Arsenal’s dream of cup glory to possibly accompany their Premier League glory is over after Sporting Lisbon knocked them out of the Europa League through penalties. There are many reasons why Arsenal were unable to go past Sporting; here are mine (tell us yours in the comments section):
1 Underrating Sporting Lisbon
You and I can agree that it wasn’t the strongest line-up Arteta would have played if he wanted to kill off the tie from minute one. How does an Arsenal midfield without either Odegaard or Partey work? For how influential the two are, you can’t just take them all out and expect the midfield to click. Even Saka not starting was a questionable call when he is literally the oxygen in Arsenal’s right wing.
2. Starting a weak team
Arsenal have been fielding a regular starting eleven (other than the tweak of who plays as the striker) in the Premier League, and it has gotten them results. In the earlier stages of a cup competition, it is understandable to give some players minutes, but in the knockout stages, play your strongest eleven or give your opponent all the leverage to beat you. Nelson, Jorginho, and Vieira are good players, but they should have been introduced as substitutes after the main stars had turned the tie in Arsenal’s favor. Then again, if it was a game of giving people minutes to rest others for Crystal Palace, why didn’t Turner start?
3 Starting worn-out or not-so-fit players
If I were Arteta, I would have rested Martinelli and gambled with a Jesus-Trossard forward line. Martinelli seems to have regained his form in recent weeks, but he should have been rested. Starting with Trossard and then subbing him off for Emile Smith-Rowe could have brought another dynamic to Arsenal’s attack against Sporting. Anyway, was Jesus ready to start in such a tough match? What if he was introduced as a sub and then given a chance to start against Palace?
Tomiyasu and William Saliba’s injuries must have disrupted Arsenal’s game plan. When going to a game, a coach usually has his ultimate game plan for a particular game. The players that he selects in his starting line-up usually have internalized this plan, thus taking one or two out abruptly disrupts the game plan.
The damage is however done, and all focus for Arteta and his boys now shifts to the Premier League. I hope they are strong enough to see this through.
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I think Arteta, Edu and the coaches would like to keep the team’s harmony, by letting our squad-rotation players play in EL
The plan could also make our key players fresh for the upcoming EPL game. Unfortunately, Sporting scored a wonderful goal and our players couldn’t maximize their chances
There’s only one reason. No excuses. We were simply outplayed by Sporting throughout. Considering the difference in budget, money spent in transfer market, stature and current form it’s just not acceptable that we play like this. Losing the game itself is not as painful as watching team play like headless chickens.
Yes. If we compare Sporting’s resources with ours, we should be embarrassed by the loss
Hopefully we’ll win all remaining games this month
Was a huge call leaving Saka, Odegaard, Tossard and the mighty Partey on the bench for the sporting Lisbon game.
The gaffer has been bitten before using mostly the B teamers, it is abundantly clear Partey is the most important Arsenal player, he is the solid back bone that Arsenal team is built on and am saying this with no apology.
Strongly agree the gaffer sacrifice team harmony which is paramount for the final rattle to lift that big jug.
It’s a very interesting time to play Palace, the owners of the Eagles choose this time to releive the manager of his post
I personally prefer to face a manager less Palace than a stubborn Eagle with our legend at the elm.
But yes the gaffer can be excused for hugely distracted by this London derby that means much more to the faithfuls.
Yes it was a big decision. Now I want them to win all games before we go to Anfield
is didn’t watch the match, just the highlights. But I did see the lineup and I had a few comments even before getting to know the result:
1. Arteta was right not to start Saka.
2. Turner should have started this match. It’s about rotation
3. Tierney should have started instead of Zinchenko
4. Jesus should not have started. He should be considered to start after the international break
Well after this snub Tiernay will probably be leaving and good luck to him
Whilst we went out last night I felt we really lost it last week in Portugal
Inept defending and finishing last week.
We all hate losing and most if us had one eye on possibly winning the cup.
Not to be this year.
If the team and manager learn by there mistakes on what went wrong tactically from going out the cup which they have done from the league this year then I beleive we have every chance of having a good run in the champions league next season.
Veria is getting pelters at the mo from some people but again he is technically very good but lacks the muscle to back it up.
Next season he will be 1 season wiser and stronger
Our Bench compared to past seasons is not quite there but a heck of a lot stronger and more experienced then past season
Stay positive people
Take a step back and can any one last remember when we were top in mid March with a 5 point cushion
We are now entering the business end and we all need to stand strong behind the team to get them over the line
AlanBall08, Robert Pires was getting pelters from some of the fans in his first season, come the following season he was so much better. It does seem that some of our fans expect instant success, be it from a new player or from a team of new players.
We can stay positive but after the performance it’s hard to stay assured. We have 5 points cushion but it can all be lost in blink of an eye with some inconsistent performance. Mancity shows no sign of stoppage during tail end of the season. So only way to maintain that is to win against Liverpool, Chelsea, Brighton, Newcastle and we have still to play against city. So we can only stay positive anxiously.
Again I will ask this question for the God-knows-how-many time. WHO SAYS THAT CITY WILL NOT DROP POINTS? Just as we’re expected to drop points, so I’m also expecting them to do the same
City have to play Brentford and Liverpool away, also Brighton, they are still in two cup competitions so they will be stretched whereas we only have to concentrate on eleven games, still plenty of twists and turns
Alan how are you able, being truthful hopefully, to predict that next season Viera will be “a heck of a lot stronger”?
I see no evidence at all for this odd claim.
Is he spending the whole summer lifting weights perhaps!
Because to me, he seems physically (as in lack of power and physical strength) extremely weak for a player who wishes to play successfully in the Prem league.
As for your “can anyone remember” question , the answer is back in 2008 when GALLAS sulked at Birmingham and we fell away from the chase.
I concur with with you Jon, has for me I don’t see him improving that’s his own way of playing. Has a attacking midfielder no through pass to the attackers for 90min, most matches he starts this season we either loss or draw and no free flow of ball
I agree with you on Vieira. Unfortunately he reminds me of Ozil in his twilight; strolling about, easily bullied, avoiding tackling, and invisible too often.
Vieira is technical, but no one will give him the time and space to shine. So far he has not compensated for this, and his frailty is pounced upon by opponents.
Sporting is a familiar opponent for him, yet he was so so poor on the pitch. Don’t think the PL is a good fit for him, and time to loan or sell this Summer.
We are on the verge of something special now and going forward, and can we afford to wait for passengers to figure things out?
Personally feel he is the weakest in the first team, and a disadvantage to the team as a CM. Zinchenko as CM and Tierney at LB would be a better selection, but I’m only a spectator.
When it comes to penalties and your own keeper guesses correctly 5 times and the opposition’s 3 times, you might expect a better turnout. Ramsdale even got his hands on one, but their guy, who was great throughout the game, stopped one.
The injuries to Tomi and Saliba had no impact whatsoever on our game plan,as their replacements were like for like players with plenty of experience.In fact I thought Holding was one of our few successes on the night.The absence of Tierney however I just cannot comprehend as he would have added pace ,energy and a determination to win attitude, which was lacking in some players last night.
I really wonder what Tierney need to do to get a game. I would rather lose Tavares than Tierney.
Europa is for 2nd grade quality losers. I am happy we are out of it. Now we have to play less matches and only in EPL. Let Rivals play more cup matches and accumulate injuries
Rubbish it is a European trophy, something we could have won, our record in Europe is awful, you considered Man Utd, Juventus, and Seville 2nd grade quality losers, good enough for Chelsea to win twice. What a load of tosh
Lola, At last, a fellow realist who CAN see the wood for the trees. Going out of Europa last night was a huge blessing and not in disguise either, at least not to me and to you!
This one has to be on Arteta
I also thought that line-up could do it though
Probably the substitutions should have been proactive and not reactive, we didn’t have a breather right from the start of the 2nd half – they were all over us
He probably should have taken the initiative even before they equalized
Hello ! It’s easier to win the EL than the league
We have Liverpool, Newcastle, Chelsea, Man City
Common we won’t win all those matches
Man City have a very much easier fixture left than us
I hope Arteta has gained some experience
Common!! imagine this team not winning anything this year
That would be a disappointment
It’s only Man Utd that can stop us in EL and we know we’re better than them too
He should have gone hard for the EL after being lackadaisical for the League Cup & FA Cup
Would we be on this same type of form next season ?
This was the year, we know our first team will beat everybody in that competition
Good thing we lost. This Micky Mouse tournament is boolshit. We have 11 must win games in a once in a decade chance to win the league. With our short squad there is no way we can do that while playing Juventus and than PL three days later. We need out starting 11 to be fully focused on the league. Our task is difficult as it is, since no way we win the league without 9 wins out of 11. That is the only thing that matters.
One reason only – not four – why we weren’t able to beat Sporting: Arteta simply under-rated the opponent and failed to start his best eleven, for no obvious reason.
I always doubted his ability to rotate the squad when under pressure, so can’t say I was surprised.
Let’s hope and pray there will be no more costly blunders for the rest of the PL season.
People on here slagging off the EL 🙄. I take it they wouldn’t have celebrated when we won our only 2 European trophies. I was too young and lived to far away to have been at Highbury in 1970 when we won our first, but was there that great night in Copenhagen in 1994 when, against the odds, we beat Parma, and boy did we celebrate.
Yes we need to win the PL, after not winning it for nearly 2 decades,but for the 3rd biggest club in England our history in Europe is atrocious.
You mean fourth?
To be honest, the first one wasn’t really a full competition, it was not a UEFA-sanctioned competition. but the second one against Parma was excellent I was lucky to go and having a drink with John Jensen after the game was great, Our record in Europe is poor, so I would have loved to have won the EL
fios, it’s strange that UEFA doesn’t recognise it, but FIFA does 🤷♂️.
What a great atmosphere in Copenhagen in ’94. Drinking with some Parma fans just off the main square, first time an English club against an Italian club since 1985 iirc. No aggro what so ever. Bit different to my first European Final in Brussels in ’80 and the one in Copenhagen in ’00.
Was that the place where John Jensen lost his wallet ?
I thought I was getting on a bit he! he!
I’m an old git SueP, but as the saying goes, age is just a number 😉😂
For me Arteta was right to give other players a chance to prove themselves but for all it’s viera who didn’t perform.He has many chances but this time he was not in game
No one is talking about Nelson
I doubt if he deserves a new contact
He was so uninspiring.
He never got any service, and when he did he did okay, but he was isolated for most of his time on the pitch, nothing wrong with Nelson, got the winner with an excellent goal against Bournemouth, what a short memory you have
Losing all 3 Cup games 2 domestically and 1 externally this season by our darling team Arsenal was most disappointing. And very hard to take on the chin and bear the pains that came with the huge disappointment. Which us Arsenal suffered last night at home in the Europa at the hands of Sporting CP.
But what can us Arsenal do over this failing that us have suffered, other than to hope us will have a better grate campaign in the Ucl next season to lift the trophy as winners and lift it? So as to compensate for our not lifting the Elc this season as planned us would.
Sporting CP surprised Arsenal last nifgt at the Ems by the very high level general game playing that played against Arsenal. But the Gunners matched them in the game throughout the duration of the match lasted. But for the penalty shoot outs that they lost 3-5 to Sporting. Which will not have happened but for Martinelli’s penalty shoot outs taking ineptitufde, Arsenal may be planning for playing against Jeventus in the quarterfinals now. i hope Martinelli has learnt a hard lesson from the pen shoot outs that he missed for Arsenal last night. Which gave Spurting the chance to knock Arsenal out. Martinelli, you don’t do that. If you do, your team could be out.
You said “Underrating Sporting Lisbon” but didn’t explain that they’re actually a good team that set themselves up very well. Their manager changed things during the match when they needed it, and I thought several of their players looked excellent. Yes, we weren’t good enough, but they made it tough.
Losing all 3 Cup games 2 domestically and 1 externally this season by our darling team Arsenal was most disappointing. And very hard to take on the chin and bear the pains that came with the huge disappointment. As us Arsenal suffered last night at home in the Europa at the hands of Sporting CP.
But what can us Arsenal do over this failing that us have suffered, other than to hope us will have a better great campaign in the Ucl next season that will to us lift the trophy as winners and lift it? So as to more than compensate for our not lifting the Elc this season as planned us would.
Sporting CP surprised Arsenal last nifgt at the Ems by the very high level general game playing that they played against Arsenal. But the Gunners matched them in the game throughout the duration that the match lasted. But for the penalty shoot outs that they lost 3-5 to Sporting. Which will not have happened but for Martinelli’s penalty shoot outs taking ineptitufde, Arsenal may be planning for playing against Jeventus in the quarterfinals now. i hope Martinelli has learnt a hard lesson from the pen shoot outs kick that he missed for Arsenal last night. Which gave Spurting the chance to knock Arsenal out. Martinelli, you don’t do that. If you do, your team could be out.
Looks as if the new “whipping boy” has been found for those fans who just cannot seem to support our players.
Last night was a collective underperforming and underwhelming game, yet fans have to have this person who they can blame for those collective ills.
MA decided to leave out Zaka, Partey and Odegaard, three of our most influential players and lost both Tomi and Saliba in the first twenty minutes – yet it’s Viera who’s the problem!!
Now I believe that MA should have played his strongest team to start with, but one either trusts his decisions or one doesn’t and, when one thinks about his record this season, surely he’s earnt that trust?
The majority of fans on JA have been clamouring for MA to rest players, citing the Cup games to do just that… he did and it backfired.
Enter the scapegoat Viera and MA’ s failure to substitute him.
Of course, Ramsdale, Zinchenko, Nelson etc etc have all been criticised as well, along with claims that it’s all part of the process and yet another acceptable learning curve for our “rookie” Manager of the Year!!!
Why can’t we just accept that, on the night and over two legs, the better team won and support ALL our players, instead of crucifiying individuals who were put in to a situation not of their making?
By the way, a true legend of the club, Pat Rice, has just celebrated his birthday and what a servant he’s been.
There’s an important 5th reason…we are not a big club in Europe. So it wasn’t actually a shock.
Domestically, we have a fantastic history, in Europe, we’re an embarrassment! Even a club like Seville is a million miles ahead of us in European pedigree, let alone catching the likes of Milan, Real, Liverpool, Man Utd etc.
Jen, I don’t buy your argument that we are not a big club in Europe and thus should lower our expectations there. Under Wegner we had fifteen years of attempting to cement our reputation in Champions League but underachieved. We failed to step up and compete with the AC Milans, Barcelonas, Real Madrids, , Chelseas and Manchester Uniteds. Was it lack of ambition or simply failure to instill a winning culture. Whatever, there has to be a turning point somewhere. I’m inspired by Napoli who also have a poor pedigree but are doing wonders with a squad that has been assembled cheaply, with a number of spare parts. As many have mentioned above our only focus now is winning the EPL. No excuses. City will be busy with mid week fixtures and our squad will be freshened up after the international break. I just hope Arteta makes the right calls regarding his starting elevens. Please find space for Tierney and ESR, and don’t be afraid to cut the umbilical cord regarding Xhaka. There will be games where his services will not be required.