Despite the Setbacks and Missing Players It all Feels Strangely Good at Arsenal

After a great December Arsenal are stumbling through this month, and we can only hope that we get our troops together rather sooner than later. We are obviously missing Partey and to a lesser extent Pepe and Elneny. Auba is back but with light heart issues and most likely a damaged morale and ego. Xhaka will miss next game and we have to hope that at least one of our two creative midfielders will be back for Thursday’s and Sunday’s games.

Yet it all feels strangely good. We gave Man City a proper game and were unlucky to get nothing from that game. But sometimes is not results but performances that will leave us with a glow; and that is exactly what that game has done. We had a solid defence v Man City, a lively and quality attack and a demanding midfield. But the big thing was how the whole team played for each other and intrinsically believed in its style of play and Arteta’s philosophy. There were real green shoots for a while but now it feels Arteta’s philosophy is starting to bare fruit.

I still expect things to go up and down for us as we have vulnerable spots in our squad and still quite a few players are not suitable for playing the Arteta way, but there appears to be money and the ambition to spend wisely. Let’s all stand behind Arteta and give him the support this hard working and demanding man deserves.

Bring on the red Scousers and liven up the Home of Football on Thursday. Let’s give it all to get to the final and wipe that smile of Klopp’s oral fakies. I know it is only the League Cup but there is more at stake here. We are sparring with the (still) bigger boys and need to win a few battles even when we are still losing the war against them at the moment. I cannot wait till Thursday. Oh what a light our boys brings in these dark January days.

Come on You Rip Roaring Gunners.


34 thoughts on “Despite the Setbacks and Missing Players It all Feels Strangely Good at Arsenal

  • GN5’s comment from last post:

    Here are the choices for next weekend:-

    Brentford v Wolves

    Manchester United v West Ham *
    Leicester V Brighton
    Crystal Palace v Liverpool *
    Chelsea v Tottenham
    Man C Ladies v Arsenal Ladies *

  • Brentford v Wolves: Home

    Manchester United v West Ham * 2-2
    Leicester V Brighton H
    Crystal Palace v Liverpool * 1-1
    Chelsea v Tottenham Draw
    Man C Ladies v Arsenal Ladies * 0-9

  • Eris, he is faster than Babangida, cooler than Kanu and more goal focused than Okocha. 🙂- TA

    Gee, TA. That was quite a Muhammad Ali-esque poetry stuff you had going on there. What I think I get is more luck than Finidi George.😉

    Thanks for the report, as always, GN5. Brilliant stuff.

  • On the topic, one player we could do with for the Thursday encounter will be Tomiyasu. It will be great to have ESR and Odegaard back too. We could play with a young and spritely midfield trio of Lokonga, Ode and ESR; a forward 3 of Saka, Laca and Martin, we would be able to get the win against Liverpool.

    Saka limped off in the first leg so, fingers crossed, he recovers from whatever it was that got him wincing and limping towards the end of that game. Our back 5 picks itself, if Tomi is fit to start. We miss Partey but I am still positive the kids can make life difficult for any side.

  • Miguel Azeez and Tyreece John-Jules both recalled from their loans.

    Will they both go out on loan again or will they stay with the U23’s where Arteta can use them if need be?

    I mean is Azeez a better option than Patino given Charlie’s lack of experience?

    Is TJJ an option up front and will that allow Arsenal to sell Nketiah?

  • It does feel a long time and I do hope the lads don’t lose sharpness, or the edge taken out of their game.

    That’s quite the decision withdrawing those two from their loan deals. However, Azeez is probably better suited for the first team now, than Patino. TJJ is a skillful lad with an eye for goal. He is not as sturdy as Laca but last time I saw him feature for us, he looked like he can hold his own in a physical battle. Anyone know how well he is doing (or did) at his loan club?

  • TJJ isn’t a speed merchant Total, he is more of a Van Persie type in that he could play a withdrawn role, on the flanks or as a centre forward, I’m not sure if he’s ready to start games but I’d be interested to see how he could do from the bench. Nickolj Moller is another although he’s more of a traditional centre forward, someone who could control a long ball and hold onto it until the support arrives, again I’m not sure if he would be ready for the Premier League as it’s an enormous jump in quality, physicality, everything. I guess that Mikel can have a look at them, see if they’ve improved after their loans, see if they’ve matured enough for him to rely on them, every game from now until the end of the season is going to be like a cup tie. It’s a big ask for TJJ, Moller or even Nketiah to make a difference, but we might need them as I’m doubtful that Vlahovic fancies joining Arsenal if the endless rumours are accurate?

  • Eris, he played about a dozen games or less and didn’t score, I’m not sure how many starts he had.

    I’m always minded Eris of how terrible a loan Hector Bellerin had at Watford, the coaching staff at Vicarage Road we’re not very complimentary about him but shortly afterwards when he’d returned to Arsenal he found himself in our first team and was looking a million dollars.
    So go figure mate?

  • Manchester United v West Ham * 1-1
    Leicester V Brighton H
    Crystal Palace v Liverpool * 1-2
    Chelsea v Tottenham H
    Man C Ladies v Arsenal Ladies * 1-2

  • Thanks for that low down on TJJ, Kev. Looks like he didn’t have a good time of it out on loan but, having watched him play in our pre-season games some years ago (2019/20, I believe), I have faith he can turn out to be a good footballer and starter at some club, including Arsenal, in the future.

    With Moller and TJJ about, it may be a kick in the backside for Nketiah and Martinelli; a push for them to score goals a bit more consistently.

  • Cheers, Kev. It’s a big jump indeed.

    Vlahovic has that Benzema or Morata feeling about it, but it’s still early in the transfer window.

  • That’s a good point Total, yeah Benzema was an annual thing, it became a bit of a joke in the end, Morata must have some gypsie in his soul as he doesn’t seem to settle anywhere he goes – MLS for him next I’d suspect?

  • There was a time Eris when TJJ looked the best of our striking prospects, here’s his stats:

    2019/20……. Lincoln City…….League One + Cup……… 7apps…….1 goal

    2020/21……..Doncaster R……League One + Cups……21apps…….5 goals.

    2021/22……..Blackpool……..Championship +Cups……12apps…….0 goals.

    He’s not prolific as you can see, but he has other elements to his game, I did hear that Charlton Athletic are interested in taking him on loan…

  • I guess that the club has a decision to make with both TJJ and Moller, it’s clear that Arteta see Flo Balogun as the next big thing in the striking dept and Mika Biereth has really impressed in his firs5 season at the club, so maybe someone is going to be squeezed out?

  • Brentford v Wolves A

    Manchester United v West Ham * 1-2
    Leicester V Brighton A
    Crystal Palace v Liverpool * 1-2
    Chelsea v Tottenham H
    Man C Ladies v Arsenal Ladies * 2-2

    Thanks to TA for his weekly rays of sunshine and positivity!

  • I like Kolasinac’s tough guy personality and thought it was refreshing to have a player who can’t be pushed around or out-muscled, for a change. His pace runs down the flank as a full/wing back were memorable. He did have a connection with Ozil (on and off the pitch), Iwobi and Xhaka, which resulted in many a fine cross or goal. I recall that incredible, defence-splitting pass Mesut Ozil pulled off in the build-up to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s opener against Burnley, in December 2018. One of those passes only Mesut could see.

    Kolasinac seemed to lose his way after his first season and it got worse when his Pal, Ozil, got the treatment.

    I wish him all the luck and hope he gets a good pay day and a few trophies too.

  • Brentford v Wolves A
    Manchester United v West Ham * D 1-1
    Leicester V Brighton D
    Crystal Palace v Liverpool * A 1-2
    Chelsea v Tottenham H
    Man C Ladies v Arsenal Ladies * A 1-3

  • Here here, Eris. If we could have mixed Sead’s strength and attitude with Mesut’s talent, what a player we would have had. Something Bergkampesque perhaps. I also remember the through ball you described. Out of interest, which four midfielders who played for Arsenal during the premiership era, would you line up in a 4-4-2 ? We are spoiled for choice with Mesut, PV4, Santi, Gilberto, Rosicky, Jack, Ramsey, Hleb, Cesc, Ode…
    Yes Total, the mighty Comoros boys have done us a big favour. I think protocols may kibosh Thomas for Thursday but he should be good for the Burnley game.

  • Not sure about those protocols, Stuart, of course there is an added chance Thomas will have picked up Covid-19 by the time he gets back to the Home of football ⚽ ⚽ ⚽

  • My Best midfield would be:


    I also rated Song and Flamini highly and of course Diaby had it all when he was not pestered by injury. Partey has a lot to offer still and could become a Great.

    Indeed we are spoiled for choice, especially if we can also include the likes of Pires, Freddie, Overmars in Overdrive, Ssnchez etc, erc

  • Yes, TA. Partey is coming home. The Liverpool game would come a bit too soon, I feel. Always good to allow players (re-) adapt to new settings after going away. Shame about Ghana; an African football giant going to minnows in the Comoros, a small Island nation with a population below one million. Ghana will be back, though.

    Stuart, that’s some quiz for which you will have as many divergent answers as participants. For me, assuming a midfield three (one DM, one box to box, one creative), I’d go Gilbert, PV, Cazorla/Cesc. A real shame as Bergkamp deserves to be in there somehow. I just don’t know how to fit him in.

  • Indeed a great victory by Comores. It’s between Madagascar and Africa’s East Coast and has a big Catholic population?! Have you been there, Eris?

  • Gilberto**

    4-4-2 it is then. Problem solved and you have the most powerful midfield ever.

    Never been there, TA. Maybe, add the Maldives and Madagascar to my list of places to visit, before……

  • I’d play 4 3 3, but if you want a 4 4 2 I’d go like this in a diamond Giberto at the base Petit on the left, Vieira on the right with Cazorla at the top.

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