Mikel starts with a draw, but lots of positives on show

by & filed under News Review.

The Mikel Arteta era started with a 1-1 draw away from home. The 1 point wasn’t ideal, but I think most fans felt very good about what they saw. It was a first step, but for 5 days work, it’s hard to argue there wasn’t progress on the basics.

We conceded a customary goal, looked shaky at the back on occasions, but the team showed far more fight than they have in a long time. We pressed, the boys looked hungry for the ball, they actually turned up for an away game. I enjoyed myself, which felt weird.

Arteta was fairly happy.

“I’m very pleased with some of the things I’ve seen in terms of attitude, character and the passion we showed, and the fight and the spirit the team showed. Spot on, and probably better than I expected over 90 minutes,” Arteta said. “A lot of things that happened in the game [that] we prepared and I think they [the players] understood them and they tried to take them on board and we liked the final product at the end.

“I did not know how long the players would last at that rhythm with the demands I made of them but the attitude was spot on. There are no negotiables at this club, there are standards that have to be done at this club and they held them.”

Outside the simple basics like effort, we also controlled possession like we used to. Our movement going forward had more purpose to it. We only landed 2 shots on target all game, but we had 17 attempts. I think our poor efforts in front of goal were more down to rusty players, youth, and a lack of confidence over anything else. Our chances were in good places on the pitch, and on another day, we’d have scored 4. I’m still having nightmares about Willock at the end. Just blame the rain and too much vegan turkey.

Our delivery was also really bad, even for us. Saka and AMN are not even full-backs, so to be expecting them to deliver like Liverpool was always a big ask. Had we started Hector and Kola, it might have been different. I also thought we missed the power, drive and confidence of an on form Martinelli.

There were a lot of people grumbling about Pepe not starting. For me, if the Ivorian record signing has been ignored by 3 managers all under huge amounts of pressure, I would suspect he probably trains very badly. If you’re not putting the effort in under Arteta, it’s clear he won’t play you. That said, Nelson is way off the pace. He looked a bit more confident than he usually does but his decision making was woeful and his delivery is nowhere near where it should be considering he went out on loan last season.

I also thought Lacazette was off the pace. He made lots of incorrect decisions and his timing was well off, that one-on-one he blew was nailed on in 2016… but he’s been Emeryfied and it’ll take some time to shake that off.

Things I liked…

Arteta managed to get a performance out of Mesut and he talked about it to the press.

 “He worked and could have been the difference; we could have scored three or four goals from his balls through,”

“To be fair his attitude in training since the day I walked into the building has been incredible. I said I was going to give a clean slate to everybody and I went to give it to him.

The German was instrumental playing between the lines. His quick passing and clever movement off the ball was a real nuisance. I liked that when he was subbed off you could see his face was blotchy from all the effort. He might not be the #10 of the future, but if we can get him firing, he’d be very helpful to our end of season run… and yes, I am aware Bournemouth are very good to players like Mesut.

Full backs tucking in, a City special, was on show yesterday. It seemed to give our defenders more options as they moved forward and made us a bit more resolute when being countered.

I also thought Torreira had a really solid game, he’s gone from being anonymous to an absolute brute in a week. Long may that continue.

… and say it quietly, Xhaka did a very solid job. Bournemouth are perfect opposition for him, but still, his pass completion was 94% and there was some ambition to his play. Shite defensively and not suited to the league, but you have to give praise where deserved. Word has it he still wants to leave to go to Berlin and I really couldn’t care less, as long as we have a replacement lined up.

So overall, a shite result, but plenty that points to a brighter future. This season might be a write-off (I hope it’s not) but we should start winning if we continue creating that many good opportunities… it’s a promising start. The players responded well to the new demands and the early signs are that Arteta has a good vision of what he wants to do, with the authority to get it done.

I went hard on Emery who couldn’t create an identity in his first 4 months (or ever), many thought I was unfair for this. I personally believe any coach worth a sausage will have his players showing serious signs of their ideas within 3 months. I will stand by that view with Arteta. It’ll take longer for results, because we’ll need better players, but this is a good coach who will take us to a far higher level than Emery or latter years Wenger could. I think we’ll see good things this season, even from these players. I am still excited. You should be too.

Onwards and upwards, a very messy Chelsea next, could be a good home debut for Mikel.

See you there!

575 Responses to “Mikel starts with a draw, but lots of positives on show”

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  1. Romford Pele

    Don’t think Arteta will deviate from what he wants to do which is aggressive high press. That will be tough against Chelsea who have quick attackers so we’ll have to keep our distances and spacing short to limit the space they have to play in behind.

    Shame he couldn’t get some easier games to start but it is what it is. Chelsea also better away from home as they struggle to break down teams at SB atm.

  2. Marko

    Can’t believe people still argue against player poverty. Especially someone who literally complains about Mustafi, Xhaka, Özil etc etc. Makes sense

  3. Edu me a favour

    “” I can see Arteta getting fired in three month’s time and a desperate call to Allardyce or Hodgson before the end of the season. This team is complete and utter crap.””

    Arsenal fans 2019

    When you typed this , did you not laugh your head off before you pressed ‘post comment’

    If you meant it , then you have serious issues – I hope you got a ‘10 therapy session’ voucher in Christmas card because it sounds like you need every single one

  4. Marko

    I think we’ve got to go with MAP and look to break with pace and directness.

    Neither team is keeping a clean sheet it’s going to be one of those games where whoever has the more in form forwards win. For that reason I wouldn’t pick Nelson at all or Lacazette.

  5. Romford Pele

    People saying it’s only Bournemouth. yes it is only Bournemouth but we let Watford have 31 shots on our goal earlier this season which is beyond criminal. A change in mindset is needed. Arsenal should only be getting outshot by a select few team in this league. We made over 500 passes and had more touches in the opposition’s box than we’ve had in ages. That is a shift.

    Yes we need better players and the manager will take time to get everything in running order like he wants. Will be tough and hard – difficult decisions will have to be made as well.

  6. MGooner

    @ Edu me

    You do not sound very complemenatry to Big Sam or Hodgson 😉

    Big Sam sorted the defence at Bolton, hard to play against. Even appointed England Manager. he perfromed well considering his limited means.

    Hodgson took Liverpool close to winning the league.

  7. Romford Pele

    “Hodgson took Liverpool close to winning the league.”

    It’s not good to make stuff up.

    There’s a reason Allardyce and Hodgson don’t get big roles.

    And there’s a reason why people like Emery struggle in big roles too.

  8. MGooner


    Chambers is miles ahead of Luiz in positioning. Our backline in future should be Chambers and Holding, supported by Mavropanos.

    these guys are good, pity they are not given their chance.

  9. Romford Pele

    MGooner – Chambers and Holding should be kept because they’re HG, not because I particularly rate them. As squad players they are usable but we need athletic players like Saliba and another to be our starting pair so we can play a proper high line. Liverpool literally leave VVD and Matip/Gomez to defend by themselves because they have the speed and strength to deal with any duel. That’s the model we move to.

    Mavrapanos is a bit of an unknown because of his injuries. At this stage would loan him out then reassess.

  10. Marc


    I think Chambers is operating on a bit of a last chance saloon mentality. We loaned him to Borough and then Fulham and most thought he’d be sold. With our current defenders he has a chance of putting himself in as an important squad player if nothing else.

    Refreshing to see someone seeing an opportunity and trying to grab it.

  11. Romford Pele

    Marc, yeah you can’t fault Chambers’ endeavour. He’s a hard worker and applies himself well. I don’t think he’ll ever be a starter for a club looking to win the big things. Even though he’s technically competent, athletically he’s not good himself. We saw it at RB although he’s been better at CB (two clean sheets when he’s played there).

  12. MGooner

    @ Romford

    “Hodgson took Liverpool close to winning the league.”It’s not good to make stuff up.

    Apologies, it must be that bottle of wine 😉

    In future, yes, we should have 2 mobile CBs. A bit like the Kozzer days. But we were unlucky with both Gabriel and Mustafi in that regard.

    I like Chambers and Holding. They play with character and there is no fuss about them. I’d take them ahead of Luiz and Sok all day long. If you go to the start of Emery’s days, he went 13 unbeaten with Holding in the side as far as I recall (and I hope the wine is not playing tricks with my memory again)

  13. Romford Pele

    Marc, like I said i’m not against having them as squad players. Always need HG guys who are happy to be part of the squad.

    MGooner, Yes Gabriel was the right sort of profile but he wasn’t good enough. Mustafi was a disaster, same as his chuckle brother Otamendi at City. Like I said to Marc, happy for them as squad players but I don’t think they’re the solution.

  14. Bob N16

    As many have written, a new CM has to have athleticism/ dynamism as a prerequisite. Emery Can has technique but certainly lacks speed. Rabiot would be a reasonable stop gap but can he dominate opposition midfielders? I would imagine he is on ridiculous wages as he arrived on a free like Ramsey.

    I guess January might be a case of a stopgap unless a target that satisfies Arteta’s vision becomes available.

  15. Valentin

    One big difference in our defending was the fact that Arteta had integrated that our play would be lopsided because Saka is a winger. To compensate AMN was clearly told to be more defensive.
    Aubameyang was on the left coming inside on his right foot to shoot, leaving space for Saka to run on the outside.
    On the other side of play, AMN was tucking inside letting Bournemouth go on the outside but blocking any attempt to go via the middle. With his pace he was able to recover any overlapping run. However further up on that side Nelson was tasked to stay very wide and potentially cross or cut back on his right foot.
    During the second half where Bournemouth tries to be more compact, the Özil then drifted on the wing, Nelson moved further up closer to Lacazette on the right side and Xhaka was slightly further up in space on the left.
    So it was nominatively a 4-2-3-1 formation, but not a symmetrical one and only during specific situation.
    For example, during the first half, when attacking we were more like a 3-2-4-1 with more weight on the left (Saka and Aubameyang).

  16. Romford Pele

    Valentin, that is a Pep tactic and tbh even Wenger used to have one FB attack and one who was more reserved. AMN playing infield is a ploy to stop counters.

    We purposely had Xhaka releasing Saka down the left for build up. That helped create an underload on the other side of the pitch where Nelson and Ozil would find themselves in good spaces.

  17. Valentin


    I know those are not new tactic. As I mentioned before that lopsided concept is quite common in South America. In fact I was advocating that against Everton when I learned that Saka was going to be our left back. Best form of defense is attack, so let’s attack them on our left side.

    I am just pleased that we have a coach who is taking into account the strength and talent of our players and devise a tactic to use those instead of trying to shoehorn them in his tactics. Torreira is not an CAM. Asking to play there was a a bad joke inflicted on fans and a waste of player. That in itself should have been reason enough to sack Emery during the summer.

  18. Thomas

    Tear it down and start from the beginning


    Should all be sold

  19. Romford Pele

    Valentin, no disagreements from me. Emery’s utilisation of Torreira was one of his many crimes and there was no real valid reason for it.

    I know we need to upgrade on quite a few players but i’m happy we have a manager prioritising positional play. That alone will bring incremental improvements. Obviously he can’t coach braindead players but as you say having a coach that actual leans into our strengths is a positive. Don’t remember the last time we had 17 attempts on goal let alone away from home.

    Hopefully we can get in 1/2 players in Jan and that week off for the winter break in Feb will allow Arteta more time to translate some more ideas.

  20. Marko

    We need HG players otherwise we won’t meet the quota so the likes of Chambers, Martinez and AMN shoud be retained.

    This seems to be a common theme when it comes up about shit English/home grown players that shouldn’t be at the club. Martínez is fine Chambers is at very best a squad player and that’s it and AMN is a total garbage player so he definitely needs to go. Good thing about targeting 18 year olds is by the time they’re 21 they’ll be home grown. Saliba and Martinelli for example

  21. habesha gooner

    RP Thomas is a Chelsea fan. Don’t waste your breath. even then though he is right about most of them. I would keep bellerin, Martinez and Chambers. They are useful. The rest we need to sell.

  22. Valentin


    You may think that the current crop of HG players are garbage (I don’t) but they are what we currently have.
    No club involved in European competition can play a full season with only 18 players. BTW if you exclude the HG players, then the number of non HG allowed to be used diminished, so Martinelli, Ceballos may suddenly find that we can’t register them. Last season Mavrapanos was removed from the Europa List squad list to make place for Denis Suarez.
    So the choice is not between not having a full complement of players or play “garbage” players. It is between not having enough players or play “garbage” players.

    According to you AMN, Bellerin are all so bad that we should all sell them. Knowing that we are skint, who would you then play at right back?
    Same thing at left back. Same thing at CAM.

    At one point, you have to accept that Arsenal does not have 300 millions in the bank to spend to improve the squad. Arsenal has to live within its financial means. That means working with the current players and replacing and upgrading 2 to 3 players per transfer window. Unfortunately those replacements have to be cheaper that what we currently have.

    You can complain about the Kroenke all you want, but I don’t think that will affect Josh and his dad decision not to put more money in the club.

  23. Marko

    You may think that the current crop of HG players are garbage (I don’t) but they are what we currently have.

    Val learn to read I said AMN is garbage. I don’t mind Chambers, Martínez and the likes of Nelson being part of the squad but frankly keeping such an awful player like AMN around because of the hg quota is a joke really.

    According to you AMN, Bellerin are all so bad that we should all sell them. Knowing that we are skint, who would you then play at right back?

    You know we can sell them right? Get money for them? I know shocking right we don’t have to be saddled with poor players

  24. Marko

    Home grown is an issue fine bin AMN cause he’s shite and replace him with Jayden Bogle from Darby. 19 English and highly rated. Fine problem solved upgraded easy

  25. Champagne charlie

    “People saying it’s only Bournemouth. yes it is only Bournemouth but we let Watford have 31 shots on our goal earlier this season which is beyond criminal. “

    Yea some folk are wildly underplaying how low our general performance level for this season got, and I’m not talking outliers. We routinely gave up 20-25 shots on goal against all manner of opposition, creating fuck all in the process.

    We had 17 shots on Bournemouth’s goal, which is more than any other away game this season, and only equalled/bettered twice under Emery in total.

  26. Bill

    98 points
    100 points
    93 points.
    That tells me that the premier league is less competitive as the gap at the top is widening compared to a few years ago .

    Don’t confuse Bamford with logic.

  27. Bill

    1. I have watched these players carefully game in and game out for some time now and I have watched other PL teams’ players game in and game out now; our players lack quality 

    2. people who are talking about contending for top four this season are delusional. 

    3. In addition to it being the correct view

    4. gulf in quality between our team and teams like Chelsea, United and Spurs.

    Bamford’s back. All that’s missing is mention of Harvard, using the word ‘nonsense’ and offering a wager.

  28. Nelson


    Just read your reply to my post. You believed that our players were bad. Let me remind you that our team was third in the League last season when there were eight games to go. IDK what happened to Emery. He suddenly became very timid. He was so worry of each opponent and kept changing the system so not to lose. If the General of an army is so timid, it would affect the spirit of the soldiers.

    This year, he continued to be very timid. The performance of the team went from bad to worse. And you are saying that there is no fault of Emery.

  29. jwl

    Arteta has inherited squad that made it to European final last season, I don’t know why we should not expect instant results if we using same metrics as we did to judge Emery. I think many gooners watching match yesterday were squinting, with their head slightly tilted, if they saw improvement yesterday. We struggled against Bournemouth, who had a lot of injuries.

  30. Marc

    “He suddenly became very timid. He was so worry of each opponent and kept changing the system so not to lose. If the General of an army is so timid, it would affect the spirit of the soldiers.

    This year, he continued to be very timid. The performance of the team went from bad to worse. And you are saying that there is no fault of Emery.”

    Nelson 100% fucking right – the worse we got the more he looked to inhibit our play which lead to things getting worse and over and over.

  31. Pierre

    In defence of Saka, he is normally a wide player who will look to take on the full back and then whip in accurate crosses.
    Yesterday , I can’t remember him once trying to commit the defender.

    My theory is that the amount of work he put in up and down the line took it’s toll, I just don’t think he had the energy to beat the fullback so consequently his crosses were hit and hope or blocked by the full back.

    He was rarely caught out of position defensively and when you consider the amount of times he was in the attacking third , that is a credit to him, he must have put more yards in than any other player.

    Saka, I am convinced will make it at Arsenal, he is still basically a kid and is still growing , as he gets older and more powerful he will be difficult to contain.

    He will not necessarily be a wide player , I feel he has the attributes to play as a CAM….he and Martinelli are the future .

    There are doubts about Smith rowe, nketiah, Nelson ,Willock and Guendouzi but I wouldn’t write them off just yet.

    They have all come in to the side playing in a dysfunctional team and under a tactically inept manager in Emery.

    No excuses for them now, if they are good enough Arteta will bring the best out of them and maybe even a few more kids coming through like burton,John jules and balagun.

  32. Receding Hairline

    Guess we are all going to pretend Bournemouth didn’t have a sniff at goal yesterday then. Its still only Bournemouth, we literally beat them just a few weeks ago, also beat them on our visit there last season.

    They aren’t really much of an opposition and they also had chances to win it yesterday. Just calling a spade a spade.

  33. Marc


    The biggest two issues we’ve suffered this season have been team selection being poor and a huge loss of confidence.

    Team selection can be altered fairly quickly, obviously injuries will impact that to a degree but the basics can be sorted without to many problems.

    Loss of confidence is all about what Arteta can do.

  34. jwl

    And premier league is much more competitive now than it use to be. Liverpool and Man City are probably two best teams in world at the moment but it is much more even with the rest of teams. There are no easy games anymore, tv money gives English clubs huge budgets to sign best players from anywhere in world.

    I saw stat couple of months ago that said Huddersfield was paid £92 million from tv when they were relagated while Bayern earned £86 million and Juve got £77 million from tv and they were both league champs.

    English teams have big spending power compared to any team in world except for a few top European teams which means best players, and managers, want to be in England. It is definitely more competitive in England than it use to be.

  35. MidwestGun

    Sup ladies? Well I for one saw some improvement We didn’t give up shots on our goal like a freaking shooting gallery for one thing. . I mean I’m not gushing giddy about it or anything but you can see what we were trying to do. Arteta has had like ten minutes at the club so it will take a little time.

    I’m absolutely giddy as hell over the rumors about Xhaka leaving.. Hot damn.. now we are talking. Our play should improve 10% just from replacing him with somebody who can even tackle even moderately well. I mean we have a defensive midfielder who can’t tackle.. Makes no sense. I don’t care if he can pass the ball like peak Pirlo.
    Tackling should be a basic requirement for a DM. Xhaka can’t so he has 2 choices..
    1.) He can try to intercept the ball before he has to make a tackle, Unfortunately he is too slow.
    2.) He can grab or foul the player. Except then you earn yellow and red cards not to mention you can’t do it anywhere near your own penalty box.

    So for me… The prospect of getting a new CM who can run and tackle has me more then excited. Also, did I read Jurgen Klinsmann wants him.?. hahahaha That alone proves he is shi.it if you even need to prove that anymore.

    If we can somehow move on from the 4 horseman of the apocalypse, Ozil, Xhaka, Mustafi and Miki.. who are all still at the Club in some capacity .. I feel like we can turn a corner soonish rather then later. The Ozil reclamation try is commendable but can’t see it working long term unless he gets off the Fortnite and stops hitting the hooka pipe. He would have to become way more athletic in a short amount of time or at least have some stamina.

  36. jwl

    Marc I don’t know whats happened to Arsenal this season it is odd. We had decent season last year except for last month, obviously, but there seem to be major issues this year. I tend to believe there are problems amongst the players that we not hearing much about. Emery alienated senior players by trying to introduce youth and fallout from that decision is effecting squad?

    I thought Emery did decent job with what he had to work with but our squad is major problem.

  37. Marc


    I think Emery got wrapped up in trying to fix things by changing to much to often.

    It wasn’t amazing last season but how many matches did we have where an early substation made a difference.

  38. MidwestGun

    Haha Well I was going with he is one of 10 outfield players. hence 10% but if he ends up leaving I will be throwing a mini- party.. And Tequila always improves my mood. 😀

  39. Pierre

    The premier league has more strength in depth I would say but I’m afraid this season could end up being one of the least competitive seasons ever unless city can win all their games in the run in.

    Relegation normally provides the excitement if the top is sown up, however this season we could see the bottom 3 confirmed with a number of weeks still to play .

    Failing that, the top 4 is the last resort for excitement, however liverpool, city and Leicester are already close to being uncatchable , so it would only need Chelsea or spurs to go on an unbeaten run and the top 4 could be confirmed with a couple of months of the season to play.

    Looks like it may be Europa league qualification will be the only domestic excitement and that’s nothing to write home about .

    TV stations must be going into panic mode in the hope that liverpool lose a few games.

  40. Marc


    I’d love to know which season had the highest turnover in managers?

    If it’s not this season (so far) then 19/20 has got to be close.

  41. MidwestGun

    I feel like City are missing their cone boy in this match.. 😀

    Troare has been hitting the curl bar at the gym though. Should that be a card for simulation? Mahrez with some bad acting.

  42. Champagne charlie

    “Guess we are all going to pretend Bournemouth didn’t have a sniff at goal yesterday then. Its still only Bournemouth, we literally beat them just a few weeks ago,”

    Home and Away teams are different animals, doesn’t take much experience watching football to grasp that. Stoke away was a literal meme for us.

    We beat them 1-0 at Emirates:
    – 12 shots to their 10
    – 53% of the ball to their 47%
    – 443 passes with 75% accuracy

    The game just played finished 1-1 at their place:
    – 17 shots to their 12
    – 62% of the ball to their 38%
    – 592 passes with 86% accuracy

  43. MidwestGun

    Well I would have given him an academy award. … guess in slow motion the time between when he was hit and when he went down seemed shorter instead of longer.. Like the Matrix.

  44. Nelson


    It has to be tactical. They have to sub in their spare GK. Now they changed the formation to 4 4 1 with Sterling the lone attacker.

  45. Goonah


    Some premier league stats this season:


    1. Ndidi 80
    73. Xhaka 26


    1. Ndidi 51
    162. Xhaka 9


    1. Wesley 39
    4. Xhaka 31

    On whoscored statistics page we find Xhaka in 151 overall place

  46. Marc


    Yeah I just wondered whether Aguero just back form injury had pulled something as well.

    City aren’t making life any easier on themselves.

  47. MidwestGun

    Goonah _
    Thanks… pretty well what I thought. I really cant tell you how excited I am at the prospect of finding a replacement sooner rather then later.. I was shocked Xhaka has made 26 tackles.. I must have missed about 20 of them.

  48. G8

    I agree with jwl,
    It’s obvious that some posters try to twist and turn facts to suit their narrative of Emery being a shit manager, Arteta is the chosen one and there was improvement of our play in the last game..
    I thought we were just as inept, clueless and spineless as we were under Emery and Freddie, but whatever suits, we have to move on and hope Arteta and the cnuts upstairs get us out of this hole!

  49. HighburyLegend

    “Come with me and I will show you the power of the dark Sauce.
    Together we will run the football galaxy, as father and son.”

    *Extract of the Guardiola interview with Arteta before he hired him

  50. Ishola70

    On reflection the DLP should have been scrapped at the start of this season (season prior not a lot of transfer kitty around) and the 75m put out on Pepe should instead been used on a few additional midfielders that are conventional in their play.

    The DLP has been harmful to Arsenal not only from a defensive viewpoint but also offensively.

    When your CBs are continually looking for the DLP to pick the ball up from them deep and short it means first transition attack can be slow. They also forget how to play out from the back themselves when they have been so reliant on the DLP to pick the ball up for them. We see aimless silly short passing between the CBs that leads to trouble more often than not.

    We see other sides where their CBs stride forward themselves and pick out a pass to central midfield or the flanks. This makes them quicker in first transition attack and puts the defending team on the backfoot quicker as well.

    Knowing Arsenal they wil get rid of the DLP only to bring in another DLP to replace.

    Any DLPs on the market? I hope not.

  51. Pedro


    Fans are lowering the bar because Emery wrecked the squad of confidence and presided over a comically bad 2018. We started the Bournemouth game bottom half of the table.

    This squad would be finishing top 4 if we’d fired Emery in May.

    Now we have a good coach in, he comes with lower expectations because he has a harder job. Has to teach basics, build culture, deal with players with precarious contract issues, and he’s having to do this with no preseason.

  52. Ishola70

    The DLP has been the big elephant in the room.

    But the trendies liked the sexy continental aspect of it.

    The time Arsenal go back to being a more conventional EPL side instead of trying to be a european satelitte side playing in the EPL and failing at it the better for Arsenal.

  53. Marc


    “Now we have a good coach in, he comes with lower expectations because he has a harder job. Has to teach basics, build culture, deal with players with precarious contract issues”

    That could have been said about Emery!

  54. Marc

    The scoreline aside Wolves fans are throwing objects at City players, the Spud’s are chanting racist comments?

    What the fuck is going on?

    I know there were always individual or isolated incidents but it now seems to be becoming a regular weekly occurrence.

    If Pierre thinks Arsenal fans are vile for telling Xhaka to move his fat lazy arse fuck knows what he makes of all of this.

  55. Bamford10

    Pep Guardiola’s £400m City team are losing 3-2 to 8th-place Wolves. Yet more evidence of how tricky and competitive the PL is this season.

    And please note, all, that where City are struggling with Wolves today, they absolutely waltzed past this current Arsenal team a week or so ago. Those of you who think this is down to coaching are simply lying to yourselves. Unless we have a first-XI-changing January, this City team will waltz past us again in March. Just watch.

    And yet here they are losing to Wolves. So again, who has the better squad: Wolves or Arsenal?

  56. Ishola70

    Wolves are one of the sides Arsenal are unlikely to catch.

    One defeat in 14 EPL matches and the defeat to Spurs at home by all accounts they were robbed in that one. Dominated the game against Spurs but got suckered at the death.

  57. Champagne charlie

    “And yet here they are losing to Wolves. So again, who has the better squad: Wolves or Arsenal?“

    Wolves obviously, they’ve got a better squad than Man City too naturally.

  58. Jeff

    Man City just lost to Wolves 3:2. Since we’re in the market for students, wouldn’t it have made more sense to take Klopp’s assistant rather than Pep’s? Just a thought. LOL.

  59. Marc


    “Yet more evidence of how tricky and competitive the PL is this season. ”

    No it’s more an example that the “big teams” are beyond inconsistent.

  60. Cesc Appeal

    Great performance by Wolves.

    Would love Neves in our midfield.

    Their forward line is so hard working as well, Jota, Jimenez, Traore…just never give their opponents a minutes rest.

  61. Marc

    For fuck sake City can’t even take advantage of Leicester being thrashed.

    Can’t see Pep staying around – it’s a massive rebuild and it’ll be hard work.

    He’ll do a year off or so and then reappear at another money bags club.

  62. Ishola70

    The precipice for Arsenal and where they fell of a cliff was that they failed to win three home games in a row that are usually seen as winnable.

    Surely sauce Arteta can bridge that and in fairly good time as well.

    Said previously before the season is out Arteta needs to show something in regards form and results. An unbeaten run somewhere along the line. Eight unbeaten will do with a fair few wins thrown in. Then there is something to build on.

    This is what saucy managers/coaches usually do in their first season somewhere. Show a run of results where people look back and say yeah the signs were there previously when they are killing it the following season.

  63. Marko

    Difference between when we sacked Emery and hired Arteta is 5 games while the points are the same from 4th eight. The idea that the expectations are vastly different and the squad all of a sudden dire is a shocking 180 from a mere few weeks ago and it’s shameful. So no writing off of the season it won’t be acceptable Arteta has to get wins he has to rise up the table and he needs to get European football

  64. Receding Hairline

    Pedro we are all going to give Arteta ample time so no need saying “we now have a good coach” every post.

    Emery has 10 career trophies, not the work of a bad coach. Bad coaches don’t win in Europe three years running, bad coaches don’t beat Klopp in cup finals. Bad coaches don’t take nothing teams to divisions they have never been in their history.

    Arteta has some way to go before being proclaimed a superior coach to Unai Emery

  65. RodneyKing

    A 10-man City would have still beaten Arsenal.

    Wolves clearly have better footballers than Arsenal.

    Anyone who thinks otherwise hasn’t been watching Wolves.

  66. Champagne charlie

    “Like how you omitted the fact we beat Bournemouth at their home in the 18 months of hell Emery subjected us to Charles“

    Half truths? You literally disregarded our most recent game, in terms of improvement in performance, by stating we beat Bournemouth a few weeks back.

    Meanwhile you want to introduce a result from November 2018 in the context of progress this season? Tell us more about these half truths.

    Subversive hairline strikes again.

  67. Champagne charlie

    “Pedro we are all going to give Arteta ample time so no need saying “we now have a good coach” every post.“

    Headmaster he says 😂 out directing posters once again. Third time today.

  68. Marko

    Charlie you can let some go you know. Take a night off from being a prick yeah. Probably your last 20 comments were exclusively directed at opinions by Receding, Bamford and Dissenter. Probably your next 20 will be directed at me. Just learn to relax

  69. Marc


    Whilst you may not be wrong we all know that a) Pedro needs a good thrashing b) he’ll enjoy it and probably ask for seconds and thirds!

  70. Receding Hairline

    Thierry Henry: “What I’ve seen [yesterday] is what I’ve seen for a long time with #Arsenal. I don’t think they played well but Aubameyang scored. I’ve seen that so many times. Lacazette should have won it with a good chance but it’s difficult to judge that team right now”

    But champagne Charlie saw “a clear improvement in performance”… So clear that no one is allowed to point out a draw away to Bournemouth isn’t really a call for mass celebration and back patting.

    Your ilk are the ones burying their head in the sand, good football teams win games and it’s about time we get around to doing that again.

  71. Pedro

    Pep let’s the media take control of the narrative on his contract. No idea why he’s so fine with the disruption it must cause.

  72. Pedro

    RH, going with a Thierry opinion is a bit like leaning on Paul Merson to back your opinion. You have Emery baggage, which is why I have to defend Arteta. You are slanderous. It has to stop.

  73. Marc


    “Juventus or PSG for Guardiola.

    Pochettino to City?”

    Not sure Pep will see France as being big enough for him but Juve I can definitely see.

    The Poch – well he sees himself as being top notch and there’s been rumours about it so maybe.

  74. Pedro

    Think Poch will take City if it’s available, be interesting to see what he could do the better the Pep era. Tough one to take over

  75. Champagne charlie

    “Mass celebration and back patting”

    Point this out, would love to see it.

    ‘Thierry said something so it’s true’ is just about the clearest indication you’ve fuck all conviction in your own opinion.

    Habesha posted this earlier as another blog broke down the game and shed a bit more light on the encouraging aspects:


    My “ilk” hahaha you mean the sort that had Emery pegged a million miles before you cottoned on? If you’ve actually managed to do just that given your latest defence of him on this very page…

    Back in your box you melt, do you get anything right? Probably take quarter of an hour tying your shoes.

  76. Receding Hairline

    Pedro I don’t think its slander a coach with a career total of one draw against Bournemouth under his belt has some way to go before being christened a very good coach.

    Calling Thierry Henry clueless on what entails a good team performance is indeed slander.

    You used Arteta knowing the club as a selling point, no one knows winning Arsenal as much as TH

  77. Champagne charlie

    “Thought this tweet thread summed up the Arteta approach nicely“


    I can only surmise the author of that tweet has some imagination, obviously he missed Thierry’s breakdown of the game which I’m led to believe is gospel.

  78. Thorough

    There’s no way we can’t give top 6 a goal.
    Last year we practically had no wingers, now we have Saka, Pepe and Martinelli.
    Last season we had no potential replacement for Ozil, now we have Ceballos.
    Early in the season when we played Tottenham we were overwhelming favorites. Even at 2 goals down halftime we still came back and could have won.
    Our defence may be shitty – it’s always been – but this team is not as hopeless as people may make us believe.

  79. Pedro

    CC, even the Arsenal tactics guy is slagging Thierry.

    RH, I’m not shocked you the extent of your assessment of yesterday is ‘played badly, Auba scored.’ That’s not reality though, as plenty of people have articulated today. There’s no point in dragging the conversation down to that level because there’s no argument to be had.

  80. Receding Hairline

    Go to bed Charles. You are beyond boring at this point.

    Quickly becoming the most uninteresting poster on here. I even skip some of your nonsense directed at Marko. You think you win arguments here but all you do is play your misunderstood routine.

    Had Emery pegged a million miles my butt cheek.

    What defense? Has he or has he not won ten career trophies as a coach? If yes then shut it.

  81. Receding Hairline

    Pedro this group of players have a performance in them when they feel like it. Not being wowed by a game were we didn’t particularly work the Bournemouth keeper to exhaustion is nothing to be ashamed of.

    Thierry Henry is an Arsenal legend who also played for Barcelona. Discounting him views on a game simply because it differs from yours isn’t nice.

    It is difficult to judge this team right now, he said nothing warranting ridicule