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Football: Squeaky Bum Time


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20 minutes ago, Consigliere said:

Losing both Saliba and Tomiyasu was a big blow. Otherwise, Arsenal could've put White at CB and Tomiyasu at RB. Zinchenko was out yesterday as well so it shouldn't have been all that surprising that Arsenal's defence looked a bit shaky. However, they really should have been able to see out that game after going 2-0 up but the combination of a missed penalty and Benrahma scoring at the other end shortly thereafter seemed to rattle them.

Yea, it was a mess. Agreed losing Saliba and Tomi in the same game was a massive blow. But watching Holding compared to Saliba is night and day. He doesn't make a ton of glaring mistakes but he's been terrible in duels, panics on the ball and has none of the composure or positioning of Saliba. It makes us significantly less solid and less in control as he's constantly booting it and giving it away. This is the difference between our squad and City right now. We just have very limited options when players go out injured, outside of say the front 3. That'll definitely be our goal during the summer but doesn't help us now sadly.

Side note, Ramsdale should have saved the Bowen goal. For as good as the saves against Salah and Konate were last week, that was a significant miss.

All in all, even if we do lose the title, I'm fucking thrilled with this season. For those out there in media saying if we "bottle" the title to an awesome City side, our season is a failure, to them I say fuck you. We never in a million years thought we'd be going toe to toe with City with a team that's made up of 21-23 year olds a year after being 5th. It's been a blast, at times frustrating, at times electric and with my low expectations for the rest of the season, I hope the boys surprise me.

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I give Arsenal more chance than you guys do. They've handled some big injuries throughout the season and although the West Ham comeback was alarming, I think the Liverpool comeback is little to be concerned about. It was Anfield and a big game. The fact you went two goals up shows what a good side you have even accounting for Liverpool's difficulties this season.

It's City that didn't handle injuries well. It's no coincidence that we are looking stronger now that Dias and Stones are fit. Stones has been consistently amazing for years now but he doesn't get enough credit because he spends so much time injured. Pep will need them both IMO and history suggests if they play every game as fixtures build up at least one of them will pick up another injury. For this reason I suspect either of them could be rested at times.

I see more twists and turns yet to come.

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55 minutes ago, Mexal said:

Side note, Ramsdale should have saved the Bowen goal. For as good as the saves against Salah and Konate were last week, that was a significant miss.

 

That was shocking. I forgot about that, I honestly think I could have stopped it. 

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1 hour ago, Mexal said:

All in all, even if we do lose the title, I'm fucking thrilled with this season. For those out there in media saying if we "bottle" the title to an awesome City side, our season is a failure, to them I say fuck you. We never in a million years thought we'd be going toe to toe with City with a team that's made up of 21-23 year olds a year after being 5th. It's been a blast, at times frustrating, at times electric and with my low expectations for the rest of the season, I hope the boys surprise me.

I see your point but you must admit that this is a huge opportunity to win the league, with City switching from basically no striker to a system suited to bring the best out of Haaland and Liverpool and Chelsea imploding. Next season, all of those issues could be fixed and Arsenal could be back to battling for fourth.

43 minutes ago, Dolorous Gabe said:

It's City that didn't handle injuries well. It's no coincidence that we are looking stronger now that Dias and Stones are fit. Stones has been consistently amazing for years now but he doesn't get enough credit because he spends so much time injured. Pep will need them both IMO and history suggests if they play every game as fixtures build up at least one of them will pick up another injury. For this reason I suspect either of them could be rested at times.

I see more twists and turns yet to come.

Yeah, poor City. They really need to sign some more 50+M€ defenders in the summer. I mean, there's such a lack of pricey defenders in that squad. Other than Stones and Dias who've been injured this season (oh, the horror), only Laporte, Walker and Mendy (I don't care that he's not playing this season, it's not as if rape charges fell out of the sky) cost over 50M€, with Ake signing at only 45M€ and Akanji not even making it to 20M€.

I just hope they scrape together some funds to fix that gaping hole in their squad.

Edited by baxus
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36 minutes ago, baxus said:

I see your point but you must admit that this is a huge opportunity to win the league, with City switching from basically no striker to a system suited to bring the best out of Haaland and Liverpool and Chelsea imploding. Next season, all of those issues could be fixed and Arsenal could be back to battling for fourth.

It's a massive opportunity but winning the league is hard and City is still on path for 92-94 points with a +50 GD. That's still a fairly insane season. I'll be sad we couldn't see it through but I wouldn't consider getting over 90 pts and losing to a City team with the Terminator to be a failure, especially given how thin our squad is and how critical some of the injuries have been. If you told me we'd still be in this position when Jesus went out for over 3 months or when Eddie went out for 2 months at the same time, or Partey went out for a month for AFCON and injuries, I'd laugh at you. 

My hope for next year is that Arteta is very clear on what he wants/needs to take this team to the next level and we go get those players, knowing that we need a much stronger squad to participate in CL. Arteta has always been clear on types of players he needs for specific positions and I suspect this summer will be no different. So while I get next year could be tough, I do hope we're actually better than this year with strong summer recruitment on back end of CL, title chase, manager reputation and pleasing to the eye football.

Edited by Mexal
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3 hours ago, baxus said:

Yeah, poor City. They really need to sign some more 50+M€ defenders in the summer. I mean, there's such a lack of pricey defenders in that squad. Other than Stones and Dias who've been injured this season (oh, the horror), only Laporte, Walker and Mendy (I don't care that he's not playing this season, it's not as if rape charges fell out of the sky) cost over 50M€, with Ake signing at only 45M€ and Akanji not even making it to 20M€.

I just hope they scrape together some funds to fix that gaping hole in their squad.

Jeez, you completely misread the intent of my comment. It was meant to compliment Arsenal on handling their injuries better.

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1 hour ago, BigFatCoward said:

Frank Lampard last 17 games as manager. Won 1, drew 2, lost 14. 

Imagine being paid that much money for being so bad at something. 

To be fair if I had the amount of money Lampard presumably already has I’m not sure I’d be subjecting myself to the amount of abuse you get for being a bad Premier League manager. Just go on tv now and then and count your money.

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12 hours ago, Dolorous Gabe said:

Jeez, you completely misread the intent of my comment. It was meant to compliment Arsenal on handling their injuries better.

Out of all the teams in Europe, City are probably the least affected by injuries. Sure, their players do get injured, but their squad is so deep that it's no longer even news that they have close to half a billion worth of players on their bench. And you're saying Stones injury cost them? Come on man, let's be serious for a minute.

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12 hours ago, ljkeane said:

We’re pretty clearly tucking Alexander-Arnold into midfield in possession here. That’s a change.

And it seems to be working much better. I'd say we need to wait and see against higher quality of opponents but considering how many points Liverpool dropped against teams in the bottom half of the table it's still a pretty big improvement.

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1 hour ago, baxus said:

Out of all the teams in Europe, City are probably the least affected by injuries. Sure, their players do get injured, but their squad is so deep that it's no longer even news that they have close to half a billion worth of players on their bench. And you're saying Stones injury cost them? Come on man, let's be serious for a minute.

It's simply an observation that Arsenal dealt better with losing Jesus, Tierney and Partey for a part of the season than City did losing Dias, Stones and Walker for part of the season. That is evident by Arsenal continuously being on top. There was a sense that opponents could smell blood when our back line had Akanji and Ake at centre back and Rico Lewis involved. I'm not criticising them, they did well when needed. But it would be foolish to deny that you'd rather attack those three than Dias, Stones and Walker.

All I'm trying to say is that it seems premature for people on here to be dismissing Arsenal now given how well they've dealt with injuries throughout this season. They've risen to every challenge.

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