Sambi Lokonga: Sam Be the Man in Midfield?

Legend14

Well-Known Member
Lokonga is very disciplined and Arteta demands that.
He did make mistakes but to write him off like that is just so short sighted.
His mistakes were not the issue. He was playing centrally but had no impact on the match. He positioned himself so players could not use him. This is the opposite of what he needed to do. The result of this is that everything had to go wide and our defense kept passing the ball between each other.

We need Xhaka and Partey back as soon as possible. CMs must drive the play.
 

FluffyDoozi

Active Member
As the deep lying midfielder for a team trying to possess the ball, it's inexcusable not to show for the ball, especially from the back five. He's always positioning himself behind an opposition player making it impossible to receive the ball. Could see Tierney and White constantly pointing where he should move but he kept hiding all game.

Hope it's just a phase of low confidence because I swear he wasn't doing this earlier in the season. He was always asking for the ball and driving at people when he first came but that's all disappeared.
 

Riou

English Super Cup Enjoyer 🤗
As the deep lying midfielder for a team trying to possess the ball, it's inexcusable not to show for the ball, especially from the back five. He's always positioning himself behind an opposition player making it impossible to receive the ball. Could see Tierney and White constantly pointing where he should move but he kept hiding all game.

Hope it's just a phase of low confidence because I swear he wasn't doing this earlier in the season. He was always asking for the ball and driving at people when he first came but that's all disappeared.

The team hitting a rough patch has dented him a bit, as it really should considering his age.

Plus for all of Partey's inconsistencies, he does bring the best out of all our other CMs, as all of them look much braver on the ball when playing with Thomas.
 

BIoodBrother

Well-Known Member
As the deep lying midfielder for a team trying to possess the ball, it's inexcusable not to show for the ball, especially from the back five. He's always positioning himself behind an opposition player making it impossible to receive the ball. Could see Tierney and White constantly pointing where he should move but he kept hiding all game.

I am quite certain that Arteta demands him to position himself there. Do you think we have airpods and people watching from all sorts of angles to be able to make small adjustmensts and then they forget to tell him, that hes to be positioned in front of the ball?
Its quite unnatural for a cm to do what lokonga does and stand behind a cb at times but for some reason that is far beyond you and me, he's asked to do that.
You can argue that he chooses the boring pass too often or that he doesnt run with the ball as much as he did in the beginning but these too are instructions 100percent.
As i said before.. in our never quite functioning 4141 we ask the CDM to play it save and all of a sudden no runs, no movement, just standing next to the CB. Weird, yes, unsuccesful (except 1:0 with Thomas in that position vs Norwich) yes, bad for our flow in attack with S-R not getting on the ball deep and Martinelli and Saka only in 1vs2or3 situations and stalemate thru and thru but blaming it on the CDM is just refusing to stop watching football as something that was played in the 90s.
 

GoonerJay24

Well-Known Member
Hes not bad but we never had a decent game with a 4141.
Also with Partey vs Norwich it was a performance like that.
Without 2 of Sambi Partey and Xhaka we suck in the build up and its the fault of the latter two that they made stupid fouls and were rightfully red carded and suspended for this one.

If you want to blame smn today then look at the tactics, the big surprise that there is afcon for the club and inconpetence to have enough senior players to be able to play depending on form. No covids and injuries but just one player, you wanna sub on...
Or blame laca who was decent but misses an empty net goal or blame golden Boy saka who didnt have the star quality from recent months

That is the managers fault too though. It's clear deep down he wants to use this formation, but doesn't know how to successful build up phases into the players
 

Blankety Blank

Well-Known Member
Not his best game but Im not blaming Sambi .
He needs Partey Or Xhaka with him.
Look at the players in front for goal threat.
Starboys ESR & Saka were imho a long way from their best.
Laca missed a couple of half decent chances.
Ode & Martinelli worked hard but it never quite happened.
 

Mrs Bergkamp

Double Dusted
Dusted 🔻
I find it very hard to believe Arteta sends his central midfielder out there with instructions to not get on the ball. Impossible.
Well Arteta is the same man who put Xhaka at CM and moved him away from the ball. Elneny doesn't want the ball either. There's a small pattern emerging.
 

Heavy Duty Rom

Well-Known Member
Well Arteta is the same man who put Xhaka at CM and moved him away from the ball. Elneny doesn't want the ball either. There's a small pattern emerging.
Incorrect. Say what you want about Xhaka but he never hides. He always wants the ball.

As for Elneny, yea he plays safe, but again, he gets on the ball, he also has gears to his game, he looks to press, win the ball, Lokonga does none of this.
 

blrgooner

Established Member
Sambi was awful against Burnley I thought. Not only was he bad in terms of not showing up for the ball, he also seemed to play ultra safe, didn`t commit any opposition midfielder before making the pass and made no line splitting passes though he had lots of time on the ball . It was like watching a poorer version for Elneny yesterday.
At least in terms of running with the ball and evading press etc, he has shown some skills in the past but now he just seems low on confidence.
Even when he was playing decently, He never looked like a solution which could work as a DM in a 4 3 3 though. We were always woefully short in the midfield.
 

Mrs Bergkamp

Double Dusted
Dusted 🔻
Incorrect. Say what you want about Xhaka but he never hides. He always wants the ball.

As for Elneny, yea he plays safe, but again, he gets on the ball, he also has gears to his game, he looks to press, win the ball, Lokonga does none of this.
We'll agree to disagree. Wrighty savaged Xhaka for hiding a while back and Elneny can barely get to the ball. Nobody has done a good job in there without a proper partner never mind a newbie who was dropped without reason just as he was settling.
 

HaffBR

Designer of fancy pyramids
Passing isn't the first thing in my mind when it goes to Lokonga's bad performances, bad positioning and the lack of defensive contributions seems to be way worse. Man never in the correct place or moving right.
 

hydrofluoric acid

Many Men Wish Death Upon Me
He is very slow and lacks the engine to play his role it was I have noticed in recent months with him. I'm not sure he is a top-tier talent. But regardless he shouldn't be playing so much. This is what we get for sacrificing signing midfielders last summer.
 

blrgooner

Established Member
Passing isn't the first thing in my mind when it goes to Lokonga's bad performances, bad positioning and the lack of defensive contributions seems to be way worse. Man never in the correct place or moving right.
Yes. But those aspects were always weak. I didn`t really expect him to become good at that this season. What he did show glimpses of earlier was better passing,running with the ball and some press resistance.
 

Big Poppa

Established Member
Trusted ⭐
Sambi was awful against Burnley I thought. Not only was he bad in terms of not showing up for the ball, he also seemed to play ultra safe, didn`t commit any opposition midfielder before making the pass and made no line splitting passes though he had lots of time on the ball . It was like watching a poorer version for Elneny yesterday.
At least in terms of running with the ball and evading press etc, he has shown some skills in the past but now he just seems low on confidence.
Even when he was playing decently, He never looked like a solution which could work as a DM in a 4 3 3 though. We were always woefully short in the midfield.

I think he’s missing a lot of key ingredients physically and technically but there’s a player in there.

The problem he’s having is the same problem Partey had when he was playing as a lone midfielder at the base of a 4141 which is against teams with 3 in the middle, the passing lanes into midfield are easily blocked, and it forces us to go down the sides. Playing Lokonga there on his own is absurd.

I thought Arteta might sacrifice 1 CB and throw in an extra midfielder but he keeps doing that thing of throwing on Nketiah when our biggest issue is midfield not up front.
 

Maybe

You're wrong, no?
Had a decent start but things are looking bad for him atm.

I don't dislike him, but it's just painful to know that we've had Douzi on our books and binned him because Arteta couldn't deal with him, a process which took 20m off our budget and lost us a player who would be a starter or at least would be a legit backup.

Just another braindead business that nobody cares about anymore, we are all so used to it
 

Impact

Established Member
We are moving to a 4-3-3, that much is clear.

What is particularly vague is whether Lokonga is a 6 or a 8. Wins far too few duels to play 6 for me and doesn't offer much in the final third to play as an 8. Lots of potential there but he is very much a rough diamond.
 

Dutch D

Well-Known Member & FPL Champion 19/20
We are moving to a 4-3-3, that much is clear.

What is particularly vague is whether Lokonga is a 6 or a 8. Wins far too few duels to play 6 for me and doesn't offer much in the final third to play as an 8. Lots of potential there but he is very much a rough diamond.
My worry as well, he doesn't have enough profile yet. I reckon it's easier to develop him as a 6 than as an 8, though. He doesn't really seem to have a natural affinity with attacking, so I fear he'd be too bland at 8.
 

14Henry

Looking for receipts 👀
A lot of people writing him off here. He's 22, which is still young for a defensive minded midfielder. He's been in and out of the team this season and often had to play in games, like the Liverpool one, with no proper senior partner in the midfield.

I think he's always said he sees himself more as a 6 than further up the field.

I think if we had Partey/Xhaka/Lokonga and another really top midfielder if he had to partner one of those he could do better.

Worst case scenario we have a young squad player on our hands who may never be good enough for our starting 11. But the kid needs time, minutes and help along the way from his seniors.

At a similar age, maybe slightly younger, Partey was being loaned around Mallorca and Almeria. It probably wasn't until he was about 24-25 that he looked to have made the step up.
 

6666Louis

Active Member
Think he looks seriously talented. He is not slow, as some of you write. He is the fastest of our centermids. He is calm and technical, strong and a decent passer. He has been unlucky recently but quite sure he'll make it here
 

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