Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Arteta's selections confuse everyone including the players

 By 1970s Gooner 

For some reason only known to himself Mikel Arteta selected  a back line which rendered the whole team and its style of play incapable of functioning.

Partey was playing at right back. White was moved sideways as a right centre back. Gabriel remained where he was but inexcusably Kiwior was selected at left back with Tierney on the bench!!!

These selections had even more serious implications for the efficiency of the team moving forward as well as in its defensive capability. 

 Kiwior as a left back was nervy and kept passing the ball back to Gabriel rather than forward to Trossard. This meant the Trossard was out of the game completely and the team became very unbalanced.

Additionally the other defensive players stopped passing the ball to Kiwior! All our efforts to go forward were directed towards Saka. Forest realising this had three players blocking him.

Xhaka also tended to stay back not venturing forward so as to provide cover on the left side.

On the other side Partey was not bad as a right back but he wasn't a White. White has a great and very effective relationship with Saka. This was totally absent today. 

And as a consequence it also rendered Odergaard much less effective on the right side as the Forest defence only had to deal with two players, Saka and Odergaard, rather than three.

Add to all this Jesus's worst game of the season and his inability to hold the ball or even provide any kind of goal threat. So the team was even more unbalanced.

I won't go on as I will get even more depressed but I think you get the message.

I hope Arteta gets it too....

Friday, May 05, 2023

Should Kiwior, Zinchenko and Partey start vs Newcastle?

 By 1970s Gooner

I wouldn't get too excited over the demolition of Chelsea the other night. Chelsea performed at league 2 level and really Arsenal actually failed to produce their best.

And when Chelsea made the substitutions that should have started from the beginning, they scored and looked dangerous. 

Kiwior didn't impress me as much as he did with a lot of other Arsenal commentators. He only had a dismal Aubameyang to deal with most of the time and of course a way below Chelsea team. 

He also allowed a high ball to bounce behind him rather than heading it away. Just as he did in Arsenal's game against Sporting when they scored!

Which brings me to next Sunday's game. If he is not so strong on high balls how is he going to cope when Newcastle target their crosses on his side? I do think that Holding is a much more experienced defender to cope with the type of threats that Newcastle will pose. But why does the back of my mind somehow tells me that Arteta will insist with Kiwior?

The other player who is becoming a liability lately is Zinchenko who I like a lot when he is on his game as he provides a much better control of games from his inverted role. But he has been off it in the crucial games for the run in and been responsible for conceding goals.

So I would start Tierney as a left back on Sunday who can provide a solid base on the left. 

The dilemma for Arteta is who to start in central midfield. Jorginho did very well against Chelsea but I don't think he can repeat that against a much stronger, in midfield, Newcastle. 

Partey on the other hand looks as though he goes to too many parties lately because he has been awful in recent games. Even when he came on against Chelsea he only made two interventions and both of them resulted in Chelsea getting possession. The second was a needless foul outside out area.

Still he will probably get the nod as he can be a real game changer if he is on his game and Arteta will probably be working on him in training to help him get to that level.

I would also start Trossard again as he did offer a different approach than Martinelli who was ineffective when he came on last Tuesday. 


White Holding Gabriel Tierney 

Odergaard Partey Xhaka 

Saka Jesus Trossard 

Sunday's game will be a difficult one with Newcastle being strong and on form and Arsenal being below par.

We will have to perform at our stunning best like we did in the first 20 minutes of the Liverpool and West Ham games for the 90+ minutes of course to claim the three points.