Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Sunday, October 22, 2023

The main reason that Arsenal were not at the races vs Chelsea

 By 1970s Gooner 

Arsenal lacked control for 76 or so minutes in the game against Chelsea. The main reason for this was the deployment of Jorginho at the base of midfield. 

This meant that Rice was moved into the Xhaka role on the left. Also Zinchenko's invertion into midfield was not that apparent as he had to content with the threatening runs of Sterling on that side.

Chelsea on the other hand played with a false 9 in Palmer which meant that in their half block they had one if not more players in the middle than Arsenal. 

More importantly Jorginho was not at the races himself as he was not able to provide a decent defensive barrier nor was he able to pass the ball forward that often preferring to pass sideways or backwards.

All this  was corrected when Jorginho was substituted and Rice was moved in the anchor position.

It appears that Arteta had overestimated Jorginho's ability to control the game by repeating his fine performance vs City. He didn't of course. 

Now why Arteta didn't start Partey there is beyond me and many many Arsenal supporters.

If Arteta felt that Partey was too tired from his travels to the USA then he could have started Rice as the number 6 and brought Zinchenko as the left sided midfielder with Tomiyasu at left back.

Now that's an idea...

Even Karl Hein was worried

 By 1970s Gooner 

Even Karl Hein was worried. Raya was having such an awful game against Chelsea that poor boy, Karl I mean, was beginning to contemplate that Arteta would do what he bizarrely threatened he was capable of doing. And that is to substitute the goalkeeper midway through a match!

Honestly Arteta is loosing the plot if he thinks that Raya is a better goalkeeper than Ramsdale or even if he is better at passing the ball with his feet.

He is not.

He conceded Chelsea's second goal by his wrong positioning. This was a goal that gave Chelsea renewed belief and sunk the Arsenal players confidence.

Yet if you remember Raya committed just the same mistake against Spurs. He was out of position for a high ball from the side which luckily hit the bar. And from the same phase a great chance was created by spurs which he did well to save ( his blushes).

Take the Lens CL game. His ill advised long diagonal pass to Tomiyasu was easily intercepted and resulted in their equaliser during a period which we were gaining control of the game having gone ahead.

And what about the Man City game. He was a bunch of nerves full of anxiety and got his passing all wrong. We were very lucky we didn't concede in those crucial early stages of the game.

Surely Ramsdale comes in goal for the Seville game and deserves a run in the team.


Thursday, October 05, 2023

Partey ready for City game?

 By 1970s Gooner

Partey's participation in Sunday's game against Man City can be considered crucial in maximising Arsenal's chances of winning the game and leapfrogging their rivals in the table.

He has been in full training since last week and was on the bench for the Lens game. This shows that he is ready to help the team. Its up to the doctors and Arteta whether to start him or bring him on later in the game.

But the only reason to bring him on as a sub is if you are trying to hold onto a result. If he starts from the off he will be able to provide that extra strength and stability in midfield alongside Declan Rice. 

There's another significant benefit to be derived from his participation in the game and that is that as a result Havertz will probably start from the bench. A significantly positive change in my opinion increasing Arsenal's efficiency levels overall.

And funnily enough our draw and subsequent victory on penalties against City in the charity shield was based on the same midfield of Partey, Rice and Odegaard. 

Our starting 11 for that day was :


White Saliba Gabriel Timber

Partey Rice Odegaard 

Saka  Havertz Martinelli 

Our front three are likely to be different on Sunday and the absence of Saka and Martinelli in particular didiminishes Arsenal's attacking threat significantly. Remember these two players scored 29 goals between them last season as well as assisting 17 times.

As a result Arsenal's ability to keep the ball in the attacking third for long periods of time is likely to be jeopardised. And that is another reason why Partey can help provide a strong shield in midfield.

My starting 11 for Sunday would be:


White Saliba Gabriel Zinchenko 

Partey Rice Odegaard 

Jesus Nketiah Trossard 

Wednesday, October 04, 2023

In the absence of Saka the starting 11 to face Man City

 By 1970s Gooner 

What was obvious to everyone except Arteta has happened. It was so apparent that Saka needed a rest but Arteta obviously thinks that he is so important to this team he ought to play even on one leg! 

Well it's now very unlikely in my opinion that Saka will be able or allowed to start on Sunday. 

Given that Martinelli has not trained at all yet with the team shows that even if he is declared physically fit he most certainly will not be match fit either.

Just like Trossard was against Lens where he wasn't able to affect the game and fluffed the great chance he had to score.

I would start him on Sunday however and hope that he has gained some sharpness from last night's game.

Just to mention also that Arteta's substitutions came late last night and this is also another area he has to improve on. It was fairly obvious that Lens had started to gain ground about 10 minutes before they scored their second and that was when some substitutions should have been made to steady the ship.

It's now a new game on Sunday and there are two weaknesses that have to be addressed. 

The first one is the openness of our left hand side where Zinchenko's inversion into midfield leaves a gap which Lens did exploit and Man City surely will. Especially since Havertz does not have the skills nor is he really adept at falling back to cover for that side unlike Xhaka used to.

So in the starting 11 consideration should be given for Partey to start which will add more steel in our midfield and allow Rice to play more to the left to provide the necessary cover.

Partey was on the bench against Lens and has trained with the team so I think he can start on Sunday. Remember he was playing the last time we played against City in the charity shield.

If Partey is not fit to start then Arteta may think a little bit out of the box and bring in midfield Zinchenko and start Tomiyasou at left back. This arrangement looks promising to me.

The other weakness was on our right side where White was benched against Lens but Tomiyasu was not able to be as offensive as White can. White has to return of course.

And lastly who replaces Saka? Well Arteta has two options. One is to bring back Nketiah in the middle and play Jesus on the right side (last time he played on the left). And the other is to give Nelson a chance as I don't consider Smith Row to be able to play that role and I would certainly not play Vieira there as that's not his position really.

Ramsdale should start but Arteta will probably start Raya..


White Saliba Gabriel Zinchenko 

Odegaard Partey Rice

Jesus  Nketiah Trossard

Alternative 11


White Saliba Gabriel Tomiyasou 

Odegaard Rice Zinchenko 

Jesus Nketiah Trossard