Arsenal defence to face powerful test + Mini Cesc Tribute

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It’s going to be a tough away day at the worst new stadium in the country. We head east to play WEST Ham. There’s a confusing one for you non-London folk.

Anyway, I’m worried about how our defence is going to hold up tomorrow. On the one hand, I’m excited to potentially welcome back Hector Bellerin, on the other, I’m deeply concerned about how we’re going to deal with Mustafi, Koscielny and Monreal playing together.

Arnautovic is a man-beast and unplayable when he fancies it. Felipe ran rings around us last time he played. Antonio is also more than capable of causing us problems. If you remember last time we played West Ham, we really were lucky not to come away from the game losing. Now Pelligrini has had more time, we should expect just as tough a game as before. Our last 4 away Premier League games have seen 2 draws and 2 loses. We really need to get back on track and it’s imperative we don’t lose more ground on the top 4.

We have a squad as fit as it can be at this stage of the season. Will he play Ramsey? Will he go with two up front away from him? Will he start Auba and Laca? So many questions that need answering.

In other news, Cesc Fabregas has ducked out of the Premier League to join Monaco on a 3 and half year deal. Thierry has dropped a steal there… not quite sure I’d be giving someone with his injury record and pace that money, but whatever. I loved Cesc. One of my all-time favourite Arsenal players. When you talk about attacking footballers playing in a banter team, that was Cesc, and he fucking owned it. No bitching, mincing out or failing to score goals because that’s “not his thing.”

I remember him bursting on the scene with his mullet and rat tail. He looked like he was going to sell you a banging pair of fake Rayban’s, and he defo knew someone who could by you some South African skunk. But as his hairstyles improved, so did his ability to control games on the pitch. He was a revelation, one of the first midfielders of his type in the league. He had no pace, no physical presence, he just had this incredible ability to always find space… and his range of passing was out of this world. Then the goals came… then the interest came.

I don’t want to talk about how he left. I think the strike thing was massively overblown. Really though, who can blame him for going to play in that Barcelona side? It was the greatest of all time. Doesn’t matter that he didn’t really break into it. He went there to win trophies and that’s what he did.

Would I have wanted him back at Arsenal? For sure. We held out for him for a summer and didn’t fill his position because Wenger didn’t want him going to United. He kind of strung us along to get assurance from Barca, then he stayed and was fucked over anyway. We eventually moved hard on Mesut Ozil and that was that. Cesc was over for us.

What a career he’s had regardless. He’s lived in London, Barcelona and now Monaco. I have so much love for how that guy has run his career. A true role model if ever there was one.

Good luck Cesc!

Finally, Bielsa admits to hiding a spy in a bush and there are people out there defending the actions like that isn’t utterly abhorrent behavior. I saw a French publication justify the Leeds managers decision by saying there is no law against spying, and it was basically fine because he was chasing perfection.

Hmmm… pretty sure the police wouldn’t have picked up the perpetrator if there wasn’t something legally dubious about what he was doing. Additionally, don’t be a cu*t and play the strict interpretation of the rules card. Life is not about living by a strict legal code, there’s such a thing as norms, if you think there is anything upstanding in spying because no one thought there was a chance an opposition manager would go to those lengths, you’re full of shit.

Someone could stab someone in the leg before a game and there’d be a dickhead on Twitter lining up to tell you that taming player passion was a bad thing and if we punished the stabbing, it could be the end of the game. Not all opinion is born equal and the internet levels a cesspit of horrific views.

Right, that’s me done, enjoy the West Ham game! x

947 Responses to “Arsenal defence to face powerful test + Mini Cesc Tribute”

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  1. Charlie George


    Under Wenger – arsenal were a huge club
    With Emery- We are shrinking by the week.

    Keep mentioning last season is totally irrelevant.

    Emery and Raul can be in charge for 100 years – they will never achieve 5% of what Wenger did for Arsenal

  2. Joe

    The weasels wenger and Gazidis signed up Ozil on a ridiculous conctact to save face after completely fucking up the Sanchez and Ozil contracts and letting them run down into the last year. “ an ideal situation”’the Cunt said

    Same thing with ransey. Why did wenger and Gazidis let it run down. Probably could have re signed him 2 summers ago. Not that we will miss him.

    This mess is on wenger and Gazidis

  3. Joe

    Under Wenger – arsenal were a huge club

    We were a huge club long long
    Before wenger for here you imbecile

    ANd he actually made us a laughing stock the last dozen years. More than half his tenure here.

    He was the major factor is placing us where we are now. A laughing stock

  4. Joe

    they will never achieve 5% of what Wenger did for Arsenal

    Making us a laughing stock?

    Wenger could lace Chapman’s, Whitaker’s, Allison’s or GG’s boots

  5. Guns of SF

    I would take a look at Lozano as a new recruit. Kid is tearing it up, a fighter and tough mentally. 20 years old…. I know we had Vela,…. who I actually liked, but perhaps we should be taking a look at Lozano too.

    Will not cost a fortune.


  6. Tony

    From the DM this morning and says it all:

    “Arsenal’s Head of Football Raul Sanllehi made a candid remark last autumn. As his team chalked up a 22-match unbeaten run, he observed: ‘Performance has probably not been at the level of the results.’

    Sanllehi, a football man schooled at Barcelona, could see that Arsenal were winging it. There were some good moments undoubtedly and the 4-2 win over Tottenham represented Unai Emery’s zenith thus far in England.

    Yet Sanllehi could see that winter was coming. On a grey, cold day at the London Stadium amidst the post-Christmas gloom, Arsenal confronted the reality of a bleak midwinter. Whether they have hunkered down and put away enough reserves to sustain them is highly debatable.
    Twenty-two matches unbeaten has turned into three wins in eight, during which there have been four defeats, including this one.

    With Mesut Ozil not even making the bench – three full backs were deemed a better back-up option – they looked a club hamstrung by past decisions.

    Such money as there was has been spent. Now they talk about nicking a loan signing. Fourth place is slipping away. Manchester United will likely overhaul them soon for fifth, having been eight points adrift less than a month ago.

    They haven’t won away from home in the Premier League since beating Bournemouth in November. That’s another throwback to Arsene Wenger’s last season, when they won just four games away from home.

    Put simply, Emery won’t ever build a solid foundation on a defence of Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis and Laurent Koscielny, who is still recovering his poise after six months out.

    You can’t expect to dominate a midfield with Matteo Guendouzi, understandably waning in his first season at the age of 19, and the erratic Granit Xhaka.

    There is a deficit of quality at Arsenal and owner Stan Kroenke won’t be funding a spending spree any time soon. So, unless there are outstanding prospects in the academy, it’s going to be a long and slow clamber back to being a top-four team again and require some particularly shrewd buying and selling.”

    I have nothing to add that hasn’t already be posted.

    We need money and players in that order!

  7. gonsterous


    No, you’re a dumb fuck for thinking that all those players were shoved down his throat. I suppose it’s Raul and Sven who want Banega and Suarez too, right? Moron. Yeah, let’s give Emery 2-3 more transfer windows and see how he fucks up our club even more.

    This is way off, the only place emery has done anything of note is the TW. So giving him 2-3 more transfer Windows would be the opposite of ruining our club.

  8. gonsterous

    yesterday’s loss was an embarrassment, over the years when we lost, I would be angry and sad but the next day, I would have a clearer idea of what went wrong and see the positives. Today, I’m still embarrassed by yesterday’s performance. We had 0 corners in the first half. (for an attack minded team).
    We were giving the ball away like it was candy. We were chasing shadows and allowed a 31 y old who hasn’t played a single minute of football for a year start to dominate the midfield. Pathetic, Done things need to change and it has to Start from Unai or else the next 3 seasons of his contract will be a write off.

  9. Tony

    “Champagne charlie – January 12, 2019 18:48:22”

    Sounds like a lot of ‘lip service’ and smoke being blown up areses went on during the Emery interview process.

    A manager was employed who wouldn’t rock the boat or threaten Sven, Raul and above’s power.

    Always said I thought he was hired for his ‘scapegoat’ value.

    There seems to have been no initial detailed plan put in place and broken down into finite stages to be implemented and checked off.

    No KPIs
    No Contingencies
    No Culpability: The management have well insulated themselves

    Only the players have changed in the management chain but the song remains the same.

    Looking for a plus right now all I can see is we have an exciting 6 Nations and then rugby world cup for 2019 to enjoy. ES will probably agree with that.

    Arsenal is going to offer a world of pain for us suppoters going forward for some years to come with perhaps the odd intermittent joy.

  10. Emiratesstroller

    Yesterday’s game raises more questions than answers not least, because of the
    team selections made.

    It is fairly obvious that Arsenal’s current first team squad is very average in quality particularly when you see how they played yesterday.

    The defence at the club has been a long term problem making frequently silly
    mistakes costing us goals and results as we saw against West Ham.

    Of greater concern was the calibre and quality of our midfield. Playing Guendouzi in preference to either Ramsey or Ozil was a very worrying development. There was zero creativity or decent service to the two strikers.

    In my assessment Arsenal’s first eleven is five or six players short of a top four EPL team let alone winning the Title.

    Personally I am not as worried as some posters that Arsenal will be financially
    restricted in summer transfer window. I think that the net spend will reflect
    our new sponsorship budget and the club will be also forced to offload those
    players who have reached their sell by date and are on grossly inflated wages.

    Arsenal should focus on buying two or three top quality players and then
    promoting another two or three U23 players like Nelson and Smith-Rowe.

    There are frankly no short cuts to problem unless Kroenke is investing a
    large chunk of his own money in players, which he is clearly not going to do. Just because he is a billionaire does not mean that he has liquid cash to solve
    problem. Banks may lend money on assets such as shares and property but
    not on football players.

    What I personally want to see over next two years is progression rather than a
    quick fix.

    Hopefully the new management will follow that route rather the one taken by
    their predecessors.

  11. Globalgunner

    A lot of wishful thinkers still hoping against hope I see. Kroenke does not need to invest his own money, unless of course in an instance where the club was in financial peril, which it is not. A company, even a sporting franchise club with its emotional baggage has to be run on sound business principles or it deserves to go bust. 3 years ago we were supposedly sitting on a £200m warchest. Where has it all gone?. Pissed down the drain by a drowning egomaniac who desperately squandered it all in a bid to save himself.

    We are like a recovering alcoholic. We need to find our bearings and regroup, it doesn’t require Kroenke’s cash, it needs better management an a plan. Is it even legal for Kroenke to do that?. We need as a matter of urgency to trim our wage bill which is the biggest anchor on our accounts. Get rid of players we don’t want or do not need and start afresh.

  12. Champagne charlie

    Difficult to argue against that Tony.

    I made a comment sometime yesterday that this season feels more and more like a casual roll of the dice to get CL.

    Almost like ‘fuck it let’s see if someone new can get CL while we change things about’

    The plan is indistinguishable, and to be so skint we’re only capable of loans is embarrassing. They’re privy to more than the fans so they knew fine wel it was the case in the summer, where was the action? Why no player sales? Chambers, Elneny, Ospina etc

  13. Alone + Easy Target

    Things really do look bleak indeed with nothing coming at all and yet losing another match. With no cash injection from the owner I don’t know how we will stop from further free-falling with the supposedly United-in-crisis right behind our rear mirror.

    I agree though no matter what the outcome is for this season we really need someone who can sort out the defence because this must not continue.

  14. Leedsgunner

    In principle I believe a head coach/manager should have the right to choose his team. Yesterday Emery says he chose his personnel based on tactics.

    The question then has to be why did Emery get the tactics so wrong? (If we take him on face value).

    If we are being cynical, I think there is clearly more going between Özil and Emery than he is letting on. I think personally Emery is pushing Özil to ask for a transfer request.

    The fact that Ramsey, a player that is leaving the club, played over Özil who is committed to the club on paper spoke volumes. It’s very evident that he’s lost faith in him and he is trying to engineer the situation where the player asks the club to leave.

    If Emery wants Özil to go, he should have the backbone to tell him so rather than make the entire club’s results suffer.

  15. Tony

    Sadly Charlie we are well and truly on the same page.

    Always enjoyed us throwing banter bombs at each other. We’re both thick skinned enough to let the insults bounce off us.

    To be honest I just can’t process the extent of the mismanagement and exceptionally poor business decisions made from after David Dein left.

    To me it borders on the criminal negligent.

    Avarice and emotions along with narcissim and self preservation are all fundemental attributes that has led to where the club is today.

    We need a modern day Jack E Welch to shake up the club and especially Kroenke. Never going to happen, but the club needs a radical thinker who doesn’t accept excuses and is proactive when making making decisions.

    Someone with a well thought out and S.M.A.R.T. orientated plan who will execute it without a care who he has to upset or fire or both to make it successful.

    Can’t help thinking Vinai is just another puppet having his strings pulled by Sven, Raul and Kronke.

    He’s 37? Is that right? How does a guy that young run a £billion+ company.

    Where did he get his experience in all aspects of managing a company of this stature?

    What has he realy accomplished outside of AFC?

    Sounds like he’s just a acountant type yes man who I posted yesterday spouting off traditions, history and values but not truly understanding any of it.

    Lip service at its best.

    Which companies has he built up from negative positions, such as we are in now?

    We may have self sustainability now, but with no quality player (asset) young or experienced additions to the squad our sponsors will leaves us quicker than we think and our brand will diminish not continue it’s projected growth.

    When will we understand players are a clubs best assets?

    Look at Chelsea and Liverpool. They get it! Look at the players Man City are selling now at great profits.

    As many have said here we’ll get 6th at best still have no real money to invest and find it hard consolidating 6th position in the future, especially when so called smaller clubs have more money to spend than us on player.

    We have to speculate to accumalate now. I know it’s an old adage, but that’s where where we are right now. We need to set up a carefully planned Risk Analysis/Management process going forward when investing in players.

    What’s the point of having this superior training complex and a dozen plus specialists for fitness, coaching and medical treatment when we have relics and has beens for players as well as extreme error prone excuses for players and no money to buy replacements?

    As Richard Littlejohn used to say, “You couldn’t make it up if you tried”.

    I, for one, am truly fucking sick of this farce.

  16. Graham62


    Everything with Emery has become “tactical”.

    Leaving Ozil out is tactical. Mistreating Lacazette is tactical. Not playing Ramsey and Torreira is tactical. Not improving his communication skills is tactical!

    Now we all know Wenger didn’t do tactics but, for fudge sake, please stop rabbiting on all the time about your tactical decisions

    In the space of one month I have become fed up with Emery. How is this possible?

    Patience is only a virtue when you truly believe things will work out.

    I know longer believe that Emery is the right fit.

  17. Champagne charlie


    I too touched upon that. It’s so so easy to get swept away with the faces we “see” fronting the club (manager and players), but what Arsenal miss is the guy in the suit with the vision to take us to celebrated pastures new.

    Wenger was a force for Arsenal when he arrived, but he didn’t knock on our door and ask for a job, he was hunted far and wide, fit a vision, and backed to execute. Of course, he was competent and we saw evolution from that etc but the principle element was someone/s at the club knew what they wanted for Arsenal and were razor sharp in identifying someone they felt could achieve it.

    That sprinkle of ingenuity is lost on us, I mean Emery? Yes, competent guy and decent coach. But when there’s little to suggest he’s got a yet untapped ceiling to reach you understand why many fans were a but uninspired. Decade of management at the top level, and only one title achieved with the backing of an entire state? Fanciful that he’s going to come to English shores and be the next great.

  18. Freddie Ljungberg

    Ramsey is leaving so not starting him makes sense, especially if we’re still hoping to get some money for him this window.

    Torreira has been beasted pretty hard and played too much before, and no it’s not because of “his little legs” (fucking idiot CG) it’s because he’s a high intensity player adapting to a new, faster league without a winterbreak, and he has to do the work for 2 people when played next to Xhaka.

    Don’t see the mistreatment of Lacazette, we can’t play our only 2 strikers all the time, and since Laca is both less of a goalthreat and a more high intensity player than Auba he gets to rest more, makes sense. The problem is our lack of wingers and a proper AM.

    I hope there’s an exit plan this window for Ozil, if there is it all makes sense, if not we should probably play him more with our lack of creativity. Would be much better if he left though.

  19. TR7

    I was accused of scaremongering a couple of days ago but it’s true that we are not going anywhere with Stan as our owner and Emery as our manager. I am not in favor of snapping ties with Emery mid season but for the next season, we ought to look for a new manager. I was not convinced by Emery even during our unbeaten run and thought we had rub of the green going in our favor but that he is out of his depth at Arsenal is amply clear now. I have rarely seen a manager who has failed to develop any discernable style of play, figure out his best 11 and formation even in 6 months.

  20. Wenker-wanger

    The management ethos, ( profits and no actual football ambition), has ultimately worked its way right down to the players attitude on the pitch.
    Emery cannot single handedly change that…..years of Wenger buying the odd world class player as a boosting strategy to propel an average team into fourth spot.
    Wenger’s remit was simple: fourth place…and with spurs always choking in the final straight, it was achievable.
    Fans accepted Wenger’s excuses of FFP, stadium rebuild financial constraint and oil money unfairness with the rivals.
    Wenger “hanging on” in the job he was addicted to just embedded the fourth place ambition further. Arsenal became nothing more than a fourth place machine, the most predictable team probably ever seen in the prem.
    So we are hoping one decent tactical manager can overturn this mess with no money to spend????? .come on, get real.
    Kroenke wants wenger mk2, and would be satisfied with the fourth place ££trophy…and we the fans have been conditioned to accept that, particularly as we slide down to 5th or 6th.
    We have now reset our sights much lower than before.
    I would love to see a manager leave a club on a point of principle, outlining that he cannot achieve what the club and fans demand without the financial backing required.

  21. Freddie Ljungberg

    Oh and this isn’t the Matrix when you can learn a new language in minutes, it takes time, especially the older you get. Pretty sure it’s not tactical to not learn english quicker, smh.

  22. Tony

    It doesn’t help that Emery seems to be losing the plot team selection wise, but he does have a nightmare to deal with player wise and no reinforcements in sight.

    He can scrape together a very make shift team with over-the-hill, liability so caled ‘Big Names’ and clusless error making players at best, but not play them all the time.

    His only answer is to inject youth into the side and let those above him that’s all he has to work with.

    Transfer the problem upstairs and have the pressence to call it as it is in the press when it is failing and ask what do I really have to work with?

    I don’t mean JM style as Jose had quality to work with, but Emery has inherited a shambles of a squad. He realistically only had LT, Leno and Guendouzi as future potentials and old Papa to correct a disaster of a defense.

    Disaster waiting to happen really.

    So a 19 year old rookie kid beat us yesterday scoring the only goal.

    Should tell Emery something, shouldn’t it?

  23. Wenker-wanger

    Tony, agreed…the problem is much bigger than any manager could fix. Emery is being asked to step into a warzone without weaponry.

  24. Tony


    “I would love to see a manager leave a club on a point of principle, outlining that he cannot achieve what the club and fans demand without the financial backing required.”

    It’s what I would do if I were Emery. I’d give the club a public ultimatum anf go if I weren’t given the tools and backing to do the job.

    Would look better on his CV than just failing and being fired, which is what will eventually happen.

  25. Tony

    I’ve agreed with most of your recent posts regarding management and no seemingly plans in place.

    It’s above Emery where the ship needs to be righted!

  26. Emiratesstroller


    The club has been clearly mismanaged over past 5 years, but it is not beyond redemption. If it was I am pretty sure that Kroenke would not have bought the
    shares from Usmanov at the end of last year

    The club has now offloaded both Wenger and Gazidis and recruited new professional management.

    What we do know is that the club makes money. It has currently the sixth largest revenues of any club in Europe and those revenues will rise next
    year with the new sponsorship deal.

    It is however crystal clear that the “football” side of business needs a lot of surgery. Arsenal is not punching its weight as a football club. That will take
    time to resolve.

    Swiss Ramble published last week an article making it clear that Kroenke is
    one of the few owners who does not invest his own money in a football club or
    players. That may be frustrating for many supporters, but in reality is not a
    necessity when you are making annually £400 million providing the money
    is well spent.

    New management will hopefully turn the ship around and get it back on track,
    but that is not going to happen overnight.

    As I wrote earlier we need a steady well managed ship and a solid investment
    and development strategy for first team and academy.

    Let’s be clear I don’t believe that we are in worse financial shape than Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea. Football teams are not enduring and our place
    in pecking order can and will I am sure improve with the correct management
    in place.

  27. Tony

    I never said that the club had no money or income for its SSM but I do not share your faith in the current management or that it has only been for the last 5 years, as I clearly posted earlier.

    Let’s see what happens in the remaining 18 TW days.

  28. Graham62

    Tony and Wenker-wanger.

    Don’t agree.

    I’m afraid this is all down to PARALYSIS BY ANALYSIS.

    Emery is, imo, over-emphasising tactics which is stagnating any chance of progress.

    This has absolutely nothing to do with him “inheriting a shambles of a squad”.

    Emery needs to revamp his methods…….and fast!