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Honestly, there are tribes in the Amazon who’ve never made contact with modern civilisation that would have been able to predict that happening. I don’t know why anyone is trying to kid themselves, we’re going nowhere. 

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Playing out from the back is hard to defend when we are giving goals away so cheaply and continuously but I think it's the players and not the playing out from the back that is the problem. Poor decisions, poor touches and poor communication.

The Burnley goal and yesterday were wrong choices and poor control from the players.

We seem to be set up ok but then make the wrong choices and the control from Xhaka and Ceballos is poor for a Sunday league player let alone from a professional footballer.

 

Look at the Burnley goal.

Ok, Xhaka's first touch was a bit shit but to give the goal away like we did, from this position, is poor from the players. Poor choices, poor touch. It's not the system. 

Why not just pass a simple ball first time 20 yards to his left to a player who is on his own.

 

From Arseblog:

image.png.6892aca392423a0fbde63a3266f710fd.png

 

image.png.dc3e617e28a4db84f32f785bdda7919f.png

 

Look at yesterday's goal.

Poor decision from Leno, poor touch from Ceballos (even though he was surrounded). 

What was wrong with a simple ball from Leno to his right to I think Luiz or is it Bellerin.

Can't quite see how much room even Tierney had all the way out on the left but when he comes into the picture at the end he seems to have had acres of space to receive the ball from Leno.

 

 

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I definitely don't think it's the system or the idea of playing out, we just seem to have a few players who's lapses in concentration cause us huge problems. Saying that, it's not exclusive to the usual suspects – Ceballos has gifted 4 goals in his last 3 European games now I think. I'm not sure what messages they're getting, but starting slow, fading in games and self inflicted misery are key characteristics of Arteta's team so far. Maybe he's right and it will all click, but we're not making real progress until he can sort those problems out.

 

In the short term he could play Pepe a bit more as he's a good outlet in the air for a ball clipped up to him when we're under the pump. You don't always need to beat the press on the ground. Olympiakos were appalling and they were able to set simple traps we fell into time and again.

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I'm not saying players should do what they like and not play as the manager has asked them to, but we don't seem to be intelligent enough to make the right choices in quick and tight situations.

Like you say Ceballos has gifted 4 goals in the last 3 games and I saw somewhere, after Burnley, that Xhaka has made a mistake that has led directly to a goal for the opposition on 8 occasions. Not sure how far back this goes but gifting 8 goals from one player is way too many.  

 

The players are clearly following instructions but surely choices made in the moment come from setting up as instructed, right choices, good first touch if a first touch is even needed, and good movement and communication.

 

City play out from the back but didn't their keeper get an assist the other week with a 70 yard pass. 

Players need to think and make the correct decision in the moment, not just blindly do as they are told even if the pass isn't on or there is a better choice on.

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City's keeper with the ball at his feet is another level to any other, I remember sitting watching him in the warm up a season or so back at the Emirates and was fascinated at his accuracy and length of kicking from what seemed the most gentle swings of his leg, it was a different class to any other keeper I'd seen (Pickford by the way is appalling and the poor sod on halfway got a proper workout chasing down his wayward hoofs).

 

The method is OK but to persist with it and keep making the same mistakes repeatedly is the issue, as it either highlights a lack of ability, training or application. In Cebellos' case he strikes me as somebody who thinks he is a Real starter and playing for us is a bit beneath him. Luiz & Xhaka are both proven time and time again to lack the concentration to repeatedly play high risk passes in tight spaces. Leno strikes me as a keeper who is OK with his feet but nowhere near being the best. 

 

To keep playing this way with those players will keep seeing these mistakes happen.

 

Weird feeling from last night as what on paper looks a brilliant 1-3 away win was riddled with defensive lapses and could have been so different, and may still be at home. 

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It’s hard to know if it’s Leno or the players (Luiz, Xhaka, Cebellos) or Arteta insisting on playing out from the back every time. Hopefully all 3 of those players will be off in the summer, so that will at least narrow the opinions.
 

Be interesting to see how we do in the inevitable draw against Villarreal. I seem to remember Emery having the same problem.

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It's also a system where the whole defence need to be drilled as a unit and highly disciplined, the pass to the keeper needs to open up the angles to the positions that the players drop back into, it's not always the person dropping the final clanger at fault as they may have been sold short. 

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Absolutely bizarre to drop your captain and main goalscorer for ‘disciplinary reasons’ and a) mention that publicly instead of just saying he needed a rest, and b) putting him on the bench anyway. 

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Great result but we shouldn't have been hanging on at the end against 10. I thought Gabriel, Tierney and Ødegaard were particularly impressive. I'd love to know what happened with Auba but it's bad from Mik to publicly carpet him like that. 

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Auba turned up late on match day (again) - not what your cpt on £300k a week should be doing with a team of young uns so quite right to publicly bollock him.

 

Good comeback then a horrible hang on.

 

NLD always delivers

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I really don't think Leno is very good - said it in the summer we made a bad call and flogged the wrong keeper.

 

If ever there is a football equivalent of IPL 20/20 then Tierney will be worth a fortune, he's got a few very good bursts in him a game but can't manage whole halves of getting forward and back.

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Always worth remembering that when clubs talk about projects and the narrative of transition is pushed, what they actually mean is that we’re not going to do what it takes to be competitive and the team will be shit for an indeterminate amount of time.  You’ll be so starved of success any win or small improvement will be seen as the sign of progress we’ve been waiting for. Think we’ve embarked on at least half a dozen in the last 15 years.

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Odegaard is just ridiculously good and I’d be so annoyed if we couldn’t keep him. Feel like it would take some serious dosh.

 

No idea what to make of this team at all. Capable of literally anything at any point. Maybe it’ll all click and we’ll be amazing, who knows.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Horrible first half ending with an injury to Tierney. Partay looked good when he got the ball and Aubameyang is holding onto the ball when he gets it but there's no one inside for him. Otherwise pretty bad everywhere. I'll put money on Willian coming on soon. 

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