Arteta guns for his 3rd FA Cup win with Arsenal

by & filed under News Review.

It’s FA Cup time for us. We’ve watched Jose Mourinho and OGS lead their teams to magnificent replays after embarrassing stalemates, we have to avoid that sort of indignity at all costs.

Mikel Arteta might look to Jose Mourinho for a little inspiration. When the ‘Special One’ first landed at Chelsea, he went all guns blazing in the cups, making the league cup the first win of historic tenure.

We don’t have the luxury of a league cup run, but we do have a great opportunity to progress today against a Leeds side that has promotion on their mind.

I don’t know how the manager will line up for this one, but he’s making big noises about winning something.

“I think winning brings togetherness and when you have beautiful experiences together and you win trophies, those experiences stay within that group,” Arteta said.

“You like more the people you work with and you believe more in them and share some fantastic moments and that stays.

“That habit of winning, winning and winning. After you win, you don’t want to stop winning and you become addicted to that and that is what we have to try and implement at this club.”

There’s no lack of clarity there, he’s not a top 4 merchant, he wants to build a winning machine.

I suspect the pumped-up rhetoric is part for the fans, but more for the second string players he’s going to likely have to pick this evening. We’ve had problems the last few seasons raising our levels with players who sit on the bench. Rotation of the squad hasn’t always been fair and to be honest, the depth of our bench has been fairly poor. This season, the main difference is we have a lot of kids who intro’d last season who are year older, and all should be desperate to impress the new management team.

Matteo G and Dani Ceballos are probably the two closest to the first team with the most to prove. Matteo has been all over the place this season, far too much responsibility was put on his shoulders and he’s struggling for form… worse, his attitude has been less than spotless. He has the chance to show he can play with discipline and listen to a manager that will be good for him. I’d really love him to blow up under Arteta.

Dani is very different, there’s been no lack of enthusiasm, more a struggle to keep pace with the relentless physicality of the Premier League. I think his attitude is there, the talent is not in doubt, he just needs to be given a clear role and deliver against it. No way his energy isn’t going to be useful over the next 5 months.

Nicolas Pepe could start again, if he does, this is a huge test of attitude. It’s all well and good putting on a show against United, but can you motivate yourself against a Championship side? I hope so.

As for the kids, I’d love to see Saka have a chance further up the pitch. I think this could be a good game for ESR to show what he’s made of. I’d also love Willock to deliver to productivity in the final third, the club are clearly excited about him, hopefully he can show the fans why.

… could also be a bit tasty to see Eddie land some minutes.

No idea who else is going to play, but I do think it’d be wise to put some heavy rotation into the starting 11 so we don’t suffer any more injuries to key players.

It’s a home game, Arteta is clearly looking for a performance from the fans after seeing a lot of empty seats this weekend (shame on you, Stoke City fans).

“It is too powerful, with the fanbase we have, our history and the great players they have seen and the great teams they have seen, if we get that connected it is so powerful. Without that, I think it is impossible to do it.”

You heard the man, take your vuvuzelas and makes some noise.

Enjoy the evening, I’m very sad not to be there… also listen to my podcast with Matt.

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792 Responses to “Arteta guns for his 3rd FA Cup win with Arsenal”

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  1. Pierre

    It’s nice to look forward to a game with anticipation instead of dread…

    Emery sucked all the enjoyment out of the game for me.

    There was always the accusation thrown around at myself( and others )from the Wenger obsessives that Emery wasn’t accepted due to loyalty to wenger.

    The arrival of a proper football manager puts an end to that falsehood.

    It was always about having the right man for the job and hopefully Arteta is that man.

  2. Unai

    Whilst I’d love Arteta to get some silverware this season I would prefer the EL.

    No objection to wanting to win every game but with our squad issues I think the FA cup should be dedicated to the second string, at least until the latter stages.

    If Leeds play full strength and beat our second string then I won’t be mourning the loss of a cup run.

    Probably rather we went out than got a replay anyway.

  3. Aussie Gooner

    For Leeds tonight:

    Saka Medley AMN
    Smith Olayinka
    Nelson ESR Pepe
    Balogun John-Jules

    Macey, Martinelli, Mavropanos, Burton, Bellerin, Guendouzi, Willock, Ceballos

  4. Graham62


    I, like many others, was already running on empty prior to Emery’s arrival. Hence, the false dawn under the Spaniard didn’t affect me as much as it obviously affected you.

    You are right though, Arteta comes across as the real deal which, after these past ten years, makes for a refreshing change.

    Let’s hope our perceptions prove to be correct.

  5. Romford Pele

    Aussie Gooner, that team is far too inexperienced. The gap between the Championship and PL isn’t that much these days. Also we’re not going to be playing guys like Smith and Olayinka over the likes of Ceballos and Guendouzi who generally need minutes. Leeds’ Biesla are a very good outfit btw.

    Something like this i’d say:

    Bellerin Mustafi/Mavrapanos Holding Saka
    Guendouzi Ceballos
    Nelson Willock ESR

    That’s more what you’re likely to see. Pepe will be on the bench as will youngsters like TJJ and Medley

  6. Romford Pele

    Hard not to think about Henry when you think Leeds. That FA Cup springs to mind but I remember that game in the Invincble season when Henry put 4 past them at Highbury in a 5-0 win. What a phenom!

  7. Romford Pele

    Torreira is the only natural ball winner in the squad so i’m interested to see how Arteta replaces that tonight because there’s nobody else with his skillset in the squad.

  8. Romford Pele

    Honestly don’t care about the FA Cup this year. Would play the team i’ve listed above and if it gets us to like the QF maybe then we start to take it seriously.

  9. Romford Pele

    Habesha, Sokratis is ahead of them in the pecking order. I do not want any first teammers starting this game. PL is the priority. Mustafi I don’t care about but would rather not play Luiz/Sokratis this game. Palace at the weekend is the priority.

  10. Wasi

    If it were me id rotate heavily rotate tonight and until we reach the Semi’s of the FA cup.
    We have suffered far too manu injuries this season to our important players and cannot risk it anymore. With Arteta making the Players press hard its visible our players running out of steam in games and that will only increase the chances of injury.
    Tonight id go
    Bellerin/academy RB, Mavro, Rob, Saka/academy LB
    Guen, Dani
    Reiss, ESR, Gabi
    Idc if we were to go out early this season. We need to have all of our key players fit going into the EL stages.
    But I know where Arteta is coming from. Winning the FA cup in his first season would give a massive boost to the fan base , club and the players. Supposedly making the Players addicted to winning. That’s what Pep does but unfortunately we don’t have the squad to do that atm. Lets see what Arteta does tonight.

    Why arent we in for Gedson Fernandes?
    Suits the direction the club is going in.(Young, High ceiling)
    + Also suits us financially as he is apparently going to go for 18 month loan with option to buy.
    (Dont really why Benfica agree to such deals when they can demand fee upfront but we have to take advantage now. West ham and Everton are being touted. Surely we can convince him to sign for us rather than the aforementioned clubs )

  11. CG

    Arsenal have to win tonight.
    Arteta needs to win trophies….like Wenger….like Graham.( who both won trophies in their first seasons)

    And this is his best chance.

    Failure to win tonight- would mean all his initial good work -would be wasted and the momentum lost.

    He should play the best team possible.
    And aim do ‘a QPR’

    Aim to score 11 ( 6 and 5) in consecutive home fixtures.

    QPR ain’t making excuses about tiredness- and nor should we.

  12. Bob N16

    Habésha, aren’t we all impressed by Arteta’s arrival? Admittedly his appeal has mostly come during interviews where he has been note perfect. The team, it’s safe to say , is already showing significant signs of his influence.

    Regardless of the fact that Pedro championed his appointment, there are real reasons to be happy about Arteta being in charge. Long may it continue!

  13. Henry Root

    Aussie Gooner
    That’s not remotely an adequate defence.
    Leeds aren’t mugs . AMN and Saka aren’t defenders they are emergency wing backs

  14. Bob N16

    ‘Have to win tonight’ – hyperbole of the highest order. Concentrating on the EL and the league would be no bad thing. There will inevitably be disappointing performances along the way. The team tonight will be nowhere close to our first team.

    That being said, really hoping for and expecting a win tonight. With loads of Leeds supporters it’ll be a great atmosphere.

  15. Chris


    That Henry 4 goal game also essentially relegated Leeds that season if I recall correctly, something I relished after they beat us the previous year to cost us the title.

    I’ll always remember Andy Gray’s commentary about Henry that game, to paraphrase “I’ve seen some word class players in my time, but I have never seen anyone like him”

  16. Romford Pele

    Chris, yep it was rightful payback for Leeds costing us the title in 2003.

    I was lucky enough to be at the game. Henry was essentially a cheat code at that period of time. No matter what anybody tried he couldn’t be stopped.

    Generally he was often the nemesis of Leeds. Scored a ton against them.

  17. Romford Pele

    Arteta absolutely does not have to win the FA Cup. It would be nice of course especially with our history in the competition but priority should be finishing as high as possible in the league and competing for the EL.

  18. CG

    Bob N16

    “””””Have to win tonight”””

    Is not hyperbole Robert

    It’s a mantra that should be drummed into every Arsenal team that plays a match.

    I think you will find- Arteta has already stated this.

    Leeds are a Championship club
    Arsenal are a Prem club.

    Off course we have to win. Otherwise what is the point of the game?

    If we were to loose tonight .

    It would seriously derail Arteta excellent start as coach .

    Our Wenger never lost an FA Cup tie to a team not in the top flight except Nottingham Forest and that was after 20+ years.

    So there are No excuses when you are playing a Championship side at home.

    Just win….and get to Wembley.

    Keep it simple.

  19. shaun

    AMN, Mustafi Holding Saka
    Guendouzi WILLOCK
    PEPE, Ceballos , NELSON

    is more likely as this will be a tough game and Arteta will not want to risk momentum and winning mentality or a replay , would not risk Martinelli or Bellerin from the start and I would rather play Medly at left back and Saka further forward but think the first selection is more likely as much as most fans might not think that much of the fa cup and this game I think Art will be taking the game a lot more seriously than others think

    AMN, Mustafi Holding Medly
    Guendouzi WILLOCK
    PEPE, Ceballos , saka

  20. Þorkell Einarsson

    we must start to use the youngsters with some purpose and attitude,
    I agree with aussie gunner about an exiting lineup .. with eddie featuring
    for 70 minutes

  21. Davey

    How can the draw be made before the last game of the 3rd round, they try to bring back the magic of the cup then make decisions like this, take me back to the cup draw on radio 2 all gathered round the radio praying for a nice home draw.

  22. Batistuta

    Couldn’t care less about the FA Cup…..It’s the Europa league we should be all over if I’m being honest…Good enough league campaign finishing 7th/8th but we absolutely have to go for that Europa league trophy, not a lot of teams to be scared of in there

  23. Bob N16

    CG, your argument would extend to having to win every single match.

    Much as I’ve loved FA cup runs I would completely endorse the view that today’s line up should be heavily rotated. We would therefore be playing a team that is far from our strongest. For this reason alone, a defeat would have to be put in a context that it’s not a must win game. A must win game would surely mean that we’d put out our strongest line up. Let’s see if Arteta agrees with you.


  24. shaun

    if you think about it , pretty sure you are not gonna see an inexperienced full of exciting youth league cup type of line up just not a smart way of thinking and I would be really really surprised if Art went with the youthful lineup being suggested ….EL is what six weeks away, we have won one game , no brainer really the only youth I’d bring in is Medly as he is a left back and we are woefully short in that department and it makes sense to test him out with a relatively experienced back line

  25. Daniel Altos

    I might have missed it but I dont see alot of people talking about Pau Torres…22 year old left sided Villarreal defender…6ft 3,tough as nails and can pick a pass.Barcelona and Bayern now circling around him.For some reason I don’t know why people here don’t seem to rate laliga defenders…Another one who looks good is Unai Nunez.

  26. Romford Pele

    Playing the fringe players and a couple young players is the absolute right way to go for the game. Now, until Europa starts again in 6 weeks, we have longer breaks and times between games for Arteta to work on his methods and get the team up to scratch.

    Also the team i posted above isn’t exactly weak anyway, there are no debutants. They’ve all had vast amounts of games for the first team.

  27. shaun

    agreed , a personal opinion in my thinking is that I would not start too hamstring victims why not bring them on for run outs whilst letting AMN gain more confidence and Laca get a goal

  28. Romford Pele

    Bellerin needs to show he’s back up to it before i start him in a league game again. Athletically he’s dropped off a cliff. Obviously it’s still early days with him recovering from his injury but for what Arteta looks like he wants, i’m persisting with AMN in the league at the moment.

  29. shaun

    Bellerin is a worry as you say he does not look right from an athletic perspective and if I am honest I would be looking for a better first choice right back even before his injury , he just looks a bit awkward at the moment and this new more concentrated AMN under Artetta looks to have about 50 % more athletic ability than Bellerin . If AMN can cut out the brain dead lackadaisical madness there is possibly a player there and if we are being fare he has not been coached for the last five years .We know under Wenger it would have been “you have been given your chance so just go and play” and under Drac it would have been pure confusion so jury is out for me and I am no fan of AMN but just lately dare I say it he has looked good

  30. Bob N16


    I’m hoping that Bellerin, with a clean bill of health, will be able to recapture his best form. As many have said, if he’s lost his exceptional pace it’ll massively effect his performances. I’m hopeful that his athleticism will return with time.

    Thankfully AMN’s recent form should allow Arsenal to be cautious with Bellerin. Hopefully he’ll get minutes tonight though.

  31. Un na naai

    From previous

    Perhaps we can pull the word ‘compact’ as yes, you could probably consider the counter attacking approach to being built on a compact base but your reaching if you want to say Arteta’s quick return to formation behind the ball has anything to do with Wenger.


    I’m not saying it has anything to do with Wenger at all. Maybe some of the attacking philosophy or allowing some creative freedom to express but I’m not creating Wenger with Arteta’s good defensive work. Not at all

    I just saw a post saying that Wenger’s teams were nothing like what Arteta is producing and I disagree with that statement
    From 96-06 we were very compact at times and played good counter attacking football on the break using speed and precision to score

  32. Romford Pele

    Shaun, BobN16, AMN has always been good athletically and he’s technically competent too. My problem with him was that he always seemed very lazy and looked like he lacked concentration.

    Under Arteta so far this RB position has suited him because he plays as a CM in build up which gives us another passing option and helps to create a spare man. It suits his qualities, i don’t know if Bellerin can replicate that as he’s not good technically. Challenge for AMN is to keep it up. I’m sure Arteta will lodge him if he’s not up to scratch.

    RE Bellerin i’m not sure if he’ll ever be the same after his ACL. He was always saved and worth having around because of his elite athleticism. It doesn’t look like he’ll ever recover that but I might be wrong. Technically he’s not good enough to help us in build up so there’s a good chance we have to go and buy a RB unless AMN can prove he’s adequate for that position long-term. If AMN has sense he’ll take it seriously because he won’t make the grade in any other position in the squad.

  33. Graham62

    Only way FA Cup will survive.

    All teams who qualify for Europe should NOT enter the Kangaroo Cup, hence, greater emphasis on FA Cup, OR, teams that qualify for Europe can enter their youth/U-21 teams only.

    UEFA will not approve CL slot for FA Cup winners. That’s a gimme.

    The Kangaroo Cup needs a massiverevamp, so this scenario would benefit both competitions.

    Our teams in Europe would then be on a level playing field with the rest of Europe when it comes to domestic committments.

    As it stands our European teams are being suffocated by these domestic committments.

  34. CG


    “””””Couldn’t care less about the FA Cup…..It’s the Europa league we should be all over if I’m being honest…””””””

    yes lets continue playing this rubbish on a Thursday and never getting back to playing on a Saturday 1500.

    That aint soccer
    Thats footballing filfth.

    Only saddos or Emery types watch that.

    Never watched one moment of any Loosers Cup match and never will.

    Excrement packaged as entertainment for the masses.

    Loosers Cup 2 coming soon.

    You can watch that as well.

  35. Mr Serge

    DM are you ever going to contribute to the blog instead of just trying to get in the top four ? It’s very childish

  36. Cesc Appeal


    Agree with your line up. Would like to see John Jules get some time tonight, these type of young players always get over hyped so it’s nice to see what they’ve actually got.

    Same for Balogun, though I guess that will be a more summer thing and cups next season. But I mean…BaloGUN…the media will be behind him from the off.

    I also agree with your comments on Torreira being the only ball winner in the team which is pretty pathetic really. We definitely, as everyone (most everyone) keeps saying, need to add an athletic, physical CDM/CM to the line up but also as with City the players here need to be coached into being ball winners…in the modern game no one can say ‘I’m not really a pressing player’ or ‘I don’t really like the off the ball stuff’.

  37. Biggles

    Medley is a CB, not an LB. Bola is the academy left back and he’s 21, so I find myself wondering why we play Saka as a 3rd choice left back when he’s all of 18 and a winger, rather than a defender. Bola must be awful.

    We definitely need to rotate and protect first teamers. However, this isn’t the league cup and we shouldn’t be treating it as such either. We do actually want to win though because the FA Cup might be needed to get into the Europa League next season. Yes, I believe that we might even still make top 4… but equally I could see us NOT finishing 5th, ergo the FA Cup is important.

    Martinez in goal is a no-brainer.

    Not sure who Arteta wants at RB against Palace. If he feels that Bellerin is back to fitness enough, then play AMN against Leeds. If he thinks he’d rather a fully fit AMN against Palace, then Bellerin against Leeds. I’d be thinking Mustafi and Holding at CB because they are the best two available outside of Sokratis and Luiz (who I’d expect to be first choice at Palace) but hopefully we’ll be three up by half time and can give Mavro or Medley some game time. Left back I think should be Bola unless he’s truly awful. I’ve never seen him play, but with no Tierney or Kola, the choice is either play Saka out of position, knowing that he’ll probably be reasonably competent, or give some game time to the guy whose position it actually is. With an otherwise experienced back line, I’d be tempted to go with Bola and play Saka further forward.

    Midfield should be Guendouzi and Ceballos since they need minutes and should be in or near the first team. I’d then have Nelson – ESR – Saka, or Nelson – Willock – ESR as the other line and have Martinelli upfront. Ozil, Pepe and Lacazette on the bench in case the youngsters can’t open Leeds up. If Ceballos and Willock are both playing, I’d also consider trying to switch them around for a bit to see which makes for a better 10 and which makes for a better 8, since it seems both can do both positions.

    It’s a blend of experience and youth. The difference compared to youth teams of the past is that Nelson, Saka, Willock and Martinelli aren’t academy players getting to play with the grown-ups in the second string whilst the first team rests – they ARE the second string. We have a much smaller squad than in previous years.

  38. Unai

    Un, my original post was more in argument to Wengerism being alive in Arteta. The comparison is tenuous at best.

    I don’t think its helpful for us as a club or for Arteta for us to keep harping on about Wenger.

    Even this conversation has the potential to spiral into a circular debate on Wenger, its not healthy.

    I shouldn’t have taken the bait 👍

  39. Romford Pele

    CA, yeah hoping to see game time for TJJ. People say he’s more talented than Nketiah. I haven’t seen much admittedly. Balogun as well is highly rated and i’m interested in him because physically he’s very good for his age. I’m keen to see how we line up though because I also actually see Martinelli as a striker as well. Think back to his games in the EL and CC. He is nearly 6ft and is still growing. Think back to the headers he scored. Very Ronaldo like. Also he loves to press from the front. Reminds me of the Tevez/Vardy types that defenders hate. I actually don’t think he’s a winger. His dribbling isn’t that great there and it tests his technique. In the middle he has options to go either way. Maybe for now though he’ll be used wide like Auba is.

    Yeah i think it’s criminal that Torreira is the only ball winner. Don’t think we even have anyone like him in the youth set up either which is a huge shame which is why the links to Partey/Sangare/Soumare etc are necessary.

  40. Pierre

    Personally, I dont think we play the “high press” consistently under Arteta.

    There are times in a game when we do press with intensity, but this is not consistent, especially in the 2nd half of games.
    Whether this is a fitness aspect, it is a possibility.

    I think Arteta demands that the players quickly get goalside of the ball when the opposition are in possession to limit their ability to expose our defence.

    Aubamayang, Pepe and Ozil are not players that can press with real intensity but they can be conditioned to position themselves correctly when we haven’t got the ball.

    What Arteta has managed to do in a short period of time is to not let players get isolated whilst on the ball.
    He wants the player in possession of the ball to have options to pass to , this goes back to the positioning of players on the pitch, which has been neglected in the last 18 months.

  41. Romford Pele

    “Personally, I dont think we play the “high press” consistently under Arteta.”

    We don’t because the players can’t do it yet. Luiz and Sokratis alluded to this after the United game in the press conference. Even Arteta said this is the plan long-term but they’re having to adapt at the moment.

  42. Romford Pele

    I’m hoping to see ESR tonight. Out of all the young players he’s my favourite and I think combines the necessary physical and technical elements well. Hopefully having a good framework now will help clarify his role and get the best out of him.

  43. Unai

    We will see how Arteta’s philosophy pans out but I wouldn’t be surprised to see teams that press initially and intensely when first losing the ball or at opportunistic times but if that fails, shape quickly becoming next on the agenda.

    I think it will be used in a wider package of tactics rather than the overriding philosophy.

  44. Pierre

    I’m not quite getting why football fans are not bothered about Arsenal progressing in the FA cup.

    We are sitting in 10th place and are 17 points off 3rd place in the league so that is unattainable and are 9 points off 4th place.

    4th place is attainable but unlikely due to the amount of teams competing.
    It would only need one of the 6 teams above us to have a decent run and we would be out of the running.

    The way I look at it is , we should be looking to win EVERY game with the strongest team possible .

    That doesnt mean flogging the same players to death, it means giving a player the odd game off to recuperate whilst keeping the majority of the same starting eleven.

    I cannot see Arteta making 8 , 9 or ten changes from the last game.
    3 or 4 maximum to give players like Ceballos, bellerin and holding game time, if fit.

  45. Cesc Appeal


    Agreed on Martinelli.

    That’s why I wouldn’t be that disappointed to see one of our STs go this summer and have Martinelli back up whoever is remaining.

    I think ahead of any of our academy products Martinelli will make that ST role his in the next 2 seasons. As you say he presses which is very important, he’s also direct, very pacey, good in the air, tough as well and has an instinctive element about goal getting which will only improve.

    That is going to end up being our best piece of business in years. Only £6 Million and I think he’s going to go on to be one of the top rated young STs by the time he’s 21.

    At least though our academy is starting to produce passable talent (if nothing else) in the form of players that can then be sold for decent amounts to lower EPL sides, Championship sides or abroad.

    Academy should be a source of footballing assets or financial assets. It shouldn’t just be some thing tacked onto the club that gets money thrown at it for little return.

  46. Useroz

    I think Arteta would put out up to half kids and fringe players. Hope he’s rest the following

    Sok – don’t touch the only solid CB pair left
    Saka – unlikely

    Would like to see John J. starting CF.

  47. Biggles

    @Romford Pele

    I’d like to see ESR as well since he was so highly rated. Biggest problem with him in my opinion is that I dunno what he really plays. It’s good to be versatile and be able to play either side etc, but there’s a difference between being Sadio Mane and being able to play anywhere along the line and just ending up a bit Jack Wilshere-ish where nobody really knows where you’re supposed to go.

    Being able to outright replace Ozil sure beats being able to deputise at a push for the rest of the team.

  48. Romford Pele

    CA, totally agree on martinelli. I’m envisaging by say 2022 Martinelli is our starting striker. He’ll be 6ft or above. Have the pace to run in behind, lead a press. Very astute business that so kudos to Francis Cagigao. Hopefully him and Edu can work together in unearthing more talented South American gems. I think one thing Wenger said which always sticks in the memory was that the best strikers come from South America. They’re used to playing street football and fighting for every scrap so they have the ability, hunger and xfactor which sometimes the European guys don’t.

    I think we actually do ok with academy talent relative to the rest. Even if you get 1/2 making it through to the actual team you’ve done well. Some will be sold off which will help to generate revenue. Getting close to £40m for Iwobi for example is fantastic business and that’s how the academy should run. Elite talents will obviously stay. Some will just be good enough as squad players and that’s also fine. Others will be sold to teams lower in the PL or Championship. It’s the right model to have.

    For me previously it was often hard to judge players as the system was so haphazard. We forget sometimes that player performance is influenced by team set up and managerial approach. Arteta looks to have a system with clear defined roles so it’ll be easier to see who’s up to it and who isn’t long-term. I’ll definitely use this to judge our young players. Tonight should be a good exercise for them. Playing a Biesla team who are likely to be in the PL next season and who’ll bring loads of fans with them too.

  49. CG


    “””Personally, I dont think we play the “high press” consistently under Arteta.

    Well stated Pierre.

    We can tell already Arteta likes proper silky technical players like Ozil and Xhaka and not ‘Knock Down Ginger’ Merchants who run around aimlessly.

    I would not be at all surprised if Ozil under our Art extends his contract and becomes our David Silva.

    Liverpool who have not lost a game for a year- don’t play this mythical high press.

    Indeed – Klopp and Liverpool have improved considerably since they stopped charging around the field like idiots.

    Bad teams High press.
    Good teams keep the ball.

    Arteta like Wenger believes in letting the ball doing the work.
    And they are off course both right.

  50. Romford Pele

    Biggles – for me ESR is a 10 but he can also play as a CM and wide. So in the current guise he’s the natural Ozil replacement as Ceballos doesn’t offer that option in between the lines. Stylistically i think he’s comparable with KDB. But he has enough pace that you can use him wide like Nasri/Rosicky etc.

  51. Pierre

    As a fan , watching football should be about the excitement of the 90 minutes.

    Nowadays too many fans are preoccupied with the finances of the club and if winning a competition like the FA cup qualifies the club for Europe.

    Who cares, it’s a game of football..enjoy it.

    Let the people running the club worry about finances .

  52. Dream10


    I like Martinelli. Don’t mind him playing on the left. He has the ability to make the out to in run from there. Get in the box and make a living on a back post tap ins.
    He’s a decent ball carrier, nothing special.
    But he has the desire and ability to be first in the six yard box from wide

  53. Romford Pele

    Klopp has changed as Liverpool don’t press all the time. They’re more selective in how they do it because he knows it’s not sustainable over the course of the season. They’ve improved their ability to keep possession. Having ball-playing CBs and FBs helps their build up which means the CMs are more workhorses (even though there are a couple flair players there too).

    Possession (the right type) is key to ensure your team doesn’t run out of steam and can reserve energy when necessary.

  54. Un na naai

    Man I am dealing with one jumped up daddy’s girl, bitch of a client right now. Fucking lying slanderous bitch


    It would be silly not to expect Arteta to incorporate some of what he learned from Wenger into his methods. You know full well though that as his results progressed that is going to be trotted out regularly to annoy certain folk on here.

  55. Romford Pele

    Dream – yeah at the moment Martinelli under Arteta will likely be used the same way Wenger used Walcott, that out to in option from the wide who helps to stretch play and offer an additional threat in behind. He isn’t a great dribbler by nature but because of his pace he’s still a decent option out wide. Much bigger threat centrally for me though.

  56. CG

    Romford Pepe

    “”””Klopp has changed as Liverpool don’t press all the time.”””””

    and yes they have improved ten fold because of it.

    When I watch Liverpool- they seem to be playing with a cigar in one hand and the Telegraph crossword in the other.

    What they dont do- is run around aimlessly. Bad teams do that

    They play with a smile ,they dont cheat or dive or scythe people down.

    Just like it should be
    Just like we should emulate.

  57. Unai

    Arteta has had a fantastic football education, Wenger included, he will need to call on all that to be successful.

    Not disputing that at all. 👍

  58. Nelson

    This would be my team for today.

    Bellerin Mavropanos Holding Saka
    Guendouzi Ceballos
    Nelson ESR/Willock Martinelli

    I would have at least Auba and Pepe sitting on the bench just in case.

  59. Paulinho

    “Klopp has changed as Liverpool don’t press all the time. They’re more selective in how they do it because he knows it’s not sustainable over the course of the season”

    They changed to that more or less around the time VVD came in. His intelligence and calmness has enabled them to play quick, then slow, then quick again. They can play deep and take breaks as VVD is a master at reading late runners and reading the game in general, whereas before they would panic at the back if they weren’t on constantly on the front foot, which is why you had games like Bournemouth away where they would just implode after a certain point. Even against us a couple of years ago; two nil up and then 3-2 down within ten minutes.

  60. Romford Pele

    Paulinho – it’s true. It’s pretty remarkable as to how much Liverpool have transformed defensively with that VVD signing because before that they were very reckless defensively. Both offensively and defensively he’s a phenom.

    Hopefully we take a step forward in that regard with Saliba and another athletic partner for him.

  61. Nelson

    Just a thought. MC must have a large academy. The chance for their kids to play in their first team is minimal. Arteta could try to get some of their good ones to come over.

  62. CG


    “”””Pressing doesn’t mean “run around aimlessly.”, pretty simple concept really.”””””

    that is exactly what it is dear boy!

    Any coach can get a team to run around chasing the ball.

    Very few coaches can get a team to keep it.

    And thats the difference.

  63. Pierre

    I doubt it will happen, but I would like to go back to the old days of playing FA cup semis at neutral grounds.

    I used to love going to Hillsborough, Villa park, Old Trafford , Stamford bridge and even Highfield road Coventry for the semis, superb atmosphere.

    Plus it meant getting to Wembley for the final was special .

    Someone pointed out that part of the appeal of the FA cup has been lost due to it not being the only live domestic game on TV, I agree with this.

    Still a great showpiece occasion though.

  64. Pierre

    Van Dyke has had a similar effect on liverpool as Sol Campbell had when he arrived at Arsenal , took their respective clubs to another level.

  65. Chris


    You surely know that the Europa League winners earn qualification for Champions League and everything that comes with it, so it shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand, neither should the FA Cup obviously. I want us to win both.

    And a big fat yes to semi finals at neutral venues, one of my first football memories on the tv was a semi final at Highbury between Portsmouth and Liverpool. Pompey went one up through Darren ‘sicknote’ Anderton no less!

  66. Pierre

    Back in the 60’s /70’s the semis were never televised live in England.
    Fans had to either go to the game or listen on the radio.

    It was often said that too much televised football would kill the game as no one would attend the matches.

    In fact, the opposite happened as the interest has multiplied.

    All seated stadiums has helped as it has reduced hooliganism, consequently nowadays you find more kids and women attending the game.

  67. Pierre

    The Europa league group stages are only good for giving the kids a game .

    However, the further you progress in the competition, the more it becomes relevant and very watchable.

  68. Marc


    The only issue we’re seeing is matches being moved to accommodate TV schedules or overseas timing.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the match against ManU but it was bloody inconvenient timing with most people having to go back to work on Thursday after Christmas.

    The PL need to keep a balance between TV revenue and remembering fans are the life blood of the game.

  69. Chris


    Have you read the book ‘The Club’? It is essentially about the monolithic rise of the Premier League but it also has a few passages on how football was in the times you mention. One of David Dein’s biggest ambitions was to have toilets of an acceptable standard installed in stadiums back in the 80s

    It’s hard to imagine now but according to the book there was only ten or so live games televised, as relatively recently as the 70/80s (unsure if that is 100% accurate). I do think there is an abundance of choice of live football these days hit this may be good for kids looking to watch and learn from quality players all over the world. One would have to have an almost insatiable appetite for tv football to watch everything you can see now, certainly not me.

    I’d recommend that book to anyone, a very interesting read.

  70. CG


    “”””””However, the further you progress in the competition, the more it becomes relevant and very watchable.””””””

    You have had an outstanding 2020 to date.

    But No Loosers Cup match is watchable.

    Its for loosers, rejects, wastrels and failures.
    Its for the naughty clubs

    I always cheer the opposition when we play in it. Out of principle.
    And all true Arsenal fans should do the same.

    Arsenal should never do The Loosers Cup.
    We should always want to exit it.

    So we at least we can play on a Saturday at 1500 GMT.

  71. Batistuta


    Considering the Europa League is a route back into the champions league,we absolutely have to take it serious, again it’s not like we are European royalty and have a truck load of European titles in the bag…. We are probably the best team left in the league so don’t know what you mean about it being a whatever name you’ve used to describe it

  72. TheBoyCornelius

    ”Pressing doesn’t mean “run around aimlessly.”, pretty simple concept really.”
    “that is exactly what it is dear boy!”

    Pressing is not just simply running about, it is the players moving on certain q’s in unison to force the opposition into passing to players/areas where you can force an error – be it because the opposition player is the weaker passer or because the press has restricted their passing options, forcing a risky or sloppy pass.

  73. bennydevito

    Un na naaiJanuary 6, 2020    12:16:32

    Man I am dealing with one jumped up daddy’s girl, bitch of a client right now. Fucking lying slanderous bitch


    She catch you knocking one out in her underwear drawer?

  74. Marko

    Friday night kick off’s like in Germany would be great I think. Do away with Monday night kick off’s they’re a menace to away fans

  75. Bob N16

    Marko, no replays unless it’s Spurs!

    Friday evening game sets up the weekend, Saturday 3pm sets up Saturday night.

    Night games have the potential for a better atmosphere, fully expect with the FA allocation, for Leeds to take the whole of the lower tier clock end so should be noisy. School night so I won’t be drinking ( see above).

  76. Romford Pele

    Bob, Leeds will take the whole of the lower tier of the clock end tonight so they’ll be rowdy and very loud. Biesla’s teams are very energetic too so we’ll need to match their intensity. Should be a cracking game.

  77. CG

    Spurs in for Lemar.

    (Wenger rated him.)

    Good Age
    Good Engine
    Good Dimensions.
    Something to Prove.
    Made for The Prem.
    Not injury Prone.

    And sure better than Suarez.

  78. Emiratesstroller

    I agree entirely about Arsenal playing far too many games on Monday or for
    that matter a game next week against Chelsea on Tuesday!

    There have been too many occasions this season where we have landed up with three games in 10 days.

    Frankly I don’t think that the television scheduling has been particularly sympathetic to Arsenal this season

  79. Gentlebris

    ‘He’s a decent ball carrier, nothing special.’

    Nothing special?

    Was Messi playing better @18 than Martinelli? Maybe at ball control; but not speed, physical play, power in the air and defensive energy.

    All Mbappe did better at Monaco too was ball control and being calm under pressure.

    Only CR7 was as troublesome at such a young age.

    Teach my boy a bit of ball control and start him more in PL games to learn calmness. We should eventually find a CR7 somewhere inside there.

  80. Romford Pele

    GentlebrisJanuary 6, 2020 16:30:55

    I like Martinelli but relax. He’s nowhere near Messi,Mbappe or CR7 when they were 18.

    Messi at 18 was virtually already the best player in the world. Mbappe led his team to a league title over a financially doped PSG. Ronaldo was a star for United. The levels are absolutely staggering. You’re talking about generational players here. Martinelli is not that level.

  81. Samesong

    By the time Messi had reached 18 years and 120 days on October 22, 2005, he had made it to four UEFA Champions League appearances for Barcelona. LOL

  82. Samesong

    By the time Messi had reached 18 years and 120 days on October 22, 2005, he had made it to four UEFA Champions League appearances for Barcelona. However, in those games, the Argentine failed to register a goal. He wasn’t to wait long for that first goal, with it coming against Panathinaikos on November 2 of the same year.

    Ronaldo reached the Frenchman’s age by June 5, 2003, but had had even less Champions League experience than both Messi and Mbappe, with just one substitute appearance to his name, alongside two UEFA Cup appearances.

    It took even longer, almost four years in fact, for Ronaldo to register his first goal in the competition, with a brace in Manchester United’s 7-1 thrashing of AS Roma.

  83. Batistuta


    If they manage to keep Douglas Costa fit, they’re my pick for the champions league…

    Demiral is an absolute baller too by the way, going to permanently pit De ligt on the bench soon

  84. Samesong

    Demiral is an absolute baller too by the way, going to permanently pit De ligt on the bench soon

    Hasn’t ther been talk of him coming to Arsenal??

  85. Romford Pele

    Also look at what Cesc and Rooney were doing at 16. That’s what you call real levels. I like Martinelli a lot but let’s not do this

  86. Emiratesstroller

    Romford Pele

    Let’s be realistic do we want Martinelli to be at the same level as Ronaldo or Messi at 18?

    The certainty if he was is that he would not be at Arsenal longer than one season. Barcelona or Real Madrid would be destabilising the player as they have been doing with far too many other players over the years.

    Arsenal need to be rebuilding their team/squad around such players as Martinelli and Saka in the future.

  87. Champagne charlie

    United in for Maddison, yes please, leave us Grealish to go for in the summer.

    Got to love Lingard getting into bed with Raiola too, as close as the lad gets to being among the elites. Has a fan on here, no guesses who.

  88. Leedsgunner

    My wish list for tonight.

    1. 3-0 to the Arsenal
    2. No more injuries or suspensions.
    3. I want to see our kids given a run out tonight. We need to keep our strongest and experienced players for the EPL and the Europa League.
    4. Having said that, if they are fit I would use this game tonight to give run outs to long term absentees Rob Holding, Bellerin and Mavropanos… so that we can ease them into the rigours of the EPL… the sooner we can get them into main squad the better.
    5. I hope Freddie Ljungberg exercises his influence and convinces Arteta to play the youngsters in the other areas of the team. Burton, Bola, Cottrell and John-Jules have been playing well for the U23s and they deserve a shot.

    With Leeds being on top of the Championship they will likely not risk playing their promotion push into the EPL… so they will be playing their kids as well, I suspect so it’s not as risky as it might seem.

  89. Romford Pele

    Emirates, you might well be right but that wasn’t the point I was disputing anyway.

    To combat it anyway, i think young players are thinking twice about going there now due to lack of opportunities.

    Madrid for example have like 6 playmakers (Isco, James, Kubo, Odegaard, Diaz, Ceballos and now they also are close to Reinier). As a young player why would you go there? It makes no sense.

  90. Champagne charlie

    “The certainty if he was is that he would not be at Arsenal longer than one season. Barcelona or Real Madrid would be destabilising the player as they have been doing with far too many other players over the years.“

    I’m not convinced this is as big a threat as once was. Cristiano (a player all teens look up to) has shown the blueprint for young talents in England to make great careers, and they begin with creating something of a legacy where they are.

  91. Leedsgunner

    Please no to Boteng by the way. With Luiz and Sokratis in our squad we don’t need anymore old defenders.

  92. Emiratesstroller

    Romford Pele

    Their recruitment policy has nothing to do with need.

    Real Madrid are not concerned about the needs of young players or the consequences.

    Also there are very few players or their agents who will reject an offer from
    this club whatever the consequences on their future careers.

  93. Marko

    Arsenal fans unnecessarily comparing Martinelli to some of the absolute greats of the last couple decades. They just never learn. Let the lad do his thing don’t put him on any pedestals.

  94. Marko

    Big shame about Reinier. I really thought that we’d bust a nut to get him. But if he wants to risk his formative years at Madrid then good luck to him. But for me this January it went Reinier<Ziyech<Lemar. Upamecano above all.

  95. Micheal

    I feel it will be a mistake to play too many youngsters against Leeds, who are a well organised outfit. Winning is a habit and I feel it is imporant to maintain the momentum.

    I would lean towards a more experienced side than some on here are proposing. Save the youngsters for the bench and bring them on if we get a decent lead.

    Bellerin Mustafi Holding Saka
    Guen Ceballos
    Pepe Smith-Rowe Martinelli

  96. Leedsgunner


    Fair dues man. 😉

    As you know Arteta wasn’t my first choice but the initial steps are encouraging. I want Arsenal to do well before me being proved right… I’m an Arsenal supporter so if I have to eat a bit of humble pie so be it. If Arteta does well, the club does well.

    The club’s fortunes come first.

    For the first time in a long time I care very little for the FA Cup. With our squad being so thin on depth and quality the club could do with less distractions… I’m not convinced , unless we strengthen this winter transfer window, that we have squad depth to compete on three fronts!

  97. TheBayingMob

    “Arteta is clearly looking for a performance from the fans after seeing a lot of empty seats this weekend (shame on you, Stoke City fans).”

    I was really surprised to see the worst offenders for the empty seats were the lower league teams, whereas Chelsea’s ground was full and rocking. I watched the Cardiff game (wife is from Cardiff) and it was emmmppppty. Embarrassing stuff for the FA. It’s their clubs who haven’t got time for it.

    Where did it all go wrong for the FA Cup? I remember a time when it seemed more important than the league …

  98. Leedsgunner


    I have a soft spot for Leeds, and after Arsenal results, I check how Leeds are doing… I don’t mind admitting that.

    Pedro, it wouldn’t have mattered if you’re poking gentle fun… I know you would meant it in jest.

    Let me take the opportunity to wish you a happy 2020. In a way with Arteta as manager all your Christmas came at once!

    Wishing you the very best.

  99. Danny S


    Since the 4th place trophy I suppose.

    There’s very little money in the FA cup, I think the only way they will revive it is if they make the winner qualify for champs league instead of 4th.

  100. Champagne charlie

    FA cup has lost its edge because the clamour for CL is so, so strong. Would really put the cat amongst it to have the winner earn a CL spot instead of 4th place in the league getting it.

    Would drive the PL top 6 to be more winning-centric on league titles, with the FA cup being a huge incentive in and of itself.

  101. Pedro

    Leeds, same to you, I’m VERY excited about Arsenal. Really think we could have a great year. Just hope it’s more Saliba’s, less Boateng like players.