Mega Monday Awaits

by .

Via Arsenal Instagram

No gross story to start the day today my friends. Just straight into the good stuff.

OGS made a meal of another lucky win at home to West Ham. The wheels really are starting to come off. The babyfaced assassin looks like he’s having a rough time with stress, it’s taking a toll on his face and body by the looks of things. It seems that when that Mourinho hangover wore off, the players just weren’t that interested in being a team.

That said, I couldn’t be happier that he’s landed a new deal. Poch at Old Trafford would be a very different story imo. I don’t want to witness how fiery the sauce could be. Just keep topping up that problem with more ’92 thinking.

Spurs are back to their best, they downed Huddersfield with ease, no doubt there really. Only thing we can hope for moving forward is more tiring games. They have to deal with City twice away this week… that should do the trick.

There’s a HUGE game today as Sarri heads on up to Liverpool to hopefully take a thrashing at the hands of Klopp… but as we’ve seen before, Liverpool are more than capable of a choke against Chelsea when chasing a title. So who knows what’s going to happen there. I thought this was a good read on the Chelsea manager.

Sarriball, an ironical term coined by someone in another country, has been used to beat him, a sign of – heaven forfend! – intellectual pretension. Here he comes now, papers flapping, textbook under one arm. English anti-intellectualism, the English insularity that still sees it as a form of national disgrace to take lessons or ask favours abroad: Sarri is an embodiment of so many things that have traditionally enraged English football’s deep sensibilities.

Remember that brief period where a shared hatred of Jorginho seemed to unite the nation? What outrage there was at the sight of a small, possession-based midfielder trying to integrate his style into English football.

Fast forward a couple of months and Jorginho and N’Golo Kanté have both been key players in the current run. Jorginho starts for Italy. He has played in six wins in a row for club and country, his team dominating possession in every one. Maybe just give it a while next time.

Let’s see how it looks after today.

As for Arsenal… well, we’re not playing today. I must have been delirious or just my normal error-prone self when posturing that the fixture was today. That means one more day to mentally prepare for an absolute hell fest away at a reasonably good team our players should be dealing with.

Once again, the big challenge that’ll be asked of Emery is this… where does he see his top 4 fortune?

The Premier League?

The Europa DREAM?

Or will he just shoot for glory in both?

This is where rotation is tough. He knows we’re shite away from him, and likely understands that this isn’t helped by starting Mustafi and Big Mo. However, if he goes for glory (against Watford, big LOL) and then has tired players for Thursday’s test, he could end of shooting himself in both of his size 14 feet (true). No one needs that.

I’d imagine he’s looking at a 2-0 lead and fancying himself for the Europa. A 2 goal lead against Napoli shouldn’t be causing concern. Valencia are a 6th placed team we should have little problem with. Then it’s Benfica or Chelsea in the final. Both teams that offer up tough test, but in a 90minute battle, I’d fancy Emery’s experience to do the job.

… but, lose against Watford and the fans will be pissed off. Doubt might creep into players heading out on Thursday. Legs become a little heavier. No one wants to be tired heading into a nasty atmosphere in Italy.

Basically, it’s a tough one. I am very worried that Mustafi has to play on Monday. That puts us on the back foot right away. It’s hard not to see reckless behavior on the pitch as anything outside nightmarish. However, we have some very good players who should be able to do a job on them. It’s all about focus and motivation. Interesting to read that the 7 games where Ozil, Auba, Laca and Ramsey have started… we’ve won. Our best player delivering results is hardly a revelation, but you have to know when to deploy them.

A very big Monday ahead… let’s see how Emery gambles.

421 Responses to “Mega Monday Awaits”

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  1. TallestTiz

    Pedro says we’re shite away from him (Emery).
    Maybe we should think of giving him a free pass to all the stadia

  2. MrT

    Fingers crossed. It is nerve wrecking to see spurs and united win. Spurs so effortlessly and united favoured by the penalty gods. It is unbearable to think that both Europa league trophy and top four can slip away. The pessimist keeps whispering it in my ears. Argh!!!

  3. Un Battle Angel

    (From previous page)
    Aubameyang great technique? Come on now….. he’s got certain unique qualities but technique isn’t one of them. His biggest assets aretiming and instinct.

    And I personally don’t care if ozil doesn’t run about if he’s changing games and making things happen. A flick, a pass, a trick to get the crowd going.
    He looked good on Thursday because he was up for it. Anyone with eyes can see the difference. He obviously had a point to prove to Ancelotti who binned him and it showed. If only he could summon that attitude more regularly
    Nobody wants to see ozil diving into tackles on the edge of our area. We want what it says on the tin. No10, assist machine, creative genius. That’s not what we’ve got

    Big fan of AMN though.

  4. Champagne Charlie

    “Kinda like Benitez better than Emery point, no? Especially since that data is shitting all over Benitez.“

    No, not remotely similar. What data has Emery shitting on Benitez? They’re at two clubs with vastly different targets, budgets, resources. Benitez should have Newcastle above Arsenal to prove his ability should he?

    Amusing how triggered some get over banal statements. I rate Benitez as a coach, I’d have had him over Emery given my view of the needs of the club at the time. The fact you disagree is irrelevant, the fact you try and mock is laughable.

    Not sure how I’m being anal about anything. I scoffed at Banford claiming he knew the position of ‘the entire football world’. That passes for anal? You’re losing your touch old yin.

  5. David Smith

    Mustafi is a conundrum. Echoing the thoughts of journalist Matt Scott here, but looks like there is a trust issue playing Mustafi in a back four, meaning if he plays, and he will against Watford, and co, emery goes with a three which upsets our balance further forward, to a degree, reducing their effectiveness.
    What’s wrong with playing Mavropanos instead, unless he is still not fullly fit?

  6. HillWood

    Think we will see El Neny Mustafi Lichtsteiner (injured?) Suarez tomorrow
    And we are not playing in Islington

  7. Nelson

    Watching Wolves game yesterday, looks like most of Wolves’s players couldn’t wait to return home to Portugal. They didn’t play like the team vs Manure at all. I think we have a good chance beating them.

  8. Pierre

    You don’t score the amount of goals that Aubamayang scores without good technique…
    Of course he relies on other players to provide the opportunities but his awareness in the box is 2nd to none……very intelligent footballer and he rarely is injured.

    Ozil is Ozil , he will never change , maybe he is working a little harder ( maybe not),

    I judge him as a footballer not on how much he earns ( as many do on here) ..I know the negatives in his game but the positives outweigh them as far as I’m concerned but I’m not sure our manger thinks the same

    .It never bothers me if people ( not you) slag me off for defending Ozil as I feel a little sorry for those who purport to be Arsenal supporters but will continually criticise our most productive player over the years

    .I love watching players with great technique , they make the game look ridiculously easy at times , it’s the same when I am watching the golf . I am in awe of their ability to play on courses like Augusta , their short games are fantastic , to do what they do under such pressure with so little margin for error is unbelievable

  9. Un Battle Angel

    Most of his goals have not been down to good technique but as you rightly say his positional awareness. He’s got no left foot, can’t head, can’t pass, can’t dribble and doesn’t play well off the shoulder for someone so fast so it’s a miracle he scores the amount of goals he does for me.

  10. Guns of Hackney

    Off Arsenal but…does anyone else have a problem with players celebrating winning penalties? It just looks bad to me.

    Also, watching Pogba act like he’s just scored the Maradona goal against England and the Van Basten one against the USSR rather than score two sitting duck penalties just looks fucking dumb.

    Other than that…fuck off.

  11. Un Battle Angel

    Pierre you think I don’t love watching players with great technique and skill? Who doesn’t? If they apply it. He doesn’t.

    The ball comes to ozil on the edge a congested box and he passes sideways 95% of the time

    The ball come to bergkamp/Henry/rvp/cesc/Merson and the shoot, the feint they find a key pass. Ozil isn’t in that league any more. He was but he lost his desire.

  12. Un Battle Angel


    No I’m not against it. I used to punch the air of my side won a penalty when we were chasing for the league. I’m talking amateur here but I was penalty taker so I’m biased

  13. Guns of Hackney

    Also, people (fans) trying to get on the telly and when they do realise they are on, making themselves look like gimps.

    “Hey, I’m a disgusting fat blubber boy…check my hideous dress sense and personal hygiene out”. Oooo baby.

  14. Arsnil

    @David Smith
    “What’s wrong with playing Mavropanos instead, unless he is still not fullly fit?”

    He has been training fully now since mid January and yet for our last league game we had Mustafi in central defence and Lichsteiner among the substitutes!!!! It’s frigheningly inept on the part of Emery. No justification whatsoever.

  15. Guns of Hackney


    Oh I meant when the fouled player celebrates being taken down. It just looks really odd to me. It’s always bothered me. Even if the penalty was legit…celebrating being fouled looks wrong.

    Probably just me.

  16. Nelson

    Although our two strikers didn’t score against Napoli, they did a lot of pressing in the midfield. This is essential for Emery’s new found split striker system.
    Just thinking about it, this system not only allow Ramsey and Torr to do their late run_in to the box, AMN is also taking advantage of the space available. Before that, we need our midfield to be solid. Napoli passes a lot in the midfield. Without the help of our two strikers, our two midfielders would be outnumber by them.

  17. Leftsidesanch

    We have to beat Watford, the race is so tight that we can’t afford to prioritise. Just pick the best side for each game and take it as it comes.

  18. Un Battle Angel


    It’s a tough one for me. Both aren’t multi faceted enough to dominate any game. Each has a certain skill set which suits certain sides and certain styles. I’d prefer an all rounder like rvp or lewandowski or Henry or or fowler or Shearer. Guys who can score in any game against any opposition from any proximity to the goal. I prefer lacazette to both aubameyang and Giroud although I think Giroud and lacazette would be great as a pair

  19. HighburyLegend

    Giroud is maybe shit most of the time, but so far he has been decisive for Chelsea in the ELC, and I think with him on the pitch vs Napoli, we would have scored at leat 2 more goals.

  20. bennydevito

    Afternoon Grovers,

    Good post Pedro. My missus and kids have had the stomach bug all week too but so far I’ve been ok.

    We will beat Watford tomorrow because we have to, but seeing Everton lose to Fulham after beating us was infuriating!

    Let’s hope injuries and suspensions doesn’t put our team selection into jeopardy again like it did at Everton, because we would have won that if Emery’s hands weren’t tied. Gazidis and Wenger renewing Elneny’s contract was a big mistake too but there is logic as it ensures a minimum transfer fee at least.

    With Torreira available and Ramsey now fully recovered unlike at Everton, I hope that means we don’t see Elneny paired with Guendouzi again as that was the disaster that cost us. We also really could do with Aubameyang being sharp but hopefully he’s now fully recovered from his illness he was getting over at Everton too. So many enforced changes really cost us, I just hope Emery doesn’t rotate in the same players by choice this time around. We have to win tomorrow to give us the confidence and momentum going into the Napoli game.

    As for today obviously a Liverpool win will benefit our top 4 chances especially as we have a game in hand on Chelsea, but Liverpool being the team I really hate the most, a draw would be the best result.

    Hopefully City don’t fuck up at Palace today.

  21. Un Battle Angel

    Giroud’s Goals/min ratio is up there with the greats
    He offered different problems to defences which would now allow Lacazette and Aubameyang space
    The problem with torpid was we reload on him as the replacement to rvp when he was never good enough to be that. We needed additional firepower alongside him. Letting van Persie go for £24m was unforgivable

  22. Champagne Charlie

    It was never Giroud or Auba..

    It was Giroud + a £40 mil winger/forward/attacking mid or Auba.

    I think there’s a debate for the latter, but c’est la vie

  23. Bamford10


    “Let’s hope injuries and suspensions don’t put our team selection into jeopardy again”

    Sokratis is suspended for Watford, so that is one problem Emery faces. He’ll probably have to play Mustafi.

    As for Elneny and Guendouzi, I doubt he’ll ever pair them together again.

  24. HighburyLegend

    “but Liverpool being the team I really hate the most, a draw would be the best result.”
    And that’s probably the result the Chavs will be looking for.
    They will park the bus like if Maureen were still in charge. lol

  25. HighburyLegend

    Mustafi aka the walking mistake, like Pedro once said.
    I guess it’s useless to ask for a clean sheet…

  26. Charlie George

    A concise round up of affairs in and around the Arsenal by the redoubtable PedRo. And I thank him for it.

    (I hope he, the mini BDs and more importantly Mrs. Bd continue to feel better,by the way)

    Let’s hope ‘Mega Monday ‘ does not spill over to Tumultuous Tuesday but I fear it will-if we fail to stop the defensive rot endemic at Arsenal.

    Removing Japanese Knotwood permanently- seem to be an easier proposition- than Emery organising a clean sheet.( away from home)

    I note that Bounemouth and Newcastle kept away clean sheets over the weekend.

    Are we really saying – Emery And His Gang of coaches cant drill our team – to keep an away clean sheet???

    Now- I know Wenger never concentrated on the defense. And we expected horror shows away from home- time to time.

    But what was the point of appointing Emery – as this ‘modern coach’ if he can not even do The Basics.?

    I want to hear on my television tomo.

    “1 nil To The Arsenal”

  27. bennydevito

    Yes I want a high scoring draw to give City the edge and to motivate us for the Watford game because if Chelsea draw we’ll be 4 pts behind with 2 games in hand the first being Watford.

    I forgot about Sokratis suspended, bollocks. What about Koz? Is he back? Mustafi is such an accident waiting to happen.

  28. Bamford10

    We signed Aubameyang because Lacazette had not been convincing enough in his first six months at the club. If they believed Lacazette was a great signing, our first-choice CF for the foreseeable future, a replacement for RVP, they would never have gone out and spent £60m on Aubameyang. They did so because they weren’t convinced by Lacazette. This is obvious.

    Whether either was the right signing is an open question, IMO.

  29. Marc

    Looking at the remaining fixtures for the other 3 teams chasing 3rd / 4th and the matches that a possible banana skins for each:

    Spud’s – City (A), West Ham (H) & Bournemouth (A).
    ManU – Everton (A), City (H) & Chelsea (H)
    Chelsea – Liverpool (A), ManU (A) & Leicester (A) although Leicester will probably be on the beach.

    We really need to get our heads in gear.

  30. Bamford10

    Per the article, the sporting director will be responsible both for transfer policy and for building the club’s footballing ethos.

    This will require a number of things, including an “understanding of Arsenal’s current identity on and off the pitch and the free-flowing, aesthetically-pleasing football that has been central to the club over the past two decades”.

    The above “goes some way to explaining why Sanllehi did not think it was a job for former head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, a world-renowned scout but not one closely versed in the Arsenal way of doing things.”

  31. Un Battle Angel


    Henry didn’t score for his first 6 months. He missed sitter after sitter
    Bergkamp didn’t really kick on u til wenger came
    Two seasons after he signed
    Pires took a seasonto find his feet and rvp took years to mature

    You wouldn’t remember though because you didn’t know who these people were until the good times were gone.

    It’s almost poetic that glory hunting rent-a-personality types didn’t taste the sweet years

  32. Marc


    I think a big piece of the Auba deal was commercial pressure. We’d just lost our best player – Gazidis had Wenger who he couldn’t get to spend even when it was obvious we needed a replacement and we were trying to nail down a new shirt deal.

  33. Nelson

    @Marc “Has anyone heard about Xhaka etc?”

    Darren Burgess, Arsenal’s Director of High Performance, says midfield duo Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira are the club’s best performers in training.

  34. azed

    From the mirror

    Note: Some of these wages are estimated, based on previous reports on their new contracts.

    Mesut Ozil – £350,000-a-week.
    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – £180,000-a-week.
    Henrikh Mkhitaryan – £180,000-a-week.
    Alexandre Lacazette – £140,000-a-week.
    Sead Kolasinac – £119,500-a-week.
    Aaron Ramsey – £110,000-a-week.
    Hector Bellerin – £100,000-a-week.
    Petr Cech – £100,000-a-week.
    Laurent Koscielny – £100,000-a-week.
    Danny Welbeck – £100,000-a-week.
    Bernd Leno – £90,000-a-week.
    Sokratis – £90,000-a-week.
    Shkodran Mustafi – £90,000-a-week.
    Stephan Lichtsteiner – £90,000-a-week.
    Granit Xhaka – £90,000-a-week.
    Lucas Perez – £80,000-a-week (contributions from loan club West Ham United).
    Lucas Torreira – £75,000-a-week.
    Alex Iwobi – £70,000-a-week.
    Nacho Monreal – £70,000-a-week.
    Mohamed Elneny – £55,000-a-week.
    Matteo Guendouzi – £40,000-a-week.
    Rob Holding – £40,000-a-week.
    David Ospina – £40,000-a-week.
    Calum Chambers – £25,000-a-week.
    Konstantinos Mavropanos – £25,000-a-week.
    Krystian Bielik – £25,000-a-week.

  35. bennydevito


    Thanks, we’re all recovering but I fear my eldest daughter will be returning to her Mother’s from her Easter break with us with the bug and give it to her 2 yr old sister, hopefully not.

    As for Emery, yes I concur there; we haven’t seen much by way of defensive improvement it has to be said, but for now I put that down to the defenders still in place as I feel not even Guardiola or Mourinho would do much better with the likes of Mustafi. I’m prepared to allow Emery the chance to ship out the likes of Mustafi and Elneny etc and replace the ageing Kos and Monreal to see if that makes a difference. If we don’t make significant defensive signings and see significant defensive improvements by the this time next year then I for one will be calling for Emery to not go past the initial 2 years of his deal because if all we’re doing going forward is scraping into the top 4 then what was the point in getting rid of Wenger?

  36. Champagne charlie


    Forever talking as though your view of matters is THE truth. It isn’t, just your view. Reel it in.

    It’s far more rational to suggest we bought Auba because we sold Giroud, Theo, and lost Alexis. We needed star power and goals, Auba was there to pluck from Dortmund mid-season.

    There’s not one example of Arsenal replacing a summer signing in January, especially at the ridiculous expense of £56 mil after a £46 mil outlay 6 months prior. This position is something you’re desperate to circumvent in order to validate your other view of the time (which was Lacazette being sub-par).

    Always manoeuvring opinion and playing with the truth to see to it that your view is maintained.

  37. Bamford10


    What does that have to do with the question of why we spent £60m on Aubameyang? Nothing. If our greatest CFs didn’t do much in their first six months at the club, no one would have known that better than Wenger and co. And yet they still went out and spent £60m on another first-choice CF.

    Care to tell us why you think they did this (if it wasn’t because they weren’t convinced by Lacazette)? We’re all ears.

  38. Marc

    £500k a week coming of the wage bill in the summer just with Ramsey, Welbeck, Cech, Lich, Monreal, Elneny, Chambers & Jenkinson all off.

    There’s been very little talk about Welbeck and other clubs. Would anyone else offer him a new deal (have to be some clause on fitness etc)?

  39. HighburyLegend

    “I’m prepared to allow Emery the chance to ship out the likes of Mustafi and Elneny etc and replace the ageing Kos and Monreal to see if that makes a difference. ”
    Well that’s very kind from you.

    “what was the point in getting rid of Wenger? ”

  40. Bamford10


    No, that isn’t the rational explanation. If Lacazette had convinced as the starting CF and we needed more goals, then we would have signed a wide player or two, not another first-choice CF.

  41. HighburyLegend

    @HillWood : of course you’re right, and when you see the weakness of Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, or even the fucking Spuds, it’s fucking unbelievable that Emery was not able, for his first season in charge, to makes us title contenders!!

    Ffs… (lol)

  42. Bamford10

    And btw, Lacazette HAD BEEN sub-par. This is something Charlie always tries to erase or omit. Lacazette had gone eight games without a goal and with only six total shots. He was in a much-publicized “drought”. When Aubameyang arrived, he started immediately and Lacazette went to the bench.

    The only person trying to distort the truth is here is Charlie, as always.

  43. Bamford10

    As for what Arsenal had done historically, we were breaking with historical practice in any number of ways at that point, so that isn’t a good argument at all. They were desperate.

  44. Champagne charlie


    Care to point to previous examples of when Arsenal bought a ‘replacement’, in January, for a player signed in the summer? Let alone a marquee player like Lacazette was.

    There’s countless examples of players taking a season to adjust to the premier league. Laughable to dismiss that and state unequivocally that we’d summed up our record signing within 6 months (injury to boot).

    Just another classic case of you doubling down on your opinion, no matter how questionable.

  45. Bamford10

    By the way, is anyone here really convinced by Lacazette? Don’t get me wrong: he’s been better than Aubameyang, but is he good enough to return us to the top? Is he one of the best strikers in the game? I don’t think so.

  46. bennydevito

    Highbury L,

    Don’t try and paraphrase me out of context, what I actually said was that if after 2 years of Emery and we see no defensive improvements and we’re only just scraping into top 4 then what was the point in getting rid of Wenger. That’s what I actually said, huge difference, and I wanted Wenger gone in 2008 and was having concerns about his defensive ineptitude as far back as 2000.

    I’m also willing to give Emery the time of his contract unlike others who wanted Emery gone 5 months into the season. That’s I’m saying.

  47. Bamford10


    I already explained that the historical argument is a bad one. We were breaking with historical practice in any number of ways and were desperate. Can you point to a previous instance in which we spent more than £100m on two strikers in the span of six months? No, you can’t. We were no longer doing things the old way. Obviously. Your argument is bunk.

  48. Champagne charlie

    Ah right, Lacazette had an indifferent opening 6 months in England whilst carrying a knee injury he later got surgery for. Totally rational to pay almost 60 mil mid-season for a replacement.

    NOTHING to do with us selling two goal-getters in Theo and Giroud, and losing our primary goalscorer in Alexis for free in what was an embarrassing time for the club desperate to save face. It was Lacazette, because he hadn’t gotten 20 goals yet?

    Banfordisms a plenty.

  49. London gunner


    I think he almost is just has a couple bad habits. One of prime one’s is taking too many touches in the box sometimes he needs to just get his shot away quickly ala aguero.

  50. Marc


    On the list of areas and players we need to improve on Laca is way down the list – at least in my opinion. We are 3rd highest scorers in the league we don’t have the resources to fix areas that don’t need fixing right now.

  51. Champagne charlie


    The spending of money isn’t the argument I’m presenting, I’m asking you to give example of us “replacing” a player we signed in the summer 6 months later. It simply isn’t a practice undertaken in football, period.

    But it’s one you’re doubling down on with the bogus idea YOU are stating – that we’d written off Lacazette.

    No comment on the fact we had Theo, Giroud, and Alexis to replace that January……. odd that

  52. Bamford10


    I agree with that. But I still think we need better. Lacazette is too limited. He’ll do for now, but we’ll need better if we want to compete with the best.

  53. Bamford10

    Your argument is historical practice, guy. We had broken with historical practice in many ways. This would just be another one. Find another argument. We knew he was injured and would be out for six months, for example.

  54. Champagne charlie


    Still no comment on the fact we had to replace the goals of Alexis, Theo, and Giroud. Two wide forwards and a central striker.

    Where can Auba play? Wide forward, and central striker. Amazing that. Almost like he played numerous games CF and LF from that January to seasons end. Heck, even to date.

    But we bought him to replace Lacazette you say, so must be true. Despite Lacazette proving himself the better CF option this season for numerous fans/posters.

    This desperation you have for working previous remarks into a form of ‘truth’ is hilarious. Such a weak character, kids are your level.

  55. Champagne charlie

    Frank Mc, no idea mate. It’s been a month and I’m sat watching the Masters so it’s easy to poke holes in the fraud.

  56. Nelson

    Mendy and De Bruyne are now fully recovered. MC played like champion AWAY FROM HOME. I can’t see us challenging the league in the near future. We need a new owner.

  57. Bamford10

    What a dumb argument. What he has proven to people since — or in the past six months — is irrelevant. The question is what he had shown the club as of January 2018, and the answer is not much, not enough. That’s why we spent 60m on another first choice CF. If we simply needed additional goals, we would have signed wide players. And no, Aubameyang was not signed as a wide player. Sorry.

  58. Chitom

    Reading some of the posts from people with anti- Emery agenda on topics other than Emery makes them seem almost reasonable.
    Kinda like my Republican friends who have gotten big tax breaks from Trump when they aren’t talking about Trump.

    Amazing what having an agenda can do to logical thinking.

  59. Champagne charlie


    Right, dumb argument but here you are going against all sensible footballing standards when recruiting players.

    Widen the net and tell me about all the times players are replaced after 6 months of playing for their new clubs? If anything gets the nod for being dumb, it’s that hot take.

  60. Pedro

    Bamford, you consistently moan about people lacking decorum, but your tone is consistently horrendous.

    Do you read your own posts?

  61. Paulinho

    “Henry didn’t score for his first 6 months. He missed sitter after sitter
    Bergkamp didn’t really kick on u til wenger came
    Two seasons after he signed
    Pires took a seasonto find his feet and rvp took years to mature”

    This almost as bad as the Overmars revisionism.

    Henry scored his first goal in September 1999, so no, not six months.

    Bergkamp was excellent from the moment he scored his first goal against Southampton in his first season. He scored 16 goals that season, and 14 the following one. Then he had that belter of a season in 97/98.

    Pires again was great from March 2001, around the time he scored on Rocastle’s death.

  62. Un Battle Angel


    How have we broken with historical practice? We sold Anelka and brought in Kanu, Henry and super all within the space of 6 months
    We sold overmars and brought in ljunberg and pires within a year
    We sold petit and brought in van bronkhorst, edu and Gilberto within 18 months of each other whilst keeping hold of parlour.

    How exactly is signing additional players now against historical practice?

  63. Un Battle Angel


    Are you telling me Henry pires and bergkamp hit the ground running? You know full well all three needed a season to adjust
    Bergkamp didn’t take off until 97 for arsenal. Yes flashes of brilliance were shown but when he acclimatised to the pace and power of the league he was different gravy

  64. PhD2020

    Bamford10April 14, 2019 13:01:43
    We signed Aubameyang because Lacazette had not been convincing enough in his first six months at the club. If they believed Lacazette was a great signing, our first-choice CF for the foreseeable future, a replacement for RVP, they would never have gone out and spent £60m on Aubameyang. They did so because they weren’t convinced by Lacazette. This is obvious.

    You rewrite history as if it’s a fact from your standpoint.
    Common sense and humility was never your strongest traits.

    You really are an utter useless waste of space.

    Anyone,just to recap,on your nonsensical arguments..We had sold Theo,Giroud and Sanchez.We needed bodies on the table(forward line).Lacazette whilst showing glimpses in his first sense,was also injured.

    This allied with the fact,that Auba was bought to fast track our aim back into the CL campaign via the PL route.

    What you forgot to overlook numbskull was that Aubeymang was cup tied in the Europa League.So,which only left us with Lacazette as our only real attacking option,as a route back into the CL campaign via the Europa League.

    Whilst Auba could offer us the opportunity to get us back into the CL via the Premier League,along with Laca(if he could discover his form).

    So,rather than investing all our eggs in one basket,we diversified not only through recruiting more forwards,but also to cover for the loss of three outgoing forwards(Theo,Giroud,Sanchez) and increase the odds of qualifying for CL football via one of two routes-Europa,or Premier League.

    It’s quite simple-numbnuts…

    You really know nothing about football.”Thirty years-student of the game..”And here we are in 2019,you still getting the basics wrong..Gosh ,you are thick.

  65. Paulinho

    Battle – Both Bergkamp and Henry were brilliant from the moment they opened their accounts with us. It took both of them about one month to find their feet. Henry played left-wing for that period and then Wenger moved him centrally and he was electric.

    Pires took six months. He was unreal from March to the end of that season, particularly remember his performance against Spurs in the semi-final at Old Trafford.

  66. Bamford10


    Any comment on how that Football London piece is describing the role of sporting director? What they have to say about why Sanllehi didn’t like Mislintat for the role? Any opinion on Cagigao?

  67. Paulinho

    Pires was actually better in the final against Liverpool. Still can’t believe we lost that game, biggest injustice ever.

  68. Un Battle Angel


    I remember his first goal well. Back to goal. Turned. Ran across the area and pop, 22 yards into the far side of goal. His trademark. But he took months to acclimatise. He didn’t hit the ground running.

    Bergkamp was not brilliant from the off either. Compare bergkamp of 95 to bergkamp of 97 and we are talking different animals.

    And pires was not great in his first season either

    Read below

    Pires was signed by Arsenal for £6 million in 2000, after stiff competition from Real Madrid and Juventus, replacing Marc Overmars, who had left for Barcelona for a record £25 million.[6] Initially, Pires’ form was indifferent, and some people criticised him after his comments that the English game was too physical. However, he slowly began to regain the form he had shown at Metz, scoring a superb solo goal against Lazio in the 2000–01 Champions League,[8] and the winner against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup semi-finals.[9] However, Arsenal went on to lose the Cup final to Liverpool 2–1.[citation needed]

    By 2001–02, Pires had fully got to grips with the English game and had one of his best seasons. Pires scored superb goals against Middlesbrough and Aston Villa. Against Aston Villa, Pires chased after a long ball by Freddie Ljungberg, and lobbed the ball over the pursuing George Boateng, and finished off the move with a delightful lob over Peter Schmeichel. He led the Premier League assist charts and was voted both FWA Footballer of the Year and Arsenal’s player of the season, as Arsenal won the league title.[10] This was despite not playing the last two months of the season after suffering a cruciate ligament injury in a FA Cup match against Newcastle United. This also ruled him out of playing in the 2002 World Cup with France.

  69. Un Battle Angel


    1990s. On the opening day of the 1995–96 league season, Bergkamp made his full debut against Middlesbrough. He struggled to adapt to the English game and failed to score in the club’s next six league matches, prompting ridicule by the national press. On 23 September 1995, Bergkamp scored his first and second goals for Arsenal against Southampton at Highbury.[32] Bergkamp ended his first season with 33 appearances and 11 goals, helping Arsenal finish fifth and earn a place in the UEFA Cup by scoring the winner against Bolton Wanderers on the final day of the season.[33]

    The appointment of Arsène Wenger as Arsenal manager in September 1996 marked a turning point in Bergkamp’s career.[34] Wenger, who had moderate success coaching in France and Japan, recognised Bergkamp’s talent and wanted to use him as a fulcrum of the team’s forward play.[34] Both were advocates of a continental style of attacking football, and Wenger’s decision to impose a strict fitness and health regimen pleased Bergkamp.[34] Despite making fewer appearances in the 1996–97 season, Bergkamp was more influential in the first team, creating 13 ass

  70. Un Battle Angel


    On Henry

    Brought in as a replacement for fellow French forward Nicolas Anelka, Henry was immediately moulded into a striker by Wenger, a move that would pay rich dividends in years to come. However, doubts were raised about his ability to adapt to the quick and physical English game when he failed to score in his first eight games.[5] After several difficult months in England, Henry even conceded that he had to “be re-taught everything about the art of striking.”[5

  71. Paulinho

    Battle – You can keep repeating the myth that has been lazily peddled over and over again by quite a few people, but your wrong.

    Henry scored 26 goals in his first season, and and 22 the next, so four more goals, and yet you claim he was still finding his feet and didn’t score a goal for six months.

  72. Paulinho

    “Wenger, who had moderate success coaching in France and Japan, recognised Bergkamp’s talent and wanted to use him as a fulcrum of the team’s forward play”

    And Bruce Rioch didn’t recognise it and didn’t use him as a fulcrum? So much trash in these wiki-recaps.

  73. Marc


    Henry did start slowly – he didn’t take 6 months to get a goal but his return in the first half of his first season wasn’t amazing. He more than made up for it.

  74. Paulinho

    Marc – He scored 26 goals and was excellent from the moment he scored his first goal. Any other version is that cliche nonsense that has been rolled out so many times it has become accepted as fact.

  75. Marc


    Sorry but you’re wrong. Henry scored 5 goals up to the 1st of January. All of the rest were scored after so I’d say he took a few months to get going.

    You really shouldn’t try to sound like you know the facts when you clearly don’t.

  76. Un Battle Angel

    Lacazette scored 17 and assisted 5 in his first season at arsenal. A season where he was injured, out of form and playing second fiddle to Aubameyang??

    If Bergkamp and Pires were quality immediately and Lacazette out performed them both in his maiden season then surely it leads one to conclude what?

  77. Un Battle Angel


    Maybe I should have been more specific
    When I say he didn’t score I mean he barley scored for 6 months
    The odd league keep goal aside
    He didn’t score

  78. Marc


    He score 5 up to the 1st Jan – not a great return but he got right up to speed after that. It often takes overseas players a season or so to adjust to the PL. Some hit the ground running most don’t.

    I don’t see why anyone has an issue with that.

  79. Un Battle Angel


    We’re you watching us in 99-00?

    Henry was being doubted. He was missing a lot of chances and his confidence was low. I vividly remember it as a teenager willing him on. Wanting him to out perform Anelka and initially being disappointed. Not because I didn’t think he was good (not that good though) but because we needed a new hero at arsenal after selling Anelka.

    Pires was the same.
    As was Bergkamp.

  80. Paulinho

    Marc – He scored those 26 goals in his first season right? So, nope not wrong.

    The narrative is that both Bergkamp and Henry were poor in their first season and only took off in the 2nd season, which is nonsense.

  81. Bamford10

    Nearly every player takes some time to adjust to new circumstances, not to mention that even the best scorers might go three or four games at the start of the season withiut scoring a goal. None of this touches my claim.

    Essentially there are two views: one, they were thoroughly convinced by Lacazette but signed a second first-choice CF (Auba) because we needed additional goals; or two, they weren’t convinced by Lacazette and they signed Auba because they wanted to finish top four and saw Auba as good enough to get us there (where Lacazette was not).

    A third view would be that they signed Aubameyang because they knew Lacazette was injured and would be out for six months. This is possible, but the problem with this argument is that Lacazette continued to be on the bench for some time after Auba’s arrival and I don’t believe they made the he-needs-surgery announcement until late February or March. But someone should look this up, as I can’t remember the exact details on this point.

  82. Un Battle Angel


    Nobody is saying they were poor in their first season

    What I’m actually saying is this so please pay attention

    They did not play to their potential until they found their feet. All three found it tough initially and we only saw glimpses of what was to come
    As Marc says, why is that such a problem for you?

  83. Marc


    You’re changing the argument. I never said Henry was poor in his first season I said it took him a while to get going.

    You’ve been shown up and instead of accepting you are wrong you are now trying to change the narrative. 5 goals up to the 1st Jan and then 21 between 1st Jan and season end. It’s pretty basic maths.

  84. Paulinho

    Battle – Yes, he looked like Bambi for one month until September 19th(Southampton), and then it was obvious he was going to be great.

    I remember his scoring a double at home to Derby as a central striker not long after. According to Marc he scored then 21 goals after Jan which is interesting.

  85. Paulinho

    Marc – You’ve butted in changed the argument. It was about their first seasons.

    Even if Henry only scored five goal in his first six months,seasons last longer than six months.

  86. Marc


    There’s a match by match review on Wikipedia. Go and read it.

    I love Henry but it’s not blasphemy to say it took him a few months to settle in.

  87. Bamford10


    Except that Paulinho isn’t contesting the idea that Henry or Bergkamp took some time to adjust or adapt. He’s saying that the lazier, larger claim that they weren’t good in their first season is bogus. If you weren’t making this claim, so be it. His point is that this is something you often hear people say, but it’s false.

  88. Marc


    I never said they only last 6 months. You are not going to find a way to score points against me on this one.

    It took Henry a few months to find his feet – so what?

  89. Un Battle Angel


    It was actually about Lacazette taking time to settle and you butted in actually. Either way it’s an open debate so Marc is welcome to chip in as is anyone (except marko 😂😂)

  90. Champagne charlie

    “Essentially there are two views: one, they were thoroughly convinced by Lacazette but signed a second first-choice CF (Auba) because we needed additional goals; or two, they weren’t convinced by Lacazette and they signed Auba because they wanted to finish top four and saw Auba as good enough to get us there (where Lacazette was not).”

    Where’s the view that we were selling 3 strikers and needed a new one, one capable of playing wide forward and centrally?

    Because you’re trying to imagine an argument where folk are discussing whether there was absolute belief in Lacazette after 6 months. I don’t think there was either/or any of that, I don’t think a decision is made within that time frame period at any club across world football. If you’re looking to replace a player after 6 months then that’s chronically poor recruitment to begin with.

    We were losing Alexis for nothing, needed to save face, and we sold Theo and Giroud to finance a move for one of the only ‘star’ men we could get our hands on mid-season in Auba.

    Lacazette was an irrelevance when buying Auba imo. They’d done their homework on him, decided on splashing a record fee, and he was in the middle of adjusting. The issue that Jan was Alexis (buttressed by Oli and Theo).

  91. Un Battle Angel

    Paulinho. Ok.

    Either way the greatest arsenal forwards took varying amounts of time to settle to the pace power and tough tackling of our league. It stands to reason lacazette was afforded similar grace by wenger.

  92. Paulinho

    Marc – Why are you arbitrarily drawing some line some line at six months when we’re talking about a full season?

  93. Un Battle Angel


    Did you read the articles where in Henry’s own words he took time to settle and doubted himself? Same with Bobby

  94. Marc


    Yes he is. He’s now reeling it in because I’ve shown his comment to be wrong. It’s not a criticism of Henry. You also need to remember at the time our goal scoring options included Overmars, Kanu, Bergkamp and Suker – we had quite a squad!

  95. Paulinho

    Battle – Fair enough. I’ve just heard that first season thing repeated so often about him and Bergkamp – even when people interview Henry himself – that it gets annoying. Henry has the good grace not to call people on it and let it slide.

  96. Bamford10


    Even if you were to demonstrate that no Arsenal striker ever found his feet until January — something you haven’t done — this wouldn’t mean you had proven that they were convinced by, or that they thoroughly believed in, Lacazette. Those are two very different things.

    Lacazette had underwhelmed, he had managed zero goals and only six shots in his last eight matches. He was being questioned publicly. And Aubameyang started through the center the moment he arrived.

    I say the evidence supports my claim, that they weren’t convinced by Lacazette. You and others are obviously entitled to your own view, but you’re a million miles from having proven the truth of it.

  97. Paulinho

    Marc -You’ve shown my comment that Henry didn’t need a whole season to settle in to be wrong? How so?

  98. Marc


    Oh dear you won’t let this go will you. I haven’t drawn a line at 6 months I’m talking about up to the 1st Jan which is 4 and a half months give or take.

    The only reference I made to 6 months was when I countered Un when he said Henry didn’t score for 6 months which was wrong.

  99. Un Battle Angel


    Lacazette got injured when we signed Aubameyang
    We had no alternative but to buy a striker and play him centrally. As soon as Lacazette came back Aubameyang was moved wide to accommodate him. Surely that in itself speaks volumes?

  100. Bamford10


    If they were convinced by Lacazette and saw Aubameyang as a striker who could add goals from wide positions, why did Lacazette go to the bench the moment Aubameyang arrived and why did Aubameyang become the starting CF upon arrival? Please explain.

  101. Charlie George

    Its heartening to witness- posters reminiscing ,this Sunday – about The Great Wengers Team and Players….
    They were, indeed halcyon days.

    I wonder if the next generation of The Grove bloggers will be doing so in the future under Emerys teams.

    Somehow ,I doubt it.

  102. Champagne charlie

    Will someone explain to Banford that Arsenal lost Alexis, and sold both Theo and Giroud the January we bought Auba….

    He’s not acknowledge that rather clear contextual element and insists we binned the idea Lacazette was good enough after 4 months of a season. Lad can’t comprehend anything that doesn’t involve someone getting binned.

  103. Marc


    I didn’t say Henry needed a full season to settle.

    “You’ve shown my comment that Henry didn’t need a whole season to settle in to be wrong? How so?”

    Can’t even find you making that comment.

    Stop digging a hole.

  104. Un Battle Angel

    Why did we sign rvp when we already had Kanu Bergkamp Henry Pires and Ljungberg?

    Why did we sign Wiltord when we already had Henry? Wenger mustn’t have believed in them.

    Do you see the fallacy in your argument Bamford?

  105. Paulinho

    Marc – Well no, because I’m still unclear what your actual point is in regards to my point that Henry didn’t need a full season to settle in.

    His goal scoring form might be not have evenly distributed out over the season to describe it as constant ‘excellence’, but give or take a couple of months before Xmas, he was more or less pretty bloody good from his first goal on. The goal against Solna showed when he got minutes his finishing had quickly improved.

  106. Bamford10


    Is that the timeline, though? I don’t think so. Or at least, we need to review the record. As I said above, as I remember it, they didn’t announce that Lacazette needed surgery until late February or March and he was on the bench and available to play for a month or so after Auba’s arrival.

    We have to check the record, though.

  107. ddkingz

    that moment when you have the feeling kdbruyne is getting back to his brilliant best… just wanted city to draw the match today… it will be really awful for city to win all competitions in england 3/3….

    like the debate above on auba and giroud…..
    auba is a better forward than giroud… but, if arsenal was chasing a game, I have more faith with giroud scoring with the last header of the game than auba with the last tap-in of the match.