Live-Blogging the Re-Start. No Ozil, Pepe to the Bench. Arteta Mixes It Up As He Brings His Arsenal to ManCity

What do YOU think?

To me it seems a mix of youth and experience with plenty of attacking intent.  Big money man Pepe sits, and we have to hope that full-backs Bellerin and Tierney have conquered their fitness issues.  Eddie (not Alexandre) gets the call as the tip of the attack, though surely he’ll interchange freely with Aubameyang.  And, many will be pleased that both Joe Willock and Bakayo Saka will slot in just behind our frontmen.  Mari and Mustafi ahead of Leno is perhaps a mix of what we don’t know much about (the Brazilian) and some deep worries about what maybe we know too much about.

Here are the full line-ups:

Arsenal (4-2-3-1) Leno; Bellerin, Pablo Mari, Mustafi, Tierney; Xhaka, Guendouzi; Willock, Aubameyang, Saka; Nketiah.
Substitutes: Martinez, David Luiz, Kolasinac, Ceballos, Maitland-Niles, Martinelli, Lacazette, Pepe, Nelson.

Manchester City (4-3-3) Ederson; Walker, Garcia, Laporte, Mendy; De Bruyne, Gundogan, D Silva; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling.
Substitutes: Carson, Zinchenko, Otamendi, Rodri, B Silva, Fernandinho, Aguero, Sane, Foden.

Anthony Taylor will referee the closed door affair, and fair is what we hope he (and his crew) will be.

It will all be very, very strange indeed and I could use (plenty of) help trying to describe the action.  So, tell me what you think–about the line-up, the game, the talking points (which I’m sure will emerge, if the line-up decisions aren’t enough) and so on and so forth.

Football is back (for better or worse–please watch safely, my friends…) and we’ll see where it goes from here.

Please join me in the comments.  Don’t be shy, Bergkampesque (and Arsenal) need you…

Go on then…

by 17highburyterrace

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135 Responses to Live-Blogging the Re-Start. No Ozil, Pepe to the Bench. Arteta Mixes It Up As He Brings His Arsenal to ManCity

  1. 17highburyterrace says:

    Well, it all comes full circle… Arteta back at Man City, albeit in an empty stadium. He’s had–and recovered from–the Rona (as I like to call it) AND he’s had a definitive break from the sadness (and madness) of what he inherited from Emery. Can he make this group into HIS Arsenal?…

    Or will it be Pep’s football (but with a lesser group of players?)… (Which actually might not be so bad…) I have to say, Man City have a few guys on their bench who might be pretty strong… El Kun is unlikely to get that 10th hat-trick (against us…all-time…) from that position, however…

    Hope springs eternal (and we only have this–plus Saturday’s match at Brighton before we tick over into summer)…

  2. allezkev says:

    No Ozil?

    Very interesting…

  3. Hi Kev…

    I’ve changed the title of the post to (try and) highlight the talking point(s)… 😮

    Seems like Sheffield United might’ve had a couple of points stolen by a lack of goal line video… That’s good for Arsenal, I think, but I haven’t looked at a table for a couple of months, I must admit…

  4. allezkev says:

    It’s absolutely tipping it down in Manchester, as usual…

    Apparently Arteta will talk about Ozil at the end of the game 17tino.

    Mikel has gone for youth…

  5. retsub1 says:

    Hello 17HT how the devil are you old chap?
    Arteta will spill the beans on Ozil after the game. My bet is it’s because it’s raining.
    The battle of the designer stubble huh

  6. jw1 says:

    Same as it ever was, same as it– ever was.

  7. allezkev says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how Arteta deals with the 5 subs?
    Young midfield, plenty of pressing 17tino?

  8. allezkev says:

    Arteta probably has an eye on Brighton in 3 days time?

  9. Jnyc says:

    Happy to see Saka as a forward. He deserves the chance, was impressive at fb even though not his natural position.

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Well that is an interesting line up, and I like it. Guendo is not my favourite but I can see why Arteta is starting with him. COYGs!

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Welcome JW and JNYC

  12. 17highburyterrace says:

    Eddy offsides…

    Welcome folks… The more y’all write, the less I will…

  13. City break, Mari fouls…but outside the box…Sterling very quick there, and Mendy getting him the ball…

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Man City is their black outfit, looking menacing.

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    I mean Arsenal are in black… duh

  16. De Bruyne takes it, Leno tips over…

    The corner that comes from it is taken short but City are offsides…bad coaching, eh…

    Xhaka down hurt…Time wasting? (i.e., good coaching?…)

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    Xhaka injured… not looking good.

  18. jw1 says:

    Someone had to go locate a now ice cold Dani Ceballos.

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    You sort of feel it is just not going to happen for Granit at Arsenal anymore… sorry to see that.

  20. 17highburyterrace says:

    Looks like Xhaka is truly hurt… Ceballos not ready with his kit has to go back to get it…

    It sounds like you can get a feed of the match w/o the fake crowd noise by using the (pay) stream…which, I hate to say, I might actually have been paying for these past months… To slow to quit, to slow to switch (right now)…

  21. 17highburyterrace says:

    Mari plays behind for a corner… It’s lofted in and Mahrez tries a volley…it’s wide and flicked out by Bellerin but the call is muffed and we get the ball…

  22. 17highburyterrace says:

    10 minutes played and we’re still good for a point…

    Tierney keeps the ball on our left but Ceballos can’t when he receives the pass…

    Willock tries to move the ball wide but it’s well overhit…

    Uh oh, DB cruises past a weak Guendo challenge and City are in full flight… Luckily they falter deep in our box…

  23. 17highburyterrace says:

    The playing round the back works and Saka (on the right) tries a ball in but Eddy can’t get a good volley on it…

  24. 17highburyterrace says:

    KDB called for a high foot on Ceballos…a fortunate call, the kind not always given in a full stadium…

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Arsenal are playing themselves into the game. Some good passing

  26. jw1 says:

    Out from the back doesn’t look labored at all.

  27. 17highburyterrace says:

    15 minutes played…and we play through their lines (after maybe opening them with some longer and wider quick balls earlier) and earn our first corner… Well defended by City but we have the ball and can try a more deliberate build-up…

    Nothing doing there and it’s back to Leno a number of times… Still, it’s good for winding down the clock, if nothing else…

  28. jw1 says:

    Mari tweaks a hammy.

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    Now Mari is injured FFS!

  30. jw1 says:

    Calf maybe.

  31. pbarany says:

    Arteta decided to field a 4-3-3 team.
    It is 4 defenders, 3 midfielders, 3 attackers, and also 4 U21 players (Guendouzi, Willock, Saka, Nketiah), 3 in the 22-25 age bracket (Ceballos, Tierney, Bellerin), and 3 from the 26+ range (Mari, Mustafi, Aubameyang).
    I don’t think it is our best XI, but kudos to Arteta if we prevail tonight.

  32. jw1 says:

    Luiz on.

  33. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheers for comments, J dub (and TA)…keep ’em coming…

    Where you been blogging? I’m guessing politics and the Rona are the topics of the day…

    Willock makes a run and it looks a good deal better than the ball trying to get to him…

    Oooh…let off, Mari gets worked (and maybe rips his hamstring) but Kyle Walker finds only our dark blue shirts on the pull-back…

    Mari is done… David Luiz will need to come on…

  34. 17highburyterrace says:

    Calf is actually worse, IMO…but not good that our (slowest) guys don’t seem used to the pace at which the match is being played. Maybe it’s just a culling of those not able to make it at this time in (the) history (of the game)…

  35. jw1 says:

    First best chance!

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    good attack but shame Auba chose to shoot from that distance. Better options available.

  37. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sorry, that’s ^^ virus talk…

    Arsenal shoot!… I think Auba might’ve moved that too a better spot than taking it first time from 25+ yds…

  38. jw1 says:

    Auba shot leaning back.

  39. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, I’ve heard the subbing rules now…inneresting…Seems like they could work for us tonight…though it makes one wonder about Ozil, or the lack thereof…

    KdB wants a foul, bald guys says no…

    Willock and Saka work it a bit on the right but the blind lofted ball in is to nobody and chested back to Ederson…

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    the boys are doing okay and Ceballos and Guendo are well-involved.

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    Arteta clearly knows one or two things about Man City 😉

  42. 17highburyterrace says:

    Half an hour done and perhaps it will be a shorter match than usual. We’ll see…there could be some injury time added for the slow removal of the (slow) guys…

    That looked like a foul (or five) on Eddy, but the bald fellow says get up…

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    Stirling skins our right back but Leno shows decisive hands and saves well

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    a foul all day long

  45. 17highburyterrace says:

    Willock steps up nicely but Eddy can’t keep the break going doing his false 9 work…

    Leno saves from Sterling’s quick shot, a bit too far inside the post but well struck… City onside with the short corner routine but Arsenal defend until Leno is forced into a REALLY good save. City knocking now…

  46. 17highburyterrace says:

    Much better work from Eddy defending from the top, but our break is slow…at least it broke up their half-court attack which looks deadly…

  47. 17highburyterrace says:

    Big let off there…with Leno coming out and doing enough to stop Mahrez 1v1…

    Mustafi, I think, lost a 50-50 with David Silva in the build up which set up the chance…

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    Being cut open in defence now. Now we are missing a defensive midfielder. Lucky not to be behind although Leno has been superb.

  49. 17highburyterrace says:

    And yet another (let off)… City just dancing now with KdB at the center of things… Luckily Sterling is not a master of the chip…

  50. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ceballos time wasting in front of the coaches… We look like we’re just trying to get to half-time now…

    On the other hand, I do believe our playing around (and out of) the back is looking improved.

    Indeed, TA, without Leno this match is already done…

  51. jw1 says:

    When DOES Walker get booked?

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    fabulous ball by Saka but Mustafi does not read it well enough

  53. 17highburyterrace says:

    City now playing it around (and away from our press)…Tierney wins a FK from Walker…

    …Swung in nicely by Saka but Mustafi is just inches short of getting a dangerous touch on it…

  54. 17highburyterrace says:

    Guendo a bit leggy loses it and City build again. Mustafi challenging high on Gabi-Jesus gives a FK… J-Dub will be having a conniption but it’s not a bad spot on the pitch, really…

  55. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ooops…almost got to half time, but Sterling blasts high and hard after a ball goes RIGHT THROUGH David Luiz…

    Still probably Mustafi’s fault… 😉

  56. jw1 says:

    Shot yourself in the tongue on that one HT.

  57. 17highburyterrace says:

    Terrible time for such a blunder…and tough on Leno who did what he could but Sterling chose a better finish after learning from the earlier chance…

  58. 17highburyterrace says:

    I can’t get too worked up about that one… David Luiz is a goner (which might mean Mustafi remains a Gooner…) and I’m curious to see what Arteta will change (if anything) now that we need a goal to get a point.

    Maybe give the guys up front 10 minutes before doing the line-change?…

  59. Retsub says:

    I thought we did pretty well.. it’s half time and we are still in with a shout, City do look a little suspect down the middle. I would like to see Auba up there.. other than a typical arsenal slip up, much better. Leno looking really confident.

  60. allezkev says:

    That’s David Luiz’s new contract down the Swanny…

    Tierney has been ok and Ceballos has got through a lot of good work, we’ve been unlucky what with injuries and the goal, I’ve liked how we’ve played.
    It’s just the usual suspects.

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    it was coming and the ball had a bad bounce on the wet pitch to which Luiz had no adequate answer. These things happen, especially after three months of no footie, so I wont be too hard on the Brazilian.
    Arteta needs to tweak the centre of midfield, and bring in a bit more experience in attack (one of Saka or Eddie needs to come off at some point in the second half)

  62. jw1 says:

    No, no. You misread HT. It was ‘your fault’, ya’ jinx. 🙄
    It hadn’t even crossed my mind TBH.

  63. TotalArsenal says:

    We fans are a bit rusty too hahaha 😀

  64. TotalArsenal says:

    We also need more from Joe, who has been too quiet for me. He needs to win us time and space and that is not happening imho.

  65. 17highburyterrace says:

    Good 1/2 time comments there… though I’m missing something from J-Dub… 😉

    The sub rules suggest that we can change 3 guys but only at the exact same moment… Seems to me that Eddie (for Laca), Saka (for Pepe) and, maybe, Martinelli for Auba–or do you sacrifice Guendo or Willock (or even the sub, Ceballos) and go all out for goals?…

  66. 17highburyterrace says:

    No, I’m just Joshing ya, J-Dub…Don’t get Kroenky, eh…

    I don’t believe in jinxez…or jinks or whatever they are…or I’m not drinking the bleach, or something…

    City now doing the schoolin’ but Leno gets hands to it after only a minute 40 of City playing it out and forward…

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to see us push up from the kick-off..

    Not sure about subs as in rules, if and when

  68. 17highburyterrace says:

    Saka does well to untangle his feet and keep the ball moving forward and get it into Willock. Joe’s backheel return pass only finds his standing foot, however…

  69. 17highburyterrace says:

    David Luiz grabs Mahrez and that should be the last of him…

    Wowsa, tough 5 minutes…

    Pen and Red Card and game over?…

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    Well there you go. Such a hard rule. Pen and a red, it makes no sense.

  71. jw1 says:

    Oh. That’s def on you HT.
    You should just stop now.

  72. 17highburyterrace says:

    DeBruyne puts it away…

  73. jw1 says:

    Maybe? If Arteta is clever– he can take off 2 and sub-on three… 😗

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    No excuses for Luiz this time though. This game is becoming a very damp squib, 😦

  75. 17highburyterrace says:

    If Mustafi is really hurt, I’m blaming you JW…

    Time wasting only, I hope…

    I never really warmed to the idea that David Luiz was any good, but that’s just me… What’s the story with Cedric?…

  76. jw1 says:

    Well. If anyone recalls?
    We were down a man and 2-0 to Chelsea at 60mins– and drew.
    Would really like to see Martinelli come on…

  77. 17highburyterrace says:

    I agree with you, TA, about the rule…

    The subs rule, I believe, is that you have only three times you can change players but a total of 5 can be used over those moments…

    In hockey it’s called a line change… and I’m ready for it…

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    10 v 11 at Citeh… tough one. Especially with 2 goals down already. Subs may make no difference but why not try them?

  79. jw1 says:

    Under the heading of ‘Did you know?’
    Arsenal were the only unbeaten PL team remaining in 2020.
    4 wins and 4 draws.

  80. 17highburyterrace says:

    Gut buster from Jesus… but Leno handles it nicely…

    Not too much play by play left to mention now…only half an hour to go, however…

    Sterling, not quite as good trying to think and use his left foot at the same time…

  81. jw1 says:

    Should be an injury sub exception in the first-half.
    Kinda takes the strategery outta’ things.

  82. 17highburyterrace says:

    That’s interesting J-Dub…and a bit sad, in fact, that it ends tonight…

    This is boring and it’s very fine weather outside…where garden projects (always) beckon. This is the summer when I complete the outdoor kitchen…What has everybody else got going?…

    Leno pounces nicely on a City pull-back… Here come the subs…

  83. 17highburyterrace says:

    Silva and Mahrez out, Foden and the other Silva (Bernardo) in…

    Arteta not doing his line change yet…

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    Here come the boys. Eddie off, Guendo off, Joe off. Laca, AMS and Nelson on. Get us a goal lads!

  85. jw1 says:

    Laca, Reiss and AMN. All good ones.

  86. 17highburyterrace says:

    Here it is…

    Lacazette, AMN and Nelson on for Eddy, Joe Willock and Guendouzi off…

    No Martinelli, who might’ve been the better Brazilian to bring in when Mari went down…

  87. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nelson steals in but too heavy with the touch…

    KdB hits a good one, but Leno has the angle covered and the reaction time is outstanding as always…

    It’d be nice to see a break or two or just a ball up forwards for Auba & Laca…

  88. 17highburyterrace says:

    Only 20 mins to go…

    Almost get it out of our half…but not quite…

  89. TotalArsenal says:

    What was Luiz doing at that moment? Any half-experienced defender makes initial contact but withdraws their arms soon after that. It looked like he was after that sending off. Still pen and a red is wrong… it does not just punish a team for a foul… it kills them off.

  90. 17highburyterrace says:

    For the outdoor kitchen… I framed the whole thing two summers ago and dropped in a small but nice gas grill (fed from the house’s natural gas line) and a little hand-washing sink and a small frig… Now I need to build a few drawers and doors then finish the front with some sort of troweled on concrete sort of stuff and then concrete countertops.

    Anyhow, that’s where my head goes during the hydration break…

  91. jw1 says:

    Rotational fouling.
    Izzat where you stomp their foot so well they pirouette?

  92. 17highburyterrace says:

    I agree TA, about the rule…and the video of the play will be shown to defenders for years to come. Don’t let the attacker get the position on you, then don’t use your arms if he does… Maybe in a game where you make your own calls, but not with a ref AND video… (That’s for JW…)

  93. TotalArsenal says:

    Sounds great, Seventeenho. I am jealous you have sunshine. It has not been too bad, we even sat in the local park for a couple of hours, but now it is grey and wet out there.

  94. 17highburyterrace says:

    AMN may get some playing time with both Xhaka and LT out, not to mention whatever the sitch is with Ozil…

    80th minute now… And, if not working on my projects, I’m thinking about better things down at Brighton…

    Ooh, bad collision there…

  95. 17highburyterrace says:

    Who is this Garcia fellow…and why didn’t his keeper see him?…

  96. TotalArsenal says:

    Not looking good. Mad keeper to come out like that.

  97. TotalArsenal says:

    It all feels surreal this game. Like a bad dream we cannot wake up from.

  98. 17highburyterrace says:

    It’s actually been a pretty cool spring–here in these mountains, TA…with a big snow right when they shut everything down (including the ski resorts) for the virus back in March. Before that it wasn’t much of a winter and if it gets warm things will dry up very quickly (and we’ll all be fretting about fires).

    I’m still curious about your blog plans (and more personal stuff, like if you’ve had any work projects) but maybe we’ll see when you publish the 8 positives… 😮

    This doesn’t look good… Quick whistle (ending the match) from the bald guy would be just about right…

  99. jw1 says:

    Ederson is built like an NFL linebacker.
    Garcia 6 apps / 268 minutes this season. Last played in January.

  100. 17highburyterrace says:

    I make it a point not to f*ck with the guys with the neck tattoos… The defender kid might’ve done likewise…

  101. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hard to keep going after something like that…the crowd (noises) do(es)n’t seem too different however…

  102. jw1 says:

    11 minutes added on.

  103. 17highburyterrace says:

    11 minutes of stoppage time… Silly stuff here…

    I think Liverpool should get their trophy…Maybe Saturday in Tulsa…

    Aguero should’ve scored but Leno saves onto the post only for Foden to put it home…

    3-nil…

  104. jw1 says:

    Oh. Yeah. And #20 is still a numbskull. 🙃

  105. TotalArsenal says:

    Yeah those wildfires are the big summer worry for you no doubt. The Netherlands has already had some in May!

    Good goal by Citeh. Shame Mustafi decided not to get up after he slipped.

  106. 17highburyterrace says:

    That’s my favorite…

    …Smiley face… JW… please describe how it’s made, though I’ll try :^

  107. Jnyc says:

    2 teams I wouldn’t have wanted to play when rusty after a long break. Liverpool or man city. Tough assignment. Their players were much better drilled and prepared, winning everything in midfield. My observation all season long has been a lack of connection between back and front.
    A couple weeks back I was expressing concern here about our midfield depth. Xhaka was playing very well in the games under Arteta, so his loss would be a major concern. I still don’t know, what’s the latest on Torreira?
    We’ll need much more energy in future matches. Bright spot: Leno. Still underrated.

  108. 17highburyterrace says:

    :~

  109. 17highburyterrace says:

    :_

  110. 17highburyterrace says:

    :

  111. TotalArsenal says:

    Wow we were just sliced through like a pineapple.

    But then we had a half-decent attack ourselves.

  112. Jnyc says:

    And LOL @ “No Martinelli, who might’ve been the better Brazilian to bring in when Mari went down…”

  113. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nope, nothing’s working…

    Kyle Walker = Man of the match, I was able to hear over the crowd noise…

    Best chance of the game: Nelson pulls back for Auba but Gundogan gets a toe to it… Nelson’s corner can’t clear the first man…

    Where’s Pepe’s left foot? (Not to mention Ozil’s…and Xhaka’s is broken?…)

  114. jw1 says:

    In Chrome– right-click. Top menu choice ‘Emoji’.
    You’ll discover a brave new world HT. 😶

  115. TotalArsenal says:

    I think it would have been different without the disruption of the injuries, but it is what it is. Let’s move on and hope that Xhaka and Mari are not injured for long.

  116. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheers Jnyc…

    Hey…My boy is supposed to be going to University in your town in September… We’ll see if it actually happens…

    Finally, the whistle…

    I think we need to put this on the shoulders of a certain central defender (not Mustafi, wow)…the manager left him on the bench, as long as he could (Sok injured too, right?)… We’ll see how we re-jig for Saturday…

  117. TotalArsenal says:

    J, Leno had indeed a great game. One to forget. Cheers guys! 🙂

  118. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, J-Dub, I do a right click and an icon shows up at the top but what do I do at that point…if I click on the new icon it disappears…and sends me to the top of the page…

  119. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wow, the crowd has filed out of the Etihad very quickly, I guess beating up on the Arsenal isn’t much to celebrate up there… Or maybe it’s just the late (week)night and the crap weather…

    There’s Raheem getting interviewed (no mics in faces)…

  120. 17highburyterrace says:

    Well, I’ll look back later to see if there’s any info on the new world of winkies…

    Nice “seeing” a few old voices here on the blog…still wondering about the plan (for the blog) going forward…And maybe about the news re: Mesut Ozil… Otherwise, the new normal seems not all that different from the old one, though I saw a kernel or something in there…

    L8RZ

  121. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks for the live-post, Seventeenho. Cracking job. Will email you soon, even though I have not much to tell you.

  122. allezkev says:

    Overall we did ok I reckon, two individual mistakes by Luiz and that’s it, game over.
    Other than those major errors I thought we competed but you cannot afford those kinds of amateurish mistakes against a team like City if you want to take something from the game.

    I’m not digging him out (well yes I am) but has Aubameyang ever had a good game vs City?

    Leno superb, I liked Tierney’s performance, Ceballos did well, Saka was best of the three young lads, Willock faded badly and Eddie was disappointing.
    Bellerin was much improved, almost back to the player he was before his ACL.
    Shame about Xhaka and Mari I was enjoying their work.
    Lacazette was ineffective when he came on, I would have preferred a Martinelli.
    Mustafi was ok, not sure that his slip would have made any difference to their third goal, but he’s always likely to drop a clanger.
    Guendouzi was quite good, a lot more disciplined in his performance.
    Nelson and AMN has little effect….

    Thanks for the write up 17tino.

    Night everybody

  123. Jnyc says:

    17 that’s cool about your boy, he must be excited in anticipation. Hopefully things will normalize soon, here and elsewhere. Looking forward to Saturday regardless of this result. It was difficult to be without our team.

  124. retsub1 says:

    Not trying to make excuses and City were far better than us, there was a moment in the first half When Eddie tried to break through and a city defender decided to full body search him. What did we get … nothing.

    Also when Sterling took Mustaphi out, did he even get booked?

    Just sayin..

  125. TotalArsenal says:

    Good points chaps. I will try and write something about this weird match tomorrow. Always look at the Brighton side of life! 🙂

  126. jw1 says:

    retsub–
    Replay I saw on the Sterling/Mustafi play– good angle– Sterling got all ball and Mustafi tried to kick through it and wrenched his foot. Like he kicked big round rock.

    OTOH– Eddie got mugged.

    jw1

  127. pbarany says:

    Not to go into details about the player ratings, but in my opinion Leno was great, Tierney was good, and Bellerin + Ceballos (maybe Mustafi) were alright.
    Otherwise it was a poorly selected team with anonymous performances. But I wouldn’t blame Arteta, as the reality was going down by 3 goals against Man City. The harshest critic I can tell is that he couldn’t improve on the reality.

  128. allezkev says:

    My optimistic side was convinced that we’d get a point yesterday, my realistic side just nodded knowingly as if to say ‘when will you ever learn?’

  129. allezkev says:

    Interesting what he said about his contract, hinting that he wanted to get it done sooner but that his agent told him to hang on…

    Maybe players need to develop a mind of their own and stop allowing agents to lead them by the nose?

  130. GunnerN5 says:

    That’s so true allezkev, agents changed football, mainly to the benefit of the players (and themselves) but to the detriment of the clubs and the game in general – they are nothing more than leeches.

    I was happy to read the thoughts of both Luiz and Arteta – basically saying that Luiz had two bad moments that gave the game to Man C – but Atreta does not hold those “moments” against him in relation to a new contract.

  131. GunnerN5 says:

    We can still hold out hope to get into the Europa League places – or go on to win the FA Cup. This team needs a lot of work and some new faces – it will take several years for this to happen.

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