International break continues.

by .

A real lack of news out in the woods of Footballdom today. Things are so dull, I bought a FIFA20, and actually played it.

So many buttons to learn.

I make this sound like less of a problem than it is. I worked on a pitch for a gaming console, I bought the said console so I could understand the machine and the community around it, now I’m hooked on games.

‘Just one dab of meth, it’ll be alright’

It is not. I am really into this fantasy game. It’s the absolute best thing that has happened to me. I’m so addicted, I watch Youtube videos in the gym for hints and tips. It is unhealthy.

The first 9 months of the year, I was crushing through books like a powerhouse, now I’m out on the street taking hits of Tetris whenever the coast is clear. What a shambles.

Raul had a little chat with some fans. He defended the managers’ decision to ditch Mesut Ozil. The manager picks players based on their effort in training. Makes sense on paper, but worth noting that Patrick Vieira wasn’t a very good trainer, but he was a monster on the pitch.

Not that Mesut is a monster on the pitch.

Key issue here: If Mesut doesn’t train well, which one would assume is a statement garnered from watching him for an entire 15 months… why the captains armband?

I am going to ask this question every day until I land an answer.

There’s a story doing the rounds that Saka doesn’t get changed with the first team, to keep him grounded. Love how football works so hard to keep these kids on a stable footing, then they give them £50k a week and send them on their merry way.

I’ve been told that Emery took the changing room tradition a step further and created dividers in the canteen. You can’t eat lunch with the first-teamers. Very clubbish. Imagine having to earn your right to eat a cheese sandwich next to Granit Xhaka? Goals my friends, goals.

Finally, sink your teeth and your heart into this video. Bergkamp and Wrighty, my childhood heroes!

314 Responses to “International break continues.”

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  1. Valentin

    Unless New-Zealand has a bad game, I can’t see them losing to England. Too fast, too precise.

    Also I find that England players plays rugby by number. If their game plan does not work, they have nobody who can make the decision on the pitch to change to the appropriate tactic. On the other hand, the All-Black are the master at adapting to unexpected challenges.

    I can see France reaching the final because they always have one great performance at the World Cup. If they reach the final, their only chance against New-Zealand would be to make it a war of attrition. Scrums after scrums on a raining surface.

  2. Graham62



    It pains me to say it but England are still too one dimensional and I feel will get found out because of this.

    I hope I’m wrong.

  3. Graham62

    There is a limit to mauling/rucking/scrummaging ,which is England’s forte.

    I still feel they are too predictable along the line and their interchange and passing isn’t fast enough.

    They should get past the Aussies but against either NZ or SA, I’m not so sure.

  4. Marko

    I’ve been told that Emery took the changing room tradition a step further and created dividers in the canteen. You can’t eat lunch with the first-teamers.

    Isn’t that bullshit? Wasn’t it reported before that they wanted the youths to have meals with the seniors and to integrate more than before.

  5. Tony

    There’s far more to England’s game these days.

    It’s their ill discipline giving silly and unnecessary penalties away that’s their downfall in games.

    Jones has assembled a very strong squad that should have included Cipriani.

    Whatever the outcome this World Cup is shaping up to be a spectacle of thrilling rugby as per the Japan win today.

  6. Valentin

    Eddie Jones may be England main weapon because he is one brilliant coach, he is also their main weaknesses. He has sucked all unpredictability from their game. It is enough against bad tier 1 and below team, but you need more against the top teams such New-Zealand.

    He has athletes playing rugby rather rugby players becoming athletes. The Vunipola brothers being the exhibit 1. In an unstructured game, England just flap around when they have the back to be lethal.

    Two things have regularly annoyed me during this world cup. At the ruck, most players defending the ruck are with on their hands on the floor. Technically this is illegal, but never sanctioned. Instead of checking if the opposition is behind the last feet of the ruck, referees should check how many of those defending the ruck are bind and on their feet.

    Again at the ruck a lot of clearing is done by diving against the opponent when the rule states that you need to be on your feet. Referees sanctions dangerous neck roll, but to me somebody diving with force off your feet is as dangerous and much more common. I have seen very few penalties for diving or sealing the ball at a ruck when it has been very common.

  7. Alex Cutter

    “Take Kill Bill (which many wrongly consider his masterpiece). The yellow suit Uma Thurman wears is lifted straight from a Bruce Lee film, Game of Death, in which (like Thurman) he rides a motorbike and has a fight in a paper house. The fight in silhouette, against the single-colour background, that’s taken from a film called Samurai Fiction, as is the idea of having a fight shot entirely in black and white. And so on, and so on. There is virtually nothing in that film which is original. It must have been easier to invent things, but no, he bravely went out there and found things to pinch. It’s a whole new kind of movie heist!”

    You idiots really don’t realize that red is copy/pasting whole passages from other sites without attribution?

    I guess it should come as no surprise from the Proud Boys film club…

  8. Valentin


    England gives penalties because they always plays on the edge. With some referees they just get away with it, with others they don’t. The problem is that they are not switched on enough to stop themselves when the referee starts to punish them.
    Also some of their players have poor tackling technique. Farrell in particular seems to think that shoulder charging and then wrap your arm around an opponent is tackling. It is not. If you don’t know how to tackle at chest level, just tackle at knee level.
    Japan was very good at tackling at knee level and leaving the chest level tackles mostly to the 3rd row players. I don’t think that they have given away a single high tackle penalty.

  9. Un na naai

    You idiots really don’t realize that red is copy/pasting whole passages from other sites without attribution? I guess it should come as no surprise from the Proud Boys film club…


    Of course I do

    I was waiting for him to respond to my incredulity before shaming him but he didn’t and then I reengaged in my life.

  10. Cesc Appeal

    Bob N16

    You just know that either a) Xhaka will go the longest he’s ever gone without getting a yellow now, or b) When he does get suspended Emery will do something weird which means we don’t actually get to see what a preferred middle 3 (Torreira at CDM then 2 of Guendouzi, Willock, Dani Ceballos) would actually look like.

    The problem is we have an absolute superstar ST and some good young players in the side and Emery is kind of wasting all that potential by placing someone directly in the centre of the whole team who is literally good for nothing…and he gave him the armband.

  11. Graham62

    Also, what the fudge has happened to Anthony Joshua?

    Is it all down to the fact that he has been found out?

    To call Lennox Lewis a clown ……………….Really?

  12. bennydevito

    Interesting words from Raul on Ozil and how Emery is not mistreating him:

    “Unai has had many good players in other teams also, and he has always followed the same policy.

    “That is to try not to make any distinctions, play the ones who work hard in training and reward the effort with playing time. There is nothing against Mesut on the contrary and I hope we get to see him much more in the next games because his qualities are without question.

    “But he needs to contribute 24/7 and that’s what Unai expects from him. It’s not that he’s not working so well, but there are others who are deserving more playing time, but Unai can’t treat him differently than any other player.

    “You may have read that Unai has put a barrier up, but nothing at all like this has happened.”

  13. Graham62

    I totally get it regarding Ozil but what the hell is Xhaka doing in training to justify his place in the team?

    Bench pressing the entire team?

    Please tell.

  14. bennydevito


    Probably puts the cones out, takes them in and then makes Emery a cup of tea whilst polishing his whistle for him.

  15. bennydevito

    Graham62October 13, 2019    16:20:31


    I agree.

    Every Tom, Dick and Harry knows that Xhaka is a liability.


    But not every Charlie though hey? 😆

  16. bennydevito

    I just realised we’re not playing now until Monday night away to Sheffield United. Makes the international break even more boring.

    That’s a tricky game to be going into after a fortnight off. Their players will be pretty much rested whereas most of ours will have played internationally.

  17. Words on a Blog


    Quick question to you and to anyone else who’d care to pitch in with a response: given that Emery is wedded to Xhaka and is gonna play him whatever happens, what is wrong with playing him a bit further up the pitch, ahead of Torreira or Guendouzi as deepest midfielder?

  18. Marc


    Well moving him further away from the goal won’t hurt but ultimately it just means another part of our midfield isn’t functioning and needs to be covered by other players.

    Xhaka just isn’t cut out for the PL – I wish him all the best in Serie A or wherever but we’re currently in a position where we can’t even begin to analyse what else we need in midfield when Xhaka just distorts the entire picture.

  19. Chris

    Benny it’s a hard place to go on a Monday night against a well drilled team. The couple of extra days rest may help but even though it’s a game we should be winning on paper I think we all know it is likely to be a bit of a struggle.

  20. Words on a Blog

    Liverpool managed a pretty flukey win against Sheffield Utd, after a goalkeeper howler, but they were really under the cosh and Sheffield U had some really good chances to score.

    If we win there, I’ll be impressed; if we scrape a draw, that would just be about ok. An important test of how competitive we really are.

  21. Graham62

    Sheffield on a cold wet and windy Monday night.

    Recipe for disaster.

    Do we all remember December 30th 2006, at Bramall lane?

    Of course we do.

  22. Valentin

    It will depend how Sheffield United approaches the game. Because of their weird tactical shape, I can see space for Pepe or Saka wide and with their dribbling ability and pace on 1v1, Arsenal may gets some joy.

    On the other hand, I can see us being murdered in the center of midfield and conceding lots of shot. They have no strikers but have a well drilled midfield and defense. That could expose our back 4 on a regular basis. The best we could then hope is an early yellow card for Xhaka and his substitution at the beginning of the second half.

  23. Chris


    I remember it well unfortunately. A toothless and insipid display with a poor goal given away. And we couldn’t score against Jagielka in goal for half an hour of play I think.

    It was another small sign of a soft under belly to the post Invincble Arsenal side.

  24. Un na naai


    I was laughed at a couple of years ago for saying fury would beat him. (Joshua)

    Said it then and I’m even more sure now
    If wilder can’t knock fury out then Joshua can’t.

    Fury has beaten everything but n front of him in the last few years. All that’s left is Joshua

  25. Marc

    “The best we could then hope is an early yellow card for Xhaka and his substitution at the beginning of the second half.”

    Personally I have a little more imagination. How about he get’s injured and misses the match completely!

  26. Graham62


    That was just 6 months after the CL Final.

    Remember watching the game on TV.

    The start of Arsene’s and Arsenal’s decline.

  27. Sid

    Haka cant dribble, play quickly under pressure, keep moving, find space basically he cant do majority of what is required further up

  28. bennydevito


    Yes, I’m not expecting anyt more than a draw at best which says more about us than them. A team having top 4 aspirations really should be beating a newly promoted side no matter how organised they are.

  29. Valentin

    Tyson Fury was right in saying that Joshua was a body builder masquerading as a boxer.
    He has a glass of jaw and no punch for a guy his size. He should TKO boxers like Ruiz in 5 rounds.
    Right now I don’t see a lot of quality boxers in the heavy weight division. I see brawlers, determined fighters and punchers but very few with the skills, stamina and boxing intelligence to be unified world champion.

    Where are the new Lennox, the new Klitschko?

  30. Graham62

    If AJ gets beaten by Ruiz again, that’s him finished.

    Can’t see him coming back from two embarrassing defeats.

    Hearn is the Del Boy of the Boxing world.

    Out to make money at all costs.

    Joshua should have ditched him long ago.

  31. Valentin


    Rather than blame Hear, I would question the quality of AJ.
    To me he has not progressed since the Olympics. He is faster but he still box in the amateur style to score points rather than hurt the opponent or knock them out.

    The best boxers win not just with their fists, but also with their brain. Unfortunately his boxing intelligence has not improved.
    When AJ was on top of the world, he should have picked the best trainers in the world rather than choose the cheapest ones.

  32. Graham62


    You’re right.

    AJ has surrounded himself with the wrong people.

    Did I hear he has an entourage of about 30 people around him?

    What’s this about?

    He also doesn’t look as primed as he once did.

  33. HillWood

    Joshua reminds me of Frank Bruno
    Bruno looked magnificent physically in the ring but never really seemed a natural fighter
    Tim Witherspoon came over from the U S and was constantly asked about his weight and physical condition to which he replied “I’m a boxer not a body builder “
    He knocked Bruno out in the 11th
    All those muscles burn a lot of energy

  34. KAY Boss

    Talking about boxing, Aj and his team believed in their hype. Just like Mayweather, they’re are media generated champions pushed under our throats. Most of Mayweather’s wins were against inferior opponents. Never fought pacman when he was in his prime.
    Africa used to produce some good boxers but that sport is dead there.
    My favourite and all time best African boxer is Azumah Nelson of Ghana. And also the only African boxer to be inducted into the boxing hall of fame. Guy was a beast in the ring. Held his division title for 10yrs.
    He was strong and had good stamina.His fists were always his referees as he never trusted the officials. His popular quote after KO Jeff Fenech in Australia “this is a father and son fight”…..”am bad baby am bad”.
    Those were the times I used to enjoy boxing as most continents have worthy champions and challengers.
    Now it’s full of street fighters and body builders without technique who want to earn some quick cash.
    McGregor comes to mind.

  35. Tony

    France good enough for the final is laughable at best.

    The pundits are choosing Wales to beat France:

    3rd row? Never heard of that. Did you mean No8 or 2nd or front row? If it’s a new terminology, I’m happy to be educated.

    As for your WC pet hates of ruck/maul rule breaking the TMO is there to see the rules are not infringed and really miss anything.

    England playing on the edge is true but most of their penalties are just fear induced poor discipline: coming in from the side and not releasing .

    Farrell reevaluated his tackling techniques before arriving at the WC.

    Perhaps you missed your vocation being a professional rugby union referee.

    Then again perhaps not; your pedant nature would have been a game destroyer.

    With all the above said I will eat humble pie here if France makes the final.

    Will you do the same if France don’t make the final?

  36. Dark Hei


    For real stats folks there is this thing called weights.

    If the stats don’t stick, it is because the modelling is wrong.

    Stats is meant to interpret reality, not the other way round.

    When folks quote xG, what they are saying is that the formula works better than our impressions and memory of a performance.

    However. often time, our impression actually mirrors xG. For example, we see Arsenal winning despite a “bad’ performance. I choose my words carefully as there is a difference between “bad” and “ugly”.

    xG will mirror an “ugly” Mourinho style with an xG superior to the opposition. But if your xG is far below your opponent, it just means you are “bad” at football.

  37. Dark Hei

    “For real stats folks there is this thing called weights”

    Sorry I went off tangent.

    What I mean to say is that the overall stats need to be weighted against the opposition if you are comparing play across different leagues or competitions.

    Plus, the sample size of Mustafi performances is small, so it can’t actually be considered.

  38. Bojangles

    It’s surprising what you will find to fill spare time. Here’s something that serves no purpose but some may find interesting.

    The value of pl team squads gleaned from TransferMarkt. Figures shown are Euros, second value is for u23 where given.

    Man City 1.28 bil. 5.15mil
    Liverpool 1.07 bil. 16 mil
    Spuds 984 mil.
    Chelsea 807 mil. 5.5 mil
    Un**ed 753.25 mil. 11.5 mil
    Arsenal 690.75 mil. 11 mil
    Everton 506 mil. 550,000
    Leicester 410 mil. 1.3 mil
    West Ham 348mil. 2 mil
    B’mouth 334 mil. 540,000
    Wolves 333.75 mil. 1.1 mil
    New Utd 274 mil. 475,000
    Soton 237 mil. 225,000
    CP 237. mil 200,000
    Watford 235 mil. 500,000
    Brighton 219 mil. 2.93 mil
    Burnley 191 mil. 100,000
    AV 191 mil. 200,000
    Norwich 122 mil. 225,000
    Shef Utd 91 mil.

    Enjoy. 😊

  39. China1

    Stats should always be seen as a supplement to what your eyes and common sense also tell you

    When people go in too hard on stats they end up talking about ozil as one of the best players in the world because he played a great pass that got an assist one time in an otherwise ananymous match etc

  40. sid

    more stats
    world cup winner Giroud- Auba Gabon never qualified
    world cup winner Mustafi- caglar Soyuncu turkey last qualified in the 90’s
    world cup winner Meeehsut ozil- ericsen iceland out in the group stages.

  41. Moray

    Look at Christian Karembeu’s medal
    Haul. And then at his contribution to those trophies…

    Great video of Wright and Bergkamp. Thanks for the share, Pedders.

  42. Graham62



    Oh yes, good old common sense.

    Statistically, there are now more Lycra lout cyclists on the roads than ever before. These individuals are supposedly far more advanced, both technically and mentally, than all other cyclists on the road. Super advanced, sharp and focused when it comes to their road sense.

    The fact of the matter is they are all arrogant little shits, who don’t give a damn about other road users and are crap cyclists.

    It’s “what your eyes and common sense tell you”.

  43. Emiratesstroller

    Good morning everyone.

    I want to pose a question based on the Dennis Bergkamp interview with Ian

    What should be the expectation of Arsenal as a Club following the Arsene Wenger era and the construction of Emirates Stadium?

    1. We were winning on a fairly regular basis Trophies whilst we were based at

    2. The club was able to recruit World Class Players in the first 8 years.

    3. We were told that the additional capacity at Emirates would ensure that
    we could match any other football club on planet with possible exception
    of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

    4. That Arsenal’s position at the top table of world football would be secure.

    Clearly our expectation is no longer matched by reality.

    1. We have won since the stadium was built only three trophies in FA Cup in
    last 15 years a fairly meagre fare for a club of Arsenal’s history prior to Emirates being built.

    2. The club has been taken over by a USA Billionaire whose financial pockets
    we were told are significantly larger than those of previous Board, but who
    failed to invest a £ in the coffers of club until at least this season.

    3. Other clubs such as Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool have now overtaken us
    either by owners with larger financial clout or more importantly greater ambition than those who run our club.

    4. The Emirates Stadium is no longer the panacea it once was. Even our neighbours Spurs have built a larger and more modern stadium.

    So the reality is that Arsenal and its supporters needs now to modify its ambition and expectation.

    I believe still that the club can win periodically trophies in England and finish
    in top 4, but our progress in Europe will be dependent on either the owners
    or some other potential investor being prepared to invest in the club at a
    level which matches the likes of Man City and Real Madrid.

    Somehow I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Realistically our horizon is
    a top 4-6 club in England and top 12 club in Europe.

  44. Emiratesstroller


    What exactly do you disagree with?

    Have we achieved the potential forecast when we built the Emirates as suggested by Hill-Wood the then Chairman?

  45. Bojangles


    We are in fact a richer club than Liverpool, who as you know won the CL last year and are in a good position in the pl this year. If they are able to achieve this kind of success surely we can too.

  46. Graham62


    The key problem as far as I’m concerned is the mindset of our owner and BoD.

    A winning mentality comes from the top. I want to see far more proactive aggression coming from the hierarchy.

    It’s all very well coming out and saying that changes are afoot but fans want to see it and feel it.

    With Kroenke (Josh) and our limp board we never feel this. This for me is remains the core problem.

    Wenger accepted it and didn’t question things. Thankfully he has gone BUT the problems still exist.

    Emery is not capable of ruffling feathers, therefore it will be up to us, the fans, to voice our concerns when nothing constructive is being done.

    Can we do this?

  47. Graham62

    I really hate to say this but if you gave the Emirates stadium to Liverpool FC for one day(game) you’d get a completely different matchday experience.

    No jokes please.

  48. Graham62

    Arsenal FC and the Emirates stadium became a hospitality business when we relocated.

    Imo, the stadiums design and layout is not conducive to creating the ultimate matchday atmosphere.

    I hate the middle section which is far too visible and takes away from the impact the stadium could/should have.

    In this respect, it was a poor design and typical of a mindset more geared to satisfying the needs of the few instead of the genuine fans.

  49. Valentin


    3rd or back row is the term that encompass 6, 7 (Flankers) and 8. Anybody who has ever played or followed rugby knows that term.

    Regarding my pet hate of ruck defending and clearing, in most game one of the commentators will make the same remark. And most of the time add “XXX got away with that one”. It is not currently viewed as a priority by the rugby board, so it is left on the pitch referee interpretation. Same with not straight throw, you’ll find that some referees will barely sanctioned them.

    Farrell has tried to change his technique… Let’s wait against Australia for his customary cheap shot. He got away with one against Argentina. I doubt he will against Australia.

    I have not said that France is playing well. I said that historically France has always had one good performance at a world cup. In New-Zealand, They reach the final despite being atrocious.

    Wales may have won the last few games against France, but even then it was hotly contested game with few points in it. In most of those games French players fitness were not up to par with Wales. This time it will be. That’s why I predict a France victory.

  50. HighburyLegend

    “it was a poor design and typical of a mindset more geared to satisfying the needs of the few instead of the genuine fans.”

    Totally agree.
    Remember the words from SAF the first time he went to the Emirates Stadium ??
    “This is much too open”

    (And no need to ask is wenger was involved in the design development…)

  51. Valentin


    The design of the stadium was selected to maximise the vision for all points and the light coming from above. Maximising the light helps with the grass. It cut down on the use of artificial UV light for the pitch.

    Unfortunately That choice is also the reason why the acoustic is so bad. There are sections where the sound will just go up instead of down, hence why generating a powerful atmosphere is so difficult.
    Wenger gave an interview where he acknowledged that sound and atmosphere were not part of the initial construction brief. They have had a look, but Retrofitting bouncing sound panel was not a viable option.

    Every stadium is a compromise, size, field of vision, light, atmosphere, directors boxes. It may not be the best stadium, but Personally I love the Emirates.

  52. Tony

    Funny Valentin but the open and blind flankers position next to the second row.

    Good luck for your quest for 100% rule infraction refereeing.

    Most pundits say the game is over officiously managed by the TMO and officials. Others complain when an infraction offers their opposing team’s some gain.

    Let’s see how France does where I’m sure you’ll let me know if you are vindicated.

    Shall we get back to football now?

  53. Pierre

    “3rd or back row is the term that encompass 6, 7 (Flankers) and 8. Anybody who has ever played or followed rugby knows that term.”

    Tony tries his best ..bless him, he just wants to be liked so he’s trying to get in with the rugby crowd.

  54. Emiratesstroller

    The key element is not about resources and facilities which may be on offer,
    but the ‘football ambition’ and how you achieve it.

    Arsenal have not shown any ambition in the last 15 years for all the rhetoric.

    We have underachieved, because of poor management, decisions and gross
    underinvestment in the team.

    Liverpool have since the takeover FOCUSSED on recruiting a top class manager and investing in team and not building at huge expense and debt
    a new stadium.

    It remains to be seen whether the Kroenke family will now that they own the
    club be prepared to invest in team and club.

    We have to remember that the Kroenke family have more than one sports franchise and have a large number of other business interests. It is unclear whether Arsenal are a genuine priority.

  55. Graham62

    Highbury Legend

    I was heavily involved in Sports/ Leisure project development whilst working overseas, obviously nothing as substantial as the Emirates.

    We would sit weekly, often daily, to review/discuss the operational/asthetic appeal of the designs. Our brainstorming sessions were paramount in creating the right environment and atmosphere for our clients( members).

    If I had been on the design team, I would have seriously questioned certain aspects of the Emirates layout and would definitely not have agreed with the final plans.

    It’s a travesty and an insult to the fans.

    Nothing new there then.

  56. Valentin


    You are embarrassing yourself. A quick Google search would have spare you that.
    2nd row are 4&5. They are called lock.

    The TMO has a narrow remit. He can only intervene when prompted by the referee or when a potential yellow card incident has been missed.

    Same school of thought than Marko: I have an opinion even if I have no idea what you are talking about nor read the post.

  57. Receding Hairline

    Redknapp, who managed Tottenham between 2008 and 2012, has picked out the form of the current team as the reason for their recent defeats, and shifted blame away from the manager.

    He added: “You’re as good as your players.

    “Graham Taylor once said ‘your manager is never as good as you think he is and he’s never as bad as you think he is, he’s somewhere in between’ and that is football management.

    “If you put Pochettino, or you put Pep [Guardiola] or [Jurgen] Klopp and let them go and manage Brighton or manage Norwich or Sheffield United, they’re not gonna go and put them in the top six, it doesn’t work that way.”

  58. Graham62


    From a fans perspective, I never have.

    The external environment is superb but that internal mid section ruins it for me.

    I would love to have pointed this out constructively to Wenger and his design team.

    Total lack of appreciation of what the fans would want.

    Yet another reason why Arsenal regressed over the years.

  59. Receding Hairline

    “Same school of thought than Marko: I have an opinion even if I have no idea what you are talking about nor read the post.”

    Kind of like you who has an opinion on literally every topic and knows someone close to the event or someone who know someone who knows someone close or involved in it.

  60. Emiratesstroller

    Graham 62 and Valentin

    The atmosphere in stadium has nothing to do with design of stadium.

    The reality is that the football played over last 15 years and our performance level does not generate ‘enthusiasm’ or for that matter a contrary reaction as
    you might see at let’s say Newcastle.

    On the odd occasion when Arsenal produced a spectacular result or came back from the dead as we did when beating Spurs last season the atmosphere and noise level was very good.

    The stadium was designed for comfort and its openess was in part the result
    of lessons learned at other stadiums which were impacted by poor light and
    air flow one of the reasons that a roof cover of the pitch was not built.

  61. Valentin


    Arsenal has meetings with fans about the design of the stadium. I don’t know if any raised that concern. Maybe it is because they did not noticed or because they did not care.

    I have difficulty visualising the changes that would satisfy you.
    What kind of change would you want to make?

  62. Valentin


    Pot kettle…
    Again diving two feet first in without bringing anything constructive to the discussion.
    You got scolded during our last argument, so you are now trying to get your petty revenge.
    You, Marko, Bamford and Tony are really the Heather’s, the mean girls of this blog.

    Have a lie down and think of something that contribute for a change.

  63. Pierre

    You are spot on with your assessment of the situation since moving to the Emirates and the present situation.

    Ambition is the crucial aspect that has been lacking at the club and that has coincided with David Dein leaving and the new owners arriving..

    What you are basically saying is the club has returned to its usual position of occasionally competing for the title , competing for the lower tier European trophies and winning the odd domestic trophy.

    It was only during Wengers first 8/10 years that the club rose to the level of a top 2 club in England and competing in the European cup and consistently winning domestic trophies .

    The club , for the first time in 15 years are showing some real ambition in the transfer market( ten years too late) , 200 million spent in a year or so is confirmation of this but to seriously compete with the top 2 we need to probably spend another couple of hundred of million and recruit a new manager.

    Ate we a club with real ambition ….I’m not so sure …

    If Emery is still at the club next season then the answer is no.

  64. Receding Hairline

    “You got scolded during our last argument, so you are now trying to get your petty revenge.”

    Scolded by who? You? That will be the day …i don’t have arguments with you Oga, you say nothing of substance besides a desperate attempt to appear well informed. A charade that has run it’s course.

  65. Receding Hairline

    “Ate we a club with real ambition ….I’m not so sure …”

    Well i am sure AFC did not eat any club with real ambition.

    And if ambition is fielding the likes of Ozil and handing lifetime contracts to coaches past their sell by date then i am glad we are not that club.

    A bit rich Pierre talking about ambition in football.

  66. Valentin


    Even at Highbury, the atmosphere was quiet. It was called the library for a reason, so our fans tens to be quieter than others.

    You are right that the performance usually generates the atmosphere, but some stadium have such a small, oppressing feeling that they encourage the atmosphere. That’s not the case at the Emirates because of the light and eeriness.

    At Saint James Park, the stadium is too steep and the pitch too far. Good for atmosphere and sound, terrible for field of vision.

  67. Emiratesstroller


    Arsenal’s fanbase at Highbury was always fairly cosmopolitan and civilised apart from perhaps the “Cale Mob” on North Bank.

    That contrasts with many of the other metropolitan clubs including Chelsea and our neighbours Spurs.

    Most fans like to watch the game rather than make a lot of noise, but that is
    not to say that they are unemotional or less appreciative when we play well.

  68. Graham62

    Take a look at the Estadio da luz( Benficas stadium) which was built in 2003. Spot the subtle differences.

    I’ve been fortunate enough to visit this stadium on numerous occasions over the years and I can assure you it has far better acoustics than the Emirates mainly because it is far more bowl shaped( steeper sides).

    The “Club level” at the EDL stadium is also less evident because of this. At the Emirates it consumes the mid section.

    I’d give the EDL stadium a 9/10 for asthetic appeal and atmosphere.

    The Emirates 7.5/10 max.

  69. Pierre

    For Arsenal fans to create an atmosphere at the Emirates or highbury, a few things need to happen.

    1) play Tottenham
    2) a dodgy penalty or a red card from the officials.
    3) a 2nd half comeback .
    4) a big european tie( not group stages)
    5) latter stages of domestic cups sometimes.

    Other than that , the atmosphere can be fairly mundane , even a comfortable 4 or 5 goal victory ( remember those days ) wouldn’t create a fantastic atmosphere.

    But Arsenal fans can definitely rise to the occasion when needed…the colour and atmosphere that Atsenal fans created for our recent FA cup victories is confirmation of this.

  70. Pierre

    RH, with the most pointless and irrelevant comment of the day , week , year .

    “And if ambition is fielding the likes of Ozil and handing lifetime contracts to coaches past their sell by date then i am glad we are not that club.”

    Plus the fact that it doesn’t make sense.

  71. Graham62


    Design does affect atmosphere.

    I know that Arsenal home fans on not the most vocal but with a little bit more forethought things could have been so much better.

    As I intially highlighted, when you get too many business minded individuals( in our case,one mind) involved in the development process you know it won’t turn out right.

    C’est la vie.

  72. Receding Hairline

    Pierre what doesn’t make sense is your lofty standards of what constitutes ambition in football .

    You think Arsenal should give the Norwich manager a go because they play football the right way yet said manager has not won a football match in a month but you think Arsenal sticking with Unai Emery sis a lack of ambition because he does not play football the way you approve or field the players you approve of.

    That old man is what makes zero sense.

    Either you want to win football matches or you want to adhere to a certain value of playing the right way, many can do both, other pick a certain path when confronted with certain circumstances.

  73. Graham62


    Ever played a game where your opponent would never accept defeat or make numerous excuses to cover their own flaws and failings.

    Welcome to Pierre’s world.

    Got to admire his stubbornness though.

  74. Cesc Appeal

    I agree that the Emirates was not designed with atmosphere in mind, not the sole reason for a poor atmosphere but ‘intimidation’ and ‘atmosphere’ would certainly have been criteria I’d have had on the board when coming up with design ideas.

  75. Pierre

    ” Arsenal sticking with Unai Emery sis a lack of ambition because he does not play football the way you approve or field the players you approve of.”

    Results and performances will determine if Emery is the right man for the job.

    The club has spent the money ,

    he has talented academy players coming through who are ready to play now ,

    he has 2 of the best strikers in world football at his disposal,

    he has the prolific Pepe and the excellent Saka to use out wide…..

    He has a Spanish international Ceballos as his playmaker ,

    He has 2 full backs that are potentially up there with the best .

    He has 2 very good goalkeepers .

    He has a Brazillian international at centre back and with holding fit now , they should ceeate a solid back 4 with tierney and Bellerin.

    What can go wrong.

  76. Receding Hairline

    Everyone here knows the players we have, you can’t throw a dig about a pointless post and follow it up with one equally pointless.

    Two of the best strikers in football is subjective by the way 29 league goals in 70 apps for Lacazette are not world class numbers.

  77. Bojangles

    I’m not prepared to name Bellerin as one of the best full backs (perhaps at Arsenal.) Adequate would be my description. Tierney, maybe but yet proven.

  78. Valentin

    I have yet to see an all seating stadium that ticks all the boxes in term of atmosphere and acoustic.

    Design of a stadium is always a compromise between size, light, air flow, field of vision, practicality, accessibility, security, size of club and director boxes, roof, changing room, media room and acoustic.
    I can understand why acoustic is always the criteria that fell behind. Plus it is a recent complaint, I don’t think that people even contemplated that as a criteria when the Emirates or Wembley were built.

    The more intimidating stadiums are small, steep, with the fans on top of the football pitch. They act as a echo chamber and every noise is amplified, but they are also cramp and unpractical. Try to go to St James Park with a disable or old person, the steepness of the stairs could induce a heart attack before the game starts.

    The stadium with the best atmosphere I visited in England is Portsmouth Fratton Park. But it was a dump. Dirty, smelly, impractical. I was amazed that it passed any security test.

  79. Marc

    “Ate we a club with real ambition ….I’m not so sure …”

    The owner has put Sanllehi in charge of the football side of things and in his first summer he turned what was expected to be a very difficult transfer window into something which I think most fans would consider as pretty good.

    I don’t remember Emery being on anyone’s list of who they wanted but I (and a few others) were prepared to give him a season to see how he did. This summer has given him enough to achieve top 4 and whilst judging a season on 8 games is unreasonable so far Emery looks as if he is regressing rather than making progress.

    I think it would take a major downturn in results for Emery to be fired mid season but I do think as it stands that even if Emery gets top 4 he won’t be offered an extension.

    The big question is who will go for if that happens.

  80. Marc


    I seem to remember around the time we were designing Wenger was heavily involved and the Emirates project brief was to create a perfect playing surface and then build a stadium around it that had a heavy slant of revenue generation.

  81. Valentin

    Last season in the EPL Lacazette played 2502 minutes over 35 appearances. He scored 13 goals and had 10 assists. So the equivalent of contributing to a goal every 108 minutes. That is pretty impressive.

    For comparison the world class Firmino played 2620 minutes over 34 appearances. He scored 12 goals and had 7 assists. So the equivalent of contributing a goal every 137 minutes.

    So maybe the problem is not Lacazette, it is the fact on the left we had Iwobi and Kolasinac instead of Mané. And on the right Mhkitaryan instead of Salah.

  82. Pierre

    “Two of the best strikers in football is subjective by the way 29 league goals in 70 apps for Lacazette are not world class numbers.”

    Lacazette has been linked with clubs like Barcelona and Atletico Mafrid and some on here think he is more valuable to the club than the prolific Aubameyang. ..

  83. Valentin


    I agree with what you said.
    1) Wenger is not an architect, so blaming him for the deficiency of the acoustic is ridiculous.

    2) at the time nobody thought of the acoustic. Even now unless explicitly told by clients architects and building engineer don’t automatically integrate that issue in their discussion.

    A friend of mine paid an architect to build his forever home. He is a very good classical music player, so he wanted good acoustic integrated in his home. Most architects just looked at him like an alien. He had to hire a sound engineer to review the original design. Now he can listen to the Traviata while cooking. And he can play Chamber music with friends in the lounge.

  84. Pierre

    “I’m not prepared to name Bellerin as one of the best full backs (perhaps at Arsenal.) Adequate would be my description. Tierney, maybe but yet proven.”

    It sounds like excuses are at the ready for when Emery cocks it up .

    Lacazette numbers average
    Bellerin adequate.
    Tierney not proven

    What next , let me see
    Saka , willock too inexperienced
    Ceballos / pepe not ready for prem.

    The fact is, we now have an excellent squad that is so good in Emery’s view that the player who has created the most chances since he arrived, cant even make the 2nd string squad .

  85. Receding Hairline

    “What next , let me see
    Saka , willock too inexperienced
    Ceballos / pepe not ready for prem.”

    Are any of those falsehoods? We already see Ceballos struggling but you believe that is down to not being used properly, bear in mind your idea of proper usage of creative midfielders is to have them saunter about the pitch doing nothing off the table while contributing what you term moments of magic.

    God forbid two teenagers playing their first season of senior team football be called inexperienced…

  86. Freddie Ljungberg


    “It sounds like excuses are at the ready for when Emery cocks it up .

    Lacazette numbers average

    Bellerin adequate.

    Tierney not proven

    What next , let me see
    Saka , willock too inexperienced
    Ceballos / pepe not ready for prem”

    You call them excuses, sane people call them facts.

    Global warming is all on Emery though, what a cunt.

  87. Marc


    I wasn’t blaming Wenger I was just pointing out the difference in thinking at the time.

    Match day revenue was hugely important at the time – with all the TV money now it’s less so. You’ve got teams in the PL with average attendances of 20 odd thousand who are in the richest 25 clubs in the world right now.

  88. Bamford10


    “Arsenal have not shown any ambition in the last 15 years for all the rhetoric. We have underachieved, because of poor management, decisions and gross
    underinvestment in the team … It remains to be seen whether the Kroenke family will now that they own the club be prepared to invest in team and club.”

    Well, it may be the case that we didn’t show ambition or invest properly during Chapter Two of Arsene Wenger — 2008-2017 — but that was entirely down to Wenger, who did everything and who made all footballing decisions at that time.

    Since March of 2018, however, when Josh Kroenke relocated to London and Wenger was pushed out, everything the club has done has shown ambition. The hiring of Sanllehi, the hiring of Emery, the hiring of Edu, the summer transfer window, the £72m signing of Pepe (with money reportedly from the owner himself), the appointment of Freddie to the senior team, etc.

    Clear ambition is being shown. These things take time, however.

  89. Marc

    Laca is a good player and I hate the term world class – it’s banded about far too easily but didn’t Laca’s 13 PL goals beat what Son got at the Spud’s? A player who is very highly rated.

  90. Pierre

    I’m looking forward to Monday night against newly promoted Sheffield United.

    Now that he has a fully fit squad to choose from, I expect to see a performance of quality , discipline, pace , aggression and composure .

    It will be a team of internationals who should have enough quality to compete and ultimately beat a sheffield side consisting of journeymen , some experienced and some inexperienced.

    If we cant control and dictate tha game with intelligent, possession and controlled football then we could struggle, as allowing united to have too much possession will ultimately put pressure on our defence.

  91. raptora

    I don’t see a reason why we shouldn’t be able to replicate what Liverpool have done. They are well and truly among the elite of Europe and the world at this moment. They’ve won the Champions League and are well on their way to win the Premier League. They’ve done it on a similar budget and in a 3-year plan.

    I’m convinced that our bosses are aiming at Liverpool’s model. There is nothing that should stop us from achieving the same results. When obviously money is not the problem, because we can truly compete with Liverpool on that front, we just to spend them properly, sack the dross and bring the right people in. Which, in all honesty, we’ve been really trying to do.

    Who’s to say that we won’t find our Salah, or our Mane, or our VvD, and above all – our Klopp. In the form of bargains like they did (even VvD was super value for the money). I believe we’re on the right track. It just takes time.

    But the push from our leaders is obvious. And, since recently, they’ve been openly talking about their desire to win things with Arsenal. Not finish in top 4 but win things and be among the elite. I trust them.

    Following that logic, this will surely be Emery’s last season and in the Summer we’re going to take a punt on finding our own Klopp.

  92. Goobergooner


    I understand why people think Aussie sports are sore losers and what not. The cricket bans against SA surely show us in that light especially.

    The thing with that is that no Australian fan is proud of that or indeed encourages that. It is disgraceful. Especially seeing Steve Smith as captain, going on to be an all time great of the game ruin it for himself, even if he has come back playing great cricket again.

    In regards to the tennis, not even Aussies like Kyrgios or Tomic.
    They are absolute cunts and a disgrace to the game. Talk about egos.

    Alex de minaur and Ashleigh Barty are who Australians get behind as they are professional and go about the game the right way.

    I do however think it is funny because all I ever read about after a loss is England making excuses for how shite they are.

    That’s just part of the game these days I guess. No one likes losing and there is always a great rivalry between teams.

    I just love that the convicts occasionally get one over the motherland 😜😂

  93. Pierre

    RH, fred , Marc

    Where is the confidence .

    All players fit and firing , no excuses of fatigue ….this is what you have been waiting for …and a run of nice easy games to come.


    Come on show some confidence in the team .

  94. Bamford10


    OK, but is that the result of less-than-ideal defensive players (Xhaka, Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Sokratis) or is it the result of poor instruction and organization from the manager?

    Many of us here say it’s the former, and we say so with much evidence; another set here says the latter, but they have never provided a single piece of evidence to support this claim.

    What do you say?

  95. Bamford10


    Complete nonsense re Sheffield. I just re-watched their match against Liverpool yesterday. They are a good side, and Liverpool were very fortunate to win 1-0. Sheffield also drew with Chelsea 2-2, beat Everton 2-0 and beat Palace 1-0. They are a good team, not a collection of “journeymen”.

    You are simply trying to stack the deck against Emery so that you can make another agenda-driven assault on him come Monday. This is obvious.

  96. Pierre

    In reality ,I expect the game to be a battle from the first minute to the last , I expect Emery to play a team of workers .

    No Ceballos, No Saka , No Pepe ….I cant see Emery trying to win this game by playing football ,he will try to fight fire with fire.

    Then again Emery may surprise us and play a team of technical players and try to win the game with quality. football..

  97. Marc

    “No Ceballos, No Saka , No Pepe ….I cant see Emery trying to win this game by playing football ,he will try to fight fire with fire.”

    Again building an agenda. Saka is a kid and Ceballos has been carrying a knock and had to drop out of training the other day for Spain so might not be fit.

    Why are so many on here incapable of making a reasoned argument against Emery rather than trying it to fit an agenda.

    As if Ozil would start against Sheffield Utd under Wenger.

  98. Pierre


    Sheffield united ,this season have lost at home to


    4 home, so surely with our fully fit squad and the 2 full backs returning , we should be looking forward to the game with confidence.

  99. Freddie Ljungberg


    I think things will improve now that we have a fit squad, I don’t think it’s going to be this massive improvement from day 1 that you are demanding, it takes time to get players up and firing and for new partnerships to form.

    I do however think that it should be an upwards trajectory from here, barring another spate of injuries, if not fire Emery and continue the squad building.

    imo we’re 3 players away from competing with the top teams

    CB (+Saliba) CM (instead of Xhaka) and CAM ( if Ceballos doesn’t work out/we can’t buy him)

    On a modest budget I would go for Upamecano, if the rumoured 50m next summer is true, Sangare and maybe Szoboszlai.

    Would be a very young team that maybe doesn’t click the first season but with that base we are going to be very competetive for years to come and would still be ahead of schedule for the rebuild.

  100. Bamford10


    “Why are so many on here incapable of making …”

    Because they have no interest in that. They are here to promote a particular narrative — e.g., Pierre is here to battle Wenger and Ozil critics and to do what he can to rehabilitate the reputations of these two — not to discuss Arsenal in a reasonable manner.

  101. Chris

    Nice post earlier ES

    My take on it is that Arsenal have the undoubted potential to become a club that can make serious challenges for the league title yearly and compete regularly in the quarter finals of the Champions League at least. Some may see that as too lofty an ambition, but I am sure that is where we all want to be. I truly believe that is where we can be and some of the moves made by the club over the last year are the first steps toward that.

  102. Emiratesstroller


    I am sure that Arsenal want to win trophies, but the key point is “commitment
    to the cause”.

    Until now I have seen absolutely no evidence that the current owners will bust
    a gut to achieve this. The management at Arsenal have been in last 15 years more concerned about balancing the books and more importantly keeping
    the club “liquid”.

    There is virtually no bank balance on the books of Liverpool.

  103. Pierre

    I agree that improvement will not be massive from day one but surely fans shouldn’t be looking at this game with such trepidation.

    We have enough quality throughout the side to compete with and beat a team like Sheffield united who have already had 4 home defeats this season.

  104. Words on a Blog


    Journeymen or not, Sheffield U will be tough to beat, as they proved in the one match I saw them play against Liverpool.

  105. Bamford10


    I am confident we will be well-organized and well-prepared, and I am confident we will put in an energetic and disciplined performance — all of which is more than can be said of what we could have expected under late Wenger.

    Beyond that, however, it is hard to say. Liverpool were very fortunate to win 1-0, and they are a much better team than we are.

    If we have Tierney, Bellerin and Holding in the XI, though, I think we have a good chance of winning. If Xhaka is in the XI, however, this reduces our chances of winning.

    We will see.

  106. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal are a club of huge potential in the right hands, but the owners have to
    have the passion to match that expectation.

    Personally I think that Josh Kroenke has slightly more affinity with the club than his father. Clearly he has been charged with putting the house in order over past two years.

    However, at the end of the day his father who seldom visits the club makes the
    final decisions about Arsenal’s future. He is the owner and holds the purse strings.

  107. Chris

    Regarding get Emirates, I hope we can experience winning the league in it one day as we did at Highbury in 1998, or win that game that practically wins the title there. It would then truly feel like ‘home’ in the history of the club.

    The design may have an impact on atmosphere but it isn’t the cause of a lack of one. As many will attest it is capable of being extremely loud, with the right opponent and situation. If the club is successful in installing safe standing should the law be passed, and more work by the club and red action in organising singing areas this would help improve the atmosphere for your average home game. As has been said however, lots of people simply prefer watching and taking in the game itself, myself included (I rarely drink when going to a game otherwise I struggle to keep a clear focus!). It is unlikely to ever be Estadio Monumental.

    I’d also point out Spurs’ new stadium has a whole stand designed to be one huge ‘wall’ yet many videos have emerged of it being like a library during home games. Design helps but isn’t the be all and end all! You also need noisy (usually drunk) people 😃

  108. Words on a Blog


    I do think that the match against Sheffield U, in terms of our performance and more importantly, the result will be a good indicator of whether Emery has managed to resolve of our poor away performances and results.

  109. Bamford10


    Apparently you don’t grasp how deep someone like Pierre’s antipathy for Wenger critics goes. Pierre has said that Wenger critics were and are the worst thing that ever happened to Arsenal Football Club. That is why he is here. This has nothing to do with rationality. This is a settling of scores for him.

  110. Marc


    A friend of mine who’s been a season ticket holder for over 30 years has an interesting take on the crowd. He points out that when he started going he was in his early 20’s and was the average age of a fan – he’s now 50+ and is now the average age of a fan.

    There are so many factors that contribute or affect the noise level it’s impossible to come up with a fix as much as I’d like to see the club manage it.

  111. Pierre

    These games are never easy , but normally the top sides with their extra quality in the final third of the pitch will win the game.

    My worry with our performances under Emery is too much energy is expended in the opening hour and ultimately we will run out of energy and concede chances as in our previous games v Manchester United and Bournemouth and many times last season.

    We need to pace our game, are not a 90 minute team.

  112. Words on a Blog


    I think you’re pushing it a little with respect to Pierre and his “score-settling” agenda. There is certainly an element of it there. But I prefer to think that what he really is after is “beautiful, technical football”, (hence his unconditional love for Ozil, and his grudging respect for Ceballos) and he thinks that Emery is incapable of delivering that.

  113. Dream10

    Pierre – Well said. agree with your viewpoint.

    Ceballos played for Spain against Norway on the left of the front three. Nothing special in 1-1 draw. Suspect it will be him and Nelson competing for the LW spot.

    When Lacazette is fit, I can see Emery playing him as a #9 with Aubameyang playing some matches instead of Pépé on the RW.

  114. Words on a Blog


    I don’t disagree with you that a top side should be winning at Sheffield U, and also about the inconsistency of our press/energy expended. I think this is partly an Emery instruction after last season’s pattern, when we often found ourselves down a goal and chasing the game. Hence the new pattern of an early aggressive press, until we hopefully get a goal or two, followed by a more passive low/mid block once we are up or more tired (as against Watford and Bournemouth)

    Let’s see what happens against Sheffield U

  115. Pierre

    Since we moved to the Emirates our home form is probably up there with the best so it hasn’t had any effect on our performances .

    The away form is still the problem because we haven’t found a way of competing with the intensity of a lot of premiership sides..

    We have never had any protection from refs way from home and still dont.

    Even this season we are unfairly treated with one yellow every 3 fouls whereas teams like liverpool are 1 in 10 and Leicester 1 in 15 .

  116. Cesc Appeal

    I really think we should be looking a Zakaria for the midfield. He’s got the kind of profile we’re looking for, or should be. Big, strong, fast, good CDM traits but also a good dribbler who can carry the ball from the midfield and with a strong 6ft 3 frame he could prove hard to dispossess.