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.


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

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  1. Danny

    That is not exactly top four form.
    They’ve lost 10 league games this season, that’s nearly a third, an absolute embarrassment.

  2. Pedro

    Social media hasn’t ruined football… it’s made it more fun in the main.

    Expense has made it shitty…

  3. Guns of Hackney

    Arsenal beat a pub side 2-0 at home. Let’s relax a little before we start booking those CL tickets.

    AMN was headless. Sorry, but I don’t see it.
    Kola was clumsy and wank.
    Sokratis was manhandled.
    Guen was bad.
    Ozil did an Ozil.
    Ramsay. Another scuffed shot.
    Laca. Tiniest legs I’ve seen. Creepy.

    Emery now has the same jacket as Arsene…still looks as though he’s been told his winkle needs to be removed.


  4. Dissenter

    With AMN’s current form, we do not need a right back to challenge Bellerin.
    That money can be spent on a center back.

  5. Words on a Blog

    Guns, we get it, everything is shit, and you’re bored of the world and bored with Arsenal.

    Frankly, I find your boredom boring.

  6. Guns of Hackney


    Believe it or not, I am the life and soul of the party at the morgue.

    Humour flows through me. The don’t call me the white Richard Pryor for nothing.

  7. Marko

    You can’t really blame the price of a ticket either. You know going into the season the price is the price. Why would you be willing to spend it on a home game against United but then decide to stay at home and watch the Newcastle game on the box. Point I’d like to make is yeah I love the club and yeah the fans on the whole aren’t the worst by no means but there’s plenty of room for improvement. You compare that with other clubs like Dortmund for example and that’s real passion that’s real fandom. It goes beyond the job Arsene done even Highbury was referred to a library in the past. Slight improvements this season though with the games against Spurs and United really rocking but we’re in the run in and we had a chance to go 3rd last night there shouldn’t have been any empty seats imo

  8. Valentin

    People may disagree with the decision to emphasize defensive stability by Deschamps (and I do), however to call him an idiot is clearly over the top. He won a world cup and that was not entirely due to the players.

    Deschamps started the world cup without Giroud. France got lucky results despite poor performances. Performances improved when Giroud was reinstated to the start and Dembele dropped.
    Against teams playing very deep, MBappe speed was wasted. Giroud bring a focal point to France attack and create space for MBappe.

    Matuidi was going to be on the bench for the last two France international, but Dembele got injured. Matuidi with his willing run and defensive responsibility allows France to have a lopsided team. MBappe and Griezman favouring coming from the right.

    As good as Fekir has been for Lyon, he has been poor for France. He has been effective only when France completely changed their tactic to a more fluid 4-3-3 that only worked against team willing to commit players forward.

  9. Marko

    With AMN’s current form, we do not need a right back to challenge Bellerin.

    Nah we still need a RB. We needed a RB before Bellerin’s injury we needed one before and after signing Lichtsteiner and we still need one now. AMN isn’t a RB and being asked to fill the position for how many more months? Nah unless you’re advocating him being our only RB going into next season or giving Lichtsteiner a new deal we need a new RB

  10. Danny

    Arsenal beat a pub side
    Our last 7 games are against “pub sides”, so whats your point? If we get top 4, it’s not important?

  11. Valentin

    Of course, ticket prices have a huge impact on the people attending the games.
    The price of a Dortmund season ticket is cheaper than than a single club game ticket of category A.

    Bar the special gift occasion, People who attend games at Arsenal are mostly affluent or tourist visa fans, not average people.

    If you have a ticket season, attending or not a weekday game has no influence on how much you paid for it in the first place. So some people out of convenience decide not to attend televised weekday evening games. Some tries to resell it via ticket exchange.

    Also if you can afford only 1 game per year(or whatever reference period), what would you choose a ManUtd game or a just above relegation 10 men behind the ball Newcastle.

  12. Valentin

    We don’t need a RB, as we could promote the U21 Jordan Osei-tutu.
    Once Bellerin is back mid season, we can then loan Jordan out for the rest of the season.

    We definitely need a left back as we have nobody to promote in that position. Hence the rumours that we are looking for one.

  13. Words on a Blog


    Damn, the Telegraph article on Emery’s “ tactical revolution” is behind a paywall!

    I get one free article a week and am now restricted from viewing it again.

    Can anyone her do a copy-and-paste job?

  14. Marko

    Yeah I’ve been hearing that focal point nonsense about Giroud for years now. With that generation of players coming through and the quality of some of their attackers are you telling me they couldn’t find any other way of attacking than just lump it up to Giroud? He had zero shots on target the whole tournament and you make a case for him being indispensable to France? I genuinely don’t see it. I think he holds people like Mbappe and Dembele and Lacazette back. I think the manager continuing with him when he barely plays at club level is unfair especially considering the club form of Lacazette and Ben Yedder the last 3 seasons. I think Descamps like Low (until recently) plays it too safe with certain favourites. Matuidi is another one though I have always liked him over the years playing him on the left side when you have some genuinely great attacking players instead of him is ludicrous

  15. Marc

    Well as every other team chasing top 4 have to play this pub team at home all we can do is beat what’s in front of us.

    I should also point out that the other 18 wins and 6 draws are equally responsible for where we are. We shouldn’t count our chickens yet but if you do not enjoy a 12 point reversal over a handful of matches then you are missing a vital point of being a fan.

  16. HighburyLegend

    “Arsenal beat a pub side 2-0 at home. Let’s relax a little before we start booking those CL tickets.”

    Ah ah ah typical comment from GoH.

  17. Danny

    This is fun:

  18. Marko

    Definitely need a RB. Our options are Bellerin who’s injured, Lichtsteiner who’s dogshit, AMN who’s filling in and Osei Tutu who’s 20 and never played a senior game which is weird at 20. So next season we could start with AMN and Osei Tutu as our options? That’s not good enough. I think they realize that since we’ve been linked with Wan Bissaka and Malcuit and I think I heard Twitter rumors about someone being scouted from the Dutch league. The implication being Dumfries or that Ajax RB Mazraoui

  19. Dissenter

    The people slaying Guendouzi need to dip their heads in ice cold water and relax.
    The kid is just about to turn 20 years old on April 14.
    He’s a special talent. The ability to control games won’t come until after he’s played lots of games.

  20. azed

    I get one free article a week and am now restricted from viewing it again.

    Clear the cookies from your browser and you get your free article back.

  21. azed

    I get one free article a week and am now restricted from viewing it again.

    Never mind, you have to register so clearing cookies would not work.

  22. Dissenter

    “April fools day was yesterday. There are far too many clowns out today.”

    You ought to know that you’re the biggest clown around here

  23. Guns of Hackney


    Vieria was running our midfield at 20.

    Gued has regressed a bit. He seems to have lost his mojo. Maybe he’s tired or maybe he’s been found out.

    I do like his effort.

  24. Valentin

    Griezman is well known to only play well with a big physical striker who can take the focus off him and let him roam free. Without Giroud, Griezman is not effective because as much as MBappe is deadly going forward, but he can’t play with his back toward goal. Against packed defense he need another outlet to create space for him. This is Giroud’s role.
    There is a reason why Hazard stated that he enjoyed most playing with Giroud and that he was the best linked up striker. Giroud may not be an elegant player, but he is an efficient player who bring the best in players around him.

    Also Pogba is the most effective when he can play ball above the top onto willing runners. He can’t do that if MBappe and Griezman are tied down by a CB.

    Deschamps has been trying to fade out Matuidi, however between the injuries to Coman, Dembele and the lack of tracking by Martial he had to revert to Matuidi.

    A good team is not about craming as many attacking players as possible, it is about team balance. Under those circumstances this is exactly what Matuidi and Giroud are bringing.

  25. Marc


    He was also playing in the French 2nd division only a few months ago. I really wonder what people expect sometimes.

  26. Marko

    Gued has regressed a bit

    Regressed? He’s gone from 19 appearences in Ligue 2 for Lorient to playing 38 times for Arsenal and he isn’t even 20 yet. Signed for 7 million and worth 27 million now apparently. Regressed… you know you don’t have to be a constant idiot around here you can take a day off from looking like an imbecile

  27. Guns of Hackney


    Gued is playing poorly…more poorly than he was, ergo, regressed.

    I don’t care that he cost £7m or is now worth £27m. He gets paid to play football and currently he’s doing that simple job, badly.

  28. Marko

    Griezman is well known to only play well with a big physical striker who can take the focus off him and let him roam free.

    Barcelona should not be interested in him if that’s the case

  29. Marko

    Giroud may not be an elegant player, but he is an efficient player who bring the best in players around him.

    He barely plays with Hazard. I’m not sure that’s relevant. Look if France can’t find another way to play than to continually pick Giroud then going forward they ain’t going to win shit because he’s nearly finished he’s nearly 33 and barely playing. They need to find a way to get Dembele, Lemar, Martial, Lacazette and others more involved and move away from picking players around Giroud

  30. Valentin

    Guendouzi has not regressed, he has been found out. He has two major flaws in his game and now teams are adjusting to it.

    The first flaws is that when he receives a ball with his back toward goal, it is possible to nick it away from him. Could be technique or lack of spacial awareness. Personally I think it is a question of technique. He leans forward instead of backward with an arm ready to keep the opponent at bay. Compare that with Pogba and the difference is clear. Leaning forward allow him to turn more quickly but that incite players to try to go through him. That is why he is quite often on the deck getting dispossessed and asking for a foul that in some case is not forthcoming from the referee.

    The second flaw is that he has no diagonal play, especially no long diagonal play. Xhaka is a specialist of the long diagonal ball to quickly change the point of attack. He still has some terrific vertical passes, but because he never make diagonal pass when he attacks he resort to either pass laterally to Kolasinac or back to the defense. That means that the defense do not have to worry of ball over the top from him. Being predictable makes it easier to defend against.

    Luckily both flaws can be erased with good coaching.

  31. Charlie George

    One can’t emphasise the importance of top 4 this season- and champions league football:

    1) The £100 million additional revenue.
    This new largesse can rectify – the mistakes of the past. And get us back us a PROACTIVE track as opposed to always being REACTIVE.

    2)It will mean- No more dreadful Thursday night Europa Cup garbage to suffer – which in turn decimates the weekend fixtures.

    3)It means a major rival ( spurs or Man Utd suffer financially as a result… and in spurs case- DiRE consequences financially.

    4) with the expected transfer Bans of Man City and Chelsea for systematic cheating- allows us a tilt at next season’s title.

    5) possibly allow us to revoke Rambos contract. AND re sign the player ..

    6) Gives Emery some confidence to continue his clear, but slow incremental improvements.

    Absolutely imperative- we get back in the CL.

    Fans, and the club should be doing everything to achieve this.. laying on free coaches to away games. etc

    Failure is not an option.
    And would put us back seasons..

    Its top4 or bust…

  32. Marko

    Guns you continue to amaze me with how much you continue to deteriorate as a serious person. Nothing you say can change how you are viewed around here. it’s one stupid thing after another followed by an attempt at humour because you’ve embarrassed yourself I don’t even know why you bother. We all love a good laugh but you’re the village idiot around here. I would suggest that you try to actually engage in serious discussions once in a while

  33. Valentin

    Griezman is well known to only play well with a big physical striker who can take the focus off him and let him roam free.

    Barcelona should not be interested in him if that’s the case.

    That is exactly the reason why Griezman decided against joining them. Plus the fat contract he got offered by his club.

  34. Marko

    4) with the expected transfer Bans of Man City and Chelsea for systematic cheating- allows us a tilt at next season’s title.

    5) possibly allow us to revoke Rambos contract. AND re sign the player

    I stand corrected guns is not the biggest idiot around these parts

  35. Upstate Gooner

    Personally, I think before we buy another RB, we need to address our more pressing issues. Namely, LB, CB, and a winger. Bellerin is coming back next season, AMN can do the job, and I hope Chambers is not sold in the summer. He can slot in there as well.

  36. Danny

    5) possibly allow us to revoke Rambos contract. AND re sign the player ..
    Leave it out.

  37. Valentin

    Giroud barely plays with Hazard. I’m not sure that’s relevant.

    I did not say that he was playing often with Hazard, just that Hazard has stated that he loved playing with Giroud for the reason that I have mentioned.


    Look if France can’t find another way to play than to continually pick Giroud then going forward they ain’t going to win shit because he’s nearly finished he’s nearly 33 and barely playing.

    How often he plays for his club is irrelevant. What is important is how well he plays for his national team.
    Giroud has already stated his desire to win the next Euro in two years time. The fact that he is not playing that much keep him fresh and injury free. If that means winning the next Euro with a player who is mostly a substitute I know a lot of countries who would make that deal.

  38. Charlie George

    You don’t think we can’t win the league, next season??
    We are third currently…

    And most of the season- not played 2 of our better players( ozil and rambo)
    And hector has missed half the season too.

    Just imagine- had they played all season?

    Off course We Can Win The League Next Season….

    Let’s hope we revoke Rambos contract – make him Captain

    And he inspires is to title glory., next season.

    Anything is possible.

    Leicester City won the League, Marko

    Don’t be a loser!

  39. Redtruth

    “The second flaw is that he has no diagonal play, especially no long diagonal play. Xhaka is a specialist of the long diagonal ball to quickly change the point of attack.”

    Like Xhaka is the complete player.. lol lol

  40. Marko

    Chambers at RB? Absolute desperation. Can’t play CB (his natural position) can’t really play in midfield and has never been able to play RB. I don’t know why people are trying to make Chambers a thing because he isn’t and he never will be at Arsenal

  41. Marc


    What do you mean revoke Ramsey’s contract? We can’t revoke the deal he’s done with Juve – he’s signed a contract with then which might have a clause re passing a medical but we can’t do anything about it.

  42. Valentin


    I never said that Xhaka is the complete player. However he is not completely useless and one of his good point is his ability to quickly switch play with long diagonals.

    I am just saying that MG needs to learn that skill to improve his game. He could be learning that from Xhaka.

  43. Marko

    I did not say that he was playing often with Hazard, just that Hazard has stated that he loved playing with Giroud for the reason that I have mentioned.

    No I know that but the implication was that he plays better with Giroud which I’m saying isn’t true because he’s played well without him and they don’t play that much together anyway.

    How often he plays for his club is irrelevant.

    This is obviously true it’s just grossly unfair to the club exploits of Lacazette and Ben Yedder who’ve been brilliant the last few years. I mean Ben Yedder is nearly 29 he’s scored 137 goals his last 7 seasons and has one appearence for France while Giroud 103 during the same period. Seems unfair. Lacazette has 149 goals.

  44. Marko

    Let’s hope we revoke Rambos contract – make him Captain

    One I don’t think you know how contracts work and two and most importantly the statement doesn’t make sense. I mean at all. Do you mean revoke the contract he’s signed with Juve? Or revoke the last few months of the contract he has with us?

  45. Marko

    Herrera and Mata to PSG and Barcelona it seems. There’d be uproar if we were signing them. I’m actually glad. And now I wouldn’t class them as elite either

  46. Words on a Blog

    Ok, apologies, I’m gonna have to do this from memory, so will inevitably miss out on details and nuances on the Telegraph/WyScout article on Emery’s “Technical Revolution”.

    In summary, and from what I can remember:

    1) relative to the same time last year, Arsenal’s shots on targets and our expected goals stat have gone down significantly; our shots taken stat compares to teams in mid-table and and the stragglers. notwithstanding that, our goals scored column is significantly up relative to last year.

    2) this is partly due to outperformance by Auba (minor) and Laca (quite significant) relative to their expected goals stats. But this is not enough to explain our outperformance relative to shots taken and expected goals.

    3) the reason for this outperformance is primarily due to the better quality of our chances. For instance, on average shots are taken from a over a metre closer to the goal. Both the shots taken and The expgoal stat also do not measure “low tariff” opportunities such as high-speed cutbacks from Kola or AMN, which are missed by the strikers, but which, if met by the strikers, would likely result in a goal.

    4) Emery took a very early decision not to play the roaming Ramsey in a two- man midfield in a 4-2-3-1, moving him at first to CAM (unsuccessful) and then playing him there with the security of a 3 man central defence.

    5) The obsession with possession is no more. We are down by some 4-5% In terms of possession relative to last year. Emery’s emphasis is much more on transitions, when the opponents’ shape is not perfectly set, and he is happy to let the other team have the ball particularly in less dangerous areas.

    6. Similarly, the playing out from the back tactic, while high risk, is specifically aimed at drawing our opponents out of shape, in order to hit them with vertical attacks. The use of Leno, and rigorous training, has made players such as Kos, Mustafi et al, much more comfortable with the tactic.
    7. Guendouzi and Torreira are two of the most fouled midfielders in the PL, and together with Xhaka are specifically drilled in shielding the ball, dribbling in tight situations etc in order to draw fouls. This is a specific game management tactic to break up play into phases
    8. Emery is a “tactical magpie” who adapts formations and personnel according to the opponent between matches, and during matches. The players struggled with this at the beginning of the season, but have since bought into his thinking.
    9. No favouritism. Kos and others used to be furious at Wenger’s “Sanchez plays no matter what” stance – that’s gone. Özil wasn’t fully on board, but after being dropped for a fair few games, has now got with the program.
    10. Attention to detail in training, and rigorous simulations of in-game situations has improved players such as Iwobi, Bellerin and Kola.
    11. The attention to detail/in-game simulations. Etc have resulted in our having a much better shape, and we are now much less prone to counterattacking goals (3rd best in the league)

  47. Charlie George


    Re: Ramseys Revocation of Juve Contract

    The club ,especially Emery should apologise to our longest serving player – for his treatment
    Accept he was wrong in his hasty judgement of him.

    Compensate Juve …. maybe offer Torreira at a discounted price.

    And Install Ramsey as Captain of The Arsenal.

    This would propel us to guaranteed glory.. and lift the fanbase mood immeasurably.

    Anything is possible..

    Gerrard was going to Chelsea- until the last moment.

    Frank Macavennie actually signed for us- before changing his mind to West Ham.

    Fans should demand Ramseys contract reinstated. Regardless of cost… the club is owned by a multi billionaire, after all

    It’s the morally right thing to do.

    Aaron Ramsey is the epitome of modern Arsenal.
    He must stay.

  48. Valentin

    Again Deschamps choice are based on two tjings:

    1) tactic and formation. Ben Yedder does not play well with his back toward goal, so he can’t play the Giroud’s role. Ben Yedder is good, but he is not better than MBappe and I can’t see him playing with MBappe, Griezman except in a 4-3-3 that has been shown to not work for France against packed defense. Any other system will then require to either drop one out of Griezman and MBappe. Right now in the second configuration, Fekir is preferred.

    2) ability to blend within the team in term of personality. Benzema is the better footballer than Giroud. Same Nasri is better than Matuidi. However both have shown to be toxic in the France squad. Nasri paid heavies to attack Gallas. Benzema has been charged with complicity of blackmail to one of his French teammate about a personal sex tape. As long as Deschamps is the manager, they will never be called ever again even if their club performance would warrant it. Same thing with Aymeric Laporte.

  49. Upstate Gooner

    “Xhaka’s weaknesses far outweigh any strengths he supposedly has.”

    Exactly. Same goes for Mustafi… except that he doesn’t even have any strengths. Between the two, I’m guessing we probably dropped around 10 points. Bottom line, I’d love quality replacements for both in the summer.

  50. Jim Lahey

    @Charlie George

    April 2, 2019 15:24:49

    In the long list of idiotic things that have been said on here over the years, this is the most idiotic of them all, its astonishing. I honestly hope for your sake you are just a troll.

  51. Jim Lahey

    Aaron Ramsey was offered a new contract at Arsenal which he turned down in order to leave the club on a free so as to make as much money for himself as possible, end of story.

  52. Batistuta

    I’d actually take Ryan Fraser over some of the more fancied names around here…Him and Brooks are pretty good, British plus know the league very well too… Fraser second highest assists this season i think, we definitely should be all over that as we need to spend a chunk of our budget on fixing that defence

  53. Charlie George

    Aaron Ramsey has single handedly got our season back on track.

    Not the manager , not the other players.
    Although -lots of them have played well.

    His magnificent goal at Wembley against Spurs -has been the catalyst for our upturn in form.
    The following week – he totally outshone the £100 Pogba.

    We should be doing everything in our powers to keep this player.

    On the big occasions- he always comes good.
    And in professional sport- these players are priceless.

    In my opinion- his goals,energy, team play, combativenes and class are irreplaceable..

  54. Dissenter

    “Guendouzi has not regressed, he has been found out. He has two major flaws in his game and now teams are adjusting to it.”

    This is one of those oops moments that you tend to drop here…and that’s from one who likes to read some of the stuff you post.

    How can you find out a player who’s still developing nicely at the age of 20 years.
    Not all intelligence is innate, most of it comes from tutelage and that takes time to bear fruit.The lad won’t be twenty for another two weeks.

  55. Dissenter

    Emery figured Ramsey out quickly but he had tio tinker to get to the right result.

    I specifically mentioned the tinkering because the usual pantomime actors were slamming Emery for tinkering with the marvelous ready to go squad that Wenger left him.

    I mean who goes after a new manager for daring to tinker or changing the tactics too often?

  56. Marko

    The club ,especially Emery should apologise to our longest serving player – for his treatment
    Accept he was wrong in his hasty judgement of him.Compensate Juve …. maybe offer Torreira at a discounted price.

    You continue to show yourself to be the stupidest motherfucker on this blog

  57. Freddie Ljungberg

    Oh dear. His absence didn’t make CG any smarter that’s for sure.

    Ramsey is gone, we can’t do anything about his contract with Juve you absolute fuckwit, and neither should we.

    Won’t be that hard to replace him with someone that fits our team better. Although to be fair he hasn’t been that shit recently, we still need better and he’s not worth anywhere near the money he was asking for.

  58. Dissenter

    I’ve been yapping about the imperative need to sell one of Auba and Laca.

    No I’m not so sure.
    If we eke out a CL qualification, it’s better to just build around them.
    We would still need a winger- Ismaila Sarr or the lad from Bournemouth
    We need a center forward veteran who can hold up the ball and take on crosses.
    We need a young full back who can partner with Holding when he returns. Is Mavros that player? , one good game in 18 months does not inspire confidence.
    We need a left back so that Monreal can just move into the middle.
    We need a young replacement for Ramsey – this is the one position we have to spend money on. It;s the one that will divide fans because the outlay of transfer fee and wages will make the decision to let Ramsey leave look even more foolish by the day.

  59. Marko

    It is also worth noting prior to us pulling a contract offer off the table (around September I believe) Ramsey had refused many contract offers put forward. Technically we did all that we were willing to do to keep the player and therefore we went about things in the right way. The only thing that I can fault is that we allowed it to go down to the wire. We should have done more two years ago and when it became apparent he wasn’t signing sold immediately

  60. Words on a Blog


    Thanks, but I’ve only really managed to partly capture what the analysis was saying. well worth a read if you can get hold of it if you can manage it.

    The one thing I would add is that it really gave me the sense that we were being managed by a details-obsessed guy and his team, and that they really know what they’re doing.

    I do hesitate to say that, given the risk of being labelled an Emery Ultra!

  61. Words on a Blog


    I had some sympathy for the view that we needed to sell one of Laca or Auba, given cash constraints etc, but more importantly given that Emery initially struggled to accommodate both of them in an effective line-up.

    Now he’s managed to achieve that, and with CLqualification more realistically achievable (but of course not at all a foregone conclusion), I’ve come to the view that it would be crazy to sell either of them. Between the two, Auba and Laca have contributed to just under half our goals, and the team does not look at all unbalanced when they both play

  62. Charlie George

    Freddie L

    “””Ramsey is gone, we can’t do anything about his contract with Juve you absolute fuckwit, and neither should we.””””

    Off course- we can do something.
    You can always do something..about anything… unless you are a defeatist..

    If we match Juves contract- and better- I am sure we can get the player to stay

    Don’t you think- the way his is playing
    ( note his reaction to PEA last minute penalty miss) – he wants to stay?

    Players do not react like he did against Spurs if they wanted to leave?

    Is he on a mission to get us top4 and thus enable him to stay at his beloved Arsenal?

  63. Valentin


    Maybe found out has too many terminal connotations.
    I should not have said “been found out” but “know about him”.
    Team were initially standing off him, but now that they know they can nick the ball off him, players are clearly under instructions to put him under pressure. He needs to adjust his game to that new attention.

    Remember Wiltord and his turn. He was so one footed and always making the same turn, players wised up to his habit and started to nick the ball off him.

  64. Marc


    “If we match Juves contract- and better- I am sure we can get the player to stay ”

    What if he wants £500,000 per week to stay?

  65. Pedro

    Marc, from what I’m told, it was not sitting on the table for months, and he was going to sign.

    Point here is this: why does it matter?

    We negotiated with Ozil until the end of January.

    Is there some sort of rule when negotiating that you have to sign immediately?

    Emery didn’t fancy him in the end.

    I think £250k a week is steep… especially if we are skint.

    However, there is not blight on Aaron. He wanted to stay and wanted to spend some time with the biggest decision of his career. Can’t fault that.

  66. Freddie Ljungberg


    He wasn’t worth the money he was offered in the contract that we eventually withdrew so why should we offer even more now? That would be the stupidest thing ever.

    Oh almost forgot who I was talking to, of course you want us to do the stupidest thing ever because that makes sense to you. Nevermind, carry on being a dumbass.

  67. Charlie George

    Thank you PedRo for clearing this up.

    Emery didn’t rate Ramsey …. he wanted Banega … he was particularly hasty in his judgement of our longest serving player.

    But To be fair to Emery- he has corrected this – by playing him recently.

    Ramsey is playing like he still wants to stay
    The club – regardless of Emery should make this happen. Regardless of cost- and embarrassment.

    If fans- think you can replace players like Ramsey – they are deluded.

    His goal at Wembley against Spurs from the halfway line was a thing of beauty..

  68. Marc


    I have no issue with Ramsey, in fact I think he’s doing himself proud by showing a real level of commitment when he’s leaving in a few months.

    As for using Ozil as a marker of previous behaviour – look where that got us. I think Ramsey (or his agent) was playing things out and Sanllehi pulled the plug after a deal being on offer for months to show the club will not be held to ransom.

  69. Dissenter

    You have no way of knowing if Ramsey was going to sign a contract that was in the table forever until we yanked if away.
    Not unless you’re on his management team.

  70. Dissenter

    Only Aaron and his agent will know whether he wanted to stay
    Either way, the club owes him our gratitude for the way he’s managed himself all through.
    I wish we had the decisiveness of Sanlehi when were dealing with the Sanchez and Ozil deals.

  71. Akkimaniac

    Aaron was always talented and hard working. His biggest problem was persistent injuries and then, perfectly understandably, taking some time to get back into his grove after coming back from injury. This seasons he has not been played in every match that he was fit for, hence less load on his fragile and hence the improved quality of his performances.

  72. Dissenter

    “Ramsey kept Wenger in his job too lol”

    Comment of the year from Redtruth
    FA cup final – 17 May 2014

  73. Akkimaniac

    Emery is on course to surpass Wenger’s best rally app f of 75 points in his final few seasons. Not too shabby for just £70m across two windows and his first ever season in the Premier League.

  74. Words on a Blog


    The problem with Emery is that, unlike Wenger, who always had something to say and would no doubt be regaling us now with his views on Brexit and it’s potential impact on the Premier League, Emery doesn’t provide good copy to journos (and bloggers?).

    His limited grasp of English, and his determination not to say anything interesting about anything (including football and the form or otherwise of Arsenal players, will always damn him.

    As a journo what can you do with a statement like: “in the moment, we are working very hard in training and with tactics and every match is important”? Pretty much the same response would be given by Emery whether he was asked about his views on how Özil played or whether he supported a second Brexit referendum….

    You have to feel some level of sympathy for the hacks

  75. G8

    CG is back with his Spanish armada bollocks ..
    Ramsey has single handedly got our season back on track he says?? not the manager!!
    R u for real?
    Didn’t take you long to re impose your obvious hatred towards Emery and try to get revenge for your cult hero who is still unemployed by the way!
    What a troll!

  76. Akkimaniac


    Completely agree with you but forget the journos. My posts were mainly directed at some of the posters here who berate Emery day-in day-out on here.

  77. Samesong

    If fans- think you can replace players like Ramsey – they are deluded

    Why can’t Ramsey not be replaced?

  78. Samesong

    As a journo what can you do with a statement like: “in the moment, we are working very hard in training and with tactics and every match is important”? Pretty much the same response would be given by Emery whether he was asked about his views on how Özil played or whether he supported a second Brexit referendum…

    Last time I remember that’s called keeping card close to your chest.

    Why does Emery have to be a media darling. F dat. His results do all the talking.

  79. Akkimaniac

    Ramsey will do well at Juventus as well as he won’t always be an automatic starter when fit like during the Wenger years. Plus it’s a less physical league. He would be amongst the best midfielders in Serie A, stats-wise, during his time there.

  80. Samesong

    For me Leno has been outstanding in the 6 weeks.

    Looks much more confident and assured. He’s made some great saves also.

  81. Charlie George

    If Emery gets Ramsey resigned- and accepts he was wrong in withdrawing his contract – I would be his biggest fan.

    One of the reasons- I don’t rate our manager – is because he doesn’t rate our best 2 players ( Ramsey and Ozil)

    Don’t you think Ramsey is playing, acting and performing like he wants to stay at Arsenal?

  82. Words on a Blog


    Don’t worry, I agree that results and performances matter much much more than the views of journos and the esteemed posters on Le Grove

  83. BacaryisGod

    I’ll give you the truth about Ramsey. It’s based on inside knowledge, otherwise known as common sense.

    The club was in negotiations with him. We put out an offer and his agents kept pushing it just that little bit further. We withdrew that offer. Happens all the time. Think about it this way. If our offer was actually accepted and signed, we legally couldn’t withdraw it. His side tried to grind and the club just said, ‘too bad, the offer’s off the table’.

    Let’s not forget that these issues are largely down to the players. Like Walcott (eventually signed), Ozil (eventually signed), Alexis and Ramsey, the club wanted to lock these players down much earlier but the player gets more leverage the longer he holds off. In this case, if Ramsey truly wanted to stay, then that approach backfired for him and it also damaged us in the sense we are losing a strong asset for nothing.

    In the end, I think it has actually worked out well for everyone.

    1) Ramsey gets to go to a great European powerhouse and has a massive contract that will see him into his thirties.

    2) Arsenal avoided what everyone feared and that is having an unmotivated player leaving the club. Ramsey has received and deserves much credit for this.

    3) Arsenal also limits its risk by not committing massive resources to a player that will be 29 this year and with an injury track record that would likely see him underperform such a huge contract.’

    If Aaron can leave us at the end of the season having helped us secure Champions League football and the extra income boost that comes along with it, everyone can part ways with a smile on their face. I have a feeling that his achievements with us will stand the test of time. Two F.A Cup winnning goals after enduring a near career-ending injury alone should see to that.

  84. Charlie George


    Your analysis is interesting.

    But by withdrawing his contract- meant we can’t sell him.
    He walks a away for zero?
    What other football club does that?

    Is that common sense?

    How much does it cost to replace him?
    50£ million
    100£ million

    The truth is . Emery made a seismic error and didn’t rate him…

    And i think Rambo is relishing the challenge of proving him wrong…

    The player is acting like he wants to stay.

  85. Graham62


    “Aaron Ramsey has single handedly got our season back on track”

    I think there is a wee bit more to it than that.

  86. BacaryisGod


    I understand your point. Let’s not forget that Emery said upon starting here that one of his main priorities was keeping Ramsey. I think when it came down to it, Ramsey’s team wanted world-class money and we either thought that he wasn’t worth it or that we had greater needs to fill in our squad (or both).

    At the point where he’s in his final season, we were now competing with teams that were offering Ramsey huge signing bonuses plus a massive salary, especially in lower tax countries.

    I just don’t think you can look at the situation these days as simply as ‘it’s cheaper to keep him than replace him’. We’re seeing that with Ozil. First, very few clubs can afford the salary alone let alone a big transfer fee that might accompany it. We could easily be looking at forking out 200k plus the signing bonus to Ramsey when we have so many improvements still needed in our squad. What then if Ramsey becomes his usual injury-prone self?

    Te real problem is that the way the system is now structured, we have to make a decision on extending a player’s contract or selling him two years before the existing contract is up. This will just lead to more mistakes on both sides of this coin (overpaying Ozil, Jenkinson etc or losing players like Gnabry and Ramsey because we didn’t extend early enough).

    Look at someone like Welbeck. Not a world-beater but a hard-working, solid contributor to the squad. Who would have been comfortable extending his contract two seasons ago which would have kept him, on higher wages, until 2022? Clearly, the club would be getting hammered for that right now.

  87. Marko

    Is there some sort of rule when negotiating that you have to sign immediately?

    No but there should be a limit on how long you wait for a response. I mean I highly doubt it was the first offer on the table so the notion that he wasn’t given enough time is ludicrous. I assume that we made many offers over a long period of time and he didn’t sign up.

    He wanted to stay and wanted to spend some time with the biggest decision of his career. Can’t fault that

    Again I personally don’t believe he did want to stay otherwise he would have signed. I think for a couple years there he was probably waiting on someone to bid for him and it never happened and then he decided to ask for more money than probably warranted. It’s weird you say that he wanted to stay while Ornstein says that he always wanted to leave. Either way I don’t begrudge the player he’s 28 and getting a serious payday in Juve and good for him. And I absolutely don’t begrudge the management team for what happened because we have needed better midfielders for years now

  88. Graham62

    Ramsey loves the club, of that there is no doubt, but why blame Emery for a situation and state of affairs that was not of his making?

    I’m sorry, but it beggars belief that some on here can’t see that.

  89. Dissenter

    Emery didn’t fancy Ramsey?
    After naming him as one of the five captains and singing his praises all the time.

    The deal was taken off the table for financial reasons, this one is not on Emery.

  90. BacaryisGod

    It’s no secret that we have a limited transfer and wage budget compared to the last 4-5 seasons. We’ve invested heavily in Lacazette, Aubamyang, Mustafi, Xhaka etc in the last couple of years. We were counting on Champions League money and our failure to qualify for the last two years is being felt now even with improved commercial deals kicking in.

    It would be nice to have a more generous owner but we’ve known he’s the self-sustaining type since he bought the club and we’re powerless to change that.

  91. Marko

    Emery is responsible. He didn’t fancy the player. He pulled the deal.

    Unless you can prove it it’ll have to be put down to an agenda driven comment honestly. Because he’s not involved in who gets signed he’s not involved in who gets offered a contract he’s literally the head coach and that’s that. You say that Ramsey wants to stay and that he’s not because Emery wanted him binned while Ornstein says that he didn’t really want to stay because of all the contract offers that were made that went unsigned. One has a vendetta the other kind of makes sense so I know which one I’d believe. Fact is that it’s irrelevant now because he’s going he’s got his move and a good payday to boot while we’ll now be looking at improving the midfield which is much needed.

  92. Marko

    And even if it was down to the manager (it isn’t) given the job he’s doing let’s actually trust in his judgement. Even though he won’t have much of a say in Ramsey’s replacement though cause he isn’t responsible for the signings. Be interesting to see who replaces him. Barrella? Joan Jordan? I personally would like Lo Celso

  93. Marc

    All this talk about Emery pulling the deal. He’s head coach and has input but not decision making power.

    The timing is too convenient – look at the time line of Gazidis leaving, Sanllehi taking control and the deal being pulled.

  94. Marko

    Marko doesn’t let facts get in the way of #Markologic

    Facts are facts mate. Steve Rowley isn’t back at Arsenal and Eboue doesn’t have AIDS. Just facts you know.

    Who are you by the way I can’t quite put my finger on it. Hardly aubergine unless you got slightly rehabilitated. Still a cunt though

  95. Charlie George

    Ramsey clearly ( by his brilliant) recent performances wants to stay.
    Emery would get dissenters like me -on his side – if he gets Ramsey resigned.

    It would be his best move – as Arsenal manager.

    It would show he is flexible, and would garner huge respect from fans and players alike.

    Ramsey wants to stay
    And He should be captain..

    It’s never too late.

  96. Marc


    He’s signed a contract with someone else. He cannot go back on that he’d be in breach of contract and exposed to litigation where Juve could go after him for millions.

    You don’t have to like it, you don’t have to agree with it but it’s too late it’s a done deal give it a fucking rest.