Battle 6/17: Bonus Game v Red Scousers To Measure Arsenal’s Progress

15/15 points is an amazing tally for our last 5 games. No game is easy in the PL as we witness every weekend. Arsenal had to fight like lions for those points and the boys did us proud.

Tonight The Teeth and his football machine come to the Home of football and we will be up for it. Yes there are three points to be won again but this game is about more than that: it’s about testing ourselves against the best; to measure our progress and the fortitude of our young and promising side.

The Pool boys will be up for it, especially after Pep’s Prinses dropping two valuable points on Monday. And so will we. It is a bonus game for us and we can approach it without pressure or fear. Just pride in the shirt and the joy of playing footie will do.

Let’s hope the game is not spoiled by bad refereeing and we get a clean fight.

I expect the same lineup as on Sunday, perhaps with a start for Emile instead of Martinelli. That would be my preference.

Enough said, let the feet do the talking tonight.

Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners!!! 🤩

By TotalArsenal

41 thoughts on “Battle 6/17: Bonus Game v Red Scousers To Measure Arsenal’s Progress

  • Lol @ the Teeth (Klopp does have an impressive set of gnashers).

    It is very likely, as you stated, that ESR starts this one, being a game where we need to protect possession for as long as we can manage and generally play safe. It will be a toss up between Martinelli’s High risk, high tempo but defensively more astute play and Emile’s composure, goal assurance, positional sense and relative economy of motion.

    Even if he is fit (unless he has played a couple of closed door matches), no need to introduce Tomi at this time. I am excited because I feel we can surprise the Scousers tonight, if we get that clean fight scenario.

  • I am good TA.

    If we can get our shots in and confuse them with our quick passing we should be up for a fight.

    Cheers, JK

  • Great to have you back on, JK. Glad to know you are hale and still kicking.

  • Looking forward to this one and it should show how far the team has progressed. I’m hoping for a win, COYG!

  • Aston Villa v Arsenal * 1-2
    Leicester v Brentford A
    Tottenham v West Ham * 1-1
    Real Madrid v Barcelona * 2-0
    Roma v Lazio D
    Marseille v Nice H

  • The fact that I will be disappointed to get nothing out of this game says it all really.

    Great work by Arteta and his team to get us this far.

  • I think our only worry will be how we handle the matchup psychologically. Nerves, pressure, etc. It’s what happened in our first league game against them this season. We were well in that game and they got a lucky, well worked free kick goal by Arnold to that punk Mane.

    We fell apart with young Sambi and Nuno after that.

    Hope we play with freedom and confidence.

  • Aston Villa v Arsenal….. Away (0-2)
    Leicester v Brentford…. Home
    Tottenham v West Ham. Away (1-2)
    R.Madrid v Barcelona….. Home (3-1)
    AS Roma v Lazio Roma.. Draw
    O Marseille v Nice………….. Home

  • Great photo on the club web site of the lads celebrating big Gab’s goal v Leicester. Looks like the big fella is on his way to being a father, too. Let’s hope he is fit this morning for what will be our 300th PL game at the Emirates, and who will it be who scores our 2,000th EPL goal? Whoever it is, we will be “rocking all over the world” down here in Godzone.

  • Great 45 by the boys, Liverpool looked a bit weary to me, I’m not sure they get pressed like that very often, Martinelli has been amazing and Odegaard and Partey have bossed the midfield, so far so good I just wish I could see where an Arsenal goal is coming from?

  • We’ve defended well while still giving them something to worry about, going forward.
    Martinelli has kept Alexander-Arnold honest and shows why he started ahead of ESR, in a defensive sense.

    We have to continue that way and hope to get/take one good chance or two in the second half.

    The tactical discipline required is draining, even for a watching fan that I am.

  • Don’t forget Xhaka, Kev.

    Yes great tactical game and Pool are finding it hard. We need to get Saka in the game. He is our biggest weapon for a goal.

    How good is Alex Arnold – what a pass he has in that foot.

  • Yeah, Kev. Forgot to say just how immense Partey has been. Odegaard has been his sublime self but restricted because we don’t have too much to hit upfront. Hopefully, the visitors start to get frustrated and we have numbers upfront for the goal that wins it.

  • That’s how it goes. Good teams make you pay for missed opportunities. Had a glorious chance and jota made ramsdale pay for leaving too much room.

    Good eye opener for where we need to be. Their back 5 is world class. Then they can call on salah, firmino from the bench. Makes you hate them even more when diaz just slips in seamlessly.

    Looking forward to getting upgrades on xhaka and laca to give us a bit more of an edge.

  • Small margins; we were solid first half and had started to threaten them when they got their first.

    We have probably been beaten by the champions in waiting. Liverpool have the better momentum going towards the end of the season. Hard to see how they don’t up-end City, except Pep manages to give them second wind.

    Ramsdale half expected a cross and got beaten at his near post; for the second, he needed help from his defenders to keep Firminho from that ball.

    We remain 4th and must shake this off and move on.

  • We are one top top striker away from winning a game like that, small margins, maybe it’s time to give a Martinelli a go at centre forward?

  • We needed to be at our best for 90 mins to even have a chance of getting a point. Liverpool are good enough to win any game by playing well for 2 10 minute spells. They are miles ahead of us but it is where we should be aiming to be.
    Martinelli had probably his best game in an arsenal shirt. Ramsdale has won us more points than he has lost us so he is entitled to a mistake.

  • Total, I actually think that Xhaka should have got that first half effort on target, he had enough time and space to set himself. Not being able to rotate with quality maybe did us in the 2nd half as some of our energy seemed to drop, a Klopp made some tactical changes and we didn’t or couldn’t respond.

    Very proud of the team, how they have rescued our season but a massive massive summer ahead because we’re not far off, it just needs a quality striker.

  • Love Lacazette, he gives all he’s got but we’d be mad to give him what he probably wants, worth one more year on the same salary (he won’t get that elsewhere) but him and his agent will probably push for a wage rise (he’s on something like £185k per week!) and a three year deal and that would be madness.

    Tonight showed he’s playing at his absolute limit and it still isn’t enough in these types of games.

    On a positive note, this Liverpool team is overall quite an old team so this season may well be their last hurrah before the cracks start to appear…

  • That is a perceptive comment from Wedge about Liverpool turning it on in 10 minute bursts. They are constant in their concentration and excellence and then have a capacity for going into overdrive. For 3/5ths of the game we mastered them but alas, the monkey remains upon our shoulder. Our boys were fearless and deserved their ovation at the end of the match.

  • Indeed a good observation by Wedge. But we should add that Arsenal also had such spells with difference that we lacked the calm, experience to make it count. Small margins my friends.

    Laca and Xhaka were immense so don’t get the criticism or need for upgrades. The youngsters will get better and they need the calm fighters like Granit, Alex and Thomas.

  • We did indeed have spells but we are just not as good as them. Not a criticism just an observation.
    The big difference is they took the chances they had. We could have scored but Allison was very smart and composed to stay on his feet and usher laca out of the danger area. He then pulled off a good save from odegaard.
    Our aim is not to win the title it is to get top 4 and I think this game has proved that we can. In a few years it may be us who is feared and unplayable again.

  • Wedge, I totally agree. For whatever reason, our subs did not make a difference either. Like TA, I thought that Laca played well and performed a role that Martinelli would struggle with. That’s not to say that Martinelli shouldn’t be played through the middle, it’s just that our game-plan would be quite different. In fact, Laca is not playing as a conventional nine. We certainly need to strengthen in that area, although Folarin is beginning to blossom in that area up in the NE.

  • Martinelli has a game built on speed, dribbling and direct running. Laca is the total opposite and that is why the dynamic works between him and the inside forwards. If we are going to keep playing this style then I am not really sure who to upgrade him with.
    Maybe we could put in a cheeky bid for firminho.

  • Nice comments Wedge, but didn’t Thierry Henry possess all those qualities and often from out on the left wing where he would rampage into the centre of the oppositions half causing mayhem, Jamie Vardy does a similar job when he’s fit.

    I’m not sure where we’re going from a central attacking sense but we were it seems prepared to pay a near club record for Vlahovic only a few weeks ago so maybe what we’re seeing now is transitional and necessary given our resources?

    Yeah OX10 I agree, Martinelli would struggle if he was asked to replicate the role that Lacazette does with all his heart and effort, but then maybe if Martinelli was central we’d play differently and he’d have a different role?

    Total wanting upgrades isn’t a criticism of the guys in situ, it’s what we will have to do to consistently reach the level of the top three in this league, the alternative is remaining where we are, fighting for 4th, 5th and 6th. We are so close, you can almost taste it (Hans Van Breukelen quote).

  • Kev, I agree that we would play differently with Martinelli through the middle. Against opponents like Liverpool who have classy right wing-backs, I would rather have him operating on the left than the alternatives (ESR, Saka and Pepe) as he keeps them occupied and works well in a defensive sense too. Eddie hasn’t really been given time to say whether he would be an effective plan B through the middle but from what I have seen he isn’t. Folarin could work but, he probably needs another season or two to be our #1 choice there.

  • OX10, totally agree regarding yesterday, Martinelli was magnificent on the left wing, he made Arnold look absolutely bang average and maybe he’s destined to stay on the flanks for the foreseeable future, I’d just like to see him given a go down the middle with Smith on the left, probably vs a team with a right back more in the Danny Mills mould….

  • Balogun has got a couple of goals now, it’s such a shame we didn’t loan him last summer, but circumstances etc, and yeah another yeah on loan should toughen him up and sharpen his skills enough for him to be a contender – makes me think of Marlon Brando.

  • Gentlemen Arsenal proved yesterday that they are a team that should be highly regarded. They showed that they are more than capable of competing with the top clubs and they only lost their composure for a few minutes – which unfortunately cost them the game. I was impressed with every player with Martinelli being the very obvious Arsenal MOM.

    It was a joy to watch them and to enjoy the atmosphere in the ground – our twelfth men were magnificent in their unwavering support. We have a great future to look forward to as the team matures and (hopefully) we add a few top class additions this summer.

  • I just noticed that 7 of our final 11 games are away from home – with games against Chelsea (A) Man U (H) and Tots (A) it won’t be an easy task to secure a Champions League spot.

  • I like Laca. I really do. He’s a workhorse and gives his all for the team. Personally I’d sign him for another 2 years but only for rotations and as a backup. Also good for the youth etc. If we want to stay around that 4-8th league position he’s suitable but if we want to progress further he doesn’t cut the mustard. It is evident against the bigger teams. He isn’t quick enough, can be indecisive at times, lacks goals, and he isn’t a threat in the air. For me the irony is we got Laca as an upgrade on Giroud (because we felt he wasn’t enough to take us to that next level) but a Giroud type is probably exactly what we need right now.

    Xhaka is the same. Good honest trier but not good enough if we want to take the next step. Slow, not creative enough and can be error prone. It sticks out like a sore thumb at the moment with Ode and Partey going up more gears. Especially against Pool – he’d get into decent positions, be indecisive and just pass it backwards. Another I’d settle with for a squad role (will need them if we finish top 4) but he shouldn’t be a starter next season if we seriously want to progress as a team. We have the entire team growing and building as one but we have two players that have plateaued and don’t have enough improvement to compliment the squad.

  • @GN5

    yeah we got absolutely stiffed by the fixture list again. Arteta was right to speak out about it.

    Chelsea on the Wednesday before our crunch game against Manchester United…
    Wednesday games and then first off the bat on Saturday…

    Ridiculous.

  • Nice quote Kev.

    I think another and different CF is welcome and going to happen, but I would keep Laca.

    Very few agree with me that Xhaka is as good as we will get. Anybody better will go to a European top club not us. His positional awareness is second to none in the PL, his left foot is assured and composed, and he keeps guard over the shape of the team. This is priceless for Arteta. His job is not to score goals, but they will come now that he is being pushed forward.

  • Yeah Oz, you are of course entitled to your opinion. XhakA slow? Well it seldom or never shows, and he compensates with his mind. Granit is always a step ahead.

    He always looks for an attacking ball but will not waste one. Our left side was our strongest v Pool and Granit made key passes continously, whilst also keeping the shape and providing defensive back up. He was immense v Pool, but we all see different things. He was also imo the better player for the whole ninety minutes of the central midfielders and I bet the stats will support this.

    Every season fans say we need to improve on Xhaka and yet the managers love him and pick him constantly. Arteta, a former midfielder, knows what Granit brings and so do I.

    I respect your views so wonder who you think is a better left footed midfielder to play Xhaka’s role as Arteta sees it?

  • I’m with Arteta.. his observation after the game.. we were equal in the whole game, but they won the game in both boxes. Great finishes for them, vs missed chances for us.

    I just want to see a bounce back quickly this Saturday.

    Credit to them for marking Ødegaard out of the match. We will expect that next time and hopefully have an ansnwer.

  • Fine comments all round, G-men. The team needs just a few upgrades and a tweak with aspects of tactics and we would be giving the front runners a run for the title.

    GN5, good observation about our run being littered with Away games; but if we maintain current form, venue has not deterred us. We can win both home and away. What I worry about is the fixture scheduling for some of the crucial/difficult games. For instance, by Saturday when we play Villa, we would have gone 3 games in 6 days (I daresay, that affected our fitness levels a bit vs Liverpool). Then, our rescheduled game against Chelsea comes up on Wednesday, 20th April with this followed up by a game vs Man United on Saturday, 23rd April (they could have picked Sunday). If that’s not the schedulers trying to test our resolve, I don’t know what else it is.

  • Ah! Didn’t realize Oz had made a similar post in reaction to GN5 (didn’t realize Arteta has spoken about it). I guess I didn’t “refresh” the article before posting.

    I cannot reiterate enough how important Shaka is for the way we play now. I read an “upgrade” on him to mean we will require a change in the way we set up and play. So, of course, we can get a different kind of player who provides all the qualities Xhaka is accused of not possessing, but it will come with some trade-offs in other relevant qualities, not the least of which are left side balance, precise switch of play, a willing support in defence (many underrate the number of clearances Xhaka makes in defence), a talking leader and cheer leader. The summer is enough time for the management to consider a change of style to accommodate the “upgrade” on Xhaka.

  • Aston Villa v Arsenal * A (1-3)
    Leicester v Brentford H
    Tottenham v West Ham * D (2-2)
    Real Madrid v Barcelona * A (1-2)
    Roma v Lazio D
    Marseille v Nice H

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