The only team Arsenal should fear is themselves…

Date published: Friday 9th April 2021 1:00 - Editor F365

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Arsenal self-destruction
Well that was a pisser

That being said, the only team Arsenal should fear next week, based on last night’s performance, is themselves.

Slavia Prague obviously toppled Leicester and Rangers, but there wasn’t anything particularly special about them, perhaps one reasonable left-footer midfielder aside, and Arsenal have a clear brief (score at least one, then keep foot on the gas) versus trying to nervously defend a weird lead (would obviously prefer having one, but as Tottenham proved last round, you can get in your head/caught in two minds).

Now, Arsenal are better at beating themselves than any team I know, but all this ‘They’re still in this tie’ talk on BT Sport is so much guff. Arsenal have a better away record in EL than home, and will hopefully welcome back additional players over weekend. We are good enough to beat this team.

Play well, don’t waste every goddamn chance and don’t self-destruct at left back (we need a left footer there, full stop).

Now to get that printed on a massive banner and stuck up at Vaclav Haval airport…
Tom, Walthamstow


With fans like these, who needs enemies?
It is totally befitting that someone named Holes put a stick up Arsenal fans’ collective arses. This is a rabid bunch of mouth-foamers who have driven legendary managers like Wenger and Unai Emery out of the club. What player would be proud to play for a club, where any underperformance results in a collective screaming and yelling at the gross injustice of losing (and sometimes drawing) a football match?

The Covid League this season is a perfect indicator when there’s no backing of fans – outlier results, great players playing like novices and Man Utd sitting in second place. The players already have money. Appreciating their effort is the invisible and emotional force that drives them to be better.

Then there are these Arsenal bananas, every fan channel a carbon copy of bile-spewing, player-cussing nonsense week in week out. There isn’t a single positive Arsenal fan channel out there. No other club comes close to this blanket toxicity. Who the f**k would be motivated to play for these fans?
Vinnie Pee

Arsenal F365

Neither a penalty or a dive
Not a penalty, but the idea that Bruno exaggerated (according to Scholes) is silly. He may do so at other times, but not in this instance. Have a look at his face when he’s celebrating the penalty, his eye is red. He got poked in the eye so the reaction was relatively proportionate.


TAA: the new Glen Johnson
I wish I could just post the texts between my brother and I from last season and the season before here…but Trent Alexander-Arnold has always been a liability and incredibly frustrating player for Liverpool. The biggest difference this season is that he doesn’t have Virgil Van Dijk calling across the line in defence and Gomez’s pace to account for his poor defending. Make no mistake about it, VVD’s organization has been pivotal to Liverpool’s success and subsequent demise. I used to play defence and communication is the most important aspect of it. It’s clearly what Liverpool have lacked this season and was so evident when VVD first came into the team. He never stops talking to the defence. Trent is a terrible defender. That much is plainly obvious. With VVD telling what to do He was slightly less terrible but always susceptible to that right to left deep cross because he never looks over his shoulder, and that’s when VVD isn’t able to correct his position. His inability to make easy forward passes has always been evident. He’s always been frustrating in that respect. The change now is that other members of the team are in poor form and it’s exacerbating his form. Henderson played on his side for the most part in our League winning season and that obviously helped Trent so much covered for his rubbishness. He’s an average player with a decent right foot. A bit like David Beckham but less talented. The sooner Liverpool get rid the better. He’ll be a Glen Johnson in 5 years. You read it here first…or maybe you didn’t.
Adam, South Carolina via Ireland


Big Weekend: Spurs v Man Utd, Arteta, Soucek, El Clasico


Where next for Haaland?
On Haaland: A few things were missing in your analysis.

1. City have openly said they will not pay that fee. Style of play does matter too. Ibrahimovic famously failed with pep not due to a lack of goals but due to pep not utilizing him the best way he could. Haaland is a goal scorer, not a deep lying forward.

2. Name the last time Liverpool signed a superstar player? I’ll wait..

3. Barca already need to find 60 or so million to cover their debts before they consider Haaland.

4. Madrid at that price point would rather go for Mbappe. Even with that there is not certainty the cash is there.

5. Chelsea have the money and if they have champions league football then that may just be that. They can even through in Werner for good measure.

6. Man Utd actually have a great chance. Champions league is looking good to qualify for. Great young team who are missing one or two pieces. A gaping hole in the team for a goal scorer. Plus they can afford it.

So in conclusion there can only be 2 teams who can sign him this summer. If Chelsea don’t make the Champions league then there is only one.

Come on Chelsea, keep slipping up.
Calvino (ps Liverpool fans, paying superstar money for superstar potential is not in fact signing a superstar. See Dembele @ Barca)

F365 Says: Man City trump Man Utd if you are Erling Haaland…


Klopp was right on refs
Seeing the “discussion” comments about klopp vs the ref & how the ref was towards mane, I noticed and commented to my OH about the ref standing in the tunnel just before the second half, chatting, laughing & joking with the RM players. This just opens yourself up to claims of bias or being too close to one of the sides! The performance from Liverpool was awful, one of the worst I’ve seen in years, but Klopp is right… the officials seemed reluctant to give any calls our way. Even our goal was poured over by VAR for a couple of minutes when you could see quite clearly it was onside!
Marcel G. LFC

Champions League winners and losers

The new Heinze
Watching United take on Brighton I couldn’t help but continue to think that AWB is not too dissimilar from Gabriel Heinze. I think AWB is a better out and out defender, and might have an extra step in pace, but boy do their crosses look the same, albeit from the opposite side of the pitch. I remember the days of Heinze’s crunching tackles and dozen or so crosses per game that seemed to almost intentionally miss every single teammate in the box.

Thinking back on the Heinze days at United I remember how similarly this United team play to some of Fergie’s old teams. Of course I’m not comparing Ole to Sir here, but even under the greatest manager of all time, it seemed so often that United would struggle against the lower teams and show up against the big teams. Yet they’d win the PL more often than they’d lose it. I think United playing at the level of their opponent has simply become their identity, regardless of manager. These days we see City stroll into almost any ground and make a 3-0 seem like a formality, rarely ever breaking out of 2nd gear in the process. But it’s daft to compare every club, successful or not, to City under Pep these last few years. United fans waiting for the day we stroll to victories against lower level opponents are going to have to wait a loooooong time.

I don’t know if Ole should be manager for years to come or not. Tuchel’s success so far at Chelsea (which I did not see coming) shows that there is reason to trust a tactical manager. But for now I enjoy United’s football most of the time and I remember that even under Fergie winning titles, we were rarely a locomotive with everyone else being debris on the tracks.
Jamin, Montreal

The ten PL defenders least dribbled past this season…


The step-over is dead
I want to premise this by saying I used to love Step-Overs, I watched both Ronaldos do it, Ronaldinho do I and was enthralled. A stepover basically caused the defender, or defence to move in one way, while the attacker meant to move in the opposite direction. I think Ronaldo did that to Kahn in a world cup final but I could be wrong on that.

My problem with Step-Overs is how inefficient, and ineffective they’ve become. Cristiano Ronaldo used to be a serial user of it early on, at some point. He simply stopped doing it too much, I don’t remember Messi ever using it as a form of attack. So when I see, for example Neymar doing Step-Overs, I often think, that in itself, isn’t causing to many problems to the opposition. I don’t think he is doing much. I’m of the opinion that that move has been sussed out by the defence.

Which then becomes quite frustrating, when you see up and coming young players doing 7 to 10 Step-Overs, I remember a time when 1 was enough,2 was ankle break, 3 was to make them fall flat, but now it’s a technique that is so we’ll known, so I question how effective it is.
Dave (No, I don’t hate Brazilian football, I just think Step-Overs are now inefficient), Somewhere

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