Author Archives: keenosafc

6 goals in 8 games – Is Aubameyang form really a “major problem”?

In recent months, we have seen some really extreme views from Arsenal fans in what has been a rollercoaster of a season.

Some people have shown their true colours, sharing views based on RTs, likes and attention.

These usually take the form of sharing an extreme view that makes like sense, all because you are an attention seeker.

It is not only just the wannabe YouTubers and Twitter celebs doing this either.

These ones are who go viral, who we all know about. But others are doing the same. Extreme views for a bit of attention.

I read one view yesterday that sums it up:

Aubamayeng’s form is becoming a major problem…time to start playing Martinelli and bench Auba

I have decided not to post the actual tweet in the blog because I want to avoid a “pile on” and people abusing the Tweeter in question. We have no idea how fragile he or she is and it is common in these situations for people to post an extreme view for attention, and then play the victim when they get that attention.

Aubameyang has not had a great season. He struggled prior to the turn of the year with just 5 goals. Although this was highlighted by a bigger problem at Arsenal – that we were not creating enough chances.

His current run reads a lot better:

  • 6 goals in 8 games
  • 6 goals in 6 starts
  • 5 goals 5 Premier League games
  • 5 goals in 3 Premier League starts

If 6 goals in 9 games is “a major problem” then I do not know what the Tweeter is expecting? 10 goals in 8 games? 20?

Yes, Auba has had chances to score more – he could have grabbed himself a double against Benfica; but I am certainly not worried about his form.

Anyone that has followed Aubameyang’s career will know that he has a history of missing easy chances.

He is better when he does not have to think is a tag that has been given to many a world class striker in their time. And Aubameyang falls into the bracket.

What is the problem here? Is it that Arsenal fans need someone to constantly hate? And with Mesut Ozil now gone they are slowly moving onto Aubameyang.

Is it that they do not actually like Aubameyang – they detest a rich young man who likes fast cars, load clothes and hair cuts that would get you suspended in Primary School?

When you take into account that Aubameyang has been carrying some personal problems on his shoulders in the last few months, to say 6 goals in 8 games is “out of form” is just stupid. It is attention seeking.

And then they say that Martinelli should start is equally as ridiculous.

Have you forgotten about Alexandre Lacazette? Or do we not want him to play because he is also in poor form?

Lacazette had a nice little run around Christmas where he scored 5 goals in 4 games, but his current run is 1 goal in 9 games – although he only started 4 games.

So even if Auba was dropped due to his “bad form”, it would be Lacazette and not Martinelli that comes in for him.

This sort of Tweeter would probably be the first to say “we played Martinelli too much too soon at a young age and after a poor injury” if he played 5 games in a row and then picked up reoccurrence of his injury.

For some fans, Arsenal and Arsenal players will never win.

They will moan when a youngster is not picked; they will moan when he is not picked enough. They will moan when a player only scores 6 goals in 8 games. They just like to moan.

Negativity garners attention – TalkSport make a radio station out of it.

You constantly see people on Twitter and other social media platforms doing the same. Sharing extreme negative views for attention.

Ultimately, if you need to spend your time attention seeking on Twitter, you clearly have something key missing in the real world.

Keenos

Losing is never a positive result – although there might be positives

One thing I hate is when I see fans say “at least it was only 1-0” as if losing by a single goal was a positive.

This mentality shows just how far we have fallen behind the rest.

Gone are the days we would go to Anfield, Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford or Maine Road expecting a win. Now we are satisfied with “not being thrashed”.

I understand that the hammerings we took on the road in those later years have left some fans scared. I was at many of those games. It was horrendous.

However if we are to return to the big time, we need to act like a big club. Get the mentality right.

Being happy that you did not get smashed on the road is a small club mentality. Leave that to the likes of West Ham, Burnley and Newcastle. We are The Arsenal. We should not be happy losing 1-0.

I felt Mikel Arteta got his line-up and game plan spot on.

A few questioned why he changed the centre backs from David Luiz and Gabriel to Rob Holding and Pablo Mari; and why Nicholas Pepe came in for Emile Smite Rowe.

The reasoning was a change in game plan.

When we are looking to dominate a game, to play in the opponents half, we need athletic centre backs who can play in a high line – Luiz and Gabriel.

Against Manchester City, Arteta’s game plan was to defend deep and hit them quick on the break.

It is a tactic which has since us beat Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Man U under Arteta.

Holding and Mari are better options when defending deep than Luiz and Gabriel.

Likewise in the middle, if we were going for compact and deep, Mohamed Elneny was a better choice than Dani Ceballos. Extra defensive steel in the middle.

And if we are playing on the break, we want the pace of Pepe rather than the guile of Smith Rowe.

Arteta also got the substitutes spot on.

As we began to dominate the play half way through the second half, he bought on the players who operate better in tight spaces – Smith Rowe & Lacazette; sacrificing Pepe who needs space to run in to.

What Arteta could not legislate for was City scoring in the opening 90 seconds; and the manner of the goal.

A few pundits went over the top, going as far as saying “Sterling outjumped 2 centre backs”. He did not. He outjumped no one.

He found space between Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding.

Bellerin dropped back to follow the run of Bernardo Silva, but clearly did not communicate to Holding that Sterling was behind him and now unmarked.

The ball was floated over, Holding was unaware of the man behind him and that Bellerin was not on him, and Sterling rose unchallenged to score.

It is the run of Bernardo Silva that was clever – had he not made that move outside of Bellerin, Hector would have been tight to Sterling; challenging him in the air.

It is becoming clear what Arteta’s game plan is in these bigger games – defend deep and hit them on the break.

This can lead us to look untidy at the back whilst we play quick, risky passes to go from front to back as fast as possible to avoid City’s high press.

It worked in the FA Cup semi final and it nearly worked Sunday when Bukayo Saka and Kieran Tierney both finding space down the left hand side. The final ball was lacking however.

Manchester City will now run away with the league title.

18 wins in a row in all competitions, and just 6 goals conceded in that time. It is a truly incredible run.

We are moving forward under Arteta, but the mentality of fans needs to move forward with him.

Losing 1-0 should not be a positive. We need to begin going into these games expecting to win.

Up next we are back to the Europa League with a home game in Athens.

Keenos

Match Report: Arsenal 0 – 1 Manchester City

Arsenal (0) 0 Manchester City (1) 1

Premier League

Emirates Stadium, Drayton Park, London N5 1BU

Sunday, 21st December 2021. Kick-off time: 4.30pm

(4-2-3-1) Bernd Leno; Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Pablo Marí, Kieran Tierney; Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka; Bukayo Saka, Martin Ødegaard, Nicolas Pépé; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Substitutes: Gabriel Magalhães, Dani Ceballos, Alexandre Lacazette, Willian Borges da Silva, Cédric Soares, David Luiz, Emile Smith-Rowe, Mat Ryan; Gabriel Martinelli

Yellow Cards: Granit Xhaka, Hector Bellerin

Arsenal Possession Percentage: 45%

Referee: Jonathan Moss

Assistant Referees: Marc Perry, Dan Robathan

Fourth Official: Andy Madley

VAR Team at Stockley Park: VAR Peter Bankes; AVAR Timothy Wood

Attendance: A maximum of 300 attendees due to UK government coronavirus restrictions

Good to see Kieran Tierney being fit enough to make the starting line-up today, along with Pablo Marí, but unfortunately Thomas Partey is still injured and is unavailable for selection. Amongst the substitutes this afternoon is Alexandre Lacazette, Dani Ceballos and Emile Smith-Rowe, who are ready to spring into action if needed. Let’s Go!

Within two minutes, the imminent danger of the visitors became clear and obvious when Raheem Sterling opened the scoring with a header after receiving a cross from Riyad Mahrez, which completely unbalanced us so early on in the game. Manchester City certainly had the bit between their teeth, as they had three or four serious goalscoring chances within the first ten minutes, in which they came extremely close in punishing us further. Although we had difficulty in imposing ourselves on the match, our players did try to do their best to pass their way out of trouble; in fact it was in one of these breakouts when Bukayo Saka was unlucky not to hit the target, after some great work out on the left by Kieran Tierney, which unfortunately was deemed to be offside by referee Jonathan Moss. The visitors completely dominated proceedings, so much so in fact, it seemed as if a second Manchester City goal seemed inevitable. However, just before the half hour mark, Kieran Tierney ran into the City half, cut inside and hit a strong shot on the half volley, only for Ederson to smother the ball quite easily; in fact, most of our breakouts have come from Kieran Tierney on the left hand side, and his speed and crossing ability (not to mention his excellent shooting prowess) has been the best part of the afternoon for us. Just before half-time, Hector Bellerin won a heading challenge in the City penalty area, only for Nicolas Pépé to pick up the loose ball, and his subsequent shot went into the visitors’ side netting. In injury time, we found some strength and agrression from somewhere, asked questions of the visitors’ defence and our confidence had grown in stature, but unfortunately we went into the break one goal down.

The second half started exactly the way the first half began, with the visitors pressurising us, looking for the second goal, but our defence held firm, and managed to play ourselves out of trouble. We certainly gave a better account of ourselves in this half, with our players looking for goals, making the match an end-to-end affair. We certainly looked stronger in this half, with more belief, fight and awareness, and although City were having their chances, we managed to hold firm. Both teams were looking solid and tough, looking for chinks in each other’s armour as the game advanced. The match started to get scrappy with several Manchester City players ending up in the referee’s book, quite deservedly, for petulant and aggressive behaviour towards our men. Emile Smith-Rowe and Alexandre Lacazette replaced Martin Ødegaard and Nicolas Pépé with eighteen minutes of the match remaining, in order for us to be more proactive in grabbing the equalising goal. Almost immediately, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulled the ball back for Bukayo Saka in the middle of the visitors’ penalty area, who changed direction quickly, but unfortunately, he slipped on the wet surface, allowing Fernandinho to clear the ball away. David Luiz replaced Rob Holding under the terms of the new concussion injury substitution rule with seven minutes of the match remaining, and a couple of minutes later, Dani Ceballos replaced Mohamed Elneny to put more pressure on the City defence. In the end, it made no difference, as the score remained the same as it was after the first two minutes of this match.

Although we lost today, we should not be too downhearted. Having conceded a goal in the first two minutes, we struggled for most of the first half to compete, but in the second half we got back into the match and although we did not score, we created chances, which on another day, would have led to an equaliser. Manchester City are one of the best teams in Europe at the present time, and to lose by only one goal is no disgrace; we were beaten by the better side in terms of formation, discipline, and ruthlessness. We also know that we are several players away from getting to this standard, but one day we will. We travel to Greece to play Benfica on Thursday, and if we take lessons from today’s match, then we should become victorious and move onwards to the next stage of the competition, but today was just one of those things against a very, very good side, that’s all.

Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as this season is going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners. Our next match: Benfica at Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis, Piraeus, Attica, Athens, Greece on Thursday, 25th February at 5.55pm (Europa League). Victoria Concordia Crescit.

Steve

Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten: Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris 1930-1962 by Steve Ingless (Rangemore Publications, ISBN 978-1-5272-0135-4) is now available on Amazon.