Brentford Review: Progress As Ramsey Talks Stall

Arsenal 3 – 1 Brentford

Progress. There is no one measure but a 2 – 0 half-time lead is a pretty good start. Brentford made the second half a little nervier than it should have been but so did our finishing and Mike Dean or as he was christened, Mike Bloody Dean. His baptism is well remembered by the priest for the baby Mike Bloody Dean’s dismissal of Satan during the rites with a theatrical wave of both arms.

He dismissed VAR similarly last night. A clear penalty but his ego prevented him from reviewing the action while the VAR clearly decided it wasn’t worth fighting a battle Mike Bloody Dean’s ego was sure to win.

Away from the irritation of a clear penalty being denied for a foul of Alex Iwobi, it was a pleasing evening’s work which began extremely badly for Bernd Leno. Letting the ball skid under his boot in the opening moments hardly improved his chances of usurping Petr Cech. Naturally, the back pass came from Shkodran Mustafi. Of course it did; it had to. The German centre-back must think his luck is changing when the scoreboard didn’t flash up the letters “o.g.” after his name.

Both of which are minor points and detract from the overall performance. Danny Welbeck grabbed two, both of which possessed an admirable beauty. The first, a header where Welbeck found space in the box and guided the ball into the net. Perfectly executed and refreshingly in the first five minutes. A clean sheet at the weekend, the early goal last night; the Emery Revolution will be televised. Or shown on a jerky feed.

Welbeck’s second resulted from a well-crafted counter-attack; a typical ‘Arsenal’ goal in the speed and execution. The Emery Revolution embraces all. 2 – 0 at half-time and completely in command.

You Can’t Judge A Defence By Its Howlers

Naturally, we slackened off in the second half or appeared to. The reality is Brentford upped their game; we just pootled along at the same level.

Even more typically Arsenal, the Brentford goal came after a period where we dominated. Alan Judge scored his first goal in three years. Of course he did; we’re Arsenal and friendly like that. All of our own making as well. Canos thankfully skied a presentable chance shortly after and the ignominy of a penalties defeat remains resolutely Manchester United’s.

Alexandre Lacazette’s goal in the dying embers of the match put a fairer reflection of the match on the scoreline. Another well-taken goal as he shrugged off two defenders and Aaron Ramsey to lash the ball home. 

There was plenty to be pleased with for Unai Emery last night. Emile Smith-Rowe’s performance lived up to the hype as he was close to fearless in midfield while Mkhitaryan didn’t show any sign of the injury which dogged him over the past week.

However, the indisputable Man of the Match was Alex Iwobi. Darting, energetic, purposeful; the Nigeria international gave the performance we need to see on a consistent basis. Which he looks capable of achieving under Emery. Wenger saw the potential in the player, Emery the intensity to realise it.

Emery unsurprisingly felt the positivity of the result and performance:

I think today is a good match, a good 90 minutes to continue working on our tactical things and our individual things also for taking responsibility for the players, for taking confidence in the players for the 90 minutes

Unai Emery on last night’s win

There’s not much to argue with overall. Concentration remains an issue with lapses proving costly. It’s something the coaches will struggle to resolve; the answer comes from within the players.

Pass the Spoon

It’s tempting to think all is rosy in the garden. Perhaps it is and that’s why someone felt the need to drop a load of manure and stink the place out. Reports claim talks with Aaron Ramsey over a new contract broke down and this close to January, an exit seems inevitable.

The media talk of bids from Chelsea or Manchester United but it’s hard to see either appealing to the Welshman. Competition for places at Chelsea is intense but they do play a style which is more suited to Ramsey’s natural game. 

As for United, who on earth would sign for the dishevelled crumpled heap Mourinho is turning the club into? It’s amusing for us to watch him implode with his skin pallor turning him into a Gerry Anderson baddie.

Reports claim we haven’t improved our offer with the driver being a push to reduce the wage bill. That might explain why, for example, Welbeck who would be a good squad player isn’t showing any public sign of being hurried into signing a new deal.

It’s a sea-change in attitude from the ‘Ramsey is the player I’m building the future around’ stories of the summer. Whether there is any truth in these tales remains to be seen.

But never forget that a garden grows better once manure has been used...

’til Tomorrow.

33 thoughts on “Brentford Review: Progress As Ramsey Talks Stall

  1. Great post as always YW. Was Yennaris given the captains armband last night because he was playing against his former club or is he usually captain of Brentford? Thought, Iwobi, Welbz, Smith-Rowe, Mikhi, Guendouzi, Monreal all had a good game. Wasn’t a stella performance from Leno

  2. Good afternoon YW. Love the Gerry Anderson allusion.

    I must confess I was a Troy Tempest Man myself and Stingray that’s another day.

    If as is reported that talks have come to a stalemate we should sell January. Sell him and reinvest what ever we get.

    Ramsey is not what we need. Ramsey functions best as support to a lone striker with his runs etc. We have 2 top strikers in Laca and PEA.

    In Midfield we have a plethora of Players whom are more effective ias traditional midfielders.

    The Club decided to back Ozil last season. Ramsey does not even merit 200 thousand a week. Ramsey is not the future of AFC. Sell in January and buy a winger.

  3. Excellent stuff Yogi!

    The game was a joy to watch especially Guendouzi and Iwobi who were absolutely a joy…..except for the foul Guendouzi made when he didn’t have to that led to their goal. I also though Mhkitaryan played really well.

    Emery thus far is getting the best out of Welbeck to the point he’s scoring good goals, no more Danny ‘shinning them in’ Welbeck….at least for now. Good for Lacazette too who tpld Ramsey to fuck off after doing all the hard work and took his goal well.

  4. Funny, I said it in the summer and stood by it…Emery was saying he is building hzis team around Ramsey but building his team around the CM and pivots and that just happened to be where Ramsey played. Watch the way we play, our pivots dictate the game and whether its last night or in the PL, it frees up the attacking 4 to focus and dictate the attack.

    Chelsea, Ramsey wouldn’t get into that midfield and its hard for me to see a top 6 side he would get into.

  5. I thought Smith-Rowe was really good too, Elneny(who himself had a good game sitting right infront of the back 4) played him through and I thought he was going to score but the defender did well. Other than that though, I thought he most certainly showed qualities.

  6. C

    Wasn’t too impressed with Elneny last night. Thought he was average but was that lack of playing time or the opposition. Knowing he can be better, it’s easier to put it down to an off-night that anything terminal to his career.

  7. A decent game, I thought, in which Brentford had a decent spell themselves. Emery may be stretching it to say we had a good 90 minutes but I feel we panic less under pressure now.

    After the “baptism of fire”, Emery has now won a month of “should win” fixtures and has another month of the same before Liverpool. Regardless of the quality of some of the performances, it has to be considered a solid start. If October goes the same way, I will have no complaints.

  8. YW,

    I thought Elneny had a good game in allowing Guendouzi the freedom especially in the first half. I do think lack of match time was evident but I also think he did some good things.

    Personally, I think Emery’s style and putting Elneny as the ‘sitting’ pivot is the ideal role.

  9. Starring:

    The Kroenke’s as The Mysterons

    Ivan Gazidis as Captain Black

    Arsene Wenger as Colonel White

    …but who is Captain Scarlet ???

    (ps they’re going to destroy London – if we haven’t got enough to worry about!)

  10. Outside of his opening scare, I thought Leno didn’t do too much else wrong and when the ball was played back to him he played quickly or else he went long. He had absolutely no chance for the goal but otherwise did well.

  11. Iwobi or Mhkitaryan MUST start ahead of Ramsey moving forward because they offer genuine width but also give us dribblers.

  12. C:
    Outside of his opening scare, I thought Leno didn’t do too much else wrong and when the ball was played back to him he played quickly or else he went long.He had absolutely no chance for the goal but otherwise did well.

    Sorry C but I don’t agree with your statement on Leno’s culpability for the goal. In my opinion, he set his wall up wrong and his positioning was wrong. To assume that nothing would come over that wall from that distance out was short sighted and show’s his naivety. He should have been more central and he would have been able to get a hand to it. It wasn’t like it was placed perfectly inside his far post. I think we can see now why Cech is starting ahead of him. In my opinion we stick with Cech in goal as he’s the better shot stopper. Cech might be old but he still has class. You can teach that.

  13. We never learn – Ramsey should have been sold by now. I would have sold him after the 2016 Euros when you could have convinced some mugs to pay over £50m (Wenger would then have wasted this but that’s not the point). At the very least he should have been sold for whatever we could get before the start of this season.

    Personally, I have never rated Ramsey apart from his 1 great season in 2013/4. I think he is one of the most overrated players I have ever seen. Cedes possession all the time, injury-prone, no defensive positional sense or awareness and doesn’t even score goals anymore.

    I am glad that we are not signing him up on some silly wages – we made that mistake with Ozil – and him leaving on a free is the better option.

    Ramsey is nowhere near as good as he thinks he is. Bye bye.

  14. If talks with Ramsey have genuinely stalled then what will be, will be. He isn’t going to get 200k a week anywhere else and in my opinion we would be wasting our money giving him those kind of wages and setting ourselves up for more discontent in the dressing room. I hope the club continue to play hard ball with him and if we can secure a buyer in January, then we should cut our losses. However I very much doubt we will be able to move him on in January. So he’ll go on a free and then he’ll find out that he isn’t as much in demand as he thinks he is. However I’m sure a Chinese super league club might pay him the salary he’s after on a free. He certainly won’t be getting it in France, Spain, Germany, Italy or the U.K.

  15. HenryNorrisDialSquare,

    If we are judging based on that and saying Cech is the better option I think we also have to take a look at everything as a whole. Modern GK’ers aren’t just shot stoppers they have to be able to do the other things as well. I think the free kick was a lot better than your giving it credit for, I don’t think he was naive in thinking it wouldn’t come over the wall but I also think we see plenty of GK’ers setting their wall up just the same, you get beat and sometimes the kick is better than the GK. Do I think Cech is still a capable GK, sure but just being a good shot stopper is more than what Emery wants and I also gave seen Leno and he is class too.

  16. HenryNorrisDialSquare,

    We agree on Ramsey haha.

    I think Ramsey could very much find himself in the same situation Jack found himself in. When you look around Europe and clubs in the CL, I simply can’t see him getting into any of their midfields. He is a good player who has qualities but he needs a midfield and team built around him and that simply isn’t going to happen.

  17. I would actually keep Welbeck if he agreed for a minimal increase because he can be a good squad player who is versatile and works for the team. With that said if a good offer came for him jn January, I wouldn’t be opposed if the money was spent on securing a winger.

  18. The Oracle has spoken:

    A new + improved 4yr contract was recently agreed between Arsenal & Aaron Ramsey. But #AFC withdrew offer, are now not in a position to proceed. Most likely he’ll leave for free next summer, unless the perfect opportunity for both parties arises in January

  19. Can’t sell him if there’s no offers. No other top 6 team can fit him into their midfield…I honestly think he’s going to end up abroad somewhere, maybe even AC Milan now ivan is there.

    But, he shouldn’t be starting now, i hope Iwobi or Welbeck start now as Ramsey has left us completely unbalanced whenever he starts. I like that Emery doesn’t seem to have the soft touch Wenger had, ramsey out, someone else coming in come January i hope.

  20. C,

    It makes you wonder what his plans were….surely he wanted to stay as he wasn’t in position to join any other top teams. You’d think he would have jumped at a contract.

  21. I really thought Nketiah would start and I don’t understand why he didn’t. If not last night, then when? He’s shown well in cameos and with goals. Ditto for England juniors.
    Trying hard to figure out Ramsey’s strategy with his contract. Given his injury history, the longer he plays, the more chance of a spell on the injury list. I don’t wish him ill but surely he knows that if/when this does occur, bang goes his chance of a hitting pay dirt somewhere else. I get that it’s his chance for a big contract before he hits 30 but, even so…

  22. MesutsLeftFoot,

    Didn’t he and Welbeck reject offers prior to the club even offering Ozil and Sanchez a contract last season? If reports are to be believed, he has rejected another since, good luck to Ramsey and his agent.

  23. I do think that if Ornstein is correct and Arsenal pulled the plug in the end, that they may have some else in mind OR they think that Ozil and Mhkitaryan are good for that role with Smith-Rowe coming through.

  24. I think with the current limited squad, Emery should try 4-3-3 to accomodate Guendouzi and Torreira.

    Cech

    Bell Holding Sokratis Monreal

    Torreira Xhaka Guendouzi

    Auba Laca Iwobi

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