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1) Disappointing result at the Emirates. In your opinion, where do you think it went wrong?

@albrookshawAFC - It's easy to point fingers at the referee for the first goal, and the defence for the second, but truthfully the problem has, for many games this season, been a lack of attacking fluidity. We had an entire 2nd half to score the 2 goals we needed to win but only properly threatened in the final 5 minutes. Passes in the final third all too often missed their man, and understanding needs to be seriously improved.

@LittleDutchVA - I think it's reasonably obvious that Arsenal lacked creativity. Everything the team did create came from the initiative of Alexis, but we didn't take care of the ball enough without Arteta and Özil, moves were breaking down before we had a chance to build pressure. It's telling that both of our goals were a result of Alexis picking the ball up and running at players. Nobody was providing him with the ball, he had to go and get it. I tend to think Cazorla needs another creative presence with him in midfield. In hindsight, Rosicky ahead of either Wilshere or Chamberlain (who both had pretty poor games) might have been a better idea.

@r_zana – I thought we started well but we were flat in patches and not threatening at all. We did have a lot of the ball but I didn’t think we would get through and passing around their box with no intention of playing a threatening pass into the box isn’t good enough. We definitely upped our tempo when we went behind but there was still something missing and in the end, not beating Hull City at home is obviously massively disappointing because we now have only 2 wins in the league and we should be beating them, especially at home.

@YouAreMyArsenal - I don't think you can it was any one moment. But what I think you can for sure is that we lacked any real commitment or focus going forward after Hull scored their first goal. To me that's been a recurrent theme in most of our games this season. In only two or three games this season can you say we actually looked like the team we're supposed to be (Villa, Gala and the second half vs City). Given that we've already played 12 in all competitions, that's disturbing. And it's disappointing, especially when you look at the squad and see who have (even despite the injuries).

2) The team look short of consistency at present, what do you put that down to?

@albrookshawAFC - The performance sums up our overall problems for me. For all our worries about holes at the back, the quality of our attack should easily be able to be winning us games like this, but at the moment they just aren't quite gelling. This time it was the Ox who was probably most culpable for giving the ball away, but almost all of our forward players have had performances a bit like that at some point. It's frustrating because it should be our most exciting attack in many, many seasons

@LittleDutchVA - A mixture of things. I think there is a little bit of a World Cup hangover. I think City, United and Liverpool have felt that a little too. Going forward we have Alexis and Welbeck who are both new to the team and we've nipped and tucked the system a little this year. It doesn't look like the midfielders have clear idea of their roles yet. Injuries haven't helped in this regard either. I'm not convinced the new system helps some of our defensive players, especially the likes of Per who isn't the most mobile.  It is a positive of sorts that we are continually able to fight back when trailing, but we find ourselves trailing far too often.

@r_zana – Hard to pinpoint what exactly is wrong because when you look at our team, we do have some great players such as Ozil (injured not but point stands!), Ramsey, Sanchez, Cazorla, Ox (who I think has had a strong start to the season) and Jack. We should be doing a lot better but at the moment, it just isn’t happening. The results are worrying but so are the performances and we’re conceding cheap goals that just put us under more pressure and makes it even harder for us to gain any fluidity.

@YouAreMyArsenal - To me we are currently underperforming. Call it consistency, focus, commitment, whatever you like we simply aren't playing to any level like we've been known to. Is it down to the new players introduced to the squad? I don't know. It's not like there have been wholescale changes to our playing roster. Before Debuchy & Giroud's injury only 2-3 players are different from last year's squad that had such a terrific run until February last season. Is it Wenger toying with a new formation on the fly, that certainly has to be taken into consideration. And while I believe like everyone else that a DM and backup CB should've been brought in, with the exception of the Chelsea and Dortmund losses, they certainly weren't the reason for all the drawsand lack of desire going forward.

3) Which Arsenal players stood out for you positively and why?

@albrookshawAFC - Sanchez's part in the two goals was simply sensational, and I think Welbeck looks a better and better buy with every game. Sanchez perhaps also contributes to some of our lack of fluidity, since his game is based around trying the spectacular, but when it comes off, it's a wonderful sight. Bellerin did his reputation no damage either

@LittleDutchVA - I thought Nacho Monreal continued what has been a very good season for him. Many were quick to write him off, but I think he's a quality defender. We all probably had some anxieties about the back four in the build up to the game but I don't think Per Mertesacker being beaten easily in the air was one of them. But Nacho didn't put a foot wrong. But Alexis was the big bright point of the game and I've a good idea that's what all the respondents will say in this article! His passing was a concern early in the season, often he was a tad careless with the ball which left us open to counter attack. But his completion rate was 82% v Chelsea and 86% yesterday. That shows he's listening and working on it. He's making better decisions now and his ability to beat players is such a boon against teams that sit deep like Hull. Quite simply, without him, we lose the game and probably don't muster more than a handful of shots.

@r_zana – Sanchez. His attitude is spot on and it’s what you want to see in every player. Some things he tried didn’t work out but his goal was exactly what he’s capable of and his assist for Welbeck’s goal was typical of him. And the fact that he doesn’t stop chasing down every single ball. Quick mention to Nacho who came in and surprised a few, battled hard and looked assured.  Oh and Bellerin! Gave us the energy and was strong defensively. 

@YouAreMyArsenal - Alexis Sanchez. He continues to grow and show why we signed him and why we should be excited about him being at Arsenal. Now if only the players around him would step up to the same level we'd  be okay.

4) Which players do you feel were not at their best?

@albrookshawAFC - The Ox certainly had a game he'll rather forget. He's a wonderful player, and I think he'll have a fine season, but this just wasn't his day.

@LittleDutchVA - After a run of really good games, I thought Wilshere was poor. He has a tendency to lose his head when things aren't going Arsenal's way and we saw that again yesterday. He had to feign injury to dodge a red card for a petulant tackle. He was at fault for the second goal too. It was a poor display from him after a good run of form. Chamberlain was obviously a disappointment too, but his decision making wasn't bad, but his execution was quite a way below what he is capable of. But I'm not concerned in the long run, generally if a player's execution is off, it's not a long term issue. It's when decision making is poor that you tend to worry.

@r_zana – Chamberlain was disappointing and I think everyone was surprised he lasted the full game. Disappointed because I think he’s had a strong start to the season and was starting to figure himself out at Arsenal.

@YouAreMyArsenal - Outside of Sanchez I just thought for the most part we all were "meh.' But for the season so far my biggest disappointment is Ramsey before his injury. Everyone points to Özil as being our biggest problem but before Ramsey got injured I would've sat him before Özil easily,

5) Is there anything you would do to improve the performances with the current fit players, if the choice was up to you?

@albrookshawAFC - I'm not a coach. Whatever it is that Arsene has been doing to get our teams to gel in attack over the years - we need him to do some of that! Sanchez is a world class signing, and has already shown what a player he is, but I'd love to see him find a better understanding with his teammates.

@LittleDutchVA - I would try and introduce more creativity to the team. We obviously don't know how fit he was yesterday, but I think Cazorla and Rosicky on their own aren't going to break down heavily manned defences. Together, I think they can combine and create a little more impetus in our play. I do think we've missed Arteta too, he establishes a rhythm in our passing that has been missing. He passes the ball quickly and with purpose and gives us an out ball. Flamini has other qualities, but I think being without Arteta hasn't helped our cohesion because he is the first link in that midfield chain. It's a shame the transfer market shapes analysis so heavily nowadays. I too would have liked an upgrade on Arteta given his age, but it doesn't mean he is entirely without valuable attributes, as many would furiously insist you believe.

@r_zana – Would love to pretend I know anything about tactics and formations but I’ll just hope Wenger knows what he’s doing and the players start playing at the level we know they’re capable of.

@YouAreMyArsenal - I would go back and stick with our 4-2-3-1 formation. I understand the need for the 4-1-4-1 and I would continue to develop that as a plan b simply because the two formations are seamless to slip into. But our talent looks set for that and against the teams we are currently come up against we aren't likely to give up the ball too many times. In 4-2-3-1  we simply are more comfortable and I think our talent is more aligned with that formation. Can I buy players too?

6) Are we out of the title race or can we get back into it?

@albrookshawAFC - I'll be honest, I don't see us challenging this season. An underdog like us simply can't get away with dropping the points we've already dropped and expect to win it. That said, I think there will be times we look closer than we do now, and I still expect us to get top 4.

@LittleDutchVA - We're out of it for sure. There is no way we will make up 11 points on that Chelsea side. We can still reasonably expect 3rd or 4th I think, but I just don't see Chelsea dropping off to that extent, no matter what we do now.

@r_zana – Hard to see us closing the gap which is very disheartening considering we’re only 8 games in. Was hoping we would get a few wins on the bounce starting yesterday as the fixtures are kinder to us but clearly not…

@YouAreMyArsenal - I think it's time to be realistic, by no means with 7 games gone are we out of the title race but if we continue with the performances we see each week, we won't ever get in to it.  Realistically as much as it pains me to say it this but there is Chelsea and City then everyone else. We just seem to be squirrels trying to get a nut.

7) Any other thoughts?

@albrookshawAFC - It's an odd season so far. In many ways it's our most exciting, talented squad in years and years. For whatever reason it's just not clicking. But if we did click, I could see us putting a run together that might change the mood around here...

@LittleDutchVA - I really like the look of Welbeck in this Arsenal team. He's technically adept but he doesn't mind being a bit scrappy either. He always finds a way to get a shot off, even when it looks unlikely. It's not always finessed, but he looks totally focused on getting shots on target and generally I think his finishing has been good too.

@r_zana – Things WILL get better because we have Alexis and Welbeck who are both balls of brilliance. They deserve to smile and we all will soon! That’s it for the positivity. 

@YouAreMyArsenal - Wenger has to bare a lot of the blame for the current state of things because as we heard all footballing decisions go through him and the board gives him unchecked power. However, I never understand why people don't spread the blame around. First, how idiotic of the board to allow one man to have all the power in the club. I love Wenger but even I know you don't let one man control everything. Additionally, while Wenger is responsible for training the teams and setting them up, the players have to perform and when we see the players we have we know they can perform but they aren't. At some point out players have to deliver. That's something Wenger shouldn't take blame for.


Thanks to the guys above for the great responses. If you do not have their goodness on your time lines then give them a follow @albrookshawAFC, @LittleDutchVA, @r_zana & @YouAreMyArsenal

Why not answer the questions yourself in the comments. Click sign in and do so with your Twitter, Facebook or Google account and let's be avin ya!

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more