Arsenal 21-22: Brexit FC

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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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.
Yeah, its very hard to know at this point. In those first three matches we started only 4, 4, and 5 of what currently looks like the team's best starting XI. In particular, with the exception of Kieran Tierney almost the entire back half of the team (defense, GK, DM) was different and our backups in many of those roles are simply way, way below an acceptable level.
 

shaggydog2000

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Yeah, its very hard to know at this point. In those first three matches we started only 4, 4, and 5 of what currently looks like the team's best starting XI. In particular, with the exception of Kieran Tierney almost the entire back half of the team (defense, GK, DM) was different and our backups in many of those roles are simply way, way below an acceptable level.
I think they've put together a pretty good first team, not a league winning contender, but one capable of finishing 4-6th. And they're better suited for the shape/style Arteta wants than the teams he's had to use up until now. I think starting Smith Rowe and Odegaard in a midfield three will work against the teams up to mid table, but I don't see him winning with that team against the best EPL teams. But the depth is just not there yet. If Partey gets injured, they're f'ed. Same with Tierney.
 

mikeford

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Drew Leeds at home in the next round of the milk jug.

One of the worst possible scenarios IMO since you will be running ragged on a Tuesday and if you want to stay in the competition you probably cant rotate too many guys.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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I think the last three games are a lot more representative of the talent if the team than the first 3. The differences in players in the lineup are night and day. It also feels like there's legitimate talent on the bench as well between Laca, Lokonga, Pepe and Maitland Niles. Compared to crap like Kolasinac or Elneny in a starting lineup.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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What a fantastic performance in a big spot. The atmosphere at the Emirates looked pretty electric and we just hammered them with style in that first half. I don't care what the final xg numbers say as we just spent the entire second half managing and killing the game and not really pressing them anymore. The first half was as good as we've played for a very long time and especially nice that the Hale End boys were leading the way.

Its still early days but the early returns on the summer signings have just been fantastic. Ramsdale has just been an absolute beast in goal - love his acrobatic saves, his distribution, and his overall energy and swag. Tomiyasu has been simply fantastic, really stabilizing the defense. White has been a little bit more up and down but I think still very good overall, especially if he can iron out a couple little issues that likely stem from inexperience. Odegaard is arguably one of our 2-3 most important players, so technically good and secure in possession, and always knitting everything together while also leading our press like a madman. Sambi has been very very promising with his composure and progressive passing instincts. And Tavares is kind of an afterthought but Arteta clearly trusts him enough to put him into a match like this one.

11 of the 14 players who appeared for us in this match are 24 or younger, 6 of them 22 or younger. It really is an exciting young group now that we have them all together on the field.
 
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mikeford

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xG is a fake stat anyway. First 2 goals were absolute carve jobs. xG on those should be 2.0 because if a team lets anyone get in those positions they should be scoring.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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I ask this out of genuine curiosity for the direction that both sides are taking: was this a case of Spurs playing poorly, or Arsenal clicking, or both?

I saw the game threading re: the huge gaps in the lines and midfield ineffectiveness for Spurs. Nuno's tactics are a muddle, and Spurs' early successes flatter to deceive, I think it's fair.

Also have to take into account the amped-up derby crowd.

But- how well would Arsenal have done against a well-drilled side? Is the lineup that Arteta has (eventually) landed on really that good?

I'll hang up and listen.
 

Zososoxfan

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What a fantastic performance in a big spot. The atmosphere at the Emirates looked pretty electric and we just hammered them with style in that first half. I don't care what the final xg numbers say as we just spent the entire second half managing and killing the game and not really pressing them anymore. The first half was as good as we've played for a very long time and especially nice that the Hale End boys were leading the way.

Its still early days but the early returns on the summer signings have just been fantastic. Ramsdale has just been an absolute beast in goal - love his acrobatic saves, his distribution, and his overall energy and swag. Tomiyasu has been simply fantastic, really stabilizing the defense. White has been a little bit more up and down but I think still very good overall, especially if he can iron out a couple little issues that likely stem from inexperience. Odegaard is arguably one of our 2-3 most important players, so technically good and secure in possession, and always knitting everything together while also leading our press like a madman. Sambi has been very very promising with his composure and progressive passing instincts. And Tavares is kind of an afterthought but Arteta clearly trusts him enough to put him into a match like this one.

11 of the 14 players who appeared for us in this match are 24 or younger, 6 of them 22 or younger. It really is an exciting young group now that we have them all together on the field.
I love Odegaard's game but I thought Partey was the one stirring the drink yesterday. He seemed to pop up all over, was highly technical, and helped out in defense as needed (not much in the first 45). Helluva player.
 

lars10

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I ask this out of genuine curiosity for the direction that both sides are taking: was this a case of Spurs playing poorly, or Arsenal clicking, or both?

I saw the game threading re: the huge gaps in the lines and midfield ineffectiveness for Spurs. Nuno's tactics are a muddle, and Spurs' early successes flatter to deceive, I think it's fair.

Also have to take into account the amped-up derby crowd.

But- how well would Arsenal have done against a well-drilled side? Is the lineup that Arteta has (eventually) landed on really that good?

I'll hang up and listen.
Arsenal’s passing was very good. Their counterattack worked really well. With that said Spurs marking was very poor on both of the first two goals.. arsenal players ran completely free in the box.
Arsenal’s talent level is a lot better than the first three games but I’m not sure it’s top four yet.. especially since Spurs have allowed 3 goals in each of the last three and have had a lot of trouble scoring. Seeing Kane and Son looking miserable is always nice though.
 

mikeford

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I ask this out of genuine curiosity for the direction that both sides are taking: was this a case of Spurs playing poorly, or Arsenal clicking, or both?

I saw the game threading re: the huge gaps in the lines and midfield ineffectiveness for Spurs. Nuno's tactics are a muddle, and Spurs' early successes flatter to deceive, I think it's fair.

Also have to take into account the amped-up derby crowd.

But- how well would Arsenal have done against a well-drilled side? Is the lineup that Arteta has (eventually) landed on really that good?

I'll hang up and listen.
I think it's fair to say a bit of both?

Tactically Arteta had the Arsenal midfield able to play around a flat Sp*rs midfield for basically the entire first half and Partey and White in particular were able to send balls through the lines to the attacking mids and forwards at speed.

But there was also just Arsenal clicking on an individual player basis. The flick on by Auba on his goal was something that doesn't come off for a lesser player, or even Auba himself when he's on poor form.

On the flip side, there were Sp*rs players, Kane specifically, who WEREN'T clicking on an individual basis. Kane had a free header in the first half that went wide. Kane had a run on goal from a long ball over the top where the Arsenal defender fell down that he chipped over Ramsdale but wide of the net. Kane forced a diving save from Ramsdale around the 60th that took a great effort to push out wide. An on form Kane scores at least ONE of those. He also had a penalty shout that gets given on a different day.

I'm not really impressed by the quality of the Sp*rs side but they're better than getting put to the sword in 30 minutes by this Arsenal team. The two biggest factors in Arsenal's favor in terms of them clicking are Ramsdale coming up with big time saves (the one on Kane already mentioned and the one onto the bar on Lucas that kept it 3-1) where Lloris didn't (except against Partey's curler) and honestly the Arsenal kids who grew up in the academy and probably understand what this match actually MEANS and what you need to do to be up for it. It's no great shock to me that Saka and ESR played blinders yesterday. I think there's only 3 guys who played yesterday for Sp*rs who are from their academy and 2 of them are defensive players.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I ask this out of genuine curiosity for the direction that both sides are taking: was this a case of Spurs playing poorly, or Arsenal clicking, or both?

I saw the game threading re: the huge gaps in the lines and midfield ineffectiveness for Spurs. Nuno's tactics are a muddle, and Spurs' early successes flatter to deceive, I think it's fair.

Also have to take into account the amped-up derby crowd.

But- how well would Arsenal have done against a well-drilled side? Is the lineup that Arteta has (eventually) landed on really that good?

I'll hang up and listen.
Bit of both, as mike says.

I think Arsenal still have a lot to prove but that there is some real reason for optimism, as long as they can stay pretty healthy. Arteta finally seems to have a starting XI with the kind of player in each position that he actually wants, rather than continually trying to adjust tactics to hide the deficiencies of certain players.

The big problem - not an unfamiliar one to you as an Everton fan I'm sure - is that while the starting XI looks really promising the depth isn't great so a couple injuries and all of a sudden we'll not only be a lot worse but also have to play a very different kind of football. The big risk area is in defense. The backups at CB and RB like Holding, Mari, Chambers, Cedric just don't have the athleticism to play a more open, expansive game and so if we have a couple defensive injuries and a few of these guys are forced back into the side, the whole platform is liable to break down as the midfield will need to start shielding them more, we'll press less aggressively, etc and it'll back to some of the stultifying football of last year.
 

mikeford

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I think Holding is capable (wouldn't want him going up against any of the big boys but yeah) but any circumstances where any of the rest of those guys play is dodgy at best. I actually think AMN is probably Tomiyasu's backup right now even though AMN has only played midfield for us this season as far as I can recall.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I think Holding is capable (wouldn't want him going up against any of the big boys but yeah) but any circumstances where any of the rest of those guys play is dodgy at best. I actually think AMN is probably Tomiyasu's backup right now even though AMN has only played midfield for us this season as far as I can recall.
I agree on AMN, at least that is what I would do if I were Arteta. If I recall he moved over to RB in the Norwich game when Tomiyasu came out.

I think Holding is functional when asked to defend deep and be a cog in a fairly conservative machine. I'm not confident in his ability to play a higher line and I think he is pretty limited on the ball as well.

I just hope the relationship with Saliba isn't irrevocably broken. Having three CBs who can play this more progressive style is going to be a necessity moving forward, especially if we get back into Europe.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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I ask this out of genuine curiosity for the direction that both sides are taking: was this a case of Spurs playing poorly, or Arsenal clicking, or both?

I saw the game threading re: the huge gaps in the lines and midfield ineffectiveness for Spurs. Nuno's tactics are a muddle, and Spurs' early successes flatter to deceive, I think it's fair.

Also have to take into account the amped-up derby crowd.

But- how well would Arsenal have done against a well-drilled side? Is the lineup that Arteta has (eventually) landed on really that good?

I'll hang up and listen.
Last year Arsenal finished in 8th place with 58 points overall. After 19 matches they were in 11th places with 24 points last year, so that's 24 vs 34 points for the first half vs second half of the year. 68 points would have put them 3rd overall in the league just ahead of Manchester United and way behind Liverpool and City.

As I said in my earlier post, I think the starting lineup and first 3-4 players off the bench is night and day from the team being run out their most of the year last season. Laca, Pepe and Lokonga are players that can absolutely be regular starters for top 4 competing teams in the EPL. AMN, who I agree is really more of a wing back is okay to start games, but Tierney has been injury prone, so with another injury to him or rest or knock for Tomiyasu then the back line looks really shaky.

Arsenal was dreadful the first 3 games, but you had a bunch of players out with injuries/covid as well as a few transfers (Odegaard and Tomiyasu) that hadn't arrived yet. This led to having at least 4 starters in each of the first 3 games out of the group of Mari, Balogun, Martinelli, Holding, Cedric, Chambers, Kolasinac.

I think this team should be able to compete for 3rd and 4th place this season and it would be disappointing to finish outside of 6th.
 

mikeford

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The biggest lack of squad depth to me is still the midfield, which is why even after we signed Sambi Lokonga I was banging the drum that we needed more midfield reinforcements. If Thomas Partey gets injured, this squad suddenly looks VERY average with no class midfielders in it. I don't know what they're going to do when he goes off to AFCON in January. Pray Ghana get bounced early as possible I guess.
 

mikeford

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I mean yeah, fewer games means fewer opportunities to get injured but as we saw with Xhaka on Sunday, any player can have someone randomly fall on their leg and fuck their knee up.
 

shaggydog2000

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What a lovely Derby day that was. The Xhaka injury could hurt. He's out for 6-8 weeks. As much as I've liked what I've seen of Lokonga so far, there just hasn't been enough sample size yet to say he's ready to replace Xhaka in midfield on an every game basis. Maybe we see more of a midfield three with Odegaard, Partey, and Smith Row, but I don't think that's the right pick against every side.

But the summer purchases have all looked good to great so far. I think White hasn't had his moment yet, but his passing skills are obvious, and he's not making the mistakes we saw out of Luiz last year. I like the pairing of him with Gabriel (and Tomiyasu), I think they combine to give you everything you need out of the middle. My concern now is another injury in central midfield, or Whit or Gabriel going down. Holding and Mari are just not sufficient replacements for them in terms of the skills they bring.
 

mikeford

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We have an "easier" run of games + 2 international breaks for the time Xhaka will be out for but yeah, it would have been nice to be able to blood Lokonga in a more controlled manner but this is Arsenal and we can't keep anyone healthy so straight back into the fire for him. At least he seems like a mentally tough character given he was captain of Vincent Kompany's Anderlecht at 21.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I've been fearing an ACL with Xhaka so I'll take an MCL and out only 6-8 weeks. The lack of European play and fall international breaks make this kind of injury a much more manageable situation - between today and eight weeks from today, we only have six league fixtures and one League Cup match on the schedule.

The most important thing is to have him fit and full speed for the holiday fixture congestion and then during AFCON in January when Partey and Elneny are gone for a stretch.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/juventus-midfielder-ramsey-keen-to-hear-from-everton-4387657

Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey is keen to hear from Everton in January.

TuttoJuve says Ramsey is open to joining Everton.

Ramsey would prefer a move to Everton if he were to return to the Premier League.

The Wales international has fallen down the pecking order at Juventus and could soon move on having failed to start a match in Serie A or the Champions League so far this season.

There is talk in Turin that Ramsey could be granted a contract release in January.
Should Everton be the least bit interested, even to have Ramsey as a squad player?

Or is it glue-factory time?
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/juventus-midfielder-ramsey-keen-to-hear-from-everton-4387657



Should Everton be the least bit interested, even to have Ramsey as a squad player?

Or is it glue-factory time?
I haven't watched him much at Juve but he makes a ridiculous wage, is very injury prone (which can't be getting better at age 30), and even when healthy has a freelancing game that can be very impactful offensively from central midfield but might be a poor fit for a regimented tactical side like Benitez generally prefers.

He'd probably improve Everton if he just walked into the dressing room tomorrow but for the money he'd cost I think you'd have many better options.
 

coremiller

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I haven't watched him much at Juve but he makes a ridiculous wage, is very injury prone (which can't be getting better at age 30), and even when healthy has a freelancing game that can be very impactful offensively from central midfield but might be a poor fit for a regimented tactical side like Benitez generally prefers.

He'd probably improve Everton if he just walked into the dressing room tomorrow but for the money he'd cost I think you'd have many better options.
Aging, injury-prone, overpaid attacking midfielder who ignores defensive responsibilities? Sounds tailor-made for Everton!
 

Rusty Gate

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Everton just got rid of a guy who fit that exact description. Of course Ramsey would love Everton to pick up his wage bill. No thank you.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Everton just got rid of a guy who fit that exact description. Of course Ramsey would love Everton to pick up his wage bill. No thank you.
thanks. We actually have got rid of two such: James and Gylfi,* who has been persona non grata since his arrest on sexual misconduct charges involving a minor. British laws are super strict on discussing this in the media so there has been almost nothing to read but it’s 99% certain that he won’t be back, which is addition by subtraction.

*at least James did have attacking output

OT but Rafa has turned Everton’s midfield fromthe teams soft white underbelly to its strength. Gray and Townsend, brought in for the combined fee of 1.5M, have been fantastic on the wings. Rafa has ordered Doucoure and Allan to stop hanging out in front of the back four, like Carlo had them, and has them going aggressively box to box. All have been great two way players so far. So it doesn’t sound like a player of Ramsey’s ilk would be a good fit even if he weren’t fragile and on the wrong side of 30.
 

mikeford

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Yeah I think Ramsey is on like 300k euro a week? Might be slightly more than that. Can't imagine Everton footing the bill for that.
 

lars10

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After 9 games they were 4 2 3 (Now 5 2 3) with 10 goals scored (now 12).. they've conceded 13 goals, but 9 of those were in their first three matches which were their only losses as well. After a rough stretch it looks like Arsenal are playing a bit better (against admittedly worse competition), but it's crazy that after their start they're only 3 points out of top three.

At least they're tied on points for fourth at the moment...those first three games have killed their GD.
 

lars10

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So, wait...Arsenal ISN'T going to get relegated this season? I'm so confused.
I thought two of their first three games were going to be rough given the competition and how sick the team was.
Nice to see an Arsenal team that seems to be somewhat competent... their offense could be better, but their defense seems to have some solid player and a little bit of depth for once.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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I stand by my posts from over a month ago. There were at least 4 players starting each of the first 3 games that don't belong in the premier league. These players aren't even subs anymore in competitive games. I said this team should compete for 4-6th and I'm now going to be disappointed if they can't get back into the CL especially with the rest they'll get not playing in Europe this season.

I mentioned concern at LB with how injury prone Tierney has been, but Tavares looked really good today coming off an excellent u21 performance for Portugal a few weeks ago.

Ramsdale - 23

Tomiyasu - 22
White - 24
Gabriel - 23
Saliva (should be ever play) - 20
Tierney - 24
Tavares -21

Lokonga - 22
Odegaard - 22
ESR - 21
Saka - 20
Maitland Niles - 24

Balogun - 20
Martinelli - 20

I'm not sure the forwards are going to turn into anything, but the youth on this squad is insane. There's even whatever the fuck happens with Guendouzzi, who's just 21.
 

mikeford

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I still have deep concerns considering they didn't play well for like 65 minutes of this match. Ramsdale basically rescued all the points today because after those 2 goals it was batten down the hatches and hold the fort and pray. But they were able to hold it away from home so it's a big step in the right direction.
 

lars10

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I still have deep concerns considering they didn't play well for like 65 minutes of this match. Ramsdale basically rescued all the points today because after those 2 goals it was batten down the hatches and hold the fort and pray. But they were able to hold it away from home so it's a big step in the right direction.
You also predicted they'd be 0-9 with 0 goals so you're not usually a glass 1/4 full type of guy. :)
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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I still have deep concerns considering they didn't play well for like 65 minutes of this match. Ramsdale basically rescued all the points today because after those 2 goals it was batten down the hatches and hold the fort and pray. But they were able to hold it away from home so it's a big step in the right direction.
there were a couple of Leicester shots that were juuuuust wide, and there was an extended spell where Arsenal were really besieged

but at the moment it looks like Week 1 Arsenal and Week 1 Spurs have done a Freaky Friday
 

mikeford

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there were a couple of Leicester shots that were juuuuust wide, and there was an extended spell where Arsenal were really besieged
from probably minute 30 til 70-75 it was a real bombardment that Arsenal had to withstand. To their credit they did it, largely thanks to Ramsdale and Gabriel.
 
If at the start of the season you had said that after 11 matches Arsenal would be a) 5th place in the table, b) only 6 points behind 1st place, c) 3 points ahead of Man Utd and d) 4 points ahead of Spurs, you'd have taken it, right?

(If after Arsenal had lost its first three matches you had made that same offer, you'd have been laughed out of the room...)
 

mikeford

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Man, Watford are a scummy bunch. How Danny Rose managed to stay on the fucking field, let alone NOT EVEN GET A CARD, is beyond me. Guy hit the fucking Stan Hansen western lariat on Lacazette for the penalty. That should've been red straight away.

Probably should've won this match like 4-0. Aubameyang had a howler but everyone else was pretty damn good.
 

lars10

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Man, Watford are a scummy bunch. How Danny Rose managed to stay on the fucking field, let alone NOT EVEN GET A CARD, is beyond me. Guy hit the fucking Stan Hansen western lariat on Lacazette for the penalty. That should've been red straight away.

Probably should've won this match like 4-0. Aubameyang had a howler but everyone else was pretty damn good.
Looking at the match stats watford had 19 fouls, 2 yellows and a red.. arsenal with 6 fouls, 4 yellows.. I didn’t see the match, but does that seem odd? Or indicative of what was happening on the field? Was mike dean the referee?