The 20/21 Season

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Post by Lex Sun Dec 27, 2020 7:26 pm

It's really sad that our world record signing and a Brazil NT veteran were exposed by two kids who can't even legally drink in some countries.

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Post by Twoism Mon Dec 28, 2020 1:30 am

It's great win and totally enjoy it especially against Chelsea but next two games will really show if Arteta learn anything from this win or not. If somehow Willian and Pepe get back into starting line up effortlessly, we would go backward again.
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Post by RealGunner Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:45 pm

back to back win...

Feels good

Saka is our best player
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Post by Sina Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:55 pm

Brighton with such crap XI and yet we didnt do anythimg in 1st half
Much better in 2nd half could have actually scored couple of more goals
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Post by 6unner Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:53 pm

If Saka is our best player then I foresee many years of average to below average in front of us.

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Post by MJ Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:42 pm

@6unner wrote:If Saka is our best player then I foresee many years of average to below average in front of us.


Average would be a huge improvement, so fingers crossed.
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Post by Hapless_Hans Sat Jan 02, 2021 2:22 pm

Big Sam vs tiny little Sam tonight Molenation

Must win
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Post by Sina Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:55 pm

Some good stuff
Both goals were beautiful
Just avoid giving them set pieces and see this through
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Post by RealGunner Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:04 pm

The hale end boys are something else

What a performance so far
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Post by RealGunner Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:00 pm

3 wins in a row

PL title next

we got this boys
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Post by Sina Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:05 pm

Wish we played  wba every week Razz
====================
Where is Jay btw?
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Post by MJ Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:07 pm

Loved every minute of that.

Some winnable fixtures coming up too if we can build on this.

It's a salvageable season with some consistency, smart squad building and freezing Willian in a cryogenic chamber, waking him up five minutes later and telling him it's 2023.

How different things look so quickly.
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Post by RealGunner Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:09 pm

@Sina wrote:Wish we played  wba every week Razz
====================
Where is Jay btw?


was wondering the same. Either a hiatus or disheartened by Arsenal. Hopefully he is okay in terms of health etc
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Post by Lex Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:12 pm

@6unner wrote:If Saka is our best player then I foresee many years of average to below average in front of us.
If every cnut at the club played with the same eagerness, determination and intellect that Saka has this season, we'd be top of the fecking table.
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Post by El Gunner Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:43 pm

Can't sit back now. Need to build on this. Go buy Buendia and another 8/10.
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Post by mani88 Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:13 am

Laca with five goals in four games. All our players who are in the last year of the contract seem to perform above expectations. Sanchez. Ozil. Ramsey. Aubameyang.
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Post by Jay29 Sun Jan 03, 2021 12:56 pm

Still alive and healthy.

Watching Arsenal was depressing so I detached myself for a bit. Kept an eye on the games but busied myself with other things so I didn't waste two hours of an evening watching us lose at home to Burnley.

The week just gone has been much happier. I'm feeling more positive about the team now. The top half is tight this year with teams dropping points left and right. A good run could put someone into the top four.

Two things happened to turn our form around. One was the change of formation, returning to the 4-2-3-1. The other was the introduction of Martinelli and Smith Rowe to the starting eleven.

The 3-4-3 we were playing had no central options to progress possession. Teams could trap us against either touchline easily. The wide players were bizarrely instructed to hug the touchline while the wing-backs went inside so we had the likes of Cedric and Bellerin attacking the most dangerous spaces on the pitch instead of Pepe and Aubameyang. Made no sense.

The 4-2-3-1 has better coverage across the pitch, with a player naturally in the golden zone, but the personnel was still lacking. Willian playing like a zombie on the wing, Lacazette pretending to be a no. 10, Willock showing a lack of poise on the ball, Nketiah failing to hold up play, Pepe being misued as a winger, etc.

Then you had Tierney and Saka playing on the same flank, which again makes no sense. Both are capable of beating a man 1v1 and delivering consistently quality crosses and cut backs. They needed to be on opposite flanks. So, lo and behold, Saka is moved to the right hand side and has three man of the match displays in a row. Tierney is given the freedom of the left flank and bosses it. That's the width of the team sorted.

Now, the centre. Xhaka, Elneny, Ceballos, Partey, Bellerin, Cedric, Maitland-Niles - all what I call "balance" players whose skills suit collecting the ball off the defence and moving it forward into the attack, and then holding their positions to protect against counters and reset the play when needed. None of them are scorers/creators who can commit defenders with a dribble, play the killer ball, make runs in behind to get a chance on goal, etc. Hence, Arsenal cannot play a 4-3-3 shape that requires the two 8s to do that, nor can they can rely on the right full-back to provide consistent attacking threat like Tierney can.

4-2-3-1 makes the most sense. Two midfielders + the right back as balance players, and the left full-back + three AMs + one striker as the five attackers, giving us the 5-5 split that's so popular these days. Smith Rowe becomes important because of his lateral movement, something none of our other mids besides Ozil has. He drifts into half-spaces, supports either flanks to create overloads, looks to play one-twos in crowded areas and attacks the box. He's a very gifted player who is rightfully getting more minutes. Martinelli then fills in as the second player to attack the half-spaces from the left hand side. Our attacking shape becomes:

Holding  Gabriel

Bellerin  Ceballos  Partey

Saka  Smith Rowe  Aubameyang  Tierney

Lacazette

Nicely balanced, covering the wide, central and half spaces and having enough players back to deal with counters. Basically what Arteta started doing when he took over, until he decided it wasn't defensively stable enough to maintain.

Now it's a matter of acquiring better players. Smith Rowe is young and injury prone. His emergence changes nothing about needing another attacking midfielder. A right back who provides more consistent attacking threat would add another rotation to the team's attack. Holding is defending okay, but his distribution is wayward, so a second CB who can pass would be nice. Saka is remarkably consistent at his age, but I worry about the number of knocks he's getting per game. A second winger would be good (Nelson sadly seems out of favour and probably doesn't have a future at the club; Willian is a zombie as mentioned; Pepe cannot be a winger).

That's my take on things, anyway. Gonna disappear now. Not getting carried away with wins against a terrible WBA and wasteful Brighton. Southampton, Wolves, Leeds and United all to come soon. Pick up some wins there and then I can start being optimistic again.

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Post by El Gunner Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:11 pm

what are all the position Buendia could play in that 4-2-3-1?
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Post by Jay29 Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:26 pm

With our players: no. 10 or on the left coming inside. Leads the Championship in key passes per game and is a prolific shooter/dribbler, so the sort of player you want attacking the central or half spaces.

He plays exclusively on the right for Norwich but he wouldn't mesh well with our full-back options on that side.

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Post by El Gunner Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:37 pm

awesome
would be the ideal signing then
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Post by RealGunner Sun Jan 03, 2021 4:00 pm

Great to see you back Jay

The 3-4-3 we were playing had no central options to progress possession. Teams could trap us against either touchline easily. The wide players were bizarrely instructed to hug the touchline while the wing-backs went inside so we had the likes of Cedric and Bellerin attacking the most dangerous spaces on the pitch instead of Pepe and Aubameyang. Made no sense.

This is why I hated that formation and one of the reasons Wenger hated 3 at the back too. It's way to limited unless your wide players are jack of all trades. Playing Auba anywhere in a free role is a waste of space. He is world class at one thing and mediocre to poor at others. We had this issue in most games where when he was wide his options were either to cut in (which most teams blocked) or to cross which he isn't great at. Pepe is just hopeless at most things because his decision making ability is worse than Gervinho's.

Our pivot options were terrible as well when Partey wasn't there.

The best thing to happen really was the integration of ESR, return of Martinelli and moving Saka to RW.

But this also raises two questions:

1) What do to with Aubameyang
2) Is selling Pepe for the best?
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Post by Sina Sun Jan 03, 2021 4:13 pm

Good to know you are alright Jay Thumbs up

Was still hoping for Pépé remontada under new head coach but seema like selling him is the best for all parties

Buying a target man type CF,even if not neccesarilly first XI quality,would probably make more differnce to our season than any AM we can realistically buy
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Post by RealGunner Sun Jan 03, 2021 4:16 pm

Look at it this way. Emery benched Pepe, So did Ljunberg and so did Arteta eventually. Sell him for 30-40m and buy players more suited to us

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Post by Sina Sun Jan 03, 2021 4:20 pm

We need our own portuguese star
Pedro Neto needed at Arsenal imo
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Post by MJ Sun Jan 03, 2021 5:12 pm

Auba will find his scoring touch again. He's too good at getting into those spaces and could have had a couple last night. If we can keep this kind of movement happening around Lacazette, chances will fall to Auba.

Pepe is a more interesting question. Can't imagine many teams are willing to blow enough to recoup 40m or so for him which is the bare minimum we should be looking for.

Otherwise, best to keep him in and around the team until he can outplay a 19-year-old and/or a Brazilian geriatric patient.
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Post by Lex Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:01 pm

Someone on the main said Pepe isn't suited on the wing. So where is he best suited?
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