- Barcelona collapses, football collapses
- Beware those people in football who tell you what to think. They are trying to kid you.
By Tony Attwood
When Burnley sacked Dyche the league table read…
Today with Dyche now running the show at Everton the league table reads…
So it is good to know that Dyche continues to run true to form. And it is another reason (if one is needed) to remember that changing a manager doesn’t often bring an immediate turn around. It can do, but not that often.
That Everton team did look to be in a sorry state, and perhaps the biggest upset was that Arsenal didn’t score many more goals, but the newly arranged Arsenal team is still sorting itself out, and I have a feeling that we might see a different team again on Wednesday.
So we now turn our thoughts to PSV, who are doing particularly well in their league at the moment, although by way of introduction to that, it is worth noting where their traditional rivals Ajax are….
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So the PSV match could be tougher than we might normally expect from a game against a Dutch club. And we might remember that they did beat Rangers 5-1 in the play off round, played in order to qualify for the group stages. Although after five games in the Scottish league Rangers are sitting in the unfamiliar territory of fourth so maybe they are not up to their usual strength.
But for now we can say Arsenal have the second best defence in the Premier League (having conceded four goals, only Manchester City having let in fewer with three conceded), but with nine goals scored we are six goals behind the top scoring club which is ….. Brighton and Hover Albion.
As for where the club is now, TBR notes that Jermaine Jenas has singled out Leandro Trossard for praise. While HITC tells us that Garth Crooks has raved about Arsenal central defender William Saliba after watching the Gunners defender in action against Everton at Goodison Park.
Meanwhile in a different article, the same publication tells us that “Gary Neville has praised Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta for his decision regarding Takehiro Tomiyasu.”.
Gooner Talk however tells us that “Gary Neville was left impressed with the performance of Arsenal midfielder and captain Martin Odegaard in their 1-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park yesterday.” So maybe we should now call them Arsenal All-Stars.
Of course all that leaves the issue of why the goalkeeper was changed, but really I am not sure that is too hard to sort out. If Ramsdale had been kept in goal and then Raya used in the Champions League match this coming Wednesday it would have been taken by the media as a signal that one keeper was going to be playing the league games and one was going to be for cup games. But by swapping keepers for a league game it keeps everyone, including the media, the players, the supporters and most importantly, the opposition, guessing.
For normally in the build up to a game the forward coach will be saying to his players something like, “if you get a one on one with the keeper go to your right – he’s much weaker saving on that side” along with other similar instructions.
And that sort of approach is invariably very useful. But now Arteta has torn up the whole rule book and really we have no idea what sort of team he is going to put out for each game. That’s good because, that makes the trip to the pub before the match even more interesting, but much more important is the fact that the opposition really don’t know who they are going to be facing until one hour before the game.
Last season, after matchday five, Arsenal were equal bottom of the league in terms of players used with 18 men having appeared. This season 21 players have been used, just two short of Manchester City. I suspect that this rise in the number of players used is going to continue. The difference in numbers is not huge at all, but I rather think the impact will be.
- Arsenal continue to make more progress than the rest of the big seven
- Arsenal v Tottenham; the team and some rather jolly recent history
- We are running out of referees, and the reason is the PGMO.
- Arsenal v Tottenham: the key fact the media won’t to tell you – and why they won’t
- Arsenal v Tottenham: different clubs, different managers, different successes