Poor Finishing Hampers Arteta’s Draw Kings

Online Editorial: Disappointing performance at Burnley sees yet another two points dropped

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Let’s start with the good news – Arsenal kept a clean sheet. Granted, they were a little fortunate with Rodriguez’ effort cannoning off the bar and onto the goal-line, but you can’t argue with a bit of luck, on which note, Sign up offers for Cheltenham bettors are available if you feel your fortune will be as good as Arsenal’s yesterday. The other plus is that under Arteta, the Gunners have become very difficult to beat. They’ve lost a single game in the nine played. However, of the three wins, only one has been in the Premier League. A draw is two thirds of a defeat. Five draws may have gleaned five points, but there are also ten points dropped there.

The bottom line though is that Arsenal needed sorting out defensively, to lay the foundation for future progress. Too many points were being lost through basic errors. That hasn’t been ironed out completely, as witnessed by the defeat to Chelsea, but that was only Arteta’s second match. In the current calendar year, they remain unbeaten.

There were some interesting selections for the starting eleven yesterday. Few would have expected Shkodran Mustafi to start for two reasons – his removal on a stretcher from last Monday evening’s match and the availability of Sokratis. One imagines Arteta favours the German because he feels he is better in possession. Matteo Guendouzi retained his place next to Granit Xhaka ahead of Torreira, and although combative, one felt Arsenal would have retained the ball better with the Uruguayan starting. With Aubameyang returning to contention, one of Martinelli, Lacazette or Pepe would have to give way. After his contribution in the last two matches, Martinelli was not sacrificed, and it was Pepe who was benched.

Arsenal started well, and had two very decent chances in the first 15 minutes, spurned by Lacazette heading wide and Aubameyang hitting it well wide with his right foot with the goal in his sights and only the keeper to beat. It was a story of a frustrating inability to make use of opportunities, especially on the break. Bukayo Saka became injured in the first half, but with a lack of natural alternatives on the bench, played through the pain until the interval. It felt like once he lost his mobility, the team dropped its level. The squad are off to Dubai in a few days’ time, but this had the feeling of a team already on the beach in terms of its lack of intensity. Maybe its physical, but it ended up looking like a tired performance.

Arsenal could have sneaked the points, but so too could Burnley. It was a surprise that no-one scored, and it confirmed this season – in terms of the league – is about whether or not the club can climb into a position that qualifies them for the Europa League. What happens in the two domestic cups will play a huge part in that, and for those wanting European football next season (and it will certainly affect the bottom line if Arsenal fail to secure it), it’s important that Manchester City win the League Cup for a third year running against Villa on the weekend when they were originally scheduled to play Arsenal at the Etihad.

I suppose one advantage of increasing defensive solidity is that it will at least stand the team in good stead in Europe, where I suspect the greater focus will develop as the season continues, assuming the club remain in the Europa League.

The second half saw Sheffield United take advantage of Granit Xhaka having to move to left back, as Torreira came on for Saka. It felt like the visitors were under the cosh and rare excursions upfield were wasted. Later substitutions saw Willock inject more drive than Ozil, who he replaced, and we saw why the number 10 rarely appears in this type of fixture. A few touches here and there, but the team would probably have achieved more with Willock on from the start. Arteta states he picks the team based upon what he sees on the training pitch and in matches. One wonders if he is being a bit loyal to Ozil because of him being a team-mate for three seasons, or is under some kind of unofficial instruction to select him to justify the expenditure on his salary. Whatever the reason, even with the head coach’s faith, it doesn’t seem to be working.

So now we have a two week break, and it feels like we all need that. Arsenal’s squad will spend some of that period in the sun, whilst the rest of us look at instagram photos of the players enjoying themselves. On a chilly day in Lancashire, not too many of the travelling support would have taken too much joy from the performance yesterday. Still, we’ve seen two decent displays in the previous two matches, it’s not going to happen every time.

The work in progress continues, and we are unlikely to see the real fruits until next season at the earliest.

As for Burnley away, file under: easily forgotten.

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  1. markymark

    Feb 14, 2020, 18:34 #116514

    Wow City banned for two years from champions league and Pepe not looking overly happy. Looks like Liverpool could easily run a triple of back to back titles unless their is a spectacular improvement from one of the chasing pack

  2. markymark

    Feb 13, 2020, 22:18 #116513

    Really excellent article in the Guardian about Reiss Nelson. I didn’t realise he and Jordan Sancho were just a few miles apart and good mates from the Kennington/ Walworth area ( good to see this as these two areas have been classic turf borders ). Reading it you realise despite all the money it’s just kids wanting to play football. Having to adapt to Managers in different countries who just don’t have the time for a newbie kid with settling in issues. A lot of these very well paid footballers are actually pretty resilient guys. It’s nice to see the reality, without the stupid Crystal Champagne and Lamborghini rubbish we normally read .

  3. Exiled in Pt

    Feb 9, 2020, 15:35 #116512

    Not yet Marky, in training but can't start full contact training until March. I wonder if we will go to a back 3 of Mari, Luís and. Mustafi with Saka and Bellerin as wing backs until Tierney is fit... With Mari being a left footer....

  4. markymark

    Feb 8, 2020, 18:28 #116511

    Tierney is reportedly back in full training. Let’s keep fingers crossed!

  5. TonyEvans

    Feb 8, 2020, 14:51 #116510

    Afternoon Hibee - I’ve just been the once to the bowl and could not bring myself to make a detour to look at what Highbury was looking like - too many memories which would have put a downer on the day. Always happy to talk about the good old Highbury days.

  6. markymark

    Feb 8, 2020, 14:32 #116509

    CG - that is the problem isn’t it. To be a billionaire normally means your outside the usual levels of humanity. Perhaps only Bill Gates seems to balance off some form of payback. Jeff Bezos the liberal Amazon owner has a sack first ask questions later zero hour slavery racket. The hero to some Steve Jobs had suicide nets at the Chinese supplier factory as suicide was so common. Most are bastards. So it becomes a point of what bastard do we want? Certainly not Bernie Ecclestone who would have bought Arsenal if it was “Cheap enough” I hope the robbers who nicked 200k of jewellery from him at his doorstop were Arsenal supporters. The Nigerian fella is coming we just have to pay him £1m very soon to benefit from a return of £20m in Nigerian Investment Bonds. I’m in ! What could possibly go wrong?

  7. CORNISH GOONER

    Feb 8, 2020, 11:06 #116508

    Blimey Marky - it comes to something when "Roman", robber of the Russian people extraordinaire, is seen as one of the good guys. Not a great fan of billionaires generally where the "best" ones are simply guilty of tax evasion. I really don't know where a "good guy" owner is to be found for a mega clubs these days - the Nigerian guy touted around will probably be exposed as a total nightmare. I need a pint of HSD to cheer me up I think.

  8. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    Feb 8, 2020, 09:23 #116507

    Sorry guys - this is for anoraks, at the start of the 70 71 season Liverpool, Man United and Arsenal had each won 7 titles, after WHL in May 71 we were top dog. Just wanted to set it straight.

  9. hibeegunner

    Feb 8, 2020, 09:07 #116506

    Morning Tony I've only been to the bowl twice once to take my grandson and once with my son in law who has 2 season tickets Yes I feel the same we sold our sole when we left Highbury and the old fraud who sponged a living out the club for years still stinks the place out.I might catch up with you one day when I visit Dulverton again good to talk with people about happier times re a bygone era that the club will never return to. I hope that M A makes a go of it for all our sakes.

  10. markymark

    Feb 8, 2020, 08:46 #116505

    We do ourselves down really. if I was Roman at Chelsea I’d send a message to those bunch of crazed Anti Semite racist supporters by selling the club. I’ve always scratched my head why Roman didn’t buy Arsenal . But there you have it . One club you lookup to and feel you need to respect . The other a flash boys paradise still full of dodgy characters and that attracts vile fans. No where I’d rather be The future never turned blue no matter how they said that crap or pumped in billions.

  11. TonyEvans

    Feb 8, 2020, 08:39 #116504

    Hibeegunner - looks like there are a few of us made the move west then! I get to Woods a few times a month, great place for a good meal and a good pint! Would never have dreamt of living so far away from Highbury but these days after the ground move and all the crap we have had to endure it doesn’t bother me now.

  12. Cyril

    Feb 7, 2020, 21:12 #116503

    SKG-yes!! This is not a club to be messed with. I’m the worst on frustration with our current malaise, but I will not stand by and see our past watered down. I wish and try for us to be the best again you know. However, if there is no force and it has to be from everyone, what hope ?! I can’t do too much more as my health is declining so I expect every Arsenal fan to STAND UP MAN!!

  13. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    Feb 7, 2020, 20:51 #116502

    Cyril - you make a great point about entitlement, when we won the league in 71 it was our eighth title. We then held the record, Mancs had Six and so did Sunderland, think Liverpool had four or five. We have gone downhill since then so a bit of entitlement is long overdue considering what a great achievement it was to be the top team in May 71.

  14. Cyril

    Feb 7, 2020, 19:45 #116501

    Yes- great passion and energy. Ron, bless you - I notice has come back around to how important this club truly is. Liverpool and Man U fans seem to get away with having a sense of entitlement and we don’t. These clubs have been prolific since the 60’s. However, we are the original prolific side 30 years earlier and yet we oddly seem to give up our entitlement. Are we ‘southern softies’. Have we got too much money ‘down south’. NO- I DONT GIVE UP OUR SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT either that quickly. Deliberating and going to games is the best I can do and we need to pass down the history of this club to next generations. I don’t need google to tell me about the Arsenal. I was passed it down in my Council estate in Archway in the 70’s when the Irish had a major influence. It’s not great at the moment , but I’m deadly and quick to pull thoughts up if they have a strange leaning towards revisionism about this club. How can anyone attempt to place this club as anything but the highest or close to. It’s not ‘rose tinted’. It’s plain truth. I wish I could make this club no 1 again and only respect of our level will do somehow help. This club is not to be watered down to average by picking the moments you want in history. 13 league titles and cups and averages in the top 3 of points in history of the top flight says it all !

  15. markymark

    Feb 7, 2020, 19:35 #116500

    Looks like it’s the Cornwall Massive !

  16. markymark

    Feb 7, 2020, 19:35 #116499

    Looks like it’s the Cornwall Massive !

  17. hibeegunner

    Feb 7, 2020, 16:00 #116498

    Hi Tony I was in Dulverton yesterday had lunch at the copper kettle I only live in Barnstaple and often have a drive over the moor it’s a small world. How often do you go into woods?

  18. TonyEvans

    Feb 7, 2020, 07:23 #116497

    Ron - I see you are coming to Exmoor in April which is where I now live. I am in a small town called Dulverton and my local is Woods. It would be good to meet you if at all possible!

  19. itsRonagain2

    Feb 6, 2020, 20:48 #116496

    CG. Pleased to be down af yr neck of the woods to mate. Exmoor in Early April. 4 days. Fowey in early June. Love it.

  20. CORNISH GOONER

    Feb 6, 2020, 20:14 #116495

    Marky, glad to read you won't be down here this weekend when it is likely that we will return to Victorian times - no electricity, candles etc. as a result of the latest in countless episodes of "exceptional weather" this winter which is probably now going to be the new norm. As for the beer? Anything from the Sharps or St. Austell breweries is fine by me but I have to confess to being very partial to that scottish brew, McEwans Champion. Cheers!

  21. markymark

    Feb 6, 2020, 19:49 #116494

    CG - you are a wise man and I suspect a gentleman of impeccable beer taste. I’m off with the family to Rock in August so will be on the St Austell ( when allowed by SWMBO )Any recommendations will be gladly accepted

  22. markymark

    Feb 6, 2020, 19:44 #116493

    Bard - reflecting on your post and really in agreement on your point. They interviewed Ralph Lauren’s son . One amusing thing is he’s about 5ft 2” and no looker but insists on modelling their clothes in the ad campaigns . Anyway back to the point . He says RL’s main competitor is Tech. Not any other clothes company. Tech spend is dragging money out of music , fashion and taking up vast time space previously filled with past times. The world has changed . Sadly football had to adapt to this whether we like it or not. Cricket fans will probably end up with 3 day baseball games instead of the 5 day test. Thing to remember is our grandfathers were testing out new ways of doing things by actually attending football on mass. Football could have died after world war 1. If popular past times had changed again at that point. We think footballs always been there but really it’s just 4 generations of interest at most I just hope I can get my son to attend in 2025 as I think that’s 100 years of continuous Arsenal support in my family, but I’ve got to drag him away from the computer games to do it,

  23. CORNISH GOONER

    Feb 6, 2020, 19:35 #116492

    I spent my formative years living in a cardboard box. Still dirt poor - our mobile telephone device is now 17 years old (steam powered of course) & pay as yer go. What is all this 4 or 5G stuff all about? But I am feeling very frustrated at the current impatience among the AFC fanbase with Mikel - whilst appreciating that he has now had more than a full month to put things right. I do believe that, if we can hang on to him, he will be exceptional as Kloppy in particular & Pep did not achieve success very quickly (I can be as good a Google Nerd as anyone when required). I also wonder if Pep is suffering separation anxiety since his mate MA left - his results & body language aren't looking too good at the moment & maybe he is a spent force at 54(?)? I get as grumpy as anyone about soulless concrete bowls, commercialisation in sport, Trump, Global Warming, Fake News etc. etc. etc. But reluctantly I accept that is the way things are in football at least & I will continue to live in hope of a resurrection in Arsenal's fortunes under MA.

  24. itsRonagain2

    Feb 6, 2020, 19:24 #116491

    Hi Bard. All very true mate yes. We have these debates in here sontxwe but we can only express perceptions of any period really can’t we. There are no indisputable truths over what was better and even our own recall of things past is shaped by what our lives were like and what we were doing as you allude to. The secret today is to just look at it , footie and take it for what it is. In all fairness , large tranches of what it’s about now are pretty good. I feel the main fault with all now is the way it’s been elevated to high a ranking in a lot of people’s lives, hence the angst and aggression fans have to other clubs and to losing that we see today. Football has a perma scowl on its face across its whole landscape it seems. All good stuff to ponder though.

  25. Bard

    Feb 6, 2020, 18:45 #116490

    I agree to some extent Ron but it's also the way life was and now is. I wasnt poor by any means as a kid but the bottom line was there wasnt much going on outside the home. There werent all the other options that we have today either on the tv or elsewhere. They were the days when the only footy on the tv if you were lucky enough to have one was the cup final and the home internationals. Saturdays were for following the Arsenal when they were at home and watching Cray Wanderers when they were away. Nowadays there are so many other options and distractions.

  26. itsRonagain2

    Feb 6, 2020, 11:40 #116489

    Exiled - my old bloke was just the same. I just think some fans use it though in a context that suggests that we re supposed to be immune from decline and spending a few years in the doldrums, same as all clubs do.

  27. Exiled in Pt

    Feb 6, 2020, 11:11 #116488

    i was not knocking Nicky for saying we are the Arsenal , my Grandad use to call them the Arsenal and same as your Dad Bard , he use to wax lyrical about Alex James , The move from Highbury and this owner we have lost that identity of what made the club great and instead we have become the laughing stock of other fans with the crazy last 12 years of Winger Wenger and the silly AFTV nonsense .

  28. itsRonagain2

    Feb 6, 2020, 10:55 #116487

    Im right with you Max. I think the 2 words for me that best sum up the differences between football then, the club and its aura and ambience of the club back then and what it is now are 'substance' and 'shallow' . Everything is transient now isnt it and while its far more expensive now, the product in qualitative, emotional and human terms is cheap, bordering on tacky. Like you, i attach the blame on TV (almost) entirely. TV, Sly Sports in particular has money as its God and mischief as its motivator. Its a thoroughly disreputable organisation that thrives on raking up conflict between fans and clubs, players and clubs and coaches and clubs, relishing the hostility is creates between those agencies and then passes itself off as 'reporting' on whats happening about an appetite and multiple agendas that they created!.

  29. mad max

    Feb 6, 2020, 10:45 #116486

    hi ronagain2, things will never be quite the same again, due to sky's prostitution of football, the greedy billionaire owners, but our love for this once great club will never die. I still feel pride when I say the name The Arsenal and still defend them at work when discussing all things football. even if we do get back to a relative amount of success it wont mean quite as much as when I first walked down avenell road and saw that majestic east stand with that iconic cannon on it back in the 60's. we love you Arsenal we do and don't forget it

  30. itsRonagain2

    Feb 6, 2020, 10:07 #116485

    Hi Max. Good stuff. We re never a rubbish club are we. We ve just got a circa 1985 type team at the moment haven't we!! The one perennial positive about us is that we will come good again. Many clubs cant have that confidence can they. How i look at now is that we hall of those years of the top 4, knowing we couldn't win the title, knowing we d get thrashed in the CL knock outs and knowing that there was no possibility of changing that tedious routine, yet now, our already wobbly old rusty crown has slipped markedly, we ve bottomed out, so the rise from the ashes when it does come will be good to experience and feel new and vibrant. I hope so anyway and my nephews Son is at the age where hes starting to show an interest in AFC. Our trajectory and mundane feel this last 8-9 years has done very little to encourage new youngsters to follow us really.

  31. Bard

    Feb 6, 2020, 10:00 #116484

    Max my Dad used to call them 'the Arsenal' as well. He used to tell stories about the crowds standing outside Highbury waiting to hear the team sheet to see if Alex James was playing or not. He said he was the best player he had ever seen along with Bestie. The problem with this supporting lark is you are in a marriage where you cant get divorced. Once you're Arsenal thats it.

  32. mad max

    Feb 6, 2020, 09:53 #116483

    Sorry ron again2, my dad used to go to see us play in the 1930's and we were always known as the arsenal, you clearly hear this on newsreels of the time and when we moved from Woolwich we were officially called the arsenal for a couple of seasons by the football league, yes they do call everything the in the west midlands .but we got the name because people used to work at the arsenal munitions factory. also the name stuck because at the time it was THE club to play for. we might be rubbish at the moment but we will always be known as THE ARSENAL

  33. Cyril

    Feb 5, 2020, 21:09 #116482

    Look, we have the spring to look forward to and the Masters in Augusta. If you need some cheering up - listen to the Matthew Wilder classic... a couple of sunny footy days in May to look forward to - (I hopes)... ‘an a nothing gonna break my stride, nobody gonna slow me down, oh no, I gotta keep in moving’ - it’s gonna be ok !!

  34. Cyril

    Feb 5, 2020, 21:02 #116481

    That’s the spirit. ACG, don’t put us on a downer please. LIVEN UP - WE ARE THE ARSENAL!!

  35. A Cornish Gooner

    Feb 5, 2020, 20:45 #116480

    Couldn't agree more Marky. However much we hate all the things that 'The Arsenal' have become, we're so, so much better off than Spud supporters. But I read this yesterday - 'Out-of-sorts Arsenal have won just SIX Premier League games this season… the only time they had fewer victories at this stage was 1912-13, when they played in KENT and were relegated'. Lacazette, by the way, has scored more than three away goals in his AFC career. I think the low number is partly due to him not getting selected for all away games.

  36. ArsenalMagna

    Feb 5, 2020, 19:59 #116479

    @Mark with their great slogans like 'To Dare is To Do' - which by definition would make an action not daring if it's automatically doable...

  37. markymark

    Feb 5, 2020, 19:16 #116478

    I’ll settle any dispute very simply by asking “Do any of you on this site , no matter how cynical or weary of the Kroenkes or beaten down by the ground or upset by modern showbiz footballers ... would any of you rather have been raised up supporting Spurs? I thank you and good night

  38. itsRonagain2

    Feb 5, 2020, 19:03 #116477

    Hi Cyril. It sounds daft I know but while we re on about uniqueness of Arsenal, the one thing they ll. ever take from me is that fantastic exhilarating feeling the very first time I went into Highbury and for the first time saw the green of the grass and get this ...... it’s smell. It was 1967 v Sheff Wed when my Unc took me for the first time. He was an Orient fan really but I d bagged him for about 5 yrs to take me! I can recall it like yesterday. We drew. Nowhere anywhere ever gave me that feeling in a ground. I never lost it either until my very last time v WBA in the final Season. We win that 3-0 I think. Grass never smells like that at any footie ground. Mind you I wasn’t far from the touch line. What a feeling. The club did have a grandeur then for sure. I ll always treasure that. Yes, football is TV fuelled largely show biz drivel now as exemplified by this VAR bollocks they’ve bolted on. Mate, for me , it’s not so much the owners etc that have eroded our Ckub , it’s the loss of our grand Palace of football. No ground was like it and this modern day Lego monolith will never get close. Shame on the bas .....s that took our spirit away.

  39. Cyril

    Feb 5, 2020, 18:43 #116476

    Yes Ron - your wholly right about waking up and smelling the coffee. We all know that the Premier league is ‘showbiz’. A leaning towards an odd exceptance that the exceptional past of this club can be modified by comparisons to ‘fan love’ of pretty much 95% of all others plays into the hands of the climate now and is to give in (in my humble opinion). A case of ‘ that’s more like the way we want you to feel’. All of the fans going back generations who have sweated their passions to make this club the powerhouse it is, will be lost in vain. We all know that these parasites have lifted the history, the badge , the love, the privilege of well connected conservatism through Henry Norris. If the 2nd war had not happened, who knows the tally of titles.All the generations since have not let this club down. These parasites who specialise in usury lifted all of our USP to be used as a cash cow and left all the real blood of Arsenal sitting in the proverbial pub in the Caledonian Road.’ Er, don’t come back unless you have a pocketful of cash and you conform. Er don’t go too far as we need to suck your footy DNA psychologically dry as long as we need to’. So, no Ron, the past history of this club and our connection is not easily given up to watered down revisionism after they have cleaned up!

  40. itsRonagain2

    Feb 5, 2020, 16:52 #116475

    Hi Cyril - true enough and fair enough. I dont think anyone means to understate the club but pride shouldn't be blown up excessively.. Every club is unique in its own way and certainly so in the minds of the supporters. The reality is that the 'the ' prefix only sits well with certain clubs names, otherwise im pretty sure we d have the mancs and scousers especially all declaring that theyre the Utd or the Liverpool. Sounds daft doesn't it though. On yr point of being let down, i can see where yoyr coming from but sadly, i think the truth lies in the fact of the club being a totally different animal now to the one that us, Don and Willow knew and grew to love. I think many of us elder statesmen have a real problem really in accepting that at times.We are what we are now and a completely different set or mores exist. The air of grand traditionalism that the 'the' prefix conjures up has been changed by those who pull the strings now. They see it as a quaint thing of the distant past im sure.

  41. Cyril

    Feb 5, 2020, 16:22 #116474

    Ron and others- hope your well. You can overstate Arsenal and you can certainly understate them. The amount of records they have set in the past and the ‘Bank of England’ moniker is well documented. When there is a footy quiz random question about winning or setting records along the way and the summit of of the Football/Premier league and the cups - you will never go far wrong on average if you plump for Arsenal as an answer. This is an outstanding English club with a great heritage which is being let down. When we talk about the ‘THE ARSENAL’, I tended to follow that saying from the great Bob Wilson who couldn’t hide a smile on Sportsnight or any other BBC programme he hosted, when introducing the next segment on the Arsenal. I’ve coined that many a time before in pride and I hope to do it again soon. So I back the previous poster in his pride for this great club!

  42. Radfordkennedy

    Feb 5, 2020, 11:34 #116473

    Nicky....I'm sure you must be struck by the similarities between now and 76/77, when the Neil/Howe remit was make us hard to beat again.It took a while to move on the Matthews, Ross, Powing and Rostrons type players and bring in some steel and talent, our fortunes have always been cyclical and will come again, we just need to hang in there and give MA a chance.

  43. itsRonagain2

    Feb 5, 2020, 11:26 #116472

    All of this we are 'the Arsenal' stuff always amuses me. Its a harkback to boardroom old school tie snobbery, willingly adopted by fans when it suits, yet by the same fans who have historically condemned the same boardroom made up of the old Etonion set well before SK was ever even born or hear of. What a load of b-------cks. On the other front, its a ref to Don Howe's phraseology. Don would say 'the Arsenal' . It meant nothing. Don's from the West Midlands. Thats what they say, but equally so they also say ' the Villa', the 'the Baggies' (Albion), ' the Wolves' and so on. Ive never once heard any of their supporters proclaim they are 'the' etc etc and thus deserving of better than they've got. Its the fan snobbery that really does Arsenal no favours, especially now where the club is in a state of flux and very possibly has become a club thats destined only to fight for the scraps that the modern power houses of the game arent concerned about. Nicky, clubs decline. Its a fact of footballing life and thats what we ve done. The climb back will be long, painful and arduous.

  44. Exiled in Pt

    Feb 5, 2020, 10:46 #116471

    5 years ago Nicky3336 we were losing to dross like that , you need to go back along time to when we would go up north and smash teams off the park . We have a very blinded belief when we quote we are the Arsenal , we have won 13 titles but 7 of those were pre 70-71 ! once in the 70s 0nce in the 80s twice in the 90s and twice before 2006 and the move to the concrete bowl . Amazing record in the FA cup and to be honest shit in Europe. Not quite sure why you think young Ainsley needs to go the lad has made most of his appearances out of position as a right back .

  45. GoonerRon

    Feb 4, 2020, 21:43 #116470

    Still very much a work in progress and on the balance of chances a draw was fair. I’d like to see a bit more variation in our attacking play. When was the last time you saw Ozil, Xhaka or Guendouzi make a forward run beyond the strikers? I literally can’t remember when. That’s why I like Willock in there as he adds that natural instinct to get in the box.

  46. Nicky3336

    Feb 4, 2020, 21:43 #116469

    Amend this article it was Burnley we played not Sheffield United. (Second para from last) We need a major shake up, imagine five years ago drawing against this dross......the past is the past but we are The Arsenal and the sooner we remember that the better. Gabonese Vardy can go, Ozil won’t but shouldn’t be played and the flip flops need to stick to it, Mustafi is shit and needs to go as do Matalan-Tiles, Guendozy, Xhaka and sideshow bob and the Greek 747 who’s turning speed and reactions resemble my cab.

  47. ArsenalMagna

    Feb 4, 2020, 12:39 #116468

    Re: Xhaka, I think previous criticism of him was well founded. He is only doing well now because we play to his strengths. He is highly effective currently in this role as a 'false 10' but there are limitations here: firstly, he needs a proper DM who is more mobile to do most of the tackling (he looks far better with Torreira next to him), and he can't really advance up the pitch well which is a factor in us drawing so much. He'd be perfect for a team that sits deep and counterattacks. He'll be sold in the summer in any case. Agree re: Mustafi, have never judged a CB harshly at this club due to lack of protection. As for Laca and Auba, they struggle away from home because the rest of the team have done for years - they don't get quality service, and the team doesn't have a quality counterattacking doctrine developed.

  48. markymark

    Feb 4, 2020, 07:39 #116467

    I believe there is a stat suggesting that Laca has only scored 3 times away from home in his entire time at Arsenal. Sounds bonkers particularly as Martinelli has probably done that already. In regards to Ozil I suspect there is a Kolasinac, Mustafi , Ozil axis. Auba recently caused problems by hanging out with Arsenal Fan TV hosts. He’s too trigger happy on social media along with his brother. The old guard need to go in the summer without a doubt. Though I’m sure most would have a hit list now it makes no sense dumping in Jan Window . It’s always full of troubled souls from other clubs.

  49. Bard

    Feb 4, 2020, 07:22 #116466

    I'm with CG on this one. Why not play the kids ? There is nothing to lose and we might find another gem. The trouble with giving them a few minutes is they never get enough time to settle in. I dont think we will get relegated, he has tightened up our defence and credit to MA, Mustaphi and Xhaka are playing reasonably well. The real problem on the pitch is Ozil. I do wonder what kind of negative effect he has on the dressing room. I'd take a punt on Willock.

  50. itsRonagain2

    Feb 4, 2020, 04:42 #116465

    CG. That’s true of Auba and Laca as you say. Whilst they’re both good players on their best days neither are true top quality. Auba has never done a lot away from home for me. Laca s goal return has always been sporadic. I think in recent yrs when we ve had such a dearth of quality we ve perhaps tended to over rate the two of them. They have been the best of a poor squad though in recent years it has to be said. It says much about where we are as a club when the large body of opinion would say that 2 kids , Sako and Martinelli are the club’s main players now and in addition that Eddie shd have a crack of the whip up top, supported by many who say that Pepe should be given his head with an extended run of games when in truth, he s not done much to suggest its merited. MA won’t do it though , as he ll not wish to be seen as a man who gambled if the train comes off the rails and we lurched towards the bottom 3. He ll keep trying to get a tune out of Ozil and Co. In a poor PL such selections will get him over the line to the safety of the seasons end. If it’s right that Ozils going to see out his contract , who can blame him ? He ll never get those wages again. He s probably heading to the US once it’s done. Some easy street football and sunshine is right up his street. It’s a tough period to use and to rely on kids. It could be the making of 1 or 2 of them but it could easily ruin them too. MA has inherited a sea of mediocrity and a few potential gems. A difficult recipe to cope with. The whole thing smacks of shades somewhat of Petrovic, Nicholas, chapman Meade Hayes and Co doesn’t it.

  51. itsRonagain2

    Feb 3, 2020, 23:18 #116464

    Agree Marky. Xhaka has looked better. Maybe because he s not being asked to do 3 jobs in each game he plays under MA unlike before. But hey ho, he s the chosen whipping boy. All clubs have one. The scummy media and Sly Sports have given him a torrid time for no real reason and the viewers and fans sucked it up. Mustafi has always been a 100 pc trier. He’s probably not top level PL standard but he s ok now he s with a mid table team ?.

  52. markymark

    Feb 3, 2020, 22:39 #116463

    Exiled in PT - I think if he has 3 wins in 12 and no losses post the Chelsea home loss he’s ok , if he’s 1 win in 12 and some losses in that sequence it could begin to fall away. Bit knife edge isn’t it! My money is still on him succeeding as he can take comfort in phased improvements from defence tightening up and one of the two lead forwards seeing their off form turning inform or maybe Gabriel and / or Eddie really cementing their place . Very slowly we are seeing greater resilience from the real concern areas of Mustafi and Xhaka. Maybe somebody will really now kick on. I can easily see us racking up a 4 win on the trot sequence it just feels anything is possible

  53. Exiled in Pt

    Feb 3, 2020, 22:21 #116462

    Did Ozil not say he is going nowhere and will see his contract out! So it's irrelevant what offers are made for him he is going nowhere. He will walk away at end of his contract to a healthy pay cheque from some Chinese or American team. As said earlier our lack of scoring goals should be more of a concern at the moment. Fail to beat Everton and Newcastle and we could be a lot closer to a relegation battle. MA has one hell of a job on his hands.

  54. Cyril

    Feb 3, 2020, 20:03 #116461

    All measured responses. I watched it for the first time in the background on mute and could see the tail off after first efforts. Really noticeable when you watch on mute or maybe it was just that bad. The only reason I’m thinking Ozil was held is because maybe he can do the business in some of those EL games coming up. A EL win and Ozil going at the end of the season on good terms would be a mini lottery win !

  55. markymark

    Feb 3, 2020, 19:28 #116460

    Whisper this very , very quietly but are Mustafi and Xhaka starting to play errr. Reasonably well!

  56. CORNISH GOONER

    Feb 3, 2020, 19:27 #116459

    Too much gloom on here methinks - we have all seen improvements in the first few weeks of MA, but imo he made selection mistakes yesterday. This League season has gone, so why not play the kids from now on? To me Laca & Auba have always been vastly overrated & no top strikers should be missing the significant opportunities that came to them yesterday. Auba's first touch is far from TH class. Why not try the "languid" but quick & skilful Pepe up front with some long balls to chase? His touch is excellent & he CAN shoot! Unfortunately Stanley is far too busy this year to lend financial support to MA - after all he has to dedicate time & $ to getting his best mate re-elected to the Presidency.

  57. markymark

    Feb 3, 2020, 19:20 #116458

    Strange but this game definitely seems to fall between two extremes of belief. The commentary on Radio 5 wasn’t knocking Arsenal some social media is far more angry and knocking but obviously a draw is a pain. On this one I’ve lowered my views basically agreeing with everything Ron 2 has said to the point of even thinking are Arsenal doing a shop window ? The Ozil thing is strange . Maybe Arteta has a bit of an ego and is deliberately playing him in the darkest north in the hope of a great performance and then how great does Arteta look.? If Arsenal had taken the chances early it would have been a battering fight to win 2-1 or suffer a very disappointing 2-2. In an odd way a really dour 0-0 away sort of feels ok. Maybe I’m pinning for Arsenal mid 70’s? We need a nice 3 points from somewhere soon but I think it’s going to be all about next season

  58. ArsenalMagna

    Feb 3, 2020, 11:38 #116457

    I said a few weeks ago that Arteta had to be careful with his selections, as persisting with the placid Ozil and Pepe would rub off on the other players, either consciously or subconsciously, as they'd also start to drop off in terms of commitment. I said it would unravel his public proclaimed philosophy of high work rate being 'non-negotiable'. To be fair, all the players did look tired, and probably need a winter break to regenerate, but we can all see the problems with Arteta's selections. Pepe has amazing potential, and the defensive side of his game can come, but Ozil is a hopeless player. As you say, Kev, my feeling has also been that this is the club trying to save face given his contract size or Arteta's being his mate. I hope there's no truth in the report that we were offered big money from Qatar for Ozil last month and that it was Arteta who blocked it - that would have been a mad decision. Lacazette is a quality 10, even if his head has turned, and Auba a great 9. Flanked by Martinelli/Saka and Pepe/Nelson, that would be a front three with some serious pace too.

  59. itsRonagain2

    Feb 3, 2020, 10:40 #116456

    PS Re Ozil, Mustafi, Lacazette and quite possibly Auba, it would be no surprise of theyre getting picked only to shop window them. Arsenal have to find some mug daft enough to take a few. Its a shame Everton found a new coach when they did as theyve always been very helpful in that regard for many years.

  60. itsRonagain2

    Feb 3, 2020, 10:30 #116455

    sorry, xmas 2020

  61. itsRonagain2

    Feb 3, 2020, 10:28 #116454

    to be honest i dont feel that any analysis of our games has any use now this Season. MA is going to prevent relegation and thats the main thing with this squad. Its plain to see that there are a few players there with eyes on the exit door of the their own accord and others who im sure that MA wants to dispose of, so its case of making do. Cnat quite figure the gloom about the fact we couldn't beat Burnley. 2 thngs arise 1. Small clubs are allowed to play well and raise their game and 2. we ve been frequently failing against such clubs for 15 years especially those located north of Birmingham, where cowardice, has often been the reason why.OK, we ve beaten Burnley often, but lets face it, AFC have been lucky to do so in quite a few games against them this last few years. Shit match, but a point at least. One more step towards the end of a dire Season, so thats got to be good. The close season is what MA will have his first proper judgement upon, (assuming this tosser of an owner backs him). After that, its Xmas time 2021 when we can take a measured look at things.

  62. Ernie71

    Feb 3, 2020, 10:16 #116453

    A very generous match report Kevin considering for most of the game we were outplayed by a limited Burnley. The decision to start Ozil and Lacazette again beggared belief.The stat that came out after the game that Ozil hasnt had an assist away from home since the game BEFORE his £350k a week contract sums up how disgraceful that decision was.Arteta starting Lacazette means we are playing our best two strikers outwide to accommodate him.Only the bottom two teams have won less games than us. This team needs major reinforcements a top class creative midfielder and a 25 goal a season striker to replace Auba but i dont have faith in Arteta making those changes. He seems afraid to drop experienced players who are not pulling their weight

  63. Redshrtswhitesleeves

    Feb 3, 2020, 09:54 #116452

    That was truly awful. Is it too much to ask to even get excited by Arsenal now. We look like a team without a pulse. Slow, ponderous build-up play which inevitably ends with us going backwards. Why on earth are Ozil and Lacazette always picked no matter how poor they are playing and considering the stats of no goals or assists away from home in living memory? Surely it’s time for a new approach, 6 wins all season is pathetic and embarrassing. I would like to see Pepe and Nketiah getting a good, consistent run in the team now over the 2 afore mentioned no-hopers. A whole new midfield is needed I think, the current one is as bad as I’ve seen. No creativity or spark at all. Arteta got a lot wrong yesterday, after impressing initially but the blame remains firmly at Kroenkes door. Scraping the bargain bucket for uninspiring loan signings says it all. Arsenal will remain lifeless until this parasite leaves

  64. RobG

    Feb 3, 2020, 09:49 #116451

    The first comment by Bard is exactly right. If Arteta somehow manages to get us back in the CL via our League placing by May of 2021, he will have performed a minor miracle. The 'quality' of this side, takes us right back to the mid seventies and early eighties.

  65. Pauljames

    Feb 3, 2020, 09:25 #116450

    Our defensive issues are well documented but supporters and media alike never seem to acknowledge our problems at the other end of the pitch. We’ve scored the same number of goals as Villa and just 2 more than Brighton. Given that we have 2 or 3 players that are capable of sticking it in the net the finger has to point mainly at Ozil for not creating enough chances.

  66. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    Feb 3, 2020, 08:40 #116449

    The period after half time was just like the awful performances under Emery and it was Arsenal at rock bottom, luck was the reason we did not concede. Burnley played that oh so "last year" 4 4 2 system and we had no answer to crosses coming in from the left and the right flanks. I am no tactical expert but should n't we have just match them, we were over run in midfield until Willock made his appearance, losing Saka of course affected our balance. My main concern is we cannot do a hard grind 90 minute performance every week, something many teams manage as a matter of course - MA has a huge mountain to climb.

  67. Bard

    Feb 3, 2020, 08:19 #116448

    Abysmal game that summed up exactly where we are. It's obvious we are carrying too many duds and we will have to wait till the summer for a clear out. To those who think Arteta is the problem I would suggest you're deluded. No decent manager would take on this rabble. The days of Arsenal hiring a Klopp or Guardiola are long gone. Being out played by Burnley tells you all you need to know about the level we are at. Those of us who supported Arsenal before the messiah arrived are more than familiar with this sort of dress.