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cubeadvance
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That was honestly one of the worst performances in living memory, just miles and miles away from being able to mix it near the top four. I think for all the talk of progress we should be under no illusion that this is a team going nowhere. Mid table teams don’t end up there because they draw every game 1-1, they hover there because one week they completely batter someone and the next they limp to a 3-0 home defeat without having a single shot. 
 

That team should be doing better and I refuse to accept it’s the 10th best in the league or whatever. As an example, Partey was unreal at Athletico and now he’s either injured or looks bang average for us. Whether we’re making progress or not is up for debate, but what is for sure is that it’s not happening fast enough. 
 

Going to send some abuse so bad now they’ll hopefully be forced to finally shutter their cursed socials.

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Good to see our production line of players to keep the medical staff fully occupied is continuing to flourish, after Diaby, Rosicky, Wilshire, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey we can now add Tierney to the list.

 

Doesn't matter how good he is if he's permanently injured or coming back from injury. 

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Big game tonight! After the weekend's performance I honestly can't see us winning the Europa League, but if we can get Saka and Smith Rowe back we might be in with a shot.

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Slavia are a really decent team, the type of hard running mob of super units we always come unstuck against. The two scenarios where we don't overpower them with individual quality and limp out, effectively ending yet another rebuilding project are: we abandon the plan to play out because we shit our pants again like at the weekend, hoof it long and get dominated by physicality. Or, we pitch up thinking it's been won already and conspire to somehow volley it in our own net off of Ceballos' arse or something. I know this as it has happened thousands of times before. Just concentrate for the whole game and it'll all be OK, I'm sure of it.

 

I would take any risk available to me to get as many of our best players in there tonight if I was Arteta. The league is over, that's gone. Forget we even have those matches now and chuck the kitchen sink at trying to win this pot and turn the club around. 

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we're just too flakey and inconsistent to win a 2 leg cup comp - we can pull off the odd decent half of a match but to manage 2 in a week against semi decent european opposition is beyond this lot at present I suspect.

 

it shouldn't be with that group of players and the money spent but there you go, its where we are at present. 

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I think I agree there. I don't think Arteta knows enough about what he's doing to come up with a consistent winning formula. A league run is one thing, but to not be able to come up with a plan over two games would be a shocking indictment on his abilities.

 

I read a good comment on Arseblog the other day which I'll try to remember. It was basically describing an equation for success in top level football. Quality of manager + Ambition and vision of owners X Cold hard cash = progress. I feel the multiplier hasn't been an issue over the last few years, but the first two factors haven't been right and we've come up with not much at all as a result. Something obviously isn't firing. Put it this way, we won't change the manager this summer and would only force something come the new year if the wheels have properly come off. That would be another season down the swanny. The stakes for winning this sorrowful competition could not be higher for Arteta and this club. I would be shitting myself.

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we've got a quite high net spend as keep letting player contracts run down or fall out with them and don't play them - both of which sees them go for nowt. 

 

we've also got the Brighthouse instalments starting to become due on players like Pepe and Saliba, plus had to stump the whole lot up front for the so far ineffective Partey. 

 

for all my dislike of the Kroenke's I wouldn't say spending has been the problem, it's been what we've spent it on, plus we're now in that ugly spiral of having to overpay on wages to attract players like Willian who see us as a nice place to plump up their retirement fund. 

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Yeah the investment has been massive and absolutely dire. Even going back to spending £100m in successive windows on two strikers who can't play together. That's been a problem since day one and we've never looked like solving it. I don't think anyone thought when we did finally start spending money we'd lash it on a winger no-one trusts, a defender who's not kicked a ball for us, a midfielder who spends his time injured or donating balls to floodlight technicians and Willian's garage. It must surely be the most expensive team to ever finish in the bottom half.

 

It worries me most when we get confident, talented footballers like Partey and Gabriel and somehow manage within a few weeks to turn them into jittery, error strewn bags of nerves. 

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There are so many issues with the off the pitch stuff it's hard to know where to start. From all the later period Wenger buys, to all the terrible Sanllehi deals and now the fact that we have a Manager and Technical Director learning on the job. It all comes down to Kronke just not giving a shit. I would say that our Youth team players are the one bright spot and some of our performances this season have been good, but we are so inconsistent. I do think Arteta should be given another season, but a lot depends on who we can bring in this Summer. Fingers crossed for tonight and the rest of the Europa League!!!

 

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late capitulations and that terrified look when we take the lead in a game often used to get blamed on the nervous/hostile crowd, not got that excuse any more.

 

very frustrating night with several great chances wasted then getting a late lifeline like that from Pepe before the collective panic set in again, which just seems to be engrained in whoever we play, it's like we coach panic into them.

 

nobody really starred but Saka again looked the only real spark on the pitch, special mention for Partey who so far has looked bloody awful apart from the odd flashy long pass every game or two you could clip and stick up on social media. 

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Partey looks absolutely bloody awful. I’m clinging to the fact that it’s not like he’s bad whilst everyone around him is great, he’s simply sunk to the level of the team. Saka, Tierney and Smith-Rowe are the only ones seemingly capable of being able to raise their game above the collective.

 

Arteta got it 100% wrong last night. Conservative line-up and horrible timing for subs. That’s the sort of team that Wenger would have blown away with dreck like Denilson and Chamakh playing.

 

Some of these players are just done. I cannot watch Willian huff and puff up the wing ever again, he’s completely finished at this level. Lacazette running clear was like watching a pensioner doing the hundred yard dash in hob nail boots with the laces tied together. He’s fucking 29.

 

This season is a disaster. With a fair wind we’ll get 53 points, 3 less than last year which was widely accepted as being a complete debacle. I like Arteta a lot, but this job is way too big for him. If we go out next week a club with any ambition at all would give him the bullet.

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I do hope Partey is being dragged down but net result is he appears another £50m and £200k per week down the pan at present. 

 

Lacazette has always had 2 modes, the most prevalent is moody and depressed looking, like he'd rather be doing anything else other than playing. Then every now and then he gets proper angry and fired up and looks good for a couple of games, before months more of miserableness and sulking into his beard. I don't think we can afford to waste another contract extension on such a player.

 

Gabriel looked initially to be ok, but seems to have now settled nicely into the club system and is constantly out of position and terrified looking when the ball comes near the box, whoever he plays with. In fact people talk about a lack of identity or system but defensively we are incredibly consistent even if we change all the players, its proper ingrained in them now. Just a shame the system is general panic when being attacked and terrifying fanning around with the ball still. 

 

 

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The goal all stemmed from having a very limited right back playing out of position and not being capable of passing a simple ball with his off foot, or having the courage to drive forward 20 yards. The rest just dominoes from there. You could do a paternity test and blame whoever stuck their hand up in January and suggested we sell anyone who can deputise at left back for that ugly unwanted goal baby. If Saka was at left back like anyone with a brain between their ears would have suggested then we win that game, but we set up in a way that all small time teams do in a first leg. They pretty much had a back four of the tallest most lumbering fans they could scrape together and a keeper who's face was demolished and he didn't know what day of the week it was. They then played the highest line I've ever seen. It was suicidal football. Just go and put them under pressure, and when you do finally score, turn the screw and get more goals. 

 

From the owners to the players, not one of them has the first clue on how to turn this around. Kroenke is a nightmare, but he wasn't the one breaking through on goal like Captain Tom puttering around his garden last night.

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30 minutes ago, Silent Runner said:

Partay is such a class act. That turn and pass for Lacas 2nd was so good. 

He’d been total shite til then, and it was sheffield utd who are awful, and he cost £50m and £200k a week in wages.

 

His first season has probably been worse then Pepe’s first.

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That was great last night. I think as soon as we move the ball quickly and have some unpredictability in our play we look like a different team. I hope it's Arteta feeling out what sort of coach he is, but that super deliberate mechanical football he's picked up from Pep just isn't us and doesn't do him any favours at all. It was interesting as we had arguably the slowest back four ever fielded in a game of professional football as a base, then plenty of running elsewhere. Dunno if that tells us anything or not. 

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Just burn the whole thing, it’s absolutely ridiculous. The penalty is as onside as the goal and there was no contact anyway. It’s 100% a dive. We’ve got zero change again from a ref, and Atwell is an incompetent.

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18 minutes ago, Silent Runner said:

Does any other league use VAR for these microscopic infringements? 

 

Yes, according to Dale Johnson of ESPN who does a lot of twitter on this stuff, the big difference is its only in England we get so pissed off by the officials and make such a big deal out of it. 

 

 

Xhaka passing Ashley Cole for appearances today.

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