Arsenal 5-1 Everton: the Good, the Bad, the Allardyce

I love me a 5-1 win. Not as much as a 5-0 win, but almost. And it’s especially satisfying to beat Sam Allardyce after he did his “smug git” routine in the pre-match press conference.

The Good

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a pretty good footballer. Where did Arsenal find this guy again? Was he languishing on some bench in Manchester? Incapable of getting a game? And did we trade him for a player who was very nearly his exact opposite? Weird.

Maybe you’re a huge Alexis fan, and I understand that, but you also have to admit that Arsenal did pretty well in that trade. As much as Alexis was a player who would demand the ball but would also produce game-winning plays, Mkhitaryan is less demanding but just as creative, if not moreso. On his home debut, Mkhitaryan became just the 10th Arsenal player to record a hat trick of assists.

That’s not an easy feat. Hat tricks of goals scored are basically twice as easy to get as hat tricks of assists, there have been 20 Arsenal players who have scored three goals or more in a game (two have scored 4 – Henry and Arshavin) in Premier League history, but like I said, just 10 who have 3 assists in a game.

What makes it so difficult is that you have to basically put the ball on a plate for your teammates three times. That’s exactly what Mkhitaryan did: generating three big chances, all of which his teammates scored.

Of course, you can’t get an assist unless your teammate scores and Aaron Ramsey scored, two of Mkhitaryan’s chances.

Ramsey gets a lot of criticism from me (and others) for “running forward all the time” which as we know is actually Wenger’s orders. But for the first goal Arsenal had won a free kick (Mkhitaryan won the free kick) and on the ensuing play it was a neat little chip pass from Aubameyang in to Mkhi on the wing, followed by a lovely little cross which set up the goal. Ramsey didn’t even have to do much, just direct the ball on goal and he scored. You could hardly accuse Ramsey of “bombing forward”, Arsenal were well in control and Ramsey was executing Wenger’s game plan.

All over the pitch though, Mkhitaryan was just brilliant. I love his touch and vision. It is pure class. And with him and Özil on the pitch at the same time Arsenal really do have bags of class running at the opposition. Both players are comfortable in wide areas and in the narrow. Both players have that through ball vision to pick out a teammate (like Mkhi’s assist for Aubameyang). And both players understand space and balance in ways that Arsenal have been missing since Cazorla went down injured.

As much as I liked Alexis Sanchez, and many of you know that I was one of his biggest supporters, I have to admit that I think Mkhitaryan might just fit Arsenal’s style better.

Of course it’s early in his career and we have yet to see a bad game from him. We haven’t yet seen him accused of “nicking a living” or “being part of Arsenal’s culture of mediocrity” and there will be games in the future where he probably does disappear. But in last night’s game we saw what he could do at his very best: demolish teams.

Aubameyang will also go unsung by many. His movement, though, off the ball was exquisite. I’ve been banging on about Lacazette’s movement and how his teammates struggle to find him because they don’t seem to understand where he’s going – Arsenal have been used to passing the ball to either inanimate carbon Giroud or just giving it up to Alexis now for three years so, it’s going to take some adjustment to figure out how to find a proper striker. And the same for Auba as it is for Laca. That’s why it’s so good to have both Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan in the team at the same time, as you saw for Aubameyang’s (offside) goal, Mkhi knows where Auba is going and can pick out passes to him and the opposite as well, it was Aubameyang’s pass to Mkhitaryan which opened Everton up for the first goal. Those two were a great unit at Dortmund and their reunion should spark a new culture at Arsenal.

The Bad

Oh come on, I get to have one, little moan: at 3-0 up Arsenal were still throwing everyone forward. I mean, I get it that they smelt (whatever) blood in the water but it was sort of infuriating to see Theo Walcott given the one thing that he needs to be a decent forward: space. Plus I hate seeing Mustafi and Koscielny running around like keystone cops as the opponents try to put three past us. As fantastic as those forward signings are (and I love them) Arsenal still have a lot of work to do defensively. Just buying Jonny Whatshisname isn’t going to solve the problems Arsenal have in defense. That’s going to take a whole team effort.

The Ugly

And finally, I love seeing Arsenal put five past Sam Allardyce. Sam usually saves his “smug git” routine for the post-match interviews. You know, after his team earns some “masterful” 0-0 draw. But this time he went full Allardyce before the match, saying:

“Arsenal’s attacking force has always been what you have to manage. They haven’t scored as many goals as they have done in recent years at this stage of the season which gives us an opportunity to try and shut them out.”

He wasn’t done there, he also had some choice words for Arsenal’s defense.

“It’s about being able to nullify the strengths of Arsenal and then, I’ve always felt, that defensively they are weak because of the amount of players they commit forward.”

What’s hilarious is that he was sort of right! HA!

Arsenal’s attack in away games has been exceptionally poor – they have just 15 goals, 5 of which were scored against Everton! But he was 100% wrong about Arsenal’s home form. Arsenal were 2nd in the League in goals scored at home before the match with 31. They are still 2nd in the League in goals scored at home with 36.

Also, he’s sort of right about Arsenal’s defense, but again there is a home-away dichotomy. In away games Arsenal have the 6th worst defense in the League and have allowed an unacceptable 21 goals this season. In home games it’s better, though still unacceptable, with 14 goals in 13 games – more than a goal a game.

The main difference between home and away is that the away teams have been attacking Arsenal in away games. Playing two players up top, and dominating midfield, the opponents are often able to assert control over Arsenal. But in home games, teams are still not playing with an all-out attack. Except that’s what Allardyce did in the first half, playing three forwards and 4 midfielders in a 343.

Credit to Allardyce, he really put his team where his giant mouth is. He threw them entirely under the bus as well, after the match he said that they played like “crap” and that he had given them instructions to play like Swansea had played but they failed. Astonishing from Allardyce. I can only hope that more teams come to the Emirates and try to play Arsenal with a 343. It will almost certainly result in joy for the Gunners.



  1. Arsenal play best when we play as a team. And even the star players have to leave their egos in the dressing room. And for the most part they have. But either because of mentality, ego , his unhappiness with being at Arsenal (despite him moving from his bench warming position at Barcelona), he didn’t play for the team. In fact he only seemed to want to play with Ozil.

    So i wish him a qualified “all the best” but I’m more than happy with the trade we made. As that isn’t based upon just one game against our favorite opponents.

    P.S. Someone tell Bellerin to practice his passing. And when he’s cracked that, he needs to work on tackling and crossing. He does walk on and off the pitch like a real professional though.

  2. Mate, must confess your writing and analysis are as good as Arsenal’s performance yesterday. A few things though
    1. Less unnecessary Allardyce hateration
    2. Your previous analysis was spot on about how Mr Wenger would use Auba, Miki, Ozil and Laca. You were also right about Auba and his movement. However he does get more involved in build-up play than most appreciate (e.g. first goal).
    3. Dichotomy…nice word

  3. Bundesliga might be a one club league but when a player gets voted the best player of the year and he doesn’t come from Bayern, that’s saying something.

    Transfers are a funny business sometimes and it could turn out that Arsenal got the better of the Sanchez/Mhikitarayn deal after all.

    Sure ,Wenger could’ve sold Sanchez to City for £60m in the Summer but Mourinho would not have sold Mhikitarayn to Arsenal for any price under any circumstances other than thinking he was getting a steal of a deal in Sanchez going the other way.

    I’ve said it before and not because I hold something against him but Sanchez will not repeat his Arsenal numbers from a year or two ago but Mhikitarayn can absolutely repeat his best Bundesliga year with Arsenal under Wenger.

    1. I watched Sanchez struggle for them against Huddersfield. That is not an understatement: he struggled. Tried to do too much, gave it away time after time after time, didn’t really have the ability to get away from challenges… OK he won a penalty and scored it (after the keeper saved!) but his debut for his club and Mkhi’s debut for us… damn, what a difference. The latter fit like a snug glove, the former looked even more out of place than he did for us.

  4. Kane and Ali were terrible today against liverpool. Spurs in general were terrible, It was called a ‘thrilling’ game but it wasn’t. both side looked poor. But ran around a lot. Saturdays Arsenal woxuld put 5 past either of those teams. I wonder which Arsenal will turn u for saturdays NLD.

    I was astonished to see xhaka start ahead of elneny. Was elneny sick? if not that is a shocking slap in the face for him after his teammate really single handily lost us the game against swansea.

    1. Xhaka has started every league game….. If Wenger thinks he is the best option (and still bedding him in as he is still relatively young and new in league), I think we should all just get behind Xhaka.

      He had one of his best games yesterday and I fully believe we will see a beast of a player now because of all of the options he has to pass in front of him. He can do what not many players can do yet we keep looking at something else that he clearly needs working on.

      People will change their minds when he keeps chipping balls for Aubamayang tap ins.

      1. while i’m no xhaka fan, i totally believe you’re right when you suggest xhaka will find aubameyang.

        1. I hope so, but it feels like Xhaka hasn’t consistently hit that ball over the top since the very beginning of his Arsenal career, and he’s certainly had opportunities (that I’ve noticed) where he’s chosen to pass it sideways instead.

          It feels like either he’s had it coached out of him, or he’s just lost his confidence for those sorts of balls.

          One thing’s for sure, I feel much more optimistic about dealing with Spurs’s press next weekend with Auba ready to spring their offside trap at every opportunity (and I’m saying this as a big Laca fan).

      2. Perhaps people will change their minds but Xhaka’s ability to ping a perfectly weighted cross field ball will always be overshadowed by his inability to read and snuff out danger if he doesn’t pick up the defensive side of his game.

    2. Yeah, I saw that game and thought: we can beat this lot. Virgil pretty much had Kane tied around his little finger in that match. HK didn’t start to look dangerous until he dropped deep to play passes in to Son and Ali.

      Also, they are susceptible to being pressed, particularly Dier and Sanchez.

  5. I think it might be a blessing in disguise playing Ospina rather than Cech. Don’t really care about him being short. Cech is awful. Poor with his feet, couldn’t save a pen for his life (it’s ridiculous) and his distribution is horrible.

    Thank you, but no thank you. Welcome Ospina.

  6. Nothing more painful than optimism about Arsenal. Is this the start of a new era or just a set up for even greater disappointment? Ozil called their play yesterday fluid – which others reckon was a sly dig at Alexis. It was very pretty to behold. The defense is still woeful but the promise of delicious through balls to Auba is so spectacular it’s borderline cruel. Dreaming of victory at Wembley. I must be a fool.

  7. Mkhitaryan was my MOTM, not Ramsey. Yes, end product is important, but it’s how the Armenian knit everything together from Minute 1. As I said on the previous post, he looked like he’d been playing for Arsenal for 10 years.

    Spot on Tim, about how things turned out much better for Arsenal with the Aklexis swap in January, than his sale in the summer. Alexis gave 3 years of stupendous service. Mkhitaryan is different, and he’ll bring something else. What he certainly seems more attuned to than Alexis is performing in a choir, rather than as a soloist.

    For about 10 minutes, Auba looked nervous and as if he hadn’t learned to speak Arsenal yet. But his movement and positional sense are exceptional. He’s going to get a truck tonne of tap ins. Left or right, doesn’t matter. He scores with both feet.

    Our next away game? Who knows. This is the most up and down Arsenal team I can remember.

  8. “The main difference between home and away is that the away teams have been attacking Arsenal in away games.”

    We do give up goals when opponent attack but at our home the opposition generally sit back. Why? IMO… Arsenal players are a bit hesitant to take the game to opposition which they always do at Emirates. Remember the phrase playing with handbrakes??? It’s absolutely true!
    I feel for Laca.. he made the runs.. may not be as fast as Auba.. still good enough to stretch them vertically.. no one bothered to pass to him (looking at you Xhaka).. sanchez dropped his tools.. ozil & ramsey’s injury.. and now he is in bench.. burnt out and lost in confidence..

    1. agree with all of that. Laca’s saving grace will be the Europa: no Auba, and those could be our most important games of the season, depending on how the top 4 race pans out. I just hope he gets enough games in the PL and stays integrated with our starting team so that he’s not too rusty and shot of confidence when he has to step up in the Europa.

  9. Off topic, but how delightful to see the Eagles beat the Patriots. And btw, London-born Eagles RB Jay Ajayi is an Arsenal fan!

    1. Let the hate flow through you! The Empire will return next year.

      In honesty, I don’t begrudge the Eagles this win. They had the best football team all year and their quarterback played his best when it mattered most. The Patriots gave them everything they had but Philadelphia was even better than them. Good for them.

      1. I would not be surprised if the Empire does NOT return next year. There’s too much smoke for there not to be at least some fire. Whether they’ll put it out remains to be seen though.

        1. Tom’s gone off the deep end a bit lately (have you seen Tom vs. Time? Holy smokes, that’s some Tom Cruise level nonsense at times) but I don’t see them going out like this, not while Tom’s playing like the league MVP he is.

  10. Off topic too (only sorta):

    Am I missing something? Lamela dived, and was not fouled, to win that last minute penalty against Liverpool yesterday, right? I get that there were a number of camera angles that made it look like there was decent contact (though every contact isn’t a foul, of course). I get that it may have been impossible for the linesman to see the incident from the right angle, and therefore it may have been perfectly reasonable that he flagged for a foul. And I can’t say I’m unhappy with the draw, since I wanted both teams to drop points.
    BUT you only have to see the ONE ANGLE (the clip was on Taylor Twellman’s twitter, among other places) in which it’s CLEAR that VVD pulls out at the last minute, and makes zero, or VERY minimal contact, with Lamela (much less contact, for instance, than Bellerin on Hazard), to know conclusively that that was no penalty. Unless that clip was doctored, it’s clear evidence that the other angles, in which it looks like VVD makes considerable (though hardly blatant) contact, are just plain misleading.

    Yet Sp*rs supporters are still busy crowing that it was a clear penalty as if the video evidence doesn’t exist, and many, many neutrals are saying the same thing, or else saying it was borderline. The idiot ex-ref on UK TV apparently also said both pens were right calls (for the first, Kane obviously dives, but then dives like that get called as pens more often than not).

    Have all these folks made up their mind based on the wrong camera angles??? What am I missing????

    PS Spurs are the dirtiest, cheatiest, fouliest team in the league, by far. Boy do I hate them.

    1. that was a foul. sure, virgil tried to pull out the moment he saw lamela but he still kicked him.

      btw, we all hate spurs.

      1. did you see the view I’m talking about?

        On the basis of that video, he basically doesn’t touch him. the minimal contact, in Lamela’s back at the end of the video, comes from Lamela’s momentum throwing him into VVD’s knee, with his knee tucked into his body. the other views (of which there are a few) make it look like he gets much more contact than that, but this view is pretty clear.

        I’m sorry, but if that’s a foul, then we might as well all give up, because there’s no rhyme or reason to the foul/no foul distinction.

        I know we all hate spurs. but I hate THIS spurs team more than any other version in 25+ years of watching english football.

  11. OK, on the basis of one game, I look pretty foolish for complaining about the business we did.

    That said, Crystal Palace a few weeks ago were shite, and Everton this week were shite.

    You are correct – we were flooding forward, foolishly. A good low block defending team would find plenty of joy in countering. And there were more than a few times we still struggled to clear the ball from the back in a very basic fashion.

    So is Lacazette a bench player now?

    For all of Wenger’s “balance” quotes, this didn’t seem like a very balanced line-up. If the idea is to go for broke from the starting whistle then we’re in for some long nights in the Europa league.

    1. The defense is still way too porous. Shoring up our offense won’t change that. Still, we will have a chance in games that were out of reach previously when our attack consisted of 27 consectuive square and back passes. Whereas we previously had zero chance of making top four, we now have the most outside of shots. Chelsea must continue to nosedive, and Spuds must suffer CL fatigue. And we have to score a ton of goals. We won’t have many clean sheets.

    2. Everton were a goal down after 6 minutes and two down after 12, so there went the gameplan. I don’t think they were that bad. Arsenal simply cut them open for the first and then delivered a really good set piece for the second, and that was basically that. Mangala won’t want to re-watch this game for sure but I thought this was much more about us being good than about them being so bad. Allardyce threw his players under the bus after the game (and why not? he’s such a mercenary bastard) but instead he should’ve complimented Arsenal’s outstanding attacking play.

      I did think the balance was fine. Xhaka looks much more natural when he’s allowed to keep the game ahead of him and Ramsey does a fine job defending next to him when we are not backpedaling in transition.

      We are entering the Mkhi/Auba honeymoon period, so we might as well enjoy it. Teams will cotton on to their tendencies and they will not find as much joy as they did in this past game, but it’s going to be great while it lasts. I think we will beat Spurs.

  12. Everybody and their brother now needs to see how we cope with on Sat.
    Arsenal will then need to show that this new team will show up against the bottom table teams before we get to the Man U game. We need to take care of our schedule and hope that Chelsea continues to flounder. I don’t think Man U or Pool are going to loose points so for me we need to pick off×768.jpg or Chelsea.

  13. It was nice to see Auba winning a header from our goal kick. Usually we give the ball right back to the opposition after we take a goal kick. As most other have noticed, his movement in and around the box is better than any CF we have had in a while. Having two creative players on the side also frees up Ozil a little bit more and allows him a bit more time on the ball and be more effective even though he may see less of it. We seem to have become more efficient in attack overnight, albeit it’s a small sample size.

    It was an enjoyable win against a poor Everton side but I’m afraid that we will come crashing down to earth in the next game if Mustafi starts the next game the way he started the last two games. Conceding an early goal in the NLD due to these mistakes will be disastrous. A few seasons ago, Tim wrote about the spine of the team. I think it was during a spell when we were pretty solid defensively with Szczney, Koscielny, Arteta and Giroud all displaying toughness/leadership in their respective areas of the pitch. That spine needs amending once again. You look at the spine of the team now – Cech, Mustafi, Xhaka are all players that we need to improve on. So far Wenger has insisted on starting all 3 of them but we should look at the NLD as last chance saloon for these guys (well Cech’s injured anyway). Personally, I think they should be benched but given we don’t really have that many experienced players in those crucial defensive positions, I can kind of understand why Wenger keeps starting them. Can they overcome their costly lapses in concentration and maintain their focus the whole game? We have had a season and a half of them making the same mistakes over and over again so I’m not very optimistic.

    1. Been hearing noises that our new “definitely not director of football” as Arseblog calls him is intent on signing Jan Oblak of Atletico.

      1. Oblak would be serious coup but I think if he does move, he is going to set a transfer record for goal keepers and somehow I don’t see us coughing up that kind of money for a goal keeper despite the optimism people might be feeling after this transfer window. I think we should pay up for a world class mid-fielder instead. We also need a good RB to give Bellerin some competition and maybe another experienced CB if Mustafi keeps up his error prone ways. For the GK position, why not give Macey or Martinez a chance? They can compete to be our future #1 and so far I haven’t seen any obvious issues with either of them that tells me that can’t make it – admittedly, what I have seen is a small sample size.

        1. Agree that Martinez and Macey both look promising, but surely it IS way too small a sample size, and it would be a huge risk relying on those two for a full campaign (or are you suggesting they’re numbers 2 and 3 and we keep Cech as 1 for one more season?). Still can’t believe we sold Chesney for peanuts.

          I agree Oblak will be hugely expensive (though does anyone know his contract situation?). So whether or not we’re open to bidding big money for him (surely in the 60m+ range? 100m?) will say a lot about whether Arsene is still ultimately in charge of transfers or not. There is NO WAY that Arsene would ever pay truly big money for a ‘keeper. But Sanllehi?

          1. I think ultimately we’ll have one of Martinez and Macey playing for us and another GK bought in from another club. So maybe what has to happen is we go buy an experienced number # 1 for next season and let the two youngsters duke it out for the other spot. Definitely don’t want Cech back as the number # 1 keeper next season but given he has one more year to go, it complicates the path for the youngsters to really showcase their talent. Maybe Cech can take on a player/coach role similar to what Arteta was doing his last season or Per this season. That will mean 4 GKs on our payroll though, so chances are we will end up selling one of the youngsters. My money would be on Martinez being sold since he is the older of the two.

            60 -70 mil for a GK under Sanllehi? That would really make things interesting. I guess in that case I will be skeptical that we have identified the midfield and defense as areas that need some serious investment. But hey, if we buy Oblak AND still seriously improve our midfield and defense, then I’ll know for sure that we have turned a corner.

        2. He’s under contact with Atleti through 2021. NYC, it’s going to have to be a midfielder AND a keeper, and (no caps) a center back.

          If Arsenal want to play a high line (and Arsenal WILL play a high line), we need center backs who can hold their own in a foot race, which is why none of Holding, Chambers or Mustafi makes a lot of sense. Koscielny, like Kolo Toure before him, was awesome with his recovery speed but that speed is disappearing little by little. We need another defender like that who can move across the floor. Because it’s the PL, we also need a CB who can win aerial duels. Because we’re Arsenal, that CB needs to be tidy on the ball and cool under pressure. Over to you, Arsenal.

          (Mustafi is really fine, most of the time he doesn’t play like he did against Swansea, but he needs a partner who can cover for his relative lack of speed).

          1. We need a right back too. Not just a back up for Bellerin but someone who will compete with him. Monreal and Gibbs both benefited from competition on the left. Ideally, we want something similar on the right.

            Mustafi is technically good but he has been making the same mental errors for so long now it makes me wonder whether he will ever be able to cut that out from his game.

          2. Wenger = High Line.

            A more astute manager may realize we’re overloaded with counter-attacking potential; Xhaka’s long passing, Ramsey’s willingness to plunge forward, Ozil and Mkyhitaryan’s speed carrying the ball, Auba and Laca’s movement and pace…

            Great counter-attacking teams, like Atletico, Leicester (2016) = low block defending, suck the other team in and then hit them fast and hard.

          3. We’re still looking at 200m in transfers IN if we want to update this team adequately. More if we lose Bellerin. At a minimum we need a young LB to succeed Monreal eventually and a young GK to succeed Cech immediately. Right there is probably 100-120m between two players given the current market if we’re talking top class.

            I have no faith that after the club resigns Wilshere it will do anything in midfield.

            We’ll probably sell Mustafi, Chambers and Bellerin, loan out Holding, buy Malcom and start the season with Kolasinac playing RB, Elneny at CB because Koscielny got hurt at the World Cup and a big surplus in the bank.

      2. Arsecast today: linked us with Jan Oblak and Timo Horn. Andrew and James also predict that Martinez is gone / won’t play for Arsenal again (based on his performances / appearances for Arsenal and his current loan club).

        1. Interesting. I also think Martinez will be sold. Simply because if we do end up buying a keeper and have Cech hang around for one more season then there is room for only one more keeper. Martinez is the older of the two, and not necessarily the better of the two. So makes sense for him to be sold.

          1. Agree. Let’s say we bring in Oblak or Horne (both around 25) as our first choice, then we have Cech as back-up, and Macey as third choice. That seems like a very good set up.

            Forgot to mention (though obvious) that it’s pretty much certain that Ospina will be off this summer.

          2. Sadly, it was “pretty much certain” that Ospina was going to be off last summer, but here he is. Seems like a nice bloke, and he’s better at distribution (not length of kicks(!), but passing out from the back) than Cech, but he was never good enough to play for us.

            I like Andrew and James, but they are frequently wide of the mark on this sort of thing too. I think how ruthless we end up being at the GK spot largely depends on (a) whether Arsene is still in charge of transfers (assuming he’s still manager), and (b) whether the “new guys” are going to be far more ruthless and proactive in the market in general.

          3. Agree with Doc about lack of speed meaning Holding and Chambers are never going to be top class defenders, at least not in a team that plays a high line at least some of the time, which is most elite clubs. Mustafi is marginally better, but still not the quickest. People compare him to a young Koscielny, but even if he irons out the mistakes like Kos did, he’ll never have Kos’s speed, which was crucial. CB’s of Kos’s ability really don’t grow on trees.

            As for RB: I guarantee you, unless we sell Hector to Barca, any RB cover we get is going to be very much backup to him. Wenger just loves Hector way too much. There were times he could have played Debuchy to give Hector a rest, and he basically never took that option. It’s one of the reasons I think Hector hasn’t progressed as he ought to have, but I can’t see that changing (unless Wenger is let go).

          4. Well, in their defense, Andrew and James were just reporting what they heard, not making their own predictions, and they followed it up with something to the effect of ‘we’ll see’. In general, I find their transfer speculation to be fair, non-committal, and refreshingly free of certainty, which is part of the reason I continue to listen to the Arsecasts when I have the time / as I’m working out.

  14. Watford just beat Chelsea 4-1 and you’d have to think that’s that for Antonio Conte, last year’s darling manager. How quickly the mighty fall.

    Also, Chelsea have made the most horrendous signings lately. Barkley’s coming back from injury but chances are he’s never going to be an impact player at a high level, Rudiger is error prone and not particularly dominant even when he doesn’t make mistakes, Drinkwater is limited when asked to come out of his comfort zone at all, Zappacosta’s an average-at-best wide player, Bakayoko looks nothing like his former self at Monaco, and Morata’s good but simply missing too many chances.

  15. Wonder if that prick Troy Deeney will talk about Chelsea’s cojones now? I gave a little whoop of joy when I saw the Watford-Chelsea scoreline, but man I hate to see Deeney happy, the fat toad.

    1. I wonder who the genius was at Chelsea that called for Matic to be replaced by Bakayoko. That has worked out well for them.

      1. Indeed. Even if they wanted to bring Bakayoko in, selling Matic, to Man United of all places, was a ridiculous decision.

  16. So as I said above, maybe just maybe we can nick Chelsea’s place if they continue their downward spiral. Chelsea being exposed left, right and center. They need to bring back Lampard , Drogba, Torres, JT , Ba, Debruyne, Ivanovic, Batshuayi and Salah. Whatever can be the problem when you have the Ballon D’or ‘candidate’ Hazard in your squad. Ballon D’or carry a squad like a Ronaldo, a Kaka or a Messi and Hazard does not come close to that level for me.

    Apparently critics are now commenting on how many Chelsea players have sustained hamstring injuries this season as an indictment of Conte’s training regimen. (

    When Delofeu was at AC Milan, he was a revelation unlike when he toiled under Moyes at Everton. He goes back to Barca and can’t even get a cup of coffee. He needs to be at a mid table team that will give him freedom to grow.

    I was watching the Atletico Madrid game yesterday when the announcer commented on how many clean sheets Oblak has (14) which leads La Liga. He also said that credit should also go to Simeone’s defensive structure.

  17. He also said that credit should also go to Simeone’s defensive structure.


    That’s worth thinking about. Arsenal’s defensive set-up should probably share some of the blame in making one of the best Prem keepers of the last decade look like a flapdoodle. We don’t exactly make life easy for central defenders and goalkeepers, so it’s possible whoever we bring in will end up exposed badly. Interesting that Fabianski and Szczesny thrived only when they left Arsenal. There are issues with the goalkeeping coaches and our system of play generally.

    1. Wenger is leaving this summer. Any keeper we bring in should be fine as long as Arsenal don’t hire Klopp.

    2. Also, Cech has been sliding downward for three years. There are structural problems at Arsenal but also he’s just getting old.

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