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22 minutes ago, Art Vandelay said:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again but Willian will cost Arteta his job. Sticking by a busted flush who the fan base hates because he’s your man will completely evaporate any good will he has. Think he’ll run out of road before he makes any serious progress.

Agree and said it myself. I hoped arteta had learnt his lesson but he still brings him on everytime. One of the worst players i have ever seen, we would be better off with 10men.

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On 02/02/2021 at 19:49, dizogg said:

That 1st red card decision is fucking awful. Like fucking atrocious, I’d be livid if it was called against my team. Why can’t any of the refereeing team, the VAR guys... why can’t one of them say WAIT, WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE DOING HERE? It’s the failure to recognise honest mistakes, instead they double down on it. Fuck knows why.

This you? 

Screenshot_20210206_151900_com.android.chrome.png

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Performance very reminiscent of our poor run when we dominated but couldn’t score. No idea why Pepe is started ahead of Martinelli. Pepe reminds me of Gervinho, all step overs and dribbling but no end product. At least Odegaard looks like he can thread a through ball.

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1 Leno

2 Bellerín

23 David Luiz

6 Gabriel

17 Cédric Soares

8 Ceballos

34 Xhaka

32 Smith Rowe

11 Ødegaard

7 Saka

14 Aubameyang

 

 

That's a fun looking team. I'd prefare Holding for Luiz and for Willian not to be in the squad. But I'm into Øde starting and Auba upfront. 

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Good to see Aubameyang scoring freely from open play, also liked seeing 2 creative midfielders in the mix. Luiz and Willian though, can we just stop buying Chelsea cast offs?

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As ridiculous as it might be I'm getting more and more convinced that there is something in Willian's contract which says he has to play in x amount of games, or at least a part of every game when fit or something stupid like that.

If Martinelli and Pepe start against Benfica with Willian on the bench I might understand yesterday's substitution a little bit more but the chances are and I wouldn't be too shocked if Willian starts against Benfica. 

I hope Arteta doesn't persist with this into next season and this whole Willian thing is cut short in the summer. There must be a team in China or America that will take him for free and pay him stupid wages. That said, he probably wouldn't go as he wants to stay in London apparently, his restaurant with Luiz and all that nonsense.

Maybe Fulham, Palace or QPR can save us and take him?

I don't recall a player who offers us absolutely nothing like Willian does. Of course we've had a few dodgy wingers in the past, Glen Helder or even Gervinho for example but at least they would try but just play shit and frustrate the hell out of the fans. Willian doesn't even do that.

 

I'm also getting more and more convinced that we are going to offer Luiz a new deal when this one runs out.

I must admit I do like his after match interviews and the things he says but if he's so good in the dressing room, around the team and has a positive influence on the youngsters then keep him as a coach or cheerleader or something. Not sure about him in the first 11 though.

 

Anyway, apart from these strange things, didn't intend to be all negativity just got carried away, it was a good performance and result yesterday.

Good to see Auba looking like himself and how good is Saka. Was a constant menace. Our player of the season so far for sure. 

All without Partey & Tierney too. 

 

Tough run of games coming up, all the way up to the Liverpool game in April.

Will be interesting to see how well/bad we do in this run.

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I don't believe Willian has a contractual obligation to play, I don't think many teams include those things other than in loan agreements when trying to develop young players and lending them out - I think it's more Willian was Arteta's pick, he pushed to sign him on the big contract, and he's trying to play his choice back into some form (which looks very unlikely).

 

I think Luiz gets a lot of flak, probably more than he deserves. I'm not claiming he doesn't have frequent bad moments, just his are highlighted more and always have been because of his comedy hair and the fact he seems to enjoy playing and smiles a lot. We've still got a collection of CBs despite offloading Mustafi & Sokratis but despite that not sure who the ideal starting pairing is, especially with our £30m Saliba chucked back over the channel. 

 

Holding, Chambers & Mari seem very fragile and are not to be relied upon to last 25-30 games a season, and Gabriel not had a chance to establish himself with any partner yet.

 

We almost seem to need 5-6 CBs to cover for injury and the fact they'll all be in some crisis of confidence for large parts of any given season.

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I think we persisted with Willian for ages as one thing he had been good at up until recently was recycling the ball and being positionally disciplined within Arteta's rigid formations – like an Elneny who can play right wing. Now we've loosened up a bit his limitations have really been exposed. He's horribly short of pace across the turf and in his feet, can't beat a man and offers us nothing going backwards either. He'd been padding his stats anyway like a lot of our midfielders with short sideways passes, but now he can't even do that properly. When you watch Odegaard and Smith-Rowe gliding about and actually effecting a game it makes you realise how bad he is. I think he'll be shipped out on loan in the summer with us paying his wages and he is stinking the whole place out.

 

Luiz was really bad yesterday, but I don't mind him in general. He's really looking his age though so would rather he stops on as a coach if that's an option as he's not got much more to offer at this stage.

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I thought we were alright in the end, it’s just a shame we didn’t wake up at the start. Easy to say they had more gears if they needed them, but they did try to put us away and it didn’t happen. Interesting approach to not press and block the lanes as that worked pretty well, but it’s impossible to play on the break against City as someone will just haul you down the moment you turn the ball over. Not sure what else we could do really. Desperately need a result on Thursday now.

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I think what we actually did wasn’t bad, but the disappointment is that at no stage did we try and have a go. They touched upon it a bit in the commentary that games tend to trudge to a conclusion since the big restart and it’s really noticeable now. Everyone is breathing out of their arse throughout the league and the football is suffering big time. The table for us is looking really bleak as our form in the first half has left us with way too much to do, but now we pretty much have to concentrate on the Europa which is not ideal in the slightest. Trying to win a competition with a really poor European pedigree is tough already, but with realistically fewer home games and the travel too it’s a massive task. It’s not unthinkable that we finish below 10th as our focus shifts and somehow go out on away goals in the cup despite not actually playing at home. I would suggest that represents an enormous stagger back from last season.

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It was the football equivalent of watching a giant holding off a dwarf at arms length with their hands pressed on top of our head

 

After that horrible run that killed our overall league placing there is a whole slew of teams that are much of a muchness bar the odd injury or few game win streak. Its such an odd irrelevant season played out for tv money and to give us prolls something to watch.

 

You can argue that with a fit team we'd be doing a bit better, but Tierney is looking to me the latest person to keep our medical team company (after the likes of Diaby, Walcott, Rosicky, Ramsey), he appears pretty good going forward for 20-25m or so in a game then is blowing out his arse and can't get back. I'm not sure he's much of a defender but adds a lot going forward. Partey appears to have caught whatever is going round London Colney too and having barely missed a game in years is now out most of the time.

 

Can't argue with our league position really, we're horribly inconsistent and not worthy of much more - the Europa league is always tough to win as a lot of decent teams left all after the same big prize and our mental fragility and rotating back line and midfield don't really bode well for a victorious run in it.

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