Top 5 a little harder after today

by & filed under News Review.

Ok, so results didn’t go for us on Sunday. We’re very much up against it as far as the race for top 4 goes, but as we’ve seen in the past, form means little when everyone is shit, but one thing is for sure, results are going to matter.

Chelsea routed Everton. It was embarrassing how bad Carlo’s boys were. Tactically inept, slow, and lacking energy. Quite the opposite of the side that came to play us after 2 weeks rest (and lost, lol).

United beat City fairly comfortably. They sat back, happily let Pep’s team ping the ball around, then caught the fast lads on the counter. It was a horrible day for Ederson, he was beaten at the near post with a fairly soft yet spectacular Martial volley, then he blew the game late on with a terrible bit of distribution. At the highest level, you’ll be punished for being a doughnut, Ederson was that, triple glazed today.

So where does that leave us? In a bit of a tough spot. We either need to put a fallen giant to the sword, or take an over the knee spanking to breath life into a miserable Pep G season. Traditionally, we’ve been a gift for managers that are struggling, so I don’t hold out a lot of hope. The most we can hope for is that we give them a tough game… but if all City have to play for is the Champions League, there’s the potential their minds will be on the European game the week after. That insight is more hope than reality.

Still, what we can deduce from United’s two wins against them this season is that they don’t have a very good backline at the moment. Their keeper has lost his sparkle and their defensive structure does not deal well with pace. We have that in bundles if we want to play the counter-attacking game. Auba, Gabriel, Nelson, Saka and Pepe can all cause problems in a counter-attacking system. The concern is whether we have the defensive confidence to sit back and let City happen to us.

Still, we’ve dealt with United, we had good games against Chelsea, even with 10 men, and you can count on Arteta and his staff really going hard at this one. It’s a game with low expectations from the fans, but one they’ll want to use to prove to the country they were the right people to put in place at a massive club that wants to go back to the top.

Anyway, brief thoughts today. See you in the comments. x

373 Responses to “Top 5 a little harder after today”

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  1. Jamie

    Un –

    Then why didn’t Wenger extend Ramsey and Santi’s contract a year prior to his dismissal?

    It is obvious to all the Le-Grove doctors that Santi would fully recover from his minor injury. Why only a 1 year extension, why not 3? He would’ve signed as sure as I have a hole in my ass for 3 more years of £80k a week. Wilshere same shit.

    Ramsey 26 months ago re-signs for £160k a week no questions asked until the Ozil extension debacle happened.

    My sources tell me all the players had completely lost faith in Wenger.

  2. Marc


    Why do you keep using the “so it was right to let x number of players leave without replacing them” argument?

    No one thinks not replacing players was a good idea but that doesn’t mean keeping a bunch of injury prone players was the right thing either.

  3. Freddie Ljungberg


    “RamseyPlayed 40 games with 6 goals and 8 assists last season”

    Wait, I thought Ramsey was benched after 2 games? Now I’m confused, it wouldn’t be like you to rewrite history would it?

    Only time he was benched was leading up to and during the January window because we were trying to sell him (allegedly) to Juve a couple of months early and get something for him and we didn’t want him to break down. Which he predictably did not that long after.

    Crock, good riddance.

  4. Marc


    “It is obvious to all the Le-Grove doctors that Santi would fully recover from his minor injury”

    Sorry was that a serious comment? If yes what injury so you think Cazorla had?

  5. Un na naai

    Ernest ReedMarch 9, 2020 19:03:54
    Un, no one knows what really went on with Ramsey. things happen behind the scenes all the time. He fell out of favour for a reason, just as others have at one time or another.

    Then Emery shouldn’t have run his mouth off about how Ramsey was key to his plans to drop him after 2 games then reinstate him when the shit hit the fan and he ran out of what little ideas he had let alone managed to convey

  6. Jamie

    Marc –

    I was being facetious. Guy almost lost his foot, but because he’s an anomaly, we should keep taking expensive punts on broken players.

    Peak Wenger/Kallstrom logic.

  7. Receding Hairline

    Why is Suarez in this conversation, you aren’t even moaning the lack of midfield options, you are arguing a player who missed two years of football should have had his contract renewed, this at a club that carried Diaby and Rosicky for how long?

    In case you haven’t noticed Jack Wilshere hasn’t played a game in ages.

    You keep name dropping Ceballos like he is some crap player, nonsense.

    You are simply longing for the good old days when we beat up crap teams at the Emirates and folded like a lounge chair whenever the stakes are high. That’s the Arsenal most wanted to move on from and little by little we will. The man who most of you don’t want mentioned when our current situation is discussed has not been offered a coaching job anywhere else despite spending every interview talking about how he misses coaching.

    Wenger was a great coach then became not so great, then became ordinary and we let him and the incompetent Ivan run this club into the ground. Now some are demanding a quick fix while others long for the “good old days” of beating up teams at the Emirates and never being in the conversation for the big prizes

  8. Un na naai


    Ok so we let them walk for free. Spend our budget replacing them and can’t afford to upgrade keeper/defence/defensive midfield.

    Either way it’s negligent when you have a core group of technical players to choose from
    Just try to keep 2-3 of them fit and firing for the season and rotate them while you address the areas that Wenger actually did neglect.

    Am I speaking Korean here? The club has no money. We have lots of attacking mids.

    We don’t have quality defenders/keeper/defensive midfielders or too class winger after Sanchez was given away

    So we then go and give away the only other area of the team bar striker where we are well stocked with talented prem proven players


    Does that make sense to you?
    Nope. Me neither

  9. Un na naai

    Peak Wenger/Kallstrom logic.

    Suarez, lich, Tierney and soares seem to indicate it’s not isolated to him

    We throw money at crocks but won’t keep cazorla on when we desperately need that quality in the final third

    Great logic

  10. Un na naai


    Allow me to redirect you to my previous post to you
    Read it
    With any luck you might figure something out

    RhBetter to have Santi than not

    Look at what he’s offering now This season
    Played 29 scored 12 assists 7
    Last season
    46- 7 goals and 11 assists Even in 16/17 he outperformed Suarez and Ceballos combined Played 11 -goals 2-assists

    3Wilshere played 40 games in his final season with two goals and 7 assists More than Ceballos and Suarez combined

    Ramsey Played 40 games with 6 goals and 8 assists last season The season before was 32- 11 goals and 12 assists

  11. Freddie Ljungberg

    That’s Ramseys detailed stats for his last season and which games he played and how many minutes.

    He was sidelined for 3 games in late December when we still had hope of selling him. Other than that he was handled like a crock should be handled, he still played almost every PL game he was available in but was either subbed off or on in many of them. He still managed to break down as per usual.

    There was no benching after 2 games. In october and November he was mostly used as a sub though, don’t know if that was because he’s a crock, or politics behind the scenes regarding his contract or Emery just not liking him going walkabout when played in CM?

    Doesn’t really matter at this stage anyway.

  12. Bob N16

    Hearing that Bellerin is carrying an injury almost feels like good news to me. I was wondering if his loss of speed coming back from an ACL was permanent but now I’m hoping now that he might be able to return to somewhere close to his previous pace.

    Much as I loved Cazorla as a player, it was hard to justify giving him a new contract with his injury record. Really glad he’s playing again but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

  13. Marc


    No you’re not speaking Korean but you are avoiding the truth. Of course those players should’ve been sold but it was Wenger’s fault they weren’t.

    Say the words “It’s all Wenger’s fault” 10,000 times and you’ll feel much better.

  14. Jamie

    The best was waiting for Diaby to come good and throwing £25m at him in the process.

    Released on a free, made like 5 appearances for OM before he retired from football.

    Wenger School of Education Financial Footballing Pro Management Why You Look At Me 10,000 Substitutions

  15. CG


    “””””No just shit circumstances that Wenger’s ineptitude put us in.””””

    If Arsene Wenger spent £ 30 000 000 on left back from Scotland with Tierneys injury past and he then broke down injured playing for AFC – most on here would be raging and spitting feathers.

    Yet The Spiv does it – hardly no one bats an eyelid. They say he is one for the future.

    Real ineptitude is – when you as a fan never knew you had it so good.

    I did. I loved The Wenger Years
    All of them- good and bad.

    66 games since He has gone and over quarter of a billion spent on players since he departed- going great aint it……?

    Last time I looked, we were 9th,

    Wenger never had us 9th.

  16. Un na naai

    Say the words “It’s all Wenger’s fault” 10,000 times and you’ll feel much better.

    I don’t think I will. That could take up a lot of valuable time. Is that what you do?

  17. Freddie Ljungberg


    He played 80-90 minutes in the next 4 games after the 2 where you said he was benched. Looool

    I didn’t say he was a nailed on starter every game, read my post again. He’s a permacrock, running down his contract, why would we play him the full 90 every game?

  18. Pierre

    “, Ramsey still played almost every PL game he was available in but was either subbed off or on in many of them”

    Now who’s rewriting history.

    Ramsey was fit and was benched for 9 (nine) consecutive league games in a 3 month period before Christmas

  19. Jamie

    Un –

    “Suarez, lich, Tierney and soares seem to indicate it’s not isolated to him

    We throw money at crocks but won’t keep cazorla on when we desperately need that quality in the final third

    Great logic”

    The logic is to stop throwing good money after bad.

    I suspect Arteta will move Tierney, Holding, Chambers, Hector, and any other player out who can’t prove consistent fitness by the end of next season. His tactics demand it.

    Probably one of the reasons he loves Xhaka – he’s almost never injured and probably trains like a monster.

  20. Marc


    Don’t need to but then I’ve been saying it periodically for years. Pedro’s count is somewhere north of 14.3 million.

  21. Freddie Ljungberg


    Learn to read.

    Only in 3 of those games didn’t he play.

    I thought you hated Ramsey anyway? Oh let me guess, you’re upset that I joked about your wanking sock with Ozils face on it? Cry me a river sockboy.

  22. Marc

    “Probably one of the reasons he loves Xhaka – he’s almost never injured and probably trains like a monster.”

    Unfortunately it’s the great Sloth monster who can’t focus his attention for very long.

  23. Un na naai


    I don’t think keep Santi on board is throwing bad money. I’ll never agree on that.
    I think addressing the needs of the squad should take precedence and attacking midfield was not an area we needed to tamper with at the beginning of 18/19 with only £70m to spend in more urgent areas

    Round we go

  24. Un na naai

    Freddie LjungbergMarch 9, 2020 19:34:07
    DonHe played 80-90 minutes in the next 4 games after the 2 where you said he was benched. LoooolI didn’t say he was a nailed on starter every game, read my post again. He’s a permacrock, running down his contract, why would we play him the full 90 every game?
    PierreMarch 9, 2020 19:34:18
    “, Ramsey still played almost every PL game he was available in but was either subbed off or on in many of them”Now who’s rewriting history. Ramsey was fit and was benched for 9 (nine) consecutive league games in a 3 month period before Christmas

    He was used for league cup and el minnow games but dropped for league games
    As Pierre said
    Now who’s rewriting history?

    Still scored more played more and assisted more than Suarez and Ceballos combined and we’ve spent nearly 20m for the privilege according to reports

  25. Marc


    How many times – you keep moving the timeline to after Wenger had left but you don’t let a player get within 2 weeks of his contract expiring you resign him months and months before.

    Wenger and Gazidis let them go.

  26. Pierre

    Nice joke fred ,

    if you’re a 12 year old schoolboy !

    I’m not surprised Ernest was impressed with your wanking reference.

    You need to be a merchant banker to find something as childish as that funny , and Ernest is certainly one.

  27. Ernest Reed

    Yeah it was and remains funny, Pierre. The thing that bothers a melt like you most is that its true. Seriously, get a life already…and…get a sense of humour already you old fool.

  28. Ernest Reed

    “I remember when I had my first beer”

    No you don’t, you’ve been drunk for so long you couldn’t possibly remember.

  29. Champagne Charlie

    “To that end, Cazorla had a question mark on his fitness. Was it the right call? At the time it certainly was and remains so today, after all they could have theoretically trying signing him again this past offseason or even enquired of a loan this winter?“

    Ernest I have time for you, but I can’t fathom this at all.

    You cant shrug and say ‘hindsight’, at the time there was discussion with many backing his retention but it was understood if they didn’t want to then they needed to replace him.

    They did neither, and laughably tried to bandaid it in Jan with one of the most nothing signings in the clubs history.

    Whichever way you slice it you cannot possibly sit today and go ‘yea, they did the right thing’. Because they absolutely didn’t as history has shown us. They did neither and their inaction could be reasonably argued as a contributory factor that cost the club CL football.

  30. Pierre

    I had a nice game of golf in the sun today, then into the club house for a few beers.

    Had a great day …..what was your day like.

  31. Paulinho

    Have to say I’m rather enjoying this Don love-in with Ramsey.

    Slightly bizarre after over two years of slating him at every conceivable juncture(as recently as two weeks ago), but enjoyable nevertheless.

  32. Ishola70

    Taken well by Barnes though.

    Just as well because Iheanacho isn’t going to help them much. Poo player.

  33. Ernest Reed

    “Had a great day …..what was your day like.”

    Spent in quarantine, Pierre. Some knucklehead in my neighbourhood came back from China recently and decided not to follow health protocols and stay in self-isolation. So, I’m doing what knuckles didn’t want to do, look after myself and my neighbors and co-workers and stay at home for the next two weeks.

    All in all, i can still work and do what i need. Life remains good.

  34. Ernest Reed

    No disagreement with you Charlie, they did not replace him even remotely adequately and instead we remain an immobile midfield that lacks any real creativity. All that i am saying is that they had a decision to make and made it based on their own risk evaluation. I would have done the same but…i would have obviously sought out a replacement and a real one at that. That remains hindsight as who knew that the guy they let walk would in fact turn his career around?.

  35. Ernest Reed

    Pierre, if you are going to be an asshole, at least try to be a decent one. Geez but you are a full on misery.

  36. Olumide

    One day, you may read about Cazorla in medical textbooks. “Mikel Sánchez, the surgeon, puts me in his talks, a case study,” he says. “He and the physios say they’ve never seen such an extreme case.” There were knee, foot and ankle injuries, targets missed, seemingly endless setbacks, and 10 operations; beneath the skin, splitting open and exposed, an infection consumed 10cm of tendon leaving the bone squishy, risking his leg and his career.

    Arsène Wenger said it was the worst injury he had seen and a doctor told Cazorla to settle for walking around the garden. “I’m a football nut,” he says, and for 636 days he did not play. Most thought he never would. There were nights where, lying alone a long way from home, he gave up. “I’d talk to my family and say: ‘It’s over. Tomorrow I’ll tell Juancar, the physio: I can’t go on, pal.’” But here he is, just finished training. He has started all three of Villarreal’s games this season.

    In addition, Cazorla was 33 after a 2-year injury. But but but…

    Le Grove medical experts and super fans: Cazorla should have been given a 2-year contract.

    The same people who think 30-year old ever fit Aubameyang should be sold because he’ll go downhill soon.

    Since Cazorla’s injury, Holding has gone on a long-term injury. Now struggling to get into the team.

    Same as Bellerin.

    Arsenal was right not to renew Cazorla. Arsenal was wrong not to replace him.

    Even without his injury, we should have been looking to replace a 33-year-old midfielder.

  37. Un na naai


    Honestly. I adored Ramsey in the beginning. From what happened with the horror tackle to the way he came back my heart went out to him and I really thought he was going to be our big legendary goal scoring midfielder. Problem is he forgot the midfield part of that and wasn’t quite as prolific in front of goal as he was in his head.

    It was the bombing on constantly rather than picking his moments that drove me insane. I’ve played football at a good level. I’ve played midfield. I know the nuances of the position and that drove me mental that selfishness.

    In the right team he would have been great
    He was much better under emery funnily enough and resumed his defensive duties. Was his best season since 2014

    Never said Ramsey never changed games or that he didn’t offer something unique in our side. He just all too often did it at the expense of the team

  38. CG

    British Press Alert.

    Manchester United and Fergie in for Bellingham.( defending off Dortmund)

    The new Trevor Francis?

    £35 000 000 for the 16/17 year old.

    That’s progressive.
    We spend that on the SPL crock Tierney.
    That’s regressive.

    Manchester United are on the march again?

  39. CG


    “””:Bellingham is meant to be blinding
    Lots of big noise about him””””

    I have no idea if he is any good.

    But if Dortmund are sniffing about- that normally means he is decent.

    The point I was trying to make.

    Great clubs like Manchester United or Bayern celebrate their legends( like Fergie or Beckenbauer)……we at Arsenal on the other hand belittle our icons and their achievements.

    If Wenger was still involved at the club ( as President as he should be)

    The Bellinghams and their talented Boy would be Arsenal bound.

  40. Valentin

    Arsenal could have offered pay as you play contract to Cazorla, but the decision was made not to do it.
    The argument that Cazorla was injured is a non-sense argument because the fact that he played his first game on 18-Aug-2018 means that clearly he was fit enough to play some football in August.

    Lots of clubs sign players who have had serious injury. Having been injured for a long time does not necessarily means that the player will be injured again in the future. That’s why there are medical: to assess the current medical situation not the history.

    The fact that Cazorla was subsequently recalled by the Spanish team also demonstrates that he is still one of the best midfielders. Clearly he would have improved our midfield.

  41. Valentin

    Funnily enough last summer I made the point that there is quality in the English lower league. The same people refused to even consider that Arsenal may be better off buying an talented but still raw 18~22 years old who has already a few season of Championship or League 1 than old experienced with low ceiling.

    Maddison, Grealish, Bellingham, Cantwell, etc are just the tip of the iceberg. There are massive amount of talents. They just need to be discover and properly coached/guided. There are 3 positions in which England does not have abundance of talents at any level. They are:

    goalkeeper (Jordan Pickford should nowhere near the England squad never mind holding the No1 Jersey)
    , defensive/holding midfielder (Eric Dier’s midfield enforcer experiment is officially over, …)
    and left back.

  42. Gonsterous

    Never saw the appeal of diaby, and Ramsey. Maybe in part because we have been blessed with so many great midfielders. Loved jackie when he was playing on loan to Bolton. But sadly injuries did him in.

    Loved santi and rosicky to bits though. I remember doing rosickys circling arms celebration when I scored for my school team.

  43. Words on a Blog

    One thing to note on the 7am piece is that the stats there aren’t adjusted to take into account our two sendings off, which skew the stats somewhat against Arteta.