by .

How are you today? Are you making the most of the lockdown? Learning a language? Reading the classics? Studying artificial intelligence and bracing for a future dominated by algorithms that will kill your white-collar job at the flick of a switch?

Of course you’re not you Netflix bingeing, Margarita o’clock loving, PornHub addict. Shame on you.

Finally, a bit of Arsenal news from the mouth of favourite covid survivor, Mikel Arteta. He’s opened up about some of his HR indiscretions and how the lockdown has actually saved him.

“We cannot touch each other at the moment.’

That’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

Just joking of course, this is me failing to give the full context of a quote for a cheap laugh. I feel ashamed, but if you smiled, then it was worth crushing my integrity.

The meat and potatoes of the interview was the manager telling the players he’s doing stuff behind the scenes. Julien Laurens said he’s sending out homework for the players to swot up on. He’s sharpening their brains with thoughts about how he wants to play when the real deal comes back online at some point.

“It’s so important that we keep connected so they can see there’s a relation between what we’re doing now and when we restart training. They are bored and as young players they have a lot of energy!”

We’ve certainly seen what young players get up to when they’re bored when they’re at Manchester City. I’m not knocking Kyle, but you have to do those things with a buttoned-up NDA.

“For the young players, some of them are alone in their apartments and there are long days,” noted the boss.

“We have to be caring for them and we have to keep them busy and try to do things to improve their development and education.

“I like to make them all think and assess themselves as people, too. I’d only been here for three months, so it’s been a chance to get to know them a little bit more, break some boundaries. We’re having some really good conversations.”

I do think the young have been badly affected by this crisis. A lot of them live on their own, they don’t have a lot of control, and idle minds play dastardly tricks on people.

The most important thing Arteta spoke about was the transfer window. I’d imagine he’s been rocking Football Manager 2020 hard like the rest of us and he’s no doubt been inspired to start transfer planning.

“I’m planning two or three different scenarios that we can face,” he said. “Depending on one of those three, we will be able to do more, less or nothing.

“We have to react daily. We don’t know what the financial situation is going to be, we don’t know the rules, the timing, the window. There are so many things we cannot control at the moment.”

We’re doing something, a bit of something, or nothing. Love it. At least he’s honest and at least he’s actually scenario planning. I don’t even want to speculate on the plan, but I can tell you for a fact that a lot of his planning will be geared around who he sells and who signs new deals. Hopefully, it all works out in his favour, he needs some luck.

Weirdly, I think this break is going to work in our favour. Arteta can spend some time actively listening to his players, he can express some of his deeper ideas and he can plan heavily with the important people behind the scenes. It’s also going to do wonders for the players that were battling fitness. We have an elite coach, not an experienced one. The more time he gets with the players the better it is for the squad, regardless of who is in it. The same can’t be said of the amateurs down the road that are causing a rupture of trust with the fans for fucking over the lower-paid workers and making idiots of themselves by training over the park in club colours. So dim.

Bravo to the Premier League footballers who finally penned a really nice letter of intention.

Now get to work and action the words! More pound notes, less thoughts and prayers.

FINALLY, a bit of a PSA. A few top London ad agency folk (Performance group TiPi and creative agency Pablo) have come together to kick back at certain runners that are behaving like massive whoppers in the London parks and NOT social distancing. One of my pals who is a mother complained to me that runners were buzzing her baby and pram, and even worse, spitting near her. Have a fucking word if that’s you. The big fear is that uncouth pavement pounders and their lack of etiquette will push the feds to cut access to parks. A nightmare for mental health and just a real fucking pain in the arse for those people that can actually behave properly.

Some tips (not mine, but agreeable nonetheless).

  • Show respect to others
  • Keep your space; always keep 10 metres apart
  • Don’t run up behind people; breathing and spraying all over them – you’re scaring them, and they believe putting their lives at risk

#RunRight people. Think of others. Don’t spray. KEEP OUR PARKS OPEN (ur parks, I don’t live there).



Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Mulerise14

    I agree Pedro,if and when football comes back,we will be better for it…..we have a thinking man at the helms(MA8)
    You can be a pro-Arteta or anti-Arteta,but one burning fact we all can’t ever be blind to is the question of where we were before he came,as a was so bad i couldnt be bothered to watch our matches during Emery’s debacle this season.Then Freedie,good man he is,too much work too little support.He did his best.
    Arteta had since changed the energy around the club.the players were responding,the stadium was coming alive until the break……until this pandemic.
    The association of footballers coming forward now seems to me,all about saving face.Don’t get me wrong, reaching out to NHS is laudable,but what next after that?are they going to sit on their hands and watch their employers suffer?it is my belief that the game of football- we all love so much,that has given ’em so much-requires much more than a paltry sum……to whom much is given,much is expected.
    How long do they think their clubs can continue to pay their full wages without any movement in revenues?
    Laliga players has agreed to 20% cut,this is in addition to any assistance they are already rendering to their immediate communities.
    I think EPL players should and must think along this line,for the survival of football.
    No guarantee that would even be enough.
    Am a praying man,i pray this pandemic should be over soon.
    Stay safe everyone.

  2. Upstate Gooner

    “Of course you’re not you Netflix bingeing, Margarita o’clock loving, PornHub addict.”

    Are you spying on me, Pedro?

  3. Sid

    Re the EPL players, the FA, politicians, profiteering corporates,
    Stick a fork in their ass and turn them over, they’re done.

  4. CG

    Good link Aussie Gooner

    Some great MANAGERS on that list, that’s for sure. All of them big hitters.
    Look at us now- how low we have sunk.

    We dont employ top,experienced and heavy weight managers anymore.

    We employ Head Coaches.
    Head Coaches who have achieved absolutely zero in their careers and are told who to buy and who to sell.

    Limp head coaches who put on a good training session and think that’s enough.

    As I have said before.

    Coaching is only 49% of the job.
    Managing is 51% of his remit too.

    Arteta ,although a immesely likeable,loyal chap has achieved absolutely nothing in his managerial career.

    He certainly wont be on any greatest lists ,that’s for sure.


  5. G

    ” For those still pining for Wenger-”
    And your point is what exactly

  6. Marc

    On a completely unrelated subject has anyone else wondered whether Mourinho getting caught training a couple of players in complete flagrance of the current lockdown laws was a deliberate act? Is he pissed off at the Spud’s (already!) and is now looking to get the sack?

  7. Pierre

    Wenger 2nd best is about right.

    At least Ferguson is respected by all the united fans.

    It’s no coincidence that both united and Arsenal have regressed alarmingly since losing 2 quality managers despite throwing fortunes to even stay at the same level.

    I would expect the same at city and liverpool when pep and klopp move on.

    Arteta has come into the club at exactly the right time .
    Next season will be a transition/settling in season and building a squad to suit his philosophy.

    21/22 season is the season I expect us and united to be seriously challenging.
    Pep and Klopp may have moved on , Tottenham and Chelsea are in decline, so I think it will be a very competitive league the season after next.

  8. alex cutter

    The interviewer here clutching his pearls as the guest tells him “who cares” about billionaires losing money if companies go under is something to behold:

  9. CG


    “””Arteta has come into the club at exactly the right time “””

    I would say he has come at the completely wrong time. Typical Arsenal.

    If he was coming- he should have been appointed Wengers successor.
    That made sense.
    As he knew all the players.

    (The advantage of having the inside track on the players outweighing his inexperience.)

    ( Welbeck, Cech, Ramsey, Santi, Wilshere, Kos, Monreal etc ) from his playing days.
    He don’t know any of the players now- we have replaced stalwarts with rejects and expensive crooks.

    We now need experience and proven know how not inexperience. He has none.

    He is not even a manager. He draws pretty patterns on chalkboards and puts out coaching sessions.

    He talks about ‘inverted full backs’ and left sided center backs to ‘open up the play’.

    Utter utter tosh off course.

    His interview on BBC today- unkempt, unshaven looking like a sports direct cashier was a shambles. Does he know he is following men like Wenger, Mee,GG,???

    Where is the pride in his appearance?

    We need a proven and experienced manager. Like we saw on that list.

    And deep down you know I am right.
    Because I normally am.

  10. MuddyGooner

    His interview on BBC today- unkempt, unshaven looking like a sports direct cashier was a shambles. Does he know he is following men like Wenger, Mee,GG,???
    Where is the pride in his appearance?

    FFS ……. He’s only just recovered from the Corona fucking virus !
    What’s wrong with you ? !!

  11. Marc


    In CG’s case no one really knows although many have postulated what it could be but the best minds in medical science couldn’t get close.

    The best way to deal with his ranting’s is to ignore him.

  12. Aussie Gooner

    ” For those still pining for Wenger-”
    And your point is what exactly

    I would have thought it pretty bloody obvious!

  13. G

    ”exactlyI would have thought it pretty bloody obvious!’ ‘ no pls explain
    AF has been undoubtedly the best manager in a generation which we’ve witnessed.. So what’s ur point

  14. Gentlebris

    ‘Happy nailing do gooders to trees day everyone.’

    Of course I didn’t expect any less idle grubbiness from a completely eroded mind.

  15. CG

    “””””CG, beards are cool in 2020. Justin Trudeau leading the way.””””””

    Wenger was in charge of Arsenal for over 20 years.
    Never ONCE did I see him unshaven or unkempt in an interview.
    (Another reason why he was no.2 on that list.)

    Its about standards. We used to have them , anyway.

    if the manager cant be arsed-why will the players?

    pretty appalling stuff( and pretty basic too )- and a perfect illustration the folly of not having a manager as opposed to a head coach in charge to apply much needed discipline and leadership.

  16. Pedro

    CG, the players are 20 years old, they’re not going to take offence to a beard.

    We’ve already had the answer to what the players think, They run more, make more tackles, concede less shots and keep more clean sheets. We also have the longest active unbeaten run in the league. The only team in Europe to be unbeaten in the league this decade.

    Unreal dedication to Mikel’s beard.

  17. Spanishdave

    Justin Trudeau is a dick ask most Canadians .
    Ain’t cool.
    Arteta was very clean shaven when he played he’s got Pepitis.
    Fergie always looked the business, tough as nails and well turned out. Only the incessant chewing gum let him down in the end.

  18. CG


    “””Arteta was very clean shaven when he played he’s got Pepitis”””

    Thats how I remembered him
    Always clean shaven, nice suit erect and upright – when he was our captain.

    Two years with Pep.
    He has become his clone- dresses like him….mimics him especially with the players at the end of the match.

    I want to see the beard OFF and the AFC blazer back ON!
    For £ 5 million salary per annum- that surely can not be asking too much.


  19. Tom

    Wenger just did not have the gene for facial hair Arteta has.
    No knock on Wenger btw, some guys consider this a blessing – no 5 o’clock shadow.
    I’m sure Arteta’s clean shaven where if really matters.

  20. Valentin

    I have not seen the interview so I won’t comment on it. However the concept of dressing up to look the part is well known.

    For a manager, It is a lot more difficult to generate respect if you are dressed like the homeless guy near the ATM outside the office.

    Where I disagree with CG is that sport and football in particular is such a peculiar world that headcoach dressing up like a bum would not necessarily have the same impact that in a regular professional environment.

  21. Tom

    I disagree , I think everyone should engage CG at least once daily ,to keep him occupied so he doesn’t go out and murder people.

  22. CG


    “”””CG ,Wenger just did not have the gene for facial hair Arteta has.”””

    (no fair point, about the different genetics)

    But George Graham had the same characteristics.
    And George was always immaculate- always pristine- and always cleanly shaven!

    Its about Arsenal standards.
    It used to mean something.Obviously not now!

    If the manager/head coach looks half arsed and – how will he get expect Bellerin , Genduzi to toe the line?

    Who does instill the discipline at the club now, then?
    Or even the dress code ?

    As Spanish Dave alluded to- Arteta thinks he is another Pep.

    Well he aint. He is a novice. And should be grateful for the position he holds.

    And if he continues to look like a’ soap dodger’ whilst representing Arsenal – he will find when the results dip, which they will, he wont have much to fall back on to save him.

  23. HillWood

    Tequila slammers are better than Margaritas
    Xvideos is better than Porn Hub
    Net Flicks I can tolerate
    Looking forward to the pubs re opening and wearing a pair of jeans again
    Cheers Pedro – keep up the good work

  24. Pedro

    CG, you’ve used Pep G’s scruffiness as a case study in respect, one of the most successful coaches of all time.

    You’ll have to show yourself out. Your beardphobia is offensive.

  25. Aussie Gooner

    I know that AFTV can divide opinion on here but take a look at Claude’s top ten Arsenal Players of his era (which is about the same as mine!).

    CG mentioning Rocky reminded me to post this!

  26. CG


    “””CG, you’ve used Pep G’s scruffiness as a case study in respect, one of the most successful coaches of all time.””””

    Shame we have chosen his scruffy clone then.
    We used to aspire to be the best.

    Now we get enthused because we run further than the previous week.

    (Lucky , David Dein didn’t choose Boro Primorac instead of Arsene Wenger all those years ago!)


  27. Sid

    Poor grooming can be interprated as a sign of depression, laziness, lack of ze mental strength e.t.c

    Im telling you this for free!

  28. Spanishdave

    I met GC in Spain a few times as he played at my golf club.
    He was always nicely turned out and a gent.
    I said to him once that he needs to be our defensive coach and he replied.
    Wenger knows what he’s doing.
    A true gent.

  29. CG


    “”””I met GC in Spain a few times as he played at my golf club.
    He was always nicely turned out and a gent.
    I said to him once that he needs to be our defensive coach and he replied.
    Wenger knows what he’s doing.”””””

    Graham and Wenger. Managerial titans , in any era.
    Both having garnered bags of experience before they arrived in the Arsenal hot seat.

    Now we go with lightweights- hoping they turn out to be ok!

    Always go with proven, always go with experience.

    eg, Ranieri at Leicester City
    Klopp at Liverpool.

  30. Marc

    “Always go with proven, always go with experience.

    eg, Ranieri at Leicester City
    Klopp at Liverpool.”

    Spot on just like Pep at Barca.

  31. Marc


    I disagree , I think everyone should engage CG at least once daily ,to keep him occupied so he doesn’t go out and murder people.”

    We should ignore him and drop him in Liverpool!

  32. Marc


    “The only team in Europe to be unbeaten in the league this decade.”

    Mate I know you love Arteta but that type of comment makes you look at complete tit.

  33. CG

    Spanish Dave

    “”””CG right on fella
    We don’t need to experiment we need to get back to the top quickly.””””

    Thanks Dave,

    When Sir Henry Norris wanted to put Arsenal on the footballing map after years of drift and derision.

    He employed the best manager around.

    Herbert Chapman of Huddersfield Town was that man.
    (Who had won the league title twice with them.)

    He didn’t experiment then- he went for PROVEN and EXPERIENCE!

    Herbert Chapman always shaved in the morning and wore a suit too!


  34. Bob N16

    Marc, I’m surprised the unbeaten this decade line isn’t taken as a bit of a laugh and notseriously. By responding the way you are makes you the tit.

  35. Marc


    Under normal circumstances I’d take it as a joke but Pedro’s hard to read on this subject.

    The fact that I called him a tit also shows I was arsing about – I think it’s you that needs to chill a little.

  36. Pedro

    Marc, you spent the last 3 weeks telling us all to mingle over London Fields for herd immunity. All I’m doing is pointing out facts. 4 months unbeaten. Retract any doubts you had about Mikel, he’s a god.

  37. Dissenter

    covid-19 aside, I can go back to agreeing with Marc about Pedro’s penchant for over-selling Arteta.


  38. Sid

    Unless Arteta unearths the next messi or is given a budget of man c proportions, expect the same boring style from him, his mentor didnt do well in Munich without Messi actually some of his buys were questionable, and since man c budget has been tightened their fortunes have taken a similar path.

    Im telling you this for free!

  39. TheBayingMob

    If anyone thinks this is just another flu and everyone is just over reacting, we should go for herd immunity, I challenge you to read the article below. And if you still feel the same afterwards you need to go look in the mirror, take a long look at that craggy ugly face and then … call it a cunt. Because that’s what you are.

  40. Guns of SF

    This might be true. I live a mile from Stanford.
    My wife was very ill last Fall with Flu… I almost think this might have been it.
    Like very very ill…

  41. Bojangles


    That’s hard to read. No idea how those guys get through their day in normal times. This virus is putting them and others like them under more stress than a human being needs.

  42. Northbanker

    George Graham’s ‘experience’ before he took over at AFC? Millwall ffs. So negligible. Bertie Mee’s experience before being a manager -he was Arsenal physio. MA by contrast has had great training under one of the most successful coaches in modern day football.

    He has also started to transform the club in his brief spell much the same way that Wenger’s impact in 1996 and Graham in 1986 when the club was at major lows.

    Can’t understand the logic of why some of you lot would want to be knocking MA at this stage when the guy seems to be making an impact. You’ve got your priorities all wrong

  43. Spanishdave

    The dire economic situation is going to mean that outstanding payments between club through the crazy high transfer fees over the past few year is going to wreck some clubs.
    If these fees are not paid the domino affect will create chaos , and certainly is going to stop summer transfers this year.
    Government loans will only cover expenses not profit and of course they have to be paid back.
    The players in their last year of contract need to think hard about trying to move because they are not getting big increase of salary.

  44. CG

    North Banker

    “”””He has also started to transform the club in his brief spell much the same way that Wenger’s impact in 1996″””

    Risible nonsense.

    Wenger was dropping Patrick Vieiras as his first signing we now get Cedric and Marys as Arteta first.( that’s even if he was allowed to choose his own players?)

    Wenger in 20 years of outstanding management never lost a Euro tie whilst holding an away day victory in the first leg.

    Arteta has already achieved that feat.

    Wenger had won the league at Monaco before he even arrived at Arsenal- Arteta
    has never even managed the under 12s before.

    Arteta is a good man ,But always remember, he just puts on good coaching sessions- (off course very important but thats only half of the job in being successful )

    Wenger by contrast was an economist, professor, coach ,manager, mentor,guru , psychologist, stadium architect, linguist and serial winner too.

    There is no comparison.

    If Arteta achieves 10% of what Wenger did- his time at the club will be a success.

    Ps. Happy Easter to all my fellow Le Grove patients, especially GB.

  45. Marc


    That’s really interesting – I’ve been seriously wondering if this was about earlier than we realise.

    What I’d like to know is how the Chinese have kept the ratio between confirmed cases and deaths so low compared to Italy, Spain, UK etc?

  46. Marc


    I don’t want to start getting caught up in “conspiracy” theories but there are definitely questions that need to be asked.

    It is of course possible it’s purely down to we haven’t tested enough people who’ve had it and not been seriously ill. Once there’s an effective and mass produced anti body test it’s going to be very interesting just how many have had it and not realised it or been that ill.

  47. LithuanianGooner

    Hi Marc,
    once upon a time I had the opportunity to live under communists (in the Soviet Union) and I can assure you that they can manipulate numbers and statistics in any way that is useful for their propaganda.

  48. Northbanker


    Looks like you have an inability to read. You’ve taken one small aspect of my post to write a diatribe. I’m not arguing against Wenger and at the time he joined I thought it was an inspired choice and argued against many friends who thought otherwise. I did the same thing when we appointed GG a decade earlier. And did so again when i thought we were appointing MA the first time and then we got Emery with a very dodgy track record at PSG.

    The point of my post was to discuss inexperience and whether it can work. Wenger wasn’t an example I put forward for that.

  49. Marc


    I thought you wrote a balanced supportive comment and demonstrates you want the club to do well. CG does not want this, you’ve only got to go only previous comments – wanting the team to lose matches, claiming fans shouldn’t go to matches (Corona’s the reason now!) and dismissing any player bought post Wenger whilst supporting any player and their behaviour who was signed under Wenger.

  50. Sid

    The people manipulating data are the ones that claim covid19 is killing tens of thousands yet mortality rates in their countries havent increased compared to last year and the year before

    You heard it here 1st!

  51. LithuanianGooner


    Of course, it seems some politically correct stuff in the West might even surpass communists, which is quite a shock to me.

  52. Marc


    This is serious but people need to keep their shit together, the endless press speculation and doom mongering just causes panic. Someone on here the other day said life will never go back to normal – ridiculous statement and I don’t think many people can work the maths but fall into an overly emotional response which seems to be the “required default response” to things in the modern world. First time I saw it over here was after Princess Diana’s death.

    I would like to point out I’m just as critical of those flouting the lock down as I am of those having a complete meltdown.

  53. James wood

    Marc Meltdown.
    I have just got comfortable in the garden after my Daughter popped the paper in.
    I am now being bombarded either side by Lawnmowers.
    And to top it all the guy at the end has decided it’s jet wash time.
    All I need is the Red Arrows.

  54. Marc


    Mate you see you’ve got your shit together, well for the moment anyway!

    I sitting here wondering if its too early for a beer.

  55. CG

    President of the Gabonese FA

    “”” Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang needs to secure a contract with a more ambitious club,” “””

    Cant say he is not wrong.
    Ambition and AFC, two words that don’t get together any more

    Inexperienced Head Coach ( no manager deemed necessary )
    Inexperienced Teck Deck
    Inexperienced Vinny

    Raul, Kia and Playboy Josh making it up as you go along.

    No one at the club- having achieved an iota of success elsewhere.
    We are a Mid table club and going absolutely nowhere- happy to have a scruffy novice at the helm.

  56. Redtruth


    Your post is barmy
    Emery did not have a dodgy track record at PSG and the appointment of Wenger was greeted with raised eyebrows….

  57. CG

    Jamie and Bob

    The Gabon President said Arsenal were an unambitious club. He said it hours ago. So it makes it topical.

    (I happen to agree with him.)

    Do you think we are unambitious?

  58. Bob N16

    CG, is the Gabon President clean shaven and wears a tie and blazer? If not, other than an excuse to repeat yourself , not sure why you’re quoting him other than for confirmation bias reasons.

  59. Uwot?

    Too f** no right we’re unambitious.not even a debate.Historically we’ve always seemed.v.cautious.since the 70s I can think of at least 9/ 10 occasions when a bit more aggressiveness or being proactive in the “ market” would have probably landed another half dozen titles.i have no doubt.not just during the “ ditherers” tenure either.

  60. Uwot?

    Nearly signe this player,nearly signed that player.goes way back.just exacerbated now with the krankies running the show.i say “ running” v.loosley.obviously.

  61. Bob N16

    CG, we’ve obviously made lots of mistakes, that’s why we are where we are. I don’t believe Arteta is unambitious for one moment and with a self – sustaining model it isn’t going to be a quick fix in a couple of TWs.

    The Kroenkes are absentee landlords who are have no emotional connection with AFC. Do they lack ambition? Certainly compared to the way we feel about our club.

    I am extremely hopeful that with Arteta in charge and with some significant additions in the TW, we’ll be one hell of a lot closer to the top than this miserable season. Saliba could be a rock too!

  62. CG


    “””I don’t believe Arteta is unambitious for one moment and with a self – sustaining model it isn’t going to be a quick fix in a couple of TWs.””””

    Fair riposte.

    So why with this absentee landlord and a self sustaining financial model would you choose albeit an ambitious but very inexperienced head coach ?

    Surely with this difficult criteria you have expertly outlined , we need an experienced and proven manager not a ‘green’ one?

    Which is exactly my point.

    That list Aussie Gooner sent yesterday
    10 of the Greatest prem managers.

    All of them had 2 things in common.

    1. All immaculately dressed in a suit.
    2. All achieved success elsewhere ( league titles) before they went on to their respective English clubs.

    Going with a novice in our predicament with this criteria.

    Cant work. And there is no evidence that it will work.

    And why should we not demand a great manager? Like Wenger or GG or a Sir Bobby Robson type ( who nearly come to the club)
    Why should we accept like nodding dogs, a lightweight for a heavyweights position?

  63. Pedro

    CG, we’re unbeaten in 2020, we moved within spitting distance of top 5, we’re more stable, conceding less shots, the fans are onside, the players are all backing the manager… all the evidence is there that hiring a young innovative coach was the right move.

    In 18 months, when we’re deep into the Arteta project, I’m going to send you at tracksuit, which you will wear… and a selection of beard oils, which you will grow, regardless of patchiness (people that are jealous of beards can’t grow them).

    That will be your repentance.

    New post.

  64. OCGooner

    Guns of SF, interesting article. The yahoo one was taken down but i found it at the link below. I think it may be possible, a lot of China interlink out here. On the youth soccer club teams I coach down here half my kids were out sick Nov/Dec (really bad flu). Luckily it was near the end of the club season but there was one game in Nov that one of my teams had to play a player short. Might explain why our infection rates are so much lower per-capita than other states.

    Same thing going on in the parks out here in Cali, runners buzzing/spraying, pick up games in parks that city officials have to go and break up. Seems a lot of twenty somethings are just ignoring.