MIND THE GAP – Feels good, but can it last?

by .

via @Arsenal Instagram

The race for #Top3 is no longer a dream, it’s a fat slab of steak on an unguarded BBQ in a neighbors garden, can you taste it? I can…

I don’t care what anyone says about the quality of that Newcastle team, they set up solidly, they can beat big teams and before last night, they had conceded the same amount as us.

That was a banana skin and we absolutely passed it by without a slip.

We dropped a whopping 600 passes across the night, the manager elected to play MG and Ramsey at the base of midfield and the two of them controlled the game. I thought Mesut was menacing, dropping in and out of the game, adding that touch of class we missed earlier in the year.

The Welshman opened the scoring after capitalising on some lost control from Lacazette, his swept shot easing past the Newcastle keeper.

The last goal was a thing of beauty, a very messy one-two with Auba saw Lacazette slipped in on the 18-yard box, lobbing the keeper with a lovely half volley. He really has come on leaps and bounds. He does SO much dirty work for the team, he never stops, and he’s becoming more and more decisive as the season goes on. I love him so much. He’s also well cool… like, oozing in something I don’t have. I want to be him.

I thought AMN had a very solid game, he genuinely looks like competition for the injured Bellerin. What he lacks in final product, he more than makes up for in work rate and defensive work. He was savaged by some of the fanbase earlier in the year, I hope they are all scrubbing their DIRTY DAMN MOUTH HOLES… he’s a player.

Ramsey was a total beast. He’s wearing the captain’s armband and he’s performing like an absolute model professional. He’s the guy in the HR videos touching below the elbow. He covered the ground, he bombed forward, he looked out for MG and he produced the goods. What a good player we’re losing, but fuck it, I have to get over it and move on.

The only moan I’d have for the evening would be the empty seats on TV. Are people really not showing for Arsenal when we’re playing well? Seems very odd. But it might just have been my TV. If it’s not, is it a deeper issue with the oversaturation of football in an increasingly connected sports world? A question for another day my friends.

ONE MORE MOAN. Anthony Taylor was f*cking awful. He’s going to be shite, even with VAR. Terrible decisions all game.

The race for top 4 is well and truly on. Spurs have 5 games at home, 2 away, we are the reverse. United are prowling, and don’t write off Chelsea.

We have not been great away from home this season, our next batch of games are exactly the sort we could switch off in, so we’re by no means guaranteed to drive this home.

Now it’s all about the manager. How well can he motivate? How can he manage training to preserve energy? Can he bring maximum insights to all his game plans? Can he continue to defy the laws of hairstyling by using weapons-grade hair gel?

If he does, we’re looking good.

The great thing for us is we have two chances at CL. Europa and Top 4. I’d say top 4 is looking more likely, but let’s see.

A really great night for Emery, and super exciting that we’re in the mixer for this after such a drab post-unbeaten run.

COME ON ARSENAL! 10 PREMIERSHIP WINS IN A ROW! x

563 Responses to “MIND THE GAP – Feels good, but can it last?”

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  1. Leftsidesanch

    Optimistic that we can keep pace. Tricky fixtures but we should go into all of them believing that we can win. I’m sure there won’t be any complacency and we’ll plan for each game accordingly.

  2. Zoran

    Would love that it last, No doubt about that.
    But, our away form ist pretty scary.
    We have 5 away features, don’t know which one is more difficult, and 2 Home ones. And the spuds the oposite, five Home and 2 away.

  3. HighburyLegend

    “Can he continue to defy the laws of hairstyling by using weapons-grade hair gel?”
    It’s the same brand Giroud is using. Top qualidy.

    ” 10 PREMIERSHIP WINS IN A ROW! ”
    Is it true that it’s the first time that it happens at the Emirates ??

  4. Valentin

    I can’t wait for VAR to be in use next season. Some of the referees decision are just so baffling.
    I wish that referee could be miked like in rugby or the NFL, so they could explain to people in the stadium their decision.
    In the stadium, not a lot people knew why the goals were refused. With a microphone, the referee could just say “infringement by Red No X on Black and White Y. No goal.”. We may disagree with the decision, but at least you know why it was taken.

    Anybody knows whether the public will be able to see the same shot that the referee will watch. As VAR will introduce delay, that could be very frustrating standing not knowing why. Also if they don’t show the footage, fans will have to either watch on social media or wait until home to see the footage on which the decision has been taken.

  5. gambon

    I think people are getting way ahead of themselves in terms of where we are going to finish.

    The reason we have gone from 6th to 3rd is mainly that we have had 4 of 5 games at home, which is something that pretty much never happens to any team in any season. Obviously helped by Spurs collapse.

    The problem is we now have 4 of 5 games away, and lets not forget we are the team that couldnt beat BATE, Rennes, Southampton, palace and Brighton away. We are also conceding an average of 2 away goals per game.

    After the next 5 games, we could find ourselves back in 6th. In fact if our away form in the last 2 years remains, there is no chance we are still 3rd going into the last 2 games.

    We are going to have to go and do something we havent done for a few years, and consistently win away.

    We may not have any top 6 teams left to play, but when you factor in our specific weakness, we have by far the hardest run in now.

  6. Dream10

    Well done. Some good performances last night. Lacazette, Mesut, Ramsey and AMN all did well. Nothing from Almiron on the counter, pleased with that.

    Still think we’re third favourites for a CL spot because of our away form. Everton, Watford, Leicester all decent last few weeks. Wolves and Burnley are up and down. We’re vulnerable against wide forwards and wing backs who attack. Those teams will be more adventurous than Rafa’s Newcastle.

  7. HighburyLegend

    @gambon : we can’t win all our away games remaining, but if we can grab a few points by staying unbeaten, that would be pretty cool.

    Although I must admit it’s hard to believe that it can happens…

    Any news from Maitland-Niles’s injury ??

  8. Dream10

    Words on a Blog

    Still enjoy Wenger telling Anthony Taylor that he was “dishonest to his federation” last year. That was tremendous

  9. gambon

    UTD winning tonight would be a disaster for our top 4 aims.

    Finishing ahead of UTD is going to require them dropping points against Wolves, Everton and hopefully being smashed at home by City.

  10. HighburyLegend

    Pedro, have you heard anything about Zubizarreta as our next technical director ??
    Please tell me it’s nothing but bullshit… please!!

  11. Northbanker

    Valentin

    They tried miking refs once but Tony Adams blew that with all of his whining. The funniest moment of all was when he was whining away over a decision and the ref had to calmly inform him eventually when he got a word in that he had actually given the decision in his favour!

  12. Dream10

    Yep. Zubizarreta joining Raul Sanllehi looks to be a possibility. The Marseille hierarchy mentioned that Arsenal are interested in him. Raul seems to be leaning towards hiring a Spanish right hand man.

  13. Leftsidesanch

    United also come up against Chelsea so thats a game they’ll need to drop points in. I think they’ll possibly beat Wolves and Everton.

  14. Dream10

    Utd playing at Wolves, West Ham and at Everyone in the next three. If they get nine pts, it means we’ll likely need to win two of the next three away games.

  15. Leftsidesanch

    Brighton and Palace at home it’s essential we win those. The Burnley game may depend on they’re status at that point but that is one we need to target a win from. If we can win one of the remaining four games I think that’s enough for 4th.

    Hard to predict but I’m optimistic. I haven’t baited the Spurs fans because it’s so close from 3-6th position that things can and will change a fair bit before the end of the season.

  16. Words on a Blog

    Dream10,
    Yeah enjoyed, Wenger’s words to Anthony Taylor too.

    The trouble is the Referees’ Federation, PGMOL, or whatever they call themselves is itself pretty questionable.

    You don’t have to subscribe to conspiracy theories about referees having an anti-Arsenal bias to know (with a 100% probability lol) that the standard of refereeing in the PL is shit.

    As Valentin has illustrated, The Organisation (PGMOL) is set up like the Chinese Communist Party: if you are a manager, you question its decisions at your peril. it’s inner workings (which referee gets in, criteria for appointing referees to matches, criteria for judging referees’ performances) are opaque and unknowable. Any suggestions for reform or changes to the organisation are greeted with blanket nos.

    The result: Anthony Taylor, and the muppets who officiated the match between Cardiff and Chelsea

  17. Paulinho

    If Ramsey stays fit and stays central I think we will get top four. His class and runs from central midfield will cause massive problems for teams of the level of Everton, Watford, Wolves, Leicester. These bot-like teams can’t cope with someone like him.

    However, replace Rambo with one of our holding mids and the landscape changes. Those teams can contain our flat-track front four for the most part, and our uninspiring central mids are not capable of consistently providing that extra attacking dimension from deep . The only hope is Torreira showing some of the devil he showed earlier in the season.

  18. Dream10

    Paulinho

    We have many matches in short succession and I don’t think he’s 100% healthy. Pulled out of the Wales squad last week. I don’t think he’ll be in the XI at Everton.

  19. Paulinho

    Dream – Yep, he looked like he completely expected to pull up with an injury at some point. Without doubt his biggest problem, not this nonsense ‘discipline’.

  20. HighburyLegend

    Thanks Charlie.

    Can’t believe that Rambo is leaving next season, while Pierre’s best pal is staying, ffs…

  21. Charlie George

    Arsenals match against Everton is arguably- the biggest game – we have played in our recent history .

    A win here- means we entrench our top 4 position.

    And enables us to play a very weakened team against Napoli and focus on the Watford and Palaces match..

    Surely – the top 4 is our grasp. If we exit the Europa Cup in next round..

    If we beat Napoli- paradoxically-it decreases our chances of getting top 4 via the league position….??

  22. Bergkamp63

    As I pointed out a few weeks ago, we have more away games than the others around us, our away form speaks for itself. I hope I am wrong but we are almost certainly going to need other teams to do us a favour, personally I think we will finish 5th.

    I hate to say it, but Spurs look odds on to finish 3rd given their remaining games.

  23. Valentin

    I pray that Zubizarreta is not joining Arsenal. His purchases there have not been a great success. Marseilles went for known names well paid and it did not work out.
    They rejected a lot of young good French players for established name and outside of Gustavo, I don’t think that any have been good enough.
    Most of Marseilles successful youngsters have come from their academy rather than smart focus purchase.

  24. Dream10

    Paulinho

    Yep. Ramsey plus Xhaka our best CM pairing over the last two seasons. His injury last season hurt our CL hopes.

  25. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    Arsenal’s away form in last 2 seasons has been a concern.

    However, as I wrote earlier today the remaining 5 fixtures away from Emirates
    are against teams where Arsenal have a good record in away fixtures.

    Everton have managed only two wins in last 20 games including just one at
    home.

    Leicester have managed only one victory against Arsenal in EPL.

    Wolves and Burnley have yet to beat Arsenal in EPL.

    The one exception is Watford who have won their last two home games against us.

    My conviction is that Arsenal need to play away from home in similar fashion
    to at Emirates. That is to focus on a high press attacking game with both Aubameyang and Lacazette in starting lineup.

    I would also play Ozil and Ramsey together as they are both in good form. The
    question then is to choose either Xhaka or Torreira when fit and not suspended to do the donkey work in HOLDING midfield position.

    We know the limitations of our defence. Despite not conceding a goal in last
    three games we are still brittle in that department with Mustafi always an
    accident waiting to happen.

    I wrote two weeks ago that I thought that a top 4 finish requires 75 points and
    I believe now that a top three finish requires 78-80 points. With sensible husbandry both are now achievable by Arsenal.

  26. Dream10

    Valentin

    Saw a tweet saying that Zubizarreta’s Marseille tenure has been poor because Rudi Garcia has a say on transfers. This true?

  27. Paulinho

    Dream10 – I would like to see Ramsey-Torreira together and have done for a while.

    Think those two could be great together. Ramsey could re-light the spark in Torreira and get him playing with more fire and ambition higher up the pitch. Press as a duo.. Little bit pointless doing it now with Ramsey leaving but maybe we might see it for one game or two.

  28. Marc

    Emirates

    By the time we play both Watford and Wolves one of them will be in the FA Cup final. They might just be distracted enough to make a difference.

  29. Pierre

    What I think is noticeable during this recent good spell is that our attacking play is more varied.
    Our forward play had become predictable , it basically consisted of playing the ball inside the full back for Kolasinac…a lot of our attacks now are much more central.
    I think the introduction of Ramsey to the centre midfield position has given the team a new dimension attacking wise .
    He is supporting the attack but from a deeper position than previously as shown by his goal yesterday.
    He will occasionally make runs into the box if the opportunity arises but is much more aware and is improving his positional sense now.

  30. Marc

    Pedro

    Re: Empty seats. I was at the match last night and whilst it wasn’t full capacity it wasn’t that empty. What did happen was people turning up a bit late for kick off, I have no idea what happened for the start of the 2nd half but it took almost 10 minutes before everyone was back in there seats. It looked as if half of those attending had gone home.

  31. Emiratesstroller

    Marc

    That may be a valid point, but I believe that Arsenal’s record against the five
    clubs we have played away from home is more relevant.

    Arsenal need to focus on the positives and not the negatives over last 2 seasons. I am confident that we will win both home games and hopeful that we can win at least three away from home and that should see us over line.

  32. Nelson

    It is reported that Arsenal have made a loan-to-buy bid for Umtiti similar to the Denis Suarez deal, with a €5m fee followed by a permanent option set at €40m. Looks like Raul still have good contact with his old club. Who else can we get from Baca?

  33. Valentin

    @Dream10,

    Partly true. Rudi Garcia has tried to rebuild his old LOSC team that won the league, however they have been found out as old and past it.

    However he was also tasked to find value in the market and he has not been able to do it. I think that he either lacked the knowledge of the French market or the conviction to really push for untried players.
    Maybe Rudi Garcia has a bigger influence that I think, but like I said outside of Gustavo, I really struggle to find a real success in their purchase.
    Maybe the mess behind the scene is such that Zubizarreta can only do so much. In a more professional environment he would be more successful. However why would he join Arsenal for a role that is clearly at a much lower level that the one he currently hold.

  34. Valentin

    @Marc,

    Did you have trouble on the tube on your way in?
    I think that some person got seriously sick earlier on the Northern line and that created a lot of late arrivals.

  35. Bamford10

    Emirates

    “I believe now that a top three finish requires 78-80 points.”

    I think 78-80 may be required to finish FOURTH. When I last looked at it, I saw United finishing with 77.

    I’m with gambon that people might be getting lulled into a false sense of confidence about whether we are going to finish top four. Yes, we are in a good position, but we could play reasonably well and still get edged out.

  36. Dream10

    Paulinho

    On paper, Ramsey-Torreira sounds like a good pairing. In reality, I’m not convinced.
    It will be interesting how Torreira does next season for us. Not sure he’s built to thrive under Emery, who plays with moderate defensive structure. We don’t dominate the ball, nor do we keep our shot totals low. Lots of end to end football.

    Torreira seems the type to thrive in highly structured teams with less running. He’s not built to do big distances like a b2b. Atletico/Juventus would love him. If we finds it difficult, we should move him on 2020.

  37. Dream10

    Valentin

    There is a worry that Sanllehi is just forming an old boys club. Nice salary for him and his pals for three or four years, unimaginative signings from brand name clubs.

    Arsenal are fond of Barcelona. Don’t have proof, but I get feeling that he might feel that we’re in awe in anything that comes from there and anyone coming from that club behaves like they’re doing us a favour.

  38. Valentin

    @Dream10,

    I agree with your assessment of Torreira. Both for Sampdoria and for Uruguay he plays in a much more defensive structured system than we currently do.
    Regarding his stamina, the world cup, his late arrival, his lack of a full pre-season training, his discovery of a new more athletic league, his shock at a lack of a winter break may be bigger factors than we expect. Maybe next year his body would have adjusted.

  39. Valentin

    @Dream10,

    Wenger started that obsession of Barcelona. They saw us as the little brother they can nick the sweets from, but outside of Henry who was toward the end of his career and Fabregas I don’t think that they got a good deal out of our players.

    Right now, it feels like Rahul is working for them rather than us. Buying or loaning player that they want to discard rather buying the players they want to buy.

  40. Dissenter

    Is Bellerin even that good?
    Apart from adulating gooner, no one else believes he’s that good. He’s not even as fast as claimed.
    Right now, Bellerin starter role is written in white chalk that’s being slowly erased away.

  41. Dissenter

    ‘My conclusion thus far is Emery is ok for a transitional manager to dig us out of the Wenger/Gazidis quagmire, but have real concerns about Emery taking us to realistic PL and CL trophy contention’

    We finished 33 points behind the wires last season and 18 points behind second place.
    We haven’t qualified for the CL quarter finals in eons and got a shellacking in our last game against Bayern

    .…yet , some are still bloviating about goals that are currently unreasonable.Who builds a CL /league winning team with £70 mil summer spends?

  42. Danny

    That goal last night by Laca that was disallowed was punched into the net by the Newcastle goalkeeper, awful decision to call it a handball by our player.

  43. Dissenter

    Spurs are playing 5 out of 7 games at home
    Is it really going to be like playing at WHL?

    That new stadium will take sometime to get used to.

    Five home games doesn’t necessarily translate to advantage Spuds

  44. Receding Hairline

    Yes granted some might be getting ahead of themselves with respect to where we finish and who we finish above

    On the other hand a few seem to be overdoing the caution thing or in some cases out rightly predicting doom.

    We started the season reasonably well away from home before it all went bad, let’s just wait and see what gives.

    We are playing Leicester, Everton, Watford, Wolves and Burnley away from home, two of those are reasonably good teams nothing more, the rest we should fancy ourselves to beat.

    I still see us finishing in the top four personally, i actually see United missing out. I am not in awe of them as some seem to be

  45. Receding Hairline

    On an unrelated note, with very good goal keepers like Keylor Navas and Courtouis at Madrid i really do not see any need for Zidane’s son in goal at the weekend, i hope Real have not panicked and handed him the keys to the kingdom in a bid to bring him him back.

  46. Valentin

    @Danny,

    Was the goal disallowed for handball or for Lacazette infringing on the goalkeeper when he had control of the ball?

    That is further proof that we need VAR, but also a real time explanation by referees of their decisions.

  47. Valentin

    @Receding,

    Courtois was injured and Navas jetlagged and a late return from the international games. Zidane’s son is third goalkeeper so logical to play him under those circumstances.

  48. Dissenter

    We shouldn’t have started the mind the gap banter so early, since there are seven massive games left.
    With the level of officiating seen so far, I expect that refs will still play a major role in deciding who qualifies.

    The fixture list were really done to favor Spuds. How in the world did they have 5 games out of 7 at HOME?. They didn’t even get penalized for destabilizing the league schedule with the stadium delays.
    Why do we have so many Monday night games at the end, more so when the league knew we were playing on Thursday nights?

  49. Emiratesstroller

    Bamford 10

    I disagree with your prognosis and stick to my assessment of points required
    to finish 3rd or 4th in League.

    Here are the points of third and fourth placed teams in last 4 seasons.
    2015 3rd Arsenal 75 points 4th Man Utd 70 points
    2016 3rd Spurs 70 points 4th Man City 60 points
    2017 3rd Man City 78 points 4th Liverpool 76 points
    2018 3rd Spurs 77 points 4th Liverpool 75 points

    So no team has exceeded 78-80 points for 3rd place and only one team has exceeded 75 points for 4th place in last FOUR YEARS.

    Also I factor in that several of the teams in top six are playing each other in last
    seven games.

    Finally you need also to factor in Goals Scored and Goal Difference at this stage of season. Arsenal have a significantly better goal difference than both
    Man Utd and Chelsea.

    I would also point out Spurs current form in EPL. They have lost 4 and drawn 1
    of last 5 games and lost this season 10 games. Spurs will be playing the remainder of their home games at their new stadium which may also prove
    a disadvantage.

  50. Receding Hairline

    “We shouldn’t have started the mind the gap banter so early, since there are seven massive games left.”

    It’s just banter

    We didn’t expect we will be in a position to do it this season so why not do it when we can ..shouldn’t be taken seriously and shouldn’t affect our run in.

    It’s just nonsense among rival fans

  51. Dissenter

    With the exception of Burnley, every team we are playing away are not under the pressure of relegation.
    Contrary to the stated belief that this reduces their fight, I actually think it frees them up to just play football it always hard to play against an oppositio

  52. Leftsidesanch

    Cardiff may well have been sunk by the time we travel to face Burnley which could go in our favour. Leicester won’t have much to play for either. These are decent sides of course but if we can’t win enough of the remaining games to seal a position in the CL next season then we probably shouldn’t be there anyway.

    Myself and ES have said a few times, that 75 points should do the trick. We can get that, but let’s take it game by game.

  53. Dissenter

    Contrary to the stated belief that this reduces their fight, I actually think it frees them up to just play football.
    It’s always hard to play against an opposition that has nothing to lose.

  54. Receding Hairline

    “Don’t get the United love in here either RH”

    It’s fueled mostly by Bamford who has fallen in love with Ole. He sees them as some super football club intelligently set up by an excellent manager….in truth they are just a counter attacking team playing smash and grab football

  55. Dissenter

    Receding
    It’s just banter when it’s fans
    When it’s the players saying it at post-match media briefs then it’s a problem.
    Just my opinion of course.

  56. Dissenter

    I remember when we set a goal of 75 points for Arsenal at the beginning of the season …and some people lost their god forsaken minds.

  57. Leftsidesanch

    Footballers are only human at the end of the day though Dissenter. If there’s not much riding on games so late in the season we may find that the intensity from these sides completely drop.

    I recall a few years ago we had to go to Stoke and S’oton in the end of season running B2B in games that we usually struggle in we won both convincingly. In fact that might be the year where we finished strongly and missed out on CL by a point.

  58. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal need to take each game one by one but I think that 12 points will take
    us over the line of a top 4 finish.

    Personally I don’t see all the other three clubs managing it factoring their fixtures and also current form. Moreover even if Chelsea and Man Utd were to
    finish on same points as us I think that it is highly unlikely that they will close
    the current goal difference with just seven games to play.

  59. Receding Hairline

    “When it’s the players saying it at post-match media briefs then it’s a problem.
    Just my opinion of course.”

    If you are referring to Ozil’s comments post match he was asked a specific question regarding being above Tottenham and he gave an answer.

  60. HighburyLegend

    “Footballers are only human at the end of the day though Dissenter. ”

    Ozil is the exception, he can play to Fortnite all night long and be on the pitch the morning after.

  61. Valentin

    @Receding,

    Me too, but he is still a young decent goalkeeper. I am not sure that you could get a player without RM connection to stick as third goalkeeper.
    Most Real Madrid U21 players have that kind of connection with the club. A parent working or having played for the club.
    I am sure that like Zidane’s older son, he will eventually leave RM, but he will carve a decent career for himself.

    At least he has not been bought on the recommendation of his father like there was rumour of Freddie Woodman was going to be bought by Arsenal from Newcastle on the recommendation of Andy Woodman his father the .Head of academy goalkeeping and U23 goalkeeper coach.

  62. Charlie George

    Totally unacceptable that Spurs are allowed to play 5/7 of their remaining games at their new stadium in total contravention of clear Prem leagues rules.

    Arsenal FC are being particularly supine in this .

    They should be demanding that the PL enforce their rules. And Spurs finish their games at Wembley.

    How can in a league format – has this allowed to happen…?

    If we finish outside the top4 ( and miss out on the £100 million bounty – the club will have no one else to blame).

    Us fans – deserve stronger leadership from the club to protect our interests .

  63. Receding Hairline

    “At least he has not been bought on the recommendation of his father”

    I think you will find that the only reason he is at Madrid Valentin is because his surname is Zidane.

    “there was rumour of Freddie Woodman was going to be bought by Arsenal from Newcastle on the recommendation of Andy Woodman his father the .Head of academy goalkeeping and U23 goalkeeper coach.”

    I think the main question here should be is Freddie Woodman any good?? Would he be rushed to Arsenal’s number three and start a league game in the absence of Leno and Cech??

  64. ddkingz

    believe it or not, Everton is shit…. all 3points on super Sunday for the gunners..

    I’ve more respect for Leicester city, whom I’m also certain we would beat, than for Everton.

    after watching the Evertons game vs Chelsea, if Chelsea had scored early on in the match, after mounting so much pressure on everton, they would have had all 3points before HT…. Chelsea couldn’t score with all that chances they created, and as the match went on, they became frustrated on lacked ideas.

  65. Dissenter

    Receding
    I thought that mind the gap comment was needless. It smacked of one trying to ingratiate himself with the fans.
    No need to motivate your competition.

  66. Emiratesstroller

    Charlie George

    I am fairly relaxed about Spurs playing in new stadium. Their players have not
    played on that surface and despite the crowd have no significant advantage against teams they play there.

    At the moment Spurs are struggling to win a game both home and away. They
    have lost four and their only draw was against us.

  67. Valentin

    @Receding,

    Yes nepotism may be in play, but Zidane’s son is far from a complete disaster. He played for France U19 ans U21, so he is decent.
    Even without his dad’s name he may have been at Real Madrid books as a local boy. So he may have still reached the high position of third goalkeeper. Remember that because of restrictions on club squad, the third goalkeeper is likely to be a club trained player.

  68. Danny

    They should be demanding that the PL enforce their rules. And Spurs finish their games at Wembley.
    ————————-
    I reckon its to our advantage that they play those 5 games at their new hole, it’ll take them a long time to get used to the pitch whereas the Wembley pitch they now know (not that its helped them!).

  69. ddkingz

    wow wow wow…. am I dreaming????

    are those charlie Georges comments???

    man, you rock. nice one. it’s the first time I’ve read something meaningful from your comments, and it was so pleasing to read something positive from your post.

    now I think emery is doing more than so many people expected from him.

  70. Valentin

    @Receding,

    The fact that Freddie Woodman is going to be released by Newcastle from his position of third goalkeeper tell you the quality of the player.

    That smacks more of complete nepotism than Zidane’s goalkeeper son.

  71. Dissenter

    There’s talk that Arsenal will renew the contract of Welbeck next season.
    That’s the death knell for Nketiah’s Arsenal career. He will,definitely be out on loan.
    The Welbeck extension makes sense. He gets a 2 year extension, regains his fitness Andis sold promptly next summer to a Turkish club. It’s mutally beneficial because no one will make a meaningful Bosman offer on him in his current form. They may make a cheap offer which will mean lower wages.

  72. Valentin

    Michel Platini started at Nancy where his father Aldo was a former player and a club director. Initially people talked about nepotism, now Michel Platini credibility as a player is recognised.

    It is possible that in the future even if he does not reach his father high, Zidane’s son get recognised as a decent goalkeeper on his own merit.

  73. TitsMcGee

    We finished 33 points behind the wires last season and 18 points behind second place.”

    37

    *depending of course what you mean by wires*

  74. Valentin

    @Dissenter,

    That may be the plan, but I can’t see Wellbeck agreeing vastly reduced wage, when he is nearly ready.
    There will be club willing to offer bigger wage than that. Also that seems to be a very last minute reaction to we are broke and can’t afford decent English striker.

  75. TitsMcGee

    Any one of the clubs from 3rd -6th could still end up in the top 4. Ball is in our court though for sure.

  76. James.wood

    Strong rumour that Joe Lewis has sold Spurs to
    The Robert Kraft the so called cheese ? Family.?
    Levy will remain in place for 12 months before taking
    retirement.?

    A press conference is exspected shortly.
    This a seems to make sense with the design of the new ground.
    Levy will be greatly missed.?
    And exspected a few Cheesy jokes going round.

  77. Marko

    The only moan I’d have for the evening would be the empty seats on TV.

    Agree. Not like we’re in a bad moment playing poor football we’re in 3rd winning 10 in a row where are the fans

  78. Pierre

    Marko
    “The only moan I’d have for the evening would be the empty seats on TV.
    Agree. Not like we’re in a bad moment playing poor football we’re in 3rd winning 10 in a row where are the fans”

    I’m sure Marko will find something else to moan about

  79. Marko

    No things are going good we’re third we’re being linked with serial chance creator Ryan Fraser in the summer. Things are looking up

  80. Marc

    The five home league matches the Spud’s have at home are:

    Palace
    Huddersfield
    Brighton
    West Ham
    Everton

    Now teams often take time to bed into a new stadium but I believe that Huddersfield and Brighton will be 6 points. Palace could be tricky as the first match and if they haven’t dropped points at home West Ham will be hugely motivated to be the first team to win in the new stadium. With their history of bottling the big occasion it’s not beyond imagination to think they could drop between 5 (1 loss and 1 draw) and 7 points.

  81. Higz

    I was at game and didn’t think there were loads of empty seats. Felt more full than Bournemouth game.

    Was an efficient performance and Ramsey for me was head and shoulders above everyone else on pitch. Very professional and can’t fault that. Finally seems to be playing very well in a 2 in midfield. Shame he’s gone but earlier in season we were quite happy for him to go.

    Laca great as always. Now it’s about keeping players fresh and we seem to have people who can come in and not weaken the team too greatly. Great run we on, but some tough away game to come. It’s nice to have some belief in the team again !

    Also, where I was sitting the abuse mustafi got was ridiculous. He had a poor game on the ball granted, but defensively did enough. Either way, he looks like lacking confidence and that much abuse doesn’t really help.

  82. Marko

    Yeah granted our away form right now isn’t great but people need to relax on it being a foregone conclusion and not something that we can get back. Post City and Chelsea at the start of the season we were undefeated in 9 away games with 7 wins until the loss to Southampton. After that some of the performances were admittedly abject while some happened to coincide with injuries to the defence. I’d say key will be staying fit until the end of the season that should be able to turn around the away record enough to stand a chance of top 4

  83. Emiratesstroller

    Mustafi is a liability, because of his lack of “brain” and “poor decision making”.
    Centre Backs don’t need to be the most skilful players on the planet, but they
    do need positional sense, good judgment and above all concentration.

  84. Graham62

    I actually have a love hate relationship as far as Mustafi is concerned.

    His second half Maradona run, culminating in a Johnny Wilkinson attempt at a cross was fudging brilliant.

    Auba even enjoyed it. The crowd laughed and cheered Mustafi.

    Looks like the Incredible Hulk but sometimes comes across as Bambi.

    Prefer him to Mertesacker. At least he can move.

  85. Danny

    where are the fans
    —————-
    Newcastle aren’t of much interest to your average fan and with players like Mustafi and Iwobi it’s very hard to fill the stadium nowadays, I reckon even against Napoli it wont be full.
    Maybe next season if we’re back in the Champions League and with 3 or 4 new players (of course without those 2 I mentioned) matches might go back to being played before full houses.
    Wenger and Gazidis ruined the average fans desire to show up for matches like against Newcastle, people think about it and then go “I’ve got better things to do”.

  86. Charlie George

    For those fans – who do not think -it will be to Spurs’ huge advantage that 80 % of their remaining games will be played at their new homes- they are mistaken,

    Spurs- are currently on their knees. They look jaded- this relocation to their new ground- could be just the fillip- they need to get them in the top 4. ( at our expense)

    with our team ( and kudos to Emery for finally mending his ways- and instead of alienating players like Ozil and the imperious Rambo- but building the team around them,) it just seems so bizarre and week – we are allowing our great rivals this advantage.

    We can demand – that they enact the Prem league RuleBook.

    No way in the world. Would Spurs allow us to do what they are doing.

    No way!

    ill re-iterate- if we lose out of the top 4 and complain about loss of revenue.
    The club will have no one but themselves to blame.

    No wonder- we so often fall short in our goals.!

  87. TitsMcGee

    We overspent for Mustafi. I said as much when we signed him and got- pointed a finger- at by the usuals. Pretty quiet these days 😉

    Marginal player that rode the coat-tails of the “He’s a World Cup Winner” dialogue.

  88. HighburyLegend

    “Mustafi isn’t lacking in confidence”

    The only person who should be allowed to say that Mustafi is lacking confidence seriously would be Wenger.

  89. ddkingz

    if manure don’t get all 3points today against wolves, we will be 1-2 points ahead of them with a game in hand…. exciting times ahead

  90. Marko

    it just seems so bizarre and week – we are allowing our great rivals this advantage.

    Literally has nothing to do with us. You’re a pathetic idiot if you think us ranting and raving about Spurs finally moving into their new stadium would accomplish anything

  91. HighburyLegend

    “if manure don’t get all 3points today against wolves”

    Considering their actual form…. let’s burn a candle.

  92. Charlie George

    marko

    they have not got to rant and rave over anything,

    they can kindly ask the premier league to enforce their own rules.

    We don’t have to be craven. its our club- and the AFC power-brokers can serve our interests- and demand that clearly defined rules are enacted upon.

    the rules state- all games must be played at the same venue- during a league campaign.

    Why have the bloody rules- if you do not enforce them?.
    (like wise FFP and Man City)

  93. Valentin

    Games on weekday evening are always less full than on weekend.
    I know people who are season ticket holders and usually don’t attend those games. They make an effort for big champion’s league game, but Newcastle is not a big draw.

    Plus if there is any issue on the tube (people sick, idiot pulling the alarm for fun, …), people arrive with 10 to 15 minutes which really shows on TV. Same things people are more likely to leave early on weekday game.

    If you live outside of London and your journey takes normally 90 minutes, between the extra walk because the stations are closed, it can take up to 2 and half hours to go home. Some people decide that this is not something they are willing to do on an weekday evening.
    Public Transport in London is getting better, but still not great. That impacts London team more as outside of London a lot more people attend games using their cars.

  94. Marko

    It’s not in the least bit a concern of ours. In fact we should be happy with the stadium change their record at Wembley is good and it took us a while to feel at home at the Emirates. It’s really not a big deal

  95. Graham62

    Lacazette is head and shoulders the fans favourite and it seems his colleagues also love the guy.

    He is a defenders worst nightmare. Hassling, snapping at the heels, running down lost causes, making 360 turns look effortless, wearing his heart on his sleeve. Reminds me of Wrighty.

    Great to have someone like him in the team. He is the glue for the team to progress.

    Our most valuable player as far as I’m concerned and great to see the relationship he has with Auba and AMN and even frigging Mustafi.

    Player of the season for me.

  96. Words on a Blog

    Pedro

    Re the apparent “empty seats” mystery.

    There were very, very few empty seats. What happens in the evening matches is that people struggle to get to their seats from work/the pub on time. And just after half time, it’s usually the first 5-10 minutes, when quite a few are queuing then quaffing a pint or two, watching the game on screens, and need more than the 15 minutes of half-time to manage this awesome feat. Wimps.

  97. Valentin

    There is a rule in the premiership that states clubs are not allowed to host matches at two different grounds in one season. Spurs got a dispensation on the proviso that they would be in their new stadium by September.

    That dispensation is now caduc and should be rescinded. All games to be played at Wembley.

  98. Graham62

    Also love the way he hassles the refs if a decision goes against him.

    With him fit and raring to go, we stand a chance of achieving our goals for this season

  99. TT

    Question is, is it more beneficial to us that they stay at Wembly or is it better they go into totally new stadium to play the last games where they have never played before?

  100. Valentin

    @Words,

    I agree the stadium was far from empty.
    The illusion is that at the beginning of each half, there was less people.
    Also if you have been working all day and dashed to the stadium, you are more likely to want a drink, eat some food and use the toilet at half time. Longer queue means less people at the restart of the game as TV show the stands.

  101. Valentin

    Funny how Lacazette seems to have that happy go lucky vibe at Arsenal while he had that difficult, stroppy vibe in the French national team.
    He upset Didier Deschamps with his attitude 4 years ago. That is why he lost his place, with Giroud playing very well, he unlikely to get it back in soon. Our gain, as he fresh after the international games.

  102. Leftsidesanch

    Think Spuds going to a new stadium may hinder them initially. May take a while to feel like home.

  103. Graham62

    Valentin

    I agree with your take on weekday matches, nevertheless, we have attracted far too many “visa supporters” over the past twenty years, as well as those who were attracted to the club because it was “sexy”and not because they had a genuine interest in the game.

    Just an opinion.

  104. Marko

    Spurs record at Wembley this season is 20 games with 13 wins two draws and 5 defeats the defeats were to Liverpool, City, United, Barcelona and Wolves and the draws were us and a league cup game they won on pens. Basically their Wembley form is good they’ve gotten use to the place. The new place could hinder them going into the final stretch.

  105. Words on a Blog

    G62,

    Yeah, true, the “visa” or tourist supporters are very often the main people haunting the bars after halftime.

  106. Marko

    nevertheless, we have attracted far too many “visa supporters” over the past twenty years, as well as those who were attracted to the club because it was “sexy”and not because they had a genuine interest in the game.Just an opinion.

    Yeah I dunno about that I personally would assume that it’s a home game midweek I’d have expected more of the local lads to get off their arses and actually show up. Blaming visa or blow in fans seems a bit weak. It’s understandable for fans that have to make big long journeys and have work not to show up but that should just mean someone else more local should take their place. I understand the empty seats the previous two seasons under Wenger but things are on the up. You would hate to think the difference between a sold out home game for Arsenal and one with empty seats is a question of fighting for a title. Get out there and fill the stadium bois. Maybe a couple of marquee signings will help in that regard

  107. Dennis Bergkamp

    Best possible points finish is 84 (7 games, 21 points)

    If Arsenal hit 79 (5 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss) it will be their best points finish since 2007/8.

  108. Emiratesstroller

    Graham 62

    Sorry but I have to disagree Mustafi is a liability, because of lack of brain and
    poor decision making and positional sense. He makes far too many mistakes.

    When you have such a player in your team it is going to impact on results and
    significantly points.

    He cost us a 3 points victory against Spurs, because of the unnecessary push
    in the back on Kane in front of referee.

    Such poor decisions and mistakes occur far too frequently with this player.

  109. Valentin

    There is definitely that show off vibe than at Highbury. People turning up who spend more time doing selfie and instagraming than watching the game.

    It is even worse at the Club level.
    I have attended games there because I used to work for a company with a box. Some people were more interested in the food and showing their Rolex than the game itself. At one game, one guy drove me and my wife mad as he spend the entire game on the phone complaining about the food and champagne. At the end, he had to ask his friends what was the score as he had been so engrossed in his phones and social media.

  110. Upstate Gooner

    Graham
    “I actually have a love hate relationship as far as Mustafi is concerned.
    His second half Maradona run, culminating in a Johnny Wilkinson attempt at a cross was fudging brilliant.
    Auba even enjoyed it. The crowd laughed and cheered Mustafi.”

    We were winning, that’s the difference. If we were down a goal, and he pulled this move, he’d be eaten alive by teammates, fans, and the manager… and rightfully so I might add. Mustafi is a liability, simple as that.

  111. TitsMcGee

    We were winning, that’s the difference. If we were down a goal, and he pulled this move, he’d be eaten alive by teammates, fans, and the manager… and rightfully so I might add. Mustafi is a liability, simple as that.”

    He’s at the heart of a lot of defensive breakdowns.

  112. Pierre

    Marko
    “Basically their (Tottenham)Wembley form is good”

    I wouldn’t call 4 premier league defeats( in 14 games) good ….in fact I would say that is a poor return for a club looking to challenge for the title or champions league..

    Arsenal’s one league defeat in 17 is what I would call good but 4 defeats in 14 is rank and that’s why Charlie George is correct in saying that Tottenham should be forced to finish the season at Wembley as they may get an unfair advantage in the run in.

  113. Jim Lahey

    “There is definitely that show off vibe than at Highbury. People turning up who spend more time doing selfie and instagraming than watching the game.”

    There was no real social media presence when we were in Highbury.

  114. Marko

    Descamps is an idiot. I don’t care that he won a world cup anyone could do that with that group of french players but his continuation of Matuidi and particularly Giroud is getting ridiculous. Especially when you consider that it means people like Lacazette and Ben Yedder don’t get call ups players like Lemar, Fekir and Dembele don’t get enough starts and Mbappe has to play out of position at times. Bin the lump last 3 seasons he’s gotten 22 goals all comps just 8 in the league most of them in cup competitions while Lacazette has 69 goals with 55 in the league and Ben Yedder has 68 goals for Sevilla during that time with 36 in the league. What more do they have to do.

  115. Danny

    Leno passes the ball to Mustafi due to Unai’s “play out the back crap” and I’m like Bernd, please don’t, just don’t, I mean I know you’re both German but still just don’t.

  116. Dissenter

    Emery found a way to make Ramsey work…in one season.
    Pity that it came too late.
    Regardless of whatever you thought of him, we can all agree that he’s a proper professional.

  117. Words on a Blog

    Pedro/Guys, there’s a truly excellent analysis of Emery’s coaching approach and it’s impact on Arsenal and Arsenal players done by WyScout in the Telegraph today.

    Well worth reading and digesting and discussing

  118. Marko

    There was no real social media presence when we were in Highbury.

    Agreed. Twitter established in 2006 Facebook in 2004 and Instagram in 2010. Only real men and real supporters went to Highbury

  119. Emiratesstroller

    Pierre

    I agree that Spurs home form at Wembley is nothing to write home about with
    4 defeats. More importantly they have lost 10 EPL games this season, which is
    almost one third of games played.

    Moreover they have not won a single game in the EPL in the last 5 that they
    have played. That is not exactly top four form.

  120. Valentin

    I think that your view of the empty seats and tourist/visa fans is coloured by whether you physically attend games and when you started supporting Arsenal.

    The idea that local people will attend televised weekday games in greater number is a non-starter.

    Arsenal does not spectacularly reduce price when the expected attendance is low. So unless you can get the season ticket from a friend, colleague or family member, there is not a rush of new people attending.
    Londoners either already go to games, or can’t afford them or have no interest in attending games. You are more likely to get people in town going to the Emirates like they would go the Opera or WestEnd show. Exactly the kind of tourist/visa fans we were mentioning.