Most clubs have a bogey team don’t they? After all, how many years did it take England to finally beat Germany?
In European football, ask Pep Guardiola about his record against Lyon, Jurgen Klopp about Sevilla or the once Man Utd manager Ralf Rangnick about Bayern Munich Tomas Tuchel about Borussia Dortmund. David Moyes has never managed a club who could beat Villarreal whilst Antonio Conte’s teams have an appalling record against Juventus.
Up until this season, Mikel Arteta and his Arsenal teams couldn’t beat Liverpool and his record against his old colleague Pep Guardiola is still awful. How many times did Arsene Wenger take an Arsenal team to Old Trafford yet go away with nothing?
Just a couple of weeks ago, Guardiola was moaning about the journey to north London taking over four hours etc etc but then his team had just been beaten by Totts. Again. Forgive me if I’ve missed it but I’ve not read anything about his dreadful four hour journey on Wednesday. That’s football though, managers and often fans, are usually heard moaning when a result hasn’t gone their way.
I think Man City is just one of those clubs Arsenal can’t beat, psychologically as much as anything else. Just like Liverpool at Anfield, Utd at Old Trafford and these days, Southampton at St Marys. But hey, the Chelsea, Brighton, Brentford and Totts supposed away hoodoo has been beaten. Win at The Etihad and Anfield and the media will have a few ‘Arsenal haven’t beaten…..’ headlines removed from pre match planned rambling.
Seriously though, do you think Jurgen Klopp or Liverpool fans cared about their teams draws and losses when they won the League? Did Pep Guardiola or the City fans care about their defeats, draws or the many decisions which went their way when their team was celebrating another Premier League title? Do they care where the vast amounts of money their club has spent actually comes from? Does anyone think Utd fans will care much if the Qatari group buy their club if they win the League next season? I very much doubt it.
Back to Arsenal though, could Mikel Arteta being doing better, could Edu? Yes, probably but then I say that because I think they’d say the same. But if, and it’s an important if, they had an open chequebook to spend on players, do you think Eddie Nketiah, Granit Xhaka, Jorginho, Mo Elneny, Reiss Nelson etc would still be on an Arsenal Premier League starting team sheet? I very much doubt it and that’s me being disrespectful to the players but it’s just a reality. It’s what City, Chelsea and even Utd owners have given their respective manager’s over recent years.
I’m not trying to find an excuse for Arsenal’s recent form, but there’s a difference between City’s bench each week and our own. I’d love City’s ‘second’ striker at Arsenal let alone their first. Thomas Frank has recently suggested Arsenal are predictable, something which you and I might agree on but aren’t City, Liverpool, Utd, Totts etc all predictable too? Perhaps though, certainly in City’s case, they have players come off the bench and make a real difference.
A question Mikel Arteta was asked in his press conference was about rotation and as said yesterday, his reply was that it’s coming soon. It came against City with Takehiro Tomiyasu and Jorginho coming into the team. Can we expect more tomorrow perhaps? Not necessarily in addition to those against City but perhaps Leandro Trossard instead of Gabriel Martinelli or Fabio Vieira instead of Martin Odegaard? Kieran Tierney instead of, or as well as Oleksandr Zinchenko. What about Rob Holding and Jakub Kiwior, who I assume one or both will play in our Europa League challenge next month. Apart from Reiss Nelson and Matt Turner, that’s the options Mikel Arteta currently has.
Anyway, Mikel Arteta holds his press conference imminently so I hope he declares Thomas Partey 100% fit.
Catch up in the comments.
Hi Rico and all.
Another great post thank you.
I think you’re absolutely spot on. If we had had a Haaland or dare I say it a Harry Kaine up front , we would have won that game. That would mean a £100 million + spent though and we clearly can’t afford that for one player.
Haaland causes panic when he’s anywhere near the box , and as much as I like, him Eddie just doesn’t have that presence . Jesus does , and I believe he would have made a difference on wednesday .
Morning Rico. I think there is something in what you say. In retrospect I’d say that there was a lack of belief and a hint of desperation about our play, especially in the second half when we seemed unprepared for them upping their game.
On the other side, let’s not forget that their dominance is in a large part due to their bottomless pockets. If they want a Haaland then they buy him and pay him silly money and it runs through the team. But, they’re not as good as they were and they are facing, as a direct result of their own actions 115 charges of financial duplicity. So, one might think that they should be where they are.
But, that first victory will taste sweet alright.
Meanwhile, back at the Emirates there will surely be plans to go as big as the rules will allow on a monster midfielder and an elite striker. In cold hard terms, that was the difference the other evening. Big games are often decided on having someone who can take a large percentage of the very few chances that come his way. We had quite a few chances the other night, but nobody good enough to take them and win us the game.
Morning M, Adam.
I too think we need someone/something different up front. I like Eddie but unless he’s scoring goals, he doesn’t really bring a lot to the team imo. Sounds harsh perhaps but whereas Jesus can cause all sorts of problems for defenders, Eddie doesn’t seem to.
A midfielder, probably two now, are much needed. Securing CL football is so important this season.
M, (sorry but it’s better than anon) Partey would have made a difference too imo. I think he’s the player the defenders look for when playing out from the back.
Looks like he’ll be missing tomorrow too.
Morning Rico and all.
I still feel the pressure of being on top of the ladder and the media talking about Arsenal as true title contenders and knowing that they still had to play Man City, got to the players.
The good thing is we are 5 points clear of 3rd place with a game in hand, and a very good chance of winning the next 3 or 4 matches if Eddie find his scoring boots or he will find himself on the bench when Jesus comes back.
The player I have concerns about is ESR I like him a lot but not sure he will be able to force his way into this team.
Hi Geoff, why not re ESR? If he’s fit, he’s every chance of pushing his way in imo. Perhaps instead of Xhaka.
Afternoon Rico and the House.
We have been charged with falling to control our players
in the incident when the yellow card for Gabby was overturned.
City have been charged for two incidents The first when we got the pen
the 2nd when Eddie was booked.
I think we should set up a direct debie to pay the fines.
If we do it with Santader we should get cash back.
By the way we have still not heared what has happened about our appeal against Oxford
Afternoon Rick. Any opportunity the FA get eh, but good to see City get charged too. Other clubs need looking at too.
Sorry Rico .. It should be Mike !
I’ve been laying low for a while feeling sorry for myself after not acting fast enough and having nasty stuff chopped out of me and treatment. (guys if your wee habits change, PLEASE get it checked out) I could have saved myself a lot of pain and trouble.
Anyway, Agree about Partey too Rico but Jorginho had a good game. I’m not quite so worried as I was.
I think I saw somewhere that in a recent game, Arsenal had 25 shots on goal but only 4 on target. I’m sorry but that is not good enough.
No worries Mike and hope you’re on the mend..
I too thought Jorginho had a decent game but just think Partey is better. Lol
Lee Mason has left PGMOL. Sacked I reckon…
By mutual consent Rico. Jumped before he was pushed.
Poor old Lee Mason, everyone ganging up on him – and just because he’s incompetent- it’s just not fair.
Rico as I said I like ESR but he hasn’t made the starting line and with injuries he might find it hard to get game time, I hope I’m wrong.
Now Lee Mason is gone, hopefully the other referees might start upping their game, but will not hold my breath.
Hello Rico and everyone. Thanks for this 🤔 provoking article.
I still harbour reservations about Arsenal’s ability to complete and dominate top teams….As much as every team has their list of opponents they’d struggle to beat, I think that this mindset is much more entrenched at Arsenal than at any other “big 6” rival.
Even during Arsenal’s days of dominance under Wenger, a Man United team on a rough patch of form would always, more often than not, beat Arsenal, check the statistics!!!
Finally, I think we’re also trying to act/think/ reason as if Partey is indispensable. Kindly note that Jorginho is equally good, only that we’ve became so fixated on Partey, that his absence is a possible reason why we lost against Man City..I think Arsenal would still have lost the match even with him in side.
Hi Kaylo, I don’t think anyone is fixated on Partey but he and Jorginho are very different. Also, one is very used to the way we play etc, whereas the other has been at the club for five minutes.
Hi Rico, well noted.. actually my issue is about the way some people are so quick to focus on Jorginho’s weakness he had hardly kicked a ball in arsenal jersey!
I know he is not an Arsenal player, however ex-premier league player Christian Atsu ( Chelsea -Everton – Newcastle ) who has died at 31 along with other in Turkey Earthquake may they all RIP.
That’ll always be the case though Kaylo, I thought he had a decent game.
New post up now