Bergkampesque Live-Blog, Leicester City-Arsenal. A Six-Pointer–for the CL places–but SOOOO Much More Feels at Stake

Emery on the Edge?

It’s just an away match in the midlands–one we won 5-2 the season in which Leicester actually went on to win the PL title–but it’s also a match that seems to represent everything about Arsenal’s current malaise.

Will it be Unai Emery’s last match in charge?  Frankly, I doubt it, especially if Arsenal can eke out a result (a draw keeps the gap at 6, a win, of course, would cut it to three) but a loss would make this Arsenal team sit in the middle of the table and 9 points from the top 4.

At least we now know who Emery will be playing.  Here are your line-ups:

Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Luiz, Kolasinac, Torreira, Chambers, Guendouzi, Ozil, Lacazette, Aubameyang.
Subs: Tierney, Papastathopoulos, Pepe, Martinez, Willock, Martinelli, Saka.

Leicester City: Schmeichel, Ricardo Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell, Ndidi, Perez, Tielemans, Maddison, Barnes, Vardy.
Subs: Justin, Morgan, Gray, Albrighton, Ward, Choudhury, Praet.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh (Lancashire).

It looks like a 3 CB formation with young guns Rob Holding and Calum Chambers flanking David Luiz in the center; Sead Kolasinac and Hector Bellerin working as wing-backs.  With Granit Xhaka likely done as an Arsenal player (at least if Emery continues as our manager) and Dani Ceballos hurt in midweek, our midfield options are limited so less favored guys like Lucas Torreira and Mesut Ozil get their chances alongside Matteo Guendouzi.  Then goal-a-game guy (and new captain) Pierre Emerick Aubameyang will work it out with a (maybe) fully fit (we hope…) Alex Lacazette.

In my mind it’s a strong line-up–and I like the group at the back–but I have to wonder what a coach with a more let-em-play attitude might have been able to create (by this time) with the available group (including big signing Nicolas Pepe and, of course, Xhaka, whose fitness issues are not physical).  Unbelievably, besides Ceballos, our only injured player is Reiss Nelson, a player who might add value but certainly not one we would have expected to rely upon.

I never believe that a single result should define management policy–nor who stands in as the on field coach–but many will disagree.  For me, Emery should have been done after a single (failed) season–with (for me) unwatchable football and a routing shunting of blame away from himself–but he got a 2nd season.  Will he be able to complete it–and meet the expectations of the club and it’s supporters?  Another chapter gets written–right now.

I’ll be watching and trying to describe the action but I’m just 2 eyes (and 10 fingers–and one very small mind).  Help me out, eh…

Go on then…

by 17highburyterrace

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151 Responses to Bergkampesque Live-Blog, Leicester City-Arsenal. A Six-Pointer–for the CL places–but SOOOO Much More Feels at Stake

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks 17HT. Indeed it looks like 3-4-3 with Guen-Torreira in the centre of midfield. COYGs!

  2. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey TA, you’ve got telly coverage for this one, right?…

    Are you hopeful for a result? Would you trade a loss for a new manager?…

    At this moment, I’m curious if there are ANY Gooners out there who want to keep the manager around any longer. As I’ve said before, results are not the (be all and) end all for me…but, I’d take a top 4 finish if it meant Emery were gone at the end of the year… 😉 (You know, Sarri-style, like Chelsea did last season)… Unfortunately, that seems an awfully rose-tinted version of the future… 😦

    Again, my prediction was 4-1 (to the Foxes)…

  3. 17highburyterrace says:

    That said, I am drinking my (2nd) espresso from my red demitasse cup… (The blue ones, alas, have been imported to Mexico…)

    Looks like LC were a bit confused coming out of the tunnel…

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    I just long for elevation, 17HT. But I always want my team to win and if we do tonight then Emery deserves credit for it. I don’t want another manager though and I hope the BoD are on the case. I expect Arsene to come in as interim manager soon. 😀

  5. 17highburyterrace says:

    “I expect Arsene to come in as interim manager soon. 😀”

    I do too…At Bayern… 😦

  6. 17highburyterrace says:

    We have kickoff…

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes it is on TV here so can watch it all. If Tor-Guendouzi can play with discipline we have a chance, but I never liked their partnership. here we go.

  8. LE GALL says:

    hi, friends
    the starting lineup makes sense to me, to be honest (barring the fact that granit should be in matteo’s hole, of course)
    we’ll see …
    COYG

  9. goonereris says:

    Never felt Holding was ready so I hope he proves me wrong. If we can shock the pundits with a win here, it’s going to be a major boost, but Brendan is such a wily fox with teams like ours that it’s hard to see this as anything but defeat.

    If we play freely, with the wing backs pushing up and Ozil does his thing…

  10. 17highburyterrace says:

    Arsenal in bright yellow (shirts and socks) with black shorts… and defending the goal on the right side of my screen…

    As always, since Emery took over, early on we look happy enough to let the opponent have the ball…

  11. goonereris says:

    Yeah. Xhaka would have made our formation more sensible. But, he hasn’t even travelled.

  12. jw1 says:

    Going to give it a try commenting using voice recognition

  13. goonereris says:

    Ref Kavanagh isn’t one of my favourite refs. Will stop the game for any physicality by our midfielders and allow murder when we are at the receiving end. You’d see.

  14. 17highburyterrace says:

    They’ve let us have some touches in their half but now all is restored with LCFC moving it around the perimeter of ours…

    Le Gall, Xhaka in Matteo’s hole? That sounds somewhat scandalous…

    The first shot is a very tame tap by Tiellemans which Leno must wait on to gather…

    Hector, like Samson, hasn’t been his strongest since his locks were shorn?…

  15. 17highburyterrace says:

    Interesting half speed attack down our right, Ozil whiffing at the end, perhaps because he thought he was offside. The link up work between Bells and PEA was nice enough…

    First corner is Leicester’s…

  16. jw1 says:

    Leno doing his best Neuer impersonation

  17. LE GALL says:

    auba for laca; not a real danger, but well done anyway
    i like the simplicity-directness of auba when he’s on awing
    come on, lads

  18. jw1 says:

    Pouring rain isn’t our best environment.

  19. 17highburyterrace says:

    Straight to Leno… Who gets us going into their half quickly…

    Holding wins a tackle, no whistle…

    Vardy almost played in…but it’s safe with Leno…

    LT whistled and LCFC have a FK in a dangerous spot…

  20. 17highburyterrace says:

    Guendo holds back a LC player but the ref/VAR say play on…

    10 mins played and we’re still level… Emery in?…

  21. LE GALL says:

    i know he’s young but how foolish can matteo be
    should’ve been a pen for the blues
    is there any way we can retrieve that eluding ball??

  22. 17highburyterrace says:

    J-Dub on the mike… I like it…

    Holding boots a clearance into a LC player…Chambers gets it clear… English CBs playing English football…What’s not to like?…

  23. goonereris says:

    David Luis must cease trying to be a midfield passer, if he can’t get it right. He puts our defence under pressure immediately he misplaced a pass, going forward.
    What was Guendouzi thinking tugging Soyuncu in the box? That was a let off, albeit not close enough to meet that.

  24. goonereris says:

    We just missed a chance for a goal and even a possible shout for a penalty. Leicester now know it may not be as easy as touted.

  25. 17highburyterrace says:

    This time Guendo starts some intricate play out of the back that leads to A REAL CHANCE, Laca wide after PEA worked it to 6 yards and very central…

  26. jw1 says:

    Convinced that PGMO want to screw up as many VARs as possible to keep it from becoming ingrained.

  27. 17highburyterrace says:

    Both teams with possible pen shouts…with the ref not stopping play it’s hard to know if the VAR is being used…

    Fifteen played and we’re still level…possibly with the best looking of the chances… Emery in?…

  28. LE GALL says:

    another pen not given … to us this time (clear handball)
    laca should’ve bagged that goal, but let’s remember his hold up play was what allowed the counter attack to take place in the first place – with mesut’s soft touches, needless to say

  29. 17highburyterrace says:

    Interesting conspiracy theory, JW…

    Oooh, another throw-in leads to REAL danger (akin to Wolves goal last week)…Chambers clears…

  30. jw1 says:

    Please HT– drop the Emery references?
    I’d like to enjoy the play without that shit hanging over it.

  31. 17highburyterrace says:

    Good shout out for Laca’s hold up work that got us out of trouble and led to his good chance…

    Kola does well to usher a ball out for a Leno goal kick…

  32. LE GALL says:

    laca too eager – needs to calm down a little
    at least we have some very decent moves today
    mesut – playing the right note, at the right time; again

  33. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, I can do that for ya J-Dub…this crew at BK might be “true” supporters… But, if things don’t go our way, I’m sure we’ll hear from Gino (and Simba) soon enough…

    That said, we’re almost half way through the first half and it’s still stale-mated…and the technical level of the game–despite the rain–seems OK compared to some of the (Arsenal) stuff I’ve witnessed…

  34. jw1 says:

    Some edgy stuff at both ends– but a nearly normal match in most senses.

  35. 17highburyterrace says:

    Holding loses it near the halfway line setting Vardy on the move down our left…his pass only reaches the heel of his mate and the shot from that touch is blocked at the point…

  36. jw1 says:

    Thanks HT

  37. jw1 says:

    Being asked to make passes in wet conditions that aren’t optimal.

  38. 17highburyterrace says:

    That’s 25 minutes played and awfully even…both teams with shots…and shouts… And mostly happy to hope for errors by the other team…

    And THERE’S ONE, from Bells, Ayoze Perez, but the shot is over the target…

    And another but the shot cross is too close and claimed well by Leno…

  39. 17highburyterrace says:

    A bit of possession in their half–and the required discussion of Ozil’s style, languid or lazy–as we lose it and LC come at us again…

    Eventually they do penetrate but Perez’ dangerous cross is to no one…

    That gets the crowd excited and Perez goes down but Kola had won the tackle…

  40. LE GALL says:

    hector messin’ up with tohom (this old heart of mine)
    i find bernd very reassuring in that hell of a weather for a keeper
    like calum a lot, on the right side of a 3CB defense
    luiz seems to be enjoting himself, too
    keep up with the good job, lads

  41. jw1 says:

    Pleased so far with the energy of the team. Still the errors and dispossessions making me skittish. Difference being we’ve been in positions to recover.

  42. 17highburyterrace says:

    Half an hour gone now with Guendo moving it, then losing it, then moving it again when we get it back…No hiding with that hair…

    A bit more initiative from our mids and defenders but it’s been mostly LC… Tielemans tries a long one…

  43. jw1 says:

    Vardy whiffs on one he don’t usually.
    On a cross from new nemesis Ayoze Perez

  44. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wowsa, how did Vardy miss that cross from Ayoze Perez?…Anything but the nutmeg and it would’ve been 1-nil…

  45. jw1 says:

    Wet makes a difference HT.
    Vardy’s, then Laca’s pass centering in front of goal.

  46. 17highburyterrace says:

    I always was impressed by Ayoze at Toonies…not the most athletic but technically very solid…and a bit reminiscent of Carlitos Vela…but with the Kim Jong Un hair, of course…

    Good defending to make LC work it around our box… Leno grabs a shot Chambers blocked that he might have let go out for a GK…

    From the corner, Telimans (Sp?) volleys and it bounces wildly but somebody from LC was offside…

  47. jw1 says:

    Tielemans pings one off 3 players wide far post after LC threatens from both sides of goal.

  48. 17highburyterrace says:

    We get down their end and win a corner, Ozil wasting some time in taking it before hitting it too close to Schmeichel…

    Their press has scared us a bit in this first half…and Evans wins a ball off holding as a part of it…ending a bit of (rare) Arsenal possession…

  49. jw1 says:

    Torrira lucky not to be booked on a n=missed sliding tackle on Maddison

  50. 17highburyterrace says:

    40 mins played, announcers mentioning the value of our bench players (125 million pounds worth from this summer)…Both teams might like to get to the dressing room and buck up their ideas but LT gives another FK akin to the one with the Guendo pull-back…

  51. jw1 says:

    Maddison’s FK grazes the netting top-of-goal.

  52. 17highburyterrace says:

    Taken directly by Maddison but it skims off the top of the net…

  53. 17highburyterrace says:

    Your voice-recognition stuff, JW, might put my fingers out of a job here… 😀

  54. jw1 says:

    Ndidi allowed to kick Laca’s torso as he is on the ground ball under him. Finally a whistle.

  55. jw1 says:

    Actually had to quit it– couldn’t get it to act right! 😒

  56. 17highburyterrace says:

    Laca down, stomped all over by N’didi…

    From the FK, David Luiz almosts links up with PEA on a fine ball over everybody…except the keeper…

    Other end (ours), an openish header is woefully skewed by a LC guy…

  57. jw1 says:

    I’m satisfied that our players were allowed to play with far less restriction than we’ve seen in recent matches.

  58. 17highburyterrace says:

    No stoppage time added and we’ve got HT…

    Quite watchable, by current standards I thought, though Arsenal playing as the away team (at “little” Leicester) still rankles (me) just a bit…

    We had the one (real) chance… LC had a few…

  59. jw1 says:

    That said, there’s little in the way of structure. The boys are ‘winging it’.
    Problem with that– is they’ve probably been doing so little of it in recent months– there’s not much chance of it coming together randomly. We’ve been fortunate thus far– that our energy– and ability to recover from mistakes have kept the scoreline level. Though, Vardy should have tapped in– in all honesty.

    jw1

  60. 17highburyterrace says:

    That’s funny about the voice-recognition stuff, JW…

    I was thinking about Paul Bunyan/John Henry equivalencies…so I’m glad that we’re (back) on equal footing, er, fingering, or something…

    In the studio, at nil-nil they actually have to show more in the way of highlights… The Vardy nutmeg was a let-off, even if they’re mostly talking about the pen shouts…

  61. LE GALL says:

    one of the few PL halves i’ve not been ashamed of, lately
    think you-know-who’s line up was the right call, for once; let’s hope he doesn’t shift things around foolishly
    hector’s still rusty – needs to pile up playing time, now
    laca seems to have a hard time recovering from injury, but the lad sure works his socks off for the team
    the foxes are a good team, though, let’s hope we hurt them before they hurt us; our boys keeps looking fragile to me, confidence-wise
    come on you red (yellow) machine

  62. goonereris says:

    Not much surprises in the 1st half. Emery has, as usual, reacted to analyses about our defending and started a formation that allows them come at us but reduces space for them to operate. He has defenders on the come back trail and it shows in the confidence of Holding and Bellerin; they have given the ball away a few times. Ozil is trying to knit things together and remains a source of threat for us. But, all in all, I still worry that Leicester City can out-arsenal us in this way. We need to improve the connectivity between midfield and attack, but that will come with exposing us a bit at the back. I’d say do that later in the game, when home team is also tense. But, Emery always has other ideas.

  63. PE says:

    Well done folks.

    We’ve offered very little. Holding’s tentative and no metronome in the midfield. Still had a few decent chances. This doesn’t look like a Douzi game with us sitting deep. But who else.

  64. jw1 says:

    Always my fave go to stat this season–
    Shots: LC 9/2 – ARS 6/1

    Not as bloated a difference as we’ve been seeing.
    Still early. Though hoping– that wasn’t ‘our good half’.

    jw1

  65. proudgooner says:

    Emre is so close to losing his job . We look clueless.
    Bring back Wenger lol

  66. TotalArsenal says:

    Well that was not too bad tactically. We sit back and keep it tight as we have done under Emery and Wenger in some of the hard away games (Man City, Man U etc) before. I am not sure we need to play 3-4-3 or is 5-2-3? It does not help us with our counter football as we are usually too deep and outnumber in midfield in those situations. Why not go to 4-3-3, take off Kola for Willock and move Guendo in the hole whilst Mesut plays in a free role to make things happen? We can win and lose and the best tactician/luckiest manager will win it.

  67. proudgooner says:

    We got the players .
    Need the right manager.
    I am now wondering if Emre has lost the dressing room , it’s either that or his tactics suck .
    Either ain’t good.
    May as well give him the whole season and decide at the end of it .
    That has to be fair .??

  68. jw1 says:

    Second half underway.

  69. proudgooner says:

    Yes that’s true .
    But I miss the all out attack and with style Arsenal .
    Hello all by the way .
    Il be watching the game speak after .?

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    All to play for. back at the end of game.

  71. jw1 says:

    Ndidi strikes the bar on a sitter.

  72. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, 2nd half on… Just catching up with the comments above… Glad to see folks making them, fo’ sho…

    I don’t believe that Emery has lost the dressing room…but, like others, I don’t like his tactics…

    HUGE LET OFF… N’didi off the bar with the whole goal to hit…

  73. jw1 says:

    LC moving the ball around and thru the box finally sliding a pass center from about 12yds– no pressure. Whack!

  74. 17highburyterrace says:

    I guess there were a few bodies to avoid but that was on a plate…

  75. jw1 says:

    Yeah HT for all of Ndidi’s 1st half whining and complaining– he was given a gift and whiffed.

  76. 17highburyterrace says:

    I’m having some interruptions here at home…Family before football club, sometimes at least, maybe…

  77. jw1 says:

    Leno has been great in sensing the balls that Vardy might be able to chase down.

  78. jw1 says:

    Bellerin– a bit ambitious from 20– and high/wide– but a good run and effort.

  79. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ozil can’t stretch for a nice pass through the lines and LC come at us… Maddison, top of the box, does some dancing but loses it and we break… Bells wants to pass but chooses to shoot from the corner of the 18 yd box but it swerves up and over the near corner…not bad…

  80. jw1 says:

    Luiz plays a LC break well and defuses it in our box

  81. 17highburyterrace says:

    End to end play and lots of action…

    PEA puts it in their net but the flag was up… A retroactive yellow is given to Johnny Evans… Ozil was lucky to get a jump away from a real stomp, the replay shows…

    Bells tries dancing in the box but he’s a step slow (if he ever had that move)…

  82. jw1 says:

    WE counter beautifully, Ozil wide to Kola who crosses to Auba with a tap-in– offside flag up

  83. goonereris says:

    I feel if we can manage to move the ball a bit more confidently, they will be a bit surprised since I am sure they weren’t expecting us to play so compact. It’s about time we started to see just why we brought in David Luis. Chambers has been our most composed defender today. Luis, being the older head, should lead by example .

    Bellerin and Kolasinac need to time some forward runs to pin back their marauding wing players; do some attacking of their own, particularly Bellerin, who has the luxury of having Torreira as cover. Expect an early barrage by the home side and if we weather that, we can settle into some kind of rhythm and lookto get something here.

  84. goonereris says:

    My last comment was typed just before the start of the second half, but looked held up till now.

  85. goonereris says:

    Auba not very good as a passer on a counter. Better to be at the receiving end.
    They bring on Gray, who will have something to prove. Needs watching.

  86. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ayoze has run his race at the hour mark… Gray in for him…

    Chambers does some work down our right to get Bells in position to cross one…It hits blue instead of yellow, however…

  87. jw1 says:

    Laca laying some wood to Soyuncu off the ball– bit of a message following a .clearance

  88. goonereris says:

    David responding. Beautifully lofted ball for Auba into space, but Ricardo stole it off him into touch for a corner.

  89. LE GALL says:

    2 boxers going to the rope-a-dope
    we rarely come up with something positive from that kind of game
    hope i’m wrong
    luiz’s regal in that position, with our two youngsters by his side

  90. 17highburyterrace says:

    Bells gets it to LT11, top of the box, but he gets surrounded and it pops out but Luiz, again, almost finds PEA off the shoulder off the last defender… His first touch is less than the perfection which was required…

    Arsenal on the front foot here, I would have to say…

  91. jw1 says:

    Pretty long pass over the top to Auba from Luiz– LC able to get a boot on it keeping Auba from settling it.

  92. jw1 says:

    We are pressing the issue in LC’s end now.

  93. 17highburyterrace says:

    LC want a(nother) pen on Guendo for a handball this time…It bounced up far too quickly…

    LC come again but they can’t get to the open ball in the 6 yd…

  94. jw1 says:

    Leicester finding it simple to center the ball in our box– again.

  95. 17highburyterrace says:

    Laca defending gets us going on the break but runs out of steam and gives it away… LC’s counter ends in Leno’s arms…

    Down their end, the remark about PEA leading the break proves all too true as he lofts a cross wide and over…

  96. 17highburyterrace says:

    There it is… Arsenalesque (as I recall) but scored by Leicester…

  97. jw1 says:

    Auba does not cross right-footed well– at all.

  98. goonereris says:

    Vardy scores. Well, we’ve had opportunities but have lacked the confidence to finish them off. Now, we have to leave spaces at the back as we chase it. The sooner, the better.

  99. 17highburyterrace says:

    Torreira got nutmegged but I’m sure others will point fingers at their favorites… Credit to LC for the one touch football…

    But Arsenal seem to have some belief–though we’re stopped with wide play, one from Kola, one from Bells…

  100. jw1 says:

    A lot of watching the ball instead making a play for it. Nothing contested on that sequence of passes leading to the goal.

  101. 17highburyterrace says:

    70 mins played…

    Guendo starts a move with a good pass but Laca can’t force it through… At least we’re attacking at space and finding some holes…

    Guendo comes again and tries to get into a scoring position after playing into Laca’s hold-up spot…It dies with a weak Bellerin return pass too easy for Schmeichel…

  102. LE GALL says:

    might be a good idea to:
    take rob off
    bring joe in
    (bernd
    hec-calum-david-kola
    lucas
    joe-matteo
    mesut
    laca-auba)
    just sayin’ …

  103. 17highburyterrace says:

    That opens it for Leicester, but Vardy’s shot is saved well by Leno…

    End to end and we have a corner but it’s poor and the next ball played in finds Chambers only able to foul Schmeichel–whose name, I’m sure, I’m misspelling in myriad ways…

  104. 17highburyterrace says:

    Have we made any subs yet?… There’s a lot going on in our house at the moment…

  105. jw1 says:

    Leno with a save on a blistering shot from about 12.

  106. jw1 says:

    Time for Pepe– and a drawn foul/FK?

  107. jw1 says:

    No subs yet.

  108. 17highburyterrace says:

    A break in the action as LC have a FK, 75th minute… Looks to me like we’re still with our starters…

    And LC seal it… Maddison with a well placed open shot, top of the box… Nutmegged Bells, I fear…

  109. jw1 says:

    Vardy down clutching the instep. Luiz claims innocence– or at the least accidental.

  110. 17highburyterrace says:

    The lack of subs will be a hammer for Gooners to swing at Emery…

    But…

    I think “the board” (Raul) will be pleased enough with Emery’s management…

    Pepe in for ?…

  111. jw1 says:

    And that looks like the nail…

  112. 17highburyterrace says:

    We’ll see, however, and, even if this game is over, it isn’t…or something…

  113. jw1 says:

    That’s too canny HT. I’d not read your preceding comment.

  114. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nearly and own goal from Guendouzi… And LC look like they’d like to gloss this one up…

  115. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yes, Gooners will hammer…and any nail will do… And, at least you read them…eventually… 😀

  116. jw1 says:

    Guendouzi with a near-perfectly headed OG

  117. 17highburyterrace says:

    I hate to say this, but this is the best I’ve seen Arsenal play…this season at least…but then again, I don’t work too hard to see our matches and I’ve missed quite a few…

    Guendo trying but his extra touch telegraphs his pass into Laca who can only throw a heel at it…

  118. LE GALL says:

    painful to watch now
    what a difference confidence makes
    i’d take a consolation goal, though

  119. 17highburyterrace says:

    Did you get behind on your tape, J-Dub?… Or have you cut the cord?… 85th minute now…

  120. jw1 says:

    Had some pixelization. Had to rewind– now live

  121. 17highburyterrace says:

    Graeme Le Saux (spelling problems again) gets in a jab at Ozil, for lack of defending… I keep thinking that Ozil (and Xhaka) could bring Pepe into some midfield play…if we had a coach who valued such things… As it is, defense is our offense and we don’t have the players, IMO… Wenger’s fault of course…

  122. goonereris says:

    It’s a painful watch now. This is no longer about Emery. These boys have forgotten how to pass the ball and how to confidently chase a game, so there will be no coming back from 2-0. Sad to see us being out-Arsenaled by Leicester.

  123. jw1 says:

    Guess we’ll get our licks in if we can’t do otherwise.
    Bellerin giving Vardy some grief sending him to pitch on a break.

  124. TotalArsenal says:

    Well 17HT and Admir were wrong… it is only 2-0 and not 4-1 😀

  125. 17highburyterrace says:

    Decent attack but Laca’s cross for Pepe is short and LC come forward wanting a third…
    Bells touches Vardy who dives nicely to win a yellow card… The advantage gets played but it’s all good (for LC) as it winds down the clock a good couple of minutes with Vardy going the extra mile in faking injury…

    I’m gonna need to step away here…probably right when the whistle blows…

  126. PE says:

    Well we can conclude safely that Xhaka is not the sole reason for our woes.

  127. 17highburyterrace says:

    You’re right, TA… But it’s all about the same…so long as we get your 8 observations… 😀 😦

    Did the scoreline flatter us?… Guendo got away with a pull back, N’didi’s sitter?…

  128. jw1 says:

    Don’t forget Vardy’s whiff 1st half.
    Might easily have been 4-0.

  129. Erik the Red says:

    For 70 minutes we were in the game but rarely threatened. I expected more from Torrira.

    But at least there was an improvement despite the desperate need for a new coach

  130. PE says:

    Sorry Erik but to me this rates as one of our worst. Maybe subconsciously we have down graded our expectations.

  131. jw1 says:

    I’ll meet Erik and PE in the middle–
    “This was the best crappy PL match since we beat Villa (3-2) in September.”

    That’s as good as I can takeaway from today’s effort.

    jw1

  132. goonereris says:

    Alan Shearer and Tim Sherwood (both, men who have suffered as players against Arsenal, during the good years) are having a field day speaking about how piss poor we were. Can’t blame them. We’ve lost identity and are in need of a new man who can use the break to work up the desire in our boys again.

    To be honest, Aubameyang and Lacazette have not covered themselves in glory either, at some crucial moments. Twice, Lacazette has made the wrong pass decision to turn possession over, when we were in counter attacks. These situations used to be where we were most dangerous. Not anymore, it would seem.

    I wonder what manager we can get in now, to do a job. Ljungberg? Allegri? Enrique? Honestly, not very many managers will like to come in mid-season, before the window. So, do we retain Emery till December?

  133. jw1 says:

    Eris–
    I don’t have issues with attacking players that don’t get a decision right under these circumstances. They have no idea what to expect– what to be prepped to do in any given situation. There’s no familiarity to rely on.

    We are (IMO)– at the bitter end of the tenure of a stubbornly small man. One who thought himself bigger than the club he was hired to represent. We just have to hope– this is it.

    Emery’s and his staff that leave are sunk costs.
    So it must be Ljungberg. His salary is already incorporated– even if bumped to take over. Whatever the results Freddie provides– we’re at the least going back to Arsenal DNA.

    That’s where the change must start.

    jw1

  134. TotalArsenal says:

    Eris, Shearer is such a tool, he never says anything original!

  135. TotalArsenal says:

    Key is now to get a manager who steadies the ship and avoids relegation to start with as we have dropped ten points in four games. Not sure whether that is Freddie as I have seen little of him as a manager. There are dark clouds above Ashburton Grove.

  136. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, back to the fray…after some friends stopped by to drop off a dog (and have some coffee, of course)…

    I’m looking forward to TA’s observations…will they be forthcoming?… In your shoes, I don’t know if I’d have the energy, I hate to say…

    To my view, Emery–being the guy in charge–has got “his” group playing “his” football about as well as he can. In other words, he hasn’t “lost” the dressing room. And that may be enough to keep his job a bit longer (I fear)…

    The pressure was too much for “his” captain, Xhaka, who cracked, oh-so-publicly, but will (hopefully) find a new club where he can enjoy his football. At this point, the higher-ups–or Raul, at least–seem to be backing the coach, not the player… A reason smart folks (I’m thinking of Koscielny and Nacho, who also might’ve been captains) jumped ship…

    It all sends a message to the other players…play your role (position) and we’ll take care of you too…unless, of course, your salary is too high, in which case we’re looking to off-load you (it)…which is actually another reason to stick with the program and try to get your goals/assists/other stats… (It doesn’t seem enough to make Ozil play defense, however, even if he did have to jump out of a leg-breaking tackle today…)

    Of course, it’s a soul-less approach, reliant on the deep individualism of our (late-stage capitalist) culture (IMO) but it’s probably about what we–the supporters who drove away a manager with a different view–deserve… As “customers” it’s time to walk on… Who do we like in the real match tomorrow, Abu Dhaby or Red Sox Group?… (I’ll take the Never Walk Alone folks, even if it’s another stride towards 49+ unbeaten…)

    Back to the issues at hand…

    Leicester is a good team (Chelsea too) but maybe things go our way in the reverse fixture (and when we play Chavs or even ManCity and Liverpool) and maybe we stop dropping leads against the lesser teams if we can nick those first goals… It’s a long season, and even if we’re playing like a mid-table club, our results are (basically) the same as under Wenger–who, we might remind ourselves, also reverted to an extra CB to try and stabilize things when all seemed lost and (like Emery last season) came very close to getting us up for the CL positions. Of course, his vision was much grander, but it’s a results-based game…

    And, results being what they are, I hate to say it but I doubt we get a new manager… Unless the protests start, empty seats follow and nobody buys new season tickets…

    So, I’m not (and never will be…) ready for Mou by Monday…and I think Freddy by Friday is off (though I can hope for him by February)… Allegri (or Arteta, any day), I also doubt…

    So, on the bright side… (My horse finally came in and) at least we have a couple weeks off… 😀

    😦

  137. 17highburyterrace says:

    Also, cheers for folks doing the live-blog today… Good stuff from everybody, I think…

  138. goonereris says:

    Guess you have a point there, jw1, but there comes a time when the players have to be able to do the simple things. While I hoped Emery would get it right, for the sake of my club, I have never been a fan of his coming in (particularly as he was replacing Wenger, I guess) and never could understand his game plan. He was exposed thoroughly today.

    When we were shopping, I did declare my preference for Brendan Rogers on here, but much the fan base didn’t think much of him. I remember what he did with Liverpool when he took charge and that was no mean feat, all considered. He can be petty about competing with the big name managers but, I think he’s learnt now and will want to win something with this Leicester (or any) side, just to prove Celtic was no fluke. Too late now, I guess.

  139. 17highburyterrace says:

    I don’t often listen to the commentary, but as soon as that 2nd goal went in, it was all about our (next) manager…Rodgers was mooted, Poch too… I gotta say that I’d put Moo in the pole position… Emery always struck me as a poor man’s Joe-say…so, we’d only be switching riders (not horses) in mid-stream… 😮

    At the moment (and for a loooonnng time) I’d have taken J-Dub’s New-Man… (Hansi Flick, he did the trick, as the song might go… vs Dortmund for Bayern today…)

    Again, however, I’m not holding my breath…

  140. 17highburyterrace says:

    I just checked Newsnow (first time, probably since the transfer season)…and the free papers are saying Raul and Enrique are talking… You get what you pay for with those outlets, I fear…so, at best, I say Unai til Enero (January), then Freddy (by February). Unfortunately, fan power might only work on Wenger’s guys (Mustafi, Xhaka, soon enough Ozil again, or maybe Lacazette and PEA since they drew the bagel tonight…) We shall see, but I think we need to be (just about) mathematically out of the race (for CL places, with a very empty looking stadium over the festive period, to boot) in order to get a new manager… But Unai’s an ELS (Europa League Specialist)…and JW’s right, the accountants are as important as anyone in the management hierarchy, I would guess…

    …Which really should remind folks that if you change one guy, you (only) change one guy… There are a LOT of reasons we’re where we are and they aren’t the fault of any single character…

    In my opinion…

  141. TotalArsenal says:

    Good comments tonight. I have little to say at the moment. We cramped into an unnatural style in the first half but did well to contain the opponent. In the second half we slowly became our natural self and gave away the space from which the Foxes scored their goals eventually. We are blunt up-front and I agree with Eris that especially Laca but also Auba did not deliver when it was needed. I also believe that Emery’s inability to get the midfield balance right cost us again today.

    We will have to see what will happen in the coming weeks. Not replacing Emery would be v dangerous, I reckon.

  142. Admir says:

    What is there to say about this season? It’s 90 minutes closer to the end and that’s the good thing.

    I agree that replacing Enemy won’t change enough. Aside from players that get away with crappy performances because we have all agreed that they can’t perform better under Enemy’s control even if that’s not entirely true (for instance, it wasn’t Enemy who has wasted a sitter at 0-0 today), upper structures have to take a fair share of responsibility. Which is why the whole Goddamn thing with a head coach and not a manager was installed at the first place.

    Raul Sanllehi is the worst culprit of all. Npt even Enemy – if you give keys of the car to someone without driving licence, you are responsible for the damage that person makes. Sanllehi knew Enemy’s past, his limits, his inability to speak English…yet decided to hire him. He knew that David Luiz is a crappy defender yet he went out and bought him as a solution for our defensive chaos. Now we are even worse at the back. Sanllehi knew Pepe would be an ill-fit for Premier League and yet decided to splash the cash for him and Mendes’ provision. If Kroenke is a cretin, he’ll allow Danllehi to make another crappy move and get Luis Enrique aboard. Enrique had one real non-Messi job outside Spain and failed miserably. The only plus on Enemy is that he has some sort of philosophy – the Barcelona one.

    Right now, we are hardly a top half team. Every team with identity is better than us. If I were in charge, I’d make a big garage sale next summer and bring different faces to our squad. If PSG really want Guendouzi for £60m, I’d sell in a heart-beat. Lacazette for £70m to Barca? Yes. Bring in a striker who doesn’t need two-and-half years to score 27 goals or give Martinelli No.9 shirt. Sell Xhaka and bring in a midfielder who is not slow and who can control the midfield. Etc.

  143. njk84sg says:

    Ah ha.. the midfield combination that i fretted about. It is good as gone for Emery.
    Any longer and we will really be in the dumps.

  144. jw1 says:

    One good thing about having boarded the EmeryOut Express early-on?
    I’m past the point where I’m pissed-off any longer. Understanding full-well that well-played matches by this team, managed by Unai Emery will be the exception.

    🎵 I gotta admit that I’m a little bit confused
    Sometimes it seems to me as if I’m just being used
    Gotta stay awake, gotta try and shake off this creeping malaise
    If I don’t stand my own ground, how can I find my way out of this maze?
    Deaf, dumb, and blind, you just keep on pretending… 🎵

    ~Pink Floyd/Animals/Dogs 1977

    jw1

  145. njk84sg says:

    It is the tactics and not the players that are broken. If we are well managed tactically we will be closer to the top 4, but this joker decided to focus on attack and defence and nothing in between. You call that tactics?

  146. PE says:

    The tactics is broken and many of the players are not good enough.

    Emery is confused and at his wits end. He can now only cause harm to the team. Sanllehi and co (discount Edu) are becoming suspects. Over the last two summer windows the investments made in players and coaching crew seems to have made the team worse.

    Douzi’s energy is so admirable by Arsenal standard but, sorry, he has very basic flaws which I fear he’d never overcome.

    Ive known for a long time that Torreira isn’t what we thought he was. Not only too lightweight defensively, with the ball he is simply an average ball circulator.

    It’s difficult to say the king is naked but Lacazette spoils all his game by his 1st touch and with his reluctance to give simple quick passes. He is a poor link in our passing build up. Maybe we should go back to one striker at a time seeing that Auba is also not the best in link up play.

    Kola is an absolute one dimensional player: place him on the run by the side line. Outside of that he is unable to contribute anything.

    I was ok with Bellerin 1st PL comeback game, if only he’d learn how to whip the ball in.

    I won’t hold anything against Holding who has been poor since coming back from injury. Strange that with it so obvious Emery opted to field him ahead of Sokratis or Mustafi. Anyway Emery is confused. He should no longer be behind the wheels.

    On the positive side Wiillock should be given more playing time. He looks like he’s got it to make a good midfielder. Now that we can only talk in terms of the future (today is dead) Martinelli looks another that should be given more games. Both already have grown up mentality on the field. Just to learn more of the ropes.

  147. Admir says:

    Apparently, the circus we call Arsenal Football Club is still 100% our beloved manager and they have used every offensive excuse out there.

    International break is a perfect time to get a new manager so that he can prepare for Southampton.

    I’m afraid to say this, but this Arsenal is not too good to go down. It’s not Enemy’s fault that we have picked so few points, it’s his fault we have picked more points than we have deserved.

  148. jw1 says:

    37pts Admir.
    No team has ever been relegated with 37pts.

    jw1

  149. Admir says:

    @jw1

    You think this team led by this manager can pick 20 more points in the remaining 26 games?

    Then again, we have the same number of defeats as the reigning champions. Lies, statistics etc.

  150. njk84sg says:

    Guys, it does not look like we will get out of this mire soon. The team will have to at least endure 2 more defeats before they can win.

    At least the lads are trying hard, but I think they are trying too hard. The swagger needs to be back before we win again.

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