How Can Arsenal Create More Chances?

Highbury Harmony wrote (in the previous post):

Hard to accommodate an Ozil like player while remaining in the current formation, though!

I’ve seen Partey play some exquisite passes and same with Dani and Saka (even Xhaka too). I feel like part of the problem is our front three are all more inside forwards than true wingers looking to create. The chemistry and directness is still not there yet, as the understanding of where to move and pass to, in order to combine and break down a team is still a work in progress.

Fulham game aside, we looked our best in attack this season with Willian central, Auba up top and Saka/Pepe on the wings. If Arteta dares to move to 4 at the back, there could be a solution. I am maybe just a bit naive to think there’s still more we can maximize in the 3-4-3 to create more chances.

I agree with HH. An Ozil like player is unlikely to get a foot in, unfortunately. Also a good point about chemistry. I think our attackers simply get outnumbered a lot at the moment, so excellent mutual understanding and blind connectivity is key. However, if you look at Pool and MC they push up and then have the numbers around the oppositions’ boxes to do the passing and finding the gaps and cracks. They also have established that vital chemistry between the attackers. Numbers + chemistry = increase in chances and thus goals.

It takes us a lot of effort to get to the same potential overload situations at the moment. We still sit too deep and don’t dare to push up quickly, because we cannot afford to fall back into ‘Emery-ball’ in which we create and give away equal numbers of chances with the hope that we score one more than them…

It is a work in progress and for me it is vital to sort out the right wing of the team next.

Ceballos has a tendency to veer leftwards, where Xhaka is at home. We need him, or most probably Partey, to sort out the right side the way Granit bosses the left side of midfield. That is why I am so hopeful Partey will make a big difference in terms of improving our attacking play. He can do the b2b in an athletic sort of way. Only Elneny could do this until now, but I see him more as back up to Granit.

So Partey (and Ceballos as back up) can help us with the link up on the right, and Arteta will now have to put his plan in place for our right side of the team. It is not clicking at the moment, although there was progress v the Blades before the international break.

Arteta will need to get the right set of players together. Who should be our nr1 RCB, nr1 RWB, nr1 RFW? Their style of play and key skills need to fit well with each other and make the whole more than the sum of its parts. I have a feeling that Holding has won the RCB spot, that there will be a battle/competition between Hector and Soares (and AMN) for the RWB position, and that Willian is ahead of Pepe for the RFW role (like you I see Auba and Pepe as ‘Inside Forwars’).

So I am most excited about the way Partey will play and how he will help us to get the right wing working much better, and with that improve our attacking play significantly. For me he is the missing link. I see potential in Ceballos and it is great to have him in the squad but I think Partey will push us to another level. Mikel has to make some difficult decisions, but I reckon sooner or later we will see an established right side of Holding, Soares, Partey, Willian/Pepe – with back up of Bellerin for Holding (if we play 3 at the back, until Chambers is back) and Soares; Ceballos for Partey; and, Nelson for Willian/Pepe.

Finally, I am hoping that we will have a player who occupies the area in front of the opposition’s D a lot whilst connecting well with our central midfielders AND fellow attackers. Laca has been our main player for this and Willian did in my opinion a good job of it on Saturday. The false nr9 things makes sense when we have lethal attackers like Auba and Pepe on the pitch. We need a proper goal threat from such a player so I am happy with either Laca or Willian to play there. The latter is the better passer, and the former the better finisher but they are both great players and will benefit tremendously from a well-balanced and constantly connecting midfield and a much improved right wing.

My final, final point is whether we can improve further on this ‘false 9’ position and whether there was genuine interest in Aouar this summer? Or do we have an even better internal alternative? I would play a young man in that position, one who can defend like a full back or a DM, can dribble and can pass billiard balls when others are playing cricket and can score goals from all angles and even with his head. 🙂

By TotalArsenal and Highbury Harmony

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48 Responses to How Can Arsenal Create More Chances?

  1. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all.
    Here are this weeks competition results:-

    1st – Total with 3/6 – so 3 points plus 4 bonus points for a total of 7 points.
    2nd – Kev & GN5 with 2/6.
    3rd – PB with 1/6.
    Gooneris, LEGALL & JWL all drew a blank.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    The season to date scores are:-
    1st Gooneris = 22
    2nd Kev = 17
    3rd Total = 15
    4th PB = 13.33
    5th LEGALL = 11.33
    6th JWL = 10.33
    Last GN5 = 9
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    It was surprisingly difficult as nobody got three games correct:-
    Chelsea v Southamton
    Manchester City v Arsenal
    Leicester v Aston Villa.

    I think we all predicted with our heart for the Arsenal game as we choose either a win or a draw for the Gunners..

  2. GunnerN5 says:

    Here are my choices for week :-

    West Ham v Manchester City
    Fulham v Crystal Palace
    Manchester United v Chelsea
    Wolverhampton v Newcastle
    Arsenal v Leicester City
    Barcelona v Real Madrid

    This week there will be an added bonus of 2 points for the correct score of the game between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

  3. GunnerN5 says:

    These are my predictions for week 6.

    West Ham v Manchester City = A
    Fulham v Crystal Palace = D
    Manchester United v Chelsea = H
    Wolverhampton v Newcastle = D
    Arsenal v Leicester City = H
    Barcelona v Real Madrid = A score 1 – 2

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha I like your style, GN5…. mixing it up a bit! 🙂

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    thanks for the update on our local competition! 🙂

  6. pbarany says:

    West Ham v Manchester City A
    Fulham v Crystal Palace A
    Manchester United v Chelsea A
    Wolverhampton v Newcastle H
    Arsenal v Leicester City H
    Barcelona v Real Madrid H

    No draws this weekend, GN5. Or maybe draw a blank. 🙂

    By the way not only the PL gone mad, with Everton and Aston Villa leading the table; but in Spain it is Real Sociedad (with Emery’s Villareal behind) on the top, in France Lille is leading the way, and in the Seria A Milan, Sassulo and Atalanta are ahead of Napoli, Juventus, Inter and Roma.

  7. GunnerN5 says:

    PB, you must have missed that there is a special 2 points bonus for the correct score of the Barca / Real game,

  8. GunnerN5 says:

    PB, It’s early in all of the various leagues – I suspect that the usual teams will soon regain their normal places. I cannot foresee Everton or Villa winning the PL but who thought that either Blackburn or Leicester would?

  9. Highbury Harmony says:

    Great thoughts TA, glad my comment helped to inspire a new article 🙂 !

    Absolutely agree on the right side needing work. We haven’t found a rhythm at all on that side and it’s very concerning. There may be some combination of guys on that right side that will work in time though, but right now it’s not really clicking with Bellerin and Willian/Pepe aside from the second half of the Sheffield match. It’s not that Bellerin has been bad by any stretch, just that things aren’t quite clicking yet and we may need to try something new.

    Going back to last season, I think Pepe has looked his best on the wing with AMN behind him since he provides the defensive cover and overlapping runs that opens up space for him, while being a better passer than Bellerin too. I believe Willian and Cedric should also get a game together because Cedric’s the best offensive fullback and would likely combine the best with Willian (and Willian is more defensively responsible than Pepe to help make up for Cedric a bit).

    Your comment about Ceballos is interesting. He’s always naturally been a player that drifts to the left and I believe he’s more comfortable on that side. However, he’s had some standout performances from the right too (see Liverpool game once he was substituted on). In theory, Partey should definitely help shore up the right side and link up play better too. Elneny has done a great job at patching up the right side while he’s played and it’s clear that the Xhaka-Ceballos combination has not had quite had the same effect when starting together (West Ham and Man City).

  10. Highbury Harmony says:

    My other question to this great post is that is it easier to defend well first and then add in attacking impetus afterwards? Or is it easier to be an attacking force and adding in defensive resiliency afterwards?

    Leeds, for example, are a side that truly understand their attacking patterns of play and just go at you every match. Arsenal under Arteta, are a system based side, so wondering if it’s just more time before the players start to understand how to attack within the system itself?

  11. pbarany says:

    TA and HH, this is an interesting and important topic, probably my main deficiency with Arteta’s Arsernal. And you two made a nice, thought-provoking post out of it.

    Here is my 2 cents: the main difference between Liverpool’s and Arsenal’s top 3 (apart of them playing 4-3-3 and we prefer the 3-4-3 formation), is that Auba, Laca and Pepe are hardcore predators (I might be biased, but they are probably more dangerous than Mané, Salah and definitely Firmino), but the Liverpool trio assist each other way better. In fact they don’t rely on key passes from the midfield. Thiago, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Keita, Milner and Henderson share only a single assist combined. Firmino already assisted twice, and all of the front trio reached double digits last season (Mané: 12, Salah and Firmino 13 each). Compared to Arsenal, this season only Auba has a single assist so far, and last season Nketiah had 1 (and that was for Leeds), Auba 3, Lacazette 7, only Pepe managed to reach 10. So we are more heavily dependent on Saka, Ceballos and others.
    Maybe I repeat what you both told, but I think you meant something else on our guys being inside forwards. I see them rather independent finishers than creators – but that resonates to the (missing) chemistry and togetherness.

    What could improve our situation is
    – obviously/hopefully Willian, who is more of a creator than a finisher
    – Tierney finding his best position
    – Partey letting Xhaka and Ceballos contribute more to the build-up
    – Chambers coming back to provide further competition to RB/RCB
    – Nelson proving in EL games that he has first team potential
    – Martinelli getting back to full fitness (joining as a supersub)
    – Gabriel getting chemistry with the others, as he has some decent passing range

    Robertson and Alexander-Arnold are so efficient at crosses that one of Arteta’s main job is to find out how he should utilize/exploit our full/wingbacks better. I think this is a low-hanging fruit as Tierney is a natural and Bellerin or Chambers aren’t bad, but they don’t have the same number of opportunities.

  12. pbarany says:

    Indeed, GN5. I would go for a 2:0 home win (Griezman and Coutinho)

  13. Highbury Harmony says:

    PB, great stuff, love the analysis!

    I think you’re right and I made a similar point in the comments section of the last post that two of our “wingers” are not true wingers that are looking to create – Pepe and Auba are generally looking to score, which unfortunately does mean that they need better service to put themselves in those situations. Auba and Pepe both generally do not contribute much to the link up play and this has never been either’s strong suit.

    When Pepe is asked to keep his width, he is extremely limited and not where he is most effective. I believe if you can play Saka or Willian at the opposite wing of Pepe, and shift Auba up top, you will see better results.

    There’s currently too much of an imbalance in our attack coming from the left and teams that have successfully shut us down have overloaded that side to take a numbers advantage, forcing us to switch play with less desirable results (see latest matches vs. Tottenham, Man City and Liverpool).

  14. allezkev says:

    West Ham vs Man City… A
    Fulham vs C.Palace…….H
    Man Utd vs Chelsea…….D
    Wolves vs Newcastle…..H
    Arsenal vs Leicester…….H
    Barcelona vs Real M……H (3-2)

  15. allezkev says:

    With 6 games in store in the Europa League I wonder how Mikel will approach it this week.
    Just as with Guardiola at Man City we saw Arteta field a strong side in the League Cup and we just squeezed through on pens. I don’t think we’ll see a Wenger style virtual U23 team in these cups with Arteta, like a Pep he wants to win everything and I’m with him on that, even so I can foresee quite a few changes from the Etihad for the trip to Wien this Thursday. Soares, Elneny, Kolasinac, Maitland Niles, Nelson perhaps and Willock.

    I’m not sure how far off of fitness Mustafi, Mari and Holding are but I wouldn’t risk them, Leicester have a game as well so we’re in the same boat

  16. LE GALL says:

    West Ham v Manchester City – A
    Fulham v Crystal Palace – H
    Manchester United v Chelsea – A
    Wolverhampton v Newcastle – H
    Arsenal v Leicester City – H
    Barcelona v Real Madrid – A

    Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 2

    Food for thought indeed, your post/comments, lads
    Lately, the most impressive front 3 in Europe were:
    Messi-Suarez-Neymar
    Robben-Lewandowski-Ribéry
    Salah-Firmino-Mané
    The next one might well be:
    Sané-Lewandowski-Gnabry
    (right-footed LW – left-footed RW – goal-obsessed CF (Lewandowski, Suarez) or unselfish CF, doing the dirty work so his buddies get the headlines (Firmino))
    The closest trident we have in store at the moment would be:
    Saka-Lacazette-Aubameyang
    Dani right behind Laca would
    a) provide Laca with more “key passes” (hello, pb) from midfield
    b) take some defensive work off his marching orders
    RW is where Bukayo should settle, he has all it takes to become our Robben/Salah (I don’t believe Pépé has the full package, and I doubt his consistency); and in the (near, or at least not too far) future, I expect a lot from:
    Saka- Nketiah (Martinelli)- Martinelli (Nelson), with Emil right behind them
    As for thursday, I hope Mick will go full-Wenger, and pick something like:
    Rünarsson
    Soares-Saliba-Kolasinac-MNiles
    Elneny-Partey-Willock
    Nelson
    Lacazette-Nketiah
    If we don’t give playing time to our unused players after we were gifted with such a lucky draw (even though Rapid are likely to be the toughest nut to crack in that group), when will we??
    What Fofana did for Leicester yesterday, Saliba can do for us Thursday – or we should be told what has gone wrong with the lad, exactly
    Reiss should be given a chance in N10 position, he has all it takes to be a goalscoring playmaker; as for our front 2, it’s been a long time since I’ve wanted to see them paired, in a “Cole-York” fashion … Now’s the time, imo

  17. Highbury Harmony says:

    LeGall, sadly Saliba is not registered for Europa so he sadly cannot play.

    I hope we can eventually see us experiment with Dani, Saka, Willian and ESR in the CAM role or even as the advanced 8 in a 4-3-3. I agree that Saka may be our best option at RW at this point. He keeps the width on that side and would add a creative force there to offset Auba on the left.

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    HH, good shout for AMN potentially being the better partner for Pepe.

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    Leeds have nothing to lose, HH. They play with a wonderful freedom and sense of adventure. But Arteta cannot afford such a lofty attitude. So he will have to build the foundation of good defending first. I think we will see progress in terms of our attacking approach soon.

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Indeed PB, that is a great comment and nothing to disagree with. 👍👍

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Another good comment, Legallos, Rocker of Rouen. Interesting point about our best three attackers. I think it should be two with one behind them, and I am less sure whether it should include Laca as first choice or Saka on the right. I would like to see 3-4-3:
    Defenders
    Soares, Partey, XhakA, Tierney
    —-———–Saka/Willian————
    ———Eddie———Auba———–

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Wolves v Leeds great game tactically.

  23. LE GALL says:

    that’s right, HH
    time (at last) for emil, then?? 4-4-2?
    rünarsson
    soares-elneny (i like him there)-kolasinac-mniles
    smithrowe-partey-willock-nelson
    nketiah-lacazette
    very likely to be wishful thinking, i know …
    laca seems to raise questions among our fanbase at the moment; i find it unfair tbh, and if things should go sour for him at The Arsenal, i might write a few words in his defense
    very pleasant game at Ellan Road indeed, TA; the pace’s impressive too. Leeds are very pleasant to watch, but they put so much effort in everything they do, that they seem to be running on empty when comes the time of putting the ball at the back of the net
    such games are a genuine ad for the PL: such generosity, on a cold autumn night in leeds, in front of empty stands, hats off to the great pros!

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Wolves are a mature, well balanced team. They let the Leeds puppies run themselves knackered and then they pounced albeit fortunately.

    A defence of Laca would make a good post, LeG. 👍

  25. Highbury Harmony says:

    LeGall, if we’re to persist in the 3-4-3, I do think Laca is crucial. He essentially becomes a midfielder in our build up and he’s the advanced fulcrum when we try to build through the middle. I have no doubts that if Laca had better service that he would be a 15 goal a season striker in the league (ie he wouldn’t have to play the role he currently has to).

    I think for Thursday’s Europa match, I would like to see:

    Nketiah
    Pepe-ESR-Nelson
    Elneny-Willock
    AMN-Mari-Luiz-Cedric
    Runarsson

    Unless we hear team news that one of Chambers or Mustafi could be healthy.

  26. Blah blah says:

    Biggest lack of output is coming from our wingers. Look at Mahrez, often the out ball and under pressure without much support. He holds it up and looks to drive Tierney backwards towards our goal.

    Our wingers are afraid. For Pepe’s quality, you expect him to have the balls to challenge a fullback (or attempt to). The players do well to stay disciplined and rigid in defense, now let them loose when they’re in the final third

  27. Highbury Harmony says:

    @Blah blah, I agree that our wingers have to gain more confidence and know when it’s appropriate to take a man on.

    However, when Pepe’s given license to take a man on, he generally cannot figure out what is a dangerous situation and what isn’t. The Tottenham match after the restart was a good example where he tried to beat a man after an unsuccessful corner, lost the ball and then had to pick up a yellow to stop the counter (would have been a 4 on 2).

    Mahrez’s tactical and positional awareness is more advanced than Pepe’s and he’s more comfortable operating in small pockets of space (he knows how to effectively use his body to feint and use his change of pace to beat opponents). Pepe is better when he has lots of space ahead of him and picks up the ball when the opposing team is out of position.

  28. Highbury Harmony says:

    Lots of rumblings that a European Premier League is being put forward and is funded by a significant amount of dollars and would be alongside domestic leagues to replace Champions League.

    Start date expected to be 2022.

  29. pbarany says:

    That is a solid line-up, HH.
    I think Mari is not yet fit, Chambers & Mustafi only joined full training recently, and Saliba is not nominated in Arsenal’s EL squad. So either you swap Mari with Sokratis, or move AMN to midfield and put Kolasinac to LB/LCB but you have strong team for Thursday.
    I wonder if Partey will be involved to get some team experience…

  30. Highbury Harmony says:

    PB, Sokratis is not registered for the EL or the Prem (same with Ozil). Mari was fit for Saturday’s match vs. City, but was just a game too soon (he resumed full training before the International break).

    If at all possible, I don’t want Kolasinac to ever play another match unless it’s absolutely a necessity. If we play 4 ATB, I’d imagine AMN needs to play so I have him in there, but if it’s a back three, then yes Kolasinac will likely have to unfortunately play at LCB.

    I feel like the group stage for Europa is where we can begin experimenting with a back four to get the lads ready for the transition, so I’m hoping we see that on Thursday.

  31. pbarany says:

    You have a point about the experimenting with the formation.
    The only drawback/caveat that both I and you would field a XI different from those playing on the weekends in the PL games, so it is questionable who would actually benefit (apart from Arteta and maybe Luiz) from the experiment, especially against a Sky Bet League 1 opponent. Nevertheless I think some confident-boosting victory would benefit the boys.

  32. allezkev says:

    Seems that Ozil and Sokratis are out of the EPL 25 and so the curtain slowly falls on the very mixed career of Mesut Ozil…

  33. Jnyc says:

    I’ve been seeing a lot of comments around criticizing Arteta for trying Willian as sort of a false 9. I have no complaint about it, mainly because I’ve been advocating for the formation against the top teams. I’m not happy with the results because the chances weren’t created still. Also, our counterattacking set up was outsmarted in the 2nd half because they played cautiously and kept pressing just enough to hold us back.

    The post was a great tactical piece, and I would also like to see Hector given competition for the starting role. I noticed he perked up right after Soares was given a start a while back.

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    It is a negative story about Ozil, Kev. No wonder he bought Gunnersaurus to keep him company.

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers J, we tired in the second half and they got on top of our threat from our left wing. I guess Willian gets an extra critical assessment because he is a former Chav and most people rather blame other people rather than analyse the complexity of the situation.

  36. allezkev says:

    Norwich City announced on their official website this week that Charlie Gilmour is leaving the club by mutual agreement to end his contract early. The former Arsenal academy midfielder had a deal with the Championship side lasting for another year.

    It’s a bit of a strange situation, given Gilmour never really got a chance at Norwich. He joined them in the summer of 2019, but immediately went out on loan to SC Telstar.

    The 21-year-old did well in the Netherlands, making 25 appearances before the season ended early. He did pick up a major injury just before the pandemic hit, however.

    There are obviously a number of factors that could have led to the early contract termination.

    It could be related to the injury, or Norwich’s relegation, or a consequence of the pandemic’s impact on club finances. All we know for sure is Gilmour is now searching for a new club.

    Gilmour still clearly cares about Arsenal, you can see that with a glance at his social media. His Twitter profile picture is of his debut for the club, his header is from an u23 game at Arsenal, and he still tweets about the team’s successes and his former teammates.

    He’s also a big Rangers fan, and would surely jump at any opportunity to play for them. I’m sure all Arsenal fans are hoping Gilmour finds a new club as soon as possible.

  37. Admir says:

    Another great post at Bergkampesque! 🙂 Keep them coming! 🙂

    I’m rather calm with Arteta in charge. He drives Arsenal as a safety car while other managers drive their teams like lunatics.

    As for creating chances, perhaps it’s down to tackling of our forwards (one combined in three league matches). If our forward line doesn’t care about tackling, high pressure isn’t effective enough as cutting the passing lines is not enough. That’s why Liverpool with and without Mane are two different teams and that’s why Firmino is still rated despite going through a serious goal-drought.

    Our best chance last weekend was down to Saka (one of the best in terms of tackles last season) and Tierney hunting in packs without escaping the tackle. We won the ball high up the pitch and a few moments later Auba released Saka one-on-one with Ederson.

    Willian was one of the best forwards in terms of tackles last season (45) so that’s another thing he needs to bring to the table from his Chelsea days. Either Lacazette or Nketiah has to do a Firmino for us. Lacazette’s technical superiority over Eddie is obvious but Eddie seems to be more aggressive and energetic than Laca.

    That’s where Pepe will have to act as our Salah.

    “Messi-Suarez-Neymar
    Robben-Lewandowski-Ribéry
    Salah-Firmino-Mané
    The next one might well be:
    Sané-Lewandowski-Gnabry”

    While we all look at the wingers here, take a look at three strikers instead. Each one of Suarez, Lewandowski and Firmino act(ed) like a glue to the attacking trident.

    And that’s where our Auba/Laca issue rears it ugly face. If we were in the 4-4-2 era, we would have been blessed. In this age, we are imbalanced.

    As for our wingers, Pepe is similar to Robben and Salah – very one-footed and predictable yet difficult to defend against. Messi is, well, just the greatest of all times.

    Auba is not Mane, Ribery or Neymar even if he is a better scorer than each one of them. Gnabry remains Wenger’s biggest misjudgment that goes back to 2013-14 when the kid was playing well when given chance.

    I have high hopes of Martinelli and a big fear that he won’t be the same after the injury. He offers energetic and clever pressure while remaining lethal in front of the goal. Nothing excited me more than his interplay with Saka down the left wing.

    As for our game in Vienna (Wien or as we call it in ex-Yugoslavia, Beč), it’s a shame we can’t field Saliba. Injuries have decimated our CB-options and we could end up fielding three left-footed CBs (Mari, Gabriel, Kolašinac/Tierney).

    I reckon that we are likely to see 4-3-3 instead.

    Runnarson

    Cedric Luiz Mari Kolašinac

    Partey Xhaka

    Willock

    Willian Nketiah Nelson

  38. allezkev says:

    Yes Total, it is a negative story but what’s so frustrating is that it could have ended so differently, although I thought the comments from Mertesaker were quite illuminating that is concerning his family and distractions from his home. Maybe it’s all still linked to the carjacking and not only his ability and desire to adapt his game?

    There are rumours that he might reconsider his position and look to move in January, possibly to the MLS, I think he’d be a sensation in the United States.

  39. Admir says:

    “It could be related to the injury, or Norwich’s relegation, or a consequence of the pandemic’s impact on club finances.”

    Allezkev

    I didn’t go through Norwich financial reports but there are things I know about them. They have sold Godfrey for the record amount of £25m + add-ons and before that Jamal Lewis signed for Newcastle in a £13.5m transfer. I don’t know if they made any big signing last summer. The biggest success for Norwich was that they have managed to keep experienced and wanted players such as Krul, Aarons, Cantwell and Buendia. Maybe they decided to use their money to keep first-team players who can get them back to Premier League?

    Speaking of Gilmour and former Arsenal players, Savvas Mourgos is another player who was a former Arsenal academy player, was at Norwich, was loaned out to a Dutch side and was released last summer. One more and we have a pattern.

  40. Admir says:

    Mesut has fired a few arrows today.

  41. allezkev says:

    Admir, I think that Norwich have done really well in selling for such good prices in a deflated market, as you say they’ve kept Aarons and Cantwell, two really talented young players and the goalkeeper is also pretty good.

    I took the Gilmour thing from another blog so I’m not claiming any credit for it or that it was my work. I hope he finds a club, but I did see that Wilshere is training at his local club Hitchin so it’s tough times out there if you’re without a contract.

    Interesting statement from Ozil, or someone who works for his PR team, noticeably that Sokratis has kept his thoughts to himself…

  42. pbarany says:

    I’m afraid Özil is right…

  43. GunnerN5 says:

    I think the whole Ozil scenario is quite bizarre, he still has a great deal to offer but it’s obvious that the club consider him surplus to requirements and are trying as hard as they can to drive him out.

    Frankly if I found myself in his position I would very quickly put pride aside and enjoy taking my weekly salary for doing nothing. Come to think about it I doubt there are many other people in the world who get paid so much for doing absolutely nothing.

  44. GunnerN5 says:

    Arsenal 20/21 Squad, including home grown and under 21’s..

    Hector Bellerin
    Calum Chambers
    Rob Holding
    Sead Kolasinac
    David Luiz
    Gabriel Magalhaes
    Shkodran Mustafi
    Thomas Partey
    William Saliba
    Cedric Soares
    Kieran Tierney
    Pablo Mari
    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
    Alexandre Lacazette
    Gabriel Martinelli
    Reiss Nelson
    Edward Nketiah
    Nicolas Pepe
    Bernd Leno
    Matt Macey
    Alex Runarsson
    Willian Borges da Silva
    Dani Ceballos
    Mohamed Elneny
    Matteo Guendouzi
    Ansley Maitland-Niles
    Bukayo Saka
    Emile Smith Rowe
    Joseph Willock
    Granit Xhaka

  45. GunnerN5 says:

    We are still missing the selections for this weeks competition from :-
    Gooneris, Total and JWL
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    West Ham v Manchester City
    Fulham v Crystal Palace
    Manchester United v Chelsea
    Wolverhampton v Newcastle
    Arsenal v Leicester City
    Barcelona v Real Madrid

    This week there will be an added bonus of 2 points for the correct score of the game between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Admir, excellent point about forward-tackling.

    I really like the comments on this post over the last few days. Cheers.

  47. Highbury Harmony says:

    I wonder how “loyal” Ozil would have been had he not been offered that massive contract. Maybe he needs to look in the mirror and realize that a one-dimensional player isn’t what’s needed at the club right now.

    He’s not the answer to our creativity problems and hasn’t been the same player since 2017/18. He was more effective when he had other runners and creative players around him, which was evident as soon as we lost Santi and eventually Ramsey. You put Ozil in this squad right now and we wouldn’t see anything much different, evident by how he wasn’t that effective under Arteta in the matches he started when he took over.

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