Stoke 1-0 Arsenal: By the Numb…ing Ennui of Another Season of This

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0 – Big Chances created by Stoke – Some might think that Stoke’s goal was a shot that we would count as a Big Chance, but it wasn’t counted that way (source: whoscored) today and I agree. Jese was played in expertly by Berahino but he was played between two defenders and Monreal was pretty tight when Jese took his shot. Even Cech had the shot covered and there was little space for Jese to score. After the match, Wenger blamed the center backs, specifically targeting Monreal in the middle, but the real problem started…

85 – Xhaka made 87 of 102 passes today for an 85% completion rate, which is decent, but not great. Xhaka had 1 key pass.

88 – Ramsey was 72 of 82 passes and thus completed 88%. Ramsey had 0 key passes but did lead *all players* with 4 shots, including 1 of Arsenal’s only 2 Big Chances on the day (from a set play, it was saved).

93 – Özil completed an astonishing 91 of 98 passes, 93%! Ozil also had 4 key passes on the day. I include this for comparison, because while Ramsey completed a terrific number of his passes in a forward position, Özil somehow bettered him.

15 – Xhaka’s 15 missed passes wouldn’t have been a problem, but it was his 1 missed pass, combined with Ramsey’s position high up the pitch in the striker’s role, which was then exacerbated by Xhaka trying (and failing) to win the ball back off Pieters, which led to the goal. Here we have to chalk one up to the “stats don’t tell the whole story” folks: Xhaka was only credited with a bad pass in this whole interaction. His attempt to win the ball back didn’t even come remotely close to a tackle and there is no such stat as “failed interception”. Nor was the pass considered an error, it was just a missed pass between him and Özil. So, on the stat sheet, he just shows 46′ 1 attempted pass missed.

0 – Shots taken by Lacazette

1 – Offside given (wrongly) to Lacazette

8.2 – Ox was “man of the match” for Arsenal (according to whoscored) and if you look at his stats you can see why: he made an amazing 7/8 dribbles. It’s clear that the RWB position suits him. Facing up against opposition forwards, Ox is able to use his dribbling ability to make people look stupid and already has completed 15/17 dribbles in 180 minutes of play. That’s 7 more than the three guys who are 2nd in the Premier League for dribbles. If Wenger persists with the 3 CB formation Ox could break some kind of dribbling record. But more than just dribbles, Ox passed at 90%, was 2nd on arsenal with 3 key passes (all from open play), made 2/3 tackles, led all players with 3 interceptions (tied with Xhaka and Zouma zoom zoom and a boom boom), and led Arsenal with 2 blocked shots. I was asked on twitter “name me a player who was better than Ramsey” and I would have to say that despite Ramsey getting on the end of those shots, it was certainly Ox, for me, who was Arsenal’s best player.

0 – Turnovers by Özil. I know I have criticized Ozil for his defence in the past but that’s really just me grumbling about Wenger’s “Total Football” system which seems to “totally abandon balance.” Watching today’s match I was struck by how elegant Özil is with the ball. Without even looking like he did anything special, he completed more passes (91) than anyone on the pitch and led Arsenal with those 4 key passes mentioned earlier. He also didn’t surrender possession with a bad touch or a failed dribble even once. AND he didn’t get the ball tackled off his foot while standing still. Meanwhile, Ramsey, Bellerin and Ox all lost possession 5 times each (worst at Arsenal and tied with Shaqiri) and even Xhaka – who is supposed to be Arsenal’s deep lying playmaker and one of the most careful with the ball – turned it over 4 times. Amazingly tidy performance from Arsenal’s best playmaker. My only question would be.. why isn’t Arsenal’s best playmaker getting more of the ball? I’d really love to see what he could do with Lacazette in front of him and a nice stable center mid pairing behind him. I think he’d be perfect in the Bergkamp role in the old Arsenal 442.

1.62 – That was my expected goals tally for the day for Arsenal. Stoke came in at a 0.76 which isn’t bad. However, if you’re one who believes that Arsenal should have had a penalty and that Lacazette’s goal should have stood (I agree with you) then the 7amxG number goes up to 2.22 which is just about how many goals Arsenal would have had in that match. Had the referee called the penalty and given Lacazette his goal.

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130 Comments on "Stoke 1-0 Arsenal: By the Numb…ing Ennui of Another Season of This"

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my name is bob

The Ox numbers are interesting. I thought he was decent just from watching, not terrible but not fantastic either, when he does go on one of his dribbles he looks fantastic though.
Numbers also proving how much Ozil get’s scapegoated these days. He didn’t have an amazing game but he was one of the best players on the pitch for the Arsenal (although I guess this isn’t saying much considering the total team performance).
Let’s bounce back against Liverpool, COYG!

Quang

Ox was much better today than he was last week. What he’s missing in his game is better timing on his overlapping runs and being calm on the final third. He’s good whenever he is being extra-careful with the ball and seems to restrain his instincts to dribble forever and send the ball wide.

Third Plebeian

If winning a game or having a real impact was the same thing as winning a dribbling contest, then yeah, Ox was our best player. But he wasn’t. He dribbled a lot. That’s it. There’s nothing truly effective about his play in terms of assists, goals, or end product. But people are always taken with dribblers…

Nasri\'s missing chinbone
Nasri\'s missing chinbone

He created 3 decent chances…

yen

1) Set up Bellerin which could have been penalty
2) Set up Welbeck – volley blocked by GK
3) Set up Ramsey from the set piece – volley blocked by GK
4) Set up Ramsey again in the box who tried to head it towards Welbeck which resulted to Stoke’s hand ball (not called)
5) Great pulled cross to Lacazette who took a bad touch and lost the ball in the box

How is that “he dribbled a lot. That’s it” or “no end product?” You can’t blame him that the recipients didn’t convert those chances or that the ref is an idiot.

Ox did very well yesterday.

Gooner

Sometimes it’s the intangibles that aren’t recorded which can make a player greater. Like Ozil giving up chasing Rodriguez before he got into the area covering for Xaka. If he had carried on he could have prevented something but thought he would leave to Monreal

caligunner

Right, Intangibles. All hearsay stuff right? I guess if Kos didn’t get that stupid red card he would have been in the game too? lets just blame the actual person Kos for getting a red card.

Clins

Nobody’s criticising ozil on his attack m. It’s when the team is defending ozil feels wanted. He doesn’t doesn’t actively participate in pressing nor he tracks back well . We are playing with one man less when defending . When you look at teams like city Liverpool spurs Chelsea …nobody could ghost through a game like that. They are better teams because they attack and defend as a team

Graeb

Love Ozil but, whilst it was Xhaka who gave the ball away, Ozil gave up the chase when he could have put pressure on the Stoke player.

By the Numbers – check out Marriner’s penalty count for Arsenal ; 2 in 31 games as opposed to 5 in 19 for Leicester and 7 in 38 for Liverpool, 6 in 37 for Chelsea https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/andre-marriner/bilanz/schiedsrichter/471

Muchadei

The Ozil defense issue is only an issue because none of our CMs defend. Ramsey is positionally a 10 and Xhaka cannot tackle. I agree that Ozil can put more effort in but if you had a Matic or Kante or Gilberto type CM covering the Ozil concern would be so minor we would never discuss it. We basically have no one playing defense in the middle of the park, which is why 3 at the back worked so well last year: the middle CB was basically playing as a DM. Lastly, Ozil will have a lot more assists this year if Sanchez stays: Sanchez, Laca, and Giroud will put away more of the 100 chances he will create.

Faisal Narrage

I think the problem with Ozil is that it’s harder to quantify what, if any, negative effects he has.

Is like to see more qualitative data from this article if possible; heat maps (both ours and opposition) more visuals on passing and coming passing, movements, defensive positioning, etc.).

Only then can we know more of the off-the-ball influence players make (not just .Ozil)

Adam

I appreciate the article and sorry for my defetism here but its two games only and i already feel sick about this season.

gooner

On the plus side we already have 3 points from 2 games.

That’s 73 points away from 4th place last year. We can still do it.

Jer Sam

Zero shots by Lacazette except the one where his leg hair follicle was offside, expertly seen by the linesman who must be some kind of secret super hero masquerading as a linesman, because what better secret identity than the utter banal profession where no one gives a damn about your name not even when you get a decision wrong, even when you get it purposefully wrong and you’re trying to make a name for yourself, people still call you “The Linesman” except this guy has supervision and used it in his secret identity job because he’s a narcissist, no credit for his superhero gig because his power is long magnified vision, so he doesn’t even need to be on the scene, and even when he tries to go to the scene, super magnified vision means he can only see each individual hair follicle on every person’s body, which sucks because its the same thing when he’s with his wife even worse when he’s stroking his cat. Poor lino.

rogerbij

Precisely why I continue to advocate for a version of video replays as in Rugby for big calls only (red cards, goal check for offside, penalty confirmation). We got robbed on 2 of those today 🙁

Dave M

Robbed on 4 of those.
1. Bellerin is a clear cut foul – 100% penalty. Pathetic refereeing.
2. Handball – the guy kicks it into his own outstretched arm – sorry but please tell me how that is not a penalty (no referee in the world would not give that a free kick if it was outside the box so why is it not a penalty?!) – 100 % penalty.
3. Welbeck’s best chance comes with him bursting through as he is moving past two defenders (one either side) both are pulling his arms and shoulders, he still manages to shoot, therefore the ref doesn’t give a penalty – they are all over him – 100% penalty and piss-weak refereeing

4. Goal was onside.

Sure we should have scored, but still the was highway-fuc*ing-robbery

Patrik Ljungberg

Calm down, Jer Sam. A linesman can make a mistake. It does not have to on purpose, designed to hurt the Arsenal.

Dave M

So use video technology already and then they get it right

Reality check

Stats and norms don’t work in our case when it comes to positive contribution, especially when a struggling team or a player (mainly goal keepers) will have a game of their life against us and kick start their season again.
Will all the booing and ranting start even before December this year..? Will angry fans finally be able to get rid of Wenger Or was it just a blip and we’ll finally get our act together.
Let’s see how bad the bipolar support of arsenal FC reacts this year to the same old. I could get AKBs even the ones who want Wenger out no matter what, but i just don’t get the fickle bunch who keep changing their mind every week. Football fans are gold for Psychology students..

Tel

He was offside! That’s the rules, what would a panel say on Monday morning after reviewing it??? I could understand you moaning about the penalty decision but leave the effing offside alone

Fuhgedaboudit l

I think they should be reviewed if a goal is scored, and then denied. Actually, there are so many terrible calls made with offsides and penalties, it’s useless.

BromleyGooner

I thought Ox was our best player and thought Blogs rating him a 4 was absurd. Good to see that I am not going crazy.
Sadly I am sure that despite these stats James and Blogs (who I love listening to on the arsecast) will be banging on about how rubbish Ox was, how he “flattered to deceive” and how much better Bellerin was.

dawn

Bellerin should have been given 2 penalties, are you marking him down for not going down more theatrically?

Matt P

Well this piece just reinforces that a rating of 4 for the Ox was completely absurd

arseblog
Admin

It’s almost as if player ratings are subjective.

BromleyGooner

To an extent of course. But when one person rates him as the worst player on the pitch (and constantly talks his performances down) and others and stats say he was the best, then I question whether the subjectivity is unbiased or based on contract situations.

Faisal Narrage

Remember, we hate any and all players if they show signs of wanting to leave.

This will carry on with Ox till he signs or leaves.

A different George

I thought 7AM was exactly right and absolutely vindicated my opinion when he talked about Ozil and Ramsey, who I thought were our two best players. But I realized soon after, when he praised Oxlade-Chamberlain, who I thought was awful, that statistics mean nothing. Nothing!

A different George

By the way, I thought this (and said it) before I saw Blogs’ ratings. Those ratings are often very astute (when they agree with me) but suffer from various prejudices and blind spots when they don’t.

SpamB0t

I for one thought the Ox left a lot to be desired. Another one of the “stats don’t tell the whole story” things.

See, I can remember at least three occasions where Ox could have – should have – passed the ball to a better-positioned player, but instead tried to either dribble past or shoot from a distance.

It’s also necessary to point out that he was an utter non-factor as an actual defender, which, remember, was his role. If you watch the replay of the Stoke goal, he can be seen leisurely jogging behind the play.

We’ve all seen Bellerin chase an attacker.

No more of this Ox as RWB crap, please. We have a better option.

Araj

Oh damn. You can remember three occasions he could have made a better decision.
That just absolutely changes everything. The chances he created and the times he made better decisions and the crosses he put in and the times he beat his marker. Nope. 3 bad decisions negate all that I am afraid.
Just look around. You wouldn’t find Mustafi, Bellerin, Monreal, Xhaka, Welbeck, Kolasinac making three bad decisions in a game.
On a serious note: Ox made some good chances and at times made some bad decisions. The rest of the team did the latter but not much of the former. Giving him the same rating as Monreal and Xhaka who were directly at fault for the goal is just objectively wrong.

Muchadei

Ox has outplayed Bellerin at RWB ever since we moved to 3 at the back. Ox is as quick, crosses the ball better, and can take on defenders better. Neither one of them is good defensively.

Rook

This Question goes to #arseblog. Does this team look different from the one that lost 10-2 to Bayern? When Walcott was entering the field, did you really see him as someone who could make a difference? The transfer window is still open.

Matt P

There won’t be the change required until the manager and owner changes.
But I think most people know that.

Gooner

Watching Walcott lightly jog onto the field like he was going to out door yoga in Shoreditch didn’t inspire the thought he was coming on to get involved. At that time and considering what we needed you want someone sprinting on, shouting encouragement and screaming to get the ball to make an impact.

Reminded me of Song jogging on laughing when we drew 4-4

Nasri\'s missing chinbone
Nasri\'s missing chinbone

Thumbs up for the first sentence. Totally agree with the rest of the point made too

gooner

You can hate Walcott all you like, and he’s no Pele, but soon as we go a goal down the boss panics to throw him and Giroud on.
That’s simply due to the fact that Sanchez and those two are the most likely guys to get you a goal in this team. Like it or not.
I haven’t included lacazatte because we haven’t seen enough of him yet to judge.

As for welbeck, Ferguson always refused to play him as a striker and that’s why he scored less. On signing him he mentioned it and said he wanted a chance to play down the middle
I am slowly by slowly starting to think that maybe Ferguson knew something about football.

Faisal Narrage

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; still waiting for evidence from Wenger to justify why Welbz is rated higher in his mystery pecking order than Perez.

Andy001

Well, no one can afford Theo’s wages to have him on the bench !!

Clins

While there is a lot of things wrong with Wenger’s tactics . It’s when he is substituting someone that his lack of proper tactics is seen clearly. There’s no really plan or anything of that sort when is subbing player when chasing a game. Only thing he does and he does that every game when we are chasing is bring on giroud and play some crosses . If that too didint worked then throwin every attacking sub we have.

I dare to think what would have happened if we Didn’t have a big hulky striker to throw in after every game . We’d have lost so many games if it hadn’t been for him

A different George

I do not understand this post, genuinely. You seem to think that putting Giroud on and crossing to him saved us from many losses, but also that Wenger shows his lack of tactical sense by doing it. (Every time there is a fire, they pour water on it and that often works. Can they think of no better way to deal with flames?)

kaius

The numbers look fine, if we’re being kind we’d say this result was down to early season rustiness. It’s our collective lack of situational awareness that keeps killing us and that’s down to coaching.

Conceding a goal should not be a problem for us. On at least 3 occasions we had some fancy-looking chips/through-passes into dangerous positions in the box, but every player who received one took it as an invitation to shoot instead of square the ball for a teammate. We made Butland look good.

And the image above perfectly shows why numbers will never tell the whole story with this team. Any breakdown in our build-up play leaves our deep midfield wide open for a counter. It’s both criminal and extremely f*cking boring to be discussing the same flaws at the start of the 2017-18 season. Ennui indeed.

kaius

0 – Shots for Lacazette
4 – Shots for Ramsey
3 – Shots for Welbeck
3 – Shots for Oxlade-Chamberlain

Today was a continuation of a theme that started on the pre-season tour in Oz when Walcott was desperately trying to score instead of looking for a better-placed Lacazette. Some of our attackers have no clue how to combine with a modern striker. We might as well send the poor guy back to Lyon.

Frank

Completely Agree, really disappointed by how little service he’s getting. He’s always on the move and makes great runs but no one seems prepared to play it through the middle for him. It’s either shipped out to the wings and then cut back inside to the edge of the box or they pass it sideways too much and he ends up dropping deeper to try and get involved, he needs some more direct service to make use of his movement

Maniac

He also runs after the ball like crazy, winning it back off stunned defenders in the final third in places that no other Arsenal player would have even bothered attempting. I really like his attitude and how much effort he puts into every game and I don’t understand why he’s getting so little service. You’d expect the team would be built to cater for our club record signing but it just looks like he’s been thrown into the mix.

AlzheimWenger

You are right but it will take a bit more time to get used to him. Ozil will click with him before long as will alexis. (If they are still with us come September) COYG

ArsenalManitou

Completely agree. Xhaka is the man with the ability to find him over the top. Laca keeps making great runs with no reward. Perhaps Xhaka needs time to adapt to him. And if he doesn’t and keeps making mistakes leading to goals, we need a new parter for Ramsey. Either a box to box man like Seri or a defensive stalwart like Carvalho. I know it’s early days but our defensive mid cannot be responsible for 2 giveaways leading to goals in 2 games.

GoonerN16

No Manitou, I disagree. Xhaka needs another partner other than Ramsey, who would have positional discipline and better technical ability. Providing that Xhaka cuts his mistakes out of his game hes a far better team player and distributor, IMO.
Seri, from what I’ve seen would, could well be that player.

Matt

That’s down to Wenger

Hi-brid

For me, Ox is ahead of Bellerin on performances at the end of last season and beginning of this. I don’t know why he would want to play as a wing back – it’s a position to which he looks well suited. Then again, if we bench Bellerin it won’t be long before Barca come sniffing around again. So, we end up switching Bellerin to the left and then have to play our new left back and old left back as centre halves whilst leaving one of the most promising young centre halves in England out of the squad, freezing another out altogether and leaving our fit again club captain on the bench. In short, Wenger is making some absurd decisions in defence at the moment.

Atom

When I look at Wenger it just appears that he’s lost the ability to make the really hard decisions that need to be made to be a title winning manager/ sporting director. We constantly shoehorn players in that he loves (Ramsey on the right wing etc) to the detriment of the team as a whole – we are constantly less than the sum of our parts. We just flutter in the transfer market for years at a time b/c we don’t really want to bring in competition for players that have potential (it took us what 3-4 years to buy Lacazette, the failed British core experiment cost us years as we didn’t want to stunt their growth). We are a mess on player contracts. etc. I was hopeful by his freezing out of Jack, Gibbs etc that Wenger had finally turned a corner and become ruthless enough to win again, but today in particular was just quintessential Arsenal of the past 6-7 years. We still need a new central midfielder and if we can get Lemar or someone an upgrade on Welbeck and Theo. But unfortunately I don’t have a lot of confidence that we’ll actually do what’s needed.

PFo

Nail on head.

Looney

Lemar, Lemar, Lemar. We’re letting the hype get to us. Lemar won’t solve our problems. Mourinho has said it before; with the players we have we should be challenging for the title. And we will when we abandon this pointless passing game.

emob

Plus: we’re definately not getting Lemar.

Bosco

You right that never happen for man like wenger

Atom

You do realize that Mourinho only says stuff like that to show what a terrible manager he thinks Wenger is. It’s meant to be read as Wenger has a title winning side but is so incompetent the best he can do with it is challenge for the top 4.

Faisal Narrage

Is he lying?

Atom

A highly functioning team can be much better than a collection of what are individually good players, but who don’t necessarily complement each other – see Spuds or Leceister. That said how many of our players would actually start for a top 2 team at this point – maybe Sanchez and that’s it. I think we do have some really good individual players- but so do all the other top teams.

dennis

I thought football is a passing game

dennis

Could not agree more

Graeb

We’ve got so many games to play this season that every player will get loads of match time so the only reason to be playing them out of position is to stop the transfer requests coming in until end of this month.

Holding has had one poor game and looked great with BFG; Chambers actually kept Holding out of the young England team.

AW – be brave, pick players in their best positions and get back to the Wembley spirit. You can’t complain about defensive errors when you’ve put them out there. Watching Jese stroll past so many players tackling with their wrong foot was painful.

Hi-brid

Sorry, I meant to say I don’t know why Ox WOULDN’T want to play as a wing back.

Tkf

Horse shoes and handgrenades for that last line eh?

banjo string

The simple truth is none of us would pick that back five? So why did Wenger?

Third Plebeian

Because Wenger is living in his own little world, and has been for a long time. It’s actually a bit sad, because I like him.

ClockEndRider

Rem acu tetigisti.

Flashmob

I think the 4 shots by Ramsey is a really bad indication.
Theoretically shouldn’t be Ozil, Lacazette and Welbeck all ahead of him on that list?
It seamed to me that he continously leaving Xhaka alone in the middle of the field.

And what I do not understand either is why are we using Iwobi much less than before. If his best position is somewhere between a no.10 and the left wing then – his tricky/close control playing style may could be useful behind Lacazette (and next to Ozil) in this kind of games…

Diarra

One of Ozil and Iwobi can score goals though. That said neither can Welbeck. Maybe we should go 3–4-1-2 with both Giroud and Lacazette up top

Araj

There is a reason for this. The team actually doesnt play the formation that is listed. When attacking the midfield operates like a V with Xhaka at its base and both Ramsey and Ozil ahead.
You can see this if you look at a heat map of where the players had touches of the ball.
It is easy to blame Ramsey for doing this but the extent to which Ramsey was playing further ahead gives the impression that it was the position given to him by the manager.

Flashmob

Absolutely…

What I also find really frustrating is that the aspect of the game where Ramsey is clearly outstanding is his work rate/stamina. (Plus: in his best season so far (13/14) he was our 2nd best tackler too)
So… as i see it – If he would be forced to remain a little bit deeper (not always of course but basically) a lot more could have been used from his strenghts (not only his work rate, but his good vision, passing either)
I really wonder what are Wenger and co. are thinking…

Rob2good

Think It’s going to be a long season unless we defend better. We should of at least got a point but of course the linesman had other ideas. It puts more pressure on the lads for the Liverpool game….. Lets bounce back COYG

London

Wenger really confuses me on many levels.
Why do we persist with a back three if we revert to a back four during every game.
Why do we play LBs as CBs.
Why do we play as naively as we did 6 seasons ago.
Why does he think this team is good enough to challenge for the league
Why can’t he see signings still need to be made regardless of who leaves the club
Why does he persist with Ozil when he is not consistent enough to build a team around.

Stringer Bell

Clearly didn’t read the above and instead makes judgement on back of Gerrard and sadly Keown.

Vonnie

Keown is really annoying lately, seems really bitter towards Arsenal and talks a lot of biased shit.

London

Lol you think I have sky? Or watch keown’s punditry.
Nice try

caligunner

we go to a back 4 when we need an extra attacker in the game. both times chasing a goal

A different George

Reverting to a back four when you need a goal is completely consistent with wanting to play a back three from the beginning. As this article describes, Ozil was incredible yesterday–so maybe it’s not the right time to talk about lack of consistency. And the team, rather obviously, has been built around Alexis Sanchez, not Ozil.

Huhhuhuh huh huuuuh this much is Giroud
Huhhuhuh huh huuuuh this much is Giroud

Bosscielny will be back next match and everything will be sorted!

Right?! *nervous look left and right for confrmation*

William

Gerrard has slammed Wenger saying its easy to play against
the gunners.That is the problem with the fm.His style is easy to counter.
Its pass all the time and you know what happens when they don’t have the ball.
He has many artists but few or no fighters when the going gets tough.
His pretty soccer maybe nice to watch but if Arsenal keep losing you can bet there will gaping holes in the ES and finally the US owner maybe forced to act.

A different George

This is a time warp post. There was lots wrong with yesterday, but lack of fighters was not a problem. I always thought it was easy to play against Gerrard–just wait for him to pass it to Demba Ba.

Spectrum

After this latest fiasco at Stoke, does anyone STILL believe that “Arsene knows” ?

But better news could be on the horizon, long suffering Arsenal fans….

Sweet dreams are made of this ; http://dailycannon.com/2017/08/africas-richest-man-wants-to-buy-arsenal-and-sack-arsene-wenger/

Vonnie

Another dodgy billionaire, makes Usmanov look the good guy.

kveb

Do you just want arsenal to become another plastic billionaires play-thing? Or win down to genuine hard-work and team spirit. I know what I prefer.

Sytan

I feel that we need to go back to back 4.. ozil can done well with this formation.. with kos6 and Sanchez back to the team.., we definitely can improve our performance..COYG

Nasri\'s missing chinbone
Nasri\'s missing chinbone

The picture sums up everything that’s wrong with our midfield. We do not have a disciplined DM. Xhaka completely at fault for their goal. Not because he gave the ball away, but because he manically pressed when he should have held his position, leaving that gaping abyss in front of the centre backs and also allowing them the time in midfield to release the ball to the strikers at the right moment as they were under no pressure on the ball. Matic, Kante, Barry, to name but a few wouldn’t have made that mistake.

Ozil and chamberlain the highlights for me, thought they were both very positive. Lacazette wasteful with his touches in the box, other than the emphatic finish that was “offside”.

Andre Marriner gets a resounding 10/10 on my shitscale for being as wank as all the other referees. Absolute fucking shambles of a performance from him.

Diarra

Ox’s decision making is still really bad. He beats one man but can’t make anything happen after that. I prefer Bellerin on the right.

Berlingoon

I really hate our fans right now. We’ve lost one fucking game and everyone acts like the season is over. It was stoke away, definitely not an easy ground. We played way better, had chances to score several goals, had one regular goal disallowed and should have had a couple of pens at least. But our fans act like stoke just played us off the park. I think I will just watch the games and don’t read any post match articles or comments. It’s just ridiculous. They call themselves supporters but if we lose one game they abuse the whole team including manager and think that shows their fantastic support. And all this “we have deserved better”. No you don’t! If that’s how you support your team you lot deserve to be relegated.

kaius

I love our fans to be perfectly honest. Don’t always agree with everyone, some annoy the hell out of me, but we’re all Gooners at heart.

We can celebrate when the club loses and criticise the club constructively when we lose. That’s what we do. It’s incredibly immature to ignore all the insightful comments and label everyone with a blanket of hatred. Traditionally us Gooners felt that way about Spurs fans or Chelsea fans for example, but in the internet age people like you have bought into this “all Arsenal fans” meme which all the sheeple use for retweets. The relegation remark is pretty typical of that.

I still respect you though, because you’re one of us. But mate, we can all do better as a fanbase. That includes me and that includes you.

Berlingoon

Read the comments here and on the arseblog Facebook page. I haven’t seen one single comment that was at least trying to put things into perspective and from which you didn’t get the feeing that we just got relegated. Its embarrassing. 90% of them are just attention seeking egomaniacs who are trying to hide this behind their love for the club. If you got love for the club you don’t abuse people who work for this club for more than 20 years. And I said it a few weeks ago. If you’re an arsenal fan and an utter asshole the fact that you’re an utter asshole is more important for me than the fact that you’re an arsenal fan. And I surely won’t love you then. Sorry.

kaius

I see lots of discussions about our tactics, the starting line-up, the substitutions, and people trying to make sense of 7amkickoff’s breakdown. Do you have anything substantive to say about that?

Earlier on this thread I wrote “The numbers look fine, if we’re being kind we’d say this result was down to early season rustiness”, which was me putting things into perspective. So it’s not that you don’t see the constructive comments, you’d rather attack everyone en masse than take the time to engage constructively. It’s Sunday mate go have a beer

Berlingoon

I haven’t attacked everyone on masse but was talking about abusive hysterical comments and there have been plenty of them in the comment sections here and on Facebook. If you’ve made a sensible comment, fair enough. But you have to realize that you’re rather the exception than the rule. If you can’t admit that Arsenal fans in general are way more hysterical and on a low level when it comes to abusing their own team and manager, I feel sorry for you. Everybody seems to find it very easy to find things in our team that aren’t good enough. If they would look at themselves equally critical it would be a step in the right direction. To say “I love all arsenal fans” like you did, when a lot of them just called Wenger a senile cunt, is not understandable for me.

Atom

@berlingooner – I agree that any comments that personally attack Wenger are a step too far. BUT you also need to recognize that this is not just one game – but a pattern that has been repeated season after season for years now and that, and not one game, are what people are tired of. Arsenal are pretty unique in this – there is no other European club where the manager has the power that Wenger does and no other club where the manager has been in power this long without winning a recent title. Giving Wenger a new contract certainly was not a popular move with a large section of the fanbase (not just people on the internet) and so it’s no surprise that a lot of people are irritated to see the failings of seasons past to start this season (that Leceister game wasn’t particularly convincing either). I genuinely hope Wenger has come to realize his flaws and leads the club to glory this year, but I certainly understand why a huge section of the fanbase now wants to see some proof that things have changed.

Berlingoon

Maybe a supportive fan base would represent such a change? Just maybe.

Nasri\'s missing chinbone
Nasri\'s missing chinbone

Agreed Kaius, but the point he makes about everyone acting like the season is already over is valid. A lot of people have gone overboard, and this sort of vitriolic assassination of the players’ and manager’s capabilities is going to be incredibly detrimental to our season.

I just don’t get how everyone claims to support the club through thick and thin, but seemingly do their best to undermine the team throughout the season you engaging in the excessive criticism that the team has come in for after just one game. It’s madness in my eyes.

I completely understand everyone’s gripes with the club and let’s be quite frank, we are in a far from perfect situation at the moment.

But seriously, can we please actually support our side and protest in the summer when it doesn’t harm our chances of winning games.

It’s almos like we want our team to finish below the scum down the road and those degenerates in west London.

Criticism is valuable when it’s constructive, but this has been way OTT in my opinion.

kaius

“90% of the comments are from attention seeking egomaniacs” is an odd way to talk about the community that Arseblog built here.

If someone wants to condemn those fans who are being hyperbolic and using vile language about Wenger, I’m in full agreement with that person until they themselves use hyperbolic language and vile language to condemn Arsenal fans in general. It’s not that hard to differentiate the abuse from the constructive criticism.

Berlingoon

Again, i was referring to the abusive hysterical comments and I stand by my opinion that I think 90% of them are attention seeking egomaniacs. I haven’t abused Arsenal fans in general. It was very clear which comments I meant. So I don’t understand why you think this is something that applies to all people in the Arseblog community. If you or anybody else made sensible constructive comments, I wasn’t talking about it. But, again, check the comments directly after the game, especially on bloggs fb page and you’ll find very few of these comments. Most of the comments were “season over” “senile cunt” “sell them all” “we are fucked” and stuff like this. And that’s what I was ranting about.

Berlingoon

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10155306857908580&id=327243013579 Check the comments. I don’t love these people because they are Arsenal supporters. Surely not.

The goooch

Wenger’s accommodating player’s as usual.
Its alot of work for Xaka when Ramsey is constantly the wrong side of the ball and leaving him exposed.

Give a chance for Girould and Lacazete in a 3-5-2 with another sitting midfielder to cover Ramsey’s forward runs and Let Lacazete feed of Girould.

Vonnie

Exactly, Granit panicked because he knew that Ramsey wasn’t there, he was up front playing glory boy, missing goals and leaving the middle of the park empty, as usual. It wouldn’t be quite so bad if he ever actually scored goals.

North Bank Gooner

Be great if he came on as sub, lets say against Leicester last week, and actually scored an equaliser. Oh yeah…….

Gotta love the day after a defeat!

Stringer Bell

I think that’s the point being made, coming on as sub when we are losing then we have to risk. When it’s the start of the second half and Ramsey is in the centre forward position when when xhaka has ball in our half, that’s the problem, it was still nil nil with plenty of time.

The goooch

There’s more to being a midfielder than just constantly bombing forward.
Mmm like playing for the team.

He was constantly in Lacazetes space yesterday instead of arriving late into the box.
Maybe you hit the nail on the head coming on sub

The goooch

The point is if you have a predator in the box who will sniff out chances Girould is a dream.
Probably as good as I’ve seen in the air.
Ian Wright or Michael Owen would have loved playing off him but its just not fashionable to play that way anymore.
Girould isn’t going to run the channel’s but feeding of his knockdowns like the one he headed back across goal in the last minute will get 6 yard box poachers goals you need.
Ah but he took his 50 million striker off by then.

A different George

Do you think perhaps it’s not “fashionable” to play that way anymore because defensive tactics have changed?

Prim

Wenger must see the problem in midfield. Does nothing. Why?? He’s not stupid. Unable to get deals thru and won’t allow anyone else to do it for him? Still hoping his team will “learn” what he wants from them?
I had a boss. Old, passé, but hanging on for dear life, utterly convinced he knew better than all. And when he didn’t, he just could see himself in retirement. Sad. Feels the same here.

Alex

This blows my mind this week. I believe you but my eyes didn’t!

Looney

The Ox is a decent player and very easy on the eye with all the dribbles and the effort he puts in. That’s amazing and all. The issue I have with him is with his wonderful ability, his end product is such a letdown and that’s why he won’t be a central midfielder. I was so frustrated when I saw him trying to shoot when there were 2 players waiting in the box and it was easier to pass than to shoot. Even Giroud was pissed.
Henry said it all. We need to surprise opponents by making that simple over the top passes with Welbz and Laca having such great movement. Xhaka and Ozil have it in their lockers to do it.
I miss fully fit and on form Wilshere. At least he’s always willing to do that.
Anyway it’s too early to be alarmed. COYG!

Diarra

Someone with sense. Agree with you totally.

Looney

The Ox is a decent player and very easy on the eye with all the dribbles and the effort he puts in. That’s amazing and all. The issue I have with him is with his wonderful ability, his end product is such a letdown and that’s why he won’t be a central midfielder. I was so frustrated when I saw him trying to shoot when there were 2 players waiting in the box and it was easier to pass than to shoot. Even Giroud was pissed.
Henry said it all. We need to surprise opponents by making that simple over the top passes with Welbz and Laca having such great movement. Xhaka and Ozil have it in their lockers to do it.
I miss fully fit and on form Wilshere. At least he’s always willing to do that.
Anyway it’s too early to be alarmed. COYG!

Graeb

Interesting – 8+ hours of comments and not a single mention of Alexis Sanchez yet. No one has been suggesting where he should fit in.

Pff

This post just shows you the limitations of stats. Whoscored seem to love Oxlade cos he’s got great dribbling stats. Which he should have really since that all he does. Not much seems to come from it. The chances he created today didn’t come from his dribbling. He had two blocked shots. 3 in total. A player with his goal scoring record shouldn’t have 1 shot.

In 2009 plenty of people used stats to defend Denilson. Now he’s his prime years in the UAE.

The stats told 7amkickoff that Higuain was better option for Araenal than Suarez in 2013.

Thierry Wright

The problem is that wenger has caused himself a headache but unlike most managers is not making it a positive situation and I’m talking about the fact that the Ox as a wingback is much better than bellerin yet he won’t drop bellerin. He also realizes the same problem with Montreal and kolasnic. He also cannot decide whether or not to solidify the center midfield by dropping Ramsey and playing the Coq… this is why we have been struggling for so long because wenger not the players is indecisive….

A different George

I think Wenger plays Ramsey there because he gives us a serious attacking threat that we needed yesterday. The way to play against a packed-in defense like Stoke is with attackers making runs, or carrying the ball, into the area. Alexis normally plays that role for us (among other roles); in his absence, Ramsey is a much better choice than Elneny or Coquelin.

PeterB

Seriously don’t know why we have Ramsey. I know I sound like a old record, but this guy is awful. Just think about it, would he get into any other top 6 team? No

Get rid

Ramseys backheel

If I spotted right, Arsenal played good old sideways footie, with a littoe or no effort at all in piling up shots out of the attacks. Wenger apparently is obsessed with not losing the ball, but this slow and inefficient Arsenal is a nightmare to watch. In these “sideways games” you can’t really see that theres anything up for grabs, after opponent scores first.

And with all the possession, Ox amd Bellerin are too often out of position and unfortunately, so is Ramsey. He does not provide assistant back three needs and when he is on, it seems we play with two AMC instead of only Özil there. And then we are vunerable as hell at the back.

Andrés

A mistery for me how such a big club have sooo many mediocre players

Robin Grundvall

Why even mention Xhaka and Bergkamp in the same sentence? Disgraceful

He can’t defend, he is too much of a pussy to try a throughball and when he does he fails, he has no speed, or dribllingcapacity, or action at all. His best skill is to pass a ball 20 feet on someones foot, sideways… But he failed at that too and then rushed to fail the interception and then we conceded.

Amazing how we can play a boring inadequate player like that every game and give him chance after chance and call him an essential player. Ridiculous

Shank

Bould ” its a pity Per has a cut over his eye”.
Wenger “Yes , I wanted to play him at left full”.

Rocky\'s little brother
Rocky\'s little brother

I wish we would play players in their best positions. Monreal at CB is shit. We had BFG on the bench and his last game was bossing the FA Cup final. Özil and Lacazette up front in a 442, worth a try

JohnnyG

Too me it’s just clear ,no matter what we say about forward or back lines, that our midfielders are getting over run right now. I love Xhaka and Ramsey and tehy are amazing Arsneal men but when you look at both games this is where things Fall apart. The giveaways the lack of creativity the sideways passing and the breaks the other teams have had them who are most culpable.

If Arsene isn’t going to add talent and we stick to Xhaka Ramsey Elneny then we have e two options in my mind.

Formation change it honestly, throw Wilshere in there. On his day he is a mini Cazorla who can create and drive with the ball at his feet. Outside of this we may have to get used to a lot of days like this.

bfollinprm

I find a lot of the conversation about this match disingenuous.

Statistically, we had more than 70% possession, and from viewing most of the play was in and around the Stoke box. We were undone by poor finishing, an inspired Zouma, and a terrible moment from the back 3 + Xhaka. Saying this points to some systematic issue exposed by this game is a little odd; on the whole the team dominated, and while I commend Wenger for focusing on the faults, Arsenal deserved to win on play.

Robin

Thanks, mate – your by the numbers are always sobering after defeats like this one. And with Sanchez and Kosc due back at Anfield, this might still be just a hickup.

Max Henchman

although unfortunate, how can you say the offside was wrongly called? If VAR was used for such situations like many people want it to be… it would have been called offside because technically it was the right decision. Just seems harsh because of how close it was.

I think most blame has to goto Wenger for this result, lineup and substitutions were awful. I always get the feeling Wenger has decided before the game who the subs depending on if we’re winning/drawing/losing and form during the game doesn’t seem to change that.

Dino

Just by stat.. who would you think will excel at RWB position? Bellerin or Ox? This is big problem that AW have to address at the earliest. Sooner or later he had to come to decision to chose 2 out of 3 among Seo, Bellerin and Ox for the 2 wing-back roles!

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