Arsenal head into 3rd block, here’s what needs to happen

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I just watched the Damned United for the first time on the way back home. What a great film. When Peter Taylor and Brian Clough make up at the end, I think I did an emotion. So touching. Two guys that just really loved each other. What a character Clough was. I loved how aggressive he was about playing football the right way.

Arsenal, unfortunately, are still out of action for a whole extra week. We don’t play again until we meet Leicester next Monday. If you look at our season in blocks, we’re now entering the third. This one is going to be tricky. It runs to the Wolves game on November 11th. Has 4 Premier League games, 2 Europa and a League Cup run out. The players will have been away from home for two weeks, a touch of fatigue may have settled in for those that traveled a long way, and the winter will set in.

This block of games is extra interesting because firstly, we play Liverpool in it, secondly, because the rest of the games are those that we really should be winning, racking up points in the process. This will be a big mental test of the players, because there’s once again this thing called ‘expectation’ building with the fans.

Have you truly felt that in the last ten years?

Not only that, there’s a run of wins to maintain which comes with its own demons. It’s tough to churn out victories when you’re on a run, even tougher bouncing back from a defeat. To be honest, seeing how we bounce back is going to fascinating, because even in peak Wenger days, he was rarely able to summon the players after they were rocked by a major loss.

There are three targets for me in this block of games.

Stretch target of 10 points from our 4 Premier League games.

Improve our defending, and make our xG reflect our results. Namely, get better at defending, and stop relying on luck. Interesting that Ballague said the coaching staff put 50% of our points on Petr Cech.

Improve our attack, maintain the amount of goals we’re scoring, but increase the amount of chances we create. I don’t mind seeing more wastage with a similar amount of goals, what I’m not comfortable with, is seeing us scoring 25% of our shots. It’s great on the face of it, but it’s certainly not sustainable. Simply put, we can’t keep scoring 2+ goals a game.

The cup final of this block of games is the Liverpool match. There’s no hiding there. We’ll need to defend well, and we’ll need to create. Losing that game, which has a high probability based on xG, will be no blight on our season. We have to remember that Klopp has had 3 years to work on his squad and he’s spent a shed load of cash.

Emery has had one window to work with and he spent most of that fixing a mess, versus building on a well-drilled machine with CL cash. Worth noting that I’ve heard from a very good place that the leaders in the backroom think Europa League is still our best bet for CL this season. Kind of paints a picture that everyone knows this season isn’t going to be totally rosy. This Liverpool game will be a good indicator regardless.

Another item Emery has to be very careful with is the management of his squad. Darren Burgess has a huge task ahead of him making sure that the player are as fresh as can be heading into block 4, which is the dreaded Christmas period. I was heartened to see us rotate hard for the Fulham game. If we were on a run like we have been under Wenger, he’d have played the same 11 game after game, with crippling December consequences. What Emery is doing is keeping players fresh physically, but importantly, he’s telling the fringe players they’ll have a role to play this season.

If players feel like they’re just there to slip in when someone breaks, it can have a negative impact when they arrive. They don’t feel part of the group, they’re rusty, they’re not 100% on their game. We’ll need our whole squad for December, and without doubt, it’ll shape our chances of making the top 4 this season. We need to avoid injuries, we need to avoid a loss of confidence and we need to do everything we can to maintain momentum going into January.

So, in short, we’re in great shape so far. We’re ahead of where any of us imagined we’d be, but this next block, though not littered with tough games, really is incredibly important in shaping how the December run goes.

It’s all very exciting.

NOT AS EXCITING AS SEEING ENGLAND DO SPAIN. Hooray. We have an exciting batch of kids coming through. Pepper in AMN, Sancho, Smith Rowe, Reiss and Nketiah and we’re rolling at the next World Cup.


395 Responses to “Arsenal head into 3rd block, here’s what needs to happen”

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  1. Mark S

    I really hate International Breaks at the beginning of the season. Why do they need two breaks in the first 3 months? We just had the World Cup!

  2. Mark S

    The thing about our current run is that we weren’t getting those results the last half of the season. Have we had some luck? Yeah…probably, however we are doing what we are supposed to…we are beating the teams that we should. Liverpool will indeed be the measuring stick, however I feel the Sporting match will be a good test too. They’ve underwent a lot of change, however it is still tough to play away in Portugal. It is a joke that our match is on Monday. Why couldn’t it have been on Saturday?

  3. PhD07

    un na naaiOctober 16, 2018 15:29:21
    How about the fact that so many are coming to Europe?? If it’s such a safe haven and economical paradise then why leave? Not for the weather that’s for sure
    That wasn’t my question.I simply asked the following(see below),which requires a yes/no answer?

    PhD07October 16, 2018 14:55:54
    Out of curiosity-have you ever been to Senegal?What qualifies you to make such a judgement, or cast aspersions on a country, if you personally have not been exposed to the environment or country in question?

    Just asking..

    Have you ever been to Senegal?Yes or No?

  4. Sancho Monzorla

    I heard Bamford once visited Japan and started yelling at schoolchildren for reading their books backwards. If he were around when Jesus was alive he would probably go up to the man bleeding to death and say “Hey guy, that’s not the right way to die for people’s sins, guy.”

  5. Leftsidesanch

    Sokratis out as announced in the comment section of the last post, I’m sure we have two remaining fit centre-backs.

  6. un na naai


    Wind it in. Have you ever played for arsenal? How can you cast aspersions on a player??

    Have you every managed an elite club?? How can you cast aspersions on an elite manager???

    Bit silly isn’t it??

  7. tee

    If he were around when Jesus was alive he would probably go up to the man bleeding to death and say “Hey guy, that’s not the right way to die for people’s sins, guy.”

  8. PhD2020

    un na naaiOctober 16, 2018 16:04:59
    No I’ve never been to Senegal
    So,how do you know it is a shithole according to you,if you have never been?

  9. mysticleaves

    “If he were around when Jesus was alive he would probably go up to the man bleeding to death and say “Hey guy, that’s not the right way to die for people’s sins, guy.”

    Ha hahahaha. the ‘guy’ at the end got me. lol

  10. mysticleaves

    With all intents and purposes, Unai has already apologised subtly, can we move on? Majority of the African countries are appaling and basically not habitable. Shithole may be strong but it’s correct.

  11. englandsbest

    For all the nine-on-the-trot, I think expectation is at a lower level that it was under Wenger. Because it’s so ‘unexpected’. We are all pinching ourselves and asking, ‘when will this end?’

    Certainly expectations are much higher at, say, Man C, Chelsea, Man U, THFC, and, of course, Liverpool.

    As for the international break, pretty much all Clubs suffer from that. The big bonus is that the players return uninjured. I believe that is the case with Arsenal.

    Best of all the Arsenal players appear to be eager for the fray, apart from Ramsay and Ozil. And (in their own words) they are fitter than they ever were.

  12. Samesong

    Africa has some of the most beautiful landscapes and scenery in world. I would imagine some places are grotty after years of war poverty and famine.

    I guess Argentina a shithole also because Suarez bites people!!!

  13. Dissenter

    WhY don’t you sit and let Un na pat you on the head
    ” Majority of the African countries are appaling and basically not habitable. Shithole may be strong but it’s correct”

    You think Poverty only resides in Africa?

  14. Dissenter

    Un na
    I must admit that I like your banter but you do need to stop the needless devolving to the gutter.
    You do it too often here and it’s not okay.
    Stop throwing gutter slime around.

  15. PhD2020

    SamesongOctober 16, 2018 16:44:29

    Samesong,I am just speechless.Words cannot begin to describe how one can be so totally ignorant.And then on top of it,wear it like a badge of honour.

    I despair for mankind.I truly do.

  16. un na naai


    I didn’t say Africa was a shit hole or that Senegal was a shit hole
    I’d read that he grew up in a rough neighbourhood in a poverty stricken country but before you get the chance to explain you’ve got the pansy brigade jumping down your throat.

    As I said the comment was not made with the intention to offend so for that I do apologise but let’s be clear here. Diouf did grow up in a shit hole.

  17. un na naai

    Been to Kenya and South Africa
    Enjoyed the experience although South Africa was fucking nuts. Not against Africa or Africans. Grew up with plenty and know a good guy from work. Napoleon. Really nice fella. Let’s get it straight. My comment was not made with the intention to tar an entire continent but if you’re all saying I can’t can’t say diouf grew up in a shit hole without this bullshit then get bent.

    I’ve apologised. It wasn’t meant the way it’s been perceived. Either that or you’re reading too much into the comment. Dakar is a shit hole. Just like many impoverished cities in third world countries.

    Deal with it biatches

  18. un na naai


    You think Poverty only resides in Africa?

    Mate I didn’t say Africa was a shit hole or that shit holes in Senegal were unique in the world. Of course there are other shit holes. Plenty in my own country. Fuck me you lot are making a big deal out of this

    If I was trying to offend or winding up you’d know about it. Today I was not. Chill those herbs people.

  19. KAY Boss

    Africa countries (most) are inhabitable to some. So are some countries across the globe. No country was designed to favor foreigners.

    Leicester will be tough, all I care is a win here.

    Partey for 40m is cool. Level headed player, tactically and positionally disciplined.

    Scholes/Modric. Modric all day long. Imo Scholes became good in the twilight of his career. Modric has been a hit the moment he stepped into the horizon.

  20. PhD2020

    un na naaiOctober 16, 2018 17:01:09
    I didn’t say Africa was a shit hole or that Senegal was a shit hole
    un na naaiOctober 16, 2018 17:08:06
    Dakar is a shit hole. Just like many impoverished cities in third world countries.

    un na naaiOctober 16, 2018 16:04:59
    No I’ve never been to Senegal


    No comment..

  21. Jamie

    un na naai October 16, 2018 17:01:09

    “I didn’t say Africa was a shit hole or that Senegal was a shit hole”

    un na naai October 16, 2018 13:17:38
    Saying I think Senegal is a shit hole is not as vile as spitting on another man.

    un na naai October 16, 2018 14:46:10
    Senegal is still a shit hole.

    Blatant dishonesty and a failed attempt at back-tracking. Then it’s all “chill out guys” when he’s been sprung. Plonker.

  22. un na naai


    Drop your bone little doggy. I’m not playing silly games.
    The comment was more about diouf’s behaviour in comparison to vieira’s but you’ve turned it into something it wasn’t.

  23. Marc

    My biggest worry about the Liverpool match is Xhaka. He’ll be destroyed by their pressing. The biggest question is whether he’ll be at fault for a goal or be at fault for a goal and then get a red card. It might actually do us a favour if he gets a red card before he makes a mistake leading to a goal, at least we’d have a clean sheet to protect.

  24. Joe

    Improve our defending, and make our xG reflect our results.

    Hmmmm so if he keep winning but our xG results don’t improve, what does it all mean? !?!

    I mean if we win our matches do we still get our 3 points if we our xG results say we didn’t win?

    I wonder if we go undefeated the rest of the season and win the league but our xG stats say we should be 6th, would Pedro celebrated the championship??

  25. PhD2020

    un na naaiOctober 16, 2018 17:32:18
    The comment was more about diouf’s behaviour in comparison to vieira’s but you’ve turned it into something it wasn’t.
    Sure,if you say so dude..Lol.

    I think everyone else can draw their own conclusions from your following statements:-

    un na naai October 16, 2018 13:17:38
    Saying I think Senegal is a shit hole is not as vile as spitting on another man.

    un na naai October 16, 2018 14:46:10
    Senegal is still a shit hole.

    un na naai October 16, 2018 17:01:09
    “I didn’t say Africa was a shit hole or that Senegal was a shit hole”

    un na naaiOctober 16, 2018 17:08:06
    Dakar is a shit hole. Just like many impoverished cities in third world countries.

    un na naaiOctober 16, 2018 16:04:59
    No I’ve never been to Senegal

    Sad and equally laughable-but you are a joker of epic proportions.I feel sorry for you.You are to be pitied.

  26. PessimisticPat

    xG is fucking bollocks. Each shot is given a score from 0-1. depending on how many times out of 10 a shot from that area of the pitch would go in.

    Doesnt take into account conditions

    Doesnt take into account the player shooting

    And all scores are based on data from over 300000 shots previously taken across world football.
    Which leagues is this data from, cant find that out?
    Which games were these shots taken?
    In what conditions were they taken?
    What ability did the player taking the shots have?

    None of this you can and ever will know.
    Therefore the data can never be accurate.

    And if the data isnt accurate

    Then it is BOLLOCKS

  27. mysticleaves

    Dissenter, don’t be a twat. N5 has answered you. Liverpool has been described many times on this blog as shithole. So many other places like China and Brazil too. So it’s not limited to Africa. You are pretty dense if you think I think what you said I think.

  28. mysticleaves

    I don’t think I fancy Partley for 40m to be honest. Probably because I have barely seen him play. I don’t know what he brings to the table and i even doubt we will spend that much on 1 player when we have major decisions to fix

  29. Eduardo

    So out priority is to pad our xG stats? Bloody hell. Sounds like something out of the Wenger motivational toolkit that does

  30. un na naai


    Ah fuck it. I couldn’t give two shits. Senegal is a shit hole. You wouldn’t have so many in Europe if it were not

    Blow me biatches

  31. un na naai


    I’m a Londoner
    It’s a fucking dump. Hence why I moved my kids out. Don’t confuse the nightlife for the reality. Yeah you’ll turn up and get a shag when you’re on holiday. It’s a shit hole. A well paid shit hole

  32. Dissenter

    Un na
    “Blow me biatches”

    I tried blowing you mate
    Problem is your twinkle di*k was so was like a blue whale trying to lick a tic-tac
    Go get an enlargement surgery then come back.

  33. karim

    Let’s see if Holland can do something against the Belgians after their resounding win v Germany.

    Also interesting to see if Germany can resist the French in Paris.

  34. un na naai


    Well your cock was like throwing spaghetti down a hallway

    Like parking a bicycle in an aeroplane hanger

    Like a toothpick in the black wall tunnel

  35. Dissenter

    Un na
    I’m still trying to find it
    Have to find it to blow it, don’t I ?
    Tic-tac …Tic-tac…Tic-tac
    Someone light a blow torch, while we try to find Un na’s tinkle

  36. Moe

    Un Na,

    If you can spit on 13million Senegalese with your shit hole comment, why couldn’t Diouf spit on any fan he deemed to be a shit hole?

  37. Dissenter

    This international breaks are really annoying.
    Players are dropping like flies it seems.
    Sokrates appears to be injured and will miss several games.

  38. Dissenter

    The biggest joke of this international window was Daniel Levi reassuring Spuds fans that the new stadium is not going to eat into their transfer budget.

    How in the world will an 850 million bucks boondoggle not affect your transfer budget?
    That has to be one the most calamitous projects ever undertaken in sports history.
    It’s too damn expensive for a club of their size.

  39. WengerEagle

    Koscielny didn’t say he wanted France to lose, that’s goal making shit up as they go as per.

    He said that their WC win caused him ‘psychological damage’, was more about how he had perceived them as having forgotten about him than having a desire to see France lose.

    Very few professionals would ever admit it but there is always the overwhelming desire to be involved in great/historical achievements.

    Just ask Marco Reus how he felt about Germany’sWC win in 2014 or Kyrie Irving how he would have felt it the Celtics would have beaten the Cavs without him in last season’s Conference Finals.

    Of course it’s selfish but humans are extraordinarily self-centred and self-invested as we all know.

  40. Bob N16

    Just heard from my burglar alarm guy saying that his company has the contract for Spur’s new stadium and the wires for their alarm system keep on getting cut, which means replacing 100 m of cable each time. He’s convinced it’s Arsenal fans.

  41. Emiratesstroller

    I have serious concerns about the TV scheduling of our games next week and
    the lack of assistance provided by EPL.

    First we are playing a game against Leicester on Monday night. Why could we
    not have played that game on Sunday? There is only one TV game on Sunday
    and that is Everton v Crystal Palace neither of whom are playing in Europe.

    We then play Sporting Lisbon away on Thursday night and that is followed
    by the Crystal Palace game on Sunday at Lunchtime. Again why could the
    TV schedulers have arranged that game for late afternoon.

    I have the impression that the TV schedulers fail to show proper respect to
    certain clubs including Arsenal. Neither BT or Sky have shown us much sympathy in the past.

  42. Dissenter

    The clubs make away with crazy money though so they ought to have squads that are large enough to handle the pressure.
    Every club is going to have their turns of crazy schedules.

  43. un na naai


    I’ll tell you why
    Those fans are the only reason he earns any money at all apart from beach sales of cheap fake Armani wallets
    You know it
    I know it
    He’s nothing else without them

  44. N5

    I cherry picked Arsenal because my dad followed them, I’m originally from SE1 so I should really follow Millwall. When I started though, Arsenal hadn’t won a league in 18 years or a cup since 79.

  45. WengerEagle

    I’ve been on here since dummy, lol why would I be hiding. He fought the best pound for pound fighter on the planet and lost, no biggie.

    None of those kippy clubs up north take your fancy then? Here we go with the I’m a ol’ hard London born and bred geezer that used to be knocking about the terraces with my pops as a whippersnapper singing Charlie George songs hahaha, save us the shite talk you masquerading gimp.

    Suppose you yearn for the good old days when there were no foreigners knocking about the league eh? Black and white telly, birds with those Kalahari bushes.

  46. WengerEagle


    Yeah that’s quite regular, mine wasn’t into footy hence made the decision for myself. Brothers are both Manc supporters, you can well imagine the constant abuse from 2005-2013 haha.

  47. Marko

    Just a guess here but I imagine we’ll be hearing about xG a million more times or until the world ends. It’s the hipster’s new phrase of the day

  48. Dissenter

    Red is one of the historians on the site.
    You get the sense he has a big board with newspaper clippings of all Arsenal results since 19966

  49. WengerEagle

    It’s only natural that kids follow the successful teams, best players and football will obviously always be the main attraction, imagine as to being so dense that you fail to grasp that.

    Old boys who grew up with 70’s and 80’s Liverpool or old school Everton and Villa fans are every bit as much glory hunters as they were the successful sides of that era.

  50. Pedro

    Marko, I thought that initially, but it’s actually not. It’s a way of explaining away good luck or bad. It gives you a good vibe of where you should have been. It’s a great stat if it’s measured properly.

  51. nepGunner

    International breaks does show who is who in the LG-verse.

    I do feel there are many well off retired folks here who have just time and time to go on about almost everything besides Arsenal, ironically which is what this blog actually is all about. You guys are lucky.

    As someone men mentioned somewhere above, Liverpool is our next acid test. I hope we pass it with freakin flying colours. Can’t wait for the Leceister game to roll in

  52. Marko

    I wasn’t directing it necessarily at you Pete I’ve heard this xG stuff about 20 times since the international break and it honestly just seems like another way to get a thinly veiled swipe at either the job Emery’s doing or Arsenal in general. It’s not a good barometer of a teams performance if you ask me

  53. Marko

    I mean I think I read somewhere that they predicted that Man City will be champions with this xG stuff which is ridiculous because not every game is the same the idea that they have the same amount of chances every game or the same kind of chances every game is fanciful at best

  54. Marko

    Pedro I read somewhere where they used it a predictor which is silly. Only things that can be correctly predicted in life is we’ll all die and Aubergine will have a little man complex until the end

  55. Pierre

    Back in the day English clubs were full of foreigners….scots,Irish and Welsh …the successful liverpool sides were full of jocks,paddy’s and taffy’s.

  56. WengerEagle

    ‘Jumped on board the trophy train right after the invincibles. Am I right?’

    Nope, 99′.

    Don’t know if you heard but wasn’t much of a trophy train after the Invincibles…

  57. Moe

    Un Na

    Paying to watch a game gives no one a right to abuse any player. ……..guess you must not agree with your lord Wenger on that one. Atleast Diouf didn’t go all Kungfu on them like Cantona and others did. That’s what twats get for being loud mouths.

    Secondly, most dignified folks would rather be selling knock-off gear on a beach than be consumed with hate over how outsiders have overtaken them on their own land. Deal with your shortcomings and let go off hate. Just don’t wanna see you relapse into all day moping and endless self pitying.

  58. PessimisticPat

    I hate international breaks. Even worse the in-laws are here,a surprise visit for a week or two.
    A week or two. Like an extra week isnt a big deal. Cunts.
    Cant wait to get to work. Fuck my life and fuck xG

  59. raptora

    Bullshit stat. Any stat that say that based on it we should have lost vs Fulham when we completely wiped the floor with them in a superteam fashion, is a shitty stat.

    According to this stat when you take a shot from a position, they have a propability that this shot will result in a goal. If it’s from a position that had resulted in a goal scored in 9/10 times, say no keeper or defender but in a bit of an angle, it will give 0.9 xG, and if it’s a shot from far with defenders in front of you and in an angle it would give 0.1 xG. In the end they sum all of the “chances” and draw conclussions based on it. So if you score 2 goals but your xG was 1.67, you’re considered either lucky or a top finisher and vice versa – wasteful or unlucky. They supposedly account for a lot of variables like angles, defenders, keeper position, high cross, low cross, volley, header etc etc.

    Anyhow if you tell me that Fulham, trying 15 shots with 10 of them either landing on the moon or ending up a pass to Leno, had higher chances to win and should have won the game based on this stat then I’d say its pure BS.

    Another scenario is our team with Hleb, Cesc and co. We’d create a ton of situations on the regular so based on this stat we should have probably won 3 titles in a row. Lo and behold. We didn’t. And it wasn’t luck at fault.

  60. PhD2020

    Let’s talk about the most dumb comment of the day by un na naai ..

    Says on one hand-“Senegal is a shit hole.”
    Then on the other hand says-“Senegal is not a shit hole.”

    Then back tracks and says-“I was just making a comparison between El Hadj Diouf and Vieira.”

    Then says-“He has never been to Senegal.”

    So,my point is,if you have never been to Senegal,how do you know it is a shit hole?

    Let’s turn the tables-never been to P.a.k.i.s.ta.n, India, Malaysia,China, Philippines,Iran or Israel.

    But it’s a shithole because I say so.

    In short,dumbhead,qualify your statement with facts.

    If you have been there,then fair enough.You can draw on your experience(s),and say this is what I saw,this is what I felt.No one can begrudge you that.As you saw it first hand from your own prism.

    But if you haven’t,at least qualify your opinions with-“In my opinion,”as opposed to representing it as a fact..

    You knuckle-dragging wall banging neanderthal..

    I feel sorry for your children(if you have any),with you as a father..Heaven help them.In fact heaven help you.

  61. useroz

    A draw should be our minimum target playing Pool. Emery knows the squad much more than beginning of the season and we should have had at least a draw with Chelsea.

    We’d head into 2019 in brilliant form once we got over the Pool game unscathed.

    Tactics aside, Emery knows…

    *Hone in on and rotate the three best CBs. We need Monreal healthy and consistent as Kolac is a worry @LB.

    *Make sure Torreira isn’t injured or suspended.

    *help Xhara’s cut down on some of his errors.

    *Ramsey starts or not, he’d probably try hard to impress suitors…

    *With AMN returning and ESR making progress, our MF could get be as flexible and balanced as it’d be.

    *Auba and Laca started hitting form about the right time with the Pool game soon. Don’t get hurt.

    Dump Jenk and save on wages. Give some to ESR.

    Would defo take 18/20m for Ramsey in Jan and reinvest. Welbeck is a slightly different story though best not to let him walk.

    Surely the club could afford a net spend of 20/30m so we have 50m to play with.

    The Atlanta MLS MF guy looks good (sounds more consistent/productive than Ramsey anyway) even if we discount MLS by 20%. Not dissimilar with Torerira coming from a ‘slower’ league.

    A winger would be ideal, whoever he is on the rumour mill.

  62. PhD2020

    Graham62October 17, 2018 06:57:42
    PhD2020Many shitholes around the world.
    I think you missed the point..

    If Unicunt,said he had been to Senegal,and it was a shit hole-then fine.

    He said,he had not been there,so how does he know it is a shit hole?

    Simple.Not rocket science.

  63. un na naai


    If you’re referring to when I went through depression then don’t worry boyo. It’s nothing you’d ever know on Le grove. Plus I’m well over it now. Waspish little fucker though aren’t ya?

  64. gonsterous

    pedro is right, the season is a long one. That’s why I didn’t get why people were complaining that leno wasn’t vetting game time or why torreira isn’t in the starting 11 for every game. Everyone will get their chance to play, over playing players, especially New players that are still adjusting to the PL is just not the right way to do things. Anyway the international break always brings out the worst in people on le grove and why are we playing on a Monday when we have a game on Thursday ?

  65. Thorough

    It’s actually “I can’t come and go and kill myself” in Nigerian parlance.
    Tim actually make stats interesting. I stopped reading Arseblog’s by the numbers when he stopped hosting it. Give this a try, you know you wanna.

  66. Dream10

    Looks like Petr Cech will be restored to the side as soon he is fit again. According to Guillem Balague, the Arsenal staff have attributed 50% of our point total to Cech.

  67. Pierre

    I don’t need to be told by the XG or expected goals statisticians that Arsenal have been slightly fortunate in games ….watching the matches tell me that.

    Where Arsenal are also fortunate is that we have ,at long last, top quality strikers in Lacazette and aubamayang who will score goals from nothing and top quality creative talent in Mhkitaryan and ozil and the emerging iwobi and Bellerin who are now capable of playing the right ball at the right time when given the opportunity.

    I am sure Emery must realise the balance of the team is not quite right ,at least I hope so …
    Torriera is the player we have needed for a number of years but he can’t do it all defensively. The team need to be more defensively aware when we are not in possession of the ball.
    In saying that ,the style of football we are looking to play tells me that we are always going to be conceding chances to the opposition so maybe the fans will have to accept that it will be a bumpy but exciting ride with very few low scoring games which is great for entertainment for the fans but unlikely to win league titles (but not impossible) and more likely to win cup competitions,so not much has changed in that aspect though young players like iwobi and Bellerin are showing much more ability on the ball in the final third which is a credit to Emery .

    The premier league needs a competitive title race this season with all of the top 6 in contention and the hope is that one team doesn’t jump from the pack as in recent seasons.

  68. N5

    Proper random question but I fucked my iPhone X screen at work and a replacement cost over £300 inc labour! Do any of you in London or South East have anyone you can recommend for cheaper? I will post it wherever but I’m not paying that for it!

    Sorry to ask here but I’m getting fuck all luck on google.

  69. Samesong


    I don’t think you will get that screen done for much cheaper and if so it will be a dodgy screen. Best to take out warranties with phones as you would of got that fixed for half the price.

  70. N5

    SS that’s the conclusion I’ve come too! I have apple warranty but apparently it only covers hardware not screens!! ARRRGGGHHH.

    Anyway, thanks for the reply mate I might just have to bite the bullet then!!

  71. Freddie Ljungberg

    Would be so nice if we actually used the january window to strengthen the team for once. If we could get rid of our contract rebels Ramsey and Welly it’s a bonus.

    If we get 25-30m for those 2 we don’t have to add much to get someone like Pepe in.

    Get top 4 and then give all our money in the summer to Ajax for De Ligt and De Jong and we’re pretty much sorted, except for maybe a left back.

    We need to start getting in top class youngsters that are ready to play right away, the only way to get where we want to be, where we only have to replace 1-2 players a year and can spend all our funds on that.

  72. Black Hei


    XG is a useful metric since it shows how well a team is playing.

    And it is useful metic for strikers as well.

    You can be sure golden strikers like an in-form RVP have actual goals outstripping expected goals.

    In other words, they can turn half-chances into goals on a consistent basis.

  73. Graham62

    Am I the only one on here who finds all this statistical analysis rather tedious?

    No wonder Lacazette said Ligue1 has more atmosphere.

  74. Champagne Charlie


    Mate if you have AppleCare you should be able to replace the screen for £25, at most I think it’s £80 if there’s internal faults.

    Can’t go without the care programmes now, a grand for a phone these days.

  75. Jamie

    I’m still not fully understanding xG. Maybe someone who’s bored could elaborate.

    In relation to strikers, the higher the xG, the ‘better’ the striker? Is that correct?
    Seems like an extremely narrow viewpoint.

    If high xG numbers make the case for a striker being top tier, what about Daniel Sturridge? His xG stats have been 4-5 for several seasons during his career.
    That’s supposed to be good, right?

    Taken out of context, someone could argue that he’s an extremely useful striker to have on the books and represents value. Except that he isn’t, and he doesn’t.

    Sturridge has only scored more than 10 league goals in a season twice in his whole career. He hit 11 in 2011/12 at Chelsea, and 22 in 2013/14 at Liverpool. Aside from scoring 10 in 2012/13, all the rest of his goals per season are in the single digits. Abominable return on investment.

    Think of the cost to Liverpool for each of his goals scored. It won’t be far off £1m a goal. Who would want to waste that kind of money on Daniel Sturridge? A fit striker with lower xG would probably be more useful in a title push..

    In my mind, this is just one example of why I don’t think single stats paint an accurate picture. Or have I completely misinterpreted the relevance of xG?