Manchester City preview (feels good)

by .

Let’s start this post off with a big congratulations to Man of the Quarantine, Marcus Rashford. The guys has been relentless in his giving, donating money when others dithered, then campaigning to land the kids of the UK a meal during a very challenging summer.

That there is a counter-argument to such a campaign shows the depth of misery some people voluntarily dive into. You have a dark heart if you think empathy, during the worst pandemic of the last 100 years, is misplaced here. There is no financial planning that could see parents in, say, the hospitality industry, through this moment. If you are chirping off about this on the internet, find a friend (if you have one) and ask them to confiscate your phone for a month because you are a disgrace.

Onto the football.


I couldn’t be any more excited about the restart. Sure, it’s likely we’ll get beaten, but who cares, we’re back in the mixer and we still have a European spot to play for. The manager says it’s one game at a time, and I agree. If the players react well to the full preseason we’ve just had, we’ll be in good shape… if they don’t, it’ll be problematic for the fans waiting in the wings to avenge the beheading of Senor Emery.

There’s a lot to be excited about.

We’re going to see the kids. The manager has a big bench and 5 subs he can make now. New youth will get a chance. This will set the tone for the summer and hopefully show the world the Arsenal we’re going to build over the next 5 years. We are one of the best-placed clubs when it comes to teenage talent, let’s hope we meet a new star

Better off-ball movement. Arteta has been trying to build a more cognitive style of football at the club. He’s teaching players shapes and triggers that help our off-ball movement. That was tough to do midseason, but a month in the training field is kind of ideal to implement this elevated approach to the game. The hope is that we see a better style of football, less mistakes, and more intelligence on the field.

Senior turnover is bound to happen this summer, but don’t expect it to be reflected in the starting 11. Arteta wants to win a cup and he wants to make the top 4 this season. That means he’ll lean on experience. Why ‘could’ that work? Well, our bigger names are low on contract in a very uncertain world. They are going to need to prove they are value buys so they can extend out their futures this summer. I expect to see fully committed players on the pitch because everyone is playing for their future. PUMP THAT VALUE.

Style. Yes, this something I’m looking for. I’d like us to move out of functional to something more elevated. We debated this on last nights podcast. What will we see? Getting by with what you have? Or something more exciting that shows the future? I’m hoping for a middle ground. But we’ll see.

The away advantage has gone in the Bundesliga.\

Since the Bundesliga returned in front of empty stands, where they call them the “ghost games” (“geisterspiele“), home teams have won 21.7% of matches (10 from 46 games), down from 43.3% before the shutdown of play in March. Home teams have also scored fewer goals — the pre-lockdown rate of 1.75 goals per game is now down to 1.28 — while the away teams’ winning ratio has risen from 34.83% to 47.8%. The same trends have been seen in Estonia (after 29 games there were just 11 home wins) and Czech Republic (after 32 games, just 10 home wins) since their leagues resumed when behind closed doors.

This works well for Arsenal because, you know, we’ve been shit away from home for years. The hope is that we level the playing field, win some games we might not have, then build confidence going into the future.

We can dream, right?

Ok, before I go, click my podcast and GORGE on its goodness. We cover about 500 topics. It’s great.


1,164 Responses to “Manchester City preview (feels good)”

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  1. azed

    “2 soft tissue injuries in the first 15 mins.

    Waiting to see when Arteta gets blamed for either over training or under training the players.

  2. azed

    I was really disappointed in Willock today. Still has a long way to go before he’s ready to be a starter.

  3. MidwestGun

    Hang in there Peds.. It’s much easier to predict failure and doom because for the most part… most managers fail as well as most players . There are about 2 or 3 managers happy at the end of every season. Much harder to predict success and stand by it. . It’s gonna start looking like the Alamo though if Arteta doesn’t start clearing out the senior players who have successfully dragged down about 3 managers to this point in 3 years. . People seem to have forgotten with the Covid delay, we started out under Emery to the worst start in like 30 years. It is worrying however if Arteta is trying to get them all to stay. Fix our midfield, fix a lot of our problems. And if Arteta does that.. I’ll make that stand with you… although I’m not sure where one gets a raccoon skin cap these days.

  4. Ernest Reed

    This much i know, not even Pep could get something out of that collection of so-called professionals. There were far too many on the pitch tonight that were completely invisible.

    I was hopeful for at least a solid effort and to be honest, the scoreline flattered them, Leno being the only thing that kept this one from being the debacle they truly deserved.

    I could go on but what for? This was and remains a terrible team and it has naught to do with Arteta, who inherited quite frankly the worst of the worst. This one remains with the architects of the shittiest show in football, and it looks great on them. Ownership remains absent and management is a joke.

    Aside from all that is my rant, happy to have football back again. Feels good to feel like shit again!

  5. The Godfather

    “ Godfather, I think Eddie has something.”

    Pray tell, what is it Pedro?
    Whatever he has, it’s not good enough for this league at this time not any time soon.

    Especially when you have one of the world’s most lethal strikers shunted out to the wing. Absolute Rank Stupidity in my book!

    And what is his problem with Martinelli? Is the kid too lethal for his own good?

    Arteta is … ahhh never mind

  6. CaliGooner

    20 shots
    12 on targetArse
    3 shots
    0 on targetLike WTF is this… its becoming harder to find the problem areas specifically since there are so many of them!!!!!!!

    Not that hard to figure out. Their midfield is headed by debruyne who is probably best in the premier league right now and is surrounded by world class talent. Our midfield today was xhaka(for a minute) guendouzi (who’s 20) and willock who’s 20. They were over run by better players in a familiar system. We couldn’t get the ball out of our end after a half hour. Our front line hardly had touches after the 30 minute mark. Our issues are with midfield far more then any other area of the pitch. We need a great player to shield the back line and link play. We need a great attacking mid to pull strings and score goals.

    Not easy to find. But if we do that would make everyone else on the pitch look and play a lot better.

    Only Leno today was worth a damn. We are totally outclassed by city. Let’s see how we look against Brighton.

  7. Aussie Gooner

    “‘It was not the team’s fault, it was my fault,’ Luiz admitted after the match at the Etihad Stadium.The defender went on to explain that the contract negotiations have been playing on his mind.

    ‘I take the decision to play, I should take another decision in the last two months that I didn’t. Today the team did well, especially after we went down to 10 men, the coach is amazing, all the players did amazing, it was just my fault.”

    OK so that was the problem – just give Luiz a new contract and double his pay, then he will play much better – simple fix!

  8. Gonsterous

    Everyone and their dog was advising against the 4-2-3-1 against city. Got hammered 3-0 thanx to Luis ( who will get an extension for some reason).
    Would be nice if we set up against the opposition rather than trying to play our own game, since our own game requires a better technical midfield and intelligent players.

  9. China1

    I’m really not clear on the point of auba on the left

    Originally we put him there because our squad had zero wingers and we wanted to accommodate our other big name CF. Laca hasn’t justified it, Eddie is a good prospect but still learning so needn’t be first choice. We now also have at least two quality looking options on the left wing.

    Let’s just simplify the mess, put auba up front and let saka compete with gab on the left. Isnt this just logical?

  10. China1

    Like you can’t blame Arteta for having shite players, of which he has many, but the least he needs to do is get the simple bits right

    Just let our best CF play CF and let your wingers play on the wings. Why complicate this when we have so many other issues to deal with?

  11. China1

    Apparently Luiz went into the PL all time record books for being a substitute who managed to be directly responsible for two conceded goals and a red card!

    What an honour!!

  12. DivineSherlock

    Exactly what Arteta was thinking is hard to predict , but for 25mins or so it felt like the game plan was working . If the injuries hadnt happen , I think for 2nd half he wouldve brought on Pepe and Martinelli . Although playing Saka at right meant he was inhibited , shouldve started Nelson. But it all went to shit once Agent Luiz came on .

  13. Habesha Gooner

    I don’t want to be complaining about the manager just months in to the job. But I really would be pissed if he doesn’t rate Martinelli. Any way, We need a complete make over in midfield. Keep the kids and let them grow little by little. The rest we need to ship out. It’s because our so called senior players suck so much, we have to throw in all the kids at once. Have Partey and Van debeek next to them and Guendouzi and Willock plus Torriera will play a lot better. They are better than these seniors though. Just not good enough yet to out play Silva, Debruyne and Gundogan. The defence needs a reboot. clear all the shit show and start from scratch.

  14. Guns of Hackney

    Well that wasn’t exactly what I had predicted. Jeez.

    The usual suspects were suspect, so no point delving into that.

    I think the reality is, we are where we are. Arteta has to rebuild with youth, on a budget and it’s going to take at least a season.

    For me, at least seven first team players need to be sold. There are too many bad apples in the squad and we need a clear out.

  15. Ishola70


    “It’s because our so called senior players suck so much, we have to throw in all the kids at once.

    They are better than these seniors though.”

    It’s a big call to say that all these youngsters are better than the seniors however disappointing the eniors may be at times and too many times.

    You know the ratio of youngsters that go on to make it to the top of the game with the club they start out at in one batch, all in one period? It’s not a big percentage. The law of averages say that the youngsters we saw last night only a couple will become real top players for Arsenal.

    Is Willock at this point really “better” than an erratic Ceballos?

    Is Nketiah at this point really better than Lacazette or even for that matter Martinelli his fellow youngster?

    In picking certain youngsters in the game it meant that Saka played right wing? Now Saka has shown that he looks one of the better youngsters but on the left. Is he really better on the right wing than Pepe?

    I think Arteta seriously didn’t think he could win that match last night getting serious apprentice inferiority complex in relation to Pep and he thought he would just give give some big time experience to the youngsters.

    There is no way Eddie N is “better” than Lacazette at this point.

    There is no way Saka on the right wing is “better” than Pepe on the right wing at this point.

    There is no way Willock is “better” than Ceballos at this point.

    Arsenal would most likely of course had lost the match whichever players they put out but I think Areteta was guilty last night of not putting out his strongest possible team.

  16. Pierre

    To have 2 of our defensive based players taken off in the first quarter of the game and then to concede 2 sloppy goals and have a player sent off in a 6 minute period either side of half time against a quality footballing side like city , makes it difficult to make a real assessment on the players and manager.

    The first half an hour or so we did ok, but the problem was our play from the back was becoming slower and slower and was going absolutely nowhere.

    City were looking dangerous in the spell before half time but we looked like we had weathered the storm until Luiz had a disastrous 6 mins that completely changed the complexion of the game .

    The remaining 40 minutes of the 2nd half was purely a damage limitation exercise and to the players credit, they fought to keep the score respectable.

    To judge and criticise players like Aubameyang, Nketiah and Saka is futile in a game like yesterday.
    They spent the 2nd half chasing shadows and due to our lack of possession were unable to have any influence on the game.

    Questions can be asked of the starting line up and the set up.
    Saka never looked comfortable on the right and Aubameyang had an ineffective game and Eddie made some good runs , he was clearly man handled over close to the city box in the first half, in fact it was a very similar situation to the City penalty .
    The difference was that the Manchester born referee decided in favour of city both times which resulted in a goal for city and Arsenal being reduced to ten men.

    On another day those 2 decisions could have quite easily been reversed , both defenders used the same hand on shoulder for a brief second to bring the striker to the ground.

    The fact that the Manchester born referee gave us sweet fa throughout the game is hardly surprising.
    What we will see is the corrupt English referees will not want to be seen to be previously influenced by the home crowd, so they will make sure that all important decisions will go in favour of the home side whilst the matches are played behind closed doors.

    Sheffield united(the away side) had a victory denied them yesterday by officials/VAR when the ball was clearly over the line …why did VAR not inform the ref that it was in fact a goal , very dodgy.

    Perspective is needed after a match like yesterday’s, there is a time and place to get the daggers out for the manager and the players , and now is not the time and place as losing 3 defensive based players and being down to ten men after 50 mins made it a near impossible task , especially with four 20 year olds in the side.


  17. Tony

    We were looking for consistency from the players and Arteta and got it: another 3:0 loss to City.

    How long exactly does Arteta need to get the team functioning as a decent counter attacking team against teams as good as City?

    Ah well different day same shit!Shocker? Not really just expected.

    In other news:
    Donald Trump said invading Venezuela would be ‘cool’ and it was ‘really part of the U.S.’, thought Finland was in Russia and didn’t know Britain had nuclear weapons, John Bolton’s book reveals

    If Woodward’s book ‘Fear’ wasn’t bad enough ………………

  18. Ishola70

    Man City didn’t turn up for the first half an hour.

    They only got interested after the half an hour point.

    That first half an hour was both teams just going through the motions with no real intensity or real pace to the match which can be understandable as the players lack real match practice.

    Arsenal should have an advantage over Brighton next match as they have had this run out and it will be Brigton’s first match in over three months. Not that Arsenal should need an advantage to beat Brighton.

    I keep hearing De Bruyne was great again last night. He’s a top player but again with him lack of real match practice showed. He did some good things but he was also guilty of some really sloppy passing one in the first ten minutes which was really poor when he gave the ball away to an Arsenal player right in front of his own penalty area which should have been an easy simple pass for him. Nowhere near one of his better matches.

    Even some of these over-rated Arsenal youngsters may be better for the run out last night especially for the game against Brighton who you would presume will be rusty and are not world beaters themselves.

  19. CG


    Zero shots on goal against a demotivated City side.

    (But we have an elite coach*.)

    Burton who conceded 9 at City – had more attempts than us.

    Starts for plodders Genduzi & Mari and persisting with Luiz over Holding

    No game time for our maverick counter attackers Martinelli and Pepe (did Martinelli score that brilliant breakaway goal at Chelsea or am I dreaming? )

    Is Arteta working for Arsenal or Manchester City?

    * and he should start wearing his Arsenal blazer.

  20. Chris

    I think we can chew the day on how the game went etc but for me despite the efforts City went to with the ground decoration/fan screens etc it was just so flat. The game just didn’t captivate. The game is nothing without the fans making it what it is, and hopefully the powers that be will truly know this and start to appreciate us a lot more.

  21. Thank you and goodnight

    Arsenal fans should start wearing a t-shirt with the words ‘give us our club back and Arsenal fans lives matter ‘ . Maybe the kroenke’s will wake up and realise just how far down we’ve fallen under their farcical leadership. So pissesd off as I can’t find any silver lining as an arsenal fan. We are a championship team in waiting

  22. Guernsey Gun

    As bad as anything dick served up. Luiz brown nosing after the game, I wander why. If they keep him on it will tell you what a shit show we have become. None of those youngsters looked like arsenal starters last night. The best young player came on with 20 mins to go and did more in that time then the 6 or so we had combined. Risible and rancid from Arteta.

  23. Northbanker

    Really disappointing match but main takeaways – we must not under any circumstances exercise Luiz’s option. However expensive a 1 year contract is the fact is that it is done but we can ensure we don’t have this useless lump of lard this year (which will save money despite what people are saying here.

    I hope Luiz never wears an Arsenal shirt again – an absolute disgrace.

    Secondly need to really question Auba’s contribution. Sure service was poor but he didn’t even look for the ball and his one chance he fluffed. Do we really want to break the bank for him? Not me – play Martinelli and Saka in their best positions of CF and LW and lets go forward with youth and clear out all of the deadwood.

  24. CG

    As you said TyAgN

    Someone has to be sacked ( has to be) for this Luiz signing.

    If not, what the owners are simply saying – is that they are happy AFC executives are spending £20 million for his 26 odd games.

    2 of which he has been sent off for.

    Where is the accountability?

  25. Guns of SF

    Morning to all the UK Gooners.
    Its bed time now for me… was up for a while setting up the new server in the house.
    See you in a when the sun comes up

  26. Thank you and goodnight

    Jamie carragher on David Luiz ” it’s unbelievable in some ways that he has kidded so many people in football “…….
    Yet some prick at the club assumed he was worth a million a month in wages and signed him up. Arteta isn’t and won’t be good enough for arsenal either. The Arsenal job is too big for a rookie coach who hasn’t proved himself capable of managing a club. Dressing up like Pep doesn’t mean you’re as good as him.

  27. Thank you and goodnight


    Not forgetting to mention that other unbelievable signing ‘Cedric Soares’. I mean seriously, who gave Arsenal the green light to sign him? Rotten from top to bottom. A fucking disgrace of a club.

  28. Ishola70


    “Yet some prick at the club assumed he was worth a million a month in wages and signed him up”

    I really hope that Arteta doesn’t really want David Luiz to stay on for another season and Luiz was just bullshitting last night.

    If he does want Luiz to stay on for another season I’m afraid that is a big stain on Arteta.

  29. CG

    “”””Jamie carragher on David Luiz ” it’s unbelievable in some ways that he has kidded so many people in football “….

    Soccer is the biggest bullshit industry of them all.

    And we are currently led by the biggest bullshitter( Raul) of them all.

    He still has his admirers though.
    (Fading fast mind.)

  30. Thank you and goodnight

    George Graham turned 4 good defenders into a world class unit when he was at Arsenal. Yet in last 13 years at Arsenal no matter the personnel, we’ve seen the level of defending as not good enough for a championship team, let alone a club with top 4 ambitions. 13 years same problems that have gone unresolved. Shocking.

  31. Thorough

    For the next game, if Holding isn’t up to scratch I’ll put Tierney in central defense beside Mustafi. I’ll give Soares the left full back position.

    Our best attach is Saka/Martinelli on the left, Pepe right and Auba through the middle.

    Arteta is a numpty for thinking he could play the most dominant team in Premier league without a ball winner in midfield. AMN or Torreira had to be the number 1 player in the midfield.

    Arteta is practically becoming Arsene again – trying to reinvent everything. If he continues with this rubbish tinkling there’ll soon come a time when the only player playing in his right position would be Leno.

    And what’s it with him putting faith in Nelson and Willock ahead of Martinelli. Is he freaking blind.

    For the next game I’ll go:


  32. Gonsterous

    Lmao carra saying experience is over rated. At the end of the day, it’s all about how good you are.
    I don’t normally listen to that fella, but makes a lot of sense regarding Luiz.
    Side show bob needs to get out asap.

    Need to get rid of ozil too. On 350k and left out for tactical reasons, you don’t do that to the best players. They fit in the team, they make the difference. Can’t wait for him to flat track bully Brighton and then have pierre come and show us what we are not seeing with ozil.

    Jesus wept, same ol arsenal. Lovely to have football back isn’t it. Some lot here were massively optimistic before the game.

  33. peanuts&monkeys

    ” What a massive overreaction
    Even at our best with every player in their right position city could still thump us
    They are an extraordinary team. Losing to them is no indication of failure by Arteta.”

    Thanks Un Na Nai for letting all here figure out why (a) Wenger stayed on for 10 additional years, (b) why Arsenal arsenal has been underachieving for last 10 months under Arteta.

    Its condonation-led lack of ambition. Arteta has a soft corner from all Arsenal fans because his being an ex-player. I think he has totally exhausted that soft space now. He has underperformed bordering failed.

    Arteta had enough opportunities to get the CB situation and Wing attacking options sorted in January. He did not. He has to pay for that . If he has to go. he has to go.

    Can you put a hand to your heart and say that if it was Leicester or Everton or Southampton playing City yesterday, and not Arsenal, they too would not have managed a single SOT??

    Now, go back and check the stats of last 10 games under Arteta. Check the stats. You will know why ppl here are saying Arteta is piss-poor.

  34. Thank you and goodnight

    Next time theirs job interviews at Arsenal for the managers role, I’m going to apply looking like klopp. I’ll wear same glasses, same pitch side animation,hopefully I’ll get the job….not on ability of course, but because I look like klopp. After all we signed Arteta because he looked like Pep, as we definitely didn’t sign him for his managerial experience or ability.

  35. peanuts&monkeys

    Defensive errors may happen. One or two such errors are bound to happen. But a defender will never commit a final foul/final tackle risking a penalty, if he knows his forwards can arrange a response. At Arsenal, our forwards are simply shit. After Sanchez, Arsenal forward line has shittened. It is piss poor. After Ozil dried up. Arsenal forward line has shittened hard.

    Most of us know that here. But we still live in denial. There is no juice left. Only if the club mngt also is in denial, should they ignore strengthening the forward line.

  36. peanuts&monkeys

    “After all we signed Arteta because he looked like Pep, as we definitely didn’t sign him for his managerial experience or ability.”

    Yes…the truth is coming out.

  37. DigitalBob

    Skysports have “David Luiz Disasterclass” as the number 3 trending topic. Perfect description of what we saw last night.

    I think its clear he won’t play for us again, even if Arteta likes him, what a mess of a signing.

    In terms of the senior players with question marks over commitment, I actually predicted both our strikers would stay this summer, now i’d say its the other way.

    Auba’s body language all game and recent interviews + Laca now Eddie’s understudy for me mean that’s where the bulk of our summer transfer budget will come from.

  38. peanuts&monkeys

    This Arteta decision is backfiring. Badly. Either they sack him now. Or, they (edu, Raul & co) all resign and go.

    Else, Arsenal continues languishing at 12th/10th. And, week in & week out, Arsenal fans bleed agony.

    Oh! I was so relaxed when there wasn’t any football since March.

  39. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    Sorry but I have to pull you up.
    As far as I can see I have been they only one who wants know Europe football at all.
    If I remember you said would be a disaster, catastrophic for the club and must not happen

    Well it does need to happen if the club won’t be rid of scum sceptic owner who don’t spend we will need to go back to basics.
    That means building again

    Strangely clearout
    L a car

    Straight away.
    No Europe…
    Arsenal the true Brexit club.

    Back one step to go go forward 3.

  40. Thank you and goodnight

    Result aside mate, let’s be honest in at least half if not more of those games we drew we were lucky. If their strikers had been any better we would have lost those games too. Sorry but nothing I’ve seen has convinced me Arteta is man for the job.

  41. peanuts&monkeys

    “please explain how Arteta has improved us.”

    You won’t hear a word today. You will only get to hear ‘ give the chap more time, more time….’ Too early, too early’

    I am saying it is ‘same old, same old’. Playing style wise, who here can give us some light how it has changed from Emery?

  42. Valentin

    time to ruthless:

    Luiz has shown that he may an honest, decent guy off the pitch the problem is that on the pitch in a back four against top opponents he is a disaster: a penalty or red card in waiting. No extension.

    The experiment of using Aubameyang on the left against top opposition should stop. He may be a top marksman, but his lack of tracking and movement outside the box is an hindrance in such game. Again he was a passenger, barely involved in the play and That is a reason why he rarely score against top 6 teams. Time to sell him at a decent price to buy a proper central midfielder.

    Leno make some good reflex saves, but again his poor distribution could really have exposed us. When you compare his technique with Allison, it is obvious we need somebody with the same reflex ability but much better distribution. If PSG is still inclined, sell them Bellerin against Areola plus £10 millions.

    Ceballos is not worth the money that Real is requesting. Decent player, but never going to take a game by the scruff of the neck. No buying.

  43. Graham62

    Actually fell asleep watching the game.

    What can you say about David Luiz.

    Injuries didn’t help, even though one was GX.

    Pablo Mari was doing fine until the injury.

    To be honest, it was a tough watch. We all know how things are going to be for the foreseeable future but it’s going to be tough to keep watching something that is not football as we know it.

    City could have had 5 or 6.

  44. London gunner

    Tbf I don’t rate arteta but he is hardly functioning under the beat conditions.

    Takes over a mess of an Arsenal team .

    Season gets disrupted with his new team due to Corona.

    I think this season is a right off but I want us playing good attractive football by end of the season that’s the minimals for me.

  45. Thank you and goodnight

    By the way I’m no Emery fan. But fairs fair. If he was so shit, then surely Arteta’s Arsenal are an improvement aren’t they? Obviously not…. so I ask again, just how are things better under Arteta ?

  46. peanuts&monkeys

    Its clearly evident Mari’s and Xhaka’s injuries happened due to poor fitness programme.

    Though i was happy Ceballos came in and immediately improved us on the pitch.

  47. Thank you and goodnight

    Also funny that some fans are saying, ‘ judge him after the Brighton game’…..really? Just really ffs. So if Arteta beats an ashurst wood under 9 team we should judge him on that game, not the games against top 6 opponents. Surely the games against the so called big six are the games we should be judging our manager.

  48. peanuts&monkeys

    This Ceballos guy is damn good. Arsenal should buy him at whatever the price. He is the kind of guy we need to reorganize the team.

    I can’t believe Arteta chose Xhaka over Ceballos. It was such a mistake. And, it was easily proven when Ceballos started shining.

  49. peanuts&monkeys

    Tierney is good. Ceballos is good. Arteta has no idea how to use these guys to score goals. Let him go back to Pep, learn and then return. We will wait. we will make goo with Freddie till then. Will hardly make any difference. Will it?

  50. Gonsterous

    I think the arteta out signs are a bit premature. We all agree the personnel is crap and no amount of managing can change that, so we may have to wait at least a season to really figure out if we are going in the right direction or not. A bit of patience for the manager maybe good for him.

    Not adding too much pressure on the manager will help him find long term solutions rather than short term get out of jail cards which won’t benefit us in the long run. We can’t keep spending millions every window, that’s just not what arsenal are about.

  51. Leftside

    My thing is that Saturday 3pm will roll around and then there will be confusion at the lineup and the in game management will cause further confusion.

    Refusal or inability to learn from mistakes will continue to hinder us. It may not be much of an improvement but we could start by playing players in their actual positions and picking the lineup that will give us the best chance to win the game.

  52. Ishola70


    “Pablo Mari was doing fine until the injury.”

    I’ve seen this said by quite a few but it realy wasn’t the case.

    Probably said because the game stood at 0-0.

    Within the first five minutes he made a very poor challenge on the edge of the penalty area. Hugely dangerous and I was expecting De Bruyne to slot that freekick and Man City take a really early lead. As it turned out Leno had to make a decent save to keep it out.

    Then he got absolutely roasted by Walker and he only got injured when he was trying to play catch up with Walker and step up a gear with pace.

    It was a worrying display from him defensively.

    It fits the narrative that Arsenal lost the game solely because of David Luiz.

    You could see from the match that Man City upped the tempo after half an hour and it is hugely likely that they would have won the match from there on in regardless of the Mari injury. In fact we may well be talking of a Mari error later in the match if he had stayed on for the 90 minutes.

    Let’s just say Mari wasn’t wholly convincing last night.

  53. Gonsterous

    I agree that ceballos is way too expensive for what he provides. If real want 10-15 m, we should buy, anything more than that, add it to the cash to buy Jack Grealish.

  54. Graham62


    You could be right but what we had was a damn sight better than what materialised after he left the field of play.

    Bringing on Luiz changed the psychology of both teams..

    Arsenal became more passive and as you rightly say, MC “upped”it.


  55. Thank you and goodnight

    Sorry but why shouldn’t we judge Arteta after 12 games? What has he done that makes people believe he should be given time? Defensively we’re the same, from an attacking point we’re worse under Arteta. It’s clear to most fans on this site that AMN ,Willock,Nelson ,Eddie are not good enough for Arsenal, yet Arteta still selects them.

  56. Thank you and goodnight

    Most people could see from the first few games they played for Arsenal, Viera,Anelka,Cole,fabregas that they were watching a special young player. People can see Saka and Martinelli have something in them to reach the top of their game. But AMN, Nelson , Smith Rowe , Willock and Eddie , it’s too blatantly obvious these players won’t cut it at Arsenal or any so called big four team.

  57. andy1886

    With Ishola on Mari, he was off the pace, looks cumbersome and reckless. He’s another one of those that some had decided would be good even before he’d played a few matches. We have so many CB’s and we don’t need another iffy one.

    TBH without Luiz’s brain farts we probably would still have lost but I think that we would have been a bit better offensively. Along the lines of a not unexpected defeat. What worries me are some of the poor decisions in the way we were set up. Saka on the right, Auba on the left, makes no sense to me. Saka has to be on the left, if Arteta doesn’t trust Pepe then it’s Nelson on the right.

    Like someone said it’s all a bit latter day Wenger when the coach tries to shoehorn in players in positions that they aren’t suited to. It rarely, if ever works.

    Lastly what about Pepe? Emery didn’t fancy him, seems Arteta isn’t convinced either. That’s one hell of an expensive dud unless someone can sort out whatever the issues are there.

  58. Up 4 grabs now

    A good first 25 minutes defensively
    (well for us, then the usual shit show resumes.)

    Luiz never plays again as far as I’m concerned.

    Xhaka should have gone in January,
    rookie mistake begging him to stay!

    Mustafi was ok last night but you know the accident is waiting to happen, so he needs moving out.

    It looks like ozil might not play again either unless he was injured? If you cant even make the squad or bench that can have 10 players on it should tell you everything.
    The problem is he will do a Winston bogarde on us and sit out the last year playing fortnite.
    And counting his cash.
    The Southampton signing was a gamble gone wrong and makes broke back look like the deal of the century, at least he scored a cup final penalty for us.
    Mari doesn’t look like the answer either.

    The midfield is a mess and is really missing a leader. Amongst other things.

    Arteta is in a difficult position that he’s dealing with wenger and Emery’s (or rauls) poor signings still.
    It’s going to need a massive clear out over the summer now.
    But that cant be used as an excuse for some of his decisions.
    The fans will only give you so much time, nobody expected a win yesterday but we never turned up offensively. Auba contributes nothing if he doesn’t score.
    If we can get 60 million for him and laca then move them on, buy another striker and spread those goals across the front three or four so we arent reliant on one player.

    The players tried yesterday but there just not good enough compared to city, who are light years ahead of us.
    As are the bindippers, chelsea and utd.
    The other teams above us like Leicester and Sheffield utd etc are organized,they might not be so easy on the eye but they all play and look more like a team than we do at the moment.

    Tierney and Leno played well, bellerin and mustafi were ok, I’d give bellerin the rest of the season to see if he an improve and get back to a higher level, otherwise right back will be an issue as well.

    See what we can do in the fa cup still, but write the league off now. If we finish tenth or lower and miss out on europe all the better. Yes we might miss out on the money (it’s not champions league money though)
    But start to make changes now, try different formations and players so you have a head start for next season.

    Sorry for the long post, but after 100 days without football, its disappointing to see nothing much has changed.

  59. Daniel Altos

    I know most of you think CG is a loon but even though I don’t post often….I think he has been making some very valid points lately.We had zero shots in target yesterday,imagine the meltdown if it was big weng in the building….also,does arteta hate gabinho?

  60. Emiratesstroller


    I did not say that qualifying for Europe would be a “disaster”.

    However, I made the case that not qualifying might serve our best interest. It
    has done Leicester City no harm and they are on track to qualify this season for Champions League.

    My view is that Arsenal need to offload at least 8 players this summer and make our squad smaller and fitter for purpose.

    On current evidence we are bloated in Centre Back Positions, our midfield is
    dire and needs a total rebuild and there is currently uncertainty whether our
    major strikers are going to stay at club.

    We can continue to blame Arteta as many on here seem to do, but we need to
    offload the deadwood and rebuild squad in methodical fashion.

    The transition will take probably at least two seasons. So in meantime we should limit our expectations to moving club up the table in EPL.

    The revenues in Europa Cup are limited and as Josh Kroenke has suggested
    we continue to pay Champions League wages. Those wages need to be reduced this summer.

  61. Guns of Hackney

    Okay. Okay. Arteta has taken over an absolute shambles. Wenger laid the foundations and emery built on top of quicksand.

    We know the players can’t be coached. We know they are shit. We know that we are hamstrung on wages and contracts. We know we are a very poorly run team.

    Arteta has only had a few games and we are already much harder to beat (last night was bad). The players at least know what they should do.

    Seven first team players should go and we need to rebuild. Arsenal will remain a top 8/9 side for a season or two before we start showing green shoots.

    This is not on Arteta at the moment.

  62. CG


    “”””I know most of you think CG is a loon but even though I don’t post often….I think he has been making some very valid points lately.We had zero shots in target”””””

    Although , I did wake extremely every early this morning, because of some boisterous seagulls ( is this an omen for Saturday?)

    But not actually having a shot on target with no one in attendance ( I mean it’s hardly an intimidating atmosphere there) and having not played for 12 weeks is quite something.

    (Its actually very difficult to accomplish in fact.)

    A Le Grove XI would get a shot on bloody target there.

    Never mind, these elite coaches just take a a little time than the lesser mortals to warm up and finesse their ideas.

  63. Aussie Gooner

    The problem with Arteta is that he thinks he is still at Man City with a squad of 25 world class players. Pep can mix and match his squad at will. It is quite evident that Arteta does not have a world class squad to manage. Consequently he has to pick the best 11 players and stick with it like many clubs in the EPL who don’t have vast resources (ie Burnley, Sheff, Wolves).

    What Arteta is doing is just an extension of Emery – random team selections. How can players like Pepe and Martinelli sit out a game like this? The only real strength we have is in attack. Yet he chooses odd line ups, player out of position and we don’t get a shot on target all game!

    I think we all knew we would get hammered by City – the ultimate insult – they took their foot off the gas in the second half. But who would have thought that we would not have a single shot on target? If it wasn’t for MOM Leno we would have lost 8-0.

    Sorry but I am yet to be convinced by Arteta and his magic sauce!

  64. Guns of Hackney

    If we knew we’d get hammered by city, why then bother playing Martinelli and Pepe? Why risk them in a game we ‘knew’ we’d lose?

    Perhaps they weren’t fit. Perhaps if they had played, they may have ended up missing the remaining games.

    Learn how prioritising works.

  65. Jamie

    But, but this squad is ‘top 4 quality’ even though we haven’t finished in the top 4 for 4 years and counting….

    It’s not the players, stupid.

    Anyone miss CC’s optimism that all we need is a change of head coach and everything will be rosy? I do. Reality bites hard.

  66. CG


    “””””We can continue to blame Arteta as many on here seem to do, but we need to
    offload the deadwood and rebuild squad in methodical fashion.”””””

    So what’s the point of having a great coach in charge then ?

    Great coaches improve the incumbent players immediately. That’s their remit

    And that’s why they pay £10 000 each for their shiny coaching badges & licences.

    If we are going to buy a whole new team in- Arteta is redundant .

  67. Guns of Hackney

    The same people who say that Arteta is to blame, then it’s the squad. Then it’s the board. Etc etc.

    It’s a 14 year accumulation of neglect that has got us here. Does anyone think that can just be coached away? The club is bad.

    Arteta needs 3 years. At least!

  68. Freddie Ljungberg

    So player poverty is a thing now eh? Who’d have thunk it.

    Regardless Arteta has to do much better. He’s tinkering worse than Emery did ffs. Laying all our attackers out of position just to fir someone in that shouldn’t play in the first place while leaving our most creative player (Pepe) on the bench all game.

  69. Graham62


    I hate to admit it but you could be right.

    Can’t put my finger on it but all these young lads(and they’re not the first) seem to lack the key ingredients to make it at the highest level. Hunger, passion and true desire. A commitment to die for the shirt.

    It’s as if they’ve been consumed with the ‘acceptance bug’ that has suffocated the club, both on and off the pitch, since we departed Highbury. Being technically gifted is useless if you don’t have these key ingredients in your game.

    I agree with what someone highlighted yesterday. Bring in PV4, TH14 and Sol Campbell and the whole psyche of the club would change. The last young player to show these traits was Cesc.

    CG may be right, all these guys wearing suits are destroying the club.

    The whole club needs a bomb placing under it.

  70. Olumide

    Arteta has spent 6 months at Arsenal. Yet, nothing is on him.

    The bad performances are because of the dross we have. But what of the good performances? It’s Arteta’s fingerprints of course.

    Are we saying this is the best performance these players can muster? No manager can do better than this? They’re so bad they can’t get a shot on target against Man City?

    I started getting sceptical about Arteta during the Olympiacos game. The forward line needed energy around the 60th minute and Arteta only brought in Martinelli around the 100th minute.

    Immediately, the forward became more active and we scored. What’s the excuse for Martinelli not getting a chance? He’s lazy? He doesn’t produce? He’s not intelligent enough for Arteta’s genius system?

    We had Nketiah on the field and Arteta wanted to make a sub and he brings on fucking Nelson. How can Nketiah and Nelson be ahead of Martinelli based on what they’ve produced this season?

    Then you have Auba and Saka in the wrong position. Put yourself in Auba’s place. You’re the best CF in the club and the coach shifts you to the wing for Nketiah. Must feel really good.

    Fine, we have many issues with the squad. But there’s been no noticeable improvements in terms of performance and results, considering Arteta’s genius level of coaching.

  71. Guns of Hackney

    People don’t get it. It’s you lot that need fucking coaching.

    Any minute now and the “should have got”

    Kept Emery

    Arteta is a good coach that needs some time to coach.

  72. Dissenter

    We need to correct some aspect of the immediate recent history
    Emery didn’t get going this seasons. The club then dawdled as Freddie ruined the team before hiring Arteta.
    It was the prolonged period of indecision under a temporary manager that led to most of the damage. Emery didn’t have time to build a team to begin with.
    It’s wrong to keep suggesting that Arteta took over from Emery’s broken team.

  73. Dissenter

    We also need to stop bashing Pepe for not being selected. It maybe that it’s Arteta that’s showing favoritism.
    Arteta will be fine…all he has to do is rely on Auba’s goals to start looking good again.

  74. Samesong

    All these excuses for Arteta are starting to wear thin. He is supposed to be the a good young coach. Brighton will beat us on Saturday because despite their squad quality. They are an very organised side with a half decent manager.

    Nothing against Arteta and yes this was the first game back. But Bringing on Luiz was embarassing.

  75. Dissenter

    Guns of Hackney
    No you wanted a hot sauce manager with lots of cheesy pizzazz, one that can communicate like a politician.
    No more good ebening.
    Now you got him, enjoy him.

  76. Samesong

    People don’t get it. It’s you lot that need fucking coaching.

    Coming from the Vegan expert lol.

    Show us the proof then? you keep talking the same bs.

  77. Pierre

    I can understand a manager wanting to impose himself on the squad and to show them who’s boss, but it’s a fine line that a manager treads between gaining and losing respect .

    Emery tried it and failed with Ramsey and Ozil and in the end he lost the players.
    I believe things may have turned out different for him if hadn’t decided to flex his muscles after a very successful first 3 months in charge.

    Will Arteta go down the same road as Emery, I hope not.

    We have already seen Arteta have a type of falling out with Guendouzi and AMN where he left them out of the team/squad for a period of time .
    Whether or not this was justified , who knows , or is it a case of Arteta letting the players know that they must adhere to his way completely or suffer the consequences.

    Ozil’s exclusion will immediately make people jump to conclusions as to why he was left out, so i would expect to read a lot of fake news about this in the coming days.

    The fact that Aguero, one of the greatest ever premier league strikers was omitted from the city team last night seems to have been ignored totally .
    Arteta omitting Ozil from the side last night didn’t surprise me , horses for courses just as Pep felt it wasn’t the game for Aguero to start.

    For Arteta , i would say to him, choose your battles wisely , don’t make your job more difficult than it needs to be. You need the players on your side then they will fight for you .

    Use Emery as a yardstick of how not to gain respect .

  78. Olumide

    And it’s funny that people will say “the performance has nothing to do with Arteta”

    Who’s the head coach? Who sets up the team?

  79. Terraloon

    The sign of a good coach is he makes players better.

    It was too easy to blame AW because of the squad he left yet hundreds of millions were spent under UE yet nothing changed .

    Along comes Arteta and he juggles around with a few players positions and… nothing changes.

    We all know that there is a lot of dross at the club and the squad needs cleansing but save the odd one or two leaving we aren’t likely to see many leave.

    It makes me smile when I see lists on here from some posters suggesting maybe a half dozen or so players, in contract, should be moved onto.

    Well it takes two to tango and unless the players can get a better gig they ain’t going no where and unless the pot is sweetened.

    For me one player and one player alone showed anything yesterday and that was Leno.

    I read comments that all was ok till Luiz brain fart but it really wasn’t. City’s players had worked out the system and indeed the plan and it was only a matter of time till they scored. In truth it could easily have been one or two before Luiz howler.

    Some suggest the likes of Cellebos or Mari did ok. Really? Cellebos is just going through the motions and Mari will be destroyed now his flaws have been exposed.Had he not been taken off it would have still been a defeat

    Guendozi is a headless chicken who displays no positional discipline whatsoever. Willock needs a full season on loan . To be fair all the youngsters do bar Saka.

    PEA was wasted as was Saka. To start these two so far away from their best and probably preferred positions was naive

    It was abundantly clear that players were confused and in the case of Luiz not in any mental position to play football. He mentioned the contract position in his interview and to be fair how would you feel in his position?

    As an aside the Werner deal has been announced by Chelsea

  80. Graham62

    Martinelli should be playing.

    Why he isn’t is beyond me.

    He has more visible hunger in his little finger than the likes of Willock, Nelson, Eddie, AMN have in their entire bodies.

    Maybe it’s because he has all the traits needed to succeed.

    Oops, sorry, now I’m being racist🤪.

  81. Graham62

    Every other team in the EPL show more positivity and hunger than our lot.

    This has been the case for far too long.

  82. CG


    “” For Arteta , i would say to him, choose your battles wisely , don’t make your job more difficult than it needs to be. “”””


    As the great Fergie used to say.

    “”Dont go looking for fights, because they will come to you often enough.”””

    Arteta has to grow up quick.
    He ain’t in City La La land now.

    He is in the real world.
    And it is bloody horrible.

  83. The Backpass

    “I believe things may have turned out different for him if hadn’t decided to flex his muscles after a very successful first 3 months in charge”

    Wait, you mean being kicked out by olympiacos constitutes a successful campaign. A match he refused to sub in Martinelli till 100 mins and suddenly a change in attack.

    One thing is for sure, That shit Emery would have navigated Olympiacos till semifinal or final.

    Successful three months my ass.

  84. andy1886

    Pierre, to be fair you can’t compare Aguero on the bench (he played but didn’t start) with Ozil not even being in the squad when we can use 5 subs.

    If Arteta couldn’t see a single eventuality where Ozil might be useful that would be extremely damning. One can only surmise that there must have been another factor other than a purely football based one in play.

  85. shaun

    They did not play that bad .The injury’s had a big effect as Mari was starting to adjust to the pace of the game and winning everything in the air real shame he got injured .what worries me with Arteta and Emery before him was the insistence on playing XHAKA and in Arteta case trying to persuade Luiz to stay.Playing Saka on the right was also a bit odd but lets see, at least Luiz did not start . For me I am starting to think About why is Arteta doing this and that’s a bit of an odd decision , so yes there is a bit of doubt there but then again there always is so who knows

  86. Dissenter

    It’s hilarious when people wrote that les wait till the Brighton game to see how good Arteta is.
    Is playing relegation strugglers the new test for hot sauce managers?

    Arteta had the inside info on city. He worked with Guardiola for 2.5 seasons and had an idea as to how city will set up
    ….and yet he failed to pick the right team and approached the game with a vacuous plan.

    That in itself is an indictment on him.
    When I spoke up earlier this week, I was labeled as being too negative.

    The only way Brighton won’t beat is if Auba outscores them, not because of nothing Arteta is doing. We may win in spite of Arteta, not because of him.

  87. Dissenter

    Chelsea have signed Timi Werner for £53 million

    That £8million for calamity Luiz sure came in handy.

  88. Valentin

    Pepe hardly tracks back, so not selecting him in a game when Arsenal was always going to be under pressure make sense.

    However playing Saka as RW did not.

    It is like Arteta did not have the courage to go full on. Play Nelson on the right or Pepe.

    Same thing on the left.

    Aubameyang is in cruise control mode. Make enough to pretend that he is trying, but not too much as to risk any serious injury.

    Play Saka on the left. And if the idea is to put pressure and harass the midfield, put Martinelli in the middle of the park as No10.

    A team of
    . Leno
    Bellerin Mustafi Mori Tierney
    . Willock Guendouzi
    . Nelson Martinelli Saka
    . Nkethia

    May have taken a roasting, but energy wise it would have been a lot more consistent.

  89. Cesc's Pizzeria

    Last night did feel like Arteta had a game plan but it fell apart after the 2 non-contact injuries to Xhaka and Mari.

    David Luiz was atrocious but we know he would not be touching the pitch if everything remained according to plan.

    The two main points this has highlighted to me are:
    1. Our pre-season wasn’t enough to regain fitness (which does not surprise me considering the increased injury rates in Bundesliga after the restart allowed PL teams to use 5 subs.
    2. Our defensive depth is poor. We have about 6 CBs but they are either mid-table quality or injured (We need to recruit a high quality CB to play alongside Saliba).