Disappointed? Of course, but over the two legs, did we really deserve more? Regardless of your or my opinion, we’re out of the Europa Cup. Beaten on penalties but the killer blow was Sporting CP’s equaliser which was incredibly good. Aaron Ramsdale will no doubt be criticised by anyone who isn’t keen on our English keeper but that’s how he plays. It’s how Arsenal play. If anyone is looking to blame someone, then my focus would be on what happened before Goncalves hit his shot.
I’m sure Aaron Ramsdale will be feeling disappointed this morning because one of Sporting’s penalty kicks went under his body, another he got a hand to but the saves he made during the game were the reason we even made it to penalties. The same can be said of Sporting CP and their keeper because he too was in superb form.
I feel for Gabriel Martinelli as he was the only player to see his his spot kick saved and ultimately, it sent us out of the competition but Arsenal had created enough chances to win the game long before then. We as a club win, lose or draw as a team/squad and I’m sure Mikel Arteta has told him that.
More worrying than the result in my opinion is the injury to Takehiro Tomiyasu and William Saliba.
After the game, Mikel Arteta said:
Tomiyasu looks pretty serious, for his reaction straight away and what he said to me. Obviously, it’s very early and difficult to know. William, I don’t know. He had some discomfort and could not carry on, so we had to take him off.
The last thing Arsenal need right now is for either or both to be ruled out for a long period of time. The last thing Arsenal needed last night was 120 minutes of football before taking on Crystal Palace on Sunday but as the old saying goes, ‘it is what it is….’
We’ve been carrying injuries throughout the season. We had Emile out for four months, Gabriel Jesus out for four months, Alex for two and half months, Thomas for a month and a half, Eddie for a month and a half. We had quite a lot of injuries already, but we dealt with that. The disappointment is not going to go away, the disappointment is there now but it brings clarity. There are 11 games to play now, 11 Premier League games and we have a final against Crystal Palace.
No doubt Mikel Arteta was taking a swipe back at ten Hag who for some strange reason thought it was a good idea to lie to the media. Mikel Arteta has not had a fully fit squad for most of the season, far from it in fact. Imagine if he’d have been without Rashford for the amount of time we’ve been without Gabriel Jesus. Or Casemiro for six weeks like Thomas Partey or his first choice left back as often as Oleksandr Zinchenko has been out. ESR has barely played this season because of injury and right now, Eddie Nketiah is on the sidelines too. The difference is, Mikel Arteta doesn’t use injuries as an excuse when things don’t quite go to plan. Injuries are part of the game and it’s how a manager deals with them which counts.
If there is a positive to take from last night’s exit from the Europa League it’s that now, we have just eleven League fixtures to focus on. The Sunday/Thursday rush around is over and after the weekend, there’s a break for international football. All three of our Brazilian players will get a rest, as will Ben White.
The Arsenal players have two days to recharge their batteries. There’s no time to feel sorry for themselves because there’s a Premier League trophy to try and win. Hopefully, the squad will use the disappointment of last night to spur them on. To bounce back with another win as they’ve done before after a disappointing result. Eleven games and the 33 points on offer is what matters now.
Catch up in the comments.
Morning Rico. Yes, disappointment at losing, but Arteta will surely try and use that to the team’s advantage. Eric Ten Excuses talks more and more drivel every day doesn’t he?
Oddly enough and perhaps because we haven’t seen too much Euro stuff over recent seasons, it felt like a different game last night played under different rules. That ref was atrocious and lazy and as for Fabio Vieira’s assertion that the Portuguese league is more technical? I saw some challenges last night that makes me question that. Quite how Ugarte was on the pitch for so long I can’t imagine. The tackle on Saka was pure nastiness but he should have gone after his 3rd assault which was in about the 10th minute.
What I struggle to understand with Vieira is how much he struggled against a club from the league we signed him from. There’s no doubting his ability imo but there’s something missing.
The ref was appalling yet I read he’s meant to be one of the best. He made the PL officials look half decent.
I agree Rico. Vieira has lots of ability but I question his half-hearted attitude. He exists on the fringes of the game, seldom hunts the ball or demands it and when he loses it, he just goes all jelly-like and shows no desire to get it back. Talent will take you only so far. Arteta should be asking him if what we’re seeing (attitude-wise) is all he’s got. Personally, I think he was hiding from the ball last night. It may be his unfortunate style and thin shape that give a false impression. Quite how he has survived the butchery of the Portuguese league I can’t imagine.
Adam, yes, I’m amazed he survived in such a filthy League too. Even more surprised that we signed him. I know that sounds negative but for all his skill, he’s not a PL player right now. Hopefully he’ll improve but I can remember writing the same about Pepe.
Late one yesterday with the added fun of train strikes (slow hand clap).
If Arteta was serious with that game he would have started the first team. He didn’t. We didn’t look polished until Partey and Odehaard came on.
Sporting were cynical and the ref let them get away with it. A number of their players could have got reds, but he let them kick us over and over. The ref was useless and his linesmen got a lot of calls wrong.
Good goal from the Lisbon player, but it was a fluke. 9/10 of those don’t even get on target. Bad memories of Nayim. Another fluke.
All the eggs in one basket now. New manager for Palace on Sunday.
Viera looks like Ozils’ love child.Has all the characteristics.Will soon be on the Lokonga bike if he keeps this up.Doesn’t look as if he can handle the ‘ non negotiables’ .First season or not.
Not again Pete, let’s hope it’s a bit too soon for Palace to regroup.
Good morning Rico and all.
As I commented last night, we can now concentrate on getting the best possible finishing position in The Premiership.
Morning Cicero, we have no other choice. Lol
I can’t believe Southgate has selected Ivan Toney for the England Squad. How can a player, charged by The FA, with 232 breaches of FA betting rules, be honoured in this way. What sort of example is set for youngsters who are increasingly being targeted by betting companies?
But he’s not been found guilty yet and he’s been playing for his club. Mind you, didn’t he admit the offences..
Yes I believe he did Rico. I just can’t see why The FA haven’t punished him yet.
Me neither Cicero.
Well he has also picked flasher Walker too so it makes you worry about letting the youngsters mix with them . Then again there was always John Terry so there is a precedent.
City have drawn Bayern Munich and should they get through it’s Chelsea or Real Madrid. Life just got harder for them.
Good point Potter.
I wonder what happened with the so called rapist who was meant to be on bail..
I am in a state of shock and disappointment, but nothing that I had noticed and warned about. You must have forgotten that Sporting won 2-0 against Totts at home and drew 1-1 in London. We had a bad 2nd half. Fábio Vieira has to play in the centre-left and not in the centre.
Was that United or City or both ?
Interesting night scene in the area
Nope, the player from north London. The reason Thomas Partey has been booed for much of the season.
I thought it might be Mendy or Greenwood.
Again the same: coach Everton left, game with Arsenal; Palace coach leaves, game with Arsenal. Hopefully the final result will not be the same.
Afternoon All, I’m still fed up about last nights match, I must admit.
I’m really not convinced with Viera. He offered nothing last night and his attitude was poor. I was surprised Nelson was taken off , he was at least tracking back and trying. As Pete has said before, Viera has the sulky look of Ozil about him and just pretends to do the hard stuff.
Rob Holding put a good shift in though, considering he has hardly played I thought he did well.
I guess we’ll never find out Potter.
With Saliba probably out on Sunday it will be interesting to see which of Kiwior and Holding get the nod to start. Kiwior wins on pace and height, Holding on all round experience, which in the Premiership, is all important.
Hi Rico.. what a night – whatever could go wrong, did go wrong! I’m really disappointed, although it’s to be expected as it is Europe and our record in it stinks! Which is why I’m amazed at the comments dismissing it, just like when we were knocked out of both domestic cups. Clearly we haven’t got the squad depth for every competition but come on, it is a trophy at the end of the day! We’re not in a position to turn our noses up at any of them.
Now all of our eggs are in one basket (again) the nerves are creeping in I’m afraid, and we now face Palace, who have been somewhat a bogey team of late, although being at home is an advantage (I thought that last night too 🤦♀️). I’m expecting their young keeper to turn into a prime Seaman and I hope Mikel isn’t as late with his substitutions as he was last night.
Tomi left on crutches so that doesn’t look good, hopefully there will be better news regarding Saliba 🤞🏻
Jm, we didn’t have a good first half either really. As others have said, once Odegaard ,Partey and Saka came on, we looked better. What no one could have foreseen though is Mikel Arteta having to make two early changes and I don’t think that helped at all.
I wouldn’t put Vieira in the same bracket as Ozil. Pires struggled in his first season but we know how that went.
Yeah, our squad depth is a real worry now. There is such a difference when the first teamers aren’t playing.
Another goal conceded from giving the ball away in midfield……..How many is that now ?
Hi Sue. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. First choice 11-13, very strong but then there’s a gap in either experience and/or quality. Europa showed that once the better teams came along. PSV in the group, Sporting over the last two matches. That’s the difference between us and City and honestly, I think we’ll end up with nothing come the end of the season, other than CL football.
I like Jorginho but he’s no Partey, Vieira is no Odegaard and Nelson is not Saka. As good as Holding might be when he at his best, I’d be seriously concerned if he had to play the remainder of our fixtures.
Rico.. I don’t think our Europa campaign was that impressive..
I’m with you, we still have to go to Anfield and the Etihad and I can’t help but feel an Everton type performance is never far away.. Having been top for so long it would be such a shame if we were to do a Stevie G and let it slip, but as you say City are so much stronger.. well I guess we’ll know more on Sunday with how we react.. I saw this online:
Man City have averaged 26 points for the final 11 league games of the last six seasons under Pep Guardiola.
If City hit that average this season, Arsenal will need 22 points from their final 11 games.
City’s highest haul was 33, the lowest 21.
Me neither Sue, not when one looks at who we played and how we actually played in most of them. That’s the City stats is exactly the reason I don’t expect us to win the League and why being at the top of the table means nothing unless on the final day of the season we’re 4 points clear.
Lets hope that was our blip !
It didn’t start well….I think we lost every coin toss too .
At least we know from now on we can only field our strongest team. I personally hope Vieira is nowhere near it, he’s looked too lightweight from day one to me. I hope I’m proved wrong.
Trouble is Mike, many of them are going to be knackered after last night. Our match Sunday is massive I think, we can’t afford a dip like last season when top four was so close.
Too many people calling out Vieira for it to be a coincidence , Like so many others I have never been convinced and I am afraid the jam tomorrow comparisons with Pires don’t wash with me . Even as he struggled you could see that Pires was class whereas Vieira looks lightweight and just full of flicks.
Holding is there to do a job and Kiwior is there to learn , there is a big difference. We can only hope that Saliba recovers in time for Holding to resume his place on the bench after a short period.
I think you might be right Rico , but Saka , Trossard, Partey, Odergaad and Jesus didn’t play the whole game and they are all tough players. At worst , Ben White could take over from Saliba for a game or two. Haven’t we got some promising young right backs who can step up. I still think we can grind out wins . Jesus is looking really sharp.
I’m a glass half full kinda of gal. 😂
That’s my point really Mike, rest our best players and the performance level drops quite a bit as it has done throughout Europa. The scoreline during the groups suggest we had it easy but the performances told a different story I think. As soon as we came up against a half decent side in PSV, we struggled.
I think our young right back is out on loan..
Yep Rico, but from now until the end of the season nobody should need a rest now. Edu and Co can’t miss the fact that we are in desperate need of strengthening in the summer if we are even thinking of competing in the Champions League.
For now ,we just put the best team out for the last eleven games.
I honestly think Jesus will make a massive difference and Trossard will really shine.
I’ve got my positive hat on this evening !!
As long as they all stay for Mike, yep. Fingers crossed eh..
Crystal Palace have sacked Vieria. It just goes to show that being a great player doesn’t mean much when it comes to management. Gerrard, Lampard, Rooney, Hoddle, Ginola, and a host of others are testament to the fact.
I think there is more wrong at palace than just Vieira, no matter who their manager is, they always sit in the middle of the table,
The problem at Palace is that their eyes are bigger than their belly. They are at the level which is close to their maximum but they have aspirations that are beyond their means.
The capacity at Selhurst park is just under 26000 and they do not have state aid from a foreign country albeit there is some American money in the system from a guy that has interests in a few clubs in different countries .
As we found out Highbury could not sustain our ambitions and we had 10 plus thousand more.
Leicester are held up as the example for clubs of this size but even their new stadium is approximately the same size as Chelsea’s but they don’t have a dodgy money laundering service backing them up.
Lightning doesn’t strike twice very often in fact since it started in 1992 only twice has a non big 6 club won the Premier league . Palace’s owners need to realise that they are doing as good as they can and I reckon that changing Vieira for someone else is about as useful as moving the deckchairs on the Titanic .
Sometimes you just have to set sail and keep on course for as long as possible , switching direction and starting again rarely works .
As I’ve said, it’s necessary to rotate players to face the challenges that lie ahead. Taking stock of the season so far: I think that Arsenal was a candidate for all competitions, except for the League that wanted to gain access to the Champions League. To surprise or not it’s all reversed. We have some chances of winning the League and at the very least, almost guaranteeing access to the Champions League; in the other competitions, in my opinion, we left early in all of them, having been somewhat frustrating to participate. In the Europa League and doing a quick analysis, we were eliminated by a midfield goal. The exhibitions with more demanding teams (PSV, Sporting) were always of a mediocre level. In this last round, it was always felt that there was a team more determined to move forward. As it is impossible to always play with them and with the desired goal of going to the Champions League, I ask the question: if we go to the Champions League, what do we expect? Play with them twice a week? Does the level go down considerably with 1-2 or 3 replacements? Give up one or more competitions right away? Ignore the European Competitions that give prestige and money? Faced with a failure, regret absences due to injury, tiredness, suspension or something else? Do other teams not have the same problems to a greater or lesser extent? Cling to the excuse that the squad is short for all competitions?
In all honesty JM, we do not have a strong enough squad to really compete in more than on competition. We have two injury prone full backs, Tierney and Tomiyasu, we need an upgrade on Ramsdale’s back-up. Next season we will need to find the Xhaka replacement and Partey will need to be played less to avoid injury and burn out.
I don’t think Nelson is a true backup for Saka, perhaps Marquinos will make the grade after his season in the Championship. Whilst we have Nketiah and Jesus as central strikers we do need a genuine number nine who can play with his back to goal and compete at attacking corners.
Depending on where we finish this season and who we can attract in the Summer, we must seriously consider playing a largely second string in the FA and Carabao cups.
Just read a story on the cost of a personal message from some of our players, I wonder if this is a way around the FFP rule. starting at 290.00 pounds for individuals and up to 12,000.00 for videos for corporates / companies.
New post up