Southampton Review: Saints Preserve Us Because Our Defending Didn’t

Southampton 1 – 1 Arsenal

An Olivier Giroud header, courtesy of a flick he practices in the mirror each morning, saved us at St Mary’s. It was an unlikely equaliser because this was Arsenal at their narcissistic worst. All the possession in the world but no end product; Fraser Forster won’t have many less troubling afternoons in his career against top six clubs, let alone this season.

We took a point and for that, I’m feeling grateful. We deserved it, but we just didn’t look like taking it. Southampton took an early lead and threatened to blow us away as the same fault resurfaced. And it genuinely was the same fault; the defending was worse than last weekend.

Arsène felt that part of the problem was psychological. Speaking post-match, he offered the view that we talked ourselves into a poor performance:

I felt that the Manchester United game played a bit of a part in the head of our defenders. It was a bit in their head and they were a bit apprehensive to start well again and that’s why it is sometimes not good to talk about the problem because you create a bigger one.

So, we can’t talk about our faults? No wonder they recur so frequently; they are never addressed. There is a deeper flaw than that. Per Mertesacker played like a man who has seen very little first-team football this season. I was re-assured before kick-off, believing he might steady the ship as he has in the past.

After fifteen minutes, it was obvious that wasn’t happening. His pass was intercepted and Austin ran into the space that the German left; 1 – 0. The same player given the same space only found Cech making a good stop minutes later before Austin once again found space, this time the woodwork and the offside flag ensured we stayed in the game.

It was another defensive horror show as the back three not only looked like they hadn’t trained together, but had never met previously either.

Had Arsène hooked Mertesacker at that point, no-one would have complained. Not even Per, I suspect. But we muddled through, gradually taking control with oodles of possession and Southampton happily sat back to frustrate.

That makes it seem as if Per was the problem but he wasn’t as such. Laurent Koscielny is playing like a man whose Achilles needs proper treatment. We can’t do it; he’s our best centre-back at present which underlines the depth of the issues in the back five. Nacho Monreal is firefighting but getting caught up in the malaise as well. As a unit, the back three irrespective of composition, isn’t working effectively.

Which is a genuine concern. Even against BATE, we gave up plenty of opportunities which suggests there’s a basic problem with the work being done on the training pitch since that was different personnel. We’re heading for a moment when the manager has to do something drastic, such as returning to a flat back four. The question is whether we will suffer beforehand or will it be pre-emptive.

It’s not the only issue or maybe even our biggest issue. Whereas last weekend’s attacking play was dynamic until it came to putting the ball into the net, yesterday it was meandering. Alexis scurried forward, gave the ball away and scurried after it, giving the air of a man desperately trying to inject some life into the performance while simultaneously not wanting to be there.

Yet this was the man who provided the assist for Giroud’s header. Alexis may not be scoring or creating as many as previous seasons but frankly, there was no-one else creating yesterday. Özil worked hard but typified Arsenal when he broke on the counter late on; the promise of the move petered out as he turned aimlessly into Southampton defenders.

Away from home this season, we’ve played 8 games and scored 9 goals, 5 of which came in one game. So in 7 games, we’ve found the net 4 times. You won’t win games with a rickety defence unless your attack is on fire. You don’t win games with a misfiring attack without a strong defence; we’ve gone for the worst of both worlds.

We just didn’t look like winning, which is not a problem when somebody pops up with goals at unexpected moments. Failing that, a dubious refereeing decision in your favour always helps. This weekend, it went against us; Alexandre Lacazette wiped out in the Southampton area which the referee inexplicably ignored. It’s moments like that where you want the official to talk to the media after, explain a decision.

However, that isn’t a problem if you are finishing the chances created. To be honest, yesterday was a match to send you to sleep. We strolled around, passed ad infinitum, trying all the while to be stylish and purposeful but lacking intent. Just as with the penalty incident, there was no passion. None of the Arsenal players complained to the referee about the challenge which floored Lacazette; they were too passive.

That ought to have fired them up but instead, the meandered and mumbled. Too many of the first team know that no matter how poorly/badly/averagely they play, they play; there’s no pressure on them for their place in the side.

Xhaka, ponderous in possession far too often, is a pale shadow of the man Arsenal scouted but it begs the question whether he is the right man for the role assigned to him. Another square peg? I think not, more an ellipse being pushed into a round hole. Put a purely defensive midfielder alongside him and he will stroll around pinging passes about. He isn’t a defensive midfielder himself.

Nor is Ramsey whose hamstring twang opens the door back into the first team for Jack Wilshere. Neither was bad yesterday, neither was inspiring either. You looked for the spark to come and there was nothing from anyone; no-one in that team took the game by the scruff of the neck and said to their team-mates, “This isn’t good enough!”

This is a familiar post-match refrain, one I could go back through the past decade and pick out a number of times in a season. We didn’t lose and that’s a positive. We didn’t take advantage of a woeful Liverpool performance either, nor Chelsea’s defeat.

West Ham on Wednesday looks a trickier fixture than it was thanks to their victory and our lack of application. It’s up to Arsène to find the solutions quickly.

Finally, there’s a much under-rated album on Dad’s Jukebox to keep you groovin’ until the Europa League draw later today.

’til Tomorrow.

 

62 thoughts on “Southampton Review: Saints Preserve Us Because Our Defending Didn’t

  1. Wailesy says:

    Morning,

    “We’re heading for a moment when the manager has to do something drastic”

    Like leaving?

  2. nicky says:

    Southampton learned from Man Utd’s “score while they’re cold and then park the ‘bus”.
    And we have to conquer massed defences or else …….;)

  3. DALM says:

    Don’t see anything being done drastic or otherwise….

    Yesterday meandered from dreadful to meh – there was none of the passion and endeavour of the Manure match and everyone seemed lethargic, slow, disinterested….

    Xhaka was over slow in everything he did…there was no screen in front of the back 3 or 4 and we never really looked like penetrating….the goal was sweet but too little too late…. the chopping down of Lac seemed to be glossed over.

    More of the same against the appy ammers no doubt

  4. Jonnygunner says:

    Morning all
    Thanks for the write up YW…I don’t know how you manage it day after day,week after week,month after……well…..I think you get the picture.
    You are a wonder mate.

  5. Pete the Thirst says:

    Concede Score Draw Repeat…

  6. Dukey says:

    We’ve avoided Dortmund…phew…one down..

  7. Romaninho says:

    Never mind, Mustafi should be available again for Wednesday.

    Oh, hold on…………..

  8. Dukey says:

    We could get into the next round here if we’re lucky!!

  9. Jonny says:

    Annnnnd it’s Sweden’s FC Ostersunds v Arsenal

  10. HenryNorrisDialSquare says:

    Lets swap Xhaka for Idrissa Gueye in January, then we might actually win something. Also I’d give Maitland-Niles a chance based on the performances against Man U and Southampton.

  11. C says:

    Ostersunds it is, that means we will continue to see the B team. Fully expect us to get through and do so quite comfortably.

  12. Dukey says:

    Sorry that’s we’ve drawn a pub team, obviously..

  13. Ian says:

    C’mon lets beat FC Ostersunds so we can get knocked out by Napoli in the last 16!

  14. C says:

    Borussia Dortmund v Atalanta
    Nice v Lokomotov Moscow
    Copenhagen v Atlético Madrid
    Spartak Moscow v Athletic Bilbao
    AEK Athens v Dynamo Kyiv
    Celtic v Zenit St Petersburg
    Napoli v RB Leipzig
    Red Star Belgrade v CSKA Moscow
    Lyon v Villarreal
    Real Sociedad v Salzburg
    Partizan Belgrade v Viktoria Plzen
    Steaua Bucharest v Lazio
    Ludogorets v Milan
    Astana v Sporting
    Ostersunds v Arsenal
    Marseille v Braga

    Have to say, glad to see Napoli and Leipzig facing each other so one of them will be out, Lyon and Villarreal, one of them will be gone so that is great news.

  15. C says:

    Good post Yogi.

    Southampton, well that was a defensive disaster. While I do think that we need defenders, I think the problem is two-fold: Arsene sucks or doesn’t care about defending and our defenders are all over the place.

  16. C says:

    I know we aren’t in the CL but FFS there are some juicy match-ups in order for me:

    Madrid vs PSG
    Chelsea v Barca
    Juve v Spuds
    Sevilla v Manure
    Porto v Liverpool
    Shakhtar v Roma
    Basel v Citeh
    Bayern v Besiktas

  17. Pete says:

    Here’s my two cents worth of free advice to our Team….. Even though you consider it below yourselves to do a team huddle pre-match, please do so because it just might give everyone a chance to back slap everyone to full wakefulness…. Y’know say something like …. Let’s kick the ball into the oppositions half! Seriously…

  18. Welsh Corgi Cardigan says:

    Yes, we´re playing the swedes from the far, far , far north where they now don´t see the sun for 3 weeks.

    I´m not pulling your legs, this is the real Pub Team which didn´t exist 5 years ago and is a true rag tag team made up of left over players from far away leauges.

    If we don´t beat them (and I say this as a Swede) we´re maggots, no lower then maggots, we´re the scrap at the bottom of the barrel. We´d be the lowest of the lowest and really should contemplate doing something else 🙂

  19. Wavey says:

    Afternoon all,

    another fine write-up, a shame we can’t say the same about the performance.

    The excuseniks will claim that it was just a bad day at the office following the gallant, but doomed efforts against United. Unfortunately we’ve had too many of those for it to just be down to the team just being out of sorts. There is a continued malaise in the club which filters down from the coaching staff. If we aren’t constantly working on improvement and addressing faults, how does the team advance? Xhaka isn’t by any stretch of the imagination a DM by trade, but he can be taught a few things on the training ground to help him apply himself to the role. You can’t just throw a player in the deep end and expect them to get on with it, but we appear to do exactly that way to often. And if the performance comes down to a player failing to understand what is expected in his role, shouldn’t the training ground be the place that you address those issues? If it is being worked on during training ground and he still doesn’t get it he must be dropped.

  20. Wavey says:

    Wavey,

    That wasn’t meant to just be a dig at Xhaka, he’s just the clearest example of a player who isn’t suited to the role he has been given and who doesn’t appear to get any guidance.

  21. Bill says:

    Great review Yogi. The defense is a big problem but the strange thing is just a couple weeks ago it was a real strength and actually saved us against Burnley and we defended very well against Spurs. The inconsistency is so typical of Arsene Wenger teams in the Emirates era. It does not take great talent to be a solid defensive team and with the exception of Xhaka i think our players have more then enough talent to be a very good defensive team. However, there is something about Arsene that prevents us from maintaining any sort of consistency. Its been the same thing for the entire Emirates era and you would think someone would have learned a lesson by now but I guess hoping for a light bulb to go on in Arsene’s head is asking for to much.

    The other thing which is typical is the toothless annoying sideways passing and ball possession that we call an attack. Our attack is built on the idea that we maintain possession and build our attack thru the midfield and try to break down the opposition with our passing which is orchestrated by our creative midfielders. It works when we play at a high tempo and the opponent is struggling such as the Everton or the recent Bate Borisov game. However you can’t break down an organized defense once you allow them time to set up and inevitably our tempo slows down and we fall back to our tippy tappy habit and we end up playing the way we did yesterday. Its all very frustrating

  22. Bill says:

    In the past there was a school of thought that said that part of the reason we struggled was Arsene never rotated and he over used our regular players and the bad runs of form we have were caused by our player being tired and needing rest. Part of the narrative was that our results would improve if we rotated the squad a lot more. The same thing was said so often that it developed into conventional wisdom on the blog. The results in our league campaign this season certainly provides plenty of evidence which argues that the conventional wisdom was rubbish.

  23. C says:

    Rather quiet around these parts.

    Have to say, the one thing that will be interesting to watch will be what Jack does with him more than likely to replace Ramsey in midfield. This is his chance to not only stake his claim for regular PL Arsenal futbol but also for his contract.

  24. Welsh Corgi Cardigan says:

    C,

    Morning (which I think it is in your parts),

    Think Ramsey got a tight hamstring in the hampton game. No playing for him coming weeks.

    Not sure what to make of it as he´s been played with caution this autumn, for both Club and country.

  25. Orson Kaert says:

    Well done Yogi, I think JG represented all our appreciation very well earlier today.

    Whilst our early defending was pathetic, it wasn’t the only reason for the dropped points.

    We effectively played a 3 0 7, at times a 2 0 8. Despite all the possession and an unbelieveable pass count we were not good enough to score more than a single goal.

    Aside from the defence, Sanchez was our most disapointing player, almost utterly useless. The one redeeming feature in his favour was the one piece of footballing skill he brought to the game, his chipped pass to Giroud which led to our equaliser. Other than that he ran in circles, lost possession so many times that I lost count and had just one shot at goal.

    I would be happy to see the back of him in January.

  26. Pete the Thirst says:

    Xhaka – Why not dig him out? He’s been shocking pretty much all season. He may not be a defensive midfielder, but his forte is meant to be passing. There was a pass towards the end of the game where he almost played Southampton in on goal. He needs to be dropped.

    And Bellerin – what has happened to him?

    Wavey:
    Wavey,

    That wasn’t meant to just be a dig at Xhaka, he’s just the clearest example of a player who isn’t suited to the role he has been given and who doesn’t appear to get any guidance.

  27. C says:

    Welsh Corgi Cardigan,

    Yup, still morning over this side of the pond.

    Ramsey’s hamstring has tightened up and it will be interesting to see not only how long he is out but what happens to that position especially when you consider Jack’s contract is over this summer and Ramsey’s (I think) is next summer.

    That is the thing, both club and country have seemed to try to protect him and maybe he is just one of those players that always will have hamstring problems.

    The big thing is its now time for Jack to put up or shut up, he has talked about wanting more match time in the PL and he gets his chance. I know he has looked good to really good in the Cups and Europa League but as we have seen the PL is different and players get away with heavier challenges, the game is more franetic, it will be interesting to see what happens. I think the biggest difference can/should be the fact that Jack is more of a link player who doesn’t always want to get into the box and enjoys getting the ball off the CB’s and linking play whereas Ramsey is more focused on getting forward and in the box and prefers to be higher up the pitch as opposed to taking the ball off the CB’s.

    The other thing can/should be where on the pitch AOL receive the ball, with Jack he should be able to allow in particular Sanchez and Ozil to not have to drop deep to receive the ball but instead be higher up the pitch. At least those are the things that I think Jack can and should be able to immediately bring but we will see what he actually does.

  28. Bill says:

    Pete the thirst

    So far Bellerin has had the typical career arc of dozens and dozens of our academy grads. We get excited about his early performances and despite all of the evidence to the contrary we believe that he will get better as he matures. However almost inevitably his perfirmances go backwards and he hits a plateau that never comes close to matching our hopes.

    The reality is he has eye catching pace which caused us to over rate him but he was never as good as we thought. Eye catching is not the same as effective.

  29. Bill says:

    Our big hope that the Alexis, Ozil, Lacazette axis was going to make us unplayable was a bit of unrealistic hope. Lacazette has been good but so far he is a 1 goal every 2 games type CF which is not going to set the world on fire. Ozil and Sanchez have been poor for the majority of this season.

    Orson @ 3:18PM

    We need goals and assists from Alexis and I agree that he has not been productive this season. If we can get a decent transfer fee it makes sense to sell him in January.

    However, with regard to your comment, the last thing we need on this Arsenal team is another player whose focus is on maintaining ball possession. In a game like yesterday we need someone/anyone to try and make something positive happen on the attacking end and Sanchez is sometimes our only hope to do that. Unfortunately he has not played well this season and the things he is trying to do are not working and it looks bad. However, even if it might look more appealing to the eye, I think the guy who completes 98% of his 10,000 passes around the mid field is slowing down our tempo and that is much more damaging then Sanchez losing the ball.

  30. Bill says:

    Pete the Thirst.

    In the second half of last season Arsene had to drop Bellerin because his defense had become so bad and a lot of us blamed Arsene for Hector’s struggles because we thought he brought Hector back to soon after his injury. Early this year when Hector was bad again we blamed Arsene for playing him on the left. I think we have run out of excuses for him. Even great players will have short runs of poor form but a player is responsible for his own performances and when someone plays poorly for a long period of time its the players fault and by far the most common explanation is the player was never as good as we thought or if they were once really good then they are on the downside of their career arc.

  31. HenryB says:

    Hi Guys,

    (1) Mertesacker : 33 y.o. — Monreal : 31 y.o. — Kozzer : 32 y.o. — = 90 years old (combined).

    That is not a good balance.

    OK, you might say that Mustafi : 25 y.o. — Holding : 22 y.o. — Chambers : 22 y.o — = 69 years old (combined) are good cover for our ageing CBs — but are they?

    Each of them has a black mark hovering over their heads —

    (a) Mustafi was on the verge of being given the transfer boot, last Sumer —
    (b) Chambers, apart from being perennially injured, has teetered on the verge of also being kicked into transfer touch — and
    (c) Holding, sometimes seen as the future for Arsenal, just cannot get a game, and Wenger does not seem to rate him.

    It does not need a genius to see all is not well in the Arsenal defence — and can anyone genuinely believe that Cech has not left his golden years well behind him?

    The Midfield? Well I am too cheesed to go all midfieldy — that does not really bear thinking about.

    Someone cheer me up and tell me I have got it all wrong —- please. 🙂

    And before I forget again, well done Yogi with the Post.

  32. G4E says:

    This club is riddled with “No Accountability” bugs that runs riot through the halls of the Emirates.

    Wenger protects the players, The Owner protects Wenger, and the majority shares protects the Owner from any accountability for their actions or performances.

    We will be mired in this shit for as long as the status quo remains.

    Watch when Lacazette becomes an average player under the tutelage of Mr Wenger, just like many players before him that came to us with great prospects and ended up with nothing.

    Wenger days of giving are turning now into taking from our progress and our future…..That’s what dictatorships and holding on to power gives you in the end.

  33. Jonny says:

    Chortle, no pressure:

    🗓️ Feb 13th: Chelsea vs. Barcelona
    🗓️ Feb 24th: Man Utd vs. Chelsea
    🗓️ Mar 3rd: Man City vs. Chelsea
    🗓️ Mar 6th: Barcelona vs. Chelsea

  34. HenryB says:

    Hiya, Buffalo Bill, @ 4:14 pm

    You said the fans’ big hope that AOL would make us unplayable was unrealistic, and that is a truism, you also called for more goals from Sanchez, and again that is true, who would not want more goals — from any of them?

    But you fail, as is your wont, to mention the bloody awful defence who gift the opposition with goals in the first 5 minutes, and then leave the forwards to chase the deficit before we can start trying to win.

    Every great tactician, and of course I am not saying you are not, Bill, will always say that a great team, a winning team, builds from the back (Defense) to stop us from chasing the game, or once we are ahead to make sure they close down the opposition, and make sure we start ahead.

    You love talking about attack, and have little interest in the defence, but that’s a bit like saying ‘the biggest lion who will also be the most successful is the one with the biggest teeth’ and fail to notice he has only got three legs. He has to have everything in the right quantities, head, teeth, legs and tail to be successful. Same, same with the team — defence and attack working together.

    Don’t you agree? 😀

  35. C says:

    HenryB,

    Spot on with your 4:58 post, I tried to state something like that but not nearly as effective.

    I think the thing that people forget is that ANY club including Arsenal will sit and defend and strictly play on the counter when they are up a goal or 2 within the first 10′ of a match. I mean look at what we did to Chelsea last season in both victories: hopped on them early, got up a goal or 2 and then played on the counter.

    AOL isn’t the problem, they are creating chances, the problem is our leaky midfield and defense. You did a number on the defense well let me take a swing at the midfield who is capable of performances like against Spuds but then are capable of making Stoke look like a world class counter-attacking side.

    Ramsey, Jack, Xhaka, Elneny, Le Coq all have black marks for several reasons:

    Ramsey while he covers every blade of grass, its not disciplined and his best attribute is late runs but he isn’t effective when he gets there but as a pure box-to-box player he doesn’t like to defend nor is he a good passer (Lee Dixon sums his up brilliantly when he talks about Ramsey not doing the midfield things well like dictating tempo, passing and handling being pressed but really good at making the late runs)

    Xhaka doesn’t cover large space well and can more often than not be a disaster when pressed not to mention while he is aggressive he is a shit tackler.

    JAck who is coming back from injury is good at driving forward but still can’t ride a challenge so he takes quite a lot of heavy challenges not to mention I’m not sure if he is good defensively but he sure does love a revenge tackle.

    Elneny is the type of player who is consistently effective but Arsene doesn’t seem to rate same with most supporters because he isn’t constantly spectacular .

    Le Coq well, he is a destroyer and his limitations are quite numerous

    At the end of the day the thing is, none of Arsene’s preferred midfielders (Xhaka, Ramsey, Jack) are actually good at defending and I would say are just as bad under pressure (okay Jack is good but will then run into a cul da sac) which doesn’t bode well when your defenders are shaky or unsure. The other thing is, they aren’t the most athletic which wouldn’t be a problem but positional-wise they are shambolic.

    .

  36. Orson Kaert says:

    HenryB,

    Against a team of Southampton’s standing giving them a one goal start should not have been a problem for a team aiming for a top for finish. We have a squad of undoubted talent but that squad is not coached by a tactically aware manager. Indeed Wenger has barely tweaked his tactics in the past ten years and has still not found a way of bypassing the parked bus.

  37. consolsbob says:

    Jonny,

    Well Jonny, there was a time when we faced fixtures like those that meant something and we went into them as a competitive team.

    We are. Long way off that now. The chavs do still have a competitive team and are playing at the top table. We don’t and aren’t.

  38. Temi says:

    Dukey,

    Dortmund aren’t that good. The team we should be worried about is atletico Madrid. And napoli

  39. potter says:

    Who said that if you aim for midtable then you are accepting that it’s alright to lose football matches. When its not.

    The chairman of that Swedish pub team.

  40. HenryB says:

    C,

    Well unsurprisingly you have nailed it.

    The only gleam of light is that unlike the defense we seem to have a number of talented kids coming thru — altho that might be 2 or 3 years down the line.

    If Holding and maybe Bielik are given an extended run in the team together with another top notch CB, then we might right the boat — but as Orse said, it does need a more tactical approach, something like “You are a defender, stay in your own f*cking half and stop them scoring at all costs until the boys up front score and then …….. stay in your own f*cking half and stop them scoring at all costs.. Simple.

  41. C says:

    HenryB,

    Yup and if I’m honest I would actually play Maitland-NIles ahead of Le coq but that might just be me and possibly you standing on that island by ourselves.

    I think Bielik could become a player but that remains to be seen. I actually think that Mustafi, Chambers and Holding aren’t bad defenders but they have no direction. I mean its funny to think that there were a couple of us who said Gabriel is a good defender while others crucified him and now getting direction he is the anchor and widely thought of as one of the signings of the La Liga season playing for a club that currently sits 2nd (5 points behind Barca)and 2nd in goal differential.

    Hey, you should coach the defense you seem to understand the basics 😉

  42. Bill says:

    Henry and C.

    Our defense incredibly inconsistent and Xhaka is a poor defensive midfielder. No one would try to deny that. Ramsey divides opinions. Go back and look in the archives because we have been complaining about the defense since 2008 and nothing has changed. Back then we talked about the defense a lot because there still a lot of people who thought that we were an attacking and we did not need defense or that our defense was good enough. The only reason we don’t talk about the defense as much now is because everyone agrees that we aren’t good enough about that and there isn’t much else to say.

    With regard to AOL. I think it’s quite a stretch of the imagination to suggest that the biggest reason Alexis and Mesut have a grand total of only 6 goals and 8 assists in 16 games is because of the defense. We have always had a leaky inconsisten defense and that never stopped them from scoring goals and creating assists in the past

  43. HenryB says:

    C,

    Yessir — I should be the Gunners defence coach with my mantra ‘stay in your own effing half’ and I would, of course, carry a big stick to make sure they understood!! 😀

    Bill, no one said they [AOL] were rubbish – far from it – but in any sport — giving the opposition a start makes life difficult and mitigates against winning — bit like Usain Bolt giving the other athletes a 10 metre start — (OK he probably would have still won – but you get my meaning).

    I would love to watch a soccer match with you and hear you say, “oh, look, Sanchez and La Caz have only scored one goal each — that’s poor — obviously it’s their fault that the defence gave away 3 and we lost 3:2.” 😀

  44. Bill says:

    C

    Since 2008 Arsenal has always had a weak defensive midfield that has been susceptible to counter attacks. You were a huge fan of the Song and Denison and they were just as bad as Xhaka Ramsey and perhaps worse. The defense now is probably better now then it was in the 08-12/13 era and you were not concerned about its knock on effect to our attacking players back then. As excuses go that is not a great effort.

  45. Bill says:

    You only have to look at the PL table and see that we are tied for 10th in terms of goals conceded to know that leaky defense is our single biggest problem. I suspect even most of the Wenger forever faction would agree with that so there is not nothing to debate. Our defense has been the single biggest problem throughout the entire emirate era with the exception of 07/08 so this is not a change in the status quo nor is it a surprise.

  46. Bill says:

    We are 4th in the table in goals scored which is reasonable if your objective is a top 4 finish.

  47. Bill says:

    One of the reasons we are in 4th place in the league in goals scored is because we are fortunate to have a super sub like Giroud who is our second leading scorer in league games. He has about 15% of our goals in very limited minute and he is currently scoring a goal every 60 minutes of league playing time.

  48. Bill says:

    The other concern about our scoring is how bad we have been away from the emirates. We looked great against Everton but in the other 7 away games we have 4 goals. That is clearly a significant part of the reason for our miserable away form.

  49. Bill says:

    If you look at the those numbers its hard to imagine we are still in 5th place and only 1 point out of 4th. A lot of smoke and mirrors and good home form. Fortunately Spurs have really struggled but they are only 1 point behind us. We are fortunate that Spurs, Chelsea and Liverpool have all dropped more points then expected.

  50. Bill says:

    Tied for 9th/10 in the table in goals conceded is probably worse then most of us expected so a lot blame goes there.

    Lacazette has given us a goal every other game which is about what we would expect. I can’t believe anyone could be happy with what we have gotten from Ozil and Sanchez. There is no excuse for players of that caliber to be giving us the underwhelming performances and so little production.

  51. Bill says:

    Actually Ozil has the best excuse of all for a drop in performance. He is on the downside of his career arc. Father Time affects players differently but he always wins.

    May be the same thing is happening to Sanchez but he had his best career season last year so I don’t think that is his real problem.

  52. Jonnygunner says:

    C,

    C
    I’m with you all day with Maitland-Niles,he seems to improve with every game.

  53. Orson Kaert says:

    Jonnygunner,

    I think there is a long way to go before Maitland-Niles is ready to start in the Premiership. First off Wenger needs to decide what his role should be. Is he a fullback? Is he a wingback?
    Someone, earlier, even suggested he should replace Coquelin in midfield.

    Maitland-Niles is in danger of becoming yet another victim of Wenger’s muddled thinking and bizarre team selections.

Comments are closed.

Scroll Up
%d bloggers like this: