Arsenal a great team? They are flat-track bullies who ‘park the bus’ v elite

Editor F365
Arsenal players Jorginho, William Saliba, Gabriel and Gabriel Martinelli during a minute's silence.
Jorginho, William Saliba, Gabriel and Gabriel Martinelli during a minute's silence.

Arsenal are being heralded as a great team but are they? Plus, Man City fans pipe up and the problem with Tottenham…

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Is the Premier League a sh*t league?
​Anyone else think the Premier League is now a bit sh*t? Are we any different now to France, Germany, Italy or Spain? We have one big team, who lose at best, two games a season, and the rest of us fight for scraps.

(Well, Manchester City have lost three Premier League games this season, but carry on – Ed)

People will be quick to pipe up that Bayer have just done the impossible in Germany…sure…after Bayern won the league 11 TIMES IN A ROW! Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day.

As a Gooner, as gutting as it is to not beat City for the second year running, I still love this team. I love them as much as the Invincibles. And no amount of crowing from opposition fans will make me hate them or make me think they’re failures. If these lads are failures, wtf are your clubs?

Man United’s roof is collapsing like some heavy handed metaphor, and will need an autopsy to fix. Chelsea are a busted flush, with a squad on astronomical money…for eight years. Liverpool are about to see what happens when a talismanic managers leaves (see United and Arsenal). Spurs…HAHAHAHA, Spurs, they’ll push away their new Ardiles at this rate, with their weak as sh*t club mentality.

There is only City. If I was the Premier League, I’d be s**ting it. No one wants to watch a procession every year. Man City dominance could kill their golden goose. If I was the Premier League, I’d be desperate for them to f*** off to a super league.
John Matrix AFC

📣TO THE COMMENTS! Is this just sour grapes? Can Arsenal compete with Man City? Join the debate here


Arsenal are not a great side
Ignoring the trophyless part of the conversation for a second I want to talk about how everyone labels Arsenal a great team this year..

Are they? Because I’ve watched maybe 10 games and the only time they’re fun to watch is against teams struggling at the bottom. That’s the only time I see any attacking football. Against any of the decent sides it’s bus-parking and hopefully long ball tactics that would make big Sam proud.

They win quite often and they score goals but they don’t play this scintillating attacking football unless it’s against a significantly weaker team.

Also while I wouldn’t call Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool great (very good, I’d say) they wrestled a title off City while regularly getting to European and domestic cup finals and winning them sometimes too. Arsenal (like in the league) play against the weaker teams in Europe but struggled against any decent ones.

They’re not a great side. They could be, but they’re not right now. Banging six past Sheffield doesn’t make you a great side. I honestly didn’t enjoy many games I watched of Arsenal’s and I only watched them because everyone kept talking them up like early 00s Madrid. The teams I’ve enjoyed watching because they did play good football and were ambitious in their play are: Chelsea (laugh if you want but they don’t play for draws), Spurs (see above), Palace under Glasner (look forward to their games next year) and Bournemouth.

City win and score goals and attack a lot but they’re very mechanical most of the time and lack flair and excitement.

Liverpool have been awful all season apart from the six weeks after Klopp announced he was leaving then we went right back to being awful.

United have been hit and miss, sometimes really fun to watch and other times awful.

Are Arsenal a great beautiful attacking side ? That depends on if their opponent is bottom 8 or not.

👉 Arteta error, Havertz, Son miss: The five moments that (probably) cost Arsenal the title
👉 The four players Arsenal need to win the Premier League title next year


City fan here. Thought I’d wait for the knee-jerkery to settle down somewhat before writing in with some random points.

My best mate is a lifelong Gooner and, naturally, we’ve been banging on about the Spurs game all week. To him though, the most important aspect of a potential Spurs win wasn’t the idea of winning the title. That was secondary. The most crucial point was the mouth-watering prospect of being able to ‘stick-it’ to every Spurs fan he knew that it was them that ‘gave’ Arsenal the title. Forever.

Malcolm AFC wrote in to say that, as he lived outside of London, he didn’t (previously) ‘get’ the rivalry between the two and that, I think, neatly sums up the clumsy point I’m trying to make. Arsenal fans bitterly resenting any thought that Spurs supporters might not have wanted their team to win on Tuesday night are, bluntly, full of sh*t.

A City defeat would’ve seen the tinterweb explode with jubilant Gooners shoving it down Spurs throats. Something to be repeated in every workplace, pub, mailbox, and group chat ad infinitum. Oh, and for Spurs v Arsenal in this scenario, substitute Sunderland v Newcastle, Swansea v Cardiff, Bristol City v Bristol Rovers or Rangers v Celtic etc.

So please, a little less moral grandstanding over Spurs supporters’ ‘small’ mentality and a tad more realism if you wouldn’t mind.

In a similar vein, I note that some Arsenal fans in the mailbox are, in a depressingly predictable fashion, moving into the space previously occupied by certain ‘Pool supporters. What I call the ‘Scooby-Doo’ whinge. You know where, at the end of every episode, the villain wails “And I would’ve gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for those pesky kids!”

The recent PL equivalent is for Liverpool, and now Arsenal, fans to get within a hair’s breadth of winning the title but falling short and then crying “And we would’ve gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for those pesky financial dopers!” Ah yes. Because simply throwing squillions at a team is guaranteed to bring you success, isn’t it? *Cough* Chelsea. *Cough* United. Nothing to do with club management, recruitment, or coaching. No sir, definitely not.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but in recent years, Liverpool won a league, lost two more by one point and two points and, if City do manage to win on Sunday (and that’s a big ‘if’ by the way) then Arsenal will have lost by a similar margin. Yay! Way to go those Petro-dollars!

Liverpool challenged (and won) for so long because their club had an excellent recruitment strategy, the foresight to bring in an outstanding manager, and a plan to combine the two whilst bringing the whole structure together as one. Arsenal are, in my opinion, doing the same thing (albeit with a massive asterisk on Havertz) and, if they bring in a decent striker, amongst one or two others for squad depth, will definitely challenge again. The only weakness, if I can call it that, is experience which they are clearly already stockpiling when you compare this season with their last. Arsenal are on the up.

Manchester City, on the other hand, are not simply one of the best teams the PL has ever seen, with one of the best managers in the world coaching them. Of course they’re not. And said players and manager haven’t earned all they’ve won. You know why? They’ve all been eating Scooby-snacks!
Mark (Did anybody else notice that Old Trafford wasn’t exactly, ahem, ‘sold out’ last Sunday? Empithad indeed.) MCFC

READ: Man City fans see the jeopardy and feel the fear; don’t pretend to know how we think


Every Premier League winner should have an asterisk
It seems bizarre that people keep thinking this campaign should have an asterisk against it because of the unproven charges that relate to issues between 2009 and 2018 . Where Manchester City spent the same as Chelsea did in two transfer windows.

It’s noticeable that all the American owners whose wealth is largely creditor heavy are rarely scrutinized in the same way ! The majority of the charges and sources of these charges are unprovable as they involve supposedly exaggerated sponsorship deals and the funding of them.

Very little continues to be made of Manchester United’s £700m debt , Chelsea’s £1billion debts and Liverpool’s high spending year in year out. Arsenal spend over £100 million for a player and it’s a great thing ?? Arsenal’s billionaire owners again go without scrutiny despite again operating on the edge of legality.

Manchester City being relegated because of this would definitely lead to an asterisk being put firmly against the following season’s winner.
When will the journalists with half a brain really look at financial fair play or PSR and how it will just further maintain the big club advantage and make football no more competitive.

There hasn’t been a fair playing field since the inception of the Premier League. The sooner your profession actually did some research into these matters the better.

Thank you, a Citizen since 1977.
Simon Wood


Where Spurs fail
As an Arsenal fan, I don’t watch much of Spurs. But obviously I have seen the recent NLD and Tuesday night’s City game.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but the lack of their players’ trust in one another was more evident than normal. Well either that or a lack of anticipation, but the two games I’ve seen so far suggest that they have some trust issues. Every time a Spurs player won a ball, the players around them reacted so late to it that they immediately turned over possession again. It’s like the other player didn’t expect a tackle to be won, or a pass to be successful and positioned themselves conservatively in the event of a c*ck-up.

Contrast this to the Arsenal where almost blind passes are played between Saka-White-Odegaard and Jorginho-Havertz and Martinelli-Rice combos. When Partey or Rice go in for a tackle, Odegaard is already moving into a “receive and send forward” stance and doesn’t play it safe with a more neutral position.

Even on Tuesday night, Foden got the ball with a very difficult bounce and Doku did not even wait for him to control to start moving to an area he could dart into. He may not have known exactly where the ball would go, but he put himself in a place where it could happen. He could have played safer and moved tighter to Foden and the rest of the midfield unit expecting the difficult bounce to hold Foden up, which would mean he needs support. Instead, he started moving a to place he could run into before Foden even struck it. He read it. And trusted Foden would find him. He won that penalty using blind faith as much as skill.

Spurs seemed to be very susceptible to this in-game. There were moments when they clicked, but they were mostly reactive to every situation. I don’t think it’s Angeball either. When it was working at the start of the year they did seem to have more trust in each other. They even played much better in the first NLD. Now they’re all playing like they are waiting for the next mistake to react to.

And I guess that’s the difference between a well oiled machine and players just running around and scrambling to get to grips with a game.

This doesn’t just apply to Spurs, other clubs and previous iterations of Arsenal have too. And I think that is what makes this Arsenal team, this Man City team and Liverpool’s from 2/3 seasons ago so impressive. They just always play (or played) with a positive mindset even when down a goal or two and the result is, more often than not, a winning team (Bayern an exception for Arsenal – UCL nerves maybe). Even if we lose, they have been a joy to watch. All the dovetailing and flicks and turns from the entire attacking unit have been excellent.

Anyway. They tried. And Son is great player who doesn’t deserve any criticism for his miss – it happens. Nor the Spurs fan for their glee (we would too you know). Enjoy Europa 🙂
Suds, Durban, South Africa


Man Utd: So close
Good result, just a shame Man United didn’t push for the extra 13 goals that would’ve seen them leapfrog Newcastle…

It’s been a tough season…
Andy (MUFC)


The difference
With the ultimate weekend up-coming, I have a serious question.

Has the negative goal differential ever been as high up the table as this year? I’m seriously struggling to find evidence that it’s ever been, that every team below 7th place has a negative GD.
Curious in Canada


VAR and away
It’s unsurprising that the king of bad takes Steven Chicken manages to go an entire cliche-riddled article without landing on the main point about why VAR should be scrapped – it has ruined the fan experience of unbridled joy at the point of goal scoring whilst failing to deliver on eradicating glaring officiating mistakes.
James Outram, Wirral