Wenger’s legacy is fundamental. Free flowing, attacking football by a club with integrity and class.

Arsenal Outplayed In Midfield

Arsenal did not merely lose to Brighton, they were outplayed in midfield by one of the poorest teams in the league; 49.2% possession to  the Gunners versus 50.8% for the Seagulls. This is unheard of in the modern era. Under Arsene Wenger, only the best teams in Europe have come to either Highbury or the Emirates and exceeded us in possession.

How did it come to this?

Exactly one week ago Freddie Ljunberg became interim coach of Arsenal Football Club to almost universal acclaim after the disastrous reign of Unai Emery.

This was after 18 months of mostly dire football, with fans beginning to stay away from the stadium and protesting loudly in social media. Sanllehi had no choice but to fire his compatriot and appoint Freddie on an interim basis.

It seems many fans believed there is a quick fix to the damage that has been done to AFC over the past 18 months. There seems to be a total underestimation of the regression in standards since Wenger left. One example is in the quality players the Sanllehi regime allowed to leave the club without adequate replacements:

Santi Cazorla: 4 yrs in the 1st team, 157 appearances, 25 goals, 40 assists, 88% pass success, 7.38 average rating.

Jack Wilshere: 8 yrs in the 1st team, 157 appearances, 12 goals, 20 assists, 84.4% pass success, 6.9 average rating.

Aaron Ramsey: 9 yrs in the 1st team, 304 appearances, 53 goals, 51 assists, 85% pass success, 7.0 average rating.

In contrast to the vast experience and technical ability of the above midfield players, all of whom were on the books a mere two years ago, Freddie Ljunberg was forced to make his starting #10 versus Brighton, none other than 20 year-old Joe Willock, who undoubtedly has enormous potential to become a very good players but was blatantly out of his depth.

  • 2 yrs in the 1st team, 29 appearances, 3 goals (all in Europa league), 0 assists, 84% pass success, 7 overall rating.

More defensive tactics

It was a roll of the dice in Freddie’s second game in charge that came up twos instead of sevens. He selected a more defensive oriented team in contrast to his side at Norwich replacing Guendouzi with Torreira, Mustafi with Sokratis and Bellerin for Chambers. For this he was roundly applauded on Twitter and by the pundits on my tv channel. The consensus was Arsenal would win, Brighton the foregone loser in the upcoming drama.

Arsenal started cautiously. It soon became obvious the weight of going eight (8) competitive games without a win is taking its toll. Ominously in the first minute there was blatant confusion between Leno and Luis over a loose ball kicked goalwards which had the goalie scrambling instead of making a routine collect.

Unlike Norwich, the Gunners appeared more careful in their build up, seemingly focused on not allowing Brighton easy opportunities for a counter. Bellerin and Kolasinac took turns attacking down the flanks. David Luis and Xhaka  regularly flighted long balls into the direction of either Lacazette upfront or Aubameyang wide right. Ozil was forced to come deep to link with the midfield three of Xhaka, Torreira and Willock.  Unfortunately, although willing, the latter did not have the technical nous to consistently receive the ball while under pressure nor to make the right passes at the right time. So much so, he was the victim Aubameyang’s frustration at the end of the 1st half when he got a proper rollicking from his captain for a misplaced pass. It was reminiscent of Thierry Henry’s year as skipper; not good to see.

Brighton, for their part, was very physical, trying to make it difficult for Arsenal to pass it around. They would often drop deep with 6 or 7 behind the ball, tackle fiercely and work the ball into goal-scoring opportunities. In the 25th minute they had a magnificent chance when Connolley flashed one across the face of Leno’s goal, out of reach of their onrushing striker. That marked the beginning of a 10 minute period of sustained pressure which culminated in a corner on the 35th minute with Webster winning the scramble for the 2nd ball and lashing it home.

Arsenal responded with urgency. For most of the final 10 minutes of the half they pinned Brighton in their own half. On the 40th minute mark Auba swung a delicious cross into the penalty area which was met by affirm header by Willock which was saved on the line by the keepers legs. The failure to score despite putting the opposition under pressure was obviously a factor in Aubameyang taking it out on poor old Willock.

2nd half pressure

Not surprisingly Joe was given the hook at the start of the 2nd half replaced by Pepe who took up a wider position as the team changed to a 4-2-1-3 shape (Pepe on the right, Laca as CF and Auba on the left with Ozil in the hole). Not a classic shape but needs must. Unlike the beginning of the match, Arsenal was far more aggressive seeking the equalizer. Pepe from the start was making it especially uncomfortable for the long-legged Burn. The pressure eventually told when a 50th minute corner was helped on by Lacazette at the near post. 1:1.

Not satisfied Arsenal went for the winner. 54th minute cross by  Bellerin, Auba misses making contact. 55th minute cross by Kolasinac, Auba again fails to make contact. 62nd minute freekick was volleyed into the net by Luis but was ruled offside.

After nearly 25 minutes of sustained pressure Arsenal seem to run out of gas and Brighton slowly but surely got back into the game. In the 79th minute they worked the ball down the left and a cross into the box and Maupy, twisting his head to an acute angle, steered the ball away from Leno to score.

For a team whose confidence has been battered that Brighton goal must have been a punch in the gut. It certainly affected the fans in the stadium as they seemed shocked into silence. While Pepe had a shot saved and Martinelli’s smart header was repelled on the line during the final 10 minutes, this was finally the night Arsenal  was unable to pull a rabbit out of the hat that was frequently the case under Emery.

Bellerin in disbelief

Bellerin, in a post match interview, said he was in a state of disbelief; Arsenal created several chances but couldn’t score while Brighton’s seem to benefit from from far less. No Hector. They had 9 shots on target, Arsenal only had 5.

Seems to me Bellerin and many fans are living in a fantasy world. Arsenal no longer dominates most clubs in the EPL because we no longer have quality players, especially in midfield, to impose our game on the opposition. What once looked easy under Wenger is now a thing of the past. It will only be reversed  when we stop the bleeding; stop selling or letting go our best players. If we must sell, replace them with top-top quality. Poor old Freddie can only work with what he has. Any new coach will face the same dilemma. That is why Freddie Needs Time.


  1. Good post thank you

    Let’s not forget the catastrophic transfer window resulting in the ascension of Don Raul. The toad.

    Selling Koscielny and Montreal and replacing them with the never ready Luiz and the unready Tierney. Huge loss to the squad.

    Raul has been bleeding the Arsenal and this is the result. Yet thanks to Lee Dixon and other cheerleaders attacking FL I already see people attacking FL, after two training sessions, and not Raul.

    Well. The Arsenal support covered themselves in sh*t for years. They actually celebrated the sabotage of a Boot Room going back to the beginning of Pat Rice’s career in the 1950s. It appears that Turkey’s can vote for Christmas, and Raul is feeling glutinous after Litchsteiner, Suarez, Ceballos, Pepe etc.

    You reap what you sow?

    • Spot on Fins. I wanted to make the same points but I decided to focus on the midfield where the game was lost. The team consistently did something I have never seen at Arsenal before, especially at home, which was to often bypass the midfield and float long balls in the direction of Laca and Auba. For years the pundits, the armchair coaches and many of our fans urged this tactic. It was an abysmal failure last night. Frankly that one was on Freddie. But he is on a hiding to nowhere because he has no skillful, experienced options (poor old Joe Willock). If he is to get the job permanently he needs results and he needs time to coach the team into playing better football. It is a mess.

    • Fins, yes, they gutted the team. Upon leaving Arsene said the team was close and in response to that they got rid of most of the spine of the team. Emery still gets most of the blame for me. I can never forget how he had Ramsey and Ozil on the bench and he himself and Wilshere said that he told Wilshere he could leave. I have never seen a manager decimate a team like this. He should have been fired no later than the end of last season.

  2. https://youtu.be/Y2cn9NGCkng

    Please take some time to listen to this if you have a chance, its well worth it. You really see what he really thinks and some great insights. One thing I personally felt I liked was confirming something I brought up with Eddy on PA about Josh going on about smiling and having fun. Only a person who hasnt played could say that or a follower of Josh and Raul.
    It was interesting to listen to as they spoke of many games I attended to. The Newcastle game was weird, the north bank were chanting against Liverpool fans, that tends to get left out of the history books. I knew a guy who was a Liverpool fan who went to Hillsborough, he got to the game early, look at where to stand at and decided it wasnt right for him and it saved his life. I went back up to college, and he hadnt turned up, we all thought he was dead. I was the berk that had to phone up his family and see if he was alright ( the other lads were too scared). We were all really glad that he was ok. Poor bastard went to the final game. He was really decent with me though, came back and shook my hand. I had a girlfriend who was a scouser later, and her brother was at that game ( the final game), he wasnt so charitable with me though when I mentioned it!
    Funny he talks about the Wham game, i can still remember listening to it, and Liverpool kept scoring. I didnt think they would do it. But one of the lads in our house was a Chester fan (another link to Dixon), and he said 2 goals is so weird, I think you’ll do it. That final game, was one epic, not just the final moments but the whole thing, the atmosphere right from the start. Plus we hadnt won there since 75 at that point ( but the bloke says otherwise so maybe Im wrong on that, if it was 73 it made it even more remarkable).
    Very interesting points about the Wenger time, and seeing how low we’ve come.

    The end bit is really ironic!

    This is why I made my points the other day, but dont get me wrong I know why I was countered.

  3. Thanks Shotta!

    Just want to say that I cannot stand Arsenal supporters. They have to be some of the most miserable people on Gods green earth. Among other stupid things, why are they booing the team? The same people who booed Arsene ot to sit back, support and watch Emery destroy the team and only started to complain when it got to this blasted point!

    And the pundits are jokers. Like Robbie Earl on NBC sports. I heard him big up Emery time and time again and talk about getting his players in and and this none sense and now he is saying Arsenal have no identity!!! I could have told him that early last season with emery switching things up every match and even in game. Lee Dixon the same. How can a novices like us see the crap for what it was but ex footballers who get paid well to cover the game cannot?!

    As far as Arsenal I still feel positive about what I am seeing and I am willing to be patient. Freddie has to team going in the right direction with the limited resources and that’s all I want to see. It’s not simply about winning at the point but building a system; some form of identity.

    Regarding the match. What stuck out to me was this seeming “running out of steam”. Two games running we looked lost around the 80th minute. I also noticed the long balls and was quite confused by it. We are and were better than that in this very match. Auba, though a brilliant goal scorer is not offering enough. His passing was awful and I cannot understand why he is not good beating players 1 v 1. I think he needs to study Henry a bit as he has more to offer.

    Positives again is that I see direction. I also loved what I saw from Pepe, his willingness to go at players was great to see, he will improve. I think he ought to play every match. Kolasinac has been a beast. Bellerin looks like he is getting back up to speed. Torreira surprised me with some decent one touch passing and ball control.

    Anyways, I still have me head up and expect Freddie to turn this thing around.

    • Aah Robbie Earle, that hypocrite . Last night trying to destroy Freddie accusing Arsenal of having no identity, no heart, etc. This was the same blasted pundit who lambasted Wenger for having a single identity and that Emery would make us flexible blah, blah, blah.

      The Arsenal today is exactly what Robbie Earle advocated. He can eff right off as far as I am concerned. (Sorry for my French Paul, I know you avoid such language.)

      • Just as you say Shotta. Instead of admitting they ALL got it wrong they are trying to lay blame. Give me a break. They are paid experts and missed Emery by a million miles, they could not have been more wrong.
        These guys only started to really criticize Emery this season. Folks around these here parts saw the rubbish way before them.

        • When do we not also lay the blame, one way or another? Again, why should a paid expert be more on the spot that another kind of observer?

          Youre putting yourselves down too much and using them to hoist yourselves up. All authorities arent that how can they be? In the end, everyone is a human, who is a sideshow of another sideshow that is counter supportive, these creates the illusion of there being a main ring. It seems it but it isnt, its relative.

          Off the top of my head, werent the pundits pretty critical of the endo of last season meltdown?

          In fairness to all humans, any who reside in duality and the flux of that are going to eventually be a hypocrite.Of course there are grades of this that can really be problematic.

          Whats interesting is our own reaction to these things. Ethics plays a massive part in things but its so transitory that people dont really care, or they are selective about what seeps through and what doesnt.

          Some pundits perhaps werent a focussed as others here as they have other fish to fry and only got around to it when it came more into the frame, when the points were really being dropped. Also if they had have started criticising Emery earlier would that mean many of us would have got angry?

          Its odd that seemingly side show issues are actually fundamentally problematic and part of what’s going on in the jigsaw of football?

          The only hope we have is to somehow stay with our own authority and then self reflect on that?

          And this has been getting at me for a while, what is it that we are defending and being so sensitive to as Arsenal fans that these people become so irritating? An idea? the bigger picture of Arsenal? A deeper need to be a winner by proxy?

    • If you take a look at the interview with Lee that was recorded earlier last month that I linked, you will see that he gets it and fully understands whats going on in the contemporary game and with how things are at Arsenal.
      In many ways hes more Arsenal than Freddie or Henry ( look at the amount of games he played).Pundits on football programmes a have to play along with the agenda of the programme. They are acting in some sense.
      Lee Dixon is as much a Arsenal legend and an important person who served the club as any hero of the latter Wenger era.
      I felt that he could really help our defence at the moment. But he was quite honest about how his era defence would have faired in this time under Emery.

      • Millsy: You are welcome to your opinion of Lee Dixon. He may be a nice chap personally but football-wise he is not my cup of tea.

        As I said before LD is a sideshow to the current drama at Arsenal. Last night’s defeat was not down to our defending but to the poverty of our midfield. They could not consistently retain possession nor pass between the lines, nor create chances from the center of the park.

        Freddie has a huge job ahead of him in a brief space of time to get it right.

        • Im asking people to watch the interview as it will help them get a bigger picture. What he has to say, has little to do with his personality, or my opinion. Im mean that Freddie is the new hero and potentially brilliant is just an opinion, and when he becomes a pundit in a few years time, and gives the Arsenal his criticism, what then? To me Arsenal is a fluid state of being and is not beyond criticism, or that we are the only ones who are allow that luxury?
          And if its not just an opinion and can be backed by stats, so can Dixons.
          Dont get me wrong, I like Freddie, hes a smart, witty bloke, and he was great to watch as a player. But I remain skeptical of the messiah problem that clubs seem to have. But dont think Im not aware that its a tough task ( why?) and that he has little time, but what to do, this is the horrible modern game, its the contemporary world. I dont like it but what can I do? But why is Freddie the answer because a lot of people enjoyed the Wenger years and want that back, but its been destroyed, and Freddie isnt Wenger, he might echo somethings.

          I would say that one part of our defeat last night was very much down to our defence, the first goal was schoolboy defending.
          If our midfield cannot operate in a way that enables control of the game or cover for the defence, then the defence as to step up and play a solid game.
          Since the loss in the CL final our defence slowly became less effective over longer periods, although there have been outstanding moments (17 cup final), but we had such strong and talent midfields and that we could get away with it. Now we cant.
          Im not sure what you guys expect from people, why should they only say good things about the club? We havent for a long time now, neither here nor at PA.
          But there is no good singular reason we can find that the defence should be so at sixes and sevens. if Per can help out then that great. Lee could really give us a hand, if you watch the video then you will perhaps understand.
          One thing, even if we are all desperate to be CL playing again, until each part of the team plays coherently with individual skills, we Arent going to really challenge for anything.
          Whoever comes in even if its Klopp, will only have a short amount of time. Take the money out of the game, take the global branding out of the game, and managers will have more time, but everyone, including us, wants wins and results. That’s what we want, and we don’t like this. We are also part of the problem.Nows there’s a lot of talk of relegation, which is a bit daft at this point in the season.
          How are we going to cope if we are mediocre for a few season? What are we going to do if there isnt positive,attractive football? What will all the typed words amount to?
          Honestly, you guys were privileged to see the Wenger football, you cant imagine what it was like to support a side that was not ever going to challenge for the league ( although we havent been able to that for a long,long time)and lose to teams like Oxford, York, Wrexham or fighting draws with Hereford.
          But who is without blame, Arsenal are poor because Emery was a diabolical manager, Dixon criticises and we criticise Dixon?
          To me as I wrote the other day, my Arsenal perspective starts in 77. So players like Dixon are very important, he was a more tight and succinct player than Bellerin for example.
          It seems that nobody likes Arsenal players being called out.
          A sideshow it may be, but thats what we are, blogs dont really influence anything in the way the players think, its just people having a chat. The problem is that some players look at aftv and read messages on Instagram, but they dont read much in the way of blogs. Even the big blogs seem over reaching in their estimation of what they can influence. Should blogs have that right. Everyone on social media, including this is putting pressure on the team, Dave on PA brought up some good ideas that might help.

          I invite people to watch he video, as a) its part of important Arsenal history and b) he has much advice that would be beneficial for the worst defence we~ve had over 30 years, he talks in depth about his relationship with the midfield and how it was to play in the early Wenger sides. Man those were the best, much better than the tiki Taki years no matter how beautiful it was to watch.

      • Mills, I sat for the whole of last season hearing them say Emery needs time and needs to get his players in…X Y Z and now they want to have a dig at the current state of Arsenal. Well…how do they think it got like this? We deteriorated over a matter of a year plus but they seem to want a fix in a matter of days. I don’t respect that type of lazy punditry. They need to put the blame where it lies and its not with Freddie.

        • Dixon says the same thing at the end of the vid. But hes also hints that times up for Emery.Theres no such thing as laziness, its like the word luck it cover other things. In this case theres an agenda, its that of the broadcaster, and the pundits (actors) who play it out. Same for aftv.
          Lees views and how he really considers things are in the video. The broadcasters have to compete with click baiting sites and vlogs so what are they to do? I dont like it, I wished there were no pundits or just blokes like Brian Moore or Peter Jones who loved the game,and werent scathing about players mistakes, as we all tend to be in this time.
          My own personal view is punditry and what a player really thinks, maybe different things, but also remember what Balzac said when he was slagged off by the critics. When asked does it affect you, he said no! I listen to them and take the advice if need be.
          Again, take away the lust for being a global brand, take away the big money in the game, take away our obsession with perfect and winning and we can have more time.
          Plus there the factor that our sense of time has changed as Einstein predicted as we are more involved with technology, which has changed our idea of what Arsenal was, and will continue to affect it in the future.
          But the problem lies here: we make authorities in life of people, and nobody is an absolute authority. It up to us, and our personal choice whether we make people into authorities or not.
          I think if people watch the video they might understand where Im coming from. Through it we can see without Arsenal pre Wenger, the Wenger years and football you guys have enjoyed couldn’t have happened.
          Now perhaps we consider Emery, but Emery was employed as part of a re structuring system that has ripped the guts and brains out of the club, but this couldnt have happend without the reaction to all the Wenger years, as people were jealous, envious and thought is was easy to play sophisticated football.
          Arsenal is a stream, not just what we want it to be, it started before 1886, and in some form will go on after the end, as it morphs into something else.
          I try not to watch to much punditry as its a waste of life, but I do, but moreover I try to just watch. Everyone has different perspectives of the same events. Rashamon.

          Freddie also knows what hes let himself in for, he knows the game, the pitfalls. He knows that its nuts and not compassionate, and extremely reactionary, he knows people invest their money and lives and false sense of identity into the game. I dont think he heeds the help (criticism) of ex players, he knows he has to quickly establish a stability and solidity and the ability to score goals and win games again. Just a circus.

  4. Omair JavedDecember 6, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    I completely agree with you Shotta that our midfield has lost the technical ability to dominate midfield and stamp their style and authority on the game. I struggle to remember the last time Arsenal got out possessed at home by a team outside of Top 6. It was the absolute foundation of his style. Never did we lost midfield control even when we had Denilson playing there.

    The most alarming this is that after the departure of the player that was deemed not good enough for Arsenal i.e. Aaron Ramsey, we no longer have a player in our midfield capable of carrying the ball forward and bring our offensive players into the game. For this reason, you either see our midfield over committing forward or just too deep to make any impact. This also forces players like Ozil to drop deep to get the ball and effectively make them a non-threat because if Ozil is not receiving the ball in those tiny pockets where he becomes so dangerous, then he just becomes easy to defend and he is always playing ahead of a defense and midfield of the opponent and not between them.

    Santi, Ramsey, Wilshere and Rosicky were all ball carriers vital in our midfield for not only their technical ability to keep the ball and pass it around but also their skills to progress the ball further. Now, I can’t think any player capable of doing that. Guendouzi is not a ball carrier and when has been deployed in that role, he has been just too reckless with ball to do anything with it. Ceballos has just looked a fancy and average version of Aaron Ramsey at best. As for Torreira, I feel he is quickly being turned into another Francis Coquelin by our managers.

    Though I agree that our midfield is not of the level that is used to be, I still think that we don’t have had managers capable enough to set them up and get the best out of them either post Arsene Wenger. If you priority is not to look to dominate the midfield and progress the ball forward and be creative, then this midfield is really going to struggle as it is neither capable nor built in a way to soak up pressure. Also, if your midfield is more worried about the defensive side of the things, then you also just end up taking your best offensive players out of the game as they are then forced to play more in defensive phase than attacking.

    Arsenal need a manager who can set this midfield up to play the attacking version of the game. We need to play though our best players and all our best players play through center. We need the midfield play that can bring Ozil Laca and Auba in game. If Arsenal can’t dominate midfield, then really what hope do we have?

  5. Mills

    If Lee Dixon can’t see the parallels between what happened when John Jenson was eventually brought in to replace Paul Davis for bung and a prayer with what happened with Rambo & Raul, that’s his problem as he is the football pundit.

    If he can’t see it then this explains his nonsense about GG being able to fix this team after two hours coaching when he couldn’t fix his own team after he dismantled his own WC midfield. Or Tottenham etc. I’m calling out this premeditated attack on an ex-team mate put in a shitty position. To repeat:

    Where was this level of critique last season?
    I’m sorry but these attacks on FL after two training sessions when compared to the silence before on Emery last season and early on this itat are not acceptable for me.

    Mills. Love your stories. Thanks for sharing.
    They are much more precious to me then Lee’s thoughts on the football and his inability to discuss midfielders and the sequel to the Damned Utd that was live acted before us these past 18 months. I’m hoping for a half decent future and to do that the Gunners are: going to need a midfield.

    Had two world class CBs of late yet Lee appears to be incapable of acknowledging that fact. They need gun replacing. Simple stuff! Freddie may be hopeless but for me his opinions on the current state of play are irrelevant.

    They bear no relation to the facts.
    I dismiss him and his words on the football today. Not interested.

  6. < for me Lee’s put himself in the same bracket as people who indulged in the guff that “Ozil and Rambo can’t play together.”

    I Have better things to do then to listen to that tripe! Like playing footy…

  7. I don’t like the Online Gooner crew

    They know fuck all about the Football.
    Proven nun thy roe own words and conduct.

    They are not Arsenal quality’s which is why like Lee they have been peddling the trope that Arsenal couldn’t defend under AW I spite of the FACT that the club won three fa cups 14-17 alongside two consecutive golden gloves.

    They are entitled to their opinions, and they can stuff those opinions up their Arsenal’s given we can all see where they’ve helped to take the club.

    I also dismiss the Gooner and all their followers!
    They are ****s. the record proves it,

  8. Sorry but I really don’t like the Gooner and the content that they’ve pumped out this past decade.

    Thumbs down in my insignificant opinion.

    • In knowing you for many years fins, starting at Untold about eight years ago or more, I personally always have found your opinion significant. All I meant was in the vast landscape and flow of life our opinions (especially mine)don’t really count for much, at the top of the list, pundits.No-ones too bothered about yesterdays papers? Im not a bitchy person. I don’t come on blogs to have a pop at people.
      I dont know anything about online Gooner, didnt even know of them til yesterday. I have no interest in them at all.
      I liked the interview because Lee spoke of his time at Arsenal ( fourth highest appearances of any player for us), his affection for Rocky, and respect for Paul Davis, how George made him and how Arsene let him, he spoke of Emery and the restrictions in the modern game, and a bit about punditry.
      Anyway time to move on.

  9. For me the Gooner and AFTV people and their content have deeply damaged the atmosphere around the ground and beyond.

    Will it be possible for the Arsenal to move on from these people have helped to bring it by supporting the break up of the break down.

    Kevin Campbell.
    Might be a bit of a Finsbury Parker himself. But I’m not interested in hearing his thoughts on the Arsenal or even just the football.

  10. Will it be possible for the Arsenal to move on from where the club is now at these people have helped to bring it by supporting the break up of the boot room?

    The Kronke’s have hollowed out the club & these people were the cheerleaders. Out of stupidity and malice.
    This explains their silence last season.

  11. It’s not having a pop just trying to explain that I go out of my way to avoid the content from AFTV and the Gooner etc including their spokesmen Campbell and it appears Dixon too.

    This blog
    Bergkamp Wonderland

    for a diverse range of opinions and thoughts, these are all great resources for Arsenal lovers.

  12. I didnt say you were having a pop. Youve made it clear about Gooner whoever the fk they are ( I havent a clue) you dont like them. I dont even know them or care who they are. The bloke in the interviews Lee just asks him questions about his career. If Dixon is a spokesman fo rthem, then I have no idea, and neither am I going to research it,as Im not interested.
    I havent defended Gooner or bloody aftv at all, in fact Ive been pretty critical at PA about them. But the mainstream media is no different.

    Diverse range of opinions, as long as you don’t defend Lee fkn Dixon?

    You win fins, Dixon is a tool and so Campbell and everyone fkn else including me. None of you have either understood anything I written about this. You havent, Look at what Ive written, or looked at the vid.

    Man, you guys are so sure youre right. I think its better I find another place, before I lose my rag.

    • Nah Mills, it’s not that serious. You are obviously a very welcomed contributor and important around here and Positively Arsenal.

      I am not going to look at the vid due to time but this is an old vid. I am talking about right now and the history of these pundits lavishing praise on Emery and then expecting some grand change overnight. My mother could have been one of these pundits and I would not agree with her regardless of her knowledge and insight of the game.

      They are being lazy in their assessment. And they have not even admitted they got it totally wrong. Again, when we could see it for what it was these experts said give it time etc and were heaping praise on Emery. I watched them.

      I don’t expect an agenda when I listen to pundits.

      I also don’t think anyone is saying Freddie cannot be criticized, but don’t praise Emery when he is doing rubbish and then get strong now. Then can have a seat for me.

      Anyways, for me we can agree to disagree with all due respect.

  13. I didn’t say I’m right about anything but if you want to you can imply that.

    What i did say is that I’m going to call out the gibberish that GG could sort out this team in two hours of coaching.

    That is a fair comment. Because Lee Dixon is speaking rubbish.

    I don’t have to try to be right on that one to be fair.

    Never mind the midfield let’s all pray for GG to come and coach Luiz who has never been a good defender? Come on!

    Mills my friend. Do me a favour.

  14. I don’t think you have understood Mills.

    I wrote above that I myself am not interested in the vid you posted, after hearing Lee’s premeditated words before and after FL’s first game. So then: why would I watch it?

    Sorry if I wasn’t clear I have not watched that vid you posted.

    I have no interest in listening to Lee Dixon or whether he is right or wrong as (as I said above) in my insignificant opinion his behaviour of late has been: DISGUSTING. A bit like the Arsenal fans booing of Xhaka.

    That’s a personal opinion. One I don’t force upon anyone else. No need to do so.

    Please don’t attempt to imply anyone has tried to tell you what to think when they’ve only been telling you their own thoughts!

    Raul has been bleeding the Arsenal for 18 months now. That’s a long time. and I’ve been consistent in calling out anyone ignoring his role.
    That is indeed my opinion, and I don’t care what anyone else thinks. Because he is still at the club. And all I care about it the club not your opinion of how right or wrong I think I am:

    Let’s be honest eh:

    Raul’s a wrong un. I’m right on that!
    I’d say thank you for the praise on this one but I’m not glad to be proven right on what fraud he is and what he has been up to.

    • Everyone: this is my final post on this.
      The video I liked to has nothing to do with the comments he made after the Norwich game. Its about Arsenal under GG and AW, what it was like to be a player, his thoughts on the game and this last part of Emerys time, he isnt even nasty and says he need more time.

      I recommended it because it balanced the crap he spoke the other day. It not what you think. Its not an old vid, it was published on the 4th Nov this year. He isnt talk rubbish in the video,hes calm and very interesting. All apologies, Arsenal didnt start in the mid 2000 for me.

      I haven’t asked for anyone to look at Gooner ( I dont even know who they are and i dont care) or aftv or asked to have GG back. Nor do I want him back. I lived through that time and nearly ten years before and went to many games, and had to have heroes many of you dont even know who you would loathe.

      Everything I did was in good faith to keep a bigger picture, and tried to be fair. Al I wanted to show was there is more to him than slagging off the poor play. Ive tried a few times to explain how punditry is, its like acting, much of it is premeditated and scripted and meant for reaction.

      I dont like it when people say Ive said things when I havent, as their own perception is strong in their minds. I like to discuss things in a civilised way, Im not interested in being the best, but I sure am not interesting in not being understood. If you had all watched the vid then maybe you might have understood more. Do you think I went all this way just for ego?

      Ive written many posts trying to cover all aspects of this, and I feel i went into some depth. Please can you leave this alone now. Im really asking, please leave it alone.

      If it makes you feel better or vindicated i agreed with you that GG probably couldn’t have sorted the defence out in two hours. On the video, Lee actually says the same thing. Which was another reason I posted it.
      But you can see his reasoning why he said that, surely? Ive tried to explain this in my other posts.

      Thing is I don’t care what people say too much when they put the boot in to Arsenal as pundits. I hate it more when people like Piers Morgan do it as many people follow his opinion. He only turned up in the Wenger ears when it was trendy anyway. He was as damaging to Wenger Arsenal as aftv. And its Wenger Arsenal we are talking about, not Arsenal the bigger picture.If Online Gooner have done loads of damage then I haven’t a fuckin clue as I didn’t even know the cunts until yesterday. But again Ive said this in my other posts.
      I couldnt stand going to places like Le Grove as it was mentally ill, every day the same reasoning and posts Wenger put Wenger out and masses of aggression and fear and intolerance.

      Ive said before, a relative was a founding member of Arsenal, my relationship with it is not just with Wenger ball or Tiki Taki or values that have been established in the last 20 years. Lee to me, was a great defender, and an Arsenal legend, but so was Cliff Bastin and Jimmy Logie, David Price or Ritchie Powling,Alex James and Dan Lewis, John Hawley and Lee Chapman and Kevin Richardson and Kevin Campbell and Gus Ceasar and everyone who was supposed to be crap and are forgotten.

      Please I ask again, just leave there, no more posts, please. I cant say anymore.Iv understood what youve all had to say, and we are not on the same park with this subject. So Im going to leave it there, I ask agian for you to do the same.

      • TBH Millsy I have enjoyed the back and forth. It is one of the reasons I created Uncensored because we have entered a new era at Arsenal and it is no longer WOBs vs AKBs. Now we are in a fight for the heart and soul of the club as the barbarians have truly entered the gates. My goal was a place to argue and advocate the Arsenal-way. Btw I never expected the decline of the club to be so rapid and for new alliances and new narratives to become necessary. You and everyone who posts here are important to this process.

        PS: George and I just recorded a new podcast and in our opinion the future is grim no matter how we looked for positives.

      • What’s happened at Arsenal has nothing to do with our concepts of football styles but with the sabotage of the squad.

        People can pretend to argue with others over styles of football, but if they are projecting such arguments about tika taka and heroes hate (that’s quite an assumption!) towards people who they know have said they’d have preferred to see Big Sam, Mourinho, over the last year then what Raul and Emery have been up to then they have either misunderstood or misread the threads.

        • your not going to let go are you fins? You are the one who hasnt understood. Im starting to get really angry now. What your problem? You need to be on the top? Ok you are. Im not interested.

          Leave me alone will you? Either speak straight, kindly and with clarity or I will go through all of this an prove you haven’t understood what Ive continually tried to explain. Dig dig dig. Do you know or care how your emails come across?
          Leave me alone will you son? Leave me alone.

          You wont though. Because you cant can you?

          Sorry Shotts, you words were kind and really touched me, but this is nuts now.

  15. To quantify the above:

    David Luiz was dropped for the last two seasons by Chelsea.

    Perhaps he was a top level CB a decade or so ago.

    To be fair and reasonable: Anyone attempting to imply he can at this moment be coached into being a better CB is chatting out of their Arsenal. LIKE DIXON. I would like to again: dismiss his opinion on the defending. I hope that doesn’t offend.

    I’m commenting here as for me the problem at AFC is not the defending, it is not the coaching, but the people managing the squad:


    All my comments and focus are on Raul. As I don’t want to bore anyone else with my focused rants on Raul I’m only commenting on Shotts’ blog. For myself there isn’t much point on any other Footy chat till Raul is no longer a Gooner but gone.

    The above is clear and easy to understand.

  16. Daddy Raul said the he was responsible for the Summer transfers and not Edu.

    yet with each transfer the squad was diminished.

    Koscielny: On one leg still a better CB then Luiz.

    Montreal: helping Sociedad up la liga. Tierney years away from being at the same level.

    Ramsey: no comment!

    Iwobi: playing well for Everton in spite of their results. Better then Pepe? More useful at the current moment for sure.

    Pepe: no other club was in for him? I hope he turns out to be a top player. Forgive me but Raul’s record with Litchsteiner, Suarez and Ceballos tells us to hold fire on this one for now.

    The fuck ups with Ozil, which Emery eventually admitted was a direction from above.

    And Lee’s trying to tell the audience that the problem is the defensive coaching?

    How much is Raul paying him! And others? You know. To say people should build him a statue!


    I’m not going to take my eyes off the Football.
    Or Raul.

  17. Shotts,

    You remember it was the loss of Chambo as a future no.8 option playing alongside Rambo, as a precurser to Rambo himself going which left me worried a few seasons ago. What a loss he was to the squad.

    A sale celebrated by our brave podcasters! Because they know fuck all about the football! Yes. I think it is fair to say I know more then them! The evidence is there!

    Iwobi was his replacement.
    Everton lamping Chelsea today.

    We didn’t mind about the club gambling on £30M signings like Xhaka or Mustafi, that had to happen at some point (unless AW was given Raul’s job, as he should have been?)

    That’s the story right there. These two players who weren’t included in Shotta’s list best encapsulate the process we’ve seen. Chambo is England’s starting no.8 under Southgate. And our fans celebrated his sale. Like lambs to the Kronke’s abattoir.

    Whilst we’ve been discussing defensive coaches I have said for twelve months, on the record, that I’d take Big Sam, Mourinho, Steve Bruce let alone GG over Raul’s gimps any day. Any. Day.

    Context there for any readers on my response to those calling for GG to coach the current team. As Shotts says the damage has been done over the last six months in particular is a nightmare – that could take the club decades to recover from.

    I hope the readers can forgive me if calls for GG to come in and save the defence given the chronology and context explained above do not hit my G spot.

  18. Okay, I just watched the clip and to be honest I find it very insightful. Covers a wide range with none of that pundit seat bluster. Very complimentary of the Wenger years and very honest about where he think it all started to go downhill for Emery. Stuff George and Shotta covered in their recent podcasts and many contributors in writing here.

    • I do hope that this YouTube video that is less of a deflection away from Raul Sanllehi’s role in dismantling the squad and breaking the spirit has as many views as that prime time plunditry before and after the Norwich game.

      It is unlikely.
      Therefore I can’t empathise with the request from those I respect above to have sympathy for someone getting paid money to speak nonsense about the club they love.
      I am guilty of this crime.
      Hopefully like Raul I’ll keep out the slammer and get a cushy gig next time up, when I move on…

      Any deflection away from Raul’s role is in my own opinion a deflection.
      I have been consistent on Shotts’ blog with criticism of arseblog for ignoring Raul and then appreciating his belated acknowledgment.

      • FL is inexperienced. Odds are Raul has a say in the next coach. This is my concern. I don’t know anything about Football but Raul’s has not got a good record in his time at the club so far.


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