by .

The season was supposed to start with BANG, but it’d be fairer to categorise the Newcastle showing as a light crackle, not even a firework, I’m talking a bag of Quavers in the cinema.

The opening game of the season was all about delivering a win, something we didn’t manage last season. It was also about showing that the club had moved on defensively. We delivered against both objectives, landing a clean sheet and a 0-1 win.

The football wasn’t very pleasant and had most of the hallmarks of last season. We struggled to make use of the possession we were afforded, there was little coherence moving forward, and we looked similarly one dimensional.

That said, it’s hard to fault the manager on this occasion. Most of our new players are either injured, unfit or off the pace of the league. Kola and Ozil were dealing with criminal issues in London which don’t sound pleasant. So Emery really had to roll with a makeshift starting 11.

That gave Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson a start, and it also offered up Emery the chance to leave Mustafi out of the 11, something he wasn’t prone to doing last season… so we saw Chambers gifted a start. I think you could confidently say that with a fully fit squad, at least 6 of the player wouldn’t have featured.

We controlled possession with ease but struggled at times to deal with Newcastle’s aggressive pressing approach. We struggled to create chances, so you felt that we were going to need a decisive intervention. Auba to the rescue. The man doesn’t need much of opportunity to devastate teams. We hit Newcastle on a quick break led by AMN who intercepted a stray pass and drove forward, his threaded pass to an unmarked Auba was truly special, the finish was tight, the deadliest sharpshooter in the game lifted the ball over the keeper and did just enough to make the difference.

We took control for the rest of the game, introduced Pepe, Martinelli and Ceballos all made their debuts and all did very little. The Spanish U21 looked extremely off the pace, which is to be expected, but also a big problem because we need a ball-carrying midfielder that can do the job now.

Of the kids, I think Chambers had a solid game, Joe Willock looked comfortable but a touch meek, Reiss was largely anonymous for me, he did create two chances though, and that’s what he’s there to do. He will need to impose himself a little more if he wants to earn more chances.

The player that really stunk the house out was one that’s dropping £170k a week. Mikhi had a shocker of a game, he’s so out of sorts it looks like he’s come out of retirement to play in a charity game at Old Trafford with Robbie Williams best mate… but to be fair, I think Robbie’s best mate would contribute more to the game. Outside one devilishly good pass to Auba, he spent the game getting himself dispossessed or spraying the ball at imagined shadows. His pass completion rate in the final third was 55%… even for someone taking riskier options, that’s kind of appalling. As someone said online, it’s like peak Alexis Sanchez without the goals or assists.

The big thing I’m focused on this season is how Emery evolves the style of play. Our pressing seems very unstructured at the moment and I’m concerned that this system he’s building is easy to suss and not exactly a chance creation machine. We had two shots on target yesterday, that’s really poor when you consider the level of striker we have upfront.

Hopefully, those numbers will improve as we integrate pace and quality into the side. I’m very interested to see what David Luiz brings to the table. Xhaka isn’t the full ticket, but whatever you think of him, you can’t deny that he’s vital to our ability to move the ball forwards and his long balls are a chance creation option in a side that doesn’t create a lot of chances. When opposition teams know where the creativity comes from, it’s easy to control us. Xhaka can get away with being Xhaka against teams like Newcastle, but he’s easily wiped out when you have a team that aggressively pursues him.

Problem is… I’m not sure Matteo and Joe are ready to hold strong in that midfield with Ceballos. Could be a touch weak sauce and it’d be open to bullying. So I’d imagine the main hope is that if we put more mobility into the midfield with Willock and Ceballos, hopefully, we’ll offer more creativity and more running options. Having a midfielder that can move the ball through agressive press is also going to be game-changing. It’s so easy to box our midfield in at the moment.

This squad is exciting because I have literally no idea what it’s capable of producing. The great thing is it’s all on Emery to unlock heat, these are his guys. 8 of that starting 11 are Emery players, probably 9 as Chambers wasn’t a regular fixture with Wenger. All 3 subs were his. No more excuses.

Better football has to be on the menu. Raul and Edu are Barca/Wengerball types. Top 4 needs to come with style. Emery has the players now, let’s see what he can do.

ALSO, did you watch the Chelsea vs United game? The most Brexit game I’ve seen in a while. Neither side impressive, but I’m still unsure how Chelsea managed to lose 3-0. Both squads are not good enough, both managers are not good enough. Top 4 really should be ours! Interesting that Chelsea are going so hard at youth with players that don’t look up to scratch.

Final thought before we go… it was interesting that Jose Mourinho was being so kind about Arsenal players. This on Auba.

“That control looks simple but it’s not simple, it’s genius. Then the finishing is beautiful.”

A few voices indicating that he has deep ties with Mendes and might be trying to ingratiate himself with the Arsenal fans/execs if the inevitable happens earlier than May.

I wanted to hate that idea, but then I started to like it. It totally goes against everything I believe our next manager should be, but the guy has prestige, he’s built winning machines and now I love the idea despite knowing the risks.

There, I said it. I’m really sorry. It was literally a fleeting thought that got out of control.

See you in the comments. x

P.S. I cleared out the banned list as it’s the new season. Same rules apply, agree with me or go elsewhere. Just jokes. But play nice. All are welcome.

530 Responses to “CLEAN SHEET AWAY FROM HOME!”

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  1. Leftsidesanch

    Of course you can Peds it was just funny as it came after you said we need to make top 4 with style.

    Jose is the antichrist to football played with style.

  2. Leftsidesanch

    Close Un, close! Noise really does travel as you can hear it whenever they score or the atmosphere is cranking up in there.

  3. Leftsidesanch

    When I said I was born in Catty, I’m sure I recall you saying you worked there or something similar Un

  4. Alex Cutter

    Any Rwandans out there? Amazon Prime has a series called “This is Football”. They devoted an entire hour episode to the history of Rwandan football.

  5. Un na naai


    Drive past selhurst regularly on way into work. If I’m working east Dulwich, Forrest hill, Peckham ways.

  6. Un na naai


    Yeah I remember now. Yeah I work catford less as it’s a little to Far East for my liking but i get in there frequently enough. Traffic is a bastard round there too though so try to avoid it.

  7. Un na naai


    Drive through there nearly every day mate

    Past the 3 Morley’s en route to back of east Croydon station and then off to surrey from there

    Grew up in Clapham/Battersea. Moved out when I got the opportunity to buy. Couldn’t afford it and certainly didn’t want to stay inner London. Always preferred the rural life. Walks in the woods and a bit of peace and quiet from the hustle and aggression of London.

  8. Leftsidesanch

    I’m not a fan of Catford myself its my least favourite place in the Lewisham borough. Born there but resided in Se4. The love for Arsenal came from us kicking ball with Wrighty’s sons Brett & Bradley.

  9. Luteo Guenreira


    Saw the first half last night, did not find it interesting.

    All I could think about was how upset those Rwandan Pool fans would be that Arsenal have their country’s sponsorship on our kits.

  10. Leftsidesanch

    Yeah near the station. I’m so used to London life. I’ve lived a few places in South Un, the only time I ventures out was Hertfordshire. Far too quiet for me, everything closed early and I felt like a fish outta water.

  11. Un na naai


    Yeah? We fitted out his old flat in Forrest hill. He sold it to a fella (real prick) who worked security for bbc.
    My old business partner does dinner shows with wrighty. He’s got one coming up soon with Merson too. Last one was a laugh. He’s a good talker. Good at telling stories.

  12. Un na naai


    Na. Opposite. London is too aggressive. People are just dicks to each other. Works me up. All about the nature. Never wanted my kids to experience that harshness. Wanted them to retain a sense of childhood innocence for as long as possible. Kids in London grow up too fast. Learn about things too early. The talk out of 7-8 year olds now is ridiculous

  13. MidwestGun


    I’m very concerned about this Vegan cheese puff and oat milk diet your on. It seems to be messing with your brain chemistry..

    Jose Fuckin Mourinho? seriously… his” managerial” style now is to publicly slag off all his best players in the media to motivate them to play better. And it works for a time because … shockingly turns out people don’t like to be embarrassed publicly. Then after a short time period the players get together and they say … Fuck this Mourinho psychological Bullcrap… we are downing tools …The locker room becomes toxic, the organization becomes toxic , the owner isn’t happy and the entire organization is nuked for about 2 years or more.. No thanks… to that.. You know this , too.. He is about the farthest thing from sauce you can get… more like a blow torch.

    Anyhow, I thought you were for young exciting and mix youth with, high quality signings? That is not MOURINHO! LOL

    Anyhow, I’m not a big fan of Emery anymore then you are, but come on now.. We don’t need to go in the opposite direction of boring to that extreme.. sheesh.

    I’m just going to chalk this up to lack of decent protein.. I’m going to get Sal to buy you some cheeseburgers and fries FFS… Sort it out, man.

  14. Dissenter

    Un na
    I have to admit that I was gobsmacked when it appeared you were giving morality tutorials earlier on today.
    Coming from you,it felt like a blue whale sucking on a single smarties.

    You give as much as you get, very much like your adored orange man.

  15. Leftsidesanch

    That is true, I have a 12 year old whos schoolmates are 12 going on 20. It’s ridiculous how much they want to rush into adulthood so young Un.

    London to me is how its always been. I know theres a lot of the violence being reported in the news etc but it is generally no different to how it was when I was growing up. Mind you I was a jumped up troublemaker back then.

  16. Dissenter

    The severity of crime in London is child’s play compared to the typical American city. I’m always astounded anytime I’m in London about the subtle manner and quick response of your emergency services.

    Which is why this Ozil situation still perplexes me. some day we will learn the full story.

  17. Un na naai


    Look I don’t mind taking flack. You know that. I just think it’s a little out of order when respectful posters like Tr7 or Valentin get rounded on and when people like Pierre and CG get such abuse when they never ever give it back.

    That’s all. Not claiming I’m an angel but I really only engage that way with people who go in like that. Im cordial with those who are pleasant towards me, weather we share the same views or not.

  18. Dissenter

    Un na
    Very well.
    I’ve learned to accept you for who you are. You don’t hold punches and certainly don’t have a glass jaw. Some of my best professional friends are the most bizzare Trumpites so its all good.
    It still irks me that you waved those pompoms for spuds 🙂

  19. Un na naai


    There you go. I didn’t realise just how aggressive London was until I went travelling and experienced other places and atmospheres and cultures. Just thought it was normal to constantly be on your toes. Best move I ever made getting out. Wouldn’t have my Mrs or kids if I’d have stayed.

  20. Un na naai


    I’ll let you in on a little secret. I did want them to beat city but once I saw the rise I was getting, I carried it on for the Ajax tie. They deserve credit for the run though.

  21. Leftsidesanch

    Yeah, so much being made over it. These youngsters have always been self destructive, short sighted and ill tempered and it won’t change.

    The Ozil/Kola story sounds like theres so much more to come from it for sure.

  22. Marko

    So cordial.

    In Arsenal news Rob Holding completed 60 mins for the under 23’s his second outing since returning from injury

  23. Leftsidesanch

    Fair enough Un, I have a couple of close people to me that have also moved out of London for the same reasons.

  24. Leftsidesanch

    I’d imagine we see Holding and Tierney after the international break. Excited to see our potential first team together once fitness and injuries improve.

  25. MidwestGun

    I have learned to accept the comedy that is CG.. I forget who said It, but if you read all his comments like it’s Will Ferrell saying it… it all makes sense.

    Wish we could fast forward the injury and match fitness of many of our players.. we are behind the curve.. and we play Pool and the NLD too soon..

    Saw an interview with Holding preseason he looked to be close to ready then but damn that scar on his knee is scary ugly.. hopefully the inside part holds up.

  26. Marko

    Pepe Ceballos and Luiz will almost certainly start against Burnley with Liverpool on the horizon. No chance of anything against them with the same team that started against Newcastle.

  27. Luteo Guenreira

    Call me old fashioned but when the athletes these days are trying to coming back from ACL tears in 9 months or whatever, less than a year for Achilles tears…I understand that medicine has advanced but still gets me nervous, can’t bring myself to believe they are recovered enough for the top levels of sports.

    Whatever happened to microfracture surgery, never hear about that anymore

  28. Luteo Guenreira

    Really interested to see what ends up becoming the first choice midfield over the course of the season.

  29. MidwestGun

    Don’t know about microfracture surgery… but that scar on Holdings knee looked to be about 4 or 5 inches long … bit like Dr. Frankenstein had a go.. at it. I’m sure he had all the best surgeons and all that.. Anyhow, Him and Bellerin worry me a bit for the long haul.. really don’t want anymore Diaby situations. Where you get your hopes up only to realize nope, nope … made of glass.

    Midfield I’d imagine will be an everchanging setup… seems to be Emery’s thing… horses for courses.. just a matter of whether he gets it right more then wrong and if he does correct it asap… Benching Miki would be a start.. 😀

  30. MidwestGun

    Always been a fan of Adidas over the others. First pair of “cool” shoes were Sambas.. in the 80’s . Hell I still wear them occasionally… Not the same shoes from the 80’s obviously .. no idea where those are now.. but Sambas… Grey ones at the moment with black stripes.

  31. Luteo Guenreira


    So many question marks in midfield for me, there’s not really any grouping that stands out as the best choices at all. Just a little off with every grouping. Torreira is a big one for me as I believe he still has the most potential to becomes a top player, he needs to show improvement this season though. Never saw much of Ceballos before but he seemed half a tick behind at Newcastle, hopefully his game comes up to speed quickly. Seen lots of mixed opinions about Willock’s performance but I thought he did pretty well considering his experience, really a wild card if he can turn into a dependable player. Even if he doesn’t maybe we can sell him to Everton for a good chunk of cash in a couple years lol. Guendouzi looked a little more disciplined, but still very early. Really hoping Ceballos does well as he will offer something different to the club if he can acclimate quickly.

  32. Valentin

    In view of Ceballos performance at Newcastle, starting with him against Burnley may be a cultural and physical shock he never recover. To me, he did not look like 100% ready.

    Burnley is a team of bruiser and sneaky (in fact not so sneaky) foulers. However they also play 4-4-2, so the two in midfield should not be overrun. I would go for Xhaka-Torreira with Willock further up or with Xhaka-Willock, Ceballos further up.

    Having only two CBs against Burnley two strikers would be risky. I expect Emery to play with 3 at the back against them: Chambers, Luiz and Sokratis. Monreal and AMN as wingback.

    Whatever system, we need to drop Mhkitaryan. The mind is still willing, but the body can’t follow. He knows and he tends to rush things out of desperation. When setup by Monreal, he skyied his shot so high, it was both funny and pathetic. When he got time, he can still make gorgeous pass like he did for Auba first half chance. When put under pressure, his passing is getting worse: 55% pass completion is poor.

  33. Luteo Guenreira

    In view of Ceballos performance at Newcastle, starting with him against Burnley may be a cultural and physical shock he never recover.

    Yeah like I said just before you I thought he looked a tick behind. I wouldn’t use such hyperbolic terms though. I’m gonna just assume you’re trying to be colorful with your words and not that you actually believe that Burnley will spell the end of Ceballos EPL career if he starts.

  34. Valentin


    Yes, I meant that he is in for a big surprise, and not the nice and friendly one. Referees in the EPL are more lenient that he is accustomed to and Burnley has a tendency to sail very close to the limit.

    Pires in an interview said that the first game Wenger put him on the bench, he genuinely was scared and thought that he had made a mistake. He joked that he wanted to go home. The game was fast and the tacles were furious. Lol.

  35. MidwestGun


    Yep I pretty much feel the same way … we are just missing that ingredient, that something that would make our midfield click… I mean it would help immensely if Xhaka and Ozil didn’t suck for one thing.. makes me start thinking crazy things like Start Luiz for Xhaka and make a move for a CAM in the January window.. if Ozil can’t recover from his situation and start playing like he needs to . which to be honest feels like an extreme longshot at this point. The midfield truly does have more question marks then answers right now. I am encouraged by Willock, .more then any of the rest.
    Something I really thought I would never say.. lol

  36. Luteo Guenreira

    Maybe Ozil will toughen up on the pitch to show those gangsters he’s not someone to be messed with. Talk about a plot twist.

    I just remembered why I have an affinity for Adidas, when I was very young some kid told me it stood for “All Day I Dream About Sex”.

  37. MidwestGun

    I just remembered why I have an affinity for Adidas, when I was very young some kid told me it stood for “All Day I Dream About Sex”.
    Yeah sorry about that… It seemed like a good rumor to start at the time. 😀

  38. Guns of SF

    We all heard that one Midwest.
    How funny- that back in the day that someone came up with that one. I heard some others but have long forgotten

    Ceballos needs more time. He was a sub- let him get used to the EPL. he does look very thin however… needs to bulk up 10lbs

  39. RockyRoe


    I’d say an idiot ends up letter sorting for a living……
    Better than an idiot who thinks someone’s profession is of any consequence on a football blog.

  40. Freddie Ljungberg


    Even still better than someone that makes up a profession for another poster and then use that fantasy to ridicule said poster.
    That’s how Don works though, that and the posters countries are his go tos

    Funny to read the 2 most abusive and vile posters, ( both with clear anger management issues) in le grove history white knighting the dumbest and most annoying poster in le grove history.
    Cringey af.

  41. Guns of SF

    Something shady going on with Ozil and Kola. Got to be…. perhaps something got blown out of proportion or something? Gangs??

    Anyhow, Im sure this will cool off, I hope! I hope no one gets hurt

  42. Guns of SF

    Now daily mail saying ozil and kola might withdraw completely for safety concerns and arsenal logistical issues in guaranteeing their safety on the road. Wow this is really blowing up

  43. Bojangles

    As long as the moderator police’s racist remarks and Pedro deals with them as he should then everything else is fair game I guess. All other comments should be treated as opinions, how you deal with the is up to you. If opinions are backed up with facts more power to you providing you keep in mind the quote attributed to DP Moynihan, “everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts.”

  44. Kamp

    Reading between the lines I think Eriksen is off. He was kept on the bench as long as they could and poch has been whining about the European window remaining open longer than ours…

  45. Freddie Ljungberg

    Celtic has confirmed that we paid 25m in one go for Tierney, no installments.

    That’s good, we have enough other transfers that needs paying off in the future with Pepe and Saliba.

    Now to swell the coffers with some dough for Mustafi and Elneny.

    Hope the Ozil and Kola situation gets resolved soon too, terrible for them personally and for the club.

  46. Freddie Ljungberg


    I hope they get stuck with him and he leaves on a free next year.
    Yes it will benefit them this year on the pitch but they can’t afford to lose out on that money, would allow us to catch up quicker.

  47. Rambo Ramsey


    Perhaps you should review some of your own comments and words used before piping up about ‘abuse’ etc.

    Another pretentious moron who acts like the voice of reason but is a vile cretin in reality.

    You and your buddies Dissenter, Marko et al do make me laugh.

    Posting 100 ‘contributions’ every day on this blog, keep up the sad work.

  48. Un na naai

    InI’d say an idiot ends up letter sorting for a living……
    Better than an idiot who thinks someone’s profession is of any consequence on a football blog.

    It is when someone is comparing his intellect with others whilst residing in the glassiest of glass houses.

  49. Ulstersaysarse

    Un na naaiAugust 12, 2019 22:53:04 to see from willock here. We need more of this from our midfield. Haven’t seen Torreira make a tackle like this for nearly a year. He needs to get back to that. That bite in his game

    This is exactly what I was talking about. So good to see fearless young blood making his mark. Hope he has a blinder of a season. It’s this type of player that can lift others around him.

  50. Un na naai


    Good man. Couldn’t agree more pal. Not enough of it in the modern game
    Gets the blood pumping.
    Right after my anger therapy session too 🙄😝

  51. Pierre

    Regarding Ceballos
    I think that the player we saw at Newcastle is the player he is .

    Some think he wasnt very influential , I disagree.
    After the initial poor opening 5 minutes he settled into the game , saw a lot of the ball , kept possession, was always available and he as much as anyone allowed Arsenal to see the game out comfortably, something we struggled with last season due to our inability to retain possession of the football.

    I said when we brought him in and I will say again, he is not a player who will take risks with the ball, he is not this fantastic dribble with a burst of speed and he will rarely if ever venture into the opposition box .
    He is a neat and tidy footballer with quick feet who demands the ball and enjoys keeping possession..

    Exactly what we saw at Newcastle.

  52. Danny S

    Maybe Arsenal will suggest that its not safe for Ozil to remain in London, and kindly offer to cancel his contract to allow him to move to another country……

  53. Danny S


    I agree with that re; Ceb.

    players like that are exactly what we missed last season and together with some wingers that press and track back, are worth more to Arsenal than a world class CB would have been (though hopefully we get one of those too eventually).

    Ramsey in that situation would have been making bursting runs into the box and Ozil would have been floating about waiting for the ball to arrive at his feet and we would have conceded a late goal for sure.

  54. chris

    The way Ceballos blocked the ball from the Newcastle defenders attempts to get it to his keeper in the dying moments is the type of bastardry we need a lot more of.

  55. Leftsidesanch

    Rambo pussy

    I’m far from a voice of a reason, you literally exist to come on here and give it the big talk and then go back into your cage. You pointless nonentity.

  56. Leftsidesanch

    And how would you know about the ‘100’ comments if you weren’t constantly galavanting here incognito. Now run along Rambo.