I should get something (another shirt, perhaps…) for that… 😀

    Not bad for a fellow who wants to give it all up… 😦

  • I don’t know what is the prestige of this cup (if any), but when Mertesacker as the recently appointed manager of Arsenal Academy was interviewed last year when we were invited for the first time (it was called Checkatrade trophy back then), he was quite pleased as it is a great opportunity for the young starlets to play against grown-up professional football players of lower leagues. And I couldn’t agree more.
    However I think we treat it way to lightly. This would indeed be a good chance for the hottest U21 prospects to play against adults, and I would field Saka, Nelson, Martinelli, Smith-Rowe, Medley, Mavropanos, Guendouzi, Willock, Balogun, John-Jules, etc. Tonight only Mavropanos and Smith-Rowe played, and only because they have to regain their match fitness.

    I see it as a missed opportunity, as we played with regular 17-19 years old players (we even used a substitute who turned 16 this year). Even though we lost both games in the competition (including today’s match against Peterborough), I have no doubt that it was fun and good experience for the players involved. What I complain about are as follows:
    – we limit ourselves to 3 games only, as we will not proceed from the group stage
    – the performance undermines the prestige of Arsenal Academy
    – we have players on the fringe of the first team who would have needed this experience a lot more than Tormey or Swanson, as
    – Nelson, Saka, Martinelli, Willock, Balogun and the others had very limited opportunities to play against players outside their age group.

    They would have benefited from that, and I think the first team integration should have been a higher priority than Bould playing some 18-year-olds. In fact I would have appointed Ljungberg as the acting coach for the Leasing.com trophy…
    For those players who are above the Premier League 2 level (the U23 championship), but haven’t been sent on loan there are very few chances to gain confidence and get closer to the first team. There are a few league cup games (unfortunately only 1 this year), and maybe a couple FA cup and EL fixtures. This trophy should have been among them.

  • I thought I will find a few more comments here on the Spurs v Bayern result. I bet London based spurs fans will wish they could take the rest of the week off now. What a Rostand to think Gnabry got 4 of the goals. Clinical, Bayern.

  • 17ht, no doubt a word count will have you tops on here. Don’t think there will be any argument about that.

  • A shocking 7-2 thrashing by the Munich team. Rest of the week off you say, Eris? I would say big your heads in the sand for as long as possible.

    Gnabry is a hot prospect now, and Barca will want to poach him over, or Madrid. I am not sure if Gnabry can be in such a good form had we kept him. But it is good for him to say “North London is red” after dismantling the worst team in the world.

  • I guess Eris we are not gloating too much about it as Arsenal have been in the same boat in recent years, and the damage was done by a man we sold for peanuts (who plays in the position of the yet-to-fire Pepe on whom we did spend rather large). 😕

  • Some very damning stats for the Spuddies, though:

    Gnabry put on a devastating display of speed, skill and finishing to score with four of his five shots – netting twice in the space of 112 seconds, then twice more in the final 10 minutes.
    His evening was so productive that he has scored as many goals at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as Spurs striker Harry Kane has managed.
    However, Gnabry is not even the most prolific player in Bayern’s team.
    Robert Lewandowski, who scored twice, with Gnabry setting up the first, has scored in every Bayern game this season bar the season-opening German Super Cup. That’s 14 goals in his past nine games.
    ‘Embarrassing, abject, pitiful – make no mistake, Spurs and Pochettino are in trouble’
    Spurs must stick together – Pochettino
    Football Daily podcast: Spurs battered by Bayern

    Serge Gnabry uses basketball star’s James Harden ‘stirring the pot’ celebration. He got four opportunities to use it on Tuesday
    At the same time as Gnabry’s four-goal haul, West Brom were losing to Championship promotion rivals Leeds. What might have been.
    Away from Gnabry’s heroics, the day was about as bad as it could get for Spurs. Here are some unwanted landmarks and records they managed…
    It was the biggest home defeat by an English team in any European competition.
    It was the first time in Spurs’ 137-year history that they have conceded seven goals in a home game.
    It was the first time since a 7-1 Premier League defeat by Newcastle on 28 December 1996 that they have let in seven goals.
    They are the first English side to concede seven goals in a home European match (they were also the first to concede six).
    They are the first English side to concede seven goals in a European game since the last time they did it – when a makeshift Spurs lost 8-0 to Cologne in the 1995 Intertoto Cup.
    The most goals Spurs had conceded in a European home game was last season in a 4-2 defeat by Barcelona.
    This was Mauricio Pochettino’s joint heaviest defeat as a manager, alongside a 5-0 loss to Real Madrid in March 2012 when in charge of Espanyol.

  • @TA

    Sorry, I couldn’t reply earlier to your comment. 🙂

    I believe there is a system Freddie will nurture and that youngsters show it until, sadly, Emery coaches that system out of them. Saka looks sharp, WIllock looks sharp, I reckon others would fit the bill as well and that Freddie knows which players from U23 side are ready for the first team football.

    Unlike Emery, Freddie is both an Arsenal legend and was a great player. Emery is neither. Freddie was also managed by Arsene during the best period of Arsenal in the history. As a player, he wasn’t the most skillful, the quickest or the strongest player on the pitch but he was – after Dennis, of course – the most intelligent one. That’s why Freddie worked so well with Dennis – when only Dennis knew where the next pass behind the defence would go, only Freddie was in the same space-time continuum as Dennis and the opponents couldn’t defend it.

    Now, I’ve been writing notes about a huge article I would like to write for one of the Bosnian sport sites in the future. It would include all big ex-players named as managers at their ex-clubs and how that decision is a part of the populistic consumerism ideology owners use to buy some time and patience from the fans.
    “We lost 4-0 to Man U, Mr Abramovich!” “Yes, but it’s our ol’ Fat Frank on the bench! You can’t be mad at the club legend, CAN YOU?”
    “We can’t buy a goal, Mr Glaser!” “Yes, but it’s our ol’ Ole at the wheel! You can’t be mad at the club legend, CAN YOU?”

    You get the point.

    It’s difficult when you name an ex-player as the head coach without any previous experience at the senior level. Two rare examples of major success are Pep and Zizou and even those two can’t be more different. Pep is a manager with philosophy, a grandson of Rinus Michels and the favourite son of Johann Cruyff (sorry, Jordi). Zidane is a strong personality with ability to maximize qualities of his players and make good instinctive moves to fix things during the game. Zizou has no philosophy you could associate him with though and same thing can be said about Solskjaer as well. Lampard, on the other hand, reminds a lot of that barren Wenger’s years when we played attractive footie with no trophies to show for it. Then again, Lampard didn’t start his managerial career at Chelsea. Neither did Solskjaer at United but it’s difficult to recognize his philosophy aside from a few motivational speeches he picked under Fergie.

    You mentioned Bosz. Now, I watched him at Borussia Dortmund where he started brightly, opened a five-point gap to Bayern only to crumble heavily. He was extremely arrogant when journalists asked him questions but that was the least of his problems. I watched his game against Spurs (he lost both fixtures to them) and I was shocked with his formation. Basically, his CBs were so high no Spud could have been caught offside. He was stubborn in his views before a really poor streak that coincided with triumphant Jupp Heynckes’ return to Bayern ended his Borussia Dortmund career. He is at Bayer Leverkusen now where he has a few talented players (Bailey, for instance) but I’m not sure that he would be a Dutch coach I’d pick. Eredivisie is a deceiving league and De Boer has realized that in a very painful way both at Inter and Crystal Palace.

    Speaking of Spuds – hahahahahahahahahahaha. I’m still laughing when I remember that Harry Kane picked the ball from the net thinking the comeback is on. 😀

  • Nice comment, Admir. If the paragraph about Bergkamp and Ljungberg would be a picture, I would hang it in my bedroom.

    Regarding the coaching issue I will make a final attempt to salve Emery, by shifting the blame to Bould (which will be my ‘thing’ in the future). 🙂
    But I can imagine that even if the strategy was well picked, the execution and/or individual mistakes could result in surprise defeats and losing valuable points against inferior opponents. And since our defense in Emery’s first year was just as poor as in Wenger’s last 3 years, the idea about defensive coach Bould’s responsibility comes natural. Especially that we indeed have great center backs. While this won’t be popular, but taking Mustafi’s occasional but costly mistakes in positioning and decision making out of the equation (which is indeed a great IF…), he would be a top tier defender, nothing short of Maguire.

    Anyway, looking ahead of possible new coaches, I won’t mind giving a shot to Arteta. But talking about Dutch managers I would choose Bosz only if he brings Bergkamp. My picks would be Erik ten Hag, Ronald Koeman (who has PL experience and works miracle with the Dutch team), or maybe Marcel Keizer.

  • (This is also a good example of Emeryese English)
    Emery provides update on Tierney, Bellerin fitness progress

    Date published: Wednesday 2nd October 2019 2:50

    Unai Emery has revealed that both Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin could feature in Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Standard Liege on Thursday.

    Tierney made his first appearance for the Gunners at the end of last month when they thrashed Nottingham Forest 5-0 in the Carabao Cup.

    The Scotland international signed from Celtic in the summer and Arsenal fans will be looking forward to catching another glimpse of the left-back.

    On Tierney, Emery told reporters: “He needs time, confidence, training and playing. Tomorrow is a good opportunity, he is ready to play. He will take minutes and confidence.

    “He will be able with us to show his progress.

    “I asked Kieran yesterday because we were waiting first for him to be with us consistently. Each step yesterday is important to be consistent. He didn’t play in Manchester because he had a small problem, not important, but the doctor told us it was important for him to be here with us, preparing for tomorrow.”

    Emery added: “Hector Bellerin is the same but with a small difference. His injury was more time, after a long time, nine months, we need first to play the 15 minutes he played last week. He played in the U23s to take confidence, to do actions on the pitch.

    “For tomorrow we are thinking – it depends on the training – tomorrow he is going to play.”

  • Cheers GN5 🙂

    Thanks Admir, enjoyed reading that and good points about Bosz. I think there is more to him but will write about it another time.

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