by .

Ok, let’s get the bad things out the way first. There are two issues from yesterday’s game.

The first one was that buried in the selection, was Auba. Our only fit striker, he is imperative to our strategy because we don’t create many chances and he’s the most clinical sharp shooter in the world at the minute… so why would you risk him away at a bang average German team in the first game of the group stages?

Emery made the same mistake last season in the group stages when he over-played first teamers, that had a knock-on effect and saw us battle through two very lethargic months. It was so bad he had to lower the intensity in training to bring back some freshness.

Europa League is a pub version of Champions League. It’s not important compared to the league. It is a HUGE advantage that Arsenal can theoretically rest players midweek, while our rivals have to battle hard with a first-team squad in a comp they can’t rest players in until much later in the group stages.

We shouldn’t be taking risks. If we lost Auba yesterday, we’d be in deep shit. That wasn’t a smart move and it’s worrying that Emery is making panic decisions like that because it shows he hasn’t learned from last year. Europa League should not be a primary strategy for CL this season, because it’ll be a coin toss final again, potentially against a very good team.

Bad shit, part two.

We really struggled defensively yesterday. We were open, we gave them space and we conceded 26 odd shots against a very average side. People can rightly talk to the quality of the shots and how they were lacking from Frankfurt, but from where I was watching, the reason the shots were so bad was down to shoddy technique versus a lack of openings.

The midfield was non-existent.

We signed a defensive midfielder in LT and we prefer to play him in a more advanced position. We have Xhaka, on the FBI most wanted list for crimes against football, stinking out the place with mistakes, poor positioning and fear. Then it’s a total mixed bag what the other player in the trio does. If the captain can’t lead, how can you expect kids like Willock or Ceballos to make a difference?

Emery is out of tricks. He doesn’t know how to make his midfield work. This is very worrying.


The kids did alright, didn’t they?

I thought Emi Martinez was an absolute rock in goal. He was decisive with the short passing, making correct decisions under pressure, not falling into the ‘PLAY IT SHORT EVEN IF THE PASS IS SUICIDE.’ I thought he was very light on his feet, he made some special saves and was always alert to danger (because it was everywhere). He had arguably his strongest performance to date… he looked far more solid than Leno has this season.

Willock also had a good game. He runs with the ball like a machine, he fights for every challenge and he’s decisive with his passing and shots. His goal was a joke, but at least he was there taking the shot when he had limited options. Very Frank Lampard of him.

Finally, the main man of the night… Saka.

I have been purring about him for a while. He did not disappoint. My intel was CORRECT about him starting.

What a little gem we have there. He is incredibly quick, his movement is hard to track. He prods, he pokes, he accelerates, he drops… he is a very tough player to deal with.

Most important thing for me is this: He stood up when we needed him.

We were an utter shambles in defence, it would have been easy to sink into the melee, but he shone brightly and made that his moment. His goal was composure beyond his years, his two assists were also lovely to watch.

I think the person most concerned with that game will be Reiss. Saka was so much better than anything we’ve seen from the more senior wide man. Same can be said of Pepe as well… this is the sort of internal transfer Wenger was banging on about for 15 years!

ESR also had some good moments, but I think he’s a little further behind in minutes and form than then others. Still, he didn’t let himself down, so no shame there.

Overall, a very fun game. Our transitions in attack were much better. Saka is clearly the new Dembele for Auba, so we’ve had a win there. The main grey cloud is always going to be the absolute mess we have in midfield.

The theory that Emery likes a tall DM seems to have merit… our manager sacrifices quality for inches… a sorry situation if ever I saw one, especially when you consider the height of the best DMs in the world at the minute.

Those midfield issues, if they remain, will have Emery fired by Christmas. He has to pivot.

P.S. For all the folk that said my attack on Emery’s communication skills was unfair… this is Saka on Freddie.

“He helps so much. Sometimes when I don’t understand what the coach [Emery] is trying to communicate with me, I have a better communication with Freddie. He speaks better English”

When you ponder why Emery’s ideas aren’t translating, sometimes you need to channel a bit of Occam’s Razor… simplest answer is usually the most boring, but it’s starting to look quite obvious, right?

See you in the comments. xx

Most of this pod still holds relevant.

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238 Responses to “SAKA DELIVERS GOLD”

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  1. Jacky

    Xhaka would have a been a great player ten years ago when the league actually allowed midfielders like him time and space to ponder. But now it’s different and Emery is too stagnant a person to realize.

  2. Un na naai

    He had arguably his strongest performance to date… he looked far more solid than Leno has this season.

    Bang on. I was mocked hard for saying this last night. Martinez looks like David
    Seaman in his prime
    Safer hands than Leno for me

    For all the folk that said my attack on Emery’s communication skills was unfair… this is Saka on Freddie.

    “He helps so much. Sometimes when I don’t understand what the coach [Emery] is trying to communicate with me, I have a better communication with Freddie. He speaks better English”

    This is just embarrassing. The man cannot communicate simple ideas with his squad

    Fucking toilet. Not only is he confusing his squad though. He’s confused himself. He doesn’t know what to do or how to do it.

    What more is there to say? The players playing well for us are largely arsene’s
    Just as they were last season. Anything emery brings in brings us backwards

    Think Suarez. This is exactly how things would have gone with nzonzi
    He’s taken a quality defensive midfielder in Torreira and rendered him useless whilst taking our most error prone midfielder and though his own set up, compounded the negative aspects of his game whilst weakening the only things that made him worth having

  3. Major_Jeneral

    Now to the post. On the good and bad stuff about the game, Well said Pedro.

    Arsenal may draw the game against Aston villa if villa executes their counter attack tactics well. The midfield is still all over the place.

    No thoughts on chambers

  4. Jacky

    Also worth noting that last season, Emery introduced just a smidge of aggression which looked like a lot to our limp squad. But now, the other teams have raised the bar and Emery is still stuck on the same levels of last season. Emery was supposed to be a one season manager and we were supposed to move on from there. But Emery is just another Wenger: a focal point for stagnation. Only difference is he is more insipid

  5. Nelson

    Yesterday, Willock won almost every ball against Frankfurt players while he was bullied on Sunday by those Watford players. That says a lot about the difference between the EPL and the Bundesliga. Xhaka and Mustafi can all be star players in the Bundesliga.

  6. Un na naai


    I’d argue that we’ve actually lost any semblance of the aforementioned aggression and regressed behind even the latter Wenger years.

  7. Champagne charlie

    Xhaka had a very good game yesterday, think you’re leaning on a lazy dig to claim otherwise.

    This ‘fear’ and ‘scared’ chat is overplayed too, he gave a frank assessment of the aberration that was our 2nd half against Watford – totally justified and not one person can claim what they saw was anything other than stated.

    I continue to see Xhaka as the best CM option at the club, even with his faults. Torreira is toilet based on his form this year, the other two are kids and deliver performances from dogshit to dynamite. Part of me puts an asterisk against the lot because the single biggest issue as I see it is the total lack of a system and roles they’ve to perform to.

    It’s a mess, no other way of assessing it.

  8. Cesc Appeal

    Zakaria seems to have started the season very well earning a lot of praise from fans and the media.

    I really think that is the type of player we need to add to our midfield. Every inch the priority that CB is.

  9. jwl

    If Emery had to reduce training because most of the players were knackered from playing two/three games a week, that shows Arsenal aren’t buying athletic players who can handle rigor of elite football. I thought our end of season collapse last season was due to having too many passengers in squad who don’t have the right fitness level.

  10. Valentin

    Last season Martinez went on loan at Reading. From all reports he had a terrific stint. Not only was a good shot stopper but his distribution help Reading restart on the front foot.

    I liked the fact that he was not afraid to mix his distribution instead of sticking to Emery game plan of playing from the back in every situation.

    Maybe it is because he is the second choice goalkeeper so he has less to lose than Leno. But that made for less stressful restarts than against Watford.

  11. Marko

    Saka our Leon Bailey. Looks like we finally have a proper legitimate prospect on our hands.

    As for the Emery communication stuff that’s fair enough we’ll have to take it into account from now on while hiring managers then. It might rule out Marcelino, Nagelsmann and Allegri I’m not sure they’re English is much better but I may be wrong.

    I actually checked. Allegri broken English, Nagelsmann no English. Marco Rose though has good English.

  12. Marko

    This ‘fear’ and ‘scared’ chat is overplayed too, he gave a frank assessment of the aberration that was our 2nd half against Watford – totally justified and not one person can claim what they saw was anything other than stated.

    Then states “total lack of a system and roles they’ve to perform to.It’s a mess, no other way of assessing it.”

    I’m confused is it an aberration or is it not. Sounds like it’s a regular criticism of Arsenal under Emery or was it just fear was the aberration? It’s pretty normal stuff though with Granit nothing out of the normal from him. Pretty much everyone sees it except you I’m afraid

  13. Valentin

    The fact that a manager does not speak the language is not necessarily a problem. It becomes one if
    1) the message in whatever language is not clear. Incoherent tactic is still incoherent tactic in broken or Oxford English.
    2) the manager refuses to use a translator (An assistant who speak the language can do the work). An accurate precise translation is a must to convey all the nuances of a complex or unusual message.

    Marcelo Bielsa is the clear example that not speaking English does not need to be an hindrance. Tactically he knows exactly how he wants to play and is very clear on every body positions. And he uses a professional translator at Leeds. The players clearly understand his message.

  14. Marko

    Count about 12 or 13 of the first team who either speak French and or Spanish so while it’s okay to assume English speaking Saka wouldn’t understand Emery and his English there is enough members of the squad who should understand him. Plus I don’t understand is it a bad thing to outsource things to the assistant. I’m glad Freddie is far more involved than Steve Bould or Pat Rice

  15. Emiratesstroller


    Martinez had a great game yesterday, but I still think that Leno will be selected
    for games in EPL. Both Wenger and Emery rotated goalkeepers in League and
    Cup games.

    One lesson to be learned from last 2 games against Watford and Eintracht
    Frankfurt games is that short passing game particularly from goal kicks is
    foolhardy and puts defence and goalkeeper under immense pressure. Will
    Leno change his game against Aston Villa?

    There has been a lot of negatives about Pepe. Personally I would not write
    him off too quickly. It takes some players longer than others to adapt to
    play in the EPL where you have less time on the ball than in other leagues.

    Pepe is undoubtedly lightening quick and in his first home game against Burnley showed some promise. Undoubtedly he is “anxious to perform well”.
    He needs other players in team to support him.

    The fact that so many people have rated him so highly in last 2 years is enough to persuade me that he will make the grade in time.

    Arsenal have a couple of promising young players on books who could well
    be outstanding in Saka and Willock. I made the case during the Burnley game
    that Ljungberg could well be an outstanding coach watching him warm up
    Pepe at half time. He has the football ability and coaching skills to make a
    difference and in contrast to Emery and his Spanish Coaches very good communication skills. Bluntly when Emery speaks he is inarticulate.

  16. Marko

    Of course Leno is still number one. Martinez was good last night very assured but let’s be careful and not make another Almunia type mistake with Emi. He’s been on loan and unable to hold down a regular place for how many years for a reason

  17. salparadisenyc

    Problem with Emery lies in the actual message or tactic being translated, not the grasping of what he’s communicating.

  18. Ray in LA

    Pedro: Normally agree– or don’t strongly disagree — with most of what you write, but…

    Frankfurt are not a pub team — last year’s semifinalists and only out the final because of a penalty shoot out — so away to them is probably the hardest game of the group for us [at least on paper] — getting a win relieves a lot of pressure and maybe we won’t risk Auba in the remaining games

    Xhaka didn’t stink the place out last night, made no blatant errors and was responsible for starting the drives for all three goals

    while I agree with your assessment of the impact an injury to PEA would have, such an injury could just as easily come in training, or in a night club 🙂 as in the Europa League — and last night moves the Saka / Auba partnership forward..their body language was great to watch

    I was very happy with the way things turned out last night — still concerned that the introduction of Bellerin and Tierney is being used as a band aid / plaster rather than addressing the real issues regarding the organization of the defense and its lack of link up with the midfield

    Cheers R

  19. Marko

    Problem with Emery lies in the actual message or tactic being translated, not the grasping of what he’s communicating.

    True. Ebening instead of evening is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. But if communication is the issue then best avoid Nagelsmann and the likes

  20. jwl

    I think Emery accent is fine, he understandable, but it sounds like he hasn’t learned proper English words used around football. Emery English is decent for small talk over a pint but he doesn’t use correct words when it comes to football, which has its own unique words/expressions. They use of word ‘protagonist’ was what got me wondering if he knows football language.

    I thought Martinez distribution was good yesterday, he interpret Emery instructions correctly while Leno is too rigid about short passes. There is no way Emery instructed Leno to do short passes no matter what at away to Watford, a few of his passes were idiotic.

  21. Valentin

    Gun of SF,

    I agree with you that in the case of Emery that the problem is the content of the message
    i.e. the tactics rather how it is transmitted.

    However it should not necessarily be a hard no for targeting our next coach. Overall communication rather than just language should be part of the decision.

    I used Bielsa as an example, because he does not speak English yet his team is still overperforming the sum of his players individual quality.

    I would love him at Arsenal and see what he could do with Willock, Guendouzi, Saka, Nelson and Martinelli at his disposal. At least when Nkethia comes back, he will be a much better player for the experience.

  22. Marko

    Still speaking of prospects I’ve also got high hopes for John Jules and Balogan. To the point where I can see us cashing in on Nketiah because of those two

  23. Just Another Customer

    Come on Pedro the Oracle we know your insights are always good please don’t just hammer it on and on again.

    O All Seeing One, forgive me for being blind to your warnings please shine your lights of wisdom to light up the path of my darkest of ignorance.

  24. Graham62

    Martinez was superb. Commanding, strong and Brave.

    Leno has serious competition, which is a good thing.

    Problem areas still exist and always will, unless Emery starts to show basic common sense.

    Ponderous and disjointed defensive play is an understatement. Does he not see we are absolute shite in this area and that compared to most(all!) other teams, an embarrassing example of how to defend and track back.

    We all accepted it was bad under Wenger but you’d expect a manager with his credentials and experience to be able to sort this out without too much difficulty.

    If it continues, without any visible signs of improvement, Emery has to be shown the door.

  25. Eduardo

    LT is too short to play DM in England, but not for the reason you might think. It’s because his legs are so short, so he has to run harder than anyone else and gets tired out easily. That’s why he can’t play 90 minutes. True story.

  26. Graham62

    Bielsa is using a translator for everything.

    I’m not so sure Emery is doing the same.

    Hence the problems.

    After more than one year of trying to speak English, I would have hoped it would have been far more comprehensible.

  27. Graham62


    Where did you here that?

    The reason LT is struggling is that Emery is getting him to play in unnatural positions. It then becomes both a physical and mental problem for Torreira.

    It doesn’t take an Einstein to work that one out.

  28. Micheal

    “Early kick off last night, Friday night match to start weekend, football schedule this week got me discombobulated.”

    How will you cope with the away leg against Vitoria on November 6. Fixture has been moved to a WEDNESDAY afternoon kick-off 3.50 pm (UK time) !

  29. Chris

    1550 kick off?? That’s rather inconvenient, a slightly better start time than usual for our Far Eastern and Australasian fans though. Fair play to those who stay up crazy hours to watch the Arsenal!

  30. Dissenter

    It may be that Auba needs minutes to attain full fitness. There’s no way a good blogger like Pedro will ever know this.
    A good chunk of injuries occur away from games. Nothing stops Auba from being injured during training or out partying after games.
    That line of protecting players is so stale.

  31. Pierre

    Personally , I would have rather Aubameyang was sitting at home with his feet up last night .

    But what we had was Nketiah sitting at home with his feet up whilst Aubameyang was playing another 90 minutes of footbal.

    Forest next week …..Nketiah will be sitting at home with his feet up no doubt .
    He may get his usual 10/15 minutes off the bench at the weekend…big deal

    The following week and yes , Nketiah will be sitting with his feet up whilst Aubameyang is playing another 90 minutes in the europa league.

    And so on and so on.

  32. Bob N16


    Strange criticism of Pedro. Any player is more likely to get injured in a match than training (or partying!). We can rotate our squad for cup games and still win. With Laca out, PEA needs to be looked after, in other words playing one game a week.

    ESR needs minutes not PEA.

  33. Valentin

    I don’t think that Leno is a bad goalkeeper, but he may be the wrong one for us.

    When he joined Arsenal he had a reputation as a great shots stopper but with lapses in concentration. We have seen that as he is the goalkeeper with the biggest number of errors directly leading to goals. Yet he is not the goalkeepers who made the most errors. The issue is our defense is such a shambles than any mistake he makes is immediately punished by the opposition.

    The way Emery setup his team and wants to restart game quickly, we need somebody who does not have those lapses of concentration but also is a good distributor both with his hands and his feet.

    Leno was better than Cech playing his feet, but his distribution has never been a strong points of his. I can see him being supplanted by Martinez within a year or two. Will he accept to be demoted behind Martinez. I am not so sure.

  34. Pierre

    It is not so much the worry about injuries that Pedro commented on.

    I believe he was talking about fatigue through playing 3 games a week when there is no need to .

    If Lacazette is out longer than expected then fatigue may become a problem for Aubameyang though I have to say that for his age he looks as fit as ever.

  35. salparadisenyc

    “The line of protecting players is so stale”

    No arguing the direct correlation from over playing a player to injury not hard to do the math as fatigue then injury will always win out. Early in season but why burn the candle and not opt for rotation. Martinelli would of been a good option.

    Not like the injury hurdle has been avoided as PEA turn around will most likely be Villa at home on Sunday where the bigger risk lies having two days rest and travel in the legs.

  36. Champagne charlie

    “I’m confused is it an aberration or is it not. Sounds like it’s a regular criticism of Arsenal under Emery or was it just fear was the aberration? It’s pretty normal stuff though with Granit nothing out of the normal from him. Pretty much everyone sees it except you I’m afraid“

    The 2nd half against Watford was an aberration, our most shots conceded ever in one match, 23 in one half, is outlier type stuff. Doesn’t suggest we’re not trending that way as a whole though, just states that particular half was unreal.

    You wouldn’t grasp that though. Your Xhaka chat is in the same manner of stupid, so won’t even bother there.

    Another stormer at the office from you, top it off with asking for more time on Emery’s behalf.

  37. Valentin


    You are right and wrong at the same time.

    You are right in that from an Arsenal perspective, it would better if Nketiah was still with us and could lead the line for Europa League game.

    But you are also wrong, because for Nketiah’s long term development it is better than he learn under Bielsa in very competitive game. I don’t trust Emery to help him grow into the player his natural talent dictates he should grow into. I see what Wenger did to Walcott and I would rather avoid the same fate for Nketiah.

  38. Pierre

    “Pierre, the Nketiah narrative…again.”

    Am I wrong.?

    Wouldn’t it be better to have Nketiah on the pitch than sitting at home with this feet up whilst Aubameyang is in danger of being overused.

    And if you believe I’m wrong , tell me why.

    And no, he wont get more game time at leeds , not this side of Christmas anyway.

    We have European and league cup games …leeds have neither.

  39. Valentin


    The 2nd half against Watford was an aberration, our most shots conceded ever in one match, 23 in one half, is outlier type stuff. Doesn’t suggest we’re not trending that way as a whole though, just states that particular half was unreal.

    I think you are wrong on that one. The trend is in downward spiral. Teams have sussed us out. Even Frankfurt who have lost nearly half their better players had 24 shots on Thursday.

    Xhaka is not a bad player, but he is unsuited to the fast, aggressive, physical EPL. Also Emery setup just accentuates his lack of mobility and tackling ability. He is forcing Torreira, Xhaka, Guendouzi and Willock to cover too big area. They just end up completely knackered while still looking ineffective especially in the last 20 minutes of games. This is normally the time where we concede goals.

  40. Pierre

    The argument is normally ” he will get more game time at leeds” which I disagree.

    What are we doing with a manager who we vant trust to develop our young players if you would rather he goes to leeds to be coached by Biesla and to just sit on the bench .

    Sorry, I cant see the logic in that.

  41. Bob N16

    I thought that this been already discussed Pierre. AFC decided it would be more advantageous for Nketiah to go Leeds and play more regularly than wait for an injury crisis. If Nketiah had stayed, I believe rightly or wrongly PEA would have still started yesterday.

    You clearly believe this was a mistake. Can we expect you to mention Nketiah’s absence after every cup match? You may have a point but after the second half of last season, I’m not so sure.

    Not sure how you can be so definitive about his game time before Xmas. The way he’s started would suggest that he’ll get a lot of football.

  42. Champagne charlie


    I said it doesn’t state we’re not trending that way, but the fact it was our most shots conceded in the history of the prem suggests there’s every reason to react to the game in a post-match presser with relative candour.

    Frankfurt has 24 shots in the last game, Watford had 23 in one half. Puts the 45 mins into context

  43. Valentin


    Bielsa training sessions are renowned to be among the best.
    He will learn more there than feeding from scrap in Europa League games. Check the number of touches Arsenal has in the opposition last third. It is pitiful.
    I can’t see what he more he would learn by having to perform miracles. Any missed opportunities would just attract comments and boos by unappreciative Arsenal supporters possibly destroying his confidence.

  44. Valentin


    You also make the assumption that Emery would rest PEA and start with Nketiah. Last season should have taught you that Emery is a Cup guy. More likely than not he will start with his preferred players in that competition.

    So even if Nketiah was there, I am pretty convinced that Emery would still have started with Aubameyang negating your game time argument.

  45. Graham62

    Nketiah will benefit more under Bielsa than under Emery.

    Nketiah may also learn about playing out from the back, tracking back and defending as a unit.

    When he returns to Arsenal, should Emery still be here( I don’t think he will be) he can show everyone how it’s frigging done!

  46. Mark

    Having gone to watch Hertha vs Dortmund last season , my impression I’d that the Bundesliga is like the Championship on Steroids. Lots of crash bang whallop , 2 sendings off the game o watched and plenty of errors.
    What we need to remind ourselves is that Frankfurt nearly took out Chelsea last season so overall a very good result.
    Doesn’t though take away the issues with Emery. I just can’t understand why he didn’t do an intense language course during the Summer or indeed Arsenal insist he do it .
    There’s something a little naive about him I feel . Each time Freddie has to give a message, Freddie gets a little bit more powerful. Overall doesn’t bother me I’d give the job as a caretaker to Freddie tomorrow but from Emery he just appears accident prone and really transitional . A sign of weakness I feel that can be exploited

  47. Marko

    You wouldn’t grasp that though. Your Xhaka chat is in the same manner of stupid, so won’t even bother there.Another stormer at the office from you, top it off with asking for more time on Emery’s behalf.

    Classic Charles. Zero to prick in mere seconds. Genuine question about it being an aberration otherwise why do people incessantly talk about the manager especially if the Watford game as you said was an aberration.

    Yeah best avoid any sort of Granit chat if I were you. You continue to be so dense and wrong on the topic it’s unreal. You’ll get there eventually.

  48. Champagne charlie


    Already talked about why it was an aberration, we’ve been porous and 2nd rate a lot but to concede 23 shots in one half against the bottom ranked side in the league was a new level of shit unto itself. Not a difficult one to grasp, but you can’t help be the dribbly prick you are day after day.

    Again proving your total incompetence on the Xhaka subject, so full circle stuff from you. Meanwhile you’re lightning fast to claim someone’s a prick towards you. Must not see how you engage with others through that prism of stupid.

  49. Marko

    Not a difficult one to grasp, but you can’t help be the dribbly prick you are day after day.

    I’m a dribbly prick trying to understand how Sunday was an aberration (according to you) and yet at the same time something all too familiar hence your incessant complaints about the midfield among other things. Seems like a regular theme these last few years.

    Again proving your total incompetence on the Xhaka subject, so full circle stuff from you.

    This I love. I must have asked you about half a dozen times in the last week or so to talk about the things that Granit is good at and you either ignored it or was incapable of answering. Even earlier you stated Xhaka was our best midfielder because Torreira is muck and the two younger players range from rubbish to dynamite. That was you as close as you got to talking about his attributes. It was really informative.

    Meanwhile you’re lightning fast to claim someone’s a prick towards you.

    Where was I a prick to you…cunt

  50. Pierre

    “Nketiah will benefit more under Bielsa than under Emery.”

    Thats not difficult is it , everyone is now agreeing with Ozil now, would you believe it.

    Tell you what, Why don’t we send the whole team over to leeds to benefit from his elite coaching.

    Or better still why don’t we employ him as manager to see how good he really is .

    Problem is ,as yet, he hasn’t managed anything close to an elite side in europe and as far as I know has won nothing in 20 years

    Surely a manager with such an excellent pedigree in management and coaching would have been snapped up by an elite club in England or Spain …instead everyone is raving about a manager at leeds.

    Its not as if he is even an up and coming manager is it.

  51. Pierre

    “Nketiah will benefit more under Bielsa than under Emery.”

    Thats not difficult is it , everyone is now agreeing with Ozil now, would you believe it.

  52. Bob N16

    Not sure why you’re getting your knickers in a twist Pierre about Nketiah, it was a judgement call to send him to Leeds. Nobody, including you can say definitively whether it was the right or wrong decision – that will be clearer as the season develops.

    As for bringing Ozil into the debate about whether Emery is any good or not, creative and ridiculous.

  53. Bob N16

    Redruth, why doesn’t everybody have a goal scoring career like Aubameyang, piece of piss – don’t break a sweat and goal hang. You should put yourself forward and do it yourself Red. You’d get paid really well as well.

  54. Hitman

    PEA played as UE was terrified of the the personal consequences of another loss. He would have got slaughtered. PEA was insurance.
    Team selection is all about saving UE skin at the moment.

  55. Graham62


    I don’t think you should be using Ozil as a justification for our own perceptions on Emery.

    Ozil has been a total embarrassment the past year and a half and irrespective of his personal feelings on Emery, he has let down the club, it’s fans and more significantly, himself.

    He has been a total embarrassment and imo, is not worthy of being associated with our great club.

    Gloating over someone like Ozil is shameful on your part.

  56. Graham62


    Any player who walks off the pitch as Captain of the team and blanks a youngteammate entering the field of play is a total dick.

    Then again, Mesut Ozil comes across as a bit of a dick with or without Emery being around.

    It comes naturally to him.

  57. Gentlebris

    ‘Aubameyang is hardly dripping with sweat after each game. All he does is make a few runs and gets his customary tap in…’

    You would really have preferred he runs around like a crazy horse, sweating like a junkie and turn in 5 goals a season…. like Welbz?
    Brilliant you!

  58. Gentlebris


    Let me gift you an old logic;

    When you find yourself in a room with 50 people and the 50 of them say the coffee mug on the table is blue but what you see is black, it’s wise to see your ophthalmologist at once!

    That’s an angle I urge you to consider re-Ozil.

  59. Graham62

    Auba is a prized asset.

    One hopes he stays as fresh as a daisy or else we’re fudged.

    Without him or Lacazette we are nothing.

  60. Gentlebris

    Having signed Saliba, if Holding turns out really good; we could focus whatever fund we have available next summer on the midfield. The problem in the middle is greater than the one at the back even as things stand right now.

  61. Valentin


    If we don’t get Champion’s League football, you can forget adding anybody to the squad to alleviate its deficiencies especially in midfield.
    We will have to sell about £40 millions worth of asset to cover the planned expenditure.

  62. Gentlebris

    If we were having a Santi and a Kante in our midfield, our centre defence of Luiz and Sok would be the envy of every.

    If we had bought VVD and sat him behind this midfield of ours……VVD would have been leaking goals as if his wages depended on leaked goals.

  63. Valentin

    The bookies expect so much Arsenal to mess things up so much that now the odds for Arsenal to lead Aston Villa at Halftime but the game to finish as a draw is a ridiculous 1/16.

    We are officially a laughing stock.

  64. Graham62

    As I have stated on numerous occasions on here, Eddie Howe is as good as, if not better than, most other top managers in Europe.

    Would take him at Arsenal in a heartbeat.

  65. Gentlebris

    ‘If we don’t get Champion’s League football, you can forget adding anybody to the squad to alleviate its deficiencies especially in midfield.
    We will have to sell about £40 millions worth of asset to cover the planned expenditure.’


    How could that even escape me!

    And if you listen to Vinai re-Emery it’s really clear we are spending another season at Europa.
    Emery is not getting the boot until it’s too late.

  66. Graham62

    Rather than predict the score, I’m going to predict the number of shots on target by Villa as well as the number of defensive clangers.

    10-3 then.

    What are the odds?

  67. Valentin


    There is loyalty and there is blind loyalty.
    Like lemming following their leaders to the cliff edge.
    I just hope that Josh has a calm reminder with Vinay and Raul before Christmas that if Champion’s League is not attained this season, they all are shown the door. That should motivate them to act decisively.

  68. Gentlebris


    It’s another disco entirely at big clubs. The demand, the ambition, the expectation and the pressure would flat out Howe from what I see of him.

    At Bournemouth, he could be shit here and there with no one paying any serious attention and that allows him to recharge and re apply his focus and energy under little or no pressure.

    People stepping up from there to here like Poch are scarce commodities.

  69. Freddie Ljungberg


    We only spent 65m net last summer, with a chunk of that in installments, we also shaved 25-30m off the wage bill so why would we have to sell off players and not add any even if we would miss out on CL?

    With Ozil only a year left of his contract next year there’s a much bigger chance of getting rid of another 18m a year + another couple of players like Mustafi and hopefully Xhaka that just aren’t good enough.

    If we don’t fix our CM properly with a signing we’re going to be scrapping for 4th until that changes, unless we think both Willock and Guen are going to step up quick and become consistent worldies…

  70. Graham62


    Sorry my friend but I don’t agree.

    Mark my words, one day soon he’ll be at a big club and he’ll succeed.

  71. Gentlebris


    If Josh had demanded such success at the beginning of this season, I don’t think Vinai would be talking like that. Clearly CL is the minimum target this season and all parties are aware, but I think Josh would let Raul and Edu make the red calls or not. The only friendly factor is that if Emery fails top 4 again it would be Raul’s failure as well and Raul doesn’t look to me like the kind of guy who will not be bothered about failure.

    Still what Vinai said worries me. Being pleased or not with Emery is not Vinai’s department, Vinai must have been transmitting those words from Emery’s body or mouth language.

    Interesting times ahead though.

  72. Gentlebris

    ‘Mark my words, one day soon he’ll be at a big club and he’ll succeed.’


    Only if any big club is foolhardy enough to even hire him.

  73. Freddie Ljungberg

    I’m also not buying that we shouldn’t have started Auba vs Frankfurt, yes it’s a risk since he’s our only (settled) star player but we’re pretty shit without him and this was the hardest game in the group. A win sets us up nicely to play more youngsters in the other games.

    Both Bellerin and Tierney got an hour for the u23s last night so hopefully they can play against Nottingham Forest in the jokers cup next week and then be ready for some PL minutes. Badly needed.
    Also hoping to see Holding at the weekend.

    Frankfurt isn’t the same team as last season after selling off most of their best players so Xhaka looking good doesn’t say much other than that that is his level. Same for the whole team though, it’s a different level in the PL even against the bottom teams, especially intensity, and that’s where Xhaka struggles the most even when he doesn’t give away goals.

    Having Torreira play further up isn’t really a problem if he has a similar player next to him that can also cover ground and is good defensively so they can alternate when to go forward. Doesn’t work with Xhaka in the team though.

  74. Gentlebris


    I’m afraid Valentin was correct.

    Josh was already lamenting having CL budget while playing EL.

    Ozil exiting would be great news but that wouldn’t change much if we land at Europa again.

    And more and more elite players would really begin to believe we are a Europa case and begin to avoid us.

    Then guys like Auba and Laca would begin to ask themselves if they want to continue playing Europa for the rest of their careers.

    It would be a lose lose situation…..a load of troubles.

    I just hope those in charge can see what is really at stake.

  75. Freddie Ljungberg


    I’m not saying that not getting CL wouldn’t be bad, it absolutely would be, and we absolutely need it.

    This notion that we would have to sell 40m worth of players and not add anyone is just bs though.

    Sure we spent a lot last summer but we got about half of it back, Pepes payment is over 5 years and Salibas is probably over a couple of years as well. We’ll still have room for signings, especially if we can shift a couple more of the high earning deadwood.

    We still absolutely need CL if we are going to not only improve but improve significantly more than the teams around us to move up a level.

  76. TheLegendaryDB10

    What I find hilarious is that none of you have cottoned onto this:

    Vinai praised UE and said they stood by him.

    In the footballing world when the board know that the club’s manager is on a tight rope they will always praise him. If within 3 weeks he continues to underperform he gets sacked.

    This is exactly what has happened with Vinai’s comments in the Indy interview/ article today.

    In a nutshell UE is now in last chance saloon.

    No way does The Arsenal, after the investment we made this summer, carry on with UE as manager if he carries on underperforming.

    I sincerely hope that Edu and Raul have a contingency plan. (Well I hope so.)

  77. Freddie Ljungberg


    As for the CL budget while playing EL that has been rectified somewhat already but more work is obviously needed there since we couldn’t find enough clubs desperate and rich enough to take on some of our wasters, hopefully that will be easier when they have less left of their contracts.

    This transition period was always about getting the squad back to an acceptable level again after years of neglect and collection of players that were unsuitable to the league, not good enough and at the end full of aging players. Get that done and if Emery gets sacked tomorrow or in January/ the summer we’re still much better off than a year ago.

    If in the next couple of months it’s absolutely clear Emery can’t get us into CL then get rid, but a new manager alone is not drastically going to change our fortunes, we have to address the midfield as well.

  78. TheLegendaryDB10


    If in the next couple of months it’s absolutely clear Emery can’t get us into CL then get rid,

    As i said above, in no way, shape and form are the club are going to standby UE if he flounders.

    Edu is our Tech Deck (as this cunt CG would put it) and he most certainly would have watched all our games.

    An ex-player who played in the Invincibles era who would have experienced these glorious years and know how we should play, think that UE is up to scratch. He surely must be thinking that he is not the right manager for us.

    Mark this: it was our Managing Director (check his wiki) who said this. Not our Head of Football (Raul) nor Edu said who said this, the 2 most senior ppl who are deeply involved with the footballing side of The Arsenal.

  79. Bojangles

    Eddie Howe??

    I recall the hype over the “Chosen One” being recommended to by Fergie himself to succeed him (smart move that.) Howe’s star is shining at it’s brightest at Bournmouth, we don’t need him at Arsenal. Moyes and Howe found their niche at Everton and Bournmouth respectively.

  80. China1

    Re Auba playing at Frankfurt. At first I thought it was a ridiculous move but now I do think it’s right. We’ve won the toughest game of the group stages already. Now let’s not play Auba in this competition again until he is really needed. Hopefully we can win 9 more points without him so he will be rested for the entirety of the group stages after this without impacting our chances of going through

  81. China1

    Bojangles it’s the Europa league! Most of the teams are championship quality until the CL 3rd place teams drop in. Even then most teams are only mid table perm quality with just 3-4 exceptions

  82. China1

    There’s no way we escape horrendous arteta based trolling from pep in Pedro’s next blog post lol

    First emery loses a lot of the fans then arteta gets this big a push. Pedro will be meatspinning in smugness haha

    Tbh tho I still think arteta didn’t make sense for arsenal at that time. He could be the smartest and the best but it was still an enormous gamble. He would’ve potentially done better than emery but there was no particular evidence of that at the time

    Emery’s hiring seems to be a failure but I still think on paper he looked like a decent choice at the time. I don’t really blame thecub for thinking he was a good call. Hindsight makes everything easier

  83. Nelson

    Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has hailed his “incredible” assistant manager Mikel Arteta, tipping the Spaniard to replace him as manager when he leaves.

    There you go. No more the sauce one.

  84. Gonsterous

    Pepe will definitely come good. He’s just lacking finishing atm and I’m sure training with laca and Auba will help immensely.

    Also, OUT of the the three im most excited about Martinelli, really think he should be given a start this weekend with Saka being bought on in the second half when the defenders are tired. Or bring Auba off for Martinelli. We finally have a tricky Brazilian in the side, it would be nice to use him.
    Granted I’ve only seen him play once but he’s direct (Like Pepe) and has an eye for goal. THESE are the type of players to use against the weaker team’s.

    Nelson is good but he should.definitely not be prioritized over the other two youngsters.

    We really are short in midfield and I’m losing faith in the coach every day. If we do bin him, I hope we bring in a proper coach with experience and not have this Vieira, arteta debate again.

  85. Bojangles

    To all posters living in the UK, it maybe time to give up the extra egg for breakfast. There have been 45 reported cases of salmonella poisoning since January caused from eating infected eggs produced in the UK.

    not sure how many farms have been checked but 75 farms tested were shown to contain chickens infected with the bacterial.

  86. Chris


    What betting site are you looking at for those odds? (Arsenal HT/Draw FT)

    That is 16/1 on SkY Bet and Ladbrokes for example, not 1/16!

  87. Chris


    That result is so specific it would be incredible to get odds on for it, think perhaps you read it the wrong way around!

    As an aside I am taking the odds for us to win at 4/9, that is generous in my opinion. Will combine it with something similar for a nice evens bet.

  88. Graham62

    Comparing Eddie Howe to David Moyes.


    Football has changed and that’s why the management style of Eddie Howe would benefit any top club.

  89. Graham62


    Snobbery at its best.

    Do you actually watch how Bournmouth play?

    This fixation for so called top European managers drives me up the wall.

  90. Bojangles


    Football styles may have changed, the hype hasn’t. What has Howe accomplished with Bournmouth that Moyes didn’t with Everton? Both have limited ability as far as I am concerned. I don’t see Howe being picked up by any of the “top 6” clubs, I can see Newcastle going four him though.

  91. Valentin


    Arsenal made an operational loss the previous year that was compensated by players sale. This year looking at AST projection (which tend to be pretty accurate), Arsenal is also going to have an operational loss, however it will not be able to cover those loss with players sales. Iwobi’s unexpected sale will just limit the loss.
    However next fiscal year, without Champion’s League Arsenal income will stay flat. because we Reach the Europa League final this season it may even be lower. So another operational loss that can’t be covered.
    So if Arsenal does not get Champion’s League football that means 3 years of operation loss in a row.
    One of FFP’s requirements is to limit loss over 3 years. So even even if we were to qualify to Champion’s League the following year, Arsenal would have to show a benefit in 2021 to be allowed.
    AC Milan was exactly in the same predicament and is banned for a year from European competition.
    The only way to show a benefit to compensate those three years of losses in view of the projected revenue would be to sell players or get new commercial deals that bring 40~50 millions a year.
    Özil will not get the same deal anywhere in the world. He will outlast Emery and he will want to see what the new manager says before making a move. One thing is sure he will not leave one year salary on the table. So Arsenal may have to compensate him.
    Exactly the same situation for Mhkitaryan and Mustafi. Their payoff would just be smaller.

    The numbers don’t lie. It’s Champion’s League or bust.

  92. Valentin


    BetFair is different in that it is an exchange of bets. Anybody can offer their odds on betFair. You’ll find that odds on their site tend to be much more volatile. If a single person lay a bet, then their odds is what is quoted however ridiculous the odds are.

  93. Chris


    I understand the concept f that, most betting sites do it, but why would anyone want to place a bet of 1/16 or think that would be the odds for such an outcome? Was it you? 😉

  94. þorkell einarsson

    Lets start Martinelly against Villa instead of Laca, the guy needs to be trusted..asap.
    saka willock and dani Matteo in the middle Xhaka in front of defence ..

  95. Valentin


    No it was not me. I would be more likely bro be the one laying the bet. 😉
    However it is clear that some people go on betFair and don’t check if they can get better odds somewhere else and get fleeced.

  96. Chris


    Yeah I use OddsChecker quite a lot, definitely worth shopping around for a price if you have a real gut feeling about something.

    I’m not a massive gambler by the way, just flutter loose change at the end of the month, I am glad there are deposit limits in place these days.

  97. Valentin


    One of the traders at a bank I used to work has now retired. He made his fortune on BetFair fleecing gullible people.
    He was a below average derivative trader for the bank, but he was a shark on BetFair against uneducated people. Laying ridiculous low odds initially, before reselling the bets at a later time. Enticing people with high odds during live game match play while he had already hedged the bet via fixed odds before on standard bookies.

  98. Freddie Ljungberg


    That was before our increased sponsorship with adidas, we’re now getting 30m more a year.

    We also slashed the wage bill by 30m.

    Next year Ozil will have a year left of his contract, would he want to play professional football after that maybe he shouldn’t sit on his ass for another year. He could get a 3-4 year contract at another club in Italy/Turkey/MLS no problem, don’t think he expects another 350k a week at his age, don’t think we have to take a loss there. Same applies for Mustafi and Mikhi. They’re all good enough to play at a decent level, just not suited for the PL. Once their contracts are near the end it will get easier to shift them.

    Emery or not Ozil is not up for the PL anymore, he can’t be that stupid to think that.

    Sorry if I don’t buy your doomsday scenario, but good luck with that.

  99. Ishola70

    Ozil is going to see what will happen with the next manager will he?

    Such talk is distasteful really considering the bullshit we have had to put up with regarding this player.

    No self-respecting serious club looking to progress to the top panders to such a player. No serious club nor serious manager.

  100. Normski


    Remember why I haven’t addressed you? Well that’s about to change. You have said something extremely stupid….

    ‘To all posters living in the UK, it maybe time to give up the extra egg for breakfast. There have been 45 reported cases of salmonella poisoning since January caused from eating infected eggs produced in the UK.’

    45 cases over 9 months and with more than 8 BILLION eggs consumed since then…i think we’ll be ok. Thank you for your interest in our affairs.


  101. Graham62


    Totally agree.

    With Ozil, it’s all about Ozil. Nothing more, nothing less.

    I know he still has his supporter on here( Pierre) but let’s be honest, he is always going to be a burden whoever he plays for.

    Having to pamper to his mood swings and limited commitment to the cause, is a definite non non( sorry watching the Rugby)

    Ozil is a perfect example of everything that is wrong with the game. Do I sympathize with him? Of course not.

    He remains an unfortunate blott on the Arsenal landscape.

  102. Ishola70


    “I know he still has his supporter on here( Pierre) but let’s be honest, he is always going to be a burden whoever he plays for.”

    Plenty of posters on here such is their disdain for the current manager will champion Ozil still or at least give him more due than he is worth.

    Whatever your thoughts are on the current manager there should be no serious time for a player like Ozil.