Freddie starts badly; this has serious implications. (ANOTHER long read)

by & filed under News Review.

You might be heading here this morning thinking I’m about to launch into Freddie Ljungberg and the drab opener to his career in the hot seat. If that’s the case, you’ll be disappointed. We put in exactly the sort of performance I was expecting after the handsome Swede had spent just two days with a squad that looks like it’s been on a 4-day stag-do bender in Benidorm with the boys from Croydon’s biggest building site.

No new-manager-bounce for Freddie. I think fans were genuinely more interested in what he was going to wear before the game, an event far more likely to bring joy than the collection of players that have been mailing it in under a banter manager for 18 months. Turns out, his attire wasn’t quite as striking as we’d hoped. He looked like an account guy in advertising that’d just moved to 3 bedroom garage renovated space, in Stoke Newington, preparing to pop out to pick up a takeaway from Pizza Express. No 3 piece tweed ensemble for the ages, nothing CK flare-ish, just a bit boring.

His team selections were also a bit, how can we say it kindly? Interesting.

He brought back Mustafi, Ozil, and Xhaka. He opted to try and make Lacazette and Auba work upfront. He played his favourite, Joe Willock. His defence omitted Tierney, had Chambers at right-back, along with David Luiz. If we’re being forgiving, which we are, he might have been playing the politics card before he hits the team with his true vision. Conte did that in his first season at Chelsea (bringing a back 3 in after 10 games); play the card everyone wants you to play, prove it’s shite, then switch it up. I mean, not that crazy a thought, Freddie believes in high octane pressing and his front three were Ozil, Lacazette and Auba.

The attacking output was interesting for the first 15 minutes, the passing was more direct, there were some attempts at the combination play of old. The problem though, as always, was the defence. We were a total mess as usual. The midfield did a very bad job holding their shape, the players in the back 4 looked like they were new to the game, and there was the typical array of poor individual performances.

David Luiz just isn’t built for the game in 2019. He’s desperately off the pace, he’s lacking confidence for the first time in his career, and he’s lost that edge we used to hate about him. In the heat of spending frenzy last summer, we all hoped this was a masterstroke. Now we’re looking at him in cold light of day, it’s apparent that was a ‘contacts’ signing for the ages. Nearly £200k a week, a bunch of agents fees, and a pretty large transfer fee on someone that just doesn’t have it.

The manager took a lot of flak for his subs, again, I thought this was unfair. Is there really much of a difference between Saka and Pepe at the minute? Freddie basically said Pepe trains badly. He was an elite player, we might not trust his judgement on knitwear, but you can’t deny that he’s likely very attuned to effort levels in training sessions.

The overarching problem for Freddie is a simple one: He’s the caretaker.

Arsenal won’t give him the job fulltime. The players absolutely know this. Sadly, they’re all still in holiday mode. Freddie is a nice guy that they all like, but he doesn’t have any real authority in that role, because the players know he’ll be leaving. That’s not a slight on Freddie, when Alex Ferguson announced his first retirement years ago, he had to cancel it because his squad switched off. Our squad is a collection of pampered babies, they’ll take any excuse you throw their way.

Regardless, I hoped they might want to play for him, but just look at the overall pace of that game and the lack of commitment. There was no fire in the tackle, everything was halfhearted, no one risked 50/50s. The players weren’t giving it their all, because Freddie doesn’t matter to them like he should do.

That means the club really is going to have to go very hard to make sure the manager we hire is in the door by January 1st. We need authority in the dressing room and we need some ideas on how to get the team ticking again. I cannot accept the notion that the squad is worse than Norwich or Southampton, it’s simply too easy to play that card. Leicester have been a sub 50 points a season team for 3 years, their players weren’t shite, the managers were. No one, and I mean no one, had that squad of players down as anything outside average when we tanked them in 2018 with a blistering performance. Now they have a very good coach, he has them in 2nd, and apparently all he’s done is awaken an incredibly balanced squad. Not true.

Good coaching makes a difference. Players are just like us. They buy into ideas. They want to operate in an organised unit. They want to win. We need some fire in the dressing room and we need someone capable of reenergizing players that have lost their way.

It’s super trendy for everyone to talk about the deeper problems at Arsenal. I’m with everyone on that, but let’s not overcomplicate football here. We need a manager with a believable idea, good communication skills, with the ability to crack the whip in a positive way.

The managerial shortlist looks unwieldy at the minute, but it’s filtering down as we learn more about the names.

The Guardian ran a piece yesterday that said the club has massively cooled on the idea of inviting a super agent lackey into an already messy situation. I’m am VERY pleased about that.  Thank you to everyone that raised the alarm there, you clearly made a difference here. Nuno would have been a fucking disaster. It looks like he’s off the shortlist.

Pochettino is apparently a favourite of the board. Why wouldn’t he be? The guy is absolute mustard, he’d be an incredible hire, but from what I understand, it is very, very unlikely he’d tarnish his reputation for Arsenal. So, likely rule him out.

Allegri has been out of a job for a while considering his talent. Word on the street is he interviewed very badly. He couldn’t sprechen zie English that well and he also asked the club to sell him on Arsenal (power move). That’s a bad footing he might struggle to come back from. I think Allegri is a saucy beast, but his English is very poor if you watch his online videos, but more to the point, the guy is at the top of his game. He’ll want to win the Champions League with his next move, fast. Any human arrogant enough to ask for the interviewer to sell them on the role is probably not suited to a shit show like Arsenal. No money, an unbalanced squad, and basically a huge step back for a top, top manager.

Brendan Rodgers is interested in Arsenal. He couldn’t be any more excited about the opportunity. He’s clearly had his people leak ‘dream job’ to the press, and he wasn’t exactly emphatic when asked about his desire to remain with the Leicester project. Brendan is not everyone’s cup of tea, but look, the guy is a very good coach, he’s certainly better than Emery and it’s very hard to deny what he’s done at Leicester is anything outside exceptional. The football he played when he took Liverpool to 2nd was outstanding. Celtic might be a cakewalk, but keeping any side focused enough to be invincible is a notable achievement. If we end up with him, I’d certainly not complain. Only worry with Brendy R is he’s a bit of a berk, and I wonder how that’d go down with players that ripped the piss out of their last manager to his face. There’s also a harsh sting with Brendan: He comes with a £14m buyout clause and he’d likely cost us £10m a year (with his team). Just three weeks ago people were leaking that we were struggling to meet the ‘fuck off’ fee of Emery’s last 6 months. We are skint. I do not think we’ll be throwing that sort of money at a manager because that will hit our summer transfer budget. He’d be a solid hire regardless.

I’ve written extensively about Mikael Arteta, you know my feelings on him, he’s certainly on the radar of the club. He has had a lot of strong endorsements in the media (Henry Winter, arguably the #1 English journalist, being the biggest). He’d come at a very low cost, he’d slot right into the system, and he’d arrive with a big idea we’d all salivate over. Challenge with him is does he engage with Arsenal again after what happened last time? Would he fuck Pep over at a very bad time for the Manchester club? We’re what he wants, the question is, do the club have the cojones to make a hire that has some meek fans wetting their pants / calling me a melon fucker on

Carlo Ancelotti will most certainly be asked about the role again. He knows the league, he’s world-class at bringing players together, and he has the sexy prestige that’ll have Raul firming up at the dinner table. I love Carlo and what he’s done, but I do think he’s had his time at the very top. He’s not a tactical master and most of his success comes when he’s given the best tools to work with. Also worth remembering that he lost to Emery in the Europa League last season, during a really bad Arsenal run of form. He also comes with a huge entourage of expensive people, including his son I believe. He’s a superstar manager, on superstar wages, not quite sure he’d deliver to the levels we’d want, but still a solid name to consider just because he’s a very cool guy and I like him.

I also wouldn’t be surprised to see someone like Ralph Rangnick considered again. He’s been targeted by a lot of top clubs, Bayern had a go for him and United were rumoured to be interested. I would have preferred him as a technical director, not sure if he has the management chops for the Premier League, but it’s hard to argue that he’d not be suited to our mess at the moment. He’s picked up far worse problem clubs in his career and pushed them forward. RB are also at the forefront of football development. He’s had his fingers in lots of club pies with their franchise and Red Bull are doing pretty well out of it.

Patrick Vieira will be sniffing around the role. Petit was speaking about it at the weekend. I love him, but again, is the work he’s doing at Nice getting anyone moist? I don’t think so. For me, if you’re going to hire him, you might as well give the job to Per and Freddie. I think the football will be about the same level when all is said and done.

The shame of this process is we can’t consider names like Ten Haag, Marco Rose, and Paulo Fonseca. Oddly, not even Gio Van Bronckhorst because City are eyeing him for New York or to replace Pep. We leave a lot of good names on the table by shooting for a manager now, but as you saw today, if we don’t move in the next 30 days, Champions League qualification is lost.

Anyway… point about the above, the shortlist is starting to shrink. The frontrunners to me look like Brendan, Carlo and Arteta. All solid, all very different, all an improvement.

Still, early days, plenty of time for the club to fuck this up.

Right, see you in the comments.

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602 Responses to “Freddie starts badly; this has serious implications. (ANOTHER long read)”

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  1. DigitalBob

    CescAppeal – It’s not happening, he’s just being coy. If Poch does manage again in the premier league it will be in Manchester not London.

    Pierre – Agreed, he has no confidence and plays like a man afraid to get stuck into a tackle. I’d still start him over Luiz(would not do a freddie and play both) as he can actually defend when he’s not making calamitous mistakes.

  2. Marko

    Absolute bollox from the resident troll. Sundays performance from Mustafi was a carbon copy classic Mustafi performance if ever there was one. It had everything it had falling it had turning his back on shots at our goal it had miscommunication it had poor positioning it even had a header at the opposition goal from a corner (the one thing he’s good at). Whatever instructions he was given he just played like his normal self. Funny thing is I don’t totally blame Mustafi for being a total liability I mean it’s a tough job when your midfield in front is that poor. And let’s be honest here any defence that has Xhaka in front protecting it is in for a torrid time guaranteed.

  3. Leedsgunner

    So are we writing Freddie off because he didn’t have his first win on his first attempt?


    Why? At least he was clear in what he saw, and what we could improve…

    I’m happy that Emery is gone and Freddie will be alright. He doesn’t have much time, he knows that.

    This will be the making of him.

    Go Freddie go.

  4. Pierre

    The main issue is still the DM position, we should play with 2 holding midfielders.

    What we cant do is have a player like chambers playing at right back , who continually overlapped , who continually lost possession of the ball , which meant he was continually caught out of position.

    Unless there are 2 DM’s in the team , we will continue to get caught without cover on the break and leave the centre backs exposed if we have full backs so advanced and so loose in possession of the ball.

  5. Champagne charlie


    No, but replace Hull City with any of the aforementioned clubs and that’s a literal argument seen on here.

    Also targeting top 4 isn’t unambitious, it’s strategic and analytical. Let’s just bomb off anyone that’s a top 4 player and replace them with PL winning candidates? Seriously? That’s so empty.

    That’s obviously the loosely defined goal, but the trouble being you first need a conductor to get everyone pulling toward that target in a well-thought manner. We don’t have that and you’re completely lambasting the players for not performing, it’s void of sense from where I stand.

    The players have a degree of responsibility here but largely speaking they’re just tools, some quite literally. Wenger was incapable of wielding what we had and lost his job for it, Emery was and lost his job for it. To claim player poverty to the level that gets mentioned here completely undermines those decisions, which is clearly madness as they were both necessary outcomes.

    In the most basic sense a successful football club operates as the following as I see it:

    Competent leadership with a defined vision of the club and plan to reach targets…


    Competent first team manager to bring his aligning vision to life, with a clear sense of what steps need to be taken to achieve these goals step by step…


    Recruiting players that supplement the managers plan, fill the gaps he needs, arms him with the tools to deliver what he has set out which meets the demands of what the leadership has long establish as the core goals of the football club.

    Steps 1 and 2 are a mile off being stable and competent, step 2 literally has nobody in its place. To point and shoot week after week at point 3 is utter madness all things considered, is it any wonder we’re chasing our tail at present worrying about the furnishings in a house with no bricks and mortar.

  6. Leedsgunner

    Highbury Legend

    Freddie appears like a smart bloke… he will realise that they are not good enough.

    Why not Chambers and Torreira as DM if we can get Bellerin fit?

  7. Pierre

    “Sundays performance from Mustafi was a carbon copy classic Mustafi performance if ever there was one”

    Talking out of your arse as per usual .

    The main criticism of Mustafi in his time at Arsenal was that he would dive in and go to ground. ….that would be a “carbon copy classic Mustafi performance ”

    That didn’t happen at the weekend , he did exactly the opposite of the normal ” carbon copy Mustafi performance ” .

    And no, he didn’t turn his back on the first goal , he was facing the ball and the ball hit his arm and deflected in .

  8. Victorious

    Freddie appears like a smart bloke… he will realise that they are not good enough.”

    Would strongly disagree with this,I mean judging by his team selection and substitutions against Norwhich,was anything but ‘smarty’

    If he tries that shit again against Brighton,I hope we announce a new coach immediately after the game

  9. Leedsgunner

    Mustafi is one unlucky player… I heard he was doing ok until the goal went in then he lost his head…. is this so? Anyone care to comment?

  10. Victorious

    Mustafi was a calamity against Norwhich and was directly responsible for the goals conceded

    There’s a reason he’s been no where near the team all season

    Freddie’s horrible team selection cost us 2 precious points against Norwhich,shocking debut.

  11. HighburyLegend

    “he will realise that they are not good enough.”

    Sure, he hasn’t seen them (trying to) play enough under Emery…

  12. Words on a Blog

    1) The club (i.e. Josh, Raul and Edu) have explicitly stated that they will not be rushed into selecting the next Arsenal manager.

    2) Josh, Raul and Edu may also want to see how Freddie pans out

    3) given the the above, and also that some potential candidates are currently employed or that they may wish to bring in one or two new players the likelihood is that we see no movement until January, when the transfer window opens.

    So the likelihood is that we have 7 or 8 games in which to judge Freddie’s performance and whether he has the technical and man management skills to be be the next full time Arsenal manager.

    I was disappointed by the team selected, but reasonably encouraged by the style of play. much more security in possession, smaller gaps between the defence and midfield and attack, and a lot more interplay between players. We created a lot more chances than we have recently under Emery, and the “shots faced” stats, whilst not great, were better than under Emery. And as Gambon has pointed out, if points were awarded on an expected basis, we’d have won the match.

    But of course, as with late Wenger, we were way too open at the back.

    I’m hoping that, with say the removal of Xhaka and his replacement with Torreira, and with the return of Holding, Bellerin and Tierney, we get a better performance in the next few matches.

    Let’s wait and see how Ljungberg fares. Because it’s unlikely that anyone else comes in before the new year.

  13. Wasi

    Re – Mendes

    Fair points those. Though it filled Mendes’s pockets those are some good players Mendes got for Wolves that too on the cheap. Especially Moutinho, Patricio who are Regular Internationals and Neves who is a super player. But it appears he has too big a voice over trasnfers at Wolves which has benefited them but would it benefit us? Ofc while dealing with us Mendes will probaby ask for more agent fees than he asks Wolves. And with him and Raul we would turn into very much a ‘contact approach’ kind of club. A decade ago it might have been good but now theres a lot of data to work off of and clubs like the Red Bulls team are making very good use of it. So i think we should try a more modern approach while using the agents contacts as an when required.

  14. Ngambo

    The team selection was absolutely mind-boggling.

    He had a chance to wipe the slate clean – instead he put every dog on the pitch in his first game; including Xhaka – who was booed off by his own fans, told them to get fucked, was stripped of the captaincy – and he gets re-instated first game.


    I’m over Freddy already.

  15. Wasi

    Highbury legend
    You forgot Kola. He never wants and shows for the ball if there is any kind of pressure on him. Against Norwich you could see him arguing with Luiz for passing him the ball when a player was 3 yards from and closings him down. Absolutely horrible that moment. Like Xhaka said he was actually afraid to take the ball. Against Brighton we should have Bellerin, Chambers, Sok/Holding, Tierney as the back 4. Luiz as many pointed out is not suitable for a back 4. Probably why Lampard binned him as he was going to use a back 4.

  16. Marko

    But it appears he has too big a voice over trasnfers at Wolves which has benefited them but would it benefit us?

    Well would Ronaldo have benefited us all those years ago? Would Neves or Jota benefit us? Ruben Dias of Benfica? Perhaps his ties to Portuguese managers would Conceicao or Fonseca benifit us? Has his help in signing Pepe for 72 million over 5 years benefited us? I genuinely don’t understand how fearful we need to be with dealing with these super agents given that they usually represent top quality talent. Madrid, Juve, Barcelona, Bayern, PSG, City etc etc all deal with them. Even when Valencia was mentioned as a cautionary tale it doesn’t bare repeating when you see that they’re a Champions League club with excellent players. I personally don’t mind us dealing with these guys in all honesty.

  17. wattsy

    strange how many coaches, including Freddie, bang on about there being positives never actually tell you what they were. Freddie has been sitting on the touchline for weeks,so no excuses for team selection, which was truly awful.
    There were no positives from last night, it was total shite from beginning to end.
    Guendozi is a talent but tries do it all, he needs to be given one job, instead of wandering about all over the place, doing nothing in particular.
    feel a bit sorry for Freddie, but he needs to do better, hopefully he will

  18. Wasi

    Thats what. Our last summer was very much a best of both worlds kinda summer. Through data we got Martinelli and Saliba and maybe even Tierney. While the contacts approach got us Pepe and Luiz. Clear to see the data got us very good value for money. And even when Pepe actually starts Playing well for us it wont be good value for money just because of the money spent on him. It would be like he is paying his debt. And for Luiz i don’t think he can actually be any good for us. Some matches he plays very well and then sometimes he is just awful. Consistently backs off of attackers. The first goal yesterday could have easily been avoided had Luiz and Mustafi or even one of them had a good understanding of the game. Both backed off giving Pukki so much time and space to shoot. It was criminal. Saliba is going to walk into this team next season. And Hopefully improve it too.

  19. Pierre

    The assumption from the majority on Le Grove is that Arsenal’s failings were down to Mustafi, Xhaka, kolasinac and Ozil .

    Strangely enough , without those players in the side this season, our performances and results have been our worst for 40 years.

    I can fully understand Freddie going with experience in his first game in charge, not exactly what I’d pick but we did start the first half hour playing our best football of the season.

    His team selection shows he has a strong character and will not bow to the mob mentality.

    He knows the fans have booed Mustafi and xhaka and it would have been much easier for him to leave them out of the side , but he went with the courage of his convictions unlike the clown before him who succumbed to the mob and discarded Mustafi , kolasinac and xhaka.

    And we all know where that got him …the sack.

  20. Wasi

    Im not against contacts approach or dealing with agents at all.But this summer it got us two players. Of which one is pretty bad and one can turn out to be good. Still a A 50/50. But you cant have a super agent running your transfers Unless he is best mates/family with your Club execs he will only do deals which make him the most profit.

  21. Marko

    And with him and Raul we would turn into very much a ‘contact approach’ kind of club. A decade ago it might have been good but now theres a lot of data to work off of and clubs like the Red Bulls team are making very good use of it.

    I’m sorry but what would you call Leipzig signing all the top talent at Salzburg? That’s literally contacts. I’m not disputing the importance of data either obviously the perfect scenario would be to use data and deal with the necessary agents but I wouldn’t turn my nose up to players because of a particular agent or some made up Arsenal values bollox because it’s frankly pathetic. You want better players certain players you have to deal with agents. We want Ruben Dias we’ll have to deal with Mendes we want Malen we’ll have to deal with Raoila and if we want to deal with Ranier or Haland we’ll have to deal with a family member. My god to think if we were willing to get into bed with these people years ago we would have had the likes of Ronaldo and Mbappe.

  22. Marko

    Strangely enough , without those players in the side this season, our performances and results have been our worst for 40 years.

    You’re something I’ll give you that. Literally every statistic available has us across the board better when Xhaka doesn’t play. Mustafi has barely played at all this season. Ozil hasn’t contributed anything of note bar against the Liverpool under 15’s. Kolasinac has played quite a bit though. So I dunno how one statistically awful player in Xhaka and two players who have barely played/contributed anything could be credited with stopping it from getting worse.

  23. Victorious

    You don’t there is a reason the match going fans don’t like Mustafi and throws at him dog abuse?

    He’s absolutely appalling and ALWAYS goes to the ground everytime he tries to make a tackle,

    I’d absolutely turn on Freddie if he hands both him xhaka a start in our next game.. Xhaka deserves the bench after openly disrespecting the fans.

  24. Wasi

    I’m sorry but what would you call Leipzig signing all the top talent at Salzburg? That’s literally contacts.

    Marko you make no sense . Rb franchise is the best example of someone using data to perfection. And Salzburg to Leipzig is more like a pre-arrangement . The Players know if they perform well theyll get to go to Leipzig. Its a single franchise. Just because it suits your argument you are making baseless statements.

  25. Marko

    But you cant have a super agent running your transfers Unless he is best mates/family with your Club execs he will only do deals which make him the most profit.

    Again it’s fear mongering that got to you. First off nothing wrong with using agents and secondly no one is suggesting that we have our whole transfer policy go through said agent. Worth mentioning at Valencia and Wolves not all the transfers went through said super agent. For example can’t imagine Mendes had Boly and Dendonker as clients or at Valencia Gabriel or Coquelin for example.

  26. CG

    Fred wont last the season.
    He is clearly an excellent youth coach – that is forte.

    But he is not a natural leader of men.

    We will have a minimum of 3 managers ( as I forewarned months ago) this season.

    Arsenal short list for the managerial post should be just 4 names.

    1. Arteta ( wont come because of Raul)
    2.Steve Gerrard( possibly would come)
    3. Rafa B ( probably would come)
    4.Sean Dyche ( would come)

    All of that 4 are leaders of men, all different and all with different philosophies.

    But when any of this quartet enter the room- players stand up and pay attention.

    None of this lot – would stand for Raul and Edu foisting their dross upon them either

  27. Marko

    Just because it suits your argument you are making baseless statements.

    Wasi it’s contacts between two clubs it’s literally the same as having an arrangement with a super agent for the players on his books.

  28. HighburyLegend

    There’s still pride at Arsenal, thanks to the Ladies!!

    Miedema, what a player!!
    6 goals + 4 assist vs Bristol.

    11-0, the largest victory in WSL history!!

  29. Edu me a favour

    “ The assumption from the majority on Le Grove is that Arsenal’s failings were down to Mustafi, Xhaka, kolasinac and Ozil .Strangely enough , without those players in the side this season, our performances and results have been our worst for 40 years”

    How many bites did you get Pierre ? 😂😂😂😂

  30. Marko

    Its not fear mongering. Last summer was clear proof. We got robbed with Luiz.

    It’s absolutely fear mongering when you realize that Wolves got Neves for 16 million and Valencia got Joao Cancelo for 13 million.

  31. CG

    If Arteta dont come. It would be tempting to snare Gerrard – lock him on a 5 year contract with a heavy competition clause.

    Make it £50 million and annoy the hell out of the Liverpudlians.

    Make them give us £50 million for their boy. ( we can then get the next big thing with the compensation we receive)

    Everyone else seems to do savvy- except Arsenal these days

    Maybe I should come over and get us back on track?

  32. Marko

    And manu would say we got robbed with Pepe

    Many would be stupid then imo. You want to improve want to target the higher bracket of players? They’ll cost money they’ll involve super agents and some come with a risk attached which is what happens when you spend big money. Every big club does it I don’t get why we should be frightened because of it. Like I said before be blinkered all you want (not specifically you) but if dealing with a super agent got us the likes of Dias and Neves and Fonseca as manager for example then I’m all for it.

  33. Marko

    That was Kia Joorabchian and his portfolio is small fry compared to Mendes.

    I mean it is true we kinda got burned on Luiz by Joorabchian though it’s worth pointing out that if we had dealt with him in the past over West Ham we would have had Tevez and Mascharano instead.

  34. Pierre

    “You don’t think there is a reason the match going fans don’t like Mustafi and throws at him dog abuse?He’s absolutely appalling and ALWAYS goes to the ground everytime he tries to make a tackle”

    If he always goes to ground , then surely he would have gone to ground for both goals…he didn’t.

    I dont think he’s appalling , there are a lot of good aspects to his game.

    My original point was that the reason for Mustafi being so reluctant to engage with the opposition on sunday was because of the criticism he received for going to ground , freddie or Mertesacker probably told him to stay on his feet.

  35. Ishola70

    I always found it strange why David Luiz moved back to Chelsea after just a few seasons with PSG and went back to where he was originally signed from.

    And he moved back and forth between the two clubs for roughly the same transfer fee.

    Nice little earners going on there for those involved in the tranfers of the player.

  36. Ishola70

    Pierre is just happy that Freddie picked Ozil in his first match selection.

    All this Mustafi and Xhaka talk is just red herring stuff from him.

    He has Freddie down as an Ozil lover and he in turn loves Freddie now as coach.

    Pierre was showing no sympathy for Xhaka or Mustafi previously nor screaming for their return but we have to believe now he was always secretly rooting for them.

    This is all about Ozil with Pierre as we all know.

  37. Un na naai

    Ishola70December 2, 2019 14:43:08
    The problem was Don was that the club were content to just keep on flat track bullying.

    Yeah. I’ll say it once again…. and now we can’t even do that. For all your agitating and backing if any old cunt now look where we are.

    You can say it til the cows come home but I’d rather be flat track bullying, (bull shit anyway) than being rolled over by relegation fodder

  38. Marko

    Just to highlight the sheer hypocrisy in the scare mongering with regards to hiring Nuno Santos as manager because it means getting in bed with Mendes up top Pedro literally says “the shame of this process is we can’t consider names like Ten Haag, Marco Rose, and Paulo Fonseca.” Without a hint of irony when you consider Fonseca’s agent is Jorge Mendes. And Fonseca is a favourite in these parts. I think it comes down to Arteta really

  39. Un na naai

    MarkoDecember 2, 2019 16:43:59
    And manu would say we got robbed with PepeMany would be stupid then imo. You

    Many would be stupid. He’s been woefully mismanaged and ruined at a club where attacks are harder to come by than a night with Dawn French.

  40. Dan Ahern

    Great overview Pedro.

    Not sure I buy that Freddie was just doing the expected to prove it’s shit though. For one he moved off the back five, and he also had our three best attackers on. And his comments on the subs show he’s going by his preferences, not the fans. I think he’s doing what he thinks is best, and to be honest it was pretty disappointing.

    For a guy with nothing to lose I just don’t see why he’s picking a Xhaka-Guendo pivot in front of Mustafi and Luiz.

  41. Marko

    “However, Pochettino has reaffirmed his commitment to get straight back into work and has revealed that his links with Spurs would not prevent him from joining another Premier League club.”


  42. Un na naai

    “Arsenal sacked Emery after 18 months in charge during their longest winless run since 1992”

    For those who claim that Graham is better than Wenger. Or was.
    Our longest winless run was 1992 before now. Even emery’s shithouse iteration of arsenal wasn’t as bad as the dogshit served up by Graham in 92.

    There is only one invincibles

  43. Paul Mc Daid

    Bad enough having Kroneke as the owner but the pricks on the board are even more worrying , I can live with Edu but this guy Raul is a real snake by all accounts, The future looks real bleak, Will never be back to what we grew up with till the Owners and the board are sorted, No manager could work under this idiotic, clueless regime.

  44. Pierre

    “All this Mustafi and Xhaka talk is just red herring stuff from him.”

    I said before the game yesterday that it wouldn’t surprise me to see xhaka and Mustafi in the team and that’s how it transpired.

    I cant say that I was too keen on the formation but we did play some decent football , especially in the first half..

    Regarding Ozil, one of the clown’s biggest mistakes was taking Ozil away from set piece duties and Freddie was astute enough to recognise this , and was rewarded with a couple of goals and other chances created from the midfield maestro.
    Ozil had a 93% pass completion rate, that is exactly what is needed in away games to help control the game , sadly there were a few players who were poor in possession and passing , which led to Arsenal conceding chances.

    Chambers, aubameyang and Lacazette had only 70% + pass completion so it is no surprise that the Norwich goals originated from our right side of the pitch.

  45. TR7

    Arsenal and Manchester United face the daunting prospect of having to negotiate with Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy if they want to appoint Mauricio Pochettino this season.

    Pochettino has been replaced by Jose Mourinho at Spurs, but Telegraph Sport can reveal that, under the terms of his exit, the club would still be entitled to compensation from any club, at home or abroad, that attempts to appoint the Argentine before the summer.

  46. Distant legrover

    Freddie obviously wants to drop Xhaka, Mustafi, Ozil, Luiz, Kolasinac. But first he wants to show them and the world why he’s going to drop them. So he plays them, they mess up and he drops em.

  47. Kayciey

    We should move Chambers to DM position, Torrerria is too lightweight for that position, Xhaka switches off at times.

  48. Ishola70

    Pedro warning about potential vipers in the nest in getting super agent Mendes involved relating to a Nuno Santo appointment that is not going to happen anyway.

    Well his warnings are a bit late.

    The vipers are in the nest already.

    These being Edu and Joorabchian.

    There were people who predicted the David Luiz signing when Edu was appointed and they also predicted that Arsenal would be dealing more with Joorabchian in the future now that Edu has come on board at Arsenal.

    Vipers already in.

  49. Un na naai

    HighburyLegendDecember 2, 2019 17:23:41
    “And manu would say we got robbed with Pepe”And he would be right.

    Guess you didn’t notice the two worldies he scored 3 weeks ago then was ceremoniously benched again

  50. Guns of SF

    I think Freddie was appealing to the veterans on the team, and those marginalized by Emery when he picked the line up. Perhaps he felt that connecting again with them would help and we would see a response. I think having team spirit is important to Freddie and he has kind of alluded to that in his interviews.

    Its still a way to go into the season and i dont think he wants to marginalize anyone.
    Lets see what this week brings- who he picks before we really get a flavor of what he is about

  51. Distant legrover

    I was just watching the players training video. Man Ozil is such a mood killer. This guy is always looking moody and disinterested. Body language of an Egyptian mummy. I can’t imagine what that’s like in the dressing room.

  52. Kayciey

    This should be our first eleven going forward.
    1. Leno
    2. Belerin
    3. Tierney
    4. Holding
    5. Luiz/Mustafi/Mavaropanos/Socratis
    6. Chambers.
    7. Pepe
    8. Ceballos/Guendouzi
    9. Auba/Lacazette
    10. Ozil/Willock
    11. Martinelli

  53. Distant legrover


    Yeah people need to relax, jumping to final conclusions after one game. Freddie is only just testing the waters. He’s well aware the fans don’t like Xhaka, Mustafi for example.

  54. Ishola70

    Edu has known Joorabchian and Giuliano Bertolucci for years.

    It’s the Brazilian connection.

    Joorabchian and Bertolucci deal on the Brazilian scene.

    Edu and Joorabchian did their thing and gave us the awful signing of David Luiz.

    I await Pedro’s blog entry on Edu telling us he is a viper in the nest and must be run out of the club.

  55. Un na naai

    Michael B Joardn as superman? Fuck me 🤢 🤮
    Creed= shit
    Black panther= shit

    This is the worst. Thought they couldn’t get lower after suicide squad but this? A black superman??
    Ah well. Good bye DC. Get woke go broke.

  56. Ishola70

    Pedro must do an entry on how Arsenal have now become a super agent club with the appointment of Edu and his connections with Joorabchian and Bertolucci.

  57. Graham62


    You get where I’m coming from in this.

    The thing is, the “suits”who hired Emery( actually I thought it was Ivan the terrible)) are not worthy of their positions.

    Ivan was another typical example of someone who talked the talk but could not walk the walk.

    Google is irrelevant when you can see with your own eyes that these guys are utterly useless.

    We are the only club with so many dysfunctional suits running the show.

    I include our owner and board in this.

  58. Distant legrover


    The real question is when will Gazidis be replaced ? We were told Raul and the Indian guy were going to run the club until a CEO was chosen. Yet all we hear about is Raul, Raul, Raul. He’s doing the job of 3 people just like Wenger used to.

  59. Graham62

    For all of Ozil’s positive moves yesterday, he’s still not good enough.


    That’s my take on it.

    See what the shite players have got in the tank and drop them when there gauge reads empty.

    Great manmanagement by Freddie.

  60. Pierre

    “Pierre was showing no sympathy for Xhaka or Mustafi previously nor screaming for their return but we have to believe now he was always secretly rooting for them.”

    Am I screaming for their return..of course not .

    I know it’s a little difficult for you to comprehend , but it is possible to make a comment about a player or players when discussing what the manager may do , without it being some endorsement of their abilities.

    Will add that I have never been against or for Mustafi and xhaka , though I don’t believe they are as bad as some are painting them .

    I was previously accused of having an agenda against Emery due to my respect for Wenger.

    Now , Ishola is accusing me of having an agenda for Freddie due to my support for Ozil.

    I suppose it puts to bed the theory that Wenger was the reason for my doubts about Emery.

  61. Ishola70

    “And Chambers would be horrid at DM for us, so would Luiz who is horrid all round.”

    It’s called clutching at straws Leftside.

    Both Chambers and Luiz would be too slow to be real effective DMs.

    And we are talking of DMs in the sense of defending.

  62. salparadisenyc

    “People like to slate Raul but when it comes to an ex Arsenal player not so keen eh.”

    Raul’s a pretty easy target at moment.

    Bought Pepe for £72m when our defense was screaming for help, think many at start of last summer were calling for club to start in the rears and work forward with whatever was left. Raul did the opposite and signed Luiz, which was always going to come back with a stinger a really poor signing.

    Had zero plan for replacing Emery at this stage with writing emblazoned on every wall and here we are. On a chessboard he’d be on the ropes approaching check mate, no anticipation of whats coming.

  63. Pierre

    “For all of Ozil’s positive moves yesterday, he’s still not good enough.”

    Maybe try watching the game from a different perspective Graham.
    He did have an influence on the game so at this particular time , he is good enough.

    Below is an assessment of his performance

    “However, it was Mesut Ozil, who seemed to go unnoticed with his performance against the Canaries.

    For starters, the German created both goals from set-pieces he took as Daniel Farke’s side struggled with Ozil’s set-piece magic.

    He was also at the heart of everything the side did creative-wise, playing the most key passes (4) and the most final third passes of any player on the pitch (35).

    Ozil also had the joint-second most shots (2) of any player in Ljungberg’s side, also contributing to the side’s goalscoring efforts.

    Football.London agreed with this assessment as they gave Ozil a seven out of 10, commenting on his dead-ball delivery.

    They said: “set pieces caused continual headaches for the Norwich defence, ultimately leading to Aubameyang’s penalty, but he was no less dangerous from open play
    Against disciplined opponents, his appreciation of space was perhaps Arsenal’s most valuable asset.”

  64. Ishola70

    But Raul appoints Edu so the ultimate buck stops with him.

    But let’s not pretend that Arsenal sign David Luiz without Edu being around.

    Edu has the connections with Kia Joorabchian and Giuliano Bertolucci .

    Edu did that nasty deal overseen by Raul.

  65. salparadisenyc


    “connect the dots’

    The dude maneuvered Mislintat out, brought in Edu and this was his statement summer. He’s very much culpable for everything thats transpired.

  66. Ishola70

    I saw one of Ozil’s shots in the Norwich match.

    It snailed into the Norwich keepers arms at precisely 1 mph.

    Ozil wasn’t bad neither was he really eye catching.

    Teams score goals from corners.

    Arsenal have scored a few from Xhaka corners as well.

  67. Pierre

    “Both Chambers and Luiz would be too slow to be real effective DMs”

    You dont quite understand the position do you.

    Pace is not top of the list to be an effective DM.

    Top of the list is discipline, positional sense and technique

    The reason why xhaka and Guendouzi are often seen chasing shadows is due to their continued poor discipline and poor positional sense.

    For both goals yesterday they were ahead of the play , an effective DM is never ahead of the play , he should see everything that is going on in front of him and react accordingly.

    Gilberto was a master in that position,

  68. Ishola70

    “The dude maneuvered Mislintat out, brought in Edu and this was his statement summer. He’s very much culpable for everything thats transpired.”

    Of course the buck stops with him and we all know the connection between Edu and the super agents that deal on the Brazilian scene.

    So the original point that was made that Arsenal are now a super agent club stands.

    But what we have heard in the last few days is that Arsenal could become a super agent club if Mendes becomes involved.

    Arsenal are already a super agents club when Raul appoints Edu.

  69. Guns of SF


    I agree…. however the game has moved on with such pace and off the ball movement that the traditional DM faces a harder task.
    our issue is putting too many men forward ( lack of creators and technical dribblers to beat their man) and then get caught in posession or counter attacked and with too much space behind.

  70. Ishola70


    If you want me to add other aspects in why Luiz and Chambers are not the real deal at DM other than being snails then there are others as well.

    Of these is discipline and concentration in which you correctly state Gilberto had in spades.

    Glad that has been cleared up.

  71. Pierre

    Danny S.
    Why would I want to take a break, my predictions have predominantly been spot on.

    It’s not my fault certain posters ( know nothings) have little or no understanding of the intricacies of the game.

    I will put you in that category ,unless you can prove me wrong.

  72. Wasi


    One super agent sold us Mykhi for nearly 200k a week.

    Another sold us Ozil for 350k a week.

    Luiz for somewhere between 120k-150k a week + 8mil.

    Just a few recent examples of us being robbed by super agents . Whereas good data would of got us better players for the same amount of cash.

  73. salparadisenyc


    Agree with that, I don’t see a crime in dealing with the super agent sos long as club don’t get too invested or wedded in. Big Weng never dealt with them and we missed some obvious solutions along the way with that policy.

  74. Dan Ahern

    Guess I’m in the minority here but I thought the David Luiz deal was fine. Sure he’s a clown but it is what it is. He’s still a one-time top international coming in to do what he’s always done. You know what you’re getting. We can argue about why it wasn’t stylistically a great target for our squad, but that’s another issue. £8m ain’t a bad price tag.

  75. PieAFC

    The team against Brighton at home. Will be the players and team Freddie wants.

    I reckon we’re see players from Norwich dropped.

    Here’s hoping…

  76. Ishola70


    The problem is there are crimes in dealing with super football agents.

    We have seen one this summer with the Luiz signing.

    And we saw one dealing with the slimiest of all super football agents Mino Raiola when he dumped Mhiki on us and this occurred under Gazidis and Wenger.

  77. Pierre

    Guns of sf
    I would put 2 DM’s in there and have 4 offensive players Aubameyang, Lacazette, Pepe/Martinelli, Ozil .

    This also allows more scope for the full.backs to support the attack as there will be cover from the DM’s.

    Against Norwich , whenever we lost the ball , especially on the right hand side , there was no cover from midfield.

  78. Danny S


    It’s your Ozil obsession.

    Stats are easy to look at and make judgments but they arnt the full picture.

    Mustafi last season had better tackle and header stats than van dyke. But there are oceans between them quality wise cause mustafi is an idiot. Point in case, he was told you guessed by per not to go to ground, so because he’s thick he just backed of and backed off.

    Ozil, when his assists went down, you banged on about chances created. Then when that went to shit you banged on about how he wasn’t being deployed right.
    Ozil could sporadically get 100 assists a season, but he’s very much like giroud was as a striker with his goals. The numbers looked good at the end of the season, but you analyse where they came and you soon find he wasn’t that useful.
    Ozil is a times a disgrace on the pitch. His overall body language is that of someone who gives zero shits. He’s disappears in big games, he can’t play against rough teams. He is regularly sick. Overall as a player he is a waste of talent.
    In the prem you can not afford a player like Ozil. Especially in a set up like arsenal at the moment. We arnt peak Real Madrid. Ozil doesn’t have a CR7 or Sanchez working their bolox off ahead of him.
    Having him sitting there on 350k for the occasional performance we get out of him is an affront to fans and other players alike.

  79. Un na naai

    Dan AhernDecember 2, 2019 19:00:24
    Un na na — Sure, who gives a fuck. Oh, right, you. Maybe you can see the real problem now.

    Let’s see how much money the film makes
    They did the same shit with Star Wars and ghostbusters and look what happened there!
    You don’t mess with the icons

  80. azed

    Ozil is so good we need him for set pieces.

    Funny thing is we’ve scored enough goals from set pieces we don’t a 350k player for that.

  81. Pierre

    “I reckon we’re see players from Norwich dropped.Here’s hoping…”

    I reckon the only change will be offensively, Martinelli or Pepe in for Guendouzi or Willock.

    Maybe a change at full backs if Bellerin or Tierney are considered fit.

  82. Guns of SF

    Another problem is the lack of goals from our Mids.
    Utter rubbish

    We are so completely dependent on our forwards that teams can mark us quite easily. When Guen powers into the box- im always thinking- Yes thats its…!

    When Ozil shoots- I think yes!

    Unless the team finds us scoring/technical fast and strong mids, we will continue in this shitty manner.

    Maddison/Docoure in summer… we need to add power, scoring and quickness

  83. salparadisenyc


    Inherently there is always going to be issues where agents are concerned, be it the super agent, down to the man with a single client like the lovely Dr. Erkut Sogut.

    They have driven valuations beyond the pale yet the clubs keep rising to the challenge. Precisely why the NFL put a salary cap on clubs.

  84. Un na naai


    We ain’t getting Maddison
    He’s going to United or Liverpool or somewhere
    We’d best go in for grealish before it’s too late
    Maddison is never coming to us. We are never going to afford him
    He will he premium

  85. Pierre

    Danny a
    “Having him sitting there on 350k for the occasional performance we get out of him is an affront to fans and other players alike”

    “Funny thing is we’ve scored enough goals from set pieces we don’t need a 350k player for that.”

    And here we have the crux of the matter , money ……its only a major issue at Arsenal.

    It’s pretty sad that the know nothing’s will only relate a performance to his wage packet .

    Who gives a toss what a player earns , it’s what they do on the pitch that matters.

    If Ozil has no influence on the game then drop him, if he produces the figures that they have shown for the Norwich game , then he is undroppable at this present time.

  86. Ishola70


    The club shouldn’t be concerned with price in regards agents.

    It’s the buying of shit that is the main concern.

    Both Luiz and Mhiki were shit signings regardless of fees.

  87. Guns of SF

    quite possible with Maddison.
    Unless we get Rodgers it would be hard to get him.

    We do need a player in this mold… someone who has it all
    Docoure I think we can get- especially when Watford get relegated

  88. Un na naai

    Think though
    You’ve got
    Grealish all coming through
    All classy attacking mids
    ESR under that lot
    Saka, sancho and Hudson odoi on the wings.

    Got some serious young attacking players coming through
    Chilwell and Trent Arnold bombing with them.

    All we need is a spine

  89. Gunnernet

    Great post Pedro and arguments terse and to the point regarding Freddie’s 1st game. I disagree though with the notion that he would pick a side he doesnt believe in to switch later on.. I can understand Tierney’s omission but inclusion of xhaka and mainly mustafi was shocking.

    Brendan and Carlo still my favourites. Interesting u didnt mention Rafa in your list. I think the board will consider him.

  90. CG

    David Luiz only has…

    2.5 seasons to go….

    How slow will he be in season 21/22?

    And Do we want Saliba learning the ropes of Luiz?

    Our Teck Deck -wanted him though.

    (Bournemouth 4 Chelsea 0
    City 6 Chelsea 0)

    Do these people actually analyse soccer?

    Were they not at all curious why Chelsea with a transfer ban in place were so keen to sell to us?

    Denis Suarez, Pepe, Cebollas, Tierney (injured),Luiz.

    Utter tripe.
    Fortunes frittered away.

  91. Un na naai


    We’ve got no chance there. He’s going for £50-£60m in the summer if Rodgers leaves and
    1) we ain’t got that
    2) if we did we wouldn’t spend it on him
    3) he won’t come to us, Rodgers or not. He’s going somewhere he will get the English premium wages
    We need to build like Liverpool and spurs did. Slowly slowly catchy monkey

  92. Un na naai

    Greenwood, Rahsford Kane and Sterling up front
    Maguire, Gomez and stones in front of Pickford

    Could use a few midfielders of the Ince,Scholes and Gerrard persuasion though
    Real dearth of out and out cmf in the national team these days

  93. Un na naai

    Tierney is a very good left back and I think pepe is going to be top drawer. You get those two under Rodgers or Poch and they light a fucking fire up at arsenal

  94. Marc


    Tierney took a knock in training on Friday. As I understand leaving him out was precautionary.

    CG would have you believe he’s out for the next 4 months.

  95. Un na naai

    Xavi Hernandez says he’s manage arsenal
    Wonder how he will get on
    Something tells me he will she a great manager
    Understands the game bery bery bwell. Does he have the minerals and the personality to boss a dressing room though?

  96. Marc


    He had a hernia – it’s nothing like Wilshere, Diaby or even Ramsey who all had issues stemming from previous injuries.

    If you want to talk about a genuine crock then Darren Anderton’s you man.