The New Vieira is Clever Business by Edu

People online and on Twitter have been being negative on Vieira. I’ve been arguing that a 2 month injury and lack of preseason before joining a much harder league really would hold him back a bit. Add to that the difficulty of learning Artetas system (maybe the most complicated in the world right now), would be a big factor as well.

I said that even with all that, he still has a nose for creating and scoring goals, and still in his poorer games, he is always close to causing a goal from a beautiful play, or from popping up in the perfect place at the right time to get a shot off. 

Those are instincts that can’t be coached. 

They also talk about him being lightweight, but I see him as a slippery character, a little bit like Ozil who can squirt away from opponents trying to close him down or tackle. 

You’ll see that if you find the highlights from last year’s champions league games against Liverpool and other big clubs. 

It impressed Klopp enough that they purchased the right of first refusal if he was going to be sold. Luckily we came in after pool just spent loads of money on Diaz and Nunez, so they had to let him go. Smart business on that timing and opportunity from Edu. 

The game against Wolves is an example of his value. Called into the game unexpectedly early when the first 11 was underperforming in the first half. Eventually he found his moment of time and place for an assist. The way he controlled the ball until the perfect time, luring the keeper towards him, then chipping it over him. So well done that  if Ødegaard hadn’t got to it, Saka would have definitely put it in. 

He created 2 chances with one ball. 

It’s worth noting that the game was completely in doubt at that time, even though it ended up a comfortable win. 

 I think Vieira will have many more game changing moments for Arsenal in the future.

By JNYC

Arsenal have a New Bergkamp and 7 more Observations

Wolves 0 – 2 Arsenal: Give us a finger and we will take the whole hand!

Eight Observations:

  1. Pouncing on an opportunity to increase our lead is not something Arsenal have been particularly good at, but this time round the boys were professional and fought with the right spirit to increase our slender lead by 150%.
  2. I thought a few players were holding back a bit to avoid a WC-cancelling injury. Understandable but risky, as this was just too good an opportunity for us to finish on a high.
  3. The two guys who played like it was the most important game of the year were Big Gab and the Ode. They really were up for it and made the difference at the back and upfront. Saliba looked tired and made a few uncharacteristic mistakes but Gabriel came to the rescue each and every time. So glad he signed a new contract. Well done, Edu.
  4. Martin Odegaard is gradually growing into a true Gunner in the mould of Bergkamp and Cesc (the latter wanted to return but Wenger refused his prodigal son). I am so glad that we have a player of the Ode’s character and quality in our team. He lives football and in the moment, and his loyalty to Arteta and the club is second to none. You should watch the game again and just focus on Martin. The boy is so precious: the reincarnation of DB10.
  5. Would you swap GJ9 for any other CF right now? I wouldn’t. I know there is half moon face at Spuds and the Norwegian Berserker at MC, but I love CFs who carry a real goal threat and create mayhem and space for others as well. Jesus’s pre-assist for the Ode’s first goal was a thing of beauty. It cracked open a rather solid defensive position. GJ9 just never gives up and nobody gets a rest from him, yet he is not our centre of gravity in attack. All are responsible to score goals. Spuds and City have made themselves dependable on their CF to score most of their goals. They have the sort of CFs that will do this to a team, and when they have a bad day their teams could drop points. Jesus is perfect for us.
  6. Xhaka’s injury was a setback but Vieira deputised well. A different sort of player of course, but there is a real sense of creative genius. His assist was calculated and calm: the way he took a touch to force a move by the goalkeeper and delivered the ball gently to the danger zone, was special.
  7. The big thing again is how we controlled almost the entire game. Zinch was a great partner for Partey in midfield and Big Ben was also imperious. They make it look easy at times.
  8. We are five points ahead of the Oilers. To complete the first half of the season, Arsenal still need to play: Man City, Newcastle, Everton, West Ham and Brighton. Citeh have a slightly tougher final five games: Arsenal, Spuds, Chavs, Everton and Leeds. Arsenal also had eight away games and only six home games (Citeh 7/7). So the first half of the season gap could well be bigger than five points in the end. Of course, as the Ode so wisely said again on Saturday, we will need to remain humble. OGAAT, OGAAT, and who knows were we will end up by the end of the season?! In the meantime, Kev, Stu and Le Gall will keep singing their Gooners’ hearts out.

By TotalArsenal

Arsenal v Wolves: All Guns Blazing for a Five Point Gap

Oh how nice it is to start the game tonight knowing we will remain TotL whatever the result. Man City unexpectedly got stung by the Bees and we can call ourselves Autumn’s Masters, or as the Germans call it Herbst Meister. It just shows us how important focus and respect for every opponent is in the PL. There are no easy games and it’s OGAAT all the way.

We are lucky to have a fit squad and can play our top Gunnners once more. The Seagulls’ Cup defeat was a damp squib, and Arteta will have noticed that not all is well with our second-11, if we can call them that; and the January TW will see some additions, I reckon.

But our first eleven mean business in every game and will relish the opportunity to put a massive five points between us and the light blue Oilers.

Wolves have been playing some beautiful football over the last few years, especially under Nuno Espirito Santo. But they are in flux now and we have a great opportunity to take all three points at Molineux.

I am hoping for a grant finale tonight and before the folly in the sandpit will take place. Many Gunners have been selected for the WC and they should all be happy as Larry. The only risk I can see is that they will be desperate not to get injured, and therefore not give their all. Well, Arteta will surely not allow any lack of attitude from anyone. Three points and a football show on Saturday is the demand, no doubt!

Bring it on boys!!

Lineup

Same as v Chavs.

Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners!!

By TotalArsenal

We’ve Got Arteta: The Beginning of a Great New Cycle

We all go through periods in life where everything feels like a downer. There are weeks and months where we’re so busy that we don’t have time to enjoy ourselves as much as we’d like. Just trying to get work done and pay bills is the focus for most like me. 

When things are normal for Arsenal, as in a average times for the past 10-12 seasons, the better times have been nice highlights, and I find the team has made me smile and feel some joy or satisfaction. Basically a nice distraction competing to get into Champions league. Also to go far in, and win some FA cups. 

I understand that we need to appreciate what we have, and that we could easily be cheering for a team that’s mid to lower table, with relegation fears, so in that way we have been slightly spoiled compared to the majority of English football fans, so I need to remind myself to not take things for granted. 

It seems to me now that we’ve been given a gift in the form of Mikel Arteta, along with owners and executives who recognize some errors of the not too distant past. They seem to be on the same page with how they want the club to look, Artetas vision. The way the players comport themselves in all ways, on the pitch and life in general.

 Arteta doesn’t want any bad apples in the bunch.

I really have no doubt that this is the beginning of a great new cycle. Not just because of the fine start so far. I know there will be ups and downs as always in life and football. I’ve felt this coming since the home game against Spurs last season, where we first began to display the kind of football that we’re playing currently. That’s when I bought in to Arteta’s vision completely. This included the stadium atmosphere and home dominance. TA was the one who had faith from the earliest time, and that faith is being rewarded in a big way.

I didn’t know how fast we’d get to this level of play consistently, but it looks to like we’re moving ahead of schedule. 

Let’s all appreciate every moment of what we’re getting from our club at this exciting time, because I’m pretty sure we’re at the beginning of a very special period that will be remembered a long time from now.

By JNYC

Chelsea v Arsenal Preview: a Brace for the Tornado?

A short bus trip to the west of London will see the boys take on the post-Abramovich Chavs with just one goal: to win and become League leaders again.

Chelsea is seldom a boring game and of course Potters’ men will want to regain some PL momentum after a mini slump in form.

The great news is that the Zinch is back and could start. Tomiyasu looks likely to miss out with injury and Emile is still not ready to be in contention. After all the games the team have played in recent months, we are very lucky to have almost all key players available.

I think this will become GJ9’s afternoon. He has been building up steam of frustration over a number of games and the top of the kettle is about to explode at Stamford Bridge. I predict a brace.

Of course, it is not important for us that Gabriel scores as long as the team score and win. I rated Giroud so highly for his ability to create space for others, and one day Sanchez and Ozil – whose careers have faltered rapidly after leaving Arsenal – will admit that Olly was instrumental to their goals and assists whilst donning the Royal Red and White. Gabriel has a similar importance to the team and he is close to MOTM every time for me, but a striker likes to score goals and Gabriel is due a few: today would be perfect timing.

We’ll have to be wary of the wounded Chavs and Potter is a fine strategist who likes to be the underdog, so we need to be ultra-focused, especially when we are pushing a high line.

Line up

Rams

BB, BW, BG, Zinch

—- BTh – – –

Buka, Ode, GX, Marti

The Tornado

Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners.

By TotalArsenal

Arsenal v Forest Preview/ Lineup: Let’s Blast Away That Insult of a Performance in Eindhoven

Forest, apparently also nicknamed The Tricky Trees, which I love, come to the Home of football for a 2pm kick off. Despite a poor PL start, Steve Cooper has all the confidence of the owner, Evangelos Marinakis, who even rewarded his head coach with a new contract, recently. Well, I like this sort of vision and trust in a manager: a breath of fresh air.

Forest have spend money and brought in bus loads of new players, and of course it will take time for the manager to turn them all into a football machine. I like it that the famous two time European Cup winners are back in the PL, and I hope they survive, but today we will need to give the Garibaldi (another great nickname) a proper hiding.

The Canon will be red hot and the Gunners fired up after the Eindhoven insult of a performance. The Big bounce back is required and I expect the boys to be pumped up in front of the loyal home crowd. Honour and pride are at stake here, our values need to be reemphasised, and our place at the top of the table retaken.

Lineup

Well our good friend Le Gall said it all in the last post:

For what it’s worth, I would have loved Mick to give BigBill, BigGab, and GabMart a rest, and try something new, like
Ramsdale
Tomiyasu-White-Tierney
Nelson-Partey-Xhaka-Saka
Odegaard
Nketiah-Jesus
BUT
Ramsdale
White-Saliba-Gabriel-Tomiyasu
Partey
Saka-Odegaard-Xhaka-Martinelli
Jesus
… it’ll be!!

Le Gall is right with his last predicted lineup of course, and I would definitely not like to see any experimenting this afternoon. Let’s play our strongest team and at full tilt.

Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners!!!!!!

By TotalArsenal

Eight Arsenal Observations: Lame Attack, Sambi’s Missed Chance, Let’s Shop in Eindhoven

PSV 2-0 Arsenal

Eight Observations:

  1. Arteta had a difficult choice to make: only a full strength team, or there about, would beat PSV at their ground. But he needs to keep players happy and rest some players. The team that started was not enough to get a result and yet we played a lot of key players at some point during the game..
  2. The attack was lame and not more than the sum of its parts, maybe even less than that.
  3. Martinelli’s first touch was below par, Vieira lacked presence and Eddie is no natural Jesus-Tornado. The collective movement and interaction was poor, and Odegaard had little to work with.
  4. Sambi had a chance to show us all how good he is, but he remains a work in progress. With both Xhaka and Ode also on the pitch there was great support for him, but Lokonga lacked presence to drive the team on like Thomas does. This performance will not have gone down well with Mikel.
  5. Playing two right footed CBs next to each other is not ideal. Rob and William are fine CBs but they need to play with a left-footed CB to create the best balance.
  6. Aaron got it wrong for the second goal. That did not look good. But he still made a few decent saves and he will learn from this.
  7. The PSV attackers made the difference in the end, and Xavi Simons definitely looks a better back up to Gabriel than Eddie or Gakpo. The letter showed what he is capable of too, and he would be ideal competition for Martinelli. Still Simons looks like a huge star in the making. Arteta may have seen enough to know where he needs to shop next!
  8. Maybe Arteta should have made 11 changes at the start and just take it as an opportunity to see who comes out on top. I am sure UEFA would not have been happy with that and many fans would have cried foul, but in hindsight this would have been a better option than going half way house. Anyway, sand on this one and let’s move on quickly.

Your thoughts?

By TotalArsenal

PSV v Arsenal: Starts for Reiss Lightning, Holdingho and Tomi to Tame Gakpo?

Today Arsenal play PSV Eindhoven away with the aim to secure top spot in the group and to bounce back from an unnecessary drop of points at St Mary’s. To show must regain momentum and it will not be easy. PSV have seen enough last week to know that they will have a chance against us, especially if Mikel decides to give a few sure starters a rest tonight.

PSV are a well established club in the Netherlands who every season fight for the Dutch title, mostly with Ajax. They may be less famous than the Amsterdam club, but they have had some very fine footballers over the decades wearing the stripy red and white shirt: from the Van de Kerkhof brothers to Ronaldo (Brasil) and Romario, and from Koeman to Gullit and Hans van Breukelen. But the club’s top scorer and seventeen seasons long most loyal and loved PSVer is unquestionably Willy van der Kuijlen, who sadly passed away last year. He was prolific for them, scoring over 300 goals in 500+ games.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/14692611/willy-van-der-kuijlen-dead-eredivisie/

I have written before that I had my first away game at the Philips stadium with my boyhood team, Roda JC, as a small boy and have been there on three more occasions. It’s the home of Philips and they have always had the best lighting system in the Dutch league. They love their football there and we can expect a raucous atmosphere.

Lineup

Arsenal will probably lose if Arteta makes too many changes. We can afford to lose as we still have a good opportunity to win the group the week after at home to Zurich. But Arteta will want to finish top tonight and he will pick a strong team to do so. This is no doubt the hardest fixture of the six for us, so little chance to do mass rotation. Sorry PB.

Yet, there is space for a few non-sure PL starters…

Turner

BigTom, BigR, BigW, BigTier

Loko-Granit

Nelson, Ode, GJ9

Eddie

That’s my guess but I love to hear your suggestions for the lineup.

By TotalArsenal

Eight Observations from Arsenal v Saints

Saints 1 – 1 Gunners. Eight Observations:

  1. The first half was one of the best halves this season for Arsenal. We dominated, played crisp passing football and creates half a dozen of good chances. Arsenal took only one and we ultimately paid the price for this, but with a performance like that, I am not worried about the disappointing end result. I saw us dominate in all areas and play with great maturity.
  2. What not everyone seems to understand is that (by far) the best team does not always win. Football’s shadow is Lady Luck and nobody has total control of her ‘bounce of the ball’. Quality of the players and tactics, as well as attitude and fitness play strong roles, but luck is always a factor. Blocks can lead to fortunate or unfortunate deflections for example. This time round, Arsenal lacked a bit of sharpness and calm, and also a bit of luck. I guess you can say that we used up our luck v Leeds last week. This also happens to Citeh sometimes, hence their two draws and one loss in eleven games already.
  3. Gabriel Jesus seems a bit desperate to score and impress. He seems to want to force the issue and it would not surprise me if this linked to him wanting to be nxluded in the Brasil World Cup squad. Gabriel is a tornado on the pitch but I hope he can find his own eye of the storm again.
  4. It is a small crime that Odegaard did not leave the pitch with at least two assists yesterday. The man was awesome and Bergkampesque at times whilst also working his socks off. Martin, our fine captain, I salute you!
  5. The subs are not doing it as yet. We are lucky with a fit squad but when it comes to subs we miss a whole layer in midfield. Zinchenko, ESR and Mo are of a different calibre to Vieira, Sambi and Nelson. They would have a big and direct impact, and we are suffering from their absence at the moment.
  6. Eddie is another sub who needs to step it up. There is no lack in trying but coming on as a sub requires a certain mindset, and Emile is a good example of this. We need a good second CF. Eddie needs to step it up or we will need to buy this January.
  7. Granit is currently playing out of his skin for us. Two fabulous goals with his right foot within the box in the space of three days. Wow.
  8. If you are not going to win make sure you don’t lose. This is were this team has made such enormous progress. And that for such a young team.

By TotalArsenal

Saints v Arsenal: Preview. Full Strength Team to Roar us to 30 points

Southampton, St Mary’s Stadium, Ralph Hasenhuttl, The Saints, 136 years old…. today Arsenal play a proper club with proper names and a manager, Hasenhuttl, who has been given the club’s confidence: he is one of the longest serving managers in the PL (since 2018).

They have had some great managers and players and have been in the PL for ten years now.

St Mary’s is a modern yet cosy ground with a capacity of 32k and the boys will look forward to playing there with the wonderful set of songs the away supporters hold in their longs and hearts.

Arsenal are flying right now and go with confidence to the south coast, but the Saints will be a tough nut to crack and fatigue could play a role. Luckily, the home team also played mid week, so fatigue levels should be similar.

They beat Chelsea already at home this season, so let’s not underestimate them. James Ward-Prowse is one of my favourite non-Arsenal players. He has been with the Saints since his eighth year and has played well over 300 games for them already. His set-pieces are Beckham-esque and his attitude reminds me of that of Flamini. His total persona actually makes me think of Scot Parker; he is the sort of player every club needs and loves.

Lineup

Ramsbo

BigB, BigW, BigG, BigTi

Wall of Partey

Buka, Ode, Xha, Marti

Tornado from Sao Paulo

Plenty of fresh or hardly used legs and heads in that team and they all will want to play and keep the winning streak going. Mayby Big Tomiyasu gets the nod over Tierney, but I reckon the above will be close to Mikel’s starting eleven.

Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners!!!!

By TotalArsenal