If they get relegated, absolutely. If they finish in the bottom half of the table, maybe. But there are 35 league fixtures still to be played, and not every match will be against Top 4 opposition or away to a team making its Premier League debut to start the entire season.oh absolutely every single one of you will owe me a personal apology when this season is over.
We got humiliated by Brentford. This is not just a reflection of getting owned by the title holders.If they get relegated, absolutely. If they finish in the bottom half of the table, maybe. But there are 35 league fixtures still to be played, and not every match will be against Top 4 opposition or away to a team making its Premier League debut to start the entire season.
Not taking any joy in saying that they’ve been beyond awful. Put another kit on them and I’d believe they were Championship. I watched Everton struggle with Huddersfield in the Cup tie this week and they had more endeavor and cohesion at the back than Arsenal.Absolutely indefensible. We’ll trot out excuses about injuries, Covid, etc but it’s all hollow.
A bunch of terrible decisions from the Arteta era all on display in one match - Xhaka built around, Cedric, Holding extension, four RBs that all suck, Saliba banished, Mari so terrible that Kola preferred. Arteta owns all of that.
The bottom line is that the Kroenkes have no idea what they're doing and nothing will change until we either have new ownership or they just blunder into hiring an actually competent football executive like Rangnick or Campos to run everything. They handed the keys to two essentially unqualified people with no experience in their respective roles as DoF and manager and hoped for the best.
I try to not let short runs of bad form drive me nuts, and I also think that in the long run this team is nowhere near this bad. But, like you've noted Arteta's player selection is just bizarre every now and then. He's also been working with the team for a while, and had a full preseason, but it still doesn't feel like the team is the tightly coached squad you'd expect out of a manager who is supposed to be a brilliant X's and O's guy. Most often when they fall apart, it's because of individual mistakes, but ones that are forced because the team play isn't setting up flawed players for success. They also have way too many players who were brought in to be starters or at least challenge to be one, but aren't even sevicable backups. You look back over the last 6-7 years, and the recruiting has just been a complete flop. I took the following list of incoming players from Transfermarket:The first three games have been hilariously bad, but this team is not this poor and they'll likely finish right around 60 points (+/- 5 points) yet again. They are young, so there will be growing pains, and they have had plenty of important players missing time to start the year. Excuses only go so far, but they are coming off a 24 game streak in which they were good, so it's hard to get too overemotional in regards to 3 poor games against 2 great teams.
With all of that said, I shut-off Saturday's game before the 90 minutes were up and I never do that. The things that have really annoyed me are:
1. The starting XI on Saturday was bizarre. If you are going to play a back 3 against City, I don't know how Kolasinac and Cedric make the cut. There are some players with the flexibility to give you a lineup like the below (accounting for Gabriel, White, and Partey being unavailable, as they obviously would start otherwise).
Leno (or Ramsdale, not too caught up in this yet)Holding - Mari - Tierney(AMN or Bellerin) - Lokonga - Xhaka - SakaOdegaard - Smith RoweAubameyang
Tierney plays in a back-3 for Scotland and could certainly have done it here. The net result is you lose Kolasinac, Cedric, and Chambers, and gain Mari, Lokonga, and AMN or Bellerin.
Fine, maybe he prefers Tierney to not be in the back 3 and really does not want AMN/Bellerin to touch the field, then the following is still better and neither option hangs Xhaka out to dry in the midfield:
Leno (or Ramsdale)Chambers - Holding - MariSaka - Lokonga - Xhaka - TierneyOdegaard - Smith RoweAubameyang
2. The Xhaka contract extension makes me mad every time I think about it. I'll never understand it. I probably like Xhaka more than the average Arsenal supporter, but there was no need to extend him.
3. They seem like they are asking too much on players that they don't want or have room for, such as Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Nketiah. If you want a squad refresh, then don't get hung-up on getting an additional few million pounds or whatever, especially if you end up extending them when you cannot get optimal value (i.e. Xhaka).
It's been frustrating, but it's not indicative of what the future holds, in my opinion.
Arteta really seems to want a defense first player on that side, like a RCB in a back three, which explains the Chambers experiment and why Bellerin fell out out favor (although he seems to have lost a lot of spark in his play after his ACL went). But Chambers just isn't that good defensively, so from what I've read, this guy makes sense. I just get concerned with the attack being so one-sided so often.Long twitter stats thread on apparent new RB signing Takehiro Tomiyasu. I know nothing about him (shock, don't watch a lot of Bologna matches...) but he seems like a good all-around defender - good size, good tackler, solid positionally. Upside seems kind of limited due to his lack of game forward but it should help stabilize us simply to have somebody on the right who can be relied on to do the basics of defending well. He has a good age profile and seems like the type of player that other managers will find useful over the next 4-5 years, either as a starter or as a utility man covering either RB orRCB. At this point I just want guys who will be assets to the club once the Arterrorist is gone.
Yeah, I think Arteta likes the inverted full-back on one side concept (City-esque), where one full-back tucks-in to the midfield on the attack. If you break the attack out into 5-channels, I think it has decent balance, shifting around in real-time, but with a base state of:Arteta really seems to want a defense first player on that side, like a RCB in a back three, which explains the Chambers experiment and why Bellerin fell out out favor (although he seems to have lost a lot of spark in his play after his ACL went). But Chambers just isn't that good defensively, so from what I've read, this guy makes sense. I just get concerned with the attack being so one-sided so often.
Tomiyasu White Gabriel Tierney
Saka Odegaard ESR
Can’t imagine there’s an Arsenal fan out there who isn’t at least curious to see how what that team might look like.
What signings from Jose were Spurs able to get out of? Their major signings under Jose were Hojbjerg, Reguilon, Doherty, Rodon, and Bergwijn. All five are still there.I'd like to know how Spurs were so quickly able to get out of Jose's signings while 18 months in Arsenal is still trying to get out of the last of Wenger's signings and Unai's crop
They bought out Aurier's contract, Hart was sold for 1m, Sissoko sold for 3m after the club had paid 30m for him, Alderweireld similarly sold for a negligible fee having refused much bigger offers not that long ago (initial reports of a bigger fee turned out to be wrong). The only player they got any meaningful amount of money for was a player they probably would have liked to keep in Juan Foyth (who had a release clause). Hardly a masterclass in selling players.I was thinking of the clearing of the deck of Hart, Sissoko, Aurier and Alderweireld, but the latter three had been there for a while. Didn't realize Rose and Lamela were frees.
Arsenal XI vs. Brentford (behind closed doors friendly today; 4-0):
Ramsdale; Chambers, White, Mari, Gabriel, Cedric; Maitland-Niles, Elneny; Martinelli, Lacazette, Pepe.
Subs: Patino for Elneny (33’) Holding for Gabriel (69’) Hutchinson for White (76’)
They were a lot more balanced, the numbers were almost completely even across all 3 phases.That was a good first step. Tomiyasu looked like a lot more than a defense first player, and it didn't look like they were asking him to stay rooted to the backline with the central defenders during attack. He wasn't nearly as high up as often as Tierney, but few backs are. They generated a lot of shots, and looked like they were a lot better balanced in attack than before, taking a number of routes to the box. Let's see where they go from here.
There's also a massive massive differences in the players in the lineups between the first 3 games and the last 3. I think it is still a major unknown at this point, but in the first games they were running out players that should barely be starters in the Championship league.I mean the only matches they've looked like offensive threats in have been against lower league opponents so I wouldn't bet on it.
He got hurt in one of the pre-season friendlies and missed all the games in August. But he has been back for the last few matches. When healthy, he is the first name on the team sheet and his lack of fitness since coming to Arsenal has been a huge problem for the squad.Is Thomas Partey injured, or is he no longer a player that Arteta uses?