Nine points from our last eight games. Nine points out of the twenty seven on offer. Since the moment Granit Xhaka had his spat with Alexander- Arnold, Mikel Arteta’s team, regardless of who played, has been all at sea. Barring the Newcastle game of course.
Yesterday’s team selection and setup was bizarre to say the least and it really didn’t work at all. But, Arteta did say in his post match press conference that a few players had struggled during the week and hadn’t trained much.
Yet again, it was a misplaced pass which resulted in us conceding a goal, this time the guilty party being captain Martin Odegaard and despite going behind quite early in the game, not once did it look like we’d equalise let alone fight back to win. In fact, there was no fight, just surrender.
I know there’s still one fixture remaining of this season but yesterday it looked like the Arsenal players and Arteta were already on their holidays. Mind you, they’ve looked like that for a while now.
Mikel Arteta on the key moments where the momentum shifted in the title race:
It started with what happened at Anfield in the 90th minute and we give it away and then you go to West Ham and you can make it 3-1 and that’s going to change. We have conceded a lot of goals, we have given 16 goals away in those matches, it’s a lot, you know a lot, you cannot sustain that. To win in this league you have to be exceptional at everything, because there are no margins. That team doesn’t give you any margins and we have extended those margins too much and that’s how we lost the league.
We can dissect the last couple of months all we like but ultimately, when it came to the business end of the season, the players and the manager made too many mistakes in a handful of matches.
Finishing second is no disgrace but as has often been said about an Arsenal team, how we did it is what hurts. What could and should have been an exciting, competitive end to the season turned out to be a limp and lethargic final few weeks of football from Arsenal.
People in the media, ex footballers etc, will talk about how brilliant Man City have been and Lord help us if they win the treble but Arsenal themselves gifted them the Premier League. Not because Arteta and his players bottled it, but because the squad wasn’t deep enough in strength. No player should be playing every Premier League fixture during a season in my opinion. Especially if that player also plays in European competitions and/or the domestic cup matches. It’s a recipe for disaster, a recipe for injury or burnout.
Is it a coincidence that this season ended in similar fashion to last? You know, having something in the palm of our hands but not being able to keep hold of it? Last year it was a top four spot, this year, the League title. I don’t think so….
Mikel Arteta said yesterday that when it comes to April and May, he/the club needs 24 players playing at their best, full of confidence and ready to go, and for many reasons Arsenal have not had that. I’m sure we’ll all have our own thoughts as to why that’s been the case but we can’t do anything to change it for next season. Mikel Arteta can though, he has to because otherwise, nothing will change…
Catch up in the comments..
There was an element of Arsenal losing their nerve. An element of squad depth. An element of burnout of key players and an element of lack of mental strength.
Some of these can be addressed in the summer but the most important element – mental strength comes from learning from your mistakes and wanting to become better, even when everything is going wrong.
The mental strength of these players is what I question – and it’s not the mental strength of young players that concerns me.
Good morning Rico bright, sunny and warm here in Norfolk unlike the whole of North London that is mired in doom, gloom and despondency with the worst of it emanating from The New Swamp where the denizens were reduced to parading round an almost empty stadium at the end of their final home game (defeat) of the season 1 – 3 by Brentford. We must hope that our final match of the season leaves our fans in a happier mood. Look out Wolves!
So much good feeling was engendered when Arteta signed Jesus and Zinchenko, two serial winners, two players who could “make the difference” and for half the season that seemed to be coming true but repeated injuries to Zinchenko and a longer term injury to Jesus put paid to the optimism. Since his return from that Injury Jesus has been a shadow of his former self, snatching at chances, losing possession, gradually dropping deeper and deeper and have less and less influence on games. Always ready to go down under powder-puff challenges, yesterday he plumbed the depths by getting booked for diving when his petulance got the better of him.
As far as Zinchenko is concerned, he too often neglected his defensive duties to go marauding into the already crowded midfield.
The pair of them may have had a beneficial effect in the dressing room but, to my mind, they were a disappointment on the pitch.
It is a pity that Tierney has been driven towards the exit door by lack of minutes since Zinchenko’s arrival.
In all honesty, I am truly disappointed with Zinchenko and, after yesterday disappointed with, and embarrassed by Jesus.
Me, totally agree. When one looks back at the bad performances, it was the senior players who didn’t perform. Partey, Zinchenko and Jesus especially.
I still wonder if in hindsight, we’d have been better sticking with Nketiah because despite his faults, he showed passion. Personally, I’d have liked to have seen more of Nelson and ESR too.
Morning Cicero, so very well put. I too feel embarrassed by the way Jesus goes over. I wouldn’t be at all disappointed if Real Madrid did want him and they got him. He’s turned in to one of those players who looks busy, but in reality, does very little. Certainly since returning from injury.
I will mention Arteta too because having done so much, has really disappointed over the last few months. As much as players need to learn a lot, imo, so does he.
I read this elsewhere :- A guy who had been poor on CDM and was dropped played at RB where he’s never played before.
Our first choice RB this season started at RCB in place of a guy who had played well there in recent weeks. That guy,bought for LCB actually played at LB and an ACTUAL left back was sat on the bench.
Have I got that right?
I also read a comment that it would have been better to start slowly and come with momentum at the end to give some confidence at the beginning of the next campaign.
As it is we start from scratch with a series of question marks over our heads.
Next week we finish the season with a home match against a Wolves team that have secured safety and I reckon that we will probably scrape home and some will think that all is well and that one or two signings will sort the problem .In my opinion it will take more than that
We seem to be if rumours are correct ready to spend a mere fortune to buy Rice and possibly Caciedo . If those deals take up the whole of our budget and we get three or four departures , we are no better off..
Tierney on the bench was weird, the whole setup seemed wrong to me. The only rationale I can think of is either he was thinking of next season or certain players weren’t 100% fit.
This was Arsenals best chance to win the epl.Too late to cry over spills milk.
Arsenal have not been able to beat teams in the lower half.
These teams fight and prevent the gunners shooting or getting into promising situations
There is no plan b.One dimensional style can get u so far especially when teams deny the gunners time and space or get physical like BHA
Morning Rico and all.
As I said yesterday I recon Arteta has given up on this season and that’s why yesterday’s and next week’s match, will be to find out who can play in different positions then work out who we keep, sell and buy.
Not necessarily our only chance though. Who knows, next season we might be stronger mentally as well as physically.
I just read that Nelson was ill yesterday so that explains his absence.
Afternoon Rico. If you asked de Zerbi and Cooper how they would like Arsenal to play against them I reckon Arteta’s truly bizarre tactics obliged them perfectly. I simply cannot believe how he has allowed this season to drift away and how naive he has been since that Liverpool game. Wtf was yesterday’s team about? Partey at right back – occasionally? White trundling around as if he was half asleep setting new records for sideways passing. Kivior at left back, or was it Xhaka? With Tierney looking on from the bench? Is it in Saka’s contract that he has to pass to Martin when he gets the ball rather than get past his full back sometimes? Then to add insult to injury, Vieira, who has shown nothing since he signed and looks like a schoolboy amongst men, comes on and does nothing except fall over, with ESR looking on and perhaps thinking about Villa. Who could blame him?
Was yesterday really the time to indulge in some sort of positional experimentation in anticipation of whatever is planned for next season? I doubt it myself. If it was, can anybody really envisage a pretty one-paced Partey as a viable RB or Kivior as a LB? We’ve already seen Xhaka there last season, with disastrous results.
The list of weirdness goes on and on.
Afternoon Adam, the last few weeks have been a big mystery to me.. The team, subs, attitude, all of it. The difference between the first half of the season and second was crazy.
Rico. A mystery is one way to put it. Does it not tell us something though? Or should we just get over it?
Have any of you watched Ted Lasso?
I think it tells me something similar to what it’s telling you Adam.
I’ve never seen it Rico.
We’re watching it now Adam, it’s quite funny. American coaching an English football club.
Ted Lasso? If he’s a five foot six midfielder we’ll probably sign him. 😉
Ha ha Cicero.
Just thinking outside the box.
I wonder if some of the players are not happy with the rumors of Saka getting a massive pay rise.
I think I’ve come up with the answer why ESR isn’t given a chance, not even over Viera. Arteta has never forgiven him for making his plan as a false number 9 against Villarreal failed, costing us a European title 😀😀
Rico, Ted Lasso is our favourite ‘comedy’ (with serious and touching moments) over the last few years. Have you just started with series 1, or are you watching current series?
A delightful watch for football and non-football fans. I didn’t watch Eurovision, but saw program’s Chairwoman of Richmond FC (Hannah Waddingham) was compere.
Played 8 Pts 9 Gf 13 Ga 16
Got to agree with Wolfgang and Adam the collapse has been horrendous. This is relegation form and we are finishing where we are because all the other contenders were below standard and form for earlier parts of the season.
The we are young mantra can only take us so far , we are now being treated like a laughing stock instead of the second best team in the league . As soon as we get up against a team that presses and gets a little physical , we collapse.
We can expect more of the same next year and more often , this year our senior players went into hiding when it got tough and I agree that Jesus sitting down with his arms outstretched is a sight that I don’t want to see again. It’s a man’s game , get up and get on with it , the ref isn’t going to make things easy for you .
As i said earlier we are in need of more than a couple of players and it seems that we may be about to sell players that will cost a kings ransom to replace.
We need to acquire players with power to go with the skills and most definitely a centre forward that scores goals and then we pad the squad as Georgie did all those years ago with Bould and Dixon . it may not be the desired aesthetic stylistic way that Arteta wants but it’s likely to be more effective.
Hi Andrew, binge watching it and just coming to the end of series 2. I agree re what you’ve said, brilliant comedy yet many emotional touches. Loving it..
Hannah Waddingham should have sung our entry to Eurovision, her voice is amazing.
Definitely need a few more robust players in the squad. Mentally and physically imo. Gawd knows what to expect this transfer window but if Arteta opts for more like Vieira… I fear the worst.
I just saw the 1st half of Sporting-Benfica (2-0) and it’s easy to understand how Arsenal was eliminated by Sporting. Sporting is playing with great joy, they play across the whole pitch and across the pitch, they don’t have any big names and you can see that the coach has a lot of “finger” getting the best out of each one, in the cohesion of the team that is reflected in the game they play. I don’t know what will happen in the 2nd half, I just hope that this coach doesn’t go to Totts (nor Porto…)
Great fightback by Benfica, what a brilliant team and a top manager, it’s why the Eagles of Lisbon are numero uno
Shouldn’t that be “Numero Um” ? 😉
Have we signed anyone yet? Lol
Or have we sold anyone yet?
Xhaka expected to announce his future plans before the Wolves game apparently.
Afternoon Rico, welcome back.
I think some of the ‘glass half full’ brigade need to check the league table. We’re 2nd from top, not 2nd from bottom. We make some good additions in the summer and we will be in with shot at the title next season.
I’m not disappointed Xhaka is moving on. Never been a fan. When he stuck his middle finger up at us that should have been his last game. The last Wenger-signed player to leave.
Arteta has managed him well, but he’s always wanted a player in his position to score more goals and influence the game more. I expect his replacement is lined up.
I’ll give him a round of applause on Sunday for his decent performances this season, but I won’t be shedding any crocodile tears.
Afternoon Pete, thanks.
Right time for Xhaka I think. Stay or go I wish him luck. He’s had a good season.
Gosh, I didn’t realise he was the last Wenger signing still standing.
Pete, Remember the old saying, People in a glass house should not throw stones. If the fans don’t like players showing them the finger, then the fans should not abuse the players,
Here’s my memory of that day Ozzie G:
Emery decided to sub Xhaka to go for a win after Palace had equalised. Xhaka decided to walk off the pitch v slowly. The fans wanted him to go quicker, so the booing started. He reacted by giving the finger (quite clear from where I was sitting/standing). That wound the crowd up and the booing increased.
I remember a lot of pantomime booing in the stadium, but I don’t recall the abuse you allude to. I think the abuse was from internet trolls.
Xhaka’s behaviour that day was unprofessional. Not out of character and repeated many times. The past season has been the exception.
New post up now