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    An Arsenal vs. Aston Villa Post Mortem

    It is so worrying and distasteful when you sit and think after the match, the game you have been waiting for all week, the fixture that you felt would put the Arsenal back where they belong, in the top tier, and you are looking at the squad formation and you just cannot pick a player who possibly excelled amongst the others. You stare at the lime-up, and you go past each and every player without batting an eyelid, hoping the next player in line would have done better.

    The only words that are still echoing in my ears are shambolic, sluggish, pedestrian mobility, sad body language, lack of commitment and more. All these are quotes from yesterday’s pundits during and after the match. I was keen to hear what the gaffer had to say for himself after such an abysmal display. First and foremost he took on all the responsibility for this lacklustre show. This is now old hat.

    Mr. Arteta, it is high time you stop being the eloquent Mr. Nice Guy. It is high time you start stamping your feet and also start pointing fingers. Players have to be made accountable. Actions speak louder than words and this is the way forward. Bench the lazy tossers who are not fit to wear the Arsenal kit. Shame them and leave it up to their selfish egos to prove you wrong.

    Lacazette ?…more like Needs Lucozade !!!!

    I am still baffled why this player makes the first eleven. He is a one-man zero show. His miss against Leicester patterned the game for us, and yesterday’s glaring chance was one too many. He is no skilled striker, he is no team player, he is no threat to any defence. Did you watch how Watkins played ? He controlled all our defence as a lethal centre forward is expected to do. He held the ball all alone, waited for Grealish or Trezeguet to catch up with his attack and feed them respectively.

    Laca (or Lack Of!) does zilch of this and yet, our coach prefers him to the hungry Nketiah. Mind-boggling. Our striker did bugger-all in the game, he kept falling to the ground, kept pleading like a spoilt brat to the referee, and, above all, decided that scoring a goal in front of a gaping goal is too much to ask for this loser. What excuse could he have come up with for such a blind sitter ? Coach, open your eyes, and see beyond this guy’s inept week in week out display.

    Smith vs Arteta

    The Villans came out of their cage, like hungry wolves ready to chase and kill their prey. And they did so without a doubt. Their midfield and attack were so in synch it was almost an ironic feeling of admiration to watch, sadly at our expense. Our usual defensive approach helped the visitors make it an easier task to overcome the Emirates hurdle. On average, it takes thirty passes to get the ball into our opponents’ half. It is almost as if fear is instilled into the players from the word go, so they take the cautious (or nauseous!) approach to the game.

    It was a bad day for the stalwarts we witnessed at Old Trafford, only seven days before. Gabriel was far from his best, Bellerin was totally outplayed and outpaced by the magical Grealish (what a buy he would have been for the Gunners!!), Barkley was a giant next to Elneny while Partey struggled with a tear in his thigh. Saka tried a couple of surges but forgot to track back when asked, and the first (own) goal was on his job sheet. Auba was evidently playing in the wrong position. No balls reached him and when they occasionally did, he fumbled.

    Auba looked to have thrown in the towel halfway through the first half. Hanging shoulders, ongoing walking pace, losing control of the ball, looking evidently frustrated. Willian looked like a retired player trying to impress his grandchildren on a Sunday kick-about, and he failed. When I think back and sadly remember that Arsenal opted for Willian rather than Ziyech, I wonder what the gaffer and co. now think of that wise decision.

    Where do we go from here ?

    It is hard to see anything positive in our current form. It seems like a long, winding road ahead for us fans. As Redknapp said it clearly, with Arsenal, you never know what you are going to see, display after display. They are an enigma to consistency,  a doubt in every supporter’s trail of belief, a definite killer to the hope that is built over and over again. Where is the cancer in the team ? Where is this lack of confidence stemming from ?

    Arteta means well, he is needed but a more aggressive approach is much needed now. Players need to be shouted at, punished, left aside, be made responsible. Let’s stop this threading on eggshells in case some spoilt Arsenal brat takes offence and sulks in his social media updates. We have Leeds up next, a bunch of young and ambitious players who play with their heart out on their sleeves, showing their true commitment all through the game to a very astute Bielsa whose passion for the game is shown in his consistent attempt to peel the onion and move on to the next opponent with true belief and not just sit back and hope his players will this time turn up for the game.

    Mr. Arteta, please take note.



    Article written by Arsenal Fan, Gunnersauras aka Keith Zammit

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