UEL Group Stage: Rapid Vienna vs Arsenal | Thursday 22 October | 17.55 | BT Sport

Discussion in 'Match Day Archive' started by hydrofluoric acid, Oct 16, 2020.


Who Was Your Man Of The Match?

Poll closed Oct 22, 2020.
  1. David Luiz

    0 vote(s)
  2. Thomas Partey

  3. Mohamed Elneny

  4. PE Aubameyang

    0 vote(s)
  5. Gabriel

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  1. Ozil'sCloakOfInvisibility

    Ozil'sCloakOfInvisibility Not a Closet Spurs Fan

    If it's cancelled do we get the 3 points?
  2. bingobob

    bingobob Fan of Technicians Who Show Great Character Trusted

    It'll take more than one player for it to be cancelled.
  3. American_Gooner

    American_Gooner Not actually American. Unless Di Marzio says so. Moderator

    They'll try to reschedule it, possibly at a neutral venue.
  4. MutableEarth

    MutableEarth Bloody awesome NSFW avatars Trusted

    I think the balance of the team hasn't helped him much but I do think he's been incredibly insecure on the ball and hasn't been able to effect games as positively as I'd like. Willian has been exactly as I expected him to be to be honest - largely OK but nothing more. Good game vs the worst team in the league, middling games vs everyone else. Ideally I want that LW spot for Nelson, he has to perform IMO. Saka LCM, Nelson LW, Tierney LB is the ideal left hand side with Auba upfront. Right hand side not sure what happens there if Pepe isn't bringing it so well.
    celestis likes this.
  5. Rimaal

    Rimaal Questionable Taste

    I hate having the UEL.
  6. Batman

    Batman Bruce Wayne

    He does need to step up his play but you also question the tactics and the vision of his teammates. It's quite clear that he's at his best when he receives the ball in stride and can run at defenders on the back foot. He makes the runs consistently but our virtually non existent midfield pre Partey would rather dither on the ball or hoof it up to Auba. Hopefully a more progressive midfield pairing of Partey and Ceballos will see him released more often as he is always dangerous when he actually is picked out while moving. Far too frequently he receives the ball at a dead standstill when the defense has already gotten everyone behind the ball and people wonder why he's not got more goal contributions. When he actually gets it near the goal, more often than not something positive happens.
    Moah, Maybe and MutableEarth like this.
  7. Chicago_Gunner

    Chicago_Gunner Active Member

    i enjoy these games cuz I want to see our youngsters shine
  8. Mo Britain

    Mo Britain Doom Monger

    I hope Runarsson plays. We need to fid out earlydoors how good or bad he is. Ironic how in the only position where we had no problems we managed to shoot ourselves in the foot.

    Apart from that... if you're not going to give players like Willock, Nelson, Smith Rowe free rein in this tournament, at this stage, you may as well sell them. Idiotic not to have Saliba in the EL squad.
  9. MutableEarth

    MutableEarth Bloody awesome NSFW avatars Trusted

    I do agree with this which is why I preemptively added a caveat to my criticism of him - I really don't think he has been helped at all by the imbalance of the attack. Much is forced through the left, so much so that he's perpetually isolated. It's not even like Auba is specifically a ball-player either so funnelling everything left is an interesting choice. I've seen Pepe make a lot of runs that get ignored often and it does make his job a little harder in the sense that he has to make the absolute most of every small piece of possession he gets.

    Like I said, I'd love to see a Martinelli come back when fit, or Nelson in the team, but if I had to sacrifice one of the starting wide men, it would definitely be Willian and not Pepe.
    Moah, Maybe and Big Poppa like this.
  10. Big Poppa

    Big Poppa Well-Known Member Trusted

    Saw something on AFTV of all places after the City game going through interesting numbers on our highest passing combinations. Luiz passed the ball to Bellerin down the right exactly half as much as Gabriel passed to Tierney down the left. Bellerin then passed to Pepe exactly half as much as Tierney passed to Auba/Saka. 80% of Xhaka’s passes were back to Gabriel.

    I’m one of Pepe’s biggest critics but we have a serious problem progressing the ball up our right side.

    Literally nobody looks for the lateral switch of play, and I feel like whoever plays there right now will suffer as a result.
  11. MutableEarth

    MutableEarth Bloody awesome NSFW avatars Trusted

    Part of the problem is that Ceballos - the nominal partner of Xhaka in most games - also tends to drift left aswell. The hope is that Partey's presence can change things as he's also very capable at progressing the ball. Xhaka's inability to turn quickly when under pressure is also a problem but I think that can be mitigated simply by having Ceballos use the right hand channel a lot more.
  12. CaseUteinberger

    CaseUteinberger Cazorla (not Carzola ffs)

    I am not that happy with the positions Bellerin takes in the build up. He is often too high up for the CB to reach him. At least that how it looks to me. Feel that Tierney often is more open based on where he positions himself. Hope Arteta can fix this somehow.

    If anyone has statistic that shows otherwise please post as I might be mistaken.
  13. Chaoz_Enigma

    Chaoz_Enigma Well-Known Member

    I saw 4-4-2. Up top auba + pepe
  14. Batman

    Batman Bruce Wayne

    Agreed. We're very predictable. That said, it's extremely tough for me to knitpick Arteta at this stage. We went from a team conceding 30 shots a match to relegation fodder under Emery to one with an elite defensive record under Arteta with largely the same group of players and our only seemingly competent defender having just arrived from France. I know we need top 4 ASAP but I'm pleased that at least there is now a respectable defensive base that can be built upon to make us more expansive and take us up a level. Realistically, teams that defend like we do at the moment win things and teams that are more free flowing but ship goals win nothing so I'm ok with it not being the prettiest in this transitional phase with the idea that we'll be laughing once the attack is sorted.
  15. Big Poppa

    Big Poppa Well-Known Member Trusted

    Our defensive record is built on starving teams of the ball for as long as possible rather than proactively defending better. I question how sustainable that is, in the long run.

    Our tackle success rate in 2016/17 was 78%, in 2017/18 it was 68%, in 2018/19 it was 60%, 2019/20 it was 58% and so far this season it is 58%.

    The fact this has led to fewer shots and fewer goals conceded has more to do with us losing the ball in less dangerous situations by reducing attacking actions (ie attempted crosses with both full backs pressed high).

    Teams were also less clinical, for example Liverpool at the Emirates. Jay Rodriguez for Burnley at the Emirates etc. And our keepers made crucial saves. Expected goals against is actually slightly worse under Arteta than under Emery.

    Mikel has done a fantastic job at stopping the bleeding but we won’t know how much our defence has truly improved until we see a more balanced approach going forward.
    Sebastes likes this.
  16. blrgooner

    blrgooner Well-Known Member

    Agree completely. As I mentioned somewhere else, Pepe had 12 touches of the ball against Man City I think. Hardly a good sample space to measure effectiveness of an attacking winger. We have a huge problem progressing the ball for sure.
    Big Poppa likes this.
  17. bingobob

    bingobob Fan of Technicians Who Show Great Character Trusted

    Cedric CB CB Amn
    Elneny Partey ERS
    Pepe Lacazette Nelson

    Not sure who plays at centre back with the amount of injuries we have but it cannot be Luiz, Gabriel or Tierney.
  18. Blood on the Tracks

    Blood on the Tracks Well-Known Member

    I don't get why some people turn their noses up at the Europa League. We're in it because we're not good enough to be in the Champions League currently. That's the reality. We don't have some god given right to be in the Champions League every year.

    Personally I'm looking forward to some of our youngsters getting game time in the group stages and hopefully making an impact.
  19. Makavelii

    Makavelii Well-Known Member

    Great stat. This is what it feels like.
    For a while I’ve felt like we just aren’t winning the ball back like we used to. Xhaka used to be a good ball winner, now it’s rare. Similar decline for Bellerin.

    The only one doing any ball winning right now is Ceballos.
    I’m sure Partey will bring something here too.
  20. Makavelii

    Makavelii Well-Known Member

    Agree. I’d be pretty stoked if we won Europa too.
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