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Ok, so what are we talking about this morning?

Manchester City vs Aston Villa.

Wow. Don Unai Emery is really making his mark on the Premier League. Language barrier squashed, redemption tour bigger than ERAS, big results like a team trying to be in the mentions of ‘title talk’ twitter (x).

I can’t remember many Manchester City performances as drab as the one at Villa Park the other night. Unai had his player monstering a meek Manchester City midfield all evening (Rodri, clearly their best player). His side had 22 shots, with 7 hitting the target… to City’s 2 attempts all night. The win was one for the history books.

So what are we thinking for the weekend?

1. It’ll be really fucking hard

This is one of the first games of the season where I’d genuinely be happy exiting with a point. I think they are 14 home wins on the bounce or something mad like that. This game is going to be beastly. If we escape with more than a point, be thankful.

2. This is the same vibe as Newcastle two seasons ago

Villa is built like the Newcastle team that bullied us into a loss when we could tasted top 4. It’s a group of young athletes on the up that truly believe the world is disrespecting them as professionals. They are fired up. They are wildly brave, extremely good in the final third, and everyone is a runner… even Tielemans these days. Martin Odegaard was getting ghosted by Ross Barkley the other night, if he plays like that against Villa, we’re going to get toasted.

3. It’s Unai

He’s a great manager of smaller clubs. He doesn’t shy away from a fight. He will try and open teams up. He loves a D vs G type battle. That’s his weakness. He will come to play even if it means getting battered. There won’t be a deep-block and we have to be prepared to play a chaotic game. Villa are like Spurs. Feast or famine… and there has been a lot of feast.

I’m worried about this. The Unai Cuck Army has been sitting on the edge of their seats salivating over Villa. I think they might actually be upset that the Unai redemption is being overshadowed by Arteta. We need to keep it that way so the apologists of criminal football can’t convince us that actually, it was a mistake to allow him to leave.

SPURS lololol…

I don’t want to spend too much time here, but isn’t it amusing that the manager who gave Spurs their club back has 1 point in 15 with a game against Newcastle this weekend?

Yes, it is.

Big Ange took a point off City. 3 goals from 0.4 xG. Journos queued up to say:

‘Was he tactically vindicated?’

Luck is not vindication, and Spurs have had a lot of it.

Now they are facing the injury equivalent of compound interest. They lost players before the fixture crunch, which means a smaller pool of players not getting rotated, now the smaller pool is getting injured.

They lost Son.

It is going to be VERY hard for them to beat Newcastle at the weekend, because I have no doubt Eddie Howe will be seeking a massive response from his side after a SHOCKING loss to Everton.

I love it. Literally, I couldn’t be happier. Personally, the first-world suffering I went through on this very site telling Arsenal fans the winnertivity strategy of Mourinho and Conte was a fast-track to hell, has made this flop out worth it.

Onto Arsenal…

Tomiyasu is out for 6 weeks or so, and it was oh-so predictable.  The biggest weakness of Arteta is his macho approach to player fitness, which is entirely baffling because he spent most of his Arsenal tenure injured. Tactically, we don’t see messy patterns of the same mistakes. If we, as fans, see something rubbish. It’s usually fixed. Where we don’t see improvements is on the fitness front.

Tomiyasu, by my calculation, is now in his third season of breaking down once he’s hit good form. Why does Arteta insist on overplaying him when a rank amateur like me knows what the outcome will be?

I really feel for the player… mostly because I know Arteta should be doing better here.

His biggest weakness is maintaining the fitness of his best players.

Worth noting that the fittest team in the league is City.

There’s some hype that Partey and Emile are going to be fit for this weekend. I’d tamp down that excitement on Thomas Partey – but pretty sure Emile will be back sooner or later. I’m not even sure I want TP05 back early. If he’s starting Liverpool, he’s going AFCON. That’s not good for us.

All of this does leave us short defensively. We’re getting to that part of the season when Cedric Soares dusts off his Copa Mundials. I’m game for that…  but only if it’s for the PSV game.

We have to get through the Villa game, then one of Arteta’s young coaches needs to force him to put out ZERO first-teamers in Holland. The airport is next door to the stadium, our players could be back in bed by 11 if we play it right. But, what I’d prefer is our core group watching the PSV game IN BED.

Chatting January…

We have to take the January window week by week, but as things stand, it seems like defence is the most likely need of recruits. We’re short. Shifting players around to make up the deficit was a struggle last season and I don’t want to be praying the Decland Rice can cover at right-back this season.

I think @AFCcamden is probably right… a defender will be the move.

I’d love a striker, but where’s the value in January?

I’d love a midfielder, but it looks like we’re covered there, and again, it’s better to move on key targets when clubs have three months to replace… not 30 days in a primo market.

On the out-going front, I think there are players we’ll be open to moving.

Aaron Ramsdale to Newcastle for over £35m seems the most obvious. I know it feels like Raya ain’t the full package, but everyone I speak to that knows what they’re doing is telling me to buy stocks now. I didn’t go back in on Bitcoin at the bottom, so I have to put my pennies into Raya.

Thomas Partey is an expensive player that is at the peak of his powers. I think he’s the unlock for a BIG trophy run. He’s also an asset we could sell to move on a BIG midfielder this summer. Saudi, Italy, and France all names that could take a punt. Still think he’ll stay and NOT go to AFCON.

I’m gonna put Emile in here, but really, I don’t believe it. He needs 10 games to prove he’s still alive before we can get a decent fee for him.

Kiwior to Milan? All I hear is that he’s very impressive in training. He was signed early to prevent his fee going to £6om like Lisandro Martinez. I do NOT expect him to leave.

Ok, good post, chaps and chapesses. Now I need you to take a listen of our latest podcast with special guest, Jacob Hawley. We’re looking to expand the bench next year, so tell us what you think of Jacob!

Also, get on his Instagram; it’s top quality.


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Listen to me real good. Declan Rice, for £105m, was a bargain. The English defensive midfielder is a man mountain and once again he repaid the faith Arteta and Edu placed in him. Last night, against lowly Luton, a team we haven’t beaten in 40 years, he took a leaf out of the Cristiano book, leaping at a last-minute cross and putting his header beyond the Luton keeper.

It was another ridiculously special moment from a player who chose Arsenal because he had a premonition of the greatness he could bring to a squad he deeply admired.

Arsenal made a meal of Luton. We expected a drive-thru 3 points and that appeared to be a massive mistake. Luton Town in their 10,000-seater stadium, put up an incredible fight and made it painfully difficult for us. I can’t have people citing roughhousing tactics. This is a team that plays in the garden of someone’s flat. You can literally sponsor a player on their website like a non-league side. They have a squad of players that are either unknowns or Premier League rejects.  They didn’t play like it.



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Arsenal vs Luton away. We haven’t won in 10 games.  A 4o year record. We last won the year I was born! That’s a scary stat, people.

I was drinking victory beers last night until I read it. Now I’m nervous.

Are we about to get pummelled by a club yet to hit their rhythm this season?

I have my doubts.

This is a pretty strong line-up. The changes aren’t that significant, but they’re enough to shape how we play.

Kiwior gives rest to Zinchenko who is injury prone… this is the biggest change because we don’t have enough data on the Polish defender to know how he’ll play. (more…)


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Spotify-wrapped is probably the most depressing part of the year. I used to be a new music god, I’d go and see new bands play at a duck pond in Dalston and older people would bow at my majestic knowledge of the smaller stages of every shit East London festival going.

No longer.

For 4 years in a row my top 5 artists have been the same. I spend $15 a month on Spotify Premium so I can access to the entire world’s music catalogue when I could go to a car boot sale, buy 5 CDs, and be done with the music scene forever. What a f*cking joke I’ve become.

However, the people who listen to The Arsenal Opinion have been an absolute delight. Thank you for sharing us in your Top 5s for the year. We love it. There’s no bigger privilege than having people read your Arsenal musings on the toilet in the morning, then grabbing a coffee, and main-lining you on their daily commute.

Thank you!



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Arsenal put on a clinic on a Stoke-themed wet and windy afternoon at The Emirates. The 2-1 scoreline didn’t do justice to a punishing first-half. We hit the post twice, had some outrageous chances, and reduced the adventurism of Wolves most of the game giving them a meager 6 attempts at our goal.

Some folk will talk about the disappointment of not killing a game that was begging to be slaughtered, others might say the first half was a good indicator that the narrative of our ‘control phase’ being anti-attacking-fluidity, might need to be revisited.

The first half posession-wise was a hot butter knife on a Kerry Gold factory line. Wolves lined up to deep block us all afternoon, but we had other ideas. There was no hangover from midweek, we got back on the confidence juice and went into action with aggression, power, and precision. We were two goals up inside 12 minutes. The first showed that Bukayo Saka is serious about shifting up into 4th gear. He improvised a clever toe-poke through a crowd of players, both he and Jesus navigated between packs of 4, the Brazilian using his body weight before letting Tomi slide Saka back in for a low strike under the keeper. Sumptuous. A goal that ChatGPT would create if you asked it to show you modern Arsenal.

The second was just as delicious. Declan Rice pinged a switch to Saka. Saka beat his man and crossed to the back post finding Zinchenko. The Ukranian played a one/two with Jesus then dragged his cutback to Martin Odegaard who swept his trademark first-time shot past Jose Sa.

Arsenal has tagged itself back into the attacking fluency game with a bang. The 6-0 win in the week might have been against fumbling opposition, but the job it did for squad belief cannot be underestimated. Wolves have been taking praise all season for their resilience and some bad luck with poor calls. That wasn’t an easy afternoon and they’ve had all week to strategize against us. We battered them.

The intensity certainly dropped off in the second half, but we only let them back in on paper. It wasn’t like we were under assault. But it is worth pointing out that once again, the team was a victim of a Zinchenko late-game blackout moment. He gave the ball away in an unnecessary moment and we were killed by Cunha who hit a screamer past Raya. A man of Zini’s technical ability and experience shouldn’t be doing that. These moments tend to come late, which makes me wonder if it’s fitness-related. Whatever the cause, it does my head in, and I can’t imagine Arteta hasn’t noticed.

The only other minor complaint was seeing Eddie get one vs one and strike the post. It’s a marginal miss, but still a miss. Those moments in a Champions League quarter-final can really cost you. I want to see Eddie Gunnar Solskjaer out there and we’re not getting that regularly enough. Last season, we could blame the lack of minutes, you can’t this season.

3 points is really all that matters. We’re still top of the league, our goal difference is within 2 of Manchester City, and we look like we’ve found a new level in a month that can be crucial in the title race.

The week ahead is going to be critical – Luton Town on Tuesday followed by a monster game against title-challenging Aston Villa away from home. Unai Emery has to contend with Manchester City on Wednesday, so we’ll get a sneak peak for what he has planned for us. Our Luton away game, thankfully means the players will be back in bed nice and early so they can make that extra day count.

The Premier League worked some magic for us as well. Erik Ten Haag, who I was told was a messiah, crashed to Newcastle. The football is horrible, the signings have been attrocious, and for all the ‘look at how quickly he implemented an identity’ talk… I cannot see one. They’re in the top three for shots conceded. Their £85m summer signing Rasmus Hojland still hasn’t scored a Premier League goal. Rashford has gone from outrageously world class to uninterested. It is absolutely delicious.

Spurs plays Manchester City tomorrow… and Ange Impostercoglu is getting tetchy in the media.

Good times people. Good times.

Finally, let’s end on some transfer gossip. Word on the street is Newcastle want to move in on Aaron Ramsdale this January and after they lost Nick Pope to an injury, that might give them less time to flap around negotiating a tiny fee. I like that Newcastle want him because that means the fee will at least match what we paid for him and we’ll not see him go out on loan first. Interesting that Chelsea might also be in for Nick Pope as well, another odd move if you ask me for a club that like to play out of the back… or at least have the players to do it.

Ok, now you’re here, you might as well jump on the podcast and leave a 5-star review on your fave platform.


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Goooood evening my darlings… it’s late on Friday night in America and I am BUZZING about the game tomorrow.

Gotta say, I didn’t quite realise how well Wolves were doing this season, sitting pretty in midtable. Gary O’Neil is clearly doing an excellent job up there. They will be dangerous, they will have a good plan to spoil the afternoon, we cannot afford any level of complacency.

The main difference in preparation is Wolves have had a week to figure us out and a week to rest between games. Wednesday nights in Europe tend to lead to slow Saturdays and we can’t afford that against Wolves.



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Well, that my friends, was a battering. The second leg was always about revenge, but I don’t think anyone saw the utter brutality of it happening the way it did.

Arsenal scored 5 goals in the first half. It was monstrous. We were utterly clinical against a team that thought they could come to England and play football the RC Lens way and escape punishment.

This was the first game our first-choice front five played together. We saw Saka, Kai, Odegaard, Jesus and Martinelli drop a masterclass in clinicality and focus.