Arsenal 3 – 3 Saints: 8 Observations

Classy Theo brings back memories whilst Jesus is all over the place. A crazy game, another cup final for Arsenal, two points dropped… but we overcame adversity and our souls purred at the end.

Eight Observations of an almost perfect comeback:

  1. A few key players missing and a couple struggling with form, and all of a sudden we looked vulnerable, not ourselves. It’s what Liverpool struggled with all season and MU experience regularly, and Arsenal have been lucky to have not had much if it until now. Against Southampton we looked and were vulnerable, but the good thing is that the boys overcame their malaise and ended up on a high, even though it meant a loss of still two points. They found themselves again and that is key for the next game.
  2. Bloggers on know how much I rate Granit. Take him out of the team and its like a jacket without lining, still there but it does not look good anymore. XhakA gives shape not only to the midfield but the entire left side. He makes others play better. He really is our general, Mikel’s extension on the pitch.
  3. Ødegaard struggled to get in the game and have his usual influence but boy did he finish on a high. This boy cares so much about our club, you just have to love him. His goal was one that only leaders can produce in adversity. It kept us in the fight for the title and returned the much needed belief in the supporters.
  4. Partey also became better and better as the game moved on, and his midfield battles were a joy to watch. At times it looked like Paddy Vieira was back on the pitch.
  5. The first two Saints goals would probably not have happened with Granit on the pitch. Yes mistakes were made but they were more of a positional nature. The problem is that nobody can offer the full range of skills of Xhaka, and young Vieira is certainly not a like for like replacement. It’s a hard balance between covering the defence, offering midfield transition play and be an effective attacking threat. On top of that Xhaka gives positional and tactical discipline to the team. We missed this throughout the game and could only really overcome it by keeping the Saints pressed into their own half as much as possible. Hopefully Granit is back on Wednesday.
  6. Bukayo started a bit subdued but, like the Ode, he finished on a high. A fine assist and goal to add to his season tally, and he certainly stayed calm in the eye of the storm. Martinelli also delivered with a fine taken goal. Gab Jesus lacked the calm and composure on Friday. I think that’s the price to pay for the unpredictability he is supposed to bring to our attacking play. Chaos rules and sometimes the energy and eagerness that comes with Jesus’s game will make him seem wasteful. But Arsenal didn’t lose two points because of this, poor defending did.
  7. Zinchenko is an interesting player. He offers attitude and leadership which is great. Yet I am not sure where he should play. I had thought he would cover for Xhaka and Tierney would be in LFB, but Mikel kept him in his usual position. I am also not sure he has earned the respect of the other players and he doesn’t seem to have natural partnerships in the team either. At times he is world class but I think it’s a work in progress.
  8. Arteta made some excellent changes in the second half and we finished on a high. Can he really afford to keep The Tross out of the starting eleven, though?! Leandro gave us more structure AND better attacking approach play from the moment he came on. It really helped the Ode to get more space for his best game. I would be tempted to go 4-1 – 2-3 v Blue Oil if Granit is not available, with Partey deep and Ode and Leandro behind Mart-Jesus-Saka. Take the game to them rather than sit back.

By TotalArsenal

84 thoughts on “Arsenal 3 – 3 Saints: 8 Observations

  • Well done for that Total, trying to find positives when you feel like locking yourself in a darkened room with a sign on it saying ‘Do Not Disturb – until June’ takes a lot off effort and determination, so the least I can do is respond even thought I feel like going out into the forest and living like a hermit for a couple of years, that if I can find a forest nearby.

    Injuries have killed us again and bad luck, I mean how could luck not be a major constituent when Man City don’t have a single player injured, at this stage of the season you have to wonder if the City players are on some kind of drug assistance?

  • Then there is the experience factor and it’s not just the players in general who lack that it’s the coaching staff.

    I mean what on Earth has happened to our dead-ball coach because we are a shambles at the back and you can’t just blame it all on Rob Holding.

    The pressure is getting to Arteta I mean I thought he was going to start crying during his post-match interview, his emotional inclusion in the squad, club and everything is total and I do worry about him. Nothing he tries seems to come off and of course there will be plenty of online experts who can tell him where he’s gone wrong in retrospect, but again you need a bit of luck, we needed Reiss Nelson’s last minute shot to go in, but it didn’t, we needed the referee to imagine that he was at Anfield and that it was Salah or Jota falling in the penalty area, because we know he would have certainly pointed to the spot, but it didn’t happen.

    We neede Aaron Ramsdale to be switched on, but…..

  • I’m not going to lie, our chances of winning at Wastelands is next to zero, the team is hurting, the pressure is enormous, our resources are stretched to the limit, I mean even the City Academy is producing some really top youngsters (probably stolen from other clubs with backhanders going to parents) so even that seems loaded against us because those youngsters look top top class and ours are babies in comparison.

    That’s what you get when you’re up against a financially doped opponent, eventually their exponential billions will wear you down as Liverpool experienced a few seasons ago. Even if the legal case against them takes away some of City’s sullied trophies it won’t help us in the here and now.

    Football is broken and Arsenal are just the latest victim…

  • Fine comments and all agreed, Kev.

    I think Arteta has done so well. We secured CL football with six games to go and have let the league forever it seems. Let’s see what happens on Wednesday. We need some tactical switches and firm up the left side. I am not counting on a win as this is probably still a bridge too far, but these boys can play footie. Bring it on. 🙂

  • Look … even with eight more points to our tally (6 against ‘Pool/WHam/Saints, plus 2 which Mason took from us against Brentford) the task would have been daunting, since after Wednesday, we’ll have 3 more (high) mountain stages (Chelsea-Newcastle-BHA), and it would’ve been very hard to win ’em all, even on Lance Armstrong’s diet.
    So … what I expect from Wednesday is a touch of madness, a gung-ho approach to the game, I want the kids to score goals, to aggress them, to not give ’em one second of peace, to forget about this 3-2-4-1 setup in order to create disorder all over the pitch, etc… . Then, whatever the outcome might be, I’d have no regret at all. Even if we end up defeated again, I just want to read doubt surely, fear maybe, in their eyes at some point – it’d be enough for me to go to sleep with a satisfied mind.
    Thanks for the post, TA, there are things I agree with (the importance of Granit, The Ode improving as the game went on and taking full skipper’s responsabilities, Zinch in midfield and Kieran at the back to start with is what I expected too, the idea of a 4-1-4-1 come Wednesday), others I disagree with (to me, Oleks has been a great success, certainly not a WiP, my mouth has been gaping ever since I read your Partey-Vieira bit, however important Granit might be to our game, at this moment in the season there’s no way it can be an excuse for not beating So’Ton).
    Most of all I don’t agree – at all – with the excellence of the changes, but what do I know? If the point is to say that MA has taken us to a place where none of us would have bet we’d be at the start of the season, and that we should thank him for it, that I do agree with.
    As for the way this club has been treating his own outstanding graduates ever since Mikel-Edu took over, I promised myself to keep quiet about it for as long as I could restrain myself, so I won’t write anything about Emile SmithRowe.

  • Spirited stuff, Legall. We don’t have to agree on everything and I am sure we both have differing views on most things in life. But we also can agree on things and that’s great.

    Just for correction, I don’t think we dropped points solely because Xhaka didn’t play. It was a big factor but not the only one by far. And yes we should have beaten Saints, but that’s football.

  • Great comeback by the ladies. Wolfsburg are one of the top teams of Europe and to come back away 2 goals down with the spine.decimated by ACl is outstanding. I heard that 42 K tickets are sold for.our return game. Now is the time to fill the stadium and get our ladies across the line to the finals.
    Dear All I landed in UK tonight and will be here for few months really hoping to see the open Bus top parade. Coyg.

  • Lol. Happy St. Totteringham’s day, guys. That was celebrated on Friday, actually.

    Spurs were stuffed today and looked listless. Felt sorry for them, for a moment then reminded myself it was Spurs, after all. 😅

  • Fine positive thoughts there, TA. It will help most fans to reset and have perspective on how the season looks to be panning out. If we had a fully fit squad, it will be a different story for us but we really should be beating Southampton. Recall we held them to a draw in the reverse too so, this was pay back time.

    Fact is we look to have run out of steam after Liverpool and when the West ham result mirrored the Anfield one, it played on the minds of the players. Another draw against S’pton wasn’t going to help. What would help is the fight back; the way we came back from 3-1 down…… that always does things to sportsmen and but for the fact we didn’t get the win, I would bet that we go to the Etihad and pull off a surprise win. Now, we may just get the draw. Losing to City may not decide the league either as City cannot win every EPL game they have left to play. Trouble is the fixture list for us is daunting. If we somehow, win all of those games, anything can happen because City would wobble too.

  • Eris, indeed the fightback will help a lot, thanks to the good subs and a few players finally finding form. A win is a big ask but City are also vulnerable in defence at times. Nothing to lose anymore so let’s play without handbrake. 🙂

  • I think that Sheffield United showed that parking the bus vs Man City doesn’t work even if the Arsenal players are far better, so I guess we have no choice but to go for it?

  • If Xhaka is fit he comes in at inside left, after that it’s pretty much as you were from Friday.

  • Last weekends results.

    For the week:-

    1st Kev with 4/6 plus 1 correct score and share of most correct predictions = 8
    2nd GN5 with 4/6 plus share of most correct predictions = 6
    3rd Total, Eris, Madhu & Eris with 3/6 = 3
    7th OX10 & Le Gall with 2/6 = 2
    Season to date:-

    1st Kev with 137.80
    2nd Eris with 117.13
    3rd Madhu with 114.80
    4th OX10 with 110.13
    5th Stuart with 107.33
    6th GN5 with 97.33
    7th Le Gall with 88.80
    8th Total with 86.66
    Kev’s at it again – well done.

  • Next weekends selections:-

    Crystal Palace v West Ham United *
    Brentford v Nottingham Forest
    Brighton v Wolverhampton Wanderers *
    Manchester United v Aston Villa
    Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur *
    Rangers v Celtic

  • Crystal Palace 2 West Ham United 2
    Brentford Nottingham Forest H
    Brighton 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1
    Manchester United Aston Villa A
    Liverpool 5 Tottenham Hotspur 0
    Rangers 1 Celtic 1

    I suspect Kev to wait for my predictions, so as to bet on their very opposite …
    I’m not suggesting I’ll deserve a share of his forthcoming glory, but well … just sayin’

  • Le Gall the Rangers v Celtic game is a cup semi final – no ties.

    Do Scottish Cup ties go to extra time?

    Following a vote by the Scottish FA’s member clubs in August 2022, it was decided that, for the 2022-23 competition, there would be no replays following the preliminary round, extra time and penalties will be used to decide the winner of drawn games from Round One onwards.

  • And the first European champions of the season are … Dutch
    AZ67 Alkmaar 5 (Addai pen, Poku 2, Meerdink 2) Hadjuk Split 0, in the Geneva Youth League final
    A massacre it was, particularly in the second half, after Meerdink had been brought on (he’d played a few minutes yesterday with AZ’s first team, whose Conference League semi-final against West Ham I’ll try to watch).
    Let’s hope their club will be able to hold on to these youngsters for a few years at least; not only have they won the competition, but the’ve also been playing wonderful football along the way to their title.

  • Thanks Total. I may be in a minority, but I think we can beat City up in Mancville. They are a mature monster of a team, all in their prime, coached to near perfection and, having watched them v Bayern, they are clinically efficient, highly skilled, highly polished and somewhat terrifying.
    They are a veritable Goliath.
    But standing across the Valley of Elah is a young team who know how to sling a stone. A team who draws upon a club heritage of winning in tough moments… at the Bridge in ’33 and ’34, 1970 v Anderlecht, ’71 at the Lane, ’79 at Wembley (14 x at Wembley), ’89 at Anfield, ’94 in Copenhagen, ’02 at Old Trafford, ’03 in the San Siro, ’04 at the Lane, ’06 at the Bernabeu…

    LG, no offence taken, mate. The lad had an off day. As for the eponymous Jesus, he has always had great success with ladies of the night, tho’ the brothel keepers hated Him as he turned and turns the hearts of their girls to a new way of life. I lived on Bloemstraat in Amsterdam for three months of 1985, working in The Shelter and aboard The Ark, reaching out into the red light district (boy, it was quite something in those days, don’t know what it is like now). Those pimps are a lost and dangerous breed, but I saw some brave girls walk (rather were spirited) away to begin new lives elsewhere.

    I once had a lot of respect for Man City as a club, the days of Bell, Corrigan, Summerbee, Royal and Lee. But I think the club has pimped itself to a tainted spring.
    May our ‘David’ smite them between the eyes with a stone from a purer stream, see them topple, and lop off their head, holding it up dripping with blood and gore for all the world to see…

    Feeling better each day, thanks Kev. Tho’ my neck is sore from craning it back to see you 30 points above me in GN5’s table.

  • C Palace vs West H.…….……Draw (2-2)
    Brentford vs Nottm F………Home
    Brighton vs Wolves…….……Home (4-0)
    Man Utd vs Aston Villa…..Away
    Liverpool vs Tottenham..Home (3-1)
    G.Rangers vs G.Celtic…….Away

  • Thanks GN5

    C Palace vs West H.……1-1
    Brentford vs Forest………H
    Brighton vs Wolves……3-0
    Man Utd vs Aston Villa…..D
    Liverpool vs Tottenham..3-1
    Rangers vs Celtic…A

  • Thanks for the update, GN5 ⚽ ⚽ ⚽ ⚽ ⚽

    AllezMax is unstoppable it seems. It’s all the tea and biscuits stuff, I reckon. 🙂

  • Sure TA. Iam really here for the open bus top parade 😁.
    My predictions, wel done Kev

    C Palace vs West H 1-2
    Brentford vs Forest H
    Brighton vs Wolves 2-0
    Man Utd vs Aston Villa H
    Liverpool vs Tottenham 3-2
    Rangers vs Celtic A

  • Next weekends selections:-

    Crystal Palace v West Ham United * 2-2
    Brentford v Nottingham Forest H
    Brighton v Wolverhampton Wanderers * 2-0
    Manchester United v Aston Villa D
    Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur * 3-0
    Rangers v Celtic. A

  • Plenty of tea TA but I have to go careful on the biscuits as I’m a bit of a biscuit fiend.

    Can the ‘David’ of norf London pull it off tomorrow, God only knows and he’s not letting on, well not to me. Whatever happens nothing will sully the complete enjoyment I’ve taken from this season, I dreamed the dream for a few months but the ogre of Wastelands has tracked us down, battered us with their discredited oil revenues and abject cheating. All the football authorities knew about it and many maybe profited from it but the truth always comes out in the end and those who kicked the can down the road will one day have to face their accusers.

    I’m glad that I support a proper football club.

  • What a rousing post there, Stuart. I am quietly confident we can win at City tomorrow, but wish we had a full complement of our players. Mind you, I won’t be any less hopeful should the result go against us.
    Glad to know you are on the mend.

  • Here are my predictions for next weekend’s selections:

    C Palace v WHam United * H (2-1)
    Brentford v N’gham Forest H
    Brighton v Wolves * H (2-1)
    Man United v Aston Villa D
    Liverpool v Tottenham * H (4-1)
    Rangers v Celtic A

  • HT Arsenal 1 West Ham 3
    It started so well … but they preyed on our loss of focus around the 15th to score two (excellent) goals, and then the poor Robinson made the fatal error which has “game over” written all over it. Because … they’re very good, these Hammers, they’re older, taller, stronger, and contrary to their “City” counterparts, they play like a real, well-organised, focused, team.
    It’s more than likely Earthy, their outstanding playmaker, will provide many more scoring opportunities to their ruthless frontline (Mubama-Marshall-Kodua), so let’s just hope our lads won’t fall apart now. Walters in particular wouldn’t deserve that, what a leader he’s been, Lewis-Skelly’s been very good too … If I had to put the blame on some of our dejected lads, I’d say Sousa’s been very sloppy (and passive on the Hammers’ second), and Nwaneri looks painfully young against such a side, especially in the CF position.
    I guess Jack has to play him, because we’re in danger of losing him at the moment and it’d rub him and his advisers the wrong way if we didn’t, but surely taking him off, playing Benjamin (what a great goal he scored) upfront and bringing on Kamara on the left would give a boost to our tiny hopes of turning things ’round …

  • Gower was the one taken off, Nwaneri’s slipped into midfield – where he’ll feel much more comfortable, no doubt (Kamara LW, Benjamin CF)

  • 1-5
    Looks like collapsing, but it wasn’t, the lads were punished on … 2 CKs (runs in the family, doesn’t it?) in the 2nd half. Terribly unfair, because they would definitely have deserved to score at least a second, but credit to WHam they’re a terrific, ruthless team, and they have an outstanding GK to bail ’em out when needed, too.
    We paid a heavy price for the gap in maturity between the 2 teams, but a great London derby it was – and we never got over Robinson’s mishap. I hope many of these guys will cross paths again at PL level.
    Our boys can hold their heads up high though, a brilliant run it was. I do hope they won’t be loaned out, they have improved a lot along the way and competitions like the Youth League, PL2, Papa John’s Trophy, cameos in the Carabao too maybe next season is all they need to keep doing so.

  • Thanks LG. Appreciate the reporting and the love you display for our boys. I’ll watch the game this evening in front of a roaring fire. And then up early tomorrow morning for Goliath’s dismemberment…

  • LG, I saw the game on TV here, but gave up at 1-3 to go watch the EPL games (though I kept switching back and forth, in hope of a come back). Jack must be feeling hurt especially as it was inside our iconic ground.

    They have had a good run so I hope someone tells the lads to chin up. The West ham lads looked a bit more mature than ours, to be fair amd we did have our chances too. I feel for the kids.

  • LeG, I saw some brief highlights and a bit on my phone via YouTube whilst I was at work, the 3rd goal killed us and after that I went back to work.

    Walters made some Beckenbauer style runs from defence, I like the cut of his jib.

  • I’d like to know the average age of the Arsenal players and compare them with the average of the West Ham players. I bet that there weren’t any 16 year olds in the West Ham squad and certainly not in their starting XI

  • I’m really getting to like Rosiak, he strikes a free kick like Ward-Prowse.

    It’ll be interesting to see which squad develops more of its players for their senior squad over the next 2or3 years?

  • “Anonymous”, this is why I mentioned a “gap in maturity”. I think none of the Young Hammers will be eligible for the 2024 Youth Cup, while Cooper, Lewis-Skelly, Nwaneri of course, maybe Cozier-Duberry and Benjamin too (haven’t checked out), will be, not to mention our whole bench.
    There’s also the physical maturity, and the difference in build between (some of) our kids andWest Ham’s or MCity’s was almost comical to watch. I have a feeling our boys spend much less time in the gym than their East London or Manchester counterparts, which is the sensible thing to do with youngsters imo, but may cost titles at youth level.
    I don’t want to take anything from the Young Hammers’ win, though. Keen and his team have done a hell of a job with them, and their fans were outstanding too yesterday. Their support for their boys warmed my heart, that’s what a “proper foot club” (as you said yesterday, Kev) is/should be.
    The question is “how many will make it to PL football?” of course. There’s no way these kids don’t deserve the same chance as the one that’s given to such French (not to upset anybody) players as Digne, Kamara, Olise, Mateta, Edouard, Maupay, Kurzawa, Rutter, Soumaré, Perraud, etc. etc. (remember Cygan-Squilacci-Chamakh, Guendouzi even??).
    Something’s terribly wrong about the insane business that the PL has become, all the more so since there are so many academies in England doing a terrific job now. The percentage of English players in PL squads is outrageous – unless English players are thought to be “essentially” inferior to players from whatever remote corner of the planet you bring them from, while making fortunes thanks to the capitalistic (absence of) rules of exchange.
    Rosiak is a wonderful footballer indeed, Kev, there is a kind of soothing-for-the-eye perfection about his technique, there is also a calm, mature approach to games about him. I’d be very interested to see him in midfield. An intelligent player like him has to run the engine room, clean up/purify our possessions, as though he were both our liver and kidneys – just as Santi was; I even think there is a captain in him (the calm, Odegaard kind of captain).
    On with tonight’s show now … tension’s building already

  • Guys, I think (some of) you are missing the point here.

    Finals – especially on not neutral ground – are good opportunities to reach the unexpected, and David can beat Goliath. However this didn’t happen yesterday. West Ham U18 is a far better team than ours (also having the best coach of the league), and after the first 15 minutes they didn’t struggle to show it. And I’m not talking about beating Arsenal U18 back to back twice in the U18 Premier League 22/23, but their performance is just astonishing this year. They won their first 13 games of the U18 season. It means that by mid-January the had more points than second best team in the league at the end of April, and ALL other teams at the end of the entire campaign (22 games). They further won 5 of the next 8, so didn’t collapse, but didn’t need to maintain the league focus either, as they are sitting on a 16 points gap between the rest of the table. That wasn’t the case when Wilshere and co. lift the FA Youth Cup trophy in 2009.

    Regarding age. First, we did not played 2 boys of 16 years only because we are investing in the future, but the fact also helped that they are extremely good, and neither MLS nor Nwaneri have been a downgrade to their U18 counterparts, like Jimi Gower, Ismail Oulad M’Hand, or Mathaeus Roberts. They are so beyond their years that they squeeze players out from our U21 team, too.
    Second, West Ham U18 played with youngsters, too. Favour Fawunmi was 16 (turned 17 today), but he was sitting on the bench. However Oliver Scarles, Lewis Orford and Ryan Battrum played the whole game, Daniel Rigge and Josh Briggs (both came on in the second half), plus Finlay Herrick and Liam Jones (neither of them played) will be all eligible next season’s U18 – so they are a year younger than the rest. If you are further interested Lewis Orford (17) played for the PL2 regularly, Divin Mubama (18) played in the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Conference League (where he scored twice).

    I’m really proud of the team, though. They weren’t favorite to win the final, and they were clearly second best last night. But they showed courage and perseverance, they won against superior team(s) in the Cup run, they had a few good spells in the game, and fought better than the scoreline suggest. But even implying that they are the second best U18 team in the country would be a gigantic overstatement. So kudos to Wilshere to reach the final, and give the boys the experience and confidence. But there are a lot room to develop – especially defending set pieces and avoiding individual errors – less than West Ham U18

  • Exclusive “Fly on the Wall” Bergkampesque:
    Ben, Rob, GabMag and Oleks have just come across Haaland in the “Etihad”‘s changing-room

  • Evening guys,

    On my way back to Embra from sunny Sheffield. There is hope, always hope, and the boys will be up for it. A big, Big challenge. Oil may float on water but Jesus will walk through it. He is on a mission. Watch him tonight. 🙂

  • I thought those two central defenders of West Ham were excellent yesterday. We just missed that bit of composure in front of goal, but they are a joy to watch.

  • Xhaka starts!

    Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Jesus

    Subs: Turner, Tierney, Kiwior, Jorginho, Smith Rowe, Vieira, Nelson, Trossard, Nketiah

  • Teams:
    Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Odegaard, Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Jesus, Martinelli.
    Subs: Tierney, Smith Rowe, Nketiah, Kiwior, Trossard, Jorginho, Vieira, Nelson, Turner.

    Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Akanji, Stones, Rodri, Silva, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Grealish, Haaland.
    Subs: Phillips, Laporte, Ortega, Alvarez, Gomez, Mahrez, Foden, Palmer, Lewis.

  • City have responded to Saka by shifting Akanji to left side of CB; and to the speed of Martinelli by bring in Kyle Walker to the right side of a centre back 3. With Stones in midfield, he sometimes falls deep to make for a back 4 when they are defending.

    While they have that luxury, we don’t have the personnel changes to negate their strengths as it is the expected (fit) 11 to start.

    Well, COYG!!!

  • The Big Guy had been on our side so far (I was about to thank Stu for it), but he let us down big time on that one.
    What have we got to lose now, anyway?

  • Looked to me like Ben got pushed from behind to play Stones onside…

  • We will win the league by default once the financial doping case has finally come to a conclusion. Let’s finish second this season and grow further next year. Boys doing us proud.

  • Man City are just too good for our boys. But Arsenal helped to make them look that good today. We went down without a fight today, it was shocking.
    We even played better on our last visit in the FA Cup.

    It is going to be an uphill task to get these boys back to any form just to get us 2nd place now. Every side would want to come up and take a bite at us now. Such a low feeling.

  • Hands up, boys. Outplayed for most of the game. City set a very high bar.
    We are still top of the league, tho’. Nice goal from our Rob, and Reiss had a good cameo.

  • Reiss has not let us down, whenever he’s come on. I say start the next game with Reiss and Trossard on the flanks and have both Partey and Jorginho starting. Let Saka and Martinelli shake this game off and come on as subs.

    Saliba was a miss tonight, to be fair. No way would Haaland give Saliba such a torrid time in a game as this. Holding just couldn’t keep a leash on him and Gabriel was just all over the place, once he was one on one with either Haaland or DeBruyne.

  • Well that was a chastening experience, we still haven’t closed the gap but it would be interesting to face Man City when they’ve got 4 or 5 players missing and we’ve got everyone fit, it’s not happened yet and maybe it never will but make no mistake luck plays a part

  • You defend from the front and we needed our forwards to retain possession and not give away sloppy possession and they failed, it meant that our defence was under fairly intense pressure all game, City had 9 shots on target and we had 2 so our forwards failed to turn up despite Holding getting pelters

  • I’ve had a bottle of wine and I’m feeling very chilled so I better leave it for now in case I go off on a rant, night all

  • Kroneke needs to spend some serious dough in th3 summer or else all the good work Arteta and his coaches have done will be wasted.

  • Well there goes my open bus top parade for which I came all the way from India 😀.
    I had said it earlier and was chastened, will say it again we lost it when we lost drew two matches 2-0 down and were held by bottom of table Sou at home. It’s not the winning streak that we wanted when we are up against a team like Man C. Arteta has done a great job this season no doubt and kudos to him but he made the cardinal error of not changing the system and shit our defence when we lost Saliba. All titles are won with good defence and Arteta ignored his own success of building this team. He built it from back but forgot it in the crucial time. The problem now is to see what can we get from next 5 games and hold onto our 2ne position. 2nd position in league gets us more revenue than a 3rd or 4th which is mathematical still possible.
    Bitterly disappointed but expected after the Liverpool game beacuse it just didn’t feel right after that game.

  • We were outplayed by a the Man C Oilers – and it’s completely understandable given that they have no cash restrictions. The amount of money available to certain teams has completely distorted the meaning of “fair competition”

    Personally I love the way in which the Arsenal team has been developed both on and off the field. and nothing will ever change the way I feel about them. I just scanned through the comments and it’s good to note that there are not many any open criticisms of our team – maybe a few muted ones.

    We play against the odds and it is simply an unfair situation, it really irks me to see the celebrations by the oiled up “moneyed clubs” supporter’s and teams – I cannot see the joy in winning when the level playing field has been taken away.

    I’m not griping about our loss – as us winning was always against the odds – I’m just upset about the fact that the “fair play” has been taken out of the game we love,

    We will give many a team a big scare both next seasons EPL abs CL.

  • Time to look to the near future. Im ok with that.
    It’s no surprise that we started to show signs of fading three-quarters through the campaign.

    I think because we were ahead in the league, in only 1 competition, Arteta was afraid to rotate more. Probably should have….

    We’ll use our CL money and more to improve midfield… it’s paper thin. Lokonga didn’t work out, and Elneny is not the level of a title winning team, even as a backup. Good enough to be a backup fighting for top 4, not nearly enough for a title contender.

    We’ve taken a big step this season, and there’s much more to come.

  • Manchester United just dropped 2 points at Spurs after going 2-0 up in the first half. I would like to see (and compare) the level of criticisms they get from pundits, the papers and fans.

    Just feels like we are seen as a soft touch for the Pull ‘’em down crowd.

  • Madhu, I’d wait to see if Fulham can get a win vs City and we can bounce back to get a win against Chelsea. All it takes is one bad result, well timed, and nerves would start to show in the camp of the oilers. So long as it remains mathematically possible, there’s hope still.

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